The Official Review Thread of 2017

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:20 am

dws1982 wrote:Good Time
This may be not he wrong side of bizarre for some (Magilla, I believe you'll absolutely hate it), but I loved this.


Could be - Amazon says "customers who bought this also bought The Killing of a Sacred Deer, A Ghost Story and The Florida Project", three films I did hate, but I will check it out at some point. I do think that Pattinson is a vastly underrated actor.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby Reza » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:39 am

dws1982 wrote:Good Time
This may be not he wrong side of bizarre for some (Magilla, I believe you'll absolutely hate it), but I loved this. It's a fairly standard setup--fallout from a bank robbery--but it goes off in several unexpected directions both narratively and aesthetically. It's a crazy trip, and it manages to convey the messiness and sloppiness of these lives without being messy and sloppy itself--this is a truly expertly made film. Cinematography, editing, sound design, and score are all top-notch. Actors are excellent as well--Pattinson is as good as you've heard, and Ben Safdie (who also co-directed, edited, and worked on the sound design) as the mentally-challenged brother manages to make the final scene almost unbearably moving. Similar to Call Me By Your Name, it sticks with the character through the credits, and the emotions that Safdie gets at here are every bit as complicated as those that Chalamet conjured up in Call Me By Your Name.


Pattinson deserved a slot on the Best Actor list. Most certainly better than Denzel Washington who unfortunately managed to hog the 5th slot.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby dws1982 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:35 pm

Good Time
This may be on the wrong side of bizarre for some (Magilla, I believe you'll absolutely hate it), but I loved this. It's a fairly standard setup--fallout from a bank robbery--but it goes off in several unexpected directions both narratively and aesthetically. It's a crazy trip, and it manages to convey the messiness and sloppiness of these lives without being messy and sloppy itself--this is a truly expertly made film. Cinematography, editing, sound design, and score are all top-notch. Actors are excellent as well--Pattinson is as good as you've heard, and Ben Safdie (who also co-directed, edited, and worked on the sound design) as the mentally-challenged brother manages to make the final scene almost unbearably moving. Similar to Call Me By Your Name, it sticks with the character through the credits, and the emotions that Safdie gets at here are every bit as complicated as those that Chalamet conjured up in Call Me By Your Name.
Last edited by dws1982 on Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:45 am

THE SHAPE OF WATER
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg.
Dir: Guillermo Del Toro.

A mute cleaning lady at a top secret government facility that houses an amphibious humanoid creature with whom she falls in love with. This film is clearly the work of a filmmaker who's also a dedicated cinephile. Every frame of this film is lovingly designed and shot and just bursting with passion. It emanates and shines through even the performances. It's basically an adult fairy tale which turns both the Little Mermaid trope and the monster falls in love with lady trope on its head and you totally buy into a it. I actually didn't love it as much as I expected it to. I still think Pan's Labyrinth is still Guillermo Del Toro's best work but this one is close.

Grade: A-

THE POST
Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Matthew Rhys, David Cross, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemmons, Zach Woods, Michael Stuhlbarg.
Dir: Steven Spielberg.

This is the true story about Katharine Graham who is trying to get used to her leadership duties as publisher of the Washington Post and editor Ben Bradlee, just as Pentagon Papers are being leaked into the public. This is of course an Important Issue film. It doesn't take a genius to see how relevant this film is to the current state of affairs in the world in both the United States and even in my home country of the Philippines where freedom of the press is currently being attacked. That said, this film is strictly mid-tier Spielberg at best. There's a lot of great things here, the performances are pretty great (not only Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks but also the fun supporting cast) but I often feel like this could've used a bit more editing in order to get rid of some major pacing issues. It's still a must-see though.

Grade: B.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:20 am

DETROIT
Cast: John Boyega, Will Poulter, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith, John Krasinski, Jason Mitchell, Jacob Latimore, Hannah Murray, Kaitlin Dever, Jack Reynor, Ben O'Toole, Nathan Davis Jr., Malcolm David Kelley, Joseph David-Jones, Tyler James WIlliams.
Dir: Kathryn Bigelow.

Set during the Detroit riots on 1967, this revolves around a specific incident involving police, some army men and the National Guard, interrogating a possible sniper in a motel which resulted in the deaths of three young black men. Though somewhat flawed, this is still quite a compelling and sadly, still relevant drama. I didn't know about this specific incident so the affair was fairly suspenseful. The acting of the ensemble is faultless. It's very clear that director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal had very good intentions in making this story. Though it's not a perfect film by any means, the backlash this film got in some quarters is a bit unfair. It is overall a solid, thought provoking, sadly timely drama.

Grade: B+

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:46 am

DARKEST HOUR
Cast: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Lily James, Ben Mendelsohn, Stephen Dillane, Ronald Pickup.
Dir: Joe Wright.

It's World War II. Hitler is wrecking havoc all across Europe and Winston Churchill is elected Prime Minister. I'm working my way through the Best Picture nominees and this is another one of them. Yes, Gary Oldman is very good the way Gary Oldman is good in most of his roles. His makeup is superb and he gets to give very long speeches and he yells at people. Most of the film is practically one long Oscar clip. Despite all that and the fact that it's pretty well-made, the film is a long and kind of dull and it almost feels like it borders into parody on what an "Oscar bait" movie is. It's for people who saw Dunkirk and thought, "I wanna see the political yelling behind this." Eh, my least favorite of the Best Picture nominees so far.

Grade: C

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby Sabin » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:20 am

Saw 'Baby Driver' again. There's a quick exchange about ten minutes into the film where Kevin Spacey (nothing too great in the film, but a bit strange thinking I'm not likely to see him phoning it in in another American movie for some time) says of Baby: "He's a good kid and a devil behind the wheel. What the hell else do you need to know?"

Man, do I wish the film took Spacey's advice. There are glimmers of excellence in the film as it goes along. Even though his role is dumb, Jon Hamm is quite good in this film and the diner scene set Barry White is gripping.

Not a fan, but I am rooting for it to steal the Best Film Editing Oscar from 'Dunkirk.'
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:36 am

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Cast: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Zeljko Ivanek, Caleb Landry Jones, Clarke Peters.
Dir: Martin McDonagh.

Frustrated by the lack of arrests, a mother whose daughter was raped and murdered put up the titular three billboards demanding justice much to the consternation of the town and the police department. Another Best Picture nominee down. Oh, this one. Where to start? The one element I will praise is the acting. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell are faultless. I can see why they've been sweeping the awards so far (even though I probably wouldn't have voted for them in their respective categories). In fact, the entire cast is really excellent. My problem is with what the script and by extension writer-director Martin McDonagh is trying to say. The racial element is there but I find that to be just one of many problem. There seems to be a lot of wanting to have its cake and eat it too. It lost me during one key scene which I won't spoil here. All in all, I didn't come away outright hating it (it would be far from the worst Best Picture winner if it does win) but I'm not jumping up and down in raves either.

Grade: B-

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:10 am

PHANTOM THREAD
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville.
Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson.

It's the 1950's and Reynolds Woodcock is a renowned fashion designer. He gets smitten by a beautiful young waitress and makes him his lover and his muse. This is quite simply one of the best films of the year. I have to say that the ending, I couldn't really call it a "twist" but let's say it is, made the film for me and took what's already an excellent film into a whole new level. But beyond that, it's an exquisitely acted and beautifully mounted film. The main acting trio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville and newcomer (at least to me) Vicky Krieps all give superb performances. As a filmmaker, I have to say, I'm truly impressed with writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson. He's been making a string of very different films that are distinctly his. Is it a masterpiece? I hate to use the word too often but it looks like it.

Grade: A.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:29 am

I, TONYA
Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Julianne Nicholson, Bobby Cannavale, Paul Walter Hauser, McKenna Grace.
Dir: Craig Gillespie.

This is the mockumentary which chronicles the life story of U.S. Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding in the events leading up to and immediately following the attack on fellow Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. When this incident happened, I've heard about it but I didn't know all the details so this film is like an eye-opener for me. I don't know how just how accurate it is of course but the mockumentary format as well as the fourth-wall-breaking "unreliable narrator" gimmick does make you question it. I wish it had either gone a bit further with it or cut it back since it couldn't seem to find the right balance of cartoonish absurdity and realism. However, the performances are impeccable. Margot Robbie is terrific. So is Allison Janney and Sebastian Stan. However, the one who steals the film for me is Paul Walter Hauser as the "bodyguard". He was friggin' hilarious. All in all, it's not quite a "knockout" but it's a solid black comedy.

Grade: B

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:49 am

OscarGuy wrote:Loved the music. Yes, the film had some major connective tissue issues, and some weirdly ignored plot devices collapses at inopportune points. However, I refuse to say it was a bad movie. It would make a great Broadway success when it does eventually transfer. And I think Pasek and Paul are far more deserving of recognition for this musical than they are for La La Land, the music to which was bland, weakly sung, and not particularly memorable. These songs are toe-tapping, rousing musical productions that would be at home on the stage and I suspect that their uplifting themes are the reason audiences love the film.


I agree the score is better than the outrageously over-rated La La Land and certainly better sung, but let's hope any transfer to the stage is years down the road.

