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Capone (2020)


A very weak film that has an awful script and tries to get by with set-pieces. The story itself may have been more engaging with a zippier pace but it just meanders through the last syphilitic years of AC which are uninteresting if they are as portrayed here. Tom Hardy's over-acting is pretty hammy too.

A big disappointment.

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Weekend re-watches:




2nd re-watch...There's a lot of love out there for this movie because people think it's much closer in spirit to Roald Dahl's book than the 1971 film with Gene Wilder. It is a blazing technical achievement featuring extraordinary cinematography, editing, art direction/set direction and visual effects, but this version of the story is so dark and mean spirited and its attempts at exploring Wonka's childhood just bring the film to a dead halt (despite a superb performance from Christopher Lee as Wonka's father). Johnny Depp's performance is definitely a matter of taste, but Burton has to take some of the blame for that.





1st Re-watch...A flashy performance by Michael Douglas that should have earned him an Oscar nomination makes this bizarre black comedy worth sitting through all by itself.






Very watchable horror story about two world class cellists, one the "old" prodigy the other, her replacement at the School for Hot, Gifted Musicians. Co stars Steven Weber as the girls "teacher" which probably tells you more about what you getting into than I ever could. Eventually it does go down a road that may be uncomfortable for some (one of the many twists) and has some pretty good fx especially in the second (body horror) and final movement.
First of all,
at the School for Hot, Gifted Musicians.
LOL.

I had REALLY mixed feelings about The Perfection. I thought that the first half was interesting and different and genuinely really horrifying.

When it hit the second half was where I had my reservations. I had literally thought
WARNING: spoilers below
Wow, it's so nice to have a horror/thriller movie that doesn't just do the old "rape/revenge" thing and then . . . yeah.

The emotional rollercoaster of thinking that she's sabotaging this other girl because she's jealous, then finding out that it was a twisted way of "saving" her was really good and unexpected. The whole journey between the two characters was really compelling and I loved that their relationship shifted several times.

But once it got into the basement of the school it felt like everything was dragged out way too long. Like, we get it. They were being sexually abused. But it feels like the movie dances around this really obvious element. In fact, it went on so long that I started to think, "Wait, is it going to be something other than sexual abuse?" . . . but of course it wasn't. I also felt that the final attack on the one girl (with "is she going to get raped" as the method of suspense) dragged on. I don't know. Did anyone actually think she was going to be betrayed by her new friend?

I think that the idea of a school having this abusive subculture is an interesting context (and it made me think of the Olympic gymnast abuse scandal).

But the first half of the film was so strong and visceral (the bus sequence!!!) and unexpected! I really felt let down when the last third went into very predictable territory and leaned so hard on the whole rape threat as the main tension.


I did think that the performances were really solid. I liked the chemistry between the two leads. I just wish it had held on to the intensity and unexpectedness of the bonkers first act.



WARNING: spoilers below
But the first half of the film was so strong and visceral (the bus sequence!!!) and unexpected! I really felt let down when the last third went into very predictable territory and leaned so hard on the whole rape threat as the main tension.


I did think that the performances were really solid. I liked the chemistry between the two leads. I just wish it had held on to the intensity and unexpectedness of the bonkers first act.
I am mixed on this film too. Man... I thought selling the viral outbreak was cheating. It gave me Sixth Sense & Identity vibes, and not in a good way. But Iíve rewatched it three times, which must mean something. Alison Williams has the makings of a scream queen. In terms of the school, it may feel trite, but as someone with professional musicians in the family, I can attest itís unfortunately quite accurate...

The emotional rollercoaster of thinking that she's sabotaging this other girl because she's jealous, then finding out that it was a twisted way of "saving" her was really good and unexpected
I agree, but I didnít find the Ďsavingí part remotely believable from the perspective of psychology. It felt like Stockholm Syndrome backwards, and equally far-fetched.



I am mixed on this film too. Man... I thought selling the viral outbreak was cheating. It gave me Sixth Sense & Identity vibes, and not in a good way. But Iíve rewatched it three times, which must mean something. Alison Williams has the makings of a scream queen. In terms of the school, it may feel trite, but as someone with professional musicians in the family, I can attest itís unfortunately quite accurate...
It wasn't that the school stuff felt unbelievable. My problem was that
WARNING: spoilers below
it was SO OBVIOUS that there was sexual abuse. I mean, you suspect it from the first 5 minutes of the film, right? So it's not so much about that plot element as it is the fact that the movie seemed to treat it like it was a surprise as opposed to a confirmation for anyone who was even half paying attention.


I agree, but I didnít find the Ďsavingí part remotely believable from the perspective of psychology. It felt like Stockholm Syndrome backwards, and equally far-fetched.
I think that, realistically,
WARNING: spoilers below
it was probably a mix of two things. I do think that she wants an ally to be on her side against the school.

