Saturday, December 18, 2021

Weekend Open Thread

50 comments:

  1. So, went to see SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME 3D (2021, theater) Thursday afternoon... and the damn picture wasn't in 3D! Wasn't 2D either (image ghosted), but with the glasses on the picture looked red and washed-out. Nobody in the theater wanted to miss anything, so I had to be the moron that went to get an employee to fix things. What a bummer to miss the first 15 minutes of a highly anticipated flick... especially since I never saw any trailers or TV commercials. Guess I'm gonna have to watch it again... in IMAX! :-D

    Luckily "No Way Home" mostly deliver the entertainment/pathos goods despite Sony's own "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" stealing the thunder from its multi-verse heavy premise. While the latter appeals mostly to comic book fans, the former is almost tailor-made for people who only know Spidey and his rogue's gallery since their early aughts cinematic incarnations. It's not perfect (Peter Parker's guilty of the same mistakes that ruin 2005's "Fantastic Four") and it often feels like Sony's trying to revive catalogue product ('Remember how much you liked Tobey Maguire? Buy his "Spider-Man" trilogy on 4K Blu-ray!'). But ultimately the good (Alfred Molina and Willem Dafoe crushing it hard, Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker almost stealing the movie from Holland and Maguire, an ending so pitch-perfect it tops the finale of "Spider-Man 2," etc.) outweighs the negative (Jamie Foxx, Sandman's special effects looking far inferior to 2007's "Spider-Man 3," J.K. Simmons' Jonah Jameson becoming a sad one-dimensional shadow of what he was in the Raimi trilogy, Venom, etc.). Though still at the whim of two movie studios using it primarily as a cash cow, "No Way Home" ultimately arrives at a place that makes me proud to say Peter Parker is my favorite superhero of all time. Not Spider-Man, Peter Parker (big difference). If you love Spidey lore get ready for some good heartbreak... the type of Nicole Kidman likes to talk about. :-P Highly recommended.

    Also caught Paul Verhoeven's BENEDETTA (2021, theater). As a once-faithful Catholic who lost the faith long ago but retains the guilt, "Benedetta" walks a narrow path between 'Nunsploitation' porn and religious historical drama (with a wicked sense of humor because... Verhoeven!) that falls apart IF you don't believe the titular character (Virginie Efira) truly believes she's seeing visions of Jesus as her savior... and future husband. Charlotte Rampling ("Zardoz") portrays a three-dimensional Mother Superior whom you dislike as much as you appreciate her no-nonsense style ('A convent is not a place for charity'), and Daphne Patakia's Bartolomea is an impish temptress you can't help but root for. Come for the horny nuns, stay for the power struggle between religious authority figures as a COVID-like pandemic wipes out the supporting cast... and to see a kick-ass Jesus (Jonathan Couzinié) decapitate CG snakes with his rightful sword.

    Steven Spielberg's WEST SIDE STORY (2021, IMAX) is a good adaptation of a Broadway musical/early 60's Best Picture winner that has aged poorly. The direction has energy (the 'Office Krupke' number even showcases Spielberg nailing comedic timing like a Broadway pro!) and the little changes to acknowledge contemporary society (Susan Oakes' Anybodys now an openly LGBTQ individual) welcomed. But me and this material have never gelled, and seeing it better directed doesn't make it any less off-putting to experience. And that's before Ansel Elgot's bland-as-milk-toast Tony falls far short of Rachel Zegler's ravishing Maria. Fans of the musical (lots of people clapped at my IMAX screening) will love it, but this one's destined to find an audience on home video/streaming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Benedetta was fantastic! I'll be first to admit I initially watched for the BOOBS, but it was super engaging. I still am wondering whether she really believed in her visions. I loved Jesus (her future husband) coming in occasionally and just wreaking. I love how Jesus is the most handsome man ever. Great movie. Will be on my top ten this year.

      Spider Man...meh. My family was buying tickets for an outing later during the holiday season, and I was "The Matrix! Let's go see the Matrix! Or watch Dune again". None of them have seen Dune but they want to watch Spider Man. My kids want to see Spider Man. Everyone wants to see Spider Man. I couldn't be less enthused.

