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Angel P

Films - Watched and thoughts 2020

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We caved, spent the $20 to rent Invisible Man. It wasn't my cup of tea. Still, I'm all for getting new films at home vs theaters. So, that part was good.

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On 3/6/2020 at 3:47 PM, Whooter said:

The Invisible Man - What a fantastic film!  Elisabeth Moss just kills it, and Leigh Whannell has a great followup to "Upgrade."  If this had been the first film in the Universal's Dark Universe, it might still be around...

 

I had only one real nitpick with the film and that was

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the sister instantly believing that horrible email was from Cecilia.  I asked my wife and family if they got an email like that from me, if they'd just assume it was real or if they'd think I'd been hacked.  They all said they'd do a little research first.  lol.

 

Otherwise it was an amazing thrill ride.

I have a few of my own which doesn't seem to have bothered anyone else. :)

 

Spoiler

Had telekinesis been a thing in this movie, i would’ve bought how that restaurant scene played out but no one but Emily sees the knife floating in the air?  He then cuts her throat, goes and lifts Cecilia’s arm, opens her hand, places the knife, closes her hand...  ugh!  i get the shock of that scene (safety in a public place) is what people are reacting to but how did he manage all this?  He has an invisibility suit but he’s still a solid, physical person without extraordinary abilities.  If all that had been happening to me up until then, i would’ve recoiled from feeling someone grab my arm, my sisters throat slit or not.  Also, quite convenient none of the waiters constantly walking around bump into him.

 

Another one is outside the mental ward in the rain. I replayed the scene and couldn’t understand why the rain wasn’t cascading over him whenever he was near Cecilia.  

 

Anyone not think Cecilia putting on the suit, killing Adrian, taking off the suit was a little too quick?  I get her overpowering him, element of surprise and all.  He didn’t know she stashed the other suit but at some point he must know it’s missing.  And yet, she was almost as fast getting this kill as Tom/Adrian was in killing Emily.  Not quite but, you know.

 Some nitpicks in a movie that i loved anyway but kept the movie from getting a 5 star rating.  

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Finally found some time to catch up on a few Oscar nominees.

  • Jo Jo Rabbit - 7/10 (So, I may have fucked the official LCVG rating system...sorry) - Clever but the best humor wasn't the smart stuff. Love the oddly idyllic look of the film...over saturated colors communicate, "yes, there are Nazi's but you shouldn't take this too seriously".
  • Parasite - 8/10 - I probably need to see it again to better dissect the last 30 minutes. The dialog is smartly sharp in all the right ways. I am still undecided but my initial impression is that it didn't slam home the class division point quite hard enough. Don't get me wrong...it's on point, It just wasn't the wrecking ball I was hoping for.
  • 1917 - 9/10 - Earns the rating for the camera work alone. The cuts are expertly hidden and would require several viewings to find. I didn't expect much beyond technical prowess but there is a strong humanitarian side to this that works incredibly well. 
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1917 is one of the most gorgeously shot movies I’ve seen since in Skyfall and I didn’t expect some of the turns the story took. I was never not totally engaged with it.

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Underwater. Reviewed poorly on release, can totally understand why critics disliked it. It's the kind of low budget highly focused monster movie they don't really make much any more. There's little character "growth", there's little plot, just one big monster chase. Kristen Stewart actually holds it all together well, despite most other characters being largely just paper thin. The action's well scripted. The monsters are monstrous. The situation is dire. And it kept our attention for the 90 odd minutes it was on. Totally slight film, but we enjoyed it. 

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2 hours ago, Romier S said:

1917 is one of the most gorgeously shot movies I’ve seen since in Skyfall and I didn’t expect some of the turns the story took. I was never not totally engaged with it.

 

I think time's not going to be kind to 1917, in that its technical excellence + quality of presentation are draped over what's ultimately a story that doesn't make sense, filled with critical scenes that only make sense because of Star Wars Stormtrooper logic. I loved it when I first saw it in the cinema, but its flaws, that I was happy to ignore because of 'film reasons' were more in my face the second time. 

There's much to love in it, but I suspect we're giving it more leeway because of its technical & structural achivements. The guts don't stand up to dissection 😕 

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3 hours ago, dogbert said:

 

I think time's not going to be kind to 1917, in that its technical excellence + quality of presentation are draped over what's ultimately a story that doesn't make sense, filled with critical scenes that only make sense because of Star Wars Stormtrooper logic. I loved it when I first saw it in the cinema, but its flaws, that I was happy to ignore because of 'film reasons' were more in my face the second time. 

There's much to love in it, but I suspect we're giving it more leeway because of its technical & structural achivements. The guts don't stand up to dissection 😕 


It wouldn’t be the first movie and there are far more shallow candidates in the history of cinema that have stood the test of time. The flaws you mentioned aren’t lost to me. From surviving a direct tripwire explosion to

running around a German occupied city zig zagging soldiers that couldn’t hit the broadside of barnyard

but I’d argue it’s a movie that’s more heart than brains. 

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Richard Jewell - I was hesitant to start this one because most sources touted it as not one of Eastwood’s best. I’d say they were all wrong. It was also late at night when I did start it, not expecting to watch all of it, but I did and was glad that I did. 
 

I’d imagine most reviewers didn’t enjoy it because of how the film portrays media and bureaucrats working in lock step to bend the image of an individual in just the right ways to get every aspect of a story wrong. And nearly ruining a family’s life in the process. It’s been over 20 years, but the same shit still happens today. 
 

All of the performances in the movie were really good. And the pacing of the movie kept me on edge. Maybe not Eastwood’s best, but I enjoyed it immensely. 

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Wanted to watch an action movie so gave Bloodshot a try. It had a few cool effects shots but, that’s really it. Complete throw-away plot, poor editing, a pretty forgettable soundtrack (with 2 classic song exceptions), stupid villains, stupid characters, just bad.
 

I give it 1 out of 5 Vins 

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I enjoy watching older films, so I took my wife along this past week through some, carefully picked to warm her up to the whole notion. 

 

The 39 Steps (1935) (This was my first viewing as well) It's a great movie, we both enjoyed. (Spoiler; all of these movies were great, and we both enjoyed them throughly! )  The draw was to see an early Hitchcock film, knowing it would be different than the later stuff most of us are familiar with, and is considered a classic as well. In retrospect in glad we watched this first, as I feel like I personally enjoy the next two films just a bit more, so it just happened that I lucked into the right viewing order. 

 

My Man Godfrey (1936) This movie is great, It's seen it before, and it was great experiencing it with my wife for her first time. My wife starts each of my random movies choices with a bit of 'wtf is this', followed by a resignation that somehow it'll turn out to be good. She's just been through it enough, like her own personal groundhog day. But I think in Godfrey she didn't simply give into the experience, but found a piece that connected with her. It's just a fun movie,  lampoon and roast, yet warm and rewatchable. Imagine a 1930's version of the Kardashians meet George Bailey as Mr. Belvedere, BUT the Kardashians are actually entertaining! This is a great movie to watch with your significant other. 

 

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) Anyone who know this movie is probably already laughing out loud. 😁  I threw caution out of the window with this one, I picked one of the greatest silent films ever! My wife,... 

 

john cena wtf GIF

 

She gets so annoyed when these movies end, despite trying to be positive going in, deep down she's expecting to not enjoy stuff. And I don't think she's ever not liked a movie I've picked. It's like 'fist in the air', I really enjoyed that, you win again! This was clearly my biggest achievement, she really, really enjoyed a silent movie, whodathunk! 

 

I don't really want to spoil this one, but it's a great wife movie! Well, if she's adventurous enough to let you subject her to a silent film! 

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Those are all wonderful.

 

Do you own City Girl? There’s a great UK Blu-ray of that from Eureka. It was Murnau’s third Hollywood film. 

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No, but I added it to my list after going down the IMDB & wiki rabbit holes. Watch movie, enter rabbit hole!

 

Here's a picture of my father with George O'Brien (1977). No, not the lady, you funny guys! Bottom left, not the best image, sorry. My father's always been a big movie fan & film collector. 

 

 

download_20200406_124325.jpg

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1 hour ago, JTello said:

Rear Window (1954) 👍👍

 

Terrific film! If you haven't seen this before, check it out. Someone took all the outdoor scenes and turned it into a timelapse. Pretty incredible stuff:

 

 

Note: I am a different Jeff :)

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On 2/10/2020 at 9:46 PM, dogbert said:

Gretel & Hansel - this was a real surprise. It's extremely dark, and manages to be quite grotesque at times by choosing its imagery really well to stay as a PG13, but still be disturbing... It's Medievel Europe. It's filled with Pagan imagery, + witchcraft. It's very arty in its look + framing. And it's not afraid to go to the dark edges of Grimm's fairytales. Not surprised it's bombing with audiences, but we were blown away by it. "The Witch For Teenagers"? 


We watched this again tonight as a family movie night (with Alamodrafthouse popcorn made at home FTW!). Kids were  properly scared, but at the same time probed at the re-occurring symbols, and recognised them, in ways they didn't before. Triangle!

Wow. I still love this film... I hope it finds its audience at home as I think there's a lot of people who would enjoy this mix of Grimm fairytale story + imagery. 

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Watched Birds of Prey last night, utterly forgettable. Margot Robbie is good (again) as Harley but, doesn’t save this one for me. 

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On 4/6/2020 at 2:26 AM, Magness said:

Wanted to watch an action movie so gave Bloodshot a try. It had a few cool effects shots but, that’s really it. Complete throw-away plot, poor editing, a pretty forgettable soundtrack (with 2 classic song exceptions), stupid villains, stupid characters, just bad.
 

I give it 1 out of 5 Vins 


 

The moment he signed on I knew they would fuck it up. It’s such a good property, with potential to spinoff more Valiant properties.

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Vertigo (1958)

Of the films I've tracked here over the past couple of weeks, this was our least favorite. That's not to say it's not great, it's simply not as tight and explicitly great, IMO. The greatest flaws are the combination of length + speed + indulgence. I sincerely apologized to my wife late into the movie, "I didn't realize this was a three hour movie."  She spied the run time as we started the movie, and replied "It said it was just over two hours." A quick check of the clock confirmed. Even though I was enjoying it, I really thought we'd almost hit the three hour mark. 

 

I cannot deny that what works in this movie is great, but at the same time Hitchcock took his theme of male fantasy indulgence to a meta level, creating a film which is in of itself felt indulgent. It could have been cleaner, tighter, less lingering. It felt like a literal interpretation of 'a Jimmy Stewart movie'. Like Jimmy Stewart is the star, Jimmy Stewart moves and talks at a very unique & labored speed, this entire movie is going to move at 'Jimmy speed!' 

 

Ultimately I also didn't buy into the love story. It existed as a mechanism of the story, but I didn't see enough for her to fall in love with him, we were just supposed to accept it. There's Jimmy Stewart, he's infatuated with her, and this is a movie, so yep she's in love with him too. If this were a different story, and she were infatuated with the whole idea of someone being infatuated with her, a nobody from Kansas, that could be a fascinating exploration. But this movie went simple, she's just in love with him.

 

I did enjoy a lot of the technical aspects of Vertigo, the filming depths and angles, the colors, the exploration of San Francisco, etc.  (It's a fantastic record of the parts of the city captured.) 

 

Having just watched Rear Window, I was struck how these movies, just a few years apart, we so polar in handling of the location/setting.  Rear Window representing NYC via a single neighborhood and filmed entirely on a tight controlled sound stage set. Vertigo goes to the opposite coast and shows us the real San Francisco, as raw as if you were to walk or drive across and visit it yourself.  Seeing these films back-to-back and how they were produced, it was just so striking and fascinating.

 

I think the arguments around where this movie sits in the pantheon of great movies are good to have. I think think there are some people who want to dismiss it as not great, and obviously a great number of people who now consider it one of The Greats.  I fall in between, where I really appreciate it, yet think it falls short of The Greats. Opinions are just that, opinions, so don't take it as a declaration, simply as my take. 

 

It's impossible to have such a debate without examining the history of culture and films, both domestically and internationally, when devising one's argument. We all do this though our own filters and understanding. One of the most impressive films I've ever seen is The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. It's absolutely stunning and impressive, particularly when you understand it was created during the infancy of film, and coming on the heels of WW1 (and, heck, a world pandemic). It's an absolutely mind boggling achievement! 

 

Vertigo is highly impressive if you only view it within the puritanical lens of post-war green lawns suburban America. But when you stand back, view the history of the world and of film entirely, Vertigo feels far less ground breaking. More like a small cultural revolt than industry/culture game changer. 

 

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Vertigo grew on me over time after subsequent viewings, and I'd say it's at the top of my Hitchcock list. 

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Hey that reminds me:

 

We watched Fistful of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More halfway through the Mandalorian and it was great seeing them back to back.

 

How about some other movie pairings like:

 

Three Days of the Condor and Captain America Winter Soldier

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29 minutes ago, jubjub75 said:

Have you watched North by Northwest yet?

 

I have, a number of years back. I remember enjoying it, but it's on my re-watch list as well. 

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Watched Onward last night, thought it was good. Not my favorite Pixar film but, good animation, a good movie and the story beats regarding the father and 2 brothers really hit hard at a few points for me. Worth a watch/rental but, probably won’t buy it. 

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The Turning - a nice throwback ghost story to the likes of The Others, ruined by

an awful structure of an ending that wanted to have its cake + eat it, leaving the audience in my house really frustrated by the structure of the last 5-10 minutes - it's less the lack of clarity, more the absolute unwillingness to answer the big question asked (was it real or was it mental?).



I'd hope it's clear that I don't mind ambiguity in my films. My wife + daughter much less so, sure. But this ending wasn't about being ambiguous, it was wilfully frustratingly poorly thought out. 



So yeah? 

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