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A few reviews

TM2YC

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thecuddlyninja said:
You Were Never Really Here (2017)

Spellbinding lead performance and some interesting thoughts on PTSD. However, the narrative (or lack thereof) was too obtuse for me to fully engage emotionally. There are parts that will stay with me but I found watching it that I was vacillating between intellectually trying to figure out what was going on/what it means and viscerally reacting to certain moments. I did come up with what I think happened 

Joe was molested by his mother and his whole job is a fabrication so that he can feel like he's saving abused kids. He kills his mother and that's why the plot goes off the rails with wild conspiracy after. There's not a lot in the text but I think what little there is supports this. That's why in his job he has a good father figure, and I think the main girl represents how Joe viewed his mother when he was a it's. I was working this out when the director literally had a quick shot showing Joe's mother at the governor's house. I guess if the rest is right then he really kills himself in the diner and the rest of the ending is the conclusion of his suppressed fantasy.

Anyway, it's definitely interesting and worth a watch but not for everybody. I've heard a lot of praise for this film but for me this didn't come close to the heights of 'We Need to Talk About Kevin.'

^ I'll be watching that soon.

At Eternity's Gate (2018)
Initially I found the deliberate create decision to shake the camera all over the place in a manner that suggest the filmmakers were blind drunk and to have no real narrative structure was very off putting. However, Willem Dafoe's spectacular performance as Vincent Van Gogh and the depth of the exploration of the man's creative talents and personal demons is so strong that I was still totally absorbed. The mixture of pain and joy in Dafoe's wrinkled face is overwhelming. Oscar Isaac also does fine work as Paul Gauguin.


The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)
"The once and future king" rises again in modern Britain to save a land that is "broken and leaderless" :D . Definitely a kid's adventure in the oldskool Spielberg/Goonies type mould, updated for Harry Potter fans. The synth score was terrific blending in epic Orchestral, Prog and English folk flavours. Worth seeing just for the gorgeous prologue which is like the illustrations from old children's story books in motion. Angus Imrie is so charming and funny as Merlin that I can't believe it's his first film, I predict a strong future for this actor!  I think kids will love this film.

 

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Two Evil Eyes (1990)
The work of Dario Argento and George A. Romero is generally considered to have dramatically declined in quality after the 80s (although I'm not in a position to confirm that claim), so this Edgar Allan Poe anthology Horror is perhaps the last hurrah for both Directors. Romero's half is slow to get going but when the supernatural creepiness and gore FX kick in it gets good in a Twilight Zone-ish way. The terrible 1980s hair styles and clothes are more shocking than the story ;) .

Argento's half once again features an animal, this time a hissing, growling, angry black cat. It takes an instant dislike (with good reason) to Harvey Keitel's alcoholic crime scene photographer, after his girlfriend adopts it. Argento is clearly having lots of wicked fun, bricking a body up with a shelving unit full of classic Hollywood movies and working in a sly allusion to Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' by having a familiar actor survive this particular house of horrors. The two halves are not connected narratively but they are both about horrible people being driven mad by their own guilt and and punished by dark forces from beyond the grave. I personally preferred Argento's story because he starts it at an 11 and then keeps turning up all the dials.

NSFW trailer:

 

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Under the Wire (2018)
BBC Documentary told through intense interviews to camera by photographer Paul Conroy recalling his and Sunday Times war-correspondent Marie Colvin's final 2012 assignment into the besieged hellscape of the Syrian city of Homs. The story is of course moving and shocking but I didn't think the film-making did it full justice. A lack of real footage has them relying heavily on recreations but they do them too well, so you don't know what you can trust. It will be interesting to see how the new Rosamund Pike film 'A Private War' handles these same events.


Top Secret! (1984)
Not only had I never seen this Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker spy-movie Spoof, I didn't even know it existed until Red Letter Media reviewed it last week. What 'Top Secret!' lacks in rapidity of gags (compared to 'Airplane!') it makes up for in a ton of genius visual gags around filmmaking techniques and cinematic tropes. I appreciated the incredible amount technical artifice and skill that went into making jokes that are this delightfully stupid. I imagine it improves on repeat viewing as I found there was an excess of plot getting in the way of me concentrating fully on the nonsense going on around the story.

 

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TM2YC said:
I imagine it improves on repeat viewing as I found there was an excess of plot getting in the way of me concentrating fully on the nonsense going on around the story.

I saw the movie once years ago and had the same thought. There was a lot to like, but it took a while to wrap one's head around the whole WW2 caper/1950s Elvis protagonist/Cold War vibes pastiche. Counterpoint, however: that Lucy Gutteridge... yow! :p 

Untitled.jpg
 

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You Were Never Really Here (2018)
Lynne Ramsay doesn't write/direct films very often but when she does it's worth the wait. Joaquin Phoenix plays a traumatized and suicidal hit-man, hired to rescue a Senator's daughter. Kinda like an art-house 'Taken' but instead of glamorous action, Ramsey is focused solely on the psychological cost and aftermath of the violence, internal mental pain and the grim realities of this type of story. Jonny Greenwood's unsettling score and the pace of the editing (only 90 minutes) keeps you on the edge of your seat. Between the brutal hammer blows, there are many moments of unexpected tenderness.


A sample of the Greenwood's score. It's scary even without the film:


thecuddlyninja said:
You Were Never Really Here (2017)

Spellbinding lead performance and some interesting thoughts on PTSD. However, the narrative (or lack thereof) was too obtuse for me to fully engage emotionally. There are parts that will stay with me but I found watching it that I was vacillating between intellectually trying to figure out what was going on/what it means and viscerally reacting to certain moments. I did come up with what I think happened 

Joe was molested by his mother and his whole job is a fabrication so that he can feel like he's saving abused kids. He kills his mother and that's why the plot goes off the rails with wild conspiracy after. There's not a lot in the text but I think what little there is supports this. That's why in his job he has a good father figure, and I think the main girl represents how Joe viewed his mother when he was a it's. I was working this out when the director literally had a quick shot showing Joe's mother at the governor's house. I guess if the rest is right then he really kills himself in the diner and the rest of the ending is the conclusion of his suppressed fantasy.

Anyway, it's definitely interesting and worth a watch but not for everybody. I've heard a lot of praise for this film but for me this didn't come close to the heights of 'We Need to Talk About Kevin.'

^ I didn't get that interpretation at all. I'm not saying it isn't there but you make me curious to re-watch it again with that set of goggles on.

I was reading this article which analyzes it from a "search for meaning" angle.

Now I think about it, I remember there was a shot early in the film where I thought Joe disappeared for a fraction of second, between passing cars. Maybe I imagined it but I should rewind and take a look. EDIT: I checked and he does. Cool.
 

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TM2YC said:
You Were Never Really Here (2018)
Lynne Ramsay doesn't write/direct films very often but when she does it's worth the wait. Joaquin Phoenix plays a traumatized and suicidal hit-man, hired to rescue a Senator's daughter. Kinda like an art-house 'Taken' but instead of glamorous action, Ramsey is focused solely on the psychological cost and aftermath of the violence, internal mental pain and the grim realities of this type of story. Jonny Greenwood's unsettling score and the pace of the editing (only 90 minutes) keeps you on the edge of your seat. Between the brutal hammer blows, there are many moments of unexpected tenderness.

thecuddlyninja said:
Joe was molested by his mother and his whole job is a fabrication so that he can feel like he's saving abused kids. He kills his mother and that's why the plot goes off the rails with wild conspiracy after. There's not a lot in the text but I think what little there is supports this. That's why in his job he has a good father figure, and I think the main girl represents how Joe viewed his mother when he was a it's. I was working this out when the director literally had a quick shot showing Joe's mother at the governor's house. I guess if the rest is right then he really kills himself in the diner and the rest of the ending is the conclusion of his suppressed fantasy.

Anyway, it's definitely interesting and worth a watch but not for everybody. I've heard a lot of praise for this film but for me this didn't come close to the heights of 'We Need to Talk About Kevin.'

^ I didn't get that interpretation at all. I'm not saying it isn't there but you make me curious to re-watch it again with that set of goggles on.

I was reading this article which analyzes it from a "search for meaning" angle.

