The Official Review Thread of 2019

anonymous1980
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:32 pm

THE ADDAMS FAMILY
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Bette Midler, Alison Janney, Elsie Fisher, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Titus Burgess, Snoop Dogg (voices).
Dirs: Conrad Vernon & Greg Tiernan.

The latest cinematic incarnation of the creepy, kooky, mysterious spooky Addams Family is a CGI animated feature in which the Addamses are threatened by a home improvement reality show host obsessed with assimilation and gentrification. Tim Burton, I heard, was supposed to do this as a stop-motion animated film and THAT would've been a sight to see. Here, it's just fairly generic PG-level animated fare which is too bad because I think Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron are both well-cast (and would've made great Gomez and Morticia if it had been live-action). This film is entertaining and harmless enough with a radical-in-the-Trump-era message of tolerance and acceptance and stuff like that. Stick to the live-action early 1990's films for the best cinematic versions of these characters.

Oscar Prospects: None but Animated Feature and Original Song are remote possibilities.

Grade: C+

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby anonymous1980 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:17 pm

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE
Cast: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, Diego Boneta.
Dir: Tim Miller,

This is the sixth film in the Terminator franchise. This one follows a timeline in which John Connor is dead and Sarah Connor and an enhanced soldier from the future helps out another target for the Terminator, a Latina woman. The good news is that this film IS in fact the best Terminator movie since the second. The bad news is that it is damning it with faint praise. It's not really all that big of an achievement to be an improvement over Rise of the Machines, Salvation and Genisys. The film does have some really cool, very well-staged action set pieces. Mackenzie Davis is a great addition to the franchise and it's wonderful to see Linda Hamilton be a badass again (and at her age!) alongside Arnold. I enjoyed it very much but it's nowhere near the classic status of the first two.

Oscar Prospects: Visual Effects is a strong possibility.

Grade: B-

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby Sabin » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:46 pm

Reza wrote
Ok I get it finally.

You needed it spelt out to you with the character behaving a certain way in gradual doses throughout the film to justify his final action.

While many of us didn't need the director / screenplay to spell it out for us. We just got it because we understood where the character was coming from in the first place.

Mostly.

I don't need it spelled out to me. I only need to know this issue is important to Kim. I don't need to be hit on the head. I just need to be informed, as a viewer, that being treated like this is important enough to Kim that he would... do what he does. That being treated like that is worth DOING THAT.

After he did it, I understood perfectly why he didn't. It wasn't confusing for me. But it wasn't dramatically satisfying.
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." ~ FDR

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby Reza » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:38 pm

Sabin wrote:Kim's action is an abrupt, emotional reaction that was given no emotional weight throughout the film.


Ok I get it finally.

You needed it spelt out to you with the character behaving a certain way in gradual doses throughout the film to justify his final action.

While many of us didn't need the director / screenplay to spell it out for us. We just got it because we understood where the character was coming from in the first place.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby Sabin » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:30 pm

Reza wrote
Unlike Hollywood films most of world cinema rarely goes into detail dramatizing every feeling. I noticed this years ago watching french, german and italian films. It is assumed that the audience will automatically understand - most feelings are universal especially in old cultures - countries as distant and different from each other as Italy, France, Pakistan, India, the Middle East and the Far East have many behavioral nuances that are common and familiar with only shades of difference but which are easily understood. Maybe its different in American culture now as with time the old cultures that came and settled there have died out and now has evolved into a modern hybrid that is now specifically "American".

Is that why Hollywood films are so unpopular around the world?

Kim's action is an abrupt, emotional reaction that was given no emotional weight throughout the film. I think that was a mistake on the part of the filmmakers. Otherwise, this is film of the year stuff.
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." ~ FDR

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby Reza » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:20 pm

Sabin wrote:My point is while this was an ongoing plot thread, it never felt dramatized. I was never informed of how Kim felt about it. So it felt out of nowhere.


