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Thank you for reminding me to watch this! I think Mohammad Rasoulof was released earlier this year with Jafar Panahi. A disgrace that they were locked up in the first place.
Maybe. I did wiki him, but got confused by his prison journey. Love Jafar Panahi.

It is disgraceful, but what can one expect from such an effed-up country.
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Iím here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Thatís why Iím here now.



Time Share (2018) -


Fans of The White Lotus should check out this pretty good Mexican film set at a similarly bougie resort. It follows father Pedro, mother Eva and their son Raton, whose vacation gets off on the wrong foot when a double-booking forces them to share their room with another family, and things get only less fun for them from there. Meanwhile, there's Andres, a middle-aged laundry worker who is having strange visions, and Breaking Bad's R.J. Mitte as Tom, who...let's just say is a guy who likely idolizes Alec Baldwin's character in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Having stayed at a similar resort before, I will give the movie credit for getting their vibe right, whether it's the "forced fun" of the dance at the pool, the lavish cafeteria with its contrastingly disappointing entrees and salespeople who interrupt your relaxation with additional shakedowns. In short, its not-so-favorable stance towards capitalism drips from every frame, my favorite way being how the resort's Blade Runner-like pyramid-shaped main hotel looms over everything, sometimes in unexpected ways. The performances also keep things interesting, especially the underused R.J. Mitte, whose insincerity got under my skin in the best way, and Miguel Rodarte's Andres, who makes even Milton from Office Space seem dignified. It's in the movie's mystery and thriller elements, though, where it doesn't get to the fireworks factory. In other words, they amount to a classic example of too much buildup and not enough payoff. Pedro eventually gets to vent all his frustrations, but despite his impassioned performance, it's too little, too late. To make matters worse, the conclusion is more whimper than bang. If the capitalism and social division commentary in The White Lotus keeps you coming back for more, this movie should tide you over until the next season. If itís everything else that does it for you, a rewatch is a better use of your time.
@crumbsroom You might like this. It's by the same guy who made Halley. It's on Netflix.



Four Comedy Specials three great, one good.
Selective Outrage (2023)óA Chris Rock comedy special. This wasnít Chrisís best, but hey, that is not what we are watching this for. We want to know Chrisís reaction to being slapped by Will Smith. Here it is; Chris spends ten minutes calling Will a b tch over and over again. Which is pretty entertaining. This special is proof that revenge is a dish best eaten cold.
God Loves Me (2023)óA Marlon Wayans comedy special. What, you say, Marlon Wayans isnít a stand-up comic? Well he was for a short time in the 90ís until Chris Rock handed him his behind by heckling Marlon at a nightclub. Marlon is friends with Jada and Will Smith so you can imagine he might have some complicated feelings about the slap heard round the world. He delves into his relationship with all three of the main characters of that little drama for the whole set. He brings the tea and it is delicious. The set is very good in itself. But it is best for making us feel involved in the lives of these great stars.
Hunting Bigfoot (2023)óA Kathleen Madigan comedy special. Kathleen is in top form in this special. She has never been better. I was so entranced by her performance, I had to keep it going. Listening to old specials and clips on Youtube. She is just consistently funny throughout. I love her and you will too.
Razzle Dazzle (2023)óA Bert Kreischer comedy special. Bert is Kreisching it! I just came her to make that joke, but it is true nonetheless. He had me howling with laughter. Every story is comedy gold. Bert loves creating new metaphors about these situations. That can get a little tiring cause damn Bert I want to hear that story! I would like it if he reduced it to one or two metaphors at a time. But maybe itĒs just a necessary slowing down of the tale. Bert is the expert here not me. But I canít wait to hear the meat of the story itself. Again another master at the top of their form.



Mother (2017)


So, watching this I was thinking: that is how a really bad movie feels like. The last 40-45% of the movie was so over the top that I couldn't care at all about what was supposedly happening. The first half was not that bad, however, it felt like all was wasted in the end.

