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Dune - 2021

I really wanted to check this movie out in theaters, as Villeneuve is one of the few people in Hollywood I'd actually like to support. He actually gives you a reason to go to a theater and watch a movie. However I finally got around to watching the flick, I bought a blu ray which I haven't done in years. Villeneuve produces bangers, so even though I was not familiar with the Dune universe, I've heard of it, I trust Villeneuve to give me something worth watching.

First off, the movie is beautiful. All of his flicks are eyegasms and this one is no different (I still think Blade Runner nudges it aesthetically, no shame). The real question is as a casual did it draw me in? I'd say yes. It's meant to be a block buster that they want to make more of. I'd definitely like to revisit this world. The movie had to do a lot of heavy lifting world building. Was it perfect? I don't think so but it got the job done efficiently enough where I believe they can play around and be flexible enough with the audience in the 2nd one and any others going forward. Bottom line is I think the movie did it's job well enough to grab the casual's attention. What's that Leo Django quote? "You had my curiosity, now you have my attention" I really think Villenueve hands will be free to really play in the 2nd one, from the sounds of it the Dune sandbox is a big box.

I thought all the performances were good. Stand out was Ferguson to me. Timothy did well. I'd like to see him bulk up a bit for the 2nd, hard to take a string bean serious as an ass kicker. I'm still not sure why Zenedya character is important but she is, i'll hold judgement on her for the 2nd movie. I also don't know why I didn't care for Momoa's character. He felt like he was in another movie. He was just being Jason Momoa, just took me out of the movie whenever he was on screen.

Anyways I did enjoy the flick and it was a beauty to watch. Gets a knock for ending abruptly which I get, always meant to be at least 2 movies, because of the enormous source material. I'll be able to judge it a bit more fairly once I see the 2nd. As a world building set up movie I think it's about as good as you can do.




i saw most of this in theatres with a friend and i just couldn't hear what they were saying a lot of the time.



27th Hall of Fame (REWATCH)

Apocalypse Now (1979) -


I watched the Redux version several years ago and, while I loved certain parts of it, it dragged for me in some other scenes and I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. Since I hadn't seen the theatrical version prior to this Hall, I was curious as to how well I would respond to it. I expected for it to be an easier watch than the Redux version, but what I wasn't expecting was for it to trump my own expectations. To get it out of the way, yes, the animal cruelty scenes (the water buffalo being killed and the rough handling of the dog) are hard to watch and indefensible, but other than that, this film is truly excellent and is quite possibly the best representation of a descent into madness I've ever seen. I've seen many critics argue that the journey to Kurtz's compound is a metaphorical descent into madness and that was what stood out the most to me while watching this film. The first stop with Lt. Col. Kilgore shows the first stage of this descent. On the surface, it's a fairly conventional raid scene (albeit one which is technically outstanding), but that Kilgore orders some soldiers to surf during the raid and expresses his gratitude towards a Vietnamese soldier who fought in spite of being seriously wounded adds an undercurrent of surrealism to to that sequence. The second stop where hundreds of soldiers watch a Playboy show at a supply depot shows the next stage of this descent. Many soldiers in that scene yell sexual remarks at the women and try to rush the stage, showing more of their unhinged behavior. The third main stop at a remote U.S. army outpost expands on this descent. Several soldiers seem desperate to get into their boat in an attempt to return home and the other soldiers in the outpost seem to have no idea who their commanding officer is. There doesn't seem to be much order in that outpost and the whole scene maintains a hellish atmosphere. And, of course, Kurtz's compound is the final stage of this descent. I love how his monologues in that scene feel simultaneously avant-garde and narrative-driven at the same time. Though Kurtz appears to be talking about great insights in his speeches, half of what he says doesn't make any sense. Topped with how his face is either partially or entirely obscured in darkness throughout those scenes makes them some of the best movie monologues I've ever seen. Topped with some excellent cinematography and some outstanding soundtrack choices (Ride of the Valkyries and The End), this film is definitely a top 10 war film for me. Thanks to jiraffejustin for nominating this one




Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

Ever think about seeing Peter Lorre and Elisha Cook, Jr. in the same movie? Well, here you can. One is a psychotic murderer, the other is the man falsely accused.

