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What Are You Watching? Part 2

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    Arevakhn
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    #1204058045

    Just finished season one of The Americans, my god is this show good. How is it not talked about like breaking bad? The quality is definitely there & I hear it only gets better.

    I like motivational speaker because they make us truly unstoppable in our life

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    K-Hole
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    #1204058150

    Lucy In The Sky (2019)
    In their attempt to make a feminist heroine out of the real-life story of the disturbed astronaut who drove across the country to kidnap(?) kill(?) her estranged lover, the filmmakers left out the part where she wore Depends so that she wouldn’t have to stop to use the restroom along the route. One of Natalie Portman’s worst (and that’s really saying something) and definitely not worthy of Ellen Burstyn’s talent either. Grade: F

    Ruben Brandt, Collector (2018)
    Although this animated film from Hungary is often surreal and witty and even references Michael Powell’s masterpiece Peeping Tom, it left me cold, uninvolved and unamused. Grade: C

    Mad Max (1979)
    The crude original that spawned an unlikely franchise; fortunately, George Miller became a much better filmmaker over the years. Not boring but definitely tedious. Grade: D

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    Cardi B
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    #1204062132

    RuPaul’s Drag Race – Season 13, Episode 8

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    K-Hole
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    Crash (1996)
    Is this still surprisingly edgy film merely about some unusual, way-out kinky people who fetishize car crashes, or is it a metaphor for the violent character of man’s most primal urges? Great music (by Howard Shore), cinematography (by Peter Suschitzky) and, despite the generally low critical and audience rating, one of my favorite films by David Cronenberg (based on the iconic book by J. G. Ballard).
    Grade: A

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    K-Hole
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    #1204142583

    Klute (1971)
    The Parallax View (1974)

    Two iconic films by cinema’s master of paranoia, Alan J. Pakula, that both also feature Gordon Willis’ sublime cinematography and Michael Small’s evocative music. I think The Parallax View is the less successful film of the two because of the miscasting of Warren Beatty in the lead role as a hotshot investigative reporter who uncovers the mother of all conspiracies. Beatty is fine at portraying someone who finds himself in way over his head, but that fight scene at the redneck bar with the breaking of furniture and busting through walls is just absurd. However, there are a number of bravura scenes such as the chase on top of the Seattle Space Needle, the flood at the dam, and the creepy video they show to Beatty’s character at the Parallax Corporation.

    Klute features my favorite and I think best performance by Jane Fonda, for which she deservingly won an Academy Award. Gordon Willis’ cinematography should have been nominated and would have also made a deserving winner.

    These two films would make a great double feature or marathon along with Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation (also from 1974), another masterpiece of surveillance and paranoia, or of course with Pakula’s other great conspiracy movie, All The President’s Men (1976).

    The Parallax View: Grade A-
    Klute: Grade A+

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    K-Hole
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    The Quick And The Dead (1995)
    An homage to, or perhaps satire of the “spaghetti western,” but Sam Raimi is no Sergio Leone, and Sharon Stone is no Clint Eastwood (or Franco Nero or Lee Van Cleef). The movie features plenty of Raimi’s trademark grisly humor, but I prefer when his films play it straight, as in “A Simple Plan.”
    Grade: B-

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    K-Hole
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    #1204189332

    Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)
    I watched the director’s cut instead of the theatrical version which might have been a mistake because I did not enjoy the film as much as the last time I saw it, but at least the 4K release makes the iconic Oscar-winning cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond look great. I guess I noticed that Spielberg somewhat condescends to characters of color (e.g., the Mexicans and the Egyptians, etc.) and he also encourages his cast to ham it up a little too much for my taste nowadays. But as the film is filled with evocative references to other classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Wizard of Oz, and any number of Hitchcock movies (just prior to Close Encounters, Zsigmond had filmed Obsession, De Palma’s homage to Hitchcock), it is as much about the joy of movies as it is the joy of wonderment over the great unknowns of the universe. Excellent, not overdone special effects, as well as sound editing and music.
    Grade: A

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