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This is one of those movies where on the surface it looks like my kind of thing, but I have never dared watch it because of all the bad reviews and poor ratings I've seen.
There's nothing wrong with the acting, the way it was filmed or anything, its the story and the subject matter and the characters that seem like poor choices and that theres seems to be room for more movie but I guess thats what fit the bill at the time. I'm not into pop culture a whole lot so I don't have an opinion without knowing much. As a movie though its something to see that seems to portray a certain type of music star in an accurate manner. Not my sort of thing. Not sorry I saw it.
Don't throw your life away for a narrative.

Jalsaghar (1958) India
The Music Room in the U.S.A.

A man of royal wealth who lives in a palace is heir to a strong lineage but he cuts it short with his addiction to music and partying, spending large sums on private shows to entertain guests. He's living in the old ways as the new ways of electricity and automobiles start taking over. There's a supernatural angle to it, a sort of poetic tragedy, that his obsession brings about.

First half of the movie sets you up for something great but you get disappointed with the way it ends. That first song resonates so well with the harmonies that I had to go back when it was over and listen once again. With a better ending that equals the opening this could have easily been a 9 or 10, but you're left feeling as empty as this once wealthy landlord.


1st Rewatch...I stand by what I said in my original review. The film can't decide if it's a sequel or a remake, but there's a lot of entertainment to be gleaned here, thanks to Rob Marshall's energetic direction and choreography. Emily Blunt is the closest thing to Julie Andrews we will ever have and Lin-Manuel Miranda does a convincing cockney accent. And I LOVED Ben Whishaw as a grown up Michael Banks. Marc Shaiman's score contains no classics but it serves the story and I love that David Magee's screenplay gave Mary's umbrella bigger role than in the original.

1st Rewatch...This quietly powerful film on a squirm-worthy subject should have earned Kevin Bacon an Oscar nomination. His intense and understated performance as a pedophile trying to resume his life after 12 years in prison is powerhouse work and easily the finest work his career. The film reminds me a lot of the Dustin Hoffman film Straight Time because this guy really wants to rehabilitate and is doing everything to fight his demons but finds roadblocks at every turn, including a nasty parole officer (Mos Def) and an initially sympathetic brother-in-law (Benjamin Bratt). I checked the lead actor nominations for 2004 and I think Johnny Depp got the nomination that Bacon should have received, but I think the award went to the right performance (Jamie Foxx in Ray). Bacon should have been nominated though. It's an uncomfortable watch, but well worth it.

Elemental (2023)

I liked it, I thought it was pretty fun.
There has been an awekening.... have you felt it?

(2002, Anderson)

"I'm a nice man. I mind my own business. So you tell me 'that's that' before I beat the hell from you."

Punch-Drunk Love follows Barry (Sandler), a "nice man" that happens to be socially awkward, depressed and, well, prone to violent outbursts. Things take a turn when he meets Lena (Emily Watson), the charming co-worker of one of his seven sisters, just as he starts being accosted by a phone sex operator that was trying to extort him under orders of his shady boss (Philip Seymour Hoffman).

There's something magical in seeing a gifted director like Paul Thomas Anderson take someone like Sandler and what might seem like a tired schtick and make something as beautiful as this film. Punch-Drunk Love is an earnest romcom about the magic of two seemingly different people meeting each other and learning to work with the other person's strengths and weaknesses for the benefit of the relationship; which is pretty much what Anderson and Sandler did with this.


Full review on my Movie Loot
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Jesus Camp, 2006

This documentary follows several children as they attend an evangelical summer camp run by Becky Fischer, a woman who sees children as the future army of God. From speaking in tongues to leading prayers, to protesting against abortion, the children are called to action to constantly demonstrate their status as true believers.

Walking a thin line between funny and tragic, the earnestness of the featured children makes this a moving film even in its seemingly absurd moments.

Full review

4th Rewatch...this movie gets better every time I watch it. One of the best adaptions of a Broadway musical to the screen, thanks primarily to director and screenwriter Bill Condon who does an extraordinary job of making a stage show look like a movie. This is also that rare musical where the songs actually flesh out characters and advance story. Many have issues with Jennifer Hudson's Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress, but her performance of the show's most famous song, "And I am telling you I'm not going" might possibly be the greatest musical number put onscreen and brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it. Eddie Murphy was robbed of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his dazzling Jimmy "Thunder" Early and Jamie Foxx's less is more performance as the greasy Curtis Taylor Jr is an acting class all by itself. Flawless production values are the icing on the cake h ere.

