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Films in 2019

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This Friday:

FROZEN 2 (animated musical adventure)

21 BRIDGES (action thriller)

DARK WATERS (biographical drama)

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD (biographical drama)

Screen Shot 2019-11-21 at 8.23.39 AM.png

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I saw FROZEN ll the other day. Good film, not as smooth as the original and, the songs aren't as catchy (thank goodness!) but have a haunting quality ("All Is Found" has a particularly lovely tune.) I found it slow in the middle, and the children in attendance were starting to show signs of restlessness at this point, too. One highlight in this part of the film is a hilariously cheesy 1980's music video-style song by the Kristoff character (Johnathan Groff) and a chorus of singing reindeer, "Lost In The Woods." 😄

It is visually stunning, though. I'm not sure if I would recommend it unless it was on someone's list to see anyway.

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On 11/21/2019 at 10:16 AM, TopBilled said:

 

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD (biographical drama)

Screen Shot 2019-11-21 at 8.23.39 AM.png

I went to it yesterday. It's a moving film, but probably a bit different than most would expect. Tom Hanks is quite good as Mr Rogers (even though I'd hasten to add, its a tough feat to imitate a man I, like so many others, watched when I was young. My parents actually knew the real-life man in real life.) and is the anchor of the film and the catalyst of change, but its Matthew Rhys as a cynical reporter who is the main character. His character is a broken man who, in one of the first few scenes, punches his estranged father (Chris Cooper, quite good) at a family wedding. Clearly, this man is in need of help, and the help comes when his editor (Christine Lahti, welcome back!) assigns him to interview Fred Rogers for a brief 400-word snippet of a featured article. He's not too happy about this, but the more he gets to know the real-life man, the more he is able to put his anger and inner demons aside, and to make peace with his father and the father's new wife (Wendy Makkenna, again welcome back!) and to become more understanding with his own wife (played sympathetically by Susan Kelechi Watson) So its a story of friendship and personal growth, of family ties and forgiveness. Hanks gives the best performance, underplaying nicely, and his first scene at the start of the movie brought me to weeping in the theatre.But everyone else is well cast too, and the film has to be one of the quietest and most introspective major studio releases in quite some time. It also has some patches best described as surreal, plus quite a bit of aspect ratio toggling between the old academy ratio and modern widescreen. It's a classy film, aimed at adults not children, and it is quite affecting.

One other little note: The film is set in 1998, but it still surprised me when the 90s TriStar logo was brought out of retirement for the start of the film. it was replaced in 2015, so it was a surprise to see it come back.

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5 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

I went to it yesterday. It's a moving film, but probably a bit different than most would expect. Tom Hanks is quite good as Mr Rogers (even though I'd hasten to add, its a tough feat to imitate a man I, like so many others, watched when I was young. My parents actually knew the real-life man in real life.) and is the anchor of the film and the catalyst of change, but its Matthew Rhys as a cynical reporter who is the main character. His character is a broken man who, in one of the first few scenes, punches his estranged father (Chris Cooper, quite good) at a family wedding. Clearly, this man is in need of help, and the help comes when his editor (Christine Lahti, welcome back!) assigns him to interview Fred Rogers for a brief 400-word snippet of a featured article. He's not too happy about this, but the more he gets to know the real-life man, the more he is able to put his anger and inner demons aside, and to make peace with his father and the father's new wife (Wendy Makkenna, again welcome back!) and to become more understanding with his own wife (played sympathetically by Susan Kelechi Watson) So its a story of friendship and personal growth, of family ties and forgiveness. Hanks gives the best performance, underplaying nicely, and his first scene at the start of the movie brought me to weeping in the theatre.But everyone else is well cast too, and the film has to be one of the quietest and most introspective major studio releases in quite some time. It also has some patches best described as surreal, plus quite a bit of aspect ratio toggling between the old academy ratio and modern widescreen. It's a classy film, aimed at adults not children, and it is quite affecting.

One other little note: The film is set in 1998, but it still surprised me when the 90s TriStar logo was brought out of retirement for the start of the film. it was replaced in 2015, so it was a surprise to see it come back.

What a wonderful review. Thanks for sharing your experience with us..!

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Last night we went to see The Good Liar, which we both thoroughly enjoyed. Gandalf is trying to con Queen Elizabeth II . . . er, Ian McKellen is a con man who thinks that Helen Mirren is his next mark. He is aided by Jim Carter (no longer butler at Downton Abbey), but Helen's grandson (the adorable Russell Tovey, who played the gay Englishman on Quantico) is suspicious. I would be willing to watch these four actors in just about anything, let alone a film like this with a solid script, capable and unflashy direction by Bill Condon, cinematography that isn't all brown darkness (see, it really is possible!), and an attractive musical score which also makes clever use of "Where or When" at one point. The film is not fast paced, but I felt it unfolded at the right tempo, never dragging. There's one great helicopter shot which I first thought was of a maze, but turned out to be the senior living community where Helen Mirren lives.

I've noticed that films like The Good Liar which star older actors and/or trend to older audiences often get less favorable reviews than they deserve. Fans of Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren shouldn't hesitate to check this one out.

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I saw JOJO RABBIT just this morning. This is a good, quirky film. The performances are all good, especially young Roman Griffin Davis, who plays Jojo, the film's central character. Anyone who has seen the trailers can pretty much make up their mind as to whether or not they can take the satire and accept a humorously played and dimwitted Hitler character. If that is solely what is keeping them from seeing it, rest assured that by the end of the film he no longer is portrayed in this manner. For those who are offended easily, I would say maybe it's not something they would want to watch.

 

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Two of the very best films of the year are now on Netflix:
Mati Diop’s ALTANTICS and Jérémy Clapin’s I LOST MY BODY.
 
Both incredibly unique and stirring visions. Must-sees for the weekend!
=================================
 
Perhaps the only thing more unconventional than the story of "I Lost My Body" is its production process.
Director Jérémy Clapin walks us through the making of the film with a series of process videos.
 
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:unsure:

'Knives Out,' A Classic Comic Mystery Of Uncommon Sharpness

".... It is always a delight to see someone joyfully, efficiently, and indelibly demolish any alleged hard barrier between art and entertainment. Knives Out is Rian Johnson's salute to mysteries, but it is also his latest demonstration of his uncommon mastery of the idea that you can — that you should — artfully entertain an audience with loving attention to detail; that it is just as high a purpose as to artfully devastate or confound them. It's one of the best movies of the year, and one of the most purely enjoyable, as well.

https://www.npr.org/2019/11/27/782165138/knives-out-a-classic-comic-mystery-of-uncommon-sharpness?utm_campaign=npr&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_term=nprnews&utm_medium=social

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Sight & Sound released their 50 best movies of 2019 list. This is a British list, so some release dates differ from US dates.

  1. The Souvenir
  2. Parasite
  3. The Irishman
  4. Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
  5. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  6. Pain and Glory
  7. Atlantics
  8. Bait
  9. Us
  10. Vitalina Varela
  11. High Life
  12. Uncut Gems
  13. Monos
  14. Marriage Story
  15. For Sama
  16. Midsommar
  17. The Lighthouse
  18. Happy as Lazzaro
  19. Hustlers
  20. Martin Eden
  21. Beanpole
  22. Border
  23. Transit
  24. A Hidden Life
  25. The Farewell
  26. The Hottest August
  27. Ad Astra
  28. Varda By Agnes
  29. I Was at Home, But...
  30. In Fabric
  31. Knives Out
  32. Booksmart
  33. Ash Is Purest White
  34. Synonyms
  35. Zombi Child
  36. America
  37. No Data Plan
  38. Eighth Grade
  39. Joker
  40. Ray & Liz
  41. Hale County This Morning, This Evening
  42. I Lost My Body
  43. Holiday
  44. Honeyland
  45. Rocks
  46. Rose Plays Julie
  47. If Beale Street Could Talk
  48. Just Don't Think I'll Scream
  49. The Favourite
  50. The Mule

https://www.bfi.org.uk/best-films-2019

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Here are the Ten Best Movies of 2019 as chosen by Time magazine's Stephanie Zacharek.

  1. Pain and Glory
  2. The Irishman
  3. Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
  4. Marriage Story
  5. Little Women
  6. Parasite
  7. Knives Out
  8. Dolemite Is My Name
  9. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  10. Hustlers

 

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Director John Waters has released the list of his favorite movies of 2019. As usual, not all of the titles are officially 2019 titles.

  1. Climax
  2. Joan of Arc
  3. Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
  4. Border
  5. Amazing Grace
  6. Hail Satan?
  7. Pain and Glory
  8. The Golden Glove
  9. The Souvenir
  10. Joker

 

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Netflix’s I Lost My Body turns a weird horror trope into one of the year’s dreamiest dramas

 

"..... Seen partly from the perspective of a severed hand, and partly through flashbacks to the life of the young man it was once attached to, the film finds a kind of skittish melancholy in the idea of a hand crawling around without its owner, a profound loneliness that comes with the sense of being incomplete. I Lost My Body is fundamentally weird and potentially off-putting. But it’s also visually and emotionally beautiful, one of 2019’s most ambitious, engaging films. ......

https://www.polygon.com/2019/11/29/20988657/i-lost-my-body-netflix-review-animated-french-movie-severed-hand

==================================

-intriguing, & beautifully directed  :D

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I watched a handful of 2019 movies in the past couple of days:

  • Child's Play (6/10) - A remake of a series that I was never a fan of, I checked this out based on some better-than-expected reviews, including praise from Stephen King. I found it better than any of the older Child's Play movies, with some darkly comic and satiric touches, and a couple of good performances (Aubrey Plaza and Bryan Tyree Henry), but it's still pretty stupid.
  • The Souvenir (6/10) - British drama from writer-director Joanna Hogg, based on her own experiences as a film student in the early 1980's, who falls in love with an older man with some profound personal problems. This was a critical hit, and Sight & Sound listed it as the best film of the year, but I found it dull and thoroughly unoriginal. The lead performance by Honor Swinton Byrne is good, though.
  • Crawl (7/10) - Quentin Tarantino raised some eyebrows when he named this his favorite movie of 2019. A college student and her father are trapped in the crawlspace under their house by a bunch of hungry alligators while a hurricane rages overhead. This stretches credulity beyond the breaking point but if one accepts it all as a creature-feature romp, it's well executed.
  • The Report (8/10) - Dramatization of the preparation of the Senate Intelligence Committee Torture Report, with Adam Driver as the dogged investigator working for Senator Diane Feinstein (Annette Bening) who uncovers all the dirty secrets. Many will find this dull, as it lacks the typical Hollywood flair, but I found it well-directed by Scott Burns, and it shines a light on one of the US's darkest recent chapters.
  • Booksmart (8/10) - Raunchy teen comedy about two buttoned-down high school friends (the very winning Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein) who decide to cut loose at a graduation party before heading off to college. More sensitive viewers will be turned off by the language and sexuality, but I found it very funny, refreshing, and appealing.
  • The Farewell (8/10) - Very moving drama about a Chinese family returning from around the world to spend time with a beloved grandmother who has terminal cancer. They decide not to inform her of her condition (a practice that seems to be common in China), and the family arrives under the pretense of a wedding of a grandson. Awkwafina stars as a granddaughter who has been raised in the US, and who seems to have the most trouble keeping the secret. Highlights are good performances and an excellent script that manages to balance the humor with the pathos without becoming maudlin or exploitative. 
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