A Man Called Otto (2022)

A Man Called Otto is a 2022 comedy-drama film directed by Marc Foster from a screenplay by David Magee. It is the second film adaptation of the 2012 novel A Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, and an American remake of the 2015 Swedish film of the same name written and directed by Hannes Holm. The film stars Tom Hanks, Marinana Trevino, Rachel Keller, and Manuel Garcia-Ruflo. 

Otto Anderson, a 63 year old widowe, lives in Suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After retiring from a steel company, he plans suicide, having lost his wife Sonya, a schoolteacher, six months before. 

During a suicide attempt by hanging, he is interrutedby his new neighbors: Marisol, Tommy, and their two daughters, Abby and Luna. Ottos has flashbacks to his past: years before, he tried to enlist in the army, but was unable to having hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. he meets Sonya on a train after giving her back a book she had dropped. 

Otto attempts suicide again, this time via carbon monoxide poisoning. He has another flashback of him having dinner with Sonya, telling her that he is not enlisted in the army due to his heart condition and doesn’t have a job, making Sonya kiss him. Marisol interrupts Otto’s suicide attempt, asking him to her and the kids to the hospital after Tommy falls off a ladder and breaks his leg. 

Otto has a flashback to his graduation with an engineering degree, when he asks Sonya to marry him. During a suicide attempt by train, an old man faints and falls on the railroad tracks. Otto saves the man and the good deed becomes a viral video. Otto then takes in a stray cat, which he had found to be a nuisance. Otto takes Marisol for a driving lesson and they go to Sonya’s favorite bakery, which the couple had gone to every weekend. There. he tells her about his friendship with a guy named Reuben, the two having worked together to set up rules, with Otto as chairman of the neighborhood association. The two grow apart after Reuben’s preference for Fords and Toyotas over Otto’s Chevrolets and the “coup” of replacing Otto as chairman. Reuben, who suffered a stroke, is now confined to a wheelchair and is cared for by his wife Anita and neighbor Jimmy. 

After dodging a social media Journalist named Shari Kenzie who is trying to interview Otto for his brave act in the viral video, he gets mad at both Marisol and a Dye & Merika real estate agent, not wanting to accept Sonya’s death. He tries to kill himself with a shotgun, but is interrupted by Malcolm, a local transgender teen Otto has befriended, who asks to spend the night after his father kicks him out. 

Ottos learns that Dye & Merika is planning to force Reuben into a nursing home and take their house, after illegally finding out that Anita has Parkinson’s disease. Otto agrees to help Anita and Reuben. After having a heating fight with Dye & Merika, Otto was voted out of chairmanship after the neighborhood is not accessible to Sonya after a tragic accident leaves her paralyzed and she has a miscarriage. Otto and other neighbors come together with Shari Kenzie to take down Dye & Merika to force them to not buy over the neighborhood. 

The character of Otto at times resembles Larry David’s character in “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Otto starts out like Ebeneezer Scrooge, very grumpy, never happy. Eventually, his neighbors turn him back into the fun, funny, caring man he used to be when his Sonya was still alive. They show him how to live again. He starts out so bitter and cheap, he has his electric, phone, and cable turned off. He doesn’t own a cellphone or a fancy car. He is very unhappy, as he is lonely, retired, has no friends, or close family, and nothing excites him anymore without his wife. He tries several times to kill himself but he thankfully gets interrupted every time. His neighbors and new friends show him that suicide is not the answer.

This film is pretty slow for a good portion of its runtime. Parts are laugh out loud funny, there are also heartwarming and cute scenes. There are also some very tragic moments as well. Tom Hanks is great as Otto Anderson, but that doesn’t make this movie any better. It is good at best. The Swedish version, A Man Called Ove is better, but still not great either. Both are of a man who loses the love of his life and becomes big grump, a constant eye roll, middle finger to anything that bothers them or that is remotely positive. Both men learn there is more to life and they also learn how accept the death of a loved on and move on. 

This film will likely not be winning any awards, except maybe Hanks. Scrooge type characters have been done to death. The story of a once bitter person becoming kind hearted again, that too has been done too many times. Yes, the Swedish version is better and the book is good, but overall the entire story is far too similar to many others. The sad, sad, happy, sad pattern is not original either. Had this story had something more intense than a real estate company trying to take over a neighborhood, it maight have been more enjoyable. Overall, I found myself rather bored and depressed for most of this movie. There were times I found myself laughing and smiling and some parts really warmed my heart, but those parts are so few. 

I’m glad Otto became a better man again, but his Grinch-like attitude was dragged out for too long. I wanted to like this movie, but I found it rather boring and unoriginal. Another crankypants, get of my lawn character, though well acted, was just wasted talent. This film is just a stretched out waste of time with a pretty bow tied around it for the most part, until the tragedy comes. Sweet and sad story, but not an entertaining movie much at all. 3/5 13+ 

The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)

The Banshees of Inisherin is a 2022 dark tragicomedy film directed by Martin McDonagh. Set on a remote Island off the west coast of Ireland, it stars Colin Farrell and Brendand Gleeson as two lifelong friends who find themselves at a dead end when one quickle ends their relationship, with startling consequences for both of them. Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan also star in the film. 

At the tail end of the Irish Civil War in 1923, on the fictional Irish Isle of Inisherin, folk musician Colm Doherty quickly starts ignoring his lifelong friend and drinking buddy Padraic Suilleabhain. Padraic, though friendly and well liked by the islanders, is too “dull” for Colm, who wishes to spend the remainder of his life compsing music and doing things that he will be remembered by.  Padraic’s life is disrupted by the loss of one of his few friend; as he grows more and more tramatic at the rejection, Colm becomes more hostile to his old friend’s attempts to to talk to him. Colm eventuallly gives Padraic an ultimatum: every time Padriac bothers him or tries to talk to him, Colm will cut off one of his own left fingers with a pair of sheep shears. 

Though Padriac’s caring sister Siobhan and troubled local boy Dominic attempt to stop the pair’s escalating brawl, their efforts prove ineffective. After a drunken Padriac confronts him in the pub and tries to apologise, Colm cuts off one of his fingers and throws it at Padriac’s door. After Padriac sees Colm meeting with a fiddler from the mainland, he tricks the fiddler into going back home by lying about their father’s death. 

Padriac visits Colm to scold him for behaving awfully. Colm reveals the he has finished composing his song, which he calls “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Padiac tells Colm about lying to fiddler to run him off the island, and maybe the three of them could have drinks . Colm cuts off the rest of his left fingers with the shears and throws them at Padriac’s door. 

This film is considered a comedy and there are some laugh out moments, but the rest of the movie is very slow, disturbing, and sad. The scenery is breathtaking, the music is beautiful, and the acting is superb. Brendon Gleeson is great as Colm and Colin Farrell is outstanding as Padriac. The film is really slow for the majority of it’s runtime of nearly two hours. It’s only a tad funny and mostly it’s just one sad thing happening after another. 

I guess I don’t really understand the whole tragicomedy thing, as I don’t find cutting off fingers as revenge and death of loved ones funny. Had this film been categorized not as a comedy of any type, I might have enjoyed it a little more. But we get is a semi-funny, slow, drunken and depressing story, mixed with a beautiful location and equally beautiful music. Kerry Condon does a fine job as Siobhan and Barry Keoghan is good, not great as Dominic. 

The two main charaters Padriac and Colm, are two self-loathing loners, that could really use a friend or a lover. The only friends the two have after they break up are animals, Padriac has his donkey and horse and Colm has his dog, but they need more human interactions, some physical touch. They are two of the most depressing characters I have ever seen in a movie. They are called nice by other islanders, but they aren’t always so jolly, they end up constantly seeking revenge on each other, instead of leaving each other alone, or maybe just saying “Hi,” and walking on. They seem to do a lot of beer drinking, to point of being drunk nearly every day, which makes them do stupid things, like pub fights. 

There is a little bit of humor in this film, but also this film is not heartwarming, uplifting, or romantic. It is basically two miserable men that hate each other and need desparetly to get off that island, meet people, and try to have a relatively “normal” life. Though this movie takes place in the 1920s, everyone on the island is living like amish people, only with alcohol and tobacco use. There are no cars, no electricity, and likely no plumbing either. It seems odd for the time period, but I guess that’s island life in Ireland back then. 

Overall, this is a very slow, a tad humorous, disstressing film. The scenery and the fine acting don’t make this one any better. Some things are left unaswered in the movie as well. Had there been more action, this film might have been more entertaining, but instead is quite boring and sad. I was hoping this one would have been fantastic judging by all the awards it has recieved, but I have to disagree, except that Farrell and Gleeson do deserve their awards, but definitely not Best Picture or Best Screenplay worthy. It is a drunken, dawdling somewhat mess of film. 18+ 3/5 

Top 150 Greatest Crime Movies and Documentaries

  1. The French Connection – 1971 
  2. Tales of the Grim Sleeper – 2014 
  3. The Usual Susoects – 1995 
  4. The Act of Killing – 2012 
  5. The Big Sleep – 1946 
  6. The Thin Blue Line – 1988 
  7. Pulp Fiction – 1994 
  8. Murder on a Sunday Morning – 2001 
  9. Chinatown – 1974 
  10. O.J.: Made in America – 2016 
  11. Goodfellas – 1990 
  12. The Imposter – 2012 
  13. The Godfather – 1972 
  14. Brother’s Keeper – 1992 
  15. The Godfather Part II – 1974 
  16. Tower – 2016 
  17. Heat – 1995 
  18. Bus 174 – 2002 
  19. Scarface – 1983 
  20. F for Fake – 1973 
  21. Fargo – 1996 
  22. Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art – 2020 
  23. L.A. Confidential – 1997 
  24. Capturing the Friedmans – 2003 
  25. City of God – 2002 
  26. Animal Kingdom – 2010 
  27. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father – 2008 
  28. Trainspotting – 1996 
  29. Lost for Life – 2013 
  30. Rocco and His Brothers – 1960 
  31. Mommy Dead and Dearest – 2017 
  32. Graduation – 2016 
  33. Sour Grapes – 2016 
  34. Mystic River – 2003 
  35. The Central Park Five – 2012 
  36. The Big Risk – 1960 
  37. The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden – 2013 
  38. Grisbi – 1954 
  39. The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz – 2014 
  40. The Last Seduction – 1994 
  41. Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop – 2015 
  42. The Silence of the Lambs – 1991 
  43. The Newburgh Sting – 2014 
  44. The Trial of the Chicago 7 – 2020 
  45. The Iceman Confesses: Secrets of a Mafia Hitman – 2001 
  46. The Departed – 2006 
  47. The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer – 1992 
  48. Widows – 2018 
  49. The Cheshire Murders – 2013 
  50. Sweet Sixteen – 2002 
  51. The Grifters – 1990 
  52. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills – 1996 
  53. Drug War – 2012
  54. Into the Abyss – 2011 
  55. Traffic – 2000
  56. 1971 – 2014 
  57. In the Bedroom – 2001 
  58. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley – 2019 
  59. Boys Don’t Cry – 1999
  60. Our Father – 2022
  61. Dreamcatcher – 2015 
  62. Murder to Mercy: The Cyntonia Brown Story – 2020
  63. The Murder of Fred Hampton – 1971 
  64. Sophie: A Murder in West Cork – 2021 
  65. The Executioner’s Song – 1982 
  66. The Hunting Ground – 2015 
  67. Serpico – 1973 
  68. WeWork: Or the Making of $47 Billion Unicorn – 2021 
  69. The Fugitive – 1993 
  70. Fyre – 2019 
  71. In Cold Blood – 1967 
  72. Museo – 2018 
  73. Baby God – 2020 
  74. Hell or High Water – 2016 
  75. American Murder: The Family Next Door – 2020 
  76. Band of Outsiders – 1964 
  77. The Tinder Swindler – 2022 
  78. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – 2017 
  79. Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist – 2022 
  80. On the Waterfront – 1954 
  81. Abducted in Plain Sight – 2017 
  82. Assault on Precinct 13 – 1976 
  83. The Girl in the Picture – 2022 
  84. American Hustle – 2013 
  85. 13th – 2016 
  86. United 93 – 2006 
  87. Athlete A – 2020 
  88. A Bright Summer Day – 1991 
  89. Strong Island – 2017 
  90. The Crying Game – 1992 
  91. The Fog of War – 2003 
  92. No Country for Old Men – 2007 
  93. 4 Little Girls – 1997 
  94. Cool Hand Luke – 1967 
  95. Big Men – 2013 
  96. Badlands – 1973 
  97. Time – 2020 
  98. Elevator to the Gallows – 1958 
  99. Let it Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 – 2017 
  100. Taxi Driver – 1976
  101. I Called Him Morgan – 2016 
  102. Double Indemnity – 1944
  103. Citizenfour – 2014 
  104. Mean Streets – 1973 
  105. Crime + Punishment – 2018 
  106. 12 Angry Men – 1957 
  107. Deliver Us from Evil – 2006 
  108. Rififi – 1955 
  109. Red Roll Red – 2018 
  110. Touch of Evil – 1958 
  111. The Night of the Hunter – 1955 
  112. The Good Nurse – 2022 
  113. My Friend Dahmer – 2017 
  114. Audrie & Daisy – 2016 
  115. L’Argent – 1983 
  116. Charm City – 2018 
  117. Tell Me Who I Am – 2019 
  118. Shoplifters – 2018 
  119. White Boy – 2017 
  120. Why Did You Kill Me? – 2021 
  121. The Red Circle – 1970 
  122. Uncut Gems – 2019 
  123. 16 Shots – 2018 
  124. The Seven Five – 2014 
  125. The Ladykillers – 1955 
  126. The Wolf of Wall Street – 2013 
  127. Pervert Park – 2014 
  128. Team Foxcatcher – 2016 
  129. Foxcatcher – 2014 
  130. Dark Waters – 2019 
  131. A Prophet – 2009 
  132. 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets – 2015 
  133. Private Violence – 2014 
  134. Bonnie and Clyde – 1967 
  135. The Fear of 13 – 2015 
  136. Gangs of Wasseypur – 2012 
  137. Piccadilly – 1929 
  138. Bernie – 2011 
  139. Man Bites Dog – 1992 
  140. Bowling for Columbine – 2002 
  141. The Phantom – 2021 
  142. Capote – 2005 
  143. Strangers on a Train – 1951 
  144. Collective – 2019 
  145. Icarus – 2017 
  146. To Kill a Mockingbird – 1962 
  147. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room – 2005 
  148. Inside Job – 2010 
  149. Amanda Knox – 2016 
  150. Gomorrah – 2008 

Classic of the Week: Holiday Inn (1942)

Holiday Inn is a 1942 American musical film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, with Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Davis, and Walter Abel. It was directed by Mark Sandrich with music by Irving Berlin. Berlin wrote twelve songs especially for the film, the best known one being “White Christmas.” The film hallmarks a reuse of the song “Easter Parade”, written by Berlin for the 1933 Broadway revue As Thousands Cheer and used as a title track for the 1948 film Easter Parade starring Astaire and Judy Garland. Holiday Inn‘s choreography was by Danny Dare. 

Him Hardy, Ted Hanover, and Lila Dixon have a popular New York City song and dance ac. On Christmas Eve Jim prepares for his last performance before retiring to be husband to Lila and life on a farm in Connecticut. Lila tells jim she has fallne in love with the infamous smooth talker Ted instead; heartbroken, Jim tells them goodbye. 

He tries to take a shot at working on the farm but ends up in a santitarium instead. The following Christmas Eve Jim is back in New York City with plans to turn his farm into “Holiday Inn,” an entertainment venue open only on holidays, to the interest of Ted and his agent Danny Reed. In a flower shop Danny is coaxed by sales girl and aspiring performer Linda Mason; he directs her to Holiday Inn and Ted’s club. Later that night Linda and Jim accidentally meet at a performance by Ted and Lila. Jim pretends to own a rival club. while Linda poses as a celebrity friend of Ted’s, only to leave when Ted and Lila near. 

On New Year’s Eve Holiday Inn opens to a packed house. Back in New York City Ted learns that Lila is leaving him for a Texas millionaire. Drinkig heavily, he arrives at Holiday Inn at midnight and bumps into Linda. They dance and, and the drunk dancer and innocent young woman recieve lots of applause from the audience who believe it was all a rehearsed act. Danny arrives and and is overjoyed that Ted has found a new partner, but in the morning Ted doesn’t remember Linda. Jim hides her, scared Ted will steal her away. 

On Lincoln’s birthday Ted and Danny look for Linda, but Jim convinces Linda to play the minstrel show number “Abraham” in blackface together to fool them. While applying makeup Jim asks her to stay with him between holidays, which she comprehends as a propsal. He declares it, but explains that only when he can afford to. Leaving empty-handed, Ted and Danny plan to return. 

Rehearsing for Valentine’s Day, Jim presents Linda with a new song, “Be Careful, It’s My Heart.” Ted arrives and goes into an unchoreographed dance with Linda. Recognizing her from New Year’s Eve, he demands that Jim prepare a number for them to perform in the next show. 

At Easter romance grows between Jim and Linda. They are met by Ted, who asks to remain in Jim’s shows to experience “the true happiness” they found. Linda is charmed, but Jim is suspicious. 

Thanksgiving finds the Inn closed and Jim filled with self-pity. As he prepares to mail off his new song his housekeeper Mamie coaxes him to fight to win Linda back. 

Bing Crosby’s singing, Fred Astaire’s footwork, Marjorie Reynolds’ and Virginia Dale’s dancing, and Irving Berlin’s songs, are the only thing great about this movie. You’d think with a great story, great soundtrack, and choreography, this has to be a fantastic movie, but it’s barely that. Entertaining yes, but it just jumps from one holiday song and dance number to the next with very little story in between. You do learn about Jim working on the farm and him turning the farm into the inn, and how both Jim and Ted are in love with the same ladies, but hardly anything else. You don’t see much rehearsing of the performances, which to me, would have made the story far more interesting. 

There is racism in the “Abraham” number where blackface is used, which is offensive nowadays and many television channels choose to omit the scene, but most DVD versions still have it. Yes, the scene should have never happened, but it did and times were different then, so you have to either watch it on regular TV, skip through it, or suck it up and watch it, which is really hard to do. 

The acting is really good, but not fantastic,  but the singing and dancing overshadows that. It does have the typical 1940’s romantic musical tone, so the storyline doesn’t feel very original. The part of the story of two guys trying to woo the same women, has been done to death, even before this movie came out. 

There are some great scenes like the “Be Careful, It’s My Heart” sequence where Ted and Linda dance to Jim’s song and at the end of the routine, they jump through at big paper heart prop. Also the Independance Day scene where Ted dances with firecrackers is fabulous. 

The movie treats every holiday that shown as just musical theater productions, though some of the numbers go into the history or what they think is the history of the holiday, they don’t celebrate the holidays they way they are meant to be like having a Thanksgiving meal with family friends, opening presents with family and friends on Christmas Day, going to church on Easter Sunday, etc., which conservative Christians may find blasphemous. 

There is lots of drinking and smoking throughout and several instances where a character is drunk. Despite the racism, blasphemy, and heavy uses of booze and tobacco, it is still a really entertaining movie. Though this is considered a Christmas film, it covers most of the major holidays celebrated in America, though not Hanukkah for some reason, so I don’t call this an Xmas movie, but more of a motion picture honoring many holidays. 12+ 3.5/5 

The Menu (2022)

The Menu is a 2022 American black comedy horror film directed by Mark Mylod and stars Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Holt, Hong Chau, Janet McTeer, Reed Birney, Judith Light, and John Leguizamo. 

Tyler and his companion Margot Mills travel by boat to Hawthorne, an exclusive restaurant owned and operated by celebrity chef Julian Slowik, located on a private island. The other guests attending the dinner are Lilian, a food critic; her editor Ted; wealthy couple Richard and Anne; George, a post-prime movie star amd his personal assistant Felicity; and business partners Soren, Dave, and Bryce. The guests are given a tour of the island by the restaurant maitre d’ Elsa, who notes that Margot was not Tyler’s original guest for the evening. 

The courses and Slowik’s following speeches start to become more distressing and violent. On Slowik’s orders. one staff member kills himself and another cuts off Richard’s finger when he tries to leave the restaurant. The restuarant’s main investor, while strapped to a harness with angel wings is drowned in front of the guests, who later try to flee when Slowik gives them 45 seconds to escape, but are caught by staff and are threatened by Slowik that any attempts to leave will result in more severe consequences. Slowik proclaims all the guest were selected because they make a living off exploting the work of artisans like him, then declares that the night will end with everyone dead. Since Margot’s presence was unplanned, Slowik gives her the choice of dying with either the staff or the guests. 

Slowik turns on Tyler, revealing that he was invited personally and knew all along that the dinner would end with everyone’s death, which infuriates Margot, since he knowling coaxed her to join a trap for dying. It is revealed that Margot is a prostitute named Erin (who had sex with Richard) whom Tyler has hired for the evening, knowing that she would die. Slowik humiliates Tyler further by forcing him to cook (which he does very poorly) in front of everyone, then coaxes Tyler to commit suicide by himself with his necktie in a nearby storeroom. Slowik decides that Erin belongs to the staff and asks her to retrieve a barrel needed for dessert, falsely saying that Elsa forgot it. 

