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'Slalom' (2021)

Directed by Charlène Favier


A fine drama. Starts off with a touch of Whiplash meets Black Swan with a hint of Neon Demon, then morphs into something way more topical and sinister due to it's dose of realism. A couple of tired cliches bring it down a notch (dream sequences rarely work these days) but there are 2 superb central performances and sublime photography in the French Alps. The ending might be a little ambiguous for some audiences but it's a fine debut from Charlène Favier.

7.4/10




THE PARALLAX VIEW
(1974, Pakula)



"You've got information I need. Money doesn't mean anything to me. This story's gonna mean more to me than ten thousand dollars."

The Parallax View follows reporter Joe Frady (Warren Beatty) who starts investigating the circumstances around the assassination of a presidential candidate 3 years prior. As a result, he discovers a conspiracy around a mysterious organization called Parallax who might be planning future attempts.

This is a film I had been hearing very positive things during the last few years, and for the most part, deservedly so. The film is very intriguing, and the direction by Pakula is very tight. Beatty (who I hadn't seen much of, but for some reason have seen 3 or 4 films of in the last year) is very good as the lead.

However, for some reason, I felt detached from a lot of this, especially the last act. I'm writing this 4 or 5 days after watching it, and I'm seriously trying to figure out what to write. It is competently made from almost every aspect, but still didn't really reel me in. Moreover, the circumstances surrounding Joe's own visit to Parallax seemed confusing to me.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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Pitfall (1962, Hiroshi Teshigahara)


This is Teshigahara's debut feature, and it shows, however, despite being a bit rough round the edges, in some ways it appealed to me more than the more ambitious, verbose and ultimately pretentious 'Face of Another' (still a very good film, don't get me wrong). Very interesting ghost story with a strong element of social and political commentary — the style is quite raw, almost documentary-like (I believe actual documentary footage is used at some point in the film), and the visuals are pretty compelling.



Of the many movies I’ve bailed out of, which one was this?
Luce I believe.



THE PARALLAX VIEW
(1974, Pakula)
The Parallax View follows reporter Joe Frady (Warren Beatty) who starts investigating the circumstances around the assassination of a presidential candidate 3 years prior. As a result, he discovers a conspiracy around a mysterious organization called Parallax who might be planning future attempts.

This is a film I had been hearing very positive things during the last few years, and for the most part, deservedly so. The film is very intriguing, and the direction by Pakula is very tight. Beatty (who I hadn't seen much of, but for some reason have seen 3 or 4 films of in the last year) is very good as the lead.

However, for some reason, I felt detached from a lot of this, especially the last act. I'm writing this 4 or 5 days after watching it, and I'm seriously trying to figure out what to write. It is competently made from almost every aspect, but still didn't really reel me in. Moreover, the circumstances surrounding Joe's own visit to Parallax seemed confusing to me.

Grade:

Full review on my Movie Loot
A splendid film. One of the best of the early 1970s moody thrillers and crime films. One of W. Beatty's best performances. I recall it being a little bleak, but I'm due for a re-watch.



My biggest takeaway from The Parallax View was that stressed out and haggard Warren Beatty still looks better than 99% of people not named Warren Beatty. That and the kooky montage.


Good movie, but as far as Pakula/Willis collabs in the '70s go, I easily prefer All the President's Men, maybe Klute as well.



A splendid film. One of the best of the early 1970s moody thrillers and crime films. One of W. Beatty's best performances. I recall it being a little bleak, but I'm due for a re-watch.
Yeah, the ending is definitely bleak since they...

WARNING: spoilers below

...manage to kill the next presidential candidate, frame Beatty for it, and kill him in the process.


It really is the kind of film that's right up my alley, so I really wanted to like it more.



Three contenders from the 2000s...


By May be found at the following website: Movie Poster Database, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41966120

In the Bedroom - (2001)

I'd never really looked into this Academy Award Best Picture nominee - and I should have. I'd always assumed, by it's title, this was about the various characters' sex lives. It's not. It's dark, it's wrenching, and I don't want to say much about it, because there's a lot to give away. The short story it's based on has the more apt title Killings. It has fine performances from Sissy Spacek, Marisa Tomei and Tom Wilkinson. The story is slightly familiar - so it's lack of originality works against it - but it has the temerity to go all the way, and I'm glad I finally nudged myself into watching this. The film's title originates from crayfishing traps, which are called "bedrooms" - if a female with eggs is trapped in one, any males that end up in there as well get an arm or two snipped off. Those looking for decent 2000s films might want to check it out.

