Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 203514 times)

Junior

  • Bert Macklin, FBI
  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 28696
  • What's the rumpus?
    • Benefits of a Classical Education
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5570 on: February 10, 2021, 03:37:46 PM »
For an Iron Giant knockoff, it's pretty great.
Check out my blog of many topics

ďIím not a quitter, Kimmy! I watched Interstellar all the way to the end!Ē

FLYmeatwad

  • An Acronym
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 28490
  • I am trying to impress myself. I have yet to do it
    • Processed Grass
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5571 on: February 10, 2021, 07:25:25 PM »
The Iron Giant makes Bumblebee look like Citizen Kane. Though Bumblebee is great regardless. Hailee is the best.

Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 11762
  • As every colour illuminates, we are shining...
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5572 on: February 10, 2021, 10:59:42 PM »
The Dig



I thought that they were angels
But to my surprise
We climbed aboard their starship
We headed for the skies
- Come Sail Away

After reading Corndog's review of The Dig, I was a bit discouraged. Here was something that looked quite like my kind of film, but his lukewarm response gave me pause. He tends to like films that I like and has steered me towards some great finds (and has saved me time by steering me away from not so good ones). Well, last night I had just finished Pretend It's a City on Netflix, but was still working on an embroidery project, so hit play when The Dig showed up at the top of screen. Corndog did me a huge favor. I had very low expectations, except to know that it would be pretty and well made. And it is those things. And subtle. So much subtle. But in those low expectations and in all that subtlety, I found myself drawn in and surprised myself with how emotionally invested I became.

Perhaps it's my age (where mortality feels closer), or my gender, or just my particular life experiences, but I found myself filling in all the expansive quiet spaces with speculation and internal story building. Lesser actors wouldn't have provided such rich fodder for the imagination, but here everyone inhabits their role so fully that a look, or a pause can fill me with their possibilities. And bringing long ago history to the fore, while pairing it with nearer history fills me with other possibilities; ones about life and death and what it means to exist for a little while on the long timeline. As the characters look toward the skies, gazing out on the stars, they too ponder such things and feel both small and expansive. I remember Edith's words, "Life is very fleeting. .. It has moments you should seize." Yes, she's right. And faintly I hear another character from another story call out, "I am. I was." (A.I.) Yes, this too.

Corndog

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 16906
  • Oo-da-lolly, Oo-da-lolly, golly what a day!
    • Corndog Chats
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5573 on: February 11, 2021, 06:51:55 AM »
Yay! Iím glad you got what you did out of the film and I didnít scare you too far away.
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

Corndog

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 16906
  • Oo-da-lolly, Oo-da-lolly, golly what a day!
    • Corndog Chats
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5574 on: February 11, 2021, 08:33:07 AM »
Young Hearts (Sarah & Zachary Ray Sherman, 2021)

The teenager romance is a pretty common convention these days, ranging from the weepy melodrama to the raunchy comedy version of the same story. We donít often get to a see a very realistic version of this story, however, as it is wrought with pitfalls. Who is the target audience? Most of these teenage films are targeted to that same demographic, so what teenager wants to see a realistic portrayal of their lives? No one, theyíd rather spend time in the fairy tale or overly dramatized or over-the-top comedy. And who among us wants to revisit that awkward time of adolescence? And yet, here we are with Young Hearts, a realistic, genuine portrayal of young love. And while the film might struggle to find an interested audience, itís actually a pretty great achievement in filmmaking.

Harper (Anjini Taneja Azhar) is a young freshman in high school, looking to make friends and fit into her new school life experience. She spends time with her friends, and sometimes the friends of her older brother Adam (Alex Jarmon). Soon, she finds herself spending more and more time with Adamís friend, and their neighbor, Tilly (Quinn Liebling). Harper and Tilly form a young bond that blossoms from an awkward friendship to a full fledged relationship. But just as quickly as they find their happiness, the tension between Tilly and Adam mounts (who would still be friends with the dude dating your sister?), as do the rumors around school which slanders Harper and Tillyís relationship, bringing the joyousness of their bond to a screeching halt. Teenagers can be so mean, canít they.

Initially, I was pretty unsure about this film. For one, it takes the very brave step of using age appropriate actors in the roles of these high schoolers. We donít see twentysomethings inhabiting these roles, instead we get real, actual teenagers. As a result, I think the film comes across as much more organic and real than it otherwise would have been. Certainly, it is a little rough around the edges as a result, but I think it captures so much about the high school experience accurately. Harper and her interactions with not only friends but also Tilly start so awkwardly. Like, genuinely awkward, which makes the film difficult to watch at times, while also managing to be a great strength of the film. Harper and Tilly start by asking stupid questions and spending most of their walks in silence, but we see that relationship grow over time to the point where they have these joyous interactions where we can see them grow more comfortable, closer together. The Shermanís are really patient in letting these things develop over the course of the film.

It also tackles some difficult topics, including sex and bullying. For the most part, the film is surprisingly sex positive, at least as sex positive a film about young high schoolers can be. Some will take offense to people this young being sexually active, but the film depicts them being safe, and not using it casually. Harper is shown as being completely in control of what she wants. That is a hard balancing act for the film, but I think it pretty much pulls it off. But of course with that comes the nasty bullying and rumor mill that is constant in any high school setting. The dynamics at play are really well handled to the point that I was truly impressed with the cast in their performances, subtle but expressive, and the direction/writing, which delivers the story in a very real, authentic manner doesnít go too far in any of the potential pitfall wrong directions that many films before it have. Young Hearts is a pleasant surprise of a film that might struggle to find its audience, but not for a lack of stellar filmmaking and storytelling.

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

Corndog

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 16906
  • Oo-da-lolly, Oo-da-lolly, golly what a day!
    • Corndog Chats
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5575 on: February 11, 2021, 09:19:45 AM »
Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (Josh Greenbaum, 2021)

The studio comedy seems to be a dying breed. Once a stalwart in a studioís annual offering, a pretty steady and reliable cash cow that would get butts in seats on a relatively minor budget, comedies seems to be few and far between anymore. Who are the great comedy movie stars anymore? The Will Ferrell/Judd Apatow phase seems to have run its course and not much has come in to replace it since. Weíll get maybe 1 good comedy a year anymore. Much of this has to do with the films just not making enough money. Sure, they were almost always profitable, but theyíre not makin a billion dollars like superhero movies do. We all recognize the movie business shifting, but I feel like the small budget comedy is the one genre dying off that not enough people are talking about. Well, this year we at least get this, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, a small budget comedy vehicle for Kristen Wiig and her writing partner Annie Mumolo. Whether itís any good or not may not matter. The genre may be dying regardless.

Barb (Annie Mumolo) and Star (Kristen Wiig) are the best of friends, living their simple but enjoyable life together in small town USA. Both divorced, both stuck in the past in their fashion and interests, the two lose their jobs at the local furniture store, prompting them to look for a change to their hum-drum lives with a vacation to the Florida coast: Vista Del Mar! Upon arriving, they are quite taken by the sunshine and everything the resort has to offer. Often distracted by the smallest things, the pair make quick friends with a sad man named Edgar (Jamie Dornan) at the bar, who is also a secret spy on a mission to destroy Vista Del Mar on behalf of his overbearing boss who is holding a grudge on the town. Edgar shows them the time of their lives, opening up their eyes to what is possible in their drab lives. Star begins to fall for Edgar, but will Barb and Star be able to stop the impending doom on Vista Del Mar?

I have to admit, this movie is super random and weird. At first, I didnít have any clue what to make of it. Did I hate it? Did I love it? The emotions were truly that wide in my reception of what I was seeing on screen. I think part of this reaction is simply because I havenít seen many weird, off the wall comedies lately, to call back to my opening commentary. Coming out of the awards season fare which includes plenty of very serious and realistic stories about ďimportant thingsĒ, to see something so silly and different was definitely jarring. But upon reflection, I canít help but feel like Barb and Star was just what I needed to refresh my movie outlook for 2021. There is a lot about this movie watching experience which suffers merely from the circumstances we find ourselves in today.

For instance, I watched this film at home, by myself. In a world where going to the movie theater is not a safe option for so many, watching films at home is the only real way to experience a film. And more than I would say any other genre, the comedy is a community experience. To not have that communal laughter and experience is truly a determent to the movie, but in no way a fault of the movie either, just an unfortunate result of 2020/2021. I think this made my experience with the film very uneven, instead of overly winning. The more I think back on the film and reflect on it, the more Iím reminded of some of the better gags and bits in the movie. Sure, itís a movie about two middle aged Midwesterners venturing to Florida for the first time, but itís also about spies, it also features musical numbers. Itís super weird and random, but it knows that about itself and it embraces that!

As a result, I think the movie overall is a little uneven, not everything lands, but largely it is a hell of a fun time and both Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo are winning in their performances. It is evident that these two are real life friends, as their on-screen chemistry is readily apparent, as they share these moments of synchronicity that only real friends could duplicate. Likewise, Jamie Dornanís deadpan and overly serious performance also suits the film extremely well. His musical number, ďEdgarís PrayerĒ, was one of my favorite sequences in the film. I think given how I saw this movie, itís one that will grow in my estimation the further I get away from it, as it already has, as well as the more I see the film. The greatest comedies are endlessly rewatchable, and Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar has plenty going on within it, and I think enough signature moments, that it will become a rewatchable comedy that grows a pretty passionate fan base for those that seek it out and embrace its weirdness.

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

Bondo

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 22256
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5576 on: February 11, 2021, 09:35:06 AM »
Iíll take your word for it but man was the trailer for it painful when it was in heavy rotation a year ago.

On an unrelated point, my new phone doesnít handle the forum well.  :( Apparently the screen is just too small to deal.

Corndog

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 16906
  • Oo-da-lolly, Oo-da-lolly, golly what a day!
    • Corndog Chats
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5577 on: February 11, 2021, 10:07:55 AM »
Iíll take your word for it but man was the trailer for it painful when it was in heavy rotation a year ago.

On an unrelated point, my new phone doesnít handle the forum well.  :( Apparently the screen is just too small to deal.

It certainly won't win over any non-Kristen Wiig fans, I'll say that, but I enjoyed it as a pallet cleanser.
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

Eric/E.T.

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2597
  • The Artist Formerly Known as etdoesgood
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5578 on: February 11, 2021, 07:19:15 PM »
For an Iron Giant knockoff, it's pretty great.

There is certainly that element. I love The Iron Giant, not going to hear me complain about it getting favorable comparison over Bumblebee.
A desert person.

Simple Distinctions:
The Best  |  Exceptional  |  Favorable  |  Unfavorable  | Bad

Eric/E.T.

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2597
  • The Artist Formerly Known as etdoesgood
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #5579 on: February 12, 2021, 11:07:34 PM »
Judas and the Black Messiah

It's hard for me to separate the ideas from the filmmaking. Themes and performances are the only thing I was really thinking of as I watched this.

It's kind of hard to take with this being streamed on HBO Max. What interest do they have in a movie about a Black Panther leader who was also promoting communism? In the divide between common people and economic elites, like, HBO is certainly aligned with the elites, so why do we allow them to serve us revolution? They live off the status quo.

Take away the broader context in which the film exists, and it's a gripping, difficult watch. It stars two of the film industry's best actors, and goodness, they're so strong here. Daniel Kaluuya portrays both a Fred Hampton as both revolutionary and a staunch humanist, a man who was truly impassioned by the struggle of regular people, and his compassion is so sincere here. LaKeith Stanfield plays his role as the FBI snitch William O'Neal with such nuance, every little flinch and pause in speech seems to reveal something. You can never be sure where he stood, and Stanfield pulls off portraying him as a bit gullible on top of his conflicts, to the point where his allegiances seem to change depending on whether he was talking to Hampton or his FBI handler Roy Mitchell. While I can usually do without all the Where are they now? that true stories often come with, the information we get after the film took me by surprise, and truly revealed who benefited from the O'Neal-Hampton drama.

This is definitely worth a broader discussion about the ideas contained within Judas and the Black Messiah. You'd hope it could include an honest conversation about Leftism and the actual liberation of the common person from wage slavery in addition to the obvious conversation about the oppression of racial minorities in our country. I think documentaries have a great power to inform people on a variety of issues, and I am betting that more than a few activists became active from seeing the horrors and tragedies of human existence with their own two eyes. However, I have my doubts that a major motion picture can do anything besides temporarily rile people, maybe make a post on social media about the injustices of it all, then find something new on HBO to watch, likely something a bit more...sedating.

There are definitely familiar beats here. It's one of those plots that gives you a sense of deja vu, the snitch story, and procedurally, this thing isn't taking us anywhere new. The worst scenes are the ones with J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI agents plotting against the Black Panthers. It's way too typical, and the interactions are relatively brief and uninteresting. Maybe the brevity is a blessing, since you get to focus more on Hampton and O'Neal. As they are both written with a deal of depth and portrayed by such strong performers, they do tend to overshadow the film's shortcomings.

Then, I wonder if there aren't too many bangs and pops here. You need to show the violence to have any credibility, but there were at least a couple of shootouts that became gratuitous pretty quickly. Just as you can experience the ideas of Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers, pop pop pop.

The best of the film, outside of the Hampton-O'Neal drama, is Kaluuya delivering all those wonderful speeches. The material is truly inspired. I simply have my doubts that it will matter to anyone enough to make a change. And if that is so, I'm not sure what the end result one expects from this film. Award nominations? Critical praise? Glory for its creators? What does that mean for the common person?

I liked it, I was into it. It was a good choice for the night, and it's the closest I've felt to getting to see a movie at the theater on its first night since the last time I did such a thing like a year ago. I'm just skeptical about using the ideas of the oppressed to entertain the oppressed (in part) to enrich the economic elites in such an obvious way. I also don't think it's all that interesting as a drama or thriller beyond that the real-life story its based on naturally draws you in and compels you to uncover more, and the two central performers would have brought the story to life however its creators want to lay it out. It's worth a viewing, and is certainly one you can get caught up in emotionally, but it can't break the mold for its variety of political drama/thriller. In terms of meaningful units of culture, I don't know that this is the vehicle to carry revolution to the masses. Indeed, worthy of attention, but I don't know to what ends.
A desert person.

Simple Distinctions:
The Best  |  Exceptional  |  Favorable  |  Unfavorable  | Bad

 

love