The Official Review Thread of 2018

dws1982
Tenured
Posts: 3003
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:28 pm
Location: AL
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby dws1982 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:01 am

Mister Tee wrote: There's also the tired "teachers want to medicate our boys; they don't understand they're just boisterous" hokum that right-wingers like to promote.

Uhhh...over-medication is actually a very serious problem facing adolescents (mostly boys) today. Haven't seen the movie, and don't know how it portrays the issue (in my experience teachers generally don't encourage medication, for ethical and liability reasons, although maybe it was different in the 90's when these protagonists were in school), but over-medication is a huge issue with negative side effects (both in the short term, and in the long term) that I see all the time in my job and out of it with friends/family members.

Okri
Tenured
Posts: 2614
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:28 pm
Location: Edmonton, AB

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Okri » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:27 pm

Saw Hereditary to take a break from American politics. Very well done. The sound design is insanely good, as is Toni Collette.

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5236
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:00 am

OCEAN'S 8
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Akwafina, Richard Armitage, James Corden, Elliott Gould, Shaobo Qin, Dakota Fanning, Katie Holmes.
Dir: Gary Ross.

This is an all-female entry into the Ocean's 11 franchise has Danny Ocean's estranged sister Debbie rounding up a crew to rob the Met Gala of a $150 million diamond necklace. What else can I say? It's about as good as you may think it's gonna be. If you enjoyed the light, fluffy, fun guy Ocean's 11, there's no reason to suggest that this is any different. Yes, it's fun to see these fine actresses ham it up and have a good time with their roles (Anne Hathaway, in particular, is the standout) but that's really all there is there. Just a light fluffy heist film with a good amount of laughs and a fair amount of excitement. There's nothing wrong with that.

Oscar Prospects: Costume Design a remote possibility particularly the Met Gala sequence.

Grade: B

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6527
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:14 am

Not that I had any reason to expect the 15:17 to Paris would be good (reviews were pretty downbeat), but I was honestly shocked at just how bad a movie it is -- almost a non-movie, really. The central event occupies only about six minutes of screen-time, and the 75 or so minutes leading up to it are often-meandering filler.

Bad filler, at that: the opening sequence from the guys' schoolboy days is truly awful, seeming to seriously suggest a bunch of war-lovin' guys would be the objects of constant bullying. (In my experience, such guys are far more commonly the bulliers.) There's also the tired "teachers want to medicate our boys; they don't understand they're just boisterous" hokum that right-wingers like to promote. Much as I like much of Eastwood's work, there are times when I'm forcibly reminded he's the guy who talked inanely to a chair at the Republican convention.

And then there's an inexplicably lengthy European travelogue section -- the guys decide to go on a jaunt to multiple countries on the continent, and we just follow them around as they do nothing of interest, and nothing that builds to anything except, at long last -- after about half an hour -- the fateful train trip.

And even there the film fails for me, by neglecting to deal with the one truly tantalizing element in the narrative. (SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM, OR DON'T REMEMBER IT FROM WHEN IT OCCURRED.) One of our three main guys sees the armed terrorist advancing with his ammunition-rich weapon and makes a run at him. This would almost surely have led to his death -- the guy had a clear shot at him -- but, by some miracle, the weapon jammed, enabling our hero to get to him and ultimately disarm him. Eastwood shows this, for sure, but he doesn't delve into it at all. Surely the guy must have had some feeling about this -- that he was blessed, or simply uncannily lucky. But the film is content to just turn it into "if there's a crisis, you have to do something" moral lesson -- despite the fact that 99 out of 100 people wouldn't have had that dumb luck, and the act would have been suicidal. It typifies the film's dramatic and moral emptiness that this chance at exploring nuance is passed over for cheap heroics.

Of course, this isn't to suggest what the guy did wasn't brave. I can admire his raw courage, and be happy it led to such a positive outcome. I'm sure Eastwood felt this, too, and it's why he hired the three guy to play themselves. Unhappily, that choice has disastrous impact on the film: the presence of non-actors in the primary roles makes the film even worse than it would be based on its poor screenplay.

I don't know when Eastwood last made a film this bad. A grievous disappointment.

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5236
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:41 am

INCREDIBLES 2
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell, Huckleberry Milner, Catherine Keener, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Brad Bird, Sophia Bush, Phil LaMarr, Isabella Rossellini, John Ratzenberger, Michael Bird (voices).
Dir: Brad Bird.

Ever since the end credits rolled on the first movie, I've so wanted a sequel to The Incredibles, in my opinion, probably the best superhero movie ever made. Now, FOURTEEN years later, we finally get it. Did it live up to the expectations? Did it disappoint? Yes and no to both questions. The film starts right where the first one left off: Battling the Underminer and them getting into trouble again since superheroes are still person non grata in this world. A billionaire offers to facilitate a way to legalize super-heroism again but a villain plans to put a kibosh on those plans. Once again, the film has a lot of laughs and a lot of thrills, combining a family comedy with superhero action. But sadly, it's not quite as good as the original which is the worst thing I can say about it. It's still an excellent animated adventure feature but it's not even PIXAR's best sequel (second best, yes.)

Oscar Prospects: Animated Feature nomination for sure but I don't know if it's gonna win. However, the short that precedes it, Bao is a likely nominee and a potential winner in the Animated Short category.

Grade: B+

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5236
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:02 am

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Jeff Goldblum, James Cromwell, Ted Levine, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, B.D. Wong, Toby Jones, Isabella Sermon, Geraldine Chaplin.
Dir: J.A. Bayona.

The volcano in Isla Nublar, where the now defunct Jurassic World theme park is located, is about to erupt and they have to try and save at least some of the dinosaurs but the people in charge have less than altruistic intentions. The plot is pretty much lifted almost directly from The Lost World: Jurassic Park but the ridiculousness is so high, I often have trouble trying to suspend some of my disbelief as I've always done in movies like these. However, Spanish director J.A. Bayona effectively infuses some of his visual storytelling flair which made The Orphanage and A Monster Calls effective genre pictures which gives life to the film, at least in the climactic scenes. Is it a good film? Eh, I guess it's okay overall.

Oscar Prospects: Visual Effects.

Grade: C+

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6527
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:59 pm

I'm surprised BJ failed to note the one thing about First Reformed that immediately jumped out at me: Paul Schrader has performed a massive act of self-plagiarism, virtually re-writing his Taxi Driver script.

(SOME SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW, AS IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO FULLY MAKE MY POINT)

You have a isolated man suffering psychic pain in the aftermath of a disastrous war. He's putting his feverish thoughts into a journal, which we hear in voice-over. He becomes obsessed with the filth he sees all around him (the urban chaos of NY in the 70s now extended to the entire polluted planet). He has contempt for the bureaucrats who answer his questions with platitudes. He begins to contemplate a violent act in response to all this (an act that's aborted). His great redemptive relationship is with a younger, fair-haired girl, for whom he cares more than anyone else.

I'm not saying there's nothing more to the movie. There are all the elements BJ cites, and for the first hour I was intrigued by how Schrader was addressing many of his long-time passions, wondering how the film was going to take them somewhere satisfying. But once I saw that Hawke had held onto the (not to be completely spoiler-y) object, I had a sinking feeling I knew where the film was going (because I'd seen it before), and it wasn't very interesting waiting half an hour to get there. (I was supposed to know Hawke's plan, wasn't I? Because both Hawke's penultimate scene with Seyfried ("Don't come to the consecration") and his set-to with the megachurch guy ("I'll go to rehab after the consecration") made it feel really obvious that's where things were going.) Granted, the very ending was slightly unpredictable (chiefly by being "what did that mean?"), but not enough to offset that long stretch where I felt the plot had played out.

I certainly respect Ethan Hawke as a serious guy who wants to do significant cinema, but I can't say I felt he did anything here that much elevated the material. (If, like me you're mentally comparing him to deNiro, it's no contest.) I thought Amanda Seyfried gave by far the film's best performance...though all the actors were at least solid.

dws1982
Tenured
Posts: 3003
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:28 pm
Location: AL
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby dws1982 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:32 am

The Rider
It may be more-or-less played out in theaters, so you may have to wait for video/streaming, but this is very much worth seeing. It's about a rodeo rider trying to make sense of his life in the aftermath of a near-fatal accident. Worth seeing alone because of the world it depicts--it's set in a location and among a group of people who are almost never shown in contemporary movies. Almost recalls John Ford in its depiction of community--these people live and breathe the land that they live on. A movie like this could've easily fallen into one of two camps: wallowing in misery, and showing the guy be a bad-ass and push through the pain (and potential injury), but Claire Zhao shows shades of both as the main character wrestles with the loss of a lifetime dream--and something he probably believed was his only way out of a cycle of poverty--and then ultimately, gradually, maybe, begins to see a way that he might be able to function in his new life. A lovely movie, with truly excellent cinematography.

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5236
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:02 am

REVENGE
Cast: Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe, Guillaume Bouchede.
Dir: Coralie Fargeat.

After a young woman is raped and left for dead by her rich married boyfriend and his two hunting buddies, she rises up and gets her...well, revenge. Saw this on Netflix. The plot, along with its title, is quite generic. There's an entire sub-genre of B-movie horror-thrilers that pretty much follows the same formula. However, this one is written with a lot of intelligence and nuance and despite it being essentially a B-movie, it has A-movie aesthetics with its gorgeous cinematography. it makes itself quite relevant in the current #MeToo atmosphere. It does get a little over-the-top and a tad unbelievable at times but it still delivers on all the goods of the revenge horror genre and then some. It's definitely a film that will get people talking, for better or worse.

Oscar Prospects: None.

Grade: B+

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5236
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:50 pm

Reza wrote:
Can animated films be nominated for production design? Isn't that part of the animation?


