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2022 Movies Discussion Thread (v.2.0)


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1 hour ago, The Natural said:

1. Pulp Fiction.

2. Reservoir Dogs.

3. Kill Bill.

 

Quoted for truth, though I assume I would attempt to kill the sick fuck that was trying to force me into this Sophie's Choice of a dilemma.

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I really love Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

I'd probably do that one, Basterds and Pulp Fiction with Jackie Brown just hanging right there on the edge of getting in.

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On 8/23/2022 at 12:42 PM, The Natural said:

1. Pulp Fiction.

2. Reservoir Dogs.

3. Kill Bill.

---

Still haven't seen Death Proof, The Hateful Eight and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Django & Inglourious Bastards. I haven't seen anything else on the list 

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I got into a huge movie kick in the past few weeks after going out of my way to not watch movies for a few years. Here is what I watched:

Sunset Boulevard -- I actually saw this at a bar a few weeks ago with the captions on and no sound. That's what got me on my kick so I watched it with sound. Billy Wilder is the best ever in my opinion. I haven't watched The Apartment in a few years, which was my favorite. But I might be revisiting that because I don't understand how a movie might be better than Sunset Boulevard. Norma Desmond is up there with Hannibal Lecter as the best villains in film history. This also inspired me to get back into e-fedding (sadness, yes) to create a Norma Desmond-style character. But just a perfect movie that can never be duplicated.

All About Eve -- I had no idea that All About Eve came out the same year as Sunset Boulevard. I had no idea that Bette Davis and Gloria Swanson both did not win Best Actress. I never watched All About Eve in my biggest snobby film days. Bette Davis really hit the ball out of the park. She was just an effortless performer. All About Eve is well deserving of its lofty acclaim. I think the end had a bit of a cop out (no spoilers) but it's still fantastic.

Booksmart -- This was my second watch. I wanted to show it to my wife. This is one of the best high school movies ever made and a truly great comedy. It's hilarious and touching and smart. 

Belfast -- I didn't finish this yet but loved what I saw. Having Irish-Catholic grandparents means it's mandated by law that I enjoy anything about life in Ireland. But it's a really good movie and on some level one of the best kids movies I've ever watched.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest -- I haven't watched this since 1997 or so. Man, Jack Nicholson delivers one of the best performances we've ever seen and the juxtaposition with Nurse Ratched's cold, steely manipulative nature just makes both of them shine so much. Such a great yin/yang in their power struggle. 

Chinatown -- I need to give this a rewatch. I have a three-year-old son. And I'll just fall asleep whenever I sit on a couch being an old man. This is not a movie where you can watch in bits and pieces. But it is great.

 

 

 

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You people and your lists.  I got a list for ya.  It's Day 407 (and counting) of Some Movie Bullshit, Encephalitis Lethargica Edition.

Your Baby's Dirty Diaper

Sun Dogs - Oof.  The bits of this that work have almost nothing to do with the arc plot, which is sad and pathetic in all the wrong ways and is so absurd as to be practically dangerous.  But Ed O'Neill and Allison Janney kind of make their bits work like the TV married couple we never got to see happen in some show or another.  The rest of this is...uh, not well-written, not well-acted, and Jennifer Morrison isn't any better behind the camera than she is in front of it, unlike some of her House alumna.  There is maybe one genuinely touching bit 2/3s of the way through the story that makes you wonder what the Hell is wrong with people sometimes, and that eventually loops back around by the end, but nothing about how it gets there actually works in any meaningful way.

AXE Body Spray Instead of Shower

The Sound of Silence - The borrowed title of this one probably invokes more meaning and emotion than the movie itself does, which isn't often a good sign.  Peter Sarsgaard plays a "house tuner", who listens very carefully to all your junk and then figures out that your toaster is the source of disharmony and that you need a Cuisinart model instead.  On some level, it's exactly as pretentious as that sounds, but he and Rashida Jones do play this with a certain sadness that sometimes overcomes the strange premise.  But this is a film that needed to stay a 'film' - unless you're actually seeing this on an enormous screen with a fantastic sound system and the lights dimmed, I think you'd miss a bucketload of stuff that this was trying to do.  So many of the shots are so dark as to be unintelligible, and the sound mixing is pretty delicate; if you're like me and you have some amount of hearing loss, you find yourself wondering what you missed.  Unfortunately, I think that goes as much for the story as it does for the filmmaking.

That'll Do, Pig

Take Me - Now we're talking.  I think this feels just a little too simplistic to go higher, but it's riotously funny at times.  Pat Healy, who was the massive creep in Compliance, is a somewhat more schlubby and everyman sort of creep here, and Taylor Schilling is just fucking dynamite at times.  The middle drags just a little bit, as his character starts to question what's really happening and doubt creeps in, but the beginning and finish run are just so well-done that, even though you can predict the ending, you still kind of can't believe what you just saw and that it plays as well as it does.  It knows when to be absurd and raunchy and it knows when to be so cold that you could shank someone with an icicle.  But there are a couple of plot threads that feel like either they should have been dealt with in a way that would have helped you appreciate his character more deeply or should have been shelved altogether.  Aside from that, this is a short, sharp kick in the ass that is probably worth a rewatch or two.

