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  1. #61
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Movie #94/ New Movie #66/ French Movie #5/ Silent Movie #3: Monte Cristo Part 1 (Youtube)
    I started watching clips someone put on Youtube, and then ordered a DVD of it to get a better transfer. Unfortunately, the DVD only included a 40 minute long cut (from a movie that totals three hours and forty minutes and in released in two parts in France), and the transfer was much worse than the Youtube.

    This is quite naturalistic for a silent movie. The direction and performances are okay, but it is a bit of a struggle in the beginning, especially before the lead gets him arrested. It gets much more interesting when his imprisonment begins, and we get a sense of his suffering and a cleaner narrative with his friendship with someone who initially appears to be a lunatic. The story is quite episodic, with sections of the narrative dealing with new characters as the lead disappears for major stretches. Some of the stories are more powerful than others, but the results are satisfying.
    8/10

    Movie #95/ New Movie #57/ AFI 100 Laughs Movie #3/ Silent Movie #4: The Freshman (Youtube)
    It’s a fun time capsule of college in a very different era. Harold Lloyd is a bit too old to be a college freshman, but he does a good job of playing someone well-meaning but way too eager to please. Some of the gags are inspired, and quite complex, especially where a party sequence where his clothes are falling apart, and a dizzy tailor has to help. There is legitimate emotion to it, and the narrative turns aren’t as obvious as you’d assume from a silent film. When he gets a chance to play in the big game, it initially does not go well for him.
    9/10

    Movie #96/ AFI 100 Laughs Movie #4/ Actor-Director #4: Bananas
    (DVD)
    There’s one joke here that aged really badly, when Woody Allen has to justify buying a porno mag by saying that he’s studying moral perversion and moving up to child molestation. Otherwise, it’s a decent early Woody Allen film with an earlier version of his nebbish persona and jokes that seem more common in a Mel Brooks film, or Airplane (many of which came out later.)
    8/10

    Movie #97/ New Movie #68: Black Widow (Theater)
    It’s an okay Marvel movie with some decent sequences. The cast is fine, with Florence Pugh as a standout, setting up a potential replacement who is entertainingly self-aware. The story is a bit generic MCU (squabbling siblings, fight scenes on a base in the air, a villainous conspiracy going back decades) even if it is darker than most (a conversation about forced sterilization works to reveal character and just how the twisted the system the widows came from is) and it does have a larger point about how women and girls are overlooked. The direction is consistently impressive. It is over the top at times, closer at times to the stereotypes about Michael Bay and the Fast & Furious films than most MCU movies.
    7/10



    Movie #98/ New Movie #69/ AFI 100 Laughs Movie #5: Topper (PBS)
    Cary Grant’s eight films on the AFI 100 Laughs countdown are built on his abilities as the best straight man in film, or as evident here, the life of the party trying to encourage someone else to loosen up a little. In this case, he’s doing it beyond the grave as a ghost. This might have one of the most flagrant examples of category fraud in Oscars history with the nomination of Roland Young’s Topper, the ultimate man who needs to loosen up, in the category of Supporting Actor. The results are fun.
    8/10

    Movie #99: Black Bear (Digital)
    It’s interesting watching this again knowing what the twist is going to be. It’s a bit of an intellectual puzzle to figure out what’s going on, which makes it tougher to connect emotionally to a story about a couple and a stranger in an enclosed environment, although the difficulty of connecting emotionally is one of the themes of the story. One thing the film does quite well is to show the three leads and the setting in radically different circumstances, and it depicts both of those circumstances quite well.
    9/10

    Movie #100/ New Movie #70/ Silent Film #5/ Actor-Director #5: The Circus (DVD)
    A Chaplin film which was a hit when it came out, and it still has a decent reputation, although it seems to now fall just outside his Top Five. There are some fantastic set pieces in the circus, as Chaplin’s little tramp ruins performances and briefly becomes the star of the show, getting involved in a love triangle with a poignant ending. Even if it’s not top-tier Chaplin, it has great sight gags. Especially when monkeys get involved.
    8/10
    Last edited by Mister Mets; 07-12-2021 at 09:01 PM.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  2. #62
    Astonishing Member foxley's Avatar
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    Just brought up film no. 100 with a re-watch of my favourite of the RKO Dick Tracy films: Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome, with the incomparable Boris Karloff as Gruesome.

