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A few reviews
TiMER - 2009 - 6/10

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Indie flick.
A wrist implant allows wearers to know exactly when they will meet their life partner. Their "soul mate."
Great, if the wait is six months or so. What if it is 30 years?
Do you date around with Mr. Right Now, waiting for Mr. Right to finally appear?
TiMER's heroine's band reads 00 - 00 - 00:00. Her true love is either dead or never bothered with the implant.
She meets someone who is fun, who refuses to get the implant. Can she fall in love the old-fashioned way?
With arguments, misunderstandings, and no guarantee of love.
Bittersweet.
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Crosswinds - 1951 - 6/10

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Old-fashioned, Technicolor adventure yarn from Paramount.
Small time skipper, with a really nice boat, gets fleeced out of same boat by good natured con man.
A hunt for hidden pearls lands him into trouble with the local constabulary.
Next, the skipper teams up with a pair of genial swindlers.
Everyone soon hurries to the crash site of a plane packed with gold bullion.
The coordinates are in crocodile infested waters, patrolled by a village of head-hunters!
Solid cast (John Payne, Forrest Tucker, Rhonda Fleming) are suitably middle aged weary.
Alliances form and break as all aboard maneuver for that gold, and dodge spears, arrows, blowdarts, and those ever chomping crocodiles.
Old school in every sense of the word.
Observant viewers will note underwater scenes take place in the exact same location each time.

Though supposedly set in New Guinea, opening credits listed Weeki Wachee, a real place I used to visit as a kid.
Weeki Wachee, still flourishing in Florida, is tourist trap famed for its “live mermaids” underwater act.
In fact - and sorry for digressing - you can write the mermaids and they will write you back!
The park refers to this as - I kid you not - “Tail Mail.”

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Best Of Enemies - 2015 - 7/10

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Giving this 7/10 as a piece of theatre. Entertainment.
For accuracy, I am unsure. For “coulda - shoulda” this would score lower.
In 1968, third rate network ABC decided to have two debaters during the political conventions.
Conservative William F Buckley Jr and Liberal Gore Vidal.
Both could be considered privileged aristocrats.
The doc focused not so much on issues, not even on the debates, but on the personality clashes and dislike each had of the other.
Filmmakers high lit the cat fight, which makes for juicy watching, though empty of substance. Think FOX.
Ubiquitous talking heads contribute little information.
Much could have been shown about the subsequent path of each man. Buckley became more liberal, Gore more conservative. Show is about the debates, however. Since the full debates are not shown there is no context.
Refreshing to see articulate and intellectually sharp individuals.

Aside - I actually watched the 68 conventions, and watched later ones until 1980. They were unpredictable and royally entertaining. After 1980 they became micro-managed and boring.
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Holiday In Handcuffs - 2007 - 5/10

Tempting Fate -


Oh, disaster.
I brought this upon myself.
In a post or two earlier, I mentioned Hallmark or Lifetime. Loki, god of mischief, must have overheard and decided, “Here you go, loser.”

I sat on one end of the sofa, the cat on the other. I had just loaded a perennial holiday favorite, Ric Burns’ festive, The Donner Party, when my bride and her sister returned from late shopping.
“Look, we found a fun family movie in the dollar bin.”
“Huh?”
“You know, something to chase away the holiday blues.”
“I don’t know about you two, but I’m not blue,” I declared. “I sent all my packages out by December 10. All of my recipients have already received their parcels.”
“Well, aren’t you just Mister Perfect?”
“All of my household gift buying is done, too,” I continued. “Presents wrapped, piled in the corner over there.”
Both rolled their eyes, then one asked, “What are you watching?”
“Donner Party,” I said. “Pretty snowflakes and a winter feast.”
“No - no - no. That’s horrible!”
“I know!” one waved the DVD, “let’s watch Holiday In Handcuffs!”
“Huh?”
Then the other pointed. “What are you drinking?”
I held a tumbler with two ice cubes clinking in a sea of gold.
“Medicine,” I replied.
“You’ve had quite enough medicine this week,” my wife took the glass and headed toward the kitchen.
“Hey! Dude!”
She glanced over her shoulder, “Dudette, please.”
Seconds later, she returned with a wineglass, red ribbon wrapped on the stem along with a sprig of plastic holly.
“What’s this?”
“Chardonnay,” she said.
“Electric Raindeer vineyard,” her sister grinned.
Oh, joy, I thought. Long ago, I realized it was pointless to argue with women. They could persist for hours, days, weeks. I didn’t have the stamina.
The Donners were ejected, the handcuff thing inserted.
“What is this?” I grumbled. “Please tell me the handcuffs involve Miss September.”
“Of course not. This is Hallmark, or something similar.”
“Wholesome holiday entertainment,” said the other, and the sisters toasted glasses.
Five minutes in, the cat, doubtless looking forward to 90 minutes of human misery, starvation and cannibalism, stepped off the couch and sauntered away.
I was less fortunate.

