Author Topic: What movies have you seen and anything about movies discussion  (Read 12166 times)

westendboy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 435
  • I have found my eastendgirl
Re: What movies have you seen and anything about movies discussion
« Reply #120 on: 04 August, 2022, 11:26:54 am »
  • [applaud]
  • [smite]
  •  
    657A584D-8352-4D41-BED2-C63E1536CE39.jpg


    Another six we just saw at home that I will say something…

    By now most people would have seen The Gray Man (2022) so I will skip the synopsis. It only took Hollywood 11 years to realise Ryan Gosling can be groomed as an action star. Since Drive (2011) I knew Gosling has the chops to become an action hero. If you have not seen that you are going to have a great time and I am afraid a much better time than The Gray Man. It is not that it’s bad, it’s just doesn’t require much brain juice to watch it. This is a smorgasbord of spy tropes and action cliches, done in a somewhat complicated manner right up until the Paris scene where a retired CIA head explains everything and all the pieces fall into place, not that you would be keeping all the globe-trotting and plot details in your head anyway. What scores in the movie is the gravity-defying action sequences. The opening action sequence culminating with a hand-to-hand fight amongst the firework cannons gave my home theatre a great work-out. I just got myself a new subwoofer a couple of weeks ago and I think it was grateful for the exercise and wanted to show off what it can do. It was money well-spent. I wished I could say The Gray Man is time well-spent though. It isn’t bad but I wished it had taken some risks like how Chris Evans play a bad guy with so much relish. One other thought: the storyline reminded me of Gregg Hurwitz’s Orphan X novels which have a more meaty story and plot to The Gray Man. You want an action movie franchise, look no further than Orphan X.

    After getting traumatised by Robert Eggers’ The Witch (2015) and The Lighthouse (2019), I swore to myself that I would watch anything by him. So in went The Northman (2022), a 4K uhd disc. After a laborious 2h 17min out it came. This just feels too indulgent. If his previous efforts have a Bergman-resque feel to them, this one felt like it went all in with its obtuse characterisations, cornball dialogue and manic manifestations. Taken scene by scene this is an incredible Viking revenge film, but taken as a whole it felt simplistic and hollow. It felt like Eggers was using all sorts of trickery just to mask the shallowness of the story. I turned to Choo at one point and asked her what she thought of it. She replied with one observation that it feels very Macbeth-like. She is right with that observation. It is definitely a well-made film but I won’t be watching this a second time.

    Ambulance (2022) gave my subwoofer another great workout with the gunshots and car crashes feeling like the real deal. Since the aural assault is so tremendously excellent I could forgive a lot. This one is about two brothers who robbed a bank and they steal an ambulance when everything goes ape-shit crazy. All the usual Michael Bay aesthetics and trickery are here: the frenetic editing, the chaotic mayhem, the electric pace and that 360-degree continuous shot around two dudes talking rocks. The whole thing feels illogical: how long can an ambulance evade a fleet of police cars? Answer, more than hours. This is a movie of extreme excesses and it was entertaining to see car crashes happen like they are vowels in a sentence. That said the vehicular mayhem can never surpass Mad Max: Fury Road and the bank heist can’t even be mentioned next to Heat. I can’t believe this got on the critics’ list for best movies from the first half of 2022. It must have been a poor first half of the year.

    Flee (2021) is an animated documentary telling the true story about a man's need to confront his past in order to truly have a future. Amin arrived as an unaccompanied minor in Denmark from Afghanistan. Today, at 36, he is a successful academic and is getting married to his long-time boyfriend. A secret he has been hiding for over 20 years threatens to ruin the life he has built for himself. For the first time, he is sharing his story with his close friend. This one hit me hard, really hard. I have no idea which animated feature won the Oscar but it should have been Flee. This was a sobering and soul-shattering experience and it made me count my blessings. Technically, this is a superb blending of documentary footage and creative animation. The complex and true story gradually expands to become a humanistic story and a history lesson. Moment by moment it breaks your heart as you ponder surely no human being could go through what the protagonist has gone through and then it hits a sublime last act that is the equivalent of cinematic catharsis. This is a must-see.

    The Last Waltz (1978) is widely termed as the best concert film ever made. I have yet to see Woodstock (1970) so I can’t make that claim… yet. Thanksgiving, 1976, San Francisco's Winterland: the Band performs its last concert after 16 years on the road. Some numbers they do alone, some songs include guest artists from Ronnie Hawkins (their first boss, when they were the Hawks) to Bob Dylan (their last, when as his backup and as a solo group, they came into their own). Martin Scorsese's camera explores the interactions onstage in the making of music. Offstage, he interviews the Band's five members, focusing on the nature of life on the road. The friendships, the harmonies, the hijinks, and the wear and tear add up to a last waltz. An interesting creative choice was to let the camera to only focus on the stuff that happened on stage and the camera captures the band and all the guests in their element. You will see the audience in the background and hear the din they make, but the camera refuses to focus on them, which adds to the mysticism of the performances. There are some standouts especially with Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Eric Clapton, but I don’t get the Joni Mitchell number. Granted this is not music I would play in my hifi, but seeing the band and singers giving one last hurrah is quite an intoxicating experience. The Criterion 4K uhd is the way to experience this.

    I have been on a sweet roll with Satyajit Ray’s films and I put on the Criterion pressing of The Music Room (1958) and what a masterpiece this is. Biswambhar Roy is a zamindar (landlord) and the last of his kind. With the title, he has none of the perquisites, inheriting diminishing lands that are being eroded by the neighbouring river. But he must maintain the lifestyle of his heritage. This ostentation is most apparent in the grandest room of his mansion, the music room. Here he inports the finest musicians and dancers to perform, and invites the area's most important commoners. His wife's entreaties to control spending are ignored, and the puberty party he throws for his son bring him down to the last few sacks of family jewels. Then, struck by tragedy, he locks the music room and slips into lethargy - until a final grand soiree consumes the last of his funds. Ray’s use of music and song is revolutionary here. Prior to The Music Room, music in Indian cinema has been used to smooth out edits and to underscore the emotions the director wants the audience to feel. The Music Room changed all that - Ray employed professional classical music players, singers and a dancer (the lone dancing sequence is one amazing sequence) to perform on screen making the music feel organically tied to the story. The story is wonderfully told and Ray makes a simple story complex and thought-provoking. Biswambhar Roy is spoiled, proud and selfish, but you can’t say he doesn’t love his family. Chhabi Biswas is mesmerising to watch, you will want to hate him but you will find it impossible to do that, pity him you will. Ray has ever said that once Biswas passed on he found himself not writing roles for middle-aged men anymore. With his passing gone was his muse. The character’s desire to want to one-up his neighbour is painfully funny and feels authentic because I have people in my workplace who behave like him. His comeuppance in the end is poetic and inevitable. When the movie was over I sat in my seat transfixed, my senses all shot up to the high heavens. I then devoured all the special features, including a two-hour documentary, over two sittings. All this because I didn’t want the magic to end. I have just one more Satyajit Ray film in my possession, The Big City (1963), and I hope to entice my wife to watch it with me.
    Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

    westendboy

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 435
    • I have found my eastendgirl
    Re: What movies have you seen and anything about movies discussion
    « Reply #121 on: 16 August, 2022, 16:32:20 pm »
  • [applaud]
  • [smite]
  •  
    0F0ECF2D-CDAB-4286-8F06-436F19343E96.jpg


    Time for another six…

    Lightyear (2022) begins with a short note that reminds us that in 1995 Andy saw a movie that made him rush out to get a Buzz Lightyear action figure and this is that movie. It’s all very exciting and stuff if you love the Toy Story movies but as it turns out the movie will not be going to infinity let alone to beyond. It’s not difficult to see why and not getting Tim Allen back to voice Buzz is the least of its problems. The best Pixar features possess a magical quality - you are watching cartoon characters but you can always see beyond that animated facade and see all the humanistic personifications. Lightyear lacks that. It’s a movie that is just serviceable entertainment and the theme of everyone needs someone is so lazily presented. It wanting to be woke by depicting a same sex relationship feels so unnecessary and even the villain is lacklustre. Disappointing and this entry cast a pale light over the amazing Toy Story trilogy.

    Prey (2022) is a back-to-basic prequel Predator movie and next to the 1987 original this is second best movie in the franchise and that’s saying a lot. After the runaway success of the Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie the studios tried to expand the world of the predators by exploring their origin and their new playgrounds to varying degrees of disaster (but I do have a sweet spot for Predators (2010)). Dan Trachtenberg cleverly doesn’t try to do too much but takes the franchise to what made it bloody fun. The time is the early 1700s, the land is Comanche Nation and the violence is the real deal. A predator landed on this place and at this time for some extra-curricular activities. I like this predator - his bio-mask looks primitive and his weapons are not quite as technologically developed as those in the later movies. No mercy, no qualms and no sportsmanship from this feral monster like the one encountered by Schwarzenegger. It’s a fight to the death for Naru (Amber Midthunder in a star making role), a skilled warrior, as she fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth. Trachtenberg does enough to make you vested in Naru’s journey and your heart will be parked in your mouth at all the close calls. This is a David vs Goliath story and I love underdog stories. It’s a shame this wasn’t released in the cinema because this is made for the biggest screen and big-ass bass thumpers. I only have one complaint: it could have been an authentic movie if the Comanche actually speak Comanche and what’s the deal with letting the French poachers speak French. But you know what… I just found out that Trachtenberg actually has a version with the Comanche speak Comanche and I am so watching Prey again.

