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CRKrueger

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One of my favorite horror movies. Probably top 10. The atmosphere is great, the sense of dread, the haunting misery. "I live in the weak and the wounded" always gets me.
The Danvers State Hospital is an amazing building, and Session 9 does a good job of showing it off. I believe the only props they added were a couple character specific ones and some chains in one of the rooms, everything else is as they found it. And the tunnels are real. They had tunnels running between buildings and to the power plant on site. Wonderfully creepy location that's pretty much the archetypical haunted asylum. It possibly was Lovecraft's inspiration for the Arkham Sanitorium, which influenced Batman's Arkham, but I believe the Batman video games went back to the original source for modeling their Arkham. It's the setting of the Call of Cthulhu adventure, Genius Loci, although honestly that adventure underuses the actual hospital. Lotta history in that there building.
Unfortunately it was mostly torn down not long after Session 9 filmed. It's a real shame.
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Session Nine is one of those films that sticks with you to raise the hair on the back of your neck whenever you think of it. It’s one of those great movies that you don’t want to see too often because it never becomes just a movie. It always pulls you in, and has been mentioned, it’s many things, but pleasant isn’t one of them.
 

urbwar

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I rented a set of short films and an anthology movie from the popcorn frights film festival.

The shorts were mostly really good, though the last one honestly did nothing for me. It started with the amusing "Everytime we meet for Ice Cream, your whole fucking face explodes", which is very bizarre love story. It also features Koreatown Ghost Story with Margaret Cho (which was part of last week's Portland Horror Film festival, but I didn't get the shorts block it was part of as I knew it was airing here).

The anthology, Apps, was series of 4 shorts and 1 wraparound story (with the character in the wraparound story reading news reports of the events in each of the shorts). It starts off really well, with a group of college students planning to live stream a rape of a female student. Except things don't go as they thought it would. The middle 2 were ok, but nothing special, and the last one sort of turned me off at first, as it was a corny take on Firestarter. I kind of liked it at the end, and the finale to the wraparound story (called Freakdate) wasn't bad. Looks like a sequel is going to be made called App2.

As for why it was called Apps? Cell phones seem to play a part in every story; usually apps involving livestreaming by different characters, though one was a program to spy on people.

There's a bit of gore in two of the stories, and the other special effects are a little on the cheesy side. Still, it was entertaining enough, and I always enjoy watching films from outside the US.

There's one or two other films I want to check out, and I might check out the international shorts. I haven't fully decided just yet.
 

carpocratian

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I have been watching "Beforeigners" on HBO Max. I just stumbled across it while looking through the original series. It is a 6 episode Norwegian series where people from three past time periods (Stone Age, Norse, and 19th Century) start appearing in modern times. There is a murder mystery aspect of it, but the most interesting part is the worldbuilding. It looks like it will get a second season.
 

chuckdee

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Just finished Invicible. Now I see what the hype was about. Gave me serious Irredeemable vibes (if you've not read that and Incorruptible, I'd recommend both).
 

BedrockBrendan

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Watched Friends of Eddie Coyle. Very authentic feeling Boston crime film. My only complaint honestly, in terms of authenticity, is some of the accents fall short on the 'er' words (usually Rs are pronounced with those but it depends). But that is pretty minor and very few movies get the accent right. This looked more familiar to me as a local because it focused a lot on everyday places.

Did a discussion of it on the podcast: https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-8piv9-10b7d7a
 

Voros

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Watched Friends of Eddie Coyle. Very authentic feeling Boston crime film. My only complaint honestly, in terms of authenticity, is some of the accents fall short on the 'er' words (usually Rs are pronounced with those but it depends). But that is pretty minor and very few movies get the accent right. This looked more familiar to me as a local because it focused a lot on everyday places.

Did a discussion of it on the podcast: https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-8piv9-10b7d7a

Cool love this film and the book it is based on. The same great author, a former Boston lawyer (maybe even DA?) George V. Higgins also wrote the terrific book Coogan's Bluff which was adapted into Killing Them Softly with Brad Pitt.

