Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 84406 times)

Thief

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3510 on: May 05, 2019, 05:45:15 PM »
Fyre (Chris Smith, 2019)[/b]

A fun ride about an event I had heard nothing about before these two documentaries made the round, which I find surprising. Guess I didn't check Twitter that week or something, which goes to show how ephemeral these phenomenons can be. Anyway, this leaves a lot to be desired as a piece of journalism (really would have wanted more follow-up on, well, a lot) but as a portrait of 21st-century venture capitalism, it's very on-point and effective.

7/10

This was more or less my take on it. It's not excellent, but it certainly presents an intriguing view into a certain "subculture" of image and pretensions, and what impact can (or can't?) social media and so-called "influencers" bring to the table.

ProperCharlie

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3511 on: May 06, 2019, 03:56:38 AM »
Itís a Bank Holiday weekend here and Iím a little burned out on films!  Plus life is once more interfering with my film watching schedule.  So a deliberate choice to scale things back this week and probably next week as well. 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Spider-man meets the ultimate challenge when a super-villain creates a new weapon that can destroy anything canonical. Quite the whirl of animation styles and ideas. This is experimental cooking. Bored of the normal recipes, letís fling absolutely everything in the kitchen in the blender and somehow, itís amazing. The ultimate reboot. A glorious vivid chaotic refreshment of something that had been stale for at least the past two sets of films. Itís still a super-hero film with all the flaws that brings with it, but nevertheless fantastic. Please donít do a sequel.

Berlin in Berlin (1993)
A German engineer unexpectedly finds refuge in the home of the family of the Turkish man he accidentally killed. What could be a contrived plotline with the potential to cause great offence becomes something more largely thanks to the direction and acting of the main cast. Itís an inversion of the usual Ďimmigrantí story with the engineer becoming the outsider in his own city. It does exhibit a monolithic mindset regarding how men react when the women they care for are threatened, and conveniently forgets about any police investigation. More theatrical than cinematic.

Lady Bird (2017)
The surviving women who were invited to test as astronauts upon the US entry into the Space Race tell their story of frustration and discrimination. A Lady Bird goes through the routine high school tropes until, suddenly sheís not at high school any more. Boyfriends, schools plays and an inevitable prom at the end. But then itís actually something else. Family interactions are acutely well observed, but even more than that this is a that rarest of things. A coming-of-age film for 18-year-old women that breaks free from convention and the patterns of school life to emerge into a whole new adult world filled with love, regret and new responsibility. Understated and a joy to watch.



   

Shorts of the Week

Zamilovanť Maso (1989) aka Meat Love
High steaks drama from Jan Svankmajer. Something of a departure for Svankmajer - this is a more conventional joke of a film with a straightforward romance followed by the inevitable twist. Itís more conventional and more easily comprehensible than much of his earlier work, although he still does delight in playing around the edges of disgust and phobia, his medium for this animation being raw beef. The animation is beautifully done, humanising the beef and conveying a vegetarian sentiment. Well done.  Link

Zweigroschenzauber (1929) aka Two-Pence Magic
Described as a commercial in picture rhymes, itís a sequence of match cuts starting with magician and ending with a female cat burglar caught in the act. This is a joy to behold. Hans Richter, already one of the first abstract film-makers, uses his inventive mind to come up connections both visual and meaningful. It takes us on a voyage thatís dreamlike and abstract, shifting perspectives in a giddying manner. It mirrors the feelings of tingling, wandering attention as someone reads through the stories in a magazine. Innovative, smart and well constructed.  Link (sorry about the music)

MattDrufke

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3512 on: May 06, 2019, 09:01:28 AM »
Avengers: Endgame

I walked into Avengers: Endgame with as much apprehension as I had excitement. I found Infinity War to be kind of a disappointing slog and the thought of seeing a three-hour conclusion to that was something that left me a little uneasy. However, I had faith in the Russo Brothers directing their fourth Marvel film, and it paid off. Avengers: Endgame is not only my favorite film of the Avengers franchise, but one of the better installments in the Marvel film universe; not quite top five, but definitely in the top ten.

When we last left our plucky crew, things did not look so great: with a literal snap of his fingers, Thanos (Josh Brolin) wiped out half of existence, including many of our favorite heroes. Endgame picks up weeks after Infinity War leaves off, with Tony Stark and Nebula (Robert Downey Jr. and Karen Gillam) trying to get back to Earth while the rest of whoís left is trying to recover and create a plan. A plan for what? I donít even think they know.

The first 45 minutes of this movie does something that rarely happens in the MCU: it slows down. Endgame does a heartbreaking job showing us how some of the mightiest heroes process grief. The Russos allow the camera to linger on the cast a little longer than most normal action films would allow, and that makes it heartbreaking as we watch some of the strongest heroes have a moment of weakness. Thanosí actions are shown with shots of highways filled with cars with no one in them, but we donít feel them until we see how it has impacted the people who we have followed for the better part of a decade. The fact that the film allows the chance to stop and breathe is such a welcome change from Infinity War, which felt like it was trying to ram everything through.

From this point, the movie is focused on watching our team on another big adventure. Thereís a lot going on here and and a lot to settle up with. Avengers: Endgame needs every one of the 181 minutes to tie up all of the loose ends. Yes, the movie feels long. It is long. But itís also never exceptionally maudlin. There are certainly moments which are needed for grief and regret and reconciliation, but it all comes in service to the greater story. The worst moments in this film happen when the film feels like it is betraying itís own nature. Thereís an action sequence with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in Japan which doesnít work at all in the film, but itís because it only feels like itís in there because screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely thought, ďMan! No one has gotten beaten up in a while.Ē Thankfully, those moments are few and far between in this very satisfying film.

Thatís not to say that this film doesnít have problems, because it has a few. Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) is under-utilized in this film, which is sad because of how fantastic Larson was in her solo effort last year. Also, while this film (and all superhero films) are defined by their final battle scene, this action film doesnít exactly have a whole lot of other action besides itís last fight. The film also has a hard time creating the rules of the universe and sticking to them. But none of these things, even when put together, take away from the marvel (pun intended) that Endgame is.

The Russos had a hard job with this film, because Endgame is a finale of sorts (both Downey Jr. and Chris Evans were on the last film of their contract) and that means you have to find a way to create satisfying conclusions. For some of these characters, thereís no more time left for them onscreen. Other franchises havenít found the right way to create proper transitions, and things are always less thrilling and exciting when you know they have to happen. But Endgame, through all of itsí flaws, finds an effective and impressive way to pull it all off. It allows us to say goodbye to the people we need to while getting excited for what is to come. This film works in all tenses: it celebrated the past, thrilled us in the present, and got us excited to be in the future.

I was a little apprehensive to see this MCU effort. I am now thrilled to see the next one.

8.6/10
@ihatemattdrufke

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3513 on: May 07, 2019, 08:05:52 AM »

Too Young to Kiss (1951)

In this musical variation on The Major and the Minor (1942) June Allyson pretends to be 14 in order to win an audition with a powerful, young talent manager (Van Johnson). The hook being that's she a sensational piano player, but as a kid her skill makes her more in demand that she would be as an adult. I discovered petite June Allyson, with her raspy yet powerful voice, through The Glenn Miller Story and 15 films later - three with Jimmy Stewart - I love her to pieces. Still, she's no Ginger Rogers, but that's not quite being fair with this picture's problems either.

Major/Minor is written and directed by Billy Wilder and part of its success is Rogers transformation into a kid. Her very appearance is funny, from the kids clothes to the expression on her face. Kiss' producers here never want you to forget Allyson is a grown woman, they won't commit. So she always looks unusually developed for her age, which is never remarked upon. The central gag never works, and most of the surrounding jokes don't either. The screenwriters come with four Oscar nominations, for classic films like The Thin Man, Father of the Bride and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. This was an off day for them. Billy Wilder rarely had an off day.
Rating: ★ ★

The most interesting thing about this film is June Allyson's dynamic piano playing, which uses no hand doubles. I had to look it up to learn she's often not hitting the right keys. It's the most convincing fake piano playing I've ever seen.
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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3514 on: May 07, 2019, 11:25:57 PM »

Good News (1947)

This didn't get off to a promising start. The acting is the type that would play better on stage. On film, it's so broad and fake I would put it below any of the High School Musical films, (even the first one.) The first couple of songs are not promising and the choreography is busy and spirited, but in no way impressive. Also, star June Allyson takes a long time to appear and spends most of the first third like she's a star cameo.

Things take a turn with "The French Lesson" which has the verbal dexterity of Sondheim and is impressively shot as a single take. This is when I was won over by Peter Lawford, who I always saw as a Rat Pack hanger-on. The film hits high gear with "Pass That Peace Pipe", led by Broadway talent Joan McCracken. This is what I want from a musical number: clever staging, energetic dancing and a great beat. If the entire film was at this level, it would explain the 7.8 on IMDB.

Those two numbers and a greatly enlarged part for June Allyson carry the film bumpily to the finish so that I don't regret watching, but I was hoping for a Discovery and only got a couple of memorable scenes.
Rating: ★ ★ Ĺ



In Caliente (1935)
★ ★ Ĺ
Watched this Warner Bros. musical comedy for the talent. Fast-talking Pat O'Brien, comic relief Edward Everett Horton, sharp-clawed Glenda Farrell and but Dolores del Rio. Everything was fine until the musical numbers by Busby Berkeley entered. I didn't mind the staging - kind of bummed I don't have much Berkeley left to watch - but it takes over the movie and features none of the cast. My wife snapped when it became obvious "The Lady in Red" wasn't ending anytime soon. She walked out. (For the record, the musical number is just over 10 minutes.)
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colonel_mexico

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3515 on: May 08, 2019, 10:55:20 AM »
Mid90s 2018- As a teenager of the 90s the sappy nostalgic reminders of this film hit a sensitive spot remembering how it was being a kid in Southern California and wanting nothing more than to be cool.  I think I had that TMNT skateboard!!  The mise en scene transported me back to that time and the drama of the film was visceral.  This reminded me of a moment of Richard Linklater, as if this was an indie version of Boy that he made on the side while waiting for the other kid to grow up.  But this was more than a reminiscence film, the tragedy of a single mom home who we are not sure if she is surviving from some kind of Munchausen Syndrome by proxy vis one night stands with random men, healing oneself through pleasure.  This isn't well developed, but Katherine Waterson delivers in the moments she gives, because despite her failings she does love her sons, if she is selfishly negligent.  Sunburn though is the man, the tough little kid who is the kind of little guy who goes on to become Tony Hawk or Rodney Mullen.  Dudes who skate because it is an extension of themselves, their lives in concrete jungles.  Crappy VCR skate tapes are the stuff of legend and lore of the 90s, as are the 40 ounces, the hip hop style of baggy jeans and vans, and parties in random alleyways.  The friend Ray was like many of the older guys I used to hang out with growing up, same guys who tried to teach me to kickflip and gave me my first beer.  Another boy-hero calling out his affluent friend CINECAST!shit who thinks life is just about partying.  A really telling scene is when Ray gives a cigarette to a homeless man at a skate scene and the guy says he's just trying to make it out of the streets before the streets take him out.  This is a buddy film and Jonah Hill brings along some of that bro-dialogue you could see Franco/Rogen/McBride having in something like This is the End, but it does a lot more if you give it a chance. The violence of youth and of abuse are prevalent and the ending is a bit prosaic, but it closes very thoughtfully-the little dude does take some of the hardest hits.  EXCELLENT.
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Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3516 on: May 08, 2019, 08:05:05 PM »
At the Heart of Gold (2019)

I feel like a standard negative comment I might make about a documentary is it feels too conventional. There are a lot of documentaries with very useful information that rely on most of those standard features of documentary like the interview, the archive footage, maybe a graphic, and it seems few rise to the level of truly great documentary and certainly not to truly great film. Generally it is the documentary that breaks from the formula that gets that kind of acclaim. The animation of Waltz With Bashir, the personal impact of Dear Zachary, the gimmick of Super-Size Me, the forceful advocacy of Bowling For Columbine, or if you are Frederick Wiseman, just overwhelming you with exposure to a different world.

At the Heart of Gold is one of those rare films that does not particularly do anything outside the documentary tool wheelhouse, but masters those tools with such excellence that it truly does stand up as a great film. It focuses on Larry Nassar, and the web of sexual abuse he weaved in Michigan and in the world of gymnastics. With great efficiency in 90 minutes, it builds the story from the ground up laying out aspects of gymnastics that particularly cater to this kind of horror before broadening out in reach, while staying laser-focused on this news story, into how so many characteristics of American society foster abuse. There have been some other documentaries of late, Abducted In Plain Sight comes to mind, that almost amuse us with the absurdity of the tale. With At the Heart of Gold, while there are certainly individual villains of the story beyond Nassar himself, the film seems to predict any time where you might want to individualize fault to show how a systemic failure in society enables it. There have been few things that so capably shine a light on rape culture.

In a generally gutting film, the emotional peak comes in the sentencing hearing where over 100 of his victims were given a chance to speak to his harms, which are both direct and physical and also unpredictable and far-reaching. While we get descriptions of Nassar's character, the most important thing the film does is let the women involved in the story be the stars and be the narrators. They are in a real sense victims, but we also see them in the many other ways they define themselves, generally as resilient and inspiring women. At the end of the day the documentary makes a big statement about a critical issue and does so with such informational and emotional precision.

A+

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3517 on: May 08, 2019, 08:22:32 PM »
1. The LEGO Movie
2. The LEGO Ninjago Movie
3. The LEGO Batman Movie

4. The LEGO Movie 2: The 2nd Part



The LEGO Movie 2
★ ★ Ĺ
Taking the meta-mix of fantasy and reality to its furtherest extreme to date, this is the most ambitious LEGO movie so far, but also the most exhausting. It's as complicated a plot as Into the Spider-Verse in terms of different planes of reality commenting on each other, but that film made it part of the fun, as did LEGO 1, where the reality break came as a major delightful surprise. I would trade much of the clever here for more of the fun with the characters. (The story switches out one main adversary for another, and another...) Having Chris Pratt voicing two characters creates an interesting interpretation of the actor pre-superstardom and now, and I liked how WB further embraced promoting their own brand, with two Aquamen and a reference to Marvel's non-presence. Also, this embraces being more of a musical, but most of the songs just waste time. You can't win creating a song with the lyric "This song's gonna get stuck inside your head," when "Everything is Awesome" won't leave.
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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3518 on: May 09, 2019, 01:01:40 AM »
Half a Sixpence (1967)
★ ★

The longest of musicals in the history of musicals--or maybe it just felt that way.

I understand Sandy's comment. In transferring the stage musical to the screen the story was taken apart, but never quite put back together. I was never sure what the film was about so it just went from one drawn-out sequence to the next, with only Tommy Steele holding it together. Most people don't know Steele, but he's a high energy performer in the Dick Van Dyke mode. He's given more room to work here than in The Happiest Millionaire, but more room is what this film has too much of. The songs come off as a weak bunch. (I read there was much tinkering from the stage.) The lone exception is "Flash Bang Wallop", which is also a little long but at least it's fun.
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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #3519 on: May 10, 2019, 11:36:48 PM »
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
MacGruber (2010)
Both Films ★ Ĺ

What a lousy double feature this turned out to be. After the unlikable characters and unfunny situations of HTTM, I expected MacG to be a tonic, but it was like watching a comedy car wreck. Time Machine coasts on 80s nostalgia and an attempt to humanize the cavemen that are our leads. (When Craig Robinson and Crispin Glover are the sweet ones by comparison, you're definitely taking things too far.) MacGruber has zero interest in humans, existing in a fantasyland even parody films won't approach so broadly. I found a few laughs in both films, but not nearly enough to make me glad I spent time with the characters.

I didn't know Sebastian Stan was in Hot Tub Time Machine and I now question his level of talent. He may be the actor who's improved the most thanks to Marvel.
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