Now I think about it, I remember there was a shot early in the film where I thought Joe disappeared for a fraction of second, between passing cars. Maybe I imagined it but I should rewind and take a look. EDIT: I checked and he does. Cool.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I wrote my review the day I watched the movie, which was maybe a mistake. It has stuck with me deeply since. Perhaps that's the power of the sparse narrative about a PTSD victim, that we can probably find many different things not just in the messaging but the actual narrative itself. It probably says more about us than Ramsay to analyze the film. I don't know if I stressed this earlier but 'sparse narrative' doesn't mean not a lot happens and you can just make your own meaning out of random events. I can't imagine the difficulty in crafting a piece of art which is such a specific general canvas, if that makes sense. The filmmaking is superb, capturing the feeling of PTSD so well, however a lot of what surrounds that PTSD is open to personal interpretation. Thank you for sharing that article, I really enjoyed it. It feels a lot more supported by the filmmaking than my idea was. Also, I very much prefer the reading where

the suicide is fake and the mattering to someone is real versus my original thought that the suicide is real and the happy ending is fake

A couple things I wanted to mention after considering the film after the fact:
- I really love that whatever the root of the trauma is, it wasn't simply his time in war. That's too easy and been done too often. Many times in real life, the folks who go do traumatic jobs (like go fight in a war) are drawn there in the first place because of deeper traumas. I don't know that I've ever seen that idea expressed in film before, but it feels very real
- I'm glad you mentioned the score because it really is perfect for this film
- I landed on my interpretation of events because I was trying to get a grip on it as it happened. Once I landed there, I used basically one shot in the third act to confirm it. I would actually like to rewatch the film free of expectation and trying to "figure it out" to see how it washes over me differently. All readings are valid but I would be interested to see what feels different upon a rewatch
- I don't think my review stressed enough that this is an interesting piece of art, worthy of discussion and existence. It does something unique and it does it very well, even if it didn't fully work for me that is laudable
 

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thecuddlyninja said:
- I landed on my interpretation of events because I was trying to get a grip on it as it happened. Once I landed there, I used basically one shot in the third act to confirm it. I would actually like to rewatch the film free of expectation and trying to "figure it out" to see how it washes over me differently. All readings are valid but I would be interested to see what feels different upon a rewatch

I forgot to mention that when...

...Joe shot himself, I very briefly had the idea that Joe was a figment of Nina's imagination. A sort of imaginary friend she had constructed to process her trauma, somebody who was going to come to the rescue but in the end she realised she was strong enough to rescue herself and so he ceased to exist... but then she came back to the table and I thought well that obviously wasn't it! :D

Definitely  a film to revisit.
 

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Hereditary (2018)
A modern Horror that doesn't rely on jump-scares, something to celebrate. The main character (and us the audience) discover what is really going on 2/3rds in, the rest is just the other two characters finding it out, so it's somewhat anticlimactic and redundant (I kept thinking there would be some final revelation, or plot twist). Also, as somebody who has made dioramas in the past, the idea that she could construct them in what seemed like an afternoon looked silly. They worked as a strong visual metaphor but were not logical. Still, the performances by all the cast are incredibly good and always feel authentic to how real people would react to this much f**ked up sh*t (the dining table argument is so intense). There are scenes and images that will linger long in your horrified eyeballs.


Beast (2018)
Moll, a damaged girl stuck within a suffocating and emotionally abusive family, finds escape with a windswept and possibly dangerous young loner. As he becomes chief suspect in a spate of killings, we get a fascinating character study, as Moll loses her control on reality and her bottled up emotions. I was unsure if I was supposed to sympathise with the main character at the end because surely she is letting an innocent person suffer? (or it might just be a plot hole that got overlooked?).


Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)
Biopic of biopic-writer Lee Israel who is more infamous as a forger of rare letters. The question of the titular forgiveness never really factors because Israel as played movingly by Melissa McCarthy is so tragic, lonely and broken that you can't help but feel for her. I wanted to watch the film to enjoy Richard E. Grant doing his roguish Withnail thing again (which is indeed enormous fun) but it's actually McCarthy's vulnerable performance that keeps you glued to the screen. She's a great comic but I think she's an even better actor on the strength of this.

