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Film Log For The Second Half of 2010

January 7, 2011

I managed only 66 films in the second half of the year, all of 50 less than in the first half of the year.  While this is disappointing, it was to be expected given the degree of churn in my domestic arrangements.  It is a lot easier to carry a book around with you than it is to carry a DVD and region-free DVD player.  This means that I am definitely shy of the 200 film target I set myself at the beginning of the year but despite watching fewer films, I have continued to be quite productive as a film critic suggesting that, while I have not spent as much time watching films as I did last year, I am choosing the films I do watch with a good deal more care and attention.

JULY

1.  Cherry Tree Lane (2010) : Interesting low budget British home invasion thriller that is very much character driven and more atmospheric and suggestive than explicit in its themes and ideas.  Middle class couple with issues wait at home for the return of their son, suddenly, some of the son’s friends burst in and tie up the couple claiming they are going to kill the son.  The film’s focus on character is subtle but enchanting and you can see the shifts in mood as dynamics take hold and push people into doing certain things that they might otherwise not have wanted to do.

2.  Cameraman (2010) : Documentary about the Archers’ late-great camera operator Jack Cardiff.  Full of wonderful close technical analysis of Powell and Pressburger films with commentary from some of Cardiff’s old collaborators and admirers, the film sketches an image of a consummate artist and gentleman.  Jack Cardiff: What a lovely chap.

3.  Whatever Works (2009) : I don’t like the films of Woodie Allen I’ve decided.  This really is weak beer : Larry David plays a brilliant but grumpy and profoundly unlikeable physicist who takes up with a naïve, happy and very young southern girl.  The two fall for each other and she keeps him from killing himself but after a while, she finds true love leaving him in the lurch… but he still finds someone for himself.  There are three main problems with this film : 1) The script is uneven – It has a few zingers and some nice turns of phrase but the language is repetitive and overly theatrical.  Would a brilliant misanthrope really call people inchworms ALL THE TIME?  Gets repetitive and not funny.  Feels forced.  2) The characters are way too theatrical to be realistic – The misanthrope is horrible all the time, the naïve southern girl is impossibly nice and naïve and southern, the Religious mother is ridiculously religious and so on BUT the film is filmed not as a knockabout comedy or slapstick farce but as an up-beat relationship drama (a bit like his last film really).  As a result, I spent the entire film cringing from beneath the crushing weight of cognitive dissonance.  3)  It is witless – As with Allen’s previous film, this is a film with no ideas, no comments to make and no real insights.  At this point, why is Allen still making films?

4.  Ce Jour La (2003) : A surreal dark comedy by Raoul Ruiz rendered all the more uncanny for me by virtue of having been made in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.  The film itself is quite artfully odd and has some nice ideas (a deranged serial killer who keeps checking his blood sugar level, forbidden sauces and families that are as toxic as they are sentimental and unhinged) but on the whole I found it to be a little bit too self-consciously weird.

5.  Tout Est Pardonne (2007) : Mia Hansen-Love’s first film.  I adored the gentle story-telling of Le Pere De Mes Enfants as well as the themes of paternal abandonment and the desire to reconstruct oneself in the wake of the death of a loved one.  Tout Est Pardonne feels very much like a rehearsal for that later and more successful film : There’s the same paternal abandonment motif, the same beautiful and coming-of-age teenaged daughter dramatic hinge-point and the same sparse and stripped back approach to story-telling.  A good film, no denying it, but it pretty much does what the later film does only less successfully.  Meh.

6.  Inception (2010)  : Boring.  45 minutes in no plot had yet presented itself and so I walked out.

7.  Toy Story 3 (2010) :  A wonderful wonderful film.  Easily the strongest of the trilogy.  Much like the first two, Toy Story 3 deals with issues surrounding the end of childhood – Toy Story deals with infantile feelings of abandonment in the light of a new arrival in the house, Toy Story 2 deals with the desire to keep childhood sealed in a box and to hang on to the past till it stunts your development and Toy Story 3 deals with the idea that childhood is not an absolute that can be the property of one person or another.  Instead it is an evolving state that shifts from person to person.  There will always be children, they just may not be you.  Exquisitely paced, wonderfully characterised (so much complexity!) and moving without ever being sentimental, this is not only a beautiful film, it is actually the first film I have ever seen that gets 3D absolutely right.  They key is depth and texture of field.

