New decade; new movies (2020)

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #50

Postby Gendo » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:06 pm

R13. The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 - Great. I really like the mutant gang; with their speech patterns and dialog in general. The fight against the leader was epic.

R14. The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 - Good; I do think I prefer part 1. I notice that both parts seem like 2 separate movies each; I'm assuming that's because each of them are covering 2 separate comics; since the whole thing was a 4-part series originally. The films don't do a good job at transitioning seamlessly.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #51

Postby Gendo » Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:17 am

39. The Great Gatsby (2013) - Pretty good. I like that it did its own thing and didn't just feel like a remake of the older one. Fun and interesting visuals, of course. I really liked DiCaprio's version of Gatsby; he brought an extra vulnerability that wasn't in Redford's. Really showed a man who was struggling to maintain his facade; unable to keep control. Unlike Redford's Gatsby who always seemed in charge. It still dragged on a bit; had trouble keeping my interest constantly throughout.

So now I've seen all 5 Baz Luhrmann films. My overall opinion is that he definitely has a lot of talent, and I look forward to his future projects; including whatever he's been working on with Tom Hanks. But he's not an all-time great director. I thought Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge! were fantastic; the other 3 were just ok. His unique style is fun to watch; but he crams it all into some scenes; leaving other scenes less interesting.

40. Coco - Great! Not a groundbreaking story for Pixar; the same basic ideas we've seen before. But Héctor was an especially great character; and the music aspects of the story were wonderful. Beautifully designed and animated.

41. The Intern - Surprisingly good; but flawed. A cute and heartwarming story throughout most of it; but with some real heart and emotion. Great performances from Hathaway and De Niro. It could have been excellent with a couple changes... the heist scene could have been removed completely; it was unrealistic and didn't add anything. And the ending... I feel like the choice Hathaway makes undoes the entire character arc she was going through; and it leaves it with what I believe would be a likely bad future for her and her family. Which would be fine for certain movies; if the point/theme was that change is simply too hard for some people; and they are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. But the movie acts as though she made the right decision. And I just don't see it. But probably not the type of movie that even warrants that level of analyzing honestly; it's the director of The Holiday, Something's Gotta Give, What Women Want, etc, just there to make you cry and feel good.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #52

Postby Raxivace » Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:24 am

Luhrmann may not be in the pantheon of the greatest of all time, but I still enjoy his that I've seen quite a bit and would still probably put him above quite a few of the working directors today tbh, at least when we're talking English language people.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #53

Postby Gendo » Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:35 pm

42. The Untouchables - Excellent. Great score; interesting story; good suspense. Strong performances all around.

43. Wyatt Earp - The second-best movie staring Kevin Costner as a historical figure that I watched this week. It was ok I guess. Started out good but just kept dragging on. By the end I was happy it was finally over. It also had a good score, and beautiful cinematography. The best thing about it though was Dennis Quaid; he was amazing. Stole every scene he was in. Ultimately the only memorable part of this is going to be Quaid's performance. I've heard Tombstone is a better version of the same thing, so I'll have to check that out.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #54

Postby Raxivace » Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:55 pm

I haven’t seen Untouchables in a very long time but I remember finding it kind of shlocky and my opinion of De Palma only gone down since then.

Nicest thing I can say about it is that it made a certain scene in Battleship Potemkin really surprising.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #55

Postby Gendo » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:19 pm

Sure he probably hasn't managed to touch his own brilliance of Carrie; but Mission Impossible is still a standard classic of action movies; and I'm that one guy that likes Mission to Mars.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #56

Postby Raxivace » Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:18 pm

See I don’t even think Carrie was very good to begin with. That movie has like maybe one legitimately good scene- the one where they actually drop the blood on her is a good suspense sequence, but the rest of that movie I think just kind of drags.

I haven’t seen Mission Impossible or Mission to Mars though.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #57

Postby Gendo » Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:26 pm

44. Minions - Cute, funny, creative, and great music. That being said, it should have been a half hour short; not a full-length movie. It had no real story to keep you interested; it was just a series of funny moments, which got annoying by the end. The minion language is cute but works better in small doses. Despicable Me was great because of the world it created, along with the good story and characters. Minions still has that same interesting world; but we don't get to explore it much at all.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #58

Postby Gendo » Sat Apr 18, 2020 3:39 pm

45. Notting Hill - I really liked it. It avoids most of the clichés that other romcoms center around. Even though one of the characters is a famous actress, it manages to be a much more realistic and down-to-earth love story; not one that relies on some stupid misunderstanding that would never happen in real life because the characters would have just talked about the problem and cleared it up. Hugh Grant was great, and Rhys Ifans provided a lot of entertainment. Not sure there was a lot of chemistry between the leads, but that didn’t ruin it for me.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #59

Postby Gendo » Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:11 am

46. Jacob the Liar - Meh, not great. Not that it was bad per se, but movies about serious and sad subject matter need to be held to a higher standard, I think. Williams gives a typical Williams performance, which doesn't work here. This movie needed Good WIll Hunting or Dead Poets Society Robin Williams, not Patch Adams Robin Williams.

