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11 Foreign Language movies to go
I think that the most powerful art about the death penalty takes exactly this approach. Have you seen Herzog's Into the Abyss? I thought it was amazing, not only tackling the question of how we treat people who are (undeniably, sometimes even proudly) guilty of crimes, but also the toll that deliberate, state-sponsored killing takes on those involved. If you like Dead Man Walking, I think Into the Abyss makes for a great companion piece. (Though they are both very intense, so maybe not as a double feature!)
I remember reading about Into the Abyss when it came out, and wanting to see it very much - unfortunately I haven't yet, and it seems I have to seek it out rather than waiting to cross paths with it. The best film I've every seen regarding this issue is Krzysztof Kieslowski's A Short Film About Killing, which he made towards the end of his 'strictly Polish' period. If you haven't seen that, then I recommend it to you.
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My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.

Latest Review : Anomalisa (2015)





The Sea Beast, 2022

In this animated film, seasoned sea monster hunter Jacob (Karl Urban) is set to inherit an imposing ship from his captain (Jared Harris). But when the hunters to after a notorious large red sea monster, plucky orphan Maisie (Zaris-Angel Hator) stows away on the ship, and after a dangerous encounter Maisie and Jacob end up learning more about the monsters and the nature of the conflict between them and the kingdom.

About halfway through this film, I was like "Well, someone has seen Moana!". You know, sea-faring adventure with a grown man and a young woman; adorable but weird animal sidekick; themes about the balance between people and nature; giant crab monster. But despite some VERY familiar elements, I thought that The Sea Beast was an enjoyable adventure with a good message at its core.

It really helps that the voice acting is very strong. Urban deftly manages the absurd comedy and the more serious moments easily. Hator's Maisie is an engaging child character. And the two of them have an easy chemistry that helps their banter. The supporting cast is also pretty good, including Harris as the grizzled captain and Marianne Jean-Baptiste is also on hand as the stoic first mate of the ship.

Visually, I enjoyed the film. I wouldn't say that it's incredibly original, but the action scenes are easy to follow and the size and scope of the sea monsters is fun.

There are two messages in the film, and I appreciated both of them. One is simply about communication, and the other is about the fact that you can be well-intentioned and wrong at the same time. The latter message is pulled off pretty deftly. Where it would have been easy to vilify the sea monster hunters, the focus is put more on those who have driven the conflict for their own profit.

Nothing earth-shattering, but a solid family film.

Oh boy, my older kid saw this and he. just. won't. stop talking about it To be fair, I saw half of it and thought what I saw was pretty solid, but damn, it's all day he's talking about the Red Beast and Jacob Holland
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I remember reading about Into the Abyss when it came out, and wanting to see it very much - unfortunately I haven't yet, and it seems I have to seek it out rather than waiting to cross paths with it. The best film I've every seen regarding this issue is Krzysztof Kieslowski's A Short Film About Killing, which he made towards the end of his 'strictly Polish' period. If you haven't seen that, then I recommend it to you.
I started A Short Film About Killing but bailed pretty quickly because of the dead animals. It's sitting there in my Criterion queue, waiting for me to get back into it.

Oh boy, my older kid saw this and he. just. won't. stop talking about it To be fair, I saw half of it and thought what I saw was pretty solid, but damn, it's all day he's talking about the Red Beast and Jacob Holland
I think it does a really good job of creating aspirational characters. Both Jacob and Maisie are brave and funny, and the Red Beast has a great big animal personality. I think that if I were watching this as a 7-10 year old I would have LOVED it.



Bookie lives in the middle of these two, but it will definitely probably test the patience of those not acclimatized to what he does.
You got that right...



*shifty eyes*







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



Book of Eli - So I actually was quite interested in this movie while watching it, and was into the plot. I do understand that critics do not really like this one, because there were some things off about the movie such as the one-dimensional villain, and the people I was watching it with did not like Mila Kunis very much. Denzel Washington however is great as always in this movie.

One Sings the Other Doesn't - I enjoyed following the lives of the two characters of the movie(Apple and Suzannah) who follow on through multiple adventures in their lives for a decade. At first sight, I thought it was going to be a Demy-styled musical, but felt rather different from one. The movie was visually appealing as well and kind of made me think of Woodstock a little bit. This was a fun movie, but I actually liked Agnes Varda's other movie(Cleo From 5 to 7) more. Cleo From 5 to 7 though is a masterpiece. For now, I kind of think Agnes Varda is a genius director and better than some of the popular ones most people rave about.



