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July 24, 2018 at 5:14 am #1202592631
I saw the superb Au Revoir la haut (U.S. title: See You Up There) – Albert Dupontel stars and directs this French period film, a comedy and a drama, about two swindlers in the aftermath of World War 1. (1918-1920 is the film’s period). Superb camera work, production design, costumes, music, editing, direction and a quartet of superb performances: Dupontel, Laurent Lafitte as the villian, Niels Arestrup as the father of the younger swindler, and especially Nahuel Perez Biscayart (the lead in BPM), who plays the deformed younger swindler, wearing imaginative masks (both male and female) throughout the movie. This movie is stunning and I hope it gets a major American release, it deserves to be seen. When a film is successful both as a comedy and a drama it’s really special! (: Dupontel won the Cesar award for Best Director and while Robin Campillo was equally deserving (BPM won Best Picture) Dupontel’s direction is the best I have seen in 2018 (I saw BPM in 2017).
A+July 24, 2018 at 10:47 am #1202592832
When I feel a bit down I go to my “makes me laugh pile” and this time it was Epic Movie. Here are some examples of what it’s like for those who don’t know it:
Its not Oscar caliber…..at all. Yet, I die of laughter every time I watch it.
My grade: AAugust 1, 2018 at 6:45 pm #1202600921
Wearing out my Moviepass before it goes bust:
Equalizer 2 – C-
Mission: Impossible – Fallout – A-
The Spy Who Dumped Me – B
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – C+August 1, 2018 at 7:45 pm #1202600961
I don´t know if this is for current films or old films can be included but anyway.I just saw On The Waterfront and omg everyone needs to see that film if they rarely haven´t yet.August 5, 2018 at 12:58 pm #1202603130
“Three Identical Strangers” (2018): Excellent and engrossing documentary that I’m still thinking about after seeing it. It’s the kind of “truth is stranger than fiction” story you have to just see to believe. The events that transpired are somewhat before my time, but from the looks of it, these three brothers (Robert, Eddy, & David) were a cause célèbre of the 1980s that made a genuine mark on pop culture until they were disposed of like pop culture always does. They were on all the major talk shows of the day (“Donahue,” “Today,” etc.), and even appeared in a cameo in “Desperately Seeking Susan”! A shady, upscale Jewish adoption agency in NYC, Louise Wise, conducted a covert psychological study starting in the 1960s on the “nature vs. nurture” debate concerning parenting practices with identical siblings. The “study” was never published, but it left a devastating path in its wake that ruined the lives of many people (some to this day still don’t know it), including these three brothers. There’s a good deal of levity here too that offsets the tragedy element of the story. I really hope this makes the cut in Documentary Film in a competitive year where numerous docs are making inroads at the box office. Highly recommended.August 6, 2018 at 9:03 am #1202603613
I recently watched All About Eve for the first time. It was entertaining, especially Bette Davis’ amazing performance. It was a tad longer than it needed to be, but I can see why it captured everyone’s attention back then.
As for new releases, I saw Eighth Grade and have been singing praises for it nonstop. Easily my favorite film of the year thus far. Damn near perfect, just have a tiny problem with one scene, so I’d probably give it a 9.9/10. I don’t give scores that high often. Please see it if you are able. Let’s get Elsie Fisher into the Best Actress race!!!August 7, 2018 at 7:19 am #1202604468
I have watched all of the parts of “Maze Runner”
and I like it. It is a good Zombie movie and then I have watched “Gods of Egypt”
These are the movies I have watched recently.August 25, 2018 at 9:11 am #1202616582
“Crazy Rich Asians” (2018): I had a great time watching this, and possibly more than I expected to. It stayed in its lane and knew exactly what kind of film it was from beginning to end. So in that respect, I think it delivered well. Jon M. Chu’s direction zipped along when it needed to, and zagged when it needed to as well. The cast was glowing, and I was engaged enough with the story throughout. Overstuffed at times with its heavy plotting, but I loved the opulence, the costumes, the set pieces, the humor, the melancholy, and the predictable love story. I know that I’ll watch this film whenever it appears on HBO or Starz or TNT. I doubt that it will get significant Oscar attention beyond maybe Costume Design and Sounds. If voters are really enamored with it, then maybe Michelle Yeoh picks up a career acknowledgment nomination in supporting actress. This would also make a significant statement in “Best Popular Film,” but the criteria for that needs to be announced first. I’m glad for its continued box office success and strides made as far as cinematic representation goes.September 3, 2018 at 1:27 pm #1202622352
