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baraka92

I still think the first one is a slug that should've been shorter, but now I respect it a little bit more because it laid the ground for what has to be the best sci-fi/fantasy epic since Fury Road

Finally, I get the appeal of Dune. The spirituality, the politics, the conflict, the worms... everything feels so vivid. It takes the principles and beliefs of the characters seriously so it makes you understand them and even feel sorry for some. It's amazing to watch a Hollywood movie that for better or worse acknowledge that religion is important.

Talking about the technical aspect is redundant; it's beautiful to watch and listen. Villeneuve is a craftsman on the level of Nolan or Scott.

I don't know where the story goes from here, but even if they drop the ball with Messiah, I believe this will remain an achievement on its own (don't care about Batman Begins, love The Dark Knight and hate The Dark Knight Rises... it happens).

Somebody has to make a 4 hour edit that includes the essential elements of Part One. I can imagine it having a similar pace to classic epics like Gone with the Wind, Ben-Hur and (obviously!) Lawrence of Arabia.

Anyway... Go watch it now!
2 months 1 week ago
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baraka92

Amazing!
Glazer keeps channeling Kubrick, but his biggest influence for this seems to be Chantal Akerman. The way his shots convey the space on screen is masterful.
I guess there's a little bit of Michael Snow's Wavelength too.

Instead of focusing on the suffering inflicted inside the camps, which is what in my opinion turns most Holocaust movies into exploitation (I agree with Haneke's views on Schindler's List), it uses filmmaking techniques to create an elipsis for that and go beyond being a mere history lesson.

I don't think they see themselves as evil. For them, it's another way to "get by". They talk about work and home as most people would and that creates a very creepy dissonance. Even when Rudolf talks about gasing the party. I believe he's saying it like when any of us keeps thinking about work outside of it. "How can I be more practical?" How can I improve my performance?..." Just another mental exercise.
This grounds the evil on the comfort of the Höss family life and expands it beyond the film's setting.
What's happening around me? What am I ignoring right now?

It would make a heavy double feature with Son of Saul, another Holocaust movie about what you can and can't see.

This has to be the most off beat Best Picture nominee ever.
2 months 3 weeks ago
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baraka92

Like others have said, this feels like a lost Hal Ashby (with a touch of John Hughes). The characters, the story, the tone and the look are all there.
Loved Giamatti, Randolph and Sessa, who couldn't have dreamed of a better screen debut.

I think it's like an Anti-Goodbye Mr. Chips (not that I don't like that movie). Teachers don't need to have a thousand children; with one is enough.

Among my favorites of the year and one I'll keep returning to in future Christmases.
5 months ago
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baraka92

Classic Oscar bait-biopic. Aimless, long and pompous. The cinematography feels overdone because it doesn't have much meaning behind it. There's no insight on what made Bernstein a towering figure in the world of music; it focuses only on his personal life but never chooses an angle to latch on and therefore the dynamic between him and Felicia gets repetitive very quickly. Also, Cooper sounds like he has a perpetual flu.

And when I thought this movie couldn't be more annoying, near the end, it topped itself with one of the worst needle drops in movie history.

It starts... things happen... then it ends.
5 months 1 week ago
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baraka92

There are no real connections to the '71 film other than the name and an unearned rendition of Pure Imagination. This isn't Willy Wonka. Say what you want about Depp's take, at least him and Burton tried to echo Dahl's dark/bizarre undertones. Chalamet (I still don't get the hype around him) is a plucky dreamer. There's nothing about the unpredictable psychotic character Gene Wilder played.

One of the best aspects of the original was the contrast between the outside world and the factory. In this one, Willy arrives on the town and starts doing his magic stuff but apparently that's not enough to become a sensation immediately. We get a silly plot about the chocolate cartel who never thinks about having him as a partner (specially since they admit, his chocolate is the best) and then rip him off with a contract or something. They should've combined Olivia Colman's character (her scenes were such a waste of time) and the other three guys as just one main antagonist .

There's not a single memorable song, aside from Pure Imagination... obviously!
The writing and acting are trying so hard to be charming but never reach the perfect tone of the Paddington films. Keegan-Michael Key and Hugh Grant are the only ones who nailed it.

And lastly, the theme about dreams feels generic. Just a string of gift card quotes that have nothing on the lessons in the original about being a good kid.

Overall: Safe and lame.
5 months 1 week ago
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baraka92

Zero momentum is an impressive feature for a movie about one of the most amazing lives in history.
So pointless and boring that conversations about how much true to history it is or how it compares to Gance's film are not even worth having. It's not even that "crazy".

Let's wait and see how much better the obligatory director's cut is.
5 months 3 weeks ago
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baraka92

#notallsmithsfans
6 months 2 weeks ago
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baraka92

Where to start?! Greed, guilt, remourse, judgement, misoginy, race, spirituality, tradition. This is a dark and ugly story that doesn't end well, and worse it's forgotten. Scorsese, literally, comments on the way stories are told and consumed in the brilliant closing scene. Edit: Seriously! He doesn't break the fourth wall, he does something beyond that. A masterful way of exploiting the form to send a message. Some Godard or Welles level stuff.

DiCaprio's Ernest feels close to The Irishman's Frank Sheeran. A simpleton man, destined to ruin the only meaningful relationship in his life by his own hand for the sake of other people; and near the end, when he's trying to "fix things" and save his soul, it's too late.
BTW, Lily Gladstone was born to be in movies. She has "one of those faces".

Scorsese, of course has explored similar themes and characters but at 80 he keeps mixing them with fresh elements to his style. There are echoes of Gaslight, Days of Heaven, Pontecorvo and Gavras.

On the downside, I do think that out of his long movies this is the one that overstays its welcome the most. I could see at least 40 minutes cut without losing much, specially in the first half (after 2 hours I thought to myself "are Jesse Plemons and Brendan Fraser even in this thing?"). And, honestly, de Niro is good but I believe there were better actors suited for his two-faced role.

Not an S-tier but quite close. Forget it; I think it might be.

Add the hellish Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground sequence to the hall of fame of Scorsese's music moments.
7 months ago
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baraka92

So... they just leave?
7 months 2 weeks ago
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baraka92

It would've been better if the narrator just shut up.
7 months 2 weeks ago
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baraka92

The first 2 hours are probably the best stuff Nolan has ever done. A thrilling take on science (that oddly, feels very spiritual at times) and its dangerous potential. This is no Frankenstein. That’s the best part; it did happen and the threat won’t go away anytime soon.
It leaves other sappy biopics like The Theory of Everything in the dust.

The last hour, isn’t bad and remains interesting but deals with topics that feel more mundane and less trascendental. Stuff that we’ve seen many times before. And what’s worse, it affects the pacing of the whole movie.
At least, it kinda recovers on the closing scene. Chilling!

I agree with critics that think Nolan still can’t write female characters (their point is utilitarian to the story) and it’s frustrating that this could be better and shorter, but overall, it remains an amazing achievement.
10 months ago
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baraka92

In which Tom Cruise's usual analogue subtext becomes text. Like in Maverick, he keeps championing the human factor over anything that can be predicted.

Fallout remains the gold standard, but this is probably the most entertaining entry so far. It just feels like a string of set pieces. Even the dialogue scenes cut to the point and move on very quickly. spoiler
Loved that Vanessa Kirby had more to do than in the last movie. The rest of the cast is as great as always. That Fiat 500 was the best new character, although Hayley Atwell won me over the course of the movie.

Overall, this only adds to the high reputation of the franchise.
Can't wait to find out how Cruise and McQuarrie plan to end this.
10 months 2 weeks ago
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baraka92

If you think the series jumped the shark with the nuked fridge, this film is like: "Screw that! You ain't see nothing yet!"

I hated how the set up went spoiler but at least the ending worked for me and gave a somewhat sweet resolution to Indy after feeling like a relic himself. spoiler

It's enjoyable for the most part (the chase scene in Morocco was a lot of fun) but I'm also not surprised by the mixed reception. Just like with Crystal Skull; this will be no one's favorite Indiana Jones movie.
10 months 3 weeks ago
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baraka92

The wonders that can happen when you have zero expectations and a promo code for the theater.
I enjoyed the hell out of this movie. It hit the sweet tone of Donner's Superman, Burton's Batman and Raimi's Spider-Man: fun but with personal and serious stakes.

Keaton could play Batman in his sleep and I could watch Sasha Calle all day long. I hope this isn't the last we see of her as Supergirl.
And I guess Miller is... a very charismatic psychopath.

There are a lot of cameos, some great and some downright stupid; and, yes, the quality of the effects is all over the place (e.g. the babies looked awful and the two Ezras looked seamless), but the movie is quite solid in all other departments that I didn't mind that much.

The ending spoiler, crushed me. One of the most emotional scenes in any superhero movie ever. Too bad the writers kind of backtracked part of the lesson immediately. I don't think it was enough to bring the movie down though... kinda... what I'm saying is that It might not be one of the best movies in its genre but I do think it's one of the most fun and creative.
11 months ago
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baraka92

It remided me A LOT of Back to the Future Part II (and therefore It's a Wonderful Life).
It expands and plays with the plot mechanics of the first film; It's darker; and ends on a cliffhanger spoiler.
I won't say it's better; it's "more".
Just like with BTTF, I prefer the contained story of the first one and I think some of the emotional beats were already explored in a more subdued manner there.
Though this is still awesome and the build up for the third chapter is insane.
What a trip!
11 months 3 weeks ago
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baraka92

quote:
One of The Gospel According to Matthew’s special achievements is the way it finds a cinematic equivalent to the literary nature of the Sermon on the Mount, which fills three chapters of Matthew’s Gospel. It's widely regarded by biblical scholars not as a single speech originally given by Jesus on a single occasion, but as a collection of sayings and teachings that Jesus proclaimed on various occasions, probably repeatedly and in various forms, edited together into a single speech by the sacred writer.

In keeping with this, Pasolini likewise edits together his Sermon on the Mount sequence out of separate shots of Irazoqui proclaiming Jesus’ teaching at different times and places. The camera stays tight on Irazoqui’s face, keeping the edits relatively unobtrusive, just as they are in Matthew’s Gospel; of the differing circumstances or audiences that occasioned the various components that become the Sermon on the Mount we learn nothing in Matthew, and therefore Pasolini shows us nothing of them. Only the cuts themselves, along with varying backgrounds and lighting conditions, indicate that we are experiencing a continuity created in the editing room.

The score includes some curious choices, ranging from Mozart and Bach to blues. One could imagine The Gospel According to Matthew with no music at all, just as Carl Dreyer wanted The Passion of Joan of Arc to play. Yet I think Christian film writer Seth Studer has a point when he argues in his review of the film, "Surprisingly, the soundtrack only adds to the film’s spiritual authenticity. By not confining itself to one style or era, the music invokes afresh the transcendence of Christ across the ages, across cultures."


Full review.
Amidst the string of jokes in here, I felt the need to share some genuine insight on this film.
1 year 1 month ago
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baraka92

Frustratingly average. Beneath the colors and charm of the source, there’s the usual middle of the road, lazy, marketing minded Illumination.

I think it’s a lot to ask from the creators of Minions but their blueprint should’ve been Buster Keaton and other silent comedians. Imagine a grunting DK; better uses of music (because when I think of Super Mario, I certainly, do not think of the Beastie Boys and a-ha); and exploiting the 2D perspective instead of being an afterthought that’s used for about 15 seconds. There’s enough potential for a great sequel but, again, this is Illumination.

image

It’s been almost a decade since The Lego Movie showed the world that this type of film can be more than just a cash grab; and Paddington raised the bar for family films. Audiences deserve better and critics are not wrong for wanting that.
1 year 1 month ago
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baraka92

Excellent war film. Be sure to watch the restored cut.
1 year 1 month ago
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baraka92

Can't believe I didn't realize that was Glen Hansard until the end credits. So, you can watch this as a prequel to Once. lol

Probably the most charming movie with +100 f-bombs
1 year 1 month ago
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baraka92

Very good. I liked that the approach to addiction never felt expoitative yet didn't sugarcoat anything either. Forgiveness is also another topic that was very well managed. spoiler

Andrea Riseborough 100% deserves her Oscar nomination and I hope it changes the way awards campaign works.
1 year 2 months ago
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baraka92

John Ford's most ethereal film. Very unique.
1 year 2 months ago
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baraka92

I believe this film alongside Bergman's Winter Light, Buñuel's Nazarín and Malick's A Hidden Life are the best representations of true religion on film.
1 year 2 months ago
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baraka92

When the song gets played for the first time on the radio is one of the most joyful moments in any movie.
1 year 3 months ago
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baraka92

What a pleasant surprise!

Loved the animation style. It's great to finally see the influence of Spiderverse taking off. Why would studios spend hundreds of millions in animation just to have hyper realistic designs? I believe that's boring and self defeating (that goes for a lot of videogames too). I mean, have fun! This cost half as the average Disney film and it's way more appealing to the eye.

The story is even more impressive. I definitely didn't expect Puss in Boots: The Last Wish of all films to tackle themes like anxiety, acceptance and mortality; in an elegant way that's digestible for younger audiences, but here we are. A nice antidote to Disney's late solipsism. spoiler

... and to top it all off, an amazing cast that includes the best and funniest Jimmy Stewart impersonation ever. I couldn't stop laughing.

My favorite animated film of the year.
1 year 4 months ago
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baraka92

I mean... spoiler

Despite having social commentary, good performances, a great lead and clever humor (except for the annoying and overused celebrity namedrops) these movies can't seem to go beyond the "it was good" fence.

Enjoyable and that's it.
1 year 4 months ago

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