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Old 08-21-2017   #321
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Sleuths . . .

Sleuths, Spies & Sorcerers - 2016 - 6/10



Three part doc (of which I only watched E01, and am uninterested in the others) hosted by Andrew Marr
“Sleuths” charts the rise of detective fiction. Poe mentioned, but Sherlock seems the starting point.
From there, Marr details cozy, targeting Christie (though Sayers and Marsh referenced).
After WWII, hardboiled Americans Chandler and Hammett, then to modern masters Pym and Rendell and current Scandinavian dominance.
Show is about the works themselves, as well as trends - less about author’s personal lives.
Current writers discuss bygone scribes and their own processes.
Breezy, slight, though enjoyable. Marr a craggy host.
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Old 08-21-2017   #322
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Attack On Titan

Attack On Titan - 2015 - 6/10
AKA - 進撃の巨人



Fire up the barbeque grill!
Bygone, post apocalypse dystopia finds humanity lingering behind towering fortress walls.
Within fifteen minutes, the root of the apocalypse (100 years earlier) lumber inside.
30m tall, humanoid looking “titans” who soon get down to business.
Oh yes, carnivore chomping business. Preferred food - tasty humans.
Gore galore as the giants squabble over dainties and rip ‘em apart.
Technology being at subsistence level, survivors wage a losing war using blades, gunpowder and dwindling petrol.
Based on popular anime which was based on popular manga, this is an efficient distillation.
Moreover, this live action version loses the immature comedy and most of the leads are at least in their twenties, rather than teens and tweens.
Savory film with wings or ribs. Bon appétit.
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Old 08-21-2017   #323
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Rouge

Rouge - 1994 - 8/10
AKA - Red



Fashion model accidentally runs down a dog.
She locates the owner to return the injured pet.
He is not remotely interested, he is too busy illegally eavesdropping on phone calls around him.
Superb film of fraternity and disassociation.
The model is fully engaged in Life, the older man is not.
Even the secondary, tertiary narratives explore rejection, betrayal and loneliness.
Rich colours and arranged visuals enhance the moods and themes.
Arthouse, to be sure, yet ultimately this is a story of redemption, and it is never boring.
Final film in Kieslowski’s trilogy and his final film - period - before his early death.
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Old 08-21-2017   #324
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Re: Rouge

Quote Originally Posted by Zaharoff View Post
Rouge - 1994 - 8/10
AKA - Red



Fashion model accidentally runs down a dog.
She locates the owner to return the injured pet.
He is not remotely interested, he is too busy illegally eavesdropping on phone calls around him.
Superb film of fraternity and disassociation.
The model is fully engaged in Life, the older man is not.
Even the secondary, tertiary narratives explore rejection, betrayal and loneliness.
Rich colours and arranged visuals enhance the moods and themes.
Arthouse, to be sure, yet ultimately this is a story of redemption, and it is never boring.
Final film in Kieslowski’s trilogy and his final film - period - before his early death.
People like this one the most, but other than its beautiful shots I don't remember much of the plot. I rate it lower than Bleu.

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
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Old 08-22-2017   #325
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The Hard Way

The Hard Way - 1979 - 7/10



Terrific, underrated, and I suspect, little seen crime film.
Patrick McGoohan plays an Irish assassin who does a final job before telling the go-between he is finished.
Quitting is not so easy, however. His main employer, Lee Van Cleef, needs him for a more difficult job.
After clear refusals, leverage is brought to bear upon the marksman.

