Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 137812 times)

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4070 on: January 17, 2020, 10:13:58 PM »

Freaky Friday (1976)
&
Freaky Friday (2003)


Going through the Disney+ movies with Mrs. 1SO and this experience I had to write about. As a kid in the 70s, I never had a problem with Freaky Friday. It's got a classic can't miss plot - the definitive body swap story? - and young Jody Foster. I always regard it as one of the most popular Disney live-action movies and was ready to relive the good times, but the film is a crime against good storytelling. What makes it even stranger is that the credited screenwriter is the author of the book the film is based on.

The body switch happens less than 10-minutes in, before we know anything about either the mother or the daughter, what makes their lives difficult and why there's friction between them? With nothing to build on, the story drifts aimlessly through situations that are either stolen from earlier films - the mom apparently scheduled the maid, repairman, grocery delivery, carpet cleaning and new drapes all at the same time - or are completely preposterous. (Foster is on the Field Hockey team and the Waterskiing club (?!?) who both have big events on this day.) It all leads to a slapstick car chase and there's more time spent setting up a sequel than giving the mother and daughter a moment to share lessons learned.

This got me curious about the 2003 remake, which the wife had never seen. As I faintly remembered, this version spends a day setting up a number of situations to build some comedy on. This makes it much funnier when the switch happens. (The original has them in two different locations, so they can't even talk out a plan.) This version has plenty of problems too. Director Mark Waters (Mean Girls) is overly fond of people being knocked to the ground and many of the characters are only there to play one note over and over, but Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan carry this on their backs with ease. Both are extremely adept at portraying the new generation inside their body. I've reached a point where I have a fresh appreciation for what a seasoned pro Curtis is, but it's especially bittersweet to see Lohan doing just as great a job. It's remarkable and a shame to see the talent she had.
1976: ★ Ĺ
2003: ★ ★ ★ - Good
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etdoesgood

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4071 on: January 18, 2020, 12:51:00 AM »
Weathering With You
Makoto Shinkai is a master of evocative and melancholy hand-drawn anime images. Even when it felt like we were scrambling a bit to piece together the film's conceit, the imagery is this surrealist teen melodrama makes you worry just a little bit less about logic, internal or otherwise. (Not saying logic is absent, but exactly as I said. I haven't sat with it long enough to piece it all together.) It's one I finished and though immediately that I need to see it again. My first impression is: Your Name, it's not, but it's a lovely piece of anime all the same. I could dig deeper right now, there's more to it than I'm getting at, but I'd rather not right now.
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1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4072 on: January 18, 2020, 01:03:29 AM »
Motherless Brooklyn
★ ★ ★ - Okay

The moment Edward Norton's character first speaks, I thought I was in for an impossible time. It's the kind of mannered performance that always distracts because you're well aware of the actor's normal speaking voice. Add to that Norton as the writer and director and you've got the makings of an epic ego trip. However, like Nick Nolte's thick Italian in Lorenzo's Oil - obscure reference, but the same high bar - I was surprised how quickly I got used to it, and it speaks well of Norton that he understood Lionel's Tourettes isn't just something fancy for an actor to play with, but a core characteristic that gives the film a unique center.

It probably also helps that this is a neo-noir, mystery, and I'm all in for one of those. The mystery itself isn't that complicated, but it's built on a trope I love where the opening sequence contains all the clues, but because we're dropped in, the film has to keep returning to the scene, the mysterious events and the voices of those involved. The Conversation this isn't, nor is it Knives Out even, but there's definitely some fun to be had. A bit too much jazz, I really don't get jazz, but those scenes reminded me of Odds Against Tomorrow and The Phantom Lady. There are a couple of moments where Norton unapologetically borrows from classic Noir, but the film is overall not a carbon copy. Its biggest mistake is casting Alec Baldwin as an earnest version of a Trump type character.
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Teproc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4073 on: January 18, 2020, 03:29:55 AM »
Motherless Brooklyn
★ ★ ★ - Okay

The moment Edward Norton's character first speaks, I thought I was in for an impossible time. It's the kind of mannered performance that always distracts because you're well aware of the actor's normal speaking voice. Add to that Norton as the writer and director and you've got the makings of an epic ego trip. However, like Nick Nolte's thick Italian in Lorenzo's Oil - obscure reference, but the same high bar - I was surprised how quickly I got used to it, and it speaks well of Norton that he understood Lionel's Tourettes isn't just something fancy for an actor to play with, but a core characteristic that gives the film a unique center.

