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Entertainment & Media

Movies Watched 2021

Posted 7 Months ago by Jet Presto

New year, new thread!

I'm trying to get in a few of the 2020 movies to usher in the new year. I started with The Lovebirds, which I kinda just totally forgot about. I enjoyed it! Not the most amazing movie, but Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae bounce off each other really well.

Hoping to watch Another Round, Wolfwalkers, and then New Mutants to just wrap up my "2020" lists before diving back into random collections.

There are 86 Replies


I finally got around to watching Star Wars Rise of Skywalker the other day. The only other 2020 (or 2019 I guess) movie I'm even interested in watching that I haven't already watched is the new Wonder Woman. Maybe Mulan for educational and shitposting purposes.

7 Months ago
foxygirl
 

I actually just finished watching Mulan and I'm disappointed in the film. It was good for what it was, but some things just didn't make sense.

I believe were doing either Harry Potter series next or Fast and Furious series, which I don't believe I've seen yet.

7 Months ago
Castrael
 

I saw Soylent Green. Set in 2022, the world is littered with humans. There's not much food. To survive, a corporation produces a food called Soylent Green made from algae. The air is polluted, it's hot, and the characters are constantly sweating. The cost of living has spiked to the point a jar of jam costs $150. The movies does a great job of giving you a sense of hopelessness that permeates through the whole movie. Overpopulation, hunger, despair, pollution.

Don't go into it expecting to see over-the-top special effects, or explosions and aliens. This is a realistic look at what overpopulation will lead to.
This movies is often more quoted than it is viewed; it's a shame. It's one of the best science fiction movies of its decade.

7 Months ago
Post-Wall Olga
 

The thing with Mulan was like....I dunno... I wish they had given it to a Hong Kong director more familiar with wirework type stuff. I wanted more of that. It's fine overall, but I'll almost certainly never revisit it like the animated one.



I just watched Another Round and dang. Probably my favorite movie behind Sound of Metal from 2020. Mads Mikkelson and a bunch of other old dudes just being perpetually drunk. Interesting notions of how "the program" (school, career, family) can just be soul crushing for everyone. And just under 2 hours! Great!

7 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

I just watched The Thomas Crown Affair 1999 (Renee Russo & Pierce Brosnan), followed by The Thomas Crown Affair 1968 (Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen).

In TTCA-99 there are about four instrumental arrangements of The Windmills of Your Mind before we finally get to Sting’s rendition at the closing credits.
Siri didn’t recognize any of them! Not one! I am very disappointed, Siri!

.....

As far as the movies (as opposed to the music) go:

FWIW I actually like the 1999 version better than the 1968 version.

I was surprised at how much more up-to-date the technology and the women’s rights in the 1968 version were than I personally remember 1968 being.

However I remember all that smoking! Good God!



And no PPE, no masks, and no social distance, in either the ‘68 or the ‘99 version.

6 Months ago
chiarizio
 

I watched Spree (Hulu) last Friday and thought it was pretty cool. Joe Keery was awesome in it. Right after that movie I (also) watched the Lovebirds and I was so taken by one joke that I frequently have made it in the last few days (The part when Kumail's character goes "Hi! We're fighting!" when talking to the upstairs neighbors they don't know). I also enjoyed it but I felt like it ran out of steam near the end.

6 Months ago
Fox Forever
 

I just watched the first three episodes of BBC America’s “The Watch” (inspired by Terry Pratchett’s stories about Sam Vimes and Carrott Ironfoundersson and Angua and Cheery et al) on AMC.
I’m liking it a lot!

6 Months ago
chiarizio
 

I rewatched Interstellar. I still like it, but it's also a great example of what I don't really love about Christopher Nolan. The movie is so clearly inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, but routinely fails to do all that much that's particularly interesting. It's actually kinda more boring to me, to be honest.

2001: A Space Odyssey is a visual poem. Interstellar is a visual TED Talk.

It's so over-explainy, and yet doesn't really do a whole lot to address the central themes beyond have a character blatantly call it out. Which then reminds me that the Nolans don't really write characters; they write megaphones. Always one dimensional characters that just serve to basically say what the point of the movie is. There's also an argument to be made that Christopher Nolan is just an M. Night Shyamalan who understands the craft of filmmaking. Always has to have a gimmick.

Visually, few working in Hollywood have the capacity for what Nolan is capable. But I do reeeeeeeally hate the way he chooses to deliberately sabotage his films with annoying audio mixing. Just once, I'd like for him to remember that people want to actually hear the dialogue in his movies.

6 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

So far...

- The Social Network
- COVID-21: Lethal Virus
- The Fluffy Movie
- Songbird
- pretty much every single Madea movie

5 Months ago
RikaxNipah
 

Rewatched Castle of Cagliostro with mom.

5 Months ago
tnu
 

Nice! I like that one.

I've watched so much stuff so far in 2021.

1. Lovebirds
2. Another Round
3. Greyhound
4. Wolfwalkers
5. Boys State
6. I Used To Go Here
7. On The Rocks
8. X-Men
9. Gamera 2: Attack of Legion
10. Zodiac
11. Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris
12. Interstellar
13. Get Smart Again
14. Ghost Rider
15. The Aquatic with Steve Zissou
16. King Kong vs. Godzilla
17. Ghostbusters
18. MLK/FBI
19. Ex Machina
20. Green Lantern
21. Bambi
22. Mothra vs. Godzilla
23. Wendy
24. Iron Man 3
25. Reign of Fire
26. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
27. Ghostbusters 2
28. Ghostbusters (2016)
29. Selma
30. MacGruber
31. Spider-Man 3
32. The Man Who Knew Too Little
33. Invasion of Astro-Monster
34. The Good, The Bad, The Weird
35. Logan Lucky
36. E.T.
37. The Battered Bastards of Baseball
38. Earwig and the Witch
39. Joker
40. The Sixth Sense
41. Real Steel
42. Judas and the Black Messiah
43. Lincoln
44. Downhill
45. American Graffiti
46. Emma.
47. Love, Gilda
48. Coco

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

49. The Handmaiden.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

I watched Awe, a Telugu movie.
Each vignette was great, but the wraparound MPD story was derivative in my not-so-humble opinion.
The actress was an excellent actress as well as beautiful; it’s just the envelope-story was not only unoriginal, it didn’t fit the contents and it was telegraphed by the theme song.

5 Months ago
chiarizio
 

Quite a bit of movies. I've watched alot of giallo: The Red Queen Kills 7 Times, The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, All The colors of the Dark, The Case of the Bloody Iris, Torso, The Black Belly of the Tarantula, The Evil Eye. All of them were enjoyable, but Edwige Fenech steals the show in her movies.

I also watched Night Tide and The 400 Blows. It's an amazing movie about a rebellious boy whose life starts to fall apart after he gets in trouble in school. The boy lives with his apathetic mother and stepfather in a cramped apartment. I don't want to spoil it, but it's one of the world's greatest movies. It's part of a series of movies based on the character Antoine Doinel. The part where he talks to the psychologist and tells her about trying to sleep with a prostitute was awesome. It's also a movie that doesn't contain much of a plot; it's more character driven and Antoine's problems in school and at home are the main focus.

Viewers may be able to relate to the character; he was left without attention and was punished for wrongdoings without even realizing why he was being punished. It made me feel sad because he was innocent and society fails to see that.

It's a masterpiece of a movie about youth, liberation, unforgiving punishments, the falsities of adult life. The scene where he says he was never wanted was particularly heartbreaking.