    My films so far:
    1) The Dry (2020)
    2) Becky (2020)
    3) The Gatling Gun (1971)
    4) Angel (1983)
    5) Monster Hunter (2020)
    6) Asian School Girls (2014)
    7) Ring of Fear (1954)
    8) 1994 Baker Street: Sherlock Holmes Returns (1993)
    9) Miss Meadows (2014)
    10) Promising Young Woman (2020)
    11) Hooded Angels (2002)
    12) Stiletto (2008)
    13) A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964)
    14) Felon (2008)
    15) Serial Killing 4 Dummys (2004)
    16) The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
    17) Starred Up (2013)
    18) The Locals (2003)
    19) Black Angel Vol. 1 (1997)
    20) Death Ring (1992)
    21) Wrong Turn (2003)
    22) Sands of the Kalahari (1965)
    23) The Lookout (2007)
    24) Intruders (2015)
    25) Body (2015)
    26) The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)
    27) Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)
    28) Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971)
    29) Pig Hunt (2008)
    30) Copycat (1995)
    31) Art of the Dead (2019)
    32) Die, Monster, Die! (1965)
    33) The Boondock Saints (1999)
    34) Bloody Reunion (2006)
    35) Twice-Told Tales (1963)
    36) Dying Breed (2008)
    37) Exam (2009)
    38) Crank (2006)
    39) The Loved Ones (2009)
    40) Con Air (1997)
    41) Triangle (2009)
    42) Pagan Warrior (2019)
    43) Hangman's Knot (1952)
    44) Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)
    45) Zoltan, Hound of Dracula (1977)
    46) Deathtrap (1982)
    47) Maniac Cop (1988)
    48) Jo NesbÝ's Headhunters (2011)
    49) A Blueprint for Murder (1953)
    50) The Prowler (1951)
    51) Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
    52) The Hazing (2004)
    53) The Rescuers (1977)
    54) Christmas Evil (1980)
    55) Monster Party (2018)
    56) The Warriors (1979)
    57) The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983)
    58) Fantasy Island (2020)
    59) John Doe: Vigilante (2014)
    60) The Outlaws IS Coming! (1965)
    61) Rimfire (1949)
    62) 12 Rounds (2009)
    63) Train (2008)
    64) Bus 657 (2015)
    65) Six Reasons Why (2008)
    66) The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956)
    67) Starcrash (1978)
    68) Demon Knight (1995)
    69) The Land That Time Forgot (1974)
    70) Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet (2021)
    71) The Hangover (2009)
    72) Hoboken Hollow (2006)
    73) Sherlock: Case of Evil (2002)
    74) Lady in Cement (1968)
    75) Gentlemen Explorers (2013)
    76) The Loves of Hercules (1960)
    77) Satan's Cheerleaders (1977)
    78) Armored (2009)
    79) Cruella (2021)
    80) Great White (2021)
    81) Shotgun (1955)
    82) The Steam Engines of Oz (2018)
    83) The Bunker (2021)
    84) Terror Train (1980)
    85) Army of Frankensteins (2013)
    86) The Shadow of Chikara (1977)
    87) Day of the Evil Gun (1968)
    88) Ghostwatch (1992)
    89) The Body (2012)
    90) The Art of the Steal (2013)
    91) Transit (2012)
    92) Black Widow (2021)
    93) Wendigo (2001)
    94) Shark Week (2012)
    95) Bet Your Life (2004)
    96) Hunk (1987)
    97) Mohawk (2017)
    98) Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
    99) The Woman Hunt (1972)
    100) Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947)
    Last edited by foxley; 07-31-2021 at 07:04 PM.

