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Films

Two Popes

I liked this one. A serious story, well told.

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Films

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Like all Terrentio movies, this one was both great and terrible at the same time. I’ll take it though. Not many lively movies these days. And great music.

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Films

Parasite

I thought this movie was – at best – pretty good. At best. A great example of PC and rich guilt IMO.

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Films

1917

Went to see Sam Mendes’ 1917 today. Overall, I’d say it was rather gripping. The “one-shot” camera working seemed to really put the viewer inside the movie, and the first hour or so was pretty intense.

On the other hand. The whole thing seemed a bit far-fetched. Why would the British send only two men on such an important mission? I know they said they would travel faster than a larger group, but why would they send several groups? Why wouldn’t they use the airplanes? The whole thing seemed highly implausible to me.

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Films

Films – 2019

I didn’t see any this year that I would call a great – or even very good. Below is a list of the ones I did see (that I remember), roughly in the order of “goodness”.

  • Marriage Story. I didn’t expect to like this one. Noah Bauckman, I suspected, specialized in upper-middle-class navel-gazing. And I suppose this movie has some of that, but I thought it was overall a very intelligent look at marriage/divorce.
  • Rocketman. Elton John bio-picture. The only movie this year that I felt showed some decent imagination.
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Fred Rodgers bio. Tom Hanks made a good Mr. Rodgers. Not sure how it was not nominated for an Academy Award.
  • Richard Jewel. Clint Eastwood picture about the bombing at the 1996 Olympic games. Paul Hauser deserved a nomination as well. The movie was highly criticized for its right-wing politics – unfair – and for its portrayal of the journalist from the Atlanta Constitution as a whore, which was very fair criticism. Entertaining movie though.
  • Ford vs. Ferrari. The story of the rivalry between the two companies to win the race at Le Mans. The real story is much more interesting than the movie, which was a bit stupid. But entertaining.
  • Dolimite is My Name. Biopic of Rudy Ray Moore. Entertaining, Eddie Murphy is always good.
  • Uncut Gems. Adam Sandler is fine in this Sardie brothers film. The story is preposterous, and not all that engaging. Overrated. But good effort.
  • Irishman. Scorsese’s mob movie. Eh.

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Films

The House Is Black – Forough Farrokhzad

Forough Farrokhzad was an Iranian poet.

The movie is credited for paving the way for the Iranian New Wave. The subject is a leper colony in Iran. Tragic. Her poetry accompanies the video. Very effective.

documentary on her life:
https://www.imvbox.com/watch-persian-movie-iranian-movies/sarde-sabz

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Films

Cold War – Paweł Pawlikowski

Very beautiful movie, liked it a great deal. Plot a clear ripoff of Casablanca (and probably many other films). Doesn’t matter. The camera work is very fine. The director keeps it moving just perfectly. The story, despite a lot of gaps, is compelling. Two thumbs up. Probably watch again someday.

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Films

Borg vs. McEnroe

Borg vs McEnroe is a 2017 internationally co-produced multi-language biographical sports drama film focusing on the famous rivalry between tennis players Björn Borg and John McEnroe at the 1980 Wimbledon Championships, culminating in their encounter in the men’s singles final. The film is directed by Janus Metz Pedersen, from a screenplay written by Ronnie Sandahl, and stars Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård, Tuva Novotny, and Robert Emms. The film opened the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

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Films

LBJ

Bio pic of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Standard bio pic. Woody Harrelson as LBJ was inspired. Perfect.

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Films

Book Club

Three older women form a book club. Read 50 Shades. Get horny.  Stars Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, and Candice Bergen.

Can’t   describe how bad this movie was.

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Films

Founder

Bio pic of Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s. Starring Micheal Keaton. Excellent.

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Films

Diary of a Lost Girl

Silent film about a young girl who get pregnant and parents kick her out of house. Super good.

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Films

Hell or Highwater

Two brothers team up to rob banks in Texas. Their plan is to raise money to payoff deceased parent’s ranch  which is about to be foreclosed on. Stars Jeff Bridges as the local ranger bent on capturing them.

Verdict: Not bad. Kept my attention. Script nothing exceptional,but better than most. The director, David Mackenize, has a nice sense of style.  Written by Taylor Sheridan, who also wrote Wind River, which might be worth checking out.

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Films

Blue Valentine

Watching it right now. Starring Ryan Gosling, mister handsome who starred in that piece of crap La-La Land. Also starring Michelle Williams who was not in that piece of shit, but was in the fabulous Manchester by the Sea.

