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Thread started 09/02/20 5:43pm

sexton

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Rate the Last Movie You Watched


71xtLBdYspL._AC_SY445_.jpg


Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011) - A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu.

This is near the top of my food pr0n list. Delicious. 4.5/5
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Reply #1 posted 09/03/20 10:04am

DiminutiveRock
er

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TCM was having a mini Natalie Wood fest and this one came up. It's not quite a rom-com but probably its upated versoin woud be "Knocked Up." This film is strangely dated and yet contemporary with regards to a woman's freedom to choose what she wants for her life. McQueen and Wood have great chemistry and although the Hollywood ending is tagged on to a film that contains some darker elements like back-alley abortions - there are still lessons imparted about personal responsibility, risks and consequences.


4/5 star s

VOTE....EARLY
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Reply #2 posted 09/03/20 11:00am

sexton

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) - A group of intergalactic criminals must pull together to stop a fanatical warrior with plans to purge the universe.

I found the absurdity jarring when watching it the first time in the theater. I've since grown accustomed to the humor although some parts are still over-the-top. ("Dance-off, bro!") And the 70s pop soundtrack is pure gold. 3.5/5
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Reply #3 posted 09/03/20 3:04pm

DiminutiveRock
er

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sexton said:



Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) - A group of intergalactic criminals must pull together to stop a fanatical warrior with plans to purge the universe.

I found the absurdity jarring when watching it the first time in the theater. I've since grown accustomed to the humor although some parts are still over-the-top. ("Dance-off, bro!") And the 70s pop soundtrack is pure gold. 3.5/5

The 70s soundtrack is solid gold! I enjoyed the overthetop-ness, actually. I know that people take their comic book movies very seriously and I thought this one was a bit of fresh air

VOTE....EARLY
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Reply #4 posted 09/03/20 4:04pm

kpowers

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Movie Review - Scoob! (2020)

B-

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Reply #5 posted 09/06/20 5:18pm

S2DG

How the West Was Won (1962)

Epic, historic, movie about western expansion - filmed in "Cinerama" which was a curved, 3 screen process that felt like a precursor to IMAX. It had an all-star cast with Henry Fonda, Karl Malden, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne.

It felt like a few movies put together (different directors for each part) and was a little hard to follow at times because of it. Beautiful cinematography (sometimes it had a fish-eye lens because of the way it was filmed) and had an epic feel with huge scenes and amazing outdoor locations. The action sequences made me wonder how they did it in 1962.


starstarstarstar out of starstarstarstarstar

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Reply #6 posted 09/06/20 5:26pm

Ace

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sexton said:


71xtLBdYspL._AC_SY445_.jpg


Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011) - A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu.

This is near the top of my food pr0n list. Delicious. 4.5/5


Norm Macdonald joke (from Norm Macdonald Live):

'One of the most popular documentaries on Netflix is Jiro Dreams of Sushi. One of the least popular documentaries: Jiro Nightmares of Ass-Rape.'



spit

falloff

"Acceptance, forgiveness, and love."
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Reply #7 posted 09/07/20 3:31pm

EmmaMcG

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Ace said:



sexton said:



71xtLBdYspL._AC_SY445_.jpg



Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011) - A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu.

This is near the top of my food pr0n list. Delicious. 4.5/5



Norm Macdonald joke (from Norm Macdonald Live):


'One of the most popular documentaries on Netflix is Jiro Dreams of Sushi. One of the least popular documentaries: Jiro Nightmares of Ass-Rape.'




spit


falloff



I like Norm MacDonald.
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Reply #8 posted 09/07/20 3:50pm

EmmaMcG

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Mulan (2020)

Before I talk about the movie itself, I just want to say that I am a Disney+ subscriber but I did NOT pay the ridiculous additional fee to watch this movie. And I would advise anyone else who is interested in seeing it to either download it illegally or wait until its general release in December when the extra fee no longer applies.

That being said, here's what I think of the movie.

It's pretty good. I never really loved the original animated version and I do believe that this live action remake is better. Some awful looking CGI aside, the movie looks great. Cinematography is on point and the vivid colours displayed on screen really help bring the sets and costumes to life. The lead actress (I can't remember her name) does a decent job although there's not really all that much required of her. It is, after all, a children's movie at heart so you never get the sense that she's in too much danger or that she is up against insurmountable odds. There's little in the way of threat.
Which brings me to the action scenes themselves. I'm a huge fan of 80s and 90s Hong Kong action cinema and perhaps predictably, Mulan comes nowhere close to the best of the genre but it does still have a few nice moments. Donnie Yen and a criminally underused Jet Li have small roles too which was good to see but I personally would have preferred if they were in it more. But this is not Once Upon A Time In China 2 so I understand why their roles were limited. But Jet Li doesn't even throw a punch so it just feels like a waste. At least Donnie Yen gets to show off a tiny bit.

All in all, it's a good movie. It's not great but it's a quick and enjoyable 2 hours. My daughter loved it and I think this movie is perfect for girls her age so if you have a preteen daughter or niece, then this is definitely the movie for them. For anyone else looking for something more substantial, then check out Jet Li's Once Upon A Time In China trilogy or Donnie Yen's Ip Man.


Mulan gets an Emma McG rating of 3 out of 5.
[Edited 9/7/20 15:52pm]
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Reply #9 posted 09/07/20 4:09pm

Ace

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EmmaMcG said:

Ace said:


Norm Macdonald joke (from Norm Macdonald Live):

'One of the most popular documentaries on Netflix is Jiro Dreams of Sushi. One of the least popular documentaries: Jiro Nightmares of Ass-Rape.'



spit

falloff

I like Norm MacDonald.


biggrin

"Acceptance, forgiveness, and love."
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Reply #10 posted 09/08/20 7:57am

namepeace

Menace II Society (1993)

Forgot how good the film was, as well as the soundtrack.

starstarstarstar

Good night, sweet Prince | 7 June 1958 - 21 April 2016

Props will be withheld until the showing and proving has commenced. -- Aaron McGruder
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Reply #11 posted 09/08/20 2:07pm

DiminutiveRock
er

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il_1588xN.2508392288_42yb.jpg



As a Charlie Kaufman fan I was really looking forward to this. It had the quirky elements I expect from Charlie's work, but it was darker than usual. Based on a book by Iain Reid (which I have not read) I assume it was a difficult project to interpret in film form. It is left to the audience to figure out who is whom and what is imagination and what elements of the story are real. Overall it was kind of disturbing but it was also compelling, and I could I not stop watching it even though I wasn't really enjoying the creepy and distrubing feelings it was evoking. I have not decided whether or not I like it yet, muchless what to rate it... but it gets a 5/5 for originality.

[Edited 9/8/20 14:16pm]

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Reply #12 posted 09/08/20 6:53pm

S2DG

High Noon (1952)


Had heard of this movie as I'm a fan of the genre but then Namepeace gave it a positive review so I had to check it out (thanks NP).

This movie had a lot of what are now standard elements for a Western. The lead, Gary Cooper was just a bad ass right from the beginning, very charismatic. Lee Van Cleef didn't have many lines but he's always the perfect bad guy (this was his first role).

The entire cast was really good and the movie had a great arc right until the end. The two leading actresses, Grace Kelly and Katy Jurado were really good in this as well.


starstarstarstarstar out of starstarstarstarstar

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Reply #13 posted 09/10/20 8:14am

namepeace

S2DG said:

High Noon (1952)


Had heard of this movie as I'm a fan of the genre but then Namepeace gave it a positive review so I had to check it out (thanks NP).

This movie had a lot of what are now standard elements for a Western. The lead, Gary Cooper was just a bad ass right from the beginning, very charismatic. Lee Van Cleef didn't have many lines but he's always the perfect bad guy (this was his first role).

The entire cast was really good and the movie had a great arc right until the end. The two leading actresses, Grace Kelly and Katy Jurado were really good in this as well.


starstarstarstarstar out of starstarstarstarstar


Good review!

Good night, sweet Prince | 7 June 1958 - 21 April 2016

Props will be withheld until the showing and proving has commenced. -- Aaron McGruder
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Reply #14 posted 09/10/20 4:18pm

sexton

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21 Bridges (2019) - An embattled NYPD detective is thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers after uncovering a massive and unexpected conspiracy.

No new ground is broken in this standard fast-paced cop thriller. I watched it just to see Chadwick Boseman in something post-Avengers. 3/5

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Reply #15 posted 09/13/20 2:58am

deebee

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Sorry to Bother You (2018)

81AvqRjFUtL._SL1500_.jpg

For a hoary old red like me, this was a rare treat. The satirical punches all connected with their targets (the feted CEO-villains; the sympathetic selling of indentured service; the sadistic reality tv lulz; the insta-cooptation of dissent, etc), and the things the movie seemed to rally behind as worthwhile (worker solidarity; struggling where you stand, even though this might not save you from the disfigurement that happens to us all) were also things I think are valuable. And it was all brilliantly carried off by Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, et al - the former having already proved he can give quirky, surrealist storylines a convincing human touch with his work in Atlanta (e.g. the 'Teddy Perkins' episode).

It's unusual, in our political climate, to see a movie, not least one by a Black filmmaker, that's so focused on work - the alienation it entails; the way workers get ranked and divided; the way collectively withholding it can be an effective basis for struggle, etc. As Adolph Reed noted, even Django Unchained focuses on the barbaric violence of slavery, relegating its fundamental status as a labour relation based on exploitation to the background. I did find myself wondering how this would all land with audiences more used to seeing movies that take on historical marginalisation (Hidden Figures) or appropriation (Get Out). In Riley's film, by contrast, work - particularly the 'emotional labour' of modern-day service sector work - is front and centre. Even the seemingly privileged 'white voice' Cassius must alienate himself by slipping into (and sometimes forgetting to slip out of) is only an idealised construct which helps project an image of being carefree and unbound. None of the workaday call-centre grunts really gets to enjoy the lifestyle it conveys.

That's not to say that I'm easily won over by a bit of workerist propagandising. I tried to watch Two Days, One Night (2014) recently, in which a woman set to lose her job has to go around trying to persuade her coworkers to forego a cash bonus, because that's the only way the boss will keep her on, and found it mawkish and unbearable. (I turned off after about 35 mins.) So I give Boots a lot of credit for doing something much more imaginative and not going that route.

It all slightly lost its way towards the end for me, with the new characters that emerge, but not enough to undo a thoroughly enjoyable ride overall. I'm eagerly waiting to see what Comrade Riley does next.

star star star star
.

[Edited 9/13/20 3:04am]

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #16 posted 09/13/20 4:47am

deebee

avatar

Cuties (Mignonnes) (2020)


cuties_french_poster.jpg

Thanks to an awful PR job by Netflix, who unfathomably thought that this poster was a good idea, this movie has got something of a raw deal online, having become the subject of a moral panic about the sexualisation of children. What the moralisers have missed in their fervour and their groupthink, though, is that the culture of porn-y sexualisation adolenscent girls experience via social media, and the identity it invites them to internalise - often prematurely - is very much what director Maïmouna Doucouré wants to critique in this, her debut feature. Or, at least, one object of her critique, anyway.

The narrative follows Amy, an 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant living with her mother in public housing in Paris, who discovers a tweenage dance crew on the streets of her neighbourhood (as the director herself did, inspiring the story). For Amy, the urge to be part of the gang, and join in with their age-inappropriate twerking and thrusting, is about finding a group to belong in - and, for me, the film captures very well the struggle of trying to fit in and the aching vulnerability of being left out that's so integral to the experience of childhood and adolesence. This vibrant world of pouting and grinding under motorway bridges seems more appealing than her home life, in which her religiously-observant mother, devestated by her husband's decision to take a second wife, spends her time dutifully preparing her appartment for he and his new bride to join the family - as the traditional culture exhorts - and Amy is frequently lumbered with childcare of her younger brother and domestic chores. Her invitation to a mature identity comes in the form of sermons about sinful female bodies and lessons about how marriage and the role of a dutiful wife awaits her.

In that sense, Amy choosing her own path - complete with its many missteps - is not so much about leaving backwards tradition for liberated modernity, but navigating between cultural worlds that both lay potential traps for the girls they beckon into womanhood. But the film is far less freighted and dour than all that makes it sound, as Doucouré refuses to beat us over the head with black-and-white moralising, and allows us to see both the good and the bad Amy can draw on - albeit that her home world did seem a bit barren to me. (Even alienated immigrant kids in the poor part of town usually have some mates, protective siblings, kindly family members, and the like. This poor lass doesn't even seem to have a favourite auntie or uncle to turn to.)

It also has to be said, that that same evenhandedness means that coming of age in the sexually liberated West isn't solely offered up as an experience that only threatens to ensnare young women into yet more patriarchal shackles - as both defenders of the film, and some of its conservative critics, have possibly been a bit quick to retort. There really is something that's exciting for Amy and her adolescent pals about living out their nascent sexuality through their dancing, and there's no denying that, though some of the routines are rather grim to watch, the ease with which the young actresses carry them off suggests this stuff is not as alien to girls of their age as anyone with a parental protective stream might like to hope. It bears emphasising, though, that the director never allows us to lose sight of the fact they are children. Amy and her new friend bond by stuffing sweets into their mouths, sitting on her mum's bed; the friend later gets her attention by knocking her downstairs window with a fluffy rabbit toy on a string. The girls' naïve bathroom conversations also attest to their lack of worldliness - and thus the directorial perspective would damn entirely anyone who would take at face value the displays of a mature sexual identity that they are innocently trying on, and which they don't yet get the measure of.

I found it all very poignant and absorbing, anyway. Amazing performances by Fathia Youssouf in the lead role, and the other kids. Another director to watch, too.

star star star star

.

[Edited 9/13/20 5:26am]

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #17 posted 09/13/20 4:55am

deebee

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Parasite (2019)



Once again with the class struggle on film! lol This was great fun. Like Channel 4's Shameless meets the Coen Brothers at their Fargo-esque grimmest. A family of struggling but canny proles inveigle their way into the grand house and and well-paid service of a bourgeois family. Then things start to go awry.

star star star star star

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #18 posted 09/13/20 5:33am

gandorb

Thanks for your interesting reviews, Deebee. The first two piqued my curiosity about the films and I have put them on my list of movies I want to see. I already saw Parasite, so I know how things went "awry" lol.

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Reply #19 posted 09/13/20 2:20pm

namepeace

The Lost City of Z (2017)

British explorer Percy Fawcett journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as "savages," the determined Fawcett - supported by his devoted wife, son and aide de camp returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925.

It was a bit too ponderous and didn't have a great payoff, but it was beautifully shot and pretty well acted. Robert Pattinson is a better actor than I gave him credit for.

starstarstar.25

Good night, sweet Prince | 7 June 1958 - 21 April 2016

Props will be withheld until the showing and proving has commenced. -- Aaron McGruder
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Reply #20 posted 09/14/20 5:08am

deebee

avatar

gandorb said:

Thanks for your interesting reviews, Deebee. The first two piqued my curiosity about the films and I have put them on my list of movies I want to see. I already saw Parasite, so I know how things went "awry" lol.

Yeah, manic! lol

The other two are both definitely worth a look. nod What else is high on your list?

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #21 posted 09/14/20 6:26am

maplenpg

deebee said:

Cuties (Mignonnes) (2020)


cuties_french_poster.jpg

Thanks to an awful PR job by Netflix, who unfathomably thought that this poster was a good idea, this movie has got something of a raw deal online, having become the subject of a moral panic about the sexualisation of children. What the moralisers have missed in their fervour and their groupthink, though, is that the culture of porn-y sexualisation adolenscent girls experience via social media, and the identity it invites them to internalise - often prematurely - is very much what director Maïmouna Doucouré wants to critique in this, her debut feature. Or, at least, one object of her critique, anyway.

The narrative follows Amy, an 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant living with her mother in public housing in Paris, who discovers a tweenage dance crew on the streets of her neighbourhood (as the director herself did, inspiring the story). For Amy, the urge to be part of the gang, and join in with their age-inappropriate twerking and thrusting, is about finding a group to belong in - and, for me, the film captures very well the struggle of trying to fit in and the aching vulnerability of being left out that's so integral to the experience of childhood and adolesence. This vibrant world of pouting and grinding under motorway bridges seems more appealing than her home life, in which her religiously-observant mother, devestated by her husband's decision to take a second wife, spends her time dutifully preparing her appartment for he and his new bride to join the family - as the traditional culture exhorts - and Amy is frequently lumbered with childcare of her younger brother and domestic chores. Her invitation to a mature identity comes in the form of sermons about sinful female bodies and lessons about how marriage and the role of a dutiful wife awaits her.

In that sense, Amy choosing her own path - complete with its many missteps - is not so much about leaving backwards tradition for liberated modernity, but navigating between cultural worlds that both lay potential traps for the girls they beckon into womanhood. But the film is far less freighted and dour than all that makes it sound, as Doucouré refuses to beat us over the head with black-and-white moralising, and allows us to see both the good and the bad Amy can draw on - albeit that her home world did seem a bit barren to me. (Even alienated immigrant kids in the poor part of town usually have some mates, protective siblings, kindly family members, and the like. This poor lass doesn't even seem to have a favourite auntie or uncle to turn to.)

It also has to be said, that that same evenhandedness means that coming of age in the sexually liberated West isn't solely offered up as an experience that only threatens to ensnare young women into yet more patriarchal shackles - as both defenders of the film, and some of its conservative critics, have possibly been a bit quick to retort. There really is something that's exciting for Amy and her adolescent pals about living out their nascent sexuality through their dancing, and there's no denying that, though some of the routines are rather grim to watch, the ease with which the young actresses carry them off suggests this stuff is not as alien to girls of their age as anyone with a parental protective stream might like to hope. It bears emphasising, though, that the director never allows us to lose sight of the fact they are children. Amy and her new friend bond by stuffing sweets into their mouths, sitting on her mum's bed; the friend later gets her attention by knocking her downstairs window with a fluffy rabbit toy on a string. The girls' naïve bathroom conversations also attest to their lack of worldliness - and thus the directorial perspective would damn entirely anyone who would take at face value the displays of a mature sexual identity that they are innocently trying on, and which they don't yet get the measure of.

I found it all very poignant and absorbing, anyway. Amazing performances by Fathia Youssouf in the lead role, and the other kids. Another director to watch, too.

star star star star

.

[Edited 9/13/20 5:26am]

Is any of the criticism of this warranted? Is it a paedophiles dream programme?

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Reply #22 posted 09/14/20 9:49am

DiminutiveRock
er

avatar

deebee said:

Sorry to Bother You (2018)

81AvqRjFUtL._SL1500_.jpg

For a hoary old red like me, this was a rare treat. The satirical punches all connected with their targets (the feted CEO-villains; the sympathetic selling of indentured service; the sadistic reality tv lulz; the insta-cooptation of dissent, etc), and the things the movie seemed to rally behind as worthwhile (worker solidarity; struggling where you stand, even though this might not save you from the disfigurement that happens to us all) were also things I think are valuable. And it was all brilliantly carried off by Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, et al - the former having already proved he can give quirky, surrealist storylines a convincing human touch with his work in Atlanta (e.g. the 'Teddy Perkins' episode).

It's unusual, in our political climate, to see a movie, not least one by a Black filmmaker, that's so focused on work - the alienation it entails; the way workers get ranked and divided; the way collectively withholding it can be an effective basis for struggle, etc. As Adolph Reed noted, even Django Unchained focuses on the barbaric violence of slavery, relegating its fundamental status as a labour relation based on exploitation to the background. I did find myself wondering how this would all land with audiences more used to seeing movies that take on historical marginalisation (Hidden Figures) or appropriation (Get Out). In Riley's film, by contrast, work - particularly the 'emotional labour' of modern-day service sector work - is front and centre. Even the seemingly privileged 'white voice' Cassius must alienate himself by slipping into (and sometimes forgetting to slip out of) is only an idealised construct which helps project an image of being carefree and unbound. None of the workaday call-centre grunts really gets to enjoy the lifestyle it conveys.

That's not to say that I'm easily won over by a bit of workerist propagandising. I tried to watch Two Days, One Night (2014) recently, in which a woman set to lose her job has to go around trying to persuade her coworkers to forego a cash bonus, because that's the only way the boss will keep her on, and found it mawkish and unbearable. (I turned off after about 35 mins.) So I give Boots a lot of credit for doing something much more imaginative and not going that route.

It all slightly lost its way towards the end for me, with the new characters that emerge, but not enough to undo a thoroughly enjoyable ride overall. I'm eagerly waiting to see what Comrade Riley does next.

star star star star
.

[Edited 9/13/20 3:04am]



YES!!!! I loved this and I love Stanfield who I came to know in Donald Glover's Atlanta.








[Edited 9/14/20 16:54pm]

VOTE....EARLY
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Reply #23 posted 09/14/20 9:52am

DiminutiveRock
er

avatar

maplenpg said:

deebee said:

Cuties (Mignonnes) (2020)


cuties_french_poster.jpg

Thanks to an awful PR job by Netflix, who unfathomably thought that this poster was a good idea, this movie has got something of a raw deal online, having become the subject of a moral panic about the sexualisation of children. What the moralisers have missed in their fervour and their groupthink, though, is that the culture of porn-y sexualisation adolenscent girls experience via social media, and the identity it invites them to internalise - often prematurely - is very much what director Maïmouna Doucouré wants to critique in this, her debut feature. Or, at least, one object of her critique, anyway.

The narrative follows Amy, an 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant living with her mother in public housing in Paris, who discovers a tweenage dance crew on the streets of her neighbourhood (as the director herself did, inspiring the story). For Amy, the urge to be part of the gang, and join in with their age-inappropriate twerking and thrusting, is about finding a group to belong in - and, for me, the film captures very well the struggle of trying to fit in and the aching vulnerability of being left out that's so integral to the experience of childhood and adolesence. This vibrant world of pouting and grinding under motorway bridges seems more appealing than her home life, in which her religiously-observant mother, devestated by her husband's decision to take a second wife, spends her time dutifully preparing her appartment for he and his new bride to join the family - as the traditional culture exhorts - and Amy is frequently lumbered with childcare of her younger brother and domestic chores. Her invitation to a mature identity comes in the form of sermons about sinful female bodies and lessons about how marriage and the role of a dutiful wife awaits her.

In that sense, Amy choosing her own path - complete with its many missteps - is not so much about leaving backwards tradition for liberated modernity, but navigating between cultural worlds that both lay potential traps for the girls they beckon into womanhood. But the film is far less freighted and dour than all that makes it sound, as Doucouré refuses to beat us over the head with black-and-white moralising, and allows us to see both the good and the bad Amy can draw on - albeit that her home world did seem a bit barren to me. (Even alienated immigrant kids in the poor part of town usually have some mates, protective siblings, kindly family members, and the like. This poor lass doesn't even seem to have a favourite auntie or uncle to turn to.)

It also has to be said, that that same evenhandedness means that coming of age in the sexually liberated West isn't solely offered up as an experience that only threatens to ensnare young women into yet more patriarchal shackles - as both defenders of the film, and some of its conservative critics, have possibly been a bit quick to retort. There really is something that's exciting for Amy and her adolescent pals about living out their nascent sexuality through their dancing, and there's no denying that, though some of the routines are rather grim to watch, the ease with which the young actresses carry them off suggests this stuff is not as alien to girls of their age as anyone with a parental protective stream might like to hope. It bears emphasising, though, that the director never allows us to lose sight of the fact they are children. Amy and her new friend bond by stuffing sweets into their mouths, sitting on her mum's bed; the friend later gets her attention by knocking her downstairs window with a fluffy rabbit toy on a string. The girls' naïve bathroom conversations also attest to their lack of worldliness - and thus the directorial perspective would damn entirely anyone who would take at face value the displays of a mature sexual identity that they are innocently trying on, and which they don't yet get the measure of.

I found it all very poignant and absorbing, anyway. Amazing performances by Fathia Youssouf in the lead role, and the other kids. Another director to watch, too.

star star star star

.

[Edited 9/13/20 5:26am]

Is any of the criticism of this warranted? Is it a paedophiles dream programme?


I am almost certain that those decrying this have likely not seen it. wink

VOTE....EARLY
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Reply #24 posted 09/14/20 9:53am

DiminutiveRock
er

avatar

namepeace said:

The Lost City of Z (2017)

British explorer Percy Fawcett journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as "savages," the determined Fawcett - supported by his devoted wife, son and aide de camp returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925.

It was a bit too ponderous and didn't have a great payoff, but it was beautifully shot and pretty well acted. Robert Pattinson is a better actor than I gave him credit for.

starstarstar.25


I enjoyed this film for the most part, I would rate it the same. And I agree, Pattinson turned a corner in his career and is making some really interesting choices.

VOTE....EARLY
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Reply #25 posted 09/14/20 4:50pm

S2DG

The Tall T (1957)


Friend who also loves Westerns recently told me about a group of "B-Westerns" from director Budd Boetticher. His westerns are held in high regard as they relied more on the writing than the big budget westerns of the era.

This movie is based on an Elmore Leonard story and was really good from beginning to end. Starring Randolph Scott, Richard Boone, and Maureen O'Sullivan. Not familiar with Randolph Scott but I need to see more of his work. Clint Eastwood learned a thing or two from this guy, his charisma and overall acting was engaging.

Not going into the plot on this movie but it kept my attention from beginning to end with limited locations. I'm going on a deep dive on both Randolf Scott and Budd Boetticher after this because it was a great movie if you like the genre.


starstarstarstarstar out of starstarstarstarstar


[Edited 9/14/20 16:51pm]

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Reply #26 posted 09/14/20 7:49pm

slyjackson

deebee said:

Parasite (2019)



Once again with the class struggle on film! lol This was great fun. Like Channel 4's Shameless meets the Coen Brothers at their Fargo-esque grimmest. A family of struggling but canny proles inveigle their way into the grand house and and well-paid service of a bourgeois family. Then things start to go awry.

star star star star star

Great film I just loved it it kept me interested and thrilled throughout the whole film.

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Reply #27 posted 09/15/20 1:37am

deebee

avatar

maplenpg said:

deebee said:

Cuties (Mignonnes) (2020)


cuties_french_poster.jpg

Thanks to an awful PR job by Netflix, who unfathomably thought that this poster was a good idea, this movie has got something of a raw deal online, having become the subject of a moral panic about the sexualisation of children. What the moralisers have missed in their fervour and their groupthink, though, is that the culture of porn-y sexualisation adolenscent girls experience via social media, and the identity it invites them to internalise - often prematurely - is very much what director Maïmouna Doucouré wants to critique in this, her debut feature. Or, at least, one object of her critique, anyway.

The narrative follows Amy, an 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant living with her mother in public housing in Paris, who discovers a tweenage dance crew on the streets of her neighbourhood (as the director herself did, inspiring the story). For Amy, the urge to be part of the gang, and join in with their age-inappropriate twerking and thrusting, is about finding a group to belong in - and, for me, the film captures very well the struggle of trying to fit in and the aching vulnerability of being left out that's so integral to the experience of childhood and adolesence. This vibrant world of pouting and grinding under motorway bridges seems more appealing than her home life, in which her religiously-observant mother, devestated by her husband's decision to take a second wife, spends her time dutifully preparing her appartment for he and his new bride to join the family - as the traditional culture exhorts - and Amy is frequently lumbered with childcare of her younger brother and domestic chores. Her invitation to a mature identity comes in the form of sermons about sinful female bodies and lessons about how marriage and the role of a dutiful wife awaits her.

In that sense, Amy choosing her own path - complete with its many missteps - is not so much about leaving backwards tradition for liberated modernity, but navigating between cultural worlds that both lay potential traps for the girls they beckon into womanhood. But the film is far less freighted and dour than all that makes it sound, as Doucouré refuses to beat us over the head with black-and-white moralising, and allows us to see both the good and the bad Amy can draw on - albeit that her home world did seem a bit barren to me. (Even alienated immigrant kids in the poor part of town usually have some mates, protective siblings, kindly family members, and the like. This poor lass doesn't even seem to have a favourite auntie or uncle to turn to.)

It also has to be said, that that same evenhandedness means that coming of age in the sexually liberated West isn't solely offered up as an experience that only threatens to ensnare young women into yet more patriarchal shackles - as both defenders of the film, and some of its conservative critics, have possibly been a bit quick to retort. There really is something that's exciting for Amy and her adolescent pals about living out their nascent sexuality through their dancing, and there's no denying that, though some of the routines are rather grim to watch, the ease with which the young actresses carry them off suggests this stuff is not as alien to girls of their age as anyone with a parental protective stream might like to hope. It bears emphasising, though, that the director never allows us to lose sight of the fact they are children. Amy and her new friend bond by stuffing sweets into their mouths, sitting on her mum's bed; the friend later gets her attention by knocking her downstairs window with a fluffy rabbit toy on a string. The girls' naïve bathroom conversations also attest to their lack of worldliness - and thus the directorial perspective would damn entirely anyone who would take at face value the displays of a mature sexual identity that they are innocently trying on, and which they don't yet get the measure of.

I found it all very poignant and absorbing, anyway. Amazing performances by Fathia Youssouf in the lead role, and the other kids. Another director to watch, too.

star star star star

.

[Edited 9/13/20 5:26am]

Is any of the criticism of this warranted? Is it a paedophiles dream programme?

I didn't think so. I think the Netflix poster really gave people a bum steer in that regard, and now this online witchhunt has its own motivation and momentum, quite independent of the actual content of the film. There was no such outcry that greeted the original French release, for example - and I don't think that's just down to greater cultural permissiveness.

Could sickos rock up to the cinema and find something in there to get their kicks from? Maybe - but that's probably true of lots of media, and it reflects a perverse predilection and a wrong on the part of a particular kind of viewer, rather than the filmmaker. I can't help but feel that if content creators have to preempt the malign responses of paedophiles and remove anything that could be made use of in that way, it's a little like the rapist's 'short skirt' argument, in that it helps shift blame that should be squarely on the wrongdoer onto one deemed responsible for being 'provocative'. I certainly didn't feel that there was anything that was there to invite that response, anyway, or to titillate under the guise of mere depiction - unlike, say, Larry Clark's Kids (1995), which I would have defended when I watched it as an earnest 18-year-old, but would take a much more cynical view of now.

And, in fact, unlike the characters in Kids, or the exploited child Jodie Foster plays in Taxi Driver, they're not depicted engaging in or soliciting actual sexual encounters. Nor is there even any suggestion that they're doing that outside of what we see. There's one misstep in that direction, but it's quickly nipped in the bud. There's also an ill-judged anatomical selfie - but we're not shown that, and it's not pornified in any way. (As I say, it's their unworldliness about the birds and the bees that comes across, emphasising their vulnerability.) The much-discussed 'sexualisation' really just amounts to their little troupe imitating Nicki Minaj moves for social media 'likes' - and what sociologists might call 'the male gaze' - and I think we're invited to be saddened or angered that that's the image of mature femininity the culture offers up to impressionable adolescents. But it's also for their own enjoyment and bonding as a group, and it attests to their talent and ability to create something engaging for themselves. What the film captures really well, I thought, is kids being kids - albeit kids of that (early pubescent) age - and experiencing the anxieties and enticements that go with that, part of which is involves trying on the identity you'll grow into. The sort of responsible adult we might hope they encounter - a figure pointedly lacking in the film - wouldn't be required to rescue 'victims' from the misery of child exploitation, but, rather, just encourage a gang of mouthy, street-smart adolescents to tone down their moves a bit, take care of themselves and don't rush things, and be a bit kinder to each other.

If you really pressed me for criticism, I'd say we got slightly more twerking and thrusting than we needed to get the gist, and I wasn't entirely convinced that the adults they do encounter in the course of the narrative (on talent show panels, etc) would have been quite so blasé in real life. There are also, I would have to concede, genuine issues of safeguarding and informed consent when working with young cast members. But my sense is that the moral panic we're into with this film now has little to do with those real issues, and I do feel rather sorry for the director, as I suspect that Netflix will eventually bow to the pressure of the maniacal mob and cancel it, blackening her name in the process.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #28 posted 09/15/20 5:29am

deebee

avatar

DiminutiveRocker said:

deebee said:

Sorry to Bother You (2018)

81AvqRjFUtL._SL1500_.jpg

For a hoary old red like me, this was a rare treat. The satirical punches all connected with their targets (the feted CEO-villains; the sympathetic selling of indentured service; the sadistic reality tv lulz; the insta-cooptation of dissent, etc), and the things the movie seemed to rally behind as worthwhile (worker solidarity; struggling where you stand, even though this might not save you from the disfigurement that happens to us all) were also things I think are valuable. And it was all brilliantly carried off by Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, et al - the former having already proved he can give quirky, surrealist storylines a convincing human touch with his work in Atlanta (e.g. the 'Teddy Perkins' episode).

It's unusual, in our political climate, to see a movie, not least one by a Black filmmaker, that's so focused on work - the alienation it entails; the way workers get ranked and divided; the way collectively withholding it can be an effective basis for struggle, etc. As Adolph Reed noted, even Django Unchained focuses on the barbaric violence of slavery, relegating its fundamental status as a labour relation based on exploitation to the background. I did find myself wondering how this would all land with audiences more used to seeing movies that take on historical marginalisation (Hidden Figures) or appropriation (Get Out). In Riley's film, by contrast, work - particularly the 'emotional labour' of modern-day service sector work - is front and centre. Even the seemingly privileged 'white voice' Cassius must alienate himself by slipping into (and sometimes forgetting to slip out of) is only an idealised construct which helps project an image of being carefree and unbound. None of the workaday call-centre grunts really gets to enjoy the lifestyle it conveys.

That's not to say that I'm easily won over by a bit of workerist propagandising. I tried to watch Two Days, One Night (2014) recently, in which a woman set to lose her job has to go around trying to persuade her coworkers to forego a cash bonus, because that's the only way the boss will keep her on, and found it mawkish and unbearable. (I turned off after about 35 mins.) So I give Boots a lot of credit for doing something much more imaginative and not going that route.

It all slightly lost its way towards the end for me, with the new characters that emerge, but not enough to undo a thoroughly enjoyable ride overall. I'm eagerly waiting to see what Comrade Riley does next.

star star star star
.

[Edited 9/13/20 3:04am]



YES!!!! I loved this and I love Stanfield who I came to know in Donald Glover's Atlanta.








[Edited 9/14/20 16:54pm]

Yeah, he's great in Atlanta. (Hopefully, we won't have to wait too long for a new season of that.) beg And I thought he was perfect for this role. nod

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #29 posted 09/15/20 5:54am

deebee

avatar

slyjackson said:

deebee said:

Parasite (2019)



Once again with the class struggle on film! lol This was great fun. Like Channel 4's Shameless meets the Coen Brothers at their Fargo-esque grimmest. A family of struggling but canny proles inveigle their way into the grand house and and well-paid service of a bourgeois family. Then things start to go awry.

star star star star star

Great film I just loved it it kept me interested and thrilled throughout the whole film.

highfive Yeah - great plot twists, as events start to spiral out of control. I liked the social commentary too. Would be interested to see more by Bong Joon-ho - maybe starting with Okja.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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