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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 5042152 )
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« #19575 : February 05, 2021, 03:43:30 AM »

Devil in a Dress (2020) A Short Directed and written by Sean King.  Produced by  Sean King and Taylor King
Cristiana Daia as Lorena, Nobuaki Shimamoto (Hacksaw Ridge (2016)) as Katashi, Jazz Egger as Sophia, Sean King as Victor, Tony Palmer as Jonny, Brian Pierce as Mr. Murphy, Max Reeves as Death.

At 41 minutes Its a simple plot about Lorena a gorgeous Romanian assassin (on her last assignment) and her Japanese driver Katashi who travel around the City of Angels doing "wet work" (killing various targets on their hit list). Neither of them speak the others language (turn on your English subtitles) so they communicate amusingly by hand gestures and pantomime and (Daia with) eyerolls. 

A nice little piece to watch for Noir junkies, in looks it reminds me a lot of Jean Luc Goddard's Alphaville. The crisp Black & White cinematography is breathtaking. Los Angeles looks spectacular.

Cristiana Daia does most of her acting with her body using feline movements, eye rolls and facial expressions. Nobuaki Shimamoto is great as the chronically bored bodyguard/driver. Jazz Egger plays Lorena's lesbian lover. Sean King the director plays one of the victims. Streaming on Amazon Prime 6.5-7/10


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« #19576 : February 05, 2021, 08:05:00 AM »

Devil in a Dress (2020) A Short Directed and written by Sean King.  Produced by  Sean King and Taylor King
Cristiana Daia as Lorena, Nobuaki Shimamoto (Hacksaw Ridge (2016)) as Katashi, Jazz Egger as Sophia, Sean King as Victor, Tony Palmer as Jonny, Brian Pierce as Mr. Murphy, Max Reeves as Death.

At 41 minutes Its a simple plot about Lorena a gorgeous Romanian assassin (on her last assignment) and her Japanese driver Katashi who travel around the City of Angels doing "wet work" (killing various targets on their hit list). Neither of them speak the others language (turn on your English subtitles) so they communicate amusingly by hand gestures and pantomime and (Daia with) eyerolls. 

A nice little piece to watch for Noir junkies, in looks it reminds me a lot of Jean Luc Goddard's Alphaville. The crisp Black & White cinematography is breathtaking. Los Angeles looks spectacular.

Cristiana Daia does most of her acting with her body using feline movements, eye rolls and facial expressions. Nobuaki Shimamoto is great as the chronically bored bodyguard/driver. Jazz Egger plays Lorena's lesbian lover. Sean King the director plays one of the victims. Streaming on Amazon Prime 6.5-7/10
Thanks, CJ. I enjoyed the slow pace and the occasional bits of humor (the smoking scene, the game of tic-tac-to). The "Greatest Hits" retrospective at the end was a nice touch as well. And as you say, LA in B&W is a visual treat.



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« #19577 : February 07, 2021, 06:26:18 AM »

"Fear" 1996.  Thriller about a high school girl taking up with a deranged guy.  6.5/10

Good cast.  Wm Peterson, Reese Witherspoon, Allyssa Milano, Amy Brennerman, Mark Wahlberg

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« #19578 : February 09, 2021, 07:13:11 AM »

"Fear" 1996.  Thriller about a high school girl taking up with a deranged guy.  6.5/10

"The Frozen Ground" 2013.  Nicholas Cage, John Cusack, Radha Mitchell, Vanessa Hudgens. 

Thriller about a deranged guy/kidnapper/rapist/killer in Alaska in early 1980s. 7/10

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« #19579 : February 11, 2021, 03:57:19 AM »

Mean Streets (1973) - Little Italy Graffiti. It's much more of a dark American Graffiti (an anti coming of age film) than a gangster, crime or neo noir. And while it's dark, it has that special exuberance of the coming of age jukebox, hang out movies like Graffiti and Dazed & Confused. I've seen this many many times and it gets a little better every time I see it. A+

Melvin and Howard (1980) - The first 20 or so minutes are fantastic, and the first hour is very entertaining, but you've seen all its tricks by act III and there's really nowhere else for the movie to go -- and the Hughes will stuff is glossed over. There are some really good time capsule, location stuff like Vegas and Reno, which is a big plus. I still like this movie, and I'm glad I have the TT bluray, but Used Cars (1980) is probably my favorite quirky, off-beat comedy from 1980. B-

Touch of Evil (1958) - the 1998 cut. This one gets better on repeated views, and is sort of the big sendoff to the unofficial classic noir genre. Outside of The Killing, I don't know if there's a more modern feeling movie from the 50's. Brilliant photography and an excellent score from Henry Mancini (which his opening theme should play in the opening scene in the '98 cut) with some really wonderful locales like downtown Venice CA circa 1958 that makes for a beautiful border town. Give me this over Kane any day. A+


Side note A: I can see the influence of Melvin and Howard in PTA's debut Hard Eight. Not the tone, but the worlds are similar.

Side note B: Dennis Weaver's odd and possibly half effective performance in Touch of Evil may have been the inspiration for the Torgo character in Manos: The Hands of Fate. That's a great spiritual successor if there ever was one.

« : February 11, 2021, 03:59:13 AM T.H. »


Claudia, we need you to appear in LOST COMMAND. It's gonna revolutionize the war genre..
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« #19580 : February 12, 2021, 10:32:35 AM »

A Tale of Two Cities (1935) - 8/10. An impressive achievement from producer Selznick. The screenplay impresses too: a Dickens novel cut down to two hours without giving the impression there's anything missing. There are, of course, three great set pieces, the storming of the Bastille (credited to the second unit team headed by Lewton and Tourneur (and exhibiting more than a hint of Eisenstein)), the trial sequence, and the final scene at the guillotine. Ronald Colman makes that last work, as does some boffo editing. And now at last it all looks sumptuous on home video. Warner Blu: 10/10.



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« #19581 : February 12, 2021, 06:09:55 PM »

Land (2021) - 5/10. After a woman (Robin Wright) experiences a tragedy, she moves to Wyoming (Alberta, Canada) to grieve alone and live off the land. She nearly dies, but is saved by a magic Indian--Shoshone--who then teaches her how to trap and hunt. They become really good friends. There's also a dog. Starring Robin Wright, produced by Robin Wright, directed by Robin Wright: I guess you could call this a Robin Wright film. I had high hopes for this until I saw the run time, which is a little too lean to go into the details of, say, dressing a fresh kill. Hey, the details are the things that sell this kind of picture, Robin. Also, part of the story--I'm guessing--is missing (the script was NOT written by Ms. Wright). After the magic Indian/Yoda gets the woman back on her feet, we need to see some solo adventures showing us how she has mastered the Wise One's teachings and learned to follow the Force. And then, we need to go another league further and see her encounter something she never trained for that she nonetheless finds a way to handle. Maybe this was in the original script but got cut to help with the budget. As things stand now we go from The Lesson of the Master immediately to the tear-jerk finale. Another twenty minutes would not have hurt this film. Well, there are some very nice images of the Canadian Rockies here, although, in the presentation I attended, the very glitchy DCP spoiled many of them.

« : February 12, 2021, 06:29:53 PM dave jenkins »


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« #19582 : February 14, 2021, 06:15:26 AM »

The Parallax View (1974) - 7/10. The story is totally bananas. The idea that emerges--that there is a conspiracy so vast that, not only can it never be entirely exposed, it can never be entirely understood--is so goofy that it's amazing this film was ever made. I'd like to see a sequel where the middle managers and higher ups in Parallax admit that even they don't know what is going on. Keeping the action all on Beatty was an effective way to promote a sense of paranoia, however. He never knows more than we know, so we're all in this together. Anyway, the film's style perfectly lends itself to such cryptic storytelling, with lots of long shots and close-ups and nothing in between, with anamorphic frames that are alternately spare and cluttered, and of course with that great Gordon Willis dark lighting. The almost casual way in which characters get bumped off is also refreshing. People are praising the new Criterion blu and no doubt it is a huge improvement over what's been available but I found some problems with it (for example, at the beginning, characters in low light often have orange skin tones). Some of the extras with the people who collaborated on the film made me appreciate the filmmaking more, although maybe this material is already well known.



