Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 530362 times)

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3410 on: April 06, 2019, 12:35:17 AM »
Shazam!
★ ★ ˝

I guess I have to admit I really am a Marvel snob and it's a small miracle I liked this film as much as I did. Zachary Levi has great comic timing and captures being a boy in a man's body as well as Tom Hanks in Big. There are a number of funny lines and unexpected heart in the name of family, that boosts the finale especially well. But I knee-jerk vomit in my mouth when there's a superhero fly and punch that looks like part of the endless climax of Man of Steel or Mark Strong's demon friends who are variations on BvS's poop-looking Doomsday. (It's not like Marvel has great action scenes, but at least the effects are top shelf.) Unlike Wonder Woman, these are small moments and not the entire 3rd Act, so this is DC's best film to date.

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3411 on: April 06, 2019, 03:17:31 PM »
Pet Semetary (2019)
★ ★
I'm sure this story is supposed to be about something. Stephen King was inspired by more than zombie pets, right? The story even has the line, "Sometimes dead is better." This film asks, "Is it though?" Doesn't really answer either way. I watched the events unfold - with some minor creeps but not a single good scare - and never got into the psychology of the characters to get what it wants to say about life, death, pets, children, neighbors, zombies...

ProperCharlie

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3412 on: April 07, 2019, 03:49:20 AM »
Finally back to feeling well again, but a very mixed bag this week.

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
Frank Capra’s first go at the plain-speaking everyman thrust into the City whirl. Gary Cooper simmers, often silently, while being judged by all manner of gadflies, parasites, and crooks. When he’s not speaking, he’s banging heads together. We’re in full-on Capra-corn, being carried shoulder high by the community territory here. A feel-good, socialist Depression-era film bringing hope if not small-holdings to the masses of the American jobless and dispossessed. This is the sugar that helps the medicine go down.

Beavers (1988)
Two beavers go about their lives of civil engineering and compulsive gnawing in IMAX! Thirty minutes of North American natural history including murky underwater shots. This lacks anything in the way of insight. The narration is soporific, there are few helicopter shots, and certainly none of the creatures in question. Even the bear attack lacks drama and threat. It may as well have been a man in a bear suit. In a world of amazing nature documentaries, it’s reassuring to know bad ones still exist.

Ultracop 2000 (1992)
Well that was something. Dubbed German language abstract action-comedy set on the Philippines with cars that explode for no apparent reason, people who die expelling a stream of milk from their mouth, an entire subplot consisting of homphobic jokes about AIDS, and the conceit that everyone is bulletproof until the plot requires them to die or to limp. The soundtrack is composed mostly of a fast chattering noise that’s the director’s idea of what automatic gunfire sounds like. Perfect for people with the shortest attention spans.

Blind Husbands (1919)
Erich von Stroheim dons a monocle and gets all the best tailoring in an Alpine seduction of a bored wife. It seems those men who dwell in the mountains spend their lives smoking extraordinarily long pipes, rescuing mountaineers embarking on suicidal attempts of unclimbable peaks and giving the side-eye at good-looking lieutenants spending too much time flattering married women. Well paced, the tension and jealousies slowly ratcheting up until the spirit of the mountain has to intervene..

Take a Chance (1918)
Ten minutes of Harold Lloyd’s writers taking it turns to put him in terrible situations and letting the others work out how to have him escape. Slow-cranked, super-speed slapstick with so much narrative discontinuity it’s pointless trying to follow the plot. There is no pathos here, just pain, embarrassment, weakness and many laughs at the misfortunes of others. You’ll laugh, but you’ll have seen it all before. This is what’s left when you reduce all slapstick comedy to its bare essentials.




Transcendence (2014)
Johnny Depp plays Clippy the electronic personal assistant. I can see you’re angry, but I’ve made a breakthough I think you’ll enjoy! Something has gone wrong in the writer-directer-producer chain here. Wally Pfister has learned things from working with Christoper Nolan, but didn’t pay attention when it came to the story understanding its subject matter. Moody visuals, yes. Pompous soundtrack, yes. Ignorance bending credibility beyond its breaking point for narrative convenience, yes. The more you watch, the worse it gets.

Le notti di Cabiria (1957) aka Nights of Cabiria
Giulietta Masina is put through an emotional wringer by Fellini. An astounding performance of a woman desperate for connection, for protection, for safety. Her vulnerability masked by her confrontational attitude that seeks to distance herself from any threat even if they’re there to offer help is clear to all and exploited by the few able to slip through her defences. Though, there's much casual cruelty from men on display, Masina keeps the ember of joy and self-worth glowing at the core of her character.

The Dirt (2019)
Another rock band, another biopic. Motley Crue are certainly more famed for the stories that surround them than their musical output, so perhaps are more suitable for this treatment than most. Nevertheless, what emerges is a by-the-numbers tale of drugs, drink, damage, break-up and reunification. By the end it’s close to a self-congratulatory group hug that they all survived. The wreckage they left in their wake, the lives used, abused and abandoned do not merit comment. A whitewashing of history.

Making Waves (1987)
A group of older ladies go on an overcast seaside holiday to a largely deserted British resort, out of season. A closely observed short of verbal affectations, middle-aged lusts and thick woollen coats. Throwing a single and slightly younger man into this pot yields something between mothering and sexual tension and is subtly disquieting. More disturbing still are are the lies and a dark past that emerge. It crams a lot in to its short length. The director’s been studying her Alan Bennett and knows her subject well.


Shorts of the Week

Dots (1940)
Full of experiment, Norman McLaren’s dots boing, pffft and splodge along to a hand-drawn soundtrack. Like much of his work, there is a joy to be found in something as simple as dots and blotches animated to synchronise perfectly with the noises emerging from the speakers. McLaren has perfected his art of drawing waveforms and now has some indulgent fun with them, like a hippopotamus in a mudbath. It may be entirely abstract visually, but somehow these dots are alive and know how to party.  Link

Oko wykol (1960) aka The Menacing Eye
Jerzy Skolimowski replaces menace with something weirdly seedy, surreal and blowsily erotic. It starts with a shadow of a knife approaching a woman’s house in a decaying fairground. Sinister. The knife is old and rusty. As is the man to whom the shadow belongs. He interrupts her make-up application to indulge in some circus knife-throwing that has a quality more of an argument in a dysfunctional relationship. After the death of a wig and a tactical, you’re left with a sense of uneasy impotence and decline.  Link

No.1: Strange Dream (1939)
The first of Harry Smith’s early abstractions involves mesmeric, hand-painted blobs jostling on the screen. There’s the sensation of a message, or some form of communication being attempted. As the title suggests this feels like the sort of meaning that might form inside a dream and tempts to look at it closer in case we’re missing something or perhaps analyse to sift through the noise and discover a deeper insight. An uneasiness amongst the colour and movement. Link





smirnoff

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3413 on: April 08, 2019, 06:16:59 PM »
The Mirror Has Two Faces (Barbra Streisand, 1996)         8/10


An unexpected pleasure! This is one of the best rom-coms I've ever seen. Quite out of the blue too. It has almost zero mentions on the on the forum, and I've never heard it mentioned on any podcast I've listened to (that I can remember). I only put it on because I was running out of interesting looking movies to watch. The security tape on the dvd case hadn't even been  torn yet, lol! Apparently the person who bought it didn't want to watch it even. :))

It was surprisingly delightful. Very very much a rom com, but a unique take. I found myself unable to anticipate how scenes were going to play out, or where exactly the laughs were going to come from. The characters zig when I thought they would zag. And they're not so inept as to be frustrating. They're highly quirky, as you expect from the genre, but they remain recognizably human. There's real thought put into the dialogue... no scenes felt like the movie was on autopilot. I like the periphery characters too. All of them.

And when the film gets real, when things get serious, it's strong there as well. Really strong. There's a few scenes between Streisand and Lauren Bacall (who plays her mother) that really impress. I'm very surprised this is an adapted screenplay because the film feels so personal. Most of all I'm just surprised at how nothing about the film annoyed me. I don't feel like I would have to make a lot of apologies for it were I to recommend it. Not if the person goes in still recognizing the fact it's a rom com.

I'm going to venture a guess and say Sandy hasn't seen this one. I hope that's the case, and not that she has seen it and finds it unremarkable, in which case I would have to defer to the resident expert. ;)

Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3414 on: April 08, 2019, 08:47:02 PM »
The Tale (2018)

In the initial venture into "The Tale" we find 15-year-old Jenny seemingly smitten with her riding teacher Mrs. G (Elizabeth Debicki). This path might lead me to cheekily opine that while I recognize that teenagers cannot consent to those significantly older or in a position of power, it is asking me to suspend my disbelief too far to conceive of not consenting to Debicki. I stan a tall queen.

But the film really gets things going when the version of the story the adult Jenny tells herself runs into a factual contradiction offered by her mother and the whole thing gets retconned. Now she is younger, and her running coach Bill becomes more central. It is a moment that acts as a shot across the bow that narration and memory should be considered somewhat unreliable. Not the underlying essence of the tale, as some opportunistically might suggest we doubt, but rather little details we tell ourselves as a coping mechanism fail to line up with what actually happened.

It is a film that leads with essentially a trigger warning and for good reason as it is a film that does not pull punches (notwithstanding all the adults having sex with bras on). The credits reassure that the filmmaking was done morally, not putting its young actress in the toughest scenes, but it is never obvious which makes it feel excruciatingly real. What you are left with is a profound treatment of abuse/trauma. News and particularly the legal system are not nearly as capable as art at grasping the meaning of these factual slips, treating any doubt or contradiction as reasonable or exonerating.

A

oldkid

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3415 on: April 09, 2019, 02:18:58 AM »
At smirnoff's suggestion, I went ahead and spent a couple hours with The Mirror Has Two Faces as well.  I would consider it... mixed.

Jeff Bridges as the guy who mainsplained himself into a marriage that neither he nor Streisand wants.  She being brillient in every scene except where she lacks self confidence which is too difficult for Barbara Streisand to play believably, especially when she shines in every other scene. Lauren Bacall has a wonderful comedic performance, but any of the scenes that don't have Barbara or Lauren in it is simply dull and lifeless.  Worth seeing, and a couple of the scenes are brilliant, but there are just as many that are cringe-ful.

3.5/5
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smirnoff

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3416 on: April 09, 2019, 01:24:48 PM »
At smirnoff's suggestion, I went ahead and spent a couple hours with The Mirror Has Two Faces as well.  I would consider it... mixed.

Jeff Bridges as the guy who mainsplained himself into a marriage that neither he nor Streisand wants.  She being brillient in every scene except where she lacks self confidence which is too difficult for Barbara Streisand to play believably, especially when she shines in every other scene. Lauren Bacall has a wonderful comedic performance, but any of the scenes that don't have Barbara or Lauren in it is simply dull and lifeless.  Worth seeing, and a couple of the scenes are brilliant, but there are just as many that are cringe-ful.

3.5/5

Happy to see you give it a try but a bit sad about the reaction. Mostly that you found so much of it "cringe-ful"... a feeling I know all too well but one which I thought this film somehow avoided. I struggle to think of why the film was an exception... but it was.

smirnoff

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3417 on: April 09, 2019, 03:07:02 PM »
I Am Love (Luca Guadagnino, 2009)         8/10 mild spoilers

Strange that this movie kept my attention so well considering how little of consequence happens until well past the mid way point. We begin by simply observing this family and seeing how it operates. They are wealthy, they love each other, they pursue their interests... nobody stands out as being bored, resentful, troubled, jealous or in any kind of major crisis. Overall they seem healthy and functional, dealing well with any issues that come up. And maybe that's what kept my interest, counter-intuitive though it may be. By not planting a big obvious seed which was sure to become a conflict later in the film I was spared the impatience of waiting for it to grow. For example, a scene in which Tilda Swinton's character has unsatisfying sex with her husband. And then later perhaps a scene where he treats her badly. This film avoids anything of the sort. In hindsight there may be more subtle signs, but in the moment there's nothing conclusive, or even suspicious.

