The Films of 2019

Discussions of specific films and franchises.
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DarkImbecile
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The Films of 2019

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:00 am

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the place to post your musings of anticipation for and reactions to films released in 2019 that don't already have a dedicated thread in the New Films sub-forum. If enough posts accumulate on a particular film, they may — through processes only vaguely understood by modern science but probably involving air currents and static electricity — detach from this thread and take root as their own dedicated thread. Please limit yourself to one film per post — even if that means a few consecutive posts after a day-long trip to the multiplex — as the mods have a hard enough job already without having to try to split your essay on The Lego Movie 2 and Pet Sematary into two different threads.

What does the last year of the decade in film likely hold that might be worth posting about? Well, hold on to your MoviePass subscriptions:
Everyone is encouraged to offer their thoughts on any 2019 release that provokes a reaction, whether it's a hidden art house gem or a big budget studio disaster — you never know when you'll be the one to start a vigorous conversation on the merits of 2019's version of Collateral Beauty.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Films of 2019

#2 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:30 pm

It's a crime that a post as funny as that has no one saying so. The board's legacy lives on!

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Re: The Films of 2019

#3 Post by swo17 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:04 pm

Hey, I PMd him about it!

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The Films of 2019

#4 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:48 pm

Image

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Persona
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Re: The Films of 2019

#5 Post by Persona » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:18 pm

Excited for that new Chris Morris you mention. A follow-up to Four Lions feels long over-due and the premise of The Day Shall Come sounds just as fascinating, with a really interesting and eclectic cast (Anna Kendrick as a FBI operative? Jim Gaffigan as, well, somebody in a Chris Morris movie? Okay!)

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Re: The Films of 2019

#6 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:37 pm


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Persona
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Re: The Films of 2019

#7 Post by Persona » Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:45 pm

I'm gonna need Glazer to get crackin' on that Holocaust film.

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Re: The Films of 2019

#8 Post by Calvin » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:32 am

Paris Is Us is a French film, originally titled 'Paris is a Party', which was picked up for worldwide distribution by Netflix following a Kickstarter campaign that raised €91,500. Credited director Elisabeth Vogler is actually a Persona-referencing pseudonym as "to highlight a certain cinema rather than the person behind the camera. An idea already widespread in music as in literature. Elisabeth Vogler is a tribute: the desire to appeal to a universe rather than an ego." ...Yeah, me neither. The film is visually pleasing and Noémie Schmidt (previously nominated for the César Award for Most Promising Actress for The Student and Mister Henri) gives a terrific performance as the lead, who reevaluates life and somewhat dissociates from reality after a flight she was booked on crashes. Her relationship with her boyfriend is told in a non-linear fashion, with real-life events in Paris including the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks and Macron's speech at Johnny Halliday's funeral serving as a backdrop.

I thought it was an interesting exercise, but it apes Malick so much that it veers very close to parody and that style feels counter-productive to the material. It feels like two films competing against one another - a Malickian / metaphysical visual poem, and a film that wants to say something about Paris and France in recent years. I don't think it achieves either.

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Mr Sheldrake
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Re: The Films of 2019

#9 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:04 am

Cold Pursuit

A dull, predictable revenge blood fest gets preempted quickly by a comical drug war between rival gangs. Tom Bateman, an excellent Rawdon Crawley in the recent TV Vanity Fair, leads one group and is allowed to chew up the scenery, and he's good at it, especially when he confronts his formidable ex-wife, who knows his soft spots, so to speak. Tom Jackson leads his rivals, a band of Utes, and adds a touch of magisterial dignity to the slaughter. There are other interesting performances floating about (William Forsythe, Emmy Rossum), everyone gets their moment, even as director Moland gets carried away with his enthusiasm for gallows humor.

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Mr Sheldrake
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Re: The Films of 2019

#10 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:18 am

Everybody Knows

The long one big happy family beginning has an air of unreality and Farhadi pulls the rug under it effectively exposing the rifts, recriminations and resentments not far from the surface. The cast is extraordinary so one need not linger on the dubiousness of the crime plot. The center is strong as a decent man confronts the limits of self-sacrifice, something he never saw coming and is overwhelmed by. Bardem is superb at expressing the dilemma.

.

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Mr Sheldrake
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Re: The Films of 2019

#11 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:02 am

Stan & Ollie

The two leads give effective and heartfelt performances. Reilly is a bit encumbered by his fat makeup especially in closeups his facial expressions are difficult to find. Coogan gives a brilliant interpretation of Laurel, he's the gagman, always working on a new and better joke, and he's the driving force of their attempted comeback after 16 years apart. Rufus Jones steals his scenes as their humorous all-things-to-all-people agent.

