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Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 185803 times)

Corndog

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5540 on: January 26, 2021, 07:18:34 AM »
There are many extinct flightless birds. Penguins are not one of them.

Honestly I hate this review and kinda feel like not publishing it on my site.
I thought you put in a lot of effort for a film that you didnít care for, I kept thinking you felt an obligation to the real life people to tell their story

I think that's the toughest thing to reckon with on films like this. I didn't enjoy the film at all, but I also don't want to discount the real people's experiences. Tough balancing act.
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dusty bottoms

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5541 on: January 26, 2021, 07:32:52 AM »
'The Painter and the Thief' (2020)


In 2015, Czech artist Barbora Kysilkova had two of her most famous paintings stolen. She then met the thief who was convicted of stealing them, and he not only became her friend but also almost a 'muse' for her inspiration as an artist. This is a very emotional and fascinating documentary. The trouble with it is that it is just a bit too real. It blurs the line of documentary and film. There are positions where the camera is filming at the point where you think it normally wouldn't have been present (inside the jail at the moment a prisoner is released, or inside a pharmacy when something crucial happens). The main protagonists never look at the camera either, which gives the viewer the feeling that they are very comfortable with the crew being there at every moment.

It is a very interesting documentary, it just feels that little bit too 'engineered' to eb a great one.

6.5/10
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Corndog

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5542 on: January 26, 2021, 08:16:01 AM »
Palmer (Fisher Stevens, 2021)

As a popular culture figure, Justin Timberlake has had an interesting and unique journey. Breaking into our lives as part of a boy band is not traditionally the way to lifelong stardom, but Timberlake made it work by breaking out on his own solo career and not letting the boy band brand define him. But his career really took a turn into a whole new level when he broke into the film scene with various supporting roles. His breakthrough came in 2010 as Sean Parker in The Social Network. In another lifetime, Timberlake would have been a triple threat superstar, headlining Hollywood musicals while performing for packed theaters when not on the studio lot. But alas, his talents donít fully align with the modern movie star construct. Since The Social Network, Timberlake has failed to breakthrough as a headlining star, despite a few efforts to do so, but he remains an interesting performer to me. I think with the right roles, he can be a very good actor worthy of the screen. With Palmer, he gets another chance to be a leading man, but this time around, he plays a little against type, crafting a new, fresh and interesting performance.

Eddie Palmer (Justin Timberlake) has just been released after spending 12 years in prison for attempted murder, a college transgression which he truly regrets after throwing away his career as a star quarterback at LSU. Returning home to her grandmother Vivian (June Squibb), who raised Eddie after a troubled childhood, Palmer struggles to find his feet. The young family who lives next door in a trailer begins to enter his life, as the drug addict mother (Juno Temple) neglects her son Sam (Ryder Allen). Vivian sadly passes, forcing Palmer into the father role for Sam, whose mother has been missing for weeks. Finally landing on his feet as a janitor in Samís school, Palmer begins to excel at fatherhood, forming a special bond with Sam, who is bullied by schoolmates for being too effeminate. Together with his teacher Maggie (Alisha Wainwright), Palmer begins to form a loving childhood with Sam, but soon enough his mother returns, threatening Palmerís life to fall apart once again.

Itíd be very easy to look at this film and quickly dismiss it as unworthy of attention. Perhaps as an easy parallel to Sam. It is a cliched story, with a former pop star as the lead actor, and not much star power outside of his presence. Itís not really anything special, and is pretty predictable. And yet, I was quite taken by it, largely due to Ryder Allen and his performance as Sam, the kid who is just looking to fit in while being himself. Much like Palmer, the film is lifted up by Sam and his infectious energy, his passion for Penelope the flying princess and tea parties, and the simple desire to be loved by family and friends alike. In stark contrast with Juno Temple, who plays Samís mother in a horrible, over the top performance, Ryder Allenís performance is quiet, subtle, and quite frankly irresistible. Itís impossible to not fall for this kid, and completely understanding how Palmer did, and how Sam helped give Palmer purpose.

Sometimes there are films who are technically proficient, well acted, interesting cinematography, etc, but misses the mark, rings hollow or fails to see the point. Those can be very frustrating experiences because an otherwise perfectly good film ends up lost. Palmer is maybe the opposite of that. The filmmaking it fine, but there is really nothing outstanding here. Itís a run of the mill, ho-hum, standard film with nothing new, nothing we havenít seen before. And yet, Palmer hits all the emotional notes right. It manages to communicate its message and story effectively. It wonít make my year end list, nothing about it will, but I was also easily taken by this film. Surprises arenít always good ones, but in the case of Palmer, itís definitely a good surprise to see how emotionally resonate and impactful a flawed film like this one can be.

★ ★ ★ - Liked It
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etdoesgood

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5543 on: January 27, 2021, 08:01:04 PM »
Quinceanera

Another on my 100 that I haven't seen for a long time. I'm a little nervous about all of these, but this one definitely has staying power. There are edits and camera techniques that I didn't really appreciate before, and may seem simple, but that I found really moving and effective. The handheld shots following Magdalena and Carlos around Echo Park, are well-timed and paced, never overdone, but provide a sense of place and give a little edge to this wonderful family drama. There are also movements in places that could've been edits, and it gave this film a more intimate and natural feel to it. Usually, I am very critical and nit-picky when it comes to a white person (or in this case, a gay white couple) writing a script about the issues of minority cultures, but being a white guy who has been to, I don't know, 40(?) quinceaneras, and many other celebrations and festive days with Latinx families, I think this is a very truthful and respectful film.

I also love any situation in which misfits have to ban together to form their own support systems after their primary/nuclear family systems have abandoned them. The Tomas-Carlos-Magdalena trio is a wonderful, heartening thing to behold. If someone else had their own feel-good film marathon, I'd recommend it. I went to bed quite happy after seeing this last night.
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Corndog

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5544 on: January 28, 2021, 08:35:58 AM »
The Wanting Mare (Nicholas Ashe Bateman)

Ambition is an important attribute in any human endeavor. If you pursue any passion in life, always do it with ambition. Itís an essential characteristic for successful people and helps drive home the task and does so with an added level of creativity and certainty. Even if you fail, to do so because of passion and ambition combined is to do it right, get something out of it. As with filmmaking, what is the point if itís not done with passion and ambition? Nicholas Ashe Bateman, the director of The Wanting Mare is new on the scene, with just a few non-directing credits, but to see his new film, itís clear he has a unique and assured vision of the story he wants to communicate to his audience. Itís delivered with a bravura and confidence not often seen from first time directors. However, just because something shows promise, passion and ambition, does that necessarily mean that it worked, that itís a good film? Well, Iím not entirely sure with The Wanting Mare, but perhaps with a first time director, it doesnít really matter?

In a subtle sci-fi future, Moira (Jordan Monaghan) is one in a line of women in Whithren who pass a recurring dream down generation to generation. The dream haunts them, as it occurs each night, so Moira tries to stay awake each night. In Whithern, they export horses once a year to the continent across the sea, Levithen, which is in a constant state of winter. Along with this crossing, the ship will also take any passenger who has a ticket. But as Whithern is a hot, hellish landscape, the tickets are highly coveted, and highly valuable. Moira desires one of these tickets, but as her life passes, the desire becomes more and more fleeting, as the reality of living life in Whithern seems more and more inevitable as she encounters Lawrence (Nicholas Ashe Bateman), Hadeon (Edmond Cofie) and the seedy underbelly of trying to acquire a highly coveted ticket.

Phew, to be honest that was one of the hardest plot synopses I have ever had to write. Nicholas Ashe Batemanís film feels like it keeps the viewer at such an armís length that to know and follow all the details is truly difficult. He creates a world that is truly unique and expressive, but fails to provide enough details to fully color it. In many ways, it feels like a student film where the author knows everything about this world and its inner workings that Iím sure itís a fascinating narrative, but not enough clues and facts are included in the story to inform the audience to the level of knowledge held by the author. That is to say, way too many things are assumed when they shouldnít be, creating a narrative that is too quiet and bizarre to properly follow. But damn if this isnít a truly interesting film to behold. I think itís lack of narrative exposition is maybe the only thing holding this back from being a great debut achievement.

The narrative flows from Moira as a young woman, to her as an older woman, without much explanation or direction. The viewer must orient himself quickly or risk becoming lost in the story, as I was more than once. It strikes the question, would this be more effective on a re-watch, with the intricacies of the narrative better known, such that the viewer could see them coming and follow more closely. There are a lot of moments throughout the film that go unexplained except through visuals. An action with no words. An interaction with no words. Bateman takes us on this journey, trusting us fully to keep up. Perhaps he shouldnít have, but regardless, it creates an exciting journey that keeps you on your toes throughout. It can also be a frustrating experience, to keep up with the characters, the dealings, the changing timeline and subtleties left unexplained. It is a delicate balance between trusting the audience completely, and holding their hand through the story you wish to tell. Iím not sure Bateman does nearly enough hand holding, but in some ways I suppose itís better than doing it too much.

The cinematography is beautiful and immersive. The special effects, while clearly not high dollar, are utilized in a subtle, effective way, which creates the dystopian future world. Nicholas Ashe Bateman clearly holds a very confident grasp of his film. The problem I canít quite solve is whether the problem with the film is that Batemanís ambition uncovers a lack of talent for filmmaking, or a lack of resources on such a low budget film where he is forced to wear many production hats. Either way, it makes for a pretty exciting debut I thought. So the question becomes, if given more resources, and perhaps a producer who is able to reign him in in the right areas and sort of polish the product, can Nicholas Ashe Bateman be the next filmmaking star? The signs are certainly there in this exciting debut, even if the finished product shows its warts and shortcomings. What will come next for Bateman? Iím ready to give this exciting storyteller another shot, but if he crashes and burns, maybe the ambition outweighed the talent all along, but Iím not ready to answer that question yet.

