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Last Active 01-03-23 11:21 pm
Joined 06-03-16

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06.07.24 Neek's 2024 Movie Hub 03.28.24 20NEEK23 - Musics
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Neek's 2024 Movie Hub
1Hans Zimmer
Dune: Part Two

Dune: Part Two // 4.6 // Epic (Space Fantasy)
dir. Denis Villeneuve

Even though the first part didn't exactly hold up on a rewatch, I was completely enamored by Part Two in theaters. It was completely transportative, breathtaking sequence to sequence bringing me to truly insane worlds and Revenge of the Sith-level melodrama. They truly up the ante on the design and action in every way possible. While I understand that some still consider the characterization to be a bit thin, I thought that it was a huge improvement on the first and that the emotional distance we've built up with Paul really pays off as an audience member. I didn't expect it because I've soured on Villeneuve recently but this is truly the film of the year so far for me.
2St. Vincent
All Born Screaming

Love Lies Bleeding // 4.1 // Thriller (Romance)
dir. Rose Glass

While I thought it could've leaned a bit harder into the magical realism and juicy pulp influences, I still loved this downright weird lesbian thriller that always has its heart in the right place. Its directed with complete precision by Glass and only skips thanks to its script (maybe a MacGuffin too many), but these are easily forgiven due to her overall skill as a visual storyteller and brilliant casting (and performances) of the leads.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire // 2.4 // Kaiju (Action)
dir. Adam Wingard

Far more than the first one this felt like mashing random CGI monsters together a lá Transformers than a adventurous romp told through the eyes of our ape-like protagonist. I thought the previous GVK movie gave Kong a hero's journey and put humans on the sidelines merely for emotional and physical scale. This time they lean on their cast and effects far more, rather than trusting the unlikely chemistry between Godzilla and Kong they somehow fostered the first time around. Maybe I just think the Skar King is dumb, idk.
4Frail Body
Artificial Bouquet

Monkey Man // 4.1 // Action (Thriller)
dir. Dev Patel

This truly feels like John Wick amped up to Crank-level and given a shit ton of emotional heft before being left off the leash for pummeling sequence after sequence... at least for the first half. I feel like it blows its budget on its best setpieces and choreography early on, but Patel proves to be a strong enough director that his dramatic juices never drip out too soon. It's a satisfying revenge picture told with the rabid grace of an ambitious but studied director given the budget to show his stuff--and we need more of it.
5Taylor Swift
The Tortured Poets Department

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare // 3.1 // Action (Historical)
dir. Guy Ritchie

I was very down for last years Guy Ritchie B-movie "Operation Fortune," but to be honest this was markedly less entertaining. Maybe its just that the pace feels like a slow drip in comparison and comparisons to other "fun nazi killing movies" are far less appealing. Still, there's good fun to be had and an attractive cast to look at--what else do you really need for this kind of thing? Oh, and shoutout to the worst Churchill ever in Rory Kinnear. Somehow that makes this gain points.
6Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Challengers OST

Challengers // 4.5 // Erotic (Sports)
dir. Luca Guadagnino

A formally energetic erotic sports picture, Challengers is an absolute blast and glides easily off its trios' electric chemistry. Its impeccably produced from top to bottom and, aside from a few laborious structural stretches in the middle, will be a shoe-in for a Screenplay nod. Guadadnino succeeds again in finding lurid but universal visual language to lure in an audience and entice their naughty side, and if this catering might lead it to seem as tame as softcore porn at times, this time you'll have no hesitation getting invested in the story--and the real ones know that's all it takes to do the job.
The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions

The Fall Guy // 4.0 // Action (Comedy)
dir. David Leitch

I'm a big Leitch guy, and this confirmed my love for his messy action stories that writhe around like Guy Ritchie films with dynamtie up their ass. If anything, this feels like he took people who complained about the structure of Bullet Train to heart for some reason, as the pacing lurches to a halt every time a romance scene happens--luckily Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling are fantastic genre performers who audiences have no problem staring at for minutes on end. But anyway, the action here rules and there's just enough intrigue and heart to push you thorugh the narrative in one piece. A really great time at the movies by one of the most consistent Hollywood action directors working today.
8Alex G
I Saw The TV Glow (OMPS)

I Saw the TV Glow // 4.3 // Horror (Body)
dir. Jane Schoenbrun

A truly terrifying (if you're queer, if not its at least gotta be carzy unnerving) body-horror epic that gets into the meat of gender dysphoria and its way of pushing you into espacism. Schoenbrun has crafted a masterful follow-up that is surprisingly sweet and harrowing despite its reliance on nostalgic visuals and classic VHS atmosphere. It's hardly a gimmick--it feeds not only the premise of her fable but the warped way its protagonists see themselves and the world around them. Perhaps most improtantly, it serves as a dark reminder of what happens when proper care isn't available, a world that's all too real for most people and may become even more real again in time. I do wonder why its proved so universally tangible (because I can't imagine it being quite as terrifying for a cis- audience), but I'm so glad people are loving this as much as they are.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga // 3.4 // Action (Epic)
dir. George Miller

Honestly a bit of a letdown after the rip-roaring culture shock that Fury Road was 8 years prior, but it's hard to blame Miller for the limp-dick franchising that Warner Bros. so clearly pushed him to make. Its overemphasis on lore setup and "thematic connective tissue" seriously weighs down a runtime that's already a half-hour meatier than its predecessor, and its best moments feel like add-ons to Fury Road that Miller thought up long after its release and realized he could go back and re-do them. It's frustrating but ultimately fun and more creative than a large amount of action movies studios are churning out these days (though you only need look higher on this list for more captivating alternatives).
Loss of Life

Late Night with the Devil // 2.9 // Horror (Supernatural)
dir. Colin Cairnes and Cameron Cairnes

Definitely an example of form over function, the Cairnes brothers manage to craft a convincing atmosphere out of this "lost reel" late-nite TV concept, but it too early seems as if it's spinning wheels to keep things interesting for its already minimal runtime. David Dastmalchian gives a heartening performance, but his character is grievously undercooked and lacking the satirical black heart of talk show hosts past that might've made this a witty takedown of a TV genre whose future is already on the fritz. As it stands, this is an amusing, occasionally gripping novelty act that will hopefully inspire better movies like it to come.
11John Paesano
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes // 3.8 // Adventure (Sci-Fi)
dir. Wes Ball

I was surprised at how much of the heart this franchise was able to salvage without Andy Serkis's Caesar leading the charge, but I was surpsingly engrossed in its philosophical conflicts and the muted tension between its varying characters. Kevin Durand was a memorable villain, and his character posed a fun dilemma for the franchise to tackle, and it did so with stylish adventure sequences and plain gorgeous locales. As one of the last bankable franchise in Hollywood at the moment, Kingdom did exactly what it needed to do to plant its feet on new (but familiar to any fan of the original films) ground and stick the landing for an audience that is fickle as ever these days.
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