Passing - Sometimes this is fairly compelling, but this doesn't really feel like it's either Tessa Thompson's or Ruth Negga's best work, and, as much as any film I've watched recently, it does love to speak its themes out loud a bit too frequently.  And as much as the movie may want you to sympathize with Thompson's character, it's frequently hard to do so when so often her problems seem self-created.  Is anyone really asking you to abuse drugs?  Is anyone really making you be so icy towards your husband besides you?  Is it so weird your friend wants to pretend she's white when you refuse to tell your own sons about lynchings?  In other movies, that might make your protagonist seem complicated or three-dimensional, but it doesn't quite play like that here; instead, she just seems irritated that she can't control everyone else.  The ending is a bit bonkers, but mostly in a good way, unless it did what it did for me and instantly makes you think of A Separate Peace.  But, you may like this more than I did.

Yeah, But...

August: Osage County - Those of you with a Killer Joe/Tracy Letts fetish out there might dig this, but for me, it just felt a little too forced to reach the heights it grasped for.  The characters here are believable enough, and the casting is probably right, especially Margo Martindale and Julianne Nicholson, but this aspires to be a modern-day Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and feels more like a nasty, unfunny sort of project Alexander Payne would have turned down.  It's got its share of Oscar-bait moments, and hey, maybe they were deserved, but it feels as much like Julia Roberts & Meryl Streep are stepping on everyone else (and each other) metaphorically as well as literally.  The people you like the most are the ones who get run over the worst, and the people who are nothing but sharpened daggers and burned bridges are the ones we linger on.  Maybe that's the point - probably that's the point - but it doesn't make for that much of a film.  This was probably better as a play.

Philomena - Hey, another 2013 Oscar bait role, but this one was well-deserved; it's very much The Judi Dench Show, and a good reminder why she gets cast in these sorts of things (even if she completely screws that up far more often by taking roles like the ones in, ugh, The Chronicles of Riddick, or, octuple ugh, Artemis Fowl).  Honestly, when I saw Steve Coogan as her sidekick, I thought the film was going to go 100% absurd and it would turn out he was her son all along, but I didn't know this was based on a book.  He ends up being pretty good too, and it's a neat little trick they pull throughout, where you start off seeing things from his perspective and thinking Philomena is sort of irritating, but it flips around so that you appreciate the choices she makes and begin seeing him as just a useful cheerleader of sorts.  Not quite a great movie, but a really, really good one.

One Maple-Frosted Donut

Awakenings && - I hadn't watched this in probably 25 years, and I had forgotten entirely that this was tied to the encephalitis lethargica cases of the early 20th century, but then I watched Sandman and thought to circle back.  I'm glad I did.  I'm sure I totally failed to appreciate the first time how Robin Williams plays Oliver Sacks as a seriously twitchy little dude, which, by all accounts, seems to have been a rather faithful portrayal.  The guy would have been a giant in the neuroscience field even without his contributions involving these cases, but man was he strange.  And as I've said before, I seem to find myself liking Sensitive Robert DeNiro more than Tough Guy Robert DeNiro, and this is probably one of his best performances.  The rest of the cast is just lights-out, too, and even though the romance subplots (well, at least one of them) are pure fiction, they're the right choices to help the movie keep its momentum.  I'm one of the few people out there who probably still thinks Dances with Wolves is actually a really good movie, but this, just like Goodfellas, is far better.  Penny Marshall really outdid herself with Big, this, and A League of Their Own back-to-back-to-back; maybe one of the most rewatchable hot streaks from a director in my lifetime. 

The Lost Daughter - Is 2021 going to go down as another one of those years where all the other nominees for Best Picture were better than what won it?  Maybe, I still haven't seen CODA, but it's got a tough hill to climb with this also tossed in the way.  There isn't a lot here that's original, but damn if Maggie Gyllenhaal didn't know exactly what to borrow from, as this exists in some strange place between We Need to Talk about Kevin and The Talented Mr. Ripley, with every ounce of unease and disquiet that both of those undeniably creepy films could muster.  It looks fucking terrific, and yet you're not comfortable for one second longer than Olivia Colman's character is, so much so that you understand the way the camera just sort of soaks up Dakota Johnson's looks like a plant stretching for sunlight.  Anything to get away from the churning trauma that seems to lurk around every corner, but of course, the whole point is that you can't get away from the things that lurk inside you.  And everyone we meet is coping with those things to some degree or another, some more outwardly and frivolously than others.  That was more than a bit of a theme from 2021, as evidenced by The Power of the Dog and Drive My Car, and this tackled the subject admirably, too.

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Watched Licorice Pizza last night and loved it. Took a bit to get into as the 15y.o/25y.o romance was a little off-putting to think about, but the performances absolutely blew me away. How Alana Haim didn't get nominated last year, I do not know. I do see how she would be drawn to Gary. She's sad and lost and doesn't know what to do with her life and here's this kid who also doesn't know what to do with his life, but is just attacking it with gleeful abandon.

Tom Waits showing up in anything is always going to get my attention. I've seen people online saying that his character is based on Peckinpah, John Huston or Mark Robson. While I'm sure it is a pastiche, I choose to believe Robson, just because the Val Lewton RKO horror movies of the 40s are one of my favourite eras in film.

I had no idea Bradley Cooper was in this, playing Jon Peters no less. Absolutely unhinged performance.

Perhaps it is recency bias (probably definitely) but this is now up there with The Master and There Will Be Blood as my favourite PT Anderson movies.

Between this and having recently watched all of Columbo, 1970s Los Angeles is where I want to hang out. You can see Old Hollywood in the buildings, but they've started taking on a seedy, run down look. The collapse of the studio system has left an anything goes feel, as images and lives are no longer so tightly controlled. Plus everyone is now on coke and into new ageism and just batshit insane. Take me to the decrepit Hollywood sign and let me watch the town in all its fading glamour

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11 hours ago, driver said:

How do you end a 16+ hr. work day? With Grunt: The Wrestling Movie, of course,

I saw something called "Blood Circus" on Parmount and was blown away, thinking it was the obscure 1987 horror sci-fi wrestling movie.  Then I realized it was some 2017 MMA bullshit.

Edited by Technico Support
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13 hours ago, elizium said:

Watched Licorice Pizza last night and loved it. Took a bit to get into as the 15y.o/25y.o romance was a little off-putting to think about, but the performances absolutely blew me away. How Alana Haim didn't get nominated last year, I do not know. I do see how she would be drawn to Gary. She's sad and lost and doesn't know what to do with her life and here's this kid who also doesn't know what to do with his life, but is just attacking it with gleeful abandon.

Tom Waits showing up in anything is always going to get my attention. I've seen people online saying that his character is based on Peckinpah, John Huston or Mark Robson. While I'm sure it is a pastiche, I choose to believe Robson, just because the Val Lewton RKO horror movies of the 40s are one of my favourite eras in film.

I had no idea Bradley Cooper was in this, playing Jon Peters no less. Absolutely unhinged performance.

Perhaps it is recency bias (probably definitely) but this is now up there with The Master and There Will Be Blood as my favourite PT Anderson movies.

Between this and having recently watched all of Columbo, 1970s Los Angeles is where I want to hang out. You can see Old Hollywood in the buildings, but they've started taking on a seedy, run down look. The collapse of the studio system has left an anything goes feel, as images and lives are no longer so tightly controlled. Plus everyone is now on coke and into new ageism and just batshit insane. Take me to the decrepit Hollywood sign and let me watch the town in all its fading glamour

Where is Columbo available? Never watched it but have been meaning to lately.

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6 hours ago, Technico Support said:

I saw something called "Blood Circus" on Parmount and was blown away, thinking it was the obscure 1987 horror sci-fi wrestling movie.  Then I realized it was some 2017 MMA bullshit.

TBH Grunt wasn't all that bad(I finished it today). As a movie it's "meh", as a time capsule of an era of change It's G-Damned Amazing. If John Tolos was as good in real life as he was here he's an HOF'er. Not to mention Adrian Street's "Beatles" song. It's not Body Slam(but then again what is?).

 

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1 hour ago, driver said:

TBH Grunt wasn't all that bad(I finished it today). As a movie it's "meh", as a time capsule of an era of change It's G-Damned Amazing. If John Tolos was as good in real life as he was here he's an HOF'er. Not to mention Adrian Street's "Beatles" song. It's not Body Slam(but then again what is?).

 

The only time I saw it was in a theater in Baltimore (where it was made) when I was probably 12 and I had no clue what the fuck was going on.

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Which big name films have you never seen from beginning to end, just clips of?

Mine:

  1. The Godfather.
  2. The Godfather: Part II.
  3. The Godfather: Part III.
  4. Alien.
  5. Aliens.
  6. Alien3.
  7. Alien Resurrection.
  8. Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  9. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
  10. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
  11. Schindler's List.
  12. The Matrix and all the sequels.
  13. Seven Samurai.
  14. It's a Wonderful Life.
  15. Casablanca.
  16. Apocalypse Now.
  17. 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  18. Taxi Driver.
  19. The Wolf of Wall Street.
  20. Casino.
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