Last movie you saw?

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse today and before that, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse yesterday.

After a colleague recommended the movie yesterday* and clarified that even for non-fans like me it's worth watching, I watched "into" at home yesterday before going to the cinema for "across" today.

What can I say, I was blown away. Having dismissed the films earlier because I'm not much of a Spider-Man fan, generally tired of superhero movies and multiverse stories in general, I'm glad I took the advice and gave these films a chance.
Easily the best films I've seen in a long time, the best animated films I've seen ever and for the first time in a very long time, I felt thoroughly entertained and was captivated for the whole length of both movies. The visuals alone are astonishing. And I probably caught only very few of the visual (and other) gags and references. But this is a proper "comic-book movie", they managed to translate the feeling of reading a comic onto the screen in a very spectacular way.
The story and characters are good, too.

10/10 for the first, 9.5/10 for the second. Mainly because it's only part 1 of a two-part sequel and I want to see the solution.

* That's what I'm going to the office for! Not the actual work... :D
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In preparation for the upcoming Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning, I'm going through all six previous films. And today M:I2 Was on the menu.
What a waste. That movie is totally awful. It feels like a Hong Kong b-movie, only with Western actors. Nothing makes remotely sense, absolutely everything is done purely for rule of cool, and as a result the action is the least believable in the whole franchise - because it doesn't fit. John Woo makes good action movies, but he was a poor choice for an M:I installment.
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The Sound of Freedom

I got a free ticket and ventured to see what beat Indiana Jones at the box office. It's a total con.

I went into this movie knowing that it is political. While the movie itself does not directly tie to any political message out right, its very much part of the reactionary wish-fulfillment movie. I'll discuss the distribution and marketing after discussing the movie. Also spoilers! Though if you saw any movie in the last year you know this plot; kids need to be rescued. (Thor, Avatar, GoG vol 3)

The movie starts with a couple of Honduran kids who are kidnaped by a women who had convinced their father they have future in the entertainment business with a brochure. We see them taking photos (if you have seen Toddlers in Tiaras you have seen worse). The movie is mostly PG and relies on the audience own imaginations to fill in the blanks. This transitions to Balard in the US a DHS case officer working child abuse cases. This where the movie falls part 15 minutes in. Jim Caviezel has... a very... wisperish halting way of... communicating. We are given this brief glimpse of his family life where he intensely stares. That's the rest of the movie, intense staring. and halting dialog. We see his first brush against the underworld and the byzantine feckless federal government that employs him.

This movie feels every bit of its 2 hours. In fact if you need to go to the bathroom, get a drink, have a smoke, ect... You can! You won't feel you missed much. The tone of the movie is uniform no ups or down just a slow pace that is whispered, pause, whisper, intense look. This is... i think... i... i feel... because of Jim Caviezel's... acting ability... or lack thereof.

He locates one child, the boy we had seen earlier, and reunites him with the father but not the sister. Ballard feels the US should have world jurisdiction, DHS wants to pass it off to the Hondurans but Ballard convinces his boss to let him act extrajudicially in Columbia to work on the case. There are two scenes with Mira Sorvino one line of dialog.

Its been one hour into this two hour movie and we get the title. Vampiro a cartell guy who buys kids and keeps them in a 'safe safehouse' helps set up a sting. We see kids clapping on pillows and with their hands. Vampiro "that is... the sound of freedom" Ballard "amen". Rather than mic the kids and hear the children joy of being rescued; the so called sound of freedom, the music soundtrack is turned up. It makes the scene about "amen" more than kids being rescued.

Ballard is unsatisfied having not rescued the right girl so goes further rouge. Vampiro and Balard pose as doctors and find the girl. We then watch along with the girl as he brutally murders a man infront of her. They then escape the jungle camp with the girl bringing her back to her honduran home where she is left with a drum.

The movie then ends with title cards: there are more slaves than ever and conflating all human trafficking with child sex abuse.

Badly written, poorly paced, with bad acting, and music of a women wailing. Though I don't think that criticism goes far enough if only because propaganda should be better.

Which brings us to why I called it a con and why I wanted to talk about the distribution. The film is from Angel Studios (you know the totally not religious studio). They were the ones who beat "Black Adam" at the box office. Remember that? It wasn't really true then and it's not true in this case either. Rather the distribution company sells the idea to "pay it forward". Convincing religious groups and churches to buy hundreds of tickets and individual consumers to buy extra tickets to give to others. Similar to NYT "Best Sellers" if you write a book you find a rich person to buy loads of books to show its popular.

The other element is the marketing by flooding right wing media. The movie is right wing propaganda and a entry to more extreme viewpoints. The Defensiveness of the marketing shows that.



I saw the trailer for it - the YouTube comments were a shit show.
I saw the trailer for it - the YouTube comments were a shit show.

If you didn't like Thor Love and Thunder people didnt say oh you want Gorr to kill kids. This you must want kids abused and you are complicit for human trafficking.
I don't remember much of the action, but the characters in Red were fantastic.
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So.... Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1. I'll try to avoid spoilers, but if you want to enjoy the movie unhindered, stop reading now.

I don't really know what to make of it, because as the title suggests it's only half a movie. But coming from a rewatch of all the previous films during the past week, I have to say this ranks quite low on the list - rank 5 or 6 out of the seven entries so far. Perhaps it'll improve once Part 2 is out and the story can be judged as a whole.
The reason is quite simple: The movie tries too hard and banks into self-parody territory far too often (the car chase in particular). Of course ever since the first movie the story of an M:I film is build around stunt ideas, but this time it's especially obvious. And what's worse, the set pieces aren't really that good. Yes, Tom Cruise drove a motorbike off a cliff - good for him, but honestly not that spectacular visually.
Plus, the movie brings back many characters from previous movies, but wastes a lot of time on the least interesting choice (The White Widow and her brother) and on top of that introduces a few new ones - and all of those are flat caricatures (the French assassin, the CIA mooks...).

It's very transparent that "Dead Reckoning" is intented as the last (double) entry into the film franchise, with all the references to Ethan's past and all that. Alas, the "ultimate" threat that is being fought is too much of a science fiction bullshit bingo (and an excuse to throw random obstacles in the heroes' way) instead of a villain with personality and motivation. As a result, it feels like the movie is just going through the motions. I hope that there's a giant twist in Part 2 that turns the whole story on its head, because the way it's built up so far just doesn't really work.
Without even having seen the second part, I think it would have been far better to contain the story in just one movie and cut out the longeurs.

Rereading what I just wrote, I realize that I am really disappointed with the movie. Perhaps my expectations were set too high - but then again, the preceding entries into the franchise were almost all clearly better.
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I did like Kittridge's explanation of how the IMF works... they leave word... for a guy. Very much how the real thing worked with Robert Mayhew and the inspiration of the show.

Far too much of what we don't know as history is this mans doin
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Overrated. Christopher Nolan is a pompous hack.
If you do see this in theaters make sure it's not one of the formats that switches between the 2.20:1 and 1.43:1 aspect ratios.
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Barbie is a complex, rich, display of humanity. SEE BARBIE!

I tell you as a movie fan and a man, dig the stick out of your ass, get your butt to Barbie.
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Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre (2023)


Extremely formularic popcorn movie, and the magic bean that everybody can just casually talk to everybody else all the time with invisible headpieces regardless of location or noisy fight situation, like in every spy/caper film since about two decades, has reached the point of straining my nerves, and I fell out of the movie quite a lot because of this.

Best part was Hugh Grant: Extremely cliche charachter, but I loved his scenes. Think about the lines of a british version of Les Grossman, just with a lot more tact and finesse. - Everything else, not much up to my bar. - Still watched it tough, but I paused it in the middle as I was in need of a uplifting snack to stay through the rest. - So: 4/10.

The Exorcist: Believer

It's fine. It's getting dumped on because it's compared to the memory of the hype of The Exorcist. It's just a meh movie that feels like an intro to something else.

The Exorcist is too big, too beloved, even by people who probably don't like it but know they are supposed to love it.

The trilogy might be great when watched back to back though. You get the feeling this movie was only the first third of one long movie that had been cut up to milk more money.

The demon is Lamashtu images (15).jpegwho in Mesopotamian myth is battled by Pazuzu. I imagine the next movie will be the white parents summoning Lamashtu to bring back their daughter and the black guy summoning Pazuzu for a demon battle.
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Took the afternoon off last week to go see Killers of the Flower Moon. Based on true events, it's set in 1920s Osage County Oklahoma (and filmed there in the county), it tells the story of oil money and greed. It's a great film, even if it does have a nearly 3.5 hour run time. Do recommend.


I watched Renfield streaming on Amazon this week. I remembered seeing a preview for it and thought it would be a fairly lighthearted comedy about vampires. There was some comedic points, but, and I don't think this gives any plot points away, it's just gore. Not really my cuppa.
Saw Top Gun: Maverick, fittingly, on a flight. For something that had near beat-for-beat remakes of scenes from the original movie, it ended up feeling surprisingly heartfelt and fresh, while being just nostalgic enough to be entertaining without becoming wearisome. It's what Rise of Skywalker could only dream of being.