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blanche-2

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4512 reviews in total 
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Kind of a Gothic-ghost-horror movie, 17 March 2017
7/10

I don't usually watch this type of film, so I don't come at this with the knowledge of some people who reviewed this on IMDb.

Crimson Peak stars Mia Wasikowska as aspiring writer Edith Cushing in Buffalo, NY. She believes she sees the ghost of her mother at times - her mother died when she was quite young.

She meets a handsome, romantic inventor, Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) who has come to the states to find investors for his harvest machine. He wants to marry her, but her father, who has hired a detective to investigate Thomas and his sister, the lovely Lucille (Jessica Chastain), objects. Then he is killed.

Edith marries Thomas and goes to England to live in the family home. Think Grand Guignol on acid. The place is a disaster with part of the roof gone and water coming in. So comfy. Then she starts running into this red skeleton telling her to leave.

Yes, this film is pretty predictable, with some wonderful production values and a great cast. I just saw Mia in the show In Treatment, as a teenaged gymnast, and she was fabulous. I haven't seen her in her adult years in anything but this. Her role isn't straightforward - she is supposed to be emancipated and yet she's frail.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, there were hints of "Notorious" toward the end.

It's a good rental.

holy cow, 17 March 2017
5/10

You can bet some of the high votes came from seeing Marianne Faithful's boobs as well as her in a skin-tight leather outfit.

One person who reviewed this on IMDb said it was horrible that Alain Delon got top billing when Marianne should have. Really. And you think funding and distribution for this movie would have been obtained without the name Alain Delon as the star? Doubt it.

A woman, Rebecca (Faithful), engaged to be married, falls in love with a man, Daniel (Delon) who frequents her father's (Marius Goring) bookstore. For a wedding gift, he gives her a motorcycle, which she uses to go to Germany to visit him. It means she has to travel a good distance to Heidelberg. While on the motorcycle - which is 3/4 of the film, she reminiscences and has a psychedelic experience as well as an orgasmic one.

As far as nudity - yes, there was that from Marianne and some, though not what I would have liked, from Alain. Erotic love scenes? Not really and I, frankly, was mightily disappointed. At one point when they made love the screen turned psychedelic red. You saw nothing. Disappointing.

This film is for motorcycle enthusiasts and people who remember the swinging '60s and Marianne Faithful. Jack Cardiff, a famous cinematographer, directed it, and I can tell you the scenery is incredible, beautifully photographed, though some of the interior shots were way too dark.

Some of the film is funny today, it rip offs Easy Rider, and it tries to make a point about freedom and free love. Marianne is certainly beautiful, so it will have appeal for some people.

Surreal film - two characters in search of a story, 13 March 2017
7/10

Notre Histoire (1984) stars Alain Delon and Nathalie Baye. Delon won the French equivalent of the Oscar, the Cesar, for this. He was not there to accept it. The presenter accepted it and still had it when he died. However to this day it has never shown up.

Robert Avranche (Delon), a garage owner mostly in an alcoholic stupor meets a young woman (Baye) on a train. She tells him a story, in a way fantasizing what will happen to them. They have sex. When she leaves, he follows her, obsessed.

Her name is Donatienne, and she sleeps with everyone. Robert won't leave her house and keeps drinking. The two tell each other stories, writing themselves in and out of them. The neighbors become involved, walking back and forth between houses in their bathrobes.

So what is the story?

This is a bizarre film which is wrapped up at the end, so if you see it, stick with it. It's actually fascinating. Delon is fantastic and deserved the award he received but never had in his hand. This supposedly demolished his super-cool killer image, but he never really gave it up, in my opinion.

Nathalie Baye does a wonderful job as well, playing several different characters.

Interesting movie!

Jackie (2016/V)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
what is the problem?, 10 March 2017
9/10

I'm surprised to see so many bad reviews of this film on IMDb. I would be interested to know how many of them came from people who are too young to remember the Kennedy assassination or much about Mrs. Kennedy.

Okay, several people were angry that John-John in the movie didn't salute the casket.

One review referred to the story as "horrible and morbid." Guess what - it is.

One review said Jackie was a "housewife." I won't dignify that with a response.

Natalie Portman was criticized for doing a "cringe-worthy" imitation. Her voice and accent were found hilarious.

And it was called "boring" over and over again.

I understand that to each his own, and I respect that. I'm just surprised.

I first of all did not find this film at all boring. I found it emotional, compelling, and interesting - and despite what someone said here, I did find out things I never knew.

I thought Natalie Portman did a brilliant job and, while the role didn't offer as much as Viola Davis' did in Fences, I would not have been upset to see her win another Oscar. There was nothing wrong with her accent, that's how Mrs. Kennedy talked. If you don't believe me, go to youtube and listen to the tapes.

The film focused on Jackie after the assassination, but it was shown, as were earlier times, such as her televised tour of the White House. I thought the film mixed with the actual footage was excellent.

The clothes were perfection. Like others, I did not care for the music and what I really did not care for was the music at the end.

The rest of the cast did an admirable job - John Hurt, Greta Gerwig, and Billy Crudup. I was disappointed in Peter Sarsgaard, but I think he was trying to convey Bobby's shock and grief. He's a good actor normally but not very successful here.

I found this a poignant film and a stunning portrait of Jackie Kennedy and what she suffered as a result of the assassination.

western spoof, 9 March 2017
7/10

Dean Martin, Alain Delon, Joey Bishop, and Rosemary Forsyth star in "Texas Across the River" from 1966. This is a funny movie, full of slapstick, political incorrectness, and funny bits, and it also goes to show you how badly Alain Delon's career in the U.S. was mishandled. He made two westerns while in the U.S. - not exactly geared to females. Don't ask what Hollywood was thinking.

The beautiful debutante Phoebe Ann Naylor (Forsyth) is preparing for her wedding to Don Andrea de Baldasar, El Duce de la Casala (Delon) who awaits her in full regalia, including a sword. I will venture to say that for five years after Delon left the U.S. there was no tan makeup to be found in all of Los Angeles - he was soaked in it, as he was in The Yellow Rolls-Royce.

After a duel, Don Andrea's opponent falls out a window and Don Andrea is charged with murder. He escapes and heads for Texas, where he meets Sam Hollis (Martin) and his sidekick, Kronk (Bishop). Don Andrea rescues an Indian woman, Lonetta, tames cattle, and competes with Sam when Phoebe shows up.

The film, directed by Michael Gordon, was done tongue in cheek. Delon is a riot as a formal Spaniard not at home on the range. It's perfect for Martin and Bishop, as the script fit their style of humor perfectly. It's silly but sometimes you need silly. People who saw this film when it came out have fond memories of it.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
...and that was the end, Of Solomon Grundy, 9 March 2017
8/10

In 2016's The Accountant, Ben Affleck plays Christian Wolff, a high- functioning autistic math genius usually hired to find faulty or illegal accounting practices as well as embezzlement for underworld types.

He is sometimes paid in valuable paintings, gold bars, comic books, etc.

Although as a child a pediatrician wanted him to stay with him and other children in a peaceful environment, his military father disagreed. If Christian was sensitive to light and sound, he needed more light and sound. The world was not going to accommodate him. He and his brother Braxton received training in self-protection and other skills so that they could make their way in the world.

Treasury department director, Ray Kinghas (J.K. Simmons) calls in Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), an efficiency expert with the department who has a police record she lied about. He blackmails her into locating this accountant and shows her pictures of him meeting with all sorts of mob bosses. He is retiring soon and he wants the man's identity known before he leaves.

When a young woman, Dana (Anna Kendrick) at the company Living Robotics finds a $61 million discrepancy in the books, Christian is hired to do an audit by the Blackburns (John Lithgow and Jean Smart), who are brother and sister.

The audit is soon called off after the financial director is murdered and it's made to look like a suicide. Dana and Christian are hunted by hit men.

Medina finally learns Christian's identity and she and Ray are soon on his trail.

This is an excellent film with a couple of very neat twists you won't see coming. The film goes from flashbacks of Christian's turbulent childhood and other events and then back to the present. The director, Gavin O'Connor, does an excellent job of pulling it all together.

Ben Affleck isn't my favorite actor, though he is certainly a smart man and talented in other directions. He does a good job here - it's a role that requires no emotion, and while I think he's capable of more than that, he handles it well. Plus there's always something likable about him.

