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Doomed !: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four

Aw wow, this movie had so much more heart than I expected; hit me right in the feels. Visionary filmmaker Roger Corman made a Fantastic Four movie that to this day has never truly seen the light of day, this is the account of the people involved. Is there a Stan Lee cameo? Maybe!


Available on Youtube





Wayne's World 2 (1993)

This one sort of bums me out. It's like you know this movie isn't that great but there's a bunch of people and bands and all that you like. Sort of like seeing the last gasp of an old era, it was there, you remember this stuff, but it was gone before you could appreciate it or enjoy it yourself. What came after this capstone was pretty bleak. The party is over man, here's the last minute of it. This was supposed to be a comedy.

5/10



The Card Counter (2021)

This was a strange affair. A guy that gets out of Military Prison uses the skills he learned to earn a living on the gambling circuit. He is in there because of practices that were used on prisoners in Desert Storm. With Shraders films you don't really know where they will go. This was sluggish and seemed like half a good idea not really explored or fleshed out. In all honest the film could have done without Tiffany Haddish and Tye Sheridan full stop. The last 10 minutes are absolutely terrible/risible.

(for Oscar Isaac's performance)





Wayne's World 2 (1993)

This one sort of bums me out. It's like you know this movie isn't that great but there's a bunch of people and bands and all that you like. Sort of like seeing the last gasp of an old era, it was there, you remember this stuff, but it was gone before you could appreciate it or enjoy it yourself. What came after this capstone was pretty bleak. The party is over man, here's the last minute of it. This was supposed to be a comedy.

5/10
I lioked it a little more than you did. Of course, it's not as good as the first one, but I understand where you're coming from.






The Woman in the Window - This was released in 1944, a year before Scarlet Street was made and features the same director (Fritz Lang), cinematographer (Milton R. Krasner) and three stars (Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea). In this one Robinson plays college psychology professor Richard Wanley. As the movie opens he's sent his wife and two kids away on vacation and is meeting his two friends, District Attorney Frank Lalor (Raymond Massey) and Dr. Michael Barkstane (Edmund Breon) at their club.

Taking notice of a portrait in the neighboring studio he and his friends talk about the beautiful woman in the painting. After leaving the club he stops to admire the portrait again and runs into the actual model Alice Reed (Bennett). They go out for a drink and eventually end up at her apartment where they're interrupted by her enraged boyfriend and sugar daddy. It doesn't end well but Professor Wanley is surprisingly resilient and coolheaded. He coaches the rattled Alice and reassures her before getting to work. He methodically takes the necessary steps to clean up any evidence of their transgression.

It being by necessity a multi-step process there are unplanned and additional witnesses and a trail of breadcrumbs left behind. Wanley then ends up playing an unintended game of cat and mouse with his District Attorney friend. It's all brought to a head when Dan Duryea puts in an appearance as a disgraced ex-cop turned blackmailer. I kind of saw the twist culmination ahead of time but then the movie throws in a
WARNING: spoilers below
Wizard of Oz type ending before wrapping it up in somewhat playful fashion.
Even though it was considered the superior film I still liked this a little better than Scarlet Street. It does start out slow though with the three friends at their club debating the finer points of temptation as it applies to middle aged men. But restrained yet engaging performances by both Robinson and Bennett and a snide and menacing bad guy turn from Duryea make it well worth watching.

80/100



TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
MUTANT MAYHEM

(2023, Rowe)



"Even though it looks like we'll never be accepted, I still think we should try to be heroes."

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem follows the turtles struggle to stop two different people from getting their hands in the mutagen that mutated them: on one side, there's TCRI executive Cynthia Utrom (Maya Rudolph) who wants to use it for her evil experiments, and on the other hand there's Superfly (Ice Cube), a mutated housefly turned criminal that wants to use it to mutate all creatures and achieve mutant dominance.

The theme of acceptance and its importance is also well represented across most of the characters. Being teenagers isolated from the rest of the world, it makes sense that the turtles would want to go out, make friends, and have fun. But when you pair it with the fact that they're mutant turtles, it creates an obvious predicament. Their desire to be heroes is fueled by that need for acceptance, until they realize they *should* be heroes to save the world, regardless of whether they're accepted or not.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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Manganinnie, 1980

Manganinnie (Mawuyul Yanthalawuy) is an aboriginal woman whose tribe is massacred as part of driving the native people from their land. Determined to find any of her people who may have scattered during the raid, Manganinnie sets off into the wilderness, heading for the coast. On the way she encounters Joanna (Anna Ralph), the daughter of a family of white settlers. As the pair journey through the wilderness, they form a bond with one another, though Manganinnie’s sense of despair grows the more she sees of what is happening to her country.

