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The last film you saw -- and what would you grade it


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Thirteenth Tale. B-.

It was okay but left something to be desired compared to the book. I really enjoyed the writing in the novel, so that probably detracted from the movie for me.

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty   A   I am pretty sure I love this movie. Ben Stiller's best work, imo.

Heavy Metal. Watched under the influence. I give it 9,001 cartoon nipples.  

Zero Dark Thirty   C+   An intriguing romantic comedy that's short on laughs but long on heart. Jessica Chastain stars as a beautiful young overachiever with a razor sharp tongue on a desperate quest

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Self/less (2015)

 

not/good

 

 

What a waste. Squanders its premise. Barely even a hint of the director's trademark visual flair. Bizarrely edited. Boring, pedestrian action sequences (a single notable exception : when Ryan Reynolds shoots the guy holding the flamethrower in the leg and the guy pivots to the side and accidentally sets Anton on fire, well, I'm not proud but that brought a smile to my face --- don't know what kind of awful person that makes me but it was a nice piece of business, I guess that's what I want out of my movies, guys being set on fire on accident thanks to the hero) and a car chase that was well-nigh incomprehensible. Victor Garber and Melora Hardin are in a better movie inside of this movie, though, they should have tried making their movie instead of this one.

 

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Terminator Genisys: D+

 

Jai Courtney had less personality than Arnold did and HE was the terminator. Emilia Clarke wasn't tough enough to pull off Sarah Connor like Linda Hamilton did. Arnold was...fine I guess. Old Arnold in a terminator movie rates low on my "things wrong with this movie" list. CG Arnold from 1984 looked bad. Jason Clarke as John Connor was good! The story was weak because the time-travel plot elements didn't make sense, and much of it was unexplained. I'm a huge fan of the t-1000 myself, but in this movie he was pointless and shouldn't have been in the movie at all...but he was shoe-horned in for nostalgia effect. The trailer spoiled the big plot twist of the movie too...so if you're thinking about seeing this movie and HAVENT seen the trailer, I urge you NOT to watch the trailer.

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Minions

 

A

 

OMG SO much fun! I giggled almost non-stop.

 

Saw it in 3-D, which was used 100% better in this than in Despicable Me.

Jon Hamm's voiceover TOTALLY wins in this film and I love the minions more now than ever,

especially Bob, with his teddy bear and sewer rat. Roaring good fun for the whole family!

 

MIND THE GAP!

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Southpaw B+

 

I believe this movie was funded by pharmaceutical companies to boost the demand for their antidepressants sales. As you might have guessed from the trailer, it's about the fall and redemption of a boxing champion played by Jake Gylenhall. This movie relentlessly forces you to watch as the main characters life just goes to complete hell for most of the movie, and just when you think he's hit rock bottom, they lower the bar and hit you again with scenes that are hard to watch and will bring you to tears. This sounds like im bashing it, but....it was done incredibly well. Besides, that's clearly what the movie set out to do, so I can't fault it for that, which made grading it kind of tough. Gylenhall was amazing; the man is one of the best actors around. Not many could have performed as well as he did.

 

Hard to watch, hard to recommend, but it was very good and succeeded in what it set out to do, and that is to make you cry for an hour and a half before arcing the main character.

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Sinister - A

 

Holy crap. Just ... holy crap. Watched this at 1 in the morning. Didn't need the sleep anyway. THIS, folks, is how you do a horror film. Creepy ambience prevails throughout, but enough dread to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout, and a few good jumpscares and some gore for good measure. I'd hate to be inside the head of the guy who did the sound track. Must be on a first name basis with Cthulhu or something like that, 'cause it's damned creepy. One of the best horror fils I've seen in a long time. Perhaps ever.

Sinister II - B

 

Still trying to process this one. Has less of the creepy, mysterious vibe of the first one, yet more dread. Largely because you know what's coming. Sort of. Still, a respectable, if largely paint by numbers, horror film.

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The Man From Uncle: B-

 

Very fun -when it tried to be. The props and costumes of the 1960s filmed with modern technology is reminiscent of X-Men First Class.

