Doctor Who Season 22 (1985)

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Doctor Who Season 22 Review

The twenty second season of Doctor Who is the worst one so far. The new format did not change anything and the series is still stuck with the same kinds of stories told over and over again.

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When did they last show something worth watching, eh?

When did we last see a decent execution?

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Doctor Who Season 22 Review

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So the format here changes from four to two episodes per serial but the episodes last for forty minutes and are thus doubled in length so what we get is pretty much the same runtime that we had before.

Attack of the Cybermen is another subpar story concerning the Cybermen whom I never found interesting and thus the entire serial bored me. Vengeance on Varos is naturally the standout serial of this entire season. It is just solid and far from great as it’s very uneven, but because its storyline with a television show where humans fight each other to the death is interesting and important the serial easily takes the cake as the most entertaining and best written one here.

The Mark of the Rani is another one of those serials where it is up to the Doctor to foil some partnership between two defying fractions. I always found these storylines uninteresting and typical and this one is no exception.

The Two Doctors is ridiculously disappointing. You would think that the return of the Fourth Doctor and the reunion with the current one would bring a hugely entertaining story and what we got is the opposite. Although it has its moments, it is mostly a boring, slow and uninspired serial which is just not fun.

Timelash is famous for being one of the worst Doctor Who serials in the show’s history and it surely is quite bad. The storyline is ridiculous, the historical accuracy is non-existent and the monsters and overall action are too silly and campy to be taken seriously.

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Doctor Who Season 22 Review

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Revelation of the Daleks is actually the second best story of this season which I did not expect having in mind that I despise the Daleks. But because it gave us once again phenomenal Davros, I was more than happy with the end result which is not great, but is perfectly solid and entertaining.

Overall, the new format is basically the same when you think about it. This season has two solid serials, but all of the others are pretty subpar leading to a very weak season which is the worst one so far. Colin Baker is also not great and he needs better stories to prove himself in this famous role.

 

Worst Serials: Attack of the Cybermen and Timelash.

Best Serials: Vengeance on Varos and Revelation of the Daleks.

 

Worst Episodes: Attack of the Cybermen Part One and Timelash Part Two.

Best Episodes: Vengeance on Varos Part One and Vengeance on Varos Part Two.

My Rating – 3.2

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Billy Elliot (2000)

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Billy Elliot Movie Review

Billy Elliot is a 2000 British drama film directed by Stephen Daldry and starring Jamie Bell, Gary Lewis and Julie Walters. It is a wonderful film.

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What does it feel like when you’re dancing?

Don’t know. Sorta feels good. Sorta stiff and that, but once I get going…

then I like, forget everything. And… sorta disappear. Sorta disappear.

Like I feel a change in my whole body. And I’ve got this fire in my body. I’m just there.

Flyin’ like a bird. Like electricity. Yeah, like electricity

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Billy Elliot Movie Review

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It is about a titular boy who starts to attend ballet classes much to the disapproval of his family. Eventually his father accepts that and even makes sure that he gets to go to the ballet school. I definitely do think that the film is somewhat familiar in its storyline and certainly overly happy in its ending, but still it is such an investing, wonderful tale populated with lovely characters that I just couldn’t resist and I loved its inspirational angle nonetheless.

Billy is such a great central character who is a realistic and well developed, very likable boy. Jamie Bell gave such a stupendous performance here. Gary Lewis is also very good as his father and although Jackie changes too fast, I still loved the relationship between the two as it was wonderful to witness and in my opinion a great lesson to learn for all fathers out there.

His brother is not as important in the story, but still all his scenes are quite memorable. Michael is an interesting character as we learn in the end that he is gay but the friendship between the two still remained so strong which was again inspirational. Julie Walters is the highlight in my opinion as she gave such a wonderful performance in the role of Sandra Wilkinson. I loved her and it’s a shame that she did not get a better ending and closure.

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Billy Elliot Movie Review

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Billy Elliot features a bunch of memorable sequences with one of the highlights being that ending which takes place years later as we see father, brother and Michael all come to see Billy’s performance. It was a perfect ending in my opinion. So powerful and emotional. I also found the departure scenes very heartbreaking and I was even on the verge of crying during those moments which is truly rare for me. And every scene between Billy and Jackie is wonderful as are his scenes with Sandra and Michael.

