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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 9th, 2019, 12:39 am

Doctor Sleep 8/10

Not really a Shining sequel but more like Stephen King's Twin Peaks (and not just because both share an actor). The film, despite its long run time, is much superior than It: Chapter Two and doesn't feel super long like that film did. The film is at its best when it's not referencing The Shining and manages to be its own entity, as Ewan McGregor battles his own demons while protecting an all-powerful teenage girl against an army of evil who also have the power (think something like the Lectroids from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai). The rest of the film is your typical Stephen King story.

As adaptations of King's work go, it's one of the better ones. Not a classic but still worth your time.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi2 » November 9th, 2019, 8:01 pm

Motherless Brooklyn 8/10

Edward Norton's long-in-the-works comeback film is a twisty film noir tribute where a detective with Tourette's syndrome goes on a journey to solve the mystery of his mentor's murder and ends up finding a much bigger mystery involving the displacement of Brooklyn's lower class and the works of a Robert Moses-like figure trying to create his own form of city government. A great cast and a sense of history carries this film, with Norton giving a surprisingly refreshing depiction of the illness. It's also perhaps a more mature film than a lot of what's coming out from the studios these days. Sure, it's a long film and there's so much going on that you might need a refresher of what's happening but I think that's what lets it stand out. Norton fills the screen time with lots of detail and gives little dead air. Even if you find faults with it, you have to respect Norton for getting his vision out there and going against the grain.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby JohnErle » November 12th, 2019, 2:49 pm

Doctor Sleep (3/10)

A thoroughly unnecessary sequel to The Shining, as, I assume, King’s novel was. The film is wildly unfocused, and spends far too much time with the villains, who still manage to feel underdeveloped. The art department did a remarkable job of recreating the Overlook Hotel, both as it appeared in the original movie and in a dilapidated state, but the attempts to recast actors from the original are laughable, while Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson both struggle with their American accents. Mike Flanagan has none of Kubrick’s dry humour, or his visual flair, and this movie tries to explain everything while The Shining wisely left many things unsaid and maintained a sense of mystery. This ends up being a grim, ugly film where poor Ewan McGregor has to contend with another dead baby on his conscience. I didn’t need to see an adult Danny hitting rock bottom like that, nor did I need to see Jacob Tremblay do a cameo only to be brutally and graphically murdered onscreen in real time during a scene that crosses a line into poor taste. The stuff in the hospice worked, and some of the AA stuff, but the best thing I can say about it is that it’s so forgettable and so far removed from Kurbick’s classic that it couldn’t possibly do any damage to the Shining’s reputation.

They Shall Not Grow Old (7/10)

My neighbourhood theatre held a screening of this on Remembrance Day, and the packed house was nice to see, but the movie itself didn’t quite live up to the hype. It was in 2D, thankfully, and the restoration was impressive, but the footage and the narration were rather dry, consisting mostly of men sitting around posing for the camera or telling sanitized versions of what happened many years later. It didn’t tell me much I didn’t already know about WW1, and the version I saw ended with 20 minutes of behind-the-scenes-footage of Peter Jackson talking about the restoration process, which took the focus away from the men who the film was supposed to be honoring. One common refrain about WW1 is that the men who came back in one piece rarely talked about it, which is understandable and poignant, but it doesn’t make for very compelling first person accounts.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Screen203 » November 16th, 2019, 1:10 am

Charlie's Angels

Very, very disposable, but fun anyway. The leads have good chemistry (with Kristen Stewart seemingly letting loose for once, and Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska are solid as well). Elisabeth Banks has the standout performance, exhibiting confidence as Bosley (the fact that she was directing and wrote the screenplay and pulls off such a badass performance at once is impressive.) The plot is obviously cliche (with the most obvious "twist" in a long time), but the action and special effects are impressive considering the low budget.

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

Postby Buscemi2 » November 16th, 2019, 5:34 pm

Harriet 8/10

The story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, long ignored by Hollywood, gets a film treatment that mainly focuses on her earliest work as a abolitionist and how her visions and faith made her so good at what she did. I'm not sure if the brain damage element of the story is true but it is does create some speculation as to how Tubman was always one step ahead of danger and willing to risk her life to save others. Cynthia Erivo does well as Harriet, playing her as a strong, fearless figure and doesn't stoop to cliches to portray Tubman. I was also surprised by all of the faith-based elements, which combined with its message of heroism and selflessness, makes it a more suitable religious film than the typical "hate them because they aren't us" or "bash your brains in to find salvation"-type religious cinema glutting up American cinemas today.

Sure, it's not the masterpiece it could have been but it's an admirable film with a good message.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby numbersix » November 18th, 2019, 4:13 pm

The King: 5/10
Essentially 2.5 hours of Timothy Chalamet brooding. This adaptation of 3 of Shakespeare's plays loses the richness of dialogue and lacks a sense of where the lead character, a loutish Henry who becomes the King of England against his wishes, goes nowhere emotionally. Writer/actor Joel Edgerton appears as the iconic Falstaff to deliver a few good lines but that's about it. A mostly turgid affair.

