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

mnkykungfu

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^Hmm, I will admit to not having seen all his films, but partly that's because they haven't all appealed to me. They can be incredibly cold; technically proficient, but with characters that you struggle to connect with and motivations which seem murky at best.
I think sometimes people don't give enough credit to how hard it is to create a compelling character journey, with people that are flawed but you still like and root for. Punch Drunk Love captures all that, and is a film that conveys emotion so much better than most of PTA's works. There are a lot of technical choices that go into how to make the audience feel, and for me that's just as laudable as a well-composed scene.
PDL is easily my favorite film of his, partly for this reason, and it's the one I get the most out of rewatching. Can't say that about some of his more "serious" films. It's like a Science degree vs an Arts degree. PDL may be an Arts degree, but it's a Doctorate.
 

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Scott Pilgrim VS The World, 10th anniversary table read
After binging the new Scott Pilgrim anime, I was going to go to bed, somehow I ended up watching this whole thing instead. It's most of the main cast in a Zoom call reading off the movie's script. I just love that this cast has so much love for the film and eachother that they're willing to reunite for something like this, especially with such a big actor like Chris Evans. It's fun seeing how much fun all of the actors are having. Just a good wholesome time, more or less. It's a shame Kieran Culkin couldn't make it, he's one of the best parts of the film and would've surely added to this.
 

mnkykungfu

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SLY (2023)
Netflix is having a fire sale on all these bio-docs, but you can't help comparing this one specifically to the 3-part Arnold doc from last month. Aside from the brevity of this one, the main difference for me was that Arnold's comments felt very polished, whereas Stallone here feels very unfiltered. That said, this doc mostly shies away from the more negative or potentially embarrassing aspects of his personal life, making it feel more like an introduction than the final word.

The Marvels (2023)
I find my own experience and opinion about Marvel Studios almost constantly running counter to the public narrative. I was praising their films to the heavens before they were cool, and I started getting turned off by their output when they were still riding high. Now that it's fashionable to hate every single thing Marvel puts out, I'm really enjoying some of their weirder, wilder, stuff that's definitely not going to appeal to all the same audience as say, Iron Man or Endgame. The Marvels is a film like that: I low-key kind of loved it, and a also kind of love that Marvel is making stuff that is messier and riskier and doesn't appeal to everyone.

The Killer (2023)
This feels mostly like David Fincher (maybe my favorite working director) playing with some techniques behind the scenes for cameras and sound and an aesthetic. The story itself and the characters are rather bland and uninvolving, with I think every breathing soul agreeing that the 5 minutes with Tilda Swinton in it is the best part. Not a dud but this is pretty low on my Fincher ranking; I hope this cleanses his palette so that he can tackle another massively-obsessive piece of esoteric perfectionism next.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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I think every breathing soul agreeing that the 5 minutes with Tilda Swinton in it is the best part.

It was definitely the best part, but unfortunately that’s not saying much. That scene, like so much of the film, had the potential to be so much more. What was with that writing!? That joke? I had heard it before and after watching the movie I heard that it had recently been used in The Crown. Is this some English inside joke or something? (Genuine question). The minute or so dialogue between Damon and Clive Owen in Bourne was better than that whole scene with Swinton at portraying a dialogue between two hired killers.
 

mnkykungfu

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^This isn't the forum to get too analytical about it, but I liked that scene a lot more than you it sounds like. It's not really about witty dialogue or the joke, it's about the choices those two characters make in that moment. That he comes inside, listens. That she's resigned, patters, indulges. That in the end, he gives, and drinks the whisky. And then after... It's a chess game of motivations and attempting to connect with someone on a human level when to them life and death are as easy as turning on or off a light when you change rooms. And about not connecting, not much. So who really deserves to live, and who deserves to die, in the end? And maybe The Killer is left with that knowledge, and that's why he thinks of himself as a fraud, and a waste.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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^This isn't the forum to get too analytical about it, but I liked that scene a lot more than you it sounds like. It's not really about witty dialogue or the joke, it's about the choices those two characters make in that moment. That he comes inside, listens. That she's resigned, patters, indulges. That in the end, he gives, and drinks the whisky. And then after... It's a chess game of motivations and attempting to connect with someone on a human level when to them life and death are as easy as turning on or off a light when you change rooms. And about not connecting, not much. So who really deserves to live, and who deserves to die, in the end? And maybe The Killer is left with that knowledge, and that's why he thinks of himself as a fraud, and a waste.
I don’t disagree with any of that. But it apparently didn’t work for me the way it did for you. You’ve got two A list actors in an intense scene who are playing killers and it just didn’t deliver. I mean if the whole movie had been at that level I could’ve recommended it, so it’s not like I’m saying it didn’t work. It just felt like a missed opportunity. Telling a nervous joke? Pulp Fiction did it better. And, as I said, the human connections of two killers or resignation to one’s death? Bourne did it better. It’s just indicative to me of how massively disappointing I found this whole movie. Again, it’s not that it is a bad movie; it just feels like a huge missed opportunity. And sometimes that’s the most frustrating.
 
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mnkykungfu

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Three for Thanksgiving:

The Territory (2022)
One of the best docs I've seen in a long time, this one is an embedded view of an Amazonian tribe being threatened and killed for their land. This is a current issue that affects everyone (deforestation of the Amazon deprives us of medicine, air quality, and much more) but the film focuses much more on the people in the story and lets the politics be the backdrop.

Nobody's Fool (1994)
I was aware that this small-town dramedy was one of Paul Newman's last great performances, but didn't remember that it also co-starred Bruce Willis in his prime. There's one bum casting decision here where I wish they'd put someone like Jason Patric as Newman's son, and it has the knock-on effect of making this just a mid-range comfort movie instead of truly stirring family drama.

Funny People (2009)
A perennial Thanksgiving watch for me, this is a tale of three roommates (Schwartzman, Hill, and Rogen) trying to make their Hollywood dreams come true in the L.A. comedy circuit. Rogen is lagging far behind the others when a lucky break sees him land a writing assistant gig to a fictionalized Adam Sandler, who is seeking to get back to the things that matter to him after having sold out and achieved massive success. This is the sweet spot in Judd Apatow's filmography for me: the exact balance point between honest personal trauma (especially when you know about Gary Shandling) and really funny, ridiculous comedy moments.
 

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Hungergames Ballad Of Songbirss & Snakes - Really good 7/10

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol: This is what I want from a Mission Impossible movie, now I actually like the franchise!

Elektra: I regret watching this

The Creatot: Needed to be shorter I couldn’t get through it
 

mnkykungfu

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My Darling Clementine (1946)
I'm pretty ignorant about '40s movies because I'm not very drawn to stuff from the Hayes Code period (at least American films), so I had no inkling based off of this title that this is actually a Western about Wyatt Earp and the legendary showdown in Tombstone. Not the first, last, or best depiction of those events, this tries to shift the general narrative into a love triangle between Wyatt, Doc Holiday, and this fictional amalgamation named Clementine. Honestly, that still all feels thin compared to the simmering true conflict (though virtually nothing is factually told here), but some pretty strong performances and confident directing carry this through all the same.

Layer Cake (2004)
The big breakout for Matthew Vaughn, Daniel Craig, and Sienna Miller, this British gangster film often felt a little too ridiculous and self-aware to me and like it was trying just a bit too hard to be the new Lock Stock... However, it truly is a directing and editing showcase, and all the performances keep you involved in a story that easily has a half dozen too many twists to it.

Elemental (2023)
I was all ready to say the initial review bombing of this was out of line and unjustified, but after finally watching: I have to agree that this Bollywood Romance is decidedly towards the bottom of Pixar's filmography. The biggest issue for me is that I just struggle to see what would be gripping about this for kids? It feels increasingly like PIxar is just making films that resonate with their own little subsection of socially-awkward, well-meaning but entitled and oblivious adults: the ones making the films. If you happen to be exactly like them, then you may really dig this movie or that, but their films don't find that deeper resonance anymore that crosses boundaries of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, and so on and so on. So this one just didn't click with me.
 

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The Elephant Man (1980)

The most straightforward and most accessible film by David Lynch. There is no denying that this is a masterpiece. It's not one I want to do repeat viewings of due to its heartbreaking subject matter, but it is worth seeing at least once in your life, if for no other reason than it might make you a better person. Excellent cinematography, a beautifully invisible performance by John Hurt, and a great performance by a young Anthony Hopkins are extra reasons to see it at least once.
 

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The Elephant Man (1980)

The most straightforward and most accessible film by David Lynch. There is no denying that this is a masterpiece. It's not one I want to do repeat viewings of due to its heartbreaking subject matter, but it is worth seeing at least once in your life, if for no other reason than it might make you a better person. Excellent cinematography, a beautifully invisible performance by John Hurt, and a great performance by a young Anthony Hopkins are extra reasons to see it at least once.
I remember being very young when I (partially) saw this movie and getting sad that it was not a superhero movie... I should give it another try!
 

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I remember being very young when I (partially) saw this movie and getting sad that it was not a superhero movie... I should give it another try!

Yes, definitely give it another try. Be sure to give yourself something fun to do afterwards, though. It's quite a heavy experience.
 

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Finally watched the 2018 Aquaman today in preparation for the new one coming out soon. I thought the special effects were pretty awesome and it was nice seeing some big name actors and actresses in it
 

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Across the Universe - finally watched this, I kinda loved it. The acting and singing wasn't always the best imo, but that's fine. I'm in love with the visuals, the musical numbers were full of fantastic directing, editing, and choreography, everything was a joy to watch except for when the visuals were intentionally unnerving. I guess it didn't get the best reviews due to lackluster plot and characters, but I thought it was all serviceable. There's an unfortunate lack of the best Beatles song, Maxwell's Silver Hammer, but at least we get references to it, and I guess the song wouldn't really fit naturally.
In conclusion, way better than Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
 

mnkykungfu

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The Oath (2018)
A Thanksgiving/Black Friday movie where the US President has demanded all citizens who are "true patriots" swear an oath of loyalty specifically to the President and Thanksgiving is the last day to do so. Played primarily as a dark comedy, but 2 years after Trump was elected, this is easily believable as straight horror. The first half with family members arguing about political viewpoints over the holiday is easily the better-written part, but overall it's still a worthwhile film.

Napoleon (2023)
Came into this hearing that it was a comedy where Napoleon is the butt of every joke. My feeling is that's an overly-simplistic takeaway, whereas the film both acknowledges impressive things Napoleon did but also makes him very flawed and human. There are funny bits (mostly the music) but also drama and lots of bloody battles... seeing this other than on the big screen would be such a loss.

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off (2023)
This one-off limited series seems suited for Netflix's program of generating anime that seems edgy for early teens. The humor in this is just such a miss, the action scenes are mind-numbing because the animation is so simplistic that there's no thrill, and the writing is just a really cringey attempt to retcon criticisms from butthurt haters of the original film. I was so excited for this, but I ended up really hating it.
 

VarsityEditor

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Escape Room (2019, Netflix)
Never heard of this, but watched it because I like escape rooms irl. The premise is a group of strangers take part in an exclusive "escape room" challenge, the twist of course being that this isn't just a game and if you don't escape, you die for real. Despite the first 15 mins being very corny/cliched characters & dialogue, once they get into the game I actually really liked it. Very out-there and inventive premises for the rooms which are insanely unrealistic, but it's all in good fun. Some of them (mostly the upside-down room) were genuinely thrilling and had me on the edge of my seat. Let down by the final 10 mins in which they do a cliche-heavy exposition dump to explain everything to the audience, and then bend over backwards to try to set up a sequel/franchise a la Saw/Final Destination. If it weren't a movie that nobody cares about or has ever heard of, I'd almost be tempted to do an edit to improve the ending.
 

asterixsmeagol

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Across the Universe - finally watched this, I kinda loved it. The acting and singing wasn't always the best imo, but that's fine. I'm in love with the visuals, the musical numbers were full of fantastic directing, editing, and choreography, everything was a joy to watch except for when the visuals were intentionally unnerving. I guess it didn't get the best reviews due to lackluster plot and characters, but I thought it was all serviceable. There's an unfortunate lack of the best Beatles song, Maxwell's Silver Hammer, but at least we get references to it, and I guess the song wouldn't really fit naturally.
In conclusion, way better than Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
I love this movie, except for "Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite" and "I Am the Walrus". My two favorite songs are "I've Just Seen a Face" and "Happiness Is a Warm Gun".
 

asterixsmeagol

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large_1l3WpoF7TX9pOprX4XepCXjQXUV.jpg

What the hell did I just watch?!
 

Jrzag42

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I love this movie, except for "Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite" and "I Am the Walrus".
I kinda like the Mr Kite sequence on its own, but yeah neither song is really needed. Both could be cut to give the film a more reasonable runtime.
 
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