Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Ivan's Childhood

Ivan's Childhood (YouTube, Plex) is a 1962 award-winning (including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival) Soviet war drama film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky in his first feature film. It is about Ivan, an orphaned 12 year old boy, whose parents were killed by the invading German forces, and his experiences during World War II. Ingmar Bergman praised it, saying it was influential in his own work. I tend to avoid war movies, but the fact that Tarkovsky directed it and that it receives universal acclaim has me stepping out of my comfort zone to watch it. Tarkovsky is a genius.

via YouTube (but age-restricted for some reason, so you'll have to go to YouTube's website to watch it):



*******

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (We bought the DVD. What can I say; we couldn't wait.) is a 2024 monster movie, the sequel to Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) and the fifth film in the Monsterverse franchise, also serving as the 38th film of the Godzilla franchise and 13th in the King Kong franchise. Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, and Kaylee Hottle reprise their roles from the previous film. In the film, Kong encounters more of his species in the Hollow Earth and must unite again with Godzilla to stop the tyrannical Skar King and the powerful, frost-breathing Shimo from invading the Earth's surface. I'm continuing to enjoy the new Godzilla and King Kong films as they come out.

trailer:



*******

Monday, July 22, 2024

Stand by Me

Stand by Me is a 1986 coming-of-age drama film directed by Rob Reiner based on Stephen King's 1982 novella The Body. It stars Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O'Connell as four boys who set out to find the dead body of a missing boy. It is well respected, considered by many to be one of the most influential films of the 1980s as well as one of the greatest films of all time. The Golden Globes website says, "Almost four decades after its release, Stand by Me – based on true events in Stephen King’s life – remains one of the most poignant Summer coming-of-age films." I had never heard of it but came across it somehow. Coming of age drama films aren't ever a genre I seek out, but this is a powerful film well worth my wandering off my beaten track to watch.

via Internet Archive:



*******

Sunday, July 21, 2024

Atlas (2024)

Atlas (Netflix) is a 2024 science fiction film about issues that arise in a bleak future when the AI robots decide they know best. This grew on me while I watched it.

trailer:



*******

Saturday, July 20, 2024

They Called Us Enemy

image from Wikipedia

They Called Us Enemy is an award-winning 2019 graphic novel, George Takei's memoir of his time in an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War 2. You can read it online (borrow it from the Internet Archive here). I read it for my church women's reading group. This is an important reminder for those of us who know this history and an excellent introduction for those who don't or who only know part of what happened.

Takei reads one section of it, using illustrations from the book:



*******

Friday, July 19, 2024

Frankenstein vs. The Mummy

Frankenstein vs. The Mummy (2015) is a 2015 horror film. The title is self-explanatory. I may be the only person who will watch these monster movies whenever I come across them... This one takes place in modern times. It got mixed reviews, but what were they expecting? Fine art it ain't, but fun it is. Wikipedia has a chronological list of Frankenstein movies at this link. There's a list of Mummy movies here. There's a lot of fun to be had watching the movies in those lists.

trailer:



*******

I offer this movie poster for the film for Nicole's Friday Face Off:

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Quantum Cowboys

Quantum Cowboys (Tubi, Hoopla) is a 2022 animated comedy science fiction western. This is not just fun but thought-provoking. Highly enjoyable and definitely rewatchable. From the IMDb:
Two hapless drifters, Frank and Bruno, team up with Linde to recover her land and trek across 1870's Southern Arizona to find an elusive frontier musician. The complex quantum time theory is blended with philosophical musings about art as the way we understand our history and memories, with gunfights, horses, dance halls, cacti, and saloons.

trailer:



*******

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

The Three Musketeers (2023)

The Three Musketeers: D'Artagnan and The Three Musketeers: Milady are parts one and two of an epic adaptation of the book by Dumas. It's a closer adaptation than is usual, and I appreciated that, though some of the changes are strange. The notable actor for us is Eva Green.

trailer to part 1:



trailer to part 2:



*******

We couldn't find it available on any of the services we already had. We discovered it was available on Hoopla, which is a media site offered through public libraries. Sadly, our library didn't offer it. Exploring a bit further afield, we saw that a few of the nearby suburban systems offer this service and let you get a non-resident card for a price. That gives you full access to Hoopla, which gives you 10 checkouts each month. We drove 30 minutes north to the Millington library, paid our $30 for an annual non-resident card, came home and signed up with Hoopla, and watched the first movie on our TV. Easy. I highly recommend it if your library (or a nearby one) offers Hoopla.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Under Paris

Under Paris (Netflix) is especially fun to watch given the upcoming Olympics. It is a 2024 French action-horror disaster film about a grieving marine biologist who is forced to face her tragic past in order to save Paris from a bloodbath when a giant shark appears in the Seine. This one satisfies. You're not under any suspician that they're setting you up for sequels. There's an actual ending that makes sense. I like this one. Let's hope Paris doesn't get giant, mutating sharks before the Olympics.

trailer:



*******

Monday, July 15, 2024

Inheritance (2024)

Inheritance (Netflix) is a 2024 Polish comedy film about an estranged family who gathers at the mansion of the rich uncle, to try and make sure they're included in the will. Cute. Funny. I won't watch it again, but I enjoyed watching it this time. I can't find a trailer, which is highly unusual, and the reviews I've seen give too much away. It's worth checking out if you have Netflix. I mean the worst that can happen is you decide you don't like it and turn it off, right?

image from Netflix


*******

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Asoka (2001)

