The Resident Bitch's Movie Log

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



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Glad to see you were still able to enjoy Moana despite its musical inclinations. As I said to you beforehand I really wasn't sure it would be to your tastes as it was a lot more sing-songy than I had realised. As I also said though I really liked it. I thought it looked gorgeous, had a familiar but engaging story, solid vocal performances and a likeable protagonist to really get behind. And I've got to say I really enjoyed the music. I thought the score was great and I was also a fan of some of the songs, so much so that they're still been stuck in my head even a few days on from seeing it. I thought that "Where You Are" was nice and that "How Far I'll Go" was a really rousing crowd-pleaser, that "You're Welcome" was fun and that "Shiny" was successful as a creepy villain song.

If I had one complaint it was the film's humour. I tend to find animated films to be about the funniest stuff that Hollywood puts out these days and that much of the humour arises from clever, witty writing and a place of creativity. I felt that maybe too much of Moana's humour came from quite simplistic slapstick. Her pet chicken for example basically just bumping into stuff for the whole film; I found that quite wearisome. My favourite source of comedic material was definitely Maui's living, interactive tattoos

And I thought you'd really like the accompanying short. It was a fun, creative effort that was also quite sweet.

What did Amanda think about it?

Also was I the only one that was reminded quite heavily of Pocahontas throughout? Not just the similarities in the respective societies and their connection to the planet or the similarities between Moana and Pocahonats themselves; both very adventurous free spirits. I also felt that there was just something about the songs that felt quite familiar



I felt that maybe too much of Moana's humour came from quite simplistic slapstick. Her pet chicken for example basically just bumping into stuff for the whole film; I found that quite wearisome. My favourite source of comedic material was definitely Maui's living, interactive tattoos.
I thought it was funny enough, especially for being essentially a princess movie. I didn't mind the chicken but didn't find it especially funny. I had kind of mixed feelings about the tattoo. It was unique and fun, but it started to wear pretty thin after awhile.

What did Amanda think about it?
She seemed to really enjoy it, though she was disappointed that the pig had so little screen time. She liked the short a lot, too.

Also was I the only one that was reminded quite heavily of Pocahontas throughout? Not just the similarities in the respective societies and their connection to the planet or the similarities between Moana and Pocahonats themselves; both very adventurous free spirits. I also felt that there was just something about the songs that felt quite familiar
I've only seen Pocahontas once and that was probably 15 years ago so I don't remember it well. I do recall not liking it much, though.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
She seemed to really enjoy it, though she was disappointed that the pig had so little screen time. She liked the short a lot, too.
Oh I was too. He was so freaking cute! I was disappointed that he didn't go on the voyage with Moana instead of the chicken.

One other thing I liked about the film was that for a princess film there was absolutely no trace of romance. I think it makes a nice change not to have a film that tells little girls that finding a man is the be the be-all and end-all in life.





The Ref (Ted Demme, 1994)
Imdb

Date Watched: 12/24/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: Christmas
Rewatch: Yes


With its ridiculous premise (about a feuding couple and their dysfunctional family that get taken hostage by a burglar on the run on Christmas Eve) and sometimes corny sentimentality, this very easily could've been a very forgettable holiday comedy. And it probably isn't really well known or well respected, but it has long been a personal favorite.

What makes this film really stand out for me are the three central performances. Denis Leary of course gets the lion's share of the laughs as the bumbling burglar who gets more than he bargains for when he finds himself forced to pose as a psychiatrist/marriage counselor for his hostages, in order to hide the reality of the situation from their holiday guests. But both Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis really stand out in to their roles as the captive couple who - through Leary's unorthodox methods of "therapy" - are able to peel away their collective layers of pain and resentment to uncover the real reasons things turned out the way they did and to rediscover their love for each other.

While Spacey may be better known for roles in such films as Se7en, The Usual Suspects, and American Beauty, this performance is no less impressive. He brings a heart-wrenching authenticity as a man who has fought and sacrificed for his family only to be resented and reviled by them. Not to be outdone, Judy Davis is an absolute riot as his neurotic wife who takes every opportunity to make little jabs at him and his visiting relatives.

