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IM TRIGGERRRRRR....
Oh, okay. Sure, yeah. I see.
Did you really think the guy with the Escape From L.A. avatar would talk sh*t about the original?
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Way too much stupid talk on the forum. Iroquois, I’m thinking about you.



aronisred's Avatar
outrageous film reviewer
Beirut



A ex-government diplomat must go to Beirut to negotiate the release of an american intelligence agent.

I will point out what the movie does right. It sets up the Israel-Palestine conflict very well. Its got the locations. The look and feel of the time period and region. It plays out like a high concept thriller as opposed to a cheap action thriller. It deals with complex political Jargon rather than simple dialogue for the convenience of audience. So in a way it forces audience to keep up. Lead is decent enough for the movie. The feel of multiple nationalities working together in foreign land is made clear. The quiet uncertainty and danger of the land is well displayed.Brooding lead is well set up.

But then what's the problem one might ask.You run into a problem with movies like these if, the director is just happy he gets to make a movie. The actors are just happy they were cast in this movie. The directors job is to make a decent thriller all while satisfying the financiers. All these are red flags that the movie will be mediocre at best. You know what you are getting and most often thats what you get. The worst part is your expectations are at a very low bar. That's exactly the problem with this movie. You know that the script and production behind this movie is cheap when you have Jon Hamm as lead. If the script was excellent you would be getting Matt Damon in the lead with Paul Greengrass directing. The relationship between Jon Hamm and the kid from his past is just badly written. This is one of those movies where the director is concerned about not making a bad commercial movie ended up making a safe boring movie. The thing about movies set in middle east is that I have seen only 5-6 movies set in middle east but for some reason it feels like I have seen 100 movies. That means each and every shot is seen somewhere in some political thriller set in middle east. Guy with guns on the roads. Unattended children turning to living a criminal life. Shady american diplomats doing the dirty work to keep things under check. All these are tired movie tropes.

This movie is the very definition of mediocrity. I can see why the actors chose to be in it. Because they don't have very many great opportunities. Most of the times actors choose from the options they have. If all the options are crap then what they choose is the better crap.But its still crap. I don't have any advice for the actors because I empathize with their situation. Not everyone is offered the role of Bruce Wayne. But directors need to do better. This movie is begging to be forgotten. Its saying to audience - "forget me as soon as you get out of the movies ". It doesn't know what it wants to be a political awareness movie or a fictional story in real world with something to say. Stakes are not high enough. I can't give a pass to movies like these. Because this is playing it safe from the get go. Subtle differences from traditional story telling is never a good thing. You have to take 180 from the get go. That's when movies become memorable.



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
Did you really think the guy with the Escape From L.A. avatar would talk sh*t about the original?
I've seen people doing much less understandable things.
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aronisred's Avatar
outrageous film reviewer
The Thing(1982)



An American research camp in Antarctica receives a dog that is being hunted by a neighboring Norwegian team members. The ensuing hassle leads to both of Norwegians getting killed. What follows is a fight for survival.

This movie is one of the best horror/thrillers ever made. Its premise if very intriguing. Even the execution is very good. So an alien life form capable of imitation any earthly life form is found in Antarctica after the Norwegians dig it and its space ship from the ground . Until then it was Frozen and lay dormant due to cold weather . We don't know the origin of the Alien nor its purpose. We do know its primal because its actions are very methodical and system with no remorse. One of the best things about the movie is it pace. The structure of the story involves characters to go to two different identical places to piece together similar information. The Norwegian camp to find out what happened there and what they have done and the Alien ship site to find out what Norwegians have done. But the escalating events in the movie sort of make those two trips cohesive with the story.

The thing itself is very mysterious and the story plays off the fear of unknown. Characters in the movie are fully fleshed without exposition. The way they interact implicitly tells about them. At no point in the movie do we feel that its dragging. Events ramp up at a good pace starting with all the commotion with Norwegians shooting at the dog to the reveal of alien in the dog shelter to the visit to Norwegian camp site and alien site. Usually in cabin based movies the victims can trust each other but in this case due to the imitation capability of alien that aspect is lost. The movie plays with that quite a bit. The death of characters is not uniform and that increases the intrigue in the movie. One of the best parts of the story is when Kurt Russell is zeroing in on the alien it tries to frame him as the alien and almost succeed until Kurt Russell finally takes control of the situation and finally kills one of the members to gain control of the situation. What follows is a tense and suspenseful scene to ruling out which member is not the alien. This scene ends with more members being killed.Until 4 members and the main scientist are left. Even at this point the story has a very good pace. After loosing majority of team. They try and find the lead scientist to check if he is an alien or not through blood test but he is converted by alien and he attacks them one by one. The reveal of alien trying to build a spaceship to get out of the place also adds to the urgency of the situation.

The ending is ambiguous but the right kind of ambiguous. Some movies have ambiguous endings but they are too ambiguous and they kill the tension built by the rest of the story.Tension built has to be preserved in case of ambiguous endings or the resolution needs to be effective enough in case of definitive endings. This movie has the right amount of everything in its conclusion.The cinematography of the movie is awesome. The different colors emitted during various scenes is well done. But in the end pacing is the king in this movie. We know in movies like these there is an escalation. But the escalation should be measured. It can never be abrupt on continuous. You need pondering scenes before the next escalation. Gripes with this movie are minor. However at no point did I feel that the characters are acting dumb. There is also escalation in the way the alien tries to survive. Initially it tries to imitate all the dogs in the barn. But the process is too loud to ignore. So its process is revealed to the crew. Then it becomes a human and through the crews visit to alien ship and Norwegian camp they know that it can imitate humans. Then it tries to frame Kurt Russell and take down the leader of the pack. That doesn't work. Then it tries to build space ship because as soon as the lead scientist finds out the potential of this creature he cuts off all communication with outside world both physical and electronic. After that ship blows up, it tries to hibernate and wait for it to be discovered. But he cleverness in direction is the way in which certain aspects of its plan are revealed as certain aspects of its plan are kept from audience. So you are made to imagine what its whole plan would be. That adds to the ambiguity. The plans of alien foiled by Kurt Russell at just the right time also makes him a worthy opponent. All these make the movie intriguing and exhilarating. Even the production design is top notch. Its of course a big budget movie at that time. Its budget is 15 million. To put that in perceptive budgets of Jaws, Alien and ET are less than this movie.



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
Capone Cries a Lot (1985) -




Me too. What a striking extravaganza from Mr. Suzuki! The guy had been given absolute artistic freedom and came up with a film so bizzare, ludicrous but at the same time poetic, poignant. I loved every little part and idea, and impersonating Chaplin's pantomime to express sadness was genius. When his wife returns the weird poetry of balancing on a giant ball is more touching than any of modern tearjerker. Yuko Tanaka was such a cutie pie in this.

Black God, White Devil (1964) -




Black, white and the light. Masters exploiting farmers, a false prophet, a hired killer, bandits, Lampiao. Cinema novo inferno!

The Brothers Skladanowsky (1995) -




A simple docudrama from Wim Wenders. Nothing too great, and his trademark the-other-world-is-in-black-and-white trick felt like a cheap gimmick in this case, but Udo Kier's moustache sold me.

Providence (1977) -




Bogarde + Gielgud = Britishness overload, my old chap! Bourgeoisie with ribald sense of humour! Interesting narration.

The Lusty Men (1952) -




Nicholas Ray, you auteur, you! Quite a simple film, but how it's made, oh how it's made!

Elegy of the North (1957) -






Yoshiko Kuga is after your ass, @Swan! Watch out!

Gosho's worst from what I saw! Maudlin Sirkian shallowness. Too bad, because the relations between the protagonists' triangle (and at times even a quadrangle!) are very interesting.

Video Letter (1983) -




Video conversations between two poets. Terayama's segments are considerably superior. Has great moments.

The Wicked City (1992) -




Chinese Monster Story! Wow! A HK film based on Japanese manga. This couldn't fail! These colours, this craziness, this lady's face shot to cheesy nostalgic music. Freakin' lovers in the rain - *.*. 1960 - Nakadai kisses Setsuko Hara. 1992 - Nakadai kisses Michelle Reis. A legend.

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) -



That sound she made in this scene ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

No.

Zoom In: Rape Apartments (1980) -




Much better than Ohara's film! The giallo parts are more prevalent, and the film is super brutal with the killer raping and then burning his victims alive! Frightful cult of fire! A very solid contribution to the genre.

Rape! (1976) -




A catchy title, isn't it? The director made some other flicks of this kind whose titles were mainly various forms of the word. I will be watching them soon. This one is a really nice and kinky one. Despite the title there is more consent than force here. There is a double action scene, too. Surely a weird transgression of a rape and revenge film! A nice cameo from Naomi Tani!

Rope Cosmetology (1978) -





Naomi Tani = CLASS. A wonderful offering from Nikkatsu's BDSM roman poruno series. Really hardcore and kinky (zoophilia, urophilia are amongst the attractions!), but contrary to many other pink films, everything here is consensual.

The Love of Sumako the Actress (1947) -




Mizoguchi is a 4.5 director, I guess. Yet another superb film from him. And Tanaka's performance in this was specially phenomenal!

Once Upon a Time There Was a Singing Blackbird (1970) -




A pretty good Soviet New Wave flick. Erbarme dich sound cues were quite weird, though.



H&K MP5 deserves more praise.

Black God, White Devil (1964) -




Black, white and the light. Masters exploiting farmers, a false prophet, a hired killer, bandits, Lampiao. Cinema novo inferno!

The Wicked City (1992) -




Chinese Monster Story! Wow! A HK film based on Japanese manga. This couldn't fail! These colours, this craziness, this lady's face shot to cheesy nostalgic music. Freakin' lovers in the rain - *.*. 1960 - Nakadai kisses Setsuko Hara. 1992 - Nakadai kisses Michelle Reis. A legend.

Wow, Glauber Rocha!!

Never watched this live action of Wicked City, but I really like the anime version directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Ninja Scroll). I'll watch this one! Looks really good.
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I Ain't Got Time to Bleed



aronisred's Avatar
outrageous film reviewer
Predator(1987)



A rescue team in South American jungles becomes the prey for an extra terrestrial predator which is advanced in every way.

John McTiernan is one of those directors that is right in between commercial directors and auteurs. His movies have strong directorial feel to them but at the same time they satisfy the share holders of the movies.The movie starts at a costal base of the army that is right at the edge of the jungle. So we do not see any cityscapes at all. That is a very good decision by the director. In movies like these its is always better to stick to a landscape throughout the movie. Any drastic change in the location lessens the impact of the movie. I noticed a similar thing in avatar by James Cameron. In the collectors edition there were some scenes in the beginning that take place on a blade runner-esque Earth. But Cameron started off in the spaceship. Even that is a wise decision. You don't start with the jungle or with a cityscape. You start with a location that can carry the build up to the destination. City has a life and feel of its own that has zero resemblence to that of a harsh jungle. But a costal military base is the ideal spot to lead up into jungle. I did feel that the attack on the South American rebel camp was a bit of a weak point in the movie. Because it was just a lead up into the rest of the movie. But I do feel that the win at the camp made them a worthy opponent.

Testosterone is a huge part in the movie. Even though most of them are wearing outfits that reveal their muscles ,for the most part it doesn't contribute to the Testosterone in the movie. It has more to do with a species dominating another species. Its the concept of hunter vs hunted that adds to the masculinity in the movie. The intention of the filmmakers is to create an air of mystery and legend around the creature. So they use the local woman to tell them stories about the predator from her past. From what we can gather we realize that the creature or someone like it comes to the jungles during hot summers to hunt. It can be interpreted as an alien species proving dominance over humans by hunting them. Like a man-hunter. During my initial viewing I felt that these guys were acting like idiots trying to face the creature. Because from early on they see the actions of the creature without knowing who did it. But the moment the creature kills one of the members, they more or less connect the dots. At that point I thought they would be quick. But after a while the movie presents a much more simple reason why are fighting back and that is in the worlds of Arnold himself - "there won't be anyone left to be rescued if we don't take a stand". A much more deeper answer would be that these men in a way are predators , so a predator don't like to be prey. It will try and reclaim its position as the hunter. That deeper thought process embedded in the DNA of these guys kind of explains every decision they make. Because , this is not something that is taking place in a city where a bunch of misfits are escaping this creature. All these men are trained killers. So its in their DNA to fight and kill. The prospect of being the hunted doesn't sit well with them.

The final 20 or so minutes in the movie is very gripping. The weakness of the alien is revealed in a clever way. Most of the climax is dependent on the director. There isn't much dialogue on plot structure. Its just hunting.The final fist fight makes it clear what the intentions of the predator were. It could have killed him at will. But the fact that it wanted him to fight proves that its a game for it and not an attack. The pacing of the movie is good. The structure in which they see the attack of the predator before the gun battle at the camp and later the fight for survival with predator increased the tension in the movie. Initially they chalk it up to some militia but then they realize the dead bodies from earlier are not done by a man. On the face value this movie feel like a generic action movie for people who haven't seen it. But it is a movie that has a very primal core and solid plot built around it. It's theme is universal.



A system of cells interlinked
The Bad News Bears

(Ritchie, 1976)





I am not completely certain, but I think this was perhaps the first flick I saw in theaters when I was just a wee lil guy. I remember watching this film wide-eyed, and thrill of watching the team go from a collection of bumbling goons to a half-decent ball club. These days, it;s still a ton of fun. Yes, it was made in a different time, and a couple of the kids spew racist terms like it's just OK to do so. Alas, I am able to look past it's anachronisms and enjoy it for what it is - one of the best underdog films ever made.

The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia

Maxwell, 1981





After I watched The Bad News Bears, I starting reminiscing about some of the films I used to watch when I was a kid. For some reason, this one popped into my head. It never made it to DVD, let alone Blu-Ray, so I fired up a copy that was kicking around on YouTube. It was 4:3 ratio and the quality was pretty rough, but that seemed to add to the nostalgia, as it sort of felt like I had been transported through time back to 1982, when I used to catch this in American Super Channel or HBO whatever service it played on back then. Although the film has some good old-fashioned story telling aspects, it's pretty rough. The story of a washed-up one hit wonder and his little sister never really gets off the ground. The duo end up in the wrong town, on the wrong end of some hick justice. The music numbers are almost good, but McNicol's voice isn't quite up to the task, and the awkward romance between her 16-year old character and Mark Hamill's state trooper doesn't quite work for a couple of reasons. Still, I had fun revisiting a film from my youth. I probably won't go back to Garnet, Georgia, but I am glad I stopped by to visit one last time.

Over the Edge

Kaplan, 1979





Another classic from my youth! Before Dazed and Confused, before Heathers, Before Pump Up the Volume, there was this fairly unknown story of youth gone wild. It's the most realistic look at what it was like to be a teenager back then, as all the other films I just listed have hyper-real or heavily stylized elements. At least, until the end of the flick, which is cranked up to 11 in an effort to be shocking. I remember around this time, there was this fear among society that the kids of the time were all going to go wild and run amok in society, Films like this and Class of 1984 portrayed groups of vicious teens freaking out and becoming sociopaths. Pretty sure this one started that trend.

Death Wish

Roth, 2018





I hadn't really payed any attention to this one when it hit theaters. I was aware it had been made, but I had written it off as another recycled remake that was an obvious cash grab. That still applies, but a friend of mine had purchased the Blu-Ray, and he tend to ignore the online/ultraviolet/MoviesAnywhere stuff, so he stopped by for a visit and gave me his code for the movie. I had loaded into my MoviesAnywhere, and my wife and I were scrolling through looking for something watch, when she remarked "18% on RT? Yikes, that must be terrible." I quickly called up the RT page and noticed an audience score of 75% Fresh. Woah! I don't think I have seen a disparity like that in my entire time of using Rotten Tomatoes. Now I was curious.

Hey, it's a pretty decent action flick. Definitely derivative, certainly nothing special, but I had to head back to RT to figure out why the thing got killed by the critics. After reading excerpts from a few reviews, things quickly clarified. It seems critics no longer judge films for their actual quality. Every single review I clicked on slayed the film politically, while only briefly discussing the film itself. To me it was clear why it got roundly panned, which can be summed up in a couple of bullet points:

- The film is pro 2nd Amendment: The film isn't just gun-centric, there is actual discussion about a person's right to self-reliance when it comes to defending one's self and one's family. There is also a television commercial shown in the film that portrays the same idea in a positive light.

- There are some pro-Christian elements, which most critics seem to dislike in this day and age. Willis' character is described as a "Guardian Angel" by some folks that he rescues. His character also reads The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to his daughter while she is in a coma. These books are widely known to be Christian allegory.

- The film is absolutely ZERO instances of identity politics in its narrative. This was incredibly refreshing, btw. Personally, I have grown weary of having this stuff dropped on my head like so many anvils when I watch films. It's fine that it is in some films, but it's also nice when it isn't.

So yea, there you have it. This film flies in the face of the current Hollywood agenda, so in turn it got destroyed by critics. I think this is pretty clear evidence of the political bias of today's film critics. The audience score is probably a more accurate metric to go by for fans of the genre, even of the film is your standard, run-of-the-mill action flick - Dumb, loud, and fairly entertaining.

The political bias of critics is probably food for a larger discussion in another thread, but I did want to point it out.
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"There’s absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
The Lady of Musashino (1951) -




A very simple love story, but Mizoguchi's aesthetics are to die for. Tanaka is to die for, too. How is it even possible that Mizoguchi takes such a banal, simple story and elevates it to the rank of a masterpiece? Maybe this is his mystery everybody's talking about.

Los Muertos (2004) -




New Argentinian Cinema. It's funny how this film felt like an action movie after I had watched a couple of Lav Diaz films and got used to their super-slow pace!

Female Gym Coach: Jump and Straddle (1981) -


KINKY

Remember when I said I'd finished my Ohara binge? I LIED. Quite a lousy pinku, though. Leotards are fine, but the girls were mediocre, and the entire gay thing lame.

Behindert (1974) -




A perceptive experimental film that feels immensely intimate and personal. Dwoskin manages to say a lot using extreme close-ups of a woman's face. Both plot and dialogues are minimal, but not scarce. The sound is atmospheric, often hypnotic.

Toute une nuit (1982) -




Akerman's an observer in this film. And so is the viewer by contemplating various people's nocturnal rendez-vous and amorous exultations that often end with falling into each other's arms (beautiful and relatable). All that being said, the Japanese extreme film All Night Long is better! Take that, Akerman!

Temptation of the Mask (1987) -


KINKY

Now that I've seen all of his widely-available films I'm trying to track down and watch some of Hisayasu Sato's more obscure, hard-to-get efforts. This one seems to be based on Mishima's work (although given the director you can be sure this is a very loose adaptation) which initially made me only more excited for this. But (and this is a male butt) the film has way too many gay sex scenes and too little atmosphere to go wtih it. The other two Sato's gay pinkus I've seen were better!

Léon Morin, Priest (1961) -




Melville at his most religious. The religion debates in the first part reminded me of Melville's debut film. The second part is more centered on the feelings with subtle elements of sacrilege (that dream!). All in all, a very Christian film that unveils paradoxes of Christian doggedness, but at the same time exposes human weakness while still treating its protagonists in a very human way. Clothes do not make the man. Too bad secondary themes had to be cut down - they're pretty interesting too. Emmanuelle Riva is a babe.

I Knew Her Well (1965) -




An amalgamation of everything that had been hip and good in Italian cinema in the past 10 years. Countless cinematic quotes show genuine fascination with Italian cinema of the time. However, although citing its great predecessors, the film never reaches their level making the director a great albeit still an epigone.

The Saga of Gosta Berling (1924) -




The pride of Sweden's window to the world, and yet another proof of how powerful silent cinema can be. A humongous three hours long saga on the life of a defrocked priest shot with beauty and grace never seen (in this form) in contemporary cinema.

Wait and See (1998) -




This might not be an essential Somai, and the film could pass off as a little bit more frantic Koreeda. Still, the mixture of seriousness and quirky humour coupled with the vivisection of Japanese family bonds is enough to get really interested in it. The homeless band is poetic. Yuki Saito is still game albeit her hairstyle was hideous.

Blue Monet (2006) -


ARTSY

An eye-poking abstract film built of two adjacing screens both projecting footage that had been subjected to some wild alchemy. Not for the weak!

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) -
- REWATCH



Another Bunuel film I hated in 2012. I surely enjoyed it much more this time around, but I still think it's one of his weakest. The matrioshka dream structure indeed adds to the experience, though.

City Zero (1989) -




Bunuel rapes Kafka and goes to the East! The criticism of the Soviet Union surely works better for me than the critique of bourgeoisie. Some unforgettable sequences (head cake), eerie synth music and absurdist comedy moments!

The Lady Eve (1941) -




Incredibly suggestive and erotic, although it might not have been that surprising anymore in the 40s with Lubitsch blowing up the 30s. In the first couple of minutes Henry Fonda imitating Cary Grant (?) becomes intoxicated with lady's perfumes and kneels down to take her shoes off!!! And that's just the beginning. What happens next? In short: Fonda shows her his snake and she runs away screaming. One could say his snake was roaming freely.



Over the Edge

Kaplan, 1979





Another classic from my youth! Before Dazed and Confused, before Heathers, Before Pump Up the Volume, there was this fairly unknown story of youth gone wild. It's the most realistic look at what it was like to be a teenager back then, as all the other films I just listed have hyper-real or heavily stylized elements. At least, until the end of the flick, which is cranked up to 11 in an effort to be shocking. I remember around this time, there was this fear among society that the kids of the time were all going to go wild and run amok in society, Films like this and Class of 1984 portrayed groups of vicious teens freaking out and becoming sociopaths. Pretty sure this one started that trend.
Nice to see a positive review of this. I love this film so much.
__________________
5-time MoFo Award winner.



H&K MP5 deserves more praise.

★★★★★

Good old days, when the movies didn't have the need to explain everything. The cinematographic language was much better.



A system of cells interlinked
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) -
- REWATCH



Another Bunuel film I hated in 2012. I surely enjoyed it much more this time around, but I still think it's one of his weakest. The matrioshka dream structure indeed adds to the experience, though.
I watched something a while back that featured characters that were obsessed with this film, but I can't recall what it was that I watched!



H&K MP5 deserves more praise.
★★★★★

Good old days, when the movies didn't have the need to explain everything. The cinematographic language was much better.

I just realised that I posted in the wrong thread. That was slow...



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
I watched something a while back that featured characters that were obsessed with this film, but I can't recall what it was that I watched!
Cool. Make sure to let me know once you remembered.
I just realised that I posted in the wrong thread. That was slow...
No. You did good. Stick to it!



Seen in July Pt.2


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This film was PAINFUL!!!...but in a good way. The film did its job by truly disturbing me and making me think about the afterlife. It's too bad that the first half is kinda 'eh' and drags a bit.




Wow. Wow. Wow. Going into this I expected an entertaining thriller and nothing more, but it was so much more than that.

The film has the feeling of a fairy tale. The things that contribute to that are the music, narration and plot. The music is so good. It's beautiful and has that slight feeling of sadness to it. John Hurt is a wonderful narrator with his calm expression. The setting and subject matter are very ugly and dark, which most fairy tales were before being adapted into Disney films.

It was a very good idea to adapt this book, as the concept is really original. The story is super engaging and you don't feel the long run-time at all. Bright colours are used very well to amplify smells. I don't think I've ever seen a film that depicts smells so expressively which is great as cinema is not a smelling medium (Unless you're a fan of buttery popcorn). Seeing all the liquids swishing around make you even want to drink them. Also noticed the film had some REALLY dark comedy. I usually don't like the visuals of films set in these ugly, mucky areas, but something about the entertainment I had with the film made me love the imagery.

I would not be describing this film in such detail if it wasn't for that ending (Or last 15 minutes I'm not sure), oh God that ending. It was one of the most unexpected endings to a movie I have ever seen and my love for it is probably amplified by that. Some of the movie twists that people bring up in conversation have nothing on this ending.
WARNING: spoilers below
The totally unexpected fantasy element being introduced and the defeating feeling of the villain winning just really impacted me.

Those are some reasons why I adored the ending but it's kind of impossible to describe its beauty in full (Like any good art).



Cute, funny, great characters, emotional: What else can I really say about a Pixar short?



It may not have the depth of the original but I'm just so damn happy to see these characters again. I loved them, I loved the action and I loved the comedy.


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Cheesy as f*ck. The story just isn't there and its message of 'changing yourself completely to be with your loved one' is very problematic, but you can't not love the songs and dancing (Travolta's voice can make anyone wet).


+
Oh man I loved this movie! It's a very unique and hilarious subversion of the horror genre. Our main characters are so sweet!


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Was definitely not expecting to hear that song from Futurama in this (That scene was pretty emotional). Some lovely colours in this. The main characters are likeable and you want to see them make it out ok. That final scene is very emotional. However I think something is holding the film back and I'm not sure what it is: Is it due to how slow it is?, is it the fact that the singing gets grating after awhile? I'm not sure.


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Billy Wilder is certainly a director who likes to defy common troupes and clichés, and I think this film does that a bit. Sadly it doesn't have nearly as much comedy as Some Like it Hot, but there are still some good moments (The suicide story, 'you need a new refrigerator'). Lemmon's performance and character are great. The most interesting scenes for me were the ones where Lemmon was talking with Shirley MacLaine in his apartment. That scene with the razor blades destroyed me. The ending is so sweet. Possibly my least favourite Wilder film but I'm not too sure yet.


RE-WATCH
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Brilliant. Just, brilliant. I was worried about re-watching this as sometimes a film can get worse that way, but I think that made the film even better! The performances are all perfect and I couldn't imagine anyone else playing Damien Karras but Jason Miller. The atmosphere of this film is downright perfect: I can't really describe it (Apart from that freezing, vapor-filled exorcism scene). The minimal use of music worked really well. The use of swearing for horror was very unique. The element of the film which I found the scariest was how professionally the priests carry out the exorcism, there's just something about that that's feels very powerful and says alot about their faith. I think the reason the Exorcist has held up so well is that you can still enjoy it even if you're not scared by it.



It appears that Mr. Freedom uses irony and hypocrisy to get across its message about extreme patriotism. Examples: The 'freedom' chant sounds like 'Sieg Heil', a pink KKK member at the Freedom speech, Freedom mocks the Reds yet is uniform is mainly red, freedom means 'freedom of speech' yet Mr. Freedom kills anyone who disagrees with him: And so on and so forth. It also has quick quips at over-sexualization of women and commercialism. My favourite moment was probably Donald Pleasence's elevator monologue; There was just something about the visuals and his delivery that felt very...nice. I liked the cartoonish elements of it (That dragon was awesome). Despite all that, the plot is as thin as my fingernail and isn't interesting in the slightest. You feel like you've watched a boring propaganda film instead of a thought-provoking comedy. Also the film had some godawful lip-syncing issues.
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Welcome to the human race...
Ant-Man and the Wasp (Peyton Reed, 2018) -


A slight improvement on the origin story of its predecessor that maintains the lighter-and-softer heist-comedy vibe while fortifying it with the kind of advanced development common to Phase 3 Marvel movies. Still unsure if I enjoyed it enough to bump it to a 3.5 or not, though.

RoboCop (Paul Verhoeven, 1987) -


Still one of the finest examples of pulp art to ever come out of the '80s that's appreciable on multiple levels - straightforward action B-movie on one, relatively complex satire of capitalism and the troubling literalisation of one's loss of humanity under it on another.

The Inertia Variations (Johanna Saint Michaels, 2017) -


Out of all the bands to receive the late-period introspective documentary treatment, I think few as both as surprising and as deserving as The The and its main man Matt Johnson. The resulting film about his latest art project does decent enough service to the man and his music but I'm hard-pressed to say it's anything more than alright.

Jurassic World (Colin Trevorrow, 2015) -


Original review found here. While repeat viewings of the previous sequels made me more willing to acknowledge their strengths, a second viewing of this one only serves to underline its considerable weaknesses as both a Jurassic Park movie and as a high-concept blockbuster in general. It's not about to stop me checking out Fallen Kingdom at some point, though.

Friday the 13th (Sean S. Cunningham, 1980) -


I'm going to be running through this series in the foreseeable future - I'll still call it the best for offering a solid variation on Halloween (e.g. building off the point-of-view opening of Carpenter's film) that stands out enough in its own right and arguably does more to codify slasher tropes than Halloween does for better and for worse.

Friday the 13th Part II (Steve Miner, 1981) -


Now I'm getting into the sequels and the first one is a passable enough repeat that further refines the franchise's approach to its material into what now comes across as stereotypical slasher fare, though its biggest changes still don't totally compromise what made the original work.

Twin Peaks: The Return (David Lynch, 2017) -


Yeah, screw it, I'm going to count it. While the length works against it a little at times, the highs on display here are among some of the best of Lynch's career. Now I do just want to run through all the films of his that I haven't re-watched in a while.

Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, 2014) -


Original review found here. Maybe the most confounding Nolan movie less because of its dense approach to hard science and more because of how I've seen it three times now and I'm still unsure how much I actually like or dislike it (or maybe it really does inspire pure ambivalence). Must be some fifth-dimensional pull this movie has.

Friday the 13th Part III (Steve Miner, 1982) -


As with Nightmare on Elm Street, the third installment here seems a bit make-or-break for this franchise, but while Friday... can't help but go for more of the same (albeit with a 3-D gimmick thrown in that just looks silly on a 2-D screen), Miner's filmmaking has noticeably improved since the previous entry to the point where I'd give it the edge.

Galaxy Quest (Dean Parisot, 1999) -


Still my pick for the best "actors are forced to play their roles for real" movie that's able to provide a thoroughly satisfying, rewatchable, and affectionate Star Trek parody.



H&K MP5 deserves more praise.
The Fugitive (1993) [Andrew Davis] ★★★★★
One of that childhood classics that still great after all this time. My favorite Ford film. The soundtrack rocks. This was my intro to Chicago.

Cobra (1986) [George P. Cosmatos] ★★
Cheesy stylish action with Sly. It looks like a Graphic Novel sometimes, The dialogs are pretty funny.

Get Carter (1971) [Mike Hodges] ★★★
Back in the days when Michael Caine wasn't the Nolan guy, good drama/action movie with lots of funny moments and some very hot girls. It reminds me Paul Schrader's Hardcore a little bit.

Get Carter (2000) [Stephen T. Kay] ★
Yep, they maded a remake... A bad one.

Red Sparrow (2018) [Francis Lawrence] ★
Not even Lawrence's breast could save this one. Bad script and terrible plot twist. Hated practically everything in this film.

Disobedience (2017) [Sebastián Lelio] ★★
Some good moments, but it tries so hard to be "important"... Both Rachel's was good. Alessandro Nivola speech at the ending was the best part. But the film is more of the same.

Entre Nos
(2009) [Gloria La Morte, Paola Mendoza] ★★★
The Pursuit of Happyness with immigrants. Awful camerawork and editing but good acting and some good moments

Wings of Desire (1987) [Wim Wenders] ★★★★★
Masterpiece! I love this film!

Siberia (2018) [Matthew Ross] ★
Matt Ross sucks as a director, he should try another thing for living.

Jailbreak (2017) [Jimmy Henderson] ★
A fail. The old seasons of Power Ranger are more well made than this 'cambodia action/comedy movie'

Persona (1966) [Ingmar Bergman] ★★★★★
1966, a year of masterpieces! The Sword of Doom, Cash Calls Hell, Persona, Blow-Up, Andrei Rublev... Damn, what a year! Liv Ullman rocks, she can act even whitout talking anything. Bibi Anderson was great too.

Nostalgia (1983) [Andrei Tarkovsky] ★★★★★
One of my favorite films! -- One of my favorite directors!

Voyage in Time (1983) [Andrei Tarkovsky, Tonino Guerra] ★★★★
A very good documentary about the searching of locations for Nostalgia with some great conversations and music.

Autumn Sonata (1978) [Ingmar Bergman] ★★★★★
It looks like a play, and thats a great thing. It's cruel and very realistic. The final 'confrontation' between Ingrid and Liv it's spectacular!


Also, this is Visconti so far:
------Luchino Visconti------
1943 Obsession ★★★★
1948 The Earth Will Tremble ★★★★
1951 Bellissima ★★★★
1954 Senso ★★★★★
1957 White Nights ★★★★
1960 Rocco and His Brothers ★★★★★
1963 The Leopard ★★★★★
1965 Sandra ★★★★
1967 The Stranger ★★★
1969 The Damned ★★★★
1971 Death in Venice
1972 Ludwig
1974 Conversation Piece
1976 The Innocent

I was planning to watch Ludwig and Death in Venice last weekend, but my girlfriend wasn't feeling good (fever), so I spent my time with her.





◘ Atrocity
★ Very Bad
★★ Bad (Sometimes interesting)
★★★ Good
★★★★ Very Good
★★★★★ Great
★★★★★ Masterpiece



Don’t Draft Me, I Watch Anime!
Haven’t been here for a while; anxiety is killer. Anyway, here’s some ratings of stuff:

RoboCop 1987


Got to catch this in the theater for the first time still love damn near every moment of this.

Yellow Submarine 1968


Ringo is the only one who knows he’s in a movie.

Akira 1988


Beautifully done animation, and the story works well. If you’re not an “anime person” check it out, it’ll be a great time I promise.

Sorry To Bother You 2018
+

When it hits, it hits it well; when it misses, it misses very hard.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle 1973


I’ll probably flesh out more thoughts on this, but I can see the inspiration for pretty much all of my favorite movies here and I’m down with that.



aronisred's Avatar
outrageous film reviewer
Avatar



A disabled army vet gets a chance to take his dead twin's position to travel to a moon in a distant solar system. The ex-vet gets a chance to drive the remotely controlled bodies called avatar which are scientifically developed bodies that are made from DNA of native population of the planet and resemble them.

So the description sounds complicated but the director does a great job of conveying it with ease.Hollywood has been against James Cameron from the moment he won Oscar for Titanic and it swept the Oscar season of that year. James Cameron movies have two things in their foundations that are at odds with each other . The concept and execution of his movies are of the highest quality. But the script and dialogue is clunky. There is always this battle in his movies. Which is between making a kick ass movie vs an intellectual movie. Movies like the rock or die hard can easily be considered as well made but dumb action movies that appeals to masses. But , the difference between James Cameron and tons of other action commercial directors of all time is that his canvas is different.He operates with subject matters and concepts that has never been dealt with before. For example, his movies like Terminator and Abyss operate with killer robot and underwater creatures. There has never been concepts like that in movies before.So there is no scale for critics to compare it with. If you make a gangster movie then people will compare it with godfather or goodfellas. If you make a western then people will compare it with unforgiven. For superhero movies its the dark knight. But the moment you zone in on a very specific type of movie then people have to deal with it as a movie of its own kind. James Cameron did it with almost all his movies. Even a sequel like Aliens was made as an action movie as opposed to a suspense horror original alien.

The story is very famously considered as a rip off and a copy of lots of other movies. Its the tried and tested formula of "understanding the ways of others" plot line. But the way in which his imagination or derivation or whatever you wanna call it enhances the movie experience by combining science fiction with tried and tested formula is spectacular. It blows the plot line out of the water. Forget about the plot line and just look at the awesome planet that is created is the subtext here. Avatar is a case study about how to make an epic that is remembered for ages. Every filmmaker wants to make a movie that stands the test of time. But if the movie is an epic, then it will be remembered even more fondly. So you have to throw lot of money at it. But, studios won't throw lot of money at a movie if they can't guarantee box office. Only very few directors can get that kind of cash without a star attached. But often times in such cases the financiers are being tricked into thinking that the box office success of movies is due to directors. A movie like Hugo had a budget of 200 million only because the financiers were tricked into thinking that Scorsese has something to do with box office of movies like the departed , shutter island etc. But in reality its the star of those movies that's responsible for its financial success. Immediately after financial failure of Hugo they realized that it wasn't Scorsese that's the draw. So he had to go and make wolf of wall street. After that he struggled to get financing for his next two movies and settle with foreign investors and Netflix. This is the usual trajectory of auteurs if they wanna make ambitious prestigious epics with the intention of standing the test of time. You either need an unusually large fan base or you need a movie star with unusually large fan base in your movie. The movie of course should demand theater viewing. Cinematography and scale of the movie are vital in peeking the interest of audience to the point of going to the movies as opposed to seeing it on computer screens.

One of the other important things is the hype and anticipation for the movie. How does it work ? There is good hype which comes from the fact that the people involved in the project have already delivered a great movie before. Then there is cautious hype. Which is mostly a bad hype because no one knows how good the movie will be or any good. DiCaprio is trying to use the former technique with his movies. He refused to make any movie if it is not directed by Legendary directors or would be legends. Sure, that might not get him an Oscar win again. But the contrary to that could be failure. So, he is trying to retain the goodwill from Revenant and wolf of wall street and Django and use it to propel once upon a time in Hollywood into a hit.But this whole thing is very hard to replicate unless you have "it". Its like building a wall. You can't build the 10th layer if your 1st layer is not built. But the obvious handicap he has is the directors. If Scorsese is dead then I don't think there are very many directors who will make the kind of movies his testosterone filled machismo seeking fan base craves for. Paul Thomas Anderson is not his kind of director. So is David O Russell. Because they don't make movies that ooze machismo.

Back to avatar. The movie is an out of body experience. The effects in the movie has that lived in feel to it. They feel very real. You are being told that what you see is real. And your mind buys into it. That's something that's never been done before. Most of it is possible because of the skin texture of Navi and the way they communicate with humans feels real.One primary trapping this movie avoids is the pacing issues. Most of the times when a movie takes place outdoors, directors become obsessed with the landscapes in the movie. And they tend to include lots of boring shots and scenes in the movie that drag the pace. For a director who has been obsessed with this movie for years, all these might be interesting. But for a person who is not involved in the making of the movie all these make it boring. Director looses sense of being self critical. So from his point of view he thinks "this is good" but in reality it is not. And also epic scale film making should avoid the trappings of feeling simple.You can't complicate the plot when hundreds of millions are riding on the movie. At the same time you can't make it too simple. The only way to achieve this is the mechanics of the movie needs to be complicated yet interesting but the overall story of the movie has to be simple. For example if the story of a movie is A need to kill B. But A needs to meet experts in various fields to develop plans to kill B, that is a good movie. The overall act of the movie is simple like A kills B. But the steps taken are complicated enough to make the movie interesting. But if the plot of the movie is complicated then its not gonna make its money back.Something like A doesn't wanna kill B but he wanna teach a lesson to B and at that point the story starts getting complicated and its a bad business idea.

This movie has a very simple plot. But the dose of sci-fi makes it interesting. The movie time frame makes it interesting. It takes place years into the expedition. But few years into Navi program. So instead of starting the movie at the beginning of expedition the director gave it sometime to have room for emotion. In the beginning it would have been all about primal instinct of survival and war. But as time went by, it becomes much more nuanced. So James Cameron wanted that time entry point.The creature design is heavily based on earth life form. But that's another key aspect in the movie. You can't make alien life form un-relatable. You should feel their emotions. So the aliens just look different but feel the same. The aliens are different to a point. Beyond that, they are the same. One unique thing about aliens is the actual physical bonds they need to make at a certain point. With the animals or trees or when mating. All these make the aliens feel primitive yet wise. They live with bare necessities.Even the way they choose their flying creature is very primal and tests the skill of rider with no room for failure. All these makes the movie a pleasant watch with epic scope and awe.

Even though James Cameron has done the best he could to make this movie everything anyone ever wanted which is a commercial critical ambitious awards-celebrated epic which will be remembered more than most movies ever will be, I do think the movie's goal to appeal to wide range of audience forced Cameron to soften some rough edges and make the movie smoother. Consequences of actions are softened. Heroic moments are overplayed and heightened. Stereotypes are exploited. If these aspects are rectified then the movie probably wouldn't have made 2.8 billion. So thats a catch-22. But in the end this movie is really a lesson on how to make ambitious epics. Because of its structure. Make the movie a theater experience. Something audience should see in the movies. Make it in a very specific sub genre , so audience or critics can't really measure it against any other movies. Even though this is a dance with wolves kinda movie, this has sci-fi environmental colonialism messages in it. Thats not dealt with in movies like dances with wolves or last samurai etc. So thats very specific. Other similar examples include spaghetti western Django unchained, which can't really be compared to either unforgiven or 12 years a slave because its in its own plane. Movies like hostiles(2018) become easy targets because the narrative and everything screams conventional and even the subject matter is conventional .So, even though the film maker promotes it as a psychological western, audience can't really see the reason not to compare it with traditional westerns like unforgiven. So the movie ends up being butchered by critics. Something like revenant is playing on a whole different plane. Its a frontier western but a survival epic set in snow as opposed to deserts of the typical westerns. So critics really can't compare it with traditional westerns. same with wolf of wall street. There are far too few wall street movies and even then this movie is so crazy as opposed to them that it can't be compared. Critics are always on the hunt for a movie that can't be compared to other movies. If they are able to compare then the movie better be good. Otherwise they will use the movie as a dart board to tear it into pieces. Lastly ,of course the movie has to be well made along with good pace. Audience don't wanna linger on shots that they can get in their backyard or by going outside their house. They wanna linger on shots they can't even dream about or they can't see in their surroundings ever. All these point to production budget. But the interesting thing about big budget movies is that the critical response is much more sharp. Love or hate. Its not going to be a mediocre and middling response and thats really a good thing. It will either be remembered as postman or as the dark knight.I most certainly can say that except movie snobs no one will remember hurt locker. But far too many people will remember avatar. Its become cool now to hate on it but if box office history is any indication then international box office always increases for sequels. Avatar's box office most certainly will increase.