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Movies, Movies, Movies! #18 – December 31, 2019

Let the Sunshine In (2011)
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Xavier Beauvois, Philippe Katerine, Josiane Balasko, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Bruno Podalydès, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Gérard Depardieu, Alex Descas, Laurent Grévill, Sandrine Dumas
Director: Claire Denis
Synopsis: Binoche, who I really like as an actress, plays a woman who is ever-searching for Mr. Right and always comes up short. Or, maybe she’s met him already once or many times but doesn’t have a clue on how to figure out what or who is right for her. Physically she looks like a million bucks, but emotionally she’s a basket case. The movie was frustrating in how far her self-perception of her worth and her insights were at odds with reality and what she kept putting herself through. Also, they threw an anachronistic tidbit in at the end with Depardieu, who was nowhere else in the movie, that I didn’t “get” or was a golden key (in the director’s mind) to understanding at a deeper level – or was just poor editing. If you watch the movie, I’d be interested in your thoughts on it.
Grade: 6
Etc. French film with English subtitles; listed as a comedy, but it was NOT one

Badland (2019)
Starring: Kevin Makely, Bruce Dern, Trace Adkins, Wes Studi, Mira Sorvino, Tony Todd, Jeff Fahey, James Russo, Amanda Wyss, Ryan Kelley, Todd A. Robinson, Aidan Bristow, Lauren Francesca
Director: Justin Lee
Synopsis: As I was watching, I thought oh no, this is a “bad-B” movie. I thought this because I’d never seen the main actor, Kevin Makely, before, the type of film seemed “cheap,” and the plot was moving very VERY slowly. Then I started thinking this isn’t a piece of inferior gunk, it’s just different, probably best categorized as an independent film. Once I shifted perspective and took it for what it was, I began to appreciate the quality. The cast does have familiar faces in it (see the cast list above.) What it does do is slow the pacing down enough to give the actors time enough to show their stuff.

Now, on to the plot. The main character is a Pinkerton agent, Detective Matthias Breecher, who has been hired by a Senator to hunt down 3 Confederate war criminals after the Civil War. He is a man of great integrity and is committed to the task. The plot revolves around the search for the 3 and his adventures along the way.
Grade: 7.5-8

Tigerland (2000)
Starring: Colin Farrell, Matthew Davis, Tom Guiry, Clifton Collins Jr., Shea Whigham, Russell Richardson, Nick Searcy, Afemo Omilami, James MacDonald, Cole Hauser, Tory Kittles
Director: Joel Schumacher
Synopsis: Since I had never heard of this military basic training movie, I thought how good could it be. I got it from the library because I wanted to see Tory Kittles in another movie and saw he had written a song for the film. Colin Farrell steals the show in Tigerland. Tigerland is the closest thing to conditions in Viet Nam that can be conjured by Uncle Sam so the green troops being shipped to the real thing the following week aren’t 100% blindsided. First though the greenies have to get through the rest of the training. Farrell, as Private Roland Bozz, does everything in his power to get booted from basic, but the government is so desperate for troops it is willing to overlook a lot. Tigerland does an excellent job of showing recruits with “flaws” and how they deal with the various flaws. Anyone who is a fan of military training movies and hasn’t seen this one, you are really missing out.
Grade: 8.5
Etc. I went to wikipedia to see if there was a real Tigerland or if it was fictitious and found the following:
Tigerland was the name of a U.S. Army training camp during the mid-1960s to early 1970s located at Fort Polk, Louisiana as part of the U.S. Army Advanced Infantry Training Center. As often the last stop for new infantrymen on their way to Vietnam, Tigerland was established in humid and muggy Fort Polk in order to closely mimic the environmental conditions of South Vietnam. While the film’s setting is loosely based on Fort Polk, the film was actually filmed at Camp Blanding in Florida.

A Vigilante (2019)
Starring: Olivia Wilde, Morgan Spector, Kyle Catlett, Chuck Cooper, Tonye Patano, Betsy Aidem, Judy Marte, C.J. Wilson
Director: Sarah Daggar-Nickson
Synopsis: Olivia gives a deeply moving performance as a recovering target of a battering spouse. As a participant of a battering support group she also has morphed into a vigilante for others who find themselves in abusive circumstances they are too afraid to get out of. On the surface this seems like it would benefit everyone, but it doesn’t take long to figure out that the damage that has been done to the vigilante goes way deeper than the surface.
Grade: 7
Etc. May be triggering for anyone who has been in a domestic violence relationship as battering target. It’s difficult to watch this movie at times; it is even more difficult to acknowledge there are people who have suffered such things and are currently suffering such things.

Red Beard (1965)
Starring: Toshirô Mifune, Yuzo Kayama, Kamatari Fujiwara, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Tatsuyoshi Ehara, Reiko Dan, Akemi Negishi
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Synopsis: Spoiled aspiring-to-be-shogun’s-personal-physician intern gets sent against his will to the poor people’s clinic and hospital to work with the seasoned and sage-like Red Beard. Longer movies have time to develop characters and this one does an excellent job of showing the spoiled brat intern what real healing is all about.
Grade: 9
Etc. 3 hours 5 minutes (watched in 2 sessions); Japanese with English subtitles

Last Blood (2019)
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Yvette Monreal, Adriana Barraza, Óscar Jaenada, Joaquín Cosio, Marco de la O, Jessica Madsen, Louis Mandylor, Atanas Srebrev
Director: Adrian Grunberg
Synopsis: Rambo is in his 70s now, living on a ranch with his “daughter” and his “granddaughter” (not sure blood relationship) but he manages to stay busy keeping his intricate network of tunnels under the property in military-style shape. Granddaughter is about to go to college but then hears from her friend in Mexico that she found her bio-dad. This is where the trouble begins. For fans of the Rambo/First Blood movies, it’s the same old song and dance. Who knew there were so many creative ways to kill and maim?
Grade: 6
Etc. Obscene levels of violence of all kinds in this one.

17 thoughts on “Movies, Movies, Movies! #18 – December 31, 2019

  1. When I watch something…I must watch every sequel… I don’t know why I’m like that. I need to watch Rambo. The first two were great to me. The other ones not as much but I want to see the complete set.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It make sense. I’m like that with some. Like the Alien movies. The only one I don’t much care for is the last one. I was p*ssed when they didn’t have Noomi Rapace (or Sigourney!) in it.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I really liked Prometheus also. I didn’t know when I watched it that it was a prequel… I was just watching it and then realized it. Imagine my surprise lol.

            Liked by 1 person

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