Showing posts with label First viewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label First viewing. Show all posts

Monday, December 6, 2021

Holiday Horror Watch: Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020)




Watched:  12/5/2021
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Jim Cummings

I'm going to have to check out Jim Cummings' other stuff, because he's apparently his own one-man force within the film industry.  I recognize him, but not as a lead - but he wrote, directed and starred in Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020), which is something people really don't do anymore.  That era of auteurism has kind of gone the way of the dodo.

Released under the revived Orion films banner (and, my god, was it good to see that logo spin out in front of a movie again) - it's also nice to see genre indie distributors out there trying for something a bit different, and this film is a reminder of the positive results you can get from a single person with their hands on the wheel of a movie.  Because Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020) is arguably about a small-town cop relentlessly chasing down a killer werewolf despite the fact that is absolutely the plot of the film.  And this is where people might mistakenly say "it's good for a horror film" - but we don't say that at this blog.  

I think sometimes why reviewers might make that statement is that they want something more out of their movie than a monster murdering people and eventually being killed in return.  I mean, *fair enough*.  

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Holiday Horror Watch: Black Christmas (1974)




Watched:  12/5/2021
Format:  Peacock!  
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Bob Clark

I kind of start and stop my interest in slasher films with the Halloween films.  But ever since I found out Bob Clark, the guy who directed A Christmas Story, also directed one of the landmark Christmas-Horror films, I've wanted to see Black Christmas (1974).  Add in a pre-superstardom Margot Kidder, and it's a sell!  But the movie had been a little hard to find in the past - until recent shifts in how the streamers work seems to have fixed that.  

Anyway, it's now a whole lotta places, but I watched it on Peacock of all locations.  I know!  But if you watch like 2 minutes of commercials, uncut movie!  (edit:  I hit "publish" on this post, went to my email to read the Criterion Current email, and I guess Black Christmas is on the Criterion Channel now, too and an article about the weirdness of watching people get murdered on film.). 

Black Christmas is dark.  I don't want to beat around the bush on this one.  I am glad I didn't pick it for a watch party, because it's not... fun.  It's mostly just grim.  Surprisingly well made, effective, etc...  but sometimes I watch a movie and I'm kind of glad I don't need to worry about how Jamie was taking it in.* 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Watch Party Christmas Watch: The Bishop's Wife (1947)




Watched:  12/3/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Director:  Henry Koster

The Bishop's Wife (1947) is one of those movies that I've known existed since the 1990's, but I never got around to seeing.  I'd watched clips here and there, and I knew the basic plot outline, but just wasn't in a rush to see it.  And, I did want to see the 1990's version, but I try to see the original before I see a remake 2 out of 3 times.  

Anyhoo... I was originally going to program Bob Clark's Black Christmas for my Christmas Surprise package movie, but I just wasn't up for it on Friday, and Loretta Young is Loretta Young (which is good for *me* as a viewer, anyway), and who doesn't like Cary Grant?  Or David Niven, for that matter? I'm a fan of all three, plus Christmas, plus a sort of fable-ish fairy tale seemed like the right thing to do.

That said, the movie was 80% exactly what I figured it might be - a comedy so light it's like watching dandelion bristles float away and making points like (as Jenifer said) "be nice" and "don't be a jerk", which... you know, *fair enough* I say as 2021 draws to a close.  It's not like a whole lot of people can't learn basic lessons in not being horrible, selfish, and cruel.  

The basic story is that a local and fairly newly minted Bishop (I'm assuming Episcopalian) has become consumed by the need to build a new Cathedral and other duties of his place.  All of which are of a noble mindset, but have created the problem of both making him compromise in the name of the greater good in ways that make him unhappy, and that he is so focused on his work issues, he's both ignoring his wife and what once made them unhappy.  Dude is in crisis, and so is Loretta Young.

Cary Grant plays an angel named Dudley who arrives on scene to assist - which mostly seems to consist of taking Loretta Young off David Niven's hands.  Yeah, it would be super weird, but David Niven *believes* Dudley when he says he's an angel, so why not entrust him with his wife?  This is not Zeus or Pan we're talking about here.  Except - maybe Dudley wants to smash?

