films seen
average score
Alive and kicking



1945 / 68m - USA
Crime, Thriller
Detour poster

One of the best, if not the best classic noir I've seen so far. Maybe not so much due to the overwhelming technical or narrative qualities of the film, instead pacing and runtime make the biggest difference here. It feels like a condensed noir, one where all the unnecessary fat was trimmed.

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The story is pretty decent too, especially the sliver of dark comedy that runs underneath it. Al Roberts is a pretty unlucky guy. All this New Yorkers wants is to visit his girlfriend in California, but when he hitches a ride and ends up with a dead driver in the car, things takes a turn for the worse.

The setup is pretty basic and the events aren't even that remarkable, but the plot is snappy, the characters are tragic (though amusing) and the film is over before you know it. No endless dialogues, no excruciatingly long and overly transparent setups and no actors that force themselves to try and act though. Simple but fun.

People on Sunday

Menschen am Sonntag
1930 / 73m - Germany
People on Sunday poster

A narrative film with amateur actors, set up as a passion project of the 5 directors involved. The story behind it is probably a bit more interesting than the final result, but it's not all bad and the more natural feel (some call it a semi-documentary, but that's stretching it a bit) is indeed quite novel for its time.

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The title of the film is spot on. After a week of hard work, people like to relax on their weekends. Two couples end up at a lake near Berlin, to escape the city's bustle. They get acquainted and have a blast together before they have to return to the city to face another 5 days of hellish pressure.

Talk about a film that is still relevant in this day and age. The thing is that not all that much happens, and while the acting is quite natural for its time, it's hardly realistic. It's a short film though and the pacing is pretty decent, the light tone certainly helps too. Not a great film, but like most German films of their time, better than many of the alternatives.

The Black Cat

1934 / 65m - USA
The Black Cat poster

An old Universal horror flick. The Black Cat is quite famous for having Karloff and Lugosi pitted against each other, the fact that the film was based on a short story by Edgar Allen Poe may also raise people's expectations, but the result was way too dialogue-driven for my taste. Even at 65 minutes it felt sluggish.

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After suffering an accident on the road, a newly married couple find themselves in the mysterious house of Poelzig, an eerie man with some dark secrets. Poelzig's intentions are less than amiable, but he puts on a clever facade. The couple is unaware that they're being held captive, until it's already too late.

The camera work is static and the first half is just way too dialogue-driven. There's just endless conversation that stands in the way of building up a moody atmosphere. The second half is ever so slightly better, but by then the film had already lost me. Wasn't too impressed by the performances either and the horror elements are miniscule. This felt more like a bad stage play to me.

The Amazing Transparent Man

1960 / 58m - USA
Horror, Sci-fi
The Amazing Transparent Man poster

Not quite sure what the exact difference between "transparent" and "invisible" is, but it's no doubt a legal thing. I'm also not entirely sure what makes this transparent man amazing, that probably just a bit of advertising magic. I guess nobody is surprised to hear this is little more than a cheap knock-off.

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Krenner, a former major, is forcing a scientist to develop a machine that can make people invisible. It's part of his big master plan to create an entire army of invisible soldiers, which he'll use to make him rich. While the scientists makes good on his promise, Krenner's plan isn't going all that well.

Like most of these films, there just way (way!) too much boring dialogue. The effects are crap and the story is extremely basic, so apparently all that's left are some mediocre actors who have to talk for most of the film's runtime. This one is only 1 hour long, but even then it fails to be interesting for 2-3 minutes at the most. Cheap.