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That was my exact reaction to Adieu au Langage! xD
haha the whole film? I don't know about the whole thing but looking at that gif felt like my senses were being kicked in the balls. I suppose that's the intention but it wasn't enjoyable.

Someone on this site other than Minio really loves it but i can't remember who.



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
I find Godard's search for new cinema language incredibly fascinating. One can say his whole career as a director is looking for new means, but it's really apparent from the 80's onwards.
I agree with that. His whole body of work is fascinating as whole. But I think this is going too far...



Yeah FIN2 had it in his favourites. I watched some of it the other day, like ten minutes, and will watch the whole thing soon, as I mentioned somewhere else.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.


Flood (Tony Mitchell, 2007)

Last Train from Gun Hill (John Sturges, 1959)

Lightning Raiders (Sam Newfield, 1945)

The Neon Demon (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2016)
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Innocent young beauty Elle Fanning, called “dangerous” by her mother, comes to Hollywood to make it big in the fashion industry, and although she’s immediately successful, she finds competition and desire everywhere
Colorado Sunset (George Sherman, 1939)

Ten Thousand Bedrooms (Richard Thorpe, 1957)

True Women (Karen Arthur, 1997)

Pieta (Kim Ki-Duk, 2012)
+

A sadistic collector (Lee Jung-Jin) for a loan shark is approached by a woman (Jo Min-soo) who claims to be his mother who abandoned him at birth and now wishes to make amends.
The Mummy (Karl Freund, 1932)

Outlaws and Angels (JT Mollner, 2016)

King Neptune (Burt Gillett, 1932)
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General Della Rovere (Roberto Rossellini, 1959)


During the German occupation of Italy in WWII, Italian conman Vittorio De Sica is convinced by S.S. Colonel Hannes Messemer to pose as a partisan general to expose other enemies of the Third Reich. The alternative is death.
Gun Brothers (Sidney Salkow, 1957)
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A Good Woman (Mike Barker, 2005)

Gun Duel in Durango (Sidney Salkow, 1957)
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Scandalize My Name: Stories from the Blacklist (Alexandra Isles, 1998)


The Anti-Communist Blacklist affected many Black performers, including Hazel Scott, Ossie Davis, Canada Lee, Harry Belafonte, and of course, Paul Robeson.
The Sea of Trees (Gus Van Sant, 2016)

Pluto's Party (Milt Schaffer, 1952)
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The Curse of Downers Grove (Derick Martini, 2015)

The Conjuring 2 (James Wan, 2016)


The youngest daughter (Madison Wolfe) of a London family seems to be a lightning rod for demons, murderous ghosts and jump scares.
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I don't have time to go through every film I watched in August. Besides, this post is already long enough. I'll try to get to the other films sometime in the next few days, but I'm not making any promises.


August Viewings: Part I



The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 1964)

Frequency (Gregory Hoblit, 2000)

The Major and the Minor (Billy Wilder, 1942)

Harvey (Henry Koster, 1950)
[REWATCH]
3:10 to Yuma (Delmer Daves, 1957)


Since watching The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, I've taken to singing everything I say, even if I'm just ordering Chinese food or trying to coax out a turd while sitting on the toilet. Quality-wise, the film deserves a higher rating -- visually, it's resplendent, the last scene is quite emotional, and it's remarkable to me how easily I adapted to every word being sung -- but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit restless while watching it. For a movie about a guy communicating with his dead father via ham radio, Frequency manages to be surprisingly engaging at times, but I didn't care for the serial-killer subplot that felt shoehorned into the movie to generate empty suspense nor the movie's general sappiness/corniness. The Major and the Minor is Billy Wilder's first American movie, and it's a damn fine one. The premise -- Ginger Rogers poses as a 12-year-old in order to board a train home because she can't afford adult fare, and Ray Milland takes an interest in her -- would raise too many eyebrows in today's society. Rogers was in her early 30's at the time and looks nothing like a 12-year-old, which provides part of the humor and helps stave off some of the pedophiliac undertones. The resolution is a little too convenient, but that comes with the time period. This is only the second movie I've seen with Ginger Rogers, but she's fantastic in the role and displays a real knack for comedy. (Note to self: watch more Ginger Rogers.) Harvey never fails to alleviate my troubles and put a smile on my face. One of the most charming, delightful movies ever made. 3:10 to Yuma is a solid western, but save for Glenn Ford's turn as notorious outlaw Ben Wade, I think it's inferior to the meatier 2007 remake in nearly every facet.


