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Spy Kids: Armageddon (2023) Watched on Netflix. This feels completely unnecessary and redundant, but it does have a few charms that save it. Although the screenplay is mediocre, there are a couple cute, fun moments that work. Zachary Levi's performance fell flat for me, but the other actors manage to do a little more with the roles. Gina Rodriguez does a decent job and is likeable here and Billy Magnussen is somewhat interesting as the villain. The kids do a fine job, especially Everly Carganilla. The CGI and action are mediocre at best, but Spy Kids: Armageddon has just enough positives to make up for its flaws.




By POV - Impawards, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18565154

In & Out - (1997)

I don't know why it's taken me this long to see this Frank Oz comedy - he's pretty dependable, and this particular one has the advantage of having Bob Newhart in it. In case you haven't seen me mention it here or there - I love Bob Newhart, and he indeed makes the most of his scenes in this. In fact, he brings the movie home with his Principle Halliwell presiding over a graduation ceremony that goes awry. Anyway, for 1997 this seems like a brave choice for actors like Kevin Kline and Tom Selleck, to be in a film exploring the topic of homosexuality. In fact, I'm surprised that a mainstream movie in this era would go for it like this does. That attitude helps to give everything in this a good feeling, and from there laughter flows easily. Apparently this was inspired by a speech Tom Hanks gave at the 1994 Oscars (an Oscars speech sets the plot in motion) - so during the 90s things were happening. This succeeds in most of what it sets out to do.

7/10
I think that, more than anything, In & Out serves as a sort of fascinating time-capsule about how people perceived both gay people and homophobia in the late 90s. It's a relatively gentle film, and I think that the conversations between the students--and particularly the subplot about the kid he's really mentored who suddenly wants to distance himself--are the best elements in terms of the actual story.



By May be found at the following website: Movie Goods, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20022118

They Call Me Mister Tibbs! - (1970)

What do you get when you take In the Heat of the Night and remove the racial issues and predicament for main character Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier)? You get a serviceable but uninspiring detective caper involving Tibbs and what's probably too few suspects - Martin Landau is the only other big name appearing, playing Reverend Logan Sharpe. There's a nice chase scene, but this sequel/spin-off seems so small in the shoes of the original giant.

5/10
When I was like 15 or 16 we watched this as a family movie night. Such a disappointment.



I forgot the opening line.

Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8990847

The Outlaw Josey Wales - (1976)

He's part of a cinematic tradition - the character whose family is brutally murdered, providing the means to be free and the motivation for vengeance. Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) loses everything to a band of marauding Union militants during the Civil War, and upon the war's close becomes a fugitive simply by dint of surviving what would have been an execution. What I like best about The Outlaw Josey Wales though, is the way this protagonist accrues friends and allies throughout the film - even one, Cherokee Lone Watie (Chief Dan George), who at first tries to capture him for the $5000 bounty on his head. There's nothing Wales finds more compelling than meting out a little justice to all the predators and exploiters that scurry through post-war America - and adding to his new peculiar family. That family dynamic and togetherness has a wonderful feel to it - and is a perfect balance to the violence in the movie. It gives this western a warm feeling - one that not many westerns have. The best battle in the movie is the one that never happens - Ten Bears (Will Sampson) and Josey Wales work out their differences through words instead. The movie is very well shot, and has an Oscar-nominated Jerry Fielding score - it cemented Eastwood's place as one of the filmmakers and stars of the 1970s.

8/10
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My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.

Latest Review : Thieves' Highway (1949)



According to this Guardian article, there were 96 hours of raw footage. I'm pretty keen, and I'm keeping an eye out for any kind of release, either streaming or in arthouse cinemas. I'd be pretty damned disappointed if we never get to see it.
Too much work would go into a full remake for them to allow it to be hidden away forever.
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Le jeu avec le feu/Playing With Fire (1975) Watched on blu ray. Stylish and filled with beautiful women, the film looks great. Storywise, not everything works. It's not always coherent and is somewhat muddled, but I still enjoyed watching this.



its an alright horror movie


LOL, "every bit as terrifying as you could hope for" really sounds like damning with faint praise (e.g., "Danny DeVito ran the marathon as fast as you could hope he would").



TREASURE ISLAND
(1950, Haskin)



"Aye, Jim, you're the spitting image of me when I was your age. Head full of pirates. But he'll find, same as I, that the sea be mostly hard work; and the biggest satisfaction a man gets is doing his duty."

Based on the novel of Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island follows the adventures of young Jim Hawkins (Bobby Driscoll) as he embarks on a sea journey for a lost pirate treasure. What he doesn't know is that most of the crew accompanying him are pirates led by the treacherous Long John Silver (Robert Newton). It is him who says the above quote when he fears that young Hawkins might be onto him.

The relationship between Hawkins and Long John Silver is interesting, and Newton is clearly having a lot of fun with the role. Driscoll is also pretty good, but I feel like there needed to be a bit more to make me believe the kid would go to the lengths he goes to help the pirate. On the other hand, I think the film needed stronger characters on the "good side" to help balance things out. Squire Trelawney is a bit of a fool and Dr. Livesey is too bland.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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1st Rewatch...One of Woody's most raw and uncompromising works. This look at two different marriages travelling in two different directions (or are they?) that's mounted in the form of a documentary is one of Woody's most stomach-turning films, reminding me a lot of his earlier masterpiece Interiors. Judy Davis' explosive, Oscar-nominated performance still galvanizes the screen. That scene where she interrupts a blind date to make two phone calls to yell at her ex-husband (Sydney Pollack) never gets old and neither does that scene where Pollack is leaving a party with his new girlfriend (Lysette Anthony). As for Woody and Mia, this is the last film they made together and the tension between them is apparent throughout, which was perfect for this voyeuristic drama that makes the viewer feel so intrusive.



I forgot the opening line.

By May be found at the following website: IMDB, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72622873

Teacher - (2019)

I have to admit to finding films where kids are bullied very stressful - there's nothing worse than dumb kids who decide might is right and act like thugs, and there's nothing worse than seeing good kids fold to them under threat of physical harm. Nowadays, bullies have a whole new avenue to explore with the internet. That's why I found Teacher such a tense experience. English teacher James Lewis (David Dastmalchian) was bullied himself as a kid, and when two of his brightest students are being threatened and tormented by another student - one protected by his rich parents - he goes to extreme lengths to try and solve the issue. Oh man, there are attempted suicides, horrific beatings and all kinds of stuff I found hard to watch, and Dastmalchian's character lacks the fortitude to handle it in a way you could be confident about. You just know something really bad is going to happen. David Dastmalchian has had a weird career trajectory. I first noticed him in The Dark Knight, where he really stood out with a very small role as one of the Joker's henchmen/victims. After that role he found a lot of work - he's been in Blade Runner 2049, Ant-Man and Prisoners while more recently it's Oppenheimer, Dune and Ant-Man and the Wasp : Quantumania. My favourite role of his, though, was when he played Polka-Dot Man in The Suicide Squad - that was a riot. I was kind of expecting Class of 1984 stuff here, but we go down an unexpected route, and if I were to tell you which film it reminded me of in the end, I'd be spoiling it.

7/10


By The poster art can or could be obtained from the distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53004803

The Keeper of Lost Causes - (2013)

The Millennium series by Stieg Larsson and adaptation of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo seems to have set off a spate of crime solving detective films and TV series in Scandinavia. This one, The Keeper of Lost Causes feels like a pilot to a TV series - but in all actuality it's the first in a series called "Department Q" written by Jussi Adler-Olsen, three of which have been adapted as feature films. This first one follows Carl MÝrck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) who is demoted to looking at cold cases after he gets two fellow detectives shot by jumping the gun and going inside a suspect's house before backup arrives. He's partnered with Assad (Fares Fares) a rookie with the disadvantage of being of Arab in an all-white department. When Carl picks up some early clues about an apparent "suicide" in one of the first cold cases he reopens, he goes down a rabbit hole - discovering clues that lead him closer and closer to some shocking conclusions. In the meantime, his bosses order him to close the case - without knowing, as we do, that the victim is still alive and being held captive. Solid crime stuff from Denmark.