In a story not dissimilar to Hitchcock’s later film, The Wrong Man (1956), a newspaper reporter witnesses a cab driver standing over the dead body of a murdered hash house owner. His subsequent scoop for his paper results in a rise up the totem pole, along with a weekly pay raise. But after his girlfriend hears the accused in court pleading that he is innocent, she emotionally believes that the cabbie may not be the murderer. This puts a nagging doubt in the mind of the reporter, who eventually learns the truth.

At 64 minutes the picture barely qualifies as a feature film. But there’s a lot packed into its short running time, chiefly the impressive chiaroscuro photography of the greatNicholas Musuraca (Out of the Past, Clash by Night). His shadows, lighting, and unusual camera angles would soon be staples of noir.

Many point to this picture as the first film noir, but there were two earlier films from 1940 that might qualify as well: Rebecca, and They Drive by Night. Also there were isolated films all the way back into the silent era that one could argue were noir. “Stranger” is more pure German expressionism, along the lines of M (1931), or Nosferatu (1922).

Lorre turns in an ultra creepy performance of a man who we later learn was likely an escapee from a mental institution. The key role of the girlfriend is played by the lovely Margaret Tallichet, who only made 4-5 pictures before she married director William Wyler (The Best Years of Our Lives, Ben-Hur), and retired to raise a family. The newspaper reported is played by John McGuire (Where the Sidewalk Ends), who earlier in his career played leading men, but later had mostly shifted to character roles.

My guess is that, although this film is interesting today, it did not get much notice, and therefore was not really influential in starting the noir movement in Hollywood. That distinction goes to The Maltese Falcon (1941).

Available on YouTube.

Doc’s rating: 6/10



27th Hall of Fame (REWATCH)

Apocalypse Now (1979) -
If I say its safe to surf this beach, Captain, then its safe to surf this beach! I mean, I'm not afraid to surf this place, I'll surf this whole ****ing place!



Where is this available?



Apologies, I PM'ed you!
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My Favorite Films





The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) - 6.5/10. In my quest to tick mark most of the Oscar favourites, I watched this over the weekend.



First of all, I didn't expect Shakespearean English to be used in the movie, I was a happy surprise. But then again, so lost touch with that type of English, I had to watch it with subtitles.


About the movie, the camera work and set design are great. The acting is great too. But still didn't feel satisfied. Cant beat Throne of Blood by any means. The movie felt too abrupt and short. Cant do Macbeth in under 105 minutes.


Danzel Washington might be in for an Oscar nod, but Frances might just get a nomination, her role was nothing special to win, compared to her last two entries.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

The Surprise Visit (Nick Lyon, 2022)
5/10
The Organization (Don Medford, 1971)
6.5/10
Photocopier (Wregas Bhanuteja, 2021)
5/10
F for Fake (Orson Welles, 1973)
6.5/10

Orson Welles performs his own cinematic sleight of hand in this somewhat repetitious but fascinating "documentary".
Two Weeks in Another Town (Vincente Minnelli, 1962)
6/10
Double Trouble (Christy Cabanne, 1915)
5/10
How I Fell in Love with a Gangster (Maciej Kawulski, 2022)
5.5/10
The Barefoot Contessa (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1954)
+ 6.5/10

Tragic fairy tale/cinematic satire centering on lonely Ava Gardner rising to stardom but never being fulfilled.
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (Derek Drymon & Jennifer Kluska, 2022)
6/10
Anthony Adverse (Mervyn LeRoy, 1936)
6.5/10
Megaboa (Mario N. Bonassin, 2021)
- 4/10
The Man Who Never Was (Ronald Neame, 1956)
6.5/10