This is an interesting film that tells an intimate story against the backdrop of a larger cultural tragedy.



Full review



The 47 Ronin (1941) -


Not an easy watch and not the kind of film I can see myself revisiting anytime soon, but as a subversive film which broke just about every rule I expected it to follow when I first discovered it, I found it pretty fascinating. Reading the plot summaries for the film, one may find potential for it to predate Seven Samurai in terms of scope, but what you instead get is practically no action and nearly four hours of conversations about what's either going to happen or what has already happened offscreen. Reading this, you've likely already written the film off, but while I wasn't always engaged by the unrelenting theatrical conversations, I still enjoyed witnessing the breadth of details discussed in the film, like the numerous characters both directly and indirectly involved in the plot, the intricacies of them planning their revenge, or the way their plan conflicts with their code of honor. This manages to give the sense that the environment is fully formed, even if you don't get to see much of it. Which is a rather impressive feat given this is essentially an action-less action film. If you're still baffled by the film's tone though, reading up on the historical background provides some additional context to its uncompromising style. During WWII, Mizoguchi was forced to create this film by the government. They wanted it to be a propagandistic film which would double as a morale booster and as justification for the expansionism and imperialism Japan was involved in during the war. Given this background, completely omitting action from the film could be read as a subversive move by Mizoguchi so that he could simultaneously comply and disobey his orders by the government. This also gives a double meaning to the opening preface of "Defend the Homes of Those Who Fight for a Greater Asia" in the opening, in the sense it's referencing the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (GEACPS), a pan-Asian union which was formed in an attempt to resist the threat of imperialism during WWII. So, while I'd still put this film in the "I enjoyed thinking about it later more than actually watching it" pile, I would still recommend it if you think you're up for the task.
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Hearts in Atlantis - (2001)

I've been eyeing up Hearts in Atlantis from a distance over the years - it's the kind of movie where you can't easily discern what it's about. Something about a boy, Anthony Hopkins, "low men" - then not only does the trail go cold, but I don't even know what "low men" means - so, even if maybe I'd seen it before, I had to watch it to find out.
...

7/10
I've somehow missed this film even though I'm a huge Anthony Hopkins fan. Will try to catch it soon.

According to Wikipedia: "...Ted explains that he has escaped the grasp of the 'Low Men', strange people who would stop at nothing to get him back in their control."





Close Your Eyes, 2002

Hypnotist Michael Strother (Goran Visnjic) specializes in curing people of smoking addictions, but his work takes a darker and more dangerous turn when one of his clients, Detective Losey (Shirley Henderson) , draws him into a case involving a sadistic kidnapping. Heather (Sophie Stuckey) was kidnapped, held captive, tattooed, and finally rescued, but has been mute since her ordeal. But Heather’s ordeal is far from over, and Michael has put himself in the line of fire regarding the sinister plot behind her kidnapping.

Skip.



Full review



I forgot the opening line.

By https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9415108/, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=65781632

The Auschwitz Report - (2021)

I don't know if this is even remotely true, and I don't mean it in a bad way, but I think there might be a little Holocaust fatigue when it comes to moviegoers. I find it's something so bad that it constantly defies imagination - there are horrible things that I can imagine (and instantly chase from my mind), but I can't imagine what it would have been like to die that way. To lose your dignity, your humanity, hope and spirit in such away, before being brutally murdered. The Auschwitz Report does a great job of putting you in Auschwitz, but it takes a course that feels unusual - this is the true story of Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler, who miraculously escaped, seemingly going beyond human endurance, on a mission that really ended in heartbreaking failure. All of the prisoners believed that if their plight became known to the world, the camps would be wiped out. They wanted to see bombs fall - even if it meant their own demise. What they were met with once they'd told their story is at once infuriating and so sad. This was the Slovakian entry for the Best Foreign Film Oscar, and damn, it must have come close. It's well made, and unflinching in it's vision - I think more people should have seen it. 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

8/10


By May be found at the following website: http://www.movieposterdb.com/poster/35b70595, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23581787

Kung Fu Panda - (2008)

Holy moly - this was awesome! Not just in a comedic and story sense - but the animation itself, which was beyond incredible. There were a great triumvirate of animated film up for the Animated Feature Oscar in 2009 - this, WALL-E and Bolt. Love all three now, but never knew Kung Fu Panda was this good. I don't know what else I can say about it except for the fact that for an hour and a half I was a kid again - wishing I'd seen this on the big screen. I missed out. Funny, and made by artists inspired by silliness and great beauty.

