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Slashlorette Party (2020). Directed by Paul Ragsdale and Angelica De Alba, this horror film is about a co-ed bachelorette party where the guests start getting killed off. I enjoyed this a lot. It has a 80s throwback feel to it. There are entertaining kills, some laughs, and even a little nice nudity to spice things up. I thought the performances were fun too. My only complaint is the ending felt anti-climatic and could have been much better. Still, I had a pretty good time up until that point. If you like fun slashers, this is worth checking out. Currently streaming on Amazon Prime.




By Shochiku - scanned movie poster released by Shochiku, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/inde...curid=42157419

Late Spring - (1949)

Now I understand what sets Yasujiro Ozu apart from other filmmakers - the only other film of his I'd seen up to this point was Tokyo Story. His stories seem to focus on family dramas, with subtle things building into finishes which are emotional and deeply stirring. His themes are universal, despite the exploration of Japanese values and culture. I was a bit worried Japanese culture in Late Spring (along with how low-key the story is) would leave me a little cold and disinterested. By the end it all hit me hard, and it brought out a lot of feeling in me. I'm definitely going to explore Yasujiro Ozu's films - I love what I've seen so far.

8/10

Foreign language countdown films seen : 45/101



Jack the Ripper - (1988)

This is a popular two-part television film about Jack the Ripper and Frederick Abberline's investigation into the Whitechapel murders. It was a bit too Scooby-Doo for me - running like a murder mystery with perfect prime suspects and a neat conclusion (something the Ripper murders never had.) Also, Michael Caine (as Abberline) romancing a character played by Jane Seymour while these horrible murders are occurring horrified me more than the brutal crimes themselves.

4/10


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Absentia - (2011)

I saw this independent low budget horror film when it was released 10 years ago and it was definitely due another watch. For what the filmmakers had, they did a terrific job - the atmosphere of dread and straightforward story is memorable. I like to think that I discovered it's writer/director - Mike Flanagan - long before anyone else. Well worth seeing.

6/10
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My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.




Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?




Cruella (2021)
and a couple of +++'s for the sheer joy of it!!

I AM a complete Emma Stone Fanboy.
The extraordinary range and dead-on performances of this incredible character actress is a delirious enchantment, and when I had heard it would be her to play this role - -

Let's just say the little girl in me was downright tickled.

And when I began to watch this, realized it was The Lady herself, Emma Thompson playing her nemesis, The Baroness. . . well, okay, to be absolutely honest, I DID get a little carried away with my giddiness that escalated when I got the opportunity tonight to watch this --


It wasn't a proud mo-- no, [email protected], I was and am in a state of giddy silly-ass joy. Because all that giddiness was deliciously rewarded!! NUMMY NUMMY YAY YAAYYYY

This movie, for me, is a new reigning Queen for Origin Storylines and will most likely hold it for quite some time. The pageantry of it all on merely a visual level alone was razor-edged. Everyone was excellent in their roles and the "capers" were clever and well-orchestrated. The arc of the story, as well as the story itself, was pretty [email protected] [email protected] clever I must say - and will!.
And with two ladies at the helm along with a solid supporting cast. . . well, yeah, the whole giddy thing.


I am very bummed NOT to have caught this at the theater, but should the intoxicating opportunity present itself; I am SO [email protected] THERE.
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Private Property, 1960

Two toughs named Duke (Corey Allen) and Boots (Warren Oates) are in the middle of intimidating a gas station owner into free goods when they spot the upper class Ann (Kate Manx). When the man they've intimidated into giving them a ride remarks that she'd never give them the time of day, Duke takes this as a challenge. Following Ann up to her isolated hillside home, the men take up residence in an abandoned house next door. Promising Boots a chance to "make it" with Ann, the two men spy on Ann and begin a dangerous game of seduction and home invasion.

A woman being terrorized in her home is hardly an original plot, and the sub-genre of home invasion films is mostly dominated by single women facing down violent men. I'll admit that this type of plot is slightly what I expected when I picked this one as a late Saturday night viewing.

Boy was I wrong.

The film begins by establishing just how dangerous these two men are. First intimidating the gas station owner, and later pulling a knife on the mane who gives them a ride, threatening to "gut him like a dead sheep". With this background, you'd expect an immediate and violent home invasion. But what makes the film more interesting, and in some ways more sinister, is the way that the men (and specifically Duke) choose a different angle. You see, Duke explains, rape is a little bit too much like "work". He wants Boots (who may be a virgin?) to have a more special first time. "You want me to drag her up here by the hair? Hold her down for you while she screams? Cut her so that she bleeds all over you?", Duke asks, when Boots grows impatient.

