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DAY & NIGHT
(2010, Newton)



"To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle."

Day & Night follows the two titular "characters", each of which feature a corresponding scene inside of them: people playing and animals frolicking inside "Day", the moon rising and sheep jumping fences inside "Night". This is both a cause of amazement and dismissal for both of them as they explore each other's "scenes", but can they learn to coexist?

This is one an extremely creative and original short film. The way that the director takes such minimalistic characters and brings them to life with these events "inside" of them is impressive. But also the way he uses different things to match the actions of the characters, or highlight their emotions and feelings is amazing.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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One of my favorite movies.. And for anyone interested, it's on YouTube for free.


Uh, the thumbnail of that vid says it's for A Woman Under The Influence...



I should rewatch that one soon. It understands how to depict revenge better than almost every film I've seen.
You mean the futility of it?



You mean the futility of it?
I think the dynamic the film sets up between Oates and his wife not only does a great job at morphing him into a killer but that the character traits which lead to that (his prior military background and the contrast between his cool outward appearance and his insecurities about committing to his relationship) color his behavior in the second half. I think a lot of films fail to establish poetry like this which makes the revenge work as well as it could but this one is aces with that.



You probably know that dancing contests like this did exist.
I did a bit of macabre reading after watching the film Stirchley and, yes, it is true that they did exist during the depression era and afterwards. Grim.



I think the dynamic the film sets up between Oates and his wife not only does a great job at morphing him into a killer but that the character traits which lead to that (his prior military background and the contrast between his cool outward appearance and his insecurities about committing to his relationship) color his behavior in the second half. I think a lot of films fail to establish poetry like this which makes the revenge work as well as it could but this one is aces with that.
It's been a couple of years since I saw it but I thought that Bennie was losing it all over and the "head" was his one chance at redemption. It's an incredible film and an incredible performance by Oates, rewatch soon. (after watching "They Shoot..." I've just remembered Gig Young is in this as one of the sexually ambivalent hitmen).



It's been a couple of years since I saw it but I thought that Bennie was losing it all over and the "head" was his one chance at redemption. It's an incredible film and an incredible performance by Oates, rewatch soon. (after watching "They Shoot..." I've just remembered Gig Young is in this as one of the sexually ambivalent hitmen).
WARNING: spoilers below
Correct, but his relationship with his wife (how he finally gains the courage to propose to her only for her to be killed shortly later) informs a lot of his behavior as well, specifically with how he begins talking to the head as if it were still alive.





Kiss the Future (2024)

Anyone who remembers what a momentous event U2's concert in war-torn Sarajevo was, definitely needs to watch this, if only to bring back memories of those staggering events.
The documentary spends quite a bit of time setting the stage, so to speak, for the historic concert, going into extensive detail about what led to the siege of Sarajevo, and how the local music scene sought to provide an escape to the dreariness of day-to-day living.
The documentary is making a short stop in cinemas before making its way to Paramount+ later this year, so if you're really interested you may as well catch it now; the war footage and the scenes from the concert probably won't look as impressive on a smaller screen.





The Great Escaper (2023)

The film was brought to my attention by a post from @BrodyAtAmity.

The Great Escaper is a terrific film in many ways. The pairing of two of the greatest actors of the 20th and early 21st Centuries --Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson-- was in itself a master stroke. The acting by the two veterans is of the highest caliber. There is also an inspired performance by the old pro, John Standing.

Deftly directed by Oliver Parker and photographed by Christopher Ross, the story is about octogenarian Bernie (Caine) who surreptitiously leaves his old aged home in the south of England to travel to France to attend the 70th anniversary commemoration of the D-Day landing and battle. His wife Rene (Jackson) is in on the ďescapeĒ, although he leaves without telling her.

Beyond knowing that Bernie is a veteran of the battle, we arenít let in on the overriding reason that draws him to the commemoration until later. Bernie and Rene have been married since WWII, and are still very much in love. We are treated to flashbacks of when they met and fell in love, juxtaposed with scenes of their similar current bond.

