Movies You've Seen Recently |OT| September 2017

The Lost City of Z (2016) (or is it Zed?) is a pretty damn solid movie. It definitely surprised me, I figured it would be a dumb generic film. Instead, it was one of the most exciting and intense films I've seen thus far this year. I love the fact that it changes genre like 3 times, from period piece to adventure film to war movie. And yet, it never feels out of place, and the changes feel natural with the events of the film. The story itself never loses steam, and has enough interesting twists and turns to justify it's longer runtime. Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller all do a fantastic job, with Robert Pattinson in particular giving a better performance than I thought possible from him (I really need to see Good Time). The only bad thing I could say this movie does is that some of the supporting actors are pretty weak, and don't really add much other than a couple of lines. Otherwise, I really don't have that much bad to say about it. 8/10, #5 of the year so far.

Unfortunately, I don't have that much good to say about Song to Song (2017). I mean, there is some good. Ryan Gosling and Natalie Portman do a pretty good job, and Michael Fassbender has his moments. I also really liked the music, and the way it was implemented in the different shots. That's about it. Song to Song is the movie that people think The Tree of Life is. It doesn't know what type of film it wants to be; a weird pseudo-documentary or a straight story-driven drama. It doesn't really have a cohesive story, and what little story is there doesn't feel interesting or earned; events just seem to happen for no reason, and character motivations seemingly change shot to shot. Terrence Malick's editing from The Tree of Life also shows up here, but it doesn't work as well here, and feels like a director trying to squeeze whatever artistic merit he can out of this jumbled up film. Worst of all, instead of letting you figure out the meaning and Rooney Mara isn't amazing here, and is easily the weakest of the main cast, which is a shame because she's the one the film focuses on the most. Ultimately, this feels like something that could've been interesting, but fails because it can't get it's shit together and choose if it wants to be a film or an experience. The Tree of Life managed to be both, but it seems that Malik doesn't know how to do that again, or at least write a story he can do it again with. Than again, that would require an actual story to begin with. 4/10, #18 (out of 23) for the year.

I know it sounds like I really hated this movie, but that's just because my expectations were so high after The Tree of Life, that maybe anything that this movie did would've been a disappointment.
 
Bronson

A weird, theatric, avant-garde but never boring biopic of the titular "Britain's most violent prisoner". Tom Hardy is having the time of his life, leaping from oddly delightful to psycho to rabid bulldog violent as he owns the screen. A bit too stylized and stylistic for my tastes (I much prefer Drive if we're talking Refn films), but Hardy sure was a joy to watch throughout.
 

Borgnine

MBA in pussy licensing and rights management
Black Swan
Being a huge fan of Whiplash and really looking forward to Mother!, decided to finally watch this. It was really damn good. It has that same appeal of Whiplash in exploring the uneasy descent into destructive obsessive perfection, and then descends even further into wild psychological horror and madness.
Red Shoes, dog. Not sure if you're on Letterboxd to check if you've watched it.
 
The Dark Tower - 3/5

I expected this to be complete garbage, walked out feeling mostly OK with it. It's just a serviceable middle of the road blockbuster romp. I am not familiar with the books, so I can only assume it's a terrible adaptation from what I heard.
I feel I could watch McConaughey and Idris Elba in pretty much anything
 
Let's try this:

What I Watched - Bottle Rocket

What I Expected - Didn't know much about this actually. I'm digging Wes Anderson so when this popped up on Filmstruck/Criterion as a September only thing I jumped on it.

What I Got - Owen Wilson, who I can't stand, Luke too with some James Caan. I'd say this is the worst film of Anderson's I've seen. It's not horrible by any stretch but the newer stuff is so much better. This is definitely a Wes Anderson film though. You can just see his touches all over but not quite at a Life Aquatic or Moonrise level yet. It was decent but probably nothing I'd revisit.
 

Icolin

Of course. Dr. Pavel refused our offer in favor of yours, we had to find out what he told you about us.
The last time I went to a drive in movie theatre was summer 2015 when Jurassic World came out. I think seeing Jurassic World at a drive in movie theatre makes my opinion on that movie way more positive than other people's opinions are on it.

My local drive in theatre is screening Blade Runner 2049 when it comes out, so I guess that's the next time that I'll go to one! (Obviously I'm watching it in a legit theatre first)
 
Meant to get around to this one yesterday, but hey.

Wind River: A nice, quiet crime mystery that features a too-seldom seen setting, a nicely literary sense of progression and a terrific lead performance from Jeremy Renner. One can definitely see what writer/director Taylor Sheridan meant when he said that this was the conclusion to his loose trilogy of sorts that was preceded by the scripts he did for Sicario and Hell or High Water, though I think a lot of people will be surprised by how much more low-key and solemn the story is here when compared to its bombastic predecessors. This isn't to say that the film is boring in comparison, far from it with how tense its conclusion plays out, but those seeking typical genre thrills to go with their insight into scarcely explored aspects of American life may want to look elsewhere. As a writer, Sheridan's credentials speak for themselves, but I did appreciate his direction not getting in the way of the tale he wanted to tell here. His technique isn't as bold or as confident when compared to Denis Villeneuve or David McKenzie on those films, which is my only real knock against the film, but it is more than competent and he certainly is able to get a lot of his entire cast when it comes to their performances. As I mentioned, this really is a great showcase for Renner, whose soulful eyes and strong presence are put to rather effective use in his role, having to balance dogged determination and a silent yet piercing intelligence that have to work just a little bit harder to dull the pain his character is reminded of as the case unfolds. Despite the relative lack of action, the film has a really strong sense of pace that builds and builds in an organic manner, and the decision to keep the story "local" helps with that in addition to imbuing a kind of intimacy that you wouldn't normally see in a film that largely takes place outdoors. Super solid stuff from top to bottom.
 
Anomalisa (2015)
a Charlie Kaufman stop-motion puppet movie. that's about all I knew going into it

I dunno how I feel about it. I liked the story, the scenario, the ideas that were portrayed... but I dunno if it needed to be 90 minutes. I feel like it could have been more impactful if it was like the length of a music video honestly. and I didn't really like the look of the characters, but I do get why it was done how it was done

two words:
puppets fucking
 
My fun weekend plan is watching a bunch of Bergman films.

Jealous.

I only went through (part of) his filmography, for the first time, last year, but i'm still recovering from how much i liked it.
It sort of ruined movies i've watched since, in a way.

I still consider Herzog my favorite director, but i think no other filmography i've seen, hit as deep.
 
Room

That was really great. Actually surprised me with how quickly things happened. I almost wanted to look away because I kept thinking
something bad would happen. I just really wanted the kid and his mom to be alright, so it was a relief to have things end on a positive note.

9/10
 
Jealous.

I only went through (part of) his filmography, for the first time, last year, but i'm still recovering from how much i liked it.
It sort of ruined movies i've watched since, in a way.

I still consider Herzog my favorite director, but i think no other filmography i've seen, hit as deep.
Similar thing happened to me a few years back when I did my big Bergman run. So much of it really stuck with me.
 
From the sections I've seen on YouTube, the voice acting and animation in that film alone are worthy of the critical acclaim and awards. The storytelling is very odd indeed, but that's Charlie Kaufman's signature. Critics in particular would know not to expect a simple linear plot with solidly defined events and personalities.

The detail on the main character's face gives him a slight resemblance to the well known television actor Nicholas Lyndhurst, who was not involved in the production. It's a sympathetic face, and combined with the painstaking animation it mediates his estrangement and rather cold outward personality. His name, of course, is Michael Stone. That's no accident.

https://youtu.be/kQAftcZJQLc
 
Room

That was really great. Actually surprised me with how quickly things happened. I almost wanted to look away because I kept thinking
something bad would happen. I just really wanted the kid and his mom to be alright, so it was a relief to have things end on a positive note.

9/10
Always surprises me to hear someone who liked this all the way through. The first half was good to great. So much mystery to it if you came in blind. Was is it a post-apocalyptic movie? Were they hiding from some external threat? Then the guy shows up and provides some insight. But was he going to be the only guy? Was she essentially a prostitute servicing various guys in this room for supplies? I mean, it could have gone in any direction, or at least it gave that impression in the first half.

And then we get the rather normal reason as to why they're there, with the aftermath being, quite frankly, a somewhat boring drag.

Now, I came into this completely blind, not realizing there was a book, etc. So to me the options as to why they were in the room were wide open, and I thought the movie did a good job of keeping that mystery alive.
 

Icolin

Of course. Dr. Pavel refused our offer in favor of yours, we had to find out what he told you about us.
My favourite Bergman is The Seventh Seal. Persona is a close second.

His entire filmography is pretty solid.
 
Always surprises me to hear someone who liked this all the way through. The first half was good to great. So much mystery to it if you came in blind. Was is it a post-apocalyptic movie? Were they hiding from some external threat? Then the guy shows up and provides some insight. But was he going to be the only guy? Was she essentially a prostitute servicing various guys in this room for supplies? I mean, it could have gone in any direction, or at least it gave that impression in the first half.

And then we get the rather normal reason as to why they're there, with the aftermath being, quite frankly, a somewhat boring drag.