  3. #63
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Movie #101/ New Movie #71: Alexander Nevsky (Criterion DVD)
    The medieval certainly has an epic scale, and is effective propaganda. Itís probably worth analyzing more for the historical context than its worth as a traditional film. There are some interesting choices, like how Nevsky disappears for big parts of the narrative. The villains are lacking in personality, which makes the fight scenes less meaningful, even if they are legendary.
    7/10

    Movie #102/ New Movie #72: La Pointe-Courte
    (Criterion DVD)
    This was arguably the first French new wave film, and it remains stylistically daring, with interesting cuts and cinematography decisions. Itís great use of an interesting location, where people prepare for jousting on boats and a river by someoneís house needs to be crossed. It shows a small community that isnít happy with bureaucrats, a conservative message for a French new wave film. The argument between the couple is longer and nastier than I expected, going from intellectual to personal quickly. Itís a great example on a particular type of film, showing the difference between the visitors and the locals, and the many stories in a small town over one weekend.
    9/10

    Movie #103/ New Movie #73: Walkabout (Criterion DVD)
    Itís a beautifully shot film about a clash of cultures, and two young siblings trying to survive. Itís a great sense of something that film excels at conveying: the difficulties of communication. Iím disappointed in how it ends, but this is not due to a defect of the film. I understand what happens; Iíd have preferred something different due to an appreciation of the characters.
    9/10

    Movie #104/ New Movie #74: Zola (Movie Theater)
    This film was interesting in how it depicts very modern facets of communication (text messages, twitter posts) in a crazy story about people in a very different culture than the one we usually see in film, also getting to the different codes of the leads. I could believe that these people exist outside of the film, and there are some interesting tricks with unreliable narrators. It ends a bit anticlimactically. Iíd have liked to see more of a later reckoning, like what happened to the people involved after their crazy story went viral.
    7/10



    Movie #105: Chungking Express (Movie Theater)
    Wong Kar Wai has some fantastic tricks when it comes to editing, and he makes some brilliant and deliberate choices in telling the stories of two cops, like the more confident one being the traffic cop who never has to take anyone down. Itís two stories that work well together, a neonoir in the perspective of someone who doesnít know whatís going on, and a more traditional (but exceptional) romantic comedy. This grew on me, as I didnít care for it as much the first time I saw it (partly due to the twist in the middle making this a different film than what I expected.)
    10/10

    Movie #106/ New Movie #75: Cruella (Movie Theater)
    It really comes across as a knockoff of Joker (period piece about the origin of a famous villain with similar soundtrack decisions) which is likely unfair because it had to be in production before that one came out. I donít envy directors and writers who have to tell an edgy Disney story, but it is fun and it gets into a conflict which may sanitize the character, but has meaning- whether to embrace the dark side. Iím still trying to figure out how Cruella got so much attention in the fashion industry without any customers, and whether Disney will one day make a prequel with a more sympathetic take on the Baroness.
    8/10

    Movie #107/ New Movie #76: Major Grom- Plague Doctor (Netflix)
    Itís an odd superhero film about an extraordinary cop taking on a vigilante. Itís interesting in what it says about Russia, with a populace on the verge of rebellion, and a message that they just need a tough guy who can break all the rules. The main story is generic (the riots seem to be like Bane, a CEO is a lot like Mark Zuckerberg, thereís a Marvel end-credit sequence) and some narrative tricks get in the way of making the film understandable.
    6/10

    Movie #108: Ran (Amazon Prime)
    Like Bergman, thereís something off about seeing a Kurosawa film in color, even if he uses it to great effect. The medieval source material (merged with a Japanese legend) translates well to the samurai era, and there is the new element of the betrayed king dealing with the consequences of terrible things heís done in the past in order to gain and maintain power. There is a new great villain in the evil daughter-in-law, over the top but with motives that fit the context.
    9/10



