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Films

The Big Sick

Nice little movie, based on a true story.  Plot: comedian from traditional Indian family meets white (very) girl. They fall in love, she becomes seriously ill, he realizes he’s an idiot, they get married. Lot of funny culture-wars type humor. Light weight, but very charming. Maybe fifteen minutes too long. 

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Films

La Vie en Rose

Started out promising, but eventually just repeated scene after scene of Edith in a drunken rage, screaming and yelling. Surely she was more interesting than that. Perhaps they should have focused more on the music.  

Didn’t enjoy this one. Didn’t even make it to the end.  

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Films

You Can Count On Me

By the same  director/writer as my favorite movie of last year, Manchester by the Sea. 

Love his writing. Really packs an emotional whallop. I love movies that are both tragic and funny.  

 

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Films

Heart of a Dog – Laurie Anderson film

I liked this movie quite a bit. Like all her work, I have trouble fitting it all together. What exactly she’s trying to say? What is the theme that ties it  all together? These questions I have trouble answering.

On the other hand, her work is incredibly inventive, and I love the combination of music, words, and images. Five stars. 

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Films

Saw Moonlight – 2016 Best Picture

This movie really didn’t do much for me. It was ok, but certainly not my choice for Best Picture. Standard “it’s tough to be poor, black, gay, and from a dysfunctional home” film. Done reasonably well I guess. Second half was slow. Nothing really made it standout to me. I wouldn’t watch it again.  

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Hidden Figures

Saw Hidden Figures yesterday. 

The history was interesting. A group of black women working at NASA in the “computing” department. One in particular, Katherine Jackson, played a significant role in solving the mathematical problems associated with the project.

The movie itself though is not so great. Boring script, very predictable plot, cliche-ridden, and teeth-grinding bad acting. 

 

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Films

Watch Spotlight

Good movie about the Catholic Church child abuse scandal. Centers around the  investigation of the Boston Globe which to exposed the church. Watched it, ironically, on the day our esteemed president declared that “the press is the enemy of the American people”.  

 

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Films

Watched A Man Named Ove – by Hannes Holm

Directed and written by Hannes Holm. Swedish.

I liked it. Sort of the non-violent swedish version of Clint Eastwood’s Grand Torino. The movie is full of cliches, and the heart-warming ending can  be seen coming  from the very beginning.  Still, the movie is highly enjoyable. The characters are believable, and their relationships feel right.  It also has more than it’s share of laughs. 

 

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Films

Saw Paterson

Saw new film by Jim Jarmuch. Enjoyed it much. So beautiful, so poetic. Adam Driver was a good choice for a Jarmuch movie, he fits right in with John Laurie, Tom Waits etc.

The poetry written for the film didn’t really make it with me. I missed the humor of some of the older movies. 

Overall I really like it.

 

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Films

Saw Iranian Film at AFI in Silver Spring

Saw “The Salesman”, written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, a well-know Iranian director working inside Iran. 

My impression was that the movie took way too long to get to the point. The last half-hour was engrossing as the movie worked it’s way to the  climax. I suppose the theme was revenge vs. forgiveness, the husband taking the side of revenge, the wife forgiveness.

Farhadi also made acclaimed The Separation, which I did’t like so much, and About Elly, which I did. 

 

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Films

Watch Several Movies

Been trying to see some of  the “big” movies of the year.  List is roughly order of preference (best to worst).

  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Jackie
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Loving
  • Lion
  • Certain Women

Also saw Gimme Danger, Jarmusch’s documentary about Iggy Pop. 

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Films

Watched Documentary – The Search for General Tso

generaltsoThe  filmmakers try to determine the origins of the popular dish. Claims a Mr. Peng created it in Hunan, took it with him to Taiwan, then U.S. I’m skeptical, but who knows?

 

There actually was a General Tso!

The most interesting part for me was the explanation of why so many Chinese folks run restaurants and dry cleaners. Film said it can be tracked back to the 1882 (?) Exclusion Act, which basically forced people of Chinese decent to be self-employed.  Makes some sense.

Pretty entertaining little film.

 

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Films

Watched Annie Hall Again

annie_hallDefinitely one of my favorite movies. Intellectually lively, seriously funny, and insightful about relationships, and just life in general. I could watch it every year, even more.

ALVY:   “I thought of that old joke. This guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, ‘Doc, my brother’s crazy. He thinks he’s a chicken.’ And the doctor says, ‘Well, why don’t you turn him in?’ And the guy says, ‘I would, but I need the eggs.’ Well, I guess that’s pretty much now how I feel about relationships. They’re totally irrational and crazy and absurd and . . . but I guess we keep going through it because most of us need the eggs.”

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Films

Jungle Book – in 3D

I doubt I would have gone to see it on my own volition, but now that I have seen it, I gotta say I’m glad I did: more than just pretty good. I liked it.

I’m not sure how much i would have liked it without the 3D. It has a good story,  based on the well-known but not  to me children’s story by Rudyard Kipling. Certainly the “acting” was good; Bill  Murray has the friendly bear was at time hysterical.   Scarlett Johannsen  (sp.) turn as a sneaky snake was clever.

Then again, it is a children’s story, so by definition was a bit predictable and sentimental,  and this one was probably above average in  both areas.

The 3D / animation certainly put it over the top. The whole time your asking yourself “how the hell did they do that, and how much  did it cost?”

Anyway, enjoyable movie, easily worth the time and money.

 

 

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Films

Film – I Smile Back

I’m watching I Smile Back right now, starring Sarah Silverman, one of my favorite comics. I can’t say it’s an enjoyable movie to watch – so bleak,   the characters so unlikable, so much white privilege. It is a good story though, and Silverman is surprisingly good, convincing as an out-of-control druggie with serious psychological problems. Good role for her.

I  think maybe the filmmakers need to do something more than just keep focusing scene after scene on her self-destructive behavior. On the other hand, I like how it doesn’t have a nice tidy uplifting ending. Screw that bullshit.

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Films

Cool Hand Luke

coolhandWatched Cool Hand Luke again last night. I don’t often watch a movie over and over, but this one I do. It’s a beautiful thing. Serious and thoughtful yet still entertaining.

Donn Pearce, the writer of the book/screenplay, was in real-life similar to Luke, spent significant time in prison, even working on a chain gang.

 

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Films

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

agirlwalkshomeWatched A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. You’ll often hear it billed as an “Iranian”movie,  but it’s not really. Amirpour is an Iranian-American, which is not the same thing. The movie is in Farsi, and the setting does look like it could be Iran, but it’s really California.

It’s a good movie. A good vampire movie. Not much of a plot, and in places doesn’t make a lot of sense. It does have a really great sense of poetic style, really reminiscence of the early Jarmusch films, but without the humor. Amirpour says she’s not a Jarmusch fan, which is very odd. Her  movie suggests she is.

Food Equivalency:  Kabob at a nice place

 

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Films

One Paragraph Movie Review – Martian

Very predictable, but mildly entertaining. Many better ways to spend your time, but if you’re really tired or something, you could do worse.

Food  equivalency: McDonald’s Fish Fillet