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Halloween III: Season Of The Witch
Tommy Lee Wallace, 1982
Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
DVR - Film4


From IMDb:

First off I should admit that I've only ever watched the original before so I had no idea whether the franchise at this point had any continuity but based solely on the original I guess the answer to that is a resounding 'no'. As for this entry itself, Carpenter & Howarth's score certainly adds to proceedings and as a whole it's quite watchable. Unfortunately though the tale is not only rather hokey but also feels unpolished and whilst there's atmosphere a-plenty in places there's sadly far too little by way of payoff imo.


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I need to rewatch this. Haven't seen it in decades but the ending is seared in my mind
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Funny Face
Stanley Donen, 1957
Comedy, Musical, Romance
DVD


From IMDb:
An impromptu fashion shoot at a book store brings about a new fashion model discovery in the shop clerk.
Rather lacklustre affair that perhaps works better as an advert for the Parisian tourist industry but as a spectacle sadly none of the songs are particularly memorable and the dance routines rather mixed. Audrey Hepburn is cute once the role allows and Fred Astaire is his usual enthusiastic self but there isn't a huge amount of chemistry between them (the obvious age difference possibly doesn't help) and neither they nor the use of some vibrant colours in places can elevate what is a fairly mediocre and predictable tale.


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The Miracle Woman
Frank Capra, 1931
Drama, Romance
DVD


From IMDb:
After an unappreciated minister dies, his daughter loses her faith in God, prompting her to open a phony temple with a con man. Can the love of a blind aviator restore her faith and happiness?
Barbara Stanwyck is very good in the central role (especially given her young age here) with Beryl Mercer delightfully providing a little light-relief as the housekeeper, Mrs. Higgins, whilst those in secondary roles generally play their parts well enough. Surprisingly the tale doesn't drift into melodramatic territory very often, though the moments with the ventriloquists doll, Al, are a touch cringe-inducing. The final minutes are a tad rushed and do let proceedings down a little but the damage isn't too much and it's still a nice enough watch overall imo.


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Il bidone - [The Swindle]
Federico Fellini, 1955
Comedy, Drama
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
A trio of con-men led by a lonesome swindler must deal with their job and family pressures.
Middle-child of his 'loneliness' trilogy that perhaps could touch on that theme a little more but is still an effective enough watch in that regard. Well acted, well shot and well worth a look imo with Foreign-Language being the next countdown in line.


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Somebody Up There Likes Me
Bob Byington, 2012
Comedy, Romance
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
A comedy about a man, his best friend, and the woman they both adore watching their lives fly by.
Dry comedy that does have the odd moment but they are very few and far between and for me the whole mainly comes across as a pretty flat and lifeless series of episodes, centred around unlikeable characters, that are rather lazily strung together. As for the ending ..... I'm sure the maker thought it would be clever and amusing but it feels a bit like them giving the audience the middle digit to me tbh.





Koirat eivät käytä housuja - [Dogs Don't Wear Pants]
J.-P. Valkeapää, 2019
Drama, Romance
DVR - Film4


From IMDb:
Juha has lost his wife in a drowning accident. Years after he still feels numb and unable to connect with people. Meeting Mona, a dominatrix, changes everything.
BDSM drama that doesn't really portray that world of 'kink' very well and whilst his motivations are made fairly clear the relationship is never really believable from the side of the dominatrix, with the initial encounter being quite ridiculous. That there's no on-screen discussion about safety prior to any relationship forming perhaps can be overlooked (it does have him give reference to the phrase 'safe word' later in proceedings so one can at least assume some sort of safety conversation has taken place at some point) but she clearly has no in-depth understanding of his needs/wants or motivations - making it difficult to believe that she would not only take him on as a client but also at one point give him preference over other clients. It's also hard to believe that she would invite him into her own home after her clearly indicating any 'relationship' was over and his stalking her. On the plus side it does have a couple of moments that will have parts of the audience squirming in their seats and using sexual peccadillos as a means to coping with loss could have made for an interesting subject ... just a shame it wasn't handled far better.





Love Simple
Mark von Sternberg, 2009
Comedy, Romance
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
A man and woman fall in love but lie about who they really are due to their mutual insecurities.
Modest affair that doesn't have the greatest acting or script and is fairly sedate in terms of pace throughout. Although labelled as a comedy on IMDb it's rather lacking on that front imo and there's nothing in terms of drama that hasn't been seen before, but it did just enough to make me care something about the fledgling relationship and for me the scene where they both eventually come clean with each other was the high-point of proceedings.


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Le sac de farine - [The Bag Of Flour]
Kadija Leclere, 2012
Drama
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
Alsemberg, 1975, Sarah an 8-year-old-girl is living in a Catholic foster family. One day, her biological father whom she has never seen before, comes to take her for a weekend in Paris.
Nicely enough presented affair with decent performances from all involved. The social commentary (of which there is plenty) is generally woven into the story quite well and thankfully never let dominate proceedings. Not sure the ostracised mother was really needed but it doesn't detract too much. A generally slowly paced tale but one that remains of interest throughout imo.


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Badmen Of Tombstone
Kurt Neumann, 1949
Action, Adventure, Crime, Romance, Western
DVR - TCM


From IMDb:
A marshal goes up against a collection of vicious outlaws terrorizing his town.
No idea who wrote the brief synopsis above but perhaps they might want to actually watch a movie before adding any more - this tale centres on a group of outlaws, first and foremost Tom Horn and William Morgan, not any marshal or lawmaker. It's a fairly well presented tale that's kept at a reasonably brisk pace, even the romantic element not interrupting that flow too much. Both Barry Sullivan and Broderick Crawford inhabit their roles well enough, the rest of the main cast providing able support, and though there's nothing groundbreaking on offer what there is proves entertaining enough. Could have done without the final voiceover and coda though.


