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The Dry: a taut and suspenseful mystery/thriller. A big-city police officer goes back his hometown to solve the murder of his childhood friend, with whom he may or may not have been embroiled in the death of a girl as a teen. Basically, two mysteries in one that unfold nicely. B+
Also recently watched My Octopus Teacher, which I enjoyed.
Riders of Justice:
From the writer/director of Men and Chicken. Starring Mads Mikkelsen.
Wow. Not what I was expecting!
Parenting, unlearning toxic behaviors, the value of therapy, overcoming trauma, the perils of oversharing on social media (the irony of this post is not lost on me!)... and Mads going full on John Wick on a biker gang! Highly recommended! A- to an A
I've been on a Mads Mikkelsen binge since watching Another Round and I think he might be one of my favourite all time actors.
The Pusher series I mentioned earlier is co-starring Mads where he is a minor character in the first film, then the focus is on his character in the second film. Pusher 1 is one of those plots where one character is way in over their head and continues to make terrible decisions pretty much like a Danish version of Bad Lieutenant Port of Call or Uncut Gems, but the main character is a little less unhinged and more along the lines of being really stupid. I highly recommend the series.
Bad Trip - B+
This has no business being as funny as it is, but I really really enjoyed it. Jeff Tremaine is basically the defacto big budget hidden camera public prank storyteller so it's no surprise his production company made this.
What separates Bad Trip from Jackass public pranks or Bad Grandpa is that the story writers (Eric Andre, Kitao Sakurai, Andrew Barchilon) made the really great decision to tell the plot throughout the pranks. Whereas Bad Grandpa has pranks but then has a scene or two of plot before getting back into the funny moments. Essentially, every scene in this movie except for maybe one or two short driving scenes are not only storytelling, but also public pranks and stunts. There aren't any lulls.
This movie actually has a really good pace, a solid and simple plot, and the pranks are just funny and outrageous. The gorilla is my favourite by far, Jesus fucking Christ. It's also nice to see how different people react to different scenarios whereas sometimes Jackass in its early years on MTV just went to Japan because filming in public is legal there so you only get Japanese people's reactions. Everyone here is American but you get a good group of people reacting to these pranks which kinda adds something extra.
Collateral - B
I finally saw this for the first time. The Insider and Heat are two of my favourite films so I figured I'd watch what many consider to be Michael Mann's best but I think it was just alright. It has its thrilling moments but it suffers from some disorienting scenes. One scene takes place at a club and you can barely tell what is happening, who is shooting at whom.
I also don't buy Tom Cruise as an imposing presence. He just comes off as too chill and unintimidating and by that same token, Jamie Fox just seems too meek when he is actually a relatively brave character. I don't know, I love the premise and set up for all of the scenes, but the execution is off. I definitely don't think it's Michael Mann's best film.
Been replacing movies with sports lately. Upon the recommendation from comedian Brent Butt, I watched some Billy Wilder movies in order of release.
Double Indemnity - (A-)
A good thriller plot with pretty good twists and turns. The main premise is a cat and mouse between an insurance salesman who is scamming the system to elope with his married lover and his cunning supervisor who smells something fishy.
My key takeaway was the line: "She lived in one of those Spanish houses. Must've cost $30,000. That is, if he ever finished paying for it." Wow must be nice to buy a house in 1944. Looks like a mansion too!
Sunset Boulevard - (A)
This is a classic for a reason. I was surprised how damning it depicts Hollywood all the way back in 1950. This has aged quite wonderfully in the #MeToo era.
The Apartment - (A+)
The best of the bunch. This jumped up to one of my favourite all time comedies. The entire joke is so ridiculous to the point I have no idea how somebody came up with this shit.
A desk jockey tries to climb the corporate ladder by letting his superiors bang their mistresses in his apartment after hours. He slowly becomes a shell of a human and, again, this is just a damning depiction of capitalism and how it strips you of humanity and self care.
It's also just so absurd that most scenes keep topping itself. Really funny, really well acted, and one of the greats in my eyes.
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Black Widow (2021)
After two years MCU is back in theaters! It opened today in Finland, naturally went and saw it right away.
The movie is pretty standard Marvel. Firmly in the middle ground. I loved the characters the most, they were the clear winners here. The whole central four, the family. Yelena and Alexei got all the best lines (rightfully so). There's a cool and surprising James Bond tribute in there as well.
The film works well independently outside the bigger MCU and tells a nice, personal story as Natasha's farewell. Better late than never, in my opinion.
Scotty last edited by Scotty
It was nice. I have only two negatives about it: Hand to hand fights were not very satisfying comparing to John Wick, Kingsman, Atomic Blonde even Winter Soldier and family drama aspect felt repetitive sometimes, especially at
Florence Pugh stole the show, can't wait to see more of her in the MCU. Taskmaster was menacing but character could be used more effectively, still not wasted as much as Ghost from Ant-Man and the Wasp. Story was good for a solo movie too, it was bittersweet to say one goodbye to Natasha. Btw Red Guardian was not funny at all and his scenes didn't affect me in anyway except the one from the 1st act, movie could be even better without him. Finally: Intro was the best in the MCU and post credits scene was intriguing. From the soundtrack I really loved the one that plays in this clip:
Run Lola Run
I finally watched it. Don't want to spoil it but
type of scenarios are one of my favourite kind in media. I was expecting 1-2 outcomes but for what it was I enjoyed it. Also, I really respect to the movies which has a style of its own.
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Sincerity through the absurd.
Pig, a film where Nic Cage takes on the chef underworld to find his stolen truffle pig, is one of the most beautifully sincere films I've ever seen. It relishes in its own ridiculousness, and yet completely subverts it by creating a meditation on the meaning of life, made with love and honesty. Pig is absurd. It's also one of the most genuine films ever made, covering themes of hope, grief and love with skill that defies its premise. Nic Cage also delivers one of the best performances of his career here, vanishing into the role to create a character that is undoubtedly the emotional core of the film.
Pig is a film that achieves a beauty that would not be possible without a little bit of craziness. It has a premise that is so wild that it's a marvel it exists, yet is so perfect that it somehow feels inevitable. I fear this is a film that will pass a lot of people by. Don't let it.
DIPSET last edited by DIPSET
I have the file at home but would you recommend I see Pig in theatres for any benefit to the viewing experience?
This was the first movie I saw in the theatre since 1917 in late-2019. Kinda felt good to be back but the way Cineplex does social distancing is a bit annoying where the seats in front, and to both sides of you automatically become your little bubble. So if you don't buy early to get a remotely central seat, then you're off to the wings. I sat 4 rows away from the screen and to the right so it wasn't ideal.
The Green Knight - C
I saw this based on A24's track record and the fact that I hadn't gone to the movies in forever, but this really wasn't a great one to see at 10:30pm on a weeknight. I feel like this movie is fine in the sense that a next-gen game in a release window is fine but it surely won't be remembered.
I hate to be a viewer vs critics type guy but I think the critics might be a bit blinded by the fact this movie attempts to spin Arthurian expectations sideways. It does successfully do that but it really just lacks any sort of actual deep motivation for the main character to do much of anything he does.
I saw Dev Patel praised for his role as Gawain here but he was quite honestly a wet blanket and the script did him no favours. The movie starts with him running late for church on Christmas cause he had a late night at a whore house. Later, he's a guest at his uncle King Arthur's Christmas dinner with his knights. A mythical creature challenges anyone in the room to a knight's "game", essentially a test in brevity. Gawain accepts and the journey begins.
My issue is that his acceptance for the whole catalyst of the plot was unbelieveable to me. They attempt to show him as a disheveled teenager with an aimless lack of worry in his life, but he actually just looks like a 34 year old man who is really silent and looks confused the whole time. Honestly, his lack of range in this movie is sort of alarming. He comes off as a deer in headlights in every scene so it's difficult to even know what Gawain is thinking or why he's doing the things he is.
Late in the film, a nobleman in a remote castle asks Gawain why he's on his quest. Gawain claims "honor" in which the nobleman says, "is that a question?" and I the viewer ask, "I don't know, we're 1h 45m into this already, are you asking me?"
It's not all bad, but this movie is honestly filled with so many movie cliches like your typical scene when somebody says "who will face me" then all the room stays silent until the unexpected person says "I will!" Another example is the beyond cartoonishly shady person who the main character naïvely trusts so they can learn a lesson the hard way. They have the modest love interest back at home and later introduces a hot and obviously not good for Gawain seductress to temp him away from his true goal (whatever that is). Hell, there is even a scene where his girlfriend places a trinket keepsake in his hand and closes his fingers over it in a closeup. Just peppered with the usual film cliches, which is why I'm so confused The Green Knight has been praised for it's subversion.
Cliche aside, there are some good little fairytale stories on Gawain's journey. One of them seems like it would've fit in perfectly in The Witcher 3. But when these sort of side scenes on his journey begin to get good, they filmmakers decide to insert a somewhat aimless and abstract After Effects side show for a few minutes that is saved by a really great fantasy score.
It's not very good, I would NOT recommend seeing it in theatres, but it is amusing in some ways. Look the score up.
I think next time I'll go see something a bit more popcorny.
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I have the file at home but would you recommend I see Pig in theatres for any benefit to the viewing experience?
I mean, I would recommend you see any movie in theaters, however as far as theater experiences go I don't think Pig hinges on it. I think you'll probably have a better viewing experience if it's in a theater, but no more so than any other movie.
The Suicide Squad is the best DC movie in years. And yeah, I'm counting ZSJL
Some real surprising standout performances and cameos. Lot of gore, pretty funny. Solid A-
I liked Pig a lot, the scene where he basically reduces a dude to tears with his memory... chefs kiss. It's not John Wick with a Pig, it's an actual honest to goodness character drama. I'd probably also give that an A or A-
It's among my top 3-5 of the year this year almost certainly.
The Green Knight was "good" as in it's tolerable if not exceptional - if you already know the story. There's literally no character development or backstory - so you better be up on your Arthurian legends, if you want to, for example, know who Gawain's mother is... or why he's even doing anything he's doing. (as Dipset pointed out) It's a very beautifully shot film, but it deviates from the story significantly in the crux of the tale, which was in the third act - a simple and elegant take on heroism, failure, forgiveness, and honesty... the film went and muddled it up for no real good reason other than, I guess, "artistic license". I think there are scenes in it that will stick with me, but as a whole it's not a cohesively great film. C+
I finally caught Nobody - (A-)
This one is a little bit more obviously John Wick influenced than Pig seems to be. Hell, Bob Odenkirk said in an interview that he trained with Keanu's combat guy.
This movie is better than it has any business being. It's marketing shows a movie about an average guy turns badass, but it's actually more of a "you just fucked with the wrong man" premise that we've seen a thousand times but it still works here. I find it more appealing than some average joe plot.
Combat is violent with coherent and impactful blocking. The villain is both generic but also cartoonish and sort of funny. A lot of little foreshadowing and background info is tastefully and simply put out there in a few shots here and there so the movie doesn't get slowed down with backstory.
It gets out on time and has a solid variety of types of action scenes and some pretty solid character development. Simple is key here.
It's funny cause the last act is basically the exact same as Rambo V's last act but Nobody executes everything faster and better than Rambo V did.
Pretty lightweight and easy to watch film. I recommend.
Pig is next! Probably tonight.
DIPSET last edited by DIPSET
Jungle Cruise - (C-)
I love the Adventure Romp genre so I figured I'd give this one a go.
It starts pretty strong with a typical whimsical artifact heist scene where Emily Blunt steals an old relic from the archives of some London university. The chase scene is intercut with some backstory about her being shunned from academia mainly for being a woman, but also because they think she's a nutter. Awesome. This movie should be good!
The Rock and Emily Blunt just have so little chemistry and the script leans so far into the Han Solo vs Leia angry but subtly horny thing. It gets so boring so fast. The pace of every subsequent action scene is way too cutty, yet, the editor insists on playing out these endless talking scenes with backstory. Generally just awful editing in almost every scene. Axis jumps can be disorienting, but I saw entire characters disappear then re-appear all for the sake of pacing up the edits. Really weird choices sometimes.
The main issue is just a generic villain and a ton of bad CGI on the secondary villain's. The main bad guy is a Disney-friendly Nazi aka Ambiguous Evil German who isn't evil enough to make you care or hate him. The Secondary villain's are the Spanish Conquesadors who died 400 years ago except they are human faces with bad CGI bodies. Nobody's motivations heighten the stakes and they are almost like too kid friendly to be amusing in the slightest.
Overall, it started strong with a good pace and some usual genre scenes, but it just wears out it's welcome with too much backstory, uninspired action scene setups, bad chemistry, and it's just 30-40 mins too long.
