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Missed a trick here, Chypmunk...

Shoulda called this thread MicroChyps
Nah, I'd only be able to watch sci-fi and spy films then
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201620172018201920202021+
NomsPre-1930 Countdown


Fashionably late to every party since 1473!




Young Fury
Christian Nyby, 1964
Western
DVR - TCM


From IMDb:
With the Dawson gang on his trail, gunslinger Clint McCoy returns to his hometown where he finds his old farm abandoned, his wife in charge of a saloon and his son in charge of a group of young thugs.
There's enough action in this offering but sadly a fair bit of that involves juvenile high-jinks, perfectly in keeping with the ages of the protagonists perhaps but renders parts a little too immature for my taste. The inter-generational conflict is one that always has plenty of scope, but it's not really developed beyond the basics here and mostly plays out in fairly predictable fashion. The shootout in the final act is easily the high-point of the film, even managing to add a small touch of tension into proceedings. On a sad footnote though this would prove to be William Bendix's final film


+



Gentle Annie
Andrew Marton, 1944
Romance, Western
DVR - TCM


From IMDb:
In 1901, an undercover US Marshal is sent to Oklahoma Territory to investigate a string of train robberies and arrest the culprits.
Those reading the above synopsis and looking for an action-packed b-movie full of gun-play or chase sequences would be better looking elsewhere, not that it's completely devoid of such elements but this is far more a character drama. Although a little weak in the opening minutes once the tale settled into its stride I found it a fairly enjoyable one with decent performances from most of the principal players.





Dolly Parton - Here I Am
Francis Whately, 2019
Documentary, Music
DVR - BBC Two


From IMDb:
In this documentary, the life, career and music of Dolly Parton are reflected in interviews with friends and companions and the artist herself, interlaced with clips of Parton's performances.
Have to say this doesn't open well at all with a dreadful pre-titles sequence, cutting tiny snippets together in a style that provides nothing but annoyance and frustration - thankfully this frenetic style of presentation doesn't extend too far into the documentary. There really isn't anything out of the ordinary in the way things are presented, and there will always be weaker contributors or material skirted around or omitted entirely in these things, but she's a fascinating subject and even if one already knows much of the material on offer it remains an interesting enough watch imo. There's plenty of emphasis on her extraordinary songwriting ability and certainly a love for the lady herself on display, which is perfectly fine with me.





Annihilation
Alex Garland, 2018
Adventure, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
DVD


From IMDb:

Mixed offering that has some nice visuals accompanied by a well suited score (for the most part) and was quite enjoyable during the quieter moments within the 'Shimmer' (the journey reminded me somewhat of that in Tarkovsky's Stalker). On the downside though the action scenes with the mutated animals were extremely poorly realised (one of them also being quite ludicrous), none of the characters were particularly well developed and the climactic confrontation summed up the feeling of 'style over substance' that pervaded throughout. So sadly, despite some visually quite beautiful world-building, for me the overriding feeling at the end was more one of frustration with what could have been than wonderment at was.


+
I really dug this. I've been meaning to rewatch it, but I think it handled the themes of creation vs. destruction, and the many ways people can cope with grief in interesting ways.
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Nam-ja sa-yong-seol-myeong-seo - [How To Use Guys With Secret Tips]
Wonsuk Lee, 2013
Comedy, Romance
DVD


From IMDb:
A messed-up life's woman buys a video tape named 'How To Use Guy with Secret Tips' that will change her life forever.
South Korean humour can be rather hit and miss with me and this one is no exception with it being a very mixed bag in that department. The concept is neither new nor remarkable (and probably regarded as outdated by some), but is executed well enough with both Lee Si-young and Oh-Jeung-Se inhabiting their roles nicely. The tone becomes more serious in the final third but that's no bad thing and, all-in-all, while a little too juvenile/silly at times for my taste it still brought a few smiles, did enough to make me care for the predictable ending and the hour and fifty passed pleasantly enough.


+



O' Horten
Bent Hamer, 2007
Comedy, Drama
DVD


From IMDb:
A drama focused on a life-changing moment in 67-year-old train engineer Odd Horten's existence: the evening of his retirement.
Dryly comic and absurdist/surreal by nature, but most of all a quietly effective character piece with a central character that is just so human and relatable even if one bears nothing at all in common with him. There's a level of restraint to both proceedings and the beautifully appropriate score that accompanies which enhances the material, and turns what could have been a cold, matter of fact presentation into one full of warmth and empathy. Odd by name and odd by nature perhaps, but imo it's a delightfully rewarding watch if you're willing to let it in.


+



The Endless
Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead, 2017
Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
DVR - Film4


From IMDb:
As kids, they escaped a UFO death cult. Now, two adult brothers seek answers after an old videotape surfaces and brings them back to where they began.
Lower-budget offering that does manage some nice cinematography here and there but really isn't that visually appealing. The tale does give a portrayal of a cult organisation that's somewhat believable but any ambiance it manages to build is too often undercut for me whenever the score (that I find both formulaic and grating) is present. The attempts to add mystery to elevate proceedings don't really bear fruit until the second half, but even then all too often either a verbose slice of script or flat acting (particularly that of Justin Benson but most of the performances are rather one-note) quickly drag it back down. A shame as the core idea is ok but the execution is mostly lacking imo, perhaps a slightly better paced first half or a little more varied tonality might have improved it somewhat.


+



Fire With Fire
David Barrett, 2012
Action, Crime, Thriller
DVR - TCM


From IMDb:
A fireman takes an unexpected course of action when a man whom he's been ordered to testify against, after being held up at a local convenience store, threatens him.
Actioner that has nothing which rises above mediocre and a number of aspects that don't even attain that level. The narrative is unremarkable, there's nothing here that hasn't been done before and far better. The score is generally uninspired and adds nothing to proceedings aside from a little annoyance. One or two of the lesser parts are acted ok, but of the main players only Vincent D'Onofrio seems to want to inject his character with any sort of personality. The action scenes are mainly disappointing and on occasion even laughably poor.


+



The Moonlighter
Roy Rowland, 1953
Western
DVR - TCM


From IMDb:
A cattle herder turned rustler runs from a lynch mob and falls, again, for an ex-lover.
Modest little affair that opens nicely but then struggles to live up to the promise of those opening few minutes. The cast generally do what they can with the material but are not helped by some of the dialogue or the plot completely ditching its initial premise for a serviceable but rather unremarkable tale with few standout moments and an ending that feels akward and rather abrupt. Apparently this film utilised 3-D but apart from the crappy opening credits it wasn't really noticeable to me.





La femme du Vème - [The Woman In The Fifth]
Pawel Pawlikowski, 2011
Drama, Mystery, Thriller
DVR - Film4


From IMDb:
A college lecturer flees to Paris after a scandal costs him his job. In the City of Light, he meets a widow who might be involved in a series of murders.
Mixed affair that appears rather mundane initially and struggles to engage as I simply just didn't care much for the central character. Slowly paced throughout, it's not until the relatively late introduction of a murder and that which follows where it really generates any interest, and whilst the final minutes do provide open-ended intrigue it all just left me feeling that it was sadly too little potential payback for enduring that which went before.


+



The Two Faces Of January
Hossein Amini, 2014
Romance, Thriller
DVR - Film4


From IMDb:
A thriller centered on a con artist, his wife, and a stranger who flee Athens after one of them is caught up in the death of a private detective.
Generally low-key affair that for the first half centres more on the relationships between the main characters with the 'thriller' aspect forming more of a backdrop to proceedings. The dynamic shifts in the second half where it moves into more standard territory but all three of the main players perform their parts well and the score helps create a suitable atmosphere through both halves. Lacks a little credibility in places and none of the twists and turns should surprise anyone but on the whole it's a nice enough watch imo.





Hounds Of Love
Ben Young, 2016
Crime, Drama, Thriller
DVD


From IMDb:
Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realises she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive.
No frills affair that's loosely based on real events and although any violence is mostly either implied or off-screen still manages to be surprisingly effective in its portrayal. Both kidnapee (Ashleigh Cummings) and her captors (Stephen Curry and Emma Booth) are played convincingly enough, with the first two both putting in excellent performances. There is a slight tendency to occasionally use slo-mo for no real reason in the earlier stages (it's good for the opening scene though) and the ending is a bit clichéd, but other than that it's a decent watch imo.





Daeho - [The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale]
Hoon-jung Park, 2015
Action, Adventure, Drama
DVD


From IMDb:
While the Kingdom of Korea is under occupation by the Japanese, an old and experienced hunter is challenged by the hunt of the last tiger.
Nicely enough acted offering that for the most part looks pretty good in the presentation, unfortunately the CGI isn't that convincing though. The tale itself struggled at first to draw me in, partly because there wasn't much differentiation between the intermingled timelines I think. It does eventually overcome that difficulty but sadly it's not too long before proceedings just become far too implausible and the whole moves into fantasy territory, which is neither what I expected nor wanted. It isn't a particularly badly made film, just one that's not that well suited to my personal taste.


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The Two Faces Of January
Hossein Amini, 2014
Romance, Thriller
DVR - Film4


From IMDb:

Generally low-key affair that for the first half centres more on the relationships between the main characters with the 'thriller' aspect forming more of a backdrop to proceedings. The dynamic shifts in the second half where it moves into more standard territory but all three of the main players perform their parts well and the score helps create a suitable atmosphere through both halves. Lacks a little credibility in places and none of the twists and turns should surprise anyone but on the whole it's a nice enough watch imo.


This was the first Oscar Isaac film I saw, and he left an impression with it. As for the film itself, I more or less agree with your assessment.



This was the first Oscar Isaac film I saw, and he left an impression with it. As for the film itself, I more or less agree with your assessment.
Yeah, I thought he played his part pretty well in it.