Rate The Last Movie You Watched
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It seems like we're missing some good comedy movies as of late. Has there been any good comedy on TV as well?
 
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Lady Bird (8.5/10)

There's a list of movies that's nominated for the Oscars, and looked into a listing of them. Decided to check out Lady Bird among them. It seems the cinematography is going through some changes, and certainly recently movies like The Florida Project and Lady Bird exemplifies the transition of film from the movie look toward the "real" look. Lady Bird is not quite to the extent of The Florida Project though.

The movie feels more like a weekly episode series television about stuff that the teen faces during the high-school years. It has that late 90's early 2000's teen story feel it. Although the movie doesn't make it obvious for the audience, but it provides that feeling of early 2000s setting, and throughout gives you clues that the timeline takes place at point in time of early 2000's. It's doesn't have any of those Hollywood blockbuster elements to strike you with larger than reality type situations/scenarios. The story gives the impression that it's a biography of a somebody from their early teens, and turned it into a movie. The elements in the movie are more nuanced situations that builds upon the characterizations represented in the movie. Puts you right in the seat of the world, environment that the main character is interacting with. The transition of scenes doesn't come off linear, but goes more of cuts to cuts in terms of editing, and some of the information that is provided to you can go past you if not paying attention too closely(due to the way it jumps around), but the generally jist of the story-line is easily digestible.

I see this movie as more of a light-hearted look at a story of somebody during their younger days, and it feels like a personal story. But, there are some clieche elements as well. Like the typical fat too honest, goes by the book friend, and relationship/character development of the teen and her mother, which is the main relationship that the story centers around, and it does end in such a cliche manner that we have experienced so many times in this medium. Other than that, it's an interesting look on somebody's teen life, perhaps they have experienced growing up, and it's relatable for people that has gone through those stages in life.

There's some humor in the film without being a full-fledged comedy film. The movie is more in the breed of Blossom(old TV show)/Freaks and Geeks, and has the Judd Apatow quarks and feels to it.

Not bad. I'd have to do another round of this movie to get some of the subtleties that flew by me.

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It seems like we're missing some good comedy movies as of late. Has there been any good comedy on TV as well?
Lately have been watching standup comedy specials on Netflix for good laughs. Still get good laughs from Big Bang Theory and Mom. For satire, Episodes (showtime) is quite funny.
 
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I just watched the two movies that S. Craig Zahler has directed: Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99. Bone Tomahawk has an exceptional cast who provide equally exceptional performances. I really like Kurt Russell in westerns, from watching both Bone Tomahawk and The Hateful Eight. Brawl in Cell Block 99 was decent too.

However, I must say: these two movies display really graphic violence. In fact, I don’t think I will be watching any of Zahler’s future films. I wonder if it is really necessary to display this level of violence in a movie. And I’m no lightweight when it comes to violent movies. Some of my favorite movies include the Alien movies and Quentin Tarantino films.

Tarantino’s movies probably display more violent actions, but Zahler’s violent actions are probably 1.5, maybe even 2 times the level of graphicness, to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. Bone Tomahawk wasn’t that exceptionally violent, save for one brutal scene, but Brawl in Cell Block 99 was laced with graphic violence. It was surprising to me that Vince Vaughn, usually known for his slapstick comedy movies would take the leading role in such a serious, brutally violent film.

You might be wondering, “If he finds this director’s movies to be too violent, then why did he watch two of them?” Well, like I said, Bone Tomahawk wasn’t that exceptionally violent except for one brutal scene and I quite liked it otherwise, so I decided to watch Brawl in Cell Block 99, even though I did read from the critic’s consensus on Rotten Tomatoes that it was “brutally violent” beforehand.
 
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I just watched the two movies that S. Craig Zahler has directed: Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99. Bone Tomahawk has an exceptional cast who provide equally exceptional performances. I really like Kurt Russell in westerns, from watching both Bone Tomahawk and The Hateful Eight. Brawl in Cell Block 99 was decent too.

However, I must say: these two movies display really graphic violence. In fact, I don’t think I will be watching any of Zahler’s future films. I wonder if it is really necessary to display this level of violence in a movie. And I’m no lightweight when it comes to violent movies. Some of my favorite movies include the Alien movies and Quentin Tarantino films.

Tarantino’s movies probably display more violent actions, but Zahler’s violent actions are probably 1.5, maybe even 2 times the level of graphicness, to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. Bone Tomahawk wasn’t that exceptionally violent, save for one brutal scene, but Brawl in Cell Block 99 was laced with graphic violence. It was surprising to me that Vince Vaughn, usually known for his slapstick comedy movies would take the leading role in such a serious, brutally violent film.

You might be wondering, “If he finds this director’s movies to be too violent, then why did he watch two of them?” Well, like I said, Bone Tomahawk wasn’t that exceptionally violent except for one brutal scene and I quite liked it otherwise, so I decided to watch Brawl in Cell Block 99, even though I did read from the critic’s consensus on Rotten Tomatoes that it was “brutally violent” beforehand.
I thought Bone Tomahawk was OK - I was expecting more genre-mangling weirdness though, from the teaser I saw beforehand and it was a pretty straightforward Western for a lot of its run time (also dragged quite a lot in places). I'm still interested in seeing Brawl in Cell Block 99. Reading between the lines of your review, sounds like it might be a bit higher octane and closer to grindhouse!
 
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It seems like we're missing some good comedy movies as of late. Has there been any good comedy on TV as well?
I'm hearing good things about Game Night.
 
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Seoul Station : 6/10

Billed as a prequel to Train To Busan from the same director, Seoul Station never really comes close to reaching the heights of its successor and lacks its emotional core, but still holds its own as a solid animated zombie apocalypse. That's something in itself I guess - I was trying to think of other zombie-based animes I've seen and couldn't really come up with anything.

It's enjoyable enough for what is, but doesn't really do anything new with the standard genre tropes; just translates them into animated form with competence. Unlike Busan, there are no hugely memorable action sequences - maybe the most unique is where Hye-Sun jumps off a building onto a kind of skeletal structure and her balance alone helps her survive, where all the semi-sentient zombies fumble and fall. It's a neat bit of physical realism. When she wakes up later on, to be greeted by her estranged boyfriend, things take a turn for the strange and the film goes in a direction I didn't see coming. 'Dream Sequence! Dream Sequence!' was flashing in my head, but it was a false alarm.

It's a damn sight bleaker than Train To Busan, but also less satisfying, and it's really only a prequel in terms of having the same writer/director team - there are no common characters or story arcs.
 
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I thought Bone Tomahawk was OK - I was expecting more genre-mangling weirdness though
I too thought that calling it a horror movie was a bit of a misclassification. The only genre I consider it to fall into is Western. The "villains" of the movie were unsettling, but that is far from making the movie "horror".

I'm still interested in seeing Brawl in Cell Block 99. Reading between the lines of your review, sounds like it might be a bit higher octane and closer to grindhouse!
"Grindhouse" is a genre that I don't have experience with, but according to the critic's consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, Brawl in Cell Block 99 is indeed classified as grindhouse. Here is the full consensus, in case you are interested:

Brawl in Cell Block 99 rides a committed Vince Vaughn performance into the brutally violent -- and undeniably entertaining -- depths of prison-set grindhouse genre fare.
If you are an Amazon Prime member, it is on Prime Video.


PS: 500th post, yay!! I finally get to join the ranks of the 500+ community - a moment I have been waiting for for years.
 
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Only the Brave (6.5/10)

Majority of the points I've cut is from story-line not engaging enough to provide entertainment value. If you watched the advertisement, it says based on a true story. So is American Sniper, but which of the two based on true story sounds like would come out as more interesting, a story about sniper or wild-life fire-fighters? I think the situation is that it's hard to build real exciting scenarios since the movie is about wildlife firefighters. What can you come up with to get the audiences going besides plot about husband and wife relationships, typical testosterone driven humor to fit the type of occupation, etc.. I guess the story is a bit bogged down by being based on a true story(but also the idea of a movies about wildlife firefighters isn't all that exciting either).

I thought the cinematography was quite good, lots of great looking shots of the wilderness. Acting was good, but probably the storyboarding could have had more of spice to make it more interesting(although it is based on a true story). The main actors were a power-house of acting skills. Josh Brolin, Jennifer Connelly, Jeff Bridges. Need I say more?

This movie holds nothing on Backdraft(my fav fireman movie), and shouldn't expect anything like that. Why would you given it's about wild-life firefighters?

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Miracle in Cell No. 7 (8.75/10)

I never reviewed this movie, but I've watched this a while ago, so it's not all that fresh on my mind. It's not one of those type of raw, realistically presented like some of the current Oscar nominated films, but it's really light-hearted, fun, but emotionally moving film that the general populous would be touched by. Background is a bit like I am Sam, but with a different twist. You know, a mentally challenged dad and his daughter. I guess this is a prime element to move people's emotions. I liked it, and was one of the top memorable Korean films that I've seen. Usually, the more recognized Korean films are more of the art genre, more serious stuff like Kim-Ki-Duk or Park Chan Wook, but this is not like that. This is more of mainstream movie that is quite cute. I liked the story, and the actors/actresses. Did a terrific job, especially the little girl and Park Shin Hye. I think I gave this higher points(would give it slightly more as well) due to personally liking it.

I found this one on the list of highest grossing Korean movies. It was the highest grossing in yr 2013 with most ticket sales in Korea that yr.

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The Evil Within : 7/10

I liked this quite a lot. More than I was expecting to in fact. It's trashy for sure, but a pleasing throwback to 80s horror that's fully committed to its M.O. We enter the head-space of Dennis, who at first we think is an articulate loner type, recalling his weird dreams and bouts of sleep paralysis, but who actually turns out to be mentally handicapped - the voice at the start is his inner self, which he struggles to express in reality. This lays the groundwork for a duality which intensifies when his father brings a big old creepy mirror into his room - the mirror from his nightmares!

Make no bones, this is a trashy film. It's also pretty crazy - not balls to the wall crazy, but crazy enough to tickle my batshit receptors! The OTT set design, popping colours and committed performances from all involved mean that what could be a run-of-the-mill (and probably pretty distasteful) story about a schizophrenic flipping out ends up being a blast; a bloody mash-up of dream-based weirdness and escalating serial killerdom with an 80s vibe, tongue firmly in cheek. It knows it's in the basement and never pretends otherwise.

As for the cast, Michael Berryman is Michael Berryman, but the real star here is obviously Frederick Koehler - he looks like he's having a blast playing his evil self and I got an inordinate amount of pleasure out of him yelling RETARD at himself in the mirror as he goes full on psycho! I tell you what though, I've seen enough contorted spider women in horror films now to last me a lifetime.
 
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I thought Bone Tomahawk was OK - I was expecting more genre-mangling weirdness though, from the teaser I saw beforehand and it was a pretty straightforward Western for a lot of its run time (also dragged quite a lot in places). I'm still interested in seeing Brawl in Cell Block 99. Reading between the lines of your review, sounds like it might be a bit higher octane and closer to grindhouse!

Just saw the Vince Vaughn movie! Yes, I hear you about the violence part. And everyone has their own threshold on violence, where it’s maybe a little like drinking alcohol? Many are shocked, while others can drink a 5th of the stuff.

The movie tried to be shocking as the main character was very much a modern day Billy Jack, only more crazy and .........well ...... way more crazy.

He was the anti-hero where inside he was a good person, but his violence was his undoing. Rotten Tomatoes gives this movie a 98% which is a rare thing indeed!

I though for it’s style it was great. Not a movie for everyone, but at the same time very good for it’s crowd. I’m a pretty passive personality, but I think the older you get and the more movies you watch, the more desensitized you get. Chalk it up to maybe being slightly jaded? The violence was over the top, but the effects were so lame that you could tell it was not real. Get a movie like Irreversible and put those effects in Brawl In Cell Block 99, and it would have been truly scary.

9-10
 
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The Face of Another : 8/10

The plot sounds like quintessential B movie material: Mr. Okuyama, a man whose face is disfigured in a terrible accident, is wrapped in bandages until he can have another man's face captured in latex and grafted onto his own. It then begins to alter his personality and dictate his actions. For a modern audience, this inevitably brings to mind John Woo's brilliant face-splicing actioner Face/Off but Hiroshi Teshigahara's treatment of the story (adapted by Kôbô Abe from his own novel) couldn't be more different. Instead of shocks and thrills, Teshigahara crafts a slow burn allegory of a struggle with personal and social identity, examining the way in which the face isn't just flesh-as-window-dressing but a vital interface between a person's inner life and the outside world. Conversely, it's a mask to hide behind - not just in the case of Mr. Okuyama, but for everyone. There's a brilliant scene where this idea is made explicit - Mr. Okuyama and the psychiatrist are swamped by a stream of faceless people - a seething mass of humanity, all hidden behind the masks of their own faces, every bit as much as Okuyama is hidden behind his. The mask actually begins to change his personality, slowly but surely, building to a quietly devastating climax, where he seduces his own wife wearing the mask that he thinks she won't see past; a heartbreaking testament to his lack of faith in her.

It raises the question of how much of our self-identity comes from within and how much is located in the way we see ourselves reflected back in the mirror and in the eyes of others - not consciously, but as a gradual internalization of others' reactions to us throughout a lifetime. Where does the collective end and the individual begin? Or are they inextricably linked in an infinite feedback loop? One man's psychic rebirth also reflects that of a nation's. After WW2 and in the wake of life-altering devastation, Japan was exploring its self-identity on a new world stage through its evolving culture. Being a poster boy of the Japanese New Wave, Teshigahara's film is naturally very experimental, with unusual composition, framing and editing techniques complimented by Tôru Takemitsu's discordant avant-garde score. Many of the sets - particularly the psychiatrist's surgery, which is minimal in the extreme, with just the odd glass case starkly lit against a jet black background - are surreal, and incredibly striking. You could easily enjoy this film on a purely aesthetic level.

I imagine the pacing is what might put a lot of people off; Teshigahara is in no hurry to get where he's going and especially in the first half hour or so, it's glacial - some might even say sterile or dull. For me though, it begins to have a hypnotic effect, which just intensifies as the film goes on. I think I still prefer his earlier Woman of the Dunes, but The Face of Another has the same spellbinding quality. It's hard to put your finger on. It works a strange kind of magic - or did on me at least; I was transfixed by the end.
 
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Going to have to queue that one up. I may have seen it ages ago but am not sure.

Have you seen Pitfall by any chance?
 
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Going to have to queue that one up. I may have seen it ages ago but am not sure.

Have you seen Pitfall by any chance?
I haven't, no. This was only my second Teshigahara. It's already on my watchlist though; he's definitely a director who intrigues me. You recommend that one?
 
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