 

I've only seen Henry Cavill act in TMOS and this film. If he's as wooden and dry in all his work, we won't be seeing much more of him outside of his Superman gig.

 

WHY OH WHY IS THE LAST ACTION FIGHT SCENE IN THE RAIN (IN THE DAY) WITH SHAKY CAM?!? RAGE! Honestly, I had to turn my head away. And immediately after the big bad fight scene, the rain stops and camera goes steady. It almost looked as if they were trying to go for a parody scene here.

 

Alicia Vikander can dance her pajamas and 60s sunglasses in my living room ANYTIME she wants!

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Black Mass C+

 

Worth a watch in the theaters, but I wouldn't say it's a must see. The cast is top-notch, Johnny Depp "kills it" as Whitey Bulger. The movie isn't super interesting or fun though. You don't meet His antagonist until 80% of the movie has run, then it ends abruptly. So basically you're just watching an hour and a half of stuff happening...then BOOM caught! The end.

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Click. A-!

 

I was in the mood for a dumb comedy last night and decided on this. I was not expecting it to get as depressing as it did! One scene legitimately had me in tears, a first for me while watching an Adam Sandler movie.

 

The scene! Doesn't exactly spoil the movie but it's better if you see the whole movie.

 

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The Revenant : A+

 

Period survival film in the wintery north of the USA/Canadian boarder. Proper frontier shit. This film ****ing blew my mind. I went into it with zero expectations and was taken on a harrowing journey that was beautiful and horrific at the same time. But was on the edge of my seat the whole time. A must see. I would venture that this film goes down in cinematic history as something very special. At least, for the state of modern cinema it is a return to a style of storytelling not seen in a long long time. (In my experience at least). It has art-house moments.. but it isn't either. It is a straight up story, about revenge and survival and it is executed flawlessly. See it.

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Baby Driver

A++++

 

 

An action movie so good it makes all other action movies look bad and a musical so good it makes all the other musicals out there look, like, even worse. I suppose if you had to define what cinema is, to, say, an alien or what-have-you then you would probably talk a lot about movement, about motion, about the primal marriage of sound to sight --- or you could just show that alien this movie instead, I bet the alien would like this movie, I bet anyone would like this movie. If you don't like this movie, well then, maybe movies just aren't for you. To (badly) paraphrase Keats, this film is half in love with easeful death (it's probably Edgar Wright's most violent picture, and that's including the one(s) where human civilization as we know it is over and/or irrevocably changed by the final reel) and half in love with music, with momentum, with language itself. I suppose the only real criticism of it is that it's a tad heartless compared to his earlier work but what heart it does have it wears on its sleeve; the heartlessness didn't bother me, I don't mind how nearly everyone's more or less a blank slate --- that blankness was executed with real charm and wit, for me, that blankness was purposeful, that blankness is the clean canvas against which the audience can successfully paint themselves into the characters. And I liked the surprises, how often is a movie genuinely surprising without being all dumb cutrate M.NightShyamalan twist-y turn-y? Not often enough! In conclusion : see this movie, bring an alien to see this movie. Best movie I've seen since, I dunnaknow, Swiss Army Man at least and that can't be universally recommended to all and sundry because it's a grossout body-horror comedy while this movie may be a crime-y action-y shoot'em'up with blood and swears and sex but the whole package feels very wholesome. See it! See it twice (I did; caught stuff the 2nd time around in the usual fashion of his films but also in a way that was truly different from his usual layers --- I think some of the moods of it are best processed on a second go-through; the sequence where B. Driver sunsets the car & corpse, flashes back to his mother, and then walks away listening to that particular song, well, it reads as 'oh how sad' on a first viewing yet tore me open the second time around)!

 

 

Transformers V (?): The Last Knight

???????

 

 

I, no joke, lost consciousness at some point during this. I just slumped in my chair during a bit where the Decepticons had arrived to a town outside an Indian reservation (or, possibly, within the boundaries of the Indian reservation itself, I was a little unclear on what happened where in this movie, parts of it take place in a junkyard, parts of it take place in Chicago, parts of it take place in Cuba, parts of it take place in Merrie Old England, parts of it take place in Tony Hale's basement, parts of it take place beneath the ocean, parts of it take place in the skies above us, parts of it take place in the vast and terrifying distances between stars --- oh, and all these parts taking place do so in both the present and the faraway past, but I suppose my chief complaint is that I don't really know what this movie's parts are in the way that I usually come out of a movie knowing what the parts of it are (I know what Baby Driver's parts are and that's actually structured in a relatively fresh way, yet nonetheless I know that it is a movie in which a main character is involved in three (3) heists and grows over the course of his film to question his life of crime while he bounces between an actually quite limited array of environments, it's basically just car(s), elevators, Kevin Spacey's shabbos table, his apartment, the diner, and a dream sequence, every other place in the movie is really only visited once or so and is therefore not overly freighted with the appearance of relevance in the way every single location in this blockbuster mishmash is); I do not know who this movie's main character is (I assume it is Anthony Hopkins???!? Somehow?!?) or what any of whoever they might be do over the course of their film) nor do they ever really connect to each other in a way that generates any real semblance of meaning. At one point in this movie's seven full hours of running time Optimus Prime yells at a bunch of other robots (or, possibly, a single individual robot which can split itself into other tinier robots) "Did you forget who I am?" and I think that is an important question because for the majority of the film it does forget who he is, I am not superclear on my Transformers mythos but I am pretty sure Optimus Prime is the Transformer, and he is barely in this film for most of it. He shows up towards the beginning, meets God, God brainwashes him with blood on his face (I am not sure but I think God also has brainwashed Megatron, the Decepticons' version of Optimus Prime, with faceblood) until the voice of his oldest and dearest friend (who, unless I misunderstood one of the, hah hah, action sequences : this oldest and dearest friend of Optimus Prime can not die, can not be destroyed, can split each and every one of his limbs into its own independent entity and fight ten men with a single will, Bumblebee is basically a hive unto itself, in a way that none of the other Transformers are, except for the ones that are also Ghidorah somehow; maybe they too have this power, maybe their limbs are bodies alone not just in deed but also in form --- I guess what I'm saying is that philosophers of antiquity like, say, Origen would find a great deal to debate about Transformers, appropriately enough) restores him to humanity Autobotanity and then he suddenly knows one of the other main characters (okay, I think there are maybe five, in decreasing likelihood of actually being the main character of this film, there is Anthony Hopkins, there is Generic Hot Lady, there is Mark Wahlberg, there is Optimus Prime, there is the Scrappy Little Kid From The Beginning And Intermittently Throughout) by name?!? I'll believe a lot of things, man, I'll believe Glenn Morshower plays a character named after himself, I'll believe the military-industrial complex has reorganized to ineffectively participate in a cosmic war stretching across galaxies and back to the days of King Arthur, I'll believe Steve Buscemi is a hundred-foot tall robot and that miniature robot dinosaurs have been trained to fetch Mark Wahlberg's beer, I'll believe a watch killed Hitler, I'll believe that consistent and clarifying use of aspect ratios are unnecessary qualities for a filmmaker of Michael Bay's particular proclivities, but I do not believe Optimus Prime knows that woman is named Vivian when I have been watching the movie for the past half-a-day and I barely know that woman's name is Vivian. Is it Vivian? Did she even have a name? Did anyone in this movie have a name? At one point, the movie stops and freeze-frames and displays the names of some Decepticons onscreen as the US military negotiates with Megatron for their release?!? At one point, the movie passes the point of no return and stops chyron-ing the locations until all the way at the end it decides to do so again? I feel like I'm underselling the amount of crazy in this movie, it just starts out crazy and keeps getting crazier and crazier, this movie never stops, this movie never ended, there was a war in heaven and God's angels have fallen to Earth in flight from Her but now God is angry, God will restore heaven to its glory by anchoring heaven to Earth and devouring its essence as food and fuel, heaven shall be made whole again and the Earth shall be the sacrifice, and so God's archangels have turned against Her and come to the aid of humanity, the human race is not God's creation at all in this cosmogony --- we're ants, we're just little ants, our entire history and mythology was aided by our own tools who are actually in fact the true soldiers of God eternal, the things we use to move us about are actually the real human beings and we're just sacks of rotting flesh, what is man in the face of a Transformer but nothingness and dust, our cars are the real inhabitants of this universe and we who seek to control the car are little more than a mere epiphenomena of them. This movie is like some crazy Gnostic fable but also somehow has the most extraordinary overabundance of extremely sophomoric dick-and-fart jokes too. Don't see it.

 

 

The Mummy

C+

 

 

Bad but surprisingly (well, not so surprisingly, it turns out Tom Cruise is pretty good at ... uh, being a movie star) effective. There's no actual wit but there's plenty of humor; no actual fear but there's plenty of horror. I'll explain. Nothing said or done by any character in this film felt in any way original or new to me, yet the parts of it designed to elicit laughter certainly worked on me (and the audience who saw it with me, too) and the parts of it designed to be horrific were in no way actually scary but, well, for example, the way the undead herkily-jerkily moved about in choreatic spurts and starts certainly was cool to see. Nothing funny (seriously, Jake Johannsen is in this playing his usual role in these big blockbuster make'em'ups and he doesn't have a single actual funny line but when he gets shot for a third time in quick succession it's a pretty solid bit, and the love interest lady, Annabelle Wallis, says things that I assume were intended to be funny but fell flat, but even in their falling flat it got a little rise out of me, it worked, the usual blockbuster badscreenwriting of just shoving some words out of an actor's mouth at the right moment(s) really worked for me this time around) and nothing scary (did they expect me to feel afraid because of ... CGI sand? Oh no, CGI sand! Did they expect me to feel afraid because of ... night time? Oh no, night time! You gotta shoot that stuff during the day to make me scared, Tom Cruise needs to be inexorably drawn back to an ancient church during daylight hours where I can properly realize he has no control over his own actions and his escape plans are little more than mere delusion; if you show me it happening at night it's not as scary because my eyes are doing all the work, my eyes can't cash the checks if my heart never writes them, this doesn't really make any sense but I suppose if I were to boil it down to maybe fifteen words it would be : INDISTINCT AND OBSCURED EVENTS ARE LESS EFFECTIVELY PROCESSED BY MY CINEMA-EXPERIENCING MIND THAN CLEAR ONES which can be said even more precisely, in ten words, as LET ME SEE THINGS HAPPENING SO I CAN FEEL THEM) but plenty of giggles (well, no actual giggles on my part because of the way I'm built, sure, but it's always funny to see Tom Cruise getting thrown around a room) and plenty of horror (again, nothing scary, but you throw enough ancient crypts and mystical blood pacts and dagger-with-a-jewel-in-the-hilt and secret society and repeated references to other overlapping horror franchises and if you do it in the right way and in the right order the whole thing sorta resolves into something semi-entertaining; I want to find out what happens next - is Tom Cruise Nyarlathotep? Is Lovecraft even a part of this? I would have assumed that Dr. Jekyll wasn't, I see from Wikipedia that there was technically a Universal film with him in it literally over a hundred years ago, so shows what I know, but still - I'm pretty sure the titular Mummy talks about either the Old Ones or the Old Gods and one of the Significant Props shown throughout Russell Crowe's secret HQ was a book with a many-sided globular star inlaid on its cover in gold, I don't know, this may seem like scant evidence to base a , hah hah, fan theory on but nonetheless I am pretty sure Tom Cruise is Nyarlathotep, and not just in real life too but in this specific horror-fantasy series which isn't ever getting no sequel) and boy do I love parentheses. I love them so much.

 

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Trainspotting 2: C-

 

 

We waited 20 years for this? So many missed opportunities. And talk about a movie that will make you feel old after watching it.

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Okja: B

 

It's making the rounds in a number of my groups and feeds, but there's a ridiculous supposition that the film can "turn people vegan." My hope is that it encourages people in a more responsible direction, but I don't think the film is that powerful. (A more effective example, to me, was the end of City Slickers and Noble Willingham's character explaining the cattle drive's entire reason.)

