Rate The Last Movie You Saw

Tools    






Nazarin (1959, Luis BuŮuel)

One of Tarkovsky's favorite films, and it's easy to see why. In many ways it mirrors his own cinematic explorations of faith, the dichotomy between the individual and the collective, as well as his affinity for asceticism. In the film's protagonist, priest Nazario, we clearly see parallels to the priest of Ambricourt from Robert Bresson's Diary of a Country Priest, the tormented Russian artist Andrei Rublev, and of course, Tarkovsky himself.



Yes it is. But how about 'dem steel drums though? And Rae Dawn Chong looking foin in that business suit. And "What'd you do with Sully?" "I let him go." And me getting my mind blown when I found out Bennett was played by the same guy who played Wez in The Road Warrior. How 'bout dat?
Letís not forget the indestructible 911!

You really hit it with the steel drums and Vernon Wells.



Victim of The Night
For me, this one was like "Arnold Schwarzenegger does a Chuck Norris movie." Closer to Invasion USA than is to Predator.
But it's almost a parody of even Invasion USA.

I have to talk about The Rescuers first but I am also stalling because I need to tease out whether this idea of "they knew they were doing a sort of parody" is a ret-con or truth.



Victim of The Night
Yes it is. But how about 'dem steel drums though? And Rae Dawn Chong looking foin in that business suit. And "What'd you do with Sully?" "I let him go." And me getting my mind blown when I found out Bennett was played by the same guy who played Wez in The Road Warrior. How 'bout dat?
I mean, it's all lovely, don't get me wrong. But this is like Italian Spider-man level. I was in shock even though I saw the movie, what, 4 or 5 times back in the day, maybe more. 35 years later, it's actually hard to believe that this was actually an intentional, mainstream, major studio film that sat at No.1 for 3 weeks.



Victim of The Night
I barely paid attention to Pfeiffer. I was too busy checking out Kate Nelligan. For some reason I thought her character was just so hot.
Kate Nelligan was insanely hot.
I know her from Dracula and Eye Of The Needle and I can't even pay attention to anything else in those films.




By https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101912/, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3840903

Frankie and Johnny - (1991)

I thought Frankie and Johnny was good - it reflected what middle-aged romance is really like, and expanded Terrence McNally's play into the real world - a play that I would have loved to have seen with it's original leads - F. Murray Abraham and Kathy Bates. By casting Michelle Pfeiffer as Frankie you've changed the whole story, because Frankie is meant to be "frumpy, fat, and emotionally defined by her unattractiveness." That's certainly not what we've got here. We do get her being reluctant and cautious about love however - while Pacino's Johnny is eager to just jump in and get things started. There are so many scars and so much damage that Frankie pushes Johnny away every chance she gets - and the film walks a dangerous line, because Johnny does cross a line or two, showing up at places Frankie has asked him not to. He comes on so strong I'm surprised this didn't turn into a horror movie. I think it would have played better if an actress less attractive than Michelle Pfeiffer had of played that part. Anyway, by the film's conclusion I thought it had wrestled with the whole subject of love for two damaged older people well enough that I gave it a thumbs up.

7/10
Not a great movie, but I like hanging out with Alpa and Michelle. Pairs well with Stanley and Iris starring Jane and Bobby D.



Kate Nelligan was insanely hot.
I know her from Dracula and Eye Of The Needle and I can't even pay attention to anything else in those films.
I think it's the overbite. Sexy A ... F.



I mean, it's all lovely, don't get me wrong. But this is like Italian Spider-man level. I was in shock even though I saw the movie, what, 4 or 5 times back in the day, maybe more. 35 years later, it's actually hard to believe that this was actually an intentional, mainstream, major studio film that sat at No.1 for 3 weeks.
I know, I know. It's just so goofy and over-the-top. Watch as Arnie wipes out an entire army single-handedly with just his rippling biceps. Well, that and a sh*tload of weapons that involve lots of buckling and snapping and strapping. Plus there's the camouflage face paint that he really doesn't need because he's mostly right out in the open. Come on guys!



