The Resident Bitch's Movie Log

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Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Guy Ritchie, 1998)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/19/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by edarsenal
Rewatch: No.


Well that was quite the bloodbath.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a fast-paced and stylish comedy of errors with a fantastic soundtrack and lots of unexpected twists. With its narration, over the top violence and use of humor the film seemed almost like a less bloated version of something you might expect from the likes of Quentin Tarantino.

But though the film is not as self-indulgent as the offerings from that other director (or at least not any of his more recent work), I also didn't find it anywhere near as entertaining. The humor fell completely flat. Never once did I let out so much as a soft chuckle. The characters didn't interest me and now, mere minutes after finishing it, I can't even recall their names. Still, there was enough going on here that I at least never found myself getting bored.

+



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



You went two months without watching a movie!?! I'm worried that I might cease to exist if I ever did that.

I haven't seen the majority of films you've watched over the last few months, although plenty of them are on my watchlist. Somehow I'd never even heard of Amos & Andrew, despite starring two of my favorite actors in Samuel L(egend) Jackson and Nick "The Rage" Cage, so I've added it to my never-ending watchlist. The subject matter definitely sounds pertinent to our modern times.

The Dressmaker was just so-so for me. I enjoyed the western-like setting and Kate Winslet was great as always, but a lot of the emotional moments felt clumsy to me. For instance, the tragic event involving the silo should've registered some sort of impact, but instead it felt flat and (dare I say it) sorta amusing? Which obviously wasn't the intended effect.

Digging further back into your log, I'm glad to see that you still enjoy Big. Out of the remaining candidates, I'd like to see it grab the top spot on the Directed By Women Countdown. I haven't actually seen the film in forever, but it was still high on my list based on my love for it growing up. First time I ever watched it was the night before I started middle school, so I was feeling extremely anxious, and the film provided the perfect escapism for me at that time. Also glad to see that you were equally annoyed with Frances Ha. Whether or not I like the characters in a movie isn't a big deal for me, but man was the MC obnoxious in that movie. I thought the film itself also reeked of a sort of hipster pretension that I found off-putting. Not a bad film, quality-wise, but I'm surprised by how positive most reactions to it have been. I thought The Breadwinner was a very effective film, although I kept zoning out each time the story-within-a-story aspect came into play.
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Lean On Pete (Andrew Haigh, 2017)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/20/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by Luis
Rewatch: No.


The trailer for Lean On Pete would have you believe that this is the story of the bond between a boy and a horse, but as I watched the film I soon found that is not the case. Instead what the movie is really about is a teenaged boy who's been given the s*** end of the stick in life and is forced to grow up too soon. Desperately seeking some stability, he clings on to what little he can as his already fragile world comes crumbling down around him.

I normally don't read other people's write-ups before I watch a film, but I did read Citizen's review from earlier today. In it, he compared Lean on Pete to a Hallmark movie but I have to disagree. There was a sense of melancholy that permeated the whole film but it never felt overly sentimental. I had trouble buying into some of the scenarios - mainly in how easily Charley slipped away from authorities, but also in the lack of damage to a certain vehicle after one particular scene - but the characters and the way the interacted with each other felt very real. And to that end the main actors all turned in solid, but not especially remarkable performances.

I think the same can be said for the film's story and cinematography - solid, but not especially remarkable. It's apparent that considerable skill went into the making of the film but there wasn't really anything that stood out to me as being exceptionally good. Still, I never found myself bored and I cared about the fate of Charley which is a lot more than can be said about a lot of the movies I've watched.

Overall a flawed but very engaging film.

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Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Glad to see the HoF has been a largely positive experience for you so far. And it's also nice just to see you back watching films and this thread up and running again





The Libertine (Laurence Dunmore, 2004)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/23/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by me
Rewatch: Yes.


The film opens with an announcement from Johnny Depp as John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester. Wilmot proclaims that you will not like him, that you will like him a good deal less as we go on, and that he does not want you to like him.

But the reality is that I do like him - and this film - very, very much. Wilmot, or at least as he is depicted in The Libertine, is a fascinating character who looks upon life and the world around him with a potent mixture of boredom and revulsion. And in this film at least he cannot be blamed for that. The movie is dark and grimy. The screen practically reeks of the filth that surrounds him. Of the mud, and the s***, and the soulless people.

Though Wilmot is himself a man with little soul. Those around him who dare to care for him suffer for those feelings while he is unable to feel anything himself - except in the playhouse. And it is there that he finds himself a project, a pupil who transforms him moreso than he does her.

What really draws me into this film though is its irreverent and dark wit. Much like the film that has held the #1 position on my favorites list for many years, The Libertine is liberally peppered with sexual innuendo and sardonic humor, but it also has a lot of substance and heart. As the film progresses, I find myself laughing out loud and weeping in turns and caring very much for a character who probably deserves that caring to an even lesser degree than he claims to want it.

+





The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/24/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by Siddon
Rewatch: No.


The Innocents is a film that is thick with atmosphere. It's creepy. It's unsettling. It's claustrophobic. And I suspect that damned song is going to haunt me for the next few days at least. It's also masterfully constructed - the sets, the lighting, the costumes and make-up, the performances, and the cinematography all work brilliantly together to build a palpable sense of dread.

If I was a fan of horror, I do believe I would be a fan of this film. But the reality is that I am not a fan of horror. The films that most appeal to me center around human interaction and strong emotion, rather than playing on fear and paranoia. As such, I found myself having very deep respect for this movie, while not actually enjoying it all that much. Still, I think this is a very strong nomination and I expect that it will do very well in this HOF.






Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco (Pixote) (Hector Babenco, 1981)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/25/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by cricket
Rewatch: No.


This film was brutal, hopeless, and one very difficult watch. It centers around kids who are born into a life of poverty and crime, only to be rounded up and locked away in so called "reform schools" where they suffer - and inflict upon each other - even further brutality. Knowing no other life, these kids turn back to a life of crime once they escape their imprisonment - and cling to each other in a desperate grab for some semblance of stability.

But what struck me about this film, was how utterly unsentimental and authentic it was about the whole thing. It doesn't dwell too long on any one particular event. The score isn't played up much to affect the viewers' emotions. It isn't overtly sympathetic to its subjects, but nor does it place judgement on them. It simply presents things as "this is how it is" and it is quite an effective approach.





Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
I've not seen any of these films (aside from Amelie) so can't really contribute any thoughts but am really enjoying your write-ups for them. Nice to see such a flurry of reviews after a spell of nothing





Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In) (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/25/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by pahaK
Rewatch:Yes.


I watched this film once before and really didn't like it. I found myself being utterly bored by it then and unable to engage with the story. That was several years ago. Tonight's experience was a much more pleasant one. I still struggled to stay engaged thanks to its vampiric premise, but this time I did find myself at least appreciating the quieter moments of the film and the touching bond between Oskar and Eli.

I thought that aspect of the film was handled very well and the two central performances were solid, if not especially remarkable. I suppose the horror elements were also handled well, but since that aspect of the film is what kept me from truly enjoying it, I don't have a whole lot of praise to give it there. That said, it was well made film overall and this time I never found myself bored with it.

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Rush (Ron Howard, 2013)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/26/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by @neiba
Rewatch:Yes.


Rush tells the story of the rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. How accurately it portrays the events of that racing season, I neither know nor care. I also couldn't care less about car racing of any sort. But what I do care about is a good story, solid performances, and engaging characters. Rush has all of that - it's sexy, it's exciting, it's exciting, it's fun, and also a little heartbreaking.

I don't consider myself a fan of Chris Hemsworth (though he's certainly hotter than his brother, Liam) but he was the perfect choice for his role as Hunt, depicted here as a fearless man-child with a taste for danger and an addiction to women, drink, and fun. And Daniel Brühl is excellent as well as the shrewd, logical and steadfast Lauda.

And while Rush features many adrenaline fueled racing sequences and terrifying crashes - all filmed quite beautifully - it's really the juxtaposition of the two men's opposing philosophies that is the heart of the film and the driving factor behind their rivalry. And that's what draws me most into this film - and indeed into most of the films I've seen by Ron Howard - the human side of the story. Not the cars, not the races, but the people. There are no heroes or villians here and no judgement. Only two men with the same goal and two very different ways of getting there.

+





The Hawks and the Sparrows (Uccellacci e uccellini) (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1966)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/26/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by MijaFrost
Rewatch: No.


This was my second Pasolini film (the first being the dreadfully dull Salò). I think this is meant to be a humorous commentary on classism and the way in which those with power basically devour those without, but I really struggled to stay awake and focused on this film so I may have misinterpreted it. Either way I found the characters and the music quite annoying and the attempts at humor fell totally flat.

About the most praise I can give it was that it was more tolerable than Salò, but only marginally so.

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Ghostwatch (Leslie Manning, 1992)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/27/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by HashtagBrownies
Rewatch: No.


Yet another horror movie. I suppose this is what I get for hosting a general HOF this time of year.

I don't have a whole lot to say about this one. I thought the premise and the way the film was constructed was interesting, but the execution just didn't quite work for me. I don't know if this is owing to the film's age or what, but this did not look or feel like a live TV broadcast to me. It felt very staged - like, literally staged. I don't know if they actually were, but many of the exterior shots felt very much like they were filmed on a sound stage and I found that very distracting. Couple this distraction with my general dislike of the horror genre and I was left very detached from the whole thing. It's probably more of a 2.5 popcorn box movie for me, but I'll give a little extra credit for the interesting concept.






Incendies (Denis Villeneuve, 2010)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/28/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by CosmicRunaway
Rewatch: No.


The basic premise of this film is the tale of a pair of twins, who after losing their mother, go on a journey to discover the truth about their father and about the brother they never knew they had. But the film is really about the horrors of religious warfare and the sickening cruelty of those involved.

Much of what is shown and discussed in this film left me feeling physically ill, which is a testament to the power of its subject, the beauty of its cinematography, and to the strength of its performances - particularly by Lubna Azabal as the twins' mother, Nawal. But the film is also not without its weaknesses. The big twist at the end seemed a bit too contrived to be believable and I found the constant use of Radiohead's music to be rather distracting at times. Still, overall a very moving film and a worthy nomination.

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The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/30/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by Jay Redrum
Rewatch: Yes.


I blind bought The Assassination of Jesse James on DVD about ten years ago after reading rave reviews about it - and regretted it immediately. It's over two and half hours of aggravating narration, a snail's pace, and that damned whiney ass little bitch Casey Affleck. I HATED IT.

So I was none too pleased when that private message appeared in my inbox nominating it for this Hall of Fame, but - because it is my personal policy to watch all nominations in a HOF whether I've already seen them or not - I forced myself to endure it once more. I wouldn't say that I quite hated it this time around, but I sure did dislike it a lot. There were some aspects of the film that I actually really liked and - with some fairly major changes - this could have been something I'd love. First and foremost, the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. It's a very beautiful film to look at. The performances are mostly quite strong too and had the focus of the film been absolutely anybody but that whiney ass bitch, my experience would have been much improved. I could have been quite engaged with Jesse and the other non-bitches were it not for that constant voiceover narrator telling me things I either didn't need to know or should've been shown - thus reducing my experience of much of the film to a level no better than a History Channel reenactment.

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Yet another horror movie. I suppose this is what I get for hosting a general HOF this time of year.

I don't have a whole lot to say about this one. I thought the premise and the way the film was constructed was interesting, but the execution just didn't quite work for me. I don't know if this is owing to the film's age or what, but this did not look or feel like a live TV broadcast to me. It felt very staged - like, literally staged. I don't know if they actually were, but many of the exterior shots felt very much like they were filmed on a sound stage and I found that very distracting. Couple this distraction with my general dislike of the horror genre and I was left very detached from the whole thing. It's probably more of a 2.5 popcorn box movie for me, but I'll give a little extra credit for the interesting concept.

I watched this on the night of its broadcast. I missed the beginning, as did many others apparently, but it played like a real programme. Obviously I twigged after about 5 or 10 minutes that it was a scripted programme, but many didn't. I don't know if you know about the reaction to this programme, but it's quite funny/interesting. Also, the presenters were/are real presenters. Big name presenters for the most part. Michael Parkinson, especially, is a well loved and renowned journalist and interviewer who is only known for serious stuff. He's usually seen flogging life insurance to the over 60's now, but that will also tell you how trusted he is. So him being on this programme would've sold it to many, even if they'd have doubted it otherwise.

I don't expect this to colour your viewing of it, I just thought you might like to know from someone who watched it at the time.
__________________
5-time MoFo Award winner.



I watched this on the night of its broadcast. I missed the beginning, as did many others apparently, but it played like a real programme. Obviously I twigged after about 5 or 10 minutes that it was a scripted programme, but many didn't. I don't know if you know about the reaction to this programme, but it's quite funny/interesting. Also, the presenters were/are real presenters. Big name presenters for the most part. Michael Parkinson, especially, is a well loved and renowned journalist and interviewer who is only known for serious stuff. He's usually seen flogging life insurance to the over 60's now, but that will also tell you how trusted he is. So him being on this programme would've sold it to many, even if they'd have doubted it otherwise.

