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The Last Movie(s) You Watched... (quick one or two sentence reviews)

MusicEd921

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The Green Knight
2.5/5

I didn't read the story/poem it was based on until after I saw the movie and I have to say, they could've made a medieval horror epic, but instead went for arthouse type imagery and metaphors and a muddled ending. Dev Patel is wonderful and every shot is cinematic and picturesque, but story-wise this movie did not deliver in my opinion and I felt like the 2 hour slow burn was a bit of a waste based on the ending (the ending of the actual story is different and in it, the main character and the reader learn a valuable lesson which was completely left out of this movie). A24 has always been hit or miss for me and this one was a miss.
 

Racerx1969

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Jungle Cruise (2021) I wasn't planning on watching this as I didn't have high hopes. I have always loved the ride since I was a kid, but it seemed like a movie adaptation would be a disaster. Well, I was wrong. It's actually a fun humor-filled pulp adventure movie. Yes, the jokes are corny as hell--as they should be considering the rider operator's jokes are corny and well-worn (they used the standard one my sister and I hoped for). The story line is good enough to drive the movie for what it is. It never takes itself seriously, and the audience shouldn't either. Tongue firmly planted in cheek.
 

mnkykungfu

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The Green Knight - went for arthouse type imagery and metaphors and a muddled ending
Yeah: David Lowery. Despite loving the source, I stayed away from this one, knowing what he would do with it.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008)
Just rewatched this after purchasing the new(ish) dvd...still holds up as a funny, touching, toe-tapping story while also being a satire on the whole superhero genre. More thoughts here.

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988)
Finally tracked down this banned short feature that had been on my list for years.... the early transgressiveness of it plus that it was sold as made wholly using Barbie dolls (it's not) made me think it might be genius. It's honestly pretty bad. More thoughts here.

Black Mirror: Hang the DJ (2017)
As a single guy who's been on seemingly endless dates searching for "the one", this particular episode was right up my alley. It hits all the typicalities of modern online dating, like giving consent, cohabitation, and the inevitable "what if we're all living in a simulation" pseudo-philosophical conversation. But because it's Black Mirror, these all take on another dimension, though none to a huge level of depth (given the runtime). More thoughts here.
 

keithbk

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I watched the Adam Sandler/Drew Berrymore movie "Blended" and laughed so much at the opening "date" that I showed it to all my friends. The movie is genuinely funny in a lot of places, without as much gross stuff that typically diminishes Sandler's better movie ideas. That's not to say it couldn't benefit from a fanedit, but this one is definitely one of my favorite Sandler movies.

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orchidal

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The Green Knight
4/5
arthouse high fantasy for the win. Wish there were more films like this and less films like the one I review below:

The Suicide Squad
1/5
Maybe I'll like it more once the fan edits trickle in. I liked Staro and the gorey violence. In dire need of a streamlined 90min cut and a complete rescoring. The tonal shifts, pacing, forced chemistry and music cues really dragged it down.
 

mnkykungfu

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^Wow, interesting. On Letterboxd, the zeitgeist seems to be trending in the opposite directions for those two...

Knowing (2009)
A wild ride of a film that starts off all retro, then settles into a subtly-building mystery/thriller before going big for the ending. My full review, in which I totally stan for this.

Another Round (2020)
Finally got around to watching this complicated Danish film that's as much about teachers feeling old and disconnected as it is about Denmark's battle with alcoholism. My full review, in which I get real personal.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
The original (not counting Heinlein's '51 book The Puppet Masters) which is supposedly an apolitical story but is almost impossible not to ponder in terms of the Cold War and McCarthyism. My full review, in which I spend time thinking about the Hollywood Blacklist when I really should've been talking more about how jaw-dropping Dana Wynter was.
 

mnkykungfu

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The Suicide Squad (2021)
Succeeds as style over substance. The flair and some of the comedy worked enough to win me over despite the film's heart not really being in the efforts at emotional scenes. Full thoughts here.

August is also the time I set aside every year to dig into Japanese films, in honor of O-Bon....
Shura (1971, usually listed as "Demons" but sometimes as "Pandemonium")
Deserves to be talked about with the same reverence as films like Hara-Kiri, Tenchu, and Tokyo Story. In fact, I liked this very Buddhist samurai morality play better than all those, and I think it might be a bit more accessible to foreigners. Full thoughts.

Tampopo (1985...literally means "dandelion", which is probably why nobody ever translates it for listings)
I've never been into so-called "food porn" movies, and this one is literally that at points. The messaging in it is super chauvinistic and misogynistic and even pedophiliac at one point. Massive swing and a miss for me. More here.
 

mnkykungfu

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Love & Mercy (2014)
A sort-of biopic that bucks a lot of the conventions of biopics and focuses more on putting you in the shoes of Beach Boys legend, Brian Wilson. I'm not much of a fan so a lot probably went over my head, but the central performances are all great and the sound design is amazing. More here.

Time to dance the bon odori, O-bon is here!
A Letter to Momo (2011)
A real gem of animation that taps into that family drama amongst fantastical circumstances that Studio Ghibli is so famous for. This is super Japanese and yet pretty accessible at the same time; I can't recommend it enough. More here.

13 Assassins (2010)
A jidai-geki tale in the tradition of Chushingura, this one won a lot of acclaim for it's deliberate pace and bombastic finale. Like other Miike films though, it crapped the bed for me with self-indulgent scenes that went nowhere and character choices that made no narrative sense. Details here.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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Suicide Squad. At this point I’m convinced these comic book movies only work for me with a compelling leading wo/man and an above average script. This one had neither.
 

mnkykungfu

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Watched the Ghost in the Shell origins series, called "ARISE". It's broken into 5 short movies (or OVAs) like a mini-series, called "Borders" smh.
Border 1: Ghost Pain (2013)
The title has a double meaning, in that it refers to "phantom limb pain", which our cyborg protagonist shouldn't experience as she's never had a real body. While that mystery ties in with the overall murder mystery being explored, the film also works in how a military cyborg can have a tortured soul, or "ghost" as the series refers to them. If you're a fan of the iconic original film, this is a great origin story, and if this is all new to you, this is a great entry into the cyberpunk genre.

Border 2: Ghost Whispers (2013)

The title refers (I think) to two things again. The film leans harder into the complex political web of differing interests and people playing different angles a la House of Cards or Game of Thrones. As in the rest of the series, physical terrorist attacks are typically accompanied by brutal cyberattacks, and there are whispers about the government covering up the reason for the ongoing terrorist situation. But this is also a further explanation of our hero, Motoko Kusanagi, and the whispers of what we've done continuing to haunt us.

Border 3: Ghost Tears (2014)

I think this title is more direct, as it gets into the emotional side of Major Kusanagi for once, and compares her views and background to that of the team she has now assembled. This is one that feels a bit more ambitious in some respects, and I think all the different plot elements don't quite come together at the level of excellence of Ghost Pain. But director Kazuchika Kise still leads Production I.G. through stunningly fluid animation and a web of character development that's consistent across these three short films. I recommend them all.
 

mnkykungfu

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Wrapped up the Ghost in the Shell - Arise OVA film series:

Border 4: Ghost Stands Alone (2014)
I am actually not sure what the title is about here, as this is the first film in the series where all of the team and supporting players are in place. It parallels the Mission Impossible series a lot in that by this point you're going to be missing out on things if you try to watch this without watching previous entries. This one goes heavy into the geo-politics and various espionage agency double-crosses, but felt somewhat uneven and had elements a bit more typical to other anime.

Border 5: Pyrophoric Cult (2015)
The previous four films were cut up into TV episodes and this originally premiered as a two-episode cap to the series. It works a bit better for me than the previous film, even though it's the shortest one and the simplest. Focusing on a hijacking incident and cyberdrugs, there's not as much character development here but it nicely sets up Major Kusanagi's Section 9 team to have the kind of freedom and governmental clout they'll need for an all-out action movie....

Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie (2015)
Through some deft writing feints, this at first seems like a completely-standalone film that just uses the same designs and production team from the ARISE series. But a few surprises later and this turns out to be a mostly-satisfying wrap-up to everything those films were building towards. With a new director and a full theatrical runtime, this one has more time for the slow moments and will feel more familiar and easier to get into. Even though this whole film leads up to the beginning scene of the original Ghost in the Shell (1995), I actually like this one better and would recommend everyone watch it, with or without the ARISE series.
 

mnkykungfu

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Marnie (1964)
I ignited a bit of conversation in my Letterboxd review of this Hitchcock film when I suggested there was nothing so horrible in it that it should be written off without watching. Perhaps the final film in Hitch's "Golden Age", it features the same technical excellence from his longtime cinematographer, editor, composer, and other crew. Hedren's performance is divisive but it's the script that turns most people off, and the fact that this mostly just isn't that suspenseful.

Lost in La Mancha (2002)

Not on DVD in the US, I finally got ahold of a Spanish copy of this film, which is fine except when the crew speak Spanish and it's not subtitled. But most of this just shows the frenetic behind-the-scenes leading to Terry Gilliam's four days of shooting "Don Quixote" with Jean Rochefort and a newly-married Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. To me, this put the lie to the idea that the production was just plagued by "bad luck", revealing a Gilliam that wasn't in control while a group of in-over-their-head producers looked to him for guidance.

Suppressed (2020)
An update of the documentary subtitled "The Fight to Vote" from the year before, this 40 minute film was released for free on Youtube as a drive to energize voters before the US Presidential Election. It focuses on how Republican lawmakers have made systemic changes to how voting is conducted in various states in the name of budget control or anti-fraud measures (particularly the new parts related to Trump). The doc shows how the net effect is to disenfranchise people of color and those of lower SES... and it's intentional.
 

DigModiFicaTion

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Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)
Bought this one based on the high reviews.......not sure why it got high reviews. Good animation, but the characters and plot just felt flat. Way too much pop/current culture dialogue and references in it for my taste. 5.5/10

The Monuments Men (2014)
I remember being disappointed by this the first time I watched it. Sadly my memory was correct. I did like it more than Hail Caesar!, but only slightly. A real shame given the amazing cast. The movie is just flat and devoid of life. 5/10
 

DigModiFicaTion

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Bridge of Spies
Tom Hanks is brilliant as expected. Beautiful movie, disastrous color grade. 8/10
 

Moe_Syzlak

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Reminiscence. I wanted to like this but I just didn’t. It’s going for that futuristic neo noir hard boiled crime thriller. But it comes off as simply bad dialogue which makes for spotty performances and an almost total lack of chemistry on screen. I couldn’t help but start to think about how necessary the voice over is and whether it could be removed a la Blade Runner. I think the answer is it’s almost totally unnecessary and its removal would improve the film. The question is simply whether it’s even worth it for this movie.
 
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mnkykungfu

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Duel (1971)
I watched the theatrical release version of this, Spielberg's first. I'm a big fan of his, but I don't think I've ever seen him work so gritty and edgy here, his camera full of a kinetic youthful enthusiasm. It doesn't all work though, hamstrung by typical horror movie script frustrations and a dislikable main character.

Genius Party (2007)
Spelled in katakana Japanese (as loan words usually are) instead of using the accurate word 天才 "tensai", I think the title is meant to be a joke due to most of the directors in this animated anthology being relative upstarts. Included in their number however is the legend, Shinichirō Watanabe, whose short film "Baby Blue" closes out this movie on a high. Details on the other shorts here.

Shin Godzilla (2016)
"Shin" means "new" in Japanese, but also often has the connotation of being a reinvention or kicking off a new era. This modern Japanese remake of the '54 original does both, and does both better than that classic. It's a truly great film with a surprising amount of depth and not-so-subtle subtext where Godzilla doesn't just represent a natural disaster, but is used as a very specific metaphor for the 2011 Tohoku/Sendai disaster.
 

Darth Kermit

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Genius Party and Genius Party Beyond were pretty cool. Overall, I enjoyed Beyond more, as I thought the 5 shorts in that one were higher quality overall and I enjoyed them quite a bit. But my favorite overall was Baby Blue, Watanabe’s. One of my favorite directors, with Bebop being my favorite show of all time.
 

mnkykungfu

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^For sure. The new shots from the Cowboy Bebop movie don't seem to really capture the flair and vibe of the series for me, unfortunately. As I mentioned in the linked review, several of the other directors for Genius Party impressed me too, with only one short that I didn't like. But I do have the sequel anthology too, and hopefully will have a chance to watch it soon.
 

Darth Kermit

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Do you mean the live action Netflix series? Because the original anime series and film are both great, so when you say “new” shots from the bebop movie, I assume you mean the show produced by Netflix. And yeah, it probably won’t be good, but it has Yoko Kanno doing the music, so I’ll watch it.
 

ArtisDead

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Stillwater (2021)

Exactly what it looks like. Dad is hell bent on saving his innocent daughter from prison for a crime she didn't commit. I wasn't bored while watching it. It kept my interest. Damon seems to take on the Neeson/Willis mantle easily and looks better doing it. A nice somewhat expected reveal in the end.

Sweet Girl (2021)

Okay, so Momoa is the star and plays his part well but the daughter is the real star here. She's pretty amazing. The ending is a somewhat overused shocker but it works well. Very fast moving edge of your seat thrill ride.

The Massacre (The Original Texas Chainsaw Massacre) by Maniac

Holy Crap! Sliced and diced and on steriods in just about an hour.. It was like a bullet to the head. One and done. In black and white no less. Maniac is off the chain and very likely has many screws loose but he is a master of his craft. I would love to see more classic horror movies done like this. I think I forgot to breathe...
 
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