Although Bernie is infirm, and must use a walker, he manages to slip away from the assisted living home, and travel to France by boat. Along the way he becomes acquainted with another veteran (Standing) whereupon they agree to room together for a couple of days. What Bernie experiences at the enormous Normandy D-Day cemetery reveals the purpose of his odyssey.

Itís mainly Michael Caineís film, but the many scenes with Jackson are sweetly touching without being overly sentimental. Their lifelong union is both poignant and bittersweet. Jackson also shines in solo scenes in their quarters, as well as with their care worker, as Rene compliments the lady and gives her knowing feminine advice.

There are no flaws in this picture. The story, the acting is all first class. Sadly, 6 months after the filming Glenda Jackson died, aged 87. And Michael Caine subsequently announced that this was his last picture, moving to retirement. Itís heart warming to know that they were both treated to a private showing of the completed film only weeks before Jacksonís death.

Docís rating: 10/10







SF = Z



[Snooze Factor Ratings]:
Z = didn't nod off at all
Zz = nearly nodded off but managed to stay alert
Zzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed
Zzzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed but nodded off again at the same point and therefore needed to go back a number of times before I got through it...
Zzzzz = nodded off and missed some or the rest of the film but was not interested enough to go back over it



I forgot the opening line.

Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5820729

Murder by Death - (1976)

Alec Guinness, David Niven, Peter Sellers, Peter Falk, Maggie Smith, James Cromwell (in his first feature film role) and Eileen Brennan - a dream team if you're writing a comedy featuring all of the world's most famous fictional detectives coming together via invitation to solve a murder - and win a million bucks. Neil Simon's screenplay isn't so bad either - one of his best, making Murder by Death a comedy that elicits big laughs from me. It'd been a while since I last saw it - a friend sat me down and showed it to me as one of her favourite films, and she considered it a guilty pleasure, but I kept on insisting that this is a genuinely good movie. Peter Falk absolutely steals the show as the Sam Spade character (Sam Diamond) - I'm sure he improvises a few times, and his Bogart impression is so much fun to watch. Alec Guiness as the blind butler Jamessir Bensonmum (I'm laughing just typing that name) shows he still had a gift for comedy. All of the whacky stuff is supported by an intelligent wit and genuine love for the genre and characters that are being sent up. Truman Capote (as eccentric multi-millionaire Lionel Twain, the deliberate instigator of the mystery) nearly wrecks proceedings because he can't act at all (a shame a replacement wasn't made there) - but fortunately he's only in a few scenes.

Peter Sellers does make me cringe a little, playing Charlie Chan knock-off Sidney Wang, but I don't see anything culturally nasty in the screenplay - just a load of funny lines. Same goes for all of the other things we'd find inappropriate these days - Murder by Death never gets mean. It's heart is in the right place. If I'm wrong, then Murder by Death is a guilty pleasure for me as well.

8/10
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Society ennobler, last seen in Medici's Florence
Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)

Directed by Peter Webber
Starring Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Wilkinson and Cillian Murphy

My first view. How could I miss this back then, probably because of some poor distribution.
This movie is a great visual feast, especially for people who have an eye on the classical art of paintings. As an admirer of the Dutch painter Vermeer, I was totally pleased. The scenography and the cinematography are on a cult level here.
Scarlett Johansson is superb, surrounded by an ensemble of great actors.
Beautiful slice of time of that epoch.
+
83/100
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That's some bad hat, Harry.
Superman II (1980)



4/5

I like Superman II a lot. But haven't watched in years. Last night's viewing was of the original theatrical version. It does seem a little tonally all over the place. The childish farcical humour doesn't really sit right next to Terrence Stamp's sadistic villain. And for 1980, the battle between Superman and the three villains is fantastically created. The special-effects still look good. Plus, every scene Gene Hackman is in is a gem. The scene when Clark returns to find the bully in the diner remains one of my fav all-time though. Love how he puts the trucker in his place. And then gives the diner owner the cash to pay for the mess.

