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Spirited Away (2001)
10/10
Spirited inside
5 July 2020
Studio Ghibli does it again - actually if you don't mind animated movies and don't censor and lock away your fantasy or inner child, you probably will like a lot of the stuff they did. Doesn't look like there will be anything new coming, since they closed up shop.

But they put out a lot of movies and you have quite a few things to watch therefor. This is about a little girl on a family trip ... well trip it will be. Especially for her and what she gets into. Very creative and very well done. Not just for the little ones, but for adults as well. Commenting further on the story would not do it justice, the pictures speak for themselves. I can only recommend it so much, you have to know if it is for you - if it is, you have one hell of a journey ahead of you! Enjoy!
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7/10
Understanding
5 July 2020
Actions have to make sense right? Now if someone you know was to be hurt by another person (I'm putting it mildly and it also happens right at the start of the movie), you'd be excused for wanting - actually make that needing answers to why. To have an understanding. It doesn't mean the pain would go away, but it might ease your mind a bit ... then again who is to say it would? It depends on the answer you'd be getting and your state of mind.

Now the movie deals with what happened to and what made our pulprit the way he ended up being .. it is not poetic justice, some may not even feel like it is any sort of justice ... it seems inevitable, no matter how good the intentions of those involved are or were. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger? There are merits to that, there are also merits to tough love ... but there also downfalls to both those ... it all depends on the individual and how it will be perceived and received ... and taken into (account). A drama that might rub you the wrong way, with timeline jumps that warrant your full attention. There is a reason why they compare this to Moonlight and highlight the fact that there are people involved from that movie ... this probably would be a good double bill
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Sergio (2020)
8/10
To Iraq or not to
5 July 2020
Nato ... glorified "peace keepers" or just bystanders? Or is it the same? Sergio - the character portrayed here existed, I'm guessing the movie takes creative license and freedoms at times and I was not aware of the real life person or the incident he was involved with, that changed the course of how the Nato dealed with things, as the end of the movie suggests.

Performance wise this is really nice, though I reckon some will take issue with the love story it also tells. I don't mind and I think it helps with the emotional attachment the viewers will and can have. Also: Ana de Armas! Got to love her - well I do for sure. Really good and emotional performance by her. Which is essential because otherwise we'd be stuck with just Sergio (no offense, laughing always helps deal with situations)
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7/10
Ed helms ... and protects
5 July 2020
You have to love Ed Helms ... well if you don't, the movie will be quite the torture for you. Comedy is in the eye of the beholder. You may find this funny or obnoxious. That doesn't mean others feel the same way you do. But for what it's worth, if you are not too sensitive the movie works.

It knows what it is and never pretends to be anything else. It goes to show you, that entertainment is not the same for everybody. For some the kid is the most annoying they've seen - others will find the performance super funny. None is more right than the other. So watch at least a bit of the trailer to get a sense of what this is or rather what it feels like ... than decide if it is for you
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8/10
Bigger than Super Bowl (?)
5 July 2020
Not my words, but what Rachel McAdams said on her press tour about Eurovision itself. She would never be so self centered to claim that about the movie or herself. Although since I'm not her, to me she is bigger than super bowl (and Eurovision for that matter).

Now my love for her aside (what Ryan Gosling is for those who are into men from the Notebook, Rachel is for those into women ... well most of them anyway I would reckon), the movie is quite funny, while also being able to go dark. An explosion that is quite horrible (with body parts flying around), is being made fun of. This obviously is not for the faint hearted or easily offended or squeamish. If that is not something that is applicable to you and your humor alligns with that of the movie - there is quite some fun you can have. With a mesmerizing Rachel McAdams - in case I hadn't made that point clear already. Will Ferrell is nice too, but she (and even Dan Stevens as "Russian") steal the show - no pun intended!
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9/10
Cat person
5 July 2020
Not just the main character here - no also the viewer watching this. You may be aware of Studio Ghibli: they stopped producing movies a couple of years ago, but up to that point they accumulated quite the catalog of movies. I am a big fan of Pixar, but I am also very fond of Ghibli movies to say the least. They are different in many ways, which is why I won't compare them.

Ghibli always encourages the viewer to let his or her imagination run wild. In this case it is about a secret (or not anymore) cat society. Now everyone who had to do with cats has come up with the thought that cats may have more going for them, than we can tell. They are quite mysterious and self caring to say the least. They don't seem too attached to humans for example. Unless the human helps them fight against their enemies I guess ... you might wonder what I'm talking about, but you have to see this, explaining it, is not half as fun as seeing it evolve!
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Curtiz (2018)
7/10
Casablanca
5 July 2020
I have to watch Casablanca ... asap. And not just because it got canned (by HBO I think) and put back on with a warning, but because of this "making of". Now I believe as someone else has already stated that it romanticises the director of the movie a bit (or a lot?), which may not be such a good thing. Especially in the "woke" era we live in now.

Everything gets checked and cancelled if it does not meet the high or even low standards of anyone being offended. Now certain things are appalling, I've stated so when I watched Rosemarys Baby and it is also true of Breakfast at Tiffanys. There are certain things that through the lense of time look dated to say the least ... having said that, cancelling any and everything is not the solution! You take away the art part of it, you also do not acknowledge a certain period of time. I don't consider blackface to be a funny thing myself, deleting an episode of Community because one Korean (American) actor has it on, is quite the exaggeration to say the least.

Now back to this and what happened back then. Assault, political interference ... a lot of things that can not be considerd nice or fine by any stretch of the imagination. Your viewing will depend on how sensible you are ... or not. Not judging, not being disrespectful, just telling ... whether I'm right or not is debatable ... like the content of the movie and the one this portrays ...
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Blue Thunder (1983)
8/10
Controlling
5 July 2020
The movie starts by proclaiming that the technology you see in this movie is already in use. I can assure you, back then they did not have any of the technology that was "used" in the movie. But it made for an interesting setting up the movie and it also gave the viewers a state of mind to be in while watching anything unfold in the movie.

Roy Scheider plays the main role and while he is better and more known for his Jaws appearance, you can be assured he delivers the goods here too. This has 80s thriller written all over it and if you watched it at a certain point in time and frame of mind and age ... it will have stuck more with you than it will with others. Having said that, this did age quite well all things considering. The tension is there and you will be on the edge of your seat ... being there and hoping for a happy end. Cynical or people who've seen a few thrillers may have something to say about that, but try to see it from a different point of view. Also consider how well this is made - from script to direction to acting and the other departments that helped make this happen
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8/10
Low budget to the core - better believe that
5 July 2020
Whatever you may believe (in more sense than one), this movie might rub you a certain way. There are quite a few cliches checked here. The white old guy who says he is god, looks like or similar to what Christianity makes him out to be. Of course within the cast there is "diversity". Coincidence or not, they all get locked up in one cell and ... talking ensues.

Whatever you may think of religion and or ethinicity, the movie tries to be entertaining with that stuff while also gives you food for thought throughout. The message seems to be that it is tough to be good and very easy to be tempted to the dark side. Is there a chance for redemption, is too late or is all just ... talk? No pun intended, though to be fair there is a lot of talking which may be too much for some.

While many things are on the nose, look for subtle things like a shadow (4 minutes before the movie ends) ... have to admit was positively surprised overall by this. And the acting was decent too - like the idea and the script - whether you believe or don't ... oh it's real! It's damn real (or is it?)
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4/10
It's a feast
5 July 2020
Some might call this softcore horror - not the horror is the thing that is softcore of course. Though one might start arguing about the effects (try to include the low budget this has in your thoughts) - but of course I'm talking about the nudity and the sexual situations that occur in the movie.

Now if you are into this sort of thing, you may like the movie more than others. If not and you came here (no pun intended) for the horror ... you might be in for a dissapointment. Of course those who expect this to be exciting and titilating may be dissapointed too, so there is that. At least there is enough flesh for everyone ... sort of
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4/10
Dreams come true - what about nightmares?
5 July 2020
Well some argue this movie is a nightmare and they have quite the reasonable case to make. This is sleazy and dirty and I would totally understand if you are rating this way lower than I already have. Saying that, I also would understand if your taste would be different and you are into the nudity and the craziness presented here.

Filthy dreams and nightmares and things that may or may not happen during nighttime. The fact that you most likely won't care about the line between dreams and reality is something that either is working for you or annoys the hell out of you ... your choice or preference of course matters
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5/10
Heat of the night
5 July 2020
Sleaze and filth from the 70s. A lot of nudity and quite a lot of violence can be expected too (blood is as fake red as it was used back then, so don't blame the movie for something everyone was doing). The past comes back to haunt the future ... well the then future which is now also the past (because 70s).

We get to see our lead woman being not taken seriously, being taken advantage of and also being abused in a way that will make you sick. Now there is some retribution of sorts - if that is something that makes this justifiable for you. Don't worry if it doesn't - you are human if you feel sick and tired of this.
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Replicas (2018)
6/10
Life after death
5 July 2020
What are we? What is our essence? And what can be done with our "being" after we die? A lot of questions that may not be easy to answer - and this is not here to answer all those questions. It is here to entertain more than be a definitive guide to anything.

While it sort of achieves that, it is also quite simple in nature. The beginning drags itself with an introduction and an explanatory talk by Keanus character to people who already should know what they are doing and why they are there. Of course Keanu says that to give the viewer context and to explain it to us. But even if you didn't read what the movie is about, it is unnecessary. You'll be able to catch the drift.

Anyway the movie is decent, especially if you are into Science Fiction. Performances are ok too ... but if you feel there could have been more, you are not so wrong - no pun intended
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6/10
Teen dreams are made of these
4 July 2020
Well not all teen dreams of course, but I can appreciate the state of mind this was born out of and what the humor level tries to achieve and to some extent does achieve too. Having said that the humor is in the eye of the beholder and some will be just annoyed.

Don't watch if that is the case. Not even for the cameos! Be it Robert Patrick or the "guy from the Fast and Furious movies". Don't get too excited, no big names in that regard in here. There's a Arnold Schwarzenegger double here for example. I am very fond of Kat Dennings though ... again Teen dreams. Totally get it, call me crazy for that. Decent overall, with some fun and action scenes that will or should be able to entertain you
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9/10
Stephen and his mind maze
4 July 2020
A movie like this, is a tough sell commercially speaking. An agoraphobic ... it's not just that technically speaking you are supposed to be within just a house (there have been a lot of great movies that just played in one location). It is the humor it uses - because it does go places (no pun intended).

So maybe watch a bit of the trailer to see and realize if this is something that appeals to you. Because if you don't think the premise and the jokes are funny ... you will have a hell of a time - just the wrong kind. Because those who like it will also have a (good) hell of a time. It is predictable I would say and it is quite gross (with male nudity and other stuff like language included) ... not something sensible people will appreciate for sure ... others will relish in it. Go with the flow and let your fantasy become one, with that of the movie!
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8/10
(Song) request
4 July 2020
Usually they say, never meet your idols they will dissapoint you - or something along those lines. It seems never meet up with your hardcore fans is also a thing. If you believe this movie - and others with similar themes that is. Clint seems to have really been intrigued by this - even having it name checked in the very first Dirty Harry movie (you can see it playing in one theatre, opposite the cafe he has something to eat, before duty calls ... and he has to go "Do you feel lucky? Well do you punk?").

But back to this and the fact you have to suspend a bit of disbelief. Especially considering Clint not rejecting the fan more directly - considering how mad and crazy she acts. Having said that, it does lead to some amazing dialog. Also between him and a cop, who questions him about that individual with a lot of innuendo ... well made Thriller with psycho mad woman written all over it. Do not draw sexist conclussions because of that though
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Chaplin (1992)
7/10
One of the greatest comedians ...
4 July 2020
Unfortunately the movie does not live up to that task or name. I felt quite underwhelmed watching this. And I really am surprised I did, considering the talent at work and all the good things I had heard about it. But I urge anyone to watch the Stan & Laurel movie to see how it is supposed to be done. Maybe it is unfair, because that movie focuses on a specific time in both their lives, while this tries to encompass everything - be a life biography of sorts. Also the Academy Awards and other thought this is great to say the least - so maybe I'm wrong.

Whatever you may feel (if you've already seen it), the movie tries to stay as close to what Chaplin himself wrote - and also has Geraldine Chaplin in it, who should be able to recall certain things. Either because she lived them or because she Charlie told her directly or through others. Anecdotes and stories - well told and in themselves quite neat and at least decent, but never felt engaging enough for my taste. A shame then, but an incentive to go back and watch Chaplin movies and shorts maybe? Hopefully at least that will be the case for those watching this (or reading my humble opinion on the movie)
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Giant (1956)
8/10
Giants
4 July 2020
3 ig names and yet the one that left me most surprised was Dennis Hopper. I don't think I had seen him play a sane character before. Which doesn't mean he may not have done so other times also. It's just I have not seen him do it, before this. But back to the big three. Elisabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean give powerhouse performances in this. It may be a bit too long and it may feel like a predecessor to shows like Dynasty for example (which I guess could be a fair assesment), but it is very well made.

Of course there are still things that feel wrong today (racism to a very big extent), but also cliches. When you know your not white wife is being looked on as not "fitting" to the surrounding, you don't let her go to an appointment where they will most likely deny her any service ... just saying. But drama has to be there and while James Dean characters were or had flaws before, this time around it seems there are no redeeming factors to him. Maybe that is why fans of his like the other two movies more - I can only assume. On the other hand he is acting his heart out here too, considering he isn't or wasn't considered top billed ... a nomination followed - no more movies though. 3 movies (if you don't count tv shows/appearances) made him and people are still talking about him
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9/10
Could have been friends
4 July 2020
The "chicken" scene is probably the one that is most known, but the ending here ... at least as powerful. And don't worry, I won't spoil it, otherwise I'd have said so beforehand. But back to the car scene and if you don't know the game, it is about racing in cars. Now there is variations to this - one sees two cars driving full speed into each other ... the first one to swerve away, is the chicken. And no one wants to be called a chicken. The version here is, two cars driving towards a cliff - first one to stop or jumping out of the car, is the chicken. Recipe for disaster you say? You may be right.

And that is only the beginning (early on that is), there's also family troubles, hurt people, missunderstood teens, rage and wrong accusations. Especially the later one of these will drive the movie. Wrong perceptions also lead to a certain character going off ... his mind. No pun intended. Considering what could be shown on screen and how much was controlled (you know, not to spoil the youth with "bad images" and ideas) by censorship, it is almost a wonder how good this works and how rebellious it still is. If East of Eden introduced James Dean and sort of laid the ground to how the public perceived him - this cemented it. True or not, people will most likely remember him (especially of the way he died) as a rebel ... with or without cause
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East of Eden (1955)
9/10
Troubled (Rebel)
4 July 2020
Are women drawn to troubled men? Men they should not let themselves get involved with? Instead of choosing the guy who is sound and fair and has his head screwed on right? This movie (along with two others) would kind of undermine that point and really give a reputation to James Dean. There is still a lot of mystery around him. And although he did other stuff too (mainly TV work/shows, which I haven't watched), the 3 movies are the ones most remember him for.

