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Everything posted by Palatkik

  1. Help [2021 TV movie] A young woman seems to have found her calling working in a Liverpool care home where she has a special talent for connecting with the residents. Then, in March 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic hits. A downer drama as can be expected about care home failings at the time with two very strong lead performances to make it worthwhile.
  2. Cry Macho [2021] A one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder takes a job to bring a man's young son home and away from his alcoholic mom across the border in Mexico. On their journey, the horseman finds redemption teaching the boy what it means to be good. Overly slow modern day cowboy drama, would barely pass muster but for it coming from 92 year old Clint. Not bad, but not that good either.
  3. Herself [2020] A young mother escapes her abusive husband and fights back against a broken housing system. She sets out to build her own home and in the process rebuilds her life and re-discovers herself. A jarring mix of unbelievable kindness and nasty cruelty kind of works for this mostly upbeat Irish drama.
  4. Slalom [2020] Under the guidance of a strict ex-champion, a promising 15 year old girl trains as a professional skiing star. Excellent French drama traverses the Alpine slopes at exhilarating speeds whilst swerving into the slippery slope of when close physical training becomes sexual abuse.
  5. Riders Of Justice [2020] A soldier takes compassionate leave home to see his teenage daughter, after his wife dies in a train accident. It seems like an accident until a mathematics geek, who was also on the train, and his two colleagues show up. Excellent Danish revenge thriller with a wickedly funny dark side, action packed, full of subtle drama and surprises. Worth seeing.
  6. The Toll [2021] A low budget darkly-comic thriller set on the Pembrokeshire coast about a toll booth operator with a past that is fast catching up with him. Enjoyably amusing crime caper, with an acceptable cheesy ending, hits the ground running with nonstop deadpan humor amongst the rolling Welsh countryside.
  7. Censor [2021] After viewing a strangely familiar video nasty, a film censor, sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister's disappearance, embarking on a quest that dissolves the line between fiction and reality. Ambitious low budget horror flick set in 80's Britain works OK. Worth seeing if you are into the horror genre.
  8. The North Water [2021 TV Limited Series] Dramatic period thriller TV series of a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as ship's doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic in 1869. Hoping to escape the horrors of his past, he finds himself on an ill-fated journey with a murderous psychopath. In search of redemption, his story becomes a harsh struggle in the Arctic wasteland. This slow moving thriller, flat at times, jumps hoops showing it's based on a novel, has a top cast giving some good performances, set in a stunningly bleak environment.
  9. Stillwater [2021] Drama piece of an American oil-rig roughneck travels from Oklahoma to the French south coast to help his estranged daughter, who is in prison for a murder she claims she didn't commit. Confronted with language and legal barriers to understand in a foreign country, he builds a new life there with a mission to exonerate his child. This dodgy story is just about held together with fine character portrayals.
  10. Annette [2021] A stand-up provocateur comedian and his opera singer wife have a two year old puppet 'daughter' with a surprising talent. This unique rock opera by the avant-garde Ron and Russel Mael duo of Sparks, in their first ever feature is certainly different. A mix of brilliance, frustration and tedium. Bizarre as only Sparks can be. Worth seeing only for those who can stomach the genre.
  11. Small Axe [2020 TV Limited Series] Five part mini TV series named after the Wailers song, is based on the real-life experiences of London's West Indian communities between 1969 and 1982. Each episode telling a different story, each directed by Steve McQueen, chip firmly on shoulder with agenda driven one sided race relations point of view can feel clich├ęd. Nevertheless a good series best watched as a whole with some top soundtracks of the era and good performances, episode 1 a two hour epic in itself and episode 2 for the soundtrack alone.
  12. Summer Of Soul [2021] Summer Of Soul (...Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) is an entertaining feature documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival which celebrated African American music and culture. Vibrant mix of archived political interviews, performing footage of some well-known blues and soul singers of the era, supposedly not seen since this was filmed as the tapes have only recently been recovered some fifty years on.
  13. Preparations To Be Together For An Unknown Period Of Time [2020] A neurosurgeon leaves her shining American career behind and returns to her hometown of Budapest to start a new life with the man she desires. But the love of her life claims they have never met before. Hungary's recent entry for best International film, this haunting slow-burn psychodrama is superbly acted and quietly gripping, if but for the ending that seems flat.
  14. The Sparks Brothers [2021] A musical odyssey through five weird and wonderful decades with Ron and Russell Mael celebrating the inspiring legacy of Sparks who were often more popular in the UK and Europe than their home country. About 30 minutes too long but a highly entertaining documentary that has some funny interviews with the quirky duo.
  15. Pig [2021] A truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland city in search of his foraging pig that was stolen. A unique, surreal and bittersweet indie film drama with the lead [Cage] at his best.
  16. The Duke [2020] In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60 year old taxi driver, steals Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. Old school style British comedy drama based on a true story with two established lead actors on form, highly entertaining.
  17. Night Of The Kings [2020] A young man is sent to a prison in Ivory Coast in the middle of the forest ruled by its inmates. With the red moon rising, he is designated by the inmate leader to be the new "Roman" and must tell a story to the other prisoners until dawn. Stylish French made prison drama full of theatrics and compelling viewing.
  18. on loan to United euph. Up on blocks, fallen to the communists, on the blob, riding the menstrual cycle, on tow, packing string, chasing the cotton mouse, dropping clots, smoking short cigars, boiling beetroots, shooting jam, playing Arsenal at home.
  19. Danny Boy [2021] Follows Brian Wood who is humbled when he is accused of Iraqi war crimes by the former human rights lawyer Phil Shiner. A lightweight drama made for TV has a star lead albeit glosses over the details and ends underwhelmingly. Interesting somewhat for those who didn't know the story beforehand.
  20. Limbo [2020] A refugee carrying his oud and separated from his Syrian family, stuck on a remote fictional Scottish island awaiting the fate of his asylum request with other refugees. The premise might seem misguided and a bit sanitized coming from a big movie corporation UA, but the offbeat story is poignant with some wickedly wry British humor and Scottish scenery making for an enjoyable movie, nothing great but OK.
  21. Rare Beasts [2019] A British anti rom-com about a career-driven single mother, who falls for charming, traditionalist work colleague. A movie that starts off well but descends into cliched platitudes best forgotten. Only became available to see in 2021, never a good sign.
  22. A Quiet Place Part II [2021] Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats. Cashing in on the success of the original from 2018, sequels and sci-fi horror flicks are both an acquired taste, but when entertaining mindless alien violence fits the bill this is OK as its still retains some of the originality and the thrills work.
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