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I was a big fan of this movie when I was about 17 years old, right at the end of the 1980s. I always thought it was a lot of fun, but I am such a Michael Caine fanboy that I worried I would not particularly enjoy it on a revisit.
But I was wrong.

Caine plays Graham, a middle-aged executive with a privileged, self-absorbed wife, an alcoholic mentor/boss, and a life that's maybe just a bit beyond his means, who is in line for the big promotion he's been waiting his whole career for. It is assumed to be fait accompli, he's begun to accept that he is finally getting his due, his office-mates have already started celebrating, and his wife has, at least in her head, already spent all the money.
But when he is passed over for a younger, yuppie colleague, his dashed dreams, the disrespect from his new boss, and the subtle condescension from his wife are almost more than he can take. So when he gets away with accidentally killing a homeless man, a new way of looking at life and opportunity begins to grow inside of him and we witness the evolution of sociopath. Or was it just faulty wiring in the basement that set him off?
The movie is surprisingly snappy and rides a fine line between dark and glib. You can do that when you have Michael Caine. To say that he carries this film is to miss the point, he is this film. This is not to say that Peter Riegert, Swoozie Kurtz, and even Elizabeth McGovern aren't very good in their roles, au contraire, they're all quite good (particularly Riegert), but they are there to service Caine's central performance. His ability, seen in countless films, to be charming or menacing with equally ease (Dressed To Kill, Sleuth, Deathtrap) is well-utilized here as he is consistently both. Caine takes Graham from hopeful to downtrodden to triumphant to downright sinister over the course of about 100 minutes and every step of the way is as credible as if Caine were simply exhaling. The movie actually does make some edgy choices for a film that feels so light and that's a really nice balancing act as I've mentioned. It's a thriller about a good man becoming a very bad man but it's also slight and kinda fun but also doesn't really pull the punches much either. A neat trick to be sure. Initially I took some exception with director Jan Egleson's heavy use of Dutch angles but I honestly think he pulled this film off nicely, maintaining a tension throughout the second and third acts, forcing the audience to constantly wonder, "Is he gonna get caught?... Oooh, is that how he gets caught?... Oooh!!! Is this how he gets caught?!...", and really landed it exactly where it should have landed, in an odd space between winking Black Comedy and winking-but-sinister Thriller.
Sayeth Roger Ebert, on the film's release, "A Shock to the System confounds our expectations and keeps us intrigued, because there's no way to know, not even in the very last moments, exactly which way the plot is going to fall."






Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) - 5.5/10.
For the first time, I can say, Vera Farmiga was not looking hot in a movie. She looked like an aunt! Definitely a disappointment there!
I know what you mean. No matter how much I enjoy Farmiga as an actor, she's so damn hot I am always distracted. Maybe seeing her as "an aunt" will make it easier for me to focus.



I think I remember this playing at Warehouse Cinema in Frederick and thought :
“Wait....what?”

I ultimately skipped it, and figured I’d wait to rent in from the local rental but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Reading your review.....*sigh*. I may just break down and do it.
I mean....Nic Cage vs angry muppets (possessed? Or is this some sort of Chopping Mall deal where they have an electrical short and go haywire?)

I mean.....I’ll only get answers if I watch this....and that may be the only real reason I watch it.

That and to see the dead serious line delivered from the trailer.

“He’s not locked in there’s with them....they’re locked in there with him!!”
I watched it on Hulu (for "free"). Again, I just needed something brainless and a little weird and this fit the bill okay. Set your bar low and enjoy!

Does this have anything to do with Mandy (2018)?
Oh my gosh I wish.

There is actually a part where he uses duct tape on some injuries and I was like "MANDY REFERENCE!!!."



Heh. I love Easy Rider.
I think it's good, but it's the kind of film where I prefer to watch specific scenes (some of Jack Nicholson's scenes, the acid trip, the ending) rather than whole the whole film again.



I think it's good, but it's the kind of film where I prefer to watch specific scenes (some of Jack Nicholson's scenes, the acid trip, the ending) rather than whole the whole film again.
I came home one night a few years ago, admittedly stoned, and flipped on TCM as I am wont to do. Some movie was starting that I recognized but knew I hadn't seen in many years and it just gripped me right from the start. I quickly realized it was Easy Rider but it was the movie itself, not the memory of it or reputation or anything, that sucked me in, and I ended up watching the whole thing despite how late it was.
I actually wrote a top-notch write-up on it right then but it was lost to the sinking of the Corri.
Anyway, I was really impressed with it and the sort of series of vignettes that make up the road-trip of these two icons of American Freedom oblivious, like the audience, to the fate that awaits them.
I just love it.

PS- While the campfire scene probably remains my favorite part of the film, I actually really liked the whole commune section of the film quite a bit as well.



LIAR LIAR
(1997, Shadyac)
A film with a title that starts with the letters K or L • A film with a repeated word in its title • A film about fathers



Max: "My dad, he's a liar."
Teacher: "A liar? I'm sure you don't mean a liar."
Max: "Well, he wears a suit and goes to court and talks to the judge."
Teacher: "Oh I see. You mean he's a lawyer."
Max: *shrugs*

The film follows Fletcher Reede (Jim Carrey), a manipulative and conniving lawyer (and Max's dad) that tends to put his career and personal interests ahead, usually at the expense of his son. But things get complicated for him when, after missing his birthday, Max wishes that his father could not tell a lie for one day.

I've seen Liar Liar dozens of times, from theater back in 1997 to last night, and it never fails to make me laugh. Smacked down in the middle of Carrey's previous crazy comedies (Ace Ventura, Dumb and Dumber) and his more serious dramatic attempts (The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), this one manages to find a perfect balance between his physical comedy and the earnest family drama at its core, and he's pitch perfect in both.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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The Unholy (2021)

Didn't expect much and that's what I got. Hackneyed writing that didn't do justice to the premise or the actors.



Please Quote/Tag Or I'll Miss Your Responses
Roma - 6/10
Could have been good. Seemed a bit like a fashion show, and watching two mutes eating dinner, since most of the dialogue is worthless... I did like the busty women, especially the topless ones.








Urban Legend (1998) - 4/10. Not that enjoyable. Kinda lame revenge plot. Clichéd to the max and jump scares galore. Probably a product of the times. But definitely a very weak entry in the genre when compared to Scream or I Know What You Did Last Summer.
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My Favorite Films





Macao, 1952

Meeting aboard a ship headed for Macao, an ex-Army man on the run from an unknown past, Nick (Robert Mitchum) and singer/hustler Julie (Jane Russell) get off to a rocky start when she lifts his wallet. Landing in Macao, Julie is hired as a singer by a casino operator named Vincent (Brad Dexter), an American who is wanted for murder back in the States. Convinced that Nick is secretly a detective sent to abduct him back to the US, the three end up in a dangerous triangle, as both men set their romantic sights on Julie.

My first impression of this film was, wow, these characters suck. Nick rescues Julie from a sexual assault aboard the boat, only to then to crowd her into "paying him back" with a kiss. What a gem! Then moments later, Julie changes her stockings, just throwing the old ones into the river. So, yeah, not a great impression of either of them.

But as the film goes on, the simple-but-effective thriller elements, combined with Mitchum and Russell's natural charms kick into gear and it's a pretty breezy ride from there on out.

While I didn't 100% buy the romantic chemistry between the characters, I did buy the dynamic between them that these are two people who have had rough times and thus can empathize with each other. They are well matched in exuding both an easy charm and a sharp wit, which gives their interactions and banter a nice rhythm.

It was also nice seeing some (but not all, unfortunately) of the Chinese characters played by actual Asian actors. There is even a nod toward the treatment of the citizen of Macao when an American gives a Chinese barber instructions in obnoxious "Chinese speak" (concluding with "chop chop"--oof!), and she retorts in perfect English, "So who do you like this year, the Giants or the Dodgers?" and then laughs at his startled response. It's not necessarily a wholly progressive portrayal of Asian characters, but frankly I was expecting to cringe the whole way through and it was nice to not be confronted with lazy, old-school racism every five minutes.

The plot itself is a bit slight. There wasn't too much that surprised me, and both the thriller aspect and the romantic aspect felt kind of underdeveloped. The film moves along at a good enough pace that you don't really feel the film drag. But it felt like there was just something missing to elevate it into a more memorable story.

An easy way to spend 90 minutes, and sure to please anyone who is a fan of Mitchum or Russell.




Heh. I love Easy Rider.
Well, I respect it, but it's definitely more of an interesting movie than it is a truly great/compelling one for me. At any rate, does this mean you're not a fan of me going with The Wild Bunch for my New Hollywood pick from '69?




I was a big fan of this movie when I was about 17 years old, right at the end of the 1980s. I always thought it was a lot of fun, but I am such a Michael Caine fanboy that I worried I would not particularly enjoy it on a revisit.
But I was wrong.

Caine plays Graham, a middle-aged executive with a privileged, self-absorbed wife, an alcoholic mentor/boss, and a life that's maybe just a bit beyond his means, who is in line for the big promotion he's been waiting his whole career for. It is assumed to be fait accompli, he's begun to accept that he is finally getting his due, his office-mates have already started celebrating, and his wife has, at least in her head, already spent all the money.
But when he is passed over for a younger, yuppie colleague, his dashed dreams, the disrespect from his new boss, and the subtle condescension from his wife are almost more than he can take. So when he gets away with accidentally killing a homeless man, a new way of looking at life and opportunity begins to grow inside of him and we witness the evolution of sociopath. Or was it just faulty wiring in the basement that set him off?
The movie is surprisingly snappy and rides a fine line between dark and glib. You can do that when you have Michael Caine. To say that he carries this film is to miss the point, he is this film. This is not to say that Peter Riegert, Swoozie Kurtz, and even Elizabeth McGovern aren't very good in their roles, au contraire, they're all quite good (particularly Riegert), but they are there to service Caine's central performance. His ability, seen in countless films, to be charming or menacing with equally ease (Dressed To Kill, Sleuth, Deathtrap) is well-utilized here as he is consistently both. Caine takes Graham from hopeful to downtrodden to triumphant to downright sinister over the course of about 100 minutes and every step of the way is as credible as if Caine were simply exhaling. The movie actually does make some edgy choices for a film that feels so light and that's a really nice balancing act as I've mentioned. It's a thriller about a good man becoming a very bad man but it's also slight and kinda fun but also doesn't really pull the punches much either. A neat trick to be sure. Initially I took some exception with director Jan Egleson's heavy use of Dutch angles but I honestly think he pulled this film off nicely, maintaining a tension throughout the second and third acts, forcing the audience to constantly wonder, "Is he gonna get caught?... Oooh, is that how he gets caught?... Oooh!!! Is this how he gets caught?!...", and really landed it exactly where it should have landed, in an odd space between winking Black Comedy and winking-but-sinister Thriller.
Sayeth Roger Ebert, on the film's release, "A Shock to the System confounds our expectations and keeps us intrigued, because there's no way to know, not even in the very last moments, exactly which way the plot is going to fall."
I'm sold!!


By Studio and or Graphic Artist - Can be obtained from the film's distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59887909

The Chaperone - (2018)

The last of 16 films I borrowed from the library, I don't know what made me include The Chaperone. Elizabeth McGovern looks a bit like a man on the film poster. Maybe I thought this was some kind of mix of The Danish Girl and Some Like it Hot.

Anyway, it's something of a dull affair. I was grateful to learn a bit about Louise Brooks, and for Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl to be added to my watchlist. The film itself is about Brooks' voyage to New York and stardom, all under the strict eye of chaperone Norma (McGovern) who happens to be a lot more innocent than the person she's chaperoning. Not boring, but not particularly memorable either.

4/10



Censor (2021)

An OK retro-horror that overplays the nostalgia of the "good" old video nasty days. It tries to be Ready Player One for the sleazy B-horror fans, and sort of fails for the same reasons. I kept hoping that there would be something more to the story, but there really wasn't a proper pay-off. Not a fan of the aspect ratio tomfoolery either. Still decent and I kinda liked the visual style (minus the changing aspect ratios).
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'Infernal Affairs' (2002)


Tense, well acted, no needless action sequences. Way better than Scorsese's remake. - mainly because there is much more emotion in the final act, as opposed to a silly sequence of a rat.