      Delete
    2. Also Jesus' dick!?! Did you see the dick on that guy!
      Like Pacino said in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, "What a picture!"

      (Apologies for the lewdness, but it seems appropriate in this case)

      Delete
    3. Hey Paul. Your friends and family want to see "Spider-Man." You want to see "Dune" or the new "Matrix" movie. Why not compromise and you all go watch "Benedetta" instead? The kids might be a little miffed and confused, but that's what 'Parental Guidance' is for! :-P

      Delete
    4. I didn't even consider that. My parents, one Catholic, one Protestant, my brother who belongs to some weird sing song hands in the air church, they would love that. I KNOW my two teenage sons would appreciate some aspects of Benedetta.

      Actually, that's a great idea. I could say "It's about some nuns, dealing with martyrdom and preserving faith in the church during the plague." Would be a hit. What a picture!

      Delete
    5. Paul Verhoeven doing a nunsploitation film is very intriguing. I have seen several of the films of that nature that came out in the 1970s. There was a serious tone to some of them in spite of the titillation.

      Delete
  2. Spiderman No Way Home 3D (NO spoilers, reference to trailer)

    Heres the deal, if you are a fan of any of the Spiderman franchises And/OR the MCU, then do yourself a favor and AVOID spoilers and go see it. Its great.

    If you are on the fence...ill say this much...there's a fair amount of IP that is leaning heavy into nostalgia and mixing of new reboots with elements of original flicks. Often to varying degrees of diminishing returns (looking at you star wars and ghostbusters). We know from the trailer that this movie is bringing in villains from previous incarnations of spidey so this movie is, in some fashion, following suit. I was worried the nostalgia lean would diminish the creativity of the typical high quality writing of MCU. Im here to say happily...it does not. This is very much a wonderful continuation of Hollands Spidey story and very much about his development with his family and friends in his universe WITH the bonus of some classic baddies. It is fun, surprising, original, fan service with a purpose, emotional, and a fresh take on a character that has been in a LOT of movies. Its outstanding and the best MCU flick since Endgame. I will say it again...AVOID spoilers.

    Peace and "Hello Peter" -DocO (GOOSEBUMPS!)

    Mashke

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Molina doesn't skip a beat, and his Doc Oc (giggles! :-D) is as good as advertised. Man, I had already cried rivers of tears before the ending... and then that finale punches hard, but it's so earned that you feel no pain. Just sadness, but the good kind that makes you look forward to the next set of Spidey flicks. :-D

      Can you believe Tom Holland has been Peter Parker in SIX movies (three "Spider-Mans" and three MCU's)? Seeing "No Way Home" really makes me feel that Andrew Garfield and the "Amazing Spider-Man" fanbase were robbed of a good third entry in a potentially amazing trilogy. :'(

      Delete
    2. PS: A general, spoiler free, comment on MCU casting. From the jump (looking at you Iron Man), MCU has regularly done an OUTSTANDING job of casting characters. Sometimes characters that have previously been helmed by great actors. BUT there are actors who have just nailed roles previously and MCU is recently willing to not only admit that fact but embrace it. This is nowhere more prevalent than the post credits reveal in Spiderman Far From Home when the MCU brought JK Simmons J Johnah into their spiderverse. They are more or less acknowledging that it would be fruitless to recast.

      I bring this up here because there are a few other recent examples...i wont ruin them but Hawkeye just teased the carryover of an AMAZING AMAZING villain as portrayed in media outside of their movies. Also, in No Way Home, bringing villians from another universe kinda/sorta does the same thing (though thats not to say they wont some day recast Oc or Goblin in the Holland Universe) and there's also a cameo that does it moreso (for those who have seen...im referencing the brick catch).

      So..to my point...i reallllllllllly respect that the MCU is trying to work it out to acknowledge amazing performances for great characters external to their own movies and finding a way to carry them over. They dont have to given how well they re-cast, but as a fan, i love it and it geniuinely excites me for future outings more than i expected after the amazing ending that was Endgame.

