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By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7257485

Horror Express - (1972)

Monster? We're British!
Returning to cult films which are better than you'd ever expect them to be we have Horror Express starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Telly Savalas as a typically wild, irreverent Cossack. The story idea comes from the novella Who Goes There? which was first adapted into The Thing From Another Planet in 1951. I've always enjoyed plotlines which included digging up ancient monsters from long-frozen plains - much the same thing as the The Crate segment from the original Creepshow (1982). In this the frozen remains of an ape-creature (a possible missing link humanoid) are dug out of a cave in Manchuria and put on the trans-Siberian express by Professor Sir Alexander Saxton (Christopher Lee) - mayhem ensues when the creature escapes and begins absorbing the memory of every passenger it comes across.

This film moves at a cracking pace and you could almost call it a missing link between the sci-fi horror of the 1950s and 60s and the horror we were about to be inundated with in the 1980s (certain segments of the film feel like The Evil Dead on a train.) There's a mad monk, a spy, a thief, a doctor (Cushing) and various other interesting characters to mix into the 90 minutes of madness. There's a sense of warmness when you think about the fondness Cushing and Lee had for each other and the fact that the latter was helping the former any way he could after the death of Cushing's wife. The low budget of the British/Spanish production hides well under a film that only half takes itself seriously - the rest is a lot of fun and mischief, especially from a freewheeling Savalas. Fans of the genre should see this film.

6/10



Collateral (2004)


Still one of my favorite thrillers after so many years. I always love Tom Cruise, but everything about this movie is arguably perfect in my eyes. The tone, the pace, etc.



Collateral (2004)


Still one of my favorite thrillers after so many years. I always love Tom Cruise, but everything about this movie is arguably perfect in my eyes. The tone, the pace, etc.
I love this movie. One of Tom’s best.
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Re-watch. So very good. DeNiro killed in his rôle.



Re-watch. Sweet movie from Saudi Arabia. A fair amount Lost in Translation, but what can you do.




Oxygen (2021, Alexandre Aja)

French sci-fi survival thriller centered around a woman who finds herself trapped in a cryogenic chamber with a steadily decreasing level of oxygen and no memory of who she is and how she got there. Some good visuals, lots of flashbacks, a couple of obligatory plot twists, and a disappointingly lame ending.
OK but nothing special.



A Quiet Place 2 >> 3.5/10


Jon
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I need to catch up with this. It's probably one the most "popular" Hitchcock films I haven't seen, along with The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).
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By Studio and or Graphic Artist - Can be obtained from film's distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63213830

Arkansas - (2020) - (aka - The Crime Boss)

Here's a good, but not great crime thriller from actor Clark Duke who directs, writes and shows up playing the immensely likeable Swin. There are many great moments, especially with a criminal working as a Park Ranger (or a Park Ranger who's a criminal) played by John Malkovich. Vince Vaughn shows that he's adept at playing villains, even though his role as 'Frog' or 'The Frog' (a legendary big boss who's identity is a secret to everyone but us) shows a more vulnerable/unsure side than we're used to seeing. My first look at Eden Brolin - but she isn't given much to do at all. Everyone is really good in this, but the story needed a bit more to make this a memorable watch. As it is, it's a middle-of-the-road film trying to be a cool Guy Ritchie-type epic mess where the protagonists accidentally get into a situation that's hard to get out of. The moral of this story is that when something bad happens, sometimes the best course of action is to take no action at all. Average.

6/10


By IMDB - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5687334/, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54028741

Redoubtable - (2017) - France - (aka - Godard Mon Amour, aka - Le Redoubtable)

This was very interesting. I know virtually nothing about Jean-Luc Godard's life, but this film has given me the impetus to at least burrow down a bit further. It starts as Godard has just finished filming La Chinoise in 1967. He has the world at his feet, is being described as the greatest filmmaker of the 20th Century and has married stunning 19-year old actress Anne Wiazemsky. Unfortunately, all of this has turned him into something of an insufferable egotist who is generally unpleasant with every person he comes across. Obsessed with Mao and Karl Marx he yearns to become a part of what he sees as a Marxist revolution in France.

