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A few reviews
Lambert And Stamp - 2014 - 6/10

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Somewhat bipolar documentary of duo who managed The Who, detailing the calculated rise followed by litigation.
Doc can be divided into "€œbefore Tommy" and "after Tommy."
Meaning it is entertaining and absorbing up to that point, as the group struggles to strike maximum success.
Mostly talking head interviews, clippings, old footage, usual documentary material.
After Tommy hurls the group into Rock’s upper echelon, the narrative begins to skip over details.
There was a falling out, that is not clearly explored nor explained.
At one point the pair were discharged for "€œmismanagment," though Stamp loudly protested.
Little Google research indicates Mr Lambert had been skimming royalties for a substance problem.
The whole second half is filled with unanswered questions.  When did Lambert die?  Where?  What causes?
In one scene, why did Daltrey refuse to talk with Stamp in the garden?
Stamp also died in 2012 - no mention is made of that.
Hardcore Who fans will likely enjoy this more than average viewers.
Bear in mind, this is a documentary about the managers, not the group itself.
Two Days, One Night - 2015 - 6/10
AKA - Deux jours, une nuit

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Many unanswered questions litter this Belgium/French film.
Just as Sandra is ready to return to her workplace, she learns she has been laid off.
Workmates were given a vote: Keep Sandra, or let her go and get a bonus of €1000 each.
Late Friday, the employer agrees to a second vote on Monday morning.
There were only 16 employees involved, and the narrative follows Sandra as she goes from house to house, person to person, begging to reinstate her job and give up that bonus.
A moral dilemma, to be sure, and sadly, not uncommon.

To be blunt, I did not like Sandra. She was out with depression (film did not say how long), she pops Xanacs like candy, suffers repeated meltdowns, and constantly gives up.
All of us have worked with characters like Sandra. Quitters, whiners, weak souls everyone else must carry.
Females who watched with me, were grudgingly more sympathetic.
They said I have no conception of what it is like to deal with moodswings and raging hormones.
Too bad, find another line of work.
The Limey - 1999 - 8/10

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Dazzling tour de force from Soderbergh in one of his smaller, artier projects.
Career criminal (menacing Terence Stamp), out of prison, learns daughter died in Los Angeles.
As he investigates, obstacles and foes try to thwart him, confirming his suspicions.
Violence is this is casual, often throwaway, often funny. Blink - say at the pool - you may miss it.
At its essence, a revenge film, this is a masterclass in editing.
Layered flashbacks and a diced narrative might confuse ADD souls, though alert viewers will have few difficulties.
Acting across the board (Peter Fonda, Lesley Ann Warren, Barry Newman, Luis Guzmán) terrific.
Music score weaves 60s pop with brooding piano.
Bickering audio commentary with Soderbergh and scriptwriter Lem Dobbs insightful re:creative compromises.
Supermensch - 2013 - 7/10

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Eye raising factually, but highly entertaining documentary on Shep Gordon.
Manager to Alice Cooper, Blondie, Teddy Pendergrass, Pink Floyd (for barely a week), Luther Vandross,
Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Groucho Marx, King Sunny Ade, Gipsy Kings, Jean Luc Ponty,
Rick James, Pointer Sisters, Raquel Welch . . .
Stories are all funny and genuinely amazing, though the overall tone is one of endless backslapping.
Gordon was married to a Playboy model (not interviewed), dated Sharon Stone for years (not interviewed).
He was a tough businessman, none of his rivals were interviewed.
One gets the impression he remains a serial womanizer, which might explain why so few females appear.
Score is purely for entertainment value. Dock a couple points if shadows and darker honesty is your preference.
Freeheld - 2015 - 6/10

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Biopic of Laurel Hester, New Jersey cop for 23 years who developed Stage 4 lung cancer.
When she requested her pension be awarded to her life partner, Stacie, the county board (all male) declined her request.
Multiple reasons are offered, though the main one is - Gasp! Your life partner is ..? You mean, lesb --?
Scenes inside committee meetings seem one-sided.
Most controversial social debates display multiple voices: pro and con. That is glimpsed in the 2007 documentary Freeheld on which this film is derived.
Movie comes off as over-earnest, heart tugging, emotionally manipulative.
Not that there is anything ostensibly wrong with that, fine movies do so often. Yet this is obvious.
Those expecting Julianne Moore to echo her portrayal from Still Alice will be disappointed.
Midway, her character disappears and yields center stage to others.
Not Waving, But Drowning - 2012 - 6/10

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Almost tempted to bump an extra point for style and music alone.
Story of two friends heading off to New York, entering glamorous territory.
At the last minute, the father of one girl refuses to let her go.
Dual narratives from then on.
One girl struggles in New York, meeting dirt types, as well as better souls.
Left behind, the other girl finds work in an assisted living home for seniors.
Both try to stay in contact, but everyone knows how hard it is to stay connected with texts or phone.
Even as they miss each other, you realize they are on different currents, drifting apart.
After awhile*, this held my interest. The movie is very much female oriented, though, and women tend to respond and relate more strongly to this.

*awhile = An unrelated short film precedes the movie.
Apologists are defending it, but it does not fit, is slow and stagnant.
It only runs 15 minutes. Fast forward if you start nodding off.
Hunderby - 2012 - 7/10

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Genius! Sheer genius!
Wicked spoof of Jane Austen shows, overwrought Brontë series, even Gothic potboilers like Rebecca.
Eight part series follows young Helene (an identity she assumed) as she marries local curate (marriage #2 for him, after first wife disappeared), and all the shenanigans (primarily sexual) occurring in tiny village.
Each episode less than 30“ and features truly fruity dialogue. Examples
“I wish I could lie with thee forever, nuzzling thy nectar nook.”
“You have conjured some fevered notion that I am eaten up with lust for another, and wake each hour with sticky britches.”
“I should love to plunge you, and stay inside you all day like a dozing mouse.”
All lines delivered dead-panned. I don’t know how actors did this straight faced.
All Good Things - 2010 - 7/10

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Blonde, middle class Katie (Dunst) falls in love with David Marks (Gosling), über rich, heir apparent to Times Square properties.
David is a weak bundle of insecurities. Love goes astray until one night Katie disappears.
Though never tried, David, by many accounts, was believed responsible.
Based on true events.
For earnest souls who believe in Justice exists in this world - or karma - this is not your film.
Well acted, yet there was an overall coolness, an aura of disengagement, in the narrative.
Why Be Good? Sexuality & Censorship - 2008 - 6/10

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Hugh Hefner produced documentary about risque goings on in the Silent era and Pre Code Hollywood.
Slick rehashing of well worn terrain. Sex sells, it always has.
Folks who protested never went to movies anyway.
Onscreen and off, misdeeds included Fatty, the murder of Desmond Taylor, mantraps Clara and Louise.
No mention of Convention City, Chaplin's escapades, Gary Cooper, Flynn , etc ...
Everyone Else - 2009 - 4/10

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German romantic drama.
A tenuous couple vacation in Sardinia, and realize they are incompatible.
He is a promising, young architect, serious, and stems from money.
She is poorer, would rather dance than read, and works as a music rep.*
Slow, talky. Characters neither likable nor unlikable. B-o-r-i-n-g.
Next time I suffer insomnia, this might be the cure.

* The girl worked as a Uni rep. Say what?
Most music field reps got canned from 2000 on, in increasing numbers as the filesharing decade progressed.
That lack of credibility, one of dozens of missteps, make the characters and film phoney.
Had she been a zombie bounty hunter, I would have found more believable.

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