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The Master

Every Film You've Watched in 2019

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Friday the 13th: a rewatch only a few weeks later, but a series of dates introducing a woman to the series film by film is a great way to spend one's time.

Features: 17

Shorts: 15

Documentaries: 1

Rewatches: 1

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On 2/20/2019 at 6:02 PM, The Master said:

Holy shit! Really?!

Oh yeah, no bullshit. Video games are good sometimes. 

Treasure of the Sierra Madre: Wanted to kill an afternoon. It's still pretty good, even if there's some white savior-y shit in it. 

Films Watched: 14

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Abducted in Plain Sight: jesus. No. Don't do this to yourself.

Features: 17

Shorts: 15

Documentaries: 2

Rewatches: 1

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I forget who it was, but someone on Twitter said your skin will crawl within the first 60 seconds. So I began the documentary, and, yeah, 60 seconds and I was done.

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59 minutes ago, The Master said:

I forget who it was, but someone on Twitter said your skin will crawl within the first 60 seconds. So I began the documentary, and, yeah, 60 seconds and I was done.

Yeah, I have some things to say about it and it's breaking through to the mainstream that makes me livid about what people have said to me about being a horror fan all these years.

 

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Creed II: It's a fine movie, but it lacks the emotion it's going for.

Spoiler

For instance:

  • Adonis wins the belt, yet there's no fanfare.
  • Adonis proposes to Bianca, but there's no heart.
  • Adonis is provoked into the fight with Viktor Drago, and there's no anger over who's calling him out.
  • Adonis breaks up with Rocky, but there's no sadness.
  • Adonis gets royally fucked up, and it's a mid-movie defeat.
  • When Bianca and Adonis learn their baby is deaf, they cry but we don't.
  • When Adonis eventually wins, especially the way he does, it's just over.

That's not to say there isn't heart here. There is. The shot of Adonis holding his baby girl in the shadow of his father is powerful. The final scene with Rocky and Robert is a moment we've needed since Rocky Balboa. It just needed more.

All that said, I hope this is the final Creed movie. This really ends his story, as well as Rocky's. And by the end of the movie you wind up feeling for Viktor Drago, so much so I truly want to see the Rocky series continue with a Drago movie. There's a lot of story going on there -- a broken father, an absent mother, a country that shunned his family name, and a rage he can't shake -- and it really needs to be explored.

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I think it's one of the better Rocky sequels, and I love it for how seriously it regards the events of Rocky IV. But the efficacy of its story is limited by the lock-step needs of both its genre and the comeback-style franchise its in. Structurally I don't know what else the movie could've done, but it needs a defter hand to give it more suspense.

Spoiler

That said, the scene of Rocky watching Adonis lose at his home are great. You can tell he's reliving the death of Apollo and Stallone sells the utter grief that's flashing through his mind.

 

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If I were to rank the Rocky movies (paging @slothian), Creed II would probably land a respectable spot in the middle.

While I mean no slight against Steven Caple Jr. and the actors, it feels like Ryan Coogler was able to get a little more oomph from the leads in the original Creed. He added something to their pain and suffering, love and passion that, for me, was limited here.

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The Dressmaker: Some solid Kate Winslet acting in a very enjoyable film about dressmaking, revenge, and small towns. Add in one of the lesser Hemsworth brothers and Judy Davis plus Hugo Weaving in a hilarious role and this is easily a keeper.

Ocean's 8: I saw this when I was drink last year and enjoyed it. I saw it sober and I absolutely loved it. Definitely deserved better than it got at the box office.

Films: 13
MST3K/Rifftrax Assisted: 2

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X-Men: I decided to try and watch all of the X films leading up to Dark Phoenix coming out. It's better than the first time I watched it but most of the characters are just kinda there.

The Dark Crystal: Despite loving Jim Henson and fantasy films, I have somehow went my entire life without seeing this. It's very visually wonderful. I'm less enamored with the story but it's also an 80s fantasy film so it is what it is.

Crazy Rich Asians: I love RomComs. Definitely one of the best I've seen in recent history. All the subplots work well and most of the character just work really well. Special attention to Constance Wu, Awkwafina, and Michelle Yeoh who should have definitely gotten nominated for an Oscar here.

The Hunger Games: Josh Hutcherson doesn't get enough credit for how charming he is the entire movie.

Big Hero 6: Actually watched this after the Super Bowl and completely forgot to include it on the list. Enjoyable.

Films: 18
MST3K/Rifftrax Assisted: 2

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3 hours ago, dc20willsave said:

The Dark Crystal: Despite loving Jim Henson and fantasy films, I have somehow went my entire life without seeing this. It's very visually wonderful. I'm less enamored with the story but it's also an 80s fantasy film so it is what it is.

Did you know Netflix is making  a prequel series?  

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Friday the 13th Part 2: Friday date night #2. A little more nuanced on second viewing. This is a solid little film with some janky performances. Amy Steel is still great. Unreal how a huge chunk of counselors go out and get drunk while the ones who stay back are getting murdered. 

Features: 17

Shorts: 15

Documentaries: 2

Rewatches: 2

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The Matrix:

Blade actually came out a year earlier, but The Matrix did influence style in movies (dressed in black leather with a trenchcoat and shades) for some time afterward.

It holds up. I wasn't nearly as wowed by it as I was when I first watched it way back in the day, but it is fun. I still don't understand why the machines don't just build nuclear power plants, which would be much more efficient than breeding humans for bio-electricity. They could probably have developed fusion reactors by this point.

I found it interesting how self-aware Agent Smith is, since he is basically a software program. He had a little too much character. He's also the computer software version of Ra's Al Ghul.

There are times when Keanu Reeves still sounds like the character from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. I would have totally marked out if he had said to Agent Smith that the humans and machines should "be excellent to each other." It would have killed the mood of the movie to have that be a line, but it would have been hilarious as an extra on the DVD or streaming.

Films Watched: 9

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Willow: It's very good eighties cheese, and the kind of movie I'll doubtlessly be in the mood for on a rainy day in the future. 

Films Watched: 16

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Ninja Scroll - Dread Media got me to watch a movie that I liked?  Weird.  It was a more violent and bloody than I thought it would be.  Not a complaint.  The animation is really, really good.  What kept me from loving this movie is the voice action, particularly the lead.

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Sorry to Bother You: It's not as amazing as everyone's said it is, but it's still really damn good, and I'm definitely showing up to Boots Riley's next movie. 

Films Watched: 17

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I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore: This movie's fuckin killer, and I highly recommend seeking it out. Macon Blair is one hell of a director, and I hope that he continues making movies like this. 

Films Watched: 18

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Father of the Year: youngest picked this to watch last night and since it's a Happy Madison production, it should not be a surprise that it's a huge pile of shit.

Features: 18

Shorts: 15

Documentaries: 2

Rewatches: 2

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Captain Marvel: This was rather solid; I would put it high mid-tier. But I think I need to beat-by-beat this one as soon as it hits Blu-ray, because I need some things ironed out. (Not here, because spoilers.) Carol coming to terms with her truth was powerful, younger Nick Fury was great, Ben Mendelsohn stole the show as Talos (especially after a certain moment), and Goose is a star!

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Alita: Battle Angel: This was fun. Easily the best anime/manga live-action US adaptation since Speed Racer. It's pretty exact to the manga, and Rosa Salazar was terrific in the lead role. The action sequences were brutal and exciting, and though the storytelling is a bit shoddy due to its adherence to the source material, I enjoyed it all just the same.

Captain Marvel: This is the first MCU film where I found myself genuinely lost in trying to follow the plot. Part of that is by design, as they do an interesting swerve on the whole "chosen one" trope. But because of that direction in the writing, I had no idea where the movie was going for about 60% of it. I wouldn't say it's complicated, but the way is told is almost complex. Even by the end I wasn't sure I should've believed what we were being told. This is also the goofiest Nick Fury's been in these movies, and by the third act every line he had was comedy relief. I get that he wasn't yet the darker person we're more familiar with, but it didn't seem to serve a purpose as the film isn't really all that dark anyway.

But Brie Larson kicked butt. She was terrific in the role, and Carol herself is by far the best thing about the movie. Whatever all its faults, the film did right by introducing her in how they did. The fight scenes were good as well, and I loved how things ended up with the Skrulls. This is a flawed film, but not to the point where it's not still good. 

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Captain Marvel: Agreed with Mike that this belongs in the higher end of mid-tier. Brie Larson was terrific, Mendelsohn was much more engaging than I expected, and overall I had a great time. Some sequences absolutely felt lifted straight out of a mid-90s action blockbuster; they nailed the aesthetics.

EDIT TO ADD: In the credits for the art team, one name I noticed was Eli Katz, which was Gil Kane's real name. Kane created Mar-Vell's classic red-and-blue costume. I wonder if that's a co-incidence or a cool nod, especially since Kane's name was notably missing from the list of creators in the "special thanks to" section.

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