So far my kind of movie, dark and depressing.

Directed by Derek Cainfrance. Never heard of him. He also wrote it with some other guys I’ve never heard of.

Ok, the movie is well done. and i have to say Gosling is good, makes the character real. He’s too handsome for me to like though.

The character might be a flawed. First, the dialog seems to be too intelligent for his character, a blue-collar, alcoholic who plays the ukulele. The same, to a lessor extent, is true of Williams’ character.

The scene were she dances while plays ukulele in the street is charming. Also breaks up the monotony of the marriage desolution, which seems to be going on for fucking ever.

I like it, but it’s just too much one note, over and over, the marriage going down the shitter. Needs something more. Maybe should have focused more on when they were happy.

It’s also too long. Woody Allen was right, a movie should be an hour and a half.

It finally ended. All I can really say is glad it’s over.

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Films

Black Panther

Why the fuck is that piece of shit so popular? I really think part of it is just political correctness. Black stars, woman heroes, gotta be great, right.

Part of it is me though. I focus on acting, dialog, the writing. I think people that like these movies focus on the action, and more seriously, the more big-picture mythological aspect, which I don’t pay attention to.

Anyway, I still think it sucked major ass.

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Films

Darkest Hour

Saw this film last night. Two thumbs up. Nothing terribly original, but  entertaining and informative. Gary Oldman did a fantastic job as Churchill.

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Films

Ladybird

This movie has gotten some good press and a nomination for Best Picture (I  think).

I didn’t hate it but I certainly didn’t like it either. First, a poor student from a poor family getting accepted into Columbia based solely on a well-written essay is patently absurd.

More than that however, I intensely disliked the incredibly self-centered, egotistical main character.  She wouldn’t get admitted to community college if it were up to me.

It seems to be that many young people these days are like this character. Too bad.

 

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Films

The Post

The  new movie  by Steven Spielberg about Katherine Graham’s role in publishing the Pentagon Papers. I  was surprised at how much I liked it.

Spielberg’s movies have also annoyed me a little.  They are all  good, and I always enjoy them. He has a nice formula,  which I mean as both a compliment and  a fault. He knows the steps to take  to put together an entertaining movie but it often feels a bit too much a paint by numbers. I  also feel like  he’ s talking  down to me too.

Meryl Streep is fantastic. I  always been a little  skeptical about her “greatness”, but I take it all back. She’s perfect in this one.

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Films

Watched Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986

A collection of short experimental films.

I don’t know,  I probably didn’t understand a lot of it.

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Films

The Florida Project

Directed by Sean Baker, who also did The Prince of Broadway and Take Out, but of which were ultra-low budget movies that I really liked.

The one seems to have had a bigger budget. Willem Defoe was a co-star. Still had the look  and feel of an art-film.

Plot centered around a young stripper/ part-time prostitute and her child and their “adventures” living in a low-rent motel close to Disneyland.

Film did a nice job of developing the characters and portraying the challenges of living with low/no income. Characters, especially the mother,  were very believable  and gave real insight into their lives. Defoe’s character as the motel manager was also well-done. The kids were amazing “actors”.

That being  said,  the  movie had major flaws. The plot really didn’t go anywhere, the same dysfunctional personality disorders were repeated over and over.

Still, I liked the movie quite a bit.

 

 

 

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Films

Dunkirk

Got decent reviews in both the  Washington Post and the New Yorker. Not from me. Yuck. 

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Films

The Big Sick

Nice little movie, based on a true story.  Plot: comedian from traditional Indian family meets white (very) girl. They fall in love, she becomes seriously ill, he realizes he’s an idiot, they get married. Lot of funny culture-wars type humor. Light weight, but very charming. Maybe fifteen minutes too long. 

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Films

La Vie en Rose

Started out promising, but eventually just repeated scene after scene of Edith in a drunken rage, screaming and yelling. Surely she was more interesting than that. Perhaps they should have focused more on the music.  

Didn’t enjoy this one. Didn’t even make it to the end.  

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Films

You Can Count On Me

By the same  director/writer as my favorite movie of last year, Manchester by the Sea. 

Love his writing. Really packs an emotional whallop. I love movies that are both tragic and funny.  

 

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Films

Heart of a Dog – Laurie Anderson film

I liked this movie quite a bit. Like all her work, I have trouble fitting it all together. What exactly she’s trying to say? What is the theme that ties it  all together? These questions I have trouble answering.

On the other hand, her work is incredibly inventive, and I love the combination of music, words, and images. Five stars.