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I'm a huge fan of Paul Schrader and I wish I could report that his new film The Card Counter, in which Oscar Isaac deals with the psychological aftermath of his stint as an interrogator at Abu Ghraib, ranked among his best movies. It's an ambitious and interesting work, yes, but it also feels unfocused and rather airless.

 

 

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That VU doc was such a wonderful, woozy experience. Loved it.

Even though I could have watched Cry Macho for free on HBO Max, I still went out to the theater for it. Why? Because Clint Eastwood, even now when his age is definitely showing, deserves to be seen on

Finally caught up with An Elephant Sitting Still, which I’ve been meaning to watch for several years. Why did it take so long for me to press play? Well, it’s a bleak, introspective portrait of hopele

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Even though I could have watched Cry Macho for free on HBO Max, I still went out to the theater for it. Why? Because Clint Eastwood, even now when his age is definitely showing, deserves to be seen on the big screen. The movie is at best minor Eastwood (both as actor and director). It has considerable limitations and more than a few awkward moments. But it also has unusual grace in certain passages and, given the current cinema climate, it scans as refreshingly mature storytelling. That's to be celebrated. Plus, it's Eastwood doing Eastwood-y things, which is to be savored!

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On 9/19/2021 at 3:42 PM, Beltmann said:

Even though I could have watched Cry Macho for free on HBO Max, I still went out to the theater for it. Why? Because Clint Eastwood, even now when his age is definitely showing, deserves to be seen on the big screen. The movie is at best minor Eastwood (both as actor and director). It has considerable limitations and more than a few awkward moments. But it also has unusual grace in certain passages and, given the current cinema climate, it scans as refreshingly mature storytelling. That's to be celebrated. Plus, it's Eastwood doing Eastwood-y things, which is to be savored!

 

I'm so out of it these days that I didn't even realize it's already playing. Thanks for your review. It's inspired me to go to the theater for it. Plus who knows how many more times we'll have a chance to see a new Eastwood movie? 

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Thanks to the Criterion Channel, I was finally able to catch Ann Hui’s Boat People (1982), a Hong Kong classic that I’ve been hankering to see for several decades. Mixing sharp social criticism with broad melodrama, Hui follows a Japanese photojournalist as he tries to circumvent the propaganda ministry of North Vietnam and pull back the green curtain obscuring the nation’s hidden horrors.

 

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There’s plenty of scary stuff in The Last Duel, even if it functions as a Rashomon-style drama about sexual assault in medieval France rather than horror. I didn’t care for Ridley Scott’s decision to iron everything into a smooth, gray/blue haze--it feels like an affectation for a story already muddied by its competing versions of truth--but otherwise the movie is one of his stronger exercises in narrative. I found it curious how the screenplay makes its biggest, obvious points with a battle-axe but then presents deeper ideas in subtle, easy-to-miss ways. This is especially true in its final third, which focuses on the voice of Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer), who in real life needed the help of her knight husband (Matt Damon) to formally accuse a squire (Adam Driver) of raping her. (Perhaps credit for the nuances should go to Nicole Holofcener, who assisted Damon and Ben Affleck with the writing.) Everything leads to a violent, trial-by-combat spectacle between Damon and Driver that counts as a rare action scene rooted in genuine character conflict, with real meaning at stake. I haven’t been so invested in a sword fight since Rob Roy (1995), a minor revenge classic that has some plot overlap with The Last Duel.

 

 

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There’s a whiff of exploitation about Hounds of Love, which uses as its suspense template the true crime story of a Western Australia couple who kidnapped and tortured a series of girls in the ‘80s, but director Ben Young’s artful staging and emphasis on psychology go a long way in mitigating those concerns. I found the movie gripping, thoughtful, and, by the end, rather moving. It’s also anchored by three female performances of unusual depth. It's October, so I was in the mood for an off-beat horror movie and this fit the bill quite nicely.

 

 

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1 hour ago, chuckrh said:

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I watched this last night and thought it was great.  My only complaint is that they did not tell enough of the story, and now I have to wait years until the next installment is made.


Both the cast performances and the cinematography were spectacular!

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I thought this was my 40th World Series, but I forgot about the strike season of '94 in which there was no World Series. I wanted to go, but tickets to the games in Atlanta are over $1,000 for standing room only! Oh, well. Maybe some day. Go Braves!

 

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