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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #461
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The Year The Town Hall Shrank

The Year The Town Hall Shrank - 2012 - 7/10



Discouraging, often infuriating three part documentary of Stoke on Trent dealing with £35 M funding cut.
Social services particularly hard hit. Retirement homes, childrens centers, libraries, pools ...
Refreshing to watch and listen to politicians and leaders deal with vociferous opposition.
From angry moms to the extreme right wing.
In other places, politicians hide or doubletalk or flat out lie.
This is how the sausage is made, or rather, divvied up.
Then -- there are the deadbeats. Don’t get me started.
Everyone I viewed this with expressed strong opinions afterward.
Our local rep never says anything other than, “I’m fighting for you!”
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #462
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Cure For Wellness

Cure For Wellness - 6/10 - 2017



Tempted to score this higher for escalating preposterous nonsense of this folly.
Corporate masterminds send dodgy underling to exclusive Swiss spa to fetch missing CEO.
Within two ticks, anyone who has ever screened a movie or read a book would go, “Hey, this fenced up, nestled in oblivion castle is strange.” Or - “Are all these white clad patients drugged?”
Anyway, the young man stays longer than planned and keeps drinking the mineral water.
Meanwhile, he wanders all over the place, deep into underground chambers, locked rooms, laboratories.
How come the staff simply does not drug his curious ass?
Beautiful photography! But - it serves to mask the lack of cohesive plot.
I thought the story ended five times. Nope. Director thought of something else cool looking to add.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this.
Afterward, however, we were all going, “What happened with -- Why did they -- How come --”
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #463
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Délice Paloma

Délice Paloma - 2007 - 6/10
AKA - Paloma Delight



Algerian film of low level con-artists, grifters, scammers.
Ostensibly a counseling service, the ladies arrange divorces, damage store rivals, peddle flesh.
Film opens as the boss of the clique, Aldjeria, is released from three years in the prison.
Two of her previous cohorts, disguised in nun habits, greet her under the bridge.
From there, flashbacks unfold the final big deal, before it went wrong.
Interesting look inside Algeria.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #464
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Queen Of Mystery

Queen Of Mystery - 2017 - 5/10
AKA - Chooriui Yeowang // 추리의 여왕



Housewife is drawn to crime solving, much to the annoyance of roughhouse detective.
Odd couple pairing has been used countless times, this is an inferior version.
Straight off, early episodes are 40% comedy, juvenile, bathroom jokes.
Actors mug and make silly faces throughout. Writing is lazy, direction poor.
Aside from an arc (unfinished), there are 4 two part storylines. All are “women at risk.”
This is where my feelings derail. The victims’ paths are often poignant, depressing.
Writers put thought into these, acting and directing is restrained and compassionate.
Police and the lady mull around, sad and thoughtful, then the jaunty music fires up.
Ooh, another mystery to solve! And into “dumb” they go again.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #465
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Incident

Incident - 1948 - 5/10



Often categorized as Noir, this low-rent effort is not.
Cheap budget, poor sets, women with bad perms, men with empty heads.
Poverty Row, B-mystery all the way.
Man misses late bus and decides to walk home.
In a case of mistaken identity, he is mugged and beaten, but not robbed.
Later that week, he decides to find out who beat him up, who hired that guy, and who the intended victim was.
Yes, IQ of a sandwich.
Along the way he meets an intriguing female who keeps a few secrets.
Time waster. There are easily 643 better Noirs out there.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #466
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The Man Behind Hitler

The Man Behind Hitler - 2006 - 7/10



Documentary on Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minster of propaganda.
Kenneth Branagh reads excerpts from Goebbels diary.
Newsreels, still photos try to “put you back” into the moment.
Extremely well done and essential for any WWII buff.

Two points I wondered about.
1) Keeping any sort of diary strikes me as risky, especially with such pointed entries.
2) The diaries survived intact!

Another thing. Goebbels was German, Branagh is British.
So what part of this “The American Experience” episode is U S of A related?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #467
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The Iron Cross

The Iron Crown - 1972 - 6/10
AKA - Kanawa // 鉄の王冠



Offbeat mix of traditional Noh drama with modern retelling.
Unfaithful husband abandons wife for young tramp. Wife refuses divorce, but decides to deliver hell.
The Noh is slower and more stylized, yet has more powerful images.
Highlight being the wife pounding nails into the groin area of straw fetishes.
Nudity and comingling throughout, tasteful compositions, spare music.
At the far end of arthouse, and definitely an acquired taste.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #468
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My Hot Property

My Hot Property - 2016 - 5/10



Sleek, sexy corporate spy quafffs drugs by the crate and plays squitzy with fried brain boyfriend.
Then she falls behind in the rent in uber pricey London and buyers circle.
Movie follows her combative campaigns to hold onto her accommodations.
Meant to be a comedy, perhaps an edgy satire, this is low on laughs, high on stupid.
Asinine situations, moronic characters, as enticing as soggy pizza with mushy noodles.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #469
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Beauty's Evil Roses

The Beauty’s Evil Roses - 1992 - 5/10
AKA - Se Jiang II Zhi Xie Mei Gui // 色降II之血玫瑰



Wildly insane Hong Kong Cat III film of kidnapped girls, magic spells, lesbian action, penis snakes, machine guns, motorcycle gangs, kung fu, nudity, spawning, handcuff lovin’, sleazy music ...
Girls are indoctrinated into an evil queen’s entourage.
Disobedience or failure is punished by whippings, spanking and spell magic.
Hard to tell what the motivations are of anyone, aside from police and a brother searching for his sister.
The editing is jarring and haphazard. Music is not even faded between scenes. Chop chop chop.
Conflicts (gunfire - incantations - slappings) are intercut with long stretches of nudity and mattress action.
Legendary film that I somehow never saw in the 90s when I was so obsessive over HK films.
I think was expecting more, or at least better cutting.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #470
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The Art Of Negative Thinking

The Art Of Negative Thinking - 2006 - 6/10
AKA - Kunsten åtenke Negativt



Weekly, monthly meeting of paraplegic support group arrives at home of newest member.
Much to his resentment, resistance, and dismissive scorn.
They are, indeed, a bubbly mix with their optimistic credos and motorized wheelchairs.
Viewers might be forgiven for hating them almost as quickly as the infuriated homeowner does.
They roll in anyway, and he immediately begins to shred the smiling facades.
Black comedy holds back way too much.
Feels like a play, stagebound and talky. (Note: on the boards in 2010)
Yeah, what was I expecting? Dancing? Synchronized swimming?
From Norway.
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