However, it reminds me of a Russian movie, A Visitor to a Museum (1989), which was a bit better movie than this one.



I didn't love mother. But I think of it all of the time. I think it's important for some movies to descend into total madness. It makes me sad sometimes that more don't dare to.



It seems appropriate that we remember the death day of HP Lovecraft. This guy was so damn weird, both in reality and especially in his fictional life. Just start with the Call of Cthulhu and tell me that anything there makes sense. It's not surprising that his name has been used in credits for a bunch of movies, but that none of them has ever been close to his work. The sole exception might be a silent (!) black and white indie film version of Cthulhu done a few years back, with no name stars and cheesy production. Surprisingly, it played at festivals, we saw it and I bought the disk. It's really quite good.




Monos (2019) -


Crucial details like the politics of the war the teens are fighting in, whether they're fighting on the right or wrong side of the war, and the motives/backstory of the adult prisoner they have with them are withheld from us and remain a mystery. Heck, we're not even told the name of the war! What's clear, however, is that whatever got their country into the war and whichever the reasons are for drafting minors, the situation is clearly having a dehumanizing effect on the teens to the point their plight recalls both "Apocalypse Now" and "Lord of the Flies" (one could call the film a pastiche of both works, but I think those comparisons were unavoidable). Watching as they perform ritualistic dances and mannerisms, rebel against established authority and each other, use cruel and unusual punishment to keep everyone in line, and be subjected to strenuous training exercises by their superior allows for you to feel their disaffection as they're pushed closer and closer to doom. The various romances a few of them form with each other feel like weak and desperate attempts at finding short-lived euphoria in their dead-end environments, while the empty faÁade of power a couple of them display falls apart with the knowledge they're trapped in the same boat which the weaker kids around them are. Aesthetically speaking, the film matches its weighty themes fairly well by the somewhat manic energy of the performances, the anything goes mannerisms of the kids, the startling swells and intensity of Mica Levi's score, and the (occasionally) striking cinematography. As interesting as the film is though, I couldn't help but feel it was somewhat of a missed opportunity. After the aforementioned aesthetics of the first half hour, these elements grow less prevalent and it's more like the film tosses me a bone from time to time. I'm not saying the film does away with the atmosphere of the first act altogether - as this obviously isn't the case - but after the first act ended, I did notice a shift from a very surreal tone to a less surreal tone. Granted, a rewatch might get me to change my opinion, but my gut reaction and my occasional impatience for the film to grow expressive again is telling me otherwise, so I'm going to stick with that for now (I also felt the film ended on a stylistic whimper rather than a bang). Still though, I enjoyed my time with this film quite a bit and wouldn't mind returning to it sometime in the future.
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I forgot the opening line.

By The poster art can or could be obtained from the distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72515787

Skinamarink - (2022)

I didn't connect with this - one of the spookiest films of the decade so far - right off the bat. You have to get used to it's particular style and method, and need to be forewarned about it's arthouse quirks, but once you've been watching for a while the atmosphere has creeped by your defenses and you're scared witless while living someone's nightmare. This is a truly frightening film, and perfect for people who find themselves complaining about mainstream horror films these days. Fragmented, and with a narrative structure you need to piece together from certain cues and whispered bits of dialogue, it nevertheless tells a straightforward story of two children who wake up to find their father gone, and for their house's windows and doors to have vanished. An evil presence lurks, and there's one memorable scene where the kid's dead mother shows up - always facing away from us. There's so much great invention here, and if I had to rank any horror film as the best of 2022, this would have to figure in my calculations.

8/10


By Shudder - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1278848.../?ref_=tt_ov_i, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71985107

Deadstream - (2022)

This was a nice little ode to The Evil Dead, and while it's funny moments did detract from it's spook-factor, those moments were genuinely funny and actually enhanced the film regardless. There was so much in this that was good - from the ghosts, ghouls and monsters to the wonderful art and set decoration when it came to the haunted house Shawn (Joseph Winter) decides to spend the night in. I didn't know we were going for silly when it started, but the horror and humour were both good enough to give this one a big thumbs up.

7/10
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My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.




Scream (1996)


First time watching ANY Scream movie all the way through, and this was fine. It took a more comedic tone than I expected, and I wasn't sure if that was a reflection of the 90's or what the movie was actually going for. I've seen others on this board say this is the best in the series, so I may sit the rest out...except for maybe the new one in theaters now just for modern times' sake.



Scream (1996)


First time watching ANY Scream movie all the way through, and this was fine. It took a more comedic tone than I expected, and I wasn't sure if that was a reflection of the 90's or what the movie was actually going for. I've seen others on this board say this is the best in the series, so I may sit the rest out...except for maybe the new one in theaters now just for modern times' sake.
For whatever it's worth, I would say the second one is much better, though I liked this one more than you did.



I didn't love mother. But I think of it all of the time. I think it's important for some movies to descend into total madness. It makes me sad sometimes that more don't dare to.
The problem is that it lost its sense of meaning: if everything in the movie feels completely fake and over-the-top, then I cannot care about what's supposedly being depicted at all.

It is hard for movies that try to be experimental to achieve this balance between experimentation and suspense of disbelief. Kubrick's 2001, for example, has a lot of experimentation, especially for a science fiction movie, but it managed to maintain its experimentation consistent with the movie as a whole.



I watched To Live and Die in LA. This movie doesn’t really come alive until the second half and it makes some bizarre choices. But it’s got a pretty cool car chase and some fun twists and turns so I can’t complain. It’s also extremely ‘80s.



Scream (1996)


First time watching ANY Scream movie all the way through, and this was fine. It took a more comedic tone than I expected, and I wasn't sure if that was a reflection of the 90's or what the movie was actually going for. I've seen others on this board say this is the best in the series, so I may sit the rest out...except for maybe the new one in theaters now just for modern times' sake.
First one is far and away my favorite and yeah itís supposed to be a parody of slashers so the humor was intentional.




Notorious (1946, Alfred Hitchcock)

I like Hitchcock generally but some of his films baffle me as to why they are so highly rated. This is one of them. It certainly has a great cast (Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains... I mean, come on!) and technically it's impeccably made but the plot is kinda bland and half baked, with plot holes that are glaring to the point of being distracting. Usually I am easily able to overlook plot inconsistencies if the story is thrilling or entertaining enoughónot quite the case here. Admittedly the cinematography is superb, with some impressive shots scattered throughout, but when the plot is lacking and the love story isn't believable, it doesn't really help much. I couldn't truly empathize with any of the characters, because everything was so artificial, and the supposed villains weren't nearly intimidating enough to quicken my heartbeat during the scenes that were meant to be suspenseful.
In short, I liked certain aspects of this film a lot but overall definitely one of my least favorite Hitchcocks I've seen so far.






1st Re-watch...Between my watching Miles Teller in The Offer and because of reading several reviews of people watching this film for the first time, I decided to give this a re-watch. There is a lot of love out there for this film and I took a lot of crap on this site for my negative review, so I wanted to see if I was really being fair to the film. First of all, I have to say Damian Chazelle's direction is positively kinetic at times, but I stand by my original review. As solid as JK Simmons is as the enigmatic Fletcher, it took me out of the story every time he counted off incorrectly. I also had an issue with him throwing a chair at the guy. I don't think a college professor would be allowed to do that. The "are you rushing or are you dragging" scene was silly because we are never told which one the guy was doing and that competition with the three drummers at the halfway point of the film made no sense because we don't have any idea what Fletcher was looking for, His screaminhg "faster" at the three of them came off as forced and affected, not to mention, the three drummers drowning in perspiration.
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Ha, I gave it the same rating back in the day and some people were confused by it.