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Foreign Correspondent, 1940

American reporter John Jones (Joel McCrea) is sent to Europe after complaining to his bosses that he's covering boring stories. But once there, he quickly becomes entangled in a complex political plot involving the faked assassination of a diplomat (Albert Bassermann). Along the way he falls for a woman named Carol (Laraine Day) who is involved with a peace organization and gets help from a suave fellow reporter ffoliott (George Sanders).

I liked this film, with its twisty-turny plot and Hitchcock signature sardonic lead character. It made me think a lot of elements that I enjoyed in The 39 Steps.

McCrea is enjoyable in his lead role as the reporter who gets more than he asked for on his new assignment. He has decent chemistry with Day, playing a character who is torn between her attraction to John and the suspicion that he's just using her to chase a story and besmirch her father's reputation. The saving grace for me, character-wise, was Sanders in his role as another reporter. His character feels almost more like a spy than a reporter, but I'm not complaining. He injects the film with some much needed personality.

In terms of the action, the film kind of rolls along between various set-pieces, until the final act where things seem to take a much more intense turn. We are given a sequence where a confused man is ruthlessly manipulated and interrogated in an attempt to get him to reveal secret information. In the film's biggest sequence, an
WARNING: spoilers below
airplane is fired on and subsequently crashes into the ocean where the surviving passengers must weather brutal waves as they cling to a detached plane wing
.

On the villain side of things, though, the film is a bit less memorable. I had some really, REALLY mixed feelings about the way that the film talks about Carol's father at the end. There's a lot of wiffly-waffly stuff about him still being a good man and just doing what he thinks is right for his country. Like, um, excuse me. He was complicit in the physical and psychological torture of an elderly man. I know that despicable and amoral things were done on both sides of WW2 to get desired results, but I did not care for the way his character is excused and even sort of celebrated at the end. It made me think a lot of what I hated about the end of The Furies, where a character who has done horrible things is just sort of given a pass.

I would say that this is a pretty middle-of-the-road film in terms of what I've seen from Hitchcock. I liked it, but felt that it missed a spark to be really great. I will admit that the plane sequence alone is probably adding a half star to my rating.

Love Foreign Correspondent. I think it loses a tiny bit towards the last act, but I seriously adore what precedes it. It barely makes my Hitchcock Top 5.
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'Brother' (1997)

I think some MOFO on this site recommended this one a few years back and it's been wobbling about on my watchlist ever since.

Young army man rocks up at his mums with no future, and she tells him to visit his more successful brother in St Petersburg. Turns out his brother isn't all that successful.

I can see why this is a cult classic. It is extremely cool in places (home made silencers for guns), quite tender in others (the main character and his lack of belonging, lack of love etc) and also has references to the socio political relationships of Russia with other countries in Europe.

A smart film.

7.8/10
I watched this after watching Prisoner of the Mountains and learning about Bodrov's untimely death. It is good, and certainly better than the poster might lead you to believe.

Love Foreign Correspondent. I think it loses a tiny bit towards the last act, but I seriously adore what precedes it. It barely makes my Hitchcock Top 5.
The portrayal and attitude toward Carol's dad gave me very mixed feelings. I understand that Hitchcock wanted to make his film politically "neutral" as much as possible, but I thought it gave the film a really unfortunate tilt.



Professional horse shoe straightener
I watched this after watching Prisoner of the Mountains and learning about Bodrov's untimely death. It is good, and certainly better than the poster might lead you to believe.
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Thought you meant a MOFO poster on this forum then! Yes that's really tragic and makes me want to search out the film he directed called 'Sisters'



Thought you meant a MOFO poster on this forum then!
Yikes! No, sorry for the scare!

Yes that's really tragic and makes me want to search out the film he directed called 'Sisters'
I've not seen that one either.






The Super Cops - When I was much younger I was fascinated with anything having to do with real life cops and criminals. I read Peter Maas' The Valachi Papers and his autobiography on Frank Serpico, Robin Moore's The French Connection and Joseph Wambaugh's The Onion Field and Iceberg Slim's Trick Baby. I also remember reading a book about an infamous Chicago gang called The Blackstone Rangers.

The Super Cops was a non fiction story about David Greenberg and Robert Hantz, two probationary NYPD policeman who decide to ignore the status quo and the unwritten rule that all rookie policemen pay their dues by handling menial tasks like clerical and traffic work. Unwilling to wait till they're full fledged officers the pair make arrests in Greenbergs old neighborhood in Coney Island and also in Harlem. Once they're officially assigned to a precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant they start terrorizing local dealers which draws the ire of the three Hayes brothers that control the drug trade in the neighborhood. Their exploits soon earn them the nicknames Batman and Robin.

This was directed by Gordon Parks who was following up the success of his two previous Shaft projects. The movie has a loose and disorganized feel to it. It's more a series of vignettes that don't necessarily follow a chronology. Ron Liebman throws himself into the role (some might consider it overacting) of Greenberg while David Selby plays it more restrained as Hantz and they do a convincing enough job as the two daredevil cops. There's also a number of 70's era character actors like Pat Hingle, Dan Frazer and Joseph Sirola. Watch this if you're partial to that distinctive 70's era grime. It hasn't been successfully replicated since, not even by worthy imitators like A Most Violent Year (which was actually set in 1981 but close enough).

75/100



Guy who likes movies
I saw King Richard (2021) today. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the film tells the true story of Richard Williams and his daughters, tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams. Will Smith is wonderful and is almost certainly going to win an Oscar for his performance. There are other strong performances here too and a very good screenplay. King Richard is a crowdpleaser and an enjoyable movie. My only quibble is that it is a little too long,especially the final tennis match toward the end,which starts to feel anti-climatic. With that being said, I would not be surprised if King Richard is nominated for best picture. I would consider it one of the top 10 films of the year so far. My rating is a



Foreign Correspondent, 1940

American reporter John Jones (Joel McCrea) is sent to Europe after complaining to his bosses that he's covering boring stories. But once there, he quickly becomes entangled in a complex political plot involving the faked assassination of a diplomat (Albert Bassermann). Along the way he falls for a woman named Carol (Laraine Day) who is involved with a peace organization and gets help from a suave fellow reporter ffoliott (George Sanders).

I liked this film, with its twisty-turny plot and Hitchcock signature sardonic lead character. It made me think a lot of elements that I enjoyed in The 39 Steps.

McCrea is enjoyable in his lead role as the reporter who gets more than he asked for on his new assignment. He has decent chemistry with Day, playing a character who is torn between her attraction to John and the suspicion that he's just using her to chase a story and besmirch her father's reputation. The saving grace for me, character-wise, was Sanders in his role as another reporter. His character feels almost more like a spy than a reporter, but I'm not complaining. He injects the film with some much needed personality.
...
I too love this film. IMO it's the best of Hitch's second tier pictures. As his second film in Hollywood after Rebecca, he was finally free of David O. Selznik, and he was eager to do a espionage thriller. Hitchcock stated that as soon as the script was finished he took it to Cary Grant. Grant refused to do a thriller, although later he told Hitch that he wished he'd done it. Hitch felt that Joel McCrea was too affable. I personally liked McCrea in the film.

I really like the scenes you mentioned. The important scene for Hitchcock was the entire windmill sequence, which was mesmerizing. I also was amazed at the plane crash scene; and the famous umbrella scene where the assassin is escaping through the bobbling umbrellas has been imitated several times. Great photography!

Oh, and I too love George Sanders. I could listen to him reading the phone book. I liked him in just about everything he did, with the possible exception of The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945). Although it was a good picture directed by the great Robert Siodmak, I thought he wasn't well cast to play that type of role.







Queenpins - An innocuous enough comedy starring Kirsten Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste as two suburban Phoenix friends. Bell plays Connie Kaminski, trapped in a loveless marriage and unable to conceive she diverts all her energies and frustration into couponing. Howell-Baptiste plays her best friend and next door neighbor JoJo Johnson. JoJo was the victim of identity theft and, with her credit ruined, was forced to move back in with her mother. Connie's husband Rick (Joel McHale) is an IRS agent and prefers to spend most of his time on the road. One day Connie writes to General Mills to complain about stale cereal and when she unexpectedly receives a coupon from them for a free box, inspiration strikes. She starts mailing off complaint letters to various companies and she notices that all of them are being forwarded to one particular business. After some research she discovers that the company handles the bulk of the free coupons that the corporations give out. She talks JoJo into traveling with her into Mexico to the factory where the coupons are both printed and redeemed. There they find a husband and wife who are willing to divert the excess vouchers to them in the States where they will sell them to eager buyers. JoJo, being a natural born entrepreneur, advertises their service on her website and the two are soon swimming in money. This of course draws the attention of their bank which freezes their accounts until they can verify the legitimacy of their business. For help they turn to Tempe Tina (Bebe Rexha), the computer whiz who stole JoJo's identity in the first place. She sets them up with numerous fake identities and advises them to "clean" their money.

