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'Blue Bayou' (2021)


I'm a huge fan of Justin Chon's previous work, especially Ms Purple which is highly underrated. Blue Bayou starts off well and again focuses on the issues of minority figures in the USA. Chon plays Antonio, an about to be father married to a US woman (brilliantly played by Alicia Vikkander who is as good as she has ever been). Chon himself is fine and the scenes he has with his family are very moving and well performed.

Struggles occur when Antonio has a brush with the law. It's an emotional ride that ebbs and flows and takes us on a journey with Antonio and his family. The trouble is, it's a bit too emotional. There are segments that are just too forced and seem to be placed in the film to try and ramp up the emotions too readily. The two cop characters are like caricatures from other more off the wall films. The ending is way too melodramatic and overwrought. It could have helped with a little more subtlety in the script. There is also a heist / chase / action type sequence that just felt completely out of place in what is at it's core a family drama.

There is however a great subplot involving another Asian family that delicately assesses the experience of being a minority family (even though it has a little too close to the DNA of 'Minari' at times).

Chon's talent does shine through and he is a tiny rung on the ladder below great independent filmmakers like Sean Baker and Eliza Hittman (this film also has one of the most stunningly gorgeous opening shots I've seen in a long time). But this one just fell short of being a really great film because of the excessive and unwarranted melodrama.




BLOOD RED SKY
(2021, Thorwarth)



"We are cursed. We cannot allow this evil to keep spreading. This evil cannot keep spreading!"

Netflix's Blood Red Sky offers a slightly different approach to vampire films. It follows Nadja (Peri Baumeister), a woman that is traveling with her son Elias (Carl Anton Koch) from Europe to New York, to receive treatment for an unspecified illness. However, during the trip, they have to face two opposing forces with a group of terrorists seizing control of the plane one one side, and the threat of a vampire on the other.

It's not that the film is wildly original, but compared to other vampire films, it feels like a bit of a fresh approach in various aspects. From the threat in an enclosed space to the "twist" of who ends up becoming a vampire. The film takes a tired premise and reinvigorates it in a film that ends up being fairly thrilling, tense, and overall enjoyable.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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Please Quote/Tag Or I'll Miss Your Responses
Open City, Rome - 8/10
I saw this about a decade ago so I didn't have to pay too much attention. No pressure. Much easier than watching a movie I haven't seen before, especially since most of them haven't been any good.





Ikiru - (1952)

I really enjoy watching Takashi Shimura in Kurosawa films - there's nobody quite like him. My favourite role of his was as the lawyer in Scandal, but this almost certainly takes the cake now. He plays a man who is diagnosed with cancer and has 6 months to live - and takes it in his very expressive way. He tries to find meaning in his life, as we all would - but he goes about it like a out-of-control locomotive heading down a steep incline. Kurosawa throws a huge curve-ball at us half way through the film that I won't detail - except to say at first I didn't like it, but as his method became clear I loved it. Incredibly moving final scene. "Life is brief. Fall in love, maidens. Before the crimson bloom..."

8/10

Foreign language countdown films seen : 46/101


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Terms of Endearment - (1983)

Continuing on my 1980s Academy Award journey, another Best Picture winner and I'm very much getting a feel for the kind of film academy members were voting for during this era. Ordinary People got past films like Raging Bull, The Shining and The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. Bloody idiots. Though at the end I was deriding this film as very soap opera-ish and manipulative with our emotions, I have to admit I laughed out loud in all the right places and felt emotions I didn't think I would. Jack Nicholson is great yet again (he won Best Supporting Actor) as is Shirley MacLaine. Jeff Daniels, Danny DeVito and John Lithgow really make it worth wading through the melodrama and pontificated wisdom. Wasn't a complete waste of my time.

7/10



Bucking Broadway - (1917)

One of John Ford's early silent films - this is included on the Criterion edition of Stagecoach. I was all on board during the first half of the film. Even this early on, Ford was giving us wonderful looks at vistas on the wild plains. Harry Carey was already a veteran - he'd started appearing in films in 1910. This involves a romance on a ranch, and engagement, before Carey's fiancť is stolen by a city-dwelling villain. A lot of this comes off beautifully - but the last 10 minutes or so involves an interminable brawl that bored the hell out of me. Just 100 or so writhing actors and extras - with no sense of where our heroes and villains are. I didn't love this film, but it was fascinating seeing such an early John Ford western.

5/10
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My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.




Hereís looking at you, kid.
My Neighbor Totoro 1988
Hayao Miyazaki



This film was phenomenal! Took me back to the age of animation was pure, innocent and heartwarming. The animation was gorgeous, along side a magnificent story that made me feel like a child, all while giving the characters such personality that were so relatable as a kid.


Dune 1984
David Lynch






The Artist 2011
Michel Hazanavicius



What a magnificent masterpiece of cinema. I have been putting this film for awhile and just by happenstance came across it last night and just turned it on. I immediately fell in love with it, as it took me on a journey from silent films to talkies. Not only this film was a silent film, but it was ambitious as hell. The only other film Iíve seen that makes the transition from silent films to talkies was Singin in the Rain.

I am pretty ignorant to actors names of that era, but it felt as though, the actors were embodying multiple persona from the 20/30s to pay tribute/symbology, which I would like to look more into. Then at the end, it seemed as though they were paying tribute to Fred Astaire, which I thought was a great ending.

As I said, I loved this film and would highly recommend if you havenít seen it.





Is No Time to Die really the last in the Bond franchise? Or at least the last one with Daniel Craig? Probably the latter rather than the former, or maybe it's time to do a revisionist version of the character that satisfies the studio's demographic initiatives; that's hinted in the movie. I don't know, but this one really hits just about every FX note a movie that doesn't have spaceships or dinosaurs can hit.

Bond runs and shoots his way through layers of "bad guys" (faceless characters wrapped in black body armor), sorta gets the latest Bond Girl, maybe has a kid and saves the world from some sort of genetically engineered horror meant to wipe out the population.

I don't know. It might just be time to put James to sleep. It's the umpteenth movie, and about the dozenth (is that a word?) actor playing bond, 60 years into the franchise. This guy has more lives than ivy. This isn't even one of Fleming's books. How can you get so bored in a movie that's so loud? Maybe because it's too long. In spite of how frantic it is, somehow it seems to have a lot of empty air whenever the air isn't occupied by flying bullets. I'd cut about a half hour out of it.




[b]
The Artist 2011
Michel Hazanavicius



What a magnificent masterpiece of cinema. I have been putting this film for awhile and just by happenstance came across it last night and just turned it on. I immediately fell in love with it, as it took me on a journey from silent films to talkies. Not only this film was a silent film, but it was ambitious as hell. The only other film Iíve seen that makes the transition from silent films to talkies was Singin in the Rain.

I am pretty ignorant to actors names of that era, but it felt as though, the actors were embodying multiple persona from the 20/30s to pay tribute/symbology, which I would like to look more into. Then at the end, it seemed as though they were paying tribute to Fred Astaire, which I thought was a great ending.

As I said, I loved this film and would highly recommend if you havenít seen it.
Yeah, I love The Artist, have it on my disk shelf in the basement.



I love The Jerk.



Movie Forums Extra
I like to watch very old films, someone watched recently, please advise.



My Neighbor Totoro 1988
Hayao Miyazaki



This film was phenomenal! Took me back to the age of animation was pure, innocent and heartwarming. The animation was gorgeous, along side a magnificent story that made me feel like a child, all while giving the characters such personality that were so relatable as a kid.


Dune 1984
David Lynch






The Artist 2011
Michel Hazanavicius



What a magnificent masterpiece of cinema. I have been putting this film for awhile and just by happenstance came across it last night and just turned it on. I immediately fell in love with it, as it took me on a journey from silent films to talkies. Not only this film was a silent film, but it was ambitious as hell. The only other film Iíve seen that makes the transition from silent films to talkies was Singin in the Rain.

I am pretty ignorant to actors names of that era, but it felt as though, the actors were embodying multiple persona from the 20/30s to pay tribute/symbology, which I would like to look more into. Then at the end, it seemed as though they were paying tribute to Fred Astaire, which I thought was a great ending.

As I said, I loved this film and would highly recommend if you havenít seen it.

Totally agree with you about The Artist and rated it the same you did.



Open City, Rome - 8/10
WARNING: spoilers below
I saw this about a decade ago, but forgot Anna is through at half-time.
This is a major spoiler, and really should be tagged that way. I saw this film last year, but if I hadn't, I'd be pretty annoyed to have had the above spoiled for me.



Albert Nobbs 2011

Curious movie, quite sad, I kind of liked it and for me the most memorable performance Iíve seen of Glenn Close



Hereís looking at you, kid.
Totally agree with you about The Artist and rated it the same you did.

Yeah, that film is vastly underrated.

I think ppl that donít like silent films watch it or have a different expectation.



Hereís looking at you, kid.
Yeah, I love The Artist, have it on my disk shelf in the basement.
It was so good. I put it off for so long because I didnít know what to expect but it did the silent film era justice.



Yeah, that film is vastly underrated.

I think ppl that donít like silent films watch it or have a different expectation.
I think the problem is that winning Best Picture kind of messed up everyone's expectations. It's a perfectly breezy, stylish entertainment if you can approach it on its own terms.