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Discussion in 'GMD Social Forum' started by CiG, Jan 13, 2020.
a few for the action buffs in here:
not sure why the only trailer for this is a german dub lol
Speaking of action, Baby Driver is 2017 isn't it? I still haven't seen that one. Also action fans should definitely check out Jackie Chan's The Foreigner, pretty flimsy plot but great action.
Was Free Fire good? I'm a fan of Wheatley's other stuff, and have a mild crush on Brie Larson.
You white guys and your obsession with flat-assed sour faced women.
it isn't bad but it's definitely his worst movie. i'd rank 'em...
1) a field in england
2) kill list
4) down terrace
5) high rise
6) free fire
haven't seen the recent TV movie he did.
15) Thelma (Dir. Joachim Trier)
i'm kinda bored with these post-carrie coming-of-age/feminist empowerment narratives dressed up (rather lazily) in genre garb, but i love this lucid style of filmmaking, building a unique, startling visual language atop a small number of archetypal motifs. a lot of people compared it to the inferior raw from the same year, but i thought more of jim mickle's underrated we are what we are, particularly for how water is used to tell this story.
14) John Wick 2 (Dir. Chad Stahelski)
one of the most aestheticised american action movies in many years, a delirious arty pose which constructs an increasingly strained mythology around itself, feigns confrontation with the ugliness of its broken protagonist and his therapeutic addiction to violence, but really just wants excuses to fetishise itself some more. at the very least, it's refreshing in this day and age to see action sequences shot and choreographed with such care and panache.
13) Logan Lucky (Dir. Steven Soderbergh)
cheap shots at pop culture reveal soderbergh's usual bitterness about lack of funding, but it's channelled into one of his cannier statements on capitalism. a goofy but meticulous, barbed heist pic about stereotypical (yet sympathetic) blue collar americans (an amputee vet and chronically injured ex-football player, no less) rising up against those who've commodified their values and pastimes and redistributing that wealth to the exploited working class.
12) The Beguiled (Dir. Sofia Coppola)
a serpent intrudes on a feminine eden--an opportunity for coppola to work through her usual hang-ups about the moment at which innocence threatens to transition into experience, her legendary restraint ideal for visualising unspoken struggles between repression and indulgence. with its uneasy games between genders it reminds of phantom thread, but it leads not to a twisted reconciliation, only a doubling down: the women preserve their world and banish ours, audience included.
11) A Ghost Story (Dir. David Lowery)
lowery has called it beetlejuice or poltergeist by way of apichatpong or tsai, and sure, the uncanny resonance of its central conceit brings e.g. uncle boonmee to mind. his muse is still malick however, rerouting the language of the ghost genre toward an evocation of being in time, provoking Angst with a visualisation of the eternal recurrence. ultimately, the nihilism embodied by will oldham (in a deliberately obnoxious film's most deliberately obnoxious scene) is firmly dismissed.
10) Brawl in Cell Block 99 (Dir. S. Craig Zahler)
from the sparse, sterile aesthetic/sound design to the methodical pacing to the idiosyncratic details (i still wanna know what the creepy paedophile did with that stun button), it's weird enough to stand out from its DTV brethren, yet grounded enough to avoid the pretension of something like universal soldier: day of reckoning. thankfully it doesn't skimp on the visceral stuff either.
9) The Florida Project (Dir. Sean Baker)
disney world, florida: packaging and reselling the fantasies of the young and poor, promising escape from the plight its existence quietly helps to perpetuate. of course there's no place for moonee there - she's an affront to the wholesome family values it stands for - but it'll keep feeding her desires 'til the moment she reaches the locked gate. that ending is exactly as exhilarating, as plastic, as doomed as any flight into a manufactured magic kingdom must be. i'm fairly sure baker is the most boring guy on earth, but he has an eye and this is his best work so far.
8) Good Time (Dir. Josh Safdie, Ben Safdie)
never wrote anything about this but yall should watch it (and heaven knows what) in preparation for uncut gems. the safdies are legit, and it may be pattinson's best performance.
7) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Dir. James Gunn)
this got to me, not gonna lie. the messy dysfunctional family dynamic derived from secret and shared pain is why i watch these movies, not the hip nostalgia. love how, e.g., quill uses the smallness of rocket and baby groot in more or less the same way yondu once used quill; these cycles are hard to break. also, batista is basically the funniest comic actor in hollywood at this point.
6) Coco (Dir. Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina)
not the most thorny or surprising pixar film of recent years, but probably the most beautifully constructed, and an impassioned explanation for their longstanding obsessions with mortality and memory, suggesting that traditions--art, myth, culture, family--are the healthiest response to our temporary existence, tools for building bridges between the past and present so that nothing is lost. heavy stuff, mostly (not always, e.g. the 2D villain) granted the texture and weight it deserves.
5) Murder on the Orient Express (Dir. Kenneth Branagh)
a murder is revealed to be a healing balm, a catalyst for masks to fall and humanity to emerge, and so poirot, nursing his own fractured soul, must re-examine his rigid moral code. it's a film about moral simplicity--how it's our nature to desire it, and the world's to deny it--so it's fitting that hidden within its light confection is a rich, conflicted centre. none of it would work without branagh's powerful performance: he manages to sell both absolute conviction and the dissolution thereof.
4) Logan (Dir. James Mangold)
my favourite superhero movie of the decade mostly pretends it isn't one. i would argue that says more about the state of the modern superhero movie than it does about me.
3) Marjorie Prime (Dir. Michael Almereyda)
echoes of soderbergh's solaris (and blade runner 2049) in almereyda's latest unsung triumph, another psychologically acute (echo-)chamber drama masquerading as high-concept sci-fi piffle. that film's memorable line--"i can't help but wonder if i remembered her wrong"--is an ideal springboard into this idea that identity construction is an artistic process, editing the past so only the desired narratives survive. cinema as a creative negation of trauma, two idealised memories riffing on last year at marienbad and framed by a TV screen respectively.
2) The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)
this is pretty well-trodden territory (from euripedes through funny games), but lanthimos' tonal control is frightening: so many of these lines and shots would feel cheaply provocative outside this very specific register, where they had me in stitches or squirming with discomfort. i'm sure it's obnoxious if the humour doesn't land, but you gotta admit keoghan's innocuous anti-villain is one of the most singular, unnerving characters in recent memory.
1) Phantom Thread (Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
the most self-effacing film of anderson's career, about an obsessive, controlling artist whose deepest desire, unbeknownst to him, is self-sabotage (recall pattinson in cosmopolis, inserting a flaw into his own suffocatingly perfect system). it's the saboteur's film though, like if one of hitchcock's heroines adjusted his film to her liking, breaking rules and opening doors and adding ingredients until, like she through his, he's made perfect through her work. that's love. that's filmmaking.
you'd think from my list that i only saw like 30 movies from 2017 but it was more like 70. ugh. i'll throw out ten dishonourable mentions for movies that had some kind of buzz:
i hate this idea that the only alternative to tony snark is a return to earnest, B&W idealism. as an alternative to trump it's even worse, 'cause it's playing the same game only flipping the board around; no need for nuance when you have conviction, compassion, REALNESS. gadot is radiant, endearing and super convincing in this positivity pornstar role; her being revealed as pro-IDF in the aftermath is the perfect analog for a hollow, gestural film.
three billboards outside ebbing, missouri
anger begets anger and empathy begets empathy, sure, but when anger comes in the form of laughably edgy/contrived putdowns (crips 'n bloods lol, "i hope you get raped" lol) and empathy as insincere “virtue-signalling” (half-assedly criticising what it most gets off on; caricatures/minorities humanised in perfunctory, self-serving ways) or cringy sentimentality (cancer lol CGI deer lol) the point rings hollow. never mind the coens, i think i'd take guy ritchie over mcdonagh at this point.
wright's always been a pandering, masturbatory motherfucker without pegg's human touch, and he reaches a career nadir with this bumbling collision of edgy, pseudo-QT subversion and laughably retrograde sentiment. everything is a pose, everything is strained, even the action deevolves into spatially murky chaos after the neat opening.
spielberg should put his intimidating formal chops toward something cool for once like, idk, a killer animal movie, 'cause the last thing the left needs right now is an old rich middlebrow fucktard with no self-awareness attacking an administration built on the back of such people's failings, complete with the usual whiff of self-congratulatory neoliberal condescension. he probably means well but i'm not sure any director is less suited to the task of indicting the established order.
act I is a nice, serene child-animal fantasy pitched somewhere between my neighbor totoro and the last guardian. alas it's about capitalism again, so the yanks arrive straight out of a below par south park ep, and although the creaking satire initially seems balanced, the cynicism turns toward the audience with some particularly aggressive third act hogocaust moralising. it's almost worth a rec for sheer nuttiness, but really it's a misguided clusterfuck and a redundant nadir in bong's filmography.
'Men marched asleep! Many had lost their boots! But limped on! Blood-shod! All went lame! All blind! Drunk with fatigue! Deaf even to the hoots! Of tired! Outstripped! Five-nines! That dropped behind! Gas!!!!!! Gas!!!!!!!!!!!!! Quick, boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! An ecstasy of fumbling! Fitting the clumsy helmets just! In! Time! Motherfuckersssss!!!' - a poem by wilfred owen, translated by christopher nolan, read by hans zimmer
more of a glorified twitter-era thinkpiece than an immersive movie, clever and 'woke' to a fault, suspiciously lapped up wholesale by its supposed satirical targets.
world of tomorrow part 2
from the repetitive 'kids say the darnedest things' schtick to the overly self-conscious deadpan one-liners, the humour of these films is more obvious and accessible than hertzfeldt's other material, almost like it's actually aimed at kids (it would make sense thematically if he's made them for his daughter to watch when she's older). kinda reminds me of some old newgrounds/flash stuff tbh. this one's much weaker than the already overrated first anyhow; bloated and redundant.
the abbey road reference on the poster says everything you need to know about what a cutely nostalgic middle aged BBC documentary this is. lmfao at godard though.
the titular motif is served well by ostlund's boxed in compositions and use of invasive off-screen sound, while his staging does justice to andersson and bunuel comparisons (THAT set-piece), but it's very obviously a first draft (a re-edit was rumored pre-cannes). without haneke-level discipline, a snarky satire on the hypocrisy of privileged, 'civilised' liberal/patriarchal institutions really needs more of its jokes to land (tourettes, ruben?...). i'll stick with my lanthimos on that score.
annnnnnd a few probable failures that i would recommend for being interesting, difficult, potentially misunderstood by my dumb ass, etc
panders to middle class whites in its v fun first act, then turns on them for the detached, self-serving wokeness which made that first act appeal, which is a bold bait & switch mirrored elegantly by the visual and tonal structure. but it doesn't quite work, because ofc alexander fucking payne is way better at doing the first thing than the second thing, to the point where the second thing ends up feeling like more of the first thing sans humor - just the usual solemn middlebrow sermonising. still might be some kind of great movie in here though.
an obsessively nostalgic visual patchwork referencing everything from sjostrom to spielberg. it's unwieldy, ultimately too tidy and expository, and doesn't work as the warm, wondrous family fare it shoots for, but it does feel like a half-forgotten memory of such things (more maddin than the artist, albeit sans the humor). what stops it being cinephilic wankery is that its form is an extension of its characters' search for and preservation of history, and the accompanying feelings of loss and yearning. probably my number 16 of the year actually.
why does aronofsky tether us to Mother's perspective? why are we affiliated with the violated vagina, the shattered muse, the scorched earth, and never the ecstatically ejaculating pen(is)? i don't believe this decision is intended as (would-be disingenuous) apologia; more like aronofsky wants to fuck us into flames too, so his creation can shine ever brighter. i can't deny he got inside, even though i think gaspar noe is better at this kind of thing.
professor marston and the wonder women
can't decide whether it's subversive or a betrayal to normalise these risque ideas until they're indistinguishable from banal period fodder. depends on the scene i suppose - hall fares better than the other two. “when are you going to stop justifying the whims of your cock with science?”
star wars: the last jedi
if j.j. was necessarily devout, rian's all bergman struggle. it's marvel-tinged, over-elaborate & rushed (exception: that breathtaking stretch from mirrors to hands), but the radical narrative subversions are mythological autocritique, embodied by hamill's conflicted performance (disdain alongside a nostalgic 'milking' of the SW mystique--a love/hate relationship). leia's projection inspires his own, their suns set together: a symmetrical conclusion made resonant by the intervening loss of faith.
i love you, daddy
so inept, so uncomfortable, so fascinating. as both drama and comedy it's a clanking mess, but a breathtakingly personal one, although it's difficult to distinguish between louis ck's weaselly rationalisations and his commentary on the same. it rejects the infantilising of women and instead infantilises the pathetic schlubby beta, who may dream of being a suave predator but has no real power over anything, least of all women. still a shitty failure of a person, just not the one he's been painted as?
ray meets helen
alan rudolph's latest film was a rare kind of bad that most directors are far too mediocre to even imagine.
Amen to that shit.
Have you watched Glass yet? I like Logan and Glass about equal, but an argument could definitely be made for Glass being the best superhero film of the decade, or at the very least the most inventive.
i'm scared to watch it in case i hate it and pompey doesn't like me anymore
Imagine being hated by your own alt.
I loved this movie. Appropriate comparison you make between this and Lanthimos. I preferred this to The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and I think it's primarily because the humour lands much better with me.
I've seen six movies, and liked four of them, so I guess star wars gets undeserved points due to minimum list size
Blade Runner 2049
Call Me by Your Name
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
I'll keep this game open, for months if need be, so you can see enough that Disney Wars gets bumped off the list.
I know you've seen a shitton more movies than I have, but seriously? Sounds like you're getting hung up on the 'wokeness' and overlooking everything else. I'm not a fan of 'wokeness' as a rule, but I thought Get Out played with race politics in a pretty creative/memorable way, and succeeded as a horror movie by not being generic and predictable like most horror movies.
Well he did call it clever in that very comment you quoted, to be fair.
But with negative connotations, as I read it.
Ha! Seen that before. I'm good though.