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WORKING GIRL
(1988)

First viewing. A decent comedy drama directed by Mike Nichols, and starring Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith, Alec Baldwin, and Sigourney Weaver.

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“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!” ~ Rocky Balboa



Flash Gordon (1980)

A campy pulp that's often so bad it's good. It sort of reminded me of The Yellow Submarine with a ton of sexual references thrown into the mix.

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The Painted Bird (2019)

The sufferings of a young Jewish boy in WW2 Poland. Very beautiful B&W cinematography that fits the harrowing tone of the film perfectly. IMDb reviews are severely exaggerating the brutality of the film, but the comparisons to Come and See are justified. I have some little issues with the pacing and structure, but as a whole, it's at least very close to being great.
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Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

Yo, adolescente AKA Memories of a Teenager (Lucas Santa Ana, 2019)
6/10
Last Three Days (Brian Ulrich, 2020)
5/10
The Gumball Rally (Chuck Bail, 1976)
6/10
The Life Ahead (Edoardo Ponti, 2020)
6.5/10

Madame Rosa (Sophia Loren) doesn't trust her new Senegalese street kid resident Ibrahima Gueye but he slowly comes to care for her.
Fear (Alfred Zeisler, 1946)
5/10
Ball of Fire (Howard Hawks, 1941)
6.5/10
The River (Tsai Ming-liang, 1997)
5/10
Brother Orchid (Lloyd Bacon, 1940)
6.5/10

Mobster Edward G. Robinson hides out in a monastery with whom he considers a bunch of chumps, including Donald Crisp and Cecil Kellaway.
Echo Boomers (Seth Savoy, 2020)
5/10
The Reagans Part 1 - The Hollywood Myth Machine (Matt Tyrnauet, 2020)
7/10
Exes Baggage (Dan Villegas, 2018)
5/10
Keep in Touch (Sam Kretchmar, 2015)
6.5/10

Singer Gabbie McPhee helps parolee Nicholas Boshier try to resolve the many loose ends of his complicated life.
Ramkhind (Amit Dutta, 2001)
6/10
Transhood (Sharon Liese, 2020)
- 6.5/10
Say It with Songs (Lloyd Bacon, 1929)
- 5/10
All Joking Aside (Shannon Kohli, 2020)
6/10

Aspiring stand-up comic Raylene Harewood takes lessons from washed-up Brian Markinson who she agrees with up to a point.
Miss Tatlock's Millions (Richard Haydn, 1948)
6.5/10
Chick Fight (Paul Leyden, 2020)
5.5/10
Recon AKA Peace (Robert David Port, 2019)
5/10
The Blood of Wolves (Kazuya Shiraishi, 2018)
6/10

Japanese detectives battle amongst themselves to get the dirt on yakuza murderers.
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It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
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'The Innocents' (1961)

Dir.: Jack Clayton


Wow. I was not expecting to enjoy this so much. Very creepy, chilling psychological horror - I'd love to go back in time and see some of the reactions of theatre audiences. It's the story of a young woman who agrees to be a nanny for 2 children in an old house - but she increasingly becomes adamant the house is haunted by figures of the past. It is brilliantly lit so the cinematography is beautiful and at times plays tricks on the eye. Apparently cinematographer Freddie Francis used so many lamps to light the set that Deborah Kerr had to wear sunglasses between takes.

There's a really disturbing theme to the plot that grows as the film goes on, and the sound design is very sinister. Brilliant film.




the samoan lawyer's Avatar
Unregistered User
What didn't you like about it? I thought it was interesting, although the ending was a bit melodramatic.

Lack of story, infuriatingly slow and despite what I had heard before watching, there was little to no tension at all.


There was room for improvement there though, which was equally annoying. Increasing the paranoia definitely would have added to the rating.
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Too weird to live, and too rare to die.



Tightrope (1984)

Tight (see what I did there?) neo noir thriller with strong sexual themes, albeit a bit tame by todays standards. I found it a bit "weird" seeing Clint prey to a lot of physical temptation but that's exactly why this works....a bot of a strange one in his canon but very interesting.




the samoan lawyer's Avatar
Unregistered User
'The Innocents' (1961)

Dir.: Jack Clayton


Wow. I was not expecting to enjoy this so much. Very creepy, chilling psychological horror - I'd love to go back in time and see some of the reactions of theatre audiences. It's the story of a young woman who agrees to be a nanny for 2 children in an old house - but she increasingly becomes adamant the house is haunted by figures of the past. It is brilliantly lit so the cinematography is beautiful and at times plays tricks on the eye. Apparently cinematographer Freddie Francis used so many lamps to light the set that Deborah Kerr had to wear sunglasses between takes.

There's a really disturbing theme to the plot that grows as the film goes on, and the sound design is very sinister. Brilliant film.


Was sure you had seen this already! One of my all time favourite films, so beautifully filmed and as you say, really dark themes. Just brilliant. Hope it does well it the top 100.



Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

Angels and Demons (2009)

Rewatch. Science vs religion battle in this adaptation of the Dan Brown novel. Faster paced and more straight forward than The Da Vinci Code. The book was more gripping but the film was a fair effort.




Professional horse shoe straightener

Honeyland (2019)


Really intimate and powerful documentary. A subtle film with a pretty damming message, that's what I got out of it anyway.


I loved how it merged documentary and fiction. Beautiful but sad film.



Outland -


Described as High Noon in space, a movie I'm ashamed to have not seen, I found this movie to be a pretty good lean and mean crime thriller. With the space mine's claustrophobic hallways, pro-blue-collar stance and Jerry Goldsmith score, it has no shame in wanting to ride Alien's coattails, but I found the setting to be appropriate rather than a gimmick. The source of O'Niel's investigation belongs in science fiction, and besides, what could be more miserable than working in such a cramped and isolated place? It's also nice to see Connery in a relatively low-key role and I enjoyed always-reliable James Sikking's work as his sympathetic co-worker, but Frances Sternhagen - better known as Cliff's mother in Cheers - is the cast's MVP for her performance as the irascible, drunk Dr. Lazarus. Despite its unique setting and how well it's presented, it does not distinguish itself that much from other "one person against the system" thrillers. It's still one of the better movies to wear its Alien influences on its sleeve, not to mention one of director Peter Hyams’ best works. It's also an ideal movie to watch after a lousy day at the office.
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Last Great Movie Seen
Saboteur (Hitchcock, 1942)



Just watched both of these last year but these are first rate Val Lewton productions.


I Walked with a Zombie has atmosphere to burn. Director Jacques Tourneur and cinematographer J. Roy Hunt make judicious use of shadows and darkness to not only create mood but to obscure the fact that this was in essence a low budget production filmed mostly on sound stages. A Canadian nurse accepts a job caring for the sick wife of a sugar plantation owner on a Caribbean island. The voodoo aspects as well as the screen treatment of the local islanders is refreshingly low on patronizing attitudes. It's not a perfect film of course. Like so many pictures of the era the romance elements seem a little forced but all in all this is a effectively eerie experience. 90/100

The Seventh Victim - Mark Robson in his directorial debut. You wouldn't think this is the same guy who finished up his career directing schlock like Valley of the Dolls and Earthquake. Kim Hunter plays a young (?) girl named Mary Gibson. When the film opens she is enrolled in a finishing or boarding school of sorts which implies that she might be a minor. This is germane to the movie because she goes looking for her older sister who has disappeared in NYC and runs across an older man who turns out to have been married to her sister. He’s played by High Beaumont and as so often happens with movies of this era they are romantically thrown together with no real basis in logic or reality. They meet and show no real chemistry or ardor but a few screentime minutes later they’re pledging their undying love for each other.
WARNING: "Booga booga" spoilers below
Anyway, after some investigative work and plenty of moody, foreboding scenes she finds her sister and also discovers that she's become involved with a covert cult. What I particularly liked from this point forward is that they don't sensationalize the cult. They're decidedly non threatening and yet it's this very banality that somehow adds a layer of menace to the proceedings.
I won't give anything else away but suffice it to say that this is another Lewton triumph. 90/100
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Floating Clouds (1955) - 8/10

