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Kentucky Rifle (Carl K. Hittleman, 1955)
+
A few people do get shot with the title weapon, sadly though I wasn't one of them

(A very, very, very long shot for my Westerns list, more likely to make my Worst 25)
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Almost famous for having nailed Madonna once



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



American Assassin (2017)


Pretty up and down but the main players did well. The lad Dylan O'Brien especially.

Solid






I was prepping for an action flick and this isn't one. Most of the movie is a crew of Yakuza hanging out in a beach house waiting for orders and dealing with boredom. Strangely funny, never boring and not what I was expecting. At all.
Peak Kitano I think Hey Frederick. Combines the mundane with the downright scary so well.




Motherless Brooklyn (2019)

This is a well done, well thought out production by Edward Norton, based on the book by Jonathan Lethem of the same name. Norton produced, directed, wrote the screen play, and acted in the film along with a stellar cast including Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe, Bobby Cannavale, Cherry Jones, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Alec Baldwin. Reportedly Norton had been trying to bring this book to the screen since 1999, so it was obviously a labor of love.

Set in 1957's NYC, a private eye (Norton) working in a detective firm headed by Frank Minna (Willis), begins an investigation of Minna's puzzling death at the hand of people in league with the city. Norton's character eventually solves the murder, and uncovers several dark secrets both of important people and the city itself.

Norton's detective has Tourette Syndrome along with a photographic memory, which makes for some interesting drama. I'm a sucker for any noir, and this one is absorbing. It's vaguely reminiscent of Polanski's Chinatown, and at 144 minutes it has plenty of time to set the feel and the mood for a late '50s detective story.

A special note is deserved for the excellent jazz score by Daniel Pemberton, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Score for 2019. He was tasked by Norton to come up with jazz trumpet music reminiscent of Miles Davis' "cool sound", which was just getting started in the late '50s. The music was a very integral part of the film.

Initially it took some effort to accept Norton's character's Tourette's, but once accomplished it became a novel quirk. My guess is that as an actor who likes a challenge, Norton was particularly attracted to this role. The Tourette's affliction was not necessary, but it was a definite part of the book's character.

One puzzling set circumstance: There were several '57 automobiles (especially Chevies) in use during the film. But yet whenever an important high level character (mayor, mobster, city official) was seen getting in or out of a car, it was invariably a late '40s vintage. The error was pretty glaring, but perhaps they felt that the late '40s cars went better with the noir feel.

A gratifying film that held one's interest throughout its run time. A picture which warrants another watching.

Doc's rating: 7/10



I've always depended on the kindness of strangers
Farewell My Lovely - 5/10
I love Robert Mitchum, but mysteries bore me just like action movies. So bored, I checked out the boring stock-market and coronavirus news.




Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Maybe I've been reading and thinking role-playing games too much lately but I was constantly thinking "Is this how a game where dice are primarily rolled for the narration rights would be?" Like all the new SWs, characters are utterly forgettable and the story jumps quite randomly from scene to scene. I don't even know if this is worse or better than the previous two because I've mostly forgotten them already (this one will likely pass from my memory soon as well).

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Triple Frontier 2019 Directed by J.C. Chandor



Oscar Isaac recruits his old army buddies to steal millions from a drug lords safe house in a South American jungle.
This film went up and down in quality from slightly above average to an average bro-heist-movie.
Missed opportunity with this pretty cool cast.

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This film went up and down in quality from slightly above average to an average bro-heist-movie.
Missed opportunity with this pretty cool cast.

'Mixed bag' of the year material.






Not too good. Stars CM Punk as a horrible husband who decides to buy a fixer upper to escape how horrible he is aaaaand the fixer upper is haunted but it only affects certain people. You have to be a horrible person for it to affect you. What a coincidence. Guess who just bought the place? So, CM is fixing the place up before his wife gets there and things start happening. Goo from outlets, blood from sinks, corpses in the walls, the usual. The first half is like watching This Old House with a hot ghost popping in every now and then. It's a glossy, bad movie, some ok gore but not nearly enough, no naked folks (in fact the director goes out of the way to NOT have any naked folks) and it's just stupid. I will give CM this: he's a better actor than MMA fighter. Take that for what it's worth.





Fell asleep halfway through, but managed to finish it. Clunky indoor sets, which I always dislike. Lovely to watch a young Deneuve.
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Birds of Passage (2018) - 6.5/10. This one was missed from last year's Oscar nominees, so I finally gave it a go. It's good without being great. The story is interesting enough. Can't really confirm how close to the incidents they were. But a decent watch. I thought the lady on the poster would have a significant role in it, but turned out to be just a side story.
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Juninatten (June Night) - 1940

Swedish film directed by Per Lindberg. Story of a young woman who struggles to distance herself from a past misadventure and ensuing scandal, dealing with both physical and mental trauma. Ingrid Bergman gives a typically phenomenal performance and is superb throughout, complimented by an effective supporting cast. The film is masterful in achieving a fine balance between serious drama and light comedy. Good lighting, cinematography and direction. I'm glad to have re-watched it after quite a few years and seriously feel like watching it again now.

8/10
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Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

Stargirl (Julia Hart, 2020)
6/10
Summer Children (James Bruner, 1965)
+ 5/10
Q Ball (Michael Tolajian, 2019)
+ 6/10
The Rise of Skywalker (J.J. Abrams, 2019)
+ 6.5/10

Damn, Rey's good.
Bedtime Stories (Adam Shankman, 2008)
6/10
Alba (Ana Cristina Barragán, 2016)
+ 5/10
The Devil's Playground (George Archainbaud, 1946)
6/10
Poms (Zara Hayes, 2019)
5.5/10

An elderly cheerleader group is organized by Diane Keaton and Jacki Weaver.
Justine (Stephanie Turner, 2019)
6.5/10
A Crack in the Wall AKA Dark Buildings (Nicolás Gil Lavedra, 2018)
5.5/10
Peeper (Peter Hyams, 1975)
6.5/10
Crawlers (Gisyerg Bermudez,2020)
5/10

Invasion of the Body Snatchers for St. Patrich's Day 2020.
The Buckskin Lady (Carl K. Hittleman, 1957)
5/10
A Boy, a Girl and a Dog (Herbert Kline, 1946)
6/10
New Orleans Uncensored (William Castle, 1955)
+ 5/10
Tough Guy: The Bob Probert Story (Geordie Day, 2019)
6.5/10

So crazy you have to believe it.
Lost and Love (Sanyuan Peng, 2015)
+ 6/10
Kentucky Rifle (Carl K. Hittleman, 1955)
+ 4.5/10
Ay Mariposa (Krista Schlyer, 2019)
6.5/10
Kubrick by Candlelight (David O'Reilly, 2017)
- 7/10

Original, amusing take on Kubrick.
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