What was the last film you saw and how would you rate it? Pt. 18

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Thought I'd post this here until I hear we're doing it somewhere else....

Post the name of the latest movie you've seen and your rating out of 10. 
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Sunshine Boys (t0073766) - 7/10 - loved Burns, hated Matthau.
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Jen, Champion

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Posted 2 years ago

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ElM.

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Well, I guess I just watched my favorite 2018 movie, and it's big fat ten for Adam McKay's "Vice", the exciting and captivating biopic of one of the most enigmatic men of the last twenty years. So enigmatic that I couldn't even despise him because I almost admired the way he fooled everyone from within and from outside, and pulled the strings of America's policy during the controversial years of Bush administration.

Now everyone would agree that the War on Iraq wasn't worth it, that it sowed the seeds that made local terrorism grow into monstrosities like ISIS, but the film doesn't try to preach a choir, it just tells us the story of a man who wanted to be important and powerful in order to please his wife who believed in him at the lowest point of his life. He could get to that highest point precisely when he knew he was at the right time (September 11), the right place (VP Office)... with the right president (W.).

For Godfather fans, Dick Cheney is exactly as if Michael Corleone's archenemy Hyman Roth became the consiglieri of Fredo , he spent all his life getting all the connections and networks with business corporations, lobbies and think-thank organizations, consolidating his power and his wealth and then, it was like the whole purpose of his life was served on a silver platter with four hi-jacked planes for starters. Whether served to fulfill his selfish desires, you've got to admire the opportunistic genius of the man and his mastery of Machiavellian arithmetics.

His method to get what he wants is fool-proof, if he wants it, it must be right, if it serves his power, it's legit, if USA does "x", then "x" is good, if he needs to bomb Iraq, then anything that harms or attacks USA comes from Iraq. The only justification is the end.  And Adam McKay chronicles the slow but patient ascension of a man who knew how to wait for his turn, who thought when other acted and made the craziest and deadliest move sound reasonable thanks to an extraordinary capability to manipulate words and distort facts. Still, for what it's worth, he was a good and loving husband, and a good father to his daughters. The man had a brain, and a heart, albeit a fragile one.

And you've got to hand it to Adam McKay to make such a spellbinding character study of a man who strikes first as a boring and sinister bureaucratic. Some men carry auras with them, when they enter a room, you can't help but look at them with respect and admiration. Cheney is overweight, bald, not too good looking and his average looks work like the perfect cloak of invisibility, he doesn't have the wisecracking flamboyance of Rummy (Steve Carrell steals the show as Donald Rumsfeld) or the federative amiability of W. (sorry Carrell but Rockwell got the nomination) but since he was born to be that man in the shadows, he knew too well how to use it.

If anything, the film is a school-case for all of us Tom Hagen wannabe who despise their statuses as advisers because you never feel the real thrill of power, while the reality is that the power doesn't belong to the hand but to whatever orders the move. Cheney not only guides the hand but also knows how to manipulate the law and prevent the legislative or judiciary power to interfere, believing there can be a way to exercice power unilaterally. There's something almost satirical in his rise to power but no matter the artistic licenses taken by McKay, the numbers and facts never lie, and let's see what the other "Don" is holding for us in his pocket.

I liked the film, I love that every once in a while, there's a POTUS whose reign is so rich and controversial that it works as inspiration for great movies, seems like good old W. is the new Nixon and many films set during his administration prove to be valuable. But there's just something about McKay, I don't know if he's the best director, but he's the best storyteller out there, and from the very first minutes, I was literally glued to the screen with a wide grin on my face. I enjoyed every minute of the film, and I reacted to some outburst of directing genius with such loud laughs I was surprised the film wasn't tagged as a comedy.

Christian Bale totally disappears behind his character so it's almost an insult to talk about performance, he's not the favorite but it takes a lot of talent to play a character so used to act in the shadow that he almost seems inhabited by a shadow, always talking in secrecy, choosing every single word with calculated carefulness. Amy Adams is good that goes without saying but offers an interesting "mise en abime" dimension to the film as the woman behind the man behind the great man, the VP's VP so to speak. She's the kind of woman every man would love to have, we wouldn't change for ourselves but we'd do the impossible for someone we love. In its own right, "Vice" is a great love story.

Of course, one can't ignore the documentary value of the film, it's a companion piece to Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" but it's far more entertaining thanks to McKay's unique tone and surrealistic intrusions, not as flashy as "The Big Short" but you just have to appreciate the way McKay loosens up a little without affecting the seriousness of his movie. These McKay-isms tend to disappear during the last act and the film becomes so solemn in tone that I was going to rate it a 9 instead of 10 unless McKay blew my mind one last time. And he did!

Just like he did halfway through the film that I wouldn't dare to spoil (except for saying that someone had to check the hour on his phone, out of surprise).

Certainly one of the best films of 2018, and speaking for myself, the best. Clearly, Adam McKay had nothing to envy from Oliver Stone or Spike Lee, he makes political movies, intelligent movies and he makes you laugh, what more could you ask for?
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Stephen Atwood

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The Phantom Creeps?! Terrible. Suicide bomber spiders! Ugliest killer robot ever! Actual Hindenburg disaster footage used in climactic scene?! 1/10. Rifftrax commentary? 100/10!
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NarniaisAwesome

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Stephen, 
you may like this: http://372pages.com/  :)
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Stephen Atwood

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joe siegel

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Shoplifters
https://m.imdb.com/title/tt8075192/?r... 8/10
Beautiful relationship
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Peter, Champion

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If Beale Street Could Talk, 7/10
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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That's how I rated it, as well. I thought it would be better. 
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NarniaisAwesome

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Joe Versus the Volcano, 6/10.  Enjoyable, funny, and beautiful cinematography - somehow, it fails to make it over 6 stars.
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Peter, Champion

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Birds of Passage, 8/10
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NarniaisAwesome

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Did You Hear About the Morgans, 4/10
Clever plot is ruined by questionable casting, generic characters, and dull humor.  For Richer or Poorer is much, much better.
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leavey-2

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Leaving Neverland (2019) - Just watched this documentary, and I have to say I am much more shocked than I could have imagined before watching it, even though I was quite prepared and read a lot about it in the last couple of weeks. What also strikes me, is the current low rating on IMDb. I guess all the "1" votes are from people who have not even seen the documentary.

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SeventhAr7

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It may be or also people that want to bash the content.

It's not the first time that happens.

P.s: I haven't seen the documentary.

P.s.s: Captain Marvel is dealing with the same problem.
(Edited)
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SeventhAr7

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In the end, the votes will be a dispute of people that want to compensate the extreme opposite rating either 10-1 or 1-10.

The purpose of this rating system on this movie will be totally ineffective because it will be another dispute of a social political nature.
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ElM.

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It's a good reflection on the way things are today, you're either good or bad, guilty or innocent, bully or victim... we know what Nietzsche said about God some day, but here's a good quote for our period "The In-Between is Dead"
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ElM.

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Well, I can't delete nor edit the comment, I just read about the content of the documentary indirectly with the news about the MJ Simpsons episode being removed from airing or streaming platforms because James L. Brooks was convinced... seems like this is not just a "rumor" thing, it doesn't diminish the value of the artist and I don't think it's the kind of musical contribution that can be ignored (may as well ignore Presley or Sinatra) but I would have avoided that kind of comment if I knew what the doc was about in the first place. 
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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this deserves to be a famous quote: It's a good reflection on the way things are today, you're either good or bad, guilty or innocent, bully or victim... we know what Nietzsche said about God some day, but here's a good quote for our period "The In-Between is Dead"

Indeed. And so well said. The binary is a popular concept these days and, oh no, so is hyperbole, which makes a very damaging combination.

ElMo, I renew my offer: when I finally get my online literary and arts journal back up and running, I would love it if you ever wanted to contribute a film review or a culture piece. : ) 

leavey, that's a very compelling visual and another time that the median is more accurately telling than the mean. Thanks for including that. 
(Edited)
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ElM.

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If you promise to spot the little typos, I'd like that... but maybe that's too Herculean a task... I wish I could require a second reading from you whenever I wrote a review :)
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albstein

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Marvin (2017), 7/10. About an adolescent who struggles to come to terms with his homosexuality. The movie theater usually puts something like a 'gay' label on movies about the subject, which is probably well-intended but unfortunately scares away others. So I'm glad they treated this just as a movie for everyone.

On a further level, the movie is about class divisions. Marvin grows up in a rural area with boorish, anti-gay working class parents, and he makes his way to the Parisian elite. The movie seems to say, you need money and a high social position to act out your true self; 'act out' must be taken literally because Marvin becomes an actor.

He is helped by an unnaturally dedicated school principal; meets a drama teacher who, coincidentally, has the same background story; inherits the wealth of a fifty-something man he barely knows and who dies in an accident; and by lucky chance, meets Isabelle Huppert (playing herself) and wins her over to act in his autobiographical stage play.

As hard as it was specifically for Marvin as a homosexual, the question is how many lucky chances do you need to amount to anything in France, or Western countries in general? It's telling that the authors had to rely on those so much. I'm not sure if they even realized this.

And I'm a little ashamed to write this because my thoughts may not give the topic its proper due. But I thought about all the other preconditions which are as inhibiting but which couldn't be articulated in an artistic way and which can't be used as a formation of identity. Well, but then without lucky chances, Marvin wouldn't be in a position to articulate himself either.

Marvin is played by Finnegan Oldfield, who was also in the great Nocturama (2016) and is a promising British-French talent.

(it's been some time since I saw this but these thoughts crystallized only recently)
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ElM.

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Sound like solid drama but then why the "7"? are there some areas where the film could have been better?
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albstein

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The reliance on lucky coincidenes was so forced and the movie was told from this rich elite perspective, it's almost as if this boy found Willy Wonka's golden ticket and the story became a fairy tale. I mean, Marvin is a sympathetic character but he is also someone who can wipe his tears with raving newspaper reviews while sitting on a pile of 100 euro notes, lol.

But I actually like the fact that the family still plays a role in the later parts of the film, and they handled the scenes with them carefully. With a bit of goodwill, I guess the rating could be an 8.
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Stephen Atwood

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Really loved the feelgood sports series, Losers (2019) (TV Series) on Netflix. Adding humanity and personal redemption to sports I usually never cared about (and to some degree still don't).
9/10.

So accessible and digestible at 8 short episodes as well. The quick interludes of stylish animation also add a ton of character.
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Stephen Atwood

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Rewatch of Annihilation (2018). Bumped up to 10/10 from 9/10. The changes made from the first book of the trilogy make better sense now that I know the film was meant to be a stand alone adaptation.

Got to appreciate the discordant and alien scoring that much more as well.
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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I'm so way behind on this so, as soon as I have time, I'll have to catch up and list several at once. For now, the most recent film I saw:

Free Solo 8.5

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Peter, Champion

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Promise at Dawn (La promesse de l'aube), 8/10
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NarniaisAwesome

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Daddy's Home, 4/10
Daddy's Home 2, 5/10
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ElM.

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So the first film was so bad you wanted to give the sequel a second chance? :)
You're a semi-God of optimism, aren't you?
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albstein

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A justified move, considering the second part actually turned out better :)
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NarniaisAwesome

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Yeah, lol!  I'd seen the trailer for the sequel and it looked really funny, so I assumed it would be better.  :)  Neither of them were torture to watch, but they weren't the best, either.
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ElM.

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At that track, Daddy's Home 5 might be a masterpiece
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albstein

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Lol Elmo, if they keep adding actors of the John Lithgow and Mel Gibson caliber I'll watch them.
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Stephen Atwood

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Daddy's Home 5 as directed by Francis Ford Coppola of course
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NarniaisAwesome

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albstein: Yes, one of the reasons I had high hopes for 2 was because it had Lithgow and Gibson!  :D
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Pencho15

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Bird Box (2018) - 7/10, good suspense moments, but I don't think I will remember it.

Watch on the Rhine (1942) - 8/10. It is always a good idea to see the performance that beat Humphrey Bogart out of the Best Actor award for Casablanca. Paul Lukas makes a great job and this film deserves to be more watched.
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NarniaisAwesome

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Creed 2, 5/10.
It was okay; the most interesting part is the Dragos.  And why didn't Rocky and Ivan ever fight?!?!?  :)
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ElM.

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5??? Really? Didn't the ending touch you or warm you? The unexpected gesture at the end of the game... the way the three stories are wrapped up at the end...everything that happens before is just a preparation to a powerful ending. I'm surprised by that rating, really.

Besides, there was no reason for Rocky and Drago to fight, that would have ruined the film's credibility actually.
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NarniaisAwesome

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Actually, the end of the movie was rather good.  :)  It was sweet when Ivan finally showed love and compassion for his son.
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ElM.

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I agree the end was terrific, it was unexpected, unprecedented in the "Rocky" series (which after seven films is saying a lot), it revealed a new dimension in Drago and his relationship with his son and it really tied the plot together, it was like three happy endings all in one.
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NarniaisAwesome

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Yes, a happy ending was a good way to end an action-ish movie like that.  I agree that Drago deserved to be humanized.
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NarniaisAwesome

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Also, I thought that Ivan's ex wife (can't remember her character's name!) was the real villain of the film.  She left her husband simply because he lost a fight, and only came back into her son's life when his career showed promise.  But when he started to lose, she turned her back on them again.  That is villainy.  
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albstein

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Us (2019), 8/10 (conservative first impression). Jordan Peele has become one of my most anticipated directors by his second film already. He proves again that social commentary works well when expressed in the horror of the uncanny and some black humor.

It's better to focus on the allegories and symbols and to not rack one's brain over the plot holes. Some of the glaring implausibilities should have been avoided, and some of the jokes could have been cut, but all in all, a great movie. The Academy could polish its image if its members remember Us next season.
(Edited)
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NarniaisAwesome

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Nine Lives, 6/10.  Not the best comedy ever, but I love cats and the story is sweet, so it's not a bust.  :)
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Peter, Champion

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Capernaum, 7/10
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Mohit Mago

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its interesting how when I asked a question like this it was deleted by the mods, citing, "this isnt a chat room"

could any mod comment on why my question was deleted?
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NarniaisAwesome

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Do you mean you commented that question, or you posted it as a topic?
If a topic is not related to IMDb support (poll sugg, movie question, etc) it will be deleted.  I understand that is upsetting, as I have had it happen to me a few times.  :)
To answer your question, no, this is no really a chat site.
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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Mohit Mago

Where was the question posed.
Data Issues and Policy Discussions?

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ElM.

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I disagree, it can be a chat site and there are many instances where a poll suggestion started a debate or a discussion, as long as it stayed on-topic I never saw one being deleted for no apparent reason. But some posts only consist of a few words that look more like "Youtube comments" than real two cents given on a subject so yeah, without supporting the deleting process, I can "understand" why they end up being deleted.
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NarniaisAwesome

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Yes, Mohit, sometimes users talk back and forth about movies or topics; I just meant that it does not have 'chat rooms', so to speak.
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Mohit Mago

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Narnia, I posted a question as a topic asking which movies users had seen recently and commented on movies I saw recently. There was no chatting just a question on movies and comments of mine on movies but it was deleted by the mods. It was very similar to this thread. 
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NarniaisAwesome

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Well, it was probably deleted because it sort of took the place of this thread.  Sometimes 'repeat' topics get deleted.
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Stephen Atwood

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Mohit? Just move on already. Please. You're really new to this forum. You weren't criminally robbed when your redundant thread was deleted.
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ElM.

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A STAR IS BORN (1937) 8/10
I think I'm beginning to see what made the story so popular it inspired many remakes, many timeless aspects such as the quest for success and achieving dreams but with realistic twists such as the declining of stardom and the way success can be corrupting, and yet it's a love story that resists all these effects, in the end, it's about being a good performer for one and a good person for another, it's a beautiful love story because it doesn't end with a cynical or bitter taste. No wonder it spanned so many remakes. "This is Mrs. Norman Maine!"
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ElM.

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A STAR IS BORN (1954) 9/10

Definitely an enriched version of the first and the performance that should have won Judy Garland an Oscar... James Mason was incredible in a role that challenged his usual facade of respectability. I was really impressed by the film because the story is still powerful but there's a level of intensity in some dramatic moments that really cut straight to your heart... and it's a great film about Hollywood and show business with some standout musical moments. The ending of course is perfect, it didn't need an extra song, just a simple "Hello everybody, this is Mrs. Norman Maine" and the rest is history.
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Linda King

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I completely agree!! I saw The most Recent one with Lady Gag Gag....lol... please excuse my reference if you like her....lol.... I couldn't help but remember Judy Garland Playing the Role And I believe she triumphed over any other who starred in the Beautiful Story. "A Star is Born!"
(Edited)
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ElM.

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DUMBO 5/10 I hated it I hated it....
Guess which version I'm talkin about
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NarniaisAwesome

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I haven't seen either version, but I suspected I wouldn't like the new one... Tim Burton is always a red flag for me.
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NarniaisAwesome

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Wonderful review; you pointed out many of the 'new movie tropes' (especially Disney's) that have been bothering me.  :)
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ElM.

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It became so blatant that I can't even ignore them, even "Frozen" is like "Lady and the Tramp" in comparison. 
(Edited)
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NarniaisAwesome

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Haha!  :D  Hopefully soon I can return to the polls... I'm getting some ideas.  
(Edited)
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Pencho15

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The Highwaymen (2019) - A little slow which avoids getting to its maximum potential 7/10


The King of Comedy (1982) - Great acting by Jerry Lewis not making comedy 8/10
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Stephen Atwood

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Shazam! (2019), 8/10.
Russian Doll (2019– ), 10/10.
Ash Is Purest White (2018), 8/10.
Us (2019), 8/10.

More or less updated here.