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Yeah the movie is so good up to the final fight that it doesnít bother me that much, especially since we get that dope cliffhanger to end it all.
Thatís damaging to me. A weak final fight of an action film always leaves a bad taste in my mouth, especially when the promise is ďthings will be cooler next time.Ē Itís forgivable because things WERE cooler next time, which is precisely why 3 and 4 are better.

1 was at least mostly satisfying as a complete story.



It's been a while since a full-bore British movie with no FX, so The Lost King was enjoyable. Phillipa (the very likable Sally Hawkins), feeling unappreciated at work and having gone to a performance of Richard III, one of Shakespeare's villians (the "My kingdom for a horse" guy), thinks that the maligned British king isn't being well treated by history. She suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but has found a new purpose for her minimal physical energy, finding out the true story of Rick3. She has help from spectral visits from the late monarch.

It's very enjoyable, nice to see an occasional movie that's NOT full of effects and animation. It all seems real, including the spectral visits. It's also mostly true, except for Richard III's visits, and the real Phillipa Langley did contribute to actually finding the burial spot and mortal remains of the hunchback king, which was under a parking lot. There was a lot of doubt and opposition from academic "experts" but she ended up being right, both in the movie and in the real world.
'Preciate the tip. This looks very good. I'm a fan of Hawkins, so will look forward to it. And I agree with your points about FX. And PG-13 is a bonus to me...



I forgot the opening line.

By http://uk.movieposter.com/poster/MPW-16855/Mirage.html, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20235042

Mirage - (1965)

Where did this movie come from? A dark mystery/thriller (and neo-noir) with Gregory Peck, Walter Matthau, Kevin McCarthy and George Kennedy running around in New York while Peck's character, David Stillwell, slowly comes to the realisation that he doesn't know who he is. The film starts at the point where he loses his memory, and when one plot point drops early it's pretty easy to put two and two together and figure out what's happened. The why and how of it however, is the most interesting and inscrutable part of the mystery - and Stillwell keeps crossing paths with people trying to either frame him for crimes or kill him. In the background lurks a mysterious figure, "The Major" (Leif Erickson). Interesting characters check in and out of the story - such as Matthau's private investigator, who Stillwell has caught during the very first day on the job. I don't want to give away any plot points, but you can probably see the kind of film this is in your mind - the scenes are really well constructed, and Stillwell's little side-trips (he visits an egotistical Dr. Broden (Robert H. Harris) who believes he's trying to con him so he can use an "insanity" plea for a crime he's committed) are always interesting and add depth to the plot. A fun Hitchcockian diversion.

7/10


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Sleeping Dogs Lie - (2006)

There's something about Bobcat Goldthwait films that always make my inner critic stand up and applaud...as the rest of the world boos and throws rotten tomatoes. I will continue to applaud - regardless. Amy (Melinda Page Hamilton) did something so disgustingly awful in her youth, I can't mention it here. She's not a disgusting person - she's nice and just like any one of us - but this one moment of madness dogs her as she embarks on a serious relationship with John (Bryce Johnson) and all of the people in her life urge her to tell John all of her deepest secrets before marrying him, to start off with complete honesty. None of them, however, knows what that secret is. Her journey from here on out will be painful.

Goldthwait tends to play around with taboos most filmmakers won't go near, and I never get the feeling he's doing it for shock value. In Sleeping Dogs Lie he gives us a great example of this by basing the film around one horrifying act and exploring it in terms of human relationships and family. The budget is small, but nobody can write and direct a film like he can, and just like with Willow Creek, I'm holding Sleeping Dogs Lie up as a masterful but ignored piece of cinematic art by a filmmaker nobody takes seriously. God Bless America and World's Greatest Dad remain his two most popular films. The title of this one is clever and can be read in myriad different ways.

8/10
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SF = Zzz



[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





Well....seen it, the latest installment in the John Wick franchise. I won't even try to summarize the plot line except to say that John Wick, sort of a good guy/assassin, is being pursued by legions of other hired assassins....hundreds of them, coming out of every storm drain and parking garage, spilling out of cars, dropping from the sky. They all shoot and miss while John dispatches them with ruthless efficiency until the 2 hours are over. John has a contract on his head. Duh.

Bad guys are the "High Table". They get dispatched by John too.

It was hyperkinetic, full of FX, all done with blue screen, so they could put the New York skyline in the background. It's not bad if that's what you are in the mood for, but the suspense was somewhat spoiled when John's fate was upstaged by an announcement of a sequel. John WILL be back and Keanu Reeves will, once again, use his droll, valley-guy accent to seem menacing.




The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932)

-


From the 30's list and I watched it for the war countdown. I thought it was pretty interesting as a love story as Stanwyck's character falls for a Chinese general despite her shock at his wartime brutality. Always nice to watch an old classic with this one directed by Frank Capra.



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To Sleep with Anger (1990)




My favorite movie directed by Charles Burnett. Danny Glover is really good, as usual, but he plays an interesting character, without going over the top. Maybe you'd prefer Billy Woodberry, who did "Bless Their Little Hearts"



Bloody Hell (2020)

+


Took a quick break from war films so as not to get sick of them. This movie starts out with a veteran with PTSD being involved in a Bank Robbery in Idaho, but then turns into a folk horror/dark comedy set in Finland. It's a fun little movie that features an entertaining performance from the lead actor.



It's been a while since a full-bore British movie with no FX, so The Lost King was enjoyable. Phillipa (the very likable Sally Hawkins), feeling unappreciated at work and having gone to a performance of Richard III, one of Shakespeare's villians (the "My kingdom for a horse" guy), thinks that the maligned British king isn't being well treated by history. She suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but has found a new purpose for her minimal physical energy, finding out the true story of Rick3. She has help from spectral visits from the late monarch.

