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TRIANGLE
(2009, Smith)





Triangle follows Jess (Melissa George), a single mother that goes on a boat trip with a group of friends. When an unexpected storm capsizes their boat, they find an apparently derelict cruise ship only to find out that someone on board might be stalking them and killing them.

This is a film that was recommended by a couple of people, and what a nice surprise it was. Without trying to give too much away, Smith starts from an inventive script and uses deft direction to weave this story in a way that consistently makes you go "huh? what?" while also making you go "yeah, it figures!"

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
One of the better movies of its kind out there.
Loved it.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I'm Your Man (Maria Schrader, 2021)
7/10
Robot Dan Stevens is studied by research scientist Maren Eggert to see if he could be a good life partner. Much more affecting than other such films. One of the better romances of recent years.
How does it compare to Making Mr. Right of yore?
Similar in many ways but more effective to me overall. I do enjoy Making Mr. Right quite a bit but this hit me harder at first blush. Maybe because I like Maren Eggert so much combined with Dan Stevens' charm here.
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タイムコップ Timecop


My friend showed up and chose this movie for us. I was bored to death when I saw the poster/title. As soon as the movie started, I realized it was the new James Wan movie. The funny thing is that during the movie, I was more entertained than my friend. She was annoyed: "the acting and the cliches throughout the plot are so bad" ó but I believe Wan deliberately made use of the cliches, as for acting, there's a certain old tradition of lingering screams + close up, typical of the Italian horrors. If from the beginning I had warned her that this was not going to be a serious movie (from the beginning Wan flirts with the humor genre), maybe she would have been more entertained. Anyway, I find it interesting how Wan conducts his films, the man clearly understands his audience, I notice that even though I'm not one of them...


Vulgar Display of Power

A film that knows exactly what it wants to be, and boy, it delivers!
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変身 ~ Henshin





For some reason, never seen this rather good movie. Love ensemble casts.



Fluffy French nonsense, but made charming by the two leads. Re-watch.
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Luce (2019)

This was well shot and well acted but so tippy-toey around the themes it wanted to project.
It just came out as a melodrama and even that was unsatisfying.





The Cremator (1969, Juraj Herz)


What struck me the most about this film, aside from the absolutely chilling subject-matter, was its gorgeous black-and-white visuals ó almost every second of it had something interesting or inventive going on in terms of cinematography and editing. Must watch.



Luce (2019)

This was well shot and well acted but so tippy-toey around the themes it wanted to project.
It just came out as a melodrama and even that was unsatisfying.

I bailed out fairly soon.




The Cremator (1969, Juraj Herz)


What struck me the most about this film, aside from the absolutely chilling subject-matter, was its gorgeous black-and-white visuals ó almost every second of it had something interesting or inventive going on in terms of cinematography and editing. Must watch.
It's a great looking, very creepy film.



Luce (2019)

This was well shot and well acted but so tippy-toey around the themes it wanted to project.
It just came out as a melodrama and even that was unsatisfying.

I bailed out fairly soon.
Wow, I really loved this. I thought it was quite powerful and thought-provoking, and managed to avoid melodrama by having a rather ambiguous and gray ending. Diff'rent strokes, I guess.
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Guy who likes movies
Watched the new Slumber Party Massacre (2021). It was a lot of fun. It pays homage to the original while also subverting expectations and putting their own spin on the story. One of the better horror remakes of the past several years.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Casque d'Or (1952)
+++ Considered to be one of Director/Writer Jacques Becker's best films and his personal favorite, is based on an occurrence in the late 1890s when a couple of gangsters fall for the same prostitute and violence results.

This is my second Becker film. The first was Le Trou and, in a very similar vein, there is an authenticity, a pervasive realness to it all. And for a Period Piece, that is a pretty [email protected] impressive accomplishment to NOT have things appear to be merely replication, the characters behaving in a more theatrical mode than real people.
The locations, clothing -- everything, has a practical, worn, look and feel. They are not items on use from an obliging museum. Nor are the people glamorized renditions, but have that same look and feel. They "fit" the times.
That is not to say that there isn't a certain "production" to the storyline, there are some familiar aspects to this old story of Men Fighting/and worse for the Love of one Intoxicating Woman.
Becker keeps it all very grounded.