Anyway - it's a sweet movie, has two of the kids from It's a Wonderful Life (both Zuzu and young George Bailey), Elsa Lanchester as a domestic who just kinda *gets* Dudley, Gladys Cooper as a wealthy dowager, and a handful of "that guy!" supporting players.  Still, the funniest joke in the film is some slapsticky physical comedy with a chair and David Niven, so maybe it's just too gentle for it's own good.  Well, that and a never-ending bottle of liquor.  

I'm not mad I saw it, it was all right and Christmassy - and I like the fact it works in so many story arcs, but it just wasn't my cup of tea, necessarily.  

Monday, November 29, 2021

Light Noir Watch: The Big Steal (1949)




Watched:  11/29/2021
Format:  TCM
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Director:  Don Siegel

A tight little film from RKO, I thought maybe I'd seen The Big Steal (1949) when I saw it listed just based on the cast.  William Bendix, Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum is plenty to get me to take a look.  And, yes, given the non-descriptive names of many-a-film noir, I have to check to see what the movie is and if the summary of plot rings any bells.  And even then, I'm often 5 to 10 minutes into a movie and realize "say... I've seen this before".    

But... no.  I hadn't seen the movie.

It's a lot of plot, a minimum of character, and swings between comedy, road trip movie and crime movie surprisingly deftly.  Mitchum plays a guy on the run from the US Army, looking for Jane Greer's fiancé (Patric Knowles), Fiske.  The fiancé swears he's on the up and up to Greer when she finds him in a Mexican hotel minus the $2000 he took when he split without a word.  But he swears he'll have it.  That very day, in fact.

And then he bounces as Greer takes a shower.  

Mitchum and Greer team-up and go after him, and do that "they irritate each other" to "romance is blossoming" thing.  Bendix pursues semi-ruthlessly.  But the Mexican setting and characters are marginally more than a back-drop in this film.  Ramon Navarro as the Inspector General and Don Alvarado as Lt. Ruiz are watching our Americans flail around and set their own plan in motion that's 2 steps ahead of our leads.  Greer speaks Spanish and has an understanding of her surroundings that Mitchum lacks - and is way too distracted to learn more.  But you do get an idea that this movie is trying harder than some others that treat Mexico as one big resort via Greer and our police officers and a few other players (the road crew boss is excellent).

Anyway - it's Mitchum playing Mitchum, Bendix playing Bendix and Jane Greer looking lovely and having some excellent beats, both comedic and otherwise.  This film is two years after Out of the Past, which also teamed Greer and Mitchum, and my guess is they must have liked working together.  But it's so... different.  But, still, within their personas all three leads could really stretch and do whatever was needed.  The much lighter tone here - I mean, the movie ends on a punchline callback - allows Greer to do some very different work than the few other films of this era where I've seen her.  And we know Mitchum and Bendix can do comedy, and it all holds.  The movie doesn't feel tonally off as it leaps around, it just goes with the adventure of the high-stakes road trip.

I dug it.  Not going to set the world on fire, but it was enjoyable.  And, hey, we got to see Jane Greer drive like a maniac.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Hallmark Christmas Watch: Christmas Together With You (2021)




Watched:  11/24/2021
Format:  Hallmark Channel!
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Kevin Fair

This year vis-a-vis Hallmark movies has been an emotional rollercoaster.  We had to switch cable services and wound up on YouTubeTV (recommended), but it had no Hallmark Channel.  I was a little sad, but I don't *need* to see my Hallmark Christmas stories, so I figured: time to move on.  But then, I was informed a week or so ago that, NO, YouTubeTV now carried all three Hallmark networks.  Feliz navidad, indeed!

But, Jamie now has a pretty hard rule about not putting on Hallmark movies til Thanksgiving night, so I honestly hadn't been watching.  But this last week, the network debuted a new movie, Christmas Together With You (2021) - and the stars caught my eye.  Harry Lennix portrayed General Swann in Man of Steel, and Laura Vandervoort played Supergirl (sort of) on Smallville off and on for half the show's run.  Thus, it got recorded.  

