Last movie you watched

  • I wouldn't be so sure. Life changes in unexpected manners and it doesn't bode well for us to grasp too much to old concepts.

  • I've been working from home for a while now (well before the pandemic started), but recently my job has become increasingly mindless so I've gotten in the habit of throwing a movie on in the background while I work. Oddly, this has made me more productive than I was before, since I don't take as many breaks to snack, wander around the house, go to the bathroom, etc. Anyway, here's a quick roundup on the movies I've been watching.

    One of many movies that I had seen in bits and pieces many times, but never all the way through. This movie is as good as its reputation. Great performances and direction, but I think one thing that people often forget is how tight this movie is. Scorcese might be notorious for his bloated epics these days, but this movie clocks in at a speedy 2.5 hrs. I say speedy because I was so wrapped up in the rise and fall of Henry Hill that I legitimately did not even notice how quickly time was passing. God, this movie is good. A

    What We Do in the Shadows
    Another movie I'd seen in bits in pieces, this is one that I think might be better served by the "clip" format. There are some great bits in here, but overall the narrative through-line didn't keep me as invested as the other great Mockumentaries. That said, the comic timing of the entire cast is pretty damn perfect, and it's still absolutely worth a watch if you haven't seen it yet. B+

    The Usual Suspects
    Here's a hottake for you: this is a fine movie that is made worse by its widely-revered ending. Spoilers for why:

    The whole crux of the ending is that Kevin Spacey is making everything up, and it's supposed to be some great demonstration of his intellect and ability to use the environment to fabricate a story. The problem? It completely de-legitimizes everything you've seen before. It's a twist that exists only for the surprise, but makes rewatches completely pointless because you know that none of it is real. Kobayashi showing up in the car at the end only serves to make things more frustrating - why is he real, but nothing else is? Or are bits and pieces real, and we're just not privy to that information? Whereas The Sixth Sense's gobsmacking ending opens up future rewatches for closer examination, The Usual Suspects just makes the narrative an exercise in tolerating a sub-par noire-like told by a filmmaker and character that thinks he's smarter than he really is.

    My Hero Academia: Two Heroes
    Honestly don't think this is worth commenting on - movies based on anime movies are typically pretty dumb and mess with the mythology of the world, and this one is no different. It killed an afternoon (watched it on a rainy weekend) and kept me entertained well enough. Bonus points for pretty animation C+

    Really beautiful movie filled with great performances and a mesmerizing sense of tone and pace. The movie deserves all of the praise it got for telling the story of the life of closeted gay man from such a unique and harrowing perspective, and it serves to highlight how the system fails the most vulnerable members of American society. That said, I didn't really connect with this movie the way so many others did. I can tell that it's quality, but for some reason it didn't resonate with me on a deeper emotional level like I was hoping it would. That's not an indictment of its quality, it's just something that kept me from loving it in the way that I expected to. A-

    While technically not terribly impressive and fairly formulaic as a "JOURNALISM" movie, there's no denying how powerful this story is and how strong the performances are throughout. While Mark Ruffalo gets a lot of praise for his grandstanding moment near the end, Liev Schrieber, Michael Keaton, and especially Rachel McAdams deserve just as much praise for their subtle performances of professionals just trying to keep it together for the sake of their jobs. There's a scene in the middle where Rachel McAdams goes around trying to interview victims and priests that is worth a watch of the movie in and of itself. Just don't expect to feel good after you're done. B+

    All the President's Men
    Watching this so close to watching Spotlight probably unfairly colored my viewing of this movie. There's a reason this movie is so beloved - the acting is superb, the script is tight, the cinematography is iconic. That said, the storytelling is definitely dated. Characters jump jarringly from place to place, the plot moves forward in bits and pieces, and the main moments aren't given enough time to land or breathe. This is most jarring at the end, when the movie seems to be building towards its main climax and then... text on a typewriter, fade to credits. Compare that to the emotional wallop of Spotlight, and it definitely feels like a bit of a letdown. Still an incredibly influential movie that's worth watching B

    I, Tonya
    I have no idea what the general reception is to this movie, but somehow I feel like it's underrated. Maybe it just hit me at the right time and the right place, maybe it's because I also come from a subjective and performative sport (diving), but I absolutely loved this movie. It definitely owes a lot to Scorcese, and at times it almost feels derivative, but it's made all the better for it in my opinion. The performances are both outsized and entirely appropriate, with Paul Walter Hauser standing out in particular as just an ace interpretation of Shawn Eckhardt. For the most part I think it does a good job at toeing the line between fact and fiction, but there were points when I felt like they went overboard with their interpretation of LaVona Harding; she was already an abusive mother, you don't need to make up much extra to make her that much more evil. Still can't help but love Janney, though. She's a pro. A-

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower
    This is a strange movie. Purportedly taking place in a high school in the 90s, the characters are almost entirely unbelievable as both teenagers and just plain old human beings. Overly precocious and precious, the movie somehow wants me to believe that high schoolers in the 90s would regularly put on and participate in full Rocky Horror performances, wax poetic about how the music from the old days was better, and then somehow not be able to identify "Heroes" by David Bowie. The performances are all over the place - Lerman goes from turning in one of the most overly precious performances in the movie to one of the most raw and realistic depictions of a mental breakdown I've ever seen. Ezra Miller is consistent and does the best job he can with an overly theatrical and temperamental character. Emma Watson does her best in a performance that I would call "definitely not a British teenager besides the fact that I just unironically said 'shag' and the director didn't make me redo the take." The most bizarre character is easily Mae Whitman, who plays a buddhist punk senior that gets straight As, a nearly perfect SAT score, is extremely world-weary, and... immediately thinks someone is her boyfriend after she kisses them? What?? Still, for as bizarre and unreal as the setting and characters are in this movie, it contains some of the most intense and realistic portrayals of anxiety and depression that I've ever seen, especially as they pertain to trauma and abuse. These themes are scattered throughout the movie, but come to fruition in a last act that made me go from wondering why people like this movie so much to wondering if this is one of the better teen movies in the last decade. I think it will definitely be triggering for some viewers (check out a wiki summary if you're not sure if this will be too difficult a watch), but if you're curious, you'll be treated to a fascinating exploration of mental illness that just happens to be trapped in a bizarro 90s version of a John Hughes movie that just happened to be made in 2012. B

  • @naltmank I, Tonya is excellent! I agree that it's underrated.

  • The Hateful Eight

    I like Tarantino's dialogues and style. If you like it too, you should check out this one. Movie goes like calm before the storm but even ''calm'' part is still nice and not boring. There is suspenseful vibe that's going on nearly from the start. Performances are also strong, especially Jennifer Jason Leigh and Samuel L. Jackson shine.

  • Knives Out

    It was a good Whodunit. I really like this genre in every medium and I was satisfied thankfully. The best part of the movie was, it always keeps the suspense even until the last minute. Meta talk throughout the story was nice. My only complains are I thought climax could be a little bit more complicated and surprising but what we got was good enough nonetheless. Also some side characters could be more fleshed out maybe. Finally

    confession of the murderer was a good addition to the ending of the climax and the last shot was nice and put a smile on my face.

    I am looking forward to this detective's adventures and Rian, do your own thing with your own movies without meddling with established franchises.

  • I rewatched The Matrix trilogy. I think that the first movie holds better in both action scenes and plot. However, all of them are entertaining, with plenty of iconic visual moments. I also finally understood the overarching narrative of the three movies, except one part:

    in the second movie, when Neo is talking with the creator of the universe in the TV lounge, did the latter mean that the real world was also an artificial construct in which to hold the human conscience? That was my interpretation, and it justifies why Neo can use his powers outside the Matrix. However, I didn't see any of the characters acknowledge the implications from the fact that Neo's powers and the Smith virus program have transposed the Matrix barrier to the real world.

  • Banned

    @irongrey said in Last movie you watched:

    I wouldn't be so sure. Life changes in unexpected manners and it doesn't bode well for us to grasp too much to old concepts.

    I'll stick with the old concept until it's gone. Netflix and Vudu always look crappy on my high speed 90 Mbps connection. Disney Plus is the only one that looks good (although, not as good as the disc). Makes me wonder if Comcast is throttling Netflix.

    I feel like these companies would come together and create one streaming service if they really cared about making money off all their titles. There are probably a lot of people, myself included, who might be interested in streaming if the market wasn't so segmented. Netflix almost never has the title I'm looking for. There are so many movies that just aren't available on the major services, ones they could be making money off. I know from speaking with and listening to people and browsing forums that most subscribers won't even watch something if it's not available on Netflix, Hulu or Disney Plus, but I bet they do still wish their first choices for streaming had more offerings. Paying for multiple subscriptions a month in order to access only some of cinema seems so self-defeating when I could just buy the movies I want and never have to worry about the licenses running out. It's only gonna get worse as more studios try to get a piece of the pie and take their licenses to their own services. I expect more Disney Plus scenarios in the future. I also don't have to wonder if a movie is supposed to look better on my connection (though, most of the time, it's obvious to me that it should look better). Better sound too.

