Rate The Last Movie You Saw


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Saint Omer - (2022)

This was a troubling and thought-provoking French legal drama based on a real-life case - that of Fabienne Kabou, who purposely left her 15-month-old child to drown by a beach and was convicted of murder. It seems to be pretty open and shut - Laurence Coly (Guslagie Malanda) is on trial, and Rama (Kayije Kagame) is following the proceedings as she plans to write a book about the case - she's kind of like the director's surrogate. Both women are Senegalese, in a relationship with a white guy and have a troubling history with their mothers, so there's a kind of kinship between the two, who never actually meet. At first Coly simply seems unrepentant and lacking in remorse, but as layers are dug away we get to some kind of sense of how this woman got where she's ended up - starting with her supposed boyfriend, who is 30 years older than her and hides her from his daughter and family. Coly ends up being like some kind of stashed away plaything, and eventually she begins cutting herself off from the rest of the world. Every place Coly ends up, she has cultural baggage and is treated according to this, even after the murder with her defense counsel. Underneath the skin there's a crushed, damaged and dead soul within. The film's themes include motherhood, and what women carry within them that was part of their mother and will be part of their daughter, along with being judged by the standards of a different culture from which you were born into. It's all summed up wonderfully in the defense counsel's closing statement - which puts it far more eloquently than I could. She's done the wrong thing and should pay for her actions, but we should also strive to understand what has gone wrong - and better ourselves as well.


Sounds fascinating.

Raising Arizona (1987) -

This is yet another Coen brothers film I would consider great. While the overall kidnapping plot is memorable, I also found myself taken in by the smaller moments in the film which reaffirmed the various difficulties/anxieties of being a parent. Whether you're referring to H.I. attempting to take a family portrait, Ed's reaction to seeing their baby for the first time, or Glen's unruly family causing problems throughout H.I.'s property, there's a lot which leaves an impression on you. In addition to these small moments, a wide array of colorful characters populate H.I.'s and Ed's lives. There are prison escapees Gale and Evelle, furniture magnate Nathan Arizona, Glen's aforementioned unruly family, and a mysterious biker who attempts to rescue Nathan's kid. All these characters are vital to the plot as they all directly interfere with and complicate H.I.'s and Ed's wishes to start a family in one way or another. These subscenes and characters suit the film's parental themes really well and pair nicely with the anxieties/guilt H.I. and Ed have from the kidnapping. Speaking of which, though they're not the most likable characters, we at least get the only true ending for them (and some of the other side characters) which the film could've had, in typical Coen brothers fashion. The balance of hope and uncertainty we get suits their remorse over their crimes very well. The film is also quite fun as the various chase/fight scenes spread throughout are well-choreographed and consistently inventive with the set pieces and tension on display. Overall, this film really struck a chord with me and I wouldn't mind rewatching it sometime in the future.

What a wonderful movie. It was such a surprise in 1987. And who doesn't love Holly Hunter?

Sounds fascinating.
It's been on my watchlist ever since I read a really interesting article about it in the Film Comment newsletter. I'm very much looking forward to it.

What a wonderful movie. It was such a surprise in 1987. And who doesn't love Holly Hunter?
I agree. I saw it a couple of years ago for the first time and it became one of my Coen favorites.
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I would probably rank A Serious Man as my favorite Coen film, but it's hard to rank their films due to how great many of them are.

I would probably rank A Serious Man as my favorite Coen film, but it's hard to rank their films due to how great many of them are.
And the many differences in theme, style and genre.

(1942, Curtiz)

Set in the titular city in 1941 Morocco, Casablanca follows Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), an American cafe owner with a cynical shell, but maybe a sentimentalist heart. So when a former lover, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) unknowingly ends up at his cafe looking for safe passage to America for her husband, Rick has to decide whether to help them or not.

Casablanca is the perfect example of a studio production coming to fruition in a way that feels harmoniously constructed from all angles. The film is a masterpiece and by most accounts, pretty much perfect; Curtiz direction is flawless, the script offers depth to the characters while giving an endless supply of memorable lines, the performances are all top-notch, and that ending!


Full review on my Movie Loot
I agree. One of the great films. Seems to me I read that at the time they didn't think the picture was going to be anything special, but it turned out going through the roof right away upon release. Even the old curmudgeon Bosley Crowther praised it!

