Last movie you watched





  • The Iron Giant - Signature Edition (Blu-ray)
    alt text

    I found it great. It's a shame that it sold so poorly in 1999.

    I'd kill to see traditionally animated films make a comeback, but my gut tells me most people would watch the latest CG thing instead. I'm sick of them.



  • Yesterday: a bit cheesy, doesn't really do a great job of explaining the reverence for the Beatles or selling that the songs are as relevant in modern culture as they were originally - which I think you have to do for the film to be more than a nostalgia piece. I think maybe Kate McKinnon hams it up a bit much, but the music IS was good enough and the leads charming enough to carry this movie to a 3/5 for me.

    Booksmart: there are undeniable similarities between this and stuff like Superbad. I think the story has been modernized nicely though. Funny. 4/5



  • Midsommar: Viscerally distrubing and yet oddly beautiful, this is possibly the most distressing move I've ever seen. If you struggle with anxiety or panic disorder I'd consider waiting for this to come out on blu ray, not because it's scary per se, but because it literally puts you in the headspace of someone who has panic attacks and is dealing with anxiety and depression. The first 15 minutes or so made me feel physically ill because of the way it preyed on my worst anxieties, and that's before the disturbing imagery starts. It also has probably the most realistic portrayal of tripping I've ever seen, which also really made me uncomfortable. This movie seriously messed me up. It's also incredible. A-



  • Trapped in a crawlspace with a bunch of pissed off Alligators, during a Category 5 Hurricane, where everything is flooding, and nobody's around to help. Also, your dad's down there with you, and his leg bone is sticking out of the skin. And there's also a doggy to worry about. There's some jump scares in this one folks. A cool 90 min movie, which is kind of refreshing every once in a while.

    3/5

    Youtube Video



  • Alita: Battle Angel. As far as Manga adaptation goes, it is probably very good. I liked the first half of the movie a lot better, sometimes a lot of exposition but good world building. Did not like the Motorball parts. Even they went out of their way to introduce it to the audience, it still felt kind of out of place for me. One reason the second half was not that good. Some rushed stuff, some questionable dialog and speeches, and somehow the movie just ends with not so much of a climax. Action scenes were great, especially the way Alita moved. Had a fair amount of dismemberments that I didn’t expected.



  • alt text

    I wish this were the cover. Instead I get this eyesore:

    alt text

    Nice movie, though. Enchanting and impressively animated. The characters have so much motion. Secret of NIHM, also by Don Bluth, will be arriving in two weeks.

    I asked one of the supervisors at my job yesterday if he misses traditionally animated movies, as a former Disney artist. He said that he misses them so much and would try so bad to get back in if they started making them again. The guy is probably in his thirties. So many unused artists because Hollywood is too afraid to diversify. I wouldn't work on CG animation either if I grew up wanting to make traditional.



  • Glengary Glen Ross

    This movie is considered a classic and one of the best adapted films of all time. While I did enjoy it, and I think the actors all helped create believable characters, I think this movie had a lot of padding - even for a 100 minute film.

    I felt like the first 45 minutes was gratuitous in its setup with scenes repeating the same points twice in a row (i.e. we need the Glengarry leads, our current leads are shit). From Wikipedia, I saw that the theatrical play is actually much shorter and even short by play standards so maybe the padding criticism is a result of having to film-ify a stage play.

    I really like the premise of multiple characters driven to steal one object from their asshole boss, but again, it can't carry the whole film. I think if you can get on-board with some really solid human-like dialogue, and some really solid textured acting such as Levene being a scared old man with a dying daughter, while also having to put on the face of a stone cold salesman, then this movie is interesting. I just couldn't get on-board with it on the whole.

    I hate when I watch a classic film for the first time and I don't appreciate it the same way others do. With all that said, its just my opinion and it takes nothing away from its classic status.