Now, I came into this completely blind, not realizing there was a book, etc. So to me the options as to why they were in the room were wide open, and I thought the movie did a good job of keeping that mystery alive.
The second half was even better than the first. The room stuff was tense and jarring and unsettling, but the harsh reality of trying to integrate back into everyday life, the PTSD struggles, and the slow healing gave the film its emotional weight
 
The second half was even better than the first. The room stuff was tense and jarring and unsettling, but the harsh reality of trying to integrate back into everyday life, the PTSD struggles, and the slow healing gave the film its emotional weight
Not sure I'd say the second half was better but I agree with the rest. I loved the first half and the switch in tone was a bit jarring but your left experiencing what they did which worked very well in that regard.
 
There Will Be Blood

Daniel Day-Lewis gives the definition of a powerhouse performance in this, an utterly captivating portrayal of a monster of a man further twisted by wealth and greed and opportunity. You can't help but be transfixed by him. Dano gives a hell of a performance too, the whole cast is strong, but this is Daniel's masterclass onscreen. It's not often you follow such a tragic and despicable person as protagonist.
 

Icolin

Of course. Dr. Pavel refused our offer in favor of yours, we had to find out what he told you about us.
Just discovered that Wind River's soundtrack is composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

I mean, I should probably see Wind River regardless because Taylor Sheridan has written great films, and the reviews/impressions here have been positive, but knowing that Nick Cave and Warren Ellis did the soundtrack has made this a must see for me, personally. I've loved all of their prior soundtracks, especially The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which is hands down one of the best soundtracks (and films) of the 2000s.

For those of you who have seen Wind River: is it yet another solid soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis?
 
Just discovered that Wind River's soundtrack is composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

I mean, I should probably see Wind River regardless because Taylor Sheridan has written great films, and the reviews/impressions here have been positive, but knowing that Nick Cave and Warren Ellis did the soundtrack has made this a must see for me, personally. I've loved all of their prior soundtracks, especially The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which is hands down one of the best soundtracks (and films) of the 2000s.

For those of you who have seen Wind River: is it yet another solid soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis?
It's definitely on the quieter end of the spectrum, but I felt it was a rather appropriate soundtrack for the film.
 
Can't believe I took so long to finally see There Will Be Blood. I blame memes. That milkshake scene always seemed so over-the-top and ridiculous out of context, but in context, it's still over the top yet it fits Plainview's character perfectly, what he devolved into, and finally getting the revenge he always wanted. That gleeful and theatric display of power and dominance over Eli, a reversal of their scene in the church
 
It - 7.8/10 - I think I need to go to therapy. Easily the most intense and satisfying major studio horror film I've seen in years. Really got under my skin. Will probably go again before it leaves cinemas.
 
Just discovered that Wind River's soundtrack is composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

I mean, I should probably see Wind River regardless because Taylor Sheridan has written great films, and the reviews/impressions here have been positive, but knowing that Nick Cave and Warren Ellis did the soundtrack has made this a must see for me, personally. I've loved all of their prior soundtracks, especially The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which is hands down one of the best soundtracks (and films) of the 2000s.

For those of you who have seen Wind River: is it yet another solid soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis?
I liked it, though it does feel like it was built out of leftover sketches and things from the sessions for their last album.
 
Always surprises me to hear someone who liked this all the way through. The first half was good to great. So much mystery to it if you came in blind. Was is it a post-apocalyptic movie? Were they hiding from some external threat? Then the guy shows up and provides some insight. But was he going to be the only guy? Was she essentially a prostitute servicing various guys in this room for supplies? I mean, it could have gone in any direction, or at least it gave that impression in the first half.

And then we get the rather normal reason as to why they're there, with the aftermath being, quite frankly, a somewhat boring drag.

Now, I came into this completely blind, not realizing there was a book, etc. So to me the options as to why they were in the room were wide open, and I thought the movie did a good job of keeping that mystery alive.
I came into it blind as well, and all those various reasons as to why they were there went through my mind, too, but as it progressed it became more and more clear which was the most likely. Sure, it would've been cool if it was something like
10 Cloverfield Lane
, but I wasn't disappointed by what it actually turned out to be.
 
I came into it blind as well, and all those various reasons as to why they were there went through my mind, too, but as it progressed it became more and more clear which was the most likely. Sure, it would've been cool if it was something like
10 Cloverfield Lane
, but I wasn't disappointed by what it actually turned out to be.
I suppose I was more gripped by the mystery of them being in there, then the knowledge they were
being held against their will
. The aftermath was less gripping to me. I get, in retrospect, their danger had changed. The PTSD statement above is a good one. But that feeling of claustrophobic intense urgency from the first half was gone. Such a completely different tone. Just thought it fell off a cliff.
 
Marcy Martha May Marlene
Gem of a psy-thri, twist me up!
6.7/10
________

I Kill Giants premiering tomorrow, been waiting for that one for forever... seems like the adaptation might be taking some liberties so I hope they do it justice. And yes even though the plot is a mirroring parallel to A Monster Calls... don't forget I Kill Giants technically came first..!! :p That's a decent flick and even better book too though.
 
From the sections I've seen on YouTube, the voice acting and animation in that film alone are worthy of the critical acclaim and awards. The storytelling is very odd indeed, but that's Charlie Kaufman's signature. Critics in particular would know not to expect a simple linear plot with solidly defined events and personalities.

The detail on the main character's face gives him a slight resemblance to the well known television actor Nicholas Lyndhurst, who was not involved in the production. It's a sympathetic face, and combined with the painstaking animation it mediates his estrangement and rather cold outward personality. His name, of course, is Michael Stone. That's no accident.

https://youtu.be/kQAftcZJQLc
I thought the story was pretty simple and linear, but lol wtf the explanation in that video. I'm not sure if I buy it.
I was wondering what the deal with the geisha statue was, and I totally missed that one line in the party scene at the end, but.... hm.
 
Zatoichi Goes to the Fire Festival:Kenji Misumi's final entry in the series is also one of its best. He ditches his usual restrained direction style here for something gloriously unhinged, offering all sorts of stylish interludes allowing for a hilarious bathhouse sword fight to play out to a bizarre surf rock soundtrack and trippy psychological breaks from the eyes of one of our antagonists.

Speaking of antagonists, while Ichi has had his share of fun villains to challenge in the series, this entry finally gives him a straight up arch-nemesis. The villain here is, like Ichi, blind, but instead of being quick with a blade he has cunning and sadism that would make a Bond villain blush. 

And fresh off from facing down Toshiro Mifune's Yojimbo, Zatoichi must spar with the great Tatsuya Nakadai this time, who graces the screen as a character not dissimilar from the beast he played in Sword of Doom. He's fairly disconnected from the main plot, but since this isn't a very coherent film in general he fits right in, stealing every scene as he slides in from the background like a wraith.

Zatoichi movies usually save their best moments for the climax and that's no different here, and this one has a truly incredible one, easily the best in the series. 

This entry is about as far from Misumi's last as you can get, as he has gone from fully embracing the Zatoichi formula to blowing the whole thing up. This was one hell of a film to go out on, and I look forward to seeing his work in the Lone Wolf and Cub series after I finish up the final leg of Zatoichi films.
 
I'm taking my time with Bergman, or at least I'm trying to.

Out of what I've seen:

1. Persona & The Seventh Seal (tie)
3. The Virgin Spring

I own Fanny and Alexander, but I understand that it exist as a culmination of all his work, so I'd like to hold off until I see more.
 
Best Friends. Spiritual sequel to The Room.

Holy. Shit.

Go see it. Don't read anything about it prior plot wise. Because it is just the most fucking ludicrous film. The worst film and best experience you'll have in a cinema. Jesus Christ...
 
Best Friends. Spiritual sequel to The Room.

Holy. Shit.

Go see it. Don't read anything about it prior plot wise. Because it is just the most fucking ludicrous film. The worst film and best experience you'll have in a cinema. Jesus Christ...
Oh man. Did you see it during the London screenings? It's still without a release elsewhere, I'm dying to see this thing.
 
Oh man. Did you see it during the London screenings? It's still without a release elsewhere, I'm dying to see this thing.
I did.

It's not quite The Room because Greg (who wrote it) knows exactly what he's doing, and it's more competent visually, but Tommy is so awful that the other actors genuinely look like they're on the verge of corpsing. And it's just the most ludicrous film. Can't go into details, it has to be experienced clean.
 
I did.

It's not quite The Room because Greg (who wrote it) knows exactly what he's doing, and it's more competent visually, but Tommy is so awful that the other actors genuinely look like they're on the verge of corpsing. And it's just the most ludicrous film. Can't go into details, it has to be experienced clean.
Perfect! I'm super excited to see it.
 
Chef

I can't think of a single thing I didn't like. This movie is pretty much perfect, and definitely one of my favorites ever now. Good vibes all around.

10/10
I honestly don't know why, but I've only ever seen the first half. Watched it twice, and for other reasons never made it to the second. Really enjoyed it though. Need to finish it for sure.
 
Any other movies like There Will Be Blood to check out? In the sense of the protagonist being an irredeemable tragic bastard and intense drama revolving around that? I've already seen Nightcrawler.

I didn't expect There Will Be Blood to stick with me like it did.