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

Post by Buscemi2 »

Lucky Grandma 9/10

Enjoyable dark comedy about a chain-smoking Chinatown grandmother who after finding her luck run out during an Atlantic City gambling binge, comes across a bag of money belonging to the mob. Now, she must protect herself as the wolves breathe down her neck. It's more original than your typical crime comedy and it goes into directions that you wouldn't normally expect. A fun ride and a nice diversion outside the box.
It's like what Lenin said...I am the walrus.

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transformers2
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Post by transformers2 »

The King of Staten Island 8.5/10
Easily Judd Apatow's most subdued film to-date. While there are still plenty of laughs, this is more of a beautiful and heartfelt character study about a young man (a soul-bearing Pete Davidson) that finally starts to come to terms with the death of his father after his mother (Marisa Tomei) starts dating a fireman (Bill Burr-who CRUSHES in his most prominent acting role to-date). The script does a great job of building empathy for Davidson's character while also exposing how he weaponizes his pain to treat people who love him poorly and highlighting the roles the supporting characters (Tomei, Burr, Bel Powley as his longtime friend/casual sex partner, Maude Apatow as his forthright sister) play in aiding his steps towards growth. Kudos to Davidson for having the courage to share such a personal story with the world and to Apatow for displaying such a great sensitivity while aiding in the telling of it.

Da 5 Bloods 7.5/10
An endearing yet thoroughly scattershot and sometimes maddening concoction from Spike Lee. There was an opportunity to provide a story about the horrors of war from a perspective that's rarely been put on film (Red Tails and the criminally underrated Dead Presidents are the only films I can think of that centers around the experiences of Black soldiers) and Lee for some completely inexplicable reason shifts focus away from the tale of these 4 black soldiers returning to Vietnam to their showdowns with each other and outside forces to get the gold fortune they came back for out of the jungle in the last 90 minutes.

What's more aggravating is the commentary is mostly limited to some statistics (ex: during Vietnam: Blacks only made up 10% of the US population yet represented 33% of the soldiers on the frontlines) /shots at shitty American presidents (you probably can guess who) told through archival footage and exposition, and admittedly potent nods to the horrific reminders of the conflict that continue to plague the people of Vietnam today. Outside of Delroy Lindo's character's arc, the exploration of the damage the war did to the soldier's psyches is very minimal and the character development outside of Lindo and Clarke Peters' characters is stunningly thin (I'm not confident I could tell you anything about Isaiah Whitlock Jr's character outside of a heroic action he performs in the present day). Despite those sizable flaws, it's an entertaining film with some really tense sequences, a couple of great performances (Lindo, Peters) and enough flashes of real poignancy to make you aggravated that Lee didn't dig deeper.
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numbersix
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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Only the Animals: 6/10
Domink Moll's latest film may not have the strangeness of his previous work, but it's a solidly diverting story of a missing body, and how several different people with seemingly no connection are all involved. It's not so much clever, but rather well told.

The King of Staten Island: 6/10
Judd Apatow's film is, as per usual, overlong, but it still has enough heart and honesty to make it watchable. It's the kinda true story of comedian/actor Pete Davidson, here playing a young adult with no prospects who still isn't over the death of his fireman father. Like most Apatow films, the characters are likeable and the humour grounded, although it's Apatow's least comic film.

Da 5 Bloods: 6/10
I've realised that Spike Lee is generally both awful and great, usually in the same movie, often in the same scene. Here, the story of 4 Vietnam vets, all African American, return to the country to find the body of a missing friend and the gold buried with him. It's less a political film and more an action adventure. Yet he throws in inappropraite humour and then within seconds photos of actual children's crushed skulls, So what we've got is an incredibly unwieldy film, but there's enough good ideas in there.

The Vast of Night: 6/10
An accomplished debut film. Essentially a b-side to Close Encounters, it's about a radio DJ and a teenage phone operator who discover a strange sound, and embark on a journey to figure out what's going on. Made on a relatively low budget, it looks amazing and boasts some impressive dialogue, compensating for the messy narrative.

Shadow: 7/10
Zhang Yimou's latest is his best film since Hero. Like the 2004 film, it's another martial arts melodrama with a beautiful colour palette. This time it's a Shakespearean tale about a commander who betrays his king in order to reclaim a city lost to his enemies. But it turns out the commander is not who we think he is, leading to a story full of double-crossing. What's impressive is how all the main characters, heroes and villains, all feel somewhat well rounded. And the film, despite a few silly moments (umbrellas made of blades?) is stunning to watch.

Dating Amber
I can't rate it honestly as it's my friend's film, but this lovely film about two teens who pretend to be girlfriend and boyfriend to avoid being outed as gay, is genuinely a lovely film. It's out on Amazon Prime in the UK only, but coming to the US soon.

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

Post by Buscemi2 »

Vivarium 7/10

It's not The Art of Self Defense 2 but Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots' follow-up to that film is a strange and interesting thriller about a couple that moves into a planned community only to find that they can never leave. And to make matters worse, they find themselves the adoptive parents to a baby left in a box that grows at an incredible rate and is a sociopath. This is the kind of film that makes you wonder what you are watching but strikes up conversation (and apparently, it has since its debut on Prime Video). The film not entirely successful but it's better than other recent cult titles as it knows what it's doing and isn't trying to pander to a certain group of people (see Midsommar or Extra Ordinary).
It's like what Lenin said...I am the walrus.

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