Make Your Picks

Rate The Last Movie You Saw

Tools    







I just saw this one two days ago. I was intrigued by the subject matter, and I had seen director Alexandre O. Philippe's Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist. So I was very intrigued. And I was not disappointed at all! Quite honestly, a movie documentary like this is absolute catnip to a geek like me, who never stops thinking about movies in terms of theme, subtext, archetype and influence.

To put it briefly, it's about the influence of 1939's The Wizard of Oz on the films of David Lynch specifically, as well as its influence on cinema in general overall. It's divided into six different chapters narrated by different people, including other filmmakers such as John Waters, Karyn Kusama, Rodney Ascher and David Lowery, and each chapter deals with the subject from different angles and perspectives. I personally found it absolutely fascinating, and it's rekindled a desire to re-watch the Lynch filmography. (I have all of his feature films on either DVD, Blu-ray or 4K, and I also have all three seasons of Twin Peaks on Blu-ray, including the mind-blowing 2017 revival.)

Oh, and here's a rather cool picture, of two cinematic mavericks from the '70s who eventually cracked the mainstream. (It's in the movie.)






I just saw this one two days ago. I was intrigued by the subject matter, and I had seen director Alexandre O. Philippe's Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist. So I was very intrigued. And I was not disappointed at all! Quite honestly, a movie documentary like this is absolute catnip to a geek like me, who never stops thinking about movies in terms of theme, subtext, archetype and influence.

To put it briefly, it's about the influence of 1939's The Wizard of Oz on the films of David Lynch specifically, as well as its influence on cinema in general overall. It's divided into six different chapters narrated by different people, including other filmmakers such as John Waters, Karyn Kusama, Rodney Ascher and David Lowery, and each chapter deals with the subject from different angles and perspectives. I personally found it absolutely fascinating, and it's rekindled a desire to re-watch the Lynch filmography. (I have all of his feature films on either DVD, Blu-ray or 4K, and I also have all three seasons of Twin Peaks on Blu-ray, including the mind-blowing 2017 revival.)

Oh, and here's a rather cool picture, of two cinematic mavericks from the '70s who eventually cracked the mainstream. (It's in the movie.)


This looks fascinating.





aka Cassius Clay, 1970

This documentary---filmed during the period where Muhammad Ali was barred from fighting due to his refusal to abide by the draft--traces the rise of Ali’s career, his point of view on the sport, and his activism as an adult.

In some senses, not the most that could have been made of this. But the undeniable charm and watchability of its star makes this an easy, fun watch.



Full review



Gone back to reading
I must make note of having just seen Poison for the Fairies, as it was a forgettable picture, Spanish i think from the 70's, the date that amc+ gives was erroneous. In it we follow a couple of girls who dabble in witchcraft, we rarely see the faces of adults unless it's a spooky close up. There's portions where it's just music and scenery which gave off a pleasant Pasolini vibe, but not enough good things to raise it above a mediocre 5/10



I must make note of having just seen Poison for the Fairies, as it was a forgettable picture, Spanish i think from the 70's, the date that amc+ gives was erroneous. In it we follow a couple of girls who dabble in witchcraft, we rarely see the faces of adults unless it's a spooky close up. There's portions where it's just music and scenery which gave off a pleasant Pasolini vibe, but not enough good things to raise it above a mediocre 5/10
It's from the 80s, and I thought it was fabulous.



I forgot the opening line.

By The cover art can or could be obtained from Universal Pictures (USA)Universal Pictures (non-USA/Canada), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26192867

The Paper - (1994)

The Paper is a good ensemble piece, with five really solid, fleshed out characters working in the pressure-filled atmosphere of the New York Sun over a 24-hour period. Newspaper movies are nothing new, and although the very best of them seem to be the ones that give us insight into true events, those fictional ones often inspired by the varied cinematic versions of The Front Page can be great as well. In this Henry Hackett (Michael Keaton) goes to war with fellow journalist Alicia Clark (Glenn Close) over how to report on the arrest of two murder suspects - proclaim them guilty, despite rumours to the contrary, or dig deeper and hold the presses for an inordinate amount of time to discover the truth. Their boss, Bernie White (Robert Duvall) is distracted by prostate cancer and desperate efforts to reconnect with an estranged daughter. Hound McDougal (Randy Quaid) is paranoid, and fears retribution over a story he reported on. Hackett's wife Martha (Marisa Tomei), once a fellow reporter, is pregnant and terrified of being stuck home with a baby and losing her career - thus coming into conflict with her husband, who is choosing the story over her. What I liked about this is how frenetic the action is from start to finish, and how all of the characters have depth to them. Added to this are the varied smaller characters and their various sub-plots, filling the film in with added interesting detail. A few people hate this one - I liked it.

