The Resident Bitch Prepares for the MoFo 2010s Countdown

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Curiously enough, I actually found Arrival to be highly emotionally involving, even more so once I rewatched it.
Same.

The way that it slowly unfolds the central question of
WARNING: spoilers below
whether or not you'd repeat your life a certain way, even knowing it would end in tragedy
was really neat.



Same.

The way that it slowly unfolds the central question of
WARNING: spoilers below
whether or not you'd repeat your life a certain way, even knowing it would end in tragedy
was really neat.
The reveal also makes the early parts of the film far more impactful once you realize the context for them.
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The reveal also makes the early parts of the film far more impactful once you realize the context for them.
Yes.

I've actually only seen the movie once, but I would be curious to know
WARNING: spoilers below
how long it takes the average viewer to figure out the time plays that are happening. I feel like it took me way too long to realize how everything fit together



Yes.

I've actually only seen the movie once, but I would be curious to know
WARNING: spoilers below
how long it takes the average viewer to figure out the time plays that are happening. I feel like it took me way too long to realize how everything fit together
WARNING: spoilers below
I don't think you really figure it out until the final act once Adams' character says she's unaware of who Hannah is. Up to that point, I was under the impression her daughter died before the events of the film. This makes the first couple acts more impactful once you realize the film is somewhat in non-linear chronological order. When I rewatched it a few years ago or so, I was struck by how the opening scene instantly got me into the wavelength of the final act when I first watched the film in the theaters.

I think the only issue I vaguely remember with the final act was that the romantic connection between Adams' and Renner's character seemed to come out of nowhere, or at least, I didn't get the impression that either of them felt any feelings for each other up until the final scene where they suddenly pledged themselves to each other. However, it's been some time since I've seen the film, so I may be misremembering.





Sausage Party (Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, 2016)
(Rewatch)

Sausage Party answers that age-old question that only Seth Rogan and company would ever ask: What happens when you take the tried and true Pixar formula ("What if _____ had feelings?") and pack it full of F bombs, graphic sex, drug use, and gory violence?

And that answer is that you get an incredibly crude and offensive and yet surprisingly amusing and well done spoof that examines the ridiculousness of racial divide, while poking fun at religion and conformity. It does overstay its welcome a bit and the crudeness gets tiresome by the end of its runtime, but I have to say that I genuinely like it. I don't love it and I won't vote for it, but I like it.






I Lost My Body (J'ai perdu mon corps) (Jérémy Clapin, 2019)


This is quite unlike anything I have seen.

A large portion of the film is seen from the perspective of a severed hand, trying to overcome trauma, find its body, and become whole again. Along the way, it encounters great danger and obstacles that seem insurmountable.

Of course this journey is really a metaphorical one, and the film examines emotional and physical trauma, the resulting sense of guilt, grief, and helplessness, and the importance of moving on. It presents its ideas with gorgeous animation and an effective soundtrack.

It’s overall a very effective piece and one that I will probably watch again, but on this first watch, I didn’t quite love it as I found it a little difficult to like its two leads, Naoufel (who is careless and a little creepy) and Gabrielle (who is a little cold). Unlikely to get my vote but I’m happy it was put on my radar.






Aferim! (Radu Jude, 2015)
(Rewatch)

I first watched this when I was preparing for the Westerns Countdown. Set in 19th century Romania, a constable and his son set out to find and retrieve a runaway gypsy slave accused of having an affair with his master's wife. This is an uncomfortable film, but not just for the ways you might expect. Sure there are scenes of horrible brutality and quieter scenes where the cruelty comes more in the form of flippancy and outright denial of the plight of the slave, but what makes this movie most uncomfortable to watch is the amount of humor it injects into its situations. It is just as much a comedy as it is a drama, perhaps even more so. It examines the cruelty of men and yet never overtly condemns that cruelty. Instead it leaves you to decide for yourself whether you should be laughing, crying, or raging at the situations presented, or perhaps just doing all three.




MV is putting in the work. Making us all look like slackers.
Well the list of movies I'm planning to watch/rewatch before the deadline is down to 84, so if I slack even a little I probably won't get to them all.



Man, the ending to Aferim! is so brutal. Like, stomach-turning.
It absolutely is, but I must admit, I totally laughed at the balls to the face part both times I've seen it. I think I might be a bad person.



Sausage Party is definitely my kind of humor but I didn't like it. I'm not familiar with the other 2.
I originally watched Aferim! on mark F's recommendation for the westerns countdown. Not sure if you'd like it, but it might be worth checking out.



It absolutely is, but I must admit, I totally laughed at the balls to the face part both times I've seen it. I think I might be a bad person.
You're a sick puppy, Miss Vicky!

(I could have maybe laughed if it weren't so close on the heels of something that made me feel physically ill.)





Clash (Eshtebak) (Mohamed Diab, 2016)

I'm not really sure how to feel about this film. It focuses on a group of people arrested during the protests and violence that erupted after the ousting of President Morsi in Egypt. It takes place entirely inside of a police truck where people from both sides of the conflict, as well as people from neither side, are trapped together. It is packed with tension, chaos, and claustrophobia. It shows how easily people let go of their humanity and see only an enemy in another person and how much they allow themselves to be blinded by their political and religious ideals. But it also shows some moments where the subjects put aside those conflicts and treat each other as equals.

But those more peaceful moments are all too fleeting and the tension and violence are relentless and all too real. It's an important story and its lessons can be applied to conflicts here in our own lives, but as a film it's just... a lot to take in. That said, I have no regrets about watching it but it is not something I ever wish to see again.






Sing (Garth Jennings and Christophe Lourdelet, 2016)
(Rewatch)

Sing is not a movie that stands out as being anything special. It doesn’t strike a big emotional chord for me. It’s amusing but not memorably so. The animation and character designs are good but not great. But it’s fun for what it is and it’s completely innocuous. And sometimes that’s just what I want. Sometimes I don’t want greatness. Sometimes, like tonight, I just want pleasant amusement and this certainly fits the bill.




MV is putting in the work. Making us all look like slackers.
She really is. I am just using these threads to jog my memory. Thanks MoFos.





Quality Time (Daan Bakker, 2017)

I'm not really sure how I stumbled across this film or what the hell possessed me to give it a try and now that I've seen it, I'm not entirely sure what the hell I just watched or how to go about reviewing it.

Quality Time isn't so much a movie as it is a collection of five shorts about men in their 30s struggling to cope with familial relationships and just... being grown-ups, I guess? Its stories never intersect and are loosely held together by the overarching theme of "masculinity in crisis” (to quote its trailer).

The first part is about a guy and his parents (I think?) on their way to a family gathering that he doesn't really want to attend because he always feels obligated to do a certain uncomfortable thing for the amusement of his uncle. He whines about this feeling of obligation and his mother (I think?) urges him not to do the thing. He, of course, does it anyway once they arrive. What makes this segment truly bizarre, besides the uncomfortable thing he does, is that we never see the characters, because they are represented as dots on the screen with robotic voices. I'd rate this part maybe a 2.5 out of 5 purely for the WTF factor.

The second part nearly made me stop watching. It focuses on a guy who has moved back in with his parents and has taken up a project of photographing meaningful places from his life, relying on his father to drive him around. On the surface, that sounds like it could be interesting, right? It isn't - unless you consider frustrating to be synonymous with interesting. I don't. Nearly every shot of this segment is taken from a far distance, sometimes such a distance that we don't see the character at all because he's inside a building or vehicle and the camera is not. What we also don't get is spoken dialogue. Instead we get words on the screen. And yet, despite the silence and the lack of being able to see him, this character somehow manages to be weirdly obnoxious and unlikeable. I would rate this a very generous 1 out of 5.

The third part is fantastic. Here we see a man with crippling social anxiety travel back in time to his childhood in an attempt to prevent the traumatic event that he believes is responsible for his anxiety. After getting initially positive results, he attempts to take the idea to an extreme, with hilarious and disastrous results. I'd rate this a 4 out of 5.

The fourth part is also really good and really weird. In this, we get tiny snippets of the life of man who lives with his parents and goes along with their mundane existence until a certain medical condition causes things to get weird. Really weird. Like, it sort of reminded me of Eraserhead kind of weird. I'd also rate this a 4 out of 5.

Then comes the fifth part, which is a big letdown from the previous two parts and unfortunately takes up about a third of the film. Here a man spends time with his girlfriend's family for the first time ever and tries to make a good impression while struggling with the awkwardness of dealing with people who are very different from him. Which might be relatable, but this section drags terribly and the guy is kind of a dick. A dick who inexplicably pisses in indoor trash cans. I would rate this a 2 out of 5.

As for the film as a whole? Well, if I calculate the mean average of the five segments, I get a 2.7. So I guess I'll round up?






The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge) (Michael Dudok de Wit, 2016)

I don't know if I just wasn't in the right mood for this, but it did not resonate with me at all. It's really pretty to look at but, even at only 80 minutes, it dragged horribly and by about a third of the way through I had mentally checked out. Of course part of that had to do with an abhorrent act by the film's main character that left me wishing him to die a horrible death. But mainly, I was bored.

I'll give it a 2 for the beautiful artwork and cute crabs, but I didn't like anything else about it.






Wrinkles (Arrugas) (Ignacia Ferraras, 2011)
(Rewatch)

Wrinkles is ostensibly the story of Emilio - a former bank manager in the earlier stages of Alzheimer's whose son and daughter-in-law can no longer cope with the burden of caring for him and so bring him to an elderly care facility. But really this is the story of Miguel, Emilio's new roommate, who has already been living there for two years and who shows him the ropes. When we first meet Miguel, he's kind of an ass who takes advantage of his fellow residents and preys on their weaknesses for the sake of money or personal amusement. But as he and Emilio forge a strong bond, Miguel learns to love for the first time and begins to change his ways to better the lives of the others around him.

It's a really poignant film that injects a lot of humor into a story that could all too easily have relied on clichés and pity. But don't take that the wrong way. It never shies away or tries to dismiss the sad reality of the abandonment of the elderly by their families and society, or from the deterioration of their minds, but it also never really dwells on those things. Instead it focuses on the humanity and dignity of its subjects and views like a loveletter to our elders.