6/10


By Ross Katz - Rotten Tomatoes], Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36337064

Taking Chance - (2009)

Taking Chance has the unfortunate aura of propaganda, but I think it was made far too late to be any attempt to smooth over America's involvement in Iraq. It's just a straightforward ode to the Americans who have given their life in service to the nation. Be warned though, I've rarely come across a film as heavy-handed about it. Even Joseph Goebbels would look at Taking Chance and say "That's a bit much isn't it?" Lt Col Mike Strobl (Kevin Bacon) stuck behind a desk in the U.S. as the Iraqi insurgency takes a toll on his comrades over there, volunteers to escort a fallen one home - and we follow the process, from being put in an ice-filled metal box and sent to the U.S, being cleaned and dressed, and brought to his family with care. Strobl is struck by the dignity and respect afforded him and his comrade - from airline baggage people taking care not to treat the coffin like baggage to the people he meets who are extra deferential to him. Although he never met this man his experience is a profound, life-changing one. Cue an endless series of slow, sad salutes.

6/10



❤️Marvel❤️Shadowhunters❤️ True Blood❤️
LOL, "every bit as terrifying as you could hope for" really sounds like damning with faint praise (e.g., "Danny DeVito ran the marathon as fast as you could hope he would").
??????? huh





1st Rewatch...I love Barbra and I really wanted to love her first vanity project as producer, director, co-screenwriter, and star, but I still have the same problems with it that I had the first time I watched. The whole story seems to hinge on the gimmick that everyone in this movie who encounters Anshel believes he is a man, but there is not a single second during the running time where Barbra makes me believe Anshel is a man. Julie Andrews was more convincing as a man in Victor/Victoria. I was also troubled by the fact that Barbra produced a musical where she didn't allow anyone else to sing, including her musically gifted leading man, Mandy Patinkin. No argument that she produced mad chemistry with Patinkin, but hearing them sing together would have been magical. Also the screenplay's constant reminders that woman are brainless get really tiresome, but Barbra's real fans will find entertainment value here, though it's not the movie it should have been.







SF = Zzz


[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



Bandit Queen (1994)

+


This controversial Indian film is based on the true story of Phoolan Devi, and I knew nothing about it prior. She ended up being assassinated in 2001. I knew a little bit about arranged marriages and the caste system through a close female friend who left India in 2007, escaping an arranged marriage. She is now an American citizen. This particular story and film is pretty brutal, with a lot of rape and other violence. It's powerful and disturbing without being exploitive. I'm sure I'd like it more if it were exploitative but that's just me. On YouTube with subtitles.







5th Rewatch...This 1987 comic re-working of Cyrano de Bergerac has it's problems. The Chris McConnell character is too stupid to live and why was he unable to talk to Roxanne (Daryl Hannah) but had no problem talking to the cute bartender? And Roxanne Is a shallow snotty bitch who took way too long to figure out she couldn't have it all (and she couldn't tell the difference between CD's voice and Chris'?). And the comic relief involving CD's volunteer fire department really weighed the film down, but it's purpose becomes clear later, but everything wrong with this movie becomes irrelevant thanks to the richly layered and often beautifully understated performance by Steve Martin as CD Bales, the intelligent and engaging fire chief of Nelson, Colorado, a performance so beautifully realized it should have earned Martin his first Oscar nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor, an honor that has still alluded him to this date. Martin's tour de force performance is an acting class by itself, whether it's his verbal lambasting of the bully in that bar or that lovely balcony scene where he seduces Roxanne with his words, everything Martin does works here and makes this movie worth watching and rewatching and rewatching again.