Suddenly, Last Summer (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1959)

Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa, 1952)

Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger, 1959)
[REWATCH]
Black Rain (Ridley Scott, 1989)

Broken Arrow (Delmer Daves, 1950)


No 50's film disappointed me more than Suddenly, Last Summer. Normally I love adaptations of Tennessee Williams's plays, and the director is responsible for one of the best films of the decade (or any decade, for that matter) with All About Eve, but Suddenly, Last Summer is too stagey, too boring, too ridiculous in its elementary approach to psychology, with Montgomery Clift sleepwalking through his performance and Elizabeth Taylor delivering one of the longest, most hysterical monologues I've seen. Although the sight of her emerging from the water in that white bathing suit temporarily made up for all the film's flaws. My rating for Ikiru would be higher if not for the last act of the film that drags on too long and bludgeons viewers over the head with the film's themes. The first two-thirds are phenomenal, though. Anatomy of a Murder is the greatest courtroom drama of all time thanks to an unprecedented level of detail and preparation, fantastic dialogue, wonderful performances, ambiguity that invites discussion and, most importantly, Lee Remick's panties. Black Rain looks cool and has a couple of memorable sequences involving motorcycles, but I'd rank it near the bottom of Ridley Scott's filmography. Broken Arrow is notable for its sympathetic, atypical-of-the-era portrayal of Native Americans, as well as the interesting sight of forty-something Jimmy Stewart making out with a sixteen-year-old, but I found the film itself rather middling.


Anaconda (Luis Llosa, 1997)
[REWATCH]
River's Edge (Tim Hunter, 1987)

Goosebumps (Rob Letterman, 2015)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Richard Brooks, 1958)
[REWATCH]
Return of the Street Fighter (Shigehiro Ozawa, 1974)


I hadn't seen Anaconda since I was ten years old. Needless to say, it seemed a lot better back then than it does now. The snake doesn't make as many appearances as I remember. The main attraction isn't the snake, however, but Jon Voight's deliriously over-the-top performance. Throw in some dodgy late-90's CGI and a bra-less Jennifer Lopez getting all hot and sweaty in the swamp, and there's still some fun to be had. Plus I miss the days when these kinds of monster movies weren't just relegated to cheap SyFy productions. River's Edge feels like the older, street-hardened, drug-addicted, white-trash cousin of Stand By Me. Lots of Slayer on the soundtrack, lots of Crispin Glover overacting, lots of Keanu Reeves providing blank stares. And then amid the naked dead bodies and underage drug use, you've got a reclusive Dennis Hopper smoking pot and dancing with his blow-up doll girlfriend two decades before Lars met his real girl. It's a very good movie, whether I made it sound like it or not. My love affair with horror began with R.L. Stine's Goosebumps (although Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark? also deserves some credit). The premise of this big-screen adaptation is rather clever, and it was fun seeing some of the monsters of my childhood come to life. In the spirit of the books, the movie features lots of twists and turns, but it's a bit too manic for its own good. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is top 100 material for me. Very glad to see it finally showed up on the 50's Countdown since I don't see it mentioned much on the forum. I wasn't crazy about the first Street Fighter film, but I like Return of the Street Fighter even less. It's entertaining to watch Sonny Chiba slink like a cat and make constipation faces in between punching people so hard their eyeballs shoot out of their skull, but as crazy as these Street Fighter movies are, they're never as fun as I want them to be.


Nosferatu the Vampyre (Werner Herzog, 1979)
[REWATCH]
In the Heart of the Sea (Ron Howard, 2015)

Fires on the Plain (Kon Ichikawa, 1959)

Unfinished Business (Ken Scott, 2015)

The Wages of Fear (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953)
[REWATCH]

I used to say that Nosferatu the Vampyre was the greatest vampire film ever made, but after this most recent re-watch, I think I've realized that I now prefer the 1922 silent original. Not to take anything away from Herzog's version, which still features a sense of atmosphere and all-encompassing dread that's nearly unparalleled in the genre, as well as a haunting performance from Kinski and an extraordinary sense of realism that makes the impossible seem frighteningly plausible. This was also my first time watching the film in English, so that might have had something to do with my tempered enthusiasm. In the Heart of the Sea should be a great adventure film given the source material and assembled talent, but it's average at best and fairly forgettable. Fires on the Plain made the bottom of my 50's list. It's a shame that more mofos haven't seen it, because it's certainly one of the best films of the decade. One of the bleakest, most depressing examinations of war's dehumanizing effect. The actors resemble shuffling, real-life zombies, well past the point of exhaustion and half-starved to death. Very powerful, highly memorable film. Vince Vaughn seems to be an affable guy, but I think he's responsible for more movies I've hated than any other actor. Unfinished Business is the worst one yet. There's not a single laugh to be found. Apparently nobody warned Dave Franco about the dangers of going "full retard." My rating for The Wages of Fear has come down after this re-watch. The film still boasts some of the most tension-filled sequences ever put to screen, but all the waiting around in the first hour bothered me a lot more this time than it had in the past. Plus that ending continues to provoke unintentional laughter. Still a great film, but it's no longer the all-time favorite for me that it used to be.


