Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Alternate Best Actor 2013: Ethan Hawke in Before Midnight

Ethan Hawke did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Jesse in Before Midnight.

Before Midnight is the terrific third entry that keeps following the young pair of lovers now middle aged.

This is the third film that shows the progression of the relationship between Hawke's Jesse and Celine (Julie Delpy), largely through conversations. Well it all began in Before Sunrise as the two had a chance meeting through a day in Vienna where the two fell in love and swore to meet each other again. This picks up in Before Sunset, which I'll say plays like an epilogue to the first film, even though it takes place several years later. Hawke's performance in that film is a bit more guarded though rather similar as Jesse's mostly changed only in circumstance. The interplay between the two there is straight forward for the most part as they reconnect casually at first, with conflict very briefly, then more "formally" by the end of that film. I won't say I have to say too much on that one as it is very much the middle chapter to get the two back together. The real leap I find is with this film where the old dynamics are thrown out the window as since the last film, they've been together for years, with two daughters, and a son from Jesse's previous marriage. What is also thrown out is the basic two hander structure, in part, as the day in question is a bit more eventful in a way, evident from the opening which starts with Jesse and his son Hank.

Hawke's comfort with Linklater's naturalistic style once again is immediately evident, but also evident is the apparent change in Jesse as portrayed by Hawke. Although it is not some instance of a night and day reflection, we do not see the carefree young man of the first film, or the attempting to be carefree young man of the second film. Hawke instead expresses so effectively this weight of the responsibility of parenthood as he walks along his son at the airport. This as Hawke captures this perfect distance as he speaks with the overtures of affection, even if slightly sardonically in terms of his son's own distant attitudes, though never to the point of anything truly problematic. Hawke though accentuates the attempt of the connection so effectively, and suggests the warmth even if compromised in some way, Hawke makes it obvious he loves his son, but also accentuates the troubles alluded by the scars of the divorce from his wife, after the events of the last film where Jesse decided to stay with Celine. The fallout of that choice is seen here in Hawke's performance that while not deeply troubled, is without a strict responsibility.

We see Jesse quickly in happier circumstances as we are given the first of the long conversations as we see Celine and Jesse drive to their vacation home, with sleeping twin daughters in the back seat. We instantly see the appeal of their relationship once again, even if their conversation more immediately falls upon their now very adult concerns rather than waxing poetic on any single subject. The chemistry between Delpy and Hawke is sheer perfection once again, as the two have an even greater comfort between each other than in either previous film. The quality of understanding is all the greater than even their overt infatuation of before as we see two true companions. The two are excellent because as much as they have stayed the same in that connection, we also quickly see the differences in terms of the maturation of their relationship. A natural maturation however, and a fascinating one as we see more layers than before. This is as they no longer speak as two people getting to know each other, but as people who now have known each for some time.

In this we have the moments of just the two being right with one another, even as they are so cheery as the two decide to avoid their daughters' hopes of seeing some ancient ruins. As much as that affection in every moment of this intimacy and familiarity there is more to be seen. One instance in this is moments of Celine's more direct criticisms of her very American companion. Hawke is fantastic in these moments as he puts on the charm, but by bringing out a more juvenile spirit more fitting to the 20 something of the first film. In these moments though Hawke is great though by showing it almost as a falling back point, his method to charm her each time, as essentially the man who did so many years ago. Now Hawke doesn't make this a purposeful maneuver, but rather this very fluid manner as simply part of the relationship. This contrasts with as the film expands a bit to include the other vacationers, including literary types now that Jesse has become a successful writer, based on his semi-autobiographical books on the last two films. In these scenes Hawke portrays a contentment very much in his place among the literati. This with him bringing a confident, nearly smug, passion as he discusses his literary ideas, though certainly with a genuine spark that helped to define the young man in the first film. His attitude though is sharply contrasted against what are essential moments for Delpy's performance where Celine seems to have one sardonic remark after another ready to take a bit of the luster off of Jesse.

