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Waiting... (2005)


Another one of my favorite comedies over the years. You get the expected performance from Ryan Reynolds, but the rest of the supporting cast does an excellent job carrying the comedy and plot otherwise.



NONA
(2021, Gonzales)



"Iíve taken too much time on this and I canít get it to work; I just dug myself in a deeper hole. We need to stop. I like the other version, [and] I need to tell the team."

Nona follows the titular grandmother (Wilma Bonet), a huge wrestling fan, who is just preparing to watch her favorite wrestling event. As she's "turning off the world" to focus on the show, her granddaughter is unexpectedly dropped at her apartment, forcing her to choose between her beloved wrestling show and her family.

There really isn't much to the short. It's very simple and cute. Apparently, the biggest conflict between Gonzales and his team was in how "neglectful" the grandmother should be with her granddaughter, and how "confrontational" should she be as a result. After all, Gonzales jokingly describes the two characters as "opponents" in an interview.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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This was the first movie by Aki Kaurismaki I had seen (I've seen them all, and a few of Mika's) and it's one of the best, and it's his favorite. Matti Pellonpaa is one of my favorites. But I love the scene when the couple are in bed, and she wants .. something more sentimental and romantic, and he says something like, "OK, I will love you for the rest of my life" to some supposed one-night stand..


You are so lucky to have some great movies ahead of you. May I recommend one of my Top 10-15 movies and my favorite of his, "Shadows in Paradise". It's interesting to see him go from supporting to lead, but in retrospect, it's weird seeing Matti as a supporting character, because other than his first couple, he was always the lead.
Shadows in Paradise will likely be my next Kaurismški film. I've seen it pop up a few times here and there.
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BALLAD OF A SOLDIER 1959 Grigoriy Chukhray

1h 28m | War | Drama
Writers: Grigoriy Chukhray, Valentin Ezhov
Cast: Vladimir Ivashov, Zhanna Prokhorenko, Antonina Maksimova


+ (84/100)



BALLAD OF A SOLDIER 1959 Grigoriy Chukhray

1h 28m | War | Drama
Writers: Grigoriy Chukhray, Valentin Ezhov
Cast: Vladimir Ivashov, Zhanna Prokhorenko, Antonina Maksimova


+ (84/100)

Lovely photograph!





Under the Silver Lake(2018)

There has gradually arisen a sub-category of noir which is beginning to be known as ďstoner noirĒ (more accurately, stoner neo-noir). Arguably the style began with
Roger Altmanís misfire of Chandlerís The Long Goodbye (1973), but it came to full fruition in The Big Lebowski (1998) with ďThe DudeĒ alternating pot and White Russian Cocktails while doing some sleuthing on behalf of his namesake. Probably the most extreme example would be Inherent Vice (2014), showcasing Joaquin Phoenix stumbling and mumbling through the movie oftentimes stoned on various substances while detecting for various employers.

A more recent illustration is 2018ís
Under the Silver Lake, starring the highly talented Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spiderman, Hacksaw Ridge), and also Riley Keough (The Good Doctor, Logan Lucky). A no-account stoner named Sam morphs into a shamus when a neighbor who heís sweet on disappears overnight. His investigations take him into one unlikely circumstance after another until he makes a shocking discovery. Somehow it all works out in the end.

The picture is billed as a black comedy, but itís hard to tell the difference between what is black and what is comedy. Director/screenwriter David R. Mitchell was certainly inspired by David Lynchís oddball plotting and incoherence. Throughout the film there are various displays of mystic and occult iconography
and ciphers which apparently are intended both as clues, and to serve as another layer to rather sew the various scenes and twists together. Those elements are nearly indecipherable although they donít take away from the pictureís appeal.

Mitchell uses homages to Hitchcockís Vertigo in a car tailing scene, both in its design and in the music closely reminiscent of Bernard Herrmannís moody score. He has also lifted Marilyn Monroeís iconic poolside scene from the unreleased Somethingís Got to Give (1962) used in one of Samís fantasies. Tactics like these serve to lift the film. To me the movie represents the recent generation in terms of banal sex (both with and without a partner), language, and lack of standards and values beyond curiosity. Itís the perfect contemporary noir of angst in the absence of morality.

Still,
there are two strong reasons to see Under the Silver Lake: the first rate acting of Andrew Garfield as the stoner sleuth Sam, and the compelling and atmospheric cinematography by Michael Gioulakis (Split; Glass).