47. James and the Giant Peach - Fine, but I know Henry Selick can do much better. His trademark dark imagery is present throughout, which is good. But the plot left me mostly bored. And I'm a fan of Roald Dahl; I know I read the book as a kid.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #60

Postby Gendo » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:55 pm

48. The King and I - Good. Really entertaining performance by Yul Brynner; good chemistry between the leads. The music wasn't catchy/memorable as a whole. The Uncle Tom's Cabin play scene was really great, though it was uncomfortable to see the black-face mask; fortunately it was only on screen briefly in that whole scene.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #61

Postby Gendo » Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:35 am

R15. Avengers: Infinity War - Still good. The final battle is something of a letdown, but almost everything building up to that is great. Josh Brolin of course is the stand-out performance, but Chris Hemsworth is surprisingly amazing as well.

49. Trading Places - Ok movie, excellent premise. I didn't know what it was about going into it; whether it was going to be some sort of Freaky Friday ripoff or what. But the actual premise is great. A few good jokes, but a lot of 80s tropes that don't hold up well. The performances were fun.

R16. Avengers: Endgame - I used to think that Infinity War was better, but I think they've switched places now. This movie is just about perfect. One thing that really stands out is how good the performances are. Hemsworth kills it again, but there's just so much being given by everyone. You really feel the weight of everything building up to this.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #62

Postby Gendo » Mon May 04, 2020 1:28 am

50. No Reservations - Meh. If you want a movie about gourmet food, stick with "Chef". If you want a romance/drama, stick with any number of other options. Not that this movie was bad, but it didn't offer anything all that interesting. No real chemistry between the leads.

51. Easy Virtue (1928) - The first of several silent Hitchcock films on my list. Also kind of meh... the story just wasn't that interesting; and silent films are going to probably require a high standard of interesting story in order to keep my attention. I've seen so few silent films at all; so there's something of a "learning curve" in terms of knowing what to expect.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #63

Postby Raxivace » Mon May 04, 2020 4:46 am

Easy Virtue just isn't a particularly strong film, and most of Hitchcock's silents aren't all that good tbh. The Lodger is the only one of that bunch I'd really call essential since it was the first time Hitchcock worked in proper suspense- the rest you only really watch if you're a completionist of some kind.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #64

Postby Gendo » Mon May 04, 2020 5:18 am

Yeah I remember you mentioning that about a lot of his early work before. In my case I’m a completionist in terms of desiring to watch every movie in my DVD collection, and I bought the “Legend Begins” collection a while back simply because I had basically no Hitchcock movies in my collection.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #65

Postby Raxivace » Mon May 04, 2020 8:47 am

As long as you know what you're getting into with the silents, I guess. FWIW I think the British talkies have a much better batting average even if there are a few duds in there too like Rich and Strange, Jamaica Inn etc.

I guess that's the benefit of making like 54ish films or whatever the number is. Even if 20 of them are straight up bad that still leaves you with over 30 that range from decent to masterpiece.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #66

Postby Gendo » Wed May 06, 2020 2:50 pm

52. Midsommar - Good; and even better the next day. The predictability of events stop it from being as good as Hereditary; but clearly Ari Aster wasn't just a one-hit wonder. The whole movie left me unsettled in a creepy way, as intended.

53. Jamaica Inn - I thought it was fine, why is this considered to be so bad? Maybe compared to Hitchcock's masterpieces, sure. But I found it to be interesting, with a lot of good characters. It wasn't a master work of suspense or anything, but it held my attention enough to want to see what was going to happen next throughout.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #67

Postby Raxivace » Wed May 06, 2020 3:55 pm

I thought Jamaica Inn was just a fairly dull film with a flat cast of characters where none of the major names there are doing anything remotely close to their best work- though even that I could forgive if the movie had like any memorable moments whatsoever. It doesn't help that its Hitch's final British film until Frenzy, and that its sandwiched between the very strong streak from Man Who Knew Too Much '34 to Lady Vanishes on one end, and on the other side you've got Hitch going to Hollywood and immediately starting out strong with Rebecca and Foreign Correspondent.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #68

Postby Gendo » Wed May 20, 2020 2:58 pm

54. Cats (1998) - At first I wasn't sure if this counted as a "movie" because it was meant to be like a recording of the stage play. But after looking into it, it was filmed over several days; not just one performance straight through, so other than certain choices in the direction designed to make it feel like a Broadway play, it seems to meet all the criteria for an actual movie.