Godard tries hard to join in protests and be a leader, but the young people around him are constantly rejecting him as part of the older elite. We're cleverly shown so many little pin pricks into that ego of his, and how much pain it causes him. His self-confidence is fragile, and whenever he encounters criticism he immediately agrees with the harsh judgements he's bombarded with. Nobody looks more out of place at the marches and conferences the revolutionaries hold. His constant battle for supremacy makes him an intolerable, moody and argumentative man. He becomes cruel, both to his young wife and to anyone he happens to come across. By film's end he has completely lost himself and seethes with hatred - a suicide attempt proves to be their marriage's last straw.

Louis Garrel is remarkable as Godard and the film has many things worked into it from Godard's films. But aside from looking at the man's work, this well-told story holds up well as a human tale about relationships and how people change. I really enjoyed it a lot.

7/10



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

Lady in Distress AKA A Window in London (Herbert Mason, 1939)
6/10
Feral State (Jon Carlo, 2020)
5/10
The Kremlin Letter (John Huston, 1970)
5.5/10
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (Nathan Hertz [Juran], 1958)
5/10 Camp Rating 8/10

After being exposed to an alien "satellite", a woman grows enormously and somehow is confined in the upstairs of a house(!)
The Broken Horseshoe (Martyn C. Webster, 1953)
6/10
Queen of Outer Space (Edward Bernds, 1958)
4/10 Camp Rating 7/10
Dead Ringer (Paul Henreid, 1964)
6.5/10
Tormented (Bert I. Gordon, 1960)
5/10 Camp Rating 7/10

Composer Richard Carlson kills and is haunted by his ex- (Juli Reding) just as he's about to be wed.
Kala azar (Janis Rafa, 2020)
5/10
Trog (Freddie Francis, 1970)
4/10 Camp Rating 7/10
Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012)
6/10
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (Jun Fukuda, 1966)
5/10 Camp Rating 8/10

The lobster scene is classic, but Zilla destroying the fakest, tiniest buildings in the series is even better.
The Straw Man (Donald Taylor, 1953)
5/10
Death Curse of Tartu (William Grefé, 1966)
4/10 Camp Rating 7/10
The Pack (Robert Clouse, 1977)
5/10
Ferry (Cecilia Verheyden, 2021)
6.5/10

While doing a series of revenge hits for his boss in his old hometown, Dutch gangster Ferry (Frank Lammers) finds time for some romance with local Elise Schaap.
The London Connection (Robert Clouse, 1979)
6/10
Bloodlust! (Ralph Brooke, 1961)
4/10
Separate Ways (Howard Avedis, 1981)
5/10
Doctor X (Michael Curtiz, 1932)
6/10

Early two-strip Technicolor classic has a menagerie of bizarre characters and F/X, including the synthetic flesh.
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Um, wut?
Are you suggesting that we are just to assume that militaries as vast and technologically advanced as The U.S., Russia, and China, and all of their scientists were just instantly wiped out before anyone used a bullhorn? Or that the little thing that the one woman in the basement with a shotgun could do was beyond all of those armies combined? And there are a lot of loud high-pitched noises in military combat. Hell, one would assume that if waterfalls turn these guys away that just the noise generated by military machinery and guns and rockets and **** firing, explosions, etc., woulda knocked all these critters out, and that right quick. Not to mention, they have urban tanks with Sound Cannons on them in local police forces in some areas, let alone in the actual US military. There is no level of suspension of disbelief that makes the premise work. You are required to just say, "Ok, **** it, I'm just gonna accept whatever the script says so I can enjoy the movie."
I'm not particularly interested in combing over individual complaints about A Quiet Place, since I already did that at length back on the Corrie, and some of these just aren't worth it (like the one about the sound of the waterfall, since it never actually "knocked out" the creatures in the film; again, quit making assumptions that the film never indicated). That being said though, I will make the point that it doesn't make sense to criticize AQP solely for the (supposed) logical holes in its premise, while at the same time praising Arrival, a movie whose premise is not only implausible, but straight-up impossible, because, after all
WARNING: spoilers below
learning a new language, regardless of how exotic it is, cannot just change your mind to the extent that you can see through time. I mean, that's pretty much just treating the language as straight-up magic, which sticks out like a sore thumb in a movie that wrapped itself in the trappings of hard Science-Fiction otherwise.


And I'm not saying that to trash the movie; I mean, I don't even care about how impossible its premise is, because I love that movie, like the way I enjoyed A Quiet Place, because I appreciated its overall level of overall craft, which shouldn't be ignored in favor of solely nit-picking "plot holes".



Professional horse shoe straightener
'The Kid with a Bike' (2011)


I'm a sucker for neo-realism films that feature vulnerable kids, so this was always bound to capture my attention. The Dardennes unashamedly pay homage to de Sica's classic 'Bicycle Thieves' here - It's essentially a tale of a young lad in a care home whose father has abandoned him and sells his beloved bike. What path is he now going to take that will shape his life, who does he trust and love the most?

What scored a few extra points was the way the Dardennes kept the viewer guessing and threw moralistic themes into the final third of the film. The final scene is terrific.

The three main performances were outstanding too, especially Thomas Doret as yopung Cyruil. My 4th Dardennes and now easily my favourite. An excellent film.

8.5/10

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'Dugma: The Button' (2016)


Interesting to see the lives of volunteer suicide bombers; some of the 'matter of factness 'about these people's seemingly impending fate is quite chilling, but beyond the first 20 minutes, nothing of note really occurs.

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'Tokyo Sonata' (2008)


Fairly quiet family drama from Kurosawa who is known for his horror films (Pulse, Cure). It has some odd plot choices in the middle and although the ending is a little sentimental / predictable, it still moved me.




Ocean's Thirteen -


I finally got around to watching the Ocean's Eleven sequels. Talk about righting the ship! While I like Ocean's Twelve more than most, it doesn't play to the first movie's strengths and it has less comic relief. Not to mention, it has more cake than frosting, and the appeal of the first movie is that it has a basic and stable premise on which to slather lots of frosting, i.e. planning the heist, the style, the witty batter, etc. This is also how I would describe this movie, but in addition to the centerpiece being a hack instead of a heist, it's not a carbon copy of the original. That pervasive vibe of coolness, fun and self-assuredness is back, though, which persists from the first frame to the end. It's the kind of vibe that makes me want to watch the movie before doing anything stressful like hosting a meeting to going to the doctor. Thirteen is also arguably even funnier than Eleven, the highlights being David Paymer's hapless casino critic's misadventures and pretty much everything Linus's (Matt Damon) alter ego Lenny Pepperidge does. There's also the glorious execution of the plan, which has just the right amount of complications and twists to be completely satisfying. Despite Danny's team having two more members, the movie does not feel overstuffed, but I still would have liked for some of them to have done more than what they did, Saul Bloom (Carl Reiner) and Yen (Shaobo Qin) in particular. With that said, does it improve upon the first movie's formula? Not really. Is it redundant? Probably. Is it a blast? Most definitely.
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Last Great Movie Seen
Silent Running (Trumbull, 1972)



Napoli si ribella (1977)
aka A Man Called Magnum

An Italian film about a police inspector coming to Naples to bust local mobsters. The story is kinda silly (and has some good non-PC laughs), but the film is damn groovy. On another day I might have liked it even a bit more, but it's certainly OK.

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Resolution (2012)

Quite a disappointment, in a way. The plot synopsis has never interested me, but I've heard so much good about it (and the "sequel") that my hopes had gone up a notch or two. At times it manages a nice everything-is-not-right atmosphere, but the amateurish execution and horrible acting always drag it down. Also, too much like a generic The Twilight Zone episode.

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Widow's Point (2019)

This takes the amateurish to another level. One of the worst soundtracks I've heard. Flat and dull looks, and a story that doesn't seem to know where it wants to go (again, the ending sort of reminds me of The Twilight Zone). Craig Sheffer's The Shining impersonation is kind of a plus as well as the cosmic horror implications.
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What a depressive film, really. It's slow, self centered, and you start not enjoying it from the early start. By the end you can say two things: I don't really like this guy and won't ever see anything made he made, or, this guy is weird but he's honest. Kim Ki-duk, known from 3-Iron and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring makes Arirang, a film where he isolates himself after one of the actresses in one of his movies almost die hanged during the shootings. I received the news that he had died in Lithuania from covid-19 and I experienced a feeling of lost, all due Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring being one of my favorite movies of all time. Those who've watched it know the treatment done to the animals during the shootings, and in this film the why he done it is clear, he was a masochist, he liked to experience and give pain, that's also clear from the poster of this film. There's one scene in this film I didn't like to see, that scene will change how I will see the film Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring for the rest of my life. I didn't know how much that film impacted him, how much of what is there was personal struggle, a barrier he had to overcome. There's a lot of things you can dislike about Kim Ki-duk, the violence in his films, the scandals, but this film is honest and he shows himself truthfully, and that everyone should respect. The movie is available on YouTube for anyone interested.