Metatalktails: Movies! February 2, 2019 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter, and welcome to Eurotalktails! This week, EllieBOA wants to know what movies you've seen and enjoyed lately, which struck me as a particularly good topic since we're deep into movie award-show season.

As always, this is a conversation starter, not limiter, and we want to hear about everything that's up with you!
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 7:10 AM (103 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

I watched Ocean's Eight on the plane somewhat recently and it was a lot of fun. Possibly the perfect airplane distraction, but clever enough to enjoy watching at other times too. (My spouse watched it on the plane as well, lagging a few minutes behind me. Which is one of the sillier ways to watch a movie together, but meant we could talk about it later. And was funny since we hadn't discussed our movie choices beforehand.)

And in personal news, I've been spending a small chunk of each month out in Port Townsend, with my parents. My papa has terminal cancer and has been really lucky to have more months than we thought he might have (the chemo is working) but still far too short a time.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:00 AM on February 2 [7 favorites]


I keep rewatching The Love Witch over and over in the background while doing other things. The witty feminist take on rigid midcentury gender roles, the hard lighting making it more than reminiscent of trashy old drive in films, the gorgeous mise en scene. Highly recommended. If your local library or your alma mater has a Kanopy subscription, you may be able to stream it from home on there.
posted by nightrecordings at 8:03 AM on February 2 [9 favorites]


I recently watched Gus Van Sant's new film, Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot. It stars Joaquin Phoenix and Jonah Hill, about the life of John Callahan, a cartoonist who was also a recovering alcoholic. It's a film that I just walked into without knowing anything about it and it surprised me. It is a bit sentimental and tender but I was wanting something like that and Phoenix gives a wonderful performance.

I also watched Paul Schrader's First Rerformed, starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried, it was also recently nominated for 2019 Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Hawke is a minister who is struggling with his faith and a small church community that is no longer attending his Church. It is the type of film you'll think about for a few days after. And the way it touches on faith and environmentalism is fascinating. It also has this Lars von Trier Melancholia type of feel to it. It's a heavy film but some of the best acting I've ever seen from Hawke. It's worth your time.
posted by Fizz at 8:31 AM on February 2 [6 favorites]


Yay! Fizz, this was inspired by your music post! I really enjoyed Oceans 8 and Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, and the Love Witch and First Reformed are on my to watch list.

I’ve recently enjoyed Widows, Can You Ever Forgive Me, and Bad Times at the El Royale.

Think I will watch If Beale Street Could Talk Tonight, I’ve been looking forward to this!
posted by ellieBOA at 8:55 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Finally watched Sorry To Bother You. It's a wonderful whirl of ideas, but also kind of amateurish. (Tessa Thompson didn't really have a point, she was just there, and just kind of showed up places. Not that she did a bad job at it.) The complaint that the movie gets utterly nuts in the second half seems far overblown to me. It's a movie in which a new thing occurs every ten seconds, and that in the first few minutes introduces the idea that some company is out there selling slavery as a positive lifestyle choice. The tone is set from the outset. (a better question, I think, is why one particular reveal was considered exceptionally bizarre while the others were not.)
posted by Going To Maine at 9:24 AM on February 2 [7 favorites]


Oh, also saw Kiss Me Deadly, which is camp and cruel and bleak.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:30 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I recently watched Gus Van Sant's new film, Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot. It stars Joaquin Phoenix and Jonah Hill, about the life of John Callahan

I have been halfway through that for a while now. Phoenix is super good. I was a fan of Callahan's comics so I'll try to push through it. Also saw Sorry to Bother You last weekend. Very good but yes, uneven. I thought Thomson was there to serve as a foil to Stanfield where she's all "Stop using that white voice" but then it turns out she has a white voice too, she just uses it to get at power in a different direction.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:39 AM on February 2


I'm about to go see The Upside. Trying to pick out a movie, the text conversation w my friend went like this:

Her: I'd be down for Glass or the Upside maybe. Glass has Samuel l Jackson and is superheroey and upside is Kevin heart and breaking bad guy with black people white people true story comedy

Aquaman doesn't look good but Jason Mamoa does

A dogs purpose made me cry in just the trailer but it's a cheesy dog story with talking animals

You wanna laugh, cry, or get a lady boner?

Me:. Baahahaha, no sad animals or awkward shared lady boners. I love you btdubs

So...The Upside it is.
posted by Fig at 9:50 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


I thought Thomson was there to serve as a foil to Stanfield where she's all "Stop using that white voice" but then it turns out she has a white voice too, she just uses it to get at power in a different direction.

I would agree with this point because it was expressed in an interview with Riley, but I also think it was fairly poorly captured in the film. So many little ideas at once, you can't make them all be totally clear.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:58 AM on February 2


I haven't seen many movies lately, but I'm planning to try to catch The Favourite after work this week, if the timing works out. There's a 1625 showing at the theater on my bus line home and I get out of work at 1600 if I leave on time, so I should be able to pull this off.
posted by the primroses were over at 10:03 AM on February 2


Oh, also, thanks for the reminder about Kanopy nightrecordings! My library system just added that in December and I've been meaning to figure out how to use it. Maybe this weekend, post puppy bowl.
posted by the primroses were over at 10:06 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Kanopy is the best thing, everyone who has no time to watch Netflix or Hulu on the reg should just quadruple double down on it, all culturally important movie rentals should be funded by taxpayer dollars via libraries, thank you for coming to my Ted talk.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:12 AM on February 2 [14 favorites]


I'm about to watch At Etertiny's Gate starring Willem Dafoe as Vincent van Goh. Will report back later to let everyone know how it holds up. It looks to be quite the biopic. Also, Oscar Isaac as Paul Gauguin, I mean YES!
posted by Fizz at 10:25 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Evidently I've been on sort of a 'slow, thoughtful, and frequently delightful' movie binge. On Amazon Prime: Eighth Grade (great contemporary slice-of-life) and Annihilation (delivers on strangeness). On Netflix, Taxi (tiny stories about Tehran, unfolding around the filmmaker himself). And on Kanopy, Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (you know the scene in a crime movie where someone shows where the body is buried? expand that to 2.5 hours and make it a sort of mystery unfolding in empty fields around Ankara) and Mozart's Sister (beautiful, mostly very calm Masterpiece Theatre-like costume drama inspired by the life of Nannerl Mozart with original music by Marie-Jeanne Séréro).
posted by cpound at 10:31 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


I don't get a chance to go to the cinema that much, but I did recently catch a matinee of The Favourite. I liked it but for me it was missing a certain something, though I can't put my finger on what. All the performances were dynamite, though.

Thanks for reminding me that The Love Witch is on Kanopy, nightrecordings. For the past few weeks I've been wracking my brain trying to remember where I saw it streaming (I use an international VPN so Netflix is more like a plural noun in my house and it gets hard to keep straight what is available where). I do have Kanopy through my job so it was probably there.

I have such a hard time mustering the attention span for films, though. It's a problem.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:39 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I have such a hard time mustering the attention span for films, though. It's a problem.

We should never have gotten rid of old, golden age of cinema-style act breaks. Or rather, we have them but only in the form of episode breaks in the nine-to-thirteen hour movies that are modern TV seasons.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:34 AM on February 2


I have trouble focusing on films. I also get kinda anxious sometimes when it comes time to choose a film to watch, like I get really upset thinking about what if I don't like it and what if it's bad and what if people are mad at me for liking this film or what if people are mad at me because I don't like this film. I am aware that's my anxiety brain speaking- still makes it really hard to see movies. Because of that, the last film I saw in theaters was Venom. Which was a fucking blast.

