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Storm Boy (1976)
Wild things should be free.
Filmmaker(s): Henri Safran

Mike is a lonely Australian boy living in a coastal wilderness with his reclusive father. In search of friendship he encounters an Aboriginal native loner and the two form a bond in the care of orphaned pelicans.

Mockingbird I’ve had the advantage of being old, and living in both the US and Australia and raising kids in each. That gives me a perspective on the book before seeing the film. Every so often, a young adult book hits a sweet spot in the...

Published May 16, 2023
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King Richard (2021)
Venus, Serena and a plan for greatness.
Filmmaker(s): Reinaldo Marcus Green

The story of how Richard Williams served as a coach to his daughters Venus and Serena, who will soon become two of the most legendary tennis players in history.

The Cosby Curse One of the effects of a rich society is the luxury of spending time watching sports, engaging with the intricacies of statistical pockets, and the supposed drama of its celebrities. Only film and its media feeders can similarly create such icons, so it...

Published January 9, 2023
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Strange World (2022)
Journey to a place where nothing is as it appears!
Filmmaker(s): Don Hall

A journey deep into an uncharted and treacherous land, where fantastical creatures await the legendary Clades—a family of explorers whose differences threaten to topple their latest, and by far most crucial, mission.

Ted’s Law Forget the story; despite the appealing message(s) this is not a decent way to spend time. But it does illustrate a principle I have noticed, which I believe applies universally in film projects and in most successful introspective AI projects. I modestly call this...

Published January 1, 2023
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Death on the Nile (1978)
A murderer strikes on board the luxury Nile steamer Karnak – and Hercule Poirot faces his most baffling case.
Filmmaker(s): John Guillermin

As Hercule Poirot enjoys a luxurious cruise down the Nile, a newlywed heiress is found murdered on board and every elegant passenger becomes a prime suspect.

Faces and Places I recently rewatched this because of the Branagh version. We now have three: this Ustinov version, a later Suchet, and the recent Branagh. I see that my original comment — likely 20 years ago — was one of those deleted from IMDB by...

Published December 31, 2022
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Reasonable Doubt (2014)
Proof is the Burden
Filmmaker(s): Peter Howitt

When up-and-coming District Attorney Mitch Brockden commits a fatal hit-and-run, he feels compelled to throw the case against the accused criminal who was found with the body and blamed for the crime. Following the trial, Mitch's worst fears come true when he realizes that he acquitted a guilty man, and he soon finds himself on the hunt for the killer before more victims pile up.

Fixing, after the Fact Here is a project for film students: take this film, a loser, and make a great movie from it. I think I would add new footage about the hidden story here (the hooker), present the thing nonlinearly, shift the narrator and the...

Published December 24, 2022
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Female Fantasy (2015)

It’s the early morning hours in Stockholm, and the light is pale. A young woman is heading home after a night out. As she is waiting for the bus, a man sits down next to her. Her mind starts racing. When she gets home she can’t stop thinking about what could have happened. She lets her imagination carry her away – and this film takes us right inside her ecstatic fantasy.

Mass Transit This short is just barely listed in IMDB, with no reviews or ratings. It has no dialogue. The ‘story’ is simple: a young woman sits next to a guy at a bus stop and has a fantasy about having sex with him. On the...

Published December 15, 2022
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Holmes & Watson (2018)
They don't have a clue.
Filmmaker(s): Etan Cohen

Detective Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson join forces to investigate a murder at Buckingham Palace. They soon learn that they have only four days to solve the case, or the queen will become the next victim.

Deductions This did not make me laugh. Apparently it had the same effect on almost everyone. But I credit these folks with taking risks. Humour is an evolving quality, and some brands of humour demand being on an edge between the unexpectedly awkward and the emotionally...

Published December 12, 2022
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Monitor: The Prince of Denmark (1963)

Astonishingly Internal This is a BBC interview show that has Orson Welles, Peter O'Toole and some other older fellow (Ernest Milton) talking about ‘Hamlet’. Orson was well into retirement from attempting film masterpieces, including two ambitious Shakespeare productions. His ‘Othello’ is really something. He’d been in...

Published December 7, 2022
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The Midnight Sky (2020)
There's a universe between all of us.
Filmmaker(s): George Clooney

A lone scientist in the Arctic races to contact a crew of astronauts returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.

Dersu Solaris Films about filmmaking and internal narrative will always get poor reception among the general public. Nolan is able to straddle the line by delivering worldly action; that’s why his effects have to be so practical. But in general, when you make a film with...

Published December 6, 2022
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