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Which Films Did You See Last Week? Week 23, 2021

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kongs_speech
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Which Films Did You See Last Week? Week 23, 2021

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Post by kongs_speech »

Wow! I had the busiest film week of my life, thanks in large part to Tribeca. 44 features! Not all winners, but definitely a week to remember. Next week will be entirely festival films, and I hope to break my record again. The thread is finished already, so I'm gonna go ahead and put it up for you early birds.

"Please share with us which films you saw last week. It would be great if you could include some comments on each film. It would be awesome if you could also take some time to comment on everyone else's viewings. Please also note that this is intended as a movie discussion thread, not a large image posting thread. Having too many large images makes this thread difficult to navigate through. If you wish to include more than five images in a reply, please use spoiler tags - [ spoiler ][/ spoiler ] - to hide extra images." - sol

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kongs_Tribeca

See for Me (2021, Randall Okita)

Randall Okita's See for Me has the distinction of being my first-ever Tribeca film, watched safely and remotely from my own bedroom. It is a well-shot, scary home invasion thriller in which Sophie (Skyler Davenport), who was blinded in a professional skiing accident, cat-sits for a wealthy recent divorcee. Sophie's first day is uneventful until the woman's mansion in the middle of nowhere is suddenly burglarized. Sophie employs the service of "See for Me," an app for the visually impaired, and has badass Army veteran Kelly (Jessica Parker Kennedy) function as her eyes in order to allow her to fight back.

Before the home is invaded, See for Me spends its first third deliberately establishing Sophie's backstory. This effectively allows the viewer to get inside her head and empathize with her despite some questionable decision-making. Once the action starts, everything happens at a fast pace and we are invested in our heroine's survival. The casting of anime voice actor Davenport is noteworthy in two ways. They are legally blind, which lends an authenticity that couldn't come from a seeing person pretending to stumble around. Furthermore, they identify as non-binary, which is excellent representation for a demographic that rarely sees themselves reflected on screen, even though the character of Sophie is female. Despite never meeting on-screen, Davenport and Kennedy have natural chemistry. As a gorehound, I'd have appreciated more violence, but See for Me is tense, exciting and a great way to kick off what promises to be a festival to remember. 3.5/5

Mark, Mary & Some Other People (2021, Hannah Marks)

Mark, Mary & Some Other People is two-thirds of a funny, refreshing millennial rom-com that is essentially obliterated by an unpleasant and ideologically muddled third act. What the film was attempting to say about polyamorous relationships is unclear, but in some aspects, it comes across as an outdated, sex-negative take on the concept. A particular plot development struck me as surprisingly misogynistic for a film by a woman. The cast is charming across the board, especially Ben Rosenfield and Hayley Law as the leads. There are a couple of odd, not unwelcome cameos from bigger stars of indie comedy like Gillian Jacobs (whose character is named Dr. Jacobs) and Joe Lo Truglio. The wit of the script cannot quite overcome its hesitancy to live up to the contemporary ideals with which it flirts. 2.5/5

Kubrick by Kubrick (2020, Gregory Monro)

Gregory Monro's documentary on Stanley Kubrick, composed from his own archival interviews as well as those of his friends and collaborators, is hardly revelatory information. Regardless, Kubrick by Kubrick is stitched together well and provides a brief, entertaining glimpse into the beloved auteur's world. The footage that affected me most was an old interview clip of Eyes Wide Shut-era Tom Cruise seeming genuinely broken up over Kubrick's passing. 3.5/5

Poser (2021, Ori Segev & Noah Dixon)

Poser is the type of vibrant breath of fresh air that can only be discovered in the world of independent cinema. It centers around Lennon (Sylvie Mix), a Gen Z podcast host who becomes obsessed with Bobbi Kitten, an indie artist who she sees as a hipper version of herself. Directed by the duo of Ori Segev and Noah Dixon and taking place authentically in the Columbus, OH underground music scene, the film gradually sprinkles in hints of Lennon's fragile mental state, eventually descending into a state of pure anxiety to rival Uncut Gems. Mix and Kitten, the latter playing a version of herself, are among the most exciting acting finds in recent memory. Every moment Kitten is on screen, the viewer is forcefully drawn to her. She radiates coolness and authenticity, characteristics that Lennon desperately envies. Because so many of us in the millennial/zoomer crowd have anxieties related to those traits and whether or not we possess them, Lennon is uncomfortably relatable. Perhaps that is what makes Poser so haunting. 4/5

7 Days (2021, Roshan Sethi)

Geraldine Viswanathan and Karan Soni are simply adorable together in 7 Days, a COVID lockdown rom-com from first-time director Rosham Sethi. Uptight, conservative Ravi (Soni) arrives at the home of Rita (Viswanathan) for a date arranged by their parents. While he is there, lockdown goes into effect, effectively trapping him with his date for days on end. Much to his discomfort, she is not the traditional girl he expected. As they spend time together, a bond forms in organic, unplanned fashion.

The premise of being trapped on a first date during a pandemic lockdown is eerily similar to The Pink Cloud, a great Brazilian drama from this year's Sundance. That film, however, was filmed prior to COVID, making its timing an odd coincidence. The disease that has decimated the world in the past year and a half is always at the forefront of 7 Days, even when the characters aren't specifically discussing it. This is unlikely to persuade anyone who is tired of COVID in the media, but the film handles it smartly, for the most part.

The fun of 7 Days comes from watching Ravi and Rita gradually learn everything about each other. The script by Soni and Sethi provides the actors with sharp, hilarious dialogue while seriously examining the divide between Indian tradition and modern western culture in a way that respects both. A major problem, however, arises when it suddenly shifts gears into sappy dramatic territory. When the film works so well as a comedy, cramming melodrama into the plot is awkward unnecessary. Fortunately, we spend most of the runtime with our lovable "will they or won't they?" couple, which is enough to keep 7 Days on the positive side. 3.5/5

No Running (2021, Delmar Washington)

No Running is a stereotypical "bad festival movie." You know the type: merely competent from a technical perspective, attempting to tackle important social themes without saying anything noteworthy, and with a few semi-famous faces around. A black teen (Skylan Brooks, good here considering the material) is wrongly suspected when a female classmate disappears. There is no nuance whatsoever to the racist cop antagonists. Anyone with a brain can observe that racial profiling and police brutality are incredibly real issues plaguing our society, but the villains in Delmar Washington's film are hollow caricatures. Its attempt to throw sci-fi elements into the mix is laughably misguided. No Running is one of those movies that I don't want to pan too harshly, because its heart is in the right place. However, the best of intentions often still result in poor films, and that is certainly the case here. 1.5/5

Last Film Show (2021, Pan Nalin)

As a passionate cinephile, there are moments of anguish in Last Film Show that emotionally triggered me, just as they horrify its young protagonist. Director Pan Nalin is onto something special with his tribute to the analog world, specifically the days of good old 35mm film. Watching nine-year-old Samay (Bhavin Rabari) fall head-over-heels in love with cinema, I was reminded of why I chose to devote my life to the study and appreciation of this art form. Films transport us to different places, connecting us with parts of the world (or other worlds entirely) that are completely foreign to us, just as rural India is foreign to me. They open our hearts and minds, teaching us about others and therefore, about ourselves. Nalin's film captures that so beautifully through the eyes of a child. The melancholy closing scene is an utter knockout. Whatever format they are delivered in, I have a feeling young Samay will continue loving films his whole life. I know I will. 4.5/5

The Kids (2021, Eddie Martin)

When I read a Deadline article about The Kids last night, I was prepared to feel angry and defensive while watching the documentary. I am a huge fan of Harmony Korine’s work, and having finally seen Kids earlier this month, I found it to be a masterpiece for its harrowing depiction of reality. My opinion of the film’s quality has not changed, it really is brilliant, but listening to the stories of some remaining cast members from the group of Washington Square skater kids, it is impossible not to realize what a reprehensible person Larry Clark is and how badly he failed these youth. There is no ethical justification whatsoever for his actions. He had no trouble manipulating them for his art, yet after the film was over, he bailed.

I was never under any impression that Clark was a decent guy, but watching his Cannes press conference in this doc is simply cringeworthy. Appearing to be intoxicated, he dodges every question and comes off as the most pompous idiot. Korine seems embarrassed by him too, because he completely disassociates from the Q&A session and barely says a word. The greed of Clark not even sharing his proceeds from his photos of the kids also does not sit well. Learning the true stories of Justin Pierce and Harold Hunter is so heartbreaking. They both seem like such cool, friendly guys who one would want to know. Harold has such charisma in his archival video footage. Justin was really making his way in Hollywood before tragedy befell him. He could have been very famous.

Honestly, and it hurts to admit this, Korine failed the kids too. The documentary paints him as a poser, which I guess I always sort of figured because his outlandish behavior in his younger days seemed so performative and manufactured. The guy has all the talent in the world, but his success went to his head, and he too abandoned the kids who made him famous. I do feel like less blame is on him because he was also a kid being exploited by Clark. Alas, that defense only goes so far. Whether he realizes it or not, he still absolutely fucked up. Although “cancellation” would be pretty excessive, he needs to answer for his actions — or lack of action. Clark is the worthiest target, yet he arguably can’t be cancelled. He’s 78 and irrelevant. His last film, Marfa Girl 2, was seen by virtually no one. Kids isn’t the first or only great film to have unethical behind-the-scenes drama, but this documentary by Eddie Martin is sobering, well-constructed and important. 3.5/5

Honeymood (2020, Talya Lavie)

For nearly the entirety of its 90-minute runtime, the unfunny farce Honeymood grated on my nerves. The film will no doubt appeal to some viewers' senses of humor, but I was miserable -- and definitely not in the way that its cringe comedy intended. It's not that Talya Lavie's movie is too awkward or features unlikable characters. The same could be said for much of my favorite comedic works. No, what I find so astonishingly off-putting is how strained, obligatory and obnoxious its chaos is. There is a difference between "unlikable" characters who are entertaining and morons with whom I detest spending any time. That difference lies in the quality of the writing. I propose a moratorium on films that could be described as "After Hours but [insert twist here]." 36 years later, After Hours is funnier, darker and wiser than any imitator could ever be. 1/5

No Man of God (2021, Amber Sealey)

There has been a plethora of Ted Bundy media in recent years, so it's quite impressive, that No Man of God manages to justify its existence. Amber Sealey's film is not without its narrative flaws, most notably the lack of development given to FBI investigator Bill Hagmaier (Elijah Wood) outside of his interactions with the infamous serial killer Bundy (Luke Kirby). The revelations into his childhood are fascinating, but more information regarding his personal life would have only enhanced the script. There is also an occasional use of grainy video footage that is meant to disturb but mostly feels out of place.