WARNING: spoilers below
A deceptively simple film which gets more interesting with rewatches once you uncover the various layers to the character motivations. Though Kengo is a womanizer, I found his relationship with Yukiko to be a decent bit more complex than most films which feature this characterization are, and this made for a handful of interesting dynamics between the two of them. For instance, as becomes more apparent as the film goes on, Kengo has no intention of resuming his relationship with Yukiko. Yet, Yukiko either doesn't realize this or doesn't want to accept it and continues to stick around him. Though Kengo is able to handle her presence at first, as the days they spend together add up, he's soon stuck with her. His response to this reveals that she, in a way, has more emotional strength than him, given how she's able to endure his constant rejections, while Kengo responds to them with cowardice, attempting to flee from her advances. In addition to the emotional resonance in the latter scenes of the film, Kengo's arc also doubles as a rather unique example of the "Running away from your past" archetype. Finally, I appreciated how the flashbacks, which were brightly lit in comparison to the rest of the film, were used very sparingly, as if the film was acknowledging how little happiness occurred between them while they knew each other, even before the war. Overall, I greatly appreciated the handling of both Yukiko and Kengo. While I've seen a bunch of movies about philanderers, I think this film had a great deal of subtlety with the character motivations which distinguished it from many of the other films I've seen on this subject.



'The Innocents' (1961)

Dir.: Jack Clayton



There's a really disturbing theme to the plot that grows as the film goes on, and the sound design is very sinister. Brilliant film.

Yes, it's a completely gorgeous, atmospheric film. It's the first horror film that I remember watching as a child. The ending is especially shocking and memorable.



Borat - I guess this is one of those movies where you have to strike while the iron is hot. The same thing happened to me while watching Ex Machina. That was a perfectly serviceable sci-fi thriller but I guess I waited too long to watch it. After having seen two seasons of something like Westworld, I suppose it lost some of it's potency. 14 years removed from it's initial run the same thing happened to Borat. In the intervening years there's been countless references and memes and clips and trailers and articles written so that what must have once seemed fresh and novel was now well trod territory. I wanted to watch the sequel on Amazon Prime so I figured I'd better familiarize myself with the original. But then come to find out I was already more or less familiar with it. Don't get me wrong. It's still funny and Cohen is still a master at inhabiting a character. And it does have me looking forward to watching the new one so...mission accomplished. 75/100



I think there’s a few times when prison drama distinctly overlapped with noir, this and Riot in Cell Block 11 as prime examples. I think what sets them apart is the distinct sense of institutional failure/sadism and the inability to overcome it.

Cronyn was excellent and it was great seeing him play such a substantial role. I’m a big fan of his scene stealing turn in Postman Always Rings Twice.

Huzzah! Siegel (who also did Riot) made a remake of the Killers that’s also very worth checking out if you haven’t.
I forgot all about Cronyn's role as the attorney in "Postman". Yes, he was excellent. And how about his very first role as the next door neighbor in Hitchcock's superb Shadow of a Doubt? Cronyn also worked on the screenplays for Hitch's Rope and Under Capricorn.

I have vague memories of seeing the The Killers 1964 remake with Lee Marvin. But I'll have to re-visit and watch it again. Good tip!



I forgot all about Cronyn's role as the attorney in "Postman". Yes, he was excellent. And how about his very first role as the next door neighbor in Hitchcock's superb Shadow of a Doubt? Cronyn also worked on the screenplays for Hitch's Rope and Under Capricorn.

I have vague memories of seeing the "Postman" 1964 remake with Lee Marvin. But I'll have to re-visit and watch it again. Good tip!
I love SOAD but need to rewatch it. Cronyn didn't leave an impression as Joseph Cotten deservedly stole that show. Yet another reason!

I'm a big fan of Rope and UC so I'll just chalk this as another reason I should be a bigger fan.

I only know of Rafelson/Nicholson/Lange remake of Postman. Didn't know there was a Marvin one. I'll have to track it down.