5 Months ago
Acca Larentia
 

I've watched so much stuff so far in 2021.


How did you watch more movies in 50 days than I have in 3 years?

5 Months ago
S.O.H.
 

50. The Naked Gun

So many good "dumb gags" in this. If you love "cheese," it's definitely a good one.


I've been trying to watch one movie every day. So far, I've been successful. I just make sure I carve out a couple hours at the end of each day specifically for movies. And also I make a list of what I'm watching for each week, so I don't waste time scrolling to find something.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

51. TMNT

To my mind, it's the second best Ninja Turtles movie (although admittedly, that doesn't mean all that much), but I recognize that a lot of people do like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze, so I don't expect most to agree with me. I dunno, I had a good time with it and since it's clearly geared as a family film, I'd rather my theoretical kid wanna watch this over most other CGI animated stuff.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

52. Mr. Mom

Just pulled it out of my Tote Bag of Titles. Michael Keaton rules (but I don't think I much enjoy this movie). Still, probably one of the earliest comedies to kinda really rely on pop culture references.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

53. Son of Godzilla.

Not one of the best, but it does have one of the best soundtracks. (And I do think Jun Fukuda brings something neat and different with his filmmaking sensibilities.) But I can remember being sick and taping it off the Disney Channel as part of a "Cool Summer Nights" block of theirs on a Friday night. It's kinda funny. I feel like my memory is set off more by Godzilla than by music or anything.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

I finally got The Joker on 4K Blu Ray - Even though Scorsese left the project, it still feels like his DNA, and it's absolutely fantastic! Quite topical, too. Very easy description of how people can be risen to riot. And I'm sure this guy's story resonates with many people.

Also saw Klaus for the first time last Christmas. Absolutely stunning movie! I love this rethinking of Santa Claus. He's a lot more mysterious than the Santas of other stories. Everything has a purpose, and lends greater weight to the outcome. It was a lot more intense than I expected, and a lot more beautiful.

I also rewatched some Miyazaki movies: Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, and Nausicaa of the Valley of The Wind. I can't go into detail on all these, but these are all just beautiful, gorgeous films.

5 Months ago
mariomguy
 

Joker is a movie where I feel like I probably would have liked it a tad better if the director just shut up about it. His comments at release that the movie "isn't political" and also "isn't a comic book movie" really soured me to it, especially after seeing it and it very much is a political movie, even if it isn't specifically making "a statement." And uses knowledge of the comic book character as short-hand to get the audience on board. (And also, there's no way this movie gets green lit if it weren't using a comic book property.) But I also just found it thematically messy and, to be honest, a little pretentious (and that's coming from me!) And then I also feel like...if I wanted to watch a Scorsese film, I'd just watch a Scorsese film. It's more than just his DNA. It's pretty derivative of Taxi Driver/King of Comedy.

But I do agree with Klaus! I liked it a lot.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

54. The Hangover.

Oof. "Outrageous, wild comedies" don't really age particularly well, huh? I like a lot of the performances, but little else. I think the only joke I laughed at tonight was when it cuts to them walking and Zack Galifianakis is just mid-describing Three Men and a Baby.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

55. Happy-Go-Lucky.

Ya come for Sally Hawkins. Ya stay for Sally Hawkins. Ya love it for Sally Hawkins. (I love Sally Hawkins and she's great in this.)

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

I watched Colour From Space with Nick Cage. Trippy.

5 Months ago
Agis
 

Ooooh. That was one of the last things we played at my theater before quarantine.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

56. Volunteers.

Pretty solid '80s comedy with Tom Hanks and John Candy, but sadly not enough John Candy to move it from "solid" to "good."

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

57. Safety Last!

I noticed recently that HBO Max has a ton of old silent Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd films (and maybe Buster Keaton? I don't know if I recall seeing any, but they probably are on there). So I watched Harold Lloyd's "Safety Last!" In a lot of ways, I almost think silent era films do a better job masking how they pull off certain tricks than a lot of modern films! Like, when Lloyd was climbing the building for the last 15-20 minutes, I genuinely couldn't tell if they were using a composite shot or how they were filming it! 1923 was probably too early for rear projection techniques, or at least that looked as good as it did, so I figured it must be a composite shot. But then I'd look and you can't see the tell-tale line wiggling and discoloration around the merging shots. And a number of shots you're like, oh, they just straight up made someone climb this building and filmed it!

Silent films are pretty cool in how much they rely on big, physical actions to convey something. And how much dialogue happens without being put into text boxes because it really doesn't matter what the say as much as it is important you understand the gist of it. It's pretty fun. And lots of good physical comedy gags. You can easily see how this genre influenced the likes of like, Jackie Chan.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

Whoops. I miscounted somewhere along the lines. I'm actually at 59.

59. Andre the Giant (2018)

A documentary produced by Bill Simmons about Andre the Giant. Pretty well done, but boy is Vince McMahon a piece of shit and it really sucks how prominently featured he is in it. And I don't mean just as a "character." Obviously he would be. But I mean as a talking head.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

60. Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Classic film, obviously. I don't think I really got into it until the final act though. Not that I ever thought it was bad (though I do find narration annoying more often than not). Pretty funny to think this movie about how fame can essentially wreck a person's psyche came out 70 years ago and still very much could come out today with the same impact.

Trying to make sure I watch all of the AFI's Top 100 Movies of All Time. I've shockingly only seen a couple dozen or something. So, should be interesting to see what movies stand up in the new Willennium.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

Now watching “Better Than Us”.
Heard & read Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics in Russian!

5 Months ago
chiarizio
 

61. Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Part of my project to revisit the superhero movies I watched from 2000-2020. It's quite a snoozefest, but there are things I like about it. Tom HIddleston really does rule as Loki, and the odd couple pairing of him and Chris Hemsworth's Thor is pretty solid, albeit too brief. The "portals" finale is kinda neat, and I really like the lighting of the film. But yeah, in terms of solo Marvel movies, it's clearly the weakest of the bunch.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

62. Monster Hunter (2020)

Paul W. S. Anderson's career really is something, huh? Anyway, Monster Hunter is pure shlock, but is it good shlock? The answer is: mostly no, but eventually kinda? The last 30-40 minutes are actually all right! It gave more of a sense of the world and of adventure, and tapped into a little bit of what makes Monster Hunter cool as a game. But the first full hour is a boring slog that is not engaging or interesting, and is completely stagnant in every way possible. When I was watching it, I kept thinking that this movie feels like a Starship Troopers sequel in terms of quality. (Suddenly realizing I may be the only person who has watched Starship Troopers 2 and Starship Troopers 3: Marauder...)

So I dunno why they decided to do that first hour, because once it eventually does open up after that, then it becomes entertaining shlock (until they again decide to go weird at the finale and really breaks up the flow they *just* got into.)

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

63. Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny (2006)

I always forget that I actually really like Tenacious D. I don't know that the movie was like, better than any individual episode of their television show, but I still enjoyed it. I also think it's a little easier to take in now that we've broken through the over-exposure of Jack Black.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

64. Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

Oh man. Was not expecting this movie to be actually ok! But ya know what? It totally was fine! Some bad jokes and bad product placement, but some pretty good jokes in there, too. Weirdly awesome soundtrack. And Ben Schwartz rules. I had a weirdly good time with it. Yeah, of course it's not great, and it's not a "classic" in the making. But your kids could watch way worse. I had a good time with it!

