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Isaak von Seggern [2018] FILM

 

Lolita [1997] * * * *

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I don't care how hot this 14-year-old girl is, reading books directly underneath the spray of a sprinkler system is really fucking dumb, an instant no-go for me, I for one, respect literature.

As well as the fact that she has never once put shoes on in her entire life.

Also, you know, her being a child is a bit of an immediate turn off as well.

Nonetheless, Jeremy "Ironside" Irons pursues a 14-year-old version of the Wendy's girl with the tenacity and sex drive of Jared Fogle running blindfolded through an all-girls high school just grabbing onto whatever he can.

And it's all very cringy as well. I audibly groaned in disapproval at Jeremy and his goals about a half a dozen times. In fact, it's so bad, and so mind-numbingly hard to get through, I would venture and say that Lolita (1997) is hands down the cringiest movie I have ever seen. My body looked like "The Last Exorcism: Part 2" poster by the time the film was finished.

This movie broke me.

Especially the scene where Jeremy asks Lolita, why his magic fingers aren't enough. I shit you not my torso disconnected from my legs, and my legs scooted across the floor, and noped out of the room, because it was just too much for my entire body to handle at once.

So yes it's a great movie.

I, by complete chance, recently watched Kubrick's Lolita about 3 weeks ago, and I can say that this version, Adrian Lyne's, is better. Along with the rest of white males in America, I love Kubrick, but his Lolita is probably my least favorite of his filmography that I have seen so far. That movie is 27 minutes short of being three hours, but it really feels like four. Also, the main character looks a lot like Sean Connery which was conflicting to me because all Sean Connery ever did was respect women, and here he is playing a pedophile. And, as one might expect, his relationship with Lolita turns really truly ugly, making it that much more of a draining and negative experience.

What I am trying to say is I want to see more positive, upbeat films about child rapists.

Not really, but this movie cuts out a lot of what made the other film so much more bloated (wowee it's now just 2 hours), and it's not played as a comedy anymore, it's serious the whole way through. They give Jeremy this little backstory at the beginning that wasn't in the original, which I feel gives better context to why he is attracted to Lolita. In the original, it's kind of just like,

"Oh I guess this dude just be creepin'."

And even though it's sort of the same thing here, there is at least another layer to his personality. Also without getting into spoilers, they completely changed the motivations of his character at the end of the film too, and it makes way more sense why he does what he does than it did in the original.

This is just a better movie all around in my opinion. There are a couple little things I like that they did more in the original, but this is I think the best version. Both Jeremy and the girl who plays Lolita give really great performances, and the whole movie is filmed in a dreamlike trance that reminded me of Weir's "Picnic at Hanging Rock" or Sofia Coppola's "Beguiled" remake. A great movie, but I never want to watch or hear about it again, nor will I read the book it is based on. I do think though that it would have been better for my old P.E. teacher to show this to my class in high school as like a PSA sort of thing, but instead I think we watched "National Treasure" with Nic Cage and that was cool too I guess idk.

All in all a fine movie, but not quite up to par with Jeremy's Tour De Force performance in BVS.

Lolita's sunglasses game was a 10/10, and the

"You look 100% better when I can't see you"

line is the single most important sentence spoken by a human being in all of history, thank you, and goodnight.


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Biscoito18 [2018] FILM

 

Annihilation [2018] * * * *

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"Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed."

One of the recurring themes of science fiction films about threats from space is the terror related to the loss of individuality, of the personality itself.

One of the greatest horror classics (and one of the most remade films) "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" already presented this concept, but quite unilaterally.

Not for a second did the characters allow themselves to seriously consider the loss of their individuality as positive despite the alien being's insistence that it would be better for the human race.

Maybe this happened because it was a change that was being brutally forced upon them.

But here in "Annihilation", the threat is surrounded by mystery and although it continues to grow, it does so gradually, and this makes a huge difference to the characters' minds. They have a choice, or at least the illusion of one. So those who decide to enter do so because they seek something, anything, to complete them, because their lives have already been shattered by tragedy.

Even if the threat of loss of individuality isn't explicit from the start, entering into "The Shimmer" means giving up what one has in pursuit of something else.

Here the biggest question is, "What is the real importance of individuality when everything around us (and within us) is in everlasting change, reacting and becoming something else?"

In this regard, wouldn't it be the concept of individuality and the cult of one's own personality to the detriment of the collective, closely linked to the concept of death? Does eternal life require detachment, including one's own personality?

It's also interesting that the characters' desires/motivations are mostly respected by "The Shimmer". Maybe it does this just out of curiosity, to see where things go?

[---BEGIN SPOILERS---]
But the real horror here is the discovery that, at the center of it all, there isn't the much-desired support. Instead, inside the lighthouse there's only pure nihilism and curiosity. Like a broken compass in search of its own north.
[---END SPOILERS---]

The mystery is presented in a fascinating way and the almost two hours of film just fly by.

All the characters contribute to some discussion that the film proposes. They aren't just cannon fodder. Some even do so with an extra amount of explanation which shocked me because of the claims that this film didn't get a bigger release in theaters because "the studio thought it was too complicated for the public".

"Annihilation" isn't simple but it is much more direct and easy to understand than "Arrival" for example.

The elements of body horror are good and the soundtrack, especially in the final "confrontation" is very important to convey the strangeness of the moment, a mixture of deep fear and extreme fascination.

The performances are, as you would expect from a strong cast like this, excellent. Highlight for Jennifer Jason Leigh who has managed to develop such a difficult character. It's as if her character had already reached the final phase of her mourning for her own life (acceptance) and had become bored.