It probably also helps that this is a neo-noir, mystery, and I'm all in for one of those. The mystery itself isn't that complicated, but it's built on a trope I love where the opening sequence contains all the clues, but because we're dropped in, the film has to keep returning to the scene, the mysterious events and the voices of those involved. The Conversation this isn't, nor is it Knives Out even, but there's definitely some fun to be had. A bit too much jazz, I really don't get jazz, but those scenes reminded me of Odds Against Tomorrow and The Phantom Lady. There are a couple of moments where Norton unapologetically borrows from classic Noir, but the film is overall not a carbon copy. Its biggest mistake is casting Alec Baldwin as an earnest version of a Trump type character.

I think jazz (and this specific era of jazz which is my favorite) is why I love this when everyone is either "meh" or "Norton vanity project, boo". Baldwin isn't really Trumpian at all... he's more like what Trump supporters think Trump is, maybe ? I mean ok, he's a New York billionare involved in housing, but he has much more to do with Haussmann (and obviously actual historical figure Robert Moses). I was worried when I first recognized him (love how his face is hidden in most of his first appearence) because of that Trump SNL performance, but I thought he really nailed his big monologue.

I agree re: Norton. He can be a very annoying presence (Birdman comes to mind) and on paper this performance seems like it would be a disaster, but it works quite well.
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Antares

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4074 on: January 18, 2020, 06:48:57 AM »
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)
and boy are those last 20 minutes the most fun I've had with a Tarantino film in a long time.

I canít wrap my head around this response. Those last 20 minutes are morally abhorrent. Not the  characters, but the actual filming of it and putting it out there. Gleeful violence against Nazis or slavers, sure, but trying to make brutal violence against women, even evil women, joyful is not a ride I want to be on. Took an unfocused but interesting C+ film and made it an F, worsted only by Joker.

So I have to ask, because I have no intention of watching the film, does Tarantino make out Sharon Tate and Abigail Folger to be evil?
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Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4075 on: January 18, 2020, 08:09:01 AM »
No. They arenít the women subject to the violence in this telling.

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4076 on: January 18, 2020, 11:16:50 AM »
Motherless Brooklyn
★ ★ ★ - Okay

Its biggest mistake is casting Alec Baldwin as an earnest version of a Trump type character.
Baldwin isn't really Trumpian at all... he's more like what Trump supporters think Trump is, maybe ?
That's the earnestness. This character does what Trump only bragged about doing, but he speaks in Trump terms and Alec Baldwin should never have been cast in that part.
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Beavermoose

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4077 on: January 18, 2020, 07:35:43 PM »
American Factory
The Chinese are really good at capitalism.

Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4078 on: January 18, 2020, 09:18:35 PM »
Weathering With You

This is an earnest yet fantastical romance film full of some rich characterizations and Shinkai's trademark stunning animation. Watching it I was trying to pull out some themes. Tokyo is experiencing extreme weather and our center characters may or may not have something to do with it. I was pondering if there is something about climate change, but I'm not sure that quite works out...for one thing, a conversation late in the film would seem to be a denialist talking point with that context forced on it. Probably it is a safer bet to interpret the weather as an external manifestation of character moods.

In fact, if the weather tracks Hodaka's mood, then Hina's ability to brighten the mood, at personal cost to her, is perhaps a play on the manic pixie dream girl, with the final act being the realization that it isn't a sustainable form of interaction.

I'd place this in the upper half of Shinkai's filmography, and very possibly the best animated film of the year whether you count it as 2019 or 2020.

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4079 on: January 18, 2020, 11:42:13 PM »
Heaven Knows What (2014)

My favorite sequences were those that were the most stylized, again justified by the character's state. One particular scene is just an extended sequence of Harley, having just shot up, trying to thread a needle. The way it is shot technically captures the effect of the drug while only showing a most mundane thing.

That's an amazing moment, an early sign of the Safdie Brothers ability to create anxiety in a simple way. It's interesting to read Bondo finding this film before the Safdie's broke bigger (and in Bondo's opinion to lesser effect.) Most of what I found to like here is because it's my 3rd Safdie film, so I'm tuned in to what to look for. Sometimes the score is trying too hard to make you feel uneasy, and there isn't much for the filmmakers to develop their style with, but looking back, it's a watchable film if you're interested in the Safdie Brothers. Not so much on its own.
★ ★ Ĺ
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