    Some people think it's so strange that I collect movies on disc, which makes me think a lot of them have just ditched physical media because it's the norm. They probably think ditching physical media future-proofs them, but I bet I'll still be able to play almost all my licenses long before their services of choice lose them. Factory-printed Blu-ray discs have very long shelf-lives. Besides, I can back up my discs. Eventually, I'll get a UHD capable drive, like the LG WH16NS60, and rip those discs into MKVs too. I can make space in my apartment. Space is not worth so much to me that I'd surrender to all the drawbacks of streaming.

    Netflix DVD really helps too. They have a far more expansive collection than the three major streaming services combined, because by law a library can rent out any movie or book they want. There's no licensing issue. Sadly, because most people have switched to streaming, there are only about thirteen Netflix shipping centers left in the country. I used to be able to rent six discs a week. Not anymore. Also, some titles that used to be available on Blu-ray are now only available on DVD. I'll likely keep subscribing until the service is gone.

    The studios don't want you to have any ownership, which makes me even more resistant to give up discs.

  • Tigertail
    First impression: this movie is gorgeous. Yang really breathes life into his settings, allowing you feel the vastness of the countryside and the grime of the factories. The central performance from Tzi Ma is fairly strong, but one of the pitfalls of having a movie so singularly focused on such a reserved protagonist is that the movie as a whole never quite manages to reach the emotional catharsis that it's so desperately searching for. It's also a rare movie that I feel is too short, and would have benefitted from an extra 30 minutes or so to flesh out some of the supporting characters and relationships, with Christine Ko's character in particular getting short shrift. Still, this is a movie that I feel is important to watch, and portrays the Asian-American experience in a way that I feel few others have. Even if you are not the child of immigrants, you likely know someone who is, and this captures the immigrant story in a way that is both honest and disheartening. It shows how the little sacrifices are just as important as the big ones, and that in the end you may not even realize what you've lost until it's too late. B-

  • I just saw The Brood for the first time, and I hated it! I truly can't remember the last time a film has made me feel as gross as this one has. It's so bleak and hopeless, and it says absolutely nothing. Damn you Cronenberg!

  • Banned

    I liked The Brood. Found it entertaining body horror with a pretty decent story.

    What I've watched since I last posted:

    Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors - 1965, Soviet Union, Sergei Parajanov, DVD, 6/10
    Elevator to the Gallows - 1958, France, Louis Malle, 2006 Criterion Collection DVD, 8/10
    Madonna: Sticky & Sweet Tour - 2010, Blu-ray, first rewatch, 7/10
    Speed - 1994, Jan de Bont, rewatch, 2006 Blu-ray, 8/10
    -Was waiting for the inevitable 4K release before I rewatched this after like fifteen years, but it looks like that's never gonna happen now. Thanks, Disney, for sitting on all those Fox titles you bought. Find it so weird that it's rated so high by critics and so low by audiences. Such a well done action movie.
    Never Again - 2001, Eric Schaeffer, DVD, 6/10
    Janet: The Pleasure Principle (Music video from "Janet Jackson: Design of a Decade" DVD, rewatch)
    Janet: Black Cat (Music video from "Janet Jackson: Design of a Decade" DVD, rewatch)
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - 2019, Quentin Tarantino, Blu-ray, 7/10
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail - 1975, UK, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, first rewatch, 2015 Blu-ray, 7/10
    Wild Strawberries - 1957, Sweden, "Ingmar Bergman's Cinema" Blu-ray boxset, first rewatch, 9/10
    Titanic - 1997, James Cameron, rewatch, 2012 Blu-ray, 8/10
    Anastasia - 1997, animation, Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, 2015 Blu-ray, first rewatch, 7/10
    The Red Shoes - 1948, UK, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Criterion Collection DVD, 8/10
    ~2019-11-22 to 2020-4-13
    TV: The X-Files seasons 1 to 3 (rewatch) from the "Complete Series" Blu-ray boxset
    -Started season 4 same day
    Amour - 2012, France, Michael Haneke, 2013 Blu-ray, 9/10
    Michael Jackson - Live at Wembley, July 16, 1988 ("Bad" tour) DVD, 8/10
    -Great concert, mediocre filming and cameras.
    True Lies - 1994, James Cameron, rewatch, DVD, 7/10
    True Romance - 1993, Tony Scott, DVD, 7/10
    The Dead Pool - 1988, Buddy Van Horn, 2010 Blu-ray from the Dirty Harry collection, 6/10
    Witness - 1985, Peter Weir, DVD, 8/10
    Frenzy - 1972, UK, Alfred Hitchcock, DVD, 8/10
    Madonna: The Girlie Show: Live Down Under - 1993, DVD, first rewatch, 7/10
    -Blond Ambition Tour > Drowned World Tour > Who's That Girl Tour > The Girlie Show World Tour > Confessions Tour > Sticky & Sweet Tour
    Wicked City - 1987, Japan, animation, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, third rewatch since 2009-07-22, 2019 BD, 7/10
    Nights of Cabiria - 1957, Italy, Federico Fellini, second rewatch, 2020 UK "Vintage World Cinema" Blu-ray, 10/10
    -Formerly Out of print Criterion DVD, now the best looking Fellini movie.
    Roman Holiday - 1953, William Wyler, DVD, 8/10
    The Great Silence - 1968, Italy, Sergio Corbucci, western, DVD, 8/10
    -Sergio Corbucci western with actor Klaus Kinski, music by Ennio Morricone and lots and lots of snow. Entertaining. The ending took me by surprise. It was a DVD rental, but I will eventually be getting the Blu-ray. I watched it in Italian. May try the English dub next time, since both versions are dubbed anyway.
    The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum - 1939, Japan, Kenji Mizoguchi, 2016 Criterion Blu-ray, 7/10
    The Evil Dead - 1981, Sam Raimi, 2018 UHD, first rewatch, 7/10