    Movie #109: Nomadland (DVD)
    This is a fully realized take on a (largely involuntary) lifestyle/ class thatís rarely seen in major American films. Even indies typically skew younger. Itís really good at showing the dignity of the marginalized. Itís often lovely but shows a way of living that is hard. Itís a fantastic character study: Frances McDormandís lead is a tough complex woman even if these circumstances, showing both a need for community and self-sufficiency, as sheís learning the ropes. This is a rare type of film: modern neorealist with excellent production values, where you gasp when a character accidentally breaks something, because you know how meaningful it is.
    10/10

    Movie #110/ New Movie #78: Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon (Netflix)
    Itís charming enough, with some good gags. My problem is that I can appreciate wordless or silent animated films, but it only so far.
    7/10

    Movie #111/ New Movie #79: Fallen Angels (Movie Theater)
    A companion to Chungking Express, it still has really nice cinematography but goes too far in the contrast between the narratives, as well as the increasingly eccentric cast.
    7/10

    Movie #112: Chimes at Midnight (Criterion DVD)
    The Welles Falstaff-centric adaptation of (mainly) Henry IV Part 1 is imperfect; he liked ADR too much, the narrative is less effective when he combines events in multiple plays, and he had to compromise to get A-listers Jeanne Moreau and John Gieguld for limited shoots. But he is exceptional as one of Shakespeareís best characters, and he gets to a central conflict of the different paternal influences on the future Henry V pretty well.
    8/10

    Movie #113/ New Movie #80: Monte Cristo Part 2 (Youtube)
    The revenge continues in satisfying fashion. Trademarks include opulent settings, and reaction shots of large crowds to big news. There are some good character moments, like the resolution to a duel, although some moments are underplayed, like the main characterís romance. This is one of the most ordinary-looking leads I can think of in early cinema, and thatís quite fitting for a story of someone mysterious and underestimated.
    8/10
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  4. #64
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Movie #114: King Lear (1971) (DVD)
    Kozintsevís King Lear is beautifully shot. JŁri Jšrvet is a quieter Lear than Iím used to, ibe who doesnít dominate the narrative, which works for this film and the directorís themes of focusing on the political turmoil of Shakespeare.
    8/10

    Movie #115/ New Movie #81: Hamlet (1964)(DVD)
    Kozintsevís Russian adaptation works really well, fitting Hamletís brooding and mood swings. As with Lear, thereís an interesting sense of political turmoil, that the recent death of the king has left the situation in Denmark unstable. The inevitable confrontation is legitimately sad, and it sells the big moments. The Facets DVD is imperfect, sometimes pixelated with a translation that seems to skip some stuff (this isnít just Hamlet, it was an adaptation by Boris Pasternak.) But this is still a good adaptation of one of the best stories.
    9/10

    Movie #116/ New Movie #82: Minari (DVD)
    Itís paced in an interesting way, casual but with a narrative force that slowly develops. It does a great job of showing the differences of the family members affected by the dadís dream, and the sense of being outsiders in a weird environment, still quite different from the cliches. Itís rare to see the struggles of ordinary people depicted so well in film.
    9/10

    Movie #117/ New Movie #83
    : Hilbilly Elegy (Netflix)
    Iím kinda pissed off at critics for hating this so much; that seems to be clearly political. It has a distinctive ethos in the struggles of a kid growing up in a weird family that is flawed, but more complex than the caricatures. The JD Vances are overshadowed by better performances from Glenn Close and Amy Adams, although thatís more about their talents than a problem with the film. It is odd to see the eras where I grew up as cultural touchstones in flashbacks.
    7/10

    Movie #118/ New Movie #84: La Pelle/ The Skin (DVD)
    Itís a bit distracting to see Italian dubbing for American characters in a story thatís supposed to highlight American ignorance and bravado. Itís light on plot, showing the horrors after a country loses a war, and itís interesting to see what Americans look like from the outside, in a perspective that recognizes complexity, even if it is often way over the top (IE- the revelation of what hundreds of soldiers are lining up to see.)
    7/10