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Holiday family folly.
Young woman, facing another dateless family Christmas reunion, kidnaps a completely unknown restaurant customer at musket point. Yes, musket point. OK, at gunpoint.
One way or another, she hauls him into snow blanketed oblivion.
The family is seemingly perfect. The backyard even has an outdoor ice rink!
Will the mismatched couple fall in love?
Aarrgghh!!

Now - what if roles were reversed? A guy kidnaps a female.
Drags her to his backwoods family. Bet you’re thinking Texas Chainsaw kinfolk.
Not here. Not remotely.
Aarrgghh!!
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^ :lol:
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West Of Zanzibar - 1928 - 7/10

A “friend" tells shocked husband that his wife is leaving with him.
When the husband protests, the friend pushes him off a balcony. He falls and breaks his back.
Permanently paralyzed.
Later the wife returns, only to die, leaving hubby with an illegitimate daughter to raise.
The husband vows revenge against the man who stole his wife, and against the brat.
Eventually he tracks his rival to Zanzibar. He plots revenge, using the daughter whom he had raised in a brothel.

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One of the most sordid and unpleasant of all Silent films, Tod Browning's Zanzibar still packs a wallop.
Lon Chaney amazing as embittered man, consumed by vengeance. Lionel Barrymore his slippery rival.
The opening, which I described above, takes about five minutes, and the plot moves like brushfire.
Ignore sappy ending which was likely pegged on to appease censors.
A wonderfully ugly film.
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Partir - 2009 - 5/10
AKA - Leaving

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Implausible French melodrama.
Married woman develops the hots for the handyman hired to clear out the barn.
All well and good, but then ... love? Really?
She is the wife of a doctor, she is also a physical therapist of sorts, and mother to two teens.
Handyman is illegal worker from Spain, with a prison record.
Say again, love?
Give up the posh life to pick veggies or work as grocery check-out girl because of true love?
Balls.
Characters are in their 40s and 50s. Females are hard nosed about money at that age.
The leads have negative chemistry.
Farfetched nonsense.
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Remember The Night - 1940 - 7/10

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Unfairly forgotten Christmas chestnut with Stanwyck and MacMurray before their classic Double Indemnity.
Female shoplifter hauled before jury right before Christmas. Shrewd DA gets her trail postponed because he knows juries are more merciful during Yule. Once he realizes the woman has no place to stay, no money, he feels guilty.
Fortunately, they both hail from the same state, so he offers her a ride back home.
Film, from a brilliant Preston Sturges script, runs cynical, funny, bitterly sad, sentimental.
Stanwyck and MacMurray display marvelous chemistry, shifting effortlessly between wary and hopeful.
Both are city souls, however, and dead honest with themselves.
The trip from city to country is the journey from calculating adulthood to innocent childhood.
The contrast between their childhood homes is heartbreaking.
The homestead, a bygone world, seems already a fading memory here, as the States poised for war.
Sentimental, yes - but not icky.
Reinforces a personal hope that a good individual can redeem a borderline soul.
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^ Ooooh, not seen that, it's not in my Barbara Stanwyck boxset. You make it sound really good Smile.
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One brief clip, less than two minutes -

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