Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Discuss past, present, and future releases. This is the place for news, reviews, and your 'best' lists.

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Buscemi2
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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I'm annoyed that Universal didn't make Never Rarely Sometimes Always available to the independent theatres so they could get a share of the proceeds. I'm sure a lot of those theatres would loved to have shown the film before they closed. Instead, it gets lumped in with The Hunt and Trolls World Tour and has more than likely been ignored as a $20 title. Meanwhile, Bacurau has apparently been a massive hit for Kino Lorber as a $12 rental with theatres getting 25% of the take. Universal dropped the ball here.

I also wish Bleecker Street would make Ordinary Love and The Assistant (a title that was supposed to open near me before all this happened) available with The Roads Not Taken as virtual cinema titles. You know, movies that were well-reviewed and would have interest.

As for American Factory, I have a feeling it was a compromise win. Honeyland was favored for months but I recall there were allegations that some scenes were staged. Also, I don't think Julia Reichert had won an Oscar and she's been making docs since the 70's. I haven't seen it yet but it can't be any worse than the white savior narrative Undefeated beating Project Nim and Paradise Lost 3 (speaking of career Oscars, I bet Joe Berlinger's going to get an apology Oscar one of these days).
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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Deerskin 8/10

Refreshingly original slasher film that might also be Dupieux's most conventional film to date. Focusing on a man running away from his marriage in favor of an expensive deerskin jacket, he is given a digital video camera and begins to film his daily life as if he's a filmmaker, lying his way to get what he wants. But we soon learn that the jacket is beginning to possess him and before you know it, the man develops a "killer style". The film is short at 76 minutes but in a field where movies are getting longer, this is a nice change of pace. It does exactly what it needs to do and to use a pun, it's all killer and no filler.

Mr. Oizo is an acquired taste but I think even his detractors can find something to like here.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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A White, White Day 8/10

This was an interesting mix of introspective drama and mystery about a grieving cop who after his wife's death, reflects on his life while building a house for his family. But soon, the plot thickens and the cop begins to look deeper into the events leading up to her passing. It's an somewhat surprising plot switch, bringing to mind films like Something Wild or From Dusk till Dawn, but unlike a Hollywood film, its storytelling is subtle and filled with long takes (it was shot in Techniscope, which allows for twice the use of 35mm film while still having that look).

It's bound to bore some people but it's worth a look before it inevitably gets an American remake that removes much of the uniqueness.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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I loved A White White Day. What a lead performance.

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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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Butt Boy 6/10

This comedy gets credit for being original with its idea of a Florida man who discovers that he has the ability to shove anything he can up his ass. Most of today's films would take a one-joke premise such as this one and milk it until the joke gets old. But here, the filmmakers keep it interesting by having a subplot involving an alcoholic detective who keeps in contact with the titular butt boy, making it comparable to something like Heat or The Killer but with a guy who puts things in his anus.

However, I feel the film was too restrained. Had it fully embraced the ridiculous premise, it might be up there with some of John Waters' best films in terms of raunchiness. But I understand the budget limitations that prevented this from happening. Either way, it's a decent effort.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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Spaceship Earth 8/10

A fascinating and informative documentary on a subject we don't know much about outside of the media version of it and the movie Bio-Dome: Biosphere 2. But it's more than just a film about the two-year project where Murphy's Law proved itself wildly true. It's about the people behind it, the people inside of it, and the people involved after (including one very controversial figure who was the basis of not one but two documentaries last year). Using lots of footage shot over many years plus new interviews, Spaceship Earth paints a sympathetic view of a group that was long seen as a cult or as stereotypical hippies but really weren't and even though there were some valid criticisms of Biosphere 2, there were some good things they were trying to do and the experiment as a whole was quite interesting in theory. There were just some snags that were too hard to overcome.

Personally, I would have loved to have seen this be a longer documentary. It's nearly two hours but it could have stood to have another 20-30 minutes to flesh out the rushed third act. Maybe a home video release will give us more footage.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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I Am Mother 3/10

I had to watch this for a Netflix Party and was not impressed. Hilary Swank slums it and Rose Byrne is her usual monotone self in this dystopian film about a girl raised by a robot who finds out about a secret that will make her realize she's not safe. Overlong and dull, it's nothing more than your typical straight-to-Netflix product that proves the Sturgeon's Law that exists there. I can't see how one could like this but hate something like Chappie, a film that actually entertains.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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The Booksellers 8/10

This was an interesting documentary on the history of booksellers in the New York City area. The subject would seem esoteric but there is a lot of detail that goes into why these people make biblophilia a lucrative industry and even against the perceived decline of the written word, they continue to let their love of books thrive. I did think the documentary got a bit defeatist and borderline ageist at times (but it at least isn't all "okay, boomer" like the distributor's Echo in the Canyon was) but luckily, it's an accepting documentary with an encouraging message.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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Porno 1/10

The worst film of 2020 (unless we see some Evangelical propaganda film or the biannual Dinesh D'Souza offering). There is nothing to like about this 90's set horror film about some Christian teen buzzkills who discover a cursed film reel for their weekly film club and end up opening a portal to a hellish dimension. The end result ends up basically feeling like if Pure Flix made a horror film: clunky dialogue, excessive and pointless violence, bad acting, far too long to sustain its thin premise, and characters, and a hamfisted message. We don't even get any good kills, which is a must for this kind of film.

It's things like this that make you want to hate a genre sometimes.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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Ordinary Love 8/10

An intimate and unpretentious story of a relationship put to the test when the wife battles breast cancer. The film avoids being sappy in favor of focusing on the performances, with a restrained Neeson and another stellar performance by Manville. The film is also well-directed and is a step above what one might think when approaching a story such as this one. I'm sure it will bore some people but it's an ultimately rewarding film for those who want something above the predictable.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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Military Wives 7/10

Simple but enjoyable feel-good story about a group of women who start a choir to keep themselves occupied while their husbands are fighting in Afghanistan and how they bond together even in despair. What makes this film work is that the characters are developed and you actually understand their situations, realizing that they are more than just people who happen to living the life of military wives. Also, Kristin Scott Thomas is quite good as the co-director who has an addiction to ordering things off of TV.

It's no Full Monty but it's a likeable film that if more people are aware of it, could be a big rental hit.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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The Assistant 8/10

An interesting drama inspired by the Weinstein scandal about an intern that discovers during a long work day that her dreams are not exactly what they seem. The best counterpart of this one seems to be Do the Right Thing, as both films focus on a figure who is unsure about whether they should speak up over a bad situation or to keep on as if things are normal. This film isn't going to be for everyone but personally, I found it very fascinating and it shows us how we really do not treat entry level people well at all and that those at the top abuse those below them. I'm not sure if a film like this one will change the situations of sexual harassment or abuse of employees but it does put things into perspective.
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