    Boîte noire (2021) translates into Black Box and it is one absorbing French thriller. Matthieu is a young and talented black box analyst on a mission to solve the reason behind the deadly crash of a brand new aircraft. Yet, when the case is closed by authorities, Matthieu cannot help but sense there is something wrong with the evidence. As he listens to the tracks again, he starts detecting some seriously disturbing details. Could the tape have been modified? Going against his boss' orders, Matthieu begins his own rogue investigation - an obsessional and dangerous quest for truth that will quickly threat far more than his career. This was one absorbing movie and the procedural aspect is fascinating. The best parts of the movie reminded me of Blow Out (1981) and The Conversation (1974). Part of the joy of watching movies is to cathartically experience a world we are not privy to and in this case the black box device shows how by listening and dissecting sounds we can piece out what happened to the plane down to the second. Unfortunately, the procedural over-shadows the conspiracy plot but ultimately this is a very engrossing watch and I highly recommend this.

    The Souvenir: Part II (2021) depicts Julie who in the aftermath of her tumultuous relationship, begins to untangle her fraught love for him in making her graduation film, sorting fact from his elaborately constructed fiction. 30 minutes I turned to Choo and engaged her in a conversation about the story because if I didn’t she would have given up on it. This has critics’ vibe all over it and it’s the type of movie they can write a thesis on but that doesn’t mean it will go down easy on mainstream audience. I like it a lot because of various reasons. There are so many grace notes and lovely observations of caring human behaviour. I especially adore the mother-daughter relationship. It is when it hits the final arc where Julie shows her graduation film that I thought the story soar to a new level. It’s complex but readily accessible because emotional pain is universal. A very rewarding film if you are in the right frame of mind.

    Mahanagar ('The Big City') is a 1963 Indian Bengali-language drama film written and directed by Satyajit Ray. Starring Madhabi Mukherjee in the leading role and it tells the story of a housewife who disconcerts her traditionalist family by getting the job of a saleswoman. Shot in the first half of 1963 in Calcutta, this was also the first film directed by Ray set entirely in his native Calcutta, reflecting contemporary realities of the urban middle-class, where women going to work is no longer merely driven by ideas of emancipation but has become an economic reality. The film examines the effects of the confident working woman on patriarchal attitudes and social dynamics. I couldn’t entice Choo to watch this with me so I did it by my lonesome and it was such a profound experience. This must be the third time I have seen Madhabi Mukherjee and she is a remarkable and beautiful actress with the ability to convey a gamut of emotions with one look. I can understand why Satyajit Ray continues to use her in his films. It’s like Martin Scorsese using Al Pacino and Robert De Niro or Akira Kurosawa using Toshiro Mifune in many of their films. The storyteller needs the right muse and Madhabi Mukherjee is Satyajit Ray’s. I have been watching many of Ray’s masterpieces and I love the quiet way he tells his simple yet profound stories. In the course of just over two hours I was so vested in the fortunes of this lower-middle family that I was spellbound. How the patriarch gradually comes to terms with the daughter-in-law having to work is beautifully portrayed without high histrionics. The last arc is also a beauty - how Arati stands up against how the boss treats her female co-worker is laudable and how in times of adversity the husband and wife gets closer is also moving. The last shot is seared into my mind, more than a week since I saw this, and I am praying the family will stay strong together as they walk side by side into the crowd of the great unknown. Then I went through all the special features in the Criterion blu-ray to learn more of Ray’s art of storytelling and lo and behold there is another short film in it.

    Kapurush (‘The Coward’) (1965) - Amitabha Roy (Soumitra Chatterjee), a scriptwriter has a breakdown near a tea-estate and he is offered a place to stay by the estate manager (Haradhan Banerjee) at his bungalow. When he reaches, Amitabha finds out that the manager is married to his ex-girlfriend, Karuna (Madhabi Mukherjee). The manager has invited Amitabha to assuage his own boredom and fails to notice the uneasiness between his wife and the guest. The plot unfolds over a period of approximately one-day when they have dinner, breakfast and go for a picnic and small gestures rekindle Amitabha's memories. Through a series of flashbacks, he remembers their first meeting, courtship and separation (which was solely because of his lack of courage to make a commitment). Amitabha's current affluence and his suspicion of Karuna's unhappiness leads him to propose to Karuna once again but she is inclined to believe that the time to muster up courage has gone past. The plot is very straight-forward but Ray’s ability to make simple characters on the page utterly complex is an art-form. Ray knows and understands the woman’s plight in Indian society and is never afraid to highlight them. Juxtaposing Karuna’s strength in character against the inertness of a coward is a deft high wire act. The star is again Mukherjee. Watching her behave so sweet and innocent in the meet-cute and seeing her cold exterior in the end is something you need to see if you are in acting school. The final scene again plays in my mind long after it Karuna walks into the darkness leaving Amitabha floundering with his emotions.

    That’s it for my stash of Satyajit Ray’s films. I hope Criterion remaster more of them.

    It’s a long shot. If you have other Satyajit Ray movies in your collection, would you mind lending them to me, a fellow film lover.
    Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

    westendboy

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 435
    • I have found my eastendgirl
    Re: What movies have you seen and anything about movies discussion
    « Reply #122 on: 01 September, 2022, 22:27:47 pm »
  • [applaud]
  • [smite]
  •  
    2944790B-8E0F-4FAF-93CD-88E77AA6917B.jpg


    We watched quite a few and here are 6 of which I will say something…

    The Eternal Zero (2013) came on my radar because of a friend, actually I don’t know him personally but I do know his lovely wife. I am guessing she must have shown him some of my movie posts on FB and we got acquainted on FB before long. As things would have it, we finally met and the immediate subject we talked about was movies and that’s how this movie registered in my mind. He shared with me that the movie moved him a lot, so much so that he saw it twice on a flight. Who would do that - watching a movie twice on a flight when time is precious and the choices are so wide? It is also how passionate he shared it that got my antenna up. I am a sucker for this type of sharing. The story is about 26 year-old Kentaro who discovers his biological grandfather died as a kamikaze pilot during WW2. He and his sister begin an investigation into what kind of person he was, interviewing men who fought with him. There follows the story of Japanese Navy Air Service Platoon Sergeant Miyabe, as told by four of the men who knew him best. The film follows him through Pearl Harbor, the Midway Battle and the Battle for Okinawa. When he finally loses his will and respect for life he enrolls in the Special Attack Force and does something extraordinary for his wife whom he knows he may not see again. It is a decent movie even if the CGI is rather iffy. But I started seeing this through my friend’s eyes and I understand him a little better. This is an absorbing tale of a man who dares to challenge societal statutes, a man who loves life and thinks that a pointless death is a sin and a man who loves his wife so much he thinks of how he can provide for her even if he isn’t there anymore. Above all else, this is a defiant anti-war film and cast a sympathetic eye at kamikaze pilots. I particularly enjoy the narrative structure employed to tell the full story of the man. It goes to show how we can never know a person fully until you meet all the people whom he has touched in his life. I think I can understand my friend better and I wonder if he saw Departures (2008), the movie I shared with him that changed my life.

    Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022) is about a long suffering wife named Evelyn Wang. With her laundromat teetering on the brink of failure and her marriage to wimpy husband Waymond on the rocks, overworked Evelyn struggles to cope with everything, including a tattered relationship with her judgmental father Gong Gong and Joy, her daughter. And, as if facing a gloomy midlife crisis weren't enough, Evelyn must brace herself for an unpleasant meeting with an impersonal bureaucrat: Deirdre, the shabbily dressed IRS auditor. However, as the stern agent loses patience, an inexplicable multiverse rift becomes an eye-opening exploration of parallel realities. Will Evelyn jump down the rabbit hole? Can weary Evelyn fathom the irrepressible force of possibilities, tap into newfound powers, and prevent an evil entity from destroying the thin, countless layers of the unseen world? She sure can. But unlike many others, I couldn’t get into this zany film that seems to throw every idea on the wall hoping that something sticks. It felt like it was trying so hard to be different and then it happened; it became better and somewhere in the midst of the chaos it found its heart - a story about regrets, being contented and a mending of an estranged mother-daughter relationship. Who doesn’t like a mother-daughter story? Michelle Yeoh is a firecracker here and she is in fine form. My favourite scene is the one with the two rocks. I laughed so hard my tears streamed down.

    Nope (2022) is Jordan Peele’s third feature film and he is as ambitious as ever. After random objects falling from the sky result in the death of their father, ranch-owning siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood attempt to capture video evidence of an unidentified flying object with the help of tech salesman Angel Torres and documentarian Antlers Holst. This one just takes too long to get to the meat and there are just so many redundant scenes and characters. Tell me if the movie suffers if you take away Steven Yuen’s Jupe? He is a fascinating character but his story doesn’t quite gel with the main story. At times I felt like I was watching two movies. I do know what Peele is doing in that he is trying to put our fascination with grand spectacles under the microscope but the catharsis failed to happen for me. But I must say the sound design is spectacular. The cinema I was in wasn’t even an Atmos cinema but I felt I was enveloped by all the interesting sound effects. I told my wife that we should check out the blu-ray at home one day, but she said she had enough of Nope. In short, she said nope to me.

