Posts Tagged ‘movies’

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First the Freebies

I sift through the muck, so you don’t have to. Here are some underrated gems online for free right now:

Europa Report

I’ve talked about this before, and it remains a haunting, realistic science fiction thriller.

Triangle

I don’t think I have talked about Triangle. This is a great, twisted, deceptive story. It burrows deep into your mind and won’t let go.

The Last Seduction

I have mentioned this one on a list of sexy thrillers. Linda F. is a powerhouse and kind of evil.

Monster

Charlize Theron shows the depths she’s willing to go to be the world’s top actress. Serial killer Aileen Wuormos was almost unredeemable, but Theron plays her with unflinching humanity–the buzzword actors do love.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Such a lush, immersive world, apparently based in Chinese myths, this is an unforgettable kung fu extravaganza, not least because of the two female co-leads.

Starship Troopers

Paul Verhoeven slides somewhere between satire and action-thriller. It’s an ugly planet, a bug planet. Potentially mocking his own source material, this film was ahead of its time, with our real-world slide to fascism in full gear.

Numerous other films at those sites.

 

Onto the recent stuff
We Are the Night

This lesbian vampire thriller from Germany is a mixed bag. Without trying to second guess anyone, I’d call it a b-movie at best that could have used a rewrite.

Papillon

This remake of the Steve McQueen film is based on a true story, and they tried to be accurate to the source material. The first film was more memorable, however, and is a classic. They diverge in styles and in some of the subplots. I prefer the original.

November

Oddball Eastern European legends mish-moshed into some kind of religious/steampunk insanity. It dragged a bit slowly, but it’s not like anything else you’re likely to come across this year. A true WTF film.

Risk

A documentarian selectively edits the story of the world’s greatest living truth-teller. Laura Poitras does a disservice to all concerned with this sly hit piece on Julian Assange. She was invited in to tell the story of Wikileaks, but she instead let her personal biases affect the outcome. A real disappointment, years are compressed into seconds, and she disparages Assange with innuendo, rather than doing the hard work of fact finding in the case of the Swedish accusations against him. From the start she says that Julian didn’t trust her, but this was revealing that she didn’t trust Julian, and she made a film to spread her distrust to others.

Small Town Crime

Good small-scale crime film. I liked this one, but couldn’t think of enough to say about it to post a solo review. It’s a low-budget, gritty detective story with a very flawed main character.

Hot Summer Nights

This was interesting, but the filmmakers didn’t seem to know where it was going. Case in point, they shot an unused ending that was completely different. Chalk it up to a young, inexperienced bunch. Some good scenes about wasted youth pushing the limits in the summertime. Not terrible, but never makes it to poignant.

Submission

Poignant. A writer’s film, one of many. Stanley Tucci is a great actor, and he delivers a twist on the professor/student forbidden tryst. Some hard-hitting scenes with real stakes.

Lights Out

Borderline unwatchable. The “high concept” drivel Hollywood hacks can’t get enough of, but I can. Skip.

The Train

A cult classic second world war film with Burt Lancaster bellowing his American accent and not even trying to pretend he’s French. While the rest of the cast is French or German. A nice plot about stopping a Nazi from stealing France’s greatest paintings as they are run out of the country.

Bombshell: The Heddy Lamar Story

Surprising, and most of the film has suspense and build up. The ending kind of fizzles. This exceptional woman was an inventor of military radio technology, which the government was too stupid to appreciate at the time it was needed most! And a beautiful actress with all sorts of issues.

Leave No Trace

This was highly recommended in the indie scene, and it’s shot well. I did like the completeness of the story, the multi-generational aspect, the coming of age and the unique perspective on society that it dramatizes.

Plus other films with full reviews.

Saving Private Ryan | War Propaganda
How War Propaganda in the Film Industry Really Works

Banned in Chinese #Cinema

Posted: December 14, 2018 in -
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19 Subjects Banned from Chinese Cinema

Talking Animals, Dystopian Themes, Nuclear Weapons, Homosexuality, Time Travel and more…

#7 Criticizing government

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The little-dick film snobs lost their shit over this:

 

However, feature-length narrative cinema made by mostly white male auteurs dominated the collection. These are not the films that need seeing or saving. They may not circulate widely in popular culture, but they account for almost our entire institutional and disciplinary canon. And despite the collective anxiety about their disappearance, they will endure in archives, film studies programs and, yes, even online …More radically, however, we might ask whether these are the works we need to rescreen or urge others to discover.

 

FilmStruck wasn’t that good for movies. Don’t mourn its demise.

 

What an absolute gift it would be to escape the corrupt inheritance of the auteur — a 20th-century invention; film scholars have the receipts — and the long shadow of a canon that has compelled generations of students to mimic the powers of patriarchy and colonialism, to play at corporate theater, or to wonder about their own exclusion from what they see on screen.

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J. Giambrone

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Unsane

I rejected this at first because it’s a gimmick movie: filmed on IPhones. Yawn. There’s a reason phones are for making calls and cinema cameras make moving images. Soderbergh makes stupid calls sometimes. It’s heavily color graded on crappy source footage, and so the entire movie takes you out of the movie.

The story deserved a better, more serious, approach. A decent thriller, decent acting, the Philistines may forget about the crap footage and just watch.

images (1).jpgHotel Artemis

Now here’s a stylized movie-movie, shot on real cameras. Imagine. I might have reviewed it in its own post, but I’m so lazy.

Hotel Artemis has that ultra-violent over-the-top action. None of the characters are all that likable. The sleaze is a tad off-putting. As a curiosity it stands up, contained in one location and populated by lowlife murderers at each others’ throats.

download.jpgAmerican Animals

Here is a taut true-life drama…

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Gun sales go up.

 

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