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

65. Nomadland (2020)

Recently won the Golden Globe for best picture - drama, and I can see why the Hollywood Foreign Press would. It's a beautifully shot and composed film that wanders as much as its protagonist. I really love Chloe Zhao's blurring of lines between what might actually be real and what is clearly fiction. It's such a compelling way to make a movie like this, and done to much, much greater effect than, say, Christopher Nolan using old video interviews about the Dust Bowl in Interstellar. It's definitely not going to be a film for everyone, with its almost mumblecore aesthetic and slow pace (and I'd be shocked if the Academy gives it Best Picture). But it's definitely very poignant for a number of reasons.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

66. Shrek (2001)

Pulled it from the Tote Bag of Titles. Was kinda nice to revisit it. Besides a little too much Smash Mouth and the bits that were over-quoted back in the day, it actually holds up pretty well! I think it's pretty deserving of its place on the modern family film pantheon.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

The Invisible Man starring Claude Rains. It's about a scientist who invents a formula to make himself invisible and he starts to work on a way to be visible again and slowly descends into madness. All throughout the movie he remains invisible until the last scene where you see him for less than a minute, but even with just that glimpse of him we've still seen more of him than we have of the President of the USA.

5 Months ago
Acca Larentia
 

67. Destroy All Monsters (1968)

The Godzilla movie that really seemed to inspire what people think of when they think of the series, and definitely all future Godzilla games, basically. It's silly, no doubt, but it was supposed to be this 25th anniversary celebration and it is a blast. The Avengers pretty much 45 years before the Avengers! But boy, you can see how poorly some of those suits were kept. Kinda didn't realize for some reason it was only Anguirus's second appearance in the franchise. But Rodan definitely looks ratty after a few uses in previous films. And then things like Gorosaurus or Manda, and definitely Varan were pretty much kept to a minimum or the background because those suits just didn't keep. Kind of a bummer.

Not necessarily one of the "best" or one of my favorites, but it is good fun.

5 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

68. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

Wait. This movie is gonna be 20 years old this year? Jeez. The cast looks so young! And boy, did they ever luck out with casting. Honestly I think the single best thing Chris Columbus did was his central cast. Really strong. Always a gamble too when you're casting literal children.

That said, I always have a hard time with the first couple movies. The story is ultimately so slow and minor because it's more involved in setting up the world and characters. The quidditch sequence lasts too long, and if it were me, I'd have nixed the Wizard's Chess stuff completely. (Or, kept that and ditched the stuff in the woods at night. I know they felt the need to keep it because it helps set up Voldemort, but it's also a thing that doesn't reeeeeally matter. It's also kinda clunky in that it's like, the kids get in trouble because they went out to Hagrid's at night, so for punishment, they go *right back* to Hagrid's so he can take them into the woods.)

I think the franchise gets discernibly better in quality (specifically starting with Alfonso Cuaron). But I just find the first one a li'l boring. Granted, I've watched these movies a bunch, am in my mid-30s, have seen two decades of Hollywood trying to mimic the success of Harry Potter and/or Lord of the Rings, and know pretty much the whole story. So of course it might seem boring. That has, however, opened my eyes a bit more to how much more messy the first couple movies are, narratively speaking. Still solid, and also aimed for younger audiences than the later stuff. But yeah.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

69. Fruitvale Station (2013)

Powerful performances and a heartbreaking tale. The slow build with plenty of foreshadowing worked really well, too, given that a lot of people probably went into it knowing how it ends. So those nods really increase the tension. It's clever shorthand really for the director. Which, wild that this, Creed, and Black Panther were Ryan Coogler's first three films. And if nothing else, while he had appeared in things before, this movie definitely put Michael B. Jordan more on the map, thankfully.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

70. The Gold Rush (1925)

So, there's actually two versions of this classic Charlie Chaplin film out there. I think his re-cut came out in 1942. Any Chaplin is good, so far as I'm concerned, but I also think the original (or as much the original as possible) is the superior version. I say "as much the original as possible" because since Chaplin and his estate re-edited the film in '42, the full original has been pretty much impossible to come back. (A *lot* of films of the silent era were lost because no one was really storing or archiving the film prints, or they were improperly cared for and the prints deteriorated.) The 1925 version that's available is as close to the original as we can get at this point, but there are still some things that are not entirely original. It's essentially been "restored" via the prints from private collectors (it's actually really wild how many films we have simply because there are some rich film nerds who bought prints or negatives for themselves.)

The Gold Rush is not my favorite Chaplin movie, but it's definitely a top 3. And there really are a bunch of classic bits. There's the iconic dancing potatoes segment, which is a delight. And there's the cabin at the end, which is basically like Inception but in the mid-1920s. Really is impressive. It's a technical achievement for the era, really. And just a good, fun flick.

I didn't realize it when I subscribed to HBO Max, but there are a whole bunch of silent films (namely Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd films), and it's really dope.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

Joker is a movie where I feel like I probably would have liked it a tad better if the director just shut up about it.

So, I think it's important to note no one person is responsible for a movie being the way it is. Perfect Auteurs are hard to come by in big productions. It has Scorsese's fingerprints and the tendrils run deep, but the work itself stands on its own apart from what other people meant or intended behind it. The message in Joker resonates with a lot of people. A lot more than most other movies we hear about.

I like movies with great feeling. They don't come off as pretentious to me, they come off as respectful to the characters and faithful to the story. It does start off a bit pretentious when the early scenes just build the story, but there's no way to weaken this drama. It ends strong and solid.

But I do agree with Klaus! I liked it a lot.

Klaus was something else... I've seen a lot of Christmas movies, but Klaus is my new favorite.

4 Months ago
mariomguy
 

See, for me, the message of Joker is so muddled because Phillips is actually a pretty clunky director who tends to lift his aesthetics from other (frankly, better) directors. I never got the sense watching Joker that he even had a sense of what his message, if any, actually even was as he was making it. I'm pretty willing to give him a pass for the nonsense Bruce Wayne stuff because I just assumed that was dictated from the studio. But overall, the message is pretty murky, until you get to the point where they literally just spell it out in a sort of "thematic dump" at the end when the point ultimately winds up being something that doesn't really get actually looked into all that deeply.

I don't think Joker is a bad movie. And it's certainly better constructed than most of Phillips's other works. But the couple times I've watched it, it really strikes me as a movie that people primarily think of as being very good or "deep" if they only watch comic book movies, because otherwise it doesn't really have all that much going for it besides Phoenix's performance that really elevates it as anything special.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

The movie starts off more just showing us his life, setting up the structure, and the movie continues just showing more of his life as things change. The point hits when he says "those are all gone!" We see Arthur throughout the movie get his entire support system wiped out - his mother passes away, he loses his job to a liar, and Alfred refuses to acknowledge Arthur or his mother, and the one guy on TV he could always count on for a laugh ended up making him the joke.

I saw the structure quite clearly, it seems you didn't. The initial murkiness was intentional. When it starts, Arthur is just living his life, and while it's a crappy life, it's livable. But when more and more bad things start converging in the same direction, it all becomes clear. The world is never going to accept him as a human. Aside from his one friend at work, everyone left him for dead. The only thing that makes sense is to become the insane person everyone thinks he is and take revenge on the people who wronged him because he literally has nothing left to lose.

It's more than just Phoenix's performance, this story resonates with Americans who have struggled through welfare and watched those systems vanish as their life spiraled out of control. It's the story of what's happening that everyone likes to pretend isn't happening.

