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Night on Earth, 1991

Over the course of a single day, we see five different cabbies (Winona Ryder, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Isaach de Bankhole, Roberto Benigni, Matti Pellonpaa) in five different cities interact with a range of customers, from executives to bishops to factory workers drowning their sorrows.

Despite all of the segments having the same director, Jim Jarmusch, there was a bit more of an anthology feel than I expected. This largely has to do with the different proportions of comedy and drama in the different sections. And as is often the case with films with such chapters, certain sections were more successful than others. Still, I like all of the segments and didn't feel that there were any that really disappointed.

The first segment, with Gena Rowlands as a casting director who becomes charmed by Ryder's plucky taxi driver is fine. The writing feels a bit exaggerated at times, and I wasn't entirely sold on the chemistry between the two characters. Still, I'd watch Rowlands read a phone book, so . . .

The second segment was one I enjoyed quite a bit. Mueller-Stahl plays an immigrant cabbie who picks up Giancarlo Esposito's character, Yo-Yo, a man who can't manage to flag any other taxis. While the theme might seem a little on the nose and cheesy (two people from very different backgrounds discovering that they have a lot in common!), the actors have solid chemistry and the flow of their conversation is solid. I was kind of lukewarm on the part where Yo-Yo grabs and physically forces his girlfriend (Rosie Perez) into the cab. Despite the slapstick trappings, it just felt off to me. I did really like the segment's final note, something right on the line between comedy and melancholy, as a slightly bewildered Helmut tries to navigate the loud, bright streets of New York.

The Paris segment is fine, if a bit unexceptional. De Bankhole's taxi driver ferries around a blind woman (Beatrice Dalle) and engage in a bit of contentious flirtation. While I don't believe that every blind character must be played by a blind actor, there is something a bit hmmm about someone playing a person with a disability who infamously parked in a handicapped parking space and then attacked the person who gave her a ticket for it and I'll just leave it at that.

The Rome segment is probably the most successful, in the sense of uniting the rhythm of the writing with its delivery. Talking mile-a-minute, Benigni whips through the streets of Rome as his unfortunate passenger, a bishop, becomes more and more agitated. While originally trying to be sensitive to the sensibilities of his passenger, Benigni's rambling eventually makes its way to more and more explicit anecdotes as the bishop gropes for his heart medication. The whole thing is over the top and propelled by Benigni's hyper delivery.

The Helsinki segment rounds things out nicely, with humor that is a bit more subdued. The customers begin by bemoaning their situation--and specifically the situation of their friend who has been laid off--but the cabbie's own story of woe soon shifts their feelings toward their friend.

Overall a good series of vignettes. I had hoped that I would like it a bit more.




The Legend of *redacted to Black* Charley

Fred Williamson can make even the worst attempts at blaxploitation watchable. While this isnít among the worst, it sort of stumbles and shambles its way through a narrative that deserved a surer hand. The climax is among the clumsiest Iíve seen, reusing footage from a previous, similarly staged sequence making everything in between feel tacked on to reach its already short length.






A Man Called Ove - (2015) - Sweden

Ove (Rolf LassgŚrd) is perpetually infuriated with everyone and everything he comes across, appears to be obsessive compulsive and has just lost his wife to cancer. A great character whose daily suicide attempt never quite succeeds because he can't leave anything unanswered, be it a door, telephone or his new neighbours. A fine movie, which doesn't quite hit enough dramatic high points. Many people thinks it's a little too saccharine - but I don't mind sentimentality if it works.

7/10

This film made it to the nomination stage for the 2017 Academy Awards (Best Foreign Language Film.) When I checked out the nominees for that year I was surprised to find that I'd seen four out of the five films in the offing. The Salesman, from Iran, deservedly won the Oscar that year. The two other great films were Land of Mine from Denmark and Toni Erdmann from Germany. I recommend all of them.