The superior 1980 Cy Coleman-Michael Stewart Broadway musical, Barnum, is currently being revived in London by Cameron Mackintosh who could well bring it back to Broadway. The original production starred Tony winner Jim Dale and Glenn Close in her Tony nominated breakthrough role as Charity Barnum, dying after her soaring reprise of "The Colors of My Life", second only to the rousing "Come Follow the Band" in the show's engaging score. The show covers it all, ending with politician Barnum's lament: "Of course, that was a long time ago...and Joice Heth is gone and forgotten. And so's the American Museum...and the Living Whale...and Jennie Lind...and my poor Tom Thumb. And them reubens that came over on the Mayflower have gone to dust...and Tom Jefferson's a memory...and old Franklin's flown his last kite. So my kind of Humbug's disappeared. Pity."

It lost the Best Musical Tony to Evita.

A DVD of the 1981 London production starring Michael Crawford is available.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby OscarGuy » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:13 am

Since when do people care that movie musicals are anachronistic. I kinda of understand the frustration when something's about the music industry (see Dreamgirls, The). However, there is ZERO wrong with having an anachronistic score to a stage musical. A stage musical is, already, an anachronistic production style and is filled with bombast and soaring music.

Nothing in The Greatest Showman betrays that and I find those who use anachronism to attack the film are probably looking for any reason they can to attack it.

Also, has anyone actually read up on P.T. Barnum? Sure, he was an exploiter, but that was his time. He was, anti-slavery BEFORE the Civil War, left the Democrat party over it. He may have seemed a racist individual compared to modern mores, but in 1840s terms, he was incredibly liberal. His political career, other than the prohibition-style rhetoric, was largely one fighting for the common man, not simply exploiting it. He was also a debunker, disproving myths. He sure made money off it, but would we have expected anything different in the 1840s?

Yes, the film took some liberties with his life, took decades of his career and compressed them into the span of a single film, but as strange as it may sound, they touched on several important elements of his life and career. They embellished here and there, but it wasn't too far off the truth.

I don't think he should be hoisted up on some pedestal for being a fine example of a human being, but I also think people are going overboard on using "historical inaccuracy" or the glossing over of his darker elements to attack the film.

Yes, I enjoyed myself. Loved the music. Yes, the film had some major connective tissue issues, and some weirdly ignored plot devices collapses at inopportune points. However, I refuse to say it was a bad movie. It would make a great Broadway success when it does eventually transfer. And I thin Pasek and Paul are far more deserving of recognition for this musical than they are for La La Land, the music to which was bland, weakly sung, and not particularly memorable. These songs are toe-tapping, rousing musical productions that would be at home on the stage and I suspect that their uplifting themes are the reason audiences love the film. I didn't applaud at the end as the film definitely has serious problems, but they aren't as major as some claim and even seeing it weeks after release, the audience still applauded at the end.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:08 am

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Keala Settle.
Dir: Michael Gracey.

This to my mild surprise is not as bad as some reviews suggest it is. This is the highly fictionalized (to use the term generously) take on the life of P.T. Barnum and his early years to set up the Barnum and Bailey Circus. The film of course glosses over some of the dubious and notorious aspects of his life and turns him into some sort of champion of the outsider without a hint of irony. I personally have no objections to fictionalizing a real-life story but at least come up with something good and the script wasn't there unfortunately. I actually didn't mind the other aspects of it that people were complaining about: the anachronistic songs (some of which I actually like, courtesy of Pasek and Paul) along with the anachronistic choreography were fun. I can definitely see why this is a big hit though.

Grade: C+

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby dws1982 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:02 pm

Kong: Skull Island

The first movie I watched solely for Oscar completion purposes. I know Tee was relieved that he didn't have to sit through another Alien film, but this is pretty dismal in its own right. I guess I could see someone enjoying it if they're in the right mood, but I was not in the right mood. It was just a dull action movie for the first third, and then John C. Reilly showed up and it became actively irritating. But as a visual effects nominee, I can't really argue with it--the monsters are pretty impressively rendered--but it was a reminder of the downside of our quest to have an informed opinion about all the Oscar nominees. I guess I liked it better than Peter Jackson's King Kong, so that's something.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:29 pm

DOWNSIZING
Cast: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Kristen Wiig, Udo Kier, Jason Sudeikis.
Dir: Alexander Payne.

Set in the not-so-distant future where scientists finally figure out how to shrink humans safely in an effort to shrink our carbon footprint. This follows one such a man's experience into this new miniaturized world. This is the latest from writer-director Alexander Payne. It's probably his most ambitious both visually and thematically. I think he bit off more than he can chew this time, unfortunately. The world-building here is pretty terrific, I must say. The journey into what this world with this concept would be like is fascinating but once he goes deeper into the nitty-gritty of the ups and downs of it, he loses sight of it. There are too many things going on. Matt Damon is fine but it's Hong Chau who really makes the movie. She's both funny and touching in this role. It's worth seeing the movie just for her. Overall, not a triumph but a pleasant enough effort.

Grade: B-


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