4 Months ago
mariomguy
 

Again, not saying it's a bad movie, just that I didn't think it handled most of those subjects particularly well or in particularly meaningful ways. It always felt so cartoonishly one-sided and painted some of the wrong people as the "bad guys" that it ultimately kind of hurts its own point. (I can't groan loud enough every time he tells his "joke" on the late night show about someone being killed by a drunk driver, and the woman is like, "You can't joke about that!" Like she's the unreasonable one in that situation, but Todd Phillips just *has* to make a "you're all too sensitive" comment in his movie.) There are things that absolutely would have worked better if he set it in a modern environment instead of the '80s aesthetic of a Scorsese film (like the thread where we're supposed to make the connection to internet dogpiling, except that's not actually what happens to Arthur in the movie, but it definitely feels Phillips wants to evoke that modern concept here, but it doesn't quite work as well since social media isn't a thing in the '80s.)

There's *also* the issue wherein the film is murky about what even is reality. Because it's all shot through his perspective (which makes sense), and because he becomes increasingly delusional as he gets off his medication (a concept I actually thought was pretty interesting), the whole idea that literally everyone except that one guy at work treats him comically poorly gets called into question. Like, the film isn't actually even clear that the reality is that other co-worker gave him the gun. On the surface, it seems so. But because it's constantly blurring lines of reality and his delusion, and because he starts kinda hallucinating pretty early on and before he stops his medication, it calls all that into question.

Which would be interesting to me *except* what we wind up with is a film that effectively says that we need to treat people with mental illness better because...if we don't they might murder us...

There are a lot of ideas in there that I think were, I suppose, noble in intention, but really get hurt by being wrapped up in what is ultimately a movie about a simplistic comic book villain who does bad shit because he's "crazy." I wish it had spent more time actually getting involved in the lack of institutional support, instead of diving into some silly Thomas Wayne conspiracy (also because his mom is just "crazy" too), or even his kinda misogynistic fantasy with Zazie Beets or the late night stuff. Because while those elements are there about the lack of support, it's not really what the film spends its time delving into. And winds up being more just that people are mean to him (to which because of the structure of the film, we can reasonably question how reliable the narrator even is in the first place, so it kinda undercuts that). Spend more time with him with the social worker rather than trying to meet Thomas Wayne or getting beat up by a bunch of kids and harassed by some mother. Because there's an element there where it's not just that his support systems are being taken away: it's that those support systems were never good in the first place. Work wasn't good. His social worker wasn't adequate. And his mother was "crazy" and not very helpful. But they rush through that because there's just too many elements Phillips wants to bring up without actually doing the groundwork.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

70. Moxie! (2021)

Liked it quite a bit! Definitely have things I would criticize it for, but overall, felt like an evolution of Amy Poehler as a director (this was infinitely better and more watchable than Wine Country) and as a sort of modern feminist icon. The main issues I have are ones where I felt could have just used a little more time in the oven, not necessarily that it's handled poorly. But I'm always on the look-out for male characters that have positive depictions of "masculinity" or exhibit healthy traits, and Seth is a breath of fresh air.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

72. (because I can count). X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Ugh, this movie. What I find so frustrating about it is that there's 45 minutes of this movie that I more or less really enjoy and have a mostly good time with (despite the typical X-position Dumping this franchise relies way too much on). But everything in the "future" is such a boring, pointless slog. The ending in the "past" makes no sense and is so contrived. I get they want these movies to be spectacle, but I'm sorry, what? Mystique killing Trask was enough to get the public to support the sentinel program that kills all the mutants, but Magneto dropping a baseball stadium around the White House, almost killing the President on live television, Mystique stopping him, then turning the gun on Trask, then last minute deciding not to kill him, then letting Magneto go without consequence would, uh...make people want the sentinel program stopped? And why make Wolverine such a critical character, only to knock him out and make him completely pointless in the final action?

It really felt like they kept writing themselves into corners, and then choosing to just stop writing to try and get themselves out. And why make this movie to retcon X-Men 3 and "bridge" the old movies with the new movies when your next movie is going to take place in the '80s and feature more of the "new cast"? (I kinda really hate what a waste of time this movie wound up being, too, given where they decided to take the series. I don't care about its completely nonsensical timeline. But I also don't care about the original movies being "canon" to these newer movies.)

The Quicksilver scene was really fun and probably a contender for coolest and most fun sequences in any superhero movie. But again, they wrote themselves into a corner, making him so overpowered and so clearly useful that they *immediately* had to figure out a way to write him out of the movie after that. But they couldn't even be bothered to do that. It was just a silly nonsensical one-line justification.

Anyway, I'm glad to only have a couple more Slimebag Singer movies left on this superhero list.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

73. Batman Forever (1995)

I'm of the (fortunately) decreasingly controversial opinion that the Joel Schumacher Batman movies are criminally under-appreciated. The mixture of the campy Adam West Batman show with the themselves campy aesthetics of Tim Burton really is a wild and entertaining mixture for me. I think Batman Forever is the superior of the two Schumacher flicks, but both are a good time. It is a little unfortunate that this was made during that window in which nerds were getting increasingly serious about their tights-clad musclehead cartoons. This movie is great fun, but if you're going in wanting super serious and "gritty" Frank Miller-inspired Batman, you're going to hate this.

I'd love for Warner Brothers to make another Batman like this someday. To be clear, I don't *only* want campy Batman. But I also don't *only* want super serious and dark Batman either. At some point, I'd love for there to be a Batman movie I can take my nephew too. We've had two decades of super serious Batflicks. Might be nice to change it up a li'l and let children have a Batman movie, too.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

74. All Monsters Attack! (a.k.a. Godzilla's Revenge) (1969)

Easily a low point in the franchise. Toho execs got so wrapped up in marketing it to children that they opted to make a movie that was pretty much exclusively for small children. Done to capitalize on the matinees parents would bring their kids to. But they also didn't want to spend much money on it, since they knew it would be a limited audience. And it really shows. It functions mostly as a clip show, really, with re-used footage from a number of prior Godzilla movies.

Ishiro Honda does what he can to inject something interesting in it. There is some pretty subtle storytelling about how the changing Japanese economy (increasingly industrial and capitalist) was weakening the traditional family unit. He's careful to not actually ever film Ichiro's parents' in the same shot as Ichiro to show the growing distance within the family as a result of both parents having to work. He is, after all, a "latchkey kid." That said, as interesting and noble as it is, Honda was ultimately dealt a bad hand and there's just no way this was ever gonna turn into anything other than bad.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

75. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Definitely a better film than the first in almost every way. Still don't overall love it, but I definitely enjoy it more than the first movie. To the point where I almost feel like next time I revisit the series, I'm just gonna skip Sorcerer's Stone. I probably hold the "controversial" opinion that quidditch really doesn't need to be a part of the movies. I get people always want as many details from the books to appear in the film adaptations as possible, but the quidditch stuff is just so boooooring to me. At least here there are kiiiinda stakes? Or like, things happen that somewhat matter. But you could remove it entirely and the movie is unchanged. You'd just have to remove one line of dialogue from Dobby later, but everything still works. It's just run-time padding and probably because studios believe people will start tuning out if you don't give them an action sequence every so often. But Chamber of Secrets is definitely starting to lay out the story a bit more, which innately makes it more interesting. (I'd also, personally, have cut out the spiders. Or at least trim it down. I can't really see any reason these first two movies are like, 2 and a half hours, except that they need to cram details from the book into the movie, regardless of whether it matters to the central story. I also just want more Hollywood flicks to understand that good and engaging action either moves the plot or the characters, rather than just wastes 10 minutes of run-time.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

76. John Wick (2014)

Dang. I heard so much about it but had only seen the third movie for some reason. What a great action flick! I love the return to proper framing of action, wherein you actually get to see it. (I like the Bourne Identity, and I think they did it well, but boy did that movie really ruin Hollywood action for like, twenty years with everyone biting on it!)

