The Resident Bitch's Movie Log

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The Adventures Of Prince Achmed (Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed) (Lotte Reiniger, 1926)
Imdb

Date Watched: 07/29/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 2nd Animation Hall of Fame, nominated by ahwell
Rewatch: Yes


I first watched this film back in 2016 and, while I was impressed with the film from a visual standpoint, I found myself quite bored by it. Tonight's experience was a little better. I didn't care much for the story - magic, demons, weak-willed women, and men who seem to subscribe to the notion that "no" means "yes" - aren't really my cup of tea, but I managed to stay engaged for a good chunk of the film. That is, until the fourth act where all the nonsense with Aladdin stretched my ability to give a **** beyond its breaking point. Still, I have nothing but respect and admiration for the attention to detail and immense patience and dedication it required to create this film and I remain very impressed with the beauty that was achieved through such a primitive technique.

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





Your Name. (Kimi no na wa.) (Makoto Shinkai, 2016)
Imdb

Date Watched: 08/02/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 2nd Animation Hall of Fame, nominated by CosmicRunaway
Rewatch: Yes


Although he's far from being my favorite anime director, Makoto Shinkai consistently delivers visually beautiful films. 5 Centimeters Per Second and Garden of Words are absolutely stunning. The trouble is that the stories that accompany those gorgeous images don't always measure up.

So it was with some reservations that I first watched Your Name. back in late 2017. I was less than thrilled by its body and time swapping premise, but I was hooked by its imagery and drawn in by the sweet and funny romance. My experience today was much the same. I remain impressed by the detail and vivid colors and was again very much engaged with its characters. I don't think this will ever rank among my favorites, but it is a very enjoyable film and one I'll definitely revisit again.






Tower (Keith Maitland, 2016)
Imdb

Date Watched: 08/02/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 2nd Animation Hall of Fame, nominated by Siddon
Rewatch: No.


I did not want to watch this movie. Mass shootings have become far too common in this country and with the recent shooting in Gilroy (not too far from where I am) it's perhaps too relevant a subject right now.

That said, this documentary was beautifully crafted and very moving. I was brought to tears multiple times hearing the accounts of that horrific day. It was especially difficult watching Officer McCoy talk about how he could've prevented the death of his fellow officer if only he had acted sooner, as well as some other survivors who also blame themselves for not doing more.

It's an incredibly emotional and compelling film. But here's the thing: I'm not convinced that the choice to use animation actually added anything to it. In fact, there were multiple times when it took me out of the film, especially when color animation was overlayed on black and white footage. This is a shame because animation can be used effectively in a documentary, as seen with the surrealistic imagery of Waltz With Bashir. And this leaves me torn in regards to how to rank it on my ballot. Do I place it high because it's so effective and engaging? Or do I rank it low because this is an animation Hall of Fame and I feel like the animation was actually a weak point in the film? I'll have to give it more thought.






Ernest & Celestine (Ernest et Célestine) (Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, 2012)
Imdb

Date Watched: 08/02/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The 2nd Animation Hall of Fame, nominated by me
Rewatch: Yes.


I've seen this movie many times, but tonight was my first time watching it in its original French dub... and I gotta say I prefer the English dub. No disrespect meant to Lambert Wilson, who was very good as the voice of Ernest, but the gruffness Forest Whitaker lent to the role just feels better suited to a big grouchy bear.

But the film is a delight in any language. Its basic premise - two outcasts from different societies come together to form an unlikely friendship - is nothing new or original. However, whatever it might lack on that front it more than makes up for in whimsy and charm. It also boasts simple but gorgeous hand painted watercolor images, which - as much as I love CG animation - are a nice change of pace from what most animation studios are producing these days. But mostly it's just really sweet, funny, and touching.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)
Imdb

Date Watched: 08/03/19
Cinema or Home: Cinema
Reason For Watching: Leonardo DiCaprio
Rewatch: No.


There were two things that surprised me about this movie: The relative lack of violence and Brad Pitt's performance. And I really shouldn't have been surprised by the latter. I've never been a Brad Pitt fan. I think he's a capable actor but not an especially impressive one. But the man sure can be funny in the right role and he was hysterical here. I watched the film for DiCaprio - and DiCaprio was very good - but Pitt's "f*** you/I don't give a s***" attitude was easily my favorite part about it.

As for the former, for a good chunk of the movie I actually kind of forgot that I was watching a Tarantino movie. Sure there was a lot of profanity, but in a lot of ways it felt like a fairy tale - that is up until the bloody (oh so bloody) end. All in all it was a fun ride, just not so much in the way I was expecting.






Burn After Reading (Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, 2008)
Imdb

Date Watched: 08/05/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: Was in the mood for more Brad Pitt silliness
Rewatch: Yes.


Although it doesn't quite reach the hilariously WTF heights of The Big Lebowski, Burn After Reading is a damn fun movie with a great cast (Mostly great, anyway. I can't stand George Clooney). John Malkovich, Frances Mcdormand, Tilda Swinton (who I normally don't like), and Richard Jenkins are all wonderful. But Brad Pitt absolutely steals this show as the energetic airhead Chad. He put a smile on my face every time he was on the screen, making an otherwise crappy day a little bit better.

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^^Wow. Can't believe I've had that film for 11 years and still not watched it.^^ Although, I really shouldn't be.
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5-time MoFo Award winner.





Burn After Reading (Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, 2008)
Imdb

Date Watched: 08/05/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: Was in the mood for more Brad Pitt silliness
Rewatch: Yes.


Although it doesn't quite reach the hilariously WTF heights of The Big Lebowski, Burn After Reading is a damn fun movie with a great cast (Mostly great, anyway. I can't stand George Clooney). John Malkovich, Frances Mcdormand, Tilda Swinton (who I normally don't like), and Richard Jenkins are all wonderful. But Brad Pitt absolutely steals this show as the energetic airhead Chad. He put a smile on my face every time he was on the screen, making an otherwise crappy day a little bit better.

+
Need to revisit this movie. Love me some Coens but I just never got into this movie. I think their talents are at their peak with westerns and old timey movies. They have an ear for that sort of dialogue. Just doesn't feel like a Coen movie if it's set in present time ha.

lol uh oh you hate Clooney. I think Pitt is a better actor, more versatile. But Clooney has picked better projects imo.
__________________
I came here to do two things, drink some beer and kick some ass, looks like we are almost out of beer - Dazed and Confused



Just doesn't feel like a Coen movie if it's set in present time ha.
I'm actually not a Coen fan. I love The Big Lebowski and Burn After Reading, but that's it. His "old timey" stuff didn't work for me. Hated O' Brother and don't like True Grit.

lol uh oh you hate Clooney. I think Pitt is a better actor, more versatile. But Clooney has picked better projects imo.
Clooney's awful, at least in the 8 or 9 films I've seen from him. This is the only movie with him that I really like and I like it in spite of him. Like I said in the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood write-up - I'm not a Brad Pitt fan, I just think he's really funny in the right role and capable in more serious roles. He is also, of course, really easy on the eyes. George Clooney, on the other hand, is neither funny nor particularly attractive IMO.





Troy (Wolfgang Petersen, 2004)
Imdb

Date Watched: 08/07/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: Eye candy
Rewatch: Yes.


I decided to continue my Brad Pitt streak with something that isn't funny but offers other, uh, benefits.

It's been a number of years since I last watched this and it's surprising how much about it I had forgotten - like Eric Bana's hotness, or just how unbearable Orlando Bloom is here (I mean, he's generally unbearable, but he's exceptionally bad here), or how not great the writing is (kind of unsurprising considering the writer is also responsible for the travesty that was the final season of Game of Thrones).

But whatever. It was great to look at - between the hotness of Achilles and Hector, the good costuming and sets, and the battles - and kept me entertained.

+





A Town Called Panic (Panique au village) (Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, 2009)
Imdb

Date Watched: 08/29/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: I felt like it
Rewatch: Yes.


With its tale of an ill-conceived birthday gift, an accidental purchase of 50 million bricks, walls stolen by uh, fish people...?, a giant robotic penguin tank/thing that flings huge snowballs all over the world, many missed piano lessons, and horse romance, Panique au village is 75 minutes of manic weirdness. I've seen it many times now and it's a favorite, but I'm honestly not sure what the f*** it's actually about. However, I am absolutely certain that it's entertaining as hell.

+





The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
Imdb

Date Watched: 08/31/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: I'm excited for Joker
Rewatch: Yes.


The first time I watched this movie, I loved it. I loved it the second time, too. And the third, and the fourth. But somewhere along the line that stopped. Somewhere along the line, the bat voice began to bug me, the speeches about heroism had me rolling my eyes, and all the film's flash and "coolness" had me checking my watch. Somewhere along the line, I realized that it wasn't the movie I loved - it was really only Heath Ledger's performance.

Tonight's viewing served only to affirm that realization. Ledger's Joker was amazing (though I suspect I'm going to love Joaquin Phoenix's Joker more, but I'm a just a little biased), but the film itself is really only a slightly above average experience for me.

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Lilo & Stitch (Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, 2002)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/01/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: One does not need a reason to watch Lilo & Stitch
Rewatch: Yes


I couldn't tell you how many times I've seen this film and every time I watch it I think I love it just a little more. It's silly and absurd but also incredibly heartfelt and moving. I normally don't care for child characters in films. I find them obnoxious and have trouble feeling much sympathy for them. But Lilo is different somehow. She's got tons of attitude and a violent streak, she's really weird, and yet she's also incredibly endearing. And I think those two words pretty well sum up the film - weird, but endearing.






Joker (Todd Phillips, 2019)
Imdb

Date Watched: 10/04/19
Cinema or Home: Cinema
Reason For Watching: Joaquin Phoenix
Rewatch: No.



I usually like to write up films immediately after seeing them - while they're as fresh in my mind as possible - but I've been kind of at a loss for words when it comes to this one.

Joker isn't a film that you watch so much as it is one that you experience. I came away feeling almost shell shocked by it. The film is violent and earned its R rating, but it actually contains considerably less violence than many other movies. What's different here though - and what sets it apart from other comic book movies - is the realism. Joker doesn't target random citizens to make a point about human nature. He isn't playing games. His victims are people that have wronged him in some way and he kills out of revenge and personal pleasure (even to the point of being sexually aroused by the act).

What's most disturbing (and fascinating) about this new clown prince of Gotham, was the change in the man's mental and physical state as he transformed. He actually seemed healthier - not only physically, but mentally - as he continued to kill. As Joker, the man that was the downtrodden Arthur Fleck is confident and even joyful at times.

Of course, what makes that transformation so affecting is the stunning performance of Joaquin Phoenix. In Phoenix's hands Arthur Fleck feels like a fully realized human, albeit one who is deeply damaged and disturbed. But this is no surprise, we know from experience that he can endow even the most repulsive and despicable character with depth and raw emotion and do it in such a way that the resulting sympathy we feel for that character only serves to make him that much more frightening.

But Phoenix isn't the only thing that really struck me about Joker. The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking. The film is dark and sets an ominous mood, but it is lit and shot in such a way that it lends a strange and mesmerizing beauty to the filth and unrest of Gotham.

Yet, even more than a day later, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the film. I enjoyed it, there's no doubt about that and I have immense respect for it, but I don't know if I loved it. I want to love it, but I'm just not there - at least not yet - and I'm not entirely sure why.

I intend to return to the theater to see it again next week, but for now I'll give it a tentative
+.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Really nice review MV. Glad you enjoyed it. Not seen it myself but from what I've seen and known of it get the feeling it'll be a tough film to really love





The Squid and the Whale (Noah Baumbach, 2005)
Imdb

Date Watched: 10/07/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 20th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by Frightened Inmate No. 2
Rewatch: No.


I chose to kick off the 20th Hall of Fame with The Squid and the Whale because I hadn't seen it before and it was short. Unfortunately, it didn't feel short. It dragged on endlessly and I was utterly bored and annoyed by it. With the possible exception of Laura Linney's character - who was just really bland and forgettable - I ****ing hated everybody in this movie. The kids were horrible. The dad was horrible. The tennis coach/mom's boyrfriend was irritating. The student shacking up with the dad was equally so. They also all felt very one dimensional and incomplete (which is no surprise considering Baumbach co-wrote Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Fantastic Mr. Fox). By the time any of them started to redeem themselves (which was nearly at the end of the film), I was too disengaged to care.

Making matters worse was that the film's attempt at humor fell flat for me - in much the same way that Wes Anderson's films do. And as I'm sitting here typing this, I'm trying to find a single aspect of the film that I found praiseworthy - and I'm failing. There is absolutely nothing that stood out to me here, at least not in a positive way. Not the performances. Not the screenplay. Not the cinematography. Not the music. Nothing.

The closest I can get to praise is that I've seen a lot of movies that I hated more than this one.

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