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Tokyo Drifter, 1966

A Yakuza gunman named Tetsu (Tetsuya Watari) heads out for a new life after his gang disbands. But when he goes up against another gang who tries to recruit him, he gets sucked back into a world of violence.

I feel like I can barely write a review of this film. It's all bold color palate and stylistic excess that works precisely because it leans so hard into such extremity. I mean, look at this nonsense:









The film rolls along with its plot of double crosses and scheming. Honestly, this was like a 90% visual experience for me with the narrative just serving as passable connective tissue.

I watched Suzuki's 'Branded to Kill' recently, which is much the same - a garbled plot, but it's so stylish that it's gripping. Jim Jarmusch totally ripped it off when he made Ghost Dog'



My favorite scene of the film
It's all for you!



Dèmoni 2... l'incubo ritorna (1986)
aka Demons 2

I rewatched the first Demons a few years ago, and thanks to Netflix adding both recently, I decided to do the same to the sequel. I'm not too fond of the original, but the sequel is even worse. It seems that the average IQ of the characters hovers around 60 and barely anyone does anything even remotely intelligent. There are also some embarrassing tributes to films like Alien and Gremlins. The script is terrible (it was in the first one too), which is a shame because I think that the concept isn't bad (maybe Luca Guadagnino should have remade Demons instead of Suspiria).
If you don't like Demons, I just don't know if we can be friends.



I remember I would spend like an hour or more wandering up and down the aisles of my neighborhood BB. I wish it was still around. I did however find Dead & Buried on Prime and added it to my queue.
Yeah, me too. Mine I watched so many movies when I was a kid, I don't know how my family afforded to cover my Blockbuster card.



In a Glass Cage (1986) -

Rebecca (2020) -

Beats (2019) -

Ready or Not (2019) -

Greta (2018) -
Ooof, In a Glass Cage, thought this was excellent.



Cold Pursuit (2019)

Great, another stinker on the same day. One of these latter-day Liam Neeson revenge flicks. It tries to be witty, but the dark comedic elements fall flat on their arses. Almost imaginative in its lack of imagination. Driving a snowplow must be much more fun than watching this.
Found this film laughable and didn't know if it was a switcheroo. No, it's just awful.



Bugenhagen is truly the unspoken hero of The Omen. They didn't name a character after him in Final Fantasy VII for nothin'.
Leo McKern was effin awesome in his mad eyed frenzy against the Anti



THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES
(2009, Campanella)
A drama film



"If you keep going over the past, you're going to end up with a thousand pasts and no future."

The Secret in Their Eyes uses a nonlinear narrative moving back and forth between the 1970s and the 1990s. It follows Esposito, a former deputy in Buenos Aires who investigated the rape and murder of a young woman that didn't end up the way he would've wanted. Two decades later, he's still haunted by it and starts writing a novel about it.

Esposito is assisted in his investigation by Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Francella), an alcoholic but dependable friend, and Irene (Soledad Villamil), his superior who reluctantly helps him at first, but eventually realizes that he might be right about the investigation. Even though Esposito and Irene are obviously smitten with each other, they never dare to share their feelings to each other.

The thrilling aspect of it is evident all through the film, particularly during two scenes: a breathtaking sequence in a soccer stadium, which features a 5-minute long shot that had me on the edge of my seat all the way, and a supremely tense elevator ride. But the care that director and co-writer Juan José Campanella gives each character makes for an extremely rewarding experience in terms of their development and depth, and the actors' performances back that up.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot and on the HOF24.
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THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES
(2009, Campanella)
A drama film

The thrilling aspect of it is evident all through the film, particularly during two scenes: a breathtaking sequence in a soccer stadium, which features a 5-minute long shot that had me on the edge of my seat all the way, and a supremely tense elevator ride. But the care that director and co-writer Juan José Campanella gives each character makes for an extremely rewarding experience in terms of their development and depth, and the actors' performances back that up.
Grade:

Full review on my Movie Loot and on the HOF24.
I agree with your rating. VERY good film from Argentina, that held my interest all the way through.

But that long take! A tour de force, and IMO in the top 10 of all long takes in cinema. From a long aerial view of a stadium down to arm's length and continued action-- all of which was seamless. From Wikipedia: "The scene was filmed in the stadium of football club Huracan, and took three months of pre-production, three days of shooting and nine months of post-production. Two hundred extras took part in the shooting, and visual effects created a fully packed stadium with nearly fifty thousand fans."

I don't watch enough non-English speaking films. My wife doesn't like subtitles, and I don't like dubbing..