Still haven't seen Pig. Likely this week.
Capnbobamous last edited by Capnbobamous
It's been a while since I've seen Up all the way through. Coming out when I was young, I've always known it to be one of the best Pixar films, and that is just a view I've always held. When it came time to watch it today, I was just ever so slightly nervous. I had feared that my memory of it held it to such a high regard that it couldn't compare, that its first 15 minutes cloud the judgment of its fans, when the rest of the film maybe doesn't hold up as well.
I had no reason to be afraid.
The simple truth is that this viewing of it is perhaps the most impactful I've had. Up is a towering film about love, loss, grief, and innocence, covering so, so much emotion in such a short amount of time. With the knowledge that this may sound hyperbolic, I believe it may very well be a perfect film, or at least as close to it as possible.
In this viewing I was struck by just how short it is. It's a 90 minute film that feels like a 10 minute one, and this is in no way a dig, but a compliment. This film has the incredible ability to get you so invested that it's as though time stops, and for a brief moment all that exists is Carl, Russell, and their journey to Paradise Falls. It manages to move a mile a minute whilst also allowing time to breath, in what are easily the best parts of the film. Russell confiding in Carl that he doesn't know how to make a tent; The story of the curb and the counting of cars; Carl reading his wife's book, discovering that the adventure she experienced with him was more than she ever could have asked for. These moments, though incredible on their own, are made even greater because of the journey they are a part of, a heartwarming tale of a mother trying desperately to make it back to her children.
The screenplay for the film is so tightly woven and packed with heart and soul that it feels as though it should burst, but oddly enough the film has a quietness that allows the whole thing to flow so beautifully. In many ways it seems to have the same sensibilities of a Pixar short, and seeks to show rather than tell, something that adds so much to the beauty. The opening is an excellent example of this, showing so much with such little dialogue. It's a masterclass of cinema, and the rest of the film manages the incredible feat of living up to it. I've heard people say that Up is not a great film, rather it is the 15 minute vignette in the beginning that garners it so much praise, but I could not disagree with this sentiment more. The opening of the film is perhaps one of the best in film history, but the rest of the movie is filled with just as much love. The opening needs the rest of the film just as the film needs the opening, a beautiful compliment to one another.
Up is everything I could dream of making. I have been writing a screenplay for the past few months that I'm admittedly struggling with, feeling as though something's missing. I've found it. It's missing joy. Joy is what allows the emotion of Up to hit so hard, giving the sad moments the weight they need. I think it's impossible to get through Up without crying, but it's also a fun movie. It doesn't seek to make you sad, but happy. The sadness is in service of joy, and that's why it's so powerful, so full of life.
Up is a heartbreaking film about loss and grief. It's also an uplifting film about love and existence. I cried multiple times while watching it. I think I'm gonna watch it again tomorrow, and I can wait to cry again, and understand myself just a little bit more.
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I went and see Villeneuve's Dune last night.
That... was an impressive movie. Scifi perfection, dear Lord. I'd never read the book or saw Lynch's version, so this was my first touch to Arrakis and Paul Atreides and all. Two and a half hours flew by, such a captivating film. Do yourself a favor and see this in a theater, it deserves it. The audiovisual side engulfed me. The cast was very good through and through, yet I still have to name Rebecca Ferguson as Jessica in particular. She was amazing, her best role I've seen. Such intensity and beauty at the same time, I was enthralled by her. Chalamet and Bardem were my other favourite stand-outs.
@sentinel-beach I'm glad it seems to be ok. I'm gonna be honest, I trust Villeneuve - but this one had me worried. I'm looking forward to it coming out here in the US someday.
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Went to see Dune. I enjoyed it, but... I'm really not a big fan of Hans Zimmer work, usually his OSTs make me appreciate movies less. It happened with Inception, Interstellar and now Dune. There's great stuff but there's also things that are a bit overkill and sound cheesy af. Other than that really phenomenal aesthetics, particular the wardrobe.
Would have preferred to see more politics at the centre stage maybe just trash some action scenes and use that time for intrigue.
Paul is the weakest character imo, but it's not bad. I take MacLachlan over this kid.
Happy with it, particularly in the context of Marvel trash I shouldn't be complaining really.
bam541 last edited by bam541