But I also think that she was jealous. It is a very real phenomenon that someone who suffers abuse can be jealous of another person who takes over being the "main victim", because they lose all of the attention.

If you think for a minute, she only needed the girl to not be able to play the cello. Losing one or two fingers would have easily accomplished this. Heck, just damaging tendons in some of her fingers or her wrist would have taken her out of genius-level ability. Instead she allows her to lose an entire hand.

So I think that the character tells herself that she's "saving" her (and she is), but I also think that her jealousy played a part in how ruthless she was in putting together the whole series of events and how far she let the harm go.

Also, harming a star pupil also harms the school in an indirect way. So the saving motivation is one piece, but I think that jealousy and revenge are also mixed in there.

In that respect, I found the supposed psychological element convincing enough.



I've always depended on the kindness of strangers
A Short Film About Love - 7/10
It was made in my lifetime, so I'll give it a handicap; an extra point for not being horrible. Good start, but subject and voyeur meet too soon. This movie had a bone, but no meat. Of course, the reviewers over-intellectualize everything, and get swayed by silence and a few minor scale notes on the piano (it seems to work on them every time), and thus, it becomes "so poetic"... "Let's make this movie THREE hours long, they'll call it an EPIC"., Shaky-Cam = AVANT-GARDE.
I should write reviews of reviews...



Chinatown (1974)

Second watch. Stylish and well realised. I think the actual story itself is slight (though not as slight as sequel "The Two Jakes"). The actors are impeccable especially Faye Dunaway who manages to ooze aloofness and vulnerability wonderfully.

Polanski did a great job here.

I still laugh at Jake's joke kinda more Jake's telling of the joke but you get my drift

Totally agree that this film features Faye Dunaway's best performance...as good as she was in Network, I still think the Oscar she won for that film was a partial consolation prize for losing for this film.





Definitely my all-time favorite Woody Allen movie. Loads of very amusing cameos & a terrific story line.
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Iím here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Thatís why Iím here now.





Definitely my all-time favorite Woody Allen movie. Loads of very amusing cameos & a terrific story line.
I don't think I liked it as much as you did, but I did enjoy this little-talked about film. BTW, you didn't rate it.



⬆️ It was extremely hard to even find this movie. Ended up buying a dvd from someplace. No subtitles rather spoilt it for me as one couldn’t always be sure of the dialogue.





Hamilton - At Broadway prices (about $1000 per ticket), I've been putting off seeing it live, but I didn't want to do it unless I could see Lin-Manuel Miranda do the title role, so when this came up, I told my wife that I'd buy a Disney+ subscription and a Roku streaming device (configured for Disney+) for a tenth of the cost of a single real ticket. Broadway is locked anyway so that was easy. I have to preface by saying that I'm never better than 50% on musicals anyway, so this got me off the hook.

I'm sure that fans of musicals can't NOT like this. Costumes, sets, performers, music are all excellent. It was shot with what seems to be a real audience or at least a convincing facsimile of one. It was intended for release next year, but moved up to now as a way to draw subscribers (like me) to Disney+. Miranda, as writer, producer and performer is amazing; it's probably the major work of his life, the story of a New Yorker (Hamilton) done by a guy from Inwood (top of Manhattan), performed on Broadway. It doesn't get more Big Apple than this...a sort of subway show. Being a frequent NYC visitor until a few months ago, it felt good to be there for a few hours without a lockdown, other than Saturday Night Live re-runs.




A Short Film About Love - 7/10
It was made in my lifetime, so I'll give it a handicap; an extra point for not being horrible. Good start, but subject and voyeur meet too soon. This movie had a bone, but no meat. Of course, the reviewers over-intellectualize everything, and get swayed by silence and a few minor scale notes on the piano (it seems to work on them every time), and thus, it becomes "so poetic"... "Let's make this movie THREE hours long, they'll call it an EPIC"., Shaky-Cam = AVANT-GARDE.
I should write reviews of reviews...
Funniest "review" for a while...FWIW I really liked the film but you howl away!!!



I've always depended on the kindness of strangers
Funniest "review" for a while...FWIW I really liked the film but you howl away!!!
I'm the king of the "neo-review" - adding metaphysics and anything else that sounds smart. But seriously, I do like to just brainstorm, sometimes mention things not even related to the movie - things like what's going on in my life, and maybe how it relates to the movie, sometimes going on a rant (positive or negative)... Maybe mention how my day is going, if I got little sleep, the constant flow of drugs (plural) in my system, explaining my explanations to my review . As one fellow MOFO (someone I like a lot) said about my "Grandma" review, "This says more about you than it does the movie". But I ranted on because that movie was such garbage, and condescending to the average viewer, who they hold in contempt. There's no reason for them (writers) to talk down to us. I could never stand the "Well, we understand it, but what about the average person out there?" (as if we grew on farms).

