Starring: Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, Jim Brown, Peter Carsten, Kenneth More, André Morell
Runtime: 1h 40min
In war-torn Congo, Captain Curry and his trusted partner in crime Ruffo take on a dangerous new mission: to travel through areas of civil and military unrest to retrieve a bunch of diamonds for the new president. And what does a mission of this magnitude need? A crack team! And a mid-sized military squadron. Or battalion. Brigade? Division? Regiment? We’re not down with the lingo – we never joined the army despite our sharp wits and even sharper bayonets (a weapon much favoured among modern military forces, we’re sure). Anyway – Mercenaries Assemble!
Their band of mercenaries (and one nazi) ready themselves for the adventure of a lifetime! Well, not technically a lifetime seeing as how they’re all soldiers who have been fighting in Congo for a while. More like they ready themselves for another day’s work. Either way, ready they are and off they go!
Along the way they run into flying attacks, a damsel in distress (who was coming along anyway, but still), child murder, chainsaw fights, inconvenient time locks, Simbas, child birth, nuns and train delays. There’s also love and betrayal, and surprisingly emotional deaths.
Dark of the Sun (a.k.a. The Mercenaries, a.k.a. Planes, Trains and Armored Jeeps, a.k.a. Bromance – The Movie) is exciting, emotional, violent and very, very good, and we absolutely loved it! Curry might be in a gray area morally, but he firmly places himself on the right side of history, calling out racists and literal nazis throughout the movie. Also, can we talk about Curry and Ruffo? Now that is a friendship for the ages! The whole romantic thing with Claire means nothing in comparison – Curry and Ruffo is the real romance here. Also, that final fight between Curry and Nazi-boy felt incredibly brutal and real. Overall, two very enthusiastic thumbs up from Norway!
What we learned: Diamonds are a man’s worst enemy. Also, don’t bring a nazi on your mission. Or anywhere really.
Starring: John Phillip Law, Marisa Mell, Michel Piccoli, Adolfo Celi, Claudio Gora, Terry-Thomas, Mario Donen
Runtime: 1h 45min
Diabolik: a criminal mastermind! Think 1960s Batman villain/dark James Bond. He has a suave underground lair, fast cars and even faster dames, revealing showers, infinite tricks up his (immaculately tailored) sleeves, and a lust for adventure and danger surpassing even Rick O’Connell. He also has A Dame of His Own; Eva – a trusted sidekick and confidant as well as Secret-Lover-in-the-Night-Time (or really any time, it seems). Like her man, the Dame has expensive taste and her only wish for her birthday is an emerald necklace owned by a powerful politician’s wife. Cue heist!
Now, being a Criminal Mastermind™, Diabolik has managed to piss off both law inforcement, represented by inspector Ginko, and a mafia-like crime syndicate, led by the ruthless Valmont. They’re both after his hide, and throughout the movie our anti-hero and Eva must thwart their plots and avoid capture, traps and certain death.
Danger: Diabolik is the epitome of the 1960s in our minds (of course, as we are very young and nubile, we didn’t experience the decade ourselves); it’s colourful, cool, sexy and sleek. At first, Diabolik himself was presented like a clear hero – his first heist was immaculately planned with no loss of life. However, as the film progressed, he started killing people left, right and centre. Still, he is much more humane with more of a moral compass than say crime boss Valmont, and we loved how we ende up rooting for both Diabolik and Inspector Ginko. Diabolik and Eva seem very much in love and in a surprisingly healthy relationship. You know, apart from the crime of it all.
We loved the art/graphics of this, the fact that we learn nothing about the backstory of this gentleman criminal (we guess there might be more meat on that bone in the original comic, but we enjoyed the mystery of it all), the Morricone score and the drama queen that is Diabolik himself. It’s a funny, cool, stylish and thoroughly entertaining watch, and we recommend it to basically everyone. Enjoy!
