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  • While We're Young

    While We're Young 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Jul, 2015

    I like Noah Baumbach a lot better when he has Greta Gerwig as a writing partner. While We're Young has some funny scenes and good performances, but I kept thinking of better Woody Allen movies, and in particular, Crimes and Misdemeanors which spans a broader range in terms of pathos, comedy, and drama. A film about filmmakers can be a bit on the nose and here it is a bit on the nose along with the dialogue which is very…

  • The Universe of Jacques Demy

    The Universe of Jacques Demy 1995

    ★★★★ Watched 06 Jul, 2015

    The Universe of Jacques Demy is a more personal documentary by Agnes Varda in the sense that Demy was her life-long partner, but she brings the same light touch and confident filmmaking to this story. Varda has a gift for constructing films that seem casual and stream-of-thought, but usually with a strong underlying structure. Filled with clips, photos, and footage by Varda and others, it's a gentle portrait of a filmmaker through their films and the people that worked with…

  • The Kentucky Fried Movie

    The Kentucky Fried Movie 1977

    ★★★ Rewatched 05 Jul, 2015

    An uneven mix of jokes and parody with most of it based on being a bit shocking with nudity and swearing from the creative team that went on to make Airplane and The Naked Gun. The Kentucky Fried Movie lacks the structure of their later parodies, but retains the anarchic sensibility with the late 70s and early 80s penchant for female nudity that makes it feel quite dated and sexist at times. It's like Saturday Night Live without censorship which may not always be a good thing.

  • Young Frankenstein

    Young Frankenstein 1974

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 03 Jul, 2015

    A pitch-perfect parody of classic Hollywood monster films that comes from a place of respect, with just nods and winks and easy jokes that everyone knows are easy jokes. One of Mel Brooks' best films with Gene Wilder at his slow-burn best, and an outstanding supporting cast who play well together. Filled with jokes on different levels and visually much more interesting than a comedy needs to be, it's made with love and is a rare parody that feels timeless.

  • Miami Connection

    Miami Connection 1987

    ★★★ Watched 05 Jul, 2015

    A B-movie that is fun because it has a genuine love for Taekwondo and music. It's a strange mix of martial arts, music, and motorcycles set in Miami and for some reason it also involves motorcycle-riding ninjas. I laughed a lot while watching it.

  • Mulholland Drive

    Mulholland Drive 2001

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 04 Jul, 2015

    A strange, unnerving film from David Lynch that falls between Blue Velvet and Inland Empire in tone and structure with a little bit more humour. Filled with powerful and haunting images that build and blend and merge as the film progresses, it descends into a nightmare near the end with some fascinating and strange allusions to 2001 in an odd way. Lynch is a unique cinematic talent.

  • Sanjuro

    Sanjuro 1962

    ★★★★ Watched 04 Jul, 2015

    A samurai film from Kurosawa with his usual solid composition and framing and a twisty plot. With a quirky central performance from Toshiro Mifune providing the warm centre of the film, it's a lighter film with some nice bits of humour in between the swordplay and intrigue.

  • Mouchette

    Mouchette 1967

    ★★★★ Watched 04 Jul, 2015

    A heartbreaking film from Bresson that really exemplifies visual storytelling. A story of a young woman who faces a challenging life, it provides a harsh picture of rural life for an outsider.

  • What Happened, Miss Simone?

    What Happened, Miss Simone? 2015

    ★★★★½ Watched 02 Jul, 2015

    I didn't know anything about Nina Simone other than she was an amazing singer. Watching What Happened, Miss Simone? filled in those gaps in my knowledge about a fascinating person with a complicated and challenging life. Filled with great footage and interviews that build a fairly complete portrait of her, it's heartbreaking at times to watch the highs and lows that she went through.

  • My Favorite Wife

    My Favorite Wife 1940

    ★★★½ Watched 30 Jun, 2015

    A lesser screwball comedy, but still fun to watch Cary Grant in the elaborate situations that arise from having his wife presumed dead after a shipwreck. The chemistry is good as well as the dialogue with some solid supporting characters as well. It's fun, but doesn't have the speedy pace and rapid-fire dialogue of some of the other Cary Grant comedies.

  • Big Trouble in Little China

    Big Trouble in Little China 1986

    ★★★★ Rewatched 30 Jun, 2015

    With tongue firmly in cheek, Big Trouble In Little China is still a fun action comedy movie. Having seen it first in the theatre during the original release, and worried that it would not hold up or be full of racism, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't that bad in that way, or in the portrayal of women either. It never really takes itself too seriously, but creates a strange and detailed world that doesn't make too much sense, but the running commentary is mainly about how little sense it makes. It's just a lot of fun which is nice to see.

  • Wasp

    Wasp 2003

    ★★★★ Watched 28 Jun, 2015

    A great short film that explores similar territory that Arnold later did with Fish Tank, Wasp is a working-class, naturalistic portrait of a single mother's attempt at a night out. Immediate and dynamic, it's an almost documentary look at an afternoon and evening in a family's life.