Rate the last movie you watched.

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not_a_bumblebee

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Discovered Letterboxd and forgot this thread existed.

Spider-Man: Far From Home - Not a big fan but definitely better than the Andrew Garfield movies and Spider-Man 3. Just seemed like a huge step backwards after Into the Spider-Verse and even the story from the PS4 game. To say something positive, I loved Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio and Zendaya is a great Mary Jane. 2 Goobers out of 5

Midsommar - This is going to be a decisive film that you're absolutely going to hate or adore with very little middle ground. I loved it and while it's not downright terrifying it gives you a sense of overall foreboding and dread through out the entire movie. It's like someone filmed a 2 and 1/2 hour long panic attack and I mean that as a compliment. 4 hey it's that dude from The Good Place out of 5

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BeachThunder

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The Thing 3/5

A reasonably enjoyable sci-fi horror movie with some goofy-looking 80s effects. I guess I was expecting more though...

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ATastySlurpee

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Game Night- It was fine.

Spiderman: Far From Home- Zendaya is a great MJ and Mysterio was straight off the pages.

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ghost_cat

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Midsommar - 666/5

Hereditary was flippin' good, this was also flippin' good, and Ari Aster is insanely talented for how young he is in his career.

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fisk0

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#5755  Edited By fisk0  Moderator

The Blair Witch Project. I think I saw it when it was new, but didn't really remember much of it. Anyway, despite the genre having been done to death in recent years, I still think this one works. 4/5

Made me pretty interested in watching both sequels.

Also just watched The Last Broadcast from 1998, which tends to be credited as the first found footage horror movies. It had its moments, but over all was just decent with a very terrible ending. 2/5

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sparky_buzzsaw

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Finally watched Into the Spiderverse and - shocker - it's fantastic. I think there are some elements that just don't work for me because of my age (the porky pig and anime characters, mostly), but man, that movie's got all the heart.

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walters420

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Us 5/5

Great cinematography. I also really appreciate when media manages to build a massive world without saying a whole lot and I think this really delivers on that front. I also think Peele is able to draw tension from scenes incredibly well and never relies on a jump scare. For example, the scene where the daughter is running from her clone and hides behind the car, there are like 4 moments where most horror directors would've resorted to a jump scare whereas Peele just lets the tension explode.

I think overall Get Out is the more 'fun' film to watch as the third act is a more satisfying romp, but Us is still great and has me wanting to go back and watch it multiple times.

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notnert427

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@humanity said:

Too Old to Die Young 2/5

Newest show from Refn of Drive and Only God Forgives fame. Starts promising and then meanders to an ending that isn't an ending. Parts of it are shot really well and parts are excruciating in how boring and too-art-house it is. Anyone who ever calls Kojima over-indulgent should be forced to watch Episode 2 of this show at least twice.

I just started watching this out of sheer curiosity, and holy fuck. I wrote down my less-than-sober thoughts while watching the first episode and they're kinda great. I might have to dedicate a thread to this show. It is genuinely terrible, but fascinating nonetheless and I want to see more of it.

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Humanity

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@notnert427: I think that parts of it are genuinely great. The story also had me hooked in seeing where it will go. But man every episode has the camera slowly panning from left to right then back left again as synths blast over the ever present bluish-purple lighting. It’s artsy as fuck and sometimes that’s cool but more often than not it’s not doing the show any favors.

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Ford_Dent

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@humanity: My god episode 2 is a fucking chore. If you were to take a drink for every slow pan, you'd be dead by the end. If you made a rule that you had to keep drinking during every slow pan, you'd be dead in ten minutes.

If you took a shot every time someone said Pele, you'd die in forty.

I really like Wending Refn but maybe TV was not a good fit for him.

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Humanity

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@ford_dent: It is the worst episode of that entire series and the one that has the least impact. You would think that with the amount of time they dedicate to that story in episode 2 it would be building towards something, but it really doesn't. The later episodes are much better although still full of filler shots.

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BeachThunder

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Re-Animator 3/5

This was pretty bad and stupid...but also goofy and fun.

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notnert427

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@humanity: @ford_dent: Episode (ahem, Volume) 2 was both the best and worst of Refn. The slow-pans are indeed awful, but that's been a major issue with every one of these so far. I will say that from a purely visual standpoint, I actually dug this episode because the Mexico setting forced Refn out of his neon comfort zone. There was still plenty of styyylllle happening (all the red), but it worked better for me here. I also laughed hysterically at the ridiculous scene where the camera pans slowly across open desert to a lady walking through the middle of scorched nothingness in leather pants. Great stuff there.

However, story-wise, this one and the show on the whole continues to be very lacking, and the subject matter leans way too heavily on disturbing elements. I got to "Volume 5" and actually had to turn it off. It stopped being ridiculous in fun ways and instead just became hard to watch. I wrote down a shitload of comments/notes on the show up to this point, and I'll post them and power through the rest of Too Old to Die Young if people want to discuss it, but I'm at a point right now where I'm not sure if I want to keep watching it. Y'all let me know.

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WMoyer83

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Holmes & Watson

3/5

I know this film got skewered but I have watched a lot of the Will Ferrell/Adam McKay/John C Reilly collabs and this one was not the worst. As a spoof on the Downey Jr/Jude Law films I found it to be quite funny. It had a few laugh out loud moments for me, and I chuckled throughout the film. Maybe this would have been better as a Netflix release? I don’t think really any of the Ferrell/Reilly comedies do well critically or commercially when they are released in theaters but later go on to become cult comedy classics. I feel like this one will be no different. If you liked Walk Hard, Step Brothers, MacGruber, Talladega Nights, I would find it surprising not to get some enjoyment out of red boxing this film. It’s a stupid film with some genuinely funny moments.

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nutter

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Triple Threat

Meh. Great action cast, but the movie was okay at best. Kinda a throwback to dumb action films with a few solid action scenes. Less than the sum of its parts.

15:17 to Paris

Sub-meh. Felt like a Lifetime movie.

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Humanity

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Alita Battle Angel - 3/5

Came out for streaming and I got around to it finally. For better and worse I am baggaged with the knowledge of the source material that I had watched and read as a teen ages ago. The live adaption actually does an admirable job of following the general plot of the OVA and elements from the first few books of the manga. Some of the shots look like they were taken directly from the pages of the comic. What brought this movie down for me was the writing and acting - the former very much influencing the latter. Waltz plays his typical self but without the clever dialog from Tarantinos flicks he seems lifeless. Similarly the remaining cast, of which some are greatly talented Oscar winners, flounder in a story of all too familiar archetypes.

What doesn’t help is the absolutely baffling choice to CGI the face of Alita which is a constant distraction in any scene she’s in (so basically 99% of the movie). I understand the intent to honor manga and anime with the stylized large eyes, but someone should have pulled Cameron to the side and let him know that just because we CAN doesn’t mean we SHOULD.

The action scenes were great and rollerball was especially a treat. They even had some high profile aggressive inline skaters to do some of the street skating parts. I wasn’t even bother by how unrealistically the plot advances forward because so much of it was true to the original, but the lackluster writing and Salazar’s weird computer face kept pulling me out of the experience. That said, I would be interested to see a sequel where they can maybe not do the eyes thing.

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tchunx

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Isle of Dogs: hard hard HARD 4/5

I'm neither the most rabid fan of animation or Wes Anderson, but wow does he commit to his ideas and execute everything fully. This movie feels like both a short-and-sweet cliche story (literally "a boy and his dog", plus some other dogs) and an alternate-universe epic. As always with his stuff, the screenplay and performances are all fantastic. It's humorous and hilarious, zany as all hell, and (for me, at least) intensely emotional.

My main issue with Anderson's films, though, is that I still can't quite feel like they become personal classics (aka 5/5). Same issue here as with Grand Budapest Hotel; I love the movie and all it's parts, but his style sort of keeps me at arm's length somehow, and it's hard to pinpoint what exactly causes me to feel that way. Which is a shame, but nevertheless I'll keep watching whatever he makes because he's so masterful.

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not_a_bumblebee

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Crawl: Just a really solid horror movie about killer alligators and hurricanes. Added bonus it's only 87 minutes!

4 Sugar is an adorable doggy out of 5

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walters420

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John wick 3

5/5

Honestly my favorite action movie I’ve ever seen. The fights are so fluid, the cinematography is great, and the story is just plain fun. They pay off every fight scene with exactly what I was hoping for as they set the scene. I haven’t stopped thinking about this movie since I left the theater yesterday afternoon. I loved 1&2, and already felt that 2 was a pretty big step up in most areas besides story, but now feel that this is exponentially better than the first two combined.

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Zoidberg

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Ikarie XB-1: 3.5/5

Saw this at a tiny, classic-oriented movie theater. It's often cited as a comparable film to 2001: A Space Odyssey, mostly due to a robotic voice system that can control the ship the astronauts are on. It was a very solid movie. Some cool effects and shots for the time (1963). Naturally a lot of it has been done many times over since then, arguably to greater effect, but it was cool to see it all in an old Czech film.

Tossing this on here, too, because I saw it twice recently:

Midsommar: 4.5/5

I loved this one. Saw it alone on opening night and walked away in a somewhat depressed daze (in a good way?). Saw it a week later with a close friend and my girlfriend and had a totally different experience--the jokes made way more people laugh and the experience was just generally more jovial. Both times I thought the length felt perfect despite the 2 and a half hour runtime. Great film! Would recommend it.

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ShaggE

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Circus Kane: 2/5

This looked bad from the start, but I was curious. Sure enough, it was awful... BUT I'd recommend it to the more dedicated horror folk any day. The acting was painful, the characters were annoying as hell, the writing felt like a first draft written in an afternoon... yet there's a sense of fun behind it all, the gore is really well done for a Troma-level budget project, and the ending is actually kinda clever (for a movie like this). But yeah, as much fun as I had with it, it was still awful. Like a B-tier Full Moon production, if that puts it into perspective.

The Witch In The Window: 4.5/5

There's not much to this movie, but it's such a different take on a haunted house story that I loved every bit of it. I really hope more people see it, as I never hear anyone talk about it, and it deserves at least a cult fandom. Not particularly scary, but there are a few mindfuck moments that are extremely effective. Also, the "annoying kid" character is bearable, which is a feat in and of itself. You actually start to care about the guy as the plot moves along. I have my problems with the ending, but nothing ruinous.

-

Also watched Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich again last night, and it struck me as far more farcical and less uncomfortable this time around. Still in amazingly bad taste (in that gleeful horror movie way), but dammit, a baby Hitler doll crawls into a man's ribcage from behind and turns him into a puppet, and that shit is worth seeing many times over.

Also, if anyone else here has seen this: The main character duo is basically Dante and Randal from Clerks, right? It just struck me that these characters are totally those characters.

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notnert427

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@tchunx said:

My main issue with Anderson's films, though, is that I still can't quite feel like they become personal classics (aka 5/5). Same issue here as with Grand Budapest Hotel; I love the movie and all it's parts, but his style sort of keeps me at arm's length somehow, and it's hard to pinpoint what exactly causes me to feel that way.

If you've seen one Wes Anderson movie, you've seen every Wes Anderson movie. His filmmaking style is laid on THICK. I can appreciate and even enjoy it for a while, but I usually tire of it within each movie itself. I can only do so much of the intentionally quirky/dry style before it becomes grating and inevitably starts feeling pretentious and annoying. I think the guy is actually a better writer/storyteller than he gets credit for, and I'd probably like his movies a whole lot more if he dialed back his "brand" some. There's usually some underlying charm and/or poignance to his characters/narratives, but it's often spoiled a bit for me by his auteur shit. His movies aren't bad, they're just almost something special if they could get out of their own way, and I get pissed at that.

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BeachThunder

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The Lion King (2019) 5/5

I loved it.

It visually looks phenomenal; although, its attempt at realism means that certain very cartoony things from the original movie got changed (e.g. no more Timon in a hula outfit). Aside from the obvious visual differences, there's a lot of smaller changes here or there - particularly in terms of dialogue/humour. So, it's definitely not an exact 1:1 remake (in fact, the new movie is thirty minutes longer), but all the core narrative beats are still in tact.

Overall, the 1994 movie is still king, but this is also a great rendition.

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Hotpot

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The last movie I watched in the cinema was Aladdin, and don't like it at all. Jafar was like a hysterical child without any logic in his behaviour. Jasmine and her willing to be a sultan is okay in the femenism context, but i don't know, it was too obsessive message. My favoruite character in the original was Iago, but what happened to him in this film made me so disappointed

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nutter

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Took the kids to Spiderman: Far from Home.

It was thoroughly okay.

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Sombre

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John Wick: Chapter 3.

An easy 10/10. Fantastic set pieces, including a bloody brilliant knife fight

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nutter

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I rewatched Signs. My 8 year old wanted to watch a scary movie, and I figured this wouldn’t be too bad. I’ll know for sure if she sleeps (we wrapped-up at 10:30pm).

I’ve always been a sucker for Signs, and watching again tonight confirms I still am. I love the ensemble cast, comedic timing, and classic sense of tension pervasive throughout.

Fun movie with a nice character at its core.

And yeah, I get that the whole weakness thing probably doesn’t hold up to very much scrutiny at all, but I think the direction, performances, and allegory more than make up for that head-scratcher.

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UnbelievablePad

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fisk0

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#5779  Edited By fisk0  Moderator

Beyond Skyline (2017). Sadly, it was pretty much on par with the first movie. I think the premise of both is great, but they both fail pretty hard when it comes to the execution. At least the second movie was a bit more focused - they know they want to do more action and thus lean heavily into the resistance part (whereas the first movie was more about the survival of a small group, but somehow ended up with them on roof tops with F35s fighting space ships right in front of them). Yeah, I don't know, they're both poor movies, but they have so much potential. 2/5

Tank 432 (2015, the original and more accurate title was Belly of the Bulldog, since it doesn't actually feature tanks). Another one with a great premise and a lot of great ideas but which just ... doesn't go anywhere. I love the war horror movie genre (The Bunker, Deathwatch, Dog Soldiers, R-Point etc.), and this had a lot of potential as one of those. They build up some great claustrophobic atmosphere throughout much of the film, but all the events are just incomprehensible nonsense, and where they go in the ending is very disappointing. Another 2/5.

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nutter

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I saw Mule recently.

It restored my faith in Clint after 15:17 to Paris. Good, fun, tense film with a message.

And making fun of cartel guys using nazi impressions was pretty hilarious...

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Nodima

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Apologies, but as usual, I'm just going to dump a bunch of reviews I wrote over the past few weeks here. Bolding titles so people can skip past stuff they don't care about; also fair warning, I write about movies from the perspective anybody reading what I write about them has also seen the movie, so that is my spoiler tag for anything following this paragraph.

ANNIHILATION (GARLAND, 2018, 5/5)

To what do you give the cancer that has everything? That's the secondary question here, lead by, "to how do you respond to the cancer that wants it all?" The Last of Us makes a mark here, 2001: A Space Oddysey makes a mark here, No Country for Old Men makes a mark here, formulaic screenwriting makes a mark here. Annihilation may just be the most Moving Pictures movie ever made. It has flaws; namely, its framing device and most of the flashback sequences. But to even point those out is a failure glanced upon the unknowing; themes; action, horror, tantalizment. Give me one word, I'll give you another two handfuls.

What an accomplishment.

DIAMANTINO (ABRANTES / SCHMIDT, 2019, 3/5)

Truly, this is not a good movie, but it is an affecting one. One that's really fun to describe to people who likely will never see it. So much imagination, so many ideas, so little reality or directorial skill though all the performances are liberating. At points you're left wondering whether this is any kind of film at all, at others...you wonder if you're living any kind of life.

A STAR IS BORN (COOPER, 2018, 2.5/5)

I've had issues with this movie for nearly a year now, only one of which had anything to do with the actual film and even then just tangentially. That one thing? I hate the chorus of "Shallow", as well as the line that leads into the bridge, "ain't it hard keeping it so hardcore?" That song never charmed me on the radio, and the memes that sprung up around that strange choice to pronounce "woah" the way Gaga did exhausted me even more. But that's a nag in comparison to my real grip with this movie, again something it can't really help: I really enjoy Bill Simmons' The Ringer, both the website and its podcasts, and the release of this film caused their entire network to self-immolate over this thing.

Maybe I am just not as in tune with pop culture as I'd like to think I am, but I was so frustrated by what seemed like a pretty by-the-book movie getting effusive praise from the same people that get why Proof of Life was a profoundly good bad movie while also staffing a film beat that mostly consists of Coen Brothers and Paul Thomas Anderson dweebs...which is why I'm glad this movie finally came out on HBO, I finally watched it, and I can now be justified in my flabbergasted reaction to The Ringer's coverage there.

Here's what I'll grant the film: the first hour is genuinely charming, blending the old school recipes from the height of the rom-com era with the naturalistic, less cinematic flourishes that have come into vogue for virtually every non-superhero movie in the last five years. It's a classic Cinderella fairy tale told in a pretty minimal, relatable way. Lady Gaga immediately steals the screen from Bradley Cooper, and later from Dice as her father, and the rush you feel when Gaga steps out on stage to sing her song for Jackson Maine's crowd is palpable. Again, I do not like "Shallow" at all, yet there I was wiping a loose tear from my eye as she gut-checked and did the damn thing.

Unfortunately, because Bradley Cooper is directing, producing and co-writing this thing, the idea that we're seeing this story through Ally's eyes is all a mirage in favor of thinly veiling just how bad Cooper's version of this soon-to-be-washed music star's drug abuse problem is. The second hour finds Cooper attempting to balance his comically cynical view of pop music (and, if we're being honest, "real music", too) with his bid for an Oscar as a Hollywood Drunk (ie. look at how casually he drinks, look at how chiseled he still is) and this screenplay just seems ill-equipped at all for that sort of balancing act. So instead, it becomes essentially an hour long montage, dropping in and out of significant moments in these people's lives with very little sense of time or place, or even love really which is the strangest bit since they are so convincing for the first bit of the film.

A Star Is Born isn't an awful movie, it just slowly lost my attention over time. Characters come and go, people develop and grow and shrink, but nearly all of it seems to happen off screen. The film just gives up on itself but doesn't seem to realize it. By the time Ally Campana was touring the world as Ally and Bradley Cooper was moping around his house feeling lousy about himself, I realized this movie completely missed what would've been great about it: if it were just a Lady Gaga biopic. The approach to the first half of the movie, as well as all the concert scenes, is just so well done and charming and approachable that I think a Gaga movie would've both been a more complex film thematically (talented woman who is told she's too weird-looking to be famous becomes famous for her weird-looking attempts to hide her appearance) and just more focused and enjoyable to watch.

Sorry for the rant at The Ringer during the open, but after seeing the movie it's as much a reaction to moviegoers and the Academy voters as anything else. Between Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book and A Star Is Born, 2018 is turning out to be an epic fucking disaster of an awards season from a simple nominee standpoint, let alone actual winners. So many good things got robbed and disparaged in favor of mediocrity and trash.

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (WATTS, 2019, 3.5/5)

I had to take a few days to process how I truly felt about this movie; it's one of those pieces where I could fully understand a take given to either extreme of the like/dislike field, but would hesitate to believe anybody that didn't have some kind of visceral reaction to it. Far From Home faces the sort of struggles most sequels just don't have to deal with, even within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man 2 was purely concerned with Tony Stark's ongoing transition from weapons dealer to defender of the people. Thor 2 was purely concerned with Kenneth Branaugh attempting to ruin superheroes forever. The Winter Soldier recognized that the Battle of New York had changed the world, but otherwise treated The Avengers as an afterthought as Cap did his thing.

In fact, in the grand scheme of things Civil War was the only "stand-alone" hero film to bear the weight of its forebears, but by then those characters had appeared in so many films that it was important the full weight of their relationships be dumped onto the coffee table prior to Thanos' arrival. Unfortunately, Peter Parker isn't given the same open road to run, when it's arguable his is the character most in need - and worthy - of his own story to tell. From here this is going to read less like a review as an amalgamation of forum posts stitched into more of a commentary, because that's exactly what it is, but the gist:

Peter's best enemies aren't supervillains in the traditional sense, they're Batmen that took the wrong path. Peter's best stories aren't typically ones that invoke the fate of the world so much as the fate of Queens or the greater New York metropolitan area. His trials are personal, his foibles not just human but emphatically so. It's why he's arguably the most popular superhero of the modern era, or at least why he, Batman and the X-Men dominated so much of the comic cultural capital in the '90s. He may web sling, quip better than most and have superhuman strength, but at the end of the day Spidey is a hero who mostly overcomes his obstacles because of who he is inside, not any special suit or ability. And it mostly boils down to Peter Parker because without Pete, his villains would have never been so normal on the inside of their suits, either. That's the gist.

Let me just say this: Far From Home is more fun than Homecoming. The screenwriters - and director Jon Watts, an alumnus of the Onion News Network - are a little more comfortable in the realms of comedy and satire than epic comic book action. The same was true of Homecoming, but there its primary character beats were handled via house party, a parent driving his daughter and her date to prom, a smart kid trapped in a big room and a rich guy offering a child something he wasn't ready for. Here, Watts tries to insert Peter's big moments of growth into fights with smoke monsters, hallucinatory sequences that severely stretch the believability of what drones and projectors are capable of without drugs, and goofy asides with his aunt and Stark-appointed handler.

Far From Home smartly plays against the audience's expectations of it on a narrative front, openly mocking the audience's thirst for "stakes" and spectacle. The problem is that the movie never stops poking its stick at the elephant, content to wink at the audience without also then throwing up a webline and zipping away from it to make more of a Spider-Man movie. This movie is so obsessed with the idea of how epic the Infinity War portion of the Avengers saga was that at times it forgets to focus on the titular hero, or his circumstances.

It's fine to open with jokes about the Blip - these are high schoolers, after all, and they'd joke about that - but it's endlessly fascinating, the idea of high school kids five years out of loop with the culture at large being thrust right back into the same education level they were at before the blinked out. What the fuck is that like?! I imagine terrifying, but thankfully it seems Peter's entire class - at least the ones that matter, including his teachers - all Blipped out together, so no harm no foul I guess? Likewise, it feels a bit cruel to hide the reveal of Parker's identity to the mid-credit scene. So rarely are those clips of any real consequence, let alone so essential to the narrative of the given film's hero. Parker's primary hesitation for involving himself in Mysterio's problem is that it would expose his real identity, it's a major theme of this (and many) Spider-stories, so why hide it from audiences (who, yes, are all sticking around for the scene at this point anyway, but I'm still kind of in the right here, I think).

I don't think Far From Home needed stakes as high as Endgame - and as it goes, Mysterio and his motivations were perfect for a film following up that one, especially given Gylenhaal and the writers' treatment of the character as essentially a Lou Bloom with unlimited money - I just think the screenplay was content to let a lot of big moments come and go without a real emotional weight to them, which is something I know people say about a lot of these movies but I really think Phase 3 in particular has been excellent at making the inevitable seem plausibly impossible, and its characters convincingly unsure of their inevitability (other than Thanos, which was what made him a great final boss) as well.

I'll speculate below where they could take this story now that the world knows who Spider-Man is, but the state of play has also effectively been reset to zero in Spider-Man's world otherwise and that gives me hope the third Tom Holland movie will be a definitive take on the character as a whole the way Raimi's first two Spider-flicks were. What makes the first two Raimi films great is that there's no greater context to the story other than Peter Parker and his struggles with growing up under the pressure of being capable of being Spider-Man, and the stakes really aren't any higher in those movies than never meet your heroes, easy and nimble morality tales with superpowers (hell, the villains don't even really have powers as the MCU traditionally understands it, same as Iron Man).

After Far From Home, there's no worry that Spider-Man movies will be mediocre or bad any time soon, it's more that this super awesome version of the character as played by Tom Holland will be stuck having to deal with whatever's going on in the MCU all the time and never have time for another car ride with the father of his would-be girlfriend who also happens to be his first nemesis, where the stakes are confined to a very specific set of people, but for those people it's all that matters. That's the greatness of Spider-Man as a character, and sometimes Far From Home missed the boat on that.

I feel like the next logical step is putting Peter in college and meeting Dr. Connors (maybe Octavius too?) but let both of them stew for a film or two as normal characters before the turn (sort of like how the Spider-Man PS4 game had Peter and Ock as mentor/mentee and co-workers for over half the game) while this next movie could have a way lower stakes villain like Punisher / Kraven trying to cash in a contract on Peter, or just do a simpler love triangle thing with Black Cat and MJ as bad and good angels on his shoulder and just completely remove the villain stakes and focus on Spidey's petty crimes division for once.

My one real strong gripe with this movie was how much obvious CGI there was at the end of the movie, it was Black Panther levels of obvious and just kind of pulled me out of the stakes, especially when it was flipping from the super CG'd Spider-Man to Gyllenhaal's face and back again. I wish they'd been able to do more practical filming, but I guess that is sort of the difficulty of Spider-Man's skillset, and his style of suit being so natural compared to Iron Man's. But there were enough smaller gripes that I don't think this has the staying power as a Spider-Man film as Homecoming did, certainly not as much as those first Raimi films.

I really hope Holland gets to make a through-and-through Spider-Man movie with the next one, because it'll be a real shame if all we are some really good, super fun, highly enjoyable run-of-the-mill Marvel superhero flicks instead. I'm showing my ass here, but Spidey deserves the very best, and all the pins are set for the character to deliver his cinematic opus. I'm tired of watching this version of the character bowl a 7-10 split.

MID90S (HILL, 2018, 4/5)

I'm bringing additional context to this that most others haven't, and that is Sunny Suljic's turn as Kratos' son Atreus in 2018's God of War reimagining/soft-reboot/fourth entry, depending how you approach it. He was cast in the role as the wannabe and lied-to son of the usurper Greek God of War, a child who had no concept of his lineage, potential nor influences at the age of 10, in 2015. In other words, between signing on for that video game and participating in this one, he spent the better part of the last years of his adolescence thinking about what it means to be one thing and want to be anything else.

The scene where he screams at his mother in her car after she embarrasses him in front of his cooler friends is perhaps the most authentic portrait of caustic childhood I've seen on screen.

mid90s isn't so much a movie so much as it is a nostalgia center that makes the admirable choice of not mining that nostalgia for a mode of persuasion, at least not inauthentically. It's not just a setting, or a vibe, but all of it - the choice of lenses the camera films with, the aspect ratio the movie is presented in, the language the characters use, the things that they care about are all so rooted in the moment Jonah Hill's chosen to portray. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross scoring the film is just a perfect little accent on the whole thing, nodding to the darker side of Golden Age hip-hop nostalgia and indie rock exceptionalism to remind audiences that a whole lot of 90s youth culture was rooted in self-loathing, addiction as perhaps a necessary step to whatever level of fame you were seeking.

Of course their music creeps in more and more as the movie goes along and characters' wants and needs discontinue peeking out modestly from behind support columns in favor of peacocking across the parking lot.

All I can do is stare.

TOMB RAIDER (UTHAUG, 2018, 3/5)

This is kind of a throwback to the lower stakes of action movies in the 2000s, stuff like The Mummy, the original trilogy of X-Men films and the xXx series. It's not always imaginatively shot and you know every beat the movie's planning to hit before the production company titles have finished, but it has so much heart to it and one or two higher quality set pieces that by the end you're totally bought in.

Vikander proves she's an actress to be reckoned with here; Ex Machina is all I've seen her in otherwise and it can be easy to hide behind stellar material and CGI that highlights your best features to the point of surreality. Tomb Raider offers her no easy outs, asking her to run and jump and scream and shout and chase a bunch of kids through a Southeast Asian pier market but still find time to develop a relationship with her father (Dominic West also comports himself with total class) and develop a charming comedy routine with Nick Frost (okay, that part's probably not hard). She's game for all of it, and portrays Lara Croft with the sort of investment it took most of the Marvel roster until the third phase to commit so earnestly.

The two highlight sequences? A comedy of errors aboard a rotten military plane at the cliff of a waterfall that probably kicked ass in a theater environment and the token bit where the director and actors fake a video game scenario for a moment, with Lara stealthing her way through enemy camp to rescue her friends. The sound design and cleverness of the way she slinks in and through the environment is both clever on a regular film level and a nice, clean way of nodding to what made the Tomb Raider reboot special without getting too desperate about it. That's another nice thing about the movie, just about every acknowledgement that it's a video game is just a wink and a nod rather than full blown fan service or a bent over backwards and shoehorned element that's just weird out of context. The best sign yet that video game adapters might finally be learning from their comic counterparts. I really think this movie got a much harsher reception than it deserved and I wish I'd gone out to see it. Was it because too many people attach her face to a murderous android's and can't see the obvious charm she has? Because she is quite thin and that makes it somehow hard to believe she could be a video game character superhero? I go back to my comps earlier - those aren't "good" movies, but nobody took a shit on them either, we just let them be fun and take us on a dumb ride.

Would I recommend this movie? I don't know, not really I guess, but it's perfectly good empty calories when you're looking for an action flick with a pretty face. It's certainly not the disaster Assassin's Creed was. I hope they iron out the rougher edges and go on with the sequel. With Atomic Blonde, Anna, this movie, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, women are having a real moment in terms of kicking ass in theaters, but the moment still in search of its definitive film. This wasn't it, but Tomb Raider is the sort of franchise that could deliver that and Vikander's got the skill and the buy-in to take it there if the studio can give her a good enough script and big / clever enough action sequences.

WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (NICHOLS, 1966, 4.5/5)

This is just a Made for Nodima ass movie, man. The utterly incomprehensible plot is about all that knocks it down from perfection, but this is why Glengarry Glen Ross is one of my favorite movies of all time: get some great performers, get some great dialogue and let them soar together. Always an exhausting watch, always a confounding watch, but an absolutely necessary one if you're ever thinking of calling yourself any kind of real movie fan. Especially for a first time director to wrangle these performances and capture it this smartly, it's just a phenomenal production all around.

Big and loud and fussy in a way that's totally owed to its origins as a stage production, there are so many ways this could've gone off the rails, but instead it's still king of the "repressed suburban couple lets their hair down" because that hyper-real approach leads to every character coming out the other end feeling like they've lived the centuries and centuries together that they joke about, and we've just got the one little second when it all snapped and broke apart to nibble on. Revolutionary Road might make a little more sense from a plot perspective, Blue Valentine is certainly more honest, Scenes from a Marriage is far more comprehensive, but if you want to feel the psychology of a relationship at its final moments, Virginia Woolf is the poetry that'll get you there.

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BrunoTheThird

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@nutter: Signs is great; I've always had a soft spot for it, and the performances are so human and not actor-y. Mel and Joaquin are such a great duo, but the kids' acting really blew me away at the time. I'm not a fan of "it was all meant to be" films often, but it was handled so thoughtfully and with pure intentions in Signs, like it's saying hey, those bad things that happen were always going to happen, but when they do, you will find something to get you through it. It is definitely an invasion film, but the more I re-watch it, the more I realize that is just a popcorn metaphor for life's bullshit.

Now and then, when I'm struggling with anxiety or something, I think of the 'swing away' line, kind of like a snap-out-of-it mantra. It's surprisingly effective.

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nutter

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@brunothethird: It’s funny, but I never really thought much about “swing away” in my life. Thinking about it now though, I can very much relate to the “it felt wrong not to swing” line, pertaining to having both the home run and strikeout records.

From an anxiety perspective, I could also see the asthma attack as well as Graham’s entire arc (faith, grief, hatred) as helpful from a “this too shall pass” sort of perspective. I say this, admittedly, as someone from the outside looking in on anxiety.

I really do enjoy that film quite a bit. I know Shyamalam has made a few commercial and critical darlings and number of duds, but I this is my favorite film of his.

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nutter

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#5784  Edited By nutter

Dog Eat Dog

Fucking weird, trippy, cheap, gaudy violent film that seems to know what it is and roll around in it gleefully.

I just finished it, and I think the above was half the point.

It’s a crime film about a crew of three, two of whom are Nic Cage and Willem Dafoe. I’m glad I watched it, but I’m really not sure what to take away from it yet.

It’s a crazy film, and Cage and Dafoe are the right guys for the job. Dafoe really shines as the film goes on. The music choices are also great. The whole thing feels too pointlessly nihilistic, but I guess it wouldn’t really be that nihilistic if it had more of a point.

A lot of things to like here, but the story just seems to be there to enable the ride.

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nutter

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Really well written, directed, and acted, as to be expected from a Tarantino film.

I really don’t want to say too much, as its so new, but it was super enjoyable in the way that Tarantino films tend to be. And, of course, with the setting of late 60s Hollywood, he really goes for it in both style and music.

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JPPT1974

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The Lion King 8/10 Not as good as the original. But still is nearly matches it. And really missing two or three scenes from the original. But it does exactly nearly what the 1994 movie does.

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fattony12000

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The Matrix (20th anniversary re-release) - 5/5
Still a stone cold sci-fi action classic, they knew how to shoot gunplay and fights in this goddamn film.

Midsommar - 5/5
Bright and sunny happy fun times. Predictable. Striking. Arresting. Moody. Thick visuals.