8/10


By Impawards.com, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23076927

Shrink - (2009)

There came a certain stage while watching Shrink where I was debating with myself whether I should just give it up or not. Then, the start of the third act gave the film a dark boost, and I got interested again - thinking "Just as well you didn't turn it off." But then the movie ended with a fizzle, and all-up wasn't very good. Dr. Henry Carter (the cancelled Kevin Spacey) is a Psychiatrist to the stars in Hollywood, but when his wife commits suicide he spirals into drug addiction and depression himself. Man, at one stage he's treating Robin Williams and the whole exercise became all too real, dark and unpalatable. Shrink wouldn't have been much good no matter who starred in it, but considering it's two bankable stars were an outed sleaze and a suicide, it takes on a whole new shade of black. Definitely not recommended.

4/10
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Latest Review : Le Circle Rouge (1970)




I have not seen this one for a while....a big budget, big FX iteration on some old 1950's black and white movies that you probably never saw unless you stayed up real late for the creature feature. It's Core, in which the earth's core develops a problem and a "cast of characters" have to invent a way to go down there and fix it. It's like The Night the World Exploded or When Worlds Collide, but in color with good special effects. The world, of course, will be saved by a bunch of eccentric eggheads with a big drill. This one goes for the big time, when lightning destroys the ancient Roman Coliseum.







1st Rewatch...I think I enjoyed this exuberant film version of Lin Manuel Miranda's first Broadway smash even more than I did the first time. Anthony Ramo's movie star performance in the starring role, Miranda's sizzling latino/hip hop score and Christopher Scott's brilliant choreography make this story leap off the screen. That title number and that production number in the swimming pool "96000" never gets old. Also loved how Hollywood veteran Olga Merediz amde the most of a major supporting role among a cast of nubile twenty-somethings.



Drug War -


Johnnie To is at the top of his game in what is one of the best undercover assignment movies I've seen. After crashing into a restaurant while escaping his destroyed meth factory, Timmy (Koo) is apprehended. Since the penalty for his crimes is death, he has no choice but to accept police captain Lei's (Honglei) offer to help his squad bring down an international meth smuggling ring. Since Timmy's former co-workers are involved, can he be trusted?

How would I describe this movie in a few words? "All business, all the time." It's the entire assignment from start to finish and there's such immediacy to it all that I felt like I was part of Lei's team. Their professionalism and unwavering commitment to the assignment recalls Michael Mann's best workaholics, but it's not all sternness, mind you. There's room for laughs, such as when Lei pretends to be the exceedingly smug and appropriately named drug supplier Haha, and scares, like his close call after being forced to sample the product. On top of that, there's the drama regarding whether Timmy will stay committed, which is all but enhanced by the mission taking him through his familiar haunts. Luckily, the combined drama culminates in a shootout for the ages, which occurs near a primary school yet never comes across as cheap or ventures into bad taste. While I approve of the movie's "all business" approach, it has the same flaw as others like it in that if your attention wavers even for a few seconds, you may feel like you're out of the loop for a while. It's still a prime example of a director doing what he does best, and pardon the pun, a must-see in the Prime Video library.




Shrink - (2009)

There came a certain stage while watching Shrink where I was debating with myself whether I should just give it up or not. Then, the start of the third act gave the film a dark boost, and I got interested again - thinking "Just as well you didn't turn it off." But then the movie ended with a fizzle, and all-up wasn't very good. Dr. Henry Carter (the cancelled Kevin Spacey) is a Psychiatrist to the stars in Hollywood, but when his wife commits suicide he spirals into drug addiction and depression himself. Man, at one stage he's treating Robin Williams and the whole exercise became all too real, dark and unpalatable. Shrink wouldn't have been much good no matter who starred in it, but considering it's two bankable stars were an outed sleaze and a suicide, it takes on a whole new shade of black. Definitely not recommended.

4/10

Really liked this movie...Spacey, Williams, and Dallas Roberts were brilliant. here's a link to my review:

https://www.movieforums.com/reviews/1993290-shrink.html