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October 25, 2020 at 3:31 pm #1203801953
I have just finished watching Over the Moon on Netflix. I found it to be quite a unique animated feature that tells a heartfelt story about family really well. The way this movie looks is visually very imaginative. All of the musical numbers are wonderfully well realized and performed. God bless Netflix for giving a film like this the release platform it deserves.October 30, 2020 at 6:58 pm #1203812425
I caught up tonight with “Shithouse,” which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at SXSW this year. To begin, the plot of this film, which follows a college freshman who is having a hard time adjusting and making friends, was something that very much reflected my experience during the first few months of college, so I really connected with this story right from the start. All of this being said, I adored this film. Cooper Raiff makes his feature film acting, directing and writing debut and what an arrival this is. He is an immediately warm and endearing screen presence, and his vulnerability and messiness came through in every scene. He is funny and heartbreaking in equal measure, and the film does not work without his winning performance. He is also aided by a screenplay that plays to his own strengths as an actor, but he’s got a beautiful story here that manages to still pack a few surprises. This movie is really funny, but also has some moments of introspection and dramatic heft that create a well-rounded screenplay. His direction is also very good and he has a skill at letting the moment linger and speak for itself. Dylan Gelula, who I can never get a great read on as an actress, is really great here and isn’t afraid to get a little dirty in regards to the movie’s tougher moments. But yeah, I just kinda loved this film and it was one of those experiences while watching that I knew I was watching a film I was gonna love and revisit many times again in the future. I know this is a small little indie comedy but I really suggest seeking it out if this genre appeals to you, and especially to see the origins of Cooper Raiff, a multi-hyphenate I think (and hope) we’ll be seeing great things from in the coming years.October 30, 2020 at 7:02 pm #1203812429
Watched Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon for the first time in a long time. Holy fuck…
I love how there’s a degree of sympathy to everyone’s motivations in this. I love the visual framing. I love how delightfully unreal the fight scenes are. The mid-movie arc in the desert was so erotically loaded and romantic.
Yeah this is a 10/10 movie.
For Your Consideration:
Best Picture: Wolfwalkers
Best Animated Feature: WolfwalkersOctober 30, 2020 at 9:57 pm #1203812519
This week I have watched:
Rebecca (2020); 7/10
Far From Heaven; 7/10
On The Rocks; 6/10
Over the Moon; 7/10
Boys State; 8/10
Letterboxd: BrayfersNovember 8, 2020 at 11:20 am #1203823321
The Devil All The Time is such a wasted opportunity.
The script is all over the place.
But the performances are amazing: specially Robert Pattinson, Riley Keough, Tom Holland, Jason Clarke, Bill Skarsgård and Eliza Scanlen.
FYC TV: Stateless | We Are Who We Are | Cate Blanchett in Stateless | Paapa Essiedu in I May Destroy You
FYC Movie: Boys In The Band | Toni Collette in I’m Thinking Of Ending Things | Jim Parsons in The Boys In The Band | Shailene Woodley in Endings, Beginnings | Zoey Deutch in Buffaloed | Sebastian Stan in Endings, BeginningsNovember 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm #1203823368
The Shape of Water: it was one of my favourites of all time when it came out and I remember watching it 7 time sin theater but after just 3 years it doesnt hold up which truly surprised me. I was so in love with the movie but now it was just kind of Meh. I thought it would always be one of my favs but I was wrong. Hawkins performance is still stunning.
The wolf of Wall Street,: another movie that doesnt hold up for me. It’s just an overbearing in every way and honestly after some time I didnt really love Leo’s performance as much as I did before
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri: now this was a complete opposite for me, the first time I saw it I liked it quite a bit but didnt love it but after rewatching it it has now become one of my favourites of all time taking the spot the shale of water jam to have. I find it rather funny two movies from 2017 one I love that I dont care for now and one I liked that I love know. Frances McDormand was born to play Mildred Hayes obviously it wasn’t a stretch for her but she is fucking unrelenting and unbashadley monumental the point is dont fuck with herNovember 13, 2020 at 9:19 am #1203834101
I have just finished watching The Life Ahead on Netflix. I found it to be quite a heartfelt film from Italy. In her grand return to the movies, legendary actress Sophia Loren gives an incredible performance as a holocaust survivor who’s running a daycare business. I hope she’s able to continue working for the rest of her life as her presence in any movie is always welcomed. Newcomer Ibrahima Gueye perfectly holds his own against Loren, giving in what my opinion has to be the best child performance of the year (so far). Together, they both share excellent chemistry that grows throughout the movie. Not to mention that the musical score by Gabriel Yared is very haunting. Though Diane Warren has written a beautiful end credits song that I think perfectly captures the themes of this film.November 17, 2020 at 3:42 pm #1203844201
I have just finished watching The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story. I found it to be a fascinating in-depth look at the creation and impact of one of the leading kids’ TV networks in the world. I also thought that the documentary featured such a wide variety of insightful interviews with creative talents who were involved with Nickelodeon back in it’s heyday.November 17, 2020 at 5:09 pm #1203844315
Nocturnal Animals. Great film. I wished Tom Ford was a full time director. Gyllenhaal and Adams were superb, it’s crazy to me that the former hasn’t been nominated to anything since Brokeback Mountain
Best Actor: Mads Mikkelsen (Another Round)
Best Actress: Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)November 17, 2020 at 6:30 pm #1203844391
Saw Sound of Metal. It was fine. I can see why Riz was getting raves from critics. Its pretty much a critic bait performance: internal subtle moody. I dont think he gets in without their strong support.November 18, 2020 at 6:15 am #1203844917
Never Rarely Sometimes Always. Good movie, tough watch, a harder watch than The Assistant. Flanigan was fantastic. Talia Ryder was also great, although it was a very muted role.
It’s absolutely pathetic how this was review bombed by idiots on Metacritic. They need to have measures in place to keep this from happening.
Best Director - Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), Darius Marder (Sound of Metal)
Lead Actor - Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods), Mads Mikkelsen (Another Round), Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal)
Supporting Actor - Paul Raci (Sound of Metal)
Supporting Actress - Youn Yuh-jung (Minari)November 20, 2020 at 2:37 pm #1203851098
Now that I’m finally finished watching all of the films in my Film and Media Studies 100 class, here’s a quick review for each of them.
Children of Men: I was really blown away by the cinematography of this film: excellent stuff from Emmanuel Lubezki. The story reminded me a lot of the story from The Last of Us: dark and depressing, yet still hopeful, and it had a perfect ending. Overall a 4.5/5.
Sorry to Bother You: I’ve been wanting to see this film for a while and I finally got the chance. The story is bonkers at it’s most normal and absolutely batshit crazy at it’s most weird, yet all of it works so well. Boots Riley juggles a lot of themes like the evils of capitalism, slavery, liberal racism, and the right to protest, but they all mostly gel together. Great leading performance from Lakeith Stanford, and I love the many surrealist elements. Overall I give it a 4.5/5.
Casablanca: I already loved this film the first time I saw it and I loved it even more the 2nd time. Definitely one of the best BP winners of all time. I miss when Hollywood films were filmed and edited like this: there’s so much meaning in each shot and cut. Such a simple yet elegant film. Overall I give it a 4.5/5.
Far From Heaven: One of the biggest surprises out of all the films I saw. The style evokes a 1950’s melodrama, but the plot lines of interracial romance and a man struggling with his closeted homosexuality are all too modern. Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid are both great in their leading roles (the former was nominated for an Oscar for this film) and it’s also one of the first on-screen appearances of Viola Davis. The story is constantly heartbreaking and ends with a tragic, yet poignant, ending. Overall I give it a 4/5.
Mad Max Fury Road: What can i say about this masterpiece that I haven’t already said. Easy 5/5.
