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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #501
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Dekalog

Dekalog - 1989 - 8/10
AKA - The Decalogue



Ten part morality series based on the Ten Commandments.
Each episode reworks a specific "thou shalt" commandment, though sometimes the reference is vague.
While stories are stand-alone, characters often reappear. Most live in the same large apartment.
Extraordinarily well done and thoughtful.
Although not a downer series, it is "Serious" filmmaking.
And yes, this is a Polish TV series, but is firmly rooted in cinema.
While I admired this and appreciated it, I did not enjoy a single episode.
For obscure music buffs, a rare chance to hear Van den Budenmayer.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #502
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Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals - 2016 - 7/10



Betrayal, death, revenge. Template of the thriller. This outing, two interweaving narratives.
Glossy, sterile Hollywood Hills and the midnight scrub of West Texas.
Los Angeles artist receives a manuscript from her ex.
As she reads the dark tale, she overlays herself, her daughter, and her ex onto the protagonists.
Middle of the night, family travels the backroads, and encounters drunken joyriders.
Mistake piles onto mistake with grim consequences.
Academy honchos totally snubbed this one, save for a riveting Michael Shannon as the hard lawman.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #503
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Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy - 1953 - 6/10
AKA - La Môme Vert de Gris



Casablanca police hear a dying gang member ramble about $20 million in gold, US transport, and an imminent date.
Baffled, they alert the US consulate, who contacts the FBI, who ship off crack agent, Lemmy Caution.
First of the Lemmy Caution series starring craggy faced (mirror breaking) Eddie Constantine.
This bears all the trappings of Noir: shadows, endless cigarettes, smooth gangsters, seedy nightclubs, hard dames.
Only, this is too lite for Noir. Breezy almost playful, and the fisticuffs are ridiculous.
Moreover, Lemmy always seems three steps ahead of the muscle and the brains.
Enjoyable from start to finish, but pure marshmallow.
Compensations include nightclub dancer that US censors would never tolerate.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #504
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Coma

Coma - 2005 - 7/10
AKA - 코 마

Surprisingly, there are few Asian dramas that are Horror themed.
There are a couple that touch on elements, such as Vampire Prosecutor, but none go as full bore as this neglected gem.



Five episode K-drama, set in a closing hospital. Expect dark and deserted corridors.
Everything of value has been relocated and salvage employees scour floor by floor until they come to the door with the heavy steel bar, padlock, chains. In the finest traditions, they break into the sealed room and unleash ...
First episode follows the insurance agent, handling the closure and dealing with patients, particularly one in a coma.
The agent had actually been there ten years earlier, so there are flashbacks showing what happened ten years ago and what in now unearthed.
Second episode, same night, follows the head nurse once the sealed room is open and flashes back to when she was a young nurse.
Third episode, the police detective. Fourth episode - you get the pattern.



Atmospheric sound design, inspired use of minimal budget, clever lighting.
Each episode reveals more grim history.
Halloween fare for spooky hospital fans, revenge seekers, dead wet girls.
Excellent, self-contained Horror series.

Note: I reworked subs - Download Coma (코마 ) subtitles in English and other languages - Addic7ed.com
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Old 1 Week Ago   #505
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Whose Streets?

Whose Streets? - 2017 - 6/10



Documentary on the Ferguson riots in 2014.
The trigger was the killing of a black high school boy by a police officer.
The boy was unarmed, and the officer, who felt threatened, subdued him with 6 bullet holes.
When the community gathered to protest, the city responded with overwhelming force.
This is not an unbiased documentary. Reference Michael Moore.
The point of view on this is strictly with the community.
Law enforcement, city officials either were not interviewed or declined.
Focus weakens during unnecessary coverage of a wedding.
The rest of the time, this carries some eye-opening information.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #506
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Mary Pickford

American Experience: Mary Pickford - 2004 - 7/10



Fine documentary on America’s sweetheart, from the Silent Era.
Good collection of stills, clips from her films (including Griffith shorts), newsreels. home movies.
One gets a good feel for Pickford the actress, professional, and business woman.
What is unseen, is Pickford’s private life, the person under the role.
Especially after she quit acting and became a recluse.

I have to be in the right mood to watch Pickford.
She excelled at radiating purity and innocence, which I am seldom in the mood for.
An influential actress, her audiences insisted she portray young girls (even into her 30s).
Tastes can change overnight. She was abandoned when 20s theater goers opted for sleeker models.
Most movie stars seem to end up badly, personal opinion.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #507
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Re: A few reviews

I have seen a different documentary on her. Why do you think she ended up badly? She said she quit when she did because she wanted to preserve her image as a young girl, although she did do tv interviews and public appearances long after that.

I get the impression this was fairly normal for silent actresses to retire young and stay away from cameras? Maybe a few classic burlesque dancers too.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #508
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Pickfair

I think you are referring to A Life On Film, produced in 1997 and re released by Milestone in 2001.
I have that, too, and it is excellent. As with the doc by The American Experience, it avoids her alcoholism and self imposed seclusion.
She was also forced to sell off her stake in UA.
Milestone was working with the Pickford Foundation at that time, releasing many of her films on DVD, and I suspect they were cautious.
Kevin Brownlow's books fill in many details, as does Christel Schmidt's.
Louise Brooks, in comparison, had a less celebrated, stormy career, yet she lived long enough to see her works resurrected and appreciated.

Thinking back, I can only get annoyed at myself for not making the attempt to visit her or Pickfair when I lived in Los Angeles in the 70s.
From what I read, Buddy sometimes gave tours to visitors, even if Mary declined to see anyone.
You don't think about these things when you are young.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #509
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Social Suicide

Social Suicide - 2015 - 5/10



Loose retelling of Romeo and Juliet for the age of tweets and selfies.
Star crossed youths post on web blogs, defy parents, chase romantic love.
Fate, in the form of a beguiler, ever so carefully clears a path.
At best, may hold the interest of the indulgent.
At worst, predictable and contains alarming cameos.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #510
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War Of The Robots

War Of The Robots - 1978 - 4/10



One of the most ridiculous SciFi movies, and an absolute gem!
There must be 47 plots that careen wildly, launch from nowhere, dead end, so I’ll try to pick the main threads.
Brainy, old man scientist gets kidnapped by robots wearing blonde Prince Valiant style wigs.
No idea why he is snatched, but Space Command reckons he needs rescuing!
There are dumpy space battles - imagine the old arcade fave, Asteroids.
The Earth force arrives on some planet to engage in more battles with the blonde robots (who have knockoff light sabers), and ultimately aid a slave rebellion!



Add an alien empress - human, of course, betrayals, quest for immortality, plastic spacesuits.
Music is cheesy, the camera crops everyone, pisspoor dubbing.
There is a final space battle that goes on for what feels like five hours.
Clearly, film producers wanted to create a grandiose space opera to hop the Star Wars bandwagon, only they were utterly clueless and used the same tropes from sword and sandal epics.
Cannot stress how indescribably awful this is. Normal viewers - beware. Trash connoisseurs - whee!
Oh, if only this was available as a deluxe DVD with commentaries.
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