Course you probably cover that on the podcast, lol, will give it a listen!
 

Voros

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Caught the Summer of Soul on Disney+. Really good but even at 2hrs+ it left me wanting to hear more of the amazing gospel acts (Staple Singers!) and Sly Stone. There is also a brief clip of the great avant-funk guitarist Sonny Sharrock but you don't even get to hear him as his feedback-ridden assault (very Hendrix) probably wouldn't have gone over well on Disney+!

Hopefully when it gets a blu release they include loads more footage.


On a related note, not sure if I already posted about the mind-blowing documentary on Prime featuring of the one and only Aretha Franklin performing her live gospel masterpiece Amazing Grace.

Seeing her at her peak is so moving, I don't think there was a better American singer, period, except for Mahalia Jackson, featured in the aforementioned Summer of Soul.

 

Nobby-W

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Got bored of watching anime and started binging Narcos - and it's a solid 9/10 so far. Props to Wagner Moura, who plays Pablo Escobar. He does a really good job of playing the villain as a 3 dimensional character, where it could just as easily have been a cardboard cutout. According to the interwebs he picked up a couple of award nominations for the performance.

While American cop shows are usually pretty terrible, I haven't been this impressed with one since True Detective 1.
 
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Voros

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Got bored of watching anime and started binging Narcos - and it's a solid 9/10 so far. Props to Wagner Moura, who plays Pablo Escobar. He does a really good job of playing the villain as a 3 dimensional character, where it could just as easily have been a cardboard cutout.

While American cop shows are usually pretty terrible, I haven't been this impressed with one since True Detective 1.

The first season of Narcos: Mexico is even better! Michael Pena is terrific when finally given a leading role.
 

3rik

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We're watching Kim's Convenience on Netflix during afternoon coffee on weekend days. Nothing cerebral or groundbreaking, but lightly digestible and quite enjoyable.
 

BedrockBrendan

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Cool love this film and the book it is based on. The same great author, a former Boston lawyer (maybe even DA?) George V. Higgins also wrote the terrific book Coogan's Bluff which was adapted into Killing Them Softly with Brad Pitt.

Course you probably cover that on the podcast, lol, will give it a listen!
Killing them Softly is something I've been meaning to watch for a long time (didn't know it was based on that book: haven't read any Higgins, but we do mention it a bit because I read about it when I was looking up the film). Most of the crime or true crime books I like to read are those ones written by either former mobsters or stuff like Donnie Brasco (haven't read any Lehane either even though I've seen the movies based on his books). But may start checking out Higgins after watching The Friends of Eddie Coyle. I do include my mom reading the line from the movie scene in Eddie Coyle at about the 104:00 mark to illustrate how a real Boston accent sounds with some of those words (and the same bit of dialogue is clipped from the film at the start of the podcast).
 

Acmegamer

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BedrockBrendan BedrockBrendan I enjoyed "Killing Them Softly", it was a bit different from that type of movie that it kept me interested. Not that I usually don't enjoy that genre, I do actually. I just found myself enjoying how of rolled along.

3rik 3rik My wife really enjoyed "Kim's Convenience" on Netflix. I've watched quite a few but not all of them with her. It's got some fun laughs, its pretty much your typical 30 minute sitcom. Which is a nice change of pace when you want to mix it up from watching something like "Killing Them Softly" as an example. lol Variety, a good thing.
 

hawkeyefan

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My wife and I have been alternating between watching Babylon Berlin and Mythic Quest.

Babylon Berlin is on Netflix, it’s a German show that’s a kind of noir set during the late 1920s in the Weimar Republic, prior to Nazi party’s rise to power. Tom Tykwer (sp?) is the showrunner, and I know him from making Cloud Atlas with the Wachowskis, and he doesn’t disappoint. There are some really powerful visuals and well crafted scenes, and it often leans into the surreal in a cool way. The first two seasons were excellent. The third is less concise than the first two as they seem to be branching out into multiple stories, but still very good. We’re like halfway through it, so I’m hoping some of the more nebulous strands kind of come together. We’ll see.