Of course there is still a little spark of hope inside her, but I think what moves her most is curiosity. And, in a way, she's the opposite of what lies within the lighthouse. She's like an arrow focused on a single direction.

In addition to some good body horror scenes, "Annihilation" also features a moment of purely "ghostly" horror: the "bear" scene.

The mere idea behind this creature could create an excellent horror movie. It's really creepy.

Too bad that this sequence suffers from some of the most worn-out cliché solutions for conflicts in films.

Unfortunately, CGI is heavy handed some times and it is particularly upsetting in an attack scene in the middle of the movie and at the arrival scene on the lighthouse (horrible green screen).

"Annihilation" is the kind of great sci-fi film that launches its concept and asks big questions while leaving the audience to think and find their own answer. Just like "Arrival", for example, the most entertaining part of the movie comes after it's over.


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jmunky [2018] PERFUME

 

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme Living Stromboli * * * * *

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A huge step-up from Lemon Pledge.


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jmunky [2018] PERFUME

 

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme Discover Vulcano * * *

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Fruity with hints of octopus tentacle, but never fishy, dancing around the volcano naked. Adequate, and brilliant, yet not so great.


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Curtis Loves Movies [2018] FILM

 

A Quiet Place [2018] * *

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[*Spoilers*]

The whole idea of audiences yelling at the screen at characters who make dumb decisions in horror movies has almost become a trope in the genre. While I can laugh at it and still enjoy the movie, I definitely lose sympathy for the character in direct proportion to the dumbness or frequency of dumb decisions.

The characters in this movie... oof.

From the very first shot of the little boy running around the store, I was rooting against these parents. Okay, that's not true. For a few seconds I thought maybe it was just the kids by themselves. Kids don't know any better, right? But as soon as I saw the parents and realized they were letting him run around and grab shit off the shelves, I thought, "Okay, these people deserve to die." Zero sympathy.

Then the father leaves the toy and the batteries on the counter for the boy to pick up. Really? Are you trying to get your family eaten alive?

Then they make the boy walk last in line, never looking back to see if he's even still there.

Worst parents in the world.

Listen, just because you're Jim from The Office doesn't mean you can act like an asshole idiot and still get my sympathy.

Think about how much more tragic that scene would have been if the parents had done EVERYTHING RIGHT and still couldn't account for the unpredictability of a child.

But... I was ready to forgive it all because I still really liked the premise... until they revealed that Emily Blunt's character was pregnant. Because a crying baby is exactly what you want to have when your very survival depends on silence. There were no condoms in that store? Idiots.

Thankfully, there was one character I could root for: the daughter. She was the saving grace for me. Through her story, I was able to make the most of the otherwise effectively tense thriller at the movie's core.


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Isaak von Seggern [2018] FILM

 

Psycho [1960] * * * *

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I would certainly let Norman Bates stuff me like one of his owls, even if it meant he had to interrupt my sacred shower time by repainting the bathroom with my bodily fluids.

"Stuff me like one of your Owls, Norman" is the 1960s teenage girl's version of,

"Paint me like one of your French girls."

I think it is an impressive feat in and of itself that I have lived the excruciating, overly long life that I have thus far, without watching this movie. I have proved time and again I would much rather watch obscure Japanese experimental films about toilets that just dropped acid, along with softcore porn where no one has sex but they just cry and hug it out at the end. But the most famous film of all time, no thank you sir, I will just quietly eat my stale tortilla chips, take Ibuprofen for my perpetual headache, and drink my tap water, because I am numb to just about everything else.

Alfred Hitchcock was a bit of a babe back in his day, and not unlike Marilyn Monroe I think we give him to much credit these days based purely on his beauty.

That being said this movie is pretty great. Or more accurately it's pretty mediocre, but Anthony is such a genuine good dude. When he kills people in the movie, he isn't weird about it you know? It is all so non-discriminating, which I think society and the current political climate would really dig today. People were fine with Ted Bundy killing people, it just got a little weird when all of them were girls and he had sex with the bodies. But Anthony, aka the real homie, ain't about that. Man, woman, bird, doesn't matter. He kills all of his victims equally. It comes in contact with Norman and it's dead before it hits the floor. America needs new political leaders willing to take risks and just murder their opposition without a second thought. I want action! More taxes! Longer waits at the DMV! Sex Scandals with an ethnically diverse cast of colorful and well thought out characters engaging in an exciting plot consisting of unexpected twists and turns! An immediate ban on any and all raccoons! These are the things Norman can bring!

I'm calling it here folks, 2020, Norman Bates swoops in not as the serial killer America wants, but as the serial killer America needs.

#NormanForPresident2020


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Reviews by Morg [2018] FILM

 

Dear Basketball [2017] * * * *

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My friend Jordan is extremely well versed in all things NBA. He coaches a high school team that's pretty good, and he loves talking about all the stats and playoff contenders. Recently, a few of us were sitting around a bar watching the Cavaliers, and someone said that LeBron was better than Kobe. I turned to see if Jordan would have any rebuttal, and he did. He said that, aside from the difficulty of comparing two players who worked from different positions on the court, "I once saw Kobe play the Magic (Jordan's team) in the playoffs. At halftime, Orlando was up by 9 in the first quarter, at home, and things seemed to be going really well. I glanced across the court at Kobe, and looked in his eyes. At that point, I knew we had lost the game."

My own hot take is that Kobe did, in fact, surpass even Michael as the greatest to ever touch the rim. But all sports bar arguments aside, this is an extremely sincere and moving short film. Kobe's voice is well suited for the part, and, though some may call it pretentious for a man with his reputation to make a retirement film, I'd say he has the credentials to own such a privilege.


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