Movies You've Seen Recently | September 2019

Disco

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,006
His mumbles are powerful. 🙏

Might be the best sadboy actor tbh. Though he is treading all too familiar ground now
 

Messofanego

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,049
UK
Anyone else seen both High Life and Aniara? They both tell similar stories, but I found High Life to be surprisingly dull and frustratingly obtuse, while Aniara was haunting, evocative, unnerving, thrilling. Probably going to be my favorite sci-fi film of the year, watching it evoked the same feeling I get when I read a really good sci-fi short story

Aniara
★★★★½
I’ve seen this compared to High Life, a movie I found to be an impenetrable chore to watch. Fortunately, my experience with Aniara was the polar opposite. This is a tale of humanity breaking upon the endless void of space, presented in a hauntingly evocative and bleakly existential fashion. The budget was clearly modest, but those limitations are rarely felt, the movie never seems cheap or as if it’s trying to tell a narrative too ambitious for its means.

Aniara is a movie both epic in scope and harrowingly, intimately human. During what should be a routine journey from Earth to Mars, an errant screw sends the titular vessel drifting into the abyss. Days turn to weeks, then years. The vastness of space has rarely seemed so dreadful. Soon the only thing keeping hearts and minds from shattering is Mima, an AI-controlled virtual reality that allows passengers to escape into their memories of Earth. The caretaker of Mima is our viewpoint into the gradual societal breakdown within the ship, the epicenter of its inhabitants’ frustrations, fears, and other base emotions.

“Literary” is such a nebulous adjective, but it’s apt for how I felt about Aniara when the end credits finally rolled. Apocalyptic backstory, futuristic technology, and uneasy consequences are often presented through implication and visuals rather than exposition. Chapters divide Aniara into a chronicle of agonizingly prolonged doom, each title priming us for a thoughtful vignette set another day, week, year later. Aniara was thrilling like the best sci-fi short stories or novellas, where fascinating ideas work as both concept and allegory, where a daring ending evokes a gasp and reflection
I haven't, so I'll check out Aniara. Interesting it's an adaptation of a sci fi poem. I really liked High Life though mainly for Binoche/Pattinson and psychosexual hijinks reminding me of Cronenberg.
 
Baby Doll (1956): Carroll Baker's big break in this Tennessee Williams adaptation about a naive teen bride who gets harassed/seduced by her much older husband's rival seeking to prove said husband burned down his cotton gin. Baker's talent is evident right out the gate; it's a shame that she ended up being one of those stars who never really got an iconic role everybody remembers. Eli Wallach, who was making his debut here, is quite good; Karl Malden, as the older husband, is mostly just asked to shout. Very obviously a stage play adaptation, and not Elia Kazan's best work by any means, but interesting enough.
 
Blackenstein: There is, honest to god, some good ideas here that could have been developed into a very worthwhile film, from the post-Vietnam link that has our eventual monster accosted for making a sacrifice for an ungrateful nation to a tragically romantic bend that offers up a new perspective on the classic Frankenstein tale, to go with an unconventional approach to the Frankenstein figure in this being a generally good person who is doing good by the people he is helping and a strangely topical villain in the form of a spurned incel messing around with powers he doesn't understand, but the ineptitude of, well, damn near everything on a filmmaking level curtails so much of its potential that even the unintentional humor throughout (of which there is plenty) doesn't take the edge off the wasted efforts made, especially as the ending boasts an unexpected racial charge to it that could have punched above its weight class in the hands of filmmakers not looking to make a quick buck on a trend. It's strange to give any kind of regard that in its opening titles reminds you that the film called Blackenstein is about the Black Frankenstein, but that's the hell of it sometimes: even in the seemingly bottomless muck and mire that a film can cover them in, nuggets of inspiration can rise to the surface to remind one of what could have been.

Shockingly, this is relevant to the research I've been doing for the last of the five weeks I have planned for next month, so go figure!
 

Messofanego

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,049
UK
Late Night is a really funny and socially relevant comedy. The only female late night show host is losing relevance in the current age of trend chasing and outside-studio virality. Delves into sexism, misogyny, #metoo, diversity hires, inclusivity, white privilege, and more. Can't believe Mindy Kaling wrote it, great job. The cinematography is nothing to write home about, very standard for a comedy. It's all about the dialogue and performances delivering. Surprised by the late night cameos like Seth Meyers and Bill Maher. Emma Thompson is brilliant as she navigates work and personal crises with her acerbic personality and technophobia (very much evoking Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada). Never seen the director Nisha Ganatra's other films but this was really funny, so will keep her future films on watch.
 

Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,188
Man, I really should've watched Sunset Boulevard instead of Oogieloves the other day. It doesn't feel nearly as old as it is. The stars really are ageless, aren't they?
 

