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Old 1 Week Ago   #611
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Festival!

Festival! - 1967 - 7/10



Document offers a nice sampler of the Folkie era at Newport from 1962 - 1966.
Almost all the major artists, and many less known, are given a song -- or part of a song.
This is not a history of the movement, but performance clips.
No pop music, though Joan Baez gives an impromptu "From Me To You" while signing autographs.
Dylan is acoustic, then electric with The Butterfield Blues Band, foreshadowing Monterey Pop.
Worthwhile, though dated and the lack of historical context is limiting.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #612
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Tonite Lets All Make Love In London

Tonite Lets All Make Love In London - 1967 - 6/10



Cinematic time capsule during the height of Swinging London.
Concert footage spliced with interviews (famous, forgotten or obscure).
Julie Christie, Lee Marvin, Michael Caine reflect on the times.
Mick Jagger muses upon a future where more people have less to do, and possible discontent.
Nightclub sequences, protest rallies, fashion, nudity, artists, with nonstop music.
Musical groups include “The” Pink Floyd, Eric Burdon and the Animals, The Rolling Stones.
For Pink Floyd fans, Syd Barrett leads “Interstellar Overdrive."
Fast moving, rapid cut film relies on knowledge of faces, history and mores of the era.
Experimental work, part high concept, part pretentious meandering.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #613
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Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie

Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie - 2009 - 6/10



French adaptation of Christie's Hercule Poirot's yarns.
No fussy little Belgium in these, however. His character is rewritten as Inspector Larosière.
Larosière is a ladies man, gourmand, elegant dresser, at ease with royals and commoners.
The stories, of course, are nasty pieces of murder, and everyone has motives.
For whatever reason, I never cared for Mr Poirot, finding him overly weird and mannered.
Larosière, for me, was more relatable. There is also a Gallic charm in all of these.
These French versions are a fizzy counterpoint to more faithful, English productions.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #614
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13 Tzameti

13 Tzameti - 2005 - 7/10



A young, barely employed roofer overhears a fractured discussion from a dying, drugged oldster about making a big score.
The geezer dies, the kid intercepts his mail and decides to follow the steps and take his place.
Easy money.
Black and white French film, stark and dark, turns grim once the kid arrives at the destination.
Once the money men arrive, guns are passed. Then there is no backing out.
Again, this is the 2005 French original, not the 2010 Hollywood rehack.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #615
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Cloverfield Paradox

Cloverfield Paradox - 2018 - 4/10



I suspected I would not like this, and fifteen minutes in I was rolling my eyes.
To be blunt, I don't care for Mr Abrams. To me, he is the Michael Bay of this generation, pandering to the LCD.
Anyway ...
Planet Earth has almost run out of energy. Solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear, never panned out, I guess.
Science types construct a big ole generator up in space to power humanity.
Once tests begin, things go haywire.
The crew immediately holler, point and explode emotionally. Sorry, no rational types aboard. (sorta like airline cockpits where pilots point and scream, "What's that light? We're gonna die!! Mommy!! Mommy!!")
Crew members also run all over the station. Hey, ain't space supposed to be weightless? Reference Gravity or Interstellar or The Expanse. Nonetheless, the producer obviously thinks running is cool.
The plot involves alternate dimensions and the "cloverfield" connection is garbage.
Reviews have been dismal. Believe them. I wanted something spacey ... and got space poop.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #616
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Battle Los Angeles

Battle Los Angeles - 2011 - 4/10



I delayed watching this after all the negative reviews across forums.
All the elements for a top action flick were there, except for way too many family cliches.
There are kids in the film. Utter waste of time. In western films, kids never get killed or eaten.
I don't care if they are related to the director or producer. No more Newts!
Leftover civilians. Listen, the mayor, governor, prime minister orders, "Get outta Dodge!" you don't say, "Ooh, maybe there is a sale at Piggly Wiggly."
Marines who have to protect deadbeats ought to jab their thumbs with, "Exit's that way, Pilgrim."
Don't try to make action films for kids and mommies.
In the featurette, one of the honchos said they were trying to outdo Alien or Aliens.
As if. Is that why their template was Independence Day, another family friendly suckfest?
Vasquez and Drake coulda kicked their ass ... even saddled with Hudson!

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Old 3 Days Ago   #617
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The Student

The Student - 2016 - 7/10
AKA - (M)uchenik



Russian male student refuses to participate in high school swimming class.
Hauled before school administrators, he declares the bikini clad females are an affront to Biblical teaching.
What teaching? His mother beside him wonders. She works three jobs, they do not attend church.
No matter. He carries the day and is exempt from swim class and girls are ordered to wear one piece suits.
Next, he escalates confrontations with teachers, his mother, priests, any who might buckle.
Unpleasant, uncompromising story of someone claiming moral authority to seize control.
Stage roots show after a bit, but acting is uniformly excellent.
I detested most characters: the disrupter, the obsessed, the weaklings.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #618
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Alphaville

Alphaville - 1965 - 7/10
AKA - Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution



Secret agent Lemmy Caution arrives in the center of the galaxy, Alphaville, from the Outland.
His mission involves a earlier agent, an Outland scientist, and the calculating Alpha 60.
Though science fiction, and using phrases like inter-galactic, the style is full Noir.
Agent Caution drives up in a Mustang, lights cigarettes with his Zippo, packs a gun, carries a pocket camera.
Men wear trenchcoats or lab coats. Females have numbers tattooed on their neck and most are classified as seductress third class.



Sets are crappy fleabags or sleek, “futuristic” 60s offices. It is forever night.
Alpha 60, a computer that controls and rules Alphaville, would be HAL 9000‘s wet dream. ( Surely Kubrick saw this film.)
If you enjoy poetry readings, boy, are you in for a treat!
Assassinations by swimming pool with synchronized swimmers - check.
If you appreciate extensive talky passages dealing with identity, conformity, ideas, conscience, this is for you!
Noir swerves headlong into Experimental Theatre. SciFi on a mouse allowance.
Biting satire of films detective - spy - thriller - scifi - romance. Surreal mix from Godard.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #619
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She-Wolves: England’s Early Queens

She-Wolves: England’s Early Queens - 2012 - 6/10



Three episode documentary on six women who attempted to rule Medieval England.
Historian Helen Castor is several cuts above the witless, perky presenters who litter docs.
The material itself is a mix of intriguing and sketchy (as Castor confesses) from lack of records.
Narration, illuminated manuscripts, picturesque ruins. No talking heads.
Not necessarily compelling, may be of interest to history buffs.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #620
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Harbinger Down

Harbinger Down - 2015 - 6/10



Alright horror B-film, unremarkable yet solidly done with a stone faced adult cast.
Arctic crab-fishing boat hauls aboard an icebound chunk of metal with a beacon of sorts.
It's a Soviet space probe from the 1980s, with dead cosmonaut inside.
While the crew returns to crabbing, one of the passengers (a science type) decides to dissect the corpse.
Sure enough, there is an alien stowaway who escapes into the darkness of the ship. Then - dinner!
Plot borrows heavily from dozens of films. The Thing, Alien, Life ...
The hungry critter, which grows rapidly, reminds one of the crawling chaos.
Predictable, with a couple twists, and the acting corps, led by Lance Henricksen, is sturdy.
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