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GrooveRemote

Born on the Fourth of July is an Oliver Stone movie perhaps more geared towards those who don't like Oliver Stone movies (like myself). It has all of his usual preachy elements, but they're much more toned down here than in any of his subsequent movies (that I've seen).

Tom Cruise is, as usual, not a bad actor at all. It really shows that his earliest roles weren't all Mission: Implossibles and The Mummys. He was a legitimate actor for a while, and one could say that he's quite a good one. He actually puts some of the actors around him here to shame. Caroline Kava, the actress who portrays his bible-thumping catholic mother, appears somewhat amateur in comparison. Never upstaged, though, is Willem Dafoe. He forges what is perhaps the film's most memorable character in very few scenes, but I suppose I almost expect that from Dafoe at this point. The war scenes themselves are different from those I've seen in any other Vietnam movie. They have an exclusively warm colour palette, but feel very cold and uninviting nevertheless. No matter how I feel about his attitudes and writing in general, Stone is certainly capable of greatness.

But, he consistently falls prey to the same negative tendencies. While there are some breathtakingly powerful scenes here, there are also some that could feel much more natural if Stone didn't stick his oppressive morals in there. Yeah, I get it, you don't like the catholic church. I appreciate a filmmaker that weaves subtle themes into a narrative, not so much one that assaults you with how they want you to feel about X or Y. Not to mention the ham-handed foreshadowing. Yeah, I get it, he's raised in an innocent, patriotic time and he's going to become jaded. You don't need to spell it out for me.

Other than that, Born also doesn't separate itself enough from better Vietnam movies to really stand out. Not much of the ground trodden here hasn't been done better by Cimino, Coppola or Kubrick, and in a style that's generally more interesting. In that sense, I think I like JFK more even though I enjoyed it less. It imprinted on me more than Born did, and I watched Born two days ago. But, it's still a decent movie. It's an all-together OK experience, with some really great scenes, and not a whole lot else.
20 hours 38 minutes ago
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GrooveRemote

The movie is years, perhaps decades ahead of its time. Watch a bunch of movies from the same time period and compare, it's like comparing a diamond to sea shells. Pay close attention to the lighting and especially the camerawork. It's all things we have come to know and love now but this is 5+ years ago. I agree with another commenter that no movie could ever really be the "greatest" of all time, cinema is far too varied for that. The vast majority of people who call it "overrated" most likely saw this movie as #1 in a few lists and then watched it as one of their first old movies they've ever watched, (once again, it's 7 years old for Pete's sake.) If you are strictly a contemporary movie watcher it's understandable it won't be your thing. A taste for classic movies is a quality obtained over time and study of classic films.

I can't claim it to absolutely positively be the best of all time. It is, however, one of the most meticulously and well crafted movies ever made, without question. Adam Sandler strikes an imposing character who is impossible to take your eyes off of. The movie begins brilliantly and over the course of the film we find that, like newspaper stories, reality is far different and infinitely more complicated than the headlines.
1 day 7 hours ago
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GrooveRemote

Dis movie bad. No watch.
1 day 8 hours ago
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GrooveRemote

His racism is killing me.
1 week 3 days ago
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GrooveRemote

It's a very simple and somewhat charming cartoon that pales in comparison to the Disney shorts. The animation is decent for something so obviously cheaply-made, but the voice acting is grating and the physics are nonexistent (one thing Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies always did right was establishing cartoon rules and following them. There aren't any stakes if things just happen because they need to, like the balloon just stopping at the hive). The only explanation I can fathom as to this cartoon's popularity is nostalgia for Russian kids. iCM does appear to have an active Russian user base. If there's anything I can say for it, it's that the translation linked here is terribly translated, and adds a lot of enjoyment to what would be a rather flaccid experience.
2 weeks 1 day ago
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GrooveRemote

A very odd movie. Every Which Way But Loose is a story of... well, it's more like an assortment of scenes that all have something to do with one another, but they're not strung together in a very compelling way. Clint Eastwood stars as a fighter/truck driver that follows a country singer to her home in Denver, along with his pet orangutan and his friend Orville (whose mother features heavily in the movie, and is easily the best part, despite not bearing any importance to the plot and being almost totally independent of the other characters), whilst himself being chased by Nazi bikers and a vengeful cop. In short, once again, it's a very odd movie, especially for one that made about twenty-one times its $5-million budget.

