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 3 years ago

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NarniaisAwesome

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This Beautiful Fantastic, 2016, 8/10.  Such a lovely, sweet movie.  I highly recommend.
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Stephen Atwood

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Zombieland: Double Tap (2019), a decomposing stinker! 4/10.
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albstein

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Bring me the Head of Alfred Garcia (1974) - 9/10. In all other movies, the woman would only be the decoration for the main crime story, tossed aside in the middle to make room for more action, but here it is different. The crime element serves the tragic love story. The movie also has some of the best acting of the year, and that's saying something especially for that year.
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Stephen Atwood

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Blood of the Vampire (1958), 1/10. I've never seen this much blackface in one place. 
Cinematic Titanic commentary, 7/10.
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Stephen Atwood

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Dynamite Brothers (1974), AKA East Meets Watts (1974) 1/10. Cinematic Titanic commentary, 9/10.
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NarniaisAwesome

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Been watching 'Making Of' specials for Mystery Science Theater; absolutely fascinating.  ;)
Image result for mst3k werewolf absolutely fascinating
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Peter, Champion

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Leave No Trace, 8/10
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NarniaisAwesome

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Ah yes, that's my philosophy when eating sardines.  ;)
Image result for king oscar sardines images
(Edited)
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Stephen Atwood

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Pretty sure it was in my top 10 from 2018. So snubbed by the Oscars.
Debra Granik                      
Thomasin McKenzie
Ben Foster
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NarniaisAwesome

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Oops, forgot that not everyone likes sardines that much.  :/  My apologies to anyone who became grossed out at that image.
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Stephen Atwood

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Stephen Atwood

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The Lighthouse (2019), 9/10.
William Dafoe and the cinematography are locks for the 2020 Oscar nominations.
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NarniaisAwesome

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Stephen Atwood

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Jojo Rabbit (2019), 10/10. 
Would love to see an Oscar nomination for Roman Griffin Davis and Taika Waititi.
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Stephen Atwood

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15yearsIMDber

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Dolemite is my Name 9/10

The film can be summed up as a blaxploitation version of Ed Wood and I mean that as a compliment. This is a cheerful film full of positive energy that shows that you can make the silliest, crassest, raunchiest and ethnic-centered movies but if you have fun doing so and if you do achieve something you or your friends judge big enough, well, that's enough.

 It also shows that some so-called 'silly' things do have an importance of their own in the bigger historical scope. I'm not familiar with Blaxploitation films, I know about Shaft and Foxy Brown, I love Car Wash and never heard about Rudy Ray Moore and Dolemite so I'm glad a film could educate me about the spirit beneath these movies. They obviously were a liberation from directors who couldn't be part of the system because society figured there was movies for White and movies for Black audiences... interestingly, the film doesn't contradict this idea and embraces its era by showing it was true. So much for PC!

And Moore by deciding to make his own movies, no matter how silly it is, and full of Kung-fu moves, cartoonish gags and over-the-top violence, but great one-liners and smooth and groovy movies, makes a film that a whole audience relate to and enjoy because within its own silliness, it has a note of truth... and truth pays off and ultimately attract the big cinema owners who are White.  Blacks make fun of Whites and at the end, both  get the money, it's a win-win.

Still, the film doesn't kid itself about who exploits who, but it says something crucial: as long as you keep expressing yourself in total honesty, there's no exploitation ... especially when you can make some good green with it. The film is served by a powerhouse performance by Eddie Murphy, that might get unnoticed if the talk is all about Leo in QT's love-letter to Hollywood, while Dolemite is less ambitious in its content, it's no less relevant and I'd love to know what QT thought about it. If anything, QT is a Rudy Ray Moore in the sense that he too makes the film he wants and gets all Hollywood at his feet.

Which Rudy Ray "Dolemite" Moore did...

Anyway, I'd be happy if it gets these Oscar nominations
Best Actor (Murphy)
Best Supporting Actor (Wesley Snipes steals the show)
Best Costume Design
Best Original (?) Screenplay
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Stephen Atwood

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I might watch this on Netflix when I get home tonight after seeing Motherless Brooklyn this afternoon.



You should try and watch the original Dolemite (1975) and report on that. I thought I might have seen it (but maybe I watched a different Blaxploitation flick that was riffed by Rifftrax).
(Edited)
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15yearsIMDber

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I also need to watch the original "Shaft"... a 70s New Hollywood classic, an Oscar winner and Prince of Bel-Air's favorite movie and I never saw it..."Foxy Brown" & "Dolemite" close seconds... and I know my DVD library has "Superfly"
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NarniaisAwesome

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 (but maybe I watched a different Blaxploitation flick that was riffed by Rifftrax).
Probably THE GUY FROM HARLEM!  :D
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15yearsIMDber

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I meant groovy music by the way... typo in review
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The Moviemania

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Malena 7/10
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15yearsIMDber

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HUSTLERS 8/10

I really went tiptoeing to the movie theaters, if it wasn't for the huge acclaim J-Lo got for her performance and her being the actual frontrunner in the Best Supporting Actress category, I might have thrown this film thinking it would be a retread of the average and overrated "Widows" last year or maybe a crossover of "Ocean's 8" and "Showgirls" (though I confess I only saw one of them... the bad one) or maybe I expected another male-bashing film using its hustle premise to deliver some feminist message etc.

While the film makes a few comments about the extreme some women are driven to in order to make a decent living (sometimes a more-than-decent one), I'm glad the film didn't take the gender angle and showed the hustling for what it was: a bad means to justify a good end, a way to get its share of the big pie that the average and honest taxpayer can't get. Ironically, for a scheme meant as a revenge against the  Wall Street guys, it's impossible not to see the parallel with these men who are some legal 'hustlers' if we consider the 2008 crisis context. 

Some pretexts are far-fetched but for once it's not a women vs. men thing, it's a dirty game where everyone plays with what he or she's got the best. Some get it with a gun, some with a fountain pen and numbers, some with  tight skirts and high heels.... and a mixture of euphoriants and black-outs inducing drugs. That's the fish-and-bait process: target the yuppie prick, don't pay attention to the suit but the shoes, the Rolex and the briefcase, bring some friends, make him drink the special cocktail, pretend to drink as well and to accept whatever pills or drugs he gives you and get him to the strip club to wear his credit cards out. 

It's like "The Sting" repeated a hundred times until an expertise is acquired, until the art of seducing, drugging and taking the money turns to a real business with commissions, percentages on a club's outcome and even outsourcing. And in a game where women are told to undress and exhibit their bodies, it's only fair according to them to make men empty their pockets, there's some kind of inner poetry in that. The idea is that those who have access to these strip clubs are privileged enough to get over a scam and corrupt enough to have had it coming anyway . We're not forced to agree with that but we can't totally dismiss the reasoning either.

The plot was orchestrated by Destiny (Constance Wu) and Ramona (J-Lo) who was the true ringleader. But for Ramona, I would paraphrase what Roger Ebert said about Frank Lucas in "American Gangster": apart from the detail that she was a stripper and a hustler, Ramona's career would be an ideal case study for a business school. And in another life, she could have gone much further by staying in the good side. About Ramona, I would also say that she's the pillar of the whole film and J-Lo can win the Oscar, for all I know, she was spectacular and delivered the kind of raw energy that makes a performance look so natural it eclipses all the others... maybe she was so good that Constance Wu was almost invisible.

I understand Wu was supposed to play a shy and insecure woman with a lot of demons and in awe of her new friend but it took me a while to really appreciate her performance and it seems that the director Lorene Scafaria needed to fill her role with some scenes of crying and breakdowns  while J-Lo didn't need any, she could walk or smile and still steal the show. And so far, she provided what I consider the most memorable moment of 2019, her entrance where she makes such an impact she literally swims in a pool of green bills is one of the sexiest scene of recent times, and it awakened the inner teenage who admired J-Lo's body in her "Let's Get Down"live concert or her "Jenny from the Block" clip.

The film contains many sexy moments (perhaps a tad too many) but J-Lo couldn't have a better character-establishing moment if we include the tender way she decides to get the frail Destiny under her aisle (and furry coat) and teach her the tricks of the business. I'm glad it wasn't a romance because as it turned out, the two had great chemistry and the film is also a great friendship story, which is saying a lot because the hustle story is still the best part. And while Scafaria lets herself sometimes carried away by some desire to replicate the "Casino" style and overplays the slo-mo big entrances, she sticks to the plot most of the time and its fun going from a few tricks to little games to bigger games until we get to the big scheme that consist on fishing and ruining the Wall Street guys. By the time it starts, we got along with the characters and the team, we trust Ramona to be  terrific leader and we understand the way it works quickly.

Now, should we feel sorry for the guys or happy when the girls are emptying bottle of champagnes in penthouse's sofas? I guess reading an article about the real story made me realize that the film is about unhappy girls hustling unhappy guys, at the end they get their money but they gamble it anyway for superficial stuff. And we get that it's a doomed to end spiral when there's one victim too many. The film follows the Scorsesian narrative with the obligatory betrayal and downfall, but I don't think Scafaria intended it as an exercise in style, while it would be a temptation for any rising film-maker, the editing makes sense and although I had troubles understanding the purpose of the interview with the journalist played by Julia Stiles it does tie the plot together in a satisfying and surprisingly moving way.

There are a few things that could have been perfected, but the failures of "Showgirls" and Demi Moore's "Strip-Tease" have proven that it's not that easy to center movies on that particular world and strippers have been so often reduced to poor victims or struggling mothers, which Wu is to a certain degree, that I was blown away by the way Ramona totally subverts the trope, playing a confident and smart woman with guts and ambitions, and that's why J-Lo deserved more praise again. And I applaud the film for not making saints of these women either, showing that even they can be cowardly or treacherous and not all the guys are so bad.

Any lesser director or writer would have fallen in that trap but Scafaria did a solid and entertaining film with an intelligent approach, a woman-centered film that even men would enjoy it, though I suspect many would enjoy it anyway... for the wrong reasons. I must confess I was turned on by J-Lo's entrance, and I wonder if she'd do the same moves, knee-hook or leg-hook and the carousel turn in the Oscars with a giant replica of the statuette, sorry... give her the small one, that'd be enough.
(Edited)
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Stephen Atwood

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NarniaisAwesome

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Austenland, 2013, 7/10.
I've actually never read any of Jane Austen's books, and every film version of Pride and Prejudice I've seen bores me to tears, but I am fond of most other BBC period dramas, so the premise of this film did speak to me.
It's quite a funny and interesting movie with a great cast, which surprisingly depicts some situations of life realistically, and anyone who's seen BBC films will recognize some of the locations from shows like Cranford and Sense and Sensibility. 
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Dracko

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The Lighthouse(2019) 9/10 Most brillant film of the year until now
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Pencho15

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First Man (2018) - 9/10, fantastic. This was better than at least half the Oscar nominees, it deserved much more. I'm sad I didn't saw it on a big screen when I had the chance.
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leavey-2

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Lion (2016) - 9/10 - If this movie doesn't make you cry, no movie will.

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Stephen Atwood

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Thursday night:
Another point justifying a possible Razzie Redeemer award for the artist formerly known as Shia LaBeefcake AKA Shia LaBeouf.                     

Honey Boy (2019), 8/10. He might even get a screenwriting nod for this one. 
(Edited)
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Stephen Atwood

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This afternoon:
Marriage Story (2019), 10/10.
Lead acting nominations are locks for Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. Score from Randy Newman, (apparently we share a birthday), shouldn't be overlooked either.

Tonight:
Dolemite Is My Name (2019), 9/10. Great possibility Eddie Murphy will grab a lead acting nom as well.
(Edited)
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Dracko

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Parasite(2019) 9/10
I can't choose between this movie and The Lighthouse as my favorite movie of the year.
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Stephen Atwood

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Centron/Coronet short film, Halloween Safety (1977) 1/10.
The Wolfman (1966), an extremely edited 8 minute version of the 1941 classic Universal monster movie. WHY?! Who knew that there was a home movie market back then? 1/10. 
It Came from Outer Space (same deal but the shortened version doesn't have its own IMDb page). About the same language. Same rating though I won't inflict my rating on the original movie's rating. I do suspect the original movie was pretty damn bad. Though at least had the sense to make more sense ... given its full feature length run time allowed it to be a full story.
Ditto for Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Rifftrax commentary by Bridget Jones Nelson and Mary Jo Pehl? 10/10.


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NarniaisAwesome

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The Lion King, 2019, 5/10.  Keep starting my review but it's always at night and I get too sleepy to finish!!!  Hopefully I will do it today and post the link.  :)
(Edited)