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I appreciate your good attitude about this, but like everyone else, I feel really bad for you, those are actually pretty intense stressors people do not need in this life. I wish for a quick and satisfactory resolution for you and a return to normalcy.
Thanks, mate. Just trying to focus on the positive things I've got going on. Keeps me from feeling too overwhelmed.



When am I ever not absolutely 100% correct in everything I say and/or do? Huh? HUH?!
Fair point.



Spectre (2015)

The re-watch didn't quite hold up for me, probably because I'd just re-watched Skyfall, which IMO is a better film.

The movie was entertaining enough, what with all the fights, special effects, etc., but it felt a little like it was just going through the paces. Even the bad guy, Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) was rather milquetoast in comparison to some of the earlier Bond global criminals. And there wasn't much chemistry between 007 and the female lead Lea Seydoux.

It's interesting that it had the same director, writers and score composer as did Skyfall, but a different cinematographer. Perhaps the return of Roger Deakins would have spiced up the film a little.

I did really enjoy the excellent well designed opening 4 minute+ long take: through the crowded celebration during the Day of the Dead in Mexico City, into a building, up the elevator, into a hotel room, Bond travels across building rims, and sets up to murder some bad guys, which leads to their building blowing up.

Blofeld isn't killed at the end, which probably sets up some of the narrative in the upcoming No Time To Die. Most of the other roles will reprise also.





Praying with Lior, 2008

This documentary follows a young man named Lior who has Down Syndrome. Lior is deeply invested in his Jewish faith, and the film documents the lead up to his bar mitzvah. Approaching this rite of passage, Lior's family reflects on his place in their family and their hopes for his future.

This was a straight-forward, moving look at the life of a young person with a disability and how they relate to spirituality. There is this way that some people can look at someone with a disability that I find incredibly patronizing, and this film for the most part stays out of this territory. As his father puts it, the light that the family sees inside of Lior is that he has "fewer veils between him and God". Lior throws his heart into his prayers, and you can see that this is genuinely inspiring to the people around him.

While the film is not patronizing, it also does not glamorize Lior's life. Lior talks about what will happen after he becomes an adult. His sister frets as she says that Lior believes that he will grow up and get a driver's license and get married and have a family. While some of those things aren't impossible, the family clearly has the fear of what will happen to Lior when he is no longer a cute little kid and instead is a disabled adult. In one really memorable sequence, Lior's father talks to a family friend. Lior's father says that he thinks Lior needs to know that he is different--the family friend pushes back a bit and asks why this is important.

Something that hangs under the whole film is the fact that Lior lost his mother, Devora, to cancer when he was young. While his stepmother, Lynne, seems very kind, old family films show the bond between Lior and Devora. In a scene that I almost could not take, Lior visits his mother's grave before his bar mitzvah and bursts into tears, sobbing and clutching at the headstone.

This film was incredibly moving for me. I have worked with many children with disabilities, and I often ask myself the same questions: how will this person be an adult? Will this person be happy? Something that Lior's father talks about is the fact that many high-functioning children with Down Syndrome grow up to struggle seriously with depression: high-functioning enough to be aware that they are different, not high-functioning enough to fit in and belong. Watching a young person approach that "turning point" was an intense and emotional experience.

I also loved the interviews with one of Lior's classmates--who himself seems to be a bit of an oddball--and his insightful honesty.

Good stuff.






Class Action Park, 2020

This documentary takes a look back at a water park from the 80s, Action Park, whose dangerous rides and laissez-faire approach to supervision created a wild and unpredictable environment.

There is something fundamentally a bit off about this documentary, and it took me a while to put my finger on it. But it comes almost at the end of the film when one of the interviewees says, essentially, yes, we like to romanticize the lack of supervision and the danger of our childhood in the 80s, but basically it was not okay.

The problem is that the film itself takes a "cool story, dude!" approach to the topic until almost the final 20 minutes, when the film finally gives some significant airtime to one of the people who lost a child to the park. There are about 70 minutes of park guests and former employees grinning as they recount inner tubes flipping and employees losing teeth while testing new rides. Cheeky animations interplay with interviews, showing the dangers of the different rides. There's a kind of "what a crazy guy!" mythology built up around Gene Mulvihill, the former Wall Street trader who owned and operated the park.

By the time the film gets around to Esther Larsson, a woman whose son died at the park, it is too little too late. Larrson's story is horrifying for so many reasons. After her son's death, the family was never contacted by Mulvihill. The family was told not to sue because a teenager was a "liability" and they wouldn't get any money. The park never reported Larsson's death to the state. In a statement to the newspapers, they claimed that he was a current employee (he was not), that his death happened at night (it did not), and that it was raining (it was not).

