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Rating History

The Return
The Return (2003)
7 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes


In contemporary Russia young brothers Vanya and Andrey have grown a deep attachment to each other to make up for their fatherless childhood. Running home after a fight with neighborhood kids the boys are shocked to discover their father has returned after a twelve year absence. With their mother's uneasy blessing Vanya and Andrey set out on what they believe will be a fishing vacation with their taciturn father.
Though at first ecstatic to be reunited with the father they've only known from a faded photograph, the boys strain under the weight of their dad's awkward and increasingly brutal efforts to make up for a missing decade of parental supervision. Vanya and Andrey find themselves alternately tested, scolded, scrutinized and ignored by their father through a changing series of encounters and hardships.
As truck stops and cafés give way to rain-swept, primevally beautiful wildernesscoastline, Vanya's doubts about his father give way to open defiance. Andrey's powerful need to bond with a father he's never known begins, in turn, to distance him from Vanya.
Vanya and his father's test of wills escalates into bitter hostility and sudden violence as the trio arrives at their mysterious island destination.
The dubious sanctuary of a rickety light tower, the desperate reassurance of a stolen knife, the cryptic allure of a rusting strong box and the fleeting safety of a hastily patched boat give evidence to the ultimately tragic conclusion of Vanya and Andrey's harrowing father and son journey and the heartbreakingly transitory nature of their reunion.
[b]Dark but very engaging story. I was impressed with the performances, esp of the young boy who plays Ivan (Ivan Dobronravov). Recommended. :fresh: [/b]

[b]P.S. Just viewed the documentary about the making of the film. It's sad & ironic that the boy who played Andrei, Vladimir Garin, drowned in a lake near St. Petersberg 2 months before the film premiered in Venice, where it won the Best Film award.[/b]

King's Ransom
King's Ransom (2005)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Really lame comedy. Not worth the time.

The Nun's Story
5 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[img][/img][b]Audrey Hepburn [/b][font=Book Antiqua]stars[/font][font=Book Antiqua] as Sister Luke, postulant of a Belgian order of nuns. Though frequently disillusioned in her efforts to spread good will -- at one point she is nearly killed by a mental patient [/font][font=Book Antiqua]- Sister Luke perseveres. Sent as a nurse to the Belgian Congo, an assignment she'd been hoping for, Sister Luke is disappointed to learn that she will not be ministering to the natives but to European patients. Through the example of no-nonsense chief surgeon,[/font][font=Book Antiqua] the nun sheds her idealism and becomes a diligent worker -- so much so that she contracts tuberculosis. Upon the outbreak of World War II, Sister Luke tries to honor the edicts of her order and not take sides, but this becomes impossible when her father [/font][font=Book Antiqua]is killed by the Nazis. Realizing that she cannot remain true to her vows, Sister Luke leaves the order and returns to "civilian" life. [/font]
[b]I found the movie too slow paced, but Audrey Hepburn gives a very good performance.[/b]

Aaltra (2003)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[img][/img]Hilarious and irreverent Belgian comics Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern wrote, direct, and star in this dark, edgy, and very funny comedy about two antagonistic farmers who, in the course of escalating their bitter rivalry, both end up paralyzed by a tractor. Teaming up, the irascible duo decides to exact revenge from the vehicle's manufacturer, and embark on a memorable oddball odyssey to Helsinki.

[b]Dark comedy that's worth a view.[/b]

[b][u]Day Break[/u][/b]
Filmed in a Tehran prison, a murderer is waiting for his sentence. In Iran, capital punishment is carried out according to Islamic law, which gives the family of the victim ownership of the offender's life. When the fam of the victim repeatedly fails to show up on the appointed day, Mansour's execution is postponed repeatedly which is a slow torture for him.

[size=3]I didn't find the film that interesting or the charactor's very sympathetic. At least the film is relatively short, 85 min.[/size]

La cripta e l'incubo (Crypt of the Vampire)(Terror in the Crypt)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[img][/img]The fetching Venetia Stevenson stars in this horror film as Nan Barlow, a young college student who is writing a paper on witchcraft. On winter break, Nan travels to New England to do some research and, on one of her professor's recommendations, stays in a small hotel run by the spirit of an undead witch. Soon, Nan finds that rest of the hotels boarders are witches as well and that she is about to become their annual Candalmas Eve sacrifice. Atmospheric and genuinely scary, HORROR HOTEL stars the inimitable Christopher Lee.
[size=3]Mediocre horror film. :rotten: [/size]

[size=3][b]Crypt of Horror[/b] (1963)
[/size][size=3]An Italian horror film in which a witch curses a count, claiming one of his own children will avenge her death. Years later, he fears his own daughter may be the one. AKA "Terror in the Crypt."
Pretty mediocre old horror flick. One thing that I found interesting tho was the lesbian subtext. The count's daughter, bored & lonely in her castle living with her father played by Christopher Lee is tormented by nightmares. Lee hires an investigator because he suspects his daughter is going to fullful this old curse that he will be killed by a member of his family. At first the lonely daughter seems mildly interested in the handsome investigator, who at the moment when he's about to kiss her, a stranger arrives in a horse drawn carriage. A beautiful blonde woman who seems ill, the count's daughter is obviously very taken with the beautiful blonde, and readily takes her in. Her interest in the investigator immediately dissolves and there are moments where the 2 women give each other erotic glances and they seem on the verge of kissing. Not surprisingly this is about as far as it goes, I won't give away the ending, but of course it's the handsome investigator guy to the rescue and the homoerotic element is nothing more but a tease. [/size]