This one is quite incredible. He plays not the most likeable character from the start. It is quite the opposite. But we do grow with him and learn to know him and his issues (especially with his dad, with love and his brother and more). So while this may feel strange and slow to a certain audiences, others will lap it up. Elias Kazan has left quite an incredible work of art behind. Powerful movies - with messages that still resonate today (you know family, growing up, feeling missplaced in this society - but overall with a heart of gold)
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5/10
Face off
4 July 2020
If you work in the beauty business (models and all that), your face is quite important. So if a bad guy wants to pressure you, he most likely will go for that. Good thing if you have someone like Charles Bronson there. His face may not be considered beautiful (or anything more than stern) and maybe even unable to convey emotions - but that's not why you're happy he is there.

Like Dirty Harry this also stayed with 5 entries. And like Harry this is considered the weakest of them all. I would argue though, that with Dirty Harry the last one was not as weak as some thought or liked to believe. But that is me talking, who still gave this a decent score - something some may disagree with strongly I reckon.
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6/10
Crackdown indeed
4 July 2020
No home invasion for the first time in these. Although I guess drugs entering ones system, can be viewed as an invasion too, yes? I'll leave that up to you. The movies and Charles Bronson hit a nerve, with cracking down on criminals. Now I assume many things will not sit well with people and their views today and maybe further in the future, but it is what it is.

When Bronson has someone near to him being harmed, he goes ballistic. Though as we know from the first movie, he does not have any love left for the people he would consider scum. This mixes a bit of what made westerns succesful. So after being inspired by Dirty Harry, this has also elements of the Man with No name trilogy by ... Clint Eastwood. At least that is what you can call Bronson playing two sides of crime families ... nice touch overall if you are not too sensitive
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Death Wish 3 (1985)
7/10
Boom (in your face)
4 July 2020
Another home invasion - but while this sort of builds on each other with every movie, the blueprint always seemed the same up to this point. This has the difference that it's not the "home" of Charles Bronson that gets raided/invaded. It also furthers the strange relationship Bronsons character has with the police. Incarcerated first (falsely), just to be the executioner later for a frustrated by the system cop.

Now this also takes everything to a different level. Talk about over the top - this can be called the craziest entry (with the weapons used) of them all. After the star power of the first two movies, there is not much left for the rest of them (when it comes to high caliber names that is, for some Marina Sirtis is a big enough name - especially the one who love Star Trek Next Generation). Death, nudity and vigilantism ... well you know what you're getting that is for sure - though the main baddie did not see that coming - you're excused for laughing! I did too
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Death Wish II (1982)
6/10
More people with a death wish
4 July 2020
But after Charles Bronson character got attacked (or rather his home got invaded) in the first one, you'd expect this to maybe try something different. No sir, we get a sort of repeat of what happened in the first one. But we get Laurence Fishburne here instead of Jeff Goldblum, when it comes to known Hollywood actors breathing life (or rather death I reckon) into this.

One of the major differences to the first one here is that Bronsons character goes on a specific revenge mission, whereas in the first one he was "just" a vigilante. Now just because he aims at a specific group of people, does not mean he won't get rid of other bad people/criminals along the way ... Nothing special overall and overly sensitive people will take great issue with one assault that does not seem to end (rightfully so I might add) ...
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9/10
What could have been ... and what is
1 July 2020
Sometimes those align or are not that far apart. Sometimes we just don't know, because the movie doesn't tell us. In this case the main character asks himself and wonders or rather is mad about lost opportunities. Marlon Brando with maybe one of the most influential roles and performances.

So him going on about being a contender or could have been, might hit home to more people, even now. So while certain things may have aged or seem "out of date", the general feeling, the general idea, what the movie promotes and what it is about has not. This really gets to you and it is not just the drama, not just the crime or the love story - it is life and choices and one way roads we take that mighe be a dead end - unless there is a chance for a U-Turn of course - is there one for Brando here? Whatever the answer is, will that awaken the public, will it lead to a sort of "I'm Spartacus" moment? Rise against crime ... easier said than done for sure ... and very evident here
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