★ ★ - Didn't Like It
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Corndog

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5545 on: January 28, 2021, 09:43:36 AM »
Supernova (Harry Macqueen, 2021)

Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci are among the most watchable movie stars out there. Even when in uninteresting projects, their performances are endlessly watchable. They carry themselves as true professionals, able to imbue life into pretty much any character in any movie. They may now be in the sunset of their careers, both 60 years old now and not likely to serve as the star of any romantic comedies anytime soon, but as Supernova proves, it may be worth filmmakers time to create opportunities to feature these two indelible actors. They have brought such joy and inspiration to us throughout their careers, and while the characters here may be fading away with old age, I certainly hope that doesnít necessarily happen with Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci and their acting careers.

Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci) have decided to go on a road trip through the country with their canine companion as part of a journey to concert for Sam, who is a pianist. They re-tread through age-old memories of camping under the stars by a beautiful lake. And along the way, they visit with family at the family country house. Lilly and Clive are gracious hosts, but Sam soon realizes that this trip and this stop have been planned for months by Tusker, who is suffering from early onset dementia, as an opportunity to see all their friends and family and celebrate a life well lived together before he loses any sense of who he was. The party is a hit, but this harsh reality of a new life together due to Tuskerís condition is difficult for Sam to see and accept. The two loving men struggle to come to terms with their life moving forward, while ensuring they make the most of every second they have left together before Tusker is lost to this horrible condition.

Supernova is a rather swift, 94 minute film which has no greater ambition than telling this small, touching story about the relationship between two apparently lovely men who have loved each other for a long time. The film is not without its confrontations and arguments, given their current situation, but at the end, its clear Sam and Tusker love each other and want the best for each other. As a result, for as much a story like this can be, itís a lovely film. Dementia is a horrible thing and can truly steal away our loved ones, but as one of the characters says in the film, sadness at losing something is only confirmation of how great it was while it was here. Perhaps pretty cliched wisdom, but still true in my experiences nonetheless. Likewise, the titular analogy is both heartfelt and true, as well as obvious and commonplace. It dispels no deep philosophical wisdom, but it doesnít make it any less true. As we wither away and eventually move on, our earthly impact is felt by becoming a part of those we leave behind, just as stars that supernova spread their stardust throughout the universe and becomes a part of everything. Cheesy, but honestly a beautiful sentiment.

And I think thatís a great way to sum up this film: cheesy, but honestly a beautiful sentiment. Itís concise, as I said, but communicates its heartfelt message clearly and with emotion, largely aided by two great lead performances who are perfectly cast as Sam and Tusker. Firth and Tucci have a lifetime of career defining roles, and while these might not be added to the top of the heap, they are incredible proof of their abilities and sensibilities developed over a lifetime of performance. Never overstated, or understated, their performances marry perfectly with the straightforwardness of the film itself, taking us on an emotionally affecting journey we never hope we have to make ourselves. Another filmmaker may have added a denouement to the film, filling it out to a more standard 110-120 minutes, or perhaps shortened the extended back and forth between Sam and Tusker at the end of the film to allow the space for a resolving denouement. Instead, we get only what is needed to see the relationship between Sam and Tusker for what it is: loving. And thatís all that matters. A perfectly lovely, emotionally resonate film.

★ ★ ★ - Liked It
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5546 on: January 30, 2021, 10:09:50 PM »
Black Christmas (1974)

I wish I felt like writing long-form movie reviews because I could say a lot on this one.

It's a great film. A mere four years before Halloween this film does slasher style horror with more elegance and nuance than the many films that would come after it. It's also a hell of a lot more progressive about women than say Friday the 13th or Halloween end up being. It even does the long take POV killer shots.

I also like that it pretty much usurps the lame Freudian reading in the final act as the lazy interpretation creating for something a lot more upsetting and unsettling.

The cast is great. Margot Kidder chews up the scenery here. John Saxon is fantastic as the detective investigating the dissappearence of the first girl that gets murdered. This is the first time I've seen Keir Dullea outside of 2001 and he's got some fantastic moments.

I could see this being a favorite of mine with a rewatch and I kinda feel bad that it took me this long to see this but no one really talked about it. I don't remember reading about this film in the many horror books or articles I read for school.

I'm sure people mentioned it here but it never jumped out as a must watch. It is rightly high on the TSZDT list so I would hopefully have gotten to it one day. It was my good friend who almost never likes horror movies that watched this one and told me I had to see it. So I did. It's great. Go watch it if you haven't seen it
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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5547 on: January 31, 2021, 01:40:16 AM »
I going to have to watch that one again. I thought it was very vanilla. I think Junior was a big fan on first viewing too.
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Junior

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5548 on: January 31, 2021, 07:55:40 AM »
Yeah, for sure. I watched it again recently too and still really went for it. It's very clever.
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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5549 on: January 31, 2021, 11:27:58 AM »
Watched Porno last night. Thought it was okay, but didn't know what it wanted to be. Some body horror, some kind of jokes that weren't especially funny, some genre throwback/send up (that felt at odds, at least a few times, with the slang that was used), some straight demon shit, and some religion doesn't always mean good and can actually be bad messages that aren't fully formed. Fun enough, but nothing great, perhaps would have played better with an audience.