As a few of us here seem to be movie interested,if not buffs, I thought this may be an interesting topic to add. What have you seen and loved/hated?
Requiem for a dream
Called the most depressing movie ever made, I watched this without knowing that, and what an amazing film! Usually if there isn’t a dragon or zombie, I won’t come near, but as I’ve heard Kermode blabber on about director Darren Aronofsky I thought I’d give it a shot!
The film follows the lives of several people as they at first succeed and then, inevitably, fall apart. I found I couldn’t avert my gaze as the inevitable car crash occurred. Short and snappy editing made this a truly wonder full film.
However, I wouldn’t recommend watching if you are in a bad place already. But what an amazing piece of cinema!
The most recent film that C and I saw and really liked (enough to buy the disc) was Hotel Artemis. This is not exactly cyberpunk, but is near-future noir in a way somewhat akin to cyberpunk. Against a background of Los Angeles being torn apart by water riots, a group of criminals commit a robbery, and one of them gets wounded. So they go to a black clinic that treats injuries without keeping official records—if you’ve being paying your dues and if you follow the rules. Once there they get entangled with a lot of other criminals with conflicting agendas. The visual style was really sharp, almost all the actors were brilliant, and the futuristic technology was well thought out and neatly integrated into the storyline.
Possibly my favorite older film is Streets of Fire. It starts out with a pop singer entertaining a huge crowd in a decaying future city with a hymn to the joy of nihilism—but not being so happy when a gang of actual nihilists show up and kidnap her. (Willem Dafoe is brilliant as their leader.) One of her fans calls on her brother, an ex-soldier, to help—complicated by his having broken up with the singer a while back. This is called “A Rock and Roll Fable” and it has some good music, but it also can be read as a portrayal of the collapse of a dying civilization and the birth of a new one—and one of my livejournal friends says that it’s a retelling of the Trojan War.
One I enjoyed recently, somewhat to my surprise: Charlie’s Angels (2019), which did a revolutionary thing and actually let some women have input into the story. Occasionally preachy, but grunty macho action film is preachy in its own way too, it’s just that I’m more used to it. Kristen Stewart runs away with a role she can actually get her teeth into. Fuller review at my blog.
I haven’t watched this for years, but it was my favorite movie for a stretch when I was younger. If you haven’t already, you should check out Aronofsky’s other stuff, he’s really good. Black Swan got him some awards, but I highly recommend The Wrestler, though, it’s also super depressing.
I haven’t really watched any movies recently, except for Marvel’s stuff. Which does make me a bit sad, really. But it’s hard to find time. Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse was great though, watched that on Netflix late last year, and Thor Ragnarok is my favorite of the Marvel-produced movies, with Deadpool probably being my favorite “super hero” movie in general. Though, probably tied with The Incredibles.
For going older, Seven Samurai is my all-time favorite non-comedy movie. It’s beautifully acted, directed and shot. I love it. My favorite moives in general, though, are comedies, specifically Shawn of the Dead and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I should watch them again, it’s been a while.
Oh, I just remembered, I did watch Hobbs and Shaw on an airplane in January, and it was a fun, stupid thing. But, I love The Rock, Statham and especially Idris, plus it had Ryan Reynolds AND Rob Delaney in cameos. I was sold on it before I even watched it. Haha.
I also rewatched The Other Guys on Netflix, which is one of my favorite Will Ferrel movies. Though, didn’t laugh as much this time as I remembered in the past. I used to rank it as my favorite of his movies, but I think it’s dropped down below Anchorman. And, well, Stranger Then Fiction which really is his best movie.
Broadly speaking, I think Wes Anderson films are pretty great. Some are better than others; Life Aquatic or Royal Tannenbaums are favorites.
I haven’t watched a lot of movies recently other than Disney.
I did attempt to do an binge-ish watch of the entire Pink Panther series but got derailed shortly before getting to the reboot of the 00s. They start out brilliant but really suffer from some 70s/80s film making/writing trends that kill the pace.
Is that rare? I find it harder to find people who really enjoyed The Darjeeling Limited. Haha.
Royal Tannenbaums is my favorite of his, though I haven’t watched anything past Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I enjoyed far more than my wife did. But, she’s not really a fan of his movies. Hates Tannenbaums.
Weird, it was supposed to be a response to @MrJackdaw’s first post regarding Requiem for a Dream. Probably accidentally hit the base Reply button while typing as I had multiple interruptions. Sorry about that.
I haven’t seen Parasites yet, but from last year I would totally recommend 1917. Amazing movie. My favourite war movie since Enemy at the Gates or Saving Private Ryan
I love Guy Ritchie’s gangsters movies, and I would definitely recommend The Gentlemen as well. Hugh Grant’s performance is stellar.
I also love Life Aquatic, but my favourite movie from Bill Murray is Lost in Translation. I still haven’t seen The Royal Tennenbaums or Darjeeling, so I am definitely noting them down. Don’t stone me yet.
I thought it was actually quite striking as a comment about westerners (Americans in particular here) visiting different cultures. They could have used any number of settings as a backdrop that convey “this is distinctly not the US”; China, India, The Philippines, Vietnam, etc would all have been possible settings.
But Tokyo has a couple of other things going for it: 1) it is dazzling - one of the few cities on the planet that can outdo Las Vegas in spectacle and flash 2) a lot of Japanese culture has entered the Western mainstream, e.g. karaoke, sushi, and some number of Japanese cultural/social aspects.
I thought it portrayed the Western characters to be quite shallow when it came to appreciating where they were in the world and how a guest in another country should behave; but then again, that is literally something “lost in translation” and it was probably intentional.
Knives Out - Very good. Loved the feel of a classic mystery with a modern twist. Very happy to hear that it’s getting a sequel.
Birds of Prey (and blah blah blah Harley Quinn) - So much fun. I loved it so much, I watched it two days in a row and then a third time that same week.
The Shape of Water - Really, really good. I’m sure I don’t have to explain why to anyone who knows anything about it.
Maleficent - Fine, I guess. Maybe a bit pointless.
Imagine Me & You - Quite a typical British romcom (except gay), in that every time a character appears, you spend 5 minutes working out where you know them from. Though oddly with an American as the lead.
The Half of It - Just watched this earlier. Very sweet film. Nothing spectacular, but it made me feel warm and fuzzy.