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ᗢWanda Maximoff-Scarlet WitchᗢᗢElizabeth Olsenᗢ
VERY cool!
I had wanted to hit the movie theaters earlier this year when they first reopened after Covid to see a few of the older films that they showed before going full tilt into the new releases but it didn't quite happen. Oh well
YES SURE IS.

gosh u serious ahhh they need to show old films everywhere D=
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https://youtu.be/f1DM1amU4VM Wanda Maximoff - Scarlet Witch
https://youtu.be/2vq4kYomwv8 Natasha Romanoff-Black Widow
https://youtu.be/0LXhnd-CMrQ Agatha Harkness

https://youtu.be/V8BhIsWTGUI Clint Barton-Hawkeye
https://youtu.be/Zy66zOMkGsM Loki Lufeyson





Black Girl, 1966

Diouana (Mbissine Therese Diop) is hired in her native Dakar, Senegal as a nanny by a wealthy French couple (Anne-Marie Jelinek and Robert Fontaine). When the couple asks Diouana if she will accompany them back to France, she is more than eager. But once they arrive in France, Diouana is treated as a servant, becoming more isolated and depressed as each day goes on.

There is something really delightful and powerful about a film that is seemingly able to say exactly what it wants with poise and efficiency, and Black Girl, for me, is just such a film.

When I was a teenager, there was a local family who were arrested for having kept a young woman for Africa as essentially a slave in their home. Much like this film, they expected her to keep up the house, and that providing her with food and some hand-me-down clothing was all the payment she should expect. I think that this film does an excellent job of showing the way that certain practices, while not literal slavery, echo and enforce the more violent past of slavery and colonialism.

Diop, in the lead role, does a heartbreakingly good job of showing a young person who, through isolation and insult, slowly begins to shut down. In every day of her life in France she is treated as lesser than. She is insulted and treated with contempt. She is never thanked or praised except for the purpose of show when guests come around. Diouana is also baffled to realize that the couple hasn't even brought their children immediately, wondering who she's meant to be caring for.

But the really brilliant flip side of this is the portrayal of Diouana's employers, and especially the wife. You can see, written between the lines, the narrative that they have constructed in their heads of this ungrateful, uncultured woman. It doesn't take long for the wife's treatment of Diouana to start to slide into physical abuse and confrontation. Again, nothing so direct or severe as a beating, but a slap on the leg, throwing shoes down at her feet, or pulling the covers off of her when she is sleeping. Diouana's labor becomes something that the couple takes for granted, and they become angry and unkind if they have to do something as simple as making a pot of coffee or pouring a bowl of cereal. It becomes apparent later in the film that they have not paid Diouana what she is owed.

One of the standout sequences occurs when Diouana receives a letter from her mother, demanding money. Diouana passionlessly declares that someone else has written this letter for her mother. And even as she thinks this, the couple begins to pen a letter as if they were Diouana, putting their own words on the page and simply cueing Diouana to speak up if she wants to change the wording.

The film also has several notable, allegorical sequences with an African mask that Diouana initially gives her employers as a gift.

I thought that this film was pretty perfect. At right around an hour I could see this slipping under the radar as not being long enough to be a "real" film, and yet running a bit long for a "short". If you have the Criterion Channel or another way to watch it I'd highly recommend it.




I agree with everything you say, I think though that you should spoiler-tag your second paragraph. That literally gives away the entire film which is absolutely played as a massive twist.
Good point. I didn't think of it. However TBH this film is way too tame for any of our horror buffs...






A couple of Treasury agents go undercover to infiltrate a counter fitting ring. Very good movie, has a couple of surprises and moves fast.
I agree, HF. Great period piece as a semi-documentary noir. John Alton's superb B&W photography really takes full advantage of downtown L.A. in the 1940s. One of Dennis O'Keefe's best outings. Time for a re-watch for me.





Destiny, 1921

A young woman (Lil Dagover) is on a journey when her lover disappears. Finding that he's been claimed by Death (Bernhard Goetzke) (who has not only appeared in physical form, but who has also purchased a large plot of land!), she begs for him to return her lover to her. Instead, Death shows her three stories of ill-fated lovers trying to fight against the odds.

As what is essentially an anthology, I overall enjoyed this film. I thought that it was interesting that the stories all took place in very different settings: Italy, the middle east, and ancient China. Perhaps because everything is super-stylized, the makeup and costuming for the white actors playing non-white roles isn't as bad as you'd expect. (Some of the Asian characters are a bit YIKES however).

The three stories are all good, though I enjoyed the imagery and overall arc of the final story the best, in which an emperor demands to be given a magician's assistant as a gift, and she ends up fighting back with magic. The old school special effects are engaging and charming, and I really liked some of the imagery.

