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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 transformers2 » November 2nd, 2019, 4:09 pm

Roundup of the shit that I've watched in the last week:
Parasite 8.5/10
2019's most buzzed about movie has finally made its way to the United States five months after its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and boy oh boy does it live up to the hype. Parasite bobs and weaves through a cornucopia of genres (dark comedy, family drama, thriller) to tell a deeply absorbing story about class division. The smart, layered script does an excellent job of not completely vilifying or glorifying the characters on either side of the social hierarchy and outside of a somewhat over-the-top climatic sequence where all of the plot threads come together in chaotic fashion, co-writer/director Boon Joon-Ho (Snowpiercer, Memories of Murder) does a tremendous job of organically shifting between genres as this tale about an impoverished family scamming their way into securing employment at the home of a tech mogul embarks on several unexpected detours. Brilliant stuff.

Jojo Rabbit 9/10
In a filmography full of unique, daring films, Jojo Rabbit could very well be Taika Waititi's crowning achievement. He takes on the societal menace that is prejudice here in the only way he knows how: With fearless sincerity, heartfelt emotion and a whole lot of laughs. Gracefully poking fun at the absurdity of bigotry while also effectively conveying a vitally important message about how actually getting to know someone from a group that you've been trained to fear can help put an end to hate is a remarkable accomplishment that only a filmmaker with a complete command over their material could pull off.

Further aiding Waititi's vision is its cast full of versatile actors (Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johannsson, Roman Scott Davis, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, himself) that were able to flawlessly balance the delicate comedy/tragedy balancing act this film engages in throughout. Going from zany quips to dealing with the pain of an unimaginable loss a few minutes later isn't an easy task as an actor, but every single member of this cast pulls it off convincingly. Jojo Rabbit is an important, hysterical and beautiful movie that will undoubtedly finish among my favorites of 2019.

Dolemite is My Name 9/10
Bringing Rudy Ray Moore's fascinating, inspiring journey from failed singer/dancer turned successful DIY comedian/cult movie star to the big screen provided three of the industry's finest talents (Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Craig Brewer) with the perfect comeback vehicle. Snipes dusts off his long-hidden comedy chops for a hilarious turn as the smug Dolemite director D'urville Martin, Brewer injects the proceedings with his signature energy and warmth and Murphy is in his wildly charismatic element as a loveable hustler who finally finds his niche in the notoriously unforgiving entertainment industry playing a boundary-pushing character that slowly morphed into an Blaxploitation icon after decades of failure. Hopefully this gifted trio brings the exact same laser focus and passion for the material to whatever projects they work on next because it was an absolute joy to watch these guys operate at the top of their game after such a long reprieve.

Terminator: Dark Fate 8/10
Does Dark Fate provide the Terminator franchise with a big, sweeping overhaul? Absolutely not. It more or less just passes the badass human savior torch from Sarah Connor to Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) and the time-traveling cyborg protector from the T-800 to a genetically-enhanced human solider (Mackensie Davis). Fortunately, that lack of originality didn't prevent me from really enjoying Dark Fate. The new characters are great, our old heroes get some interesting updates and there's a couple of ballsy creative choices that have already royally pissed off a lot of Terminator fans that provide the film with a legitimate emotional undercurrent that has been missing from all of the post-T2 entries. Dark Fate will likely be the last installment (for a while at least) as a result of the mediocre box office and all things considered, it's a pretty great sendoff for the iconic action-sci franchise.
Last edited by transformers2 on November 6th, 2019, 8:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi2 » November 2nd, 2019, 5:01 pm

The Current War 3/10

After two years on the shelf and a re-edit, this failed piece of Oscar bait finally hit theatres last week and manages to be nothing more than a disappointment considering the people involved. I was led to believe that the film focused more on Nikola Tesla, a hero among the modern science enthusiast, but he's in maybe 15 minutes at most (however, Nicholas Hoult gives the film's best performance). Otherwise, you're just watching Benedict Cumberbatch (doing some weird impression of Timothy Hutton) and Michael Shannon play a pair of rich guys sparing against each other with some of the worst stylistic choices in recent memory. The film is very dated in its approach and I'm not sure how this so-called Director's Cut fixed anything as we have some very scattershot editing, cinematography that's all over the place, and a completely inappropriate electronic score. And despite the short run time, it feels much longer. By the end, you're going to have wished you'd just gone to the library and checked out a biography on the subjects.

