The Resident Bitch's Movie Log

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I'm pretty sure I saw this when I was at Blockbuster but can't say 100%. Honestly sounds like the type of premise that would drive me batty.
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"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



I've never seen Untamed Heart, but it sounds like something I would like. I usually like Slater, I haven't seen Marissa Tomei in much, but she's easy on the eyes and that's a plus.



I've not seen Untamed Heart since the 90's and only a couple of times, but I liked it. Not as much as you though, obviously.
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Grosse Pointe Blank (George Armitage, 1997)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/05/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: I felt like it
Rewatch: Yes


Possible Spoilers

From an objective standpoint, this probably isn't a great film. There's nothing revolutionary or even particularly unique about it. It's the story of a man with a lot of secrets who reluctantly agrees to attend his ten-year high school reunion and rekindles a relationship with an old flame. Hilarity and chaos ensues (culminating in him killing a guy with a pen). But with its witty dialogue, great cast, and quick pace it's a whole lot of fun.

Plus John Cusack looks damn sexy in it and that's reason enough to love any movie.

+





RocknRolla (Guy Ritchie, 2008)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/05/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: Tom Hardy
Rewatch: No


As is to be expected from any Guy Ritchie film, RocknRolla - though perhaps a little short on substance - is stylish, sexy, colorful, and fun. It also boasts a pretty impressive cast and memorable characters.

I normally don't care at all for Gerard Butler, but he did well to make his "One, Two" a pretty likable guy - despite his homophobic tendencies. Idris Elba, as "Mumbles" as did well as the most level headed of the bunch. But, of course, I was much more interested in the aptly named "Handsome Bob," played by the ever so sexy Tom Hardy, who managed to infuse quite a bit of humanity into his relatively small role.

But this is no drama. This is all about violence, humor, sex, and style. It's entertainment for entertainment's sake and it did its job well.

+





Leap of Faith (Richard Pearce, 1992)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/06/17
Cinema or Home: On my portable DVD player in the car
Reason For Watching: I felt like it
Rewatch: Yes


I've never been a fan of Steve Martin. Generally I prefer his banjo music over his movies. His brand of humor just doesn't work for me, but Leap of Faith has always been the one big exception.

When his truck breaks down, evangelical preacher Jonas Nightingale and his crew find themselves stranded in a tiny farming town where the residents are struggling to even feed their families. Not to be put off, they set up there, milking the desperate people for what little they have. Jonas puts on a show that is full of music and flash. He knows these people's worries without them saying a word to him. He makes an old woman get out of her wheelchair and walk. Those he's laid his hands on come away with the mark of the cross. Jesus opens his eyes on the crucifix. And the money comes pouring in.

Martin is fantastic as Jonas Nightingale - a traveling evangelical preacher who cashes in on foolish people's willingness to believe in his "miracles" and his claimed connection with God. He perfectly infuses Jonas with cynicism, greed, and the charisma of a skilled con artist.

The film's other big strong point though is the music. The "angels" of Nightingale's choir create a sound that is rich, boisterous, and uplifting. Unfortunately, the rest of the film is good but not remarkably so. Despite a solid cast - including Debra Winger, Lolita Davidovich, Liam Neeson, Lukas Haas, Meat Loaf, and Philip Seymour Hoffman - the other performances are largely forgettable. And while I do find myself very much engaged with the story, several of the scenes come across as corny and even, well, preachy at times.

But that central performance is so strong and the music is so good that it's very easy for me to overlook the film's shortcomings.

+



"""" Hulk Smashhhh."""
I remember enjoying RockNRolla back when it was released, but it's been such a long time i can only recall little bits.
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Cliffhanger (Renny Harlin, 1993)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/07/17
Cinema or Home: On my portable DVD player in the car
Reason For Watching: I felt like it
Rewatch: Yes


I remember seeing this movie in the theater when I was 12 and thinking it was great. Lots of violence and explosions and lots of scary situations to get the heart pumping. I probably watched it a few more times on home video, but it's been well over 20 years since I last saw it.

And the feeling now just wasn't the same. Granted, watching it on a 7 inch screen in a cramped car while trying to drown out the sound of my parents arguing didn't do the film any favors, but I doubt anything short of the theater would.

In terms of those explosions and violence, it's a decent actioner, but it really has nothing else to offer. The story is stupid. Stallone's love interest is annoying. She's supposedly an experienced rescue climber but freaks out over bats roosting in a cave and does various other dumbass things to put herself and Stallone in danger because... Well basically because she's a woman and you know, they're all stupid and overly dramatic, right?

John Lithgow plays the villain here, but this performance is no Trinity Killer and he's fairly forgettable. Which pretty much sums up the movie as a whole: Decent, but forgettable. It essentially views as nothing but an excuse for Sylvester Stallone to show off his muscles.

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I like the way you have it organized here and the system of your reviews
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Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/11/17
Cinema or Home: On my portable DVD player in the car
Reason For Watching: I felt like it
Rewatch: Yes


Quentin Tarantino is known for making films that are stylish and violent and Pulp Fiction epitomizes that. In its time, it also stood as being very much unlike just about anything else that was around. The film is infinitely quotable and iconic.

And yet, I found myself not being especially enamored of it this time around. Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike it. I was entertained. I liked the performances. I liked the look the film. I liked the music. But I didn't love it the way I once did. As I said the performances were good, however none of the characters stood out to me as being anything special. It was more the situations that made the movie. And while I can still enjoy a film that way, without a strong connection to the characters I find myself unable to go beyond just liking it.

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Sorry, i was way behind. Of the last 5 or 6, i've seen Grosse Pointe Blank and Pulp Fiction. The former i loved first time, second time i still enjoyed it but didn't laugh much. Pulp Fiction is always good but i like Reservoir Dogs a lot more, it's still my #2 Tarantino though.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Shame you weren't as enamoured with Cliffhanger as you once were. I still love it. It's got Stallone, some incredible scenery/photography, fun action, several great death scenes and Lithgow hamming it up to delicious levels. I really don't need much more in a film





Captain Fantastic (Matt Ross, 2016)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/12/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Pussy Galore's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


I'd never heard of this movie before its nomination in the Hall of Fame and going in I must admit the poster had me kind of worried. The vivid colors and quirky looking people had me concerned this might be a Wes Anderson-esque experience.

Thankfully it wasn't that, but the story it told and its eccentric characters were pretty unlike anything I've seen. However, like a Wes Anderson film, I struggled to connect with the characters - though not because they were stilted like those in Anderson's films. There was definitely a sense of genuine emotion and humanity with them, but I found Viggo Mortensen's patriarch Ben in particular to be pretty damn unlikable for most of the movie. He did eventually redeem himself but by that time I still cared very little for him. I also found the children to be mostly irritating, perhaps with the exception of Rellion, who was the only one to question his father's methods. Ben's in-laws were not especially likable either, but I found myself siding with the father in-law over the film's main conflict.

But, characters aside, the story was good. I did find Ben's viewpoint on life and on the raising of children to be interesting and some aspects of his philosophy definitely had merit. I also liked the way the clash between Ben's idealism and the reality of society was presented, particularly in Bodevan's struggles to interact with regular people. There were also some genuinely heartfelt and funny scenes but ultimately, while still good, Captain Fantastic did not grab me in the way a film like this should.


+





Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom) (Kim Ki-Duk, 2003)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/13/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Nestorio_Miklos's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


Potential Spoilers Ahead

Full disclosure: I did not go into this film with an open mind. Before watching it, I was made aware that it contained actual animal cruelty and I went into it fully expecting to be disgusted by it. Before watching the film, I also did a bit of research and discovered that the actual torture of animals is common in Kim Ki-Duk's films. I also found a video montage of various scenes of cruelty from those films, which included some scenes from Spring, Summer that were not included in the cut of the film that I watched. Here's the link for that video (Contains graphic, potentially disturbing content): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CrA4BIGlvqg

The film attempts to convey the concepts of cruelty, lust, guilt, anger, and rebirth. Unfortunately, not all of these concepts are handled with much subtlety and the idea of cruelty and guilt in particular were hammered in ad nauseum. This is especially true of those scenes of animal torture that I was warned about, which are shown in the beginning and then repeated later in the film - intercut with scenes of the central character inflicting similar punishment upon himself, as if we the audience couldn't make the connection on our own and needed the heavy-handed reminder.

As to the nature of that brutality, let me spell it out: a child is shown torturing a fish, a frog, and a snake by tightly tying them to stones and laughing with delight as they struggle to move. Later the fish and snake are shown dead and the frog is shown still struggling. More sickening still are the scenes that were cut from the American release of the film, which is the version I watched. The American cut shows a second child tormenting a turtle by rolling it around and poking at it, merely hinting at this child's cruel nature. But the version seen elsewhere shows that child wedging rocks into the mouths of a fish, a snake, and a frog while gleefully laughing at their suffering. We see the frog - an air-breathing creature - upside down in the water, its head pulled down from the weight of the stone, kicking in a vain attempt to free itself from the object that will otherwise drown it.

While it is, of course, unclear whether the dead animals were in fact the same as those shown being abused or if they were killed specifically for the film, it is apparent that the director has little regard for the lives and safety of the animals he uses, despite the message of the film he created. And given his history of torturing and killing these kinds of animals in other films, I can only assume that he is responsible for these deaths as well.

That said, the film is not without its strengths. The cinematography is beautiful, the performances are strong, and the concept is admirable (though the execution is not). But frankly I don't give a s*** about what Spring, Summer does right, because what it does wrong is completely unnecessary and unacceptable.

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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
been QUITE a while since reading your reviews, the first, Pinocchio was 3 weeks ago. Which is a Disney oldie I REALLY need to revisit.
I remember loving Untamed Heart back in the day, I'd probably enjoy it now as well. Been quite a fan of sappy *****, even more so recently lol
Big fan of Grosse Pointe Blank. Actually lived about a mile away, in Detroit, when this was being filmed. And watch RocknRolla A LOT
and I haven't seen Leap of Faith since it came out.
I get what you're saying about Pulp Fiction. I practically know the film front to back from the countless times I've watched it, but, yeah, sometimes, I sorta shrug my shoulders at it. The other times, I cheer. But those so-so times DO occur.
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The Great Dictator (Charles Chaplin, 1940)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/14/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Silent Vamp's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


Charlie Chaplin was a man of great skill and - as the film's writer, director, and star - his skills were on full display here. The concept of The Great Dictator is quite brilliant, the film itself looked great, and the timing and physicality of Chaplin's dual performances are very impressive.

That said, I had a tough time with this one. While some of the gags nearly brought a smile to my face, most of them - like those in the other Chaplin films I've seen - simply fell flat for me. This isn't really the fault of the film, though. I can definitely see how someone who appreciates slapstick/physical comedy would enjoy the film, but that type of comedy just doesn't appeal to me. Making matters worse, the repetition of some of these gags made the film's two hour run time feel considerably longer and at times I struggled to engage. However, the situation improved considerably by the film's final scene. And it's mostly for that scene that I give The Great Dictator a favorable rating. The barber's speech was poignant, moving, and still relevant all these many years later.

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Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) (Wim Wenders, 1987)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/15/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, CosmicRunaway's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


Well, that was... that was something. Something that I didn't like. Something that seemed to drag on endlessly. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily against films that are quietly contemplative. When done well it can be a very moving and emotional experience. But this wasn't that. It wasn't that for me at all.

From a visual standpoint, Wings of Desire is absolutely gorgeous. Whether the scenes were in black and white or in vivid color, the images were breathtaking and evocative. I also really liked the basic concept of the film and felt there was some definite potential in it, but my praise for it really ends there.

The constant repetition of certain phrases ("When the child was a child..."), the near total lack of humor, and the endless droning of people's ridiculously melancholy thoughts combined to nearly eliminate my interest in it. I felt every damn minute of its two hour run time and actually ended up taking a break about 2/3 of the way through. I get that there is beauty in most things, including sadness and despair, but I really didn't buy that the rather narrow view of life that the film presented would be enough to ignite the angel's desire to become human. And, frankly, I found his lady love Marion to be not so much intriguing as irritating, particularly in the final scenes.




Even though this is one of my favorite films and I disagree with you entirely, I still think this is a good review. Well written, thorough, yet to the point. I agree with Nestorio, your reviews are nicely organized.

But that rating hurts my heart.