While all of this is going on Ken Miller (Paul Walter Hauser), a Loss Prevention Officer for a chain of Southwest grocery stores, is alerted to the pair's scam but can't make any headway as to their true identities. He goes to the FBI but they dismiss him as a kook and bury his file deep in their bureaucracy. Months later a low level drone contacts Ken and, having no luck tracking them via computer, suggests Ken try contacting the US Postal Service. Soon after, Postal Inspector Simon Kilmurry (Vince Vaughn) shows up and the two start backtracking along the Queenpins trail. There's some humor to be had from the odd couple pairing of Ken and Simon and both Hauser and Vaughn make an honest effort but the laughs are so mild that, even though you may find yourself chuckling, real belly laughs aren't to be had. The cast is certainly pleasant enough but "moderately enjoyable" is probably the yardstick you'll be using.

75/100




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Nobody - (2021)

This film has been getting great reviews here for a while now, and that was enough to tempt me. Writer Derek Kolstad has created something much in the same vein to his John Wick films, with gleefully comic violence, superhero-like indestructible characters and as always the Russian Mafia, with their endless supply of soldiers and weapons. I'm in as soon as Bob Odenkirk and Christopher Lloyd appear - great casting, I love seeing Lloyd (of all people) blasting bad guys and have to admit that nearly brings a tear to my eye. It's something of a choreographed dance of death and destruction that just feels gleeful, comic, macho and colourful.

7.5/10


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Hot Fuzz - (2007)

After Shaun of the Dead Edgar Wright and Sean Pegg had a lot to live up to, and Hot Fuzz seems to fit into that category of second efforts that are good but don't quite reach the dizzying heights of an incredible first-up. Watching it for the first time since it came out quite a while ago, I found I could enjoy it a lot more without that terrible weight of expectation. What I enjoy the most are the actors that came aboard here, especially the incomparable Timothy Dalton, along with Paddy Considine, Olivia Colman, Edward Woodward and Jim Broadbent in that exact order. There are around 100 great cameos. This was certainly ambitious, and I like it a great deal - it's almost too much to take in when you first see it - especially considering just how over-the-top things become towards the film's climax. Hot Fuzz has grown on me and I rate it higher the second time around.

8/10


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Run Fatboy Run - (2007)

Funny enough and engaging, but very average - and I'm not saying bad at all. This film exists in that acceptable range where it's worth watching, but not worth going out of your way to watch. A formulaic comedy with Pegg playing his stock role as a loser out to win the heart of the girl who he once had and who is really out of his league. David Schwimmer's first theatrical feature job as director, made around the same time he appeared with Pegg in Big Nothing.

6/10
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By The poster art can or could be obtained from the distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39376870

Hot Fuzz - (2007)

After Shaun of the Dead Edgar Wright and Sean Pegg had a lot to live up to, and Hot Fuzz seems to fit into that category of second efforts that are good but don't quite reach the dizzying heights of an incredible first-up. Watching it for the first time since it came out quite a while ago, I found I could enjoy it a lot more without that terrible weight of expectation. What I enjoy the most are the actors that came aboard here, especially the incomparable Timothy Dalton, along with Paddy Considine, Olivia Colman, Edward Woodward and Jim Broadbent in that exact order. There are around 100 great cameos. This was certainly ambitious, and I like it a great deal - it's almost too much to take in when you first see it - especially considering just how over-the-top things become towards the film's climax. Hot Fuzz has grown on me and I rate it higher the second time around.
This is one of my favorite films of all time. I find it hilarious from beginning to end, I could quote it endlessly, and it never fails to put me in a good mood. I also kind of love how the editing calls attention to itself, but is very excellent.



This is one of my favorite films of all time. I find it hilarious from beginning to end, I could quote it endlessly, and it never fails to put me in a good mood. I also kind of love how the editing calls attention to itself, but is very excellent.
Well, I was kind of disappointed in Fuzz when I saw it in theaters because I didn't find it as funny as Shaun Of The Dead, but a rewatch a couple of years later at home really helped me appreciate how good its overall craft is, and lead me to decide that it was one of Wright's best movies (just behind Shaun, of course).




By The poster art can or could be obtained from the distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39376870

Hot Fuzz - (2007)

After Shaun of the Dead Edgar Wright and Sean Pegg had a lot to live up to, and Hot Fuzz seems to fit into that category of second efforts that are good but don't quite reach the dizzying heights of an incredible first-up. Watching it for the first time since it came out quite a while ago, I found I could enjoy it a lot more without that terrible weight of expectation. What I enjoy the most are the actors that came aboard here, especially the incomparable Timothy Dalton, along with Paddy Considine, Olivia Colman, Edward Woodward and Jim Broadbent in that exact order. There are around 100 great cameos. This was certainly ambitious, and I like it a great deal - it's almost too much to take in when you first see it - especially considering just how over-the-top things become towards the film's climax. Hot Fuzz has grown on me and I rate it higher the second time around.

8/10

I was also underwhelmed after first watching it. But just like you (and Stu) it's really grown on me.






Watership Down - I never read Richard Adams' book and given the subject matter I wasn't sure how much of this 1978 adaptation I'd be able to get through. But it surprised me and I ended up getting into it. I liked it's earnest nature. No cutesy Disney anthropomorphism here. It comes at you from a contemplative space and expects a like minded regard in return.

After a brief prologue in which the mythological origins of their species are laid out the film opens with two rabbit brothers Hazel and Fiver. The younger Fiver is an oracle of sorts, blessed and cursed with the ability to foresee coming events. He has had visions of an approaching apocalypse that threatens the existence of their Sandleford warren. He and Hazel seek and are granted an audience with their chieftain and strongly advise him to order an evacuation. They're summarily dismissed and the Chief orders the head of his Owsla police force Captain Holly to shadow them and make sure they don't make trouble. The two brothers quickly attract enough believers to attempt their escape.

The film is a relatively short 90 minutes and moves quickly from one perilous adventure to the next. From predatory hawks, cats and dogs to deadly snares the group encounters all manner of threats. They also meet up with a wayward seagull that helps them out of numerous tight spots. Hazel realizes that without does there is no future for their newly established warren. Their sidequest to recruit these much needed females brings them into contact with a larger and more dangerous warren led by the warlike General Woundwort. The film doesn't shy away from depicting the often cruel and bloody nature of these conflicts. I liked how it was presented so matter of factly. A simple reminder that, despite these creatures being self aware and capable of rational thought, this is the animal kingdom after all.

Haven't checked out the 2018 mini-series that's currently on Netflix. It has a surplus of recognizable British voice talent though. For now this was more than enough. Made me want to read Adams' novel too.

85/100






Watership Down - I never read Richard Adams' book and given the subject matter I wasn't sure how much of this 1978 adaptation I'd be able to get through. But it surprised me and I ended up getting into it. I liked it's earnest nature. No cutesy Disney anthropomorphism here. It comes at you from a contemplative space and expects a like minded regard in return.

.
.
.

Made me want to read Adams' novel too.

85/100
I love this film, even though just thinking about it can make me cry.

And I will heartily endorse the novel. It is a really quick read (existing at a young adult writing level) and fleshes out a lot of the rabbits' mythologies in a neat way, including more of the rabbit language.



The Blood Spattered Bride (1972)

A Spanish adaptation of Le Fanu's Carmilla. It's campy in the wrong way for me, and some scenes are just stupid (like Mircalla being buried in the sand). Even the nudity didn't make it good.

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Dr. No (1962)

I've been planning to rewatch all the Bonds, but we'll see how it goes. Considering that I've always thought this to be one of the weaker Bonds, I was pleasantly surprised that the film was quite OK. It doesn't really have the Bond feel to it yet, and it's a bit too slow and campy.
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Watership Down - I never read Richard Adams' book and given the subject matter I wasn't sure how much of this 1978 adaptation I'd be able to get through. But it surprised me and I ended up getting into it. I liked it's earnest nature. No cutesy Disney anthropomorphism here. It comes at you from a contemplative space and expects a like minded regard in return.

After a brief prologue in which the mythological origins of their species are laid out the film opens with two rabbit brothers Hazel and Fiver. The younger Fiver is an oracle of sorts, blessed and cursed with the ability to foresee coming events. He has had visions of an approaching apocalypse that threatens the existence of their Sandleford warren. He and Hazel seek and are granted an audience with their chieftain and strongly advise him to order an evacuation. They're summarily dismissed and the Chief orders the head of his Owsla police force Captain Holly to shadow them and make sure they don't make trouble. The two brothers quickly attract enough believers to attempt their escape.

The film is a relatively short 90 minutes and moves quickly from one perilous adventure to the next. From predatory hawks, cats and dogs to deadly snares the group encounters all manner of threats. They also meet up with a wayward seagull that helps them out of numerous tight spots. Hazel realizes that without does there is no future for their newly established warren. Their sidequest to recruit these much needed females brings them into contact with a larger and more dangerous warren led by the warlike General Woundwort. The film doesn't shy away from depicting the often cruel and bloody nature of these conflicts. I liked how it was presented so matter of factly. A simple reminder that, despite these creatures being self aware and capable of rational thought, this is the animal kingdom after all.

Haven't checked out the 2018 mini-series that's currently on Netflix. It has a surplus of recognizable British voice talent though. For now this was more than enough. Made me want to read Adams' novel too.

85/100
I love this movie. And the book.



Guy who likes movies
House of Gucci (2021) I liked it. I thought it was fun for the most part. Sure it is a little campy and a little soapy, but I was entertained.