I don't expect this to colour your viewing of it, I just thought you might like to know from someone who watched it at the time.
Yeah, there was some discussion about that in the Hall of Fame thread. I guess it's a sort of "You had to be there" thing. Also, being American, the cast are a bunch of nobodies to me which doesn't help.



It seems you've had more luck with the nominations in this Hall of Fame than in other recent ones. Your thoughts on Lean on Pete sound similar to mine, although your rating is a full popcorn higher. It's not a memorable movie, in my opinion, but it is well made and engaging. I also had trouble buying those same scenarios you pointed out, in particular the lack of damage done to the vehicle. I've seen firsthand the damage a deer can do to a car, so an animal that much larger should've totaled the car and probably seriously injured the driver as well. Those type of details never affect my opinion on a movie, but I was like, "Really?" when watching it.

It's been over a decade since I've seen The Libertine. I'm not typically into period pieces, but I did enjoy the film, mostly thanks to my idolization of Johnny Depp at the time. I wrote a paper on Wilmot's "The Imperfect Enjoyment" in a World Literature class and received high marks for it, which was a little surprising to me since I'd dedicated a whole paragraph to analyzing the potency of the word "c**t."

I'm glad to see that you still thought highly of The Innocents and Let the Right One In despite your general distaste for horror. I'd never heard of Ghostwatch until it was nominated, but the concept sounds pretty cool. Rush is very good. I'm not a fan of The Assassination of Jesse James, either, despite being a huge fan of westerns. The movie seemed to last an eternity. The only Pasolini film I've seen so far is Mamma Roma, which I liked quite a bit. I've been impressed with everything I've seen from Villeneuve, but I've yet to watch Incendies.



I've seen firsthand the damage a deer can do to a car, so an animal that much larger should've totaled the car and probably seriously injured the driver as well. Those type of details never affect my opinion on a movie, but I was like, "Really?" when watching it.
Yeah the car absolutely should've been a complete wreck and the driver likewise. Some times those details bother me, sometimes not. In this case it did because it took me out of the movie and did so at a pretty important scene.

It's been over a decade since I've seen The Libertine. I'm not typically into period pieces, but I did enjoy the film, mostly thanks to my idolization of Johnny Depp at the time. I wrote a paper on Wilmot's "The Imperfect Enjoyment" in a World Literature class and received high marks for it, which was a little surprising to me since I'd dedicated a whole paragraph to analyzing the potency of the word "c**t."
I've never read any of Wilmot's work. I'm kind of skeptical that I'd like any of it. But you dedicating a whole paragraph to the "c" word doesn't surprise me at all.

I've been impressed with everything I've seen from Villeneuve, but I've yet to watch Incendies.
Incendies was my first experience with Villeneuve, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I may check out some of his other work at some point.





The Aviator (Martin Scorsese, 2004)
Imdb

Date Watched: 10/03/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by rauldc14
Rewatch: Yes.


I've seen this film a few times before and have always liked it, but never considered it a favorite. It's a well made film, but it's definitely not without its flaws.

Firstly, this did not need to be a nearly 3 hour long film. Dude had OCD and a whole s***load of anxieties. We get it. It didn't need to be hammered in to quite that degree. The color scheme. I don't know that it ever bothered me in my previous viewings, but I did find it rather distracting this time around. I'm also not a stickler for historical accuracies, nor am I any kind of expert on the life of Howard Hughes, but I did find a couple of things that they omitted from the story to be pretty glaring - in particular the crash of his Sikorsky S-43 that killed two people.

But there are plenty of strengths as well. I thought the performances were strong and believable. How accurate they were to the real people, I don't know, but I thought they all did quite well for how their characters were written. The story was also entertaining and the depictions of old Hollywood, with the glamorous parties, was quite fun to see. I also found the flying sequences to be exciting and a highlight of the picture.

Overall, my complaints about the film are pretty minor and, despite needing to take a break or two due to the film's length, I had a good time with this.

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And that concludes my movie watching for this Hall of Fame.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Congrats on finishing your HoF viewing. Enjoyed reading your thoughts as ever and glad it seemed to be a largely positive experience for you