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The Tall T (1957, Budd Boetticher)



Ride Lonesome (1959, Budd Boetticher)


Two Budd Boetticher westerns with Randolph Scott - both pleasantly short and enjoyable but perhaps slightly overrated? I think I enjoyed The Tall T just a tiny bit more overall but the ending of Ride Lonesome gets the edge for me - that final shot is just iconic.



The Italian Connection (1972)

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I didn't even know the name of the director until I looked it up after to see what else he'd done. It turns out that I'd already seen 2 movies from Fernando Di Leo (The awesome Caliber 9 and memorable To Be Twenty) and have 2 more on my watchlist (The Boss and Madness). I had no idea before. This movie was pretty good fun although typical of its sub genre. I feel like I've seen Woody Strode and Henry Silva in thousands of movies and I'd like to see them in thousands more. They play a couple of New York hit men visiting Italy for a job. On YouTube with subtitles.
Just saw Boetticher's The Tall T, and Henry Silva was one of the best things in that movie.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

Random Acts of Violence (Jay Baruchel, 2019)
5/10
The Tiger Hunter (Lena Khan, 2016)
6/10
Sonchidi (Amit Dutta, 2011)
5/10
Demons (Toshio Matsumoto, 1971)
6.5/10

Geisha Yasuko Sanjo and ronin Katsuo Nakamura play a violent cat-and-mouse game.
Things Don't Stay Fixed (Bo Bartlett, 2021)
+ 5/10
Give My Regards to Broad Street (Peter Webb, 1984)
6/10
Courting Mom and Dad (Anna Zielinski, 2021)
5/10
The Swordsman (Choi Jae-Hoon, 2020)
6/10

Retired swordsman Jang Hyuk must fight again to save his kidnapped daughter.
The Rabbit Hunters (3 Directors, 2020)
6/10
Before/During/After (Stephen Kunken & Jack Lewars, 2020)
5/10
Rendezvous in Paris (Éric Rohmer, 1995)
6/10
Saint Maud (Rose Glass, 2019)
6/10

Dying dancer Jennifer Ehle is being treated by demented nurse Morfydd Clark.
Macbeth (Kit Monkman, 2018)
5.5/10
No Light and No Land Anywhere (Amber Sealey, 2016)
5/10
55 Steps (Bille August, 2017)
+ 6/10
A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)
- 7/10

Drunken rock star Bradley Cooper falls in love with amateur singer Lady Gaga and includes her in his band.
The Sky Is On Fire (Emmanuel van der Auwera, 2019)
5/10
The Wave (Gille Klabin, 2019)
6/10
The Devil with Seven Faces (Osvaldo Civirani, 1971)
5/10
I Think We're Alone Now (Reed Morano, 2018)
6/10

After a seeming apocalypse, Peter Dinklage takes care of the dead in his lifeless town, but then he encounters teenager Elle Fanning.
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The Devil (Andrzej Zulawski, 1972)
Based on my limited knowledge of Zulawski's work this is everything I expected it would be and I guess everything I wanted. It's so chaotic and anxiety inducing all the way through pretty much. It's a blast. Loved it.



That Most Important Thing: Love (Andrzej Zulawski, 1975)
Based on my limited knowledge of Zulawski's work this isn't what I expected and only sometimes what I wanted. It's kind of plain and normal for the most part. Other than the wild overacting, not much of Zulawski's (again, as far as I know) trademarks are present but the story has a few cool moments and there's some solid shots and its generally entertaining and engaging still.
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Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1999) 10/10 my fav childhood movie from the 90s
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'A Sun' (2020)



A tale of two brothers. Emotional Taiwanese family drama with a crime element. Very good film with some terrific acting and photography.




A rewatch of my favorite romcom, for research purposes


WHEN HARRY MET SALLY...
(1989, Reiner)
A film featuring the name of a couple in its title





The undeniable strength of the film is in Crystal and Ryan's chemistry, which is excellent. But a lot of the credit also goes to Nora Ephron's witty script, which was partly inspired by Reiner's own ventures into single life after a divorce. Reiner's direction itself is simple, but effective. He recognizes that Crystal and Ryan are the stars and he lets them shine all the way.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
I agree with your review. Great romantic comedy by the great Rob Reiner. The chemistry between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal is great, second only to the chemistry between Ryan and Tom Hanks. As a matter of fact, the part of Harry was originally offered to Hanks but he turned it down because he thought it was "too lightweight". Funny he would think that since he ended up working with Ryan on 3 "lightweight" romantic comedies. I guess he realized the mistake he did of turning it down that he made up for it 3 times, all 3 films (Joe Versus the Volcano, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail) that I consider all-time classics by the way.
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Re-watch. Such a good movie. With the bonus of a commentary from Jack.
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Nightmare (1981)
aka Nightmare in a Damaged Brain

I did end up watching it based on the fact that Tubi basically says it's uncut. It wasn't bad, but I don't consider myself a fan either. It had most of the ingredients for a nice, nasty film, but I found the writing to be rather bad. Nowhere near the quality of Maniac or The New York Ripper which are two immediate comparisons that come to mind.

It never really went anywhere with its psychology, and the computer-assisted police work was hilariously stupid. I remember seeing the final murder scene as a kid (I had a poor quality VHS copy, but I'm almost certain I never watched the whole film back then), and it's sort of gruesome and stylish but also poorly executed.
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Re-watch. Such a good movie. With the bonus of a commentary from Jack.
I love that film. The scene where he has a flashback, in the same shot, then appears in his own flashback is amazing.




The Tall T (1957, Budd Boetticher)



Ride Lonesome (1959, Budd Boetticher)


Two Budd Boetticher westerns with Randolph Scott - both pleasantly short and enjoyable but perhaps slightly overrated? I think I enjoyed The Tall T just a tiny bit more overall but the ending of Ride Lonesome gets the edge for me - that final shot is just iconic.
I really enjoy Boetticher's work. Something about the vibe/energy of his films, their pace, and the films' relationships with their lead characters are right up my alley.



I agree with your review. Great romantic comedy by the great Rob Reiner. The chemistry between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal is great, second only to the chemistry between Ryan and Tom Hanks. As a matter of fact, the part of Harry was originally offered to Hanks but he turned it down because he thought it was "too lightweight". Funny he would think that since he ended up working with Ryan on 3 "lightweight" romantic comedies. I guess he realized the mistake he did of turning it down that he made up for it 3 times, all 3 films (Joe Versus the Volcano, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail) that I consider all-time classics by the way.
To this day, I haven't seen Sleepless in Seattle but I would definitely call You've Got Mail a "lightweight" film, and I don't necessarily mean it as a slight to it. Joe versus the Volcano is a different beast, though.
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Equinox, 1970

A man named David (Edward Connell) has been in a mental institution for a year, following the strange deaths of his friends. David's doctor plays a tape of an interview with David to a curious reporter, and the film almost entirely takes place within the story being told on the recording. In it, we learn that David, Jim (Frank Bonner), Susan (Barbara Hewitt), and Vicki (Robin Christopher) went on an ill-fated trip into the woods where they encountered a creepy ranger named Asmodeus (Jack Woods) and procured a book of possibly evil origin.

Maybe it's just that I was expecting this movie to be total junk, based on years of seeing certain images from it or hearing it get joked about, but I thought that this was not half bad! There are some . . . choices . . . that detract from the film, but overall I was surprised at how much it succeeded at generating some real suspense.

The main selling point of the film is the effects, a mix of stop-motion animation and forced perspective scenes. I really enjoyed these effects, as they had both an old-school charm and a weirdness to them that set them apart from other similar monster sequences. While the infamous beast on the film's cover gets most of the attention, I really liked the sequence above. I also liked some of the cuts, as when a flying demon tackles a person and then the edit cuts to him in human form.

In terms of what doesn't go as well, the characters are not developed in any meaningful way. For the most part I liked the character of Asmodeus (and his habit of suddenly appearing, on horseback, right in front of or behind the main characters). There is something off about him, and this works best when he is silently menacing. Later in the film when the acting is less, um, subtle, it trips over into something too silly for me.

Not a great film by any means, but I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. The ending is also a lot stronger and more menacing than I would have thought.





Solaris - Finally pulled the pin on this. Given the subject matter and runtime I wanted to wait for the right moment and right frame of mind. I do remember watching this a long, long time ago in an Introduction To Film class. That's about all I remembered though. The beginning with the shots of the reeds swaying underwater. The long shot of the car driving down a foreign freeway somewhere. Turns out that was filmed in Japan and what I at first thought was some esoteric attempt at simile was the filmmakers trying to justify their travel outside of the Soviet Union, a practice which was stringently controlled by the state apparatchik. Watching it this time filled in a lot of the blanks for me. I remember the rest of the class wasn't too wowed by it. They had the same reaction to Repulsion though. Anyway, speaking strictly for myself, I found this to be a legitimate yet ephemeral work of art. I got the sense that I was watching greatness but I'll be damned if I can lay hands to a precise reason. It's similar to what I felt the first time I watched Seven Samurai. That, while it was unlike anything I'd ever seen, it was also strangely familiar. I suppose you can call it a gut feeling or intuition. And that awareness was telling me to just shut up and enjoy it. That probably makes no sense but it's the closest I can get to explaining it.

Psychologist Kris Kelvin is sent to a space station orbiting the oceanic planet Solaris. The three remaining scientists are undergoing some sort of crisis and Kelvin is tasked with determining the feasibility of continuing the research project. It's a straightforward enough premise but it's merely a framework for director Andrei Tarkovsky to tackle a host of weighty issues like identity and loneliness and isolation and the universal quest for fulfillment. The human condition in a nutshell. Again, that is what I got from it. Results may vary as they say. Next up for me from Tarkovsky will probably be Stalker. To my great shame I once started it, wasn't vibing with it, and gave up. But I did promise myself that I would revisit it. And now that I'm somewhat familiarized with his work I think I can give it the fair shake it deserves. But as far as this one goes I think it was a singular experience.



[center]
[left]Solaris - Finally pulled the pin on this. Given the subject matter and runtime I wanted to wait for the right moment and right frame of mind. I do remember watching this a long, long time ago in an Introduction To Film class. That's about all I remembered though. The beginning with the shots of the reeds swaying underwater. The long shot of the car driving down a foreign freeway somewhere. Turns out that was filmed in Japan and what I at first thought was some esoteric attempt at simile was the filmmakers trying to justify their travel outside of the Soviet Union, a practice which was stringently controlled by the state apparatchik. Watching it this time filled in a lot of the blanks for me. I remember the rest of the class wasn't too wowed by it. They had the same reaction to Repulsion though. Anyway, speaking strictly for myself, I found this to be a legitimate yet ephemeral work of art. I got the sense that I was watching greatness but I'll be damned if I can lay hands to a precise reason. It's similar to what I felt the first time I watched Seven Samurai. That, while it was unlike anything I'd ever seen, it was also strangely familiar. I suppose you can call it a gut feeling or intuition. And that awareness was telling me to just shut up and enjoy it. That probably makes no sense but it's the closest I can get to explaining it.
I really like Solaris. And while no on really talks about it all that much, the American remake (which is like, half the length) does have some interesting moments.



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.
I can respect that, but Gladiator is certainly the most flawed film I've ever given five stars to, I still think it makes for a good accidental companion piece to Crouching Tiger, as a historical Action/Drama from 2000 (and also the closest thing to a "pure" Action film to win the Best Picture Oscar, which is nice for me, since it's one of my favorite genres), andI still can't help but get swept up in its grandeur anyway, for the things it does right; I mean, the scene where Commodus is being raised up to the floor of the Colosseum, as the crowd chants and Zimmer's score booms? That's about as epic as it gets, man:





I CARE A LOT.
(2020)

First viewing. Rosamind Pike delivers a great performance, one that I expect will earn her an Oscar nod, in this dark comedy thriller as the repulsive antagonist. Dianne Weist and Peter Dinklage deliver excellent supporting performances as well. The film's first half is gripping, but it fell short in the second half and especially in the final act. Still worth a watch.




I can respect that, but Gladiator is certainly the most flawed film I've ever given five stars to, I still think it makes for a good accidental companion piece to Crouching Tiger, as a historical Action/Drama from 2000 (and also the closest thing to a "pure" Action film to win the Best Picture Oscar, which is nice for me, since it's one of my favorite genres), andI still can't help but get swept up in its grandeur anyway, for the things it does right; I mean, the scene where Commodus is being raised up to the floor of the Colosseum, as the crowd chants and Zimmer's score booms? That's about as epic as it gets, man:

I'm not in love with the movie, but Ridley's direction is absolutely on point. Like you said, he definitely gives the movie a level of real grandeur, even if the script is kinda whatever. No disrespect to the performances either, but the movie is top notch on a technical level.