Yes. Animated films are eligible for production design (but none have been nominated before). It's part of the animation but a production designer still has to design it. However, in the case of stop-motion animated films, there are actual real-life sets that are designed and built where they animate the puppets in so it's really no different from a live-action film (just smaller).

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8179
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:12 pm

anonymous1980 wrote:ISLE OF DOGS
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Konichi Nomura, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, Liev Schreiber, Akira Ito, F. Murray Abraham, Tilda Swinton, Yoko Ono, Akira Takayama, Ken Watanabe, Courtney B. Vance, Kara Hayward (voices).
Dir: Wes Anderson.

After an outbreak of dog flu, the dog-hating mayor of a futuristic/retro Japanese city decrees all dogs be moved to a remote island. A young boy flies to the island looking for his beloved pooch. I have to say this is my favorite film of the year so far. I am a huge Wes Anderson fan and I pretty much have liked or loved most of his films. This is yet another jewel in his oeuvre. I'm also a fan of Japanese cinema and as such, there's plenty to love here since it's such a loving tribute. The animation is gorgeous and the voice cast is superb. A quick word about the minor controversy surrounding this film, which seems to have died down now: I'm not Japanese but I am of Asian descent and I found nothing wrong about this film. It's simply a beautifully well-told story, no more, no less.

Oscar Prospects: Since its competition seems to be sequels, I think this could WIN Best Animated Feature. Deserves nominations for Production Design and Original Score as well.

Grade: A.


Can animated films be nominated for production design? Isn't that part of the animation?

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5236
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:08 am

ISLE OF DOGS
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Konichi Nomura, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, Liev Schreiber, Akira Ito, F. Murray Abraham, Tilda Swinton, Yoko Ono, Akira Takayama, Ken Watanabe, Courtney B. Vance, Kara Hayward (voices).
Dir: Wes Anderson.

After an outbreak of dog flu, the dog-hating mayor of a futuristic/retro Japanese city decrees all dogs be moved to a remote island. A young boy flies to the island looking for his beloved pooch. I have to say this is my favorite film of the year so far. I am a huge Wes Anderson fan and I pretty much have liked or loved most of his films. This is yet another jewel in his oeuvre. I'm also a fan of Japanese cinema and as such, there's plenty to love here since it's such a loving tribute. The animation is gorgeous and the voice cast is superb. A quick word about the minor controversy surrounding this film, which seems to have died down now: I'm not Japanese but I am of Asian descent and I found nothing wrong about this film. It's simply a beautifully well-told story, no more, no less.

Oscar Prospects: Since its competition seems to be sequels, I think this could WIN Best Animated Feature. Deserves nominations for Production Design and Original Score as well.

Grade: A.

dws1982
Tenured
Posts: 3003
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:28 pm
Location: AL
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby dws1982 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:08 am

True, but I feel like they could've at least done with A Ghost Story (which I personally didn't care for) what they did with It Comes At Night--push it out wide on opening weekend so you at least get some money then, even if bad word-of-mouth kills it after that. They're not as bad as Sony Pictures Classics, but they need to do better.

User avatar
Precious Doll
Emeritus
Posts: 3529
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 2:20 am
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:02 am

To be fair A Ghost Story & Good Time would be hard to market. One of the things I think going against A Ghost Story every breaking out is word of mouth, which I imagine would be mixed at best. The few people I know who saw it didn't like it and I wouldn't recommend to anyone for fear that they wouldn't appreciate it (to be honest I didn't myself) and then ignore me when I recommended something that was more accessible. I wouldn't have a clue after more than 40 years of film going how to market a film but it was a real shame that nobody could come up with a good marketing campaign for Good Time and what business it has done appears to be purely word of mouth. They had a potential breakout hit with that one and dropped the ball.

Lean on Pete is coming my way in late June but I've opted to purchase the UK Blu Ray instead, whilst I doubt that the Schrader film will even get a local release in any form. The last Schrader film to get a big screen release was either The Walker or Auto Focus. Everything he has made since as been straight to video and that market is on its last legs.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

dws1982
Tenured
Posts: 3003
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:28 pm
Location: AL
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby dws1982 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:42 am

Unfortunately I don't have much faith that First Reformed will ever play around me. A24's Lean on Pete only made it to Nashville, at a time when I couldn't get up there to see it, and right now the Belcourt doesn't have First Reformed on their docket at all.

On a related note, can we admit that, unless it's an Oscar contender, A24 is not that great of a distributor? Almost every movie of theirs, I look at it and think of what a Focus or a Fox Searchlight might have done. They've only had eight movies gross more than $10 million--and only Lady Bird has cracked $30 million. Just last year Good Time and A Ghost Story had really strong reviews. Their combined gross was less than the "flop" Solo made on Thursday alone. A better distributor could've at least gotten a decent opening (i.e., bottom half of the weekend top ten) before it dropped off. So many other movies of theirs have topped out in the $5 million range (or below) despite having enough mainstream appeal to at least do better than that.


Return to “2018”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest