Rate The Last Movie You Saw

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The Unholy (2021)

Oh, why did I watch this? Cliched and boring horror that feels like a Christian TV production (imagine my surprise when the end credits said it was produced by Raimi and Tapert). Total carbage.
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By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58265565

Shadow - (2018) - China

Here I go again venturing into genres that aren't really my favourite, but I have to say that once, many many years ago, House of Flying Daggers was recommended to me and I liked it so much I bought the DVD. So what has Yimou Zhang been doing since? A few things, but the promotional material for Shadow harks back to Flying Daggers (2004) to sell this one (hey - it worked!) and not one of his more recent works. I was hoping for flying daggers, but instead got umbrellas.

No, I'm not going to ridicule this film for using umbrellas like they're really the ultimate weapon and warriors wouldn't fight with anything less than an umbrella. To match this, the film takes place during a foretold 7 days of rain. So who's laughing now? To start with they're just ordinary umbrellas, but when the big epic battle starts during the last quarter of the film these umbrellas' spokes are razor sharp swords and we see many cool uses for them. Warriors slide down the street like ninja turtles on umbrellas while using a second umbrella as a shield. Bows and arrows suddenly become useless. If someone had of wanted to murder Gene Kelly during his most famous scene the tables would have turned.

Aside from umbrellas, there's a story here to be told, and I'm happy to say it's comprehensible. That's all I ask for in an Asian action film like this. It might be a little derivative, but if you're going in that direction Kagemusha is a great place to start. That or else these shadow warriors (doubles who work out complicated yet epic pranks on an enemy) are a large part of Japanese and Chinese folk tales. One other thing is the set design - set to "dull on purpose" - but I don't really love dull, even if it is on purpose. This film could have been called '50 Shades of Grey' as a literal take on the kingdom of Pei where not one single colour is allowed.

C'mon though. Colourful sets isn't what we came for here. This is a epic battle movie with incredible duels and outrageous skills. This is a movie where people get stabbed and sliced and chopped but still find the will to keep fighting. If you came here for the action I'd say you'd be very well pleased.

6/10





Kinda slow paced, but the exterior shots were incredible. I would recommend it.
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There has been an awekening.... have you felt it?



The Woman in the Window (2021)


Four Good Days (2020-2021)


The Nest (2020-2021)


Army of the Dead (2021)


Wrath of Man (2021)


The King of Staten Island (2020)





By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58265565

Shadow - (2018) - China

Here I go again venturing into genres that aren't really my favourite, but I have to say that once, many many years ago, House of Flying Daggers was recommended to me and I liked it so much I bought the DVD. So what has Yimou Zhang been doing since? A few things, but the promotional material for Shadow harks back to Flying Daggers (2004) to sell this one (hey - it worked!) and not one of his more recent works. I was hoping for flying daggers, but instead got umbrellas.

No, I'm not going to ridicule this film for using umbrellas like they're really the ultimate weapon and warriors wouldn't fight with anything less than an umbrella. To match this, the film takes place during a foretold 7 days of rain. So who's laughing now? To start with they're just ordinary umbrellas, but when the big epic battle starts during the last quarter of the film these umbrellas' spokes are razor sharp swords and we see many cool uses for them. Warriors slide down the street like ninja turtles on umbrellas while using a second umbrella as a shield. Bows and arrows suddenly become useless. If someone had of wanted to murder Gene Kelly during his most famous scene the tables would have turned.

Aside from umbrellas, there's a story here to be told, and I'm happy to say it's comprehensible. That's all I ask for in an Asian action film like this. It might be a little derivative, but if you're going in that direction Kagemusha is a great place to start. That or else these shadow warriors (doubles who work out complicated yet epic pranks on an enemy) are a large part of Japanese and Chinese folk tales. One other thing is the set design - set to "dull on purpose" - but I don't really love dull, even if it is on purpose. This film could have been called '50 Shades of Grey' as a literal take on the kingdom of Pei where not one single colour is allowed.

C'mon though. Colourful sets isn't what we came for here. This is a epic battle movie with incredible duels and outrageous skills. This is a movie where people get stabbed and sliced and chopped but still find the will to keep fighting. If you came here for the action I'd say you'd be very well pleased.

6/10
Having seen this a few years ago at TIFF, I can confirm that the umbrellas were amazingly loud in a theatre setting.



LE JOUR SE LÈVE
(1939, Carné)
Freebie





That is unless their hearts are broken in the process. Because then, the opposite applies. That is more or less what happens in this 1939 French film. Directed by Marcel Carné, Le jour se lève follows François (Jean Gabin), a factory worker that falls in love with *wait for it* Françoise (Jacqueline Laurent), a florist, only to find out she's more interested in a sleazy and narcissistic entertainer (Jules Berry).

The thing is that the film follows a non-linear narrative, starting with François murdering a man in his apartment, and then goes back to show how he ended up in that position. That is when we see how François and Françoise meet by chance, bond over their similarities, their names, and their orphan upbringing, only to see her gush over Valentin later on. The film frequently returns to "present time", as we see François barricade himself in his apartment as the police outside figure out how to apprehend him.

This film was a magnificent surprise, and the kind of film that makes you wonder why the heck isn't it mentioned more often. I had literally never heard of this film before this, and yet I was completely captivated by pretty much every aspect of it. From its structure, its striking cinematography and direction, the great performances, and the edgy script. Every single thing was top of the line.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot and the PR HOF3.
Color me interested.



25th Hall of Fame

The Green Years (1963) -


I believe this is the first film from Portugal I've seen, but it's a pretty decent introduction. As others have pointed out though, it feels like some scenes are missing. I don't know if I just watched a bad transfer of the film or if some scenes were removed when the film was made, but I couldn't help but suspect this. I could definitely feel this in the second half of the film with the various awkward cuts, continuity errors, and Júlio's rushed character arc. If I ever come across a longer version of the film in the future, I'll have to rewatch it to see if my opinion of the film grows. As it stood though, I still found it to be an effective and tragic portrait of a confident young man eagerly moving to Lisbon, only to grow increasingly disillusioned with the city as he experiences misfortune after misfortune. I'm not a history buff and I don't know much about what the social climate of Portugal was like when this film was made, but I didn't feel like the film required for me to be knowledgeable in the country's politics to get the gist of the struggles Júlio faced. I imagine it must have been hard for lower class workers like Júlio to live and work there. My favorite scene in the film was the sweater sequence with Júlio and Isla. Though there wasn't much dialogue in it, it communicated a lot about how their relationship was falling apart and how much Júlio had changed since the start of the film. Other sequences such as the night club scene and the final few minutes were well-shot, stylistically impressive, and were packed with a decent amount of suspense (looking back, I wished that more of the film was shot like those few scenes, but whatever; I liked what I got). This film can't help but pale in comparison to other movies I've seen about confident protagonists moving/arriving to new cities or locations only to grow disillusioned with their surroundings over time (Lawrence of Arabia, Rocco and His Brothers, Greed), but it's still good. While it left a lot to be desired, I did enjoy my time with this film and I'd be happy to give it another shot in the future if I come across a longer version of it.



A Quiet Place 2

If the implausible plotting and creature mechanics outraged you the first time, avoid this as they haven't gotten any better. If the emotional beats, performances, craft and adept sequence construction worked for you last time, this is more of the good stuff. I fall into the latter camp and had a good time.




A Quiet Place 2

If the implausible plotting and creature mechanics outraged you the first time, avoid this as they haven't gotten any better. If the emotional beats, performances, craft and adept sequence construction worked for you last time, this is more of the good stuff. I fall into the latter camp and had a good time.

The original wasn't that implausible, though.

/beatingadeadhorse



Professional horse shoe straightener
'Stowaway' (2021)


Not for me. Seems to be a film built around a flimsy metaphor for socio-political america. Based in space. With a score so overbearing that it felt more of a character than the characters.



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'Oxygen' (2021)

Very well crafted sci-fi film that makes the most out of a low cast and almost single location.




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'Riders of Justice' (2020)


Rather disappointed after reading such good reviews. Mads Mikkelsen is great but there are some silly plot points in the 2nd half. It's just full of Hollywood type tropes. Unimaginitive.




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'The Uninvited' (1944)


A classic ghost story set on the Cornish coast. Ray Milland is great, the rest of the cast are a little average.





By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55188103

Jungle - (2017)

Have you ever had a hankering for a certain type of film, like a food, and searched far and wide until satisfied? That's how I happened on Jungle. I wanted something like the incredible documentary Wings of Hope (1999) by Werner Herzog (originally Julianes Sturz in den Dschungel but Herzog voiced the English version himself.) So imagine my joy upon finding Jungle, a generously rated movie starring Daniel Radcliffe about an Israeli guy (Yossi - played by Radcliffe) who goes and gets himself lost in the Jungle.

Three adventure seekers meet the 'I know everything' explorer Karl (Thomas Kretschmann - a favourite of mine.) He leads them deep into the jungle in search of a mysterious tribe, and before you know it groups are separated, then individuals are separated. We follow Radcliffe as he hallucinates (constantly - too many hallucinations) gets stung by fire ants, eats gross stuff and falls over. There's nothing original here, and the pacing makes it feel like Yossi's lost for 8 hours instead of three weeks. To make matters worse, the true story this is based on includes things that would have been amazing to see on film. But none of it is seen in Jungle.

I've lost my appetite for 'lost in the jungle' movies now. Too much time was wasted with Karl and Yossi's two friends (just over half the film) and when we get to Yossi's struggle for survival it's derivative and underwhelming. Also, no tarantulas. The film is technically competent and has some excellently gross makeup and effects, but you'd be much better off watching the episode of I Shouldn't Be Alive that deals with Yossi and his Jungle antics.

4/10



A Quiet Place 2

If the implausible plotting and creature mechanics outraged you the first time, avoid this as they haven't gotten any better. If the emotional beats, performances, craft and adept sequence construction worked for you last time, this is more of the good stuff. I fall into the latter camp and had a good time.

Rats.



The original wasn't that implausible, though.

/beatingadeadhorse
The movie starts to unravel the moment you say "wait, if these creatures hunt by sound, then why does ______ happen" and then it can happen repeatedly until the end of the movie when your head cracks open from a piercing shrieking sound.



I'm very optimistic about this.