Turbo Kid (Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell & Yoann-Karl Whissell, 2015)

The Wraith (Mike Marvin, 1986)

Legendary Weapons of China (Liu Chia-Liang, 1982)

Three Amigos (John Landis, 1986)

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Colin Higgens, 1982)


The more I reflect on Turbo Kid, the more I dig its retro grooviness. My rating will probably rise with a second viewing. The film is a loving, creative, fun-filled homage to post-apocalyptic B-movies, vintage yet fresh, heavy on nostalgia but not completely reliant on it, that features a Mega-Man-like superhero, a manic pixie dream robot, lots of BMX bikes and an eye-patch-wearing Michael Ironside as the big bad boss. Plus there's buckets of blood and decapitations and disembowelments. The odd combination of extreme gore effects with a family-friendly spirit was probably my favorite aspect of this low-budget gem. The Wraith is a bad movie with a silly premise (a murdered teen returns from the grave as an all-powerful drag racer with an indestructible car and proceeds to enact revenge on the gang members who killed him by challenging them to illegal street races), but the cars are killer (literally!) and the over-the-top characters and general wackiness on display make the movie somewhat entertaining. Charlie Sheen gets top billing, but he's not on screen very much. Legendary Weapons of China features some creative fight choreography with a variety of unique weapons, but the plot is nearly incomprehensible. If I had known who was who or what the hell was going on, I might've enjoyed it. Three Amigos is a pretty entertaining comedy-western that's perhaps a little too reliant on the comic energy of Martin Short and Steve Martin. Chevy Chase is the other Amigo, but instead of providing laughs, he just takes up space. I hated the songs in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Dom DeLuise got on my nerves, but the chemistry and easygoing charm between Burt and Dolly keep the movie afloat. I'd like to go back a few decades and motorboat the hell out of Dolly Parton. Yee-haw!
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Care for some gopher?
Mauvaise graine Bad Seed (Alexander Esway/Billy Wilder, 1934) -
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Ban-do-ui bom Spring of Korean Peninsula (Lee Byung-il, 1941) -
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"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the war room."



Thor: The Dark World (Alan Taylor, 2013)


I don't have a massive dislike towards the series, but Thor is by far the character I least enjoy, and it is his films that I least enjoy too. I just found this to be a big mess, I was really bored my most of it and found it hard to pay attention and when I did I thought some of the writing was really bad.

My Blueberry Nights (Kar-Wai Wong, 2007)


Some really good stuff in this, I like the bright neon colours, the blues and the reds, and some of the characters are interesting. There is also a lot of bad and annoying stuff, some of the dialogue and acting seems a bit odd, I think maybe it is a translation problem with this being KWW's first English language feature. There are some great moments, but overall it doesn't manage to reach the level of mood/sensuality of In The Mood For Love, the closest it comes are the scenes with Jude Law.

Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955)


Lots of fun, a very cool film whose influences you can clearly see. Not just the briefcase but there is so many things here that reminded me of Pulp Fiction. Not much really happens for the whole film, he visits a whole load of characters, but never really seems to find anything until the end, its hard to keep up with what's going on with so many names. The direction is solid as in most noirs, there's a really cool ensemble of weird little characters, the main character is very interesting, I thought the film was quite "sexual" in a way for its time. The ending was great, as I expected it to be.



Glad to see Captain with his usual thorough posts. To it I will add he made me want to see The Major And The Minor and Suddenly, Last Summer. I don't even like the rest of Wages Of Fear as much as most, but even if I did the end would spoil it. Very silly indeed.
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Letterboxd



Finding Dory


The Octopus was the best part. I liked what they did with him in the credits.

Friday the 13th Parts 2-8


Saw a whole lot of this franchise while I was sick at my mother-in-law's a couple months ago. Crispin Glover's apparent attempt to apply The Method to a horny spastically dancing teenager is pretty funny (I forget which sequel that was).

The Grandmaster


I love the scene where Ip has to go pay his respects to each different master in turn. It's very funny. Wong's Foshan has this wonderful atmosphere, which gives the impression of a vast labyrinth of small windowed alcoves looking onto different views - other alcoves, operas, street battles, all contained within a brothel.

Missing (2008)


An interesting mess with lousy effects.

Avatar


I'm trying to think of what would make a good double feature with this. Maybe a more nihilistic film like How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman.

