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What Is The Last Film You Watched? (2020 films)


Matt C
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  • 2 weeks later...

In 'Kajillionaire,' the family that scams together may — or may not — stay  together - The Boston Globe

 

Kajillionaire

 

And this is why I don't like the rush to make "best of the year" posts in December of a year; Here we are way into September of the following year and I've just seen what is probably my favorite movie of 2020 (we actually watched it in August but I'm behind in writing about what I've seen lately)

 

This is Miranda July's 3rd film, and I've seen her first - Me and You and Everyone We Know - and loved it.  That film really hit the sweet spot for me of quirk, pathos, hilarity, dark comedy, and showing the bizarre things you can get into going through puberty.  I haven't seen her second film, but Kajillionaire again examines the ins and outs of growing up without attentive parents, though we start with the main character already grown up

 

Evan Rachel Wood gives a very unique performance as Old Dolio, a 26 year old grifter who was raised by her grifter parents (the always wonderful Richard Jenkins, and a great Debra Winger) and still lives with them as them going around Los Angeles every day trying one scam or another, literally scraping by enough to keep living and that's about it.  It was fascinating to slowly see the ins and outs of how their lives work, full of quirks like some excellent physicality by Evan Rachel Wood trying to sneak into a post office to steal packages, a very unusual landlord who lets them live in an abandoned office that has one interesting feature: Every day (twice on Wednesdays) large amounts of bubbly foam ooze down one of the walls and must be collected by our grifter family in buckets and dispensed down the bathroom drain - and so on and so on.


The plot kicks into gear when in the middle of one scam, the family befriends Gina Rodriguez, which immediately interrupts their dynamic and much change begins to happen and some growth is made - but is it entirely for the better?

 

I can't say I was entirely on board with the movie from the get-go, but as it went on it slowly got me in its web and by the end I was so invested in what was going to happen, and why.  There are so many individual moments that stand out in my mind weeks later, none more so than an incredibly moving moment where they are waiting for an old man to die so they can steal his checkbook, and he tells one of the characters about his children.  Chilling and relatable.

 

Excellent flick.  I'd watch it again any time, and eagerly look forward to seeing July's 2nd movie - The Future - now!

 

It's free on HBO Max

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On 9/1/2021 at 5:15 PM, Jay said:

It was a disappointment to everyone wasn't it?  Seemed like it got pretty universal negative reviews from what I recall.  I don't really pay much attention to that stuff though, I go into every movie with an open mind.

Seems like you read all the wrong reviews only. There were a few universal complaints that completely ignored the point of the movie, however, especially some highly regarded critics praised the movie.

 

No one will be able to give the film a proper rating from only one view. There are no logical gaps, you'll find out. And it's not only more hated but also much better than Inception due to Nolan not giving a fuck about any mass appealing effects.

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  • 2 months later...

MV5BNTA4MWQ4NGUtOGQ0MS00M2QyLWE5MDItZWM2

 

Wolfwalkers

 

Holy hell!  This is not only easily one of the best movies of 2020, but one of the best movies I've seen in years!

 

In 1650, the small village of Kilkenny, Ireland, is protected by the Lord Protector (Simon McBurney), who warns of vicious wolves in the nearby woods.  Bill Goodfellowe (Sean Bean) is tasked by the Lord Protector to hunt the wolves down; Robyn secret follows with her pet falcon Merlyn and discovers more than she could have expected in the woods...

 

I loved everything about this movie = the absolutely gorgeous art style that was unlike any movie I've seen before, the terrific voice acting, the score by Bruno Coulais and Kila and fitting songs (don't worry it's not a musical) by Aurora, and the wonderful storing that is so well paced an interesting.  The magic of the world is well defined and interesting, and all the characters and their motivations make sense.  This film expertly ratchets up the tension so well, you really wonder how the heroes will prevail against the villains.

 

Absolutely marvelous film.  The only issue is it is hard to find currently, being exclusive to Apple TV+ as far as streaming goes, and inside a box set of multiple films as far as Blu Rays go.  Here's hoping the Apple TV+ exclusivity is a window, and anyone will be able to easily see this film at some point.  It's so wonderful!

