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This film is a perfect example of a film that has all the ingredients to be great (director, cast, premise) and still somehow fumbles the ball a bit. Like you said, solid but a missed opportunity indeed.
You mean because of the white savior optics, or something else?



You mean because of the white savior optics, or something else?
There is that, but I don't think the main characters were properly explored. Here is my review, for what it's worth.
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This film is a perfect example of a film that has all the ingredients to be great (director, cast, premise) and still somehow fumbles the ball a bit. Like you said, solid but a missed opportunity indeed.
I think it's because it fails to establish any real kind of relationship between the lead characters and the people living on the reservation. It sort of gestures at it, with Renner's character also having lost a daughter, but it never feels quite right.

I also took a little exception to that final speech where
WARNING: spoilers below
she says that she survived because she got lucky and he says that in this environment there's no such thing as luck, and that she fought for her life and earned it. Despite them repeatedly gesturing at how hardcore it is that Natalie, the murder victim, ran 6 miles in the snow, it still feels kind of like a weird slam on her that she didn't survive.

And her character made just some really bad judgment calls. Setting aside her stumbling through a house with a loaded weapon while half-blind early in the film, once she realizes how hostile the Dept. of Energy people are---and that they are armed and evenly matched in terms of people---clearly they should have made an excuse and left.

I think that the acting does a good job of covering for the fact that the character development and growth just wasn't quite there.



There is that, but I don't think the main characters were properly explored. Here is my review, for what it's worth.
Agreed. And because of the lack of character developments, the white savior aspect (which would be unavoidable anyway) feel amped up.



There is that, but I don't think the main characters were properly explored. Here is my review, for what it's worth.
Well, while I agree with some of your points about the movie (which I liked a good deal otherwise, as you can see here), I don't see why Olsen's character would "need" more of an individual character arc; I mean, The Man With No Name doesn't have much of a character arc either, but that doesn't stop The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly from being one of the best movies I've ever seen. And I love a good arc as much as the next person, but not every character needs one, and this is one of those examples of one who didn't, if you ask me.



Well, while I agree with some of your points about the movie (which I liked a good deal otherwise, as you can see here), I don't see why Olsen's character would "need" more of an individual character arc; I mean, The Man With No Name doesn't have much of a character arc either, but that doesn't stop The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly from being one of the best movies I've ever seen. And I love a good arc as much as the next person, but not every character needs one, and this is one of those examples of one who didn't, if you ask me.
I agree that not every character needs an arc, but the way that they present her during the first half is as if she's either dealing with something, or burdened by something... I would need to rewatch to remember exactly what I mean, but the point is that her character felt like I said in my review... unrealized, underdeveloped.



Well, while I agree with some of your points about the movie (which I liked a good deal otherwise, as you can see here), I don't see why Olsen's character would "need" more of an individual character arc
Because without a character arc, she basically serves as an audience surrogate and appreciative witness to Renner's character. It's not the same as The Man With No Name who has a lot of agency and directly impacts the outcome of the plot.

She's also a young agent in a new and unfamiliar environment. She should be learning something, right?

Plus there are so many moments of her making mistakes which should be learning moments (the clothing needed to survive, intruding on the grieving mother, the deputy warning her about the intention of the men, etc), but she never applies ANY of them because in all of the scenes where she would apply them (speaking again to the family, climactic scene in the mountains) the action is shifted to Renner's character.

And I totally get that in Sheridan's films, there are often characters (especially law-abiding ones) who are simply outmatched by their circumstances. Here, though, it seems like there was very little in the movie that depended on her character's existence.



I forgot the opening line.

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Do the Right Thing - (1989)

This could have been released this year and still it would be just as topical - have we really not got anywhere in the past 30 years? I thought it was great, with plenty of movement, colour and music as it takes in a 24 hour period on one city block with Italians, African-Americans, Asians etc struggling to live in harmony with each other, even though there's an expressed desire to. Anything bad that happens is often blamed on another person's race, but there's still as much love as there is hate. A friend recommended Jungle Fever and Mo' Better Blues to me after he heard I'd seen this. It's something I have a strong desire to watch again, as alive as it is.

8.5/10


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Dazed and Confused - (1993)

I understand where Richard Linklater was coming from with this - although there are quite a few American traditions involved with the kids here who are either starting high school or getting to the end of that specific period. I like the fact that most of these kids are good at heart, while still doing bad things like emptying trash cans all over the street and destroying mailboxes. I like how it covers the spectrum of characters from the jerk, to the older guy still hanging around with immature kids to the decent guy. I like the depth of feeling Linklater has permeated the film with. He's quite a nostalgic guy - but so am I, so I really liked Dazed and Confused as well.

8/10


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The Ledge - (2011)

A really hackneyed story needs strong actors to take our mind off the plot - but unfortunately, although Terrence Howard, Patrick Wilson and to a lesser extent Liv Tyler give something, it's actors like Charlie Hunnam (the film's lead) and Christopher Gorham who sink this one into a black hole from which it will never emerge. There's a religious angle, with Wilson's character being an obsessive bible-thumper, but in the end not even that matters as he gets revenge over an affair his wife has had by forcing Hunnam's character to jump over a ledge, lest he kill his wife (Tyler). In the end what this mostly is, is banal.

5/10


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The Bucket List - (2007)

Without it's two acting behemoths, this Rob Reiner comedy wouldn't have amounted to much - but I still like seeing Morgan Freeman and Nicholson in just about anything they decide to appear in.

6/10
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I agree that not every character needs an arc, but the way that they present her during the first half is as if she's either dealing with something, or burdened by something...
I never got that impression from her characterization, personally; I mean, she seemed unsure at times (but that comes naturally from her lack of experience, which ties into the film's theme of the reservations being neglected, since the FBI obviously only cared to send an inexperienced agent like herself) but that's about it. Otherwise, she acted exactly the way I'd expect a normal, well-adjusted person to behave in such a depressing scenario.



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drinking game: do a shot every time someone says "snow"
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Iro's Top 100 Movies v3.0



ďI was cured, all right!Ē

Solid sequel and good take on Shishio's story arc, probably the most interesting villain in the manga.
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SF = Z


[Snooze Factor Ratings]:
Z = didn't nod off at all
Zz = nearly nodded off but managed to stay alert
Zzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed
Zzzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed but nodded off again at the same point and therefore needed to go back a number of times before I got through it...
Zzzzz = nodded off and missed some or the rest of the film but was not interested enough to go back over it




Jerry and Marge Go Large
(2022)


Stars Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening; directed by David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada); Paramount+.

If youíd like a break from films full of violence, gore, deviant and/or graphic sex, and tiresome foul language, then this is a picture to watch.

Newly retired Jerry, who is a math whiz, discovers a flaw in the Winfall lottery available at certain points in the game. He and his wife Marge initially bet large amounts to make a profit, then they enlist many of their townís people to form a syndicate to bet and win larger amounts, which they eventually use to revitalize their fading small town. A crack team from Harvard soon also discovers the loophole, and the two teams butt heads until a satisfying conclusion.

This is a cute movie, dare I say ďfeel goodĒ, which is based upon a true story. Itís charming to watch two old pros strut their stuff. Itís obvious that Cranston and Bening are having a good time, both with acting their roles and working with each other.

There is no new ground broken here. But itís refreshing to clear out the mind once in awhile with a light guileless film that makes one smile.

Docís rating: 6/10




[Rec] (2007, Jaume Balaguerů, Paco Plaza)

Spanish found-footage horror flick about a group of people, including a TV crew consisting of a female reporter and her cameraman, trapped inside a building with an unknown virus that turns humans into aggressive zombies. I had a bit of a problem with the response from the authorities: couldn't they send in a special forces team to neutralize the threat and quarantine the infected, instead of just leaving those poor souls locked inside to die? But maybe gov't incompetence is part of the film's political/social commentaryóat some point, xenophobia toward immigrants is touched upon as well.
Overall, it's an enjoyable ride - perhaps not particularly scary, original, or nuanced, but it gives you that visceral impact, with at least some degree of realism and spontaneity to the unfurling of events and characters' reactions to them, which go the distance from nonchalance and complacency to dizzying, frenetic desperation. Those final 5-10 minutes are probably the best, scariest, and most claustrophobic.
I don't know where REC 2 takes things from there but it's supposedly inferior.



If youíd like a break from films full of violence, gore, deviant and/or graphic sex, and tiresome foul language, then this is a picture to watch.
What films would these be? And please provide a link.

Asking for a friend.



PREY
(2022, Trachtenberg)



"It knows how to hunt. But I know how to survive."

Set in 1719, Prey follows Naru (Amber Midthunder), a young woman from a Comanche tribe that aspires to be a hunter like her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers). This causes some tension within the family and the tribe since she's supposed to be a healer, according to the tribe customs. When a Predator starts stalking the tribe, Naru has to resort to her cunning and skills to survive.

The initial premise seems like a refreshing approach to the franchise. Midthunder brings such a fierce energy to the lead role that's just infectious, while, Trachtenberg's direction succeeds in creating a tense atmosphere; something that he had previously succeeded at during 10 Cloverfield Lane. I thought it was interesting to see the Predator's methodical approach to his surroundings, as he continuously seizes everyone as he moves up the "food chain", so to speak, going against those that it deems "worthy" of the challenge.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot





Good movie.
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Dazed and Confused - (1993)

I understand where Richard Linklater was coming from with this - although there are quite a few American traditions involved with the kids here who are either starting high school or getting to the end of that specific period. I like the fact that most of these kids are good at heart, while still doing bad things like emptying trash cans all over the street and destroying mailboxes. I like how it covers the spectrum of characters from the jerk, to the older guy still hanging around with immature kids to the decent guy. I like the depth of feeling Linklater has permeated the film with. He's quite a nostalgic guy - but so am I, so I really liked Dazed and Confused as well.

8/10
I need to check that one out someday.
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[Rec] (2007, Jaume Balaguerů, Paco Plaza)

Spanish found-footage horror flick about a group of people, including a TV crew consisting of a female reporter and her cameraman, trapped inside a building with an unknown virus that turns humans into aggressive zombies. I had a bit of a problem with the response from the authorities: couldn't they send in a special forces team to neutralize the threat and quarantine the infected, instead of just leaving those poor souls locked inside to die? But maybe gov't incompetence is part of the film's political/social commentaryóat some point, xenophobia toward immigrants is touched upon as well.
Overall, it's an enjoyable ride - perhaps not particularly scary, original, or nuanced, but it gives you that visceral impact, with at least some degree of realism and spontaneity to the unfurling of events and characters' reactions to them, which go the distance from nonchalance and complacency to dizzying, frenetic desperation. Those final 5-10 minutes are probably the best, scariest, and most claustrophobic.
I don't know where REC 2 takes things from there but it's supposedly inferior.
That one's pretty excellent.