Clint was the wrong choice for the title role. While his usual aloof demeanor is befitting of the solemn Philo, he doesn't have any air of a country boy. He just seems like The Man With No Name in a wife beater. Ruth Gordon is hilarious, as is expected of an actress of her calibre. Sondra Locke does quite well, even though her scenes clash pretty harshly with the rest of the movie. And I think that may be where it loses me the most. While there are some very fun scenes, they're all so different from each other. You have the bonkers action with the bikers, heartfelt drama with Sondra Locke's character, Philo's poorly-shot fistfights (who had the bright idea to film them looking up from the middle of the two opponents, with the camera constantly moving?), Ma's antics, and an orangutan doing some orangutan things for... laughs? It's one of the messiest movies I have ever seen, without any real coherent plot or pacing. It just seems to end on what should be a big climactic moment, but the finale was so poorly built-up that it goes off with a whisper. The ending to the movie could be great if more focus was put on Philo's fighting, but it takes too much of a backseat to everything else. You can't be everything, movie. You just can't.

But, it's a weirdly enjoyable experience for just how off-the-wall it is, and the score is a great mix of jazz and country. If you like crazy B-movies, give it a shot.
2 weeks 1 day ago
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GrooveRemote

Here's a movie that tore my heart out and stomped on it. I was on the brink of tears by the end. Probably the most effective PSA movie ever, and that's likely owed to its impeccable direction and writing by the king, Billy Wilder. Wilder is one of my favourite directors for his incredible ability to totally trancend genre, and make each one he touches his own. His film noirs are perhaps the most famous and lauded (though I must confess I haven't seen either Indemnity or Sunset yet), and the same goes for his comedies. Here, he tackles the dangerous subject of alcoholism. And I say dangerous because it's so easy to fall into preachy rants and speeches. But this movie feels totally honest and sincere, without ever being over-the-top (well, there's a level of camp that exists in most old movies). The plot deals a lot in flashbacks, but like, say, A Christmas Carol, it keeps enough of a through line to engross you. The characters feel exactly like people I know, especially coming from a family of party animals that range from responsible to rehab-going. The anguish of trying to help a friend in need is stunningly visceral, and though it's a somewhat alien feeling to me, I truly became Don Birnam. I was subject and observer all at once, and every step of Birnam's spiral was another incapacitating blow to the gut. There's something indescribable about the way it affected me, but it's one of those things you needn't describe. We've all felt that feeling, when a piece of art or a story touches you so deeply that you feel exposed, but in a healthy and fulfilling way. Easily recommended, but with the warning that it can be a hard movie to watch, at least for me.
3 weeks 1 day ago
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GrooveRemote

So preachy it could've won Best Picture.

Not all that bad, though. While successfully gloomy, it never embodies any feeling of taking place in the future. I thought I was looking at an alternate universe version of the '70s. Heston is his usual hammy self, and he does as well as he always does. Robinson's veteran chops show, and Chuck Connors is the Rifleman (I just needed to acknowledge it). It's a bit on the slow side, but a perfectly fine mystery, even though the ending is obvious as all hell (not that it's terribly important to be surprised by it, anyway). But if there's one thing in a movie I can't stand, it's... well, it's probably the stucture and pacing of a biopic, but ham-fisted morals are a close second. Like a JFK, the moral of the story seems to exceed the story itself in importance. No real memorable characters come from it, or anything memorable at all outside of the twist that I may as well spoil, as it's all anybody knows about the movie. This review was a spur-of-the-moment thing, and I never realized until now how forgettable the movie was. I vaguely remember cool ideas like strawberries acting like narcotics, and Robinson's death, but a lot of it is a blur. That's a bad sign. It's not schlocky enough to warrant watching the whole movie, but who am I to tell you what to watch? Go watch it. I dare ya.
3 weeks 5 days ago
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GrooveRemote

"You sound like baby Hitler."

-Sylvester Stallone
1 month ago
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GrooveRemote

Here's another movie that I really don't get. There's some good for me to mention, but the net value... well, read on.

As everyone has said, Stumpy is a regular hoot. Walter Brennan seems like he's having a lot of fun, which translates to Stumpy really being the highlight of the movie. John Wayne suffers from his own determination to choose boring roles for himself, but his talky love interest provides a unique counter to his smarmy roughness. The three leads bounce off of each other very well. You see why Tarantino called it his favourite movie (either that or he said it was the greatest; I cannot recall which), as a lot of his trademark strengths and weaknesses are found here: great dialogue and characters, with a weak plot.

Perhaps that's an unfair way to put it. The plot is fine, although the movie is subject to pointless tangents, but the pacing is atrocious. It's not even so much on a technical level, because it's so terrible that it really impacted my experience. The whole thing just trudges along, without any sense of urgency or stakes. Not just in the main story, that being a murderer's rich brother trying to bust him out, but in the side plots. Even the final gunfight is far too jovial, which I would blame on Howard Hawks. Nothing really progresses at all. The romantic side-plot comes somewhere close, but it's really just a beginning and an end. It's a movie made up mostly of filler. And, in an ordinary movie, it'd be the greatest movie ever, but you can't make a movie out of Dude flatly relapsing into alcoholism over and over. One could easily cut almost an hour of footage, and present the world with a real masterpiece. A factoid I found interesting is that it was written by the same duo behind The Big Sleep, another movie oft referred to as a classic that I found dull and light on stakes.

Maybe there's something I'm missing. I really have no idea how somebody could be engaged by this movie. I would love, however, to discuss it with someone. I'm always ready for movie talk, except when I ain't.

I give Stumpy a score of 4 Tucos out of 5.
1 month ago
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GrooveRemote

This is certainly a one-of-a-kind movie. Not only is the concept an interesting one, but it's executed with a dash of eerie style that is entirely its own.

It's about four men that go on a mission to save the wife of one of the men from some mysterious savages. I love the creeping feeling instilled in you from the first scene. Not only do you have a couple very chillingly creepy scenes in the first act, but everything about the ironically-named town of Bright Hope is unsettling. Not only are the colours washed out, even for a Western, but there's constant talk of injury, disease and death. It seems like very character has some overt association with death from the beginning, with the exception of John Brooder, one of the movie's best characters. Brooder is an elitist, bigoted snob; he frequently speaks ill of his comrades without any care. We find out more about why he is the way he is as the movie goes on, but more than that we learn what kind of person he is, and how he and the other men and different.

Richard Jenkins, as other have mentioned, is the highlight of the show. He's undoubtedly hilarious at times when a little humour is needed, but there's such an underlying sadness and desire for kinship in him. Sure, he talks a lot, but it's because he's afraid of being alone. He's lost a very close companion, and is obviously left lost by that. He has a childlike innocence, but by the end of the movie you find respect in him.

The other lead characters are also excellent. They all compliment each other and work off of each other. You grow to really like them so much that the final act is all the more horrifying. By the way, anybody remotely squeamish will definitely want to avoid the final act. I don't know if I've ever seen something so truly disturbing, although I think that certain scene would've been better left to our imaginations. I would've liked it a lot more if they just focused on the character's faces, and used the (fantastic) sound design for some idea of what's happening. As it is, it does feel a little excessive. The practical effects, though, are so convincing. They have a very real quality to them that you wouldn't get with CGI (not to knock CGI too hard, though).

There isn't a whole lot of story here, but a there's always a little taste of tension at the right moment, to keep things from being dull. I think my biggest issue is that it changes a bit too abruptly into a horror movie in the third act. It doesn't feel entirely earned when the first two acts were mostly an exploration of character. But, it's really a minor qualm with an otherwise excellent movie. A very unique experience that's worthy of your time.
1 month 2 weeks ago
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GrooveRemote

A surprisingly different and interesting Eastwood Western. I feel incredibly stupid for not realizing the symbolism about 20 minutes earlier than I did, but I enjoyed it a lot afterwards.

So, you've got a movie about a mysterious man who wanders into a little country town, and "saves" them from a trio of miscreants seeking revenge for something not immediately clear to the audience. I really enjoyed the way this movie flips your expectations. You go in expecting a less-good Fistful of Dollars, and get something totally unique and stylish in its own way, even if said style occasionally comes off as cheesy. It's a hard movie to talk about without spoilers, so most of this will be under the spoiler tag ahead: spoiler

What strikes me as odd is the complaints here about the protagonist's treatment of women. Sure, it's not inherently moral at all, but neither is our protagonist. It's not glorifying his actions. They're just presented as-is. It's not about whether what he does is just, because on normal terms it isn't. But you have to consider the main character's intent, and the events depicted in the movie. spoiler

Anyway, there's my two cents on that topic. Putting aside any accusations of sexism (which you could make some case for in the actual portrayal of the female characters, specifically Sarah rather than Callie), it's certainly not like any other Western out there. I'd recommend it to the surrealist crowd, in particular. It's not a bonafide classic, but given the option, I'd sure as hell speak in its favour.
1 month 2 weeks ago
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GrooveRemote

I've been doing a bit of a Western marathon, and I'm so glad I didn't comment on this one before watching Unforgiven, because that really shows the right way to make a gloomy Western. Now, I have no intention of saying that this movie is bad. On the contrary, it's pretty dang good. There are just some big issues that keep me from loving it.

