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Wonder Woman 1984 - ★☆☆☆☆
- Patty Jenkins, 2020 -
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What the hell was that, then? I can't believe they had the nerve to release this, considering the state that it's in. I wasn't overly enamored with the first film, but it was at least able to present us with a decently paced story, at least until the final act. This moronic bloatfest of a sequel condescendingly ignores that, by not only doubling down royally on the original's weaknesses, but also by randomly adding layers of unwanted fat to the script and spacing out the (pathetically staged) action scenes to an obscene degree. The result is the one thing a superhero movie should never be: a blunderous, self-insisting hot mess that is soul-crushingly boring during even its best moments. I've heard rumors about this film having only one (major) deleted scene. That's sounds about right.

I kind of want to say that poor Gal Gadot deserves better, but I have to admit that her acting range does not appear to improve much over time. She certainly looks the part and she strikes a good pose, as always, but truly charismatic and emotionally captivating she is not. Chris Pine to the rescue? Well....Almost. He does what he can, but he seems uncertain what to do with the clumsy (and immoral) underpinnings of his resurrection story, at times. The Villains, then? One of them is Kristin Wiig, who gets herself I-wish-I-wish'd into the mousiest cheetah that ever walked the earth. Kinda cute, in a way, but far too inoffensive. The other villain is some corrupt CEO whose name totally escapes me right now and yells his kid's name a lot. I like Pedro Pascal, but his skeevy demeanor is indicative of a rather generic interpretation of a character we've seen a million times before.

So if even the performances can't save a film like this, then what can? Probably nothing. As far as I'm concerned, this movie belongs on the bottom of the DC barrel, along with, well, all the others. It's by far the worst major film I've seen this year, one that makes even Tenet look like a masterpiece by comparison. Perhaps we'll have a "Jenkins Cut" to look forward to?
That's just about right, I think.
I can't imagine that this is the film Patty Jenkins intended.
Such a shame that these studios don't seem to be able to get out of their own ways. One wonders (no pun intended), did Wonder Woman slip through the cracks while Snyder was out and now that he's back it had to adhere to the "more is always better" ethos that DC/Warner seem to think makes a winner?



I'm getting the sense that none of you ever bothered to read all of the lovely posts I made about Varda in my RT TCM thread
Sorry man, don't know how I missed that.



Its funny, because not too long after watching this film I watched another movie that used color in what was mostly black and white (The Picture of Dorian Gray).

Varda actually uses color in another black and white film of hers, Les Creatures.

My sense was that it was done to give an otherworldly vibe to that sequence. Notice that the tarot card reading is incredibly specific. I took it as either implying that the psychic was real OR possibly that it's an indication of the headspace that Cleo is in--very open to "messages" from the universe. On the other hand, Varda does have a flair for framing and color, so it could be purely aesthetic.



The use of mirrors is really solid, but I also appreciated the use of essentially an ombre progression in Cleo's clothing (getting darker as the film progresses) and the use of light and shadows to reflect her mood.



It's not just that there's a world around her, it's also about how that world regards her. Particularly the way she is disturbed by the men who dismiss her illness as basically being in her head.



So that is actually a silent film Varda had made years earlier. And it does fit really well. A fun fact is that the main actor in the short is Jean-Luc Godard.



This is how I also felt, and it is especially how I felt about Le Bonheur.
Yes, I liked what she did what the clothing too, especially considering Chloe chooses the black hat even though it's out of season, because at that point she is over-dramatizing her feelings, but then later gives the hat away as she becomes more... whatever she becomes.
Yes, on the men, but really, that scene seemed to me to be the jumping off point. Once she leaves the apartment, that is when her growth begins, which is largely about understanding that the world does not revolve completely around her.
Yes, and Anna Karina is the fiancee in the silent film.



Can someone tell me how to link to an individual post? I see that it can be done but I haven't figured out how.
Thanks in advance.
I think you click on the time the post was posted in the upper right hand corner of the post. Ex: "2 hours ago", "4 days ago", etc.





Blue Jay, 2016

Wandering the aisles of a grocery store, Jim (Mark Duplass) and Amanda (Sarah Paulson) happen to cross paths. The two are old flames and both back in their hometown, and what begins as a light trip down memory lane turns more serious as the night goes on.

The strongest aspect of the film is the way that it captures the danger of nostalgia. When Jim and Amanda return to his childhood home (his mother has recently passed away), their musings frequently slip from light fun into depression and fatalism. While on the surface they are enjoying their trip down memory lane, it is clear that both of them feel strong regrets about the direction of their lives.

I struggled at times to tell the degree to which the film was aware how ridiculous the characters were, and Jim in particular. He seems to trade in deep emotion and pity. When the conversation eventually turns to the moment that broke them up, the film seems to acknowledge the way that Jim mishandled their relationship.

I'm not sure that I would recommend this film. Paulson and Duplass are fine in their roles, but the film feels somehow overwritten and too self-aware for the slice of realism vibe it seems to be going for. I enjoyed a short speech that Paulson's character gave at the end about
WARNING: spoilers below
her experience having an abortion and how it felt to have Jim treat her decision flippantly
.

This isn't a bad film by any stretch, but neither is it one I would hurry to see.




That's pretty cool that we found another RT poster in Jinnistan. I wonder how many other ones from that forum are lurking around here.

You can't hide for long...
I thought just about everyone who was at Corrierino was a former RT poster, yeah?



Yes, on the men, but really, that scene seemed to me to be the jumping off point. Once she leaves the apartment, that is when her growth begins, which is largely about understanding that the world does not revolve completely around her.
I don't see it so much being about a progression away from being self-centered, but something a bit broader. To me it was more about the kind of life she had cultivated-including her self-image and the kind of relationships she has with the people in her life. I agree that her being self-centered is part of her life, but I think that the scope of Cleo's awakening is more than just becoming less superficial. I think that she is connecting with the world around her, but she is also connecting with her own internal self.



Youre the disease, and Im the cure.
Old School (2003):
Todd Phillips masterpiece. A tribute to frat comedies but with a twist. Will Ferrell became a star because of this.
9.5/10
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I really have to feel that I could make a difference in the movie, or I shouldn't be doing it.
Joe Dante



I think you click on the time the post was posted in the upper right hand corner of the post. Ex: "2 hours ago", "4 days ago", etc.
Thanks!



I don't see it so much being about a progression away from being self-centered, but something a bit broader. To me it was more about the kind of life she had cultivated-including her self-image and the kind of relationships she has with the people in her life. I agree that her being self-centered is part of her life, but I think that the scope of Cleo's awakening is more than just becoming less superficial. I think that she is connecting with the world around her, but she is also connecting with her own internal self.
I agree completely, but I felt that Varda leaned fairly hard into the theme of not always seeing and hearing only herself or others when they talked to or about her. Hence her looking at herself in the mirror constantly and preening then only catching herself in the mirror and feeling sad about what she sees, then sitting next to a mirror she can't actually see herself in and not even noticing the mirror, then finally breaking the mirror. It's not the only thing but it is a very central thing to the arc.



I agree completely, but I felt that Varda leaned fairly hard into the theme of not always seeing and hearing only herself or others when they talked to or about her. Hence her looking at herself in the mirror constantly and preening then only catching herself in the mirror and feeling sad about what she sees, then sitting next to a mirror she can't actually see herself in and not even noticing the mirror, then finally breaking the mirror. It's not the only thing but it is a very central thing to the arc.
But even from the beginning I think that there is a dawning awareness. For example, the first time she looks in the mirror she says something like "As long as I'm beautiful I'm alive", but there's an interesting flicker on her face as she says it.

I think that Cleo's goals for herself have been superficial, and everything gets recontextualized in the wake of such a serious life event. The musicians who used to be a lot of fun are suddenly less fun when they brush off the fact that she's dealing with a possible cancer diagnosis.

I see a lot of the preening in the film as a defense mechanism. I see Cleo's relationship with the mirrors as a reflection of how she feels about herself, not just a commentary on her self-involvement. And I think that her "mirror" toward the end of the film is
WARNING: spoilers below
the soldier. She needed a real human being to "reflect" her own circumstances back at her and give her support.





The Mikado, 1939

I am not overly familiar with the original Gilbert and Sullivan musical, so I came into this film having to just judge what was on screen.

The heir to the throne is in disguise as a poor musician, and he is wooing a lady. The city's executioner must execute someone by the end of the month or the city will be demoted to a town. So the executioner and the prince-in-disguise come to an agreement whereby he will marry the woman he loves, but agree to be executed (for the crime of flirting) at the end of the month.

To begin with, the "yellow face" aspect (British actors playing Japanese characters) was actually a lot less problematic than I'd expected, and for a combination of reasons. First of all, there is thankfully very little makeup used to mimic Japanese facial features, and the actors lean into their British accents with no one attempting any sort of accent. (And I believe that this is an intentional aspect of the show, yes?). Secondly, the costuming, scenery, and make-up/hair are so over the top that it's hard to take any of it seriously. I read a few articles/hot takes on the politics of the show. I can see the argument that it's offensive to put on the "clothing" of another culture, and to create a story that trades in some basic stereotypes and uses another culture's names and traditions as the punchline of jokes.

I guess that what sort of saves the story for me is that the main humor doesn't seem to actually come from the "otherness" of Japanese society. It comes from the absurd behavior of the characters. And to that end, it almost doesn't feel like the story needs to take place in Japan. The basic elements of the story would work just as well in almost any country.

In any event, the performances are all very broad and very funny. Almost all of the main cast gets several stand-out punchlines (saying of the plan to bury her alive, "It is a very stuffy death . . ."). The whole thing exists in a heightened universe of color and kooky facial expressions. There's some good physical comedy and you can feel in the film that good energy that means it would be a compelling stage production.




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Blue Jay, 2016

Wandering the aisles of a grocery store, Jim (Mark Duplass) and Amanda (Sarah Paulson) happen to cross paths. The two are old flames and both back in their hometown, and what begins as a light trip down memory lane turns more serious as the night goes on.

The strongest aspect of the film is the way that it captures the danger of nostalgia. When Jim and Amanda return to his childhood home (his mother has recently passed away), their musings frequently slip from light fun into depression and fatalism. While on the surface they are enjoying their trip down memory lane, it is clear that both of them feel strong regrets about the direction of their lives.

I struggled at times to tell the degree to which the film was aware how ridiculous the characters were, and Jim in particular. He seems to trade in deep emotion and pity. When the conversation eventually turns to the moment that broke them up, the film seems to acknowledge the way that Jim mishandled their relationship.

I'm not sure that I would recommend this film. Paulson and Duplass are fine in their roles, but the film feels somehow overwritten and too self-aware for the slice of realism vibe it seems to be going for. I enjoyed a short speech that Paulson's character gave at the end about
WARNING: spoilers below
her experience having an abortion and how it felt to have Jim treat her decision flippantly
.

This isn't a bad film by any stretch, but neither is it one I would hurry to see.

I love that film.




Shirley (2020, Josephine Decker)

I was left cold by this one, to be completely honest. It was OK, I guess, and the acting was fine, but it didn't grab me or touch me in any way, and I knew where the whole thing was going from a thousand miles away.


The Vast of Night (2019, Andrew Patterson)

OK this was interesting. Not all of it worked by any stretch but there was stuff in it that I thought, 'Hmm that's kinda cool'. Like for example, at one point instead of simply cutting from one location to another, the camera literally travels all the way across the small town where the story takes place in real time - that came completely out of the blue. I liked it.



Professional horse shoe straightener
The Vast of Night (2019, Andrew Patterson)

OK this was interesting. Not all of it worked by any stretch but there was stuff in it that I thought, 'Hmm that's kinda cool'. Like for example, at one point instead of simply cutting from one location to another, the camera literally travels to that location in real time all the way across the small town where the story takes place - that came completely out of the blue. I liked it.
Is that the tracking shot through the window of the gym that travels outside? That was an amazing shot.



Is that the tracking shot through the window of the gym that travels outside? That was an amazing shot.
Indeed it is! I was absolutely gobsmacked by it. Actually the more I think about this film, the higher the rating I want to give it.



Professional horse shoe straightener
Indeed it is! I was absolutely gobsmacked by it. Actually the more I think about this film, the higher the rating I want to give it.
Yeah it's shot very well. I really enjoyed it for a Saturday night type movie - it was a sort of homage to all those nostalgic 80s sci fi Amblin type movies we got.



Love and Monsters -


This was a nice surprise. It owes a lot to other recent post-apocalyptic movies like Zombieland and ones where humans and dangerous beasts live side by side like How to Train Your Dragon - protagonist Joel even acquires a dog companion - but it has its own personality and enough other good things going for it to make me disregard such similarities. For one, it has a unique and cool look and feel that reminded me of the Borderlands and Fallout video games, but even more colorful. Also, Australia clearly substitutes for California here, but it's a welcome substitution since the filming locations are naturally overrun and unkempt, which suggests that human hands have not touched them in many years. Plus, the movie is just so darn endearing. With its voiceover narration and fourth wall breaks that it shares with those other movies, I figured I would be in for more irony and snark, but I instead got a movie that very much has its heart on its sleeve. While I have nothing against ironic or snarky comedy, it's a nice change of pace to see a movie like this and be compelled to grin ear to ear and be moved to tears; besides, that's more of what the world needs now. The scene with the kindly robot who spends its last 15 minutes listening to Joel's deepest feelings, for instance, made me do both of those things. Again, it does not do anything I have not seen before, but it does what it does in a heartwarming, charming and genuinely funny way. Oh, and most importantly, the dog doesn't die.



the samoan lawyer's Avatar
Unregistered User

Jeanne Dielman (1975)


First proper/sober watch of this and appreciate it so much more. Its never going to break into my top 10 films and I'll not pretend it was easy to get through the entire time but in terms of minamilist films, its a masterpiece.


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'Pather Panchali' (1955)

Satyajit Ray


Classic of Indian cinema that I finally got round to. The almost Italian neo-realism is something I appreciated since those types of movies fascinate me. The mixture of family life / poverty / tragedy and making the best of what you have was beautifully done. There's one scene where the water insects appear to be dancing in time to the traditional Indian music.

I will be continuing the Apu trilogy.