• Departures

    Departures

    ★★★★

    Part of My Silk Road Challenge (Japan)

  • Stars on Horseback

    Stars on Horseback

    ★★½

    Short Documentary - Warner Bros. has us tag along with blacksmith-to-the-stars George Garfield as he pays house calls on the horses owned by Joel McCrea, Jerry Colona, George Tobias, Joan Leslie, and others, including archival footage of Bette Davis fence jumping and Olivia de Havilland behind a plow. Narration is provided by Lou Marcelle, while Myron J. Swartz directs. More promotional than informative, it's a take-it-or-leave-it 2.5-star production. Quite forgettable.

  • Fin'n Catty

    Fin'n Catty

    ★★½

    Short Animation - This Merrie Melodies cartoon written by
    Michael Maltese and directed by Chuck Jones is one long gag showing a goldfish outwitting a hungry cat (voicework by Robert C. Bruce). It is not especially funny, plus the fish has arm-and-leg-like fins, dentures, and the ability to survive out of water longer than I can hold my breath. Two-and-a-half stars, see it or don't. Meh.

  • Old Acquaintance

    Old Acquaintance

    ★★★½

    Part of my Filling in the Forties challenge

  • Men

    Men

    ★★★½

    Seeds. Apples. Rain. These recurring images are backed by the haunting lyrics of Lesley Duncan's Love Song (1971), in writer-director Alex Garland's fantastical drama of death, betrayal, guilt, accusation, lust, genetics, and body horror. Full credit to Rory Kinnear for his multiple roles and Jessie Buckley for her nuanced portrayal of recently widowed Harper, trying to find solace in a country retreat and encountering nothing of the sort. Frankly, I think Garland went a few steps too far with his…

  • Dark Victory

    Dark Victory

    ★★★½

    Representing 1939 among Films Nominated for Best Picture

  • Mandalay

    Mandalay

    ★★★

    Part of my Pre-Code Hollywood Challenge

  • The Constant Nymph

    The Constant Nymph

    ★★★

    Part of my Filling in the Forties challenge

  • Seabiscuit

    Seabiscuit

    ★★★½

    ==========================================
    Part of My Autumn Rewatches 6.1 Challenge
    ==========================================
    Task #25: Watch again any historical drama released in the 21st century.

    Holds up well on a rewatch near two decades later. Had forgot about the tragic death of the son of Charles Howard (Jeff Bridges). Excellent acting by Tobey Macquire as the jockey with a chip on his shoulder, Red Pollard, and by Chris Cooper as trainer Tom Smith. The lives of the three principals are lifted to a higher…

  • Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
  • The Wet Parade

    The Wet Parade

    ★★★

    Part of my Pre-Code Hollywood Challenge

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★

    Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) quickly became my favorite Marvel character in his 2016 titular debut film. Photographic memory, control over time, fluent in Google translate... my kind of nerdy superhero. Then, he made what I thought to be an odd minor appearance in Taika Waititi's "Thor: Ragnarok" (2017) before taking what looked like his final bow in 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War."

    I wanted more of the Tibetan-trained Sorcerer Supreme, and I was happy to see him resurrected in 2019's "Avengers:…