Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 99941 times)

jdc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3780 on: September 22, 2019, 02:20:15 AM »

I also don't think Impossible or Beyond are that much 'healthier' than a standard burger.

Or possibly worst, but maybe its more about the ethics of the thing and not the health.  Maybe one day something like Memphis Meats can scale and give us the best of both worlds
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Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3781 on: September 22, 2019, 03:33:58 AM »
>>” The film violates my "no public scenes" policy. ”

What is that policy?

So here I mean scene as in "cause a scene." Like when a character has a big embarrassing blow-up among a large group of people. I almost never find them believable.

Antares

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3782 on: September 24, 2019, 06:51:48 PM »
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) 60/100 – When my wife asked me if I wanted to watch this film, her main selling point to me, was that it wasn’t too long. Over the last 15 years I’ve acquired a growing apathy, and sadly, despondency over the quality of films and filmmaking in this new century. If a film’s story doesn’t grab me in the first twenty minutes, I get restless. I can best describe myself as an old school kind of film fan…I like a good story. You can be creatively quirky, use revolutionary camera angles and overload the soundtrack with easily recognizable tunes to try to absorb your target demographic audience. But first and foremost, tell me a story. This film should have resonated with me, it had a great backstory. Unfortunately, the director meanders a bit too much in the beginning, thus leaving little time to develop the foundation for the fraud that the main character perpetrated. Lee Israel has been purported to have churned out close to 400 forgeries, before she was arrested by the FBI. Here, she does about eight and the hounds of justice are already howling at her door. Had less time been used in the beginning of the film, setting up the premise of how much of a bitch she was, the depth of the screenplay could have been deeper and more interesting. By the time the end credits started to scroll you basically just watched one really repulsive and another sadly tragic character, sleepwalk their way into criminal mayhem and misfortune. Too bad, the story of Lee Israel is a compelling one, and should have been given a bit more breadth; it would have made for a much better movie.

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3783 on: September 24, 2019, 09:40:47 PM »
By the time the end credits started to scroll you basically just watched one really repulsive and another sadly tragic character, sleepwalk their way into criminal mayhem and misfortune. Too bad, the story of Lee Israel is a compelling one, and should have been given a bit more breadth; it would have made for a much better movie.

I don't know the real story, but this matches my reaction to the film really well.
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1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3784 on: September 24, 2019, 09:55:30 PM »
Downton Abbey
★ ★ ★ - Good
I got into the show when they were nearing the end of Season 2, so it started as a binge and a very compelling one at that. I got out after Season 3's Christmas finale, which played like a beauty of an exit. What I heard about the series afterward didn't make me want to go back. I didn't notice any big developments from my absence, though it took a bit to remember what some characters did in such a large cast. What grabbed me was the film starting with a build until we get to the Abbey. I saw what the director was up to and when it reached that moment of reveal set to the show's theme, I have to admit there were tears in my eyes. (My wife gasped and grabbed my hand.)

This note of coming home after an absence is the tone of the film. It's a warm visit with old friends, including a couple of curmudgeons and some prickly personalities. There are moments of heightened drama and crisis, but they're resolved quickly in order to brings things back to the large family dynamic. This would be a problem with most any other film, but here it's a smart decision, knowing we don't want to see these characters facing death any more than we want to see them go on a European vacation.
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philip918

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3785 on: September 25, 2019, 09:43:33 AM »
Pretty much my reaction to Downton Abbey as well. The film boarders on a parody of the show at times, everything plays bigger and the sentimentality is cranked to 11. But, I had a really good time. It's gorgeously filmed (the castle pornographically photographed), and there's some great dialogue, including almost everything involving Maggie Smith. I feel like I'm officially old with this is being the first film I've seen in a theater in months.

Booksmart (2019)
So much music. So much so the film never manages to build any momentum. Every time things start to get funny there's some musical interlude that lets all the air out of the scene. Even during the film's dramatic highpoint, the climactic argument between two best friends (which is super low stakes anyway), their dialogue is actually muted as another song from the soundtrack drops.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3786 on: September 25, 2019, 07:54:59 PM »
Would I get anything out of Downton Abbey if I've never seen an episode of the show?

Thought that muting of dialogue was a nice choice, but by that point I was so checked out that it kind of didn't matter. I don't think Booksmart is the worst 2019 release I've seen this year, but it's close, and few, if any, are more disappointing.

philip918

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3787 on: September 25, 2019, 08:15:51 PM »
Would I get anything out of Downton Abbey if I've never seen an episode of the show?

I've heard a couple people say they went never having seen the series and had no trouble getting into it. However, if there are other movies you want to see in the theater I probably wouldn't try to convince you to skip those for this.

