Now, Voyager

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Charlotte Vale (Davis), is the self-proclaimed spinster aunt of her wealthy Boston family, living under the tyrannical oppression of her domineering, incessantly critical mother (Cooper). The pressure put upon Charlotte eventually induces a nervous breakdown, causing her to spend time in the sanitarium of Dr. Jaquith (Rains), allowing her to gain a proper sense of self and embark upon a cruise. There she meets Jerry Durrance (Henreid), and the pair almost immediately hit it off and fall in love, but there’s a problem, Jerry is married with a family back home, so the possibility of a lasting romance with Charlotte seems impossible.
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The African Queen

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Rose Sayer and her brother Samuel (Hepburn and Morley) are prim and proper British missionaries attempting to bring Methodist sensibilities to the village of Kungdu in German East Africa in 1914. They receive occasional supplies, mail and news from coarse, slovenly Canadian engineer-turned-boat captain Charlie Allnut (Bogart), who informs the pair about the outbreak of World War I. Shortly afterwards the village is ransacked, the church is burned down and the villagers are conscripted into the German ranks. When Samuel passes away from fever-induced delirium, Rose has no choice but to attempt to flee Africa aboard Charlie’s boat, The African Queen. The unlikely duo initially do not take too kindly to their polar opposites in such confined quarters, but soon learn to not just rely on one another, but that maybe opposites really do attract.the african queen 1 Continue reading

Kind Hearts and Coronets

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Despite living in modest conditions, Louis Mazzini (Dennis Price) is in line to receive the title of Duke of Chalfont, with the only problems being the many and varied members of his mother’s family, the D’Ascoynes (Alex Guinness), currently living and either holding the position or being further up the chain of succession than Louis. After the family denies his disinherited mother’s dying wish of being buried in the family cemetery, Louis sets out a mission to prune the D’Ascoyne family tree until he sits at the top with the title of Duke, hoping that will not only make amends for how his mother (Audrey Fildes) was treated, but will also win Louis the heart of his childhood crush Sibella (Joan Greenwood).
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Avengers: Infinity War

Giant purple glove enthusiast Thanos (Josh Brolin) has a sad back story. His people, the Titans of Titan (which isn’t confusing at all, couldn’t it at least have been the Titons of Titan, or the Titaniums of Titan, or the Titans of Titanic? All viable options) were ravaged by over-population and over-use of natural resources, leaving their home world in ruins. Thanos had proposed an option to prior to this, which would have meant randomly killing half of Titan’s entire population, which was understandably vetoed. Now, in the wake of Titan’s ruin, Thanos has seen the opportunity to enact his plan on a much grander scale, wiping out half of all known life in existence, for which he will need the golden infinity gauntlet and six infinity stones scattered across the galaxy. It’s up to Earth’s mightiest heroes – and a few from some other places too – to try and stop Thanos before it’s too late.
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Bohemian Rhapsody

This review is part of the LAMB’s Oscar coverage this year, in which each award category and Best Picture nominee has its own dedicated post. As no-one else seemed interested in Bohemian Rhapsody I offered to cover it instead, then languished for a few weeks working out just how I was going to do that. I’m posting it here as well just in case the makers of the 1001 book lose theirs minds even more than usual and add it to the 2019 edition. Here we go.
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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

A wanted sharp-shooter arrives at a busy saloon. A cowboy attempts to rob a small bank. A young limbless orator travels with his ageing, opportunistic handler. An old prospector searches for a hidden gold pocket. A betrothed woman finds herself travelling alone in a wagon train. Five strangers take a carriage ride together. These six stories make up the latest offering from the Coen brothers, a straight-to-Netflix western anthology of mostly consistent quality and impeccable casting.
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Meet Me in St. Louis

The Smith family all love living in St. Louis, Missouri in 1903, and deal with regular turn-of-the-century troubles such as courting a man over the telephone, crushing on the boy next door and perfecting the latest batch of ketchup. However, their lawyer father has agreed to take a job in New York, starting just after Christmas, and plans to uproot the family from their comfortable and idyllic lives in favour of heading off to the big city.

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