Imperium (2016)

This film had a great build-up and then the finale just fizzed like a wet firecracker. That's my opinion anyway. I wasn't expecting World War III, but jeez.... Such a great film for 90% of it's running length.

5/10





Night on Earth, 1991

Over the course of a single day, we see five different cabbies (Winona Ryder, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Isaach de Bankhole, Roberto Benigni, Matti Pellonpaa) in five different cities interact with a range of customers, from executives to bishops to factory workers drowning their sorrows.

Despite all of the segments having the same director, Jim Jarmusch, there was a bit more of an anthology feel than I expected. This largely has to do with the different proportions of comedy and drama in the different sections. And as is often the case with films with such chapters, certain sections were more successful than others. Still, I like all of the segments and didn't feel that there were any that really disappointed.

The first segment, with Gena Rowlands as a casting director who becomes charmed by Ryder's plucky taxi driver is fine. The writing feels a bit exaggerated at times, and I wasn't entirely sold on the chemistry between the two characters. Still, I'd watch Rowlands read a phone book, so . . .

The second segment was one I enjoyed quite a bit. Mueller-Stahl plays an immigrant cabbie who picks up Giancarlo Esposito's character, Yo-Yo, a man who can't manage to flag any other taxis. While the theme might seem a little on the nose and cheesy (two people from very different backgrounds discovering that they have a lot in common!), the actors have solid chemistry and the flow of their conversation is solid. I was kind of lukewarm on the part where Yo-Yo grabs and physically forces his girlfriend (Rosie Perez) into the cab. Despite the slapstick trappings, it just felt off to me. I did really like the segment's final note, something right on the line between comedy and melancholy, as a slightly bewildered Helmut tries to navigate the loud, bright streets of New York.

The Paris segment is fine, if a bit unexceptional. De Bankhole's taxi driver ferries around a blind woman (Beatrice Dalle) and engage in a bit of contentious flirtation. While I don't believe that every blind character must be played by a blind actor, there is something a bit hmmm about someone playing a person with a disability who infamously parked in a handicapped parking space and then attacked the person who gave her a ticket for it and I'll just leave it at that.

The Rome segment is probably the most successful, in the sense of uniting the rhythm of the writing with its delivery. Talking mile-a-minute, Benigni whips through the streets of Rome as his unfortunate passenger, a bishop, becomes more and more agitated. While originally trying to be sensitive to the sensibilities of his passenger, Benigni's rambling eventually makes its way to more and more explicit anecdotes as the bishop gropes for his heart medication. The whole thing is over the top and propelled by Benigni's hyper delivery.

The Helsinki segment rounds things out nicely, with humor that is a bit more subdued. The customers begin by bemoaning their situation--and specifically the situation of their friend who has been laid off--but the cabbie's own story of woe soon shifts their feelings toward their friend.

Overall a good series of vignettes. I had hoped that I would like it a bit more.

Have you seen Jim Jarmusch Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai 1999 ? If not I recommend.





I honestly had 0 expectations, since I hated the theatrical version. It's still bad, but not as bad as said version.
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Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
I've only seen this one and Landscape in the Mist. What would you say are his best films?
Dust of Time & Eternity and a Day
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Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

Parole, Inc. (Alfred Zeisler, 1948)
5/10
The Thief (Pavel Chukhray, 1997)
- 6.5/10
Pungo: A Witch's Tale (Philip J. Cook, 2020)
+ 5/10
Labyrinth of Cinema (Nobuhiko ‘bayashi, 2019)
- 6.5/10

Three hours of Japanese "film history" which is mostly created for the film and made with sharp social anti-war commentary.
Affairs of Cappy Ricks (Ralph Staub, 1937)
5/10
A Man Vanishes (ShŰhei Imamura, 1967)
6.5/10
Madonna of the Desert (George Blair, 1948)
+ 5/10
Star-Crossed Lovers AKA Royal Children (Frank Beyer, 1962)
6.5/10

