• A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later

    A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later

    ★★★

    Twenty years after releasing his claim-to-fame director Claude Lelouch returned to the lives of lovers Anne and Jean-Louis. Hopeless romances, career misfortunes and realizing the spark you once had, has long gone. The stranding in the desert and the symbolism of Jean-Louis being a bon vivant is well done, but 'A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later' is badly-lit, narratively in limbo and leans heavily on the two leading stars. An attempt at Nicolas Roeg, but without the Brit's panache.

  • The Four Musketeers

    The Four Musketeers

    ★★

    Earlier this year I watched Richard Lester's adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' classic 'The Three Musketeers'. A problematic and dreadful production, we gained the strength to get around to watch its sequel: 'The Four Musketeers'. A voice over talks the audience up to speed and there's not much more to note. Faye Dunaway looks like she's seen a ghost, Oliver Reed rocks, Seventies supposed-dreamboat Michael York still can't act and you begin the understand the arduous impression the people on screen…

  • The Idiot

    The Idiot

    ★★★½

    Taken from the same-titled Fyodor Dostoevsky novel, 'The Idiot' is a moody retelling of the kind (and therefore seen as naive) Prince Myshkin with great music of Fumio Hayasaka and Kurosawa regulars Mifune, Shimura and Mori and female stars Setsuko Hara and Yoshiko Kuga. Psychological pressure and intellectual games of cat and mouse. Looking at Kameda, you come to a conclusion your own love life is thankfully a little less hectic. Grand is scale and story, but the production value looks quality wise grainy and reserved.

  • Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

    Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

    ★★★

    Thanks to the new Mission Impossible trailer my father and I wanted to watch the two remaining films of the infamous IMF super spy. Edited with a quick pace, the adrenaline rush is so high you might never come down. And what usually happens with most action films there's no real sense in the plot. With help of never-dissapointing Ving Rhames and Tom Hollander (in a minor role), funny brit Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson as welcome blue-eyed beauty and a race around the globe for restoring world peace. Nothing new under the sun, but an entertaining two hours nonetheless.

  • U Turn

    U Turn

    ★½

    The glory years were behind William Oliver Stone when he decided to direct John Ridley's novel 'U Turn'. Only good thing? J-Lo's beauty. In every single aspect this is torture for your cinematic consciousness.

  • Titus

    Titus

    ★★

    2022 Film Challenge: "A Female Touch"

    Hogwash with beautiful set and clothing design. But a dressed-up Shakespearean mess is still a mess. No from me.

    9/15 of Timme's film list challenge

  • The Connection

    The Connection

    ★★★★½

    2022 Film Challenge: "A Female Touch"

    Jazzy Waiting for Godot on a full-blown heroine binge. Taken from the 1959 Jack Gerber play, 'The Connection' is Shirley Clarke's version of Cinema Vérité with a fiction/documentary blend and great character actors. Especially leading man Warren Finnerty brings charisma and creepiness to his role of a lost soul in a single room apartment. Helped by brilliant camerawork of Arthur J. Ornitz ('Serpico' and 'An Unmarried Woman') the claustrophobia by substance abuse is very well done. Desires and balancing death: it's all yours now.

    7/15 of Kees' Film List Challenge

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★★★½

    Bat shit crazy. Captivating for editing purposes and the range the main actors give the audience. Loved the inclusivity, family struggles and well-choreographed action sequences. Raccacoony and this non-superhero genuinely absurd set-up for the win.

  • To Live

    To Live

    ★★★★★

    Double Bill Saturday: "Political Paranoia":

    To Live (1994)

    Cultural shifts are parts of world history, but nowhere so investing as in China with the rise of Mao's communism. in 'To Live' - based on the 1993 novel by Yu Hua - we zoom in on a rich-turned-beggar family and their part in their country's historic events. Beautifully photographed and feeling authentic, the film has a sense of being very lively and gives you multiple facets of tragedy, happiness and most importantly the changing of the political tide. Director Zhang Yimou is a Chinese cinematic grandmaster. Masterpiece.

  • The Working Class Goes to Heaven

    The Working Class Goes to Heaven

    ★★★★

    Double Bill Saturday: "Political Paranoia":

    The Working Class Goes to Heaven (1971)

    Volonté as the nine fingered revolutionary. 2hat a performance he puts on the table. A career-driven work horse gets into an accident and suddenly sides with the suppressed youths and underprivileged workers. Tthe Working Class Goes to Heaven' is an complaint on capitalism and elitism and has all the ingredients for a quintessential Italian politically charged film.

  • The Suspended Step of the Stork

    The Suspended Step of the Stork

    ★★★★★

    'The Suspended Step of the Stork' hits hard. Not only for the cold and grim surroundings, but also the message it conveys of borders, refugees and people caught in-between (the wedding procession over the water scenes). Beautifully shot by Giorgos Arvanitis and Andreas Sinanos and with the poetic words of all-time screenwriting great Tonino Guerra, the film shows how we may have different cultures and customs, but all need the same: love, guidance and understanding. Meditative masterpiece.

  • Belly

    Belly

    ★★★½

    Double Bill Thursday: "Rappers-Turned-Actors":

    Belly (1998)

    Earl Simmons and Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones making their debut on the big screen. Rappers DMX and Nas were on the top of their rap careers when Hollywood came calling. The two are paired as drug running gangsters in a neon-lit and almost 'The Wire'-esque or MTV music video filmed take on the drug trade, making money and professing faith. Not all that surprising, but inventive to say the least.