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Tabu (1988)

Tabu (1988)

It's an age old tale, from an old age.

A young girl falls in love with the man - or maybe the man with the girl - maybe it's mutual. The man leaves, the girl waits, the man doesn't come back, the girl's pregnant, she gets a coin to remember him by but that's all there is, and she needs someone to support her and the baby...

Is there a religious message here, maybe? Not sure.

The story feels older than it is, yet the movie feels newer. Neither quality nor depiction of the story feels old at all. It's cold and real and gripping, and in depicting an old time as it does it feels like it could've been filmed at basically any time. But it's clear and crisp and looks newer. It also reminds me of Carrie, in the innocence without outlet... and then they just let it all burn down.

It's not quite that drastic here, but you know, same feel. Authentic. Thought it'd be more sultry but... it was unexpectedly innocent instead.

All the more feeling then.

Polish movie too. They're good with that too it seems. I'd just seen the Pitbull movies before this, and they're brutal in a way this one definitely isn't but... also very real.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Hancock (2008)

Hancock (2008)

Here's that movie of that super-hero has-been! The drunk immortal. The Will Smith one. The one with the world against him, where he meets a PR guy set on making the world a better place, ready to help him on his path to redemption...

It has a killer twist along the way too. Maybe if you were a woman you'd get clued in early - I certainly didn't!

Also really didn't expect the You should sue McDonalds cause they fucked you up! line! How did they get away with that in a movie like this.

I'm impressed. It's a small thing, but still. Seems to reflect how much Hancock just doesn't care at the start of the movie, but in the end...

Well you'll see. You can guess I expect. But even then it still is one bad-ass movie. Of the unconventional hero, the one with the world against him though he really could take on the whole world.

I guess he kinda does too, for starters... refreshingly different.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

Die Spalte (1971)

Die Spalte (1971)

AKA Making Of A Prostitute.

A teenager lays a small bundle on the tracks, but before the oncoming train can cross it, an older woman saves the baby from certain death. She keeps little Sophie with her and raises her to be a well-behaved girl...

...but then the old lady dies, and that girl's taken from her home, and she learns firsthand that the world's not all sun and roses after all.

Sophie (the teenager) is played by Gerhild Berktold - a relatively unknown actress who played just this and one other movie - but she was great here. There's a review by one of her kids on IMDB:

I have only watched this movie once, but when I watched it, it was amazing. My mother is the main actress, Gerhild Berktold. She did not let us, her children, watch the movie, until she thought we were mature enough to see it. The brutality of the situation that Sophie is put in, in the movie, is extremely realistic. Yes, there is violence, aggression, nudity, sex, drugs...all of that. But that was the situation of those times, and a very realistic portrayal.
This movie is hard to come across nowadays. If you do, please enjoy it, and know that the woman in that movie has turned out to be the most amazing woman and the best mother I could have ever asked for.

I'm glad she has a family. Glad she's alright. I wonder how I'd feel about either of my parents being in a movie like this, and if I'd ever review it...

I am glad one of her children did, though! Makes the story all the more interesting somehow. Makes her real. Ties to reality.

The movie ends abruptly, but they're right. It's harsh, but realistic. Desperate.

I wondered if it was riding on the hippie wave of the time for a moment, when the teenagers were all gathered in the same room playing guitar; jiving along; for the brief moment when Sofie really seemed happy... but in the end maybe hippie or no hippie's irrelevant. It seems to take a stance against not authority, but against wrong. It ends abruptly. It reaches no definitive answer, no kind fate, but you're left hopeful things turn out alright in the end.

And at least for the main actress it seems it did!

Was not what I expected. But it was good, a nuanced yet unassuming portrayal of a young girl. Life and all. Glimpse of the times.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity (1987)

Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity (1987)

Surprising quality of props. From the aliens themselves, to the rusty chains and shackles, the ship-like folds in misty metal, though here in starships. The girls, in a blue and magical expanse of starlit space... flee their shackles and make haste for the nearest planet, that seems to resemble Earth.

They find a host there, living in an old fortress in the jungle. He appears chivalrous initially, but something seems a little off, and they soon find out what... once again they're shackled, and soon hunted, through the jungle surrounding.

Zombies, robots - androids of sorts, old trophy rooms, lush forests, beaches, beds, stone and silk and sensual moments atop a table.

It's theatrical, and adventurous. Predictable, with aged laser effects, explosions, and deadpan acting in battle, but still...

I like the style; I like the girls; I like science fiction like this, filmed in a way that keeps you outside the story, as an onlooker more than an inhabitant. It doesn't look the most real, yet it's aesthetically appealing in all ways. Both props and characters.

The magic of movies, even on the B-movie level, is in a way all the more real when it's somehow more real; more like this. Where even if the props aren't the most realistic they're well-made enough to resemble the fantasy. It mildens the terror, but conveys the intent. They're intricate. It's creative, and wholesome.

It reminds me a bit of Axa too - the story of a female warrior braving dangers in a wartorn postapocalyptic world; searching for love; living for the moment - though here there's two. A golden duo through and through.

Elizabeth Kaitan and Cindy Beal. That's who.

What a title too btw. Pretty cool.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

65 (2023)

65 (2023)

AKA Sixty-Five Million Years Ago A visitor Crashlanded On Earth.

I understand why they settled for the shorter title now! Though the runtime's not long enough. Gotta give a concept like this a proper runtime. And time to build initially, at least.

It has a melodysheep level intro, holy shit... that's the highlight of the movie. The vast expanse of space where all glow and sparkles, and the planet seen in detail like never before...

Reminds me a bit of Dune too. Similar sense of escapism, albeit a bit less luxurious and barren a foreign world there...

It almost feels like we have a need for new worlds these days. Empty space. Voids to colonize, to escape our race... where everything just gets shittier and shitter. Big cinema trend these days. Though they never portray the future - or the alien - as an entirely good thing. It's like we subconsciously yearn for our demise too. I wonder what these trends really mean.

Envisioning a future - good or no - is fun though. Nothing's off limits to the imagination - though such things considered you'd think they could have taken the concepts here even further - though the tech's futuristic it's not unrecognizable. Like is that a ferrofluid bedside table tablet?

The ship looks good. The planet looks good. The progression's realistic... though the cute little dinos getting crushed whilst whimsically running after their prey, and the big ones getting stabbed in the eye by a little girl (Ariana Greenblatt - she's not so little after all huh!)... they could've conveyed the threats better.

I like the plot, but it feels like they left out some key details. Beginning and end. And the moments on Earth were... isolated.

Wasn't the dinosaur world a thriving one?

It's strange, seeing their occasional encounters more in the light of horror than thriller. I appreciate the harshness coming across occasionally - like with that little cub they dragged out of the muck - but if they wanted harshness they could've taken it way further too.

It's less a world of wonder than that other big dinosaur franchise - and I'm glad - they did something different, but it feels oddly one-sided and inauthentic, even if the CGI's great. Adam Driver's tendency to keep spraining or dislocating something gets a little annoying too. And in the end his wound has little impact on the progression.

I don't know... I want to love this, but it didn't go all the way like it could've. Not with the future, not with the past, not with a lot of things. It reminds me a bit of After Earth - that movie with Will Smith and his son. It was similarly good-looking - and similar - but just didn't carry all the way.

I wouldn't say any cast's too little to make a good film - it's always impressing when they manage a movie with but a few - but... something's lacking. It feels less impactful than it could have. More visual than raw.

Didn't realize at first at exactly what point in our history as a species 65,000,000 years was btw! The dinosaur part I knew, but the asteroids?
I SHOULD have known...

Anyway the movie overall? Great concept. Mediocre execution.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham (2023)

Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham (2023)

Doom as in Dr. Doom, I presume...?

I presumed wrong! Whatever I could've presumed would've been wrong. This wasn't like any Batman movie I'd seen before - atmosphere-wise a little reminiscent of Gotham by Gaslight maybe - but story-wise it's a new take entirely on the franchise you know and love.

The sins of the father are heaped upon the son...

That's the root of it all.

In the cast list you'll find new variants of most iconic Batman characters of old. Penguin, Poison Ivy, Robin, Harvey... so many are there in a new form. Some that were good are now bad. Some vice versa. Some you won't recognize - at least I'm pretty sure I'm missing a bundle.

On the one hand I'm not a huge fan of spin-off's like this, in that they provide an endless opportunity to build upon worlds that already exist with a pre-existing base of fans that'll be there for each one, even if they don't stay true to their origins at all, that'll appreciate the content even if it's sub-par just because they love the franchise. But on the other hand it's definitely more fun when a franchise tries something new - ties to the old though it may have - than to know what to expect from the getgo.

Except maybe just that it'll be grand and unpredictable.

The story's good. The atmosphere's great. It's chaotic, but it does come full circle, and as a fan of the franchise... it's just fun! It's new. It's different. It's a little all over the place and lacking character depth and continuity but it's also wholesome and - since it is a spin-off - conclusive.

I like the supernatural element too. The mystery. The characters.

These spin-off's really are a lot of fun to watch. Each one a new adventure entirely. It's like reliving the original again and again, in a way. It may not be all perfect but: refreshing. And rich. In atmosphere, characters and variation.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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