Simone Signoret is the star of this tragedy ignited by love and passion. And let me tell ya, she is no shy flower. Or a femme fatale. Or giggling seductress. Strong, independent, with just as much grit as the dangerous men infatuated with her. Simone does an exemplar job with all the depth and nuance in just a tight-lipped smile of a woman who is a force of nature.
She reigns as that pivotal force that drives the story and those caught up in it, to its spiraling conclusion. Where even she can stop neither the spiral nor its finale.
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A lot less graphical than I was expecting, most deaths occur off-screen. Good movie, not great, but entertaining.
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Them That Follow (2019)

Appalachian "sect" whose leader uses snakes as the power of, well, everything. It's a bit soapy concerning the preachers girl and a fair bit predictable but still watchable.




Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Let me tell ya about this lovely old couple out in Tigreville, on the northern-west coast of France.

Un singe en hiver aka A Monkey in Winter (1962)


Lovely, lovely couple. Truly. Victoria (Gabrielle Dorziat), a wonderful woman. But she worries, deeply, about her good husband, Albert (Jean Gabin).
Now, they own this hotel in town, kitty-corner from this bar. Just off the beach. And this is where I heard this from, since the bar owner knew them, during the war.
Him and Albert drank together back then. Heavily. Albert was a naval man in the far Pacific when he was a young man. Mayhem commenced when Albert drank.
Well, at the end of the war, with the Allies bombing the coast, pushing the Germans inland; Victoria could no longer deal with the greater commotion he caused on his own when he drank.
He made a promise, if they lived through the bombing, he'd give up drinking.
And he hasn't drank since.
It's been fifteen years since then.
There's this French bulfighter by the name of Gabriel (Jean-Paul Belmondo), came into town for a few days. He drinks. Heavily. And Mayhem happens.
He's rented a room at their place.

That promise?


It's gone in the [email protected] sh#tter.



They drank. [email protected] heavily.



And THEN. . . they got their hands on some fireworks. ([email protected] me)



Director Henri Verneuil utilizes the changing of the old and the new guard of French actors, Gabin and Belmondo, nailing it, as two bombastic drunks in this very well filmed dramedy. The chemistry is ideal, playing perfectly off each other's persona. The script gives both men some juicy fodder to let loose to, in both escapades AND emotional storylines.
This French dramedy from '62 is done exceedingly well on all fronts and on all cylinders.

And should you be in such a mood, I truly do recommend this.



Let me tell ya about this lovely old couple out in Tigreville, on the northern-west coast of France.

Un singe en hiver aka A Monkey in Winter (1962)


Lovely, lovely couple. Truly. Victoria (Gabrielle Dorziat), a wonderful woman. But she worries, deeply, about her good husband, Albert (Jean Gabin).
Now, they own this hotel in town, kitty-corner from this bar. Just off the beach. And this is where I heard this from, since the bar owner knew them, during the war.
Him and Albert drank together back then. Heavily. Albert was a naval man in the far Pacific when he was a young man. Mayhem commenced when Albert drank.
Well, at the end of the war, with the Allies bombing the coast, pushing the Germans inland; Victoria could no longer deal with the greater commotion he caused on his own when he drank.
He made a promise, if they lived through the bombing, he'd give up drinking.
And he hasn't drank since.
It's been fifteen years since then.
There's this French bulfighter by the name of Gabriel (Jean-Paul Belmondo), came into town for a few days. He drinks. Heavily. And Mayhem happens.
He's rented a room at their place.

That promise?


It's gone in the [email protected] sh#tter.



They drank. [email protected] heavily.