I was a bit torn on the use of the color filters over the print I watched. While in some scenes they added well to the mood, other times I thought it was really jarring going pink filter, blue filter, pink filter, blue filter!. and it gave kind of a choppy feel to some sequences. I also had mixed feelings about the whole "woman who literally cannot live without her husband" thing. Knowing a few women who have lost their husbands, I find this a borderline offensive trope (equally offensive when applied to male characters in such an unnuanced fashion, but in this film it's only bereaved woman).

Overall an enjoyable silent film with some really memorable and fun imagery.




Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

The Human Factor (Edward Dmytryk, 1975)
6/10
Beaumarchais the Scoundrel (Édouard Molinaro, 1996)
6.5/10
The Goose and the Gander (Alfred E. Green, 1935)
6/10
A Virgin Among the Living Dead (Jesús Franco, 1973)
+ 5/10

I don't know about virgin but there are living dead.
No One Gets Out Alive (Santiago Menghini, 2021)
6/10
I Eat Your Skin (Del Tenney, 1971)
5/10
An Impossible Love (Catherine Corsini, 2018)
6.5/10
The Deadly Spawn (Douglas McKeown, 1983)
6/10

The Deadly Spawn are very hungry - in all their forms.
Through the Glass Darkly (Lauren Fash, 2020)
6/10
Streets of Death (Jeff Hathcock, 1988)
5/10 R.I.P. Tommy Kirk
Give Us This Day (Edward Dmytryk, 1949)
+ 6/10
Deathdream AKA Dead of Night (Bob Clark, 1974)
6/10

Killed in Vietnam. Richard Backus returns home as some kind of zombie vampire.
East of the Mountains (S.J. Chiro, 2021)
6/10
The Smile Man (Anton Lanshakov, 2013)
6.5/10
Sharp Edges (Sandra Luckow, 1986)
6/10
Flesh Feast (Brad F. Grinter, 1970)
4/10

Scientist Veronica Lake has a surprise in store for Der Fuhrer.
Paju (Park Chan-ok, 2009)
6/10
The Méliès Mystery (Eric Lange, 2021)
6.5/10
The Guerilla Fighter AKA Padatik (Mrinal Sen, 1973)
6/10
I Drink Your Blood (David E. Durston, 1970)
+ 5/10

"Highlights" from this Satan-worshipping LSD/rabies epic.
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I’d rank Sicario at #1, followed by Wind River then Hell or High Water. Interestingly enough, I think HOHW has the strongest script and perhaps the best performances but the craft in Sicario and the stellar sequences in WR elevate them. I’m a fan of all. None come close to No Country.

Those Who Wish Me Dead would rank at the bottom, if added to the mix, but I too like it a great deal.

I’m a fan of Sheridan (I don’t dislike Sicario 2 or even Without Remorse) but I just think he usually stumbles in areas that stop from hitting proper greatness.
Okay; just out of curiosity though, what are the specific issues that kept Sicario from reaching that greatness for you?
That's what I'm saying: that it may have been a consideration in writing/casting the part that audiences would need a white lead.
I know, but what I'm saying is that filmmakers should be able to do a good enough job of getting us to empathize with a character that it overcome any differences in identity, especially in a story that calls for that (like River), instead of unnecessary whitewashing. And, if audience members still have a hard time connecting with a character, that's a problem on their end, not the movies', and the solution shouldn't be to coddle them by casting yet another straight white man as the lead, but to hold strong; if certain individuals can't get into a movie as a result, than that's just their loss.




By The poster art can or could be obtained from IMP Awards., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32894150

A Dangerous Method - (2011)

I came away from watching A Dangerous Method with a curious feeling of being unfulfilled - like I'd only seen half of the movie, the rest ending up on the cutting room floor. A young Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) gets Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) as a patient, and a relationship develops that eventually becomes sexual. In the meantime he meets Sigmund Freud for the first time, and the two of them become close. The relationship between them becomes strained though, when Jung insists on adding metaphysics, precognition and telepathy to his areas of research, and deteriorates further when Freud discovers his dalliances with former patient Spielrein. I found it hard figuring out what all of this was about - Fassbender's Jung looks equally as confused and unhappy as I was by the time the film ends. Despite all of this, there is some nice work by the actors and people making the film. Scenes play great - it's just where they all went, with the script going awry - for me - although Freud would probably say I didn't get it because I want to have sex with my mum.

6/10


By http://www.impawards.com/2004/posters/kinsey.jpg, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1105316

Kinsey - (2004)

After watching Jung and Freud pontificate on sexuality I felt this was an appropriate second feature for the night. Alfred Kinsey is a nerdy professor who studies wasps. After having sexual difficulties on his wedding night, and overcoming them with the help of his doctor, he becomes interested in teaching others having problems. He soon becomes obsessed with studying sex, going to extreme lengths to make scientific headway into the sexual proclivities of people in the United States. Liam Neeson and Laura Linney (playing Kinsey's wife in an Oscar-nominated role) disappear into their roles at this fun look into America's pioneer of sexology. It doesn't probe too deeply (pun definitely intended) but is nonetheless interesting and engaging.

6/10

EDIT - and The Smile Man of course - I watched The Smile Man - 7/10
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My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.

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Good point. I didn't think of it. However TBH this film is way too tame for any of our horror buffs...
Hey, I'm one of them and I love it.



Boy Erased (2018)

The best thing about this film as it treats its deeply troubling subject matter in a very sensitive and neutral way.....not a tirade, but just presenting the situation and laying it out plainly. I was impressed. All performances strike the right note.



タイムコップ Timecop

I think I was very generous with the rating because this movie is so, so bad...
The action is worse than I remember, the first act is incredibly weak. It improves a little with the presence of Giancarlo Giannini. Marc Forster was a misfire. The edit is the worst in the franchise (I haven't rewatched SPECTRE yet) and Craig looks so bored.
Ps: the opening is as bad as the movie



Now this was a fun ride. Unlike "Quantum of Solace", this movie is better than I remembered.

The opening:
Adele was a hit, I understand the choice, and hell, the woman can sing. Not a big fan of the rhythm, yet, I believe it was a nice intro.

The guns:

-"Walther PPK/S" never looked this good.
-Loved the amount of Glock used.

-Was expecting a blast with the HK416, shame it was so short. Liked anywy.

The cars:

The best scene in the movie!

The Girl:

Strange arc, but it grows on me. Very cold...

One very fun thing I notice: The vilain is called Tiago Silva Rodriguez, my name is Thiago Silva, but thats not the fun part - Tiago is, in the Romance languages the same as James. In our bible, the book of James, for example, is called Tiago. The film exposes how James and Tiago are opposites with similarities.

Bonus:

After the terrible action in QoS is nice to see something like this!

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Okay; just out of curiosity though, what are the specific issues that kept Sicario from reaching that greatness for you?
The climax felt more like a revenge fantasy film than something that should be attached to a relentlessly grim tale that postures as realistic. It’s a good scene but it feels like it’s missing the necessary massaging to make it fit with what came before.

I also thought it was a missed opportunity to have the federale be crooked. The purpose of him and his family, with the final soccer scene, is brilliant (they are people who have to LIVE there) but making him a mule betrays the sympathy it’s aiming for. It’s a minor quibble but having Alejandro gun down an innocent man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, assuming he’s a mule, would have made that entire plot line more poignant.

I’m still a huge fan of the film though, so these are all nitpicks. The score and cinematography are among the best in a genre film from the last 20 years. But once again, there’s just something off at the screenplay level.




I think I was very generous with the rating because this movie is so, so bad...
The action is worse than I remember, the first act is incredibly weak. It improves a little with the presence of Giancarlo Giannini. Marc Forster was a misfire. The edit is the worst in the franchise (I haven't rewatched SPECTRE yet) and Craig looks so bored.
Ps: the opening is as bad as the movie



Now this was a fun ride. Unlike "Quantum of Solace", this movie is better than I remembered.

The opening:
Adele was a hit, I understand the choice, and hell, the woman can sing. Not a big fan of the rhythm, yet, I believe it was a nice intro.

The guns:

-"Walther PPK/S" never looked this good.
-Loved the amount of Glock used.

-Was expecting a blast with the HK416, shame it was so short. Liked anywy.

The cars:

The best scene in the movie!

The Girl:

Strange arc, but it grows on me. Very cold...

One very fun thing I notice: The vilain is called Tiago Silva Rodriguez, my name is Thiago Silva, but thats not the fun part - Tiago is, in the Romance languages the same as James. In our bible, the book of James, for example, is called Tiago. The film exposes how James and Tiago are the exactly opposites.

Bonus:

After the terrible action in QoS is nice to see something like this!
Interestingly, I am a fan of Quantum Of Solace and thought Skyfall was a huge (and totally ridiculous) letdown.



Interestingly, I am a fan of Quantum Of Solace and thought Skyfall was a huge (and totally ridiculous) letdown.
To be honest, I would put them kinda on the same level, and maybe even lump Spectre too. The craft in Skyfall is superior, but I have some major issues with the way the story unfolds.
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PACTO DE FUGA
(2020, Albala)



"Will you truly feel free when you're out?"

Pacto de Fuga is set in the late 1980s during the rule of dictator Augusto Pinochet in Chile. When a group of members of a rebel group make a failed attempt against the leader, they all end up in prison and some of them in death row. As a result, they staged a daring escape against all odds.

The film focuses primarily on two prisoners: León Vargas (Benjamín Vicuña) and Rafael Jiménez (Roberto Farías), both of which are reeling in from different types of loss in the aftermath of the attempt. There are a handful of other prisoners that are given certain prominence, but the film does a decent job handling all, but keeping the focus on the planning of the jailbreak.

Grade:



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To be honest, I would put them kinda on the same level, and maybe even lump Spectre too. The craft in Skyfall is superior, but I have some major issues with the way the story unfolds.
Exactly. Couldn't agree more.