Dude Rates Movies

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Rustin
D
George C. Wolfe — 2023
Colman Domingo, Chris Rock, Glynn Turman
Saturday 17 February 2024

The subject is pretty interesting, but this is a very poor movie on many aspect. Confusing directing and editing. Dubious casting choices (Chris Rock 😂). Colman Domingo acting is good though.

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May December
C
Todd Haynes — 2023
Natalie Portman, Chris Tenzis, Charles Melton
Saturday 10 February 2024 📽️

Pretty random movie, actually. Not sure what the point was, but Natalie Portman and Julian Moore's acting is on point.

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Titanic
A+
James Cameron — 1997
Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane
Thursday 8 February 2024 📽️

Yup. Still incredible.

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The Zone of Interest
A
Jonathan Glazer — 2023
Sandra Hüller, Christian Friedel, Freya Kreutzkam
Saturday 3 February 2024 📽️

This movie has extraordinary qualities that definitely make up for the lack of plot: The sound design, which is basically a second movie inside the movie, and which sets up the terribly heavy atmosphere of the movie. The exploration of the psychology of the main characters, and especially Höss' wife, whose attachment to the home seems insane from an external point of view. The amount of research done by the crew ahead of filming.

Among the movies about the Holocaust I've seen so far (although I've not yet seen Claude Lanzmann' Shoah), it is the one that makes me wonder the most about the sheer magnitude and nonsensicality of the final solution. The constant low background noise constitutes the clearest signal of industrialization of death as anything I've seen in cinema before, while the mundanity of unbothered family affairs contrasting with the distant sounds of violence conveys how numb Nazis had became to their own disgusting enterprise.

A haunting piece of cinema that needs to be seen, once.

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The Holdovers
E
Alexander Payne — 2023
Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Dominic Sessa
Sunday 28 January 2024

This movie feels like a nostalgia I'm not a part of whatsoever.

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What's in a Name?
D
Alexandre de La Patellière, Matthieu Delaporte — 2012
Patrick Bruel, Valérie Benguigui, Charles Berling
Saturday 27 January 2024

The idea that the whole drama came from "a joke" doesn't really work, since those people just have problems to resolve anyway, starting with anger management as I don't understand why they go off so easily shouting and whatnot whenever some idea appears to be merely displeasing. It's also never really funny.

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Nyad
B
Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi — 2023
Annette Bening, Jodie Foster, Anne Marie Kempf
Friday 26 January 2024

Random movie with good actors about an interesting story.

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Poor Things
D
Yorgos Lanthimos — 2023
Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe
Saturday 20 January 2024 📽️

What could I expect with Yorgos Lanthimos. 🤷 Seems like it could have been better if it leaned more on the side of the entertaining Burtonian spectacle rather than auteurish whatever-metaphor-that-is-about-patriarchy. This movie drained me.

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Mystic River
C
Clint Eastwood — 2003
Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon
Thursday 4 January 2024

<spoiler> You are an upstanding police investigator, and one of your old friends basically confessed to you that he killed an innocent man.

A. Pass him the cuffs to put him in custody, inform your colleagues that you had an off-the-record murder confession, open an investigation into a potential murder case.

B. Do a finger gun to him at the city parade.
</spoiler>

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Priscilla
E
Sofia Coppola — 2023
Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi, Ari Cohen
Thursday 4 January 2024

So when it comes to Elvis we have the choice between the feature length TikTok or the feature length unintelligible whisper ASMR.

What an utter and complete bore.

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Air
B
Ben Affleck — 2023
Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck
Thursday 4 January 2024

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon be like yo this story is interesting let's make a movie about it I'll play the CEO you do the main character.

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Maestro
D
Bradley Cooper — 2023
Carey Mulligan, Bradley Cooper, Matt Bomer
Saturday 30 December 2023

Feels like Bradley Cooper just having a trip mimicking his idol from archive videos he saw of him. What really is the added value of seeing a concert that was performed for real, only by an imitator this time?

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Leave the World Behind
B
Sam Esmail — 2023
Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke
Saturday 23 December 2023

Sam Esmail clearly thinks his shots through; a delight for the eyes. He also knows how to hold tension, although it's often for not so much of a release. <spoiler>And that is unfortunately true for the overall story, whose very intriguing Shyamalesque setup ends up resolved with some Wikipedia trivia in a car.</spoiler> Still had a pretty good time overall.

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The Wedding Singer
D
Frank Coraci — 1998
Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Christine Taylor
Saturday 9 December 2023

Girlfriend likes it.

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Napoleon
C
Ridley Scott — 2023
Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim
Sunday 26 November 2023 📽️

It tries to be complete and ends up being good at nothing. In terms of screentime, it is faithful to the quote that appears at the end of the movie: "France, the army, Joséphine" (with "Joséphine" lasting a bit longer that the other two words): the whole love story with Joséphine takes a fair share of the movie; unfortunately it is really not compelling. The only compelling scene was the battle of Waterloo, which I can't even trust, considering the reputation for inaccuracy that the movie gets.

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The Killer
C
David Fincher — 2023
Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton, Charles Parnell
Wednesday 15 November 2023

The man oversells himself on monologue before revealing to be sloppy. Pretentious John Wick wannabe.

Planes on the Dominican Republic scene look like sloppy CGI, which seems problematic coming from Fincher the-guy-with-lots-of-unnoticeable-because-perfect-CGIs.

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Dream Scenario
C
Kristoffer Borgli — 2023
Lily Bird, Nicolas Cage, Julianne Nicholson
Monday 13 November 2023 📽️

Don't quite know what is the movie's point. Very Beau is Afraid-esque. Nick Cage is excellent, as usual.

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The Animal Kingdom
E
Le règne animal
Thomas Cailley — 2023
Romain Duris, Paul Kircher, Adèle Exarchopoulos
Thursday 9 November 2023 📽️

I went to a late night screening on the movie's sixth week, only to have a woman with some sort of vertical hairstyle to sit in front of me in the almost empty room. After I shifted one sit left to have an open view, a couple came up and sat directly next to me on my left. When I had made up my mind to shift 2 sits to the right, another couple came to the right to corner me.

After accepting that I was in the fucking Truman Show, I figured that at least I would enjoy the movie, but understood how wrong I was after 30 minutes of it. People transforming into animals and a teenager wandering in the hood to make friend with some bird guy. Even the Wright Brothers back in the day figured out that you need empennage to fly. This bird guy flying with his legs lose is ridiculous and non-believable because of this. How the hell are his legs supposed to be aligned with his body?? Is he the Concorde or something?

I guess there is some metaphor about the transformations of teenagehood in there, but I don't care.

The one shot of the hunters on stilts walking on the cornfield is really great.

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Host
B
Rob Savage — 2020
Haley Bishop, Jemma Moore, Emma Louise Webb
Thursday 2 November 2023

I feel that this has frightened me more that it should have, but what can I do?

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Killers of the Flower Moon
A
Martin Scorsese — 2023
Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone
Saturday 21 October 2023 📽️

The movie screams for being a mini-series, especially when some scenes feel rushed in spite of the already 3h30 runtime. I bet there is a 5-hours cut somewhere on Scorsese's shelves.

I enjoyed the minimalism of the movie, seldom using cinematic artifice to build up emotions, and depending on really great directing instead. Contrarily to recent long productions making heavy usage of soundtrack and editing whose result can sometimes feel like feature-length TikToks, Killers of the Flower Moon is all about restraint, and thoughtful dialogues, camera blocking, and acting.

The trio Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone works incredibly well.

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Demolition Man
B
Marco Brambilla — 1993
Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock
Wednesday 18 October 2023

Crappy-ass movie with a very original vision of the future. I guess I need to read Huxley's Brave New World.

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Broker
C
Beurokeo
Hirokazu Koreeda — 2022
Song Kang-ho, Gang Dong-won, Bae Doona
Sunday 15 October 2023

Does Koreeda have an obsession with parenthood? I have seen Like Father, Like Son, Shoplifters, and this one, and they all seem to be different flavors of discourse on filiation. So far Shoplifters was the only one that really had me hooked (and even overwhelmed).

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Traffic
B
Steven Soderbergh — 2000
Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Saturday 14 October 2023

Incredible casting and acting. Story a bit sluggish at times. Clever point being made, not in your face. 👌

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The Hidden Face
C
La cara oculta
Andrés Baiz — 2011
Quim Gutiérrez, Martina García, María Soledad Rodríguez
Friday 13 October 2023

Guy looks like a complete douchebag.

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War Dogs
B
Todd Phillips — 2016
Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Steve Lantz
Tuesday 10 October 2023

Kind of a discount Scorsese saga, but clearly good enough to have a good time.

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8MM
B
Joel Schumacher — 1999
Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini
Monday 9 October 2023

Not a fan of <spoiler>the psychological downward spiral the PI is falling into, as it makes, in my opinion, the story less believable overall</spoiler>, but it's a good enough thriller.

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Men
D
Alex Garland — 2022
Jessie Buckley, Rory Kinnear, Paapa Essiedu
Sunday 8 October 2023

Second half should be projected at the MoMA.

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A Man Called Otto
C
Marc Forster — 2022
Tom Hanks, Mariana Treviño, Rachel Keller
Friday 6 October 2023

Tom Hanks hams it up. Mariana Treviño lights it up. Truman Hanks forgot charisma at the train station.

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Dumb Money
B
Craig Gillespie — 2023
Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, Vincent D'Onofrio
Thursday 5 October 2023 📽️

Kind of a random patchwork of characters, but interesting enough.

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Un homme heureux
D
Tristan Séguéla — 2023
Fabrice Luchini, Catherine Frot, Philippe Katerine
Monday 25 September 2023

The targeted public seems to be conservative old people having some embryo of openness and okay to be taught trans 101.

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Inside Man
D
Spike Lee — 2006
Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster
Sunday 17 September 2023

Movie for 12-years-olds.

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Now You See Me
D
Louis Leterrier — 2013
Jesse Eisenberg, Common, Mark Ruffalo
Monday 11 September 2023

<spoiler>They just fucking decided right at the end that they would twist it lol what a magic trick</spoiler>

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Anatomy of a Fall
B
Anatomie d'une chute
Justine Triet — 2023
Sandra Hüller, Swann Arlaud, Milo Machado Graner
Sunday 3 September 2023 📽️

Similar to La Nuit du 12 (which also won a significant award (César of the Best Movie)): I don't know what separates it from any random trial story, but it's good and somehow haunting.

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Batman
C
Tim Burton — 1989
Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger
Saturday 26 August 2023 📽️

Heath Ledger's Joker is all the hype, but Nicholson's one is frankly very good too. His craziness wins over his wit, contrarily to Ledger's one, who is so smart it almost feels like the whole Joker persona is an act.

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Primal Fear
B
Gregory Hoblit — 1996
Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Edward Norton
Tuesday 15 August 2023

I can say, thanks to my expertise of the American legal system acquired by watching tiktoks of Depp v. Heard, that those lawyers are completely out of hands and not nearly enough interrupted by objections.

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Phantom Thread
A
Paul Thomas Anderson — 2017
Vicky Krieps, Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville
Sunday 13 August 2023

Feels like the cinematic equivalent of the work from the great novelists. It is elegant, grand, subtle, wonderfully crafted, and most entertaining at times.

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Mean Girls
C
Mark Waters — 2004
Lindsay Lohan, Jonathan Bennett, Rachel McAdams
Sunday 13 August 2023

For some reason it looked like a modern adaptation of something like a Greek tragedy or something. Or is this just that high school is a vulgar and childish mirror of universal social dynamics.

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Gran Turismo
C
Neill Blomkamp — 2023
David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Archie Madekwe
Saturday 12 August 2023

Good entertainment, but some of the racing shots somehow look fake-ish.

It lacks a scene where the old master shows a display of his skills.

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The Equalizer
D
Antoine Fuqua — 2014
Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz
Sunday 6 August 2023

This was the kind of movies I made in my head when I was 12.

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Notting Hill
C
Roger Michell — 1999
Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Richard McCabe
Saturday 5 August 2023

Final scene is nice!

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Talk to Me
C
Danny Philippou, Michael Philippou — 2022
Ari McCarthy, Hamish Phillips, Kit Erhart-Bruce
Saturday 5 August 2023 📽️

Don't do drugs kids.

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Barbie
D
Greta Gerwig — 2023
Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Issa Rae
Saturday 29 July 2023 📽️

It was all entertaining and interesting, culminating to a tear dropped at the moment Barbie realizes that the texture of the real world, including the unperfect complexity of mixed feelings, and the beauty of old age, makes life way more vivid and engaging than a smooth and ultimately dystopian Barbieland.

As I was having a laugh at Ken finding purpose in his discovery of patriarchy, my double steak bacon cheeseburger from Five Guy hit hard, and I soon fell into a coma after which I must have woken up in another, way less subtle movie, in which a women made a discourse about how hard it is to follow-up to the expectations of being a woman, apparently not to open her YouTube channel about feminism, but to make the plot progress in some direction.

The rest of the story, which I barely understood (probably because of my coma), does not put men characters (Kens) in a favorable light, as they're all represented as idiots who like to mansplain and who like the Godfather. I assume the movie is smart enough for this not to be sexist, but it didn't engage me enough to try to understand why (sleeping through surely didn't help). No matter the result of this ethical question, the whole shebang wasn't particularly captivating anyway.

I very much enjoyed the I'm just Ken clip though.

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The Covenant
C
Guy Ritchie's The Covenant
Guy Ritchie — 2023
Jake Gyllenhaal, Dar Salim, Sean Sagar
Friday 28 July 2023

Nice enough war movie. Scenes supposed to be intense don't really land.

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Oppenheimer
B
Christopher Nolan — 2023
Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon
Saturday 22 July 2023 📽️

Alright, good stuff.

What works very well 👏

  • Cillian "Now I am become Oppenheimer" Murphy.
  • The representation of guilt. Magnificent demonstration of "show, don't tell". The speech scene is brilliant; especially with the public thumping being a leitmotiv of anxiety before the actual scene.
  • As a science enthusiast, getting to see different scientists of this era as various characters is like watching new superheros being introduced in the Avengers; very exciting! Although my man Feynman could have been more than an extra. 😢
  • The accuracy of the screenplay in comparison to the biography I've read.
  • Me having tachycardia during the introduction the scene. Holly shit.
  • 3 hours passes by like a bang! 🤭

What works less well 🤨

  • First and final act being feature-length trailers. establishing shot of some city CUT TO oppenheimer in his bed thinking about the universe VOICE-OVER you should move to some other city to study whatever CUT TO establishing shot of other city CUT TO weird-ass shot of some sparkly universe stuff apparently made without CGI MUSIC GOES BRRR. Yo please let me breathe, what about you insert some actual scene in there.
  • <spoiler>The explosion itself gives no sense of scale whatsoever. All information I'm getting is that it was very bright; there was fire in the sky; light is faster than sound. Feynman's written report in Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman is more thrilling than the movie's depiction.</spoiler>
  • The whole atmosphere ignition shenanigans blown out of proportion.
  • Einstein just fucking spawning in some front-yard to deliver quick life advice. 😂
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Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One
B
Christopher McQuarrie — 2023
Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames
Wednesday 12 July 2023 📽️

As good as any Mission Impossible. The jump is a bit over-teased ; seen this kind of shit done on YouTube for decades now.

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Falcon Lake
A
Charlotte Le Bon — 2022
Joseph Engel, Sara Montpetit, Monia Chokri
Tuesday 11 July 2023

One of the best coming-of-age movie out there, even though it stayed under the radar.

  • Neat cinematography.
  • Excellent acting from lead character.
  • Nice cinema references to the theme of immortality (Psycho and The Sixth Sense)
  • Nice blending of horror shots into a non-horror movie (or was it?)
    • Especially the playful shots that start hard-to-explain and then get explained.
  • Excellent sudden and unexpected anxiety-inducing scene.
  • Ballsy ending.

Great stuff.

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Extraction II
A
Extraction 2
Sam Hargrave — 2023
Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani, Adam Bessa
Monday 10 July 2023

I like the movement of specialized filmmakers crafting video-game-like action scenes with an emphasis on spectacular choreography and tracking shots (The Raid franchise, John Wick franchise, Athena from last year, etc).

Extraction II is a prime example. Stunning craft.

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Highlander II: The Quickening
C
Russell Mulcahy — 1991
Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Virginia Madsen
Friday 7 July 2023

This movie is particularly bizarre, because in spite of its horrendous acting and childish tropes, it has quite a lot of production value (rich sets) and interesting camera work. I abandoned trying to like it, and just took what it had to offer, which miraculously worked to make the viewing non-dull and even funny. At some point I wondered whether I had just destroyed my ability to appreciate movies.

Greatest piece of shit I ever enjoyed.

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Raiders of the Lost Ark
D
Steven Spielberg — 1981
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
Sunday 2 July 2023

A story about getting over obstacles. Bim boom obstacle gone, next scene.

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Elemental
E
Peter Sohn — 2023
Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie, Ronnie Del Carmen
Sunday 25 June 2023 📽️

Pixar officially on my not-necessarily-watch list. So dull and forgettable.

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Minority Report
B
Steven Spielberg — 2002
Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton
Sunday 18 June 2023

Why not stopping the crime and let the would-be-perpetrator go (assuming he didn't cross any legal lines already)? They're not arresting them for crimes they didn't commit (but were predicted); they're arresting them for futures crimes they would commit (and aren't yet predicted). If you let them go, you can arrest them again the next time they want to act, since you will predict it again.

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Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
B
Still
Davis Guggenheim — 2023
Tracy Pollan, Sam Fox, Aquinnah Fox
Friday 9 June 2023

Excellent editing matching the narration with bits of Fox's filmography. The man is very touching.

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The Three Musketeers: D'Artagnan
C
Les trois mousquetaires: D'Artagnan
Martin Bourboulon — 2023
François Civil, Vincent Cassel, Romain Duris
Saturday 27 May 2023 📽️

Not great, not terrible.

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The Son
D
Florian Zeller — 2022
Vanessa Kirby, Felix Goddard, Max Goddard
Sunday 21 May 2023

Well that was depressing.

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Erin Brockovich
C
Steven Soderbergh — 2000
Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, David Brisbin
Wednesday 17 May 2023

Interesting but doesn't quite take off beyond the factual.

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Taken
B
Pierre Morel — 2008
Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
Monday 15 May 2023

Imagine the world if everyone has the productivity of Liam Neeson searching for his daughter. Maximum efficiency.

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The Innocents
D
De uskyldige
Eskil Vogt — 2021
Rakel Lenora Petersen Fløttum, Alva Brynsmo Ramstad, Sam Ashraf
Sunday 14 May 2023

Well that was creepy. Didn't get the point though.

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Singin' in the Rain
B
Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly — 1952
Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds
Sunday 7 May 2023

All neat and cute. People from the 50s had class and could danse for sure.

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The Thunder of God
B
Le tonnerre de Dieu
Denys de La Patellière — 1965
Jean Gabin, Michèle Mercier, Robert Hossein
Sunday 7 May 2023

Jean Gabin catchlines all the way.

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Pride & Prejudice
B
Joe Wright — 2005
Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn
Saturday 6 May 2023

I had originally planned to never watch this adaptation, considering how much I enjoyed the book (and didn't want to spoil it), but I have been forced. This is an excellent adaptation.

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The Bridges of Madison County
C
Clint Eastwood — 1995
Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Annie Corley
Monday 1 May 2023

Clint Eastwood be casually watching himself act. This is excellent as long as there is the tension. Once the tension is resolved it delves into sentimental afternoon TV movie.

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Beau Is Afraid
D
Ari Aster — 2023
Joaquin Phoenix, Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan
Sunday 30 April 2023 📽️

What the actual fuck now. Joaquin Phoenix is so candid lol.

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Oculus
D
Mike Flanagan — 2013
Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff
Wednesday 19 April 2023

<spoiler>I don't understand how one could hope to stand any chance against something that can alter your senses and consciousness.</spoiler>

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John Wick: Chapter 4
B
Chad Stahelski — 2023
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, George Georgiou
Sunday 16 April 2023 📽️

Two things are unstoppable in this world: German clubbers, and Parisian traffic.

This might have been a very very good movie, had they reduced the runtime by cutting all the theatricals for the simple plot.

The whole Paris arc is bonkers.

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Everything Everywhere All at Once
D
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert — 2022
Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis
Friday 14 April 2023

It's really simple, context commutations produces superficial level of focus. Same reason why I couldn't handle Cloud Atlas. I cannot be in the movie, if the movie is constantly slipping through the fingers of my mind.

I liked the rocks.

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The Crime Is Mine
D
Mon crime
François Ozon — 2023
Nadia Tereszkiewicz, Rebecca Marder, Isabelle Huppert
Monday 10 April 2023 📽️

Filmed plays are weird.

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The American President
B
Rob Reiner — 1995
Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen
Sunday 2 April 2023

Perfect feel-good lighthearted yet clever romance for a Sunday night.

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Se7en
A
David Fincher — 1995
Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey
Saturday 1 April 2023

Fincher's attention to detail in on another level.

In the dinner scene, when the subway is passing through and shaking the flat, we can hear what might be a ball falling to the ground and maybe bouncing a bit. Later that night, when Mills is discussing the case with Somerset, he casually picks up a basketball to put it back on some furniture.

In the same scene, Mills offers a beer to Somerset, which states his preference for wine. While they're chatting, Mills fills up a regular glass with wine (instead of using an actual glass for wine). When served, Somerset is too focused on his documents to notice the glass. But when the subway passes through again, Somerset goes for a sip and gives a weird look at the non-wine glass containing wine.

I love it.

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Money Shot: The Pornhub Story
C
Suzanne Hillinger — 2023
Suzanne Hillinger
Saturday 25 March 2023

Pornstars don't sound like the smartest ones of the bunch.

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The Whale
C
Darren Aronofsky — 2022
Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Ty Simpkins
Saturday 18 March 2023 📽️

Brendan Fraser looks so kind. The depiction of the physical and mental issue is oddly fascinating, but the melodrama seemed out of place to me.

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Gato con botas: El último deseo
C
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
Joel Crawford, Januel Mercado — 2022
Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Harvey Guillén
Saturday 11 March 2023 📽️

Forgot to take my nap before the screening.

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Coach Carter
C
Thomas Carter — 2005
Samuel L. Jackson, Rick Gonzalez, Robert Ri'chard
Sunday 5 March 2023

Samuel L. Jackson is a force of nature. Give this man all the catchlines.

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Empire of Light
B
Sam Mendes — 2022
Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Colin Firth
Saturday 4 March 2023 📽️

This is the second movie I see in a week in which a character explains the principle of moving pictures (The Fabelmans) and in 2023 which celebrates the virtue of movie-going as an escape (Babylon). And to be fair, the scene-as-tribute to cinema in Empire of Light makes the similar one in Babylon look ridiculous.

Roger Deakins doesn't miss. Olivia Colman is a SUPERSTAR.

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The Fabelmans
B
Steven Spielberg — 2022
Michelle Williams, Gabriel LaBelle, Paul Dano
Saturday 25 February 2023 📽️

A diary of Spielberg's coming of age from the man himself is going to be intriguing for any Spielberg fan, so this automatically got my undivided attention, and appreciation. Still, the movie is a bizarre thing, firstly because it contains anecdotes which, as significant as they might be for the director, can seem out of place for an external spectator. Secondly because Michelle Williams and Paul Dano's acting oscillates between some weird phony play and actual great acting, and, in my opinion, just awkwardly personifies the sensibility that Spielberg tries to convey about his parents (which I obviously never met, so I'm completely talking out of my ass here).

It is said that decent writers write for themselves, but great writers write for the reader. Spielberg spent his career making movies for moviegoers, I guess it's fair enough to cut him some slack when he's making a movie for himself. Good of him to let us peek. (Especially the scene with his high school crush, which gave my packed theater a pretty good laugh.)

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Titanic
A+
James Cameron — 1997
Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane
Monday 13 February 2023 📽️

Absolute beast of a movie.

Gen Z and Millenials at my screening, giggling when Jack is drawing Rose, and clapping when the credits come. This movie is just cruising through generations like fine wine. James Cameron pulled out some sort of magic formula.

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Dead Poets Society
D
Peter Weir — 1989
Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke
Sunday 12 February 2023

Nice TV movie.

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Le chant du loup
B
Antonin Baudry — 2019
François Civil, Omar Sy, Mathieu Kassovitz
Saturday 11 February 2023

Fascinating stuff and great tension!

<spoiler>Internet says that actual nuclear protocoles are top secret. What makes me believe they're better than what is shown in the movie is that if you have the ability to authenticate orders but wouldn't trust a cancellation, why would you trust the original order in a first place (which is by far the gravest).</spoiler>

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The Truman Show
A
Peter Weir — 1998
Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
Saturday 4 February 2023

Back when Andrew Niccol was a killer screenwriter.

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Knock at the Cabin
D
M. Night Shyamalan — 2023
Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Rupert Grint
Saturday 4 February 2023 📽️

Could Shyamalan just make good movies again?

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Spider-Man: No Way Home
C
Jon Watts — 2021
Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch
Sunday 29 January 2023

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Spider-Man: Far from Home
C
Jon Watts — 2019
Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal
Sunday 29 January 2023

Me at the middle of the movie: so the morale of the story is that telling the truth and being authentic to people makes your life easier.

Me at the end: wait.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming
C
Jon Watts — 2017
Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr.
Sunday 29 January 2023

How things evolve at each Spider-Man reboot:

  • Dumbness: ↗️
  • Feel-Good Vibes: ↗️
  • Aunt May's age: ↘️
  • Suspension of disbelief regarding Spider-Man going on with his shenanigans in public places (sometimes carelessly removing his mask) in spite of the growing ubiquity of video: ↗️

Tony Stark saying to Peter that if he's nothing without his suit, then he doesn't deserve it, and the callback to that being Peter using his BIG STRONG MUSCLES to lift a bunch of rocks is the dumbest thing. Are the screenwriters 8 years-old?

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Tár
B
Todd Field — 2022
Cate Blanchett, Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss
Friday 27 January 2023 📽️

This movie felt like it had infinite duration; but I wasn't even mad about it. I just sat back end enjoyed the stroll with a curious eye. The view from inside the classical music industry is particularly interesting, assuming it is accurate enough.

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Athena
A
Romain Gavras — 2022
Dali Benssalah, Sami Slimane, Anthony Bajon
Sunday 22 January 2023

Ce film peut être interprété comme étant de droite, de gauche, ou neutre.

De droite car le scénario catastrophe qu'il explore le contraint à associer pendant toute sa durée l'imagerie de la cité avec l'imagerie de la violence.

De gauche car son utilisation des codes du film de guerre mythologique lui fait esthétiser les deux camps qui s'affrontent, qui ont chacune leurs raisons et leur cause à défendre suite à un casus belli, atténuant ainsi l’asymétrie des rôles de la délinquance d'un côté, et de l'ordre républicain de l'autre.

Neutre, car il se refuse effrontément à toute tentative de rationalisation, ou d'aide à l'interprétation de ce qu'il montre.

Il faut embrasser l'interprétation de la neutralité pour pouvoir apprécier le spectacle cinématographique sidérant, qui a de quoi rendre fier le cinéma français quant à sa capacité technique et esthétique.

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Watcher
B
Chloe Okuno — 2022
Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman
Saturday 21 January 2023

Homo Sapiens: Trained for 300,000 years to detect threats and predators.

Men: don't you think you're a bit stressed out darling lemme tell you about rationality

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Babylon
A
Damien Chazelle — 2022
Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart
Thursday 19 January 2023 📽️

This movie feels like the aftermath of a solid movie that decided to do cocaine. It has the size of a Scorcese saga, the punch of Mad Max: Fury Road, the excessiveness of The Wolf of Wall Street, and the overwhelming anxiety of Mother! It's a disjointed mess that fires all cylinders in all directions, with bodily fluids and evil Tobey McGuire and jazz and a love of cinema. It's a massive beast that moves with weird gesticulation, grand directing, deliciously outrageous scenes, and kind of lands on its feet, like a cat that just panicked after having set a kitchen on fire.

I had a great time watching it.

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A World Without Women
B
Un monde sans femmes
Guillaume Brac — 2011
Vincent Macaigne, Laure Calamy, Constance Rousseau
Thursday 12 January 2023

Medium-length is a cool movie format. No scene is unnecessary. All dialogues are well-written. Acting is excellent. Good movie.

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M3GAN
C
Gerard Johnstone — 2022
Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Ronny Chieng
Sunday 8 January 2023 📽️

Could have benefited from taking itself even less seriously, and cut the afternoon-TV-movie psycho drama.

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Demolition
C
Jean-Marc Vallée — 2015
Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper
Monday 2 January 2023

When you look at it, Jake Gyllenhaal has played about the entire psychological range in his career. Discrete but solid performances.

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Midsommar
B
Ari Aster — 2019
Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Vilhelm Blomgren
Friday 30 December 2022

"I don't know anything about anthropology" seems like an appropriate response to witnessing murder. How many red flags do you need god dammit.

Anyway great directing, and stellar acting from Florence Pugh.

<spoiler>The movie burns the doubt card too fast to hold any tension, which was kind of a disappointment, then decides that it wouldn't be a survival but a slasher, which was another disappointment, and ultimately chose to be cynical, which was a final disappointment (I'm sorry but building such an empathy-inducing character so that she can become the queen of psycho-swedish barbarian dickheads is beyond my threshold of tolerability). It still has value in its study of the mechanics of a cult, all wrapped up in a bizarre but captivating atmosphere. It is, in fact, this atmosphere that makes me like the movie in hindsight. Rarely a movie has left such a striking aftertaste in my mind.</spoiler>

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The Black Phone
C
Scott Derrickson — 2021
Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Ethan Hawke
Friday 30 December 2022

No comment

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Glass Onion
B
Rian Johnson — 2022
Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Kate Hudson
Thursday 29 December 2022

Conclusion is less satisfactory than the first one, but still great intertainment.

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The Banshees of Inisherin
D
Martin McDonagh — 2022
Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon
Thursday 29 December 2022 📽️

Some nice dialogues away from being a complete bore.

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Possession
E
Andrzej Zulawski — 1981
Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen
Wednesday 28 December 2022

Crazy ass shit right there.

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Barbarian
B
Zach Cregger — 2022
Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long
Tuesday 27 December 2022

I liked the wide range of settings: connecting 1980s neighborhoody Detroit to the 2020s #MeToo era. Main character is a bit too adventurous at times (I would have noped out at the speed of light at multiple occasions) but it's okay. Story is nicely plotted out. Right amount of creepy and frightening. Good horror movie.

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Avatar: The Way of Water
B
James Cameron — 2022
Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver
Thursday 22 December 2022 📽️

This movie is weird 🤔

  • It feels like it should be part of a TV show. Story-wise, it doesn't contain that much, and is definitely designed as a component of a franchise. Doesn't have a narrative arc solid enough to stand on its own.
  • Uneven structure. The beginning is very fast-paced and looks like they had 5 hours of stuff they needed to compress in 30 minutes. Then there is a long section about summer camp by the sea where nothing happens.
  • Almost only Na'vis. Teenage Na'vis, children Na'vis, babies Na'vis, crowds of Na'vis, bad guys Na'vis. Gotta get used to this surreal dreamy ass shit.
  • Doubled down on the hippie Pandora-is-alive stuff. The 1st movie was like "nature is cool", now we are remote-controlling algae and whatnots.
  • Jake and Neytiri relegated to side-characters as the children take the spotlight.

What works 👏

  • The visuals are GORGEOUS. Better than Avatar 1. You are paying to see an attraction. 3D is like fine culinary work.
  • Action scenes. James Cameron knows his craft, and seems to be playing with infinite budget.
  • The "Sullys stick together" narrative theme works fairly well.
  • Big fish is best bro forever.
  • Kiri and Tuk so cute and endearing.
  • Definitely going to see Avatar 3. The universe has potential.

What doesn't work 🤨

  • The human Tarzan kid acting like he belongs. Ridiculous costume and stance.
  • Please stop hissing.
  • You can assess how unimportant a character is by how late in the movie you get to catch and remember his/her name (if at all).
  • Jake Sully making his children call him "Sir" and being all serious. Didn't smoke enough Pandora grass to chill down.
  • Boomer James Cameron "back in my days if we had a problem we sorted it out like grown men", trying to make a scene where kids are throwing punhes at each other comical.
  • Kiri is played (and voiced) by Sigourney Weaver, who doesn't really have a teenager's voice.
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The Menu
B
Mark Mylod — 2022
Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult
Sunday 18 December 2022 📽️

Rich uptight people are apparently very quiet under duress.

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Pearl
B
Ti West — 2022
Mia Goth, David Corenswet, Tandi Wright
Saturday 10 December 2022

Batshit crazy.

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Bones and All
E
Luca Guadagnino — 2022
Timothée Chalamet, Taylor Russell, Mark Rylance
Saturday 3 December 2022 📽️

How boring.

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The Father
A
Florian Zeller — 2020
Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss
Saturday 26 November 2022

Nonsense 😭