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Movies You've Seen Recently |OT| July 2017

Sean C

Member
Mar 14, 2015
3,103
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0
Watched Wild Tales with my girlfriend after reading some recommendations in the "best foreign movies" topic. She really wanted a light movie after binging "The Sopranos" with me, and I hoped the humor in the film would help. Lo and behold, we both found this movie quite dark in most of the short-stories, but thankfully some of them ended better than others. Good movie overall, generally extremely absurd but well-made and with some great acting. We both found the last short-story the best one by far, and after that the one about the DMV.
The live-action ultraviolent Looney Tunes bit with the two drivers was my favourite.

Deliverance (1972): Decades of backwoods horror films would lead you to conclude that
the creepy kid from the duelling banjos scene
is part of some larger creepy plan, but it's actually just incidental atmosphere in this early iteration of the story. A pretty solid movie, and I can imagine how the camerawork during the canoeing sequences would have been especially impressive for the time. Burt Reynolds sans his soon-to-be-trademark moustache is kind of unrecognizable.

On the Town (1949): New York, New York is indeed a hell of a, er, a wonderful town; the movie is solid, but I think these old Freed Unit-style pictures aren't really my preferred form of musical. The musical numbers rarely do much to advance the stories or characters, as impressive as the dancing is. This movie also casts Frank Sinatra as a nerdy guy more interested in stats and museums than in pursuing women, which is...a bit of a hard sell. There are some interesting cultural bits here showing the immediate postwar period, as when the gang encounters a female cab driver and ask why she's still doing that when the war is over and all the men are back.

Lifeboat (1944): I often find that Hitchcock's less high-profile films are more interesting to watch these days, because I know less about them. Lifeboat is a wartime picture, set entirely within the titular object (albeit a commodious example of one) with the survivors of a sunken merchant marine vessel and a lone survivor of a destroyed U-Boat (this conceit requires Hitchcock to assume U-Boats surface to attack, which they did not do in World War II, as a rule). Tallulah Bankhead, an actress I knew from her reputation off-camera but had never seen in anything before, is the lead here, and quite a fun presence. The movie rather notable for having a black character (played by Canada Lee) who is heroic and largely stereotype-free (particularly in terms of dialogue; the "yessuh" dialogue that grates so much in Golden Age Hollywood doesn't rear its head here).
The moral of the story featuring the lone Kriegsmarine officer ends up being that the Nazis are all snakes that can never be trusted,w hcih is what you'd expect from a wartime movie, and probably the opposite of what a filmmaker would do with this basic premise today.

Atomic Blonde (2017): This movie kicked so much ass.
But casting Sofia Boutella in a movie and not giving her a great fight scene is a disappointment; you know from previous roles that she'd be up for one of the heavy physical sequences that David Leitch is great at choreographing. Well, she looks great naked, anyway.
It's basically John Wick with a twistier plot and a lead with some emotional range (love ya, Keanu, but we all know it's true).
The movie briefly looks like it's going to go full No Way Out before backing slightly away from that; I'd have loved if they had just fully committed to that idea.
 

Borgnine

MBA in pussy licensing and rights management
Jul 31, 2007
12,923
0
0
San Diego
Una: 6/10. This movie stars Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn, who I call Bendelsohn to save time. This was... weird. Seems like a pedo fantasy where the girl you raped comes to find you after you get out of the joint and tries to have sex with you. Not especially great performances, Mara is apparently supposed to be English? Lot of awkwardness though and a little tension. I think I grabbed this off of one of Expendable's monthly lists, watch out for that guy he's a sicko.
Chaser 7/10. Pretty great until the end when it unnecessarily stretches believably and kind of undermines the tension. Brutal only when it needs to be. Definitely need some recs on more hardboiled Korean crime dramas on the streets of Seoul with flip phones.
 