Docís rating: 6/10
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SF = Z


[Snooze Factor Ratings]:
Z = didn't nod off at all
Zz = nearly nodded off but managed to stay alert
Zzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed
Zzzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed but nodded off again at the same point and therefore needed to go back a number of times before I got through it...
Zzzzz = nodded off and missed some or the rest of the film but was not interested enough to go back over it





Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

That's a movie I won't be watching twice. Disappointed. Gives you a look at the other side of Hollywood. Some things are confusing about the story but then you stop caring so it doesn't matter much. Nice visuals.

50/100



I forgot the opening line.

By Immortal Entertainment - http://dkpu1ddg7pbsk.cloudfront.net/...189356_ori.jpg, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47500926

Theeb - (2014)

I recently had a look at Peru's first ever film nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar - this one is Jordan's first. It's set in 1916, and involves the Middle Eastern Theatre of World War I - from a Bedouin tribe's point of view. At one stage a British officer becomes involved with them, and I kept thinking "This must be T.E. Lawrence" (he had that look, and feel), but subsequent events disproved that theory. Anyway, what the film is really about is the story of Theeb (Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat) - a young boy who becomes stranded in the desert, and must rely on the kindness of the thief and bandit that killed his brother to survive. Theeb lives in a harsh corner of the globe at an extremely dangerous time, and if it's not the Turks or the landscape itself trying to kill him, it's blasted bandits who think nothing of maiming and murdering for loot. Theeb seems to find himself at a moral crossroads himself, and has to grow up fast if he's to survive at all - his natural curiosity and adventurousness have led him far from home, into conflict and an uneasy alliance. Coming from Jordan, this film has an authenticity that's impressive and is well worth your time - it plays on Arabian proverbs, which become it's theme and message.

7/10


Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47500926

A Gang Story - (2011)

There's not much information about French film A Gang Story to be found online, at least at first glance. It's purportedly based on the life of a real French gangster, Edmond Vidal, and is interesting as to it's look in at the cultural difference of French mobsters to Italian or American. Subtle differences - I mean, they still kill each other. The film's main storyline takes place with Vidal (Gťrard Lanvin) and his cronies getting older, and wanting to put an end to the more violent aspects of their career path - but the top man's best buddy, Serge Suttel (Tchťky Karyo) has been arrested, and he feels obliged to break him out. During the breakout a cop is killed, and subsequently there are a series of murders which seem inexplicable to Vidal - there's something afoot he must discover. While all of this is going on, we get various flashbacks to when Vidal and Suttel first became friends and how they rose up the ranks to become the biggest crime kingpins in France. Gťrard Lanvin is gruffly handsome, and I've always really liked Tchťky Karyo. People who like this kind of gangster flick might really enjoy this - although I never plan on returning to it, it was at least worth my time and had an interesting narrative, not to mention plenty of murder and mayhem. It isn't a classic by any stretch, but has a couple of fine performances and a nice kind of even tone to it.

6/10
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I'd call this movie "off".. Mazursky, Woody Allen, and many others tried to make their own version of Fellini's "8 1/2" (only pertaining to their life) and they all come out bad. But, he also made my favorite, "Harry and Tonto".. Have you seen "Next Stop, Greenwich Village"? It's a good drama/comedy, and not one of those comedies with no humor. Shelley Winters is very good as usual. Christopher Walker is also very good in it.



SUNFLOWER 1970 ĎI girasolií Vittorio De Sica

1h 47m | War | Romance
Writers: Tonino Guerra, Cesare Zavattini, Giorgi Mdivani
Cast: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Lyudmila Saveleva

Un Classico!

- (76/100)



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Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont - 7/10
Perfect blueprint, but I would have changed the writing for a 'tele-play' or whatever format they call this.... A little too much time spent on the mundane, and the moment you thought "good scene", it would be one line, and then cut to an entire set of characters, the minor characters, since they all live in a 'home'






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SUNFLOWER 1970 ĎI girasolií Vittorio De Sica

1h 47m | War | Romance
Writers: Tonino Guerra, Cesare Zavattini, Giorgi Mdivani
Cast: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Lyudmila Saveleva

Un Classico!

- (76/100)



WOW! Someone finally saw my favorite love story on film. By my favorite director, Vittorio De Sica, who made a handful of movies with both of them, and they all are moving and unique.