    In Official Competition (2021), a billionaire businessman in search of fame and social prestige decides to make a unique, groundbreaking film. To achieve this goal, he hires the best of the best: A stellar team consisting of famous filmmaker Lola Cuevas and two well-known actors who boast not only an enormous talent, but also an even bigger ego: Hollywood star Félix Rivero and aging theater thespian Iván Torres. They're both legends, but not exactly the best of friends. Through a series of increasingly hilarious tests set by Lola, Félix and Iván must confront not only each other, but also their own legacies. I was rolling with laughter at all the shenanigans happening in this movie. It brilliantly lampoons every aspect of filmmaking from the casting to the rehearsal to the shooting and all the way to the press conference on release day. It’s biting and acerbic but yet it is clear it is celebrating the film process. The screenplay is just brilliant and the acting impeccable.

    Then we did a double-bill of two genre films that totally subverted my expectations. I was expecting the usual stuff but there are enough smarts to set these two movies apart from the rest…

    X (2022) is set in 1979. Determined to trailblaze a new kind of cinema and reinvent the adult film genre, burlesque owner and ambitious producer Wayne recruits a group of young filmmakers to shoot their movie, The Farmer's Daughters. And, with his aspiring actress girlfriend Maxine starring in the film, Wayne is convinced they will all soon be famous. Before long, the team arrives at the carefully selected location, a remote cabin in rural Texas Wayne rented from creepy owners Howard and his wife Pearl, and they get to work. However, as visionary director RJ starts shooting steamy sequences right under the nose of their white-haired hosts, a silent undercurrent of malaise sends shivers down the spine. Can the crew survive the night's blood-curdling surprises? In short, many will die. It is the order they will die in and how they will die that will be a puzzle. The missus and I love to play the order and how-they-die game as we watch and this was a lot of fun. It’s the genres of smut and slasher all rolled into one delectable dish with a interesting premise. The photography is also quite a standout - watch out for a scene where a girl goes swimming in the lake that had my heart parked in my mouth.

    Dual (2022) - a woman opts for a cloning procedure after she receives a terminal diagnosis but when she recovers her attempts to have her clone decommissioned fail, leading to a court-mandated duel to the death. It’s yet another narrative about clones but I thought the ethical and moral aspects are interestingly presented and in such dead-panned earnestness that I was in stitches at various points. I love the training sequences with Aaron Paul’s character where he teaches the protagonist the fine art of killing her clone. That said, I have a feeling this will be a divisive film but I for one enjoyed it tremendously.

    Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

    westendboy

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 435
    • I have found my eastendgirl
    Re: What movies have you seen and anything about movies discussion
    « Reply #123 on: 12 September, 2022, 07:29:05 am »
  • [applaud]
  • [smite]
  •  
    31FD894A-470C-4E41-AD1D-009EAF7CBAAD.jpeg


    This will NOT be a spoiler free musing.

    While hanging out with my friend before a gig, he asked me what are the TV shows that are worth watching presently. I only said one: “Better Call Saul lah.” That last word is a discourse particle and it basically meant: goddammit, you have seen Breaking Bad, why have not seen Better Call Saul? It’s the best show on TV like right f$*king now!”

    Yes, the discourse particle “lah” can convey all that. Then a week later he sent me a message to say he is on S3 and thanked me for the push. The dude should be almost done by now.

    My wifey and I saw the finale “Saul Gone” on the evening it was available and it left me speechless. A 63-episode long journey has ended. I was emotionally spent. It was an ending that the story requires, not what the audience wants. There is no big “holy cow” moment, no out-of-character shocker and no coda to suggest a possible spin-off. It hits my palette full of flavour and I savoured every moment because in this time and age perfection isn’t easy.

    I know it’s coming to nearly a month since the finale dropped and the discourse around all 6 seasons of Better Call Saul has died down, but I owed it to the creators of the show to say something. Moreover, I have written something for every season and it feels criminal to not say something about the last one, which is perfect in every way. So, this is me, a little teary-eyed, a lump in my throat, a hitch in my breath, sitting in front of my iPad, bestowing my final parting words to one of the most consistent and ambitious TV shows ever.

    First of all, prequels are damn hard. Just ask George Lucas. For it to work, it has to forge a different path but yet retains a familiarity from the original, eventually moving out from its shadow. It has to create meaningful stakes and nail-biting tension in a story trajectory to which one and all know the ending to a host of characters. Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have accomplished the monumental task and more than succeed in painting complex characters’ motivations that will reach fruition in the seminal Breaking Bad.

    The empathy the writers have for the characters is breathtaking. There are so many lovingly observed details and ruefully affectionate humanism. Grace notes are peppered everywhere – from the prologues to the ending of every episode, some of which made our jaw dropped and my wife went “oh my god!” at one point. I believe that was episode 7 before the season went on a short hiatus.

    The achievement in this final season will go down into the history books. From Nacho’s heartbreaking departure to the Hamlin long con to the bloody Salamanca-Fring showdown to the black and white flash-forward sequences, the entire season is sheer masterclass. At times the playing with the three timelines is so whip-smart with the past informing the future and vice-versa. Who doesn’t love those Cinnabon scenes where the writers manipulated and toyed with the audience, sending us one way and in episode 10 made us realise we have been conned? It’s an episode that shows us that Jimmy will always be an incorrigible scoundrel but he will always be my favourite scoundrel.

    The show moves at the pace of mellifluence, cleverly mixing humour, violence and tragedy. Every build-up of a story arc has its ebb and flow, its rhythm and flow, its own unique slow-boil to perfection, never succumbing to the conventional and the last piece of the puzzle is never revealed until the time it’s apt.

    Beautiful passages intuit the profound complexities of characters who move through landscapes of love and violence with their capacities for goodness and evil locked silently inside them. We witness fleeting moments of absolute and natural purity in a world taken to the cleaners; characters who are still capable to love absolutely even when it is all over for them. Think about the last phone call Nacho made to his dad and Mike’s promise to Nacho over the phone. What a glorious sendoff to a character who is caught between a rock and a hard place. Talking about Mike never fails to give me a bittersweet feeling since we all know what happens to him in Breaking Bad. Is there such a term as a good bad guy?

    “What would you do if you had a time machine?”

    The finale proffers in its opening flashback scene and it would be the first of three Dickensian ghosts that will visit Jimmy with the last one essentially showing where Jimmy’s start of his moral breakdown begin. In the first one, Jimmy asks Mike what he would do with a time machine and what’s the point in his life he would change. The scene sets the tone of the finale – it’s about regrets and Jimmy gives a vague answer, preferring to use his showmanship to sidestep the hard questions about his life.

    The second one has Saul and Walter stuck in a safe house while waiting for the vacuum cleaner man to arrange their escape with a new identity. The Walter here is not the criminal mastermind in Breaking Bad. He is a grievous and angry man and he scoffs at the idea of a time machine but he does give an answer that serves to right the wrong retrospectively with audience who were sympathetic towards his plight through the years. Again Jimmy teeters around the question with a story about his wounded knee.

    The last one is the most loaded one, Jimmy’s biggest ghost of all. In a scene that happens before the first episode of Better Call Saul, we see Jimmy delivering groceries to his brother Chuck, who invites him to stay to talk about his work. Jimmy declines, thinking that Chuck will take the opportunity to put him down. Jimmy is never clear about his deepest regret but on seeing H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” in Chuck’s hand, I know this is the one. Just watch Chuck’s look of disappointment and you will all be sure that this is the moment Jimmy will use the time machine to go back to. Perhaps with a stronger brotherly bond it would never have to go down to the two brothers trying to destroy and sabotage each other’s career and legacy. So much pain, suffering and death could have been avoided.

    I have always felt mystery is a watchword in Better Call Saul. The mystery of what happens to the relationship between Jimmy and Kim is the most mysterious of all. We know Kim doesn’t appear in Breaking Bad, so I was always on tenterhooks with her character. If Jimmy/Saul is the heart of the show, Kim is the soul, and to lose the soul is to lose everything. Both of them are the show’s stealthy dynamo. When Kim’s arc ended, a sense of satisfaction washed over me and catharsis sets in. The unbreakable bond between the two leads is broken, and both of them are left broken – Kim gives up her lawyer license and hides behind her glasses doing menial work, while Jimmy becomes full-on Saul and totally breaks bad.

    With Saul, even with his eventual comeuppance, I always know he has one last card up his sleeve and he uses it to reduce his sentence to just seven years in a prison of his choice and with a generous serving of his favourite chocolate mint ice cream. The courtroom is his theatre and he is the maestro, conjuring a fiasco that makes the prosecution start pulling their hair. So the beautiful surprise here when Saul finally fesses up in court and for me I think he is confessing to Kim, is the one good and honest thing he has done. Saul becomes Jimmy and learns to live with what he has done.