The movie follows the familiar narrative arc of decline and fall, arguments and reconciliations. The best moment is when Laurel, unceremoniously dumped by a producer he expected to finance a new movie, passes and stares confusedly at a giant poster of an Abbott and Costello film, in that period inexplicably a top box office draw.

As a kid who grew up in 50s TV land, L&H were a constant presence but my friends and I were drawn more to the frantic slapstick of The Three Stooges (nuck, nuck, nuck a common greeting). L&H were too slow and nuanced and they didn't make us laugh. They still don't make me laugh much but I could appreciate their comic precision in Reilly and Coogan's re-creations of their most famous bits.

.

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Apollo 11 (Todd Douglas Miller, 2019)

#12 Post by liam fennell » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:40 am

Apollo 11 is an unexpectedly absorbing low-key (well, after the spectacular launch about a half hour in) and mostly self-explanatory documentary, put together almost exclusively from footage taken from the period of the actual launch. The only thing that isn't from that week in 1969 is Kennedy's speech where he promised to get mankind not only to the moon, but to bring the astronauts back safely as well, and that only comes at the very end of the picture. The voice track is admirably minimalist, comprised only of announcers from the launch, mission control chatter, and the familiar TV broadcasts transmitted from the space vessels by the astronauts themselves. The 70mm footage of the technical apparatus is frankly breathtaking. The weight and impact of the technical achievement just about knocked me out of my seat. The first shot in the movie is a large-format crystal clear high resolution image of the in-motion GIGANTIC tank treads of the platform vehicle as it delivers the rocket to the launch pad, with people walking alongside guiding it and providing scale not just for size of the actual vehicles, but also for the ambitions of the whole endeavor.

I guess the mission was so important that they had cameras everywhere, documenting everything possible, and it really pays off now 50 years later! There's even a guy doing improvised dolly shots at mission control, including one joyous shot where he rolls past rows and rows of humongous computers and seemingly hundreds of men with buzz cuts and thick-framed glasses analyzing printouts and primitive computer monitors! I have a hard time with documentaries, but this picture is really something special. It's so beautiful, everything it says about the America it evokes; almost mythological from this remove. And a little heartbreaking -- where have these self-sacrificing humanitarian ambitions gone?

The only thing I think it could've done without is the somewhat out of place scary-sounding arpeggiator-heavy synth score!! I guess it's preferable to triumphant trumpets and the Star-Spangled Banner, but still.

Styx is a fictional film that plays and is filmed like an extraordinarily controlled solo yachting expedition gone wrong documentary. There's maybe 30-40 lines of dialogue, mostly SOS calls, so it also plays like a silent movie, one of the really extraordinary late 20s ones where they'd perfected telling stories with images. There's a lot of crazy but unassuming technical film-making here, particularly the astonishing and clearly not-staged in a tank storm sequence which is almost pitch black, where all you can see is the furious rain blowing like crazy in every direction, a few dim lights, and the obscured form of the woman struggling with her boat's rigging -- but no rain on the camera lens! Also really high up drone (or light-house? or satellite?) shots that are perfectly still of tiny boats in the center of the frame and huge freighters almost over the horizon. It's an exceptionally beautiful but perhaps somewhat unsatisfying -- and a little didactic if that's the right word? -- movie where there isn't really a plot so much as a morally impossible situation writ large in bold font size 1:1.66 or whatever the non-scope tall ratio was. Very cool, very interesting minimalist movie.

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Re: The Films of 2019

#13 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:42 am

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase

After recently watching Captain Marvel's female empowerment as super hero, it felt a relief to see an ordinary girl using her determination and intelligence to right the wrongs in an ordinary town with ordinary people (although some corrupted by capitalism).

The movie gets off on the wrong foot with an awkward sub-plot of cyber bullying and then satisfying cyber revenge. We're quickly taught that the revenge is just as bad, there are consequences, at odds with the resourcefulness and humor with which Nancy's plan plays out.

Once we arrive at the haunted house plot things get on track with the spirit of the novels. Sophia Lillis is a now Nancy, a skateboarder with phone in hand, aligning herself with the super smart nerdie girls for her sleuthing. There's no hapless devoted Ted (Frankie Thomas) of the much livelier Bonita Granville series and that's a significant loss. Linda Lavin adds some spice as an octogenarian with as much pluck as Nancy.

.