Mythic Quest is on Apple TV and is by Rob McElhenny of Always Sunny. It’s a kind of office comedy about an MMORPG. I imagine a lot of folks here are familiar with it and I’m late to the train, but with so many different streaming services these days it’s hard to keep upon everything. What a great show. Bonkers at times, touching at others, and every now and then they just throw a curveball of an episode at you that’s like a little mini film and is totally brilliant.

Two really good shows if anyone’s looking for something to check out.
 

Jamfke

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Just finished watching Intersect on Amazon Prime...

Bad to the ASS!

Excellent Cthulhu film! If you haven't already checked it out, do it!

 

hawkeyefan

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Watched The Green Knight tonight. I’m glad I watched it and I enjoyed it…but I have some mixed feelings about it.

It’s very impressive in many ways. The visuals are great. Dev Patel’s performance is great. The kind of minimalism with the Arthurian details was a smart and effective choice, I think.

And although there are some times in the film when ambiguity is fitting, there are a couple of times where it’s not.

I’ll watch it again at some point I expect, and perhaps a second viewing will prove more enjoyable. It seems like the kind of movie that deserves a second viewing.
 

Mankcam

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Babylon Berlin is on Netflix, it’s a German show that’s a kind of noir set during the late 1920s in the Weimar Republic, prior to Nazi party’s rise to power. Tom Tykwer (sp?) is the showrunner, and I know him from making Cloud Atlas with the Wachowskis, and he doesn’t disappoint. There are some really powerful visuals and well crafted scenes, and it often leans into the surreal in a cool way. The first two seasons were excellent. The third is less concise than the first two as they seem to be branching out into multiple stories, but still very good. We’re like halfway through it, so I’m hoping some of the more nebulous strands kind of come together. We’ll see.
I have recently been reading Chaosium's book Berlin The Wicked City, which is a Weimar Republic setting book for the Call of Cthulhu rpg.
It's really very good, and I was looking for some cinema to help inspire me in case I run it. I have Cabaret on my watch list, but Babylon Berlin looks pretty much exactly what I'm after.

I took a look at the trailer, and now I'm definately putting it in my watchlist on Netflix. Thanks for the tip! :thumbsup:

 

Voros

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I'm a big fan of the often surreal provocateur Leo Carax (Pola X, Holy Motors) and his latest, a bizarre musical featuring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard with music by The Sparks, is a delirious extension of the classic French musicals by Jacque Demy with material (sex, sf, puppets and murder) not usually part of the genre.



Loved it but to say it isn't for everyone is an understatement. Great to see Driver using his star power to help make a film like this.
 

urbwar

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Just finished watching Intersect on Amazon Prime...

Bad to the ASS!

Excellent Cthulhu film! If you haven't already checked it out, do it!


I saw that as part of last year's HP Lovecraft film festival. I enjoyed it, but found The Return (which also involved some time travel) to be a somewhat better film. Especially since it's the first film I've seen that weaponizes a time machine (which in the context of the film, makes sense).
 

Ralph Dula

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Especially since it's the first film I've seen that weaponizes a time machine (which in the context of the film, makes sense).

if you’re interested in prose with such a concept I recommend the Faction Paradox appearances in the old BBC Doctor Who books, and the books published on them by other publishers, but strangely they focus on the concept less. I understand the audio dramas go back to using time as a weapon, but I haven’t listened to any.
 

Lofgeornost

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Over the weekend, I was The Courier (2020), which is about spies in the early 1960s; there was apparently another film with exactly the same title made the year before, though it was a contemporary crime drama.

The Courier (2020) - Copy.jpg

The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Greville Wynne, a British salesman of industrial equipment who often traveled to the East bloc and was recruited by MI6 and the C.I.A. to act as a go-between with Oleg Penkovsky (played by the Ukranian actor Merab Ninidze), a G.R.U. colonel who wanted to pass information to the West. Penkovsky's leaks proved invaluable, especially in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The shot above is a scene of Wynne's original recruitment by British intelligence agent Dickie Franks (a real person, well-played by Angus Wright) and C.I.A. operative Emily Donovan (a made-up composite character, played by Rachel Brosnahan).