Elsa sneeks into Slowik’s house, which contains a replica of Hawthorne, only to be attacked by Elsa. Erin kills Elsa in self-defense by stabbin her in the neck. After seeing newspaper clippings of Slowik’s past life in barely decorated office, Erin finds a radio, calls for help, and returns ti the restaurant with the barrel. A Coast Guard officer arrives from his boat, bringing hope to the guests, holding Slowik at gunpoint. The officer then reveals himself to be a line cook in disguise and returns to the kitchen. 

Due to Erin’s disloyalty, Slowik now claims that she belongs to the guests, but Erin mocks his dishes and complains that she is still hungry. Having just seen a photo of a young, happy Slowik working at a fast-food restaurant, Erin asks him for a cheeseburger and fries. Moved by her simple request, Slowik prepares the meal to her requests. Erin takes a bite and praises his food, then asks if she can get it “to go.” Slowik packs the food for her and let’s her leave. Erin finds a boat docked nearby and escapes the island. To end the dinner Slowik pays tribute to s’mores by covering the guests in marshmallows and and hats made of chocolate. 

Memembers of the tiny 1% get stuck on an island owned by an amazing, yet insane chef and his equally talented cooks. The guests, aside from Tyler, Richard, and Anne, think they are just going to be tasting some of the most exquisite foods and wines in the world in a beautiful location. That is just a portion of what these guests get at this insanely expepensive restautant on the secluded island of Hawthorne. The food and wine may be considered tasty, but the portions are miniscule and the disturbing “performances” both leave you hungry. You think the first “performance” is just a show and the only one, until every course is followed by one, making it hard to eat, because you instantly lose your appetite. 

This film is considered a black comedy (dark humor), but I don’t understand why. How is someone drowning, someone shooting themselves, and someone having a finger cut off funny? It’s not, it’s disturbing. I didn’t chuckle not once for the almost two hour runtime. I found that the violence was too much and with less of it, this would have been a very enjoyable movie. With a great cast, I was expecting something great, but what I got was just a long movie where people eat, drink, and die. The acting is superb, the clothing is gorgeous, the food is prepared beautifully, the scenery is breathtaking, but the story is weak. The entire film is spent in and around the restaurant, mostly inside, giving the film a claustrophobic, cabin-fever feel, especially since there is no way for guests to leave unless Slowik allows them to. It’s Slowik’s way, no ifs, ands, or buts. 

Slowik is a very powerful and strict man with a booming voice and a stare that feels like it’s slicing you in half. He claps really loud to get everyone’s attention and every time he does, you jump and get angry. He is a brilliant, but twisted man and very unpredictable. He is equal parts intriguing and scary and the character seemed to have be created just for Ralph Fiennes. 

This movie jumps from really slow to really unsetting really fast far too much, making it hard to enjoy. Why this is categorized as a black comedy I don’t understand. Death is not something to laugh at and the deaths in this movie are very obscene. They are over the top gory, where you want to look away, but you still hear the sounds and that’s just as bad. Most of the film is dark too, not just because it’s at night (aside from the begining), but it seems there is hardly any light regardless. Slowik may want a certain ambience in his restaurant and house, but it’s hard to see clearly at times and it’s hard to enjoy the movie overall because of this. 

Normally I enjoy weird movies, but this one was not just weird, but so disquietning, that I found very little enjoyment in it, aside from the fine acting from the main cast and the lovely attire and food arrangements. Had I had known about all the grusome dying beforehand, I would have seen something else altogether, as that is more offensive and perturbing than entertaining. Adults only 2.5/5 

 

Top 75 Greatest Movie Cars of All Time

  1. 1964 Aston Martin DB5 – Goldfinger (1964) and many other Bond Films 
  2. 1977 Pontiac Trans Am – Smokey and tthe Bandit (1977) 
  3. 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 – Back to the Future (1985) 
  4. 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T – Vanishing Point (1971) 
  5. Batmobile/Tumbler – Batman Begins (2005) 
  6. 1970 Dodge Charger – Furious 7 (2015) 
  7. The Gigahorse – Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 
  8. Mirthmobile, 1976 AMC Pacer – Wayne’s World 1 and 2 (1992, 1993) 
  9. 1967 Chevy Camaro SS – Better Off Dead (1985) 
  10. 1985 Modena GT Spyder California – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) 
  11. 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX – Tommy Boy (1995) 
  12. 1966 Ford Thunderbird – Thelma & Louise (1991) 
  13. 1966 Alfa Romeo 1600 Duetto Spider – The Graduate (1967)
  14. 1971 Volkswagen T2 Microbus – Little Miss Sunshine (2006) 
  15. 1976 Ford Gran Torino, The Striped Tomato – Starsky & Hutch (2004) 
  16. 1967 Shelby GT500, Eleanor – Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) 
  17. 1963 Volkswagen Beetle Model 117 Deluxe Sunroof Sedan – Herbie: The Love Bug (1968) 
  18. 1967 Austin Mini Cooper S 1275 – The Italian Job (2003) 
  19. The Magical Car – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) 
  20. 2008 Audi R8 – Iron Man (2008) 
  21. 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu – Drive (2011) 
  22. 1948 Ford De Luxe Convertible – Grease (1978) 
  23. 1978 Chevrolet Nova SS – Death Proof (2007) 
  24. 6000 SUX – RoboCop (1987) 
  25. 1984 Ford Econoline – Dumb & Dumber (1994) 
  26. 1979 Ford LTD Country Squire  – National Lampoon’s Vaction (1983) 
  27. 1973 Ford Gran Torino – The Big Lebowski (1998) 
  28. Ectomobile, 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor – Ghostbusters 1 and 2 (1984, 1989) 
  29. 1992 Ford Explorer XLT UN46 – Jurassic Park (1993) 
  30. 1958 Plymouth Fury – Christine (1983) 
  31. 1969 Mustang – John Wick (2014) 
  32. 1970 Dodge Charger – The Fast and the Furious (2001) 
  33. 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT – Mad Max (1979) 
  34. 1968 Mustang GT 390 – Bullitt (1968) 
  35. 1932 Ford Coupe – American Graffiti (1973) 
  36. 1976 Lotus Esprit Series I – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) 
  37. Bluesmobile, 1974 Dodge Monaco – The Blues Brothers (1980) 
  38. Subaru Impreza WRX – Baby Driver (2017) 
  39. 1968 Dodge Charger R/T – Blade (1998) 
  40. 1975 Mercury Marquis – Uncle Buck (1989) 
  41. 1948 Tucker Sedan – Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) 
  42. 1966 Ferrari F355 Spider – The Rock (1996) 
  43. 1964 Cadillac Deville Convertible – 48hrs and Another 48hrs (1982, 1990) 
  44. 1997 Mistubishi Lancer Evo 4 – Who Am I (2014) 
  45. 1997 Chevrolet 2500 Silverado Fleetside – Kill Bill (2003) 
  46. 1971 Porsche 917 – Le Mans (1971) 
  47. 1967 Pontiac GTO – XXX (2002) 
  48. 1967 Jaguar E Type – Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) 
  49. 1967 Pontiac LeMans – The French Connection (1971) 
  50. 1990 Chevrolet Lumina – Days of Thunder (1990) 
  51. 2009 Chevrolet Camaro – Transformers (2007) 
  52. 1981 Porsche 928 – Risky Business (1983) 
  53. 1969 Dodge Charger R/T – The Dukes of Hazard (2005) 
  54. 1960 Peterbilt 281 Tanker – Duel (1971) 
  55. 1980 Lamborghini Countache LP400S – The Cannonball Run (1981) 
  56. 1989 Mini 1100 Special – The Bourne Identity (2002) 
  57. 1968 Austin Mini Cooper S – The Italian Job (1969) 
  58. 1971 Ford Mustang Mach1 – Diamonds Are Forever (1971) 
  59. 1978 Pontiac Trans Am – Hooper (1978) 
  60. 1984 Porsche 911 SC – Against All Odds (1984) 
  61. 1993 Porsche 911 3.6- Bad Boys (1995) 
  62. Lightning McQueen – Cars (2006) 
  63. 2007 Astin Martin DBS – Casino Royale (2006) 
  64. 1986 Chrysler Town & Country – Plans, Trains and Automobiles (1987) 
  65. Toyota 2000GT Convertible –  You Only Live Twice (1967)
  66. 1949 Mercury – Rebel Without a Cause (1955) 
  67. 1969 Nissan Skyline GT-R – Fast Five (2011) 
  68. 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona – Fast & Furious 6 (2013) 
  69. 1950 Ford – Thunder Road (1958) 
  70. 1941 Lincoln Continental – The Godfather (1972) 
  71. 1949 Buick Roadmaster – Rain Man (1988) 
  72. 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge – Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
  73. Fozzie’s Uncle’s Studebaker – The Muppet Movie (1979) 
  74. The Taxi – Taxi Driver (1976) 
  75. Customized 1954 Lincoln Futura – Batman: The Movie (1969)

She Said (2022)

She Said is a 2022 American biographical drama film directed by Maria Schrader, based on the New York Times investigation that exposed Harvey Weinstein’s history of abuse and sexual misconduct against women by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey, and Rebecca Corbett, and the 2019 book of the same name covering the investigation by Kantor and Twohey. The film stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as Twohey and Kantor, alongside Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, Jennifer Ehle, and Samantha Morton in supporting roles, and Ashley Judd appearing as herself. 

The movie tells of several women’s stories of their incounter(s) with Harvey Weinstein formerly of The Weinstein Company, as well as a few stories about other powerful famous men like Bill O’Reilly, author and fomer political commentator and television host. It also tells of how very powerful men have gotten away with sexual misconduct, how it is often covered up, swept under rugs, and ignored. Since the exposition of Weinstein, his jail sentence, and the bankruptcy of The Weinstein Company, more women have come forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment against him and other famous men, like Bill Cosby, Bryan Singer, Roman Polanski, and Danny Masterson. 

Just like Twohey’s and Kantor’s NYT story and the book based off of it, this is a very important film, not just for women’s rights, but to show that just because a not just man, but person is of powerful status, that doesn’t mean that they should be able to get away horrific acts. It also proves, that standing up for yourself instead of pretending you weren’t hurt is better than staying silent. Although sometimes speaking out against someone and what they did to you or someone else, doesn’t always work to punsih that person, it does expose that person’s true nature. So many big name men who have been accused of bad things have had little punishment (being banned, or just a few years or months in jail, probation, etc.) and are walking around free men, like Bill Cosby being let out of jail, Bill O’Reilly still writing books, Polanski still making movies. It is sad the people that still support abusers. 

