A good weekend to everyone! With the end of the tax filing season in the United States, I finally had some mental energy to devote to watching films. I have not felt that drained for a long time.ROCKERS (1978) – Reggae goes blaxploitation. Sort of, anyway. When a drummer has his motorcycle stolen, he fights back against the criminal organization involved. The meandering plot is the least interesting aspect of ROCKERS, however. There is a lot of reggae music being played, and the vibe of 1970s Kingston fills the film. Adding to the Jamaican feel is that everybody speaks in a Jamaican patois, rendering the subtitles very necessary.GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 (1933) – This pre-code musical is just as delightful as the first time I saw it over twenty years ago. The misery of the Great Depression is transformed into an entertaining and ironic satire. When a musical revue is closed by creditors just before opening, the chorus girls of the show find an unexpected financial savior. Featuring some of Busby Berkeley’s most creative musical numbers and plenty of engaging characters, the film can be enjoyed on many levels. THE LADY VANISHES (1938, dir. Alfred Hitchcock) – Hitchcock’s last British film is a very British thriller about an old lady who, surprise, vanishes from a train. A plucky young woman undertakes to unravel the mystery. Somehow Hitchcock and the cast sustain a light comedic tone while maintaining the suspense. Although I found the ending a bit over-the-top, The Lady Vanishes more than entertains. CAN’T STAND LOSING YOU: SURVIVING THE POLICE (2012) – Guitarist Andy Summer found rock’n’roll glory relatively late in his music career when he joined Sting and Stewart Copeland in The Police in the late 1970s. Even though Summer’s stories are not the most compelling bits of rock history, he offers a glimpse into the tumultuous experience of being a member of a successful band.
Andy's last name is Summers, actually.
I had a digital copy of Rockers (probably ripped from VHS) at one point. I don't know if I ever watched it in its entirety, but would watch portions (sometimes just in the background) for the great reggae score and 70's Kingston vibe. The version now available on Criterion Channel is surely much better quality! Maybe I'll rent it sometime.Babylon (1980) is another similar movie about black youth running a reggae sound system in the UK, and the racial tension of the time. Great score as well.
Appreciate your reviews, Casual! I’ll put The Lady Vanishes on my list. I love recommendations. It’s so hard for me to choose movies without them.
The version I saw on MUBI looked great, Paul. It was in a widescreen ratio, too. The version on the Criterion Channel is probably the same one.I am glad you found something that interests you in my little reviews, Meredith. This board is all about sharing our love of movies. There are many movies I have learned about on here that I have enjoyed.
Dawson City: Frozen Time is now on Kanopy and I can't recommend it enough. Using the backbone of hundreds of film canisters left over decades in Dawson City in British Columbia (because it was end of the line for film distribution and the studios didn't want to pay for getting them back) it's also the story of a Gold Rush city as shown through an amazing trove of film footage and the films they would have been watching at the time. A very singular piece of work that makes me want to watch a lot more from Bill Morrison.
Dawson City is actually in Yukon, not British Columbia. Further north and bordering Alaska. Looks like an interesting documentary! What a remarkable stroke of luck that all the film managed to be preserved that long (unintentionally, but it was stuck in the permafrost).
KNIVES OUT (2019) Great fun, a mystery full of kooky characters. And the Blu-ray looks incredible, with color and detail just popping off the screen. THE RAID: REDEMPTION (2011) Nothin' but knee-kicks! THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1996) When this movie works, it's amazing, but the Disney folks just can't get out of their own way. Just imagine if they'd dropped the cutesy stuff and gone full PG-13 (or beyond). SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME (2021) I feel the same way about this now as I did last December. The multiverse stuff isn't the good part. That's Peter having to grow up and face the consequences of his choices. But mass audiences just have to have their multiverses, I guess.
Alfred Molina and Willem Dafoe were good in their respective roles, but didn't seem to be any reason for the others to be in movie at all, other than CGI fodder for a big final battle. The section where they were in prison and how it was laid out was laughable, because it was obviously designed so it could be done without any of the actors having to be in the same place at the same time.Dafoe's "turn" was my favourite part of the movie. He's a good villain, even if his suit in the Raimi movies looks like he's a power ranger.
Agree. I guess the Raimi movies had the strongest villains, and they really just...recycled them. That’s fine, I mean why not.
I rented Infinity Storm (2022) starring Naomi Watts. I generally like these "survival" type movies, but this one just fell flat. It fails to impose any feeling of being in danger, and the snow looked super fake. Also, it was supposed to be based in NH (Mount Washington), but the mountains looked like the freaking Andes! Some nice scenery, and Watts was quite good. I usually stick to "movies I like" in the weekend threads but I think this one merits a negative mention. I went into it quite excited and it was a struggle not to check my phone the whole way through.
Hi everyone, just dropping by to point out that it's May 1 today which means Junesploitation is only a month away. Can't wait!
I am looking forward to Junesploitation. There is a box with some discs already aside for a potential viewing. As usual, there will be more to watch than I will have the time and energy for.
Yay, Junesploitation! Can't wait.
LATE NIGHT (2019)Whenever I watch Emma Thompson it’s so glorious, I feel like I’m...drinking half and half. The Creme de la Creme. And I love Mindy Kaling. The movie itself is alright. It feels like a Mindy Project episode. IMPROMPTU (1991)The young cast is gorgeous: Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant looking like a pretty Victorian doll boy, Julian Sands, Bernadette Peters and Judy Davis. But this type of feminism is outdated for a reason. Terrible! The “progressive ladies” make fun of Emma Thompson’s character just because she’s excitable, likes bows and wears pink!! :( You never see this kind of anti-woman feminism anymore. MIAMI VICE (2006)Patrick tweeted this week that Miami Vice is a perfect movie and I was in the mood for a perfect movie. I’m no expert on action movies but I liked it...especially Gong Li and Colin Farrell. Cute couple. I like the way he throws them both to the ground. Colin Farrell’s a good really Romeo. (Very few actors are good at kissing/intimate scenes; even my favorite actors are pretty generic and forgettable in that area.) The soundtrack took me way back. EMMA (2020)I was harsh on this movie when it came out, thinking it “style-over-substance” and this Jane Austen story, in itself, too shallow. But I rewatched and see I was wrong. Emma is a great character and in this version she really faces her wrongs. She really eats some humble pie in some scenes and that’s cool. If you can get past the extreme (and overly precious, IMO) costumes, design choices and scoring, one can see the real star of this movie is the sweet friendship between Emma (Anya Taylor Joy) and her “protege” friend, Harriet (Mia Goth). They light up in each other’s company and unlike in other versions, they focus just as much on their real friendship as their mentor-mentee relationship. For example, only in this version of the movie does Emma not accept Mr. Knightley’s hand until she has first made things right with her friend. Cute girls. Just for them I think I may love this movie.