Moody film that advances slowly, with a brilliant sense of quiet.
Dialogue is spare, a couple characters hardly talk at all. Tight closeups of gun work.
Emphasis is placed on hunting, tracking, and stalking in three distinct sequences.
Stealth, by its nature, can be a silent and patient enterprise.
One also sees the organized hierarchy. McGoohan works under Cleef, who accepts assignments from another, who in turn is merely another go-between. Contractors, sub-contractors.
McGoohan’s estranged wife acts as a chorus, sketching in details of the man.
Hyperkinetic action fans, not for you. Those who enjoyed The Mechanic (Bronson), find this.
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Old 08-22-2017   #326
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Gothic & Lolita Psycho

Gothic & Lolita Psycho - 2010 - 5/10
AKA - Gosurori shokeinin // ゴスロリ処刑人



Rough club in Neo-Tokyo caters to cage boxing, torture, blood wagers, Kimono fan dancers ...
Parasol spinning girl arrives, resembling Cher having a bad hair day.
She slaughters everyone in the room, just to get at the first notch on her list.
Yes - vengeance. Flashback shows five black robed assassins murder her mother.
Truckloads of action and a fair bit of comedy.
The best “duel” was #4 with Lady Elle, a bubbly sort wearing skimpy schoolgirl duds.
This has decent fight choreography (I ran in slo-mo) with Elle pausing to chat on her weapon phone.
Plot is paper thin, the acting is broad and goofy (eyepatch Elle is a jewel, though).
Mindless fun for pre-teens any age.
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Old 08-22-2017   #327
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Kill Your Friends

Kill Your Friends - 2015 - 6/10

You ever wonder why pop music is so damned dreadful?
How inarticulate halfwits, scabbing lyrics a three-year-old would be ashamed of, soar up the charts?
Mostly, the herd is responsible.
You know, us, the feeble brained audience, especially when we are young and have discretionary income and limited tastes.
Oh, and there is also the A&R guy, force-feeding us crappy artists he thinks we might like.



Ferocious satire set in during the heyday of BritPop or Cool Britannia.
Our Artists & Repertoire rep is cynical to the core, ambitious, terrified of getting fired, and treacherous.
He’s hunting for the next new group, next hit. Longevity? Sod off!
Time specific to the mid 90s (in five years, filesharing will start to destroy the vast majority of record labels).
Sharp edged, wicked comedy revs out of the gate, falters midway, then strikes for the jugular.
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Old 08-23-2017   #328
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Kaydara

Kaydara - 2011 - 5/10



An independently filmed chapter of the Matrix oeuvre.
Six minutes of clay-mation followed by fifty minutes of live action / CGI.
Some impressive special effects for a film made for $5.00, but slender in the way of narration.
Battles and fights, but thankfully, no Zion nonsense.
Still up on YouTube in 720p.

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Old 08-23-2017   #329
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Blanc

Blanc - 1994 - 7/10
AKA - White



The “equality” part of Kieslowski’s Trois Couleurs triptych.
In this instance, an unhappy and unequal marriage, as seen in opening divorce proceedings.
After several years, the French bride has had enough.
Or rather, has not had enough, as their union has not been consummated.
The husband, a Polish hairdresser, is outmaneuvered legally and is soon destitute.
Film tracks the ex husband and his struggle to rebuild his life and perhaps regain his wife.
A dour comedy, fatalistic throughout, stands on its own (you don’t have to see Bleu or Rouge).
While I prefer the other films, all three ought to be viewed fairly close together.
The trilogy is exceptional filmmaking.
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Old 08-23-2017   #330
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14 - Diaries Great War

14 - Diaries Of The Great War - 2014 - 7/10



Imaginative WWI documentary should not be ones first choice for an overview of that war.
A compelling series, nonetheless, that will reward viewers who dig into it.
The usual combination of newsreel footage, stills and maps, is augmented with reenactments.
Diaries are quoted extensively and played out by actors.
This may take awhile to get accustomed to, but one does fall in with the concept.
“14 Diaries” are the prime journeys, yet secondary quotes and passages come from hundreds of memoirs.
Diaries and journals are not necessarily historically accurate, but they are heartfelt and hopefully honest whereas wartime news reports are invariably censored, if not fabricated.
Of particular note is the film restoration and colouring (sparingly) which is breathtaking.



An international production (trench sequences shot in Canada) that gives me my only quibble.
Characters speak in many languages. Sometimes they are subbed, other times overdubbed.
I wish producers would have made one choice and stuck with it.
Minor nitpick. For historical types, this should go onto your queue.

Last edited by Zaharoff; 08-24-2017 at 06:04 PM..
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