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  • Sweet Smell of Success

    Sweet Smell of Success 1957

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Jul, 2016 1

    What timing! It is almost all I can say about this film. I didn't like it much on a first viewing but that isn't worth the characters it takes up because this film isn't about that. This film, more than many, is all about execution and it is spot on. The timing, the delivery, the cadence (ok, so that goes under timing). It is the absolute best film I've ever not quite liked. And Tony Curtis is the best he's…

  • Amok Bamaim

    Amok Bamaim 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 15 Jul, 2016 1

    I always find it exciting to see a short film that reveals just enough but not too much, especially one that has a lot of close-ups of objects and parts. When I see this it is like a shot of adrenaline going straight to my slumbering imagination. All of a sudden, all things are possible. There could be story here, or there could be atmosphere, poignancy, poetry. It is all open-ended until the filmmaker decides to put his foot down…

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 08 May, 2016 15

    Well... it ain't no Guardians of the Galaxy, but it ain't none of the prequels either, so that's friggin' great.

  • Purple Rain

    Purple Rain 1984

    ★★★★ Watched 27 Apr, 2016 26

    This is a new one for me. I haven't watched this yet. I'm about to.
    I'm about to watch it at 10pm having had a few drinks, having shed a few more tears, going in with my husband who hated Prince, and I mean hated him. At the time this video came out (not sure I can call it a movie from my recollection, but we will see) Jonathan was with a woman who adored Prince. His friends all loved…

  • Only Lovers Left Alive

    Only Lovers Left Alive 2013

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 14 Apr, 2016 6

    You know how it feels when you have something looming in the not-so distant future: an exam coming up that you know you aren't prepared for; a job interview and you haven't interviewed in years; a dentist appointment and you know you need the needle near the front up the nose (the worst one). You get a feeling days, weeks, maybe even months before that isn't shouting "hey, look at me" but it is there nonetheless making itself known, probably…

  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 2015

    ★½ Watched 30 Mar, 2016 7

    I've never seen anything like it.

    Imagine watching Die Hard exactly the way it is for 120 minutes. John McClane goes about his business being a bad-ass, Snype keeps doing his fantastic bit, and everything happens the way it happens. There is still plenty of action to go in the remaining 30 minutes. Everything will get resolved next. This is the good part. And then all of a sudden john McClane goes down and the next scene is him waking…

  • The Band's Visit

    The Band's Visit 2007

    ★★★★½ Watched 29 Mar, 2016 1

    March Around the World - Stop #21: Israel


    A lovely and funny tale of an Egyptian Police Band invited to play in Israel. Plans go awry when they get stuck in a small town and rely on the locals for food and shelter (and a bit of fun).

    I couldn't watch this one without being reminded of Aki Kaurismäki. The Band's Visit isn't quite full on deadpan like Take Care of Your Scarf Tatiana, but it sure has its moments.…

  • Loves of a Blonde

    Loves of a Blonde 1965

    ★★★★★ Watched 25 Mar, 2016

    March Around the World - Stop #19: Czechoslovakia


    Give Miloš Forman a local event in a small town community centre and he'll have you in stitches within a minute. It is his turf. He knows the people, he knows the situations and he knows what can come up. He knows it like the back of his hand. He never disrespects his characters, but he sure does emphasize their insecurities and fears. Of course most of us share them, which is…

  • A Dangerous Method

    A Dangerous Method 2011

    ½ Watched 20 Mar, 2016 18

    March Around the World - Stop #17: Canada


    I am 30 minutes into the film. I cannot express how much i dislike it so far.

    Watching these two psychoanalysts go at it is like listening to two people discuss in all seriousness how UFOs are taking over the world.

    Then there is Keira Knightley's performance. Oh my. I can't figure out why she decided to go all jaw-protruding physical to display someone who needs a friend to listen to them.…

  • The Cranes Are Flying

    The Cranes Are Flying 1957

    ★★★★½ Watched 13 Mar, 2016 3

    March Around the World - Stop #12: Soviet Union

    Ok, so I've been seeing this title for like 6 years now and I always thought it was fascinating and interesting and architectural. Flying Cranes. Wow. Will it be a metaphor for doing the impossible? for boundless imagination and creativity? lifting our earthly burdens? seeing beyond the practical and pragmatic? or maybe just the lifting of a weight from the shoulders? "the cranes fly like ships" says Veronika when reciting a…

  • Wild Strawberries

    Wild Strawberries 1957

    ★★½ Watched 17 Mar, 2016 16

    March Around the World - Stop #16: Sweden

    I edited my review. In fact, I replaced most of it. I have kept the original for my records because it reflected what I saw in the film, but it was better suited to a private diary than a public forum.

    In my original review (which was more of a post-viewing rant) I made unfair accusations against Bergman. Silly ones, really. I accused him of thinking he was deeper than he was.…

  • Murder on the Orient Express

    Murder on the Orient Express 1974

    ★★½ Watched 14 Mar, 2016 9

    March Around the World - Stop #14: UK


    The title, the cast, Sidney Lumet, all reasons it has been on my watchlist for decades. It always seemed so exotic, so mysterious. Of course had I realized this was a Hercule Poirot film, an Agatha Christie mystery, I would have gone in with much lower expectations.

    Lumet played up the glamour of the train as much as he could with loads of shots of the idle train blowing seductive smoke while…