Something that I felt was really lacking in this documentary was accountability. Mulvihill is dead, fine. But his son sits there in an interview with a smirk on his face the whole time. (The son has reopened the park under its old name to cash in on that 80s nostalgia). Many names are redacted when it comes to shady business practices and the fact that Mulvihill was bribing local officials. There are no interviews with the journalists who echoed Mulvihill's coverups in their papers. Yes, this man seems horrible. But where is the accountability for the people who allowed him to get away with it?

I get that there is an emotional, complex nostalgia that people have for their childhoods. I wish that this film had indulged less in that vibe and taken more of a look at how this was allowed to happen. Clearly there was corruption and negligence that extended further than one megalomaniac, and that whole facet is only superficially addressed.

Interesting and well-made, but I wish that the deaths and injuries of young people had been used as more than shock points.




I liked this at the time, though it was the most obvious possible attempt to recreate the magic of Silence Of The Lambs, unsuccessfully. Holly Hunter is always great, though.



Howling II: Stirba - Werewolf Bitch (1985)
aka Howling II: ... Your Sister Is a Werewolf

Because of all the talk on this thread, I decided to watch this myself. I hadn't seen this before (back in the day, it was banned here in Finland, and I haven't seen any Howling sequels since I was a kid). First of all, this one's a bad movie. Terrible, in fact. Fortunately, it's bad in a good way. The plot is complete nonsense, it has some of the weirdest sex scenes I've seen, and acting is very cheesy (minus Lee, of course, but his stoic performance feels funnily out of place).

The end credits deserve a mention too. I actually laughed at Stirba tearing her shirt off on repeat, followed by some hilarious reactions (like the owl). It's a pretty magical film...
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Welcome to the human race...
Crank -


A shame that such a novel visual style and some noteworthy stunts are wasted on one of the most inane dudebro movies ever made.
__________________
I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.



Never Been Kissed 10/10 one of my fav 90s movie
__________________
https://youtu.be/h_Iy6JoHRAw Shadowhunters
https://youtu.be/vXD8y7MjaUo Wanda Maximoff - Scarlet Witch +The Vision WandaVision
https://youtu.be/G2zyqYCuHao Wanda Maximoff - Scarlet Witch
https://youtu.be/cwvGyR-CgPs Natasha Romanoff-Black Widow
https://youtu.be/dH8sxT-QClg Wanda Maximoff - Scarlet Witch
https://youtu.be/VAJKFR2V2rY Wanda Maximoff - Scarlet Witch



The last movie that I watched is "The Ghost" with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, although it is more aimed at a female audience, but I liked it, I put 10/10 and Demi is so beautiful here.



Gladiator (Scott, 2000)






What we do in life, echoes in eternity.



WARNING: spoilers below
Ridley Scott has certainly had an unusually long, influential, but nonetheless inconsistent career as a director, and Gladiator certainly stands as one of his most noteworthy, but nonetheless divisive efforts; after all, not only did it win the top film industry award, the Academy Award for Best Picture, but it was also a significant commercial success, grossing close to half a billion dollars worldwide (which is especially impressive considering that it's an R-rated, 2 & 1/2-plus hour, non-franchise historical epic, released at a time when Hollywood's grosses were significantly less gargantuan than they are now)... but, on the other hand, it still seems to displease a good number of film fans and critics regardless, including Mr.Roger Ebert himself. But, while my recent rewatch of the film did clarify certain problematic aspects of it that I hadn't really noticed beforehand, helping me to better sympathize with its various detractors, the overall power & effect of Gladiator is still just so strong, that I can't help but declare it to be a flawed modern classic, but a modern classic nonetheless.

To get my newfound issues with Gladiator out of the way right away, I have to say that I now better understand the people who complained that it was its tone was rather, er, monotone, to the point of being self-defeating, as, at times, its almost relentlessly morose, downbeat nature comes across as being borderline tragedy porn, even by the usual standards of a dark revenge narrative, and there are times I can't help but wish Scott had injected just a bit more levity into the proceedings, as too many of the characters seem to do almost nothing but just wallow in their own tortured misery for the entirety of its running time. This is especially true of the main villain, the Emperor Commodus, as he often comes across as a somewhat cartoonish, one-dimensional baddie, but even Maximus's own family, who are his main motivators during the film, get essentially zero character development here, as they basically just exist as plot devices, as people who are there just to die in order to justify Maximus going on his warpath later on. Now, I know they aren't anywhere near being the main characters here, so I'm not expecting much of a focus on them, but something besides just being referenced in dialogue and a few shots of them standing around in a field would've been appreciated, Ridley.

However, all of that being said, one of the main reasons why I still love Gladiator on the whole is, while the emotional beats it hits may be rather repetitive, they're still incredibly intense and unabashedly raw nonetheless; I really became invested in Maximus's epic quest for vengeance "in this life or the next", which is written with sharp, memorable, insightful dialogue, and which Scott portrays through the huge, sweeping scope and grand tragedy of the overall tale. The shots of Maximus's family waiting for him in the afterlife, and the sight of him finally reuniting with them at the end, never fail to pluck at a couple of my heartstrings, and you can feel the righteous rage in every ounce of Russell Crowe's performance here. Besides that, the rest of the cast fills out Gladiator well, such as Richard Harris's old, war-weary Emperor Marcus Aurelius, or Connie Nielson as Marcus's daughter, Lucilla, who is torn between her past love for Maximus, his blind rage at her for being related to the man responsible for his family's deaths, and the fear of her brother's twisted desires, which are alternatively incestuous at certain times, and downright <i>homicidal<i> at others.

And, in addition to all of that, Gladiator draws a lot of strength from capturing the cultural mystique of the Roman Empire at its most powerful peak, with the weight of history laying heavily on the film (in a good way), whether it be in the dusty markets of Rome, the mighty catapults and calvary of the Empire's great army, or, of course, the bloody gladiatorial combat of The Colosseum, where about a good half of the film's scenes are set, which play a bit like similar moments from mid-century Hollywood sword-&-sandals epics like Ben-Hur & Spartacus, but updated with a modern emphasis on gallons of spilled blood, and piles of disemboweled guts. And, while the action in Gladiator isn't quite as coherent as I would've preferred, with too much over-editing, shake-y handheld camera work, and overly close framings of the combat that sometimes make it difficult to make out exactly what's going on, just the sight of epic, bloody, gladiator-on-gladiator combat adds a lot to the film, whether it be the recreation of The Battle Of Carthage where the barbarians get to win this time, an intense, relentless fight with a legendary, fearsomely-masked retired champion (where ravenous tigers keep getting released at the most inopportune moments), or one final, man-to-man duel to the death with the loathsome, tyrannical Emperor himself.

Gladiator has all of this and then some, and, again, while I can now better respect and understand why certain people don't care for it, the overall experience of it for me is still just so strong, with its lavish, grandiose period detail, and Maximus's tragic tale of righteous vengeance, that I can't help but love it anyway. This is rousing, operatic, larger-than-life entertainment, the kind that we sadly don't see out of Hollywood much anymore, and with how powerful a cinematic experience Gladiator is on the whole, all I really have left to say now is... are you not entertained?



Final Score: 10



Gladiator (Scott, 2000)






What we do in life, echoes in eternity.



WARNING: spoilers below
Ridley Scott has certainly had an unusually long, influential, but nonetheless inconsistent career as a director, and Gladiator certainly stands as one of his most noteworthy, but nonetheless divisive efforts; after all, not only did it win the top film industry award, the Academy Award for Best Picture, but it was also a significant commercial success, grossing close to half a billion dollars worldwide (which is especially impressive considering that it's an R-rated, 2 & 1/2-plus hour, non-franchise historical epic, released at a time when Hollywood's grosses were significantly less gargantuan than they are now)... but, on the other hand, it still seems to displease a good number of film fans and critics regardless, including Mr.Roger Ebert himself. But, while my recent rewatch of the film did clarify certain problematic aspects of it that I hadn't really noticed beforehand, helping me to better sympathize with its various detractors, the overall power & effect of Gladiator is still just so strong, that I can't help but declare it to be a flawed modern classic, but a modern classic nonetheless.

To get my newfound issues with Gladiator out of the way right away, I have to say that I now better understand the people who complained that it was its tone was rather, er, monotone, to the point of being self-defeating, as, at times, its almost relentlessly morose, downbeat nature comes across as being borderline tragedy porn, even by the usual standards of a dark revenge narrative, and there are times I can't help but wish Scott had injected just a bit more levity into the proceedings, as too many of the characters seem to do almost nothing but just wallow in their own tortured misery for the entirety of its running time. This is especially true of the main villain, the Emperor Commodus, as he often comes across as a somewhat cartoonish, one-dimensional baddie, but even Maximus's own family, who are his main motivators during the film, get essentially zero character development here, as they basically just exist as plot devices, as people who are there just to die in order to justify Maximus going on his warpath later on. Now, I know they aren't anywhere near being the main characters here, so I'm not expecting much of a focus on them, but something besides just being referenced in dialogue and a few shots of them standing around in a field would've been appreciated, Ridley.

However, all of that being said, one of the main reasons why I still love Gladiator on the whole is, while the emotional beats it hits may be rather repetitive, they're still incredibly intense and unabashedly raw nonetheless; I really became invested in Maximus's epic quest for vengeance "in this life or the next", which is written with sharp, memorable, insightful dialogue, and which Scott portrays through the huge, sweeping scope and grand tragedy of the overall tale. The shots of Maximus's family waiting for him in the afterlife, and the sight of him finally reuniting with them at the end, never fail to pluck at a couple of my heartstrings, and you can feel the righteous rage in every ounce of Russell Crowe's performance here. Besides that, the rest of the cast fills out Gladiator well, such as Richard Harris's old, war-weary Emperor Marcus Aurelius, or Connie Nielson as Marcus's daughter, Lucilla, who is torn between her past love for Maximus, his blind rage at her for being related to the man responsible for his family's deaths, and the fear of her brother's twisted desires, which are alternatively incestuous at certain times, and downright <i>homicidal<i> at others.

And, in addition to all of that, Gladiator draws a lot of strength from capturing the cultural mystique of the Roman Empire at its most powerful peak, with the weight of history laying heavily on the film (in a good way), whether it be in the dusty markets of Rome, the mighty catapults and calvary of the Empire's great army, or, of course, the bloody gladiatorial combat of The Colosseum, where about a good half of the film's scenes are set, which play a bit like similar moments from mid-century Hollywood sword-&-sandals epics like Ben-Hur & Spartacus, but updated with a modern emphasis on gallons of spilled blood, and piles of disemboweled guts. And, while the action in Gladiator isn't quite as coherent as I would've preferred, with too much over-editing, shake-y handheld camera work, and overly close framings of the combat that sometimes make it difficult to make out exactly what's going on, just the sight of epic, bloody, gladiator-on-gladiator combat adds a lot to the film, whether it be the recreation of The Battle Of Carthage where the barbarians get to win this time, an intense, relentless fight with a legendary, fearsomely-masked retired champion (where ravenous tigers keep getting released at the most inopportune moments), or one final, man-to-man duel to the death with the loathsome, tyrannical Emperor himself.

Gladiator has all of this and then some, and, again, while I can now better respect and understand why certain people don't care for it, the overall experience of it for me is still just so strong, with its lavish, grandiose period detail, and Maximus's tragic tale of righteous vengeance, that I can't help but love it anyway. This is rousing, operatic, larger-than-life entertainment, the kind that we sadly don't see out of Hollywood much anymore, and with how powerful a cinematic experience Gladiator is on the whole, all I really have left to say now is... are you not entertained?



Final Score: 10
amazing movie



Gladiator (Scott, 2000)






What we do in life, echoes in eternity.



WARNING: spoilers below
Ridley Scott has certainly had an unusually long, influential, but nonetheless inconsistent career as a director, and Gladiator certainly stands as one of his most noteworthy, but nonetheless divisive efforts; after all, not only did it win the top film industry award, the Academy Award for Best Picture, but it was also a significant commercial success, grossing close to half a billion dollars worldwide (which is especially impressive considering that it's an R-rated, 2 & 1/2-plus hour, non-franchise historical epic, released at a time when Hollywood's grosses were significantly less gargantuan than they are now)... but, on the other hand, it still seems to displease a good number of film fans and critics regardless, including Mr.Roger Ebert himself. But, while my recent rewatch of the film did clarify certain problematic aspects of it that I hadn't really noticed beforehand, helping me to better sympathize with its various detractors, the overall power & effect of Gladiator is still just so strong, that I can't help but declare it to be a flawed modern classic, but a modern classic nonetheless.

To get my newfound issues with Gladiator out of the way right away, I have to say that I now better understand the people who complained that it was its tone was rather, er, monotone, to the point of being self-defeating, as, at times, its almost relentlessly morose, downbeat nature comes across as being borderline tragedy porn, even by the usual standards of a dark revenge narrative, and there are times I can't help but wish Scott had injected just a bit more levity into the proceedings, as too many of the characters seem to do almost nothing but just wallow in their own tortured misery for the entirety of its running time. This is especially true of the main villain, the Emperor Commodus, as he often comes across as a somewhat cartoonish, one-dimensional baddie, but even Maximus's own family, who are his main motivators during the film, get essentially zero character development here, as they basically just exist as plot devices, as people who are there just to die in order to justify Maximus going on his warpath later on. Now, I know they aren't anywhere near being the main characters here, so I'm not expecting much of a focus on them, but something besides just being referenced in dialogue and a few shots of them standing around in a field would've been appreciated, Ridley.