The movie truly is moving and I was definitely touched and I even felt inspired, but not in a cheap way which I respected a lot. The film never felt cheap in any way and although it is on the surface very familiar and simple, the beauty of it is that it’s simple but still powerful and perfectly executed in most of its aspects. Some scenes I wanted to be a bit different, but most are excellent and very sophisticated with the dance scenes being energetic and passionate.

I got why dancing was so important to him and I got why ballet is great and beautiful to many people. That is the power of this film – it showed me something I wasn’t quite acquainted with or in love with and I ended up wanting to dance myself. It truly has that power to inspire you.

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Billy Elliot Movie Review

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Billy Elliot is superbly edited and paced with never a dull or rushed scene. I did think that the mining scenes were much less interesting than the rest of the film, but still I didn’t mind them. The direction from Stephen Daldry is terrific, the score is of course excellent and the film is very well shot and with great choreography as well.

With highly likable and so well developed characters, superb performances from Julie Walters and Jamie Bell, excellent direction from Stephen Daldry and many fantastic, moving scenes, Billy Elliot is undoubtedly a very inspirational (never in a cheap way), emotional film which is powerful in its message, simplicity and many heartwarming character interactions. It truly is a wonderful film.

My Rating – 4.5

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Land of the Midnight Fun (1939)

Land of the Midnight Fun ReviewLand of the Midnight Fun Review

Land of the Midnight Fun is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a typical, but visually pleasing short.

I really liked the animation here. It is very strong and frequently even gorgeous as those night sky backgrounds and ice scenery are absolutely lovely. The score is also quite sweet. The film is technically very polished and the narration is also solid, but the story is lacking.

It’s a typical 30s travelogue with no memorable characters, action or gags. It is a very unfunny cartoon. Not that it is unfunny in a bad way, but just that they don’t even try to be amusing but just serious and straightforward which was still troubling to me. Warner’s cartoons are best when they’re comedies. But I still liked the look at Alaska and the Eskimos as we have not seen that before in the series.

Land of the Midnight Fun has gorgeous animation and a good score, but no gags and it’s too serious and typical.

My Rating – 3.4

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Suicide Squad (2016)

Suicide Squad Movie Review

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Suicide Squad Movie Review

Suicide Squad is a 2016 superhero film directed by David Ayer and starring Margot Robbie, Will Smith and Jared Leto among others. It is a frustratingly weak, though entertaining flick.

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Huh? What was that?

I should kill everyone and escape?

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Suicide Squad Movie Review

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Amanda Waller recruits a bunch of villains to save the world from a giant supernatural threat. And the constant use of the word “villain” meant that the film sounded childish and unsubtle. The overall story is of course just an excuse to feature major fights with all these famous characters, but it is serviceable as a superhero movie plot.

The bigger problem here are the characters. The characterization is so thin and actually rather poor for the most part and that was frustrating to witness. They had all these characters at their disposal and they couldn’t properly adapt them to the big screen. The film is rushed, it has too much action and not enough calmer moments and thus the characters struggled.

The only excellent characters here are Amanda Waller, Deadshot and Harley Quinn. Amanda Waller is a terrific, very serious and capable character and I loved that Viola Davis played her and she did give a very strong performance per usual. Deadshot is also excellent, well developed and very well acted by Will Smith.

Harley Quinn, however, is the standout one and the biggest reason to see this film as she is simply fantastic. She is faithfully adapted to the big screen from the source material and becomes a memorable movie character in her own right. Everybody loves her and for many obvious reasons.

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Suicide Squad Movie Review

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Margot Robbie killed it in the role and basically became Harley. Such a phenomenal, charismatic performance. Harley here is funny, sexy, childlike and unforgettable. Whenever she appeared on the screen, she stole the show with so many hilarious quirks and lines.

Joker is frustratingly underused which is a shame as Jared Leto’s Joker could have been the best live-action film version so far as he really excelled playing him and he is very memorable, creepy and crazy.

Rick Flag is entirely forgettable, the same goes for Captain Boomerang, El Diablo is somewhat better developed but with a weak, typical backstory, Killer Croc is memorable in looks but ultimately pointless, Slipknot is so forgettable and Katana is cool, but entirely underdeveloped. Enchantress is actually the worst character here as Cara Delevigne gave her worst performance yet in this role and the villain is just disposable, so annoying, not menacing at all and ultimately awful.

Suicide Squad is definitely very well scored and with many finely integrated musical cues. It is well acted for the most part and the action is most certainly good, though far from great. Some of the action scenes are highly memorable, but some took too much runtime.

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Suicide Squad Movie Review

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The direction from David Ayer is so bad that he ruined this material in my eye. They should have hired a different director and the movie would have been much better. Some of the humor and the dialogue are great, but then again some of the lines are overly unsubtle.

The film also features a typical DCEU problem which is of course the third act which is again a giant CGI mess with too bombastic fights and a bad villain. They continue to do this and it is really getting frustrating.

Suicide Squad is such a missed opportunity for a cool, fun film. The film is still mostly entertaining, the score is very good, some of the action is memorable and the humor is solid. Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller is excellent, Will Smith’s Deadshot is very good and of course Margot Robbie steals the show in the role of Harley Quinn as the character is so fantastic that the film is worth seeing just for her alone. Jared Leto’s Joker is very interesting and memorable, but ridiculously underused. All of the other characters are unfortunately entirely disposable and underdeveloped owing to very poor characterization, the script is weak and once again DCEU has a problem delivering a strong third act: the action is bombastic, the CGI is messy and Enchantress simply is a horrible villain.

My Rating – 3

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Sioux Me (1939)

Sioux Me ReviewSioux Me Review

Sioux Me is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a rehashed entry.

Unfortunately this entire cartoon is a rip-off of another cartoon from 1936 which is of course ‘Porky the Rain-Maker’. That entry is so strong and one of the best of its time that rehashing it was bound to get back at them and it did. The execution of this film is unoriginal and the only new, original addition are the Indians. Everything else is exactly the same, but done much worse.

The animation is far from great and the same goes for the score. So the film is very weak, but also somewhat solid in the end mostly because of the fact that the characters are well developed and memorable and the ending is fantastic. Yes, the ending is so great that it makes the film worth watching. The gag is hilarious, inventive and perfectly delivered.

Sioux Me is terrific in its ending, but annoyingly rehashed, weak and boring otherwise.

My Rating – 3.3

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Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

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Sleepless in Seattle Movie Review

Sleepless in Seattle is a 1993 romantic comedy film directed by Nora Ephron and starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. It’s a solid chick flick.

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Destiny is something we’ve invented because we can’t stand

the fact that everything that happens is accidental

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Sleepless in Seattle Movie Review

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Full disclosure – I do not like romantic comedies and chick flicks. They just do not appeal to me and I have a big problem with their clichéd storylines and stereotypical characters. And although this one also has those problems, it is still better than most romantic comedies and I liked it overall more than I disliked it.

So the story is definitely implausible, unrealistic and sometimes even ridiculous (a kid going on a plane alone and being allowed to do that took me out of it completely). Still, there is no denying the charm that this film possesses as it’s a very charming flick with a couple of irresistibly endearing sequences.

Tom Hanks is reliably good in the role of Sam Baldwin. He is a bit too good-natured, but then again this actor is best suited for such roles and here he excelled at playing him. Meg Ryan as Annie actually stole the show here from Hanks. I’m not the biggest fan of hers, but I could not deny how endlessly charming, quirky and lovable she is in this film. She definitely helped the film a lot with her sweet presence.

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Sleepless in Seattle Movie Review

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Walter is a typical character and I really disliked that subplot as it was so cliched. They should have gotten rid of him and the movie would have been much better. Jonah is okay, but somewhat annoying at times. I liked the father-son relationship and it was very well realized. Rosie O’Donell is often quite amusing as her funny friend.

Sleepless in Seattle has a very good, but too on-the-nose soundtrack. I liked most of the songs they used with the highlights being Back in the Saddle Again and As Time Goes By. However, they literally accompanied the action on screen in the most unsubtle manner possible that it got very distracting pretty quickly.

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Sleepless in Seattle Movie Review

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The movie is definitely well paced and quite entertaining to watch. Nora Ephron’s direction is weak, but the acting is very strong across the board and actually some of the dialogue is stupendous. The humor is very strong and some lines are admittedly very funny. I just found its plot overly implausible and the genders are so stereotyped here with the women crying over romantic films being very annoying. ‘An Affair to Remember’ is used really well in the context of this film and both movies are of similar quality when I think about it.

Sleepless in Seattle is a typical 90s romantic comedy, but a solid one which is actually better than most others. Tom Hanks is reliably good, but it is Meg Ryan who stole the show here as she’s very charming and incredibly endearing. The film definitely has its charm, some scenes are quite sweet and the humor is solid. However, the soundtrack, though fine, is distractingly on-the-nose, some scenes are quite ridiculous, the ending is typically contrived, the overall storyline is very implausible and most of the characters are stereotypical.

My Rating – 3.5

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Mickey’s Nightmare (1939)

Mickey's Nightmare ReviewMickey’s Nightmare Review

Mickey’s Nightmare is a 1932 Mickey Mouse cartoon. It is a good entry.

The film follows Mickey falling asleep and having a “horror” dream in which he marries Minnie and the stork arrives with a bunch of baby mice who become such a nuisance that he is very happy when he wakes up to find that it’s all just a dream. That anti-marriage, anti-kids ending was absolutely hilarious and the best part of the film.

I also really liked the beginning, the wedding with the wedding rings and Pluto is also really good here. Mickey is the highlight for sure. The score is fine, but the animation is very strong. The problem with this film is that it is too similar to ‘Mickey’s Orphans’ with mice instead of cats and the action in the middle section was dull and it dragged.

Mickey’s Nightmare is a pretty good cartoon with an excellent use of Mickey’s relationship with Minnie for a hilarious punch line in the end.

My Rating – 3.9

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Yeelen (1987)

Yeelen Movie Review

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Yeelen Movie Review

Yeelen is a 1987 Malian historical adventure film directed by Souleymane Cisse. It truly is a very interesting, fascinating film.

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Only a cursed son talks of his parents’ ties

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Yeelen Movie Review

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Yeelen gave me a look at the culture that I hadn’t been acquainted with before and I am grateful for that. It is a great geographical/historical lesson without a doubt. But it is also a strong adventure film above everything else as it a calm and slow, but involving adventure that transports you to its setting and time period so well.

It is set in the 13th century and it follows a young man with magical powers who goes on a quest to search for his uncle who can help him defeat his father who’s a sorcerer. The premise itself makes it sound like a Hollywood fantasy blockbuster, but the execution is exactly the opposite. It is deliberately paced and non-climactic for better and for worse.

Certainly it needed more fantasy elements and a bigger punch plus it is in some segments not as engaging, but I still liked quite a bit its more grounded and realistic approach as that only made its magical ending all the more powerful. Despite being slow, Yeelen is constantly involving and intriguing owing to its strong atmosphere and attention to detail.

Its weakest point is the characterization. The characters are solid but definitely underdeveloped and far from full developed entities. I wanted more scenes with his father, but the mother is memorable and the protagonist is very likable and handsome. The girlfriend is unfortunately disposable. The acting is very strong for amateur actors and actually quite impressive.

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Yeelen Movie Review

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Yeelen is beautifully made. The direction from Souleymane Cisse is superb and both the script and the dialogue are very strong, but I wanted more dialogue for sure. The film acquainted me with its culture so well and although I did not understand everything, most of the magical items and the people’s traditions, rituals and beliefs are so well put to screen.

The score is also quite strong and fitting for its story and time period. And of course the cinematography is one of the strongest aspects of the film as the desert, the various landscapes and water are all wonderfully photographed and captured on camera. The attention to detail is definitely admirable.

Yeelen is deliberately paced for better and for worse and the characterization is not particularly strong. However, the film is a terrific look at Malian culture and history owing to a very interesting, magical storyline, an adventurous tone, excellent direction, fantastic cinematography and a phenomenal attention to detail. Its beginning and ending are particularly memorable.

My Rating – 4

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Porky’s Hotel (1939)

Porky's Hotel ReviewPorky’s Hotel Review

Porky’s Hotel is a 1939 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a very subpart short.

I really did not care for this one. Again it isn’t terrible as it’s passable owing to its solid premise, good animation and rehashed but fun score. However, the film did not execute its annoyed old patient at a hospital premise well at all and what we got is an unfunny, boring and very forgettable Looney Tunes entry.

Porky Pig is literally unnecessary how rarely he appears here. I really dislike when they put him in a cartoon and do not use him and this is one of the worst instances of that practice. Dizzy Duck is a very annoying duck and that patient is the only somewhat interesting, but underutilized character. The gags did not work and the action is weak.

Porky’s Hotel is very disappointing in its execution and it is one of the worst Looney Tunes so far, even counting the decade’s early years.

My Rating – 3.2

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Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

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Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte is a 1964 psychological thriller horror film directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten and Olivia de Havilland. It’s a superb movie.

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You’re a vile, sorry little bitch!

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Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

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The film is a spiritual successor to ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane’ in plot and characters. Although very similar at first, it is very different in the end with a much more horror infused, menacing approach to it which I loved. Both movies are great, but this one surprised me so much as I did not expect it would be this great and this creepy.

The first half is somewhat slow and the buildup lasts for too long, but the beginning is marvelous as it introduces you to the story in an immediate manner and I was hooked. The murder scene was pretty graphic for its time.

But the second half is simply fantastic. The twist is absolutely spectacular and I actually did not see it coming as the actors are so well cast against type in villainous roles. It truly is one of the best twists of its time. The story suddenly became much more urgent and dangerous in tone and actually very modern as today’s audiences would appreciate it much more than the 1964 audiences.

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Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

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It’s a great story with a bunch of memorable thrills and scares. I would classify it as a psychological thriller, but definitely as a strong horror too because some of the scenes in the third act are very much horrific and pretty scary even today.

So the highlights include the beautiful ending, the way the protagonist got away from the situation, the murder at the stairs which is striking, the plastic head sequence is amazing and unexpected, the imaginary wedding sequence is very creepy and the muddy man scene is very scary and effective. As you can see, the film has a lot of unforgettable scenes which make it a true genre classic and a very underrated one at that.

Bette Davis is very good in the role. Sometimes she overacted, but in the end she gave a very strong performance which isn’t one of her best, but is admirable given that it is one of her last. Agnes Moorehead is the weakest link here as she overacted quite a bit and I do not understand why she of all people in this film got an Oscar nomination. Very underserved.

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Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

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Joseph Cotten is very good here, but Olivia de Havilland entirely steals the show in my opinion, even from Davis. I did not expect her in this role and thus I was surprised and really thrilled to see that she pulled it off beautifully. She created a very menacing, villainous and creepy character and she should have been nominated for her work in the film, not Agnes.

Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte is sometimes overacted and certainly over-the-top, but it’s great because it puts you in the shoes of Charlotte and makes you root for her how terrible she is treated. That made the film thrilling and very effective. I constantly felt danger lurking owing to a fantastic, truly menacing atmosphere that the film creates and a terrific score and sound effects.

The titular song is simply beautiful. When heard singularly, it is a wonderful song. But when heard in the context of the film, it actually becomes quite scary and frankly even disturbing which was the goal of the filmmakers and they should be congratulated for managing to make use of the song so stupendously.

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Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

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The film was nominated for editing, costumes, production design and cinematography. All these nominations are very much deserved as the film looks gorgeous. The house looked magnificent and is so well utilized and explored. The black and white photography is either beautiful or atmospheric here. The direction from Robert Aldrich is also very strong and the film is mostly really well paced and incredibly entertaining to watch. I loved it.

Beautifully shot and scored with a fantastic titular song, Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte is somewhat overacted and certainly over-the-top, but an effective, very modern and highly underrated psychological thriller horror flick that’s a classic in my opinion. This spiritual successor to ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?’ is slow at first, but later becomes very entertaining and quite unnerving. Bette Davis is very good, but Olivia de Havilland actually steals the show here in an unexpected, truly terrific role. The movie is fueled with a palpable sense of danger and is thus a very unsettling experience. The twist is great plus the film is packed with a high number of simply unforgettable sequences from the ending to the immediately intriguing opening to three striking staircase sequences – each one creepier than the last.

My Rating – 4.5

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