The Official Review Thread of 2018

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5268
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:58 pm

The Original BJ wrote:
anonymous1980 wrote:The film is EVERYTHING anyone wants in a superhero movie.


Define anyone. :D


Maybe not you. :lol:

Well, did you at least like The Incredibles, BJ?

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6587
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:51 pm

I don't know how many of you saw the Richard Donner/Mel Gibson Maverick. My recollection of it is, the narrative basically went "we're doing a con -- no, actually, the conners are being conned -- no, wait, the second con is actually a reverse con"...till, at a certain point, I decided I didn't give one fuck about any of it.

I reached that point about 90 minutes into Mission Impossible: Fallout. There'd been so many groups of people showing up shouting "surprise", many of whose identities I was in the dark about (partly because I didn't have instant recall of every previous installment of the franchise), that I just grew weary of the bottomless twist. (And the allegedly big surprise became, conversely, almost completely predictable.)

Maverick, at least, was viewed as a mediocre-to-poor movie that summer. But critics this year told me that Mission Impossible: Fallout was the seasonal standout. This, evidently, was due to its many extensive action sequences. But do people really enjoy these endless, ever-more-outlandish physical/logical impossibilities? After a while, the set pieces felt to me like bumps of cocaine when you were already high -- trying desperately to push yourself higher, but really just a desperate attempt to feel that way without much physical result.

Overall, I had the reaction I do to so many summer movies when I watch them in winter: god, I'm glad I didn't pay theatre prices for that.

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 4252
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:07 pm

anonymous1980 wrote:The film is EVERYTHING anyone wants in a superhero movie.


Define anyone. :D

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5268
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:22 am

BEN IS BACK
Cast: Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges, Courtney B. Vance, Kathryn Newton, Rachel Bay Jones.
Dir: Peter Hedges.

A recovering drug addict returns home to the family for Christmas but trouble follows him everywhere he goes. I'm surprised this actually got a theatrical release here. It's very appropriate because of the subject matter (and hey, it's a Christmas movie). Personally, for me, the script is just a little better than a Lifetime movie and/or an after-school special and the direction is just okay. But what makes this film work is the truly magnificent performances of both Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges. I must say, I think this is one of Julia Roberts' career-best performances. I don't think I've quite seen this side of her much. This is a pretty solid drama overall. Though it doesn't break new ground when it comes to its subject matter, its heart is in the right place.

Oscar Prospects: Roberts and Hedges wouldn't make embarrassing Best Actress and Actor nominees respectively.

Grade: B.

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
Cast: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Nicolas Cage, Liev Schreiber, Kathryn Hahn, Brian Tyree Henry, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoe Kravitz, Chris Pine (voices).
Dirs: Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman.

Okay, I can't wait to see this movie again. This is indeed the best cinematic reincarnation of Spider-Man and I liked/loved a lot of the past ones. This time, it focuses on Miles Morales, an African-American teenage boy who gets bitten by a radioactive spider and becomes a Spider-Man and he finds various incarnations of other Spider-People in his world as they must stop Kingpin from using a particle accelerator to open alternate parallel universes to resurrect his family. The film is EVERYTHING anyone wants in a superhero movie. It is hilarious. It's just enough meta but not obnoxious. It has some eye-candy action sequences. Yet it still manages to be a really sweet, touching coming-of-age film. There's been a glut of superhero movies lately. Some of them have been really good. Some have them were meh. But this managed to surprise and excite me, someone who generally enjoys them. Yes, it's one of the best films of the year.

Oscar Prospects: Yes, this should be a worthy Animated Feature nominee.

Grade: A.

User avatar
Precious Doll
Emeritus
Posts: 3609
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 2:20 am
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Precious Doll » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:29 am

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

I only went to this for two reasons:

1) Its being widely tipped as a possible Oscar nominee for animated feature and will have finished its run by the time the nominations are announced;

2) All the raves did get me curious enough.

I have scant knowledge of comic books and am only familiar with Spiderman via the animated TV show when I was a child, the Spiderman TV movie with Nicholas Hammond from the very lates 1970s and the Spiderman films directed by Sam Raimi - I've avoided the subsequent films in the series.

This appears to be taking Spiderman into new territory (for me anyway) and to be honest I found this a rather tedious effort for the most part - its basically a superhero coming of age film. A couple of the minor characters are amusing and it has a few good moments. The Stan Lee cameo is terrific but I left this very perplexed by the level of acclaim. The animation itself is fresh and different - always a plus to see these films expanding looks and designs.

