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6th Rewatch...ran into this channel surfing yesterday and had to watch it because this film has never lost its rewatch appeal for me. Herbert Ross does a glorious job of opening up this stage play to look like an actual movie about six women who hang at the same beauty parlor. The film has one of the most quotable screenplays since Young Frankenstein and some glorious performances, especially Sally Field, robbed of an Oscar nomination for her tower of strength Ma'Lynn.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

The Black Forest (Rodrigo Arago, 2018)
5/10
Public Hero #1 (J. Walter Ruben, 1935)
6/10
The Silver Horde (George Archainbaud, 1930)
+ 5/10
Donbass (Sergey Loznitsa, 2018)
6/10

The Donbass region of Eastern Ukraine is a hellhole where anyone of a different ethnicity is lucky to get out of there alive. Against all appearances, this is not a documentary.
Our Eternal Summer (Emilie Aussel, 2021)
+ 5/10
Mimi (Warwick Thornton, 2002)
6/10
Wood and Water (Jonas Bak, 2021)
+ 5/10
Galaxy Quest (Dean Parisot, 1999)
+ 6.5/10

Actor Alan Rickman who played the medical officer on TV series "Galaxy Quest" in the past gets caught up in an adventure with real-life aliens, including Patrick Breen.
Prey (Dan Trachtenberg, 2022)
6/10
Holy Emy (Araceli Lemos, 2021)
5/10
The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga (Jessica Oreck, 2014)
5.5/10
Mrs Harris Goes to Paris (Anthony Fabian, 2022)
6.5/10

In the '50s, when widowed London cleaning lady Mrs. Harris (Lesley Manville) becomes obsessed with a haute couture "frock", she travels to the House of Dior and turns the place upside down.
The Lunchbox (Ritesh Batra, 2013)
6/10
They/Them (John Logan, 2022)
5/10
Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon (Chia-Yung Liu, 1990)
6/10
Minions: The Rise of Gru (Kyle Balda, 2022)
+ 6/10

12-year-old Gru (Steve Carell) wants to become a supervillian, but when the Vicious 6 reject him, he seeks help from his Minions. When his fave supervillian, Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin), gets kicked out of the V6, he seeks to learn from him.
Luck (Peggy Holmes, 2022)
6/10
Paradise Highway (Anna Gutto, 2022)
5.5/10
The Earth Is Blue as an Orange (Iryna Tsilyk, 2020)
6/10
Seven Chances (Buster Keaton, 1925)
7+/10

Buster Keaton must get married by a certain time to inherit a fortune, but when too many "brides" show up, they think he's trying to pull a fast one.
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Nope (2022)


Peele might be losing me a bit after this one...I think people will walk away with drastically different opinions on this one based on expectations. Will this alien movie stand up 10 years from now?

WARNING: spoilers below
This movie practically turned into a comedy for me the last 45 minutes or so....anyone else?
I appreciated that the movie re-envisioned the idea of an extra-terrestrial visit. For decades, movies have been stuck solid on the flying saucer or large metallic spaceship image. My guess is that Peele's movies are still a wild card, kinda like M Night Shamalayan. They work well in my frame of reference, but who knows about what people will want to see 25 years from now.

For me, I really appreciate that Peele has jumped into whatever his genre is and is upsetting some of the conventions. Having seen a lot of cinematic aliens over the years, this was a new approach. Not being too dreadfully serious worked for me since I end up cringing at movies like that which try at high seriousness.





Fat City, 1972

Ernie (Jeff Bridges) is an up-and-coming boxer. Tully (Stacy Keach) has already made a go at it once. Each man gets involved in a romance: Ernie with the sweet Kaye (Candy Clark) and Tully with the troubled Oma (Susan Tyrrell). Both of them must navigate the changeable world of boxing.

I've said before that I have a slight personal aversion to films that feature a lot of boxing. It's not something I hold against a film, but it does make it harder for me to get invested in the narrative. This film, much like The Set-Up, managed to get around that personal bias with its intense focus on the lives and hopes of the men at the center of the story.