Meanwhile, can we actually get a decent Tesla biopic?
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Screen203 » November 2nd, 2019, 11:31 pm

Parasite

Definitely a very ambitious commentary on class, but it won't play well to everyone (or the Academy). I thought the light, satirical tone of the first third was somewhat weak, with (Ki-woo?)'s rants about metaphors being empty and pretentious (although this was likely the point). Although knowing there will be a dark twist made it hard to settle into a tone you know is misleading.

And when the twist comes, the film improves tenfold. It also brings new meaning to the "parasite" in the title. Having the lower class being held captive and feeding off of the higher class is a brilliant metaphor, despite Ki-woo's best efforts to be meta and pretentious - he is easily the least likable character in the film until the Kim family kind-of abduct the former housekeeper and her mental husband (it's kind of unrealistic how the Park's wouldn't notice her going into the basement so often). Other than that, and the over-the-top massacre at the end that felt like it belonged in one of those Tarintino rip-offs, not what had been a well designed thriller up until then, the screenplay is top-notch and the craftsmanship at display solid - very little besides the flaws I mentioned feels out of place. The acting is incredible as well (Jo Yeo-Jeong as Yeon-Kyo Park should be the Best Supporting Actress frontrunner, although she likely won't be nominated).

Overall I thought it was somewhat overrated, but the ambition behind the film is definitely to be admired.

8 out of 10



Motherless Brooklyn

This, on the other hand, might be the most underrated movie of the year. While not without flaws (the systematic appearance of the theme song as the film's main story begins and ends was a little cheesy, especially considering "Daily Battles" are mentioned in the film, and Leslie Mann's attempt at performing in a dramatic film fails miserably, unfortunately), the acting is otherwise incredible (Edward Norton, predictably, is incredible and handles the balance between directing and acting very well, Alec Baldwin plays an asshole - how shocking - as usual, and Willem Dafoe, Bruce Willis - although due to the storyline, his screentime is obviously brief, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are all great as well) and the film deserves an Oscar for the sound design alone, and the screenplay is so well-written (haven't read the book so don't know how well it was adapted), if falling into noir and stories about power cliches at times (though those are likely intentional). In my opinion, this is one of the most entertaining films of the year so far, although not the best (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood takes that for now). Some will say it is anticlimactic (which may be a reason why Warner dumped it, although the mixed reviews and length - which flies by - it really doesn't feel like 2.5 hours), but I think that approach works well for the film, and it's not to a point where the ending is ambiguous (I don't have a problem with that if it's done right, but it bothers many) Despite the film being overlooked, I could see it becoming a cult film over the years.

9 out of 10
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby JohnErle » November 4th, 2019, 1:30 pm

It’s been unseasonably cold in Vancouver recently, so I took refuge in the relative warmth of a movie theatre this weekend and caught some Oscar bait.

Parasite – Starts off like a deadpan comic take on Shoplifters with another poor but joyful family who resort to crime (fraud instead of theft) to make ends meet. The first section of the film is a treat to watch as one-by-one they weasel their way into the lives of a rich but trusting and naïve Korean family, but the sudden shift in tone is jarring and the plot strains credibility after the movie’s big reveal. (8/10)

JoJo Rabbit – The movie’s key selling point turns out to be its biggest flaw because Taika Watiti plays imaginary Hitler like a Tex Avery cartoon character, and his over-the-top mugging becomes tiresome very quickly. When he isn’t trying way too hard as an actor he’s trying way too hard as a director to turn this into a Wes Anderson movie. And yet, it’s the quiet moments between JoJo and Elsa that save the film from itself, and his relationship with his mother is also quite strong. The movie tugs at the heartstrings far more effectively than it tickles the funny bone. (7/10)

The Lighthouse – As an exercise in style it’s worth seeing, but it lacks the emotional resonance that helped make the Witch so compelling. Robert Pattinson is too cold and distant to make me care about his fate. And once the film turns into a fever dream where anything can happen, the movie loses all forward momentum and cohesion. (6/10)
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi2 » November 6th, 2019, 7:49 pm

Parasite 10/10

It starts like a Korean version of Shoplifters...and ends up being something completely different. Bong Joon-ho's latest film about class struggle is a twisty and cathartic thriller that gets much darker as the film progresses. What you think will be one thing turns itself (and the viewer) upside down with each new reveal in the story. It's not your typical Hollywood movie where you can see the big surprise from a mile away. Bong also goes against modern cinema and doesn't try to get you to like anyone. All of the characters have their skeletons but we are not asked to choose sides. Everyone has their issues, some more so. Revealing too much of the story would be a great disservice to potential viewers so I will stop this review here.