Despite these shortcomings, when Wood and Kirby are going back and forth, nothing matters except the electricity between them. These are two sensational, award-worthy performances, especially Wood, doing the best work of his career. He excellently played a murderous psychopath in Maniac, and he is even better on the side of the law, particularly when acknowledging that he and Bundy aren't so different. Kirby is the definitive on-screen Bundy, both scarier and saner than Zac Efron's portrayal in the Joe Berlinger film with the stupidly long title. As for Berlinger, his comments towards Sealey are pathetic. She made the better Bundy flick, and did it without ripping off American Psycho. Deal with it. 3.5/5

as of yet (2021, Taylor Garron & Chanel James)

as of yet is like someone set out to create an unholy perfect storm of everything grating about pandemic culture, bad mumblecore, movies that hide their lack of artistic merit behind a gimmick, hipster pop culture references shoehorned inorganically into places, and the most vapid, self-absorbed people of my generation and the one below me. By and large, it’s just a bunch of zoomers Zooming. Protagonist Naomi, played by co-director Taylor Garron, is 100% insufferable. Her grossly white-privileged roommate, Sara, is equally tiresome. Reed, the guy who Naomi likes, is a doofus. Naomi’s two LA friends, Lissa and Kadejiah, who she Zooms with later in the film are charming and not shallow pains in the ass. The only fun moments come from their dialogue, such as Lissa’s cheerfulness at learning that Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz is half-black. (I did not know this either.)

Naomi’s parents are also endearing. Instead of parroting Gen Z woke talking points, her mom fought for meaningful change with the Panthers and black power feminists. Why isn’t the film about this lady, or maybe Naomi’s cool friends? Either of those movies could have been a success. Anyone would have been better than Naomi, Sara and Reed. The version of as of yet that we got is a lame Twitter fart of a movie, its 82 minutes lasting an eternity. (At one point, our heroine even sings the praises of Twitter activism.) After the brilliance of Bo Burnham: Inside and the enthusiastic cuteness of other Tribeca entry 7 Days, I am officially declaring that we do not need any more COVID comedy ever in the history of the world. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

P.S. Never violate protocol during pandemic lockdowns or make excuses for why your dumbass protocol violation is okay but your dumbass friend's isn't. As of today, 3.79 million people worldwide have died from COVID-19. Thank you for coming to my second TED Talk. 1/5

kongs_other_films

Osama (2003, Siddiq Barmak)

Osama is an unbelievably grueling, depressing film about a young Afghani girl who is forced to disguise herself as a boy and work to provide for her family. The filmmaking is of the highest caliber, but the experience is so miserable that it is difficult to recommend. 4/5

Carancho (2010, Pablo Trapero)

For most of its runtime, the Argentinian romantic thriller Carancho is fairly low-key and occasionally confusing, with too many subplots. In the third act, everything clicks wonderfully, resulting in some very exciting, anxiety-inducing cinema. The relationship between doctor Lujan (Martina Gusman) and shady lawyer Sosa (Ricardo Darin) is one that is inherently conflicted by their positions on opposite sides of Argentina's traffic accident crisis. I had no idea this was such a problem in the country, so Carancho can also be educational. It might be a slow burn, but once it starts burning, it's a scorcher. 4/5

The Mercenary (1968, Sergio Corbucci)

Franco Nero and Tony Musante make for a great duo in Sergio Corbucci's violent spaghetti western The Mercenary. Nero is "Polack," a roguish merc who has past ties to Musante's Paco, a Mexican peasant turned revolutionary general. Jack Palance is the menacing bad guy, Curly. All three actors are having great fun in their roles, and Giovanna Ralli is dazzling as the gorgeous Columba. The action in Corbucci's film is thrilling, the humor lands without being too goofy and, as always, Ennio Morricone's score is epic. 4/5

Ripley’s Game (2002, Liliana Cavani)

Though Ripley's Game might not be quite as overwhelmingly great a film as The Talented Mr. Ripley, John Malkovich is more magnetic than Matt Damon as the mysterious and nearly sociopathic Tom Ripley, anti-hero of Patricia Highsmith novels. This time, Ripley smooth-talks the innocent, terminally ill Jonathan Trevanny (Dougray Scott) into performing an assassination. Though the hit is carried out successfully, the ensuing complications are more than even Ripley could have anticipated. Ripley and the now-corrupted Trevanny must work together if either of them are to survive.

Malkovich's dark charisma leads an excellent cast. As Trevanny, Scott excels at playing a decent man driven to violent depths in hopes of providing his wife (Lena Headey, also praiseworthy) and young son with an inheritance after he passes. Ray Winstone does his usual gangster routine as Ripley's associate, which is always welcome. Liliana Cavani's film is engaging from start to finish and features one especially outstanding sequence, a hit job performed aboard a train. With a narrative full of surprises, the intensity of Ripley's Game propels it forward. 4/5

Bo Burnham: Inside (2021, Bo Burnham)

I want to urge anyone and everyone to watch one of the best films that will be released in 2021. Inside is not a comedy special at all. It's a time capsule of one person's reactions to the most insane year in modern history. How is that not a film, specifically of the diaristic essay variety? This is a profoundly human piece of art that left me in awe. No one but Bo Burnham is capable of pulling off something like this. He is a genius in a class of his own. 5/5

The Most Dangerous Game (1932, Ernest B. Schoedsack & Irving Pichel)

If only Hollywood films were still as efficient as Schoedsack and Picehl's The Most Dangerous Game. In a mere 63 minutes, the literary adaptation tells its story with just the right level of detail, wasting no time at all. It does what it set out to achieve and winds down in just over an hour. Joel McCrea is great as Rainsford, a hunter who wrecks onto a remote island and finds himself as a guest of the strange Count Zaroff, played by a wonderfully hokey Leslie Banks. Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong are a brother and sister who arrived the same way. Little do the three guests know that Zaroff intends to hunt them for sport. After all, according to the kooky count, man is the most dangerous game. The first half of the film is all set-up, entertaining in its own right, but it kicks into high gear once the hunt begins. For old-school action thrills, The Most Dangerous Game is a worthy selection. 4/5

News from Home (1976, Chantal Akerman)

Just like many entries in Chantal Akerman's vast, beautiful filmography, News from Home is an intimate portrait of the profound loneliness that plagued the artist throughout the course of her life. This film is narrated by Akerman's reading of letters she has received from her mother back home in Belgium. The visuals are the crowded yet desolate urban landscape of New York City, Akerman's new home. What she does with the sound design here is total brilliance. As more time passes between the letters and Akerman drifts further away from her family, the narration gradually becomes drowned out by the noises of the city. The result is such a moving piece of experimental cinema, one that could have only come from the distinct voice of Chantal Akerman. Every time I watch another of her films, I feel a closer connection to this remarkable woman. How I wish I could have met her and conversed about something, anything. I believe she'd have understood me. 4.5/5

Numero deux (1975, Jean-Luc Godard)

Even among those who enjoy his more straightforward work, Jean-Luc Godard's Numero deux is often derided as pretentious and/or revolting. Consider me a pretentious sicko, then, because I'm convinced that it stands as a first-rate accomplishment in the master's career. The basic conceit is a brilliant idea, one that Godard fleshes out and executes fully. On dual TV screens, often with overlapping sound, we watch a voyeuristic portrait of a uninhibited couple in suburban France with two very curious children. The parents fight so intensely that it crosses over into sexual assault, a disturbing act that the prepubescent daughter witnesses. In one severely uncomfortable moment that would definitely not fly in a contemporary film, the nude parents graphically explain the birds and the bees. The mother also spends the film constipated, which is likely a crudely effective form of commentary on her dissatisfaction with her station in life. (Yes, the title is a shit pun.)

Despite how it sounds, Godard's film is the furthest thing from a hollow provocation. There is a purpose to everything it depicts, with the result being an arresting and emotionally draining piece of avant-garde cinema that pushes the medium forward by unconventionally getting across something resembling a narrative. The family is fascinating to observe through static cameras, and Godard's radical editing choices are something else. (He plays himself, explaining the purpose of the film and assembling the footage.) In its frankness, Numero deux portrays middle-class life in a manner unlike any other that I have seen. Though I cannot relate to the specifics of French cultural standards, I certainly related to elements of my own childhood in a fractured suburban home. As grim as the subject matter often is, there is such a stylistic playfulness to JLG's work here, with the end result being thoroughly satisfying. 5/5

Animal Crackers (1930, Victor Heerman)

Animal Crackers is not one of the best Marx Brothers flicks, but it does contain some great laughs. As always, most of the comedy comes from Groucho's impeccable wordplay. There is, of course, the iconic "I shot a lion in my pajamas ..." line, and plenty more. The mystery of the missing painting is fairly dull, which is what holds the otherwise funny film back. Although I love Groucho here as hunting expert Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding, I still prefer Sid Haig as the other Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie's Firefly trilogy. 3.5/5

Rabbit Hole (2010, John Cameron Mitchell) - 4/5 (rewatch)

Now that I'm in my late twenties, John Cameron Mitchell's Rabbit Hole hits much harder than it did when I was a teen. I do not anticipate ever being a parent, but the idea no longer seems like a foreign concept. While I don't want a child, I can imagine what it would be like to have one, and therefore at least empathize somewhat with how horrific it would be to lose one, as is the cruel fate that has befallen Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart). Adapted from David Lindsay-Abaire's play, there is nothing stagey about Mitchell's direction. Rabbit Hole is a visually impressive, cinematic film, one that packs a devastating punch in its pursuit of providing catharsis.

