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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
It all ends.
Director: David Yates
Fantasy
Adventure

Harry, Ron and Hermione continue their quest to vanquish the evil Voldemort once and for all. Just as things begin to look hopeless for the young wizards, Harry discovers a trio of magical objects that endow him with powers to rival Voldemort's formidable skills.

Jarndyce and Jarndyce I have read only a small portion from the books, but enough to understand the woman‘s approach. I have, however, attentively watched all the films. This comment applies to the entire saga with some attention to the final two. Charles Dickens invented a style...


Published February 10, 2024
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Do You Remember Dolly Bell? (1981)
Director: Emir Kusturica
Comedy
Drama
Romance

A young man grows up in Sarajevo in the 1960s, under the shadow of his good, but ailing father, and gets attracted by the world of small-time criminals.

The Lost First Time Kusturica is something of a challenge for me to parse. The experience is a bit troubling because it seems so genuine that we should be ashamed for intruding. He does not seem to accomplish this by ordinary means. Yes, the acting is...


Published February 10, 2024
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Be Glad… (1970)
Director: Peter Neal

Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending is the eighth album by the Incredible String Band, featuring Mike Heron, Robin Williamson, Licorice McKechnie and Rose Simpson. It is the soundtrack for a film of the same name, and was released on Island Records in March 1971, failing to chart in either the UK or US. It would be the first album from the band on the Island label and the last to feature Joe Boyd as the producer.

Woven Tongues I encountered one of those popular psychology ideas recently, the one that says that the music that was on the radio when you were 13 determines your taste in music. I supposed it could be true. I have a deeply sculpted life in cinema but...


Published February 10, 2024
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Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (2011)
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Family
Comedy
Action

Eight years after the third film, the OSS has become the world's top spy agency, while the Spy Kids department has since become defunct. A retired spy Marissa is thrown back into the action along with her stepchildren when a maniacal Timekeeper attempts to take over the world. In order to save the world, Rebecca and Cecil must team up with their hated stepmother. Carmen and Juni have since also grown up and will provide gadgets to them.

Multiple Copies I‘m aware that many people like to encounter films as a small, unchallenging adventure. That isn’t possible with me, but I have something similar: sometimes a simple film is a relaxed encounter with the filmmaker, a sort of illustrated visit in his home. I like...


Published February 9, 2024
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Hanna (2011)
Adapt or die.
Director: Joe Wright
Action
Thriller
Adventure

Raised by her father, an ex-CIA agent, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna's upbringing has been geared to making her the perfect assassin. Sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys across Europe, eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative. As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence.

Young Angelina Some films spring from the human soul; others are mechanised. A problem is that the commercial process that brings films to us is itself a machine, so we are faced from time to time with the clumsy act of that machine valiantly trying to give...


Published February 9, 2024
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L’iceberg (2005)
Comedy

Fiona is the manager of a fast-food restaurant. She lives comfortably with her family in the suburbs. In other words, Fiona is happy... until one day she accidentally gets locked into a walk-in fridge. She escapes the next morning, half frozen and barely alive, only to realize that her husband and two children didn't even notice she was missing. But when Fiona develops an obsession for everything cold and icy: snow, polar bears, fridges, icebergs--she drops everything, climbs into a frozen goods delivery truck and leaves home. For a real iceberg.

Purity I’ve seen one other project from this couple, ‘Rumba.‘ I liked it, but this one seems so much better, less cute and choreographed. All storytelling is about abstraction. Sometimes that can be done in ways that by agreement, we see as invisible. We think of the...


Published February 9, 2024
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The Last Mistress (2007)
Director: Catherine Breillat
Drama
Romance

Secrets, rumors and betrayals surround the upcoming marriage between a young dissolute man and virtuous woman of the French aristocracy.

Gaddafi's Italian What you open to can be bigger and more fulfilling if you are careful to make those things few. Some films you can let permeate your soul, and others you must keep at a distance. Part of the experience of film, unavoidably, is how...


Published February 9, 2024
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Valhalla Rising (2009)
Adventure
Drama
Action
Fantasy

Scandinavia, 1,000 AD. For years, One Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, has been held prisoner by the Norse chieftain Barde. Aided by Are, a boy slave, One Eye slays his captor and together he and Are escape, beginning a journey into the heart of darkness. On their flight, One Eye and Are board a Viking vessel, but the ship is soon engulfed by an endless fog that clears only as the crew sights an unknown land. As the new world reveals its secrets and the Vikings confront their terrible and bloody fate, One Eye discovers his true self.

Teen Dorm Room Posters I recently saw ‘Drive‘ and it puzzled me a bit. It was more effective filmmaking than I was prepared for, and at the same time had less to deliver that I require. The puzzle was why had I not encountered this filmmaker...


Published February 9, 2024
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Shadows in Paradise (1986)
Drama
Comedy
Romance

Nikander, a rubbish collector and would-be entrepreneur finds his plans for success dashed when his business associate dies. One evening, he meets Ilona, a down-on-her luck cashier in a local supermarket—and, falteringly, a bond begins to develop between them.

Foreground, Hinted Background I am attracted to ambitious films, ones that challenge and that have a lot of powerful layered machinery. It is how I build my life. They are work. Art is work if you intend to collect and use it as fuel. So when you...


Published February 9, 2024
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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
The game is afoot.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Adventure
Action
Crime
Mystery

There is a new criminal mastermind at large (Professor Moriarty) and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil and lack of conscience may give him an advantage over the detective.

Intermediaries This is a new genre, I think. You go to it not so much for what it is, but what it points to, and what filters have been applied. Perhaps the genre was cemented with the Depp Pirate movies which had noise and story, but...


Published February 9, 2024
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