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Last Active 01-03-23 11:21 pm
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|Neek's 2023 Movie Hub|
including all 2022 films i've since my year-end list, but will mostly be dedicated to 2023 releases in the future
M3GAN // 4.3 // Sci-Fi (Horror)
dir. Gerard Johnston
A glorious she-boot of Child's Play that doubles down on the human drama without diluting a ridiclous sense of fun, M3GAN is honestly an incredible pop film. Emphasizing an intelligent sci-fi angle that forces AI to deal with the grief of a child, M3GAN comes across as surprisingly sympathetic (both the film and the character). M3GAN's anger is rightful, the daughter's grief is palpable, and her aunt's desperation is entirely believable. Maybe I'm just not used to this kind of movie putting this much thought into both characterization and being bonkers, but I'll be first in line when MEG4N comes out.
Skinamarink // 2.2 // Horror (Experimental)
dir. Kyle Edward Ball
An abusively overlong tone-poem that preys on millenial nostalgia as much as it does cheap jumpscares, Skinamarink is more believable as a curio than as a potential cornerstone of future horror. Ball clearly has some talent with texture and sound, but as it stands this is an intermittently compelling series of gifs. Just hire an actual editor next time man.
Old World Underground, Where Are You Now
Millennium Bugs // 3.2 // Drama (Comedy)
dir. Alejandro Montoya Marin
A twee early-00s-set indie comedy, Millenium Bugs at first struggles to find what its about--but it's not like its protagonist can't relate. Headed by an exceptional performance from Katy Erin, the film settles into a surprisingly poignant drama that makes the best of the chemistry between leads. Marin's exacting direction on both fronts of this dramedy are what make it an ultimate success, and I know what's coming will be even better.
The Wonder // 3.8 // Mystery (drama)
dir. Sebastián Lelio
A terse religious mystery suffocated in dour grays and oppressive forces, Pugh maintains magnetic hold over the plot even as things lean into increasingly dark and incredulous territory. Lelio's empathetic direction is strong as ever, weaving what could've been an excruciatingly boring parable into a strong condemnation of faith without question.
The Whale // 1.9 // Drama (Psychological)
dir. Darren Aronofsky
Brendan Fraiser does his absolute best as a dramatic anchor in a sea of misguided notions. As solid as the supporting cast is, everyone is weighed down by an absolutely abysmal script that fails to address the judgement of the camera in such a delicate setting. Mocking closeups and humiliating language from those closest to him make it clear that this "message" about disability is better suited to the stage than the screen. If cinema is an empathy machine, The Whale is pity porn.
Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?
All Quiet on the Western Front // 3.7 // War (Epic)
dir. Edward Berger
A bone-shaking portrayal of the brutality and pointlessness of WWI, All Quiet is not a remake that gets too swept up in its technological advancements, it rather utilizes them for some of the most intense war sequences this side of the millenium. If anything, it's the expansion of scope that dilutes the tragic power of the original. Constant cutting to various war rooms and political offices takes us out of that perfectly manufactured intensity, instead waxing poetic over the uselessness of war and setting up WWII to such lengths you'd almost expect a sequel. As the film slows down for a solemn yet drawn-out closing act, it's clear that this is a strong remake, but won't leave the same legacy as its predecessor.
Bones and All // 4.4 // Romance (Horror)
dir. Luca Guadagnino
There's something mythical to this rural American tale of love and violence. Guadagnino is uniquely gifted at capturing the beauty and heartlessness of the American Midwest, so much so that we understand that these nomads can never really leave it. Fueled by a pair of truly endearing lead performances and an unnerving turn from Mark Rylance, I was entranced by this film's subtle power and its willingness to push the boundaries of its story to deliver something truly powerful and memorable.
I Am Easy to Find
BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths // 3.5 // Drama (Epic)
dir. Alejandro G. Iñárritu
A weighty, lengthy, at times formless meta-film from the mastermind behind two back-to-back Best Director wins ("Birdman" and "The Revenant"), BARDO is nevertheless a testament to the way Iñárritu can deliver expansive concepts without losing his human side. There are sequences of great excess, and there are sequences of great focus. The meta-commentary sometimes pushes the self-awareness into insufferable territory, but more often than not it cements the characters and narrative into something special. Absolutely stellar cinematography too.
|9||Emma Ruth Rundle|
Engine of Hell
Dual // 3.7 // Sci-Fi (Thriller)
dir. Riley Stearns
A pitch-black comedy wrapped around a menacing and devastating sci-fi thriller about a woman doomed to fight to the death with herself, Stearns mines poignant themes of identity and disaffectedness long after he's lost hold over his story. Karen Gillan once again proves she's one of the best actresses in the genre, imbuing both sides of her character with the desperation and intensity of a character that can't find a reason to live until she has to kill herself to survive.
|10||The Felice Brothers|
From Dreams to Dust
Armageddon Time // 4.3 // Drama (Coming-of-age)
dir. James Gray
A focused, personal portrait of young life, Gray's latest is both a stark condemnation of America's education system (and how it propagates racism, elitism, etc.), and also something much more bittersweet. His empathic direction smooths any bluntness in the script, and his young protagonist (through his strict moral code and impulsiveness) feels more realized than the countless coming-of-age films that strive to be universal, but end up just being plain. The acting is masterclass all around.
The Fabelmans // 4.4 // Drama (Coming-of-age)
dir. Steven Spielberg
Probably the best film Spielberg's released in almost two decades, his probing examination of his childhood and what it means to be a young artist is both affecting and profound. The way cinema and its impact is woven directly into the plot shows the endless consideration Spielberg has shown for his art--the way our young protagonist learns its power is painfully relatable and rings of absolute truth. Thankfully, this is not a self-biopic the way lesser films like Belfast dilute themselves into glorified photo albums, but rather a carefully constructed family drama with absolute powerhouse performances (Michelle Williams, Gabriel LaBelle) and a sea of characters that exude dimensionality. Goddammit, he's done it again.
Women Talking // 3.8 // Drama (Social)
dir. Sarah Polley
Both an excruciating re-examination of power in modern America and a didactic stageplay led by brilliant performances, Women Talking manages more often than not to overcome its faults thanks largely to pitch-perfect direction from writer/director Sarah Polley. While the talking points seems to flow along an artificial thread and characters trade barbs seemingly just to keep things moving, its deeply considered script is hardly callous. Its difficult subject matter is handled with a tact rarely seen at the multiplex, as are most of its secondary focuses (aside from a thoughtless suicide reference). It's a modern story in a modern setting, despite the trimmings, and it’s full of characters willing to change their world in order to make a better future for their children. Is there anything more hopeful with that?
This Is Why
Emily the Criminal // 4.0 // Thriller (Social)
dir. John Patton Ford
Aubrey Plaza hypnotizes in a terrifyingly realistic thriller of a woman so sick of being a millennial in America that she increasingly turns against her nation's institutions to secure her freedom from them. While ever-sympathetic, a violence flairs in Plaza's protagonist that makes us scared of her almost as often as we're scared of her, emphasizing her desperation as the film's tension and style continuously ratchet up. The American Dream has been obliterated, and people like us and Emily the Criminal can no longer play by its rules.
To Bring You My Love
Resurrection // 4.2 // Thriller (Horror)
dir. Andrew Semans
A white-knuckled paranoia thriller that slowly becomes something even more fucked, Andrew Semans' direction puts you in a stranglehold and doesn't let go until its over. His script is deliberate, as is Rebecca Hall's ludicrously good performance, both emphasizing our protagonists' need for control after all was stripped form her in her youth. It's the psychotic dance of control that sends things spinning, as the film continues to up the ante far past what you'd expect. In the age of films like "Men," its amazing to see what could be an exploitational clusterfuck turn into a laser-focused probe into the trauma of control.
Fire of Love // 4.2 // Doc (Science)
dir. Sara Dosa
Some of the most gorgeous camera work I've seen this year is from a volcanologist whose been dead for 30 years. But at the heart of this very focused, contemplative documentary is a story of two people who'd risk dying to get the perfect shot. Fire of Love does an incredible job of entwining their love of volcanoes for their love of each other, and how their worldviews shaped their science. The film does run a bit long, as if it concluded its thesis early and then needed to kill time, but with images like these, it didn't bother me much.