Some wonderful actors in this cast: John Lithgow, Jean Smart, Cynthia Addai- Robinson, Anna Kendrick, and of course, J.K. Simmons - you really can't miss.

Highly recommended - intriguing, sometimes scary, sometimes exciting, and surprising.

Allied (2016)
I liked it in spite of what everyone else says, 8 March 2017
8/10

Director Robert Zemeckis gives us some breathtaking moments in "Allied" from 2015. The film stars Brad Pitt and Marian Cotillard as Max and Marianne, two spies who meet on a joint assignment in France and fall in love. Mission accomplished, Max proposes. She is allowed to come to England and marry him, and they have a beautiful daughter.

One day Max's bosses call him in and say that they believe Marianne took the name of an executed resistance worker and is, in fact, a German spy. They order him to write down a fake message he will be given by phone, and if it shows up in transmissions the following Monday, they will know the truth. Then he must execute her. Max, however, has no intention of waiting until Monday to find out.

By no means is this a perfect film and yes, some parts are easy to guess. When you've seen 5000 films or more, it's not hard to know what's going to happen after certain scenes. The script could have been a little more interesting. I certainly didn't find it sentimental and goopy as someone described it. And what the heck is wrong with sentiment anyway? It was not, to me, overdone.

If I am being honest, I think the problem lay with the casting of Brad Pitt. He's a real honest-to-God movie star as they had in the old Hollywood, and I love him. But this is a role that should have been played by someone like Jason Isaacs or Tom Hardy or Tom Hiddleston. Pitt does not bring to the character the layers and depth which would have made this a richer film. He has the stoicism but little else. Also I found his face distracting - he's had injections in the bottom part of his face and it looks different.

Cotillard, on the other hand, gives a brilliant performance of an expert spy who falls in love with her temporary partner, sending her life into another trajectory.

Someone pointed out some modernizations that were off-putting. One was Max's sister as an out lesbian - highly doubtful in those days in England. The one I caught was the phrase "take it outside." It was like the Amelia Earhart movie with Diane Keaton where she says "cut the crap." Are these screenwriters kidding? A little more care needs to be taken when dealing with period pieces.

The special effects were fantastic and brought home the idea of how close in proximity the war was to the British people. The scene with the ambassador was excellent; but my favorite scene was the one in the desert with the car. Beautiful.

I recommend it. I thought it was well done and well acted, exciting in parts, and also poignant. To young people I say - don't be hardened to sentimentality at your age.

Tough, gritty story, 6 March 2017
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Brotherhood" ran from 2006-2008 and is based on Massachusetts brothers Whitey Bulger and his prominent politician brother Billy.

Here the story has been moved to Rhode Island and "The Hill," inhabited by Irish Americans and represented in the state by Tom Caffee (Jason Clarke), an ambitious public servant being groomed for greatness by his mentor, Judd Fitzgerald (Len Cariou).

The Caffee home consists of his wife (Annabeth Gish) and three daughters. His mother Rose (Finnoula Flanagan) lives nearby, as does his sister Kerry (Mary Kate Martinson) and her husband.

Their brother, Michael (Jason Isaacs), in the criminal element, disappeared some years when a contract was put out on him but one day reappears and begins to take over all the underworld business - drugs, protection, anything he can get a piece of. This often sets his prominent brother up for criticism.

A cousin arrives from Ireland, Colin (Brian F. O'Byrne) who is the son of Rose's sister and works with Michael to collect money and shake people down.

Michael is unstable, and due to an injury, becomes even more unstable, gradually popping bennies like mints. He has always had an itchy trigger finger, but it gets worse. (The character reminded me a bit of the one Walt Goggins played so brilliantly on "The Shield.") His old girlfriend Kath (Tina Benko) is back on the scene, and when he picks up an attraction between her and his cousin Colin, he nearly goes insane.

The series highlights the similarity between the two brothers. They are both corrupt, Tommy in the political system, using blackmail and manipulation to get what he wants and stealing - when he's given $50,000 as a donation for a church, he gives the church $35,000. He puts his childhood friend Declan (Ethan Embry) in charge of a potential scandal involving payoffs for a waterfront development, not realizing that Ethan, after making a mistake and pretty much ruining his career, is going to play by the book. So when it looks like he's going to be implicated in a huge scheme, he throws everybody else under the bus.