I forgot the opening line.

By Distributed by Fox Film Corporation. - Scan via, Public Domain,

The Big Trail - (1930)

How much you like The Big Trail might depend on how cynical you're feeling on the day you watch it. I mean, it's typical "Out West" stuff, with a hero, raised by Indians and an expert at just about everything, who woos the girl, finds and kills the villains that murdered his friend, and sees a whole caravan of settlers to their paradise. That hero is played by a 23-year-old John Wayne (discovered by John Ford and recommended), who is devilishly handsome at that young age, but who'd struggle to get parts in A-pictures for nearly the rest of the 30s. I found the movie so very entertainingly active and exciting, with a comedic impulse that had me guffawing out loud - it spoke to me. For a film of it's age, it's quite impressive - and one John Ford threw Raoul Walsh's way, but the latter kept it to John Ford standards. Just a rugged, adventurous, no bulldust western of the highest order despite it's age. Be prepared for some real scenes of both people and horses nearly killed - apparently Walsh would not stop shooting for anything, and a few choice moments of real trouble are up there on the screen.

I can't end it there with this film though, because I thought it worth mentioning how much it wants to have it's cake and eat it too. These "settlers" are often at odds with Native Americans, but Wayne's Breck Coleman, raised by them, often has a powwow or two with the "good Indians" (part of a myth created around the time the Western and cinema itself was in it's infancy) and promising not to settle on their land. I don't know where it stands concerning the rest of colonization, but it seems a bit suspect that a film concerning settlers tries to be so fair to Native Americans. It kind of distracts us from what's happening here. Still, I don't know. It's just an early adventure - and very early "talkie" Western. We get everything in this - blizzards, floods, river crossings, Indian attacks, the passing of impassable terrain, hell-hot deserts, buffalo and the like. There's a colour, widescreen version - but I'm not sure if it exists anymore (it was supposedly breathtaking.) I really liked this - it was really 'alive', and you get the feel that this is being made on a scale never attempted before. I'll remember it for a long time.


By, Fair use,

The Survivor - (2021)

Jewish Boxer Harry Haft (a nearly unrecognizable Ben Foster) slowly opens up to the press about his experiences in Auschwitz, where he was forced to fight fellow inmates in matches where the loser is shot. He tells this story in the hopes his pre-war love sees the articles and contacts him. When that doesn't work he sets up a suicide bout with champ Rocky Marciano. Slick direction from Barry Levinson can't hide the fact that we never really get close to getting inside Harry's mind. We know he's damaged, determined to find someone in an almost naïve, child-like belief they could start up again from where they left off, and it gets tough after that. He has that Neanderthal Jake LaMotta feel about him, and Ben Foster gives him way too much of a swagger in his concentration camp scenes. The story of Harry Haft is a true one - but Levinson's film is always slightly off-track and it feels way too hard to become emotionally involved with it's characters, all of whom aside from Harry are one-note - even his eventual wife Miriam (Vicky Krieps). It's fine looking, and using black and white for the Auschwitz scenes work - they're chilling, but not as chilling as Son of Saul or The Auschwitz Report (two recent Auschwitz films) are. This was decidedly average.


By, Fair use,

Avengers : Infinity War - (2018)

Rewatch - Incredible what Marvel did here. I never would have believed I'd be this enthusiastic about watching a Comic Book Superhero film, or like it as much as I do. This and Endgame will go down as modern classics, and we may never reach these heady heights again. We had a great build-up, but the payoff with those two films was kind of miraculous.


Fair use,

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - (1999)

Okay - so this was a film. When I put it on, I thought I was going to get a straight-up recorded stage version, but this low budget, straight-to-video version was my strange introduction to the 1972 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Imagine my surprise when I notice the likes of Richard Attenborough and Joan Collins in the cast. Maybe I hallucinated this - it feels like maybe I did.

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

Latest Review : Le Circle Rouge (1970)

The Quiet Girl -

This beautifully quaint drama from Ireland shows how a little love can go a long way. The titular girl is Cáit (Clinch), the middle child in a large dysfunctional family who has more than one reason to be the "quiet one." Not only is she bullied and misunderstood in school, but her home life is also not far removed from Harry Potter's at the Dursleys or Dawn's from Welcome to the Dollhouse. With another sibling on the way, her detached and alcoholic father (Patric) makes her stay at a cousins' dairy farm for the summer. Their treatment of Cáit could best be described as mixed at first, which is understandable when she discovers why.

A movie that could easily be a silent one - no pun intended - first-time director Bairéad lets the images do most of the talking in a way that values simplicity and elegance. A sudden cut to Cáit and her father at a dimly lit bar explains their relationship better than words ever could, for instance. There's another similar moment I won't say much more about other than it proves my opening statement, and the ending notwithstanding, it's likely to be the one you will recall the most. There's also the sweetly nostalgic vibe of the farm, whether it's how much the sunlight overwhelms - in a good way - each outdoor scene or the repeated shots of its landmarks like the well or the milking parlor. With each revisit to these places, you can almost hear the memories being etched into Cáit's mind. Clinch deserves praise for her work as Cáit, especially for how gradual she charts her long-time-coming growth. Cinematographer McCullough also deserves credit for keeping everything at Clinch's height so we feel like we're in her shoes. As for the ending, it not only pays off a memorable sequence, but also has just the right amount of ambiguity. It ends up being a movie bound to charm you with its optimism that it only takes a little love to make things better and that doing so is possible no matter what happened before.

Nothing needed to be said.
I’m here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. That’s why I’m here now.

Society ennobler, last seen in Medici's Florence
Asteroid City (2023)

Written amd Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring: a dozen of movie stars...

It is always a feast watching a Wes Anderson film. The last of his works delivers as usual: great cinematography, superb production design, a nice collection of interesting characters... Only the screenplay this time limps a bit - starting great and then lose ideas from some point onward.

"Population don't imitate art, population imitate bad television." W.A.
"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." M.T.


(1989, Othenin-Girard)

"I prayed that he would burn in Hell, but in my heart I knew that Hell would not have him."

Set a year after Halloween 4, Halloween 5 follows Loomis as he realizes once again that Myers is back, once again to try to murder his niece, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) who is recovering from the trauma of the year before when she attacked her foster mother. That attack is now attributed to a sort of telepathic link with Michael.

One of the many mistakes of the final film is how it brushes off what happens in the end of the previous film, which would've been infinitely more interesting. Instead, the film just feels like a rehash of Part 4 as Jamie is put in danger again and again, while Michael Myers looks for her. The whole story feels more formulaic and pretty much like a checklist to put dumb teenagers in his path to be dispatched.


Full review on my Movie Loot

1776 (1972)

Good historical movie that gives you a look at how the decision to declare independence was configured but as a musical the numbers are tiresome and mediocre so it was better to have left the songs out and make it a straight non-singer. Without the music my score would be higher. It's a good thing the songs take less than 1/4 to a 1/3 of the screen time IMO.


(1960, Hitchcock)

"I think that we're all in our private traps, clamped in them, and none of us can ever get out. We scratch and we claw, but only at the air, only at each other, and for all of it, we never budge an inch."

Psycho follows Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), a real estate secretary that decides to steal $40,000 from her boss perhaps to escape her own private trap, or is she stepping into a new one? While on the run, she stops at the remote Bates Motel, where she encounters owner Norman (Anthony Perkins), who happens to be in his own private trap himself.

I assume there's no need to tiptoe around the plot, but I guess it goes without saying that neither Marion's nor Norman's budged an inch. Instead, their traps end up clamping down on them harder. In the surface, Psycho might seem like a simple film, but in reality, it is an interesting mixture of character study and plot-driven thrills.


Full review on my Movie Loot

(1960, Hitchcock)

Psycho follows Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), a real estate secretary that decides to steal $40,000 from her boss perhaps to escape her own private trap, or is she stepping into a new one? While on the run, she stops at the remote Bates Motel, where she encounters owner Norman (Anthony Perkins), who happens to be in his own private trap himself.

I assume there's no need to tiptoe around the plot, but I guess it goes without saying that neither Marion's nor Norman's budged an inch. Instead, their traps end up clamping down on them harder. In the surface, Psycho might seem like a simple film, but in reality, it is an interesting mixture of character study and plot-driven thrills.


Full review on my Movie Loot
Agree with your rating in spades. One of the great films. I think it's interesting that the first part of the film is a perfect noir; but from the shower scene on it's a horror film.