Rate The Last Movie You Saw

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I've always depended on the kindness of strangers
Matt, is this an offbeat comedy, Coen-like comedy, or just a regular comedy? Thanks...
Yeah, off-beat, black. It's very unapologetic in an independent way.



The Homecoming (1973)

This adaptation of a Harold Pinter play was really well done. Melds the cinematic and theatre professionally. Absurd probably describes it justly. It's linear and unrelenting in its attacks on traditional male/female, family/emotional roles. Would put this on a par with "Music of chance"....which I rated highly too.

Love a picture like this on a sunny day!





ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ
(1979)

First viewing. Great film. Can't believe it took me this long to watch this exciting prison drama that is based on real events. Eastwood is completely in his element here and carries the movie with prowess. Now I see where Stephen King got his inspiration from when he came up with the idea for The Shawshank Redemption.
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“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!” ~ Rocky Balboa



Charlie's Angels (2000) - Rewatch

Ah yes, your typical 2000s era blockbuster consisting of a thin plot that's a poor excuse for mediocre martial arts sequences playing to cheesy '90s pop songs. They would usually star popular celebrities at the time that weren't really top-billing enough to have their agents be picky about casting them in a film like this, such as the likes of America's Sweetheart at the time, Drew Barrymore, Cameron "There's Something About Mary" Diaz, and Lucy Liu coming off her "Couching Tiger" success. That's all you need to know about this movie really. It's not nearly as clever as it pretends to be in all its mocking of the earlier (and smarter) "Mission: Impossible" film adaptation or as funny either.

Being a 2000s blockbuster, there are also a number of other well-known celebrities you might recognize from that one movie, such as the likes of a not-so-popular-yet Sam Rockwell, LL Cool J off his "Deep Blue Sea" lackluster shark flick, Tim Curry off his lackluster "Congo" run, Matt LeBlanc still going strong with his circle of "Friends", and Bill Murray having his '80s star-power peak coming to its much delayed death (until "Lost in Translation" three years later anyway). They aren't really vying for an Oscar here, but they put enough effort to offer a few chuckles here and there.

But you know, it's not nearly as much of a trainwreck as I would have expected. It's cheesy, it's dumb, and it makes me wish I could have been doing something more meaningful with my life, but it's just decent enough to leave me with some appreciation for its script. For example, in spite of the overly sexualized wardrobe that would never be greenlighted in the likes of feminist 2010s, it's really the men here that are portrayed as the dumb furniture manipulated by their hormones (aside from Sam Rockwell, but he's a sex machine, so he doesn't count), so I feel that the more risqué aspect is somewhat justified as a playful take on female sexuality. I also like that not all the men here are portrayed as inherently nasty like some of the works I could think of in the 2010s, and you do have a nice healthy balance of relationships between both genders.

But when it comes down to it, it's still a dumb American blockbuster overshadowed by much more brilliant counterparts (Mission: Impossible for one thing), and it's no coincidence that a certain animated series inspired by "Charlie's Angels" that once aired on Disney Channel in my country (Totally Spies) was also overshadowed by a more brilliant and polished female spy counterpart (Kim Possible). It's just one of those films that tried to cash in on the star power and hope to make enough money back. Can't spell "Summer Blockbuster" any more than that.

For what it's worth, the trailer for both this and Full Throttle looked fun enough to even make me watch the damn thing. Can't say the same for the remake.





Castle in the Ground (2019)

This movie was a realistic look at the dazed, confused, and sometimes insane life of drug addicts. Just trying to have fun, relax, and feel good, these reckless free spirits found themselves embroiled in a world deadlier than they anticipated. Alex Wolff played Henry, a nineteen-year-old Jewish boy looking after his sick mother. He befriended his new neighbor, Ana, played by Imogen Poots. As Henry entered Ana's drug world he got sucked into a potentially fatal vortex that was way more than he bargained for. Imogen Poots did a spectacular job portraying a drug addict. This was perhaps the most realistic drug movie I've seen, second only to Requiem for a Dream. The ending was brutal. I was especially impressed with Poots' acting because it was so accurate and totally different from anything I've seen her do before.








Puppet Master (1989) - 6/10. So I watched this last week, better than a lot of other stuff I have seen from the era. Well executed for such a wacky concept. The lead actor, was a little weird. All in all, enjoyable.

So I talked to a lady during the lockdown, now it's really effecting my movie viewing. First weekend in a long time I watched nothing! I normally leave foreign language films for the weekend, as I can watch English stuff while working! Bummer!
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My Favorite Films



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
Soundtrack to the post (loop if necessary):


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Text of the post:

(A selection of some films I've seen recently)

單身男女 [Don't Go Breaking My Heart] (2011) -
- Oh no, you did it, Johnnie To & Wai Ka-Fai! Never expected a second Romancing in Thin Air (which is one of ten best films of the last decade, in case you were wondering), but what I got was painfully below my expectations. Just a plain, normie, vulgar, flashy romantic comedy. Not even the level of perfectible yet solid Turn Left, Turn Right, but way below it. A couple of enjoyable moments and ideas get lost in all the yarn. A shame.

GONIN2 [The Five Women] (1996) -
- The first film had Takeshi 'Beat' Kitano having gay sex next to a rotting corpse. The second installment in Ishii's trilogy steers away from the utter nihilism, and offers an interesting, gender-bending spin on the intial premise. I found myself less indifferent to it, too, as both the eponymous women and the avenging husband characters were nicely fleshed out. The crane shot at the pool is simply mesmerizing, and the very last 'miraculous' scene both bitchin' and moving.

Vitalina Varela (2019) -
- You most probably know that feeling. A renown director whose work you do admire, and do love. But not a single film you really believe to be all-time greatest. Costa just stopped being this kind of director for me. From the very first scene in which the heroine, barefoot, descends the steel stairs, to the final shattering shot, Vitalina is a tremendous masterpiece. The feeling of impending doom, so prevalent all throughout the film is reminiscent of The Turin Horse's incoming apocalypse. The catastrophe already happened. A life. Shattered. Wasted. But what's coming? Does anybody ever still believe in Hope? The visuals are one of the best. Perhaps ever. The faces hidden in darkness -- shots you will remember. Costa finally reached the level of his mentors.

はるか、ノスタルジィ [Haruka, Nostalgy] (1993) -
- Is it very inappropriate that one of the most romantic and heartfelt films I've seen in a while contains a de facto lolicon romance crowned with a sex scene between a high school girl and a man in his 40s (the actress was 19 at the time)? It's not just that it portrays people of such age gap having sex that rubs me the wrong way, but the fact it portrays anybody having sex at all. Sex always kills romanticism to me, and few directors can make it kill the romanticism only a little bit instead of fully butchering it. Obayashi is one of them. The sex is muddled up by the idea the girl actually had sex with the younger version of the man, but let's not get any further into this direction. Because it all makes sense. The story would be completely different if you changed anything. It's beautiful. It's touching. Problematic, yes. But a masterpiece. It's again about memories. It's about love. It's about a sort of life-long connection. To a place. To a person. The romance, with long walks, talks, is my ideal. Cathartic.

John Wick (2014) -

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) -

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) -
- I wanted to be as cool as @Ultraviolence and watch the entire trilogy in one sitting, but I failed after finding the first two installments disappointing. Don't get me wrong, they're not bad films, but the tongue in cheek formula as well as handgun ballet feel way less rewarding than it initially sounds. At least they had some eye-candy flashing lights scenes to keep me interested all throughout. Now, the third film was everything I wanted it to be from the very beginning. The superior cinematography (oranges & blues), the much, much better choreography (dat knife fight), and lots of crazy ideas & stunts! Wall-climbing dogs, kickin' horses, motorbikes, a bunch of Japanese assassins listening to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and VIVALDI GETTING RAPED! It's still dumb as hell, but it's fun, and much better than 1 & 2. Here's hope that the Fourth one, reportedly belated by Corona, out in 2022, will keep that quality.

さびしんぼう [Lonely Heart] (1985) -
- Yet another Obayashi masterpiece, this time tackling Oedipus complex, loneliness, and first love. I laughed and cried as this lovely film progressed. My kind of romanticism! Please don't make the mistake of thinking Obayashi is a director of just one "meme" film Hausu. He's had a long-spanning career, and made many wonderful films, many better than Hausu. My 10.000th watched film was his Seven Weeks watched the day he died, without me being aware of that. I found out hours after the film's finished. It was so fitting given the theme of the film, and how it's about life, and death. It's also about memories - a theme explored by Obayashi in almost all of his films. It's incredible to watch an artist's films and learn all about life, his convictions and beliefs, especially given how close they are to your own. I'm sure there is a lot more to take out of his filmography, but I'd like to finish with two quotes, both from Seven Weeks, but also repeated (actually like the first one, or symbolically like the second) all throughout his filmography:

Children of the future. Learn from the past.

and

Art cannot be killed. So fantasies should be invested in art.

And to this beautiful, touching words, and their author, I tip my hat. Rest in peace, Obayashi. I still haven't seen his swan song Labyrinth of Cinema, but I already know it's a masterpiece.
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In the strictest sense lesbians can't have sex at all period.



John Wick (2014) -

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) -

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) -
I saw on letterboxd you had John Wick 4 on your to-watch list. Why? I seriously gave up on the series after the second one, and I don't even know how I got through the second one. Just do yourself a favor, and don't watch #4.





Mobile Homes (2017)

Imogen Poots stars as Ali, a young woman with a son living with a chaotic and dangerous boyfriend. As they hustle to survive, she worries about how her son might be endangered by their lifestyle. She finds a potential way out stowing away in mobile homes. Callum Turner did a great job as Evans, an abusive delinquent boyfriend who isn't a stereotypical villain, but is actually very human. His human side adds to the dilemma of leaving him for his traumatic elements. Callum Rennie played a sympathetic role as the owner of the mobile homes who showed compassion for Ali and her son. This movie was very realistic and the ending shed me a tear of sorrowful joy.





Vitalina Varela (2019) -
- You most probably know that feeling. A renown director whose work you do admire, and do love. But not a single film you really believe to be all-time greatest. Costa just stopped being this kind of director for me. From the very first scene in which the heroine, barefoot, descends the steel stairs, to the final shattering shot, Vitalina is a tremendous masterpiece. The feeling of impending doom, so prevalent all throughout the film is reminiscent of The Turin Horse's incoming apocalypse. The catastrophe already happened. A life. Shattered. Wasted. But what's coming? Does anybody ever still believe in Hope? The visuals are one of the best. Perhaps ever. The faces hidden in darkness -- shots you will remember. Costa finally reached the level of his mentors.
Added to my to-watch list.



I saw on letterboxd you had John Wick 4 on your to-watch list. Why? I seriously gave up on the series after the second one, and I don't even know how I got through the second one. Just do yourself a favor, and don't watch #4.

Seriously? John Wick 1 and 2 are modern action masterpieces. Giving them such a low rating should be illegal.





8/10

Makes you wonder how much propaganda we are fed on a daily basis by the media.

Loved this film. Gyllenhaal is brilliant.




The Vast of Night (2019)

Saw this listed in Mark F's post, and it looked interesting.
So I watched this delightful picture last night, as it had been bought by Amazon and put up on its site yesterday (5/29/20). It's a sci-fi mystery by new director Andrew Patterson, starring Sierra McCormick and Jake Horowitz. Producer, director, writers, and some of the actors are freshman in the industry. The excellent cinematography is by veteran M.I. Litten-Menz.

Everything clicked on this picture. It's set in the 1950s, framed as a story on a Twilight Zone copy, Paradox Theater. Slow to build, it carefully sets the background, then gradually quickens the pace to intense thriller levels as the story unfolds. They've adroitly captured the intense but innocent feel of the 1950s sci-fi monster flicks, such as The Blob, and others. The production design was impressive on what must have been a low budget.

The acting is first rate, especially from Miss McCormick and the old pro Gail Cronauer; but it is the fresh and exciting cinematography by Litten-Menz that provides such captivating and engaging photography. The 90 minute film goes by quickly, although it leads to a somewhat anticlimactic finish.

You can be sure that director Andrew Patterson will be offered lots of work for much bigger money as the result of this first time feature. Will look forward to any future productions he helms.

Doc's rating: 8/10




The Vast of Night (2019)

Saw this listed in Mark F's post, and it looked interesting.
So I watched this delightful picture last night, as it had been bought by Amazon and put up on its site yesterday (5/29/20). It's a sci-fi mystery by new director Andrew Patterson, starring Sierra McCormick and Jake Horowitz. Producer, director, writers, and some of the actors are freshman in the industry. The excellent cinematography is by veteran M.I. Litten-Menz.

Everything clicked on this picture. It's set in the 1950s, framed as a story on a Twilight Zone copy, Paradox Theater. Slow to build, it carefully sets the background, then gradually quickens the pace to intense thriller levels as the story unfolds. They've adroitly captured the intense but innocent feel of the 1950s sci-fi monster flicks, such as The Blob, and others. The production design was impressive on what must have been a low budget.

The acting is first rate, especially from Miss McCormick and the old pro Gail Cronauer; but it is the fresh and exciting cinematography by Litten-Menz that provides such captivating and engaging photography. The 90 minute film goes by quickly, although it leads to a somewhat anticlimactic finish.

You can be sure that director Andrew Patterson will be offered lots of work for much bigger money as the result of this first time feature. Will look forward to any future productions he helms.

Doc's rating: 8/10
OK, first MarkF and now you both liked The Vast of Night (2019), I'm going to watch it and hope for the best. I've not been impressed much with the new films I've seen in the last couple years, so I hope this one works for me.



OK, first MarkF and now you both liked The Vast of Night (2019), I'm going to watch it and hope for the best. I've not been impressed much with the new films I've seen in the last couple years, so I hope this one works for me.
I couldn't agree more about new films. But you're gonna like this one. Have I ever led you wrong?..



I couldn't agree more about new films. But you're gonna like this one. Have I ever led you wrong?..
Ha, I'm not sure But I believe our movie taste would be pretty much aligned. So look for me doing a write up here on this thread in a day or two.