December - Film

TalkMovie Lovers Plus 2

Join LibraryThing to post.

December - Film

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Dec 3, 2019, 3:00am

Whoops! Sorry for being so tardy.

Dec 3, 2019, 7:08am

Best of November: Bull season 1 &2 & Chasing Shadows
Worst of November: Wiener Dog

Edited: Dec 3, 2019, 7:14am

Crawl (2019)

A young woman, while attempting to save her father during a category 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped in a flooding house and must fight for her life against alligators.

Not a great start. What a fiasco! Another "don't listen to anyone's warning...just do as you please" plot line. Completely unbelievable especially to us that lived with hurricanes as a part of our lives nearly every year. I was rooting for the alligators by the middle of this one.

Edited: Dec 3, 2019, 2:01pm

Best of November
Ford v. Ferrari
but Unleashed (2016), Maiden and Missing Link were not far behind

Worst of November
X-Men - Dark Phoenix

Dec 3, 2019, 3:17pm

Beetlejuice 1988 I enjoyed an outrageous romp with this movie.

Dec 5, 2019, 1:12pm

A.O. Scott & Manhola Dargis, NYT, Dec. 4, 2019: Best Movies of 2019.. With 277 comments the last time I checked. The title isn't entirely clear: these are each critic's top 10.

Dec 5, 2019, 3:09pm

TCM Bucket List Continued. These are carryovers, films started in late November from my cable provider's database of TCM films, paused, and not finished until December.

Fanny and Alexander (1982). Dir. & written by Ingmar Bergman. Cinematographer: Sven Nykvist. TCM ran the 3 1/2 hour version. The movie was apparently restored by Criterion -- looks like it was made yesterday. In sharp color. Nykvist shot most of his Bergman films in B&W; this one shows his mastery of color -- a real treat for the eye (helped by excellent set decoration). As indicated, bucket list material -- viewed it for the first time & very impressed! Considering purchasing the Criterion DVD, which has both the 3 1/2 + the 5 1/2 Swedish TV version. Bergman had a lot to say! Huge cast. Starts with a family Christmas celebration of a well-off theatrical troupe -- reminded me a little of the Thomas Mann novel Buddenbrooks -- time & place early 1900s in Sweden. Then the 2 children's father dies onstage -- Hamlet is the play. Mother (Ewa Froling) re-marries the local Lutheran bishop, Edvard Vergerus, and her 2 children, Fanny & Alexander are taken with her to the bishop's dwelling. This second part recapitulates David Copperfield. Vergerus (Jan Malmsjo) is the Murdstone of the story, and Malmsjo makes a terrific villain -- further, he is as anti-Semitic as some of the Swedes in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in the semi-magical scene with Isak Jacobi (Erland Josephson) -- a puppet master and another character who serves as a mask for Bergman. The scene where he interrogates and beats Alexander (Bertil Guve) is harrowing stuff, even though the actual punishment takes place off-screen. So what's happens in the third part? I'll leave that open if you haven't seen it but my reaction was Watch Out for the Ekdahls. There's magic and ghosts too! Ending has a Dickensian flavor to it. Like Dickens in David Copperfield, Bergman is patently as autobiographical in feeling in his work's dark core, and also so much like Dickens where the author tries to ward off the ghosts of a miserable childhood through a fantasy alternative world that can only be realized in fiction. Great holiday viewing.

Another TCM carryover from November:

La Belle et la Bete (1946). Directors, Jean Cocteau & Rene Clement. Screenplay, Jean Cocteau. B&W, cinematography Henri Elekan. French "classical" cinema, pre-New Wave. Haven't seen too many classical French movies, but it did remind a little of Marcel Carne's famous Children of Paradise in style; the soft focus glamour photography of Belle (Josette Day) was like the photography of Arletty in the Paradise film, or Greta Garbo in her many films. The Cocteau touch can best be seen in the Beast's (Jean Marais) enchanted castle. In the early going the Beast doesn't want to be seen, so many of the objects take on human limbs to serve dinner -- but the hall corridor with human arms holding up the lamps is downright spooky. The most suggestive difference that movies do better than the written word is how Belle's suitor's transformation takes place. Does this represent Belle's ambivalent feelings toward Avenant? Does Avenant's transformation represent his own development or a change in how Belle sees him?