The end result feels like if Pedro Almodovar made a gritty suspense film. No remake could top what Bong has done with this film (and that movie Universal pulled from release, The Hunt, shows why an Americanized Parasite wouldn't work) and let's hope no one dares try. Possibly the best film of 2019.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby BanksIsDaFuture » November 7th, 2019, 5:58 pm

Yeah, Parasite was incredible. Can't wait to see it again.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Chienfantome » November 8th, 2019, 5:42 am

My Korean Film Festival here in Paris closed on tuesday night, and our main guests were Song Kang-ho, the lead actor of Parasite, and Kim Jee-woon, the director of "The Good, the Bad, The Weird", "I saw the Devil", "A Tale of Two Sisters"...
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby numbersix » November 8th, 2019, 11:28 am

Tigers Are Not Afraid: 6/10
A very solid fantasy movie. I guess I was expecting a horror and despite the supernatural elements, this is more like Guillermo Del Toro directing City of God. Besides that, it's a really strong film with great child actors and characterisations, and a very interesting narrative surprises along the way.

The Golem: 4/10
Boring as hell film about a woman who creates a golem to take on a terrorising gentile in the olden times. It's very slow and lacks the needed thrills. Dull and poorly directed.

Doctor Sleep: 6/10
Your liking of this will depend on your imagination. It's not a great film, but there's a good one in there somewhere. In trying to deliberately avoid scares and thrills, Mike flanagan has made a sort of psyhic thriller in which a young girl is being hunted down by a group, with only an older Danny Torrence to help her. To be fair, the film does well to tie in the themes of alcoholism and abuse, but it would have been way better to add more mystery to the group of hunters led by an impressively charismatic Rebecca Fergusson. But it's way too long, with loads of unnecessary sequences and scenes, and impersonations of characters from the first film.

Atlantics: 7/10
Fascinating magical realist film about a teenager in Somalia who falls for a labourer who ends up having to go to sea for work opportunities. Then strange shit starts to go down. It'll be on Netflix soon and it's worth a watch, even if the pacing is at times too slow.

About Endlessness: 6/10
Roy Andersson's collection of sketches ditches the dry humour of his previous film, and aims for something more sombre and profound. Occasionally it hits that high ambition, making for a brief but affecting anthology.

System Crasher: 6/10
Distrubing drama about a 9 year old girl who is so difficult and troubled that social services can't help her. The well-researched film never quite points the finger, and never gives us easy answers as the girl goes through various schemes and treatments, from drugs to a month in the forest with a social-services worker. A great performance makes the film engaging, although the ending really lets the film down.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby JohnErle » November 8th, 2019, 2:14 pm

numbersix wrote:Tigers Are Not Afraid: 6/10


I'm just glad someone else finally saw this. I was starting to think I'd imagined the whole thing.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby numbersix » November 8th, 2019, 2:47 pm

I looked for it everywhere, even on torrents. And then found out it was on Shudder, so got the free trial for a week and watched that (and Noroi: The Curse, and Hell House LLC).
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby JohnErle » November 8th, 2019, 3:06 pm

I'd also recommend Hagazussa, Housebound, and The Love Witch, in that order. I just glanced at their site and saw a few classic horrors as well, The Changeling, Jacob's Ladder, some Hammer, some Giallo, even the criminally under-rated Lords Of Salem. Shudder seems to be turning into the home for interesting & indie horror.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby numbersix » November 8th, 2019, 3:29 pm

Not the UK version. They didn't have Hagazussa, which was a pain as I'm curious about it.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby JohnErle » November 8th, 2019, 4:40 pm

That sucks, but I probably wouldn't get access to the full catalogue either, not without a VPN. At least you got to see one good movie out of it. I never heard of that Hell House LLC but it doesn't appear to have anything to do with the Richard Matheson book or the awesome 70s flick.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi2 » November 8th, 2019, 4:47 pm

I was convinced Hell House LLC was a sequel to the early 2000's documentary about the scare tactics Evangelical churches will use to convert gullible children to their fire and brimstone beliefs. I was disappointed to find out it was a found footage movie.

And I do not get the following The Love Witch has. I personally thought it was nothing more than an overlong ego trip that takes itself far too seriously. It could have been halfway decent if they cut 40 minutes.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby numbersix » November 8th, 2019, 4:49 pm

JohnErle wrote:That sucks, but I probably wouldn't get access to the full catalogue either, not without a VPN. At least you got to see one good movie out of it. I never heard of that Hell House LLC but it doesn't appear to have anything to do with the Richard Matheson book or the awesome 70s flick.


As Boosch said, it's a found footage movie. It's pretty effective, but not exactly strong on character.
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