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Scotty last edited by
I liked the story and flow of it too. Getting darker and darker etc. Resolutions at the end, tying it all together.
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.
DIPSET last edited by DIPSET
There's No Place Like This Place Anyplace - A+
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.
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I like this bot. He's very nice.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
What an homage to 20 years of movie Spidey this was! Damn! :) This was entertainment. This was something unique and once in a life time. Feelings were experienced. Oh man... Both history and Holland Spidey's present were handled in a really neat fashion.
bam541 last edited by bam541
A22robin last edited by
I don't know why critics review is negative. I really felt it worth a watch. Really enjoyed it. It's like a DC movie.
DemonPirate last edited by
@bam541 Watched this last night. Visuals blew me away. There is so much detail and layers when they're inside U it's insane. Going into it, I had no idea music is a big part of the plot and the soundtrack nailed it. I was really disappointed with the narrative though, especially the second half.
Animation and music definitely carried the whole thing. I enjoyed it on the whole, but it is my least favorite (or second to last) Hosoda movie.
Just saw The Batman. A strong movie, I would say. Three hours felt right for this one. Out of all the Bat movies this felt the most like a crime film. Not a superhero movie, but a Seven styled grim and dark serial killer film. World's Greates Detective was the side that was emphazised this time around. And I liked it quite a bit.
Pattinson worked nicely as Batman, I don't have a bad word about him. The movie left Bruce Wayne in the background and focused on the Bat and what he meant in Gotham, which was a very welcome angle. Sure, there was a touch of Bruce's personal life, too, but even it played well into the bigger picture.
Kravitz was stunning, just like one would like Catwoman to be. She came and went in right spots throughout the film and it worked well. Paul Dano's The Riddler was a serial killer with a grand plan behind it all. Some dark stuff here, we've come a long way since Carrey's green lunatic. The villain was used really sparingly which added to the feeling of a crime film. No cuts into the villain's lair with long monologues. (Though, sure, they were delivered in another fashion here.)
Gotham City was dark. The whole movie was. If I'd be asked to describe the film in three different colours I'd say black, fire and rain. The action pieces were very nice, they were shot clearly without multiple fast cuts and you could see the entire scene all the time. No weird close-ups.
A really solid superhero film basically without the whole superhero angle. I mean, sure, Batman's always been that boots-on-the-ground kind of character, but especially after the Affleck version this brought the Bat back to the ground level in a very good way.
Drive My Car (2021)
Genuinely the most human film I've ever seen, almost viscerally so. I'm still reeling from it, and feel like I can hardly put into words just how immeasurably beautiful it is. It reminds me a lot of Ozu in that way, in how it avoids spectacle in favor of humanity, and yet does so with such effectiveness that it creates a new kind of spectacle in and of itself. A spectacle not of flashing lights, but of heart, of soul; a spectacle that somehow gets to the core of what this intangible thing we call existence is, and yet dares to admit that it doesn't hold all the answers.
Best film of 2021 by an astronomically large margin. We will be talking about this film for decades. Of every film to have come out in 2021, this is the one that will last, I mean truly last.
I wish I had something more insightful to say, but nothing I say can much up to this film's beauty. I'll leave this short review here because I think it gets to the heart of what this film is about better than I can:
Well folks, it’s The Oscars, that award show that I watch every year and am almost always disappointed by. It’s dumb, and it’s pointless, and I shouldn’t care, but I do! Against my better judgment, I love the Oscars, and now that I have watched nearly every film in the big 6 categories (except for Parallel Mothers), I figured I would offer my take on what I would like to win. This ain’t what I think will win, just what I want. Also, unless I actively mention that I dislike a film or performance, I would probably be pretty okay with most things winning.
- Drive My Car- An obvious pick I think, given the post directly above this one.
- Licorice Pizza- I have also spoken in length about my enjoyment of this one.
- Power of the Dog- A very powerful film that wants nothing more than to make you think, and I love that
- Nightmare Alley- Sure it’s a little long, but it’s always exciting in my opinion, and Guillermo del Toro is an absolute maestro behind the camera.
- Dune- Cool I guess, but felt very flat and emotionless to me.
- West Side Story- Fun in theory, but really gets on my nerves with the miscasting of Ansel Elgort and some emotional shallowness in the story.
- King Richard- Exactly what you would expect it to be. Does absolutely nothing unique.
- CODA- Feels like if an AI tried to make a Sundance family drama. It just misses all of the emotional beats for me.
- Belfast- A disaster, but it’s in black and white and is inoffensive, and we all know the Academy loves that shit.
- Don’t Look Up- A $250 million vanity project. A colossal waste of time that offers all of the problems but is so far up its own self-righteous ass that it never presents the solution.
- Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car)- The film is three hours long and executed with pinpoint precision. A miracle it doesn’t topple over its own weight.
- Jane Campion (Power of the Dog)- This film has so many moving pieces and it all comes together beautifully. Only possible with a veteran filmmaker like Campion.
- Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)- The fact that he is in third just goes to show how well I think Hamaguchi and Campion did, because PTA is a master behind the camera.
- Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)- All of my criticism against the film is levied against Spielberg as well, but that said it’s visually a very beautiful film and the blocking is impeccable.
- Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)- Kenneth, I am sorry, but you are not that guy, pal.
- Andrew Garfield (Tick, tick… BOOM!)- He had to do A LOT in this movie, and he killed every part of it. Excellent film, excellent performance.
- Benedict Cumberbatch (Power of the Dog)- A very challenging performance, both for him and the audience I think. I know a lot of people weren’t sold on him, but for my money he feasted on this thing.
- Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos)- Very surprised to see the amount of criticism he faced for his performance here. I didn’t really care for the movie, but I really liked him in it. He doesn’t particularly look or sound like Desi Arnaz, but I think he captured the mannerisms very well.
- Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth)- I really did not like this film, but Denzel is lauded as one of the greatest actors of all time for a reason. He is so great at executing restraint, resulting in a very powerful yet surprisingly quiet performance.
- Will Smith (King Richard)- This isn’t Will’s fault, I actually think he did quite well, but he was working with a bad script. He’s gotta do and say some dumb shit in this movie, but he powers through it admirably. Please for the love of god give Will Smith better stuff to work with.
- Kristen Stewart (Spencer)- If there are still any doubters of Kristen Stewart’s ability, they’ll be shut up with this one. She devours this thing. A landmark performance imo.
- Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter)- There is something so tragic about her performance, dominated by a quiet yet overpowering melancholy. Few people would be able to do what she does here..
- Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos)- I think she’s good! She captures the spirit of Lucillle Ball very well, even if the script doesn’t.
- Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye)- This could be an excellent performance if the film was at all interested in going below the surface of the character. As it stands, she’s a caricature, little more.
I haven’t seen Penelope Cruz’s performance yet.
Best Supporting Actor:
- Kodi Smit-McPhee (Power of the Dog)- In what I think is a very shallow category this year, Kodi is the one true standout. A very complex performance for a very complex character.
- Jesse Plemmons (Power of the Dog)- The character is very quiet, very reserved, and Jesse Plemmons does this very well. He just doesn’t get much of an opportunity to stretch.
- Troy Kotsur (CODA)- I actually quite liked this performance, but he’s working with a film that I felt was rather emotionless, so naturally his emotion didn’t really land for me either.
- Ciaran Hinds (Belfast)- He’s the nice grandpa. He does well at being a nice grandpa, I guess.
- J.K. Simmons (Being the Ricardos)- I love J.K. Simmons, but this performance ain’t it. Certainly not his fault, but the character rarely rises above being an old man who yells at clouds.
Best Supporting Actress
- Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)- There is a very excruciating scene in this film where I felt like yelling at the TV, and it’s Jessie Buckley’s performance that allowed me to experience that emotion. She killed it.
- Kirsten Dunst (Power of the Dog)- This seems to be the prevailing theme of the film, but it was a very complex performance for a very complex character.
- Ariana DeBose (West Side Story)- This is a long movie, but I don’t think she got enough screen time. That said, I think she did a great job with what she had to work with.
- Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)- She did what she could with an inherently basic character. Not a particularly nuanced performance, but I don’t blame her for that. It’s not a nuanced film.
- Judi Dench (Belfast)- She’s the nice grandma. She does well at being a nice grandma, I guess.
Alright, that’s it. Can’t wait to be disappointed!
TokyoSlim last edited by TokyoSlim
So I saw Everything Everywhere All At Once a couple days ago, and instantly fell in love with it. However, I figured I would wait to talk about it, because oftentimes I think I dip my toes in hyperbole, or rather I give off the appearance of being hyperbolic; every time I give a film a 10, I do sincerely believe it. So I thought "hey, I'll wait a little while and approach it with a clear head, and maybe my opinion will have cooled."
It hasn't cooled.
In fact my opinion of the film has risen since I saw it. Where once there was love, now there is pure adoration. This is my next Uncut Gems; a film that I love and respect so much, and that I am so passionate for, and that I think has truly changed my view of the medium.
I want to be a filmmaker. Well, perhaps I am a filmmaker, but I want to be a great filmmaker, more than anything. Uncut Gems was the film that gave that to me, as though my eyes truly opened after seeing it, and for the first time I saw my dreams through perfect clarity. It changed me. I am shooting another short film in a few weeks, I have written a feature film screenplay, and am in the process of writing two more. I am always seeking inspiration, and I often find it, but I have never again found it in the way I did with Uncut Gems.
Everything Everywhere All At Once has done that again. What they have managed to do with this film is nothing short of miraculous. I always love it when indie filmmakers think big, when they have ideas that maybe go beyond their budget. However, this movie is more than that. This is a BLOCKBUSTER, massive in scale, and yet personal in tone. There is no movie like it. $25 million is nothing to scoff at, but it pales into comparison of what they have accomplished. It does everything the MCU has ever done, but with so much more soul, and joy, and love.
The Daniels are very good at taking the absurd and making it sincere. In Swiss Army Man, we cry when the farting corpse learns to love. They have the uncanny ability to treat the most ridiculous concepts with true earnestness, and this film represents that in spades. I won't even mention the ridiculousness in the film because I wouldn't want to spoil a thing, but trust me when I tell you it manages to tell a remarkably beautiful tale in a film that is inherently, gleefully absurd.
With Everything Everywhere All At Once, the Daniels have a movie unlike any other, a movie that has all of the heart of a family drama, the action of a big-budget tentpole, and the absurdity of, well, a Daniels film. How can you come away from this and not feel inspired? They've changed the game.
They've changed me.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
A bit of a letdown. Not a very cohesive movie, but there were a bunch of (very) cool surprises along the road. I'm starting to think Strange works better as a supporting character.
Tearju Engi last edited by
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Multiverse thing was a letdown but horror aspect was very good though it would had been better were it an R-rated movie. Overall it was decent and a bit of fresh air for being a bit tonally different. [7/10]
Everything Everywhere All At Once
A bit slow start but once the gear shifts it's flooring all the way. It's so good that I don't want to talk about it and just say go watch it without having any expectations. I and the crowd have never had such a laugh in cinema. [10/10]
Following someone to a bathroom. Creepy.
Classic soundtrack and some good moments but aged pretty poorly. [6/10]
Aya and the Witch
Goro's bold move to make a 3D Ghibli movie pays off. Sure the characters get a bit used to but I was surprised how more expressive and personality characters had. I was really liking this movie but then it ended. Bummer. [8/10]
Thor: Love and Thunder
A good MCU film, though not as relaxed as Ragnarök. I felt this one was sort of unbalanced as there was just too much humor on the first half and only the final third found the right mixture of emotions. Two hours went by quickly in any case, I would've liked even more minutes this time around. All the Guns N' Roses scenes were neat, and the ending surprised me in a great way.
JDINCINERATOR last edited by
I've seen a few films recently both new and not-so-new including:
I've seen Superbad several times and each time I am conflicted about whether I consider it to be a great comedy or not. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera's performances are cool and there are a few jokes that really hit their mark, but the gratuitous sex-pest humor gets really old and annoying as does the script. I know Jonah and Michael play a couple of feisty dudes just finishing high school, but the stammering continuation of immature jokes and needless swearing really bugs me. Still it's a pretty cool and fun film even though I'd much rather watch the American Pie films a thousand times over.
The Lost City
Channing Tatum and Sandra Bullock go wild on an island and Daniel Radcliffe gives a pretty menacing performance as the villain. At first I thought The Lost City would be diabolical as I didn't really like the vibes I was getting, but the chemistry between Tatum and Bullock did provide some entertainment.
Michael Bay is at it again, but Ambulance does at least convey the sense of urgency you'd expect from a film about an emergency services vehicle. I really don't dig the constant unrelated references to pop culture and the out-of-place innuendos, but as far as Bay films go this is not bad.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
The movie was a little too long, I feel. TBH, though, I wasn't at my best, so a second round will be needed. WF had many balls to juggle and a very difficult starting position, but it managed to tackle those obstacles pretty well. The first Panther movie was better, but this did its best. Namor was good, wished there'd just been Atlantis as well. Shout-out to the soundtrack, it is colourful.