Victim of The Night


Marihuana, 1936

...the behaviors we see after they get high are, honestly, the kind of things that I more associate with people who have been drinking, such as going swimming while intoxicated.
Nope, I do that every time I'm high.



Victim of The Night
He made the cuts after the film was a commerical failure. Which isn't always the best reason, especially when the rest of the movies made in his typical style allow for lots of space for his actors to ramble and improvise until they completely exhaust themselves.


The two you've seen are not typical Cassavetes. They are almost normal films. When it comes to his usual more uncompromising approach, Husbands is the one that pushes his extremes to the max, where Minnie and Moskovitz is one of the tamer ones. Bookie lives in the middle of these two, but it will definitely probably test the patience of those not acclimatized to what he does.


I guess it depends how much you want to be left to the whims of a drunkard filming drunkards until something finally happens. I think that is an important element, even if it pushes against the lean and mean expectations you might have for a neo noir film. It's possible the edit works more as a genre piece than the theatrical cut
Yeah, I kinda knew the ones I had seen were not the films people cite when they're talking about Cassavetes.
I think I'll watch the long version. I'm very patient.



Victim of The Night
Office Space (1999)




My wife smoked a blunt before I put it on so she was laughing the whole time. I was amused the whole time. I liked the supporting characters better than the lead, not unusual for a comedy. It was good, definitely worth watching. That's as far as it goes for me.
I guess, for me, when Ted McGinley, Gary Cole, or Stephen Root are speaking, I find the movie funny and when Jennifer Aniston is in it, I find it a little charming (well, at least her).
The rest of the time I am bored to tears.



Victim of The Night


By https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1707386/mediaindex, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35988556

Les Misťrables - (2012)

To all the lovers of this film - I'm sorry, but 158 minutes was far too long for me. There's around 30 minutes of this film put together which I find to be exciting spectacle - and 2 hours worth of wandering soliloquy, with characters singing their thoughts to themselves. Does the stage show go as long? This movie's excesses made some stretches somewhat painful, and instead of winning me over and getting me to love this musical, I ended up disliking it more than I did initially.

4/10
Yes.
I took my mother to the stage production for her birthday... and she asked to leave about an hour and a half in. It was really a slog.



A Patch of Blue (1965)



Excellently acted. Very touching & topical for its time.

WARNING: "The real issue:" spoilers below
Some people think the major reason Gordon (Portier) doesn't consummate his relationship with Selina (Hartman) is because of their different races.

And sure, that's part of it considering the prospects of the long term. But Gordon is very intelligent and he realizes things Selina can't in her love-struck state toward the first eligible man who's shown kindness to her.

What starts as kindness toward a disabled girl on Gordon's part turns into love for both, but he realizes that although Selina is an adult age-wise, she is emotionally & intellectually a child due to her being raised as basically a prisoner / slave in an abusive home. It's almost a statutory issue for Gordon.

To have an adult romantic or sexual relationship with Selina at this point would be taking advantage of her emotional & intellectual immaturity and would be no better than taking advantage of her blindness.

His solution to get her out of her abusive home and into a school, and then revisit their relationship in a year's time (after Selina has a chance to be exposed to the world, other people and things she's never experienced before) seems an optimum one.

I was only left wondering who's going to pay for her schooling? Gordon? The state? (I imagine there must have been some type of funding for the blind at that time - although it was never addressed in the movie.)





WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER
(2001, Wain)



"Before we start, I'd just like to say the campers you're about to see suck dick! But nevertheless, please welcome them."

Wet Hot American Summer follows an assorted cast, most of which were part of The State comedy troupe. The characters include theater directors Susie and Ben (Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper) trying to prepare the camp's talent show, camp director Beth falling in love with a neighboring astrophysics professor (David Hyde Pierce), and Coop (Showalter), a shy nerdy guy secretly in love with Katie (Marguerite Moreau), who is in turn fixated on her obnoxious and unfaithful boyfriend Andy (Paul Rudd).

With an ensemble cast that big, the film does a good job of balancing the different storylines. However, the clear scene-stealer is Rudd. His performance is so effortless and laid-back that you can't help but believe he's an a$$hole, and yet you wanna see more of him. The other thing that makes this work is the way the script and direction combines the meta aspect of parodying classic summer camp films (and teen films in general) and the absurdity of its various sketches (i.e. camp cook Gene receiving life advice from a can of mixed vegetables)

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot