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2022 Movies Discussion Thread (v.2.0)


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First off, has anyone seen Elvis yet? Second, I was just reading this review on the Ebert site of it (1 1/2 *) and cracked up at the following description

Quote

he has sex appeal. A wiggle, if you please. Luhrmann takes that wiggle seriously, showing sexually possessed, screaming women. Butler’s crotch, in precisely fitted pink pants and shot in close-up, vibrates.

Bold is mine. Well, really, Luhrmann's.

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Finishing up Electra Glide In Blue on Prime. This looks so beautiful. That is something that can't be said for some titles on Prime. Robert Blake is so GREAT  here. My first memories of him were as Baretta in the mid-70s. First thing I remember is him talking to that fucking bird. As I got older I realized he was Mickey in some Our Gang shorts. Then that thing in the early otts happened. Then I forgot about him. Then I heard him on The Johnny Carson Channel on Sirius(from 1974 or so) where he talked about "smacking a broad around" "if she needed it".
DUDE. RLY? SRYSLY? FUCK YOU.
Still a great movie(no matter your opinion on the people involved).
When I looked at the Wiki and saw who the shooter was the first thing that crossed my mind was "Does ANYBODY Care What Time It Is?"
Great fucking movie BUT you have to dismiss the off-screen actions of the Scum Lapping Shitbags(Emil Muzz, is that you?) to justify it's greatness.

 

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Posted (edited)

So, I got my counting all wrong, I think.  Obviously, July 15 of last year to July 14 of this year is 365 days, so today, logically, has to be Day 351 (and counting) of This Stuff I Do to Escape the Impending Doom that Insane Cultists Insist on Forcing on Us All, Existence Is Political Edition.

Hot Garbage

Breathless (1983) - This is exactly what you think it is, only starring Richard Gere, and it's exactly as bad as you'd expect it to be.  Hell, it might be worse.  Dare I say the original is more *gasp* subtle than this?  Then again, it's hard to be less subtle than this giant pile of shit.  The less said about it, the better, but I will say that Gere has done one tremendous acting job for 40+ years, and that's to convince everyone that he isn't hung like a chipmunk.

WarHunt - I saw this on Hulu and really expected it to make the HOT HOT SO HOT MY FLESH IS MELTING WHEN I JUST THINK ABOUT THE DUMPSTER FIRE annals of totally awful, but it's just garden-variety bad.  It has, I don't know, 3 minutes of interesting ideas and otherwise is as poorly executed as just about any other direct-to-video offering you can find, but I imagine there are some Nazi-heavy movies of this ilk out there that are considerably worse.  I don't know, I almost found myself siding with the witches, all things considered.  One of the many B2 Bomber-sized plot holes in this was the notion that the witches would actually share their knowledge with anyone, let alone Hitler.  So dumb, but not really even the dumbest thing here.  But, some of you who watch schlocky garbage on purpose might not hate this.

Lucky Life - I don't really like putting this here, because it's a far better film than either of the other two - it's certainly got some 'achingly beautiful' kinds of moments and cinematography to it, the kinds of things Lee Isaac Chung went on to include in Minari.  But, the acting is all over the place, the script is not interesting, and aside from the ending, there's little reason to be even remotely invested in the scenario.  It's like a film version of that one Toad the Wet Sprocket song, "Walk on the Ocean" or whatever it was called, and about as remarkable.  This was in fact inspired by a book of poetry with the same title, and that's referenced throughout, but maybe Gerald Stern managed to inspire that song with his poems, too, so hey, that's two mediocre knockoffs, I guess.  It very much exists in that same between-space as something like Waitress did, where you see the threads of something with potential, but it's just not nearly well-executed enough.

The Good Doctor - Jesus, this is like a hit parade of Actors Who Are Better than Orlando Bloom in a movie starring Orlando Bloom.  I wonder if they all wanted to punch him in the face as much as I did.  This is well before he started figuring out much of anything in the acting department, so kudos to the director here for at least realizing Bloom could play a mediocre psychopath by leaning into his lack of facial expressions.  Otherwise, this is dull, puzzling in all the wrong ways, somehow overlong at 90 minutes, and lacking any real sense of development, even with its blink-and-you-miss-it attempt at a redemption in the ending.  Blorf.

Acceptable

Things to Come - This was kinda close to making it into the Hot Garbage category, but it's just that little bit better in some respects than something like Lucky Life was: the characters seem more real, the direction is at least as good (if not better), and the acting is a bit more consistent.  It's also...not actually that interesting, since it's yet another movie about someone's life coming apart when it doesn't really fucking matter if their life comes apart, because everything and everyone around them is so goddamned cushy anyway that their "catastrophe" would be someone else's wet dream.  There could be something to say here about the generation Isabelle Huppert is portraying, stuck between the awful vision of their future symbolized by her mother's decline and the insistent march forward of youth, but it only skirts those things instead of actually dwelling in them.  Then again, maybe that's the point; maybe the main character is that far in denial.