 

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RBG (2018)
This Documentary about the life of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who I knew almost nothing about) begins with a credits sequence where we are invited to scoff at a series of idiotically hyperbolic soundbites from right-wingers describing her as a "Witch", as "Vile" and as a "Zombie". Then we are next shown a "badass" rap-music montage of the 85 year old working out, while a series of left-wingers describe her as an "icon", a "queen" and a "superhero" in equally hyperbolic terms... with no sense of the irony caused by this juxtaposition. This is not a deep examination, it's a fawning celebration. Given the importance RBG herself places upon dissenting voices, quiet diligence and devastating reasoned critiques, it's a shame the Documentary makers didn't take that principle to heart. Not a single frame is devoted to explaining in even the most basic terms how the US court system operates, so it's not a Documentary designed for the enjoyment of non-US viewers. All that being said, she is clearly an impressive and admirable person, who has pioneered laws on gender equality and the film gets that across very well. Amazing woman, so-so film.


Naked Gun 33 1⁄3: The Final Insult (2018)
I was always a big fan of Police Squad and the first two films, so I'm surprised I never got round to seeing this 3rd film. A huge amount of sexist jokes and lots of more innocent sexy-lady jokes make you start to question the attitudes of the people involved. Specific spoofing of movies like 'White Heat' and 'Thelma & Louise' and The Oscars ceremony, replaces the more general scatter-gun Police-based fun of the other films. You don't have to feel conflicted about enjoying an O. J. Simpson performance (this was released a couple months before the murders) because he is barely in it and his over-acting is astoundingly terrible when he is. Despite all the flaws, I had more genuine belly-laughs than I get from most comedies these days. e.g.

tenor.gif


 

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LIFE AFTER FLASH (2019)
http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEegOPD8ngo[/video]

To this very day, 1980's Flash Gordon starring Sam J. Jones is one of my favourite all time movies.  It's blend of camp, earnestness, over the top comic book production design and, of course, magnificent score by Queen, makes it my go to movie when I am feeling down.

Thus, seeing this documentary pop up On-Demand understandably piqued my curiosity and I must say I found myself happily rewarded.  The doc is partly a behind the scenes making of the original movie and the impact it had on its fans, tied together my Sam J. Jones up and down and up again journey through Hollywood.  

I was struck my Jones honesty about the mistakes and bad choices he made through his life.  Also, the hard upbringing and tragedy that struck his life early on was revelatory and sad.  But there is an inspirational element to story, as he changed direction in his life at the age of 50, become a professional security bodyguard and refocused his priorities towards his family.  In fact, the interview portions with his grown children are wonderful.

Most of the original movie cast and production team are interviewed and all provide new insights.  Brian Blessed in particular is a delight.  His love for the original movie and the Flash Gordon comic strip is infectious!

I went in expecting a retrospective style documentary but what I got was so much more.  The doc left me smiling and feeling inspired.  

A must watch for any fans of the original movie!

Two Thumbs WAY, WAY UP!!!!   :D
 

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bionicbob said:
LIFE AFTER FLASH (2019)
http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEegOPD8ngo[/video]

To this very day, 1980's Flash Gordon starring Sam J. Jones is one of my favourite all time movies.  It's blend of camp, earnestness, over the top comic book production design and, of course, magnificent score by Queen, makes it my go to movie when I am feeling down.

Thus, seeing this documentary pop up On-Demand understandably piqued my curiosity and I must say I found myself happily rewarded.  The doc is partly a behind the scenes making of the original movie and the impact it had on its fans, tied together my Sam J. Jones up and down and up again journey through Hollywood.  

I was struck my Jones honesty about the mistakes and bad choices he made through his life.  Also, the hard upbringing and tragedy that struck his life early on was revelatory and sad.  But there is an inspirational element to story, as he changed direction in his life at the age of 50, become a professional security bodyguard and refocused his priorities towards his family.  In fact, the interview portions with his grown children are wonderful.

Most of the original movie cast and production team are interviewed and all provide new insights.  Brian Blessed in particular is a delight.  His love for the original movie and the Flash Gordon comic strip is infectious!

I went in expecting a retrospective style documentary but what I got was so much more.  The doc left me smiling and feeling inspired.  

A must watch for any fans of the original movie!

Two Thumbs WAY, WAY UP!!!!   :D

^ Ooh, that sounds good. Which streaming service is it on?




The Wife (2018)
After seeing 2014's pretentious 'Listen Up Philip', I was put-off by this being another film starring Jonathan Pryce as a celebrated yet insecure author. The film-making here is very bland but the subtle power of the interplay between the husband and wife more than made up for that (Directing style might've just got in the way?). Hardly any of the tension is in the words, it's all in what they really mean behind the eyes. I might be naive but I was unconvinced by the main premise that sexism within the 1960s US publishing industry was so overwhelming that a female author (the greatest in the world) would easily accept that her work had no hope of publication. Harper Lee won a Pulitzer in 1960 and so had loads of other women by that point. Although even if I didn't buy it, Glenn Close made me believe that her character did.

 

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TM2YC said:
^ Ooh, that sounds good. Which streaming service is it on?

It was just part of my local cable On Demand service.

I watched parts of it again this morning... if I had one wish, that the documentary had dug a bit deeper.  A lot of events are skimmed over, which could have been explored in greater detail.  

Still a very fun watch as a fan.  :D
 

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The Big Short (2015)

I was pretty enamored with this film when it came out. Watching it now, there's a lot to enjoy: some great performances, some interesting performances, some weird performances. The humor is pretty well done (for the most part). The storytelling is clever at times but often not as clever as it thinks it is. The direction is distinct but this time around felt a little more stylish without reason. The editing is really good when there are jokes, the rest of the film is a mixed bag. There's a lot of interesting things going on with the editing and the camera but this time around it didn't feel like it added up to something with a vision, message and purpose. I mean, obviously this film is criticizing douchebags who deserve it and explaining the housing crisis (in a simplified form but it's a movie so I get it) but beyond that I didn't take too much away from it. Perhaps my disappointment with Vice colored this negatively, not sure. Either way, worth watching.
 

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Maniac (2018)

This was pretty disappointing overall. Cary Joji Fukanaga directs with his typical panache. The visual storytelling is the strongest part of the series. Where I have big problems is with the writing and the acting. These two stars are both great actors. Well, okay Hill is pretty good and Stone is fantastic. But I just did not connect with what they were doing here. I understand why they played it in the disconnected, detached way that they did. But just because it works thematically doesn't mean it's enjoyable to watch. Once we got into the mind-bending part of the series, it was really intriguing. However, the whole rest of the show just became that. And it turned from being really cool and interesting to me being bored wishing they'd wake up and figure out what was going on in the real world. I was bored and done after 6 episodes but I'm a completist. So I watched 7 but fell asleep during the last episode and have no desire to finish. So much talent involved, this was a real letdown.

Edited to add that Justin Theroux rules and is definitely the most fun and interesting thing going on in the show, for me.
 

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After viewing (and appreciating) two of his films the other week I decided to have a mini Peter Watkins-athon:

The Diary of an Unknown Soldier (1959)
Short film where Director Peter Watkins reads out extracts from a traumatized WWI soldier's diary (as if it was being spoken into some sort of period field sound recorder) over Documentary-like recreations of what is being described. The use of 16-fps gives the footage real authenticity and the overall effect is not dissimilar to that of Peter Jackson's recent 'They Shall Not Grow Old'.


Forgotten Faces (1961)
Another short about war in the style of a News-Documentary, this time recreating the then very recent events of the Hungarian revolution against the Soviet Union in 1956. The footage looks so convincing and brutal that there were fears it would erode trust in genuine news reels.


Privilege (1967)
A "behind the scenes" film about a fictional 60s Rock/Pop star called Steven Shorter (SS) who is the tool of a near-future fascistic British establishment. His function is to channel the rebellious anger and energy of the youth toward his fiery music and away from any genuine outward rebellion. Steven (played by Manfred Mann front-man Paul Jones) is depressed and losing his mind, passively watching the insanity around him with a physical disgust. The scene where he is forced to appear in an advert for the "Apple marketing board" is wonderfully surreal, yet somehow believable.


Punishment Park (1971)
The best of the four IMO. Richard Nixon declares a 'state of emergency' and brings the real-life 'McCarran Internal Security Act' into effect to allow him to suppress radical activists, left-wing journalists and protest singers.  We are presented with Documentary-style footage by a team of international journalists, invited to observe the new US "Punishment Park" penal system (a bit like 'The Hunger Games'). Peter Watkins inter-cuts corrupt tribunals where the accused vainly but forcefully argue their case, with detainees marching across blistering California desert with militias in pursuit. The film ends with the off-screen voice of the Director (played by Watkins himself) unable to maintain his objectivity and screaming at the barbarity of the soldiers. Wildly unpopular, inflammatory and controversial, it was originally refused distribution in the US.  Now 'Punishment Park' feels so ahead of it's time and current.