    6.5/10



  • @ezekiel

    Classical isn't completely dead though. Lots of movies have traditional 2D animation or at least scenes that are classical based on the needs to the script. Hell, even some 2D primetime comedy shows have cutaway scenes with lots of classical animation. Its just hard to tell because they blend it together so well with the rest of it. I personally like the old classical Disney animated films a lot more than the CG ones, but it exists in other places than just Disney.



  • @dipset said in Last movie you watched:

    @ezekiel

    Classical isn't completely dead though. Lots of movies have traditional 2D animation or at least scenes that are classical based on the needs to the script. Hell, even some 2D primetime comedy shows have cutaway scenes with lots of classical animation. Its just hard to tell because they blend it together so well with the rest of it. I personally like the old classical Disney animated films a lot more than the CG ones, but it exists in other places than just Disney.

    No, it's pretty much dead outside Asia. You only see it on TV and in DC animated features now. A few cutaways in live action do not make an exception. None of the major studios care anymore. But I don't care about their CG movies anymore either. I haven't watched one in such a long time. The last was probably Moana on Netflix, which John Musker and Ron Clements, I read, really wanted to do as a traditional animation. John Lasseter forced them to make it CG. I'm not going to support Disney's decision. I might never watch another CG animation, unless invited to one.

    Anyway...

    I watched Last Tango in Paris yesterday. I had seen it once before on DVD, which was a poor release. This looked far better.

    I don't think I've ever gotten so many Blu-ray releases in a week.

    alt text

    My sixty-something year old Iranian co-worker has been wanting me to watch Papillon for like eight months. I wanted to. I've just hesitated so long because of the price and it not being on Netflix DVD.

    Friday, I watched Conan the Barbarian. I expected a cheesy B-movie, but what I got was a weird, rousing adventure epic. It was pretty good. Very visual. Not much dialogue. Arnold was perfect for this role. 4/5.



  • @ezekiel said in Last movie you watched:

    Friday, I watched Conan the Barbarian. I expected a cheesy B-movie, but what I got was a weird, rousing adventure epic. It was pretty good. Very visual. Not much dialogue. Arnold was perfect for this role. 4/5.

    And that Basil Poledouris score!
    Youtube Video

    Not even NOMINATED for the Oscar that year. Which was something of a crime.



  • @ezekiel

    Fair. I generally don't even go to the movies at all anymore because I usually don't like anything I end up seeing, even if its been critically praised. So I run the risk of missing out on things I might end up loving for the certainty that I haven't wasted my time or money.

    Sounds like you are doing the same thing with CG movies. I heard Big Hero 6 is really great and same with How To Train Your Dragon but I haven't seen either to confirm.


    I have that same Dirty Harry collection you posted there. I rewatched Magnum Force for the first time in forever a few months ago. Its pretty awful but I remember loving this movie as a kid. Not nearly as great as the original imo.



  • Papillon

    alt text

    Powerful performance by Steve McQueen. Inspirational story. Escape from the brutal French colonial prison system thwarted multiple times, spirit crushed, and still he keeps trying. Beautiful score (Jerry Goldsmith) and visuals in the hot, luscious South American wilderness. Neat little details, like McQueen and Dustin Hoffman's teeth degrading. I also like the surreal aspects. Even some parts that aren't a dream feel almost dream-like. Made it feel more personal. I thought this movie was great. The Blu-ray looks pretty nice.



  • Once Upon A Time In Hollywood:

    I am more or less a fan of Tarantino's films. Some of them I like a lot less than others, but generally I enjoy his schtick. I think this is probably tied for my second favorite of his films with Pulp Fiction, behind Jackie Brown - which is my favorite. I think pretty much every Tarantino fan will like this movie. Just want to get that out of the way. And now the important part:

    No Tarantino film has had more women's feet on screen. This is the feetiest movie he's ever made. I honestly think he might be quitting because I don't know that he can think of another excuse for more women to be walking around without shoes on than this. This movie even makes a point of showing you Brad Pitt's moccasins like 4 times just so it's not QUITE as strange when you just see Margot Robbie's dusty bare feet for like 4 minutes during the middle of this movie. There are probably 30 bare women feet in this movie. Maybe he's sad he's never going to be retiring and not able to make these foot fetish movies anymore and he tried to cram as many of them in this as he could? (you better believe that some hottie in Star Trek is gonna have a barefoot beach holodeck scene or something)

    4/5 feet, i mean stars



  • alt text

    I was entertained! Can't believe I've listened to his albums (like twenty of them) so much over the years yet have never watched this. It's not the same as watching him or his groups perform those songs. Story was totally serviceable. I wanna watch it again.

