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  • Elevator to the Gallows

    Elevator to the Gallows

    ★★★★

    Julien (Maurice Ronet) kills the husband of lover, Florence (Jeanne Moreau), but their plan for a perfect murder comes undone when Julien gets stuck in a lift while trying to flee the scene.

    Louis Malle's second feature (after a sea-life documentary he co-directed with Jacques Cousteau!) sees him try his hand at fiction, and more specifically Film Noir. With guns, spycraft, fast cars, beautiful women, and an improvised jazz score by none other than Miles Davis, Lift to the Scaffold…

  • Shock

    Shock

    ★½

    Janet (Anabel Shaw) comes to a hotel to rendezvous with her husband, a lieutenant on his way back to the States after spending the war in a POW camp. When he doesn't show, the concierge assures her that he's probably just delayed, and persuades Janet to take a room for the night and is "sure to be here by morning". With her nerves already jangled, Janet tries to settle herself. She stands on the balcony of her hotel room, and…

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  • The Muppet Christmas Carol

    The Muppet Christmas Carol

    ★★★★½

    My umpteenth rewatch, and I can't help but marvel at how well the movie balances all its competing elements - the spooky fairytale storytelling, the sentimentality, and of course, the Muppet-based anarchy.

    As was the case with The Muppet Show, the human straight-man is the key, and here, in Michael Caine, they have a fine one. Caine plays heartless miser Ebenezer Scrooge with complete sincerity, never once letting on that his co-stars are a bunch of fuzzy puppets.

    Caine's emotional…

  • Melody Time

    Melody Time

    ★★

    The last of the Disney package movies, Melody Time says "to hell with it", foregoes any semblance of a framing device, and just presents us with seven cartoon shorts, one after another. The tenuous theme supposedly tying these stories together is that, um, they all heavily feature songs. That's some pretty weak glue, and its no surprise that without anything even approaching a unifying vision, this 75 minutes feels like a bit of a slog. And it hardly helps that…