Post the name of the latest movie you've seen and your rating out of 10.
Sunshine Boys (t0073766) - 7/10 - loved Burns, hated Matthau.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019), 5/10. Kind of fun but only when Ryan Reynolds was on the screen and improvising. Otherwise? It seemed the script was written by a 12 year old Pokemon superfan.
Ying (2018) AKA Shadow (2018) 8/10. A definite improvement over Curse of the Golden Flower (2006) but a far cry visually, choreography, storytelling wise from House of Flying Daggers 2002 and ...
Hero (2004). Plus, the first five or so minutes was ... rather awkwardly edited and paced. A weird blip that made me second guess for a second that this was a part two to another film (which I'm sure it isn't).
Character: "My marionette show got great reviews on Broadway!"
Kevin: "His marionette show got great reviews on Broadway? I'd like to hear about that, too!"
RiffTrax: The Last Shark 9/10. Italian rip off of Jaws with a baffling scene of an Italian Bob Dylan in patriotic dress singing in a porta potty?
A Woody Allen film with a linear plot and "what if" dilemmas disseminated all through its thought-provoking story, the film covers many philosophical questions about the rationality of individual "morality" and their possible interference with ethic. Abe, the philosophy teacher played by Joaquin Phoenix doesn't believe the intellectual medicine he sells to his students, his dark and brooding attitude makes up for the lack of enthusiasm in his endeavor and is enough to earn admiration, if not fascination but he remains totally unsatisfied about himself. One day, he's given a test (not a taste) of his own medicine through an intellectual challenge that could only emerge from the creativity of Woody Allen: a situation that gives its full meaning to the word existentialism, a hackneyed word that only inspired vague interpretations of the word "accomplishment" but in the film, it's shown as a moral weapon, more specifically, a double-edged sword when confused with a sort of misguided sense of entitlement, a great illustration of the idea that hell is paved by good intentions.
I just loved the film, it caught me off-guard but there's never one false note in that sweet little campus-set symphony, especially the way it offers us a smooth and realistic transition of its main protagonist, as if we had to understand what's eating him before understanding what could regenerate his lust for life. Phoenix feels like overplaying the intellectual malcontent in quest for a meaning in the beginning and it takes not one but two women to try to break the ice and finds what's under that depressed carapace of his, Parker Posey is Rita the lively and sensual teacher who instantly falls in love and Jill is the brilliant student who has the typical crush on her charismatic teacher... yet the film offers so many common tropes to better avert them. Abe looks like your typical alcoholic womanizer but he's impotent and his suicidal impulses turn everybody off... when eventually things go better, he's wise enough to keep it platonic with Jill, because she's engaged, and if you think Jill will abandon everything to follow her teacher and do the right thing by breaking up with the dull boyfriend, you've got anything thing coming.
As usual with the best Allen films, you have a fine set-up that introduces to characters with clearly drawn personalities but unclear motives and then there's something that changes everything, the motives get clearer and the personalities reveal new hidden depths. It's a simple conversation overheard in a café that changes the course of Abe's life, triggering a new life appetite that has its effect on Jill and Rita. It's a decision that calls for an act, one of heavy proportions but deemed necessary because wishing is useless and action is meaningful. And from that point, the film is like a great waltz under a tertiary tempo, one for the triangular love and the way Abe's charm works way too much not to be an omen for complications, one for the moral dilemmas over which I hesitated to give a definite judgment, telling myself "that better goes somewhere" and finally a response to "Match Point" where 'bad things' went unpunished, and not even suspected... the film is so smooth and engaging that the ending feels a bit hasty in its execution, sometimes the right thing to happen isn't necessarily the right one when it comes to end with a final "wow", but obviously, "Match Point" had already made its point and "The Irrational Man" needed to take us back to some sanity.
It's for movies like this that I've always admired Woody Allen and after the disappointing "You will Meet a Tall and Dark Stranger", here's one that succeeds in almost every department, not too many characters but what's there is three-dimensional, unpredictable yet consistent, a plot that goes through many fluctuations while attached to its spinal topics and that little zest of wit that tickles your intellect and makes you wonder what you'd do if you were in "their" place. The film saddened me making me think of the director's recent downfall into persona non grata territories. I've taken his last movies like consolations, if he's lost his touch then there was no need to go further, maybe his creative juice had stopped to drain such clever and brilliant films but "The Irrational Man" made me reconsider, Allen can still surprise you... and he does it so brilliantly that I would separate the art from the artist, and I wish enough actors in Hollywood would do it so the only true Hollywood auteur can make movies like this, disinterested and interesting, devoid of any calculation except for giving a shot to aspiring and "it" actresses, like Emma Stone who delivers a terrific performance one year before her Oscar-winning role in "La La Land".
The film restored my faith in Woody Allen, his "Café Society" left me cold but I guess there's a patter in his long filmography, every 2-3 years, he makes 'that' film that feels undeniably good, if not great. "The Irrational Man" is the second high point after the 2010s after "Midnight in Paris", I wish there's enough time for Allen to make one great film, might be his last from the way things are going.
Starting a new Golden Palm marathon. A true masterpiece, one of the best international war movies along with Forbidden Games and Underground a marvel of expressionist eastern cinema and neo-romanticism. Tatiana Somoilova is one of these faces you'll never ever forget...
So far, a marathon that fulfills its promise...
"The Birds, the Bees and the Italians" is a delightful and enjoyable comedy of manners "Italian Style" with a kitschy and catchy soundtrack that gets stuck in your mind like melted cheese on a plate after the pasta's gone. Speaking of the music, it's playful and irresistible and somewhat irritating but it does serve a purpose: to give a playful resonance to a rather serious approach from film-maker Pietro Germi, too serious to be treated with solemnity, the days of neo-realism were over, comedy became the key. So the music is comedic because the whole attitude of Italian bourgeois people is tragicomic from our perspective.
Indeed, under their facade of marital respectability, social conventions, white coats or gray-flanneled suits, they want to have fun, they want to have sex and for the most tragic cases, they want to find true love. What have all these elements in common, they involve friends and mistresses, which means they generally do without the "Mrs.", seen like a social convenience or a burden. Indeeed, in their dreams of social escapism, religion and appearances are a jail and the wife is the chain with the ball. That the topic is treated in a lighthearted way doesn't deprive the film from the criticism regarding its male-centered version of a hedonistic life, but one shouldn't get the wrong idea about it, the title is there to show that the film give as much balance to the influence of women than men.
Maybe because Germi is a man after all and has a more acute perception of the weaknesses of his peers, but the fact that men are the main protagonists is not saying much, they all have jobs, good situations, a social importance and the confidence of self-accomplishment in their 40s/50s but they're closer to "Pagliacci" figures than Roman warriors. Their ordeals are all portrayed in a way that makes us laugh with them and at them too. The film is divided in three acts: in the first one, a man's impotence is treated like a running gag and a deserved subject of mockery (there's a nice twist at the end). Then the second story focuses on a husband who's stopped wearing the pants and endures his wife's insults and condescending comments with stoicism... and ear plugs.
Gestone Moschin is the most endearing figure of the film, and the most memorable, a tall man built like a Commendatore (he was the intimidating Fanucci in "The Godfather Part II") but who becomes Pinocchio when he's confronted to his nagging wife. The way he falls in love with the little cashier girl is adorable and sweet, almost Comedia Dell'Arte, that story could have been treated with darker tones but Germi resists the temptation and makes it even more effective by sticking to comedy. The wife can be regarded as a villain in the film but she's only good as using the system as an instrument to avenge her hurt pride, it's fair game in an arena where it's all a matter of pride after all. Another wife will punish her husband's infidelity by showing her naked body in a balcony. And these reactions denounce a recurring if not defining motif in the film: hypocrisy.
The worst possible thing that can happen isn't the fault itself but the lack of discretion. It's one thing to fool around, even the Carabinieri will understand, but to expose it in front of everyone is provocation. Germi's not just peeking in the keyhoole to see what's behind the good society's curtain, he literally kicks the hornet nest and reveal how in fact everything doesn't revolve around morality and principles but sex and money, pride and honor are just smokescreens between these two worlds... and the final act of the film was the best way to wrap up this social exploration by showing that even women can be loose-moralled after all, and not just the mistresses, that little twist at the end was the little extra spice the film needed, not to lose its savor. And the finale is all music and laugh again, to reassess the detachment of the director, he's a social painter (one with gusto and great comedic instinct) of people's morality, but certainly not a moralist!
By the way, it seems like there’s just enough space in movie lovers’ memory to include such Italian directors’ names as Fellini, De Sica, Antonioni, Rossellini or Visconti and it takes that little special gourmet taste to appreciate the likes of Pietro Germi, more craftsmen than artists, but maybe because they never felt overwhelmed with some sense of self-grandeur that they could make little movies with higher scopes. A documentary in the DVD bonus feature of “Signore & Signori” just made me want to discover Germi's work, especially "Divorce, Italian Style".
Glass, 4 stars. Okay film, not what I expected for the finale. Plot didn't seem to go anywhere except for the last few minutes or so, and even then I expected a different "twist."
Watched it just because my daughter loved the trailer, it was plain awful! In fact, "Detective Pikachu" reminded me of that scene where Lisa Simpson tried to stop girl from buying the new Malibu Stacy because she was still embodying awful stereotypes, but then Smithers points out that "she's got a new hat" and that's all it takes for the better Lisa Lionheart doll to be ignored.
I had my reservations but I was afraid "Aladdin" would be too 'hardcore' and I already had a huge disappointment with "Dumbo" so I gave Pikachu a chance expecting a fine tribute to the universe of the Pokemon, with such a crazy premise it deserved a shot. The first scene didn't really enhanced my expectations, you know there's a problem when the moments that are supposed to be funny fall flat and the comments on the "jokes" don't make it better. I expect the first ten minutes to make me care for the hero, I don't think it made me care for the story either.
And it didn't get any better after. In fact, the film embodies all the worst clichés about action-comedy-pictures aimed for a younger audience: since they can't drop F-bombs, they think they should compensate with chase scenes, explosions, pseudo-suspenseful sequences where we've got to follow people walking for endless minutes before "something" happens, cute romantic innuendo and the most possibly prefabricated sad backstory applied to a main character in order to provide him three-dimensionality. Sure, Tim had "depth" but then how about casting an actor who doesn't have the same range of emotions than Psyduck?
But who cares about Tim, Pikachu has got a new hat!
That's how it works, Pikachu, one of the cutest and most lovable animated character of all-time, has his cuteness level pushed to eleven with that detective hat... and he talks! I wonder what's the worse thing about that: that the producers thought such a cheaply-gimmicked film would be enough to drain a maximum of viewers or that the viewers proved them right! It doesn't take an expert to figure that the film tries to be "Ted" but it takes a more mature mindset to realize, it should have been more "Roger Rabbit", it should have cared about having a better lead character because no matter how memorable Pikachu is (and the premise got rapidly tiresome), the film needed a solid duo like in the two aforementioned films. It takes two to make a buddy movie.
The film takes us back to a universe where Pokemon exist but it seems like the team of writers were so obsessed by the structural elements of the story: hero/ quest/ pivotal moments/ twist and redemption that the 'Pokemon' universe was part of the dressing rather than the actual meal, as if the investigation was too important to let some "predictable" recreation of the Pokemonverse interfere with it, so instead of a predictable but enjoyable live-action version of the original story, what we get is a novelty on the paper but eventually a boring character investigating on an uninteresting case and with a fun sidekick.
How about making other Pokemons talk? How about trying to do justice to the legacy of the Pokemon instead of some CGI-blockbuster ersatz? How about making something that kids would enjoy, since it can't be "Deadpool"? I think this is a fine candidate for the Razzies and at least Street Fighter tried something and its villain was bad-ass!
This movie made me hate wars, it made me hate the world, and I would include it among the movies that changed my way of seeing life, human and viscera, it seems that we are seeing a fictional story but no, it is real and we continue living it, It is our own fault and we do nothing to stop it, this monster of wars is our creation and there is nothing we can do.
A man is a wolf to another man. 10/10
Bingeing all four seasons so far of Superstore (TV Series 2015– ) as of recently? 10/10.
Final season of Veep (TV Series 2012–2019), 9/10. Overall, a 10/10 for the entire series.
Thursday: Godzilla: The King of the Monsters, 6/10.
Tonight: Blood Theatre (1984) ? -1000000/1000000; Rifftrax commentary? Priceless.
I do not know if I'm exaggerating but I think this is the best movie I've seen of this 2019, it must be school for future musical biopics, particularly it seemed a million times better than Bohemian Raphsody, SPOILER while I was watching the movie, when it started the scene of gay sex between Richard Madden and Egerton a group of people left the room disgusted, it seemed incredible to see this in 2019, if they went to see a movie by Elton John should have expected this and more.
8.5/ 10 an incredible experience