When Dr Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) moves to small-town Maine with his wife Rachel (Denise Crosby) and two young kids, he expects a quieter life than the one he left in Chicago. The only cause of excitement seems to be the road outside their house, down which large trucks come careening without care for pedestrians. Within a few weeks the Creeds’ cat gets hit, and out of sympathy for their daughter their friendly but oddly foreboding neighbor Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne) shows Louis a way to bring back the beloved pet. Behind their house is an abandoned Native American burial ground, presumed cursed, whose soil can resuscitate dead creatures- but, they don’t come back quite the same.
Based on James Ellroy’s novel, L.A. Confidential follows three very different police officers hanging around 1950’s Los Angeles. The murder of a corrupt detective and a sex worker during a diner robbery launches a multifaceted investigation that eventually uncovers a number of seedy underbellies- drugs, homicide, prostitution, blackmail, etc. Three officers- the naive but opportunistic Ed Exley (Guy Pearce), the brutish but sentimental Bud White (Russell Crowe), and the smarmy but mildly ethical Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey)- open their own separate cases that unexpectedly come together in violent, tragic ways.
You all know I love movies about sassy ladies hanging out, and if a movie can offer three dynamite leads and a heaping spoonful of misandry in addition, all the better! I’d seen The First Wives Club here and there on tv, but didn’t remember it very well, so this kind of felt like a first-time viewing. The story begins with four fun-loving ladies who were best friends in college but lost touch as they got older. When one of them (Stockard Channing) unexpectedly kills herself and sends a note to the other three, they come together again in grief and solidarity.
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders had been on my radar for a while after reading about it at 366 Weird Movies, and boy am I glad it finally made it to the top of my netflix queue. The loosely-structured plot concerns the titular Valerie (Jaroslava Schallerová), a quiet, curious girl who finds herself surrounded by strange characters and bizarre events after getting her first period. She uncovers secrets about her absent parents, fends off sexual advances from lascivious religious figures, engages in some sexy activity with more gentle partners, plays host to a local vampire infestation, and is ultimately branded a witch.
The Lady Vanishes has been on my to-see list for a while, as I’ve always heard it’s one of his best. The film begins in a small, fictional European country where visitors are currently stranded at a mountain inn during a snowstorm. When the weather clears, American socialite Iris (Margaret Henderson) hits her head on the way to the train, but a cheerful British nanny named Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty) takes care of her as their journey begins. After taking a nap, Iris wakes up to find Miss Froy gone, and none of the other passengers seem to have any memory of her existence- some assume the young woman is hallucinating due to her bump on the head.