Anyway... I have no idea what I actually saw. I guess it's popular because the music and performances are interesting. But there's absolutely nothing like a story, and whatever story there's supposed to be is somewhat ruined by the fact that it's really hard to understand all of the lyrics that they're singing... and there's no spoken dialog to help explain things. Most of it is basically just songs that describe different kinds of cats. About halfway through, the first actual "plot event" takes place when a cat gets kidnapped by this other evil cat. Then a bit later, they call upon this magic wizard cat to rescue him, and he does so by simply using magic to make him re-appear. I guess there's some story throughout about them choosing one cat that will get to go to a special place to be reincarnated.

So yeah, it's just a mess. I prefer my musicals to have something resembling an actual story.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #69

Postby Gendo » Tue May 26, 2020 4:01 pm

Haven't been watching much this month; went back to mostly video games instead of movies during free time.

55. The Lighthouse - I liked it, though not as much as I was hoping. I don't really agree with the things said on DA's thread... I didn't find it funny at all; there was one part where I laughed but I can't remember which part. I think things like the mermaid worked as disturbing, if not outright scary. Same with most of the weird imagery; it all felt like the idea was to just be unnerving; and I think it succeeded at that. Even things like the farting (which was not that frequent) didn't feel at all to me like a fart joke in a Sandler comedy... it felt like it added realism to the movie, as hey, people fart, and it showed both Dafoe's character as someone who wouldn't care about avoiding doing that around someone else, and to give Pattinson's character another cause to be bothered. In the end I wasn't scared by it, if that was it's intention. But I found it interesting and somewhat disturbing. I don't think there's a lot of depth to the plot; I would have liked it if they went more into explaining the level of Pattinson's madness; as in how long they had actually been there, what if anything was actually up with the light, etc.

56. Solo - Good. It felt a little bit like a Star Wars film, but also a bit like its own thing. Good performances all around. I don't like the idea of retconning the Kessel Run and the 12 parsecs thing to be an actual unit of distance instead of being a well-known classic movie script blunder of treating parsec as a unit of time. But it was just an enjoyable heist movie with good characters.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #70

Postby Gendo » Wed May 27, 2020 3:56 pm

57. Joker - Great. A very hard movie to judge or even form an opinion about. Basically every aspect of the filmmaking was excellent, but it's a character study and I don't know how to review character studies. Obviously not "enjoyable" to watch, but it isn't supposed to be. It's haunting in the right ways; definitely feels like a movie that's going to get better in my mind over time as I keep thinking more about it. I said a couple of months ago that I don't think there's anything Joaquin Phoenix can't do, and he proves it here.

And fun fact, the kid who played Bruce Wayne in Joker also played the younger version of Joaquin Phoenix's character in You Were Never Really Here. Thus proving that the Joker and Batman are in fact the same person.

R17. The Core - I don't care if this movie isn't good, I love it. A very cliché end-of-the-world disaster movie, but with an actual interesting premise. Fun characters all around, even if they lack any depth.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #71

Postby Gendo » Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:07 pm

R18. The Terminator - Good, but I don't think it comes close to the greatness of T2. It's an interesting mix between standard 80s stuff and imaginative/creative sci-fi. The characters aren't all that interesting, but the action and dialog is fun.

R19. The Prestige - Great movie; though a bit slow to get going. For the first part I found myself thinking it wasn't as good as I'd remembered, but it gets a lot better by the end. Ultimately I think I still prefer The Illusionist for a 2006 movie about magicians in the late 1800s. Still it does a great job at just showing the depths of obsession; and the twist is a lot of fun; with some very obvious clues given about it that really stand out if you've seen it before.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #72

Postby Gendo » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:41 pm

R20. A Cure for Wellness - I think the overall creepy atmosphere worked even better this time around, but the overall story was less effective. It actually reminds me of Ari Aster's films, though not quite as good as either of them. But it manages to give a similar feeling throughout, with the same sort of shock value intensity as it goes along. Still not a movie for everyone.

R21. The Cable Guy - I've always liked this movie, though at least part of that is due to me having been a huge Jim Carrey fan around the time that it came out. But I still think it's good. I like the blend of darkness and humor throughout, and ultimately it portrays a deep story. Neither Carrey nor Broderick really stand out as giving great performances, but it works fine.

58. Knives Out - I liked it, but I didn't think it was amazing or anything. I give it congratulations for having an ending that I didn't see coming, and avoiding the twist that I thought I was so clever to have figured out. Daniel Craig with a southern American accent is really weird to listen to, but he does it well. The different characters well all written in fun and unique ways. The actual story reminds me of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and not just because they both have Craig. But of course they're completely different types of film; they just have a handful of similar overall plot points.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #73

Postby Raxivace » Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:00 am

Have you seen Logan Lucky? Craig does a southern American accent in that one too.

I think its charming in its own way, though Craig is so associated with the Britishness of James Bond to me first and foremost that it does usually take me a minute to acclimate to an American accent coming from his mouth.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #74

Postby Gendo » Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:59 pm

I haven't and I've been wanting to jut because Driver. It's on Prime so I might check it out soon if I can pull myself away from BOTW long enough.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #75

Postby Gendo » Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:09 am

59. Fighting with my Family - Pretty standard sports / underdog movie; but not bad. The true story of someone in the WWE whom I hadn't heard of. Dwayne Johnson was the best part of the movie, but Nick Frost was excellent as well.

R22. The Day After Tomorrow - I just watched this because Ian Holm died, and I don't know of any better movies he was in. [none] Seriously though, why do I enjoy Roland Emmerich movies so much? The effects in this one were particularly dated for the most part. But the story is just enjoyable; and filled with fun clichés that should make the movie bad but just don't for some reason. The music is great too.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #76

Postby Raxivace » Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:41 am

It helps that Day After Tomorrow feels pretty sincere for the most part, which honestly does make it feel pretty refreshing compared to most modern blockbusters. Helps that time has been fairly kind to its themes too even if not its special effects.

Like Day After Tomorrow may not be an all time great movie or anything but I enjoyed it way more than like, Rise of Skywalker.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #77

Postby Gendo » Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:19 pm

Raxivace wrote:It helps that Day After Tomorrow feels pretty sincere for the most part, which honestly does make it feel pretty refreshing compared to most modern blockbusters. Helps that time has been fairly kind to its themes too even if not its special effects.

Like Day After Tomorrow may not be an all time great movie or anything but I enjoyed it way more than like, Rise of Skywalker.


Definitely.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #78

Postby Gendo » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:43 am

60. The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog - Clever. When it is first revealed that the lodger is innocent, I felt at first like it was just unfair that the film seemed to have gone out of its way to make you think that he was The Avenger, but then I realized that in fact it did no such thing; I as the audience member simply had the same prejudices as the other characters in the movie. And that's just really clever. I still don't know how to judge silent films as a whole, but that aspect definitely sticks with me.

61. The Post - Really good. Great suspense; making you really care about what's going to happen next. A fascinating true story. Also interesting to compare it to today's political landscape as it pertains to the news cycle... how things have changed! Imagine a time where printing negative things about the president would be considered risky.

62. Megamind - Excellent! I was expecting a silly kids movie, but it's actually quite dark and filled with action. Reminded me more of The Incredibles than it did of Despicable Me. I really liked what they did with the character of Hal; subverting a common trope and at the same time shining a spotlight on the underlying creepiness behind guys that feel stuck in the "friend zone". The story as a whole just kept surprising me; most kids movies are a lot more predictable.

R23. Taken - An action movie I enjoy a lot. Mostly because of how much time they take in establishing the characters. There's a lot of overdone tropes in there for sure. It also it quite short; I think it could actually have had another 5-10 minutes of an epilogue. The action itself isn't particularly well-shot, but the fighting style and techniques are fun.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #79

Postby Raxivace » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:13 am

It's been a long time since I've seen The Lodger but yeah its good. I looked at a few scenes again when Criterion's recent restoration came out though and they're just spectacular looking.

Megamind is another one I liked a lot, but haven't seen since it was in theaters.

I liked The Post when I saw it but its really lessened in my mind since then. Even though I agree with the pro-press/anti-Trump political statements its making, as a movie I think it just leaves a bit to be desired. As far as recent Spielberg thrillers go I think Bridge of Spies is better and just generally more cinematic.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #80

Postby Gendo » Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:16 pm

63. The Rescuers - Beautifully drawn. The backgrounds all looked like paintings. The animation as a whole has an interesting mix between classic early Disney and the Don Bluth trademark style. Some great music as well. The story and characters were very simple, but that was fine; it had just a charming quality to the whole thing.

64. The Rescuers Down Under - It wasn't exactly bad, but it threw out all the charm and quiet dignity of the first film. Still some great scenery, but the animation quality was noticeably worse. George C. Scott was fantastic. The story was the exact same story as the first one.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #81

Postby Unvoiced_Apollo » Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:22 pm

Gendo wrote:63. The Rescuers - Beautifully drawn. The backgrounds all looked like paintings. The animation as a whole has an interesting mix between classic early Disney and the Don Bluth trademark style. Some great music as well. The story and characters were very simple, but that was fine; it had just a charming quality to the whole thing.

64. The Rescuers Down Under - It wasn't exactly bad, but it threw out all the charm and quiet dignity of the first film. Still some great scenery, but the animation quality was noticeably worse. George C. Scott was fantastic. The story was the exact same story as the first one.


And here we have an example of a wild Gendo doing his Gendo call :P

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #82

Postby Gendo » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:53 am

65. All-American Co-Ed (1941) - Cute little musical. Nothing special; but had some moments that made me laugh.

66. Guns Akimbo - This was a lot of fun. Daniel Radcliffe with guns surgically attached to his hands; what's not to like? The pacing was pretty bad; it definitely felt rushed. Had some good if not original societal commentary... interestingly enough, Robocop already made a lot of the same comments in 1987; and yet it was much more relevant to today's internet society. I usually enjoy action comedies, and this was no exception.

67. The Ring (1927) - Another Hitchcock silent film. I thought it was pretty good. Basically Rocky; if Adrian were having an affair with Apollo. I especially enjoyed the ending and the final fight.

R24. The Butterfly Effect - One of my all-time favorite movies. Seen it many times, but not in many years. It has holes in the story; but what time travel movie doesn't? It's really dark; and doesn't give a lot of breathing room. I watched the director's cut this time around (seen both versions about the same amount). Not sure which I like better... the director's cut gives some good extra story that adds to things as a whole. The ending is darker than the rest of the movie; I think the lighter ending of the theatrical version may be almost necessary just to not have the film be too dark. Also, the music is fantastic.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #83

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:50 pm

Gendo wrote:39. The Great Gatsby (2013) - Pretty good. I like that it did its own thing and didn't just feel like a remake of the older one. Fun and interesting visuals, of course. I really liked DiCaprio's version of Gatsby; he brought an extra vulnerability that wasn't in Redford's. Really showed a man who was struggling to maintain his facade; unable to keep control. Unlike Redford's Gatsby who always seemed in charge. It still dragged on a bit; had trouble keeping my interest constantly throughout.
I think in-and-of-itself this isn't a terrible film, but it's impossible for me not to compare it to the book, and there's just no film adaptation that comes close to capturing the haunting, elusive, mysterious, ineffable nature of that book, and I really think Luhrmann's style is ill-suited for making such an adaptation. OTOH, I think it's easy to argue that he's going for something entirely different than what Fitzgerald was, where Baz plays up the glitz and glamour and kitsch of the superficial persona much more. I just wish he had the depth/substance to make the meaningful stuff stand out more even if by comparison. In the end, it seems like Luhrmann is just having too much fun with all the superficial camp that Fitzgerald was criticizing. Maybe call that difference between a Modernist and Postmodernist, maybe... or maybe I'm just overthinking this.

Gendo wrote:42. The Untouchables - Excellent. Great score; interesting story; good suspense. Strong performances all around.

43. Wyatt Earp - The second-best movie staring Kevin Costner as a historical figure that I watched this week. It was ok I guess. Started out good but just kept dragging on. By the end I was happy it was finally over. It also had a good score, and beautiful cinematography. The best thing about it though was Dennis Quaid; he was amazing. Stole every scene he was in. Ultimately the only memorable part of this is going to be Quaid's performance. I've heard Tombstone is a better version of the same thing, so I'll have to check that out.
Like Raxi I don't like DePalma but Untouchables is probably my favorite film, mostly for the reasons you stated. I think it has just enough of DePalma's camp (that word again) to make the film weird/interesting, but not so much as to where it feels kitschy (that word again) or unbelievable, so that it still works as a fairly straight-forward crime drama.

I saw Wyatt Earp back when I got really into westerns as a pre-teen. I don't remember much about it now, other than vastly preferring Tombstone (at the time). Of course, My Darling Clementine shits on all other Earp films completely.

Gendo wrote:47. James and the Giant Peach - Fine, but I know Henry Selick can do much better. His trademark dark imagery is present throughout, which is good. But the plot left me mostly bored. And I'm a fan of Roald Dahl; I know I read the book as a kid.
I don't remember the film much, but I have great memories of reading that book in class in like 4th grade.

Gendo wrote:51. Easy Virtue (1928) - The first of several silent Hitchcock films on my list. Also kind of meh... the story just wasn't that interesting; and silent films are going to probably require a high standard of interesting story in order to keep my attention. I've seen so few silent films at all; so there's something of a "learning curve" in terms of knowing what to expect.
Like Rax said, most of Hitch's silents suck, with The Lodger being an exception. Blackmail was good too, though it was also made as a sound version. If you want to watch some great silent films, check out: The Passion of Joan of Arc (on some days, this is my all-time favorite film. It's easy top-5 anyway), Sunrise (FW Murnau), Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein), Metropolis (Fritz Lang), Intolerance (DW Griffith), The General (Buster Keaton), Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin), and The Man With the Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov).

The major thing to appreciate in silent films is style more than story, keeping in mind that when film first started nobody really had any clue how to use it to make narratives. Early films were basically shot like stage plays: you set up a camera and had actors do everything in front of it. It wasn't until DW Griffith that the idea of cutting between different shot-lengths (wide shot, mid-shot, close-up) for dramatic effect, or cross-cutting between different scenes for escalating tension/excitement, etc. was even a thing. So by the time we get to a film like Sunrise in '28, you're also seeing a director experimenting with moving the camera in a graceful way, in using various special effects and editing to express characters' psychology, and playing around with light-and-shadow to create atmosphere and mood. The story is so simple/archetypal it barely exists, except as a means by which to use its cinematic expressionism. The Passion of Joan of Arc is similar, though much more avant-garde.

Gendo wrote:53. Jamaica Inn - I thought it was fine, why is this considered to be so bad? Maybe compared to Hitchcock's masterpieces, sure. But I found it to be interesting, with a lot of good characters. It wasn't a master work of suspense or anything, but it held my attention enough to want to see what was going to happen next throughout.
I don't think Jamaica Inn is horrible but it's pretty forgettable. If you want to talk underrated Hitchcock I'd take Sabotage, Spellbound, Foreign Correspondent, or even Under Capricorn.

Gendo wrote:R18. The Terminator - Good, but I don't think it comes close to the greatness of T2. It's an interesting mix between standard 80s stuff and imaginative/creative sci-fi. The characters aren't all that interesting, but the action and dialog is fun.

R19. The Prestige - Great movie; though a bit slow to get going. For the first part I found myself thinking it wasn't as good as I'd remembered, but it gets a lot better by the end. Ultimately I think I still prefer The Illusionist for a 2006 movie about magicians in the late 1800s. Still it does a great job at just showing the depths of obsession; and the twist is a lot of fun; with some very obvious clues given about it that really stand out if you've seen it before.
As a kid I actually saw T2 before T1, and I agree that T2 is better, though they're quite different films. T1 is more suspense while T2 is more action. I just think Cameron was better suited to the latter.

Prestige may be my favorite Nolan film. It's definitely interesting, though I'm not sold that it all works. Been too long since I've seen it to be more specific though.

Gendo wrote:60. The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog - Clever. When it is first revealed that the lodger is innocent, I felt at first like it was just unfair that the film seemed to have gone out of its way to make you think that he was The Avenger, but then I realized that in fact it did no such thing; I as the audience member simply had the same prejudices as the other characters in the movie. And that's just really clever. I still don't know how to judge silent films as a whole, but that aspect definitely sticks with me.
It will continue to stick with you. It's a great film, though I still wouldn't quite declare it a masterpiece. Still, it's the best of Hitch's silents by a long shot.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #84

Postby Gendo » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:19 pm

Thanks for all your responses, Eva!

R25. Joy Ride - A movie I liked in college. It holds up. Definitely a "b movie", but it has good suspense. It helps that I didn't remember if certain characters lived or died.

R26. Cellular - Even better than I remembered, and I've seen it a few times. I like how much a product of its time it was; 2004 is one of the only years when this movie could have been made. Everyone has a cell phone, but it's a big deal that everyone has a cell phone. And cell phones are crappy and you might just randomly cross signals or lose your call. Chris Evans is always enjoyable, but William H. Macy really shines.

68. Dumbo (1941) - Interesting... far more "cartoony" than what I think of for Disney from that era. Not a lot of plot; just some interesting animation. The Pink Elephants scene is its own kind of special.

69. Bad Times at the El Royale - Loved it! The setting is really cool. It starts with some intriguing mystery that kept me wanting to know more. I don't like that some of the intriguing plot-threads didn't really end up going anywhere though. It somewhat switches to a different story in the last act, but that's ok becuase Chris Hemsworth really steals the show there. Goddard was clearly going for a Tarantino feel, and for the most part he succeeded. Basically Pulp Fiction meets Knives Out. Oh and excellent music throughout; a bunch of Motown classics.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #85

Postby Raxivace » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:25 pm

What plot threads didn't go anywhere in El Royale? That's an underrated movie IMO but I don't remember any dangling threads really.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #86

Postby Gendo » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:51 pm

Mostly the FBI agent and his work. Maybe not so much left dangling as simply abruptly ended. In the first act, I was fascinated by that story; wanting to know more about what the FBI was doing there, etc. I guess you do find out pretty much everything you need to about it, but I was hoping that that plot thread would run the entire movie.

I also wanna know if Emily killed her father to protect her sister. I could be reading too much into that one flashback; but I did think it interesting that Goddard worked on Lost, and I was thinking that Emily killing her abusive father could have almost been a reference to Kate.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #87

Postby Gendo » Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:50 pm

70. Bambi - Man that was dark. Everyone knows about Bambi's mom being killed; but I wasn't ready for the rest of it. Hardly the first time I've seen a kids movie with a "man is evil; nature is good" message, but still. The art/animation was more what I think of for that era Disney, compared to Dumbo. Beautifully drawn. Cute characters doing cute things. Not much of an actual plot; even less-so than Dumbo. Overall pretty good.

71. A Very Long Engagement - Very good. A complex story that slowly unravels. Hard to follow everything; partly because it's in French with subtitles and partly because it's just a lot to keep track of.

72. Hamilton - Excellent. I wasn't sure what to expect due to the fact that I've listened to the full soundtrack (which in this case is essentially the full audio of the play) a very large number of times over the past 4 years. So even though I hadn't "seen it", I knew every line of dialog in the story. Still though, the visuals added a lot, especially in terms of humor. The production clearly leaned more towards the experience of watching the stage play than it did watching an actual film (moreso than the 1998 Cats). The cast was fantastic. Lin Manuel was good in his most intense moments; but didn't stand out as one of the better actors as a whole. I say it completely lives up to the hype; but I say that as someone who's loved it for the past several years before having seen it.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #88

Postby Gendo » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:04 pm

73. Young and Innocent - It was fine I guess. Had some weird comedic elements that I didn't expect from Hitchcock. The thriller/mystery aspect didn't seem all that thrilling or mysterious. North by Northwest certainly did that much better.

R27 - The Departed - Hadn't seen this since theaters. Great movie overall. DiCaprio's performance is excellent. And when you've lived in Boston; movies about Boston always hold special meaning.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #89

Postby Raxivace » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:10 pm

That big tracking shot in Young & Innocent though... That is, as I believe the kids on their skateboards and such say these days, "based".

I haven't seen Departed in a long time myself, but its not one of my favorite Scorsese movies.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #90

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:11 pm

Gendo wrote:73. Young and Innocent - It was fine I guess. Had some weird comedic elements that I didn't expect from Hitchcock. The thriller/mystery aspect didn't seem all that thrilling or mysterious. North by Northwest certainly did that much better.
It's a fun little film but it's middling Hitch, with the exception of the long tracking shot that Rax mentioned. For those who don't know:


Gendo wrote:R27 - The Departed - Hadn't seen this since theaters. Great movie overall. DiCaprio's performance is excellent. And when you've lived in Boston; movies about Boston always hold special meaning.
I remember enjoying that when it came out, though I don't remember much beyond the surprise shooting that happens in the elevator. Such a well edited "shock" moment.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #91

Postby Gendo » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:34 pm

R28. Ski Patrol - Some people might tell you that this isn't the greatest comedy ever. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life. Seriously though; maybe it's just nostalgia because I watched this multiple times as a kid, but I love this movie. It's a somewhat standard early 90s comedy; but it's just a lot of fun. Not particularly well-made or anything. No lines as memorable as plenty from Airplane, Hot Shots, etc. But it doesn't matter.

74. Only the Brave - Pretty good. I really like Miles Teller, not to mention Josh Brolin and Jeff Bridges... but Jennifer Connelly really steals it here. There are some pacing issues and things that could have been cut, but ultimately it's a powerful story and told relatively well. I didn't know anything about the true story going into it; which made the ending quite a shock for me. It's always weird when something is based on a true story; and you could have known how it was going to end if you just knew some basic information about a real event.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #92

Postby Gendo » Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:48 pm

R29. Whiplash - One of my favorite films from the last decade. Miles Teller is outstanding. It can be hard to watch because ultimately it's a movie about abuse. Great music throughout; and the themes of persistence stand out more than the themes of abuse.

75. 1917 - Good. The single-shot editing style didn't even stand out to me all that much; I stopped noticing it after a while for the most part. Great acting; especially from the leads. Really good tension throughout; it barely lets up. Thomas Newman is way underrated.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #93

Postby Gendo » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:24 pm

76. Wonder - Really good; both funny and heartfelt throughout. All the child actors did great. Although a bit clichéd in the plot points; the charm of the characters overshadowed it. I also really appreciated the shifting perspectives to show the lives of different characters.

77. That Touch of Mink - Like American Pie if it were made in the 1960s and about adults instead of teens. I liked it. A lot of funny moments, but what stood out the most was just that there could be a Cary Grant movie from that era which was so focused on sex.

78. Walk Don't Run - Cary Grant's final movie. A silly comedy which mostly only works because of Cary Grant's charm. I enjoyed the first half more; it started to wear out a bit by the end.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #94

Postby Gendo » Sun Aug 09, 2020 1:57 am

R30. Hero (1992) - The one with Dustin Hoffman, not Jet Li. A movie I remember liking a lot; hadn't seen it since I was a kid. It's still great! Hoffman really nails it. The anti-media message was lacking in substance though. The ending is excellent; I'd forgotten about it.

R31. Office Space - Totally holds up as a comedy. Granted, office workplaces have changed a lot in the past 20 years, but some things in the software industry will never change. All the acting is great; especially Stephen Root.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #95

Postby Gendo » Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:57 pm

79. Lawrence of Arabia - Loved it! Everyone talks about how great the cinematography is; but what I wasn't ready for was just how non-stop filled with amazing shots it was. Like a lot of movies with good cinematography have a handful of scenes that I notice as beautiful; this just seemed like constant shot after shot of amazing work. The music was so good; even if a little repetitive. It didn't even feel too long; like I can't think of anything I wish had been cut. The story itself was fine; more character-driven than event-driven, which I tend to not like as much. But I was never board. The dialog as a whole didn't stand out a lot; but there were a few really great lines throughout.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #96

Postby Raxivace » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:03 pm

Jimbo yells at me for this sometimes but I hated damn near everything about Lawrence of Arabia. Hard to imagine a more tedious four hours than all those bland dudes in the desert.
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #97

Postby Gendo » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:23 am

Last week you just said it "never did much for you", your opinion wasn't nearly as negative-sounding as now.

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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #98

Postby Raxivace » Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:03 am

Well it stands to reason that if I hated a movie it didn't do much for me. :P
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Re: New decade; new movies (2020)   Reply #99

Postby Gendo » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:09 pm

80. Vivarium - Interesting. Hard to describe my own opinion on it; but I happened to come across a YouTube video that captured my opinion almost perfectly, so I'm going to just quote that instead:

This one I feel like had a lot of intriguing concepts but didn't quite deliver on its promise. As a whole I did enjoy the movie for what it was; a kind of parable of a couple trapped in a Kafkaesque suburban hell, but in the end left me feeling like something was missing and even the overall grander themes at play seem perhaps a little superficial in their statements. Although from a production standpoint, even if minimalistic it is visually very impressive; especially so in a trippy and bizarre later sequence.

And our two leads, a slightly less twitchy than usual Jesse Eisenberg and the grossly underrated Imogen Poots, do exceptionally well as our lead couple and have a palpable chemistry that injects the movie with some much-needed comedic moments, but as a whole is a mostly dour affair. Feeling more like an overextended Twilight Zone episode it kind of gets lost in what it's trying to say and balancing that with developing an entertaining and compelling mystery. There is a lot on the minds of the world of Vivarium and I do appreciate its attempts to work at multiple levels acting as a sci-fi mystery as well as invoking grander ambitions on dehumanization.


Yeah I just transcribed that from the video; that was fun. But anyway; there were definitely multiple interesting ideas being explored. I feel like they could have maybe even been separated out into separate movies; one movie about a couple raising a creepy mutant child-creature (this movie is Splice, with Adrian Brody); and another about a couple trapped in a weird suburban development with no way out (this movie is 2003s Dead End; except that rural instead of suburban). As a whole I didn't find the movie very scary, but definitely creepy in a good way; especially the kid. And the ending sequence was somewhat scary.


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