What we learned: Clearly, there’s a universe out there where cars and guns come cheap, but fabric for women’s clothing is out of everyone’s price range. Also, it is impossible NOT to pronounce Diabolik as “diabolique.”
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Lee J. Cobb, Susan Clark, Tisha Sterling, Don Stroud, Betty Field, Tom Tully
Runtime: 1h 33min
Coogan, a sheriff’s deputy in Arizona, is sent to New York City to pick up a prisoner and bring him back for trial. Easy enough you might think. But you’d be wrong. The prisoner, James Ringerman, is not so much in jail as he is in Bellevue after a bad LSD trip. In order to get him back, Coogan has to follow loads of rules, regulations and procedures. Coogan is not a fan of rules and regulations. Or procedures. So he bluffs to get Ringerman out of Bellevue. Hence the title purloined from an actual location in NYC. See what they did there?
Unfortunately, Ringerman escapes and neither NYPD Lt. McElroy nor Sheriff McCrea is very impressed by Coogan’s shenanigans so they both command him off the case. However, Coogan is not a fan of commands either, so he promptly ignores them and decides to hunt down his escaped prisoner.
Along the way, he runs into the weirdest female character – Julie Roth. She’s some sort of psychoanalyst/social worker/parole officer working with young women on probation, and her fetish is being taken advantage of and objectified by men. Perfect for Coogan who is all about the objectification of women. Sometimes fate just intervenes and brings people together.
For the rest of the movie Coogan runs around NYC getting into brawls and beds in his hunt for Ringerman. He quips and sasses, and participates in quite a cool motorcycle chase. But will he catch his prey?
Ok, the action is cool and we loved the swinging 60s party, but the protagonist and the “love story” seem incredibly dated. Coogan, though kind of hilarious at times and undeniably intelligent and charming, is a cocky and chauvinistic asshole with absolutely no regard for anyone else. Which we guess is sort of the point; the conservative (in some ways) country boy vs. the liberal city values. And while it probably works as intended, it’s kind of Toxic Masculinity: The Movie. Also, Julie needs some serious therapy for falling for his crap. Actually, they both need therapy, but she seems more likely to seek it out. He has no reason to, as society keeps rewarding him for his assholey behaviour and talking about your feelings is probably for city sissies anyway.
Coogan’s Bluff is interesting as a double feature with Bullitt; the contrast between the two protagonists (who in many ways are very similar) only underlines what a bitch Coogan is. Still a fun watch though – the bar brawl is legendary. And sure, we get how a young Clint Eastwood might blind a young psychologist to anything but the D, but come on Julie! He is never going to meet your emotional needs. Just bang him and get it out of your system. If you need a strong, silent type with a clear sense of right and wrong who still doesn’t mind breaking a few rules to bring criminals to justice, and who is comfortable being in a relationship with an educated, professional woman, look no further than Lt. Bullitt.
What we learned: Sometimes the hot bastard is just a hot bastard – don’t waste your time searching for that hidden heart of gold and ascribing characteristics to them that they just don’t possess.
Starring: Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn, Don Gordon, Robert Duvall, Simon Oakland, Georg Stanford Brown
Runtime: 1h 54min
Happy New Year guys. It’s been a minute. For reasons. But like us, Edgar has been busy editing the list and adding lots of new titles! Loads of juicy bits for us to bite into. Yummy! Thus, we shall once again pick up the mantle of chronicling our odyssey through the list (provided we don’t get too distracted by side quests again). Allons-y!
We’ll pick up (sort of) where we left off, with Peter Yates’ Bullitt (although it has jumped from #305 to #349. Which means that while you may have thought we took a year’s hiatus, we actually managed to do 44 films. In a strange, but also very real, way. For an explanation of how we deal with numbering, read here). In San Francisco, Lt. Frank Bullitt is tasked with keeping star witness and former mobster Johnny Ross safe for the next 40 hours, until he is scheduled to testify in a hearing which is supes important, for a dodgy politician named Chalmers. It’s a whole thing.
Bullitt and his men fail miserably and Ross is shot on the first night. He survives for a bit in hospital, but when he finally bites the dust Bullitt teams up with his surgeon to hide the body for a bit so that he can keep investigating the murder. With both Chalmers and Captain Bennett putting the pressure on him, our hero must solve the mystery and complete his investigation while he avoids being murdered and stuff.
Bullitt is a violent action thriller, and the violence comes in short, quick increments, making it all the more effective. It also has an iconic car chase (some might even say it “surpasses any within recall”) in the hilly streets of San Francisco (where both the good guy and the bad guys are inexplicably outrun by an unassuming green beetle on several occasions), and a climactic foot chase in an airport to round it all off. Steve McQueen, a personal favourite of Sister the Youngest, is perfect in the title role. Very much the strong, silent type, his intensity makes him believable as a cop who will stand up to his superiors and do what’s right.
We loved McQueen’s cardigan game (cardigame?), the very ’60s soundtrack, the nurses’ headgear (how did anyone ever think that was practical?), Eddy’s entire look (choices!), the African American surgeon (progressive for the time? Or do we only think it is because things are still so shitty in the world? God, that’s a very depressing thought, isn’t it..?) the chases, the murders, the mystery and the mayhem. And Steve McQueen’s absolute coolness. That man really knew how to work the silences.
What we learned: You work your side of the street and I’ll work mine.
Watched: January 12 2022 during our first ever 1000 Films Blog Movie Night™
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter, Leonard Rossiter, Margaret Tyzack, Robert Beatty, Sean Sullivan, Douglas Rain, Frank Miller
Runtime: 2h 29min
Ok, let’s face it, we cannot possibly hope to say anything new and interesting about one of the world’s most celebrated pieces of cinema – Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. So we’re not even going to try, but we will give a brief summary of the plot for the three readers who have never seen the movie.
What we learned: In space, no one can hear you have an existential crisis.
Watched: January 30 2021 …and then again on January 3 2022 since we’d forgotten the experience.
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Starring: Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, and a whole bunch of other people
Runtime: 1h 45min
How can we describe Weekend? It’s definitely a film you should experience for yourself, but we’ll take a shot at describing the plot.
Roland (Yanne) and Corinne (Darc) are planning to kill her parents for the inheritance, as one does. Then, he plots to off her for the same reason, since he has another girl waiting in the wings. Lovely couple, very nice.
After describing a sexual encounter in detail (though without any emotion), as we all always do with your partners, Corinne gets in the car with Roland and off they go a-killing. They soon run into major traffic, as well as an impressive and very long shot of them passing said traffic in the wrong lane. With honking. Lots of honking. And some dead bodies casually strewn around.
Eventually the two crash their car (it was inevitable, really) and go on foot instead, running into historical and fictional characters, cannibals, and rapists. You know, the sort of people who tend to hang out in your local woods.
Somehow it all works, thanks to Godard’s genius. In a way, we feel as though it’s designed to stress you out. It’s a commentary on consumerism, classicism, racism, egotism and general shittyness. You kind of have to see it to believe it, and while Weekend doesn’t seem to be streaming anywhere, a good library will probably have a copy. This is why we love physical media and public libraries.
Weekend is funny and silly and brutal and disturbing, but most of all it’s fascinating. Sure, it’s not a movie everyone will love, but we enjoyed this roadtrip from Hell quite a lot, even though we didn’t quite understand the world we were thrown into. To be fair, we feel that way just waking up in the morning, so it might be us…
What we learned: We’re going to need diagrams of the sex scene Corinne describes. How did that work physically?? If anyone can do a powerpoint presentation, an illustration, a demonstration or something of the mechanicals of it, please let us know.
Joanna and Mark Wallace (Hepburn and Finney, respectively), a disillusioned and sniping couple, are going on a road trip to St. Tropez. The story of their 12 year relationship is told through flashbacks juxtaposed with more current events as we examine how they ended up in their current, seemingly loveless, marriage.
Travel permeates their relationship – at least most critical events appear to have happened while they’re on the road. They met in Europe and fell in love while hitchhiking together, and from there on out most developments occur on other trips they take, alone or together.
Our favourite might be their ridiculous road trip with Mark’s ex Cathy (Bron), her overbearing husband Howard (Daniels) and their obnoxious and unruly daughter Ruthie (not her fault – her parents are useless). The fact that Joanna and Mark have kids after this is mindblowing.
We’re in two minds about this movie. We love the non-linear storytelling and the wardrobe, but the relationship doesn’t quite work for us. Audrey Hepburn is lovely as Joanna, but frankly we’re not sold on Albert Finney in this, and we don’t quite see their chemistry.
At times it seems as though they’re going for the loving bickering of Nick and Nora, but while she is charming enough, he often comes across as a douche. Why on earth would they get married? They’re a perfect example of how squabbling and negging does NOT a cute couple make.
Sure, they have some good times – their express tourism is fun, and the continuous gag about his passport is cute, but overall our impression is that they should have been a holiday fling. Not building a life together. Especially as they fall into the classic trap of “sure, my partner and I have agreed on a life goal together, but I’m sure they’ll change their mind now that I have!” Then again, maybe that is the point of the story..? In which case: well done to all involved!
We have a fondness for Cathy though – just the way she talks is enough to make us want to hang out with her. And we’d pay good money to see a crossover show with Cathy and Howie befriending Mortitia and Gomez Addams! Or Nick and Nora Charles. If anyone wants to develop that show we’ll take 10% of all proceeds, including merchandising, please and thank you.
What we learned: Who travels in a vinyl outfit? Have fun with the thrush…
Delphine and Solange (real life sisters Deneuve and Dorléac) are two very accomplished sisters desperately seeking men. Their mother, Yvonne (Darrieux), runs a café and regrets leaving her fiancé ten years prior due to his unfortunate last name (Dame). In their small seaside town, they sing, dance, frolick, endanger their children, and avoid meeting both their soulmates and axe murderers.
The small town of Rochefort is an eventful one, and there are plenty of things going on. For instance, artist Maxence (Perrin) needs to lower his fucking expectations and perhaps focus more on what sort of personality his dream girl will have and less on what she will look like; Yvonne keeps letting COMPLETE STRANGERS PICK UP HER SON FROM SCHOOL, the complete madwoman; and one of the regular guests at her café is running around brutally murdering women.
Oh, didn’t we mention that? 103 minutes into this romantic and sweet musical, a woman (Lola, actually) is brutally murdered. With an axe. And all the characters proceed to make jokes about it.
Les demoiselles de Rochefort is sort of the opposite of Weekend (which we’re coming to soon) – everyone is sweet and simple (except for the whole axe murderer subplot). It’s beautiful in its pastel ice cream colours, and the singing and dancing is everything.
Delphine and Maxence’s hopeless romantics are contrasted by the more sensible yet still artistic Solange and Andy Miller (Kelly). Then there are the fun and shallow carnies (Chakiris and Dale) and all the fantastic dance numbers. Sure, it’s mildly annoying that no one in this small town has ever met each other before, and Yvonne really is the world’s most irresponsible parent, but this is an incredibly sweet and charming movie which we’re going to watch annually. Do yourself a favour and join us!
What we learned: We need to step up our hat game if we’re ever to meet a man…
We’ve just got back from Oppdal, and Ramaskrik Film Festival. For the uninitiated, Ramaskrik is an annual horror film festival and Sister the Oldest has had the privilege of helping pick out movies for it for the past 2 years. Since Thursday, we’ve basically been in a vegetative state in front of a big cinema screen (as opposed to our usual vegetative state in front of a much smaller TV screen) absorbing horror movies and eating too much pizza. Here’s a recap of some high- (and low-)lights.
The Boy Behind the Door, dir: David Charbonier, Justin Powell. Intense and tense movie about two boys who are kidnapped, in large parts carried by an amazing performance from Lonnie Chavis. Recommended!
Brain Freeze, dir: Julien Knafo French-Canadian plant zombies on a private island for rich people. This one didn’t quite work for us. It’s not funny enough for a comedy, not scary enough for a horror, not political enough for a satire, and not dramatic enough for a drama. It sort of touched on several genres but didn’t quite fulfill any of them. It has some redeeming qualities though – the cast is very good, and they have found the most amazing baby who has ever existed. Seriously, that baby alone is worth the ticket money.
Benny Loves You, dir: Karl Holt Jack works for a toy company, lives at home, and is hopelessly stuck in a state of arrested development. In an attempt to get his life together, he throws away his childhood toy Benny. Big mistake… Benny is not ready to let go. Benny Loves You is adorable. Is it a perfect movie? No. But it is funny, gory, and extremely charming. So yes – if you get a chance, you should definitely check this out. We’ve watched it twice already…
The Deep House, dir: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury A couple goes diving to explore a flooded house. But they find more than they bargained for. This one divided us a bit. It’s a slow burner, and some found it a bit boring while the pace worked for others. We’re all in agreement about hating the boyfriend with a fiery vengeance though – he is such an asshole. We also agree that the ending was a bit meh. But all in all the movie is quite good – especially if you don’t mind a slow pace and an idiot boyfriend.
Kandisha, dir: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury: A girl summons the Moroccan demon Kandisha for revenge after her ex assaults her. And Kandisha answers the call. This was a nice little demon movie with a cool monster and a good cast of characters. The French multi-cultural setting worked really well as well. Not overly memorable, but not bad either. Also directed by the same guys who made The Deep House.
Coming Home in the Dark, dir: James Ashcroft A family is assaulted and then kidnapped by two drifters in New Zealand. Oooo, this was good! Very tense, very engaging, very well cast, and undeniably brutal and dark. Definitely recommended if you like long lasting psychological torture. And who doesn’t?
Antlers, dir: Scott Cooper This is a long-awaited Wendigo movie and it almost lived up to the hype. The monster is awesome (del Toro was involved), the characters work, they balance the backstory really well (just enough information without dwelling on it), and the concept is great. We just wish there had been some more Native Americans in this movie about Native American myths… It’s a veeeery white movie.
In the Earth, dir: Ben Wheatley. Mythical wood spirits and madness, probably exacerbated by mushrooms. Also British politeness leading to horrible consequences. The first half is great, the second half seems disconnected from the first. But amazing performances, especially by 1000 films blog favourite Reece Shearsmith. Not for everyone, but worth watching, even though it falls apart a bit towards the end. We enjoyed it.
The Night House, dir: David Bruckner After her husband’s suicide, Beth starts to uncover his dark secrets in the lake house he built them. Fairly standard horror, but taken to the next level by an amazing Rebecca Hall! Also contains the most accurate picture of teachers out drinking ever captured on film. Recommended!
Titane, dir: Julia Ducournau Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year, Julia Ducournau’s Titane probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. We were warned it would be shocking and weird before we went to see it, but we didn’t really find it all that shocking. Or that weird, really. We did however enjoy the hell out of it. Catch this one in the cinema!
The Sadness, dir: Rob Jabbaz In Taiwan, a virus has been largely ignored by authorities until a mutation turns all the infected into sex-crazed, sadistic killers. Whoops! There had to be a zombie-virus film this year (we’re surprised there weren’t more, actually), and The Sadness offers up all the over-the-top gore you could possibly ask for. There’s also a Me Too-message in there, so ticks a lot of Zeitgeist boxes. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!
Alone With You, dir: Emily Bennett, Justin Brooks Charlie is waiting for her (possibly psychologically abusive) girlfriend to come home, but finds herself trapped in her apartment as weird things begin to happen. We watched this on our last day, and that may have been a mistake. Compared to the rest of the program, this wasn’t quite up to scratch. It might have worked as a 30 minute short, but there definitely wasn’t enough there for a full length feature. Meh.
The Night Shift (a.k.a. Ghost Mansion), dir: Jo Ba-Reun: A Korean anthology about a cursed apartment building and some of the inhabitants who have lived (and usually died) there over the years. This was cool, and became a bit of an audience favourite. The backstory of the building might have been a tad convoluted and not necessarily related to all the stories, but each short story worked really well. Check it out!
No Man of God, dir: Amber Sealey: Not necessarily a horror, No Man of God tells the story of the relationship between Ted Bundy and the FBI analysist who worked with him after his arrest. It’s quiet and slow, but it packs a punch and is thoroughly engaging. Additionally, Elijah Wood manages to look 40 and 14 at the same time, and we love him all the more for it. Highly recommended!
The Advent Calendar, dir: Patrick Ridremont Wheelchair bound Eva gets an old wooden advent calendar from a friend. A demonic calendar. With demons. Which was obvious from the look of it, but it’s surprising how many characters in horror movies have never actually seen a horror movie. Still, it was entertaining with a great concept and a cool monster. Perhaps a new Christmas tradition?
Slapface, dir: Jeremiah Kipp Brothers Tom and Lucas live alone since the death of their mother. Tom tries to look after his little brother, but is not quite capable. And then Lucas befriends a monster in the woods… This is an excellent monster movie with compelling characters and sibling dynamics. The monster is also really good, and the movie is darker than you’d expect. Very good stuff!
Last Night in Soho, dir: Edgar Wright: Ho. Ly. Fuck. Yes. Yes please. Everyone must watch this. Stylish, intriguing and surprising, with a perfect cast and all the attention to detail we’ve come to expect from Edgar. We’re watching it again once it’s released in Norway.
Starring: Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Minnie Driver, Marc Anthony, Isabella Rossellini, Ian Holm, Allison Janney, Liev Schreiber
Runtime: 1h 49min
Like Pulp Fiction, Big Night also gets to skip ahead in line because of Kosmorama Film Festival’s fantastic Culinary Cinema program. On September 15th we enjoyed a lovely meal inspired by the even lovelier movie we were watching during the meal. What else can two gals ask for?
Brothers Primo (Shalhoub) and Secondo (Tucci) run an Italian restaurant in New Jersey. And when we say Italian restaurant we mean Italian restaurant. Primo will not compromise on his food – it will be just the way he learned to make it, thankyouverymuch, despite the New Jersey palate not appreciating his traditional cuisine.
Secondo, who’s dating Phyllis (Driver) while secretly sleeping with Gabriella (Rossellini), goes to rival restauranteur Pascal (Holm) to ask for a loan to keep their business afloat. Pascal refuses the loan, but offers to get a famous singer to come eat at the brothers’ place to draw in customers and publicity. Oh, by the way Pascal is married to Gabriella. Just to further complicate things. Primo and Secondo pour their last savings into the menu for their Big Night – everything must be perfect for their famous guest! But will the investment pay off?
Big Night is charming, funny and a bit sad, with wonderful performances from its entire cast. At the heart of it is the relationship between the two brothers, which is loving yet volatile – just like ours. Food culture and authenticity are also major themes, and the chef is portrayed as an artist – not “just” a craftsman. Apparently, there was a whole movement in the ’90s where food stopped being food and started being art. We’re not mad at it.
Watching Big Night makes you crave Italian food in a major way, so the only way to watch it is really at an Italian restaurant while being served food inspired by the movie- including a delicious timpano. So next time you go out to eat, why not bring a TV?
What we learned: Authentic cuisine is some serious shit!