What movie have you seen recently?


#101

Hidden Figures was pretty good. It does the usual biopic thing of condensing like a decade of stuff involving 50 people into 2 years and half a dozen characters but that’s to be expected. It’s also a little soft on the racism in a lot of ways, which is also understandable to keep it PG.

As a whole it’s pretty accurate as far as I can tell. If you have interest in it I would suggest also looking up some interviews with Katherine Johnson because she’s awesome.


#102

Hidden Figures is good. Very clear crowd-pleasing movie and good acting. Yet, there are a fair amount of inaccuracies of what really happened to the three women that affect the plot. The movie is good-natured and very inspiring, but some moments are undoubtedly cornball. (A few cringey quotes as well) A better movie about a real life historical subject is the movie Loving with Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga.

I’m very iffy about Fences, but I’m definitely in the minority there. Aside from the stellar acting, it’s far too stagey to the point where you rarely explore the setting and plot points just get dropped at your feet. The people I know who connected and loved the film the most are those who have a relatives like Denzel Washington or Viola Davis in the movie.

Here’s how I’d rate the Best Of Oscar Movies So Far: Hell or High Water > La La Land > Moonlight > Manchester by the Sea > Hidden Figures > Arrival > Fences > Lion. (Haven’t seen Hacksaw Ridge but I’m not expecting it to be great)


#103

I lovely person on twitter informed me that song of the sea was on amazon prime video and that I could just watch it any time I liked.

I’m not sure why this movie had such an effect on me. One that secret of Kells didn’t. Maybe it was the music, but either way it elicited such an emotional response. It’s a thing of beauty.


#104

The Brother’s Grimsby
Also released as -
Grimsby
2016

While this is a comedy film that takes the piss out of Hollywood action films while also making social commentary and having a laugh at British town life, all the action portions blow recent Bourne and James Bond films out of the water.

Hilariously easy to relate to if you’ve lived in any British town. I also spent some time living in Grimsby itself and some lower socioeconomic towns in other counties of the country. The type of people portrayed are indeed a subsection of the population.

Primarily a great commentary on how shit action films are while being hilarious for slap stick and low brow humour at the superficial level. Beyond the surface there is a secondary level of humour to enjoy which is easy to reach for the audience.

My favourite Sacha Baron Cohen film is still The Dictator however this is one of the more refined characters that Cohen has been able to assemble.

You will also enjoy this humour if you’ve watched or do actively watch any soccer / football or are aware of the culture surrounding the sport.

Bonus - Trump gets aids in this film.


#105

Watched the 1946 French version of Beauty and the Beast. It’s definitely an interesting trip.The beast not having a major character arc and instead being the consistent depiction of a lion noble forces the struggle and conflict of Belle to be a more internal one. The acting feels more like a stage play in how the actors try to exaggerate their motions, such as Belle’s discomfort or the Beast’s skulking. Best part are the actors portraying the living furnishings, haunted mansions are my jam.

The film is quality melodrama with a little Deus Ex thrown in, which was the style at the time, to tell a fine fairy tale.


#106

John Wick: Chapter 2 was pretty much the perfect mindless action movie. The cinematography and the action sequences were amazing, and I just love the world they’ve created.


#107

I want to know more about the heiarchy and rules of assassin world.

So happy that dog didn’t die.

Also watched Lego Batman and will be reviewing both with Jason/ATW9K.


#108

Went out to see Hidden Figures recently and enjoyed it. I agree with @Burritoad that it had some of the usual biopic problems, but I think the compression also helped a bit in that it created a tighter, more focused narrative. I prefer that approach over having a movie fall into the biopic trap of trying to cover an entire life in loosely-related snippets across two hours. The compression also doesn’t hurt the spirit of the historical material much, so that’s fine I feel.

The treatment of the racism elements was interesting, though I’m not sure they were as nuanced as they needed to be. I was glad at least to see that the “good white characters” like Kevin Costner are confronted with their complicity in racist structures, such as when Katherine lays into him about the washroom issue and how nobody thought about how that might be a problem for her. Then again, that issue is resolved with frustratingly few consequences, and Kevin Costner gets to display his ally cookie on full blast by knocking down the bathroom sign so that the audience is reassured in his “good white” status. So :neutral_face: on that a bit, especially since Miriam Mann took down those signs in real life.

And in general, there is not much in the film that actively confronts modern white audiences about their own continued complicity. Most of what’s presented in the film can likely be written off by white viewers as “Phew, well I’m glad we’re not like that anymore!” Though, there was one particularly good little scene between Dorothy Vaughn and Kirsten Dunst’s character. They meet in a newly de-segregated washroom, and though they’re technically “equal” now in that sense, there is still a subtle tension between them that gets across without any dialogue having to be exchanged. Then they do talk a bit, and the end of the scene, Dunst says something sincere to the effect of “You know I don’t actually hold anything against you,” and Dorothy replies with “You know, I’m sure you believe that.” That I felt was a nicely cutting remark that still applies widely today.