7/10


By The poster art can or could be obtained from Alliance Films and Magnet Releasing., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33771428

Goon - (2011)

I haven't watched many films sequel first, and then original - if you do, you might be surprised at how backwards your appreciation of the two films might be. A couple of years ago, I borrowed Goon : Last of the Enforcers from the library, not knowing that it was a sequel to this film. It was a crazy, Zucker bros kind of comedy about ice hockey, and I thought it was okay. I was expecting the same with the original, but this first iteration isn't nearly as insane as the second was. It's actually based on a true story - that of a hockey player better at fighting than playing, and thus on the team to intimidate opposition players. Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, Alison Pill and Jay Baruchel feature. I was a little disappointed that it didn't get as silly as expected. Don't watch your movies the wrong way round kids - it messes with your admiration of the originals.

5/10
__________________
Remember - everything has an ending except hope, and sausages - they have two.
Please come back Takoma

Latest Review : Le Circle Rouge (1970)




'In Cold Blood' (1967)


Very watchable re-telling of Truman Capote's book focusing on a real life brutal killing in 50s Kansas. The pace of the film is so well marked out that the 135 minute runtime breezes by. It's also quite a gritty film for 1967 with some coarse language that only serves to make the criminal characters more realistic. Great photography too.

8.6/10

Hey, of my all-time favorites!: https://letterboxd.com/stusmallz/film/in-cold-blood/



Knock at the Cabin -


Shyamalan's latest is a pretty good thriller about the nature of faith. Husbands Eric (Groff) and Andrew (Aldridge) are vacationing in a cabin in the Pennsylvania wilderness with their daughter, Wen (Cui). Without warning, a man named Leonard (Bautista) arrives on their property, talks to Wen as she collects grasshoppers and informs her that he's there to accomplish a very, very important task. It's not long until three more strangers arrive.

The movie's drama comes from whether the intruders are who they say they are or if they have ulterior motives and it does a decent job of maintaining it. I like how it peels the layers of the onion, if you will, such as making you wonder if it's personal, if they're cultists, etc., and it helps that the consequences of the small family's doubt are pretty dire. I have no complaints about the casting: it's nice to see Dave Bautista continue to stretch his muscles - no pun intended - and Jonathan Groff succeeds at making his fear palpable. The movie's tasteful handling of violence, which I especially appreciate due to Wen being only eight years old, is another nice touch.

Unfortunately, there's not quite enough sugar to make the medicine go down. The thrills are ultimately mild, which is a problem when you consider how many good thrillers also occur in confined spaces. It doesn't help that the interspersed flashbacks of the family's origin story are more like commercial interruptions than suspense builders. Shyamalan's dialogue is also as unnatural, stilted and self-conscious as it usually is, and it took me out of the moment more than I would like. I still recommend it, because if anything, the movie succeeds at making you wonder how much it would take you to believe something that is truly extraordinary. Oh, and make sure to always pay close attention to the cabin's TV because you will be rewarded with a good laugh.



Gone back to reading
Monkey Shines -- terrific and nostalgic, but that scene where he has the monkey by his teeth and swinging it back and forth was almost comical, like from the Scary Movie franchise. Loved it though 8/10



SORCERER
(1977, Friedkin)



"No one is just anything"

Sorcerer follows Victor, along with three other characters: Jackie (Roy Scheider), Nilo (Francisco Rabal), and Kassem (Amidou), all of which are wanted and on the run for different reasons leading them to the remote South American village of Porvenir. But as the above quote says, no one is just anything. The four of them are more than just wanted men, but what will fate have in store for them here? Turns out it is two trucks loaded with unstable dynamite.

What Friedkin does different than director Henri-Georges Clouzot is to give a bit more depth and background to these characters. Now, granted, I don't think background and explanations are always necessary, but those first 30 minutes where you see how these four characters end up where they're at are really effective and give a lot of weight to what will happen in the rest of the film.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
__________________
Check out my podcast: The Movie Loot!




By The cover art can or could be obtained from Universal Pictures (USA)Universal Pictures (non-USA/Canada), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26192867

The Paper - (1994)

The Paper is a good ensemble piece, with five really solid, fleshed out characters working in the pressure-filled atmosphere of the New York Sun over a 24-hour period. Newspaper movies are nothing new, and although the very best of them seem to be the ones that give us insight into true events, those fictional ones often inspired by the varied cinematic versions of The Front Page can be great as well. In this Henry Hackett (Michael Keaton) goes to war with fellow journalist Alicia Clark (Glenn Close) over how to report on the arrest of two murder suspects - proclaim them guilty, despite rumours to the contrary, or dig deeper and hold the presses for an inordinate amount of time to discover the truth. Their boss, Bernie White (Robert Duvall) is distracted by prostate cancer and desperate efforts to reconnect with an estranged daughter. Hound McDougal (Randy Quaid) is paranoid, and fears retribution over a story he reported on. Hackett's wife Martha (Marisa Tomei), once a fellow reporter, is pregnant and terrified of being stuck home with a baby and losing her career - thus coming into conflict with her husband, who is choosing the story over her. What I liked about this is how frenetic the action is from start to finish, and how all of the characters have depth to them. Added to this are the varied smaller characters and their various sub-plots, filling the film in with added interesting detail. A few people hate this one - I liked it.

7/10


By The poster art can or could be obtained from Alliance Films and Magnet Releasing., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33771428

Goon - (2011)

I haven't watched many films sequel first, and then original - if you do, you might be surprised at how backwards your appreciation of the two films might be. A couple of years ago, I borrowed Goon : Last of the Enforcers from the library, not knowing that it was a sequel to this film. It was a crazy, Zucker bros kind of comedy about ice hockey, and I thought it was okay. I was expecting the same with the original, but this first iteration isn't nearly as insane as the second was. It's actually based on a true story - that of a hockey player better at fighting than playing, and thus on the team to intimidate opposition players. Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, Alison Pill and Jay Baruchel feature. I was a little disappointed that it didn't get as silly as expected. Don't watch your movies the wrong way round kids - it messes with your admiration of the originals.

5/10
Was pretty sure I was the only person on the planet who had seen either of these movies. I agree with just about everything you said about movies. Loved Schreiber in Goon





The Irishman - Frank Sheeran (Robert DeNiro), Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and James Riddle Hoffa (Al Pacino) were all real life characters. The screenplay is based on Charles Brandt's 2004 novel I Heard You Paint Houses. It's a three and half hour long movie (which, in it's defense, didn't seem to noticeably drag) that could be seen by some as a last hurrah of sorts for Scorcese. Others have called this his magnum opus but I'm not sure I can go along. It doesn't have the focus of some of his other works even though it centers on two or three characters. And I'm not sure it qualifies as "sprawling" which is the descriptor usually applied to these type of generational sagas. So if it's not tightly focused or sprawling what is it? It's elegiac but it also has a bunch of wise guys talking in circles about mostly everything. Some people will see their patience rewarded and love it unconditionally, others will see the sum of it's parts as lacking.

80/100



You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (2023) Directed by Sammi Cohen and starring Sunny Sandler, Samantha Lorraine, Adam Sandler, Idina Menzel, Jackie Sandler, and Sadie Sandler. This was really funny and sweet. Sunny Sandler is wonderful and charming in this and the rest of the cast are good too. Watched on Netflix. My 8th favourite film of the year so far.





Sgt Kabukiman, NYPD, 1990

Harry Griswold (Rick Gianasi) is a police detective investigating a string of murders involving kabuki actors. One night, while attending a kabuki performance as part of his investigation, Harry witnesses a mass attack on the actors, one of whom with his dying breath passes on to Harry the gift of being able to become the hero Kabukiman. The dying actor’s granddaughter, Lotus (Susan Byun), doesn’t care much for Harry, but agrees to help him tap into his new powers. Unfortunately, several powerful men would like to see the last of Kabukiman, and a wicked entity known as The Evil One is expected to appear at any moment.

Fun lead performances and a few solid visual gags can’t quite get this one into the right kind of stupid fun zone.



Full review



I forgot the opening line.

By "Copyright © 1961 – Twentieth Century–Fox Film Corp." - Scan via Heritage Auctions. Cropped from the original image., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/inde...curid=86890206

The Hustler - (1961)

Very heavy film - raw and honest, like a Tennessee Williams play. There are moments of excruciating spiritual agony for our two main characters, Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) and Sarah Packard (Piper Laurie) - and while Paul Newman is forever remembered for his performance, it's matched in every way by Piper Laurie, who is terrific in this. Fast Eddie believes himself to be the best pool player in the country, and with partner Charlie (Myron McCormick) he scams money by hustling his way through town after town. When he comes across the great Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) an epic 25 straight hours of pool between them has Eddie ahead $18,000 (nearly $200,000 in today's money.) Eddie is exhausted, and dead drunk, but he refuses to stop until Fats can no longer go on - he thus loses all of that money. Broken, he leaves Charlie and becomes acquainted with Sarah, an alcoholic - they grow closer and fall in love, but a meeting with the street smart, uber-cool Bert Gordon (George C. Scott), who will stake Eddie the cash to get back into the game, will set him on a divergent and tragic path.

Personal growth often necessitates great pain, and if there's a silver lining to what Eddie goes through in The Hustler, it's that. There are some great characters, and actors that rise to the occasion - Jackie Gleason and George C. Scott are great to watch as well. There are some crazy pool shots that look like they were pulled off by a magician, including one in which the spin put on the cue ball makes it reverse it's direction after it's sunk one going the other way. I tell you, I'd have ruined the pool table if I tried to do it. 1961 was a big year for movies - along with this there was West Side Story, The Guns of Navarone and Judgement at Nuremburg nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars (the first mentioned would win) and, wait...what the hell is Fanny? Anyway, great film this - it was my first time watching it, so if I come across The Color of Money I can finally watch it - it's a film I've always said no to because I hadn't seen The Hustler.

9/10



Asteroid City 5/10 - As a huge Wes Anderson fan i was so excited to watch this but i found it very disappointing and dull
The Super Mario Bros. Movie 6.5/10 - its fun but i think it's also quite overrated
Shot Caller - 8/10 an underrated gem
SLC Punk! 8/10 - a very entertaining 90s classic, Matthew Lillard was great in this