Wednesday, January 18, 2023

 I'm going to take a break from the blog. I'm not motivated to post on here with 5 people viewing each post. Follow my letterboxd at wzsr1080 or twitter (it's the same name as this blog) in the meantime.

Thursday, December 29, 2022


Babylon (2022)

Written and directed by Damien Chazelle

Stars: Diego Calva, Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Jean Smart, Jovan Adepo, Li Jin Li, Lukas Haas, Olivia Wilde, Tobey Maguire, and Flea

After the miserable experience of watching La La Land earlier this year, my expectations for this movie were very low. Hearing the mixed reception of the movie during TIFF, I believe. People either loved the movie or hated it. I was in the middle with it.

Touted as the love letter to the movies like Empire of Light or The Fabelmans did before it, this completes that unexpected trilogy. Taking place during the waning times of the silence film era Hollywood. Drugs, booze and hedonism was in full effect. The most unlikely of people; an aspiring filmmaker, Manny (Calva), an actress Nellie (Robbie), and an aging silent film star, Jack Conrad (Pitt) lives intersect with hilarious, disastrous results.

Seeing the movie is like you are in a fever dream. I kept thinking, did I just see that? Did that happen? What am I looking at?

The first half of the movie is like a roller coaster ride. You bolt out like a bat out of hell. Your head is spinning. Everything is a blur. Then, the second half of the movie slows way down. You are returning back to the starting position. That's where the movie lost me. I thought the movie was going to be nonstop debauchery from start to finish. It was not.

It felt confused to me. It seems that Chazelle threw everything at the wall to find something to stick. Not all of it did. A couple of characters in the movie could have been cut from the movie.

Out of the performance that have been nominated for awards so far, I have enjoyed Calva's performance more that Robbie's. He was hell of lot better than Pitt's.

The movie looked good, but it was not cohesive enough for me to recommend people watch it.

Rating: 7/10

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Women Talking

Women Talking (2022)

Directed by Sarah Polley

Screenplay by Sarah Polley and Miriam Toews

Based on the novel by Miriam Toews

Stars: Rooney Mara, Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, Judith Ivey, Ben Whishaw, Kate Hallett, Liv McNeil, Sheila McCarthy, Michelle McLeod, and Frances McDormand

There is a lot of buzz surrounding this movie since TIFF. Those Oscar movies really want to go hard in the last week of December. Seeing the movie, I can see why people are loving this.

It is 2010. A small colony is rocked by the realization that most of the men in the community have raped the women in the middle of the night. It has been going on for years. A perpetrator has been caught and sent to jail. While most of the elder men leave to bail the suspect out, the women must decide to either forgive the men for what they have done, stay and fight the men or leave the colony.

I am not familiar with the story of the women in this particular story. The decision that they made must have been incredibly hard to do. Your whole world is turned upside down by the actions of awful people in your community.

There was a lot of buzz with Jessie Buckley as Mariche, Claire Foy as Salome and Ben Whishaw as August. Seeing the movie, I believe that Buckley will probably be the sole acting nomination in the movie. I am not discrediting the other actors. The Academy loves to nominate a performance where a lot happens to them. Mariche goes through it in this film.

This is a visceral experience to witness. This makes me want to read the book.

Rating: 10/10

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert (2022)

Directed by Michael Showalter

Screenplay by David Marshall Grant & Dan Savage

Based on the book, "Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies" by Michael Ausiello

Weekly Rewind

This weekly rewind is going to be combing two weeks of movie watching. The holidays and moving. It's craziness around here. Buckle up, buttercup.

The Northman (rewatch): I haven't seen the movie since the beginning of the year. I did not know that this story was the basis of Hamlet. I still enjoyed it. Bloody, muscley men naked. Yep. 9/10

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special: After a sleepless night, I watch this special. Zoe Saldana was probably busy with filming five Avatar sequels. I liked the special even though Chris Pratt is getting on my last nerves. 7/10

Cannibal Holocaust: This is supposed to be the most controversial movie ever. This movie is disgusting to watch. It is very bad. The acting was awful. The shock factor wore off, then the movie became a boring slog. 2/10

Avatar (rewatch): I have not seen this movie since I saw it in theaters. I think I was bamboozled with the visuals and seeing it in 3D. The story is not great. Imperialism and a White Savior story line is not a good look. 7/10

Moulin Rouge! (rewatch): Seeing that Elvis is getting a lot of Best Picture nominations, I wanted the revisit this movie to see if I had rose colored glasses on. Turns out that I did not. I love the movie. Does it have problems? Yes. Having the actor sing live. Mistake. The last act of the movie took a turn. 8/10

Matteo Lane: The Advice Special: It was a nice fluffy comedy special on Lane's YouTube channel. We never knew what happened to that first guy who having sex with his married super. Oh, well. 7/10

Glass Onion (rewatch): Watching the movie on Netflix. I love it as much as I did in the theater. 10/10

Empire of Light: I could not care less about a movie so much as this. Don't fuck your co-workers. 4/10

The Holiday Sitter: This is a cute Christmas movie with gay leads. There is some cringe dialogue here, but it was nice to see that the gays were not treated like zoo animals. 7/10

Must Love Christmas: Here is the typical Christmas movie. A shitty one. Holy fuck. I hated the male lead so much. I did want the couple to get together. Fuck this movie. 1/10

The Noel Diary: This is a real movie about Christmas. Well, the movie was based on a book.There is that. Adoption, broken families. It's not a fluffy movie, but I appreciate the effort in making something different. 6/10

White Christmas: This is a holiday classic. Never seen it. The movie is a bit too saccharine for me. The movie felt long. It was two hours, but the pacing was killing me. I stopped paying attention in the last thirty minutes. 5/10

Holiday Inn: I have heard about this movie. I also heard about an unfortunate sequence of blackface for the Abraham Lincoln's birthday celebration. Other than that, I enjoyed the movie. I wonder if the stage musical changed that in subsequent revivals. 8/10

Christmas Bloody Christmas: I wanted to see a Christmas horror movie. Oh, boy. I hated this movie so much. There was a shit ton of cuss words. It was overflowing with them. Fuck this, fuck that... The movie was not good. It was like a computer AI mixed The Terminator, Chopping Mall and Krampus into a blender and spat out the script to this. 2/10

Silent Night: I wanted to end Christmas with a dark comedy. This movie was not for me. I watched twenty minutes of it and shut it off to go bed. DNF

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The Banshees of Inisherin

The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)

Written and directed by Martin McDonagh

Stars: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan, Pat Shortt, Jon Kenny, Bríd Ní Neachtain, Gary Lydon, Aaron Monaghan, and Sheila Flitton

I have been waiting on bated breath to watch McDonagh's latest movie. It has been getting Colin Farrell a lot of Best Actor awards from various film critics societies. I can see why. This movie is mature dark comedy from McDonagh.

During the Irish Civil War in 1923, a simple man, Pádraic Súilleabháin (Farrell) thinks its a typical day in Inisherin when he wants to have a pint with his buddy, Colm Doherty (Gleeson). Things change when Colm doesn't want to be in the presence of Pádraic anymore. Pádraic doesn't understand why the sudden animosity. He goes out of his way to find some reconciliation that leads to disastrous results.

Seeing all of McDonagh's movies, I have to say that this is the most subdued film for him. It's refreshing to see that he is not going for the shocking amounts of violence. There is some here, but it's visceral. It's that 'holy shit' moment when things get real. There are consequences to people's actions. Setting a movie in the early 20th century with no guns, no political incorrect language in it. It's very restrained. I appreciate the film more that McDonagh chose to tell this story.

Ireland is beautiful to behold. The cinematography by Ben Davis capture the lush rolling fields and vast landscapes.

I didn't know what to make of this film. It was getting a lot of praise and I was afraid that the movie wasn't going to live up to those expectations. I'm glad it did. The performances were stellar across the board with Farrell and Gleeson. There is Kerry Condon as Pádraic's sister, Siobhan. She was a breath for fresh air. She was the audience trying to get the craziness of this story together. Barry Keoghan's performance as Dominic Kearney had subtlety and nuance. You would think that he was playing a dimwitted guy, but he had layers to him.

This was an enjoyable experience. I have a nitpick with the movie. There was a part with the bartender and a patron of that bar that got on my nerves. If you have seen the movie, then you know what I talking about. I hate it when a character becomes an echo.

Rating: 9/10

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Bones and All

Bones and All (2022)

Directed by Luca Guadagnino

Screenplay by David Kajganich 

Based on the novel, "Bones & All" by Camille DeAngelis 

Stars: Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance, André Holland, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Gordon Green, Jessica Harper, Chloë Sevigny, and Anna Cobb

People have been raving about this movie on film Twitter. I needed to be in the right headspace to watch a cannibal love story. Today is the day. I am slowing warming up to Twinky Timmy and his acting. It's not there yet, but I have hope. This movie could have been great, but falls short.

Maren (Russell) is trouble young woman who had to move from place to place because of her insatiable hunger for human flesh. Her family cannot deal with it anymore and leaves her to her own devices. Maren sets out on a quest to find her birth mother that abandoned her when she was little. During her journey, Maren meets people just like her such as the eccentric Sully (Rylance) or the loner, Lee (Chalamet). Lee and Maren form a bond. They found their tribe.

The first hour of the movie was fascinating. I wanted to delve into Maren's world. Her hunger. I wanted to see more of the raw visceral nature of cannibalism. It was touched on here, but I felt it was lacking. The last forty minutes of the movie derailed so hard that it was hard to recover. Revelations and character motivations come out of left field. It had me scratching me head. What the hell was happening?

I have seen two Guadagnino films now. I have noticed that his movies either look pretty, but lack substance or they have the bones -- no pun intended-- but the story suffers from poor pacing issues or underdeveloped characters. This movie could be have been good with cutting a couple of scenes here and there.

Rating: 7/10