The Resident Bitch's Movie Log

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Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
Imdb

Date Watched: 6/9/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 19th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by ahwell
Rewatch: Yes


Ah yes, the film that introduced a teenaged me to gimps, ball gags, non-linear storytelling, Ezekiel 25:17, and that badass motherf***er Samuel L. Jackson. It was so stylish, in your face, and unlike anything I'd ever seen before. I loved it.

As time has passed and my tastes have changed, I find myself drawn away from films that favor style over substance and more to films that pack an emotional punch. As such, after 25 years my love of Pulp Fiction is not what it once was, but I absolutely cannot deny that it is still one wildly entertaining and unforgettable ride.

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





Return to Paradise (Joseph Ruben, 1998)
Imdb

Date Watched: 6/9/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 19th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by me
Rewatch: Yes


When I blind bought Return to Paradise on DVD back in 2002, all I knew about it was that it starred Joaquin Phoenix. It was just one title on a list of many that I was working my way through as I explored Phoenix's resume. I was not at all prepared for how emotionally devastating the film would be.

And of course the bulk of that comes from the haunting performance of Joaquin Phoenix, who masterfully transitions his character from one of ideals and passion to one of desperation and hopelessness. But what surprised me about the film was the character of "Sheriff," played very convincingly by Vince Vaughn. I really love the journey he takes from being the careless man-child that nobody expects anything from to being a man who stands up and takes responsibility, even in the face of terrible self-doubt and fear. This film, along with Clay Pigeons - a crime comedy from the same year that also stars Joaquin Phoenix - really cemented my appreciation of Vaughn as an actor, despite the many missteps of his career. And, while Phoenix and Vaughn stand out to me, there were no weak links in the cast.

But what I love most about the film too is how gray the characters were and how real they felt. There were no heroes here and no real villains - just a collection of very fallible, selfish humans faced with horrifying choices and and life-or-death consequences. It does very well to portray the common misalignment between people's self-image and reality and reminds us that both cowardice and bravery can be found in unexpected places.

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currently editing a post...


Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
Imdb

Date Watched: 6/9/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 19th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by ahwell
Rewatch: Yes

Ah yes, the film that introduced a teenaged me to gimps, ball gags, non-linear storytelling, Ezekiel 25:17, and that badass motherf***er Samuel L. Jackson. It was so stylish, in your face, and unlike anything I'd ever seen before. I loved it.


As time has passed and my tastes have changed, I find myself drawn away from films that favor style over substance and more to films that pack an emotional punch. As such, after 25 years my love of Pulp Fiction is not what it once was, but I absolutely cannot deny that it is still one wildly entertaining and unforgettable ride.

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That's good to hear you still enjoy it. I seldom revisit some of my favorites, for fear they won't hold-up. I pulled the trigger on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas this weekend and the magic was gone.





The Secret Life of Pets 2 (Chris Renaud and Jonathan del Val, 2019)
Imdb

Date Watched: 6/13/19
Cinema or Home: Cinema
Reason For Watching: It's animated and it looked cute
Rewatch: No


Like in the original film, the characters of The Secret Life of Pets 2 find themselves in some pretty, uh... far fetched situations and it often pushes the limits of absurdity. And that was exactly what I was expecting and what I wanted out of this movie. The temperature has been in the triple digits so focusing on something with more depth is asking a lot (unfortunately the theater was not well air conditioned so it's a wonder I was even able to focus on this). The film is mindless silliness and a lot of fun.






Diary of a Lost Girl (Tagebuch einer Verlorenen) (Georg Wilhelm Pabst, 1929)
Imdb

Date Watched: 7/12/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: preparation for the Pre-1930s Countdown, recommended by @cricket
Rewatch: No


I struggled a bit with this one. Silent films and older movies in general are typically not my cup of tea. I find the acting in them to be either frustratingly wooden or ridiculously exaggerated - and many of the performances in this film were no exception. I found the bald guy at the reformatory to be particularly irritating in his manner and expression. Every scene he was in took me out of the film. I was also rather frustrated with the number of times a character spoke without any text to accompany it, though I can't say how much that was the fault of the film and how much was the fault of time, censorship, and lost scenes.

With all that said, I really respected what the film had going for it and certainly did not expect to see a story of this nature being told in such an old film. It carries a timeless message of love and understanding and while I didn't love the film itself, I did love the idea of it and that might be enough to secure it a place on my ballot.




Glad you got something out of it. It's hard to give recs with movie types that aren't preferable. They're not for me either but I'm glad I'm seeing some.





The Strange Thing About the Johnsons (Ari Aster, 2011)
Imdb

Date Watched: 7/12/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: It came up in a conversation I had with Funny Face earlier today
Rewatch: No


Well that was some ****ed up ****.

In this satirical short, Ari Aster has taken an already taboo subject and made it far more disturbing and unsettling than anything I've seen with similar themes. It's listed on IMDb as comedy, but there's no overt humor here. Just about half an hour's worth of horrifying content that will leave you feeling... well, icky.

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Amused you watched this after our discussion. Can't wait for you to eventually watch Midsommar!





The Wind in the Willows (Mark Hall, 1983)
Imdb

Date Watched: 7/18/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Second Animation Hall of Fame, nominated by HashtagBrownies
Rewatch: No


IMDb lists this as a TV movie and it definitely had that feel to it. That's not to say that the stop-motion animation was poorly done, but it did have a certain crudeness to it. Overall, I liked the look of the film and - most of - the character designs (Rat's facial features bothered me. They were too rounded and squirrel-like). There was an impressive amount of attention to detail with the sets and miniatures and I really liked the little touches like the "Semper Buffo" on the Toad Hall flag.

