Rate The Last Movie You Saw

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What Have You Done to Solange? (1972)

A quite good and a bit sleazy Giallo/krimi. It's essentially the same premise as Dallamano's later film, What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, but if I recall correctly, this one's a bit more Giallo while the latter is more krimi. Not at the top of the genre, but pretty firmly on a tier just below those. The ending is a bit abrupt, and the similarity between the two films is kinda annoying, but there's nothing seriously wrong with this one. Recommended for the general population.
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Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

The Guardians (Xavier Beauvois, 2017)
6/10
Editing (Dustin Guy Defa, 2021)
5/10
The Joy of Life (Jenni Olson, 2005)
6.5/10
To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks, 1944)
7/10

He can manage OK.
Tongues Untied (Marlon Riggs, 1989)
- 6.5/10
The Crowded Sky (Joseph Pevney, 1960)
5.5/10
Intrusion (Adam Salky, 2021)
5/10
Marquise (Véra Belmont, 1997)
6.5/10

Sexy, luxurious film about dancer Sophie Marceau becoming a great actress during the time of Molière, Jean Racine and Louis XIV.
A Call to Spy (Lydia Dean Pilcher, 2019)
6/10
August the First (Lanre Olabisi, 2007)
5/10
Tall Man Riding (Lesley Selander, 1955)
5.5/10
Color Adjustment (Marlon Riggs, 1992)
7/10

Entertaining history of how TV slowly changed to let people of color on the tube.
Riding Shotgun (André De Toth, 1954)
5.5/10
A Night at the Movies: Cops & Robbers and Crime Writers (Laurent Bouzereau, 2013)
6.5/10
Vigil (Vincent Ward, 1984)
5.5/10
Celebration at Big Sur (Baird Bryant & Johanna Demetrakas, 1971)
- 6.5/10

Sloppy but fine historical record of the great music that went down at the 1969 Big Sur Folk Festival.
Her Name Was Jo (Joe Duca, 2020)
+ 5/10
Truth or Consequences (Hannah Jayanti, 2020)
6/10
The Winds of Autumn (Charles B. Pierce, 1976)
5/10
The Last Stop (Todd Nilssen, 2017)
+ 6.5/10

Scarier than any house in a horror movie is Elan's "Therapeutic" boarding school in Poland, Maine.
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Missing - (1982)

This was interesting - and also nominated for a Best Picture Oscar in 1983 - which means I've seen all the nominees from that year : Gandhi (winner), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Verdict (been a while, should watch that again), Tootsie and this. I'd say it's the least of all the nominees, but I'm not knocking it. Charles Horman (John Shea) goes missing during a coup in a South American nation (Chile - but kept vague in the film,) so his wife Beth (Sissy Spacek) and father Ed (Jack Lemmon) go looking for him - discovering
WARNING: spoilers below
the U.S. government were the instigators of the coup and fed poor Charles to the execution squads - letting him be executed before pretending to help Beth and Ed look for him.
Lemmon and Spacek were also nominated for Oscars - and director Costa-Gavras won one for his screenplay. Based on a true story. Removed from the U.S. market from 1983 to 2000 due to "legal issues."

7/10


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Red Scorpion - (1988)

Ugh. Why was this on my watchlist? Dolph Lundgren basically plays the Soviet version of Rambo in this action film with a budget considerably lower than any Rambo film. It was heading towards a 3/10 - but a finale with flying limbs and hundreds of massive explosions gave me a bit of a laugh, so I upped it a point. M. Emmet Walsh shows up for some light relief.

4/10


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I Am Love - (2009) - Italy

Tilda Swinton famously learned Italian and Russian just for her part in this film. I was suspicious of this being a dull affair, but I trusted Luca Guadagnino to give me something after Call Me By Your Name and his wild atmospheric remake of Suspiria. At first I thought it was just going to be about the family business or cooking - but things heated up and by the end there had been enough drama and tragedy to satisfy me. Pretty good.

7/10


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The Beatles : Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years - (2016)

Four films yesterday - and Red Scorpion was the only film without some kind of Oscar nomination - this got one for Best Doco. It's a fine documentary, but it added nothing new to my knowledge of The Beatles after their anthology series and other assorted films and television shows. If you haven't seen any of them, and are interested in the Beatles and their touring years, then this is a fine film for you to watch. If you're already quite knowledgeable, you could probably skip this.

6/10
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My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.






These are both 9/10 films for me, largely because of their visuals.
They are both 9/10 for me too, but only partly because of their visuals.
I know that The Night of the Hunter is going to go up in my ratings when I watch it again and soak all of that in. The silhouettes of Powell on horseback searching for the children. The underwater shot of a certain lady lashed to a car. Those images have stuck with me. I know I'm going to end up getting the Criterion edition and loving this film. Sometimes my appreciation slowly creeps up and grows more and more as I rewatch a film and mull it over in my mind.



