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The Last Man on Earth - (1964)

I've been prepping for something and doing research which has created a long list of films I want to see, one of which was this, The Last Man on Earth, the first attempted adaptation of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. I'm very familiar with The Omega Man, which came out in 1971 starring Charlton Heston and the 2007 version which retained the title of the book and starred Will Smith. This earlier version was an Italian/American co-production and starred Vincent Price as the titular character. This was produced only 10 years after the book's publication - and I think it was one of those that was filmed in both Italian and English, as was common in Italian productions at the time. My comments are about the English version.

Everybody involved appears to have been very earnest to make this the film you'd hope it would be, but it's low budget hampers the project so very badly. Corpses on the street occasionally move and breath, and the epic grandeur we're used to from the 1971 and 2007 adaptations can only be hinted at in a few shots. Legend's 'vampires' doddle around like zombies at night, wielding wooden planks and are laughably easy to deal with (Vincent Price has no problem pushing them away.) Occasionally we go back in time to before the plague, where Price's Dr. Robert Morgan (Robert Neville in the book) loses his wife and young daughter during it's onslaught. He tries to give this production some gravitas - as does everyone - and in a better production, with the original choice of director as Fritz Lang, this could have been something. As it is, it's a curiosity.

5/10


By Studio and or Graphic Artist - Can be obtained from the film's distributor, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60386394

The Dead Don't Die - (2019)

This film appears to have been quite divisive! I was nearly going to give it a pass, considering all the flack it's got, but in the end I just couldn't. I mean, a Jim Jarmusch film with a cast like that about an over-the-top zombie invasion of the world? I can count 9 of my favourite actors in the ensemble (Well, 8 actors and one legendary Godfather of Punk.) I've never seen a Jim Jarmusch film I haven't liked, the last being Paterson, which I know wouldn't have pleased everyone, but I thought was terrific. My expectations were still low going in though. What was I to make of it all?

Well, I thought it was genuinely funny and enjoyable. Whether it was a comment on present times, or the age-old use of zombies as representing the modern consumer - it didn't matter much to me. A fourth wall breaking partnering of Adam Driver and Bill Murray as small town policemen, Tilda Swinton as a Scottish alien wielding a samurai sword. Iggy Pop as a coffee-loving zombie. Steve Buscemi as a right-wing douchbag farmer. The only character that didn't work for me was the wise old Hermit Bob played by Tom Waits. The rest was just a bit of fun, and it amused me a great deal. I'm guessing this film was picked apart on this forum when it was released so I'll just leave it there - put me in the 'liked it' column.

7/10



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

Wrath of Man (Guy Ritchie, 2021)
+ 6/10
Whispering Pages (Aleksandr Sokurov, 1994)
5/10
Into the White (Petter Næss, 2012)
+ 6/10
Riders of Justice (Anders Thomas Jensen, 2020)
6.5/10

On leave from Afghanistan, neglectful dad Mads Mikkelsson will do anything to avenge his recently-killed wife after some probability nerds (Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Lars Brygmann & [not shown] Nicolas Bro) convince him she was murdered.
Cry of the Penguins (Al Viola, 1971)
+ 6/10
Endangered Species (MJ Bassett, 2021)
5/10
Merrill's Marauders (Samuel Fuller, 1962)
6/10
The Last Resort (Dennis Scholl & Kareem Tabsch, 2018)
6.5/10

Pictorial history of Miami Beach through the eyes of rivals/friends Andy Sweet and Gary Monroe.
Venus (Eisha Marjara, 2017)
6/10
Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946)
5.5/10
Act of Violence (Fred Zinnemann, 1948)
6/10
Cruella (Craig Gillespie, 2021)
6.5/10

Origin story of Cruella de Vil (Emma Stone) mainly concerning her rivalry with her arrogant mentor (Emma Thompson).
Oslo (Bartlett Sher, 2021)
+ 6/10
The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (William Wyler, 1944)
6.5/10
The Water Man (David Oyelowo, 2020)
5.5/10
Plan B (Natalie Morales, 2021)
6.5/10

High school best friends Victoria Moroles & Kuhoo Verma have a long night after the latter is worried that her first sexual experience will result in pregnancy.
Target Zero (Harmon Jones, 1955)
5.5/10
Let's Make a Dream (Sacha Guitry, 1936)
6/10
American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally (Michael Polish, 2021)
5.5/10
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (Hiroyuki Okiura, 1999)
6/10

Occasionally-striking visually but muddled storytelling in this tale about who's a wolf and how it affects the police and terrorists in post-WWII Japan.
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Aw, c'mon, it's not that bad.
The ghost effects were so bad and so overused.



Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) -


It's boring and repetitive - just as I expected it would be - in almost every sense of the word, yet it's also one of the most impactful experiences I've had in film. Watching this film was reminiscent of The Passion of Joan of Arc as both films use their repetition to put you in their protagonist's headspaces. As I watched Jeanne complete more and more chores around her apartment, I grew bored, but the boredom I felt was all at the heart of Jeanne's boredom. Just as I found the scenes of Jeanne performing her daily routine tedious and repetitive, she felt that as well - for a while, in fact. Showing only a couple scenes of Jeanne completing some chores wouldn't have sufficed. The film needed to keep piling them up one after the other to the point it wears you down, and this is where the film excels at. Like, why include a clunky expository line of dialogue which explains her boredom when the film can get you to feel this instead?

Throughout the first half of the film, everything runs like clockwork for Jeanne. Around the middle of the film though, her routine begins to unravel as she begins making various mistakes. These mistakes include running out of potatoes, walking into the wrong room, dropping a spoon on the ground, or even subtler mistakes such as bumping a jar of milk with a plate or getting her apron stuck on a chair for a couple seconds. As these errors keep piling up, the more clear it is that the film is building to something and a sense of impending doom slowly grows. This will be the culmination of the tedious lifestyle she lived with for what was presumably a long time. During the second half of the film, I found myself paying more and more attention to every action she took, trying to spot another error she'd make, regardless of how insignificant it may be. As this went on, I began to notice how meticulous the film was with all the details of her daily routine. Once I got to Jeanne attempting to make coffee, I realized that, in spite of this film taking place almost entirely in an apartment, its scope is as epic as 2001 concerning how much information is shown onscreen. Overall, I loved this film and I'm definitely going to rewatch it soon. I have it at a 9/10 now, but I could see it going up to a 10/10 in the future.



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
steve carrell has oddly placed nipples, sorry to talk about nipples everyone
His nipples and belly button make a sad face. Cannot be unseen.
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'Surge' (2021)


Great performance from Ben Wishaw as a young man who has been surrounded by people who simply do not have empathy or understanding for his condition. It has a touch of Falling Down / Joker about it and perhaps the anxiety levels of Uncut Gems. But you feel more sympathetic towards the central character due to the writing.

The shaky camerawork is claustrophobic but it's supposed to be. It's a directorial choice. Promising debut feature from Aneil Karia.


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'Tread' (2020)



Hmmm. It's ok. Does a decent job of the background story and the fateful day. But never asks questions WHY. Surely it's helpful to ponder why Marv's fragile mental state was the way it was?




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Volver (2006)

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The 4th movie I've seen from director Almodovar and so far I'd rank it last. The quality is still high. I enjoyed the characters, style, music, and all that good stuff. I wasn't as in to the narrative as I was his other movies.



I enjoyed it just as much on a rewatch. Lots of fun little details to notice. I am hoping the sequel is as good.
They're doing a sequel? Def looking forward to that.



The Little Things (2021)


I have to agree with the consensus and say this was a shoulder shrug of a movie. Everything is just okay, including the acting. I'm still not a fan of Malek, but Leto continues to impress me.



Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) -
A film I want to see less and less after each (raving) review I read. If I'm interested in household chores, I'll do them myself. It would be time much better spent than watching someone else do the fictional chores. Maybe I just don't get it but, on the other hand, I don't have much interest in trying to rectify that situation.
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If you're interested in socialist experiment, the Cuban Revolution, to see the reality of the Cuban people since day one of the revolution to the day their charismatic leader Fidel Castro died, this is a picture you must watch. Jon Alpert made something remarkable, one of the best pieces of documentary ever made on a people's history, fifty years following his Cuban friends trough out the hardest days of the revolution. I left wondering what would the revolution accomplish without the embargo, that was the american government fear all along.







A homeless young guy plays a guitar to collect change to eat. He then fond out that a cat on his shoulder is a money magnet because generic twenty first century people only find in themselves compassion to help animals, not human beings. They think human conscience and morality should surpasses their nature, so they reject what makes a human being by clinging to an animal that doesn't answer back, that doesn't use the same terms they use to react to an action.



A film I want to see less and less after each (raving) review I read. If I'm interested in household chores, I'll do them myself. It would be time much better spent than watching someone else do the fictional chores. Maybe I just don't get it but, on the other hand, I don't have much interest in trying to rectify that situation.
I wasn't sure what I'd think of it either, but it ended up blowing me away once I got on the film's wavelength. If you ever get in the mood to watch it, I highly recommend trying it out.



The purpose of Jeanne Diellman is about as basic and straightforward as film gets. It attempts to generate empathy for the most seemingly ordinary of characters. It makes visible the acts such a person devotes their entire lives to, and which we normally look past. Its entire dramatic structure in fact centres around these 'invisible' actions. As a result, it is just about one of the most relatable films I have ever seen, but also one of the most horrifying. There is nearly as much horror to be found in 23 Commerce Quay as the Overlook Hotel. In fact, there is even some similarities between the two, since both deal with profound loneliness, and employ a hypnotic sound structure and methodically executed editing to draw us into the monotony of these lives.



So, in that way, I think it is a bit of misreading to think of the film as being simply about someone doing chores, even if it is mostly just that. To reduce it to this would be to think of the Shining as a film about hotel maintenance. Not that there isn't a considerably more dramatic moments in Kubrick's film. There is. But there is also an awful lot of time devoted to moments where they are just tending to their caretaking obligations, and those scenes are mostly transfixing, as we can sense the unease beneath the mundane. Dielman is much the same, only it doesn't give us as many dramatic valves to blow off the building tension. The emptiness of her life just ends up filling the entire frame and we are forced to keep staring at it. Sense it disappearing chore by chore.



The result for me is that it is an extremely tense film, and so never really boring....Well, maybe the meatloaf scene had my mind wandering a bit. But, as said, the occassional bout of boredom isn't a bad thing here. It is an element of the films very sad heart.