Recommend a movie

1,611 posts in this topic

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French Cancan - 1955 - 6/10

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After Henri’s establishment closes, he regroups and decides to launch another.
This time, he will revive a bygone, notorious dance number, the cancan.
Love affairs, misunderstandings, arguments and pitfalls.
Will he be ever able to open his cabaret, the Moulin Rouge?

Afterward, I knew this was going to cost me.
“You never said this was a musical.”
“C’mon, Jean Gabin stars, Jean Renoir directs, in color!”
“It was like an MGM musical.  Bloated nonsense.  I don’t see how you like these things.”
“Big screen, too!  Old fashioned magic.”
“When the Miss Fisher movie comes out, we’re seeing it.  You owe me.”
“Aww, man …”
“And I renewed the subscription to the Hallmark Channel.”
“Oh, bummer, dude!”
“Dudette.”

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Blinded By The Light - 2019 - 6/10

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Late 80s England.  Javed is buffeted by skinheads, a domineering father, and the thought of being lost.
Then he is turned on to the music, rather lyrics, of Bruce Springsteen.
The Boss is considered passé in the New Wave 80’s, but his words still resonate with the disenfranchised.
Midway, I turned to the person who picked this and said,  “This reminds me of Bend It Like Beckham.
Terse answer.  “Same writer, same director, same producer.”
Feel good material, and a bit recooked.
Springsteen fans (I am not one) should enjoy.

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Posted

The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich - 1968 - 7/10

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Groundbreaking documentary is showing its age.
Based on Shirer’s thick book (1000+ pages), this neatly slots into rise - apex - fall.
Compared with later, longer documentaries, this qualifies more as a survey.
Despite that, this is an excellent primer, and worthwhile if one cannot commit the time for more thorough explorations.
One of the best elements of this are the interviews with survivors, including those who acutely knew Hitler, or knew others of the inner circle.
This firsthand retelling is missing from virtually all subsequent histories.

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Murders At The Zoo - 1933 - 6/10

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Pre-Code nasty misses gre@tness because it pulls its punches.
Lionel Atwill plays Gorman, a sportsman (meaning he shoots piles of animals), who ships a big collection to the zoo.
Early on, however, we witness how he deals with a rival for his wife’s affection.
Binding the man and stitching up mouth shut before abandoning him to the hungry jungle.
Other particularly cruel offings follow.
Unfortunately, Paramount defused this throughout with comic humor, which undercuts the tone.
Better, since the wife had a wayward eye, would have been to juice the sexual angles.
Directed by Eddie Sutherland, who I’ve always regarded as loose change,
Coulda, shoulda been terrific.

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Wagon Tracks - 1919 - 6/10

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Stodgy, William S Hart western, though Hart vehicles typically carry the dust of Victorian theatre boards.
Hart goes to meet his younger brother, a recently graduated doctor, arriving on a paddle-wheeler.
While card playing, however, the young man has been gunned down.
Hart, leading the wagon trail to Santa Fe, ponders how the cull the guilty out of the herd.
The print I saw was wonderful, the tinting outstanding.

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At barely an hour, the pace is unhurried, and effectively evokes the Old West.
Hart knew and was friends with Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson, and he strived for authenticity in his Westerns.
A first class production.  Even small details such as inter-titles, feature imaginative touches.

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Posted

Kampf um Norwegen:  Feldzug 1940 - 1940 - 6/10
AKA - Battle For Norway: 1940 campaign

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Nazi propaganda overwhelms with details, grows tiresome.
Documentary shows invasion and conquest of Norway in 1940.
Animated campaign maps are helpful, also a wealth of images.
Every skirmish is mentioned with scant fighting footage.
As propaganda, this is not vitriolic hatred, but more the morale booster.
Why German is in the war with Norway (it’s the fault of the English).
The presentation struck me as dull until the last section, the conflicts around Narvik, where the Allies were giving the Kriegsmarine and Gebirgsjägers a hard time of it.
Goebbels, supposedly dissatisfied, mothballed this and it was considered lost until found in 2006.

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Des Femmes Disparaissent - 1958 - 6/10
AKA - Women Disappear

Pierre argues with his girlfriend, Beatrice.
He orders her to stay home, she replies we’re not married.
“It’s girls night out,”  she exclaims, and off she goes, along with her friends.

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Yes, she lied.  The girls are going to a party put on by successful men.  Suitable men.
Those men, fashion designers, shipping magnates, doctors, are likewise liars.
They peddle skin to exotic Mediterranean locales.
White slave trade, older than Rome.
Fast moving, busy French film with a memorable assortment of villains.

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Starship Trooper - 1997 - 6/10

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Near-future Earth finds itself at War with planet Klendathu.
A few whisper we were the provocateurs, infringing on Klendathu territory.
Hardly cause for them to annihilate a major Earth city!
Patriotism surges, high schoolers enlist, and, whether they remember their training or not, few soldiers survive.
Intense battle sequences coupled with black satire aid this flawed SciFi.

I saw this theatrically and I remember how, at work, we jeered the soap opera romances, clichéd boot camp, and the deadly accuracy of bug farts against the sneering fleet.
Aside from Rasczak and Carl, most characters are ignorant fools, including the top brass.
Still, over the years I’ve rewatched this … what …a dozen times?  More?  The pezhead and his guilty pleasure.
I speed through the Rico-Ibanez-Barcalow twaddle, linger over Dizzy, and ask myself why, oh why, oh why, has no one in the fan-edit world ever given this gem an adult overhaul.

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The Ice House - 1978 - 6/10

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Opaque ghost story is confusing, unresolved, yet worthwhile for the patient.
Brother-sister cultivate a spa for affluent souls, left bereaved, embittered, adrift.
Paul, bruised from a divorce, receives extra attention from the sibling caretakers.
A mysterious icehouse holds a mysterious allure for him.
That, and the fragrant night flowers that twine the exterior.
Heavy on atmosphere, short on explanations, this may exasperate those who desire stitched endings.
I enjoyed this, perhaps one should not hunt for meaning.

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Hagazussa - 2017 - 7/10
AKA - A Heathen’s Curse

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Labeled as Horror, though I don’t necessarily agree.
Close in tone to 2016’s The Vvitch, only the environment is more primitive, and the community more fragmented.
A mother and daughter live isolated from the nearby village.  They raise goats, barter milk.
Because they are isolated, they are viewed with suspicion.  Outsiders.
Film beautifully captures the austerity of hardship.
While slow (the girl, later woman, Albrun, often spends great lengths staring, seemingly vacantly), there is a lot going on.  An immersion, if you will, into Nature, the pulsing life force.
This is also a tale of vengeance, though the distracted will probably miss it.
Well worth your time.  And I still dislike the Horror label as I fear that will mislead casual sorts into expecting modern attitudes and plot devices.  I wish there was another label.

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Crawl - 2019 - 6/10

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“There's a gator in the bushes, he's calling my name ...”  (courtesy M Hatchet)
Gator country!  Wail, baby!
In the middle of a Force 5 hurricane, the estranged daughter decides to check on dear ole pa.
She finds him, under the house, in a HUGE crawl space, where he’s busted up.
Meanwhile, the basement fills with water.  Jeopardy!
Hold on, boss.  There’s an alligator down there.  Double jeopardy!!
Make that two gators!!!  Outside, in the flooded streets, there are even more.  Chomping down.
Fairly serious Nature killing film (not Sharknado crap) has great saurians, though too  much family time.
Hurricane effects look good, and there are meals aplenty!

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