I just wanna emphasize once again that I did like the film and that I did say that she and Renner were "solid". I think the reservations I might have with the character have more to do with the writing rather than her performance.
I hear ya, I just had a very strong positive reaction to this film. Like, "Oh, someone's still willing to make a truly good thriller with characters and acting and cinematography and even a little meaning in America in the 2010s. I thought it was kind of a special little movie with big stars doing a small film that feels like a bit of a throwback to better filmmaking days in this country.



I hear ya, I just had a very strong positive reaction to this film. Like, "Oh, someone's still willing to make a truly good thriller with characters and acting and cinematography and even a little meaning in America in the 2010s. I thought it was kind of a special little movie with big stars doing a small film that feels like a bit of a throwback to better filmmaking days in this country.
And I agree. I really, really loved Hell or High Water, so maybe I was expecting something as mind-blowingly good as that, but it was a pretty good film anyway.
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I’d like Wind River a great deal more (and I already consider myself a big fan) if Renner’s character were played by a native actor, Zahn MacLarnon in particular.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?





Port of Shadows aka Le quai des brumes (1938)
++ A deserting soldier (Jean Gabin) has made his way to Le Havre, a Port in the northeastern section of France in search of a ship to get away from the ongoing war.
What he finds is a troubled girl (Michèle Morgan). Sharing a moment's happiness whose fragility may not be up to do battle against the sea of sorrow they are both adrift in.

Director Marcel Carné does an excellent job of creating pathos with strands of shining light in this star-crossed tale of two lonely hearts. And the chaos that refuses to release its cruel clutches on them. Carné gives both the port city and its denizens a kind of caressive care within the squalor and dismal weather where this tragically beautiful story plays out.

This film has been on my radar for quite some time, and I am delighted to have finally honed in and experienced it.
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The Hospital - The first half of this 1971 dark satire directed by Arthur Hiller and written by Paddy Chayefsky is pretty much a 9 to maybe 9.5/10. What you think and how you feel about the rest of the movie will mostly depend on if you're able to move past a dubious and dissonant plot twist. An event made even more egregious and clunky by the first-rate writing that preceded it. The film starts with Dr. Herbert Bock (George C. Scott) the Chief of Medicine at a Manhattan teaching hospital. He's a brilliant doctor and teacher but also a physical wreck of a human being. Impotent, alcoholic and suicidal, separated from his wife and estranged from his children. Amidst the barely contained everyday anarchy of the hospital, doctors and nurses are dying off. In point of fact the mundane chaos has somehow contributed to their deaths.

At the same time, Barbara Drummond (Diana Rigg) has brought her father Edward (Barnard Hughes) in for treatment. He is also put through the bureaucratic and institutional wringer and as a result ends up in a coma. While all this is happening there is also a rapidly escalating community protest happening off to the side and adding to the overall sense of instability.

The casting appears to be meticulous with even the smallest of roles filled to great effect giving the proceedings an almost cinema verite feel. Scott is a towering lead, holding the viewer's attention whether he's in a scene with others or sitting alone in a dark office, dispassionately working on a bottle of vodka and drinking himself up to a suicide attempt. Rigg has the more thankless role, that of middle-aged-male fantasy/object of desire. But she gives it her all.

Chayefsky does an excellent job of setting the right tone with the opening first act. It's dense and sort of grim but also brainy and put me in mind of Robert Altman. But then the "thing" happens and you might try to soldier on and hey, no big whoop if you choose to do so. But IMO it does taint things because the story additionally takes a bit of a detour into a more conventional narrative and the characters that you expected bigger things from sort of deflate. Momentarily of course. It does attempt to alter course with the ending and even though you sort of expected it and even approved, it still doesn't come off as completely organic. It's like they started out with this gangbusters premise but didn't quite know how to arrive at the appropriate outcome without that discordant detour.




THE NINTH CONFIGURATION
(1980, Blatty)



"I don't think evil grows out of madness. I think madness grows out of evil."

For centuries, humanity has tried to make sense of the existence of "evil" in the world, especially juxtaposed against Christian beliefs. How can a "benevolent God" allow for such evil to exist and thrive? Author William Peter Blatty went further to channel that evil through what is essentially an innocent creature: a child, while also having the person who is supposed to fight against that evil, a priest, question his own beliefs in The Exorcist.