The acting in this film is great from Carey Mulligan who plays Megan Twohey and Patricia Clakson who plays Rebecca Corbett, but Zoe Kazan is good, not great as Jodi Kantor, someone else could have done better in her role. Andre Braugher is fantastic as Dean Baquet, former NYT executive editor from 2014 to 2022. Jennifer Ehle does a fine job as Lauren Madden and Samantha is equally good as Zelda Perkins. 

The film is very slow for the majority of its runtime, making it extremely boring for the most part, but when Twohey has her baby, women start coming forward with their stories, and the article gets published, it gets more exciting, but not a whole lot more. With a plot like this one, you should expect the film to be pretty slow, but not so slow, it’s hard to watch, despite the importance of the story. I found myself looking away many times throughout the viewing. As a feminist, I was so excited to see this movie, but was left very disappointed. Love the story, the acting was superb, but the slowness made it almost unwatchable. I felt more like I was watching a Dateline or 20/20 episode, rather than a movie. No, you don’t need lots of action, romance, sex, or humor to make a film a great, but don’t lollygag around for the majority of the runtime. 

Overall, feminist will probably enjoy this film the most. Conservatives may want to steer clear of this one, because they do trash talk several powerful conservative men, as well as The Fox News Channel. You have to be made of rocks to not get that this is a liberal feminist film, as well as one about female rights, but this is a movie that is needed and has been needed for a long time. Something had been needing to be done about sexual harassment towards females, not just in Hollywood, not just in the entertainment industry, but all workplaces period. I’m glad females can speak up for themselves now, because for decades, we are taught to keep mum, remain calm, and pretend negative things never happened. Maybe more films, television shows, books, and news stories like this one will continue to shine a light on subjects on like this. 18+ 3/5 

Classic of the Week: Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a 1987 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. It stars Steve Martin as Neal Page, a temperamental marketing executive, and John Candy as Del Griffith, a kindhearted, but irritating salesman. In spite of their differences, they share three days of adventures and mishaps trying to get Neal home to Chicago in time for Thanksgiving Day dinner with his family. 

Neal is advertising executive on a business trip in New York City, anxious to get back home to his family in Chicago before Thanksgiving, which is in two days’ time. After a late-running buisness meeting with a hesitant client, Neal struggles to hail a cab during rush hour. As he bribes a man to let him have a cab he has hailed, it is unintentionally taken by a third man. Neal arrives at JFK Airport just as his flight is delayed. While waiting, he meets the man who “stole” the cab, Del Griffith, a talkative man who sells shower curtain rings. To his annoyance and Del’s delight, Neal is then assigned a seat next to Del on the crowded flight to O’Hare. 

Due to a blizzard in Chicago, their plane is diverted to Witchita, where they must stay overnigt. Neal is unable to book a room, but Del has successfully reserved one. Neal hesitantly accepts Del’s promise of a room if Neal pays for their cab ride to the motel. During check-in, Del mistakenly takes Neal’s credit card. Neal loses his temper over Del’s aggravating behavior and criticizes him. Del is hurt by Neal’s insults, but they calm down and awkwardly share the only bed. As they sleep, their cash is stolen by a robber. 

The next day, with their plane trip still delayed, Neal buys them both train tickets to Chicago, but with seats in seperate cars. However, the train breaks down near Jefferson City, leaving it’s passgengers stranded. Neal feels sorry for Del struggling with his trunk, and they reunite, The ride on a crowded bus to St. Louis, where Del raises cash by selling curtain ring samples to passers-by. Neal offends Del at lunch snd the two part ways again. 

At the St. Louis airport, Neal atempts to rent a car, but it is not there when he gets back to the lot. After a long and treacherous walk back to the terminal, Neal vents his anger in a profane rage at the rental agent, but all for nothing. He tries to book a taxi to Chicago, but impatiently criticizes the dispatcher, who punches him.By chance, Del arrives with his own rental car, and takes tired Neal with him. Many catastrophes happen to them and the rental car before they get to Chicago. 

This film is equal parts laugh out loud funny and heartwarming. All the disasters the two go through are hilarious, but at the same time, you feel sorry for them and their bad luck. Martin and Candy are perfectly cast and do such a great job as the uptight career man and the easy going simple guy. Neal is definitely smarter than Del, but they end up realizing that smarts and money, are really not important when it comes to family and friendship. This is not your typical John Huges film, there is are no teenagers, no romance, just two funny men for 90 percent of the runtime. This is the actors in two of their very best roles. No other actors could play these characters better than them. 

With such a simple plotline, you’d think this movie wouldn’t be very good, but it is outstanding. It is very entertaining and wildly funny. Some will see this film as just plain silly, and yes it is a bit silly, but not over the top. The two men, who are complete opposites, learn how to deal with each other, how to get along, and they eventually become friends, despite all they went through in just three days. I believe the worst thing about this movie is the awful musical score by the band King Crimson, it just didn’t fit at all. Huey Lewis & the News or Bryan Adams might have been a better choice, but that’s just my oppinion. 

