Saturday, September 22, 2018

Tag: Josh Brolin

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

Title: Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Rating: R
Directed by: Stefano Sollima
Written by: Taylor Sheridan
Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Catherine Keener
Release Date: 6/29/2018
Running Time: 122 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

What did you think of this film?
In SICARIO, Day of the Soldado, the series begins a new chapter. In the drug war, there are no rules – and as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) calls on the mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), whose family was murdered by a cartel kingpin, to escalate the war in nefarious ways. Alejandro kidnaps the kingpin’s daughter to inflame the conflict – but when the girl is seen as collateral damage, her fate will come between the two men as they question everything they are fighting for.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? No

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No

Memoriam: In Memory of Jóhann Jóhannsson

Special thanks to Saran for this submission


Deadpool 2 (2018)*

Title: Deadpool 2
Rating: R
Directed by: David Leitch
Written by: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, and Jack Kesy
Release Date: 5/18/2018
Running Time: 119 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

What did you think of this film?
After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? Yes

Click to see whats: during the credits

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No

Is this stinger worth waiting around for? Vote DownVote Up (+153 rating, 197 votes)

Memoriam: In Memory of Sequana Harris

Special thanks to Ivan, Marco, funkyfied, Julien, Maximilien, Kristo, Milan, Wayne, Kate, Nick, S.M., Caroline, Steven, Colin, and Kelly for this submission

Was seeing Deadpool 2 in IMAX worth the cost?

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)*

Title: Avengers: Infinity War
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Anthony Russo, and Joe Russo
Written by: Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely
Based on the comics by: Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans,
Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Idris Elba, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, and Chris Pratt

Release Date: 4/27/2018
Running Time: 149 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

What did you think of this film?
“Avengers: Infinity War” picks up as the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, but a dangerous menace has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, Thanos will stop at nothing to collect all six Infinity Stonesin his quest to wield unimaginable power and his twisted will on all of humanity.

Assembling a team that includes members from every Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, the Avengers and their Super Hero allies must sacrifice like never before in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe. An unprecedented cinematic journey 10 years in the making with the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe in play, “Avengers: Infinity War” brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? No

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? Yes

Click to see whats: after the credits

Is this stinger worth waiting around for? Vote DownVote Up (+185 rating, 251 votes)

Special thanks to Aws, and Mila for this submission

Was seeing Avengers: Infinity War in IMAX, IMAX 3D, 3D or 4D worth the cost?

Only the Brave (2017)*

Title: Only the Brave
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
Written by: Ken Nolan, and Eric Warren Singer
Starring: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, and Jennifer Connelly
Release Date: 10/20/2017
Running Time: 133 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

What did you think of this film?
It’s not what stands in front of you… it’s who stands beside you. Only the Brave, based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, is the heroic story of one unit of local firefighters that through hope, determination, sacrifice, and the drive to protect families, communities, and our country become one of the most elite firefighting teams in the nation. As most of us run from danger, they run toward it – they watch over our lives, our homes, everything we hold dear, as they forge a unique brotherhood that comes into focus with one fateful fire.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? Yes

Click to see whats: during the credits

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No

Dedication: This film is dedicated to the Granite Mountain Hotshots and their families.

Memoriam: In memory of James Marks and Joshua House

Special thanks to Frank for this submission


Hail, Caesar! (2016)

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Title: Hail, Caesar!
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Written by: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill
Release Date: 2/5/2016
Running Time: 106 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

Four-time Oscar®-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, True Grit, Fargo) write and direct Hail, Caesar!, an all-star comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? No

After Credits? No

Note: “This motion picture contains no visual depiction of the godhead.”


Sicario Review – 3.5 out of 5 Stars

SicarioPoster
A couple of weeks ago, I accused director Scott Cooper of destroying a seemingly infallible subject with his ugly, childish crime drama Black Mass. Now, I come to you with an opposite statement for director Denis Villeneuve and his new thriller Sicario. The plot is derivative, the characters are flat and the dialogue is artificial. That said, Villeneuve is such a brilliant filmmaker that he has basically taken a dead on arrival screenplay and given it substance and depth that writer Taylor Sheridan couldn’t have even fathomed. Sicario is an example of a film where everyone on board is trying there damnedest to breathe life into something that probably shouldn’t have even been saved in the first place. You’ll leave the film impressed by a lot of elements but unfortunately it isn’t quite good enough to deserve a repeat viewing or something beyond being called a solid piece of entertainment.

