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A few reviews
(03-10-2019, 08:42 AM)TM2YC Wrote: Leaving Neverland (2019)
A 3-4-hour Channel 4/HBO Documentary presenting the testimony of two men claiming they were abused by Michael Jackson as children. While nobody disputes that Jackson slept in the same bed as these two boys over several years and brought them along in his touring entourage, no hard evidence exists that it went further than that. The film just lets the two men (both now figures in the entertainment industry) unpack their feelings to camera and also interviews their immediate family members. It's up to the viewer to believe them, or not but for myself, I was left in absolutely no doubt that they were speaking the truth. I just can't believe that all the people interviewed would be able to make up this much pain and life-destroying shame. They'd all have to be the greatest actors in the history of the world.

If in the recent #metoo past you've probably heard/read people make comments like "Why now? Seems suspicious?", or "Why would they wait all these years to make these allegations?", or "Why would the accuser wait until they are dead?", or "Why did they wait until the statute of limitations had expired?" then this film will explain in abundance the soul-crushing reasons why victims of abuse would be driven to do exactly that. Apparently the estate of Jackson are currently suing the Documentary makers for $100m, not because of the allegations but based on an obscure non-defamation contract clause relating to an old MJ concert film which they also produced. I leave it up to you to decide if the timing of the lawsuit is purely coincidental, or for intimidation purposes.

There is also a really disturbing coda showing the sickening vitriol directed at the victims from people on the internet. It's scary how disconnected the internet can make people feel from the pain of their fellow human beings. Luckily I don't own any Michael Jackson music (unless that old cassette tape I had of 'Dangerous' is still in a box in the garage somewhere?) so I don't have to ponder whether to burn it or not.



^ This youtube trailer has been down-voted and the comments section is predictably filled with angry people defending Jackson, or more accurately attacking his two victims.

Watched with my daughter.
As a parent, it left me feeling sick.
And angry.
And disturbed.
And sad.  So very, very sad.

As TM2YC said, nobody is that good of an actor.  

I do not think I will ever listen to a Michael Jackson song again.
"... let's go exploring!" -- CALVIN.
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Dead of Night (1945)
'Dead of Night' is one of the spookiest and most gripping Horror movies I've yet seen, not what I would've expected from Ealing Studios in 1945. A framing device where a group of strangers recount unsettling tales from their past across a fading evening is almost seamlessly integrated into one narrative about waking-nightmares. The kind of things that give you goosebumps, that may be supernatural, or may have a rational explanation. The most famous episode features Sir Michael Redgrave as a ventriloquist who is either dangerously insane, or really has a creepy living dummy possessed by evil. I was less keen on the comedy episode, which ostensibly pits the two sport-obsessed Englishmen from Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Lady Vanishes' against each other in a golf-game to the death... and beyond. The finale where all the stories mix together into one nightmare sequence is brilliantly realised.

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A Better Tomorrow II (1987)
The first act is lacking in top-level Hong Kong action but once Chow Yun-fat turns up (as the convenient twin brother of his dead character from the first film Big Grin) the action begins and builds towards a hundred-man gun-battle finale that fills every inch of the screen with exploding grenades, shattering scenery, flying bullets and blood squibs spraying across every surface (It's really something to witness!). A strain of wacky humour is introduced which was not present in the first film but I loved the scene where Chow is ranting on about rice to a Mafia hit-man. I loved the way him donning his trademark trench-coat and cool Alain Delon sunglasses was shot like a super hero putting on his cape and cowl. This definitely has more troughs than the tightly constructed first film but it also has more insane heights too.



Reservoir Dogs much? Wink

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The Great Escape (1963)
This was the first time I've seen this on the big screen, for the 75th Anniversary of the escape with a live intro from Historian Dan Snow. The nearly 3-hour runtime melts away thanks to an all-star cast and a script packed with humour, drama and action. James Garner was the standout for me, positively radiating impertinence and mischievous wit in the face of a deadly enemy. Richard Attenborough's performance was much darker than I remembered and Charles Bronson is powerful yet vulnerable as the heroic Polish tunnel master who suffers from claustrophobia. Steve McQueen is just being 100% Steve McQueen, 100% of the time, looking roguish, ruggedly handsome and riding the hell outta that motorcycle! Only James Coburn lets the side down with the least convincing Australian accent ever committed to celluloid.

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Happy Death Day 2 U (2019)

Pretty entertaining, leans into the comedy aspect even harder than the first. On the one hand, I respect the hell out of a sequel that tries to do something different, and not just more of the same. On the other hand, the thing they did here is super explain what caused the first movie, and that is just really unnecessary. It demystifies the first film and kinda takes away from the emotional catharsis of it. Not just thematically but literally (alternate dimension movies are wild). So yeah, solid and entertaining follow up, respect its hustle, will forget all about it in a month.
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Stalker (1979)

man this was brilliant. instant favorite for me. first Tarkovsky movie i watched too, love how the pace and the story were handled. loved the cinematography and how long and how few shots he uses - really refreshing when compared to what's been coming out of Hollywood these days. this movie also reminded me a bit of Apocalypse Now, but maybe it's just because they came out in the same year, i don't know. i guess the 'journey' aspect of both movies are also similar, Stalker being the better film imo.

emotionally speaking though, this movie made me reflect a lot. very intriguing, loved every aspect of the psychological questions the movie imposed upon me. maybe it's i who was missing out on something but i'd never seen any story like this one before, and the philosophical talk in between the characters and also the obstacles they face...

what a great ride this was. i really wanna rewatch this, except that i wanna be really high next time around.
What has hardened will never win.
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