Visually-potent tale which shows how three "normal people" are changed by Naziism during WWII. This image contains Annekathrin BŁrger and Ulrich Thein - the other is Armin Mueller-Stahl.
Easy Money (Phil Rosen, 1936)
5/10
International Crime (Charles Lamont, 1938)
5.5/10
Redhead (Edward L. Cahn, 1941)
5/10
We Are Little Zombies (Makoto Nagahisa, 2019)
- 6.5/10

Four orphans make it big as a Japanese pop band even though they are basically against popularity.
Get Outta Town (Charles Davis, 1960)
5.5/10
Murder With Pictures (Charles Barton, 1936)
5/10
The Fate of Lee Khan (King Hu, 1973)
+ 6/10
The Compleat Al (Jay Levey & Robert K. Weiss, 1985)
6.5/10

In-depth but BS biography of Weird Al Yankovich which highlights most of his music videos up to that time.
Nasir (Arun Karthick, 2020)
+ 5/10
Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (Stefano Sollima, 2021)
5.5/10
Voyage of the Rock Aliens (James Fargo, 1984)
5/10
Point Blank (Fre d Cavayť, 2011)
6.5/10

Fast-paced action thriller where the intentional misunderstanding of the plot details works to its advantage.
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Absolutely love this movie. 8/10
Me too. In fact itís on its way from Amazon to add to my dvd collection.
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Nomadland- 6/10, Not really my kind of movie. It seems like it was made at the right point in time to get an oscar.

I Care A Lot- 9/10. I really liked this movie. I think it was unfortunate to be made at the wrong point in time which is why it got a lot of criticism. A movie about a morally questionable but likable billionaire doesn't really fly in 2021.



I'll check them out then. Thanks for the recs!
Great! Read the summaries, looks like another (unknown) rich seam for me to mine



Nomadland- 6/10, Not really my kind of movie. It seems like it was made at the right point in time to get an oscar.

I Care A Lot- 9/10. I really liked this movie. I think it was unfortunate to be made at the wrong point in time which is why it got a lot of criticism. A movie about a morally questionable but likable billionaire doesn't really fly in 2021.
I thought "I care a lot" started off OK but then became just......daft. And not particularly good daft.



ON THE BEACH
(1959, Kramer)
A film primarily set in a submarine • A film with Anthony Perkins



"Lately, with so little time left, my sense of values seem to have changed."

Set in an alternate reality where World III has devastated half of the planet, On the Beach follows a group of characters that are sheltered in Australia, which has managed to escape the nuclear fallout, but not for so long. As radiation threatens to reach them, the characters scramble for options: from looking for other habitable places to staying where they are and face certain death, from clinging to memories of the past to embracing new love.

Among the main characters, there is Commander Dwight Lionel Towers (Gregory Peck), a stoic military man quietly mourning the loss of his family, until he meets Moira (Ava Gardner). In addition, we have Lt. Commander Peter Holmes (Anthony Perkins), a young man assigned to serve under Towers, while desperately weighing the options for her young wife and baby child. Finally, there's Julian Osborn (Fred Astaire), an aging scientist that seems to be more cynical about the war and the prospects of the future, while also seeming to be more at peace with it.

This is a film where, for most of its duration, I went a bit up and down with it. Maybe it was the excessive melodrama that came up from time to time. But, like most of its characters, as it approached its ending, my feelings changed; I appreciated what it set out to do a bit more. Let's say that my sense of values seem to have changed.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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Nomadland- 6/10, Not really my kind of movie. It seems like it was made at the right point in time to get an oscar.

I Care A Lot- 9/10. I really liked this movie. I think it was unfortunate to be made at the wrong point in time which is why it got a lot of criticism. A movie about a morally questionable but likable billionaire doesn't really fly in 2021.

Personally, I LOVED I Care a Lot...that movie had me on the edge of my chair for the whole thing.



Have you seen Jim Jarmusch Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai 1999 ? If not I recommend.
I have and quite enjoyed it, though it's been a while and I probably owe it a rewatch.