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Old 12-16-2017   #531
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Tangerine

Tangerine - 2015 - 7/10



Looking for something different this Christmas?
Not that this is a holiday story, per se, but all events occur on December 24th in sunny Los Angeles.
Tranny Sin Dee has just been released from 30 days in county lockup and she is soon looking to kick ass.
Her boyfriend / pimpster Chester had been two-timng her with a young, blonde fish (natural borned female).
Film turns into a hilarious man ... wo-man ... fish hunt as Sin Dee, last name - wait for it - Rella starts busting down doors hunting for Chester and that fish girlfriend of his.



There’s a subplot of an Armenian taxi driver, with a taste for trannies, and a stream of skid row riders in back.
Side-splitting, rapid fire dialogue with an eye opening peek into transworld LA.
Geeks - whole thing shot on an iPhone!
Roaring fun, though not for everyone. γνῶθι σεαυτόν
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Old 12-18-2017   #532
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The Century That Wrote Itself

The Century That Wrote Itself - 2013 - 6/10



Century, meaning the 17th (1600s if this is easier), and the writers, the English.
Presented by Adam Nicolson, this does not follow the poets or novelists.
No, for the most part, he selects ordinary people, writing diaries, letters, journals.
As more are able to read and write, and as delivery methods improve, communication explodes.
This propulsive juggernaut of all this knowledge will lead to our modern era.
So ... the skeptical may have to suspend a bit with this, and E03 is marred by fluff.
E02, however, "The Rewritten Universe" excels!
The beginning finds diarist Ralph Josselin recording his daily life, piously thanking God for even the most trivial occurrences in a world mysterious and dangerous, only to conclude with Isaac Newton attempting to understand the mechanics behind the Divine design.
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Old 12-18-2017   #533
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The Bishop's Wife

The Bishop’s Wife - 1947 - 7/10

Once a perennial Yule favorite, less shown nowadays.
Bishop (non Catholic) prays for help.
Not guidance, not solutions, help.
An angel is sent - Cary Grant.
The angel works, likes God, in mysterious ways, not always understandable.
A small sweep of characters are touched by him, shown the light or their burdens eased.
Old fashioned, uplifting movie. Wry, not syrupy. Gentle, not noisy. Several unforgettable scenes.
Impossible to imagine this remade today, the generation of cynicism giving way to the ironic age.
Most could not imagine a chance encounter with the Divine.

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Old 12-19-2017   #534
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Rivers Edge Okawabata Detective Agency

Rivers Edge Okawabata Detective Agency - 2014 - 7/10
AKA - Ribasu Ejji Ookawabata Tanteisha // リバースエッジ 大川端探偵社



Late night J-dorama of tiny detective group that seems to specialize in peculiar requests.
A client wants ramen that tastes like it did 40 years ago, another wants to know the voice behind the fun fair announcements, another seeks a long gone, third level pop idol singer.
The boss has unspoken connections with yakuza families, the main investigator has premonitions, the office girl is a hooker by trade.
Generally, they satisfy client requests, though solutions are often unwelcome.
"Be careful what you ask for," applies.
Note - Being a late night program, some sexual scenes will offend the prudish.
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Old 12-19-2017   #535
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Murder At Christmas

Murder At Christmas - 2014 - 6/10



During Yule revels, Joanna Yeates, a bubbly, sunshine in a bottle lass, disappears in Bristol.
Surveillance cameras capture most of her movements on 17 December, on into her flat.
Her body was found Christmas Day, strangled.
Lightweight documentary poorly captures details or motivations.
Explanations for the culprit are sketchy.
Sad, especially considering the season, but oddly indifferent.
Not mentioned was the shockingly awful press coverage.
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Old 12-20-2017   #536
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Ça va Barder

Ça va Barder - 1955 - 6/10
AKA - Give 'em Hell



Fun, albeit extremely confusing Eddie Constantine vehicle.
He hires on as investigator for shipping magnate / arms dealer.
Vessels are being hijacked and contents stolen in Mozambique.
Our man is soon dealing with smugglers, embezzlers, gangsters, scam artists, and lots of barely dressed, gorgeous women (or, to use the vernacular of the day, dames).
If you think Lemmy Caution territory, you would not be far off.
This strikes me as a spoof of that franchise.
Fistfights are sheer nonsense, and chases are undercranked (ie: Benny Hill).
Nonetheless, blacklisted Hollywood director John Berry does wonders with small budget, as far as the look goes.
Enjoyable time waster.
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Old 12-20-2017   #537
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La Bûche

La Bûche - 1999 - 6/10



Days before Christmas, mother's second husband dies and gets planted.
Her daughters gather, attempt to reorganize the Christmas dinner, and begin arguing.
This is not about the season of good will, but relationships and histories.
γνῶθι σεαυτόν
Holiday lights and decorations aside, most of the sisters have "men problems" be they boyfriends, husbands, lovers, or dear old dad (Ma's husband #1).
Attractive cast, lushly photographed, but this is possibly more for French film connoisseurs.
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Old 12-21-2017   #538
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The Matrimony

The Matrimony - 2007 - 6/10
AKA - 心中有鬼



For many, title is dead giveaway.
Matrimony = Horror film.
Ghost story set in 1930s Shanghai.
New wife receives orders from chronically depressed husband: DO NOT venture into a locked room . . .
Quicker than she can say, “This door is creaky," she channels her inner Pandora.
Lush sets, understated acting, definitely a mood piece, but an old fashioned ghost story.
Main problem is ham fisted sound mix, with music and effects cranked to the max during spooky moments.
Otherwise, decent "Ooooo story."
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Old 12-21-2017   #539
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Susan Slept Here

Susan Slept Here - 1954 - 6/10



Film set during Christmas, but not necessarily a holiday story.
Vice cops drop off 17 year old juvenile delinquent (Debbie Reynolds) to 35 year old Hollywood writer (Dick Powell - who was 50 when this came out), and leave her in his care during Christmas.
Creepy premise for romantic comedy fluff.
I am a big fan of Mr Powell, though, and sheepishly enjoyed this one.
Lush, over saturated Technicolor hues, and the overall design was packed with reds and greens, white trees, ornaments, presents in foil.
Great dream sequence, as well, with Reynolds doing a trapeze/pole dance thing inside a giant bird cage, while Powell (in sailor’s uniform), tempted by Anne Frances as ensnaring spider femme.
Powell’s last movie role.
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Old 12-23-2017   #540
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Citizen Jane: Battle For The City

Citizen Jane: Battle For The City - 2016 - 7/10



Jane Jacobs takes on Robert Moses, staunch believer in urban renewal (ie: negro removal).
In the 50s and 60s, Moses was extremely influential and powerful, annihilating neighborhoods, replacing them with overpasses, bypasses, highways. Cars vs people.
Rough, albeit safe, blocks were leveled and high rise tenements erected. Crime exploded.
This occurred not only in Gotham, but across the States.
Moses crushed opposition: business owners, neighborhood groups, politicos.
Jacobs and her supporters took his machine on, over and over.

Note: I have been in numerous battles against the faceless, imperious palisade.
City Hall, highway developers, zoning flunkies, employing different tactics depending.
Sometimes victory, other times defeat. You must contest, however, (not mere petitions, either, get your ass in motion) or they will simply walk over your rights.
Jacobs is inspirational, and essential viewing for anyone taking on "the man."
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