    Movie #120/ New Movie #85: Ivan the Terrible Part 1
    (Criterion DVD)
    Eisensteinís biopic on one of Stalinís role models looks nice, but itís often boring. Itís a bit like Alexander Nevsky in that the requirements of propaganda make the narrative less satisfying.
    6/10



    Movie #121/ New Movie #86: Macbeth (1971) (DVD)
    Polanskiís version (produced by Playboy) conveys a sense of a man grappling with ambition and destiny. The medieval setting feels lived in. I can see why lead John Finch was in such high demand at the time (studios offered him James Bond; he was the lead in a Hitchcock film the year after this.) He shows a Macbeth who is believable in the role, while not comfortable with what he does. This is more like a supervillain origin story. It was controversial at the time, but now tamer than Game of Thrones.
    9/10

    Movie #122/ New Movie #87: Chopping Mall (Amazon Prime)
    Sometimes this story of teens VS robots plays with expectations about slasher films, as they recognize how stupid it is to go separate and go alone. And it has fun with consumer culture. But it doesnít make the end result good.
    6/10

    Movie #123/ New Movie #88: Bamboozled (DVD)
    This was an odd film to watch as I wasnít sure where Spike Lee was going and whether Iíd ultimately find it to be a good film. He touched a lot of third rails. Some stuff is dated, especially a particular type of early digital filmmaking, but much of it is quite prescient about controversies of representation and blackface. Some of it is genius, although the lead is annoyingly inscrutable, which makes his story less interesting.
    7/10

    Movie #124: Blast of Silence (Criterion DVD)
    This is a weirdly positioned noir, bordering between the end of the original noir era and 1960s Independent New York cinema verite. Itís distinctive with cool shots, a Christmas setting (very fitting), second person narration and a lead who is out of his element in the big city.
    8/10

    Movie #125/ New Movie #89: Crip Camp (Netflix)
    Itís a well-told story where the directors benefit from having decades of material to explore the lives of disabled Americans who had meaningful experiences in a summer camp, and reconnected through activism. The film gets into the process of what they do in interesting ways, even if I disagree with some of it (hunger strikes did not seem productive.) It certainly shows the many reasons they had for sit-ins and other protests (a desire to live ordinary lives, a sense of purpose and their loving community.)
    8/10
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  5. #65
    Just Member Attila Kiss's Avatar
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    Default July in a rearview screen

    157. Quick (2011) - ✰✰✰✰
    158. Unknown (2011) - ✰✰✰✰
    159. Stolen (2012) - ✰✰✰✰
    160. The Colony (2013) - ✰✰✰✰
    161. Predestination (2014) - ✰✰✰✰✰
    162. Detective Chinatown (2015) - ✰✰✰
    163. Peelers (2016) - ✰✰✰
    164. Wish Upon (2017) - ✰✰✰✰
    165. Detective Chinatown 2 (2018) - ✰✰✰
    166. First Love (2019) - ✰✰✰
    167. Fist & Furious (2019) - ✰✰✰
    168. Hunter Hunter (2020) - ✰✰✰
    169. Pixie (2020) - ✰✰✰✰
    170. Wander (2020) - ✰✰✰
    171. Awake (2021) - ✰✰✰
    172. Infinite (2021) - ✰✰✰✰✰
    173. Last Mercenary (2021) - ✰✰✰
    174. No Sudden Move (2021) - ✰✰✰
    175. Till Death (2021) - ✰✰✰
    176. Werewolves Within (2021) - ✰✰✰
    177. Xtreme (2021) - ✰✰✰✰
    links to my books:
    "TWISTED HOLIDAY HORROR TALES"
    @ comiXology
    @ IndyPlanet
    "Blues Ratz"
    @ Amazon: Spec. BLUE Version Paperback
    @ IndyPlanet: Collected Edition

  6. #66
    Just Member Attila Kiss's Avatar
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    Default August in a rearview screen

