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Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 171188 times)

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5470 on: January 13, 2021, 12:26:46 PM »
Kajillionaire (2020)
★ ½
I appreciate that Miranda July takes many years between films. Few things worse than an acclaimed director I don’t like who’s prolific.
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5471 on: January 13, 2021, 12:35:38 PM »
Damn, that's harsh. Now that both you and Bondo hated it I'm more eager to see it.
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1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5472 on: January 13, 2021, 02:49:40 PM »

Babyteeth (2019)
”This is the worst possible parenting I can imagine.”

This Australian domestic drama challenged me in a way many Australian films often do when it comes to likability. As a Hollywood-centric filmgoer, I’m partial to something like The Descendants, where characters are prickly but lovable. They have their quirks and occasionally show a temper, but you never doubt they have a big heart. This is more like Jane Campion, where it seems the film doesn’t care if you like the people, but it has two hours to prove you just might feel something by the end.

I mention Descendants because even among fans there’s a character who’s widely regarded as an annoying mistake, a sort-of boyfriend who attaches himself to the daughter. This film opens with the Australian version of that character, a broken home, low-level drug dealer, hustler who may also be violent or self-destructive. Despite a lovely performance by Eliza Scanlen (Little Women) as the daughter, I wasn’t enjoying my time with Toby Wallace, authentic or not.


I started wondering how this script attracted Ben Mendelsohn and Essie Davis to play the parents? Two professionals unafraid to play unlikable, emotionally unstable and/or downright scuzzy. They became my way in, along with the eventual reveal of what had this family in a state of crisis. The more I learned, the more I attached myself to them, partly because the moments are always emotional and not expository. So yeah, Hollywood me wishes they got to the point a little sooner because the snowballing of the group facing reality hit perfectly, leading to incredible closing scenes. I wondered if the film might play better if we knew more up front, but the ambiguity does serve its purpose, even if it makes too much of the film seem like a slog.
★ ★ ★ - Okay
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Corndog

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5473 on: January 13, 2021, 03:06:03 PM »
One Night in Miami (Regina King, 2020)

One Night in Miami is symbolic and timely for a number of reasons. With the recent protests surrounding Black Lives Matter in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police in the summer of 2020, and the #MeToo movement that has been ongoing for the last few years, a female directed film about four African American luminaries from the first Civil Rights movement in the 1960s may seem timely, but in fact it’s been a very long time coming. Regina King, whose long, successful career has hit a second gear after winning the Academy Award for If Beale Street Could Talk, gets the opportunity to direct for the first time, and she comes onto the scene with a bang with a film that shows touches of polish and experience that likely comes from her years of experience in the industry and having a message, and finally getting a voice to express it.

The titular One Night in Miami comes after Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) defeats Sonny Liston for the heavyweight boxing title. In celebration, he has decided to go back to Hampton House where his friend, mentor and brother Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir) is staying. Joining them to celebrate are fellow African American superstars singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and footballer Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge). Perhaps not the happening, raging party you might expect after a career defining victory, the small get together forces the quartet to grapple with the current social climate and the responsibility of the men in the room to use their platform to push for social change in a time where their white fans will certainly chastise them for doing so.

As far as debut films goes, One Night in Miami is not particularly flashy in terms of filmmaking technique, but as with her on screen presence in her career, Regina King manages to bring a grace and deft handling of the characters and themes throughout. Such a single setting film lends itself to a lack of cinematic appeal, but King in conjunction with Kemp Powers, who adapts his own play, manage to create enough change of setting and interesting dynamics throughout that it never feels stale or static. The discussion is ever evolving, with characters in and out of the room, and in and out of the important discussions being held. For what amounts to four guys talking in a room, the two hour runtime manages to fly by, which is no small feat.

The charisma of the ensemble, and variety of performances really helps keep the film moving and entertaining throughout. The cast is largely unknown to me. Leslie Odom Jr., known for his role in the smash Broadway hit Hamilton is likely the most noteworthy, but it was Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X who really shines above the rest here. The dynamic is essential between the group and Ben-Adir works as the glue. Eli Goree also turns in a phenomenal performance which may be better described as a really tremendous imitation of Muhammad Ali than a masterclass in acting, but nonetheless it is extremely effective and definitely entertaining. The ensemble deliver on the verve and passion necessary to make a film like this work.

Mileage may vary on this film in how effective you find it. I myself struggled from time to time, but the highs of the film make it something I would easily recommend. It doesn’t seem particularly exciting, but the conversations and debates are full of energy and are effectively thought provoking. The cache of emotion that King manages to store up throughout the film, really come to an emotionally charged rendition of Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”. Anyone with a knowledge of Cooke and his career might have seen it coming, but as a massive Cooke fan myself, I was still incredibly moved by the moment, bringing to a head everything the film tackled. It’s not just about using his platform to give his people a voice, to be heard. It’s not just about joining the movement itself. From an inward reflection, he is finally able to grapple with his own position in history, both as a black man in America and as participant of history. We are all participants in our own time in history. How will we grapple with our own participation?

★ ★ ★ - Liked It
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5474 on: January 13, 2021, 03:38:57 PM »
Babyteeth

Watched this on the weekend and have to say it lost me within two minutes. The guy shows up on the train platform being completely repellant but naturally she sees something to him and I was just like, all the nopes. Like, if Post Malone but not famous showed up, she's not looking over and saying yeah, that's what intrigues me.

1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5475 on: January 13, 2021, 04:25:17 PM »
Like  I  Said...
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Moviebuff28

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5476 on: January 13, 2021, 04:50:40 PM »
One Night in Miami
★★★½
Surprisingly cinematic.  I think those opening scenes were really key to me for putting my mind at ease in terms of that we were seeing a piece of cinema and not just a stage play translated on screen.  Those boxing scenes in particular are really well shot and it felt as close to watching an actual boxing match as we could.  The four performances are all great but I was particularly taken with Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X and Aldis Hodge as James Brown.  I'm looking forward to seeing what King directs next.




etdoesgood

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5477 on: January 13, 2021, 08:03:15 PM »
Damn, that's harsh. Now that both you and Bondo hated it I'm more eager to see it.

Kajillionaire is good, don't listen to them. It was only a letdown for me because I had such high expectations. I probably should watch it again. And definitely will. At some point.
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1SO

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5478 on: January 13, 2021, 11:03:25 PM »
Possessor

Back in Shocktober I lamented those "elevated" horror films that get too heady and forget to provide the story and scares that drive the genre. Well, Cronenberg doesn't forget those elements. The movie is really well constructed, never too slow or too fast. The gross scenes are suitably gross but don't overwhelm the characters or story. The heady ideas are there if you want to see them. The movie treats them as little inside jokes, often just straight up jokes. In other words, though this is a movie with a weird premise, a brain, and a truly extraordinary sense of style (give me all of those colored lights and trippy mind-melding scenes, please), it is also a pretty freaking solid crowd pleaser. I mean, I guess I wouldn't call the movie a happy-go-lucky romp, but I would call it a very good time at the movies if your definition of a good time involves body horror and a bit of light academic shading. And mine definitely does.
So, I'm not posting this to say how much the film didn't work for me. I'm posting because this paragraph made me think of Color Out of Space. Everything you say here I think can be applied to that film too. What do you think elevates this film over that one?
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etdoesgood

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5479 on: January 13, 2021, 11:08:06 PM »
I know this is toward Junior, but I found Color Out of Space to be far more of a B-film, and just generally far more over the top in what you're seeing, in the acting. Color Out of Space actually has a personality. I still don't think it's all so good, but I'd rather watch a movie like that over Possessor anytime. Before the pandemic took hold, that was a memorable night out at FilmBar, with yes, my dad...
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