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A few reviews

TM2YC

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I thought "the Hollywoodized mini-series, The People v. O.J. Simpson." was one of the best pieces of TV in years. So I'll have to keep an eye out for a broadcast of this.

By the way, you might not be aware but OJ did sign a confession back in '96...

 

TV's Frink

You Catch On Pretty Quick
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40042060


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Vultural

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3 Bellezas - 2014 - 5/10
AKA - 3 Beauties

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Forced, unfunny “comedy” from Venezuela.
Beauty contestant failure, now single mother, drums the path to runway on her small daughters.
The son is nothing.  “Forget him.  He’ll only grow into a hairy, smelly man.”
She also constantly reminds the girls,  “You are not sisters - you are rivals.”
Resentments and grudges build, from childhood to the national competition.
If you can reference Jon Benet, you ought to cringe at this.
Females I viewed this with totally recognized the mother character.

Subtitles on the DVD were highly ungrammatical, highly entertaining.
 

Vultural

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Albert Nobbs - 2012 - 6/10

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Men cross dress as women:  Tootsie, Mrs Doubtfire, Some Like It Hot, Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert . . .
Funny.  Comedy.
Women cross dress as men:  Yentl, Boys Don't Cry, M Butterfly, not so funny.
Yes, I'm being selective.
So too, Albert Nobbs.   Stuffy costumer, where G Close passes for a butler. Probably to earn better wages.
Whole movie was a murky cipher.  Nobbs has increasing fantasies about what he/she will spend savings on.
There was no there to the character.
Nice looking, but at the end, I shoulda watched a good Noir.
 

Vultural

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Jiro Dreams Of Sushi - 2011 - 7/10

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Documentary about tiny, hole in the wall, sushi bar in a Tokyo subway, run by 85 year old Jiro.
The place seats 9, the reservation list is for one month, prices start at ¥30000 yen ($350 - £241 - €304).
No drinks, no appetizers.  Just sushi.
Apprenticeship lasts a decade.  Michelin gave the place three stars.
- Squeamish Alert -
Part of the hutong who viewed this - those who selected it - went hysterical when some of the servings were far, far fresher than they had anticipated.
There was screaming in the room and hands over eyes.  
You have been warned.
 

Vultural

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Son Of Saul - 2015 - 8/10

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Hungarian film set inside camp Auschwitz during its gruesome height.
Told from the point of view of the Sonderkommandos, Jewish prisoners forced to assist the Nazis with “shepherding,” cleaning, and coverup.
One of the prisoners, when confronted with the death of a small boy, either has a breakdown or decides to act like a Mensch and give the child a proper Kaddish burial.
All manner of ugly things are ongoing in the background, out of focus or one only sees fragments.
A late night sequence is a harrowing view of living in Hell on borrowed time.
Interesting is the unseen order among prisoners, how they assist and blackmail each other.
Imaginative and fresh, dense with visuals.  Arresting sound design.
 

Vultural

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Life In Squares - 2016 - 6/10

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Compact, three part series of the Vanessa and Virginia Stephen (Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf).
Begins in 1904 after their father dies, until 1941, Virginia’s death.
The Bloomsbury group is on display, as well as painters, lovers, relatives.
The two sisters, painter and writer, are portrayed by different actors for earlier and later versions of the characters.  As are several other characters.
That gets confusing.  The plot is a bit of a muddle, as well, more of observing relationships.
Perhaps this would be better for those knowledgeable about the Bloomsbury inner-workings.
I was adrift half the time.
 

Vultural

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Linda Ronstadt - Live Hollywood - 1980 - 6/10

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Linda so dominated the airwaves in the late 70s.  This show caught her just after she passed the peak.
Manager Peter Asher had shifted musical gears on her again, moving her into "Modern Rock."
Trouble is, Linda was never a full bore rocker.  She did not have the voice for it.
When she pours on the volume, her tone narrows and becomes strident.
Other songs, such as the haunting "Faithless Heart," she vanishes into the poetry of the lyrics.
That said, her voice disturbed me, so I dug out other concert videos - 1974 - 1976, where her tone was still spectacular.

By and large, she has disowned that era, when she fronted a wall of guitars.

http://ronstadt-linda.com/artrs95.html
 

Vultural

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A Bird Of The Air - 2011 - 6/10

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A parrot flies through Lyman's open trailer door and into his life.
He works midnight shift as rescue patrol on deserted New Mexico highways.
Lyman is also an orphan, with no idea of his parents, his background, family history.
With the aid of a perky librarian (aren't they all), he begins to track the bird's previous owners,
trying to solve one mysterious beginning to compensate for his own.
Quirky love story, comedy, character study.
 

Vultural

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Fast Company - 1938 - 6/10

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Police seem baffled!
Priceless books have been stolen.
Then a reputable dealer (ahem, the villainous George Zucco) is found dead!
Who can police turn to?
Why, a marriage couple who happen to be antiquarian book sellers.
Yeah, a pair of “readers."
Think Nick and Nora Charles, Thin Man, and the rest is easy.
Brisk, charming mystery that falls midway between the PreCode gangster era and Film Noir.
Dwight Frye has a decent supporting role (meaning not his typecast neurotic headcase) as forger.
 

Vultural

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Women Of 69 - Unboxed - 7/10 - 2014

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Offbeat documentary catches up with Skidmore’s Class of ‘69.
Instead of creating a yearbook, the women had crafted a “yearbox” in 1969.
Now, at age 65, they recall their college years and how that affected adult choices.
Revealing to hear very successful women discuss youthful insecurites compared with their current path.
Freedom is an important concept, as well as independence.  Breaking free resonates.

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A life affirming doc, though unlikely to tempt younger audiences (in delicious irony, independent Boomers have raised  dependent offspring)..
The backward glance can be a trap.  To my thinking, one should be careful when gazing at your younger self.

In 1969, Skidmore College was still a women’s college, before going coed in 1971.
Recently it has been awarded 1st place in the annual Reefer Madness poll.
Top school for marijuana users.
 

Vultural

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Anonymous - 2011 - 4/10

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Shakespeare never wrote all those plays. Nor poems.
All were penned by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.
Very handsome looking production that methinks doth protest too much.  Or persuades too much.
Typical nonsense from director Roland Emmerich.
His highlights feature: Universal Soldier, Stargate, Independence Day, Godzilla, 2012, 10000 BC.
He can make em glossy, he can make em gassy, he can make em loud, he can make em preposterous.
With Anonymous, he succeeds on all fronts.
Given extra star because it really does look terrific.
 

Gaith

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Vultural said:
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Think Nick and Nora Charles, Thin Man, and the rest is easy.

Reminds me of a bit from Whedon's Age of Ultron commentary:

“One of the other great things about a movie like this and the opportunities they gave me with the actors and the locations and the scenarios and the moods and everything else is that you feel like you’re making 13 different movies,” Whedon says of briefly aping a 1940s aesthetic for an early scene between Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson in Avengers HQ. “Apart from actually having ADHD, which I do, I’m very much a fan of things that change it up. This is one of the instances where, because they were just so beautiful and charming, we all went, ‘When do we get to do this movie?’ I actually said to Mark and Scarlett, ‘You guys should do ‘The Thin Man’!’ Then they both asked me what ‘The Thin Man’ was, which makes me feel the Earth is doomed.”
 

Vultural

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Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens - 2016 - 3/10

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The perils of living with shark enthusiasts ...
One might think this stale franchise went belly up a couple installments earlier.
As long as has-beens line up for cameo immortality, and suckers tune in, it’ll go one forever.
Bigger, noisier, with almost nonstop action, and countless human dinners.
This ‘nado spirals out of Las Vegas, twists eastwards, through Texas, up tornado alley into Kansas.
Aside from cameos, this is sprinkled with iconic references to better films.
I’d say avoid, assuming you control the remote.
 

Vultural

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Houdini: Unlocking The Mystery - 2009 - 7/10

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Excellent documentary of Harry Houdini, featuring several practicing magicians.
Vintage newsreels, as well as clips from his movies.
What amazed me was the producers unearthed one of his final assistants (Dorothy Young, who died in 2011, aged 103).
Film intercut with auction proceedings of memorabilia.
 

skyled

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Vultural said:
Anonymous - 2011 - 4/10

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Shakespeare never wrote all those plays. Nor poems.
All were penned by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.
Very handsome looking production that methinks doth protest too much.  Or persuades too much.
Typical nonsense from director Roland Emmerich.
His highlights feature: Universal Soldier, Stargate, Independence Day, Godzilla, 2012, 10000 BC.
He can make em glossy, he can make em gassy, he can make em loud, he can make em preposterous.
With Anonymous, he succeeds on all fronts.
Given extra star because it really does look terrific.


I actually found this to be quite enjoyable. It's lacking in humor but it certainly rips along at a great pace. A common analysis of it goes like this, "a Roland Emmerich conspiracy movie about who the real Shakespeare is is so competently made that you wonder who really directed it, because certainly Emmerich couldn't have."
 

Vultural

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Wonderwall - 1968 - 5/10

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Trippy, boring, silly, pretentious, outta site gas, take your pick.
Introvert research scientist peeks through a hole in his crowded upstairs flat and spies on lovely Jane Birken's psychedelic fairyland.
Often, when younger colleagues asked about the 60s this is what they imagined.
Vibrant clothes, perfumed incense, everyone attractive and rich.
If only . . .
At times, Wonderwall is glossy fun.  Other times this is killingly dull.
Music by George Harrison, sometimes evocative, sometimes annoying.
 

Vultural

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Fascism In Colour - 2007 - 6/10

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Two part documentary pertaining to Fasci di Combattimento, or Fascismo Italiano.
The rise of the Fascist party in Italy following World War I, accepted by half the populace, as well as the Vatican, as a strong force to combat the rising tide of Communism.
First part sees the formulation and street battles between Blackshirts and Socialists.
Second part, foreign military excursions and then the disastrous, jealous alliance with Nazi Germany.
Flaw with this series is its reliance on dramatizing events (ie: staging scenes with actors).
Focus is on Mussolini, caught between wanting to raise Italy’s world rank, yet knowing 30s Italy is not on the same level as England, France, and especially Germany.

What draws me to these subjects is increasing global polarization.
Many nations now have proto-Mussolinis with broad appeal running for office or in change.
 

Vultural

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No Man’s Woman - 1955 - 6/10

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Fatale Marie Windsor, of purring voice and voracious eyes, dominates in so-so Noir.
Her husband demands a divorce wife so he can marry sweet young thing.
“Offer me a huge alimony plus half your business,"  says she.
When the company founder offers $30,000 she ejects him, saying, “I said an offer, not a tip.”
She forces her female assistant to work on her day off, then she makes a play for her fiance.
When the fiance tries to evade her, she blackmails him.
Bad girl Marie is a piece of work, even tells folks she’s still 29.
Sadly - am I’m not divulging too much here - she gets murdered midway and the story falters.
The other characters are weak and uninteresting in comparison.
OK time waster.  Like watching Perry Mason minus Perry and Paul.
 
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