This series was highly acclaimed but did not attract much of an audience. The acting is simply superb, with a phenomenal performance by Jason Isaacs and a strong low-key, natural performance by Jason Clarke. I saw the man who played Colin, Brian O'Byrne, on Broadway in Doubt, and he is a terrific actor. The series hired the best for every role.

Someone pointed out that no one in the show is completely likable. I have to say that's true - if Rose were my mother-in-law I'd have thrown her out a window. I did like the Caffee sister and despite myself felt sorry for the way Declan's life was going. I believe he was a sympathetic character. But all of these characters are very human, well fleshed out, with good and bad qualities.

Everything, including the Providence locations are drop drawer.

However, this series, compelling as it is, is not for everyone. The violence is graphic and brutal, there is torture, also graphic, there is nudity, graphic sex, and every other word is the f-bomb. Realistic, maybe, but not to everyone's taste.

I admit I couldn't stop watching it. I gave it a 7 because watching it over a few days as I did, the blood and guts was a little too much.

The Gypsy (1975)
A sobering look at gypsy life, 1 March 2017
7/10

Alain Delon. With longer hair and a hat, Delon looks like the forerunner of Johnny Depp in this 1975 film, also known as Le Gitan.

He plays French gypsy, Hugh Sennart, a robber wanted by the police. He steals from the state because he has nothing but contempt for the system because of the way his people are forced to live. These conditions are shown realistically and are sad indeed.

Hugo's story intersects with that a jewel thief, Yan Kuq (Paul Meurisse], who robs from the rich. Kuq's wife fell from their balcony. The police suspect murder, though that is not the case. However, it happened right after a burglary, which is very suspicious.

The Gypsy is doing one more heist when he runs into Yan. Here's where we learn what both men are made of, and whether or not there is honor among thieves.

Good noirish film with an excellent performance by Delon and also by Paul Maurisse and Annie Girardot. It is almost two films in one. I felt the stronger story is the one that shows the gypsy conditions. Someone described Delon's expressions as "eloquent" - yes, they were. He doesn't have a huge amount of dialogue, which he doesn't in many films, so he is a master of expression.

Not the best work from the director Jose Giovanni, but it's still good.

The Jacket (2005)
not for claustrophobics, 27 February 2017
8/10

I have a feeling since winning an Oscar in 2002, Adrien Brody has been a little disappointed in his career trajectory. Bad choices, bad management? Or it may be that he wants to do unusual films. Who knows?

"The Jacket" from 2005 is a very good film, however, which also stars Keira Knightley, Kris Kristofferson, and Jennifer Jason-Leigh. Brody is Jack Starks, who served in Iraq and is killed, except as they're about to put him in the freezer, he blinks.

After a long recovery, he is out on his own and hitches a ride with someone. When they are stopped by the police for driving too slowly, the man kills the cop and Jack is injured. The man cleans his gun and throws it in Jack's direction. Then he takes off. Unfortunately, when Jack recovers, he doesn't remember anything about the accident. All he remembers is that he helped fix the truck belonging to a drunken woman, who was with her little girl. No one believes him.

After a trial, he is found not guilty by reason of insanity and placed in a mental institution. There, he is given an experimental treatment (that actually was banned in the '70s) and overmedicated. During the treatments, he remembers things from his past...and also is able to go into the future, where he learns something disturbing.

Really good film, part thriller/part drama, based on a 1913 book by Jack London which actually had to do with the prison system. Brody is sympathetic as a good man caught in traumatic and unspeakable circumstances. Knightley, as a bitter waitress who drinks, is excellent, as are Kristofferson and Leigh as doctors, one cold and clinical and one concerned and empathetic.

One more thing that knocked me for a loop. One of the men in the institution, Rudy MacKenzie, drove me crazy. Black hair, American, not great skin, fast talker, and clearly unstable. He looked SO familiar to me, yet I couldn't place him. I thought, this guy is someone famous but I don't know where I've seen him. I can guarantee you won't either. And as it happens, this is the second time I've seen him in something where I didn't recognize him at first. I didn't look at the cast list ahead of time. Don't do it and see if you can figure it out.


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