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About Ampersand

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  1. Ampersand

    I Just Watched...

    Manhattan Melodrama (1934) I missed bits and pieces of it, and a chunk around the last 30 minute mark for a drink, but it was a good movie. Clark Gable and William Powell were great in it on opposite sides and I just love when they reference Sing Sing, so classically oldschool! The underlying connection, the incorruptible with the corrupted, the deft black hand, and the last movie watched by Dillinger so you know it's something real swell. 8/10
  2. Ampersand

    Predicting the future: films in the 2020s

    Furiously Fast 12, where they drive cars on the moon and drift in craters with The Rock flipping cars in zero G, sending them into space and something about the space station eventually falling to earth and they have to drive on the falling pieces of it. It'll make $2.5 billion in the box office worldwide.
  3. Ampersand

    LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...

    If it still counts for last week, The Big Clock (1948), this was fun. Comedic-noir with the comedy not feeling forced; it felt natural and like it was a needed part of it. The acting was spot-on, the dialogue had me laughing and the sheer grandstanding of an upper crust Elsa Lanchester who kept on scene-stealing. It made for a good "detective-ish" story, where you know who did it but the process of it is just entertaining to watch from multiple perspectives. Narrowly beats out Sweet Smell of Success (1957) and the theme song to Live and Let Die (1973), in its entirely not a close third but that theme is one of the best in the franchise.
  4. Ampersand


    I love how December 2nd is full of silent films and their sound counterparts, and December 16th with showings and remakes. I don't even know what's going on with December 30th. Plenty of noirs and Edward G. Robinson to make December a good one, but missing out on one of my favorite Christmas classics again; Larceny Inc. It'll probably be on again near Easter. TCM Underground should have had a re-showing of those amazing Santa movies, especially the one where Merlin helps Santa defeat the Devil.
  5. Ampersand

    Noir Alley

    The Big Clock was an absolute treat. It's not gritty or full dark and seedy, more like a comedic-noir and I had a blast with it. Fast-paced, great dialogue and delivery, and the process of it all. Them trying to find out who the culprit is while we see that it points to the fall guy Shroud, and he's doing all he can to throw them off the scent, participating in the investigation and doing his own sleuthing all at once. And Elsa Lanchester as Patterson, that was just hilarious. Probably the best thing I'll see all week, and it's only 2 AM on Sunday.
  6. Ampersand

    Films in 2019

    I saw it last week and it was the perfect summer movie: Big and loud, dumb and full of plotholes, action and jokes with jokes and visual comedy when they're punching people in the face, ludicrous car chases that escalate in stupidity and improbability, entertaining secondary characters that don't overstay their welcome, those non-action slow parts that slow down the movie to build up some chemistry and my favorite part: Idris Elba doing anything. But despite it not being about street racing or much in the way of heists, it's very Fast, very Furious and very, very dumb. And Mike Oxmaul, even though it was in the trailers, it's still funny. 7/10 Don't forget to stay for the credits, well worth it.
  7. Ampersand

    Films in 2019

    I didn't think I'd see it in the first week, thought it was like 3 weeks into it's run. Saw it on Tuesday and it's actually really funny. Plenty of dirty jokes, swears, some absolutely hilarious scenes and a journey that not even the trailers could spoil, but glimpses at in later TV spots. At some point you know the ending of the journey before even going in thanks to the trailers but it still has a few tricks up it's sleeve for it. And if you found the trailer entertaining, you will love this movie. But what makes or breaks it is the kid actors, who are actually incredibly good in it. Like seriously good. Even the secondaries are good. It's just a really solid, entertaining comedy flick. 8.5-9/10, I loved the comedy style of it, and that there is no true outright villain/antagonist to confront and defeat in it. Enjoyment really depends on what type of comedy you enjoy though.
  8. Ampersand

    Matrix 4 Officially a Go

    Just so long as they don't grab another thesaurus like they did with the Architect, it could still work out. Not Matrix 1 good, but maybe Revolutions. Reloaded at best.
  9. Ampersand

    Films in 2019

    It was quite the watch, haven't seen much like it recently. And a definite, solid yes. It deserves every bit of it's rating.
  10. Ampersand

    Films in 2019

    Saw it on Tuesday and it certainly was something. Slow-paced, atmospheric, disturbing, dumb characters, some silly moments, a bit of padding and silly moments mixed with uncomfortable content in some diabolical cocktail. I mean, I did enjoy it but it wasn't really scary. Or like, not straight up horror but as folk horror as it gets with all the pagan everything. And some of the pagan stuff... it is straight up disturbing and then the fridge horror kicks in and it becomes even worse. I am glad I got around to watching it, it lived up in some aspects, didn't meet some expectations but it's something that shouldn't be spoiled. It is one hell of a ride and some excellent foreshadowing, some of it I picked up on and it really made it better. 7.5/10
  11. Ampersand

    What Is Your Favorite Movie Studio?

    RKO, at this point because of familiarity because they released so many movies and especially B-movies that I enjoyed and what I did watch is only a fraction of their massive library. Things like Armored Car Robbery (1950), On Dangerous Ground (1951), The Narrow Margin (1952), Cry Danger (1951)- a lot of noirs but especially Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948). Not a noir, but I love it. They may not be my absolute favorite movies but they are movies I really enjoyed. And it's on constantly on TCM, there will be an RKO picture every few hours.
  12. Ampersand

    Films in 2019

    Toy Story 4 last week and Aladdin (2019) this week. Toy Story 4, I was surprised they were making a 4th one and had my doubts on it competing with the emotional climax of 3. It didn't disappoint, but it is Pixar. They did the series justice and it's another type of a finale, a conclusion to Woody's story. Tugs at the heartstrings more than once and it's a movie with heart. Does some more classic character depth, introduces some solid new characters and the Key and Peele duo, had one of the best segments in the movie. Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom, specifically for being Canadian, more solid song work and it works out a solid, conclusive ending where making a Toy Story 5 would be a feat that shouldn't be done. They danced with the devil once and left it blushing. 10/10, literal perfection and I loved it. It's also a stunning work of technology. The rain at the beginning? Gorgeous. Aladdin, it was fun. Not perfect, nor as good as the original Disney version but nobody expected it to be as good. Some of the songs I found as good as the original or close to (Arabian Nights opener, Prince Ali, One Jump Ahead, Friend Like Me) while others didn't live up to it by sequence or just didn't enrapture me (A Whole New World, Speechless). They changed it up some while keeping just enough the same and while it didn't all work out, enough did. Will Smith made the Genie his own instead of trying to be Robin Williams and it worked for the best. He's still Genie, but almost plays a different role for him. Added in some new subplots, changed Jafar so he's more soft-spoken and not clearly evil, no Prince Ali reprise, Iago is now a regular parrot (Unfortunate), a nice Easter egg homage to the original and it being Guy Ritchie, there is a lot of slow-mo moments. But if anything, it could win Best Song or Best Costume Design because it is gorgeous! Not the worst Live-Action Remake but probably not the best. 7/10, I enjoyed it, and just hearing the instrumentals of some of the songs took me back.
  13. Ampersand

    I Just Watched...

    These were on Monday but I attended a session of the Toronto Film Society's series "Black and White and Noir All Over", the double feature was Kiss of Death and Nightfall. Both noirs I enjoyed and definitely made a good decision for this night. Kiss of Death It felt like I saw Victor Mature before in another movie, but all I can come up with is One Million BC. He's a gem in this, but the real star is Widmark as Tommy Udo. Giggling, a total psycho who pushes ladies in wheelchairs down stairs, lets action and anger overpower commonsense and really enjoyed his rapport with Mature. Even when he isn't a giggling maniac he's providing tension or just drawing you into the scene. It's nothing without a good lead and Mature is definitely one. Feels like the type who could play a goon or gangster but he plays nicely with the coppers who want him to play ball. It's surprisingly nice and non-corrupt. It's a bit long, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't have a nice final act or that it sets the mood. 8/10 Nightfall The dialogue with Aldo Ray and Anne Bancroft in the bar was so amazingly noir! Or so pulpy, but the dialogue in that scene just got me wrapped around it's finger. It truly feels like I'm watching a movie, like it's the dialogue you would only see there. Aldo Ray feels like a non-typical noir protagonist, almost like a usual, square-jaw everyday American who can still punch like a construction worker rather than an artist. Anne Bancroft as a model, which is actually believable and does some modeling in the movie which is a plus, like any couple they fall in love easily. But like Kiss of Death, it has some entertaining villains by Brian Keith and Rudy Bond as the sensible and psychotic, respectively. Brian Keith kept on reminding me of John Wayne for some reason, but they played a straight man/funny man kinda thing, that also kinda reminded me of Fargo in a way. Sensible, still somewhat practical, pretty chill. And their presence, just by being around is enough to add to the scene. I really liked this one, maybe a bit more than Kiss of Death. 8/10
  14. Ampersand

    Great moments in cinema.

    Heat (1995), two moments in particular, the coffee scene shared by Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino who play two men on opposite sides of the law, sharing a cup of coffee in one of the best scenes in the movie. A conversation between a crook and a cop who could have been good friends if they were on the same side. The video says it all. The second scene is a technological wonder. Some of the most outstanding sound work in genre or in film general that still packs a punch after more than two decades. From the way it's captured, it feels loud, real and just deafening. And it's not just the sound work, but the actors themselves. Call-outs to move up while providing suppression fire, tactical reloading, shooting in one direction, whipping the gun upward, turn, fire in another direction (There's a term but it escapes me), it's all done with purpose and a sense of detail. These two moments stand out in what's already a great movie with a stellar cast.
  15. Ampersand

    Noir Alley

    This feels like a new one for me but then I saw the glower right at the start and knew I saw it before. It's the kind of look you don't forget.

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