Movies I've Watched Recently, That I Kinda Review Part 2

I've had another movie marathon. This time I decided to just watch whatever, and not just keep it current. In fact none of these movies are that recent, so they probably have even less power and relevance as a review, but I really just want to talk about them, so there you go.

Movies I've Watched Recently, I Kinda Review Part 1

The Score(2001)

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This movie is pretty good. It’s standard heist stuff. It doesn’t do more than that. And it doesn’t have to. Thing is though, when you get freaking De’Niro, Edward Norton, and Freaking Brando in the same movie, you kind of hope for something a bit bigger. Like Roger Ebert put in his review of the movie “These three performances are what they need to be and no more. It is a sign of professionalism when an actor can inhabit a genre instead of trying to transcend it." And I agree with that. My thing is. . . would you hire Usain Bolt to slowly shuffle? Or Barry Bonds to bunt? I think, and I know this is impossible, but they should’ve started writing an entirely new script when they cast these juggernauts. Ah well, too late for that. Again though this is a pretty fine film. And these guys do good jobs in the roles. The movie's biggest sin is its under use of freaking ANGELA BASSETT. I mean the other actors are just playing the roles they were put in, but you don't hire Angela Bassett to be just the main character's girlfriend. She's as much a powerhouse as De Niro in my opinion, and though this is a really restrained movie, I wish they would've done more with her more than anything.

Hot Fuzz(2007)

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I’ve always heard this was a hilarious movie, the quality of comedy from other people. Like all art, humor is so subjective. I think Eddie Murphy, Earthquake, & Bill Burr are hilarious. But there are people who don’t find them funny at all. I don’t know any of those people. My affirmation is purely in a statistical way. Anyway so unlike a drama, I’m usually not going to watch a comedy based on another person’s say so. But I passed this on Netflix, and I figured why not? Those people were right this movie was hilarious. Like all good parodies, I think what makes it so good is how authentic it is to a genre. I mean you could walk in the room while the movie is playing, and think this is just a general genre film. It's so ridiculous and so over the top and that's what makes it so smart.

A Trip To The Moon(1902)-

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This is a classic film.And seeing as it’s only twelve minutes, I figured I could go ahead and watch it. If you’re looking for an accurate depiction of space travel or the moon, you won’t find that here. Though I’m not going to make fun of it for that. Unlike a inaccurate movie made in the 1980s, this movie was of course made pre moon landing. It was made pre-Wright Brothers!!!!!!!! So of course the science isn’t going to be accurate. Though maybe a cannon that shoots a bullet to the moon wasn’t even plausible back then. I digress. This is mostly a novelty to watch though. I am not of the mind that older art can’t be entertaining. I mean you can pick up a film from the 1930s and have it be just as entertaining as a movie made in 2016. Hell depending on the movie, even more entertaining. But considering the subject matter, the length, and the lack of story or cinematography. This film is mostly just a novelty. It’s enjoyable in it’s goofiness though. If you’ve got twelve minutes to spare, why not?

The World of Tomorrow(2015)

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I’ve always been a fan of Don Hertz work. And when I saw this short film on Netflix, I figured I’ve got to check it out. It’s only fifteen minutes, so I definitely recommend it for you too. I laughed out loud at least a dozen times. Then the ending made me depressed, but in a good way. It was a really good ending. Suffice to say you should definitely give this a watch. If I talked about it at all, I’d ruin it. SO JUST WATCH IT!

Come and Drink With Me(1966)

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I was in the mood to watch some classics, which is reflected in the movies from here on out, and I started with this. A movie I had never heard of, but the description intrigued me. It might not be considered a classic here, but it is wildly considered one of the greatest movies to ever come out of Hong Kong. And I don’t have any problems with foreign films or subtitles. So I gave it a look. Like a lot of great western or martial arts, the setup for the film is so simple. A sister, martial artist, is sent to get your brother back from bandits, who have kidnapped him to get their leader back. Technically speaking there’s a twist in this movie. But if you’ve ever saw a martial arts movie before, you know what it is as soon as you see a certain character appear. That being said. The story is pretty straightforward. And the acting is pretty good. Our heroine is decidedly serious and bad*** and the bandits are despicably fun. Well in one scene they take it past being cartoonish, it's kind of a mood whiplash, but it doesn't ruin it. The action might offput some people. I mean this is the 60s, so some of the combat is a little goofy. I mean I think it’s fine, but that might bother others. All in all, I think it’s a pretty great film.

