Finally saw Joker

I’ll keep this short:

  • It’s a masterpiece.
  • All the controversy surrounding its release – incel triggering and/or otherwise – is laughable.
  • My faith in Hollywood’s ability to create magic has been restored.
  • I wish I could have attended its Cannes premier so I could have participated in the 8-minute standing ovation it received at the conclusion of its showing.
  • If, at a minimum, it, Todd Phillips, and Joaquin Phoenix don’t win all major awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor respectively, then the awards are completely irrelevant.

#convincemeimwrong

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BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO — A Review of Sorts

BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO
FILM | MOVIE | BRITISH | HORROR
WRITER: PETER STRICKLAND
DIRECTOR: PETER STRICKLAND
STARRING: TOBY JONES
IFC FILMS UNLIMITED
RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


If Kafka were to have written movies…

He would have written a movie like Berberian Sound Studio.


Now if you know me, you know that calling a movie Kafkaesque, and calling this movie Kafkaesque is an understatement, is all I really need to say about it since, you know me, I am pretty much a slave to anything ol’ Franz has put to paper.

But I’m also a slave to the word count so, for the sake of it, I guess I should say a few things more.

Continue reading “BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO — A Review of Sorts”

Hurts so good…

House of the Rising Sun – A Review of Sorts

So, last night was a night just like any other night where, at 8pm(ish), I shifted the butt from the office chair to the recliner and happily fired up the new Fire Stick (a Prime Day upgrade (half-price and 2 free months of HBO!) from an old stick that had been rode hard and put away wet if you know what I mean) and the big screen and, with much hope and anticipation, began yet another heroic search through the multitudinous movie apps for something fun and entertaining to watch for the night.

You feel me?

(I recently finished watching The Wire (for the third or fourth time, can’t exactly recall) so I’m still feeling a bit Omar-esque. Hence the, “You feel me?,” if you know what I mean).

Long story short, it wasn’t long before I surfed upon a flick starring Dave Bautista and immediately had to put on the brakes.

Continue reading “Hurts so good…”

Midsommar Review

So, I’m reblogging this Midsommar movie review by Michael Van Zanten (cool name) for two reasons…

The first reason is because it is a very will-written and informative review for a movie that I am very interested in seeing.

The second reason is because Michael, the author of the review, regards the director Ari Aster as an “auteur” — high praise indeed — and I wonder, can a director who has released only two feature films, with the second only being just released and still yet mostly unseen by the general movie going public, be deserving of such high praise as auteur?

My instincts tell me no, that two movies aren’t enough to put him up there with the likes of the greats such as Wells, Kubrick, Bigelow, Lee, Hitchcock, Kurosawa and others who truly were/are the auteurs – the authors – of the movies they created.

But to me a director is not deserving of the honor just for having such an influence on his or her own movies. To me, he or she must have such an influence on the entire industry.

But that’s just my opinion and what do I know? I’m just an old guy probably a bit too suspicious of the present and far too overprotective of the past…

But seriously, go ahead and check out this review of Michael’s I’m reblogging here and all the other reviews of his. He has a great site.

Film Sentinel

midsommar4.0.jpgHorror has a new name, and that name is Ari Aster. After possessing the minds of Sundance-goers with his unsettling directorial debut Hereditary in 2018, the auteur’s breakout hit enjoyed a wide release under A24 and turned out to be the most profitable release ever under the label. Now only one year later, A24 is banking on the director once again to disturb viewers with Midsommar, Aster’s horrific follow-up centered on a Swedish Pagan death cult. Midsommar definitely isn’t for everyone, but it’s a magnificent and refined piece of distressing cinema, and further evidence the genre has a new king.

Unleashed to unsuspecting theater patrons in June of last year, Hereditary shunned popular horror conventions in favor of scares that were more psychological in nature. While there were still instances of common genre tropes such as Ouija boards and demonic possession, they were present in a script that was…

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Born to Be… #EasyRider50

I was a month and seventeen days shy of my fourth birthday when Easy Rider premiered fifty years ago yesterday, so, unfortunately, I cannot provide any personal insight of the actual groundbreaking event.

In fact, it would be another twenty years or so until I finally saw the flick.

And then another thirty years or so would pass until I at last watched it again…

Which brings us to yesterday when I watched it in honor of its golden anniversary.

But it’s not like I’m a fanboy of the flick or anything…

Continue reading “Born to Be… #EasyRider50”

The Alt-Oscars*

Kanye West** as Crucified Oscar image is courtesy of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Let’s do this.

ALT BEST PICTURE: I’ve only seen one “Best Picture” nomination — “Arrival” and I thought it was mostly Zzz… — so out of all the 2016 movies I have seen, not just those nominated, which still are only a handful… or, would it be an “eyeful?”…my Alt-Oscar for Best Picture of 2016 — and which is one of the best flicks I’ve seen in a loooong time — goes to:

Continue reading “The Alt-Oscars*”

Games of Thrones + Peaky Blinders / Harry Potter = In the Heart of the Sea

IN THE HEART OF THE SEA
FILM | MOVIE | STUDIO | DRAMA
RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★

At least that seems to be the math formula used to come up with the cast list. I suppose, though, to get the full sum of major characters, we would have to carry the new James Bond movies and take the square root of The Avengers.


 
I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. I was prepared, based upon its flopping like a whale of a fish at the box office, for it to be a complete dud. However, except for some lame CGI scenes, I found it to be quite… “the bomb*.”

I especially enjoyed how the tale of a whaling ship being brought to doom by a vindictive whale – the inspiration for Moby Dick, of course – was unwillingly told by the old drunkard of a whaler Tom Nickerson (Mad Eye Moody) to Herman Melville (Q).

Some other notable cast member characters are:

Thor – Owen Chase
Vampire hunter, Abraham Lincoln – George Pollard
Thomas Shelby – Matthew Joy
Authur Shelby – Caleb Chappel
Catelyn Stark – Mrs. Nickerson
Benjen Stark – Benjamin Lawrence
Spiderman – Young Tom Nickerson
Tom Riddle – Henry Coffin

I guess I’m going to have to give the book the movie is based on another try. I downloaded the audiobook version via my Overdrive app a while ago, but it kept putting me to sleep. But, in the book’s defense, most audiobooks do that to me so it’s best not to judge it solely by its lullaby effect upon me.


BOOK


ON DEMAND/DVD

*In this instance, “the bomb” is used in the spirit of the contemporary vernacular of the youth to mean something good, as opposed to “a bomb,” which, of course and as oddly as it may seem, means something bad… like a dud.

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Rating System:
★ = Unwatchable
★ ★ = Poor Movie
★ ★ ★ = Average Movie
★ ★ ★ ★ = Outstanding Movie
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ = Exceptional Movie

 
 

THE REVENANT: It’s Really Good (for a laugh)

THE REVENANT
FILM | MOVIE | STUDIO | DRAMA
RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★

Since I didn’t know off the top of my head what the word “revenant” meant, I had thought, in the spirit of Shakespeare, it was a word created specifically for Art’s sake by combining the words revenge and covenant. Seeing the movie (and the squiggly red idiot line under the word when I type it) only reinforced this belief, because “The Revenant” is a grand, intense, soul-searching, cinematographic dream-scape of movie “inspired” by a book of the same name that was “inspired” by a legend which was more than likely “inspired” by a kernel of truth of the life of a mountain man named Hugh Glass, a contemporary of Grizzly Adams, may he rest in peace (both the real one who died long ago and, more importantly to those of my generation, to Dan Haggerty, the actor who portrayed him and who died recently) and Jedediah Smith (no, Robert Redford played Jeremiah Johnson, not Smith), which is about a father committed to his last breath regardless the odds or obstacles to exact revenge for the murder of his son.
 


 

In simplistic terms, it’s really, really good. It deserves all the Oscars nominations it has received, especially for Best Picture, Best Director (Iñárritu), Best Supporting Actor (Hardy), and Best Actor (DiCaprio).

As is typical with any film he is in, Tom Hardy stole the show. In my view, he just may be the best working actor there is right now. He out-acted DiCaprio, who is a pretty good actor in his own right – not great, but pretty good. But it doesn’t really matter as far as awards go seeing that they are up for different ones. But even if they were up for Best Actor, DiCaprio should still win it over Hardy, and all the others I’ve seen, for the overwhelming effort he invested and physical hardship and pain he endured for this role. His performance and commitment to his trade are remarkable.

As far as the logistics and filming of the movie, I do not know how Iñárritu did it. The movie is so big and so remote with so many moving parts – Mother Nature notwithstanding – I simply don’t know how they put it all together so seamlessly and beautifully, and breathtakingly so. I’m sure it will win for Best Cinematography.

I already said the movie is about a father’s commitment to exacting revenge for his son’s murder. And it is. But, unfortunately for Glass, the father, he has to fulfill this sad covenant that he makes with himself, his dead son, and his impartial god, after having just about the worst day, week, and however long his revenge exacting takes that one man can ever have.

I mean, this dude just gets keep getting creamed.

I mean, there are bears and “savages” and broken bones and infection and starvation and the frigid, merciless elements…

It’s like… Dude!

I mean, Death just keeps so relentlessly and rabidly on his ass that it finally became comical to me… and the guy sitting next to me.

Remember the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail?” Each time another near-death tragedy happened to Glass and his near-death tragic soul, I couldn’t help repeating in my mind that famous and funny line from the movie:

It’s just a flesh wound.

I whispered this to the guy next to me and we ended up giggling like two kids each successive time Death pick Glass up and pile-drived his head back into the mat.

Which brings me back to the word “revenant” and its meaning. Come to find out it isn’t a made-up word after all. It means, “a person who has returned, especially from the dead.”

There couldn’t be a more fitting word for this movie. In fact, it could be called The Revenant To The Nth Power, Glass returns from the dead so many times.

There are more things about the movie I could make fun with… like pointing out a cliché or two – yes, of course Glass gets all Luke Skywalker on us when he guts his horse (that had recently just fallen over a cliff with him – he survives; the horse doesn’t) and crawls inside it to stay warm during the night – but I’ll stop with the merrymaking.

But it doesn’t matter, the movie is good enough, and grand enough, that it can handle a bit of criticism from yours truly.

Out of all the movies nominated for Best Picture, I’ve only seen this, “Mad Max,” and “The Martian.” Out of those three, all of which I like very much, “The Revenant” is my pick to win.

If you haven’t seen it, you should.
 


Based upon the novel by Michael Punke

 
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Rating System:
★ = Unwatchable
★ ★ = Poor Movie
★ ★ ★ = Average Movie
★ ★ ★ ★ = Outstanding Movie
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ = Exceptional Movie

 
 

If I could marry Netflix I would…

But since I’m already happily married and I don’t live in the Middle East, or Utah, I can’t.

Anyway, right now I’m a bit miffed and a lot impatient with my favorite little binge bot.

When is Netflix going to release Season Six of Sons of Anarchy?!

I mean, c’mon…

I’ve already watched the first five seasons…twice.

The only thing I can say is thanks be to the movie gods seeing that they just released Season Four of The Walking Dead.

That should keep me entertained.

For about sixteen hours, anyway.

Binge, hut…

****

You can read my Walking Dead interview here

You can read my SOA review here.

Sons of Anarchy