F This Movie's recent push to put out more video content made me think about the handful of non-professional movie reviewers I watch. Since there are thousands of amateur reviewers online, narrowing your choice says as much about your tastes as your reviewer. I'd love to know some of your personal favorite reviewers who aren't attached to publications or media outlets, so that I may potentially expand my online reviewer options. Here are a few of mine:DRUMDUMS: Scary Movie Month and "Halloween Kills" introduced me to this guy, an ex-military (now civilian) movie nut who clearly loves his horror movies... and drum set. Great content for people who love to watch horror year-round and take it seriously while also not becoming genre fanboys.CHRIS STUCKMAN: though he has "grown up" and now mostly creates positive review videos highlighting the good rather than the bad in recent movies, nobody could do sarcastic "Hilariocity" putdowns of crappy flicks better than Chris. :-DASHLEIGH BURTON's MILLENIAL MOVIE MONDAYS: we need more young people like this, willing to take chances with movies made long before they were born. Watching Ashleigh fall in love with Mel Brooks' filmography one new-to-her-at-the-time film has been one of 2021's highlights. Her review for Spielberg's "Always" (which I don't care for) made me realize my disposable film can be somebody else's most treasured movie memory. One of the better 'Watching for the First Time' YouTube reviewers out there.CINEMA RULES: two twenty-something British mates watch new-to-them movies/TV shows, with an emphasis on horror. Nice chemistry between these guys, whose reasoning when scoring the flicks at the end reminds me of post-Twitter Film Festival F This Movie podcast get togethers. :-)I could go on but these are the ones I'm willing to share with you as my favorites. What are your favorites that you're willing to share with the FTM community?
I can really recommend Acolythes of Horror. They discuss horror movies (surprise) and mostly explore and discuss a specific theme that is present in the movie but maybe not that obvious on first glance. I got a lot of new and great perspectives on movies i already loved.
I've never gotten into Youtube video essays. They always feel like a 10 minute video that could more articulately be written and would only take 1.5 minutes to read. Perhaps I just haven't seen the better ones, but I think I just prefer the written word for analysis.
Thanks Jan Bü. Will be sure to give Acolythes of Horror a try. :-DPaul, I'm convinced there is a YouTube reviewer for every person out there. You just haven't found yours yet. I also prefer reading reviews rather than watching opinion (wouldn't be here if I didn't prefer Patrick & Company writing/talking about movies rather than doing videos), but a complementary video reviewer is good for an extra laugh or two. Give it a try Paul, take a walk on the wild side of the internet. ;-)
Ashleigh's fun. Two other reaction channels I regularly watch are Popcorn in Bed and Natalie Gold.
Oh, and on the video essay side, Folding Ideas is my favorite.
Wow, that Chris Stuckmann thing was cringe. Feels like he is trying to be like RLM or YMS but just a wet noodle personality
Then Chris' snark wasn't meant for you, Big Boy. But thanks for giving him a shot. 😊 Care to recommend me someone you like that you feel is better than C.S. at reviewing movies online, Mr. Recliner? 😉🤨
Ashleigh Burton's channel is one I have enjoyed. Another first-time watch Youtube channel I have appreciated is TBR Schmitt. As someone who grew up with Schwarzenegger action movies, the episodes on those films were a lot of fun. The reaction to the original Friday the 13th is another favorite. (Where's Jason?) A Youtube channel I have recently found is 80s Life. Among other things, the channel features videos about filming locations around Los Angeles for 1980s and '90s movies. BTW, how do you connect the websites to words here?
HERE IS WHAT I USE 😉🤨Thanks for your suggestions, Casual Listener. l'll give TBR Schmitt and 80's Life a shot. 🤠😎
From the director of 2016's "Jackie" (Chilean Pablo Larrain) comes SPENCER (2021, theaters), the latest in the never-ending parade of Princess Diana pop-culture depictions as a saintly "normal" female martyr surrounded by British royal jackals trying to extinguish her humanity. Great costumes and hairdos for the fashionista crowd, but seriously underwhelming as a drama. Like Natalie Portman in "Jackie," Kristen Stewart is reduced to pouring her heart of a pheasant, hold imaginary conversations with Anne Boleyin (Amy Manson) and pretend-vomit pearls in her bid for Oscar bait gold. Sally Hawkins and Timothy Spall get the most screen time opposite Stewart (the former as an ally and the latter as a Crown-hired lackey) and get to shine, but Kirsten should get a nomination for making "Spencer" watchable instead of unbearable.I'm a sucker for New York City-set movies set in a "fantasy" alternate reality, and Walt Becker's CLIFFORD: THE BIG RED DOG (2021, theaters) sure makes my Harlem neighborhood look more like "Sesame Street" than "In the Heights." Jack Whitehall sucks as comic relief uncle Casey, but he's not as bad as Tony Hale's thinly-veiled cartoon of an Elon Musk-like industrialist trying to dognap Clifford (who should have been a real dog when little instead of a CG creation from the start) from cute little Emily (Darby Camp). The movie comes dangerously close to turning Clifford into a kaiju-type monster during the climactic third act chase across Manhattan, but colorful performances by the supporting cast (Paul Rodriguez, Horatio Sanz, Tovah Feldshuh, etc.) keep it firmly in passable children's flick territory.SOORYAVANSHI (2021, theater) is the over-the-top action spectacle Bollywood is counting to bring patrons back into Indian theaters after the Pandemic hit the country hard. Imagine set-in-Mumbai "Hot Fuzz" taken to 11 without a trace of irony, replace the cult members with evil Muslim terrorists (most of them Pakistani) and have your titular hero cop (Akshay Kumar) mangle the name of everyone he knows as a comedic running gag. The tone-deaf juggling of violent scenes (including footage of real terrorist attacks throughout the 90's and 2000's) with dumb spectacle (a motorcycle chase through CGI streets) crash against one another, and that's before the beautiful Katrina Kaif gets a serious workout in the obligatory flashback dance musical number. Alas, when director Rohit Shetty brings the stars of his previous action hits ("Singham's" Ajay Devgn and "Simmba's" Ranveer Singh) to back-up Akshay Kumar for the climactic battle an already Michael Bay-ish Bollywood spectacle tops itself... and flashes some of the coolest mustaches in showbusiness. Highly recommended if you can tolerate the LOUD AS FUCK soundtrack.Last and certainly least, rewatched BIRDS OF PREY (2020, HBO Max). Written, produced, directed and starring women in titular roles, a little of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn shtick goes a long way (see James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad") and "Birds of Prey" outstays its welcome. Too little Mary Elizabeth Winstead's Huntress and Dana Lee's Doc (whose betrayal of Quinn is a gem of a stand-alone scene), too much Ewan McGregor and Chris Messina's Zsazs barking louder than their actual bite. This is also the least-threatening and more generic-looking Gotham City ever shown on film (yes, even more than in the CW Berlanti TV shows), part of Warner's desperate attempt to distance itself from the stench of 2016's "Suicide Squad." Worth a look before it leaves HBO Max in a few days, but it's an acute case of style attempting to (and mostly failing at) cover for non-existent compelling narrative or well-developed characters. ;-)
I still haven't watched Birds of Prey. I've just had enough of "superhero" movies. There's so much else I want to explore. I think I'll take a year off completely, and then catch up with the ones I missed.
Be sure to give "Shang-Chi" and "Marvel's Eternals" a viewing before your superhero hiatus. They won't change your view of the genre, but if you let them they can be entertaining two-hour cinematic spectacles that can still be fun.
I share your feelings about Princess Diana, J.M. I never understood the obsession with Princess Diana when she was alive and or now. There was nothing about her that I found remarkable. If she had not been a prominent royal, she would never have stood out from a crowd.
I'm not a Princess Di expert, but a good movie production should be able to convey her as an interesting character via acting, screenwriting, director's choice, etc. "Spencer's" biggest sin is that it assumes you already know who Diana was back in the early 90's and that you're squarely on her side. NOOOO! Make an interesting movie that'll make me care for Diana for the duration of this film as a chsracter worth caring about and investing in. Stewart doing a convincing mimic job of the woman's appearance and mannerisms gets me halfway there, but the dialogue/situations the director saddles her with lose me completely. 😕😓
Watched less movies this SMM, but I really liked Old (2021), Nightbeast (1982), and Dead End (2003). Dead End in particular did a whole lot with little budget, and was even more effective by not showing stuff and leaving it to the imagination.Highlight of the month was The Fury (1978) and Sisters (1972), and now I want to catch up on all the rest of early period De Palma movies.Since SMM, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) was next in my year long exploration of Peckinpah. It pacing was a bit disjointed, but I loved the gritty dirty feel of it all. At one point I remarked "Is this the 3rd Dylan song they've played?", and soon after realized one of the characters was played by Dylan.The Big Short (2015) I didn't like at all. The editing style is brutal. Now here's <> to explain things to you. It felt like an overly hectic documentary.Seven Days in May (1964, dir. Frankenheimer) is a political thriller set during the cold war. The military is planning a coup because it doesn't like a treaty to demilitarize with Russia. The action/drama is thoroughly gripping, and it leaves you with understanding both sides of the thorny issue. Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas star. I checked the theater listings, and realized that it was the last night The Last Duel (2021, dir. Ridley Scott) was playing, so off I went. The theater was actually about 1/4 full. You'd think the repetitive nature of the structure would get boring, but it's the opposite, as Scott masterfully shows just enough (but not too much) to subtly convey the notable differences in each characters perception of events. And the duel is fantastic. Glad I got to see it on the big screen.
I forgot to mention that Seven Days in May is probably the best movie I've seen this year. Just fantastic from start to finish. I'm looking forward to watch the other movies in Frankenheimer's "Paranoia trilogy", The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and Seconds (1966).
"The Last Duel" really got a raw deal by Disney marketing. It's an adult movie for adults, but they tried to market it as medieval spectacle starring Damon, Affleck and Driver. Like Ridley's "Last Kingdom," this one will be rediscovered in latter years on home video and streaming. :-(I liked "The Big Short." Adam McKay made a very complicated subject matter understandable and entertaining (in a "look at these stars doing their thing" type of way, particularly Christian Bale). I forgot all about "Seven Days in May" even though I've seen it. Once you see Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" it's tough for similar-but-played-straight 60's political thrillers to stand out. If you like "Seven Days..." be sure to check out Sidney Lumet's "Fail Safe" from 1964. Similar vibe, equally strong acting by a great cast (Fonda, Matthau, Hangman, Weaver, O'Herlihy, etc.). :-)
Thanks for the recommendation! I'll add Fail Safe to my "to watch soon" list.
I can't remember the name of a movie. Released sometime in the last ten years, set sometime in the caveman period, live action, somewhat serious. I think it opens with a woman giving birth at night. It uses a made-up language, or possibly a reconstruction of proto Indo European. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Not 10,000 BC.
Saw Finland's Oscar nominee and Cannes Grand Prix winner, Compartment No. 6, this week. It's a charming little movie about a young Finnish woman who takes a train trip in 90's Russia and gets saddled with an annoying travel companion in the same compartment. It's a small movie about small things and big emotions. Really liked it.Other theater stuff: The Last Duel is excellent and Jodie Comer especially is wonderful in it (though all the leads are good). I didn't really vibe with The French Dispatch, but that's me with most Wes Anderson movies.Also rewatched Game Night at home. Am I crazy or is it the best Hollywood comedy of the last decade?