      Delete
    3. I love how the Garfield "Amazing Spider-Man" movies never even tried to recast Jonah Jameson because, well, J.K. Simmons' take on the character was untouchable. So they used text messages and background Daily Bugle imagery to still keep JJ in the Sony Spidey universe, But yeah, MCU has taken this to a whole new level of both fan service and character integration. It's, well... amazing. ;-)

      Delete
  3. It's cold outside, Christmas is around the corner... so let's go to the beach! :-P Rewatched the "Jaws" sequels because... no reason, just freaking felt like it. Since the original 1975 Spielberg movie is untouchable, I'm ranking the sequels grading them on a curve that they're all vastly inferior to the original source.

    To my utter and complete surprise, Joseph Sargent's JAWS: THE REVENGE (1987, Blu-ray) is the official sequel I liked most. There are individual moments/scenes (the mangled-as-fuck ending, Michael Caine emerging from the ocean with a dry shirt, Lorraine Gary soliloquies, etc.) that are truly terrible, and the premise itself (a shark terrorizes the surviving members of the Brody clan across two oceans continents apart) laughable. But there's a solid middle portion where Lance Guest ("The Last Starfighter") is acting his heart out as a troubled son to a going-crazy mother, as a brother who just lost his best friend, as a husband to a wife (Karen Young) raising his daughter, etc. Even with an annoying sidekick (Mario Van Peebles' Jake) that should have died but didn't (check that alternate ending!), on rewatch I think of "Jaws: The Revenge" more as Michael Brody's movie than Ellen Brody's. And the money shot of a giant shark attacking a banana float in slow motion is the scariest moment in any "Jaws" sequel, by far. Shame that nobody gives a crap about the actual person who was eaten by the shark, only that Ellen's granddaughter (Judith Barse's Thea) survived. Again, not a good movie by a long shot... but definitely better than the following two.

    JAWS 3-D (1983, Blu-ray 3D) is shit... but it's entertaining, studio-backed 80's vintage, Hollywood blockbuster-wannabe shit that shines when watched in its original 3D. On regular 2D this looks no better than VHS: faded colors, grainy cinematography, annoying blocking ('That half-eaten fish head's coming at me!'). The curse of the Oscar-winning actor going into a paycheck movie is alive in Louis Gossett Jr. going into this after "An Officer and a Gentleman," not to mention how low opinion of SeaWorld has fallen in the years since the "Blackfish" documentary came out. The Brody brothers backstory is deep into the background... and how did Dennis Quaid morph into Lance Guest between 1983 and 1987? :-D Don't get me started on Simon 'Manimal' MacCorkindale, the 30-foot long shark that looks mechanical as hell, the beyond-shitty special effects, the dolphins that save the day, Overman's mustache... yikes! Again, in 3D a lot of this nonsense can be overlooked by the carnival ride fun factor. Terrible flick, but...

    ... Jeannot Szwarc's JAWS 2 (1978, Blu-ray), which I previously championed as being the better of the "Jaws" prequels, ranks lowest. Technically it's the better film because it retains the setting, characters and atmosphere of Spielberg's original... minus every ounce of tension, energy, joyful fun and/or character development. Roy Scheider is such a pro I always believed he wasn't phoning in his Chief Brody role in previous rewatches. Now? Scheider's eyes are as dead as the shark in OG "Jaws," a dead giveaway his heart is not into it. The prequel's colorful small town folks (led my Murray Hamilton's Mayor Vaughn) are dumber than anti-vaxxers, making one wish the shark would go on a rampage rather than strategically sniping swimming folks (and the occasional helicopter) when the plot drags down and things get boring. And while I prefer competently made to badly made, I'll take entertaining badly-made "Jaws" sequels (which "3-D" and "The Revenge" are) over "Jaws 2" because it's so damn slow-paced, boring and repetitive of every prequel beat we've been through.

    So, that's my story. Which is your favorite "Jaws" sequel (if any), and why? :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great write ups JM. Good timing too. My kid had been wanting to see Jaws for YEARS (probably started around age 3 when he saw me reading gotliebs The Jaws Log on a family vacation). We let him watch and he loved so we've been digging into the sequels. Last week we watched The Revenge which i told him id never been able to get thru. To my surprise...i kinda enjoyed it!?! I mean not in comparison to the masterpiece that is Jaws...the original is literally beyond compare in cinema. However it wasnt a total shit show. Its a bad movie for sure but not unwatchable. And frankly it results in one of the all time greatest interview sound bytes from an actor...EVER............

      The story goes: at some point in his career an interviewer asked the great Michael Caine about his experience with Jaws The Revenge. I believe the question was posed as a bit of an attempt to call him out for being in such a horrible movie. Michael took the bait (puns!) and replied "I cant comment on the final movie as ive never seen it. But i have seen the house that it paid for and its fabulous". Go get em Sir Michael!!!!

      Delete
    2. Michael Caine alone makes you like the Ellen Brody character because Hoagie likes her. Hooray for senior citizen romance in 80's Hollywood movies, but where did Hoagie get the $$$ to buy another plane to fly the family back home after he ditched the one he had against the ocean to get to Ellen's boat? :-O

      Delete
  4. If you have Disney+, I can't recommend enough the episode of Marvel's 616 that covers Supaidāman (the Japanese Spider-Man series pictured above). It's so charming and the interviews with the cast and creative staff is just delightful. There's a real love for the series here and it's a ray of sunshine to watch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Man, this Weekend Open Thread is turning into an 'All Spidey All The Time' lovefest. :-D

      Delete
    2. Im here for the spidey lovefest!! Patrick really set the table by using the image above!! (Although i thought it was from the wonderfully low budget 70s TV movie that i grew up on)

      Also...since we are digging into all things Spidey live action.... my FIRST live action spidey was from a childrens show called The Electric Company in the early 70s. Its worth a youtube visit.

      Thanks Joseph for the heads up!

      Delete
    3. Weird fact about those Electric Company Spider-Man sketches? A ton of them written by Tom Whedon, head write for Electric Company and also father of Jed Whedon (and whose father John Whedon wrote a lot of Donna Reed and Dick Van Dyke Show episodes).

      Delete
    4. And you're right, Mashke, looking closer that image is from the Nicholas Hammond TV series from the '70s. The web-spinner bracelet is different between the shows.

      Delete
    5. Young Morgan Freeman and Spidey together at last in "The Electric Company" (2:44 in)? Talk about your odd couple! :-D

      The picture above is from the "Spider-Man" 1979 made-for-TV movie "The Dragon's Challenge," which me and many kids around the world saw in 1981 as a theatrical feature. To many old foggies like me this was the first true "Spider-Man" movie, predating the first Sam Raimi Spidey flick by 21 years. Christ, I'm old! :-O

      Delete
    6. Those Electric Company shorts were weirdly correct for Spidey-Nerds like me. Like, he's canonically a Mets fan!

      Delete
  5. I also saw SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME (2021). I liked it... mostly. The extended cameos were all great, and Spidey finally grows up a little. But it makes me a little nervous for future Marvel movies. All the alternate universes/alternate timelines in Marvel comics get tedious quick, and I don't want that to be the MCU's future.

    THE ANGRY RED PLANET (1959) Trippy old-school sci-fi. It sets up a mystery of what happened on the Mars flight, and that stuff was really fun and intriguing. Then we get to the actual Mars flight and everything on screen gets tinted bright orange. It's really hard on the eyes. There are cool monsters and whatnot, but that orange tint is too much. I appreciated how strange this is, but I don't know if I'll ever watch it again.

    BATMAN RETURNS (1992) "It could be worse. My nose could be gushing blood!"

    JUDGE DREDD (1995) Another oddity. Everyone involved clearly thought this would be the biggest action blockbuster of all time, only for it just kind of dangle there on screen. It's also a lot slower-paced than I remember. For every awesome flying motorcycle chase, there's a long scene of judges sitting around a table talking about the importance of things. Every time I see this movie I want to like it, but eh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mac...i hear and concur with concerns around the multiverse stuff...honestly ive never been a fan as it opens up WAY too many options and kinda negates all consequences as you can kill a character and then say "we'll they were the one from universe XYZ". That being said i feel like they've utilized it with some amount of restraint in Loki and No Way Home so im cautiously optimistic for Dr Strange Multiverse. That being said i absolutely hope they shift away from it after than and stay in a more contained space.