I've read that in the Richard Donner cut Superman turns back time like he did in Superman. Even if Donner's version might have been better had he had the chance to finish it, the time travel thing creates issues with the cohesion of the plot, and is actually a bit of a plot hole, and I'm glad Richard Lester got rid of it.
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Albert Pyun Roulette, Part 3

Brainsmasher... A Love Story -


Plot: A professional model, Sam Crain (Teri Hatcher), is asked by her sister to smuggle a package from Europe to Portland Oregon, where she discovers that her sister is battling Chinese Shaolin Monks (not ninjas!). Fleeing the monks, Sam unwittingly involves Ed "Brainsmasher" Molloy (Andrew Dice Clay), a nightclub bouncer.

To quote The Lost Boys, "one thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach: all the damn vampires." If you replace Santa Carla with Portland and vampires with ninjas...sorry, Shaolin monks, you'll understand how the titular hero feels. I can understand the presence of Andrew Dice Clay being a red flag, but that should not dissuade you. Besides being quite good as the bouncer known as the Brain Smasher, I saw the character first and the performer second. He's also quite lucky that his ward is Teri Hatcher's supermodel, who's as charming and funny as she always is. Also, Yuji Okumoto, a.k.a. Chozen from The Karate Kid II, is one delightfully deranged villain. It also earns the comedy in its action comedy label - believe it or not, you'll never get tired of the monks saying that they're not ninjas - and the fighting may be messy, but it is pleasantly visceral.

If you put Big Trouble in Little China and Romancing the Stone in a blender, it would look a little bit like this; in other words, a lot of things you have seen before. The important thing is that it made me laugh more than once, and again, it at least has one thing I doubt you've seen in a movie before: Shaolin monks invading Portland. From this premise to its cast - Tim Thomerson, Brion James and Liz Sheridan are also along for the ride - it's a decent choice if you're down for a goofy time. Oh, and for the last time, don't call them ninjas!





The Great Escaper (2023)

The film was brought to my attention by a post from @BrodyAtAmity.

The Great Escaper is a terrific film in many ways. The pairing of two of the greatest actors of the 20th and early 21st Centuries --Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson-- was in itself a master stroke. The acting by the two veterans is of the highest caliber. There is also an inspired performance by the old pro, John Standing.

Deftly directed by Oliver Parker and photographed by Christopher Ross, the story is about octogenarian Bernie (Caine) who surreptitiously leaves his old aged home in the south of England to travel to France to attend the 70th anniversary commemoration of the D-Day landing and battle. His wife Rene (Jackson) is in on the ďescapeĒ, although he leaves without telling her.

Beyond knowing that Bernie is a veteran of the battle, we arenít let in on the overriding reason that draws him to the commemoration until later. Bernie and Rene have been married since WWII, and are still very much in love. We are treated to flashbacks of when they met and fell in love, juxtaposed with scenes of their similar current bond.

Although Bernie is infirm, and must use a walker, he manages to slip away from the assisted living home, and travel to France by boat. Along the way he becomes acquainted with another veteran (Standing) whereupon they agree to room together for a couple of days. What Bernie experiences at the enormous Normandy D-Day cemetery reveals the purpose of his odyssey.

Itís mainly Michael Caineís film, but the many scenes with Jackson are sweetly touching without being overly sentimental. Their lifelong union is both poignant and bittersweet. Jackson also shines in solo scenes in their quarters, as well as with their care worker, as Rene compliments the lady and gives her knowing feminine advice.

There are no flaws in this picture. The story, the acting is all first class. Sadly, 6 months after the filming Glenda Jackson died, aged 87. And Michael Caine subsequently announced that this was his last picture, moving to retirement. Itís heart warming to know that they were both treated to a private showing of the completed film only weeks before Jacksonís death.

Docís rating: 10/10
Never heard of this, but itís in my watchlist now.
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Red Right Hand (2024)

Fairly generic revenge thriller. Some good bits and some just dull. Descended into farce at the end with Andie MacDowell as the gun-toting Ma Baker character.