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Mr Sheldrake
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Re: The Films of 2019

#14 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:50 am

Captive State

Director Rupert Wyatt's ambition is to master the jiggly camera and the 5 second (or less) shot. People run about at a dizzying pace, new characters appear out of nowhere rushing to an unknown somewhere. I suppose one could connect the dots in this vertiginous, convoluted storytelling approach but it hardly seems worth the effort. I mostly dwelt on how John Goodman's face has been stultified into granite, as if he were posing for Mount Rushmore.

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Never Cursed
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Re: The Films of 2019

#15 Post by Never Cursed » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:25 pm


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Re: The Films of 2019

#16 Post by domino harvey » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:40 pm

The response was mixed at best, consensus is HBO helped A24 save face with their acquisition

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Re: The Films of 2019

#17 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:45 am

The Hummingbird Project

Surprisingly absorbing given my lack of interest in watching the super-rich find new ways to get even richer, faster. Writer/director Nguyen casts the story in terms of David and Goliath, the latter played by Selma Hayek who provides a contemporary take on the boss who preys on the ideas of others, a frightening yet alluring maternalism.

Jesse Eisenberg's intense hustler is a variation of his Zuckerberg, brought to his senses by an Amish farmer who refuses right of passage to the underground straight line cable, turning down a quarter of a million, could such people exist?

Alexander Skarsgard is unrecognizable as an anti-social genius who gets taught his lesson by a reflective barmaid who questions the human value of the project after he explains the brilliance of his conception to her. There's a terrific plot twist in the end, worth getting to.

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Re: The Films of 2019

#18 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:22 pm

The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story is a mostly fascinating look at how the architect for late-90's teen pop was basically a huckster, driven by the need of success and acceptance. As someone vaguely disgusted at that whole movement (I had no sisters of age who would have been screaming at their very presence), I get some smug satisfaction that his whole life was driven by ponzi scheme over ponzi scheme (with the added charges by some interviewees of some real sociopathic behavior) felt the perfect compliment to the music his company secreted for many years. The faces of those whose trust he betrayed who were beyond the primes of their lives however, was a more sobering look at the sheer grief this man caused.

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Re: The Films of 2019

#19 Post by dustybooks » Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:40 pm

I have to ask, does it talk about his bizarre love of building, leasing and crashing blimps? (Per wikipedia.)

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Re: The Films of 2019

#20 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:18 pm

Yes it does

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Never Cursed
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Re: The Films of 2019

#21 Post by Never Cursed » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:50 pm

Guava Island, the Hiro Murai-directed Childish Gambino musical thriller with Rihanna and Letitia Wright, is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video

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Re: The Films of 2019

#22 Post by Persona » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:05 pm

Never Cursed wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:50 pm
Guava Island, the Hiro Murai-directed Childish Gambino musical thriller with Rihanna and Letitia Wright, is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video
And it's pretty okay! Love the look of it, anyhow.

It's a bit like if a very toned-down Godard tried to do a fable-esque album concept video (like a more narrative-driven Lemonade) for, well, Childish Gambino. As much as it feels slight for its brevity, I still wholeheartedly approve of the 55-minute runtime and wish more modern films would take notice. I think that based on what's here, instead of fleshed out this thing could have only felt stretched out if it was longer.

I am a big fan of Hiro Murai's tonal and aesthetic sensibilities, anyways, and can't wait for him to get a legit film thrown his way.

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Re: The Films of 2019

#23 Post by Never Cursed » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:28 pm

And I come down on basically the opposite end - I like the look of the film too, but otherwise it's just total nonsense, music video-y in a bad way. It's not even that good a music video, either. One of the two musical segments is just a lame and nonsensical extended restaging of This Is America, only without any of the loaded imagery or intensity that made that video impactful, and the other is something that literally anyone could have conceived of and directed to the same effect. There's no visual kick to any of the song segments apart from "they're pretty," none of the actors register, and the script is frustratingly obvious (villain picks up Glover's guitar, waxes poetic about how he always wanted to learn how to play, then smashes it, like a self-unaware parody of the same scene from The Hateful Eight). I can't write this off completely, as it sure is pretty and has some nice songs in it, but the Glover/Murai crew's shortform skills do not translate to feature length, at least not here.

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Re: The Films of 2019

#24 Post by Persona » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:08 pm

Man, that new FKA Twigs video by Andrew Thomas Huang (Bjork) is something else. That's going on the best of.

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Re: The Films of 2019

#25 Post by domino harvey » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:58 pm

I found it completely unremarkable. Would like to hear your spirited defense, though

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