Submit Your
2000s
List
The deadline for the Top Films of the 2000s list is days away! Submit your ballot now, or read about it here

Rate The Last Movie You Saw

Tools    





PHOENIX
(2014, Petzold)
-- recommended by Sylvie --





Phoenix follows Nelly (Nina Hoss), a former singer trying to pick up the pieces of her life after the end of World War II. A survivor of a concentration camp, Nelly was left for dead after being shot in the face, but undergoes reconstructive surgery in an attempt to regain her normal life. "How do you want to look?", asks the doctor, trying to give her the option to start life anew, but Nelly wants to look "exactly like I used to". But sometimes, the wounds are too deep, too severe, "it's never quite the same".

Phoenix a slow burner, as director and co-writer Christian Petzold takes his time to set the story, and build the characters. The fire you can feel from the three main performances also doesn't let the story feel stuck, but rather keeps it moving, wondering what will happen next. The film is not a thriller, but a more introspective character study as we see them each pondering their next steps, and what to do. How can we reconstruct, or recreate after... this?

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
I really love Phoenix. I like the integration of the thriller and drama elements--not only figuring out what has happened in the past, but also deciding how long you can go while pretending not to know a truth that will radically change your own sense of self.




Murmur (Heather Young, 2019)
6-/10
Iron Warrior (Al Bradley [Alfonso Brescia], 1987)
4/10
Nathalie... (Anne Fontaine, 2003)
+ 6/10
Annette (Leos Carax, 2021)
6/10

Narcissistic singer Adam Driver uses his "daughter" in more ways than one in a darkly bizarre musical.
Track of the Moon Beast (Richard Ashe, 1976)
4/10
Out of My League (Alice Filippi, 2020)
6/10
In Pursuit of Silence (Patrick Shen, 2015)
6.5/10
The Green Knight (David Lowery, 2021)
5.5/10

Sir Gawain (Dev Patel) "slays" the Green Knight and then travels on a year-long journey after which he may confront him again.
My Love, Don't Cross That River (Jin Mo-young, 2014)
6/10
Invasion from Inner Earth (Bill Rebane, 1974)
+ 4.5/10
Clambake (Arthur H. Nadel, 1967)
5.5/10
PAW Patrol: The Movie (Cal Brunker, 2021)
6/10

Yep, the Doggy Police are cute, but they're the most-competent public service employees in Adventure City.
The Wanting Mare (Nicholas Ashe Bateman, 2020)
5.5/10
The Alpha Incident (Bill Rebane, 1978)
5/10
Chloe and Theo (Ezna Sands, 2015)
5.5/10
The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf (Kwang Il Han, 2021)
+ 6.5/10

Mercenary swordsman fights monsters including a new, more-dangerous one.
Blood Harvest (Bill Rebane, 1987)
5/10
Tales of Dracula (Joe DeMuro, 2015)
6/10
Wicked Blood (Mark Young, 2014)
+ 5/10
Vampire (E.W. Swackhamer, 1979)
6/10

Although he's still being aided by retired cop E.G. Marshall, architect Jason Miller here is at the mercy of vampire Richard Lynch in San Francisco.

So much dissapointment inherent in your ratings...



A buddy of mine is friends with Bruce Willis. Willis was at my buddy's wedding... and was a complete ******* to anyone who even tried to speak to him. But what I learned from my friend is that Willis doesn't give one **** anymore. He does an endless stream of movies where he gets paid a bunch of money to show up for one day of shooting or three days of shooting or whatever and then he's free again to do whatever the hell he wants. He has little if any interest in acting anymore except as a way to keep all the bills paid so he just churns out Red Box fare when it suits his schedule and he really doesn't care what anybody thinks about it.
Strange but it is what it is. Personally, having met him and feeling that he was a real douchebag, I enjoy seeing his public shame even if he doesn't care at all (and he doesn't).
Yeah, that seems to be the case. He likely doesn't give a damn any more. He's never one a significant award, so since it's not going to happen now, maybe that influences his attitude. On the other hand he might just be a pr*ck...




By David O. Selznick Productions - Source, Public Domain

The Fallen Idol - (1948)

Terrific film from Carol Reed based on a short story by Graham Greene. The film takes place in an Embassy in London, from the point of view of a child (the son of important diplomats) who idolizes butler Baines (Ralph Richardson) - when Baines is discovered by the child having an affair there starts a series of secrets, lies and trouble - eventually leading to someone's death. The kid finds himself in a world he doesn't understand - with potentially tragic results. Reed and Greene would be nominated for Oscars for directing and adapted screenplay. I enjoyed every minute.
7.5/10
I loved it too. Great atmosphere and wonder, even if the kid got a little too whiny... Here's my commentary:


The Fallen Idol(1948)

One of Carol Reed's finest, based on a short story by Graham Greene. Released a year before his masterpiece, The Third Man, Reed's penchant for mysterious street scenes and unusual camera angles are on full display in this captivating suspense drama.