    The last scene in prison does show that Jimmy is doing alright in prison and the scene with Jimmy and Kim together for one last time is the icing on the cake. The noir lighting with oblique lines of shadow drenching the couple is reminiscent of that marvellous shot in The Shawshank Redemption when Red and Andy are talking about hope being a wonderful and dangerous thing. Just having the shared cigarette as the only focal point of colour is a gorgeous move – it’s poignant, poetic and meaningful without being explicit. It almost feels like a secret moment and only the both of them know what it means. We see Jimmy through Kim’s eyes all the way till she rounds a corner and Jimmy disappears from view. It is at this point, the story, 7 years and 6 absolutely stunning seasons worth, finally ends.

    In a busy TV landscape, Better Call Saul has proved so many doubters wrong with some fabulous turns in storytelling. To embark on this project after the seminal Breaking Bad is probably an unwise move, which makes the achievement even more incredible. This is a story of a man who breaks bad because of circumstances but yet has the moral courage to finally break good.

    Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

    westendboy

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 435
    • I have found my eastendgirl
    Re: What movies have you seen and anything about movies discussion
    « Reply #124 on: 23 September, 2022, 13:15:21 pm »
  • [applaud]
  • [smite]
  •  
    E56F8ADE-CB5E-42FF-81B3-522BE423D293.jpg


    This a selection of movies and TV shows we have seen recently…

    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) has been on my must-see list for a long time. Senator Ranse Stoddard (James Stewart) returns to the city of Shinbone in the Wild West, to go to the funeral of his friend Tom Doniphon (John Wayne). To a journalist, who's wondering what the senator is doing in Shinbone, he tells how his career started as "the man who shot Liberty Valance". As a lawyer he came to Shinbone to bring law and order to the West by means of law books. When the stagecoach is held up by outlaws, he is savagely beaten by Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). He survives the attack and is nursed by his future wife, Hallie (Vera Miles). Hallie is being wooed by local rancher Tom Doniphon. Ranse teaches the people of Shinbone to read and write, all the while trying to find a way of bringing Valance to justice. He finally takes up a gun and faces Valance in a menacing shootout. I enjoyed this tremendously. This is John Ford in poetic contemplative mode making a chamber Western piece. He isn’t quite keen on showcasing heroism and isn’t trying to romanticise the Wild West with the huge panoramic shots. Here, he looks at how the marauding wheels of progress have no place for man with old souls. That is one way to read the film but in the last act I started seeing this as a melodramatic love triangle and the notion hits home resoundingly. We get three big stars in this and all of them brought their A game. The story is beautifully told. I thought I have seen all the great Westerns, apparently not. This one belongs in the pantheon of the great ones.

    Deep Cover (1992) is an action thriller starring Laurence Fishburne, Jeff Goldblum and Charles Martin Smith, and directed by veteran actor Bill Duke in his third directorial outing. Fishburne plays a police officer who goes undercover in a sting operation in Los Angeles to bring down a drug cartel. I put this on because it’s not long and after that we could dive into our usual TV shows, but I was so impressed with the movie that while Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were singing over the end credits, the wifey and I got to chatting about the cool things about it. The movie is rough around the edges, but it has a cool modern film noir vibe about it and there are so many original touches without sinking down into the usual undercover clichés. Some of the lines are so good and instantly memorable like this dialogue:

    John Hull: Gerry, what's the difference between a black man and a nigger?
    Carver: What?
    [John Hull punches Gerald Carver in the stomach]
    John Hull: The nigger's the one that would even think about telling you.

    I love the clever use of voice-over narration which I usually dislike. If you want an actor to do that it’s got to be either “Darth Vader” or Morgan Freeman, but Fishburne’s rich timbre ain’t no slough. I love the constant tussle between good and evil in his character which is a joy to watch. A very underrated gem. If you are in a mood for a crime thriller, give this a shot.

    Pachinko is a drama TV series based on the 2017 novel by Min Jin Lee. It is directed by Kogonada and Justin Chon. The historical sequences are helmed by the former, the modern sequences by the latter. It stars Youn Yuh-jung, Lee Min-Ho, Kim Min-ha and Jin Ha. This sweeping saga chronicles the hopes and dreams of a Korean immigrant family across four generations as they leave their homeland in an indomitable quest to survive and thrive. We wanted so much to love this because we love the novel, but the series stops short of being great because it is mired in the quicksand of melodrama and the editing feels erratic. Unlike the novel which tells the story chronologically, the TV show sees fit to flit the narrative from the past to the present and vice versa with no rhyme or reason. If done cleverly, the past can inform the present and the present can make you look at the past with reverence. But here the editing isn’t well thought out and I can’t see the purpose most of the time. That said, I still enjoyed many aspects of this show. The acting by the ensemble cast is absolutely stellar and the two actresses who play the main female protagonist are amazing. The pain and struggle etched on their mien is palpable. The cinematography is also brilliant especially in the historical sequences. That’s Kogonada for you, a director whose storytelling is in the framing of his shots. Here’s hoping season two will be much better.

    We enjoyed the gritty storytelling of Delhi Crime (2019) and never in my wildest dreams would I think there will be a season two because the story was complete. So we were excited to see this drop in Netflix and dived in with great excitement which was pretty much short-lived. The first season was based on an actual atrocious crime (thinking about it still made my skin crawl) and this new season is about criminals targeting the elderly, by that I mean bludgeoning them to death in their homes before having a party there. There are only 5 episodes and the first three are devoted to bureaucracy, red tape and questionable policing tactics, which is a waste of time. By the time the police come to their senses, they do lightning quick investigative work and zero in on the criminals by the last two episodes. They tried to flesh out the bad guys in two episodes but it was a hopeless case. This season really needed to cook longer and it tarnished the legacy of the first season.

    I was teaching kids writing and taught them how from a solid “what-if” situation they can weave an awesome story around it. As an example I told them the premise of Bron/Broen (2011-2018) which I was watching at that time. A dead body is found in the middle of the Oresund Bridge, the bridge connecting Copenhagen in Denmark with Malmo in Sweden. The location forces the Copenhagen and Malmo police to collaborate to find the murderer. This brings together Saga Noren and Martin Rohde, who could not be less similar. When the paramedics lift the body it crumbles into two halves and later during the autopsy it will be revealed the two separate halves belong to different bodies. How’s that for a premise? The kids went nuts and all wanted to find out what happens after that. We only took three evenings to finish season one which is a complete story. After the first night, Choo said we will finish it the next night. I felt her enthusiasm but I knew we couldn’t and counted the hours for her. Her disappointment felt real. This is solid stuff, twisty and dark, it is not afraid to show you the dark side of human nature and how far the villain will go to make someone suffer. There was an American remake which I saw but I would suggest to you to stay away from that. This Scandinavian crime series is the one to watch.

    I first try reading Mick Herron’s Slow Horses and hit the halfway mark before I gave up. It was just not for me because the plot moves so slow while Herron doubles down on pages and pages of back stories of the huge cast of characters. I switched to the TV series and it made me regret not finishing the novel. I shall give it another go down the road. The story: Slough House is a dumping ground for members of the intelligence service who've screwed up: left a service file on a train, blown a surveillance, or become drunkenly unreliable. They're the service's poor relations. The slow horses and most bitter among them is River Cartwright, whose days are spent transcribing mobile-phone conversations. But when a young man is abducted, and his kidnappers threaten to behead him live on the Internet, River sees an opportunity to redeem himself. But is the victim who he first appears to be? And what's the kidnappers' connection with a disgraced journalist? As the clock ticks on the execution, River finds that everyone involved has their own agenda. This is so fun to watch and at times it’s so funny… I know the next time I listen to Coldplay’s The Scientist I will wear a silly smile. A story of down and out intelligent service officers having a one last romp in the sun to redeem themselves is one cool premise. The kidnapping case is also complex with many twists. But the strongest asset here is the casting of Gary Oldman which is a riot, a sickening but lovable curmudgeon who always throwing sarcasm like arrows at his loser-subjects. As it turns out, all of it is just a front for a high functioning brain that has worked out all the angles. To see how everything unfolds is unbridled joy. It ends with a preview of season two. Holy cow! I hope season two begins tomorrow.
    Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

    westendboy

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 435
    • I have found my eastendgirl
    Re: What movies have you seen and anything about movies discussion
    « Reply #125 on: 05 October, 2022, 11:25:42 am »
  • [applaud]
  • [smite]
  •  
    23562BEF-B396-4C94-AE64-EF6964307887.jpg


    Another selection of 6 we have seen recently…

    Blonde (2022) reimagines the life of one of Hollywood's most enduring icons, Marilyn Monroe. From her volatile childhood as Norma Jeane, through her rise to stardom and romantic entanglements, 'Blonde' blurs the lines of fact and fiction to explore the widening split between her public and private selves. The internet got this one right - it’s exploitative and even bland but it’s like a train wreck you can’t avert your eyes from. A female actress being commodified by Hollywood to earn the studios millions and paying her pittance is nothing new. Did I learn anything new? Is there a new way to make a biopic? Nada. The poor girl has been exploited when she was alive and now she is being poked and skewered one more time for our pleasure. You know what… cancelled that last bit on “pleasure”. The movie just chews up 3 hours of your time without any fun to be had. If seeing the world through Monroe’s vagina is your type of fun, then perhaps there is fun to be had. But I for one was shocked and the scene serves no purpose by doing that outrageous shot. This is no Pedro Almodóvar who knows how to use the female genitalia as a statement. In Blonde, Andrew Dominik constantly flits from different lighting, aspect ratios, grades of black and white and colours like he is on drugs to mirror the drugged state of Monroe. The movie doesn’t just make Monroe turn in her grave, I think John F. Kennedy is probably doing a disco in his. The scene in question is Monroe giving JFK a BJ while secret service agents are outside the opened door. OMG… did this even happen? It is so disrespectful. It is also a dreary movie and feels so one-note with the note jackhammering into your consciousness for 3 solid hours. Is this a movie that you should watch? I don’t know but I already know some of you have just put it on your Netflix list. It’s a shame… Ana de Armas went over and above in a fearless performance in a thankless movie. Come award season I doubt anyone wants to remember this torrid 3 hours again.

    Svaha: The Sixth Finger (2019) was a recommendation by a friend and I always treat his recommendations seriously. This is a supernatural procedural in the vein of The Wailing (2016). Pastor Park (Lee Jung-jae just before his star exploded in Squid Game) works to expose suspicious religious groups. He's hired to look into the cult group Deer Mount. The plot is very dense and convoluted but it is never hard to follow. The atmosphere and tone is so intense that you will be paying attention at all the twists and turns. The subtext that religion is a business is palpable, especially when you see monks get driven in limousines, donning Gucci scarves and drinking coffee from a Nespresso machine. This is a very busy movie in that you are watching 4 interlacing stories - the investigating pastor, a police detective investigating a murder, juveniles being subsumed under the care of a nefarious abbot and a macabre story of twin sisters, one of which just might be the devil incarnate. The movie is far from perfect and thankfully doesn’t crumble under the weight of all the narratives. It is one of those rare movies you would want to discuss with a person immediately after it ends. Watch this gem on Netflix.

    Choo has never seen a Jackass movie so I decided to give her a dose. Jackass Forever (2022) celebrates the joy of being back together with your best friends and a perfectly executed shot of the penis. The original jackass crew return for another round of hilarious, wildly absurd and often dangerous displays of comedy with a little help from some exciting new cast. Choo really enjoyed this one but it does grate on the nerves after the hour mark and started getting repetitive. Our heartiest laughter was for the opening sequence which was so hilarious and it got even crazier when it was revealed that a penis and scrotum are disguised as props. We laughed so hard that I am sure anyone who walked past could hear us. The pranks are not only hilarious, they are downright painful. Johnny Knoxville had to go to the hospital for some serious injuries. I don’t know… I actually find the guys’ friendship so wonderfully endearing so I have never missed a Jackass movie and I am already looking forward to the next installment and this time I have a partner who will watch the nutty antics with me.

    There were two sold-out movies at the recently concluded HK Film Festival and sadly I couldn’t score tickets to the one I wanted to see. That’s when I found out director Kearen Pang’s previous effort 29+1 is on Disney+ so I cued it up for a watch and the movie put us in such an ebullient mood. The story is about two women on the cusp of turning 30 and their different approach to life. Christy Lam is coping with the same struggles shared by most women of the same age: unbearable stress at work, aging parents and a stagnant relationship with her partner. Sharing the same birthday as Christy is Wong Tim-Lok who lives a vastly different life. She has never been in love and her job is taking nowhere, but her optimism is her super power and she packs her bags to realise a childhood dream. The two women have never met and their personalities are polar opposites, but fate brings them together. Christy makes a temporary move into Wong’s apartment and through reading Wong’s diary Christy’s outlook begins to change. I love this tremendously and it is a very life-affirming movie. My favourite scene is the cute one where Wong confesses to her best friend she has never been touched and asks him if he could touch her breasts and make love to her. The scene is so endearing and poignant. You will have to watch it to find out what happens. The two leading actresses are wonderfully cast, but not everything about the movie works. Kearen Pang adapted her stage play into a movie but not all the theatrical stylistics work on film. If you are in a whimsical mood for a “second chance” movie, this is a good one.

    While watching The Green Mile on 4K (which is gorgeous BTW), we were treated to a short snippet of a movie that featured Fred Astaire doing song and dance number called Cheek to Cheek. I found out that the movie is Top Hat (1935) and I have the blu-ray languishing on my shelf and in it went. Showman Jerry Travers is working for producer Horace Hardwick in London. Jerry demonstrates his new dance steps late one night in Horace's hotel, much to the annoyance of sleeping Dale Tremont below. She goes upstairs to complain and the two are immediately attracted to each other. Complications arise when Dale mistakes Jerry for Horace. It’s the type of 1930s rom-com where everything is based on a case of mistaken identity. We know it, the characters don’t and you can see the ending from a mile away. The chemistry between Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is sizzling and their dancing is spectacular. It looks so effortless and so joyous when they dance that your spirits will be uplifted to cloud nine. The story and plot might not be sophisticated, but the song and dance numbers are something to behold.



    Roger Dodger (2202) is an exciting debut and it skewers the New York singles scene so well. In Manhattan, the arrogant, cynical and witty Roger Swanson (Campbell Scott) is a publicist of an advertisement agency owned by Joyce (Isabella Rossellini), who is also his lover. Joyce breaks their relationship due to the lack of maturity and manipulative behavior of Roger. Meanwhile, his sixteen years old nephew from Ohio Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) unexpectedly arrives in his office asking Roger to teach him how to seduce women. Along the night, Roger drags Nick into New York nightlife providing directions about women. The dialogue is clever with so much smarts that I found myself trying to remember as many as I could before another clever line ploughs in. The character of Roger is fascinating - a rampaging womaniser, a pitiless man, brimming with over-flowing confidence, impervious to rejections, Roger is portrayed as a tragic figure and his arc’s conclusion really hits home. Throughout the movie he dons endless masks until the final scene in his apartment when the mask is finally off and he is no longer funny. Jesse Eisenberg in his first major role is magnificent. The interplay between uncle and nephew is sizzling. A wonderful gem of a movie.








    Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

    westendboy

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 435
    • I have found my eastendgirl
    Re: What movies have you seen and anything about movies discussion
    « Reply #126 on: 29 October, 2022, 23:34:23 pm »
  • [applaud]
  • [smite]
  •  
    8DA543A6-193F-4B8C-9C68-F104E9C2E08F.jpg


    Time for another six…

    Silent Parade (2022), we saw at the cinema. Both of us read the Keigo Higashino novel and we were so excited to see the movie adaptation. The plot goes like this: a man suspected of murdering a young girl is released due to a lack of evidence. He begins taunting his victim's family but is soon found murdered. However, that young girl might not have been his only victim. This is the third film adaptation of the Detective Galileo series so it felt like comfort food for us. Unlike the previous films, this one has a whole plethora of characters and everyone is a cog in the machinery called murder. It is quite a faithful adaptation and I did have my doubts it could be adapted into a movie successfully because there are so many characters and the plot is so intricate. Any doubt would dissipate within 10 min because the the movie condenses pages of character studies, motivations and exposition within a short time. I was impressed. Thankfully, I couldn’t remember much of the plot and who the murderer was, but by the time it hit the last act it all started coming back to me. Now… this part is interesting… in the novel the last act with the falling action contains numerous revelations, each one felt like a gut punch, but the movie couldn’t replicate it successfully in the sense that it felt like it was trying to outwit the audience by being too clever. It reached a point it felt preposterous and the melodrama is too thick to the point of being stifling. I guess reading it allows the reader to set the whole narrative time table in a more believable time frame and the characters’ motivation are more defined. Still… this is an absorbing movie and the moment it ended we started a whole spirited discussion about it.

    7 Years of Night (2018) popped up on Disney+ while I was scouring through it. Our interest piqued because both of us read the novel which was a publishing phenomenon in Korea, but I vaguely remember it was a frustrating read. 30 minutes into the movie I remember why I found it frustrating. The plot goes like this: A man dumps a girl's body in a lake after accidentally killing her with his car on a dark and foggy night. Her enraged father soon hatches an elaborate plan to find the perpetrator and take revenge. Cold revenge is a dish the Korean cinema knows how to serve up but for the devious act to feel cathartic we must be able to be empathetic towards the revenge seeker. Here is where it fails big time because the dude is setup as a child abuser of the worst kind. So him seeking revenge over a person who does a hit and run on his daughter doesn’t make him sympathetic and the poor chap who ran the poor girl down is one morose self-serving crybaby. It is a shame because the setting of a dam is interesting and the premise is captivating. It is just the character motivations that are poorly drawn.

    Menace II Society (1993) is an urban nightmare which chronicles several days in the life of Caine Lawson, following his high-school graduation, as he attempts to escape his violent existence in the projects of Watts, CA. Try as he might, Caine will find it hard to navigate the revolving door of death. This is an unapologetic and unsentimental look at Black life in the hood from the Hughes brothers in their debut. The dialogue and situations feel like they are plugged out from real time. This is no popcorn movie because instant death can pop out from any corner and the intensity feels real. Compared to John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood (1991), Menace II Society loses out on lyricism and poetry, but the message is the same - if you stay in the hood, you are as good as dead; the only question is when. This is a searing watch. I can’t believe it took me this long to discover it.