    Atomic Blonde - Got bored so fast and, after a half hour, decided to watch the Sopranos season 6 premiere for the third time instead. Aside from the lame story, these kinds of modern movies don't even look nice with their drab digital photography.



  • Purple Rain is a classic.



  • The Farewell.

    Honestly a very touching and personal story. I think the whole cast is magnetic and amazing. Score was a little on the nose, but its not a demerit, just something I noticed. Will probably end up in my top 10 of the year list. 4/5



  • Watched Veronika Voss and rewatched The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola) over the weekend. Both really freakin' good. I love Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Also, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1. I've never seen a Batman movie or animation with violence so hard. The sneaky predator parts were well done too. I liked it. Took a few minutes to get used to those Batman and Commissioner Gordon voices, though.

    On Friday, I watched Alita: Battle Angel.

    The graphic novel is a lot better. Better story and more striking, stylish visuals. Even the action scenes have much more a sense of speed, gravity and power, despite (or because of) being still pictures.

    Alita tries to band the hunter warriors together against Grewishka. Her speech makes sense in the manga, because he is going after hunter warriors. In the movie, he is after Ido and her. So what? Why should they care? He doesn’t even have a bounty. She looks like an idiot when she’s talking down to them. The horror of his origin is completely gone. He says in the movie that he comes from the underground, but we don’t really get to appreciate how awful his life was in the sewers without any of the disturbing imagery of the manga, which makes you wonder why he even tells us he is from down there in the movie.

    I didn’t like the big eyes. They made her look like an alien. The filmmakers’ justification is asinine and tells me they don’t understand graphic novels. She has big eyes in the manga, they said, so she should have big eyes in the movie. When I heard them say that in their promotional YouTube video, I dragged my hands down my face, muttering “My god” at their foolishness. EVERYONE in the manga was stylized, not just Alita. That doesn’t work for one character in a photographic film. By their logic, Ido should look monstrous. The big eyes make her whole head disproportionate and strange. It’s a dumb choice that made the movie millions more expensive and definitely pushed some people away. Having said that, I wasn’t extremely distracted by the eyes. BUT, because her head is CG, her hair looks fake. It looks clumpy, heavy and doesn’t move right. There was no good reason for not using her real head whenever possible. (Impossible in some of the action scenes.) I find it funny that Hugo doesn’t realize she is a cyborg until he sees her hand. Like he is used to girls with huge eyes.

    In the manga, Ido is a hunter warrior partly because he enjoys killing, which ties into the whole battle theme of the manga, the adrenaline of combat, the high, what Alita is all about. His justification in the movie is lame. He got his daughter’s killer, but he is still hunting because reasons. The bounties paying for his clinic seems secondary, from how he explains it.

    The way the Berzerker body conforms to her just looks too fantastic and fake in the movie. The body regenerating instantly in the movie makes her too powerful.

    I find it lame that the story revolves around her, including the motorball game that is just a ploy to kill her, whereas in the manga she was just one of the players. Hugo’s tragedy is diminished because of that as well. I find it disappointing that in the ending it feels more like he is trying to get to Zalem now because he is a fugitive. The manga focused so much on his hope for a better life, almost right to his end. I didn’t feel the desperation that was in the manga.

    Why is Hugo telling her to be a motorball player? Alita always did what she did because she wanted it. In the manga, she becomes a player for her own selfish reasons. Even when Zalem forces her to work for them in the manga, she does it for her own reasons.

