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Last and First Men (2020, Jůhann Jůhannsson)

So minimal yet so profoundly haunting - the blend of the black-and-white visuals of geometrically hypnotic, otherworldly structures of the distant future and Tilda Swinton's narration put me in a mood that stayed with me long after the credits ended.
It will possibly be looked back on as a masterpiece decades from now.



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Last and First Men (2020, Jůhann Jůhannsson)

So minimal yet so profoundly haunting - the blend of the black-and-white visuals of geometrically hypnotic, otherworldly structures of the distant future and Tilda Swinton's narration put me in a mood that stayed with me long after the credits ended.
It will possibly be looked back on as a masterpiece decades from now.
Still haven't found time to watch this but will do soon. Hope Jůhann Jůhannsson is in peace now, he was such a talent.



It is, it also helps that Adjani is photogenic AF, there were so many great shots to choose from.
Is is the correct word, sheís still breathtaking.
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More Isabel Adjani, because why not ?




Ivans xtc. (2000) Directed by Bernard Rose, the film is about the final days of a Hollywood talent agent. Danny Huston is excellent in the lead role and Lisa Enos and Peter Weller are very good too. I've seen 3 of Bernard Rose's films now, including Candyman and Paperhouse, and I think Ivansxtc may be his best film. My rating is
.



Red Heat -


This is not one of Walter Hill's best efforts. It has the same "mismatched partners who hunt a fugitive" formula as 48 Hrs., so what's the problem? Casting, I reckon. Arnold Schwarzenegger's performance may be a fault of direction more than casting, but he's basically in Terminator mode here. That mode obviously served him very well in that movie, but here, it makes him cold and boring. He comes across as what the typical American in the Reagan era who had never met a Russian before assumed they are like rather than an actual Russian. As for Belushi, his character is not someone I'd want to spend a 3-minute elevator ride with, much less an entire action movie watching. He's annoying, unfunny and charisma-free, not to mention a lousy match for Schwarzenegger chemistry-wise. There is one scene at a diner where they let their acts down and behave and converse like human beings which shines like a beacon in the darkness, but it's too little, too late. The action is impressive on a technical level, especially the bus chase, but not on an emotional one because the characters provide little reason to care. I went in hoping for another meat-and-potatoes police action yarn that Walter Hill excels at and that it would be so bad, it's good at worst. Unfortunately, I would have been better off watching 48 Hrs. again.



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Three Colors: White (1994)

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I think this is generally regarded as the 3rd best of the trilogy but I loved it. It had me thinking, feeling, and unexpectedly laughing. As usual with this director, it looked great and had a beautiful score. Looking forward to Red.




Hemingway (2021)

This three part documentary series, written by Geoffrey C. Ward, and directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is an in depth overview of Hemingwayís life and novels from his youth in suburban Chicago to his death in Ketchum, Idaho in 1961.

I grew up aware of Hemingway, as I was Faulkner and J.D. Salinger. Hemingway died when I was 17. Although not ever
having read any of his novels, even in college, I did go to the Pittsburgh premier of The Old Man and the Sea (1958) which had much of his prose included as dialogue or narrative. He was arguably the chief novelist of the 20th Century, writing in a unique lean and descriptive manor that was to influence scores of writers then and since.

It is impressive the volume of still photographs that the producers were able to utilize. Hemingway must have been one of the most photographed writers of his day, and the many home pictures gave insight into his personality. His first hand coverage of wars, uprisings, as well as the news coverage of his manly pursuits: hunting, fishing, love life, marriages, drinking, hell raising, always were well featured in newspapers and magazines.

Apart from plentiful gossipy accounts, I didnít know much about Hemingway. Iíd seen his home in Key West, although he only lived there for about 13 years, residing a big part of his life in Cuba. To say that he was larger than life is a gross understatement. Yet he had his demons (as do many of us), and they were responsible for driving his life and his writing. We discover that he had multiple accidents and repeated concussions, along with an apparent hereditary hemochromatosis which contributed to his mental and physical deterioration. He also was likely an alcoholic, and used drugs of all varieties for various maladies and for depression. He had romanced suicide over the course of his life, and finally accomplished it at home.

The most impressive thing about this documentary, outside of the fascinating subject matter, is the first rate editing, mostly by Erik Ewers. The voices of Hemingway, his wives, and important figures in his life were ably performed by Jeff Daniels, Mary-Louise Parker, Meryl Streep, Keri Russell and others. The narration was well handled by Peter Coyote. Extensive interviews were featured with Patrick Hemingway, Edna OíBrien, Tobias Wolff, to name a few. There was a slight bit of tsk-tsking over Hemingwayís un-PC behavior, but in the main the interviewers made excellent first hand observations and well thought out opinions.

If youíve ever wondered about Ernest Hemingway, this documentary will give you a lot of answers.

Docís rating: 9/10



Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)



I just love this movie. Just charms the **** outta me.

We were talking about it yesterday about how I see contemporary movies and I always think, "Wow, they cast these total unknowns in major roles and they were all great!"
Because I don't watch television. At all. I didn't even own one for several years but I NEVER watched Network Television ever. And I grew up during the time when television stars and movie stars were completely separate and, in fact, if you were on TV you were probably (not always but probably) either never going to be in a movie or never going to be in a movie again.
So I see Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I have no idea who Kristen Bell is, no idea who Mila Kunis is, no idea who Jason Segel is, never seen or heard of Bill Hader, most of the people in the movie are completely unknown to me. And I'm like, "Wow, this Mila Kunis person is really good, like I'm surprised she's just nailing this right out of the gate in what appears to be her screen debut. And this blonde woman is doing an amazing job making her character that could be so cliche into someone with some depth as well as humor. Where did they find these people?!"
I didn't find out they were all major television stars for nearly 10 years.
But anyway, really fun, light movie that rises above because the characters are given some actual, ya know, character.





The Mitchells vs The Machines, 2021

Teenager Katie (Abbi Jacobson) can't wait to leave for college. Always having felt like an outsider, she is desperate to find her people. On the eve of her departure, she has an argument with her father, Rick (Danny McBride), a man whose outdoorsy interests have never intersected well with Katie's quirky artistic side. Wanting to have one final bonding experience, Rick cancels her plane ticket and instead decides to drive the whole family cross-country to her college, including mom Linda (Maya Rudolph), little brother Aaron (Mike Rianda), and outlandish pug Monchi. The family is unaware, however, that a beef between tech guru Mark (Eric Andre) and one of his creations (Olivia Colman) may just lead to a robot apocalypse.

This was an unexpected delight, and probably the best kids movie I have seen this year. While many kids movies have increasingly come to lean on meta-jokes, this is a film that takes a very self-aware approach to its animation and structure, but still carves out a meaningful emotional arc for all of its main characters.

Taking maybe a bit from the father-daughter dynamic of The Croods, this film does a really good job of making all of the Mitchells real and relatable. Rick doesn't really get Katie's art, and his lack of understanding makes him worried that she will not be successful. Katie interprets this--not entirely incorrectly--as him assuming that she will fail and that her work is not worthwhile.

It was also kind of neat to see a kids movie that had a queer protagonist without the film being about her sexuality. It's a portrayal that is for the most part subtle (and only made explicitly clear at the very end of the film), but also done in a way that other kids going through what Katie went through (the not belonging stuff, not the robot apocalypse) would pick up on it.

I watched this with a group and it was a hit for all of us. Just really solid from beginning to end with plenty of jokes that land and a satisfying series of character arcs that resolve nicely. It also has well-shot action sequences that were easy to follow. There are some very predictable aspects to the film, but they are done well enough that it didn't bother me.

The only downside is that the film's energetic, chaotic feel could sometimes lean on the overwhelming side. But for the most part I didn't mind the frenetic clip, partly because the film tends to break up those hyper sequences with slower, more introspective scenes.




The trick is not minding
I just love this movie. Just charms the **** outta me.

We were talking about it yesterday about how I see contemporary movies and I always think, "Wow, they cast these total unknowns in major roles and they were all great!"
Because I don't watch television. At all. I didn't even own one for several years but I NEVER watched Network Television ever. And I grew up during the time when television stars and movie stars were completely separate and, in fact, if you were on TV you were probably (not always but probably) either never going to be in a movie or never going to be in a movie again.
So I see Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I have no idea who Kristen Bell is, no idea who Mila Kunis is, no idea who Jason Segel is, never seen or heard of Bill Hader, most of the people in the movie are completely unknown to me. And I'm like, "Wow, this Mila Kunis person is really good, like I'm surprised she's just nailing this right out of the gate in what appears to be her screen debut. And this blonde woman is doing an amazing job making her character that could be so cliche into someone with some depth as well as humor. Where did they find these people?!"
I didn't find out they were all major television stars for nearly 10 years.
But anyway, really fun, light movie that rises above because the characters are given some actual, ya know, character.
Yes! This movie, along with Sheís out of Your League, both have this charm to them that I enjoy.







Snooze factor = Z



[Snooze Factor Ratings]:
Z = didn't nod off at all
Zz = nearly nodded off but managed to stay alert
Zzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed
Zzzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed but nodded off again at the same point and therefore needed to go back a number of times before I got through it...
Zzzzz = nodded off and missed some or the rest of the film but was not interested enough to go back over it
This wasn't what we expected and we were a little disappointed that it didn't go the direction we were hoping, but I can't say it wasn't a good movie. There was a bit at the end that didn't make much sense to me but I'm sure if I do some reading there was a point to it.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?

Hemingway (2021)

This three part documentary series, written by Geoffrey C. Ward, and directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is an in depth overview of Hemingwayís life and novels from his youth in suburban Chicago to his death in Ketchum, Idaho in 1961.

I grew up aware of Hemingway, as I was Faulkner and J.D. Salinger. Hemingway died when I was 17. Although not ever
having read any of his novels, even in college, I did go to the Pittsburgh premier of The Old Man and the Sea (1958) which had much of his prose included as dialogue or narrative. He was arguably the chief novelist of the 20th Century, writing in a unique lean and descriptive manor that was to influence scores of writers then and since.

It is impressive the volume of still photographs that the producers were able to utilize. Hemingway must have been one of the most photographed writers of his day, and the many home pictures gave insight into his personality. His first hand coverage of wars, uprisings, as well as the news coverage of his manly pursuits: hunting, fishing, love life, marriages, drinking, hell raising, always were well featured in newspapers and magazines.

Apart from plentiful gossipy accounts, I didnít know much about Hemingway. Iíd seen his home in Key West, although he only lived there for about 13 years, residing a big part of his life in Cuba. To say that he was larger than life is a gross understatement. Yet he had his demons (as do many of us), and they were responsible for driving his life and his writing. We discover that he had multiple accidents and repeated concussions, along with an apparent hereditary hemochromatosis which contributed to his mental and physical deterioration. He also was likely an alcoholic, and used drugs of all varieties for various maladies and for depression. He had romanced suicide over the course of his life, and finally accomplished it at home.

The most impressive thing about this documentary, outside of the fascinating subject matter, is the first rate editing, mostly by Erik Ewers. The voices of Hemingway, his wives, and important figures in his life were ably performed by Jeff Daniels, Mary-Louise Parker, Meryl Streep, Keri Russell and others. The narration was well handled by Peter Coyote. Extensive interviews were featured with Patrick Hemingway, Edna OíBrien, Tobias Wolff, to name a few. There was a slight bit of tsk-tsking over Hemingwayís un-PC behavior, but in the main the interviewers made excellent first hand observations and well thought out opinions.

If youíve ever wondered about Ernest Hemingway, this documentary will give you a lot of answers.

Docís rating: 9/10
This is SOOO on my watchlist! THANK YOU!
Loved the review; very cool bit of Gulf His-tor-reee
Nice
__________________
What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue:
Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won't be troubling you much longer.




Us (2019, Jordan Peele)

I wasn't a big fan of Get Out but at least that movie was able to grip my attention, and I actually finished it. Tried watching this one, and it was ok for a while, but as soon as that *other* family showed up and started explaining things, I lost all interest. Could have gotten better later on but I couldn't be bothered really, hence no rating.
I am a HUGE fan of Get Out, might have been my favorite film of that year, but I was also disappointed by Us. And to be honest, it was actually the Third Act that was the problem, IMO, so if you didn't like it through the First or so, probably not much point in going back to it.



Three Colors: White (1994)

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I think this is generally regarded as the 3rd best of the trilogy but I loved it. It had me thinking, feeling, and unexpectedly laughing. As usual with this director, it looked great and had a beautiful score. Looking forward to Red.
You are a wise and tasteful movie-viewer.
White, taken out of the context of how incredibly good the other two films are, is a beautiful film, really really good. I think people always feel let down by it compared to the other two, and I will admit that I liked the other two better, but I had read that it was supposed to be kinda like not even in the same league as the other two and I thought that was just completely wrong. I had a very positive experience with it.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Some fun cartoon time. . .



Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)
+++(++) A fan from childhood and this revival was -- actually --- pretty [email protected] good. They did an excellent rendition of Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Liked the added "angry blonde girl" from school and several of the characters - all hell, pretty much nearly all of them during the WABAC scenarios made me smile and at times, laugh. My Absolute Favorites being DiVinci who I just learned and am utterly [email protected] delighted to learn was voiced by Stanley Tucci - how [email protected] awesome is that!
and having Patrick Warburton voicing Agamemnon made him an instant favorite.
So, yeah, very good potential for future revisits.


For some SERIOUS potential for revisits:



The Mitchells vs The Machines (2021)
++ Well, actually, Takoma, not only wrote up her usual spectacular review which I wholeheartedly agree with. Read that.
And I'll simply add my own enjoyment of relatable, entertaining characters; the frenetic aspects are placed at appropriated spacings and this is a VERY fun, quite funny, well constructed - visually/CGI-wise animation with the usual positive missives about finding oneself with family resonance done quite well.