Martin and Candy aren’t the best actors, but they are two of the funniest people of all time. They can take such simple stories, and even if the film isn’t that great, they make it enjoyable. Planes probably would have turned out terrible without them. The two characters clash, but in such a way that makes this movie different than most comedies. it has hilarity and heart among the disasters of most of the runtime. You learn that sometimes you have to go through chaos in life and that it’s good to have someone to help you out along the way. This is one of, if not the best Thanksgiving and fall film(s) ever. 18+ 4.5/5 

Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

Don’t Worry Darling is a 2022 American psycholigical thriller film directed by Olivia Wilde. The film strars Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Oliva Wilde, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll, and Chris Pine. The movie follows a perfect housewife living in a company town who begins to sense that a sinister secret is kept from its residents by the man who runs it. 

In America duran unspecified time period, Alice and Jack Chambers live in an a perfect 1950s-styled neighborhood in the company town of Victory, California. Every day, the men go to work at Voctory Headquarters out in the surrounding desert while their wives, stay home, to clean, relax, and cook dinner for their husbands. The women are discouraged from asking questions about their husbands’ work and told not to go out to the Headquarters. Margaret has become an outcast after taking her son out into the desert, resulting in her son’s apparent death, although she claims that Victory took him from her as punishment. While attending a party hosted by Frank, Victory’s mysterious founder and leader, Alice sees Margaret’s husband try to give her medication. Later, she sees Frank looking in on her and Jack while they are having sex in Frank’s bedroom. 

One morning, while riding the trolley across town, Alice witnesses a plane crash out in the desert. She rushes to help and comes upon the Headquarters, a small building covered in mirror-like windows. After touching one, she experiences surreal halluncinations before waking up back home later that night. In the following days, she experiences increasingly strange occurrances. She recieves a phone call from Margaret, who claims to have seen the same thing Alice did. Alice goes to see Margaret and witnesses as she cuts her own throat and falls from the roof of her house. Before she can reach Margaret’s body, Alice is dragged away by men red jumpsuits. 

Jack dismisses Alice’s calims and says Margaret simply fell while cleaning the windows and is recovering. The story is further backed up by the town physician Dr. Collins who tries to give Alice prescription drugs. Alice becomes increasingly paranoid and confused, and during a special Victory event, where Frank gives Jack an outstanding promotion, Alice breaks down in the bathroom and comforted by Bunny. Alice tries to explain everything to her, but Bunny reacts furiously, accusing Alice of being selfish. 

Sometime later, Alice and Jack invite and rest of the neighborhood, except Bunny and her husband Dean, to dinner, with Frank and his wife Shelley as special guests. Frank speaks privately with Alice in the kitchen, implying that she is right in her suspicions. Propelled by his confession, she tries to expose him over dinner, instead, Frank gaslights her, making her look deranged to the other guests. In the aftermath, Alices begs Jack for them to leave Victory. 

This film is a lot like The Stepford Wives, and at times seems like nearly a rip-off of the story. Despite the behind the scenes controversy with the cast, the acting is superb by nearly all but Harry Styles, but the story falls flat. It is far too similatr to The Stepford Wives and has a bit of a Desperate Housewives with an A24 twist, although this film was not produced by them. Harry Styles, isn’t a bad actor, he did a great job in his other film from this year My Policeman, but I think the reason he was just okay in this movie is becasue his character is meant to be handsome and empty. Sure he looks the part with his slim suits and perfect features, the camera loves him, but when it comes time for him to be deeply emotional, especially in scenes with Pugh, he doesn’t even compare to her talent in this one or his My Policeman role. 

Much like Stepford, everyday is the same, the men leave for work at the same time with their fancy cars, gorgeous suits and lunchboxes, and go to their jobs at the Victory Project, which they can’t talk about with their wives. The wives spend the days cleaning, vacuuming, scrubbing this and that in their houses and maybe a dance class. There is almost always day drinking. Wilde plays Alice’s next-door neighbor with her cat-eye makeup and Cheshire Cat grin, she brings both mystery and arrogant sexiness and humor to the strange world. 

Also like Stepford, the leaders are all about control: trying to keep mayhem down, which obviously doesn’t really work, because several neighborhood citizens start to get suspicious of the goings onaround them. The movie just gets stranger and stranger and really confusing at times. It seems to jump from one bizarre scenario to another. Some scenes are just plain weird and have no dialogue, only intense and/or creepy music. 

This film, though classified as a physchological thriller, has the cerebral factor, but it is not as thrilling as most thrillers. So many scenes make no sense, like a scene where Alice is wrapping up leftovers with plastic wrap and decides to wrap her head and face too until she can’t breath and then rips it off. These moments are left unexplained until nearly the end, when you realize there really was something in Victory’s water, that it was all about control, mind, body, lifestyle. The leaders of Victory want to turn the residents into human robots. 

The art of the film is flawless,  from the brilliant cinematography from Matthew Libatique is, to the exquisite production design from Katie Byron, to the beautiful costumes from Arianne Phillips, which will probably be the only awards this one will win, because it sure as heck isn’t going to be Best Picture. You don’t learn the truth about Victory until close the end of the movie, but it takes a prolonged twist craziness to get there. Florence Pugh could win Best Actress, but she’d be the only one deserving of an acting award. The plot is nearly unoriginal, the film is pretty slow for much of its runtime and overall, just seems like a mess of weird events, some rather disturbing, filled with an attractive cast in beautiful attire. 18+ 2/5