Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Mothra vs. Godzilla

Mothra vs. Godzilla is a 1964 monster movie directed by Ishirō Honda. It is the 4th film in the Japanese Godzilla franchise. I saw it on HBO MAX.

But you can also see it via YouTube:



Tuesday, October 04, 2022


I don't understand why some people are getting age-restricted notices on this YouTube video.
When I click on it, it plays.
When I click on it at the YouTube site, it plays.

Rodan is a 1956 Japanese monster movie, a Toho Studio film directed by Ishirō Honda. This was Toho's first kaiju film to be shot in color. George Takei did some of the English-language dubbing.

via Youtube:

Here's a screenshot of a man involved in a discussion of global warming:

Global warming ain't a new idea, folks. We've always known... Please share your own drink-related post and join me at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, October 03, 2022

Godzilla Raids Again

Godzilla Raids Again is a 1955 monster movie, the second of the Godzilla movies following the initial 1954 Gojira. I'm surprised it's not better known. It's quite watchable. You can see it in English here:

This video has an interesting history of the film:

Sunday, October 02, 2022

The Bat (1959)

The Bat is a 1959 mystery thriller starring Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead. Those two actors ought to make it worth your while to check out. This is the fourth film adaptation of the story. I watched it on Tubi, but it's widely available including on YouTube:

1000 Misspent Hours has a lengthy plot description.

Saturday, October 01, 2022

The Sorrows of Satan

The Sorrows of Satan, Or the Strange Experience of One Geoffrey Tempest, Millionaire is an 1895 Faustian novel by Marie Corelli. It is widely regarded as one of the world's first best-sellers. You can read it online here at this link. It begins,

Do you know what it is to be poor? Not poor with the arrogant poverty complained of by certain people who have five or six thousand a year to live upon, and who yet swear they can hardly manage to make both ends meet, but really poor,—downright, cruelly, hideously poor, with a poverty that is graceless, sordid and miserable? Poverty that compels you to dress in your one suit of clothes till it is worn threadbare,—that denies you clean linen on account of the ruinous charges of washerwomen,—that robs you of your own self-respect, and causes you to slink along the streets vaguely abashed, instead of walking erect among your fellow-men in independent ease,—this is the sort of poverty I mean. This is the grinding curse that keeps down noble aspiration under a load of ignoble care; this is the moral cancer that eats into the heart of an otherwise well-intentioned human creature and makes him envious and malignant, and inclined to the use of dynamite. When he sees the fat idle woman of society passing by in her luxurious carriage, lolling back lazily, her face mottled with the purple and red signs of superfluous eating,—when he observes the brainless and sensual man of fashion smoking and dawdling away the hours in the Park, as if all the world and its millions of honest hard workers were created solely for the casual diversion of the so-called 2‘upper’ classes,—then the good blood in him turns to gall, and his suffering spirit rises in fierce rebellion, crying out—“Why in God’s name, should this injustice be? Why should a worthless lounger have his pockets full of gold by mere chance and heritage, while I, toiling wearily from morn till midnight, can scarce afford myself a satisfying meal?”

Why indeed! Why should the wicked flourish like a green bay-tree? I have often thought about it. Now however I believe I could help to solve the problem out of my own personal experience. But ... such an experience! Who will credit it? Who will believe that anything so strange and terrific ever chanced to the lot of a mortal man? No one. Yet it is true;—truer than much so-called truth. Moreover I know that many men are living through many such incidents as have occurred to me, under precisely the same influence, conscious perhaps at times, that they are in the tangles of sin, but too weak of will to break the net in which they have become voluntarily imprisoned. Will they be taught, I wonder, the lesson I have learned? In the same bitter school, under the same formidable taskmaster? Will they realize as I have been forced to do,—aye, to the very fibres of my intellectual perception,—the vast, individual, active Mind, which behind all matter, works unceasingly, though silently, a very eternal and positive God? If so, then dark problems will become clear to them, and what seems injustice in the world will prove pure equity! But I do not write with any hope of either persuading or enlightening my fellow-men. I know their obstinacy too well;—I can gauge it by my own. My proud belief in myself was, at one time, not to be outdone by any human unit on the face of the globe. And I am aware that others are in similar case. I merely intend to relate the various incidents of my career in due order exactly as they happened,—leaving to more confident heads the business of propounding and answering the riddles of human existence as best they may.