And THEN. . . they got their hands on some fireworks. ([email protected] me)



Director Henri Verneuil utilizes the changing of the old and the new guard of French actors, Gabin and Belmondo, nailing it, as two bombastic drunks in this very well filmed dramedy. The chemistry is ideal, playing perfectly off each other's persona. The script gives both men some juicy fodder to let loose to, in both escapades AND emotional storylines.
This French dramedy from '62 is done exceedingly well on all fronts and on all cylinders.

And should you be in such a mood, I truly do recommend this.
Maybe one of the last couple of films you posted here might show up in a future HoF





Sleepwalker, 2017

Sarah (Ahna O'Reilly) has returned to graduate school after the tragic suicide of her husband. But Sarah soon finds herself experiencing a range of sleep issues, including sleepwalking and recurring nightmares. Seeking help from a sleep clinic overseen by Dr. White (Richard Armitage), Sarah's world begins to take several surreal turns and she starts to question her own sanity.

This film is a textbook mediocre thriller-horror, with a handful of nice touches.

On the good side, some of the nightmare sequences (including one in which Sarah is trapped in some sort of . . . cling wrap spider web??) are atmospheric. I really enjoyed Izabella Scorupco in a secondary role as a psychiatrist who initially refers Sarah to the sleep clinic and who reappears in a few sequences. Overall the film is mildly plagued by characters who we are meant to find suspicious, and her character seems refreshingly straight-forward on this front. She's also written pretty well, and as a mental health professional many of the things she says and does feel real.

Not so much the character of Dr White, who is the kind of movie doctor who doesn't really think that hard about whether or not it's appropriate to sleep with a patient. He belongs to the group of characters in the film who are meant to be ambiguous, and overall the dynamic between him and Sarah just didn't work for me. It's an awkward mix of thrills and romance, and neither are all that convincing.

Plot-wise, this is one of those films where weird stuff happens for 90 minutes, then it's all explained at the end. And once it's explained . . . eh. Certain things that happened earlier in the film just didn't totally make sense with what we learn. Neither Sarah's character arc nor her relationship with Dr White go anywhere all that interesting. Armitage, who I have liked in plenty of other films, doesn't do much more than offer up bland charisma. O'Reilly is good in her role, but the writing constantly just calls for her to be confused and upset. The film ends on a note that is meant to be upsetting, and it is, but it isn't the good kind of upsetting.

Skippable, but not awful.





By FilmAffinity, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6706117

La Dolce Vita - (1960)

With the help of La Dolce Vita I think I'm finally starting to understand films like The Rules of the Game. Here is an examination of a wealthy section of society that aspires to nothing more than pleasure in the moment, and completely rejects anything deeper than booze and sex, along with a certain joy in being cruel. Scams are given applause, and philosophy condemnation, because scams work and make these people happy while the lone philosopher in this movie is miserable. In this film we witness the fall of gossip columnist Marcello (who is teetering on a pretty low precipice to start with) - he has the potential to be something more, but is seduced and easily corrupted. There's something child-like about him. The film is rich with symbolism (I'd heard about that opening statue scene - "It's Jesus!") I liked the bookends - where Marcello simply cannot hear. You sense a deep well of contempt in Fellini for the people in his life who inspired this particular film.

It's hard to hate any individual in this, but when lumped together these people have the knack of turning something beautiful into something ugly. I find myself wondering what Fellini would make of today's elite.

I already have the urge to examine this film further...

8.5/10

Foreign language hall of fame films seen : 49/100


By impawards, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11790072

Across the Universe - (2007)

Constructing a movie around Beatles songs is pretty risky business. Just look at 1978s Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - it's like a grotesque creature. Across the Universe started pretty badly for me, rendering a lot of songs that originally had a very fast tempo into quavering meditations on pitch control - the kind of singing I hate. When characters such as Jude, Prudence, Sadie and Lucy are introduced I feel like cringing, because their songs are being telegraphed a mile away. But as this film got to it's last third, and the climax of the story hit crisis after crisis, I felt the songs were finally making use of their inspirational quality to help give a sense of something serious. I actually found myself liking the film a lot more - which I have to admit, visually, is pretty easy on the eyes. So there you go, not bad in the end.

7/10
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