      Delete
  6. Saw Nightmare Alley yesterday and liked (not loved) it. The plot felt a little loosey goosey--alternately ambling, disconnected, and implausible at times--but the atmosphere/vibe was great. Del Toro is great at making movies that feel like MOVIES (if that makes sense) and this was no exception. Fun performances, creepy feel, and great transport-to-another-era/world stuff if you approach it with a broad view and leave the magnifying glass at home. I had fun with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you seen the original film from 1947? It is excellent and has one of the most daring performances from a Hollywood actor in the 1940s.

      Delete
    2. I haven't, and didn't even realize there was a previous version (pretty much all I knew about the 2021 movie was that it was Del Toro, with a great cast at a carnival). I'll have to check it out--thanks for the recommendation!

      Delete
  7. Like most people here apparently, I braved the busy theaters to watch Spider-man: No Way Home and enjoyed it quite a bit. Spider-man is the character that got me into comics as a kid and between NWH and Into the Spider-verse I've been wondering what it is about the character that allows for all these different takes to all feel like Spider-man and to resonate with people so much.

    My current working theory is that so much of just about every iteration of the character is built around dealing with the weight of responsibility. Not just the whole "with great power" thing, but just the general day to day responsibility all of us have to deal with. Economical and social responsibilities, doing the right thing vs. doing the comfortable or more expedient thing, and all the other responsibilities like that which affect us to some extent or another pretty much every day of our lives. It's possibly the most relatable foundation that any superhero character has been built on. NWH I think gets a lot of that so right, that even when they're calling back to movies I actively dislike, it still feels very Spider-man.

    The other thing that stuck out to me is that while I like Holland as Spider-man, I found the first two movies to be a bit average. The one thing I really liked about Homecoming though was Spidey saving the Vulture at the end. A lot of superhero movies including a good chunk of the MCU and films kill off the villains, and it was a very Spidey thing to have him go out his his way to save the villain's life (Far From Home was maybe a bit of a step back in that regard). I really liked that the notion at the heart of NWH and the main source of conflict is that Peter's determination in helping people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you cry at the end Ross? Come on man, be truthful. I haven't felt like I did at the end of "No Way Home" since Mary Jane was crying at the end of 2004's "Spider-Man 2." This is a guaranteed $1 billion dollar movie (unless Omnicrom COVID spikes drastically over the next few weeks), and to conclude the way it did? That's MCU's influence over "No Way Home," because Sony wouldn't do this on their own unless forced to.

      Delete
    2. For spoilers sake I won't spell the scene out, but the bit that made me the most emotional was actually one of the callbacks to my least favorite of all the Spider-man movies.

      Delete
  8. I mentioned last week that I watch some boat movies. I believe I already talked about All Is Lost (2013, dir. Chandor) which has become one of my favourite movies that I rewatch every year. I really enjoyed Triple Frontier as well, and hope he directs again. Other movies:

    The African Queen (1951, dir. John Huston). After loving Huston in an acting role (Man In The Wilderness (1971)), I watched this movie which was fantastic. Bogart is absolutely wonderful in this, and you can see all the wrinkles in his face, and he just feels like such a real character. Hepburn of course is great too. You'd think 2 people on a boat would be boring, but oh no, they're on their own (superior) jungle cruise. I really want to delve into Huston's filmography, as this movie seems almost perfect. They fall into love over the course of 3 seconds, but that's the movies only fault.

    Kon-Tiki (2012). Directed by 2 Norwegian's who also made a the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. It's a true story of a guy who set sail over the Pacific ocean on a raft, to prove that the S. Pacific islands could have been settled by people from S. America. Great movie. Interestingly, they filmed this twice, in Norwegian and English. So every take they did twice, once in Norwegian and once in English. Old skool, like the movies from the 30's, before they realized audiences didn't care if they just dubbed people. I watched the English version. I love stories about the early explorers, so this was right up my alley. Hopefully they make a biopic about Ernest Shackleton some day.