    Short Cuts (1993) is a comedy-drama film, directed by Robert Altman. Filmed from a screenplay by Altman and Frank Barhydt, it is inspired by nine short stories and a poem by Raymond Carver. The film has a Los Angeles setting, which is substituted for the Pacific Northwest backdrop of Carver's stories. Short Cuts traces the actions of 22 principal characters, both in parallel and at occasional loose points of connection. The role of chance and luck is central to the film, and many of the stories concern death and infidelity. While helicopters overhead spray against a Medfly infestation a group of Los Angeles lives intersect, some casually, some to more lasting effect. Whilst they go out to concerts and jazz clubs and even have their pools cleaned, they also lie, drink, and cheat. Death itself seems never to be far away, even on a fishing trip. In typical Robert Altman style, a whole plethora of colourful characters intersecting in vivid ways. On paper it feels gimmicky, but on film you will never get that feeling. There is some fearless acting here, especially by Julianne Moore. Those of you who saw this will know what I mean by fearless. There are also some hilarious scenes and my favourite has to be the professional phone sex worker one. The husband just loves the dirty talk but when it comes to sexy time with him, the wife doesn’t want to put on her phone sex worker’s hat anymore to his frustration. Compared to Altman’s ensemble movies, I can’t say I was emotionally vested in this one as compared to Nashville (1975) and The Player (1992). The satire element doesn’t quite work for me. The Criterion DVD actually comes with the Robert Carver novel of all the short stories. It is now lying in my to-be-read pile.

    I was a huge fan of Frederick Forsyth’s bestseller, The Day of the Jackal. I remember it was a huge page-turner and it managed to get me rooting for the assassin. This movie was sitting in my collection for the longest time and I was thinking no way will it ever best the book. It doesn’t, but it comes really close. The plot goes like this: France, 1963. A group of disgruntled army officers have banded together and formed an organisation called the OAS. Their aim - to kill President Charles de Gaulle. After several failed attempts and the trial and execution of several of their leaders, the OAS hire an assassin in a final attempt to complete the task. He is The Jackal. The movie is as accomplished as the novel. It is so intricately plotted - the preparation, the manhunt and the assassination, everything comes together like an amazing dish with an explosion of tastes. Like the novel, I find myself rooting for the Jackal because of his professionalism and his fast thinking. I was also impressed with the detective who from pulling needles out of a haystack manages to be just a few steps behind the killer. This is as exciting and thrilling as it gets, heart parked in your mouth stuff and it is all choreographed like it is a dance. The only thing that kind of spoiled it for me is the quick falling action that felt like the director ran out of film. But don’t let what I said and the age of the movie stop you from checking this out. Hollywood just don’t make thrillers like this anymore and it will take 2h 30min from you in a snap.

    The Big Heat (1953) is an American film noir crime film directed by Fritz Lang starring Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame about a cop who takes on the crime syndicate that controls his city. I have seen Fritz Lang’s silent masterpiece Metropolis (1927) and the serial killer classic M (1931), but I have never seen any of his American films. The Big Heat is superb stuff and I love how he subtly brought German Expressionism into his Hollywood films. His use of female characters is quite different from how they are traditionally used in film noir. In Lang’s The Big Heat, the female characters hold their own against the male characters. The cast is impeccable and it is a brutally violent film especially if you view it in the time capsule of the 1950s. The violence administered on the women must have been quite shocking back in the 50s. It is a gritty and violent story superbly told by a masterful storyteller who dared to shake the status quo. This one is worth seeking out for a watch.
    Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

    westendboy

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 435
    • I have found my eastendgirl
    Re: What movies have you seen and anything about movies discussion
    « Reply #127 on: 02 November, 2022, 11:24:43 am »
  • [applaud]
  • [smite]
  •  
    E6873747-C7EF-4459-B2A1-81235780B040.jpg


    This is a quick musing on six shows we have seen or are currently watching, but I know this one will probably rub some of you the wrong way. Let me just say it’s all subjective and I am a “nobody”. My words count for crap and let’s just agree to disagree.

    Prime’s The Lord of the Rings: The Power of the Rings arrived dead to us, massacred by pretentious and languorous expositions. I am quite forgiving when it comes to shows especially when this is Prime’s most expensive baby and you can see the millions that go into every scene. But my wifey Choo doesn’t care and she can smell bullshit from afar. She could only get through 30min of each of the later episodes and would beg me to let her watch something else. At almost 70min for each episode, due care wasn’t given to pacing and structuring - it’s a bad move to set up plot threads for 70min with no meaningful culminations. At times I could see it from Choo’s point of view, a case in point would be the scene Galadriel has Adar chained up. Then comes one of the most ridiculous dialogues ever: Galadriel talks big and says he will be the last one she kills so he can see the destruction of his species. That sounded like a speech from a villain but that’s not the worse. Then Adar talks big and lo and behold Galadriel takes a knife to his throat and would have slitted it if not for the intervention of the dude who looks like Aragon. I turned to Choo and she turned to me and she said “see, see, absolute bullshit”. She is right… there are lots of these scenes where dialogue doesn’t fit the character’s arc. But the show has problems from the get go… it takes too long to set up all the plot threads and if you want to do multiple cross-cutting between disparate plot lines, every main character in every plot thread needs to be engagingly written so much so that when it stays on one you can’t wait to see what happens to the others. That doesn’t happen here, at least for us. I couldn’t care for any character here till the point I hope the good guys get wiped out. Oh… and the opening music is so weak and unmemorable unlike the Peter Jackson’s films which I can still remember the main refrain. Will we see S2? A definite yes for me (when the time comes I will need to convince Choo) because I hope the writing and pacing can improve.

    HBO’s House of the Dragon fares a tad better. The problem with this is that it will always be compared to Game of Thrones which is a hard act to follow. I am of the belief that if you want to do a prequel or a sequel from a successful show, you have to retain a familiarity from the original (thumbs up) and eventually move out of its shadow (thumbs down). It needs to create meaningful stakes and nail-biting tension in a story trajectory to which all of us know the ending (iffy jazz hands). This is a smorgasbord of nefarious characters with even more questionable intentions. Incest and jaw-drop sexual liaisons rule the day. It is dysfunctional family dynamics drive up to crazy levels. All that is fine because it is a GoT show, but the characters are so unlikable and I couldn’t root for anyone. Unlike GoT the dragons here have zero identity because they are so many. What made GoT amazing is the water cooler moments the next day because everyone would be talking about the huge moments and you better pray you have seen the episode last night or else you will need put on ear plugs the whole day. There are none of that in HofD. There are a few great moments of battle and jaw-dropping revelations, but there are too few and far in between and none of that rivalled that of GoT.

    Netflix’s Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story is unbingable, at least for me. It is uncomfortable to watch and something I can never crunch on popcorn while watching because I feel it is so disrespectful to the victims. The show is unsentimental, uncompromising and unapologetic in its portrayal of one of America’s most notorious serial killers, largely told from the point of view of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims, and dives deeply into the police incompetence and apathy that allowed the Wisconsin native to go on a multiyear killing spree. The series dramatizes at least 10 instances where Dahmer was almost apprehended but ultimately let go. The series also touch on how, Dahmer, a cleancut, good-looking guy, was repeatedly given a free pass by cops as well as by judges who were lenient when he had been charged with petty crimes. I like how it uses a non-linear plot to tell the Dahmer’s story and it asks some potent questions like are serial killers a product of nature or nurture. The show doesn’t give a conclusive answer and makes you think twice the next time you have a huge row with your significant other with your kid close by. This is a calling card performance for Evan Peters as Jeffery Dahmer.

    Killing Eve (S4) was something Choo didn’t want to see but I told her: “don’t you want to see how it ends?” So we finished this over two nights not because it was good but because we just want to rip off the plaster that was stuck to a wound that had healed. No point pulling it off slowly to lessen the pain; one quick rip and we can forget about it. There are some cool ideas in S4 like Villanelle seeking redemption by turning to God. We all know a leopard can’t change its spots even if Jesus Villanelle appears. That idea is fun but in the huge scheme of things feels illogical. It felt like padding to air. Eve’s arc also feels like the scrapping of the bottom of the barrel - one moment she incarcerates Villanelle and in the next moment she wants to save her. Make a decision woman! All the build-up about The Twelve goes to waste in the final act with zero cathartic release but the writers saved the worst for the final scene which felt like a slap to the my face. For me, Killing Eve essentially ended with S2 when Phoebe Waller-Bridge left the project.

    Veronica Mars S4, I had no idea existed. I thought everything ended with S3 and the movie, so I was so surprised to see it pop up on Prime. I love Veronica Mars and Kristen Bell is such a babe. The plot goes like this: Panic spreads through Neptune when a bomb goes off during spring break. Veronica and Keith are hired by the wealthy family of one victim injured in the bombing to find out who is responsible. This 2019 8-episode series brings back all the characters from the initial seasons in unmanipulative ways and also introduces some new characters. It’s a breeze to watch especially if like me you love the original series. The red herrings and sleight of hands are all here and the lovely banter between Veronica and her dad is so good. I swear if I have a kid this will be how I would mirror our relationship. It was going like clockwork until the ending that doesn’t sit down well with me. Why why why does Rob Thomas see fit to kill off Veronica’s dream ending. No no no….

    Disney+’s Andor has not ended but sometimes I see a need to give everyone a heads up on something amazing. This one is indeed that amazing. As a prequel to Rogue One, it works superbly. The series will explore a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor's journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It's an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero. It is all the more a profound experience watching this because we all know what happens to Cassian in Rogue One and it puts a lump in my throat. The world building is slow and meticulous. The tech is not revolutionary yet because this is still pre- Star Wars: A New Hope but for me the beauty of Andor is the tone. It’s dark and gritty unlike the vividness of other Star Wars series. It takes time to build every aspect as if it is trying to weed out the viewers ween on quick action and lightning fast stories. If you are patient, right at ep3 is when the rewards drop and you will suddenly realise what this is about. Then in ep4 to 5 you will have the rug pulled from under your feet because you thought you have it figured out and then ep6 will put a big smile on your face. It was literally Mission Impossible in space and then it goes off in another unpredictable tangent. Even the villains are wonderfully drawn, none of the usual world conquering ones. This is superb storytelling but patience is required and you will be rewarded, manifolds.









    Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

    westendboy

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 435
    • I have found my eastendgirl
    Re: What movies have you seen and anything about movies discussion
    « Reply #128 on: 16 November, 2022, 07:21:15 am »
  • [applaud]
  • [smite]
  •  
    88BCF9AE-AB11-4C87-8F5F-1AC472C0B8CB.jpg


    Time for another six. I will start with the best ones and end with my least favourite.

    Incantation (2022) was a recommendation by a friend and he seldom gets things wrong. This is a Taiwanese found footage horror movie and it is the highest grossing Taiwanese horror movie to date. The plot concerns Ruo-nan who, together with her documentary-making mates, broke a taboo six years ago. Because of that a curse descended on her for the ages. Six years later, she realises the curse has propagated to her daughter and she needs to hatch a plan to con the devil and save her daughter. The story sounds crazy and crazier stuff have happened. The movie is actually inspired by an actual mass hysteria case in 2005 where a Taiwanese family thought they are all possessed and used all sorts of ways to exorcise the devil, including throwing excrement and urine at each other. Eventually, a girl died. This movie taps into that vibe of mass hysteria with potency. It also does one clever thing – it makes the audience complicit. Just like Ringu (1998), it cleverly ties the audience to the plot till the point you are all in subconsciously. It literally breaks the fourth wall – allow me to give you a warning: I know it’s only a movie but I don’t fool around when it comes to Mr S.A. Tan, so when the protagonist looks at you pleadingly and asks you to chant some words, don’t do it. Flitting effortlessly between the past and the present, there are some good scares but for me its strongest asset is that it doesn’t spell every blank for you. My mind was constantly being engaged in the what, how and why. Find this on Netflix.

    All Quiet on the Western Front (2022) is the latest remake of the 1930 soul-shattering German classic. I have also seen the Hollywood 1979 TV movie which remains faithful to the original. Unlike its predecessor, this latest one is deathly bleak from start to the devastating end. There is one sweet scene in the middle act where the soldiers are shooting the wind and having fun, but if you know your war movies it is the calm before the storm. Technically, this one is flawless. The battle and carnage scenes are superbly shot. The message hits you hard in that war is so stupid, more so with regards to trench warfare during WWI. This is the war as seen from the perspective of the loser. In the end the young men lost not only their lives but their innocence and all for nothing but to satisfy the wimps of politicians and generals at the top who never had to suffer except for their loss of pride. This is the ultimate anti-war film and you will not be able to munch on popcorn while watching this. See this on Netflix.

    The Good Nurse (2022) is a 2022 American drama film starring Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne and features the serial killer Charles Cullen and the fellow nurse who suspects him. This is one engaging and absorbing watch. It’s impossible to turn your eyes away from Chastain and Redmayne’s stellar performances, but I feel what ultimately made the movie hover above similar medical-thriller movies is the characters’ level of compassion for each other. It made me believe that sometimes there is a fine sliver of goodness in human beings, even in serial killers. So the ending is especially effective and poignant. What doesn’t come up particularly strong in its portrayal is the hospitals’ guilt in letting the serial killer perpetrate his crimes from one hospital to the next all because the hospitals wanted to protect themselves. That said, this is still a very satisfying movie. See this on Netflix.

    Enola Holmes 2 (2022) is a serviceable sequel. It’s another mystery and a romp through Old England, but I seriously couldn’t remember much the moment the movie ended. I just knew it was fun while it lasted and it was also a fun immersion into Sherlock’s oeuvre, but it is just not memorable at all. You can see I can’t remember much by the number of words I devoted to this Netflix output.

    Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1 (2022) is an epic blockbuster and it’s a recommendation by a friend. He sold this to me by saying it is another Baahubali but all through its punishing runtime of 2h 47min I see none of the inventiveness of Baahubali. To me, it feels more like a Hindi version of Game of Thrones without dragons but with lots of nefarious characters vying for the throne. The plot: Vandiyathevan sets out to cross the Chola land to deliver a message from the Crown Prince Aditha Karikalan. Kundavai attempts to establish political peace as vassals and petty chieftains plot against the throne. Unrest grips the land as a long-tailed comet arrives, signalling a time of turmoil. I get the big picture but I had trouble holding the characters’ names and motivations in my puny brain and after a while I just got lost. It isn’t difficult to see that every party wants the throne and it’s practically House of the Dragon all over again but the intricacies of the plot was totally lost on me. I did get a hoot watching Vandiyathevan who is a lovable rascal sort with the uncanny ability to weave in and out of trouble leaving a trail of confusion in his wake. See this on Prime.

    Don’t Worry Darling (2022) is a psychological thriller about a 1950s housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community who begins to worry that his glamorous company could be hiding disturbing secrets. Prior to watching this, my social media feed was already bombarded with many negative news of the film’s reportedly troubled production being the subject of media attention and controversy, including conflicting reports regarding the circumstances of Shia LaBeouf’s departure and alleged conflicts between Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh. I kept all the bad press at bay and let the movie speak for itself but it turned out to be a beautiful mess. It feels like an extended Twilight Zone episode with little payoff. It’s the type of movie that Jordan Peele makes very well because he always manages to bring a freshness to it, but not here. The plot only simmers when it should be reaching a slow boil. When it eventually reaches the final scene it felt like a tight slap across my face with no reveal or satisfying explanation. If the movie remains watchable it is because of Florence Pugh’s marvellous performance. See this on HBO but you have been warned.
    Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

    westendboy

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 435
    • I have found my eastendgirl
    Re: What movies have you seen and anything about movies discussion
    « Reply #129 on: 26 November, 2022, 11:17:58 am »
  • [applaud]
  • [smite]
  •  
    2C9ED49A-6E10-447D-BF12-09BB783918DC.jpg


    Choo asked for something light yesterday and I scanned my shelf for something I have yet to see. Ricky Gervais’ Extras (2005 - 2007) beamed at me. We binged both seasons and the finale in one day and it has been a while we laughed so hard.

    Meet Andy Millman (Ricky Gervais), actor. He tells everyone he is one but doesn’t have a line of dialogue. Not content with being just a film extra, he longs to have a speaking part. His agent (Stephen Merchant) is useless and doesn’t help his cause. Andy’s only friend in the world is Maggie (Ashley Jenson), a fellow extra and a hopeless romantic.

    It’s just 6 half-hour episodes per season (that’s the reason we could binge through so easily) and every episode is cleverly structured with a guest star. Get ready to see mega stars like Ben Stiller, Samuel L. Jackson, Kate Winslet, Patrick Stewart, Orlando Bloom, David Bowie, Ian McKellan, Daniel Radcliffe, Chris Martin, Robert De Niro and others making a fool of themselves. They are all your basic pathetic narcissist - Orlando Bloom thinks he is the world’s sexiest man and can’t understand why Maggie isn’t falling for him. Chris Martin’s aim is to plug his band’s latest album. Patrick Stewart is a bald chicopek and wants to use his mind control superpower (he swears it’s not a copy from his X-men character) to make women tear off their clothes. All so hilarious and they are so game and sporting. The best one has to be Kate Winslet who espouses that if you want an Oscar you have to play a Holocaust victim or a handicapped person. She is quite right.

    All the guest stars are just icing on the cake. The main stars are the ones that bind the plot and shape it to become a clear-eyed commentary on how fame and fortune can change a person. Gervais is perfect in the role which is essentially a sad bastard role and I mean it affectionately. He is the loser but you will easily feel for him and be vested in his journey. In terms of humour, Extras doesn’t draw any line - toilet humour, racist jokes, jokes on the handicapped and gays, sexual innuendos, nothing is taboo. It was floundering a little in the beginning but mid-way through the first season it understands its purpose. The guest stars aren’t gimmicks anymore but become warning signs to Andy of the danger of fame. But such is the journey towards fame and glory that you think you will never succumb to the pitfalls. The plot gradually opens to a wider array of characters that includes Andy’s agent and his assistant Barry from Eastenders and he is indeed from Eastenders. There isn’t a need to fill in back stories but just allow situations to drive the humour and this it does marvellously well. Soon the guest stars aren’t just there as “guest of the week” but become integral to the plot. Watch out for a scene where David Bowie just tears into Andy while tinkling ivories and singing the most hurtful words in the most melodious voice. The best jokes should hurt and they hurt like hell here.

    Extras just proves that The Office is not a one-hot wonder. In fact, things got on so well I decided to also show Choo The Office (2001 - 2003).
    Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

    westendboy

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 435
    • I have found my eastendgirl
    Re: What movies have you seen and anything about movies discussion
    « Reply #130 on: 29 November, 2022, 08:22:04 am »
  • [applaud]
  • [smite]
  •  
    FB20CF2C-52A1-4378-B9E7-58841E8C9C5A.jpg


    The Office is great comedy bar none. A trendsetter, a trail blazer and a barnstomper. So simple in concept but an absolute blast in execution.

    I have been wanting to show Choo this show for the longest time and I eased her in through the American version, but after the end of the first episode she said it wasn’t her thing and my heart sank to the pits. There is just no way she would endear towards the British version. This was years ago and as things would have it we were holed up at home and I decided to show her Gervais’ later work Extras and she really got into it. It’s time to try the The Office, the British original and this time she got in 100% behind it.

    The Office is a mockumentary about life in a mid-sized suboffice paper merchants in a bleak British industrial town, where manager David Brent (Ricky Gervais) thinks he's the coolest, funniest, and most popular boss ever. He isn't. That doesn't stop him from embarrassing himself in front of the cameras on a regular basis, whether from his political sermonizing, his stand-up 'comedy', or his incredibly unique dancing. Meanwhile, long-suffering Tim (Martin Freeman) longs after Dawn (Lucy Davis) the engaged receptionist and keeps himself sane by playing childish practical jokes on his insufferable, army-obsessed deskmate Gareth (Mackenzie Crook). Will the Slough office be closed? Will the BBC give David a game show? Will Tim and Dawn end up with each other? And more importantly, will Gareth realize what a hopeless prat he is?

    The mockumentary format is used in a refreshing way and by training its camera on the mundanity of an office it makes the most unlikeliest place in the modern world become the nexus of great comedy and aching hearts. To its credit, one of the things it does so well is that it presented people, with all their physical and character imperfections, like real people. Because not every successful sitcom has characters looking like the cast of Friends. The obtrusive camera is always all seeing and has the uncanny ability to be in the right situation every time capturing all the embarrassed and shocked emotions at every turn. In that sense, it is a rollercoaster ride and it makes the audience feel involved in that we think we manage to capture a secret emotion.

    Every episode has a simple narrative structure - it is basically comedic vignettes with a romantic subplot running alongside, but it is absorbing because if you had ever worked in an office the characters it will remind you of those times of varied emotions. The show doesn’t depend on whether you even like Gervais’ superb turn as a clueless boss, but your feelings over his David Brent character will see-saw between utterly obnoxious to absolutely pitiful. The dude is an accident waiting to happen but yet he is never a bad person. There are times I want him to fall so hard he will never stand up, but there are also times I want him to have his day in the sun. Damn chap is also a wordsmith…

    Excalibur
    by David Brent

    I froze your tears and made a dagger
    And stabbed it in my cock forever
    It stays there like Excalibur
    Are you my Arthur?
    Say you are

    Take this cool, dark, steel-ed blade
    Steal it
    Sheath it in your lake
    I’d drown with you to be together
    Must you breathe?
    Cos I need heaven

    If the whole show were just about Brent I am very sure it wouldn’t have worked. Gareth, the gullible, is always lovable and the romantic “will they, won’t they” tinglings between Tim and Dawn are the glue that made the show work. The sweetness and poignancy never feels adulterated like Hollywood. There is something so pure about it and when their lips finally meet in the Christmas episode it’s a moment cemented in heaven.

    The Office never overstays its welcome. 14 episodes over 2 seasons and 2 Christmas specials feel like the most complete story, but when it ended I still find myself wondering about the fates of all the principal characters - Will Gareth stop being a gullible prat? Will David finally see beyond himself and find true love? Will Tim and Dawn be happy for the rest of their lives? Well, I am pretty sure about the last point.

    The Office is original and painfully funny. It’s subversive and by never romantising the characters, it makes everything feel grounded. Now, I have to find the perfect time to try the American one with Choo.
    Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

    westendboy

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 435
    • I have found my eastendgirl
    Re: What movies have you seen and anything about movies discussion
    « Reply #131 on: 02 December, 2022, 11:48:38 am »
  • [applaud]
  • [smite]
  •  
    ADDA52D3-9390-415B-9C7E-0616CFE2F1D4.jpg


    School’s out. Time for movies and shows and I am watching faster than I can write about them…

    I have lost count over how many times I have seen the Infernal Affairs trilogy and when Criterion recently acquired the films for a makeover I had to get the boxset. The films have never looked and sounded this good till now. But I know when the 4K UHD gets an eventual release I would go nuts again. The films need no introduction. If you have never seen at least the first film (Martin Scorsese’s remake, The Departed, doesn’t count), you don’t know what you are missing . Released in 2002, Infernal Affairs (无间道) jolted the Hong Kong crime drama back to life with an audacious and bracing story of two opposing moles in the police force and the triad. The two moles are played by superstars Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Andy Lau Tak-wah. Navigating slippery slopes of moral quandaries, the gripping movies reflect the fractured state of the Hong Kong society. There are lots of scholarly discourse on the films and I am probably the last person you should seek to get your intellectual questions about the films answered. What I am utterly impressed about the trilogy is at which precise moment did the movies go from mere storytelling to grand mythology. Even the words 无间道 have entered the lexicon of the Hong Kong social fabric and the words can function as a noun, an adjective and even as a verb. Was it when it swept the Hong Kong Film Awards? Or when it became a commercial and critical hit? It’s hard to pinpoint the precise moment and I doubt the filmmakers set out to make a crime drama for the ages; they merely wanted to do something different from the glut of crime films overflowing the Hong Kong cinema.

    Y Tu Mamá También (2001), I have seen a number of times but I recently acquired the Criterion blu-ray and I can attest this is the most pleasing version I have seen. This is a road comedy by Alfonso Cuarón and the plot sounds like a sex comedy – a pair of horny Mexico City teenagers invites a gorgeous older Spanish woman to a road trip to a faraway beach that may or may not exist. The boys are just hoping they get into the pants of the woman and the beach isn’t important but for the woman the beach is a necessary destination. This is one of my favourite movies of all time. It’s funny in an authentic way and yet it has oodles of heart. It manages to ride that fine line between comedy and drama, with a coming-of-age spine that culminates with a scene that strips all three bare emotionally and physically. This is one of those rare movies I can watch again at different stages of my life and still see something new each time. This most recent watch I appreciate how Cuarón cleverly juxtaposes the antics and sexual tension in the car with the turmoil happening in the country outside their car, making you vested in the cloistered lives of the threesome.

    We followed that up with two last Jean-Pierre Melville movies in my possession…

    Le Doulos (1962) is about a burglar preparing for a big heist with a trusted friend that might be as untrustworthy as he. This film is in The Empire top 500 films of all time list and it has all the ingredients of film noir: seedy characters, double-crossing, cigarettes, hats, big cars, trench coats, guns, loot, cocktail bars, femme fatales, dead bodies, betrayal, all mixed up in a potent concoction in which loyalty and treachery rides a fine line. This is equal measure style and story, each feeding the other, reaching an ending that is a foregone conclusion but it doesn’t make it less effective and affective.

    Un Flic (1972) starts with a bank robbery in small town which ends with one of the robbers being wounded. The loot from the robbery is just an asset for the even more spectacular heist. Simon, gang leader and Paris night club owner, must also deal with police comissaire Edouard Colemane, who happens to be his good friend. Melville bowed out of the cinema with this film and in a sense it is a synthesis of themes he has always been interested in: codes of loyalty and honour. The two bookended heist sequences are remarkably shot and realised. The latter one even features a helicopter shot in real time, real heart parked in your mouth stuff. This is a fitting epitaph to one of the finest careers in contemporary cinema and it has been a privilege to see all his greatest films which include Le Cercle Rouge (1970), The Army of Shadows (1969), Le Samouraï (1967), Le Deuxième Souffle (1966) and Bob le Flambeur (1956). And hey… I just found out I am still in possession of one more, Léon Morin, Priest (1961) and I will line that up for a watch soon.

    Phenomena is a 1985 Italian supernatural horror giallo film directed by Dario Argento and starring a young Jennifer Connelly. The plot concerns an American girl at a remote Swiss boarding school who discovers she has psychic powers that allow her to communicate with insects, and uses them to pursue a serial killer who is butchering young women at and around the school. I think this is the final Argento I have yet to see and I have already devoured all his top tier stuff. I wouldn’t say this is top tier Argento but it comes real close. If the sum total doesn’t quite land, the parts all worked on their own. Some of the scenes are amazingly orchestrated like the one that has thousands of flies swarming at a window which really creeped me out. The movie is a lot of fun and that extended ending is awesome. I saw this on 4K uhd and the colours and details really popped.

    Eve’s Bayou (1997) begins with one of the best opening lines ever: “The summer I killed my father, I was ten years old…” Then it builds a world and a plethora of characters to a sublime conclusion that has pathos and catharsis. I have never heard of the movie and I picked up the Criterion blu-ray on a wimp. The storytelling is evocative and delves into 1960s Louisiana like it is a Shangri-La unseen by the world. It is also rooted in Creole history, folklore and mysticism, opening a door to a culture not privy by the contemporary world. There have been quite a few Black ensemble films but the difference here is that this is helmed by a female director, Kasi Lemmons in her fabulous debut. Two mesmerising hours whizzed by in this profound exploration into trauma, forgiveness and the elusive nature of memories.
    Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?