What's most remarkable about the film is the way that it captures how hopes of the remarkable can slightly collapse into the unremarkable. The film is really masterful in how it builds moments that feel like they will be dramatic or climactic, and sometimes they are and sometimes they simply . . . diffuse. A great example of this is a conversation between Faye where she muses aloud about the chance that she is pregnant now that she and Ernie have started having sex. She basically works her way around to pitching that they get married. In most films this would be a point for a dramatic confrontation, but instead Ernie is just sort of like, "Yeah, okay." When he later speaks about his marriage (and his child), he is neither effusive nor bitter, just mildly positive.

As a huge fan of Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker, I did a total fangirl squeeeeeeeeeee! when Susan Tyrrell popped up. Her vocal tone is this really unique thing that naturally accents what is meant to be intoxication, but makes her sound as if she's perpetually experiencing a deep heartbreak. She's a perfect match for the character of Oma who, with a lot of help from alcohol, is clearly a person who lives deep, deep in her feelings.

Bridges and Keach are both very strong in their roles, but Keach really owns the film. Tully is a man who somehow seems to have totally given up and yet still has some glimmer of hope left in him. Keach absolutely nails a sort of guarded ferocity, a desire to connect and succeed having to make its way through years and years of baked on cynicism.

A really excellent example of a film driven almost entirely by character work.




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.)


When I went to see it in '65, it completely took me in. I loved Selina played by Elizabeth Hartman. Hartman was a great actress whose personal problems cut her career short.

Shelly Winters won Best Supporting Oscar that year, although I wasn't overly impressed with her acting in this picture.

When you take away the racial issues of the day, I think Poitier acted about the same character that he did in several other movies, including Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (1967). In this case he was right for the role.

It was a stunning film; a small film that got attention.



...
Seven Chances (Buster Keaton, 1925)
7+/10

Buster Keaton must get married by a certain time to inherit a fortune, but when too many "brides" show up, they think he's trying to pull a fast one.
That film was a riot! Keaton was something else...





Fat City, 1972

Bridges and Keach are both very strong in their roles, but Keach really owns the film. Tully is a man who somehow seems to have totally given up and yet still has some glimmer of hope left in him. Keach absolutely nails a sort of guarded ferocity, a desire to connect and succeed having to make its way through years and years of baked on cynicism.

A really excellent example of a film driven almost entirely by character work.

So glad you liked this. I agree that it was pretty good. I saw this via recommendation from @kgaard and @ApexPredator and I really enjoyed it.
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I'm Your Man, 2021

Alma (Maren Eggert) is a recently separated academic who, in order to secure funding for her passion project, has agreed to participate in a trial run of customized robotic romantic partners. Alma is paired with Tom (Dan Stevens) who works unrelentingly to earn Alma's love. But Tom's presence in her life at time only serves to highlight Alma's frustrations and loneliness.

A lot of films about artificial intelligences devote much of their runtime to exploring the question of whether the personality and emotions of the machine are "real". I'm Your Man is far more interested in the impact that Tom has on Alma, very much in the way that Marjorie Prime (a low-key favorite of mine) explored the impact of such an artificial intelligence on memory and sense-of-self of the people interacting with the artificial humans.

Eggert and Stevens are both really strong in their lead performances. I have some criticisms of some of the plot elements, but I can't say a single negative thing about the actors. Many romantic comedies take their man characters on an arc from sadness to happiness. But Alma doesn't follow that path. Instead she begins from a place of loneliness but then Tom's presence makes certain aspects of her life better while opening up a different kind of sorrow and self-doubt. Stevens has a tricky job, portraying a character who becomes more human as he develops his personality based on interactions with Alma. I appreciated his physicality in the role, especially noting in a late scene just how well he is able to hold still when the character is not speaking.

From a plot point of view, I felt like there were some real ups and downs. I liked that the film portrayed Alma going through a range of emotions as she tries to deal with attention and scrutiny from Tom that at times becomes oppressive. It's not all smiles and rainbows at the end, and Alma's relationship with Tom has some complexities that might never be resolved between the two of them.