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

Difficult to rate this on a point system so I will have to rate it relative to the other movies I watch. Big stars, top notch special effects, solid story, not too serious or demanding of the audience. Action, eye candy, light hearted dialog.

I rated it about the same as did you. It was a rather peculiar picture: the combination of an old western and other-worldly aliens. I thought Paul Dano had an interesting if unflattering part. Pretty good special effects with the "lassoing parts".

I rated it about the same as did you. It was a rather peculiar picture: the combination of an old western and other-worldly aliens. I thought Paul Dano had an interesting if unflattering part. Pretty good special effects with the "lassoing parts".
With me, rating these newer scifis (2010-present) against the older ones gets difficult because the standards for special effects are pretty much at their max for 2D screens, so I look to the story and originality and for other elements that make it stand out as its own thing.
for what?

I forgot the opening line.

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All That Heaven Allows - (1955)

On it's surface, All That Heaven Allows looks like it might be your average 50s romance - paper-thin and hackneyed. It's really not. This film really takes aim at the conformity of the time, and questions a person's need to be liked over and above what makes them happy. Cary Scott, (Jane Wyman) is a recently widowed, middle aged woman living a typical suburban life. Part of the upper middle-class, she has two adult kids but seems bored with what the future is offering her - namely, the new invention of the day : television. Along comes young gardener Ron Kirby (Rock Hudson), uber-confident in himself, with plans to start a tree nursery. Ron sweeps Cary off of her feet, and as a couple they fix up the old mill on Ron's property into a cozy and beautiful home - but when Ron asks Cary to marry her, she faces rejection from all of her friends and her two offspring. Ron's philosophy is to never worry about what other people say, and follow your inner compass wherever it might lead - but Cory is so used to the validation of others that she might prefer to be miserable if that means she's accepted by her peers. If she's to change her mind though - it might be too late. I guess this film is kind of like the 50s Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, except instead of race it's the age difference between Cary and Ron - and it's so perfectly paced with wonderful performances. I was with it from start to finish, and despite this film coming from the 50s every theme it touched on rang true. Superb.


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Unleashed - (2005)

There's something missing from Unleashed, but it's hard to say what it is. Perhaps it's a satisfyingly complex plot - Jet Li and Bob Hoskins bring their absolute best to this, and I enjoyed watching the latter act and the former do crazy kung-fu and enact Yuen Woo-Ping-choreographed mayhem. Li features as Danny, and is Bart's (Bob Hoskin) "pet dog" - whenever Bart removes Danny's leash, people get beat up pretty bad - especially if they haven't paid the gangster what's owed to him. One day, after a particularly nasty car crash, Danny escapes and finds himself being looked after by blind piano tuner Sam (Morgan Freeman) and his virtuoso charge Victoria (Kerry Condon) - but Danny can't fully escape his violent and bloody previous life. It's okay - but martial arts connoisseurs might wish there was a tad more action. Hoskins plays a great evil kingpin, and Freeman is his usual wise self (his character being blind makes him seem even wiser for some reason.) There's not really much more to it than what I've described - and it needed that extra added touch to be really worthwhile.

My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.

Latest Review : A Perfect Couple (1979)

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

This wasn't the hard laugh comedy I thought it was going to be, but instead was more of a mildly dramatic comedy with an original story.


The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)

#97 on the 30's list, I watched it because it's eligible for the war countdown. Errol Flynn is always cool and Olivia De Havilland is always a babe, and they make the movie. I liked the love story/triangle more than the action/war angle.

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Family Relations - 7.5/10
This is the Russian movie I've been looking for. It's not as good as "The Cranes Are Flying", but that's kinda mainstream, while again, I could judge by the cover (as I scrolled on YouTube) that the main character was great. It's always the face. I've got a handful of great recommendations here because they uploaded the movie poster, and the face of some woman appealed to me. Unique face seem to bring in a unique movie, and this is one and it's Free.

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Ariel (1988) -

Did anyone else immediately think of The Little Mermaid after reading the film's title or was it just me?

The Match Factory Girl is the only other film I've seen from Aki Kaurismäki and, while I wasn't quite sure what to make of it at the time, this film helped me to get a better grasp on his style of dark and deadpan comedy. In the first 15 minutes, Taisto loses his job, his father commits suicide, and his entire life savings are stolen from him. And that's only the beginning of his troubles! While Robert Bresson has a similar style of depicting characters suffering/being hurt repeatedly, both directors are able to depict this without wallowing in misery. From a stylistic standpoint at least. Throughout this film and The Match Factory Girl, Kaurismäki mainly focuses on the reactions, or lack thereof, of the main characters. Taisto is stuck in a low-paying job, he's constantly on the move, and it's unlikely he'll ever dig himself out of his rut. In spite of every adversity he goes through though, he emerges from them seemingly unharmed. Which isn't to say he's devoid of emotions by any means (his dreams of finding a better future are made clear at a few points in the film), but that he's no longer 'impressed' by them. His misfortunes, though they clearly pile up and weigh on him, are an everyday reality for him. One scene, for instance, shows Taisto lying on a beach while his jeans and leather shoes are resting right smack in the water. It's a weird and uncomfortable position to rest in for sure, but he had already been through much, much worse at that point, so what's the big deal of getting his clothing wet? Given this, one could watch the film and laugh at Taisto's misfortunes, but I would argue this misses part of the film's point. Because Kaurismäki also displays a great deal of empathy for his struggles. He's stuck in the lower class, has little hope of improving his social status, and (like most people, I would imagine) wants to live a good life. Except bad decisions and misfortunes constantly ruin his dreams time and time again. Regardless of whether you've experienced the same misfortunes as him, his dreams and worries are all too relatable to not feel sympathy for his plight. But Kaurismäki never goes overboard with this since Taisto's stoicism prevents the film from dipping into sentimentality. I imagine Kaurismäki will be an acquired taste for most people since the contradictory elements of his style won't gel with everyone, but I think the tonal clash between the onscreen misery and Taisto's stoic reaction throughout it pair very well together.

This was the first movie by Aki Kaurismaki I had seen (I've seen them all, and a few of Mika's) and it's one of the best, and it's his favorite. Matti Pellonpaa is one of my favorites. But I love the scene when the couple are in bed, and she wants .. something more sentimental and romantic, and he says something like, "OK, I will love you for the rest of my life" to some supposed one-night stand..

You are so lucky to have some great movies ahead of you. May I recommend one of my Top 10-15 movies and my favorite of his, "Shadows in Paradise". It's interesting to see him go from supporting to lead, but in retrospect, it's weird seeing Matti as a supporting character, because other than his first couple, he was always the lead.

Terrifier 2 (2022)


I didn't think much of the 1st but tried this one because it seems pretty popular. With how popular it is, I was surprised right away that it wasn't a little more well made. It wasn't poorly made at least so I settled in pretty well. It's long and started to drag out in the end as it got a bit more ridiculous. I enjoyed it though because it felt nostalgic. It's a nice throwback to 80's horror. Art is a good villain and the leading lady was pretty good. One big complaint is the sound. The voices were very low while everything else was very loud. It was quite a distracting imbalance that often made it hard to hear what the characters were saying. With about 10 minutes left my wife says, this is disgusting I'm never watching a movie like this again. Oh sure, but you watched the whole thing.

Waiting... (2005)

Another one of my favorite comedies over the years. You get the expected performance from Ryan Reynolds, but the rest of the supporting cast does an excellent job carrying the comedy and plot otherwise.

(2021, Gonzales)

"I’ve taken too much time on this and I can’t get it to work; I just dug myself in a deeper hole. We need to stop. I like the other version, [and] I need to tell the team."

Nona follows the titular grandmother (Wilma Bonet), a huge wrestling fan, who is just preparing to watch her favorite wrestling event. As she's "turning off the world" to focus on the show, her granddaughter is unexpectedly dropped at her apartment, forcing her to choose between her beloved wrestling show and her family.

There really isn't much to the short. It's very simple and cute. Apparently, the biggest conflict between Gonzales and his team was in how "neglectful" the grandmother should be with her granddaughter, and how "confrontational" should she be as a result. After all, Gonzales jokingly describes the two characters as "opponents" in an interview.


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