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onward-poster.png

 

Onward

 

I finally caught up with this Pixar film from last year.  I liked it - it's nowhere near Pixar's best, but probably one of the better ones of their recent output.  It's a bit smaller scale that something like Soul or Luca, which was nice; a more personal story.  Spider-man and Starlord did good voice acting jobs as the main kids, and I didn't realize until the end credits that it was Julia Louis Dreyfuss playing their mom, Octavia Spencer as Manticore, and Mel Rodriguez as the stepdad.  Fun movie!

 

It's free on Disney+

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46 minutes ago, Jay said:

This is not only easily one of the best movies of 2020, but one of the best movies I've seen in years!

Make sure to catch up on the studio's 3 other movies too, Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea and The Breadwinner!

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15 minutes ago, Jay said:

Have you seen Wolfwalkers?  If so, what did you think?

I loved it! Not my favourite of theirs but I had a lot of fun and it's just gorgeous!

 

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Spontaneous is a teen horror-comedy film Frank Movie Reviews

 

Spontaneous

 

Wowee, another one of the best films of 2020, and another example why I don't like bothering with best of year lists immediately after the year ends.

 

This gem of a film is the directorial debut of Brian Duffield, who wrote this script as well as the scripts for Jane Got A Gun, The Babysitter, Underwater, and Love and Monsters.  I haven't seen any of those films, but had wanted to check them all out at some point, and now I'll try to do so sooner.

 

Katherine Langford shines in this movie as Mara, a high school student in modern day New Jersey with parents Piper Perabo (where has she been?) and Rob Huebel, best friend Hayley Law, and love interest Charlie Plummer, who is also really good.  Langford and Plummer school everyone else in the whole movie with their terrific acting, and their chemistry is the best I've seen in a while.

 

The plot involves students in their high school class spontaneously exploding into bloody gore with no prior warning.  Through this so many things are touched on, such as gen z's educational life (social media, school shootings), gen x parenting, dealing with trauma in different ways, etc... all while a coming of age story and young romance story is going on at well, wrapping up with a message about living your life.

 

It's so well done on multiple levels, not just the acting as already mentioned, but it's paced expertly, with never a dull moment.  Andi it's FUNNY too, darkly funny at many times, and surprisingly funny at others.  Duffield really expertly balances the darkness of what's going on with just the right humor, at just the right times.


Really well done!  It's free on Hulu, Paramount+, DirecTV, and Epix

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Having just finished Charlie Kaufman's novel, Antkind, I went on a little Kaufman binge. First I re-watched Anomalisa, one of the films which the novel's narrator-protagonist film critic ridicules. A strong film, and bleak but not quite as bleak as Synecdoche, NY. Then yesterday, I finally caught up with my Kaufman viewing and watched I'm Thinking of Ending Things, knowing nothing about it in advance. Back when I first saw Synecdoche, I was surprised, shocked, and rather disappointed by what seemed at the time such an untypically devastating entry in his filmography, but in hindsight it seems to have been a major turning point, and everything since then (including his novel) has been drawing from the same set of ideas, concepts, and emotions. IToET is similar, but different. Not as "achingly sad" as Synecdoche, but terrifying. A sense of severe uneasiness permeates the film, even in the earlier scenes when eveything still seems rather "normal" - even the more comedic scenes are more frightening than funny. It's the first film that made me feel afraid of losing my mind. The cast is excellent, with a standout lead (?) performance by Jessie Buckly (who I thought was entirely unknown to me, until I read that I'd already seen her in Chernobyl).

 

I've been a Kaufman fan ever since I first saw Being John Malkovich, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has with repeated viewings become one of my very favourite films. Based on his absurdity, themes, and characters, he always seemed like a kindred spirit to me, which probably is the main reason why I find Synecdoche so profoundly disturbing. Everything since seems to be cut from a similar cloth - which doesn't mean he's abandoned the concepts from his earlier comedies (essentially, every Kaufman film seems to be a new mix of mainly the same ideas and concepts, but always in a new distinguished setting), but there is a certain bleakness and uneasiness, that connects everything he's done since then. Which, going back to the kindred spirit feeling, makes me worry about Kaufman, and by extent about myself. It took me a while to get used to this new "style" of his, but it's all still fascinating, and I'm still a big fan. I can't wait to see what he does next, although after these three stories I feel I have to stay away from that sort of stuff for a bit for my own sanity. I'm also very interested in the original book (not by Kaufman) now, because it seems to be very much the same story and yet the film is supposed to be very different (and clearly very Kaufman), and because either way I wonder how this kind of thing works on the page.

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