ysbreker

Movie/TV recommendations

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I saw The Last Black Man in San Francisco in the Alamo Drafthouse theatre. I think it’s mostly that I’m not local why I didn’t get it, but I saw/heard some local people really enjoying it!

 

I got that it was about the San Francisco housing crisis and the racism related to that, but for me it didn’t connect at all.

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On 6/17/2019 at 2:25 PM, I_smell said:

Everyone's talking about Chernobyl, but I just feel like... it must be really, very sad, right? I don't wanna watch a whole show about something so terribly sad!

 

I've had a blu-ray of Get Out on my table for weeks and I finally watched it. I purposely avoided spoilers for this.

It was a good concept, it's very contemporary, I respect it and I bet it really clicked with a lot of people. It's big on sub-text, and really invites you to look into it. It's a very cliche thriller though! I didn't expect how straight-forward the film was, it's a new idea applied to the very familiar frame of a movie where a spooky killer is getting everyone. That's fun, but I guess I expected it to be something more surprising.

 

Oh well! I still liked watching it. It's not pretentious, the film speaks its' message loudly, and couches it in a nice popcorn flick deliberately. I can see why people were excited to check out Us next.

I've been avoiding spoilers for Us like you avoided spoilers for Get Out but my impression is that Us is much less of a straightforward movie than Get Out.

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Booksmart is maybe the best movie of this year so far. The way it avoids cliches and stays funny throughout is almost miraculous.

 

Also, a recommendation to NOT see: Midsommar. What potential this movie had, but ended up being quite shit.

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Can you tell us (with spoiler tags if necessary!) why?

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Sure. Firstly, the casting choices. If you know Chidi from The Good Place, they actually cast the actor to play basically the same character here. All the characters are very one-dimensional and I didn’t really get their motivations to do certain things.

 

Secondly, even though they are going for a very overexposed look knowingly, it still comes off as cheap amateur cinematography at times, as if someone got the camera settings wrong. And the visual effects during some trippy sequences are super lame IMHO.

 

Thirdly, there is no tension or increasing creepiness. From very early on, we know that SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG and until the end the feeling remains the same.

 

Patrick thinks similarly in more detail

 

[edit] Regarding the last point, this may be one of the cases where having seen the trailer ruins the movie experience. I think because the trailer gave a very specific expectation of where this story was going and then besides some details the movie followed it pretty closely. So if you haven’t seen the trailer and don’t want your expectations ruined, don’t read the spoiler:

 

I was pretty much expecting The Wicker Man + Hereditary and I think that’s what it mostly was although I won’t spoil whether the ending matched.

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Interesting, thanks!

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Also just remembered... somewhere in the movie a local man points to a person in a corner as the keeper of some tradition. One of the main characters (a visitor) responds with a surprise by asking "The disabled?" (the person had a disfigured face)

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Watched a few movies on the plane to/from China recently

 

Aquaman

Better than I was expecting.  Some really good action set pieces.  The plot's kind of loose but good character portrayals for the most part.

 

Hellboy

David Harbor did a good job but everything else was lacking.  The plot is all over the place, it lacks the whimsy of the Guillermo Del Toro films, and I really couldn't care about any of the characters.

 

Captain Marvel

It was fine.  I don't have a lot to say that's not just diving into the MCU.

 

Into the Spider-Verse

Really enjoyable, though the art made my eyes hurt a couple times.  Not that it's bad, it's just hard to focus on.

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One thing I learned today that I thought was pretty wild, was that in Into The Spider-Verse they animate Miles at 12 fps at first, as he learns to handle his powers. As he becomes more confident, they start animating him in 24 fps to give a better sense of his newfound grace and power. Such neat animation storytelling!

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 Yeah, they also specifically animate him out of sync with his mentor initially. Then they sync up literally and figuratively through the course of a particular sequence. 

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I finally got around to watching Eighth Grade.

It's something I've had on my list for a while because it's written and directed by Bo Burnham, a stand-up comedian writing a movie for the first time. I remember seeing this guy making Youtube videos when I was 15 (and he was 15) where he would make funny, rude songs. They were silly Weird Al stuff, but they were often heartfelt and visibly desperate as well.

A few years later he had a couple stand-up specials that lauded vulnerability. It looks a little melodramatic now, but I was in that headspace at the same time, so it really worked on me.

 

Anyway the movie is good. I've watched a couple teen-drama movies on Netflix recently (Sarah Burgess Is A Loser, Dumplin') and they're very plastic, corny and predictable. I also don't like Black Mirror because it's so loud and ham-fisted with how it skewers modern technology. Eighth Grade feels more authentic in what it's like to be lonely and unsure today. The big villain in this kid's life is just a spread out cloud of little failures (often just PERCEIVED failures) that she's not equipped to process, and the small victories are very endearing. The kid is nervous about going to this pool party, but it's presented as just a bunch of wet kids and a cheap stereo in somebody's garden. I like coming to this genre with such a down-to-earth, lived-in perspective.

 

It's not truly mind-blowing, but it felt honest and vulnerable. That was compelling to me, and I appreciate that somebody's out there making stories in this style.

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17 hours ago, Roderick said:

One thing I learned today that I thought was pretty wild, was that in Into The Spider-Verse they animate Miles at 12 fps at first, as he learns to handle his powers. As he becomes more confident, they start animating him in 24 fps to give a better sense of his newfound grace and power. Such neat animation storytelling!

 

I also recently learned that!  It's a neat detail.

 

My favorite bit from Into the Spider-Verse is when Miles and Peter are escaping after stealing the computer and Miles throws a bagel at one of their pursuers.  As it hits the guy the comic sound effect that pops up says "BAGEL"

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I just went to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, if you like Tarantino this is more of that. I was never bored while watching it but I found myself kind of scratching my head. Also Margot Robbie is criminally under utilised in this film to the point where I couldn't understand why they bothered.

 

One nice touch is that because of the Tarantino thing, people show up that are pretty big names to do 5 minutes of work and that worked really well for me as I struggle with other films that introduce 'incidental' characters that are big name actors that are blatantly going to come back later, because the film's budget requires it.

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I finally saw Rififi (1955) and it's a really good movie, but I'm slightly disappointed because I was expecting a masterpiece. And I have a small doubt that maybe I would have seen it as a masterpiece if I had watched it 2-3 years ago before seeing many other classics...

 

Anyway, it seems somewhat derivative of at least these movies: The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The Wages of Fear (1953) and Le Trou (1960). Of course, it came out before Le Trou, but I think the latter executed a similar idea to a big chunk of this film much better. And maybe I'm being unfair to it because I saw it after all of these other films, but it just feels too much of a mishmash of different things and there were some sequences early in the film where I just wasn't able to keep full attention on what exactly was being established.

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Bad Times at the El Royale - 9/10

Really enjoyed the movie which felt slightly "Tarantinoesque" which isn't a bad thing in my opinion. There are a couple of loose end's which were left open but I think that adds to my enjoyment of it and let's me fill in the blanks.

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