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I liked this a lot and I thought it was one of the best performances of Hopkins' career. So subtle, a lot like his turn in The Remains Of The Day. Winger is always excellent and this was no exception.
I like it when I get round to seeing a film that previously I'd have ignored or genuinely avoided. There were just go many staid "Upstairs Downstairs" type dramas around at that time, I found it overwhelming. Even Julian Fellowes was in this.



CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR
(2007, Nichols)



"These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world... and then we f-ucked up the endgame."

Charlie Wilson's War follows the titular Congressman (Tom Hanks) and his efforts to support the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s. He does so with the assistance of Avrakotos and Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts), a wealthy, right-wing socialite.

This is Mike Nichols' last film. He started his career as a comedian and then a stage director, before hitting it big on film with his first two films: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Graduate (he was nominated for Best Director for both, and won for the latter). As someone who just saw both films (and Carnal Knowledge) within the last year, you can see his talent in handling personal relationships and exchanges between characters.

Charlie Wilson's War is different because the scope is bigger and the stakes are higher, perhaps? But he still puts the focus on the characters' personal relationships; particularly Wilson with Avrakotos and Herring. In that aspect, we can say the film is successful, also thanks to the sharp dialogue from screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot





Pretty fun satire of our internet-based culture which is too much focused on nonsense, so society is unable to get a grip regarding a serious issue. I found some of the jokes a bit cringe but overall not a bad movie. Loved the jokes on big-tech and hillary.

Still, if you look at Covid, the lack of seriousness was perhaps not the biggest issue, instead, it was the polarization of measures: excessive measures some people took while others did not take any measures.



Judy (2019)

Won't rate this as it's not really my sort of film and I don't know much about Garland....what I will say is that it dragged in long sections but I did manage to hang on till the end.



I found this film to be a really pleasant surprise. I find Daniel Radcliffe to be such an affable presence that I'm willing to give almost anything with him in it a try. And then the rest of the cast was great as well.

I think that the argument on the beach (and the situation leading up to it) is a great little subversion of romance tropes.



[Don't Look Up] Interesting. I keep having people tell me I need to see it and how good it is but I didn't have a good feeling.
If you have good friends that recommend it, then it would surely warrant a watch. You might like it.

I did note that even folks or reviewers who agree with the supposed philosophy behind the picture pooh-poohed it. Now watch it win an Oscar!...



I found this film to be a really pleasant surprise. I find Daniel Radcliffe to be such an affable presence that I'm willing to give almost anything with him in it a try. And then the rest of the cast was great as well
Same here. I recommend seeing the miniseries The Young Doctor's Handbook and Other Stories and Swiss Army Man if you haven't already if you're up for more non-Potter Radcliffe.

As for What If, I finally got motivated to see it thanks to a Ratatouille clip, of all things:




The trick is not minding
I found this film to be a really pleasant surprise. I find Daniel Radcliffe to be such an affable presence that I'm willing to give almost anything with him in it a try. And then the rest of the cast was great as well.

I think that the argument on the beach (and the situation leading up to it) is a great little subversion of romance tropes.
I have this saved to watch soon, but thatís mostly because of Zoe Kazan, who I feel is a talented actress.



Same here. I recommend seeing the miniseries The Young Doctor's Handbook and Other Stories and Swiss Army Man if you haven't already if you're up for more non-Potter Radcliffe.
Seen the former, not sure how much I'm interested in the latter, but I do keep almost watching it.

I have this saved to watch soon, but thatís mostly because of Zoe Kazan, who I feel is a talented actress.
She's very good in it. Honestly, all four of the main actors are really good in it.





Funny Girl, 1968

In this based-on-a-true-story film, Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand) goes from being an unsuccessful dance hall girl to a successful comedienne and stage performer. Along the way, however, she must grapple with her complicated relationship with professional gambler Nick (Omar Sharif).

As with many biographical films, I had to give myself some distance with this one. As I just wrote about with tick tick BOOM!, I always struggle with the knowledge that I am being shown a "true story" where in reality alterations have been made to suit a narrative film.

