Every film you've watched in 2021


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I watched From Russia with Love when I visited my parents and sister the other weekend, and since then have been doing a gradual rewatch of the entire official Bond film series. I'm also relistening to some of the audiobooks of the original Fleming novels.

I'm now ten films in and while they're less problematic than the books overall, my enjoyment of them has been tempered by the casual misogyny and even racism that I didn't see on previous viewings over five and in many cases over ten years ago. Anyone who one claims Sean Connery is the best Bond has answer to the fact that he's easily the most physically abusive, and that some of his liaisons (especially with Pussy Galore) don't seem entirely consensual.

From a technical standpoint, there were more obvious green-screen shots and day-for-night scenes then I had remembered, as well as more actual (and always female) nudity outside of the credit sequences. Reading through the film's respective casts on Wikipedia, it's also shocking how much voice dubbing there is too (e.g. British actor Robert Rietti does the voice of both the Italian villain Largo in Thunderball and the Japanese ally Tiger Tanaka in You Only Live Twice). Finally, the cliche of the villain expositing his plan to Bond when he ought to shoot him on the spot was also much more in evidence than I had remembered (here's looking at you, Goldfinger, Charles Gray's Blofeld, and Dr. Kananga).

All that said, I still enjoy the majority of the films I've rewatched thus so far. To me, the best has been On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Yes, I'm aware George Lazenby is no Connery, but that's no entirely a bad thing, and for a first film role, he did alright; I frankly can't see Connery's Bond ever actually being in love with a Bond girl, let alone enough to marry her. Possibly Dalton and definitely Craig, but not Moore or Brosnan.

The worst so far has been Diamonds Are Forever (The Man with the Golden Gun isn't far ahead, but is less dull and confusing and is elevated whenever Christopher Lee's on screen). Connery looks bored in many scenes and already looks too old to be Bond in most of them.

The ones that have gone down the most in my estimation are Thunderball and Live and Let Die. The former has too many underwater scenes (paging Chris Johnson and other classic film connoisseurs: Was underwater shooting a novel thing in movies in 1965?), though I also want to blame Kevin McClory (since it's fashionable to do so) for some of its pacing issues compared to previous films. Live and Let Die has some great scenes but the racial politics of the film (particularly with regards to the Kananga-Solitaire relationship) are hard to get past.

Outside of OHMSS, the one that's gone up the most in my estimation is The Spy Who Loved Me, which was more fun and less silly than I had remembered (though not without a few groan-worthy or icky moments).

Now onto Moonraker...

MRW I find primates in the brass section... - GIF on Imgur

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On 9/3/2021 at 6:36 AM, The Master said:

I've been meaning to do a full Bond watch-through, especially because there are some big ones (GoldenEye) I've still never seen.

Goldeneye is a must - what else qualifies, so that I can pour on further scorn?

5 hours ago, Professor said:

I remember when I said the same thing during my Bond watch-thru.  8 years later, the DVD is still sitting there unwatched. 

HA!

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8 hours ago, Professor said:

I remember when I said the same thing during my Bond watch-thru.  8 years later, the DVD is still sitting there unwatched. 

I survived unscathed, though didn't mind nodding off during the last ten minutes.

Also, during the scene where Bond first meets Holly Goodhead, the film could be called "Mansplainer". Almost certainly not the first one in the franchise, but that one stood out quite a bit.

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4 hours ago, slothian said:

Goldeneye is a must - what else qualifies, so that I can pour on further scorn?

It's a little fuzzy, because they were always on during Thanksgiving and I know I've seen portions of every movie, so some of them have mashed all into one. But I'm pretty sure I've never seen all of Thunderball, Moonraker, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, Quantum of Solace, and Spectre.

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Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American:An outdoor comedy special filmed during COVID. He's funny. It gets a little old near the end seeing as every story is structured the same. I wish there were some "jokes," TBH. Still good.

The Guest: rewatched a favourite with my girlfriend tonight. This is one of my top 50. The script, the pacing, the camera movement, the score, the acting, the bald brutality. An absolute banger.

Untold: Malice at the Palace: this is a new Netflix sports docuseries of films. I couldn't give a shit about sports, but I can eat sports docs all day long. I almost did it today! This one is fantastic. Great compelling interviews and shocking footage that has never been shown in its entirety. Good shit.

Untold: Crimes and penalties: It's funny, I'd heard ALL about Jimmy Galante in a bunch of true crime I've read and watched over the years, but I had ZERO idea that he owned a minor hockey team. What a bunch of fucking goombas in this. Compelling watching as well. Almost the complete opposite of MITP because you basically hate everyone interviewed in this one.

Kid 90: Soleil Moon Frye apparently documented her entire teenagehood. It's wild to watch. I really relate to this. There's probably hours of footage of me just like this shit out there. I hope it's destroyed. But still. Teared up by the end of this one. Contender for the end of the year list. Time to watch the Val Kilmer one next.

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Mile 22: Our protagonists are using a Game Genie and turned the perfect accuracy cheat on - except for when in a firefight with a main antagonist, who needed to be killed later in the movie. I expected more MMA stuff from Ronda Rousey, but that didn't happen. Finally, John Malkovich - from one balding dude to another, that rug isn't fooling anyone. Embrace the hair loss, man.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I was experiencing some dental pain over the weekend.  Thus I wanted to zone out and watch something with zero stakes and zero effort.  Enter the rom-com.  I like them.  Your mileage may vary.

Pretty Woman - Had just listened to Julia Roberts month the day before so I gave this a go.  It's alright.  Kinda long and a little repetitive.

Destination Wedding - It has all the outward appearance of a rom-com.  It most certainly is not.  Kinda comes off as a two person stage show.  The two leads are the only ones with any dialogue.  And what dialogue they have.  No two humans have ever had such unending, pretentious and just plain stupid conversations.  Keanu & Ryder try, but the script is just horrid.

Larry Crowne - I really like this and I don't know why.  Nothing happens.  There are no stakes.  Just Tom Hanks playing a really likable guy.  Nice to see him extend his acting abilities for once.

The Rebound - I think this might be my favorite rom-com.  All the characters are likeable, no outrageous scenarios, and the relationship conflict is reasonable.  Also, CZJ.

 

Felt a little better on Monday, so bring on some action movies.

Painkiller Jane - Sci-Fi TV movie.  Made in 2005, looks like it was made in 1999.  Clearly intended to be a pilot for a series.  100% in my wheelhouse.  Is it good?  Probably not, but I had fun.

Ava - Disappointed more than anything.  I wanted more action, less personal drama.  Maybe some more world building.

Booksmart - I liked this, but not as much as others. 

Nobody - Don't regret the watch, but I don't think it lived up to the potential I had in my head.  Good action and the final battle was good fun (specially with one character).

 

And I think that might double the movies I've watched this year.

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1 hour ago, Professor said:

Destination Wedding - It has all the outward appearance of a rom-com.  It most certainly is not.  Kinda comes off as a two person stage show.  The two leads are the only ones with any dialogue.  And what dialogue they have.  No two humans have ever had such unending, pretentious and just plain stupid conversations.  Keanu & Ryder try, but the script is just horrid.

Absolutely agree it feels like a stage play. Might have to watch it again, 'cause I quite liked it. Though, I fully admit their conversations are pretentious and I would add cynical. With them both being Generation X icons, however, I was able to roll with it.

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Censor/Random Acts of Violence/Under the Shadow: reviews forthcoming

Encino Man: is it possible this movie got better with age? I sure as hell loved it more last night than I did when I was 12. What a great, tight little comedy. Brendan Fraser is fucking genius. Pauly Shore is ridiculous. Lots of great shots and gags. On Disney+ if you want to walk down evolutionary memory lane.

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I like the first Sin City way better than its needless and dumbass sequel. It had just the right mix of cool, style and OTT-ness to make it a fun time. The sequel thinks it's cooler than it is, which is mainly stupid.

Shang Chi:

Definitely enjoyable, although the requisite Marvel Cinematic Universe symptoms are still in play (needless humor, rushed character development). Luckily the lead is great. Simu Liu is a fun, strong and relatable protagonist, but Tony Leung runs away with this film, and he's not even trying to. His character as Shang's father is definitely not as one-dimensionally villainous as he is in the comics, but that makes for a cooler antagonist. By far and away he's the best MCU villain since Killmonger, especially as he never suffers from that need of the plot to make his evil force him into coming off as a dumbass. He rarely raises his voice or appears unreasonable. Every single thing to do with Shang Chi's relationship with his father, the one thing from the comics that drives the character, is terrific and easily carries this movie.

But the humor got on my nerves at times. It's really to the point where I just start my stop watch and see how long my patience can hold for. The perfect example was the cell phone vlogger in the bus fight. There are three gags with him that began truly funny, was less so the second time, and completely unwelcome the third time. Awkwafina...I don't mind Awkwafina. I, personally, am not bothered by her blaccent (there's not really much of that here), and she's probably the most normal MCU character of recent memory, as even Darcy by this point is a mega-genius. One of the better scenes was when she was with Shang's family and the disparate Asian cultures ran into each other with her being the most "western" of the group. That kind of representation, different kinds of Asian people interacting with each other was really cool to see in an A-list blockbuster movie.

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Star Wars: The original, from 1977. As I noticed Princess Leia's dress was dirty, I could not help but think of the Tranquil Tirades' review of Transformers 2 and how @D.W. pointed out that Megan Fox's pants remain pure white throughout the action scenes.

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Nobody: The amount of no-selling the lead protagonist does of severe injuries is ridiculous. Now, that said, this is something that is very common in action movies. It is probably less stupid here than in many others, but still stupid.

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Hellraiser/ Hellbound: Hellraiser II: Watched for a thing. But I watched part II twice because the first time I got fucked up news and it messed with my head that I actually remembered the movie I'd already seen ten times less after watching it the other night than before I watched it.

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Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth/Hellraiser IV: Bloodline: what could that thing I watched it for be?

Promising Young Woman: Wow, this was a delight. Dark, funny, charming. A wild cast. Goes somewhere I didn't expect. Highly recommended.

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Fast & Furious 8 - This is the first main timeline film I have watched, after watching Hobbs & Shaw earlier this year. So I am still very confused how this series went from being about illegal street racing to international spy action/thriller. So I should probably watch the series in order.

I was laughing out loud the entire time at how stupid this was. Very entertaining, because it is so dumb.

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Venom: Let There Be Carnage - I think Casually Comics review summed up most of my feelings.  The first movie was not a good movie, but was fun enough for a movie I never thought about again.  This was probably better movie, but that makes it worse.  Yeah, I'll go with that.  Things happen with zero depth or interest.

And I knew that we'd get CG fights, but these were horrible.  Not the graphics themselves, but the way the camera kept moving gave me a headache. 

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Malignant: Directed by James Wan

I'm not a horror aficionado, but this was an odd watch. It's very basic and straightforward for the first act, a standard mystery for the second, and a slaughter-fest for the last act. It's a pretty crazy twist at the end, but overall this was not only not scary but weirdly uninspired for a film made in 2021. 

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Hellraiser: Inferno/Hellraiser: Hellseeker/Hellraiser: Deader/Hellraiser: Hellworld/Hellraiser: Revelations/Hellraiser: Judgement: conversation forthcoming

No More Souls: this is a short fan film in the Hellraiser universe directed by an integral figure to the film series. It would have been better as an 8 page story in the Hellraiser comic book, but as a film on its own, it leaves a lot to be desired. 

All Hail the King: this is the Ben Kingsley short film from the MCU and it's more entertaining than most of their films. Even considering I HATED IM3.

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