Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 80828 times)

Teproc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2930 on: January 06, 2019, 04:22:29 PM »
I'm not sure. I was quite befuddled by it, so it might be what you're suggesting. I don't really know, but one of the things I enjoy about the films is that whenever you think you've got a handle on where it's going, it shifts and becomes something else, and the ending has a bit of that too.
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Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2931 on: January 06, 2019, 04:58:02 PM »
If Beale Street Could Talk (2019)
There is an opening quote from James Baldwin that sets the stage for this film that references New Orleans...but like, Beale St. is in Memphis, right? I can find no evidence there is also one in New Orleans.

Anyway, coming from Barry Jenkins, this was lusciously designed, shot and acted. However, I had a lot of difficulties with the pacing and the temporal jumps in this that kept me a bit distant. There is also one moment in particular where it lays its message bare in a pretty ham-handed way. None of this is to say this isn't a fine and important film. But coming off the fresh, alive feeling Moonlight, this film feels like it has a veneer between us and the characters to keep it well preserved.

Escape Room (2019)

For something completely different, I decided to check out the latest horror release. I have been to two escape rooms and rather enjoy them, being drawn to puzzles and tests of intellect. Given the dark themes the stories used to provide context for the rooms' mysteries, it seemed an apt setting for a horror film. As a film, this draws most heavily on the Cube series for its structure, with a seemingly random set of people selected for diverse reasons to show up for this very special escape room, with $10,000 on the line...and naturally they soon discovery their lives.

In the design of the puzzles, if not the rooms themselves, the film is very true to the escape room style of locks, codes and clues. One very important thing the film does that too often horror films don't is successfully connect us with the characters in the efficient prelude as well as reveals during the "game." That means it manages the all-important stakes. We aren't merely passive observers getting a thrill off creative deaths (and I should note this film doesn't attempt to be particularly clever or gruesome with the deaths, saving that for the rooms themselves). While not on the level of a Get Out or similarly artistic films within the horror genre, it is very strong for mainstream popcorn horror.

There is one thing that troubles me. This film was released on Friday. Also on Friday, a fire started in a building housing a Polish escape room, killing five teenage girls. Early in the film at the waiting room one character picks up a newspaper that says five die in fire. The escape room company in the film is Minos. The man detained related to the fire in Poland is Milosz. Like, I'm not saying this is some ghastly viral marketing thing, but given so much about the film that resonates in the news story, it is an unfortunate coincidence that casts a pall over it as light entertainment.

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2932 on: January 08, 2019, 09:49:29 AM »
Vice
★ ★ Ĺ

Adam Mckayís unapologetic bias is like peak Oliver Stone with a sense of humor. The problem is Stone had a sense of purpose.
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oldkid

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2933 on: January 08, 2019, 07:06:32 PM »
Amadeus (Directors Cut)
The first time I watched this I was in college and my picked up my best friend on a school night and we caught an 11pm showing and I was up until 2:30 driving us home.  I can remember the theatre, the night, the laughter, the parts we best liked.  And I later married that friend.  Coincidence?  After, I bought the two-disc vinyl soundtrack and wore them out on my player.  Ah, the 80s.

I love everything about this film.  Even the irritating parts have a resonance in my mind, like like infernal laugh, the bouncing conductor work of Tom Hulce, the sopranoís performance.  What cannot be beat, though, is the use of the soundtrack in the film.  The rhythm of the music is the beat of the film, as if it were an early version of Baby Driver.   The mood of the film after Mozartís death is strange, though.  Both sad and light?  It didnít work for me this time, but I donít care because everything else about the film is in the right place.

The directorís cut gives us some added scenes to bring nothing to the film except length (which was already pretty long).  Iíll just watch the theatrical release next time and Iíll be fine.

Everyone should watch this film.  Most cinephiles already have.  But it is a must.  Still.  (Is it cheating to put this review on my top 100 club page?). Itís going to move into my top 10, I think.

5/5

Pain and Gain
In one night, I moved from the glories of F. Murray Abramís Oscar-winning performance to Mark Walhberg and co hamming it up for Michael Bay.  I have heard that this movie shows that Bay has a sense of humor.  I found no indication of it.  It was disturbing, unfunny, filled with torture and gore, and every character (except for Ed Harris who can do no wrong) is ugly, so very ugly.   

No.  Just no.

1/5

Chronicle

Probably my favorite of the found footage genre.  The characters are believable, well-written and the pace is break-neck.  I found myself, at times, wondering about who was filming this or that, which is always a problem with found footage, but the story is fun and fast so there is little time to focus on that.   It is a great movie for a quick, fun watch when you donít have a lot of time.

