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The Master

Every film you've watched in 2016

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Daddy's Home: It's alright. Reliant on the chemistry between Ferrell and Wahlberg (and the smoking hotness of Linda Cardellini [sweet jumping Moses is that woman gorgeous!]) this is an example of a film that definitely gets better the longer you watch it. There are an alarming amount of "shits" dropped in this movie. I watched it with my sons today, but they say shit like 40 times. If I was exaggerating, I would have said 50. It might be 50. It's okay.

Jodorowsky's Dune: I've seen this before, but I needed it tonight. This isn't a movie about a lost film (though, I think it's undoubtedly a fact that Jodorowsky's Dune would totally have changed things) so much as it is about the limitless capability of imagination. Jodorowsky knows EXACTLY who is perfect for the job at hand. Design: Foss, Moebius, Giger. Special Effects: Dan O'Bannon. Soundtrack: Pink Floyd, Magma. Fuck. It would have been glorious. Not only do I want to have seen this movie, I want to live in the world where it was made 40 years ago.

Features: 13

Shorts: 1

Documentaries: 2

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In regards to Looper, I dug it until that little kid started Tetsuo-ing it up for the rest of the movie. That honestly ruined it for me, drove me nuts.

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Dance, Girl, Dance - An fascinating movie for a lot of reasons. One, it was directed by Dorothy Arzner, one of only two female directors making movies in Hollywood during the '30s and '40s. Beyond that, there's a lot of attention to looks given by both men and women. Two, the contrasting characters played by Maureen O'Hara, who wants to be an artistic dancer, and Lucille Ball, who's fine being in burlesque. Three, the rich people romantic comedy that collides with the dancer story. Four, the ending, which is either meant to be read straight (and disappointingly Hollywood) or a statement about the limits for even the strongest woman in 1940 (which is devastating).

Heaven Can Wait - Wonderful film that's mostly told in flashback, as a man tells his life story to The Devil as evidence of why he belongs in Hell. Every time I see an Ernst Lubitsch film, I'm convinced he's the best director there's ever been. The performances are perfect, the dialogue's perfect, the filmmaking's perfect, just everything is as great as it will ever be. Don Ameche charms you as the spoiled playboy and garners sympathy when he's old and realizes he's not that young man anymore. When Gene Tierney is swept away, you believe it; when she dresses down Ameche for his fooling around, you feel it; when she's still with him into their fifties, you understand it. Charles Coburn gets the best one liners and fires them off with the disdain of a grandfather that can't stand his family. And it's all in '40s Technicolor.  

The Postman Always Rings Twice - As classic noir as it gets. A drifter and younger woman fall in love, kill her much older husband, get out of it through a weasely lawyer, and end up hating each other. John Garfield and Lana Turner have some of the hottest screen chemistry you're ever going to see, and Hume Cronyn is delightfully slimy as the lawyer. It hits all the beats you want, although the ending is one of those unsatisfying "poetic divine retribution" endings.

The Third Man - The most Orson Welles film not made by Orson Welles. It's interesting, because it starts out as a pretty typically shot movie with a few dutch angles, and gets progressively more stylistic. By the time it gets to the montage of empty alleys and the chase through the sewers, you're getting some of the best noir photography you'll ever see. When Orson Welles finally shows up, it delivers on your every wish, and the reveal of what his character did is horrifying. And it ends on maybe the gutsiest final shot of the 1940s. 

The Reckless Moment - It's not as artistic as other Ophuls films, but there's still some of his graceful camerawork and striking shots. The efforts by Joan Bennett to pay off a blackmailer and keep her family together tread some interesting ground, especially with her relationship to James Mason's messenger; he occupies a surrogate position for her overseas husband more and more as the movie goes on. 

Films: 20

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Jinsu: a short film for the fest

Touch of Evil: this is Orson Welles' restored version. He directed in 1958 and then saw the theatrical version, which included heavy edits and reshoots, and wrote a 58 page memo to the studio, requesting changes. The memo was found in 1976. This is the version. 15 minutes longer, but probably 60% different. Welles plays a deranged overweight, surly alcoholic and still manages to come across like he's acting. Heston plays a Mexican...in brownface. Janet Leigh is...wow. Janet Leigh. Marlene Dietrich is a Mexican femme fatale. Henry Mancini does the score. This is one of the best movies ever made. One of my all-time favorites. If I wasn't so tired, I'd watch the theatrical version again tonight.

Features: 14

Shorts: 2

Documentaries: 2

 
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Edited by Dread

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Ha ha ha ha ha!! Good one, Mr Johnson!!! Ho ho ho, hee hee hee, oh goodness me!!

 

....my favourite movie is Casablanca.

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My Fair Lady - Not sure how to feel about this. For the first 2 hours or so I was engaged, Eliza is one of the most fun characters Audrey ever played, and Rex Harrison was very watchable. But then around the time of the intermission, I just lost interest. The last 20 minutes are good though, I really liked the performances. As for the songs, they're good but not the best I've heard. There's a serious disconnect for me with dubbing over Audrey. Harrison's talk-singing thing gets the job done and that's all I can say. Overall, not one of my favorite Audrey Hepburn movies but I'm glad I finally watched it.

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Over the Top starring Stallone

Nowhere near as bad as people have made it out to be over the years. Sure it's saccharine and melodramatic, a role and film Sly could and arguably did do in his sleep, and simultaneously unimaginative and ridiculous. Yet it's perfectly serviceable as a film and viewing experience. I can't say in all honesty that it's a bad film. God knows I've seen worse.

 

 

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Hot Fuzz: One of those great comedies I can just throw on whenever. The cartoonish violence works so well and I love the wonderful brick joke with the mine. Might be my second favorite Edgar Wright film.

Nine to Five: Lily Tomlin really is the star here though Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton are both wonderful as well. You will have the theme song stuck in your head for a day afterwards. Definitely one of the best examples to pull out when someone says women can't be funny.

Films: 7

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Dick Johnson & Tommy Gun vs. The Cannibal Cop: feature for the fest

Features: 17

Shorts: 3

Documentaries: 2

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 Before I Go directed by and starring Chris Evans

Standard melancholic love story starring Evans and Alice Eve. I enjoyed it for what it was. Evans really can't help but be utterly charming in whatever role he plays, making this film 10x better than it has any right to be.

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 Before I Go directed by and starring Chris Evans

Standard melancholic love story starring Evans and Alice Eve. I enjoyed it for what it was. Evans really can't help but be utterly charming in whatever role he plays, making this film 10x better than it has any right to be.

Mental note: power move = doing a bunch of superhero garbage in order to direct yourself in love scenes with Alice Eve.

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Mr. Robbie: a short film directed by the guy who did Combat Shock starring Joe Spinell. I think Spinell might be the best under-utilized actor in cinema history. The guy was incredible. He was an ugly motherfucker, but he could act. I wish he had more exposure. I've seen this short before and I think it might be on the Combat Shock DVD. Good stuff.

Features: 17

Shorts: 4

Documentaries: 2

 

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Carol starring Cate Blanchett and Roony Mara, directed by Todd Haynes.

Based on a 1950s lesbian pulp novel by Patricia Highsmith about the relationship with a shop clerk and an older woman divorcing over her lesbian past.

It's good. It's very slow moving which works well in building the relationship to where it ends up, especially considering the time period in which it's placed. I dunno if it's as amazing as all the Oscar accolades it's accumulated suggests. It's kind of a sleepy movie where much of the emotion is personified by blank stares and single tears. I feel that the direction went for more art-house than having the audience feel in the moment. All the actors do great jobs, but aside from maaaayyybe Cate Blanchett, IDK if any are award worthy. It was a bit too staid concerning the plot.

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