Rate The Last Movie You Saw

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I forgot the opening line.

By "Copyright 1942 Twentieth CenturyĖFox Corp." - quScan via Heritage Auctions. Cropped from the original image., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/inde...curid=86897736

The Ox-Bow Incident - (1943)

I have @Citizen Rules to thank for this very enjoyable watch, having come across one of his reviews by chance - it sounded good, and by lord it was very good. Up there with the best Westerns I've ever seen - the likes of 3:10 to Yuma, High Noon and Stagecoach, but with far more weight considering it's powerful message. I left this on Letterboxd : "I've seen enough of the law mocked and subverted by powerful men to really appreciate this movie at this time, and I've seen enough bloated 160 minute self-indulgent movies to really appreciate one that's 75 minutes long and does more than all of them put together." It was an impromptu watch, and yet it blew the big film I'd been planning to watch all along out of the water. Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn are great, the latter of whom had a fair few movies under his belt already, as young as he looked. Happy to have seen it.

9.5/10


By http://www.impawards.com/2019/spider...home_ver6.html, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60832103

Spider-Man : Far From Home - (2019)

The whole Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise seems to have been pretty spent after Avengers : Endgame, as evidenced by this at-times enjoyable but somewhat unsatisfying Spider-Man entry. The Spider-Man arc has been my least-favourite of the varied threads in this universe, and as such there were times during this when I felt disconnected. Although it moves the story of this character forward, it's your typical "threat arises - threat is vanquished" episodic number, and there were a few plot holes that bothered me throughout. There were scattered moments that I enjoyed, and some jokes landed, but this was a bit of an anticlimax which serves as the close of the Infinity Stones saga and beginning of the Multiverse one. I started watching Into the Spider-Verse after this, and started enjoying myself again - it's far superior.

5/10
__________________
My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.




TWELVE HOURS TO KILL
(1960, Cahn)



"This time we'll make sure there isn't any leak, or any chance of anybody stumbling over. He'll just disappear."

Twelve Hours to Kill follows Filones as he's sent to a small town called Denton, supposedly as a way to protect him. Unfortunately, the two thugs sent to silence him follow him there, forcing Filones to doubt of everyone, especially those that are sworn to protect him. His only ally seems to be Lucy (Barbara Eden), a local woman that shelters him at her home.

Stumbling into little films like this is one of the joys of this challenge. This is a very low budget, B-film that I had never heard of, and yet, it was a pleasant surprise. There is little flash to it, but it is still a pretty tight crime thriller, with some grit to it. Minardos and Eden have a certain innocent charm, but they are as effective when the story goes to more darker places.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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By "Copyright 1942 Twentieth CenturyĖFox Corp." - quScan via Heritage Auctions. Cropped from the original image., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/inde...curid=86897736

The Ox-Bow Incident - (1943)
I watched this movie semi-recently and was not prepared for how emotionally upsetting I would find it.




By "Copyright 1942 Twentieth CenturyĖFox Corp." - quScan via Heritage Auctions. Cropped from the original image., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/inde...curid=86897736

The Ox-Bow Incident - (1943)

I have @Citizen Rules to thank for this very enjoyable watch, having come across one of his reviews by chance

- it sounded good, and by lord it was very good. Up there with the best Westerns I've ever seen - the likes of 3:10 to Yuma, High Noon and Stagecoach, but with far more weight considering it's powerful message. I left this on Letterboxd : "I've seen enough of the law mocked and subverted by powerful men to really appreciate this movie at this time, and I've seen enough bloated 160 minute self-indulgent movies to really appreciate one that's 75 minutes long and does more than all of them put together." It was an impromptu watch, and yet it blew the big film I'd been planning to watch all along out of the water. Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn are great, the latter of whom had a fair few movies under his belt already, as young as he looked. Happy to have seen it...
You just made my day!





Second viewing, last time I watched it was back around 1998. I really liked it then, this time not so much but still enjoyed it.







SF = Z


[Snooze Factor Ratings]:
Z = didn't nod off at all
Zz = nearly nodded off but managed to stay alert
Zzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed
Zzzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed but nodded off again at the same point and therefore needed to go back a number of times before I got through it...
Zzzzz = nodded off and missed some or the rest of the film but was not interested enough to go back over it



(can I use negative popcorn?)

Wow...how do you make an hour and half into a labor? It's 80 for Brady. It seemed like it had some comedic possibilities. Four elder ladies want to see Brady perform one more time in the 2017 Super Bowl. They go through a bunch of shenanigans to get uber-expensive tickets, don't know much about football, do a lot of yelling (mostly at each other, attempts at humor) and then the game is over. Somebody wins, but I don't recall who. It doesn't matter.

Yeah, Tom Brady has a minor role (he also retired this week, just in time for the movie roll-out), but he's not much of an actor, nor is anybody else in the movie. At least Brady was a great quarterback. Wow. I'd say you could pick a worse movie, but I'd be lying. It looks like they ran a bunch of filmed skits before the script was finished, then tried to paste it all together in post production. It was downright unprofessional.

http://



Knock at the Cabin (2023)

I didn't have high expectations for this one given the trailer seemed discouraging and its Shyamalan, but I'll watch anything with Bautista in a serious role for now. It is well-paced and suspenseful throughout, but it never really rises to a substantial level that it wants to in the end. I feel like my rating may be the ceiling, because I can see many others giving this a lower rating but not really a higher one.



Aftersun -


While mostly an observation of young father Calum and his preteen daughter Sophie vacationing at a low-rent Turkish resort, it has much more going on than that. There's its food for thought about how and what we choose to remember, for instance, with its use of a camcorder and a framing device of the adult Sophie reminiscing about the trip not just being flourishes. There's also the ways it made me consider those butterfly effect-like moments that form who you are, whether it's Sophie's time playing games with a boy at an arcade or with a friendly girl at a poolside bar who is a few years older than her. What hits hardest about the movie, though, is how it makes you think about what our parents pass on to us and whether or not we'll pass it on to our children.

I was a bit hesitant to jump into this movie because I equate universal praise with hype, but I can assure you that the hype is real. It doesn't waste a moment no matter how uneventful I thought some of them are while watching it and its takes on all these subjects are ones I can imagine thinking about for a long time. It hardly has a conventional structure, and again, there are times when I wasn't sure what to take from certain scenes, but your patience will be rewarded, as will an observant eye.





Albert Nobbs, 2011

Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) works as a butler in a hotel in Ireland. Albert is biologically female, but has lived as a man for over 30 years as a means of survival. Albert's routine becomes complicated when he meets another person, Mr. Page (Janet McTeer) who is in the same situation but has a wife and home. Albert begins to try and romance one of the maids at the hotel, Helen (Mia Wasikowska), but Helen is in a hot and heavy relationship with new employee Joe (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

This film is well-acted and has an interesting story, but it can't overcome some unfortunate tropes in its last act.

There's a really fascinating thread that runs through this film regarding the way that Albert regards his identity. While on the surface this looks like either a story of a woman adopting a male persona to survive in a patriarchal society or a look at someone living their life as a transman, I think that it's more accurate to say that this is a film about someone who is neurodivergent and the interesting way that this intersects with their decision to live as a gender that doesn't match their biological sex. The contrast with the outlook of McTeer's character gives a great basis to see why this is more a story about Nobbs' thought process.

Right from the start, the character of Albert started pinging my radar about the kind of behaviors you might see from someone on the autism spectrum. The meticulous bookkeeping, for starters, but also the way that Albert conceives of what it means to "act like a man" and even further how things are meant to go between a man and a woman. Albert claims to love Helen, but that love is more about how Helen fits into Albert's dreams of owning a shop and having a wife. I think it's pretty significant that Albert simply assumes Helen will marry him because it's how Albert has envisioned things. What Helen wants, how she wants to live her life, is something Albert never thinks to ask. When Helen observes that Albert won't even try to kiss her or put his arm around her waist, an appalled Albert notes, "But that's for when we're married!".

The way I read the film, Albert adopted a male persona out of necessity---having suffered some horrific abuses as a teenage girl---and is now trying to follow "the rules" of being a man as they best understand them. But there's a literalness to Albert's approach that speaks to Albert being neither a straight woman trapped in male clothing nor a queer person living out a dream of having a female partner.

This is most evident in the contrast with McTeer's character. Hubert Page is definitely a (fabulous) queer lady, who has managed to find a female partner and keep up the facade of a male persona. But there is clear passion between Hubert and his wife, Cathleen (an adorable Bronagh Gallagher), and even some teasing jealousy when Hubert talks about Helen. When Albert notes that they expected Hubert would dress as a woman inside the house, Hubert notes with a sigh that it's too dangerous because the neighbors might see something. For Hubert, the male exterior is an illusion that affords some degree of financial and social freedom. In one telling scene, Hubert reveals his "real" (female) name to Albert. Asking, "What's your real name?", a visibly perplexed Albert replies, "Albert."

So, honestly, all of this was really interesting to me. There's some interesting data about the overlaps between neurodiversity and gender/sexuality diversity, and I think you see that in a fascinating way in the characters of Albert and Hubert. So a movie just about Hubert helping Albert try to navigate finding love would have been awesome.

Unfortunately, the plot around them is frustrating and hews in an annoying way toward "bury your gays" territory. Joe wants to go to America, and he convinces Helen to string Albert along for money and bottles of whiskey and boxes of chocolate. The interactions between Helen and Albert are uncomfortable. The interactions between Helen and Joe are shrill. Who Albert is and how Albert understands the world and how Hubert starts to shift what Albert imagines life can be is really interesting. But all this crying and moaning and stiff walking dates totally takes away from letting the interesting central character shine and evolve.

The last 15-20 minutes, for me, were actively tone deaf. They push Albert into freakshow territory, even further displacing the story from Albert's unique point of view. And I was downright baffled by a part where a character who is meant to be clear-eyed and sympathetic, a doctor played by Brendan Gleeson, observes "I don't know why people choose to live such miserable lives." My man, you think people WANT to live this way?

Close is really good in her role, and her scenes with McTeer are excellent. Wasikowska does succeed in portraying Helen as a complex, conflicted character. But there's a lot of plot junk stuffed into this film that could have simply been a fascinating character study. Albert deserved better.




McVicar (1980)

+


The Who frontman Roger Daltrey plays real life British criminal John McVicar. The 1st half we see him in prison before eventually escaping. The 2nd half is being on the run and becoming closer with his GF and son. He wants to change but he is what he is. I much preferred the 2nd half as I found myself rooting for a guy who initially came off pretty bad. Cool seeing Daltrey as the lead and The Who did the soundtrack. Nothing special but a decent watch.



(can I use negative popcorn?)

Wow...how do you make an hour and half into a labor? It's 80 for Brady. It seemed like it had some comedic possibilities. Four elder ladies want to see Brady perform one more time in the 2017 Super Bowl. They go through a bunch of shenanigans to get uber-expensive tickets, don't know much about football, do a lot of yelling (mostly at each other, attempts at humor) and then the game is over. Somebody wins, but I don't recall who. It doesn't matter.

Yeah, Tom Brady has a minor role (he also retired this week, just in time for the movie roll-out), but he's not much of an actor, nor is anybody else in the movie. At least Brady was a great quarterback. Wow. I'd say you could pick a worse movie, but I'd be lying. It looks like they ran a bunch of filmed skits before the script was finished, then tried to paste it all together in post production. It was downright unprofessional.

http://
I'm a New Englander and a Patriot fan but I have no desire to see this. Unfortunately my wife does



(can I use negative popcorn?)

Wow...how do you make an hour and half into a labor? It's 80 for Brady. It seemed like it had some comedic possibilities. Four elder ladies want to see Brady perform one more time in the 2017 Super Bowl. They go through a bunch of shenanigans to get uber-expensive tickets, don't know much about football, do a lot of yelling (mostly at each other, attempts at humor) and then the game is over. Somebody wins, but I don't recall who. It doesn't matter.

Yeah, Tom Brady has a minor role (he also retired this week, just in time for the movie roll-out), but he's not much of an actor, nor is anybody else in the movie. At least Brady was a great quarterback. Wow. I'd say you could pick a worse movie, but I'd be lying. It looks like they ran a bunch of filmed skits before the script was finished, then tried to paste it all together in post production. It was downright unprofessional.

http://
OMG that looks bad! Now I understand this:
https://www.movieforums.com/communit...ad.php?t=67595





Princess Iron Fan, 1941

Purportedly the first feature length animated film from China, the story follows a trio of travelers who must cross a dangerous range of volcanoes. They need a mystical, powerful fan to extinguish the volcano flames. Unfortunately, the fan is currently in the possession of Princess Iron Fan, and she is not eager to loan it out.

While this film mainly seems to distinguish itself for its historical interest, there's plenty here to enjoy either in earnest or ironically.

On the positive side, in earnest, there are some enjoyable visual moments, such as a sequence where the monkey king transforms himself into a small bug to be swallowed by the Princess. After he is swallowed he appears only as a pair of eyes venturing around her stomach. The film was apparently made using rotoscoping, and in certain sequences it adds a nice dynamic to the movement of the characters.

I also for the most part enjoyed the characters, especially the persnickety Princess. When the travelers first arrive at her palace, a servant announces that they want to borrow the fan. There's a short beat, and then the Princess says, "Get my sword." She makes for a very fun antagonist.

If you're more into ironic appreciation, there's always the flipside of the rotoscoping, namely the way that the characters' faces (especially the non-human faces) are constantly bulging and distorting as the character features are drawn over and over again. I thought that this nightmare fuel added a bit of weird edge to the story, but your mileage may vary.

The story itself moves very much in the rhythms of a folk tale. It's basically just a series of episodes in which the travelers try to trick or force the Princess into giving them the fan. I did start to tune out a bit in the last 20 minutes, with the different attempts not always having enough distinction to hold interest.

With a relatively short runtime and some historical interest, I'd say this is worth checking out, if only to see what was being made around the same time as Pinocchio or Bambi.




I forgot the opening line.

By IMP Awards / 2018 Movie Poster Gallery / Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Poster (#5 of 21), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59740919

Spider-Man : Into the Spider-Verse - (2018)

I've never been a big fan of Spider-Man, and aside from Sam Raimi's trilogy and the first few Spider-Man films of the Marvel lot I don't have a lot of experience with him - but there's something about this animated film that goes beyond the specific character and works away with a furious beat that had me entranced. Perhaps it's because every frame is a work of art, or perhaps it's the gripping story that reimagines the entire mythos that I'm used to. Whatever it is, watching this gave me the feeling I get when I'm just getting hooked into a great new song - the story is so well written, with comedy and melodramatic flourishes mixed perfectly with action, never missing a beat and never taking a wrong step. I recommend this to everybody - even people who either don't like comic book superhero films or are sick of them. It really transcends what I find a lot of the time to be a predictable and often regressive genre - looking and feeling more like art than formulaic caped crusader stuff, and tapping into the heart and soul of what it's all about. I think it's a real spirit lifter.

9/10


By Columbia Pictures - Internet Movie Database, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62792005

Images - (1972)

Images is a British film made by Robert Altman during his golden age of 1970s classics, and a film I hope to review in a lot more depth later on down the track. It's a film with a very sharp edge, as an uncomfortably screechy John Williams score underlines the many frightening episodes of an hallucinatory nature main character Cathryn (Susannah York) goes through. She perceives past lovers, both dead and alive, lurking around every corner, and just when you think she's getting on top of her scary situation you find that she really isn't. It's an atmospheric kind of mood piece that maintains that same note of constant schizophrenic terror the whole way through, and an experimental kind of pseudo-horror film that kept me on edge. Altman's imagination was really wild, and in this he gave free reign to interesting impulses, creating another really unique and interesting film. I look forward to coming back to it.

8/10





Monkey King: Hero is Back, 2015

A little boy named Liuer (Zijie Lin) is the only survivor when vicious mountain trolls attack his family. Years later, Liuer is apprenticed to a monk, traveling around the countryside. But when another attack results in the kidnapping of 49 babies, Liuer manages to save one of the children, stumbling into a cave where he finds the Monkey King (Jackie Chan), a powerful being imprisoned for over 500 years for having rebelled against heaven. With the grudging help of the Monkey King and a shape-shifting demon named Pigsy (Jiurong Liu), the battle is on to reclaim the missing children.

This film turns classic characters from the Journey to the West into a somewhat conventional animated tale with a handful of visually engaging sequences.

It was fun to watch this film right on the heels of Princess Iron Fan, because it repeats several of the characters. It's kind of like watching two different Robin Hood movies back to back.

On the plus side, the characters are likable, with Chan in the lead role certainly being the stand out. For a children's film---yes, this is a backhanded qualification!--the story is okay. To the film's credit, the final battle plays with some stakes that were not expected.

Visually, the movie is bookended with two pretty strong sequences. The opening scene is the Monkey King fighting against the different gods in heaven. The final battle and its outcome also looks pretty good. But the stuff in the middle looks mostly the same as a lot of computer animated/3D movies. Which is to say that in theory it looks fine, but there's something bland and undistinguished about it. There's a recurring visual gag about Pigsy not being able to hold his transformations and fighting against turning back into his pig self.

Overall this is a pretty average adventure. Not one to avoid or skip, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it all that strongly. I got a kick out of seeing a different take on a mythology from the film I'd just watched before it, but that was a largely circumstantial bonus.





By IMP Awards / 2018 Movie Poster Gallery / Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Poster (#5 of 21), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59740919

Spider-Man : Into the Spider-Verse - (2018)

9/10


By Columbia Pictures - Internet Movie Database, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62792005

Images - (1972)

8/10
What a great double-bill!

I love Spiderverse--it's just so joyful in every dimension.

And Images is a film I think should be talked about a lot more than it is. That moment when she looks over from the car and
WARNING: spoilers below
sees herself?
. Shivers every time.



Victim of The Night


Sicario, 2015

FBI rising star Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) leads a raid with her partner, Reggie (Daniel Kaluuya) in which she is confronted with the horrifying aftermath of cartel related torture and execution. Following this incident, Kate is drafted onto an inter-agency task force meant to take down the head of the cartel. The task force is led by CIA agent Matt (Josh Brolin) and a mysterious "consultant" named Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro). But the further the mission goes, the more Kate comes to suspect that simply capturing the cartel leader is not the real aim of the team.

This is an incredibly solid thriller with a great mix of interesting visuals and engaging performances.

Emily Blunt is such an entertaining performer. While for the most part her character is reactive as opposed to proactive, she brings a lot of dynamism to a character who is slowly realizing that she's part of something unethical and truly powerless to do much about it.

Del Toro's Alejandro is a nicely enigmatic character. On reading a bit about the film, it seems that a lot of the character's dialogue was trimmed down at del Toro's insistence, and it's a good choice. The way that the film allows silences to stretch out between his character and Kate makes for some great moments. It's obvious that at some level Alejandro likes Kate. But it's also obvious that he has ulterior motives for being on the task force, and it generates nice suspense to wonder where this will land them in the end.

Brolin's Matt and the rest of the task force are a painfully accurate portrait of the kind of group "might makes right" mentality. There's a sequence where several of the team members hold Reggie down so that he can't defend Kate from a fight, and one of them tells Reggie "Let it happen". Ugh. Kaluuya makes for a charismatic and engaging sounding board for Kate, who is quickly at sea in the legally and morally dubious actions of the task force.

Visually speaking the staging of the various sequences is quite enjoyable. There's a great sense of flow between the talking/planning sequences and the action sequences. Everything crackles with tension, especially as Kate realizes that there are potential consequences to her involvement in the task force that she did not anticipate. Nothing is really safe, and even the most innocuous interaction could be underscored with danger.

I also give the film bonus points for including a track from Alison Krause/Robert Plant's album Raising Sand.

This was also a movie that has grown on me over time. Which is pretty good because I thought it was a very good film when I walked out of it but the more I go back and think about it, and I do, the better it gets to me. Which is how it ended up on my 25 of the Decade list.