Nothing about the film's presentation changes when the affair begins. The same mesmerizing quality persists, the same tone persists, and even the Swinton's character goes on much as she had before. There's nothing ominous or foreboding about it particularly. That the affair is kept hidden is about the only indication you have that it is potentially problematic. That may sound odd... like you might think "a woman is cheating on her husband, of course it's a problem", but in this film, with these characters, I didn't make that assumption. These people drink 60 year old bottles of wine on a whim, they have a staff of half a dozen people waiting on them, their life consists of being served nice meals and pursuing their passions. Is it any stranger that they might enjoy extra-marital sex? Their norms are already all so foreign to me, why should that be any different? Indeed, there is almost no dramatic tension derived from their keeping the affair a secret. There's no phone calls made in a corner of the house to avoid being overheard, or any other such close calls that you typically get with affairs in a movie. So is there even a problem there? I couldn't be sure.

When the pin gets pulled I really didn't know how big or little the resulting explosion would be, or if there would be any explosion at all. Evidently it was pretty damn big. That's where the film got weird for me. Everything post funeral... why does Swinton reveal the secret? There are reasonable answers and I accepted the decision. But then suddenly she is sneaking into the house to snatch some belongings and flees as if a mob were going to lynch her if she got caught. That all felt odd to me. Too extreme a reaction. And the film's tone goes from 0 to 100 and suddenly it's like a whole different movie. A more pedestrian movie. People often remark, negatively, about the abrupt shift in Danny Boyle's Sunshine in the 3rd act. I don't share that opinion about Sunshine, but it's how I feel about the ending of this film. I thought they botched it.

Still, I have to acknowledge that I was very much engaged by the film. Now that it's over it's hard to explain what was good about it or to feel what I felt while it was occurring. But it's my preference to rate the experience, not the memory, so it gets high marks.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3418 on: April 09, 2019, 08:18:49 PM »
!!!!!!

Though I'm relatively warm on all the LG stuff I've seen, still feel like that's his high point. And the first film where I really 'got' Swinton, she is something else in it. Performance alone, regardless of the (theoretically imperceptible, at least to my untrained ears) work she apparently put in to learn a couple of different languages for the film and the different way a non-native speaker would pick them up.

smirnoff

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3419 on: April 09, 2019, 08:53:31 PM »
!!!!!!

Though I'm relatively warm on all the LG stuff I've seen, still feel like that's his high point. And the first film where I really 'got' Swinton, she is something else in it. Performance alone, regardless of the (theoretically imperceptible, at least to my untrained ears) work she apparently put in to learn a couple of different languages for the film and the different way a non-native speaker would pick them up.

Yea I did a deep dive looking for what people had said about this film and read your comments. And then I read Ebert's review and he spoke about the language stuff Swinton did. I picked up when she switched to Russian of course, but I didn't pick up her Russian accent when she was speaking Italian. Either way though, quite the lengths to go to for a part. I felt the whole ensemble was strong really... I feel a bit unfair highlighting Swinton specifically when they all felt very authentic, but that background knowledge does warrant special attention I guess.

I am glad that I was oblivious that this was by the director of Call Me By Your Name at the time of viewing. Not that this film was testing my patience at any point, but I dunno... it might've effected my viewing negatively since I was not particularly enamoured with CMBYN. Now that I know, I see that the unhurried pacing is about the same. I don't know what I'd want to see from LG going forward. I'm happy spending time in sunny Italy of course, but if the story is limited to a family milling around a big house, drinking wine and having quiet dramas, it'll always be a bit of an effort to get excited about it. Something that encourages a lot of dialog would be a plus I think.

 

love