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I was going crazy trying to figure out what The Manchurian Candidate made me think of, then in the shower it hit me: Seconds, which makes sense because it's another Frankenheimer.
Don't forget to check out The Train too, Takoma; it's often forgotten about in his body of work, but it's the best Frankenheimer I've seen, to be honest.



10 Foreign Language movies to go

By http://www.impawards.com/2022/menu_ver3.html, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71496457

The Menu - (2022)

Ralph Fiennes is what excited me about seeing The Menu and he certainly didn't disappoint, imbuing his character with a perfect amount of subdued fury, and pride - I really get so much out of seeing him on the big screen. I also enjoy watching modern culture have broadsides fired at it, and although the supporting cast are fine I don't think there's anything there that I'll remember for long - but Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult are good as two different kinds of diner at Hawthorne - an exclusive style restaurant presided over by celebrity chef Julian Slowik (Fiennes) - and Hong Chau has an interesting kind of small part as a loyal, laser-focused minion. The film itself is separated into courses that match what's happening - which I'll leave for those who go see the film. The dishes also star, in their way and for what they represent. I had a good time.

7/10


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Marley & Me - (2008)

For those who have recommended Marley & Me, here and elsewhere, I finally did it. Were there tears? It's not hard to bring them on when it comes to the relationship a dog has with it's owners. I had a family dog who was also probably the worst dog in the world at the time. Completely untrainable - and absolutely incorrigible. Dino. He was a part of the family, and his pictures still adorn the walls of the place I live in. What shines through in this is John Grogan's book - and no matter who the leads were (in this case Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston - not my dream cast) that would be the same. Nice seeing Alan Arkin. The stars were the dogs - who were exceptionally well handled for the shoot. Great screenplay.

6.5/10
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My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.




The Rocker (2008)



I caught this during one of those free holiday cable previews. I'd never heard of it, which is a bit surprising as it has an "all star" (B-list) cast, but Emma Stone's in it too!

Some may say it's a bit derivative of This Is Spinal Tap (1984) or School of Rock (2003) which it may be, but it was just a fun, entertaining, silly, feel-good movie.
It's not epic or a laugh riot, but it's a good time-killer movie; the kind where you're expecting nothing and end up pleasantly surprised.
If you're bored or down, in the mood for light entertainment & a few chuckles or need a pick-me-up, this movie is a good watch.




Don't forget to check out The Train too, Takoma; it's often forgotten about in his body of work, but it's the best Frankenheimer I've seen, to be honest.
I’ll also throw in recommendations for Grand Prix, The Challenge and 52 Pickup. The last one is a great sleazy thriller in its own right, but also provides a great anecdote that was recounted in another classic, Things.



The King 2019


Young Henry V encounters deceit, war and treachery after becoming King of England in the 15th century, in the aftermath of his brother's death.


Wonderful, best movie I've seen on netflix, best movie I've seen in a while, Joel Edgerton did a great job co-writing and producing this, not to mention give a spot on Northern accent, great cast of actors, too many to name. Five stars for me.



Don't forget to check out The Train too, Takoma; it's often forgotten about in his body of work, but it's the best Frankenheimer I've seen, to be honest.
I’ll also throw in recommendations for Grand Prix, The Challenge and 52 Pickup. The last one is a great sleazy thriller in its own right, but also provides a great anecdote that was recounted in another classic, Things.
Added these all to my watchlist.

Hong Chau has an interesting kind of small part as a loyal, laser-focused minion
While I don't think that the film needed more runtime, I do with that there'd been a little more of a sense of the history of characters like hers. The way she delivered the line
WARNING: spoilers below
"You will eat less than you desire, but more than you deserve"
was so great! I appreciated the subplot with the line chef who
WARNING: spoilers below
had been sexually harassed and then punished for not complying with Slowik's advances, and that he let her use that experience to offer her an apology and let her vent her anger about it.
.



10 Foreign Language movies to go

By Paramount Pictures - Impawards, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11644865

Hot Rod - (2007)

Akiva Schaffer - he's hanging in there. Some of his films, like Hot Rod and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, which came out in 2016, are building cult followings. I've seen Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers getting some good reviews here. Personally, I thought Hot Rod was extremely good - it was really funny, and nothing about it was laboured or contrived. Of course, comedy is such a subjective thing - so much so that some people won't like this - but if you like films like Black Dynamite you might find yourself loving Hot Rod. That offbeat and bizarre kind of comedy that the Zucker brothers really perfected prevails, and there seems to be much natural talent among the cast of Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Jorma Taccone, Bill Hader and Danny McBride. I'd never heard of Hot Rod before trying it out, and right from the start it had me laughing out loud. There are some good comedies out there where I only laugh on the inside - so external laughter is a big deal for me. I must check out Popstar.