I like how others will include their main score, as well as another kind of score.. Maybe I should score my reviews, too. "dylan, Dylan, DYLAN". I don't even mention where my references come from because I look at everyone as equals, like a good Communist would.

I liked the movie, too. 7/10 is a high score for me, but some of the reviews I read afterwards were too silly, and who better to talk to than my fellow MoFOkers? Very self-congratulatory, elitist, and usually an exercise in poetry, dictionary, and thesaurus skills. And they usually sound like every other review from bigger publications (or IMDB user reviews). I was reading a book a few days ago, and it went on and on about how "My skin was met with a northwest wind..... etc." -- ah, NORTHwind, thanks for the directions!.... Anyway, now I'm just going on and on trying to win an Oscar to receive as many "reps" as possible.

Glad you enjoyed it



Curtiz (2018)

Anybody ever see this? I watched it last night on Netflix. It was OK. The cool part was that most all of the film was set in the Warner Brothers movie studio and was about director Michael Curtiz making Casablanca. The choice of B&W was good and it was fun seeing Casablanca being made, along with seeing it's famous stars....But I'm not sure why an extra sitting at the table at Rick's Cafe had drawings of Mr Spock and the Enterprise from the original Star Trek...what was that all about???


'Preciate the heads-up. Sounds good, will watch...





A Story of Floating Weeds (1934)

A theater troupe lands in a village and the troupe's leader, Kihachi, immediately sets out to find a former girlfriend (mistress? one night stand?) named Otsune, who also happens to be the mother of his illegitimate child. That child, an upstanding and intelligent young man named Shinkichi, is now grown. Kihachi begins to spend a lot of time with Otsune and Shinkichi, and Kihachi's current girlfriend finds out about it and sets out to sabotage the relationship.

The main impression that this film made on me was through its imagery. The image above, in which Kihachi confronts his angry girlfriend as they stand on opposite sides of a street during a rainstorm was perhaps my favorite visual moment. It isn't just pretty to look at--it's a sumptuous visual that also serves as an allegory for the emotional distance and turmoil between the two characters.

The film is full of amazing images and juxtapositions, such as a kettle placed close to the camera, or two characters standing a ways apart from each other on train tracks. The film is also brimming with moments where there are no characters on screen, but merely clues that they have recently been there: an abandoned desk, a still-smoking cigarette, an empty bicycle. There is a feeling of melancholy and "too late" that permeates the whole movie, and every time a character came to see someone only to find an empty chair or an abandoned cup of tea, it hammered home that sad foreboding.

There's a short stretch of the film where it seems as if the point is to villainize the girlfriend, but the film is after more complexity than that. The central characters must all reckon with the effects of their actions, but none more so than Kihachi, whose abandonment of his child and the child's mother (yes, he sends money, but I think we can all agree that parenthood is about more than writing checks) is a reckoning 18 years in the making. Kihachi is a likable character, but there's a selfishness to the way that he does a bunch of "dad" stuff with Shinkichi (he literally take the kid fishing), all while letting the teen think that he's just a friendly uncle. And the film lets you see the hurt in Otsune's face, even as she protests that she doesn't mind basically being a single mother as long as her son is okay. Yes, she loves her son, but she's the one who has had to live a life without romance or sex, and who must maintain the lie to her own son. Kihachi is free to travel and carry on romantic/sexual affairs, to pop in and play dad when he wants and then roll back out of town. Kihachi frequently hits other characters--his girlfriend, another woman from the troupe, even Shinkichi--and it's an anger that seems to be something he is turning from the inside out.

The whole movie is gorgeous and captivating, both visually and from a narrative point of view. Ozu later remade his own film in the 50s, and I look forward to watching the other version.




A Bell From Hell (1973)




This is a European horror dubbed in English that I found on Tubi. I'm surprised that I never heard of it before because it's pretty good. It's a bit gothic, a bit erotic, and pretty unsettling despite the lack of gore. It looks good and the cast does well. I thought it lacked cohesion but that's my only gripe. Definitely worth watching for horror fans. On a side note, the director fell or jumped to his death from the bell tower on the last day of shooting.



A Bell From Hell (1973)




This is a European horror dubbed in English that I found on Tubi. I'm surprised that I never heard of it before because it's pretty good. It's a bit gothic, a bit erotic, and pretty unsettling despite the lack of gore. It looks good and the cast does well. I thought it lacked cohesion but that's my only gripe. Definitely worth watching for horror fans. On a side note, the director fell or jumped to his death from the bell tower on the last day of shooting.
This looks potentially interesting. Apparently there's a Spanish release that's over 10 minutes longer than the US version (includes some extra gore too according to IMDb). Now where to find that?
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