Close // 4.4 // Drama (Coming-of-age)
dor. Lukas Dhont
On one hand, a heartbreaking look at how schools (and their parent societies) pull the seams of any relationship they don't understand apart, and how useless their damage control is. On the other, young guilt in its most wrenching form. Powerhouse performances from our young leads propel this into becoming one of the best dramas of the year. It's a beautiful, beautiful film, one with incisive empathy and a restless heart.
Never Let Me Go
All That Breathes // 3.7 // Doc (Social)
dir. Shaunak Sen
A persceptive doc that lets its characters and world speak for itself, All That Breathes is as comfortable panning through breathtaking naturescapes in the underbrush as it is probing into the miscommunication between our protagonists between themselves and the rest of the planet. As they struggle to make up for the massive loss of life in New Delhi, their prognosis that all that breathes is equal is pitted directly with their constant frustration and dependence on each other. A layered, fascinating film that isn't your usual doc.
|18||The Afghan Whigs|
How Do You Burn?
Argentina, 1985 // 4.2 // Historical (Legal)
dir. Santiago Mitre
A clear-eyed and strongly delivered examination of a revolutionary moment in history, presenting the situation and its global stakes and importance with absolute clarity. I wish it got its hands a little dirtier and spending more time on the personal ramifications the regime had on its people, but it definitely got me emotionally riled up, and that's really all you can ask for with a film this important.
Dahinter das Gesicht
Return to Seoul // 4.3 // Drama (Psychological)
dir. Davy Chou
A piercing and vibrant character study of a woman terrified of belonging to anyone, Return to Seoul is pristine drama that fully understands the visual power of its medium. There are some dream-like sequences that never once feel out of touch with the cold reality of other moments. It's simply excellent direction--we're so in her head that whatever she's feeling makes complete sense. Loved the look and feel of this, and how well handled the time-jumps were for a film like this.
|20||The Velvet Underground|
The Velvet Underground & Nico
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed // 4.7 // Doc (Profile)
dir. Laura Poitras
The most staggering documentary I've seen in a long time, All the Beauty is partly composed of the most affecting slideshow work I've ever seen period, fully blending the arts of film and photography in a way I just didn't expect. Ultimately this paints a hugely affecting portrait of earlier queer history, which of course I had never heard before. I got fucking educated like I needed to. The modern segments taking on the Oxycotin industry aren't as affecting as Nan Goldin's personal history, but their real-world impact is undeniable and exhilarating. A proud film of how one person can make a difference with the help of other people.
Bleed Like Me
Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre // 4.0 // Spy (Action)
dir. Guy Ritchie
Guy Ritchie has still fuckin' got it, because this thing absolutely rips. Not only does it feature the first (fucking brilliant) pairing of Jason Statham and Aubrey Plaza, whose chemistry is just stellar, but its a banging spy-comedy with clever setups, hilarious characters, and some really great action sequences. This is about as pure pop-action as you can get, so if that's not your thing steer clear, but this has far more brains and balls than most of the action films that didn't drop like a rock in theaters (honestly the release of this was so botched, did you even hear of this one?). Anyway watch this whenever it shows up on a streaming service.
Creed III (Original Score)
Creed III // 4.2 // Sports (Drama)
dir. Michael B. Jordan
An extremely thoughtful examination of black power and privlege on top of being a banger of a boxing film, Creed III nears the original in its greatness thanks to an excellent debut turn from Michael B. Jordan as a director. The dialogue scenes between Jordan and Jonathan Majors crackle with even more menace and tension than the fight sequences, which are really great, if a little much imo. Ultimately the series doesn't miss a step leaving behind Rocky and Philly (this is very much an L.A. movie!!), and if this one proves anything, Creed might end up having even better franchise legs than Balboa himself.
|did the guy who used to add soundtracks to the database die or something lol|
i liked the all quiet production a lot as well, way more than 1917. the scene(s) with Foch is fucking awesome even if it seems kind of deliberately framed to perpetuate that pseudohistorical trope about the treaty conditions deterministically producing WW2 or WW1: round 2 or 1870: round 3 or 1806: round 4 how far back can we go, 843 CE?
m3gan was ok, i think i'd rather just watch the chucky remake again though as far as homicidal doll-bots go, chucky remake with a. plaza was neato mosquito
|1917 may be one of the most overrated movies ive ever seen. western front is far better agreed. |
whale was great
|we have opposite tastes in film|
skinamarink was great i did not like the fabelmans at all
|I’ve wanted to see Skinamarink for some time but it never played anywhere near me ;_;|
I’ll eventually see Bardo and Armageddon Time. Bones and All was honestly a top 3 movie from last year for me. I want to live in it
I’ll probably never watch fabelmans even though I hear it’s nothing but great lol
|the aubrey plaza remake rules yeah, but m3gan felt a little fresher|
and yes Bones and All!!
|So refreshing to hear a positive take on M3GAN. I thought it was a great pop film as well. Great write up |
|only good fabelmans moment was lynch cameo i smiled :]|
|@normal ty < 3|
@ryus lol that scene is so good!
|have you ever seen Windfall neeker|
|No what is|
|resurrection was one of my favourites last year. Rebecca Hall is undefeated |
|Really nice write-up man. I'll have to add some of these to my list. |
|@Rowbro yeah so glad I took the time to check it out, def my kinda thing|
@Walrus thanks dude! Lemme know whatcha think (:
|this'll start to be mostly 2023 movies soon i promise lol|
|is this thread a safe space to discuss cocaine bear|
|Yes i haven’t seen it yet but all new movies should be discussed here!!|
winnie the pooh: blood and value (2023)
there's something wrong with the children (2023)
final rose (2022)
the outwaters (2023)
|I was actually kinda curious about the Outwaters bc I’m hoping to direct a found footage movie soon|
|holy fuck it's so bad. it's not even a film|
watch butterfly kisses instead
|I watched part of a movie where russel crowes face splits open and he eats peoples throats and Colin Ferrell rides a pony off a cliff and it grows magical rainbow wings at my resort last night |
|woah yeah this shit looks really cool budgie|
|um what is the name of said movie|
|I couldn’t tell you I was also watching it in Spanish 😂😂|
Let me do an IMDb dig
|It’s called winters tale and it also stars Jennifer Connelly, William hurt and will smith lol |
|oh my god that looks wretched|
Akiva Goldsman is one of the most cursed inconsistent people in hollywood
|What I watched was gloriously terrible, enough to at least be entertaining, but watching in a dub of a language I understand very little of also may have helped with that |
|She boot made me vomit a little bit|
|Thank u I’m auditioning for indiewire|
|just saw John Wick 4 (whipped sack) and Dungeons and Dragons (fun basic popcorn stuff)|
|Oh man dungeons and dragons looks so yikes but in a way where I want to watch it and say yikes |
|John Wick and Shin Kamen Fucking Rider baby|
|Great reviews, you make me want to watch them all. You can put that in your CV.|
|Neek have you seen beasts of the southern wild or wristcutters: a love story |
|"Oh man dungeons and dragons looks so yikes but in a way where I want to watch it and say yikes"|
yeah the trailer certainly looks that way, but it's also from the same people who made Game Night so I trust the writing will actually be dece.
|watched Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent the other day. also Raising Arizona. I think I'm entering the early stages of a very prolonged nic cage phase. what should come next?|
|Wild At Heart and Pig |
|And Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans |
|Oh I loved Pig! And Mandy is one of my all time favs of his. Haven't heard of Bad Lieutenant|
|also is now a bad time to mention I've never seen face/off? oops|
|Pig was so good and unexpected. I also enjoyed Mandy. Wild At Heart and Bad Lieutenant New Orleans are my two fav Cage films tho |
|Just don’t mistake it for the other bad lieutenant movie that does not have nic cage or you will be waiting for a very long time for nic cage |
|good to know|
|watched candy land (2022) last night and loved it. first fun film in a while |
|>Haven't heard of Bad Lieutenant|