Unlike Hollywood films most of world cinema rarely goes into detail dramatizing every feeling. I noticed this years ago watching french, german and italian films. It is assumed that the audience will automatically understand - most feelings are universal especially in old cultures - countries as distant and different from each other as Italy, France, Pakistan, India, the Middle East and the Far East have many behavioral nuances that are common and familiar with only shades of difference but which are easily understood. Maybe its different in American culture now as with time the old cultures that came and settled there have died out and now has evolved into a modern hybrid that is now specifically "American".

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:18 pm

DOLEMITE IS MY NAME
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Titus Burgess, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ron Cephas Jones, Snoop Dogg, Chris Rock, Bob Odenkirk.
Dir: Craig Brewer.

This is a film about Rudy Ray Moore and how he made the cult blaxploitation classic Dolemite. This film is a JOY, spelled in all capitals. This is quite possibly the best film about making films since Ed Wood, and this was written by the same screenwriters of that film, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. Eddie Murphy gives what I think is his career-best performance as Moore. He is very funny yet making him believable and human. He makes you root for him. Before seeing this, I watched the original film first and of course it's a bad movie, I recognize the charm and sincerity into making it and this film is a celebration of that and it's hard not to get caught up with it. It is funny. moving and inspiring. Definitely one of the best films of the year.

Oscar Prospects: This deserves Picture, Actor (Murphy), Supporting Actress (Randolph), Supporting Actor (Snipes), Original Screenplay, Editing and Costume Design.

Grade: A.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby Sabin » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:34 am

Reza wrote
Maybe you are not familiar with cultures where "servants" are part of households and the dynamics between different classes residing under one roof. "The smell of poverty" is merely one, amongst many, disdainful acts that are often used by the rich to berate their servants. I've seen it happening here myself. In fact I found that scene you mention so familiar.

I understood WHY it was happening...

My point is while this was an ongoing plot thread, it never felt dramatized. I was never informed of how Kim felt about it. So it felt out of nowhere. In fact, the only time it was discussed was when the family tried to come up with a plan on how to erase the smell. But all was responded to practically, not emotionally.

It’s a little thing.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby Reza » Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:40 am

Sabin wrote: The movie makes it a point to set up that he is capable of making that choice and to set up the smell of poverty as a recurring device, but it never seems like a raw nerve for the character. I didn't entirely buy his action


Maybe you are not familiar with cultures where "servants" are part of households and the dynamics between different classes residing under one roof. "The smell of poverty" is merely one, amongst many, disdainful acts that are often used by the rich to berate their servants. I've seen it happening here myself. In fact I found that scene you mention so familiar. A close friend's obnoxious dad had a terrible habit of regularly (and often while drunk) abusing and berating his cook on his appearance, body odour or lack of cooking expertise. One fine day the cook took a golf club and smashed his master's skull open killing him instantly. My friend later told me the whole family was shocked at the cook's sudden outrage because for a long time he would ignore and laugh off the old man's verbal abuse passing it off as mere drunken rants. But the night he swung the golf club something must have snapped. Obviously there was a subconcious rage simmering below the surface all along which finally came to the fore.

Just like Kim who was carrying years of poverty on his shoulders (along with that damp smell) and it took that incident where he is being asked for the car keys by Mr Park (while holding his nose) at the precise moment he himself is viewing a personal tragedy that he snaps.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:00 pm

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch, Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson, Thomas Middleditch, Avan Jogia, Bill Murray.
Dir: Ruben Fleischer.

The film chronicles the further adventures of Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock as they make their way through the zombie apocalypse. The first Zombieland movie was a pretty fine zombie comedy and now, ten years later, did we really need a sequel? The answer is no. I normally love the zombie sub-genre of horror movies but it has grown tired. Even the zombie horror-comedy has grown tired. We've seen this all before done better. But there are still some good moments and good laughs here and there. Zoey Deutch is actually a good addition to the cast and the Bill Murray scene was also pretty good. Not great, not awful, all in all, I can take it or leave it.

Oscar Prospects: None.

Grade: C+

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby Okri » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:28 pm

I really liked High-Flying Bird. I do enjoy Soderbergh just doing his own thing, though. But that script was just delicious and Andre Holland was superb.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:40 am

I actually thought Streep was the only watchable and best part of the film, though I hated that ending. Gary Oldman actually sounded more Chinese to my tin-ear but who know - his interview with Playboy a few years ago speaks volumes of him as a person :twisted:

Soderbergh is a lost cause - two bad films in one year and he had some dog that played at the cinema last year with that young British actress of The Crown which started up well enough and then detonated into farce.

Its actually funny that Antonio Banderas agreed to appear in the film given the director that made his a star (Pedro Almodovar) was one of the many mentioned in the Panama Papers and goodness knows how many people in the film industry have questionable 'investments' that would involve all sorts of tax evasion schemes that would mostly be made on their behalf by accountants and lawyers because most of them (like most of the population) know jack shit about managing their financial affairs.

I'm no fan of Vice or The Big Short but they had a few more things going for them than this.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:50 am

The Laundromat is a film I approached with an open mind, hoping it would be better than its Rotten-Tomatoes score in the 40s. Alas, it was even worse!

It takes a serious subject and puts it out as a series of unfunny Saturday Night Live skits. Steven Soderbergh's film is as tonally deaf as Adam McKay's The Big Short and Vice.

There is no laundromat per se, it's about money laundering. Meryl Streep does well enough as the real-life widow swindled out of the insurance she expected to get from the death of her husband (James Cromwell) by Gary Oldman (in an awful fake German accent) and Antonio Banderas, but she is ultimately defeated by the film's poorly structured screenplay. The film ends with Streep pulling off her wig and makeup, speaking in her own voice and ranting against the rich like a cross between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, ending with her arm in the air like a real-life Statue of Liberty. It's just awful.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:45 am

GEMINI MAN
Cast: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong, Ralph Brown, Douglas Hodge.
Dir: Ang Lee.

A government assassin retires and finds out that a younger clone of himself was tasked with killing him. The only reason I saw this is because it's directed by Ang Lee. I haven't really outright disliked anything I've seen from his filmography even the last one had some interesting ideas and some good performances. This one though is outright bad. Despite some decent action sequences and visuals, this is just silly and kind of dull. I sat there thinking, "This feels like a bad '90s action movie," and wouldn't you know it, the script has been in development since 1997 when movies about clones were all the rage. It does contain some themes that make it feel like an Ang Lee movie (the growing old angle and the daddy issues angle) but it's still pretty bad. I hope Ang Lee still has a few more great ones in him because this won't be one of them.

Oscar Prospects: Visual Effects is a possibility.

Grade: D+

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2019

Postby Sabin » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:27 am

I think one of the signs of a great film is when you are asked what was so good about it, you talk about character choices. I could go on about what the characters in Parasite choose to do and why for hours. I don't think the film totally sticks the landing (or rather it hits a bump or two along the way) but it's an incredible ride.

Like all Bong films, Parasite a collision of genres and tones that he somehow ties together through force of will. This one is more earthbound than his other films. I was lucky to go in fresh. I had no idea what the film was about or where it was going. Everything unfolded like a wonderful surprise. So, I'll simply say it's the story of a remarkably impoverished South Korean family. Stories of intense poverty and economic disparities really get to me. This is a great one because it never languishes. The characters are always desperately going after something but Bong makes sure that we have a world of empathy for these characters, which is so paramount because they make choices that take advantage of weakness and kindness. There are many moments in this film where characters take advantage of other characters and yet it never feels cruel. He finds the right balance so we are laughing with the choices.

It's a film of tragedies that is full of laughter. While I have some reservations about some character choices at the end of the film, I was constantly enthralled and fairly moved by the end. Loved it.


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The ending lacks a bit of the inspiration of the rest of the film. This is a movie that feels primed to explode and instead it just brutalizes. I never bought "Mr. Kim"'s... choice. The movie makes it a point to set up that he is capable of making that choice and to set up the smell of poverty as a recurring device, but it never seems like a raw nerve for the character. I didn't entirely buy his action. To buy it, I would have had to understand it more before or after the fact. There's something slightly off or missing in Parasite's ending. Perhaps it is saying something about the chaotic nature of class warfare but it just wasn't totally clear to me.
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." ~ FDR


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