THEVOID

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,126
Late Night is a really funny and socially relevant comedy. The only female late night show host is losing relevance in the current age of trend chasing and outside-studio virality. Delves into sexism, misogyny, #metoo, diversity hires, inclusivity, white privilege, and more. Can't believe Mindy Kaling wrote it, great job. The cinematography is nothing to write home about, very standard for a comedy. It's all about the dialogue and performances delivering. Surprised by the late night cameos like Seth Meyers and Bill Maher. Emma Thompson is brilliant as she navigates work and personal crises with her acerbic personality and technophobia (very much evoking Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada). Never seen the director Nisha Ganatra's other films but this was really funny, so will keep her future films on watch.
Say this last night and much better then I expected. Good stuff.
 
Sweet Charity (1969): Bob Fosse's directorial debut, interesting as him attempting a more or less conventional musical format; released at the point where the roadshow musical was drowning in its own excess, Sweet Charity is overlong and has more than a few pointless musical numbers that don't contribute much of anything. This could have been edited down to a much tighter film, I think. But all that said, there's quite a few good bits, in particular the performance from Shirley MacLaine as the title character and some of the numbers showing off what would soon become the signature Fosse style (ironically, Fosse's choreography, etc. is generally most evident in the aforementioned less-relevant numbers, such as a totally unnecessary appearance by Sammy Davis Jr. as a cult leader).
 

Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,188
The Heartbreak Kid (1972) is pretty darn good. Grodin is great as a sleazebag who decides he made a mistake and falls for another woman while on his honeymoon and has to figure out how to break it to his wife he wants to leave her for this new person. It hits a lot of the same notes as The Graduate, especially in its ending but it's still its own beast. Elaine May directed it and I'm very glad a woman directed this story, as it could've easily been a far different production with a male director. That's especially evident with the awful remake from 2007 with Ben Stiller. May keeps it grounded and never lets us forget the terrible thing that Grodin is doing.
 
Das Rad: I love it when a film plays with the passage of the time, and the way they handle it here is quite inventive. Two rock monsters find themselves in a rapidly changing environment, only for the story to take a breather as we get to see just how long it takes for them to communicate and move as the glimpses of civilization cross their paths from time to time, effectively portraying just how differently the two walks of life progress. The animation is a bit crude, both for the stop-motion and the use of CG for the background elements, but I kinda dug just how handmade the overall look and feel of the production looks, like some kind of alternate version of a Pee-Wee's Playhouse bumper that ends in the eradication of the human race. Pretty cool stuff!

Mr Hublot: A cute spin on steampunk aesthetics! Robots rule the world, I guess, yet despite the amazing machinery on display (you can tell the animators and artists had fun putting this one together), some of the same human problems persist, like grappling with crippling OCD or feeling sympathy for an abandoned puppy, mechanical or otherwise. The title character is rather emotive for someone that's lacking in most facial features, letting his body language tell most of the story, though it's hard not to fall in love with the puppy and his meticulous machinations, especially once it reaches adulthood and causes all kind of mayhem. It's not a particularly deep film, but what's there is lovingly crafted and it's hard not to smile throughout with just how chipper and bouncy it winds up being.
 

Rhomega

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,047
Arizona
Chicken Little: So here we are in the Second Dark Age of Disney. I'm watching this movie filled with anthropomorphic animals and I can't help but think how much better Zootopia is. This isn't a good Disney movie. This isn't even a good Dreamworks movie. And it's so mean-spirited, even by design. None of the animals see the UFO at the baseball field because none of them can run faster than Chicken Little. Or see over the top of the fence. The art style isn't even that good.
 

patientzero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,796
As a question of curiosity, do you, and if so when, count a rewatch as a pseudo-new watch?

I haven't kept up with film in recent years aside from new releases mostly, but as I try to get back into sorting my Letterboxd account and kind of reflect on things I find it impossible to rate films that don't have an absolute, immediate hold on my brain if I think back to them. This was compounded by trying to create a 31 Days of Halloween list in which a lot of movies are ostensibly rewatches (The Shining, The Others, Poltergeist) but that I may not have seen in a decade or more.

To contrast, my girlfriend and I watched Cabin in the Woods for her birthday yesterday as it's her favorite film and one of the first we saw together. Now that is a clear rewatch to me, one I can easily sort mentally because we probably watch it 1-2 times per year.

I realize this is an entirely academic question; it has no value beyond my own principles. But I'm curious what others think or do.
 

Rhomega

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,047
Arizona
I would count it as a rewatch and give it a review, but I have to remember at least some aspect of it. If I can't remember watching it at all, but other people say I've seen it, I'll count it as a new watch.

Meet the Robinsons: A definite step up from Chicken Little, but still not the quality I expect from Disney. It reminds me of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, featuring a child prodigy who time travels to a retro-futuristic world. The problem is that Lewis is not an interesting character. He's super smart but gets frustrated easily and...that's about it. He wouldn't last 3 minutes in Kerbal Space Program. Now Bowler Hat Guy, he's great because of he has absolutely no idea what he's doing and becomes comically incompetent, while keeping the Snidely Whiplash look. A couple of twists are seen from a mile away. Another problem I have with this and Chicken Little is that these feel like movies for children as opposed to movies for families. A kids' movie teaches clear morals that adults already know about to the point of condescension. A family movie is a movie that an adult can thoroughly enjoy, but the content makes it still accessible to kids.

The bowler hat is a weak villain in that it doesn't really talk, and the problem is wiped away with little effort thanks to the timey-wimey ball. I'm also disappointed that Lewis never meets his mother. Yes, I suppose it ultimately doesn't matter, but that's the big thread Lewis was working in the first place, and the lack of resolution makes it feel empty.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,894
As a question of curiosity, do you, and if so when, count a rewatch as a pseudo-new watch?

I haven't kept up with film in recent years aside from new releases mostly, but as I try to get back into sorting my Letterboxd account and kind of reflect on things I find it impossible to rate films that don't have an absolute, immediate hold on my brain if I think back to them. This was compounded by trying to create a 31 Days of Halloween list in which a lot of movies are ostensibly rewatches (The Shining, The Others, Poltergeist) but that I may not have seen in a decade or more.

To contrast, my girlfriend and I watched Cabin in the Woods for her birthday yesterday as it's her favorite film and one of the first we saw together. Now that is a clear rewatch to me, one I can easily sort mentally because we probably watch it 1-2 times per year.

I realize this is an entirely academic question; it has no value beyond my own principles. But I'm curious what others think or do.
Exceptions aside, movies I saw before I was ~22ish might as well have been seen by a different human.
 
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Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,188
Rubin & Ed (1991) is a very oddball comedy. Maybe one part Pete & Pete, a little bit of Chris Elliot in his Get A Life era, a whole bunch of Crispin Glover weirdness, and the offbeat streak that showed up in Napoleon Dynamite if that one were actually funny and far more cynical. Howard Hesseman plays Ed, a middle aged loser who is suckered into a pyramid scheme run by The Organization and needs to recruit someone else. Rubin is played by Crispin Glover at his weirdest as a shut-in loser who is commanded by his mother to get out of the house and make a friend. He also has a dead cat in his freezer that was his pet that he wants to find a place to give it a perfect burial site. The two end up together out in the desert to bury the cat and they completely hate each other.

It's just bonkers. The tone is wonky in a way that has to be purposeful, the characters seem superficial at first but there is depth to them that appears over the movie, Rubin drinks dead cat water because he's thirsty, but it all works surprisingly well. I wasn't sure how exactly I felt about it while watching it but it's been sticking with me all day. Lines like "My cat can eat a whole watermelon!" and "I am king of the Echo People!" keep popping into my head and making me laugh. It's the genuine kind of quirky indie comedy and won't be to everyone's taste. It's very low budget and most of the movie is our two protagonists in the mostly empty desert but the charm of its weirdness really holds it all together.
 
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Phamit

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,285
IT Chapter 2( 2019): That was a bummer. I really liked the first one, but sequel didn't work for me. It felt repetitiv and was not as good as the first one in almost every way. In particular the theme of dealing with you past didn't work as well as the coming-of-age story in the first one. The movie feels off and not coherent. There are also other problems. Like the movie tells you in the first act that Mike visited some native americans, who showed him the magic to stop IT. I mean really? I don't have a problem with fantastic elements, but that was terrible. . The way IT haunted the "losers" in the first one was much better, it hit harder and seemed much more psychological. In this one it's a bit of the same and not as good. Also Richie's and Stan's parts are problematic, Stan's probably more so than Richie's but I'm not happy with the way both turned out. Richie was already in the first one the kid who weirdly was left out from IT's terror and even with the extra explanation, Richie feels like an afterthought.
 
Oct 25, 2017
254
High Life:
High Life fully revels in the horrors and contradictions of its existentialism. It is concerned with the abyss of space and the abyss of humanity; it is also concerned with the beauty within both of these. We see the convicts aboard the spaceship represent the best and worst of society. This paradox is the crux of what High Life is about. Claire Denis and the rest of the crew have made a slippery film that runs right through your fingers, both thematically and in a narrative sense. It's fairly inscrutable, but the beginning and final scenes -- considered next to each other and juxtaposed with what happens in between -- reveal its thematic hand a bit.

The relationship between Robert Pattinson's Monte and his daughter is the core of the film, and its heartbreaking to watch. As the purpose of the spaceship is revealed, it compounds this heartbreak as we watch Monte care for his daughter. Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, and the rest of the cast are great at playing out the nuances of their characters. I can't imagine it is easy playing such complicated characters. High Life is such a tough movie to talk about because of its abstract nature. Definitely deserving of more thought and consideration.

As a question of curiosity, do you, and if so when, count a rewatch as a pseudo-new watch?

