January 31, 2020 at 8:25 am #1203321718
“Troop Zero”: 5 out of 10 stars. Great artistic direction, great photography… and superb supporting performances by Viola Davis and Allison Janney… that’s the thing. Their quaility acting deserved a better storyline and a better script for them (actually after watching the film, the audience might feel that exploring the material behind the past friendship of this two characters… could have been way more interesting than the actual main plot).
And “The Good Liar”: a 5 out of 10 too. Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen are great as always and the plot is juicy, but at the end, it has so many crazy and meaningless twists that losts credibility.January 31, 2020 at 10:20 am #1203321901
“Uncut Gems” (2019): I can’t decide where I land with this film? It’s exhausting and exhilarating in equal measure. I didn’t look at my watch once, so yay for keeping my attention throughout, but goodness. I can’t recall a film with such kinetic energy since maybe, “The Wolf of Wall Street”? Never seen a Safdie Bros. film before, so I don’t know if this is an anomaly or representative of their usual collaborations. Adam Sandler was fantastic here and indeed Oscar-worthy. It would have been an inspired best actor nominee, but I guess too many Academy voters held his past dreck against him, which is sad and hypocritical. I just pretend that this is a makeup for Pryce’s snub last year for “The Wife.” Three other acting standouts: Julia Fox, a new actress on the scene who radiated onscreen as Sandler’s love interest; LaKeith Stanfield, someone who really needs to win an Oscar already, and to my great surprise, Kevin Garnett, retired NBA legend. He had a natural screen presence and chemistry with Sandler and stole multiple scenes. Interesting fact: other NBA players were considered for this role (set in 2012), including Joel Embiid, Amar’e Stoudemire, and eerily enough, Kobe Bryant (RIP). All backed out for one reason or another, and thankfully, Garnett was chosen instead. This is a crazy and divisive film that I can’t stop thinking about. I’m kinda glad that Sandler found some critical recognition for this role. It shows what he can do when he’s not playing annoying man children or being in films about evil remote controls.January 31, 2020 at 10:41 am #1203321948
Klaus – adorable and fluffy. Beautifully animated.
I lost my body – beautiful. I wish I had the chance to see this in theatres. One of the best scores I’ve heard all year.February 22, 2020 at 11:21 am #1203356640
American Beauty (1999)
I thought it was an amazing film and deserved to win Best Picture. I enjoyed everyone for the exception of Bening. I thought she was fabulous in like the first half of the movie and just went downhill from there. Spacey deserved his win. Cooper scared the crap out of me. He was robbed of a nomination. Suvari was my MVP. I was surprised that I enjoyed her performance that much. Bentley and Birch were spectacular as well. I thought it deserved all of its nominations except for Best Actress. I would have nominated Cooper and Suvari for Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress with Bentley and Birch right behind them.February 22, 2020 at 1:03 pm #1203356740
Saw Fury Road again a couple of days ago to determine whether or not it was still my favorite movie of all time after Parasite, and the answer is yes. There’s just so much to love about Fury Road: the phenomenal practical action, mind-blowing visuals, stunning choreography. This is quite possibly the best looking film ever made, and it’s production values blow every other film this decade out of the water.
I’ve also come around to the story a lot more since I last saw it. Yes it’s simple, but that means the plot is super lean, with no bloat or filler, and has more time to focus on themes, characters, and world-building. And all of those aspects are done exceptionally well. That’s what sets Fury Road apart from a film like 1917: which is pitch perfect below-the-line, but suffers from a hollow script and a complete failure to emotionally invest.
I think the only (very nitpicky) criticism I can give is that it’s very unevenly acted. Theron and Hoult, who give decade-best performances as Furiosa and Nux, are so great that they make everyone else look bad by comparison (even though all of the performances in this film are decent). We know Hardy wasn’t very committed on set, but I think the other actors just weren’t as strong and that’s why they don’t shine as much.
I don’t give this rating much, but Fury Road is for sure a 5 out of 5 stars.
