Author Topic: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?  (Read 241485 times)

Offline westendboy

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8407
Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1170 on: February 10, 2019, 15:14 »


I was attracted to Life Itself because of Dan Fogelman, who is behind the excellent TV series This is Us, a series nobody I know watches or even wants to see.

After a shocking ending in the first act, I checked IMDb and I was surprised with the meta-critic Score of Death, a big fat and blood red 21%. One of the “baddest” reviews quipped: “Bad things happen to nearly everyone in this movie. But the real tragedy strikes when you buy a ticket.” No fricking way! Up to that point Life Itself wasn’t a washout and when it ended... heck... both of us were blinking back tears and in the end we both lost it. Sure... Fogelman did try to jackhammer some melodrama into our brains but it was us who gave him that privilege and it was an honour to go through the emotional wringer.

The story starts off with a young New York City couple who goes from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child. The unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.

Life Itself borrows a central idea from This is Us in that it is never mere chance that you get to the stage you are currently in. Everything that happened in your past brought you here. I am a firm believer of that philosophy.

I love how Fogelman explores the ideas of generational pain and love. Sometimes we think we choose someone to love for life, but it has never crossed our minds that we were also chosen. I don’t want to sound like a broken record so I will just mention what were one or two of my take home lessons.

Isn’t it good to know that we cannot control life? It throws us curve balls when it wants to, but the thing is to stand back up and go a little further. I am a firm believer that the only thing I can do is to create moments and memories that will last a lifetime - whether it is in your work, your marriage or your relationships. And creating moments don’t require a whole lot of money, only perhaps your time, effort and your thinking cap.

My last take from the movie is that we are all flawed people. Isn’t it comforting to just know and understand that knowledge? We do the best with the hand we are dealt. We love the people we are with. Life is the unreliable narrator and we are its story. A good story has great moments and the power to create great moments resides in us.

Okay... that’s a mouthful. Tomorrow I am definitely going to Spotify Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind which was featured very strongly in the movie.

Sometimes, the critics know rubbish. I don’t see myself as a critic, more like a bloke who loves stories and the art of storytelling. (3.5/5)



Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder are born to play their parts in Destination Wedding. They are like two misanthropes killing each other with bile-induced perfect English loaded with such stupendous vocabulary. My wifey and I laughed ourselves crazy. But seriously, not many will like it because it’s just pure dialogue with little plot. The two of them talked non-stop like machine-guns but the dialogue is so well-written and their delivery is perfect. It’s like an anti-rom-com. It can only be written by a true cynic who probably hates weddings. One of my fave lines that had us in stitches was “how much nuts needs to fall on your head before you wear a hat.” It sounded wise but it cut right to the bone. Watching this mismatched couple, you are counting the moments they hit the sack and when it comes it is fricking hilarious. We can see they are made for each other, but they don’t see it yet. The screenplay is marvellous and I include a few more lines, but I take nothing away from their delivery. (3/5)

Lindsay: But don’t you believe there’s someone for everyone?
Frank: Close. I believe that there’s nobody for anyone.

Not good? Here’s another, done in one take....