My first ever dvd that I bought & played on my first ever DVD player. No clue when this was, but I revisited it last night for the first time.

Leaving aside the rather weak story line, what killed it for me was the over-acting of the majority of the cast. (Except the 2 leads who were fine.) Everyone in the cast chewed the scenery & shouted their lines rather than speaking them.

Very tiresome, but I finished it & re-filed it in my dvd collection never to be seen again.

Also, amazed to see they are working on MBFGW no. 3. Unbelievable. Nothing like milking something to death.

__________________
Iím here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Thatís why Iím here now.



Not a great movie, but I like hanging out with Alpa and Michelle. Pairs well with Stanley and Iris starring Jane and Bobby D.

I LOVE Frankie and Johnny...Al Pacino has never been sexier onscreen. Stanley and Iris did nothing for me.





Time of the Wolf, 2003

In the midst of some undefined world-altering event, Anne (Isabelle Huppert) is trying to shepherd her children Eva (AnaÔs Demoustier) and Ben (Lucas Biscombe) through a devolving dystopian landscape. Dependent on the tenuous alliances and social structures forming in the countryside, the family holes up at a depot where they hope that a train will one day stop and take them away.

Thanks, I hate it.

Okay, hate is a strong word, but this movie was just an absolute misery slog with just enough of a handful of striking moments to make me hyperaware of how drab the rest of the film is.

At his best, Haneke makes the modern world feel like a dystopia straining under the surface of civilization. When actually placed in a real dystopia, I just kept feeling like what's the point?. Did you know that it would be really awful to live in a dystopia? Did you know that in times of need people are willing to act immorally?

There's just not much here to pull the film out of the mire of tropes we've all seen in every film with a similar plotline. There's a really lovely shot of a man holding a child by a bonfire as the camera slowly pans away, the darkness around them dwarfing the two figures. It's beautiful and despairing, and so little of the rest of the film rises to that level.

The film also loses points for the use of unsimulated animal cruelty, namely the killing of a horse. I actually skipped a chunk of the film to avoid this scene, and for a minute was seriously considering just ejecting the DVD altogether. In the end I stuck it out, but with very little payoff.

The acting is solid, there are a handful of powerful shots. But overall this was a miss for me, and I can't imagine wanting to recommend it to anyone.




10 Foreign Language movies to go

https://www.movieposters.com/products/ghostbusters-afterlife-mpw-131213, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68790981

Ghostbusters : Afterlife - (2021)

Fine for what it is, and enjoyable - trading heavily on the nostalgia, which worked for me - Ghostbusters : Afterlife doesn't match what Ghostbusters did in 1984, but it sure felt like we were revisiting the home we grew up in. It doesn't try to replicate what the original did, and instead gives us a bunch of kids to cash in on their cuteness. Logan Kim, as Podcast, was a natural and the best of them. I'm really not going to remember any of the performances in this a week from now, let alone nearly 40 years after, but the call-backs, story, effects and general atmosphere is what brings the movie to life and makes it endurable. I like the fact that they simply went and totally ignored the risible Ghostbusters II - a sorry excuse for a cash-grab that film was. All-up, enjoyable - but although I'll see this movie perhaps twice in my lifetime, it won't get near the dozen or so times I watch Ghostbusters.

7/10


By ImpAwards.com, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24399714

The Taking of Pelham 123 - (2009)

I'll tell you what comparison with the original did this remake in for me - the score. While the original 1974 film had one of the best scores you'd ever be likely to hear, this retread has one of the laziest, lamest and dithering scores I've heard this year. A flat imitation of a modern-day action score. Why did we even need a third version of Morton Freedgood's novel? This one adds a stock market side-plot (the real reason for the hijacking is so 'Ryder' (Travolta) can make $300 million on the stock market) - making the $11 million ransom simply a decoy. It also fills in a more complicated back story for the dispatcher, Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) - I bet at Washington's insistence. Apart from that it goes on to retread the familiar path - with a more complex city-wide chase at the end - going to show that filmmakers rely on stuff like that instead of layering in more craftmanship and suspense. Luis GuzmŠn plays the role Martin Balsam did in the original, but while Travolta and Washington dominate the film he hardly gets a single line! Not good enough. For the average viewer, an average thriller. Give some of the other actors something to say you two line-hogs!

5/10
__________________
My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.

Latest Review : Adaptation (2002)





Time of the Wolf, 2003

In the midst of some undefined world-altering event, Anne (Isabelle Huppert) is trying to shepherd her children Eva (AnaÔs Demoustier) and Ben (Lucas Biscombe) through a devolving dystopian landscape. Dependent on the tenuous alliances and social structures forming in the countryside, the family holes up at a depot where they hope that a train will one day stop and take them away.

Thanks, I hate it.
But why? It sounds so fun.



Okay, I think my tastes might be strange. Because Gideon58 hated the last movie I recommended. Gideon didn't even review it. I still loved it. Funny Pages on Prime. Yes it is disturbing that is part of its charm. Here goes my next rave.
Orgasm Inc (2022) 4/5 stars

This craziness is on Netflix. If you like documentaries about cults, (and who doesn't?) you will love this insanity. The Vow, Wild Wild Country, Keep Sweet all bangers about sociopaths and their sex cults, but they don't have what One Taste the sex cult that actively promotes itself as Feminist has; SEX as the draw.
It starts out as a yoga center that is offering OM, Orgasm Medititation. Basically, this woman, the sociopath in question, teaches men how to give women orgasms, and anorgasmic women to have orgasm. Which is fine. If Annie Sprinkle and Nina Hartley can do it, why not Nicole Daedone?

So this thing really takes off in the alternative world. Gwyneth Paltrow does a blog about it. Daedone is doing TED talks. They are setting up new centers or discussing it. And her followers are having far out, groovy times in San Francisco. What could go wrong?
Well sociopaths gotta sociopath and things turn dark. I loved it. For some reason there is nothing I enjoy more than watching a cult devolve. If you do too, than this is the Netflix movie for you. And yes it is a movie. They do not try to string it out into four parts. Enjoy! Tell them Beelzebubble sent you.





Time of the Wolf, 2003

In the midst of some undefined world-altering event, Anne (Isabelle Huppert) is trying to shepherd her children Eva (AnaÔs Demoustier) and Ben (Lucas Biscombe) through a devolving dystopian landscape. Dependent on the tenuous alliances and social structures forming in the countryside, the family holes up at a depot where they hope that a train will one day stop and take them away.

Thanks, I hate it.

Okay, hate is a strong word, but this movie was just an absolute misery slog with just enough of a handful of striking moments to make me hyperaware of how drab the rest of the film is.

At his best, Haneke makes the modern world feel like a dystopia straining under the surface of civilization. When actually placed in a real dystopia, I just kept feeling like what's the point?. Did you know that it would be really awful to live in a dystopia? Did you know that in times of need people are willing to act immorally?

There's just not much here to pull the film out of the mire of tropes we've all seen in every film with a similar plotline. There's a really lovely shot of a man holding a child by a bonfire as the camera slowly pans away, the darkness around them dwarfing the two figures. It's beautiful and despairing, and so little of the rest of the film rises to that level.

The film also loses points for the use of unsimulated animal cruelty, namely the killing of a horse. I actually skipped a chunk of the film to avoid this scene, and for a minute was seriously considering just ejecting the DVD altogether. In the end I stuck it out, but with very little payoff.

The acting is solid, there are a handful of powerful shots. But overall this was a miss for me, and I can't imagine wanting to recommend it to anyone.

I liked it. I watched it close to reading and watching The Road. I think they provided interesting counterpoints to each other, with each representing opposite sides of the parental struggle in the face of oblivion.

I consider it to be along the lines of Bergman and Trier (and well, Haneke, its his brand through and through), where it is almost comically bleak and unrelentingly depressing. Its not something I would find myself turning to often but there is something I find oddly comforting about cinema that lets me stare deeply into the abyss.

I also donít see myself recommending it much, nor do I find it among Hanekeís best or most memorable works.



I liked it. I watched it close to reading and watching The Road. I think they provided interesting counterpoints to each other, with each representing opposite sides of the parental struggle in the face of oblivion.

I consider it to be along the lines of Bergman and Trier (and well, Haneke, its his brand through and through), where it is almost comically bleak and unrelentingly depressing. Its not something I would find myself turning to often but there is something I find oddly comforting about cinema that lets me stare deeply into the abyss.

I also donít see myself recommending it much, nor do I find it among Hanekeís best or most memorable works.
I can handle bleak, but I can't handle bleak and boring.

And despite the performances being good, there was very little connection to the characters.



I can handle bleak, but I can't handle bleak and boring.

And despite the performances being good, there was very little connection to the characters.
I find Hanekeís craft and composition engaging even when his narratives leave something to be desired (something I find rare). I have a hard time recalling much of the plot beyond the premise but I can vividly recall images and sequences that conjure some kind of emotional response or engagement.

That said, its nowhere near the level of something like The White Ribbon or Amour. Closer to Code Unknown and a bit below Bennyís Video.





Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), 2014

Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) is a former superhero franchise actor trying to breathe some life back into his professional life by writing, directing, and acting in a Broadway play based on a novel by Raymond Carver. Forced to hire a new actor (Edward Norton) when one of his leads is injured, Riggan grows more and more stressed as their opening night approaches. Oh, and maybe he's also developed some telekinetic powers.

There's a really nice thing that happens sometimes when I'm watching a movie and I suddenly realize I'm not sure exactly what the movie is about. Not what it's about, plot-wise, but what it's about. And then right on the heels of that thought is the realization that knowing or not knowing what it's about is having zero impact on my enjoyment of it.

Such was the case with Birdman. I'm sure I'll read a review at some point that will spell out some major themes that I missed, but whatever. This was an engaging, funny, propulsive ride and it more than lived up to the tremendous acclaim it received at the time it came out.

I've always been a fan of Michael Keaton. As a kid, he was one of the only actors who I could enjoy as both bad (Beetlejuice) or good/silly (Multiplicity) characters. The character he plays here--clearly aligning to Keaton's own foray as Batman--strikes just the right notes of self-aware fun. Riggan seems to know who he wants to be, and Keaton does a great job of showing a man who oscillates between the highs of confidence and the low lows of doubt.

The supporting cast is pretty terrific. Edward Norton is enjoyably hateable as the overly self-assured Mike, a guy whose notions about "truth" on stage are so important that he won't let unprofessionalism or even a little sexual assault interfere with his process. Emma Stone is her usual excellent, feisty self as Riggan's daughter, Sam, fresh out of rehab and still on spiky terms with her father. Zach Galifianakis does solid, funny work as Riggan's friend (and lawyer), who believes in Riggan but also knows that they need to make things work on the bottom line. Naomi Watts plays Lesley, Mike's long-suffering girlfriend. In smaller roles, Amy Ryan makes for a great scene partner for Keaton in some of the slower, more meditative scenes in which Riggan discusses his past with his ex-wife. Lindsay Duncan also makes the most of her limited screen time playing a theater critic whose hatred of celebrity culture has made her determined to sink Riggan's play.

I really enjoy films that deploy a limited degree of magical realism, and I thought that Birdman really hit the sweet spot in that regard. Is Riggan really moving things with his mind, or is it all in his head? The film is more than happy to leave the point ambiguous right until the very last moments.

I also appreciated the way that the film largely shifted its attention away from Mike's character in the last act. Don't get me wrong: Norton is great in the role. And all of Mike's bluster about truth and methods and limits makes him a great foil for Riggan. But his character adds a degree of absurdity that doesn't gel quite as well with the direction of Riggan's character arc as the film goes on. (I also found the whole subplot about Sam romantically/sexually pursuing him after he tried to sexually assault someone weird and gross, and while their scenes on the roof were beautifully lit, I didn't need any more of them).

I also really loved the in-your-face score, which could be summed up as DRUMS!, and yet it works really beautifully. On a technical level, everything about this film feels like it's firing on all cylinders, and as a piece of art it's just a joy to look at and experience.