And, then, I needed to watch something that needed minimal attention while I worked out.  So here we are.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Joan Watch: Daisy Kenyon (1947)




Watched:  11/23/2021
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Director:  Otto Preminger

I was looking for a new-to-me noir to watch for Noirvember and on some list of "best noir" saw Daisy Kenyon (1947), and that it starred Joan Crawford, Dana Andrews, and Henry Fonda.  All have some noir bona fides as actors, and Otto Preminger never lets me down, so I put the movie on.

Friends, Daisy Kenyon is not film noir.  It's melodrama.  And that's fine, but half-way through the movie I realized no one was going to shoot anyone, no one was going to make a decision that would end in murder, and realized "someone making that noir list had no idea what they were talking about".  It happens.  

Movies can reveal quite a bit about the times in which they were released.  This is a post-WWII story and the aftermath of the war isn't the plot, but it's key.   There are some surprisingly forward thinking elements that I wanted to see if they'd get mentioned in the NYT review of the time, but... not really?  (I did find it funny how the reviewer treats the well-established leads as "you know what they do, and here they are doing it, just as reviewers would today).  

Catch-Up Watch: A Star is Born (2018)




Watched:  11/21/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Bradley Cooper

I wanted to see A Star is Born (2018) in the theater so I could get the benefit of the theatrical sound for the music and sound mix, but I didn't.  My memory of the release date is pegged to a lengthy work-trip.  On a terrible tip from a bus driver - I found myself in the shittiest bar in Vegas, trying to get some karaoke together with librarians, but only me and three other people showed up.  That night was the first time I think I heard "Shallow" from beginning to end, and I couldn't believe the song was already an option at karaoke as the film had just been released.

Anyway, that was a very long two week business trip, and that was only one of three dozen incidents along the way (I got shingles in Salt Lake City).  When I got home, Jamie had seen the movie and I decided to wait for home video.  And then didn't do that, either.

I did eventually want to get to it.  Aside from feeling like I should see the movie here in it's fourth iteration, I think Bradley Cooper is a very solid actor who gets dismissed because he's ridiculously handsome.  And I like Lady Gaga as a performer because *gestures at everything*.  Plus, I found it interesting this was Cooper's choice for a directorial debut.  Which makes sense.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Noir Watch: Johnny O'Clock (1947)




Watched:  11/22/2021
Format:  TCM Noir Alley
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Director:  Robert Rossen

Well, Johnny O'Clock (1947) is a ridiculous name for a movie, and a character.  But here we are.  It's maybe not a shock its hard to take seriously when I saw Johnny Dangerously years before I'd see a gangster or noir film the 1980's comedy was looking to emulate.  But Johnny O'Clock is not a comedy - it's a straight film, but packed with plot, schemers and some very deeply rat-a-tat hard boiled dialog.  

It's not a great movie, and it's entirely wrapped up in its own plot so much, it kind of forgets to do much with characters after an initial impression, but...  I think Muller's take on it intersects with how I felt.  This movie felt like someone had read a lot of snappy dialog in novels that didn't quite make it to the movies and wanted that to happen.  

Everyone has an agenda, and everyone is willing to play for keeps - and by the time we show up as an audience, a lot of balls are already in motion.  We're just watching the Rube Goldberg machinations go through their motions.  So just buckle up and watch.

I've been a Dick Powell fan since seeing Murder, My Sweet a long time ago, and sealed the deal with Cry Danger.  I am not against his song-and-dance-man persona that predates his move into noir, but I prefer him as the sardonic voice centering a crime film.  And, of course, the film has Lee J Cobb as a cop on a case, super-actor Thomas Gomez and noir-favorite Evelyn Keyes.  The movie also includes a very early appearance by Jeff Chandler.

I.. am still not sure why a key character is murdered early on in the movie, the flashpoint for everything else in the movie.  They sort of suggest "oh, she might have known something so we bumped her off", but...  why would they think that?

