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I didn't put this in my review of 25th Hour, but there's a dialogue exchange where Monty calls his drug dealer friend a "fat Russian f*ck", which his friend corrects saying he's a "fat Ukranian f*ck." To which Monty replies, "Is there a difference?"

Anyway, chalk that one up to lines that have aged in an interesting way.





Mare of Easttown (8 Episode Mini-Series), 2021

Mare (Kate Winslet) is a police detective in a small town in Pennsylvania. Mare is dealing with a full plate of personal and professional issues. Her former basketball teammateís daughter has been missing for a year and Mare has hit a dead end in the case. She and her family have been raising her grandchild following the death of Mareís son, but the boyís mother has sobered up and wants custody. Her ex-husband announces that he is getting remarried. When a young woman is murdered, Mare must try to sort through the case while keeping her familyís dramas in check.

A solid miniseries. Just wish that the mystery hadnít been so easy to crack.



Full review



I forgot the opening line.
Blue Spring -


In addition to its unique use of slow motion, it has a time lapse shot that's unlike any I've seen.
Amazing time-lapse shot - the director actually had actor Hirofumi Arai stand at that railing on top of the building for the entire night in the same position, around 12 hours just standing still. I hope he took care of business before commencing. Director Toshiaki had his doubts but Hirofumi insisted it was okay, and who could blame him - it's a bravura moment.
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I forgot the opening line.

By Omnibus/Sagittarius Productions, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24370659

Jane Eyre - (1970)

You can somewhat reverse-engineer all of these Jane Eyre adaptations and kind of know exactly how Charlotte BrontŽ's book goes, but that doesn't make me any less curious to read it. In this version (which has been cheaply transferred to digital medium for the version I saw - thus looking awful) we forego anything at all to do with Gateshead Hall, Sarah Reed, the Reed children or Jane's rich uncle - thus excising a major portion of the story. We simply begin at Lowood, and when our character moves to Thornfield she never gets called back to a dying Sarah - still clinging desperately to her hatred of Jane. At first I really wasn't convinced of having George C. Scott playing the part of Edward Rochester - but that man's acting skill overwhelmed any reluctance to engage with his unsightly visage (he made this during his great Patton era.) He uses the craft to give himself much dignity (and later vulnerability) while Susannah York wrestles with the momentous task of playing Jane. The performances elevate the talented Jack Pulman's adaptation, and while it's not the best Jane Eyre I've ever seen it works well enough. For those wondering which version I recommend - the 1996 theatrical version and 2006 TV miniseries ones are really good, but there's nothing like steeping yourself in all the versions for comparison's sake.

This was my 5th - I've seen the 1943, 1970, 1996, 2006 and 2011 versions. Since 1910, when the first version was made, we've never gone more than 13 years without an adaptation. Currently we're at 12 years since the last one.

6/10


Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10062440

Evan Almighty - (2007)

I don't know if Steve Oedekerk or Tom Shadyac are really religious people, but I can tell you without any doubt in my mind that they made a big mistake making Evan Almighty, a $175 million comedy that thinks it's hilarious but in all actuality is one of the unfunniest romps I've seen on such a scale. It's predecessor, Bruce Almighty cost $81 million to make and raked in $484.6 million - so I can understand the thinking as far as the producers are concerned. Evan plops us off in the logic-free fairy land of fundamentalist Bible fantasy and is so freeform that nothing in it makes a lick of sense. In it we have a God (played by Morgan Freeman) who shrugged his shoulders when the Holocaust was going on, but is mightily offended by a land seizure bill being passed in the U.S. Congress. So he decides to enact his second flood - to stop that bit of legislation. In the meantime animals come from all over the world, but since the only area flooded is the immediate local surrounds, they may as well have not bothered with that journey. If this had of been remotely funny, I'd have forgiven the silly story, and if the story had of made sense I might have forgiven the embarrassingly awkward deluge of "dad jokes" but mix both together and you get one of the worst mainstream films ever made. Adding insult to injury, it uses bizarrely substandard home-computer level CGI, despite costing nearly $200 million to make. Those effects are awful, and just rub salt in. Astonishing all-round in this day and age.

2/10




By Omnibus/Sagittarius Productions, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24370659

Jane Eyre - (1970)

You can somewhat reverse-engineer all of these Jane Eyre adaptations and kind of know exactly how Charlotte BrontŽ's book goes, but that doesn't make me any less curious to read it.
Jane Eyre is a fascinating and disturbing book. I often feel like adaptations have to do this weird dance around Rochester and how messed up he is (not just because of The Big Secret, but because of the way he treats all of the women in his life). It's also a really fast read.



They should have stuck with the first hour - the Barbie movie. Early on, it was full of light hearted satire of all that pink doll stuff that I don't get. Margo Robbie is the PERFECT Barbie and Ryan Gosling excels at being Ken. Once they tried to make it about social commentary about gender roles however, I got tired, shifting in my seat. I didn't go to a Barbie movie to be enlightened about gender stereotypes by a crew that is making millions exploiting gender stereotypes.

