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  • 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.



  • Jungle Cruise - (C-)

    I love the Adventure Romp genre so I figured I'd give this one a go.

    Ugh.

    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!

    Nope.

    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.



  • Up

    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.

    10/10



  • I went and see Villeneuve's Dune last night.

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    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.





  • 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.



  • Loved pretty much everything about Dune. Brilliant high budget cinema.



  • Dune

    Long, slow, tiring, strange. And even with all of those far from bad. For the love of God please keep

    dream sequences

    at minimum for the sequel.



  • Is it bad that I have almost no interest in Dune? I like Villeneuve but something seems to cheesy about Dune. Also sword fighting in sci-fi. Star Wars tests my limits of that.

    I swear, 95% of my art criticism are nit picks that I can’t see past.



  • Eternals was a good movie. The most peaceful of the MCU films. It's a long one, too, but didn't feel like it in the end. The drama is the clearest this time around, if you can say that. The ten main characters worked well and they had good conversations. The gargantuan cosmic backstory behind this all felt huge, crazy that they managed to tie this into everything we've seen so far.



  • @dipset That's my main complain about Dune, it's borderline cheesy. But for the most part is a cool movie, it's just that the soundtrack mixed with Villeneuve's style, at times, is a bit over the top.





  • Watched Shallow Hal again which is still hilarious a film.



  • Last Night in Soho

    Don't miss this. It was really good. Second movie from the year that surprised me and was better than what I expected.

    First one was A Quiet Place: Part II for anyone wondering.



  • @scotty I watched this one last night. I honestly came in with high expectations due to Edgar Wright. I wouldn't say it disappointed me, but it is a bit of a let down.

    If you're thinking of watching it, don't expect much sense or cohesion from the narrative. Go for the visuals and music, they were sublime.



  • @demonpirate

    I liked the story and flow of it too. Getting darker and darker etc. Resolutions at the end, tying it all together.



  • Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza is like watching Usain Bolt run laps inside your local high school gymnasium, or perhaps like eating the greatest grilled cheese you’ve ever had as prepared by Gordon Ramsey. It’s watching a man at the top of his craft make a deceptively simple, yet deeply mesmerizing work of art, and do so effortlessly. It's not Paul Thomas Anderson's most important work, nor his grandest, but in many ways it feels like his best. It's just joyful, warm, and surprisingly funny. Certainly the wittiest film he's ever made.

    I think much of its success lies in its structure. Licorice Pizza sees stories fade in and out at will, as the film bobs and weaves around anything resembling a conventional, linear narrative. Somehow this lack of a goal creates a film that feels more focused, as stories last just as long as they need to, never more and never less. These mini stories (I hesitate to say vignette because the film flows so well that it never feels segmented) come and go to fulfill two purposes: to grow the two main characters, and to create feeling.

    This is a film that feels above everything else, a combination of fears and loves and those indescribable emotions that you try and fail to bury deep, which say more about you than you would like to admit. All of these emotions come together to create a film that feels remarkably airy, almost ethereal, so much so that I truly believe I could watch it a dozen times in a row and still ask for more.

    These feelings would be nothing, however, without the two leads, both of whom absolutely knock it out of the park. Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman both deliver the best breakout performances anybody could ever ask for. It's frankly shocking that they've never professionally acted before, and they're both deserving of the Oscar nominations that they will inevitably get. I think Hoffman is a shoe-in for later success, but I sincerely hope Alana Haim acts more, because she really is terrific. Can't imagine the role going to anybody else.

    Licorice Pizza is a damn good movie, the kind that really makes you appreciate what the art form is capable of. I predict that it will be rather controversial when it goes to wide-release, the subject matter all but destines it for misinterpretation, but I know that I had the time of my life. I've thought a lot about what I would rate it, what I think the film could have done better, and the more I think about it the more I realize there's nothing I would change. For some reason it doesn't feel right calling the film perfect, and yet it does absolutely everything perfectly. I think I'm kidding myself if I refer to it as anything else.

    10/10



  • There's No Place Like This Place Anyplace - A+
    Youtube Video

    http://www.theresnoplacelikethisplace.com/

    I saw this at Hot Doc's theatre last week. It won some awards in 2020 and I had a chance to catch a screening much later. It's about a legendary store called "Honest Ed's" which was around in the heart of Toronto for about 75 years before closing down and turning into a condo development. It's really become a sad symbol of gentrification and the housing crisis as this is one of the few examples of an entire city block being closed down suddenly and turned into condos.

    I used to live right in this neighbourhood from 2015-2019 so I am very fond of Honest Ed's and Mirvish Village. It's funny cause I would've been walking to work past the filmmakers every day while they were making this and I had no idea.

    The proprietor of Honest Ed's is Ed Mirvish, who also owned homes on "Markham Street" right next to Honest Ed's and charged these businesses fair rent for generations. I used to go to Suspect Video on Markham Street to find really weird old movies that you just can't find online. Mirvish Village really truly was a unique part of the city.

    This isn't a documentary about Ed Mirvish though. It's a commentary on the housing crisis in Toronto, and the overarching issues we face here can easily be applied to any housing bubble in North America.

    The general thesis of the film is: "Are we building condos, or are we building neighbourhoods?" It should be a simple question to answer but it isn't because the fact of the matter is that very few condo corps care what they build so long as it gets purchased.

    The documentary covers a variety of locals and business owners across many generations in the Mirvish Village and it has an overall optimistic theme, but I can't help but feel bleak and apathetic after watching. I just don't see any politician or corporation helping me afford a house in the city I live in.

    I'd recommend for the feels but also for anybody living in a city who might relate.