The Resident Bitch's Movie Log

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Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
[size="1"]Imdb
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Nice review Bitch
I love this movie would rate it much higher but hey What would I know
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Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.
Buddha



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."





Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
[size="1"]Imdb
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Nice review Bitch
I love this movie would rate it much higher but hey What would I know
Well at least you can rest assured that it won't be getting last place on my ballot when it's time for me to vote in this hall of fame.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I'm exactly the same way when it comes to Wes Anderson films, a strike out every time with the only exception being Budapest Hotel that actually was a utter and surprising home run for me. NO IDEA why it all worked great in that one and fails miserably in others. . .

And reps for the ranting against Bringing up Baby. Don't hate the film but LOVED your rant!!
"But he's a paleontologist? Spare me. "Intercostal clavicle"? F*** you." Simple and therefore exquisite.



The Grand Budapest Hotel isn't one of the five Anderson films I've seen, so maybe at some point I'll give it a shot. My expectations aren't real high, but I guess we'll see.

Glad you enjoyed my rant. I had a much better time reviewing Bringing Up Baby than I did actually watching it.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
No idea if you'd like Budapest, most likely won't. I know if I tried to figure out WHY I liked it out of the others i'd just get a really really bad headache. So I don't.

I kinda figured you enjoyed the rant more than the movie because I could almost hear the sigh after you finished.



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
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so when will we be free perpetual virgins without memory and who don't speak in search of her who on the sidewalks alternating at each train on the trains the bistros on the road the crowd of all the capitals of Europe and of the towns at dawn behind a girl alone in the waiting room i throw a rock into the pond the stories spiral out upside-down towards the sex i will recapitulate love in the real order of the circles my little girl





Ronin (John Frankenheimer, 1998)
Imdb

Date Watched: 9/27/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 11th MoFo Hall of Fame
Rewatch: No


I don't have any real complaints about this film - the acting was solid (and featured quite a few familiar faces including a Game of Thrones alum or two), the story was interesting, and the cinematography matched the film's gritty tone - but I definitely didn't love it. It has some exciting car chases, car crashes, explosions, and cool shoot-outs and for that I could enjoy it on a superficial level. However, I never established any emotional investment in its characters, so when one was betrayed or killed I felt nothing for them. This is not necessarily the fault of the film and I'm not sure that this type of story truly requires an emotional investment from its audience for the average viewer to like it, but it is something that I require.

I have nothing but respect for what the film does well and for that I'll give it a good rating, however it's just not my cup of tea.

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Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
I'm with you on Ronin. As a big fan of action and thriller films I was looking forward to it but when I finally watched it a few years ago I was left rather underwhelmed by it. From what I remember I'd also say there wasn't anything particularly wrong with it, just that it was somewhat flat





Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013)
Imdb

Date Watched: 9/28/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 11th MoFo Hall of Fame
Rewatch: No


Potential Spoilers Ahead

Despite its 82 minute runtime, this is by no means a film for those with deficient attention spans. It crawls at a snail's pace. There's little excitement. There's no color. There's only quiet contemplation, reflection, and questions with no concrete answers.

The film centers on two characters - Anna and Wanda. Anna spent her childhood as an orphan in a convent. Now a young woman, she is on the verge of taking her vows to spend the rest of her life as a nun. But first she must spend time with Wanda - an aunt Anna never knew, who will reveal to her a tragic family secret.

I instantly connected with Wanda and sympathized with her struggles to process her grief over the murders of her family. Anna was a little more difficult. I imagine it must be quite a shock to suddenly go from knowing nothing of your origins to learning that your name and your religion are not at all what they once were and that your parents are buried somewhere in unmarked graves - victims of murder that will never get justice. But her face and actions never seemed to betray any emotion at any point in the film, making that critical connection nearly impossible for me to form.

Which is not necessarily to say that this was a poor artistic choice. After all, how much grief can a person really have for people they never really knew? But even in Ida's (Anna's birth name) brief discovery and exploration of mankind's carnal urges she expresses neither joy nor regret or disappointment. Something that I found almost more frustrating than her near non-reaction to finding out about her family.

Still, the story itself was an engaging one and as frustrated as I was with Anna/Ida, she still somehow didn't seem unreal to me. I also really liked that the film never really vilified the killer and left his true motivations open to interpretation rather than painting a black and white picture of the how and the why.

Anyway, forgive my rambling, train-of-thought review here. There were several things that I really liked about the film, but ultimately I found myself respecting it a lot more than I actually enjoyed it.

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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
that was a much higher rating for Ronin than what I'd expect from you simply because it wasn't your cup of tea, but serious rep for giving respect for what you did like in it.

For myself I've always enjoyed the old school spy film aspect and yes, the actors and the action are solid. It is a favorite of mine though I do agree, when someone dies I've never felt either way about it except for how it impacted the story line.





The Flowers of War (Jin ling shi san chai) (Yimou Zhang, 2011)
Imdb

Date Watched: 9/30/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 11th MoFo Hall of Fame
Rewatch: No


Like Raise the Red Lantern, the other film I've seen from Yimou Zhang, The Flowers of War is breathtakingly shot and features complex characters. Unlike Lantern, however, there were a few things that bothered me about this film.

I think my biggest gripe is that the film felt too Hollywood in all the wrong ways. The white hero - played by an A-list Hollywood actor, no less - in a foreign land BS particularly rubbed me the wrong way. I expect as much - and can better accept it - from a Hollywood director, but I hoped for something else from a Chinese one - especially since the story is only inspired by the events of the Rape of Nanking and the characters themselves are fictional. The shoe-horned in love story and the fact that Bale is among my least favorite actors didn't help much either. I was also a bit bothered by the one dimensional pure-evil portrayal of the Japanese, though given the event that inspired the film, its is far more forgivable than other issues I had.

Thankfully there was enough in the rest of the film to compensate for these problems. It's worth mentioning again how beautiful the cinematography is - from the vibrant colors of the women's dresses to the dark, somber scenes of death and destruction on the street. The film spins the tale of unlikely heroes (a drunken mortician and a group of prostitutes hiding in a church in order to save themselves) and of self sacrifice so that others may live. The juxtaposition of mankind at its worse and its best, was moving and heartbreaking. I just wish it felt more authentic and less like the fiction that it is.

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Bashu, the Little Stranger (Bashu, gharibeye koochak) (Bahram Beizai, 1989)
Imdb

Date Watched:10/02/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 11th MoFo Hall of Fame
Rewatch: No


I definitely had some mixed feelings about this one.

My biggest gripe is that quite a bit of the acting, including the child playing Bashu, felt unnatural. I realize that Bashu was essentially suffering from PTSD and struggling to adapt to a different culture, but his reactions and emotions were over-exaggerated. I had a tough time buying the reactions of Naiiís neighbors. I didnít so much have an issue with them going from one general feeling about Bashu to another, but rather how quickly their attitudes changed and then reversed. I had an easier time accepting this from the children because, well, kids are a**holes who change their minds about things all the time, but from the adults it was harder to swallow. I also found the constant animal noises from Naii to be both irritating and distracting and there were certain scenes I didnít quite understand at all. What the hell was that (really fake looking) creature in the field and what was its significance? So confused.

Still the basic premise of the film was interesting and many of the scenes between Bashu and Naii were quite touching. The bond between them felt real and I couldnít help but admire Naiiís conviction and perseverance in her efforts to make Bashu part of her family.

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Fire in the Sky (Robert Lieberman, 1993)
Imdb

Date Watched:10/07/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The MoFo Sci-Fi List
Rewatch: Yes


This is the first of a handful of rewatches I plan to do for the Sci-Fi List.

I'd seen Fire in the Sky a few times before and quite liked it, but it's been many years. I'd vividly remembered the scenes of abduction and experimentation, but I'd forgotten just how brief they were and how far into the movie they appear.

In my particular case, the sparseness of actual Sci-Fi content is not a criticism but I actually rather appreciate it. The film centers around a man's abduction by aliens, but that's not what it's actually about. It's an emotional film that instead focuses on the effects his disappearance has on his friends, family, and community and the destructive force his abduction and subsequent re-appearance have on him and his best friend.

But, brief as they are, those experimentation scenes are quite terrifying and memorable, possibly some of the most terrifying scenes I've watched in any film. They're definitely the highlight and are the one really impressive thing in an otherwise solid but not spectacular movie.

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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I gotta tell ya, that image freaks me the hell out, but, having read so many reviews of yours of movies that weren't ones you'd originally check out but you did anyway, I am going to watch this on netflix.





Le Cercle Rouge (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970)
Imdb

Date Watched:10/11/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 11th MoFo Hall of Fame, sort of.
Rewatch: No.


This was nominated by seanc for the 11th HOF, but ultimately he had to drop out due to time constraints and the film was removed from the nominations. By the time he announced he was dropping out, I'd already picked this up from the library so I figured I may as well watch it anyway.

Let me just say there's nothing actually wrong with this movie. The acting is fine. The story is fine. The cinematography is fine. But I really struggled to get through it. I didn't like any of the characters and I didn't dislike any of them either. I just didn't care. I didn't care about the people. I particularly didn't care about Corey, who I found to be very flat. He wasn't sympathetic. He wasn't charismatic. He wasn't intriguing. I'll admit the film did pick up by the time of the actual heist and the finale was good, but not enough to reverse my apathy.

I didn't quite hate it but I was rather bored through most of the film.

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Fathers and Daughters (Gabriele Muccino, 2015)
Imdb

Date Watched:10/12/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: Russell Crowe
Rewatch: No


Possible Spoilers Ahead

I went into this film knowing next to nothing about it because - except for a few PMs from JayDee who alerted me to it - I never heard anything about it. No ads on television. No reviews, either from critics or movie fans. Nothing.

What I did know was that it starred Russell Crowe, who despite some recent missteps (Man of Steel, Noah, The Man With the Iron Fists, and the truly awful Winter's Tale), has been one of my favorite actors for the past sixteen years. He is second only to Joaquin Phoenix in his ability to make me feel for his characters (except for Winter's Tale, there's just nothing redeeming about that movie) and with this performance he did not let me down.

Russell Crowe plays Jake Davis, a Pulitzer Prize winning author struggling to cope with the physical and psychological trauma that he suffered following a horrific car accident that killed his wife and left him a single father. But his troubles don't end there. A stay in a mental hospital strains his finances. His new book is a critical and commercial bomb. His sister-in-law and her lawyer husband have filed a custody suit for his daughter. And the neurological damage from the accident has left him with increasingly severe seizures.

Davis is a loving, dedicated father willing to sacrifice anything for his child and Crowe does well to give this character an emotional authenticity. The scenes between him and Kylie Rogers, who plays his daughter Katie, are touching and effective.

But his is not the only story being told here. We also fast forward many years to follow an older Katie (played by Amanda Seyfried) - a young woman who doesn't know how to love or be loved and who self-destructs in a haze of alcohol and a stream of one night stands. But her life isn't total chaos. She finds purpose in her career as a social worker, where she develops a strong bond with a troubled, orphaned child.

Both stories are engaging, both lead performances are solid, and the supporting cast - including Aaron Paul, Octavia Spencer, Diane Kruger, and Jane Fonda - are all good as well, but there's something lacking here. And that something is a true connection between the stories. The film never really tells us why. We flash back and forth from a child who knows love very well to a woman who is a near stranger to it, but we are deprived of the journey from one point to the other. From the quick bit of research I've done, it seems the final film is significantly different from the original script in this regard - which is a shame, because what we're left with just feels incomplete.




Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Glad you liked it MV, at least enough that it wasn't a waste of money as a blind buy

I went into this film knowing next to nothing about it because - except for a few PMs from JayDee who alerted me to it - I never heard anything about it. ]
Woohoo! I just got a shout-out from the great Miss Vicky.