Never one to be an easy-sell on moral commentary in movies that are obviously driven by the desire to capitalize on a phenomenon and then slam it, I don't see the point. It was a lot like drawing people to a NASCAR race and then lecturing them on air pollution and noise. Oh well.

2 out of 5 at the best.








SF = Z


Trailer:





[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



Popped a disk into the player and what is it? It's one of the pre-eminent pot-boilers in movie history, also ranked as one of the all time greats of the movie world, Casablanca. It's WW II, Morocco, full of vultures, thieves, refugees, human traffickers, Nazis and also Rick and Ilsa, star-crossed lovers, re-united by the war. And then, there's Sam, singing As Time Goes By and Peter Lorre as a sleazy smuggler and fez-wearing Sidney Greenstreet as another sleazy smuggler. It has Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Dooley Wilson. Movies have rarely ever been better than this.

Ten stars




They should have stuck with the first hour - the Barbie movie. Early on, it was full of light hearted satire of all that pink doll stuff that I don't get. Margo Robbie is the PERFECT Barbie and Ryan Gosling excels at being Ken. Once they tried to make it about social commentary about gender roles however, I got tired, shifting in my seat. I didn't go to a Barbie movie to be enlightened about gender stereotypes by a crew that is making millions doing exactly that.

Never one to be an easy-sell on moral commentary in movies that are obviously driven by the desire to capitalize on a phenomenon and then slam it, I don't see the point. It was a lot like drawing people to a NASCAR race and then lecturing them on air pollution and noise. Oh well.

2 out of 5 at the best.

I miss the good old days before every movie was required to have a hindering kink in it. Back in the day they took extra measures to pull the kinks out. Now every time you see a movie youre telling yourself "wait for it, the catch is coming."



I miss the good old days before every movie was required to have a hindering kink in it. Back in the day they took extra measures to pull the kinks out. Now every time you see a movie youre telling yourself "wait for it, the catch is coming."
The irony to this one is that Mattel still owns the Barbie trademark, so, the producers must have their blessing to use the brand. That probably means that, somewhere in the corporate meeting room, somebody decided that putting the gender commentary into the movie would give the, A - a publicity boost and B - the appearance of being somewhat enlightened while doing things just as they have always done with Barbie.

This movie is a case in point for those who wish to be cynical, but for the first hour at least, somewhat entertaining, if horrifyingly pink.



Society ennobler, last seen in Medici's Florence
Midnight Run (1988)

Directed by Martin Brest

Starring Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, John Ashton, Joe Pantoliano, Dennis Farina and Yaphet Kotto

Caught it on the telly last night. Probably my tenth view since I saw it first in a theater when it came out.

One of the three super entertaining classics by Martin Brest. A perfect work in its scope. One of the most quotable films in the history. De Niro at his best, surrounded by colorful ensemble of masterly created characters. Can't stop watching this movie over and over again. Can be called a Hollywood masterpiece. Everything is perfect here, screenplay, dialogues, acting, directing...
+ 94/100
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The irony to this one is that Mattel still owns the Barbie trademark, so, the producers must have their blessing to use the brand. That probably means that, somewhere in the corporate meeting room, somebody decided that putting the gender commentary into the movie would give the, A - a publicity boost and B - the appearance of being somewhat enlightened while doing things just as they have always done with Barbie.

This movie is a case in point for those who wish to be cynical, but for the first hour at least, somewhat entertaining, if horrifyingly pink.
From what I gather the Director had a large portion of the creative control so, who knows, it could be the boardroom, it could be the camera girl, it could be both, but unfortunately, these big time directors usually keep these sort of details ambiguous and seal their lips. Nobody wants to take the blame, but they all know it was wrong and hurt the movie in the long run. It cannot be a perfect movie, it is now impossible.



the appearance of being somewhat enlightened while doing things just as they have always done with Barbie.
I mean, an entire subplot of the film was about the gap between what brands say their products do and what those brands actually do.

I'll write more about this later in my own review, but I thought that the movie did a pretty good job of balancing celebrating a property that a lot of people have nostalgia for and also examining the flaws and shortfalls of that property.



The irony to this one is that Mattel still owns the Barbie trademark, so, the producers must have their blessing to use the brand. That probably means that, somewhere in the corporate meeting room, somebody decided that putting the gender commentary into the movie would give the, A - a publicity boost and B - the appearance of being somewhat enlightened while doing things just as they have always done with Barbie.

This movie is a case in point for those who wish to be cynical, but for the first hour at least, somewhat entertaining, if horrifyingly pink.
I see it a bit of the other way around. If Barbie can include a -compelling to a lot of people- gender commentary, why don't other blockbuster corporate movies do the same?

We are already assuming that the core of everything is pure commercial bait, but the fact that this so-called commercial bait is not more widely showcased in these kinds of films is quite a matter of discussion in itself. One way or the other Barbie put a discourse in it that most mainstream films do not engage in as strongly as it does. The issue being, not that this film does include this discourse with "cynical" intent, but that the rest do not even consider including it at all.