Still, it was extremely satisfying to see a movie that features so, SO MUCH black excellence – achievements-wise, character-wise, relationships-wise, politics-wise, and more. I loved the chemistry between the three leads and I especially loved seeing Janelle Monáe killing it in her part (she was great in Moonlight as well - really hope she continues to do more acting!). I forgot that Mahershala Ali would be in this as well, and he continues to prove why he’s becoming such a fast-rising star. He is so damn watchable, oh mans.

So yeah, not perfect by any stretch and probably still problematic in ways that I can’t fully detect as a white viewer (especially since this was still directed and written by white people). But still really enjoyable and definitely better than other Oscar-bait-y films about race like The Help or The Blind Side.


Aside from that, I decided to go through some DVDs of old schlocky horror movies I hadn’t watched yet. Will post more short reviews as I watch more!

Tales of Terror - An anthology film directed by Roger Corman featuring three Edgar Allen Poe-inspired shorts starring Vincent Price, with appearances by Peter Lorre and Basil Rathbone. Competent as Corman stuff goes, though the Poe adaptation aspect ended up being pretty clunky. Some reeeaaally off-puttingly bad distortion effects in the Peter Lorre segment. Still, mildly entertaining.

Twice-Told Tales - Another Vincent Price anthology with three stories, this time adapting Nathaniel Hawthorne works. This movie was in the same DVD collection as Tales of Terror and is a LOT better. Still obviously low budget and corny, but there’s actually some decent character writing as these kinds of horror shorts go. My favourite segment was “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment”, which had surprisingly good dialogue writing and performances from Price and Sebastian Cabot. I also just love me a good Fountain of Youth story. “Rappaccini’s Daughter” short was good too, if a lot cheesier. “House of Seven Gables” short was a bit meh, but still watchable.

Blacula - I’ll admit I haven’t dipped my toe into a lot of actual blaxploitation cinema, so I wasn’t entirely sure how to react to this. Mostly it’s just kind of dull, but William Marshall’s performance as Blacula/Mamuwalde was as good as promised and I’m still looking forward to watching the sequel just for more of him. Also, was not expecting to see blatantly gay characters in the movie and for them to end up being Blacula’s first victims, which you could probably read a lot of interesting things into as far as vampire cinema and queer horror cinema goes. Was good to see that the funeral for one of those characters implied that he had a family and friends who accepted him as well, which is really good to see for 1972. Still, afterwards those two are repeatedly referred to with gay slurs by other characters in the film, which was super uncomfortable, soooo… yeah, not exactly a full win there.


#109

Lethal Weapon. Two thirds good fun, one third tedious dated macho posturing. Lessons learned: casual racism is what heroes do, violence solves all problems, women are either screaming distractions, mostly naked sex objects, or can be safely ignored.


#110

Lethal Weapon is a movie I enjoy primarily by having seen it in its time and place and re-experienced through my memory of it. It’s definitely a relic of its era.


#111

Deadpool

We watched it for Valentines Day. It’s a really good valentines movie:


#112

Get Out is one of the most incredible Horror movies I’ve ever watched. I would call it toe-curling in the way it made me squirm being so expertly shot and nonstop terrifying. Acting is incredible especially from the lead Daniel Kaluuya (most of us would know him from Black Mirror) Takes really well defined turns for a movie where you can tell something is off. I can’t recommend it enough.

It might be hard to think comedian Jordan Peele would be such a phenomenal horror director, but it makes more sense if you go back to some of the more surreal Key and Peele sketches like “Continental Breakfast” or “Aerobics Meltdown.”


#113

The Aviator is a long movie full of interesting characters, amazing acting, unbelievable but true stories, and increasingly dodgy-looking CGI. I’ve seen it before, but it holds up to second viewing no problem.


#114

Manchester by the Sea
2016
An incredibly drama, that is executing incredibly well. This movies is not one that is enjoyed as it explores the sadness and negatives experiences that people go through in their general lives. How much we generally take for granted and how people are incredibly socially complex.
The acting is incredible, understated, not in your face and true to life as you would imagine the events happening in real life.
The movie focuses on the themes of death, loss, loneliness and grief in a way that I struggle to separate from how real life events occur. The mundane task of having a body moved from the hospital to a funeral home is laid to bare as the struggle that it really is when you are in that situation.

It can be profoundly saddening or you may find pity for some characters, it just depends on how you read this.

I highly recommend watching this piece even if it is just for the virtuosity of film making.


#115

Catch Me if You Can is a good one to watch also.


#116

25 minutes into The Big Short I wasn’t that entertained, and the movie making was mostly annoying me. But by the half way point it had completely won me over. I see why it’s so highly rated on Netflix/with Oscar voters/by critics.


#117

That film felt more like a dummies guide to the 2008 financial crisis. No entertainment value.


#118

I could have done without all the cutaways to explaining the words and concepts. I kept pausing when Juliane asked about something, and explaining what was going on, only for me to press play and then two seconds later it was explained “in movie” in a “clever” way.

But once I warmed to it, I did find it pretty entertaining.


#119

I’d almost call it a “docu-comedy” because it’s unlike any biopic or documentary I’ve ever seen. Most people don’t know how that financial investment stuff works so I found the interludes as a way to cut through the tension.


#120

Get Out was great. Don’t watch the trailer. Go in cold.