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Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul (2020) -
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Great recommendation, and thanks for the tip! I hadn't realized the film was on Amazon Prime. Watched it last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I believe I recall Rose Marie from the Bob Cummings Show from the late '50s. I watched some of the Dick Van Dyke shows, but honestly I thought it was often too corny. Dick Van Dyke was really impressive with his comedy acting and physical comedy. Morey Amsterdam had been a popular comedian prior to that show. I recall seeing him on Ed Sullivan, and maybe even Jack Paar.

Looking back, Rose Marie was always perfect in her timing. I often wondered about that black bow she always wore in her hair. Now I know.

She was always a riot on Hollywood Squares, just under Cliff Arquette and Paul Lynde. Cheers.



10 Foreign Language movies to go

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Belfast - (2021)

Personal, reflective and intimate, Belfast is an autobiographical look at Kenneth Branagh's childhood living in a dilapidated old house in the middle of a conflict-ridden street in the titular Irish city. Protestants and Catholics fight in one of the most pointless and trivial conflicts I've ever heard of, but regardless - they really mean it. Growing up amongst the danger is Buddy (Jude Hill) who is living your typical nine-year-old life, with a father who works in England but a close-knit group with grandparents, mother and brother. The cinema and theatre are highlighted by being shown in colour while the rest of the film is in black and white - the special nature of this probably isn't lost on many of us here - when I think back to my formative days, the cinema and drive-in form a huge part of that (probably the largest.) The film oozes remembrance, and has a deleted ending where Branagh himself is seen walking through his old neighbourhood - a grown Buddy amongst the ghosts of the past. I felt that the film was enjoyable, well-made and had a lot of heart - I didn't find anything remarkably special in it that raises it into a category of greatness, but I felt that deep-seated familiar touch.

7/10

That leaves Dune and CODA - 8/10
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My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.

Latest Review : Adaptation (2002)



Belfast - (2021)

Personal, reflective and intimate, Belfast is an autobiographical look at Kenneth Branagh's childhood living in a dilapidated old house in the middle of a conflict-ridden street in the titular Irish city. Protestants and Catholics fight in one of the most pointless and trivial conflicts I've ever heard of, but regardless - they really mean it. Growing up amongst the danger is Buddy (Jude Hill) who is living your typical nine-year-old life, with a father who works in England but a close-knit group with grandparents, mother and brother. The cinema and theatre are highlighted by being shown in colour while the rest of the film is in black and white - the special nature of this probably isn't lost on many of us here - when I think back to my formative days, the cinema and drive-in form a huge part of that (probably the largest.) The film oozes remembrance, and has a deleted ending where Branagh himself is seen walking through his old neighbourhood - a grown Buddy amongst the ghosts of the past. I felt that the film was enjoyable, well-made and had a lot of heart - I didn't find anything remarkably special in it that raises it into a category of greatness, but I felt that deep-seated familiar touch.

7/10
Pretty much how I felt about the film. I went in cynically not expecting to like it much so I was pleasantly surprised. I think I found a lot of it relatable in a sentimental way - like the family all watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Jamie Dornan is a star, mind. He really ought to be in some bigger and better stuff now. He's brilliant too in the BBC Drama The Fall.
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Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

Old Man (Joel Veach, 2022)
+ 5/10
The Joys and Sorrows of Young Yuguo (Ilinca Calugareanu, 2022)
+ 6.5/10
She Mad: Bitch Zone (Martine Syms, 2020)
+ 4.5/10
Clerks III (Kevin Smith, 2022)
6/10

When Randal (Jeff Anderson) has a heart attack, he enlists the aid of Dante (Brian O'Halloran), Jay (Jason Mewes), Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) and others to make a movie about his life at the Quick Stop, and they all learn more about themselves.
DeepStar Six (Sean S. Cunningham, 1989)
5/10
Earwig (Lucile Hadzihalilovic, 2021)
5.5/10
Leap: Rise of the Beast (Chris Tempel, 2011)
+ 3.5/10
Friendly Persuasion (William Wyler, 1956)
8/10

At the onset of the Civil War, Quakers Eliza Birdwell (Dorothy McGuire) and her husband Jess (Gary Cooper) try to keep their family out of violence and the war itself, especially their oldest son Josh (Anthony Perkins).
No Time to Kill (Tom Younger, 1959)
5/10
Center Stage (Stanley Kwan, 1991)
6/10
The Curse of Bridge Hollow (Jeff Wadlow, 2022)
+ 5/10
Rope (Alfred Hitchcock, 1948)
+ 7.5/10

Brandon (John Dall) and Phillip (Farley Granger) discuss the murder they just committed and how the evening will go at a party they're throwing for almost all the dead man's family and friends.
Rosaline (Karen Maine, 2022)
6/10
The Crater Lake Monster (William R. Stromberg, 1977)
4/10
The Gold-Laden Sheep and the Sacred Mountain (Ridham Janve, 2018)
+ 5/10
It's Love I'm After (Archie Mayo, 1937)
7+/10

Ham actor [Basil Underwood (Leslie Howard) keeps atttracting new lovers, this time Olivia de Havilland, which highly upsets his actress lover Bette Davis who he plans to marry but never does. His butler Eric Blore steals the show with his hilarious bird call signals.
Soliloquy (Martine Syms, 2021)
5.5/10
Stars at Noon (Claire Denis, 2022)
5/10
Accident Man: Hitman's Holiday (George Kirby & Harry Kirby, 2022)
5.5/10
By Design: The Joe Caroff Story (Mark Cerulli, 2022)
+ 6.5/10

Joe Caroff is a graphic designer, best known for his design of film posters and corporate logos. HiS work includes Cabaret, West Side Story, A Hard Day's Night, Manhattan, Rollerball, etc.
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Jamie Dornan is a star, mind. He really ought to be in some bigger and better stuff now. He's brilliant too in the BBC Drama The Fall.
I loved The Fall. Best thing he’s ever done IMO.
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The Ring (2002)


First time watching this since it first came out 20 years ago, and it was actually pretty fun. It was a lot less jumpy than I remember (that must have been The Grudge), and the plot was executed adequately.



10 Foreign Language movies to go

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Speak No Evil - (2022)

I feel really grand about the fact that I've watched a few horror films lately that have thoroughly horrified and entertained me - this Danish/Dutch release is available to watch on Paramount+, and I feel like sending them an email just patting them on the back and pleading they show more stuff like this. My first reaction to it was recorded on Letterboxd : "Whether about loss of masculinity, unearned politeness, political correctness or just plain passivity, Speak No Evil will rip your heart and soul out anyway and leave it discarded on the highway of cinema, shaking and speechless." I can't say much more, because although you can pretty much see where the movie is heading, films like this are best seen cold, with little revealed until the filmmaker wants it to be so. Most of what you'll feel is dread - so if you can handle dread, a little reverse social commentary and bleak Haneke-like darkness take a look at this Danish family's holiday in Holland.

8/10


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Willow Creek - (2013)

Bobcat Goldthwait, one of my favourite filmmakers, seems to have a mind like mine - and to be some kind of hopped-up crazy incarnation of me, so it would stand to reason that he'd make a film that pays homage to The Blair Witch Project. Hell, this is virtually a remake of The Blair Witch Project - it uses many of that film's plot points. I quote : "Too often filmmakers try so hard to avoid comparisons to that innovator that they neglect the elements of The Blair Witch Project (1999) that make it work so well." Thus he really uses them. Now, this is Goldthwait, so instead of a witch he uses something ridiculous : Bigfoot (there's always a middle finger to our sense of what's solemn and serious), but Willow Creek still managed to terrify me. Unfortunately, when we get to the scary stuff the film rockets to a quick conclusion, and the first hour or so really just sets up the "reality" of this found footage film. It's effective, has an 18 minute "one shot" scene that is amazing, and I really like it - there's a mystery at it's core, and we never see what's hunting our protagonists. A spiritual successor and really good, but not one of Goldthwait's best films.

7/10


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The Station Agent - (2003)

An outcast and loner finds himself in a town filled with restless souls in The Station Agent, with Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale and Michelle Williams getting to become characters with a lot of depth and subtle finesse. Dinklage plays Finbar McBride - a train enthusiast who finds himself the owner of an old Station Agent's building when his boss and benefactor dies - it's a touching film which won many awards, and I can see a lot that's relatable in all of it. Fin attracts these people into his orbit, probably because he seems so sure of who he wants to be and what he wants from life - they're all missing something, and it takes a lot to get Fin to allow them in. His changed circumstances seem to force him to open himself up - and a lot of what the film is about relates to change and growth. A really good drama.

7/10





Kuroko's Last Game

A nice conclusion to a nice show.
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Los Olvidados (1950, Luis Buñuel)

One of the best films about poverty (and child poverty, in particular) that I've ever seen. Steeped in real life and incredibly bold for its time in its unflinching portrayal of the misery of the Mexican slums, it grabs you right from the start and never lets go. Loved the characters, the fast-paced, compact storytelling, and the powerful simplicity and honesty of Buñuel's direction. It's more than just a movie—it's a poignant statement about the horrific societal ills and injustices plaguing the most vulnerable among us. The final shot has got to be one of the most devastating in film history. Brilliant and endlessly relevant.






A Field in England - This 2013 historical and psychological horror from director Ben Wheatley comes off a bit like a student film. A really good student film mind you but still a loose-fitting conglomerate in meaning and intent. It manages to work though. I've liked the other Wheatley films I've seen like Kill List, Down Terrace and Free Fire.

Set during the English Civil War the film opens on a scraggly band of potential deserters. They're gathered just on the other side of a hedgerow from what sounds like a major conflict. There's Whitehead (Reece Shearsmith), a self admitted coward and servant of a never seen alchemist known only as The Master. He's been tasked with finding the man who purloined some valuable papers from his master. Whitehead is himself pursued by the indignant Commander Trower (Julian Barratt). He is saved by churlish soldier Cutler (Ryan Pope) and they're eventually joined by two deserters, the veteran campaigner Jacob (Peter Ferdinando) and the simple minded Friend (Richard Glover).

Cutler persuades the men to accompany him to his camp with promises of a meal and the added attraction of a nearby tavern. Once they've eaten he leads them on a meandering journey to this so called ale house. But when they eventually run across a mysterious engraved totem half buried in a field he forces the others at gunpoint to pull at an unseen object attached to the totem by a thick rope.

It turns out to be a man named O'Neill (Michael Smiley). He is both the man Whitehead has been sent to find and Cutler's employer. O'Neill is convinced that Whitehead can help him find the buried treasure alluded to in the The Master's purloined papers. In his tent he brutalizes Whitehead and in essence breaks him, turning him into an empty vessel that he then leads around the field until he locates the likely spot in which to dig.

I'll be honest, I got a little lost the first time Wheatley trotted out a tableau vivant shot. I shrugged it off though but then it was immediately followed by the men encountering Whiteside in baffling fashion. This too went unexplained but was eventually alluded to satisfactorily enough. The ending I suppose is meant to be open to interpretation with
WARNING: spoilers below
Whitehead the sole survivor and retracing his steps back to the original hedgerow where the film started. He steps through and comes face to face with not only Jacob and Friend but with himself as well. I took it to mean that he's actually dead as well but I've read other takes that expound on that to include the concept of the men being in Purgatory the whole time.
I'm not completely sure but hey, it works for me. It isn't a perfect film but it will capture and hold your attention.

80/100




Los Olvidados (1950, Luis Buñuel)

One of the best films about poverty (and child poverty, in particular) that I've ever seen. Steeped in real life and incredibly bold for its time in its unflinching portrayal of the misery of the Mexican slums, it grabs you right from the start and never lets go. Loved the characters, the fast-paced, compact storytelling, and the powerful simplicity and honesty of Buñuel's direction. It's more than just a movie—it's a poignant statement about the horrific societal ills and injustices plaguing the most vulnerable among us. The final shot has got to be one of the most devastating in film history. Brilliant and endlessly relevant.
Perhaps my favorite Bunuel.
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Los Olvidados (1950, Luis Buñuel)

One of the best films about poverty (and child poverty, in particular) that I've ever seen. Steeped in real life and incredibly bold for its time in its unflinching portrayal of the misery of the Mexican slums, it grabs you right from the start and never lets go. Loved the characters, the fast-paced, compact storytelling, and the powerful simplicity and honesty of Buñuel's direction. It's more than just a movie—it's a poignant statement about the horrific societal ills and injustices plaguing the most vulnerable among us. The final shot has got to be one of the most devastating in film history. Brilliant and endlessly relevant.

The only movie that takes place over 100 yrs ago that I like because it doesn't stress it (costume, etc)



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The Next Voice You Hear - 5/10
An American couple and the world hear nightly radio broadcasts from God. Maybe HE can give me a movie recommendation?