It all appears in good enough fun, however the consistency of it and the often incisiveness of it suggests otherwise. This goes within their chemistry as the two are equally good in these moments of a couples more problematic moments. This in Celine's small little punctures in Jesse's ego, are so well reflected in Hawke's performance which captures the socially acceptable taking of humor, however subtly within that conveys the right glint of a bit of hostility. This brilliantly perpetuated within the writing, but also both performances. This even as we go on another long walk through various sights, and once again enjoy the company of both. Hawke and Delpy once again making the most mundane of conversations so magnetic in their own way. This time though they do not have a romantic tryst to look forward to, though they expect as much, as their day this time ends in a touch artificial hotel room. This sequence of the two in the hotel room is an amazing bit of acting from both performers as they make it such a natural decay. This is as they are at first going to have sex, however small questions about their future and their relationship to Jesse's son soon brings that seeded hostility to the open. The explosion of hate that is so well performed because neither falls into easy melodrama. They rather fine such an authentic fight as they trade barbs and outbursts with such an honest rhythm. This is as there are moments of humor, even love, within there more intense direct moments of disgust or distress. This is as they show two people who love each other, but within that the fight in turn becomes more personal. I love especially how Delpy brings this directness, against Hawke who shows Jesse trying to defer or re-direct the difficult conversation. That does not end well, but the two have one final moment again, as Jesse essentially tries to "pick up" Celine once again with a similar approach to the train in the first film. Although again Hawke brings that endearing uncertainty in the moment, in his eyes though he brings such a genuine sense of tenderness. This tenderness creating a believable reconciliation, but not by playing an old trick, rather a moment of recognizing why they loved each other in the first place. Both Hawke and Delpy give wonderful performances, as they don't simply reprise the roles, but rather truly revisit the couple as though they never had stepped out of the characters after all these years.

131 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on the rest of the performances and the same for Before Sunset unless you're saving Hawke for 2004.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis: What do you think of this fan tribute? https://youtu.be/gOO_JKJDubg

Michael McCarthy said...

Dang, this really looked like it’d be a 5 from the review.

Emi Grant said...

Well, this means there's only one left...

I can't wait.

Mitchell Murray said...

Really excited for Pegg's review, now, as I'll fully own my love for the Cornetto trilogy.

On a separate note, Louis, I have an inquiry about your overall wins page. Going over 1988 I saw that Sigourney Weaver is your best actress winner for that year, and I was wondering where I might find your thoughts on her "Gorillas in the Mist" performance - that is, if you've written them down at all. Part of my curiosity, to be completely honest, stems from me recently watching "Alien" and "Aliens" for that first time - Crazy, I know - and that's a delay I quite regret now, as I genuinely loved those two performances of hers.

Bryan L. said...

Mitchell: You can find his thoughts on Weaver for that performance in the Alternate Best Actor 1988 results :)

Bryan L. said...

Also, is it just me, or did anyone else here find the cinematography for Avengers: Endgame underwhelming? I know the Marvel films definitely aren't known their cinematography, but this is the "series finale" we're talking about. You'd figure they go the extra mile and try to make it more cinematic.

Don't want to talk about any shots in particular yet, but those are just my two cents.

Charles H said...

Pegg's review will most certainly be terrific. I predict him getting 2 fives.

Matt Mustin said...

I saw Endgame. Loved it. Kinda can't believe what I just saw, something like that's never gonna happen again.

Downey-5
Evans-5
Hemsworth-4.5
Renner-4.5
Johannson-4.5
Ruffalo-4
Rudd-4
Cheadle-3
Larson-2.5(Not her fault)
Gillan-4
Brolin-3.5
Cooper-3.5
Paltrow-3.5

Matt Mustin said...

Bryan L: The lighting has always been kinda flat in a very general way, but at the same time there's also been some really great compositions throughout the movies, and I would say the same for this one. It's mostly visual effects though, any way.

Calvin Law said...

I think I’m gonna go for 5’s for Downey and Evans too. And as for the cinematography I thought there were actually some mind-blowing shots this time around, in fact one scene in particular is going to be my laptop background once it gets to the point I can use it in public without being a spoiler.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: I feel like I have an idea of what you're talking about. I agree, and I'll say there's at least two, probably more shots that made me gasp at how they were presented.

Also, this is a runaway Best Visual Effects winner, right? I mean, we'll see what comes out later in the year, but wow.

(I'd also like to submit it for Best Editing.)

Calvin Law said...

Matt: At this point I can’t argue with you. Sound was particularly on point this time around too.

Bryan L. said...

Matt & Calvin: There are a couple of shots that I do like in Endgame, but I still think Infinity War had better cinematography and compositions, for example. I thought the visual effects were well-done though.

And yeah, I think it'll be in contention for Best Visual Effects, since I could see the Academy just throwing Endgame a bone as a "Yeah, we care about Marvel besides Black Panther; now go away."

Although I wonder if The Lion King will make a bigger play, since the visual effects are basically that films' main selling point.

RatedRStar said...

I reckon The Lion King will win visual effects, similar to how The Jungle Book won but probably shouldn't have. I am curious about Gemini Man.