Nah, you're crazy. 😉😁
Man, what a crazy Saturday at the movies I had yesterday! :-DAlamo Drafthouse Brooklyn had a double-bill of 80's Japanese "Godzilla" features, which made me realize all the big 'G' movies I've seen on the big screen are the American ones. It sold out for both Saturday and Sunday, but I got in when someone cancelled for the former. First-up was Koji Hashimoto's GODZILLA (1985), a reboot that feels closer in spirit to the then-30-year old original while embracing its goofiness. There's something about the miniatures and man in a rubber suit on a giant movie screen walking through water in slow-motion surrounded by explosions that feels right. Sadly its direct sequel, GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE (1989), wastes about a third of its running time with cartoony, stereotypical bioterrorists chasing after Godzilla's cells to start a 'kaiju' arms race. There's also a girl with mental powers that can stop Godzilla and a giant flower-like kaiju (the titular 'Biollante'), making this a rather goofy and silly entry in the series. The Alamo Drafthouse crowd laughed at the right moments and was in collective awe whenever big 'G' kicked 'Biollante'/military butt. A good time was had by all. :-)Then back to Manhattan to catch an Anthology Film Archives 35mm screening of Avery Crounse's EYES OF FIRE (1983). Holy shit, where has this nutty flick been all my life? It's basically "The VVitch" but way crazier and utterly batshit. Great setting/premise for a horror tale (mid-18th century America, when Indians were still able to harass British settlers fighting among themselves with supernatural curses). Long unavailable on home video, Severin will release a 4K restoration Blu-ray in early December. The entire crowd at AFA clapped with enthusiasm at the end, and this is a jaded crowd of New Yorkers that rarely clap at repertory screenings. Highly recommended.Back at the house, I had a jonesing for 3D so I put in Alan Taylor's TERMINATOR: GENISYS 3D (2015, Blu-ray 3D). Devoid of great expectations and appreciating it for the naked cash grab/love letter to Cameron's original "Terminator" series, "Genisys" has its share of small pleasures. J.K. Simmons turns a nothing supporting role into a compelling one by appearing weak and meek. Jason Clarke does his best playing a a Skynet-possessed John Connor, something nobody likes or wants to see. And God bless him, Schwarzenegger is in full 'old, not obsolete' mode and sneaks a couple of great scenes... until an ill-advised "upgrade" at the very end. Kudos to the filmmakers for carving their own slice of the "Terminator" timeline pie, even if it all adds-up to studio-financed fanfic (with Jai Courtney as the worst Kyle Reese ever).Also snuck in MY BLOODY VALENTINE (2009, Blu-ray), which I kind-of like despite the in-your-face, fake-3D effects dating it badly. Tom 'Dick Cloth' Atkins and Kevin Tighe have better-than-average roles for third-age characters. As he did in "Jason X" and "Drive Angry," screenwriter Todd Farmer gives himself an a-hole role so that he gets an early bloody death. And even though the '81 original is the better film, the '09 reboot compensates for its lack of likable characters (Jaime King as final girl? Barf!) with some brutal killings and different-but-similar narrative.Last and certainly least, Lucio Fulci's ZOMBI 3 (1988, Severin Blu-ray) sucks... but it's nice to have a physical copy in high-def. Behind-the-scenes turmoil (including an extensive reshoot by Bruno Mattei), Fulci in his late career downward spiral, a small budget and not the best special effects, production values (the Philippines looks ugly and barren) or acting (the guys playing Doctor Holder and General Morton are particularly embarrassing) amount to one big pile of nothing... except the flying zombie head. That ruled! :-D
The 1985 Godzilla (aka The Return of Godzilla) is pretty great, and the song at the end is weirdly seared into my brain.I've been slowly going through all the Godzilla movies (all 38 of them). I got through the 17 Showa era films (15 + the two that have different American cuts), and watched the 1985 G in October. Biollante's next on my watchlist.
