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Rusty
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Re: Movies

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:810:
582 - Shoah (1985) - 8/10 - A powerful 9.5 hour long documentary about the Holocaust with interviews of numerous survivors and also some of the Germans and others involved with the camps or trains.

:7510:
583 - Midnight (1939) - 7.5/10 - Claudette Colbert is a nightclub singer who arrives in Paris with only 25 centimes to her name. She is helped out by a taxi driver (Don Ameche) and later is thought to be the wife of Hungarian baron by members of their aristocracy. It's a nice enough film and fairly entertaining. The best parts are when Ameche and Colbert are together.

:710:
584 - Mirror (1975) - 7/10 - A man in his 40s reminisces about his life. I thought the film had really nice cinematography and parts of the film were interesting, but overall I got a bit bored with it. Tarkovsky films haven't really been my thing.

:810:
585 - Paris, Texas (1984) - 8/10 - A man walks out of the desert in Texas, seemingly mute and with memory loss. His brother starts bringing him back to himself and the reasons for his four year absence eventually come out. The film is kind of a slow burn, but is pretty good.
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Re: Movies

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:810:
586 - Andrei Rublev (1966) - 8/10 - The movie is based loosely on the life of a Russian icon painter. Life in the early 1400s could be pretty brutal.

:7510:
587 - Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) - 7.5/10 - An indictment of George W. Bush and his associates as they profited from actions taken before and after 9/11.

:710:
588 - Wings of Desire (1987) - 7/10 - Two angels travel around Berlin observing people and listening in on their thoughts. The cinematography is great and the film is very stylish. I didn't feel too drawn in to the story itself most of the time, though.
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Re: Movies

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:7510:
589 - Time of the Gypsies (1988) - 7.5/10 - Perhan is a young man in Yugoslavia who has a little telekinetic ability. He gets tricked into becoming a criminal. The film is pretty strange much of the time, but also somewhat compelling.

:810:
590 - Manon of the Spring (1986) - 8/10 - This sequel to Jean de Florette takes place about a decade later. Manon was a young girl in the first film, but is all grown up and beautiful now. She has an admirer in Ugolin, but she wants nothing to do with him after what Ugolin and his uncle did to Manon's father. Manon discovers a way to take vengeance on the men and follows through with it, disrupting life in the town as a consequence.
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Re: Movies

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:510:
591 - Performance (1970) - 4/10 - A gangster who is on the run hides out in Mick Jagger's basement while trying to find a way out of the country. It's a pretty odd movie and not one that I really enjoyed, except for bits here and there.

:8510:
592 - Napoleon (1927) - 8.5/10 - Gance's film is epic in scope and yet only covers until 1796 and films about the rest of his life didn't get made. There are a lot of cool techniques employed in the film and I liked both actors who played Napoleon (as a youth and as an adult).
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Re: Movies

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:610:
593 - The Devils (1971) - 6/10 - The story of Urbain Grandier in the 1630s. I can see the artistry here, but I didn't like the film very much at all. I've yet to see a Ken Russell film that I've really liked. I think that if I had seen it when I was a teen or in my early 20s, I might have enjoyed it more. That's when I saw A Clockwork Orange and I liked that quite a bit at the time.

:710:
594 - Jules and Jim (1962) - 7/10 - Jules (an Austrian) and Jim (a Frenchman) meet and become friends in the days before the first world war. They also become involved with an adventurous woman named Catherine and each falls in love with her. Jules and Jim are separated by WWI, but reunite afterward with Catherine having married one of them in the interim, though still having feelings for the other. It's kind of a strange love triangle and while I liked Jeanne Moreau as Catherine, I was a bit bored with the two men and the story itself after a while, especially the last 20-30 minutes.

:8510:
595 - Ikiru (1952) - 8.5/10 - A civil servant has lived a very dull life in the 20 or so years since his wife died. When he learns that he has stomach cancer and will die soon, he tries to find out how to live and to leave something worthwhile behind, but the bureaucracy that he has long been a part of stands in the way. It takes a while for the film to really get going, but it gets better as it goes along. Miki Odagiri really livened things up when she was in the film as one of his employees.

:6510:
596 - Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1944) - 6.5/10 - The first part of Sergei Eisenstein's biopic had interesting set design, but the story and acting are less interesting.

:6510:
597 - Ivan the Terrible, Part II: The Boyars’ Plot (1946/1958) - 6.5/10 - The story continues from the first film and it is mostly more of the same. Ivan gets more ruthless after the death of his wife.
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Re: Movies

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:8510:
598 - Ordet (1955) - 8.5/10 - An aging widower on a Danish farm in 1925 has his three sons living with him. The oldest is an agnostic with a pregnant wife and two daughters. The middle son thinks he is Jesus Christ. The youngest son is in love with the tailor's daughter, but faith may separate them. In some ways, it is a fairly simple tale of faith and belief, but it is crafted very well and there are good performances throughout.

:7510:
599 - Viridiana (1961) - 7.5/10 - A woman about to take her final vows as a nun is encouraged by her Mother Superior to visit her estranged uncle. She's only met the uncle once and does not like him, but he paid for her schooling. Her trip to the uncle's farm changes her in a number of ways. I thought it was pretty good.

:910:
600 - Sansho the Bailiff (1954) - 9/10 - A provincial governor during the Heian Period is separated from his family and exiled. Years later, his wife and two children travel to rejoin him only to run afoul of people who want to sell the mother into prostitution and the children into slavery. It's very well done.

:7510:
601 - The Happiest Millionaire (1967) - 7.5/10 - Tommy Steele stars as John Lawless, an Irish immigrant fresh off the boat in who applies for a job as a butler with the eccentric, but wealthy, Biddle family in 1915. Mr. Biddle (Fred MacMurray) keeps pet alligators, has a bible/boxing club, and is currently on a chocolate cake diet. His teenage daughter has a mean right hook, but is interested in finding that special guy. The film is based on a real Philadelphia family and features lots of songs. I thought it was a lot of fun, even if it isn't really a great movie by objective standards.
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Re: Movies

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:7510:
602 - The Witch (2015) - 7.5/10 - A family of Puritans in 1630s New England are forced to leave their community over a religious dispute. They set up a farm near some woods and things start to go wrong when the youngest child disappears. This is a decent/supernatural horror film and features Anya Taylor-Joy in her first film role.

:810:
603 - Hereditary (2018) - 8/10 - When Annie's elderly mother dies, she has mixed feelings since they were somewhat estranged. Not long after the death, the family has to deal with other tragedies and family secrets. The ending was a bit weird, but I thought it was a solid film overall and a good psychological/supernatural horror film.
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Re: Movies

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:7510:
604 - Don't Look Now (1973) - 7.5/10 - After the accidental death of their young daughter, a couple (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie) travels to Venice where the husband has a job restoring a church. They encounter a blind woman who claims to see and hear their late daughter. Meanwhile, there is a murderer on the loose in Venice. It's a decent psychological drama with nice cinematography, though I wouldn't really classify it as horror.

:7510:
605 - White Christmas (1954) - 7.5/10 - Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby are soldiers who team up to form a singing duo once WWII ends. Years later, they find that their beloved general owns an inn in Vermont that isn't doing too well and they come up with a plan to help. Rosemary Clooney and Vera Allen play sisters who have a singing act of their own and also are love interests for Kaye and Crosby. It's a fun film with nice song and dance numbers.
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Re: Movies

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:710:
606 - Lightyear (2022) - 7/10 - Buzz is a one of the space rangers shepherding a scientific expedition that gets stranded on a world they were checking out. He becomes obsessed with finding a way to get the ship back into space and on track. It's not a bad movie, but it doesn't seem like the film Andy would have fallen in love with in Toy Story. It has a number of other issues as well.


:810:
607 - Death on the Nile (1978) - 8/10 - This version of the Hercule Poirot murder mystery is far superior to the 2022 version. It has very nice performances and I think it was good that they started before everyone was on the boat.
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Re: Movies

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:6510:
608 - The Captain's Paradise (1953) - 6.5/10 - Alec Guinness is the captain of a ship that carries passengers and cargo to various ports in the Mediterranean. He has a wife in Gibralter and a mistress in another port. He's happy with the situation and looks to his wife for a nice home and the mistress for adventure and spice. This is a comedy, but I didn't think it was really all that funny and the story is pretty blah. It's not bad, but it's not up to many of the other movies that Guinness starred in during the 1950s.

:710:
609 - Defiance (2008) - 7/10 - Daniel Crag stars as a freedom fighter who escapes from the Nazis in Poland during WWII along with his brothers. They join with Soviet fighters to battle the Nazis and also help rescue a number of Jewish refugees in Poland. There is plenty of action and some infighting along the way. It doesn't rise to greatness, but is perfectly serviceable for what it is.

:710:
610 - The Duchess (2008) - 7/10 - This biopic stars Keira Knightley as Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire in the late 1700s. She gets married at a young age and found the marriage to be very unsatisfying. Her husband (Ralph Fiennes) seemed incapable of loving her and saw her as a means to an heir. He also had numerous affairs and was not shy about them. The costumes and music were very good. Knightley was decent, but I found the story a bit dull.

:610:
611 - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966) - 6/10 - Zero Mostel stars as a Roman slave who tries to help his master woo the girl next door so that he can gain his freedom. I didn't really like most of the film, but there were enough funny bits (especially near the end) to keep it from being a waste of time. Buster Keaton has a small part in his last film role

:610:
612 - Anna Karenina (2012) - 6/10 - Keira Knightley stars as the title character in this adaptation of the Tolstoy novel. The costumes, cinematography, and music are all pretty good. I thought the story was not all that interesting as presented here.

:910:
613 - Portrait of Chieko (1967) - 9/10 - Kotaro Takamura is a Japanese sculptor and poet. In 1911, he meets Chieko, a fellow artist, and takes her on as an apprentice, though the two fall in love and marry. The two have a nice supportive marriage, but problems eventually arise after Chieko starts showing signs of mental illness. It's an excellent picture with very nice performances from Shima Iwashita as Chieko and Tetsuro Tanba as her husband, Kotaro. The cinematography and use of music are also very well done. Decades pass during the course of the film and it isn't always obvious at first when a time jump has occurred, though you can figure it out. I'd been looking for this film for a long time and am glad that I finally found a copy with English subtitles. I would have voted for Chieko over Closely Watched Trains in the Foreign Film category that year, though that is also a good film.
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Re: Movies

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:6510:
610 - Here Comes the Groom (1951) - 6.5/10 - Bing Crosby stars as a reporter who has been based in France for the last three years and helps orphans find new homes. He returns home with two orphans in tow so that he can marry the woman (Jane Wyman) he loves only to find that she is engaged to someone else since he has been gone so long. He sets out to win her back. The movie is pretty thin, but is enjoyable enough to watch and pass the time. The overuse of the song "It's the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" gets a bit annoying after a while.

:7510:
611 - The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956) - 7.5/10 - Judy Holliday stars as Laura Partridge, a woman who decides to attend the board meeting for a company in which she owns 10 shares. She starts asking questions which disrupt activities so the board hires her and puts her in what they think will be a 'do nothing' position where she will be out of the way. Holliday is entertaining as usual and the movie is a pleasant watch though I didn't totally buy the romance subplot.

:7510:
612 - State Fair (1945) - 7.5/10 - Abel Frake takes his prize pig to the Iowa State Fair. His wife enters the mincemeat and pickle contests while his children each finds love at the fair. This musical remake of the 1933 film is pretty entertaining.

:6510:
613 - You Light Up My LIfe (1977) - 6.5/10 - Didi Conn stars as a young woman whose father wants her to be a comedian, but she wants to pursue a career in singing and songwriting. She is engaged to get married, but falls for a man she meets at a payphone. The music is pretty good and so is Conn while the story itself is okay.

:510:
614 - The Great Gatsby (1974) - 5/10 - I liked the 2013 adaptation, but this version seemed very dull and uninteresting. The costumes and sets weren't bad, but the acting seemed uninspired for the most part.

:710:
615 - The Hindenburg (1975) - 7/10 - The final voyage of the Hindenburg is the setting for a bomb plot and the search for a saboteur. It's not the best of the 1970s disaster films, but it's not the worst either. I thought it was certainly watchable.
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:710:
616 - Plymouth Adventure (1952) - 7/10 - Spencer Tracy is the captain of the Mayflower with Lloyd Bridges as his first mate. They carry the Puritans over to New England in 1620 with a difficult journey along the way. Van Johnson, Gene Tierney, and others also star. It's a decent historical film.

:810:
617 - A Hole in the Head (1959) - 8/10 - Frank Sinatra is a widower who owns a hotel in Miami, but his high living and love of women leads him to miss a few payments and he could lose the hotel. He has a great relationship with his young son (Eddie Hodge) and refuses to be separated from him. He hopes to get some money from his successful older brother (Edward G. Robinson). Sinatra and Hodge are each pretty good here as are the rest of the supporting cast, which includes Eleanor Parker, Thelma Ritter, and Carolyn Jones.

:810:
618 - A Mighty Wind (2003) - 8/10 - I normally dislike mockumentaries, but I enjoyed this one quite a bit. It features the reunion of several folk groups from the 1960s for a tribute concert. Eugene Levy in particular is very funny, but Catherine O'Hara, Fred Willard, and others are good, too.

:6510:
619 - Hitchcock (2012) - 6.5/10 - This film focuses on the making of Psycho and the relationship at the time between Hitchcock and his wife Alma. I found Anthony Hopkins in his Hitchcock makeup to be distracting and not very convincing, though I get used to it more as the film went along. I enjoyed the ending (the last 20 minutes or so) and there were good parts along the way, but much of the rest of the film seemed a bit dull.

:810:
620 - Unstoppable (2010) - 8/10 - A runaway train with a load of hazardous chemicals as part of its cargo threatens other trains and a city in Pennsylvania. A rookie train conductor (Chris Pine) and a veteran engineer (Denzel Washington) make a risky attempt to stop the train. It's got a fair amount of action and tension and is entertaining throughout.

:610:
621 - Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) - 6/10 - I liked some of the songs and a few of the choreographed numbers in the film, but I thought much of it was mediocre.
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:510:
622 - The Good German (2006) - 5/10 - George Clooney is an American journalist who arrives in Berlin during the Potsdam Conference and gets involved in a murder mystery and his pre-war girlfriend. Clooney isn't bad here, but I didn't like Tobey Maguire's acting and while they did a decent enough job trying to get the look of 1940s noir films, the story itself and much of the acting from the rest of the cast was not so good.

:710:
623 - Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) - 7/10 - This biopic of Nelson Mandela is a bit slow at times, but gets better as it goes along. Good performances from Idris Elba and Naomie Harris help.

:610:
624 - What's New Pussycat? (1965) - 6/10 - Peter O'Toole plays Michael, who wants to be faithful to his fiance, but he has a history of being a womanizer and every woman he meets seems to fall for him. He goes to see a psychoanalyst (Peter Sellers) who has his own issues. The last 10 minutes or so were pretty funny and the parts with Woody Allen tended to be more entertaining than the rest.
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Re: Movies

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:310:
625 - Bad Grandpa (2013) - 3/10 - That was pretty awful There were a couple of spots where I laughed, but most of it was painful to watch.

:610:
626 - Hail, Caesar! (2016) - 6/10 - George Clooney is a big movie star who gets kidnapped and held for ransom in this comedy which satirizes the Hollywood of the early 1950s. Josh Brolin plays Eddie Mannix, a studio 'fixer' at the time. There were a few fun bits here and there, but I didn't find a lot of it to be particularly funny or engaging.

:710:
627 - Army Girl (1938) - 7/10 - A new miniature tank is being tested with the potential to replace mounted cavalry units, but some of the cavalry soldiers oppose it. This film crams a lot into its short runtime - an army comedy at the beginning plus a romance and closing with a courtroom drama. I think that it would have benefited from being fleshed out a bit more in places, but this was Republic so it was already a lavish production for them. It may not be a great film, but was one that I was in the mood for and enjoyed.

:7510:
628 - 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016) - 7.5/10 - There may be some variance from historical accuracy, but it was a fairly entertaining film.

:610:
629 - Hit Parade of 1941 (1940) - 6/10 - A man who owns an antique shop and runs it with his nephew trades the shop for a radio station. They convert it to a tv station and start looking for sponsors. It's certainly watchable and the ladies tend to outshine the men. The songs are mostly forgettable, but it's not a bad way to spend 80 minutes or so.

:7510:
630 - Hit Parade of 1943 (1943) - 7.5/10 - Susan Hayward stars as a songwriter who ends up ghostwriting songs for star Rick Farrell (John Carroll). They each think that they are using the other for their own plans, but start having actual feelings for one another. The music, acting, and story were much better in this entry of the series.
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Re: Movies

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:510:
631 - Wings Over Honolulu (1937) - 5/10 - The wife of a navy pilot is dissatisfied with married life since she sees her husband so seldom and has almost no social life. This leads to an unconvincing sort of love triangle. The movie is fairly dull and the acting isn't that great either.

:610:
632 - Every Day's a Holiday (1937) - 6/10 - Mae West pretends to be a French singer in order to avoid getting kicked out of town. She also supports a reform candidate to replace the crooked mayor.

:6510:
633 - Mother is a Freshman (1949) - 6.5/10 - Abigail (Loretta Young) is a widow who has to attend the same college as her teenage daughter in order to make ends meet. Her daughter is in love with one of her professors (Van Johnson), but he only has eyes for Abigail. There's something a bit sleazy about a college professor hitting on one of his current students, even if she is a bit older than he is. It's Loretta Young, though, so maybe understandable.

:710:
634 - Tropic Holiday (1938) - 7/10 - A screenwriter is on a working vacation in Mexico when he falls for a local woman (Dorothy Lamour). The movie isn't really anything special, but I enjoyed it. The Martha Raye bullfight was very funny and the best part of the film.

:610:
635 - The Invisible Woman (2013) - 6/10 - Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) meets and falls for 18 year old Ellen Ternan (Felicity Jones). The costumes were good, but the movie was pretty dull.
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