Last movie you watched

  • Finally saw Shoplifters. As with After the Storm, I'm amazed with the performances Koreeda was able to wring out of his performers. He's made me realized that what I previously saw as stereotypical bad Japanese acting (i.e. overwrought melodrama with almost no nuance) is really just a result of poor direction. If people know Japanese directors that can bring out similarly naturalistic performances from their actors, please let me know. He's really in a league of his own for me right now. I'm also amazed by how grounded his storytelling is. What could've easily come off as overly quirky or fantastical in the hands of a less-skilled director is instead beautiful, sad, and honest. Avoiding spoilers, I have some issues with the resolution of the movie, but that's also part of the point. Highly recommend if you have a couple hours to spare. It's on Hulu right now. A-

  • @naltmank

    I've been trying to catch more Japanese live-action movies. One recent one that I have seen that I really liked was "Radiance" (dir. Naomi Kawase). I thought that the performances in that one were very good.

  • @sheria Just rewatched Thor: The Dark World. The villain is dreadful, and it definitely takes itself too seriously, but it's also not as bad as I remembered! The sheer quality of Endgame has allowed me to view the older MCU films in a different light.

  • Detective Pikachu

    This was everything I've ever wanted out a Pokemon movie both as a kid and now as an adult. I really can't believe how well they pulled everything off and I have a strong desire to see it again in theaters - that's something I've rarely ever done. Plus, I gotta pay more attention and see if I can spot my boy Wobbuffet anywhere.

  • @klinjon when I rewatched the MCU in the run-up to Infinity War I definitely remember thinking it wasn't as bad as I had remembered. Honestly everything up until

    the escape from Asgar

    was pretty decent

  • 4/5 if you like action movies
    2/5 if you like dialogue

  • @tokyoslim pretty much. One of my friend didn't like the dialogue and fight scenes were too much and lots of repetition while the other enjoyed a heck out of it.
    It was fun but definitely had some weird moments.

  • Banned

    Blade Runner 2049, for the second time. I don't think I'm ever gonna watch this again. I just don't like Denis Villeneuve very much. Most of his movies feel cold. BR 2049 makes itself out to be too important. Not only the story, which made Deckard and Rachael bigger figures in this cyberpunk noir than they ever should have been. I feel like they tried to make those few love scenes in the original more important than they had a right to be. The movie wasn't trying to be an epic. Anyway, it wasn't just the story that made itself to be too important, but even the contemplative way scenes are shot and the bizarre way Jaret Leto's character acts. Even the first scene bothered me. K lets go of his gun just so a fight can ensue, with some dumb justification that he needs to scan the victim's eye. I mean, Deckard wasn't a good assassin in the original either, but his kills didn't annoy me like this one. He never lowered his defenses after he was ready to kill. The score by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch is excessively loud, heavy and ugly, with the theme in which K and Joi leave greater Los Angeles and Vangelis' main theme at the end being among the only highlights. I do like a lot of the scenery, the way the city looks, but I still think Ridley Scott's team did it better almost forty years ago. I appreciate that they developed on themes of the original, like servitude, memory and environmentalism. K's story wasn't boring, but I don't like Ryan Gosling much. The movie is competent. It's not special.

    More on Shoah, which I mentioned a few posts above: There are some stories in the second part that are just horrific. One account is of how the piled bodies looked after being gassed in the chambers. The stronger, more able-bodied victims on top of the others because they tried to climb above them for air. Bodies being trampled, children's skulls crushed. Another account is of a Jewish member of a death camp's "special detail," one of the barbers who cut the women's hair telling a woman he knew from back home that she is going to be gassed and incinerated, that in about three hours she will be ashes. He told her with good intentions. The woman starts running around screaming and trying to tell the other women, who don't believe her and think she's crazy. Then she tells the men, who don’t want to hear it either after being in train cars for days. Left alone, she starts clawing her face bloody. The women are then sent off to the gas chamber, except for her. The gestapo beat and torture her, until she points to the man who told her, who is then thrown alive into one of the ovens. The others in the special detail are warned that the same will happen to them if they ever tell the new arrivals why they are here. I got teary-eyed as a barber in Israel, back then a barber in the special detail, tried to describe what it was like to cut the hair of unsuspecting women he knew from around his home town. He almost couldn't continue. The director had to remind him how important it was that he share his experience. The speed at which they gassed so many thousands of people, train after train, is mind-boggling and sickening. They had to work very fast to remove any signs of what happened there before the next train arrived, because unsuspecting Jews were easier to exterminate. A production line of death. These last two and half hours were enough to keep me from sleeping for part of the night. I just couldn't stop thinking about the barber's story and how unfair and coldblooded it all was. Only one of four segments to go now (another two and half hours).

  • The film festival has started, by the way - so I'm gonna be watching a lot of stuff over the next 24 days.

  • @tokyoslim John Wick 3 as a two hour fight scene? I'm absolutely fine with that! :-)

  • @binarymelon I completely agree. I think it suffers from a lack of imagination overall, and Thor as a character has become infinitely more interesting as the MCU has evolved. But, like you say, that first 1/3... it's decent!

  • @klinjon not literally, but functionally. There's the least amount of dialogue in any of the Wick movies, and most of it just goes to set up fighting.

  • Watched Pokemon Detective Pikachu (got the the last screening, it was an ideal viewing situation). It's pretty fun! I'm mostly in awe of how it visually looks at times, those night sections in the city are splendid. The pokemons look pretty great, seeing them on a big screen. Really enjoyed Ryan's performance, everyone else did alright. It does feel rushed and underdeveloped overall after the first third of the movie, which didn't help me feel the emotional moments. It's structurally average too, although some of the twists are neat. (6/10)

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  • I, too, saw Detective Pikachu last night. Really impressed with how well they integrated Pokemon in with live action, and there was a stretch from about minutes 10-40 where I genuinely loved the movie. I just wish it didn't have to lean so hard into being a kid's movie, and instead embraced the full-on dark absurdity of its premise a la Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The performances outside of the central duo were rough, which I think is mostly the fault of the direction and script. Still, very excited to see more movies in this world, and I'm hopeful they can learn from their mistakes. C

    On a completely different not, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping might be the most underrated comedy of the past decade. Dumb, juvenile humor with just enough layers to keep me laughing throughout. Finest Girl is a banger, and worth a watch if you haven't seen it yet.

  • Watched the WTF shorts program last night, which is among my favorite things at the festival year in and year out. Standouts were "Father Figurine", which I think it the longest of the shorts - in which the family of a wealthy deceased man must come to terms with an unusual request in his last will and testament.

    and "Piggy (Cerdita)" which is a short somewhat Giallo looking suspense-horror about a girl being fat shamed at a public pool.

  • No. 1 Chung Ying Street

    Two protest stories about the area separating mainland China from Hong Kong. In the 1960s there was a revolt against the British colonial rule by Maoist Chinese and in 2019 there's a revolt against the current govt taking land away from farmers and be selling it to build a mall.

    In both cases, it shows that the prevailing govt is not Democratic and that the protestors are often treated as criminals and trespassers when they are trying to save their own homes from demolition.