This one was not a carryover; saw the whole thing in December, also TCM:

Paris, Texas (1984). Director, Wim Wenders. Writers: L.M. Kit Carson, Sam Shepherd. Photography, Robby Muller, Music, Ry Cooder. Color, 2 h4. 25 min. Long film; from the comments some objected to length and pacing. I watched it largely without pause & found it absorbing, with a caveat. It opens with a shot of the Mojave desert, and a man who appears to have been wandering about for some time. He drinks the last of his water and dumps the plastic gallon bottle (the type you can get at Walgreens drugstore) in the pristine landscape. How did he get into this situation? He finds a small, dilapidated store in the middle of nowhere can collapses. From a card in his pocket, his rescuer is able to contact the man's brother in Los Angeles, who flies down and then drives to get him. We learn that the lost man -- Travis Henderson (Harry Dean Stanton, a character actor who made his mark with this portrayal) has become mute and can't remember who he is. In LA, his brother Walt (Dean Stockwell, who I initially thought was Tommy Lee Jones) and the brother's French wife Ann (Aurore Clement) -- PARIS, Texas, get it? -- coax him back to what appears to be himself. We learn that their 7 year old Hunter (Hunter Carson, the screenwriter's son?) is Travis' son. What happened to Travis & his wife Jane (Nastassja Kinski) 4 years ago? Hunter was too young to remember. Watching Travis's returning to himself and tentatively establishing a relationship with Hunter, and their journey together to find Jane, was all absorbing to me, and the movie passed by quickly. However -- when they find Jane -- here's the caveat -- much of it turns plot-wise into a shaggy dog story. We never find out what either have been doing for the past 4 years, and what led up to that gap turns out to be as banal as a country song, except it allows Jane to wander off into pretentious existentialist soliloquizing. Both Stanton's and Kinski's soliloquies reminded me of students doing a reading in an acting class. One of the commenters on ImDB was positively enthralled by Kinski's performance -- she was reading her soliloquy for heaven's sake! I assumed this nonsense was due to Sam Shepherd, who started in theater, but it seems the scriptwriters were writing the screenplay while the film was being shot (fortunately in chronological sequence), Shepherd had to leave before writing the conclusion, and Carson (L.M., but it could have been Hunter as far as I'm concerned) was apparently the culprit. P.S. Music was one of the good things in the movie, as well as the photography. For the commenter who referred to Cooder's slide guitar as repetitive twanging of strings -- you sir, have a tin ear. I should say that a quick glance at ImDB and Rotten Tomatoes indicates most viewers love and cherish this film, so don't let me turn you away from it; everything but the conclusion was fine with me.

Dec 6, 2019, 6:06am

Haunt (2019)

On Halloween, a group of friends encounter an "extreme" haunted house that promises to feed on their darkest fears. The night turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realization that some nightmares are real.

From the beginning it very quickly morphed into a ho-hum...same old same in the middle of no where...a Halloween haunted house attraction that was being run by characters that would have sent a sensible person running...and of course they paid and obediently turned over their cell phones to these characters. You knew the whole thing was going downhill like a runaway train.

Dec 7, 2019, 5:22pm

Die Hard
5/5 stars
This is a repeat for me but still one of my favorite action films and you gotta love Alan Rickman who played Hans Gruber.

Edited: Dec 8, 2019, 4:13pm

Last of the Red Hot Lovers 1972
4/5 stars
I have never seen this film before but just got a big kick out of Alan Arkin who is trying to have various affairs with other women but is just striking out. It was also fun to see the 1970 outfits that the woman wore.

Dec 10, 2019, 6:08am

6 Souls (2010)

A forensic psychiatrist discovers that all but one of her patient's multiple personalities are murder victims. She will have to find out what's happening before her time is finished.

This is a movie that should have been finished about 30 minutes after it started. Interesting first few minutes and then it went off the track trying to make the plot fit.

Dec 12, 2019, 3:38pm

Linda Ronstadt-The Sound of My Voice
4/5 stars
This is the amazing documentary about Linda Ronstadt, singer and music composer extraordinaire. It follows her love of all music, the barriers she broke as a female singer and the men and women she sang with. I loved it!

Dec 13, 2019, 8:06am

Eye For An Eye (1996)

Bereaved mother Karen McCann becomes obsessed with getting revenge upon the acquitted psychopath who raped and murdered her teenage daughter. When the man kills again, Karen joins a support group and realizes that some of the other parents have taken justice into their own hands.

A taunt action film that moved along at a rapid pace. You found yourself routing for Karen after the disastrous results of the killers court appearance and the inaction of the police.

Edited: Dec 13, 2019, 8:14am

John Wick Chapter 3 (2019)

John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin's guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head, he is the target of hit men and women everywhere.

Just love to watch this guy in action. This one has the usual gunfights, knife fights, crashing through glass walls...any of of any them would kill the average man but not John Wick. The whole thing is impossible but none of it is dull. I will have to say that it was almost too much action and not enough story line.

Dec 13, 2019, 11:24am

>14 Carol420: If you want action this is the series to watch. I saw this with my husband and I don't really remember any story line except that someone was always trying to kill John Wick! LOL!

Dec 13, 2019, 11:56am

>15 JulieLill: I can't remember any of the action. All that stuck in my mind is that he looked like he'd washed his hair in a chip fryer!

Edited: Dec 13, 2019, 1:55pm

>15 JulieLill: I see there will be a chapter 4 according to Netflix. I like that he always makes sure that the dog is safe:)

>16 .cris: Funny you should say that. I though he might be a good looking guy if he would only wash his hair! How does he keep it out of his eyes while he's beating the crap out of the bad guys??? I guess it's so full of grease and dirt that it just doesn't move.

Dec 15, 2019, 11:01am

Obit. for Jean-Luc Godard's muse:

Anita Gates. NYT 12/15/2019: Anna Karina, Star of French New Wave Cinema, Is Dead at 79

Check out also the links at the end to earlier NYT articles under: The Cinematic Life of Anna Karina.

Edited: Dec 15, 2019, 1:24pm

>14 Carol420: Wick 3 is in my library as well. I think I prefer Wick 1, though. The most recent has a video game vibe. Comparing the central set pieces, W1 in the Russian club vs. W3 With Halle Berry and the dogs -- W1 was up close and personal; the W3 scene depended more on distancing.

>16 .cris: Try to keep your hair shampooed when you've been on the run from assassins since W2!

Correction, I meant W3 for the Halle Berry & the Dogs scene (also a good rock band name)

Dec 15, 2019, 1:01pm

>19 featherbear: You do have a point there. If he tried to wash his hair somebody would probably try to kill him while he had shampoo in his eyes:)

Dec 15, 2019, 1:16pm

>19 featherbear: He obviously wasn't a child of the 60's, where talcum powder was the only way to combat the "greasy teens". The kitchen sink always had a bit of cabbage in the plug hole and the bathroom was sub-zero temperature for 9 months of the year.

Edited: Dec 17, 2019, 2:22pm

>21 .cris: I remember using talcum powder. My mother did not allow showers. The tile might leak so we washed our hair in the basement sink. Talcum powder was one way of getting out of washing the hair. My mother always cut our hair-I don't think we ever straight bangs!

Dec 16, 2019, 12:22pm

I put Scotch tape over my daughter's bangs to cut them. I still couldn't cut a straight line. She always had one side going uphill:)

Dec 17, 2019, 2:26pm

Fiddler-A Miracle of Miracles 2019
5/5 stars
This is the documentary of the history/making of the play and the film Fiddler on the Roof. I was fascinated by the information. I have never seen the play but I loved the film and still listen to the music. I don't know if it was ever released at the theater but I got this from my library on DVD.

Dec 18, 2019, 2:37pm

3 TCM movies:

Les Infants Terribles. (1950) Director, Jean-Pierre Melville. Screenplay: Jean Cocteau. Actors: Nicole Stephane (Elisabeth), Edouard Dermithe (Paul), Renee Cosima (Dargelos/Agathe), Jacques Bernard (Gerard), Melvyn Martin (Michael). Melville is considered to be a director who anticipated French Nouvelle Vague. He's best known for his gangster films, e.g. Bob le Flambeur & Le Samourai. This one precedes and is quite unlike the gangster films, and it's loony loony loony. Almost a French screwball comedy played straight. Probably this can be attributed to Cocteau. Stay for the brother-sister fights where the adults basically act like twelve year olds. The two have grown up in the hot house environment of a single apartment with their dying mother, nursed by Elisabeth. Paul goes to school but conveniently becomes an invalid for sister to nurse when the mother dies. Paul's injury is the result of being injured by a snowball (!) thrown by fellow student Dargelos. Dargelos has a scene with the school principal when he (at this point) gets expelled that is on the level of the brother-sister fights. Part of the loony atmosphere is the way the seemingly normal ancillary characters -- family friend Gerard and his father, the maid Marietta, Elisabeth's fiancee Michael -- overlook the arrested development of the siblings. Then there is the unexpressed romance of Agatha and Paul which Elisabeth does her best to break up. Paul falls for her because she looks so much like Dargelos (who becomes a successful businessman after being expelled). Oh, and Elisabeth becomes a successful model overnight, becomes Agatha's purported BFF and marries a millionaire (Michael) who plays the piano and sings, and who dies the day after the wedding and leaves her a rich widow. Unlike an American comedy, there are obvious incest and gay undertones in the screenplay which for all I know inspired Tennessee Williams, and which might have seemed naughty in the 1950s. Black and white w/subtitles.

Dog Day Afternoon (1975) Director Sidney Lumet. Screenplay Frank Pierson. Principal actors: Al Pacino, John Cazale (Sonny & Sal, respectively), Chris Sarandon (Leon, Sonny's boyfriend/wife), Charles Durning (Det. Frank Moretti). This is one everybody's seen that I never got around to watching till now. At times seemed like a prototype Robert Altman ensemble movie (I especially liked the hostages), except the supporting characters are eclipsed by the supernova that is Al Pacino, maybe letting off steam from his repressed Michael Corleone character. No repression in this one, rest assured -- "Attica! Attica! Attica!" Gay marriage & sex change not played for laughs, thankfully. I was totally surprised by the ending at the airport. Cazale has garnered praise for his morose portrayal of Sal, but I couldn't help thinking this might be more a result of his knowing he was actually dying. I strongly preferred him in the Godfather films, especially his moving last scene in Godfather 2. Arguably he is the only character in Dog Day who isn't acting out before the TV cameras. Also a shout out to Penelope Allen, the obscure actor who played the clerk supervisor and hostage. Kind of unsung, I thought.

The Late Show (1977). Directed and written by Robert Benton. Principal actors: Art Carney (Ira Wells) and Lily Tomlin (Margo Sterling). Produced by Robert Altman, and it did remind of The Long Goodbye, especially Lily Tomlin. Benton is a highly respected screenwriter, with credits for Bonnie and Clyde and Kramer vs. Kramer, but Tomlin's stream of consciousness dialogues (monologues really) have the improvisational feel of an Altman movie. Art Carney was Jackie Gleason's pal in The Honeymooners, the TV series I'm old enough to have seen first run on broadcast TV. Loved him in Harry and Tonto. Carney's Ira Wells character is not an Altman type, on the other hand -- very 40's hardcore noir PI, except really old -- like Mike Hammer if the drinks and dames had a realistic effect on him by the time he reached his 60s (Carney would have been about 58-59 when the film was made; he looks considerably older). Our PI's still tough as nails, and about as articulate. Stay for the characters -- besides Carney and Tomlin, I liked Bill Macy's Charlie Hatter with his house full of goods that fell off a truck somewhere or other, and John Considine as Hatter's bodyguard. The plot is traditionally twisty.

Edited: Dec 19, 2019, 6:26am

The Shooter (2007)

A marksman living in exile is coaxed back into action after learning of a plot to kill the President. Ultimately double-crossed and framed for the attempt, he goes on the run to find the real killer and the reason he was set up.

One of my favorite movies. I watch it at least once a year. If you like action movies like John'll like this one.

Dec 19, 2019, 3:42pm

The Dead Don't Die
3/5 stars
This offbeat/oddball film revolves around a zombie invasion. The earth's axis has tilted and this starts the zombie apocalypse. None of the actors really show any emotion and go about as nothing major has happened. This has to be one of the most low key film about zombies I have ever seen. The cast is a all star cast with Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Steve Buscemi and a ton more stars.

Dec 19, 2019, 6:24pm

>27 JulieLill: Looks like my kind of movie.

Edited: Dec 20, 2019, 6:51am

Hostage (2005)

When a family is held hostage, former hostage negotiator Jeff Talley arrives at the scene. Talley's own family is kidnapped and Talley must decide which is more important: saving a family he doesn't even know or saving his own family.

Another film that is filled with lots of action. I like Bruce Willis in almost anything. "Hostage" is a dark, intense, and edge-of-your seat film.

Dec 20, 2019, 8:57am

>27 JulieLill: I enjoyed that one. I liked the deadpan acting and the meta references to the film itself, as well as all the callouts to old zombie and sci-fi movies. Adam Driver is becoming a favorite actor of mine, and I was not impressed by him as Kylo Ren at first.

So, I'm trying to get back into movie watching. I'm having a hard time focusing on movies at home. I think it's my old eyes and maybe I need to get a bigger TV?

Last night, I watched Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which I thought was fine, but it kind of lost my attention about 3/4's of the way through. It's not really a comedy and it's slowly paced. The main characters are rather unsympathetic. But it's well acted. I might give it a rewatch when I can focus better.

Dec 20, 2019, 10:40am

>30 sturlington: I'm with you on the concentration thing. I'm watching old films and TV series. I've watched Joker, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman and many others, but nothing is pushing my buttons. I did watch a rather touching film about two middle aged neighbours who fell into a gentle friendship Paddleton (2019) and of course I loved ZombieLand: Double Tap

Dec 20, 2019, 10:49am

>31 .cris: Will check out those two you recommend and also maybe go back to some old movies. I've got a lot of DVDs that could be rewatched.

Dec 20, 2019, 12:02pm

>30 sturlington: Can You Ever Forgive Me? - I looked forward to it but it was a just okay for me. I loved the subject matter but didn't care for any of the characters. Just a sad, tired film.

Dec 20, 2019, 12:53pm

>33 JulieLill: You've nailed it.

Dec 20, 2019, 3:31pm

Watched on Amazon Prime recently:

A Simple Favor 2018. Director Paul Feig. Screenplay Darcey Bell, based on her novel. Principal actors: Anna Kendrick (as Stephanie Smothers), Blake Lively (as Emily Nelson), Henry Golding (as Sean Townsend). I thought this was going to be a kind of Gone Girl mystery, but since Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy, The Heat) signed on as director I should have known better. Funny and entertaining like most of his other movies, but Blake Lively's potty mouth will make moms cover their children's ears. Anna Kendrick is a kind of smothering (get it?) single mom who does household hints on her vlog to make a little extra coin, though she's the type who would give you free household hints whether you wanted them or not. She agrees to pick up Blake Lively's child from her son's school, because that's what a good neighbor would do, and Emily Nelson (Lively) seems to be leading a glamorous life. But Emily disappears and her husband Sean (Golding, from Crazy Rich Asians) is in London. She becomes an amateur sleuth when the police don't help, and she is as obstinate in sleuthing as she is in baking cookies for the school bake sales. Happy ending.

Three guilty pleasures -- two seen at theater when they first came out (not in Imax, alas), and watched again on Prime -- the last one a Prime discovery:

Alita Battle Angel (2019) Directed by Robert Rodriguez. Written by James Cameron & Laeta Kalogridis. Special effects list is long, but Weta Digital leads. Principal actors: Rosa Salazar (Alita), Christoph Waltz (Dr. Ido), Jennifer Connnelly (Chiren), Mahershala Ali (Vector), Jackie Earl Haley (Grewishka), Keeann Johnson (Hugo). Based on a manga. Closer to Avatar than Titanic, and depends a lot on special effects. Script has a kind of Young, Young Adult feel. Nothing profound, but great fight scene in a bar, and a murderous roller derby. Alita is a junkyard robot, an anime (big eyes) version of Salazar, and clearly a product of special effects animation, but with very sophisticated movement. Dr. Ido is a specialist in prosthetics, and characters resemble humans more or less based on how much of the body has been replaced by prosthesis. The movie is not full 3D type animation like Shrek or Toy Story or fully 2D manga films like Ghost in the Shell; about half of the actors are live action, though the painterly dystopia seems to be mostly CGI. The film ends when the story seems to be only half way through, as if a sequel was in the works. But it was a 170 million flop in the U.S. so I'm not sure whether there will be another one. It did make 405 million world wide, though, so you never know. Just appeals to my sense of spectacle, I guess. I don't really care for full 3D animation (kind of like all the characters are balloons) and the live action - CGI animation seems to be a reasonable compromise. Salazar appears in the "TV" streaming series Undone (sorry, couldn't link to a touchstone) on Prime which is "rotoscope" animation, and she seems to be very good at acting in front of a green screen. PS: Undone is nothing like Alita, just to be clear.

Godzilla King of the Monsters (2019) Directed & written by Michael Dougherty. Principal actors (cast is quite large): Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobbie Brown (the Russell family, Emma, Mark, & Madison respectively), Brad Whitford (Dr. Rick Stanton), Ken Watanabe (Dr. Ishiro Serizawa), Charles Dance (some terrorist or other). This is mostly a special effects movie, & I'm not sure who to credit, but I thought the monsters looked pretty good, so props to the visual effects department. The real stars: Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and 3-headed Ghidora together for the first time in the 21st century. I quite enjoyed the earlier 2014 Godzilla, with the big guy's destruction of Waikiki Beach, a place with which I'm familiar. As an amusing sidenote, Godzilla's attack also destroys the city's monorail, which in the real world has yet to have been built due to cost overruns. But back to the Kaiju. In the Godzilla universe, the monsters emerge to restore balance, which means wiping out most of the human population. As Vera Farmiga explains, humans deserve to become semi-extinct because of how they've ruined the environment. This seems to be an opinion becoming more acceptable among cynical environmentalists, and in fact the krakens are released by terrorists (Charles Dance & company) who have this in mind. Interesting that the theme surfaces in a film intended for a wide audience.

Dead or Alive (1999). Director Takashi Miike. Screenplay: Ichiro Ryu. Film editing: Taiji Shimamura. Cinematography: Hideo Yamamoto. Principal actors: Riki Takeuchi (as Ryuuichi) and Sho Aikawa (as Det. Yojima). I like Japanese chambara (samurai movies). You may have seen 13 Assassins when it was streaming on Netflix, and I have Blade of the Immortal in my Prime Library. So I did a search on Prime for this director, and pulled up a lot of ... Yakuza films (many of them free on Prime, by the way). Checked IMDB & this guy's been prolific, directing over 60 films, most of them probably B-movies. The film at hand opens with a really extraordinary montage showing the first move in a gang's attack on a rival -- some of it may be explored in the film -- for control of vice in a Tokyo district -- watch the guy eating ramen among other jittery editing cuts. The film ends with an over the top fight between the gang's leader and the detective trying to bring an end to the gangster's career, as if the screenwriter quit before finishing and Miike just improvised an ending that could have been dreamed up by a bloody minded 10 year old (the type who reads gory manga on one of those bullet trains). Miike did 2 sequels, not involving the principals for obvious reasons, which I have not seen, but this one must have been relatively successful in Japan. Hard to tell whether the movie is a comedy, a crime thriller, or a sexploitation film. There's also a subplot involving bestiality pornos and drowning in feces. Matter of taste, for sure. The chambara films, by contrast, are relatively chaste, so don't let me scare you off them.

Dec 20, 2019, 4:05pm

>35 featherbear: Re Takashi Miike. I'm a real bloodthirsty-lovin' viewer but Ichi the Killer was too much for me. I spent some of it hiding under a blanket. I loved Blade of the Immortal and Yakuza Apocalypse, which possibly owes a nod to Tarantino, is a film I watch over and over. Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai is a remake of a 1962 version Harakiri. They are very similar, but I prefer the original. I was quite surprised the US version of Godzilla was so good. Have you seen Shin Godzilla 2016?. It's quite anti-American and the mixed race tottie who can barely speak English, but is hoping to be US President is downright annoying. The baby Godzilla is laughable, but a few metamorphosis later, it's big enough to do the job

Dec 20, 2019, 9:18pm

>26 Carol420: I haven't seen Ichi the Killer but I've heard of it by reputation. I don't think the Yakuza films have that tone; at least the one I saw had its comical aspects that were doubtless intentional. Sometimes it's as if Miike recalled a number of classic and conventional gangster films (not just Yakuza flicks -- maybe The Big Heat -- and dropped an occasional M1 firecracker into the mix. Shin Godzilla I know by reputation only, & that it's one of the best in the Japanese series.

Dec 22, 2019, 7:40am

Last night I watched Midsommar. This was a trippy horror film about a group of young people who attend a midsummer festival in a commune in Sweden. It recalled The Wicker Man, a movie I'm fond of. I enjoyed it.

Dec 22, 2019, 5:56pm

>38 sturlington: That is on my to be seen list.

Dec 23, 2019, 6:02am

>39 JulieLill: It's really good and you maybe would like "The Wicker Man" also.

Dec 23, 2019, 11:46am

>40 Carol420: I have seen the 1973 version of "The Wicker Man". I liked it.

Dec 26, 2019, 6:15am

I have been very lazy of late, but I had to share how much I loved Togo. An outbreak of diphtheria in a tiny Alaskan hamlet, an oncoming storm and the nearest batch of immunization drugs a 600 mile round trip. Who ya gonna call?.... Willem Dafoe and his sled team, lead by the indefatigable runt, Togo. It's a dog film. The inevitable happens, but it's so underplayed I managed to get through with nary a tear, but a warm glow of satisfaction and a smile on my lips. "Hike pup!"

Dec 26, 2019, 8:10am

>42 .cris: Would this movie be suitable for an 11-year-old?

Dec 26, 2019, 8:31am

>43 sturlington: It's Disney. Common Sense Media says 10-11.

Dec 26, 2019, 8:33am

>44 .cris: It sounds like a great movie to watch with my son over the holiday as he loves dogs. Thanks for the recommendation!

Dec 26, 2019, 8:49am

>45 sturlington: It's based on a true story, where Balto is wrongly named as the dog who made this incredible journey. If you Google Balto, you will see that he is still named as the husky responsible for delivering the essential drugs, but it was Togo who pulled the longest and most perilous part of the heroic journey. Enjoy.

Dec 26, 2019, 1:54pm

Knives Out 2019. Comedy ??? This film has won 24 awards and is nominated up the ying-yang. It's a whodunit in the vein of an Agatha Christie story, so perhaps that's the reason I didn't like it. A (nearly) all-star cast doesn't have much to work with, and the reviewer who labelled it "hilarious" must have an abnormally sensitive funny-bone. This review guarantees it will win Oscars and every other award going.

Dec 26, 2019, 2:38pm

>47 .cris: I thought I was the only one to not love it. The plot was confusing to me. I really didn't think it was funny but maybe mildly amusing. I may have to re-watch this when it comes out on DVD because my son and husband really liked it. Great cast though.

Edited: Dec 28, 2019, 4:07pm

Ready or Not 2019
4.5/5 stars
"A bride's wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game." IMDB
We had no idea what we were getting into when we watched this film but found this black comedy very engaging and funny.

Dec 29, 2019, 8:22am

The Forgotten (2004)

After being told that their children never existed, a man and woman soon discover there is a much bigger enemy at work.

Sci-fi and mystery /suspense fans will find this entertaining...although the sci-fi part will have to wait until almost the end. There is an alternate ending on the DVD that is totally different and worth the few minutes it takes to watch it.

Edited: Dec 29, 2019, 8:35am

The Haunting of Hill House- season 1 (Netflix network) (2018)

Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it.

I can't say that I was impressed with it beyond the first disc. Not enough was told about the WHY of the haunting. The most interesting part was when the kids were small and the family lived in Hill House. The children as adults are all totally unlikable and obnoxious. If anyone is expecting it to be anything like the book or the are going to be disappointed. IMHO it's a bad family drama that has parts of it taking place in a haunted house. Not sure if I'll tackle season 2 or not.

Dec 29, 2019, 6:36pm

Everything Is Illuminated
3.5/5 stars
Jonathon, a fastidious individual, is on the trail to find the woman who helped his grandfather escape from the Nazis. Helping him is a couple of oddball Ukrainian’s who add levity to the film. Started a little slow for me but picked up as it went on and I ended up really enjoying it. Elijah Wood stars. I missed this when it came out in 2005 but I enjoy Elijah Wood and gave it go. It is based on the book by Jonathon Safran Foer and is based on Foer and his trip to find out about his grandfather.

Jan 2, 2020, 3:43pm

Interesting December list from LibHub:

Emily Temple. Dec. 12, 2019. LibHub: The 10 Best Literary Film Adaptations of the Decade ... and then some.

Join to post