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I wonder if it was script/Nolan, cause I thought JDW was the bees knees in BlacKkKlansman. Couldn't wait to see him in something else but I actually skipped this because it just looked so blah to me.
Oh wow! Was that him? Your right it was totally the script. Which has such deathless lines as "it's cold. Cold as ice." I tell you, you don't hear such pithy lines that often. HAH!
You were right to skip it. It was the blahest.



Professional horse shoe straightener
'A Single Rider' (2017)
Korean drama. A man decides to visit his wife and child in Australia. There are some really good bits to this film. Especially the emotional third act. The trouble is, there are some terrible segments and some woeful acting (mostly from bit part Australian actors). The premise is actually quite easy to guess if you pay attention too. Nevertheless, the ending is done very well, like so many Korean dramas are



'L'Humanite' (1999)
Where to start with this. It's a drama that is brutal at times and quite sensitive at others. Very difficult to talk about without spoilers as the ending is really the crucial part. A fairly incompetent police super-intendent in a small town France is dragged into a nasty murder case that starts to affect his monotonous life. It's challenging at times but the film-making is never average....the little eye movements of characters and editing to reflect their thoughts is brilliantly done.

Emmanuel Schotté won the best actor award at Cannes for this. And never acted in a film before or since. He seems as odd in real life as he is in this film.




'Songs from the second Floor' (2000)
This is like a Radiohead song crossed with a Bergman film and a Monty Python sketch. Beautiful doom laden prophecies, the place of humans in the world, the role of religion are all explored, as is the paranoia and trepidation of the new millennium and how modern society will cope with it. A unique film.




'The Wild Pear Tree' (2018)
Over 3 hours long, very dialogue driven, philosophical musings on literature, religion, individuality and belonging. It is not for everyone, but the way the film falls into place in the final third is astonishing. Ceylan has this knack of tying everything together beautifully. And the way this film is shot is absorbing. There are a couple of shocks too that are masterfully directed. And of course there's not a bad performance in it, as with most of his films. Stunning.




'In a Lonely Place' (1950)
Bogart is brilliant in this Nicholas Ray film, and it's a solid piece of film noir, especially as it strays somewhat from the typical noir of the time, with fewer tropes than your average noir fare.




'The Mole Agent' (2020)

Another docu-drama that seems scripted and staged at first (like so many recently) but evolves into something very touching. An elderly gentleman is sent on a mission by a private investigator to an old folks home to see if his clients elderly relative is being treated ok. What he discovers is the harsh reality of old age and family but at the same time makes beautiful friendships and forges connections.




While I wasn’t crazy about the movie itself, anyone doubting John David Washington’s talent should immediately see Malcolm and Marie.




Don't Let Go (2019, Jacob Estes)

Not bad but not outstanding either. It has all the elements in place to make it an overall enjoyable viewing but falls short of that extra ounce of bite or depth that would help elevate it beyond just that.



While I wasn’t crazy about the movie itself, anyone doubting John David Washington’s talent should immediately see Malcolm and Marie.
I been meaning to, just haven't pulled the trigger.





Not bad. Your basic Manhattan indie movie. And Catherine Keener is in it, as always.



Re-watch. Such a good movie. So very strange. Scarlett terrific in this.
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The Merchant of Four Seasons, 1972

Returning home from a time in the military, Hans (Hans Hirschmuller) finds his relationship with his wife, Irmgard (Irm Hermann) and family altered. Hans tries to make a living as a fruit vendor, but an untimely medical emergency leaves him dependent on others.

I don't know if many people have seen the film Deathdream, about a soldier who returns from Vietnam but things are very, very wrong. In fact, it becomes clear really quickly (so quickly I don't consider it a spoiler, but, um, SPOILER WARNING, I guess) that he is dead. There's a line in another film (I am blanking on the name, but something thriller-ish?) where one character tells another, "You're dead. You just don't know it yet."

These two films/lines kept rattling around in my head while watching Merchant of Four Seasons. Hans has, in many ways, lost his life. And yet he is still in it. But as we watch, all of the trappings of his presence and reality begin to fall away. His family thinks poorly of him. His wife is enamored with other men. His business is being run by someone else. And all of the coping strategies he uses---to use the term very loosely--only serve to further alienate himself from his own life.

I did appreciate some of the humor in the film, and specifically just how dramatic many of the characters were. Irmgard is perpetually upset, and often tearful. In one scene, Hans' family protectively encircles her like a herd of startled cattle. And Hans himself also skews toward the dramatic in his own way, albeit more explosive.

Overall I enjoyed the film, which felt like some bizarre mix of comedy, drama, and a little bit of horror. Many of Fassbinder's frequent collaborators make appearances, including El Hedi ben Salem, who shows up for a memory sequence containing a fetishized sequence of whipping (because of course he does).

I actually felt that the film's strongest point was that final sequence (despite me poking a bit of fun at it), because we really get a window into Hans' mental state.




Oh, I'm glad you liked this one. I thought there were elements of it that might put you off, because there is kind of a brutality at the heart of the film. But it moves me deeply.


Also, see the you also watched Fear of Fear. Diving deep, as one really needs to with RWF. There is so much there to find, even if much of it is flawed (also, a few of them are really terrible)


I think I mentioned it before to you, but considering you seem to be committed to exploring his movies, Year of 13 Moons has a brutal slaughterhouse scene in it. Just to warn you. A shame, because it really is one of his best (and that scene in particular, as horrible as it is, is stunning...I personally gave it a moral 'pass' to watch because, as a person who eats meat, I felt hypocritical if I turned away from it)



Oh, I'm glad you liked this one. I thought there were elements of it that might put you off, because there is kind of a brutality at the heart of the film. But it moves me deeply.
It was brutal, but sort of . . . . proportionally so? I thought it was just a very dark look at someone no longer having a place in their own life.

I did think that this was a good example of where accusations of misogyny could come in with his work, considering the portrayal of the main character of the wife and how duplicitous and manipulative she is. But on the flip side, I keep coming back to the idea that Fassbinder doesn't have a very high opinion of most of his characters, male or female. I will say that his unlikable female character often tend to be more stereotypical in their portrayal where the male characters seem a bit more nuanced.

I think I mentioned it before to you, but considering you seem to be committed to exploring his movies, Year of 13 Moons has a brutal slaughterhouse scene in it. Just to warn you. A shame, because it really is one of his best (and that scene in particular, as horrible as it is, is stunning...I personally gave it a moral 'pass' to watch because, as a person who eats meat, I felt hypocritical if I turned away from it)
I really appreciate this heads up, and I actually agree with your moral reasoning. I am not a fan of animals being hurt or killed for the purpose of a film, but actual slaughterhouse footage is a slightly different story. I'll probably fast-forward it anyway, but I get what you mean about not counting it against the film or filmmaker itself.





Where the Road Runs Out, 2014

On learning that an old friend of his has died, George (Isaach de Bankhole), a science researcher living in the Netherlands, decides to journey to the friend's field station in Equatorial Guinea. Once there, he begins to reconnect to his own youth in Ghana, and forms a friendship with a local orphan named Jimmy (Sizo Motsoko) and the woman who runs the orphanage/school (Juliet Landau).

This is a pleasant enough film that never generates quite enough conflict to be deeply interesting. There is a quickly-resolved subplot about how George's donations to the field station never actually got there, but it doesn't really get your pulse up. George also has some banter with Jimmy and the teacher, but in both cases you know that they are headed for positive relationships.

The acting is kind of a mixed bag. De Bankhole is the right mix of gruff and generous as George. Sizo Motsoko isn't the best actor, but he is undeniably charismatic and expressive, and he brings a nice energy to all of his scenes. Landau is fine as the love interest, though the writing of her character leaves a lot to be desired.

I guess I would mildly recommend this one, though it's a narrative that's been done better in other films.




Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
Tenet (2020) -




Exposition overload!!! Decent visuals and that's about it. Nolan, why you do this. ;_; * bururu bururu bururu * We Live In A Twilight World. * BRRRRM BRRRRM BRRRRM * The soundtrack gave me tinnitus worse than 2 hours of listening to Harsh Noise. Congrats Nolan, just after you ascended to the world of
films with Dunkirk, you fell on yo ass back to the
swamp.

3 Dev Adam [Three Mighty Men] (1973) -




Decided to watch more Superhero cinema because there are still many films from the genre I haven't seen. Unironically, Three Might Men turned out to be the best Marvel film ever made (although this one is unofficial, to say the least). Basically, Spiderman is evil and keeps murdering people when they're taking a shower. He's a big meanie and enjoys torturing poor buggers who fell in his hands. He has to be stopped, and the right people to stop him are Captain America and Santo. Yes, the Santo! 3 Dev Adam is the so-called Turkish Delight that achieves metaphysics through antiphysics. Basically, Turksploitation meets Lucha libre. Still better than Avengers!

城市獵人 [City Hunter] (1993) -








FINALLY some great entertainment! TOO STRONG XDD The best Jackie Chan film, but you need a very high IQ to appreciate it. Basically, everything a (12-year-old me) man wants, which means:
  • Seijun Suzuki-core opening with Michael Wong
  • LOTS OF HOT WOMEN BEING HOT
  • Women getting hit (they get hit up, too, and when that fails, they get beat up, or they get beat up just like that, always a good thing in film and never fails to make me laugh)
  • Attempted rapes and molesting of women (could use rape or two but oh well)
  • A blithering gay rape attempt (Wong Jing doesn't give a damn about being politically correct, a very funny scene)
  • Kumiko Goto (Mitsuo's girlfriend from Tora-san) playing a top loli. She's so cute. (obviously, Jackie has to feel her up at some point)
  • Joey Wong getting a cake-to-the-face
  • Joey Wong trying to beat up a blond strong man and he takes it for foreplay and hits back - funniest scene ever made
  • Joey Wong marry me please. * _ *
  • Jackie Chan thinking about nothing but gettin' some ass and having a harem of hot chicks
  • Badass references to the God of Gamblers series
  • Chingmy Yau and Carol Wan sporting some fancy clothes, being badass and TOTALLY NOT HAVING KINKY LESBIAN SEX BETWEEN THE SCENES
  • Out-of-nowhere musical number in the middle of the film (the song is awful) but I appreciate the randomness
  • Tons of slapstick; basically a live-action version of Looney Tunes
  • Jackie Chan dressed as Chun-Li fight the blonde strong man dressed as some other Street Fighter character
  • Wong Jing being the kind of cash cow that gives the Russo Brothers a run for their money.

All in all, a misogynist, homophobic, unfunny, cheesy, and cringy piece of garbage. Not recommended.

Just kiddin'. Frig the haters. This is a classic!
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25th Hall of Fame

Bicycle Thieves (1948) -


This was one of the few remaining well-known classic films which I hadn't seen before joining this HoF. I was a bit worried that it wouldn't live up to its reputation, but fortunately, it ended up blowing me away.

I noticed that some people here criticized how Antonio grows more and more unlikable as the film progresses, but I think that was actually the point of his character. Watching him slowly lose his humanity by acting forceful with the various people he encounters while the chances of him reclaiming his stolen bicycle kept diminishing was quite tragic. During his attempts to reclaim his stolen bicycle, he acts forceful with an elderly man, he rudely disrupts a church sermon, he slaps his son, and he acts forceful with a young boy and potentially causes him to have a seizure. I found the ending to be a powerful culmination to his arc as it showed how much the events of that day had changed him and lowered his morals.

The excellent twin performances from Lamberto Maggiorani (Antonio) and Enzo Staiola (Bruno) enhance the film's emotional core. Maggiorani is able to transmit so much of the desperation and hopelessness he experiences in the film through his facial expressions. Equally impressive is Staiola's performance. Despite being only 9 years old when this film was released and not having many lines, he reflects both the increasing desperation his father feels as the film progresses in addition to the direct and indirect pain his father causes him throughout the film onto his face. I found the final scene to be quite heartbreaking, in part due to the thematic implications of it and also due to the facial expressions from both actors.

While the emotional core to the film is compelling, this film is a lot more than just a story about a stolen bicycle. It's also a bleak portrait of the poverty which many Italians faced post-World War II. We see some immediate effects of this like crowds of people desperately trying to get jobs, people shoving past each other to get on buses, and people selling their personal possessions to get a job. The film also explores the various ways people coped with poverty, like resorting to thievery, falsely claiming they could see the future by becoming a fortune teller, or being a prostitute. Most of these effects weren't explored in much detail and were instead treated as backdrops to the main action, but they got under my skin regardless and made the film's scope both epic and intimate at the same time. In the chaotic, poverty stricken city shown in the film, Antonio's bicycle means everything to him and it's clear how vital it is that he reclaims it.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

So This Is Paris (Ernst Lubitsch, 1926)
+ 6/10
The Stoker (Chester M. Franklin, 1932)
5/10
Garibaldi AKA Viva l'Italia (Roberto Rossellini, 1961)
5.5/10
Together Together (Nikole Beckwith, 2021)
6.5/10

Lonely, unattached, middle-aged Ed Helms and his younger surrogate mother (Patti Harrison) have a complex relationship in this mostly-honest, low-key romantic comedy.
Monster (Anthony Mandler, 2018)
+ 6/10
Seven (Tosin Igho, 2019)
5.5/10
Her Man (Tay Garnett, 1930)
6/10
The Paper Tigers (Quoc Bao Tran, 2020)
+ 6/10

A bit overlong and simplistic, but well-meaning, entertaining tale of what happens 25 years later when the undefeated Three Tigers meet up as middle-agers (Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Alain Uy & Ron Yuan) to avenge their murdered kung fu Master.
The Exterminators of the Year 3000 (Jules Harrison [Giuliano Carnimeo], 1983)
5/10
And Tomorrow the Entire World (Julia von Heinz, 2020)
6/10
The Delta Factor (Tay Garnett, 1970)
5/10
The Goodbye Girl (Herbert Ross, 1977)
8/10

Richard Dreyfuss tries to scope out his NYC apartment in Neil Simon's charming, hilarious rom-com.
Sitting in Limbo (Stella Corradi, 2020)
+ 6/10
Letter from Paris (Walerian Borowczyk, 1975)
- 6.5/10
The Story of Sin (Walerian Borowczyk, 1975)
6/10
Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (Otto Preminger, 1970)
6.5/10

Junie Moon (Liza Minnelli) does something which leads her to a friendship with paraplegic Robert Moore and epileptic Ken Howard. Quirky, affecting and life-affirming.
Voyagers (Neil Burger, 2021)
5.5/10
Jaws of Satan (Bob Claver, 1981)
5/10
Super Me (Zhang Chong, 2019)
6/10
Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji (Tomu Uchida, 1955)
6.5/10

Solid, underseen historical action/social commentary about spear carrier Chiezō Kataoka who unleashes revenge on some smug, murderous samurai.
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Hard Eight - (1996)

I thought I'd seen this, and yet I could remember nothing about it. Is it forgettable in some way? No...it's great! P.T. Anderson or Paul Thomas Anderson (he goes for both in the opening credits - like he's trying both on for size) really started his career with a solid first feature. Maybe I hadn't seen it after all. Anyway, John C. Reilly, Philip Baker Hall, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The three-initial gang is all here already. Everyone is great in this gritty gambling/crime saga - but especially Baker Hall as a wise old cheat teaching John C. Reilly's (pretty stupid) character how to game every system there is. He steals the film from an amazingly talented cast. Boogie Nights was to follow close behind.

8/10