The Resident Bitch Prepares for the MoFo 2010s Countdown

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I've seen Moana twice and really enjoyed it both times. I happen to think that the music is really good.

The first time I saw it was in the theater. I'd reported to duty for massage school, but because of some snow they'd delayed classes until 1pm. At that point driving home would have been dangerous, so instead I went to a nearby theater and caught a 10am showing of Moana knowing basically nothing about it. I was very charmed by it, and liked it on a second viewing as well.

I like that it plays out as a buddy comedy between the two main characters, with strong themes of belonging and responsibility. I like the look of it and the voice acting. And while the quirky animal sidekick trope is basically obligatory at this point, heaven help me I thought that the chicken was really funny. Maybe because I have a "not the sharpest knife in the drawer" rooster of my own.



I happen to think that the music is really good.
I despise musicals. I think the about the only animated exceptions to that are Charlotte's Web and The Nightmare Before Christmas, and obviously Hedwig is a live-action exception.



I despise musicals. I think the about the only animated exceptions to that are Charlotte's Web and The Nightmare Before Christmas, and obviously Hedwig is a live-action exception.
I personally am very hit-or-miss when it comes to musicals. But I thought that "How Far I'll Go" was good, as was "You're Welcome." And "Shiney" is just an odd little beast. It probably helps to have seen it on the big screen, it gave the musical numbers a very epic scope that was definitely diminished on my second viewing. (Though I continue to like the songs).

That said, if you're not a musical fan, yeah, I don't think that they get more fun on repeated viewings.



This f***ing song has been stuck in my head all damn day, so ATM I am liking the movie even less than I was last night.

It probably helps to have seen it on the big screen, it gave the musical numbers a very epic scope that was definitely diminished on my second viewing.
I saw it on the big screen the first time and didn't like the songs then, either.





Skin (Guy Nattiv, 2018)
(Recommended by @cricket)

I remember seeing the trailer for this back in 2018 and thinking "That looks good, I should watch it," but then I promptly forgot about it pretty much until it showed up in cricket's list of recommendations in this thread.

I did have some reservations, though, going into this. I'm a sucker for good redemption stories, but this sort of subject is not exactly groundbreaking and I was afraid it could end up coming off as tidy and contrived (a la American History X, which might as well have been an after-school special for the way it handled things). I was also mildly concerned about its lead actor, whose only role I can remember seeing was as a rather reserved Roman slave in The Eagle.

Fortunately, these concerns were unfounded. There is nothing tidy about this story. It's messy, it's dirty, and it feels real and a big part of that realness is owed to Jamie Bell, who gives a performance that is in turns both terrifying and heartbreaking.

But the bad news is that this is up against some incredibly tough competition and in the end it probably will not make the final cut when it's time for me to vote. Still, this was an excellent way to kill a couple of hours and I will likely watch it again.




I am a big American History X fan, but the first thing I thought after watching Skin was that it was just as good, plus it's based on a true story so we can actually look the people up. I'm not sure why it hasn't gained more fans. It won't make my top 25 either I don't think but I have considered nominating it for a future HoF.





Still Life (Uberto Pasolini, 2013)

Still Life is the tale of a meticulous man whose job it is to find the family and friends of those who have died alone, while he himself is lacking in loved ones. When he loses his job due to budget cuts and downsizing, he throws himself into one last case and, while endeavoring to understand the man who has died, he discovers more about himself.

I'd never even heard of this movie until it showed up in the 2010s Group Watch thread and, except for a single sentence describing it on IMDb, I had no idea what to expect. What I got was a very quiet meditation on loss, forgiveness, and the importance of actually living your life. It's never showy or bombastic in any way and it never feels preachy or like it takes its sentimentality to any extreme. It features a great central performance from Eddie Marsan (an impressive actor who I don't think I've seen before), excellent use of color and light, and a beautiful and effective soundtrack. A very good movie that unfortunately probably won't get my vote.






Safety Not Guaranteed (Colin Trevorrow, 2012)
(Rewatch)

This is technically a rewatch, but to be honest I didn't remember a whole lot about it, other than a vague sense that I liked it, so it might as well have been a first time watch tonight.

One of the things I'd completely forgotten about it was that it was directed by the same man who brought us Jurassic World, which although I enjoy it, is not exactly a shining example of originality. But Safety Not Guaranteed and quite a different beast altogether and is pretty unlike anything else I've ever seen.

The premise of a trio of magazine staffers sent to investigate a man who placed an ad seeking a time-travelling companion is fertile soil for laughs and bizarre situations. But the real story here and the thing that makes this such a compelling film is the bond that forms between Kenneth, the would-be time traveler, and Darius, the cynical magazine intern who's gone undercover to get the inside scoop on his activities. Aubrey Plaza is great as Darius, who soon lets go of her cynicism and embraces her inner weirdo, but Mark Duplass really shines as Kenneth. He expertly balances the character's paranoia and sincerity, making you question all along if he's crazy or if he really does know what he's talking about.

Overall it's a really fun and sweet movie that feels like a breath of fresh air, but I have to dock its rating a little because it doesn't quite pack the emotional punch that would make me truly love it.






Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
(Recommended by @SpelingError @Tugg @Yoda and @PumaMan)

Arrival has some really interesting ideas on our existence, the significance of time, and the importance of true communication and cooperation. And it presents its ideas using beautiful cinematography and effects and strong performances from a solid cast.

Here's the problem I have with it: Despite all its ideas, the movie is boring. I never cared anything for its characters or for their story and I was left completely detached from the whole thing. About the closest thing I felt to emotion was mild amusement at how the barrier and the aliens resembled something I might see at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's "Tentacles" exhibit, how Squidward and Zoidberg would've been more apt names for them than Abbott and Costello, and how closely the ship resembled a giant bar of stainless steel soap.

Like some of the other films I've seen labelled as "masterpiece," I can see why other people hold them in high regard, but this just isn't for me.




I did think I like the craft of Arrival much more than any kind of emotional or thematic attachment I get from. Still like it much more than MV and will give it a third watch eventually. Anything Villenueve does is probably going to get multiple looks from me. Heís great. Arrival wonít make my list though.
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I did think I like the craft of Arrival much more than any kind of emotional or thematic attachment I get from. Still like it much more than MV and will give it a third watch eventually. Anything Villenueve does is probably going to get multiple looks from me. Heís great. Arrival wonít make my list though.
This is only my second Villenueve film. The first was Incendies which I watched for the HOF and intend to rewatch before the deadline, though it probably won't get my vote.



This is only my second Villenueve film. The first was Incendies which I watched for the HOF and intend to rewatch before the deadline, though it probably won't get my vote.
I think you could like Prisoners. Donít think you would probably like Blade Runner 2049



I think you could like Prisoners. Donít think you would probably like Blade Runner 2049
Prisoners is already on my watchlist. I've actually never seen the original Blade Runner so I had no intention of watching the new one.