Hot Fuzz: Another big surprise for me. I’d heard of Edgar Wright’s editing style but it was something else to see it in person. This film was such a blast from start to finish, and constantly hilarious. It convinced me to watch another optional Edgar Wright film, Baby Driver. Overall I give it a 4.5/5.
Baby Driver: Another excellent film from Edgar Wright. This film relies entirely on it’s central idea of syncing it’s action scenes up to music, and Edgar Wright pulls it off perfectly. the action is phenomenal in this film, as is the Score, Sound, and Editing. it as funny as Hot Fuzz but still pretty funny. the plot is solid and has many twists and turns, although I didn’t like the romance or how underdeveloped Lily James’ character was. Overall I give it a 4/5.
The Conversation: This is now one of my favorite films of all time. An absolutely incredible film from start to finish. Gene Hackman’s performance is a masterclass in subtle character acting, and the fact that he wasn’t nominated fro an Academy Award for Best Actor is downright criminal. The sound design is, of course, excellent too. The story is constantly tense and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The final twist and ending were so effective. This is just such a great film. Overall I give it a 5/5.
Psycho (1960): Sadly, I had the film’s two big twists and ending spoiled for me long before I saw the film, but it was effective nonetheless. I wish they made horror films like this more often: unsettling character studies instead of jump-scare riddled crap fests. It was such a bold move for Hitchcock to kill (SPOLIER) halfway through the film, but it pays off so well. I’ve never seen any other film pull off such a bold twist. Sadly, the film is dragged down by a lugubrious monologue at the end that explains too much all at once. The exposition dump lasts way too long and should have been cut out or removed entirely. Overall I give it a 4/5.
American Psycho: I really enjoyed this film, until the ending. Hate to say it, but the ending just wasn’t good. it would be like if Joker ended with the audience finding out that Arthur Fleck didn’t actually kill any of these people: he was just crazy the whole time. The film had such a clear message for most of it’s runtime, but by the end I had no idea what it was trying to say, aside from “Rich people are vain assholes”. Still worth a watch for Christian Bale’s excellent performance. Overall I give it a 3/5.
Lady Bird: I first saw this film early last year, back when I was still a Junior studying for the ACT and trying to figure out where I would go for college. Watching this film as a Freshman in college hit a lot different. I definitely related to Lady Bird even more than I did the first time. I love how character driven this film is. There’s no central plot line in this film, aside from lady Bird going through her final year of high school. Instead it’s all about her growing up, making mistakes, and learning a lot along the way. Excellent acting from everyone in the cast. Overall I give this film a 4.5/5.
Robocop: A fun action romp that has a lot more to say beneath the surface about the militarization of the police, the unholy merger of government and capitalism, and what it means to be human. I liked the themes but they don’t always gel together, especially in the ending. The action is gory but doesn’t really get good until the very end of the film. I like the surrealist humor and unique style that Paul Verhoven brings to the table, but the actors are not putting in the same work: this film has a lot of bad and/or hammy performances in it. Overall i give it a 3/5
Harlan County USA: A solid documentary about a really depressing topic. The documentarian went above and beyond to really capture everything about this movement: from the people themselves to it’s impact outside of Harlan County. However, it feels unfocused in the middle and drags on a little too long outside of Harlan County: I wish they had just kept it focused on that one spot. Nevertheless, it picks back up again and shines in the 3rd act: the scenes where violence breaks out against the protestors and the cameraperson is accosted by counter-protestors are especially harrowing. Overall I give it a 3.5/5.
Singin’ in the Rain: When I first saw this film as a kid I completely missed the whole idea of it being a meta-commentary on 1920’s Hollywood and the rough transition it went through from the silent era to the sound era. Now that I’m older and I was able to pick up on that, I’m glad I saw it again. The performances all still hold up, as do the musical numbers. the sheer amount of raw on-screen talent from Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds as they sing, dance, tap-dance, and even flip off of walls is incredible. I also love that they actually mixed the new choreography with music from older films: that was something I didn’t know about until just recently. The story is satirical, but not cynical, and there’s an earnest sense of nobility in the characterization that makes it work so well. Overall I give it a 4.5/5.
Parasite: Again, there’s nothing I can say about this film that hasn’t already been said. 5/5.
John's Best of 2020
Best Picture: Soul
Best Direction: The Midnight Sky
Best Actor: Chadwick Boseman
Best Actress: Viola Davis
Best Supporting Actor: Delroy Lindo
Best Supporting Actress: Amanda Seyfried
Best Screenplay: Soul
John's Best of 2021
Best Picture: Nomadland
Best Direction: Nomadland
Best Actor: Lakeith Stanfield
Best Actress: Frances McDormand
Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya
Best Supporting Actress: Dominique Fishback
Best Screenplay: Judas and the Black MessiahNovember 24, 2020 at 12:56 am #1203860270
“The Poseidon Adventure” (1972): I’ve always wanted to see this film, just so I could figure out if its reputation matched the actual product or not. I’ve heard many stories about how awful the film was, though in reality, it was a huge box office hit that inspired numerous “disaster epics” of the 1970s and wasn’t the critical flop I was led to believe. Compare that to the 2006 remake with Kurt Russell & Richard Dreyfuss that was basically considered a lifeless, floating dud. I was genuinely invested in the plight of these doomed passengers, since I didn’t know who survived and who didn’t. The cast was stacked with Oscar winners, which elevated the story in places where it required it the most. Gene Hackman was a sturdy lead that gave the film weight. Maybe somewhat beneath him and not his best role, but it was what the film demanded. Red Buttons, Roddy McDowall, Ernest Borgnine, Arthur O’Connell, Jack Albertson, Leslie Nielsen, etc., all had at least one memorable/campy/tragic/showy scene. It’s Shelley Winters who steals the show from just about everyone though. Did this role merit an Oscar nomination? For my mileage, no, but I’m guessing that the physical demands of the role plus the film’s most-discussed moment (Belle’s underwater swimming sequence) did the trick for a “welcome back!” type nomination. Her character was also subjected to a bunch of cruel and unnecessary weight jokes, which could have brought about some additional sympathy votes. This felt like a piece of film history I had to see at least once, but just once.November 24, 2020 at 8:05 pm #1203869754
I have just finished watching Hillbilly Elegy on Netflix. I found it to be an interesting movie that I do not think is as bad as a lot of people think it is. Overall, there are two major aspects about this film that I found most compelling:
1. J.D. Vance’s relationship with his dysfunctional family. Whether or not you had the exact same kind of life as him, there are still aspects of it that I think anyone watching can easily relate to.
2. A lot of the performances, I really got a kick out of. It’s so much fun to see Amy Adams play a role like Bev Vance, J.D.’s troubled mother who can also be very sharp tongued. Glenn Close as his grandmother, Mamaw, is not only so damn memorable, but her character also has her moments of empathy. Though I would like to put in a good word for Gabriel Basso, whose performance as J.D. Vance I thought was able to keep the story grounded from all the arguments going on between different characters.
In the end, Hillbilly Elegy may not be one of Ron Howard’s best films, I also don’t think it’s one of his worst either. If anyone’s interested in watching this, I’d say feel free to give it a shot if you want. Though I don’t think it’s by any means a must-see.November 25, 2020 at 5:54 pm #1203873698
I have just finished watching The Nest. Throughout the first two thirds of this movie, it left me feeling cold. I thought Jude Law was giving a very charismatic performance while Carrie Coon was very emotionally affective as his American wife. Though the third act of this film was when I officially started to get invested. To me, the performances from both Law and Coon not only got better, but I found the dynamics between the two of them and their children to be a major highlight. Overall, I think The Nest is admirable, but might be more of acquired taste.
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