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If You Listen...

If you listen, you know twice as much.
You know everything you know and everything the other guy knows.

The Big Hit (2020)

The Big Hit (2020)

Go watch the 1998 version. One of my favorite movies ever.

This isn't a rip-off though, or a sequel, or a movie inspired by the former great - as I thought it might be. Rather it's a French movie about a theater play starring a bunch of criminals fresh out the pen.

It's not bad. It's not what I expected to watch, but they've got comradery, and passion, and it all ends with what I believe is a promising reform of the prison system? Something about this theatre programme being further funded? My French is a little rusty.

Good movie after all. Left me with a smile.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Vacation Friends (2021)

Vacation Friends (2021)

Anytime they include a RTJ track in one of these: Hell yeah. Even if it's just for a moment!

Though it comes back again. Hell yeah!

John Cena really overplays things sometimes, but overall... this the kind of overplayed comedy I can have a laugh with anyway.

It's party humor but more than that. It's friendship. It's life. It's about values that transcend this silly little thing they have going on here, and certain scenes - like the bit with the squirrel and the mushroom and the Ferrari follow-up - showcase a refreshing kind of creativity too.

You're not just stuck in the one house and wedding for the full duration of the film, either. You go places. You experience things.

It feels like... adventure. For real.

It had me thinking a bit of Neighbors at first, but while that one went over the top in a scary way this one does it more so in a genuine and heartfelt one.

No top score but I did really like this movie.

It's all in the moments. And the chemistry sometimes hits just perfect.

Like whenever Marcus (Lil Rel Howery) really loses his temper and suckerpunches a bro.

Meredith Hagner and Yvonne Orji are awesome too.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Americano (2011)

Americano (2011)

Did not expect to see Salma Hayek here! In a movie like this...

She looks amazing though. And plays her role well, of course.

The plot's simple. It's the story of a French man traveling back to the US to inherit his mother. That's all. Hayek comes along. They focus on scenery and interactions. The moments. Life. It's really down to Earth. It's not bad, but not my type of movie, maybe because... I didn't live this type of life? It's too artsy? It's as inconclusive as real life tends to be; not the life I flee to the movies to see?

It left me feeling a little confused. Not sure anymore. What what.

But it looked amazing.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6.

They really go in for the details with this one! Gary Oldman manages an impressive English accent, and on almost both looking and sounding like Bill Nighy too. Though I wonder why they call him Smiley...

It's a good movie. They focus on details. They capture emotion. They convey the moments. They convey the moods. It looks like they might have a greenscreen behind them when the plane roles in, but other than that I can't spot a thing that feels off. The pace is refreshingly slow and the roles are impeccably played yet... it feels vague. Too cryptic. Too inconclusive. What about Anne? About about the Russian?

What about a lot of things.

Maybe it's the kind of movie I'd appreciate more if I see it again, and really take in the details, but as it is it didn't go all the way for me, impeccable as everything may have been presented here.

I'm impressed yet left feeling cheated, somehow.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle


The Old Lady Detective Dream

I dreamt I was an old lady detective, solving crimes.

Which was new. I don't think I've been an old lady before.

It started with a swim though, in a very twisted part of the dream I think may have been partially inspired by Eminem's Godzilla music video, and/or an Alice in Chains live performance of pain that I watched yesterday (Love Hate Love). It's the song with the 'peel the skin of your face' and 'in my sick head' references and all (and a ton of emotion, really, impressive)...

So that's what I was listening to before I went to sleep. Great songs the both of those, but they do have somewhat sinister themes. That may impact dreams.

In the dream family members were going against each other.

I'm not sure who was going after who, but there was actively talk of killing people, and getting away with it, though I'm not sure of the reason... We had arrived at a mansion-type building at the top of a steep, slanting grassy green slope - I think by boat - and as we neared the house we realized that things were about to start going down for real.

I didn't want to be a part of it.

I made my way to the road instead, maybe to flee this debacle, and then I made my way through the woods, down to the water, and we swam away.

At this point it wasn't just me, but also my sister and brother - maybe others? I was holding a book, swimming difficultly as to not let the pages get wet, because for some reason this book was important. It was a central part of the whole operation. It was why everything was as it was, and why were finally escaping, and why we felt relieved - safe with the book in our hands - though I'm not sure why.

It looked a bit like the slightly worn and yellowed Clive Cussler novel I've had in my backpack for a while now. The Chase. Great read.

I think I did feel a little threatened by my kin on the swim though.

They closed in on me occasionally, in a playful way, yet it made me swim a little closer to the shoreline as we swam onward.

We were swimming the full length of a lake. It was a long swim. The sun shone and the shoreline consisted of sloping hills with thick greenery - save for an open shoreline at the very end, the canopies of the trees somewhat shadowing the open land.

And I was wearing a fleece sweater. A worn black and blue one I commonly wear indoors while I sit by the computer, with broken pocket zippers and SPORT texted in large letters on the front.

So that was the swim. I'm not sure how it went. The way to that mansion I think we were traveling by boat - possibly by hovercraft...

Moments later I was the old lady (not that old - middle-aged maybe - though with a calm, cheery and old-like demeanor... and graying hair), and I was in a small town, that reminded me of the Wild West, also on a slope.

It was pretty big. It was really more like a city, though the part of it that I started out in was smaller, and consisted mostly of wooden housing.

I was there to get to the bottom of something. Something bad had happened. Not sure what.

I talked to a bartender, who was very forthcoming but also avoiding.

He didn't reveal anything.

I asked about something that was broken and he said it had to be replaced with a very advanced sounding item, that he clearly came up with on the spot just to avoid suspicions, but though he clearly was suspicious I realized I could not do much there, so I left... a band of hooligans swept into the city around this time, but a (corrupt, I believe) Sheriff kept them at bay, saying I was there, and they'd best keep calm until I left.

Later on I was by a pond, partially covered with ice, or mist. I searched for a body who had crashed into the lake in a car, and I found it.

He seemed dead - the person I was with proclaimed - but I had certain skills with acupuncture, and I wiggled a needle somewhere around his throat area (been listening to vocal coaching videos too recently - lots of focus on the larynx - that might explain this bit) and suddenly he seemed stable again! He was going to wake up!

And it's around this point that I woke up from my dream.

There was a bit more to it. I was riding in a jeep towards said lake with said companion a little earlier - maybe we were chasing the guy who crashed into the lake... and I'm sure there were more nuances to our conversation, but this is all I recall.

I woke up and got up quick and I'm a little stressed today, so the memories fade quick, but it really was an interesting dream...

Different. A bit like The Glass Onion Mystery. A bit like Scream.

A bit like some odd mix of all aforementioned references and potential inspiration sources that only my mind could connect and concoct.

Wonder if I'll ever dream of being an old lady again...

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