It's raining again in garden land! Which means I don't have a ton to do, but what I did have to do- I did. That was almost English. I managed my first captain's log of February. There was a visitor to my arugula pot- cat prints! The only maintenance that I was able to do is give everything a light fertilize. When you have a months worth of rain, all the nutrients in the soil get washed away. I was noticing stuff like slightly yellow parsley leaves and such, so it was time. The other work I have to do is more mowing, but there is no point in doing that when its raining. I have two new beds on order, as soon as they come in and the rain stops I have to set them up for the next season of planting. The arugula and sassy salad mix are finally coming up in their pots- no word on the swiss chard sadly.

Dad fell a few days ago. It was more of an "oopsy-daisy" then a "call-an-ambulance" fall- no harm done. Still very frightening.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:42 AM on February 2 [5 favorites]


Dad fell a few days ago. It was more of an "oopsy-daisy" then a "call-an-ambulance" fall- no harm done. Still very frightening.

A parent falling is terrifying.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:51 AM on February 2 [5 favorites]


The last movie I saw was an Egyptian film called Yomeddine. I saw it through TIFF Reel Talk, where you don't find out what you're watching until just before the movie. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have seen the movie otherwise, but I thought it was a sweet film and really enjoyed it.
posted by Kris10_b at 11:57 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I recently rewatched Galaxy Quest. Delightful movie. Better than at least half of the Star Trek flicks. Damn, now I really want to watch Star Trek IV. Maybe I did a little too much LDS in the sixties.

In other news, I found out that "The Most Stuf" Oreos are a thing. They have 4x the stuf of a regular Oreo. They're very good. I'm reminded of this prescient Onion article: Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades.
posted by duffell at 12:33 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


I just found out that TIFF is doing an Aki Kaurismäki retrospective this month! I'm definitely going to check our a couple of these screenings.

The last thing I watched on Kanopy (which totally rules) was A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night:

In the Iranian ghost-town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, the townspeople are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire.

I really liked it.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:37 PM on February 2 [6 favorites]


Did you know Cindy Sherman made a movie back in the 90s? And that Molly Ringwald and Barbara Sukowa are in it? I didn't until I watched it last night. On wikipedia someone is quoted describing it as "a fascinating if lumpish bit of Shermaniana," which seems fair, as long as you don't ignore that it includes the word fascinating.

But anyway, I've been waiting for a metatalk where I can wedge in my bit of good personal news. This week I started a new job after a 2.5-year job hunt, desperately trying to get out of a job I hated. Now I will have actual work to do and won't be sitting at my desk browsing metafilter all day.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:51 PM on February 2 [14 favorites]


I've been gearing up for a catchup on some old stuff: The Heartbreak Kid, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Akira, and Clifford. Also I'm giong to be rewatching some I haven't seen in a long time: Mars Attacks!, Stalker, The King of Comedy, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, and maybe some others.

paper chromatographologist: Office Killer was on Netflix for yonks, but they've really decimated that aspect of their inventory in the past year or two. Same goes with Bobcat and Shane Carruth movies, sadly. My Netflix queue has shrunk by half without me doing anything.
posted by rhizome at 1:00 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Homo neanderthalensis, glad your dad's okay! paper chromatographologist, congrats!

I definitely feel the "no attention span for movies" contingent -- I can binge five or six episodes of TV at a stretch, easily, and yet sitting down for a two hour film feels like a Commitment. Going to Maine, here in Switzerland we only phased out movie intermissions in the early 00s. Sometimes the choice for when to stop the movie was a little odd (I barely remember Contact except for the beginning, ending and that the projection cut off so abruptly for the break that it gave me emotional whiplash -- sidebar, I should rewatch Contact), but I still miss them! Bathroom breaks aside, it's just objective fact that overpriced movie snacks taste better when you buy them during intermission.

January is always a tough month for me, so I haven't been watching much in the way of film, but the two that have stuck with me the most that I've seen recently are Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (which I gushed about at some length here) and Milk, which I am kind of mad about enjoying as much as I did, because, ugh, Sean Penn. But now I'm on the hunt for more good biopics -- any recs?

For anticipated upcoming films, I just found out Beale Street came out last Wednesday and is disappearing on Tuesday already, and then The Favourite and How to Train Your Dragon 3 both come out this coming Wednesday. I maaaaaay just be able to swing seeing all three if I can get my fibromyalgic butt up in time to catch the cheap matinees, so wish me luck. Also in my at home viewing queue are Crazy Rich Asians (still mad I waited two months for it to come out here and then the English showing was ONE NIGHT which I found out...the next day) and Whisper of the Heart, which my mother just sprung on me as a belated Christmas present.

In personal news, like I said January is always hard for me, but I'm gearing up for a low-key Tết on Tuesday and my lemon tree has sprouted a new bud, which I hope means "yay, bettafish killed the spider mites that were infesting me, now I have the energy to make more flowers!" and not "bettafish is the worst houseplant guardian and I'm DYING, gotta reproduce fast." We'll see.
posted by bettafish at 1:13 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


I've been trying to catch up with the best films of 2018 for the last few weeks. So far I've seen The Favourite, Into the Spiderverse, Sorry To Bother You, If Beale Street Could Talk and last night, Roma. They're all excellent films, 2018 was a great year in cinema, but I think that Beale Street is the best of those. The fact that it didn't get nominated for best film is a crime.

I still need to watch BlacKKKlansman, First Reformed, The Rider, Private Life, Minding the Gap, Cold War.

Right now I'm watching Mickey and Nicky which is just such a '70s film. Only in that decade could a movie about a cat and mouse chase between a mob assassin and the guy he's tracking down could be made as a slow elliptical buddy comedy. Peter Falk and John Cassavetes are amazing in it.
posted by octothorpe at 1:18 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Thanks for reminding me about Roma, octothorpe! For what it's worth, I thought BlacKkKlansman was excellent.
posted by bettafish at 1:29 PM on February 2


If you get a chance to see Roma in the theater, you should go. It's such an immersive film that I can't imagine that seeing it on TV would do it justice.
posted by octothorpe at 1:35 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


This was from last year, but I really enjoyed One Cut of the Dead. The official trailer in the last link sort of gives a major plot twist away, but at this point I think it's kind of hard to avoid knowing about it and it's still fun watching it anyway.
posted by misozaki at 1:45 PM on February 2


I've been gearing up for a catchup on some old stuff: The Heartbreak Kid, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Akira, and Clifford.

I rewatched Akira recently (inspired by this thread) and had forgotten just how gorgeous it is. The character style looks a little dated, but the animation and the use of light is stunning. I went back after it was over and rewatched certain scenes frame by frame just to soak in all the little details.

Are there other anime movies/series that compare in terms of quality? I haven't really kept up with the genre, but would welcome recommendations.
posted by dephlogisticated at 1:50 PM on February 2


I haven't watched any movies, but I have been reading a lot of books because I think I'm going back to school! I've just applied, but I'm somewhat confident that I'll get in. Very excited!

In other news husband and I had a bunch of plans for our 19th anniversary next Wednesday, but this week, his dad, who has late-stage Alzheimer's basically stopped getting up, eating and drinking and we put him on hospice Thursday. Which means we're spending the week on death watch. In the last 4 months, husband lost his mother and his job, and now his dad. We're having a rough year.
posted by Sophie1 at 2:23 PM on February 2 [10 favorites]


OH HI I BLOG ABOUT MOVIES.

Specifically about how I'm watching my way through each and every movie that has ever been in any edition of the "1001 movies to see before you die" books. (So it's more like 1210 movies at present.) Incidentally, I'm on an APB hunt for a copy of the 1936 film Dodsworth; Kanopy doesn't have it, nor do any of my other sources. I'm hoping not to have to plunk down money to buy a copy off ebay if I just want to watch it the once.

I'm also very fortunate to live in a city with so many classic/second run/revival houses, which means that I've sometimes gotten to see classic films in a theater. Like how I'm going to be seeing Casablanca on Valentine's Day.

I also try to see all of the Best Picture nominees each year before the Oscars are out; invariably, though, there's always one each year that I drag my feet on and end up missing, because I suspect I won't like it, and this year it looks like that movie might be A Star Is Born. (Is it....kinda corny? That's what I'm afraid of.) I also still need to see Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody; which should I hit up next?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:42 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


The greatest gift I gave myself after moving to Stockholm was buying a one-year membership card for the Stockholm Cinematek, which lets me go see all the movies I want at the Swedish Film Institute for free. One of the programs has featured films by director Isabel Coixet. Two of the films have featured actor Sarah Polley. I have not loved all four films equally but I have enjoyed them all, especially The Secret Life of Words.

CW for rape and spoiler alert: That film both has a happy ending and also a story line about a Serbian rape and torture victim. I saw it about a week ago (it had Julie Christie in it!) and after the film was over I just sat there for a while and thought about it. Then when my upcoming first date (a guy) texted to ask how the movie had been, I said it was great. Then I cancelled our date on the following day. For now I am just completely done with guys when it comes to dating.

That was 8 nights ago. Now I have a curvey Swedish bisexual woman flirting with me on Facebook. Dunno what will happen, if anything, but I finally realized that if I want to date women I need to stop dating men no matter how scary that is. The Secret Life of Words did not trigger this change, exactly, it just helped the process along a bit.

More recent films I have seen include The Bookshop, Isabel Coixet's latest film (hated the ending), as well as Sorry to Bother You (which I loved so much, felt like a roller coaster) and Blindspotting (which I keep thinking about). Sorry to Bother you was not as polished as many other films, but that is not surprising. It was the filmmaker's first film. The film's concepts seem ridiculously plausible to me, just like David Foster Wallace's Year of Depends in his huge, mostly unreadable book. Maybe we don't have legalized slavery in that particular form yet. But it seems like we are too damn close. Oh wait, prison labor...

There is still plenty of snow, I still need to clean my home, my ADHD brain is still way too twitchy for my liking at the moment. Had a great time at the Stockholm meetup this past week, and one of the MeFites who showed up brought his guitar and a buddy and we had some lovely musical entertainment. Sorry this is so scattered. I should probably go to bed. :-)
posted by Bella Donna at 2:44 PM on February 2 [7 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos or someone who has seen Green Book needs to make a case why I should bother. I understand wanting to see all the Best Picture nominations but honestly, I just don't have it in me to go see another movie that involves one or more black characters but is actually about one or more white characters (who save or educate or whatever the PoC). This white lady ain't buying that shit any more. Hmm. Should I add redneck? My family sure as hell qualifies. Anyway, I don't know that much about that movie but what I know makes me deeply suspicious. Happy to be proven wrong.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:48 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


Sorry, Bella Donna - Green Book is becoming the second of this years' "...I know it's an Oscar nominee but I don't wanna" films for me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:52 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


I was cleaning out my file cabinet and found my reactions to watching Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time. I was 27, so 2006. I was really hung up on the Nazi monkey. Of all things, that was thing that couldn’t suspend my disbelief. After the monkey did the salute, my bestie reassured me “It just did that because it’s owner did. They fling poo!” My notes indicate that I called her a Nazi monkey apologist. Did I mention that we had been drinking cheap sparkling wine all night?

It’s been 13 years and I’ve seen the movie plenty times since (and the rest, even the one that shall not be named, and Last Crusade is my favorite) but I still can’t get over that damn monkey.
posted by Ruki at 2:55 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Like Homo neanderthalensis, I also usually have trouble committing my attention to movies.

But slowly I'm catching up on the pop movie canon -- I saw maybe the 1/3 part of Jurassic Park on TV in a hotel room, and saw both Frozen and the Lion King on a plane.

We also saw Early Man, an Aardman Production production (i.e. Wallace and Gromit) for the second time in that same hotel room. Even though it gets middling reviews, I love it, especially the message bird.
posted by batter_my_heart at 3:18 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


I recently caught In the Shadow of Iris On a whim, and it turned out to be a neat little French noir film. Maybe a tad overlong, but I like my films on the short side.

Also recently saw They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead , the documentary about the struggle to complete Orson Welles’ final film (itself just released), which is about a director struggling to make his final film, and it’s frankly fantastic.

And on Burns night I watched Outlaw King, a film about Robert The Bruce which is not more historically inaccurate than Braveheart. In which baby Kirk Chris Pine wisely lets his beard do the acting and there are some really nice shots of the Scottish countryside.
posted by rodlymight at 3:18 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Watched Sorry to Bother You for the second time last night. I was blown away when I first saw it last summer. Appreciate it even more after a second viewing.
posted by she's not there at 3:38 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


I saw The Favourite at the flicks a couple of weeks ago and it was very good. We rewatched Unbreakable the other night as we will likely go to Glass on Monday. I am looking likely to miss Stan & Ollie at the cinema but will certainly see it at home when it comes out. Can You Ever Forgive Me? sounds interesting. I will watch Sorry to Bother You but I'm not sure it will make it to my local cinema.

The trailer that took me by surprise was 'What Men Want', I laughed multiple times in the trailer, which doesn't happen often to me. So I guess I might see that.

I watched Alien Resurrection again the other night, the first time since it was on general release. Its not got any better.

Speaking of intermissions, the last one I remember was in Schindler's List, though by then they had become very rare in UK cinemas - basically I don't think they survived the contraction of the market in the early 80s and its re-emergence with multiplexes in the late 80s. I thought the decision to put one in Schindler's was not a great one. It was right after the brutal and horrible massacre in the ghetto. Intermissions sign came up, with some houselights, dead silence except for people sobbing in the remaining darkness. No one wants to get up. Certainly no one was popping out for a choc ice. I suspect quite a few people were busting for the loo but didn't want to move.

While we are talking movies, if you see a modern wind turbine in a feature film you can let me know via memail. I just need the film title but an approximate time in the film the turbine is on screen would be great too. (Not windmills, just the modern electricity generating machines.) Thanks!
posted by biffa at 4:34 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


I don’t think I’ve seen a movie since the Infinity Wars Avengers movie last year, so these recommendations are great. I spent the day with my HS junior in Miami. She’s considering the University of Miami for college and we had a great campus tour. I think she was most impressed by the 80-degree temps after the better part of a week of polar vortex-influenced extreme (by Mid-Atlantic standards) cold back home in Maryland, but she really did seem to like the campus and the tour. It’s a fun and special treat to have a father/daughter out-of-town trip and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her take in the novelty of a campus where students are wearing shorts in February. We hit the highlights of Miami Beach and Wynwood, which was also really neat. I’ll stay in Florida for a week for work, then, when I return, my work travels should be over for a few months. I’ll drive four hours to Tampa tomorrow, and I’ll see an old friend on the Gulf Coast on Monday in between work obligations. Good news all around. It’s been a thoroughly shitty few months at work and in my personal life, and I’m relishing this disruption to my regular routine before I plunge back into the usual routine.
posted by cheapskatebay at 4:59 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


dephlogisticated, I am the one animation fan in all the world who's left completely cold by Akira (I recognize the artistry, I'm just not super into it), so I'm not sure any of the anime I like would match up with what you like. Plus my own tastes are moderately out of date at the moment and I've been meaning to do some catching-up this year! So I'll say, 1) try Princess Mononoke, another oldie but goodie with sumptuously animated body horror and a strong political stance, and 2) ask on ask.mefi, there are lots of anime fans there.

biffa, am I allowed to ask what the deal is with the turbines?
posted by bettafish at 5:19 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Sure, I'm writing an academic paper or two on how they are represented in film. I've asked about them before in AskMefi and have a pretty good set but it never hurts to have more.
posted by biffa at 5:30 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


I've had over 30 hours of air travel in the last two weeks, so I've watched a lot of movies I missed in theaters or was not interested in enough to pay for.

