Let's All Go to the Movies

The Witch, 9/10
My wonderful wife and I dined on this one for the first time in preparation for The Lighthouse, also directed by Robert Eggers.
Start to finish, this film was nearly flawlessly executed. The scenery, framing, score, ambiance, language, costuming. . . everything put you squarely in the time and mood the director envisioned. The rich undertones of dread, fear, confusion, blame, desperation and finally hopelessness engulfed me as a viewer. A beautiful film to see develop.
I have very few qualms with it, though I will say I had to do a touch of background reading post-viewing to wrap my head completely around the context of the final 5 minutes or so (similarly to Hereditary). Also, my loving wife set the dishwasher to run just as we were starting the film, and because we are in desperate need of a new soundbar, we decided to roll with closed captions, which turned out to be a great decision (and something I do willingly from time to time; I have a modest hearing issue with hearing individual things clearly when mized with tertiary commotion- or a score). It really helped to read the old school English, which at times was "peasant-Shakespeare", if that makes any sense.
Overall, one of the more successful "horror" films I've ever seen, and did nothing to depress my anticipation of The Lighthouse.
Highly recommended, streaming on NetFlix.
 
The Witch, 9/10
My wonderful wife and I dined on this one for the first time in preparation for The Lighthouse, also directed by Robert Eggers.
Start to finish, this film was nearly flawlessly executed. The scenery, framing, score, ambiance, language, costuming. . . everything put you squarely in the time and mood the director envisioned. The rich undertones of dread, fear, confusion, blame, desperation and finally hopelessness engulfed me as a viewer. A beautiful film to see develop.
I have very few qualms with it, though I will say I had to do a touch of background reading post-viewing to wrap my head completely around the context of the final 5 minutes or so (similarly to Hereditary). Also, my loving wife set the dishwasher to run just as we were starting the film, and because we are in desperate need of a new soundbar, we decided to roll with closed captions, which turned out to be a great decision (and something I do willingly from time to time; I have a modest hearing issue with hearing individual things clearly when mized with tertiary commotion- or a score). It really helped to read the old school English, which at times was "peasant-Shakespeare", if that makes any sense.
Overall, one of the more successful "horror" films I've ever seen, and did nothing to depress my anticipation of The Lighthouse.
Highly recommended, streaming on NetFlix.
Eggers' drive for authenticity is awesome.


Eggers: Something Jarin and I believe strongly is that in order to really transport an audience, it’s not enough to say this is a good shot. It’s about saying every single shot in this film has to be articulating a memory of our own Puritan childhood, and what did our dad’s smell like that day in the corn field, and what was the mist like on the corn. That’s the level of specificity that’s needed in order to transport an audience. And that’s where the obsession with detail comes from. It’s not just authenticity for the sake of authenticity. That’s why [production designer] Craig [Lathrop] built the farm and farmhouse using the same tools and techniques they would have used in the 17th century.
 
Ma (2019) - 4/10

AKA the Blumhouse movie with Octavia Spencer as the crazy lady from earlier this year. Rather than going in a Jordan Peele direction, we have a decidedly low-brow take on a story that had potential for the infusion of serious topics. More of a teen thriller than a horror movie, Ma could have been PG-13 if not for a couple 'fucks' and an unnecessary up-close of a dick. Equal parts bad teen acting -except for the main protagonist played by Diana Silvers (Booksmart)- and contrived plot. I know Octavia Spencer is capable of good work but goddamn is she determined to roll around in some dogshit.
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DisneyNature Penguins - 7/10

Disney's nature documentary on the Adelie penguins of Antarctica follows a rather bumbling young adult male on his inaugural journey through mating and parenthood. Penguins is 100% geared towards young children, complete with anthropomorphic Ed Helms narration, so it stays away from things like climate change but surprisingly doesn't pull punches when it comes to the perils the penguins face. If you can stomach the saccharine storytelling and REO Speedwagon needle drops, there is enough awe-inspiring cinematography for all ages to appreciate.

Breaking news: penguins are cute.
 
I saw IT: Part 2 this week because my wife liked the first part. I thought Part 1 was perfectly fine studio dreck that provided pretty much no substance in terms of drama, horror, or depth, but it was a mass-market popcorn blockbuster, intended to put as many butts in seats as possible, so I don't knock it for what it is.

Part 2 is an entirely different animal. It is, without a doubt, one of the worst movies I have ever seen, and, moreover, it is the worst kind of movie. It was incredibly boring - for only minutes shy of three hours. It is not even an amusingly bad movie. The characters, as adults, actually got much flatter and shallower. The scenes of horror and battle are either dull or truly ridiculous. The plot barely holds together - probably because parts of the book work as a book but are utterly silly if you think about them in practice. Even Hader and Chastain are just fine. It's not funny; it's not scary; there's zero emotional depth; it's not thrilling; it is - and I cannot stress this enough - boring.

Also - Bill Skarsgard is still 100% committed to playing Pennywise. While I found this commitment to be extremely effective in Part 1, being so whole-hearted but just shy of truly laughable, in Part 2 it becomes incipient and sad. It looses the effectiveness and replaces it with annoyance. Do not go see this movie. The abridged trailer scene with Chastain is the best scene in the movie, and it's probably better at trailer-length.
 
