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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. Ghost Lab (2021) Thailand/Dir: Paween Purijitpanya - After two young doctors encounter what they believe is a restless spirit, they decide to try and scientifically prove once and for all whether ghosts exist. Their experiments, done in the basement of the hospital where they work, go to extreme lengths to try and prove their theories. High production values are the only real highlight here, as the story goes on too long and the tone lurches from comedy to horror to heartwarming. (5/10)
  2. The Doll 2 (2017) Indonesia/Dir: Rocky Soraya - A slightly more ambitious sequel to the 2016 horror film. A young couple are left devastated after losing a child in a car accident. The mother uses the child's creepy-looking doll to try and contact her spirit, with sinister results. The budget seems a bit larger this time out, and the running time is longer, but it just drags things out even more, and what could have been a passable short or TV episode is inside drawn out to the point of tedium. (4/10)
  3. The idea that the MAGA crowd refuses to get vaccinated because Biden and Harris said not to in 2020 has to be one of the dumbest things ever posted.
  4. The Bar (2017) Spain/Dir: Alex de la Iglesia - A disparate group of people find themselves trapped inside of a seedy diner/bar in downtown Madrid when an unseen gunman begins to shot anyone who tries to leave. They struggle to stay alive while also attempting to figure out why they've been targeted. Writer-director Iglesia (The Day of the Beast, Dance with the Devil, Witching & B-itching) leans heavily on black humor as is his style, and the performances by the cast are very good, particularly the award-winning turn by Jaime Ordonez as an unhinged vagrant. The proceedings run out of st
  5. Aurora (2018) Philippines/Dir: Yam Laranas - After a massive passenger ship capsizes a few miles offshore, resulting in the death of hundreds, the proprietors of a rundown seaside hotel agree to inform the families of the missing if any bodies wash ashore. What they discover is that the dead are restless and have a story to tell. This supernatural mystery/drama has some nice coastal scenery, but the characterizations are thin, the effects work very poor, and scenes drag on to interminable length. (4/10)
  6. The Doll (2016) Indonesia/Dir: Rocky Soraya - A newlywed couple are menaced by a cursed doll. They enlist the help of a psychic to try and stop the otherworldly menace. This cheap, goofy horror thriller copies a lot from then-recent American movies (The Conjuring and the Annabelle spin-off films, specifically) and has a lot of dodgy special effects work. I enjoyed how the opening credits list local corporate sponsors, including a car parts store. (4/10)
  7. Someone recently put it this way: "If one person says it's raining, and another says it's not raining, it is not the job of journalists to present both sides of that argument. It's their job to look outside and see which is true." It's an oversimplification, of course, but it does speak to the fallacy of the "both sides needing to be represented in all things" approach that the current media is fond of, as it breeds antagonism and thus higher ratings.
  8. Who says America doesn't make quality products any more
  9. After watching a couple more today, I've decided to post my preliminary list for 2021. 2021 A Hero Asghar Farhadi, Iran The Hand of God Paolo Sorrentino, Italy The White Tiger Ramin Bahrani, India Prayers for the Stolen Tatiana Huezo, Mexico The Medium Banjong Pisanthanakun, Thailand Titane Julia Ducournau, France I'm Your Man Maria Schrader, Germany I've also seen: Blood Red Sky Peter Thorwarth, Germany Lamb Valdimar Johansson, Iceland Oxygen Alexandre Aja, France A Classic Horror Story Roberto De Feo &
  10. I liked that one a lot. I had it as #4 foreign language film for the year, behind only Shoeshine, Beauty & the Beast, and Paisan. What did you have ahead of it on your list?
  11. His argument seems to be that the US/NATO is the real aggressor, on behalf of the Military-Industrial Complex, and that all of the media stating that Putin is acting aggressively is really just agit-prop designed (most likely by the CIA) to drum up domestic support for war in the region. I think both could be true: the MIC does need a war, and Putin is an ***hole who would like to widen his sphere of influence. The idea that Putin is just a guy trying to protect his country's border security and nothing else is naïve at best.
  12. I saw it in the theater when it came out. I recall it being slightly amusing. That kind of animation was unusual at the time. Then later it became a cult item, as it was difficult to see for many years, I'm guessing due to the music rights. I was working at a Blockbuster when it was finally officially released on home formats, and there was a big deal made about it. Once more people actually saw it, the gleam sort of wore off it a bit. Then there was a forgettable sequel.
  13. Sorry to hear about that. I hope everything turns out fine.
  14. I found this list of episodes that have disclaimers, and the assumed reasons why, since apparently Disney does not provide any specifics: Being a show from the late 70s/early 80s, it's no surprise that The Muppet Show has plenty of problematic moments, when it comes to its depiction of certain cultures. As a result, a number of episodes on Disney Plus start with a Content Advisory screen. So I decided to look into these episodes to find out what is problematic about them. Now these are only my personal guesses, as Disney themselves have not given specific details for these episodes. Speci
  15. The Queen of Black Magic (2019) Indonesia/Dir: Kimo Stamboel - Several families converge on an isolated country orphanage. The fathers/husbands from the families were residents there as children, and they've all come together to pay their respects to the ailing proprietor. Unfortunately for them all, a terrible supernatural curse, tied to an incident from the men's youths, threatens to destroy them. I expected a retelling of the old Queen of Black Magic legend that has been filmed several times in the past. However, this unrelated tale is like an Indonesian take on the type of evil gh
  16. My high school yearbook photo
  17. Luz: The Flower of Evil (2019) Colombia/Dir: Juan Diego Escobar Alzate - A small religious cult lives a life of hardship and poverty in a tiny village deep in a mountainous forest. The unhinged leader declares that a young boy with blonde hair may be the reincarnated Jesus or the devil, so he keeps him chained up in the town square until he can figure out which. Meanwhile, he's increasingly skeptical flock debate whether to abandon their struggles or take more serious action. This was very similar to another film on the same subject from this same year, The Other Lamb, from Ireland. L
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