There was a fine performance by Ralph Richardson as Mr. Baines, the butler, harassed by his nasty and dominating wife wonderfully acted by Sonia Dresdel. The young boy was played by Bobby Henrey, who was believable and well casted. His dialogue was written with a little too much nattering neediness, but the approach of moving along the plot primarily through his eyes draws the viewer into the drama.

There were excellent supporting roles by Michele Morgan as the mistress and Denis O'Dea as the chief inspector. The film won the BAFTA award that year for best picture.

Doc's rating: 8/10




Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7086640

Witness for the Prosecution - (1957)

The end credits forbade me to talk about this film (the first time I can ever remember that happening.) Considering that it's 64 years old and based on a story that's nearly 100 years old I could be excused for loosening that restriction a little bit. Fine performances and quirky humour turn what might have been an average courtroom thriller into something more. I've always liked Charles Laughton - from Ruggles of Red Gap to Spartacus, he never lets me down. Tyrone Power and Marlene Dietrich (especially) hold up their end of the bargain well.

8/10


Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7728162

Mulholland Drive - (2001) - rewatch

Discerning dream (or nightmare) from reality has never been as difficult or fun as in this. It helps that this film is so inscrutable it lets me off the hook, allowing for myriad interpretations and theories. There's a monster living behind a diner, a disfigured freakish boss figure meddling in a Hollywood film and various hopefuls dreaming and becoming unglued as their dreams become reality and their reality becomes a dream.

silencio

8/10



The subscribing splash comes up, but you can close it in the X and still read the article. At least that's how I read it.
Apparently I've read my limit of free articles this month, I'll save it for the 1st.





2nd-Re-watch...Ben Stiller created his masterpiece as the director, co-screenwriter, and star of this dead on satire of Apocalypse Now and the documentary Hearts of Darkness which finds five actors working on a big budget action film turned into real soldiers through a bizarre series of events. The Oscar-worthy screenplay combines an on-target look at the Hollywood machine as well as the behind the scenes turmoil that surrounded the Coppola classic. Stiller's cast is perfection with standout work from Robert Downey Jr, who earned an Oscar nomination as an arrogant Australian actor who undergoes a "pigmentation augmentation" so that he can play a black character, Matthew McConaughey as Stiller's agent, and especially Tom Cruise, who buries his sex symbol image to be believable as the hard-assed producer of the movie. Cruise should have received an Oscar nomination too. Research revealed that Cruise came up with the look for his character completely, including prosthetic hands. Funny, smart, and richly entertaining...still.
Sadly, this movie was not for me. Most of the humor, outside of Cruise and RDJ, completely missed for me, with specific focus on Danny McBride's part and the Simple Jack reenactment/brainwashing parts for Stiller. Did like Cruise, though, which I usually don't.




Aquarela




SF = Z


[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



Witness for the Prosecution - (1957)

The end credits forbade me to talk about this film (the first time I can ever remember that happening.) Considering that it's 64 years old and based on a story that's nearly 100 years old I could be excused for loosening that restriction a little bit. Fine performances and quirky humour turn what might have been an average courtroom thriller into something more. I've always liked Charles Laughton - from Ruggles of Red Gap to Spartacus, he never lets me down. Tyrone Power and Marlene Dietrich (especially) hold up their end of the bargain well.

8/10

Mulholland Drive - (2001) - rewatch

Discerning dream (or nightmare) from reality has never been as difficult or fun as in this. It helps that this film is so inscrutable it lets me off the hook, allowing for myriad interpretations and theories. There's a monster living behind a diner, a disfigured freakish boss figure meddling in a Hollywood film and various hopefuls dreaming and becoming unglued as their dreams become reality and their reality becomes a dream.

silencio

8/10
Oh, man! You've picked out a great one in Witness for the Prosecution. I watch it every couple of years just to remember what a great film looks like. I agree 100% with what you said about Laughton. His role was one of the most enjoyable pieces of acting I've ever seen-- and he's had many of them. Elsa Lanchester wasn't too shabby either!

Everyone was cooking with gas on this film-- even Una O'Connor as the housekeeper who testified in court. And directed by the great Billy Wilder?? Heaven, baby!

I've stayed away from watching Mulholland Drive for 20 years now because....... well, I'd better keep that to myself. But on your recommendation I might fire it up tonight since I'm "batching" it (my wife is away for the night), and I can take a look at what they're all cooing about... If I make it through, I'll let you know my opinion.




Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24951061

Rollerball - (1975)

Not bad. Another dystopian future for us, with corporations ruling the world and a violent sport the main source of entertainment (and a lesson for us.) Jonathan E. (James Caan) - a superstar of the game, is being pressured to retire for reasons which are obvious but still somewhat spoiler-rated. He refuses, even when rule-changes dump fouls meaning that players can just outright start killing each other. The carnage inside and outside of the stadium mixes well with a world we really don't want. A good thing then that corporations aren't on the way to domin......ohhhh

6.5/10


By The poster art can or could be obtained from RKO., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17245606

Fort Apache - (1948)

Pretty old but still pretty good John Ford Western with Henry Fonda as Lt. Col. Owen Thursday - a character that somewhat resembles George Custer by the time the plot reaches it's climax. For 1948, this is a magnificent opus, and one where the Indians are thankfully not relegated to villain status.

7/10


By http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV...646_SY555_.jpg, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43199172

Get Smart, Again! - (1989)

In 1980 Get Smart got the (belated) feature film treatment in The Naked Bomb. I despise that movie, I'm sorry to say. Nearly a decade later, poor old typecast Don Adams was dusted off, oiled and rolled out again for this television movie. It's slightly better than The Naked Bomb - and at least has quite a few original cast members. It's not bone-shatteringly funny, but has it's little moments.

4/10

I've stayed away from watching Mulholland Drive for 20 years now because....... well, I'd better keep that to myself. But on your recommendation I might fire it up tonight since I'm "batching" it (my wife is away for the night), and I can take a look at what they're all cooing about... If I make it through, I'll let you know my opinion.
Feel free to let your anger rip if that's how it makes you feel







Andrew Johnson is one of the worst Presidents in american history...so it was interesting to see a quality biopic. Yes the film is tone-deaf and made cheaply but it's nice to watch the anti-case against a terrible person. But the villain is Thaddeus Stevens...who was played by Tommy lee Jones in Lincoln...here he's Lionel Barrymore and he's brilliant in it.






Edmond (2005)

William H. Macy plays a staid middle aged man who is compelled to change his life after a tarot card reading. Interesting, episodic and sometimes very funny from the pen of David Mamet. As Edmond spirals more out of control his crack--pot outbursts about the meaning of life become scattier. Bit of violence in this and some *very* racist language.




Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky -


If you're a fan of Stephen Chow's movies, Big Trouble in Little China or fantastical, over-the-top martial arts movies in general, you owe it to yourself to see this. Part Shawshank Redemption and part Mortal Kombat - which this movie inspired - the titular character is a man whose strength makes him impossible to detain since he can pull chains apart and whose punches shred human flesh to hilariously gory effect. Luckily, Ricky faces many worthy adversaries on his way to liberating the for-profit prison where he is incarcerated: besides the Gang of Four, there's Dan the gluttonous, glass-eyed assistant warden and of course the main warden, who must have been inspired by Judge Doom from the equally cartoonish Who Framed Roger Rabbit. At the risk of seeming like I want to finish this review early, it's a movie I'm hesitant to say any more about because mere words cannot do justice to how crazy it is. It's better, not to mention more efficient, to just say that you should see it instead of praising its merits. The best way I can describe it is if Sam Raimi, Stephen Chow and Frank Darabont went on a drunken bender and then wrote a script, this is what it would look like if someone filmed it. Oh, and again, if the evils of capitalism are on your mind lately, the mere sight of Dan's typical meal and his pornography-laden office as well as the warden's spoiled, child-like adult son are bound to provide just as much catharsis as the blood and guts.
__________________
Last Great Movie Seen
Mad God (Tippett, 2021)



Oleanna (1994)

Another Mamet written (and directed) film. Told in 2 distinct parts and it's a tale of sexual politics, pride, revenge between a college professor and a rather withdrawn student of his.

Not great but watchable:



Boogie Nights -


This movie is fantastic. Feels in some ways like a precursor to Magnolia, but this is definitely it's own thing. I'll need to re-watch this at some point.



Boogie Nights -


This movie is fantastic. Feels in some ways like a precursor to Magnolia, but this is definitely it's own thing. I'll need to re-watch this at some point.
Terrific movie.
__________________
Iím here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Thatís why Iím here now.