What Films Have You Been Watching? January 2022 Edition

Just seen Licorice Pizza so off to a flyer.
Wow. Soooo good! Bowled over by it. Just grinning now.
Could have easily watched another 8-12 hours of them just hanging out and doing what they do.

What films have you been watching? Seen anything good lately?

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Stuck on The Matrix. Might follow it with The Matrix 2 - then The Matrix 3 in quick succession

I watched The Rescue on Disney, about the Thai cave rescue. Very good. Also watched Black Hawk Down and that was quite crap and a bit racist.

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The Trip - Noomi Rapace and Aksel Henni film on Netflix. I saw it had good reviews but I hated it. Just silly comically violent scene after another which got boring very fast. Didn’t like it. 3/10

Young Hearts - A nice little indie coming of age film about young teenagers in love and their first sexual encounters. A Duplass Brothers production but not directed by either. I’m probably not the demographic for the film was aimed at but does the teenagers in love thing well. The lead girl Anjini Taneja Azhar was pretty good in this. 6/10.

The Princess Bride - First time watching this and was a perfect film to watch alone in on New Year’s Eve. Tender sweet and funny. I can see why it’s seen as a 80s comedy classic. 8.5/10

S.W.A.T. Under Siege - Not a bad film to watch with a few drinks. Haven’t seen any of the others but decided on this as it has Michael Jai White who I like. The whole thing is like a 15 rated version of NCIS or the one that the woman from Kindergarten Cop is in. People get kicked in the head and shot. It’s better than I’d expected. 6/10.

The Lost Daughter - Unfortunately just didn’t completely click with me. As a film it was brilliantly acted from both Coleman, Buckley and Johnson and a very impressive directorial debut from Maggie Gyllenhaal.

I haven’t read the book and found Coleman’s finding similarities between her and Dakota Johnson’s group and situation a little too convenient. Enjoyed the back story but again even in those there was too much forced similarities between herself and the hikers.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good film. Maybe I’d built it up as one of the films to watch after the reviews I’d skim read and the scores given. Liked it but I wasn’t unfortunately engrossed. 7/10.

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Just remembered that there is someone called Frisbee in Licorice Pizza.

What a film

Cracked 200 films for the second year in a row - yay pandemic! Recent highlights

Unforgiven - really good this! Best thing I’ve seen of Clint’s directorial works. Much more low key and reflective and sad than I was expecting tbh - Deadwood took some very strong inspiration from this clearly. Lovely stuff about friendship, regrets, memory, honour. And some of the landscapes and shots were stunning too, expected something a lot more straightforward

In the Mood for Love - my god, actually a masterpiece. So rare to find something so hyped which lives up to everything you’ve heard. Looking stunning (maybe the best shot film I’ve ever seen?), great score, such elegant delicate focus on things like hands, door frames, reflections. Fully transported me while watching it, was entirely caught up in the … mood. Brilliant work making something so epic and lush and grand fit into a 90 minute running time. Will have to see more by him!

Closer - enjoyed some of the snappy dialogue quite a lot, and thought Portman was actually great. Manic pixie dream girl type of thing but with a bit more edge or wit to it. But also a lot of bad moments or story choices or weird turns - and the catfish sexting scene may be the worst thing I’ve seen in a film in my entire life. Physically painful to watch

Also rewatched Grand Budapest Hotel and had a great time with it again. Probably still comfortably my second favourite of his after Tenenbaums

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Instead of catching up on 2021 bests I am watching Two Weeks Notice

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Stuck it in the wrong thread

Really like Encanto. Has a bit of a haunted house vibe? Think there’s a bit of a misstep at the end but Disney is still cranking out good shit

Lost Daughter - found it a bit too stressful and didn’t like most of the characters most of the time, which is no doubt intended. But just found some of the interactions too awkward/uncomfortable/unrealistic for me. It got a bit more interesting as it progressed, but it’s not making me regret my top 10 list for the year at least.

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Haven’t seen In The Mood for Love since I was an impressionable teen, glad to hear it stands up. Been toying with a rewatch for a while. Chungking Express is also really good if you haven’t seen it, maybe not quite as deep though.

Have only seen Love and his first film, both within the last few months. So plenty left to explore

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

Don’t think the Marvel films are for me really but this was fun enough. Great cast… Keaton obviously, but also Childish Gambino, Zendaya, Hanniball Buress, Mike Milligan from Fargo, even Nacho from Better Call Saul makes an appearance. All do a decent job elevating a pretty pedestrian plot imo.

O’Brien loving a film that’s broadly correct but in the most annoying, unnuanced, smug way possible made by someone who’s nowhere near as bright as they think they are is a big surprise to me

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Not her debut, she did The Kindergarten Teacher a couple of years ago which is great

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Oh yeah. Forgot about that one. Haven’t seen that one but did see the original Israeli one at The BFI many years ago.

2021 film total = 540 with 468 features and 72 shorts.

Rated 8 (first watches) 5 stars and 42 rated 4.5/5. So 50 greats and plenty more decent things! Happy with that.

The 5/5’s = It’s A Wonderful Life, Cold War, One Cut Of The Dead, Inside, 12 Angry Men, The Handmaiden, The Red Turtle and Metropolis.

Ended 2021 with:

Great Expectations (BBC2) 4/5
:hammer: Such craft in all departments! The passage of time, the frivolity, the kinetic camera, the shadows and light. Pairs well with The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp as a great character piece.

Guys And Dolls (BBC2) 4/5
:dancer: Looks absolutely stunning with the vibrant colours and choreography popping off the screen. A bit too bloated, but zips along fast enough with the opening, Havana and sewer numbers the clear standouts. Brando (the dictionary definition of suave) + Simmons play off each other really well and Sinatra/Blaine have a good back and forth.

Dr Zhivago (BBC2) 3.5/5
:hourglass:As epic in scale as a David Lean film covering such subject could possibly be. Ticks all the technical and grandiose aspects so hard, but falters on the emotion and motive. The payoff for the run time was well worth it. Omar Sharif looked like and amalgamation of Michael Shannon and Henry Cavil.

The Story Of Film: A New Generation (File) 4/5
:popcorn: The original doc holds such a special place as it opened my eyes so wide and pretty sure I wouldn’t be on Letterboxd typing these words without it. Cousins wonderfully continues his love letter in usual captivating and informative fashion and guides me to 15 odd additions to the watchlist. Looking forward to another slice in 10 years.

Witness For The Prosecution (BBC2) 3.5/5
:balance_scale: Hugely entertaining with some lightning and devilish writing.

The Summer Of Soul (File) 3.5/5
:microphone: Amazingly well crafted footage…both from the concerts and the documentary clips that tie it together with wider history / culture from the time. They also sadly reflect that movement on solving issues raised 50 years ago has progressed little if at all.

The Manchurian Candidate (BBC4) 3/5
:black_joker: Appreciated its surreal, abstract, horror and psychological elements, but didn’t fully captivate. A great premise with fantastic bookends that sadly sag in the middle in which Laurence Harvey doesn’t quite nail it for me.

The Matrix Resurrections (Cinema) 3.5/5

:rabbit2: The first hour is 5/5 and I devoured every idiosyncratic echo and deliciously meta second. The people are cool as fuck, the clothes are vibrant, the effects are somewhat daring and the joy inside my brain was blooming. Then it slowly deflated as time passed into a fairly generic action film. Sits high above Far From Home, Last Night In Soho and (seemingly) miles above Ghostbusters Afterlife in how it deals with nostalgia and revels in playing with that feeling instead of just blatantly pointing to the past in the most hollow and soulless way. If it stuck the landing and continued to delve deeper in more metacontextual ways by further dissecting itself then it would match the original but in a different way.

C’mon C’mon (File) 4/5
:microphone: Sweet, endearing and charming in a multitude of ways. We need more stuff in the style of CĂ©line Sciamma where kids are shown to be knowledgeable, porous and compassionate human beings.

Petite Maman (File) 4/5
:fallen_leaf: Didn’t hit me as hard as seemingly everyone else on the planet, but still bucket loads of warmth, charm, delight and intrigue.

Nimic (Kanopy) 3.5/5
:busts_in_silhouette: Tried to deconstruct several times and just gave up and decided to just let it wash over me.

Strasbourg 1518 (Kanopy) 3/5
:sweat_drops: The ying to Inside’s yang.

Started 2022 with:

The Lost Daughter (Netflix) 3/5
:tangerine: Had an uneasy and uncomfortable feeling spread throughout (and took some odd decisions) and i’m not entirely sure if they were all intended. A noble effort and an interesting portrait and character study on woman/parent/mother-hood.

Dave Made A Maze (Amazon) 3.5/5
:scissors: One of those things with knockout 5 star rating in several departments, but lacking in many others…and it’s kinda forgivable because of the craft and charm on show. I think a behind the scenes making of doc might be equally as fun as it is such a joy for your eyes to explore every iota of the screen.

The Vast Of Night (Amazon) 3.5/5
:crescent_moon: Has such a rich detail and oddly captivating charm. Really transports you to that time and place without being ott or cliche. Zippy dialogue and a perfect tell don’t show (because of our budget) attitude. Such an odd recent inclusion to the 1001 Movies book.

Aileen: Life And Death Of A Serial Killer (Amazon) 3.5/5
:hourglass_flowing_sand: Such a troubling and uncomfortable watch leaving you with a myriad of mixed feelings.

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Nearly 1.5 films a day
Cbs Reaction GIF by The Late Late Show with James Corden

I thought I was doing well getting through 150!

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That’s really surprising, yeah would be interested to know why that one was specifically picked out. I loved it though, captivated me and every single choice felt like it was designed to appeal to me. Low key masterpiece

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I have the 2019 edition and it was added in the newest version so I don’t have the blurb.