8.  The Keep (1983) : A wonderfully weird Michael Mann-directed Horror film about a bunch of Nazi soldiers assigned to guard a keep in the Romanian mountains.  A beautifully eerie modernist construction full of odd angles and huge rooms, the keep looks as though it is designed to keep something in rather than keep something out, and that is precisely its purpose.  Trapped within the walls of the keep is an ancient evil.  An evil that feeds and constructs itself from the fears of men.  When an elderly jewish professor is freed from a death camp in order to decypher some odd writings on the keep’s wall, the evil latches on to him and begins to seduce him with promises that he will wipe the Nazis from the earth.  Technically superb, wonderfully paced and incredibly atmospheric, the film’s true strength lies in its moral ambiguity : With wehrmacht soldiers, SS troopers, ancient evils, corrupted intellectuals, mad priests and sinister vampire-like immortals roaming the world – what is real evil if not that which lurks in the hearts of men?

AUGUST

9.  The Amityville Horror (1979) : Had fond memories of this Horror film but returned to it only to find an incoherent mess devoid of characterisation, plot, nuance, pacing or any real tension.  The suggestion that the father is effectively being driven mad by the financial responsibilities of the huge decrepit house is an interesting one but it is never explored.  Instead we are treated to nothing but a cavalcade of disappointing spook house set pieces with a vaguely catholic theme.  Disappointing rewatch, I think that the recent remake was quite a bit better.

10.  The Dinner Party (2009) [Videovista] : An intriguing Australian psychological thriller that deals with the tension between the need to be polite and non-judgmental and the need to step in and act when someone is transgressing the boundaries of tolerable behaviour.  The film itself is rather one-note and it is pretty clear where the plot is heading from the get-go but despite a lack of twistiness to the plot, the film works really quite well thanks to some genuinely decent performances.

11. Kaiji – The Ultimate Gambler (2009) [Videovista] : Terrible.  A lavishly produced adaptation of a manga and anime series that starts off as a neatly conceptual study of rationality and morality in the context of gambling but it then just descends into a mire of melodrama and frankly quite sinister social metaphor.

12.  Chiko (2009) [Videovista] : A promising German crime thriller that follows in the foot steps of the Pusher trilogy in its gritty social realism.  However, despite some really very good performances and some lovely moments, the film is let down by a script that just fals apart in the final act.  A real pity.

13.  Les Bronzes (1978) : Had not seen this film for years and was appalled by how unfunny it was.  Basically the film has a huge cult following in France and its rather light 1970s satire of sex-fuelled Club Med holidays made household names of most of its stars but the jokes are laboured, the performances uneven and the world it is parodying has long since ceased to be.  Time to put this one to rest I think.

14.  36 Quai des Orfevres (2004) : Oh dear.  Oh dear, oh dear.  Cliche-ridden but initially quite effective French crime drama with bags of style and two neat if rather unchallenging performances by Auteuil and Depardieu but the film completely falls apart at the end of the second act: The pace slows to a crawl, the motivations of the characters become arbitrary and the whole thing loses any kind of dramatic shape.  Ugh.

15.  In the Pit (2006) [Videovista] : A very well made documentary about the men and women working to upgrade Mexico City’s over-burdened road network.  The film is let down by the director’s refusal to put his interviews in any kind of context despite the interviewees having absolutely nothing of interest to say about themselves or anything else.  A well-made film in need of some serious editing.

16.  Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010) : Really didn’t enjoy this.

17.  The Heroes of Telemark (1965) : Found myself watching this because it happened to be on TV and I had nothing better to do, it is as weird as most of Kirk Douglas’s other action movies.  Douglas is astonishingly physical and energetic but really not much of an actor.  Bleh.

SEPTEMBER

18.  Lebanon (2009) [Videovista] : Features some very pretty and clever cinematography but I am really not sure what the point of this film was.  There’s no real engagement with character, theme or politics.  It just sits there like a beautifully formed snowflake that melts into sludge under the critical gaze.  Disappointing.

19.  7 Days (2010) [Videovista] :  Proof that authors are rarely the people with the best understanding of their own work.  This is an adaptation of a neat little book about the human cost of revenge but in adapting the novel for the screen, the author seems to have missed the point of his novel by failing to realise that the heart of the book is the father’s conscience and that this conscience is laid bare in the media.  Rather than focussing upon the relationship between the father and his depiction in the media, the film glosses over it thereby robbing the film of its psychological currency.  Weird.

