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Incredibles 2 (2018) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985...incredibles-2/


Well i didnt have to wait quite so long as everyone else did, having only watched the first one for the first time last week, so it was still very fresh. Huge fan of it picking up exactly where the first left off, a la Back to the Future. It definitely worked, as while the family dynamic was sort of resolved at the end of the first one, a lot of other questions, such as what happens to the illegality of Superheroes after what happened and so on, were all still there for exploration.

And despite the fact the film is rooted in the 1960s, there is a lot here that feels relevant today. The idea of an enemy who can hypnotise huge numbers of people by simply taking advantage of technology and digital screens is a particularly apt topic in 2018. It is also interesting given it's 60s setting, Elastigirl and Evelyn are both eager to step out from the shadow of the men, and that Bob becomes the stay at home dad, reflecting how the world was changing in that time. With Bob, it's how he copes with being so incredible on the outside, yet finding it much tougher being just normal in his own home. (his rant about 'changing math' by the way...the struggle is real...) In that sense, it maintained much of what was so lovable about the original. How a family with incredible powers manage to maintain some semblance of a 'normal' life. A worthy sequel.




When Harry Met Sally (1989) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985...rry-met-sally/


So following my little bit in my Pretty Woman review about the two romcoms that I will argue to the death should be at the top of any great romcom list, here is the second. And to me, the absolute best in the genre. Pretty much every other romcom since has aspired to be this (hence we have had a slew of not so good ones through the 90s, though not all bad, still one or two gems to be picked up) and nothing has come close.

This is one of those films that is just a coming together of bits of everything, and every one of those aspects is perfect. Our script. It's brilliant. It is genuinely funny throughout, it is just full of gloriously funny lines and moments, and all kinds of funny. Some hilariously witty, others much more subtle but still have you laughing out loud. And it's not just the funny bits it nails. There are some lines in this that break my heart into pieces (Carrie Fisher's line to her husband about making sure she never has to date again is one of my all time favourites, and captures every existing horror there is of being single), and all of this brilliant script is pulled together by a brilliant cast.

Harry and Sally feel real. Neither are perfect, both are wrong at several points in the film, and both are massively flawed in their own lives, not just in their relationships with each other and those around them. Their growth feels real, and never for one minute contrived. The dislike from their first couple of meetings feels justified and they have nothing in common with each other. But when they meet again in that bookshop, their lives have changed over those 10 years and changed who they are, maturing them now into two people who do have something to offer each other. Pretty much every other romcom, even the better ones, at some point, feel contrived. This film is as honest and loyal a depiction of love growing between two people as has ever been concocted by Hollywood. I love it, easily one of my favourite films in any genre, and one that no matter how badly Im feeling, can give me back that hope all over again.




Interesting mix of movies reviewed, nice
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Alice in Wonderland (1951) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985...nderland-1951/


The Big Disney Rewatch 13/56

One of the ones I watched repeatedly, read both of the books it's based on over and over again as a kid, played the Walrus in a production, endlessly consumed the Care Bears version of it as a little kid, and could recite Jabberwocky line for line...fair to say Im a fan. Like many others, it's a long long time since I've seen this in full.

But it holds up very well. The story isn't the most exciting. In fact, it's non-existant once Alice starts following the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole. The essence and timelessness of the story is in the characters. The books are famously nonsense, which is a world Alice dreams of while sat bored listening to her history lesson on a sunny day. But on then encountering that world of nonsense, changes her mind. In her quest to find the Rabbit, Alice encounters a range of environments and characters sillier than the last, culminating in a crazy escape from a Queen of Hearts and her...'trial.' It's trippy, it's silly, with our protagonist Alice trying to be the voice of sense and reason amongst the madness, and failing miserably.

Best Song: All in the Golden Afternoon
It probably isnt the most memorable, but it is a surprisingly well written song about the strange array of flowers in Wonderland.

Best Scene:
The Mad Hatter's tea party, hands down. CLEAN CUP MOVE DOWN!

As An Adult
A new found appreciation for the Cheshire Cat. One of the maddest characters in the film, but the one who also makes the most sense.

Did I Cry?
No, there are no really sad scenes in this I dont think, barring Alice's introspective when she gets lost.