    The Power Of The Dog (2021, dir. Jane Campion) is one of my favourites from this year. Cumberbatch is utterly wonderful as this gruff, mean, but conflicted cowboy. Rob's review was on point. I'm glad that Blank Check podcast is covering her movies, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of Campion's work.

    Rewatched Game Night (2018) with the kids. It was their first time watching and they thought it was hilarious. Agree with Mikko that it's one of the best comedies the past few years. I hope Rachel McAdams does more comedies, because she's the best.





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also watched both The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003) which I had never seen. They're great! I'm super hyped for the new Matrix movie. There's only 2 film critics I trust to have the same taste as me and it's Patrick (you might know him, from Fthismovie fame) and David Sims. Mr. Sims gave it a 5 star on Letterboxd, so I'm hyped to say the least.

      Another movie I was super hyped for, but then put off going to see for 1.5 month was Dune (2021>. Why did I wait so long. 5 minutes in I was "this is the best thing I've seen in years". And it held up through the whole movie. Rebecca Ferguson was really great at doing face acting. What a great actor. (I don't like to reduce actor's by their physical beauty, but good god is she hot). I ate way too many marijuana gummies before seeing it (it's legal in Canada yo!), so looking forward to rewatching it sober in the near future. My kids went with their mum to see it opening weekend, which took a bit of wind of out my sails, and why I took so long to see it. Definitely top 10 this year.

      Delete
    2. Oh, and I rewatched Jeremiah Johnson (1972). I initially wanted to just check out how long the opening "Overture" was, and ended up watching the whole thing. What a picture!

      I'm nearly done with with my watch of movies about "trappers" in the old west. I have a couple Heston movies left to watch, and will probably finish with Harrison's Call Of The Wild. And maybe a rewatch of Dances With Wolves.

      Delete
    3. I also watched The African Queen for the first time within the past few years and felt the same about it. Like you said, the premise doesn't sound very exciting, but the stars both have tons of charisma and chemistry.

      Delete
    4. There was a film made from the footage and photographs taken during Shackleton's 1914 expedition, Paul. It's called SOUTH. I believe there was an Ernest Shackleton movie made for television some years ago.

      Delete
    5. Thanks, A Casual Listener. I see a movie called South on Imdb which likely erroneously is dated to 1919. I'll see if I can get my hands on a physical copy.

      There's a really good documentary, which is on youtube, which I've seen many times. I would love that someone makes a theatre level documentary or biopic because it's just a great story.

      Delete
    6. That is the film, Paul. SOUTH consists of film footage and photos taken during the Shackleton expedition that was somehow salvaged, and it was released all the way back in 1919. There are even scenes of the Endurance breaking up in the ice.

      Delete
    7. Thanks! I watched it on Youtube. It's a collection of photograph and videos from the actual expedition. That's amazing that someone caught video footage in what must have been the earliest days of film.

      I was a very sad to see they had so many dogs, which were absent later on, as I assume they consumed for survival. At the same time, it's miraculous that anyone survived at all.

      Delete
  9. I'm glad to see all the Spider Man love here. I think why I'm not into it is partially because I never loved those Sam Raimi movies. I watched the first one and hated Toby Mcguire, and still hate him. Never watched the others. Toby ruined it for me.

    But they're due for a rewatch (or first watch, for 2 and 3). I love Sam Raimi as a director, so I should give them a chance.

    My disgust for Mcguire carried over and I never saw the Garfield ones either.

    So I'm pretty lukewarm about seeing the new one. The last spider man movie he used glasses to control nanobots to defeat the cgi villain. Nanobots? Is that one of Spider Man's powers? Hopefully I'm pleasantly surprised by the new one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're a Blank Check listener, right? Word on the street is they might be covering Raimi in 2022, so that might be a good excuse to check them out...

      Delete
    2. Yes, I love Blank Check. I would love if they covered Raimi. Would be a good excuse to fill out the holes in his discography, and I should really watch those spider man movies. My 40's year old self is not the same movie watcher as I was in my early 20's, and I think I could look past Mcguire and appreciate every thing else that is good about it. Hopefully. They're beloved by everyone, so I should give it an honest shake, right?

      Delete
  10. "Look at all my stuff. I got shorts, all different colors" - James Franco in Spring Breakers, and also Sony/Marvel in Spider-Man No Way Home

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scarface on repeat. What a picure! Love that movie.

      Delete
  11. Hey all! Hope everyone's enjoying the weekend!

    So I saw a movie called Spider-Man: No Way Home. Anyone else heard of it? I pretty much loved it (even though it does lose it a little in the middle) and some of the stuff towards the end got me really choked up.

    West Side Story looks great (that Spielberg guy knows how to direct a movie) and some of the songs are bangers, but it's long and Ansel Elgort isn't a leading man. And Benedetta is... a Paul Verhoeven movie, no other way to describe it.

    Tomorrow's plans include seeing Sound of Violence, an American movie directed by the Finnish Alex Noyer. It looks like a pretty bonkers horror movie with an amazing premise, judging by the trailer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great trailer. Looking forward to seeing it. Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
  12. Matrix Homework:

    First rewatched The Matrix. Its been a while since ive seen it but back in the day i watched it so much i wasnt even that into revisiting..until i pressed play...holy sh@t its a masterpiece. Also its a reminder that the Agent Smith speech to Morpheus about the history of the Matrix and his hatred of it is one of my all time favorite monologues.

    Next up: jumped to Matrix Revolutions....oof...its...not great. Im down for the world building (on the fly) and the attempts to push in heady philosophies but its just all so 'meh' for quite a while. Still, im pretty stoked to see what they throw at us for Resurrections!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As someone who just watched them for the first time, I really liked the Matrix sequels. I mean, the first movie said it all, there was nothing to expand upon it. So they created a whole backstory, and I loved it. Looking forward to the new one.

      Delete
    2. awesome to hear Paul! And we are well aligned with regards to the new one. cant wait.

      Delete
  13. Good weekend to everyone.

    LA BELLE CAPTIVE (1983, dir. Alain Robbe-Grillet) – Though they are an acquired taste, there is something about Robbe-Grillet’s films that engages me. Unfortunately, there is nothing in La Belle Captive that I could latch onto to keep me interested. The concept – Robbe-Grillet never used linear stories- seemed more random than usual, and even the imagery was not compelling. The Rene Magritte-inspired visuals would work better as a short film.

    BARE BEHIND BARS (1980) – As trashy as the women-in-prison (WIP) genre generally is, there are examples of it that push the sleaze factor well past good taste even for a trash lover like me. This Brazilian flick fits in that category. There is not much of a story until near the conclusion. Like the first time I saw this -over a decade ago now- I was struck by the quality of the dubbing for this kind of film. The dialogue of the nurse still makes me laugh.

    THE PASSWORD IS COURAGE (1962) – Needing to do some DVR clearing, I watched this British WWII film starring the great Dirk Bogarde. (He was the reason I recorded it.) What I was not expecting is a version of The Great Escape before The Great Escape was even released. Bogarde is the hero, a POW laughing at the plans of those pesky Germans trying to keep him and his colleagues under control. There is a comical tone to much of PASSWORD that makes it more entertaining than I anticipated. Not the greatest World War II film but worth a watch if you like these sort of films.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I saw Spider-Man, like everyone around the world seems to be seeing as well. I thought it was a good mix of comedy, action, drama. As JM Vargas said Alfred Molina and Dafoe are great. A perfectly fine family movie for the holidays.

    Looking at box office numbers from South Korea, UK, Mexico, Australia and the good old USA this movie will gross over a half a billion by end of day Sunday. It'll be over a billion by year's end. Insane.

    The amount of money it's making does give me pause. The excuse for movies failing at the box office has been Covid but Spider-man shows maybe only "Event" movies are what the masses want to see at the theater.

    I also, saw an early screening of Matrix Resurrections. Sadly, I didn't like it. IMO, it's not very good. I was extremely disappointed in the fight/action scenes they are edited/cut to fast. Will be interested in reading other's reviews.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Rewatched Dune at home this morning. So good. Is it my #1 for the year? Probably. I'm just a real sucker for big space ships slowly taking off and landing. Love it love it love it.

    ReplyDelete