Last movie you watched
I've had a good week
Witnesses tell their tales of a man's murder, but their stories don't quite add up. This one has been on my list of shame for a while now and honestly... it didn't really land for me. I can appreciate how innovative it was from a storytelling perspective, but ultimately this is just a parable set in Japan. It probably doesn't help that the style of acting Kurosawa likes really turns me off. Idk. I think this is one of those "objectively good" movies that just isn't for me. B-
A story of love, sex, and the best goddamn bowl of ramen you'll ever eat. This is a movie that announces itself early and then never lets up - from the food porn to the porn with food, I don't think there was a single moment here where I didn't have a massive smile on my face. While I have heard some arguments that it's a bit scattershot, I think that it ultimately works in the movie's favor. It explores humanity and relationships through a lens I've never seen before - and food is central to all of it. It's simply perfect. A
A man dies on the eve of his big break and must guide a wayward soul if he hopes to fulfill his purpose. I think I'm in the minority here, but I think this movie is the most "fine" movie I've ever seen. The animation and music are incredible, but outside of that there's really not much substance here. The script is mostly just exposition and tepid jokes, the characters are largely unlikeable, and the overall story structure is oddly shallow for such a high concept premise. I do like the message and the themes of the film, but the big "Pixar moment" at the end just kind of fell flat for me because I didn't think the characters had truly earned their realizations. Again, I'm in the minority here, but I really was hoping to like this one more than I did. C+
Honestly, fuck this movie. Incoherent, ugly, and bloated. I don't know what the hell they were thinking with this one. The only saving grace here is Chris Pine's effortless charm. Diana deserves better. D
I don't even want to try and do a one sentence summary for this one. Tenet falls into the classic Nolan trap of thinking that convoluted = complex. The central conceit here really isn't as complicated as Nolan (or others) would like you to think it is, but they just keep adding on rules and terminology that just serve to muddy the waters more than they need to. It probably doesn't help that this movie is unwatchable without subtitles (I tried both). I will say that the action and visuals are surprisingly good, and it seems like Nolan has finally learned how to direct hand-to-hand fight scenes. I think if you go in and just turn your brain off you'll probably have a good enough time. I was just frustrated by how clever it thought it was. B-
A woman runs from an abusive relationship, starting a tangled web of blood and deception. I'm a big Coen's fan and am pretty ashamed it's taken me this long to see their debut feature. In many ways it's the antithesis to Tenet: a perfectly simple and straightforward story executed to perfection. It does suffer from some "first film-isms" and isn't particularly subtle, but I think that almost works in its favor. It's just a fun noir thriller. Nothing more, nothing less. A-
An unhappy woman gets sent a novel from her ex-husband, causing her to ponder her life and her relationships. I still can't tell if I hated this movie or not. It's visually luscious with strong performances, but it feels like a high schooler's idea of a dark and gritty story, practically bashing you in the face with its heavy-handed symbolism. Amy Adams makes the most with what she has, but the script here is just terrible. This is just a bummer of a movie, in more ways than one. C-
The Funeral (1984)
The sudden death of a patriarch brings family and friends together for their very first funeral. I think Itami just has my number. This is a frequently hilarious satire on Japanese culture that never loses sight of its heart and warmth.... except for one pointless 15 minute subplot in the middle. That one blemish is actually quite frustrating to me, because otherwise I think this is one of the best movies I've ever seen. It was almost uncomfortably familiar, from the kids fighting during the sutra to the awkward shuffling in and out of unknown formalities, this is a movie that feels lived in more than any other I've seen before. It's brilliant and beautiful in a way that I'm having trouble articulating without giving away every scene of the movie. I truly, truly loved this movie... I just wish they did away with that one, terrible subplot. A-
What is everyone's "Must Watch" list of 2020?
Other than the emails I get from Hot Doc's Festival, I'm suuuuper outta the loop this year. Here is a list I've collected from The Ringer and AV Club, but obviously I'd rather hear some "human" takes rather than pundit takes. I'm gonna start collecting them and watch over the next few months. Still low key catching up on my 2019 list but that's neither here nor there, The Bachelorette doesn't watch itself...
Sound Of Metal
PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE
NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Dick Johnson Is Dead
Small Axe anthology
The Vast of Night
Any others from 2020 that you recommend I watch? I'm totally content with skipping Tenet fyi.
@dipset I'm SO behind on 2020 movies. I think the lack of being able to go to movie theaters really sapped a lot of my hype to see different things, where previously I would go once a week with a subscription.
I think for me, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Soul and Small Axe Anthology are what I'm looking forward to most off of your list, but I'm just less familiar with the releases of 2020, so there could be a lot of really good stuff in there I'm neglecting.
Just rewatched the extended cut of Straight Outta Compton over the last couple days (did half each night because it runs around three hours). Still timely and a great portrait of the crew. It still feels especially effective too given the racial injustices and Black Lives Matter movement that have increased in visibility over the last several years. I especially love the performance of O'Shea Jackson Jr. Being Ice Cube's actual son really gave the role a powerfully realistic presence, especially during the musical performances.
While the movie does cover a lot of ground over the three hour runtime, it can also be a little vague and scattered sometimes too. The ending is especially brief and rushed, and feels weird in tone by comparison to the rest of the movie as a conclusion. Still an underappreciated movie in my book. Got snubbed at all the awards at the time, but I sort of hope that over time it will get more attention.
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@dipset I really liked the new Tsai Ming-Liang film 'Days', but I think you have to go into it understanding how ascetic and personal his films are. I also dug Spike Lee's latest Da 5 Bloods.
From what I've seen on your list, Martin Eden is my favourite, though I saw it in 2019. Really bizarre and beautiful stuff.
I guess I should mention that I left a few off this list that I've already seen, but generally, most of what I have already seen wasn't on most "Top 10" lists.
I also enjoyed Da 5 Bloods.
A struggling writer is dismayed to learn his lover has returned home from Africa with a mysterious new friend. I feel to say much more would be to do future watchers a disservice. There's a reason this film made some many "best of" lists when it came out in 2018 - this is a gorgeously shot, deep, and scintillating slow burn thriller filled with incredible performances and rich subtext. Few movies leave me thinking like this for so long after I've watched it, turning key moments over and over in my head. However, I feel like I missed out on a fair bit of subtext due to my lack of familiarity with Korean culture; talking with my friend after the fact helped fill in some gaps, but this film oozes symbolism in a way that I haven't seen in a while. I don't mean that other movies aren't riddled with symbolism, either - I mean that this movie layers its meanings in subtly without belaboring its point ever. You either get it or you don't, and unfortunately I felt that there was a fair bit that I didn't. Additionally, the movie (very intentionally) left me feeling empty in a way that I wasn't fully comfortable with. Don't go in here expecting any sort of cathartic release. Again, that's not really a fault of the movie, but it did leave me feeling a bit disappointed by the end. That said, I think if you can dedicate 2.5 hrs to a perhaps emotionally unfulfilling movie, you'll be treated what is easily one of the most beautiful movies I've seen in recent years. A-
@naltmank It's one of my favorites of recent years. A friend and i went to see it, and argued pretty vehemently afterwards in the parking lot of the theater about whether "he did it" or not. lol
@tokyoslim ...There's an argument to be had about that?
I'm copying others and switching my rating "system" to letter grades instead of numbers.
The Vast of Night
The two main characters are radio broadcasters, a DJ and a Switcher, and I felt like I was back in Media Technical Theory lectures from my first year of university watching this movie. It's mainly because of the old timely (1940s-ish) equipment they use throughout.
Basically, it's a sci-fi thriller dressed up as an old Twilight Zone TV special. You know exactly what's going on in this movie, but regardless of the obvious, I was just as scared and confused as the characters were.
Just goes to show that you can take a suuuuuper common film trope and make it suspenseful with good writing, good acting, and some film making techniques. You don't always have to push the envelope to keep people gripped.
@naltmank Well yeah,
she might still be alive.
@tokyoslim eeeeh, I guess, but I'd also argue
It doesn't matter.
@naltmank I mean, it sort of changes the tone of the third act for me depending on how you read it. Like, is it a tragedy or a revenge? That, in context may be nitpicky. Or it could be both. I just thought that two people watching the movie had such clearly opposing assumptions of what the catalyst for the finale was.
Dick Johnson Is Dead
This is a documentary about a filmmaker exploring the reality of losing her extremely dear father, Dick Johnson. It’s one of the most honest looks into the inevitability of someone’s demise since Herzog’s “Into The Abyss”. About 80% through the movie, Dick Johnson finally admits something he’s been feeling in his heart...
that he is a burden to his daughter and family...
but the movie has so much unedited reaction from Dick, that you saw it in his eyes long before he breaks down.
I truly think this is one of the best looks into the slow painful process of losing a loved one that I am aware of.
And the timing couldn’t be anymore perfect. We have lived through 2020 and we’ve heard the nonsense babbled out of people’s mouths about Covid only killing “less than 1%” of the population, or outrageous babble like “it’s only killing old people.” And when I hear these things, I’m disgusted by the idea that people commonly just accept the elderly as useless, unintelligent, and unimportant people. I think it goes without saying that people who think (and act) this way are entirely wrong, but the movie inadvertently celebrates the life of elderly people and shines a light on how meaningful they are to so many people.
I wholeheartedly think you should watch this movie right now in this current climate where we dismiss the lives of elderly people as “less than 1% of deaths” and just see the life of Dick Johnson, who he is, who he was, why he’s loved, and why his life is so meaningful to his daughter.
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Yes, God, Yes can be best summed up as like Lady Bird but. You take a young catholic woman and make her a sexual deviant that attempts to slither through the strict confines of Catholicism so she can become her own woman instead of one bound by the Catholic beliefs of how god would react if she pursued her audacious sexual desires. Inoffensive and enjoyable but with nothing new to say, showing that once again religious indoctrination is controlling and that young people should be liberated and choose their path in life rather than being prescribed a path to follow like some robot. This one deserves a half eaten rosary out of two.
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Contratiempo(The Invisible Guest)
Spanish thrillers are really good and this one is no exception. It was my second viewing in short period but I still enjoyed it. You just go with the flow and try to guess the answers but most of the time you are wrong which is great. :DDD It was the second movie that I watched from the same director and I'm planning to watch the other works of him both movei and series.
Note: Don't look anything before watching it for to get max enjoyment out of it.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
It was the only SW movie that I haven't watch. Glad that I did but at the same time I wouldn't miss anything if the situation were the same as before.
My main problem is the running time which is too long for the movie. It could get more benefit from cutting it shorter than it is. Also main guy who plays the Han is not someone special, he is not irritating but not so likeable neither(I don't like Harrison Ford too in the role and I think character should be played by someone else), Emilia Clarke looks old for him too. Another one is Lando performance of Donald Glover which I saw people praised too much, he is good but nothing to cheer for. Paul Bettany was wasted and it would be nice to see more of Thandie Newton.
With all that said, I would like to watch a sequel without all those bts issues just to see how much would it changed. And after watching the movie I realized that it's really fun too see these side stories without much of JedivsSith thing, like Rogue One which is my second favourite SW movie and this one, The Mandalorian's 1st season too.
Just wake me up when they turn these stories into full length movies:
Finally got a chance to watch Memories of Murder
I really liked this one. It has a lot of familiar flavors from Fincher classics like Se7en and Zodiac; the polar opposite cops from different necks of the woods trying to solve a murder, abstractly guessing clues and piecing together a picture that may never form a reality. I didn't actually know that this was inspired by true events of Korea's first serial murders until I looked up more about it post-watch. Especially with this in mind, what really makes this movie unique shines through: the actual inexperience of the characters involved and the quiet setting it takes place in.
One detective is from Seoul, but has transferred to the country in the Northern province of South Korea to assist in catching the killer. While more experienced compared to Song Kang-Ho's role as the country detective, it's apparent neither of them are dealing with events they know how to process. They go about things in a very slipshod manner, completely unprepared to interview potential suspects and compose a profile. In a quiet town like this, these sorts of things just haven't happened before.
Without spoiling the ending (unless you look up the stories it's based on), it ends in a way that took me a little bit to process, but also feels completely suited to what it was leading up to all along. After all that we see come to pass throughout the ordeal, the whole thing feels a little sad and haunted. I imagine it will just be better upon a rewatch.
If you enjoy detective films, Bong Joon-Ho, Korean dramas and slow-burning stories that require your attention, don't pass this one up. It's probably one of my favorite Joon-Ho films to date, though Parasite still takes the cake so far.
Now onto The Host, Barking Dogs Never Bite or Okja.
Sound of Metal
What a great movie! As an able bodied person, I don't want to speak on behalf of those who are deaf or a part of Deaf culture, but I think a lot of people in that culture will appreciate this one. It's about a tried and true rock n roller having to cope with deafness as an adult, which as far as he can tell, will directly affect his ability to live the life he wants to live.
I've met enough people within deaf culture to know that a lot of the general public don't even understand that deaf people have their own community and culture, and like many so called disabilities, many deaf people embrace who they are and choose to live this way for one reason or another. Likewise, many families choose to give their children relatively new medical tech called cochlear implants, which again, is highly debated within households with deaf children. The protagonist Ruben copes with all of this internally, and I think the movie does an amazing job to representing the human side of the internal struggle with a "disability" as well as the greater representation of people who happily live as a deaf community.
It's great to see representation on screen and this is what I want to see more of. My only complaint is that we've seen this plot structure many times before, but it's still really great regardless.
Also SUPER shout out to the lead actor Riz Ahmed who knocks it out of the park. You can see his anguish, his fear, his happiness, and just so much personality through not only his words but the way he moves his body. I can only image he's nothing like Ruben in real life and he just put on a show here.
Threw this on as background noise while I had to do a boring task at work. I grew up on punk rock, and I'm aware of the importance of the CBGB club, so I figured I'd give the movie a try but my fuck this script is awful.
Kinda makes you appreciate biopics like Straight Outta Compton (a movie I didn't love) because movies like that at least have a better tonal balance of drama with the occasional whimsy. This movie is just trying way too hard to be lighthearted, which is especially weird considering how ruthless the punk scene was. I mean back then, there were literal punk gangs who'd stomp one another out for fun. The tone of this movie is a mess.
Nobody can act either. Alan Rickman does a serviceable job, but his character is constantly making terrible decisions and his calm isn't much different from his angry or his happy.
Honestly, I'd rather watch a documentary about CBGB than this biopic about it's owner and the bands that shaped the punk scene. The only redeeming quality of the movie is the music: Talking Heads, Dead Boys, Blondie, Ramones, Television, etc. Again, maybe just play the records and skip the movie.
I haven't had time to read beyond the first paragraph but NYT did a write up on Riz Ahmed who starred in Sound of Metal. He played a really loud character (pun intended) and knocked it out of the park so I'm going to read this later: