Last movie you watched
Saw 'Us' last night and while I didn't think it's as good as Get Out, it's still a pretty solid horror flick sullied a bit by a telegraphed/cliche ending.
Like, the last five minutes was something I was thinking about during the first five minutes. In some ways, that's pretty impressively circular - and in some ways I think it's 100% unnecessary. The rest of the movie is great, and Lupita Nyong'o is great and Winston Duke is also delightful. But I really think the "twist" shouldn't have been telegraphed so hard the whole movie. 3/5 stars
naltmank last edited by naltmank
the last five minutes was something I was thinking about during the first five minutes
100% agree with you, and I also think it was completely unnecessary and weakens the movie as a whole. Without giving too much away, it calls into question character motivations for the entire movie, and weakens entire the story.
In general, I thought the movie was well-directed and well-acted, but ultimately too ambitious for its own good. It felt like it wanted to be a home invasion thriller with supernatural elements, while at the same time being a satire/"metaphor" movie with comedic elements strewn in with the horror. I think each element ultimately weakened the other ones, and it would've greatly benefited from a stronger editor in the scripting phase. I think the movie would've been much stronger if they cut out the "explanation" sequence, since that would've allowed the horror to remain much more existential without calling the logic and consistency of the world into question. I left the theater picking apart all the holes in the story that were created as a result of the "explanation" instead of debating the meaning of the movie's symbolism. I think it's either a B- or a C+ for me, though from a technical standpoint it's pretty damn incredible. Also, Michael Abels's score is sublime.
I thought I was crazy for not loving 'Us' like the rest of the world, but I see other people here are in agreement with me. Solid 7 but I've already talked to people who have called it "the greatest horror movie ever made" and I don't understand that viewpoint at all.
It is objectively not better than either Alien or The Thing, so it cannot be the greatest horror movie ever made.
Watched the 20th anniversary screening of Cruel Intentions tonight. Movie has aged a little poorly in regards to casual use of slurs as insults, but in a way it still works because these are amoral privileged people. The SMG and Selma Blair kiss is still hot. There's some scenes that still made me and the one other lady watching laugh.
Dumbo: pretty good Tim Burton movie. Ok Dumbo movie. I like the direction they went when making tasteful modern adjustments to the story. Keaton specifically and in general the "bad guys" seem kind of one note and hammy, cg elephant is uncanny valley in scenes. Kids will like it. 2.5/5
Saw my first "festival" film of the year this morning. Transit, a 2018 German film based on the 1942 novel by Anna Seghers.
They made the interesting decision to not make it a period piece. I say interesting because the film opens and without any backstory - you find out that Jews, and foreigners are fleeing Southwards through France to port cities in order to escape being put into camps by the occupying Nazi invasion forces marching through the country. In 2018 France. And it just kind of works. The protagonist finds himself in possession of a recently deceased man's travel papers, and assumes his identity.
Prettty good film. Rather jarring choice of end-credits music though to be honest. 3.5/5
Oscillator last edited by
This is documentary film distilled down to a pure essence. Aside from some simple graphics to explain what is happening, there is pretty much no modern-day content - even the soundtrack is made with period synthesizers.
While there is some lower-quality footage shot by NASA personnel and the astronauts, much of the movie is 65mm footage originally shot for the 1971 documentary Moonwalk One. But while that was shown cropped, this time we get to see it full frame, including unused shots.
And that footage is truly like stepping back in time. Crystal clear, with great colour, we get to see the Saturn V being transported to the launch site, the astronauts dressing and travelling to the launch pad, the huge crowds gathering for the launch, the inside of Launch Control, and finally the launch, which is especially spectacular. Then later on, recovery and quarantine.
All of the dialogue is either the actual mission audio (much of it synchronized to footage from Mission Control or from the spacecraft) or from the TV broadcasts. The highlights are the landing shown in real-time complete with fuel gauge and error display, a panorama shot of the moon's surface, and the first steps shown from an alternate, clearer angle than the famous TV broadcast.
The closest thing I can compare it to is Koyaanisqatsi, though not as abstract. It's a completely new perspective on the mission. Unlike the grain and fuzz that's always made the mission seem like a vague ancient artifact, the clarity of this footage, the way it's edited with the mission audio, and the walkthrough-style continuity makes it something you can almost smell and touch.
The only drawback is that it feels sped along at times - it could've used another half hour (the running time is 93 minutes).
The upcoming large-format IMAX version (in contrast to the full-length "Liemax" version which is reviewed below) is only 45 minutes, and I shudder to think what THAT will be like...
Do NOT wait for home video, this is a movie that should ONLY be seen on the big screen.
4 1/2 out of 5.
HoloGraphics last edited by HoloGraphics
Dragged Across Concrete (dir. S. Craig Zahler)
After getting suspended from their police department for using excessive force, two police officers decide to rip off a couple of criminals to get some extra cash. Their plan does not go accordingly and they are thrown into a situation bigger than they expected.
Starring Vince Vaughn, Mel Gibson, Tory Kittles, and Michael Jai White
My favorite film of the year so far, this one is going to be difficult to top. It's a very slow-burn thriller that winds up in a very intense finale. To compare it to something, it's like a Jean-Pierre Melville film but far less suave and far more rough and gritty; it contains a similar quality of technicality in regards to being a crime drama/thriller. Pacing, although slow, is largely what gives the film its unique flavor and makes the adventure feel more immediate. It's as if we as the audience are sitting alongside these characters, waiting, until things begin to heat up and get crazy. Also featuring a great soundtrack by the O'Jays and very effectively menacing villains.
Little Sister (dir. Zach Clark)
In the process of becoming a nun, a girl returns home for a few days after her war veteran brother, who has become disfigured following an explosion in the war, is released from the hospital. During her visit, she attempts to bring her brother out of his depression, as he has isolated himself from his family.
Starring Addison Timlin, Ally Sheedy, and Keith Poulson
This was a very effective dramedy. Most of the comedic moments are fueled by the nun character being part of the goth subculture in her past. Although it does have some funny moments, the drama is the primary focus and the lead actress does an amazing job. This is an easy recommendation if you appreciate other dramedy movies like "Little Miss Sunshine" or films by the Duplass brothers.
Ikataishou last edited by
I watched Bumblebee. Heard it was a better Transformers Movie than previous ones but it was just a different kind of stupid. I hate it, not just disinterest but actual frustration on how terrible it is.
Ezekiel last edited by Ezekiel
The Lost World: Jurassic Park in 4K, one of my childhood favorites, but now only good, like the original. At least it's not Jurassic World or JP3. The surround sound and 4K HDR picture were pretty nice. I didn't get Jurassic Park in 4K because the reception to that remaster is much less positive. I want a Dino Crisis remake. I also kind of wish they adapted the original JP book again, but followed it more closely and made it less a family movie this time. Make Hammond actually evil.
Mango last edited by Mango
@tokyoslim my kids loved Dumbo. We happened to see a preview for Dora at the same time and Kelly and I were looking at each other going which teenager is going to want to watch this? then we glanced at my 6 year old and she was so into it... those marketing people know what they're doing
@mango yeah, I often see movies and am like, who is this targeted to? And then I remember that there are children. I think the new Dora movie actually looks like a fun Goonies-esque adventure movie though. So I'm down to see it. :)
When I was a kid I really wanted to see Predator, but mostly because I knew I wasn't allowed to see Predator.
Predator holds up.
Shazam: if they would have just gone ahead and made this a stand-alone DC hero movie I'd have given it a 3.5/ but I'm docking it a half point for constantly coyly referencing that it's in the same universe as Batman v Superman, but not having the budget to show the other heroes or wanting to write around the actual canon you've already established. Pick one or the other. Either drop the DCEU, or don't - but this half in and half out makes it feel like a TV series. (No offense to Agents of Shield, but this whole movie dances around the existence of other heroes with name drops just like S1 of Shield)
3/5 , was fun. Still a little annoying.
I loved choose your own adventure books as a kid so the theme of this really struck home with me and for the first (that I know of) "movie" to do something like this, I think it's handled fairly well. It's similar enough to a Telltale adventure that gamers would feel at home but luckily, it actually runs properly. I went ahead and got all of the endings - some of the more meta ones I enjoyed, while others were just pretty bland. Interesting concept, I really hope more people try out this form of media.
@sabotagethetruth There's a Bear Grylls survival adventure series that's much the same. I made Bear Grylls eat a disgusting looking grub that looked like it pooped in his mouth!
I Also watched
A Long Day's Journey Into Night:
Do you like slow, dreamlike movies where overlapping and repeating motifs are presented but don't necessarily explain or illuminate anything? Beautifully shot, but shots linger on voyeuristically in some scenes, take strange angles with foreground obstructions, display mirrored viewpoints, or conversations between people that turn into silhouettes as they walk behind large opaque screens? Do you think you'd like a movie who's opening title card is 72 minutes into the film? Do you like a movie that the last 50 minutes or so of it are in 3D?
Congratulations, you went to film school. 3/5
Sentinel Beach last edited by Sentinel Beach
I saw it, the film premiered here today. I can't talk about it, really, but I can thank the Russo Brothers, Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios for this journey I've been able to witness and take part on for over the last decade. An astonishing phenomenon, I cannot love and appreciate it more.
I've also seen Endgame now and while it's not going to be my favorite Marvel movie, I definitely think they did a good job wrapping up this saga. Curious to see what the next phase looks like now as well.
Ezekiel last edited by Ezekiel
Watched Alien on UHD yesterday night, which was released the day before. I thought it looked great, color-wise and detail-wise. Light grain. Didn't look DNR'd to me. No color banding at all. The screenshot comparisons are kind of worthless. A couple of people on the Blu-ray.com forums complained that the giant pilot no longer looks tanned, but I could easily see the color difference between him and his surroundings. The movie isn't as warm, but it's not dull looking either. It has a more realistic range of color and is bright where brightness is due (not excessively so).
The director's cut is upscaled and not properly mastered for HDR, which some people are pretty disappointed over, but I don't care for that cut. One time was enough for me. Scott cut about as much as he added. The humanoid alien's reveal (the scene where Brett is abducted) sucks in the DC because the creature is so clearly visible on the ceiling before the abduction. The cocoon scene is even more worthless and misplaced than I remember. Lambert asks in the theatrical cut if it's possible that Brett is still alive, if the creature wants him alive. Ripley says, "No. I mean, I don't think so." That line is too purposeful. This combined with Parker saying that they didn't find anything left of Dallas, not even blood, and the way we saw the facehugger reproducing with Kane earlier pretty much tells you the alien is doing something horrible with Brett and Dallas. Not knowing what is part of the horror, I guess. It didn't need to be shown. Everyone including Weaver assumed people understood that it was using them before the cocoon scene was ever made public. She said in a 1984 interview, "Because the Alien isn't evil. It's just following its natural instincts to reproduce through whatever living things are around it."
Also, that self-destruct countdown had so much tension and looked and sounded great. Why would I wanna see that broken up by this random scene?