8/10


Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3383766

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - (2005)

I remember this from when it came out (seems like more than 16 years ago) and that I liked it very much. I'll give it top marks for really brightening up what could have been a "been there, done that" noir with a maniacally humorous touch. Val Kilmer is great, Michelle Monaghan at least has something to work with and Robert Downey Jnr. plays that same character he plays in every film now. Funny script, and it looks bright and sparklingly pretty - but story-wise it was a little empty. I still like it though. It is, at times, hilarious.

7/10


By Dreamworks Pictures - Impawards, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12589544

Things We Lost in the Fire - (2007)

I liked this enough to buy the DVD when it came out, so I had to watch it again to see if it held up. It was worth another viewing - but some might find it a little too melodramatic. Benicio Del Toro plays heroin addict Jerry, who has a best friend who won't give up on him (Brian - played by David Duchovny.) A tragedy ends up bringing Jerry into David's family, and so begins a kind of quest to fit in and be of use to people again. Halle Berry is also in this, so maybe this was a failed attempt at an Oscar film. No nominations in the end - but it's decent.

6.5/10
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Professional horse shoe straightener
'Petit Maman' (2021)

Dir.: Celine Sciamma


An absolute delight. I smiled all the way through. Loads of cheeky references to a well known 80s film, and a real heartfelt look at the bond between the female generations of a family.

WARNING: "Petit Maman" spoilers below
There are Back to the Future nods everywhere you look. So much fun spotting them all.


Celine Sciamma is Goddess Tier. She's 5 from 5.






Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Prdoducer/s cut) - 1995




Fear of Rain (2021)

This movie was a rather bizarre mix of an observation piece of the effects of schizophrenia on a young person and....a pulpy thriller a la "Disturbia". You can probably guess from that why the main characters suspicions are not believed. I don't know if they threw the former in to seem more worthy or the latter in to "spice" up the story-line a bit but it doesn't work and feels uncomfortable and a bit grubby.
(for the performances) which *were* good.



Guy who likes movies
I watched Naughty or Nice (2012). Directed by David Mackay, the film stars Hilarie Burton as Krissy Kringle, a grinchy type who finds Santa's naughty or nice book. (I suspect the film is based on a true story, but I can't confirm that). I enjoyed it. It was cute and fun and was different from the typical Hallmark Christmas movies. The only thng I didn't like is that it brought back painful memories of always being on the naughty list as a child (and as an adult). My rating is a



In the Bedroom - (2001)

I'd never really looked into this Academy Award Best Picture nominee - and I should have. I'd always assumed, by it's title, this was about the various characters' sex lives. It's not. It's dark, it's wrenching, and I don't want to say much about it, because there's a lot to give away. The short story it's based on has the more apt title Killings. It has fine performances from Sissy Spacek, Marisa Tomei and Tom Wilkinson. The story is slightly familiar - so it's lack of originality works against it - but it has the temerity to go all the way, and I'm glad I finally nudged myself into watching this. The film's title originates from crayfishing traps, which are called "bedrooms" - if a female with eggs is trapped in one, any males that end up in there as well get an arm or two snipped off. Those looking for decent 2000s films might want to check it out.
One of my favorite movies. Seen it more than once.
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Re-watch. Would have thought this movie is below the pay grade of Gere & Hallström, but it’s a sweet true-life movie. Have Kleenex at the ready.



Re-watch of an excellent movie. Emily Mortimer & Harrelson really good in this, especially her.



minds his own damn business
Good movie, but as far as Pakula/Willis collabs in the '70s go, I easily prefer All the President's Men, maybe Klute as well.
I would very easily count both of those films above Parallax, and I would blame Beatty almost entirely (I've heard he interfered quite a bit). And as for early 70s thrillers, Parallax is so far below Chinatown, Long Goodbye or The Conversation as to make its inclusion rather moot.
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