    178. Dead End (2003) - ✰✰✰✰
    179. The Girl Next Door (2004) - ✰✰✰✰
    180. Crash Pad (2017) - ✰✰✰✰
    181. A Very Bad Friend (2019) - ✰✰✰
    182. My Soul To Keep (2019) - ✰✰✰
    183. The Hero (2019) - ✰✰✰
    184. The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) - ✰✰✰✰
    185. Spontaneous (2020) - ✰✰✰✰
    186. The Paper Tigers (2020) - ✰✰✰✰
    187. Bartkowiak (2021) - ✰✰✰
    188. Beckett (2021) - ✰✰✰
    189. Don't Breathe 2 (2021) - ✰✰✰✰✰
    190. SAS: Red Notice (2021) - ✰✰✰✰
    191. Spiral (2021) - ✰✰✰
    192. The Seventh Day (2021) - ✰✰✰✰
    Last edited by Attila Kiss; 09-05-2021 at 12:57 AM.
    links to my books:
    "TWISTED HOLIDAY HORROR TALES"
    @ comiXology
    @ IndyPlanet
    "Blues Ratz"
    @ Amazon: Spec. BLUE Version Paperback
    @ IndyPlanet: Collected Edition

  7. #67
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    My August movies...



    Movie #126: Sgt. Stubby (DVD)
    This is an accessible and enjoyable animated film, perfect for watching with relatives/ family friends of all ages (older folk interested in history, kids who like dogs and animation.) It has a decent match of animated hijinks and serious subject matter (mustard gas.)
    8/10

    Movie #127/ New Movie #90: The Secret Life of Trees (Movie Theater)
    It demonstrates how ordinary nature documentaries have become capable of astounding visual beauty. Itís a decent spotlight on an environmentalist, as well as how how trees operate and coexist as part of a larger ecosystem.
    8/10

    Movie #128/ New Movie #91: The Suicide Squad (Movie Theater)
    I havenít seen the original, but this remains accessible and fun. Stylistically itís quite interesting, although it gets really dark, even for an R-rated superhero film in a way that isnít believable or satisfying. There can be a discussion piece about the extent to which the film critic community is okay with movies that have a dark left-wing view of things. That said, some of the stuff does work pretty well. Margot Robbieís Harleyquinn and Idris Elbaís Bloodsport make for great antiheroes.
    7/10

    Movie #129/ New Movie #92: Extra Ordinary (Showtime)
    Itís a decent horror comedy, with a take on ghosts that is both funny and mundane.
    7/10

    Movie #130/ New Movie #93: Stillwater (Theater)
    This was a movie that had to tread very carefully given the sensitive subject matter of a middle-aged blue collar white guy investigating suspicious events in France involving people of color and his daughterís same-sex relationship. Matt Damon provides a good sense of a guy out of his element, who means well but has been a fuckup since long before the movie started. A key development seems a bit derivative of a recent well-regarded film from a similar genre. However, it is a great conversation starter.
    8/10

    Movie #131/ New Movie #94: Red Riding: 1974 (AMC+)
    It feels like a 1970s noir. Andrew Garfield is decent as a reporter who gets caught in a messed up conspiracy. Rebecca Hall is better as the tormented survivor. The central mystery is a bit vague, a set-up to a larger trilogy and the bad guys are generic. Still, there are some decent twists at the end.
    8/10

    Movie #132/ New Movie #95: Horror Express (AMC+)
    The set is decent, although from an earlier film. The generic horror movie debate about scientific exploration is kinda lame. Itís the type of film that acts as if Christopher Lee should immediately realize a mummy is alive and hunting people on a train.
    5/10



    Movie #133/ New Movie #96: The Green Knight (Theater)
    This is a beautiful film that sometimes feels deliberately confusing and unsatisfying, although it works pretty well to get viewers debating what just happened. This is not a film to see cold, given all the references to medieval lore. Thereís a sense of people similar to us living in a society that is quite different, where it is natural to see giants or ghosts. There are some excellent tricks with time and possible futures, as it gets to some important questions about honor and meaning.
    8/10

