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Cůrki dancingu (2015)
aka The Lure

A Polish musical about two mermaids singing in an adult entertainment nightclub. The film has its charms (and I'm not even talking about the pretty topless mermaids), but it feels like an elongated short film. I wonder why no other review mentions what seemed an obvious interpretation: you don't fix identity disorientation with surgery. Still kinda meh, but watchable.
But isn't the whole deal that
WARNING: spoilers below
she gets the surgery to please the man she is in love with?


I took the message more to be that if someone wants you to change some important part of yourself in order to love you, they probably are not worth it.



Please Quote/Tag Or I'll Miss Your Responses
ABBA: The Movie


I saw this many years ago when VH1 would have Rock concerts/documentaries on Friday nights... I just FF'd and watched the songs.... Even the poppiest stuff back then was good and actually had talent. Wonderful vocals and some nice riffs.








Fear of Fear, 1975

As the birth of her second child approaches, Margot (Margrit Carstensen) begins to experience strong anxiety, visual distortions, and a certainty that she is going insane. Her husband, Kurt (Ulrich Faulhaber) is little help, and Kurt's family (Brigitte Mira, Irm Hermann) take barely-disguised delight in Margot's fragile state.

Having at this point heard many, many stories from friends about the emotions they experienced during and shortly after their pregnancies, it was interesting to see which aspects of this story felt "right" to me, and which ones didn't. Margot's generally unsettled state--one in which she seems to oscillate between detachment and nervousness--seemed pretty on the money. Less convincing were the visual distortions (portrayed as the whole world going sort of wavy). It feels almost as if Fassbinder felt the need to put in a symptom that was more "real" or obvious.

I liked Carstensen's performance as Margot, and I appreciated the way that the film portrayed and developed the relationship between Margot, her husband, and her in-laws. In the very beginning of the film, Kurt practically pushes his heavily pregnant wife out of the way in order to keep watching the TV, only breaking away from his show when she announces that she thinks she has gone into labor. His loyalty often feels as if it is more with his own family, which is convenient because they only ever talk about how and why Margot is to blame for everything. Margot's sister-in-law doesn't even bother suppressing a smile when Kurt says that a doctor is worried that Margot might have schizophrenia.

I also liked the way that the film was peppered with echoes of Margot's mental health struggles. A man named Bauer (Kurt Raab) is practically stalking Margot--following her on the street and staring at her and her daughter. A woman with very similar coloring, age, and frame is in the mental health clinic. A scene in which Margot is standing face-to-face with this quasi-mirror is one of my favorite visual moments of the film.

My other favorite sequence is from the still at the top of this review. Margot dutifully takes her Valium, but then takes a drink of cognac and puts on some headphones to listen to some music. Yes, heaven forbid, this mom has a drink and listens to some music. When she is discovered this way--by her in-laws and her child's teacher--they all act as if they have found her in some decadent display of debauchery. In her current living situation, even taking a few minutes to have a drink and listen to a record is treated like a grave sin---is it any wonder she feels like she is going crazy?

While at times I was a bit uncomfortable with what felt like the writer taking what is essentially post-partum depression and just interpreting it how he wanted, I did overall appreciate what the film had to say about how mothers in particular are overly-policed in their behavior and how that can be a dangerous combination with stigmatized mental health.




CRIES AND WHISPERS
(1972, Bergman)
Freebie



"Don't you hear it? Don't you hear the crying? Don't you hear it? Someone is crying endlessly."

Set in the 19th Century, Cries and Whispers follows three sisters and their maid as they cope with the terminal illness of one of them. The film opens with Agnes (Harriet Andersson), who is afflicted with an unspecified ailment, writing in her diary "It is early Monday morning and I am in pain". That sums up her days as she goes from just resting in her room to writhing in pain, all while under the watch of her two sisters, Karin and Maria (Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann), and the maid.