I've seen very little in the way of animation this year. Only Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mirai and a little known film from Switzerland appropriately called Chris the Swiss which does not appear to have picked up barely any distribution details - shame as it is the best of all of these.

Anyway, I have no doubt that fans of Spiderman & Marvel will get a real kick out of the film and thoroughly enjoy themselves - and power to them for that. The reality is this film is not intended for me and I could never get into its grove.
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

dws1982
Tenured
Posts: 3011
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:28 pm
Location: AL
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby dws1982 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:31 am

The 15:17 to Paris
I'm kind of surprised that the Cahiers guys didn't go revisionist and put this in their top ten of the year. I mean, they did with True Crime back in the day. (Which has some of Eastwood's best stuff right alongside some of his absolute worst.)

I feel like maybe part of my job here at the UAADB is to make a case for even the most unpopular Eastwood, so I'll try. First off: The decision to cast the three guys as themselves is an interesting idea in theory that, for the most part, does not pay off in execution. Eastwood never uses them in the way that Kiarostami used his actors to in Close-Up, and I don't think that their presence adds anything that we wouldn't have gotten from professional actors in these roles. The performances, even from the professional actors, often feel "off". (Side note: This has some of the most bizarre casting since Don Rickles and Dick Smothers showed up in Casino.) I'll also say that this is much more interesting on an analytical/intellectual level than on a dramatic one. So much about the movie is just baffling on a basic dramatic/storytelling level. But Eastwood is dealing with some interesting ideas, even in the childhood sequence. I can't think of many other mainstream, wide-release movies that look at the connection between American religious fundamentalism and militarism, even suggesting (not loudly or insistently, but it's there) that the desire and need to see and experience war is a kind of fundamentalism itself, and it doesn't seem to be a coincidence that these two types of fundamentalism often function in tandem. These kids have been socialized to have an unhealthy understanding of violence and military service. They see military service as one of the highest things they can aspire to. What movie poster is shown prominently on the wall of one of the boy's rooms? Full Metal Jacket, of course. If there's a movie that's more fetishized (and misunderstood) by a subset of American youth, I can't think of it. These guys, even as 12 year-olds, actively and openly talk about wanting to go to war. They see themselves not just destined for something big, but almost "called" to be heroes. (Many fundamentalist churches put a great deal of emphasis on God's calling for their lives.) But then, when two of the three guys go off to the military, they find themselves disappointed. Like the school system, the bureaucracy of the military has proven to be a disappointment. These guys, Spencer especially (the closest the film has to a protagonist) aren't necessarily great fits for the military, because the military seems to stress the exact things that they struggled with in school: conformity, rules, procedures. So what Eastwood suggests is that maybe the impulses that led these guys to perform their act of heroism was not something they learned in the military, but rather a sense of individuality and non-conformism that made them ill-suited for the military. (I've barely mentioned it, but I thought that the train sequence was just excellent--tense and emotional in a way that the rest of the film never approaches.) So, despite what many reviews said, the movie never tries to posit that these guys were uniquely qualified to do what they did because of their military training (one of the guys was not in the military anyway), and there seems to be a tension at play between the military's idea of manhood and, for lack of a better term, Eastwood's idea of it. I'm not sure that Eastwood fully develops a point-of-view on the tension at the heart of the story; I think this tension is much more developed and much more raw and emotional in American Sniper.

I saw one Letterboxd review that said that in failing to make a good film, Eastwood has stumbled into a great one. I'm not sure that I'd go all the way to "great", but it is an interesting one, and I think if it is bad in some places, it is bad in an interesting and (certainly) unique way. I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone else here, but I do think there's more going on than most reviewers were willing to grant.

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7495
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Sabin » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:34 pm

Reza wrote
anonymous1980 wrote
Oscar Prospects: Too bad it's not doing too well at the box-office. It does deserve at least Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress (Debicki & Rodriguez) and Film Editing.

Rodriguez has the same glum expression throughout as in all the Fast & Furious films.

Agreed. Rodriguez is not in the discussion nor does she deserve to be at all. She was disappointing in this overall very disappointing film.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8233
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:56 pm

anonymous1980 wrote:WIDOWS

Oscar Prospects: Too bad it's not doing too well at the box-office. It does deserve at least Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress (Debicki & Rodriguez) and Film Editing.

Grade: A-


Rodriguez has the same glum expression throughout as in all the Fast & Furious films.

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5268
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:53 am

WIDOWS
Cast: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Brian Tyree Henry, Garrett Dillahunt, Carrie Coon, Jon Bernthal, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Jacki Weaver, Lukas Haas, Kevin J. O'Connor.
Dir: Steve McQueen.

After their criminal husbands die in a botched heist, three women decide to finish the jobs themselves to pay off their debts and make some money. Based on a British TV series by Lynda LaPlante, on the surface, this appears to be just another heist thriller. But under the direction of Steve McQueen, it becomes much, much more. He layers in themes of race, class, gender, politics and bakes them into the narrative, making it more thought-provoking and rich. Unlike most other heist movies, the film is far more interested in character rather than plot or action. Yes, you do get a few action sequences (McQueen actually does it well) but the film is more interested in something else. There is a large ensemble cast here headed by Viola Davis and McQueen does not waste any of them, they're all uniformly great. Yes, this is a superb piece of work.

Oscar Prospects: Too bad it's not doing too well at the box-office. It does deserve at least Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress (Debicki & Rodriguez) and Film Editing.

Grade: A-

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5268
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:12 am

EIGHTH GRADE
Cast: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan, Daniel Zholgadri.
Dir: Bo Burnham.

Man, this film was painful to watch. But it's still one of the best films of the year. Thirteen year old Kayla is about to go to high school and is struggling to fit in. Even though the main protagonist is female and a full generation younger than I am, I still found this to hit close to home on my personal experience at this stage of life. It's appropriate that internet personality Bo Burnham makes his feature writing and directing debut to be about the YouTube/Snapchat generation and he does it with flying colors. Thankfully, it seems he seems to lean more towards Linklater and Truffaut than John Hughes. The performances are fantastic. Elsie Fisher is wonderful and I also loved Josh Hamilton as her dad (rivals Michael Stuhlbargh as Best Movie Dad of 2010's) and Jake Ryan almost steals the movie as Kayla's quirky friend.

Oscar Prospects: A strong contender for Original Screenplay though it's also deserving of Picture, Director, Actress and Supporting Actor.

Grade: A-

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5268
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:06 am

A PRIVATE WAR
Cast: Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Stanley Tucci, Tom Hollander, Faye Marsay, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Corey Johnson.
Dir: Matthew Heineman.

This is documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman's feature narrative debut and it's a very good one. It tells the true story of Marie Colvin, the war correspondent for the Sunday Times who puts her own life on the line to break stories about the human casualties in war-torn areas. I can't help but wonder Rosamund Pike isn't being talked up more as a Best Actress Oscar candidate (as of this writing). She is amazing as Marie Colvin, a passionate, driven, ambitious yet deeply flawed human being who wishes to shine the light on the voiceless victims of war. It is a very compelling story and a very human story as well. It does at times hit the notes too hard but its heart is mostly in the right place. Plus it was brilliantly shot by Robert Richardson.

Oscar Prospects: Rosamund Pike deserves a Best Actress nomination.

Grade: B+

CREED II
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Dolph Lundgren, Wood Harris, Russell Hornsby, Phylicia Rashad, Florian "Big Nasty" Munteanu, Brigitte Nielsen, Milo Ventimiglia.
Dir: Steven Caple Jr.

The sequel to Creed which gave new life to the Rocky franchise has Creed facing off against his father's and Rocky's old Russian nemesis Ivan Drago and his son. Though it is far from a bad film, Ryan Coogler's creative presence as both a writer and a director is sorely missed but to be fair, they did try their darndest to recreate the magic. Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone are both wonderful. The film's biggest flaw and a wasted opportunity is the depiction of the Drago's since I think it would've been a far more compelling story had they've been a bit more sympathetic. There was a little bit at the end but I think it was too little, too late. Tessa Thompson is, as usual, awesome. I think this will play better to true Rocky fans.

Oscar Prospects: Original Song, maybe.

Grade: B-

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5268
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:56 am

BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Lewis Pullman, Cailee Spaeney, Nick Offerman.
Dir: Drew Goddard.

