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What I meant is, when I first watched it, I was confused as to
WARNING: spoilers below
whether they lived or not.
After I watched the opening scene again though, the ending made sense to me and I was able to marvel at it once I pondered over it some more.
Actually I was responding to Tak's speculating on whether or not there was a "deeper" meaning to Cookie and Kings's relationship.



Holy Motors (2012)




I watched this for the upcoming countdown because I've seen the title mentioned quite a bit over the last few years. For whatever reason I always thought it was a documentary, I couldn't have been more off on that. I like the general premise with the different appointments. I don't mind that there doesn't seem to be a central point, but I'm not generally a fan of surrealism. I enjoyed the characters and their more normal conversations the most. For whatever reason it reminded me of Playtime. I could potentially enjoy this more if I watched it again. I was never bored and it's technically sound.



Holy Motors (2012)




I watched this for the upcoming countdown because I've seen the title mentioned quite a bit over the last few years. For whatever reason I always thought it was a documentary, I couldn't have been more off on that. I like the general premise with the different appointments. I don't mind that there doesn't seem to be a central point, but I'm not generally a fan of surrealism. I enjoyed the characters and their more normal conversations the most. For whatever reason it reminded me of Playtime. I could potentially enjoy this more if I watched it again. I was never bored and it's technically sound.
It's been some time since I've seen it, but my interpretation for what the film is about and what type of themes run throughout it are that it's about the ways cinema has evolved throughout the years, as well as a mournful reflection on different technologies which have/will become outdated and prior relationships/roles the characters had in the past.

As the movie went on, I began to notice that after the entr'acte, the "appointments" (which I think represent different movie roles) Oscar went to appeared to blend into reality. The way they seemed to affect him (such as stumbling weakly into his limo after he's stabbed during one of the appointments) cause them to become harder to distinguish from reality, culminating in the final couple appointments where I'm not even sure if they were actual appointments or not. I think this showed how, as various types of movie equipment (cameras, lighting, sounds, etc.) improved over time, the images they captured grew more and more akin to reality, so I think that's what's being represented by this dynamic.

The film also makes a number of interesting references to other films. Edith Scob's character putting on the mask at the end is a reference to her own role in Eyes Without a Face (her most iconic role, I believe). I like to think of that as her reconnecting with one of her past roles as this fits with the film's themes pretty well. In addition, Lavant's character climbing out of the sewer is a reference to his role in Tokyo! (I haven't seen the film though, so I can't say a whole lot about what that means). The most interesting reference, however, comes in during the musical/romance segment about reunited lovers. After researching the film, I found that Kylie Minogue wasn't the original actress Carax wanted to play her role. He instead wanted to cast Juliette Binoche in the role. This would've been a reference to Lavant's and Bnioche's roles in The Lovers on the Bridge. Although Binoche dropped out of the role and Kylie Minogue got it, you can still see the original intent of the casting.

I also found a few other scenes in the film interesting, like the opening, ending, and a few smaller scenes within the film. However, this post is already pretty long, so I figured I'd cut it off here.
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Actually I was responding to Tak's speculating on whether or not there was a "deeper" meaning to Cookie and Kings's relationship.
I honestly think you can read their relationship either way, but also:

WARNING: spoilers below



I honestly think you can read their relationship either way, but also:

WARNING: spoilers below
I swear when I finished watching the thought never entered my mind. I remember thinking, "Wow, he wouldn't abandon his friend. That's a true friendship." I still find it mind-boggling.*

*is thick as a brick sometimes.



I swear when I finished watching the thought never entered my mind. I remember thinking, "Wow, he wouldn't abandon his friend. That's a true friendship." I still find it mind-boggling.*
Well, like I said I don't think that
WARNING: spoilers below
reading it as a friendship is necessarily wrong. If the story works better for you as a platonic friendship that includes love and devotion, so be it.

Since they never talk about their feelings for one another, the line between whether they love each other or whether they arein love with each other is never drawn.

At the same time . . . don't know a lot of friendships that would involve dying laying down together and holding hands. Especially since King-Lu was physically capable of leaving if Cookie had died.





Rewatch. Not as good as the first one, but still very much enjoyable.
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Prey, 2022

Naru (Amber Midthunder) is a young Comanche woman who dreams of being a valued hunter like her brother, Taabe (Dakota Beavers). But those hopes take a strange and dangerous turn when an alien Predator lands in their area and begins taking out anything it sees as a threat.

I watched this with a little group and we had an absolute blast with it.

First and foremost, I thought that the film looked amazing. The Canadian scenery is breathtaking, and the different angles and camera moves highlight the landscape and the characters in a really cool way. One particular shot---an overhead spinning shot of Naru atop a tree--was a real highlight. This extends to the way that the action is shot, which is clear and easy to follow.

As Naru, Midthunder is very likable and easy to root for. Yes, the script makes a few nods to her frustration with not being taken seriously, but a lot of the film is just Naru out in the wilderness, trying to survive and figure out the mystery of what is decimating the local wildlife. The rest of the cast is also good, including Beavers as her brother and Stormee Kipp as a fellow tribesman who is more hostile toward Naru. Of course, any discussion of the cast has to include Naru's canine companion, Sarii, played by a former shelter dog called Coco. Coco is a total scene stealer, and we unabashedly cheered for her during the whole film.

I'm a fan of the Predator films, with the original and Predators being my personal favorites. I liked this addition to the Predator mythology. The Predator we see here is a less advanced version of what we get in later films. The technology is more pared-down, something that could be explained either by the Predators themselves being less advanced, or an intentional choice to use less powerful weapons, like a hunter using a bow-and-arrow instead of a gun.

I had very few complaints with this one. I wish that the antagonism between the Comanche and the French trappers had been a bit more established. I appreciate that doing so would have added to the run time, and it's not the worst thing to get the Cliff's Notes version. But it would have added a bit more charge to the scenes where those characters intersect.

As an action/horror, this one delivered for me.





The Duke
(2020, released 2022)


This is one of the most charming pictures Iíve seen in a long time. Starring the incomparable actors, Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren, it mostly accurately tells the story of Kempton Bunton who confessed to stealing the Goya painting The Duke of Wellington from Londonís National Art Gallery in 1961.

In a story so improbable that it had to be true, the painting was stolen not for personal gain, but for a means to fund TV licenses for the elderly. Just how this was supposed to work is anyoneís guess. In the British Isles TV licenses are required for watching live TV or VOD, the revenue from which funds the BBC. Mr. Bunton was offended that seniors had to pay for the service, and he both petitioned and picketed in hopes of getting that situation reversed.

The charm comes in equal parts from Broadbentís canny and humorous portrayal of Bunton, and also Mirrenís complex representation of Mrs. Bunton, both in her criticism and understanding of Buntonís philosophy and antics. Both characterizations were consummate, polished and award winning in scope.

The plot plays out in a way that is unexpected, and the ending of the tale is as unlikely as it is gratifyingly fitting.

Docís rating: 8/10






All Through the Night - Filming for this 1942 Warner Bros release was wrapped two months before Pearl Harbor which would explain the somewhat ambiguous tenor of the jingoism on display. It's more of a warning about the threat posed by the Third Reich than an official call to arms. It's also an odd sort of movie with comedic elements jockeying for position alongside Runyonesque characters and a spy subplot.

Humphrey Bogart plays ex-mobster and now gambler and cheesecake aficionado Alfred "Gloves" Donahue. The death of his favorite baker sets him and his colorful cronies on a convoluted trajectory to solve his murder. By the time the movie wraps up you'll realize the title is spot on. As for the cast the opening features guys like a young Phil Silvers and Jackie Gleason. They're sort of minor supporting characters but Donahue's crew also includes William Demarest and Frank McHugh. The bad guys include two of Bogart's costars from Casablanca, Peter Lorre and Conrad Veidt along with Dame Judith Anderson. Kaaren Verne is the love interest and Jane Darwell plays Ma Donahue, who instigates the whole thing by asking her son to help find the missing baker.

