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Rusty
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Re: Movies

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:8510:
569 - The Young and the Damned (1950) - 8.5/10 - A group of boys in Mexico spend a lot of time on the street getting into mischief. Things escalate when an older boy, Jaibo, escapes from reform school and returns. He gets them to steal and is involved in a couple of deaths. He is also a bad influence on Pedro, a boy who wants to be good, but doesn't know how. This was a really good movie.

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570 - Breathless (1960) - 7/10 - A car thief kills a police officer and then spends most of the rest of the film evading the police, chatting up a woman, and trying to convince her to go to Italy with him. It wasn't bad, but I expected to like it more.

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571 - Belle de Jour (1967) - 8.5/10 - A young woman loves her husband, but is unhappy due to the bdsm fantasies that she keeps having. When she hears of a high class and secret brothel, she visits and starts working there in the afternoon. It goes well for a while until one client becomes way too possessive. I thought it was very good.

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572 - Mary and Max (2009) - 8/10 - Mary is a lonely 8 year old Australian girl in the 1970s who decides to write to a random American in New York City. She chooses Max, a 44 year old obese man with no friends and Asperger's. The two exchange letters (and chocolate) for years and become friends. The story has its ups and downs and is told very well in animated form.
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Re: Movies

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:710:
573 - Peeping Tom (1960) - 7/10 - A photographer works at a film studio during the day, takes suggestive photos of women for a newsagent, and secretly works on his 'documentary' on fear. He's a serial killer who likes to film women as he kills them and get their reactions. He also becomes friends with the young woman whose family rents the downstairs set of rooms. It was a decent film and more of a psychological drama than horror.

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574 - She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) - 9/10 - John Ford directed this excellent western about a Cavalry Captain nearing retirement who takes out a patrol shortly after Custer and his men were killed at Little Big Horn. He is also escorting the wife and niece of the commander to take them to safety. The film is beautifully shot and John Wayne does a great job as Captain Nathan Brittles. There is a fair amount of humor in the film in addition to the drama and the supporting cast is also very good.

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575 - All About My Mother (1999) - 8.5/10 - Pedro Almodóvar wrote and directed this film about a single mother who sees her son die on his 18th birthday. She decides to return from Madrid to Barcelona for the first time since leaving during her pregnancy in order to tell the father about the son's existence and death. I thought it was a pretty moving story and Cecilia Roth was very good in the lead role as Manuela.

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576 - Nobody (2021) - 7.5/10 - Hutch is happily married with two kids, but reverts back to his old classified self after a home invasion. This leads to big trouble with a group of Russian criminals. This was a fun wish fulfillment film with plenty of action.

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577- L'enfant (2005) - 8/10 - Bruno and Sonia are a young couple who survive and welfare and the money that Bruno brings in with petty thefts. Sonia has a baby and is happy, but Bruno keeps thinking of ways to make money. It's a realistic and well acted film.

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578 - Tokyo Story (1953) - 10/10 - Shukichi and Tomi Hirayama (Chishu Ryu and Chieko Higashiyama) are an older couple who live in Onomichi with their youngest daughter, Kyoko, who is a teacher. They travel to Tokyo to visit two of their grown children, grandchildren, and daughter-in-law with a stop in Osaka on the way home to visit another son. They feel like a burden on their children who don't take time from their busy lives to spend with their parents and see the visit as a bit of a nuisance. The only one who shows them kindness and takes the time is Noriko (Setsuko Hara), the widow of their son who died eight years earlier in WWII. The movie is definitely a masterpiece and the acting is superb, especially from Setsuko Hara and the actors who played the parents. The cinematography, music, and story are also excellent. You can see that it was inspired by Make Way for Tomorrow, but I think that this is a better film. The movie (and others directed by Yasujiro Ozu) has been on my list to watch for a while.

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579 - The White Bus (1967) - 6/10 - A young woman leaves London by train for a trip to another city. She is accompanied by a group of football fans. When she arrives, she boards a white tour bus and joins a group of visitors from other parts of the world who are being led on a tour by the mayor. The film switches to color for short sequences, seemingly at random. There are also the occasional bit of fantasy from the protagonist. It's an interesting film at times, but not a great one.

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580 - The Call of Cthulhu (2005) - 5/10 - This film adapts the Lovecraft short story as a silent film with intertitles. It didn't really feel like an older film, though. I didn't really enjoy it that much, not being a Lovecraft fan, but it seems to be fairly faithful to the source material.
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Re: Movies

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:510:
581 - Volcano: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry - 5/10 - A documentary about the author of Under the Volcano. It was comprehensive, but fairly dull.

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582 - Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) - 7.5/10 - A crooked card game leads to a £500,000 debt. This leads to a plan to rob a small neighboring gang, but there are rival factions, mishaps, and plenty of violence. It was a pretty good film.

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583 - Pather Panchali (1955) - 7.5/10 - A poor man in a Bengal village aspires to be a writer, but has debts so he leaves home to try and find work to pay off the debts and support his family. Much of the film deals with the everyday life of his wife, daughter Durga who is a bit of a handful, and son Apu who is fairly young. It is a pretty good film and was filmed with very little money and amateur actors. It is also the start of the Apu trilogy of films which are highly regarded in India and elsewhere.

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584 - Nights of Cabiria (1957) - 8/10 - A prostitute survives nearly drowning in a river and starts yearning for happiness and a better future, only to find disappointment and heartbreak. Giulietta Masina was very good in this film directed by Federico Fellini.

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585 - A Well Spent Life (1971) - 7/10 - Mance Lipscomb was a tenant farmer in Texas for much of his life. He was also an excellent blues and folk guitarist who only played locally until being discovered in 1960. After that, he recorded a number of records and toured the U.S. quite a bit. This film looks at his life and family, including his wife of over 55 years. He tells stories, plays songs, and is interviewed. It's an interesting documentary.

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586 - Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (1963) - 8/10 - We get a behind the scenes look at the effort it took to get Vivian Malone and James Hood registered for classes at the University of Alabama, thus breaking the color barrier. The access that Robert Drew and his ABC News crew had is kind of amazing. Much of the film centers on Robert Kennedy and his deputy, Nicholas Katzenbach, but we also get JFK in a meeting, and plenty of George Wallace plus the two students involved. There is a lot of political maneuvering to make sure the students are safe and that the court order is enforced without making Wallace a martyr to the cause. It's a nice documentary about a pivotal moment in U.S. history.

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587 - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) - 8.5/10 - Jimmy Stewart stars as Senator Ransom Stoddard who returns to the town of Shinbone for the first time in many years. The newspaper editor wants to know why he is there so he relates the story of how he came to Shinbone when the state was still a territory. Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin) was an outlaw who was used to getting his way, except when Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) confronted him. Vera Miles also co-stars as Hallie, Doniphon's girlfriend. This is another entertaining western from director John Ford (there were so many of them) and it ranks near the top for me. It is nice seeing Stewart and Wayne together in a film and they each do a nice job in their respective roles.
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Re: Movies

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:310:
588 - Disneyland, mon vieux pays natal (2002) - 3/10 - A man visits Disneyland Paris with a film crew and takes a bunch of footage. The narration and background music turn it into a sort of philosophical horror film. It was not that entertaining.

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589 - London After Midnight (2002) - 5/10 - This is a reconstruction of a lost Lon Chaney film from 1927. It's okay for what it is, though I didn't find it incredibly interesting.

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590 - No Time to Die (2021) - 8/10 - The Daniel Craig Bond era goes out with a bang. Bond is retired and just as he is on the verge of being happy, trouble finds him and messes it all up. New foes and old show up here and there is certainly plenty of action. Lashana Lynch was good as the new 007, though I thought she would play a slightly larger role. Léa Seydoux returns and does a good job. There were quite a few nice sequences during the film. It was definitely better than Spectre.

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591 - Une Visite au Louvre (2004) - 6/10 - The footage from the Louvre focuses on a number of pieces of art and for each one, the narrator (acting as Paul Cezanne) gives their opinion on either the work of art or the artist or both. The words of Cezanne are taken from his book and were written after he visited the Louvre. It was interesting in spots and the art was good.

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592 - Kaliya Mardan (1919) - 6/10 - The young daughter of the director plays Krishna as a boy with some of his mischievous exploits such as tying the beard of a man to the hair of his wife while they sleep. Krishna does a lot of dancing around and is often followed by a group of village boys dancing as well. Krishna does get to battle a sea serpent in an underwater scene. It isn't really well acted, but there is energy and it is fun enough to watch.

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593 - Lessons of Darkness (1992) - 8/10 - This film features excellent footage of the Kuwaiti oil fires, the efforts to put out the fires and cap the wells, plus the devastation left behind after the Iraqis pulled out. There is only sparse narration, but there is good background music.

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594 - The Oyster Princess (1919) - 7.5/10 - Ernst Lubitsch directed this film about the Oyster King of America and his spoiled daughter (Ossi Oswalda). The Oyster King is so wealthy that he lives in a huge mansion and has servants to blow his nose, hold his cigar, and so on. Very little impresses him. His daughter is unhappy and breaks a ton of things in her room so he decides to procure a high ranking husband for her. The movie is pretty funny and Ossi is good here as she was in The Doll.

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595 - La Chute de la maison Usher (1928) - 7/10 - This silent adaptation of the Edgar Allan Poe story seems to be fairly faithful to the original story. The narrator arrives at the Usher mansion to find the lady of the house deathly ill. Then she dies, but later returns.
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Re: Movies

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:710:
596 - Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) - 7/10 - I didn't have this one marked as watched, though I wasn't sure how I'd missed it. Sure enough, I could tell right away that I'd seen it, but decided to rewatch it anyway. There are definitely some good bits here - the Monte Carlo casino and choice at the beginning for example. The animals are trying to get back to New York City and join a circus as they try to stay away from the law (animal control). It's a fun movie.

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597 - Animal Crackers (1930) - 6/10 - There were some funny bits here and there, but there was also dead air sometimes after attempted jokes, especially earlier in the film. It was like they were waiting for a nonexistent audience reaction. Overall, I thought it was kind of dull and the mystery of the missing painting wasn't all that interesting. There was enough there to make it worth watching once, but it is not one of the better Marx brothers films.

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598 - Harakiri (1962) - 10/10 - A ronin shows up at the gate of the Iyi clan in 1630 requesting permission to use their forecourt to commit ritual suicide by harakiri. Times had been tough for masterless samurai since the peace of 1619. A retainer of the Iyi clan relates the story of a man who made the same request in the recent past in likely hope of being given some money, but forced to follow through. The ronin insists that he wants to continue and before the ceremony begins, he relates his story. Tatsuya Nakadi does an excellent job as the aging samurai who has had to scramble to make a living over the past 11 years. The set design and camerawork are also top notch. Highly recommended.

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599 - Bitter Rice (1949) - 8.5/10 - Francesca and Walter stole jewels and now Walter is being hunted by the police. He passed the jewels on to Francesca when the police cause them to miss their train. Francesca mixes in with workers taking a different train to work in rice fields as seasonal workers. Another rice worker, Silvana, figures out why Francesca is there and tells her boyfriend Marco, a soldier. Walter eventually shows up and tempers flare and plans are made by Walter to make money there. The film is well acted and is pretty entertaining throughout.

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600 - Aniki-Bóbó (1942) - 8.5/10 - Carlitos is a young boy with a crush on Terezinha, a girl who hangs out with the the same group of boys that Carlitos does. However, she seems to like another boy, Eduardo, who is a bit bigger and stronger and is a leader in the group. The two boys fight a couple of times as Carlitos tries to win her affection. It's a very nice film with only a few adult characters of any note - the shopkeeper and the schoolteacher.

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601 - Sans Soleil (1983) - 6/10 - The film contains a somewhat random collection of footage from various parts of the world, though much of it was from Japan. The narrator reads letters from a fictitious cameraman and the film is a sort of documentary/travelogue. I found the footage more interesting than the narration, but overall the film was okay.

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602 - Go West (1925) - 7/10 - Buster Keaton is down on his luck and can't get a job in New York City so he decides to head west, hopping on a train car since he has no money. He arrives at a ranch and is hired as a cowboy, though he has no skills in that regard. I thought the first part of the film was a bit slow and not really all that funny. However, it got a lot better in the second half and the finale in the city was really good.

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603 - Big Trouble in Little China (1986) - 7/10 - I hadn't seen this since the 80s and didn't remember anything about it so I decided to watch it again. Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) is a truck drive who takes his friend Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) to the airport to meet his fiance. The fiance gets kidnapped and they follow the trail to Chinatown which leads to all sorts of problems. The result is a goofy supernatural martial arts action comedy that doesn't really make a lot of sense if you think about it, but is entertaining enough for the spectacle of it.
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:710:
604 - Detour (1945) - 7/10 - A piano player in New York decides to travel to California to join his girlfriend. Since he has almost no money, he hitches rides with mixed success. He gets lucky when he is picked up by a guy in Arizona who is going all the way to LA and then things take a turn. It was a decent noir film.

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605 - Bye Bye Morons (2020) - 7.5/10 - Suze is a hairdresser in her 40s who has just been informed that she is dying. She decides to try and find the baby she gave up for adoption when she was 15. She gets help from a bureaucrat undergoing a midlife crisis and a blind archivist. There is quite a bit of humor here and I thought it was a fun movie.

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606 - The Scoundrel (1935) - 6/10 - Noel Coward stars in this film about a publisher who seems to be rather callous and dismissive of most of the people in his life. It was a bit dull, but watchable.

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607 - The Match Factory Girl (1990) - 8/10 - Iris works in a match factory and leads a pretty sad and dull life. She lives with and helps support her parents who are strict and appear to be unloving. She doesn't have any luck romantically until one night when she meets a man in a bar, but it becomes apparent later that he thought she was a prostitute. When he scorns her, something inside snaps and Iris decides to get revenge. I thought this was a very good film. Iris is a woman of very few words, but she doesn't need many to convey her situation. She actually becomes livelier after she decides to get even.

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608 - Lone Wolf and Cub - Sword of Vengeance (1972) - 9/10
609 - Lone Wolf and Cub - Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972) - 9/10
610 - Lone Wolf and Cub - Baby Cart to Hades (1972) - 9/10 - I've loved the Lone Wolf and Cub manga series since the 1980s, but this is the first time I've watched the movies. I think that they are pretty faithful and very entertaining, though definitely bloody and violent (as are the comics). I enjoyed them quite a bit and will watch the other three movies in this series at a later date.

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611 - A Man Escaped (1956) - 8.5/10 - A French resistance prisoner is sent to prison and meticulously plans his escape with some help from his fellow prisoners. The movie was pretty much just the prisoner in his own cell or mingling briefly with the other prisoners while washing up or in the courtyard, but it was somewhat tense and was very well done. It is a very good movie.
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:7510:
612 - The Glass Cell (1978) - 7.5/10 - A man is wrongfully convicted of fraud and spends five years in prison. When he is released, his family is almost like a stranger to him and he sees that his lawyer is unusually close with his wife and young son. The time in prison changed the man and he finds it difficult to deal with his roles having been usurped by another. It was a pretty good crime drama.

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613 - Sara Akash (1969) - 6/10 - Samar is coerced into marrying Prabha by his family. He wants to complete his studies before thinking of marriage, but gives in to the pressure. Neither one is ready for married life. Samar becomes bitter and Prabha fits in poorly with Samar's family, who often give her a hard time.

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614 - Le Samourai (1967) - 7.5/10 - A hitman gets pulled in for questioning after a job. He's established his alibi, but is still under suspicion. The police are after him, but so are the people who hired him. There's a lot of atmosphere here and the film is rather minimalist in a number of ways, especially dialogue. It's a good film, though I didn't like it as much as some reviews that I've seen.

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615 - Chungking Express (1994) - 7.5/10 - This movie has two stories about Hong Kong policeman whose girlfriends have left them. The first one has a guy calling her number repeatedly and hoping she'll come back. It really wasn't all that interesting. I liked the related story about the woman who has a drug deal go bad much more. The second story has a guy whose flight attendant girlfriend leaves. Another girl who works at the snack bar he frequents likes the man, though she has an interesting way of expressing it. She also likes really loud music. The second story was a lot more enjoyable than the first one.

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616 - Salaam Cinema (1995) - 6/10 - Mohsen Makhmalbaf is an Iranian director who put an ad in the paper for an open casting call for his next movie. So many people showed up that it was a dangerous mob scene outside the facility they were using for screen tests. He decided to make a movie about the casting process for these prospective actors. It had its interesting moments, but overall was just okay.

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617 - Paths of Glory (1957) - 8.5/10 - A general (George Macready) aiming for a promotion orders an undermanned troop to attack and take a heavily fortified German position during the first World War. Kirk Douglas plays the colonel in charge of these men and has to defend three men chosen as scapegoats against charges of cowardice after the attack fails. Adolphe Menjou also has a significant role as a smarmy general. Stanley Kubrick directed the film and I thought it was very good.

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618 - Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) - 8/10 - Buster Keaton is the son of a steamboat captain who hasn't seen him since he was a baby. When he arrives in town, he is a big disappointment to his father. While the second half of the film is definitely better than the first half, I did enjoy the film quite a bit overall. The storm sequence was excellent.
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:7510:
619 - Nothing Personal (2009) - 7.5/10 - A woman leaves Amsterdam, apparently after the breakup of a marriage, to travel across Ireland on foot and by hitchhiking. She comes across a remote home where a hermit lives and they slowly build a relationship. Dialogue is fairly sparse at times, but isn't really needed. It was a good film and Lotte Verbeek and Stephen Rea each give nice performances.

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620 - The Cranes are Flying (1957) - 9.5/10 - This Soviet film about WWII deals with a young woman named Veronika (Tatyana Samoylova) who is in love with a young man named Boris (Aleksey Batalov). It is expected that they will marry, but the war starts and he enlists. Waiting is really hard for Veronika, especially since she gets no letters from Boris. The movie features an excellent performance from Samoylova plus the visuals and story are each top notch as she deals with the fear and the heartbreak and the war. It is an excellent film.

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621 - Raise the Red Lantern (1991) - 9/10 - After her father dies, 19 year old Songlian (Gong Li) gives in to her stepmother's wish for her to marry. Songlian becomes the fourth mistress of a very wealthy man in 1920s China who lives in a large compound. Songlian soon finds that the mistresses are in competition with one another for the attention of the Master and that the servants also treat the mistresses differently depending on who holds his favor at the moment. Songlian finds herself somewhat isolated and can't even rely on the maid assigned to her. A nice performance from Gong Li in an excellent film.

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622 - The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) - 9/10 - The set used for most of the film is deceptively simple. The images of the people from the church and Joan with the close ups and group shots and so on, the fast talking and fast pace is all very effective. Using material from the actual transcripts is impressive, but so are the performances from all of the actors.

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623 - Simon of the Desert (1965) - 8/10 - Simon has been living on top of a tall pillar for over 6 years, praying to become closer to God. Another pillar is erected for him and he comes down and walks over to the new pillar. He has attracted crowds of people who want to see him perform a miracle. When one is performed, they leave unimpressed. There are a number of recurring characters including a group of religious men, a goat herder, his mother, and Satan. Satan appears a number of times to try and tempt Simon. The film moves at a pretty quick pace and there is humor mixed in as well. It's a lot more entertaining perhaps than the description might make it seem. Luis Buñuel directing it plays a large role in that.

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624 - Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) - 8/10 - Stefan Brand (Louis Jourdan) is a concert pianist who was pretty well known in his younger days. He is about to leave town to avoid a duel when he receives a letter from a woman that he does not remember. Lisa (Joan Fontaine) relates her story in the letter as to how she loved Stefan from the age of 14 when he lived nearby and she heard him play regularly. She continued to love him as she grew up, but he took no notice of her until one night many years later. The story is very melodramatic, but it works very well and the lead performances are very good.
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:710:
625 - Waiting for Happiness (2002) - 7/10 - There are a few overlapping stories here. It starts with Abdallah returning to the coastal village in Mauritania where he is from. He doesn't speak the local dialect anymore and doesn't fit in with his western clothes. There is also a young boy and an elderly electrician trying to bring electricity into the boy's home. Nearby, a woman is teaching a young girl to sing. There are other stories in the village and the film moves at a rather slow pace much of the time, but it is still an interesting movie that I liked.

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626 - In a Lonely Place (1950) - 8/10 - Dix Steele (Humphrey Bogart) is a screenwriter who hasn't had a hit since before WWII. He becomes a suspect in a murder case, but has an alibi from Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame), a neighbor who saw him the night of the murder. The two become involved, but the police investigation and DIx's bad temper threaten to tear them apart. It's a very solid film noir and is entertaining.

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627 - Django (1966) - 6/10 - A gunfighter dragging a coffin near a border town comes across a woman that two groups want to kill. Django has to deal with several groups, including racist ex-Confederates and a band of Mexican revolutionaries whose leader he knows. There is a lot of bloody violence and some parts of the story are pretty good, but overall the story is just an excuse for gun battles and blood and the film itself is just okay.

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628 - Infernal Affairs (2002) - 8/10 - The police have an undercover cop hidden in a criminal organization, but the crime boss also has a mole on the police force. It's a game of cat and mouse to see who can uncover the other mole first. This was a very good film and also served as the basis for The Departed.

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629 - Throne of Blood (1957) - 8/10 - Lord Tsusuki summons his two top commanders to his castle after a big victory in battle. They are friends and travel together on the way through the forest to the castle, but encounter fog and a spirit along the way. The spirit tells them that one will become the lord of the castle and the other's son will one day become the lord. One of the commanders is egged on by his wife to do away with their lord and fulfill the prophecy. I'm not a fan of Macbeth, but this was pretty well done.

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630 - The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936) - 8/10 - A man and woman arrive at a hotel late one evening and one person recognizes the man as being wanted by the police. The woman tells his story and lets the people there judge for themselves. The man is named Lange and he wrote a popular pulp western about a character named Arizona Jim. His publisher was a swindler and womanizer who was always hitting on the ladies who worked at Valentine's (the woman telling the story) laundry. Lange's story is told from the creation of Arizona Jim through his crime and subsequent arrival at the hotel. I thought it was well acted and a very entertaining film.

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631 - The Return Of Doctor X (1939) - 6/10 - A newspaper reporter is meeting an actress for an interview when he finds her dead body. However, the body disappears before the police arrive and the woman turns up apparently alive later still. The reporter gets his doctor friend involved and they discover that other victims with the same rare blood type have also died. The movie seemed pretty rushed at the end, but it was still an enjoyable enough horror mystery.
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:7510:
632 - Song of the South (1946) - 7.5/10 - Uncle Remus tells his stories about Br'er Rabbit to Johnny, a lonely boy with no real friends except for Jenny, who lives nearby, and Uncle Remus. The film was a product of its time, but apart from that it is a nice and entertaining film. The animated sequences are good and James Baskett gives a nice performance.

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633 - Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1954) - 8/10 - Toshiro Mifune stars as Takezo, a wild young man who goes off to war with his best friend only to be hunted by villagers and the local lord when he returns. This is the opening part of the man who becomes Musashi. I thought it was really good and I enjoyed it quite a bit. There is action, though not as much as you might expect, and also a fair amount of humor. The last bit of the story takes place at Himeji Castle which I visited with friends in 2018. I plan to watch the other two parts of the trilogy soon.

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634 - Passenger (1963) - 8/10 - A German woman on a cruise ship recognizes another passenger. She tells her husband that during WWII, she was an overseer at Auschwitz and that the woman she recognized was a prisoner who served as her assistant. She goes on to relate the story of their interactions at the camp. Unfortunately the movie was never completed because the director, Andrzej Munk, died in a car crash during production. What was completed is very good and the end result probably would have been as well.

:510:
635 - The Death of the Master (2018) - 5/10 - In the wake of an earthquake, nature seems a bit off kilter in a remote estate in the jungle. There are lots of slow scenes without dialogue and not a lot really happens here. Two men dig a grave, a calf dies, daily chores, a storm, etc. It isn't bad exactly, just dull. Some of the scenery is interesting to look at from time to time.

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636 - The Mummy (1932) - 6/10 - An ancient Egyptian mummy is accidentally brought back to life. Skip ahead 10 years and the mummy (Boris Karloff) is now using his powers to bring about the reawakening of his lost love who has been reincarnated into the present time. Karloff gives a decent performance, but the movie itself is merely okay. The story is a bit underwhelming after a good start.
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:510:
637 - Blood Wedding (1981) - 5/10 - This is the first in Carlos Saura's Flamenco trilogy. We get to see a dress rehearsal for a flamenco production of Lorca's Blood Wedding. The first 10-15 minutes involve putting on makeup and getting dressed. There are other scenes with putting on costumes. The dancing itself and the music are decent, but the film as a whole isn't all that interesting. I liked Carmen (the second entry in the trilogy) more.

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638 - The Set-Up (1949) - 8.5/10 - An aging boxer who hasn't had much success lately is hoping for that one punch to see him through the upcoming fight. His manager took a bribe from a local gangster to throw the fight, though he neglected to tell the fighter, expecting him to lose as usual. This was a nice film with good boxing sequences and a fairly straightforward, but well told story.

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639 - Daisies (1966) - 8/10 - This is an odd movie and a bit tough to describe in full. Two young woman (each named Marie) spoil themselves by getting older men to buy food and wine for them and then leaving them in the lurch at the train station. Marie and Marie go through the movie doing all sorts of silly and crazy things, but it is generally pretty entertaining. The filmmakers also use a variety of visual techniques throughout the film that make it more interesting as well. I liked the film quite a bit, but it probably isn't for everyone.

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640 - Solaris (1972) - 6.5/10 - Cosmonauts who've spent time on a space station orbiting a planet called Solaris have been having mental issues. A psychologist is sent to investigate and finds himself in the same situation when his wife appears on the station with him, except that she's been dead for a decade. I found the first part of the film to be meandering and dull. The second part was much better with Hari there (the wife), though I thought it still moved at too slow a pace at times. It's easy to tell that a lot of work and thought went into the film and its story, but it didn't quite work for me.
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Rusty
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Re: Movies

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641 - U.S. Go Home (1994) - 8/10 - In the 1960s, 14 year old Martine lives in a Paris suburb and wants to lose her virginity. She and her friend Marlene hitchhike a lot and do this to get to a party that her older brother is attending, but the party doesn't work out quite how Martine was expecting. After, Martine and her brother hitch a ride home. The title derives from the presence of a U.S. base in the area and their soldiers who are around as well. I thought it was very well acted and believable and it is a good coming of age story.

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642 - Mean Streets (1973) - 7/10 - Charlie (Harvey Keitel) is a small time gangster and friends with Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro). Johnny Boy avoids work and gambles and has racked up lots of debts to loan sharks. Charlie tries to look after and protect his friend, but it isn't easy. I thought the film was good, but could have been a lot better. The plot seemed a little unfocused at times.

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643 - Hollywood Shuffle (1987) - 7.5/10 - Robert Townsend directed and stars in this film about a young black man who wants to be an actor, but the only roles he can find to audition for are stereotypes which is not the type of acting that he wants to do. The movie is a satire and features many short scenes taken from his character's imagination. The movie is pretty funny and I thought it was good.

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644 - Black Girl (1966) - 8/10 - A Senegalese woman gets a job as a governess for the children of a white French family. When they return to France, they hire her to come there to do the same job, telling her of the sights and shops that she can visit. When she arrives, she finds that she is treated more as a slave with little free time or freedom. Excellent acting from Mbissine Thérèse Diop in a relatively short, but very good film.

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645 - A Page of Madness (1926) - 8/10 - A janitor takes a job at an insane asylum to be near his wife who is an inmate there. The film is pervaded with a sense of madness. The acting of the inmates certainly contributes to this as does the score that was added to this silent film and many different effects that are used in the film. The movie is kind of a trip to watch.

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646 - Pickpocket (1959) - 7/10 - A man thinks working a regular job leads nowhere and decides to devote himself to becoming a pickpocket. He isn't very good at first, but studies, practices, and makes acquaintances who help him improve his abilities. The police are on to him, but lack proof. It's a pretty stark film and well acted, but I didn't like it nearly as much as A Man Escaped.
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Re: Movies

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:7510:
647 - 3-Iron (2004) - 7.5/10 - A young man who owns very little apart from his motorcycle puts up flyers by day and then breaks into empty homes at night. He uses the places he breaks into to sleep, eat, bathe, do laundry, etc. and does household chores or fixes things to pay for his time there. His life changes somewhat one night when he finds an abused wife in a home he thought was empty. It was a pretty entertaining romance.

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648 - Orion's Belt (1985) - 6/10 - This cold war action adventure deals with the people on a Norwegian trawler who do a variety of jobs to try to make a living. They agree to participate in an insurance scam that promises to pay well and stumble across a secret Soviet post on an island. The Soviets don't want the secret to get out so they set out to kill the men and destroy the ship. The first hour or so was a decent action movie, but the last part of the film changed course somewhat and was less interesting. Overall not a bad movie, though.

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649 - Force of Evil (1948) - 7.5/10 - A lawyer is working with a gangster to consolidate all of the small numbers rackets under one umbrella with his partner in charge. One problem is that the lawyer's older brother is one of those running a numbers racket and he could be ruined and maybe even die as a result. The lawyer tries to help the brother, but the brother wants no part of that help. This was a good noir crime film.

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650 - The Magic City (1954) - 7/10 - Kosmas lives in the slums of Athens with his wife and younger sister. He works hard driving a truck, but is barely able to make ends meet. He may lose the truck due to his mounting debt. He agrees to work for a smuggler to make some extra money, but has a tough decision to make when he discovers what they are transporting if he doesn't want to compromise his ethics. This is a nice film from Greece.

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651 - The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) - 8/10 - Exposure to a radioactive cloud causes Scott Carey to begin shrinking. It is slow and barely noticeable at first, but the process continues and Carey becomes a nationwide sensation. He becomes small enough to be threatened by the family cat and later by a spider. The special effects were pretty good here and the movie is pretty good as well.

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652 - Kwaidan (1965) - 8.5/10 - This film adapts four Japanese folk stories - A samurai who divorces his wife in search of greater wealth, a woodcutter who is caught in a storm and spared by a woman in the snow, a blind biwa player who lives in a temple, and a writer who relates an unfinished tale of a lord who sees a man in a cup of tea. The tales are beautifully told and the stories may seem a bit familiar since they share themes with other "ghost stories".

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653 - Farewell, My Concubine (1993) - 6/10 - A young boy is abandoned by his mother with an opera troupe in 1924 China. Life in the opera can be pretty harsh at times with plenty of beatings. The boy becomes close friends with another boy and the two grow up to be opera stars under the names Dieyi and Xiaolau. Dieyi is in love with Xiaolou, but XIaolou's interests lie elsewhere and he marries a high class prostitute. Time passes with a number of events - war with the Japanese, the Communists taking over, etc. The movie begins and ends in 1977 with their being reunited. The most interesting part to me was the beginning of the film in 1924 and 1932 when they were boys and still in training. I found the rest of the film less interesting (especially the opera), though it was done with style.
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Re: Movies

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:8510:
654 - Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) - 8.5/10 - I was a bit worried after seeing Django that I wouldn't like this all that much, but this movie was a lot more entertaining. It has great scenery and camera work plus a decent story. Fonda was good as the villain, though I thought that he had much better performances. Jason Robards was the best of the three male leads in his role as Cheyenne. I enjoyed this one quite a bit and may revisit the Dollars trilogy in the near future.

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655 - Army of Shadows (1969) - 8/10 - A group of French resistance fighters try to stay free of the Nazis, watch out for informers, and change safe houses often. The film has a relentless serious tone and the consequences of failure could mean torture and death, not just for the resistance members, but for their families if discovered. The movie is very well done and it is a shame that it was not widely released for nearly 40 years.

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656 - The Commitments (1991) - 7.5/10 - Jimmy Rabbitte gets the idea of putting together a soul band in the Dublin area. He recruits a few friends and auditions others and the group comes together. However, success is not quite as easy as he might have thought. There was a lot of good music and the movie was entertaining enough, though not quite as good as I expected.

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657 - Police Story (1985) - 6.5/10 - Jackie Chan stars as a Hong Kong police officer tasked with protecting a witness. There were a few good stunts here and the opening scene was probably the best one in the film, but I thought the rest of the film was a bit underwhelming.

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658 - El romance del Aniceto y la Francisca (1967) - 5/10 - A man is in love with two women and a rooster. Okay, but kind of dull.

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659 - The King of the Street Cleaners (1977) - 7/10 - Apti is a street cleaner who is in love with a cleaning woman named Hacer. Apti has competition, though, from his boss. I'm sure that I missed a number of cultural things in this Turkish comedy, but it still was fairly funny.
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Re: Movies

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:710:
660 - Nanook of the North (1922) - 7/10 - A look at an Inuit man and his family over the course of a year. It may have been more docudrama than documentary, but there were still a number of interesting scenes.

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661 - The Tin Drum (1979) - 6/10 - Oskar is born in Germany in 1924 with his full intellect. At the age of three, he is given a tin drum to play and he carries it around everywhere. He also decides that he won't age any further and so from then on his appearance doesn't change. The movie follows his life all the way through WWII with all the personal losses along the way. The movie is very well done in many respects and reminded me of Jojo Rabbit in some ways, but I didn't really like most of it, unfortunately.

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662 - The Lives of Others (2006) - 9/10 - A playwright in East Germany comes under investigation at the urging of a party official who is having an affair with his girlfriend. The Stasi officer who leads the investigation starts to have doubts about the system he's a part of as he gets to know the playwright and has acquaintances through wiretaps and other surveillance. It is very well acted and an entertaining drama.

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663 - Dawn of the Dead (1978) - 7/10 - The zombie epidemic continues to escalate and four survivors take a helicopter out of the city before taking refuge in a suburban shopping mall. They set up shop there and things go well for a while. This was a decent movie, but I thought that it was much less interesting than Night of the Living Dead.

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664 - Days of Glory (2006) - 7.5/10 - The movie follows North African soldiers who have been recruited to fight for France against the Nazis during WWII. They serve well, but face discrimination and are not able to gain promotions or leave as easily as French natives. We see the ups and downs of four soldiers and their comrades during the course of the war in Africa, Italy, and France itself. It's a pretty good film.
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