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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:34 am 
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Aaltra One of the oddest road trip films I've ever seen, with dead pan black humor. Twin brothers, one more obnoxious than the other when physically whole, become unbearable once they're paralyzed from the waist down.
Neil_Leach wrote:
"Aaltra"_3/4_Gustave de Kervern & Benoît Delépine_2004_Belgium
exquisitely dry. funny. widescreen B&W. dry. did i mention that it was dry?
the Belgians seem to like their humor dry. dry and funny and dry.


Elle After seeing this film one wonders why it took so long for Paul Verhoeven and Isabelle Huppert to work together. Perhaps people were afraid that they'd achieve some sort of critical mass. If so, they were right to be afraid.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:16 pm 
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the evil dead
Mercilessly cheesy and ruthlessly inept. File next to "Manos : The Hands of Fate". Bruce Campbell before his voice changed and the unibrow surgery is kinda cute. Majestically sexist.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:37 am 
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La Collectionneuse A battle of the sexes as to who has the moral high ground. Eric Rohmer's "Moral Tales" are generally talky and this one seems even more so, but that shouldn't bother anyone who likes Rohmer. The woman's ability to thwart the two men's attempts to impose their will on her "for her own good" is pretty amusing.

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The key to entertainment is always talent, it is what the director inspires the talent to do that pushes the crew.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:02 am 
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AVIDA
Benoit Delepine, Gustave Kervern - France - 2006 - 83 min.
Delepine and Kervern, the team who brought you AALTRA, are up to their abstruse hijinks again. True to form, this production is comedic in the theater of the absurd sense, and remarkably dry. Deborah Young of VARIETY calls AVIDA "Somewhere between Monty Python, Jacques Tati and a slideshow of New Yorker cartoons ...", which is accurate enough. My guess is that the name "Avida" is in reference to André Breton's 1939 derogatory anagram "Avida Dollars", made from Salvador Dalí's name and referencing Dalí's apparently pedestrian motivations; which might give you an idea of the rarefied nature of this narrative. Shot in high contrast black and white, the imagery is evocative. Visual motifs from AALTRA pop up from time to time as if to reinforce their "point". Foremost seems to be the recurring image of the two benighted principals laboring up a hill. Waiting for Sisyphus? Who cares? AVIDA reminds me of nothing more than Alfred Jarry's 1896 play UBU ROI. In other words, you REALLY have to be in the mood to tolerate this stuff. Those with animal sensitivities may not care for several close ups of a mad taxidermist preparing a carcass. Salvador Dalí's 1942 painting "Las llamas, llaman (The Flames, They Call)" features toward the end of the film and probably offers better insight into this movie than any trailer could. In practical terms, the sobriquet "experimental cinema" often implies that a "take it or leave it" attitude may be appropriate. So said.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:55 pm 
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Ashura A retired demon slayer climbs back into the saddle when he learns of a demon-led apocalypse on the horizon (I think). Japanese film shot in English and then with English ADR (to remove any accents?). Lots of special effects, all of which look as though they were done on somebody's laptop. Some material is interesting (the Kabuki playwright, for example), but most of the rest just fall flat. Directed by Yojiro Takita.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:47 am 
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maxfrost wrote:
Ashura A retired demon slayer climbs back into the saddle when he learns of a demon-led apocalypse on the horizon (I think). Japanese film shot in English and then with English ADR (to remove any accents?). Lots of special effects, all of which look as though they were done on somebody's laptop. Some material is interesting (the Kabuki playwright, for example), but most of the rest just fall flat. Directed by Yojiro Takita.

Well to the point as always. I enjoyed ASHURA in a left handed sort of way as each scene had me wondering what sort of bizarre and/or semi-legitimate cinematic trope Mr. Takita might pull out of his hat next. I do not recall being impressed, neither do I recall being bored. Sorta like good anime provided you do not, like myself, believe that the phrase is an oxymoron.


BOGOWIE | GODS
Lukasz Palkowski - Poland - 2014 - 120 min.
This movie is a recounting of events leading up to and including the first several successful heart transplantation surgeries performed in Poland. The historic meat of the story could hardly be more complex or dramatic. BOGOWIE is an ambitious project focusing on the achievements of a singularly ambitious man, Professor/Doctor Jako Zbigniew Religa played by Tomasz Kot. The period presented is circa 1985, a period in which every dynamic within Polish society was in a feverish flux searching for stability. Director Palkowski focuses all of the production on the character of Prof. Religa. Kot turns in a performance which is statuesque. Period detailing was well considered and accurate to the limits of my knowledge. The dialog was generally crisp and avoided egregiously expository digressions. Cast was excellent, including the wonderful Zbigniew Zamachowski, possibly the most well know Polish actor in the west and a man of tremendous range. My one teeny, tiny quibble was the "cute" score which seemed gratuitous at best and annoying at worst; but then I might well be described as obsessive about scores. I enjoy MY SHARONA as much as the next music nerd, but really? I love the shabby gigantism of Eastern European period architecture and industrial design. Weird little cars. Highly recommended.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:20 pm 
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Little Caesar Iconic gangster film and one of the three gangster films that wise guys went to see to learn how to dress, talk, and behave like gangsters (the other two being Roaring Twenties and Scarface). Edward G. Robinson as Caesar Enrico Bandello, a small-time hood who makes it to the top of the underworld, only to end up in the gutter. "Mother of mercy. Is this the end of Rico?" Robinson's fun to watch, see, and even more fun to listen to, see. Now, go on, get outa here before I change my mind. With Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:05 am 
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COLLATERAL
Michael Mann - Hollywood - 2004 - 120 min.
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I have been wanting to see this one again for a minute. The story and script¹ do not approach HEAT dimensions, but the cast is very good and the look sizzles. Cinematography was handled by Aussie lens man Dion Beebe(HOLY SMOKE² / IN THE CUT² / GANGSTER SQUAD / EDGE OF TOMORROW) and Paul Cameron(GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS / MAN ON FIRE³ / DEJA VU³ / WESTWORLD various episodes). This is one handsome photoplay. Signature Mann angles, pans, and frames are everywhere. You can let the dialog run as subliminal content and just absorb the look. Want to see how a pro shoots automobile interiors? Step right up. Lighting is insane : perfection on ice. Jim Miller(MEN IN BLACK / THE ADDAMS FAMILY) and Paul Rubell(TRANSFORMERS / THOR) handle the cut and splice. James Newton Howard score is professional, but unexceptional; which is a lot better than unprofessional and exceptionally incongruous. Francine Maisler herds the cats and provides the project with : Tom Cruise / Jamie Foxx / Jada Pinkett Smith / Mark Ruffalo / Peter Berg / Jason Statham(in a 10 second walk through) / Bruce McGill / Barry Shabaka Henley / and Javier Bardem. Production design by David Wasco(PULP FICTION / INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS / RESERVOIR DOGS / KILL BILL : VOL. 1). Art direction by Daniel T. Dorrance(SAVING PRIVATE RYAN / BRAVEHEART / SERENITY). Like I said, this is one handsome photoplay. Hit up your friend with the huge screen.

¹with the exception of a nice convo between Cruise and Henley about Miles Davis
²Jane Campion
³Tony Scott

Extra special ear tidbits include : band in a jazz club syncing to Mile Davis' SPANISH KEY - single edit / dance club DJ dropping Oakenfold's READY SET GO - "Korean" style / Johann Sebastian Bach's AIR ON A G STRING coming over the cab radio as lounge piano / Groove Armada - HANDS OF TIME / musical interlude(it is Michael Mann after all) - Audioslave - SHADOW OF THE SUN / OST playlist

Don't neglect the original 17:34 minute BITCH'S BREW version of SPANISH KEY

86% at https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/collateral/
Desson Thompson's Washington Post review
IMDb 81 image photo gallery

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The walls could fall down, your baby could drown / wouldn't one of those Frenchmen care ~ Randy Newman


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:49 am 
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Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle The humor holds up, for the most part, although if you've seen it before you might find that the surprise element has faded, taking some of the laughs with it. The gross comedy parts (and, yes, I'm talking about "battleshits" here) are just as difficult to watch as they ever were. With John Cho, Kal Pen, and Neil Patrick Harris. Directed by Danny Liener.

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The key to entertainment is always talent, it is what the director inspires the talent to do that pushes the crew.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:23 am 
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EVOLUTION
Lucile Hadzihalilovic - France | Belgium | Spain - 2015 - 81 min.
And now for something completely different. EVOLUTION is minimalist / experimental / drama / mystery / sci-fi / horror / art-house. With a crystalline look, almost non-existent dialog, and tension that refuses to let go, EVOLUTION checks all of my boxes for a rewarding view. Set dressing is in haiku mode : it's what isn't there that tells the most. I can think of no other movie vaguely like EVOLUTION. The opening credits are especially distinctive. Highly Recommended.
Image


PIONEER
Erik Skjoldbjærg - Norway - 2013 - 111 min.
Excellent, fact-based story, but the production stumbles out of the gate and never recovers its balance. All of the major elements are in evidence, but I got the impression that the project was a rush job. Everything is half a bubble off, and the editing is to kill for. Oh well.


BITE THE DUST
Taisia Igumentseva - Russia - 2013 - 101 min.
This comedy centers on an isolated Russian hamlet populated by wackos who depend on each other's loyalty while openly disparaging what character each may have. Outstanding story and set with some gem like moments, is unfortunately unable to sustain any sort of narrative or emotional momentum from one scene to the next.
Oh well again. You can always watch it in two minute segments.
Buh.


THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN MOVIE
unk - unk - unk - unk
I do remember thinking that this movie was almost as numbing as a Guy Madden movie. For those who do not know, Madden could be thought of as Canada's answer to the musical question "What would you get if you crossed David Lynch with Uwe Boll?". Yeah yeah, sure sure. In case I do recall this movie's title, I may forget it again before I can post a warning; but it's out there somewhere. Lurking.

UPDATE :
Remembered it. THE SIMILARS. Don't go there. I was never here.

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The walls could fall down, your baby could drown / wouldn't one of those Frenchmen care ~ Randy Newman


Last edited by Neil_Leach on Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:50 am 
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maxfrost wrote:
Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle The humor holds up, for the most part, although if you've seen it before you might find that the surprise element has faded, taking some of the laughs with it. The gross comedy parts (and, yes, I'm talking about "battleshits" here) are just as difficult to watch as they ever were. With John Cho, Kal Pen, and Neil Patrick Harris. Directed by Danny Liener.


I actually think the third one (the 3D Christmas one) is the funniest of the series.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:01 am 
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Get Out: Tense, uncomfortable, very funny, beautifully put together and very, very cleverly written. Brilliant performances all round: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams (who will surely get a lot of job offers after this), Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Lakeith Stanfield, Lil Rey Howery and Caleb Landry Jones. Outstanding. Written & directed by Jordan Peele.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:23 am 
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HEADHUNTERS
Morten Tyldum - Norway | Sweden | Denmark | Germany - 2011 - 100 min.
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HEADHUNTERS is based on a novel by Jo Nesbø. Jo Nesbø is a very, very smart person. Fortunately he has a redeeming quality - he can write. Nesbø's novels have been made into over half a dozen features, television movies, and shorts as well as a 10 episode television series. Fortunately he has a redeeming quality - his junk rocks. If Nesbø doesn't write for the screen on purpose, he should keep doing what he is doing, because his stories are cinematic gold - inventive, crisp, darkly humorous, handsomely populated, and many layered. HEADHUNTERS marked the big screen debut of a Nesbø story. It attracted some big guns and plenty of coin. Ulf Ryberg and Lars Gudmestad did a top job on the screenplay. Aksel Hennie, also of the less fortunate PIONEER, anchors the cast of absurdly good looking Norwegians. Lensman John Andreas Andersen has been putting his work in the bank for over 20 years and has such titles as KING OF DEVIL'S ISLAND and DEPARTMENT Q : A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH to his credit. For my dystopian tastes, HEADHUNTERS spins all the right nobs. The return view was an unalloyed pleasure. Highly recommended.

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A hundred thousand Frenchmen in New Orleans / In New Orleans there are Frenchmen everywhere /
The walls could fall down, your baby could drown / wouldn't one of those Frenchmen care ~ Randy Newman


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:14 pm 
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JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY
Ole Bornedal - Denmark - 2007 - 100 min.
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Quick Neil, your short list for The Best Noir Movie Ever Made. ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA / THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE / JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY / THE BIG SLEEP / ANIMAL KINGDOM / TERRIBLY HAPPY / STRAY DOG / uh ... Time's up, Neil. Pick a winner. JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY. That was quick Neil, are you sure? Sure. Now list them in order. Show me the money first.


TROLLHUNTER
André Øvredal - Norway - 2010 - 103 min.
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Best Ever Norwegian, found footage, troll movie. I said that.


THE SQUARE
Nash Edgerton - Australia - 2008 - 105 min.
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Best Ever Edgerton Brothers Noir. Older by 18 months, Joel contributed the story, co-writing on the script, acting, and production. Nash directs, produces, and co-edits. David Roberts carries the lead. With special thanks to David Michôd. THE SQUARE is not BLOOD SIMPLE, but it's not chopped liver either.


SHELLEY
Ali Abbasi - Denmark | Sweden - 2016 - 92 min.
Spare, deliberately paced, and effective. On the strength of this movie I would give Abbasi's 2011 30 minute short M FOR MARKUS a look as well.

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A hundred thousand Frenchmen in New Orleans / In New Orleans there are Frenchmen everywhere /
The walls could fall down, your baby could drown / wouldn't one of those Frenchmen care ~ Randy Newman


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:06 am 
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Rocco wrote:
maxfrost wrote:
Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle The humor holds up, for the most part, although if you've seen it before you might find that the surprise element has faded, taking some of the laughs with it. The gross comedy parts (and, yes, I'm talking about "battleshits" here) are just as difficult to watch as they ever were. With John Cho, Kal Pen, and Neil Patrick Harris. Directed by Danny Liener.


I actually think the third one (the 3D Christmas one) is the funniest of the series.

On the basis of your word, Rocco, I'll put it on my list, even though I found the the second film excruciatingly boring.

Neil_Leach wrote:
HEADHUNTERS
Morten Tyldum - Norway | Sweden | Denmark | Germany - 2011 - 100 min.
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Yes, yes, and doubleplusyes. Also, the film features a pre-Game of Thrones Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

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The key to entertainment is always talent, it is what the director inspires the talent to do that pushes the crew.


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