I considered this a major find given the clever, snappy writing, star-studded cast and top-drawer production values. It always surprises me when I run across something that I'm convinced I should have heard about but hadn't. But I suppose that's what a "hidden gem" is all about. I don't think it's empty bragging to claim you've seen tons of Bogart movies but having run across this only convinces me that I've merely scratched the surface. As for downsides, so much happens and keeps happening that one might end up feeling the movie runs a little long. But the flamboyant characters and rapid-fire, trenchant dialogue helps keep things moving. I think this qualifies as a noteworthy movie.

80/100



10 Foreign Language movies to go

By IMP Awards / 2020 Movie Poster Gallery / First Cow Poster (#1 of 3), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62778899

First Cow - (2019)

I'd borrowed First Cow from the library, so all this talk about it set me off a-watchin'. I entered the filth-encrusted world of Cookie and King-Lu, whose skeletal remains are dug up (in the present day, I'm guessing) and whose story is something of an analogy for the fraught kind of capitalism much of the world gets by with. Back in wild and untamed days, Cookie gets sick of flour and water-based bread (early Australian settlers called it 'damper') and King-Lu suggests he steal milk from the only cow in the region, brought in by the Chief Factor (played by Toby Jones). The resultant cakes are good enough to sell, and they become popular enough to attract the attention of the Chief Factor himself - which is where things become dangerous. The film moves at a very languid, deliberate pace and immerses you in it's setting while fully introducing you to it's characters. First Cow slowly soaks into you, with menace that has been brought with the desperate and dirty people exploring the untamed North West of America - all of whom make John Magaro and Orion Lee's sensitive characters particularly at risk of becoming ensnared and chewed up. They're intuitive, thoughtful and obviously care a great deal about each other - two delicate flowers in a rough kind of landscape.

Oh - and I got a huge kick from seeing Gary Farmer show up, having watched Dead Man just a few weeks ago.

8/10


By http://www.impawards.com/1999/mummy_ver2.html, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20132246

The Mummy - (1999)

Time hasn't been kind to the CGI effects used in The Mummy, and it's hard to believe this was a film with a massive budget that went on to earn nearly half a billion dollars. It's hard to believe that Brendan Fraser was once an A-lister (not that I mind him) - but as long as you're not expecting much, this Mummy delivers some trashy fun. It feels like a 125-minute wink at it's audience, and after enduring 1980 film The Awakening with Charlton Heston I'd take this kind of iteration any day.

7/10
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By IMP Awards / 2020 Movie Poster Gallery / First Cow Poster (#1 of 3), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62778899

First Cow - (2019)

I'd borrowed First Cow from the library
Me too! *library high five*

I humbly offer these 4 popcorns to you, the Canadian people.



I humbly offer these 4 popcorns to you, the Canadian people.
Looks like we're* having fine dining tonight!


*we = the Canadian people



Victim of The Night

By http://www.impawards.com/1999/mummy_ver2.html, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20132246

The Mummy - (1999)

Time hasn't been kind to the CGI effects used in The Mummy, and it's hard to believe this was a film with a massive budget that went on to earn nearly half a billion dollars. It's hard to believe that Brendan Fraser was once an A-lister (not that I mind him) - but as long as you're not expecting much, this Mummy delivers some trashy fun. It feels like a 125-minute wink at it's audience, and after enduring 1980 film The Awakening with Charlton Heston I'd take this kind of iteration any day.

7/10
Man, I was furious when this came out. I was already in my mid to late 20s and I was a fan of classic Horror and this was just some silly adventure movie for kids. I was pissed.



Man, I was furious when this came out. I was already in my mid to late 20s and I was a fan of classic Horror and this was just some silly adventure movie for kids. I was pissed.
Seeing it with my friends when we were 12 was one of the best movie going experiences of my life. That movie is still way too much fun.



The Lords of Discipline (1983)


Bit of a curio that doesn't hit all the right notes but is interesting and entertaining at the same time. Set in a Military Academy in the South of USA it follows the notorious "hazing" process that the newest recruitments have to go through. When their 1st black student enrols, this process is exposed by a rather feckless cadet (the likeable David Keith....will he ever get out of military training!!! )and his room-mates. It's good, not great, very 80s but enjoyable Michael Biehn and Bill Paxton (credited as "Wild" ) make up for a well-rounded cast. You know when there's G. D. Spradlin is about some wrongdoing is going on!!!!