In Sicario, FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) becomes the witness to a horrific, grisly crime scene in Chandler, Arizona. In the hopes of finding the men responsible, she joins a group of elite agents run by the charismatic if deadly good ol’ boy Matt (Josh Brolin) and a mysterious, quiet man with a hidden past named Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro). As she digs deeper into the case, she finds that the line between who’s a hero and who’s a villain might not have been as simple as she originally thought.

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I’m fairly shocked and disappointed at how muted my praise is for this film. This was easily one of my most anticipated films of 2015 for multiple reasons. The film is Denis Villeneuve’s real follow up to his 2013 movie Prisoners, an energetic and spectacular psychological thriller that was my number one movie for that year. Sicario brings together the same composer (Jóhann Jóhannsson) and the same cinematographer (Roger Deakins) that made Prisoners so captivating and it also features three of my favorite actors working today. At best, this was going to be yet another terrific thriller that managed to tackle dark, haunting ideas about human nature in an inventive and exciting way. And to Villeneuve’s credit, he delivered on that promise…sort of.

All the performances are fantastic even if they’re being contributed to weak characters. As I’ll get to later, I had a lot of problems with the script. This major flaw in the movie affects everyone in the cast in a way that ranges from mildly irritating to fatal. Emily Blunt is the one negatively affected the most by the script and it’s a shame because regardless she’s the one giving the best performance. Blunt is quite down to earth as this person who’s slowly becoming caught in the violence and terror going on across the border. The film has these excellent moments of quiet where they’ll be focused on the faces of the people involved and you can see the nervousness and the anxiety in her eyes as she desperately tries to be the voice of reason in this war that has no real end. She’s especially great in the scene near the start where she is reacting to this horrific discovery that has been at the house they’re raiding.

Josh Brolin is unfortunately being tied to a very contrived character that doesn’t ever require him to step outside the box. Once again, he’s been asked to play the funny but stern macho guy. You can tell that he’s trying but I think it says something that his best performance in 2015 was in Everest, a film filled with wasted performances by great actors. The performance other than Blunt’s that stands out is Benicio Del Toro as Alejandro. Like Brolin, I don’t think Toro’s doing something that’s especially different but I also think Toro is the person least affected by the script and it shows. In comparison to the other characters, Alejandro is this quiet guy who speaks only sparingly. In that sense, he doesn’t suffer the awkward dialogue and it makes his character feel much more complete and memorable than anyone else. To Toro’s credit, he’s doing what he does best in the best way possible and he’s very intimidating and unsettling in every scene he’s in without saying that much. In the final 25 minutes, Toro pretty much becomes the main character and the film goes to places with him that are terrifying to see unfold. This moment at a dinner table is one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen happen in a film in recent memory and it’s one of the few moments of brilliance in Sheridan’s script.

Of course the real stars of Sicario are the ones working behind the camera. The movie itself is mediocre but this film is perfectly directed. There is not a single aspect of the film simply from a direction standpoint that feels off or imperfect in any way. Villeneuve takes this fairly average crime film and transforms it into this visual journey into a psychological wasteland. The sound design allows for you to hear every movement of a car, every sudden gunshot and every distant uncertainty of the setting. The movie starts off with a bang and it makes sure that you’re worrying about what’s going to happen next for every scene.

He shoots the city, the people of both sides and the violence with the grace and the intimacy of a documentary. The best moments in the film are the ones where he is simply holding on these people from all these different angles living there lives. There’s a part where they’re interviewing a crowd of immigrants and it’s performed so honestly that you could take a shot from that scene and I wouldn’t be able to tell you if it was something from a movie or something done by Time Magazine. We get a glimpse of the vendors selling their products to people in their cars during traffic. We get this quiet moment of Kate dancing to country music with another man in a western bar. A scene with an important conversation pans down to see Brolin’s character wearing sandals during it. These tiny points are scattered throughout the entire film and they come together to create this world filled with a loneliness and an intensity that goes far deeper that you would expect.