In Blatty's next book, The Ninth Configuration, he returns to the basics of questioning where evil comes from and how can we fight it. He went on to direct the film adaptation himself, his first film, which was released in 1980. The film follows Colonel Kane (Stacy Keach), a US Marine and Vietnam vet who arrives at a castle turned into a treatment facility to take over the treatment of several patients. As he gets to know his patient, he must face his own demons and the surrounding "evil" among them.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot



Guy who likes movies
I went and saw Dear Evan Hansen today. Directed by Stephen Chbosky and based on the award winning play, the film stars Ben Platt as Evan Hansen. Evan is a teen struggling with anxiety who after a tragedy and misunderstanding, tells a series of lies that escalate and impact his family and classmates in unexpected ways. Dear Evan Hansen may be the most polarizing and divisive film of the year as it has received a lot of negative responses to the actions of the main character. Personally, I loved the film. Although Ben Platt is too old to play the character, he still does a great job. The supporting cast, including Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, and Kaitlyn Dever, are good too. I really loved the songs in the film and the way the characters perform them. There are some really heartfelt and moving moments in the film. Although I didn't always agree with everything the character of Evan does, I could understand why he did it and I don't think the film is condoning or endorsing his behavior. For some, this may be the most hated film of the year, but for me it is one of the best films of the year. My rating is a
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And I agree. I really, really loved Hell or High Water, so maybe I was expecting something as mind-blowingly good as that, but it was a pretty good film anyway.
I still haven't seen that one.



I’d like Wind River a great deal more (and I already consider myself a big fan) if Renner’s character were played by a native actor, Zahn MacLarnon in particular.
For me, I never understood why Renner was famous until I saw this film.



I’d like Wind River a great deal more (and I already consider myself a big fan) if Renner’s character were played by a native actor, Zahn MacLarnon in particular.
Then again, him NOT being a Native plays a bit into the plot. There's the mistrust that some have in him for that ("What's this *we* s-hit? The only thing native about you is your ex-wife and the daughter you couldn't protect.") contrasted with the strong relationship he has with the sheriff and Martin. It does veer a bit into "white man's savior", but I think the film earns it for the most part.



For me, I never understood why Renner was famous until I saw this film.
I feel like he’d already proven himself a talent with The Assassination of Jessie James, Hurt Locker and The Town (especially this one) long before he did WR. It’s not his performance that’s the issue. It’s the character written for a white actor.



Then again, him NOT being a Native plays a bit into the plot. There's the mistrust that some have in him for that ("What's this *we* s-hit? The only thing native about you is your ex-wife and the daughter you couldn't protect.") contrasted with the strong relationship he has with the sheriff and Martin. It does veers a bit into "white man's savior", but I think the film earns it for the most part.
I don’t think the film gains anything except the white savior narrative by making him white. The outsider element is already well captured with Olsen’s character and it’s just kinda reinforced with him despite him still being her gateway into the world and the one with personal stakes in the matter.

The mentions of his wife being native just feel like a hand wavy excuse to cast a white man as the entry to the native world, and it’s awkward. A double fish out of water doesn’t really strike me as the towering achievement in writing that Sheridan is often attributed. I’m a fan of Sheridan and so much of the film works but everything about Renner’s casting smacks of old school “we need white film stars to sell this film about Native Americans or no one will see it.”




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Solaris - (1972) - U.S.S.R.

I finally watched Solaris last night, and I'm glad I did it now as opposed to when I was younger because I got a lot more out of it being somewhat similar in age to it's protagonist. It had a lot to say about science, consciousness, fantasy, the nature of reality and guilt - not to mention just what it means to be human. It's more of a meditation on those things as opposed to an all-out science fiction type of adventure. The imagery was beautiful - and ever so impressive considering Tarkovsky had such a small budget to work with. Thank goodness the Soviets didn't find something that disagreed with them to find a reason to wreck the film - then again, I haven't read enough about it to really know if it underwent any changes due to censorship. Anyway, I loved this film, and I have a feeling that affection will only grow as time passes.

9/10

Foreign Language Countdown films seen : 40/101




By The cover art can or could be obtained from MoviePosterDB or Goodtimes Enterprises, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5075880

Solaris - (1972) - U.S.S.R.

I finally watched Solaris last night, and I'm glad I did it now as opposed to when I was younger because I got a lot more out of it being somewhat similar in age to it's protagonist. It had a lot to say about science, consciousness, fantasy, the nature of reality and guilt - not to mention just what it means to be human. It's more of a meditation on those things as opposed to an all-out science fiction type of adventure. The imagery was beautiful - and ever so impressive considering Tarkovsky had such a small budget to work with. Thank goodness the Soviets didn't find something that disagreed with them to find a reason to wreck the film - then again, I haven't read enough about it to really know if it underwent any changes due to censorship. Anyway, I loved this film, and I have a feeling that affection will only grow as time passes.

9/10

Foreign Language Countdown films seen : 40/101
This is a lot like my experience with the movie. I tried watching it when I was younger and attending a film class and didn't get much from it. But after rewatching within the last year or so I was also amazed at what Tarkovsky was able to accomplish with not only the budget but the technology available at the time. I need to do the same thing with Stalker and give that a second chance.