However, all of that being said, one of the main reasons why I still love Gladiator on the whole is, while the emotional beats it hits may be rather repetitive, they're still incredibly intense and unabashedly raw nonetheless; I really became invested in Maximus's epic quest for vengeance "in this life or the next", which is written with sharp, memorable, insightful dialogue, and which Scott portrays through the huge, sweeping scope and grand tragedy of the overall tale. The shots of Maximus's family waiting for him in the afterlife, and the sight of him finally reuniting with them at the end, never fail to pluck at a couple of my heartstrings, and you can feel the righteous rage in every ounce of Russell Crowe's performance here. Besides that, the rest of the cast fills out Gladiator well, such as Richard Harris's old, war-weary Emperor Marcus Aurelius, or Connie Nielson as Marcus's daughter, Lucilla, who is torn between her past love for Maximus, his blind rage at her for being related to the man responsible for his family's deaths, and the fear of her brother's twisted desires, which are alternatively incestuous at certain times, and downright <i>homicidal<i> at others.

And, in addition to all of that, Gladiator draws a lot of strength from capturing the cultural mystique of the Roman Empire at its most powerful peak, with the weight of history laying heavily on the film (in a good way), whether it be in the dusty markets of Rome, the mighty catapults and calvary of the Empire's great army, or, of course, the bloody gladiatorial combat of The Colosseum, where about a good half of the film's scenes are set, which play a bit like similar moments from mid-century Hollywood sword-&-sandals epics like Ben-Hur & Spartacus, but updated with a modern emphasis on gallons of spilled blood, and piles of disemboweled guts. And, while the action in Gladiator isn't quite as coherent as I would've preferred, with too much over-editing, shake-y handheld camera work, and overly close framings of the combat that sometimes make it difficult to make out exactly what's going on, just the sight of epic, bloody, gladiator-on-gladiator combat adds a lot to the film, whether it be the recreation of The Battle Of Carthage where the barbarians get to win this time, an intense, relentless fight with a legendary, fearsomely-masked retired champion (where ravenous tigers keep getting released at the most inopportune moments), or one final, man-to-man duel to the death with the loathsome, tyrannical Emperor himself.

Gladiator has all of this and then some, and, again, while I can now better respect and understand why certain people don't care for it, the overall experience of it for me is still just so strong, with its lavish, grandiose period detail, and Maximus's tragic tale of righteous vengeance, that I can't help but love it anyway. This is rousing, operatic, larger-than-life entertainment, the kind that we sadly don't see out of Hollywood much anymore, and with how powerful a cinematic experience Gladiator is on the whole, all I really have left to say now is... are you not entertained?



Final Score: 10
I think a lot of my issues here stemmed from the, as you say, cartoonish and one-dimensional villain (in a really over-the-top performance from Joaquin), the bump in the narrative when Oliver Reed dies and Djimon Hounsu has to take his place thematically and it doesn't really work, and then just how obvious it all was. Five minutes into the movie literally anyone who watches movies could have written out the script, which is actually about an hour long in actual story and is then dragged like a dead deer through nearly 2 additional hours.
Oddly, I'm not saying it wasn't a good film. I'm just saying I think it is flawed and dull and I don't really care for it. I certainly couldn't sit through the whole thing again.




JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
(2021)

First viewing. A gripping and excellently written and directed historical and biographical drama about the betrayal of Black Panthers civil rights leader Fred Hampton with incredible performances by the entire cast. I expect Oscar nods for Picture, Director (Shaka King), Actor (Daniel Kaluuya), Supporting Actor (Lakeith Stanfield), Supporting Actor (Jesse Plemons), Supporting Actress (Dominique Fishback), and Screenplay (King, Will Berson).

__________________
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!” ~ Rocky Balboa



Professional horse shoe straightener
'Beginning' (2020)


Incredible debut from Georgian Dea Kulumbegashvili. Cerebral, lingering shots reminiscent of Kiarostami. Shocking scenes that remind us of Haneke. Beautuful shot composition. It's a film about a woman with little hope of exiting the religious community she has married into. It's not an easy watch, but I was gripped until the ambiguous finale. What a talent World Cinema has on its' hands. Unmissable film. Just wish I saw it in the big screen.