Asoka is a 2001 critically acclaimed award-winning Indian Hindi-language epic historical drama film, a dramatized version of the early life of emperor Asoka, of the Maurya Empire, who ruled most of the Indian subcontinent in the 3rd century BCE. This makes yet another Indian film I've liked. My track record with this is such that I watch every Indian movie I come across.

trailer:



*******

Saturday, July 13, 2024

The Boys from Brazil

The Boys from Brazil (Amazon Prime, Tubi, Plex, Pluto TV) is a 1978 thriller film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, starring Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier and featuring James Mason, Lilli Palmer, Uta Hagen, Anne Meara, Denholm Elliott, and Steve Guttenberg in supporting roles. It is based on the 1976 novel of the same title by Ira Levin. It is about Nazi hunters and a plot set in motion by Josef Mengele. I remember when this came out but had forgotten it til I saw it mentioned on one of those movie lists I'm such a sucker for. James Mason is always worth watching, but the film itself is worth watching.

trailer:



*******

Friday, July 12, 2024

Renfield

Renfield (Amazon Prime) is a 2023 action comedy horror film directed by Chris McKay. Inspired by characters from the 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker and focusing on the particular character of Renfield (which is obvious from the movie title), the film stars Nicholas Hoult, Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Brandon Scott Jones, Adrian Martinez, and Nicolas Cage (as Dracula). This is a very silly take on the Dracula story, so it's not one I will watch again. I prefer my vampires to be serious, though there are exceptions.

trailer:



*******
This image of a poster from Wikipedia is my offering for Nicole's Friday Face Off:



*******

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Jodhaa Akbar

Jodhaa Akbar (Netflix and embedded below via YouTube) is a 2008 Indian Hindi-language epic historical romantic drama film. Set in the 16th century, the film shows the life and love between the Muslim Emperor Akbar of Mughal Empire and a Hindu Princess Jodhaa Bai of Amber, and their political marriage. I don't tend to watch biographical films or romances, but I loved this. I do tend to like Indian films.

via YouTube:



*******

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Tommy (1975)

Tommy is a 1975 British musical fantasy drama film written and directed by Ken Russell and based on The Who's 1969 rock opera album Tommy. It's about a "psychosomatically deaf, mute, and blind" boy who becomes a pinball champion and religious leader. I'd never seen it before and saw it listed as "leaving soon" on one of the streaming services I subscribe to. It's no longer available free anywhere. It's such a dated work that I'm not sure it's watchable unless you were a young adult in the late '60s-early '70s. Unless you watch it for the cast, that is. The cast is priceless. The film featured a star-studded ensemble cast, including the band members themselves (most notably, lead singer Roger Daltrey, who plays the title role), Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Elton John, Robert Powell and Jack Nicholson.

trailer:



*******

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Mortal Engines

Mortal Engines (Netflix) is a 2018 post-apocalyptic steampunk film starring Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide, and Stephen Lang. Set more than a thousand years in the future following a cataclysmic conflict known as the Sixty Minute War, the remnants of mankind regroup and form mobile cities, called "Traction Cities". Under a philosophy known as "Municipal Darwinism", larger "predator" cities hunt and absorb smaller settlements in the "Great Hunting Ground", which includes Great Britain and Continental Europe. In opposition, settlements of the "Anti-Traction League" have developed an alternative civilization consisting of "static settlements" (traditional, non-mobile cities) in Asia led by Shan Guo (formerly China), protected by the "Shield Wall". Relics of 21st-century technology such as toasters, computers, and smartphones are valued by historians as "Old-Tech." It won an award for visual effects, and the movie is a treat to watch. I liked it.

trailer:



*******

Monday, July 08, 2024

Wilde

Wilde (Amazon Prime) is a 1997 British biographical romantic drama film about the turmoil in Wilde's life after he discovers he is homosexual. It stars Stephen Fry in the title role, with Jude Law, Vanessa Redgrave, Jennifer Ehle, Gemma Jones, Judy Parfitt, Michael Sheen, Zoë Wanamaker, and Tom Wilkinson in supporting roles. It's difficult to watch. I don't tend to watch historical or biographical or romance movies anyway, so this is way out of my viewing preference, but I gave it a try for Pride Month. What a tragic waste to treat people this way. Words fail me.

trailer:



*******

Sunday, July 07, 2024

Pulgasari

Pulgasari is a 1985 North Korean kaiju film directed by South Korean filmmaker Shin Sang-ok. It is based on the legend of Pulgasari, a metal-eating creature in Korean folklore, and is loosely based on the lost 1962 South Korean film of the same subject, Bulgasari. Shin directed the film under the orders of Kim Jong Il (then-heir apparent) and Shin's wife stars -this after Shin and his wife were kidnapped in 1978 by North Korean intelligence. Pulgasari was the last of several films he made in North Korea before escaping to the United States in 1986. After finding out that his credit was removed from the movie, Shin Sang-ok wrote a remake called The Adventures of Galgameth in 1996. The story behind this movie was reason enough for me to watch it.

via Youtube:



*******

Saturday, July 06, 2024

City Hunter

City Hunter (Netflix) is a 2024 live action adaptation of a Japanese manga series that was serialized in the manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1985 to 1991. IMDb says this: "An exceptional marksman and hopeless playboy, private eye Ryo Saeba reluctantly forms an alliance with his late partner's sister to investigate his death." This was fun, though a bit on the silly side.

trailer:



*******

Friday, July 05, 2024

Slayers

Slayers (Hulu) is a 2022 comedy horror film about modern-day vampires. Cute, mindless, casual viewing, not winning any awards.

trailer:



*******

I'm joing Nicole's Friday Face Off with this movie poster from Wikipedia:



*******

Thursday, July 04, 2024

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins (Disney+) is an award-winning 1964 musical fantasy comedy film based on P. L. Travers's book series Mary Poppins. The film, which combines live-action and animation, stars Julie Andrews in her feature film debut as Mary Poppins. Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, and Glynis Johns have supporting roles. Dick Van Dyke's accent is much ridiculed, but it's a kids' movie from the 1960s; give him a break. I remember when this movie came out and saw it first run in the theater. It's a real treasure, and I've always enjoyed it. The books are great fun, too.

trailer:



My absolute favorite song from this film is Sister Suffragette, with Glynnis Johns:



especially in these days when women are having rights revoked and Republicans are openly advocating against women's suffrage.

I've also always liked Feed the Birds:

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Nomadland

Nomadland (Hulu) is an award-winning 2020 drama film based on the 2017 nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century. It stars Frances McDormand (who is one of my favorites) as a widow who leaves her life in Nevada after she loses her job because the plant closes down, leaving the town a ghost town. She travels around the United States in her van as a nomad. A number of real-life nomads appear as fictionalized versions of themselves. A fascinating study of a life I didn't know existed. Most reviews are positive.

trailer:



*******

Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now (Amazon Prime) is an award-winning 1979 epic war film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The screenplay is loosely inspired by the 1899 novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, with the setting changed from late 19th-century Congo to the Vietnam War. The film follows a river journey from South Vietnam into Cambodia undertaken by Captain Willard (Martin Sheen), who is on a secret mission to assassinate Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), a renegade Special Forces officer who is accused of murder and presumed insane. The ensemble cast also features Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms, Laurence Fishburne, Dennis Hopper, and Harrison Ford. I had heard of this film, of course, and was familiar with quotes from it, but I had never seen it. I don't tend to like war movies, but I do try to keep an open mind. I see why it's considered one of the greatest films ever made.

trailer:



*******

Monday, July 01, 2024

Blue Jean

Blue Jean (Hulu) is an award-winning 2022 British drama film about a closeted lesbian gym teacher in the 1980s. Reviews are positive. It must have been a difficult and stressful life. I hope the environment continues to improve. There were a number of films the various streaming services were recommending for Pride Month, and I've been watching some of them. There are more than I expected.

trailer:



*******

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Tank 432

Tank 432 is a 2015 British psychological horror film about mercenaries tasked with transporting a hostage and a survivor across a battlefield. Along the way, the mercenaries become trapped in an abandoned armoured personnel carrier they enter as refuge against an unseen enemy. The Younger Son popped his DVD into the player, and I'm always happy for someone else to choose the movie. It's also available free on The Roku Channel and on Plex. As you might imagine, professional critics weren't enthusiastic in their praise. This made a fun mindless watch, though.

trailer:



*******

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Made in Italy

Made in Italy (Netflix) is a 2020 comedy-drama film starring Liam Neeson as an artist who must restore an Italian villa with his estranged son. This is not my kind of movie at all, and I have no idea why I watched it. I loved it. I firmly believe that "I don't like [fill in the blank] movies" is a lazy attitude that deprives us of many a pleasure. I try to broaden my horizons. I'm glad I watched this.

trailer:



*******

Friday, June 28, 2024

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... is a 2001 Indian Hindi-language family drama film. It was a major success at the box office and was well-reviewed by critics. I've liked all the Hindi films I've seen so far, and this is no exception. Delightful. Touching without being too emotional. You will smile back when these characters smile, or at least I did.

trailer:



*******

I'm sharing this image from the movie poster at Wikipedia for Nicole's Friday Face Off:



*******

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Godzilla Minus One

Godzilla Minus One (Netflix) is a 2023 Japanese epic kaiju film produced and distributed by Toho Studios. Set in postwar Japan, it follows a failed kamikaze pilot suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. It is the 37th film in the Godzilla franchise, Toho's 33rd Godzilla film, and the fifth film in the franchise's Reiwa era. Godzilla is a strong franchise that continues to hold up. This is one of the best yet. I was literally counting the days for this to available for me to watch at home. I was not disappointed.

trailer:



*******

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Swan Song (2021, Todd Stephens film)

Swan Song (Hulu) is a 2021 film about a retired hairdresser, once renowned as the "Liberace of Sandusky" for his gay bar act, who leaves his nursing home and walks to the town funeral home to style a former client's hair for her funeral. Well reviewed, I got such a kick out of it. I cared about this man and his life. Definitely re-watchable.



*******

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Peaks and Valleys

Peaks and Valleys (Tubi, Plex, Roku Channel) is a 2019 drama film about a woman wrapped in plastic and thrown from a plane into a rural Alaskan lake in the wilderness who is rescued and nursed back to health by a recluse. Intriguing characters and compelling plot from the first scene to the last.

via Youtube:



*******

Monday, June 24, 2024

Daybreakers

Daybreakers (on Tubi) is a 2009 science-fiction action horror film The film takes place in a futuristic world overrun by vampires, and centers around a vampiric corporation which sets out to capture and farm the remaining humans while researching a substitute for human blood. Ethan Hawke plays vampire hematologist Edward Dalton. Willem Dafoe is also in this, and he is a big draw for me. I enjoyed the movie.

trailer:



Reviews were mixed. Roger Ebert liked the premise but thought there was too much blood.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Monica

Monica (Hulu) is a 2022 Italian/American English language film about a woman who returns to her childhood home to help care for her dying mother 20 years after her mother disowned her and kicked her out. The mother doesn't recognize her now, and the two women build a new relationship with each other. I liked this one. The characters are engaging, sympathetic, and believable. Most reviews are positive, and the film won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film – Limited Release, given for excellence in the depiction of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) characters and themes.

trailer:



*******

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Hit Man

Hit Man (Netflix) is a 2023 romantic black comedy starring Glen Powell as a professor of psychology and philosophy at the University of New Orleans who also works undercover with the New Orleans Police Department assisting in undercover sting operations. When a fellow cop who portrays fake hitmen to solicit murder-for-hire confessions and payments from “customers,” is suspended, Gary is unwillingly ushered into the role. I tend to like black comedies but gave up on this one fairly early on. I must be missing something, since almost all the critic reviews are positive. If any of you have watched it, please clue me in.

trailer:



*******

Friday, June 21, 2024

Eve's Bayou

Eve's Bayou (Amazon Prime) is an award-winning 1997 Southern Gothic drama film. Samuel L. Jackson stars. Diahann Carroll has a featured role as a fortune teller/witch. The film tells the story of Eve Batiste, a 10-year-old girl, who lives in a prosperous Creole-American community in Louisiana with her younger brother Poe and her older sister Cisely in the 1960s. Her father Louis (played by Jackson) is a promiscuous doctor in Louisiana's African American community who claims descent from the French aristocrat who founded the town of Eve's Bayou. Highly praised, this is a film where I definitely agree with the critics. Great atmosphere, excellent performances.

trailer:



Here's the face I'm sharing for Nicole's Friday Face Off:


Thursday, June 20, 2024

Blackhat

Blackhat (Netflix) is 2015 action thriller film produced and directed by Michael Mann and starring Chris Hemsworth as a hacker. Odd casting, if you ask me, but nobody asks me... ;) I liked it, though most critics didn't.

trailer:

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Benedetta

Benedetta (Hulu) is a 2021 French biographical psychological drama film about Benedetta Carlini, a nun in the 17th century who joins an Italian convent while a young child and later has a lesbian love affair with another nun, while seeing religious visions. A fascinating subject with interesting insights into religious communities of the period.

trailer:



*******

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Hamilton (2020)

Hamilton (Disney+) is a 2020 biographical musical drama film, a live stage recording of the 2015 Broadway musical of the same name. It stars Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton and Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr. I expected it to be a bit along the lines of 1776, and it is nothing like that. This is much more a look at Hamilton the person than a view of the historical times. I'm glad I've seen it if only to see what all the fuss was about but won't rewatch it. Everybody else gives it rave reviews.

trailer:



*******

Monday, June 17, 2024

Devil in a Blue Dress

Devil in a Blue Dress (Netflix) is a 1995 neo-noir mystery thriller film based on Walter Mosley's 1990 novel of the same name and features Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals, and Don Cheadle. Set in 1948, the film follows World War II veteran Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins who, desperately in need of a job, is asked to assist a private investigator. I enjoyed the book it's based on, and I think they did a great job with this adaptation. Reviews are positive.

trailer:



*******

Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Irishman

The Irishman (Netflix) is a 2019 American epic gangster film directed and produced by Martin Scorsese. The film is about the life of Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), a truck driver who becomes a hitman involved with mobster Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and his crime family before later working for the powerful Teamster Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). I'm not sure why I watched this, since it's definitely not my thing, but I'm glad I did. It is a riveting and engaging film, not heavy on the action and more focused on character.

trailer:



*******

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Out of Africa

Out of Africa (Netflix) is an award-winning 1985 epic romantic drama film directed and produced by Sydney Pollack, and starring Meryl Streep (as Karen) and Robert Redford. Also worth noting are Michael Kitchen and Michael Gough. The film is based loosely on the 1937 autobiographical book Out of Africa written by Isak Dinesen (the pseudonym of Danish author Karen Blixen), with additional material from Dinesen's 1960 book Shadows on the Grass and other sources. If you haven't already seen this, you should remedy that situation immediately. Gorgeous, powerful, lyrical...

trailer:



*******

Friday, June 14, 2024

Anaïs in Love

Anaïs in Love (Hulu) is a 2021 French comedy film about a woman in her mid-thirties living in Paris. She is ... "flighty" might be a good word. Unsure of herself in her relationships, avoiding her mother after her mother's cancer recurs, avoiding her thesis advisor, avoiding paying her rent, she seeks out and courts the wife of the man she had a casual affair with. The relationships are intriguing. Reviews are generaly positive.

trailer:



*******

I'm offering this image from the trailer for Nicole's Friday Face Off:

Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Neon Demon

The Neon Demon (Amazon Prime) is a 2016 psychological horror film about a young aspiring model in Los Angeles whose beauty and youth generate intense fascination and jealousy within the fashion industry.

trailer:



It got mixed reviews with lovers and haters alike. Make up your own mind, that's my motto.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Amadeus

Amadeus (Netflix) is a 1984 award-winning period biographical drama film set in Vienna, Austria, during the latter half of the 18th century and is a fictionalized story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from the time he left Salzburg. This is the second time for me to have seen this film. It's excellent but a bit over the top for me.

trailer:



*******

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

All of Us Strangers

All of Us Strangers is 2023 British romantic fantasy film based on the 1987 novel Strangers by Taichi Yamada. it follows a lonely screenwriter who develops an intimate relationship with a neighbor while revisiting memories from the past. A touching film, it explores the man coming to terms with loss and grief. Andrew Scott stars. It gets almost universally positive reviews.

trailer:



*******

Monday, June 10, 2024

Kamikazi 1989

Kamikazi 1989 (Tubi) is a 1982 West German cyberpunk thriller film starring Rainer Werner Fassbinder as a detective investigating a string of bombings that lead to a corporate media conspiracy. The 31st floor! The soundtrack was composed by Edgar Froese, who founded Tangerine Dream. This is an odd flick. I kept getting distracted, then forgetting about it until the next time I opened Tubi. And then what's described in reviews as a "neon drenched dystopia" appears on the screen, and I'm right back into it with the leopard-print suit clad detective.

trailer:



*******

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Baby Driver

Baby Driver (Netflix) is an award-winning 2017 action film starring Ansel Elgort as a getaway driver seeking freedom from a life of crime he ended up in accidentally. Lily James is his diner waitress girlfriend. Eiza Gonzalez, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, and Kevin Spacey appear in supporting roles. I had somehow never heard of this and came across it while scrolling through the movie selections. It's an interesting movie with quirky characters. This is one of the growing numbers of movies that I enjoyed and am glad I've seen but that I won't watch again.

trailer:



*******

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Titane

Titane (Hulu) is a 2021 body horror psychological drama film about a woman who had had a titanium plate fitted in her head after being injured in a car crash as a child. Ducournau became the second female director to win the Palme d'Or, the Cannes film festival's top award, as well as the first female filmmaker to win solo. It received critical acclaim and was selected as the French entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards. Not really my thing, and in fact the sexual torture was so much not my thing I quit watching 20 minutes in. YMMV.

trailer:



*******

Friday, June 07, 2024

The Swordsman (2020)

The Swordsman (Tubi, Freevee on Amazon Prime) is an award-winning 2020 South Korean period action film. I like this one with its balance of action and interpersonal relationships.

trailer:



*******

I was struck by The Swordsman's face and thought I'd share it with the Friday Face Off bloggers.

image of the movie poster from Wikipedia

Thursday, June 06, 2024

The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys is a 1987 supernatural black comedy horror film about two teenage brothers who move with their divorced mother to the fictional town of Santa Carla, California, only to discover that the town is a haven for vampires. The title is a reference to the Lost Boys in J. M. Barrie's stories about Peter Pan, who, like vampires, never grew up. It's a very 80s movie. I watched this when it was on a streaming service we subscribe to, but I don't see it now.

trailer:



Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Oklahoma! (1955)

Oklahoma! (Amazon Prime, Tubi, or embedded below via YouTube) is an award-winning 1955 musical film based on the 1943 musical of the same name by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. It stars Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones (in her film debut), Rod Steiger, Charlotte Greenwood, Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson, James Whitmore, and Eddie Albert. The casting is perfect. Set in Oklahoma Territory, it tells the story of farm girl Laurey Williams (Jones) and her courtship by two rival suitors, cowboy Curly McLain (MacRae) and the sinister and frightening farmhand Jud Fry (Steiger). A secondary romance concerns Laurey's friend, Ado Annie (Grahame), and cowboy Will Parker (Nelson), who has an unwilling rival in Ali Hakeem (Albert). A background theme is the territory's aspiration for statehood, and the local conflict between cattlemen and farmers.

via YouTube:



It's not the choice of most, but my favorite number in this film is this hilarious scene:



*******

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

The Station Agent

The Station Agent (Amazon Prime, Paramount+) is an award-winning 2003 comedy-drama film starring Peter Dinklage as a man who seeks solitude in an abandoned train station in New Jersey after the property is left to him in the will of his only friend. This is one of those quiet, powerful films that stays with you. Highly recommended!

trailer:



*******

I'm waving to y'all over at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's T Stands for Tuesday gathering, but I won't be linking up.

Monday, June 03, 2024

The Long Walk

The Long Walk (Tubi) is a 2019 Laotian drama film. An intriguing tale. Don't scroll your social media accounts or try to do laundry while you watch it. It is rewarding but requires attention. It gets almost universal praise from critics.

trailer:

Sunday, June 02, 2024

The Last Voyage of the Demeter

The Last Voyage of the Demeter (Paramount+) is a 2023 supernatural horror film, an adaptation of The Captain's Log, a chapter from the 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. The plot follows the doomed crew of the merchant ship Demeter who attempt to survive the treacherous ocean voyage from Transylvania to London while being stalked by a legendary vampire known as Dracula. I am always up for a new vampire movie, and this did not disappoint. It gets mixed reviews and did poorly at the box office, but I'd watch it again.

trailer:



*******

Saturday, June 01, 2024

Juju Stories

Juju Stories (Amazon Prime) is a three-part anthology film exploring juju (magical) stories rooted in Nigerian folklore and urban legend. Interesting as a look at a subculture not my own. It is well-reviewed by critics.

trailer:



*******

Friday, May 31, 2024

The Scalphunters

The Scalphunters (Tubi) is a 1968 Western film starring Burt Lancaster, Ossie Davis, Shelley Winters, Telly Savalas, and Dabney Coleman (who died earlier this month). It was directed by Sydney Pollack. It's fine, the cast is good, I won't ever watch it again.

trailer:



*******

Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Frighteners

The Frighteners (Tubi) is a 1996 supernatural comedy horror film directed by Peter Jackson and starring Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado, Peter Dobson, John Astin, Dee Wallace Stone, Jeffrey Combs, R. Lee Ermey and Jake Busey. I'm here for Jeffrey Combs. I'm always ready to watch Jeffrey Combs. It gets mostly positive reviews, and I particularly like the comedic elements.

trailer:



*******

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

I, Pastafari

I, Pastafari (Tubi) is a 2019 documentary film featuring members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as they practice and campaign politically, legally and socially to obtain the same privileges and legal exemptions granted to other religions. Tennessee is featured in one section. Fascinating. I remember all this from its 2005 beginnings, and it's interesting to see how the movemwnt has developed. I'm in sympathy with them, as I favor no religious exemptions for any reason. Make rules that apply to everybody.

trailer:



*******

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Golem (2018)

The Golem (Amazon Prime) is a 2018 Israeli period supernatural horror film based on the Jewish legend of the same name. The film's creators felt that the legend had not been properly developed into a film since the 1951 version. I enjoy movies based on the folklore of other cultures, and this one is definitely a good addition to that genre. Critics like it.

trailer:



Monday, May 27, 2024

The Marvels

The Marvels (Disney+) is a 2023 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics. I am not a fan, though most critics seemed to like this one. Maybe I'm just tiring of the superheroes... It did win a couple of awards.

trailer:



*******

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Marlowe (2022)

Marlowe (Amazon Prime) is a 2022 neo-noir crime thriller film based on the 2014 novel The Black-Eyed Blonde by John Banville. The film stars Liam Neeson as private detective Philip Marlowe, a fictional character created by Raymond Chandler, and features Diane Kruger, Jessica Lange, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Alan Cumming, Francois Arnaud, Ian Hart, Danny Huston, Daniela Melchior and Colm Meaney. Critics weren't kind, but I liked it. That said, it won't go on my re-watch list. Colm Meaney is always the bright spot in any movie he's in.

trailer:



*******

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Bagdad Cafe

Bagdad Cafe (Amazon Prime) is a 1987 award-winning English-language West German film starring Marianne Sägebrecht, CCH Pounder, and Jack Palance,. It is a comedy-drama set in a remote truck stop and motel in the Mojave Desert in the U.S. state of California. Inspired by Carson McCullers' novella The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951), the film centers on two women who have recently separated from their husbands, and the blossoming friendship that ensues. This is delightful. I can't recommend it enough. See this film!

trailer:



*******

Friday, May 24, 2024

The Great Wall (2016)

The Great Wall (Netflix) is a 2016 monster film directed by Zhang Yimou. An American and Chinese co-production starring Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, and Andy Lau, the plot centers on two European mercenary warriors (Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal) imprisoned by imperial Chinese forces within the Great Wall of China after arriving in search of gunpowder, eventually joining forces with the Chinese to help combat an alien threat. The Great Wall is Zhang's first English-language film. And now we know what the Great Wall was really for. Great fun! I'd happily watch this again.

trailer:



*******

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Day Shift (2022)

Day Shift (Netflix) is a 2022 comedy horror action film starring Jamie Foxx as a blue-collar father whose pool-cleaning job is a cover for his work as a vampire hunter. This was a lot of fun.

trailer:



Nobody will ever mistake it for a cinematic masterpiece, but you can't go wrong here for a bit of mindless and lighthearted horror entertainment.

*******

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Wonka (2023)

Wonka (Max) is a 2023 musical fantasy comedy film that tells the origin story of Willy Wonka, a character in the 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, depicting his early days as a chocolate maker. I was expecting not to like this one and was pleasantly surprised. It gets mostly positive critic reviews.

trailer:



*******

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

South Pacific

South Pacific (Amazon Prime, Tubi) is a 1958 romantic musical film based on the 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, which in turn is loosely based on James A. Michener's 1947 short-story collection Tales of the South Pacific. The film, directed by Joshua Logan, stars Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr and Ray Walston. This movie made a big impression on me when I was young, and I've always loved it. I re-watch it occasionally.

It looks like you can watch it here via YouTube:



*******

Monday, May 20, 2024

Frightmare (1981)

Frightmare (Tubi) is a 1983 American supernatural slasher film notable for being Jeffrey Combs' horror film acting debut. He is a favorite here. The film's plot follows a group of drama students who decide to kidnap the corpse of a recently deceased horror movie star. By disrupting his tomb, they unwittingly release an ancient black magic that begins consuming them one by one. This is a fun low-budget horror flick. And you can't go wrong with Jeffrey Combs!

You can watch it here via YouTube:



*******

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Sister Act

Sister Act (Disney+) is a 1992 musical crime comedy film starring Whoopi Goldberg as a lounge singer forced to join a convent after being placed in a witness protection program. It also features Maggie Smith and Harvey Keitel. I re-watch this one every once in a while and get a kick out of it every time.

trailer:



*******

Saturday, May 18, 2024

El Conde

El Conde (Netflix) is a 2023 Chilean black comedy horror film, a satire that portrays Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet as a 250-year-old vampire seeking death. This one is great fun. Definitely different.

trailer:



*******

Friday, May 17, 2024

Wolf (1994)

Wolf is a 1994 romantic horror film directed by Mike Nichols and starring Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Spader, Kate Nelligan, Richard Jenkins, Christopher Plummer, Eileen Atkins, David Hyde Pierce, and Om Puri. The music was composed by Ennio Morricone. If you like werewolf movies, which I do, this is a good one. Not currently available free that I can find.

trailer:



*******

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Tales from the Crypt (1972)

Tales from the Crypt is a 1972 horror anthology film based on short stories from the EC Comics series Tales from the Crypt. Five strangers in a crypt encounter the mysterious Crypt Keeper (Ralph Richardson), who makes each person in turn foresee the manner of their death. It gets good reviews and is fun to watch.

You can watch it online here via YouTube:



*******

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

Little Shop of Horrors is a 1986 American horror comedy musical film directed by Frank Oz. It is an adaptation of the 1982 off-Broadway musical of the same name, which is itself an adaptation of the 1960 film The Little Shop of Horrors by director Roger Corman. I don't see this free anywhere. That's a real shame. It gets positive reviews, and I got a kick out of it. It's hilarious!

trailer:



*******

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (Amazon Prime) is a 1976 cross-genre film directed by Nicolas Gessner and starring Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith, Mort Shuman, and Scott Jacoby. The plot focuses on 13-year-old Rynn Jacobs (Foster), a child whose absent poet father and secretive behaviours prod the suspicions of her conservative small-town neighbours, and her busy-body landlady's creepy son (Sheen). This one is worth watching, though because there are sooo many movies I probably won't ever watch it again.

trailer:

Monday, May 13, 2024

Viking Wolf

Viking Wolf (Netflix) is a 2022 Norwegian horror/thriller film about a teenage girl who is bitten by a werewolf. It got mixed reviews. I liked it but probably won't watch it again.

trailer:



*******

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Happy Mother's Day!

It's been a very strange year for me, and I haven't been active on my blog for months. (My Facebook life is busier, as I can do that on my phone. Note to CJ: I can access FB messenger now 😜)

My daughter, her husband, and their wonderful baby are all doing well. This baby is, of course, the best baby ever ❤️. Being a granny would be a lot more fun if i weren't sooo far away, but she's giving me daily updates with photos and videos and that helps. We're planning to drive up there and spend a week late this summer or maybe in September. 

I crashed and burned self-care-wise this year, and my recent doctor visit illustrated that fact. I haven't exercised at all, haven't eaten right, haven't taken any of my supplements, haven't worn my weight vest... You get the idea. I've turned over a new leaf now, though, and hope to see improvements. My doctor wants one of my lab tests re-done this week and all the others in six months. We'll see. I would really love to avoid prescription medications.

That said, I hope to get back to my blog and y'all's. I've missed everybody.

*******

Thursday, May 09, 2024

Jacob's Ladder

Jacob's Ladder (Amazon Prime) is a 1990 psychological horror film starring Tim Robbins as Jacob Singer, an American infantryman whose experiences before and during his service in Vietnam result in strange, fragmentary visions and bizarre hallucinations that continue to haunt him. As his ordeal worsens, Jacob desperately attempts to figure out the truth. A powerful film. I couldn't look away.

trailer:



Reviews were mostly positive, including that of Roger Ebert.

Friday, April 19, 2024

The Yellow Wallpaper (2022)

The Yellow Wallpaper (on Freevee via Prime or on Tubi) is an adaptation of the Charlotte Perkins Gilman short story. It has the right atmosphere. Nothing can improve on reading the story itself.

trailer:



*******

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Talk Memphis

Talk Memphis:


by Jesse Winchester, whose family moved to Memphis from north Mississippi when he was 12. In 1967 he moved to Canada to avoid the Vietnam draft and didn't return to the U.S. until President Carter's amnesty program covered him. He resettled in Memphis in 2002. He died of cancer on this date in 2014 at the age of 69 at his home in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Lyrics excerpt:
Listen to you move your mouth
I bet you come from way down South
Please don't tell me let me guess
You're from the town that I love best
Talk Memphis, I wish you would
Talk Memphis, you sound so good
Talk Memphis, high on the bluff
I swear I can't get enough
Listening to you talk that stuff
Talk Memphis, oh yeah, talk Memphis
Now let's discuss some barbecue
We'll talk about the Tigers too
Every little sweet thing that you say
Just turns me on like 'DIA
Talk Memphis, I wish you would
Talk Memphis, you sound so good
Talk Memphis, high on the bluff
I swear I can't get enough
Listening to you talk that stuff
Talk Memphis, oh yeah, talk Memphis
I bet you bought some blue suede shoes

Friday, March 01, 2024

Spring!

Happy Meteorological Spring!

I'm still out of state with my new grandbaby, who is growing by leaps and bounds and continuing to be the pride and joy of us all 🥰 His daddy went back to work after the first month, and I'll go home after the second month. My daughter will go back to work when the baby is three months old. She put up a lot of food in the freezer in preparation for the baby's arrival, and she is a good cook. They've been so good to me during my stay here. I'll miss them sooo much! I wish we lived closer, but we're planning our summer vacation now. We'll come back then.

Being a granny is The Best Fun!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Hellraiser (2022)

Hellraiser (Hulu) is a 2022 supernatural horror film, a reboot of the Hellraiser franchise, the eleventh installment overall, and a second adaptation of the 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, which was adapted into the 1987 film Hellraiser. It gets mostly positive reviews, and I liked it, but given a choice I'd re-watch the original.

trailer:



*******

I'm loving being a granny☺️. I haven't turned on my computer since I got here, and for some reason I have trouble leaving comments via my cell phone. I don't know how long my daughter will want me to stay with her, but until I leave my blog access will be limited. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Happy Birthday, Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie turns 83 years old today. On August 3, 2023, Saint-Marie issued a statement announcing her retirement from live performances, due to health concerns.

Universal Soldier:



Some things never change. And on that depressing note, please join me at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering, where we'll share a drink and visit.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Mission Impossible 3 and 4

Yes, we're going to go ahead and watch them all. In for a penny, in for a pound as the saying goes. They are much alike, and I'm out of town with limited online access, so I'm just gonna leave it at that. Is this a lazy post, or what?

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Mission Impossible: 2

Mission Impossible: 2 (Amazon Prime) is a 2000 action spy film starring Tom Cruise. It is the sequel to Mission: Impossible (1996) and the second installment in the Mission: Impossible film series. I felt betrayed by the first one and only watched this one because a family member wanted to watch it. Reviews on this one are mixed, and I'm not one of the ones who like it. Action scenes are much too long, car chases are much too long... and I say that as someone who generally enjoys action films. I don't think there's enough plot to further the 2+ hour length. There are plenty of fans out there, though, so you may well like this one.

trailer:



*******

Friday, February 16, 2024

Rebel Moon

Rebel Moon (Netflix) is a science fiction/space opera film that was pitched to the Star Wars folks who rejected it. They changed the names and made it outside the Star Wars universe, but its origin shows. Part two won't be available until April, and I'll wait to judge this one 'til I've seen the second part. I want to like it.

trailer:



*******

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Doctor Sleep (2019)

Doctor Sleep is a 2019 supernatural horror film based on the novel by Stephen King. It is a sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film The Shining. The film stars Ewan McGregor as Dan Torrance, a man with psychic abilities and a drinking problem, who struggles with childhood trauma caused by the horrors at the Overlook Hotel. I've forgotten now where I watched it but don't see it currently streaming anywhere. That's a real shame. It's definitely worth watching. The used DVD is available at Amazon for about $3.

trailer:



*******

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

The Universe in a Cup of Coffee

The Universe in a Cup of Coffee:



from the YouTube page:
The chemistry of the universe is, in a way, in your morning cup of coffee — from the evolution of caffeine as a defensive chemical weapon in plants to the swirling eddies of milk and coffee fueled by diffusion, Brownian motion and other phenomena. After watching the video, you’ll never look at coffee the same way again.

I only drink coffee in the mornings, and I drink it black and without any sweetening. I don't usually ponder weighty matters then, spending that time catching up on news stories, social media, and email newsletters. This morning I'll try to engage a different part of my brain.

Please join us at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Tropical Malady

Tropical Malady is an award-winning 2004 Thai romantic psychological drama art film. I found this in one of my watchlists but can't remember how I came across it. I probably was looking for movies that had won a particular award. This is a powerful film but painful to watch in parts.

via YouTube:



*******

Sunday, February 11, 2024

North of the Rio Grande (1937)

North of the Rio Grande (Tubi) is a 1937 Hopalong Cassidy Western film starring William Boyd, George "Gabby" Hayes, and Russell Hayden. This is Lee J. Cobb's first film role and is posted today because it's the anniversary of his death.

via YouTube:



*******

Saturday, February 10, 2024

An Angel at My Table (film)

An Angel at My Table (Max) is an award-winning 1990 biographical drama film directed by Jane Campion. The film is based on Janet Frame's autobiographies and and is divided into three parts. It follows Frame beginning with her years growing up in a poor family, through her years in a mental institution, and into her writing years afterwards. I tend to avoid films based on true stories, but for some reason I watched this one. It's one of those movies I wish I'd seen years earlier. That said, her life was horrifying, and this film is hard to watch. There were times I cried and some times I had to look awawy. I'm glad it ended well for her, but what it took for her to get there will break your heart.

trailer:



*******

Friday, February 09, 2024

her (2013)

her (Max) is a 2013 science-fiction romantic drama film. It's an interesting exploration of modern relationships.

from Wikipedia:
The film follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a man who develops a relationship with Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), an artificially intelligent virtual assistant personified through a female voice. The film also stars Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, and Chris Pratt.

trailer:



*******
I am out of town visiting my first grandchild and don't have ready access to my computer. I'm having great fun learning all the new ways parents do things these days. I am loving being Granny! 🥰

Thursday, February 08, 2024

Shin Masked Rider

Shin Masked Rider (Amazon Prime) is a 2023 Japanese superhero film about a man who is kidnapped by the Sustainable Happiness Organization with Computational Knowledge Embedded Remodeling (SHOCKER), a sinister organization that transforms humans into brainwashed synthetic animal hybrids known as Augments, or Augs. Hongo is transformed into Grasshopper-Aug. I just happened across it late one night. It's quite different from other superhero movies I've seen. It gets mostly positive reviews, but I'm not likely to watch more like it.

trailer:



Wednesday, February 07, 2024

The Lawnmower Man

The Lawnmower Man (not available except on premium streaming services like Starz) is a 1992 science fiction horror film starring Jeff Fahey as Jobe Smith, an intellectually disabled gardener, and Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Lawrence "Larry" Angelo, a scientist who decides to experiment on him in an effort to give him greater intelligence. I had never seen this before, and it's a fine enough little time waster (to borrow a phrase from CJ), but I won't watch it again and am not interested in the sequels.

trailer:



*******