I had a mixed reaction to the way that the film resolves some of the ethical issues around the interactions between Tom and Alma. The whole idea of a being designed to please a specific person opens up some weird issues of consent. In one sequence, a drunk Alma demands sex and instead Tom tucks her into bed and leaves the room. On one hand, it was nice to see that the machines are capable of asserting themselves, but I still found myself troubled by the idea of the inherent power imbalance built into their relationship. (A feeling that resurfaced when we see a 62 year old man with a model who looks to be in her early 30s). The film also kind of skirts around the question of what it means to reject one of the machines. Tom gives a little speech about how being erased isn't the same as dying (because he isn't really alive), but from Alma's point of view it does seem to be the same. So how awful is it to know that if you get one of these machines and don't connect with it for whatever reason, you basically have to live with it forever or doom it to "death".

(And this is something that didn't impact my rating, but I found myself slightly troubled by how Dan Stevens looked in this film. Maybe he's leaned down a bit since the last time I saw him in a role and it's changed the contours of his face. Or maybe it was the makeup that they used. But he looked a bit . . . sickly? . . . to me and I found it a bit disorienting. Like every ten minutes or so I got this little wave of concern about his health.)

A very engaging romantic comedy that hits some unexpected beats on the way to its resolution.




So glad you liked this. I agree that it was pretty good. I saw this via recommendation from @kgaard and @ApexPredator and I really enjoyed it.
I've seen it name dropped a few times and a picture from it was in Crumbsroom's screenshot game. When it popped up on Criterion it seemed like a good time to check it out.



11 Foreign Language movies to go

By [1], Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2312442

Brief Encounter - (1945)

How was love just captured on camera like that? There are few better movies about it than Brief Encounter - it completely swept me away. The part of Laura is played by Celia Johnson, who I've seen in This Happy Breed, but really noticed here. Dr Alec Harvey is brought to life by Trevor Howard, who I've mostly seen as an old man in movies from the 60s to the 80s. It's hard to describe just how real the film feels - it's not a love story that takes place in flowered meadows, although our furtive lovers do abscond to movies, a rowboat and other places. It's doomed, because both are married, and as such it becomes something of a sordid affair, with both of them stealing kisses in dark tunnels and borrowed apartments. Surrounding them is the hubbub of life, which seems obscenely pointless and annoying now they've found something most pure - especially the interrupting ninny we see at the beginning and end. Great film.

9/10


By POV - Impawards, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15363588

Erin Brockovich - (2000)

It took me too long to get around to watching this - it really reinforces a person's belief in humanity, with people wanting to do good for others despite being swamped by life themselves. Although a lot of these stories are true - the old "corporation poisoning the water" feels like old hat these days, but in spite of that Julia Roberts becomes the person she's portraying and makes Erin Brockovich worth watching, especially for it's last couple of scenes, which are the very definition of 'feel good'.

8/10


By IMP Awards, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31829827

Horrible Bosses - (2011)

Your average comedy. In this the three bosses played by Spacey, Aniston and Colin Farrell overshadow the three leads, because they have the best three parts - but watching Spacey act like a creepy jerk isn't as much fun now as it used to be. The movie is amusing and a little fun, but there's nothing here that would make me recommend it as comedic gold. It's more - comedic bronze.

6/10


By http://www.btinternet.com/~gjcouzens/dvd/malcolm.jpg, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5491233

Malcolm - (1986)

Quaint and rough Australian film about a young autistic man who is obsessed with trams and happens to be a bit of a mechanical genius. He takes in a boarder when he loses his job, but this man (who brings home a lady to live with him) is a bit of a con-man and robber. Eventually the criminal pair join up with Malcolm when they notice he's become inspired by their antics, and the three plan a massive $250,000 heist with Malcolm's gadgets. This is very Australian and very low budget, so might seem a little unusual to the casual viewer - and feels like it exists in the 70s, despite it's 80s credentials. In the end I wasn't bowled over, but it's uniqueness and the fact it's well made makes it quite watchable.