The role of Becca Corbett provides Kidman with a chance to sink her teeth into one of the most emotionally impactful performances of her career. She portrays the different aspects of Becca's grief so authentically, whether it's in a grocery store altercation with a rude mother or in her unusual interactions with the teen driver who accidentally killed her four-year-old son. In his screen debut, Miles Teller is a revelation. There is a true healing power in his scenes with Kidman, an odd connection that approaches something in the realm of friendship. Eckhart brings a palpable rage to Howie, a man unable and unwilling to move past the loss of his child. Dianne Wiest and Sandra Oh are memorable in supporting turns, with the former excellently playing Becca's mother. Dark and uncompromising, yet refusing to succumb to the hopelessness of so-called "misery porn," Rabbit Hole is a knockout. 4/5

Shaft (1971, Gordon Parks)

Shaft -- the man -- is cool. Richard Roundtree walks around with such swagger that it almost conceals how tedious Shaft -- the film -- is. For an exploitation film, it is woefully bland, creating no sense of atmosphere other than what bleeds through from Issac Hayes and J.J. Johnson's deservedly iconic score. There is a bit of action, but the sluggish pacing keeps the basic plot from ever sustaining any momentum. As a devotee of the action genre and b-movies, such a classic ought to have been in my wheelhouse, yet I could never escape the feeling that Shaft is a groovy protagonist in search of a movie. 2/5

Babylon (1980, Franco Rosso)

Unreleased in America for nearly forty years, Franco Rosso's Babylon is a hard-hitting drama of reggae and racism. The film paints a colorful portrait of the hardships facing Jamaican citizens in England circa 1980. Blue (Brinsley Forde) and his friends are constantly degraded and attacked by white Brits. Its dub soundtrack is simply fantastic, filled with such vibrance and urgency. Given the racial issues of today's world, Babylon has lost none of its relevance. 4/5

Detour (1945, Edgar G. Ulmer)

There are few Cinderella stories in film more unlikely than Detour. Made for dirt cheap, who would have ever expected Edgar G. Ulmer's scrappy little noir to become one of the cornerstones of its genre? And yet, thanks to a tight, lean and mean narrative, stellar direction, and one of the baddest femme fatales around, that's exactly what it did. Ann Savage's Vera is practically the devil. She finds a compromised man on the run, Al Roberts (Tom Neal), and attaches herself to him, always being sure to stay one step ahead of him with her diabolical plans. Equal parts seductive and terrifying, Savage eats up the screen. Every moment we see her, it is impossible to focus on anything else. That's quite an accomplishment, because Detour is a disturbed slice of noir for the ages. Despite seemingly taking place in the real world, Ulmer's film has a fascinating surreal quality to it. 4.5/5

Dark City (1950, William Dieterle)

The more noir I watch, the further I find myself falling in love with the pulpy world these films inhabit. Dark City is another entrancing tale of black-and-white bleakness, one anchored by the great Charlton Heston in one of his earliest roles. The plot here, in which a novice gambler's mistake leads to his brother seeking vengeance on those who wronged him, could be one hell of a remake in the hands of someone like the Coens brothers. Inhabiting the role of the man running the shady gambling racket that caused the tragedy, Heston is a complicated figure who evokes sympathy despite his misdeeds. William Dieterle's film has a sense of anxiety running through it because we, the viewer, long to see the protagonist outrun the evil figure chasing him. Perhaps this is relatable because, in one way or another, we all hope to remain ahead of the sinister forces that would drag us down, be they human or not. 3.5/5

Gilda (1946, Charles Vidor)

In its treatment of women, Gilda is certainly dated. The slapping, for one, would absolutely not fly today. (Thank God.) The title character not really having control of her own fate is another problem. Aside from these moral grievances, however, the film is splendid. The introduction of Gilda, played so exquisitely by Rita Hayworth, is an all-time great moment. ("Me?") The way the camera frames and lights her is pure cinema. So radiant is Hayworth here that it feels as if the light is coming from within her and projecting outward onto the sets. The storyline is gripping, if troublesome for the reasons outlined above. An unsatisfying ending, which directly relates to the issue I have with the film's gender politics, is the only thing keeping me from an even higher rating. It seems obligatorily tacked on to appease the Hays Code's overt paternalistic moralizing. Given that the filmmakers may not have had a choice, I'm cutting it some slack. 4/5

A Quiet Place Part II (2020, John Krasinski)

The first 15 minutes of A Quiet Place Part II are a flashback to the events before the first film. In this outstanding sequence, wholesome Americana gives way to sci-fi/horror chaos and director John Krasinski channels the crowd-pleasing prowess of Steven Spielberg. Everything about this sequel is an upgrade from its predecessor. Millicent Simmonds has a much larger role this time and her performance as deaf survivalist teen Regan Abbott continues to be fantastic. We see more of the monsters this time, which is less ambiguous yet lends itself to plenty of jump scares. The child actors have notably aged, but that's inevitable given the gap between filming. Cillian Murphy shines in a new role, reminding moviegoers what a talent he is. A Quiet Place Part II became the first film since the beginning of the pandemic to cross the $100 million box office threshold. This is not surprising. It's the kind of spectacle that demands to be witnessed on the biggest possible screen. 4/5

Flushed Away (2006, David Bowers & Sam Fell)

It took me 15 years to finally get around to seeing Flushed Away, partly because I was never a huge Aardman fan as a kid. However, having recently gone through the Shaun the Sheep series (don't ask) and discovered the delightful Creature Comforts short, I've found myself more endeared towards their style, so I opted to give this kooky fish-out-of-water (mouse-in-the-water?) comedy a shot. With gratuitous needle drops and a Shrek-style irreverence, the movie is distinctly a product of its time, something that has actually aged it well in comparison to the generic kiddie claptrap of today. For a movie taking place in a sewer, there is less toilet humor than I had feared. Most of the jokes are witty, with many odd little character details sprinkled throughout. The voice work is aces, especially Kate Winslet as sewer mouse love interest Rita. I must note that the main reason I enjoyed Flushed Away, though, is due to how adorable the little animated rodents are. (Well, maybe not Sid...) 3.5/5

My Left Foot (1989, Jim Sheridan)

So that's My Left Foot, huh? Frankly, I expected more. Yes, Daniel Day-Lewis gives a knockout performance as disabled artist Christy Brown. Anyone who did not know otherwise would be convinced that DDL really has cerebral palsy. His accolades were more than deserved, and Brenda Fricker also does lovely work as Christy's supportive mother. Aside from these two instances of great acting, Jim Sheridan's film is an interminable slog of maudlin Oscar bait. It has no control of its tone and the overall sentimentality is suffocating. Without such a tremendous lead, I can't imagine it would still be remembered. 2.5/5

S He (2018, Zhou Shengwei)

I don't know exactly what I just saw. I wouldn't even begin to know how to analyze the themes of this stop-motion bad acid trip beyond the obvious feminist message. And yet, I am shaken by it. This is a severely disturbing, brilliant film that deserves to find an audience. S He should be essential viewing, partially due to the audacity of its existence and partially because, judged by any standard, it is one of the elite animated films of the century thus far. 4.5/5

Desperately Seeking Susan (1985, Susan Seidelman)

A screwball comedy with an '80s Bohemian aesthetic, Susan Seidelman's Desperately Seeking Susan is charming and easy to like, thanks in large part to the thoroughly winning performances of Rosanna Arquette and Madonna. It puts the well-worn tropes of amnesia and mistaken identity to decent effect, though the movie is more on the side of cuteness than belly laughs. The fashion is as crucial to the film's success as its actresses. For the soundtrack, Madonna wrote "Into the Groove," which is about as perfect as '80s pop gets. 3.5/5

Holler (2020, Nicole Riegel)

In the past six years or so, independent cinema has become fixated on gritty portraits of "the real America." Maybe it's an attempt to shed the "coastal elitist" label, maybe it's some method of trying to understand Trump supporters. Whatever the motive, I roll my eyes nearly every time. Before I knew anything about it, I understandably lumped Holler in with the rest. As it turns out, Nicole Riegel put in the work. She knows the people and environment she depicts, having come from the tiny town of Jackson, OH, where the movie was filmed. Because of this, there is an authentic immediacy to her film that I haven't seen in a "rural America" indie since ... I don't know, possibly David Gordon Green's Joe?

Bleak and dark as hell, Holler tells the story of Ruth (Jessica Barden), an intellectually gifted teen whose single mother (Pamela Adlon) is an incarcerated drug addict. When Ruth is accepted to college, she takes a risky scrapyard gig in hopes of saving enough money to get out of her ghost town and follow her dreams. Though she has some prior roles, Barden is a phenomenal discovery, begging to be catapulted to superstardom the same way Jennifer Lawrence was with Winter's Bone. Far removed from her normal comic work, Adlon nails each of her three scenes, revealing yet another layer of her brilliance as an actress. As the woman who acts as a mother of sorts to Ruth and her brother, Becky Ann Baker is a potential long shot in this year's Supporting Actress race. Holler is a great film proving that Hollywood shouldn't keep churning out films about rural Americans. Leave those stories to be told by people who have actually lived them, such as Nicole Riegel. 4/5

A Day at the Races (1937, Sam Wood)

In A Day at the Races, Groucho Marx is Dr. Hugo Hackenbush, a dimwitted horse doctor who cons his way into becoming a physician for the wealthy. At 111 minutes, the film is bloated and drags in places. The two musical numbers could be taken out, even if one of them didn't briefly feature the Marx Brothers in blackface. Still, there are excellent comedic scenes, particularly the one with Groucho's wacky phone call antics. Our boys are always enjoyable in their films (at least that I've seen), and although it needed more time in the editing room, A Day in the Races is no exception. 3.5/5

The Driller Killer (1979, Abel Ferrara)

There are grindhouse flicks and then there are films so sleazy that you feel like you're going to catch something just by watching them. Abel Ferrara's infamous video nasty The Driller Killer belongs in the latter category. In actuality, the film is not as gory as its reputation suggests, has blatant artistic merit, and in no way deserved to be placed at the forefront of a censorship witch hunt. What makes Ferrara's slasher so startling is not its violence but the pervasive griminess that lingers over every frame. A No Wave band factors heavily into the plot, and The Driller Killer is essentially a cinematic version of that movement. The serial killer protagonist (played by Ferrara) is a total fucking loser, pathetic enough to make Travis Bickle look like a Clint Eastwood hero. It's hard, at least for someone with my sensibilities, not to be wowed by something so hopeless, filthy and completely encapsulating the worst elements of its time and place. Abel Ferrara rocks. 4/5

Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986, Paul Mazursky) - 4/5

Surprisingly ahead of its time in regards to class politics, Paul Mazursky's Down and Out in Beverly Hills casts Richard Dreyfus, Nick Nolte and Bette Midler in a very witty comedy of manners. It is apparently inspired by Boudu Saved from Drowning, a film I have not seen. The basic plot, however, in which a mysterious drifter visits an unhappy family and gives each member what they want, reminds me a great deal of Teorema. One especially laudable aspect of the film is its treatment of the upper-class couple's gender non-conforming son, who is not discriminated against by either Nolte's drifter or the film itself. Positive queer representation in a film of the past -- we love to see it. 4/5

Lux Æterna (2019, Gaspar Noe)

I suppose good ol' Gaspar Noe is incapable of disappointing me. The reaction to Lux Aeterna has been more polarizing than normal. After 15 minutes of Jesus images obscured by rapidly blinking white lights, my patience was being tested. Suddenly, the film morphed into something else, grabbing me and never letting me go. In hindsight, the beginning sequence was a bit of necessary trolling to subvert and destroy expectations. Noe always makes spectacular use of his actors, and the result is no different here, with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Beatrice Dalle giving wonderful performances as versions of themselves working on a chaotic film shoot. The final ten minutes are an unhinged, epileptic descent into Hell, rivaling the best work of Noe's career. 4.5/5
Misc.
I’m All Right, Jack (1959, John Boulting)

In I'm All Right, Jack, Peter Sellers is great in a supporting role as the communist labor union representative of a missile factory. Otherwise, the film by John Boulting drags along, never really scoring any laughs outside of Sellers. The class relations plot isn't as entertaining as it could have been. Having Ian Carmichael as the lead was a mistake when Sellers is a much more interesting character and is generally what people remember from this movie. Overall, the film by John Boulting is a missed opportunity. 2.5/5

Come Play (2020, Jacob Chase) - 0.5/5

Oh, dear God. This dreck is just insulting. As one of the silliest, lamest supernatural horrors in recent memory, Come Play would be unbearable enough. This is a movie so cheap and shoddy that it cannot even show a full shot of its monster. The fact that the demon possesses a fucking iPad in an attempt to gain entry to the physical realm is so asinine it's hilarious. However, the film is not only cinematically terrible, it manages to be completely offensive in its ignorant, regressive portrayal of a mute autistic boy. The boy, Come Play seems to suggest, is possibly to blame for his parents' divorce. Excuse you. Fuck all the way off.

I watched this for one reason and one reason only: Gillian Jacobs. To be fair, she manages to give a decent performance under the circumstances. Jacobs is one of the most underrated actresses around today, capable of great things if only given the chance. Watching her try her hardest to get through such misguided stupidity unscathed is like burying a Dove chocolate bar under a pile of turds, by which I mean that it takes someone so appealing and surrounds her with pure shit. Before I saw this film, I would mockingly refer to it among friends as Cum Play, because I have the maturity of a dumb 12-year-old. I shall refrain from doing that going forward. Cum play is enjoyable for some people, and that's perfectly alright. Come Play shouldn't appeal to anyone. 0.5/5

Bulado (2020, Eche Janga)

Bulado, the Dutch award winner, is visually gorgeous in its cinematography of the natural Curacao landscape, yet its story of a young girl torn between her cop father and spiritual grandfather fails to provide much intrigue despite a nice lead performance from young Tiara Richards. 3/5

Hermia & Helena (2016, Matias Pineiro)

Incorporating a ton of Shakespeare references (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and unfolding backwards, Hermia & Helena is pleasant enough, but I felt that it never really added up to anything. The lead performance of actress Agustina Munoz is the most interesting thing happening. This premise probably could have worked, but writer/director Matias Pineiro doesn't do enough to make it pop, resulting in a somewhat ambitious affair that nevertheless feels generally aimless. 3/5

Season of the Witch (1972, George A. Romero)

George A. Romero appears to have been a really great dude, so it's not a surprise that his witch film embraces female empowerment, just as Night of the Living Dead tackles race head-on. Season of the Witch centers on Joan (Jan White), the bored housewife of a businessman. Joan develops an avid interest in witchcraft that injects some spice into her life -- possibly more than she had hoped. Although the film is hindered by its cheap production values and generally questionable acting (outside of a nice performance by White), the feminist themes Romero explores are wonderful, largely making up for technical shortcomings. He conjures a compelling narrative that had me under its spell. Witches get stuff done. 3.5/5

The Last Christeros (2011, Matias Meyer)

Okay, I love slow cinema, but this is just flat-out boring. 1.5/5

A Sunday in the Country (1984, Bertrand Tavernier)

Bertrand Tavernier's A Sunday in the Country is a likable, low-key French drama about an elderly painter's relationships with his adult son and daughter. The film is gorgeously shot to resemble the old man's paintings. From a dramatic standpoint, it does feel a bit too slight for me, lacking the overwhelming impact of such old-age classics as Tokyo Story or that film's inspiration, Make Way for Tomorrow, but Tavernier's intimate direction of his actors is a reward throughout. 3.5/5

The Judge and the Assassin (1976, Bertrand Tavernier)

The Judge and the Assassin is a sluggish film that seems quite bloated in its runtime. Its attempt to make a point about justice and the mentally ill is drowned out by the truly horrific crimes that the Bouvier character (Michel Galabru) has committed. At a certain point, I stopped caring whether he was mentally competent or not. He deserved to pay for what he did. Because of this, the dramatic stakes of the film didn't work at all for me. Isabelle Huppert is basically wasted in a small role. Philippe Noiret is terrific here as the judge, really the only reason to watch, but I vastly prefer his later collaboration with Huppert and director Bertrand Tavernier, Coup de Torchon. 2.5/5
Shorts
Clocktime Trailer (1972, Stuart Pound) - 4/5
Solarflares Burn for You (1973, Arthur Jones) - 3.5/5
Brainless John (1959, Luis A. Maisonet) - 2/5
Au bout du fil (1974, Paul Driessen) - 1.5/5
Ballet of the Mermaids (1938, Gordon Sparling) - 3/5

Usher (2000, Curtis Harrington) - 4/5
Black TV (1968, Aldo Tambellini) - 4/5
Brouillard #14 (2013, Alexandre Larose) - 3.5/5
Castro Street (1966, Bruce Baillie) - 2/5
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Carmel1379
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#2

Post by Carmel1379 »

Good morning kongs_speech! I'm really looking forward to Lux Æterna for auteur reasons. Otherwise I've seen Detour from 1945, which is probably in my top five film noir movies, since the protagonist plays Fryderyk Chopin at the beginning of the motion picture.

kongs_speech wrote: June 13th, 2021, 5:53 amBrouillard #14 (2013, Alexandre Larose) - 3.5/5
I got this one into Doubling the Canon (it was my nomination), hence "I" made it an official check haha! :cheers:


Mine:

Российская Федерация / Russian Federation / Rosja 0-3 Belgium
I'm starting to believe football is becoming an extreme sport. I've played football most intensely in my student years in England for Warwick Chess at 5-a-side games on Saturdays. I'm also allergic to hazelnuts & coconuts, I have asthma, and I smoke way too much tobacco due to my horoscopes.

Le mépris 1963 JLG [SWAP] (2nd viewing) 8/10
Group C will be interesting in football. All football games will be interesting this year. Everyone's watching the football games. And take note of what happened in the first few games.
arittake no yume (nikki) o kaki atsume & I suppose I’ll have to add the force of gravity to my list of enemies

:imdb: IMDb Revolutions :letbxd: exwordpress blue :ICM:
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Onderhond
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#3

Post by Onderhond »

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01. 4.0* - Mandibles [Mandibules] by Quentin Dupieux (2020)
After a couple of films where Dupieux seemed to be fine-tuning and every so slightly downplaying the absurdity, Mandibles goes full retard once again. While the elevator pitch of this film sounds pretty insane, I think the real genius lies in the ways Dupieux normalizes the whole idea and tries to draw his laughs from other places. Weird, absurd and a total head scratcher, but it sure made me laugh. Out loud. But be warned, it's somewhat of an acquired taste.

02. 3.5* - The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It by Michael Chaves (2021)
I wasn't expecting too much from this third part, looking at the previous Wan-verse films it seems the formula is running on its last legs. I didn't really like Chaves' earlier film either, so maybe that's part of the reason why this turned out to be a pretty solid entry in the Conjuring franchise. This third film has Ed and Loraine solving another case. After the exorcism of David Glatzel, the demon jumps into the body of Arne Johnson. Things settle down, but only for a short while. It doesn't take long before the demon starts manifesting himself through Arne, killing a local dog pound owner. Chaves jumps right into the action and doesn't really slow down. It's nice to see a film that forgoes the slow build-up, it's equally nice to see Chaves play around with the timing of the scares, making them actually somewhat scary and unpredictable again. The film looks pretty nice, performances are solid and the pacing is on point. It's nothing you haven't seen before, but if you love the Wan horrors, this one is pretty good.

03. 3.0* - The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw by Thomas Robert Lee (2020)
Not a bad film, but it's hard to look at Lee's film and not see the inspiration of The VVitch. The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw certainly isn't a bad film, but the formula starts to shine through early on and from that moment the film just follows a pretty strict trajectory, without making too many attempts to add something original. Agatha has a farm a little outside a very devout commune. While people in the commune are suffering, Agatha seems to be fairing pretty well. As she fears repercussions, she has always kept her daughter Audrey out of sight. Audrey is growing up though and she wants to have a life of her own. The film is a slowburner, with lost of time spent building up the atmosphere. The explicit horror is limited to just a couple of scenes, but the dread lies hidden underneath the entire film. The performances are solid and score and cinematography are nice, it's just that the film lacks a little punch and/or originality. Good horror filler though.

04. 3.0* - The Columnist [De Kuthoer] by Ivo van Aart (2019)
Works pretty well as a dark comedy, not quite sure about the rest of the film. It seems there is some kind of underlying message here about social media and freedom of speech, but various narratives seem to contradict each other, making it quite difficult to see what the film was actually gunning for (if anything really). Femke is a columnist for a big paper. One specific column has put her into the spotlight of Twitter's troll sphere, something she has quite a hard time dealing with. When she finds out her neighbor is one of the trolls harassing her, she flips and kills the guy. An event that proves to be surprisingly cathartic. There's a lightness to the murders that gives the film an amusing edge. You will get frustrated if you're looking for realism here, but that's besides the point. Performances are decent, the cinematography is solid, yet it feels like they could've done more with this concept. Maybe the film is just a bit too nice and proper still for a film that wants to be edgy and cynical.

05. 3.0* - Miss Bala by Catherine Hardwicke (2019)
I never watched the original film, but I still wondered why they bothered with a remake. The plot is so basic and has been done some many times before, you could probably just copy/paste the entire film, slap a different title on it and nobody would even notice this was an actual remake. Gloria is a make-up artist who goes to Mexico to help a friend win a pageant. Once there, they are witness to a violent murder in a nightclub. Gloria loses track of her friend and gets into serious trouble when she tries to warn the police about what she saw, but ends up in the hands of the killers. Miss Bala is a decent action flick, nothing more, nothing less. The cast does a decent job, the action scenes are pretty dirty and the pacing is pleasant. The plot and characters are extremely unrealistic, but that just comes with the territory. Decent fun, might check out the original to see how much was borrowed here.

06. 3.0* - Your Name Engraved Herein [Ke Zai Wo Xin Di De Ming Zi] by Kuang-Hui Liu (2020)
A modern Happy Together. Wong Kar-Wai's coming of age drama has become a landmark film for Asian LGBT+ communities, it's a small miracle that it took this long for a film to challenge its status. Kuang-Hui Liu delivers a pretty brave attempt, though his film doesn't really rise above many of its peer. Jia-han and Birdy are two boys who discover they are attracted to each other. The film is set in late 80s Taiwan, and gay relationships weren't socially acceptable back then. Still, the boys can't deny their love for each other and decide to go for it anyway, facing the social stigma head on. For a film that's about challenging the status quo, it colors neatly inside the lines. Most of the drama is centered around the two boys discovering their sexuality, mixed with the usual coming of age issues. Performances are decent, the cinematography makes a positive impact in the first hour, but the drama is just a little too by the numbers to make a real impact.

07. 3.0* - 6 Souls by Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein (2010)
A slow burn thriller with relatively strong religious/fantastical elements. That came as a bit of a surprise after a pretty straightforward first hour, but Mårlind and Stein switch to a different gear after the halfway mark and take the film in a much less scientific direction. It's a nice diversion, though not quite sure if it made the film better. Cara is a single mom and dedicated psychiatrist, just like her dad. He likes to challenge her with cases that go against her firm professional beliefs, so when he finds a man with split personality disorder, he can't wait to get Cara on board. She is reluctant to join in, but can't help but be intrigued by his case. Moore and Meyers do a decent job and the build-up is nice enough. The film never feels all that remarkable or special, but at least the quality is there. The second part is a little flakier and the finale could've been a ballsier, but some well-executed genre elements do add a bit of extra fun. Certainly not the worst film in its genre.

08. 2.5* - Dark Water by Walter Salles (2005)
A rather tepid remake of Nakata's film. Salles tries to enhance the drama, but by doing so he takes all the creep and scares out of Dark Water. The result is a sluggish intro that drags well into the second half, with a more spectacular finale that lacks impact. Not what you want from a film like this. The plot has remained virtually unchanged. After her divorce, Dahlia moves with her daughter Cecelia into a new apartment. The place is a dump, but they don't have a lot of money, so they have to make do. While they manage, Cecelia develops an imaginary friend who forces her to do things. The performances are solid and they rainy atmosphere (there's not a single scene where it isn't raining) is almost oppressive. The drama isn't all that interesting though and the horror bits are pretty lame. It's one of those films that's got its balance all wrong, better stick with Nakata's film.

09. 2.0* - In Her Shoes by Curtis Hanson (2005)
Curtis Hanson goes lengthy drama/romcom. I'm not really sure what notes he was trying to hit here exactly, but none of the three genres are very successful. Instead, you get a bit of everything, spread out over 130 minutes of film. I think people making that kind of commitment deserve more. Maggie and Rose are sisters, but they have opposite characters. Rose is neat, tidy and needs to be in control, Maggie lives her life from one week to the next. When the two get into a huge fight, Maggie flees to her long-lost grandma in Florida, where she'll try to reconnect with a part of her life she missed out on. The performances are pretty decent, but the characters are rather shallow. The plot is extremely predictable, the comedy isn't very funny and the drama is way too simplistic to make a real impact. It might've been better if the film only lasted 90 minutes, the 40 minutes excess really killed it for me.

10. 2.0* - The Rainmaker by Francis Ford Coppola (1997)
You don't see courtroom dramas being released that often nowadays, and that's probably not a bad thing. By far one of the most narrative-driven, lengthy and sentimental genres in the film industry, I don't think I've ever seen a really good one either. The Rainmaker fits right in with the rest of the bunch. A young and spirited lawyer is assigned an insurance case. He's really not equipped to battle the legion of lawyers representing the insurance company, but he wants to support the victims and still believes in the juridical system, but he'll be fighting an uphill battle if he wants justice to prevail. Performances are okay and there are a handful of decent scenes, but the runtime is indefensible, the drama feels forced, and the courtroom scenes are really predictable. You start a film like this pretty much knowing every single story beat that's going to come, which simply isn't that much fun, especially since films like these have little else to offer.

11. 1.5* - Spectre by Sam Mendes (2015)
Craig's Bond reign has been one big disappointment. Not because Craig's terrible, though I will say he doesn't really fit the profile of the Bond I prefer. Having seen all the films in the main series, it's clear that I thoroughly prefer the sillier side of Bond. Spectre doesn't do silly (well), it's mostly a very serious film. Though I've seen most of the Craig Bonds in a relatively short span of time, and recognize something of a story arc in there, I really couldn't care less. The plot is just bland, so the time spent on trying to make it look intriguing is just wasted. Spies, airplane chases, evil people, lairs and exploding buildings, it's always the same really. Mendes isn't a great action director, and it shows. The action feels pretty bland, which is a problem for a film that leans on the action quite heavily. The performances are decent but overly grave, the score is negligible, and the runtime is a joke. One more Craig Bond to go, let's hope they rework the series once more after that.

12. 1.5* - Raya and the Last Dragon by Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Paul Briggs (2021)
Disney's latest animation goes shopping for cultural inspiration in Asia. Don't expect too much of it though, in the end it's still an undeniably obvious American production, but at least it makes for a nice change of setting. Other than that, Disney is just repeating its same old formula. The land of Kumandra has been split into five different pieces. Raya's father tries to reunite the different clans, but his attempt fails and only makes things worse. His daughter sets out to find Sisu, the last remaining dragon and the only one with the power to bring everyone back together. Technically it's impressive, aesthetically there are few moments that truly awe. The voice acting is pretty poor, the finale is rather cringeworthy and the comedy never hits the mark. It's nice to see Disney try to do something a little different, but unless they really commit it's not going to make much of a difference quality wise.

13. 1.0* - The Postman Always Rings Twice by Tay Garnett (1946)
A very straight-forward noir/romance that's been stretched to a runtime that nears the 2-hour mark. I'm not quite sure why, possibly because they tried to cram in as much as possible from the book this was based on, but with a plot and characters this simple there's really no point to let it drag on this long. Frank's a wanderer, someone who can't stay in one place for very long. That is, until he walks into a diner and meets Cora. Cora is married to Nick, but their marriage has dulled and it doesn't take long before Frank and Cora hook up. The only problem is that they have to try and get rid of Nick, which proves harder than expected. The performances are relatively weak, the plot is extremely predictable, the direction is frumpy, and the film really starts to drag during the second half. The courtroom scenes in particular are pretty damning. No doubt fans of noir/classic cinema will find something here, it did absolutely nothing for me.
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Torgo
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#4

Post by Torgo »

Bo Burnham: Inside (-/10)*
Brighton Rock (8/10)
The Sheik (5,5/10)
Wizards of The Lost Kingdom** (3/10)
Reptilicus** (3/10)
Fun In Balloon Land** (0/10)
Why Don't You Play In Hell? (7/10)


*I gave Bo a try due to the immense hype in an evening where I didn't feel like watching "a real" movie, but I quickly realized that I probably wasn't in the mood for something that's essentially a collection of Youtube channel type skits with a lot of singing. Aborting after 10 minutes didn't seem fair to me as it's supposed to be so engaging, so I continued .. and maybe have wasted it, I dunno. But I'm zero into stand-up comedy and have reduced watching any type of comedy so much over the years, except for American late-night hosts - which is political humor too, mostly, not as woke as Burnham though - so I'm not the target audience. Well. I am really impressed by the professional-amateurish production value of this and it is impressive how much of talent the guy has (happy 30th birthday, by the way), much creativity involved in editing and effects, not to begin with the amount of (catchy!) tunes. It didn't make me laugh often though, just respect it, and rarely made me think or seem too affecting, which I was promised. I expected way deeper and darker. Well. 6/10 on IMDb and over
**riffed/MST3K
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peeptoad
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#5

Post by peeptoad »

my top 3 of the last week-

Cockroach (2020) 9 (thanks for the reminder on this, PdA. I saw it on your monthly list...)
C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005) 9 (thanks for the rec, ferg! Great movie for the queer challenge)
Pixote (1981) 8+ (been meaning to watch this for awhile and it was great. About as good as City of God, which was similar in some regards. This one was even grittier and more realistic to my eye...)
kongs_speech wrote: June 13th, 2021, 5:53 am The Most Dangerous Game (1932, Ernest B. Schoedsack & Irving Pichel)

...

The Driller Killer (1979, Abel Ferrara)
These are my two favs of your views this week, kong. DK in particular because I love the late 70s-early 80s NYC art-vibe. One could actually double it with Desperately Seeking Susan (a film I have a fondness for, but it admittedly isn't really great) and not be totally far off.

Torgo wrote: June 13th, 2021, 12:30 pm Reptilicus** (3/10)
Saw this when I was 7 or 8. It's the one with the tail chunk that regenerates, yes? I bet it looks cheesy and dated now...
Onderhond wrote: June 13th, 2021, 8:18 am 1.5* - Spectre by Sam Mendes (2015)
Not sure I've seen this Bond (or I don't recall it). I'm toying with the idea of (re)watching all the Bonds in August. I think there are 2-3 that would be FTVs... they're good for turning one's brain to the "off" position.
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Perception de Ambiguity
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#6

Post by Perception de Ambiguity »

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La virgen de agosto / The August Virgin (2019, Jonás Trueba) 6

Underwater (2020, William Eubank) 7+

Gumby: The Movie (1995, Art Clokey) (w/ RiffTrax) 7-

Carts of Darkness (2008, Murray Siple) 6

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The Amusement Park (2019/1973, George A. Romero) 6+

Les Carabiniers / Die Karabinieri / The Carabineers / The Riflemen (1963, JLG) 6+

Cinéastes de notre temps: Le dinosaure et le bébé: Dialogue en huit parties entre Fritz Lang et Jean-Luc Godard (1967, André S. Labarthe) 5

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Century of Cinema: Deux fois 50 ans de cinéma français / 2 x 50 Years of French Cinema (1995, JLG) 6+

Histoire(s) du cinéma (4a): Le contrôle de l'univers (1999, JLG) 8-

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Histoire(s) du cinéma (4b): Les signes parmi nous (1999, JLG) 9-

Histoire(s) du cinéma (2a): Seul le cinéma (1994, JLG) 7+

LE MÈPRiS / Die Verachtung / Contempt (1963, JLG) (2nd viewing) 7+ (from 6)
SWAP: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5491

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964) (5th viewing)

The Doors (1991, Oliver Stone) (3rd(?) viewing) 8+


shorts

directed by kogonada:
Malick: Fire & Water (2013) 4
Trick or Truth (2014) 6
Eyes of Hitchcock (2014) 6
Kubrick: One-Point Perspective (2012) (2nd viewing) 6
Auteur in Space (2015) 6
Godard in Fragments (2016) 6
The World According to Koreeda Hirokazu (2013) 6

Legato (1950, Henning Bendtsen) (2 viewings) 6

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2018, John Morena) (2 viewings) 6

Bande-annonce de 'Le mépris' / Le mépris - Trailer (1963, JLG) 5+

music videos

Weird Al Yankovic: Fat (1988, Jay Levey) 6

The Pharcyde: Drop (1995, Spike Jonze) 3

Cibo Matto: Sugar Water (1996, Michel Gondry) 7+

Sia: Chandelier (2014, Daniel Askill & Sia) 6+

Monster Magnet: Face Down (1992) (umpteenth viewing) +=


other

The Doors - deleted scenes (c. 1991, Oliver Stone)

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1169 - Elon Musk (2018) 7

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1470 - Elon Musk (2020) 6+

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1666 - Duncan Trussell (2021) 6+


didn't finish:

Die Menschen, die das Staufer-Jahr vorbereiten (1977, Alexander Kluge & Maximiliane Mainka) [9 min]


notable online media

top:
2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation? [partly]
Hader: Struktur ist in Quarantäne das A & O
"You the best ever!" Rose Namajunas in tears after incredible win at UFC 261
Rose Namajunas vs Weili Zhang Full Fight Highlights
Indiana Jones - Rejected (re-worked)
Saagar Enjeti: John Cena's DISGUSTING Bow To China Reveals How Sold Out US Elite Is [mostly]
Logan Paul vs Floyd Mayweather Fight HIGHLIGHTS
3 Brain Systems That Control Your Behavior: Reptilian, Limbic, Neo Cortex | Robert Sapolsky
How Dreading the Future May Be a Symptom of Your Past
Joe Rogan WEIRDS Out Whitney Cummings
Action Bronson's DMX Moment - JRE Toons
rest:
The Doors: Final Cut Oliver Stone & John Densmore Q&A 08/16/19. [partly]
Physics’ greatest mystery: Michio Kaku explains the God Equation | Big Think
The 3 Most SATISFYING Puzzles Ever!! 🤤 #Shorts
Joe Rogan vs. Conor McGregor UFC
"Sanfte" (Sprach-)Politik: DEMOLITION MAN - Kritik & Analyse [partly]
"My bad, mom." This might be the most hilarious news interview ever...
The blue bus is calling us [by "Medium Head"]

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Underwater & Seul le cinéma
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Last edited by Perception de Ambiguity on June 13th, 2021, 3:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
We do not have to understand new things, but by dint of patience, effort and method to come to understand with our whole self the truths which are evident.Image
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#7

Post by Torgo »

kongs_speech wrote: June 13th, 2021, 5:53 am Gilda (1946, Charles Vidor)

Gilda, played so exquisitely by Rita Hayworth, is an all-time great moment. ("Me?") The way the camera frames and lights her is pure cinema. So radiant is Hayworth here that it feels as if the light is coming from within her and projecting outward onto the sets.
:wub: Still stays with me although 10 years ago, my b/w aesthetic organ wasn't fully matured enough to fully enjoy classic Hollywood & noir compositions. This would be a splendid rewatch in crispy HD.

A Quiet Place Part II -> High expectations :)
With My Left Foot, one's beginning to wonder if this project and actor's portrayal still would be greenlighted and praised as much today, eh? Not to speak of Sean Penn exactly 20 years ago .. :satstunned:

(I weekly skim through your reviews and see if some outlier scores pop up, but I'm not as up to date with the newest of 2020 & 2021 American films, no less festival premieres. Can't get much out of that and say much. Should make for some huge "2021 in review" post then!)

Onderhond wrote: June 13th, 2021, 8:18 am 01. 4.0* - Mandibles [Mandibules] by Quentin Dupieux (2020)
After a couple of films where Dupieux seemed to be fine-tuning and every so slightly downplaying the absurdity, Mandibles goes full retard once again. While the elevator pitch of this film sounds pretty insane, I think the real genius lies in the ways Dupieux normalizes the whole idea and tries to draw his laughs from other places. Weird, absurd and a total head scratcher, but it sure made me laugh. Out loud. But be warned, it's somewhat of an acquired taste.
:banana: Speaking of "going full retard" just a few lines above, well. :lol:
This one should be wild for me. Dupieux doesn't stop to deliver.
12. 1.5* - Raya and the Last Dragon by Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Paul Briggs (2021)
Disney's latest animation goes shopping for cultural inspiration in Asia. Don't expect too much of it though, (...) Technically it's impressive, aesthetically there are few moments that truly awe. The voice acting is pretty poor
Yeah, well. @all
If I had placed a bet, I wouldn't expect you to be a fan of Awkwafina's Raya impersonation. :D
I enjoyed it enough (for the brilliant CGI animation at the very least), but this could have been so much more.
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#8

Post by Torgo »

peeptoad wrote: June 13th, 2021, 12:42 pm
Torgo wrote: June 13th, 2021, 12:30 pm Reptilicus** (3/10)
Saw this when I was 7 or 8. It's the one with the tail chunk that regenerates, yes? I bet it looks cheesy and dated now...
Onderhond wrote: June 13th, 2021, 8:18 am 1.5* - Spectre by Sam Mendes (2015)
Not sure I've seen this Bond (or I don't recall it). I'm toying with the idea of (re)watching all the Bonds in August. I think there are 2-3 that would be FTVs... they're good for turning one's brain to the "off" position.

Yeah well, about Reptilicus, I dunno ... :D

I haven't seen Spectre to this date and am planning the same thing as preparation for the new Ana de Armas showcase Bond film. My experience with Skyfall wasn't the greatest though. I'm not as sceptical as Onder about the whole Daniel Craig era (I'm never as sceptical), but I'm no great fan, really. Let's see what Idris Elba can make out of this. :P
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#9

Post by Lakigigar »

A lot of 8/10's this week:
Assassination Nation: 10/10 (*)
Mysterious Skin:- 9/10
What We Do In The Shadows - 8/10 (*)
El Orfanato: 8/10
Den Skyldige: 8/10
Dogman: 8/10
Millennium Mambo: 7/10

(*) = rewatch

WWDITS was a downgrade though from 9/10

For this week, i'm planning on watching some Lanthimos movies and also finishing the Star Wars series, so ... hopefully i'm back on the track again. For the upcoming weeks, mostly going to focus on the more well known movies and "classics/modern classics", but i'm planning to watch more movies again but at a quite slow pace, because something else just doesn't work for me.
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#10

Post by lynchs »

Jack Shnyder's Army of the Dead Robot and Human Zombies :party:

trailer 10/10
movie 0.5/10

What is this?
It's a goddamn Zombie Tiger
That's crossing the line

:worship:
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#11

Post by peeptoad »

Torgo wrote: June 13th, 2021, 12:58 pm Yeah well, about Reptilicus, I dunno ... :D
:D We didn't even dent him...
It actually looks not half bad in color. We only had a 13" B&W television until I was 12, so it was a pretty fuzzy, monochrome experience back then.
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#12

Post by kongs_speech »

Carmel1379 wrote: June 13th, 2021, 6:54 am Good morning kongs_speech! I'm really looking forward to Lux Æterna for auteur reasons. Otherwise I've seen Detour from 1945, which is probably in my top five film noir movies, since the protagonist plays Fryderyk Chopin at the beginning of the motion picture.

kongs_speech wrote: June 13th, 2021, 5:53 amBrouillard #14 (2013, Alexandre Larose) - 3.5/5
I got this one into Doubling the Canon (it was my nomination), hence "I" made it an official check haha! :cheers:


Mine:

Российская Федерация / Russian Federation / Rosja 0-3 Belgium
I'm starting to believe football is becoming an extreme sport. I've played football most intensely in my student years in England for Warwick Chess at 5-a-side games on Saturdays. I'm also allergic to hazelnuts & coconuts, I have asthma, and I smoke way too much tobacco due to my horoscopes.

Le mépris 1963 JLG [SWAP] (2nd viewing) 8/10
Group C will be interesting in football. All football games will be interesting this year. Everyone's watching the football games. And take note of what happened in the first few games.
Congrats on getting your nomination in! I hope to nominate some films for DTC next year. Contempt is great, I agree. I bet you would like Lux Aeterna.
Onderhond wrote: June 13th, 2021, 8:18 am 01. 4.0* - Mandibles [Mandibules] by Quentin Dupieux (2020)
After a couple of films where Dupieux seemed to be fine-tuning and every so slightly downplaying the absurdity, Mandibles goes full retard once again. While the elevator pitch of this film sounds pretty insane, I think the real genius lies in the ways Dupieux normalizes the whole idea and tries to draw his laughs from other places. Weird, absurd and a total head scratcher, but it sure made me laugh. Out loud. But be warned, it's somewhat of an acquired taste.

13. 1.0* - The Postman Always Rings Twice by Tay Garnett (1946)
A very straight-forward noir/romance that's been stretched to a runtime that nears the 2-hour mark. I'm not quite sure why, possibly because they tried to cram in as much as possible from the book this was based on, but with a plot and characters this simple there's really no point to let it drag on this long. Frank's a wanderer, someone who can't stay in one place for very long. That is, until he walks into a diner and meets Cora. Cora is married to Nick, but their marriage has dulled and it doesn't take long before Frank and Cora hook up. The only problem is that they have to try and get rid of Nick, which proves harder than expected. The performances are relatively weak, the plot is extremely predictable, the direction is frumpy, and the film really starts to drag during the second half. The courtroom scenes in particular are pretty damning. No doubt fans of noir/classic cinema will find something here, it did absolutely nothing for me.
You're definitely right about Mandibles being an acquired taste. It's a taste that I wasn't able to acquire at all. Not a good start for Dupieux and I, but I'll see more of his work.

I really love The Postman Always Rings Twice, but I'm turning into a mini-Walter with my noir love, so that's no surprise. :lol: The only thing I don't like about it is the overly moralistic ending, a blatant casualty of the Hays Code.
Torgo wrote: June 13th, 2021, 12:30 pm Bo Burnham: Inside (-/10)*
Haven't seen any of your stuff this week except Inside, which I obviously loved.
peeptoad wrote: June 13th, 2021, 12:42 pm Pixote (1981) 8+ (been meaning to watch this for awhile and it was great. About as good as City of God, which was similar in some regards. This one was even grittier and more realistic to my eye...)
kongs_speech wrote: June 13th, 2021, 5:53 am The Most Dangerous Game (1932, Ernest B. Schoedsack & Irving Pichel)

...

The Driller Killer (1979, Abel Ferrara)
These are my two favs of your views this week, kong. DK in particular because I love the late 70s-early 80s NYC art-vibe. One could actually double it with Desperately Seeking Susan (a film I have a fondness for, but it admittedly isn't really great) and not be totally far off.
Pixote is dope. The "breastfeeding" scene is one of the most haunting images in a film. That shot has been burned into my brain since I saw it. :/

Great observation about Driller Killer and Desperately Seeking Susan taking place in a similar environment. I'm already looking forward to watching Driller Killer again sometime.
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#13

Post by viktor-vaudevillain »

Aquele Querido Mês de Agosto / Our Beloved Month of August (Miguel Gomes, 2008) - 7

かもめ食堂 / Kamome Diner (Naoko Ogigami, 2006) - 8
Safe-space cinema :wub:

ساعة التحرير دقت برّه يا إستعمار / The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived (Heiny Srour, 1974) - 8+

Traffic (Steven Soderbergh, 2000) - 7

Cecilia Mangini screening:
Ignoti alla città / Unknown To The City (1958) - 7 35mm w/o subs
Ignoti alla città / Unknown To The City (1958) - 7 DCP w subs
Sardegna (1965) - 6 DCP
La passione del grano / The Wheat Passion (1963) - 7+ DCP
Maria e i giorni / Maria’s Days (1959) - 8+ PRORES422HQ rewatch
Essere Donne / Being Women (1964) - 6 DCP
Felice Natale / Merry Christmas (1964) - 4+ H264
La canta delle marane / The Marshes Chant (1962) - 9+ H264 rewatch
Stendali (Suonano ancora) / Stendali (Still They Toll) (1960) - 9 35mm w/o subs rewatch
Stendali (Suonano ancora) / Stendali (Still They Toll) (1960) - 9 DCP w subs rewatch

+

Legato (Henning Bendtsen, 1950)

Pose Season 3 (2021)
Last edited by viktor-vaudevillain on June 14th, 2021, 4:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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#14

Post by kongs_speech »

Perception de Ambiguity wrote: June 13th, 2021, 12:51 pm Underwater (2020, William Eubank) 7+

Les Carabiniers / Die Karabinieri / The Carabineers / The Riflemen (1963, JLG) 6+

LE MÈPRiS / Die Verachtung / Contempt (1963, JLG) (2nd viewing) 7+ (from 6)
SWAP: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5491

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964) (5th viewing)

Weird Al Yankovic: Fat (1988, Jay Levey) 6
Underwater was better than I thought it would be. Quite a fun little b-movie. Kristen Stewart needs to do an Alien film.

Les Carabiniers and Contempt are among my (many) favorite Godard flicks. Just saw the former for the first time a couple weeks ago.

Dr. Strangelove, of course, is perfect.

I'm always up for some Weird Al, though "Fat" was always a little body-shaming for me. As far as his weight-related Michael Jackson parody food songs go, I prefer "Eat It."
Torgo wrote: June 13th, 2021, 12:51 pm
kongs_speech wrote: June 13th, 2021, 5:53 am Gilda (1946, Charles Vidor)

Gilda, played so exquisitely by Rita Hayworth, is an all-time great moment. ("Me?") The way the camera frames and lights her is pure cinema. So radiant is Hayworth here that it feels as if the light is coming from within her and projecting outward onto the sets.
:wub: Still stays with me although 10 years ago, my b/w aesthetic organ wasn't fully matured enough to fully enjoy classic Hollywood & noir compositions. This would be a splendid rewatch in crispy HD.

A Quiet Place Part II -> High expectations :)
With My Left Foot, one's beginning to wonder if this project and actor's portrayal still would be greenlighted and praised as much today, eh? Not to speak of Sean Penn exactly 20 years ago .. :satstunned:

(I weekly skim through your reviews and see if some outlier scores pop up, but I'm not as up to date with the newest of 2020 & 2021 American films, no less festival premieres. Can't get much out of that and say much. Should make for some huge "2021 in review" post then!)
Yeah, Gilda really is a visually beautiful film ... and not just because of Hayworth!

I actually think Penn in I Am Sam and DDL in My Left Foot are about equally great, and I prefer I Am Sam as a film. It's sappy too, but it has a sincerity about it that works. That soundtrack of Beatles covers helps a lot, as does Michelle Pfeiffer giving one of her best performances.

Thank you! I'm glad people look at the reviews I post. :lol:
Lakigigar wrote: June 13th, 2021, 1:33 pm Mysterious Skin:- 9/10
What We Do In The Shadows - 8/10 (*)
Mysterious Skin is a favorite.

What We Do in the Shadows is funny but not quite my normal sense of humor. I like it well enough.
lynchs wrote: June 13th, 2021, 2:35 pm Jack Shnyder's Army of the Dead Robot and Human Zombies :party:

trailer 10/10
movie 0.5/10

What is this?
It's a goddamn Zombie Tiger
That's crossing the line

:worship:
I love anything Snyder does.
viktor-vaudevillain wrote: June 13th, 2021, 9:23 pm [films]
Haven't seen any of your stuff this week! :banana:
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#15

Post by Torgo »

Lakigigar wrote: June 13th, 2021, 1:33 pm Mysterious Skin:- 9/10
Laki and Mysterious Skin, a match made in heaven ^_^
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kongs_speech wrote: June 13th, 2021, 5:53 am S He (2018, Zhou Shengwei)
I don't know exactly what I just saw. I wouldn't even begin to know how to analyze the themes of this stop-motion bad acid trip
This one sounds .. odd. :blink:
"A high heel mother shoe survives in an authoritarian world dominated by male shoes and brings up her daughter shoe by disguising herself as a male shoe."
Trailer
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#17

Post by kongs_speech »

Torgo wrote: June 14th, 2021, 12:31 am
kongs_speech wrote: June 13th, 2021, 5:53 am S He (2018, Zhou Shengwei)
I don't know exactly what I just saw. I wouldn't even begin to know how to analyze the themes of this stop-motion bad acid trip
This one sounds .. odd. :blink:
"A high heel mother shoe survives in an authoritarian world dominated by male shoes and brings up her daughter shoe by disguising herself as a male shoe."
Trailer
I did understand that much! It's a mind-blowing work of surrealism that left me wanting to curl up in a ball and cry.
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#18

Post by RolandKirkSunglasses »

@Kongs speech

Most Dangerous Game: Decent for an hour-long flick, the same duo directed "Island of Lost Souls" the same year with Charles Laughton in a sinister role.
Animal Crackers: Yeah I think the mystery of the painting holds the film back too, not their funniest film either.
Gilda: I found Rita Hayworth the best part of the film
Day at the Races: It's too long but has enough hilarious scenes to keep your interest.

@Peeptoad

Pixote is pretty devastating, especially when you know what happened to the lead actor in real life.

@PdA

I need to rewatch Dr Strangelove, didn't find it as funny as I thought I would (not the biggest Peter Sellers fan)

@Lakigigar

Millenium Mambo is pretty good, though Hou Hsiao Hsien made consistently good films in the 2000s


As for me it was a pretty disappointing week movie-wise but a pleasantly surprising/heart attack-inducing one sports-wise, watched a few 4+ hour matches for the first time in years:

Tennis matches:

Federer vs Nadal Wimbledon Final 2007: A repeat of the 2006 final, Nadal was arguably the better player for 4.5 sets until failure to take break point chances and fatigue took its toll. Federer wasn't happy with the Hawk Eye challenges and was pushed pretty hard but ultimately prevailed. Their 2008 final was more dramatic with the rain delays and that 4th-set tiebreak, but for consistent quality through all sets from both players this final was probably vetter.

Nadal vs Djokovic French Open Semi Final 2021: Djokovic's sole win over Nadal at the French Open 6 years ago was avenged by Nadal in curbstomping fashion in last year's final. Having lost their last meeting at Rome a couple weeks earlier and a minor decline on clay over the past 5 years nobody gave Djokovic a chance; an early 5-0 lead for Nadal in the opening set confirmed those predictions. However, some spirited resistance to lost the first set 3-6 gave Djokovic the impetus and belief to impose his gameplan on Nadal, taking the second set before both players in their mid-30s treated the crowd to an intense, titanic struggle of a 3rd set which effectively decided the match. Easy putaway from Nadal in the tie-breaker handed Djokovic the set. An early break of serve in the 4th set proved to be a false dawn for the 13-time French Open winner as Djokovic reeled off 6 games in a row to take the match and complete one of the hardest tasks in sport: Beating Nadal at the French Open.

Djokovic vs Tsitsipas French Open Final 2021:Repeat of the semi-final last year when Tsitsipas fought back from 2 sets down but wilted physically in the 5th. This time out Djokovic started off the final serving slightly better until he served for the first set, Tsitsipas showed real guts to break back and eventually won a long first set and showed even more composure to boss around an out-of-sorts-looking Djokovic in the second set. With fears of another final loss and another missed Grand Slam winning opportunity, Djokovic regrouped, picked up his first serve and anticipation, began reading Tsitsipas far better and slowly wore down the 22-year old physically and mentally, breaking early in each subsequent set and looking untroubled on serve until the last game of the match. Always nerve-wracking to serve for the championship, some passive play made things a little harder but Djokovic eventually prevailed in 5 sets to make history, becoming third oldest French Open winner in the Open Era.



and now the Films:

Mishima: Life in Four Chapters (1985): Yukio Mishima was a talented, Nobel-prize nominated writer and bit of a nutjob. Paul Schrader's biopic switches between his life story and reenactions of his novels thematically seeping into his worldview and colouring his actions, all of it supporting and attempting to explain his actions in the last day of his life when he attempted a failed military coup to reinstall the Emperor and committed seppuku. Beautifully shot and costumed with lots of input from Mishima's own family, the re-enactions of his novels and stories aren't well acted and don't add enough to Mishima's mystique to really justify their inclusion, the movie also fails to ask why Mishima only took 4 members of his own private army for the attempted coup as if he honestly believed that would work. A stylish yet surprisingly soulless film which didn't ask the right questions about one of the most controversial writers of his time.

Three Resurrected Drunkards (1968): Three Japanese men head to the beach for some fun, their clothes are stolen and subsequently they're accused of being Koreans, leading to wild chases and misunderstandings. Halfway through the movie replays from the beginning, the trio attempting to learn from their mistakes in the first half and change their outcome. Pretty goofy film from Nagisa Oshima suffering from bad acting and humour which doesn't quite work out. Meant to be a critique of Japanese-Korea relations and Japan's involvement in the Vietnam War but Oshima covered the former far better in "Death by Hanging" and "Sing a Song of Sex".

Ball of Fire (1941): A screwball comedy with Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck and Dana Andrews, Howard Hawks in the director's chair with a script by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett, such a stellar line up and quite a disappointing screwball comedy. A rehash of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", Gary Cooper is one of 8 stuffy professors working on an encyclopaedia whose life gets turned upside down by an encounter with singer Barbara Stanwyck, naturally he falls in love with her but she's Dana Andrews' girl. It satirises the 8 professors in their stuffy Ivory Tower but doesn't score many laughs after that, the actors try their best but the story's lack of energy really hurts it in the end.

All that Money can Buy (1941): A folksy parable about a bland farmer striking a Faustian bargain to be the richest farmer in America. Walter Huston is lots of fun as the Devil and William Dieterle creates some wonderful imagery at times, but the lead character is too bland and simplistic to really get behind. In the final courtroom scene the film goes full jingoism. Such a shame because it could've been a great film, still pretty enjoyable and one of the better films from 1941.

Violence at Noon (1966): Two women find out the man they love is a murderous rapist. An unusual premise from Nagisa Oshima feels quite ponderous at times and never becomes truly compelling, probably due to the hard-to-love storyline.

Born Yesterday (1950): Judy Holliday's Oscar win looks unfathomable compared to the competition that year: Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Boulevard" and Bette Davis in "All About Eve". Based on a stage play with shades of Pygmalion, uncouth nouveau riche hiring a reporter to make his ditzy girlfriend smart. Judy Holliday puts on a horribly annoying accent and Broderick Crawford is one-note obnoxious throughout, William Holden does a little better but the characters are too one-dimensional and the jokes largely fall flat. Very dull and slow-going.

Woman of Tokyo (1933): Early Ozu flick with a little tragedy isn't bad for a 49 minute feature.

Monkey Business (1952): When the monkey is the most convincing actor in the entire film you know you've got a dud on your hands. Cary Grant and Ginger Rodgers play a middle-aged married couple with little chemistry (pun intended). When both inadvertently take an elixir of youth transforming them into youngsters, hilarity is meant to ensue but both actors are so old it becomes tiresome very quickly. Cary Grant does ok Ginger Rodgers is borderline unwatchable, only Marilyn Monroe comes out of the film with any dignity but she has such little screentime. Just too infantile and outdated to take seriously.

On Dangerous Ground (1951): A film noir of two halves, Robert Ryan plays a violent cop in a gritty urban first half moving to the snowy north in the second half of the film. Ida Lupino plays a blind woman who falls for him while her brother has lots of mental problems. The slightly sentimental first half brings the film down a notch but still pretty watchable.

Red Angel (1966): I've never truly loved a Yasuzo Masumura film, this war drama about a nurse (Ayako Wakao) is pretty compelling and hard to watch for several reasons: gruesome amputations and implied rape scene to name a couple. Episodic nature of the film means secondary characters come and die off too quickly and some of the nurse's decisions seem questionable, overall a good film.

Demons (1971): I'm going to be that guy again, I didn't enjoy this film at all and was really disappointed considering the near glowing reviews. A revenge film loosely connected to the story of the 47 Ronin, a ronin cheated by the love of his life wants to kill everyone. Every character announces their intentions and feelings out loud in long conversations which don't sufficiently build up the characters, everybody has to die in slow-motion or long, drawn-out death scenes with lots of fake blood and thrashing around (
Spoiler
only the baby dies quickly
), not even the high-contrast photography or nice sets can lessen the overall tedium of the entire film. Feels like such a slog not even the last 30 minutes makes up for the film. Comparing it to samurai flicks directed by Kihachi Okamoto, it's no "Sword of Doom", probably resembles "Samurai Assassin" more with the latter's ponderous pace and telegraphed plot twists. The film's visual style resembles Masaki Kobayashi or Masahiro Shinoda but their narrative tricks complement the storyline while here the imaginary scenes feel like they pad out the running time and feel a little obnoxious.

City of Pirates (1983): Low budget Raoul Ruiz flick with shades of Peter Pan. Has some inventive imagery shot on location and some bad acting too but quite watchable.

Emperor's Nightingale (1949): Early Jiri Trnka puppet animation based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. Boris Karloff's narration is quite nice and there's some nice fluid stopmotion on display in this heartfelt tale which can feel pretty slow at times. Very likeable.

Yeelen (1987):I don't know enough about Malian history to understand everything, some fascinating imagery and naturalistic acting is undone by haphazard storytelling and slapdash editing, the story meanders far too much to really hold your attention. Out of the few African films I've seen I'd rather stick to Ousmane Sembene.

Metropolis (1927): One of the silliest great silents, Fritz Lang manages to out-Hollywood Hollywood in the best and worst sense. Pioneering special effects and impressive set designs earn all the praise in this hugely influential silent film, the hugely contrived plot full of convenient coincidences, characters randomly wandering in at the perfect time and some hugely questionable character motivations bring the film down slightly, along with the heavy-handed themes and overuse of the word "mediator". That being said, for a 2 and a half hour long silent film it's still very watchable and quite fun with some truly outstanding visuals at times.
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#19

Post by Torgo »

RolandKirkSunglasses wrote: June 14th, 2021, 12:09 pm pretty disappointing week movie-wise but a pleasantly surprising/heart attack-inducing one sports-wise
Duude, that timing.
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#20

Post by RolandKirkSunglasses »

Torgo wrote: June 14th, 2021, 1:04 pm Duude, that timing.
I meant it in a "my nerves can't take this much excitement and tension" watching the tennis, wasn't poking fun at Eriksen (I don't watch football anymore).
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#21

Post by Torgo »

No worries, I assumed so
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#22

Post by viktor-vaudevillain »

@kong:

The Srour, Mangini and Ogigami stuff might be up your alley.

of yours:
News from Home - 9+ BIG Akerman title.
Numero deux - also watching this one soon, PdA's enthusiasm about it bumped it up my watchlist. It might also re-spark my Godard love and make me watch more of his stuff that I still haven't seen.
Detour - (l)
Gilda - :wub:
Lux Æterna - on a technical/formal level one of Noe's most interesting. Though his style (and slightly his content as well) keeps becoming less and less interesting for me. Glad you enjoyed it though. It is one of the standout films from the last couple years.
Brouillard #14 - 10 BIG favorite of mine. mind expanding experience for me.
not everything is fish, but fish are teeming everywhere
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peeptoad
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#23

Post by peeptoad »

peeptoad wrote: June 13th, 2021, 12:42 pm
Onderhond wrote: June 13th, 2021, 8:18 am 1.5* - Spectre by Sam Mendes (2015)
Not sure I've seen this Bond (or I don't recall it). I'm toying with the idea of (re)watching all the Bonds in August. I think there are 2-3 that would be FTVs... they're good for turning one's brain to the "off" position.
My brain went on a tour of duty there, but it's Quantum of Solace that I haven't seen, not Spectre. In fact QoS is the only Bond film I don't have checked, but I'd be hard pressed to recall anything about You Only Live Twice , On Her Majesty's Secret Service , or The Man with the Golden Gun off the top. August is rewatch month for sure...
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