Hawke seems to have this bizarre love hate thing with a lot of film goers for some reason, a lot of people dont seem to like him for some reason?

Matt Mustin said...

RatedRStar: He can come off a tiny bit snobbish at times (but come on, if you're a film fan, that comes with the territory) but the people who don't like his acting...yeah, I don't know where they're coming from.

RatedRStar said...

I want to see the big Tony nominee Hadestown, looks interesting, good on Paddy Considine for finally getting a major award nomination.

Matt Mustin said...

Thinking about Endgame, Downey is my overall MVP, probably, but I would have to say that Chris Evans probably gives my single favourite line delivery in the entire MCU.

RatedRStar said...

I think Endgame is great, I just think, Infinity War had that Wrestlemania/Superbowl feeling where it was like, look at this cast of stars on screen together lol.

Matt Mustin said...

RatedRStar: Endgame had more of that, though.

Calvin Law said...

Infinity War had more of that star power spectacle. Endgame was more of a character study of the stars which I much preferred.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

The sort of small roles are all fine but don't leave too much of an impression. Delpy is also a 4.5, but I feel I covered her in this review. They are both 4's for Before Sunset, which I did like a lot, but again thought overall felt far more slight.

Robert:

Beautifully done, and is a powerful testament to the strength of his arc throughout the series.

Bryan:

I didn't find it underwhelming, or at least not disappointing, since Infinity War's work was standard marvel work as well. As when I ranked the films by cinematography, the quality of the Marvel films has no correlation with their cinematography, as the prime directive seems to be not to try anything unique, leaving the films with that consistent, if somewhat flat, approach.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: Any chance your rating for Renner in Endgame could go up? I found him to be very impressive.

Matt Mustin said...

RIP Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca.)

Luke Higham said...

RIP Peter Mayhew

Calvin Law said...

Might as well give my Endgame thoughts now:

SPOILERS











Downey - (in some ways a great showcase for Downey to give us all one final taste of just how great he is in all facets of the role. He’s absolutely devastating in the opening scenes, showing a man utterly broken by Thanos, but peppered with some warmer moments that naturally segue past the time jump into a Stark who’s been through hell and back, and has blossomed into perhaps the life Yinsen had always envisaged for him. What’s remarkable is that through this all still comes through his cheeky bantering and the underlying guilt that continues to eat away at him that makes him act like he eventually does. I honestly would like more time to get into everything Downey does great here, he’s particularly remarkable in one sequence of essentially making amends with the past, and his ‘final’ scene is incredible, not to mention his chemistry with...)

Evans - (Evans doesn’t get enough credit for how he has managed to keep Steve Rogers a constant, yet in his own way also grant a dynamic arc, character through all the films. Here he’s great in showing the determination soon quashed and the attempts to valiantly ‘move on’. I love how he never plays it as though Cap is insincere in his attempts to do so, but rather that his inner drive to do good simply can’t allow him to back away from the past. He’s once again such a great rock solid presence throughout each action sequence, even getting some very atypical and well earned laughs in the mix, and has impeccable chemistry with Downey as they move so well from uneasy amiability to the true fire-forged friendship of comrades. The highlight of his work though is indeed the third act, where to put it bluntly he nails each and every moment he has.)

Hemsworth - (not quite the peaks of his work in Infinity War but it is a natural culmination of his arc so far. Hemsworth is great though the film doesn’t dwell too much on it on the hardened cold warrior with vengeance on his mind, and then does well to make a big leap back to a Thor whose enthusiasm once again covers up pain in a perhaps less admirable fashion. He once again brings out the humour of Thor’s tomfoolery but also so much pathos in his character’s depressive state, which makes the more hard hitting and badass moments all the more earned)

Renner - (he’s on point even when his character has to make some fairly significant leaps throughout the runtime. Renner is devastating in showing how the snap affected Clint so brutally through his ‘should’ve been you instead’ mentality. He maintains a consistency with the old Clint we all love and cherished but with such a void, even when interacting with the fellow Avengers bar Natasha, which makes his chemistry with Johansson this time round hit all the harder in his big emotional moments)

Johannson - (brilliant work throughout, particularly in her two key scenes with Evans and Renner. Outside of those scenes she’s once again her usual dependable self as Natasha as now essentially the heart and soul of the Avengers. In the aforementioned two scenes however, she’s utterly devastating, first in showing how the snap has weighed on her mind to the point that it’s made her lose her purpose, and the latter in finding it oh so powerfully. Her performance on re-watch honestly hit all the harder)

Calvin Law said...

