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224. Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata) – This Just In (#192)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guests Phil Bagnall and Ronan Doyle, The 250 is a fortnightly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users.

This time, Ingmar Bergman’s Höstsonaten.

Eva invites her mother Charlotte to visit. It has been seven years since the mother and daughter last spoke. What initially seems like a welcome reunion quickly boils over as simmering resentments rise to the surface and the pair are forced to reassess their relationship to one another – and themselves.

At time of recording, it was ranked the 192nd best movie of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Non-Review Review: Cats and Dogs III – Paws Unite

The pandemic has been an interesting time for film critics.

The general dearth of mainstream theatrical releases has allowed critics to essentially pick and choose the films that they cover on streaming. As a general rule, this has led to the elevation of good films, with critics generally picking films out of the mass of streaming service releases that merit coverage and attention – films like Palm Springs or Greyhound. Of course, there have been a couple of stinkers, particularly among children’s fare with mass audience appeal like Artemis Fowl or Scoob!, but by and large critics have been able to avoid true stinkers.

Dogsbody work.

As such, the arrival of Cats and Dogs III – Paws Unite! marks something of a return to normality and business as usual. It is the kind of film that critics would have had to see and review as a matter of course in the pre-pandemic era as a major theatrical release, but which might have slipped under the radar had it gone straight to streaming. Watching Cats and Dogs III – Paws Unite is a reminder of a time not too long ago when critics were expected to see every major theatrical release, no matter how dark or how soul-destroying that experience might be.

With that in mind, there is something almost reassuring in the awfulness of Cats and Dogs III – Paws Unite!, a movie that few critics would actively seek out if it weren’t for the obligations of their job. In a world that is desperately scrambling for any vague sense of a return to normality, Paws Unite! servers as a welcome reminder when seeing terrible movies was the worst thing with which film critics had to contend.

Keep on trucking.

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