Walker


I really got into this movie. It's a big mess, but then that probably suits the history of U.S. intervention in Latin America. It's also sarcastic, self-referential, propagandistic (viscerally anti-American, and by implication pro-Sandinista) and unapologetically anachronistic. That makes sense, because it's obviously as much about Reaganism in Central America as it is about the history of pre-Civil War filibustering and manifest destiny (if it had been made in the 1960s it probably would have been about Narciso López in Cuba, instead of William Walker in Nicaragua). It's got some great music.

Free State of Jones


I like how it meanders and shows a non-uniform south, while avoiding trying to absolve or romanticize the confederacy in any way, and tying slavery pretty strongly into the story. I would have preferred a movie not quite so centered on star power, but then again I thought it did a pretty good job of undermining it's "great man" tropes and bracketing off the speechifying and cathartic moments.

Back to the Future


Would make a good double feature with Hairspray (1988).

True Legend


Great choreography but it feels like it's missing a third act.

Dredd


Liked this alright the first time, but it wasn't really worth the re-watch. Dirty Harry meet Die Hard in the future, but both of those have just been done to death and Dredd brings nothing new but some nice 3-d effects. (Disclaimer: I only watched the second half this time).

Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain


I need to see this on the big screen some day. It's so crammed with detail and movement that my tiny vhs-tv combo in the bedroom really can't do it justice.

Femme Fatale

Body Double


Watching these two back-to-back on the big screen (packed house) made me realize: DePalma's actually pretty funny.

The Family Man


Would it have killed the writer to learn an actual term for "Not-for-profit lawyer"? When you pull stuff like that, it just makes it obvious that your world is just a grab-bag of platitudes.

Treasure Buddies


Slow-danger Goonies. Goonies is already slow-danger Indiana Jones.

Adventures in Babysitting


"I need a babysitter... For me." -Worst pick-up line in a movie?

The Hateful Eight


I found the narration in this just a little too proud of its own cleverness, just as a matter of tone. Otherwise it's a gorgeous, thoroughly entertaining exegesis of competing narratives of the Civil War.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3 - Viva la Fiesta


My wife informs me that the man character was more recognizably ethnic (mirroring his dog) in an earlier Beverly Hills Chihuahua movie, which is interesting. It's also really funny watching these Disney animal movies dance around issues of class. This is one of the more-explicit (and bizarre) ones -- the entire family ends up working in a luxury hotel for pets -- but then lards it up with a plot where the dignity of labor boils down to a magical MacGuffin quest to save the secret client list from the bad hotel-owner. I guess it's less idiotic than the Air Bud movie where the villain was an out-of-work party clown, who you could tell was really evil, partly because he wanted to make Buddy star in a beer commercial (no sense of irony).

Ip Man


The propaganda version of The Grandmaster. Ip Man's just too perfect in this.

Spotlight


Good cast, but why do movies hate it when defense lawyers do their job?

Castle in the Sky


I didn't remember this being so good.

Ghostbusters (2016)


Its problems are generic problems: sequel/remake fatigue, cgi that looks like the cgi in every other movie, etc. Otherwise it's fine, maybe slightly below the second movie.

The Funeral (Itami)


Recommended double feature partners: The Loved One or The Ceremony.

Once Upon a Time in China


I always thought Yuen Biao worked wonderfully in his supporting role, probably in part because he was dissatisfied and wanted to play the lead (or so I heard). If the rest of the cast or the director had been weaker it might have become a burden, but the obvious tension perfectly compliments the story's chaotic flow and lends a lot of power and depth.

The Host


Like the best Godzilla movies this combines (what seems to this outsider) sharp social commentary with a giant creature. Best horror I've seen in a while.

Zoolander 2


A friend recently pointed out that the original Zoolander is a Manchurian Candidate parody -- I can't believe I never noticed that before! Maybe there's something as clever as that behind this one, but I just saw it as a collection of smaller spoofs and gags, some of them pretty funny.

Straight to Hell




The Boy


Predictable.

The Forest


Better than it looked from the preview. Kept me guessing till the end.

The Big Short


This is pretty funny and clever, but perhaps paradoxically I think it takes itself a little too seriously. Maybe it's the stuff like Brad Pitt at the casino: "I'll help you make a ton of money off a sh*tty system but don't high five about it. We have to give the audience someone to sympathize with even though we keep telling them this movie isn't about good guys."

Looney Tunes: Back in Action


Maybe it's helped by the obvious comparison with Space Jam, but this is surprisingly decent. I particularly enjoyed the bit in the Louvre.

Crimson Peak


Kind of cool looking and atmospheric but the story and characters are all pretty light and the drama is too mechanical.

Jobs


I actually thought I was watched the Danny Boyle movie (what a disappointment), I had no idea there were two recent Steve Jobs movies. I didn't figure it out until a week later I was browsing at the library and saw the other one.

