The Movie Thread
I can't believe nobody's started this one yet. Here's a thread where we can discuss movies.


Last night I watched Oldboy (South Korea, 2003).. I have a friend who's been hounding me to see this for a long time, and his recommendation for this one was on the money.

It's a neo-noir tale of vengeance about a normal everyday guy (Oh Daesu) who is abducted, imprisoned, and seeks payback against his captor. The lead actor who plays Oh Daesu shows an incredible range of characters (loudmouth drunk, isolated madman, obsessive vigilante).

The cinematography is artful, dark and gritty, and there some unforgettable scenes. Some aspects of the plot are a bit implausible, but its gloriously twisted and generally well-sequenced. This one deserves multiple viewings to catch whatever I missed in the first go around. There are many themes to digest: the weight of Korean honor culture on the individual, the corrosive nature of vengeance, and the extent to which ignorance is bliss.

Amazing film, possibly one of my favorites.
Old Boy is great. ^

I've been on a David Ayer kick lately. Started with Street Kingz, a little known Keanu Reeves LA cop flick. Also co-stars Robert Whitaker. Then I moved on to End of Watch and am re-watching Fury right now.

Ayer's movies are not the best. The writing, dialogue and exposition can be heavy handed, and they can be really over the top Hollywood sometimes. But the common themes of bonds between men, riding in vehicles together for hours, rings true to me. And the pacing is always good; there are rarely dull moments.
There's no such thing as different but equal. 
-Dante Nero
I saw the new Shaft the other night. It was pretty good.
I think about the film In the Mood for Love (directed by Wong Kar Wai) a lot. I haven't watched it in a couple of years but it crosses my mind on a weekly basis.
[decided to rewrite this review and delete the other; my previous one was longwinded and autistic...]

Last night had a girl over and we watched Leave No Trace (USA, 2018). It was a really good film, very touching, and I think it will especially resonate with indepedent-minded guys who like the outdoors. If you like movies with action, activity, and dramatic turns of events, this one is not one for you. It's art house cinema, but not the unwatchable kind. The trailer and my comments below....

The movie begins as a story about a man who has been rendered partly dysfunctional from PTSD. He seeks to live a tranquil, itinerant life with his 14 year-old daughter in the woods outside of the influences of modern society. Circumstances require them to ramble about the Pacific Northwest, and as they relocate again and again the main theme of the film emerges: a coming of age tale about a daughter who questions the norms and conditions dictated by her father and yearns for a different life. 

I found the film great for three reasons: it's wholesome, it's opinionated and revealing without being ideological, and none of the characters are firmly typecast. There are no stern moral lessons or warnings, and there really are no 'good guys' or 'bad guys'. For those that believe that freedom of thought and the right to self-determination are of utmost value, this movie is a humble celebration of the motif:

We can think our own thoughts.

That very quote is stated twice by the two main characters on different occasions and under different circumstances -- part of the cleverness of the film. I enjoyed this one a lot, even more upon reflection and a night's sleep.
Last night I watched You Were Never Really Here (USA, 2017). It stars Joaquin Phoenix, who plays Joe, a hitman suffering from PTSD. The story takes place in Manhattan, and Joe is contracted to find and rescue a Senator's daughter, Nina, who has been abducted. The mission becomes more than what Joe was hired for, and Joe seeks to save Nina while keeping the weight of his PTSD trauma at bay.

The film is intense and has an unrelenting heavy pace. Director Lynne Ramsey masterfully weaves Joe's tortured, warped inner reality into the plot. Joaquin Phoenix delivers a superb performance as a tortured vet, and there are some memorable scenes of anguish.


I recently bought/watched Evengalion 3.33 "You Can (not) Redo".  Good flicker, 7/10, but what the fuck is up with no real play for the Third Impact?  Is that a number four lead in?  I would love to see The End incorporated in this flicker.
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I watched "Before Sunrise" (1995) the other night. I don't know if anyone has suggested that it is a game film, but I would like to. Before Sunrise is the story of two travelers who meet on the train on the way to Vienna. Ethan the American strikes up conversation with Celine, from France on the train. They are both young students currently not in relationships. Ethan really connects with Celine, and as the train pulls into Vienna asks her at the last moment to explore the city with him, as he has nothing to do, nowhere to stay, and his flight doesn't leave until tomorrow. Celine agrees and they start to explore Vienna, realizing that in a number of hours, <24 hours, they will probably never see each other again. I am a sucker for Linklater films, and this one is no exception. Long shots, very philosophical and deep dialogue, amazing character chemistry on screen, and conversations that are just next level, yet at the same time come off as extemporaneous and spontaneous. I've done enough describing the plot. So I will now conclude with my overall takeway for the film.

This is probably the best "romantic" film I have ever seen. It does not take the tone or screenwriting angle that leads you to believe it was written by some betamale or female. The human, inter-sex, dynamics are incredibly real and not at all PC or feminist. Both characters behave like real people, and not movie cutouts. As I said earlier, the on screen chemistry was fantastic. As I watched their relationship unfold on onscreen, I thought it was real life and I was seeing two real people falling in love. In a hollistic sense, I also like the films message: it is a message of taking risk, saying yes, and enjoying your humanity as time briskly marches on. In other words time suspends itself in this film as the couple grow closer.

That's about all I have to say about the film. I will add that I watched the two sequels, Before Sunrise, and Before Midnight, directly after finishing this film. For a romantic film, this probably tops out my list for romantic genre films at a high rating of 9.5/ 10. Otherwise just as a film, I would give Before Sunrise an 8.75. The plot is golden if you ask me, guy picks up girl on train, and has the time of his life.

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