And so the game of seduction begins. It's not typical to see a film in which a male character physically seduces a female character--especially in an older film--and it's just interesting to watch. Because it's not purely seduction, it's also about slowly eroding the boundaries that Ann sets. In one scene Duke (who is posing as a gardener), strips down to just his pants. He asks to cool off in the pool, and despite Ann telling him no several times, he jumps in. Emerging dripping wet and standing a bit too close to her, she can only remark that he keeps himself in good shape. "Yeah," he replies. "I guess I'm what they call the physical type." There's a real physical magnetism to Duke, but he pairs this with emotionally manipulative actions. Whenever Ann grows uncomfortable, he knows just what to say--accusing her of classism, playing on her guilt.

And yet the counterbalance to the seduction--which is surprisingly effective in the charged eroticism it develops in certain scenes--is the sense of ownership and voyeurism. The men watch Ann as she swims, naked, in her pool. They talk to her from inside the neighboring house as if she's there to perform for them. Their idea of seduction (and the accompanying consent) only goes so far. They feel that they've earned and deserve access to her. In a really chilling sequence, Ann gets too drunk and struggles to keep herself vertical even as she is led, barely able to walk, to the bedroom. I won't spoil it, but what happens when Duke finally leads Ann to a waiting Boots is both shocking and unexpected.

The sensuality and the creepiness of Duke's seduction alone are enough to make this a charged, engaging thriller. But to me there's another element that elevates it further, and that's the nature of why Ann is vulnerable---to seduction and to assault. Ann is living the "perfect" life, right? Nice house in the hills, private pool, all the modern gadgets. But this woman is both bored and isolated. Her days consist of running errands, halfheartedly maintaining a garden she didn't plant and doesn't understand, and swimming to keep her legs slim for a borderline indifferent husband. Ann is a sexual, sensuous woman. I was really relieved that the film didn't seem to judge her for this. She's a young, beautiful person and she clearly just wants a satisfying sex life. She doesn't "tease" or flirt with Duke---she dutifully directs all of her sexual energy at her husband. But she is lonely, and so when an attractive, interesting man shows up, it is entirely understandable that she falls under his spell a bit. Ann is not a saint, but neither is she a stuck up priss who "needs to be taught a lesson." She's just an ordinary (albeit gorgeous) person who has found herself living in a life as flush and empty as a page from a catalog.

I had never heard of this film before, but I really loved it. I thought that the performances were spot-on, the seduction was shockingly erotic, the dynamics between the two bad guys were really interesting, and the final act was tense and thrilling. I loved the degree that the swimming pool----really the center of a lot of the film and the most potent symbol for Ann's wealth and empty life---played a role in the last act.

If you have the Criterion Channel, definitely check this one out.







WOW! This was crazy. A welder in Granby, Co. thinks everyone in this small town is against him and is trying to ruin him. After years of losing court battles and being kind of a punching bag around town, the guy, at the end of his rope, loses it, buys a bulldozer, reinforces it with plates of steel and concrete, essentially turning it into a tank and proceeds to destroy the businesses of the people he thinks conspired against him. Most of his rampage was captured by news and locals recording the event. What this guy turned that dozer into is impressive. It was completely impenetrable. Yeah, he was clearly nuts by the time he went on his rampage but it also seems like it could have all been avoided if he hadn't been squeezed so tight by the powers that be. Pretty good doc as the welder left behind a series of tapes explaining his position and most of the folks he accused of conspiring against him were also interviewed.




Apples (2020, Christos Nikou)

Impressive debut from the Greek director but not perfect. The premise is intriguing (pandemic of amnesia), and I thought the low-key, minimalist style served the story well, but some may come away finding the plot a bit too simple and lacking interesting development. I liked it. The moments of subtle quirky comedy were a lovely addition, too.
WARNING: spoilers below
Aside from a similarly restrained style, the Ozu-esque use of apples at the end as a symbol of acceptance ('Late Spring') felt like a deliberate homage to the Japanese master.



Re-watch of the Pusher Trilogy. One of the best trilogies I have ever seen. Hugely entertaining.[/quote]
Incredible Trilogy, wonder what really happened to Frank....did he just get done in or make it away. No-one mentions him in the next 2 instalments which I thought alluded to the fact he had come to a grisly end possibly via Radovan.



[Tread]

WOW! This was crazy. A welder in Granby, Co. thinks everyone in this small town is against him and is trying to ruin him. After years of losing court battles and being kind of a punching bag around town, the guy, at the end of his rope, loses it, buys a bulldozer, reinforces it with plates of steel and concrete, essentially turning it into a tank and proceeds to destroy the businesses of the people he thinks conspired against him. Most of his rampage was captured by news and locals recording the event. What this guy turned that dozer into is impressive. It was completely impenetrable. Yeah, he was clearly nuts by the time he went on his rampage but it also seems like it could have all been avoided if he hadn't been squeezed so tight by the powers that be. Pretty good doc as the welder left behind a series of tapes explaining his position and most of the folks he accused of conspiring against him were also interviewed.
Yeah, I definitely identified with the welder...



Knock Knock (2015)

It's entertaining.



2001 Monolith spotted at McDonald's Drive Thru
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
4/10.
It's amazing how many characters and actors from the first two movies they brought back for this third installment of the franchise, including the hooker from the first movie, the main street goon from the first movie, Mrs. Fackler, Sgt. Calahan, Mauser and his proctor from the second. Unfortunately, most of the gags in this movie are also repeats from the first two movies. I only found Bobcat Goldthwait funny and the bit with a naked proctor in the street. They tried to make the city look like the U.S., but in one of the shots you can clearly see the base of the C.N. Tower in Toronto (as well as a few other, lesser-known landmarks). A disappointing movie considering how much I enjoyed the first two installments.
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2001 monolith recently seen at McDonald's Drive Thru



Dark Waters (2019)


8/10


I overall thought the acting was pretty good, and while all "reconstruction of real events" movies have inaccurracies, it felt very real having had real life experience doing this exact type of environmental-retribution work...
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WOW! This was crazy. A welder in Granby, Co. thinks everyone in this small town is against him and is trying to ruin him. After years of losing court battles and being kind of a punching bag around town, the guy, at the end of his rope, loses it, buys a bulldozer, reinforces it with plates of steel and concrete, essentially turning it into a tank and proceeds to destroy the businesses of the people he thinks conspired against him. Most of his rampage was captured by news and locals recording the event. What this guy turned that dozer into is impressive. It was completely impenetrable. Yeah, he was clearly nuts by the time he went on his rampage but it also seems like it could have all been avoided if he hadn't been squeezed so tight by the powers that be. Pretty good doc as the welder left behind a series of tapes explaining his position and most of the folks he accused of conspiring against him were also interviewed.

I thought this was an amazing doc, an incredible story that's almost too rediculous to be real, "truth is stranger than fiction". That one gets a full 10/10 rating from me, i think i'm going to download it, or maybe i'll just watch it again on Netflix, idk.




By Searchlight Pictures, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64969367

Nomadland - (2020)

I don't have much to say about this - other than the fact that I find the life of a nomad enticing. I'd need a television, DVD/Blu-ray player and a few hundred Criterion editions along one wall of my van though. Swap out the criterions once every six months or so. Enjoy the views, fresh air, adventure and movies. Now I've seen this and Minari amongst the last lot of best picture nominees - neither gets close to real greatness. I've been pretty slack in regards to seeing the nominees this year - but who could blame me?

7/10


By The poster art can or could be obtained from the distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49547492

Florence Foster Jenkins - (2016)

I'm sure nobody remembers me mentioning Marguerite after I saw it a few months ago. It was a true story about a rich lady who sang terribly - but her hangers-on and the greedy convinced her that she sang marvelously, and so she she went on to make a great fool out of herself. It was very amusing. The lady's name was Florence Foster Jenkins, and this is the other film based on her. Meryl Streep plays the lead - and was nominated for an Oscar. I rate Marguerite as the far superior film - but this wasn't really bad.

6/10

Marguerite :



Florence Foster Jenkins :




By The cover art can or could be obtained from IMP Awards or First Independent Pictures., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26751758

Holy Rollers - (2010)

I never heard jews complain so much about making money... Jesus christ.
Sam (Jesse Eisenberg) and Leon (Jason Fuchs) are both devout Orthodox Jews, but unhappy about where their lives are heading. When they find out how much money they could make smuggling "medicine" they naively give it a go. I read a good review about this film ages ago - and I should have forgotten about it really. Very average fare.

5/10



Coma (1978) 9/10 great thriller, genvieve bujold outdoes herself with some real good acting