Cumberbatch was believable as the amateur thrown into the world of espionage, chosen in part because he seemed so run-of-the mill. The film did a good job with his home life, I thought, and my favorite character was his wife, who seemed to be the brains of the family. I may be biased, though, since she was played by the Irish actress Jessie Buckley, and I recall liking her as a similarly smart and outspoken woman in a TV version of The Woman in White.

Though of course it simplifies and elides a good deal, I gather the movie is fairly close to the facts until the climax, when things become a good deal more dramatic and people more heroic than in real life. Film-makers are free to rework history in the interest of drama or a good story, of course, but I found myself wondering if a more accurate and less emotionally-satisfying ending wouldn't have served the movie better.
 
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TristramEvans

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Watched The Green Knight.

I've not read any reviews online as yet, but I expect it to be a very polarizing film, without a large degree of mass market appeal. It embraces allegory and symbolism in a way that is completely foreign to modern cinema, up to and including an extended conversation about colours about halfway through the film that I recall thinking to myself as I was watching: how many people outside of medieval scholars are going to get this? And that is simply the tip of the iceberg, as the writer/director clearly did their research in regards to medieval symbolism (and I mean that specifically, this isn't simply "symbolism" in the Lynch of Jodorowsky sense, where it relies on interpretation of the viewer, I noted authentic medieval symbolism woven into the story, relying on or illustrating a medieval mindset). In this regards it is astoundingly ambitious, though I think it is doomed to a cult audience (medieval terminology pun intended).

Though it takes liberties with the story as any film does, it was more faithful than I expected, and I daresay I may like the ending of the film better than that of the poem. I should not here that I have been somewhat obsessed with the Gawain and the Green Knight poem since my teens, owning several translations (along with The Pearl by the same anonymous author). In that way I almost feel like this was a film made specifically for me - which, unfortunately, is never a good sign, financially or for conventional success.

Which isn't to say I thought it was a perfect film - there are places I think it stumbled slightly. I was also expecting, based on the trailer, more of a folk horror element to the film, and while there is some of that, overall it does not push the horror as far as I would have preferred, and is actually rather tame in that regard.

I intend to rewatch the previous adaption which I first encountered in my early childhood today - The Sword of the Valiant (with Sean Connery) just as a comparison.
 

under_score

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Watched The Green Knight.

I've not read any reviews online as yet, but I expect it to be a very polarizing film, without a large degree of mass market appeal. It embraces allegory and symbolism in a way that is completely foreign to modern cinema, up to and including an extended conversation about colours about halfway through the film that I recall thinking to myself as I was watching: how many people outside of medieval scholars are going to get this? And that is simply the tip of the iceberg, as the writer/director clearly did their research in regards to medieval symbolism (and I mean that specifically, this isn't simply "symbolism" in the Lynch of Jodorowsky sense, where it relies on interpretation of the viewer, I noted authentic medieval symbolism woven into the story, relying on or illustrating a medieval mindset). In this regards it is astoundingly ambitious, though I think it is doomed to a cult audience (medieval terminology pun intended).

Though it takes liberties with the story as any film does, it was more faithful than I expected, and I daresay I may like the ending of the film better than that of the poem. I should not here that I have been somewhat obsessed with the Gawain and the Green Knight poem since my teens, owning several translations (along with The Pearl by the same anonymous author). In that way I almost feel like this was a film made specifically for me - which, unfortunately, is never a good sign, financially or for conventional success.

Which isn't to say I thought it was a perfect film - there are places I think it stumbled slightly. I was also expecting, based on the trailer, more of a folk horror element to the film, and while there is some of that, overall it does not push the horror as far as I would have preferred, and is actually rather tame in that regard.

I intend to rewatch the previous adaption which I first encountered in my early childhood today - The Sword of the Valiant (with Sean Connery) just as a comparison.
Weird, seems like we come at the movie from very similar backgrounds, but I hated the movie. The story is one I grew up with; my father used to read it to us when we were kids. I believe it was this edition we owned:
1629743378909.png
And while I wouldn't call myself a scholar, medieval history and Arthurian legend occupy a substantial section of my bookshelves.

But I felt like the movie actively disliked the material, that the movie presented itself as being better than its source. Not just for straying from the source material, or that line I mentioned upthread about improving upon stories, the tone of the movie was so wearisome and self-aware in its art-house presentation that it seemed kind of mean spirited in a way.
 

TristramEvans

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Weird, seems like we come at the movie from very similar backgrounds, but I hated the movie. The story is one I grew up with; my father used to read it to us when we were kids. I believe it was this edition we owned:
View attachment 34810
And while I wouldn't call myself a scholar, medieval history and Arthurian legend occupy a substantial section of my bookshelves.

But I felt like the movie actively disliked the material, that the movie presented itself as being better than its source. Not just for straying from the source material, or that line I mentioned upthread about improving upon stories, the tone of the movie was so wearisome and self-aware in its art-house presentation that it seemed kind of mean spirited in a way.

I can see that interpretation. I read that particular line in a different way, but I am notoriously oblivious to pretension.

Why did you think the filmmaker disliked the material though? Is it that Gawain was a more morally ambiguous character rather than a knight, and his fate more cynical/tragic?
 

under_score

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I can see that interpretation. I read that particular line in a different way, but I am notoriously oblivious to pretension.

Why did you think the filmmaker disliked the material though? Is it that Gawain was a more morally ambiguous character rather than a knight, and his fate more cynical/tragic?
Yes to both, but also the general grimness of the movie got to me. Everything is dark, dirty, weak, and miserable. The opening shot is a guy unconscious slumped against a filthy hovel, whether dead or drunk isn't stated, and the town appears to be burning in the background, and some people steal his horse, and that's just the opening celebrations of Christmas I guess. There are no likable characters anywhere.
I like my Arthurian legend just a little more optimistic.
 

TristramEvans

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Yes to both, but also the general grimness of the movie got to me. Everything is dark, dirty, weak, and miserable. The opening shot is a guy unconscious slumped against a filthy hovel, whether dead or drunk isn't stated, and the town appears to be burning in the background, and some people steal his horse, and that's just the opening celebrations of Christmas I guess. There are no likable characters anywhere.
I like my Arthurian legend just a little more optimistic.

I can understand that, from what I can tell, they excised all Arthurian elements entirely. I suppose it didn't bother me because I went in expecting horror, rather than Chivalric romance.
 

under_score

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I can understand that, from what I can tell, they excised all Arthurian elements entirely. I suppose it didn't bother me because I went in expecting horror, rather than Chivalric romance.
And I went in expecting pretension masquerading as horror, cause I have a lot of angry bias against A24 films in general, so this movie never stood a chance.
 

TristramEvans

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And I went in expecting pretension masquerading as horror, cause I have a lot of angry bias against A24 films in general, so this movie never stood a chance.

I'm not familiar with A24 overall. What else have they done?
 

TristramEvans

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The Witch, Midsommar, Hereditary, It Comes at Night, The Lighthouse (which I actually really enjoyed). They do some other stuff as well, like Ex Machina and Lady Bird, but those ones are the more horror audience marketed ones.

Hmm, of those I loved The Witch, The Lighthouse, and Ex Machina. The Witch is one of my favourite films of the last decade.


I think I enjoyed It Comes at Night OK but forgot about it until just looking it up now, so it must not have left much of an impression. Haven't seen Lady Bird.

I enjoyed Hereditary well enough, though I think a bit more fuss was made over it than it deserved - it was like 3 good set pieces connected by moody people being moody. The mother did a pretty good Shelly Duvall in The Shining impression though.

Midsommar is the only one I was pretty bleh about as basically just a Wickerman pastiche with "relationship drama" substituted for horror.
 

hawkeyefan

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But I felt like the movie actively disliked the material, that the movie presented itself as being better than its source.

I didn't take that as a disliking of the source material....I took it as an attempt to not rely upon the source material to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

For example, I watched it with my wife, and she's not nearly the geek that I am when it comes to this stuff. She isn't familiar with Gawain at all. But she does know of things like King Arthur and Merlin and the Round Table and Excalibur because they're so present in pop culture and other movies and shows.

I'm gonna spoiler tag the below just in case.

For this film, you don't need to know those things. They're not referenced as such, but they're all in the film. So if you know Merlin....then you know exactly who he is in the movie, even though he never speaks, and basically does two things. You never hear the name King Arthur, or Lady Guenivere....you never hear reference to the round table, but there it is.

I don't think the movie was perfect....I may have preferred some things to have been handled differently.....but I actually quite liked how they handled all the Arthurian elements. If you had no idea that this was an Arthurian story, then you don't lose anything....this film shows you all you need to see. If you are a fan of Arthurian myth, then there is a lot in here, just in subtle and minor ways.
 

under_score

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Hmm, of those I loved The Witch, The Lighthouse, and Ex Machina. The Witch is one of my favourite films of the last decade.


I think I enjoyed It Comes at Night OK but forgot about it until just looking it up now, so it must not have left much of an impression. Haven't seen Lady Bird.

I enjoyed Hereditary well enough, though I think a bit more fuss was made over it than it deserved - it was like 3 good set pieces connected by moody people being moody. The mother did a pretty good Shelly Duvall in The Shining impression though.

Midsommar is the only one I was pretty bleh about as basically just a Wickerman pastiche with "relationship drama" substituted for horror.
The Witch is pretty good, but I'll take Blood on Satan's Claw or Witchfinder General over it any day.
Midsommar does nothing to improve on Wickerman.
It Comes at Night is the most egregious for marketing itself as a horror movie, where almost all the trailer scenes were from dream sequences, so all the scary door and a lurking monster (and the title of the film) made the movie seem like it would be something completely different. A tense drama of people struggling to get along in the post-apocalypse is an ok idea, but I think I was mostly frustrated by their actions and felt like all the tension was built off people just not communicating.
Hereditary I just really dislike everything about. It's just an uncomfortable movie with a terrible ending. Kind of reminded me of Paranormal Activity 3. But yes, Toni Collette gives a great performance as an exceptional stressed person.
 

TristramEvans

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Heredity ended right where I thought it got interesting.

I'd love a sequel where an archdemon is in the body of a teenage boy, worshipped by a cult - if they made it a teen comedy, with like this lord of evil having to navigate high school
 

Stan

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We caught the first two episodes of What If? They're interesting but they're mainly shallow action movies with some easter eggs. The fun part is you get as much action as a typical movie in 35 minutes.
 

Lofgeornost

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Last night, courtesy of Netflix, I saw Separate Tables (1958), a drama about unhappy people living in a hotel in Bournemouth. It is based on two separate one-act plays with the same setting combined, and hence has two plot-lines. In one, an alcoholic American writer (Burt Lancaster) who is engaged to the hotel's manager (Wendy Hiller) receives a visit from his ex-wife, an aging model (Rita Hayworth). Their marriage was rocky and obsessive, to say the least--Lancaster's character was jailed for nearly beating his wife to death before their divorce. Despite the star power involved, I found their story less engaging than the other one, perhaps because attitudes to violence in marriage have changed since the 1950s. The second tale is about a retired 'major,' played by David Niven, who has some major skeletons in his closet and is attempting to keep them from coming out. He has a close friendship with a sheltered and repressed young woman (Deborah Kerr), but her domineering mother disapproves and attempts to ruin him.

Niven and Hiller both won Academy Awards for their performances, he for best actor, she for best supporting actress:

separatetables1958.jpg
 
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