During a certain bitter winter, long remembered for its arctic severity, when a great wave of intense cold spread 3freezing influences not alone over the happy isles of Britain, but throughout all Europe, I, Geoffrey Tempest, was alone in London and well-nigh starving.
Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Friday, September 30, 2022

The Big Gundown

The Big Gundown is a 1966 Spaghetti Western directed by Sergio Sollima and starring Lee Van Cleef and Tomas Milian. I'll watch anything with Lee Van Cleef in it, but this is a solid movie and worth seeing again. I found it by doing a search through Roku, but I can't remember now where I ended up watching it. It was free, wherever it was... It's also available via YouTube: gives it high praise: "It is a wonderful film from start to finish and is a testament to what can be achieved in genre film making with the right personel and the right approach. It is, in short, a 5 star film." Senses of Cinema concludes a glowing consideration with this:
Whether we take Sollima’s masterpiece as a great political comment on the times or as one of the most endearing, action-packed spaghetti western films of the 1960s, one thing is sure: with The Big Gundown, Sollima places himself at the side of masters Leone and Corbucci...
Rotten Tomatoes has a consensus audience score of 85%.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Sweet Smell of Success

Sweet Smell of Success is a 1957 film noir (I mean there are only about 3 movies that meet all the criteria for films noir) drama film starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. I watched it on Amazon Prime, but it's also available free on Tubi.


Film Site opens their article with this: It is
an acerbic, dynamic and intense film that exposes the diseased under-side of New York City's glamorous night life, revealing brutality, capriciousness, greed, evil, psychological violence, corrupt American ambition, betrayal and cynicism. The taut, little-seen, menacing, late film noir classic is the first American film of Scottish director Alexander Mackendrick, better known for Ealing Studios light comedies such as Man in the White Suit (1951) and The Ladykillers (1955).
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 98%. Roger Ebert has it on his list of Great Movies.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022


The Analects of Confucious is an ancient Chinese book composed of a large collection of sayings and ideas attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius and his contemporaries, traditionally believed to have been compiled and written by Confucius's followers. It is believed to have been written between 475 BC –221 BC, and it achieved its final form between 206 BC – 220 AD. There's much wisdom there. Some of the more famous quotes:

Respect yourself and others will respect you.
Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.
To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace.
Never give a sword to a man who can't dance.
The noble-minded are calm and steady.
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.
Study the past if you would define the future.
Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.
Roads were made for journeys, not destinations.

Here's a 12-minute introduction:


You can read translations of this work online.

You can listen to them here:

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

99 River Street

99 River Street is 1953 film noir.

via Internet Archive:

Noir of the Week says, "The story is a knockout." DVD Talk highly recommends it. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Here's a screenshot from early in the movie:


See the coffee cups on that table in the background? Please share your own drink-related post and join me at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? is a 1969 American psychological drama film directed by Sydney Pollack, and starring Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Susannah York, Gig Young, and Red Buttons. As of 2022, it holds the record for most Oscar nominations without one for Best Picture.

Roger Ebert praises it. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 85% and an even higher audience score.

Saturday, September 24, 2022


Safe is a 1995 psychological drama film starring Julianne Moore. It made quite a spash back then, but I haven't heard much mention of it since. It's culturally significant.

via Youtube (but the audio is hard to hear):

Criterion calls it "unsettling" and describes it this way:
Julianne Moore gives a breakthrough performance as Carol White, a Los Angeles housewife in the late 1980s who comes down with a debilitating illness. After the doctors she sees can give her no clear diagnosis, she comes to believe that she has frighteningly extreme environmental allergies.
The New Yorker calls it a masterpiece. Roger Ebert has a review. Rotten Tomatoes has a xritics consensus score of 87%.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Dog Star Man

Dog Star Man is a series of short experimental films directed by Stan Brakhage and released in instalments between 1961 and 1964. The five short films all form one larger film, and they are almost always shown together as one film.

Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

The Hitch-Hiker, based on a true story, is a 1953 American film noir (so they say, but I see it more as a straight crime thriller) co-written and directed by Ida Lupino and starring Edmond O'Brien. It is the first American mainstream film noir directed by a woman.

via Youtube:

Deep Focus Review says, "The Hitch-Hiker most of all, uncovers [the director's] interest in the idyllic American Dream as a crumbling façade, behind which the individual is suppressed." Senses of Cinema has interesting background information. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics concensus score of 93%.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Evil of Dracula (1974)

Evil of Dracula is a 1974 film, third in the Japanese Bloodthirsty trilogy. I watched it free on Tubi.


I've seen The Vampire Doll (1970) and Lake of Dracula (1971), the first two in the series.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Our Town

Our Town is a 1940 film adaptation of the Thornton Wilder play. William Holden stars. This is a thought-provoking story. Much-praised (86% critics consensus rating on Rotten Tomatoes, for example) and probably the best-known adaptation, it's not my favorite by far. Its complete change of the ending guts it of a lot of its power, in my opinion, but it's in the public domain now so is readily available (via Amazon Prime, Plex, etc.) and

via YouTube:

Here's a screenshot from early in the movie:

There are two other adaptations that are truer to the original play, and I'd like to share those below.

In 1977, Hal Holbrook starred as the Stage Manager/Narrator in a television presentation, and you can watch that version on YouTube at this link.

In 2003, Paul Newman played the Stage Manager/Narrator in a PBS Masterpiece Theater presentation. It's also available via YouTube:

Please share your own drink-related post and join me at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Little Big Man

Little Big Man is a 1970 revisionist western film starring Dustin Hoffman, Chief Dan George, and Faye Dunaway. I watched it on Amazon Prime. It's also available free on Pluto.


Roger Ebert says, "It is the very folksiness of Penn's film that makes it, finally, such a perceptive and important statement about Indians, the West, and the American dream. There's no stridency, no preaching, no deep-voiced narrators making sure we got the point of the last massacre." Spirituality and Practice calls it "A picaresque masterpiece about an inimitable American anti-hero whose wild adventures are delivered into our hearts and minds with the robust vitalities of comedy and the sharp blows of tragedy." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 96%.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Daughter 42

The Daughter texted me this image.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Barney Thomson

Barney Thomson is a 2015 comedy thriller starring Robert Carlyle, Emma Thompson, and Ray Winstone. It's fun enough. I can't say more than that, but then comedy is never my first choice so you might be more likely to think better of it. I watched it on Amazon Prime, but it's available free on Tubi and other free services.


Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Red Notice

Red Notice is a 2021 American action comedy film starring Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot. Another of these bits of mindless fun. The critics didn't care for it, but then that doesn't stop it from being an enjoyable way to spend a coupla hours. I watched it on Netflix.


Tuesday, September 13, 2022


RRR is a 2022 Indian film, an action drama. I always enjoy Indian films. They do tend to be long, but they don't feel long because I'm so completely engaged. It's wonderfully satisfying. I watched it on Netflix.


Vox opens with this:
S.S. Rajamouli’s RRR (Rise, Roar, Revolt) has taken the world by storm. It’s one of the most expensive Indian films ever made, and one of the most successful, becoming the fourth-highest-grossing Indian film of all time. Even Netflix, which has been streaming the movie since May, declared it to be the most watched Indian film on its service, viewed over 45 million times globally. Critics love it, and its GIFs and scenes have swept social media. It’s an undeniable slam-dunk of global success. Coming out of the Telugu-language film industry of Tollywood in South India, as opposed to the more popular Hindi-language industry of Bollywood, this period drama from India’s biggest filmmaker is a cinematic event.
Roger Ebert's site concludes by saying,
It’s not every day that a new Indian movie—which are typically not advertised to Western viewers beyond indigenous language speakers, and therefore largely ignored by Western outlets—is presented as an event to American theatergoers. Attend or miss out.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 92% and an audience score even higher.


My Tea Tuesday image is of a woman making tea in an Indian tea stall:

Please share your own tea-related post and join us at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, September 12, 2022

The World's End

The World's End is a 2013 science fiction comedy film starring Simon Pegg and Martin Freeman. In the film, five friends return to their hometown to reattempt a pub crawl they failed twenty-three years earlier, only to discover the town is in the midst of an alien invasion. Comedy is never my first choice, but this is absolutely hilarious. I watched it on HBO Max.


Roger Ebert's web site opens a positive review by saying, "You might not expect a slapstick comedy about middle-aged pubcrawlers brawling with superhuman extraterrestrial invaders to have brains, heart and wisdom, but that's "The World's End," a rare film that's as much fun as you've heard." The Guardian opens their positive review with this:
Edgar Wright's new movie lands a double-whammy of funny and clever: a good-natured sci-fi comedy of male mid-life discontent that disproves the famous LP Hartley quotation. It is the present that is the foreign country, or rather the alien planet, and as we get older we feel increasingly exiled from that homeland of the past where everything felt more vivid and real.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 89%.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

The Librarian

The Librarian is a film trilogy that led to the delightful TV series. We thoroughly enjoyed these movies, as we had enjoyed the television series. They are all fun, and I can heartily recommend them. I've forgotten where I saw them, but they're available free on Tubi. I'm embedding trailers below.

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear:

The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines:

The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice:

Saturday, September 10, 2022


Prey is a 2022 science fiction action horror film, a prequel to the Predator series, and the Predator series is a favorite at our house. This movie does the series proud. I watched it on Hulu. In fact, I'll admit we signed up to Hulu for this movie, and it was well worth it.


Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 93%.

Friday, September 09, 2022

Blue Moon of Kentucky

Blue Moon of Kentucky:

composed by the Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe in 1945 and made famous by Elvis Presley. Monroe died on this date in 1996 in Tennessee 4 days before his 85th birthday.

Thursday, September 08, 2022

International Literacy Day

Happy International Literacy Day! Celebrate reading! There are many wonderful books and stories available to read free online. Maybe this would be a good day to start one.

Wednesday, September 07, 2022


Uncharted is a 2022 action adventure film starring Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, and Antonio Banderas. This is one of those mindless bits of fun that's perfect for random entertainment. I watched it on Netflix. If there's a sequel I'll watch it.




Tuesday, September 06, 2022

McSorley's Bar

McSorley's Bar (1912):

by John Sloan, who died on September 7, 1951, of cancer at 80 years of age. from Wikipedia:
Sloan's paintings are represented in almost all major American museums. Among his best-known works are Hairdresser's Window (1907) in the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum, The Picnic Ground (1907) in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Haymarket (1907) in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum, Yeats at Petitpas in the collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, McSorley's Bar (1912) in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts, The 'City' from Greenwich Village (1922) in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, and The White Way (1927) in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 1971, his painting Wake of the Ferry (1907) was reproduced on a U.S. postage stamp honoring Sloan.

His students included Peggy Bacon, Aaron Bohrod, Alexander Calder, Reginald Marsh, Barnett Newman, Minna Citron, and Norman Raeben. In 1939, he published a book of his teachings and aphorisms, Gist of Art, which remained in print for over sixty years.

In American Visions, the critic Robert Hughes praised Sloan's art for "an honest humaneness, a frank sympathy, a refusal to flatten its figures into stereotypes of class misery ... He saw his people as part of larger totality, the carnal and cozy body of the city itself." In American Painting from the Armory Show to the Depression, art historian Milton Brown called Sloan "the outstanding figure of the Ash Can School." To his friend, the painter John Butler Yeats, and to art critic Henry McBride, he was "an American Hogarth."

The lobby of the United States Post Office in Bronxville, New York, features a mural by Sloan painted in 1939 and titled The Arrival of the First Mail in Bronxville in 1846 commissioned by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts. The post office and mural were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988


Please share your own drink-related post and join me at Bluebeard and Elizabeth's T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, September 05, 2022

It Had Pale Skin

It Had Pale Skin is a 2016 horror short film about a girl walking home in the dark.

Sunday, September 04, 2022


Likeable is a short story by Deb Olin Unferth. You can read it online here. It begins,
She could see she was becoming a thoroughly unlikable person.

Yes, not much of a preview, but it's an extremely short short story...

Saturday, September 03, 2022

The Missouri Breaks

The Missouri Breaks is a 1976 western film directed by Arthur Penn and starring Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson. Harry Dean Stanton is also in this. John Williams composed the music. I watched it on Amazon Prime.




Cinapse calls it " the greatest cult film to never find its cult." Slant Magazine calls it a "big, eccentric film". Rotten Tomatoes has a consensus critics score of 81%.

Friday, September 02, 2022

The Northman (2022)

The Northman is a 2022 historical action thriller. Highly praised and well-reviewed with real talent associated with it, I found it gray and tedious. "Everybody dies and nobody makes a profit" would apply here. I watched it on Peacock Premium, which we have since cancelled our subscription to.


Thursday, September 01, 2022



by Carla Thomas, the Queen of Memphis Soul, who was born in Memphis

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Z (1969)

Z is an award-winning French-Algerian political thriller about governmental corruption. It stars Yves Montand and Irene Papas. I watched it on HBO Max.


Roger Ebert gives it a full 4 stars. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 94%.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

The Voice of the Nightingale

Why do I link the film name to the Wikipedia entry if there is one instead of the IMDb or other link? Because the Wikipedia entry provides a link to the IMDb entry as well as to other sources of information while the IMDb is self-contained and more limited in the information they provide. YMMV, of course, and I know there are folks who have different starting points for film information, but Wikipedia is my go-to starter site. The film below has a Wikipedia entry for the director but not for this individual film, so the film link is to IMDb.
The Voice of the Nightingale is a 1923 short (11 minutes) film directed by Ladislas Starevich. It combines live action and animation to tell the story of a little girl (played by the director's daughter) who learns why nightingales sing only at night. Starevich is a Polish-Russian stop-motion animator who in 1912 directed the first puppet-animated film. He kept every puppet he made and would use them again in later films. He was one of the few European animators to be known by name in the United States before the 1960s.

I think this director's work is charming, and the animation is amazing!

Please join me in sharing a post with a drink reference (here's mine):

I'll meet you at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger party.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Salt of the Earth

Salt of the Earth is a 1954 film based on historical events. I watched it on Amazon Prime, but it's also available free at Tubi and via YouTube:

Film Site calls it the "independently-made, political and social commentary historical drama about American working people - the only theatrical-length film ever openly made in the US by a group of blacklisted film-makers..." and points out that "the film was based upon a real-life zinc miners strike in Grant County, NM of Mexican workers in 1951 against the Empire Zinc Company" and
the story was personalized by taking the feminist view of the film's narrator and heroine, Esperanza Quintero (Rosaura Revueltas), living with her oppressed miner husband Ramon Quintero (Juan Chacón); they were a typical impoverished Mexican-American family with two young children, living in a run-down shack (without utilities) owned by the mining company
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

The Searcher of the End House

The Searcher of the End House by William Hope Hodgson is a 1910 short story which features Carnaki, a detective who specializes in the supernatural. You can read it online here or listen to it read to you at the bottom of this post. It begins,
It was still evening, as I remember, and the four of us, Jessop, Arkright, Taylor and I, looked disappointedly at Carnacki, where he sat silent in his great chair.

We had come in response to the usual card of invitation, which —as you know— we have come to consider as a sure prelude to a good story; and now, after telling us the short incident of the Three Straw Platters, he had lapsed into a contented silence, and the night not half gone, as I have hinted.

However, as it chanced, some pitying fate jogged Carnacki's elbow, or his memory, and he began again, in his queer level way:

—"The 'Straw Platters' business reminds me of the 'Searcher' Case, which I have sometimes thought might interest you. It was some time ago, in fact a deuce of a long time ago, that the thing happened; and my experience of what I might term 'curious' things was very small at that time.

"I was living with my mother when it occurred, in a small house just outside of Appledorn, on the South Coast. The house was the last of a row of detached cottage villas, each house standing in its own garden; and very dainty little places they were, very old, and most of them smothered in roses; and all with those quaint old leaded windows, and doors of genuine oak. You must try to picture them for the sake of their complete niceness.

"Now I must remind you at the beginning that my mother and I had lived in that little house for two years; and in the whole of that time there had not been a single peculiar happening to worry us.

"And then, something happened.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Shy People

Shy People is a 1987 award-winning film starring Barbara Hershey and Jill Clayburgh. I watched it on Tubi.


Roger Ebert says,
“Shy People” is one of the great visionary films of recent years, a film that shakes off the petty distractions of safe Hollywood entertainments and develops a large vision. It is about revenge and hatred, about mothers and sons, about loneliness. It suggests that family ties are the most important bonds in the world.

Friday, August 26, 2022


Axolotl is a short story by Julio Cortazar. According to Wikipedia,
Known as one of the founders of the Latin American Boom, Cortázar influenced an entire generation of Spanish-speaking readers and writers in America and Europe.

He is considered one of the most innovative and original authors of his time, a master of history, poetic prose and short story in general and a creator of important novels that inaugurated a new way of making literature in the Hispanic world by breaking the classical moulds through narratives that escaped temporal linearity.
You can read this particular story online here or listen to it read to you at the bottom of this post.. It begins,
There was a time when I thought a great deal about the axolotls. I went to see them in the aquarium at tbe Jardin des Plantes and stayed for hours watching them, observing their immobility, their faint movements. Now I am an axolotl.

I got to them by chance one spring morning when Paris was spreading its peacock tail after a wintry Lent. I was heading down tbe boulevard Port-Royal, then I took Saint-Marcel and L'Hôpital and saw green among all that grey and remembered the lions. I was friend of the lions and panthers, but had never gone into the dark, humid building that was the aquarium. I left my bike against tbe gratings and went to look at the tulips. The lions were sad and ugly and my panther was asleep. I decided on the aquarium, looked obliquely at banal fish until, unexpectedly, I hit it off with the axolotls. I stayed watching them for an hour and left, unable to think of anything else.


Thursday, August 25, 2022

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

Breakfast at Tiffany's is an award-winning 1961 film adaptation of Truman Capote's book by the same name. It's directed by Blake Edwards and stars Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam, Mickey Rooney (playing a Japanese man), and John McGiver. Don't expect it to be faithful to the book. I watched it on Amazon Prime. I'm not a big fan for several reasons. It has not aged well, in my opinion, but that may just be because of Mickey Rooney.


Rotten Tomatoes has an audience consensus rating of 91%.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Let's Talk It Over

Let's Talk It Over:

by Vaneese Thomas, Memphis-born singer, who was born on this day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Fleurs de Printemps avec une Tasse et un Soucoupe

Fleurs de Printemps avec une Tasse et un Soucoupe:

by Henri Fantin-Latour, who died on August 25 in 1904. Please join me at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem

Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem is a 2003 animated musical science fiction film. The film serves as a visual companion to Discovery, Daft Punk's second studio album.

via Daily Motion:

Anime News Network has high praise. Rotten Tomatoes has an audience consensus score of 95%.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Repo: the Genetic Opera

Repo: the Genetic Opera is a 2008 American science fiction, gothic rock, musical horror film. Different. Definitely different. It stars Paul Sorvino, Anthony Stewart Head, Sarah Brightman, Paris Hilton, Bill Moseley, and Ogre. The Younger Son picked this up used for a dollar at a local shop years ago. You can watch it on Tubi or on Amazon Prime.


It's considered a cult classic.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

E-mail 42

It's rare that I find the number 42 in real life.

Friday, August 19, 2022

A Dog's Tale

A Dog's Tale is a 1903 story by Mark Twain. You can read it online here or listen to it read to you at the bottom of this post. It begins,
My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian. This is what my mother told me, I do not know these nice distinctions myself. To me they are only fine large words meaning nothing. My mother had a fondness for such; she liked to say them, and see other dogs look surprised and envious, as wondering how she got so much education. But, indeed, it was not real education; it was only show: she got the words by listening in the dining-room and drawing-room when there was company, and by going with the children to Sunday-school and listening there; and whenever she heard a large word she said it over to herself many times, and so was able to keep it until there was a dogmatic gathering in the neighborhood, then she would get it off, and surprise and distress them all, from pocket-pup to mastiff, which rewarded her for all her trouble. If there was a stranger he was nearly sure to be suspicious, and when he got his breath again he would ask her what it meant. And she always told him. He was never expecting this but thought he would catch her; so when she told him, he was the one that looked ashamed, whereas he had thought it was going to be she. The others were always waiting for this, and glad of it and proud of her, for they knew what was going to happen, because they had had experience. When she told the meaning of a big word they were all so taken up with admiration that it never occurred to any dog to doubt if it was the right one; and that was natural, because, for one thing, she answered up so promptly that it seemed like a dictionary speaking, and for another thing, where could they find out whether it was right or not? for she was the only cultivated dog there was. By and by, when I was older, she brought home the word Unintellectual, one time, and worked it pretty hard all the week at different gatherings, making much unhappiness and despondency; and it was at this time that I noticed that during that week she was asked for the meaning at eight different assemblages, and flashed out a fresh definition every time, which showed me that she had more presence of mind than culture, though I said nothing, of course. She had one word which she always kept on hand, and ready, like a life-preserver, a kind of emergency word to strap on when she was likely to get washed overboard in a sudden way—that was the word Synonymous. When she happened to fetch out a long word which had had its day weeks before and its prepared meanings gone to her dump-pile, if there was a stranger there of course it knocked him groggy for a couple of minutes, then he would come to, and by that time she would be away down wind on another tack, and not expecting anything; so when he'd hail and ask her to cash in, I (the only dog on the inside of her game) could see her canvas flicker a moment—but only just a moment—then it would belly out taut and full, and she would say, as calm as a summer's day, “It's synonymous with supererogation,” or some godless long reptile of a word like that, and go placidly about and skim away on the next tack, perfectly comfortable, you know, and leave that stranger looking profane and embarrassed, and the initiated slatting the floor with their tails in unison and their faces transfigured with a holy joy.

And it was the same with phrases. She would drag home a whole phrase, if it had a grand sound, and play it six nights and two matinees, and explain it a new way every time—which she had to, for all she cared for was the phrase; she wasn't interested in what it meant, and knew those dogs hadn't wit enough to catch her, anyway. Yes, she was a daisy! She got so she wasn't afraid of anything, she had such confidence in the ignorance of those creatures. She even brought anecdotes that she had heard the family and the dinner-guests laugh and shout over; and as a rule she got the nub of one chestnut hitched onto another chestnut, where, of course, it didn't fit and hadn't any point; and when she delivered the nub she fell over and rolled on the floor and laughed and barked in the most insane way, while I could see that she was wondering to herself why it didn't seem as funny as it did when she first heard it. But no harm was done; the others rolled and barked too, privately ashamed of themselves for not seeing the point, and never suspecting that the fault was not with them and there wasn't any to see.

You can see by these things that she was of a rather vain and frivolous character; still, she had virtues, and enough to make up, I think. She had a kind heart and gentle ways, and never harbored resentments for injuries done her, but put them easily out of her mind and forgot them; and she taught her children her kindly way, and from her we learned also to be brave and prompt in time of danger, and not to run away, but face the peril that threatened friend or stranger, and help him the best we could without stopping to think what the cost might be to us. And she taught us not by words only, but by example, and that is the best way and the surest and the most lasting. Why, the brave things she did, the splendid things! she was just a soldier; and so modest about it—well, you couldn't help admiring her, and you couldn't help imitating her; not even a King Charles spaniel could remain entirely despicable in her society. So, as you see, there was more to her than her education.


Thursday, August 18, 2022

Dressed to Kill (1980)

Dressed to Kill is a 1980 thriller film directed by Brian De Palma and starring Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Peter Miller, and Dennis Franz. I watched it on HBO Max.


Criterion calls it "a veritable symphony of terror,". Roger Ebert says this director "deliberately set out to work in the Hitchcock tradition, and directed this Hitchcockian thriller that's stylish, intriguing, and very violent." Rotten Tomatoes has a 79% critics consensus rating.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Departures (2008)

Departures is a 2008 Japanese film about a young man who returns to his hometown after a failed career as a cellist and stumbles across work as a nōkanshi —a traditional Japanese ritual mortician. An engaging film, this one brought me to tears. I watched it on Tubi.


It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Spirituality and Practice calls it "An exquisite cinematic masterpiece that touches the heart with its treatment of beauty, music, death, and abandonment." Roger Ebert has it on his Great Movies list. 92% of Rotten Tomatoes audience scorers give it a positive review.

Here's a screenshot of the man and his wife enjoying a drink together:

Please share your own drink reference and join me at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Hollow Triumph

Hollow Triumph is a 1948 crime film (usually classified as noir, but I don't see it) starring Paul Henreid and Joan Bennett. This is worth watching for the actors alone. It doesn't disappoint. I watched it on Amazon Prime, but it's also available at this Internet Archive link and on YouTube:

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Good Bye, Lenin!

Good Bye, Lenin! is a 2003 German film that follows a family in East Germany; the mother is dedicated to the socialist cause and falls into a coma in October 1989. When she awakens eight months later in June 1990, her son attempts to protect her from a fatal shock by concealing the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in East Germany. It's a touching tragicomedy. I watched it on Tubi.


The Guardian calls it a "clever, poignant little movie". Empire Online closes its positive review with this: "Although German comedy is generally something of a misnomer, this loses little in the translation. An ingenious little idea that is funny, moving and - gasp! - even makes you think." 90% of Rotten Tomatoes critics have it a good review.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Quigley Down Under

Quigley Down Under is a 1990 western film that takes place in Australia. It stars Tom Sellec, Laura San Giacomo, and Alan Rickman. Critics gave it mixed reviews. Most audience members liked it though, and I thought it made for a fun time. I watched it on HBO Max.


Friday, August 12, 2022

The Cat Returns

The Cat Returns is a 2002 Japanese animated film directed by Hiroyuki Morita. How can you say "no" to a film about a high school girl who can talk to cats? I watched it on HBO Max.


Rotten Tomatoes critics have a combined rating of 88%.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Nothing to Declare

Nothing to Declare is a 2010 French comedy film. The plot according to Wikipedia:
On 1 January 1993, two customs officers, one Belgian and the other French, have to deal with closure of their small customs post situated in the middle of the small village of "Courquain" (French) or "Koorkin" (Belgian).

Both a hereditary Francophobe and an over-zealous Belgian customs officer, Ruben Vandevoorde is forced to join the first Franco-Belgian mobile squad. The first French volunteer for the squad is Mathias Ducatel, Vandervoorde's personal bête noire. He does this because he has fallen in love with Vandervoorde's sister Louise, and is afraid to unveil their love because of the trouble it will cause within her family.
I got a big kick out of this one, even though comedies aren't my favorite genre. I watched it on Amazon Prime, but it's free on Tubi.


Screen Daily says "The film is undemanding but engaging, boasting smartly staged visual comedy."

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Ride the High Country

Ride the High Country is a 1962 Sam Peckinpah western starring Randolph Scott (in his final film performance), Joel McCrea, and Mariette Hartley. James Drury and Edgar Buchanan are also in this. I grew up growing more and more sick to death of westerns, since it sometimes seemed there wasn't much else on TV. As an adult, though, I've come to appreciate them. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 89%.Senses of Cinema says,
With its variety of camera angles, expressive mise en scène and carefully designed movement, it has claims to be not only an accomplished work in its own right but one that anticipates the dark moral complexities that would fully emerge in Peckinpah’s later films.
I watched it on HBO Max.


I usually have a cup of coffee (always strong without whiteners or sweeteners), but today I'm having a cup of Constant Comment tea:

Please share a post with a drink in it and join me at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, August 08, 2022

The Addams Family 2

The Addams Family 2 is a 2021 animated film. I watched it on the DVD The Husband got as a Father's Day present, but it's also available on Amazon Prime. The Husband loved it, which is what matters, right? I was much less impressed. It's not as good as the first one. I'm hoping the next one in this series will be better.


Professional reviewers were not kind.

Sunday, August 07, 2022


Alexia is a 2013 horror short film about a young man who unfriends his dead girlfriend.

Saturday, August 06, 2022

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is a 1949 western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne. It also stars Joanne Dru, John Agar, Ben Johnson, Harey Carey, Jr., and Noble Johnson. It is the second film in Ford's "Cavalry Trilogy", which also includes Fort Apache (1948) and Rio Grande (1950). It's a traditional western, and if you like westerns at all you'll enjoy this. I watched it on HBO Max, though it used to be on late night television all the time.


Rotten Tomatoes has a critics concensus score of 92%. Empire Online gives it 5 out of 5 stars and calls it "A beautifully presented tale of love, honor and duty from a master film-maker."

Friday, August 05, 2022

Tales from Earthsea (2006)

Tales from Earthsea is a 2006 film based loosely on some of the characters in the Ursula Le Guin fantasy series. It is not an adaptation of the books, and reviews are mixed depending on whether or not that's what was wanted. I watched it on HBO Max and liked it fine.


Thursday, August 04, 2022

Sea Prince and the Fire Child

Sea Prince and the Fire Child is a 1981 Japanese anime film. It is a story of star-crossed lovers who fight to stay together in the face of seemingly insurmountable difficulties. I've forgotten now where I watched it, but you can see it via YouTube:

It has a 97% audience rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Last Man Alive

Last Man Alive:



by the Memphis band Grifters

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

The Man in the Hat

The Man in the Hat is a 2020 British comedy film starring Ciarán Hinds, which is the reason I watched the movie. If you don't know that actor, you're missing out. He is always worth watching and never disappoints. This film is a real treat. I watched it on Amazon Prime. It's also available free on Tubi and on the Roku channel and on YouTube. You can't beat "free".


The Guardian calls it "a picturesque odyssey across the French countryside, the best Provençal driving holiday you’ve never had." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%. Roger Ebert's website says,
Whimsy is as delicate as a butterfly wing. But "The Man in the Hat" sustains a whimsical tone beautifully throughout its brief running time... Somewhere between a dream and a fable, this is the kind of film viewers could debate for hours, pondering the meaning of the characters who keep reappearing, the mysterious framed photo, the central character who has only two lines of dialogue...
just go along for the ride and relish the lush French countryside, the luscious food, the lovely music...
Here's a screenshot from the opening scene:

for the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, August 01, 2022

On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront is a 1954 award-winning crime film directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Eva Marie Saint, Fred Gwynne, and Leif Erickson. I watched it on HBO Max.



Film Site opens its article with this:
On the Waterfront (1954) is a classic, award-winning, controversial film directed by Elia Kazan - a part drama and part gangster film. The authentic-looking, powerful film is concerned with the problems of trade unionism, corruption and racketeering. And it is set on New York's oppressive waterfront docks, where dock workers struggled for work, dignity, and to make ends meet under the control of hard-knuckled, mob-run labor unions that would force them to submit to daily 'shape-ups' by cruel hiring bosses.
Roger Ebert has it on his Great Movies list and notes this as background information: "This was the film made in 1954 by Elia Kazan after he agreed to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, named former associates who were involved with the Communist Party and became a pariah in left-wing circles." The Hollywood Reporter in a review from the film's release concludes a glowing review with this: "This is one of the year’s important films." Variety has a positive review. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 99%.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a 1954 musical film, a light-hearted romp on the subject of marriage by rape. Yes, this is a movie that hasn't aged well, not at all. I watched it on HBO Max. It's listed in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.


Empire Online concludes by saying, "Great songs, great set pieces and solid performances in this colourful and infectiously enjoyable musical." Variety calls it "a happy, hand-clapping, foot-stomping country type of musical with all the slickness of a Broadway show." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 89%.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Rebel Without a Cause

Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 film, a type of coming-of-age film about suburban, middle-class teens. It's directed by Nicholas Ray and stars James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus, Dennis Hopper, and Edward Platt. I'd never seen anything but a few clips of this movie before and watched it because it's listed in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. It's a tough watch. Give me a standard horror movie any day over these deep dives into family dysfuction and societal breakdown That's the real horror. I watched it on HBO Max where I've found quite a few of the movies listed in that book.


The Hollywood Reporter opens its review with this: "On Oct. 27, 1955, Warner Bros. released a teenage drama, 'Rebel Without a Cause,' just a month after star James Dean's untimely death in an automobile accident." Variety has an article. The Guardian opens by saying, "There is some stuffy, faintly reactionary stuff in this famed 1955 teen drama, but James Dean is truly extraordinary, and it has some brilliant scenes".

Film Site says,
The tale of youthful defiance, which could have been exploitative - but wasn't, provides a rich, but stylized (and partly out-dated) look at the world of the conformist mid-1950s from the perspective of the main adolescent male character - a troubled teen with ineffectual parents, who faces a new school environment.
Roger Ebert says,
The film has not aged well, and Dean's performance seems more like marked-down Brando than the birth of an important talent. But "Rebel Without a Cause" was enormously influential at the time, a milestone in the creation of new idea about young people.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 93%.

Friday, July 29, 2022

North by Northwest

North by Northwest is a 1959 thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, and James Mason. This isn't my favorite Hitchcock by any means, but I watched it again for James Mason. Also in this are Leo G. Carroll, Martin Landau, and Edward Platt. I saw it on HBO Max.


Film Site opens with this: "North by Northwest (1959) is a suspenseful, classic Alfred Hitchcock caper thriller. The box-office hit film is one of the most entertaining movies ever made and one of Hitchcock's most famous suspense/mystery stories in his entire career." The New Yorker has a positive review from the time of the film's release.

The Hollywood Reporter concludes a review from 1959 by saying, "This film is pure entertainment." Deep Focus Review has an interesting article that opens with this: "North by Northwest distills Alfred Hitchcock’s obsessions, techniques, and themes into a singular, deliriously entertaining form." It's listed in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Buy. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 98%.

(I keep randomly getting "you've commented on too many posts today; try again tomorrow" flags when I try to leave a comment on some blog posts. Sometimes it accepts my comments but not always. If there's a work-around I don't know about it.)