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What Movies Have You Seen Recently?

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Apr 11, 2013
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I had heard about this one in festivals a year ago or so but didn't seek it out til I saw it on Netflix tonight.

Green Room is absolutely brutal. It's raw, smart, and suspenseful to the finish.

No fluff, no eyeroll moments, just survival in a realistic kind of scenario.

Also a very worthy performance from Anton Yelchin before his untimely death. Like Heath Ledger, seeing a performance like this from him after he's gone makes me sad he isn't here to show more like this. Kind of strange that 2 Star Trek alumni meet up in a film like this.
 
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Dec 9, 2014
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The wife and I just watched Life Itself on Amazon. By far the best movie that I've seen since Whiplash. Utterly fantastic. Oscar Isaac continues to impress me and move up on my list of great actors. Him, Banderas and Benning were great along with everyone else.

I will note that I had been drinking most of the day, but it was one of the most moving and emotional movies that I've seen in ages.
 
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Booksmart - 6/10

In the time of female coming of age movies like Eighth Grade and Lady Bird, Booksmart stands out as the raunchy teen comedy counterpart. It's pretty much an updated, gender swapped, slightly funnier Superbad. The two leads had incredible chemistry and the supporting characters were all pretty memorable, if a bit too excessive in number. Kaitlyn Devers' character had a lot of that realistic awkwardness a la last year's Eighth Grade that worked for me. Olivia Wilde showed that she can really direct. Looked great for a first feature. For the few highly memorable gags, many of which were in the trailer, Booksmart fell into a lot of pop culture jokes that will feel dated in the years to come. The editing was annoying; whiplash inducing cuts from scene to scene, especially in the first hour, made the slower second half of the movie seem like it dragged on forever. I hated the pop-rap score and numerous slow motion shots accentuating it. The sensational Alanis Morrissette karaoke scene was unquestionably the lasting impression Booksmart should have made but it got too bogged down in trying to reach a dramatic conclusion the final half hour.
 
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Brightburn - 5/10

A terrific premise without the skill to bring it all together. Almost exactly like the Superman origin story if Supes was evil and terrorized the residents of Smallville in a slasher flick. It really works in those moments even if the special effects aren't the best. The kid has a blank expression that is effectively chilling and there was a surprising amount of gore.

It felt very Netflix-y; I don't want to say cheap but underdeveloped and void of complex thought for sure. Better writers could have explored ideas like nature/nurture or growing up as an outcast. These writers had no interest in such exposition. It might have helped if they didn't have a hard 90 minute cap, which I imagine had to be the case with how rushed the third act is. The acting beyond Elizabeth Banks, who is nothing special but her usual steady self was welcome here, is comically bad. The actor playing the dad was especially hapless.

Brightburn seems like the kind of movie Netflix could have marketed well on social media like they do so often lately. As a wide release, Brightburn comes up short.
 
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Apr 11, 2019
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Watched Gone Girl with the wife last night, we both thoroughly enjoyed it and came to the conclusion that Rosamund Pike's character "Amy" was mentally ill. We were also impressed with Neil Patrick Harris' and Ben Affleck's performances.
 
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Deadwood: The Movie - 7/10

I'm posting this here for the expediency of containing my reviews to one thread and at the risk of polluting this one with HBO talk.

Was it a perfect movie? Absolutely not. Did it quell all of the unresolved emotions Deadwood fans had towards the show? Hardly. But it did tie up the loose ends from season three in such a way that it bumps the series up to number two on my all time list ahead of Sopranos and behind The Wire.

Ian McShane and Robin Weigert are tremendous. Neither has lost a step. Timothy Olyphant put in his best career performance, elevating the Seth Bullock character beyond the short fused lawman he was on the series.

There was simply too much to fit in a standard movie run-time. Side plots don't get the attention they deserve and feel forced as a result. Even still, there are enough one liners and obscene retorts to make the original run proud. For all David Milch has lost due to his tragic illness, great character dialogue remains unfazed. He did most of the characters proper justice. Everyone got the endings they deserved, even if they didn't have enough time for proper resolution.

In the end, it's impossible to base my thoughts of Deadwood: The Movie on anything quantifiable. I'm too attached to the series to remain objective. I very much enjoyed it though based on things I can't convey. It's a mood, a feeling, an atmosphere that brought me back thirteen years. Leviathan fucking smiles.
 
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Godzilla

as my 10 year old put it "hands down the #1 movie i have ever seen in life. nothing even comes close."

as i would put it "jesus christ, that shlock was 2 hours+ run time? it was basically 120 minutes of XTREME!! CGI that nearly gave me a seizure while somehow also nearly putting me to sleep"
 
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this guy nailed Godzilla:

June 1, 2019
A heaping radioactive pile of garbage, with cookie-cutter characters enduring loud scenes of destruction and then uttering banal profundities in the silence that follows.
 

air

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Dec 3, 2013
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Free Solo: What a documentary, wow. I regret not watching this in a theater and I think it was even possible to see it in IMAX? That would've been such a great experience with the excellent cinematography. The movie is about the first attempt to free solo (aka climb without a rope) El Cap in Yosemite. And this is such an achievement when thinking about it from the standpoint of the crew: they are filming someone doing an insanely dangerous activity while making sure to not cause a distraction. And there was no room for error since any little thing like sneezing or getting in Alex's line of sight could result in his death.

The film did an excellent job as a character study as far as understanding Alex too, especially how he just doesn't seem to grasp (or necessarily care) how free soloing affects the people around him. Left the movie with an appreciation on how people at the elite peak of a hobby/skill/etc never get cozy and overall, it was an inspiring watch.
 
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Apr 11, 2013
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The Dead Don't Die - 5/10

The latest Jim Jarmusch picture, obviously marketed falsely as a Zombieland-esque wall-to-wall laughs and violence 'Zom-Com', lacks the usual upbeat energy of that niche genre. Instead, The Dead Don't Die is a curiously quirky but still fairly by-the-numbers zombie movie with a heavy-handed message that is clumsily presented; unusual for Jarmusch.

That isn't to say there aren't funny moments. Bill Murray and Adam Driver have some great scenes together full of dry wit, assuming you don't get irritated by the repeated fourth wall banging and constant no-selling of unfolding horrors first. Tilda Swinton's oddball persona fits her eccentric samurai sword wielding mortician but her big gag is eye-roll inducing. Looking back, she's one of many characters who has no real point in the story. Caleb Landry Jones and Selena Gomez are introduced as if they will have some kind of effect but they aren't utilized much at all. The yin and yang of Steve Buscemi and Danny Glover have a couple good gags but are mostly bit parts. The only functional supporting role belongs to the great Tom Waits, who is turning out to be one of my favorite character actors lately.

All of it adds up to the notion that beyond George Romero throwbacks and droll reminders that the world is fucked up and might not get better, maybe Jarmusch didn't have much of an idea here for a movie.
 
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