Rate the Last Movie You've Seen!
  • God's Own Country (8/10):

    Really, really down to earth film, in every way. The dialogue, the mud and dirt, the minimalist noise, the not-shaky-cam-but-not-super-crisp frequent close-up facial shots. This feels like its own little world in a film so well. I like too how it doesn't shy away from Scottish slang and accents. My biggest gripe is mostly the ending; it's too neat and kind of sappy. And I wouldn't say the overarching story is terribly brilliantly amazing so much as it is just super well packaged and presented. Compelling though, good acting, grounded, and touching.
  • Deadpool 2 (8/10): Funnier than the original, and while it has a decent amount of pop culture references that wont age well, it has gags and wordplay too. It loses maybe some of the freshness of the first but it's just consistently more humorous and edgy, in a good, funny provocative way, not angry 19 year old edgelord way. I wish we got to see more of Negasonic and Yukio but Domino was good and Ryan Reynolds is clearly all in on this role. Really enjoyable time, lots of laughs and even some singing in the theatre during the musical interludes.

    Hush (5/10): Slid if unspectacular home invasion movie. Gory and exploitative like always and a bit predictable but I like the framing and having a deaf woman lead. It doesn't try to do or say too much or be too complicated or over the top.

    Phantom of the Opera (2004?) (6/10): This is my fav musical of all time and I've always purposely avoided the live action movie for that reason. I've seen it live 6 times now in 5 different cities, 3 of them out of state and two out of the country, and I freaking love it. This is a largely faithful, cromulent adaptation with two unnecessary scenes of fluff; sadly, one of which is added on at the end for no reason. There's some cheesy slow mo in a totally unneeded almost drowning scene too. Christine Daae is great, Phantom is good, Raoul is... eh. Side characters are good, particularly the theatre owners. It's a good enough movie to watch on its own but pales compared to seeing it live. I did appreciate the extravagance of some sets that they captured on camera better. The cool tracking down the aisle shots in Masquerade obviously can't be done in a musical. Its use of camera like that was the best part of this being a movie, there were some clever shots. Just needed to chill on the added content and slow mo, and get a better actor for Raoul.

    Wanted (5/10): Re-watched it after last seeing it in theatres a decade ago. Standard wish-fulfillment action setup but with just enough style and humour to stand out a bit. Sort of shitty to women and the twist is too hamfisted but I appreciate the main character being an alright guy. Definitely aimed at the 20 year old dude who wishes he could be a badass with guns crowd. That's not a compliment.
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

    The opening isn't the sharpest; part of me appreciates the understatedness of it all but there are some pretty gnarly contrivances, but this movie quickly and effectively charms in a whole lot of ways. It's visually fantastic, featuring some excellent shots of Corellia and fun ships and just really great outfits/costume design (maybe the best yet?). The dude who plays Han is surprisingly up for the role, and the movie from beginning to end never retroactively changes who he is in the OT, and does a good job giving context to his personality and explaining both his roguish, self-centered exterior in the OT that gradually gives way to a heart of gold. L3, the major droid this time round, is good, but I worry this structure now of having the droid be the smarmy, smart-ass comic relief is going to be a consistent thing in the offshoots, since Rogue One had it too. Glover as Lando is great, his character is given way more emotional depth and he plays it with a charm and also surprising amount of personal clumsiness that works really well. Mostly, this movie is in many ways a more traditional Star Wars film, but unlike, say, Last Jedi, which tried to bend the rules but then be cheaply 'traditional' by using a ton of callbacks and quotes and reused lines, this one is traditional in mood (definite space western) and arch and tone, but has far and away the fewest callbacks or direct references of any of the now 4 Disney films. I don't think "stand alone OTish-type movie" with lower stakes but a more inclusive cast is at all a bad thing. It's not revelatory but it's very fun, has a great cast, a rollicking pace, and a good amount of heart. There is one semi-twist I felt was a little iffy, although it makes Han's backstory fascinating, and they used one character from the prequels and animated series whose arc I still have a big time issue with. Mostly, it's just fun! It's a cool, quick moving space western that doesn't have to exist but I am glad it does. A story doesn't have to be must tell to be worth telling. This movie, I felt like, definitely was the latter.

    I award this movie 10 lucky dice out of 10, and make sure to have your cool, hands on belt buckles pose ready.
    Noobied by 1sloth
  • @GoodEnoughForMe

    Twitter ruined that one big cameo for me, bleh.