I haven't kept up with film in recent years aside from new releases mostly, but as I try to get back into sorting my Letterboxd account and kind of reflect on things I find it impossible to rate films that don't have an absolute, immediate hold on my brain if I think back to them. This was compounded by trying to create a 31 Days of Halloween list in which a lot of movies are ostensibly rewatches (The Shining, The Others, Poltergeist) but that I may not have seen in a decade or more.

To contrast, my girlfriend and I watched Cabin in the Woods for her birthday yesterday as it's her favorite film and one of the first we saw together. Now that is a clear rewatch to me, one I can easily sort mentally because we probably watch it 1-2 times per year.

I realize this is an entirely academic question; it has no value beyond my own principles. But I'm curious what others think or do.
I definitely don't hesitate to consider something a new watch if I've forgotten pretty much everything that happens in it. There's lots of stuff I've watched when I was a kid/early teenager that I don't really consider since it's been so long and I 1000% wouldn't have the same impressions.
 
Day of the Animals (rewatch): The stretches in which animals are not scheming, the humans aren't dying elaborate deaths or any combination of the two are interminable with such a mediocre cast of way too damn many people (though Leslie Nielsen does his best take on alpha male madness and comes out the other side with enough strength to wrestle a bear himself, likely to fare better than his stunt double did in this), but with the amount of animal wrangling going on, the staging of the attacks themselves and the frankly incredible ways in which each person dies, it's hard not to be entertained by what the film has to offer when they do arrive. The hootin' and the hollerin' are too infrequent by far, but they sure are loud when they do.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
7,319


High Life introduces itself with subtlety and slight. Colours drip as you observe the display between Monte (Pattinson) and his daughter. Shots of the two together are tender and intimate as you’re guided around the space they call home; a crude aesthetic leaving full focus on the interactions between them.

It’s not long before the softly-trod beginning begins to sprint, catapulting you into its grip at a pace befitting a film in which a small crew fly through space at close to the speed of light. Innocence is shed to form a rising unease as once-loose elements shift and connect. Climaxing in a whiplash-inducing duo of contrasting scenes that each leave the stomach turned in their own way. An unexpected yet masterful impact that lands full centre. The exploration of vulnerability is a consistent theme throughout. From innocence and tenderness through violence, isolation, sex and separation the movie rotates the prism on how we can be exposed and threatened.

Coming into the final act with the speed it does does take a moment to adjust to and it feels like it never fully settles back into rhythm. Which is a shame as other shifts in momentum are used to great effect. It’s not enough to distract or stop the ending landing but it’s a deflation from the masterful manoeuvres pulled up until that point. Intercutting does buck this though; not as to be confusing, but to nudge you out of alignment enough to find your own way back.

All in all High Life refuses to kowtow to the traditions of the sci-fi genre and does so with pride. A disregard to what should be in favour of what if, and what better attitude toward space and the exploration of human emotion.

------

TLDR; High Life was great. A powerful dive into vulnerability that delivers at a breakneck pace. Wonderfully shot + Pattinson knocks it out the park.
 
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Osahi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,102
Les Hirondelles de Kaboul (The Swallows of Kabul)

Beautifully animated and heartwrenching portrait of life under Taliban rule anno 1998. It follows a young, progressive couple trying to cope with the restrictions placed on women and the prohibition of art, music and displays of affection. Another plotline follows a prison warden who works for the regime. The story takes it time to set the scene trough small sequences of daily life, that often turn pretty chilling (the opening scene is a great example). Around halfway the movie starts to focus more on a straightforward plot, which on the one hand tells a beautiful story about compassion and humanity, but also becomes a bit predictable towards the end. Because you have figured everything out before the characters do, the final stretch starts dragging a bit. It's only a small annoyance in what is a truly great film though...

Oh, and every frame is a gem.



 

Messofanego

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,049
UK
Les Hirondelles de Kaboul (The Swallows of Kabul)

Beautifully animated and heartwrenching portrait of life under Taliban rule anno 1998. It follows a young, progressive couple trying to cope with the restrictions placed on women and the prohibition of art, music and displays of affection. Another plotline follows a prison warden who works for the regime. The story takes it time to set the scene trough small sequences of daily life, that often turn pretty chilling (the opening scene is a great example). Around halfway the movie starts to focus more on a straightforward plot, which on the one hand tells a beautiful story about compassion and humanity, but also becomes a bit predictable towards the end. Because you have figured everything out before the characters do, the final stretch starts dragging a bit. It's only a small annoyance in what is a truly great film though...

Oh, and every frame is a gem.



This looks awesome. Have you seen The Breadwinner, if so what did you think of it? I loved that.
 
American Gigolo (1980): A Paul Schrader movie about a gigolo being framed for murder should not be this boring.

Escape from New York (1981): This movie's aesthetic has been homaged and pillaged so much by subsequent works that it feels quite familiar by now, but all the same, the execution is still very good. I'm also always amused by dark futures that are now firmly in the past, as with this vision of 1997.
 

Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,188
If I wouldn't have known better, I would've thought Modern Girls (1986) was a parody of 80s fashion and culture. It's such a heightened time capsule of what was going on in the decade that it's fun to watch just for that. Seeing all of the various tribes together clashing together in a sea of people in clubs. I'm also surprised at how much I ended up enjoying this seemingly forgotten movie. It's an 80s teen comedy in the hi-jinks happen in a night out on the town variety but what makes it really stand out is that it focuses on three young women as characters instead of the usual horny boys and the women actually like each other, aren't competing with each other over a man, they aren't infantilized and they actually have agency in their own story! It was so refreshing and astounding to see from an 80s flick. Hell, it's still unfortunately uncommon in modern movies.

It's not the world's funniest movie, but it's a very pleasant watch and there are a few laugh out loud moments. I cracked up when they ended up in the goth club for example. I had a smile on my face for most of the movie though, even when I wasn't always laughing. It's got a kickin' rad soundtrack too, if you're into the sounds of the day. It seems like a pretty obscure movie and it's a little tricky to find but it's worth tracking down.
 

overcast

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,412
Disappointed to read Justin Chang dump on Jojo Rabbit quite a bit. Brings up some of my concern after seeing that last trailer.
Don’t get me wrong. At a moment when anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism and white supremacy are enjoying a hideous global resurgence, I’m hardly opposed to the notion of an accessible, entertaining movie that advances a warm-hearted, child-friendly message of tolerance, humanity and Hitler-dunking. Nor am I against the idea of confronting children with something genuinely dark and audacious, especially given how quick the film industry usually is to infantilize its youngest consumers.
But “Jojo Rabbit” is not that something. Set to open Oct. 18 through an under-new-management Fox Searchlight Pictures, it may fit a Disney executive’s notion of edgy, but its so-called audacity smacks of calculation and emotional cowardice. That’s especially true with regard to the sentimentalized character of Jojo’s mother (Scarlett Johansson), whose every onscreen moment exists only to vacate your tear ducts at movie’s end — right down to a single camera movement that, if I may borrow a few words from Jacques Rivette, deserves nothing but the most profound contempt. I began this piece noting that there are few things more potentially alienating than the sound of an audience’s laughter, but if “Jojo Rabbit” has anything to teach us, it’s that sniffles can be an even greater divider.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,894
Velvet Goldmine

Wildly ambitious, perhaps to a fault as it never really coalesces into a greater whole, but the pieces themselves are so fun that I still liked this quite a bit. As a basic concept, a gender fluid, gay pride, glam rock Citizen Kane sounds like a tough task for anyone to undertake, but Todd directs with such passion for the material and his characters that you can’t help but bask in the sea of empathy on display. Some storylines are muddled and kind of fizzle out, particularly Christian Bale’s personal journey (feels like it should be more important/I like individual moments, but it gets lost amidst Brian’s narrative, which similarly comes to a conceptually interesting but unsatisfying-in-execution conclusion). This ain’t Safe or Carol, but the bumpin music, dynamite cast (Toni Collette is one of the greats, I won’t hear otherwise), and glitter-infused camp aesthetic were enough to win me over for the most part.

Home Sweet Home

Mike Leigh is a magician. How this dude is able to practically put me to sleep with mundanity, then achieve revelation once the film is over is crazy. Wonderful cast, great sense of sadsack humor. Nothing worse than the oppressiveness of everyday life, huh?
 
Cosmos Laundromat: Never before have I wondered about the mechanics of an act made by a cartoon character as much as I have here in the beginning, in which a sheep attempts to commit suicide by hanging. Mind-boggling circumstances aside, this was a rather technologically accomplished short CG film with some dynamite materials rendering, particularly the sheep wool, though as it is very much a test reel, there's really not much to comment upon in terms of story or characters as they're largely unimportant in the grand scheme of things, serving only as a means to show off the next visually dazzling scene. That extends all the way to the ending, or rather the lack of one, as the film ends mid-scene with no follow-up in sight. If it is a incomplete and unsatisfying experience, and it is, at least it looks good doing it.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
7,319


Chaos is order yet undeciphered

Enemy spins a web that traps and binds you as you’re pulled into a spiral of uncertainty, doubt and suspense. Gyllenhaal offers another incredible performance as both Andy and Anthony; two men completely identical in look and intonation whose worlds collide when one decides to try and contact the other. It’s a film that keeps you exactly where it wants you, intimidating and gripping right through to the end.

The film opens with Andy, a history teacher whose life is as mundane and uneventful as the apartment he calls home. Days bleed into one another, work churns, sexual encounters are rushed and fleeting much like the relationship they’re within. One evening while watching a film Andy spots his doppelgänger in Anthony, one of the actors. Unable to handle the resemblance he begins to fixate and obsess over him, investigating places he works and inadvertently having to pass as him when spotted. This escalating obsession culminates in Andy reaching out to Anthony and they agree to meet.

From this point on we’re thrust into chaos. Gyllenhaal moves deftly between the two roles providing a wealth of information through subtle gestures and expressions. Similarly Sarah Gadon — Helen, Anthony’s wife — offers one of the unspoken highlights of the film in a close-up that displays the pain and insecurity of a partner that’s been lied to and cheated on before. It’s an immaculate moment of tenderness.

The wave of tension rises to that of a tsunami as we pry deeper into the life of both men. We start to see just how similar they are and are forced toward the conclusion that these aren’t two men at all, but one man trying to fathom his own fractured personality. The moments Adam spends talking to, and ignoring, his mother are among the most revealing; offering clarity behind initial discrepancies between the two. This is also true for Andy as he puzzles over details his mother remembers about Anthony that are wholly separate to himself.

This realisation fully serves to contextualise moments past. The strongest of which is Helen meeting Andy at the school and subsequent argument with Anthony. Revisiting the scene we see a distraught Helen forced to confront the fact that her husband not only has an entirely different personality that doesn’t recognise her, but leads an entirely separate life.

This builds throughout the film culminating in one of the most unsettling and blunt endings I’ve seen in a long time. In the final moments we see the protagonist, fresh out of an on-screen discussion with Helen, return to query her only to be met with a massive tarantula scuttling back into the corner of the room. All eight eyes staring intently at the camera. The scene comes in like a brick and you’re left as stunned as Adam as you scramble to comprehend what you’ve seen. It’s unnerving and finally commits to the mental collapse that’s been festering the entire film. You see exactly how Adam perceives the women in his life as threats. Impending fatherhood and jealousy, frivolous and non-committal love and an overbearing and controlling mother. It’s the final pulling of the veil, and it’s a shocker.

Enemy is a masterful look into the pain and confusion of a man that’s on the brink of collapse, frantically trying to make sense of the world as it shatters around him.
 
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Bohemian Rhapsody (2018): Formulaic and unconvincing. The discourse around this movie was obviously centered on its portrayal of Mercury, but I have to say, another big weakness, particularly with the climax, is that the other members of Queen are complete non-entities in the story. For the climactic fictionalized reconciliation of the band to matter, the audience would have to believe that Freddie's relationships with them matter (beyond as a vehicle for cranking out hit songs), and I never believed that based on what we were shown. The only relationship that has any weight is Freddie and Mary. But great tunes.
 

ThirstyFly

Member
Oct 28, 2017
373
The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1964) [Mario Bava]
After preparing my list for my 31 Days of Horror Marathon, I always have a ton of movies that I really wanted to see, but just didn't make the cut for whatever reason. This month I'm going to go though a handful of the rejects as a warm-up for October. I'm starting with the original giallo, The Girl Who Knew Too Much - which didn't make the cut because I feared it wasn't horror enough.
I find gialli to typically fit into two categories, thriller types, or slasher types. While Blood and Black Lace is the proto-slasher type, The Girl Who Knew Too Much is clearly the proto-thriller type giallo.
I'm not going to get into the plot too much since it's a mystery movie and you need to watch it unfold, but revolves around a young woman obsessed with mystery novels who just can't help herself getting involved with solving a murder. Played by Letícia Román with a perfect amount of enthusiasm and naivety, she's a fantastic character and it's a delight watching her constantly dig herself deeper into the mystery... and trouble. Rounded out with a colourful cast and an enthusiastic narrator who comically helps sell the whole mystery novel theme really make this a fun watch.
Another fantastic Mario Bava film. Highly recommended.


Evil Eye (1964) [Mario Bava]

Like a lot of Bava's films, The Girl Who Knew Too Much was recut and released under a different title for American audiences with new material. Some scenes and a subplot were removed and new scenes to play up the comedic aspect of the film were inserted. The score was also replaced as well as the narrator being removed entirely.
While not as drastic as the bastardization Lisa and the Devil suffered when it was altered and released as The House of Exorcism, Evil Eye retains most of The Girl Who Knee Too Much's plot, but pretty much every change they made was for the worse.
Still a decent thriller overall, but it's definitely not my preferred version of the film.
 

Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,188
Ralph Bakshi is so frustrating to me. I really appreciate what he attempts for the medium of animation but god damn his movies just don't click with me no matter how hard I try. American Pop (1981) is no exception.

It's undeniably a technical feat and the rotoscoped animation is wonderful to see. The art flows from one era to the next through little vignettes that focus on the sounds of the era, along with the fashion and dances. I really liked this stuff and if this had been a showcase for the art and music without a story, it would've been great.

However, there's a story here and it's dreadful. At its core, this is a coming of age story about America in the 20th century told through its pop music and using one family as the example of its effects on society on generation at a time. We start in the early 1900s with a Jewish Russian immigrant child, watch him grow up, and go through a few more generations of his family. The basis is a good idea, it's just that Bakshi decided to focus on a family of despicable people. The first guy is a mobster, his son is a pianist who goes off to fight in WW2 and I guess he was an alright dude from what little we get of him, and then his son is an awful beat generation teen with a huge chip on his shoulder who becomes a smack addict. He then has a protegee he kind of looks after who becomes our final protagonist.

