The Films of 2019

Discussions of specific films and franchises.
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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: The Films of 2019

#76 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:03 pm

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domino harvey
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Films of 2019

#77 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:41 pm

Nope. Mods split off indiv discussion if needed from threads like these, been that way for a while

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Films of 2019

#78 Post by knives » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:48 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:41 pm
Nope. Mods split off indiv discussion if needed from threads like these, been that way for a while
Guess it shows how long I've been passionate enough about a movie to even try.

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Mr Sheldrake
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:09 pm
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Re: The Films of 2019

#79 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:11 pm

The Aeronauts

Amazon gave this a cursory theatrical release and it never made it to my local Imax even if intended for that format. Most reviewers correctly complained that the flashbacks are lugubrious, but as someone afraid of heights I found them a welcome relief, the soaring balloon at high altitudes is indeed convincing (and beautiful). In the final half hour the format opens up into one of the most thrilling and scary sequences I’ve ever seen as Felicity Jones climbs up to the top of the ballon while at 20,000+ feet to unstick a frozen valve. And that’s on my 50” screen. I might not have survived it in Imax.

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willoneill
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:10 am
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Re: The Films of 2019

#80 Post by willoneill » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:49 pm

I saw Just Mercy last night, closing the loop on having now seen every major Oscar nominee for 2019. Just Mercy was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, which is ... curious. The writing is not a strength of this film, and is arguably its most glaring weakness. The exposition early in the film is awkward, particularly in a scene that explains how Michael B. Jordan and Brie Larson's character connected, but reads more as an explanation to the audience than a natural conversation the two characters would be having at that point in time. The film also jumps back and forth between two cases (that of Jamie Foxx, and the death row inmate in the cell next to him), and the transitions are clumsy. There's also O'Shea Jackson Jr.'s character, whose story is explained more in the credits coda than in any scene he's actually in. I feel like, based on the casting of a relatively high-profile actor, that probably he had a few scenes cut from the final film. My main complaint about the writing, however, is that I've seen everything in this film before, several times in some cases. It felt like every beat was copied from Mississippi Burning, A Time to Kill, or a handful of other films - which is weird because this is a true story.

If the film had one strength, it was the acting of the two leads. Jamie Foxx was really good, and Michael B. Jordan was right up there with him. Brie Larson was in an essentially throw-away role, and I can't help but wonder if this was a favour to her Short Term 12/Glass Castle director. It's nicely shot, and I liked the understated score. Anyway, if it hadn't been nominated I might not have bothered, and it's doubtful I'd ever bother again.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Films of 2019

#81 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:58 pm

Just Mercy was not nominated for an Oscar

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The Films of 2019

#82 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:14 pm

Beat me to it... I was happy not to have to add it to the list!

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willoneill
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Re: The Films of 2019

#83 Post by willoneill » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:16 pm

Well that explains a lot ... so I did a little digging and here's what I think happened: the Oscar nominations came out on a very busy morning for me, and the first link I clicked on contained 6 nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, which I thought was odd. I quickly wrote all the nominated films down in Excel, closed my computer, and went on to the rest of my meetings. I'll try to figure out what the source was when I'm at my work computer tomorrow (might still be in my browser history).

Oh well, now I've watched it so no one else has to.

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willoneill
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Re: The Films of 2019

#84 Post by willoneill » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:47 am

willoneill wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:16 pm
I'll try to figure out what the source was when I'm at my work computer tomorrow (might still be in my browser history).
It was Variety's site, which was updating live when I checked it that morning. They had also listed "The King" as a nominee for Best Score erroneously.

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Mr Sheldrake
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:09 pm
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Re: The Films of 2019

#85 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:47 am

Fighting With My Family

Florence Pugh has taken on a wide variety of roles in her brief career, none more astonishing than playing WWE superstar Paige. At 5’3” and without a muscular build she looks nothing like any wrestler I have ever seen. Yet somehow with her emotional depth and boundless vitality it doesn’t seem to matter. Pugh completists should take note.

I also enjoyed her parents oddball wrestling traveling show, a WWE miniature, roaming through a working class and drug infested milieu. Much more authentic feeling in the audiences enthusiasm for their low tech show than I felt in the neon drenched, manipulative, corporate glitz world of the WWE.

Nasir007
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 11:58 am

Re: The Films of 2019

#86 Post by Nasir007 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:51 am

Downton Abbey

I liked this. Have never seen the TV show, but I was mildly curious because I love Gosford Park and I know Julian Fellows is a good writer and I had a very long flight with nothing to do. So I figured if I didn't watch it then, I would never watch it. I cannot imagine putting in on at home on Netflix or something. I would subject myself to it only as a captive audience.

Anyways, it took me a while to get into it but by the end I was kinda sold. Unfortunately, I saw the SNL parody of the film before the actual film. And for the first 30 minutes, I couldn't get past how ridiculous the action was - literally servants squabbling over who gets to serve the rich people. I thought what an outrageous thing to put on film - who is going to give a fuck about this monstrous class divide exercise where there is competition to serve rich people! But again, I kinda bought in by the end.

By the end of the film, the sum total of what impressed me was that Fellows capably manages a very large cast with over 2 dozen separate plot lines all braiding in and out with each other. Every character gets something to do. Several characters feature in multiple plot lines. It is all a bit shallow - a lot of the scenes are literally 5-6 lines of exchange. But when you are going to cram so much incident into 2 hours, what else can you do. I definitely give the film a lot of credit for that. It becomes engaging because of the fact that simply so much is packed into the 2 hours - you don't really have room to get bored. The garbage Hollywood blockbusters today that push 2.5 hrs today should take a cue from a film like this. Most of them are so boring because their flimsy plots barely justify 45 minutes of screentime let alone 2.5 hrs. Take Avengers infinity war/edngame. Even with nearly 6 hours combined cannot find much to do for most of the cast.

If there is one structural reservation I could draw about the film - that would be - what is the main story or the main plot? The film is basically ALL subplots. You would say the King visiting is the main plot, well that isn't a plot line in and of itself. It is just the background against which the actual plot-lines play out. The biggest "story" is actually the one I mentioned before - the servants squabbling over who can serve the rich people. It becomes the most elaborate and consistent story thread - involving nearly the entirely cast and has the most number of scenes devoted to it.

But this "everything is a subplot" approach has a curious cumulative effect. It kinda creates a nebulous center. Who is even the protagonist of this? Who is our entry point into this world. Who are we following? Who do we eventually care about? If I were to answer - it would essentially be Michelle Dockery. She features in several different plot lines and the film's final message revolves around her. It is lovely to see that when so many hollywood blockbusters still fail the Bechdel test, this film finally resolves itself in a conversation between two women.

But there you have it. Inoffensive, brisk and efficient, crammed with incident, and ultimately even moving and about something, Fellows does a good job with this movie. This is definitely good counter programming to the usual blockbuster trash. It is almost like the modern equivalent of Anthony Trollope - several characters, several stories, modest scope, genial humanist spirit. Sometimes good intentions are an acceptable substitute for great ambition.

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