Good luck on your Toho kaiju cinematic pilgrimage. 🙃🙂
As movie weeks go, this was as slow as they get. Getting things done was more of a priority than usual. I might not have gotten to the lone film I saw if the Prime rental period was not almost over. I am glad I did not let it expire.THE HOUSEMAID (1960, dir. Kim Ki-young) – On several occasions I went back to the beginning of a scene to confirm I had watched what I remembered watching. The story, about a housemaid who takes over the house where she works, is full of seduction and perverse power games. In a manner similar to the work of Bong Joon-Ho, social commentary is woven into the craziness and melodrama. Some of it definitely went over my head. The film materials used for the restoration were sometimes not in great shape.
Red Notice (2021 Netflix)Dr Ian Malcom: "Hollywood scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could make entire action movies by CGI green screen, they didnt stop to think if they should."Red Notice is very much a weird synopsis of where the state of cinema is in Nov 2021. The proliferation of streaming services combined with the collective pulling away from theaters (both in part by said streamers and, moreso, the impact of Covid on the theatrical movie going experience.) finds us in a place where bigger budget movies are not only being released day/date on streamers, they're being MADE for them. There are many examples with varying degree of success but ones thing for sure, the conceivable near future of cinema will see a continued shift towards this medium/format/release. Red Notice is the latest and to date one of the largest such movies. And by "largest" i mean the star power within (the term could also apply to setting and setpieces buuut thats more illusion than reality..we'll get there). The idea of a big budget, around-the-world chase, heist action movie starring Gadot, The Rock, and Reynolds NOT being primarily released as a theatrical movie would seem near impossible as recent as a year ago. But here we are as it dropped on Netflix last week. The review aggregator sites such as Metacritic have not been kind to the movie..theres a few positives but the trend has been in the 25%-50%tile. That being said i always try hard to go into a movie with an open mind and here's what i thought...I liked this movie. I liked it alot. I say that agreeing with most of the critics and critiques. First the stuff that i considered "meh": 1) Green Screen CGI. This movie and many others recently are a continuation of the evolution of filmmaking to the point that computer scenery and effects are so good there's little reason to shoot anything practical anymore. That being said, it comes at a loss..a big one. We the viewer KNOW its all CG. And this makes it hard..very hard to escape into the film the way we did say, when Indy was very much actually running in a real movie set away from a reallly large prop bolder. Of course there's the pro/con of this form of movie making is FAR safer and easier for the studio. Its the same discussion as CGI vs Practical in horror. But it IS the future so i cannot just hate it for hates sake. 2) Actors are Not in the Same Room. This is a new weird pet peeve of mine but when they make these quick flicks with a cast of several celebrities these days, they shoot when they can get the actor. This results in them stitching scenes together where the people arent in the same room. Unfortunately my brain is wired to look for it and when i do, its annoying. 3) This is a very by-the-numbers flick. no real depth. twists for twists sake. Ok..now..what did i LIKE? Quite a bit. We've seen enough Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds comedies to know their 'schtick'. This movie plays to both very well. Constant bickering quips and insults. But i REALLY like both of these actors and laugh alot at their comedy chops. This flick does them both well. Also, i LOVE heist movies and while this movie doesnt reinvent the wheel or bring much new, it does have some downright fun and funny heist moments. Some of the action is too CGI for its own good but there are a lot of action scenes and once i connected with the humor of the leads, i was happy to go along for the ride. The twist and turns are a-plenty and many times telephraphed a LOT. I wont go into details of Gal's role but i liked her interplay with the leads as she comes and go's during their adventure. And, in the end, i think the movie stuck the landing and really made me hope for more from this crew. Kind of a National Treasure lite feel to it. In the end its by-the-numbers and probably pretty forgettable but also kinda fun and 80s buddy-action feeling. Dig it!
Thanks for your review. Leaning strongly against watching "Red Notice," but doesn't seem like seeing it in theaters would have improved things. 😑🤨