The Power (2021)

A moderately competent but extremely conventional ghost story. The characters would have needed more depth. There's definitely a feminist undertone on the film, but for the most part, it remains on a tolerable level (my only issue is that the film somehow seems to make child abuse a gender issue). Not awful and for a debut feature, even moderately decent.
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THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES
(2009, Campanella)
A drama film





The Secret in Their Eyes uses a nonlinear narrative moving back and forth between the 1970s and the 1990s. It follows Esposito, a former deputy in Buenos Aires who investigated the rape and murder of a young woman that didn't end up the way he would've wanted. Two decades later, he's still haunted by it and starts writing a novel about it.

Esposito is assisted in his investigation by Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Francella), an alcoholic but dependable friend, and Irene (Soledad Villamil), his superior who reluctantly helps him at first, but eventually realizes that he might be right about the investigation. Even though Esposito and Irene are obviously smitten with each other, they never dare to share their feelings to each other.

The thrilling aspect of it is evident all through the film, particularly during two scenes: a breathtaking sequence in a soccer stadium, which features a 5-minute long shot that had me on the edge of my seat all the way, and a supremely tense elevator ride. But the care that director and co-writer Juan José Campanella gives each character makes for an extremely rewarding experience in terms of their development and depth, and the actors' performances back that up.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot and on the HOF24.
I gotta watch this too. I'm a huge Ricardo Darin fan.



I agree with your rating. VERY good film from Argentina, that held my interest all the way through.

But that long take! A tour de force, and IMO in the top 10 of all long takes in cinema. From a long aerial view of a stadium down to arm's length and continued action-- all of which was seamless. From Wikipedia: "The scene was filmed in the stadium of football club Huracan, and took three months of pre-production, three days of shooting and nine months of post-production. Two hundred extras took part in the shooting, and visual effects created a fully packed stadium with nearly fifty thousand fans."

I don't watch enough non-English speaking films. My wife doesn't like subtitles, and I don't like dubbing..
I gotta think hard about this, but I think the ones from Carlito's Way and Children of Men are up there for me... but I don't know, the logistics of this one seemed a lot more complicated to me; like you said, starting with a long aerial view to getting down there with the crowd and into the stadium corridors... it was amazing.



I gotta watch this too. I'm a huge Ricardo Darin fan.
I think this is the first I've seen of him, but yeah, great film. Check it out!





Stallone: Frank, That Is, 2021

This documentary recounts the career of Frank Stallone, musician/actor and brother to Sylvester Stallone.

This film is okay, though I'm not entirely sure that the story it tells merits a feature length film.

The aspect of the film that most grabs you is the empathy you feel for Frank Stallone as his career ends up inextricably intertwined with that of his Hollywood star brother. With candor from Stallone and the other interviewees, we really come to understand that standing in the shadows of a more successful sibling can be both a blessing and a curse. Stallone is given many opportunities because of his connection to his older brother. But even as that connection gives him access to movie sets and talk shows, there is something painful about knowing that he is being booked for interviews or to star in B-action movies because of his name.

"They hired me because they couldn't get Sylvester," Frank shrugs, speaking of his roles in films like Terror of Beverly Hills. He is neither joyous about it nor overly bitter. For the most part it seems as if he has taken the opportunities presented to him and tried to leverage them as best he can to advance his own career passion, his music. You feel how entirely bittersweet it must be to live in a world where you have name recognition, but not because of something you did.

On the other hand, the film often seems to work a bit too hard to convince us how great Frank is. And don't get me wrong, I am fine with believing the various testimonials from the people being interviewed that he is a talented musician and an engaging live performer. But there often seems to be a defensive edge to the movie, as if it is straining to prove that Frank would have been a star even without his brother's success. And, I mean, maybe? But it is hard to say and there's just no getting around the fact that some key aspects of Frank's career came about directly because of his family connection.

There's also something, um, very same-y about the interview subjects. They are all white men in their 50s or 60s. And while I don't have a problem with people in a documentary being demographically similar (because I'm sure these are his friends and the people in his life), there's this strange sense that "the guys" got together to make this movie about their friend. The film lacks, in my opinion, the needed voice of a more objective, outside authority.

An interesting look at life in the shadow of someone famous, but I wish it had been willing to ask harder questions.




I gotta think hard about this, but I think the ones from Carlito's Way and Children of Men are up there for me... but I don't know, the logistics of this one seemed a lot more complicated to me; like you said, starting with a long aerial view to getting down there with the crowd and into the stadium corridors... it was amazing.
Oh yeah! Especially that one in Children of Men. When watching it, I kept wondering how in the hell they did it. Watched it several times on YouTube. If memory serves they used a small built in camera track inside the car, and possibly two cars. But the timing of the crowds had to be perfect as well. Best part of the movie for me.



Welcome to the human race...
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Mr. Gun Show With Bob And No David
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I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.





Re-watch of an amusing movie based on a real story. Matt Damon made the movie.
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