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Interestingly, I find this to be one of the few films of its ilk that I think of as being a kind of masterpiece of what it is. I go on and on about how I do not like Spielberg but to me, this is Spielberg at his best and, of course, this is really the film that made everyone want to copy him and Hollywood trying to make the next "Spielberg" movie.
I saw it in the theater when it came out, multiple times, so I had a lot of nostalgia for it, but I moved away from that (and the film) in my 30s but came back to it here in my late 40s. I think it's excellent.
Someday, I hope I'll grow to like it more in the future as well. My mom is a huge fan of the film, in particular, so maybe down the road I can rewatch it with her next time she puts it on.



11 Foreign Language movies to go

By image, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43419278

Apur Sansar - (1959)

Wow - this film really got to me, and as such it rounded out the Apu trilogy in marvelous fashion. I don't know if I can say much more than what I've already said while rating the first two films. Apu is a young adult now, and has left university without his degree. He lives a poor life, and is a dreamer who has aspirations to be a writer, but out of the blue an offer of marriage finds him with a beautiful young wife and happiness follows. More, I cannot say, for Apu's rocky road is best experienced by those who don't know what lurks around the corner. I've really fallen for these films, and it's that final scene in Apur Sansar (The World of Apu) which really touched my heart - the trilogy is full of such moments, but that final one was the most powerful for me and ends everything so well that it lifts this entire body of work into classic status. A stirring ode to the human spirit, which doesn't always soar but nevertheless shines brightly - and a fine document of what life is all about.

9/10
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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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Haha, I just watched this really dumb movie "Double Take" (2001) on that BOUNCE channel, which is geared to African American movies (well, actually that's ALL they seem to play!) Anyway, very silly movie, but it actually ended up being enjoyable, in some aspects. WAY too many turns in the plot. I just sort of enjoyed the insanity of it, though. Bad movie, but it's one where you enjoy laughing at the badness of it. Some good action sequences. The two leads, well, wouldn't call them the best actors, but they managed to have some nice moments for sure. It was typical of comedy action flicks of that era, with more insanity added in than usual. I would give it a very low grade, but it's a fun ride to watch as casual entertainment. Some moments in the movie were quite funny, for sure.

1 And A Half Stars Out Of 4 (The Ebert Scale, baby!!!)



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Haha, I just watched this really dumb movie "Double Take" (2001) on that BOUNCE channel, which is geared to African American movies (well, actually that's ALL they seem to play!) Anyway, very silly movie, but it actually ended up being enjoyable, in some aspects. WAY too many turns in the plot. I just sort of enjoyed the insanity of it, though. Bad movie, but it's one where you enjoy laughing at the badness of it. Some good action sequences. The two leads, well, wouldn't call them the best actors, but they managed to have some nice moments for sure. It was typical of comedy action flicks of that era, with more insanity added in than usual. I would give it a very low grade, but it's a fun ride to watch as casual entertainment. Some moments in the movie were quite funny, for sure.

1 And A Half Stars Out Of 4 (The Ebert Scale, baby!!!)
I just read Ebert's review of this movie, by the way, and he rated it ever so slightly lower than me, giving it one star!



You mean me? Kei's cousin?

Belle (2021)


So Hosoda did it again. The animation's stunning, the dub's awesome--a given with NYAV Post, and I don't regret taking I-75 to get to the theater in Chamblee to go see it. I'll definitely buy the Blu-ray when it eventually gets released, too. To be completely honest, I wasn't sure if I'd get another chance to go see it after I never got the free tickets I won to go see it at AnimeNYC a few months back, but it all worked out, so here we are. Anyways, it's awesome and anyone who likes Hosoda's work should see it eventually.
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Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (Jackson, '03)




For Frodo.


WARNING: spoilers below
Why is it so hard for movie trilogies to come to a strong end? Sure, there are trilogies that START strong, and even continue that way for a while, like in the cases of The Godfather, The Dark Knight, and the original Star Wars trilogies, but even the best of these still always seem to pewter out to a certain extent by their third entry, having already exhausted their best material beforehand... all of them, that is, except for one. Yes, in case you somehow hadn't figured it out by now, that one trilogy is Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings, and that expectation-shattering third entry is The Return Of The King, a fantastic conclusion to what has become one of film's definitive series, and a modern, generation-defining classic in its own right.

After beginning with the disturbing tale of Gollum's origins (in a sequence that was wisely moved from The Two Towers to here), King picks up right where the previous film left off, with the kingdom of Rohan having defeated Saruman's forces, Merry & Pippin reuniting with the rest of the fellowship, and Sam, Frodo, and a seemingly helpful Gollum making for an uneasy alliance, as the trio trudge ever closer to the dark land of Mordor, where the War Of The Ring, and the fate of Middle Earth itself, will be decided once and for all.