There is, however, a lot of good to it. Clint Eastwood is a master of the aloof wanderer. I can't say he portrays this character all that differently from The Man With No Name, but the context of the story works with his performance and alters it quite interestingly. Here, he comes off as shut-in and distant for entirely different (and more clear) reasons. He's also a great director. The colour palate of the movie, in particular, is eye-catching. There's a lot of grim, saturated browns and greens, with sprinklings of vibrant autumn leaves, and the scarves of Union soldiers. Chief Dan George's peaceful wisdom provides a much-needed balance to Eastwood's grit, and Paula Trueman is definitely the comedic highlight of the film.

My big issue is the tone. The movie would've worked much better if it was a straight war drama with a Western paint job. A different take on your typical Rambo-type character; one that's a down-and-dirty gunslinger. But, this clashes with some scenes that you might find in A Fistful Of Dollars, just without Sergio Leone's masterful use of suspense. Wales will take out numerous opponents with apparent ease, and then we'll go to a scene of quiet remorse for his lost family. They just don't fit together. The only other notable flaw that comes to mind is Bill McKinney's performance. He's quite a one-note villain, and is another facet of the movie holding it back. I know this could be a unique, complex movie, but as-is, it's still a strong entry in the Eastwood catalogue.
1 month 2 weeks ago
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GrooveRemote

This is a weird movie. Weird, in that it's both low-brow and pretentious at the same time. Weird, in that it's like a cross between Schindler's List and Kazaam. Weird, in that it portrays an almost-romantic relationship between a child and an adult. Weird, in that it spans tonal gorges, from super over-the-top and cheesy, to saccharine. It's really weird.

It's not a bad movie, it's just... really weird. There are good aspects. The two lead performances are excellent. They're both absolutely perfect in their roles, as a lonely man living in a world of darkness who discovers a ray of light, and hesitates with how to react, and a stuck-up brat (a slight jab at ol' Natalie Portman, if it wasn't already clear). The action scenes are top-notch. Besson, for his bizarre faults, knows how to stage and pace an incredibly intense bit of violence, and the build-up is often even better. I had to remind myself a few times that Mathilda doesn't die in the first act. There are also some great, quiet scenes. Little ones of Leon with his plant, and such.

It's not a great movie, though. Gary Oldman did not do as well as the other actors. While I enjoy a hammy villain (Tim Curry is my favourite actor, after all), I don't welcome one that doesn't fit the movie that they're in. I think his presence is partially responsible for the tonal inconsistency. There are also some very sappy scenes that come off as creepy because of Mathilda and Leon's weird relationship. They were dumb to begin with, but it just adds an extra layer of discomfort. There's also a long stretch of movie (the entire second act, actually) where it changes from a gritty-yet-cheesy '90s action movie to a family dramady, and it did hamper my level of engagement with the movie.

There are some weird aspects to discuss. The implied nature of Mathilda and Leon's relationship is really pretty disarming. I was sure that there wouldn't be any sexual subtext to this movie, and that the things I'd heard were really just jokes, but it almost goes there. I really don't understand the argument that Mathilda is like an adult in a child's body, and vice versa. My take-away was that she thought she was tough and independent, but really did need somebody. And the same for Leon, but in a different way. He needed someone to bring that side out of him. But, the implications just sour the potential. It's also both great and terrible at the same time. I like this movie about 50% sincerely, and 50% ironically, because it really is a representation of the best and worst of '90s movies. It's stylish and full of great human drama, but it's also obnoxiously in-your-face.

It's a weird package that's definitely worth watching, if only for Gary Oldman screaming "EVERYONE!"
2 months ago
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GrooveRemote

I'm that guy that didn't really like the first one. It was occasionally funny, but generally pretty forgettable. This one did everything the first one did right even better, and got rid of the bad crap. First, the direction. Tim Miller is a fine director. He gets the job done. David Leitch is absolutely great, though. The boring look of the first movie really impacted the amount of fun I had, but this one has much better lighting and camerawork, as well as the colour scheme. The pops of vibrancy in a number of scenes, especially in the Cable scenes (his introduction, the interrogation). Then, you have the plot. To me, the first one was a relatively standard origin story painted in blood. The drive of the story here feels much more geared to the characters. And, oh, those characters. Not only has Deadpool himself grown on me, you have a larger host of lovable and memorable cast members. And they all have sparks of both drama and comedy, and it's almost always not jarring (I will give you a couple of moments of inappropriately-placed jokes). The jokes are also dialed up to eleven. Again, I'm gonna rag on the first one: I felt that it (the first movie) mentioned some pop culture things, but never actually did much with them. This time around, there are more jokes, and they're funnier. Compare the spoiler joke from the first movie, to this one. Tell me with a straight face that the first one was more imaginative (I would add funny, but that's just so personal).

My only complaints, as of having seen it today, are that Cable exists mostly to deliver exposition, and the use of slow motion and rack focus is very excessive, to the point of being slightly distracting. That said, one of the most fun, creative superhero movies I've seen. Not quite a favourite, but only time will tell.

I'd put a joke from the movie here, but it'd be criminal to spoil any of them. Team Dopinder.
2 months ago
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GrooveRemote

I distinctly remember this from my childhood. I loved Rankin-Bass, and had a number of them on VHS. I loved this movie for Vincent Price, one of the first actors I ever recognized beyond their characters. Other than that, it's pretty boring. The characters are bland, and the world doesn't feel nearly as well-defined as in the other Rankin-Bass specials. That's about all I've got. The bonnet lady shows up out of nowhere, and she's treated like an established character. She sucked then, and sucks now.
2 months 2 weeks ago
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GrooveRemote

I didn't get it.

I read a few reviews after watching MASH, because I couldn't comprehend the praise. Roger Ebert presented an interesting approach, but not one that I could get behind. A recurring thread, though, was the use of the word "satire." Is it satire? Maybe it's me, but the idea that this was anything but a straight-forward comedy in the vein of, say, Stripes, just doesn't ring true to me. If it is satire, and the bland machismo is some kind of statement on coping with the hardships of war, or how war is glorified, then I must have missed it. The ER scenes do strike me as a tad out-of-place in some occasions. Sometimes, though, there will be totally normal jokes within them, so I don't know if they really do have any significance. I feel like I'm reaching, here, because I want to find this great satire that people talk about. However, all I see is a decent comedy, played straight. There are some good gags and less-good ones. The performances were where I thought the comedy was best-handled, particularly by Gary Burghoff and David Arkin, who play Radar and Vollmer, respectively. Both are consistently hilarious, and bring an extra touch to their characters. The other characters are mostly bland and unlikable, though Donald Sutherland salvaged what could've been a repulsive character in Hawkeye Pierce (Elliott Gould didn't do so well). And, sadly, when the comedy doesn't work, the other flaws shine brighter. An episodic structure is just fine; a chunk of Tarantino's filmography is made up of great, episodically-structured movies. This one, though, doesn't really have any larger plot. It's just sort of a series of little stories, most of which are not terribly interesting. It's hard to pick a worst one. The broadcast of Frank and "Hot Lips' " encounter, while uncomfortably juvenile, did yield some enjoyable moments from Duvall; Marston (I think his name was Marston) believing that he was turning into a homosexual was mostly dull, especially when its central character and performance were so bland, but the upbeat song about suicide and the jovial duo performing it got a chuckle. I just don't see the appeal. Give it a shot, but don't get your hopes up too high.
2 months 3 weeks ago
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GrooveRemote

I'm not surprised that the story didn't charm many. It's not the most original story, and the way it's told does become repetitive by the end (Armand encounters a character, and a flashback illustrates their memory of Van Gogh). I, however, thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn't see it as a film noir. I feel like the entire point was that it isn't a murder mystery; how trying to turn this story into a conventional mystery just doesn't work, because life often isn't that way.

The current-time sequences were certainly very beautiful and interesting, but I found that the flashbacks were more successful, because they didn't have the concern of mimicking Van Gogh's style. They were visually striking and beautiful, with fantastic lighting. The scene of Theo at his brother's bedside needs to be on a wall. That's not to take away from the breathtaking colour sequences, though. I was surprised that the people never moved stiffly, and the acting (as in physical acting) worked very well for me. The vocal performances, I will grant, obviously did not come from voice actors. The nature of these accomplished actors' somewhat stilted performances suggested to me that they dubbed over their lines after filming, but I can't find any information confirming that. The protagonist also isn't terribly likable. I understand why the character was the way that he was, but I never felt a particular connection to him.

However, I was consistently invested in the plot, and the themes of regret I thought were executed well. It's alright.
2 months 3 weeks ago
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GrooveRemote

Spectacular. I can't believe I waited this long to watch this movie, especially when I love political thrillers and social commentary so much.

I saw it as a deconstruction of political rhetoric. We start with our main characters as honorable veterans, and slowly break down their spirit. Even when it seems like the threat is an external one, we learn just how little difference there is between sides. Perhaps I missed it, but I thought it was an excellent detail in not naming any political parties, aside from communist. I felt like that illustrated this idea that there is evil everywhere, and the USA is not all apple pie and the flag. And the use of spoiler as our villain seems to me representative of this, as such a person is sort of a symbol of America (shame on anyone who spoiled it. I won't, just in case).

The plot does contain some coincidences, but to me the important thing is that they don't get in the way of the powerful and intense narrative. I could see such things bothering others, but it was only a minor annoyance for me. The direction is great, with lots of well-placed close-ups. The finale is made even more intense, with the juxtaposition of frantic dutch angles and sweeping shots of Sinatra running to save the President, versus cold, still shots of the assassin. The acting is great. Sinatra is believable, and never oversteps the boundaries of his character. Even when he's paranoid and distraught, he has that air of militant composure. Harvey takes you on an emotional journey, though I did sometimes find him a tad over-the-top. Angela Lansbury, as others have mentioned, is a very charismatic, yet proportionately unlikable domineering mother. I'm not sure what role Janet Leigh really plays in this story. I feel like multiple viewings would enrich this experience. But, I can safely say after one viewing that you should see this movie with any chance you get. I doubt it will disappoint, especially if you're into the things I mentioned.
3 months 2 weeks ago
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GrooveRemote

While certainly not one of the worst, this is not a good movie. I never expected it to be. The odd thing about it, though, is that it exceeded my expectations, but it disappointed me in doing so. I watched it expecting schlock in the vein of Maximum Overdrive, but what I got was just forgettable in almost every aspect. The two highlights are the direction, and the lead performance. I have not seen any other Carpenter movies (this is actually the beginning of a bit of a Carpenter marathon over the next couple of days), but he really energizes the tense scenes. If the director of this movie was any other hack, I think I'd have to give it a dislike, but Carpenter's interesting angles add a lot. He turns what could be a laughable concept and villain into something legitimately intimidating. I also singled out the lead performance, not because it's good, but because it's so cheesy. The other characters are forgettable, but the odd direction that Arnie goes in coupled with the over-the-top acting and terrible dialogue make him the one so-bad-it's-good aspect. I'm not sure if anything else is worth mentioning. All of the other characters are either bland, clichéd, unlikable, or all of the above. The plot is mostly very typical, except for spoiler. Despite this, the movie never really sticks to a protagonist, and you're not sure who you should cling to. If this had a less trashy script, I think it could actually be great. But, the version we got just grinds my gears.
3 months 2 weeks ago
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GrooveRemote

A Natalie Wood biopic that takes some creative liberties.
3 months 3 weeks ago
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GrooveRemote

God, how the hell does Marvel do it? They said that the first Avengers (not to be confused with The First Avenger) would be a mess, and it was fun and engaging. Now, they've made a movie with about 20 main characters, and it's really good. Granted, it isn't high art, but for what it is it has a good amount of depth and resonated with me. The last non-spoiler thing I'll say is that even though it's not particularly unique, it works really well. It goes without saying that it beats the shit out of anything DC has done (including Wonder Woman).

spoiler

Maybe I'm too confident in Marvel. It's not as if all of their movies have pleased me. Their most successful one in the last year disappointed me, and they may be headed down that track, because almost no critics had the balls to say T'Challa was dull (OK, maybe it was just me). However, if the upcoming fourth Avengers is as pleasing as this one, and can cap off Thanos' story satisfyingly, I'll be happy. Hell, maybe they'll go in a grittier direction. If the FOX deal goes through, a darker, but still MCU-based X-Men could be fantastic. Then again, a dark Fantastic Four would be a very bad idea.

I'll just stop indulging myself now.

Edit: somebody apparently complained about spoiler. If you're going to nitpick, do it right.
3 months 3 weeks ago
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GrooveRemote

I questioned seeing this movie. I had a feeling of the kind of movie it was going to be (and I was not wrong), but I convinced myself to go anyway. First, the subject matter is one that needs addressing. It's definitely an important issue, but I don't really know what to say on the topic, seeing as I don't know much about it, and Siskoid already said a lot. I went in worried I'd get a bland sermon, and came out with something really weird.

I'll start with what I liked, because I can sum it up a little quicker: the cinematography was often gorgeous. There are some lapses in the quality of the direction, but it was competent. There are a few beautifully quiet scenes, but they are sometimes marred by other elements. It ultimately doesn't lack focus, and effectively got me to empathize with Saul, whose arc is relatively well-illustrated.

I'll now move on to the bad stuff, or, perhaps more accurately, the weird stuff. First of all, the overuse of slow-motion and echo effects (often used in tandem) in this movie is distracting, to say the least. A lot of the dramatic scenes feel overly manipulative, because of this Peter Jackson-esque embellishment. The acting in this movie is generally quite bad. The best examples I can give are all of the child actors, one of Saul's fellow Moose (the one that's "26-years-old"), and especially the staff of the residential school. My god, Father Gaston was awful. It's hard for me to explain bad acting without something tangible, but let's say his delivery was laughable. While it is effectively heartbreaking in some scenes, some made me want to chuckle a little bit. The slow-motion can be thanked, but also the ADR in a particular scene early on (maybe you'll know what I'm talking about). It's edited like a horror movie trailer, with bizarre sound design. And there's a twist at the end that is jarringly out-of-place. Just that there's a "twist" at all feels odd. The whole third act feels out-of-place in the way it's told, even compared to the striking differences between the first and second acts. Every act would probably fit better in a different movie.

All-in-all, it's passable. 5/10.
3 months 4 weeks ago
GrooveRemote's avatar

GrooveRemote

I didn't like it. It was directed and shot very well. The lighting stuck out to me, particularly a scene outside a diner. It visually illustrates the conflict that the script sure as hell doesn't deliver on in any interesting way. The acting is good, for the most part, though nothing I'm really going to remember. Other than that, there wasn't really anything I liked about this movie. For starters, the characters. They're relatively flat. The protagonists aren't much beyond stereotypes of the stuffy scholar and the free-spirited wild child. And the supporting characters are basically placeholders. From Cay's step-mother (who does get a decent scene towards the end, but is mostly just the simple-minded authority figure that stands in the way of the romance), to her boss, and her best friend. All of them are one-note, and that note is one you've heard in ever other god damn romance ever. Speaking of which, this movie is just every other god damn romance ever. Replace the social taboo in this movie with any other one you've seen in any other movie, and it wouldn't make a difference. And the plot is SO bare-bones that they can't spice it up with an added detail. It's such a plain setting that the only thing that you're left with is a bland romance. Last, I'll talk about the plot. It's a romance. What do you expect? As mentioned, it's not much of anything. It's all of the same "I can't, I'm a respected individual of society" stuff I've seen in a billion other movies. I wanted to like it, but I didn't find it nearly compelling enough to forgive its lack of, really, anything.
4 months ago
GrooveRemote's avatar

GrooveRemote

I see why the other users have complained about the climax. It certainly caught me off-guard. And while the original ending would've suited the rest of the movie a bit better, I really liked the way it ended. I expected a typical Hitchcock thriller. And even at that, a quite slow one. However, the way it ended totally changed my perception of the whole movie. Instead of a predictable Rear Window-type plot (I say "-type" because Rear Window is an incredible movie with a simple but well-executed plot), it ended up being a spoiler. Great acting also helps a lot, though I think we should've followed Lina throughtout, instead of switching perspectives. Seeing everything through her eyes would've greatly improved the plot. The first act instead feels somewhat pointless, and seeing things from her perspective when they meet would've benefited her character. Still, an excellent movie. If halfway through you feel like nothing's happening, wait.

Edit: it might be a better movie if it was more focused. Hitchcock wanted to make what I would say is your typical Hitchcock (suspense, not mystery), and the studio didn't want that. The ending would work much better if the rest of the movie fit more with it. As-is, it's alright. At least it's something different, for a Hitchcock movie.
4 months 1 week ago

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