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About cinemaspeak59

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  1. Repeat Performance has quite an interesting setup for a film noir. I agree about the plot holes. But with such a handsome production, snappy dialogue, and interesting characters, Repeat Performance works splendidly. Take, for example, Louis Hayward, bored senseless in Los Angeles, referring to California as a sun-kissed purgatory. Does it matter the supernatural element wasn’t explained? Not one bit. The film was an enjoyable melodrama, a women’s picture in the best sense, as the women were the decisive, take-charge characters. But we have our femme fatale, two actually: Joan Leslie in the fir
  2. Blush (2021) This animated short from Apple is like watching a desolate planet come to life. An astronaut finds himself alone after his ship crashes on an uninhabited planet. Then, another astronaut crashes, a woman. The two start a family, grow food and plants … and find an unimaginable happiness. Blush, with its simple storytelling, looks at the cycle of life with grace and hope.
  3. He had a lighthearted charm, but this was Durbin's picture all the way. Now, Dan Duryea and Deanna getting together would have been something
  4. I just saw Cruel Gun Story. It’s a fairly typical yakuza picture: double-crosses, lots of violence, a high body count, and the overarching fatalism. Joe Shishido is a charismatic actor, and in all of the films I’ve seen him in, he makes us join his side; we want him to win. The black & white photography in Cruel Gun Story is very alluring.
  5. Deanna Durbin is a very sensual actress. I've seen Lady on a Train a few times, and she really shines. That nightclub scene when she seduces David Bruce's character right in front of his fiancé is quite bold and unexpected.
  6. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) is more like a family reunion, as it brings together past villains such as Dr. Octopus, Electro, Green Goblin, Lizard, Sandman, and a few other characters from past versions. They have returned thanks to the multiverse, an inter-dimensional portal accessed by the stern Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in a spell gone awry intended to restore Spider-Man's (a winning Tom Holland) anonymity after Mysterio outed Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home. The multiverse functions as a Macguffin of sorts. It’s the jumping off point for Marvel movies to do what they d
  7. Walk a Crooked Mile (1948) combined noir visuals with a suspenseful Cold War spy thriller. The relationship between the FBI agent (the likable stalwart Dennis O’Keefe), and his Scotland Yard counterpart, played by suave Louis Hayward, was a true partnership, each bringing different skill sets to solve the case. Intricate plot lines can take on a life of their own, taking viewers out of the movie. To their credit, the filmmakers didn’t go down this road. They also sprinkled enough red herrings to conceal the identity of the mole who was passing military secrets to the Soviets.
  8. Clint Eastwood - Clint speaks Italian and translated Ennio Morricone's Oscar speech. Next: A laconic leading man
  9. I’m Your Man (2021). Finally, a romantic comedy for the digital world, a very advanced one at that, at least in the movie. In an undisclosed time frame, in cosmopolitan Berlin, artificial intelligence has evolved to the point that robots are indistinguishable from humans. A persnickety academic, Alma (Maren Eggert, in a frosty performance I found endearing) is asked to bring such a specimen home, and report back whether it is suitable for long term companionship, not just as a super efficient cook or housekeeper, but as a partner, a lover. Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) plays the robot Tom, and h
  10. I found Doubt a well-acted chamber piece, and immaculately (pardon the pun) filmed. I found it interesting a nun would dare challenge a priest, considering the hierarchies in place at the time, obviously not so much now.
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