    Did these filmmakers ever actually look at Damascus steel? I’m looking very closely and cannot see the signature ripples. Well, it’s kind of on the edges, but it looks so over-designed, like some lame Power Rangers sword. Those ripples would have been striking enough on their own. You can barely see them in this movie.

    alt text

    alt text

    The author didn’t use that term for nothing, but the filmmakers did. Surely, the Damascus steel from the manga is not the same as ours, but the technique was very much the same and the look was intentionally identical. The blade did not need such fancy decoration. More importantly, WHY IS ALITA NOT USING DAMASCUS BLADES?

    I find it lame also that she fails her first job, gets her body trashed and then becomes a motorball player. We don’t even get to see her ascent as a hunter warrior.

    Motorball winners go to Zalem? Oh, please. I just don’t see that being a motivating factor for all the players. They would not all be naive dreamers like Hugo (whose dream is now less personal). They are in it for the glory and cash winnings. I just don’t understand why so many people wanna go to Zalem in the movie. The city and its beautiful countrysides don’t seem that bad in the movie. Maybe with an R rating and the dirty cyberpunk look of the manga, it would make a bit more sense. I feel like the creators didn’t understand the manga well enough. The only character I can remember right now who wanted to go to Zalem was Hugo. And about the citizens getting to frolic in the beautiful countrysides… If I remember correctly, in the manga, they are not even allowed to leave the city, unless they work on the farms or protect the cargo trains. The countryside in the manga is a wasteland with Mad Max bandits.

    alt text

    The movie is impatient. It tries to pack so much from later arcs in when it could have told a good self-contained story that may or may not have been expanded on with sequels (depending on if they got the greenlight). I’ve even observed people who don’t know the graphic novel concede the same thing. That it feels like it’s merely a set up for something we may never get. If the original Star Wars or Matrix did that to the extent movies do now, people would have been bothered. Alita sloppily mixes too many different stories into one whole. It’s like Cameron went, “I want motorball. I love those two volumes and I don’t care how we get it in there.” There was already plenty that could have been adapted for a movie in the first two volumes without bringing motorball and such a big focus on Desti Nova and Alita’s past in. The movie should have been about her rebirth, her rise as a hunter warrior and, finally, the death of Hugo. Those first two volumes have some spectacular fight scenes and great atmosphere. That brief fight scene with Grewishka alone is like a hundred pages long in the manga (partly because they’re not just fighting) and has a much more interesting looking underworld. You don’t need the added spectacle of motorball. Between Makaku’s (Grewishka) nightmare life and his attraction to Alita, Alita’s curiosity and passion, Ido’s double personality, and Hugo’s crimes and tragic dream, there is plenty of characterization and a good movie story in those first volumes.

    This should have been a lot better. I didn’t dislike it. It’s a 6/10 for me. Maybe a 7 if I’m feeling generous. Nothing more.



  • The Art of Self-Defense

    This one stealthed into my life and might actually be my favorite film of the year so far. Eisenberg does such a great job with his character arc and a simple "stand up for yourself" sort of theme gets much darker and explores more interesting territories. The writing is sharp albeit not realistic in the slightest but I'm okay with that.

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    My least favorite Tarantino film by a mile. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't make this a bad film at all (hell, any scene with Leo or Brad Pitt was hypnotizing) but there's so many puzzling choices here. That snappy dialogue we're used to in cars? That has been replaced with just music. Margot Robbie's character basically does nothing for the entire film. Why did we suddenly get a narrator for a few lines deep into the film? What is with all the feet? This film could have been glorious with better editing but instead, it just feels meandering and tries to tie too many things together, pretty unsuccessfully I'd say. If this would have just been a Rick Dalton/Cliff Booth buddy comedy, I'd be singing its praises right now, but it's much too bloated for my tastes.



  • @SabotageTheTruth

    Well, I mean, the feet is obviously just Tarantino. He does this in every movie. Dude loves women's feet.