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One Percent More Humid (2017)

My fascination with Julia Garner continued, but in this movie she wasn't the primary focus. Rather, Juno Tempo played the lead, Iris. Garner played a secondary focus, Catherine. The movie opened with the two young women reuniting for summer vacation. As the plot unfolded it became obvious that they were very close friends in high-school, but had entered college or university. They were both also suffering from the trauma of a fatal car accident that took the life of one of their close friends. The realistic story encapsulated numerous characters, with Iris at the center and Catherine in close proximity. Iris became entangled in an affair with her literature professor. He was married and twice her age, and the whole affair, though passionate, was doomed to failure from the start. Meanwhile Catherine more subtly and off to the side became entangled with the brother of their dead friend. I personally wanted to see more of Julia Garner, and not just because I liked her more as an actress, but also because I just found the complexity of her story more sympathetic and interesting. To some extent I felt like there just wasn't enough time to focus on both characters, and they didn't choose the character I was more interested in. I still liked the movie quite a bit, but more for Garner than for Tempo. The cinematography was decent, but it didn't stray from conventional techniques.




Under the Skin (2014)


Mesmerizing, disturbing, challenging, unsettling. Shot with a stark minimalist beauty by Jonathan Glazer.


If I'm ever in Scotland and an attractive woman in a van asks if I want a lift I might have to decline after watching this.



This is the kind of film that lives or dies on its central performance and Scarlett Johansson is a captivating presence throughout the film. She does so much with so little; a very nuanced performance, it's all about her eyes and her face. You really get the feeling that you're watching an alien entity inhabit a human form. The way she instantly switches from cold alien huntress to charming and seductive woman is brilliant. Her best performance.


A film like this improves with repeat viewings but for now I rate it 3.5/5. Actually, I forgot you get to see Scarlett naked in a couple of scenes so...


4/5 Stars.



Warning: does not play well with others


Purl
(2018)
3.75/5
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MacGruber (2010)


I don't know how to explain why I find this so funny, but the satire and stupidity just makes me laugh every time.



We all listen to Death Metal
@chawhee it is hard to find movies that make you laugh as much as MacGruber. My two favorite scenes are when he's begging the agent to join his team and offers to suck his dick and let him have sex with him. And my other favorite scene is the coffee shop. I put it on for my clients at work, and like six of us were dying laughing.



Vera Cruz (1954)

This was on TV and I watched it from the their streaming service. Unfortunately, I hadn't heard of this before as it would probably have made my western ballot. Vera Cruz is clearly a major influence for the likes of Leone and Peckinpah, and while I like the latter films more this one's still pretty decent. It's an action-packed and fast-paced story of a robbery and betrayal. It's not as brutal as the films that followed in its trail, but it's more cynical than the majority of the traditional westerns. With little more style, it would have been truly good, now it falls a little short.

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The Witcher - 9/10



2001 Monolith spotted at McDonald's Drive Thru
Moby Dick (1956)
7.5/10.
A thrilling adventure and cautionary tale. I noticed some of Khan's (from Wrath of Khan 1982) lines were pulled from Moby Dick, like "From Hell's heart, I stab at thee!" The acting was very good. Richard Basehart had a resemblance to Ewan McGregor... I had to look it up to see if they were related. Most of the visual effects were well done (the very last special effect was not, unfortunately - you could tell it was a model).

I was rooting for the whale.
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2001 monolith recently seen at McDonald's Drive Thru



@chawhee it is hard to find movies that make you laugh as much as MacGruber. My two favorite scenes are when he's begging the agent to join his team and offers to suck his dick and let him have sex with him. And my other favorite scene is the coffee shop. I put it on for my clients at work, and like six of us were dying laughing.
Haha yes, so many good quotes to use with friends/coworkers.....I still use 'I got a better idea, no f***ing way' pretty often



The Game (1997)


This type of film lives or dies on the final reveal and in this case it was infuriatingly preposterous. Spoiler Alert: it was just a game all along. To say the premise of this film is implausible is an understatement. I don't mind suspending my disbelief but this was ridiculous. The amount of variables necessary for the game to reach the desired conclusion of him falling into that room at exactly the right time and place is staggering. If any one of hundreds of events and decisions would have gone slightly differently then the entire plan falls apart. I could literally write a book listing them all. It's so frustrating because I was enjoying the film up until then and looking forward to seeing Micheal Douglas take his revenge but the ending just ruined an otherwise compelling film.


This isn't a bad film, just disappointing.


2.5/5 Stars.



The Huntress: Rune of the Dead (2019)

A low-budget Swedish Viking fantasy horror. It isn't as bad as the name implies, but still only barely within the mediocre range. The camerawork is decent and the soundtrack is kinda fine too. Acting, on the other hand, is bad and the English dialogue sounds very unnatural to me (like the person who wrote it isn't fluent enough in English). It's also slow and there isn't much climax either. Oh, and the leading lady is really flat (no, I don't speak of her breasts but portrayed emotions and general style of delivery!) and bland actor. Watch Draug instead if you want to see undead Vikings.