6/10


By May be found at the following website: http://images.ciao.com/iuk/images/pr...D__5915635.jpg, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5491013

Death in Brunswick - (1990)

A very young Sam Neill appears as Carl Fitzgerald in this black comedy which really only has one memorable sequence. Like so many Australian films of it's time, the protagonist is a well-meaning simpleton who is good at one particular thing (in this, Carl is a chef.) He meets and falls in love with a Greek girl at the place he's found work at - but the criminal gang that runs the place causes troubles with his love life, and then his life overall when some bad information has him attacked and murdering his workmate in self defense. The hiding of the body is a classic part of this film, but it is surrounded by middling material. It's a noteworthy film that is dated and not completely up to scratch.

6/10
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Latest Review : Strange Days (1995)



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Prey



Pretty solid Predator flick. Makes me wonder why it took so long for him to get another directed film under his belt after the thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane. Prey has the perfect balance of steering a tired franchise back in the right direction, all it took was going back to basics.

I made the mistake of watching it in English. Apparently, there is another option for the native language they speak if you watch this on Disney+. Make the effort to try that one.
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Suspect's Reviews



I thought the procedural aspects were really great, and Crowe's character being an ultra-rare incorruptible not just assumed but methodically shown to us - how and why he was different to those on the force who just took 'contributions' from the drug czars of the time. I was glad to spend time with his character - it made him more layered and not just your usual stereotypical hero cop. Although he had no flaws as a cop, he had innumerable flaws outside of his work, to the point he's always in court opposite his ex-wife. I liked his yearning to pass his bar exams and become something more - and the relationship he eventually develops with Lucas, which for me was completely unexpected. The first time I saw the film though, I brushed it off somewhat - liked it far far more this time.
I can respect that, and usually I love it when a movie bothers to take the time to develop its characters, but the context it happened in killed it for me there; I mean, I probably would've liked the screentime the film spent with Crowe's character otherwise, but it happened in a fairly generic gangster movie that didn't do much for me in general, and the film's two and a half hours long anyway (and felt every second of it and more to me, too), so it was just never going to work for me there, you know?



Victim of The Night


Fat City, 1972

As a huge fan of Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker, I did a total fangirl squeeeeeeeeeee! when Susan Tyrrell popped up. Her vocal tone is this really unique thing that naturally accents what is meant to be intoxication, but makes her sound as if she's perpetually experiencing a deep heartbreak. She's a perfect match for the character of Oma who, with a lot of help from alcohol, is clearly a person who lives deep, deep in her feelings.

I figured that had to be coming. Frankly, it makes me wanna see the movie more too. She was nominated for an Oscar for that performance, if you didn't know already. Did you know that she was a voice-actor too, appearing in a couple of Ralph Bakshi's films?
I think you have to watch Angel and Forbidden Zone at some point just to get where my introduction to her was. (I also enjoy both films.)





Vengeance (2022)

The best episodes of The Office were when the mundane and silly episodes turn and twist into something more and unexpected. Vengeance is a comedy/mystery hybrid basically it's a neo-noir film with jokes and it's really good. A podcaster finds out his hookup has died of a drug overdose so he travels to rural Texas to speak at his funeral.

It's a red state/blue state comedy of manners. The family is a group of fully developed characters I laughed quite a bit of the twists in that everyone in the family is distinct and has their own scene to shine. BJ Novak's biggest issue is while the writing is solid and tight and filming is not. He's kinda from the Kevin Smith school of set the camera take the shot ignore everything else...which is a shame.

Ashton Kutcher might have a second act in him as a serious actor as he completely nails his two scenes playing the ridiculously wealthy record producer in this small town. It gives off The Last Picture Show vibes without the artistry but with a better plot.





Jayne Mansfield provides a little bit of spice in an otherwise dull film.


Little Women (2019) -
- congrats, Greta Gerwig, that's the second insufferable schlock of a movie in a row
She's Too Young (2004) -
- "hey guess what guys i have syphilis" is almost a funny line
Promises! Promises! (1963) -
- when a pair of bazookas is all your film offers, you know you have done goofed
They/Them (2022) -
- why are people saying it's something phobic when the biggest issue with this film is that it's just a bland subpar slasher
God's Not Dead: We the People (2021) -
- not that bad, I've seen worse films. All 6 of them.





God's Not Dead: We the People (2021) -
- not that bad, I've seen worse films. All 6 of them.
A true warrior!
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