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Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi2 » November 3rd, 2018, 5:54 pm

Bohemian Rhapsody 6/10

A mixed bag, really. On one hand, you have Rami Malek's performance, which embodies the flamboyance of Mercury (though it did seem a bit toned down so to play to conservative audiences). On the other hand, the film feels too Hollywoodized with its changing facts, underemphasis of Mercury being gay (I'm convinced Mary wasn't that big of an influence) and his relationships with Paul and Jim, and way too loud sound mix. But somehow, it's not entirely bad. Though it is your by-the-numbers music biopic, some of the stories of Queen's songs and Freddie's upbringing are quite interesting. I would have liked more edge and truth though.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi2 » November 10th, 2018, 7:13 pm

Colette 8/10

Keira Knightley gives a stellar performance as the French author who overcomes adversity and a perpetually broke husband/employer to become one of France's most famous authors and socialites. Wash Westmoreland recreates late 1800's/early 1900's France with a loving feel that brings to mind the 90's peak mainstream era of the Merchant Ivory team and has a very feminist flavor that often seems to be lacking in a lot of these period films. Also, the hedonism adds to the film and allows it to stand out against other films that sanitize themselves for a wider audience (see the movie I last reviewed). It wouldn't be the same film if it were a PG-13 film shown in 3,000 theatres.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Shrykespeare » November 10th, 2018, 10:08 pm

The Girl in the Spider's Web - 7/10

Honestly, this wasn't bad. I got everything out of it that I wanted, the plot held together, and Claire Foy was a passable Lisbeth Salander (though Rooney Mara was much better). I'm somewhat pissed off that the trailer told the whole story, so nothing came as a surprise, but it was worth the $8 I paid to see it.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby numbersix » November 12th, 2018, 4:31 am

Moar movies!

First Man: 5/10
What a disappointment. While the space sequences are well shot and occasionally tense, Gosling's lady-luring mug fails to display much depth in Neil Armstrong, and the film's attempt to personalise the meanting for his journey to the moon and back is ham-fisted and totally disregards the larger, cultural pressures and significance behind this.

Apostle: 4/10
A disaster. Gareth Evans should stick to the kung fu, as this odd folk horror flick fails on so many levels, from the ridiculous performances (particularly lead Dan Stevens) to the character's arcs to the ultimate plot reveals, with only a few horribly bloody sequences thrown in to make it memorable.

Halloween: 6/10
I'm not a huge fan of the Halloween films. Even Carpenter's original is one of his weaker films. But David Gordon Green does a good job of making the key sequences nice and tense, and overall it's a fine, if unexceptional, horror. It has a little bit of character development at the start, although some of Laurie's decisions later in the film don't quite make sense.

Madeline's Madeline: 6/10
A fascinating but flawed visual experience, following a teenage girl with a troubled past who immerses herself in her acting/dance class, only for reality and fantasy to blur. It's kinda like an even indie-er Black Swan in that sense, with her teacher pushing her into dark territory for selfish reasons.

The Wild Pear Tree: 6/10
Nuri Bilge Ceylan's latest film isn't as good as his last few, but it's still a surprisingly absorbing film about a Turkish student who returns home with aims to publish a book, but only to get wrapped up in his father's gambling problems, arguments with friends and family, and face failure. This 3-hour epic does feel too long, but some of the key scenes are really engaging.

Arctic: 6/10
For fans of survival films. But it's pretty much like all survival film, dealing only in the individual moments of how a man can overcome the obstacle that is a harsh nature (in this case, a pilot whose plane crashed deep into the Arctic circle). Mads Mikkelsen is great, but there's not much going on beneath the surface, and there are a few unrealistic moments, but it's a diverting movie nonetheless.

Peterloo: 5/10
Mike Leigh's biggest misstep. Telling an often ignored part of British history, the film charts the build-up to the Peterloo Massacre, in which a crowd of Manchester pedestrians seeking reform (i.e. democracy) were slaughtered by the King's army. This film looks at various characters, from an honest-working family to the prince himself, to show what happened and how. A noble idea, but it's overlong and full of long, flowery speeches. And Leigh paints the working class as all honorable and the higher classes as grotesque, making for a very one-dimensional film. The portrayal of the massacre itself is haunting, suggesting a shorter version of this film would have been more powerful.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi2 » November 17th, 2018, 5:39 pm

Beautiful Boy 5/10

You know that anti-drug PSA where it ends with the kid telling his father "I learned it from watching you"? This is more or less an expansion of that, albeit based on two memoirs. In the right hands, this film could have been interesting. But instead, it feels like failed Oscar bait, especially with its refusal to just end (the film runs two hours but feels a lot longer). The cast is actually quite good, with Chalamet looking super thin as a struggling meth addict (I have to wonder if he really got down to 130 for this role) and Carell proving once again to be a better dramatic actor than a comedic one (though when he yells, he still sounds like Brick Tamland).

But its biggest fault (besides Timothy Hutton barely being in it, I'm just saying that if you've got Hutton in your movie, you give him more than a couple scenes) is that is just goes on and on. The director seems to think every extra flashback or licensed song (there's an Aphex Twin song which is placed in the film in the worst way possible) will get him closer to mainstream acceptance or Oscar glory. And there's perhaps six or seven false endings. We get it. Addicts relapse. We don't need to have the cycle repeat every 10-20 minutes, especially to introduce an underdeveloped character in the last half-hour to serve as an epiphany for Chalamet's character.

It could have been a better film had they just kept it simple instead trying to bite off more than the director could possibly chew.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby numbersix » November 20th, 2018, 2:22 pm

Widows: 4/10
I'm baffled at how this film is getting such good reviews. It's an absolute disaster, embodying the worst aspects of its writer and its director, whose approach to stories is completely incompatible. McQueen's movies are so ultra-serious that they often risk being hilariously bad, and he seems to have no awareness of this (like Brad Pitt's Jesus-like appearance in 12 Year A Slave). And Gillian Flynn just loves a good twist, only at the expense of any logic or believable character motivation.

So, what we've got is a rather ridiculous heist movie that thinks it's very serious and very profound. There are so many aspects that don't make sense. for example there's Jamal, the criminal with no record who wants to become a politician, and seems to be doing well. Only surely everyone in his neighbourhood would know what he is, especially when he has a crazy brother who loves murdering people left right and centre. So his whole character makes no sense at all. There's a sort of twist later in the story which totally undermines anything you like about the main character (played in a hilariously OTT way by Viola Davis), and doens't quite make sense either. Nor does the ending, but I won't spoil anything. Just don't get me started on the political story, which plays out like a 12 year old trying to rewrite The Wire.

It's a good premise (the lovers of a gang of criminals get together to do a heist to pay back what their partner's owed), and with a bit of lightness and lots of action it would have worked well. But you just can't marry the ridiculous with the serious and expect to make much sense.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Chienfantome » November 20th, 2018, 2:40 pm

Interesting. That's honestly what I feared from the trailer which never really sold me the film.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby transformers2 » November 20th, 2018, 6:01 pm

I really enjoyed Widows. Script has some contrivances and doesn't do a great job of balancing its high volume of characters (particularly in the latter stages) and McQueen' fixation with odd, artsy shots is as bad as ever, but it was engrossing, well-acted exploration of the lengths people will go to survive. 8/10 out for me.

More thoughts on stuff I've seen over the past month:
Halloween 8/10
This direct continuation of John Carpenter's beloved 1978 original that gave birth to the slasher subgenre is a well-crafted, thoroughly entertaining ride that is about as good as anything to come out of this iconic horror movement in the past 15-20 years. Co-writer/director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Stronger) does an excellent job of manufacturing tension in the largely claustrophobic setting of the fictional Illinois town of Haddonfield, the death scenes are a good mix of the off-camera subtlety that Carpenter utilized in the original and grisly punctuation marks to appeal to modern gore fiends, and Jamie Lee Curtis' turn as the PTSD-afflicted Laurie Strode is easily her strongest performance in ages. There's a few questionable storytelling choices and hall-of-fame-caliber cases of horror movie characters utilizing poor judgement along the way, but the motley crew (Green, co-writer Danny McBride) that brought this chapter to the big screen still deserves a huge tip of the cap for making a great throwback slasher flick.

Mid90s 9/10
With Mid90s, Jonah Hill joins the increasingly long list of actors (Bradley Cooper, Jordan Peele, Greta Gerwig, Macon Blair) who have recently struck gold with their directorial debuts. Using the sophomoric yet tight-knit and diverse Los Angeles skateboarding scene as a backdrop, Hill explores the naivety, priority friendships tend to develop over family and heavy dose of poor, reckless decisionmaking that often define people's formative years without romanticizing questionable behavior or coming across as a judgmental asshole. Telling a slice of life story through such an authentic, unfiltered lens is a testament to Hill's understanding of the mindset of a young person and the subsequent lessons that can be gleaned from making mistakes as a result of immaturity.

Helping Hill's grounded, clear-eyed vision come alive is the impeccable group of young actors (Sunny Suljic, Na-kel Smith, Olan Prenatt, Gio Galicia, Ryder McLaughlin) he selected to lead this film. Every one of these kids, who with the exception of Siljac had never acted before, are incredibly natural in their roles and sell the vulgar yet loving camaraderie that exists in teenage male friendships beautifully. Mid90s is a top-tier coming-of-age story with a ton of heart, authenticity and laughs that should end up placing pretty high on my year-end best list.

Apostle 4/10
Gareth Evans' first venture away from the action genre is a well-intentioned failure. While there's some suspenseful sequences, pretty good performances by its principal cast (Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton, Michael Sheen, Mark Lewis Jones) and an intriguing premise centered around a mysterious religious cult operating on a secluded island off the coast of Wales, the comically inept writing squanders all of its potential. Everything from the unprovoked drastic changes in behavior from the trio of cult figureheads in the final 35-40 minutes to the variety pack of different horror genres Evans tries to blend together (folk, sadistic, supernatural, psychological) makes zero sense and helps give way to a flat-out ridiculous conclusion. If Evans is going to continue making more narrative-driven material like this, he's going to have spend a lot of time refining his scripts so they don't end being as disjointed and absurd as this.

The Night Comes for Us 9/10
Were you disappointed that The Raid franchise didn't continue after the second installment? Well, writer/director Timo Tjahanto has answered the bell by gathering up numerous key players from Gareth Evans' cult favorite action films (Joe Taslim, Iko Uwais, Julie Estelle, Zack Lee) and essentially creating the unofficial third installment with The Night Comes for Us. Tjahanto shares Evans' flare for staging cleanly-shot, unbelievably gory mayhem and the string of nearly non-stop electric fight scenes between some of the world's greatest martial artists makes The Night Comes for Us a jaw-dropping ride from start to finish. As long as you're not bothered by subtitles or non-stop brutal deaths that are among the most graphic ever put on film, this Netflix production is an absolute must-watch for action/martial arts fans.

Suspiria 3.5/10
Whoever handled Suspiria's marketing campaign is a master of deception. What was sold as an unsettling supernatural horror flick about a witch coven operating of an esteemed Berlin ballet academy is actually a beautifully-shot slab of convoluted symbolism porn that seems bound to fuel many colorful conversations about abuse of power, sisterhood, etc. at hip establishments that serve overpriced lattes around the globe over the next several months. Not even a pair of committed performances from the reliably great Tilda Swinton or the rare instances where the over-the-top gore that made industry people lose their shit at this year's Cinemacon made an appearance can provide much relief from the general tedium and increasingly ridiculous plot developments this 150+ minute art installation abundantly offers up.

Bohemian Rhapsody 7/10
Queen has finally gotten their state-sponsored biopic and despite being frustratingly conventional for the bulk of its running time, Bohemian Rhapsody ultimately succeeds as a well-intentioned propaganda piece that celebrates their music and the immortal legacy Freddie Mercury left behind. It does a pretty solid job of portraying the eccentricity and dynamism that has made them such an interesting band, the recreation of their 1985 Live Aid set is a stunning technical accomplishment that authentically captures the sprawling environment of a stadium concert from just about every possible vantage point you can conceive and Rami Malek's turn as Mercury is magnetic enough to overcome the general lack of insight the script provides about the late singer's true character.

The Girl in the Spider's Web 7.5/10
While The Girl in the Spider's Web bears a closer resemblance to an espionage action thriller than the slow-burning mysteries of both the original Swedish trilogy and David Fincher's 2011 remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fede Alvarez has still done the beloved punk computer hacker Lisbeth Salander justice. Claire Foy does a pretty good job of capturing Salander's strong, hard-nosed spirit, Alvarez keeps things moving at a nice pace without indulging in a half-dozen convoluted subplots and the climactic showdown between Lisbeth and her estranged sister (Sylvia Hoeks) is a truly badass spectacle. The switch in narrative/directorial style and lack of detailed characterization will undoubtedly alienate some longtime fans of the series, but anyone that's cool with straightforward espionage thrillers that favor slickness over substance should have a good time with this.

Overlord 9/10
Unconventional genre mashups don't get much better than Overlord. This film flawlessly combines the real-life horrors of warfare with the fantastical nightmare of mankind being overrun by a supernatural entity (in this case, a nearly-invincible group of zombie-like creatures that were created by the Nazis during World War II) to create something that's distinct, engrossing and downright harrowing throughout. Director Julius Avery wastes no time establishing a hellish atmosphere and having that constant threat of danger added an aura of dread that helped make this a nerve-frying, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride for the ages. If you're interested in seeing this, I can't recommend seeing it at a theater with a top flight sound system enough.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi2 » November 23rd, 2018, 5:33 pm

Overlord 3/10

The former Cloverfield 4 is nothing more than a boring, overlong, and derivative mess. The trailer pretty much showed the entire second half of the film, leaving us with a first half where barely anything happens and an end result that tries way too hard at being a Tarantino film (I thought we were past the era of Tarantino clones). The problem with that is there are no interesting characters (Wyatt Russell is not his dad), a backdrop that's been done in better films (such as Saving Private Ryan), and a reveal (they're roided-out zombies) that feels more like a cheap cash-in than anything.

Maybe Abrams will stop with these mid-budget spinoffs designed for the sole reason of trying to get people to recall an instantly forgotten ten-year-old movie. There's little purpose for these to exist.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby numbersix » November 23rd, 2018, 10:36 pm

Those two opposing thoughts on Overlord kinda make me want to watch it
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi2 » November 24th, 2018, 8:04 pm

Monsters and Men 3/10

Another movie where the trailers give away much of the later scenes. This is basically an anthology where none of the stories really go anywhere. The only thing connecting the three is the video of the shooting that serves as the overlying premise. The first and weakest of the stories has the person who filmed the story. The second involves a cop (John David Washington getting typecast) who begins to realize the nature of his job and the handling of unarmed suspects. The third (and what the marketing led you to believe was the main plot) features a baseball prospect who gets involved with the protests created from the video reaction. None of the stories have much of an ending and seem to be nothing more than writing prompts that somehow got filmed.

A more experienced director could have really done something with this. But instead, it's basically a debut that bites far more than it can chew.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby numbersix » November 26th, 2018, 5:09 am

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: 7/10 (or to break it down, 6, 7, 5, 7, 8, 4)
The Coens made an anthology of shorts into a feature movie, and it mostly works, mainly because as a feature it paints a larger picture of the values of American and hwo the west twisted them rather than purified them. So with each story we get a depiction of the brutality and unpredictable nature of the country, undermining the themes in most traditional Westerns. Of course, not all of the stories work - the final one is a sort of ghost story that's too dialogue-heavy, and Liam Neeson's story about a father and performer son outstays its welcome- but there are a few that are stunning, particularly the longest story about a wagon convoy anda blooming relationship. Sure, it's uneven, but the highs justify the lows.

Three Identical Strangers: 7/10
An absorbing documentary about a set of triplets who discover each other by chance when they're all teenagers. What starts as an amusing story turns into something more sinister as the trio start to look at how and why they were separated. The film becomes almost a conspiracy thriller dealing with the notions of nature and nurture, with revelations coming hard and fast, not to mention some truly emotional moments. It's not a perfect film, as it uses some cheap movie devices (repeating lines over and over to give them new significance), and also risks trying to answer a question that the film is trying to condemn those who posed it, but it's nevertheless very watchable.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi2 » November 26th, 2018, 2:51 pm

It looks like I'm seeing The Favourite on December 7th. I have no interest in the film but it's free and related to how I've seen over 140 movies at the same theatre over a year and a half span.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Shrykespeare » December 1st, 2018, 7:29 pm

Creed 2 - 5/10

Maybe the most predictable movie you'll ever see. This was made to draw in fans of both the old Rocky series and the new Creed series. It does a passable job, but anyone over the age of seven could guess how the movie progresses. It was interesting to see Dolph Lundgren again, but I would have liked to have seen at least one scene featuring him and Rocky. Instead, all we got was one two-minute convo in the beginning, and that's it. Granted, this movie is about Adonis Creed, and this sequel checks all the boxes, but nothing drifts outside the box for even a moment.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Screen203 » December 3rd, 2018, 4:49 am

American Animals

A very entertaining, darkly humorous film that was overlooked upon its release last summer. Bart Layton adds a very unique spin to the heist genre with great performances by the actors who are reenacting the would-be thieves. Stellar cinematography adds to the experience. I would highly recommend this film, and I think that it may be one of the best, and certainly the most original (even though it was based on a true story, and is partially a documentary) films of the year so far.

9 out of 10
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