4/5
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1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2934 on: January 08, 2019, 07:18:21 PM »
I guess someone is going to have to sit down with me and whack me in the head with a newspaper every time I enjoy something in Pain and Gain Iím not supposed to. I find the tone to be Goodfellas by way of Edgar Wright and moved to sunny Miami. Both films are disturbing, filled with violence and focused on ugly characters. Both are also darkly funny.
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oldkid

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2935 on: January 09, 2019, 12:52:41 AM »
I thought about Goodfellas a lot while watching Pain and Gain.  I hated that movie too, for pretty much the same reasons.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

jdc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2936 on: January 09, 2019, 12:41:17 PM »
I guess someone is going to have to sit down with me and whack me in the head with a newspaper every time I enjoy something in Pain and Gain Iím not supposed to. I find the tone to be Goodfellas by way of Edgar Wright and moved to sunny Miami. Both films are disturbing, filled with violence and focused on ugly characters. Both are also darkly funny.

There isn't enough love for Pain and Gain.
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oldkid

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2937 on: January 09, 2019, 04:29:48 PM »
There are certain kinds of comedy I find unfunny:
-Where we are supposed to be laughing at someoneís suffering
-Where we are supposed to laugh at someoneís stupidity (not at someoneís smart quip about someone elseís stupidityó I think thatís funny, but when them being stupid is what is supposed to be funny)
When the comedy is surrounded by a lot of suffering or gore.  I donít have a problem with gore in horror, only when Ií am supposed to laugh at that situation

BTW, 1SO, I wouldnít find that hitting you with a newspaper when you are enjoying Pain and Gain, because thatís not funny either.  You enjoy what you want, I donít care.  But I became sick to my stomach watching Pain and Gain.  It was a miserable experience. 
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

smirnoff

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2938 on: January 09, 2019, 08:56:44 PM »
It wasn't my cup of tea either, but I don't recall anything about it now.

Corndog

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2939 on: January 10, 2019, 11:46:54 AM »
The Upside (Neil Burger, 2019)

The sun has not yet set on the 2018 film cycle, with the major awards, such as the Oscars, still yet to come. But the calendar has flipped to 2019, and as such, 2019 released will start to trickle out amid the hum of last yearís buzz. So to start with a film like The Upside seems fitting, since IMDb lists it as a 2017 release, after premiering at TIFF in the fall of that year. Likely a poor sign that a film that premiered a major festival in 2017 got pushed to a 2019 release, but the promise of the leads Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart making magic piqued my curiosity. Of course, the other interesting factoid with this film is that it is a remake of a well-regarded French film called The Intouchables. I regrettably havenít seen it, but after enjoying The Upside more than I was expecting to, perhaps The Intouchable can lead the way in my 2019 new discoveries.

Dell (Kevin Hart) is a troubled man with a troubled past. After multiple stints in prison, he finds himself needing to get signatures from potential employers to provide to his Parole Officer, while also finding it hard to connect with his son Anthony after years of neglect. He shows up in the penthouse of Phillip (Bryan Cranston), a quadriplegic and quickly becomes not just Phillipís caregiver, but also his friend, against the wishes of Yvonne (Nicole Kidman), Phillipís executive who believes Dell is a detriment to Phillipís well-being. The odd couple, both on the outs in life, find solace in each otherís company, and a renewed purpose for a life that didnít go quite as planned. But can the polar opposites remain on good terms forever, or will their friendship implode, like so many other things in their lives?

As an early January release, I honestly had low expectations for The Upside. And while itís never fair to compare a film to your expectations of it, this certainly exceeded mine. At the heart of this film, and I assume the original French film/story is much to thank for this, is a pure intent that comes through with the performances of both Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston. Hart in particular is impressive in mostly a dramatic role. He expresses the pain and frustration of his life on his face, while allowing for plenty of room to deliver the comedic moments his career is known for. Opposite Cranston, who is left acting with only his face, Hart holds his own. And Cranston does as much with his limitations as can be expected. The two display above average chemistry on screen, which goes a long way in making this film as enjoyable as it is.

The film is imperfect, to be sure, and much of that has to do with the questionable directing of Neil Burger and screenwriting of Jon Hartmere. As we concentrate on all the moments between Dell and Phillip, there are sudden, dramatic tonal shifts throughout which are startling ways to move the story forward. The filmmakers could have done more to make these shifts feel more natural than the final result. These sudden shifts, like Anthony returning the stolen book to Phillip, or Phillip finally meeting his penpal Lily, sink the goodwill the smaller moments between Cranston and Hart provide. In the end, there is more to like here than not, but the film doesnít quite live up to its full potential either. I think Iíll go seek out The Intouchables now.

★★★ - Liked It
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