Lindsay: Frank?
Frank: Present.
Lindsay: When you said before that I was an attractive woman, what did you mean?
Frank: What do you mean what did I mean? You’re an attractive woman. You’re physically appealing.
Lindsay: Can you be more specific?
Frank: Your facial features subscribe to the Golden Ratio.
Lindsay: What?
Frank: One to the quantity one half times radical five plus one. The Golden Ratio.
Lindsay: You can tell that?
Frank: It’s an estimate. And you have The Folds of Aphrodite.
Lindsay: What are the Folds of Aphrodite?
Frank: That’s the name of the particular, graceful way that the cheeks of beautiful women arrange themselves when they smile. There’s a gentle creasing that begins at the cheekbone and runs downward, in a slightly arced diagonal, directing the eye to the mouth. It’s aesthetically thrilling.
Lindsay: Well, I’ve never heard the term Folds of Aphrodite.
Frank: I coined it.
Lindsay: Then it’s not a real thing. Then it and you are bullshit.
Frank: I Googled around and there was no name for it so I coined it. It’s established now.
Lindsay: Bullshit.
Frank: In my experience, there’s at least a ninety percent correlation between beautiful women and women who have The Folds of Aphrodite.
Lindsay: Oh.
Frank: The Folds cut across races and ethnicities.
Lindsay: What else about me?
Frank: Well, you’re slender, but not to the point of a troubled relationship with food.
Lindsay: That’s actionable profiling, right there.
Frank: File a grievance. And your curves are very sexy but not vulgar. Everything very much in proportion, firm but not overly, which I’ve always found weird and prepossessing. Your arms bespeak physical fitness and athleticism, but nothing sapphic. And your ankles quietly aver that you will keep your body well into later age.
Lindsay: It’s despicable the way men look at women.
Frank: In short, you are beautiful, graceful, and elegant. Also, you don’t dress in an overtly sexy way. You seem to understand that dressing sexy is actually the opposite of being sexy, that certain information should have to be earned, rather than given away for free to anyone and everyone who passeth by your doorstep.
Lindsay: If this were 1732.
Frank: I’m giving you a compliment.
Lindsay: You’re calling me a prude.
Frank: I’m suggesting that you’ve taken the high road. Even in this flagrant, flaunting day and age, you have chosen to preserve the mystery. Yes, the pajamas go too far, but I applaud the ethos.
Lindsay: Would you like to know about you?
Frank: No.
Lindsay: Yes, you would. You’re very handsome. You have powerful eyes. Your hair will never be a problem. The corners of your mouth touch, but do not cross the vertical lines which bisect your eyes. In profile, your chin extends exactly the same as your lower lip, which is an ideal. Bodily, you feel strong and substantial, sinuous but not wiry. Sartorially, you get high marks. You tuck in your shirts because you realize that tails out is a ridiculous way to dress. You wear your pants low, and your shoes are legitimate. And you have a beautiful pen1s.
Frank: I do?
Lindsay: Oh, come on, Frank. Surely people have told you that your entire life.
Frank: No.
Lindsay: Well, it’s very nice. It’s straight, and you would not believe how epidemic a problem that is. Also, it’s balletically formed. It’s not so big as to ever be a cause for concern, but it’s big enough never to be the object of ridicule or scorn. You’re in a very sweet spot there.
Frank: Are you saying that Keith’s thingy is not straight?
Lindsay: Can you imagine that we would have gone this entire weekend without saying these things to each other?
Frank: Balletically formed?
Lindsay: That’s right.

Others we have seen include Flavours of Youth, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, All’s Well That Ends Well Too and Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 15:16 by westendboy »
Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

My movie and music blog:
http://reelthoughtsfromageek.wordpress.com

All things books:
http://fictionmattersfromageek.wordpress.com

Offline westendboy

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8407
Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1171 on: March 11, 2019, 17:41 »


WTF is Michelangelo Antonioni’s The Passenger (1975) about?

David Locke (Jack Nicholson) is a television reporter on location in Africa's Sahara Desert. It's hot, humid, and everything seems to be dirty. Returning to his hotel after getting lost and bogged in the desert, he discovers that the man in the room next to his has died. After deciding that his own life wasn't worth living anymore, he switches identities with the dead man, taking the man's passport (with his own photo swapped in), his luggage, and his appointment schedule. Leaving Africa, he heads off to keep the dead man's appointments, hoping that his new life will be more interesting than his old one was.

The synopsis makes the movie sound exciting but it isn’t. It has no plot and everyone is in constant motion. It has a bit of sex (more like the aftermath of it) and zero tension. A veil of emptiness and hollowness permeate every frame. It feels impregnable but I wasn’t trying very hard. I was scared if I stepped right into the characters I would lose my soul like them.

Then it hit that last shot. It’s fascinatingly done all in one 8min take. I have no idea how the camera could move out of the bars on the window into the piazza. It’s also frustrating because I don’t know what it meant. It feels elusive and allusive, like dust in the air. I like to think that Locke succeeded in being Robertson and vice versa.

Don’t watch this for the story and plot. Experience this for its tone. It’s cold and detached, like the ugliness of the world all around us. (3.5 / 5)



We just scratched another great film off my must-see list - The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). Magnificent! Dreyer’s use of odd angles, editing and sets is amazing. Watching this is like experiencing sheer pain. In Maria Falconetti, Dreyer found the perfect Joan of Arc. To watch her is to see into her eyes into her very soul, welling with inner conviction. It is a very uncomfortable watch, pain shouldn’t be easy to watch. I love Dreyer’s use of spaces and light. All those shots of the ecclesiastics are startling, stark light illuminating the pores on their faces, a manifestation of their inner ugliness.

I probably don’t sound very coherent because the film has an eerie effect on viewers. Falconetti’s face is haunting, a face I will never ever forget. (5 / 5)



Free Solo, the Oscar winner for Best Documentary, follows Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite's 3,000 ft high El Capitan wall. With no ropes or safety gear, he completed arguably the greatest feat in rock climbing history.

The most physical gruelling thing I have ever done is running a full marathon without stopping. I did it the year I graduated from university. Then, I just wanted to do something physically difficult just before I embarked on the next part of my life. What I achieved was no big deal compared to Alex Honnold’s endeavour because in his case one small wrong move will lead to his death.

A few minutes into this and a part of my anatomy shrink. It’s like watching a slow accident happening and you can’t avert your eyes. Yet, it is so fricking inspiring. The dedication, the discipline and the sheer singularity is absorbing. To see how he placed a toe-hold on a slight variance on the gradient and his fingers holding onto a little rut is quite nerve-wracking. There is something intoxicating about watching a human being attempt the impossible.

Years ago, I went to Yosemite National Park and I literally stared wide-eyed at El Capitan, the sheer 3000-feet granite rock wall, for a few minutes. The place is quite magnificent and to watch a dude climb it without ropes is not for the faint-hearted.

Free Solo works because it doesn’t take short-cuts and doesn’t cheat. It shows you a person who is believable, like you and me, but he is a person who is most liberated when he doesn’t have any safety net, unlike us.

This is a documentary deserving of the highest award and I feel the only part that is truly awful is the Tim McGraw song right at the end. Thankfully, that only plays with the end-credits. Just press “stop” when the movie ends with a freeze on Honnold’s face. (4.5 / 5)



After the middling Captain Marvel experience, I decided to pluck The Right Stuff off my shelf for a watch. This movie was referenced in the Marvel movie and I have to say it is a much better movie.

Tom Wolfe's book on the history of the U.S. Space program reads like a novel, and the film has that same fictional quality. It covers the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager to the Mercury 7 astronauts, showing that no one had a clue how to run a space program or how to select people to be in it. Thrilling, funny, charming and electrifying all at once.

The movie is over 3 hours but I swear I didn’t feel it. It is beguilingly compelling and filled chockful with vivid characters. It is ultimately an American Number One movie, but I was fine with it because it celebrates one of mankind’s greatest achievements (going into space) through the magnificent seven’s heroism.

Just when the movie was wearing down on its last legs, it managed to hit a bravura sequence which cross-cuts between Gordo (Dennis Quaid) and Yeager (Sam Shepard). The cool sequence cements the theme of what is the right stuff that made these men so special.

I must say it was also great to see all the actors when they were younger and even Jeff Goldblum in a small role. (4.5 / 5)



Border is third best film we have seen this year.

Imagine this for a story premise... a woman has a special power - she can sense what you are trying to hide. She uses the full range of her power as a custom officer. Through the years she has nabbed drug couriers, paedophiles and what not. But one day she meets a man at the customs and she can’t “see” what he is hiding but she knows he is hiding something. The scary thing is she knows he knows she can “see” him.

I read the short story written by the dude who wrote possibly the best vampire story ever called Let the Right One In. He also wrote the screenplay based on his short story and this was Sweden’s entry for Best Foreign Film category.

The premise is just a launching pad for a mind-boggling character study. I didn’t tell you the gifted woman has a face that looked like an accident happened on it. In fact, watching the 2-hour movie resembles ogling at an accident site. You know it will give you nightmares but yet you want to swallow every bloody detail.

The movie shifts gears effortlessly, going from a monster-of-week to a rumination on beauty and loneliness to a meditation on the depravity of human beings to a modern horror theme to a coming-of-age love story to a full-on thriller arc. You seldom ever see a Hollywood film attempt this level of storytelling which hits on so many levels. The whole package is one helluva of a creepy story with acting up the Ying Yang. It is disturbing as hell, but yet so creepily beautiful.

Now, I have to re-read the short story. I am sure John Ajvide Lindqvist added a lot more to the story. And you know what? Sweden is not just about black metal bands like Watain, it is also a land of cool movies. (4 / 5)


Some others we have seen include God of Cookery, The Hurricane Heist, In the Name of the Father, Ben is Back. There are others but I can’t remember what they were.
Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

My movie and music blog:
http://reelthoughtsfromageek.wordpress.com

All things books:
http://fictionmattersfromageek.wordpress.com