Seven strangers find themselves checked in at the El Royale, a hotel-casino located in the border of California and Nevada and of course strange and criminal things start to go on. Though it's a tad too long and at times poorly paced, this is a refreshing original and grown-up piece of filmmaking that we hardly see anymore. The excellent ensemble cast was simply game at bringing to life this excellent piece of neo-noir. It's twisted and occasionally wickedly funny with a cool soundtrack. Now that makes it sounds like a '90s Tarantino rip-off and in a way, it kind of is but it's so much more than that. It's also a surprisingly thought-provoking and moving meditation on spirituality, religion and redemption as well, something I did not expect. It's not perfect but it's a gem of a film.

Oscar Prospects: It will be overlooked mostly.

Grade: B+

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer, Alan Tudyk, Ed O'Neill, Bill Hader, Alfred Molina (voices).
Dirs: Rich Moore, Phil Johnston.

The sequel to Wreck It Ralph has best friends Ralph and Vanellope going to the Internet to help buy the part needed to repair her arcade game. The plot seems simplistic but there's more, which I won't spoil, and it's surprisingly moving, intelligent and fantastic. The rest of the film is of course a laugh fest filled with some of the best internet and pop culture related jokes and sight gags. Yes, there's a lot of shameless cross-promotion of the Disney brand and Disney properties but kind of like The LEGO Movie, the film embraces it and makes it a shit-ton of fun and a lot of imagination. It is probably the best internet-film since The Social Network. Although personally, I fear this might become dated in a few years, no matter how clever it is (in fact, I'm kind of impressed it didn't feel dated now since a film like this does take a few years to make.)

Oscar Prospects: I think it could WIN Animated Feature since the original did not. It's also a contender for Original Song ("Zero" and "A Place Called Slaughter")

Grade: A-

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7495
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Sabin » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:40 pm

Big Magilla wrote
Rich people falling in love and marrying at the end of the movie, royal or otherwise, are a staple of the Hallmark movie channel. You're thinking of the Hallmark specials which used to air on network TV and were of a much classier nature.

There were no royal wedding films from Hollywood outside of the early operettas in the late 20s and early 30s except for the Jeanette McDonald-Nelson Eddy films which fell out of fasion by the late 30s although one or two may have sputttered through the early 40s.

Fair enough. Dumb thought. Disregard that point.

OscarGuy wrote
The film is about the Americanization of foreign cultures, specifically Asian. The symbiosis of a very traditional mindset with that of a more liberal, and sometimes more enlightened, American one. It's also about traditionalism being corrupted by wealth and power.

Simple narratively, sure. I would definitely not say generic. There are some very gorgeous scenes and that closing bit in the Mah Jongg parlor is one of the best scenes of the year. I'd even consider some elements, such as Cinematography and Production Design, superb for a modern-set film.

The film is only about the Americanization of foreign cultures in that it is a gross film. I don’t think the film says anything about it at all. Both sides are “Americanized.” The Americanized plucky young woman wins out over the Americanized wealthy family, which by definitive favors the MORE Americanized young woman who is further away from both identities — at least existing in this film, maybe not the book. It’s not saying anything specific for one reason: this is an American crowd-pleaser.

It’s a good-looking film that deserves mention for Production and Costume Design.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

User avatar
OscarGuy
Site Admin
Posts: 12575
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 12:22 am
Location: Springfield, MO
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby OscarGuy » Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:42 am

The film is about the Americanization of foreign cultures, specifically Asian. The symbiosis of a very traditional mindset with that of a more liberal, and sometimes more enlightened, American one. It's also about traditionalism being corrupted by wealth and power.

Simple narratively, sure. I would definitely not say generic. There are some very gorgeous scenes and that closing bit in the Mah Jongg parlor is one of the best scenes of the year. I'd even consider some elements, such as Cinematography and Production Design, superb for a modern-set film.
Wesley Lovell
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15830
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:18 am

Sabin wrote:
Big Magilla wrote
Why would this show up on TCM (Turner Classic Movies)? There is nothing classic about this thing. It's more a movie for the Hallmark Channel, if that.

The plot feels like any number of generc royal wedding films plucked from the 30’s or 40’s, minus any trace of wit or insight. It doesn’t feel Hallmark to me. It just feels old and not very memorable.

Rich people falling in love and marrying at the end of the movie, royal or otherwise, are a staple of the Hallmark movie channel. You're thinking of the Hallmark specials which used to air on network TV and were of a much classier nature.

There were no royal wedding films from Hollywood outside of the early operettas in the late 20s and early 30s except for the Jeanette McDonald-Nelson Eddy films which fell out of fasion by the late 30s although one or two may have sputttered through the early 40s.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire


Return to “2018”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest