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Schlitz On Mount Washington (1935)
Director: Christopher Young
Comedy

Schlitz is a tourist in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Ignoring posted warnings which say that you shouldn't climb Mount Washington (the tallest mountain in New England) in bad weather, Schlitz pushes onward up the mountain, briefcase in hand. He gets lost in the snow, becomes entangled in mischief spun by a quirky hermit, and finally ends up skiing down Tuckerman's Ravine at perilous speeds, losing his briefcase several times.

Benny Hill’s Slippers This would have been one of the shorts on a program designed to fill out a date night. It is just filler, basically slapstick on skis. The joke is that the performer is an extraordinary expert to be able to appear so clumsy....


Published October 9, 2022
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Gumnaam (1965)
And then there were none...
Director: Raja Nawathe
Mystery
Thriller

Eight people are trapped on an island when their plane abandons them. They find a large mansion whose butler is expecting them. Then one by one, they die...

Indians This is a famously popular film in India. The composition is simple: a story that gives the film an existence, and a series of Bollywood musical numbers. I cannot recall ever experiencing such dissonance, because I am coming at the from a background in Christie....


Published October 9, 2022
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The White Cockatoo (1935)
Try to pick the killer, Try to pick the next victim!
Director: Alan Crosland
Mystery

In a spooky hotel on the coast of France, two bands of crooks are working independently of the other in an attempt to steal the inherited fortune of an American girl, Sue Tally. Along the way the heiress is kidnapped, three murders are committed, a girl appears in two places at once, mysterious persons roam about the old hotel at night and mysteriously disappear, and there is a hidden room without any doors.

Bible Verses I pride myself on being able to say something both useful and positive about a film, a discipline a wise man taught as a practice for the more useful challenge with souls we meet. The dynamics overlap in narratives that each carry. I found it...


Published October 2, 2022
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Alibi Mark (1937)
Director: Joseph Henabery
Crime
Drama

When an out-of-work Chicagoan travels west as a hobo on a freight train, he finds himself falsely accused of murder.

Signs of Trauma, Film as Meal Wow, what a strange film. My interest in these comments is in the qualities of introspection: where the viewer is placed in the narrative and how different layers of that stance are manipulated. The CCC, as duly described in this...


Published October 2, 2022
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Bullet Train (2022)
The end of the line is just the beginning.
Director: David Leitch
Action
Comedy
Thriller

Unlucky assassin Ladybug is determined to do his job peacefully after one too many gigs gone off the rails. Fate, however, may have other plans, as Ladybug's latest mission puts him on a collision course with lethal adversaries from around the globe—all with connected, yet conflicting, objectives—on the world's fastest train.

Stations I admit to thinking the Deadpool experiments are offensive. They have introspection of the kind I study, but it is one-dimensional and the humour doesn’t justify the sacrifice of self-aware sophistication. But this folds in the best parts of ‘Pulp Fiction’, and I find it...


Published September 30, 2022
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Trents Last Case (1952)
A Woman's Kiss That Killed
Director: Herbert Wilcox
Mystery

When a wealthy business man is found dead reporter Philip Trent is sent to investigate. Against the police conclusions, he suspects the assumed suicide is really a murder, and becomes highly interested in the young widow and the dead man's private secretary.

Hidden This should be a superb movie in the mystery tradition. It has a truly complex plot that has several reveals, and a suitably Holmes-like detective. The problem is that we see the detective working things out like a Poirot would. But we learn absolutely nothing...


Published September 30, 2022
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Jurassic World Dominion (2022)
The epic conclusion of the Jurassic era.
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Adventure
Action
Science Fiction

Four years after Isla Nublar was destroyed, dinosaurs now live—and hunt—alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators ona planet they now share with history's most fearsome creatures.

Ancient Chase DNA What I find curious is how franchises become more ordinary over time. This is far from an original observation in terms of world construction and story. It makes sense to reuse these, because that defines the franchise. So we get the same basic...


Published September 30, 2022
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The Man Without a Map (1968)
Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Mystery

A private detective is hired to find a missing man by his wife. While his search is unsuccessful, the detective's own life begins to resemble the man for whom he is searching.

Life as Navigation Everyone has an anchor when they enter a film. With a little exposure to world cinema, that anchor for each film is rooted in the tradition you select from that culture. This is a personal choice, made long before you encounter the film....


Published September 30, 2022
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Mifune The Last Samurai (2015)
A documentary about Toshirō Mifune
Director: Steven Okazaki
Documentary

An account of the life and work of legendary Japanese actor Toshirō Mifune (1920-97), the most prominent actor of the Golden Age of Japanese cinema.

Cut Vision is the strangest thing. If we see too much of something we believe it less. Stories are like this; the things that are left out can carry the agency more powerfully, and often the missing is referenced by the obvious. I like filmmakers that understand...


Published September 22, 2022
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Goldstone (2016)
Where worlds collide.
Director: Ivan Sen
Crime
Thriller

Indigenous Detective Jay Swan arrives in the frontier town of Goldstone on a missing persons inquiry. What seems like a simple investigation unearths an intricate web of crime, corruption, human trafficking, and coordinated exploitation of indigenous people’s land. Jay must bury his differences with young local cop Josh, so together they can bring justice to Goldstone.

Less Lessons The shape of this is ordinary. The forces at work are familiar: big company, coopted locals, indigenous victims. It happens to be well crafted, so is better in quality than most. But it has two features that endear it, at least to me. It has...


Published September 21, 2022
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