“God’s Own Country” (2017): Striking film by first-time British director and screenwriter Francis Lee. I stumbled on this with Neflix, but I’d heard great things about it, so my curiosity was raised with all the “Brokeback Mountain” comparisons. Not quite on that level or as expansive a story in general, but no less compelling or engaging. Graphic at times, for sure, but I was oddly fascinated by all the farming scenes. At the heart of this tale is John Saxby, a conflicted and closeted young man living with his disabled father and grandmother who soothes his rough farm life with excessive drinking and random sexual hookups. Josh O’Connor was absolutely thrilling here, and I can’t wait to see what he does next (which seems to be “The Crown,” which is amazing!). He meets a Romanian immigrant named Gheorghe (played by Alec Secareanu) who helps the farm out with lambing season. He’s John’s match and equal in pretty much every way, and the two men change each other’s lives forever. I can’t recommend this film highly enough, and it’s very easy to find. See it while you can! I wish I had found this sooner, but it wasn’t readily available then.September 3, 2018 at 7:17 pm #1202622524
Operation Finale. I enjoyed the movie and learning the history of the capture and trail. Murray Abraham was very good. The movie is not an Oscar contender but worth the watch. C+September 5, 2018 at 6:43 pm #1202624219
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?September 23, 2018 at 11:43 am #1202639557
“Captain Fantastic” (2016): Survivialist tales really intrigue me, as much for the radicalism as for the logistics of what this kind of life means for the characters living like this. I’m very surprised that Matt Ross wrote and directed the film. I know him best through television with “Big Love” and “Silicon Valley,” so it’s a real artistic leap for him. The film has some moving moments. Ensemble of child actors are genuine finds, and their SAG Ensemble nomination was richly deserved. Viggo Mortensen was instantly captivating from the first frame. I’m glad that he was Oscar-nominated for this performance. I found the screenplay problematic in stretches where narrative jumps are taken haphazardly without proper explanation or too much suspension of disbelief. I wavered in admiring Ben’s “rugged individualism” to thinking that what he put these young kids through was a form of child abuse. I don’t know how long Ross spent working on this screenplay, but maybe a few more drafts to iron out its plot contrivances would have helped. His direction was excellent though, especially in the performances he coaxed out of these children and the lensing of the Pacific Northwest. It’s the kind of film I’d gladly watch again on television despite my many issues with it.September 23, 2018 at 1:28 pm #1202639666
White Boy Rick (2018) – Came in expecting it to be bad, was actually a solid film with some missteps. The acting was good (Matthew McConaughey was noticeably great). The pacing felt a little unfocused at times, as did the plot. Still enjoyed the film.
6.5/10September 23, 2018 at 2:25 pm #1202639807
I wavered in admiring Ben’s “rugged individualism” to thinking that what he put these young kids through was a form of child abuse.
I haven’t seen this movie since its release, but I remember feeling the same way. I think it’s a very interesting aspect of the film where you really don’t know whether to root for Ben or not. I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s interesting.September 23, 2018 at 3:33 pm #1202639844
Last movie I saw in theaters was “A Simple Favor,” so blown away by the comedic timing of both Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick and the screenplay as well. It wasn’t a prestige film by any means, but it’s nice when the type of films where you just want to suspend your common sense and indulge have great acting and aren’t totally cliché. I could see some of the twists coming, but the whole ending sequence was pretty ingenious, and I loved that soundtrack! The French music really complimented the chic aesthetic of the film, and I’ve been listening to some of the songs on repeat for the past few days.
Last movie I saw in general was an old TV movie from 1971 called “Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring” with Sally Field, available for free on Youtube. I found the movie because I was listening to some old songs on Youtube from a folk record I used to have, and someone mentioned that said song was in the film and that Sally Field was in it. Interest piqued, I was happy to find the obscure TV movie on Youtube. Pre-Norma Rae Sally Field is always a sight to behold; she really came into her own in Norma Rae, but you can easily pick up on the seedlings of potential in Field. Her performance was easily the best thing about this dated and rather histrionic and simple-minded film (although what was I expecting from a TV movie?) The performances by the two parents who berate both Field’s character and her sister for using drugs and embracing the hippie lifestyle were pretty comical in their explosive dramatic scenes, totally realizing the clichés of a strict 70’s TV parent that would work better in a comedy film. The film just seems to go nowhere by the end and none of the characters are fleshed out beyond the surface-level dialogue, but the haunting vacancy and pondering in Field’s eyes was an early example of genius at work and her performance goes way beyond words.
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