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Star Trek Beyond: B

 

Maybe it was my deep disinterest in the Kelvin timeline, but I was pleasantly surprised how entertaining this one was. Maybe it was Pegg's influence, but I loved all the little nods to the history of Trek, including ENT.

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Kong : Skull Island

D+

 

 

There's a v. tiny stretch of this film (about from when they meet up with the water buffalo monsters and just sorta take their picture and leave them be in peace and go on their way through 'til the introduction of John C. Reilly's character) that's enjoyable. But nearly everything up until then (the film's opening prologue is probably the exception, for me, it's what I liked most about the film) and everything after it wasn't, at least for me, although there's plenty of good monsters in this film. Kong looks good; he looks like a good monster. There's the aforementioned water buffalo monsters, there's a pretty good spider monster, there's a neat lil' wooden stickbug monster, there's a squid monster, John Goodman's character, the main badguy monsters are neat-o (they're kinda just snakes w/legs but even so), pterodactyl monsters, I may be forgetting a monster or two.

 

 

Alien : Covenant

D+

 

 

A Borges quote comes to mind, something a little like "Mirrors and copulation are both abominable - for each leads to an increase in the numbers of mankind". The movie sort-a posits that nothing can stand in the way of the Alien, the Alien will rule over you all, your li'l human lives are nothing before them. You think your marriage matters? Hah hah, an Alien will eat that up. You think that, you, Michael Fassbender, are having a fun little robot life? Well, here's your evil mirror twin, he's gone nuts living alone on Planet Frankenstein and turned into H.R. Giger and brought forth the Alien to eat you and your puny human friends. You think that, you, Audience, would like another iteration of the ongoing Alien franchise? Well, here you go, too bad on you it's not scary no more.

 

 

The Founder

C+

 

 

I would rate this a lot higher but there's a scene in it, the second time the titular character is having dinner at a restaurant w/Patrick Wilson, where they loop Wilson's dialogue and it sounds so bad and fake and noticeable that it kinda ruined the film for me from there on in. Otherwise, this is really good, I highly recommend this movie to anyone reading these words, it's one of those We're All Screwed And This Is Part Of Why That Is movies (I'm struggling at the moment to think of another one of these, I suppose Nightcrawler is my go-to example) that I really like. I will probably watch it again.

 

 

Menashe

C+

 

 

I just hate everything, now, I guess!? I don't think it's fair to rate this film on the same scale as the previous three, I mean, c'mon, those are two big Hollywood machine pictures and one far closer to being in that category than near to this'n, nonetheless, I did not like this film. I did not like the non-literal figurative Yiddish translation. I did not like the story, the characters, the film's beginning, middle, and end. I take issue with ultra-specific details of this film probably non-explicable (absent effort, naturally) to those who have not already seen it.

 

 

Pirates of the Caribbean : We Will Never Be Free Of This, Will We?

D-

 

 

Did they forget to re-write this one? At one point, in the movie, we find out how Jack Sparrow got his hat and his earring(s) and his various other trinkets and clothes and such. Like this was a Geoff Johns comicbook or something. It made me miss the last time this dumb series of movies overstayed its welcome, the one they did with Penélope Cruz and Ian McShane, when he called that kid "a catechist" and there was a mermaid? Remember that one? That's how bad it was this time around, it made that one look good by comparison (another solid moment from that other bad one was when the Prince manqué steps onto the Fountain of Youth set, shoots the little British sailor who rushes to the Fountain and sc, oh heck, I'll just link to it, here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct3nb0qauNE ) because this one was a real stinker. There's less than the usual handful of good bits (just a little something where they rob a bank, literally, and some fun when a guillotining goes wrong --- that's as good as this one gets, and those are both real early in the movie, everything after that is just dumb and joyless and utterly uninteresting to watch on every level) but I did like how Galileo appears to have ushered in the end of the supernatural world in this movie's mythos. That was nice, for me.

 

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