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A few reviews

TM2YC

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mnkykungfu said:
Five Came Back (2017)
Documentaries can sometimes seem boring, especially ones that use a lot of really old film footage.  This one does a great job painting amazing yet identifiable portraits of these five famous directors.  What puts it over the top for me is the setup of having 5 modern directors give their insight covering each of the Golden Age directors.  For film fans, it's simply a must-see.  Full review: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/five-came-back-2017/

^ Such an amazing doc. Did you know that Netflix also uploaded some of the wartime shorts featured in FCB when the doc was released?

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
I've watched a few modern Hollywood/Disney animated kids films in recent months, huge thudding CGI "epics", overstuffed with lame humour, messy plots, irritating wisecracking pandering characters and exhausting battle sequences. So this gentle, charming, bucolic and delightfully unhurried 1980s Hayao Miyazaki film was a real tonic. Miyazaki's idea of exciting is occasionally moving the camera! The story of a family in difficulty due the absence of a sick mother and their move to a new rural house is never overplayed. Daughters Satsuki and Mei find comfort in encounters with a rotund mute forest spirit named Totoro and his friends. Totoro's soft fur, sleepy demeanor and contended purring will be familiar to owners of chilled-out cats. Joe Hisaishi's music reminded me of Cliff Richard's 'Summer Holiday'... no bad thing. I applaud Netflix for uploading all these Ghibli movies in pristine HD transfers with a large range of audio languages and well written subtitles (I went for the original Japanese soundtrack).

 

mnkykungfu

Well-known member
TM2YC said:
^ Such an amazing doc. Did you know that Netflix also uploaded some of the wartime shorts featured in FCB when the doc was released?
I did indeed!  I ended my Netflix subscription last month to protest their price hike, but before that, I watched about half of the films featured in Five Came Back.  Honestly, FCB shows the best bits in the most exciting way, generally.  The Negro Soldier (1944) is pretty stunning to watch in its entirety.  It's funny: it's credited to Stuart Heisler, but FCB said Carlton Moss (who wrote it and played the central role) was really the instrumental force in the final project, which ends up being a kind of tribute to African American contributions to the country (conspicuously not mentioning slavery!)
 
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Miyazaki's idea of exciting is occasionally moving the camera!
Oh man, don't get me started on Ghibli!  I'm a big fan, though having lived in Japan and been to the Ghibli museum several times, I think Western audiences often mis-interpret a lot of what goes on in Japanese film.  For example, the simple camera work in this film is more likely due to lack of time and money than directorial choice!  haha  Look at later Miyazaki films to see what he prefers to do when he actually has the budget for it.
Joe Hisaishi's music reminded me of Cliff Richard's 'Summer Holiday'... no bad thing.
Yes!  After Isao Takahata, Hisaishi-san is the unsung hero of Ghibli.  His work so often perfectly compliments the simplicity of the stories and animation.  I think it especially shines in Laputa, as well as Mononoke-hime, of course.
 

addiesin

Well-known member
wilhelm scream said:
The Recovered

Ever wondered what if RedLetterMedia made a serious movie? Well The Recovered answers that question and it is not very good. It's slow, dull and the only good parts are the dream sequences. There's no humor and I just bored the whole time. And it's confusing, I had almost no idea what was going on the whole time and the ending doesn't help. Oh, and it might have inspired Slender Man. 

Space Cop is also pretty bad. I was curious about this one though. Thanks for the review.
 

TM2YC

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mnkykungfu said:
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Miyazaki's idea of exciting is occasionally moving the camera!
Oh man, don't get me started on Ghibli!  I'm a big fan, though having lived in Japan and been to the Ghibli museum several times, I think Western audiences often mis-interpret a lot of what goes on in Japanese film.  For example, the simple camera work in this film is more likely due to lack of time and money than directorial choice!  haha  Look at later Miyazaki films to see what he prefers to do when he actually has the budget for it.

If it wasn't clear, I didn't mean that as a criticism. Compared to Yasujiro Ozu, Miyazaki waves the camera all over the pace like a shaky cam maniac! (I also don't mean that as a criticism of Ozu :D ). The lack of camera movement (and movement of any kind ;) ) is definitely a budgetary decision in some Anime. I might be wrong but I don't get that feeling with Miyazaki, it seems like a tasteful artistic choice. Some of the animation is as fluid as anything from oldskool Disney (perhaps more so) and insanely intricate and inventive, to the point showing off how good they are ;) .

I saw some photos of the Ghibli museum building. Looks amazing.
 

wilhelm scream

Well-known member
Faneditor
addiesin said:
wilhelm scream said:
The Recovered

Ever wondered what if RedLetterMedia made a serious movie? Well The Recovered answers that question and it is not very good. It's slow, dull and the only good parts are the dream sequences. There's no humor and I just bored the whole time. And it's confusing, I had almost no idea what was going on the whole time and the ending doesn't help. Oh, and it might have inspired Slender Man. 

Space Cop is also pretty bad. I was curious about this one though. Thanks for the review.

What's so bad about Space Cop?
 

addiesin

Well-known member
wilhelm scream said:
What's so bad about Space Cop?

You might like it, that's totally fine. I have a lot of feelings about it though, I'll try to be brief but no promises.

At the core I didn't like the approach and think it would have been more successful if they had some kind of genuine heart in the film. A big part of that is the script felt like a big checklist of things for fans to notice. But also Mike and Rich both played main characters and the joke was they're both dumb and say things with a "funny" voice, so they're both the comic relief and the performances have no emotional depth, so I couldn't connect with them.

I felt like jokes went on for too long, even when going too long is the joke. I didn't like the look, shot composition and color grade were both really bland, and the sound design/score wasn't memorable. The plot bored me because I wasn't invested. I kinda felt like they did a lot of the things they complain about other movies doing.

I was really disappointed, maybe I was over hyped but if I wasn't a fan I wouldn't have gotten the jokes and references. I did get them, just didn't laugh much. I thought they should have edited it down more, it almost feels like an extended edition that would have been better not extended. Making movies is hard, I don't think they intended it to be bad but maybe tried to do too much on their own. I don't think they need to be a skeleton crew, their Patreon said they were making around 40,000 a month before they made the amount private,I don't know where that money goes but it didn't go into the movie.

I would really like to see them make something with a solid script (maybe something they don't write themselves) with actors that aren't just themselves, that's why I was interested in maybe seeing The Recovered. For now I'll stick to their YouTube stuff.
 

TM2YC

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^ I thought 'Space Cop' was okay for a no-budget side-project they made while producing upwards of 50+ hours of other content every year (double what a big TV production setup would typically produce e.g. 25-ish hours at most). I was happy to buy a blu-ray of the movie just to give them money for all the other stuff they do.

Co-incidentally I just watched another film that was shot in Wisconsin, although with slightly more critical acclaim... :D

Stroszek (1977)
'Stroszek' is a lot lighter, more free-spirited and grittier in a Documentary style than other Werner Herzog films I've seen. Unusual real-life musician/actor/artist 'Bruno S.' basically plays himself as 'Bruno Stroszek', a mentally damaged street performer existing between the cracks of West Berlin. He befriends an abused prostitute called Eva and an eccentric old man and they all decide to escape from Eva's violent pimps by chasing the American dream in glamorous rural Wisconsin. Initially they are in paradise, finding conventional jobs and a trailer of their own but they soon begin to revert to their former chaotic bohemian ways. Bruno is such an unusual and magnetic screen presence, limping like Ian Dury, twitching randomly, mumbling and glancing into the camera and past it like he's reading his lines off a board. Herzog sprinkles in beautiful little moments he captured like a Doctor cradling a premature baby and has a tangible compassion for these marginalised souls. I hadn't realised how iconic the "dancing chicken ending" was until I got there and instantly recognised the music and footage. Apparently Joy Division front-man Ian Curtis committed suicide while watching 'Stroszek' but I really liked it.

NSFW trailer:


 

TM2YC

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Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
This was on BBC1 in the afternoon and who can resist watching Raiders again. What can you say about a movie that is practically perfect in every way? It's true that our hero Indy has no effect on the plot whatsoever but that's only the kind of flaw you notice on the fiftieth re-watch and matters not a jot. I'm sure you could watch this with just John William's thrilling music and still get the story, in fact you could probably watch with the sound switched off totally and still get it from Steven Spielberg's direction.  The grimy, dusty, sweaty on-location realism is somewhat lacking in the more FX heavy sequels, something that is undermined in the George Lucas vandalised version that was screened. I'd usually watch a fan restoration, or a fan made 35mm transfer, so I'd forgotten how dated and jarring the pointless "special edition" changes look. Thankfully they are few and far between. I love that Spielberg and Editor Michael Kahn adopt the style of films from the era it's set in, old fashioned cross-fades, those plane/map traveling shots, classical editing techniques and rigorous use of establishing shots must have stood out against the experimental editing styles that were being used in the late 70s. My favourite moment in this re-watch was when the sailor points and says "I've found him... there!" as Indy heroically climbs onto the U-Boat, the Raiders march plays, all the crew start cheering him and he exchanges a salute with Captain Katanga. I bet cinema audiences cheered this moment back in 1981!

 

Moe_Syzlak

Well-known member
I remember as a kid thinking how is Indy going to hold his breath for that long holding on to the outside of a submarine? I had forgotten there was a special edition of this movie. What are the changes?
 

TM2YC

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Moe_Syzlak said:
I remember as a kid thinking how is Indy going to hold his breath for that long holding on to the outside of a submarine? I had forgotten there was a special edition of this movie. What are the changes?

Not many changes, just changing some FX that didn't need changing. Even on this incredibly blurry comparison, the redone Jeep CGI shot stands out a mile to me:

 

mnkykungfu

Well-known member
TM2YC said:
If it wasn't clear, I didn't mean that as a criticism.
I might be wrong but I don't get that feeling with Miyazaki, it seems like a tasteful artistic choice. 

No, I got you, no worries.  You could be right about the camera being still purposefully, or maybe it's a little of A and a little of B.  I said that because the finances of that movie were famously troubled.  It was only Miyazaki's 3rd film directing, and it was initially only supposed to be an hour long.  As he worked on the autobiographical story, more of the nature elements began creeping in, and sequences got longer... they tried to get approval to distribute it as a full-length feature, but their financiers backed out.  They finally got new financiers who agreed to fund the feauture if it was released on a double bill with Ghibli's other film by their other director, Takahata (who had more pedigree at the time).  Totoro came out with Grave of the Fireflies, which was a big hit.  Totoro flopped however, and didn't make its money back until a couple years later, when it got replayed on NHK a lot.
I saw some photos of the Ghibli museum building. Looks amazing.
It's exactly what you would want it to be.  The attention to detail is stunning.  Ghibli characters woven througout the iron laticework on railings, in the stained glass windows, on ceiling tiles.  There's a lifesize plush catbus, a Porco Rosso cafe-brewery, and of course the mini-theater, playing original shorts every month.  A must-see in Japan.
 
TM2YC said:
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
 I love that Spielberg and Editor Michael Kahn adopt the style of films from the era it's set in, old fashioned cross-fades, those plane/map traveling shots, classical editing techniques and rigorous use of establishing shots 
This is honestly what makes the movie for me, even more than Ford.  I LOVE those map shots, and wish they were used in more films!
 
TM2YC said:
Even on this incredibly blurry comparison, the redone Jeep CGI shot stands out a mile to me:
Thanks for the comparison video, I was unaware!  I am admittedly less sensitive to CG than some film buffs... but for me this is just a clarity issue.  In the new version, everthing is just a bit crisper and clearer (while still looking "old") and you can more clearly see the jeep and guy falling.  Both new and old are obviously effects shots, so in terms of immersion, maybe it comes down to personal choice?
 

TM2YC

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mnkykungfu said:
It was only Miyazaki's 3rd film directing, and it was initially only supposed to be an hour long.  As he worked on the autobiographical story, more of the nature elements began creeping in, and sequences got longer... they tried to get approval to distribute it as a full-length feature, but their financiers backed out.  They finally got new financiers who agreed to fund the feauture if it was released on a double bill with Ghibli's other film by their other director, Takahata (who had more pedigree at the time).  Totoro came out with Grave of the Fireflies, which was a big hit.  Totoro flopped however, and didn't make its money back until a couple years later, when it got replayed on NHK a lot.
Interesting info, thanks :) .

mnkykungfu said:
There's a lifesize plush catbus

Awesome.
 
mnkykungfu said:
TM2YC said:
Even on this incredibly blurry comparison, the redone Jeep CGI shot stands out a mile to me:

Thanks for the comparison video, I was unaware!  I am admittedly less sensitive to CG than some film buffs... but for me this is just a clarity issue.  In the new version, everthing is just a bit crisper and clearer (while still looking "old") and you can more clearly see the jeep and guy falling.  Both new and old are obviously effects shots, so in terms of immersion, maybe it comes down to personal choice?

Using a film based analogy... I suppose I view this sort of thing as being like if somebody gave you a yellowed old hand-typed script from 1981 done on an old typewriter, except one page in the middle has been replaced with a pristine new white page done on a modern word processor. It's undoubtedly cleaner, much more legible and the spellchecker has removed all the little errors but it stands out from the other pages.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
The 2nd day of BBC1 Easter Indy in the afternoon: I've always really loved this film but I've got to admit it has some flaws. It's not Kate Capshaw's Willie Scott, she behaves exactly the way a pampered Cabaret singer would act if she got dragged down into Indy's filthy, chaotic world and I like her character a lot. It's the more overtly comedic tone, coupled with the heavy use of sets, miniatures, FX shots and ridiculous stunts that make this feel more like outlandish fantasy, than the much more grounded Raiders. It suffers from the situation films can get into when they've built a set so vast and so impressive that they don't feel the need to leave it. I also think it drags a little in the middle between our heroes being captured and them fighting back, it's too much time spent in the same set. Those issues are far outweighed by the thrilling action, wonderful characters, John William's score and many amazing set pieces. The ending is pure joy, the Indian village actors look so genuinely ecstatic when the children come back, soundtracked by a triumphant version of the Raiders march. Indy and Shortround's surrogate father/son relationship works so well. They're constantly bickering and making wisecracks like old friends but then you get moments like a frightened Shorty desperately calling "Indy I love you" and when Spielberg has the camera at child-eye-level as Indy and Shorty exchange hats, Shorty staring up at his returned hero, Indy gently touches Shorty's cheek, then kneels and they share a long embrace... your heart just melts. From that point on it's a non-stop (literal) roller-coaster ride as they escape from the temple cult, climaxing with the iconic rope bridge finale.

 

mnkykungfu

Well-known member
^Temple of Doom is the best Indiana Jones movie.  Fight me, internet!

The Founder (2016)
The trailer for this gives away the entire movie (literally, the last scene is in the trailer) so instead: hey, here's the movie.  I like Hancock's films.  You'd never call him an auteur, but they're always very capable, and at points very affective.  Full review: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/the-founder/

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)
The last of my Netflix docs before I signed out forever.  This one does a great job of including lots of music but not being fluff, or a musical tour.  It's actually a great biopic about someone we could all probably stand to learn more about.  Full review: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/what-happened-miss-simone/

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
This is another one where apparently the entire film is in pretty good quality on Youtube, so here ya go.  One of the few big John Carpenter films I hadn't seen, and I wanted to give it a watch when I heard the excellent Green Room being compared to it.  I didn't like it near as much as some other Carpenter classics, but I imagine it would have blown my mind if I saw it as a teenager when it was new.  Full review: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/assault-on-precinct-13/
 

TM2YC

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Outbreak (1995)
I was blown away by Richard Preston's terrifying non-fiction Ebola virus thriller 'The Hot Zone' (based on his own 1992 New Yorker article) when it came out on paperback. So I was very excited to see this 1995 movie, believing it to be an adaptation of Preston's novel. Even as a teenager, I was very disappointed to discover it only bore a passing resemblance to the rigorous science-based horror of the book, which was replaced with amped-up Hollywood action. Reading up on it now... apparently Warner Brothers lost a bidding war for the rights to Preston's novel to Producer Lynda Obst and Fox, so WB decided to do their own Ebola movie, keeping as close to the book as possible without getting sued. They stole a march on Obst who was still in pre-production, resulting in her genuine adaptation being cancelled for fears of it being too similar. I was unaware that she eventually got to make her version in the form of a 2019 mini-series starring Julianna Margulies and co-Produced by Ridley Scott. I'll have to check that out.

Given the current global situation, I fancied revisiting Wolfgang Petersen's film, the last time I watched 'Outbreak', it was a VHS rental! (has it really been a quarter century?). This time, I absolutely f**kin' loved this movie! I really didn't care anymore that it was an OTT Hollywood version of reality, I was just onboard for the ride. Of course the killer virus has to be presented as making "Ebola look like the common cold" but (as the characters themselves point out) that very lethality diminishes it's threat, so they have to make it airborne too! Dustin Hoffman plays a maverick medical Colonel, raging against his duplicitous superiors (Morgan Freeman and Donald Sutherland) attempting to find a cure and save a quarantined Californian town. An extra "ticking clock" element is present because Sutherland's evil character is hell-bent on nuking the town. The all-star cast includes Rene Russo, Kevin Spacey and Cuba Gooding Jr. There are massive sub-nuclear explosions, Hoffman invades a TV studio at gunpoint, there are car chases and even a spectacular helicopter dogfight. James Newton Howard's propulsive score drives it all. I was rooted to my seat for what has got to be one of the best action thrillers of the 90s!

The version I watched (on Netflix) is a bit odd because they've done what looks like a very nice crisp HD transfer from the negative but all the FX shots look like they are from a grainy 35mm print. They look like they would be very convincing FX shots but you can tell they're not real because the image quality changes massively. So I'd probably recommend watching this one via an old DVD if possible.

 

TM2YC

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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
The BBC1 Indy adventure Easter weekend concludes (there are no more films in this franchise ;) ). I thoroughly enjoyed 'Last Crusade' when I was a kid, it was the only one I was old enough to see in the cinema but it's the weakest of the original trilogy. Whatever you say about 'Temple of Doom', it was a totally different adventure, LC is pretty much a nostalgic riff on Raiders. They bring back the same supporting characters Sallah and Marcus, except now they're cartoonish buffoons, instead of serious archaeologists. They're in the same scenes, the same story beats, the same sorts of locations, with the same camera angles. The antagonists are the Nazis again, you've got Donovan instead of Belloq, Vogel instead of Toht and the Grail instead of the Ark. They do introduce a few twists on the formula, like having Indy's love-interest being one of the villains. They also attempt to do something different with the cold open by casting River Phoenix as a young Indy but it soon descends into little more than fan service. Remember when Indy got his whip, his scar, his fear of snakes, his hat, first said all his catchphrases and did the jumping off a horse onto a moving vehicle thing for the first time, all in the same afternoon? It does lead into one of the most eloquent time jumps in movie history, as Phoenix's dispirited face drops and comes back up as a defiantly grinning Harrison Ford, then he gets punched in the jaw! :D

The tank chase is terrific entertainment but it's too similar to the truck chase from Raiders. There is a self-indulgent sojourn to Berlin (with the flimsiest of plot contrivances) just so Indy can meet Hitler. For some reason they give Indy a tie to wear for the first half of the film, which slightly ruins his classic costume and helps to make the noticeably older and less svelte Ford, look more so. The comedy dial that was turned up for ToD, is up to 11 this time but when almost all the jokes are hilarious, it's not really a huge complaint. Although what the hell is that scene were Indy pretends to be a Scottish Laird? All those cracks are largely papered over by the genius casting of Sean Connery, as Jones Snr. There's always been a touch of the Bond movie about this franchise, so having the OG 007 as Indy's father just feels so right. The bickering chemistry between him and Indy is what makes this movie work. The first 3/4 of an hour drag a little but it sparks into life when Connery finally turns up and nothing else matters from then on. The script has some of the best one liners ever, like "No ticket!", "Nazis. I hate these guys" and "She talks in her sleep". John Williams does it again with his wonderful Grail theme and a nifty little theme for young Indy. The scene when the heroes and villains must choose the right grail is kinda poetic. Our beloved compadres riding off into the blazing sunset like heroic cowboys, as the Raiders march plays was the note-perfect conclusion to this franchise... or any franchise. Only a crazy person would come back back 19-years later and try to make another one!

 

mnkykungfu

Well-known member
TM2YC said:
Outbreak (1995)
I was rooted to my seat for what has got to be one of the best action thrillers of the 90s!

I might have to give this a rewatch at some point.  I haven't done since the theater, and I remember not being too impressed with it at the time.  Rather bored, really, especially given the phenomenal cast.  Maybe I was too young.
 
TM2YC said:
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
 Only a crazy person would come back back 19-years later and try to make another one!

And another after that!  Like Daniel Craig, Ford is apparently not content to go out on an underwhelming note.  Hard to see them ever winning with an Indy movie at this point, though.  The first film was and has become so influential that everything just seems either derivative or like a parody of it, including the series' own films.  Either they're too much riffing on gags we've already seen or it's too much of a departure.  I always wonder how they'd be judged if they'd come out in a different order...
 

TM2YC

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Curtiz (2018)
A Hungarian made biopic of Hungarian/Jewish/American film Director Michael Curtiz (born Mano Kaminer, then Mihaly Kertesz) distributed by Netflix, focusing on the production of 'Casablanca'. Curtiz (an imperious Ferenc Lengyel) has to deal with interference from the US government who want a patriotic war film, suspicion of his motives as a European immigrant, an estranged daughter from one of his many affairs, a demanding studio, a constantly changing script, a sister trying to escape the Nazis back in Europe (she survived but her husband and children all died in Auschwitz) and not least his own formidable personal demons and awful behavior. It's all very well acted but you feel it's trying a little too hard to make the behind-the-scenes events mirror the story of 'Casablanca'. It's obviously very low budget and confined to a few interior sets but they make up for this by artfully lighting those sets to perfection, like it was a shadowy B&W 1940s Film-Noir. If you love 'Casablanca', this is worth an hour and a half of your time.

4K trailer:

 

TM2YC

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Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
Hayao Miyazaki's 'Kiki's Delivery Service' ('Majo no Takkyubin' = 'Witch's Delivery Service') takes us on a little coming-of-age adventure with teenage (good) witch Kiki, her talking black cat Jiji, flying broomstick and transistor radio. Thankfully there is no big baddie to defeat, no wars to fight, just finding a place to live, starting a business, making new friends in a strange town and dealing with self-doubt and depression... those problems are plenty big enough for any kid to deal with. The animation is magical, the music is delightful, it's a total joy to watch :) .


You think Hollywood is bad at doing live-action remakes of Japanese Anime... well Japan needs somebody to hold it's Asahi :D :

 

TM2YC

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The Rainmaker (1997)
'The Rainmaker' was Francis Ford Coppola's last movie in a 30-year run before semi-retiring (then returning for three poorly received micro-budget movies in the late 2000s). It's a fairly mainstream John Grisham courtroom drama, Coppola eschews his high-concept ambitions and just concentrates on simple effective story telling (he wrote the screenplay too). It was in danger of taking too long to build up it's characters and setting but once the trial starts it's really dramatic. It's a "David and Goliath" setup, with Danny Glover's wonderfully no-bullsh*t judge overseeing the battle. Matt Damon plays a very new idealistic young lawyer, teamed with Danny DeVito's older cynical, hustling and tenacious failed Lawyer, up against a big law firm led by a hissably arrogant Jon Voight. I liked the way the film avoided presenting Damon as an ace hotshot but as a kid who is genuinely slightly out of his depth but trying to do his best. Unfortunately the romance subplot with Claire Danes was a dead weight, it's barely connected to the main plot. This might be an entertaining enough footnote in Coppola's illustrious filmography but it would be the pinnacle of many other Director's careers.

 

mnkykungfu

Well-known member
TM2YC said:
You think Hollywood is bad at doing live-action remakes of Japanese Anime... well Japan needs somebody to hold it's Asahi :D :

You sir, get ALL the claps.
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Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Everyone's seen a trailer already, so there's a good spoiler-filled video instead... it actually just begins to cover the "sins" of what I thought was a massively over-rated film.  There are several big plot problems with that film, but much like Thor: Ragnarok, people who like comedy and pretty visuals don't care.  I'm a story guy however, so.... full review: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/spider-man-into-the-spider-verse/

Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976)
I'm just going to post the movie, because there's a great rip of the Criterion Collection up on Youtube totally free.  I watched this because I heard American Factory being compared to it, but I was skeptical of such an old doc.  Oh lord, was I wrong.  It has immediately shot up into my top 10 best docs ever.  Full review: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/harlan-county-usa/

Jimi: All Is by My Side (2013)
Honestly, the trailer doesn't give a very accurate reflection of what the movie is.  Jimi is mostly very pensive and not confidant or dynamic unless he's on stage...and he's not on stage all that much in this.  It's an interesting take on Hendrix's story for me, a lifelong fan, but it's a failure ultimately.  Full review: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/jimi-all-is-by-my-side/
 
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