The Art of Self-Defense: 6/10
Fun and surprisingly off-beat comedy about a man who gets mugged and joins a karate class only to get completely absorbed in their somewhat unorthodox strategy. Jessie eisenberg stars as the lead in what I can only desribe as a decent stab at an American Yorgos Lanthimos film.

Luce: 6/10
Almost a great film. This is a provocative drama about a successful teenager, the adopted African son of two white liberal parents, who gets into trouble with his opinionated history teacher who is concerned about an essay about political violence. Then things get out of control. The eponymous teen's intentions are always kept a mystery, but the plot gets murkier as the characters place their own values on an ambiguous situation. It's a smart film about the way we make heroes or villains of people, especially minorities. What lets it down are the somewhat OTT performances and a few plot strands that don't quite make sense.

The Irishman: 6/10
An intentionally dull film. Seriously. Scorsese seems to be addressing the criticisms laid on Goodfellas, Wolf of Wall St, etc, who supposedly glamorised violence and criminal activity (they clearly don't), becuase he tells the story of a criminal's rise and excludes all the positive parts. It's about murders, business, and how one loses one's soul in the process. Not that the main character has much of a soul to start with, making the 3.5 hour film an occasional slog. Still, there are good performances by a restrained Joe Pesci and a manic, paranoid Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa. And there are some funny scenes to break up the dour atmosphere. When it comes to cinematography, it's Scorsese's dullest, making it a perfect Netflix film, and unnecessary for the big screen (which is how I saw it). So while the idea of making a gangster film and lingering on loss and misery makes for a fascinating idea, it doens't quite justify the epic length and familiar tropes that comprise most of it.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Screen203 » November 18th, 2019, 9:10 pm

Ford V Ferrari

Very well-made film that should entertains those (like me) who aren't sports people. The highlight is easily Matt Damon's performance: I've never seen anyone as fucking charismatic as Damon, and he exudes charm as Ford salesman Carrol Shelby. He shows depth, as well (although you don't really see anything about his personal life - you would expect there to be more characterization of him, which the lack of was a slight disappointment), and he's the only reason the ending works - I know Ken died in real life but the way it was portrayed on film was strange, but everything after the time jump only works because of Damon.Should I really say that an actor basically playing himself is the best performance of the year? Probably not, but he's so likable it really doesn't feel that undeserved. All of the other cast members are great (Christian Bale and Tracy Letts are as good as you've likely heard, and Catriona Balfe is great, even though she's typecast as "the wife"), and it should sweep the techs at the Oscars (even though the sound mix is ear-splitting - I got a migraine from how loud the mix was). The cinematography is stellar, as well. My only other issue besides what I've already mentioned with the film is that,talk about cars towards the beginning is not explained well-enough to novices, and as a fault the beginning is kind of slow. The screenplay is entertaining enough that it dosen't really matter.

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

Postby JohnErle » November 20th, 2019, 5:19 pm

The Irishman (7/10)

I’m increasingly convinced that most modern film critics have their opinions formed before they even see the film and are more concerned with not rocking the boat than they are in going out on a limb and giving an honest opinion. How else to explain the rave reviews for this lackluster coda to many memorable careers? I love Goodfellas as much as anyone, but the Irishman pales in comparison in every conceivable way. It’s the equivalent of a sports team that looks great on paper but then comes up short on the field and leaves you longing for their bygone glory days. When the movie focuses on Frank’s loyalties being torn between Jimmy Hoffa and the mob it mostly works, but at least 90 minutes of extraneous fluff could have been cut out. Maybe this is why Netflix is experimenting with a fast-forward button. My advice? Wait a month watch it on Netflix where it belongs.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi2 » November 20th, 2019, 5:47 pm

Sounds like my opinion on any filmmaker that's popular on the Internet. Dunkirk was a Michael Bay film without the excessive flag-waving, nothing happens in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, Roma is an exercise in boredom, Whiplash is Drumline for angry white people, Gone Girl is a two-and-a-half hour Lifetime movie, and Blade Runner 2049 is in no way better than the original. But critics loved all these films and you can't have a differing opinion.

And don't get me started on how certain places will hate you for saying the critics were right about the edgelord-made torture fest that was The House That Jack Built.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi2 » November 23rd, 2019, 2:14 am

The Irishman: I Heard You Paint Houses 10/10

Part Goodfellas, part Casino, Martin Scorsese's latest crime epic might his most wide-ranging story, covering the smaller story of a Philadelphia truck driver who becomes a top hitman for the Mafia and the bigger story of Jimmy Hoffa's fall from power intertwining together. Using perhaps the biggest work yet in de-aging the cast (the final budget was $160 million), the many decades covered in the story with the same actors makes this feel like Scorsese's way of doing his version of The Godfather Part II. As good as De Niro is in the lead, I feel Pacino and Pesci are the real standouts. Pacino's Hoffa is surprisingly restrained in places and unlike some of his more recent "in it for the money" roles, he really has his heart in the role. And it's really nice to see Pesci in a new movie after being retired from the screen for many years now. I could see both contending for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars.