This was one of Bergman's first films in color, and he clearly makes sure to make the most of it. His vibrant use of red and white, and how he transitions from scene to scene adds a lot to the film. The performances are great, especially Thulin and Ullmann, who have the most intense exchanges. There is a certain "staginess" to it, and there's a lot of surreal vibe to everything, but for the most part it works.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot and the PR HOF3.
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About Elly (2009) -


This was an enjoyable film to go in without knowing much about the plot. It further proves that Iran has been in their golden age for film for a few decades at this point. Granted, it took me some time to get on board with the film as it doesn't get going until around half an hour in, but once it gets to the inciting incident, it hooked me and never let go. The various conflicts the characters get into - the seaside incident, the conflict between the families which arises throughout the day, Alireza's presence - were all suspenseful and kept me on board, partly due to the strong acting from the entire ensemble cast and the frenetic camerawork throughout the beach sequence. I especially loved the final act as some of the insight we learn later on in regards to Elly adds a strong emotional core to this suspense which caused the final act to resonate on a deeper level than it did before. The emotional register was rather oblique during this sequence with the knowledge that most of the family members chose to lie about Elly's motives, either out of fear or to protect her honor (which was understandable, given how the institution of marriage is taken rather seriously in Iran). While I don't have a lot to say about this film (which isn't a criticism of it, by any means), I think this film did quite a lot with its premise. Though I wouldn't say this ranks among my favorite Iranian films (I like Farhadi's A Separation more), it's still a really good one and I had a good time with it.




By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63788801

The King of Staten Island - 2020

Like it or not, Pete Davidson is going to be a star. Semi-autobiographical, The King of Staten Island introduces us to Scott Carlin (Davidson) - a no-hoper who smokes dope and has little prospect in life aside from his dream of becoming a tattoo artist (something he's terrible at.) His best friends aren't much better, passing the hours at night selling prescription drugs like Xanex and dreaming of pulling off a drug-store heist. When he inadvisably gives a 9 year old child a tattoo the kid's furious father confronts Carlin's mother (Marisa Tomei) - it sets off a chain of events that nudges 24-year old Scott into better-late-than-never adulthood.

This film is really just a vehicle to showcase Pete Davidson's comedic talents - but it succeeds where it could easily have failed. Without it's lead's charisma Scott Carlin would be an unlikeable, petulant man-child. It underlines the one negative word people associate with millennials. Entitled. Thankfully though, it also shows us that they're human, have hearts, and learn quickly how fast they have to evolve in a world where nothing ever comes for free. Davidson looks and sounds like a teenage Jerry Seinfeld, but there's much more to him and I hope to see him again in more serious films as he himself evolves.

I find it fitting that the film poster says "available on demand" instead of in cinemas now. It's a modern comedy in a modern world - the only reason it didn't make it into cinemas was the COVID pandemic, but it's managed to be a success regardless. Not a great work of art, but an entertaining, warm and very amusing film.

8/10



Another movie I forgot to write about- Logan Lucky- 7.5/10.

An admittedly dumb, but not unenjoyable movie. The ending was kind of strange and a bit tonally jarring. Daniel Craig was spectacular and most of the cast was enjoyable.

Maybe not a film worth coming out of retirement just to make tho...



Cůrki dancingu (2015)
aka The Lure

A Polish musical about two mermaids singing in an adult entertainment nightclub. The film has its charms (and I'm not even talking about the pretty topless mermaids), but it feels like an elongated short film. I wonder why no other review mentions what seemed an obvious interpretation: you don't fix identity disorientation with surgery. Still kinda meh, but watchable.
I never understand why Poland is anti-lgbt. Apart from being invaded by the Nazis their only claim to fame as a country is producing Chopin.



ᗢWanda Maximoff-Scarlet Witchᗢ
rewatched
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https://youtu.be/vXD8y7MjaUo Wanda Maximoff - Scarlet Witch +The Vision WandaVision
https://youtu.be/UEuN4tT47WM Wanda Maximoff - Scarlet Witch
https://youtu.be/sMPEgvbkC7o Wanda Maximoff + Natasha Romanoff
https://youtu.be/2vq4kYomwv8 Natasha Romanoff-Black Widow
https://youtu.be/Ofk3DoT_wwQ Wanda Maximoff - Scarlet Witch
https://youtu.be/6z0QapneuYs Wanda Maximoff - Scarlet Witch



Space Truckers -


Could Stuart Gordon (R.I.P.) do no wrong? With a title and premise like Space Truckers', I was certain this would be the first bad movie I've seen from him and that it would at least be so bad, it's good, but I sincerely had a blast with it. It's a story of a cantankerous, veteran independent trucker (Dennis Hopper), a trainee (Stephen Dorff) and the veteran's would be "green card" bride (Debi Mazar) on the run from a space truck station to Earth while transporting very, very deadly cargo. The movie is the perfect vehicle (no pun intended) for Gordon in that it leverages his talents for genre thrills, creating moments you're not sure whether to laugh or puke at (there are actual square pigs, for example) and making the most of a small budget. The highlight is easily when the gang are captured by space pirates, led by a Charles Dance that is very far removed from his Game of Thrones villain. Also, while it came out in 1996, its theme of the evils of privatization and ill-gotten political power make it an even better fit for these times than its own. It is cheesy and not always in a good way, and while it's no Re-Animator or Dolls, it's bound to maintain your Gordon fandom like it did mine. Oh, and speaking of Dance, I can think of no better way to cleanse your mind of what he did on Game of Thrones - or of the series in general, really - then watch him pull a crank to start his mechanical...enhancements.
Watched it last night and also had a blast. Maybe I'm still on a sugar rush but I'm giving it 4 stars. You're right, it doesn't replace any of my favorite Gordon films, but I'd rank it pretty highly and liked it more than Robot Jox (which I also enjoyed).

The only Gordons I haven't seen now are Fortress with Christopher Lambert and The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit. Not sure I'm man enough to sit through that one but I'm willing to be convinced if anyone can make a case for it.
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Watched it last night and also had a blast. Maybe I'm still on a sugar rush but I'm giving it 4 stars. You're right, it doesn't replace any of my favorite Gordon films, but I'd rank it pretty highly and liked it more than Robot Jox (which I also enjoyed).

The only Gordons I haven't seen now are Fortress with Christopher Lambert and The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit. Not sure I'm man enough to sit through that one but I'm willing to be convinced if anyone can make a case for it.
Glad you liked it! I also have yet to see Fortress, which is next on my list. Unfortunately, it's not streaming anywhere and I've spent too much money on out-of-print DVDs lately.

Where does King of the Ants rank? That and his Poe adaptations are probably next on my list until Fortress is more readily available.







Snooze factor = Z



[Snooze Factor Ratings]:
Z = didn't nod off at all
Zz = nearly nodded off but managed to stay alert
Zzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed
Zzzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed but nodded off again at the same point and therefore needed to go back a number of times before I got through it...
Zzzzz = nodded off and missed some or the rest of the film but was not interested enough to go back over it



Asylum made that? What's it a mockbuster of, Them?
Somehow, they just let Gordon make whatever he wanted. It was among their very first movies. Itís similarly shot on DV but in this case, it adds a degree of dirt and scuzziness to the film that works in its favor.

Itís just a violent, unpleasant and well done neo-noir thriller with horror elements. Itís not as good as Edmund or as polished as Stuck, the crime trilogy Gordon made at the end of his career, but thereís something about it that just works for me.



Somehow, they just let Gordon make whatever he wanted. It was among their very first movies. Itís similarly shot on DV but in this case, it adds a degree of dirt and scuzziness to the film that works in its favor.

Itís just a violent, unpleasant and well done neo-noir thriller with horror elements. Itís not as good as Edmund or as polished as Stuck, the crime trilogy Gordon made at the end of his career, but thereís something about it that just works for me.
Nice, that sounds right up my alley. It's hard to believe Asylum produced something like that.

Vernon Wells and George Wendt are in it? Double sold!



I can't access Amazon Prime right now without a bunch of hoop jumping but as soon as I get back home I'll be adding Space Truckers to my queue. And I remember liking Fortress when I watched it years ago. Didn't know Gordon directed it. Kurtwood Smith with a honkin' bad case of maiesiophilia.



Nice, that sounds right up my alley. It's hard to believe Asylum produced something like that.

Vernon Wells and George Wendt are in it? Double sold!
Wells is also in Fortress.