Animal Factory (2000)


From another reviewer decided to have a go at this. Good, solid prison film about a young man (furlong) incarcerated on a fairly minor charge. He is taken under the wing of Copen (Dafoe), a hardened crim who seems to be leader of an unspecified prison gang. All round good but the ending seemed that they had run out of ideas of how to tie the story up. Great cast and strong direction by Buscemi but story could have been a bit less meandering.

Dafoe is excellent and pushes the rating up.




Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?
The Game (2001)


This type of film lives or dies on the final reveal and in this case it was infuriatingly preposterous. Spoiler Alert: it was just a game all along. To say the premise of this film is implausible is an understatement. I don't mind suspending my disbelief but this was ridiculous. The amount of variables necessary for the game to reach the desired conclusion of him falling into that room at exactly the right time and place is staggering. If any one of hundreds of events and decisions would have gone slightly differently then the entire plan falls apart. I could literally write a book listing them all. It's so frustrating because I was enjoying the film up until then and looking forward to seeing Micheal Douglas take his revenge but the ending just ruined an otherwise compelling film.


This isn't a bad film, just disappointing.


2.5/5 Stars.
Yes itís one of those once you have seen it you donít need to view it again films.



Amelia And The Angel (Ken Russell, 1958)
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A snippet of life before Red Bull
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Almost famous for having nailed Madonna once



You mean me? Kei's cousin?

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) - First Time on Blu-ray

How do you make a film about Fred Rogers that's both completely respectful to the man and his legacy and completely genuine and sincere? Marielle Heller should probably teach a class on it because she's done exactly that. The film isn't an out-and-out biopic of Rogers, but rather it tells the story of how Rogers helped one man overcome years of pain and anger. With that said, the film is very accurate to who Rogers was, including the fact that he was a vegetarian, the fact that he was overweight and bullied as a child, the fact that he once struggled to put up a tent, the fact that he swam a lap every morning, and the fact that he was red-green colorblind, not to mention the film even takes some time to explore Rogers' faith. That so many from Rogers' inner circle wholeheartedly approved of this film makes it even more convincing. Of course, however accurate it may be, the acting is another major element that elevates the film to greatness. Hanks is marvelous as Rogers. It's not so much that Hanks looks or sounds exactly like Rogers, but rather Hanks is true to the spirit of who Rogers was and what he stood for. He never raises his voice or does anything that rings false, maintaining the calm and gentle tone Rogers was known for. As someone who grew up watching re-runs of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, I'm more than impressed. If you want my honest opinion, they couldn't have chosen anyone better than Hanks. Most, if not all of the people from Rogers' inner circle seem to agree. Matthew Rhys is equally impressive as Lloyd Vogel, based on Tom Junod who wrote the Esquire article that serves as the film's source material. Rhys nails Vogel's anger and cynicism and plays him as a fully three-dimensional character who was made this way by a lifetime of pain, making his character transformation that much more amazing. Chris Cooper is also excellent as Jerry, Vogel's father who has a history of being a philandering alcoholic. It would be easy to make someone like this out as a wholly despicable and contemptible person, but Cooper simply portrays him as a flawed man who has made a string of bad mistakes and has now realized just how messed up his previous behavior was. Susan Kelechi Watson is also rock-solid as Andrea, Vogel's wife as is Maryann Plunkett as Joanne Rogers. Nate Heller's musical score is also perfectly at home here. All things considered, I hold no qualms about giving A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood a hearty recommendation. Just give it a shot, just watch it with an open mind and you'll find a worthwhile, rewarding, and emotionally satisfying film. No, it's not the biopic some were expecting, but as far as a film where an actor portrays Rogers and a film that explores the positive impact Rogers had on the world and the people around him, we really couldn't ask for a better film than this.
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Very good review, Steve, and I agree with all of your points. It's funny how the movie is all about Mathew Rhys' character and his transformation, but it's thought of as a Rogers' biopic. That's probably understandable due to Hanks' star power and stature.

IMO you might consider using some paragraph breaks. They make it a lot easier to read a longer piece.



We all listen to Death Metal


Grandma (2015)

A mildly pleasant drama about a lesbian poet who's granddaughter shows up asking for money so that she can get an abortion. The memorable Lily Tomlin played the grandmother, Elle. Julia Garner played the granddaughter, Sage. They were a cute pair adventuring together through an urban landscape, digging up the past and rifling through emotions and character flaws. I felt that this was probably the closest Julia Garner was to her actual self, sweet and easy-going. Unfortunately this movie didn't do anything more for me than its appealing cuteness. There were no really intense scenes, and the most challenging aspects of abortion, homosexuality, and single-motherhood were glossed over. If not for Garner, I would have had no interest in this movie. Some of the wavering hand-held camera shots just made me wonder why they didn't use a tripod or a dolly.