Toy Story - 3/5
Just super relaxing and chilled out fun. Like an old comfy shirt.

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hexhunter222

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Spotlight - 5/5

A Biopic about a team of investigative journalists at the Boston Globe in 2001 who start looking in to accusations of sexual child abuse by a priest the Catholic Church covered up. When they begin investigating they're shocked as dozens of cases come to light.

Philomena - 5/5

Another Biopic, also about the Catholic Church. A writer helps an old irish lady look for the son she was forced to give away. Coogan and Dench are so good at bringing humour in to the drama, the story takes so many dark turns yet it's still uplifting.

Not sure why there were two films criticising the Church on TV last week but I'm glad I caught both because they're some of the most fascinating watching I've had in a while.

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Pezen

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John Wick Chapter 3 - Just as entertaining as the previous two, maybe even more so in parts. Suddenly; people from The Raid?! And wait, why do I recognize that sushi dude.. oh shit, it's Mark Dacascos! Once the movie was over I felt like watching all three of them again. I'll settle for a 4/5 though becuase on some level it did feel a little bit like a more of the same film despite some really good stand out scenes that might have topped it over some previous ones. But man, been a while since I have been in a theatre laughing gleefully and too loudly at violence around strangers because it was just too much fun.

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nutter

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#5790  Edited By nutter

The Salvation

It’s a western revenge story, and a dark, slow, and brutal one, at that. Wonderfully shot, though some bad CG fire rears its head by the time all is said and done.

I enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s a great 21st century western.

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Secret Obsession 3/5

I guarantee that in a year from now, I'll look back at the movies I've seen and think 'huh, I don't remember watching this.'

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nutter

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#5792  Edited By nutter

Downfall

Tremendous acting all around. I feel incredibly conflicted after watching this film.

Dealing with Hitler and his followers as truly terrible humans, but humans nonetheless, rather than easier-to-consume avatars of pure evil is surprisingly affecting. Watching Magda Goebbels go through the act of poisoning her children...evil and sympathetic at the same time, I don’t have the words for it.

It’s an interesting choice to not set-up the horrors brought to fruition by the nazi leadership, only showing their demise. It’s probably more powerful as a final account this way. I still can’t help but feel that the movie is maybe inadvertently a little too sympathetic, as a result.

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SuperJoe

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#5793  Edited By SuperJoe

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD 3.5/5

I'd say it's my 6th favorite out of the ten Tarantino films. A darkly funny fairy tale. It's really slow...many film production scenes linger for too long but then again the time capsule immersion wouldn't be as effective if they didn't. Leonardo DiCaprio is acting his ass off in these scenes. And Brad Pitt steals the movie as DiCaprio's best friend...Hollywood's typical white hero fantasy character who talks like John Wayne, says the best lines, and has superhuman abilities.

ROBOCOP 2 3/5

Through adult eyes I realize how much darker it is from the original with less character development. The stop-motion Robocop vs Robocop 2 fight is really cool --the closest thing to a live-action Transformers movie at the time. It's crazy how it casually shows kids committing R-rated violence, then double downs on the satirical TV clips making the tone really weird. It is such a weird movie that it doesn't even have an opening title card...it just starts.

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BeachThunder

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The Exorcist 5/5

Significantly better than I expected. More than anything though, I was thoroughly impressed with how they were able to keep a straight face during the exorcism scene. I assume that must have taken many takes.

Also, the soundtrack is pretty great.

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Dizzyhippos

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#5795  Edited By Dizzyhippos

BladeRunner 2049: 3/5

I was really enjoying it, maybe even more then the original. Then they took away the most human thing in the story by showing that giant hologram of Joi. Personally I think its a much better movie if you edit that one scene out and let the audience decide if hes going after the evil Replicant because she killed the program he loved or if its for the cause.

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cikame

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Men in Black 3 - 5/5, even better than i remember.
It's not perfect, there are one or two very minor issues i have with the film, but i absolutely love it.

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Sombre

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Children who chase lost voices: 10/10

As is par for ANY Shinkai movie, it looked absolutely fucking BREATHTAKING. A charming, thoughtful anime story about what it means to lose someone close to you. Would recommend if you wanna feel something

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Dizzyhippos

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#5798  Edited By Dizzyhippos

Brick: 5/5 if you like detective noir its a fantastic movie with a unique setting (and it was lucky enough to be set before everyone had a smart phone).

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nutter

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The Blair Witch Project

My wife asked me to rewatch this one with her. It’s a fascinating film to watch. I’d love a straightforward behind the scenes one day, as this sounds like some guerrilla filmmaking where the cast isn’t all in on every detail of their stay in the woods.

Anyhow, really fun horror movie that stands up despite no longer being novel.

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Sombre

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Bronson

2/5

I fucking couldn't stand the character. I know that's the point of him, but I found him unwatchable