While its sarcasm and profanity might make it a slightly unconventional Christmas film, it's also a very entertaining one and well deserving of its place on my annual holiday watch list.

+





Strange Days (Kathryn Bigelow, 1995)
Imdb

Date Watched: 12/28/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: Sci-Fi Countdown, Cricket's rec.
Rewatch: No


I actually had attempted to watch this movie twice before, but for some reason just couldn't seem to get into it and both times turned it off after about an hour. So I gave up and put it aside for awhile. On this third attempt, I still struggled with it in the beginning but forced myself to push through and actually ended up enjoying myself.

Set in Los Angeles in what was then the near future- the days leading up to New Year's Eve 1999, Strange Days centers around an ex-cop who peddles "playback tapes" - the product of a wearable technology that records not just the sights of experiences, but the feelings as well. He is unwittingly caught up in a conspiracy full of murder and betrayal.

While the performances are all solid and the premise is intriguing, I found myself much more caught up in the atmosphere of the film. Everything about the film's world is buzzing with unrest, conflict, and paranoia and these feelings are palpable through the screen - heightened by the excellent soundtrack, sets, costumes and cinematography. Like the "playback" that is key to the film's story, this is not something you simply watch, it's something you experience.

That said, though, this isn't a film with the sort of strong emotional connection that most appeals to me personally and honestly I respected it more than I actually liked it. I already have more than enough qualified films to submit a ballot and this has no shot at the top half of my list, but perhaps might secure a slot further down.

+



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
you nailed it when you said Strange Days is to be experienced. I remember the first time seeing it when it came out at the theaters and feeling emotionally wiped out afterward. Great movie. Glad to see you take one more attempt to watch it.

And CRAP The Ref is one Christmas movie I haven't seen in a while and truly need to! Though, amusingly, any time I've watched it was never around Christmas.
Spacey and Davis really do stand out in this movie.
__________________
They say: that after people make love there's a kind of melancholia, the petite mort, the little death. Well, I'm here to tell you, after a romantic night with yourself there's a very acute sensation of failed suicide. ~Dylan Moran





Kubo and the Two Strings (Travis Knight, 2016)
Imdb

Date Watched: 12/29/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: It's animated
Rewatch: No


I can't really call this a disappointment - since that would indicate that I had high expectations of it - but I can say that I was hoping for a lot more. While the film was aiming for imaginative - with its one-eyed boy who uses his magic Shamisen to bring origami to life and to create a ship out of leaves and twigs on his quest to find his father's magic armor (accompanied by an equally magical monkey and a samurai beetle) and defeat the evil, shape-shifting moon king and the two evil witches (read: the boy's grandfather and aunts) - it struck me as mostly being just silly. I'm not a fan of heavy fantasy anyway, but this really didn't work for me.

With the possible exception of Kubo himself, even the characters fell flat and seemed to have little real personality - which was particularly true of Kubo's near catatonic mother. I also was a little irritated by the white-washing of the main voicecast - which starred Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew McConaughey, and Rooney Mara - though that's probably mostly just the Japanese blood in me coming through.

But the film is not totally beyond redemption. The animation - which is a hybrid of stop-motion and CGI - is absolutely stunning and alone makes the film worth watching.




Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
As you know I really liked Kubo and the Two Strings so I'm disappointed you didn't get more out of it. At least it wasn't a complete miss however. And I agree about the animation being incredible. Pretty much from the first sequence where Kubo brings the origami figures to life to tell his story I was drawn in.

I also watched Strange Days not too long ago and felt somewhat similar to you. I thought it was really well done in terms of direction and the whole atmosphere of the piece (and I thought Ralph Fiennes was very good) but for whatever reason the actual story didn't really grab me. I came away admiring the film but feeling like I should have liked it more than I actually did. There was enough there however for me to watch it again at some point when hopefully I would get more out of its story





The Rescuers (John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, and Art Stevens, 1977)
Imdb

Date Watched: 1/1/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: It's animated
Rewatch: I don't think so


Add this to the list of animated Disney films that I'd thought I had seen as a child, but was probably mistaken. As a child, I had a book that told the stories of many Disney animated movies and included lots of images from the films and I think I probably mistook memories of those stories for memories of the movies themselves.

In any case, this made for a watch that felt both vaguely familiar and very foreign and ultimately I had fairly mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it felt pretty unoriginal with its cliched orphan protagonist, stolen images from Bambi, and a villain who was essentially a discount Cruella De Vil. It also has a distinctly Don Bluth feel to it and it's no surprise that Buth worked on the film as a directing animator.

On the other hand, the voice performances were pretty good, particularly Eva Gabor as Bianca - the eager but rather inept rodent heroine whose bumbling would probably rub modern feminists the wrong way - and it was full of memorable (if not very politically correct) characters. (This was especially true of the swamp residents with their stereotypical southern mannerisms and reliance on the rejuvenating power of moonshine whiskey.)

Overall it's a pretty entertaining flick and one that, at only 77 minutes long, doesn't outstay its welcome.

-





Face/Off (John Woo, 1997)
Imdb

Date Watched: 1/4/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: Rewatch for the Sci-Fi Countdown
Rewatch: Yes


There once was a (brief) time when I considered Nicolas Cage to be my favorite actor. Yes, you read that right. No, I'm not joking. In my defense, I never thought he was a gifted actor (at least I hope I didn't). The man is not talented. I don't think he even knows the definition of "nuance" but damned if he isn't entertaining to watch.

And Face/Off just might be in contention with Con-Air for being the most entertaining Cage flick there is and boy is there a lot of Cage to be had here - and not just from Cage himself. Sure you've got him doing all kinds of crazy Cage faces and manic Cage movements, but you've also got John Travolta doing his best Nic Cage impression and doing quite well at it. It's clear that both men had a blast playing these roles and you'd be hard pressed to keep a straight face throughout.

Just don't try to apply any logic to the "science" behind this fiction or it will all fall apart. But with the overdose of Cage and the over the top action, who really cares? Have fun with it.






The Rescuers is alright, personally i like The Rescuers Down Under alot more but i know i'm in the minority there.

Face Off is good ridiculous fun, i do like Cage as Castor more though; at the start or when he's supposed to be Sean but has to act like Castor in front of Castors brother or whoever. He's kinda super whiny in a really annoying way when he's supposed to be Sean acting as Sean.



The Rescuers is alright, personally i like The Rescuers Down Under alot more but i know i'm in the minority there.
I had actually intended to watch (rewatch?) that next since the bluray I bought has both movies, but just got in the mood for some Cage last night. I'll watch it soon.

Face Off is good ridiculous fun, i do like Cage as Castor more though; at the start or when he's supposed to be Sean but has to act like Castor in front of Castors brother or whoever. He's kinda super whiny in a really annoying way when he's supposed to be Sean acting as Sean.
I like him more as Castor as well, but the whining didn't bother me at all and it made sense for what little plot the movie has.



cricket's Avatar
Registered User
I wasn't crazy about Face Off but I only saw it once at the movies when it came out. The beginning with Cage dressed as a priest is awesome though.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
I've always really liked Face/Off; just good, absolutely bonkers fun. And while at no point would I ever consider him to be my favourite actor I also used to really like Nicholas Cage, particularly in the mid to late 90s when he had his incredible action movie triple bill of The Rock, Con Air and Face/Off back-to-back. And the one thing I will say about Cage is that at least he's always interesting, at least he's always trying something different in his performances. It's commendable when there are so many actors about who just knock out the same performance over and over again



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Face/Off IS all kinds of fun. Not my favorite John Woo flick but DEFINITELY, as you said, one of the most entertaining Cage films. The whole opener with Cage running wild as Castor is pretty damn hilarious