    ---
    Deadpool 2 (9/10)

    I loved the first one, but had more fun with this one. Josh Brolin's Cable is wickedly good.
  • Watched Deadpool 2, it is hilarious!!
    The extra scene with Deadpool using cable's time device is very funny.

    Also watched David Cronenberg's rabid, an interesting take on the vampire/zombie movies
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story. Can't add anything to GEFM's review.  At this stage we're 2 for 2 of me thinking the stand alone side stories are both better Star Wars films and just better films overall than either of the main-line movies.  As much as I respect what TLJ tried to do with the way the Force works, I haven't felt that either of the main films has nailed the 'feel' of SW - the action's too bombastic, the script's too sassy, the comedy's too slapstick, the characters too comic-book.

    Rogue One and Solo succeed in building on the wider SW universe that you got a sliver of a taste of in the original films without feeling the need to bring it all back around to some throwaway line from some major character 20 years ago or something. Just seeing what Correlia looked like (including Star Destroyers mid-build) would've cause 6-year-old me's brain to do a backflip.

    Phoebe Waller-Bridge was a bit wasted - she was so, so, so good in Fleabag. You should watch Fleabag. You should really watch Fleabag.
  • Had a hankering to watch some films a couple of weekends ago and, going down the list of films I keep suggesting to Mrs Littleg but she vetoes, I ended up settling on a pair of well-respected cerebral sci-fi female-fronted flicks

    Annihilation The first of the two and one I had very high expectations for based on the fact that I had only heard good things about it. That being the case, I was actually pretty disappointed with Annihilation. I could see that it might have worked better in cinemas, but on TV it didn't really land well for me.  I like it when films are serious and moody, but it felt like this film just nudged the moodiness knob a nudge too far, leaving you with a series of barely-human, unrelatable characters saying melodramatic things to each other before another extended silent sequence.

    Special mention on that front for Jennifer Jason Leigh who turns in a genuinely astonishing performance - hard to believe a director would sit in on her bizarre delivery of lines throughout the filming of this and think "Yep, that's exactly what I had in mind for this character".  I get that she was playing a sociopathic psychiatrist who wants to die, but...really?

    The film looked good and, despite some slightly laughable science, the premise is at least interesting.  The almost 2001-esque trippy sequence at the end was probably the highlight for me and was the closest the film came to genuine horror (beyond even some genuinely spooky monsters and body horror earlier in the film). Saw the reveal at the end coming a mile off...

    Arrival Surprisingly enjoyable for a film about language and semantics with little to no identifiable action sequences.  I especially like that the dream-like nature of whole stretches of the film and the apparently mixed-up nature of the timeline during the flash-back parts is totally explained and actually thematically appropriate.  Was very much reminded of the China Mieville book Embassytown which is also about a lady who acts as interpreter to an alien species whose language is so different from our own it actually changes how they interact with reality.  Also, totally saw the reveal at the end coming a mile off...
  • The Thing - Bought the BluRay, and I'm talking about the John Carpenter version, not that awful prequel that came out. Still holds up after all these years. And CGI still can't beat puppets or special effects that have something really be there for the actors to react too. 9/10

    Tremors 6: A Cold Day In Hell - Well, God has certainly left this place when it comes to this series. I enjoyed this only in the sense that it provided ample opportunity for mockery at the failure that it is. 2/10

    Blade Runner 2049 - This was a lot better than I thought it would be, although the plot twists were a bit too predictable. A surprisingly good film considering how low the bar is set these days, but still not quite as good as the first movie. 9/10

    Buried Alive - Another one from decades ago. Bad but charming in the way B-grade schlock from the 80's used to be. YouTube is a treasure trove of forgotten classics, uploaded straight from VHS. 3/10
  • Well I've slacked on stuff, so quickly:

    Hereditary (4/10): It was mostly bad and the whole back half was a cliche mess. The twist was silly. It started out so promising with regards to family trauma and abuse and quickly went off the rails. A waste of good acting. It's very creepy I guess. But so unimaginative the farther it goes.

    Sorry to Bother You (8/10): It takes on a bit too much ideologically and some of the style and camera use is forced and awkward, but it's also very darkly humorous and mostly well acted, particularly from the leads. Some of the side characters less so. It creates its own alternate present day universe very successfully and has already in this short amount of time since release aged well. A few of the scene transitions are really clever and some of the practical effects they use are too. Really good soundtrack.

    Love, Simon (8/10): Cute and complicated and grounded and bougie as hell but all the characters feel lived in and real and it's charming and heartfelt.