Ridley327

Member
Feb 7, 2005
37,712
1
1,480
Kuso: The film that finally answers the question of what one of Adult Swim's live action shows would look like if it went X-rated. It's far too long and disjointed for its own good, but through the gauntlet of piss, shit, semen, and boils both benign and sentient that the film throws at you, there are some surprisingly interesting and effective bits in here that actually play pretty well on their own and can come off as genuinely eerie, and credit must be given to the cast that is down for what the hell ever as they somehow manage to smell like roses by the end. Would it have worked better as a more straightforward anthology film without the channel changing gimmick? I would have to think it would, but perhaps trying to parse any kind of sense from a film like this is a fool's errand from now to the end of time. It's a film I can't recommend to anyone, especially as most would tap out before the 10 minute mark from grossness, and those with stronger stomachs might actually wind up bored by the relentless assault on good taste that doesn't seem to amount to much, but it is amazingly not entirely without genuine merit and inspiration that may even make one wish that Steve Ellison might have something there as a director that he'd be wise to sharpen and focus if he gets the chance to work on it some more. In any event, this is that strong stuff that your dad keeps on the highest shelf for good reason, so beware.
 

Icolin

Banned
Nov 21, 2016
3,810
9
410
Vancouver
Kuso: The film that finally answers the question of what one of Adult Swim's live action shows would look like if it went X-rated. It's far too long and disjointed for its own good, but through the gauntlet of piss, shit, semen, and boils both benign and sentient that the film throws at you, there are some surprisingly interesting and effective bits in here that actually play pretty well on their own and can come off as genuinely eerie, and credit must be given to the cast that is down for what the hell ever as they somehow manage to smell like roses by the end. Would it have worked better as a more straightforward anthology film without the channel changing gimmick? I would have to think it would, but perhaps trying to parse any kind of sense from a film like this is a fool's errand from now to the end of time. It's a film I can't recommend to anyone, especially as most would tap out before the 10 minute mark from grossness, and those with stronger stomachs might actually wind up bored by the relentless assault on good taste that doesn't seem to amount to much, but it is amazingly not entirely without genuine merit and inspiration that may even make one wish that Steve Ellison might have something there as a director that he'd be wise to sharpen and focus if he gets the chance to work on it some more. In any event, this is that strong stuff that your dad keeps on the highest shelf for good reason, so beware.

Is the music good? I mean, it's Flying Lotus, Aphex Twin, Akira Yamaoka, and Thundercat, so it would be devastating if it wasn't. I'd watch the movie just for the music.
 

RoyaleDuke

Banned
Apr 7, 2014
5,538
3
0
Evans, Colorado
Kong: Skull Island

8/10, I really enjoyed it.
It felt like an old monster movie much like Godzilla(2014) did especially in the parts with well, actual monsters. There are a lot of monsters in this and you see quite a bit of big long shots of King Kong just straight fucking wrecking shit. The human characters aren't insufferable but something about Samuel L Jackson's characters motivations seemed...weird. Also technically the war in Vietnam went on for awhile after that until the fall of saigon in 75, hell people kept coming back into the 80s. Which is kind of what Rambo is about. What was really disappointing was the monsters that Kong faces are just the dumb things from Godzilla that he trashed like nothing because he is swolezilla.

This movie makes me really excited for the Godzilla vs Kong and other movies they are working on, it has the potential to be incredible now especially since the designs themselves seem more based on each monster's original appearance more than anything we've seen before. Personally, I loved the Godzilla from 2014 so this was similar but with better characters, and more monster action.


If you go in expecting something emotional like Peter Jackson's King Kong...you will be really, really really disappointed.
 
Feb 18, 2010
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Nah, Days of Heaven is more beautiful than anything since. Those fields, the snow, everything is god tier. All of his movies afterward are too fucking long. Days of Heaven is 90 minutes of perfectly paced, well, perfection.

Bless the god Sam Shepard.

How many times do I have to see that soldier and his wife embrace tenderly in The Thin Red Line. Overkill.
 

Glass Rebel

Member
Oct 12, 2010
31,642
15
895
Saw Dunkirk yesterday. As far as filmmaking goes, this might be Nolan's best. It's certainly my favourite since Memento.
 

TFGB

Member
Oct 5, 2016
606
283
245
Watched Nocturnal Animals last night on Sky. Apart from the rather gross title scenes, it was an interesting take on a story about revenge.
 

foolia

Member
Jun 23, 2013
5,730
0
475
twitter.com
So the runtime for Valerian is 137 mins according to the internet. Not counting the end credit, the version shown to me was only around 100 mins.

I felt like the film I watched was butchered... Anyone has the same experience? Live in South East Asia btw.

For what I have seen, it wasn't very good. Hell, I enjoyed Lucy more.
 

Krev

Unconfirmed Member
May 8, 2009
10,606
0
0
Valerian was a lot of fun. As far as blockbusters go it's like a bizzaro Marvel film: the chemistry between the actors and banter are very bad, but the poppy, pulpy elements are incredibly imaginative, with a lot of great images and concepts.
 

lordxar

Member
Dec 27, 2013
2,745
0
0
Is the music good? I mean, it's Flying Lotus, Aphex Twin, Akira Yamaoka, and Thundercat, so it would be devastating if it wasn't. I'd watch the movie just for the music.

So buckets of shit, pus, and semen are cool as long as there is a good soundtrack :) I didn't give it much time but there wasn't any music that I recall. Just slurping of bodily fluids...
 

Chozoman

Banned
Oct 21, 2012
330
0
0
Personally, it's been a disappointing summer for movies I was looking forward to.

Alien Covenant:
Wanted more Prometheus, less alien...got the opposite

*************************************************************
War for the Planet of the Apes:
I love, Love, LOVE Dawn, (really liked Rise, as well). That said, War was a bit of a misfire for me.

I enjoyed Dawn for its careful handling of characters and their motivations. It was nuanced and set up a story where you felt for, and understood both sides of the conflict.

In addition, Koba was the best antagonist in the trilogy by far. I understood why he was the way he was and his past clearly dictated his actions in the film.

War was a bit too ham-fisted and overt with its messaging, symbolism and characterizations. As I feared, Woody's "Colonel" was weak, both in terms of performance and motivation, and 2/3rds of the film was plodding slog of disjointed scenes.

It was a big disappointment for me personally, but probably because I hold Dawn in such high regard.

*************************************************************

Kids brought me to Despicable M3:
Liked the first one, was pretty indifferent about the 2nd, and the 3rd continues the trend. Guess I don't find Minions as charming as everyone else. :p
 

Ridley327

Member
Feb 7, 2005
37,712
1
1,480
Is the music good? I mean, it's Flying Lotus, Aphex Twin, Akira Yamaoka, and Thundercat, so it would be devastating if it wasn't. I'd watch the movie just for the music.

It seemed fine? The most prominent stuff was Yamaoka's contributions, since they're just as loud and oppressive as they are in the Silent Hill games, and without giving too much away, they matched the visuals going on at the time, which come across as a demon-possessed Source Filmmaker gone horribly wrong, to give off a nice impression. The sound design in general is rather nice, though anyone with an aversion to anything that sounds damp and moist will probably be dead before the film is halfway through.
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,734
5
0
39
Baby Driver
Kickass genre bending action comedy driven by music, motion, and mayhem. Another winner from Edgar Wright with some really great cinematography from Bill Pope. It got surprisingly dark and violent mid-way, but I think much of the tonal gear shifts it makes in the final act make it a stronger film. There are no easy outs for the characters, and yet it never feels particularly edgy or tryhard. Ansel Elgort puts in solid work, giving Baby an emotional depth and a dynamic flow to all his movements that really glues the entire thing together. And give the editing room their Oscar already. They deserve it. :p
 
Sep 23, 2014
11,875
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28
Ireland
I was extremely pleasently surprised by The Big Sick. Partly because the trailers didn't look very funny, and partly because the Judd Apatow comedy shtick tends to leave me cold. So finding the big sick both a pretty good romance story, and also pretty funny, was great.

The plot itself is the Apatow stuff you'd expect, living on the edge of show biz, the details of the love story are pretty cliched, but its all told extremely well, extremely well acted, and the chemistry between leads Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan is superb, and basically sells the romance story on its own.

And its funny, which was the most surprising part of the film to me. Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan with their chemistry sell a whole lot of comedy, Ray Romano and Holly Hunter do a great job in the straight scenes, but are also hilarious and well, believable in their own little arc. Anupam Kher is also real funny as the strict but loving muslim dad.

Honestly its not perfect, the first 20 - 30 minutes left me cold and thinking 'Christ this is another Apatow thing I hate this' but then it picks up with the feels and the comedy, and doesn't let up till the end, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly reccomended.
 

Rhomega Beta

Member
Mar 12, 2012
12,119
1
550
New River, Arizona
United 93: The movie is essentially divided into 2 halves, the first half dealing with American Airlines Flight 11 acting up, followed by United 175, focusing on air traffic control and NORAD. They don't show anything that happens on those planes, and the only one they show outside of United 93 is 175 as it hits the South Tower using CNN footage. Most of this is taking place while United 93 is preparing to take off, but once everything starts to go down, prepare to get angry. At least I was. It ends at the perfect point. If there's one complaint I have is that they translate some Arabic conversation, but not others, so you have the terrorists yelling at each other and no idea what they're saying.
 

Insane Metal

Member
Mar 11, 2006
26,264
20,197
2,180
Br
Transformers The Last something

Eh... went to see this with my girlfriend and family. But damn the movie sucks lol
 
Jul 6, 2011
17,811
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brianjlang.wordpress.com
The Siege of Jadotville (2016) - fairly competently made Netflix Original, focused on a little known and likely forgotten battle in 1961 in the Congo, where both the US and the USSR were interested in the uranium there. The Irish 'A' company (155 men) is sent in by the UN as peacekeepers, only to find themselves ambushed by a French army and Belgian mercs. They hold the town for 5 days until their water and food run out.

Some pretty sweet stuff they pulled to keep themselves from being overrun. What happened to these guys afterwards was a disgrace, until finally in 2005 the Irish government recognized what they'd done in service to the UN.

Random statement: Mark Strong looks weird af with hair. (Gotta be a wig, which looked bad.)

3.5 / 5
 

Messofanego

Banned
Oct 31, 2011
46,369
1
0
UK
twitter.com

Anti Matter (dir. Keir Burrows, 2017) - I thought I could forgive the bad acting at first as long as it had a thrilling hard sci-fi story like Primer. It was on Amazon VOD, and I love sci-fi, so why not give it a go. At least if it fooled you with the twists and turns, or had a deeper meaning behind it all. Sadly, it just falls flat. There is an action sequence that is at odds with the tone of the film and feels more like an excuse to give a couple of cool shots for trailer purposes. The drama is bad too. It doesn't feel earned and the one-dimensional characters don't help. There is a lot of cringe-worthy dialogue and some unintentionally funny moments like a cop cracking his neck to look intimidating. There are a few subplots that get introduced and then completely dropped, like an interminable animal testing protest outside the Oxford uni lab and police investigating Ana's teleportation experiments. They're not explored further at all, which makes them feel like filler. It's trying to be a memory-identity sci-fi thriller like Primer and The Prestige but the pieces are not there. The only positives I can give is the editing is cool sometimes, and it looks nice for an amateur film. However, there are much better indie sci-fi films out there that can stand head and shoulders with the best. If you want a recent indie memory-identity thriller done way better, check out Remainder.
 

bomma_man

Member
Sep 24, 2011
7,124
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0
Watched Silence of the Lambs and The Goonies for the first time. Honestly, the Goonies is kinda scarier. That movie must be terrifying as a child.

Fired up American Psycho, which I've never seen. Lasted 20 minutes of Bale being an utter d-bag of Trumpian proportions without him actually going psycho on anyone and turned it off.

Snoozer.

Maybe I'll go back to it. My wife was completely turned off by it. Between the way Bale was delivering the lines and the character himself, she was like "what in the hell are we watching."

LOL
 

lordxar

Member
Dec 27, 2013
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0
Maybe I'll go back to it. My wife was completely turned off by it. Between the way Bale was delivering the lines and the character himself, she was like "what in the hell are we watching."

Don't bother with the sequel but try and get through the first. Its all about dat 80's excess. He's like a more fucked up Dexter.
 

overcast

Member
Apr 13, 2010
23,342
0
830
August shaping up to be a great month. Personally Good Time is the one I want to see most.

I also have like 5 leftovers from July.
 

crustikid

Member
Sep 18, 2007
492
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0
Yeah, August is going to be great. Checked out Detroit yesterday, and was spellbound by the experience. It's probably as flawed as ZDT, but I'm still intrigued by all the creative choices she makes, especially, in her efforts to challenge her audience and how she depicts violence. Absolutely love the final act of ZDT from the point where they load into the choppers, I think Sicario tried to do something similar, but Bigelow's version felt so much more visceral. Anway, Detroit seems to have an interesting rollout that it's playing a week early in a bunch of cities.

Hopefully, Good Time is a more accessible experience than Heaven Knows What.
 

kevin1025

Banned
Jul 17, 2012
12,899
0
0
Yeah, August is going to be great. Checked out Detroit yesterday, and was spellbound by the experience. It's probably as flawed as ZDT, but I'm still intrigued by all the creative choices she makes, especially, in her efforts to challenge her audience and how she depicts violence. Absolutely love the final act of ZDT from the point where they load into the choppers, I think Sicario tried to do something similar, but Bigelow's version felt so much more visceral. Anway, Detroit seems to have an interesting rollout that it's playing a week early in a bunch of cities.

Hopefully, Good Time is a more accessible experience than Heaven Knows What.

Seeing Detroit on Monday, really looking forward to it. I was hoping it would be super visceral and challenging, good to hear that it is.
 
Jul 6, 2011
17,811
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brianjlang.wordpress.com
Big mistake.


Watched Silence of the Lambs and The Goonies for the first time. Honestly, the Goonies is kinda scarier. That movie must be terrifying as a child.





LOL

Don't bother with the sequel but try and get through the first. Its all about dat 80's excess. He's like a more fucked up Dexter.

I'm aware it's satire. Thanks, Borgnine.

Came back to it this morning and the very next scene was the circle jerk on the business cards. :jnc.

Should wrap it up here shortly.

Sort of on topic... do you all ever just feel like you need to be in a certain mood for a certain type of movie? My wife and I like to watch a good deal of horror stuff together, but sometimes it's just like not clicking. She tends to veer toward the rom-com/weepy drama stuff and I'm more on the action end of things, so finding things we both like (and that we haven't already seen together) gets tough.


American Psycho (2000) - really glad I listened to you knuckleheads and went back to this. Just wrapped it up. What a great perspective on the loss of individuality and the excess of the 80s. Bale really does pull off psychotic very well and the fact that no one even recognizes him (or anyone else--"I had lunch with Paul Allen in London ten days ago") gives it such depth. Holds up well, too. Did he do it, or was it all just in his head (or in his calendar)?

4 / 5
 

theapg

Member
Nov 26, 2013
351
0
0
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Right before watching, I saw a comment that said the war scenes were laughable. Not sure if that changed how I thought about it, but some of that was just ridiculous. Like when the guy
picks up the upper torso of a dead soldier and uses it as a shield to run forward. That was some shit out of Gears of War.
I did enjoy the first half a lot, but the fighting kind of ruined it a bit.
 
Jan 28, 2007
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the temptation and redemption of Angmarsking, in ten posts.

But on the ending: the way the movie presents it, it's essentially in his head, but it leaves sufficient ambiguity to the idea that the reality is that nobody cares at all. You can be straight evil and get away with it because nobody cares, there's no great moral punishment either here or thereafter and it's all meaningless hollow nothing.
It's one of the greats if you consider how extremely depressing that is.
 

Sean C

Member
Mar 14, 2015
3,103
0
0
Lost Horizon (1937): Apparently Frank Capra's original cut of this was six hours long, which I have a hard time imagining, because it already feels too long at a little over two (this restored cut is shown with still photographs over pieces where the audio survives but not the film). There's just not much of anything happening once they get to Shangri-La, and then the narrative glides over what sounds like a rather compelling aspect of the story, the main character's obsession to get back there. The discussions about imminent war are rather notable, given what happened next in the real world (and a funny contrast with the attitude of Capra's next film, You Can't Take It With You).
 

UrbanRats

Member
Jun 25, 2009
40,848
2
830
I'm aware it's satire. Thanks, Borgnine.

Came back to it this morning and the very next scene was the circle jerk on the business cards. :jnc.

Should wrap it up here shortly.

Sort of on topic... do you all ever just feel like you need to be in a certain mood for a certain type of movie? My wife and I like to watch a good deal of horror stuff together, but sometimes it's just like not clicking. She tends to veer toward the rom-com/weepy drama stuff and I'm more on the action end of things, so finding things we both like (and that we haven't already seen together) gets tough.


American Psycho (2000) - really glad I listened to you knuckleheads and went back to this. Just wrapped it up. What a great perspective on the loss of individuality and the excess of the 80s. Bale really does pull off psychotic very well and the fact that no one even recognizes him (or anyone else--"I had lunch with Paul Allen in London ten days ago") gives it such depth. Holds up well, too. Did he do it, or was it all just in his head (or in his calendar)?

4 / 5
Now for a remake with the Cruise Missile.

How did you and Christian Bale develop his character in American Psycho?
It was definitely a process. We talked a lot, but he was in L.A. and I was in New York. We didn't actually meet in person a lot, just talked on the phone. We talked about how Martian-like Patrick Bateman was, how he was looking at the world like somebody from another planet, watching what people did and trying to work out the right way to behave. And then one day he called me and he had been watching Tom Cruise on David Letterman, and he just had this very intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes, and he was really taken with this energy.
 

Baroquemantic

Member
Apr 25, 2011
16,598
1
0
The trees
Ratchet & Clank

Not bad. CG was quite good and it didn't look very low budget. I'm sure being a huge fan of the games has skewed my view a bit, though.

My biggest criticism is that it felt disjointed. Scenes didn't flow together very well. I think the game would probably be a better way to experience this story. I haven't played it yet, but I've watched a few random clips and reviews and it looks to fill in the gaps that are missing in the film. They probably should have turned some of the game's scenarios and gameplay sequences into CG scenes for the movie to help flesh it out.

6/10
 
Jul 6, 2011
17,811
0
0
NC
brianjlang.wordpress.com
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Right before watching, I saw a comment that said the war scenes were laughable. Not sure if that changed how I thought about it, but some of that was just ridiculous. Like when the guy
picks up the upper torso of a dead soldier and uses it as a shield to run forward. That was some shit out of Gears of War.
I did enjoy the first half a lot, but the fighting kind of ruined it a bit.

Here's the thing: that shit all happened. Even the human shield torso thing, according to multiple eye witnesses, including Doss himself. And what's even crazier is the amount of shit Doss did on that battlefield that Gibson didn't put in the movie because he thought no one would believe it. Like Doss, after being wounded and being carried in a stretcher, sees another wounded man and rolls out of his own stretcher to go provide care to the other wounded man before they would let him take him down the hill.

Un-fucking-real. Perhaps Gibson should have considered the shield and thought "nah, the nerds on GAF won't believe this either, after playing Gears."

the temptation and redemption of Angmarsking, in ten posts.

But on the ending: the way the movie presents it, it's essentially in his head, but it leaves sufficient ambiguity to the idea that the reality is that nobody cares at all. You can be straight evil and get away with it because nobody cares, there's no great moral punishment either here or thereafter and it's all meaningless hollow nothing.
It's one of the greats if you consider how extremely depressing that is.

:jnc. I told my wife this morning about it, and she seemed intrigued, but I don't think she'll go back to it. Oh well. I enjoyed it for the message it gave. A much deeper movie than I expected it to be, and also shallow af, if you know what I mean.
 