ANYWAY.  Maybe not the first noir I'd suggest someone rush out to see, but it still played well.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Doc Watch: Dean Martin - King of Cool (2021)




Watched:  11/20/2021
Format:  TCM 
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Tom Donahue

Like any other self-respecting 1990's hipster, I have a warm place in my heart for Dean Martin.  I spend less time thinking about Martin than I do Bing Crosby, who was a huge inspiration to the Rat Pack, but - hey - one of my earliest memories is my dad singing the intro to "That's Amore" to me as he tucked me in.  

I would see Martin in Rio Bravo back in college, as well as Ocean's 11, and I started to get a picture of Martin and how he fit into the culture in ways that Frank Sinatra did not.  Probably the easiest analog for us Gen-X'ers is Brad Pitt to George Clooney in the Soderbergh Ocean's films.  

As a doc, Dean Martin: King of Cool (2021) works as a no-consequences sort of film.  No one is out there debating Dean Martin in 2021.  He was.  He is.  He's heard on the radio to this day, and his films are still okay.  So it's about painting a portrait of a guy who was maybe a bit unknowable, even by his own children.  And in that, what you wind up doing is - metaphor 1:  seeing the silhouette of the guy against the backdrop of what we do know, and - metaphor 2:  starting with the stone of what we know and chipping away til the statue of Dean Martin presents itself.

Doc Watch: Malfunction - The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson (2021)




Watched:  11/20/2021
Format:  I saw it on TV, but I believe they're trying to get you to watch it on Hulu
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Jodi Gomes

I was flipping channels and somehow caught what I thought was someone's rushed attempt to get in front of the "coming to Hulu" documentary by the New York Times about the fateful Super Bowl performance in which Justin Timberlake removed an item from Janet Jackson's wardrobe, exposing her breast on TV for a blink-and-you-miss-it moment.  But, no, it was the actual doc.

I am not sure that Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Jane Jackson (2021) is the final word on the incident.  I think it has a lot to say that I think is worth reflecting on, but at the center of the doc are a few gigantic questions it won't/ can't answer, and I am unsure some of the arguments are fully explored.  What the doc manages to do is paint the most complete picture of the Super Bowl incident and the fallout, giving detail I'd not heard, following the incident's years-long legacy.  But I can't quite sort what the doc is trying to say.  Nor am I sure revisiting the incident is as compelling as cultural conversation as we'll treat it for a few weeks here.

Friday, November 19, 2021

PODCAST: "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" (2021) - A Marvel Chronological Countdown episode w/ Jamie and Ryan




Watched:  11/14/2021
Format:  Disney+
Viewing: First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Destin Daniel Cretton




Jamie and Ryan reveal their secret kung-fu-like prowess at podcasting as they dig into the next phase of Marvel as a new leading superhero takes the fore, alongside his wisecracking pal, Awkwafina, and Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley. Not to mention a few huge stars of international cinema in Michelle Yeoh and Tony Leung. And a rad dragon. Join us as we circle around this film, and sort out what our friends at Marvel are up to now.




Music:
Xu Shang-Chi - Joel P West, Shang-Chi OST
Family - Joel P West, Shang-Chi OST 


Marvel Movies!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

That Was a Movie Watch: Red Notice (2021)




Watched:  11/17/2021
Format:  Netflix 
Viewing: First
Decade: 2020's
Director:  Rawson Marshall Thurber

I'm *fine* with Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot.  I still watch movies because they star particular talent, but most of those actors have been dead for more than 10 years or way longer, and I guess there's a few people I'd show up to see just because they did a thing.  But it's more likely I'll avoid a movie as long as possible if there are particular actors starring.  None of the three here fall into the "must avoid" category.  They're all... fine.  You know more or less exactly what you'll get, and Red Notice (2021) is not here to blow the door off of those expectations.  

Best case scenario, Red Notice is a fun way to introduce your tween to heist pictures and globe-trotting comedy-action-adventure.  There's a lot of A-Team style bloodless gunplay where no one is ever shot, people crack wise, and it's all a big goof.  It's not a new format, and this one is particularly gentle, so it's a good entry point.   