    Movie #134/ New Movie #97: Pandorum (Showtime)
    The sci-fi story may have too many high concepts, featuring a race of evolved hunters, people waking from cryogenic sleep with limited memories, an odd form of craziness and the destruction of the Earth. The quality of the twists is inconsistent.
    5/10

    Movie #135/ New Movie #98: The Tomorrow War (Amazon Prime)
    This is a time travel sci-fi story by a writer I like, so I should enjoy it. But itís not good. Part of it is that the aliens arenít great, kinda like The Quiet Place without the genius sound design or a hook about what makes them interesting. the response to a major event just doesnít seem right. Twists are predictable and Iím not sure it plays fair. The third act is tonally off, but at least addresses plot induced stupidity when a small group puts the world in danger.
    5/10

    Movie #136/ New Movie #99: Source Code (Showtime)
    I checked it out because it was much better reviewed than I thought, and itís a decent combination of mystery and an ordinary manís response to an extreme situation. A central twist with the tech is inconsistent with the set-up.
    7/10

    Movie #137/ New Movie #100: Horror Noire
    (AMC+)
    Itís an okay overview of the depictions of African-Americans in horror (and anything thatís meant to scare) from Night of the Living Dead to Get Out. It did encourage me to watch a bunch of the films that were covered, even if this wasnít particularly compelling as far as documentaries about movies go.
    7/10

    Movie #138/ New Movie #101: Tales From the Hood
    (Starz)
    This is worth checking out just because itís Twilight Zone stories with a 1990s indie African-American aesthetic, which is not a combination found elsewhere. Good horror anthologies get to the drama and supernatural events faster, which is one reason I enjoy them so much. Here it works to go for a nuanced message than just featuring one story. It can cover the harms of so-called black on black violence as well as racist politicians and police officers. It can sometimes seem ridiculous in the depiction of race, but it did come out at a time when David Duke was a credible candidate for office so some of that is forgivable. The frame story gets around some of the logical inconsistencies.
    8/10

    Movie #139/ New Movie #102: Free Guy
    (Theater)
    Itís a fun sci-fi comedy, similar to Ready Player One (same writer) and The Truman Show, and while itís not great, it works on the strength of Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer.
    7/10
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  8. #68
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Movie #140/ New Movie #103: Blacula (AMC+)
    Itís a decent horror movie, with probably the best take on the common trope of a vampireís love for a reincarnation of his ex. It has some striking images and is interesting as an artifact of the 1970s, although ahead of many other films of the time in the depiction of diverse young professionals.
    8/10

    Movie #141: Monterey Pop (Criterion Blu-Ray)
    This is clearly my favorite concert film, and Iíve been thinking about what makes it so effective. The songs are great, with most being decent music videos in their own right. Itís short, although there is additional material available as extras on the Criterion editions for anyone who rightly wants more. It seems more honest than the usual concert film, showing what the festival is like, but also showing when 1960s outdoor concern sound systems arenít perfect.
    10/10

    Movie #142/ New Movie #104: Ganja & Hess (Showtime)
    There is a 1970s indie film vocabulary that is a bit tough to follow, especially in the worldbuilding. Bill Gunnís style remains experimental even if you do take that into account. The visuals are compelling, and it is thematically rich, with new takes on vampires (technically this is a different monster) and religion.
    8/10

    Movie #143: Kameradschaft / Comradeship (Criterion DVD)
    Last time I was disappointed with Eisensteinís 1930s films due to the propaganda, but I still enjoy this story of workers from different countries uniting for a common class-based goal, so itís worth considering what makes it different. Part of it is the message is fair. It is important for people from different countries to work together (especially in the context of a film made prior to World War II.) The little stories work. There is actual conflict (IE- French border patrol agents shooting at a German rescue team) and misunderstandings. Most importantly, in addition to impressive sequences, there can be a sense of humor, like when a dramatic scene of young men leaving a village is interrupted by a mom making sure her son has sandwiches.
    9/10

    Movie #144: I, Tonya (Showtime)
    Margot Robbie is not the expected lead for a film about someone who falls in love with a guy who calls her pretty, but despite the moral question of casting someone who doesnít look like her character, she is fantastic, and it fits her persona as an actress (a brash old-fashioned broad.) The film handles ambiguity well to the extent that actions of certain characters remain mysterious. It also has some great villains, including Alison Janneyís trainwreck mother, the idiot who engineers the attack, an abusive husband who may be the victim of unreliable narrators or worse than we believe, and the community of judges. This is a great example of film as an empathy machine, but it doesnít let the lead off the hook.
    10/10

    Movie #145: The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (Criterion DVD)
    Itís a grim cold war story of a spy sent to infiltrate an organization, but set up to fail in the effort. Itís a great showcase for Richard Burtonís British world weariness; heís like an English Bogart and itís quite effective here. It takes a while to get going, but the end is powerful.
    9/10



    Movie #146/ New Movie #105: Death Takes a Holiday (Criterion DVD)
    Friedrich Marchís take on Death is alien and strange, and makes for some humor when he pretends to be a foreign prince. It hints at some big questions, but doesnít really get to it. Perhaps it is a bit tainted by better work on the grim reaper, and a more mature understanding of the fascination with death, but I still enjoyed it.
    7/10

    Movie #147/ New Movie #106: Candyman (1992) (DVD)
    Itís got a great hook with researchers checking out urban legends getting drawn into horror. Itís shot like a 1990s psychological thriller, which works when things go supernatural. Thereís a bit of a Guess Whoís Coming to Dinner? sensibility at times, as it is both ahead of its time and behind ours in depictions of race. Virginia Madsen is a good horror lead, balancing the naivete of the first half prior to an effective fakeout and the intensity/ vulnerability of the second half when things go much worse. Tony Toddís Candyman is one of the most underrated horror film monsters.
    8/10

    Movie #148: Darkest Hour (DVD)
    This movie is certainly my jam. Itís sometimes obvious, but in a way thatís acceptable in a great film. Itís a good look at an iconic moment in England, as a flawed man who is right for the moment considers appeasement or fighting. Oldman is excellent, the epitome of the transformation of a name actor into a world-historical figure, showing Churchill at his most brilliant and aggravating at a time when his legacy was being defined.
    10/10

    Movie #149/ New Movie #107: Forty Guns (Criterion DVD)
    Itís a decent short western on the theme of people good at handling themselves in the wild west struggling to find a place for themselves in a more civilized setting. It has a more complex take on the bad guys than usually; we can really see why Barbara Stanwyckís character likes them despite her understanding that their time has passed.
    8/10

    Movie #150: Midnight in Paris (Amazon Prime)
    Itís easily the best of Woody Allenís late films, from that period when heís famous enough to get A-list casts to play out his dramas. Itís effective at making the story of a screenwriter trying to be a novelist unpretentious, partially through the contrast of lead Owen Wilson with Martin Sheenís pedantic professor. Marion Cotillard is adorable, and I like the twists with her character. It has a great take on nostalgia and the search for a golden age.
    10/10

    One thing I came to appreciate in this month of filmviewing is the effectiveness of movies as conversation-starters. The best of it here certainly qualifies. I think you could have really interesting conversations about Candyman, The Green Knight, I Tonya and a few others. Itís an interesting test for the value of a film.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  9. #69
    Astonishing Member Ghost Rider TheHellfireDemon's Avatar
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    1. Double Jeopardy
    A entertaining good thriller movie even though this movie does not have the ticking clock that The Fugitive has. The movie has a highly entertaining unintentional comedy scene when Libby is driving away in a car, and a entertaining ridiculous scene on a Cargo Ship.
    A entertaining flaw is Libby has no split ends and other scenes she has split ends.

    I enjoyed this movie has Libby saying to a guy she was in Prison which isnít the same thing as Jail.
    The movie gives a strong explanation for why Travis helps Libby find her son. The movie has a complete story with an open ending which is why Iím happy a sequel wasnít made.

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