Unfortunately, I didn't care for anything else. What little there was of a story didn't grab me and I found the characters rather annoying - especially Toad, who I absolutely despised. It also didn't help that Toad was frequently breaking out into song. Making an already obnoxious character that much more unbearable.

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Wow. The (much) Lesser Spotted Funny Face!?!?! A rare sighting indeed. I feel privileged.





Meet the Robinsons (Stephen J. Anderson, 2007)
Imdb

Date Watched: 7/20/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Second Animation Hall of Fame, nominated by Funny Face
Rewatch: Yes


This is a really sweet, eccentric, and funny film about letting go of the injustices of the past and... keep moving forward. It's sort of like Back to the Future meets The Jetsons and it often delves pretty far into the absurd, but it maintains a certain whimsical charm that has stuck with me since its initial release.

The character designs and the animation, while not quite on par with the likes of Pixar (who released Ratatouille in the same year), are still of impressive quality and the Sci-Fi adventure story is fun and engaging. And that's really where the film's strength is: It's fun. It has a message but it's not preachy or heavy on the substance. Its purpose is to entertain and to make you smile and, for me, it succeeds admirably.

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I'll openly admit I have it marked as my least favorite classic Disney movie ever right now. But only seen it once and honestly don't remember much of it.



I'll openly admit I have it marked as my least favorite classic Disney movie ever right now. But only seen it once and honestly don't remember much of it.
Why does this not surprise me?

Whatever. I'd list The Lion King and Aladdin among my least favorites so...



Why does this not surprise me?

Whatever. I'd list The Lion King and Aladdin among my least favorites so...
You should give me a ranked list for Disney classics for you. I have one in letterbox. I'd be curious





Wizards (Ralph Bakshi, 1977)
Imdb

Date Watched: 7/20/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Second Animation Hall of Fame, nominated by Siddon
Rewatch: No


I don't like Ralph Baskhi. His artwork and animation style are ugly and unappealing and the subjects of his films are equally so. His characters are also often grotesque and off-putting. The women in particular look either like something from a nightmare or something from a pubescent boy's masturbatory fantasies. There is no in-between. This was true of Fritz the Cat and Coonskin and it is true of Wizards.

Add this to the heavy fantasy and frequent narration and still images, and you have me disengaged from the start with no hope of pulling me in. Perhaps if I was someone who partook in, uh, certain substances I might've been able to enjoy this, but I'm not and I hated every minute of it.






The Sword in the Stone (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1963)
Imdb

Date Watched: 7/23/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 2nd Animation Hall of Fame, nominated by rauldc14
Rewatch: Yes


Oh yay, more fantasy. More wizards.
Well at least this one looks good.

That's really about the most praise I can give it, though. It's pretty. Not impressively so, mind you, but it's pretty. Everything else is pretty much a laundry list of things that annoy me. Let's start with the songs. There weren't a lot of them, but they were really annoying. Especially Mim's overly long and irritating number. Right up there with the stupid songs was the magical gibberish/spells that Merlin and Mim were casting.

Then there's the characters. Now, I don't necessarily have a problem with bumbling idiots in film. As seen in things like Meet the Robinsons and The Emporer's New Groove, such characters can be really endearing and even the most memorable. But when you populate the entire thing with bumbling idiots, it just doesn't work for me. You got to have at least one smart person to balance it. I facepalmed every time Merlin worked his magic on Arthur, every pointless transformation after pointless transformation - and near death experience after near death experience. Seriously? I'm supposed to believe that guy - who keeps almost getting this kid killed - is the greatest wizard? Yeah, no. The only character I gave even the slightest damn about was the female squirrel that became infatuated with Arthur.

I actually started this movie last night but shut it off about halfway through because I got so annoyed with it. I'll rate it the same as Wind in the Willows, if only because I can't decide which was more irritating.

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Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (Cowboy Bebop: Tengoku no tobira) (Shin'ichirô Watanabe, Tensai Okamura, Hiroyuki Okiura, and Yoshiyuki Take, 2001)
Imdb

Date Watched: 7/26/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 2nd Animation Hall of Fame, nominated by edarsenal
Rewatch: No


I knew basically nothing about this going in and, now that I've seen it, I still don't know what the hell it was about. Something to do with nanobots that act like a virus and break down into protein being unleashed by some soldier/guinea pig with hallucinations who is trying to find a "door" or some such ****. Whatever. The plot was too convoluted for my apathetic mind to follow.

Adding to my boredom was the fact that I cared absolutely nothing for any of the characters and didn't much like their highly stylized and elongated designs. Also, I would like to put forth this... thing as a nomination for most irritating animated film character ever:


(Toad from The Wind in the Willows also deserves a nomination)

All that said, the film looked great - truly beautiful animation and nice use of color. But pretty, pretty pictures are simply not enough to engage me.






Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi) (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
Imdb

Date Watched: 7/27/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 2nd Animation Hall of Fame, nominated by ahwell
Rewatch: Yes.


Spirited Away carries an important and still very much relevant message about consumerism, greed, and the environmental destruction it causes. It features exquisite animation with vibrant colors. Its characters and situations are bizarre and imaginative enough to rival the likes of Alice in Wonderland. Unfortunately, however beautiful it may be, it lacks that classic film's humor and charm. It also drags on for far too long and could easily have done without several scenes, especially the romantic elements.

In the end, I found myself respecting the film - but I still don't like it.

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