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« #19583 : February 14, 2021, 06:35:00 AM »

The Parallax View (1974) - 7/10. The story is totally bananas. The idea that emerges--that there is a conspiracy so vast that, not only can it never be entirely exposed, it can never be entirely understood--is so goofy that it's amazing this film was ever made. I'd like to see a sequel where the middle managers and higher ups in Parallax admit that even they don't know what is going on. Keeping the action all on Beatty was an effective way to promote a sense of paranoia, however. He never knows more than we know, so we're all in this together. Anyway, the film's style perfectly lends itself to such cryptic storytelling, with lots of long shots and close-ups and nothing in between, with anamorphic frames that are alternately spare and cluttered, and of course with that great Gordon Willis dark lighting. The almost casual way in which characters get bumped off is also refreshing. People are praising the new Criterion blu and no doubt it is a huge improvement over what's been available but I found some problems with it (for example, at the beginning, characters in low light often have orange skin tones). Some of the extras with the people who collaborated on the film made me appreciate the filmmaking more, although maybe this material is already well known.

You nailed it. There's really not a great thriller plot here, but there's the mirage of a functioning plot. That's why I prefer this over Klute, which I said:

Klute is like going to a nice Italian restaurant and being served a juice box instead of chianti/red wine.



Claudia, we need you to appear in LOST COMMAND. It's gonna revolutionize the war genre..
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« #19584 : February 14, 2021, 10:01:40 AM »

You nailed it. There's really not a great thriller plot here, but there's the mirage of a functioning plot. That's why I prefer this over Klute, which I said:

Klute is like going to a nice Italian restaurant and being served a juice box instead of chianti/red wine.
LOL. Yeah, I now remember you saying that. Very apt.



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« #19585 : February 14, 2021, 11:13:45 AM »

I think the Parallax View works better now that we understand what they were talking about in these films wasn't really a conspiracy but a whole system. I think they got the right instinct there, just couldn't finish the theory.

I also like the fact that the movie starts "almost" like a regular thriller with hollywoodian action scenes, and the more it moves forward, the less screen time (and screen real estate) the main character gets. The shots gets wider, more geometrical and the guy and his action become pointless. It's almost another movie/another genre by the end of it. It's pretty effective, as a theoretical expose. As a film, as a plot, it doesn't work that well. Just good enough.

Also, Klute is all about its atomosphere. You either accept the nonsensical plot and enjoy the cinematic ride or you don't. I kind of did.

« : February 14, 2021, 11:15:53 AM noodles_leone »

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« #19586 : February 14, 2021, 01:46:35 PM »

Malcolm & Marie (2021) - 4/10
That one was shot in 2 weeks, with a small crew, during lockdown. And, well, it doesn't show: it looks good (a bit too good: those hip and (really) smart shots made of grainy, black and white 35mm often look like they're from the latest Apple commercial). What it shows, is that they botched the screenplay and the performances. It starts ok, and then becomes worst and worst as it goes. Better watch Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf again (and again) instead of wasting your time in front of this rip off.


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« #19587 : February 15, 2021, 04:20:57 AM »

Been watching The Expanse Bluray - Intelligent SiFi about a future where most of the Solar System is colonized and controlled by either the United Nations Earth-Luna, Mars, or the Outer Planets. The asteroid belt is occupied by "Belters" miners and ice trawlers and is sort of the Wild West of the Solar System.


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« #19588 : February 15, 2021, 06:46:04 AM »

"Against their Will" 2012, French with English subtitles, on Prime.  Also called "3rd Reich Mothers - In the Name of the Master Race."

In 1941-1942 15,000 young Alsatian women were forcibly transported to Germany, recruited into various paramilitary organizations for "reeducation" and put to work in the war industries.

6/10

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« #19589 : February 15, 2021, 07:49:57 AM »

Been watching The Expanse Bluray - Intelligent SiFi about a future where most of the Solar System is colonized and controlled by either the United Nations Earth-Luna, Mars, or the Outer Planets. The asteroid belt is occupied by "Belters" miners and ice trawlers and is sort of the Wild West of the Solar System.

Only the first season I assume?


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