What We Do in the Shadows - loved it.

Skyscraper - Not the catastrophe I expected. Completely inconsequential, but entertaining enough for a long flight.

We're the Millers - Bleargh. Really retrograde humor, not smart enough to go to the places it went without being totally tone-deaf.

Night School - Modestly entertaining. Kevin Hart is coasting through his basic schtick, which is fine if that works for you (I think he's funny so I was on-board, but there was nothing particularly new, fresh or surprising here). Supporting cast was great.

The Darkest Minds - some good acting from the young cast, but basically a standard-template YA dystopian X-Men knock off. I almost forgot I watched it, really unremarkable attempt to start a franchise in an already-crowded niche.

Juliet Naked - Nick Hornby adaptation. Interesting low-key story. The cast was great - Rose Byrne, Chris O'Dowd and Ethan Hawke in the leads. I was enjoying the characters and developments - I thought this could have been 20-30 minutes longer.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again - It seemed sort of half-assed in terms of direction and choreography, but the duet with Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried near the end was really powerful emotionally. During the dance numbers it felt like the audio was out of sync - it felt like the moves were not landing on beats, but the lips were perfectly synced so it wasn't an audio sync issue. It was hard to let go and enjoy the dance numbers. There was welcome diversity among the dancers and extras, although the leads are all white.

The Meg - Reasonably well-paced actioner. Jason Staham could create chemistry with a brick. Disappointing though in that it fails utterly to create tension, dread or fear.

The Spy Who Dumped Me - Decent airplane viewing, but the script fell short and let the cast down. The spy part of the story was completely generic and disposable, and they failed to write much comedy at all into the script. Instead it relied on the leads "being funny" which just didn't work. Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon were just fine, but having the entirety of the comedy depend on Kate McKinnon mugging (but not too much!) was a major miscalculation. The directing was fine, but not remarkable.

The Book of Life - It's nice to see non-Pixar/Disney animation. This had a distinct visual style in the story-within-a-story part (not so much in the framing story though). It's made for kids, so take my opinion in that contect. There's not a lot of stuff to keep the adults engaged here. The plot was a boring love-triangle that started when the participants were children (!). While the little girl/young woman character was ultimately endowed with a measure of bad-assedness it didn't really make up for the tiredness of the gender roles and plot. It was essentially a super-hero movie, complete with an overblown boss battle at the end, packaged in day of the dead wrapping. It's extremely frenetic. It looks nice but is kind of hard to sit through (as an adult anyway - kids might enjoy it more). I haven't seen Coco, but it sounds like it covers some of the same emotional themes with much more care and success.

The Predator - I watched this with sound off. There might have been some trademark snappy Shane Black banter that I missed, but other than that possibility this seemed completely unremarkable and inessential. Watching without sound did not give me even a glimmer of desire to watch it with sound.

Bad Times at the El Royal - This is the first movie in a long time that has made me gasp out loud at plot developments. The director seemed to be influenced in varying degrees by Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch, but he wasn't aping anyone's style. The ensemble was fantastic. Jeff Bridges just keeps getting better. Lewis Pullman was just perfect. Cynthia Erivo deserves to be a huge star, and Dakota Johnson does a good work while pushing Fifty Shades farther down her resume. Chris Hemsworth is getting a lot better at accents, and he does a great job in his role. John Hamm doesn't really get to spread his wings beyond other roles he's done, but he works well for his role int he dtory. The action is limited to a handful of locations, and with the deliberate cinematography and understated editing, this feels almost like a stage play (in a good way).

In non-airplane viewing I recently saw Venom and loved it. It wasn't golden-age deep character superhero filmmaking, it was a gonzo pulpy romp, and I thought it perfectly nailed its intent.

A also finally saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and loved loved loved it.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 5:50 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


I watched Ocean's Eight on the plane somewhat recently and it was a lot of fun. Possibly the perfect airplane distraction, but clever enough to enjoy watching at other times too.

I did this exact thing last week and completely agree with you! Tomorrow I’m looking forward to finishing it (only fifteen minutes left) in my return flight home.

Also watched Crazy Rich Asians on the plane. It was wonderful, which surprised me as romcoms aren’t my bag at all. But I heard this was good and was not disappointed. I really loved how the characters, especially the women, made no apologies or concessions for who they are (and only got stronger as the story progressed).

Also watched Enemy recently and that movie has really stuck with me. I’m dying to read some good critiques or at least talk to somebody about it!
posted by iamkimiam at 6:49 PM on February 2


I don't get to see a lot of movies rated above PG because I have kids, but I'm DYING to see The Favourite. I just watched "Dumplin" on Netflix and I liked it so much! I didn't think I was going to.

Today I introduced my boys to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (it holds up). Right now I'm watching Moana with a toddler who doesn't feel very good (I think it's just a cold) and is sitting up co-modding with me. I do love watching Disney movies with toddler narrative. "Wana! It Wana!" (Moana) "Wana pwincess! Uh oh! Wana fall in! Give five! Wana give five at sky! Uh oh! Cwab! Mean cwab!"
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:34 PM on February 2 [9 favorites]


I rarely make it to the movies (kids), but I watched Sorry To Bother You twice this summer. I also saw Black Panther and Blindspotting to round out the Oakland movie trilogy but what can I say...the movie with the horse d... um I mean with the exciting plot twists wins. Shut them down!

Also recently saw Horn From The Heart, a doc that just came out about Paul Butterfield. There was a special screening here in Berkeley with the director and a friend of Paul’s present for a Q&A. I’m gen X so...Paul died, in bad shape and down & out, when I was 9, but for some reason The Paul Butterfield Blues Band from 1964 was one of the first albums I ever bought for myself and is still one of my favorite albums. Lovely movie about an underappreciated musician that, truly, always played straight from the heart.
posted by The Toad at 8:53 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


A nearby Japanese restaurant nearby which I visit way too much has been playing either Polar, with Mads Mikkelsen, or Kingdom, on the t.v. in the bar. Kingdom is a Netflix series about zombies in 1590s-ish Korea. Because I'monly there 30 minutes at a time and watching them with subtitles/closed captioning while also do a great of concentrating on sake sippin', I really have no idea what's going on either one. Soon I'm going to have to sit down and watch them, but it's actually been a rompin' good time just dropping in on these shows and enjoying 20 minutes of Mads with these kind of ludicrous lines and/or his naked butt or really awesome medieval Korean zombie fighting. Hopefully they're as fun when watched properly!

Jason Staham could create chemistry with a brick

oho ho ho ho! I will maintain until the day I die that the greatest moment of cinema that has ever been filmed was when Jason Statham fights shirtless while covered in oil and dancing on bicycle pedals in The Transporter. Talk about chemistry - he creates chemistry with an oil pan and a concrete floor, a mustashed bald guy, his arms and some villains . . . and only moments after creating chemistry with his sweater, his arms, and the sides of a bus!

Best.Romantic.Comedy.Ever.
posted by barchan at 8:57 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


*hugs* if you want them, Sophie1. I'm so sorry; that sounds like a really rough year.
posted by lazuli at 9:00 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Since the Hallmark movie thread has closed, I might as well note here that in the genre of "faking a relationship over the holidays to fool your parents, but then you fall for your fake partner", Holiday Engagement isn't bad, but Hitched for the Holidays is superior both as a romance and as comedy.
posted by Jpfed at 9:04 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I just got back from How To Train Your Dragon 3 and it was a delightfully good conclusion to the whole series. 10/10.
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:37 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Fizz I've just seen Eternity's Gate and it is really worthwhile. It's particularly good about portraying Van Gogh's experience of colour. I watch less than one cinema movie a year and I'm happy with 2019 so far.
posted by unearthed at 9:44 PM on February 2


I just watched Catfight with Sandra Oh and Anne Heche which was so much better than I remembered the reviews at the time it came out. Just raw and sad and harshly funny. A great film about female anger and grief.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 10:25 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Just got back from Into the Spiderverse, which we went to see because of Mefites talking it up so much - thank you, it's great! Now everybody who hasn't seen it should go see it.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:27 PM on February 2 [5 favorites]


Mostly on the plane these days.

Yes!
Crazy Rich Asians (but am now enjoying the book even more).
Oceans 8
John Wick Chapter 2
Bad Times at the El Royale

Mehbe
Red Sparrow
Ready Player One
Some Vin Diesel XXX thing

Hard No
Mile 22 (couldn't put up with it, even on the plane.)

Lotsa TV on Netflix because attention span and either me or Mrs Gotanda falling asleep, but managed two movies: Birdbox and The Big Lebowski rewatch for the umpteenth time. Mrs Gotanda had never seen it but didn't quite get why I love it so.

New Year's Day celebration was the two of us off to the real theater to see Bohemian Rhapsody with a mega sound system and we were not disappointed.

***** ***** ***** *****
Sunny cold days are good for walking so I've been doing a lot more of that after being semi-hobbled for good chunks of 2018. Got my pedometer app going with a goal of 5,000,000 steps in the coming year.

End of the school term here, so I gotta finish my grades but things are kind of slow. University entrance exams start in a couple of days. So, most of the next week will be quiet but boring waiting and proctoring mixed with long sessions of exam marking punctuated by instances of sheer terror just in case we made a mistake in writing our examination.
posted by Gotanda at 11:00 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


I watched Animal World last night because of the description on Fanfare, and I wasn't let down. Aside from that I haven't watched anything recently (little kids), but I have been having a good past few months so allow me to brag a little. ;)

Last last fall (2017) I was accepted into my dream PhD program. A top University, perfectly aligned to what I wanted to study and everything seemed to be going my way. Well it turns out that I didn't end up going there for a variety of reasons that left me pretty bummed out.

Anyway fast forward to this year and I am starting my doctoral study at a less recognized school but in a program that I think I will be happier in. How cool is that?

Additionally, we won an apartment lottery here (in Hanam-si if you are familiar with the area), so in 3 years the complex will be finished and it should be extremely lucrative.

And then! I just got a sweet promotion at work that should open a lot of doors for me, and I am also scheduled for a 5 year review this fall that should put me in an even better situation (knock on wood).

But wait, there is more! My oldest is entering 1st grade this spring so we enrolled both her and #2 into international school. This doesn't matter too much to me, but my wife is happy because she is tired of always speaking English to the kids at home and an English education should ease the burden on her. And of course if my wife is happier, then that makes me happier. So good news all around!

Oh, and just so you don't think all is gravy here in literaryheroland, I am in the process of potty training child 3 and I had to stop writing this comment in the middle to clean poop from literally everywhere. Ugh.
posted by Literaryhero at 1:02 AM on February 3 [5 favorites]


Alright... Wife and I watched The Hundred Foot Journey which just was put up on Netflix. It is reminiscent of Today's Special - which they took off Netflix about 2 years ago - but way more technical.

Also, the lead in The Hundred Foot Journey makes a cameo in The Sorcerer's Apprentice - which we watched this evening with the kids.

We watched BlackKKKlansman last weekend - fantastic.

I finally got around to watching The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. If you like the Cohen Brothers, and treatise on death - it is a *very* unique take, which also required a conversation about different ways to die in the west, which meant we re-watched A Million Ways to Die in the West... Totally different films, totally different humor, but... death.

While I was sick, I watched Trigger Warning with Killer Mike...It was pretty impressive about 90% of it hit, with the rest being a miss, but - more a Killer Mike had to find his feet on a few topics.
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:08 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


After years of hearing how terrible it was, against a very few dissenting opinions, I watched Punisher: War Zone, because it was back on Netflix.

It was terrrrrrrrrrrrrible, but in a way that was still fun enough, if fun is the word, that I watched the whole thing.

Ray Stevenson is the Punisher, and he is pretty much an emotionless terminator through the thing, which is an interesting choice compared to, say, Jon Bernthal's playing Frank as a constant raw nerve always on the verge of a berserker panic attack.

He's also possibly the only actor in the whole thing, other than Colin Salmon as Paul Budiansky, whose accent isn't broadly exaggerated and over-the-top. Dominic West, who plays Jigsaw, and Doug Hutchison, who plays his brother, are the worst offenders in the cartoon-accent department. They take the New York Italian Mobster accent so far into extreme caricature territory that sometimes I wonder if they didn't have a competition between themselves to see how many extra vowels they could shove into words.

It's also got more splodey-splodey headshots than I've probably ever seen in a movie with no zombies in it.

It's gory and nonsensical and incredibly stupid. And I still sort of enjoyed it, for what it was. It has a few moments of self-awareness of its own absurdity, like taking every opportunity to light old Frank like he walked out of one of those Tim Bradstreet covers, and then actually naming a hotel the Bradstreet. It also continues the tradition of a blond Frank Castle's hair somehow going black in the wake of losing his family.

If you like your Punisherator ugly like a late-nineties Tarantino pastiche, well, this is that. It is an extremely ugly movie.

I also watched Ant-Man and the Wasp, which I have a lot less to say about, other than, "You got PEZ'd!"
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:15 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


just so you don't think all is gravy here

that's a funny choice of words, considering.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:43 AM on February 3 [3 favorites]


As already mentioned by many, I'd recommend The Favorite. Cynical and depressing and fun(ny). The more Lanthimos's movies I watch, the more I'm convinced that he's a contemporary incarnation of Bunuel. Also, definitely go see it at the theater: the ugliness and oppression of its sets is extremely detailed.

Another one: Night Is Short, Walk On Girl, a Japanese anime directed by Masaaki Yuasa which completely surprised me. Haven't seen the series of which it's a sort of sequel, The Tatami Galaxy, but based on the movie, it should be well worth the watch and is in my plans.
posted by sapagan at 3:57 AM on February 3


Just to note, I also saw Ocean's 8 on a plane. Did anybody actually see it at a cinema? I thought it was not bad, better than the reviews had led me to expect.
posted by biffa at 4:11 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Another airplane viewing for Oceans 8 and I'm really glad I didn't pay to see it in the cinema. BUT I also watched the entire first season of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and just grinned with delight through the entire series, absolutely amazing fun and so well done.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:33 AM on February 3


Recently I really liked First Reformed. The way it combines themse of calvinist awareness of good and evil, environmental consciousness and mental health just works. And it looks great cinematically.
The movie Colette seems to me totally the thing that mefi would like. It got few responses on fanfare, perhaps because of lacking publicity. Give it a try.
Then there's the van Gogh movie At Eternity's Gate. His story is so iconic that a movie could easily be heavy handed or turn into caricature. Also the use of English instead of French and Dutch could be distracting. But I thought it worked well.
posted by jouke at 5:32 AM on February 3


Over on a movie site I frequent, we're finishing up a poll of the movies of 1940. Lot's of good stuff that year, mostly American since the war had started to limit production overseas. As different moves were being mooted as possible choices for different people's top twenty lists for the year, one of the contributors made the bold claim that Spring Parade was the finest Deanna Durbin film. Well, as you might imagine I was taken aback by the assertion since it discounted entirely the charming frivolity her work with Donald O'Connor in Something in the Wind, the technicolor extravagance of Can't Help Singing, and the noir fan favorite Christmas Holiday which is so often claimed as her best film by those who with an aversion to lighter fare. I had trouble even believing that Spring Parade was even the best Durbin movie of 1940 with the delightful It's a Date also from the year.

