2020 Vision ... at the Movies!

TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
This is the thread to talk about films we've seen, from the big-screen multiplex blockbuster to the obscure indie art film. If it's on the big screen (or is a feature film on the small screen, in these days of streaming services etc), this is the place to talk about it!
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Comments

  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    The Rise of Skywalker has made it to our little local cinema.
    I have to say I was slightly apprehensive about what it would be like, given the death of Carrie Fisher, who was supposed to be a major part of this film.
    Overall, I enjoyed it - it was nice to see some of the old characters return, though poor Rose Tico got a bit of a raw deal, and it wrapped the story up pretty well.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited January 2020
    Sorry We Missed You

    This is only the third film I've seen by Ken Loach, the other two, Riff Raff and Raining Stones, being almost three decades ago. But this one shares some distinct characteristics with the earlier ones, in terms of being about a working-class man, acting on behalf of his family's well-being, who faces exploitation and degradation at the hands of capitalists.

    Good to see Loach's marxism keeping up with the times: in this film, he takes on the "franchisee" scams by which corporations offload risks to their workers, each supposedly the owner of a franchise. The particular ruse this time around involves a delivery company, and its highly exploitative relationship with one of its drivers.

    The family are Mancusians transplanted Newcastle, and Loach's camera does an elegant job of focusing on those aspects of the city that especially work to create an old-school working-class vibe, with one gloriously out-of-place exception.

    I'll also observe that Loach seems to have toned down
    the revenge-fantasy component of his storyline, given that Riff Raff and Raining Stones end with an arson and a murder, respectively, with the perpetrators both meant to be understood as sympathetic, whereas in this one, Loach contents himself with having the driver's wife chew the boss out on the phone.

    Well-written and well-acted, if a little didactic in its politics. I'd recomment this, with the caveat that if you've seen other stuff by Loach, it might not seem entirely original.
  • I finally got to see the new Star Wars movie today. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though I have to agree Rose got short shrift. But all in all it was a fun, exciting watch.
  • Also just saw the movie Cats. Ummmmm..... WTF did I just see? I am puzzled...
  • NicoleMR wrote: »
    Also just saw the movie Cats. Ummmmm..... WTF did I just see? I am puzzled...

    Is there any sense in which you would recommend it? I ask, because I have limited access to English language movies, and some of the reviews have made it sound interesting in a "Just have to gawk at a horrific car crash" sort of a way.

  • Well... I'm glad I saw it, just to be able to say I did and to know what the buzz is about. In that sense I'd say, see it.
  • MarkDMarkD Shipmate
    Well I finally got to see final installment of the Star Wars saga, The Rise of Skywalker. Alas my bladder could not hold out the whole way. So when REN, Finn and Po embrace st the end I slipped out to answer natures shrill call. When I returned we seemed to be on the planet where it all started for Luke. Ten was saying something looking out at a double sunset which I didn’t quite understand. Can anyone fill me in?
  • I saw Cats, and quite loved it. However, I was disgruntled by most reviewers in the US saying it was pointless, plotless, just a show off piece. (and in that regard it is so – great singing and dancing throughout). However, I disagree that it is only that.

    I find it to be a modern day version of a Medieval morality play. Every cat has a history, or some foible. Some control others and expect them to be “useful.” Another is a glutton. Others wastrels or sneak thieves. But each and every one wonders if, hopes that, they might be the one to go “to the heavy side layer” -- the place of refreshment, refurbishment, happiness in oneself. And when only one is selected, they all celebrate that one of them has indeed gone to “paradise”, leaving each remaining cat the hope that next year will be their year for salvation.

    And old theme, made over in a form we find easy to discount. But, I suspect, morality plays are a bit out of date if played openly, so here it all hides behind the dance and singing. And if Judi Dench is going to be the gatekeeper of Heaven -- what fun!
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    edited January 2020
    There's a scene in the original Star Wars film
    where Luke is looking out at a double sunset on Tatooine - there's also a double sunset at the end of The Last Jedi, when Luke is projecting an image of himself half way across the galaxy.
    Rey had gone back to Uncle Owen's moisture farm to bury Luke and Leia's lightsabers.

    Added spoiler function
    jedijudy-Heaven Host
  • Please use the spoilers tags, some people have not see the films you are discussing.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    This is a great time to remind everyone that using spoiler tags while referring to movie scenes is a kindness to those who have not yet seen the movie!
    Thank you!
    jedijudy-Heaven Host
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    We just saw Knives Out and found it a fun, fairly light little mystery with some nice performances. I had the plot twists about 80% figured out by the end but I hadn't quite put all the pieces in place.
  • The 2 Popes is excellent and to be recommended. There is quite a bit of fictional content (presumably). Is the following a spoiler? The drama is that both gentlemen are presented as special, yet have relatable regular Joe integrity. We could do with more of that.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Quick question: is the intention to only talk about current releases?

    I've actually ended last year/started this one catching up on some of the films I've meant to see in recent years but hadn't, inspired by seeing lists along the lines of 'best movies of the decade'.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    Nope, not just current releases. We can discuss any films you've been watching, old or new, that you'd like to talk about.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    PhilipV wrote: »
    The 2 Popes is excellent and to be recommended. There is quite a bit of fictional content (presumably). Is the following a spoiler? The drama is that both gentlemen are presented as special, yet have relatable regular Joe integrity. We could do with more of that.

    I personally wouldn't consider that a spoiler, as it doesn't relate to a plot point, but more generally to how the characters are portrayed. I'm not sure if anyone with a higher bar for spoilers might feel differently, but to me "spoilers" are things that relate to plot twists and endings of stories. For example, if in my post about Knives Out above, I had said that I figured out a bit of the plot in advance but I hadn't worked out that
    it was the no-good black-sheep son who had actually switched the meds in an attempt to murder his grandfather and frame the maid
    ... well now, that would be a spoiler.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    Trudy wrote: »
    ... well now, that would be a spoiler.
    Indeed! And I was asking
    Captain America,
    "How could you?" :wink:

  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    Historical Facts are never spoilers. Years ago, Television Without Pity used the example that Caesar getting killed in Rome wouldn't be a spoiler, but Vorenus or Pullo getting killed would.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Trudy wrote: »
    Nope, not just current releases. We can discuss any films you've been watching, old or new, that you'd like to talk about.

    Ta. Well, in recent weeks thanks to local library system...

    I though Arrival was utterly marvellous, so good in fact that I watched it twice and still loved it the second time. Definitely, for those who know it, a movie that plays differently the second time.

    Baby Driver was very entertaining, wild and mad but in a good way. The editing team deserve all the accolades they received.

    And Whiplash, which got a great deal of critical acclaim, was a colossal disappointment to me. It's one thing to have nasty characters, but the whole philosophy of the film was just off.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    Belisarius wrote: »
    Historical Facts are never spoilers. Years ago, Television Without Pity used the example that Caesar getting killed in Rome wouldn't be a spoiler, but Vorenus or Pullo getting killed would.

    I know this is a movie not a TV thread but ... gosh, I miss Rome.

  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    I have the DVD set. :smiley:
    There were rumors of a possible Rome movie after the end of Season 2, but nothing ever came of it.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    I have the DVD set too, and have been waiting all these years for a life crisis severe enough that all I can do is stay home and rewatch my Rome DVDs. I'm thinking I may just have to manufacture one.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited January 2020
    From 1959...

    Compulsion

    I think I have now seen every significant film made about Leopold and Loeb, the other three being Rope, Swoon, and Murder By Numbers.

    Unlike Rope and MBN, this one doesn't bowdlerize the story by making the victim of into an adult, though unlike all the other films, it elects not to show the murder on screen. Presumably, showing a child being beaten and choked to death wouldn't have gotten past the Hays Code/studio bosses/general public outrage in 1959.

    In clear contrast to Rope(where the boys kill an adult in their apartment and get caught within ninety minutes), this one follows the details of the crime fairly closely, albeit with a couple of somewhat annoying Hollywood add-ons, eg. one of their friends is, quite coincidentally, a cub reporter who plays a significant role in solving the case, and also gets involved in a romantic subplot of a heterosexual nature.

    On that last note, I think Compulsion has the second most prominent gay theme of all the films, after Swoon. (Though I'm not entirely sure about Murder By Numbers, it's been a while). Though of course, being the late 50s, no explicit wording is actually made.

    While this film is famed for starring Orson Welles as the Darrowesque lawyer, he actually doesn't show up on screen until the second half. I actually felt slightly deflated at his arrival, as I'd been enjoying the storyline about the boys' crimes, social circle, and the ongoing investigation. Welles, of course, does a credible job, though his portion of the film arguably descends into an anti-death penalty message movie.

    And no review of an LNL film would be complete without discussing the treatment of Nietzsche, and this one is probably the worst of the bunch: in a university class, one of the killers suggests to his doddering old professor that the Ubermensch is held to a different standard of morality than the herd because he is a leader of society and has to make a lot of complicated decisions for the benefit of all. Which I don't think is what Nietzsche was saying.
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Has anyone seen the new Little Women? I’ve heard good reports about it.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    I saw Little Women last week. There were so many things to love about the film; the acting (I thought) was excellent! The costumes and hairstyles seemed very realistic...not all froufrou. Jo seemed especially realistic!

    Some things were surprising.
    The leaping back and forth in time sometimes confused me!!
    Jo's husband was nothing like I pictured!

    All in all, a good movie, and I'm glad I went! (Plus, they gave me a large popcorn and a large drink for free to celebrate another swing around the sun!)
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Ah- right. That chimes in with what Ms M reported. Thanks!
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    I very much enjoyed Little Women. I liked the way they felt like real people, not just a film makers idea of 19th century women.
    We watched the 2017 Murder on the Orient Express, last night. Extremely silky, but quite fun.
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    I saw a comment on Twitter from someone who went to see Little Women with her husband, who used to work at the Waterford Crystal factory. He liked the movie, but objected to the Waterford Crystal bowl on the sideboard, which was of the wrong period!
  • Miffy wrote: »
    Has anyone seen the new Little Women? I’ve heard good reports about it.

    I saw Little Women a few days ago and must admit that I was underwhelmed. The acting, costumes and scenery were all admirable, but the construction of the story was appalling. I don't know who decided to have the action flip backwards and forwards in time, but I found it extremely irritating. There seemed to be an attempt to turn the story into multiple romances rather than a family saga. There were also mistakes made such as showing a Christmas tree when the story was set pre the use of Christmas trees, plus John Brooke was depicted as well and truly alive when according to the true story he died early in his marriage.
    I guess that film goers who haven't really read the books would enjoy the film, but those who know the books well, I would say 'give it a miss'. I rate it 2/10.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Well, de gustibus non est disputandum. As a life-long Alcott fan, I loved the new Little Women movie, and the friend who accompanied me, who has never read any of her works, felt the same. I thought the story's construction did a wonderful job of relating the two parts of the book to each other, and I thought the way the ending
    incorporated the reality of Alcott's life as a woman who never married into Jo's story, which she'd been forced by the publisher to end in marriage
    was fantastic.

    Last night I saw Parasite, which was amazing: brilliant, funny, creepy, sad, and deeply thought-provoking. The cinematography was beautiful, the sets were perfect, the performances were wonderful, and I'll be thinking for weeks about the many layers of the story and its commentary on class warfare. I cannot recommend highly enough. It's that rare movie that is extremely entertaining and also has a lot to say. I knew very little about it going in, except that it's on zillions of "best movie of the year/decade/whatever" lists, and I'm glad, as there are a couple of plot twists I did not see coming at all.
  • Pangolin GuerrePangolin Guerre Shipmate
    edited January 2020
    I just saw Maudie, the bio-pic about the Nova Scotian artist Maude Lewis, starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. Very slow, but superb. Beautifully shot, but, Good Lord, Sally Hawkins is remarkable as Maude. Unlike a lot of bio-pics about artists, this wasn't 'suffer-porn' - there was real humanity in it. I can't believe that I missed it at the cinema.
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    I've been meaning to watch Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson, for a long while, just for the sword choreography in the climactic duel (arranged by William Hobbs, one of the greats), and last night I finally got round to it.
    John Hurt made an excellent baddie as the Marquis of Montrose, and Tim Roth was thoroughly evil without any redeeming features - the duel was between him and Rob Roy, who was of course noble and wise and honourable.
    I thoroughly enjoyed it, and there were little bonus features like the woman singing at the Highland celebrations being the lead singer of the band Capercaillie - and all that glorious Scottish scenery.
  • ArachnidinElmetArachnidinElmet Shipmate
    edited January 2020
    I remember seeing that at the cinema when it came out in 1995 and still think about that fight scene occasionally.
  • I just saw Maudie, the bio-pic about the Nova Scotian artist Maude Lewis, starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. Very slow, but superb. Beautifully shot, but, Good Lord, Sally Hawkins is remarkable as Maude. Unlike a lot of bio-pics about artists, this wasn't 'suffer-porn' - there was real humanity in it. I can't believe that I missed it at the cinema.

    I loved it, too! Sally Hawkins simply becomes her characters, she was wonderful in "Jasmine," too. Maudie's "romance" with the Ethan Hawke character was too harsh for my husband and son, but to me it was perfectly real and ultimately very tender between the two lonely souls.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    Twilight wrote: »
    I just saw Maudie, the bio-pic about the Nova Scotian artist Maude Lewis, starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. Very slow, but superb. Beautifully shot, but, Good Lord, Sally Hawkins is remarkable as Maude. Unlike a lot of bio-pics about artists, this wasn't 'suffer-porn' - there was real humanity in it. I can't believe that I missed it at the cinema.

    I loved it, too! Sally Hawkins simply becomes her characters, she was wonderful in "Jasmine," too. Maudie's "romance" with the Ethan Hawke character was too harsh for my husband and son, but to me it was perfectly real and ultimately very tender between the two lonely souls.

    Yes, that was a beautiful movie. Some people think the relationship between Maudie and her husband is too tender as they see the real-life Everett Lewis as having been at least borderline abusive, but I guess a lot of that is in how you interpret the little we know about the interaction between two people who are now dead and not able to speak for themselves. As a story within the movie it's poignant and lovely, I thought.

    Although it's set in Nova Scotia, the movie was shot here in Newfoundland, which is always a big deal for us here. Also, if you're ever in Halifax, NS, go to the art gallery and see Maudie's whole house which has been restored and rebuilt inside the museum, with all her paintings all over everything. It's amazing to see.
  • rhubarb wrote: »
    Miffy wrote: »
    Has anyone seen the new Little Women? I’ve heard good reports about it.

    I saw Little Women a few days ago and must admit that I was underwhelmed. The acting, costumes and scenery were all admirable, but the construction of the story was appalling. I don't know who decided to have the action flip backwards and forwards in time, but I found it extremely irritating. There seemed to be an attempt to turn the story into multiple romances rather than a family saga. There were also mistakes made such as showing a Christmas tree when the story was set pre the use of Christmas trees, plus John Brooke was depicted as well and truly alive when according to the true story he died early in his marriage.
    I guess that film goers who haven't really read the books would enjoy the film, but those who know the books well, I would say 'give it a miss'. I rate it 2/10.

    Hm, thanks for that. I'm a pretty huge fan of Greta Gerwig(hat tip to Bunny With An Ax for pointing her out on these forums), but not quite to the point where I'd be a compleatist. And I generally dislike period pieces set before the industrial age, and I REALLY am not a fan of movies where the narrative jumps around in time. (That often seems like it's being used to add artificial gravitas to the story).

    Haven't fully made up my mind that I won't see it, but your post has been duly entered into the record.



  • I remember seeing that at the cinema when it came out in 1995 and still think about that fight scene occasionally.

    About all I remember of Rob Roy is the scene of the hero making happy peasant love to his wife under a tree, followed soon after by a scene where it is implied, albeit with plausible deniability, that the aristocratic villain might be some sort of decadent homosexual.

    Kinda left a bad taste in my mouth, though I suppose typical enough of the portrayal of upper-crust Hollywood baddies.
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    Archie was certainly having it away with just about every female with a speaking part in the film - but there's never any mention of a Mrs Marquis of Montrose.
  • Eigon wrote: »
    Archie was certainly having it away with just about every female with a speaking part in the film - but there's never any mention of a Mrs Marquis of Montrose.

    The person making love to his wife under the tree wasn't the Marquis, it was Rob Roy.

    The Marquis was the guy who, when it was suggested he might be a "buggerer of boys", replies with something like "Oh no, I stopped short just as soon as I realized it was a boy I was mounting."

  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    Yes, it was Rob Roy and Mary under the tree (and by the standing stone, and in bed).
    And yes to the Marquis's comments, Archie being the other villain of the piece.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited January 2020
    Midsommar

    (This film is so rooted in a very standardized genre, there's no way I can describe it without the viewer likely figuring out the basic ending.)
    Ari Aster's follow-up to Hereditary, and he seems now to be possibly in the groove of horror-genre pastiche. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it does mean that, if you're someone even casually familar with the various subsets of horror, you can probably figure out where this one is going as soon as the anthropology students arrive in the remote Swedish commune where the inhabitants all practice some sort of ancient fertility cult.

    Yes, we're smack-dab in the territory of The Lottery, The Wicker Man, and The Dark Secret Of Harvest Home. (Have I missed anything that predates Shirley Jackson?) Only this time around, Aster has gone to the trouble of creating some fairly complicated theology and rites, including one for an impregnation ceremony. (Woo-hoo!)

    Like I say, nothing strikingly original about the plot, and the elaborate ceremonies and ritual chanting tend to drag on a little, but this is also quite well-crafted, visually speaking, and an eerie pleasure to look at, if nothing else. I recommend this for horror buffs, who will likely be underwhelmed by the storyline, but still interested to see what sort of wine can be poured into old wineskins. And fertility-cult film virgins might enjoy being dragged kicking and screaming to the altar.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited January 2020
    orfeo wrote: »
    Trudy wrote: »
    Nope, not just current releases. We can discuss any films you've been watching, old or new, that you'd like to talk about.

    Ta. Well, in recent weeks thanks to local library system...

    I though Arrival was utterly marvellous, so good in fact that I watched it twice and still loved it the second time. Definitely, for those who know it, a movie that plays differently the second time.

    Baby Driver was very entertaining, wild and mad but in a good way. The editing team deserve all the accolades they received.

    And Whiplash, which got a great deal of critical acclaim, was a colossal disappointment to me. It's one thing to have nasty characters, but the whole philosophy of the film was just off.
    I saw Whiplash quite some time ago, and I thought it was okay, considering films about student/teacher relations aren't really my bag. Reading your post, however, I kinda now think that the script didn't do a good job of justifying the denoument's final redemption of the teacher. It's like, one minute he's just being a complete and absolute asshole to the kid, engaging in behaviour that should probably get him fired, and literally the next second, we're supposed to understand just how personally invested he is in the kid's success.

    I get the impression that maybe, the screenwrtier was in a hurry, and had to concoct a scene that highlighted both the man's total jerkoffery AND his compassionate heart, at the same time, and just patched that together in a few minutes.

  • stetson wrote: »
    Midsommar

    (This film is so rooted in a very standardized genre, there's no way I can describe it without the viewer likely figuring out the basic ending.)
    But was it any good? What did you think?
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    edited January 2020
    @stetson , yes that's part of my problem with Whiplash. The film almost totally fails to critique the bad behaviour it's showing, and effectively suggests that this is the way to do things and it will all be okay in the end.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    ...which is kind of relevant to the film I just watched.

    I'm a dozen years late or so, but There Will Be Blood was very good. The 2 central performances are both compelling. And the film has a much more unflinching eye towards those characters.
  • stetson wrote: »
    Midsommar

    (This film is so rooted in a very standardized genre, there's no way I can describe it without the viewer likely figuring out the basic ending.)
    But was it any good? What did you think?

    Hard to answer, because, as I suggested, it sort of depends what you're looking for.

    At a basic aesthetic level, yes, it's quite well-made, especially on a visual analysis. (Interesting use of extremely vibrant colours, for a horror film.) And some of the horror portrayed is pretty disturbing.

    Story-wise, it's not gonna be that captivating for anyone familiar with the subgenre in question. I pretty much knew what was more or less gonna happen by reading the headlines of the reviews. And, it kind of diverts into shock and gore on a couple of occassions, with mixed results.

    But, if you're a film buff, you'll probably enjoy feeling superior in your ability to critique the film within its cinematic context. (I'm being somewhat faecitious about the superiority complex, but you know what I mean: it's a self-aware genre flick.)

    So, overall, yeah, I'd recommend for anyone who likes horror of the psychologically disturbing variety, whether they're novices or grizzled old veterans. That said, if you are someone who is put off by the idea of a guy
    unwittingly drinking menstrual blood at a ritualistic picnic,
    best give this one a miss.



  • ^ To give you some idea as to just how off the beaten path Midsommar is from typical horror aesthetics, here is is probably its most iconic image.

  • Mr ClingfordMr Clingford Shipmate
    edited January 2020
    Thanks for the detail. My favourite horror is one that is built on atmosphere. So standouts for me are The Babadook and the only The Wicker Man. I have deliberately avoided learning about the film for the opportunity to watch Midsommar as unspoiled as possible. So I have avoided your spoilers - which was tricky as when I quoted your post it revealed all you had written so I averted my gaze very quickly!
  • orfeo wrote: »
    ...which is kind of relevant to the film I just watched.

    I'm a dozen years late or so, but There Will Be Blood was very good. The 2 central performances are both compelling. And the film has a much more unflinching eye towards those characters.

    There Will Be Blood is more my kind of movie than Whiplash. An exact comparison might be a little unfair, though, since There Will Be Blood isn't really purporting to examine serious relations between individual human beings: it operates on more of a metaphorical level, with the two respective characters symbolizing(perhaps) capitalism vs. Christianity during the robber-baron era. It's hard to imagine a real-life businessman, for example, behaving the way Daniel Plainview does at the end of that film.

    But yes, judging each film by what it was trying to do within its respective parameters, TWBB is the superior portrayal of unpalatable human behaviour.

  • I am looking forward to seeing TWBB because, Orfeo, you are still way ahead of me.

    But a 5 min SNL skit with Adam Driver riffing on the film made me laugh:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7HD2xG92-0
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