Movies Watched -- Shallow Grave (1994)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

93 minute running time so the perfect length … had to watch with subtitles since Scottish accents so heavy … a long-haired Ewan McGregor at his most annoying … when semi-good people do bad things tale … the twist at the end was extremely dissatisfying and ruined everything that came before … I wasn’t thrilled. Criterion probably put it in their Collection because it’s low budget, the first movie made by the guys who made Trainspotting, and “stylistically influential.“ Not essential viewing in my opinion.

Scottish yuppies at their most awful

Scottish yuppies at their most awful

Movies Watched -- Mother (1996)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

104 minute running time, but I only made it 50 minutes in before quitting. Albert Brooks is a middle-aged guy who moves home with Mom to figure out why he has trouble with women — it’s his Mom’s fault of course. There are some funny bits but I just didn’t want to see this Baby Boomer (Brooks born in ‘47) man-child whining to his aged mother (who must have had him when she was 15 years old) … and I had a major problem with Debbie Reynolds as his Mom since she’s a Gentile and has no business playing a Jewish mother. Marrying Eddie Fisher didn’t make her Jewish. Give it a miss.

I want organic peanut butter, mother

I want organic peanut butter, mother

Movies Watched -- White Heat (1949)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

113 minute running time so at least 15 minutes too long, but I liked this one, it’s good. Little James Cagney plays a great psychopathic bad guy, I wonder if he was a little nuts in real life? Crime story, smoggy 1940s LA with City Hall prominently featured, a blonde double-crossing dame, a cop mole in the gang, it has all the elements. See it if you get the chance.

Made it, Ma! Top of the world!

Made it, Ma! Top of the world!

Chrysanthemum

Added on by C. Maoxian.

I dig it… especially the opening transitions. Would be a good song to inhale to… thanks to the Spotify algo for recommending it:

Movies Watched -- Corridors of Blood (1959)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

86 minute running time, so the perfect length. This is my first Karloff movie and it wasn’t bad, not cheesy at all. Interesting story, decent acting, well plotted … it was really pretty good. It’s in the Criterion Collection for a reason. See it if you get the chance.

Resurrection Joe Looms

Resurrection Joe Looms

Movies Watched -- The Killers (1964)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

94 minute running time, but I had to watch it at 2x ffwd. Mid-60s remake of the 1946 movie. More explicitly violent, esp. smacking women around. Lee Marvin plays a good bad guy, Angie Dickinson as femme fatale, President Reagan (who smacks Angie pretty well), John Cassavetes plays Don Draper, Norman Fell looking super Jewish. Soundtrack heavy on the conga drums and blaring horns. Story told in flashbacks again. Pretty lame, no idea why Criterion included it in their collection. Avoid.

Let Ronzo do all the talking

Let Ronzo do all the talking

Movies Watched -- The Big Sleep (1946)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

113 minute running time, at least 20 minutes too long. I like Chandler, lots of snappy dialogue (via Faulkner), but the story lost me, too complicated, I didn’t know what the hell was going on. I like Lauren Bacall and her sultry smoker’s voice, her sister (Martha Vickers) was cute too. A complete mystery to me why Humphrey Bogart was a sex symbol, he does nothing for me. Another noir movie from the 1940s that Criterion has put in their collection, but I wasn’t thrilled.

A lot depends on who’s in the saddle

A lot depends on who’s in the saddle


Then You Put a Line Through It

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Sort of a weird video, but I love the song. Nearly a billion plays on Spotify and a half billion on YouTube so one or two people heard it before I did:

Movies Watched -- The Killers (1946)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

105 minute running time so about five minutes too long. Starring big handsome dummy Burt Lancaster with Ava Gardner and her cleft chin as the femme fatale. Story told through multiple flashbacks, which can get tiring. It’s OK, not great. Included in the Criterion Collection probably because it’s classic noir made right after the War.

If there's one thing in this world I hate, it's a double-crossing dame.

If there's one thing in this world I hate, it's a double-crossing dame.

Movies Watched -- Free Solo (2018)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

97 minutes so the perfect length. Nat Geo documentary about Alex somebody’s insane free solo climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He’s a weird guy, clearly smart but also cold … has some sociopathic qualities that I appreciated… cute California-style girlfriend … it’s pretty well made, I enjoyed it.

The filmmakers are this beautiful Tibetan/American-Indian looking guy named Jimmy Chin (so he’s at least part-Chinese) and his wife, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, who is also beautiful and part-Chinese (her Dad was one of my professors at Rutgers, small world).

Cameraman can’t bear to watch

Cameraman can’t bear to watch

Chairman Recommended: Flip-Flops (Updated)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

I wore Teva Mush flip-flops for many years and loved them, but they had one big problem: they stained the soles of my feet black. (I wear them all day every day from June to September.) The girl in my local shoe shop, disgusted by the look of my soles, suggested I switch to OluKai flip-flops instead. These ‘Ohana are the bottom of the line for OluKai and cost $65 (well over two times what I paid for Teva Mush), but they’re comfortable (nice footbed) and water-resistant.

If you had trouble with stained feet with the Teva Mush, I recommend you check out these OluKais instead.

10110_1313_001_M_Ohana_MusMus_1024x1024.jpg

Movies Watched -- The Help (2011)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

137 minute running time so way way way too long, at least 40 minutes too long. Stars bug-eyed Emma Stone. Another Racism for Dummies movie, and a W.D. By (written and directed by the same guy). Lots of heartstring music and mawkish piano to make the tears flow. Jessica Chest-ain plays a Marilyn Monroe type, she’s not bad. I wasn’t super thrilled, it’s simplistic and sentimental, and it’s way too long. Yellow rating at best, but I recommend avoiding it.

Skeeeeter

Skeeeeter

Movies Watched -- Fed Up (2014)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

92 minute running time. Documentary about the obesity “epidemic.” Wasn’t super thrilled with it. Features several obese kids and their fat parents. The interesting thing to me is why aren’t the siblings of these fat kids similarly fat? They’re all eating the same crap food in the same amounts, yet only one of them is 250 pounds at age 14. It’s obvious to me that the super fat kid has some metabolic issue which is preventing him from processing the junk food in the same way his siblings are.

Everyone knows sugar is bad, processed foods are bad, Pizza Hut and carbonated sugar water in the public school cafeterias are bad. There’s nothing new here. And they didn’t explore the metabolic root of the fat kid problem, which would have been truly interesting. I can’t recommend this one.

Pass the Nutella & Go! (23 grams of sugar and 13 grams of fat)

Pass the Nutella & Go! (23 grams of sugar and 13 grams of fat)

Movies Watched -- The Hit (1984)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

97 minute running time so a good length…. a little strange, sort of a crime thriller but more of a comedy with some philosophizing … I’m sure it inspired Tarantino and others like him … it’s quirky and not bad, I can see why Criterion put it in their Collection. I’m not sure I can give it a coveted green-go rating, but it’s worth seeing.

Laura of the Sun

Laura of the Sun

Movies Watched -- On Dangerous Ground (1952)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

82 minute running time … another weird Nicholas Ray movie… starts out noirish (dark streets, burned-out cops), but turns into a love story … it’s not bad. Stars Robert Ryan who’s a big handsome bastard with a square-jaw. Great cameo by A.I. Bezzerides. Bernard Herrmann score as heavy-handed as ever.

Checking out the officer’s gun

Checking out the officer’s gun

The Same Old Buzz, Just Because

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Start the video at 0:54 … thought it was Alan Jackson the first time I heard it … some clever lines, a great sound, I love it. Look at all the idiots in the audience watching the performance through their phones… oughta be a law.

Movies Watched -- They Live By Night (1948)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

95 minute running time, so the perfect length. This was not your average studio movie, and it was good. Noir but with a heavy romance angle … doomed lovers. Farley Granger had sort of feminine good looks with his full mouth and dark brow … Cathy O'Donnell looks like the Tiger Mom’s older daughter Sophia, a real beauty.

I didn’t know any of the back story (Nick Ray’s directorial debut, etc.), but I did feel like this is a special movie, it’s unusual … someone said Ray didn’t know what he wasn’t supposed to do, which made it really fresh and interesting.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, you should make the effort to do so, I recommend it.

Keechie, you don't belong with that kind of people

Keechie, you don't belong with that kind of people

Movies Watched -- Gilda (1946)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

110 minute running time so at least 10 minutes too long. Weird one with no story really. Margarita Cansino is the “curvy bombshell” who lip synchs some songs and does a strip tease of sorts (skirting the old Hays Code with all the sexual innuendo) … just dumb, they try to make it thrilling by involving evil Germans, and a casino, and a tungsten cartel, and setting it in Buenos Aires, but it just isn’t, and the relationships make no sense … just another crappy studio movie from the 40s. Don’t see it.

Ms. Cansino, beaming

Ms. Cansino, beaming

Movies Watched -- We Don't Live Here Anymore (2004)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

98 minute running time so the perfect length, but it’s pretty slow, I had to watch it at 1.5x ffwd. A story about marriage, adultery, and friendship. Two youngish couples: 1) Older brother from Six Feet Under (Peter Krause) and Naomi Watts (yes, another in my Naomi Watts’ series of movies), and 2) gorgeous Mark Ruffalo and Laura Dern (Bruce’s skinny-ass daughter).

Mark and Naomi are having an affair. Both couples have young children. Both men teach at the local community college. Peter is a frustrated writer, Mark grades the occasional paper. Naomi drives an old Mercedes station wagon, so she has family money; there is a scene where she gets a check from her Mom. Laura Dern is broke, so there is a money/class angle they touch on, though briefly.

It’s a small town (Vancouver), Mark and Naomi would be found out immediately — it’s unrealistic. Later Peter Krause and Laura Dern start screwing … Bruce’s skinny-ass daughter looks like the Wild Witch of the West even when she isn’t screeching. Painful to watch these couples as they contemplate splitting up (since they have kids, otherwise I wouldn’t care). Gets complicated, arty drama, very restrained, educated white people stuff. You know, boring.

It wasn’t terrible, just sort of blah, who cares. Yellow rating at best.

Eleanor Ringel Cater got it right: “A movie as empty as its title. A lot of good acting is going on, but there's nobody home.”

It’s much easier to live with a woman who feels loved

It’s much easier to live with a woman who feels loved