During WWII, British Intelligence, led by Lt. Cmdr. Clifton Webb, come up with a complicated plan to fool the Germans about their intended invasion of Sicily.
House of Numbers (Russell Rouse, 1957)
5.5/10
Frost/Nixon (Ron Howard, 2008)
7+/10
Mr. Fix-It (Allan Dwan, 1918)
5.5/10
The Novice (Lauren Hadaway, 2021)
- 6.5/10

Obsessive college freshman Isabelle Fuhrman trains to be the best rower on the novice [and later, the varsity] team.
What's Up, Tiger Lily? ([aided & abetted by] Woody Allen, 1966)
- 6.5/10
American Siege (Edward Drake, 2021)
5/10
Comets (Tamar Shavgulidze, 2019)
6/10
See for Me (Randall Okita, 2021)
- 6.5/10

Blind ex-championship skier/cat-sitter Skyler Davenport tries to survive a home invasion in the middle of nowhere with the help of new telephone friend Natalie Brown.
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I saw Two Weeks in Another Town and I have to agree with mark f it is only a 2and 1/2 popcorn movie.


But you gotta love the insane scene in the car as Cyd Charisse and Kirk Douglas are speeding down Roman streets missing wall after wall. Kirk is running from her and Cyd actually jumps into a speeding car by holding onto the side and scooting over as you would on a boat. She screaming and throwing herself around in the car, trying to get the keys out of the ignition as Kirk grits his teeth (as only KIrk can). It is so fake it is hilarious. YOU HAVE TO SEE IT!



Victim of The Night

Well, here's a movie I watched over and over again in my youth and absolutely loved it and assumed all the critics were wrong in having panned it back in the day because critics don't like fun.
I was wrong. The critics were right.
Which is not to say that there are no small joys to be had in this film, there are some, but they are often small and you often have to wade through a number of "did that whole scene exist just for that one joke - which wasn't actually funny?" scenes in order to get to them.
Also problematic is that the script just really isn't very good. It sets up our hero, Philo Beddoe (Clint Eastwood) as just a simple man who drives a truck, works on cars, drinks beer, lives with his brother and his mother - and his orangutan, Clyde...


- and earns side-money as a bareknuckle fighter, at which he excels.
From there a series of supporting characters are introduced to give Philo and Clyde something to do. Some, like Geoffrey Lewis as his brother, Orville, Beverly D'Angelo as Orville's new girlfriend, Echo (one of the weakest jokes in the movie is when everyone who hears her name says, "huh?", so she has to repeat it), Cholla, the head of an inept biker gang, an hilarious Ruth Gordon as Ma (who has most of the scenes that are actually, intentionally funny in the film), and, of course, Clyde, do actually work ok, though all of them needed better dialogue and more to do.
Others, like most of the members of the biker gang and particularly a pair of brutally unfunny, inept cops, are terribly written and nearly tank the film.
The two most interesting characters are Philo's new love-interest, Lynn Halsey Taylor, an aspiring country singer whose character is far, far too complex for this film, and Tank Murdock, a legendary, aging bareknuckle fighter who should have been set up a lot more thoroughly for the actually thoughtful (?!) climactic fight-scene to work.

This is an odd film. In all honesty, it's a bad film. But it's a bad film that didn't need to be bad. It has plenty of workable and even occasionally working elements that could have been woven together much more pleasingly but somehow the script fails to do so and nobody making the picture seemed to notice until it was too late. This is not unwatchable or anything, there's just a lot of weak scenes, weak humor, missed opportunities, and run-time padding (why did this movie need to be almost a full two hours when probably 100 minutes would have not only done it but would have tightened up this movies abundant slack quite a bit?).
The sequel, in my recollection, actually fixes some of the problems and is likely a better movie, I will let y'all know fairly soon.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I saw Two Weeks in Another Town and I have to agree with mark f it is only a 2and 1/2 popcorn movie.


But you gotta love the insane scene in the car as Cyd Charisse and Kirk Douglas are speeding down Roman streets missing wall after wall. Kirk is running from her and Cyd actually jumps into a speeding car by holding onto the side and scooting over as you would on a boat. She screaming and throwing herself around in the car, trying to get the keys out of the ignition as Kirk grits his teeth (as only KIrk can). It is so fake it is hilarious. YOU HAVE TO SEE IT!
Here ya go.



Wild Bill (2011)

Good film with the under-used Charlie Creed-Miles starring as a man just released on parole getting to know his 2 sons again on a London Estate. Unfortunately his former rep puts him
(and his family) at the prey of old acquaintances. This could have been a Guy Ritchie rip-off but it has some genuinely touching, low-key, moments and the fight scene is really authentic.




Thursday Next's Avatar
I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Licorice Pizza (2021)

I watched this knowing next to nothing about it. About half an hour in I realised it was supposed to be a comedy. Then it started reminding me of Punch Drunk Love, which I suppose makes sense and I realised that Anderson's idea of comedy and mine are very different.

This at times wants to be a quirky love story, but as one of the main characters is 15 and the other is 25 (or maybe older) when they meet, it is less quirky and more gross and uncomfortable.

The details of the time period are done with attention to detail, but it is such an ugly film to look at, and full of annoying sounds.The quirky bits are annoying too - like people running to show that they are quirky and having a good time in a Jules et Jim sort of way.

There is no real plot. Things happen. They start selling water beds. The film meanders and actors show up in 'amusing' cameos. There is very little sense of the passing of time. In the movie, that is. In the real world, the film goes on for over two hours and it feels like it.

Is it a new trend to let directors make overlong meandering plotless nostalgic movies of their teenage fantasies? This felt like Once Upon A Time in Hollywood all over again, only with less violence and feet.





Water and Power (Pat O'Neill, 1989)
though there's ones i personally like more this is probably the ultimate "i have this footage, let's see what i can make with this footage" type film. incredibly impressive all the way through.



Licorice Pizza (2021)

I watched this knowing next to nothing about it. About half an hour in I realised it was supposed to be a comedy. Then it started reminding me of Punch Drunk Love, which I suppose makes sense and I realised that Anderson's idea of comedy and mine are very different.

This at times wants to be a quirky love story, but as one of the main characters is 15 and the other is 25 (or maybe older) when they meet, it is less quirky and more gross and uncomfortable.

The details of the time period are done with attention to detail, but it is such an ugly film to look at, and full of annoying sounds.The quirky bits are annoying too - like people running to show that they are quirky and having a good time in a Jules et Jim sort of way.

There is no real plot. Things happen. They start selling water beds. The film meanders and actors show up in 'amusing' cameos. There is very little sense of the passing of time. In the movie, that is. In the real world, the film goes on for over two hours and it feels like it.

Is it a new trend to let directors make overlong meandering plotless nostalgic movies of their teenage fantasies? This felt like Once Upon A Time in Hollywood all over again, only with less violence and feet.


I think it was PT Anderson attempt at an Altman film and I do think he nailed it. The big thing Anderson did was cast a bunch of family members of celebrities and a number of inside jokes.



11 Foreign Language movies to go

Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2298617

Le Samouraï - (1967)

Watched Jean-Pierre Melville's classic film about hit-man for hire Jef Costello (Alain Delon) who lives a solitary life with meticulous precision and much forethought. The heat is on after the cops start to hone in on him, and the men behind his latest contract decide to put him out of business. Everything is honed down to the essentials here, which makes everything Melville wants you to see really stand out. Delon is cooler and more suave than anyone who played James Bond, and he plays his part here to absolute perfection. Jef Costello is a fascinating character - living in bare existence with a black-breasted finch who helps him out more than you'd ever anticipate. I have a feeling that as time goes on I'll be rating this film higher than I do now - but it's one that gave me a very enjoyable first viewing.

8/10

Foreign Language Countdown films seen : 72/100
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My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.

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