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La decima vittima - [The Tenth Victim]
Elio Petri, 1965
Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Thriller
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
In the 21st Century, where a human vs. human "Big Hunt" is used as an alternative to war, a veteran huntress agrees to kill a "victim" to get a major TV sponsorship deal, but romantic entanglements between the two complicate matters.
Satirical offering that has a few enjoyable moments and does have some relevance to the modern era, but until both leads begin to develop feelings for each other suffers from being neither that amusing or exciting. Not that it's particularly amusing or exciting after that point but the interactions between the two are at least more fun to watch.





Inale
Jeta Amata, 2010
Musical
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
Inale is the beautiful daughter of the great King Oche, of the Idoma people in Idomaland, Nigeria. Her beloved Odeh must win the wrestling tournament to win her hand in marriage.
The opening and periodic narration/interludes feel terribly condescending (even allowing for it being a story told to a young girl) and production values really aren't very high. The acting struggles to even reach am-dram level and musically whilst one or two of the songs might be passable lyrics is certainly not a strong point and at times they are mere fragments of songs. The fairytale story lacks a little credibility (I think I'd probably notice if my bride-to-be completely changed in appearance) and is rather simpisitic but it's nowhere near the weakest element. At least with the vast majority of it being in English I won't have to struggle with whether or not to include it on my Foreign Language ballot.





Chuma v aule Karatas - [The Plague At Karatas Village]
Adilkhan Yerzhanov, 2016
Drama, Fantasy
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
A new mayor comes to the remote village Karatas. A very strange illness reins over here. However somebody is used to live with it and says this is a simple flu.
Surreal nightmarish tale which has some wonderful imagery and a sense of humour that suits mine in places. I'm sure there's probably a ton of symbolism and meaning therein but even for someone as ignorant as myself about matters concerning the former Soviet bloc it's oddly entertaining simply at face value, though it does feel all of its length. Emphasis is most certainly on the 'odd' though.





Hounds Of Love
Ben Young, 2016
Crime, Drama, Thriller
DVD


From IMDb:

No frills affair that's loosely based on real events and although any violence is mostly either implied or off-screen still manages to be surprisingly effective in its portrayal. Both kidnapee (Ashleigh Cummings) and her captors (Stephen Curry and Emma Booth) are played convincingly enough, with the first two both putting in excellent performances. There is a slight tendency to occasionally use slo-mo for no real reason in the earlier stages (it's good for the opening scene though) and the ending is a bit clichéd, but other than that it's a decent watch imo.


I really liked this as well.



New Voices In An Old Flower
Quino Piñero, 2017
Documentary
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
"It was an era, it was the start of a new vision" says Amha Eshete, the first Ethiopian music producer back in the Golden Age, the days of Swingin' Addis.
Not uninteresting but suffers from only having a modest number of contributors and a relatively short running time. The second segment gives more time to the Hip-Hop scene than it does to the country's links to Rastafarianism and Reggae which struck me as rather odd and imo the whole could have done with dwelling more on the history of the Ethiopian music scene in general.





L'amore - [Ways Of Love]
Roberto Rossellini, 1948
Drama
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
In the first episode, a heartbroken woman talks to her ex-lover on the phone. In the second, a pregnant woman believes she is carrying the child of Saint Joseph.
Double bill of shorts, the first of which is a single-hander in which Anna Magnani is in fine form. In the second she once again has to carry proceedings mainly on her shoulders and again bears that burden well. Both tales are nicely shot and directed, and the second is not without interest but it's the first that really stands out for me.


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Mandabi - [The Money Order]
Ousmane Sembene, 1968
Drama
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
A money order from a relative in Paris throws the life of a Senegalese family man out of order.
For the most part slowly paced but still manages to feel like the tale moves along at a brisk enough pace with all the various tribulations associated with the promise of an unexpected influx of money and the hawks that swoop in. The tale does become a little repetitious in places and the central character may be a little too naive to fully believe in but as long as one doesn't mind the rather languid approach it's a reasonably interesting watch and the ending montage brings it to a conclusion rather nicely.


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La Madre del Cordero - [The Mother Of The Lamb]
Rosario Espinosa & Enrique Farias, 2014
Drama
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
Cristina (49) has spent her life taking care of her mother Carmen. Single and without a trade or friends, she grows older, year after year in her hometown. A few days from her birth- day, Cristina reconnects with Sandra, a former schoolmate who will show her other ways to live, freely and without prejudice.
Slice-of-life drama that has nothing particularly remarkable about the core story, it's a fairly standard tale of someone leading a stifled life who's reconnection with a free-spirited friend acts as a catalyst for her contemplating her lot. The central character is very nicely acted though and one can easily empathise with her and the life to which she has become resigned. Somewhat bleak but enjoyably so and nice in the way it only touches on certain elements of the story without feeling any need to offer comment.


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Talea
Katharina Mückstein, 2013
Drama
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
It's summer holidays, and the planned Italian holiday with Jasmin's foster family is just around the corner. Everyone is looking forward to the trip - except Jasmin.
A relatively sedate affair in which a young girl attempts to bond with her birth-mother. It's not acted badly, is shot quite nicely and until the final few minutes is a moderately interesting watch (even if a little drawn out) but the attempt to insert a closing drama fails to convince.


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