Great soundtrack, too. Great cast. Wish I could have seen this in theaters though. I bet audience reaction would have made it even better.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

77. Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021)

I guess I don't really know how to date the movie, but I'm dating it by its release, not it's production I guess? But yeah, there's, uh, a *lot* of movie to this 4 hour event. It's...definitely not good. But it's also definitely better than both the theatrical cut of Justice League and even his preceding Batman v. Superman.

As one might expect for a four hour feature, it has pacing issues up the wazoo. Some scenes honestly feel out of order. Definitely could stand to be edited. I know they wanted to let Snyder do his vision, but...the best directors still believe in editors... It's over-indulgent while trying to create pay-offs for things they didn't actually do much set-up for.

There's also a huge power creep problem. It's a four hour movie where the Justice League needs to band together to stop an alien threat, all culminating in Superman coming back and literally just taking care of it all by himself. I think Snyder has kinda always over-powered characters, but it's especially a problem here. It just really renders everything so comical. And kinda the more seriously he wants us to take his superhero movie, the more innately silly it seems. A lot of people seem to dislike Superman as a character because he is pretty powerful, and I understand that, but when that is really an issue, it's a writing problem, not a character problem. So like, compare the Justice League cartoon with this movie. Alien invasion. Team needs to work together. Superman is the most powerful individual on the team, but still needs everyone else because he can't do it all himself. That's good writing! Here, he literally overpowers the entire JLA, then just beats Steppenwolf himself like it was nothin'. Bad writing. But I think this over-powering of these characters stems entirely from Snyder's obsession with making them gods, not people or characters.

Anyway, it's also got some of the same issues as the theatrical cut. Turns out, the more personable Batman wasn't a Whedon thing, it was a Snyder thing. (I don't hate this rendition of Batman, although Snyder clearly can't think of better stuff for him to do than just drive around and shoot stuff. But he's practically unrecognizable from the last movie, and we don't reeeeally get to see the change. It's just a switch that happens.) And the try-hard "quirk" of the Flash was also, apparently, a Snyder thing. (I do hate this rendition of the Flash.)

There's just so much, and I honestly don't understand the point of the epilogue. The first couple minutes, ok, fine. That stuff made sense. But then they go into the Knightmare crap and boy does that drag, and for what? Why include that in this? They aren't going to greenlight a sequel. It wasn't intrinsic to the plot of really anything. It's just "hype" for the next movie. Could have cut that here.

Anyway, it's definitely a movie experience made better if you've watched the theatrical cut recently so it's kind of fresh in your memory. It's a long slog with tons of pacing issues, poor sequential editing, bad dialogue and characterizations, and...I can't for the life of me figure out why it was in 4:3. I guess that might have something to do with IMAX intentions? But like, why do that here? Who is going to see this in IMAX? They literally greenlit this specifically for HBO Max, ya know, home video, which is the opposite of IMAX. "To be true to Snyder's vision"? His vision? To what: air this on television in 1997?

So, yeah, better than Whedon's Frankenstein cut by far. Better, even, than Batman v. Superman. (Which makes me wonder what even happened with that movie, because boy howdy is that movie a substantially bigger mess.) Probably not as good as Man of Steel, though both have similar structural issues. Definitely not worth watching all in one sitting.

As an aside, I also really wish he didn't force in the black suit. It's so weird to me that nerds have apparently been hyped to see that, because the black suited Superman was, uh, not really well received back in the day. It's funny how we now have positive nostalgia for a thing that we nerds had long hated for literally, like, decades! But also, if ever there were a time for Superman to don his iconic blue and red suit, it was at the end of this movie. Such a disappointment there.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

78. The Jazz Singer (1927)


Trying to get through the AFI 100 Movies 100 Years list. And boy is the Jazz Singer dated! I don't want to judge it too harshly as a movie given this movie was made almost literally a century ago (...wow...just really reflecting on that fact, actually - cinema as we know it is almost 100 years old). But the just casual racism depicted at the end is really just gross and is a big part of why it's hard to describe the Jazz Singer as "timeless."

But, it is technically an important film in the history of cinema. After all, it kind of was a tech demo for voice on film. And it's sort of funny how limited they had to be with that. Sometimes the singing was in sync, but if they ever had to make any cuts, the whole thing would be out of sync. Not distractingly so for a silent era film.

Anyway, I suspect AFI will throw some more of these types at me.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

79. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)

It's funny. This has a very "straight to home video" feel to it, but it also feels like a bridge between early '00s superhero movies and the late '10s superhero movies. Like they definitely lean into some more of the religious lore of the character, and they definitely make the movie a lot more stylish than really anything that had come out up to that point. But most importantly: they really leaned into Nicolas Cage, which is essential to making this work. They took one of the flaws of the first Ghost Rider (Cage as Johnny Blaze didn't really work well and he felt a li'l miscast) and turned it into literally the strength (he turns in easily one of the most memorable performances in a comic book movie to date here! Wildly entertaining.)

It's not great, of course. Definitely better than the first, and comes up a little short on some of the action. Too much shaky cam. And I don't think David Goyer has ever really figured out pacing and tone consistency. But it's also a much better foundation than the first movie, and it's kind of a bummer we won't get any more Cage superhero movies.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

80. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

While not all of it has aged particularly well, a shocking amount of it has for a film that came out in 1993. I'm also convinced that outside his more serious, dramatic roles, directors would just cast Robin Williams and screenwriters would just write for his dialogue, "Robin improves for two minutes."

If I have ooooooone main problem, it's with the end, wherein Daniel (Williams) takes no accountability for the manipulation, lying, and disobedience of the courts. His speech in the final court scene where he pleads insanity is moving and I don't have a problem with that. Easy to understand where he's coming from and has a real point. But only if he actually acknowledges what he did, why it was wrong, and apologizes for it. Not only does he never do those things; he later pins the blame on Sally Fields for "taking away his kids." But like, she didn't? The judge made that decision based on Daniel's choice to lie, manipulate, and defy the court (and, well, in one of the less "aged well" components, exposed them to crossdressing and would "do harm" to the children). But the point is, he absolutely could have been on track to get expanded custody *without* lying and manipulating his family.

I also kinda wanted a moment of acknowledgement of how fucked up it was that he spent half the movie trying to sabotage not just her relationship with Pierce Brosnan, but all future relationships as well. Was very controlling and further cemented the need for her to divorce him. I don't know if we're meant to assume she's continuing her relationship with Stu or not (it literally gets dropped for the finale), but I wish they said something about it.

Otherwise, it does end with a pretty sweet message about family and a Mr. Rogers-esque bit to children of divorced parents. And I do appreciate that they don't end the movie with the parents getting back together. I appreciate the realistic nature of that even through the "benefits" of Mrs. Doubtfire's creation, the relationship is just too broken to repair, so they end settling into a new kind of relationship. They're divorced, but still have love for each other in this new capacity, and I think it's good to depict that. Obviously a lot of divorces are ugly and messy and hostile, but a lot do wind up settling into just new dynamics.

