In Which I Review Movies Part II

Brocklock

Integral Poster
Joe Lynch is one of those edgy extreme directors stuck in 2003 I just don't like, so I'll pass on that.
 

909

909
Staff member


Hereditary (2018), directed by Ari Aster

Reason for Watching: This one speaks for itself. I should have watched it a while ago, and this guy's movies are in the must watch category.

Alright, this one's going to be more difficult for me to write than most. I should probably wait because I have questions, but I might always have those questions. Annie (Toni Collette) is a miniatures artist whose mother has just died. They live in Utah with her husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), their son Peter (Alex Wolff), and their daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro). Sometimes near or even at the start of the film, which I can't remember, Annie makes a comment about having given Charlie to her mother. Annie's mother seemed to have intense problems with mental illness that permeated throughout her family. At a support group, Annie talks about how some of her relatives have killed themselves while claiming that her mother was putting people inside of them. At the eulogy prior to that, Annie explains that it's strange how many people are at the funeral because she had a really private life, and that her relationship with her own mother wasn't very good. The short version of all that I've just written is that Annie's mother was a significant factor in a lot of people having mental issues. Presumably Annie is one of those people.

About a week after her mother Ellen's funeral, the grave is desecrated for reasons unbeknownst to anyone. Steve receives this news and decides that he does not want to tell his wife about this. Annie, meanwhile, is seeing visions of her mother in her workshop. She does not want to tell anyone about this. At the same time I need to mention that Charlie is just a weird girl. There's no other way to explain it. In one of the scenes where we're introduced to her, a bird flies into a window at her school. Charlie goes outside and cuts the head off the bird. Yeah, strange kid. She also has a physical disability that isn't mentioned as being one. Anyway, one day, Peter is to go to a party. He lies and tells his mom that it's a school event so that he can actually go, and she forces Peter to take his sister with him. Nobody really wants to do that, but she goes. What could possibly happen at a party that would turn this into a horror movie?

First things first, I suppose. I actually jump scared at the end. Literally don't remember the last time that happened. In fact I'm not sure I even have. This isn't a perfect film but as far as a horror movie goes this is a hell of a film. My only real complaints lie in the fact that Charlie's parents didn't make her take an epi-pen to the party. That doesn't make any sense. I don't think it's a bad thing when someone watches a movie and they have questions when it's over. In many cases, that's the point! The end of this film is some straight up David Lynch shit. I didn't see any of that stuff coming, and I am left with a lot of questions that won't be answered. The main one is why? There are hardly any movies that actually leave me feeling this way when they're over. There was a hell of a lot happening at the end of this one. The scenes at the start of the movie that seem unimportant are also crucial towards building the story, the same way Midsommar did. I think that was a better movie, though.

While I do have a lot of questions about Hereditary, I'm not sure that I actually have a lot to say. Every shot is perfectly framed throughout, which plays into the ending just that much more. You have to actually be looking for something if you want to see it. The score is also excellent as is Toni Collette's performance. Very convincing. Someone's gonna have to tell me what all the beheadings are about, though. I don't really get that shit and that's one of those questions I absolutely need to have an answer to. Perhaps one of the worst things about our loss of cinema is that we can't watch new experiences like this one in a theater. Even if they release movies, the good ones are going to be held as a matter of necessity. There is something that you definitely miss when you're not watching a movie in the theater. The theater forces you to not be distracted because you literally can't be distracted without getting asked to fuck off by some security guard. At home, the traps that lead to distraction are so much easier. I can easily admit that it's easy to get distracted at the start of a movie when they've put in scenes that are building to an excellent conclusion. Hereditary did a better job of this than a lot of the movies I've watched at home, though. Also, I think I was supposed to, but there were a lot of times that I really hated Toni Collette's character.

8.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. Roma
2. The Rider
3. A Star Is Born
4. First Reformed
5. The Favourite
6. You Were Never Really Here
7. Widows
8. First Man
9. BlacKkKlansman
10. Blindspotting
11. Leave No Trace
12. Black Panther
13. If Beale Street Could Talk
14. The Sisters Brothers
15. Hereditary
16. A Private War
17. Avengers: Infinity War
18. Wildlife
19. Stan & Ollie
20. Green Book
21. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
22. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
23. A Prayer Before Dawn
24. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
25. Annihilation
26. Private Life
27. Happy as Lazzaro
28. Cold War
29. Climax
30. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
31. Mid90s
32. Lean on Pete
33. On My Skin
34. Eighth Grade
35. Sorry to Bother You
36. Suspiria
37. The Endless
38. At Eternity's Gate
39. The Death of Stalin
40. A Quiet Place
41. Vice
42. The Old Man & the Gun
43. The Night Comes for Us
44. Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
45. Vox Lux
46. Bad Times at the El Royale
47. The Other Side of the Wind
48. Searching
49. Calibre
50. A Simple Favor
51. The Hate U Give
52. Unsane
53. Disobedience
54. Destroyer
55. Boy Erased
56. Bumblebee
57. Thoroughbreds
58. Mary Poppins Returns
59. Creed II
60. Hold the Dark
61. The Land of Steady Habits
62. Halloween
63. The 12th Man
64. Upgrade
65. The Wife
66. Chappaquiddick
67. What They Had
68. Ant-Man and the Wasp
69. The Miseducation of Cameron Post
70. Blockers
71. Beirut
72. Black '47
73. Roxanne Roxanne
74. Solo: A Star Wars Story
75. Tully
76. Mary Queen of Scots
77. Aquaman
78. Ideal Home
79. Outlaw King
80. Overlord
81. Ready Player One
82. Ben Is Back
83. Monsters and Men
84. Colette
85. The Mule
86. On the Basis of Sex
87. Bohemian Rhapsody
88. White Boy Rick
89. Papillon
90. Gemini
91. Game Night
92. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
93. Ocean's Eight
94. Alpha
95. Come Sunday
96. Borg vs. McEnroe
97. Instant Family
98. The Front Runner
99. The Predator
100. Apostle
101. The Oath
102. Uncle Drew
103. The Cured
104. The Commuter
105. The Angel
106. Tag
107. Beautiful Boy
108. The Nun
109. Operation Finale
110. The Equalizer 2
111. The Spy Who Dumped Me
112. Cargo
113. Yardie
114. Boundaries
115. Bird Box
116. 12 Strong
117. Venom
118. Skyscraper
119. The Meg
120. Assassination Nation
121. Never Goin' Back
122. Adrift
123. Crazy Rich Asians
124. Backstabbing for Beginners
125. The Girl in the Spider's Web
126. Gringo
127. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
128. 22 July
129. Tomb Raider
130. Rampage
131. Hotel Artemis
132. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
133. The Little Stranger
134. 7 Days in Entebbe
135. Night School
136. The 15:17 To Paris
137. Den of Thieves
138. The Catcher Was a Spy
139. Peppermint
140. Mile 22
141. The First Purge
142. Hunter Killer
143. The Hurricane Heist
144. The Cloverfield Paradox
145. Breaking In
146. Slice
147. Extinction
148. Hot Summer Nights
149. Welcome to Marwen
150. Second Act
151. How It Ends
152. Mute
153. Kin
154. Hell Fest
155. Action Point
156. Proud Mary
157. Robin Hood
158. Traffik
159. Tau
160. Winchester
161. Woman Walks Ahead
162. The Happytime Murders
163. The Outsider
164. Life Itself
165. Slender Man
166. Holmes & Watson
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
I took the ending to mean

Charlie who was apart of the satanic cult that her grandmother was apart of was dead and that the cult thought that a female host for their demonic entity wasn't working. So they wanted a male host and they got Peter to be possessed by King Paimon one of the kings of Hell. I think the decapitated heads and bodies of the family were there as part of the possession ritual.

On rewatches I've noticed a lot of stuff in the background of scenes related to the ending which is pretty cool. It's one of those movies where I'll notice new little details or realize something different every time I watch.

I prefer Hereditary to Midsommar by a smidge. I think Hereditary makes better use of the long runtime while I feel like Midsommar could've been snipped a little and dragged at times. I think the supporting players in Hereditary are better than Midsommar although the highlights of both are the lead performances from Toni Collette and Florence Pugh.
 

909

909
Staff member


The Kindergarten Teacher (2018), directed by Sara Colangelo

Reason for Watching: Film festival favorite that dipped onto Netflix, where nobody watched the movie ever again. What's not to like? They just bury shit on there with no promotion or anything to get people to watch this stuff.

Well, now I feel like the sentence I wrote above is too on-the-nose for this review. Lisa Spinelli (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is the mother of two kids in high school, Josh (Sam Jules) and Lainie (Daisy Tahan). Lisa is also married to Grant (Michael Chernus), and she takes a weekly poetry class, which is led by Simon (Gael Garcia Bernal). Perhaps most importantly, she is a kindergarten teacher. Maybe that's not most important after all. Anyway, at kindergarten, she does things that any kindergarten teacher would do. For the first thirty minutes or so of The Kindergarten Teacher, I was thinking two things. One is that that I find it really attractive in a woman for them to care about children. Second is that Lisa seemed like a good teacher. With the help of her aide Meghan (Anna Baryshnikov), they take care of their class very well and things are going pretty well. So it seems.

When you peel underneath the surface of that, there's some greater issues. For one thing, Lisa doesn't respect her own children and their ability to make their own choices. Her marriage is also what I would call basically dead. There's no passion or anything resembling it. It would be hard for a lot of people to continue on with that. That's probably why her kindergarten class gets so much attention, probably why Lisa is taking the poetry class. Kids can also usually sense when their parents are disappointed. Maybe they have their own perceptions of their mother and what's wrong with her. In any case, at kindergarten, there's this kid Jimmy. Jimmy is often picked up late by his babysitter, Becca (Rosa Salazar). One day, when waiting for Becca to show up from an acting audition or something of the sort, Lisa hears Jimmy reciting a poem while waiting. She writes it down quickly, then goes to her poetry class and...passes the poem off as if it's her own. This isn't an innocuous thing either, in my book anyway. Her issue? She wants more of these poems. She is a poser.

One of the things I really like about this film is that there aren't any characters who tell Lisa that she's going crazy. That's a step a lot of people are afraid to take with those who are going crazy. She's like a lot of actually crazy people out there who know how to hide all their bullshit. Trust me, there are a lot of these kinds of people out there. This movie is disturbing and too fucked up to truly be an enjoyable experience, even knowing that the premise and performance is so strong. A lot of people who think they're disappointments or that their lives haven't lived up to what they want them to be, are more than capable of pushing a self destruct button on their life the way Lisa does. There aren't a lot of movies that delve so well into such an uncomfortable concept. Jimmy locking Lisa in the bathroom is a perfect way to accelerate the story to its conclusion. I understand that apparently this is a remake of a foreign film, so it isn't entirely original, but I still appreciate this story for how it was original to begin with. There's not a lot of ways left that a screenwriter can truly disturb their audience, but this is one of them!

It's not only that The Kindergarten Teacher is a disturbing film, it's that the turns in this movie are surprising throughout. That's another thing difficult to pull off. When you've watched a lot of the movies, specifically in the last few years, it feels like you've seen everything that someone has recently thought of. All the issues of the time have seemingly been turned into a film or a show, this film does that as well in one respect. I was still shocked by everything else. What I mean about one of the issues of our time being in this movie, is the need that people have for things to be going on in their life. I actually fall on the side of the insane character in this movie when it comes to this one thing. People need to be looking for passions. If you can't find it in your marriage, maybe you need to find another passion. Maybe it's just a lull in your marriage and you know it'll come back because it always does. Maybe, like in the case of this movie, it's just fucking over and you have a hard time admitting it to yourself. It's not wrong for people to need to feel something. It is wrong to pass someone's work off as your own and kidnap a child, though.

7.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. Roma
2. The Rider
3. A Star Is Born
4. First Reformed
5. The Favourite
6. You Were Never Really Here
7. Widows
8. First Man
9. BlacKkKlansman
10. Blindspotting
11. Leave No Trace
12. Black Panther
13. If Beale Street Could Talk
14. The Sisters Brothers
15. Hereditary
16. A Private War
17. Avengers: Infinity War
18. Wildlife
19. Stan & Ollie
20. Green Book
21. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
22. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
23. A Prayer Before Dawn
24. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
25. Annihilation
26. Private Life
27. Happy as Lazzaro
28. Cold War
29. Climax
30. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
31. Mid90s
32. Lean on Pete
33. On My Skin
34. Eighth Grade
35. Sorry to Bother You
36. Suspiria
37. The Endless
38. At Eternity's Gate
39. The Death of Stalin
40. A Quiet Place
41. Vice
42. The Old Man & the Gun
43. The Night Comes for Us
44. Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
45. Vox Lux
46. Bad Times at the El Royale
47. The Other Side of the Wind
48. Searching
49. Calibre
50. A Simple Favor
51. The Kindergarten Teacher
52. The Hate U Give
53. Unsane
54. Disobedience
55. Destroyer
56. Boy Erased
57. Bumblebee
58. Thoroughbreds
59. Mary Poppins Returns
60. Creed II
61. Hold the Dark
62. The Land of Steady Habits
63. Halloween
64. The 12th Man
65. Upgrade
66. The Wife
67. Chappaquiddick
68. What They Had
69. Ant-Man and the Wasp
70. The Miseducation of Cameron Post
71. Blockers
72. Beirut
73. Black '47
74. Roxanne Roxanne
75. Solo: A Star Wars Story
76. Tully
77. Mary Queen of Scots
78. Aquaman
79. Ideal Home
80. Outlaw King
81. Overlord
82. Ready Player One
83. Ben Is Back
84. Monsters and Men
85. Colette
86. The Mule
87. On the Basis of Sex
88. Bohemian Rhapsody
89. White Boy Rick
90. Papillon
91. Gemini
92. Game Night
93. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
94. Ocean's Eight
95. Alpha
96. Come Sunday
97. Borg vs. McEnroe
98. Instant Family
99. The Front Runner
100. The Predator
101. Apostle
102. The Oath
103. Uncle Drew
104. The Cured
105. The Commuter
106. The Angel
107. Tag
108. Beautiful Boy
109. The Nun
110. Operation Finale
111. The Equalizer 2
112. The Spy Who Dumped Me
113. Cargo
114. Yardie
115. Boundaries
116. Bird Box
117. 12 Strong
118. Venom
119. Skyscraper
120. The Meg
121. Assassination Nation
122. Never Goin' Back
123. Adrift
124. Crazy Rich Asians
125. Backstabbing for Beginners
126. The Girl in the Spider's Web
127. Gringo
128. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
129. 22 July
130. Tomb Raider
131. Rampage
132. Hotel Artemis
133. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
134. The Little Stranger
135. 7 Days in Entebbe
136. Night School
137. The 15:17 To Paris
138. Den of Thieves
139. The Catcher Was a Spy
140. Peppermint
141. Mile 22
142. The First Purge
143. Hunter Killer
144. The Hurricane Heist
145. The Cloverfield Paradox
146. Breaking In
147. Slice
148. Extinction
149. Hot Summer Nights
150. Welcome to Marwen
151. Second Act
152. How It Ends
153. Mute
154. Kin
155. Hell Fest
156. Action Point
157. Proud Mary
158. Robin Hood
159. Traffik
160. Tau
161. Winchester
162. Woman Walks Ahead
163. The Happytime Murders
164. The Outsider
165. Life Itself
166. Slender Man
167. Holmes & Watson
 

909

909
Staff member


Wounds (2019), directed by Babak Anvari

Reason for Watching: I'd seen a preview for this movie last year, and it was shuffled off to Hulu for some reason probably related to it being bad. I'll soon find out! A horror movie with this cast even existing is really strange.

Fair warning here. If you can't handle cockroaches, don't ever watch this movie. It isn't that good so you don't really have to watch it anyway. Will (Armie Hammer) is a bartender in New Orleans. The bar he works at is called Rosie's, and it is infested with cockroaches to the point it is possible for someone to bring one home from work with them. We begin the film with Will at work, waiting on Alicia (Zazie Beetz) and Jeffrey (Karl Glusman), his friends. Alicia and Jeffrey are a couple, and judging from the way Will stares at them when they kiss, Will is clearly jealous and triggered by this relationship. On the night we join the film, in walks a group of people, Eric (Brad William Henke) and his friends. Eric's friends are boorish, just as he is. One example is that Eric starts to harass Alicia and Jeffrey almost instantly. More Jeffrey though. Jeffrey walks out of the bathroom, tries to squeeze past him, and we get a full blown screaming thing where Jeffrey is subjected to some abuse. Great people at this bar, clearly.

Eventually, Eric makes up with Jeffrey, or at least he tries to, but a drunk guy who nearly got in one fight is destined to get in a real one. Some college kids walk in and it seems they aren't actually allowed to buy drinks, but Will lets them anyway because the bar is a dead zone and he doesn't really care. Anyway, Eric gets into a fight with one of his friends. It's a bad one, and Eric gets stabbed in the face with a fucked up bottle even though he's won the fight. At least there's that! Even still, his face is gouged and the college kids have bailed out. However, one of them left their phone, and Will picks it up. Eventually, Will goes home and we learn that despite his jealousy, he has a girlfriend, Carrie (Dakota Johnson). There seems to be an issue with this phone, though. One of the college kids? They sent some fucked up pictures to it. Badly fucked up. Will is also starting to feel weird. What to do?

Wounds is hard to watch when you get to a certain point because the lead character is detestable. That's why this was booted to Hulu. I also think there's a huge problem when I turn on a movie and it ends before answering even a single one of the questions presented. I've said before that I don't mind when a filmmaker decides that they aren't going to answer all of the questions they presented. That's still true. There's also an issue when Wounds is only interesting in the first series of scenes at the bar, and then it starts to get interesting again and the film abruptly ends. There's no three act structure here. There's the beginning of the film, then there's the middle and right before a third act would start, it's over. I straight up don't like that.

In addition to my problems with the story, I found that the actors weren't used properly. When you have a cast like this, where there are four pretty good actors, and you pigeonhole them into roles that feel one-dimensional? I don't know. Wounds is also a film that was shot and set in New Orleans and simultaneously it does not at all use the setting to the degree it could have. There also isn't enough information about the books that lead to this premise. Why do these books matter? What is the ritual? All of that shit is just left way too unanswered. There's degrees to which questions are or aren't answered and this film does a bad job of not providing completely necessary information. Maybe some of the scenes in this movie were cut? Again, the lead character being a complete dick doesn't help matters. The concept could be and at a few specific points is creepy, and some of these scenes are very effective, but this isn't a film that I particularly enjoyed.

4/10

2019 Films Ranked


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
2. Parasite
3. 1917
4. Midsommar
5. Ad Astra
6. The Lighthouse
7. Waves
8. The Farewell
9. Knives Out
10. Uncut Gems
11. Atlantics
12. Booksmart
13. Avengers: Endgame
14. Queen & Slim
15. Toy Story 4
16. Joker
17. Dolemite Is My Name
18. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
19. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
20. The Two Popes
21. Clemency (had some stuff happen, couldn't review)
22. Us
23. Ford v. Ferrari
24. Gloria Bell
25. The Beach Bum
26. Just Mercy
27. The Art of Self-Defense
28. Dark Waters
29. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
30. Arctic
31. Spider-Man: Far From Home
32. Rocketman
33. High Flying Bird
34. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
35. Paddleton
36. Richard Jewell
37. The Peanut Butter Falcon
38. Honey Boy
39. Doctor Sleep
40. Hustlers
41. Blinded by the Light
42. Captain Marvel
43. Jojo Rabbit
44. Long Shot
45. Shazam
46. Ready or Not
47. See You Yesterday
48. A Vigilante
49. Late Night
50. Crawl
51. It: Chapter Two
52. Hotel Mumbai
53. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
54. Zombieland: Double Tap
55. Harriet
56. American Woman
57. Hobbs & Shaw
58. Official Secrets
59. Always Be My Maybe
60. Cold Pursuit
61. The Laundromat
62. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
63. Shaft
64. Happy Death Day 2U
65. Ma
66. Terminator: Dark Fate
67. Greta
68. Annabelle Comes Home
69. Jumanji: The Next Level
70. Aladdin
71. Triple Frontier
72. Fighting with My Family
73. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
74. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
75. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
76. Brexit
77. The Dirt
78. Velvet Buzzsaw
79. Stuber
80. Little
81. Alita: Battle Angel
82. The Hole in the Ground
83. The Good Liar
84. The Current War: Director's Cut
85. The Kid
86. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
87. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
88. Good Boys
89. The Upside
90. The Lion King
91. Dumbo
92. The Hummingbird Project
93. Escape Room
94. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
95. The Wedding Guest
96. Brian Banks
97. Tolkien
98. The Dead Don't Die
99. Captive State
100. The Highwaymen
101. Bombshell
102. Pet Sematary
103. The Intruder
104. Child's Play
105. 21 Bridges
106. Gemini Man
107. Brightburn
108. Never Grow Old
109. Rambo: Last Blood
110. Charlie's Angels
111. Trial by Fire
112. Midway
113. Angel Has Fallen
114. Black and Blue
115. Yesterday
116. Anna
117. What Men Want
118. Them That Follow
119. Wounds
120. Unicorn Store
121. The Curse of La Llorona
122. Miss Bala
123. Men in Black: International
124. Murder Mystery
125. Donnybrook
126. The Red Sea Diving Resort
127. The Perfection
128. Hellboy
129. Glass
130. Dark Phoenix
131. Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
132. Point Blank
133. The Kitchen
134. The Hustle
135. The Best of Enemies
136. The Prodigy
137. Polar
138. Serenity
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
This is a weird ass movie cause I gave the film the same rating as you, but for some reason a few of the scenes have stayed with me and I don't know why. I kind of want to watch it again and see if it has a Climax type reaction to me where it ends up clicking much more on the second viewing and I end up really liking it. I do think Armie Hammer does a good job playing a complete piece of shit.

I have no clue why Dakota Johnson did the movie unless she's a huge fan of the director's previous much better film called Under The Shadow. Her character was so one note and forgettable for someone who's probably the biggest star in the movie. Zazie Beetz got a little more to work with, but it also feels like a role much beneath her.
 

909

909
Staff member
This is a weird ass movie cause I gave the film the same rating as you, but for some reason a few of the scenes have stayed with me and I don't know why. I kind of want to watch it again and see if it has a Climax type reaction to me where it ends up clicking much more on the second viewing and I end up really liking it. I do think Armie Hammer does a good job playing a complete piece of shit.

I have no clue why Dakota Johnson did the movie unless she's a huge fan of the director's previous much better film called Under The Shadow. Her character was so one note and forgettable for someone who's probably the biggest star in the movie. Zazie Beetz got a little more to work with, but it also feels like a role much beneath her.

The opening of the movie will probably stick with me because it was pretty good. It just ends way too fast.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
I have no clue why Dakota Johnson did the movie unless she's a huge fan of the director's previous much better film called Under The Shadow.

I've read/heard enough interviews that a large reason why actors take these kinds of roles are mostly to work with a particular director on a project or sometimes to work alongside specific actors if the project is a blockbuster. Never forget that Hollywood is about connections & who you know as much as actual on-screen talent.
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
I think it's more she loved the director's previous film. From some of the projects she picks like A Bigger Splash, Peanut Butter Falcon, and Suspiria, she does have ecclectic taste. Babak Anvari only directed Under The Shadow previously which was a Persian-Iranian indie horror movie so it's not like he had massive hollywood connections. Under The Shadow is a great movie, so I don't blame her.

It probably would've been a better movie if she played the lead scumbag character rather than have it be a guy. There's still not enough movies with female leads playing intentionally detestable characters.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
I think it's more she loved the director's previous film. From some of the projects she picks like A Bigger Splash, Peanut Butter Falcon, and Suspiria, she does have ecclectic taste. Babak Anvari only directed Under The Shadow previously which was a Persian-Iranian indie horror movie so it's not like he had massive hollywood connections. Under The Shadow is a great movie, so I don't blame her.

It probably would've been a better movie if she played the lead scumbag character rather than have it be a guy. There's still not enough movies with female leads playing intentionally detestable characters.

Yeah, it's clear she wanted to work with him due to his previous film but that's more what I meant. A lot of directors who have moderate success with a low budget film tend to draw actors for their next project who suddenly want to work with them (see what's his face after Donnie Darko when he got The Rock, SMG, Timberlake for his massive bomb film after). James Gunn is another who went from Slither, which was a well received low budget horror movie to Super (which had Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, and Kevin Bacon) to Guardians where he became a massive name.

The blockbuster thing was aimed more at actors jumping into say the MCU due to directors/other actors around them. The MCU is so big now that actors who ordinarily would've shunned any works are like, "Maybe I should ask for/audition for a role in this upcoming Y movie."
 

909

909
Staff member


Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019), directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo

Reason for Watching: I had a long day yesterday, a hard day, and need to watch something light and at worst mildly entertaining. Also, my brother told me to.

Brittany (Jillian Bell) is a 28 year old (the actress is older) living in New York City with a roommate, as so many people do. Her roommate is Gretchen (Alice Lee), a teacher's assistant to deaf children who also thinks she can be social media famous. I cannot think of a worse kind of person. Brittany is overweight, as you can tell if you've seen the trailer at all, and she works at an off-Broadway theater. Brittany also likes Adderall. So, she goes to a new doctor to get a new prescription, but this guy just ain't going to give her shit. He also tells her what she really needs to hear. She needs to lose weight and get healthy. When she goes to a gym, she finds out that it costs too much to go there, and she'd rather just go out at night with Gretchen anyway. After all, why not? That is, until one day when she tries running for the first time. She's invited to run in a group with her neighbor Catherine (Michaela Watkins), and she also meets Seth (Micah Stock), a new runner who struggles as much as she does. What does Brittany really want to do? Lose a lot of weight and run in the New York City Marathon.

Perhaps it's because I've watched so many movies, or because I'm jaded or some shit, but Brittany Runs a Marathon doesn't really ring with me the way it did with a lot of other people. The movie is funny most of the time, but it isn't inspirational to me the way that the filmmakers probably wanted it to be. However, in saying that, I am absolutely in the minority. My review isn't going to be very long because I'm simply not in the mood to do so. I also identify with the character to some extent, but I think the story doesn't do the character any favors. The movie seems to be in this space where Brittany's efforts are constantly sabotaged in ways that I personally find very unappealing, or through being a nasty person, and I could go on and on but I won't. At the end of the day, this is a decent movie about improving one's self, but the cruelty here actually bothered me to a point where I can only write this much about the film.

6.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
2. Parasite
3. 1917
4. Midsommar
5. Ad Astra
6. The Lighthouse
7. Waves
8. The Farewell
9. Knives Out
10. Uncut Gems
11. Atlantics
12. Booksmart
13. Avengers: Endgame
14. Queen & Slim
15. Toy Story 4
16. Joker
17. Dolemite Is My Name
18. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
19. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
20. The Two Popes
21. Clemency (had some stuff happen, couldn't review)
22. Us
23. Ford v. Ferrari
24. Gloria Bell
25. The Beach Bum
26. Just Mercy
27. The Art of Self-Defense
28. Dark Waters
29. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
30. Arctic
31. Spider-Man: Far From Home
32. Rocketman
33. High Flying Bird
34. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
35. Paddleton
36. Richard Jewell
37. The Peanut Butter Falcon
38. Honey Boy
39. Doctor Sleep
40. Hustlers
41. Blinded by the Light
42. Captain Marvel
43. Jojo Rabbit
44. Long Shot
45. Shazam
46. Ready or Not
47. See You Yesterday
48. A Vigilante
49. Late Night
50. Crawl
51. It: Chapter Two
52. Hotel Mumbai
53. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
54. Zombieland: Double Tap
55. Harriet
56. American Woman
57. Hobbs & Shaw
58. Official Secrets
59. Always Be My Maybe
60. Cold Pursuit
61. The Laundromat
62. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
63. Shaft
64. Happy Death Day 2U
65. Ma
66. Terminator: Dark Fate
67. Greta
68. Brittany Runs a Marathon
69. Annabelle Comes Home
70. Jumanji: The Next Level
71. Aladdin
72. Triple Frontier
73. Fighting with My Family
74. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
75. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
76. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
77. Brexit
78. The Dirt
79. Velvet Buzzsaw
80. Stuber
81. Little
82. Alita: Battle Angel
83. The Hole in the Ground
84. The Good Liar
85. The Current War: Director's Cut
86. The Kid
87. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
88. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
89. Good Boys
90. The Upside
91. The Lion King
92. Dumbo
93. The Hummingbird Project
94. Escape Room
95. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
96. The Wedding Guest
97. Brian Banks
98. Tolkien
99. The Dead Don't Die
100. Captive State
101. The Highwaymen
102. Bombshell
103. Pet Sematary
104. The Intruder
105. Child's Play
106. 21 Bridges
107. Gemini Man
108. Brightburn
109. Never Grow Old
110. Rambo: Last Blood
111. Charlie's Angels
112. Trial by Fire
113. Midway
114. Angel Has Fallen
115. Black and Blue
116. Yesterday
117. Anna
118. What Men Want
119. Them That Follow
120. Wounds
121. Unicorn Store
122. The Curse of La Llorona
123. Miss Bala
124. Men in Black: International
125. Murder Mystery
126. Donnybrook
127. The Red Sea Diving Resort
128. The Perfection
129. Hellboy
130. Glass
131. Dark Phoenix
132. Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
133. Point Blank
134. The Kitchen
135. The Hustle
136. The Best of Enemies
137. The Prodigy
138. Polar
139. Serenity
 

909

909
Staff member


Native Son (2019), directed by Rashid Johnson

Reason for Watching: There's no specific reason beyond that I want to complete a 2019 list and this is one of the movies that would have to be on that list. I also think the two people who seem to be lead actors are pretty good young actors who should have big careers. I do also know that this is an adaptation of a very old book.

It turns out that the book is much more severe in the way in which the events of the film change, but I haven't read it and I do not read. Bigger Thomas (Ashton Sanders) is a young Chicagoan who lives with his family. His father apparently dropped dead prior to the events of this film, so he lives with his mother Trudy (Sanaa Lathan) and her other children. On the day we enter the film, we learn about Bigger's life. His friend Jack (Jerod Haynes) wants Bigger to help him rob a liquor store, but this isn't something Bigger really seems to want to do. He has a girlfriend, Bessie (KiKi Layne), and he likes to smoke weed like a lot of people do. Good guy. So, that night, he is set to meet his mother's new boyfriend, Marty (David Alan Grier). Marty has a job idea for Bigger that he's heard about, as a driver for a very rich man. Bigger doesn't like Marty all that much, so he blows it off like a lot of people would, but Bessie gets him to take the interview.

At the interview, the state of Mr. Dalton's (Bill Camp) life is quite clear. He's extremely rich, and his job offer is quite clear. Should Bigger take this job for $1,000 a week, he will live in Dalton's house. He will drive around Mr. Dalton's blind wife (Elizabeth Marvel), Mr. Dalton himself, and his surprisingly radical daughter Mary (Margaret Qualley). You know, I don't know why that was so surprising to me all things considered. Very rich people often have kids who turn out like this. That night, under the guise of driving her to class, Bigger drives Mary to a political meeting led by Jan (Nick Robinson), her boyfriend. We don't see very much of this meeting, but the intended audience of this movie is supposed to agree with it and in some senses I very much do. After, he takes them to a club, and they become friends. At first, Bessie isn't too sure what to think of it. What is his friend going to think when he doesn't rob a store with him, after Bigger said that he would?

Modernizing old novels is often very difficult to do properly, and that's why you don't see it done very often. This has been adapted before, so this is not the first time the work has been adapted. It is the first time this was modernized. When you don't know the work beforehand, there is no possible way that you could see the last half of this movie coming. Having a likable lead character plays a huge part in the events of the film mattering to the viewer. I must reiterate I could not see this coming. Self-preservation is also a hell of a thing. The film also entirely revolves around Sanders' performance, every scene is centered around him and his reactions to what he sees, and essentially he has to carry the whole movie. At the end of the film I found that some of the film's spell over myself began to break a little bit. That isn't a damning criticism of the film though. The victory of the film is that it was able to do this to me in the first place.

From what I understand, the novelization of this character is even more controversial, and he does much worse things than in the film's version of the story. I mean, like, rape kind of things. The novel is literally unadaptable in that kind of literal sense, there absolutely had to be changes made to the subject material. Is that acceptable? Yes. Better to do that than to render the novel unable to be adapted at all. Controversial work lives on specifically for that reason, because it matters and because it's different, the point is to provoke you and Native Son is still a story that does that even in a modernized adaptation. This isn't a perfect film because as I've alluded to, the ending of the film is rather difficult in coming and I found some of those events a little hard to watch. At the end of the day this is a good story from 2019, a year in film that was full of them. It has been a very good thing for there to be no shortage of material to watch while forced inside my house for such a long time. Some of the scenes here whiff, but many of them are quite captivating.

7/10

2019 Films Ranked


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
2. Parasite
3. 1917
4. Midsommar
5. Ad Astra
6. The Lighthouse
7. Waves
8. The Farewell
9. Knives Out
10. Uncut Gems
11. Atlantics
12. Booksmart
13. Avengers: Endgame
14. Queen & Slim
15. Toy Story 4
16. Joker
17. Dolemite Is My Name
18. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
19. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
20. The Two Popes
21. Clemency (had some stuff happen, couldn't review)
22. Us
23. Ford v. Ferrari
24. Gloria Bell
25. The Beach Bum
26. Just Mercy
27. The Art of Self-Defense
28. Dark Waters
29. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
30. Arctic
31. Spider-Man: Far From Home
32. Rocketman
33. High Flying Bird
34. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
35. Paddleton
36. The Peanut Butter Falcon
37. Honey Boy
38. Doctor Sleep
39. Hustlers
40. Richard Jewell
41. Blinded by the Light
42. Captain Marvel
43. Jojo Rabbit
44. Shazam
45. Ready or Not
46. Native Son
47. See You Yesterday
48. A Vigilante
49. Late Night
50. Crawl
51. Long Shot
52. It: Chapter Two
53. Hotel Mumbai
54. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
55. Zombieland: Double Tap
56. Harriet
57. American Woman
58. Hobbs & Shaw
59. Official Secrets
60. Always Be My Maybe
61. Cold Pursuit
62. The Laundromat
63. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
64. Shaft
65. Happy Death Day 2U
66. Ma
67. Terminator: Dark Fate
68. Greta
69. Brittany Runs a Marathon
70. Annabelle Comes Home
71. Jumanji: The Next Level
72. Aladdin
73. Triple Frontier
74. Fighting with My Family
75. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
76. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
77. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
78. Brexit
79. The Dirt
80. Velvet Buzzsaw
81. Stuber
82. Little
83. Alita: Battle Angel
84. The Hole in the Ground
85. The Good Liar
86. The Current War: Director's Cut
87. The Kid
88. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
89. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
90. Good Boys
91. The Upside
92. The Lion King
93. Dumbo
94. The Hummingbird Project
95. Escape Room
96. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
97. The Wedding Guest
98. Brian Banks
99. Tolkien
100. The Dead Don't Die
101. Captive State
102. The Highwaymen
103. Bombshell
104. Pet Sematary
105. The Intruder
106. Child's Play
107. 21 Bridges
108. Gemini Man
109. Brightburn
110. Never Grow Old
111. Rambo: Last Blood
112. Charlie's Angels
113. Trial by Fire
114. Midway
115. Angel Has Fallen
116. Black and Blue
117. Yesterday
118. Anna
119. What Men Want
120. Them That Follow
121. Wounds
122. Unicorn Store
123. The Curse of La Llorona
124. Miss Bala
125. Men in Black: International
126. Murder Mystery
127. Donnybrook
128. The Red Sea Diving Resort
129. The Perfection
130. Hellboy
131. Glass
132. Dark Phoenix
133. Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
134. Point Blank
135. The Kitchen
136. The Hustle
137. The Best of Enemies
138. The Prodigy
139. Polar
140. Serenity
 

909

909
Staff member
Korean, subtitles



Train to Busan (2016), directed by Yeon Sang-ho

Reason for Watching: I'd been meaning to watch this film for quite a while, but it's leaving Netflix today. If I was ever going to watch it, I damn sure better do it right now.

I'm sure glad that I actually cleared my slate to watch this movie. At the beginning of Train to Busan, we are treated to a scene where some guy runs over a deer and kills it. The thing is, this deer reanimates, and now we see why there was a quarantine blockade in the middle of the road to begin with. After this, we snap over to Seoul, where Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) is a fund manager who works way too much. He has been divorced and it turned out that his daughter Su-an (Kim Su-an) stayed with him in the aftermath. His mom watches her every day while he works until he comes home and goes to sleep. Great life that would be. Su-an wants to spend her birthday with her mother in Busan, and after Seok-woo buys her a birthday present that she already has, it is time for some personal reflection. He is given a video to watch of Su-an's singing recital, which she cannot finish because he is not there, and due to this he feels extreme guilt and decides to take his daughter to Busan. Is he a good dad because of that? Of course not.

On the way to the train station in the morning, Seok-woo and Su-an encounter tons of emergency vehicles on their way to a skyscraper blaze. First bad sign. When they get onto their train, we are introduced to some of the other riders. There is a selfish corporate executive, Yon-suk (Kim Eui-sung); a tough guy named Sang-hwa (Ma Dong-seok) and his pregnant wife Seong-kyeong (Jung Yu-mil); some high school baseball players, some train attendants, and a homeless man who runs onto the train as quickly as possible. I would consider this to be a bad sign. When the train departs, Su-an notices someone sprinting by for a seemingly unexplained reason, and at the same time the homeless guy runs into the bathroom. Thing is, someone else also ran on the train. They seem to be infected and they seem to have turned into a zombie. Only bad things can happen from here. The kicker is that the infection started at a factory tied to Seok-woo's business, and at the start of the film, it seems that he initially sold all stock when finding out about the infection to begin with. Did he tell anyone? Of course not.

Train to Busan is the kind of zombie movie that is actually properly layered by the person who wrote it, which isn't surprising given that this isn't an American trash film. There's a lot of people who get up in their feelings about whether or not zombies are supposed to run. I can see that this may have been a film where that debate was held. The characters are really what makes the film. The action is one thing and I've seen movies with better action, so even though this is good that isn't the main thing making the movie what it is. To write likable characters seems to be a difficult thing these days. Train to Busan has many of them and one very unlikable character who is deliberately written to be that way. More creators should take note of this. Even at the start of The Walking Dead, the material may not have been super adaptable to television because the group was carrying a lot of dead weight. Train to Busan has no such affliction. The homeless guy even serves his purpose properly.

There are so many zombies movies and TV shows and games and shit now that the genre has genuinely been overrun. Train to Busan does have something different though, and it's social commentary. This is a film that perfectly summarizes our world, not just South Korea. People almost solely only care about themselves. Another good example is in the way everyone freaks out at the homeless guy who ran into the train car for obviously good reasons. Also, we have the hedge fund guy only looking out for his own interests. In addition to those bits, we also have running zombies. I'm on the side of those who prefer running zombies. Their running opens up a lot of potential for quality action scenes, and those we have. The ending, after having seen all of those action scenes, is a big deal. The train derailment at the end is a little goofy, but overall I have a hard time imagining how someone could not have enjoyed this film. It's gory and we got to that shit extremely quickly. Who could be mad about that?

There is a sequel of sorts to Train to Busan, and it just came out a few weeks ago or so. The film is called Peninsula and it is frankly not getting good reviews, but I'm going to watch it. Why wouldn't I?

7.5/10
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
I really liked Train to Busan so I'll be curious to read your thoughts on the sequel and whether it's worth seeking out for a watch.
 

909

909
Staff member


Little Woods (2019), directed by Nia DaCosta

Reason for Watching: Because I have to de-stress after the bad shit yesterday. Also, this is supposed to be a good movie and I like movies that are touted to be neo-Westerns.

I don't see how this was a neo-Western. I think people may no longer understand the application of that term. I gotta admit to something as it relates to that. When I turn on a movie expecting a genre and get something entirely different, I'm tilted from the point when I realize that promise will not be kept. Ollie (Tessa Thompson) is on probation after having been caught illegally crossing the border between North Dakota and Manitoba at the start of the film. When we snap back to the present, Ollie has eight days left on her probation. Her probation officer Carter (Lance Reddick) says that she's doing a really good job, and that things are looking good for her to move on in the world. Ideally, she'll get out of North Dakota entirely. She has the chance to go back to what she was doing, but instead she makes sandwiches and shit for people who work at the oil rigs. Odd jobs pay, even though they don't pay enough, and now because of that lack of pay she's going to lose the home that once belonged to her mother, who died.

Ollie has a half-sister, Deb (Lily James), who has become pregnant prior to some of the events in this film. She needs some help, and is already a single mother to a son. They live in a parked trailer at Walmart or some similar place, life is not good. Her son's father Ian (James Badge Dale) is a classic kind of loser, he will be of no help in raising another child and isn't any help in raising the son he already has. Unfortunately, because of the foreclosed house and her sister's predicament, Ollie now has to turn to her former life. Oh, I never said what that life was? Selling illegally prescribed prescription pills, running contraband across the border, helping people access the Canadian healthcare system, and possibly all kinds of other things we aren't told about. Ollie had buried a bag at the border before, knowing that she was going to get caught. Time to make use of that bag to stop the house from being foreclosed on, so she can give the house to Deb.

The issue I'm having with Little Woods is that this movie just doesn't have any real payoff with Ollie's storyline. Alright, she's supposed to get the pills. How does one get all those pills after a doctor prescribes them? The filmmaker takes that bit for granted and just doesn't show us. That kind of thing is an important detail, the lack of which drives me absolutely crazy. Critics really loved this movie but I am not one of those people it seems. The movie is not quite tense enough. This is supposed to have hints of a Western. It does fucking not. This isn't a terrible film and I don't want to give anyone that impression. There's poignancy in the commentary about our healthcare system, the badness of which runs rampant during this story. It's also likely to get even worse now, and that annoyed me while I was watching the film. Little Woods just doesn't have what I really thought it was going to have at the beginning.

More than just the lack of those Western notes, is that this feels more like a documentary than a fictional film. Sometimes that's really appealing and sometimes it isn't. There's nothing wrong with the performances in the film, and both of them are pretty good. The scenes in Little Woods just seem to lack the kind of depth that I would appreciate. Also, these two girls are too good looking for poor, rural North Dakota. If you watched the film, you probably thought the exact same thing. This is a decent movie that is simultaneously a disappointing one. The best scenes in this movie are the ones during which it seems like something really bad could happen to Ollie. The ones where something bad could happen to Deb turn out to be disappointing, but while the movie is slow, I can't say that I ever really looked away from it. It was interesting enough. Maybe I'm just too pissed off right now to watch a film objectively.

6.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
2. Parasite
3. 1917
4. Midsommar
5. Ad Astra
6. The Lighthouse
7. Waves
8. The Farewell
9. Knives Out
10. Uncut Gems
11. Atlantics
12. Booksmart
13. Avengers: Endgame
14. Queen & Slim
15. Toy Story 4
16. Joker
17. Dolemite Is My Name
18. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
19. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
20. The Two Popes
21. Clemency (had some stuff happen, couldn't review)
22. Us
23. Ford v. Ferrari
24. Gloria Bell
25. The Beach Bum
26. Just Mercy
27. The Art of Self-Defense
28. Dark Waters
29. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
30. Arctic
31. Spider-Man: Far From Home
32. Rocketman
33. High Flying Bird
34. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
35. Paddleton
36. The Peanut Butter Falcon
37. Honey Boy
38. Doctor Sleep
39. Hustlers
40. Richard Jewell
41. Blinded by the Light
42. Captain Marvel
43. Jojo Rabbit
44. Shazam
45. Ready or Not
46. Native Son
47. See You Yesterday
48. A Vigilante
49. Late Night
50. Crawl
51. Long Shot
52. It: Chapter Two
53. Hotel Mumbai
54. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
55. Zombieland: Double Tap
56. Harriet
57. American Woman
58. Hobbs & Shaw
59. Official Secrets
60. Always Be My Maybe
61. Cold Pursuit
62. The Laundromat
63. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
64. Shaft
65. Happy Death Day 2U
66. Ma
67. Terminator: Dark Fate
68. Greta
69. Brittany Runs a Marathon
70. Annabelle Comes Home
71. Jumanji: The Next Level
72. Aladdin
73. Triple Frontier
74. Fighting with My Family
75. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
76. Little Woods
77. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
78. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
79. Brexit
80. The Dirt
81. Velvet Buzzsaw
82. Stuber
83. Little
84. Alita: Battle Angel
85. The Hole in the Ground
86. The Good Liar
87. The Current War: Director's Cut
88. The Kid
89. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
90. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
91. Good Boys
92. The Upside
93. The Lion King
94. Dumbo
95. The Hummingbird Project
96. Escape Room
97. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
98. The Wedding Guest
99. Brian Banks
100. Tolkien
101. The Dead Don't Die
102. Captive State
103. The Highwaymen
104. Bombshell
105. Pet Sematary
106. The Intruder
107. Child's Play
108. 21 Bridges
109. Gemini Man
110. Brightburn
111. Never Grow Old
112. Rambo: Last Blood
113. Charlie's Angels
114. Trial by Fire
115. Midway
116. Angel Has Fallen
117. Black and Blue
118. Yesterday
119. Anna
120. What Men Want
121. Them That Follow
122. Wounds
123. Unicorn Store
124. The Curse of La Llorona
125. Miss Bala
126. Men in Black: International
127. Murder Mystery
128. Donnybrook
129. The Red Sea Diving Resort
130. The Perfection
131. Hellboy
132. Glass
133. Dark Phoenix
134. Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
135. Point Blank
136. The Kitchen
137. The Hustle
138. The Best of Enemies
139. The Prodigy
140. Polar
141. Serenity
 

909

909
Staff member


The Wind (2019), directed by Emma Tammi

Reason for Watching: Western. Horror. Of course I'm going to watch that, I really didn't even need to fill this part out. Hopefully this actually is a Western unlike what I watched the other day. As long as it is, I'll be quite pleased.

Spoiler: this was actually a Western. With that out of the way, let's talk about the movie. Set in the late 1800s, way out in New Mexico where nobody lives, we have The Wind. This story is told way out of chronological order to the extent I'd call it a weakness of the film. Back in those days, the government used to give people huge amounts of land if they could live somewhere for five years and make something out of it. A lot of people took the government up on this, isolating themselves from the rest of society. Lizzy (Caitlin Gerard) and her husband Isaac (Ashley Zukerman) have taken the government up on this offer as well. The film starts with Lizzy having walked out of a house, wearing a dress covered in blood and carrying something I could at the time only assume was a dead infant. Unfortunately, that was the case. After this, we are shown a scene where Emma (Julia Goldani Telles) and a stillborn are in a coffin being lowered into the ground. Emma has a piece of her head blown off. How could she possibly have a piece of her head blown off?

After this, we kick back into the past, and I don't like that The Wind does this, but the film does a hell of a lot of jumping back and forth. We head back to when Emma arrives from Illinois with her husband, Gideon (Dylan McTee). Emma and Gideon are not a very happy couple, but at least the two couples have friends or something like friends. Lizzy and Isaac help them repair the crappy cabin they're moving into, as well as help them plant some crops so that one day they too will have their own 160 acres. Eventually, Lizzy comes to tell Emma that she had a son who was also stillborn. One night, Emma goes absolutely batshit insane. Gideon runs a mile to tell Lizzy and Isaac they need to come help, as he's clueless about what to do. Emma is under a bed talking crazy shit, and says something about how a demon, or rather "it" wants her unborn baby. It's a demon though, I just told you. What if she's right? I decided that I'm incapable of explaining the narrative of these timelines, so I did it this way. Sue me.

This might be quite literally the slowest burning horror movie that I've ever watched. I feel like The Wind has a good script, that there's good payoffs to the story, and the poltergeist shit is pretty cool. The problem is that those revelations are so long in coming. Not only are they long in coming, but due to how slow the film actually is, it's one of those movies that had a hard time retaining my attention. The Wind starts off so well, but I feel like nothing ever meets the promise of that first scene. In addition, I hate when movies do stuff like that. The ending was a little different than I thought it would be, but at the end of the day, the filmmaker told you that this chick had a piece of her head missing after being shot. That kind of thing is really unnecessary. Could you imagine if The Godfather opened with Marlon Brando choking to death? That ruins movies for me. The acting in this film is also not entirely convincing.

It's probably weird to read me saying that there were all those positives and subsequently point out that I think this is an average movie because of some serious flaws. The film isn't even that long, and it's still slow. I know this is a strange critique, but dead Emma appears one too many times as well. Yet, I just said this movie was slow? Anyway, the stuff with the reverend was good, and I also thought this was a realistic portrayal of life on the Frontier. The wife is ultimately left all on her own. with nobody around for miles while her husband heads off into town to do whatever it is they have to do to live. I do not understand how people could subject themselves to this kind of living.

6/10

2019 Films Ranked


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
2. Parasite
3. 1917
4. Midsommar
5. Ad Astra
6. The Lighthouse
7. Waves
8. The Farewell
9. Knives Out
10. Uncut Gems
11. Atlantics
12. Booksmart
13. Avengers: Endgame
14. Queen & Slim
15. Toy Story 4
16. Joker
17. Dolemite Is My Name
18. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
19. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
20. The Two Popes
21. Clemency (had some stuff happen, couldn't review)
22. Us
23. Ford v. Ferrari
24. Gloria Bell
25. The Beach Bum
26. Just Mercy
27. The Art of Self-Defense
28. Dark Waters
29. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
30. Arctic
31. Spider-Man: Far From Home
32. Rocketman
33. High Flying Bird
34. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
35. Paddleton
36. The Peanut Butter Falcon
37. Honey Boy
38. Doctor Sleep
39. Hustlers
40. Richard Jewell
41. Blinded by the Light
42. Captain Marvel
43. Jojo Rabbit
44. Shazam
45. Ready or Not
46. Native Son
47. See You Yesterday
48. A Vigilante
49. Late Night
50. Crawl
51. Long Shot
52. It: Chapter Two
53. Hotel Mumbai
54. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
55. Zombieland: Double Tap
56. Harriet
57. American Woman
58. Hobbs & Shaw
59. Official Secrets
60. Always Be My Maybe
61. Cold Pursuit
62. The Laundromat
63. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
64. Shaft
65. Happy Death Day 2U
66. Ma
67. Terminator: Dark Fate
68. Greta
69. Brittany Runs a Marathon
70. Annabelle Comes Home
71. Jumanji: The Next Level
72. Aladdin
73. Triple Frontier
74. Fighting with My Family
75. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
76. Little Woods
77. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
78. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
79. Brexit
80. The Dirt
81. Velvet Buzzsaw
82. Stuber
83. Little
84. Alita: Battle Angel
85. The Hole in the Ground
86. The Good Liar
87. The Wind
88. The Current War: Director's Cut
89. The Kid
90. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
91. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
92. Good Boys
93. The Upside
94. The Lion King
95. Dumbo
96. The Hummingbird Project
97. Escape Room
98. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
99. The Wedding Guest
100. Brian Banks
101. Tolkien
102. The Dead Don't Die
103. Captive State
104. The Highwaymen
105. Bombshell
106. Pet Sematary
107. The Intruder
108. Child's Play
109. 21 Bridges
110. Gemini Man
111. Brightburn
112. Never Grow Old
113. Rambo: Last Blood
114. Charlie's Angels
115. Trial by Fire
116. Midway
117. Angel Has Fallen
118. Black and Blue
119. Yesterday
120. Anna
121. What Men Want
122. Them That Follow
123. Wounds
124. Unicorn Store
125. The Curse of La Llorona
126. Miss Bala
127. Men in Black: International
128. Murder Mystery
129. Donnybrook
130. The Red Sea Diving Resort
131. The Perfection
132. Hellboy
133. Glass
134. Dark Phoenix
135. Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
136. Point Blank
137. The Kitchen
138. The Hustle
139. The Best of Enemies
140. The Prodigy
141. Polar
142. Serenity
 

909

909
Staff member
Swedish, subtitles



Border (2018), directed by Ali Abbasi

Reason for Watching: When I went to see Vox Lux two years ago, I saw a preview for the most strange foreign movie. I knew it would ultimately not come to a theater near my house, and I also knew that eventually I would have to get Hulu if I wanted to watch it. Border is that movie.

What we have here with Border is certainly one of the most strange movies I've ever seen. Border begins with Tina (Eva Melander), who works for Swedish customs at a port...somewhere in Sweden. That wasn't made super clear. Tina has this position in very large part due to a unique ability that only she has. She can smell human emotions, and as a result, when she smells that someone is hiding something, she can find out exactly what that hidden thing really is. The thing is, such an ability comes with its own cost. Tina looks like a Neanderthal. Other than that, and the treatment that comes with looking like that, her life is something I can't really describe in one word. It's different. She lives out in the woods with a dog trainer, Roland (Jorgen Thorsson), and it isn't exactly clear what their relationship is. It isn't sexual though. Watch the movie and figure it out for yourself. These dogs bark badly around Tina for some reason, which is weird considering she does some of the things that dogs do. She walks around barefoot through forests and jumps into ponds. How else do I put it?

One day, while at work, Tina encounters this guy who is carrying child pornography inside of his phone. After sniffing it out and arresting him, an investigation is started into where this child pornography comes from. They all know that the guy has to know where it originated, and her boss subsequently learns that Tina is able to sense these kinds of things. As a result, Tina becomes part of the investigation. The next day, some guy who looks very much like Tina arrives at customs. He is Vore (Eero Milonoff), a man who carries maggots inside of his bag, as well as a "maggot incubator." This is extremely suspicious, and Tina knows it, so she has her co-worker strip search the guy. There are some issues though. For one thing, Vore has a vagina. The male guard should not have searched Vore. Vore is a guy though. Right? I don't even know how the fuck to explain where the film goes from here. Here's what I do know. There are two people in the entire universe of Border who look like Vore and Tina. The film has to go somewhere, right?

When I say this movie is strange, I mean strange on the level that you could not possibly forget any of the events in this movie. I hate to say it but the sex scene was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. I feel like it was actually supposed to be, but this shit was wild. Did I think some alien penis was going to be coming out of a character in this movie? No. Border goes way the hell off the rails and at the same time it's compelling in a way that's original and doesn't feel like some other kind of movie. I can't even tell you what genre a film like this would fit into. When a film presents this many potential opportunities for weird shit at the start and actually lives up to it? That's what I really hope for. I don't know how to formulate a complete opinion of this experience. It's difficult for me to relate to the characters in this film, but I'm sure there are some people who do. This is a movie about people who are different, who don't relate to the rest of society, and I don't have any real experience with that.

The mind that it would take to conceive Border is far beyond anything I'm capable of understanding. The film is very creative, there are countless neat touches throughout. At the end, when Tina finally has enough trauma and cracks, there are things in the scenes that are easy not to notice. There are leaves in the corners of her house. Imagine learning something about where you came from, and found out that it wasn't even a human origin? I don't know how someone could even deal with merely finding out that they were adopted at the age these characters are. The ending is not the greatest thing in the world, but I enjoyed the film quite a lot. Everything is weird and it keeps getting weirder. I like that shit. I'm sure there won't be another film like this one.

7.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. Roma
2. The Rider
3. A Star Is Born
4. First Reformed
5. The Favourite
6. You Were Never Really Here
7. Widows
8. First Man
9. BlacKkKlansman
10. Blindspotting
11. Leave No Trace
12. Black Panther
13. If Beale Street Could Talk
14. The Sisters Brothers
15. Hereditary
16. A Private War
17. Avengers: Infinity War
18. Wildlife
19. Stan & Ollie
20. Green Book
21. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
22. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
23. A Prayer Before Dawn
24. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
25. Annihilation
26. Private Life
27. Happy as Lazzaro
28. Cold War
29. Climax
30. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
31. Mid90s
32. Lean on Pete
33. On My Skin
34. Eighth Grade
35. Sorry to Bother You
36. Suspiria
37. The Endless
38. At Eternity's Gate
39. The Death of Stalin
40. A Quiet Place
41. Vice
42. The Old Man & the Gun
43. The Night Comes for Us
44. Border
45. Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
46. Vox Lux
47. Bad Times at the El Royale
48. The Other Side of the Wind
49. Searching
50. Calibre
51. A Simple Favor
52. The Kindergarten Teacher
53. The Hate U Give
54. Unsane
55. Disobedience
56. Destroyer
57. Boy Erased
58. Bumblebee
59. Thoroughbreds
60. Mary Poppins Returns
61. Creed II
62. Hold the Dark
63. The Land of Steady Habits
64. Halloween
65. The 12th Man
66. Upgrade
67. The Wife
68. Chappaquiddick
69. What They Had
70. Ant-Man and the Wasp
71. The Miseducation of Cameron Post
72. Blockers
73. Beirut
74. Black '47
75. Roxanne Roxanne
76. Solo: A Star Wars Story
77. Tully
78. Mary Queen of Scots
79. Aquaman
80. Ideal Home
81. Outlaw King
82. Overlord
83. Ready Player One
84. Ben Is Back
85. Monsters and Men
86. Colette
87. The Mule
88. On the Basis of Sex
89. Bohemian Rhapsody
90. White Boy Rick
91. Papillon
92. Gemini
93. Game Night
94. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
95. Ocean's Eight
96. Alpha
97. Come Sunday
98. Borg vs. McEnroe
99. Instant Family
100. The Front Runner
101. The Predator
102. Apostle
103. The Oath
104. Uncle Drew
105. The Cured
106. The Commuter
107. The Angel
108. Tag
109. Beautiful Boy
110. The Nun
111. Operation Finale
112. The Equalizer 2
113. The Spy Who Dumped Me
114. Cargo
115. Yardie
116. Boundaries
117. Bird Box
118. 12 Strong
119. Venom
120. Skyscraper
121. The Meg
122. Assassination Nation
123. Never Goin' Back
124. Adrift
125. Crazy Rich Asians
126. Backstabbing for Beginners
127. The Girl in the Spider's Web
128. Gringo
129. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
130. 22 July
131. Tomb Raider
132. Rampage
133. Hotel Artemis
134. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
135. The Little Stranger
136. 7 Days in Entebbe
137. Night School
138. The 15:17 To Paris
139. Den of Thieves
140. The Catcher Was a Spy
141. Peppermint
142. Mile 22
143. The First Purge
144. Hunter Killer
145. The Hurricane Heist
146. The Cloverfield Paradox
147. Breaking In
148. Slice
149. Extinction
150. Hot Summer Nights
151. Welcome to Marwen
152. Second Act
153. How It Ends
154. Mute
155. Kin
156. Hell Fest
157. Action Point
158. Proud Mary
159. Robin Hood
160. Traffik
161. Tau
162. Winchester
163. Woman Walks Ahead
164. The Happytime Murders
165. The Outsider
166. Life Itself
167. Slender Man
168. Holmes & Watson
 

909

909
Staff member
I did watch some documentaries in the time between this and the last post. I just didn't find them to be filled with enough content to review them.



All About Nina (2018), directed by Eva Vives

Reason for Watching: I had a terrible sports day yesterday, and I'd read that this movie was comedic enough to potentially take some of that edge off. I'm sure here of all places people are more aware of that kind feeling.

I think I may have been misled about All About Nina. Somewhat funny but not entirely the case even though you'd think in large part it should be. All About Nina is the story of Nina Geld (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a seemingly struggling stand up comedienne in New York City. All About Nina begins with her doing a routine, going off the stage and immediately throwing up, then picking up some dude while at the bar. Nina goes back home, and all of a sudden Joe (Chace Crawford) is there. Joe is a sometimes fling of Nina's, the man is a cop who she knows is married. Joe reacts very badly to seeing some other guy on "his territory" even though he's married to another woman himself. Eventually Joe hauls off and smacks Nina, who hits him back and eventually sleeps with him. This whole dynamic all happens in about five minutes. After this, Nina gets a call from her agent about heading out to Los Angeles to do a SNL type of thing called 'Comedy Prime'.

Before someone decides to move all the way across country, they tie up some of the loose ends that really need to be dealt with before they go. In Nina's case, she goes over to Joe's house and tells his wife that she's been having an affair with them. Even worse, Nina knows that this dude has kids! After this, she departs and is set up to be housed at a friend of her agent. Said friend is Lake (Kate del Castillo), whose girlfriend is Paula (Clea DuVall), and Nina will live with them for an indeterminate period. Lake is a strange one, but Nina settles in nicely over the course of a few days. It's also time to do some shows. After doing a set, she meets Rafe (Common), a contractor who has some relationship issues of his own. While out with him on the first night, some chick named Ganja (Sonoya Mizuno) walks up to them both and excoriates Rafe for having not given her the attention she feels that she deserves. The thing is that Nina is very complicated herself. She runs through guys, but most importantly, she really needs this gig.

It's hard to finish off a paragraph like that one because the film doesn't have what I would call a traditional narrative. In fact I would say that the first sixty minutes of the film do a disservice to the thirty minutes that follow it. This is not what I would call expertly setting up a dramatic conclusion. The big reveal here comes out of nowhere, and despite that it does carry large emotional weight. Things click into place the way that they should have done from the start. I just have a hard time dismissing the way in which the start of the film meandered before getting to this point. The performance from Winstead is obviously really good. That's the main drawing card that the film boasts. She's never really been bad in anything. I do however see the irony in that they have her sleeping with a married guy after what happened with Ewan McGregor. Very clever addition to the movie.

Ultimately the issue I'm having is that I didn't really find the film that funny, even during a lot of the stand up portions. Whoever came up with these routines whiffed hard for the most part. The story is honest, and in the serious portions of the film I found it largely to succeed. It's just that...you can't promise a movie involving stand up comedy and that not pay off in the portions of the film that are attempting to get a laugh out of people. The impressions that take up a decent chunk of screen time are also not that funny. That being said, this is a nice film. The ending hits where it needs to hit, and by the end I was actually hoping that the movie wasn't over just yet.

6.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. Roma
2. The Rider
3. A Star Is Born
4. First Reformed
5. The Favourite
6. You Were Never Really Here
7. Widows
8. First Man
9. BlacKkKlansman
10. Blindspotting
11. Leave No Trace
12. Black Panther
13. If Beale Street Could Talk
14. The Sisters Brothers
15. Hereditary
16. A Private War
17. Avengers: Infinity War
18. Wildlife
19. Stan & Ollie
20. Green Book
21. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
22. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
23. A Prayer Before Dawn
24. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
25. Annihilation
26. Private Life
27. Happy as Lazzaro
28. Cold War
29. Climax
30. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
31. Mid90s
32. Lean on Pete
33. On My Skin
34. Eighth Grade
35. Sorry to Bother You
36. Suspiria
37. The Endless
38. At Eternity's Gate
39. The Death of Stalin
40. A Quiet Place
41. Vice
42. The Old Man & the Gun
43. The Night Comes for Us
44. Border
45. Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
46. Vox Lux
47. Bad Times at the El Royale
48. The Other Side of the Wind
49. Searching
50. Calibre
51. A Simple Favor
52. The Kindergarten Teacher
53. The Hate U Give
54. Unsane
55. Disobedience
56. Destroyer
57. Boy Erased
58. Bumblebee
59. Thoroughbreds
60. Mary Poppins Returns
61. Creed II
62. Hold the Dark
63. The Land of Steady Habits
64. Halloween
65. The 12th Man
66. Upgrade
67. The Wife
68. Chappaquiddick
69. What They Had
70. Ant-Man and the Wasp
71. The Miseducation of Cameron Post
72. Blockers
73. Beirut
74. Black '47
75. Roxanne Roxanne
76. Solo: A Star Wars Story
77. Tully
78. Mary Queen of Scots
79. Aquaman
80. Ideal Home
81. Outlaw King
82. Overlord
83. Ready Player One
84. Ben Is Back
85. Monsters and Men
86. Colette
87. The Mule
88. On the Basis of Sex
89. Bohemian Rhapsody
90. White Boy Rick
91. Papillon
92. Gemini
93. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
94. All About Nina
95. Ocean's Eight
96. Alpha
97. Come Sunday
98. Game Night
99. Borg vs. McEnroe
100. Instant Family
101. The Front Runner
102. The Predator
103. Apostle
104. The Oath
105. Uncle Drew
106. The Cured
107. The Commuter
108. The Angel
109. Tag
110. Beautiful Boy
111. The Nun
112. Operation Finale
113. The Equalizer 2
114. The Spy Who Dumped Me
115. Cargo
116. Yardie
117. Boundaries
118. Bird Box
119. 12 Strong
120. Venom
121. Skyscraper
122. The Meg
123. Assassination Nation
124. Never Goin' Back
125. Adrift
126. Crazy Rich Asians
127. Backstabbing for Beginners
128. The Girl in the Spider's Web
129. Gringo
130. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
131. 22 July
132. Tomb Raider
133. Rampage
134. Hotel Artemis
135. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
136. The Little Stranger
137. 7 Days in Entebbe
138. Night School
139. The 15:17 To Paris
140. Den of Thieves
141. The Catcher Was a Spy
142. Peppermint
143. Mile 22
144. The First Purge
145. Hunter Killer
146. The Hurricane Heist
147. The Cloverfield Paradox
148. Breaking In
149. Slice
150. Extinction
151. Hot Summer Nights
152. Welcome to Marwen
153. Second Act
154. How It Ends
155. Mute
156. Kin
157. Hell Fest
158. Action Point
159. Proud Mary
160. Robin Hood
161. Traffik
162. Tau
163. Winchester
164. Woman Walks Ahead
165. The Happytime Murders
166. The Outsider
167. Life Itself
168. Slender Man
169. Holmes & Watson
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
That's the problem with a lot of these recent critically acclaimed indie dramedies for me. The Drama portion is so much more intriguing than the comedy portion and the jokes usually mess with the tone. The one dramedy of the last three years that I thought balanced the comedy with the drama perfectly without it clashing was The Big Sick. Movies like All About Nina, Last Night, and Brittany Runs A Marathon just are kind of a tonal mess. A recentish female comedy that balances laughs with heavy and depressing themes really well is Obvious Child from 2014.
 

909

909
Staff member


We the Animals (2018), directed by Jeremiah Zakar

Reason for Watching: Now I'm starting to bulldoze through the lesser seen indie movies from 2018 and 2019. I only have two or three more from 2017, but they're a little long and I couldn't watch them last night. Stomach problems will definitely cause me to have less time to do the things that I want.

We the Animals was a very much acclaimed minor indie from 2018. I'm trying to break through and watch them as I already said. This is a weird one. Jonah is one of three brothers, Manny and Joel are older than he is. As the youngest of a group of brothers, oftentimes it can be very difficult to live the kind of unique life that you want. Even worse, in this case, their parents have a very volatile relationship. Paps (Raul Castillo) and Ma (Sheila Van) are an interracial couple who live in Upstate New York, working class people who just want to make something of themselves. Ma is white and Paps is Puerto Rican. They lived in Brooklyn until they both decided they wanted to leave the area, likely in order to continue their relationship and live their life. At the start of this film, we're given the impression that this is one big happy family. That is only kind of true. Like I said, their relationship is volatile. Worst of all, kids learn from their parents, both of whom hit each other.

It's hard to actually come up with summarization for this movie, seeing as this is the kind of movie that does really get to the point until way late into the film. I can admit that I did not entirely see exactly where this movie was going until the last thirty minutes or so. I also find that We the Animals is the kind of movie that really frustrates me in that way. There are other ways in which it does too. Like, for example, the utter lack of resolution at the end of the film. So they found Jonah's dick drawings. Now what? I actually feel that I need to know the answer to that question and I don't like the film ending on that note. It's easy for me to compare this to The Florida Project because both movies came out so quickly after one another, and in a lot of different ways I can see how this film was good yet worse. The adult characters in We the Animals just aren't as interesting. I need to know what happened to these kids.

As stated, We the Animals is a good movie, it is just in the ways that I don't often find myself valuing movies for. The look and feel of the film is expertly done. I can say with certainty this is one of the best looking films of the last few years. The surreal ideas in the film are great too, you know. At the same time this movie is also very slow in getting to the point. I feel like what we have here is a good film that a lot of people think is great because of its thematic material, but I don't judge movies based on their themes alone. I have issues with the way this is paced and that this doesn't end properly. I disagree with those who say We the Animals is a great film for exactly these reasons. Also, when the parents stop arguing around their kids because they become aware of the impact their arguments have on their children, the film does become less interesting when they argue as well. This film is rail focused on the three child actors, which is largely positives although there are one or two negative aspects to solely focusing on that viewpoint.

What I'd really like is for an indie filmmaker with a unique viewpoint to have made a longer movie out of the viewpoint he was presenting. That didn't happen, and as such, this was merely a good flick. Also, as a criticism of critics, I find that critics are way too focused on things like "discovery" and 'finding new filmmakers' to the point where they overrate things just because they're unique. Well, you know how I feel about that now. This movie does also have some great surprises. When you think you know what might happen, you're wrong. All I mentioned were the dick drawings after all.

7/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. Roma
2. The Rider
3. A Star Is Born
4. First Reformed
5. The Favourite
6. You Were Never Really Here
7. Widows
8. First Man
9. BlacKkKlansman
10. Blindspotting
11. Leave No Trace
12. Black Panther
13. If Beale Street Could Talk
14. The Sisters Brothers
15. Hereditary
16. A Private War
17. Avengers: Infinity War
18. Wildlife
19. Stan & Ollie
20. Green Book
21. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
22. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
23. A Prayer Before Dawn
24. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
25. Annihilation
26. Private Life
27. Happy as Lazzaro
28. Cold War
29. Climax
30. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
31. Mid90s
32. Lean on Pete
33. On My Skin
34. Eighth Grade
35. Sorry to Bother You
36. Suspiria
37. The Endless
38. At Eternity's Gate
39. The Death of Stalin
40. A Quiet Place
41. Vice
42. The Old Man & the Gun
43. The Night Comes for Us
44. Border
45. Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
46. Vox Lux
47. Bad Times at the El Royale
48. The Other Side of the Wind
49. Searching
50. Calibre
51. A Simple Favor
52. The Kindergarten Teacher
53. The Hate U Give
54. Unsane
55. Disobedience
56. Destroyer
57. Boy Erased
58. Bumblebee
59. Thoroughbreds
60. Mary Poppins Returns
61. Creed II
62. Hold the Dark
63. The Land of Steady Habits
64. Halloween
65. The 12th Man
66. Upgrade
67. We the Animals
68. The Wife
69. Chappaquiddick
70. What They Had
71. Ant-Man and the Wasp
72. The Miseducation of Cameron Post
73. Blockers
74. Beirut
75. Black '47
76. Roxanne Roxanne
77. Solo: A Star Wars Story
78. Tully
79. Mary Queen of Scots
80. Aquaman
81. Ideal Home
82. Outlaw King
83. Overlord
84. Ready Player One
85. Ben Is Back
86. Monsters and Men
87. Colette
88. The Mule
89. On the Basis of Sex
90. Bohemian Rhapsody
91. White Boy Rick
92. Papillon
93. Gemini
94. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
95. All About Nina
96. Ocean's Eight
97. Alpha
98. Come Sunday
99. Game Night
100. Borg vs. McEnroe
101. Instant Family
102. The Front Runner
103. The Predator
104. Apostle
105. The Oath
106. Uncle Drew
107. The Cured
108. The Commuter
109. The Angel
110. Tag
111. Beautiful Boy
112. The Nun
113. Operation Finale
114. The Equalizer 2
115. The Spy Who Dumped Me
116. Cargo
117. Yardie
118. Boundaries
119. Bird Box
120. 12 Strong
121. Venom
122. Skyscraper
123. The Meg
124. Assassination Nation
125. Never Goin' Back
126. Adrift
127. Crazy Rich Asians
128. Backstabbing for Beginners
129. The Girl in the Spider's Web
130. Gringo
131. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
132. 22 July
133. Tomb Raider
134. Rampage
135. Hotel Artemis
136. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
137. The Little Stranger
138. 7 Days in Entebbe
139. Night School
140. The 15:17 To Paris
141. Den of Thieves
142. The Catcher Was a Spy
143. Peppermint
144. Mile 22
145. The First Purge
146. Hunter Killer
147. The Hurricane Heist
148. The Cloverfield Paradox
149. Breaking In
150. Slice
151. Extinction
152. Hot Summer Nights
153. Welcome to Marwen
154. Second Act
155. How It Ends
156. Mute
157. Kin
158. Hell Fest
159. Action Point
160. Proud Mary
161. Robin Hood
162. Traffik
163. Tau
164. Winchester
165. Woman Walks Ahead
166. The Happytime Murders
167. The Outsider
168. Life Itself
169. Slender Man
170. Holmes & Watson
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
Agree 100% with that last paragraph. I'm especially sick of every indie movie basically getting that label and everything low budget is starting to get overrated it seems. More due to the budget than the actual quality of the movie. I did like this movie though and I agree it would've been better with about 20 extra minutes.
 

909

909
Staff member


In the Tall Grass (2019), directed by Vincenzo Natali

Reason for Watching: It's a Stephen King adaptation. Is there any other reason that I really need to have? I don't actually care if this is any good.

It turned out that I was wrong and that I did care that In the Tall Grass was not good. I should have seen that coming. In the Tall Grass is definitely one of the most confusing adaptations of Stephen King's work. We begin with Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) and Cal (Avery Whitted), two siblings traveling from somewhere on the East Coast all the way to San Diego. They stop because Becky is pregnant and suffering from morning sickness, and while stopped in Kansas they hear a boy screaming in a tall grass field. The boy is Tobin (Will Buie Jr.), and he's lost. His mother Natalie (Rachel Wilson) responds and tells him to be quiet, that people shouldn't come looking for them. Except Cal and Becky do. Cal and Becky quickly become separated in this field, and they find out that they aren't as close to each other as they think. When they want to leave, they simply can't find the road. Eventually Becky comes across Tobin's father, Ross (Patrick Wilson). Ross tells her to stay close to him and follow him as otherwise they'll get separated again and all hope will be lost once more. All Becky and Cal want to do is get out of the field and continue their trip to San Diego. Why are they going there? You find that out later.

Eventually, Cal encounters Tobin. Tobin is in rough shape, has some bruises on him and he's holding a dead crow. After showing Cal this, Tobin says that the grass won't move dead objects and that's one way in which people can find their way out of this mess. The grass moves and disorients you, get it? Tobin also tells Cal that Becky is going to sign soon. After this, he leads Cal to a rock in the field, and tells him to touch it. Instead of touching it, Cal is interrupted by Becky screaming, and it turns out that Becky has been attacked by a ghost. After this scene, we pan to the outside of the field. Travis (Harrison Gilbertson) has arrived to the field looking for someone. It doesn't take a genius to figure out who he's looking for once he spots their Mazda in a parking lot and stops. Travis dives straight into the field and comes across Tobin, who says that he knows who Travis is. Travis is subsequently led to Becky's corpse, then a bunch of weird shit happens. I don't know how to explain any of this to you.

My main problem with this movie is very obvious given my last sentence, I don't know how to explain any of this shit. A good movie is one you can at least make some attempt to explain. I've tried to come up with an explanation since last night and can't do it. The movie introduces a lot of different things and doesn't explain them properly, so this feels like a mess. I can tell you one thing though. In the Tall Grass is definitely not a boring flick. It's one where there's just too much shit going on. The film doesn't even give you a breathing in period, you go straight into the deep end and all you watch for the rest of the film is people in tall grass. There is a supernatural aspect to this movie that I liked though. Patrick Wilson gives a pretty good performance here as the brainwashed cult leader kind of guy. What is he leading though? I can't even tell you that shit. This movie could have been a lot better though, I can tell you that. The time loop is also not dealt with in an easily manageable way that the viewer can understand. I'm hardly the only one, just look at IMDB and there are a lot of people saying these exact things.

A horror movie doesn't really have the ability to be this difficult to understand. That's how I see it anyway. Some of the special effects are cool though. I can't explain why there were so many limbs and people underneath the ground, but it was interesting to look at. In the end though? I have to be able to understand a movie to be thoroughly entertained by it.

5/10

2019 Films Ranked


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
2. Parasite
3. 1917
4. Midsommar
5. Ad Astra
6. The Lighthouse
7. Waves
8. The Farewell
9. Knives Out
10. Uncut Gems
11. Atlantics
12. Booksmart
13. Avengers: Endgame
14. Queen & Slim
15. Toy Story 4
16. Joker
17. Dolemite Is My Name
18. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
19. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
20. The Two Popes
21. Clemency (had some stuff happen, couldn't review)
22. Us
23. Ford v. Ferrari
24. Gloria Bell
25. The Beach Bum
26. Just Mercy
27. The Art of Self-Defense
28. Dark Waters
29. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
30. Arctic
31. Spider-Man: Far From Home
32. Rocketman
33. High Flying Bird
34. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
35. Paddleton
36. The Peanut Butter Falcon
37. Honey Boy
38. Doctor Sleep
39. Hustlers
40. Richard Jewell
41. Blinded by the Light
42. Captain Marvel
43. Jojo Rabbit
44. Shazam
45. Ready or Not
46. Native Son
47. See You Yesterday
48. A Vigilante
49. Late Night
50. Crawl
51. Long Shot
52. It: Chapter Two
53. Hotel Mumbai
54. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
55. Zombieland: Double Tap
56. Harriet
57. American Woman
58. Hobbs & Shaw
59. Official Secrets
60. Always Be My Maybe
61. Cold Pursuit
62. The Laundromat
63. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
64. Shaft
65. Happy Death Day 2U
66. Ma
67. Terminator: Dark Fate
68. Greta
69. Brittany Runs a Marathon
70. Annabelle Comes Home
71. Jumanji: The Next Level
72. Aladdin
73. Triple Frontier
74. Fighting with My Family
75. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
76. Little Woods
77. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
78. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
79. Brexit
80. The Dirt
81. Velvet Buzzsaw
82. Stuber
83. Little
84. Alita: Battle Angel
85. The Hole in the Ground
86. The Good Liar
87. The Wind
88. The Current War: Director's Cut
89. The Kid
90. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
91. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
92. Good Boys
93. The Upside
94. The Lion King
95. Dumbo
96. The Hummingbird Project
97. Escape Room
98. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
99. The Wedding Guest
100. Brian Banks
101. In the Tall Grass
102. Tolkien
103. The Dead Don't Die
104. Captive State
105. The Highwaymen
106. Bombshell
107. Pet Sematary
108. The Intruder
109. Child's Play
110. 21 Bridges
111. Gemini Man
112. Brightburn
113. Never Grow Old
114. Rambo: Last Blood
115. Charlie's Angels
116. Trial by Fire
117. Midway
118. Angel Has Fallen
119. Black and Blue
120. Yesterday
121. Anna
122. What Men Want
123. Them That Follow
124. Wounds
125. Unicorn Store
126. The Curse of La Llorona
127. Miss Bala
128. Men in Black: International
129. Murder Mystery
130. Donnybrook
131. The Red Sea Diving Resort
132. The Perfection
133. Hellboy
134. Glass
135. Dark Phoenix
136. Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
137. Point Blank
138. The Kitchen
139. The Hustle
140. The Best of Enemies
141. The Prodigy
142. Polar
143. Serenity
 

909

909
Staff member
Korean, subtitles



A Taxi Driver (2017), directed by Jang Hoon

Reason for Watching: I've heard good things about this movie, and secondly this is about a historical event I don't know all that much about other than the end result of it. That's usually a good reason for me to decide to watch something. When doing these indie projects, there isn't a lot that would qualify as history. I also try not to watch two foreign movies in a row, and especially not two foreign movies from the same country without watching another foreign movie between them. Otherwise I'd have watched this by now.

A Taxi Driver is the story of the Gwangju Uprising, from a different perspective than you might think. This is based on a real story with some dramatization. Kim (Song Kang-ho) is a taxi driver in Seoul. He's behind on his rent, struggling to get from day to day. When we first join him in 1980, there's some protests going on in Seoul. His car gets damaged when trying to avoid someone he'd otherwise run over, and we get to see a taste of his home life afterward. His daughter is 11 years old, he's a widower, and his daughter likes to fight with the son of his neighbor. It also turns out his neighbor is his landlord. One day, he goes to lunch with his landlord and asks if he can borrow the amount of money that his rent costs, which will allow the guy's wife to get off his back about the rent. This isn't to do, but there's an even better idea. Some taxi driver is off in the corner talking about a crazy foreigner who wants to go to Gwangju. The South Korean news has been talking about how there are communists rioting in Gwangju, and that the military has had to shut them down because they've been killing soldiers. The crazy foreigner is offering what Kim needs in rent! So, off he goes.

Said crazy foreigner is Jurgen Hinzpeter (Thomas Kretschmann), a journalist from West Germany who has just reported to Japan. He asks some other journalists in Tokyo what's going on in the region, and is told that there's an uprising in Gwangju. There's no news coming out of the area, only what the government says. The phones are cut, and there's no foreign media in the city. This kind of thing draws in reporters, so off to Seoul he goes. Peter has been told it's very dangerous to go to Gwangju once arriving in Seoul, but he presists anyway. There is very strict censorship, but I forgot to mention that he arrives in the country as a missionary. Claiming to be, anyway. Kim meets Peter in front of a hotel, and despite not knowing anything that's going on, off he goes. Peter had assumed that the driver knew the deal completely. Wrong. The two make their way there, encountering road blocks and language barriers along their way. Eventually they arrive after Peter lies and says he's an important businessman. You know that thing about how the South Korean government claimed there were communist riots? Nah. It's more like Tiananmen Square out there. Kim is supposed to take Peter back to Seoul that night, but can he?

The first thing I was thinking about when I watched this movie, was the way in which South Korea's political situation led to such large amounts of Korean immigrants to the United States. You know what's crazy though? Americans don't even know why that happened. You see, unlike other dictatorships of the time, there was never any bad coverage of South Korea in the US. It's because they were our allies beyond dispute. You can get away with doing all kinds of bad shit when you're allied with the United States. You can even send people you don't want in the country away to the US, and the people in the US won't even know why!

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, how about the film? It's a good film that runs a little bit too long for my taste. The car chase at the end makes this feel like its gone too overboard. Of course, this movie is for South Koreans, not for me. Who am I to say? Maybe that kind of shit actually happened, and people know about it, so I can't really say much of anything. Other than that, I think this was quite an effective film. It's effective in properly educating people who don't know all of the details, the cinematography is great, the scenes where massacres take place are absolutely jarring. I saw some comments from South Korea's President where he had said the movie is effective in showing the truth of the time period so that they can help deal with what happened in Gwangju during those days. I think that says a lot about a film. I do think at the same time that some of the killing was nowhere near as far as it could have been. For a South Korean movie, that was a little surprising.

In any case, this is a good film with some issues. I don't like the slow motion either as those kinds of scenes make a movie feel too melodramatic. In any case, wow. If you think it's bad here? It can get much worse extremely quickly. In order to balance that out, there are some comedic scenes during the lull of the story that are surprisingly funny for various reasons. This film is also rather long as I said, and takes a while to get to the point where any action happens. Or even anything with real tension. I also see in reading the Wikipedia page that there are a host of inaccuracies in this film that I will have to dock points for. I'm not going to post them, but there's a lot. An inexplicable amount of them and a lot of them are things there's no reason to fudge for the purposes of having action scenes or anything else. One is that Kim didn't drive Peter to Gwangju just because he was poor. He spoke fluent English and was extremely interested in the democratic movement against their dictatorship. That's why he went there.

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


1. Dunkirk
2. Phantom Thread
3. The Shape of Water
4. Get Out
5. Good Time
6. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
7. The Florida Project
8. Mudbound
9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
10. Logan
11. Baby Driver
12. The Post
13. Wonder Woman
14. The Big Sick
15. Lady Bird
16. Wind River
17. Thor: Ragnarok
18. mother!
19. Logan Lucky
20. I, Tonya
21. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
22. The Insult
23. The Beguiled
24. Ingrid Goes West
25. Foxtrot
26. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
27. Brawl in Cell Block 99
28. Loveless
29. John Wick: Chapter 2
30. The Disaster Artist
31. The Lost City of Z
32. First They Killed My Father
33. In the Fade
34. A Ghost Story
35. Detroit
36. Gook
37. Last Flag Flying
38. Hostiles
39. Colossal
40. All the Money in the World
41. Molly's Game
42. Darkest Hour
43. Spider-Man: Homecoming
44. I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
45. Sweet Virginia
46. It
47. A Taxi Driver
48. Battle of the Sexes
49. Stronger
50. Brad's Status
51. Okja
52. Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
53. Kong: Skull Island
54. It Comes at Night
55. Happy End (foreign movie, did not write review)
56. Crown Heights
57. Split
58. 1922
59. Personal Shopper
60. On Body and Soul
61. Landline
62. Thank You for Your Service
63. Beatriz at Dinner
64. Chuck
65. Atomic Blonde
66. Shot Caller
67. Wheelman
68. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
69. Wonder
70. Brigsby Bear
71. The Lego Batman Movie
72. Megan Leavey
73. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
74. Wonderstruck
75. Only the Brave
76. Marshall
77. Menashe
78. Roman J. Israel, Esq.
79. Lucky
80. Walking Out
81. American Made
82. Annabelle: Creation
83. Beauty and the Beast
84. Imperial Dreams
85. Gifted
86. Murder on the Orient Express
87. My Friend Dahmer
88. The Zookeeper's Wife
89. The Glass Castle
90. The Foreigner
91. Free Fire
92. Win It All
93. The Wall
94. The Hero
95. Jungle
96. Life
97. My Cousin Rachel
98. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
99. The Ballad of Lefty Brown
100. The Fate of the Furious
101. Happy Death Day
102. Breathe
103. The Man Who Invented Christmas
104. Maudie
105. Patti Cake$
106. Sleight
107. Alone in Berlin
108. A United Kingdom
109. Trespass Against Us
110. The Mountain Between Us
111. War Machine
112. Lowriders
113. Justice League
114. To the Bone
115. Ghost in the Shell
116. Wakefield
117. Downsizing
118. Bright
119. Bushwick
120. The Tribes of Palos Verdes
121. What Happened to Monday
122. The Hitman's Bodyguard
123. Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
124. XXX: Return of Xander Cage
125. The Mummy
126. The Greatest Showman
127. Rough Night
128. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
129. Sand Castle
130. The Circle
131. American Assassin
132. CHiPs
133. Death Note
134. 47 Meters Down
135. The Belko Experiment
136. The Great Wall
137. The Bad Batch
138. Fist Fight
139. Baywatch
140. Snatched
141. Suburbicon
142. Wilson
143. The Dark Tower
144. Queen of the Desert
145. The House
146. Flatliners
147. Sleepless
148. Geostorm
149. All Eyez on Me
150. The Snowman
151. The Book of Henry
152. The Space Between Us
153. Daddy's Home 2
 

909

909
Staff member
Spanish, subtitles



Zama (2017), directed by Lucrecia Martel

Reason for Watching: I only have a few movies left to watch from 2017, this is one of them. In the next three months, I'll probably only be leaving behind a few franchise films from that year. My list is nearly complete.

I saw that Zama had a high Metascore, and I feel like I really disagree with that while still thinking this was a good film. Let's give this a try. Don Diego de Zama (Daniel Gimenez Cacho) is a tool of the colonial government in Argentina/Paraguay, having come from Spain at some point in the past to live there. Zama is very far from the action, far from anything interesting, and he would like to change to another post in a city called Lerma. His wife and children do not currently live with him, but in Lerma apparently this is a possibility. In the unnamed town that he currently lives in, there is much talk of a bandit of some sort named Vicuna Porto. Zama would like to seduce a married noblewoman, but she has no interest in that.

The long and short of it is, I have no idea how to write a review about a movie like this one. This film is adapted from a book and I feel like I would get much more context from reading this story than I did while watching it. I certainly understand the point of the film, which come the end is certainly extremely engaging and interesting. The point is that colonialism was stupid. The film is about life in such a place, a life that feels like prison surrounded be people Zama has also enslaved. The things that Zama inflicts upon himself further ensconce that feeling of living in prison, working for a King whom he's never seen, in a far away land he'll probably never see again. This movie doesn't really have a narrative until the last thirty minutes of the story. Zama has been completely rebuffed by the society that he lives in, he's bored, and can't do any of the things he wants. So, he's going to go hunt down Vicuna Porto. Except the guy is right there.

Zama is a really weird movie, and I'm not sure a movie with such a clear lack of narrative is really for me. I also think that there is an increasing amount of people who get off to movies where nothing happens until the end, because the point of nothing happening is the purpose of the film that slowly inches it forward. I do not think I am capable of ever being one of these people. I feel like as far as the first two acts of the movie go, the best scene in it was the very first one. Was this man always a pervert or did colonial feelings toward the people he's played part in subjugating turn him into one? I assume it's the latter as he smacks the shit out of one of the girls who accuses him of staring. There is a following scene where the man is around three young white girls and does nothing of the sort. I understand what all these scenes are supposed to mean, and how they're supposed to affect me and how they do affect me. I just don't think the end result of having watched the first two acts of Zama was all that satisfying. I found the lead character too pathetic for that.

6.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


1. Dunkirk
2. Phantom Thread
3. The Shape of Water
4. Get Out
5. Good Time
6. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
7. The Florida Project
8. Mudbound
9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
10. Logan
11. Baby Driver
12. The Post
13. Wonder Woman
14. The Big Sick
15. Lady Bird
16. Wind River
17. Thor: Ragnarok
18. mother!
19. Logan Lucky
20. I, Tonya
21. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
22. The Insult
23. The Beguiled
24. Ingrid Goes West
25. Foxtrot
26. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
27. Brawl in Cell Block 99
28. Loveless
29. John Wick: Chapter 2
30. The Disaster Artist
31. The Lost City of Z
32. First They Killed My Father
33. In the Fade
34. A Ghost Story
35. Detroit
36. Gook
37. Last Flag Flying
38. Hostiles
39. Colossal
40. All the Money in the World
41. Molly's Game
42. Darkest Hour
43. Spider-Man: Homecoming
44. I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
45. Sweet Virginia
46. It
47. A Taxi Driver
48. Battle of the Sexes
49. Stronger
50. Brad's Status
51. Okja
52. Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
53. Kong: Skull Island
54. It Comes at Night
55. Happy End (foreign movie, did not write review)
56. Crown Heights
57. Split
58. 1922
59. Personal Shopper
60. On Body and Soul
61. Landline
62. Thank You for Your Service
63. Beatriz at Dinner
64. Chuck
65. Atomic Blonde
66. Zama
67. Shot Caller
68. Wheelman
69. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
70. Wonder
71. Brigsby Bear
72. The Lego Batman Movie
73. Megan Leavey
74. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
75. Wonderstruck
76. Only the Brave
77. Marshall
78. Menashe
79. Roman J. Israel, Esq.
80. Lucky
81. Walking Out
82. American Made
83. Annabelle: Creation
84. Beauty and the Beast
85. Imperial Dreams
86. Gifted
87. Murder on the Orient Express
88. My Friend Dahmer
89. The Zookeeper's Wife
90. The Glass Castle
91. The Foreigner
92. Free Fire
93. Win It All
94. The Wall
95. The Hero
96. Jungle
97. Life
98. My Cousin Rachel
99. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
100. The Ballad of Lefty Brown
101. The Fate of the Furious
102. Happy Death Day
103. Breathe
104. The Man Who Invented Christmas
105. Maudie
106. Patti Cake$
107. Sleight
108. Alone in Berlin
109. A United Kingdom
110. Trespass Against Us
111. The Mountain Between Us
112. War Machine
113. Lowriders
114. Justice League
115. To the Bone
116. Ghost in the Shell
117. Wakefield
118. Downsizing
119. Bright
120. Bushwick
121. The Tribes of Palos Verdes
122. What Happened to Monday
123. The Hitman's Bodyguard
124. Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
125. XXX: Return of Xander Cage
126. The Mummy
127. The Greatest Showman
128. Rough Night
129. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
130. Sand Castle
131. The Circle
132. American Assassin
133. CHiPs
134. Death Note
135. 47 Meters Down
136. The Belko Experiment
137. The Great Wall
138. The Bad Batch
139. Fist Fight
140. Baywatch
141. Snatched
142. Suburbicon
143. Wilson
144. The Dark Tower
145. Queen of the Desert
146. The House
147. Flatliners
148. Sleepless
149. Geostorm
150. All Eyez on Me
151. The Snowman
152. The Book of Henry
153. The Space Between Us
154. Daddy's Home 2
 

909

909
Staff member


All Is True (2019), directed by Kenneth Branagh

Reason for Watching: I don't know much of anything about William Shakespeare, and the film has a good cast. Reviews are not quite as kind, but I'm here for the cast. Again, I don't know anything about Shakespeare other than that he wrote some shit I also don't know anything about. The American educational system is bad, you know. I should know more and I just don't.

All Is True did at least give me some of the base knowledge I'd assumed I did not have. After the Globe Theatre burns down in London, William Shakespeare (Kenneth Branagh) picks up and returns to his family home, with every intention of retiring. He rejoins his wife Anne (Judi Dench) after many a year apart, having had a very distant relationship where he works in London while she lives out in the country. Oddly enough, Anne also cannot read. How the fuck can you not read when you're married to William Shakespeare? In any case, their marriage hasn't been the same for a long time. Their son Hamnet died of the plague when his father was in London, something William has never been able to forgive himself for. Hamnet had written some poems as a little boy, poems which have had the effect of making Hamnet into his favorite child even though he's been an absentee father. He also has two daughters, Susanna (Lydia Wilson) and Judith (Kathryn Wilder). Judith, it seems, really hates herself on all levels. She is very cynical and difficult to be around. Susanna on the other hand is married to a Puritan, John Hall (Hadley Fraser).

The idea of one of Shakespeare's daughters being married to a Puritan is fascinating. Unfortunately All Is True is not a film where that's a central part of the story. All Is True is largely a recounting of Shakespeare's later life, although I don't have any knowledge as to whether or not this stuff is true. William and Anne want Judith to get married, but she has a strong distaste of the life expected of a woman in that era. Susanna, on the other hand, is in constant rebellion with being a Puritan. She is busted traveling through town at night and is subsequently accused by another man of committing adultery with the local tailor. Is this true? The film leaves it entirely ambiguous. William makes sure not to sully his daughter's good name, and threatens the accuser with having one of his actors hurt whoever ruins his daughter's good name. The accuser leaves soon after that. I guess the point of this movie is to show Shakespeare's later years, but what is a retired playwright to do?

At the end of the day, All Is True is simply not gripping enough as a film to support this concept. This is a movie for the kinds of people who are hardcore interested in period movies set in long past England, or those who know a lot about Shakespeare already and are interested in seeing these events play out on screen. There are some really good scenes here though. There's one when a character played by Ian McKellen comes up. It seems that he and Shakespeare harbored love for each other. The sexual kind of love that men were not able to participate in during those days. When you don't know anything about Shakespeare's sonnets, there's some tension as to whether or not anything will come of this, or if something already had. The answer will never be known, but nothing comes of this scene. There's another where Shakespeare is excoriating his town's Member of Parliament, and the scenes where he finds out the truth about his son are pretty good too.

My main issue with the film is that it isn't compelling storytelling, but beyond that I believe there are some issues with the accuracy of the events portrayed. There are actually a lot of things in this movie I found to be in question with even a cursory look at Wikipedia. I know, it's Wikipedia. Still though. I don't think the director gave a fuck at all and he told the story that he wanted to tell. I just don't think this movie is interesting enough to merit watching, or to continue writing about it.

5/10

2019 Films Ranked


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
2. Parasite
3. 1917
4. Midsommar
5. Ad Astra
6. The Lighthouse
7. Waves
8. The Farewell
9. Knives Out
10. Uncut Gems
11. Atlantics
12. Booksmart
13. Avengers: Endgame
14. Queen & Slim
15. Toy Story 4
16. Joker
17. Dolemite Is My Name
18. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
19. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
20. The Two Popes
21. Clemency (had some stuff happen, couldn't review)
22. Us
23. Ford v. Ferrari
24. Gloria Bell
25. The Beach Bum
26. Just Mercy
27. The Art of Self-Defense
28. Dark Waters
29. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
30. Arctic
31. Spider-Man: Far From Home
32. Rocketman
33. High Flying Bird
34. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
35. Paddleton
36. The Peanut Butter Falcon
37. Honey Boy
38. Doctor Sleep
39. Hustlers
40. Richard Jewell
41. Blinded by the Light
42. Captain Marvel
43. Jojo Rabbit
44. Shazam
45. Ready or Not
46. Native Son
47. See You Yesterday
48. A Vigilante
49. Late Night
50. Crawl
51. Long Shot
52. It: Chapter Two
53. Hotel Mumbai
54. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
55. Zombieland: Double Tap
56. Harriet
57. American Woman
58. Hobbs & Shaw
59. Official Secrets
60. Always Be My Maybe
61. Cold Pursuit
62. The Laundromat
63. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
64. Shaft
65. Happy Death Day 2U
66. Ma
67. Terminator: Dark Fate
68. Greta
69. Brittany Runs a Marathon
70. Annabelle Comes Home
71. Jumanji: The Next Level
72. Aladdin
73. Triple Frontier
74. Fighting with My Family
75. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
76. Little Woods
77. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
78. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
79. Brexit
80. The Dirt
81. Velvet Buzzsaw
82. Stuber
83. Little
84. Alita: Battle Angel
85. The Hole in the Ground
86. The Good Liar
87. The Wind
88. The Current War: Director's Cut
89. The Kid
90. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
91. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
92. Good Boys
93. The Upside
94. The Lion King
95. Dumbo
96. The Hummingbird Project
97. Escape Room
98. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
99. The Wedding Guest
100. Brian Banks
101. In the Tall Grass
102. Tolkien
103. The Dead Don't Die
104. Captive State
105. The Highwaymen
106. Bombshell
107. Pet Sematary
108. The Intruder
109. Child's Play
110. 21 Bridges
111. Gemini Man
112. Brightburn
113. Never Grow Old
114. All Is True
115. Rambo: Last Blood
116. Charlie's Angels
117. Trial by Fire
118. Midway
119. Angel Has Fallen
120. Black and Blue
121. Yesterday
122. Anna
123. What Men Want
124. Them That Follow
125. Wounds
126. Unicorn Store
127. The Curse of La Llorona
128. Miss Bala
129. Men in Black: International
130. Murder Mystery
131. Donnybrook
132. The Red Sea Diving Resort
133. The Perfection
134. Hellboy
135. Glass
136. Dark Phoenix
137. Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
138. Point Blank
139. The Kitchen
140. The Hustle
141. The Best of Enemies
142. The Prodigy
143. Polar
144. Serenity
 

909

909
Staff member
I keep watching documentaries that I don't review, or this thread would get updated more



Skate Kitchen (2018), directed by Crystal Moselle

Reason for Watching: I thought now was a good time to watch a companion movie. What I mean by that is that there were two other notable skating flicks in 2018. Minding the Gap was a great documentary and Mid90s was a skating movie from the perspective of a boy. This is from the perspective of a girl.

This is a different one for me because I haven't had to write a review about a movie like this one for a good two years now. Camille (Rachelle Vinberg) is an 18 year old woman who lives on Long Island with her mother Renata (Elizabeth Rodriguez). Renata does very much not like her daughter skateboarding and wants Camille to fill the gender role that such people expect of their daughters. Camille's father is not in the picture anymore, just to note. When this film begins, Camille has an injury that can best be described as the skateboard going into her vagina. She starts bleeding everywhere and goes to the doctor, and after the stitches are removed, her mother makes Camille promise to her that she won't skateboard anymore. Yeah, sure thing. Just quit the activity you like doing the most. Camille is not willing to do that at all. She's been following these girls on Instagram, and decides that it's long past time to actually make her way into New York City to meet them. Potential friendship? You bet.

The girls run an Instagram account called Skate Kitchen, but I feel like the director didn't do a whole lot to differentiate all these girls from each other. There's Janay (Dede Lovelace), whose father lets the girls hang out at their house and smoke all the weed they want. Cool thing, right? Kurt (Nina Moran) is a lesbian, and I'll be honest with you, while I know the names of the other girls I do not know any differentiating traits of them. I suppose if you want to know more, there's an HBO series called Betty that has continued the events of this film. Anyway, Camille starts to skate with them, and more and more they become friends. Camille seems to have had literally zero friends prior to the events of this film. Camille has also been lying to her mom about why she hasn't been at home. Eventually, her mom finds out one night when Camille misses the train back home. She arrives back very late, Renata sees her board, and decides to steal it and have a big argument about it. The argument escalates, and of course, Camille decides to leave her house for good. Where could the film go from there?

I want to make clear before I say anything else, that I liked the film. Skate Kitchen is a good movie that features a lot more skating than any of the other similar films that I've watched, the plot of the film is also thankfully nonexistent. I'm saying thankfully precisely because I don't need a film like this to have a big plot. However, for an assortment of reasons, and namely because this is a movie not set in the 90s, it's more difficult for me to identify with the characters in this movie. I don't think I'm an old fuck yet, but movies like these tend to make me feel like one. It's because I identify more with those 90s kids because I know what they're talking about and shit. I also think that Mid90s just had better scenes to support the body of the film. That movie was also more funny. One of the things I think is more effective about Skate Kitchen though, is that the writer/director does a better job with her lead character. Mid90s largely relies on the supporting cast and the setting. Skate Kitchen relies on their lead.

Skate Kitchen is also a movie that features people who are essentially playing themselves. It's funny how this genre almost exclusively features actors who are playing versions of themselves. It's almost like reality on this subject is better than what anyone could conceive in their head. While I do think Skate Kitchen is a good movie, I feel like this is also a movie that could have been even better. The film just races to a very abrupt end and leaves me feeling like some of these things are resolved in an unappealing yet realistic way. I do not want apologies to be conducted over social media when I'm watching a film. No. Get that shit outta here. Yet, it is the most realistic way for something like this to happen. That's where I feel like an old fuck, where identifying with the characters is very difficult for me to do.

7/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. Roma
2. The Rider
3. A Star Is Born
4. First Reformed
5. The Favourite
6. You Were Never Really Here
7. Widows
8. First Man
9. BlacKkKlansman
10. Blindspotting
11. Leave No Trace
12. Black Panther
13. If Beale Street Could Talk
14. The Sisters Brothers
15. Hereditary
16. A Private War
17. Avengers: Infinity War
18. Wildlife
19. Stan & Ollie
20. Green Book
21. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
22. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
23. A Prayer Before Dawn
24. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
25. Annihilation
26. Private Life
27. Happy as Lazzaro
28. Cold War
29. Climax
30. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
31. Mid90s
32. Lean on Pete
33. On My Skin
34. Eighth Grade
35. Sorry to Bother You
36. Suspiria
37. The Endless
38. At Eternity's Gate
39. The Death of Stalin
40. A Quiet Place
41. Vice
42. The Old Man & the Gun
43. The Night Comes for Us
44. Border
45. Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
46. Vox Lux
47. Bad Times at the El Royale
48. The Other Side of the Wind
49. Searching
50. Calibre
51. A Simple Favor
52. The Kindergarten Teacher
53. The Hate U Give
54. Unsane
55. Disobedience
56. Destroyer
57. Boy Erased
58. Bumblebee
59. Thoroughbreds
60. Mary Poppins Returns
61. Creed II
62. Hold the Dark
63. The Land of Steady Habits
64. Halloween
65. The 12th Man
66. Upgrade
67. We the Animals
68. The Wife
69. Chappaquiddick
70. What They Had
71. Ant-Man and the Wasp
72. Skate Kitchen
73. The Miseducation of Cameron Post
74. Blockers
75. Beirut
76. Black '47
77. Roxanne Roxanne
78. Solo: A Star Wars Story
79. Tully
80. Mary Queen of Scots
81. Aquaman
82. Ideal Home
83. Outlaw King
84. Overlord
85. Ready Player One
86. Ben Is Back
87. Monsters and Men
88. Colette
89. The Mule
90. On the Basis of Sex
91. Bohemian Rhapsody
92. White Boy Rick
93. Papillon
94. Gemini
95. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
96. All About Nina
97. Ocean's Eight
98. Alpha
99. Come Sunday
100. Game Night
101. Borg vs. McEnroe
102. Instant Family
103. The Front Runner
104. The Predator
105. Apostle
106. The Oath
107. Uncle Drew
108. The Cured
109. The Commuter
110. The Angel
111. Tag
112. Beautiful Boy
113. The Nun
114. Operation Finale
115. The Equalizer 2
116. The Spy Who Dumped Me
117. Cargo
118. Yardie
119. Boundaries
120. Bird Box
121. 12 Strong
122. Venom
123. Skyscraper
124. The Meg
125. Assassination Nation
126. Never Goin' Back
127. Adrift
128. Crazy Rich Asians
129. Backstabbing for Beginners
130. The Girl in the Spider's Web
131. Gringo
132. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
133. 22 July
134. Tomb Raider
135. Rampage
136. Hotel Artemis
137. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
138. The Little Stranger
139. 7 Days in Entebbe
140. Night School
141. The 15:17 To Paris
142. Den of Thieves
143. The Catcher Was a Spy
144. Peppermint
145. Mile 22
146. The First Purge
147. Hunter Killer
148. The Hurricane Heist
149. The Cloverfield Paradox
150. Breaking In
151. Slice
152. Extinction
153. Hot Summer Nights
154. Welcome to Marwen
155. Second Act
156. How It Ends
157. Mute
158. Kin
159. Hell Fest
160. Action Point
161. Proud Mary
162. Robin Hood
163. Traffik
164. Tau
165. Winchester
166. Woman Walks Ahead
167. The Happytime Murders
168. The Outsider
169. Life Itself
170. Slender Man
171. Holmes & Watson
 

909

909
Staff member
Italian, subtitles



Dogman (2018), directed by Matteo Garrone

Reason for Watching: I'd wanted to see this at a film festival two years ago. As you obviously now know, I did not go to that film festival and therefore haven't seen this movie. Italian crime film? Sign me up.

It's funny. There are countries that project this image of being the perfect place, where it's so beautiful you can do basically anything you want while being in paradise. That image is only projection. Life, and particularly living in these countries, is entirely different. People who live in these countries struggle and live an entirely different experience from what you get in a commercial, or even from what you get when traveling somewhere. That's what life is. Marcello (Marcello Fonte) is a very small man in this film, he lives outside of Rome in a suburb that feels a whole lot like downtown Detroit. It has definitely seen better days. He owns a dog grooming shop, which has also seen brighter hours, and he does quite a few things with his time. Seemingly he's divorced, and has a daughter, Alida. He also likes to play soccer and hangs out with the other shop owners, in addition to selling cocaine to some of the people he knows. He needs the money because clearly the dog grooming game just isn't bringing in the cash he needs in order to live.

One thing I like about Dogman is that we meet Marcello and immediately find out that he's not entirely on the up and up. We see exactly how things could escalate. It seems that his best friend in the neighborhood is Simone (Edoardo Pesce). Simone is a very big guy who likes to get into a lot of trouble. The shop owners hate this fucking guy because he does shit that costs them money, and intimidates them while doing so. The scale of his intimidation is shown pretty early on. He and some other guy confront Marcello when he gets home from work, because Marcello has a van and can drive it. Reason? They want to rob someone's house. Marcello has to come along, and when they get outside, they tell him that they shoved a dog in the freezer. Marcello goes back to the scene and gets it out of the freezer, saving the dog's life. So, he isn't all that bad. Yet. Some of the other shop owners want Simone dead. Marcello keeps his mouth shut the whole time, and Simone never finds out about any of this. Things have to get worse somehow though. Why don't you watch the movie and find out?

Apparently there are things in Dogman that actually happened in a famous criminal case in Italy. I didn't know that before I turned this on, but now I suppose you do. Anyway, not knowing the way the story would go was absolutely the best part of the movie. I didn't know the ending until there were about 25 minutes left. I can safely say that's longer than most endings remain up in the air. What we have here is some great casting though. We have a very small guy who has apparently not been in much of anything at all, and a huge guy who is capable of completely manhandling him and bullying him into things that he wants Marcello to do. What Marcello really wnats in life is respect. He says as much, because at his size and with his stature in society, certainly nobody's ever given it to him. Thinking he will get that from Simone is befuddling, but that's why he gives Simone everything he wants and helps him with things he shouldn't be doing.

I don't think there's really a whole lot to this movie. The events in it are pretty brutal and dark. Bad people do bad things. People who may not be bad people feel forced to do things that they ultimately feel guilty about because they have no other choice. Although, I'm not entirely sure Marcello is supposed to feel guilty. He's a pathetic guy. When you make ultimatums to people and have no backing to actually follow through with them, this is the kind of thing that happens. The guy is scared too. Marcello does a really good job of getting Simone to come back to him too. I appreciated that.

7.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. Roma
2. The Rider
3. A Star Is Born
4. First Reformed
5. The Favourite
6. You Were Never Really Here
7. Widows
8. First Man
9. BlacKkKlansman
10. Blindspotting
11. Leave No Trace
12. Black Panther
13. If Beale Street Could Talk
14. The Sisters Brothers
15. Hereditary
16. A Private War
17. Avengers: Infinity War
18. Wildlife
19. Stan & Ollie
20. Green Book
21. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
22. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
23. A Prayer Before Dawn
24. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
25. Annihilation
26. Private Life
27. Happy as Lazzaro
28. Cold War
29. Climax
30. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
31. Mid90s
32. Lean on Pete
33. On My Skin
34. Eighth Grade
35. Sorry to Bother You
36. Suspiria
37. The Endless
38. At Eternity's Gate
39. The Death of Stalin
40. A Quiet Place
41. Vice
42. The Old Man & the Gun
43. The Night Comes for Us
44. Border
45. Dogman
46. Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
47. Vox Lux
48. Bad Times at the El Royale
49. The Other Side of the Wind
50. Searching
51. Calibre
52. A Simple Favor
53. The Kindergarten Teacher
54. The Hate U Give
55. Unsane
56. Disobedience
57. Destroyer
58. Boy Erased
59. Bumblebee
60. Thoroughbreds
61. Mary Poppins Returns
62. Creed II
63. Hold the Dark
64. The Land of Steady Habits
65. Halloween
66. The 12th Man
67. Upgrade
68. We the Animals
69. The Wife
70. Chappaquiddick
71. What They Had
72. Ant-Man and the Wasp
73. Skate Kitchen
74. The Miseducation of Cameron Post
75. Blockers
76. Beirut
77. Black '47
78. Roxanne Roxanne
79. Solo: A Star Wars Story
80. Tully
81. Mary Queen of Scots
82. Aquaman
83. Ideal Home
84. Outlaw King
85. Overlord
86. Ready Player One
87. Ben Is Back
88. Monsters and Men
89. Colette
90. The Mule
91. On the Basis of Sex
92. Bohemian Rhapsody
93. White Boy Rick
94. Papillon
95. Gemini
96. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
97. All About Nina
98. Ocean's Eight
99. Alpha
100. Come Sunday
101. Game Night
102. Borg vs. McEnroe
103. Instant Family
104. The Front Runner
105. The Predator
106. Apostle
107. The Oath
108. Uncle Drew
109. The Cured
110. The Commuter
111. The Angel
112. Tag
113. Beautiful Boy
114. The Nun
115. Operation Finale
116. The Equalizer 2
117. The Spy Who Dumped Me
118. Cargo
119. Yardie
120. Boundaries
121. Bird Box
122. 12 Strong
123. Venom
124. Skyscraper
125. The Meg
126. Assassination Nation
127. Never Goin' Back
128. Adrift
129. Crazy Rich Asians
130. Backstabbing for Beginners
131. The Girl in the Spider's Web
132. Gringo
133. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
134. 22 July
135. Tomb Raider
136. Rampage
137. Hotel Artemis
138. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
139. The Little Stranger
140. 7 Days in Entebbe
141. Night School
142. The 15:17 To Paris
143. Den of Thieves
144. The Catcher Was a Spy
145. Peppermint
146. Mile 22
147. The First Purge
148. Hunter Killer
149. The Hurricane Heist
150. The Cloverfield Paradox
151. Breaking In
152. Slice
153. Extinction
154. Hot Summer Nights
155. Welcome to Marwen
156. Second Act
157. How It Ends
158. Mute
159. Kin
160. Hell Fest
161. Action Point
162. Proud Mary
163. Robin Hood
164. Traffik
165. Tau
166. Winchester
167. Woman Walks Ahead
168. The Happytime Murders
169. The Outsider
170. Life Itself
171. Slender Man
172. Holmes & Watson
 

909

909
Staff member


In the Shadow of the Moon (2019), directed by Jim Mickle

Reason for Watching: I have some movies left from 2018 to watch, but almost all of them are foreign. I have a rule about not watching foreign language films one after the other. The main reason why is because the ones I have listed are supposed to be very good. Quality overload is something I have to keep in mind. Now that there are no live sports on, I should do pretty well with this list and make better progress than I have in the last couple months. I was doing well before the NBA bubble and I just stalled out. I also remember that when this film came out with a low Metascore, I was surprised because this guy also directed Cold in July. Which is very good.

In the Shadow of the Moon is just straight up not what the cast indicates that it is. If you watch the trailer it gives away everything. We begin in 1988, with some random people dying in Philadelphia. They only share one trait at first, it seems. They're bleeding massively from their head to the point where their head becomes hollow. Thomas Lockhart (Boyd Holbrook) is a uniformed officer in Philadelphia. His wife Jean (Rachel Keller) is about to give birth to their child, and everything at home is going pretty good. At least, except for Lockhart's hours. They aren't good. He has to work the graveyard shift every night with his partner Winston Maddox (Bokeem Woodbine). I legitimately didn't know the first names of these two until looking at Wikipedia. Anyway, they're quite friendly and they arrive at the scene of one of these deaths. At this point, we meet Jean's brother, Detective Holt (Michael C. Hall). Holt is not so nice and pretty much shits all over the idea of Lockhart fucking up his case.

Eventually Lockhart comes to learn there are more victims than the one he saw, and he also discovers that the three they find have three holes in the back of their neck. Three eventually turns into four, as they're called to a place where someone has been assaulted. They die about two minutes later, but before doing so they describe their assailant. Black female, hoodie, wounded hand. Eventually Lockhart and Maddox come to find her, she is Rya (Cleopatra Coleman). Rya runs into the subway and they give chase, eventually Lockhart catches up to her and gets this injector tool thing. Rya knocks him down and Lockhart shoots her with the injector, which launches her into an oncoming train and kills her. This case winds up bothering Lockhart because Rya has some details about his life that can simply not be explained. NO.FUCKIN.WAY. Now let's kick the movie forward nine years. Lockhart's daughter has been born and his wife died in childbirth. But...there's some killings going on and people have the injection marks?

The last few sentences of the last paragraph describe so many science-fiction movies that it's crazy. And, you know, this is a straight up average movie. It isn't terrible and it isn't good. They have some stuff in this movie that's interesting enough, and there's a lot of other scenes that just don't mean anything at all because they rely on the viewer to get invested in the story. It is...just not possible to get invested in this story. At least that's how I feel about it. This is a Netflix movie. There's certain things that you expect in them. This is one of them. You throw in some post-apocalyptic shit and that's about 50% of Netflix movies. Guess what? In the Shadow of the Moon has BOTH THOSE THINGS. It's incredible how easily someone can predict this kind of thing. Unless they're giving slots to talented directors, it feels like...everything else on this streaming service has to fit that criteria. I don't know why it's that way, it just is that way.

So, like I said, In the Shadow of the Moon is an average film. I will probably forget about it in a few weeks. There just isn't enough meat on the bone here. The time travel aspect is also predictable to the point where I caught on just while they were chasing the chick into the subway. It doesn't take a genius to figure any of that out. The inability to continue the storyline through the years, and merely jumping forward nine years every twenty minutes or so, just doesn't do it for me. It's also very difficult to imagine there being a way to improve this story because of the poor structuring. I did like the action scenes well enough though.

5/10

2019 Films Ranked


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
2. Parasite
3. 1917
4. Midsommar
5. Ad Astra
6. The Lighthouse
7. Waves
8. The Farewell
9. Knives Out
10. Uncut Gems
11. Atlantics
12. Booksmart
13. Avengers: Endgame
14. Queen & Slim
15. Toy Story 4
16. Joker
17. Dolemite Is My Name
18. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
19. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
20. The Two Popes
21. Clemency (had some stuff happen, couldn't review)
22. Us
23. Ford v. Ferrari
24. Gloria Bell
25. The Beach Bum
26. Just Mercy
27. The Art of Self-Defense
28. Dark Waters
29. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
30. Arctic
31. Spider-Man: Far From Home
32. Rocketman
33. High Flying Bird
34. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
35. Paddleton
36. The Peanut Butter Falcon
37. Honey Boy
38. Doctor Sleep
39. Hustlers
40. Richard Jewell
41. Blinded by the Light
42. Captain Marvel
43. Jojo Rabbit
44. Shazam
45. Ready or Not
46. Native Son
47. See You Yesterday
48. A Vigilante
49. Late Night
50. Crawl
51. Long Shot
52. It: Chapter Two
53. Hotel Mumbai
54. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
55. Zombieland: Double Tap
56. Harriet
57. American Woman
58. Hobbs & Shaw
59. Official Secrets
60. Always Be My Maybe
61. Cold Pursuit
62. The Laundromat
63. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
64. Shaft
65. Happy Death Day 2U
66. Ma
67. Terminator: Dark Fate
68. Greta
69. Brittany Runs a Marathon
70. Annabelle Comes Home
71. Jumanji: The Next Level
72. Aladdin
73. Triple Frontier
74. Fighting with My Family
75. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
76. Little Woods
77. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
78. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
79. Brexit
80. The Dirt
81. Velvet Buzzsaw
82. Stuber
83. Little
84. Alita: Battle Angel
85. The Hole in the Ground
86. The Good Liar
87. The Wind
88. The Current War: Director's Cut
89. The Kid
90. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
91. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
92. Good Boys
93. The Upside
94. The Lion King
95. Dumbo
96. The Hummingbird Project
97. Escape Room
98. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
99. The Wedding Guest
100. Brian Banks
101. In the Tall Grass
102. Tolkien
103. The Dead Don't Die
104. Captive State
105. The Highwaymen
106. Bombshell
107. Pet Sematary
108. The Intruder
109. Child's Play
110. 21 Bridges
111. Gemini Man
112. Brightburn
113. Never Grow Old
114. All Is True
115. Rambo: Last Blood
116. In the Shadow of the Moon
117. Charlie's Angels
118. Trial by Fire
119. Midway
120. Angel Has Fallen
121. Black and Blue
122. Yesterday
123. Anna
124. What Men Want
125. Them That Follow
126. Wounds
127. Unicorn Store
128. The Curse of La Llorona
129. Miss Bala
130. Men in Black: International
131. Murder Mystery
132. Donnybrook
133. The Red Sea Diving Resort
134. The Perfection
135. Hellboy
136. Glass
137. Dark Phoenix
138. Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
139. Point Blank
140. The Kitchen
141. The Hustle
142. The Best of Enemies
143. The Prodigy
144. Polar
145. Serenity
 

909

909
Staff member
Arabic, subtitles



Capernaum (2018), directed by Nadine Labaki

Reason for Watching: This is supposed to be an incredible movie that is rated very highly on best of the decade lists. I have previously read that a lot of the events in the movie are so well done as to feel like a documentary.

I find that Capernaum is a really strong movie despite the initial mistake of giving away what the entire plot is going to be. You guys know how much I hate that. Zain (Zain Al Rafeea) is a Lebanese boy who lives in Beirut. He is serving a five year prison sentence at the start of the film for having stabbed what he says is a very bad person. Zain is examined by a doctor for he does not know his date of birth nor do his parents have any proof that he even exists at all. He's 12. Zain is in court, because he has decided that his mother Souad (Kawthar Al Haddad) and his father Selim (Fadi Kamel Youssef) need to be sued for neglect. They have apparently done very bad things. When the judge asks him why he wants to sue his parents, Zain says that he needs to do this because he was born. Meanwhile, at the same time, Lebanese officials are bringing in a group of migrant workers. Rahil (Yordanos Shiferaw) is focused on during this scene, and it's obvious that we'll see her later in the film. Of course, the story flashes back from there.

Again, you see what my issue with that kind of thing is. Now we see Zain at home, with his parents and many other siblings. I lost count. They all hustle just to make their way, and none of them have papers so none of them will ever be shit in life. They exist. That's all they're ever going to do. One of the things they do is use forged prescriptions to buy tramadol, which they crush into powder and soak into clothes. Zain's mother subsequently takes the clothes to prison and sells them to inmates who wring the clothes out and put the powder back into water, which they sell as drug drinks. The father does literally nothing all day, at least that I can see. What a pair of parents this kid has. Zain also does jobs for their landlord, Assad, and works in his store as well. His favorite sibling is Sahar, who is 11 years old. I actually can't type out what happens here because it's so bad. Anyway, things progress more and more, and you see where the story goes from there.

I hate the story structure of movies like this one, because you have everything given away to you before you're invested in the characters. This kid's parents are fucking bad. You don't need the director to tell you that before you even see anything. That's the lone strike I have against this film, but it's a major strike. The movie is good enough that you don't need something like that to carry your story. Anyway, as you might expect from the description of the start that I just gave, this flick is an authentic portrayal of what it would be like to be dirt poor in a country where people don't give a shit about each other. At least that's what the director clearly thinks, and I think they're right. I can only imagine how bad things are in Lebanon during the pandemic. What other conclusions are you supposed to draw from Capernaum though? This film is a tough watch but there are moments that lighten the mood enough to make it through. I found myself laughing when I didn't think I possibly could.

In many ways, those moments make the film into what it actually is. Zain is a kid, and you have to realize that not everything in a kid's life is going to be terrible even when almost everything is. It's the after effects of your parents fucking you up that get you as you get older. Like the way Capernaum turns out towards the end. I don't know if anyone here has seen this before, but the best way I can describe the movie in a relatable way, is that imagine if this was only the first half of Lion. Imagine that it just kept going and going and going, and that every character Zain came across was interesting for one reason or another. I found that there were no exceptions to this rule. Some of the characters were extremely fucked up as I'm sure you know. I understand that a lot of people really hate movies like this one. By that I mean, this is something I can see people perceiving to be grief porn. It's not an unfair assessment but I don't really see it that way. Capernaum is a glimpse into a life, into an experience that is foreign to ours. To not know that these things can happen is to close yourself off from the world.

Of course, you know that not just any filmmaker can make these things interesting. What they really need is to find the right child actor to pull everything together. The kid who played Zain, coincidentally actually named Zain, did a great job. The director also didn't overreach and put the kid into position to do anything that felt unrealistic. When the character stabs that guy, you don't see it because of how goofy it would have looked. You just know that it happened, and that was that. Anyway, to sum it all up, I think Capernaum was poignant and timely two years ago, and it still is.

8/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. Roma
2. The Rider
3. A Star Is Born
4. First Reformed
5. The Favourite
6. You Were Never Really Here
7. Widows
8. First Man
9. BlacKkKlansman
10. Blindspotting
11. Leave No Trace
12. Black Panther
13. If Beale Street Could Talk
14. The Sisters Brothers
15. Hereditary
16. A Private War
17. Avengers: Infinity War
18. Wildlife
19. Stan & Ollie
20. Green Book
21. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
22. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
23. A Prayer Before Dawn
24. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
25. Annihilation
26. Capernaum
27. Private Life
28. Happy as Lazzaro
29. Cold War
30. Climax
31. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
32. Mid90s
33. Lean on Pete
34. On My Skin
35. Eighth Grade
36. Sorry to Bother You
37. Suspiria
38. The Endless
39. At Eternity's Gate
40. The Death of Stalin
41. A Quiet Place
42. Vice
43. The Old Man & the Gun
44. The Night Comes for Us
45. Border
46. Dogman
47. Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
48. Vox Lux
49. Bad Times at the El Royale
50. The Other Side of the Wind
51. Searching
52. Calibre
53. A Simple Favor
54. The Kindergarten Teacher
55. The Hate U Give
56. Unsane
57. Disobedience
58. Destroyer
59. Boy Erased
60. Bumblebee
61. Thoroughbreds
62. Mary Poppins Returns
63. Creed II
64. Hold the Dark
65. The Land of Steady Habits
66. Halloween
67. The 12th Man
68. Upgrade
69. We the Animals
70. The Wife
71. Chappaquiddick
72. What They Had
73. Ant-Man and the Wasp
74. Skate Kitchen
75. The Miseducation of Cameron Post
76. Blockers
77. Beirut
78. Black '47
79. Roxanne Roxanne
80. Solo: A Star Wars Story
81. Tully
82. Mary Queen of Scots
83. Aquaman
84. Ideal Home
85. Outlaw King
86. Overlord
87. Ready Player One
88. Ben Is Back
89. Monsters and Men
90. Colette
91. The Mule
92. On the Basis of Sex
93. Bohemian Rhapsody
94. White Boy Rick
95. Papillon
96. Gemini
97. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
98. All About Nina
99. Ocean's Eight
100. Alpha
101. Come Sunday
102. Game Night
103. Borg vs. McEnroe
104. Instant Family
105. The Front Runner
106. The Predator
107. Apostle
108. The Oath
109. Uncle Drew
110. The Cured
111. The Commuter
112. The Angel
113. Tag
114. Beautiful Boy
115. The Nun
116. Operation Finale
117. The Equalizer 2
118. The Spy Who Dumped Me
119. Cargo
120. Yardie
121. Boundaries
122. Bird Box
123. 12 Strong
124. Venom
125. Skyscraper
126. The Meg
127. Assassination Nation
128. Never Goin' Back
129. Adrift
130. Crazy Rich Asians
131. Backstabbing for Beginners
132. The Girl in the Spider's Web
133. Gringo
134. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
135. 22 July
136. Tomb Raider
137. Rampage
138. Hotel Artemis
139. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
140. The Little Stranger
141. 7 Days in Entebbe
142. Night School
143. The 15:17 To Paris
144. Den of Thieves
145. The Catcher Was a Spy
146. Peppermint
147. Mile 22
148. The First Purge
149. Hunter Killer
150. The Hurricane Heist
151. The Cloverfield Paradox
152. Breaking In
153. Slice
154. Extinction
155. Hot Summer Nights
156. Welcome to Marwen
157. Second Act
158. How It Ends
159. Mute
160. Kin
161. Hell Fest
162. Action Point
163. Proud Mary
164. Robin Hood
165. Traffik
166. Tau
167. Winchester
168. Woman Walks Ahead
169. The Happytime Murders
170. The Outsider
171. Life Itself
172. Slender Man
173. Holmes & Watson
 
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