So, just like the way that Towers upped its scale from the comparatively "small" Fellowship, King continues in the same direction, with the scope of its story becoming just about as epic as epic gets, but not in a numbing, overwhelming manner, but in a way that fully showcases the power of a visual medium like film, as Jackson and company bring Tolkien's words to awe-inspiring life, with Howard Shore's sweeping score, the lavish, lovingly detailed sets, and endless fields of the forces of good and evil stretching out as far as the eye of Sauron can see, as they fight back-and-forth for the fate of an entire planet in some of the most gargantuan battle scenes ever filmed.

Of course, the scale of such a story wouldn't matter at all if we didn't care about the individuals caught up in it, but Jackson never loses sight of the characters within the struggle, superbly balancing the epic with the intimate, as he's not afraid to slow down and focus on relatable human struggles, whether it be the tragic sub-plot of Faramir and his distant father Denethor, King Theoden's elevation of Eowyn to be the future ruler of their kingdom (as a sort of way to make up for the death of his son in the previous film), or the final steps of Sam & Frodo's arduous journey, which sees them reach the darkest of places, both in a physical sense, as well as a spiritual one, as the corruption of the One Ring threatens to be finally be too much for Frodo to bear anymore.

But, good does ultimately triumph here, and while the seemingly endless "false endings" of King have become a bit of a running joke since its release, I feel that they're well-earned here, since they give the sense of events having come around full circle for the fellowship, as the hobbits finally reach the end of their long journey where they started, back in the warm sunshine of the Shire, enjoying a much-deserved rest, just like Return Of The King enjoyed a much-deserved torrent of awards and praise, as it eternally secured the cinematic legacy of Lord Of The Rings, once, and for all. One ring to bind them, and one trilogy to rule them all, baby!


Final Score: 9



ᗢWanda Maximoff-Scarlet WitchᗢElizabeth Olesnᗢ
Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (Jackson, '03)




For Frodo.


WARNING: spoilers below
Why is it so hard for movie trilogies to come to a strong end? Sure, there are trilogies that START strong, and even continue that way for a while, like in the cases of The Godfather, The Dark Knight, and the original Star Wars trilogies, but even the best of these still always seem to pewter out to a certain extent by their third entry, having already exhausted their best material beforehand... all of them, that is, except for one. Yes, in case you somehow hadn't figured it out by now, that one trilogy is Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings, and that expectation-shattering third entry is The Return Of The King, a fantastic conclusion to what has become one of film's definitive series, and a modern, generation-defining classic in its own right.

After beginning with the disturbing tale of Gollum's origins (in a sequence that was wisely moved from The Two Towers to here), King picks up right where the previous film left off, with the kingdom of Rohan having defeated Saruman's forces, Merry & Pippin reuniting with the rest of the fellowship, and Sam, Frodo, and a seemingly helpful Gollum making for an uneasy alliance, as the trio trudge ever closer to the dark land of Mordor, where the War Of The Ring, and the fate of Middle Earth itself, will be decided once and for all.

So, just like the way that Towers upped its scale from the comparatively "small" Fellowship, King continues in the same direction, with the scope of its story becoming just about as epic as epic gets, but not in a numbing, overwhelming manner, but in a way that fully showcases the power of a visual medium like film, as Jackson and company bring Tolkien's words to awe-inspiring life, with Howard Shore's sweeping score, the lavish, lovingly detailed sets, and endless fields of the forces of good and evil stretching out as far as the eye of Sauron can see, as they fight back-and-forth for the fate of an entire planet in some of the most gargantuan battle scenes ever filmed.

Of course, the scale of such a story wouldn't matter at all if we didn't care about the individuals caught up in it, but Jackson never loses sight of the characters within the struggle, superbly balancing the epic with the intimate, as he's not afraid to slow down and focus on relatable human struggles, whether it be the tragic sub-plot of Faramir and his distant father Denethor, King Theoden's elevation of Eowyn to be the future ruler of their kingdom (as a sort of way to make up for the death of his son in the previous film), or the final steps of Sam & Frodo's arduous journey, which sees them reach the darkest of places, both in a physical sense, as well as a spiritual one, as the corruption of the One Ring threatens to be finally be too much for Frodo to bear anymore.

But, good does ultimately triumph here, and while the seemingly endless "false endings" of King have become a bit of a running joke since its release, I feel that they're well-earned here, since they give the sense of events having come around full circle for the fellowship, as the hobbits finally reach the end of their long journey where they started, back in the warm sunshine of the Shire, enjoying a much-deserved rest, just like Return Of The King enjoyed a much-deserved torrent of awards and praise, as it eternally secured the cinematic legacy of Lord Of The Rings, once, and for all. One ring to bind them, and one trilogy to rule them all, baby!


Final Score: 9
i hope lord of the rings tv series will be good after the movie
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https://youtu.be/rr_x-rMYpkI Wanda Maximoff-Scarlet Witch
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https://youtu.be/0LXhnd-CMrQ Agatha Harkness
https://youtu.be/4E880wNeB2g Yelena Belova

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https://youtu.be/Zy66zOMkGsM Loki Lufeyson






My second Tarkovsy film. Watched Solaris a few years back and was not impressed at all so getting to the next Tarkovsky took awhile. Started watching this a couple weeks ago, watched maybe an hour but wasn't able to finish it for whatever reason. I enjoyed the first part of the film, Part 1, so much I just decided to start over rather than pick up where I left off. From a film making standpoint this is a pretty outstanding film. I thought it looked great, some of the shots could be framed and hung on a wall they looked so good. The story is something I'd like to revisit again. I tend to just let these kinds of movies just flow by the first time I watch them. The digging deeper happens on re-watches.



SELMA
(2014, DuVernay)



"One struggle ends just to go right to the next and the next."

Selma follows the events surrounding the voting rights marches led by King in the titular city. The film manages to put the spotlight on many issues that are not necessarily known, at least by someone who is not from the US, regarding the civil rights violations against African-Americans at the time. Sure, laws have been passed, but most of the obstacles continue; from unfair voting registration requirements and stubborn officials hell-bent on segregation to the bureaucracy of the upper echelons of government.

Director Ava DuVernay manages to juggle both the socio-political struggle of the marches with the personal struggles of King, and the toll it takes on his family life. Oyelowo is excellent in the role, along with Carmen Ejogo, who plays Coretta Scott King. The cast is rounded out by Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson and Tim Roth as Georgia Governor George Wallace, among many others.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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BROTHERHOOD OF PATE
(2011, Eimulis)



"He's not alone. There is plenty of that kind. It's a great association, but they don't have a clue about each other's existence. They are like a pate; grey, tasteless, ugly, third-rate people."

I had a hard time finding a film from Lithuania that was available for free and that also piqued my interest. With time closing in, I went with this short film that I found on YouTube about a lonely man that is not sure of who he is, where he is, or even what he is.

The short film, which last a little under 20 minutes, is amateur-ish, but still the camera is well handled and has some neat shots. The surreal vibe makes for a somewhat interesting watch, even though some things seem to be thrown in there just because.

Finally, although some performances are spotty or bad, the lead guy (Nerijus Gedminas) is pretty solid at conveying this sense of being lost and aimless. This is probably far from a great film, but it was still an interesting, fun watch, and a good way to check another box, I think.

Grade:






My second Tarkovsy film. Watched Solaris a few years back and was not impressed at all so getting to the next Tarkovsky took awhile. Started watching this a couple weeks ago, watched maybe an hour but wasn't able to finish it for whatever reason. I enjoyed the first part of the film, Part 1, so much I just decided to start over rather than pick up where I left off. From a film making standpoint this is a pretty outstanding film. I thought it looked great, some of the shots could be framed and hung on a wall they looked so good. The story is something I'd like to revisit again. I tend to just let these kinds of movies just flow by the first time I watch them. The digging deeper happens on re-watches.
It took me a few viewings to really fall in love with that one, but it's now my #1 film of all-time. Glad you enjoyed it!



TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA
(1970, Siegel)



"Everybody's got a right to be a sucker once."

Set in the late 19th Century, Two Mules for Sister Sara follows Hogan (Clint Eastwood), an American mercenary that stumbles upon Sara (Shirley MacLaine), a nun that is assisting Mexican revolutionaries against French occupying soldiers. Realizing they have similar goals, they decide to work with each other despite their seemingly different backgrounds.

During the first half, the film is driven mostly by the banter between Hogan and Sara, as they get to know each other and learn to trust each other, while the second half is more action-oriented, as they finally reach the garrison they were targeting. Both halves work fairly well, although I was more interested in the first half back-and-forth between the two lead characters, as we see them handle their differences.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot



Been crushing comedy films for the past few days in anticipation of the comedy countdown.

Just re-watched "Thank You For Smoking". A very good comedy that has solid writing, acting not so much. But still, a solid 8/10.



ALPHA AND OMEGA
(2010, Gluck & Bell)



"You're not allowed to howl with her. She's an Alpha."

Alpha and Omega follows two wolves, Kate (Hayden Panettiere) and Humphrey (Justin Long) that are both seemingly different in attitudes and also come from different groups of a warring pack. When they find themselves accidentally taken to another park, they have to work together to get back home while also *surprise, surprise* developing feelings for each other.

The film's main issue is probably its lack of originality and somewhat uninspired execution. Everything feels more or less formulaic, lifeless, and dull. The plot is also generic and could probably be 15-20 minutes shorter (the final confrontation felt unnecessary). The animation is also spotty, although there is probably a brief moment during a river flood that stood out for me.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot





Have no clue why I bailed out of this earlier. Itís an excellent movie.
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I love this film - the Australian remake doesn't come close to capturing it's charm and spirit.
I wouldnít even consider watching the Aussie version.





Delightful movie from Iceland based on a true story. Really enjoyed it.
@matt72582 has wide-ranging movie choices & I feel sure he would like this movie. In fact, he may already have seen it.





Delightful movie from Iceland based on a true story. Really enjoyed it.
This last few years have brought the whole farm to the screen Pig, Lamb, First Cow, Rams, Dog!



This last few years have brought the whole farm to the screen Pig, Lamb, First Cow, Rams, Dog!
Don't forget there was Goat in 2016 as well
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terrible, 0/5, not enough puppies.