What Movie Have You Seen Today?

I just watched “Halloween Kills”, it was Halloween today after all.
I liked it better than the original rebooth/remake “Halloween” from a year earlier.
It had some original ideas and a couple of suspensfull scenes, such as the idea that among a large group of people, the group dynamics go in a certain direction, that people take the law into their own hands and wrongly become convinced that someone is
Meyers and people no longer want to deviate from this idea and thus send an innocent person to death, while the real perpetrator continues to kill unhindered.


M:I - Dead Reckoning Part One

Finally saw it.

I loved the last film “Fallout” so much, it was even better than the already magnificent “Rogue Nation”.

Another one could impossibly top those two.


Right. And I guess the box office returns, despite the drop of available screens due to Barbenheimer, do reflect what I felt during this film.

It´s wonderfully done. Moviemaking on the highest order. And its length was not felt, it moves absolutely quickly and is highly entertaining.

But one gets jaded, after decades of action movies showing basically the same stunts and situations. The car chase in Rome (in full daylight) is inventive, has some very funny moments, and, for me, was the highlight of the film. Not the motorcycle jump or the chaos on the train. Maybe the marketing made a really terrible mistake by showing the jump months ahead - and repeated it too often. When it finally happens in the film it was like a good song I heard too many times before. Nice, but not breathtaking anymore.

Apart from that, the story just did not work as well. The formula was showing way too clearly: action - exposition - action - exposition - action - exposition…

You might say: is it diffferent with Bond?

Yes. Because Bond as a character is not more dimensional… but way more fun.

Ethan Hunt is… well, resourceful. Resilient. And he always cares about his friends. That’s all.

And this is why this film lacks impact, IMO. Ethan becomes - once again - a target because he cares about his friends (family, I hear Vin Diesel).

The rest is as predictable and not as thrilling as before. They should have stopped after “Fallout”, going out on top. Now they have to drag along Part Two which is not allowed to be named Part Two anymore.

Maybe they can make that film more engaging. But which stunt can Cruise provide in order to really surprise us?

And I know, I sound like a spoilt child. Because making this film during the height of the pandemic was an impossible mission already, and I respect the craft and determination that went into it.

In the end, however, the film has to be judged on its own. And here I think DR suffers in comparison.

Terrible, but true: if you deliver magnificence you will always have to be measured by it.


Having not seen it yet I’m curious with this whole Part 1 business - does it feel like the 1st half of a larger movie or does it stand in its own right?

I personally think it stands on its own for the most part with a self-contained resolution, although the larger plot thread is left open-ended and unresolved


Its McGuffin has an open end which needs to get a solution in the next film. It also…


has its female protagonist choosing a new life which needs to be addressed, and the female antagonist will also be entangled with the McGuffin again, so basically there is not a cliffhanger about the fate of the characters but the fate of their mission.

In retrospect they could and should have closed out this story by focusing the second part of the movie on that and not on the choice which character… will not be in Part Two.


Let him go

Surprisingly well made, highly affecting character portrait, superbly acted by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. The trailer had scared me off, making me think this is just a run of the mill revenge film. But it is just the opposite. This is a serious drama, told so precisely and emotionally true to its characters that a mainstream audience these days can hardly deal with its shades of grey and its domino effect of well-intentioned decisions leading to one tragedy after the other.


I couldn’t agree more. I stumbled across it and gave the first few minutes a try and found myself almost instantly intrigued by where it was going. Then as it went along, I had no clue what was going to happen next, which is an increasingly difficult thing to achieve. It all builds to a genuinely well-earned and brutal intensity with great suspense and a palpable sense of dread.

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What happens to


Costner‘s character, after that tender scene with his wife, was so horrifying. The way this situation enfolds is a masterclass in writing, acting, editing and directing. And kudos for Costner to play this like a real person, no pseudo heroics at all.

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A Haunting in Venice

Branagh‘s third Poirot, and the change of pace and style, even introducing gothic horror into the murder mystery works like a charme. Wonderfully atmospheric, great cast, swiftly moving scenes, with a nice dose of humour and melancholy, adding to Poirot‘s characterization, this movie captured my interest from start to finish.

I sincerely hope there will be more Branagh-Poirots.


It’s my favourite of his adaptations so far. Great cast and the deneumont is more satisfying than the novel fory taste.
Yes I too hope there are more.


I finally got around to watching Layer Cake last month. The plot is a bit too convoluted for my tastes. I felt there were too many characters, all with their respective twists and turns, to keep track of. If it weren’t for the three principal actors — Daniel Craig, Michael Gambon and Colm Meaney — I think I would have given up on it altogether. My husband hated the ending.

But, having said that, I can see why this was the film that made Barbara Broccoli think Daniel Craig would make a good James Bond. And she was right.

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I watched it back when Craig was announced, and I remember having been entertained. But other than that I struggle to recall a lot beyond the final few frames. And that Craig seemed wiry-skinny, quite different from the Bond/Blanc personas of later years. I found him impressive, but not overly so. I best remember him from his supporting role in The Ice House/BBC adaptation of the Minette Walters mystery. But that’s probably more due to the story itself than any acting in particular.

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You may be the only person who remembers that series. I remembered him from Our Friends In The North…also a much forgotten series.

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You know, I was reading Minette Walters back then, and I’m pretty sure The Ice House was the first TV adaptation I watched on PBS in Canada. Yet I have no memory of Daniel Craig being in that. I decided to seek it out, and found it archived here: The Ice House

Layer Cake felt almost like a parody of James Bond, or a kind of unforeseen dress rehearsal for how Daniel Craig would move, hold a gun, intuit information, control his facial expressions, vocal inflection and body language, all of that. He was leaner, yes, but still had all of the essential characteristics nailed down.


Fab find, thanks for sharing. Haven’t seen that one in decades.


You’re welcome! I’m glad I found it. Nothing about Daniel Craig in The Ice House would have made me think, “Yeah, he’d make a good James Bond!” Not knocking his performance. It’s just that his character didn’t inspire comparisons to James Bond.

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My thoughts exactly. I remembered Craig in that - but truth be told I wouldn’t have thought about a Bond role for him prior to Eon announcing he was their new Bond for CASINO ROYALE. The role was so fixed in the tall-dark-handsome mould it was a stretch to see beyond the Brosnan model. That Broccoli could do this and get her candidate past the studio was a huge leap of faith.

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CAMELOT (1967, directed by Joshua Logan)

Phew. This is three hours of weirdly directed semi-fantasy musical. At times the studio backlot/soundstage setting actually helps giving it an exotic atmosphere, much like Roger Corman’s Poe adaptations - but is that what this tale needed? About as much as single malt needs a taco-gummybear flavoured edition in cans.

I saw this thing for the first time roughly 50 years ago and vaguely remembered liking it back then. Well, that can only have been a digest version cut to half the length, I would certainly not have sat through all three hours of this. From today’s perspective it’s baffling how central parts of the tale - pulling the sword for example, Arthur and Morgaine - are only talked about, not shown. And still the film is monstrous in length, the songs not adding to the tale. And what about the many many closeups that telegraph…what?

It’s an uneven production, oscillating between lightly funny tone and tragedy. A disastrous ménage à trios where the cheerful vocal parts stick out like a sore thumb. Who thought this was a good idea?

Still, interesting for the young Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero and David Hemmings. Mildly interesting.


No need to be so generous.


What I mean is, its directorial decisions are weird by any standard. The whole affair is stitched together so bizarrely, it’s obvious this creature cannot live, no matter how many flashes its Frankenstein-director sends into the cadaver. The last five minutes depict three people standing before the ruins of their lives, two of them going to fight to the death, each with thousands of followers ready to drown in the blood of the enemy.

But hey, here’s a little boy wanting to become a knight. Let’s order him to go home and henceforth tell the faerie tale of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and be merry and cheerful before the butchering starts!

Every Klingon opera has a more humane ending than this.