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The Last Movie(s) You Watched... (quick one or two sentence reviews)
^I have a soft spot for these films, as I happened to be traveling a lot when they were coming out, and watched each one on an airplane.  I don't know about you guys, but I save movies I'm skeptical about for "airplane watches".  It's like "I wouldn't spend time or money on this, but as long as it's free and I'm trapped here for 6 hours, I'll give it a chance."

In that context, I was very pleasantly surprised by the first Maze Runner.  I knew nothing about it and enjoyed the several twists of the story, plus the sound design was great.  The sequels were admittedly much more typical and not the direction I'd hoped the series would explore more, but I'll still stand by that first film... though notably my judgment may have been affected by altitude.   Smile
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A break from Japanese cinema:
Ender's Game (2013)
I still haven't read the book, which I'm sure is better as they always are, but I always thought this film was judged overly harshly.  Actual kid actors that can actually act?  Where are the 25 year olds?  Also the best Harrison Ford performance between 1997-2015.  More thoughts: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/enders-game/

Notorious (1946)
Ah, 1946, when the Hayes Code thought it was cool for the heroine to drunk drive within the first 5 minutes as long as the male lead slapped her unconscious for being mouthy.  Is this dated?  Not if you're Sean Connery!  More thoughts: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/notorious/
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Victor Frankenstein (2015)
Decent first act. Mediocre second act. Dismal third act.
Daniel Radcliffe's Igor was acted well. MacAvoy seemed to be in one of his split personalities the whole movie. I'm not much for monster movies and this movie hasn't changed that one bit. 4/10
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Gojira (1954)
I think people are mostly mistaken when the view this as a metaphor for the atomic bomb.  The ending speech is a bit misleading.  If you pay attention to the whole film, Godzilla is portrayed as like a traditional Japanese monster...and the most apt comparison is militaristic nationalism.  This then is an anti-war film, but not in the way Western audiences think.  Full review: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/godzilla/

Sanbiki no Samurai (1964)
Hideo Gosha burst onto the chanbara scene like a gangster, dropping this hot debut and deconstructing the genre.  I was surprised at how much I liked this, and I'd put it above some of Kurosawa's better-known films.  This one is underappreciated.  Full review: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/fil...w-samurai/
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I love the Godzilla movies. I was really excited for the huge Blu-ray set of the original films that came out last year, but it's not a good time for me to drop $200 on a frivolous purchase.
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^The first one definitely feels different to me.  There's so much time spent on this love story, and it feels more like a disaster movie...the disaster just happens to be a monster.  I feel like a lot of the later ones just leaned into the sci-fi and the fun of the monsters, but Godzilla is used sparingly in the first one (even though it's the best part of the film.)
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Couple of lesser-known Japanese classics:

Female Yakuza Tale: Inquisition & Violence (1973)
A wild film from a wild Japanese sub-genre, this now plays as nearly equal parts goofy-bad and crazy-good.  I forgot to mention in my review (https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/fil...kuza-tale/) the very childish take on mental illness that contrasts horribly with the tragedy in that scene.  A movie that will not work well for some people, will be amazing for others.

Sword of the Beast (1965)
The second film from the director of Three Outlaw Samurai, and nearly as good.  It's a bit less pulpy and more meditative, particularly the second half.  Full review: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/fil...the-beast/
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A brief break from Japanese film to watch a couple fan-edits.  Here are general reviews though:

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Though I didn't like this as much as the others in the series, some people were so vocally hateful towards it that I initially found myself having to always defend the film.  This was my first rewatch, and I judged it more harshly this time: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/fil...tal-skull/

Jackass (The Movie - 2002)
Man, was this really 2002?  Part of me feels like Jackass just belonged to the '90s.  Maybe I just grew up.  Then again, I still get excited by Star Wars action figures.  Anyway, the movie is what it is, which is to say: not much of a movie.  Full review:https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/fil...the-movie/
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Replying to your letterboxd:
 
(08-13-2020, 04:32 PM)mnkykungfu Wrote: When people complain that Temple of Doom is such a worse film than the other two in the earlier trilogy, I always ask why. And inevitably the film not being about Judeo-Christian traditions is a big issue.

I think ToD is objectively wretched, but that its focus on Indian culture is one of its biggest strengths. Yes, the raft descent sequence is much worse than the fridge nuke, and the Donkey Kong mine cart chase is just as bad. ToD is awful because Willie is a one-note, obnoxious character, Short Round is completely out of place in an Indiana Jones adventure based on his age alone, the pacing is all out of whack, and then there's the... regressive cultural elements.
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....and yet it all works.  lol  I get what you're saying though, but to be honest I think you could pick those nits to a greater extent with 95% of blockbuster films.  Especially ones from the 80s.  It's all about how they make it come together, and if you feel it's done in a callous way, or just errs too much into goofiness.  Case in point, film critics' rabid defense of a hero who callously abandons his wife and small children in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
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