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3788 on: September 26, 2019, 11:10:00 PM »
Fantastic Four (2015)
★ ★
Considering how this burned Josh Trank's career to the ground, I thought it would be worse. In terms of a film that feels like it has no idea what it's about or how to tell a story, this has nothing on Suicide Squad. It builds, it broods, there's a good cast and there's an interesting darkness to the one superhero group that usually lacked such weight. Usually the origin story of these four is done as kind of a "this is cool, look what I can do," but Trank treats it like as a horror film, actually a lot like Cronenberg's The Fly. A brash decision and some liquid courage curses these people for all eternity. (I've seen Thing played for pathos before, but this captures Human Torch's initial inability to turn off the flame, and it does this without the talented expressions of Michael B. Jordan.)

The film's biggest problem is a very long first act followed by a sudden jump into a 3rd Act, complete with "One Year Later" to let you know this is about to fall apart. It's like a Netflix series with only episodes 1, 2 and 10. The threat of Doctor Doom is more of an afterthought and dealt with in a very uninteresting way. This is where the film gets interesting to talk about because Trank claims the studio cut his budget to where he had to cut out the middle. The studio claims they did this once they saw how Trank was wasting their money with poor decisions. The result is a film that looked ready to do something different, but perhaps chose the wrong property to do it with. Still, it's miles better than Suicide Squad, and there are strong signs of someone with a dark and brooding vision like the DCEU had been trying to do initially.
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Teproc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3789 on: September 27, 2019, 02:36:54 PM »
Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

I really wish I liked this more. Every time I hear/read about it, it all sounds like the kind of film that I would love, that I should love even. But it feels like two movies that never gel together, and as such the total is worth less than the sum of its parts. There is a truly impressive space adventure in here, with beautiful vistas and exciting scenes... and there is a heartfelt, transcendental drama about a father-son relationship that doubles as a commentary on what people now dub "toxic masculinity".

So why doesn't it really work, then ? I think there are stylistic choices here that cause problems - namely the use of Malickian narration. I can see why Gray thought it was necessary for a character as closed off as Brad Pitt's, but it ends up undermining the whole point of the film, in that I think the end is supposed to be triumphant for him: he has learned from his journey to be more in touch with his emotions, he has learned to live for something else than his father's approbation, he can stop being a robotic hero and start actually living life. And I think Pitt's performance fits that narrative... but because we hear him voice his feelings and doubts from the start, it doesn't feel as fulfilling a journey, and it ends up doing precisely the reverse of what Gray intended: I feel less close to Pitt's character than I would if I had been able to project onto his performance rather than being told what was going on.

As for the space adventure part of it, though it has some great scenes and is served quite well by van Hoytema's stunning cinematography (and the VFX team's stellar - hah - work), it doesn't fully work either, because it can't decide how grounded it wants to be. Or rather, I guess it does decide not to be grounded at all, which I'd be fine with if I accepted the film as purely a character/thematic piece and was generally more engaged with that aspect of it (as in Solyaris for example), but since that part doesn't quite work for me either, I end up thinking way too much about how nonsensical the plot is.

5/10

Portrait de la jeune fille en feu / Portrait of a lady on fire (Céline Sciamma, 2019)*


There is very little more satisfying to me in cinema than good use of music. It's a rather broad category I suppose, but it really defines most of my favorite films: it's often what makes the difference between a film I like and one I love. This film has no score at all, there are only two scenes** with music (diegetic in both cases), and I think that contrast is what makes those scenes so overwhelming and incredibly effective. The contrast between the silence and quietness of the narrative before those scenes (which come pretty late) helps make them stand out so much - and there is an immersive aspect to it as well. The action here takes place on an island on the coast of Brittany, and there are either three or four characters present at any time: it's quite the isolated place, and hearing music - whether it's sung or played by an orchestra - has to have a huge effect on these characters as a result. Thanks to Sciamama's smart choices, it does on us as well. Vivaldi's Summer is not exactly obscure, but I would be surprised if it had ever been used as well as it is here.

Now about the film itself, I suppose it is about what you'd expect. It's been criticized here as being a typical FEMIS film (the big, elitist Parisian film school which every upcoming French filmmaker seems to come out of) - in other words a stereotypical, stripped down but not too radical arthouse film that weaves in an important theme - and it's true that it fits into that pretty recognizable style... but who cares when it's this well done ? In a sense it doesn't help that it stars Adèle Haenel, in that she is so ubiquitous in the French cinema landscape at this point (her and Huppert seem to be in every other major arthouse film) that one could be forgiven for growing tired of her if she wasn't just so great here. The character is well within her wheelhouse, defined as she is by abrasiveness and defiance at first - but she, if you'll excuse the metaphor, paints a much fuller picture than that.

Given how dreary the place it takes place is, this is a very warm film. The central relationship is the reason for that of course, but it might have to do with the candelight as well. Maybe it's the fabled "female gaze", I don't know. One could certainly argue that the film is all about gazing, but I'd argue it's much more about how to immmortalize what one sees and what one feels as a result of that gaze.

9/10


* Worth noting that this is a bit of a strange translation. "Portrait of the girl on fire" would be much closer, and I'm not sure why they went another way.

** Three I suppose, but the first one is very short and basically just a setup for a later one.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 02:40:20 PM by Teproc »
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