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A few reviews
Kings Of Pastry - 2009 - 7/10

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Documentary about winning the red/white/blue collar of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France.
The finest pastry craftsmen of France.
To say competitors were obsessive would be an understatement.
I had friends who perched on the edge of their chairs watching this.
Me?  I found the tone a bit cool, the creations out there.
The final event is always the sugar creation, very fragile creations that shatter easily.
Worth watching if confection (creating or eating) is your thing.
Without Warning - 1952 - 6/10

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Blonde bar-crawlers are being stalked by a serial killer.
Stabbed to death with scissors like weapon.
Labeled Noir, but it falls into the thriller / police procedural category.
We see the killer early on, a social misfit and a loner.
Then an omniscient voice follows from one department to another of crack Los Angeles police.
Prints, fabric analysis, head shrinker (profiler not a term yet).
Predictable, though one wonders how high the body count will rise.
Most of the women have bad Phyllis Dietrichson hairdos.
Train To Busan - 2016 - 6/10
AKA - Busanhaeng / 부 산 행

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Zombies pack a high speed train!
I mean, really, do you need to know more?
Cities are over run with ravenous dead.
Surviving passengers must fight their way to forward compartments.
Zombies are of the sprinter variety and only eat “live” meat, not zombie meat.
Unlike similar train flick Snowpiercer which I jeered, I liked this better.
La Fille Coupée en Deux - 2007 - 6/10
AKA - The Girl Cut In Two

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Girl in question is local weathergirl chased by aged roué and young wastrel.
In the best ménage à trois traditions, the female attempts to navigate both males.
The provincial town is rather small, however.
The older man, a writer, frequents a sybaritic den with other dissolutes.
The younger man is spoiled, insecure, prone to violence.
Talky (as expected), laced with bedroom politics and petty rivalries.

Note - I braced myself for another French talk-o-drama.
During opening credits, I announced aloud,
“Look, Mathilda May!”
“Who’s that?”  asked one of the girls.
“Brilliant thespian,”  I said.  “She starred in the classic Lifeforce.”
“Oh?  Any good?”
Netflix's AMANDA KNOX documentary...

Watched this morning, left me feeling angry and frustrated.
The complicit nature of the media and narrow mindedness of the police investigation is staggering.

The main reporter comes across as a bottom feeding, slimy, sensationalist who cared nothing about fact checking, only headlines.

And the lead investigator.... I don't know, maybe its a culture thing, but he came across as arrogant, a man who formed his theory based on his dislike of an american woman being young, independent and heaven forbid, sexually active(!!!), and forced the evidence to support his theory and disregarded anything else that conflicted.

If you have followed this case over the years and have already formed an opinion, I don't think it will sway it one way or the other.   Nothing new is truly revealed, what really happened that night of the murder is still a mystery, but it is compelling viewing to see it all put together in one package.

Weaknesses of the doc for me, I felt the murder victim Meridith Kercher and who she was as a person was glossed over and deserved better.  I would have like the doc to have been more in-depth, more background, more expert opinions, some alternate investigation/evidence/theories... definitely more information about Rudy Guede.

Also, the doc feels a bit too slick, too polished.... almost scripted.   Especially the Amanda Knox interview portions.   

I don't know.... its not the doc I was expecting or hoping for.... it is not a hard investigation piece, statements by Knox, the police, and others are not challenged or fully explored and it does not suggest any answers, but it does offer insight into the people involved and how culture/media influences events.

I give it 6 out of 10.
"... let's go exploring!" -- CALVIN.
BBob, there's almost no way I could watch that Amanda Knox doc.
Americans are convinced (or have been urged) she is without guilt.
Brits are diametrically opposed and conclude she is stained with blood.
I imagine the Italians never dreamed they would be caught in a public whirlwind.
Maybe in ten years something new will surface.