20.  Raging Sky, Raging Sun (2009) [Videovista] : Epic and very nearly dialogue-free gay love story.  Beautiful cinematography, powerful imagery, epic composition, not very much to say that hasn’t been said before.

21.  Wetherby (1985) [Videovista] : Boasting some realy rather good performances, this is an extraordinarily difficult drama dealing with the desire to detach oneself from the world in order to protect oneself and the cost of making such a move.  Wonderfully complex though, a welcome re-issue on DVD.

22.  Winter’s Bone (2010) [Ruthless Culture] : Amazing film.  Densely atmospheric, beautifully shot and well acted – the film is essentially all about not only how terrifying men can be but also the extent to which their female partners can back them up.  Very much in the Wire/American Gangster tradition of crime film as work of social anthropology, Winter’s Bone is a fascinating examination of Big Man power politics and the gender roles that surround them.

23.  The Town (2010) : This film has some nice moments but I was very disappointed by the extent to which it is very much a genre piece.  The local colour, the high-octane robberies, the obsessive policeman, the scheming, the woman who tempts the criminal away from a life of crime… all of these are very much genre tropes and I really didn’t think that The Town did anything particularly interesting or innovative with any of them.  Pity really.

OCTOBER

24.  Police Adjective (2009) [Ruthless Culture] : Astonishingly boring Romanian crime film that tries to deconstruct the police procedural film by giving the audience reality.  Reality involving people waiting for meetings, people standing on street corners and people chasing up their colleagues at work.  Interesting, engaged, thought provoking.  Just not much fun.

25.  The Greatest Dad in the World (2010) : Neat little film by Bobcat Goldthwaite.  Adored the way that the film dealt with quite brutal subject matter in really quite a delicate way with Robin Williams squirming his way through the canonisation of his frankly hideous and perverted son.  The ending is strangely up-beat with the father gleefully accepting the condition of social pariah in order to be honest to himself, I think a better ending would have been for him to live the rest of his life knowing that his success and the happiness he causes is all based upon a hideous lie.  But then that’s just me…

26.  The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) : Not at all convinced by this.  I liked the quite elegantly dove-tailed flashback-based structure and I like the way that the film deals with multiple obsessions and in particular two separate impossible loves linked by a mirrored obsession with a single crime.  I also liked the script and the performances.  But beyond that I found the film oddly unengaging – as a thriller it was not thrilling, as a drama it was flat and as a murder-mystery it was poorly structured and felt arbitrary.  Meh.

27.  The War on Democracy (2007) : Watching this documentary was a bit like having Klein’s The Shock Doctrine explained to you by a stupid person.  Pilger presents an analysis of America’s influence on South America so hideously one-sided that it is actually quite embarrassing.  However, the problem is not so much that the film is biased but that this bias drives Pilger into making Hugo Chavez appear like a saint.  Couple this hagiographic tendency to an analysis that completely fails to ask why it is that America behaves the way it does and what you have is simple-minded, self-righteous propaganda and nothing more.

28.  Certified Copy (2010) [Ruthless Culture] : My first taste of Kurostami.  Now I want more.  Intelligent, beautifully shot, wonderfully written, magnificently performed, conceptually challenging and thematically evocative.  THIS is what cinema is all about.

29.  Enter the Void (2009) [Ruthless Culture] : I weep for the people who had to sit through the three hour cut of this film that premiered at Cannes.  Technically superb but thematically empty and boasting not only some genuinely terrible writing and acting but a set of ideas that are about as deep as a puddle.  It also feels (both cinematically and thematically) like an extended retread of the same ground covered, with greater panache and focus, by Irreversible.  What a disappointment.

30.  Dumas (2010) : Neat little historical romance dealing with Alexandre Dumas’ ghost writer Auguste Macquet.  A slight and nerdy little man trapped in the orbit of the larger-than-life Dumas, Macquet impersonates Dumas in an attempt to woo a young female revolutionary.  For her he betrays his wife, his friendship and his politics and in so doing finds himself.  Not particularly demanding but well acted by Poelvoorde and Depardieu and very elegantly directed by Safy Nebbou.  Not too bad at all.

31.  The Seven-Ups (1973) [Videovista] : From the fevered imagination of Philip D’Antoni comes… another noirish police thriller serving as a framing device for a lavishly produced and exquisitely shot car chase.  Characters are thin but recognisably genre, chase itself is good fun.  Dumb but fun genre piece and nothing more.

32.  Bullitt (1968) : Stylish police thriller with a great car chase in the middle.  The car chase is all very well but I found the interaction between McQueen’s icy character and the cinematography (dominated by industrial corridors and hospital wards) far more interesting.  Neat.

33.  The Hours of the Day (2003) : *sigh* I had high hopes for this Spanish film.  Set in a small town, the main character is an emotionally aloof shop owner who fails to understand the people around him.  Eventually, this aloofness slides into something more sinister as he starts murdering people for seemingly no reason.  My problem with this film is that it is essentially a work of genre.  It is cloaked in the trappings of art house character studies and so critics have been quite eager to read all kinds of things into the plot that are simply not there.  Because the film LOOKS like an in-depth character study, people give the film credit and so make sense of it by projecting all kinds of imagined motivations onto the character and then marvelling at the subtlety of the performances.  Bullshit.  It is empty.  What this film IS about is the willingness of people to excuse and explain away hideous behaviour on behalf of people they sympathise with.  Abel is a handsome and clearly intelligent man in a horrible life and because of this horrible life he kills people.  The film never explains that causal link but we empathise with the character and so we imagine one.  He’s not just a prick… he’s a tortured existential soul.  Ugh.

34.  The Social Network (2010) : Enjoyed this but also felt a degree of frustration at the film’s refusal to really get inside the head of the founder of Facebook.  Instead of trying to work out what makes him tick, the film devotes itself to presenting him as either autistic or ruthless when it is not at all clear that he is either of those things.  Hobbit art made about a Dwarf.

35.  Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (2010) [Ruthless Culture] : Beautiful stuff.  Exquisitely filmed piece about a German artist that effectively allows the art to speak entirely for itself.

36.  4 Months 3 Weeks & 2 Days (2007) [Ruthless Culture] : Probably my favourite work of the Romanian New Wave.  Does the usual corridors and decaying infrastructure thing but also tries to portray the transition from old values to new.

NOVEMBER

37.  The Kids Are All Right (2010) [Ruthless Culture] : I really really liked this film.  I liked the fact that it was a comedy that was actually funny as opposed to puerile.  I liked the fact that it was emotionally very grown up and I liked the fact that beneath the smiles there was a real willingness to show the film’s characters in an unflattering light.  A film so grown up it could have been French.

38.  Restrepo (2010) : A documentary about the War in Afghanistan which, like all such pieces, falls into the trap of humanising the soldiers.  However, despite falling into the same trap as Generation Kill, the documentary does maintain a critical edge as it lays out all that the soldiers suffer and lose only to conclude with the revelation that the US abandoned its base in the area not long after filming ended, thereby suggesting that all the loss and hardship accomplished nothing.  Genuinely engaging stuff.

39.  Another Year (2010) [Ruthless Culture] : An incredibly humanistic piece of film-making about the extent to which happiness is a work in progress very much like a garden.  Ostensibly about a happy and incredibly together couple, the film really focuses on an aging woman whose surrender to alcoholism and loneliness stem from her inability to do anything but consume the happiness of others.  Beautiful, sad, brutal.

40.  The Fallen Sparrow (1943) [Videovista] : Excellent film noir psychological thriller that explores the line between reality and delusion with almost gothic style right up until the final act where it resolves in a way that is both somewhat disappointing and entirely fitting.  Great film.

41.  The Gymnast (2006) [Videovista] :  ANOTHER GLBT film about comingto terms with oneself and coming out.  Livened up somewhat by an interesting visual style (full of recurring motifs) and some quite unusual characters.

42.  London (1994) [Ruthless Culture] :  Brilliant.  Simply brilliant.  Witty, warm, beautiful to look at and in no way out-stays its welcome.  Possibly one of the best films about London I have ever seen and really the only one to ever get it completely right in diagnosing hollowness as central to the London experience.

43.  Death of a Son (1989) [Videovista] : Meretricious tosh.  Decent actress manacled to a skin-crawlingly worthy and completely witless script.  Ugh.

44.  Robinson in Space (1997) [Ruthless Culture] :  Slightly less compelling than London, I think that the film suffers a bit for its broader canvas and wider ambitions.  Still warmly witty.  Still beautiful.  Still perfectly paced and constructed.  But somehow less substantial.

45.  We are What We are (2010) [THE ZONE] :  Yet another pretty but vacant art house flick.  This time dealing in cannibalism.  Lots of interesting ideas are hinted at but none of them ever materialise into anything even approaching a point.  Meh.

DECEMBER

46.  The Secret of Kells (2010) : Brilliant piece of Irish animation that combines the visual style of Studio Ghbli with that of medieval illuminations to create one of the most distinctive pieces of animation I have ever seen.  Perfectly paced, beautifully characterised and just the right length, this goes in as one of my films of the year.

47.  Let Me In (2010) : Went to see this on the understanding that it brought out certain themes and ideas that were downplayed in the Swedish adaptation of the book.  In truth, it does no such thing.  It is very nearly a shot-for-shot remake.  The only thing that this version does do is downplay the paedophilia angle by making the vampire and the boy more equal.  Indeed, the boy is presented as more of a latent psychopath to begin with and the vampire is presented as a good deal more clueless than her Swedish counterpart thereby removing the grooming subtext that made the original film so beautifully satirical.  Something of a disappointment but not a bad film all things considered.

48.  Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives (2010)  [Ruthless Culture] :  Not at all convinced by this.  The composition and the atmosphere is as stunningly composed as ever but I think that Weerasethakul has made a terrible mistake by returning YET AGAIN to the same set of visual motifs.  The same grinning worldly monks, the same forest, the same medical mundanities.  By repeating himself so frequently he is undermining the sense of mystery that surrounds his vision.

49.  Easy A (2010) : Really enjoyed this.  A highschool comedy with whip-smart dialogue and an eye for literary and cinematic references, it is part of a genre of films that are invariably incredibly popular (think Mean Girls, Juno and Clueless) but actually quite difficult to make as they require a genuinely talented and quite theatrical writer.  Fantastic performances too.

50.  Centurion (2009) : Marshall’s slide from auteur to hack continues unabated.  A collection of cliches and uninformed historical nonsense results in a really quite mundane action film which, much like Doomsday, suffers for its profoundly episodic nature and lack of real character arcs.  I am also stunned by the extent to which we are now evidently expected to sympathise with the romans… what of the native Britons?  when did they become the bad guys?

51.  Of Gods and Men (2010) : A ponderously paced reflection on the nature of faith and sacrifice which, despite the lack of ‘big performances’ or ‘big emotional moments’, is actually quite profound.  I have never seen a film that so perfectly managed to communicate both the challenges and the triumphs of faith.  When the ending comes, it is actually quite moving for all its Otherness.

52.  Mugabe and the White African (2009) [Ruthless Culture] : This documentary has a decidedly mephitic air about it.  It’s not really politically engaged so it would be unfair to expect the doc to explain to us the situation in Zimbabwe but by so perfectly inhabiting the mindset of a group of people who, though unfair treated, are actually quite racist the film leaves quite a sour taste in the mouth… but I guess that’s the challenge of post-colonial politics.

53.  Leap Year (2010) [Ruthless Culture] : Brilliant shot film about intimacy explored through the lens of a sado-masochistic relationship.  Wonderful shot composition, extraordinary central performance, lots of deep themes even if the decision to focus upon the whys and wherefores of the central character did cloud the thematic picture and result in the film feeling less together than it in fact is.  Astonishing work from a first time director.

54.  Predators (2010) : Initially promising if hackneyed set up — group of people grabbed and dumped in the middle of a forest — let down by listless action sequences and a bone-crushingly awful script.

55.  MicMacs (2010) : Jeunet returns to the whimsical Parisian wonderland of Amelie only this time for an abortive attempt at a heist movie featuring a bunch of colourful homeless people who use their unique skills to take on a pair of unscrupulous arms manufacturers.  Kill me now.  I hate Jeunet’s whimsy but adore heist movies but this is a film in which whimsy trumps everything.  Dull.  Stupid.  Pointless.  Ugh.

56.  Boudu Saved From Drowning (1932) : Why can’t all films be as good as this?  A brilliant skewering of the way in which faux-bohemian middle class ‘open mindedness’ is frequently little more than passive-aggressive social conservatism.  Nobody tells you what to do but you are expected to pick up on what everyone else is doing and follow the rules.  The central performance is frankly extraordinary, Boudu doesn’t drink or do drugs and yet he reels around the place as though he’s just climbed out of a washing machine.  Witty, erudite, brilliantly shot.  Wonderful.

57.  Aftershock (2010) [Videovista] : Starts off in Michael Bay-mode with a stunning CGIed earthquake sequence before morphing into a rather sedate family melodrama about resentment and guilt and alienation.  The film basically charts the ways in which a single decision affects an entire family through three generations.  The various ‘aftershocks’ are explored in great detail with a good deal of humanity and sympathy but because of the detail invested in the characters’ lives and the sheer amount of emotional ‘stuff’ going on, the film was always going to struggle to reach any kind of resolution.  Unfortunately, the director not only goes for resolution but tries t resolve everything in a single scene.  Valiant effort but it doesn’t quite work.

58.  Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) : Politically misanthropic remake of Boudu that not only fails to be funny but also spins it around so that it is the free-thinking and free-wheeling tramp who winds up becoming addicted to the soft life of the upper classes.  Turns out that inside every poor person there is a rich person waiting to get out.

59.  Deadly Outlaw Rekka (2002) [Videovista] : Easily the best Miike film I have seen since audition.  You can still see his quirkiness and love of violence and non-sequiturs littered throughout the plot and characters but, unlike many of these films, the quirkiness actually adds to the script’s basic ideas.  An exploration of cultural differences and authenticity and how criminals see themselves.  Excellent little film, welcome back Takashi!  All is forgiven.

60.  Boarding Gate (2007) : Watched in preparation for Carlos, this transcultural espionage film is just as stylish and detached as Assayas’ other espionage films (Demonlover in particular) but the themes explored are a lot more elusive.  Need to think a bit more about this one.

61.  & 62.  Carlos the Jackal (2010) [Videovista] : I’m counting this as two seeing as I watched both versions of the film.  The long version is exquisitely paced and, despite being five hours long, I never felt bored and Assayas never loses his focus.  The secret is that while the film is very much a human drama that focuses upon Carlos’s attempts to network and climb the ladder of international terrorism, the action sequences serve as palate cleansers that both shake the dust from the film and serve as catalyst points in Carlos’s life.  Also fascinating is the way in which Assayas depicts all human activities as being pretty much identical : Terrorism, espionage and corporate politics are all depicted in the same light because all of them flow from the same central human paradox — we all desire to be accepted and loved and we are willing to do whatever it counts to get it.  I continue to adore Assayas, I think he’s one of the smartest and most coherent directors around.  All of his films intermesh perfectly.

63.  Splice (2010) : A completely demented parable about a pair of childless genetic engineers who create a new life form only to find themselves horrified by all of the stuff that parents deal with on a day to day basis — disgusting biological processes, unwanted personality traits, unreasonable child, repeating errors of their own parents, seeing something of themselves in the child and… wanting to have sex with your own children.  As nuts as this parable is, the ending is at least twice as nuts and three times as Freudian.  Very enjoyable hokum.

64.  The First Men in The Moon (2010) : Somewhat lightweight retelling of an H.G. Wells story that put a good deal more into its retro aesthetics and playful attempt to blend the story with the real world than into the actual plot, characters and narrative themselves.  Okay, little more.

65.  Enemy Mine (1985) : You simply would not get a film like this made today.  A well cast and hugely expensive special effects-laden SF film that is mostly about two blokes sitting in a hut chatting?  Where’s all the killing?  Where’s the fighting?  The film has not aged particularly well as the attitudes of ‘maybe the aliens aren’t evil’ and ‘not everyone is straight, white and lives in the suburbs’ are not nearly as politically progressive as they once were.  Declawed of any satirical or political power, Enemy Mine is comes across as sentimental and simple-minded.  Having said that, I do wish that they would make more films that are like this.

66.  The Goonies (1985) : One of Spielberg’s finest films?  Almost certainly.  Rewatching this, I was surprised by quite how much adult stuff glides by under the surface.  It’s now quite common for family films to have jokes aimed at parents, but the Goonies has al kinds of dark stuff in it that is alluded to in such a way that I suspect most adults would fail to pick up on it too.

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