The Drop


I liked how this deferred the reveal until just about the last possible moment. My friend believes that Tom Hardy's going to be remembered for mining this sensitive thug persona. He could probably do this role in his sleep by now, but I'm not sick of it yet.

Steve Jobs


It's about as good as The Social Network. The main difference between this and Jobs is that this eschews the straightforward biopic format in favor of focusing on a few product launches, which gives the impression that Steve Jobs' life was a prolonged scene from The West Wing where he works out all of his business and life choices in the midst of crisis, rushing from room to room in a constant feedback loop of debriefings and shouted orders.

The Peanuts Movie


A pretty good adaptation of the strip, but there was too much "romance" for my taste.

Fulltime Killer


The beginning reminded me of Fallen Angels, but it quickly branches out in several directions, and has a lot of fun doing it. I think it would have been a little easier for me to overlook the clunky narrative frame at the end if it hadn't been rendered in poor english (or if I was inclined to try imagining myself into the intended audience).

Black Sheep


Can't think of anything to say about this that isn't just as ordinary as the movie itself.

Magic Magic


Wow. The trailer does a complete disservice by trying to portray it as some sort of taut thriller. It's too meandering (maybe even aimless) for that but it still held my interest. Really liked Michael Cera (who plays one of several truly awful characters).

The Switch


The big problem with most romantic comedies is that they expect you to care about who (if anyone) ends up with whom just because falling in love is the easiest thing to imagine two random people doing. In the modern formula, the characters are little more than placeholders, and all the cleverness goes into framing their lives and staging their inevitable reconciliation moment at the end (with particular emphasis on constructing an on-screen surrogate audience - sort of an embodied laugh track). Not here. This movie seems to want you to take an interest in the characters on their own terms, and I actually thought it started off pretty strong. Unfortunately it's still beholden to the formula, while not following through on the job of cleverly playing the old tune.

Rumor Has It...


"We made her favorite soup, tomato with crackers" was pretty a pretty funny line. Makes it sound like something that actually comes in a can.

The Invitation


I saw this cuz John Sayles (of all people) plugged it on twitter. Solid filmed theater.

The Lazarus Effect


Had some creepy moments but there were too many easy jump scares.

Stardust


Just watch The Princess Bride again instead.

Death by Hanging


It's worth watching the Tony Rayns video essay on the Criterion supplements for some crucial context. I still think there's a big hole at the center of the film (more apparent in the second half), but now I'm not sure how much of that might be some sort of indirect comment on the Japanese intellectual left's fascination with solipsism or something (that's what it seems like to me). On the other hand there's some hilarious loathing of the right, whose complex role-play becomes an obvious target and source of Oshima's meta-theatrical shenanigans.

Over the Top


Little Lord Fauntleroy meets Roadhouse.

Actual Lines From This Movie:

"When I turn my hat around, it's like flipping a switch: it makes me feel like I'm a truck."

"If you're so smart, lets see if you can drive this truck while pumping iron."

"You got a smart brain, Mike. I bet you can bench press like 50 books."

Diary of Yunbogi

I know it's got a strong polemic dimension, but it's at least half-way to being just a personal photo-album of the director.

Home


It would be a little better than "just okay" if it weren't so much like every other computer animated kids movie. Quirky outsider changes goes on adventure, changes society. The world's problems are all a big "misunderstanding."

Serving Sara


Got my hopes up when Terry Crews popped up, but he's barely in it.

Barbarella


I like how half the soundtrack sounds like some marching band version of "hippie music."

Armageddon


About an hour in we thought we were close to the end, but it turns we hadn't even finished the pipe-laying for the second hour and a half of heroic sacrifice set to a soundtrack of explosions and Aerosmith slow jams.

As a side note it's really lame how often movies now casually drop the names of the elite universities their characters attended as a short-hand for intelligence (or less often to mark them as pedantic eggheads). How about showing them doing or saying something smart for a change.



Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Nicholas Meyer, 1982)
+



I try not to use plus signs when giving ratings any more, normally sticking to a more rigid half popcorn system, but here I will use one because I was really unsure whether to go that extra popcorn more or not. I watched the beginning of this film ages ago, and I really enjoyed it but I had to turn it off to do something, and this time I almost watched all of it (missed about 40 minutes at beginning). I am not a big Star Trek fan, never watched the original show and I have only seen the first of J.J. Abrams' new series, which was okay, but I really enjoyed this.

I have heard this is the best film in the series, and I can probably guess why, Khan as a villain is really great, and his storyline feels like something that works well and would have made for an exciting story in a stand alone film. The fact that we have the Star Trek crew, even though I do not know them well, makes certain parts work a lot better, the relationship between Kirk and Spock is good to watch, and I thought the ending was done really well, even if its main intention seems to be to set up a sequel. So, yeah, overall, not perfect, my complaints would be the normal ones about acting and production values, probably, but the characters and story makes it a very enjoyable watch. I can imagine if you were a Star Trek fan this would be great, and you would be looking at adding another popcorn.



Ricardo Montalbán really killed it in Wrath of Khan, even more so than when he appeared in the Space Seed episode of the original series (and I thought he was good in that as well). I agree that he is definitely what makes this movie great, especially after how much of a disappointment Star Trek: The Motion Picture was.

The acting is something you kind of learn to love with that crew. I like the original Star Trek tv series because it's so corny and charming. But even I agree that some of the lines in Wrath of Khan are a little...too much. Particularly William Shatner's iconic "Khaaan!" shout. But I love the movie nonetheless. It definitely is the best film of the original timeline.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Up in the Air (Jason Reitman, 2009)
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Young director Reitman's follow-up to Juno also appears a cinch to be nominated Best Picture of 2009 when the noms are announced next year. It's reminiscent of Juno in that it's a crowd pleaser and has some indie-sounding songs on the soundtrack (most of them turning up in the film's second half), but the story itself couldn't really be further from Juno except that it is about a person who seems to have found his comfort zone although his current situation is forcing him to reexamine how comfortable he truly is with his life.

The person is Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), an expert hatchet man-for-hire who flies to various corporations and tells people that they are fired to save their own bosses the aggravation of having to do it themselves. Ryan is very good at what he does, and he also makes money on the side giving seminars to people about how to lighten the loads of their personal lives by cutting loose (or "burning") all the extraneous things they have, whether it be possessions or people and relationships which only tend to wear one down and make one grow old faster. Ryan's one goal in life is to earn 10 million frequent flyer miles with American Airlines and become only the seventh person to do so and earn his way into such a selective club. Besides owning no property at all (he barely spends a whole day straight in his own place), he has no intention of ever marrying or starting his own family, and all his relationships are what he calls casual.

However, three things converge on Ryan to make him look at life from a different perspective. First, he meets attractive Alex (Vera Fermiga) who's also a constant traveler with a similar appreciation for casual sexual relationships and he finds her a little bit special. Second, his younger sister (Melanie Lynskey) is getting married and since he's now the man of the family, he begins to feel a tug from his familial side which he hasn't for years. Lastly, Ryan is confronted with the fact that his boss (Jason Bateman) wants to cut costs by doing all the firings over the internet in what amounts to video conference calls, and this will force Ryan to change his entire lifestyle. The thought of having to stay in the city housing the corporate headquarters (Omaha, Nebraska) chills him to the bone, and he has a young woman named Natalie (Anna Kendrick) to "thank" for that. Before the changeover though, Ryan takes Natalie on a typical job trip to show her what it's like to fire someone you don't know face-to-face.

George Clooney is the centerpiece of Up in the Air, and although he's well-known for doing things effortlessly (in a Cary Grant manner), he's never been more natural and felt like such a real flesh-and-blood character before. Although Ryan has some questionable character traits, he's really not all that different from many people you and I probably know. The fact that he has to spend a lot of time communicating with people at some of their darkest hours may make it easy to think of him as a sort of "people person", even though he's spent his entire life trying to unburden himself from having to get close enough to people to develop a relationship. It's easy to understand why Ryan likes his life the way it is, but it's also understandable how these two new women in his life and his reawakened sense of family bring about a slight emotional crisis within him. Clooney is perfect in the little things, the looks, the smiles which might turn to frowns and the way he recognizes when he may have just about had enough of the same-old routine. Of course, it helps when you have fully-fleshed out co-stars to work with. Farmiga is incredibly sexy and has an instant rapport with Clooney whether it's in some form of sexual gymnastics or the way she encourages him to break into his old high school to take a stroll down memory lane. And Kendrick is adorable as a seemingly-tough up-and-comer who is still much too young to be so totally in control of her emotions and lets them out on occasion. I really think you can expect all three of these actors to get Oscar nominations as well.

Director Reitman, who also co-wrote, never uses any flashy visual techniques although the use of airborne shots to illuminate how similar many of the U.S. Midwest meccas are was a nice touch. Otherwise, he seems to have done a good job of keeping the laughs flowing (have I mentioned that this is a comedy?) and kneading in just enough drama and plot twists to keep everybody from thinking that it's all just a little too predictable in it being solid, but a little lightweight, entertainment. It's apparently only a coincidence that this film was made during our current economic crisis because the book and the project have been ready to go for a few years now, but I guess that just adds to the fortuitous nature of the entire film. It's definitely a highly-watchable flick but probably not one "big" enough to garner an Oscar for Best Picture, but as I said earlier, it will be in the Derby for sure, and Clooney, who already snagged a Supporting Oscar for Syriana, has a good shot for the Prize which eluded Cary Grant in competition.



