Rate The Last Movie You Saw

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I bailed out fairly soon.
Not a bad shout Stirchley, the ending was that anaemic and pathetic, wish I'd done the same.



Good enough to make me ignore Damon's mullet?
Honestly, I forgot how ridiculous the hair styles were (Affleck also looks hysterical) because it so perfectly fits the characterization.



Eh, in this case, probably, as most arenít likely to make that connection.
I think the last film of his I absolutely loved was Kingdom of Heaven, which was a good 15 years ago?
I still havenít seen The Martian or All the Money in the World yet
I think itís definitely his best since KoH, though I was fond of both the Martian and ATMITW and would recommend them.



Hmm, I didn't even know The Last Duel was co-written by Affleck/Damon, along with Nicole Holofcener. Interesting.
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Not a bad shout Stirchley, the ending was that anaemic and pathetic, wish I'd done the same.
Of the many movies Iíve bailed out of, which one was this?
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Hmm, I didn't even know The Last Duel was co-written by Affleck/Damon, along with Nicole Holofcener. Interesting.
Yup. And her input canít be underestimated given the weight and success of the third chapter.

Originally Affleck was going to play the role that eventually went to Driver but he took a smaller role due to scheduling concerns. Iím grateful as it is definitely the better role for him (he is DAMN entertaining and just so wonderfully contemptuous) and Driver brings a level of emotional gravitas that Iíve never seen Affleck pull off.

Iím gonna say that I also liked the more than Good Will Hunting but I know Iím in the minority in only finding that film decent.



I think audiences are more likely to not turn out just because itís a 2 1/2 hour period piece drama that deals with a heavy subject rather than any political motivation.*

Itís a shame that itís currently flopping though. Thatís for sure because itís Scottís best in a very, very long time.
Speaking for myself, I don't think I saw ANY marketing for it.*Didn't even know Ridley had a new one out until I heard it was flopping after opening weekend.*



Speaking for myself, I don't think I saw ANY marketing for it.*Didn't even know Ridley had a new one out until I heard it was flopping after opening weekend.*
Yeah. Aside from social media ripping on this one for the goofy haircuts, I really havenít seen any promotion for it. I only knew it came out because I have followed this project for years.

Plus, pairing it opposite obvious October hit Halloween Kills gives the impression of a dump.

Iíve already seen more PR for House of Gucci at this point.





Held, 2020

Emma (Jill Awbrey, who also wrote the film) arrives at a very remote--albeit very fancy!--house in the countryside to spend the weekend there with her husband Henry (Bart Johnson). But on their first night in the house, things go very badly awry. Both are drugged and wake to find themselves implanted with monitoring/punishing devices and at the mercy of an unseen voice that orders them into a bizarre parody of marital happiness.

Do you ever just cringe as you listen to someone espouse an idea you agree with, but in the worst way possible? That is how I felt watching this film. I think that I fundamentally agree with what the film is trying to say, but the delivery is really unfortunate.

On the positive side, I did enjoy seeing a film about marriage featuring a couple in their 40s. So often, films about married couples just go for people in their 20s/30s, and it was nice seeing a different demographic.

I will also say that while I found the film's main message---about enforcement of "traditional" roles in a marriage to be WAY too on the nose, there was another point that it made that I thought was well done. This concerns a backstory that Emma was a victim of sexual assault in her early 20s, and she carries a lot of guilt and anger over the fact that she didn't fight back. The idea that what Emma most hates about herself--her passivity in the face of danger--is what the unseen voice wants from her is kind of cool, especially in the way that this theme intersects with her relationship with her husband.

But that's just one neat little idea in a sea of blah. This is a film where, once you learn who is behind everything and why, SO MUCH doesn't make sense. The answers just generate a whole lot of questions, and the film decides to just end without addressing a lot of logistical elements. Awbrey and Johnson are okay in their roles, but we simply don't learn enough about them and why their marriage has been strained. Not understanding much about who they are makes it harder to gauge how the stress of their captivity is impacting them.

Not terrible, but I'm reluctant to recommend it.




Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
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Dead End (1937)
++




Um, yeah, it's alright, I guess. I don't know - if ya like that kinda thing,
And HOLY SNEEZING CRACKERS! I DO!!

In early Grade School, while learning to be a troublesome lil sh#t, I studied the Masters. The Little Rascals, The Three Stooges. . . and the Bowery Boys. The delinquents in this film.
I have only seen their second cinematic appearance, Angels With Dirty Faces (1938) where Bogart would join them once more.
So, getting to see their FIRST? Well, this hits the Nostalgia Button in sorts of Happy Happy Joy Joy.
Multiple times actually.
Such as finally seeing the original that birthed a long-running, personal favorite, reference in cartoons, "Hey, look fellas, I'm daaaancin! I'm daaaaaacin!" Not knowing as been the proverbial bee in my bonnet, so, YAYYY
And this little bit of Trivia that the boys walked the walk.
This was the first appearance of the Dead End Kids, who later evolved into the East Side Kids and, later, the Bowery Boys. Producer Samuel Goldwyn brought the boys - who had appeared in the original Broadway production of the play - to Hollywood to appear in the movie. He later regretted the decision, as the boys ran wild through the studio, destroying property and crashing a truck through the wall of a soundstage. Afterward, Goldwyn decided not to employ the boys again and sold their contract to Warner Brothers.
Look - I KNOW it's wrong, I know. I KNOW.

BUUUTTTTT
I was THAT kid.
I was a good kid, but there was a high ratio of property damage, all the same. And I just thought: that was ALLLLL kinds of COOL.

It is also a trifecta of these last three films I've reviewed for the REALNESS of settings, props, characters. . . And this was on a staged set!!
Director William Wyler used actual garbage, and in one scene, live cockroaches. Disturbing Samuel Goldwyn SO much that the Studio Head was compelled to pick up the garbage at the end of each shooting day.
Speaking of, in that filth, is the very pungent, very gritty story of A Most Wanted Outlaw returning Home where dog eats dog for scraps. And if ya snitch? You get marked.


And, amid all of the broken, the sick, the violent; two hard-working good souls in the two leads, Sylvia Sidney, as the caring, older sister to one of the delinquents. She works hard and sports a sizable, swollen bruise on her forehead, given by a cop when she picketed for fair wages. And Joel McCrea, (whom I have had an earnest wish to see more of) playing a Good Man in a Dirty Place with all the stoic believability and honest humility that is his forte. His character had previously run with the visiting Outlaw, Humphry Bogart, when they were delinquents in that neighborhood.
Speaking of -- yes, yes, yes, Bogart is a Bad @ss. But this, THIS, he is the most psychotic I have EVER seen him.
WARNING: "There's this scene, where --" spoilers below
set on kidnapping the rich kid, the look he gives his partner when he says its a bad idea. . . I got [email protected] chills!



I remarked during the summer how this year has been the most amazing discovery of Instant Favorites starting with the Foreign Film Countdown. And, my friends, I am truly giddy how it continues, in full glory!!!
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10/10. Barely recognized Stephen Dorf and he played the role perfectly.
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Misspelled name....its just a fancy word for Film!
Ok, so I saw the newest 007 No Time To Die and gotta say, it was good but not great. Dan Craig gave a good performance but the film-makers decision to make the character more human has dragged the film down a bit. Its as if there is too much on the plate for Bond to handle and he comes off as a mope. This isn't the first time EON productions has tried this idea. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) with George Lazenby as Bond had the character get married, only to loose his wife to Blofeld's evil agents. That film worked well, and its one of Dan Craig's favorite Bond films. No surprise then that homages to the film are everywhere in No Time To Die.



Giving Bond a heart and some depth is a great move, but the producers sacrifice pacing for a love triangle that feels weighed down by the previous 4 films various spy plots. When taken together, all 5 movies tell a very large story with varying results in the quality dept. I'd say Casino Royale and Skyfall are the two best of the five. For me, the momentum was leading up to plot points that feel a bit anti-climactic. There's action, a great villain, and a pretty outrageous plan for 007 to thwart but without spoiling the plot, Id recommend seeing it if you're a Bond fan like myself, but it may not be a 007 outing you want to return to in the future. All in all, 2 1/2 stars out of 4.
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Barbary Coast, 1935

A woman nicknamed Swan (Miriam Hopkins) arrives in San Francisco only to find that her fiance has died. She ends up getting hired to run a roulette wheel at a wild gambling house run by the amoral Chamalis (Edward G Robinson) and his ruthless right hand man, Knuckles (Brian Donlevy). While Chamalis relentlessly pursues Swan, she ends up falling for a miner named Jim (Joel McCrea).

This was a good but not great drama thriller. One of the most stand-out elements of the film is the fact that its version of San Francisco is perpetually shrouded in a thick fog. It adds an eerie element to many of the sequences, especially one in which the killer Knuckles is cornered by a fed-up group of vigilantes who march him through the muddy streets while they put him "on trial" for his murders. The fog exacerbates the sense of it being a place where bad things can happen and people don't notice or don't care.

Hopkins and McCrea have good chemistry, though the romance between them feels a little, well, not quite contrived, but just a bit shallow. Robinson is more convincing as the wicked gambling house owner, a man who doesn't believe that the rules should apply to him, and who is also used to getting his way.

There's just not a ton to say about this one. The story is good and the last act is pretty interesting. The actors are all good in their roles and there are a few intense sequences worth checking out.




Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

Roaring Road (Paul Hurst, 1926)
5.5/10
One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1942)
6.5/10
Cosmos (6 Directors, 1996)
+ 6/10
Godspell (David Greene, 1973)
- 6.5/10

Jesus (Victor Garber) leads his disciples around contemporary NYC singing in praise of the Lord.
Warning (Agata Alexander, 2021)
5/10
Old Acquaintance (Vincent Sherman, 1943)
- 6.5/10
Injustice (Matt Peters, 2021)
5.5/10
The Forgotten Battle (Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., 2020)
+ 6.5/10

Suspenseful, action-packed tale of what happened during the Nazi occupation in Holland after D-Day.
Lady with Red Hair (Curtis Bernhardt, 1940)
6/10
Slumber Party Massacre (Danishka Esterhazy, 2021)
5/10
In for a Murder (Piotr Mularuk, 2021)
6/10
The Great Manhunt AKA State Secret (Sidney Gilliat, 1950)
- 6.5/10

Hitchcockian thriller set in a Central European police state from which Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Glynis Johns are trying to escape.
Endless Night (Eloy Enciso, 2019)
5/10
Walk in the Shadow AKA Life for Ruth (Basil Dearden, 1962)
- 6.5/10
Zombie Nightmare (Jack Bravman, 1987)
+ 4.5/10
Escape from Mogadishu (Ryoo Seung-wan, 2021)
- 7/10

North and South Korean diplomats try to escape during the frenetic Somali Civil War.
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt) (Monica Zanetti, 2020)
6/10
Night Teeth (Adam Randall, 2021)
5/10
Lucky Chan-sil (Kim Cho-hee, 2019)
6/10
Seraphine (Martin Provost, 2008)
6.5/10

Simple house cleaner Sťraphine Louis (Yolande Moreau), who would later become one of Europe's most-celebrated modern artists, shows her love of nature in front of the art critic Wilhelm Uhde (Ulrich Tukur) who discovered her.
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The Cranes Are Flying - (1957) - U.S.S.R.

A big sigh of relief - Stalin is dead, so everyone in the Soviet Union doesn't have to worry about being murdered for some arbitrary reason. Here an old filmmaker, Mikhail Kalatozov, lets loose and seems like a new filmmaker with new ideas and a developing style. Some of the shots and compositions in this film are breathtaking, imaginative and beautifully take you places that are exactly where Kalatozov wants you to go. The story is simple : young lovers, engaged to be married - but the guy must go to war, and the woman must wait at home feeling guilt, fear, loneliness, sadness etc. When her fiancť's cousin rapes her, she marries him in her confusion about how she feels. She must deal with the aftermath of the war and it's consequences much like her country has to. Some parts of this film are instantly unforgettable.