All The President’s Men(1976)

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Man I loved this movie. Typically speaking It can be hard for me to get into a story that I already know the outcome to. I mean Watergate is probably the biggest political scandal of all time. So much so that -gate has re-purposed as a suffix for controversy. You don’t have to know the particulars to know how Watergate ends, so I figured there wouldn’t be much suspense or tension. But somehow this movie manages it. I guess it’s how hard and how many leads Woodward and Bernstein check out. I mean at every turn they’re getting doors slammed in their faces, people who don’t want to talk, people who wan’t to talk but can’t. I mean about thirty minutes in I said this out loud ‘How are they going to find this out!?' By being relentless, dedicated, and a little pushy. They could’ve been killed, or kidnapped, or arbitrarily thrown in jail. But they don’t give up. The only problem I have with movie, and it’s very minor, is that I wished we could have actually seen the fallout. Actually seen some people in cuffs. Thing is, the ending, is so perfect that I’m fine not seeing it. I mean that final shot with Woodward and Bernstein and the t.v. is just so good to me! That I’m fine with that. This is a must see for me.

Network(1976)

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Man this film was fantastic. Ever since I heard about this film, I wanted to watch it. However, I never really knew what it was about or that it was a satire or comedy or anything. I though it was just a movie about a t.v. network and what that entailed. And I’ve never seen a movie like that, so I thought it was an intriguing premise. So I went into this film not expecting the humor at all. I mean this movie came out before I was even born, so obviously I’m late to the party. But man it’s crazy how biting and accurate a satire this movie is. But even if it wasn’t, it’s just damn funny! But it’s the characters and the great acting that makes it fantastic. Everyone brings their A Game. Finch, Dunaway, Holden, Duvall, they’re fantastic. Even the bit parts are great. It’s just a wonderful film that you have to check out, if you haven’t already.

The Bigamist(1953)

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The movie is acted well, it’s shot well, the dialogue is great. The problem I have with this story is that it's a little too simple. I mean it’s literally just a story about a man who loves and is married to two women. It isn’t even a thriller. It’s just a movie about that. Now there is a conclusion and a payoff at the end when SPOILER the husband is told on. SPOILER. But then the movie is just over. We don’t even get to see him get chewed out by one of the women. However that is a kind of delightful ambiguity. It’s nice not knowing what happens. However, I just wish the meat of the plot was more substantial. Ida Lupino, one of the wives, directs the film wonderfully. I just wish it was a more complex script she was working with. The movie is in the public domain, and on Youtube, so check it out. Fun Fact: Film historians cite this as the first film where a female star directed herself.

Glengarry Glen Ross(1992)

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Another film with some great performances. I think everyone knows this movie’s story. At the end of the month, the employees of a real estate firm are going to have their sells evaluated. And by evaluated, the worst sells are going to result in termination. The sellers are caught in a catch-22. They are given the terrible Glen Ross leads, and only when they close these terrible leads, are they given the fantastic Glengarry leads. And the movie is literally the employees reacting to this within 24 hours. The story is all it needs to be. It’s funny and introspective, and heartbreaking. Pacino & Lemmon make this movie for me. I know believe really love Alec Baldwin’s scene, and I think it’s funny too, but those are what make this movie gold. So if you haven’t seen it, check it out.

Cactus Flower(1969)

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This movie is perfectly executed farce. I mean the strength of a comedy like this hinges on the timing and the performances, because a farce, by it’s very nature, has to be quick otherwise suspension of disbelief might start to set it. But there’s no problem of that happening here, at least not to me. Ingrid Bergman is the star of this film, both in her place as the eponymous Cactus Flower and as the best thing in the movie. That isn’t a snipe at Walther Matthau or Goldie Hawn, they are both fantastic as well, but Bergman is just a force of nature every second she’s on screen. She’s just hilarious. What makes this farce work is of course the actor’s performances. However it’s also the script, see Adam Sandler re-did this movie, titled “Just Go With It” with Jennifer Aniston and Brooklyn Decker. Here’s a mini review of Just Go With It: Don’t watch it! Obviously you can do whatever you want, but if my opinion carries even the smallest weight, heed my words! If you’re going to experience this story, Cactus Flower is the way you should go. I mean I don’t think I have to tell you that Matthau and Bergman can wipe the floor with Sandler and Aniston on any day of the week. But it’s not just that, see the reason Adam Sandler’s version of the movie doesn’t work is because it’s too heavily bogged down with other side stuff and even more contrivances. See the farcical part of both movies start off with the same contrivance: After the main character, Matthau and Sandler, pretends to be married, the girlfriends, Hawn and Decker, request to meet the non-existent wives. Now of course, the lies begin to spiral out of control, but whereas Cactus Flower keeps the premise as grounded as it could possibly be. I mean Cactus Flower is almost equal parts drama, lest we forget that the movie begins with Goldie Hawn’s Toni failing to commit suicide. Sandler’s movie spirals out of control with Hawaii subplot, and fake British little girl subplots, and fake kids missing their dad subplot, and sheep farmer subplot, and sheep birth scene subplot, and Anistion’s rival subplot, played by Nicole Kidman, also showing up adding another unnecessary layer to the farce! And of course wrapped in the juvenile humor of today. All in all, Cactus Flower is a great dramedy, that I think is worth more people’s time. I mean I can’t know popularity for sure, but I’ve never heard anyone talking about this movie and it really is good. And remember: Don’t watch Just Go With It!

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