Stream After Hours and In Your Eyes (Remix)February 22, 2020 at 1:10 pm #1203356746
I watched LadyBird again and I’m still in love with it. Ugh Saoirse and Lauries performances were just as great as I remembered and I’m still pissed that it got nothingFebruary 22, 2020 at 1:31 pm #1203356752
I just rewatched Lady Bird (saw it when it first came out but was just on in the background). Loved the film. Ronan/Metcalf were most likely 2nd in their respective categories. Both gave terrific performances. Greta Gerwig’s direction was amazing, along with her writing
UNBELIEVABLE, Quiz, Years and Years, Defending Jacob in all Categories
Merritt Wever, Toni Collette, Matthew Macfadyen, Emma Thompson, Chris Evans & Michelle Dockery
STRANGER THINGS, The Morning Show, Big Little Lies, The Crown, Killing Eve
- Jennifer Aniston, VIOLA DAVIS, Jodie Comer, Sandra Oh, Nicole Kidman, Olivia Colman
- FIONA SHAW, HBC
SCHITTS CREEK, Dead to Me, Sex Education
- Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy, Christina Applegate, Linda CaFebruary 22, 2020 at 1:44 pm #1203356756
I watched LadyBird again and I’m still in love with it. Ugh Saoirse and Lauries performances were just as great as I remembered and I’m still pissed that it got nothing
Metcalf definitely should have won and was way above everyone. I love Janney to death but Metcalf was robbed.February 23, 2020 at 6:19 pm #1203357993
Portrait of a Lady on Fire finally came to my city and I was not disappointed. Honestly one of the best endings to a movie ever. Absolutely deserved Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Actress for Haenel and Merlant, Cinematography, Original Screenplay, Costume Design, and International Feature. I would’ve rooted for a win in Screenplay and Cinematography, both of which absolutely blew me away. Really sad this one didn’t get more love, but go see it while it’s in theaters in the US!!July 26, 2020 at 10:04 am #1203603779
Palm Springs (Hulu). I thought it was fine. The time loop concept was pretty generic. 3/5.
Greyhound (Apple). Only watch it if you follow the action in blockbusters–I usually just zone out during action set pieces, so I zoned out during the entire film. 2.5/5.
The Platform (Netflix). I was a bit put off by the art direction. Overall 2.5/5July 26, 2020 at 5:08 pm #1203604521
Ooh, I’ve been waiting for a thread like this for a while.
The Social Network: I finally saw this film after wanting to see it for so long. I agree that this film is fantastic. Jesse Eisenberg gives a fantastic performance, and, so does Andrew Garfiekd and, surprisingly, Justin Timberlake (I didn’t even know he could act until this movie). Sorkin’s screenplay is great too, of course (I had heard about Sorkin dialogue for so long but it really is impressive) and so is the score (I loved how electronic and energetic it was), but my favorite aspect of the film was it’s direction. David Fincher managed to make the whole film entertaining, even when they were doing super boring things, through great visuals and perfect dramatic timing. My only flaw with the film was that the flash-forward to the court hearings were jarring. I would have been okay with it happening 1-2 times, but they happened a few too many times, lasted far too long, and were usually just used as a crutch for exposition. Still a great film though, I give it 4.5/5 stars.
Airplane: Another film I had hear about for a while but finally saw just recently. All of the humor, with a few exceptions, is extemely funny. This film is just nonstop joke after nonstop joke: they throw everything at the wall and most of it sticks. It’s basically modern internet humor before that even existed. Make sure you’re watching and listening to this film closely because there’s some great jokes you may completely miss if you don’t. Despite all these jokes there’s still a pretty solid plotline throughout and strong performances to anchor the film. My biggest problem with the film is that it hasn’t aged well, thanks to casual racism (the “jive” talk), pedophilia jokes (the pilot talking to the little boy) and cringy sex jokes (the inflatable man and the horse) sticking out like a sore thumb in the overall solid crop of jokes. There also really shouldn’t be nudity in a PG film: I’m not sure how they got away with that. Overall I give it a 3.5 out of 5.
The End of Evangelion: I just recently watched Neon Genesis Evangelion, my new favorite TV show of all time, and this film, which is the complementary and definitive ending to that series, is my 2and favorite film of all time after Fury Road. The visual imagery is spectacular, so good that it became my new profile pic. Even if you have no idea what’s going on, anyone can appreciate this film as a technical marvel: filled to the brim with phenomenal action, perfect editing, and perhaps the best musical sequence in film history. The story is an incomprehensible mess for anyone who hasn’t seen the show, and even those who have struggle to comprehend it. But if you can get past all of the metaphors, allusions, and religious/historical symbolism, there’s a rich plotline filled with deep themes like rejecting escapism to face the real world, choosing to feel pain over eternal comfort, and what it means to truly be free human beings. It also takes some of the best and most complex characters ever created for fiction and concludes their arcs perfectly, and ends with one of the most debated about and ambiguous endings that will never be forgotten by anyone who sees the film. I’m giving The End of Evangelion a rare perfect score of 5 out of 5 stars.
Stream After Hours and In Your Eyes (Remix)July 26, 2020 at 7:16 pm #1203604740
“Harriet” (2019): Caught up with this film recently when it premiered on HBO. I thought it worked well on an adventure story level if you knew absolutely nothing about Harriet Tubman or the eventful life that she led. Otherwise, the film itself was no deeper than the subject’s Wikipedia entry, which is unfortunate. I think that slave narrative films post-“12 Years a Slave” have an immeasurable bar to climb moving forward. My major takeaways: Harriet Tubman was devoutly religious, valued freedom over death, and loved her family. That’s about it, really. Cynthia Erivo maintained attention throughout with her stoicism and bravery in the lead role. I don’t begrudge her Best Actress nomination, but if it was between her and Lupita Nyong’o, I’d chosen the latter in a heartbeat. It’s sad that it had to be one or the other, but with a baity biopic role vs. a dual lead in a horror film, early release date, genre bias, truncated Oscars schedule, and #OscarsSoWhiteRedux, there was sadly no chance for Lupita. Original song would have sufficed for Erivo, which even for an end credits song was far better than Elton’s little ditty. Leslie Odom, Jr. was also good, though after seeing his brilliance in “Hamilton,” this was a marked letdown. Janelle Monáe was solid here too. She’s amassing a nice catalogue of roles to her credit that’s nice to see happen. Overall, it was notable to see such an important historical figure like Tubman finally get the big screen treatment, but not in such a flat and unimaginative fashion as this.July 26, 2020 at 7:39 pm #1203604776
Original song would have sufficed for Erivo, which even for an end credits song was far better than Elton’s little ditty.
Not only did I predict Cynthia Erivo to win the Oscar in that category this year, but I also thought she had a really good shot of becoming the youngest person to have achieved EGOT status at only 33 years old, as well as the fastest to have ever accomplished that as it would’ve been within almost four years.
Three of the tunes that were nominated for Best Original Song (‘I’m Gonna Love Me Again’ from Rocketman, ‘I’m Standing with You’ from Breakthrough, and ‘Into the Unknown’ from Frozen II) were the sole representations for their films. Since the number of Best Picture nominees expanded in 2009, the award for Best Song only went to a lone Oscar nominated film twice. The first time was ‘Man or Muppet’ from The Muppets in 2011 and the second was ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ from Spectre in 2015. Though in both of those years, the winners were up against tunes that were also there as the lone representation for their films. With that particular stat in mind, it did not seem like good news for each of the three aforementioned songs, especially ‘(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again’. ‘Stand Up’ had the advantage of being an anthem played at the beginning of the end credits of Harriet just like a previous winner, ‘Glory’ from Selma. Similar to how Harriet was the very first biographical film about Harriet Tubman, Selma was the very first biographical film about another very important African American historical figure, Martin Luther King Jr.
The fact that Cynthia Erivo became the third consecutive performer to have received two Oscar nominations (one for acting, the other for songwriter) in the same year as well as her being the only person of color among the acting nominees, I though that really gave her a path towards victory in Best Original Song. Not to mention that if the nominees in that category were judged on their performances on the Oscar telecast alone, she could’ve won. And I don’t buy the whole “‘(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again’ won Best Original Song because voters wanted to make it up to Rocketman“. If they didn’t love the film that much, then why would they want to make it up to them with a win? The other four films it was up against in that category didn’t have much support either, so it was pretty much slim pickings to choose from.August 1, 2020 at 2:39 pm #1203621016
Spotlight (rewatch). It is exemplary in its telling of an important story in a manner that is warm, righteous, and precise. The production design of the office was top-notch. Cinematography was a bit bland, though. McCarthy does mostly well avoiding cliche directorial choices, but it could be trimmed down to zero (e.g. scenes like Mark Ruffalo’s baity angry scene or him cooking in his kitchen made me feel like I’m watching manufactured drama instead of a real life procedural). 8/10
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