8/10

Foreign language countdown films seen : 50/100





What a good looking movie....
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The Cranes Are Flying - (1957) - U.S.S.R.

Some parts of this film are instantly unforgettable.

8/10
Both the
WARNING: spoilers below
sexual assault of Veronika and the fantasy death sequence with the wedding are so powerful. And the sequence at the end where she gives away the flowers to the families . . . oof.



Damn, just finished Nightmare on Elm Street 4, which I hadn't seen in maybe 20 years, and boy, that was... rough



Skyfall (Mendes, '12)



Everyone needs a hobby.
So... what's yours?
Resurrection.


WARNING: spoilers below
When it comes to movie series, there are few that are as old, iconic, or as universally beloved as the Bond films, with the outlandish adventures of the secret agent managing to transcend their British origin, in order to consistently thrill audiences all over the world for over half a century now. However, while this lofty pedigree has been a gift to the franchise, it's also been a curse as well, with the baggage of overly campy or lackluster entries (lookin' at you, Quandumb Of Solass...), hopelessly dated sexual politics, and the question of whether the films can dodge cultural irrelevance all serving to continually challenge Bond. However, rather than dodge these serious issues, series newcomer Sam Mendes instead choose to boldly tackle them head-on with 2012's Skyfall, resulting in what is not just one of the best Bonds of the Craig era, but also just one of the best entries of the entire franchise, and a vital, necessary shot in the arm for a supposedly outdated series.

It opens with Bond in Istanbul, as he tries to recover a stolen hard drive, one that contains the identity of every NATO agent currently embedded in a terrorist organization, only to fail and nearly die in the process, a rare example of weakness on the part of the super-spy. However, while licking his wounds in Turkey by indulging in non-stop boozing and womanizing (well, even more than usual), an attack on the heart of MI6 brings the presumed dead Bond back to life and duty, although the question of whether he's still up to the task lingers in the air, as he and M must fight side-by-side against a specter from the latter's past, a vengeful reminder of her "sins" who won't rest until he sees the spymaster dead and buried, just like all the other agents she grimly sent to their deaths beforehand.

Through this story, Skyfall serves as a clear meta-commentary on the overall relevance of Bond, both the character and the franchise as a whole, which is a very fitting touch for the 50th anniversary of the franchise (a detail that's subtly pointed to when Bond drinks some fine, 1962-vintage scotch that's as old as he is), with characters and situations continually questioning whether the fieldwork of the retro, analog-era spy is still of use next to the technology of the modern digital age, only for Bond to reaffirm his utility by repeatedly rising to the occasion. In this way, the film both tributes Bondís past (particularly with the reappearance of a certain iconic Aston Martin), while also updating him for the contemporary cinematic landscape, proving that the secret agent's adventures are still just as thrilling (if not moreso) as any superhero flying around in the theater next door.

In addition to that, Skyfall excels through its combination of style and substance, with the former coming courtesy of cinematography legend Roger Deakin use of grand, sweeping shots, extremely deep shadows, and moody, monochromatic lighting, crafting an aesthetic experience as sleek as Bond himself, with each scene's striking imagery feeling both grounded in the real world, and "heightened" at the same time, easily bumping the film a notch or two above the typical Bond movie in terms of style.

As for the substance, that's derived from Skyfall's strong, sharply-written characterizations, both with Javier Bardem's "Raoul Silva", a cyberterrorist who radiates a quiet, oddball menace throughout (think Anton Chigurh meets The Joker), and who adds a personal nature to the film's stakes, as well as with the central pairing of Bond & M. Throughout the film, they share an uneasy tension, due to the way that M's "judgement call" in Istanbul caused Bond's initial failure there, with plenty of passive-aggressive remarks and second guessing flying both ways throughout, only for that trepidation to give way to a reaffirmation of their relationship, as M's unwavering faith in Bond is ultimately justified in the end, with our faith in him as an audience being redeemed in the process. In this way, Skyfall reminded us that this series was more relevant than ever before, bringing 007 back with a vengeance, and further securing his already formidable cinematic legacy in the process, so, just in case it slipped your mind, the name's Bond... James Bond; don't you forget it.


Final Score: 8.75