Make Your Picks

Rate The Last Movie You Saw

Tools    





I could not bring myself to watch this film, I still can't honestly, and I don't think I ever will.
I saw the trailers and read an article or two, mostly because I have had an interest in "The Negro Travelers' Green Book" for many years, being an (always) emerging anti-racist in The South, and because Mahershala Ali stunned me in, of all things, Marvel's Luke Cage, and because I usually like Mortensen.
Despite all that, this movie reeked of being an over-sentimentalized, white-apologist, Oscar-bait movie, hopefully the last of its kind. And pretty much everything I've read about it confirms that impression and I can't come across anyone who will actually say, yes, this is a really good movie. And I'm left wondering if the best films will ever actually win that award (though that's another discussion), or if it will just perpetually be a series of biopics and movies that make rich white people feel like they have the right sort of feelings.
I hated it & bailed out.
__________________
I’m here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. That’s why I’m here now.



ALL THE KING'S MEN
(1949, Rossen)



"♪ Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall ♫
♫ All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again ♪"

That's the nursery rhyme that gives name to this dark political drama. All the King's Men follows the rise and fall of Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford), a homegrown and ambitious politician from a rural county that learns how to ride the system and ends up becoming as corrupt and ruthless as those that he condemned. All this at the expense of everyone close to him, from his family to his close associates.

The film is notable for winning the Best Picture Oscar back in the day. However, after watching it, I'm surprised this film doesn't get mentioned more often because it was quite good. The film is mostly told through the point of view of journalist Jack Burden (John Ireland), who becomes Stark's right-hand man, despite not agreeing with his methods. The way the film takes Burden, and pretty much every character in Stark's inner circle in and out of the figurative dark alleys and corners of his deeds is great, and is all on Crawford's shoulders who sells Stark's transformation completely.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
__________________
Check out my podcast: The Movie Loot!



11/22 Paper Moon & The Searchers - Early at 9AM, I decided to watch Paper Moon because it was on my queue for months on end. I finally got to seeing it and found it a comfortable movie. Then I found The Searchers on VHS at a thrift shop, so when I had the chance, I watched it. Someday I might re-watch it on a better screen but I was still happy with what I saw. Very entertaining. Paper Moon gets a
and The Searchers gets a

11/24 8 1/2 - This was also early in the morning. Some aspects were relatively charming like scenes where Guido imagined events with other ladies. Then there were scenes that for me were exciting such as the scene where he imagines himself attacking all the women with a whip. This guy is quite an unlikable character but has been shown to be under stress over his movie that he has to abort the project. I do not understand everything that happened, but certainly something to watch again as I know I enjoyed what was
witnessed.

11/25-11/26 La Dolce Vita - This one consists of a series of vignettes that makes it very memorable. Like Breathless, it has a mostly jazzy score, but unlike it, more things to make note of happen. Such instances range from Marcello's date with Sylvia(Anita Ekberg), his night with his father, the echo chamber in the castle, and when he loses it by throwing feathers and piggyback rides a woman. I liked this one more than 8 1/2. I am wanting to see it again.

11/28 Singin in the Rain - I was fine with this one, but I actually liked the sequences more than the actual songs. Obviously the movie has some lovely choreography and the Broadway Melody section and was funny most of the time. I kind of have a hard time connecting with it though.

12/5 Rosetta - I do not really know what to think of this one but a good one to take notes on. The titular character lives in a impoverish state with her drunk mother. Rosetta is very feisty as she picks fights with employers and other people giving her a hard time. We see her switch foot wear several time. The way the camera moves was interesting as it was swerving around along with some long shots. Like Claire's Knee and La Belle Noiseuse, there was no music to hear from(with the exception of the one track Riquet played of him playing the drums). [No Rating For Now]



I could not bring myself to watch this film, I still can't honestly, and I don't think I ever will.
Well, Ali and Mortensen are great, but I don't think it's enough to recommend it. I snagged it from the library to check it off the Oscar winners list here.

I think that there's a lot to be mined in the idea of a man who is sort of casually racist coming to understand the huge leg up he's been given just by being white. But the film is way too shallow and paints with very broad strokes, so very few of the potentially interesting ideas get any kind of development.

The actors (and the real story) deserve better. The fact that Tony's son had a ton of input into the story and no one even bothered trying to track down any of Don's family speaks volumes to me.

I think you can more than safely leave this one unwatched.



Green Book, 2018

Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) is an accomplished pianist who is set to tour the southern United States with his musical trio in the 1960s. Aware that this may present certain frictions, Shirley hires the imposing Tony "Lip" (Viggo Mortensen) as a chauffeur and implicit bodyguard for his trip. As the hours on the road wind on, the two men begin to come to a mutual understanding, despite the very different circumstances of their lives.
...
It's annoying, because both Ali and Mortensen bring a fun balance of warmth and quirk to their characters, and they have really solid chemistry. But the film around them really doesn't give them as much to work with. I love Ali in particular (his performance in Moonlight is stellar) and I always like seeing Mortensen. The lack of depth is disappointing.
Nice review. You made some good points. Here is my commentary from 2018 after it was nominated for Academy Awards:


Green Book(2018)
It’s a sure fire indication of a weak field when a shaky film such as Green Bookfinds itself in serious consideration within a number of Academy Award top categories. Hollywood has put excellence in story telling on the back burner for the past few years in favor of promoting its own fashionable social causes. Now, just in case there are folks who haven’t been to a movie since 1960, the writers of Green Bookendeavor to show us that there was deep racial prejudice against blacks in the U.S., most especially in the South.

The story creates an account of one of America’s premier pianists named Don Shirley, a black man, who embarked on a year-plus concert tour in 1962, of which many dates were in the South. Because of racist violence against Nat King Cole at a concert in Alabama in 1960, Shirley hired Tony “Lip” Vallelonga --a mob friendly Italian who worked at Manhattan’s Copacabana night club-- to be his driver and bodyguard.

Beyond these basic facts the story is completely fictionalized. To their credit, the producers announced in the opening credits that the film was “inspired by a true story”. “Inspired by” means that the Shirley/Vallelonga tour gave them an idea for a story. Unfortunately in the film version, the tour was shrunk to two months, and was made to end just before Christmas so that Tony could return home to be with his family, and to set up a dramatic ending. In Hollywood fashion Tony and Don soon became buds, yet in true life Shirley’s brother stated that Don never considered Tony a friend, but only an employee who he required to wear a chauffer’s uniform and a cap. And there are no reports of racial incidents on the tour. Presumably the pair did make use of the “The Negro Motorist Green-Book” (actual title) in selecting their safe accommodations.

This is certainly not the first time Hollywood has made up an entire story based on an actual event, and in fact there probably have been more fictionalized movie accounts than not. But while watching the film the question kept coming up: what was this film’s point of view? And whose story were they trying to portray? Certainly they were going for both entertainment and social justice value; but after the many dozens of movies dealing with black/white racial issues over the past 60 years, the back story of the Jim Crow South was not a shocker.


At least since 1958, with The Defiant Ones, then Patch of Blue, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, on through Driving Miss Daisy,even Forrest Gump, along with scores of others since, have thoroughly explored and displayed the subject of prejudice against mixed race pairings, and in prejudice in general. Yet in Green Bookwe are treated to the corniest scenes of southern boobs dishing out the rankest forms of racial derision in such hackneyed form that it bordered on satire. One half expected to see Sheriff Buford T. Justice appear.

If the film’s title and subject matter were any indication that the focus was on Don Shirley, his beliefs, and his quest to endure a music tour of the South, then it came as a surprise that the thrust of the story put most of the emphasis on Tony Lip: his background, his actions, his philosophy, his awakening. Reportedly this was not lost on Shirley’s relatives, who resented the depiction of their family relationships, along with the emphasis put on Tony

The chief disappointment in the film was the writing. Director Peter Farrelly is known for wacky comedies, and this was his first foray into drama. He participated in the scripting with a sophmore writer, Biran Currie, along with Tony Vallelongas’s son Nick. Tony Lip’s part was the better of the two in construction, and Viggo Mortensen brought in an award winning quality performance. There must have been indecision about scripting Don Shirley’s part. In an attempt to give the character too many facets, the result was a personality who was all over the map, which must have made it a difficult continuity project for the actor. In his defense Mahershala Ali stated that he’d liked to have met with Shirley’s family in order to provide a more nuanced character. Still, what he did well, he did really well. Of particular note was his portrayal of piano playing. He’d worked with composer Kris Bowers until he really appeared to be playing the difficult piano pieces.

Despite its anachronistic nature, heftier writers with a different approach could have made this story into a more interesting film.


Doc’s rating: 5/10




Well, Ali and Mortensen are great, but I don't think it's enough to recommend it. I snagged it from the library to check it off the Oscar winners list here.

I think that there's a lot to be mined in the idea of a man who is sort of casually racist coming to understand the huge leg up he's been given just by being white. But the film is way to shallow and paints with very broad strokes, so very few of the potentially interesting ideas get any kind of development.

The actors (and the real story) deserve better. The fact that Tony's son had a ton of input into the story and no one even bothered trying to track down any of Don's family speaks volumes to me.

I think you can more than safely leave this one unwatched.
I think this is more or less where I stand.



Strange World (2022)


This almost had too many metaphors and was too predictable to be great. With that being said, the "twist" at the end was pretty cool, but I feel like there was too much dialogue (which was a little flat as well) and not enough exploring during the course of the movie. It was missing something...and Gyllenhaal doesn't seem to have the best voice for animation in my opinion.



10 Foreign Language movies to go

By http://www.impawards.com/2022/top_gu...rick_ver5.html, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70039658

Top Gun : Maverick - (2022)

There I was thinking I'd lost my chance to see Top Gun : Maverick at the movies, but here comes the resurgence! I thought the days of these long theatrical runs were over, but apparently not. Anyway, amongst Christmas shopping I squeezed it in - and I have to say I'm surprised it works as well as it does while retaining the elemental cheesiness of the 80s original. I was expecting a major reworking of the formula - but while the focus is now on the teacher instead of the student, it still plays on those same emotional levels. What I was very pleased to see was the better editing and photography pertaining to the jets and what they do during certain action sequences - which are now easier to follow. In that aspect, this second Top Gun outguns it's predecessor. It still blows my mind that a goon for a major evil cult can be a movie star at the same time and not break a sweat.

8/10


Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70039658

Storm Boy - (1976)

This kid's film was a big part of the Australian New Wave, but never particularly appealed to me, so I never watched it. Having known about it for so long - I thought it couldn't hurt to check it out. For what it is (or was - the film was remade in 2019) it's quite good - it has a kind of cinematic purity, depending on a down-to-earth and naturalistic narrative which depends on the way the story is told visually to provide a counterpoint to what we hear. What's magical to a little boy looks like absolute squalor to us - and if you raise baby pelicans who then become your best friend - well, it's a harsh world out there. Be prepared to have your heart broken.

8/10



Leap - (2010)

You could call Leap a film - but you could also call it an amateur video project from a bunch of absolute nitwits. Turns out being a devoted Christian won't be all you'll need to progress into heaven during the end times - you'll also need to be proficient at parkour.

1/10
__________________
My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.






Don't really get the hype around this movie. I mean, it's good, but.... yeah
__________________
There has been an awekening.... have you felt it?



Wut? But ... the poster. The flow. The composition. The visual rhythm of all those elements. The brunette who was obviously late to the party and can't get a handle on the logistics of joining in.

They made four of those bad boys. Skin-emax needed content after all.



I cannot believe these old soft core porn movies still exist.
Oh the days of skin-e-max! Watch this stuff when your parents weren't around. Such bad movies.



Outlaw King


Was in the mood for some more medieval action after ""The King" of which this draws stark parallels and some almost identical scenes oddly, both have a newly crowned young English king looking to establish their name.. only one idealistic and wanting to be good (The King) and the other seemingly only bad (Outlaw King)


William Wallace is dead, the four quarters of his body displayed in 4 places across Britain, Scotland is on the brink of civil war and submitted to the English crown, Robert The Bruce (Chris Pine) becomes the king of the Scots to start again the fight again.


It was good, I enjoyed it, nice battle scenes etc


Stray 2020


Sweet little Documentary that follow three stray dogs in Istanbul, Turkey.. their interactions with humans, most notably a group of glue sniffing Syrian street kids. No narrative, voice over and one might say no meaning whatsoever, I feel like I was a dog for a bit and seen Istanbul in a way no other film could show me and I am grateful for that, it was a novel experience



10 Foreign Language movies to go

Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16922150

Candy - (2006)

Candy was Heath Ledger's last Australian film before his death in 2008 - and if you're familiar with films based on people inflicted with heroin addiction you're most of the way towards being able to imagine what this film is like. It mostly dwells on the various humiliations and degradations Candy (Abbie Cornish) and Dan (Ledger) go through as all societal norms are shattered. During their wedding reception they both steal to the bathroom to shoot up, and come out barely coherent zombies - blaming their condition on "too much champagne", despite the fact it's obviously not drunkenness. That's the thing about these two - they're never really aware of their own shame and disgrace, because they're never too aware of what's going on in the world anymore. Candy has to resort to prostitution for cash, and the rest comes from petty crime - this is after they've pushed the "borrowing" of money from friends and relatives to the limit. A lot of what we see is like a "heroin addiction greatest hits" moments from previous films. The film's most effective moment of horror is when Candy gets pregnant, goes cold turkey, but endures a premature stillborn birth anyway - and we're not spared the sight of the tiny baby they hold in their arms - crying as they still go through withdrawals - they're absolutely traumatized. It works and is a sobering yet compelling watch - but it doesn't do enough of it's own thing to be one to go back to again one day. You'll forget Candy, despite enjoying it.

6/10



11/28 Singin in the Rain - I was fine with this one, but I actually liked the sequences more than the actual songs. Obviously the movie has some lovely choreography and the Broadway Melody section and was funny most of the time. I kind of have a hard time connecting with it though.
Yeah, despite this always being deemed the greatest musical movie, I have other musicals I liked more than this like Cabaret, Mary Poppins, and you especially know of my obsession with The Young Girls of Rochefort. In Caberet, you get Judy Garland's daughter, in Mary Poppins, you get a currently 97 year old man, in Singing in the Rain, you get Carrie Fisher's mother who died a day after her, and in The Young Girls of Rochefort, you get two sisters(Catherine Deneuve and Francoise Dorleac) who obviously are not born with Gemini signs.

And in Meet Me in St Louis, you get Liza Minnelli's mother. Right!