Monday, November 15, 2021

Disney+ Watch: Jungle Cruise (2021)




Watched:  11/15/2021
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Jaume Collett-Serra

This is part of why it's nice to have Disney+.  

Before COVID, I think maybe I would have talked myself into paying to see Jungle Cruise (2021) in the theater.  I'm partial to Emily Blunt, I more or less like Dwayne Johnson.  The Disney park ride of The Jungle Cruise is a highlight of every trip I've ever had when I hit one of the Disney parks - it's wrapped up in nostalgia, certainly, but it's a fun thing to go do.  

I was a little put off that the jungle cruise of the film was not in Africa, as that would mean no elephants, my childhood favorite part of the ride, but... you know.  It's fine.  

Thursday, November 11, 2021

PODCAST: "The Man Who Would Be King" (1975) - a Signal Watch Canon episode w/ SimonUK and Ryan




Watched: 10/15/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing: First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  John Huston




Two wayward souls, maybe a bit past their prime and in over their heads, seek fortune and glory - and that's just our podcasters. Join SimonUK and Ryan as we head into poorly charted territory and look into a film featuring two of our favorite film stars in an adventure that probably needed some better planning.  But you gotta admire the moxie.




Music:
Theme from The Man Who Would Be King - Maurice Jarre


Canon Playlist 

Noir Watch: 5 Steps to Danger (1956)




Watched:  11/10/2021
Format:  Noir Alley
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's
Director:  Henry S. Keslar

There's both too much and not enough going on this post-war roadtrip noir - that is barely a noir.  But it does star Sterling Hayden as a guy in a hat, and Ruth Roman as a dame in trouble who pulls Hayden in over his head.  

I hesitate to get into this plot-dense noir with a synopsis, because the plot isn't exactly nonsense, but how they go about it is a mess.   But the basic gist is that Hayden's car breaks down en route from LA to Texas somewhere, and Ruth Roman offers him a ride if he can help her split the drive to Santa Fe so they can keep moving.  

A mysterious nurse approached Hayden in a roadside stop and says they've been following Ruth Roman as she's an escaped mental patient or some such, but for some reason, they're just watching her? But, basically, it's a sinister spy story of former Nazis in the US (one played by Colonel Klink) trying to get ahold of some info Roman came into possession of whilst in Germany trying to get her brother out of East Germany (I think).  People keep trying to convince Hayden Roman is crazy - but she clearly isn't.  So.

Anyway, Hayden probably hated this script.  His character is kind of boring and always right about everything (which is not where Hayden shines), and Roman is fine, but a little dull here.  As is the movie.  

I did not love it.  I couldn't figure out why the CIA wasn't taking an active hand in the proceedings as so much was at stake and they were watching everything.  None of the movie's story really had much of a reason for happening.  I dunno.  I've seen worse, but this one was just kind of not my thing.  Except it's a ripoff in many ways of The 39 Steps, which I've only seen as a play, and I liked that.. so.


Noir-Vember Party Watch: Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)




Watched:  11/09/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party (Jenifer pick)
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Director:  Anatole Litvak

I had never seen this film, but Jenifer chose it for a Noirvember Watch Party, and it had Stanwyck, so I wasn't going to dodge.  

Based on what seems to have been a very popular radio play, Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) is deep into noir-thriller territory, and achieves its goals totally differently, but just as effectively (or more so) as Beware, My Lovely or Sudden Fear

Stanwyck plays an invalid rich girl who hears a conversation over crossed wires (this used to actually happen, kids.  I remember getting pulled into other people's phone calls by accident as late as high school in the 1990's) wherein the two participants are planning a murder or an unsuspecting woman.  Stanwyck is bed-bound, and her husband hasn't come home, so it's through a series of phone calls and flashbacks that we put together her background and what's going on with her husband and her.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Disney Watch: Cruella (2021)




Watched:  11/06/2021
Format:  Disney+ in JAL's yard
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Craig Gillespie

We got together with JAL and Co to watch a movie projected on the big screen in his backyard.  With a kid in play, and because we're highly likely to watch PG movies anyway, we defaulted to a family-friendly suggestion of Cruella (2021), which received weirdly inconsistent reviews and reaction on social media from what I saw, to the point where people seemed to be watching 2 or more different movies, which was enough to make me curious.  