Haven't posted my last couple weeks, so here they are.




Very well done but ultimately just a too geared towards the kid folk for me. Most animation is, *ducks rocks coming from Guap and MV*, but I need lots of humor to offset that. Kubo falls majorly short in that department.




My second time with this one and it has become a favorite. I love the atmosphere and tone. I love how quiet this movie is until it isn't. This movie just oozes style. Caan is fantastic, Frank is giving Sonnie a run for his money as my favorite Caan character. Makes me want to watch all of Mann's stuff again, which I will.




This movie is getting accused of being a Scorsese rip-off for very good reason. There are way worse directors you can rip-off in my opinion, and sometimes Scorsese is ripped off in a great way. I'm looking at you American Hustle. This movie falls well short of that because the script is mostly weak. It is not a bad movie though, and I found the last 30-45 minutes really engaging.




This is one of the great scripts ever written about the plight of the middle class. I can't believe it took me this long to get to any adaptation of it. Hoffman and Malkovich are absolutely fantastic. I watched this because I read that Farhadi's next film is an adaptation of it. This script deserves a film with high production value. The fact that this was a play in production put on TV keeps it from being an instant favorite.




There is nothing wrong with this, it just isn't totally for me. I think the writing is very good. I enjoy the cheeky humor. I just wasn't completely on board for some reason. I think this is one of those films where cultural context would have helped me out a ton.




This would have been one incredible 50 minutes of TV. Unfortunately just not enough here to sustain an hour and forty. Interesting concept that was executed adequately but just had a good half hour of serious lull. Oh, and Paul should be upset Breaking Bad ended. Dude seriously can't act.




The Look of Silence (Oppenheimer, 2014)


As some of you may know I consider the prequel to this film, The Act of Killing one of the greatest documentaries ever made, a true essential. Here is my review from over two years ago. So naturally I was thrilled to see a stand alone sequel coming from a different perspective. While this is still a solid artistic creation, it feels more like a DVD extension to The Act of Killing. This film gives the narrative ability to the brother of one of those unjustly slain in the Indonesian genocide, against communism. Like Oppenheimer in the first film, the brother, Adi, directly interviews the killers who still hold power over Indonesia, from police to schools to government. Understandably Adi takes a more confrontational tone with the killers, and do they notice. While many would consider this a more satisfying viewing experience, I believe it takes away from the beauty of the first film. In The Act of Killing the killers are given resources to create an artistic exploration of their role in the 1960s genocide. This silently allows them to take a deeper look at their impact, how unexplainably beautiful that is. While in The Look of Silence it's a direct force of confrontation, which seems to be a lot less effective and just met with resistance.

The Act of Killing takes a micro look, to explore the larger geo-political impacts with undertone statements of humanity. This films take a micro look, to explore a micro impact, with sometimes forced overtones of statements on humanity. The graphic scenes showing Adi's fathers crippling sickness, are undoubtedly powerful. But what does this have to do with the Indonesian mass killings? Almost feels exploitative in hindsight. The narrative of the documentary is much less neutral as well. The US forced these killings, and all the communists were peaceful while the western militia were all savages. It's obvious that this can't be the full truth. I'm rather disappointed in how Oppenheimer chose to follow up a meditative, explorative documentary. None of the confrontation is as impactful as the final moment of The Act of Killing

+

__________________
Yeah, there's no body mutilation in it



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
La dolce vita (1960) -



10/10

Not sure if this or Nights of Cabiria is my favourite Fellini now! This one had the wonderful cinematography of 8 1/2, but was far less chaotic! Lovely Ekberg (had to pause the movie every 5 minutes and go take a cold shower cuz she was so hot) and Mastroianni gives a great performance, too. Not everything's so apparent at first, so I guess that's a movie that should be seen a couple of times to fully get everything. By now I can see some reoccuring themes in many Fellini films - the search for love and the religious zealotism vs. real deep faith. It's amazing how he moved from poor people to rich people, but his themes didn't change that much.

Greta - Haus ohne Männer [Ilsa, the Wicked Warden] (1977) -



SHI*TY MOVIE

Jesus Franco's been making dozens of movies a year and most of them were pretty terrible. Of course, once in a while he would actually try and make a wonderful movie, but most of the time he wouldn't even try and in result create yet another stinker. This one, sadly in more on the stinker side, although it's not the worst there can be. Typical Women in Prison film with a lot of sadism and Ilsa's ****. Generally, the worst in the series, still a better movie than Avengers: Age of Ultron.

L'argent [Money] (1983) -
- REWATCH


The most breathtaking shattered glass scene ever.

Bresson's style is at large in this. Staggering colours, hand close-ups and 10/10 "where's the money?" scene, which was one of the best things I've seen in movies lately.

Жизнь за жизнь [A Life for a Life] (1916)
-



Best Вера Холодная movie that survived.

Not Bauer's best, but pretty good nevertheless. It doesn't stand out much from his usual repertoire and by no means can compete with Twilight of a Woman's Soul, After Death and The Dying Swan - these three I believe to be Bauer's best, but the usual melodrama plot and wonderful mise- en-scene are worth giving it a try.

Some Came Running (1958)
-



It's not terrible I guess...

I found this pretty underwhelming, unrewarding and dull. Not as soppy as Douglas Sirk movies, but the plot is soap opera, anyway. I heard Minnelli is a pretty weak director and after seeing this film I don't feel like watching any more of his films unless they appear on the 50's list. At least MacLaine gave a great performance. Took some screencaps, but too lazy to post them.

West Side Story (1961)
-



Lovely!

Impressive opening, choreography and geometry. A handful of great ideas. I loved how this was also a dance film and not only a musical. The story is pretty simple, but a classical one! (Shakespeare?) There's some singing in it and the songs are good. I enjoyed them more than those in The Sound of the Music and reminded myself how good Robert Wise is. And how good Bernstein is. The movie is long, but it never feels lengthy. The rape (?) scene was terrifying. TOP 5 musicals for me. Took some screenshots, because why not.

Paris is Burning (1991) -



Duh.

These people have nothing interesting to say. All they want is fame and money. It surprised me how stereotypical these people talk and behave. Figures there's some truth in stereotypes.

Les dames du bois de Boulogne [Ladies of the Park] (1945) -



100% sharp woman.

Early Bresson. You can see some elements of his style already surfacing, but generally this is before he's become a master.

Le fantôme de la liberté [The Phantom of Liberty] (1974) -



Shi*ty food!

I used to dislike Bunuel, because his movies weren't my style. This one here is some surreal comedy that although not funny surely makes you think. Especially the scene with people all sitting on toilets around the table and then shamefully sneaking out to... eat. The movie is full of such weirdness. It's also pretty kinky as it contains scenes of incest and BDSM. Oh, the sniper scene was funny! And Monica Vitti in minor role.

The Night of the Hunter (1955) -
- REWATCH


Repent for taking my place in bed! xD

Still quite underwhelming, but I'm wondering how much of it was caused by censorship. You know, the sheer fact this guy is a villain AND a preacher is already against Hayes' Code, so I guess the director had to make the movie less dark in order for it to even pass censure. He never ever made another movie neither. Lilian Gish is so badass with a shotgun, though. And some 10/10 cinematography occasionally.

Portrait of Jennie (1948) -



The storm (green) photos look like taken straight from Lovercraft realm.

One of the best American melodramas. So superior to these soap operas of Douglas Sirk and alike. The painting-like quality of cinematography makes me speechless, so does the atmosphere of the movie. Something like Vertigo, but without all the crime/plot bs. This has a fair amount of talking, but its visuals speak volumes, too. Lovely tinting at the end of the movie. The last color shot made me cry. What a surprise, Lilian Gish plays a nun here. Took a sh*tload of screens, because I was in awe.

Götter der Pest [Gods of the Plague] (1970) -






Ludwig and bondage? Instant 4 stars!

Typical early Fassbinder. Pretty nice, but there's not much to it. Yet another Godard-inspired crime flick with hopeless characters and only one possible ending. Not as good as what it references, but still amazing. Screens are mine.

The Thing From Another World (1951) -



lel

A humanoidal intelligent carrot attacks! Watch the skies, everybody! Wonderful atmosphere. Not a masterpiece Carpenter's version is, but still pretty darn good. Sadly, I didn't screencap the carrot conversation.

Jew Süss [Power] (1934) -














Surprisingly, the very minority of movies made in The Third Reich were propaganda!

Quite usual historical movie of the time with some 'Jews are the root of all evil' message. Conrad Veidt is good as a... Jew? Screencaped some funny rascist quotes and nice visuals.

Geheimnisse einer Seele [Secrets of a Soul] (1926) -



Superb dream scene.

Psychoanalysis 101. One of Pabst earlier movies. Great dream sequences and some serious Freud worship in this one.

Une histoire d'eau [A Story of Water] (1961) -



Rapid narration of the movie makes it quite fresh even today.

Truffaut and Godard team up to make this crazy French New Wave short. Nice and cool, but could've been longer and better.

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015) -



KVLT

My favourite from the series, so far. This time they're even saving the President and going to bloody space. Sharks in the space is a new dimension of movie abstraction. What happens after this is 10/10. Hasselhoff was a nice addition. Sharksploitation at its best.


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