Alex Strangelove (2018) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985...x-strangelove/


Note to self...stop watching original films on Netflix and stick to their tv shows.

That's harsh, I didn't hate it, it just wasn't super engaging and while yes, gay representation is good, this unfortunately for the most part fell into the trap of basically jumping on a lot of gay stereotypes and doing nothing to really move away from them. Especially the bi queerbaiting. I actually thought the most engaging character with the most interesting arc wasn't Alex, but his girlfriend. Way more emotional depth, and showed us all her pain going from the happy girlfriend, to her insecurity of wondering why her boyfriend doesn't want to shag her, to her heartbreak when she figures out why.

Just watch it for Elliott dancing to the B52s and skip the rest. That scene amounts to most of the score I'm giving. So just watch that bit, then go watch Love Simon for your queer high school romcom fix.




The Game (1997) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985/film/the-game/


Ironically for a film called The Game, I feel like I just spent 2 hours being played. But in a good way. I won't spoil anything here, but if you like your intrigue filled twisty thrillers, get on this right away. Seriously. I love Fincher's stuff, so often all about taking his time telling a story yet keeping you lingering and itching to know what happens next. Everything in this film is completely implausible but I don't care. I've just had a totally mindbending time, my head hurts from all the confusion and paranoia, but I am thoroughly entertained by it!




Peter Pan (1953) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985/film/peter-pan/


The Big Disney Challenge 14/56

This is one of those that was like watching for the first time. One of my friends growing up, this was always her favourite and it baffled her I had only seen once as a kid in the cinema with my parents (an occasion so notable because my dad hates films, and I think this is the only time in my life I went with both of them, and he fell asleep halfway through and snored very loudly...you can probably guess why I can count on one hand how many films Ive sat down and watched with him since at home) Obviously it never really struck a chord with me and wasnt really memorable enough for me to remember why specifically. So this was a very fresh watch today. I havent been missing out really...

I love the overall story of Peter Pan, I love it's whole representation of the end of childhood and not wanting to grow up, it's an absolutely brilliant base for a story, especially tied in with the beginning of the film when Wendy's father angrily tells her she needs to move out of the children's room and start to grow up. But...I just dont think it does it very well. Unfortunately, most of the so called good guys and protagonists are quite simply dislikeable. Peter bringing Wendy to Neverland to play mother for the Lost Boys kind of goes against her not wanting to grow up. And the fact that every female in Neverland wants to get in Peter's pants and gets obscenely jealous of each other over it, to the extent that Tinkerbell actively tries to kill Wendy and leads Captain Hook to her and the Lost Boys...clearly the all male writing staff of the 1950s had ever heard of hoes before bros.

Best Song: Nothing really stands out again. I think barring one or two instant classics, this wasnt a great era for Disney songs.

Best Scene: All of the best scenes involve Captain Hook. Yes him and Smee are almost pantomime villains and provide most of the comedy, this is one of the only Disney films where I dont just enjoy the baddies, but actively enjoy them and their contributions more than the goodies!

As An Adult: Obscenely racist klaxon! That entire middle section with the Indians was toecurling. Cant think why they dont put Why is the Red Man Red on these Disney song compilations these days... to go with the racism too, we are also treated to a bit of perfectly normal for the time 1950s gender politics. All the women cant have any love for each other while there's a man around for them to lust after, all jealous and catfighting, the mother's only role to be the mother and collect wood at the Indian party while all the boys go off having rowdy fun and adventures? Wow...

Did I Cry? Not even close.




Angel Heart (1987) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985/film/angel-heart/


A unique film noir meets murder mystery thriller meets occult horror, this is a pretty slow moving film, but that's because you're supposed to be paying attention to all the clues and imagery and symbolism that you'd forgotten all about until that big pay off twist at the end!

The atmosphere and the music is glorious, the performances knockouts, and despite it's slow pace, the mystery keeps you glued and wanting to find out what comes next. That sex scene...Jesus. If there is a sex scene anywhere in film that has so much symbolism in it, I want to see it! About the closest I think Ive seen is the one in Rosemary's Baby. Definitely a film worth a watch.




Lady and the Tramp (1955) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985...and-the-tramp/


The Big Disney Challenge 15/56

This is one of the old time Disney films I actually owned on video, so saw many many times, but again like many, I havent seen it in full in well over 20 years. It manages to maintain everything I did love about it though, as it was a personal favourite. It is definitely a film for dog lovers, the whole film is seen from a dog perspective. The way we see very little of the human characters' faces because they are above the dogs' eye level most of the time, but even just with their voices, the humans are secondary characters in the story, but a fantastic exponential backdrop to the world of the dogs. The storyline here isn't the greatest, it's pretty simple actually. But all of the characters have charm and chemistry and they make it work. Even minor characters like the dogs in the pound all add to it. The growing romance between our two title characters feels real, with Lady completely torn between her new beau and his freedom, and her family that she loves.

The fact this is all done from a dog point of view stands out especially when it comes to the baby. Tramp's opinion on babies is clearly very low, alluding to the fact he possibly previously had a family, who then abandoned him when the baby came along. Meanwhile Jim Dear and Darling (again, I always loved that the dogs refer to them by their pet names for each other, because that's all they've ever heard them call each other!) are understandably distracted by Darling's pregnancy, but we feel Lady's sense of abandonment. Which makes that scene when she finally meets the baby and her owners physically show they still love her more important.

Best Song: He's a Tramp
I love Peggy Lee. I love her voice, and while she plays a small role in this film, she steals the show with the best song. This film doesnt feature songs quite as heavily as a lot of Disney films of the era, but this one is still one of the best of the era.

Best Scene:
The scene towards the end when Tramp kills the rat in the baby's room, and Lady, Trusty and Jock save him from the pound gets me every time. It's the moment this is one of the most equal Disney romances ever, as it's not just about Tramp saving Lady, but she saves him too.

As An Adult:
More than any of the others previously, there is so much in this one that went completely over my head as a kid. The scene with the baby shower/ party has a lot of humour that probably meant nothing to kids, but every adult watching got it at the time! Also, Trusty and Jock talking about proposing to Lady when she comes back? Obviously I got the reference at the end when she has had puppies, but there is a lot of subtle 'morning after' stuff going on here! So much of the bit in the pound too when the other dogs discuss Tramp's past with a great many ladies...yeah, all that completely went over my head!

Oh, and more racism of course. Them cats...Im now doing a bit of a racismwatch, as Im curious now as to when this kind of racial stereotyping just stopped being a thing in Disney. In fact, Im adding racism-watch as a category from my next film on the list!

Did I Cry? When the cart falls on Trusty... *blub*




Cars (2006) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985/film/cars/


The Big Pixar Rewatch 7/19

This was one I wasnt especially looking forward to watching again. I saw it not long after it came out, and pretty much nothing about it really grabbed me and Ive never seen it since until today. I can appreciate it slightly more than I did back then...but it's still by far the weakest Pixar film Ive seen so far.

Visually, it's stunning. The Route 66 landscapes are as breathtaking as the real thing, the crowd of cars watching the Piston Cup, the sunlight shining off Lightening McQueen, and the dirt that piles up on him in Radiator Springs. Unfortunately most of the rest never quite hits the heights. The humour seems to be much more childish than in all the previous films, focusing a lot on the silly (pun on the Pist-on Cup, fart noises) or much too highbrow to really be in a kid's film (couple of jokes around Fillmore being high) and as such, it just isnt funny. There are one or two lines that raise a smile, but most of it just falls flat.

The one thing it does do really well is the melancholy of these small forgotten towns that life has passed by with progress. That section and the whole sadness of it all is incredibly well done. Most of the characters I dont think have much personality in this film, but that sequence goes some way to fixing all the problems in the rest of it.

Best Song: Life is a Highway
The songs in this are generally decent, which is another little bonus in it's favour. I do really enjoy this one though, and the sequence where it's played as Mack is transporting Lightening across country. This song, and the illuminated interstates it highlights are all in complete contrast to the Our Town sequence later.

Best Scene:
The above mentioned Our Town as Lightening and Sally go for a drive. Might as well get it in now that yes, this bit also makes me cry...move along, nothing to see here!

As An Adult:
Nothing really stands out, other than the above mentioned point on the humour.




Mystic Pizza (1988) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985/film/mystic-pizza/


A definite guilty pleasure, it is far from the best film in the world but it delivers three very different love stories with three very different characters.

-Julia Roberts has legit never been sexier than that pool hall scene.
- My heart literally crushes in my chest at Annabeth Bush's delivery of that one line..."Why does it hurt so much?" Heartbreak has never been done so painfully and so accurate in one line of dialogue. We've all lived that moment.
-any moment when Jojo goes off into a rant is gold.
-the pizza in this film looks absolutely stunning and now I'm bloody starving...




Ratatouille (2007) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985/film/ratatouille/


The Big Pixar Rewatch 8/19

Another rarity on the list, one Im seeing for the first time! Im not entirely sure how I managed to go so long without seeing this, I was aware of it, I was seeing other films in the cinema at the time and saw the trailers, but just never got around to seeing it.

Im very disappointed in myself, because it was absolutely lovely. First off, this film and it's plot is ridiculous. Even when Pixar's previous films have involved toys coming to life, cars living in a non human world, and monsters powering a city on the screams of children, they made sense as their plots were all in a self contained little world. Ratatouille is ambitious, because it's probably the first Pixar film that creates a world around fantastical characters, but really the fantasy collides with a naturalistic real life. It's absolutely crazy. But it sells it anyway because it just has so much heart.

We are blessed with characters who we love and we are rooting for, it's funny, it's beautiful, and as a food lover, it made me so hungry! The story is ridiculous, pure fantasy. The feelings are real. From Remy being torn between following his dreams and staying true to his family. How much better it is to give something back to the world, rather than take from it. Linguini being given everything he ever wanted but knowing he is a fraud. Colette with all her talent but always fighting against the grain for recognition in a man's world. How food can evoke so many feelings of nostalgia, passion and love. And most of all, that we love and cherish our friends and those around us. Because even though 'anyone can cook,' none of us can succeed alone. Just an absolutely lovely film.




*Awaits inevitable backlash from all the Lynchians....*

Blue Velvet (1986) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985/film/blue-velvet/


Many years ago when I was a teenage film geek, I watched Mulholland Drive and thought it was a pile of pretentious 'weird for the sake of being weird' ****e. Many more years of film watching and finally seeing and loving Twin Peaks made me think maybe Lynch was worth another go. No. Just no.

This film is one of the biggest teases I think I've ever seen. There is so much here that's so good, the four lead performances of McLachlan, Dern, Rossellini and the pretty terrifying Hopper are all completely on point. There is obvious subtle as a sledgehammer juxtaposing imagery for the idyllic small town with the down and dirty underbelly. The music is perfect. But on the whole? An uncomfortable jarring mix between the outrageously dull, and scenes that are graphic and shocking, for seemingly no reason other than shock value for the hell of it.

Absolutely not my thing, despite loving Twin Peaks, and at the risk of upsetting his fanboys, Lynch is absolutely not for me at all.




Sleeping Beauty (1959) https://letterboxd.com/smudgeefc1985...eeping-beauty/



The Big Disney Challenge 16/56

You talk about the classic era of Disney, for me, this embodies all of it. It pulls together everything Disney had spent 20 years experimenting and improving on, and this is the end result. It gives us another princess story, but unlike the others, the Prince actually has some personality of his own, and Aurora and Philip meeting and falling in love before they know who each other are furthers that feeling of farce, but also creates an organic relationship between them. They've been betrothed since birth, but they didn't need to know who each other was to fall for each other as teenagers. Philip also turns out to be the first Prince who doesn't just turn up at the end and save the day by doing little other than turn up. He has to literally fight for Aurora.
Outside of Aurora and Philip, we have the three good fairies who end up raising her to protect her from the fatal curse put on her. Despite admitting during the film that they are not human, they are probably the most relatable and human characters in the whole thing. They display every emotion, from.the excitement of raising the baby, their tears and shame when they fail to protect Aurora from the curse, to the fun of their interactions and bickering with each other.

And then we save the best til last...Maleficent. The original and best in a coming wave of truly fantastic Disney villains. She's sinister, controlled, physically dangerous in every aspect of her animation, the bitch is pure evil and holds a grudge like an absolute boss. What a character.

Finally, the music. I've previously pointed out that I hated Fantasia and Disney's slew of basically cartoon music videos as Walt obsessed with combining animation with classical music. Sleeping Beauty combines the two perfectly, with all of the music coming from Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty ballet. And it works so well. The dreamy qualities of Once Upon a Dream, the slow and sinister themes that accompany Maleficent. The part when her orb hypnotises Aurora in the tower where the action actually reflects the timing of the music is perfection.

Best Scene:
Philip battling his way to Aurora and subsequent battle with Maleficent. The action, the animation, the tone, the music, it's one of the best Disney sequences of all time.

As An Adult:
Nothing really sticks out, but I always enjoyed the line where Philip tells his father That it is the 14th Century. The irony that he wants to marry a girl he isn't betrothed to which goes against the strict societal norm of the times, contrasts quite comically with the film being released in the 1950s, when daily life was still governed by such outdated patriarchal traditions.

Racism-watch:
Nothing to see here. Yes everyone is white but that's the norm for a while yet, and with no minorities, there is no overt racism.

Did I Cry? I always tear up at the scene after Aurora has pricked her finger and the fairies put her in the bed in the tower. Their sense of loss, sadness and shame is so tangible, you feel it.




Many years ago when I was a teenage film geek, I watched Mulholland Drive and thought it was a pile of pretentious 'weird for the sake of being weird' ****e.
I notice a lot of people here like Mulholland Drive. I saw it when it came out but I can't remember it, so I should probably look at it again. I used to like Naomi Watts at the time too .

Absolutely not my thing, despite loving Twin Peaks, and at the risk of upsetting his fanboys, Lynch is absolutely not for me at all.
I still love Dune of course.

That's interesting that you like Twin Peaks but not his other stuff. Could that be because it's a series?



That's interesting that you like Twin Peaks but not his other stuff. Could that be because it's a series?
Im not sure. I think the second series lost it's way a lot, but that first season is as good a season as TV as I think Ive ever seen.



Hey Smudge, nice review thread!

I've been meaning to stop by, so I just did You've got a nice writing style, personable and easy to follow, I like that...I haven't seen many of the movies you reviewed, but I've seen a few like Rocky, Fantasia, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (loved that one!) & Ratatouille.

I like how you're doing a whole Disney & Pixar movie watch. I do that too. I pick an actor/actress/director or subject/genre and then pick and watch a bunch of films from those. It gives a good smattering of different movies.



Hey Smudge, nice review thread!

I've been meaning to stop by, so I just did You've got a nice writing style, personable and easy to follow, I like that...I haven't seen many of the movies you reviewed, but I've seen a few like Rocky, Fantasia, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (loved that one!) & Ratatouille.

I like how you're doing a whole Disney & Pixar movie watch. I do that too. I pick an actor/actress/director or subject/genre and then pick and watch a bunch of films from those. It gives a good smattering of different movies.
Thank you! I have enjoyed the Disney/ Pixar runs, I only started doing them because a friend put the idea in my head when he heard I had never seen the Incredibles, and then the more we talked about it, there were so many of both I needed to see, as well as others I havent seen for over 20 years. Most of them are quite short too, so I can put them on when I dont have a lot of time to commit to watching something a bit longer or in depth.

A lot of the 'classic' choices are ones suggested to me by mum, or ones I watched with her! She was the main driver behind me trying to commit to watching more films 2 years ago because there are so many banging all time classics Ive just never seen.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I feel like this thread might get a few more visits since it was brought to everyone's attention in the Mofo Tournament thread.
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..A lot of the 'classic' choices are ones suggested to me by mum, or ones I watched with her! She was the main driver behind me trying to commit to watching more films 2 years ago because there are so many banging all time classics Ive just never seen.
Hurray for mum! It's cool she got you to watch more classic movies...I love those myself. Though I need to check out more of Disney's classics, I haven't seen many.

BTW, Did you know it's easy to submit your reviews to be part of the MoFo official review database? All you need is to use the popcorn style ratings and click the box that says: Suggest this post for inclusion in the Reviews area.

Then if anyone ever looks for the movie you reviewed using either the Review or Movies links, your movie review will be there. I think that's cool! Oh,
and you can do that for older post too, just click edit then click the box. Well I just thought I'd mention it the more reviewers the better!