It's very enjoyable, nice to see an occasional movie that's NOT full of effects and animation. It all seems real, including the spectral visits. It's also mostly true, except for Richard III's visits, and the real Phillipa Langley did contribute to actually finding the burial spot and mortal remains of the hunchback king, which was under a parking lot. There was a lot of doubt and opposition from academic "experts" but she ended up being right, both in the movie and in the real world.
Took your tip, and watched The Lost King last night. Sally Hawkins was wonderful as Philippa Langley, the dogged sleuth of Richard III's grave. It was interesting seeing Steve Coogan in a straight role (as well as a writer and director). If anything, the production might not be as fascinating as the true story itself.

One detraction for me was the continual use of King Richard as a hallucination to Langley. It's not so much that the trope has been over-used (it has), but that the figure didn't really appear as an apparition or hallucination. Perhaps if they'd put an aura around him or made him fuzzier looking it would have been more effective.

At any rate it was a very enjoyable watch. ~Doc





Well....seen it, the latest installment in the John Wick franchise. I won't even try to summarize the plot line except to say that John Wick, sort of a good guy/assassin, is being pursued by legions of other hired assassins....hundreds of them, coming out of every storm drain and parking garage, spilling out of cars, dropping from the sky. They all shoot and miss while John dispatches them with ruthless efficiency until the 2 hours are over. John has a contract on his head. Duh.

Bad guys are the "High Table". They get dispatched by John too.

It was hyperkinetic, full of FX, all done with blue screen, so they could put the New York skyline in the background. It's not bad if that's what you are in the mood for, but the suspense was somewhat spoiled when John's fate was upstaged by an announcement of a sequel. John WILL be back and Keanu Reeves will, once again, use his droll, valley-guy accent to seem menacing.


I feel bad because people want to love this film. We all want St. Keanu to succeed. We want Wick to kick ass. We want all assassins' dogs to go to heaven. This one was a little too long to be so loud.






Election (2005)



Hong Kong gangster movie that's very much in the style of Scorsese and is a strong recommend if you're a fan of violent gangster sagas like Goodfellas. An election among triad gang bosses leads to a complex web of schemes as two rival candidates try to curry the favor of their peers. Election focuses heavily on the traditions and rituals of Hong Kong triads, and how they conflict with modernity.



I forgot the opening line.
Stalin - Another Perspective?

I enjoyed this very much. I'm always looking for documentaries made by the other side (for once).
In recent years Russia have been waging a pretty large-scale campaign to improve Stalin's image and portray him as a hero, man of the people/workers and socialist genius. The West are of course the villains.



The Verdict - 1982

Gave it a go the other night. I enjoyed it mostly. Newman was awesome in it, you can see why he was such a movie star. Liked his mentor/sidekick as well. I thought they set up the case well and Newman's internal struggle well. He was a very flawed character which made him super interesting. The love interest fell flat for me however. I thought she was basically pointless to the story. She didn't need to be in the movie imo. Also the judge was cartoonish to me. I did enjoy the pinball machine scenes, was a nice touch to show where his attitude was. Sort of split right up the middle with this one. Newman's performance and the case within the story provides enough intrigue to make it entertaining even with a few misfires imo. Feels like a 2 and half but those two factors push it to a 3 for me. I won't rush to revisit it but it was worth a watch if you haven't seen it.



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Subtle Slayer of Normies
Stalin - Another Perspective?

I enjoyed this very much. I'm always looking for documentaries made by the other side (for once).
Watching propaganda movies is as good a learning tool as any. I'd be hard-pressed to find people saying something like that about Hitler, though. And for a good reason.
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Ever After -


It's a tale as old as time (don't sue me, Disney), but here goes: Drew Barrymore wears the mantle of that beloved servant and lover of books, Cinderella, whose evil stepmother (Angelica Huston) and stepsister Marguerite (Megan Dodds) are the crabs in the barrel that is her family's estate. She has an ally in much kinder stepsister Jacqueline (Melanie Lynskey), but she's just as impaired at improving her own situation. While disguised as someone of much higher station in an attempt to right one of her stepmother's many wrongs, she charms Prince Henry (Dougray Scott), who has a similar passion for learning and desire to take charge of his own life. While we watch Cinderella "fake it 'til she makes it," we enjoy a noble, charming and mostly successful attempt at a more traditional, yet more feminist take on the classic story.

This movie was popular while I was growing up. I remember hearing a conversation about it, with someone mentioning that it stars "Drew Barrymore and...another guy." Barrymore lights up the screen as the heroine, not to mention successfully conveys her ambition and thirst for knowledge, and even though I can't blame the person who didn't recall Dougray Scott since he's not a household name, the actor is just as deserving of credit. Besides how well he comes across as a classic "Prince Charming," I like how he expresses his resentment towards the royal life and its lack of freedoms. Most importantly, though, his chemistry with Barrymore is genuine and made me anticipate each scene in which they're together. Patrick Godfrey also shines as Leonardo Da Vinci - who is thankfully an ally to our heroes - for how he does what he can to make the movie fantastical. On that note, despite this character and the beauty of the French countryside, it's all a bit too plain and conventional for me to fully embrace. I like to feel like I'm transported to another world when I see movies like this one and it doesn't do enough to provide that sensation. While I respect the filmmakers' intention to take a more traditional, non-Disneyfied approach with this material, it's perhaps too traditional. Again, for the strong work from this cast - especially our lead couple - and its feminist touches, I still recommend this movie. Just don't be surprised if you find yourself longing to see a pumpkin coach or at least one talking mouse.



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John Wick: Chapter 4









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