Cool! It's already on the list, so I moved it up to one of the next ones I'll check out. Thanks for the suggestion, Palf.
The Godfather 3 (2/24/2018)
Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:22 pm
My coat! It's my lucky coat! Consider yourself warned for spoilers.
Initial Reaction to the Ending: What. Did. I. Just. Watch. What was that? I'm so confused... Like I get what happened. Fine. But, what...
There was a lot about this movie I really liked, but there were some things that weren't my cup of tea. Let's just get to it, I guess.
The camera work was exquisite as always, it's something that I've come to expect with these movies. The parallels in blocking and movement were gorgeous as well, rife with religious symbolism and meaning. A single look speaks a thousand words in this movie, and I loved it. Costuming was beautiful, with tons of intricacies that caught my attention every time.
This movie followed the familiar "Godfather" formula, which I don't dislike. Party->deal is discussed->deal goes awry->someone close to the family betrays them->plot thickens->Corleone family kills all their enemies->conclusion. However, this time around we got to see some real consequences for the actions that Michael has taken. We see his mental degradation, the physical deterioration, and his spiritual turmoil. That is something that I really enjoyed about this movie--we finally see that Michael has a conscience. We see the tension in his relationships more than ever before, and it is tragic. Absolutely gut-wrenching. As always, I love Connie and her quiet strength, although she does complicate several things for Michael.
Now for the part that I didn't quite like. Some of the conversations were just so stilted and awkward. I don't know if it was the words that I didn't believe or the actors' portrayal of them, but there was a quality in it that came across as so fake. It was ESPECIALLY apparent whenever Anthony, Vincent, or Mary was in a scene. Mary and Michael had a sweet relationship, but some of their comments to one another seemed like they were being disingenuous. Now, when he lies to his daughter, that is where the real script work shines. Whenever Michael conceals his motives or has genuine break-downs, I have no issue. It just seemed like whenever tender emotion was to be portrayed, it fell flat.
Also, what was the point of having Anthony in the movie? He served utterly no purpose, aside from giving all the characters a reason to gather in the auditorium. I felt bad for him! I wanted more of the opera singer trying to get away from his father's misdeeds because he was the only Corleone son to succeed in that venture! But he was degraded to a plot device, which really was a letdown.
ALSO! What. Was. That. Ending. I was put in tears watching Mary die, and then we see Michael just sitting in a chair? And then he dies?! It was too much, and compared to the real emotion in Mary's death scene, Michael's just seemed cheap. The last scene just lessened the impact of the previous. Ignoring that, why did they have to pair it with the score in that direct way? I love the musical composition in this movie, don't get me wrong, but the way that it ends with such a happy "fairy tale" ending sound as his lifeless body hits the group just was...jarring.
3.5-4ish stars. I'm still kind of rattled, to be honest.
Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:04 pm
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. Consider yourself warned for spoilers.
For the first time during this quest, I decided to actually watch the movie on my tv, rather than my laptop. Not particularly any better of an experience and definitely not relevant to this review, but just thought I'd note that.
Goodfellas was definitely no Godfather. Considering they two movies are so similar in subject matter, they handle the topic completely differently. Goodfellas utilized a lighter style that I really enjoyed. There was comic relief, jump cuts, snarky comments, and plenty of action. Of course, to balance it out, there were plenty of gritty scenes and morally ambiguous characters that brought much-needed depth.
One bit I really enjoyed about the movie was the narration and the breaking of the fourth wall. It was interesting to hear exactly what was going on in a way that few other movies do. It achieved not only a more documentary(ish) feel, but also sucked the viewer into the scenes right away. I felt as if I started to understand the gangster culture in this movie before the conflict was introduced, and that was helpful in creating tension. I didn't need to be told that Jimmy was going to "whack" Henry because the director had so carefully laid out the framework for the entire organization. I could anticipate actions, in a non-irritating way, because the audience was so thoroughly immersed in the social dynamics.
I will say that I was in no way emotionally invested in this movie. It was strange, for as how knowledgeable I felt about the society, the people remained complete enigmas. I just couldn't care about someone getting punished or rewarded. Their character was limited to their job and nothing more. If there had been some element of emotional connection, I would've probably given this 5 stars.
The end, I felt, was a bit cheesy, though I did appreciate that Henry's life had come full circle. He started out domestic, and he ended up being domestic. However, I do recognize that this was based on a true story apparently, so that particular detail might've been unavoidable when plotting out the movie.
3.5/5 stars. Not bad.
Re: Quest: Showing Epic Movies to a Tepid Woman
Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:56 am
Currently on hiatus. Hopefully going to try to start this up again this coming weekend, or sooner if time permits.
EDIT: Life threw a bunch of things for me to do right after I said this ^ . *fingers crossed* I'm hoping to start this thread up again this weekend-- April 14-15.
Blade Runner (4/12/2018)
Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:30 am
I thought you were supposed to be good. Aren't you the "good" man? Consider yourself warned for spoilers.
I'd like to start off by answering Roy's question to Deckard here: no. He wasn't the "good man". No one was in this entire movie, although you could argue that Rachael was certainly the least corrupt. The moral ambiguity of the movie can be considered a strength, leaving audiences to scramble to find out who they hated less, rather than who they liked more. It also proved to be irritating at times, distancing myself from the storyline and lessening my appreciation for it. Roy was the targeted antagonist, but at the same time, everything he did was in the pursuit of a better life for his gang/family. You saw him grieve and regret his actions, and he ends up saving Deckard's life. On the other hand, we have Deckard, the "protagonist" who is an ex-police officer, doing this job because he "has to." He shows no visible reaction or remorse for taking the lives of the replicants. Not to mention how he aggressively overpowers Rachael. To say I didn't like Deckard, would be a massive understatement, though I can't say I really liked Roy either. The fact that I despised the characters in this movie, however, doesn't necessarily reflect on the quality of the movie itself. It provoked an intense reaction, this time being anger, and I suppose that is some sort of achievement on the filmmakers' part.
What did I like about the movie? I loved the atmosphere of the whole thing. The idea that humans have spread across space and that there is this new race of being was fascinating to me. I enjoyed exploring the world, seeing the social dynamics surrounding replicants and humans. Some treat the replicants with extreme prejudice, the movie referencing that some are used as mere slaves, while others find them fascinating and awe-inspiring. Furthermore, the concept of having fake animals was quite interesting, in the way that they are coveted enough to create. I wish we could've gotten into that dynamic a bit more, just because it was mentioned so many times, yet never really expanded upon.
The way scenes were shot, with grungy sets and a noir feel, gave life to the futuristic world. It made it tangible in a way that I could really appreciate. The costuming and set design worked together as a unit, making the scenery cohesive and quite engaging to the eye. Buildings, garbage, flying cars, and video calls all led to this dystopian setting that I just adored.
Now, this business of Deckard being a replicant. I don't feel it gives credence to any his actions, adds any more ethical questions to the list of quandaries the movie proposes, or adds any additional depth to the movie. However, there is some pretty conclusive evidence that leads me to believe that he is indeed a replicant, not to mention that the director directly stated that that was his intention. I'm just not sure if it matters.
Ratings are overrated--no more stars from me from now on.
Re: Quest: Showing Epic Movies to a Tepid Woman
Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:41 pm
And I think dropping the star ratings is a great idea. Your reviews are more than enough to understand how you felt about the movie.
The Thing (5/12/2018)
Posted: Sat May 12, 2018 5:59 pm
Someone in this camp ain't what he appears to be.
Consider yourself warned for spoilers.
Well, I don't think I've said "what even" so much in my entire life while watching a movie.
This whole thing started off very iffy for me, but I continued watching. In the beginning, I will say, I called the dog being an alien as soon as it made it into the base. Not necessarily a knock on the way they decided to frame it, but it just wasn't much of a surprise when it turned out to be true. However, when the idea of the crew becoming these creatures started to really kick off, I started getting invested. Certainly an interesting predicament to be in, especially when they lose their only way of testing who is who(so they think) with the loss of the blood. As one by one they fell to either paranoia or the alien itself, it became apparent that only one species was going to survive.
I think the part that I really appreciated in this movie was the score. Absolutely phenomenal use of music within a movie. It really added to the atmosphere of the piece, and as someone who likes to pay attention to musical devices within a film, I found it to be very well suited. I'd say that that was what really made me feel that fear or anxiousness that you expect from a more intense film, rather than the camera shots in this specific instance. The psychological thriller aspect was also interesting to work through. I found myself trying to piece together who was where when in order to figure out who was the thing and who was human. I feel that's quite an accomplishment, to leave the viewer with no other option other than to think while they watch. It definitely added another layer to the story because not only did I watch their assumptions fall to pieces, but I watched my own either be confirmed or denied.
The few things I didn't care for were mostly character related. I felt that none of the characters really reacted how you would assume a normal human would in that situation. They come upon dead bodies, alien husks, and watch their own get attacked with little to no hysteria. It just didn't seem very believable. Additionally, we didn't get much character depth, which I suppose is expected in a fast-paced movie like this, but it still left me wanting more from the characters. The last issue I really had was with the ending. Mac takes such lengths to make sure that the thing is destroyed, but doesn't so much as check to see if Childs is human or not despite him being separated from the group for hours. He has no way of knowing if Blair got to Childs beforehand or not. Maybe it's supposed to be left open-ended so the viewer has to imagine what happens next, but it felt a bit counter-intuitive.
The Iron Giant (5/29/2018)
Posted: Wed May 30, 2018 4:31 pm
Superman... Consider yourself warned for spoilers.
This was a really cute movie that had me very upset by the end. I sort of knew to expect a bittersweet ending, but I wasn't quite expecting that. The fact that he sacrificed himself in order to save a whole town was just so heartwrenching and heroic.
Across the board, this movie was phenomenal. The juxtaposition of certain scenes and the comedic timing was top notch, along with the dialogue and animation. I especially enjoyed score, which seems to be a theme with the recent movies I've watched. It was just so well placed and crafted, with the right amount of whimsical and somber tones to really drag you into the story.
As far as the characters go, I was impressed. The interpersonal relationships were realistic, especially between Annie and Hogarth, and made the story seem real, despite its scifi nature. I appreciated that they kept Hogarth young and immature at times because it was relatable. Most of us have gone through a time in our life where we stayed up past our bedtime and watched scary movies just because we were told not to, and seeing that imparted a feeling of nostalgia. Yet the young protagonist had wisdom beyond his years too, which was a nice contrast to his more reckless nature. I also just loved how the Giant's personality was set up. He was precious.
The message spread by this movie is so important: you are who you choose to be.
I loved this movie, and while the ending made me sad, I like to think that one day the Giant puts himself back together and finds Hogarth again.
Good Will Hunting (7/2/2018)
Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:19 pm
Times Up. Consider yourself warned for spoilers
What an interesting movie, to say the least. There were so many parts about it that I liked, a few things I didn’t, but overall a very well crafted film.
I adore good character development, so in that department, I absolutely loved this movie. We meet Will who is this reclusive genius who pushes everyone away before they can push him away. We watch him slowly open up to Skylar and learn to love her, but then push her away just as quickly. The ups and the downs Will experienced were so realistic, and the screenwriting in that regard was phenomenal. I also enjoyed seeing Sean grow as well, albeit his growth isn’t highlighted so much as Will’s. Watching them both set off at the end of the movie was perfection, as far as endings are concerned. We had seen them both struggle emotionally, feeling confined by their own fears and doubts, and for them to be set free brought their progression to a natural conclusion.
The cinematography was fun and unlike a lot of movies in the way that it would pan, obscuring the audience’s vision, and rest on the same scene. Perhaps that is just due to a lack of exposure to such techniques on my part, but I found it quite interesting all the same. It made you pay attention to the words, dampening your vision so that you’d have to rely on your auditory senses to keep up.
Now for the few things I didn’t like. Firstly, I was expecting more of an emotional punch. There was something about the characters that I wasn't invested in, or at least not to the degree that I was anticipating. We had that moment in the office where Will seems to have a breakthrough, and that's the perfect example of the only time I felt connected to Will's character. On another note, I felt that some of the comedic timings could’ve been placed with more care (most of which probably could’ve just been omitted in my opinion) and that the sub-plot between the professor and Sean should’ve been fleshed out more or deleted entirely. We seem them squabble and whatnot, but why do they matter in this grand scheme? I think Sean put it perfectly: it’s not about them, it’s about the boy. In which case, why include the sub-plot at all? However, since I’m selfish, I have to say I enjoyed their rivalry the most out of the interpersonal relationships, so I would’ve loved to have learned more about them.
Certainly a captivating movie, and a nice way to start the month.
Re: Quest: Showing Epic Movies to a Tepid Woman
Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:59 am
Update: Been a bit busy, but I expect to have another review up soon!
Indiana Jones (5/14/2019)
Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 10:07 am
IT'S ABOUT TIME.
Yes, yes it has been quite a bit since I wrote a review on this thread, and I make no promises about future reviews other than that I still intend to write them at some point. However, this review is me being lazy and playing catch-up a bit, so I'm fitting Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade in one post (moving forward they'll be referenced to as RLA and TLC).
Without further ado...
Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes? Consider yourself warned for spoilers
I am such a sucker for adventure movies like these two.
Full disclosure, I missed the first few minutes of RLA, but the few scenes I missed in no way hindered my enjoyment of this film. All the drama and the setting itself was so engaging that I was completely immersed. This seems to be a trend with these movies, as TLC was no different. From the first few minutes of TLC, sucked back into Indiana's childhood, we know we are in store for a great adventure. Indy as a kid is just as you'd expect, chivalrous and nearly idealistic in his concept of ownership of objects. "It belongs in a museum!" From there his character only grows and evolves. I found that I really liked Indy in both movies, no matter how contrived his heroism may be, looking back upon it.
My major hang-ups when it came to either RLA or TLC was their treatment of women and POC. Neither handles either group well, opting to use characters as plot devices and not much more. Beyond that, I felt that some of the side-characters needed some major work as far as depth and motivation. I would've loved to especially gotten to know Indy's father better in TLC, considering that he was such a pivotal character. I felt like I still knew little to nothing about him by the end.
Overall not a bad set of movies--I loved all the action and mystery. I'll have to check out the others when I have a moment.