So I of course had to sit down and watch it just to be able to rebut the outlandish claim, but wouldn't you know it, Spring Parade might indeed be, no, I couldn't be so rash as to say the best Deanna Durbin movie since I doubt there could be one above all the rest, let's say Spring Parade is equal to any other one may posit as her finest. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather after finding how wrong I was to have doubted.

It starts off as a lovely light and airy continental style comedy, with Durbin playing the role of Ilonka, an impetuous mountain girl who goes to a local fair in hopes of selling her goat. She is enticed into buying a fortune selected by a crow that says her future husband will be an artist found in Vienna. Many miles from Vienna, Ilonka has grave doubts about the accuracy of said fortune, but an accident of fate leads her to the city where she meets a man who may indeed be the one foretold. Things, however, take a dark turn when Ilonka Impulsively secrets a message inside the Emperor's bread sticks. The state police become involved and things look grim. Now I wouldn't be so callous as to spoil the movie for you by telling you how it ends, you'll have to watch it for yourself if you want to see how Ilonka's pursuit of her fortune plays out.
posted by gusottertrout at 6:00 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


Late to the party...My best friend of over 40 years wanted to recreate the movie days we used to do in our teens/20s. We'd go to the $1.00 movie theaters starting with the first showing until late at night and cram in as many movies as possible. This time, we managed three. Lol. 2 in theaters and 1 at home. We saw "The Favourite" and "Spiderman into the Spiderverse" while out (I enjoyed both quite a bit). And then, because we couldn't get the timing right for "Aquaman" we headed back to her house to see another while eating dinner. She pulled up "You Never Can Tell" from a list of movies she'd recorded off of TMC or a similar channel. It starred Dick Powell and was one of the weirdest, most surreal movies I've seen. The premise is that when animals die they go to this animal purgatory (rendered in amazing 1951 special effects). There, they can move onto animal heaven if they've been good--or if they have been bad, they get sent back to earth as a human. Dick Powell's German Shepard was a war-hero who is poisoned because he's left a fortune by a rich old man. He comes back as a detective to solve his murder. His sidekick, sent to keep an eye on him, is a racehorse turned into his sassy secretary played to perfection by Joyce Holden. Madcap hilarity ensues. Worth watching.
posted by agatha_magatha at 8:27 AM on February 3 [8 favorites]


Over on a movie site I frequent, we're finishing up a poll of the movies of 1940. Lot's of good stuff that year, mostly American since the war had started to limit production overseas.

Curious to hear what site that is!

Also speaking of lead-up-to-WWII films, I watched Ninotchka and Rules Of The Game more or less back-to-back - and found that they kind of made up a really interesting thematic double feature. Both took the premise of French culture in the pre-WWII world as devoted to pleasure and frivolity, but one took a more nostalgic "ahh, weren't those the days" approach, while the other was more of a cynical "yeah, here's what the people in charge were doing instead of being responsible and this is why we're fucked now" attitude.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:30 AM on February 3


Curious to hear what site that is!

It's scfzforum.org and we're always happy to have more people join the site. A lot of the acticity is polls and other prompts to provide good excuse to seek out things we haven't seen before, but most of the members are also active on Letterboxd too, so you can get a pretty good cross section of opinions on older and less commercial films from around the world, since many of the people involved aren't from the US. Here's the last poll we finished on the movies of 1994 and in a couple days when the 1940 poll is over, we start on 1923.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:56 AM on February 3 [3 favorites]


Oh, I should add scfz is a pretty small group of movie weirdos, the ICheckMoviesforum is bigger has more action on the boards and seems interesting, but I'm not super familiar with it.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:11 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


My favorite (new) movie recently was Can You Ever Forgive Me. I keep saying to everyone I mention it to: it's nothing at all like the previews. The trailer I saw made it look like "she was a failing writer until [record scratch!] she tried to pull of THIS crazy scheme!" In fact, it's a melancholic movie about queerness and NYC and not being able to quite hold it together and blah blah many things. I should have known it would be something more interesting, really, as the screenplay was co-written by Nicole Holofcener.

Also last night before falling asleep from a very heavy dinner, we watched all but the last twenty minutes of Agnes' Varda's Cleo from 5 to 7 which is astonishing.
posted by Smearcase at 9:11 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


TO-to-ro, To-tooo-ro!
TO-to-ro, To-tooo-ro!

There, now its stuck in your head too.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:23 AM on February 3 [4 favorites]


Attending the cinema, once a favorite pastime, has become so annoying it's now a rare event for me. I was excited about "They Shall Not Grow Old" but it kinda sucked (Tim Carmody explains why). Actually the best movie I've seen in a long time I missed when it came out but the DVD came my way earlier this year so my best of 2018 was "There Will Be Blood" from 2007.
posted by Rash at 10:26 AM on February 3


Tried to join scfz and it didn't let me get past the "enter these weirdly-obscured letters exactly as you see them" verification thingy. Pooh.

However, I also curiously looked into showtimes for the Oscar nominees locally and stumbled upon this little performing arts space in Greenpoint that is devoted to movies, pastry, and video gaming (?!), and they have a screening of Bohemian Rhapsody on Thursday at 7 pm so I grabbed a ticket. I love that I can see movies in funky indie places like this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:43 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


I signed up with trakt at the start of the year, and am trying to use it whenever I've watched something. So far I've watched 19 films, and I've been watching a fair few "classics", some of which I've loved (The Apartment) some of which I haven't (A touch of evil).
I watched Stan & Ollie in the cinema and really really enjoyed it. Much more than I had thought I would, it is funny but also sad and has a real emotional background to it. Coogan is fantastic.

I was not impressed by Aquaman.
posted by Fence at 11:11 AM on February 3


The only film I've gotten to recently was Mary Queen of Scots (basically the family compromise option, no horror, cartoon or comics) and went in totally cold other than knowing it was historical. The reviews are about right, it's not a classic but certainly watchable and entertaining. It's was filmed almost on location, an industry interview with the DP admitted it was mostly shot on the west coast of Scotland (from France the east coast is kinda closer) as there were more hotels availability for the crew and somewhat easier terrain. But great old castles inside up close and in the dark.
posted by sammyo at 11:58 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


New releases: I saw The Favourite last night and very much recommend. If Beale Street Could Talk is also worth your time. Can You Ever Forgive Me was my favorite of the year and now that Melissa McCarthy is Oscar-nominated, it's back in some theatres.

Streaming: But I'm a Cheerleader! (finally!), Annihilation (on Prime now), Can You Dig It (documentary about community gardens and their people in the Compton neighborhood of LA, on Netflix). Also rewatched Arrival the other night and it completely holds up.

In previews at the theatre yesterday, more intriguing woman-helmed scifi coming up with Claire Denis' High Life.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 12:22 PM on February 3


Recently watched A Walk on the Moon, with Diane Lane, Liev Schreiber, and Viggo Mortensen. And Anna Paquin playing the daughter. I had initially thought it was a contemporary movie, then I was startled to see a young Liev Schreiber, and very happy to see a young Viggo. It was a nice movie, and I learned about the history of its making afterward, and thought it much more realistic than say, Dirty Dancing (which is iconic, but not the same). I could really relate to Diane Lane's character, because I got pregnant when I was 18 (tho' I did not get married, but the feelings were the same, when people in my cohort were getting college degrees and I had dropped out and was taking a secretarial course).

We watched Ant Man & the Wasp on Netflix the other night, and I was happy/sad to see Stan Lee. It was a funny movie, and I really enjoyed it more than some of the others in the genre.

Then we watched Solo: A Star Wars Story, and while it was good, I felt it was too dark (literally, the scenes were dark and things were difficult to see clearly, tho' I realize that may have been intentional, to make it the dark part of history?), but I appreciated the story, and it was good, but not level of when I saw the original Star Wars in the theater 3 times good. I liked Rogue One about 10 times better.

One sort of weird movie I watched not long ago was Tickled, a documentary, and that was sort of interesting in a creepy sort of way.

Determined to see Alita: Battle Angel in the theater. I haven't been to the theater in a long time, and I really want to see this on a big screen. That's going to be our Valentine's Day date that weekend.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:12 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


Just watched two related films, Resolution & The Endless, both on Netflix. Resolution is about a guy staying with his friend to get him off drugs & The Endless is about two brothers returning to visit a UFO cult they spent time with when they were young. Neither movie is actually about that, they're both about the same thing which turns out to be something very creepy; there's some pretty disturbing scenes along the way. If you're up for something weird, creepy & not straightforward, these are for you. They both take time to unfold so be patient with them.
posted by scalefree at 2:58 PM on February 3 [3 favorites]


I was not impressed by Aquaman.

Got about halfway through & got bored, gave up on it.
posted by scalefree at 3:02 PM on February 3


I'm a bit saddened to realize I've seen very few movies that I can recommend this year.

Sorry to Bother You was great. It was thoroughly silly, but smart-silly rather than dumb-silly. (Perhaps, Truman Show silly rather than Dumb and Dumber silly?) I suspect that it will be next in line behind Bamboozled on our great-grandchildren's list of social-commentary films that our generation was too dumb to appreciate properly.

The one film that really broke my heart this year was insects. I adore the director and love everything he's ever made. I'm a fan of the authors of the literary source material. I donated to the film's public funding call years ago. This was supposed to be the magnum opus of one of the most interesting directors in the history of film. I jumped at the chance to see a special screening with commentary by local film scholars. . . and, it was thoroughly dull. It's easily the least interesting feature Švankmajer has ever made. Watching one of my artistic heroes go out on a such a muted note is incredibly sad. It's still better than most films that exist and well worth seeing. But, it's so much less than it could have been. (Perhaps that's a sophisticated meta-take on the times we live in. But, it still makes me feel bad.)
posted by eotvos at 4:26 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


BlacKkKlansman was the last film we watched, this past Thursday. It was funny and horrific and moving. It ended with some scenes of the events in Charlottesville, which were hard to watch - I hadn't seen any actual footage before. I also hadn't expected the film to be so timely and pointed in its view of the current incumbent of the White House.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 5:58 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


Are there other anime movies/series that compare in terms of quality? I haven't really kept up with the genre, but would welcome recommendations.

My recommendations - these are movies:

Liz to Aoi Tori (Liz and the Blue Bird) - MAL listing, US trailer 1, US trailer 2. Probably the best movie I've seen in years.

Tamako Love Story - MAL listing, US trailer

Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice) - MAL listing. Stunning.

All three of the above were directed by Naoko Yamada - she's directed some of my favorite anime series as well (K-ON and Tamako Market).
posted by ralan at 6:06 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


we are over halfway done with our 1st time / rewatch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

So last saturday was "Avengers: Age of Ultron". We are working our way through *all* the films (including the Marvel One Shots). The audience includes über-comic book and film nerds, casual watchers, and one MCU virgin. We are having a GREAT time! We make dinner and start watching, every once in a while there will be a pause for either exposition/refresh/explanations without spoilers, and then coffee and dessert. We all look forward to meeting once a week as our schedules allow and keep the story going.

This is our watching order. It is not by release date but rather organised by how best the overall story moves along and is enhanced:

Captain America: The First Avenger / "Agent Carter"
Iron Man
Iron Man 2 / "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer"
Thor
Incredible Hulk / "The Consultant"
Avengers / "Item 47"
Thor: The Dark World
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Iron Man 3 / "All Hail the King"
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Ant-Man
Captain America: Civil War / "Team Daryll"
Black Panther
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Doctor Strange
Thor: Ragnarok
Avengers: Infinity War
Ant-Man & The Wasp
posted by alchemist at 6:04 AM on February 4 [2 favorites]


Awesome! I did lots of those before Avengers: Infinity War to fill in the blanks, it did make non-action/superhero movies I watched feel really slow for a while afterwards!
posted by ellieBOA at 6:58 AM on February 4


Lately, for some reason, I'm all about the action movies. No idea why -- just one of those weird phases I go through. Most of them turn out to be kind of boring, once you get to the end, but I loved both Revenge and In Order of Disappearance (Kraftidioten, if you speak Norwegian). A friend of mine -- a man, quaintly enough -- got impatient with me for liking Revenge, as it does have a "rape as plot device" element, but I thought it worked fine in the context of the rest of the picture. In Order of Disappearance has Stellan Skarsgard and Bruno Ganz -- what's not to like? (Cold Pursuit, an American remake, is coming out in March or April.)

I also finally got around to watching the Coen Brothers A Serious Man the other night and really liked it as well. I liked it almost as much as Fargo, which I love beyond reason. Will have to watch it again.
posted by holborne at 8:10 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


Usually my spouse and I try to pick out stuff we both like when we're both around, but recently there have been some weekend sports games (not the Big One). Which means that Spouse half-watches while listening to the game, and I take advantage by watching whatever I want without consulting mwahahaha.

Last weekend it was Annihilation. Kind of loved it. Gave me mild nightmares. Still sort of bugs me in the back of my head.

So this weekend, I headed in the exact opposite direction with a double-header of Extremely Stupid, Strangely Quotable '90s Buddy Comedies: Wayne's World and Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion.

Miraculously, we're still married.
posted by cage and aquarium at 8:47 AM on February 4


(Aaaaaand I just read Liam Neeson's comments regarding Cold Pursuit. My post certainly was beautifully timed.)
posted by holborne at 9:21 AM on February 4


The documentary Three Identical Strangers was pretty wonderful; it was haunting, fascinating, and upsetting all at once. It resonated with me. High recommended.
posted by sockermom at 10:07 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


Glad to see all the favourable comments about Annihilation because I had no expectations when I watched it last year, but sorta loved it too.
It reminded me of Solaris (I've only seen the George Clooney version) but I haven't rewatched that since the cinema.

I do really want to see Three Identical Strangers as Mark Kermode made it sound quite fascinating when he reviewed it. Also Destroyer sounds like one I should look out for, not sure it'll come to my local cinema unfortunately.
posted by Fence at 11:23 AM on February 4


Huzzah I finally saw DODSWORTH and am now 144 films into my 1210-film challenge!

I also have been so into the indie films here that I got a wall calendar specifically for noting what the special programming was at five different Brooklyn theaters near my house, from the "70's comedies" at Film Forum to the "George Romero Festival" at BAM. On a single weekend I could easily go from seeing the original 1971 Willy Wonka to My Neighbor Totoro to The Crying Game.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:59 AM on February 4 [3 favorites]


I've made approximately 2.1MM comments on MeFi over the years, roughly half of which have been about movies. Please take my word for it and watch Triangle on Amazon Prime, because it's fantastic. It's an amazing film that is going to end up a cult favorite someday. Be ahead of the curve.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:21 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


The Favourite was probably my, uh, favorite new movie I saw in '18, but 2017's BPM (Beats per Minute) is the other movie that's continued to haunt me since I saw it a year ago. I've rarely seen a movie that makes the actual work of political organizing so moving and dramatic without resorting to cliché or simple melodrama.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:50 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


Movie-wise the only thing interesting I've been diving into lately is old Huell Howser shows. The older I get, the more I feel lucky that I grew up watching him on KCET and seeing his Videolog segments.

He's like a bigger, goofier and hyperactive Mr. Rogers in a lot of ways and I have no idea how he gets away so easily with being so disarmingly goofy and gregarious, and how in every single episode he just walks right up to at least one person that obviously doesn't want to be talked to and he does it anyway and manages to get them to say something interesting.

And he ends up in the strangest places. One of the ones I watched last night he's out at the Salton Sea in one of the old decaying beach/resort towns and just tapdancing around the general topics of "Gee, there's not a whole lot to do out here, is there? 1 open bar and 4 closed ones, well how about that? Well what do y'all do for fun around here?" and you can tell his local tour guide is just dying to say "Are you for real? We're desert rats and people party a lot." so instead he practically brags to Huell about fishing, eating the fish and swimming in the Salton Sea, which, ew, gnarly.

And yet it's still just fascinating. Anything., Random old burger shacks, Nike missile sites, pork rind factories. A hole in the ground.

On the home front I'm pretty much happily snowed in, for now. Locally I'm guessing as much as 5 -6 inches, and we have drifts building up in the 2+ foot range. The Puget Sound region is apparently getting lashed with the tail end of the polar vortex that just froze the midwest. The novelty is probably going to wear off in about two days, max, and we're expecting more with a mix of rain and snow and 20 F in a few more days, which is going to mean really shitty slush and ice instead of the rare thick blanket of nice powdery stuff out there right now.
posted by loquacious at 2:39 PM on February 4 [3 favorites]


I watched Oceans 8 in the theater and loved it, for what it's worth. Widows was probably my favorite movie I saw last year. Game Night was surprisingly good and fun (airplane movie, but I liked it a lot!).

I just left the forest - 4ish hours by sampan, 3ish hours by motorcycle. My butt has never been sore like this before. I head to Jakarta in a few hours, have some meetings, and then fly back to Boston, with a few hours in Tokyo visiting Gotanda!! Cross your fingers that I stay awake and also that my butt doesn't fall off during my upcoming 30 hours of flying!
posted by ChuraChura at 4:01 PM on February 4 [3 favorites]


I really, really loved Ocean's 8 and Crazy Rich Asians was an absolute delight - maybe it was the Awkwafina factor? What If? with Daniel Radcliffe was very sweet.

I've been trying to watch something new-to-me every couple of days. Last night was Child 44 in lieu of watching the Super Bowl. I genuinely enjoyed the movie - even though the accents were atrocious, the child murderer soliloquy was just WRONG and WEIRD and everything fell apart in the last 1/3 of the movie.

My main goal with movies these days is total, complete escape and happy endings. Reality is hard enough right now.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:22 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


And Death of Stalin. Jason Isaacs was delightful. Steve Buscemi was Machiavellian. Great fun.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:25 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


Also The Mummy (1999) holds up.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:13 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


I've been on a NetFlix list-clearing catchup run recently, ergo watched a lot of mid-tier films. That's sometimes where the failed-imaginative magic is and sometimes not. In any regard, I liked horrors The Possession and I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House. Notional comedy An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn is genuinely odd, despite trying a little too hard, but has a really good cast, a New Wave era aesthetic and great sound design. Definitely too long, but most films are these days.

Rewatched the excellently-peculiar erstwhile Oscar-bait Birdman, plus Monty Python And The Holy Grail and The Big Lebowski in the last few days. All still quality too.

Gonna have to see Bumblebee on home video now, bit annoyed about that.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 10:21 PM on February 4


I absolutely loved Annihilation, and was so surprised that Ant Man & The Wasp was actually great? Like really good?
posted by odinsdream at 11:40 PM on February 4


Also it's not a movie but Black Earth Rising on Netflix is one of the most powerful things I've ever seen. Phenomenal. I just finished it and I'm immediately rewatching it.
posted by odinsdream at 12:00 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Have failed to see anything at all this year, but would like to get to see Shoplifters and One Cut of the Dead while they're still at the Prince Charles (London rep cinema).
posted by Grangousier at 1:31 AM on February 5


A little late to this - recently seen, and loved/liked:

Roma (please see this in a cinema)
Shirkers
Eighth Grade
Three Identical Strangers
Sorry To Bother You
20th Century Women
Jim & Andy - The Great Beyond
Thunder Road
Black Panther
The Favourite
American Animals
Isle of Dogs
Kubo and the Two Strings
Bernie
Keep The Change
Blockers
Colossal
Mindhorn
The Rider
The Florida Project
Flower
Lady Bird
Don't Think Twice
A Monster Calls
The Incredible Jessica James
Brigsby Bear
Ammore e malavita

(We're not mentioning series, right? So... no Kidding, The Good Place, Barry, Sex Education, Killing Eve... none of that?)

Unexpected disappointments:
- Happy As Lazzaro (second half fail)
- Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda (I mean, it was OK...)
- Crazy Rich Asians
- The Old Man & The Gun
- The Spy Who Dumped Me
- Early Man
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- The Shape Of Water

Next up (in alphabetic order):
- Andhadhun
- A Taxi Driver
- Ava
- Bad Times at the El Royale
- The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Blindspottong
- Burning/Beoning
- Can You Ever Forgive Me?
- Chevalier
- Cold War
- Damsel
- Disobedience
- Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
- First Reformed
- Foxtrot
- Game Night
- The Great Buddha+
- The Guilty/Den Skyldige
- If Beale Street Could Talk
- Instant Family
- Jeannette (one of John Waters' faves of 2018...)
- Jeune Femme
- Leave No Trace
- The Levelling
- Madeline's Madeline
- Minding The Gap
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post
- Molly's Game
- Okja
- Private Life
- Psychokinesis
- Shoplifters
- Stan & Ollie
- Thelma
- Transit
- Western
- Widows
- Wildlife
- Your Name.
- You Were Never Really Here
- Zama

(On the strength of this thread, going to add Triangle, 120 BPM, Annihilation, They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead and Insects to these - thanks!)
posted by progosk at 6:08 AM on February 5


A few people have mentioned Roma - I have been waiting for it to turn up at the cinema and was thus quite surprised when it popped up on Netflix the other day. I am aware of Netflix getting into funding high quality projects but hadn't realised this was one while seeing all the Oscar bumpf about. I am a cinema fan and like seeing things in the cinema but with no objection to catching up on what I miss via TV. Besides missing the overall cinema feeling though it seems that I lose a lot of anticipation when stuff just suddenly appears like this. There's no need for me to consider getting a trip out into my schedule and less in the way of being keen to see it. Its just sitting there in 'My List' and who knows when I will get to it.
posted by biffa at 6:21 AM on February 5


Roma is a bit of a peculiar case, it was basically released simultaneously on Netflix and in cinemas. My guess is that Cuarón had so many special requests that they had to cough up for (just one example: he shot it in chronologial order - nobody gets to do that...), that he had to accept their unusual distribution plan. But: it's a profoundly cinematic experience, so do try to treat yourself to that.
posted by progosk at 6:43 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


I will try and watch it but I feel like I lost something in terms of build up, etc. Another potentially different outcome is that my SO has heard less about it than might be the case in the normal run of a cinema released movie so I may have to do some work to draw her interest.

Saw Glass last night and quite enjoyed it. Quite nicely wrapped into Unbreakable and thought through.
posted by biffa at 7:06 AM on February 6


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