  • Due to quarantine, I finally got around to watching John Wick 2.

    Not as good as John Wick 1 IMO, but still pretty good.

  • @crepe I agree with you, but I think it's not a popular opinion.

  • I finally watched Midsomer after hearing so much about it. That my friends is how you do horror. Amazing movie.

  • Tried to watch An Elephant Sitting Still the other day.. I was just finding it way too slow even during the first hour and didn't think I'd make it through another 3. I'll give it another shot though. Maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind for it

  • @faaip That's a fantastic film, but it's very bleak and novelistic. I'm not sure how well it would play at home, especially since the entire look of the film is built with hazy midtones---exactly the sort of thing a lower bitrate would ruin. But the story really builds on itself well. I found it extraordinarily moving. Shame about the director, he could have had an incredible career.

  • @tokyoslim Haha, interesting. I enjoyed the narrative structure in the first and the action scenes more.

  • @faaip

    I don't know about the movie but maybe you can try it like a mini-series. 1 hour per day maybe?

  • @ringedwithtile Yeah man I'm definitely gonna give it another try.. I've been looking forward to it for awhile

    @Scotty I was actually thinking that haha. At least do it in two sessions

  • @ezekiel said in Last movie you watched:

    What I've watched since I last posted:

    Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors - 1965, Soviet Union, Sergei Parajanov, DVD, 6/10

    Cool to find someone else who's seen this! ^_^

    I wouldn't call it a great film, but I like seeing these kind of down-to-earth, slices of old Slavic life. I recommend, in kind of a similar vein, Quiet Flows The Don (1957).

  • Lu Over the Wall
    Premise: a depressed middle schooler's life changes when he meets a mermaid that helps him reconnect with the world through their shared love of music. While the plot is simple and suffers from some scattershot storytelling, there's a surprising amount of thematic depth that, paired with Yuasa's signature animation style, makes this absolutely worth the watch. This movie would actually make a great double-feature with Yuasa's version of Devilman Crybaby. Lots of similar themes, especially in regards to how quickly humanity gives in to judgment and prejudice, but whereas Devilman is nihilistic and bleak, Lu focuses instead on the beauty in tearing down those walls, and the joy that comes with it. I'm always hesitant when movies/shows harp on the "Power of Music" because I rarely think that the music is of high enough quality to warrant such a message (highly subjective, of course, but I think shows like Carole and Tuesday fall hard into this trap). That said, this movie sidesteps that issue by focusing not on the importance of "One Song to Save the World," but rather the basic humanity and emotion that comes with the art form. Does it teeter into the realm of sentimentality? Absolutely, but it works because the emotion behind it is pure and beautiful. Either that or I'm just a sucker. B+