 

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Score: A Film Music Documentary (2016)
A Documentary about the process of creating traditional Hollywood orchestral film music. I think Ennio Morricone is the only composer of foreign films mentioned (very briefly) and the existence of synthesizer scores is only acknowledged in a token line or too. That's fair enough but it would have been less distracting to just say that's what the film was focusing on up front. Even so, this is still a very pleasurable way to spend time with so many talented film composers (more than 60) and hear their own unique perspectives on the art form.


The Devil's Backbone (2001)
Guillermo del Toro's 3rd film is a ghost story set in a remote orphanage during the Spanish Civil War. It's more grounded and earthy than his other films but it's probably closest to his later 'Crimson Peak' in tone and subject. There were many moments of wincing violence that made me jump and the idea of foetus-flavoured rum was something that really creeped me out. The film is full of Christian symbolism, baptism, stigmata, resurrection, as well as being a metaphor for the war.

 

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Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)
Russ Meyer makes late-60s Los Angeles look like one long groovy soft-core freak party but with a post-Manson violent streak. I wouldn't be surprised if a young Quentin Tarantino ground up VHS tapes of this movie and smoked them, so this might make a great primer for Tarantino's forthcoming film 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' which is set in the same time and place. 'Beyond the Valley of the Dolls' is so bad it's brilliant, so trashy it's high-art and so cheesy it's ice-cool. A rare script from film-critic Roger Ebert is packed with memorable and quotable lines like...

a49067e6779ee580e2193978b13c01bf.gif


...and it's not every movie that has a character scream:

"Ere this night does wane, you will drink the black sperm of my vengeance!"


^ This teaser trailer is amazing :D.
 

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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.
 

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Mimic (1997)
'Mimic' is pretty damn good for a 90s early-CGI Horror which had a troubled production due to the notorious Weinstein Brothers having final-cut and interfering with Guillermo del Toro's vision to the point of going on set to tell him how to direct! Del Toro is quoted as saying "It was a horrible, horrible, horrible experience" and James Cameron alleges he nearly hit Harvey Weinstein with his 'Titantic' Oscar in response. The first two acts are terrific but things start to get more like a cliched haunted-house Horror towards the end. A full look at the creature is wisely withheld until an hour in, leaving our disgusted imagination to guess the creature's size and shape from little glimpses. NYC Public-health officials being portrayed as if they are tough street cops was a little odd but I'd maybe put that down this being a Mexican Director's first US film? Whatever compromises he was forced to make, Del Toro's eye for Gothic Cinematography is in full effect in every shot. Also the cast is filled with top rank acting talent.

(I watched Del Toro's longer "Director's Cut")


The Seven Minutes (1971)
This rare example of Sexploitation Director Russ Meyer trying to make a "normal" movie seems to have a very bad rap critically but I love a feisty court-room drama and the obscenity trial at the center of this film has that in spades... lots of angry lawyers shouting "Objection!". The film isn't about whether the titular book is obscene (because almost all the characters privately admit it is not), it's more about the hypocritical motives of the politicians trying to ban it and the defense lawyer's almost heroic determination to defeat them. With politicians today still finding it easy to blame their own messes on video-games and music, 'The Seven Minutes' is a surprisingly relevant film.

 

Collipso

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i watched The Godfather Part III the other day, and while not nearly as good as the other two, i still managed to enjoy watching it quite a bit. Michael's character and how he deals with his past in relation to the present, alongside a good performance by Pacino was by far the best aspect of the movie. the story was very interesting but i didn't like how the plot moved it forward, i thought Coppola tried to handle it in a similar way in which he handled Part II's story, but he ended up making it too convoluted and confusing at times. and oh boy i sure didn't like the younger leads' performances. particularly sofia coppola's performance, what the heck was that. still, this movie has probably been beaten to death already. it's not a bad movie by any means, i'd still give it a 7/10 or something, but when you compare this to its predecessors, it really falls short.
 
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