I guess I'm looking forward to Parasite and The Lighthouse, but I'm feeling super down on movies this year, much like last year. I hope that Hawley's movie is good, but I'm skeptical. There's no way Dolomite will be good, but I wish it would be. Same goes for Motherless Brooklyn and the Irishman - both will likely be terrible. If Ford v Ferrari is as good as Rush then at least it will be a solid theater experience, but is that really what I'm looking forward to at the end of the year? The Report, maybe, if it's anywhere near The Informant! Maybe Little Women?

At least Knives Out got rave reviews at TIFF. After that Star Wars movie, I was worried about Rian Johnson. Glad to hear he's still going to kill it. (Speaking of - it's time for another official Star Wars movie already??)
 
I guess I'm looking forward to Parasite and The Lighthouse, but I'm feeling super down on movies this year, much like last year. I hope that Hawley's movie is good, but I'm skeptical. There's no way Dolomite will be good, but I wish it would be. Same goes for Motherless Brooklyn and the Irishman - both will likely be terrible. If Ford v Ferrari is as good as Rush then at least it will be a solid theater experience, but is that really what I'm looking forward to at the end of the year? The Report, maybe, if it's anywhere near The Informant! Maybe Little Women?

At least Knives Out got rave reviews at TIFF. After that Star Wars movie, I was worried about Rian Johnson. Glad to hear he's still going to kill it. (Speaking of - it's time for another official Star Wars movie already??)
Hawley's Lucy in the Sky got killed at TIFF. So did Motherless Brooklyn and The Goldfinch. Ford v Ferrari seemed universally loved.


It's a weird year in movies overall and a bad one for the big studios. 2018 was bad for studios too. There are some great indies as usual. Two coming out later this year I would highly suggest are Parasite and In Fabric. In Fabric is a bizarre little throwback horror/thriller full of style and camp. There are ~20 very good movies (7/10 +) IMO, but only about 5 great ones.
 
I saw IT: Part 2 this week because my wife liked the first part. I thought Part 1 was perfectly fine studio dreck that provided pretty much no substance in terms of drama, horror, or depth, but it was a mass-market popcorn blockbuster, intended to put as many butts in seats as possible, so I don't knock it for what it is.

Part 2 is an entirely different animal. It is, without a doubt, one of the worst movies I have ever seen, and, moreover, it is the worst kind of movie. It was incredibly boring - for only minutes shy of three hours. It is not even an amusingly bad movie. The characters, as adults, actually got much flatter and shallower. The scenes of horror and battle are either dull or truly ridiculous. The plot barely holds together - probably because parts of the book work as a book but are utterly silly if you think about them in practice. Even Hader and Chastain are just fine. It's not funny; it's not scary; there's zero emotional depth; it's not thrilling; it is - and I cannot stress this enough - boring.

Also - Bill Skarsgard is still 100% committed to playing Pennywise. While I found this commitment to be extremely effective in Part 1, being so whole-hearted but just shy of truly laughable, in Part 2 it becomes incipient and sad. It looses the effectiveness and replaces it with annoyance. Do not go see this movie. The abridged trailer scene with Chastain is the best scene in the movie, and it's probably better at trailer-length.
I was pretty bored with part 1, but the ending was pretty entertaining. I won't be in any hurry to watch this then.
 
RogerEbert.com gave the final chapter of Rob Zombie's Otis/Baby/Spaulding trilogy a good review. I went from expecting nothing to suddenly looking forward to it.

Warning: there are a couple spoilers I would have rather not read.
 
Watched ‘Source Code’ tonight for the first time in a good long while.

Man that’s a good fucking flick. I gotta say that time loops are one of those movie genres that when done well are my absolute favorite (Lola rennt, Groundhog Day, Edge of Tomorrow, Russian Doll etc...)
 
I guess I'm looking forward to Parasite and The Lighthouse, but I'm feeling super down on movies this year, much like last year. I hope that Hawley's movie is good, but I'm skeptical. There's no way Dolomite will be good, but I wish it would be. Same goes for Motherless Brooklyn and the Irishman - both will likely be terrible. If Ford v Ferrari is as good as Rush then at least it will be a solid theater experience, but is that really what I'm looking forward to at the end of the year? The Report, maybe, if it's anywhere near The Informant! Maybe Little Women?

At least Knives Out got rave reviews at TIFF. After that Star Wars movie, I was worried about Rian Johnson. Glad to hear he's still going to kill it. (Speaking of - it's time for another official Star Wars movie already??)
FWIW David Erlich gave My Name is Dolemite a glowing review. Still cautiously optimistic over here.

Agree with your sentiment on this year not being good. I’m really only mildly excited about a handful of upcoming movies and we’re getting into award season. Not a great sign...
 

Strife&Upheaval

Send me Percy Pigs
Just watched a pretty good documentary type movie thing about Laurel Canyon in LA and all the music from the 62-67ish by Jakob Dylan.

Worth watching if that music floats your boat at all

A lot of good interviews and, obviously, some good music. Girl who does a lot if the live tunes with Dylan is great.
 
Just watched Spirited Away with my oldest. He loved it. What a great movie. So imaginative....thanks to you guys. I would not have looked into this except for the discussion a few pages back.

My son wants to go to a Japanese bath house while we are there.
 
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