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Okay so my apologies to people who enjoyed these films

Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)


Slight spoilers I guess...

The plot is deliberately confusing in order to try and make the film seem a lot more complicated than it is. The bullet example of things travelling backwards it terrible, and when we actually see people travelling backwards later in the film it becomes a lot more clear how things work and things make more sense. Once we get to about the halfway point and we kind of know what's going on everything is quite straightforward and predictable. I was actually surprised that there aren't really any twists or shocks. No emotional depth, Elizabeth Debicki's character was awful in my opinion. Nothing to connect with. Also, half the film is inaudible, thanks to terrible sound mixing which I am again going to guess is a deliberate choice to make the film appear more confusing.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman, 2020)


Another film that tries to be too clever for its own good. The film deliberately over constructs its narrative and pushing certain aspects to extremes in order to appear different or interesting when the actual message behind the film is so blatantly obvious. Just by making things weird doesn't make them complex.

It's a film that with its depiction of loneliness and characters obsessed with films and culture I should have connected with but instead, I felt distanced.

The irony is that much of Pauline Kael's review of A Woman Under the Influence can be copied for the film.

"Mabel tries to slash her wrist, and Nick puts a Band-Aid on the cut: the idiot symbolism may make you want to hoot, but this two-hour-and-thirty-five-minute film leaves you too groggy to do more than moan. Details that are meant to establish the pathological nature of the people around Mabel, and so show her isolation, become instead limp, false moments. We often can’t tell whether the characters are meant to be unconscious of what they’re doing or whether it’s Cassavetes who’s unconscious. "

Just replace a few words in that and Cassavetes for Kaufman and it's almost spot on. I just really couldn't connect with this at all.
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❤️Dominic Sherwood+Katherine McNamara❤️


JoJo Rabbit, 2019

The latest film from Taika Waititi, JoJo Rabbit follows a boy named JoJo who is bright-eyed, gentle, optimistic, enthusiastic, and, oh yeah, an aspiring Nazi. JoJo is influenced by various adults, including his anti-Nazi mother (Scarlett Johannson), an imaginary Adolf Hitler (Waititi), and a dashing-if-exasperated commander (Sam Rockwell). When JoJo is unexpectedly thrown into a relationship with a hiding Jewish girl, he finds himself questioning his previously uncritical adoration of the Third Reich.

From a filmmaking point of view I absolutely adored this film. The performances are all solid, the color scheme and design elements are incredibly inviting and lively, the writing is both crisp and irreverent. Waititi's sense of the absurd is on full display, and the film manages to be both incredibly fanciful and heartbreakingly sobering at the same time. In terms of emotions, it's probably closest to Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Because of the cartoonish trappings, when real violence does intrude into the narrative it's doubly shocking.

What I'm still mulling over in my mind is the portrayal of Nazis in general in the film and the softening of the atrocities of the war. I definitely understand the concept that the film is highly subjective to JoJo's point of view, so it makes a certain degree of sense that he is shielded from the realities. A huge amount of irony is mined from this chipper, compassionate boy espousing racism and hate-speech without fully understanding the implications of what he's saying or of the actions of those he reveres.

At the same time, I have mixed feelings about just how full the film is of "nice Nazis". We witness only one act of cruelty--the killing of a rabbit--and aside from that every Nazi character is portrayed as buffoonish, silly, ignorant, or some combination of those three. Despite one jarring element (which is a major spoiler, so I will not get specific), I felt that the film did not do enough to connect the dots between the actions of the people in the film and the vague threat that hangs over JoJo's Jewish acquaintance. Even the jokes about the outlandishness of anti-Jewish propaganda (they have tails! they hang upside down like bats!) never seems to acknowledge that these beliefs led to real tangible harm of real people. There has been a surge of white nationalism and Antisemitism in the last few years, and while I don't think that Waititi would ever intend to feed into that nonsense, I do think that this is yet another imagining of WW2 where most Nazi soldiers (and even higher ranking officials) just got swept up in a bit of madness, didn't really know what they were doing, etc. There's even a line where someone says that "Hitler was doing bad things we didn't know about", as if the atrocities of WW2 were just a little side project that Hitler pulled off on his own.

I didn't want my viewing to be influenced, so I didn't read any reviews or think-pieces about the film before watching. I'll now be checking some out, because I'm interested in what others thought about the things I liked and some of my hesitations.

love jojo rabbit and loved the bloopers of the movie aswell. huge fan of marvel that why i watched jojo rabbit cause of scarlett and Taika Waititi =]



Super Fly 1972 Gordon Parks Jr.

Holy soundtrack Batman!
+

Night Moves 1975 Arthur Penn

Solid 70's P.I. Noir/Mystery/Thriller.


Atlantic City 1980 Louis Malle

The moral of the story is, if you're in the fish business, you have to rub your breasts with lemon juice every night.


The Day the Earth Stood Still 2008 Scott Derrickson

I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do, it's usually garbage, don't know why i'm still paying for it.



Missão dada é missão cumprida!



Three scenes in the third act can sum up my feelings about this film:


Simple but badass!


Stupid using of guns but nice to watch.


Cold and very "violent" for an Anie movie. I loved.
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I Ain't Got Time to Bleed



The Mission: Impossible movie marathon continues

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE
ROGUE NATION

(2015)

First viewing. I'm starting to believe that this series keeps getting better with every entry. This part in the series is more fun, action-packed, and thrilling than the previous entry, Ghost Protocol. The motorcycle chase scene alone had me on the edge of my seat. It also includes another crazy Tom Cruise stunt, one where he dangles from a plane as it takes off. I'm also enjoying the addition of Jeremy Renner and Alec Baldwin to the cast, while Simon Pegg and Ving (Marcellus Wallace) Rhames make the perfect sidekicks to Cruise as they build on that cool chemistry between them.


Yeah I agree. Great action film. Quality set pieces, good story, great cast. Loved it.


Just one more to go... I think you'll enjoy it.



You mean me? Kei's cousin?



Three scenes in the third act can sum up my feelings about this film:


Simple but badass!


Stupid using of guns but nice to watch.


Cold and very "violent" for an Anie movie. I loved.
I discovered it a few years ago myself and that pretty much sums it up: pure unabashed genre fun that doesn't pretend to be anything it's not and succeeds at everything it sets out to do.
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Look, Dr. Lesh, we don't care about the disturbances, the pounding and the flashing, the screaming, the music. We just want you to find our little girl.



The Devil All the Time (2020)

An odd mix of ambition and taking the easy way. It feels too long and too rushed at the same time. It relies too much on the narration explaining things. It goes for bleak brutality but shies away from violence in an awkward way. Some acting (or writing) is lazy (like Pattinson). Still, somewhere there is a story I do like. I think it could have been much better.
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Doctor Sleep, 2019

I'm pretty vocal about being a fan of director Mike Flanagan and specifically his horror/thriller output over the last few years. Doctor Sleep is his latest film, a sequel of sorts to The Shining that follows a grown up Danny Torrence and his inevitable involvement with a psychically powerful little girl and the murderous cult that wants to consume her life force.

I had some very positive responses to this film, and also some tepid ones. Not knowing much about the source material, it's hard for me to say how much the weaknesses in the story are inherent to the source and how much they are due to a flawed adaptation.

In the plus column are the performances. Ewan McGregor is solid and sympathetic as Dan, but he's equally matched by both Rebecca Furgeson (as Rose the Hat, the leader of the cult) and Kyleigh Curran (playing Abra Stone, the powerful little girl). The characters are memorable and enjoyable.

I also felt like the film did a good job of evoking dread. Nothing comes quite as close to the intensity of a scene in which we see exactly how the murderous crew dispatches the children they steal, but there is a constant pulse of anxiety through the film. The film has a very "adult" horror feel--such that you aren't ever really sure that any of the people you care for will make it to the end credits.

Lastly, unsurprisingly, I really enjoyed the direction. I just quite like the way that Flanagan positions and moves his camera--there's a boldness to it that I vibe with. (He also gets points for nudity equity).

On the negative side of things, it seemed to me that both big showdowns with the villains were a bit underwhelming and over too quickly. I felt that the film lacked a satisfying emotional climax, despite really enjoying the bond that formed between Dan and Abra. Probably my favorite "battle" sequence involved Rose the Hat trying to get into Abra's mind where Abra soon turns the tables on her stalker.

I also felt as though some of the mechanics of the different powers were a bit muddled. And this led to me having very mixed feelings about the final act because (MAJOR SPOILERS)
WARNING: spoilers below
I really did not understand why it was that Dan had to die. "I need to close the door behind us." Que? Maybe the implication is that the hotel will be able to stop the fire/explosion? In any event, I didn't understand it and that left me frustrated and feeling as if he died just so that the ending would hit with a bigger punch.


I think that something that dinged my enjoyment a bit was just how similar the storyline was to David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks. There were so many overlaps that I looked up their release dates--Doctor Sleep (the novel) came out in 2013 and The Bone Clocks came out in 2014--and they are too close for one to have copied the other. But I felt that in every way, The Bone Clocks was a superior exploration of the concept. It's no one's fault per se, but I couldn't help feeling that I'd already experienced a better version of what I was seeing. I was also a tad disappointed that some interesting secondary characters--especially Snakebite Andi--were introduced and then not really developed. For example, we learn that Snakebite Andi suffered sexual abuse at a young age, but the film does very little to explain why someone who goes out of her way to target child predators would so quickly fall in with a group of people who . . . are child predators. I know that the movie is already 2.5 hours long, but little points like this raised questions for me.

As for the film's relationship to its predecessor, I felt like it did a good job both thematically and visually of connecting to The Shining without feeling like it was just copying either. I didn't mind the casting of different actors in the original roles. Honestly, I like The Shining, but it's not a film I absolutely adore, so I wasn't too anxious or bothered by any liberties taken by Doctor Sleep.

This was at once a movie I enjoyed and a bit of a letdown.






Great Expectations, 1946

Every now and then there's a famous novel or film that I think I know about via pop culture osmosis, and then discover that I was wrong or really didn't have the full picture. That was certainly the case with this film.

A young boy named Pip lives with his sister and her husband in the country. Pip experiences some strange and intense things as a child. First he is ambushed by an escaped convict who demands that the boy bring him food and an iron file. Later, Pip is brought to the home of an eccentric wealthy woman named Mrs. Havisham where he falls in love with her adopted daughter, Estella.

Fast forward a few years, and Pip is informed by a lawyer that a mysterious benefactor has decided to raise Pip up in society--giving him an allowance so that he might move to London and become a gentleman. Pip does so, and he continues to cross paths with Estella and moves closer to finding out the mysterious source of his money.

From a visual point of view, this film was a real treat. It is stunningly gorgeous--especially the almost surreal sequences in Havisham's moldering, dusty, decrepit estate. Havisham was left on her wedding day and she spends her time in a boarded up room where a dusty table still holds the remnants of her wedding feast. It's hard to articulate just how beautiful and disturbing every sequence is that takes place in the home. The film also does some wonderful things with angles and point of view, such as when adults loom over the child Pip. I also appreciated some little touches in the film that gesture at a greater empathy. There's a scene where a group of prisoners are sentences to death and instead of the usual line up of men in their 40s we see younger people, women, a black man, the elderly--the film is able to acknowledge, even for a moment, that it is vulnerable people who pay the largest price in an unfair system.

The characters themselves are also very engaging, from the leads to the more minor characters. The film treads a constant line between comedy and tragedy, and its characters slip nimbly from side to side. The leads are all good (despite the fact that they are WAY too old for the characters they are playing), and the supporting players are pretty fantastic, including a very young Alec Guinness who plays Pip's roommate.

I had only two criticisms of the film. The first, a common problem with adaptations, is that you can virtually feel the story being abridged to fit a film's runtime. It's the uncomfortable squeeze you almost always feel when hours and hours of material are being whittled down to their essential sequences.

The second is apparently also a problem with the novel and concerns the treatment of Estella and her relationship with Pip. Estella is a very cynical woman who repeatedly and explicitly tells Pip that she is not romantic, she is not sentimental, that she knowingly manipulates men into liking her, and that she intends to marry for money. Pip, in a way that is meant to be endearing, just ignores her and assumes that she will fall in love with him because he wants her to. Dickens originally wrote an ending that kept the two apart, but changed it after public outcry. I'm not sure how it reads in the novel, but in the film it feels very abrupt and very false to Estella's character. The ending had a bit of an "Um . . . okay" feeling to it. Fortunately, the film is full of other relationships between Pip and different characters, so the whole film doesn't entirely hinge on him and Estella. It's a good thing, because their ultimate romance is unconvincing despite the staging of the final scene being pretty top notch.

This is a film well worth seeing, if only for the stunning visuals. It has one of the most memorable character deaths that I've ever seen on film.




Batman Forever (1995)

Truth Now, Courage Always





Pump Up the Volume
(1990)

Sex, love, and rock & roll



DJ Hard Harry





the samoan lawyer's Avatar
Unregistered User
It's up there with my favourites I think. The White Ribbon is probably the best although Amour and Funny Games are great too. So hard to rank.

Funny Games and Amour are both my favourites of his with The Piano Teacher not far behind. The Seventh Continent nearly broke me completely. Agree its impossible to rank his filmography.
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Doctor Sleep, 2019


The ending in the book was much more satisfying (and likely would have called for a Jack Nicholson cameo haha)

The Social Dilemma


Though it didn't contain that much new information about social media in my eyes, it was uncomfortable to really see it all in perspective. Highly recommended to anyone of any age to at least confirm your awareness on the subject matter. Here's to hoping we don't have a civil war in my lifetime.