I've not been overly interested in Disney's live-action remakes or prequels, and so had made no special effort to see Cruella upon it's release.  I like 101 Dalmatians (the animated version) well enough, but mostly out of nostalgia and loving the character animation more than me thinking it's the world's best film.  And I wasn't overly concerned about who Cruella De Vil was and how she came to be.

But, you know, I'm game for whatever.

I... loved this movie?  

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Musical Revue Watch: Time Out For Rhythm (1941)




Watched:  11/06/2021
Format:  TCM 
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Director:  Sidney Salkow

My feeling is that they didn't make movies like this much post WWII.  It's a movie, yeah, but it's a musical/ vaudeville/ what-have-you revue.  It's got a basic framework, and that framework is not that of a musical where songs and bits are part of the story.  Here - the story stops as characters perform for one another.

The basic premise is that a top Broadway performer drops her manager, so her manager teams up with Rudy Vallee and they become successful agents and promoters.  But then the original manager hears his former talent is getting divorced and available to sing/ play snuggle-bunnies, and he decides to throw everything out the window to work with her.  Meanwhile, Vallee discovers a still teen-aged Ann Miller as her maid, basically being Ann Miller, and decides to run with it.

We also get a fairly early appearance from a Shemp-less Three Stooges, Joan Merrill, Brenda & Cobina, Rosemary Lane of the Lane Sisters, and more.  

Basically, it's as easy to watch as it is to drink a glass of Coke.  You may not be nuts about it, but you'll suddenly realize you're at the end of it and shrug.  It's cute and funny-ish, and only has a few problematic bits left over from days of yore.  

Honestly, I watched it like 24 hours ago and had already forgotten about it, so.  I mean, Ann Miller was still very young and just signed to Columbia, so they barely let her speak.  As an Ann Miller movies I'd not previously seen, I'm glad I can check it off, but it's more of an interesting artifact than anything I'd need to own in 4K.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Noir Watch: Hell on Frisco Bay (1955)




Watched:  11/04/2021
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's
Director:  Frank Tuttle

This was not at all what I was expecting.  It feels almost like a rough draft of something like Heat, where we see both sides of the cop and criminal coin.  It's a smidge longer as a result, has some complicated character stuff going on, and is shot in color, which is... very strange, honestly, for the type of movie it is.

But I also want to watch the movie with Jenifer or Tammy so they'll tell me what all of the San Francisco locations are.  This is VERY San Francisco.  You expect them to sit down and eat a bowl of Rice-a-Roni.

The story is pretty good, but the cast is pretty stellar.  Alan Ladd is an ex-cop released from prison for a manslaughter charge that he believes was a set-up.  He's been in San Quentin for five years, and despite his wife's desire to get back together, he's been refusing her while in prison and is still, for whatever reason, mad that she saw someone else while he ignored her for five years.*  The wife is played by Joanne Dru (Red River), and you're gonna think Ladd is a moron for ignoring her, especially when she performs as a songbird in a nightclub.  

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Absolute Last Hallow-Scream Watch: The Leopard Man (1943)




Watched:  10/30/2021
Format:  TCM Noir Alley
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Director:  Jacques Tourneur


A very short film that manages to pack in what seems the plot and thrills of something much longer, The Leopard Man (1943) just uses a title that makes it sound like a sequel to The Cat People but delivers and entirely different thrill (or maybe not?).  

I *loved* this movie.  Great characters.  Misdirection.  A few scenes with genuine terror.  Beautifully shot and imagined.  This is the Val Lewton/ Jacques Tourneau you hear about in classic film circles.  For me - an unexpected ending that's terrifically framed.  I have no notes!

My understanding is that this is not just based on a Cornell Woolrich novel, but really sticks to the source material, even what's seen in specific characters' POVs.  I need to read some Woolrich.

I also was surprised to hear discussion of genocide of indigenous people by colonizing forces even mentioned, let alone treated as a tragedy. 

SPOILERS