Ridley327

Member
Feb 7, 2005
37,712
1
1,480
A Ghost Story: A superb mediation on love, death, existence and pie. Yes, it's true: there is in fact an unbroken shot that goes on for a couple of minutes that is seemingly nothing more than Rooney Mara eating an entire pie while Casey Affleck, draped in a bed sheet with two eyes cut out, looks on. But what makes this such a dynamite scene is that for as silly as it sounds on paper, the context in which it occurs gives it an awesome power of real heartbreak, as if we've just peered a little too closely into the life of a woman that's suffering and a man who is utterly baffled at his current position. Told largely without dialogue (seems to be a nice summer for that, between this and Dunkirk), shot not only in full-frame but in vignetted full frame to appear as if it was a home movie and dealing with a scope that expands in truly unusual ways, on top of the whole "Casey Affleck is a bed sheet ghost" detail, one might be tempted to throw out "pretentious" as a descriptor sight unseen. But as it turns out, writer/director David Lowery definitely does not come across as the idiosyncratic for the sake of it here, displaying a great handle on the emotional core of the story as it weaves through its intriguing twists and turns without coming off as heavy-handed in their delivery. Indeed, this film respects its audience to be able to piece together its narrative in a minimalist way, giving you enough to be able to draw the lines in a story that soon stretches out to tackle some larger themes. Even the framing helps to enrich the focus of the film, boxed in to give a nice impression of intimacy without coming off as too claustrophobic. On that front, wow, is this a beautiful film: while not particularly showy, the photography provided by Andrew Droz Palermo is stunning throughout, turning the central location of the small home into a relic that seems stuck in time, with gorgeous low-lighting that makes it look better than its decidedly low-rent trappings suggest. With its steady hand, the film can often feel like a painting come to life, each image telling a story onto itself before we even piece it into the overall narrative. Combine that with a strong score from Daniel Hart, and the film is a real aesthetic delight that matches its storytelling strengths. For those with a taste for the unconventional, this represents a rather striking approach to the subject matter it explores, and it pleases me immensely that it's so successful at what it sets out to do. At the risk of a bad and obvious joke, it will undoubtedly haunt your thoughts long after it's over.
 

Rhomega Beta

Member
Mar 12, 2012
12,119
1
550
New River, Arizona
The Central Park Five: A Ken Burns documentary, so you know it's good. Gets interviews with all of them (though one prefers to only use his voice). Goes over the details, the coerced confessions, an interview with a juror, and the discovery that proved their innocence. It's rather upsetting not just about how false confessions can be coerced, but how people don't seem to care that it could be fake and even if the evidence contradicts them. I had heard of this case before, especially with Donald Trump taking out that full-page ad advocating for the death penalty.
 

Sean C

Member
Mar 14, 2015
3,103
0
0
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (2017): Finnish amateur-turned-professional boxer Olli Mäki is on the verge of a championship match with the World Featherweight Champion, but is uncomfortable with the attempts to make him into a national hero. You get a sense, right from the moment they start talking about this match, that things won't work out for Olli --
and, indeed, he loses in only two rounds. This is the story of a guy who gets his shot at the big time, gets clobbered, and is basically okay with it, because he's got the love of a good woman, and everything else is pretty insignificant compared to that.

I watched this movie under the impression that it was a work of fiction; afterward, I learned that Olli was a real person and that this all really happened, which changed my perspective a bit. I guess this must be a more well-known story in Finland (this is the first proper Finnish film I've seen; Letterboxd classifies two others I've seen as Finnish co-productions, but neither of them are set in Finland or star any Finnish people). So, rather than being an unconventional narrative choice, it's more a case of choosing an unconventional film subject. In the course of reading up on what really happened, I further wonder if we aren't meant
to contrast Olli's life (he's still alive today, and in fact makes a cameo here alongside his wife, as an old couple walking past the actors playing their younger selves) with that of Davey Moore, the guy who beats him decisively but ended up dying in the ring less than a year later. Moore's fate isn't mentioned in the film itself, but if you know about it kind of hangs over everything, and it does fit with the film's overall thematics.