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The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life - 2008 - 6/10
AKA: Le premier jour du reste de ta vie
French drama following a middle class family for about a decade.
Film hones in on five specific - important - days for the family.
When the oldest moves out, a wedding, death . . .
Most of the actors will be familiar if you view enough French fare.
Nice soundtrack, several funny scenes, bits of drama, but nothing over the top or false.
British nasty about prostitution.
Aging crime lord calls bottom rung pimp and orders a girl for the night.
Young - 12 years old.
Pimp's jill finds runaway and they coerce her into the lair.
Next minute, the females are fleeing for their bloody lives, pimp and gangsters in furious pursuit.
Unpleasant film, nicely done. Dirty alleys, dark woods, cramped flats, ain't no sunshine in this one, baby.
So I checked out Kontroll, realized it was scene to a personal travel incident.
Watched it and my bride groused throughout.
Kontroll - 2003 - 7/10
Loose narrative of shady ticket inspectors working Budapest subways.
They hunt an aerosol punk named Bootsie, as well as a hooded figure (resembles Banksy) who pushes passengers into oncoming trains.
Filled with dark humor and seedy nightlife, no office folks at all, let alone tourists. Street people, pimps, alcoholics, bullies, lost souls.
Fairly accurate feel for the Hungarian underground, which is rightfully infamous among seasoned turistas.
Inspectors cluster at main exits and generally target visitors. There are always fines.
Worthwhile film, whether youâve been busted in Keleti or not.
Encountering the Inspectors
That is the exterior of the Nyugati Railway Terminal, designed by Eiffel.
Photo taken on a cold October day. A day later, my bride was busted at Keleti Station.
Excerpt from travel letter at the time.
Zelda and Budapest did NOT become friends. Zelda loved the architecture, adored the skyline. Despite the wealth of sights, Budapest just rubbed her wrong. Plus, she didn't care for the residents. Guidebooks commented on Hungarian reserve. Glum and morose, they always looked like their mother or dog had recently died. 19th century travellers also commented on this malaise. Budapest was the black hole for happiness.
What truly soured Zelda's opinion was the "sorry, no help" attitude. The bus driver's NO CHANGE sign. Info booths with: NO ENGLISH, NON FRANCAIS, NINE DEUTSCH. Sometimes staff would tap their sign, usually they kept smoking.
Me? I didn't care. I was in Hungary! Zelda may have high expectations of humanity, but I don't. I racheted up the day trips to keep us out of the city.
We returned early from Esztergom, home of Hungary's largest cathedral. I wanted to check prices and train stations for our upcoming Romanian push. Stepped off the subway at Keleti and headed for the station. Top of the stairs, a pack of officials stopped passengers and examined tickets. Now, we had bought a booklet of tickets. Still -- those cops. They reminded me of random inspections, speed traps. Cops. My radar wailed full alert, as had the locals'. I followed four other people and smoothed my way between two preoccupied agents. Reached back for Zelda ... gone. She patiently waited in another line, holding her punched subway ticket.
Quick ticket check, Zelda was arrested.
I hurried back. She and the female official were arguing intensely.
" ... no, is problem. Budapest so large. Understand?"
"I bought a ticket. See? I validated it, look, it's punched."
"Budapest so large. Read back of booklet. Is English. You have problem. Sorry."
The back cover of the booklet explained that a ticket was good for one ride, and that a ticket had to be validated before the ride. Zelda seemed legal. No other officials intervened, they were too busy "detaining" other riders. Guilty were exclusively visitors. This was an obvious sting designed for new arrivals. Next to us, four Brits had been apprehended and were now exploding in outrage.
" ... Bloody hell? We just arrived today!"
"Look! We punched your damned ticket!"
"Oh, thank you so very much! Welcome to fucking Budapest!"
" ... is problem, but not so bad. Make a smile. Please no cry."
Zelda rarely cries. I looked at her expression. No tears welled, she was primed to detonate. I opened my wallet and paid her guard "a fine." Who knows where the money went? I dragged Zelda away; she was now white hot with fury.
"I had a ticket. I had validated their damned ticket!"
"I know ... I know ..."
"Even if I made a mistake, I had acted in good faith!"
"I know ... I know ..."
"And that woman! Don't cry. Smile. I wanted to smack her!"
"I know ... "
"I'm mad at myself for getting caught. You didn't get caught."
"You're a better person than I'll ever be, princess. You were caught because you were honorable."
Well, we found train info for Romania and I bought two tickets. Zelda couldn't leave Budapest soon enough. I located an exchange booth and traded for Romanian currency.
" ... 700,000, 800, 900, one million!" the woman laughed. "You are rich!"
Rich. No one had ever said that. For the first time in our lives, we were millionaires. Romanian lei. Zelda's mood remained black, but my naivete amused her. Millionaires. Rich. Great! I already loved Romania.
Documentary on the underground graffiti scene with Banksy, Space Invader, Zevs.
By turns interesting and provocative when cameras trail artists in the bleak hours.
Gradually, the focus shifts to Theirry Guetta (AKA - Mr Brainwash) a hanger-on with zero artistic talent.
Not that having shit for inspiration ever stopped sock puppet heads.
In no time flat, Brainwash puts on his own exhibitions, deluding gallery owners, curators, and the wine n cheese crowd.
Black satire, acidly funny, mean spirited, and mocking pretensions of all sorts.
Directed by Banksy, with pitiless detail.
Belgium film, not the 2014 remake.
Five married guys share a pricy loft where they can bring twinkies and bang-bunnies.
Wives, what little we see of them, are weak, clueless, insecure.
Then one of the guys strolls in with his bag of vino and sees naked hottie in the blood soaked bed.
Narrative bounces from police interrogations to flashbacks to alibis and false trails.
Easy enough to follow, though premise remains far fetched.
Three couples climb aboard the sailboat for a day of gentle waves and sea breezes.
Sooner than you can say, “Hey, look at them dark clouds,” a squall smashes the ship to hell.
Fortunately, out of nowhere, an ocean liner appears. Rescue! Everyone climbs aboard.
Only the liner appears deserted.
Then the dying starts.
I hated the lead female character. Whining, worrying, a mopey downer.
As the plot turns in odd directions, reasons for her behaviour emerge.
Defying the dead teenager plot, this is a decent thriller with memorable scenes.
I picked this up, blithely assuming it would be a fun ride thriller.
Plus, Gemma Arterton is easy on the eyes.
An unrelenting, grim, kidnapping yarn. Methodical preparation, the quick snatch, then plans slowly sour, as back histories and private agendas surface.
Music was gloomy, too.
Didn't care for it, but well executed.
Cozy, old dark house mystery.
Look is part Gothic, part Noir.
House perches on cliff’s edge over pounding Cornish coast.
Critic and his sister buy on impulse, delighted the price was so reasonable!
First the dog, then cat, refuse to go upstairs.
Next, odd things occur after midnight.
Finally, and too late, the siblings ask the previous owner why the low price.
Enjoyable, if predictable, rainy night movie.
(For fixxer-upper types, the house had no phone, no electricity.)
Roaring documentary of the premier Glam rockers of the 70s.
All band members appear (manager Chas Chandler, sadly RIP),
along with guest heads Ozzy Osbourne, Suzi Quatro, Noel Gallagher.
Most of the story follows the rise of the group and one powerhouse hit after another.
Like Mr Plant (another key singer from the 70s), Noddy has been the one resisting reunions.
Glory days for Brit fans. For Yanks, maybe not so much, as Slade never caught on in the States.
Fabulous times, awful costumes, great drugs, free range sex.
Echo of the mindless, hedonistic decade still fading away.
Sonny Chiba stars as undercover cop infiltrating drug gangs.
Main thread has something to do with smuggling marijuana from faraway Mexico.
Guess the Yakuza never heard of Thai sticks.
Despite all the explosions, shootings, stabbings, etc ... film felt like a spoof.
There must have been thirty-seven plots going on, the narrative was incoherent at times.
No matter. Wild 70s costumes, garish sets (nude marijuana orgy room a standout), amped out action sequences.
Lot of energy, lot of fun.
B-film quickie from 20th Fox.
Body is dumped outside police station setting off more reactions than a pinball machine.
Three murder suspects, body switcheroo, fistfights, escapee, romance, conspiracy, political chicanery.
All that, in barely an hour flick. Breathless nonsense.
Carole Landis as lead actress was near end of her career here. A once major star, now relegated to B pictures, she would be a suicide in two years, age 29.
John Ireland made the most of his small part, in this his second film, and he would stay busy for five more decades.
Korean drama about revenge.
Not the implacable, unstoppable, self-righteous vengeance of 99% of plots.
No, this factors the wages of revenge, the toll it takes on conscience, karma, and those around you.
Matching tarot cards are sent to police and victim, and the police hustle to identify and protect victim.
Luckily, a girl who works in a fortune parlor can explain what each card means - may not mean - plus, she is psychic!
Meandering puzzle plot that widens considerably midway, then tightens with little room for escape, as well as justifications for murders.
Exteriors appeared shot during spring as colours were often breathtaking.
Interiors more hit n miss, about the third of interiors rivaled cheap soap opera sets.
Romance aspect, not too terrible.
Another dead teenager plot.
Seven Brits, vacationing in Mallorca, hook up for a night of booze, drugs, and mattress action. Aboard a yacht, no less.
When rough sex leads to accidental death, paranoia mounts ... as does the death count.
Characters had IQ's smaller than a sea sponge, tho they were sometimes inventive with choice of weapons.
Note: Try to find subs. Characters, from Leeds and N England, had strong accents and were not always coherent.
God ... Has it really been twenty years since Silence Of The Lambs was released?
Yes it has been 20 years, going by Hopkins' physical appearance. He plays a man suffering a mid-life crisis, who divorces his wife (Gemma Jones) and subsequently marries his rent-by-the-position B-girl.
There are four or five plots working simultaneously, featuring Antonio Banderas, Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin. This was not a comedy, nor was it one it one of Woody Allen’s darker films. This was an odd creature, more about individuals losing their way.
The voiceover seemed invasive. The narrator was clearly American, yet the film was set in London. Moreover, the narration did little to advance the plot or provide illumination. Rather, it voiced the obvious.
Young man is orphaned and moves in with his grandmother and uncles. The men are hardened, armed robbers, laying low between heists, under surveillance by police.
This is not a high voltage actioner. Animal Kingdom is a study in grim decline and the inevitability of Fate.
I'll confess, part of the draw for me was Jacki Weaver, Aussie croc-bait from 70's exploitation flicks. She is mesmerizing as the woman who holds the men together in a sweet smiling, grip of iron.
Norma Khouri penned the international bestseller, “Forbidden Love,” about the honor killing of her best friend, Dalia.
Then an Australian journalist exposed the book as a hoax.
This movie follows Khouri back to Jordan, where she repeatedly alters the story, dates, names, places. She always has a new explanation, a fresh excuse.
Discoveries mount, old sins are exposed. Fascinating film.