by Patrick Bromley
Darling (2016, dir. Mickey Keating) I think this is still one of my favorite movies of the year, but I'm beginning to doubt myself a little after watching Mickey Keating's latest, Carnage Park (his second feature this year!), and having some issues with it. Could I have just been in a trance when I watched Darling? Does it have the same problems as Carnage Park but I was blind to them for some reason? I plan to rewatch it to find out, but I'm scared of doing it. Hopefully I still love it. Hopefully you do too. It's, like, under 80 minutes and gorgeous and features a great Lauren Ashley Carter performance. I'm sure of those things at the very least.
Night Owls (dir. Charles Hood) I saw this last year at the Chicago Critics Film Festival, and like a lot of movies I've seen at that festival over the years, it more or less slipped through the cracks only to surface on Netflix Instant, reminding me "Oh, yeah, I saw that and it was kind of good." This one's basically a two-person romantic comedy starring Adam Pally as a yes-man assigned to babysit the mistress of his boss during her alcohol-fueled meltdown. Rosa Salazar's performance as the girlfriend is the major reason to see the movie; she's funny and sad and sexy and destructive. It's not a movie that's going to stick with you for all that long, but it works for what it wants to be.
Real Life (1979, dir. Albert Brooks) Netflix recently added all of Albert Brooks' movies, and while I haven't yet had the chance to work my way through all the titles I haven't already seen, I was able to check out Real Life for the first time and -- surprise, surprise after 35 years -- it's terrific. He plays a version of himself as a documentary filmmaker who sets out to follow a typical American family in their day to day lives and make a movie out of it, essentially predicting reality television (and the GoPro camera with the special rigs his crew wears in one of the movie's best running sight gags). Of all Brooks' movies (the ones that I've seen), this one is the most like the short films he used to make for Saturday Night Live. He's the best.
Adult Beginners (2014, dir. Ross Katz) It's been interesting to see comedian Nick Kroll become the star of a bunch of indie comedies. Besides this one, I literally sat through a double feature of Nick Kroll indie comedies earlier this year with My Blind Brother (decent) and Joshy (better). Here he's a sarcastic prick (because that's how Nick Krolls) whose life falls apart, leading him to live with his sister (Rose Byrne) and her husband and son. This is largely a generic indie comedy, but the cast is appealing and it's all done well enough to be enjoyable for those of us with a high tolerance for this kind of movie.
I rewatched Darling not too long ago (3rd viewing) and I love it so much still I forgive it flaws. I got issues with Carnage Park too.ReplyDelete
I watched it last night. Maybe Patrick's review oversold it a little but I was disappointed. It had two horror tropes that bug me, quick-cutting to weird images (editing is not scary to me) and whispering voices (they've been done to death). I did like the atmosphere, photography, and lead performance a lot though. Some of the shots of NYC were stunning too.Delete
The shaky head thing drove me nuts (always does) but even the quick cuts weren't so bothersome to me. The performance, originality, look and score really keeps it as a great film for me.Delete
Also, about Stranger Things. Ultimately I liked it. I didn't LOVE it and found the middle episodes 4,5,6 to have some pretty bad writing/acting and I also didn't like the Upside Down aesthetic, but there was enough nostalgia, references and fun that I think it's a good show.ReplyDelete
Totally agree with you. It was a decent watch and VERY cool vibe. I’m a sucker for Spielberg & King influences especially with an 80’s back drop! Which is why I don’t really understand my luke warm reception to it. I think I was expecting more supernatural themes to be running parallel to the main story line. Which was fine but it felt like 8 hours was just too long to get to the end of that story line. The same could be said for ALL the characters. They were good but if I got less of them I would have ultimately enjoyed it more. Still the worlds a better place for having Stranger Things in it.Delete
Watched Darling earlier this week and have been thinking about ever since. Repeat viewing in the near future for sure.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the recommendations. I excitedly anticipating the Albert Brooks catalogue getting some more discussion on here as you guys watch them.ReplyDelete
I watched the 5 Brooks movies I had yet to see on Netflix and really liked them. Still can't nail down exactly why. They aren't laugh riots although they certainly have hilarious moments. They are just pleasant watches. That sounds kinda like a slam though. I don't get it.Delete
I find that they are affable charmers that turn into laugh riots after repeated viewings. My favorite kind of movie.Delete
“because that's how Nick Krolls” HA! Needed to point that out so we don’t have another “I’m a fan of Wan Direction” incident. Pretty excited to check out Darling. Unfortunately (Like Matt say’s above), Bromley and Chaybee giving such high praise may have caused me to build up an unrealistic expectation. I’ll try and check that at the door.ReplyDelete
Good idea, always. The Witch is still my favorite Horror and Movie of the year, Darling was my second fav Horror of the year until I saw Blackcoats Daughter which is now my 2nd fav. Some people might hate all three :)Delete
Speaking of Chaybee recommendations, I got London Has Fallen this week. I still remember your amazing review of this one. I will not be checking that at the door, that one is coming right on in with me :)Delete
How bout this...I got London has fallen in my top ten of the year so far. Now that's some Wolfman Balls shit right there! Haha. I'm telling you...they don't make R Rated action films for adults anymore and that's what really grabbed me. Keep that in mind when you check it. If not, I'll be cool with losing all credibility with you :-)Delete
While I agree with you on London has Fallen, decades from now Hail, Caesar! Will be remembered as the best movie of 2016.Delete
Agree on Blackcoat's Daughter. Chaybee, did you see Trash Fire? That was really good too.Delete
Unfortunately not. You guys get all the best genre stuff well before we do. When I saw the Bruce Campbell film Fest I was totally jealous.Delete
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Alright Chaybee, Darling was pretty great. Art house horror doesn’t often grab me but I’m in on this one. I would watch it again solely for the sound design. Even those Law and Order beats between chapters added to the THICK style and atmosphere. What’s in the door? I’m sure it’s supposed to represent sanity/insanity/acceptance or some such weighty notion. I’m going with the largest collection of cabbage patch dolls in upstate New York.Delete
Haha! Great to hear, Cullen! That sound design is amazing, absolutely.Delete
Alright. London Has Fallen. I had such a good time with this! I'm a sucker for Butler playing a boss. It's refreshing to watch an action movie be able to cut loose. Killing with precision and efficiency is the name of the game (much like John Wick). I loved almost every moment Butler talked trash (guess it's the mercian in me, let the judgement begin (fuck Trump)). I also found myself invested in the friendship...i know insane but there it is. Thanks for the completely opposite and awesome recommendations. Only wish I had watched them back to back, that's the kind of counter programming I'll take any day. Cheers :)Delete
Hell yeah! "Fuck you" "Fuck me?" Bashes dudes motorcycle helmet while driving. "No, Fuck you!" I loved it. Old school shit talking not even trying to be clever.Delete
That's some wolfman testicle testosterone shit right there! As promised.Delete
Chaybee, I have a challenge for you. Check out the movie North Shore (i'll buy and send the thing to you if it would make it happen). It's a terrible/great movie about surfing in Hawaii. I'd equate it to Gleaming the Cube or Rad but for surfers/people who live in Hawaii. I would love to hear someone in the know dissect this movie. Just remember this is when boardshorts were called Jams! BOOMDelete
Sure man, I'll throw it in my watchlist and get to it at some point. I gotta to get to Xtro first though for my man, Dennis.Delete
I remember much chatter about Xtro. It's on my list!Delete
Now if NetflixAus would get the Albert Brooks stuff my life would be complete. But they do have the Invitation, which was on last weeks list, and I know I have seen Hush and Super and You're Next on there, and just saw Night Owl. All stuff I haven't seen. So I will live. There's a lot of movies out there and I can get a little greedy is all I am saying.ReplyDelete
Watched Night Owls a few days ago and really liked it. I kind of felt let down a bit on Darling, however. It was just a complete mashup of The Tenant and Repulsion. I think quietness was mistaken for creepiness instead of the good storytelling that's also involved in those two Polanski films.ReplyDelete