So, honestly better than I remembered. Great performance by Williams (and while it does it's big climax in a sit-com television scenario, it actually is incredibly stressful to watch unfold! Really well done in the restaurant.) Aged better than I expected. Probably one of the more memorable of the Robin Williams repertoire.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

81. Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

One of the weirder, darker, more memorable Godzilla movies. Always funny to me that it pretty much only exists because producer Tomoyuki Tanaka got sick at that time and took a leave of absence. Director Yoshimitsu Banno had free reign pretty much to make whatever Godzilla movie he wanted. So he made this weird thing! When Tanaka returned and saw the film, he basically banned Banno from ever making another Godzilla movie! (He'd eventually return to the franchise as a producer, but only after Tanaka's death and years later when fans really came to appreciate what he was trying to do with the movie.)

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

82. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

I know it's not everyone's favorite in the series, but it is for me. Still, I do recognize that if you watch movies pretty much only for the story, Azkaban's is, well, a mess. This is primarily for three reasons: one dumb/silly, one nonsensical, one bad/ignorant/kinda problematic. First, the whole Peter Pettigrew thing is just dumb. Honestly, they should have just made it that he was trying to return to Hogwartz to kill Harry Potter and Sirius Black was trying to track him down to stop him. They could have had it be that Ron does in fact have a rat, but he loses him early in the movie. And that in the time he's lost to when Hagrid returns him, Pettigrew took on the form of the rat as a ploy to be brought back inside to be nearer to Harry. The idea that he's just been the pet rat of the Weasley family for over a decade is just...silly.

The second, nonsensical thing, is the time travel. As far as time travel goes, it's actually pretty well handled (although I wish they offered slightly more clarity at the end - it's one of those things that on its surface looks so absurd and ridiculous, but the more you really dig into it and think about it, it works out ok. You just get the problem of...ok, so I guess there's versions of Harry and Hermione just stuck in a time loop doing the same things over and over and over again.) They don't really explain why the time travel bit mostly does work. They just never really explain how they might potentially break the loop (because the going back in time doesn't actually change anything - they always succeed because they always go back in time). Could've used one extra beat, maybe.

The third bad/problematic thing is something definitely made worse by JK Rowling's incessant need to "explain" her work. In the years since, she has talked about how the werewolf storyline with Remus was meant as a magical allegory for HIV/AIDS. Which...sounds noble enough, but in typical Rowling fashion, she doesn't actually bother to finish thinking that allegory through to the end. You can definitely tell that she almost certainly was trying to do that, from how very much Remus is designed to look sickly, reminiscent of an HIV/AIDS patient, to the end when he resigns because parents won't want "someone like (him)" around their kids and how he's "used to it by now." It's pretty clear that was supposed to be the allegorical component of the character. Except...his disease *literally* turns him into a dangerous monster. They even explain in the part where Snape is teaching the class for the day that werewolves will attack anyone they're near, even loved ones. And it's like... ok...you've made the comparison to HIV/AIDS victims, but to what end? You're also clearly drawing a parallel to them being monsters. Misunderstood monsters, sure. But dangerous monsters who attack and hurt people they love. And it's like...was...was that what she was going for? To say HIV/AIDS victims are misunderstood, but also they are dangerous and hurt the people they love? How do you say that while also arguing they're misunderstood?

Fortunately, that's ultimately a small component of the film. But all this is to say that this might very well have the worst "story" of all the Harry Potters. But as a film? Alfonso Cuarón does a *ton* here to breathe cinematic life into the franchise. First off, he finds all these ways to make the school feel real and lived in, with the characters doing subtle things like picking their own wardrobe to give them more individual personality. He also changes the visual aesthetic to something darker and drearier, to match the increasingly serious and bleak narrative of the series.

But my god do I love how he uses the camera and makes shot compositions. So much of this movie is about vision and how we see things. That's a big part of the narrative (Sirius, Peter Pettigrew, Remus, Hagrid's creature, Harry thinking he saw his dad but it was himself and his own power). And so many shots involve mirrors or reflections - a reflection in the puddle, or in the train's window, or we see the camera move through the face of the clock or large windows, and of course, the boggart sequence is without question the single greatest sequence in the whole series. Starting *in* the mirror, ending in the mirror. The camera also moves around a lot more. Chris Columbus is certainly a competent filmmaker, but comparing how he shoots his films to Alfonso Cuarón is kinda like comparing George Lucas to JJ Abrams or Rian Johnson.


TL;DR - If you just watch movies for a story, this one is...fine? It's fine. But if you watch movies on all these different levels, it's the most cinematic and creative in the bunch. I love it.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

83. The Last Blockbuster (2020)

Pretty fun documentary about the rise and fall of Blockbuster, with much of the focus given on the literally last Blockbuster store in Bend, Oregon. While it's intense nostalgia causes them to just completely overlook some of the more negative elements of the corporation, they do a good job highlighting what we lost when we lost the video rental store. I don't personally have nostalgia for Blockbuster specifically, but I miss the rental store. Was a huge part of my childhood and high school experience, which was critical to my foundation as a movie-lover. Loved going in and talking with staff and other regulars. Really had a sorta comic book shop vibe.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

84. Solaris (1972)

Definitely the wrong movie to start after 9:30 while I'm kinda tired. Very long. Very slow. Very Russian. Good! But definitely easy to drift off to. Can easily see why it influences a lot of filmmakers, especially folks who would do their own sci-fi movies. If I have one big "hot take" about the movie, though, it's that I dunno that I think anything in Part 1 is actually necessary. Kinda felt like Part II *was* the movie. I mean, obviously you need the character introduction and having Kris get to the space station. But that could have been done in like, half an hour instead of the extra hour.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

85. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Pretty timeless story. The movie is pretty interestingly composed for a 1940's flick. Can see why it's on the AFI top 100 list. I did feel like it was a li'l slow. Kinda took about 20-30 minutes before it really kicks off and then I got really into it. Might have to read the book at some point!

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

I just watched “The Good The Bad The Weird”, a Korean “Western” set in the Manchuria of Japan’s “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” circa the Great Depression and World War II.

It was, to say the least, gripping!

I can certainly see the resemblance to the Reconstruction-era Old West of the USA.
Every time I noticed such a similarity, or heard the appropriate incidental music, I felt as if I had found an Easter egg!

....

I think someone on gtx0 recommended it to me, but I can’t find that recommendation.

4 Months ago
chiarizio
 

Next I want to see a Xinjiang western. I hear there are a few; and at least one is probably good.
Anyone know?

4 Months ago
chiarizio
 

Man, the opening sequence with the train was just incredible to me. The comedic tracking shot of Tae-Goo to get to the back of the train. The menacing demeanor of Chang-yi. The stoic nature of Do-won. I don't know if I've seen an action movie so efficiently establish key character traits of its main players so quickly and without explaining it in dialogue.

But my god, how expensive must that giant chase sequence cost! I love just how wild it gets, with so many different factors. You've got the three individual characters with their own motivations for it. You've got the gang trying to get the map to sell it. Then you've got the Japanese army getting involved. It's just bonkers. It's not just a visual feast either. It looks cool, but it's always done with consistent characterization and...ugh, that score...the soundtrack is so good (but so hard to find!)

It was the movie I compared Mad Max: Fury Road to when I talked about it with friends. Because those two movies I think really nailed the action, but also had me perk up and just get sucked in with their action like right away. And the pacing is almost relentless, even though they do give you moments to breathe. (Tae-Goo putting on the deep sea diving helmet is one of my favorite gags in any action flick.)

Glad you enjoyed it!

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

86. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

Now, unlike the above feature, this one is pretty bad. I think it might technically be the best Fantastic Four movie, but...well...what does that even mean? (I do think the Josh Trank movie probably would have been at least more interesting if Fox just let him make most of his vision.) I understand these Tim Story movies were aiming for a younger audience, but here some of the gags feel a bit all over the place in terms of who they're trying to humor. Really, the main problem with them is the cast. Michael Chiklis as the Thing is great. Chris Evans as the Johnny Storm is also great. (Has anyone been in more comic book movies than Chris Evans; besides Stan Lee, obviously?) And in this, even Laurence Fishburne/Doug Jones as Silver Surfer is great. It's pretty much everyone else that's horribly cast. Jessica Alba sucks in these movies, as does Julian McMahon as Doom and Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards. I know they've all been good or decent in other things. But they're so miscast in these, it's absurd.

There's a stretch of the movie though that's actually pretty ok. The Silver Surfer stuff does get decent. Unfortunately, it takes about 30 minutes (or about a third of the film's run-time) to get there. And unfortunately, that 30 minutes is, well, really quite bad.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

87. V For Vendetta (2005)

I still don't think it's a particularly great adaptation of Alan Moore's work. Misses the point on a number of things. Americanizes things a little too much. (Natalie Portman's accent is pretty atrocious.) But other than Portman being miscast, the rest of the cast is great! Hugo Weaving rules in it. I think it's definitely one of the more enjoyable movie adaptations of Moore's work (even if I don't think it's especially great at adapting it). For what it is and what it's trying to do, it's mostly effective.

But...the Wachowskis didn't direct it??? I've spent the past 16 years constantly talking about it like they did! I know they did the screenplay, but I was so shocked at the end to see "Directed by James McTeigue."

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

Re: V for Vendetta
In general I have little patience for complaints about how something adapted from one medium to another is unfaithful to the original. Such complaints are usually just wrong-headed.
In the case of V some of the changes aren’t obviously justifiable but “not obviously” is not the same as “just not”. My bet is they were probably justifiable; and I’ll assume they were until it’s proven otherwise. I could be wrong.
....
I find your opinions to generally be good guides and also to clue me in on things I wouldn’t have thought of by myself for some time, if ever.
But if I say only compliments you might not value the compliments.

4 Months ago
chiarizio
 

For me, it depends on what is being adapted. If it's just a generic superhero story, I don't care because tones, stories, characterizations change all the time in the comics. That's the result of being a never-ending series. But adapting a Batman story is a bit different than adapting a graphic novel that is completely contained. Especially something that is ultimately just one book. (So like,, V For Vendetta is different than something like Transmetropolitan or Y: The Last Man which ran like, 60+ issues over 5+ years.) Generally, I don't mind the details being changed so much as much as I mind when they change things like the point. So take Zack Snyder's adaptation of Watchmen. In that movie, he can't help but frame the action sequences in these super "badass" ways. But like, the action in the comic is not particularly "badass," and indeed the point is that these aren't really badasses at all. So Snyder actually keeps the details from the comic, but changes the purpose of it. (This is also a problem because he keeps so much visually true to the comic that when he does clearly miss the point, it causes the movie adaptation to lose something because it feels less cohesive. Like why have Laurie say "Nothing ever ends" instead of Dr. Manhattan? And why have her say that to Dan and not Ozymandias? It's a details change that completely misses the poignancy and emotional beat of the finale of the comic.

But as I said with V For Vendetta, it's also worth looking into what an adaptation is itself trying to be and do. I think the film here is less interesting than the comic it's adapting, but I do find overall that it's mostly effective in what it wants to be and is trying to do. Like "missing the symbolism" is almost certainly a result of Americanizing the story and making it more about the Bush administration and the Iraq War. So the change makes it less compelling to me, but it still ultimately works.

You can also find "adaptations" in the loosest sense of the word, like Starship Troopers. Where the adaptation is itself a repudiation of the source material or a counter-point to it. Which is such a fascinating way to approach an adaptation that I was probably always going to be interested in it.

I don't think it's ultimately unfair to compare an adaptation to the source material it's adapting at all though. I don't think it's fair to knock something innately for being a different medium (no movie is ever going to be as full as a novel given the intrinsic differences in mediums, for example, and the fact that literature often dives directly into a character's internal monologue in a way film can't really do particularly well). Still, especially movies like the ones adapted from Alan Moore's work are often clearly trying to call to mind the source material. They pull soooo much from it. And by its nature, it merits comparisons and contrasts. If they truly didn't want comparisons to be made, they would come up with an original idea rather than tweaking someone else's.

So for me, it all sort of depends. How much is this adaptation pulling directly from the source material? What is it changing and why are they changing it? Do those changes work for this movie they're making? What is the point of this adaptation? It tends to vary from adaptation to adaptation. And it's not like there won't ever be adaptations that are superior (I mean, for my money both Jurassic Park and Jaws are superior to their source material.)

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

88. Minari (2020)

Dang. What a great film about a pretty common, quintessential American experience. Great screenplay. Great cast. Yeri Han and Steven Yeun really are something else in this. Really powerful performances, and the child actors do a very good job, too. Been a weird year for cinema, but we got Minari, Nomadland, Judas and the Black Messiah, and Sound of Metal, all tough contenders for best movie of the year even in a normal year.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

89. Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Jun Fukuda, I think, made some of the more fun Godzilla movies. I really love this one. The right kind of goofy without being "bad goofy" to me. (On the most part, anyway.) Appreciate some meta-commentary on the nature of Toho forcing the Godzilla franchise to continue at that point. And I forgot how much of this movie is just monster action. For real, the last two reels are almost nothing *but.*

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

70. Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

Flipping. Wild.

I think this is a pretty wild movie even if you aren't super familiar with the previous 34 movies in the franchise, like a giant G-dork. But my god. It's especially wild as one.

I definitely have some complaints and issues with it, for sure.



But it's just a wild movie and I feel like if you think you might like a Godzilla/King Kong combo movie, it's better to just go and watch it. It's really one of those movies where it's like, "Wait, are they really going there?" And then it goes there and you're like, "I can't believe they really took it there! This is so dumb. It's good!"

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

70? I meant 90. Jeez.

91. Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire (2005)

To me, easily the worst of the Harry Potter movies. I appreciate they kinda completed the darker look of the world to coincide with the darker story development. But otherwise, it's a pretty boring movie with pretty bad pacing. It's not all on Mike Newell. Like Cuarón before him, he got one of the messier books to adapt. Really, it's just too much to throw into one movie. The pacing is all over the place because it's trying to have the dark fascism-analogy and broader narrative arc, the action of the Tri-Wizard tournament, and just the daily teen drama of high schoolers. But it's never really focused on one or the other for very long, and it is buck wild going from "Wizard Nazis are returning!" to "Hermione is storming out again because she's so easily upset."

(I do have to laugh remembering that Rowling wrote a scene in which a ghost woman hangs out in the boys' bathroom and spies on the boys and invades their privacy while they bathe, and plays it for laughs.)

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

92. Escape From New York (1981)

Ya know, it's funny. I've seen and played so many things influenced by John Carpenter in general and this movie specifically that now that I'm finally getting around to watching it, it's...just fine? I don't love it. It's nothing special to me at this point (the downside to watching old things for the first time sometimes). Kurt Russell rules. Carpenter's score is dope! But otherwise, I liked it just fine but probably won't be revisiting it any time.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

93. The Straight Story (1999)

Always wild to see a movie open up with "Walt Disney Presents....A David Lynch Film."

I respect Lynch a lot, but more or less his filmography hasn't really been my personal cup of tea. And The Straight Story is undoubtedly his most "Normie" movie. But it's also genuinely good. It's a sweet, touching, beautiful film. I'm glad Lynch didn't make too many films like this, but I'm also glad he made this one.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

I just watched part of the first episode of the first season of Paragon: the Shadow War.
I did not enjoy it and will not watch another episode.

....

But I found out something interesting!
Danny Trejo is 5’6” (about 165 cm), but Franziska Schissler is 5’8” (about 170 cm). (Don’t trust those metric conversions; I did them in my head and they’re approximate only!)
In the movie the viewer can occasionally compare them and see she’s taller.
But she doesn’t look only 2” (5.08 cm) taller! In fact she looks closer to 6” taller than to 2” taller!

.....

I remember Robert Rodriguez once introduced Danny Trejo as “an actor with a face made for 3D”. (Three dimensions).
Or did he say “a face made for HD”? (High Definition)

Either way it was kinder than “a face made for radio”!

4 Months ago
chiarizio
 

Kinda reminds me a bit of all the stories you hear about how they shoot Tom Cruise movies to make him look taller.

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

Movie 94. Wings (1927)

Winner of the first ever Oscars for Best Picture. One of just two silent films to have done so. And honestly? It's a bit long, but it's really very good! I know they remastered it (it looks good but there is some weird stuff from presumably warped negatives; really the most discernible improvement is in the sound mixing), but it really is very good. For a war movie made in the mid-1920s? Yeah, holds up pretty well!

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

95. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars in 1998, I gotta admit I find this movie a pretty mixed bag and, frankly, exhausting. I don't necessarily feel like it trivializes the experiences of Holocaust victims (I know Mel Brooks has criticized it because he felt it did, and I can see why he felt that way). Like, the movie uses humor, but it's not making fun of the Holocaust or anything. It's less blatant with depicting the atrocities, but it also kinda shirk from them a number of times). I get that Guido is trying to make things bearable for his child, but the end result is some wild tonal swings. And also it ends in this kind of...bonkers way. It's like, presented as a typical happy ending, but also have one line of narration basically being like, "It wasn't all good." And I think it's just a very inconsistent flick in that way.

Reductive rating: 2.5 stars

4 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

96. Daredevil (2003)

There are movies more 2003 than Daredevil, but not many.

I know people like to say the director's cut is better, but it's really not. It's more complete, but it's really not better in any meaningful way.

My favorite parts include:

When Matt is in the hospital after the accident, his dad comes in to tell him he's blind. Matt says "I know," to which his dad is surprised and asks, "How did you know?" As if Matt can't tell his own eyes aren't working.

When Bullseye sees Kingpin in Fisk Tower and their scene ends with this dramatic moment where Bullseye says, "One more thing....I want a costume!" And then we never actually see him get a costume.

And then after Elektra is stabbed clean through the gut, they have her crawl all the way across the rooftop so she can die in Matt's arms, but don't give her any last line of dialogue.

Elektra isn't the problem with this movie, but that whole thing is a problem with it.

What really works best in this movie is Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin, Ben Afleck as Daredevil, and Colin Farrell as Bullseye Farrell in particular has one of the most psychotic performances in any superhero movie. He's only really in it for like, 5-10 minutes total, which stinks. But he definitely makes the most of his screen time. He deserved better.

Reductive rating: 2 stars.

3 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

97. Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

Too much time making Angelina Jolie look hot. Not enough time on literally anything else. I know movies based on video games are always going to be bad, but don't make it boooooring. I also didn't realize how director Jan de Bont really never moved out of the '90s. He made Speed and Twister, which I think are both fun (the right balance of good/bad), but are distinctly '90s. But his Tomb Raider movies look like they could have come out at the same time.

Reductive rating: 2 stars

3 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

Not a movie, but a French TV series.
I’ve just finished season 1 and started season 2 of The Returned (Les Revenants).
The unnamed village in the Rhône-Alpes region has an English public house named “The Lake Pub” and an American diner named “American Diner”.
Consequently I thought this French-speaking village must be in Francophone Canada; probably Quebec.
Then I saw a French tricolor flag and realized it really was set in a fictional French village in (of all places!) France.

I have a persistent problem following the plot because apparently all French women look alike to me.

It’s a great show!

3 Months ago
chiarizio
 

98.Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Truly one of the more bizarre Godzilla movies. One of the dumbest and worst of them, but also one of the most fun. Definitely a good one to show kids!

3 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

99. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Can really tell it wants to be the Empire Strikes Back of the bunch. Sometimes it feels like Rowling just likes abusing her protagonist. Really piles it on thick throughout the series. The dramatic death in this one is... a li'l sillier than I remembered it being. Honestly? I kinda just want to see the raw footage of the wizard battle at the end, without special effects. I bet it is hilarious.

This is also the one where I really came to disdain Dumbledore. It's amazing how many times throughout this series he's like, "I wasn't telling you anything because I thought it would keep you safe. I'm sorry. I care so much about you." But it's like, almost *every* movie! Of all the "sage" characters in sci-fi/fantasy adventure stories, I think Dumbledore is the one I dislike the most.

3 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

100. All the President's Men (1976)

You ever have one of those movies that's pretty good, but it's also kinda long and it feels kinda long? But then you also realize that even though it feels as long as it is, if it went on for another hour, you'd be fine with that?

That's how I felt about this. Weirdly had never seen it. And you can definitely see its influence on things like Spotlight, The Post, or even something like Zodiac. Completely blown away by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. Two incredible performances. The little "flubs" in their dialogue delivery really goes a long way to making it all feel legit. I see why this is generally considered among the great American films.

Reductive rating: 5 stars

3 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

101. MASH (1970)

Ya know, I do like the movie and I'm into the loose structure of it. But honestly? I think this worked a lot better as a show. Haven't read the book, so I can't compare, but I do think the show that spun out from this adaptation is one of the few examples of a spin-off thing working better than the original/source.

Also always appreciate a Bud Cort sighting.

Reductive rating: 3 stars.

3 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

102. Broadway Melody (1929)

The 1928 Oscar winner for Best Picture. It's, uh, not great. Dude leaves his girlfriend for her sister and it's "romantic." The main protagonist, Eddie, sucks. But Bessie Love *rules* in this movie, and they do her nasty in it. Ah well.

What's interesting to me is that there doesn't appear to be a restored print of this, which is sort of wild given that this is literally the *second* movie to win Best Picture ever, and the first talkie to win it. And it's just...no one cares about it? I don't think it's great, but you'd think they'd restore it. (Unless it was restored in like, the '80s and they haven't worked on it since.)

Reductive rating: 2 stars

3 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

103. Captain Phillips (2013)

Probably among the least worthwhile Tom Hanks Captaining movies. It's Paul Greengrass, so it's competently made. And there are scenes that I like. But otherwise, I felt like it was actually kinda boring and they almost go overboard trying to force it to feel tense. It's another one of those movies where I don't really understand why they opted to shoot it in 2.4 scope when it's almost nothing but close-up shots. But otherwise they do mostly a good job making it feel claustrophobic. So yeah, it's fine. But kinda can't believe this got nominated for an Oscar way back when.

Reductive rating: 3 stars.

3 Months ago
Jet Presto
 

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