    Call Me By Your Name (7/10): It drags big time early and feels aimless and without motivation, and doesn't really take off until the SEXUAL TENSION becomes apparent. Even MORE bougie than Love, Simon. I like how subtle some of the emotional and sexual frustrations of the two leads are done. Killer soundtrack and scenery. 
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (8/10): Between this and Homecoming Spiderman hasn't gotten this much good cinema experience since the first two Raimi films (apparently Sony thinks this as well). Spider-verse really succeeds on multiple fronts; fantastic, comic book style animation, some humour, a killer soundtrack, and a great cast of characters. Even thought it follows an extremely traditional plot arch it's done well enough you can forgive it. And how it structures other things, like character backgrounds, and using multiple panel shots in a way I haven't seen since Ang Lee's Hulk movie, means it has enough pizazz to not feel too typical. The few criticism I have are we really don't get to know the entire Spidercast very well, and John Mulaney's Spiderham feels pretty superfluous. The final fight got a lot of raves but I found it just kind of too much visually and too detached from reality, and because of that it lost its sense of scale or significance or even danger. Spidernoir and Gwen are great and I wish we got a little bit more, but from front to back to is an enjoyable and charming and surprisingly touching film that captures the essence of Spiderman much better than most of the movies have.
  • Can't wait to see Spiderman with my seven year old.

    Mortal Engines: It's good. I am a little confused by all the hate it's getting. Not a great film, but the visuals are original and the story is serviceable. It absolutely turns into Star Wars in the last ten minutes. Straight up becomes Star Wars. But up to then I liked it Ok. I still liked it better than Solo, because Solo was surprisingly uncompelling. This has more zip, more taste, than Solo. Not a ringing endorsement, but I still am confused at it's terrible reviews. I would put it with Overlord in that B movies are fine. Not everything can blow your socks off, but I enjoyed my time with Mortal Engines and Overlord.

    Creed II: Maybe better than Creed one, and I loooove the first Creed. It humanizes Drago. I would never have thought you could stop Drago from being a cartoon. He becomes the counterpoint to dead Apollo. A film about fatherhood. Absent fathers and damaged fathers.
    Creed's entrance to the second fight was stunning, and then gets topped by the surprising way the fight ends. This is a great movie. The kind where you shed a single tear of pure testosterone. (I always imagine hair growing along the tear track in the most disturbing way.)

    Widows: The greatest chick flick wearing a heist movie disguise ever made. The heist is fine, but it is all about the relationships. At it's core, it is a film about loss. How do you deal with loss? Loss is inevitable. How do you keep moving on? The initial deaths only introduce you to a cast that was already in mourning. Most of the bad guys are not actually evil, just manifesting their damage poorly. Ok, Jatemme is a monster, straight up sociopath. Everybody else is believably human. This film would make Flibble very angry. Women of color... in classic white guy roles... doing girl shit. So good because of how it executes its study of loss, not because it subverts norms.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse

    It is fantastic. I thought it would be a mess with so many characters and styles. It effortlessly puts together all its elements into a linear tale. I gotta see it again. The best part is Milo and sweatpants Peter journey together. The writers really knew those characters and the dialogue is perfect. I am an old school 70s 80s Spider-Man kind of guy. Never thought I could like Milo this much. I do wish they had spent more to get the frame rate up. I am nit picking. It works just fine, but smoother animation for the main style of the film would have been nice. I thought Cage stole the show. Cannot wait to see where they go next.

    Aquaman

    A big dumb film with a big dumb lead. An adequate B film, no more, no less. No great shakes, but enjoyable. Where Murder Man v Mopey Man was a slow, complex past the point of mess, pretentious bowel movement; Aquaman is simple and knows it is a silly B film about a silly B lister character starring a silly B lister actor.

    The only weird thing about Aquaman is that the CGI is so good. The final battle is gorgeous and evokes that Flash Gordon vibe I love so much. How did the Justice League films have such crappy, cheap looking CGI, but Aquaman gets colorful, clean, cutting edge CGI? That confuses me.
  • 8th Grade: 9/10 -- Challenging filmmaking that will make you cringe and not want to look many times. Fantastically human and awkward and darkly funny. Appreciate a movie that doesn't spend its entire time at school making fun of teen girls. Probably one of the scariest movies of 2018 even though it's not at all a horror film. Wonderful, wonderful, just be prepared to struggle getting through some scenes because of how brutal (in a nonviolent way) they are.

    Dumplin': 5/10 -- Milquetoast and sugary-sweet movie that is exactly the kind of Hollywood kitsch Texans (the movie takes place in Texas) would make fun of, but it's held together by sheer charm, a nice message, and a really solid performance from Jennifer Aniston. It doesn't really do anything to stand out. The ending does manage to not be too over-the-top feel good, which is nice.
  • Bird Box: 6/10 

    It's not bad, but everything it seeks to do has been done better, and there was a distinct sense of "this is a slightly worse version of A Quiet Place" as the movie went. Some things are predictable, some aren't, acting is competent enough, the beginning cast is fun, the ending is a bit wishy-washy. It all adds up to a compelling enough film, and it is short and well-paced, but it's just not great at anything really. You could do a lot worse but also a bit better.

    Mara: 4/10

    I loved the monster design here, low-key, creepy, slowly built up over the course of the movie, but there's a distinct amount of stupid horror movie people, and a really corny last shot. The acting is pretty hit or miss too. The lead is alright but a couple of the side characters when they have to YELL and DISPLAY EMOTION are clearly in over their heads. Also runs with some really tired tropes at this point.
  • Bird Box - Jesus, why did I bother giving the medium of film another chance? Absolute shit-show of a movie. It could have been somewhat decent if the creators had any idea what structure is. There is absolutely zero tension or mystery throughout the movie as most of the movie is a flashback, but since we know from the start that Sandra is going to end up stuck on a river with 2 kids the *SPOILERZ* part where all the characters except those 3 get slaughtered becomes meaningless. The only good thing about this movie was it had John Malkovich in it.

    Mandy - Nicolas Cage in the only role he ever does well, the unhinged crazy guy. This time with chainsaws and excessive violence. The whole movie feels like someone's acid trip, which is not a bad thing. If you're into these kinds of movies, it'll probably do it for you.

    Home Alone 3 & 4 - Oh the joys of Xmas. I saw these 2 for the first time. So so awful. The kid in Home Alone 4 wasn't even alone at any point in the movie. I know there is a Home Alone 5 waiting for me this Yule, hopefully 12 months is enough time to prepare my body for the pain.
  • Venom -- 5/10

    It's a big, dumb, poorly written film that mostly works enough to kind of enjoy it because Tom Hardy is just weird enough and clearly bought in enough to make any scene he's in extremely compelling. His weird mannerisms, accent, none of it should work but it does. Everything else, however, is either mediocre (Riz Ahmed's character) or bad (the love interest... how do you make Michelle Williams come off as this wooden an actor, seriously). I wish, too, that venom was more morally compromised. He really is more good guy than evil in this film, especially when you consider that the Marvel and DC universe have no qualms about their heroes killing gajillions of people in the name of justice, and Venom is clearly going up against some patently awful people. I wish the morality was made much more grey and complicated. Instead, it's almost like a buddy cop film that feels weirdly at odds with itself and yet never totally sinks to being awful. The CGI in the last fight kind of sucked I thought, but I am apparently in the minority on that. Overall it's not a bad night if you rent it for a couple bucks, and it's not a total turd or anything, but there's so many ways it could have been better.
  • POLAR

    I am a big fan of Mads Mikkelsen. Other than that.... meh. Sorry not sorry. The Replacement Killers had better fight choreography, although there were a couple memorable scenes; in a tunnel, then with turrets.

    On a positive note: I think we found who should play Snake if there's a future live-action Metal Gear movie. Heck yes, Mr. Mikkelsen.

    2/10 fight choreography, with +1 for recognizable locations/cameos (HEY IT'S THAT CABIN), another +1 just for Lagertha saying "SPEAK.", Another potential +3 for Mads.

    Total possible score of 7/10, depending on your preferences.
  • The Umbrella Academy

    I fee like these ten episode Netflix things are more like long movies than TV shows. I am halfway through The Umbrella Academy, and it is so freaking good I can't stand it! It takes many comic book conventions you have seen before and combines them in new ways. The shortest description would be Xmen as dysfunctional family, but that really short changes the characters. These are great characters portrayed with strong performances.

    Klaus is my favorite. If you combine the leads from Less Than Zero and The Sixth Sense, you get Klaus. The kid playing Five steals many a scene. I love the interplay of Luther and Diego. They are Captain America and Batman, and how they feel about dad is how they feel about the universe and why they fight. Hazel and Cha Cha are a classic hitmen as old Jewish couple, not a new idea, but they are just done so well. Umbrella Academy is awesome and I hope they land the story. Soooooo good.

    Part, the second: I finished it and the ending is a little pat, but still good. Like I said, you have seen all of these ingredients before. Also, the sound track is killer. Best thing Netflix has done since Altered Cardon.
  • Umbrella Academy was pretty darn good, one of my fav narrative shows in the last couple years. Anyways, movies!

    Us: 7/10 

    Us largely works as a well acted piece and at times family drama, and moves fairly effectively between about 3 different acts each with their own sort of feel and thrust. The early buildup is creepy and then suddenly we're in it. Unlike Get Out, which was a long, slow burn, Us tosses... us, into the flames pretty quickly, and spends the middle third of this film as a sort of classic horror home invasion movie. The third act is where people seem divided on this, either loving it or hating it, and I have to say, I find myself... thinking it was fine! It suffers from some serious expository pace derailment and really shoots for the moon, so I guess you either buy in or don't. Even if I wasn't totally sold I could understand what the movie was trying to do, and I mean, it is a horror movie so like, wtf. I'm not here for realism. Anyways. Us feels like a slightly creepier, much faster paced, less lingering movie than Get Out. The latter was one of the year's best for me, a def 9 or better, Us feels largely successful but also at times more good than great. The middle act is too much a worn out tread, and the humor isn't consistent enough or done well enough to make it seem like it's satirizing certain horror tropes. At times it sort of kills the creepiness. I don't know if this tackles too much, too little (I think the former) or what, but it does end up making for a largely enjoyable film. 

    The Haunting on Fraternity Row: 1/10

    Yeah I mean it sucks but it's funny high. The CGI is so, so, so bad. Like, 15 year old making a Youtube video bad. Holy moly. And it just sort of ends. No point, no resolution. The entire plot is contrived too. Classic.

    I'll try to remember to post my thoughts on Roma too because man that movie was a ride of how I felt. It almost lost me in a very underwhelming first 30 minutes but kept getting better and better. Dunno!

  • I forgot:

    Captain Marvel: 7/10 

    Better than reviews indicated, some really strong lines and dialogue, Nick Fury is humanized really well, the pilot sidekick and her daughter steal the show, Marvel herself comes off a bit flat (not on Brie, she's clearly written that way, eh). The villain is stupendously underwhelming. Panther, Ragnarok, Homecoming better imo, IW probably as well.


  • Yeah, Marvel was good not great. I put it with the first Thor movie. It is pretty tough that it has to be compared with Black Panther as an Avengers appetizer.
  • I'd say it's better than Thor now. Come on. I'd level it with an Antman or Dr. strange. Mid tier Marvel.

    Not quite Winter Soldier but definitely not as bad as Thor or Hulk.

    The dynamic between a rookie Fury and Danvers is great and funny throughout. I love her sarcastic comments, I can't wait to see her interact with Stark in End Game.
  • The Perfect Date: 4/10

    It's cromulent-ish, and it stays grounded enough that it avoids the pitfalls this movie could have gone into. Not a lot of melodrama, no painful overacting, there's nothing really terrible about any facet of this movie. It's just... there's nothing really good either. It is clearly and entirely a Netflix algorithm movie, and with several directors and writers having come out in saying their creative decisions are often subverted all in the name of Netflix's algorithmic data, well, this isn't encouraging for the future of Netflix's movie shitting machine. It's so predictable and largely soulless that even the fact that it does nothing wrong makes it sort of worse than the sum of its parts. Forgettable and sterile.
  • The Unicorn Store -- 5/10

    It starts well enough, humor, some mild critique of mediocre men in positions of power, but the film lingers on the least effective parts and lets drop the more effective ones. This distinctly millennial piece suffers from forced feelings of whimsy and melodrama, and inconsistent characterization. It starts as a sort of black comedy about modern grind/consumerism/etc., dances amidst lost childlike wonder, and manages to stumble into a romcom on the way. There are good lines here that tug at feelings of dismissiveness, parental ignorance, but then there are lines that just feel off. Samuel Jackson's character is mostly a misfire, and the final act is just super sugary sweet. There are people who will come away from this (particularly the older crowd) rolling their eyes and telling kids these days to grow up, but I don't even think the film is strong enough in that regard to receive that response. So many assumptions and conflicts feel jumped into or rushed. It's a shame, because there are some really good scenes here, they just come and go so fast that they fail to make a mark.
  • Sorry To Bother You
    Saw this some weeks ago (late, I know) and it's easily one of my ten favourite films of the decade. It's right up there with Upstream Colour. It's one of the most honest and accurate representations of class and race I've ever seen; and it also completely functions as a comedy. In Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment he notes that the more a film attempts to approach reality, the less real it becomes; while the more absurd the film, the more it actually reflects reality. That most aptly describes "Sorry to Bother You."

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