There’s a scene where Kate’s car passes by these decapitated bodies hanging from a bridge. Most directors would zoom in on this and make a big deal about this type of violence but the way its shot here is very subtle and treated like some normal thing that happens on a day to day basis. This silent moment is a million times more disturbing than anything Depp did to show off in Black Mass. By the ending scene, it becomes clear in some way that Villeneuve has made the movie in this way to show that the horrors are being allowed to go on in the background of these people’s lives. The US is allowing the crime to continue and the citizens are so numb that they’ve become used to seeing things like that. You ultimately get used to it or you die trying. Sicario excels when it detaches itself from telling a story and it allows the viewer to get lost in these very detailed images of people following a routine because they have to.

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I can’t give all the credit to Villeneuve though. Roger Deakins is one of the best cinematographers of all time and his work here is no exception to that statement. The aerial shots of Juarez that show the city from a distance carry the weight of walking into a dark, upsetting new world. He’s clearly the one responsible for why the film looks so raw but otherworldly at the same time. I adored how the film looks in the dark. Every shot in the third act looks incredible. From Kate going down a tunnel to a wide shot at a dinner table, the movie looks visually terrifying. The dark of night finally gives way to the full, untamed act of crime that is going on underneath it all.

Jóhann Jóhannsson’s score is equally effective in creating abstract horror. There’s this one line of music that gets used throughout the film and it becomes more and more foreboding as the movie draws nearer to its climax. Not bad for the guy who made The Theory of Everything sound like a Hallmark film. I have nothing but praise for this movie for its direction. This movie gives so much life and meaning and soul to its material through cinematography, music and where the camera gets pointed. Sicario’s best weapon is what made Prisoners so magnificent, it can reflect on the darkness of life by dragging you into this landscape that you can’t help but allow yourself to be dragged entirely into. Villeneuve allows you become this ghost traveling place to place, experiencing all that this world has to offer.

I have given this movie nothing short of praise so far and I’ve tried to give the movie as much as I could before I admit the awful truth that keeps me from calling Sicario great film. When you simply look at Sheridan’s script, Sicario is a very poorly written movie. I hate to throw a guy under the bus like this but the simple fact is that everything in this movie is operating at a ten and this screenplay is operating at around a four. It’s a very quiet film that allows for the actions to take over most of the time and in some ways it makes the screenplays flaw a bit more forgivable. But then I look back on Mad Max: Fury Road, a stunning blockbuster that came out this summer that featured very little dialogue. Despite being more focused on actions rather than conversations, you can still tell that that film had a smart script. The characters don’t usually talk but when they do, they have compelling and fascinating things to say. Like Fury Road, Sicario is great when it’s focused on the environment but unlike Fury Road, whenever its characters open their mouth, it’s embarrassingly easy to find heavy flaws.

The movie has two settings when it comes to its dialogue, lifeless exposition and uncomfortably fake character development. The way people explain things in this movie comes off as so void of emotion. You never get the sense that these are real people explaining what is going on but rather a writer using people as one sided devices to tell the audience his story. An example of this is a scene near the end where Matt reveals something to Kate about Alejandro’s past. This should be this big, shocking moment but the way Matt discusses it features no subtlety and you feel ultimately detached from what is going on with them.

I can sort of forgive dry exposition, what I can’t forgive are the cringe worthy scenes where the writer tries to make the characters seem more human and relatable. The movie makes multiple attempts at comedic relief and none of them resemble anything other than something pathetic. There is this running joke with bras between Kate and her best friend that I don’t think would even make it onto a light CBS crime procedural. The ways the story explains things lacks subtlety so it’s jarring and unbelievable to see Sheridan attempting to capture their reactions to things.

The best example of this is when Kate has returned from this quick, abrupt shootout during a traffic jam. It was quick, grotesque and it resulted in Kate being forced to kill. To Villeneuve and Blunt’s credit, her shock and horror is captured quite well when he is doing these close ups on her quiet reaction to what just happened. The camera lingers on her shaking while lighting a cigarette, a sad attempt to soothe what she has just witnessed. But once Kate gets back to base and gets into a fight with Matt, the dialogue feels so blunt and generic that it ruins whatever sense of dread the last scene created towards the character of Kate.

If most of the characters are there to explain the story, Kate is there to say a small list of lines on repeat that you’ve seen used multiple times in multiple movies. “This is not what I signed up for!” “You can’t do that, that’s illegal!” She might as well be wearing a shirt that tells us that she’s the naïve, relatable one. In two hours, Kate doesn’t succeed at a concept that was done far better by Terrance Howard’s character in Prisoners. Like Kate, he was the sympathetic, kind hearted person forced into doing a horrible thing; the difference being that despite being a smaller character, his arc stills makes far more sense and contains much more heart than Kate’s. Her character is so repetitive and empty that her ultimate conclusion in the finale feels weak and chosen by the writer less to tell a realistic story and more to bring home the message.

This is just one of the cases where I find Prisoners to be much better than Sicario. The experience can best be described as what Prisoners did with better direction, a less ambitious story and less interesting characters. Sicario’s final message about the darkness of humanity, while widely different from most mainstream movies we see today, still feels like a more contrived version of the things that made me fall in love with Prisoners. I will definitely recommend this movie with even the full ticket price because the film is so well made that it still deserves to be soaked up on the big screen. Unfortunately, everything meaningful about Denis Villeneuve’s direction and Blunt and Toro’s performances feels slightly wasted on a project that could’ve easily been done by a far less competent group of people. Sicario confirms Villeneuve as one of the best directors working today but I can’t help but wish this level of brilliance was going towards material that was also on his level.

Rating:(3.5/5)

Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 10/2/2015

Rating: R

Cast: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro

Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

Screenplay by: Taylor Sheridan

Everest Review – 2.5 out of 5 Stars

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I should start off by mentioning that I set myself up to love the latest, big budget adventure flick Everest. After the great early buzz the film received, I almost immediately bought tickets for the opening day screening at the local Cinerama in Seattle. This 70 mm screen is the ultimate place to go see big movies spectacles so believe me when I say that I was prepared to go along for the ride. So when I finally sat down to watch it, the visual effects were as stunning as I expected them to be. The sound design and the cinematography and the way they recreated the setting all felt breathtaking. But for as spectacular as those things were, everything else about Everest is equally abysmal. There’s no way around it, this movie is a pretty looking mess that contains flat characters and a sloppy story.

The movie focuses on the 1996 disaster on Mount Everest which resulted in multiple fatalities. In particular, the movie focuses on the expedition led by Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) to make it up to the peak. Among the people in his crew are mailman Doug Hansen (John Hawkes), Texas native Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin) and author Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly). The movie follows them as they train and eventually begin there fateful journey up the mountain.

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The sad thing about the awful script for this movie is that in some way I can at least sympathize with what the writers and the director were trying to do. It’s clear that they cared very deeply about this incident and wanted to respectfully present every person affected by this disaster from the victims to the families. In some ways, this is a positive attribute because it leads to them putting as much detail as they can into the accuracy of everything from what the climbers are wearing to the design of the base to the ways in which they prepared. Say what you will, this movie at least seems well informed about its subject. Unfortunately, this is the thing that also kills the movie. The movie wants to cover every single person affected and while there’s a level of integrity to doing so, it makes the movie basically unintelligible.

It’s somewhat manageable at first when everyone is at base camp but once disaster strikes, the movie goes totally off the rails. These moments when they’re getting hit pretty bad by snow storms and avalanches should be thrilling and intense like the flood in The Impossible or the opening space station destruction in Gravity. If you see these scenes as successful because they managed to add clarity and perspective to these moments of pure madness, prepare to be let down by what Everest does.

What we instead get is this big moment of chaos where you’re cutting back and forth really quickly between around ten different perspectives. They take this huge moment of mayhem and they poorly shift between what’s happening to all these different people. What’s going on in the last hour and 30 minutes tries to follow so many different things that these disaster scenes go from heart pounding to disappointingly boring. The storyline becomes so indecipherable that you stop caring about what’s going on because the movie gives you no time to worry about anything that’s happening to anyone. The disaster sequences feel like a confused montage of underdeveloped characters doing things that are weakly explained or too abrupt to receive any form of response from its audience.

There are so many things in this movie that happen so fast and then end up feeling so unresolved by the ending. There are multiple sub-plots that they try to take on and in the process they put quantity over quality. Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a pure example of a character where I can see why they added him but they put him in so poorly that his entire character arc can be summed as frustrating and useless. They set him up as one of the more important characters and by the end of the movie he’s dispatched in way that’s never fully explained and makes no possible sense. In real life there’s probably an explanation for what he did but in the movie they have no room to go into detail with what exactly happened to him. He’s one of several people lost in the need to note the entire event at whatever cost. Everest never seems intelligent or bold. Even the things the movie does well enough in its story have been performed far superior in even more recent adventure movies. I wanted the spectacular visual effects to absorb me like Gravity did but this movie is so choppy that it’s almost as if the directors daring you to not get involved with what’s going on despite how big and epic its story is. By the last act, I was fully able to take him up on that dare.

It’s so upsetting to see the movie end up this bad because there’s so many ways in which this could’ve worked. The movie has a really fascinating story that makes me want to actually seek out the book Into Thin Air by survivor Jon Krakauer. If they had just focused on a few people and done it in a smarter way, I would have no problem praising this movie. As previously mentioned, the film shows off some of the best visual effects I’ve seen all year for a film. At its best moments, Everest captures the sheer scale and the majesty of this natural wonder. This movie is an example of the ways in which visual effects can be used to put you into this strange, unique world that seems absolutely believable. I will give this film that it is pretty much great when you only look at it for its music and its visuals.

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When you just see who’s in it, Everest has one of the best casts of the year. Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kiera Knightly, John Hawkes, Emily Watson, Robin Wright and Sharlto Copley are a pretty impressive lineup and it’s pathetic when you find out that Josh Brolin and Emily Watson are the only ones who deliver anything beyond sup-par. At best, most of the cast is wasted like Sharlto Copley or John Hawke. At worst, you end up with a poorly casted Robin Wright doing an awkward southern accent as Brolin’s wife in scenes that feel totally out of place in comparison to everything else that’s going on.

The story of Everest is an impressive challenge that nobody came to the occasion for. The storyline ranges from unambitious to lost in adaptation. The characters are one note and forgettable. This movie contains some strong, recommendable visual effects and 3D but there are too many areas of this that feel so unsatisfying and poor that I have to count this one as a strong disappointment. Something so big and compelling shouldn’t equal something that feels so tame and forgettable.

Rating:(2.5/5)

Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 9/25/2015

Rating: PG-13

Cast: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kiera Knightly, John Hawkes, Emily Watson, Robin Wright and Sharlto Copley

Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur

Screenplay by: William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy

Everest (2015)

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Title: Everest (aka. Everest: An IMAX 3D Experience)
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur
Written by: William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy
Starring: Jason Clarke, Ang Phula Sherpa, Thomas M. Wright, Martin Henderson, Tom Goodman-Hill, Charlotte Bøving, John Hawkes, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhaal
Release Date: 9/25/2015
Running Time: 121 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? No

After Credits? No

Was seeing Everest in IMAX worth the cost?

Sicario (2015)

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Title: Sicario
Rating: R
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Written by: Taylor Sheridan
Starring: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro
Release Date: 10/2/2015
Running Time: 121 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? No

After Credits? No


Inherent Vice (2014)

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TITLE: Inherent Vice

RELEASE DATE: 1/9/2015

RATING: R

In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles detective Larry “Doc” Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.

What did you think of this film?


Official Site

Amazon

IMDb


During Credits? No

After Credits? No

Note: After the credits are over, we see the words: “Under the Paving-Stones, the Beach!” – Graffito, Paris, May 1968

Dedication: For Ida

Special thanks to Frank S. for this submission

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