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Well, I respect it, but it's definitely more of an interesting movie than it is a truly great/compelling one for me. At any rate, does this mean you're not a fan of me going with The Wild Bunch for my New Hollywood pick from '69?
It would be impossible for me not to choose ER, but it's not like tWB isn't a great film and a good example for the reasons you cite, so go in peace.




Was never a fan of the original, thought it was kind of slow, which is why seeing this wasn't much of a priority but damn this was good!



Good story about a group of SoCal skateboarders who took skateboarding in new directions. The skateboarding scenes aren't overly impressive since it was still kind of new, kind of like watching a car race between a couple model T's sputtering along at 20mph, but everything else is pretty interesting. Really well acted from the mostly young cast



Thought this one about a dude wanting to live off the land in the mountains of Colorado (?) lost some steam after about an hour. Felt like once I reached this point in the movie
WARNING: spoilers below
I saw all I needed to see. Wasn't bad and loved the locations it just didn't keep me tuned in.





KANSAS CITY BOMBER (1972)

Not much of a plot here, just a slice of the roller derby life with all of the expected elements. Teammates are resentful of the beautiful new girl (Raquel Welch), team owner (Kevin McCarthy) puts the moves on her, Welch deals with life on the road and missing her kids, etc. (Her daughter is played by the 10-year-old Jodie Foster who just exudes personality in her 5 minutes of screen time.) This being 1972, there's a certain grittiness involved and it does not qualify as a feel-good story, but it never descends into misery porn either. It would probably have been more memorable if they'd gone further in either direction. The previous year's Derby documentary is more my speed, but I was never bored and if you're just here for the roller derby action this one definitely delivers on that front as well.

I didn't know what to expect from Welch, as the only role I've seen her play is a sexy Cro-Magnon with no dialogue, but I'm happy to say she managed to be pretty convincing as a tough broad. This led me to speculate that a Raquel Welch Wonder Woman could have been pretty cool. Add that to my list of "what-if" movies that will never happen.

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Was never a fan of the original, thought it was kind of slow, which is why seeing this wasn't much of a priority but damn this was good!



Good story about a group of SoCal skateboarders who took skateboarding in new directions. The skateboarding scenes aren't overly impressive since it was still kind of new, kind of like watching a car race between a couple model T's sputtering along at 20mph, but everything else is pretty interesting. Really well acted from the mostly young cast



Thought this one about a dude wanting to live off the land in the mountains of Colorado (?) lost some steam after about an hour. Felt like once I reached this point in the movie
WARNING: spoilers below
I saw all I needed to see. Wasn't bad and loved the locations it just didn't keep me tuned in.
I felt the opposite about the Blade Runners, I thought the first one was a straight-up masterpiece and one of the most interesting films I've ever seen while I thought the second was a pointless, if beautiful slog with a very weak third act.
I loved The Lords Of Dogtown and would watch it any time. I thought the skating was great because they really conveyed how innovative and cutting-edge those kids were at the time.
I think I mostly feel like you did about Jeremiah Johnson. There is something very positive I ended up taking away from it but I remember it feeling like it stalled a bit for a while there.





Caveat, 2020

Isaac (Jonathan French) is recovering from a serious accident, which comes along with some significant memory loss. An old friend, Barret (Ben Caplan)--or at least a man claiming to be an old friend--hires Isaac to act as a caretaker for his mentally ill niece, Olga (Leila Sykes), who has been living alone on an island since the death of her father and disappearance of her mother. But things are clearly not right in the house . . .

This is a movie that has a lot of wait, what?!?! elements, and the first fifteen minutes are especially strained by some incredibly improbable elements. When they arrive at the house, Barret announces that, oh yeah, Olga is afraid of being assaulted, so Isaac will have to wear what is essentially a metal vest on a chain that keeps him from reaching Olga's room. Isaac's reaction (and, the reaction that anyone would have) is that he refuses to wear it. Right. But the movie really needs him to put it on. So . . . he eventually just agrees? The movie vaguely tries to hand-wave the whole set up (why would any person agree to be chained up in a remote house, without access to a phone, with a mentally ill person who thinks you are a rapist/murderer?), but it's not very convincing.

Fortunately, there is a decent amount of spooky imagery and atmospheric development at hand. The film makes effective use of long takes and hallways that seem to stretch a long way from the camera. When Isaac discovers a secret passageway with a small hole that leads to Olga's room, it introduces the disturbing visual of a hand reaching through a wall. The film goes to the same handful of tricks many times, but for me it worked for the most part. The film alternates slow-burn style moments with a few jump scares.

Storywise, the movie tries to do way too much. The premise established in the first ten minutes is already outlandish, and as the film tries to layer in more connection and complications, it all gets a bit convoluted. The handful of glimpses of Olga's life with her parents are effectively disturbing, but it doesn't all tie in together all that well.

I always have mixed feelings about writers who just create their own version of mental illness and basically have the mentally ill person do whatever they want them to do for plot purposes. Olga is given a handful of movie-trope behaviors (random nosebleeds, catatonic states, paranoia), and the movie unevenly lurches between her acting almost entirely lucid and then the next moment behaving violently or erratically. The best moments of the film are when Isaac and Olga have real, honest conversations with each other, but those moments are few and far between.

If you're a horror fan, this one is worth a peek.









U-Turn (2016) - 5.5/10. A decent effort. The ending is a bit soft. But the movie holds the tension till the last 20 mins. Good attempt at a somewhat spooky mystery.
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Welcome to the human race...
F9 -


da movies
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I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.






The Call (2013) - 6/10. Fairly decent one time watch. Nothing memorable. Halle Berry, her career was in the doldrums then, it hasn't changed much since!



Godzilla Vs. Kong



I think an actual monkey with a typewriter could write a script that makes more sense than this, but that doesn't matter too much for this type of movie. To make a movie like this feel like more than just mindless spectacle you need to just have some emotional investment in the titular fight, and there are bits that try to do that, but they get lost in pointless subplots and awful comedy.

Having no investment in anything happening kills any movie, even one as dumb as this, but there still is some good here. I watched this in a home theater with good projection and a great sound system, and it really did elevate the experience. The sound design and visuals are great for the most part, and there was never a point when I was bored, which I was afraid of. The only thing I'd complain about visually is the actual monsters, but that's less of the movies fault and more just a result of the technology not being there yet.

If you can see this in a theater go for it, but if not I'd recommend watching something else.




minds his own damn business
I didn't know what to expect from Welch, as the only role I've seen her play is a sexy Cro-Magnon with no dialogue, but I'm happy to say she managed to be pretty convincing as a tough broad.
Check out Myra Breckinridge


This led me to speculate that a Raquel Welch Wonder Woman could have been pretty cool.



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Night Falls on Manhattan (1996)

Tight, dramatic thriller from Lumet. Liked all the performances and the story.






Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Finally pulled the trigger on this and it went about how I expected. Which was a lot like The Last Jedi in terms of sheer disappointment. Only this time J.J. Abrams was walking back a ton of what Rian Johnson had tried to set up in that one. The result of all this fan service revisionism is not so much a mess of a movie as it is just bleh. All the salient points people have already made about what was wrong with this are right there front and center. The cursory, abridged way that plot points are addressed and disposed of. Almost as if Abrams and Terrio and the other writers had made a list of fan complaints and were checking them off one by one in desultory fashion. The offhand and basically callous way that Kelly Marie Tran was written out of the movie. Rey, Kylo Ren and Finn, who started out so promising in SW: TFA but ended up looking just ... lost. And nothing new added to Poe Cameron who ultimately turned out be a boring cipher. Plus those effing space ponies showing up again.

After The Force Awakens I figured this would be a Star Wars trilogy for a new generation. Which was perfectly fine. But I can't fathom anyone being happy with this conclusion. Maybe some people figure that this is the best fans can hope for. That as long as one is tethered to the moldering corpse of the Skywalker saga there will be no satisfying ending. While still others hold out hope that a good final trilogy is out there. I think I'm in the former group. Just move on, focus all the positive vibes on the middle trilogy (except for those freakin' Ewoks) and concentrate on expanding the SW universe. Because Rogue One, The Mandalorian and the film below at least show some promise.






Solo: A Star Wars Story - Even though this had characters from the original trilogy it was still different enough that it felt somewhat fresh and original. At least compared to episodes VIII & IX. Which, granted, isn't saying much. But at this point any sort of distance is a positive. I don't know how many people were clamoring for a Han Solo origin story but, all things considered and given the project's behind the scenes turmoil, it could have turned out worse.

I don't think Alden Ehrenreich came close to capturing Ford's Solo but there were effective set pieces and moments of derring do. The pieces were in place all it needed was a convincing protagonist. And even though Ehrenreich didn't exactly shine I don't believe he detracted from the proceedings either. The rest of the cast did fine with Donald Glover, Thandie Newton and Paul Bettany turning in solid work and even the two people I figured would be the most problematical, Emilia Clarke and Woody Harrelson, acquitting themselves nicely. After watching Clarke in numerous films I've never felt she was able to completely immerse herself in a role. And even though I still saw cracks in the facade she, like Ehrenreich, was perfectly adequate. As for Harrelson, he's a fine enough actor but he's just so ubiquitous a talent that I thought he would end up being more a distraction than a strength. I was obviously wrong.

I liked the locales and one of the smartest and most pivotal decisions the filmmakers made was hiring Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan to write the screenplay. No J.J. Abrams or, god forbid, Damon Lindelof. Ron Howard taking over for Lord and Miller could well have been a recipe for disaster and even though it will forever inspire "what if" speculation I still think they turned out a respectable product.




My Cousin Vinny

A good comedy twist on the trial movies. The characters are enjoyable and realistic. I specifically love the contrast of the defendants being from new york, and the judge, prosecutor, and jury being from Alabama, the seeting of the movie. I will say the movie felt a little long though, at time slow, and the ending obviously holds no twists. I reccomend giving the movie a watch if you're looking for a lighthearted kickback kind of movie.