7/10


By https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2883512/, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42420335

Chef - (2014)

This film was next in my rotation, and it felt really weird to have such a coincidence on the same day I went to see The Menu. I spend a lot of the film simply thinking, " Jon Favreau, how wealthy are you? You're probably 9-figures rich, right?" Actually appearing as the main star in a film is just something he's doing for the hell of it. Chef is an enjoyable enough film about a divorced man and his young son - Favreau plays Carl Casper, a well-known chef who gets into an online flame war with a food critic, and being unfamiliar with the internet lets it spill out into the public domain, with disastrous results. From there he has to rebuild his life, which he does with aplomb. Just like Favreau himself, Carl really has his mind in good order and is great at what he does. That includes bonding with his boy, and repairing broken personal relationships.

6.5/10 - edit - I think I'm under-rating this a little.


By Box Office Mojo, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57044619

Beetlejuice - (1988)

Beetlejuice: Ah. Well... I attended Juilliard... I'm a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I've seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT... NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU'RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY... NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK? You think I'm qualified?
I never really liked this all that much back in the day, but I'm much more fond of it now. I'd love a sequel, but have been around long enough to realise it would be nothing but a let-down. A lot of imagination from Tim Burton and his art designers, prop people, make-up artists and the rest of the team. Today, there would have been heaps of CGI used and the film would have been completely charmless.

8/10




By https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2883512/, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42420335

Chef - (2014)

This film was next in my rotation, and it felt really weird to have such a coincidence on the same day I went to see The Menu. I spend a lot of the film simply thinking, " Jon Favreau, how wealthy are you? You're probably 9-figures rich, right?" Actually appearing as the main star in a film is just something he's doing for the hell of it. Chef is an enjoyable enough film about a divorced man and his young son - Favreau plays Carl Casper, a well-known chef who gets into an online flame war with a food critic, and being unfamiliar with the internet lets it spill out into the public domain, with disastrous results. From there he has to rebuild his life, which he does with aplomb. Just like Favreau himself, Carl really has his mind in good order and is great at what he does. That includes bonding with his boy, and repairing broken personal relationships.

6.5/10 - edit - I think I'm under-rating this a little.

I loved Chef. It might even make my countdown list.
__________________
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If I answer a game thread correctly, just skip my turn and continue with the game.
OPEN FLOOR.



I hope that included Things.
sigh

fine


Chef - (2014)

This film was next in my rotation, and it felt really weird to have such a coincidence on the same day I went to see The Menu. I spend a lot of the film simply thinking, " Jon Favreau, how wealthy are you? You're probably 9-figures rich, right?" Actually appearing as the main star in a film is just something he's doing for the hell of it. Chef is an enjoyable enough film about a divorced man and his young son - Favreau plays Carl Casper, a well-known chef who gets into an online flame war with a food critic, and being unfamiliar with the internet lets it spill out into the public domain, with disastrous results. From there he has to rebuild his life, which he does with aplomb. Just like Favreau himself, Carl really has his mind in good order and is great at what he does. That includes bonding with his boy, and repairing broken personal relationships.

6.5/10 - edit - I think I'm under-rating this a little.
I quite enjoyed Chef when I watched it many years ago. Aside from the initial blow-out at the restaurant, it's a pretty gentle, funny, positive story. I mostly appreciated that they didn't go out of their way to throw in a bunch of unnecessary conflict.



I quite enjoyed Chef when I watched it many years ago. Aside from the initial blow-out at the restaurant, it's a pretty gentle, funny, positive story. I mostly appreciated that they didn't go out of their way to throw in a bunch of unnecessary conflict.
Have you watched The Bear? It’s like they heard everyone say they loved that about Chef and went “but what if it were more like Uncut Gems?”



Have you watched The Bear? It’s like they heard everyone say they loved that about Chef and went “but what if it were more like Uncut Gems?”
I watched The Bear in a sprint of three days. I really enjoyed it. Great performances, funny and poignant. And, yes, I did appreciate that in its heart it was optimistic.



I watched The Bear in a sprint of three days. I really enjoyed it. Great performances, funny and poignant. And, yes, I did appreciate that in its heart it was optimistic.
Yup. It’s still about a great chef going back to basics and making sandwiches with a theme of optimism, but boy do they yell at each other with a great deal of stress and intensity. That long take episode was phenomenal.



Victim of The Night

By Box Office Mojo, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57044619

Beetlejuice - (1988)



I never really liked this all that much back in the day, but I'm much more fond of it now. I'd love a sequel, but have been around long enough to realise it would be nothing but a let-down. A lot of imagination from Tim Burton and his art designers, prop people, make-up artists and the rest of the team. Today, there would have been heaps of CGI used and the film would have been completely charmless.

8/10
Yes.
This is a movie I liked but had reservations about when I was younger. There was so much about it to like but other things I took issue with. Oddly, as I got older the film just kept getting better and better to me and now I can hardly even remember what I took umbrage with back when.
And there is apparently a sequel in the works and it is going to be heaps of CGI and charmless and I am going to be sad.



I’ll also jump on the bandwagons for Chef and The Bear. Excellent restaurant-focused stories.