Ammonite - This is a far cry from, say, Portrait of a Lady on Fire in terms of smoldering sapphic brilliance, but it's a nice enough little movie that does its fair share to nicely simmer its plot before a couple of rather explosive scenes take the lid off of everything.  Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet can basically do stuff like this in their sleep, though, so it's hard to get too excited about the two of them cavorting as they do when the rest of the film is just-sorta-there.  It's pretty at times, and the whole 'Rosalind Franklin of archaeology' aspect is neat, and it's at least true to the portrait of her they build within the confines of the film, but it isn't always that believable.  This is mainly after seeing something like Carmella, where the same behavior results in upheaval and madness, whereas here, once again, some rich people can just do whatever the Hell they want and no one's supposed to bat an eye, despite the social mores of the 1840s being, uh, not so great.

Awesome

West Side Story (2021) - There were a lot of really good movies last year.  This may still be only the 4th-best one I saw, even if I do appreciate at least some of the things it updated.  The visuals are fucking great, but shouldn't they be?  You have to figure Spielberg has been spinning a version of this in his head literally since he was a kid.  But despite what works, there's stuff that doesn't.  Why is the one trans character trying so hard to join a gang of racist, sexually violent pieces of shit?  Why do we get to spend so much time naming and listening to the Jets and so little with the Sharks?  Could it be, oh, I don't know, because this still centers white people - white men - way too fucking hard, instead of actually understanding the complexities of as many characters as possible?  Yeah, probably.  So maybe this should get nicknamed "White Guy's Story". 

Something Else

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days - I watched this the night of the 23rd and then woke up to a world spewing hate and insanity faster than it can spew greenhouse gases, though after today, it's clearly trying to catch up in the latter department.  This is a slap-in-the-face, kick-in-the-pants, grab-by-the-throat-and-take-notice cry into the void of EXACTLY what women have fought for for decades, and yet...and yet.   We still ended up here.  We're still backsliding.  We're still fucking it up because not enough people actually fucking care or listen or engage or just do the right goddamned thing.  If I were remotely able right now to be clear-headed about this movie, it'd be an easy Top 10 entry for the 2000s, but who cares about making movie lists?  They're the wrong kinds of lists to make right now.  Then again, if this is the best we can do, maybe destruction is what we deserve.  Because now, existence is political.

Edited by Contentious C
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On 6/27/2022 at 6:22 PM, Curt McGirt said:

First off, has anyone seen Elvis yet? Second, I was just reading this review on the Ebert site of it (1 1/2 *) and cracked up at the following description

Bold is mine. Well, really, Luhrmann's.

One of my best friends who worships Elvis and was concerned heading in loved it. Three other mural friends big into the Elvis really liked it also.

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Posted (edited)

Wife and I enjoyed Ambulance quite a bit, so I ended up watching a couple of Bay's earlier films (no Transformers) including Bad Boys 1 & 2. which I had never seen even though I like action films.  Liked 2 quite a bit.  The story is barely there, but the action sequences are mostly high-energy and the freeway chase with the semis and the Jamaicans (?) is nuts.

I am surprised 1 made enough money for a sequel.  I thought 1 was surprisingly bland.  I guess the chemistry of Smith and Lawrence made a bigger impact 20 years ago?  I dunno.  Martin Lawrence seems badly miscast as both a family man and a macho cop who runs around in a tank top to show off how not-ripped he is.  I laughed at a couple of the scenes is said tank top; probably not what the producers were going for.

Coincidentally, Bad Boys for Life is free on TNT's Xfinity on Demand channel.  Not directed by Bay, but I'll probably check it out this weekend. 

Edited by Tarheel Moneghetti
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The Rock and "Pain and Gain" are what I would consider his "best" movies, but I find that Bay even with the Transformers movies can always give you two hours of just entertainment.   The man can film a damn action sequence.

 

Love the opening car chase in 6 Underground especially.

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On 6/30/2022 at 11:39 PM, Contentious C said:

The Good Doctor - Jesus, this is like a hit parade of Actors Who Are Better than Orlando Bloom in a movie starring Orlando Bloom.  I wonder if they all wanted to punch him in the face as much as I did.  This is well before he started figuring out much of anything in the acting department, so kudos to the director here for at least realizing Bloom could play a mediocre psychopath by leaning into his lack of facial expressions.  Otherwise, this is dull, puzzling in all the wrong ways, somehow overlong at 90 minutes, and lacking any real sense of development, even with its blink-and-you-miss-it attempt at a redemption in the ending.  Blorf.

 

A friend of mine is in that movie somewhere. As "Resident Female Doctor" but sadly uncredited.

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10 hours ago, Contentious C said:

I'll assume she was also better in her role than Bloom was in his.

Well, she was probably the best actor in the class of 2004 at Alma College, so quite possibly.

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Posted (edited)

I rewatched the trilogy earlier this year, introducing my son to them. They're still pretty decent. The first is the best of the bunch as movies in 1997 still relied on practical effects. Watching the second one a few days later really highlighted the shift the industry made to CGI in that time period, although to be fair the CGI in both still holds up somewhat. Was surprised to see David Cross show up in bit parts in the first two. Actually he's shown up in bit parts in a bunch of movies I've watched from that era recently (The Cable Guy, Small Soldiers, Ghost World)

EDIT: I should say I bought the above single on CD at the time too. Fun song and video.

Edited by Swift
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Posted (edited)

MIB 2 was going to be tepid anyway, but it didn’t help that the third act was supposed to revolve around the World Trade Center, and they really half assed the reshoots to adjust. 

MIB 3 was better than it had any right to be and I cried at the reveal at the end. No shame. 

Edited by (BP)
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I enjoyed all of the movies though the first is definitely still the best. 

Actually just read an article where the director admitted he downplayed the role to Chris O'Donnell so he could cast Smith.

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On 7/4/2022 at 3:27 PM, (BP) said:

MIB 2 was going to be tepid anyway, but it didn’t help that the third act was supposed to revolve around the World Trade Center, and they really half assed the reshoots to adjust. 

MIB 3 was better than it had any right to be and I cried at the reveal at the end. No shame. 

Man, the reveal at the end of MIB3 got me too.  You didn't expect something like THAT in this sort of movie and damn was it well done.  It also was an impeccable Tommy Lee Jones impersonation by Josh Brolin.  I really liked that one, more than 2.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, it's that time.  No, you don't care.  It's Day 359 (and counting) of Whatever This Is, Broken Streaks Edition.

Obviously not *that* streak that you don't care about, or it wouldn't say 'and counting'.  But, due to the theater screwing up my particular showing of Thor: Love and Thunder, I wasn't able to watch the Thursday preview, which is the first MCU one I've missed since the original Avengers.  So, there goes that.  Anyway.

Hot Garbage

The Expendables - This ended up being what I watched instead of Thor.  I'd been putting this off for a long time, because I knew it would suck, and it does, but it's not 100% irredeemable, either.  It's an interesting look at the spectrum of White Guy Action Stars, since Stallone and Statham carry the bulk of the talky-talk crap because frankly they're the only ones who can.  Then there are guys like Lundgren in the middle, and then Couture and Steve Austin bring up the very unwiped, very stinky rear of things.  I'd make a joke about how maybe being unable to act convincingly correlates with your willingness to hit women, but, then again, Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, and Michael Fassbender all exist.  But, as far as action goes, this has a couple of decent moments, but once you notice Chad Stahelski's name, it makes a lot more sense why those moments work.

The Sitter - Ah, David Gordon Green, how I love to roll my eyes at your typically unfunny fucking movies.  This has nothing on the likes of Adventures in Babysitting, and I'm not sure it's necessarily funnier than Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, either.  Lots of tropey, racist crap all over the place here, with a smattering of homophobia, too, for that matter.  The same things that make Jonah Hill a believable schlub who'd find himself in this position also make him thoroughly unconvincing as the guy you actually believe can win over this many people.  Hardly the worst thing I've watched lately, but somehow still a waste of time despite being noticeably less than 90 minutes.

Hotel Transylvania - This was dumb, but it's pretty clearly one of those "high floor/low ceiling" kind of movies where you just run through the spots you know are coming and get it over with.  Why do I keep liking Selena Gomez in things?  This still confuses me.  Maybe it shouldn't.   But don't worry, I still don't like Adam Sandler in basically anything, so, hey, great, he's fucking everywhere.  Steve Buscemi was kind of the highlight, though, especially with the sheep-in-the-road scene.  I wouldn't mind a Wolfman movie with him, honestly.  I think we've wasted too many words already on a movie no one over the age of seven should actually like.

"1/1" - I stared and stared at the main character for a while until I realized she was one of the women in No One Lives, easily one of the biggest piles of shit I've watched in this streak.  And yet here, she's...well, she's actually pretty good, if not often better than that.  I think this doesn't really work, though, because all the experimental stuff it does is clearly biting off more than it can chew when it has to have a real moment or three of tension or empathy or drama.  There are two or three times where it comes together and works, but the bulk of the time it just doesn't.  The acting is fine, but it feels too - not disjointed, because it's going for disjointed and stream-of-consciousness, but instead broken up by its own gimmicky behavior in a way that disrupts the feel of the film instead of enhancing it.  I think I'm also very much done with dudes telling me how women feel about pregnancy scares.  Just, knock it off altogether.

The Princess - This is also very much "high floor/low ceiling", and while it's quite possibly the most enjoyable movie I watched in this category for this post, it's also just...super predictable and obvious and cookie-cutter in so many ways.  When you watch it, you will know everything that's coming before it happens.  I think where it bobs above the surface of mediocrity just a little bit is in its message, which is a relatively appropriate kind of film to have been released with every crazy goddamned thing going on in this piece-of-shit country lately.  I do wonder what the Venn diagram looks like of incels who think this movie (or the other Raid-lites out there) is badass but are also totally OK with seeing women lose rights in the real world.

Let the Sunshine In - This is my first exposure to Claire Denis and GOOD GOD IS THIS TERRIBLE!  It's not Mount Flushmore-bad, but this has a Metascore of almost EIGHTY?!?!? HOW IN THE FUCK?  Normally, I will watch just about anything with Juliette Binoche - I've had a crush on her since The English Patient - but this is just so thoroughly unlikable and lifeless compared to, Jesus, EVERY other French film I've watched that came out in the last 10 years or so.  It spends a massive chunk of its run time in these inexorable talky fucking scenes with these two complete choads who are screwing up her character's life, and while you might think there's a level of real-world believability to that, it's also just completely and utterly impossible to understand what on the Flying Spaghetti Monster's Noodly Earth she *sees* in either of these boorish fuckfaces that we have to put up with for about 45 minutes.  And then the "fling" guy that follows that is even less believable since they cast a guy who could have done The Shape of Water without any CGI or makeup.  Oh, and to top it all off, let's just have Gerard Depardieu's character appear almost literally out of nowhere and close with the two of them having a psychic card-reading session where he tells her about her aura and her future, because we haven't wasted everyone's time completely yet. 

Y'know, hey, I get it.  I get what this is going for.  There are people like this out there in the world.  There are people who make bad decision after bad decision, people who can't get out of their own way, people who don't see the forest for the trees and keep making their lives worse, and that it's tough to help those people or help them see something better for themselves.  But most of us AVOID those people if we can.  That goes for movies, too.  Christ, I really hope Denis' other films are fucking better than this.  It looks nice, it is shot well, and you will still want to launch it into the fucking sun rather than watch it a second time; it's one of the most well-made piles of useless tripe I've ever seen.

Acceptable

Thor: Love and Thunder - As usual, I won't spoil much for this, except to say it is decidedly Acceptable.  You can really have only one Ragnarok, and only one Thor: Ragnarok, and while this is funny at times, it feels a little too...inconsequential, even despite the alleged stakes at the heart of it.  Marvel's really dropping the fucking ball in that category lately.  That said, Christian Bale is pretty good in it, even though I was expecting his character to be another weak Thor villain.  Not sure it's better than Dr. Strange 2 but certainly better than the first 2 Thor movies.

Becks - This was the only real highlight of the week+ for me, as this got awfully close to the Awesome line.  All of the important acting roles here are really, really good, especially Mena Suvari, who has seemed lost in the shuffle since American Beauty (even terrible-ass Wes Bentley has had a higher profile than her in the last 20 years, despite being crap in almost everything).  But she helps really make this work, as does Lena Hall as the title character.  Plus, this is another film, like Once, where it focuses on an artist who's *actually a good artist*, as the music is a serious highlight.  It's funny and biting and bawdy and knows when to go for the slow burn and when to swing for the fences.  Sometimes, watching all these friggin' indie movies is a grind, but stuff like this is what makes it worth it.  You should watch this.

Next week, I'll cross the ONE YEAR LINE~! of new movies watched!  I'll summarize the year that was!  I'll make some lists!  I'll crack some jokes!  You still won't be reading a fucking word of this!

Edited by Contentious C
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I find it interesting you guys were hit that hard by the reveal at the end of MIB 3, because I came out of it thinking "wow,  I wonder who forced them to water it down because it was clearly heading somewhere much darker. "

Spoiler

I'm nearly positive earlier drafts had J dying,  not his dad.  That's a twist that would've made everything work.  It felt so obvious to me the studio went "you can't kill Will Smith's character!"

 

Edited by Brian Fowler
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Watched Everything Everywhere All at Once.  It’s worth watching once.   I wanted to like it more than I actually did like it.  It’s so over the top that I enjoyed it in spurts, but mostly I wasn’t into it.  

I am glad it was successful.  Great to see Michelle Yeoh enjoying mainstream success at her age.

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8 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

I find it interesting you guys were hit that hard by the reveal at the end of MIB 3, because I came out of it thinking "wow,  I wonder who forced them to water it down because it was clearly heading somewhere much darker. "

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I'm nearly positive earlier drafts had J dying,  not his dad.  That's a twist that would've made everything work.  It felt so obvious to me the studio went "you can't kill Will Smith's character!"

 

Its been a while, but I never really got the feeling they were going for something on that level. Can't help but think maybe you are/were overthinking it. 

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