That said, this is a mostly very charming film and Streisand's lead performance is palpably a breakthrough moment.

I read a lot of trivia about how mad people were about how controlling Streisand was on the set of the film. My main reaction? Good for her! This trivia actually mirrors one of the points of the film that I thought was most impactful: Fanny is (in the reality of the film) not a pretty girl. She's a funny girl. And she is very sensitive to the difference between being laughed AT and laughed WITH. Even more specifically, she wants to have control over moments in which she is being laughed AT, with it being important that moments of self-deprecation are by choice.

I enjoyed many of the musical numbers in the film, especially a comedic take on "Swan Lake" that comes later in the story. Streisand is an assured performer, whether in the within-film setpieces or in scenes like one where she is asked to perform on roller skates. "I thought you said you could roller skate!" protests the stage manager who is also her good friend and ally. "I didn't know I couldn't!!" Fanny exclaims, propelling herself back into the chaos of the piece. It's solidly entertaining.

Sharif, as love interest Nick, is also perfect in his role. In the first half, we see his confidence and how this seduces Fanny. But later in the film, we see the way that her success takes a toll on him. I have a friend who split from her husband, and a huge issue in their marriage was the fact that she is more successful and recognized in her career than he is (they are both writers). Nick's building resentment is wonderfully portrayed by Sharif, and capably counterbalanced by the way that Streisand shows how Fanny's attempts to "help" Nick only make him feel more bitter toward the situation.

I do have to say that I found the first half of the film a lot more fun and interesting than the second half. While the dynamics of their marriage are portrayed in a way that is realistic, it's also not very fun watching a woman trying to please a man who is so insecure that he takes her success personally. The first half where we watch Fanny fight for her place on the stage and also fight to do numbers her way is really good stuff.

Overall a solid film and a particularly good first half.




SCANNERS
(1981, Cronenberg)



"It's the voices in my head. They're driving me crazy. How do you stop them?"

Scanners follows the titular subjects who've been found to have special mental abilities. When one of them called Daryl Revok (Michael Ironside) starts to wreak havoc, a security and weapons company puts its trust in Vale to find him and stop him, before he takes over the world.

Probably one of the weakest points of the film is Lack, who is barely serviceable as the lead. Even though his performance is not bad, it's just too bland to get us all pumped up. Ironside, on the other hand, is all the opposite. His performance is energetic and in-your-face, and Ironside chews it all up pretty well.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot



[center]SCANNERS
(1981, Cronenberg)

Ironside, on the other hand, is all the opposite. His performance is energetic and in-your-face, and Ironside chews it all up pretty well.
Have you seen Visiting Hours? Because a major side effect of watching Scanners was that I wished I was watching Visiting Hours instead.



Have you seen Visiting Hours? Because a major side effect of watching Scanners was that I wished I was watching Visiting Hours instead.
Not that I remember. But "funny story" about Visiting Hours is that when I was a kid I saw that trailer with the hospital windows/lights forming the skull...



...and it stuck with me. I became obsessed with that and frequently drew that image in notebooks. Don't remember if I ever saw the film, though. Should I?



It's on YouTube, but doesn't seem to be legit streaming anywhere.

I think it's kind of a hidden gem that isn't discussed nearly enough, and I really like the interplay between the three main female characters with Ironside's violent killer in the center of it all.



The Way Way Back (2013)



Only saw the last 3/4 of this movie during a free cable channel preview.

I really liked it as an understated comedy / drama that has almost no laugh-out-loud moments, but rather the subtle humor of a bitter-sweet coming-of-age movie.

I think I related to it on the level of the main character finding himself at his first job. Unlike the character, my home life lacked the strife he had. I didn't come from a broken home, but high school was miserable for me... until I started working my first job. Mine wasn't at a water park, but at a restaurant. I suddenly went from a friendless outcast to being treated with respect & interest by people older than myself. It was the complete opposite of high school - I got no interest from girls my own age, but as soon as I started my job I had dozens of college-age and older women being friendly with me every shift I worked.

Interesting cast (with Steve Carrel as an against-type antagonist) & great movie for a lazy afternoon.