I hated these people. Hated hated hated them. I didn't want any of them to succeed or see good things happened to them. They all make bad decisions and get what is coming to them. I just could not care about them at all.

It all felt like such a superficial understanding of the eras and music too. Like we don't get any reason for any of these songs existing or how they lead to new genres or influenced other songs. The historical events just kind of happen in the film without really showing any sort of effect from them either, aside from a very surface level kind of thing. World War 1 happens, Zelmie gets shot in the neck and can't sing anymore and he talks oddly now. That's the entire impact of WW1 in this movie. Why make a movie about history if you're not going to do anything with it?!

I guess what really showed me that this movie doesn't really understand why music impacts culture is when they used a glam cover of "Pretty Vacant" originally by The Sex Pistols. Why use such a version? It feels like a backwards way of presenting it. So much of punk being a stripped down reaction to glam in the first place makes it so odd. Then to have the protagonist who is supposed to be a new wave and/or punk coded character perform Bob Seger and Heart songs just made it feel like someone said "Fuck it! It's all 70s music! It's all the same!" without even an attempt of understanding any of it.

It's so frustrating. I love animation and music. This movie should've been for me but there are too many problems for me to enjoy it.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
7,319


"You Can’t Be What You Can’t See" — Marian Wright Edelman

I don’t think my hairs have stood so high for so long before. Homecoming presents an absolutely electrifying show captured in all its awe with raw footage from rehearsals and the trials and tribulations of putting such a gargantuan performance together. Every time you think it’s winding down it ramps back up to punch higher, an absolute explosion of talent all aligned, all together and all killing it.

I can’t imagine being there to bear witness to such a monumental live show, thankfully for us at home Beyoncé has spent time and meticulous care ensuring the moment of a lifetime translates perfectly to screen. Every sound, every footstep, beat, vocal and instrument is there. As it should be when encompassing such a huge range of styles and sounds. The journey you’re taken through is vibrant, constantly shifting and ever audacious.

In addition to the performance itself, Homecoming purposefully shines a light on each artist and the wider mission and goal; a bold celebration of blackness. It’s an inspiring insight into both a woman determined to make a statement as she moves toward being the first black woman to headline Coachella and a culture still struggling to be seen, represented and respected. In this, her performance unequivocally demands it. Unashamedly revelling in the beauty of what black is, what it looks like, what it sounds like and what it means. The confidence, the swagger, the absolutely enthralling choreography, the relationship between Beyoncé and everyone else on the stage.. everything is captivating.

It’s infectious and impossible to resist, especially when Hov comes on stage and you see the respect and admiration emanate off of him. Combined with the personal insights that the documentary is cut with and you’re left to appreciate not only the glory, but also the love, dedication, hardship and strife that comes with such a performance hot off the heels of pregnancy and childbirth.

Beyoncé is home, and everyone should be looking.
 
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The Chicken: There's a remarkable amount of innocence present in the story, all about a young girl on her birthday who, upon realizing just what the chicken her father sent to her family is meant for, winds up making the seemingly harmless gesture to free it from its fate. It comes from such a genuine place of naiveté that you want very hard to ignore the reality of the situation surrounding this sweet birthday adventure, as it becomes clear early on that we're being transported back in time over 25 years ago to the Bosnian War, with the distant sounds of conflict making up much of the film's sound design and the clear state of disrepair that the apartment building that our family lives in is due to the fighting getting too close for comfort. It culminates in a white-knuckle dynamo of a sequence that establishes just how close the danger is at all times, shot from an almost too horrifying perspective that leaves a considerable impression. From there, our tale takes on a coming-of-age affectation of a most bittersweet variety, finding myself quite pleased with how adept the filmmakers were in blending seemingly disparate elements into a very cohesive if sobering story of having to find peace with the happy endings that you're allowed in such tumultuous circumstances. This is well-told story for the 15 minutes it runs, ending right where it needed to for quite the potent effect.
 

Blue Skies

Member
Mar 27, 2019
3,175
I forget this is a thread

Heat (1995)
A great film that has about 20 minutes of extra family drama that is totally unnecessary. Reallllly needs to be trimmed down a bit. Waingro is still one despicable motherfucker. The movie has so many amazing memorable scenes, from pacinos crew getting made at the diamond heist, to when that same crew gets fucked with at the docks, I loved the cat and mouse game. Maybe the best heist movie out there. Inside man a close second. Also, the lady from “The Leftovers” is in this!
 

thediamondage

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,302
Anna 2019
Just saw this tonight, I really enjoyed it. Set in the 1985-1990 period, a beautiful young russian girl is recruited to be an assassin/spy. Yeah, its basically Red Sparrow but this time by Luc Besson. I thought it was much better than Red Sparrow (Jennifer Lawrence) but not as good as Atomic Blonde. Its a bit goofy at times, a bit unbelievable, VERY anachronistic especially with cell phones, laptops, surveillancde, and hell even the USSR (by 1990 it was pretty much over) but the main actress was fantastic and really scary. It had Cillian Murphy and Helen Mirren and Luke Evans along for the ride but Sasha Luss steals the show. Its pretty action-tropey, like 110 lb women defeating dozens of armed men armed only with a shoe but hey, if John Wick can do it why can't Anna.
 

lazybones18

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,508
Brittany Runs A Marathon

This was a pretty decent movie. I wasn't a big fan of the last 20-30 mins, but I put that on the behavior of the titular character. All she had to was take the goddamn money and not be stubborn as fuck. Could have saved us a lot of time.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,894
Closing in on the Deadwood movie and this exchange late in Season 3 killed me.

Hugo Jarry:
Perhaps then, rather, at this moment—having had in fact no connection to the regrettable incident involving Mrs. Ellsworth—you are Socrates to my Alcibiades, taking it upon yourself to edify me?

George Hearst:
Are you saying you want to fuck me?

Hugo Jarry:
[confused] What?

George Hearst:
Well, you keep calling yourself Alcibiades to my Socrates. Are you proposing some sort of a homosexual connection between us?

Hugo Jarry:
I'd forgot that part of the story.
 

Osahi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,102
Parasite

Believe the hype. This is an amazing movie that's impossible to fit in one genre. It's part dark comedy (and hilariously so), tense thriller and social drama, and up until the end the screenplay keeps you guessing at what turn the story will take next. Despite the twists and hard left turns, nothing feels out of place or unearned, as all always perfectly comes together. It's also brilliantly acted and beautifully shot. The only negative I can think of is the runtime, which feels a tad too long. It's mostly due to the pacing in the final stretch, where the climax is followed by a coda that, albeit beautifull and poetic, feels a bit to long.
 
Oct 14, 2018
21


Parasite (2019) - Saw this last night, still can't decide whether it's the masterpiece that everyone is claiming it is, or just a really really good film. Regardless, this is a movie that does a whole lot of things right. The movie starts off a tad slow, but once the plot reveals itself the pacing is phenomenal until the end. The acting is superb, the dialogue is quick and engaging, and the movie has enough twists and turns to justify it's 131 minute runtime. I think it's best to go in with knowing as little as possible, so I'll leave it at that.

Overall: 4/5
 
A Grand Night In: The Story of Aardman: Is there a more likable producer of films out there than Aardman? Not that you needed much more convincing on that argument, but the many celebrity admirers/voice talent they managed to wrangle up for this hour-long appreciation on the history of the company sure do their best to bathe you in the pleasantries regarding their experiences watching and even participating on their films, from the very start with Morph, all the way through their then-most recent features. Truthfully, it's not a particularly insightful film in terms of observing the process of them making their films, beyond the anecdotes that Nick Park and Peter Lord give about the work on their earlier projects, but it's hard not to feel cozy and energized to see even the most familiar of clips playing from each of their wonderful films over the years. If this stands accused as being a hagiography than a proper documentary, it's hard to imagine a company that deserves one more for being such a beacon of excellence for as long as they have.
 

Window

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,600
Closing in on the Deadwood movie and this exchange late in Season 3 killed me.

Hugo Jarry:
Perhaps then, rather, at this moment—having had in fact no connection to the regrettable incident involving Mrs. Ellsworth—you are Socrates to my Alcibiades, taking it upon yourself to edify me?

George Hearst:
Are you saying you want to fuck me?

Hugo Jarry:
[confused] What?

George Hearst:
Well, you keep calling yourself Alcibiades to my Socrates. Are you proposing some sort of a homosexual connection between us?

Hugo Jarry:
I'd forgot that part of the story.
Lol he was hilarious. Even Wolcott took time to make fun of him.

I should get to the movie sometime. Love the series.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
7,319
One thing's for sure, Raw isn't afraid to go places. An unsettling yet beautifully-shot film full of finger-biting moments that twist and turn as you descend into its madness. Though it struggles to match the pace it sets in the opening hour Raw is still something that will keep you between its teeth long after the credits roll.
 

Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,188
The Kid Who Would Be King ain't half bad. It's nothing amazing but it's a fun watch. I'm sure it'd be even more so if you have kids. It's too long for sure but the monster designs are really neat. It's not what I expected as the director's follow-up for Attack The Block but it's still good in its own way.
 

Static_Void

Member
Oct 30, 2018
3,053
north of the Dreamlands
What happens when Jim Jarmusch and other well known celebrities want to have a bit if fun? The Dead Don’t Die, that’s what happens!

What a thoroughly entertaining and fun movie! It’s probably far from Jarmusch’s best work (I still can’t quite get over the genius of Only Lovers Left Alive), but it’s definitely a lot of fun. It’s still very much a Jim Jarmusch movie, though, especially as it goes on. Even if he’s not necessarily known for the comedy-horror genre. So YMMV if his style is not something you usually like.