Hold that thought.  JonBenét Ramsey was killed almost twenty years ago.
Speculations aside, it is still unsolved.
(10-01-2016, 02:15 PM)Vultural Wrote: BBob, there's almost no way I could watch that Amanda Knox doc.
Americans are convinced (or have been urged) she is without guilt.
Brits are diametrically opposed and conclude she is stained with blood.
I imagine the Italians never dreamed they would be caught in a public whirlwind.
Maybe in ten years something new will surface.

Hold that thought.  JonBenét Ramsey was killed almost twenty years ago.
Speculations aside, it is still unsolved.

Yeah, the whole doc is a bit of a mess.  It flitters and flutters all over the place but never settles on anything.  The more and more I think about it and discuss it with my bride, the more I dislike it ( I even went back and lowered my original score).
"... let's go exploring!" -- CALVIN.
I will probably watch the doc but I barely remember the case.  I pretty much avoided the coverage, and thus I had/have no opinion on it one way or the other.

Regarding Dogtooth, I saw it a few years ago and thought it wasn't great, but I certainly enjoyed it more than you did.
A Wicked Woman - 1958 - 6/10
AKA - Dokufu Takahashi Oden  /  Poisonous Woman

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Busy account of very lively girl, Oden.
After shoplifting a jewelry store, she is “apprehended” by a young policeman.
She begs him to let her rest at her home before going to the station.
At home, she enfolds him with the sticky petals and seduces him.
An official perceives her character and forces her into becoming both mistress and procurer for his slave trade.
Oh yes, she also has two husbands tucked away.
All in the first 30 minutes!  Long takes make film feel slow at times, though.
Based - believe it or not - on a true individual.
Silver Streak (1976)

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My mother, nostalgic for the late Gene Wilder, wanted to revisit this fondly remembered adventure from her youth. Turns out some things are better remembered fondly than revisited. This is a movie that tries to do be several things - a sexy adult romance, a Hitchcockian mystery, an action farce, a buddy movie, and finally a straight-up actioner - and only really succeeds at that last one, with a shoot-'em-up climax as protracted as that of almost any comic book movie today. Wilder was no doubt a swell guy, but there's nothing to his character, and Pryor's makes almost no sense. And the treatment of the woman and minor black characters is... not the best.

In forty years, will The Avengers still be cool? Cooler than this, surely? Still, the window into the past is odd enough to make a viewing more than a complete waste of time.


Flashdance (1983)

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A young woman (Jennifer Beals, who was 19 at the time and I think plays a 19-year old) welds in a Pittsburgh factory by day, and does clothed erotic dances in a seedy bar full of her coworkers at night. (When she sleeps or walks her dog, or where her family or non-dancer friends are, is a mystery.) When her considerably older (at least late 30s) lame-o boss pesters her for a date, she finally gives in, has him order take-out pizza, and brings him back to her place, where, to his befuddlement, she shags him, after which point she's pretty much in love with him. (I don't get it, either.) Both these movies have romantic entanglements that make zero sense. Say what you like about Jane Foster in Thor, at least that Aussie's hot - money or not, this boss guy (and Wilder in Silver Streak) are just plain schlubs! Anyhow, despite having no apparent formal training, our Alex yearns to be a ballet dancer. That's about it for plot.

A reasonably brisky 98 minutes, with a number of extended dance scenes, make this feel like a chopped-down abridgement. Maybe it was. The key to this film is its producers, Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer: this is basically the low-budget, female-aimed test run for Top Gun, with all the arbitrary plotting, style over substance that implies. Is it good? Lord, no, but there's something to it. Its run-down steel town in fall look is kind of beautiful, in its own way, and Beals lights up the screen. It's easy to see how a generation of adolescent girls too young to see through the story's BS or care about the dude's utter lack of sex appeal could look up to this older teenager as the ultimate in (then) modern womanhood, completely with a rich, besotted boyfriend who's about as sexually intimidating as a Ken doll. Amazon is currently selling blu-rays of this not-good yet iconic flick for $5. Even at such a bargain price, I'm not gonna be suckered into that... I think.


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