And despite the long run time, it doesn't feel long at all. Movies half its length feel longer (case in point, last month's The Current War). Here, Scorsese keeps things interesting by making sure things are always happening. Another nice quirk was how he'd introduce characters by how they died, which leads wondering more about them. Ultimately, Scorsese leaves with another message that shows that no matter how we perceive what crime figures do, it's not worth it in the end.

I'll be surprised if one of the two Netflix contenders doesn't win Best Picture. Roma didn't win not because of an anti-Netflix bias, but rather due it not being in English. This year, there's no excuse when this and Marriage Story are two of the best received films critically.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi2 » November 23rd, 2019, 3:30 pm

The Good Liar 8/10

Enjoyable thriller that combines confidence tricking and revenge to create a film that could be described as The Last Seduction for a senior citizen audience. The plot takes several different turns that it manages to be anything but generic, even if you've seen it before. But the main reason why we're here is for the leads and neither Mirren not McKellen disappoint. It's somewhat refreshing to see McKellen not play a larger than life character while Mirren is right in her comfort zone in the suspense genre. Bill Condon, who can be hit or miss as a director, usually seems to get his creative juices flowing when he collaborates with McKellen.

Maybe it's a bit old fashioned for a modern audience but if you want a good Hitchcock-styled mystery, this is the only game in town right now.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby JohnErle » November 25th, 2019, 3:01 pm

I caught two future cult classics on the weekend, both of which I highly recommend:

The Color Out Of Space – (8/10)
Lovecraft probably wouldn’t have approved of all the humour in the film, but the core plot is a surprisingly faithful adaptation of the short story, with only the setting and characters being modernized, and considering the inherent craziness of the story, Nicholas Cage’s unhinged reaction to these events seems perfectly justified. There are some FX shots that borrow a bit too heavily from John Carpenter’s The Thing and Spielberg’s War Of The Worlds, but it’s a perfect midnight movie. Describing something as ____ on acid is a lazy cliche, but in this case the description fits. This is Lovecraft on acid, and Nicholas Cage is on whatever Nicholas Cage is normally on.

In Fabric - (8/10)
I never saw The Duke Of Burgundy, but Berberian Sound Studio showed a lot of promise which the director has now fully delivered on by adding a lot of humour to the mix. Like BSS, it draws heavily on the visual style of giallo but this time it has fun with the wonky dream logic so prevalent in the genre. If Color Out Of Space feels like the work a mad genius always on the verge of falling apart yet somehow working, In Fabric feels like the work of a director in complete control and delivering his own precise, distinctive vision. Peter Strickland may be the Wes Anderson of weird.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Screen203 » November 26th, 2019, 6:42 pm

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

I feel like this film is being rated so highly because of the subject matter alone (even though Mr. Rogers isn't in it that much, the film actually plays out like an episode of the show - which grows thin quickly.) The closest companion I can think of as to how it's structured is like a Charlie Kaufman film (Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind in particular). But both of those movies were much better, and didn't take themselves as seriously as this film does - there's no Jon Brion or sci-fi twist. Tom Hanks as Rogers is predictably incredible (in what should be a push for Best Supporting). Other than that, the movie is bland and sometimes irritating (the scenes with Matthew Rys's father drag on and on, and he doesn't really earn his redemption at the end). I wasn't a fan of Marrielle Heller's previous film (Can You Ever Forgive Me? - though it's nice to see a successful female director), so I wasn't sure on this to begin with.

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

Postby Buscemi2 » November 30th, 2019, 6:49 pm

The Report 7/10

This expose on the CIA's interrogation tactics is at its best when it depicts the barbaric methods of torture that were used post-9/11. During these scenes, it gives an effect on the audience that goes beyond when torture is usually depicted. It condemns it rather than glorifies the actions. It's not as good when it focuses on the people who wrote the 7,000 page report, which gradually turns into an awards bait piece (though I must say, it's a better and more critical film than The Post). Scott Z. Burns, better known as a writer, does treat the subject with tact though I did question some of his directorial touches (such as having the actors share the screen with real political figures and an unnecessary David Wingo score). Though maybe an Oliver Stone or a Paul Greengrass would have improved the film and not tried to condense the decade-plus story into two hours.

In the end, there is much to like about the film but I can see why Amazon dumped it in the end.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Brockster » December 2nd, 2019, 12:05 pm

Frozen 2 - 8/10

Wow, I can't believe how much I liked this. I was dreading going to be honest. I thought the first one was just ok and it was one of their most successful movies of all time. The fact that they were able to top the first one, with all that pressure to make something good, was pretty incredible. My daughter who is 4 (which is really the only opinion that should matter, right?) gave it an 11/10, lol! (we always rank our movies after we watch them as a family). My son, who is 9, gave it an 8/10. The only reason he didn't give it higher was because he was mad the movie mad him cry :lol: My wife gave it a 9/10 FWIW. She bawled her eyes out at least 2 times and I will admit, I got a little misty eyed during the Elsa daughter/mother moment.

The only strange moment was when Kristoff sang Lost in the Woods. It seemed like a throwback Journey or REO Speedwagon music video, and I can't help but think it was intentional. But I left a bit confused and feeling like I had missed an inside joke.

Overall I was extremely impressed and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Big props to Disney, faced with all the pressure in the world, they delivered.
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