Ruffalo - (okay, I’ll admit it, I wanted another round of big green meanie, which we do sorta get. But anyway Ruffalo is good once again on the lighter side of things. He’s constantly funny in showing this new Banner who’s at peace with himself and has embraced the Hulk, while giving enough weight to his more serious moments. His big moment I will say is well performed, but I’ll also admit did not hit as hard as the aforementioned key players)

Rudd - (he’s actually really good in his affecting early scenes of reacting to the new world and how his life has changed. The rest of the way he’s an absolute hoot, and I love how he kind of plays Scott Lang as a capable yet clueless fanboy along for the ride, and frankly strikes up great banter with every cast member he interacts with, with particular affection for his bickering with Stark and Banner. And this is more about the direction and screenplay surrounding him but I love that he was so crucial to saving the day)

Cheadle - (okay I’ll agree he’s underused again but I liked every one of his small asides, particularly his Baby Thanos theory and him finding a mutual bond with Nebula, which incidentally I wouldn’t have minded more of though it’s a packed enough film already. Also for some reason I just loved that scene of him with Rocket on his shoulder but that’s more of the direction at hand)

Larson - (limited but I thought pretty good within it bringing that right attitude of almost boundless confidence in her abilities that’s a constant. I wonder how it’ll work for her next solo film, but I will say I absolutely loved her delivery of ‘Hey _______, you got something for me?’)

Gillan - (fantastic work in making for one of the most unlikely character turns in the MCU. Gillan is great at showing a Nebula consistent to her aggressive, deadpan characterisation but for whom being around warmer sorts has rubbed off on her. What I really liked though was how she showed that her past does still continue to haunt her, in more ways than one, and also credit to her for managing to make her terrible original performance work pretty well in contrast to her current one)

Brolin - (this is sort of the simplified version of the character, quite literally also seen in Guardians 1, and with that in mind I do think Brolin excels in the role once again. He finds just enough nuance beyond this more overtly sadistic Thanos to not make him a caricature and makes for a fitting final boss in contrast to the Thanos who technically ‘won’)

Cooper - (once again knocking it out of the ballpark and Rocket-ing every moment wonderfully, particular affection for him calling Scott a puppy)

Paltrow - (limited for the most part but knocks her big emotional moments out of the ballpark)








End of Spoilers

Calvin Law said...

And RIP Peter Mayhew

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Fair enough. I do understand that Marvels directors have a template of sorts that they have to stick to.

Again, I would've preferred if this one stood out a bit more visually since its pretty much the culmination of everything that came before, so thats why I was a bit disappointed.

Mitchell Murray said...

Calvin: On a slightly random note, I find it funny how, in a parallel universe, we might have Tom Cruise playing Iron Man and Emily Blunt playing Black Widow.

RatedRStar said...

RIP Peter Mayhew

Bryan L. said...

RIP Peter Mayhew

Charles H said...

RIP Peter Mayhew

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: Agreed on all points. I may have to review Downey in the future, I also have a lot to say about the work he does here.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts on Blindspotting direction and screenplay?

Bryan L. said...

Matt: Any chance you'd consider including Evans in that potential review?

Matt Mustin said...

Bryan L: Possibly, although an argument could be made for separate reviews.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I'm so psyched for Pegg's review. I think Louis may end up giving him 3 5's.

Calvin Law said...

Matt: what category would you place everyone in? I’m tempted to put all in supporting but unsure.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: It's an ensemble, like all the Avengers films, but if there was a lead, I'd actually say it's Evans.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Bella Ramsey's performance in Game of Thrones. Also, could I have your top 10 Alfie Allen acting moments?

Mitchell Murray said...

To everyone here, I feel the need to share something; My blog has been deleted for a little bit now, and I've accepted that as a decision I made with clarity. Nevertheless, after watching the 1986 classic "Aliens" for the very first time, I was rather inspired to write something about my thoughts on the film, though more specifically, Sigourney Weaver's performance. The following is my full thoughts on her work, and if you guys would want, I'd like to know what you think of the review - what you agree with, disagree with, and general notes on what I could improve on as a writer:

IN APPRECIATION OF: SIGOURNEY WEAVER IN "ALIENS"

Sigourney Weaver received her first oscar nomination for playing Ellen Ripley in James Cameron’s “Aliens”.

“Aliens” is the terrific sequel of the 1979, non pluralized original film from Ridley Scott. The achievement of this movie is pretty impressive, as it not only holds its own against its predecessor, it also remains faithful to the essence of Scott’s story while taking the threat of the xenomorphs in a more kinetic direction.

When discussing this picture, it’s tempting enough for me to simply venerate Ripley as a character. Despite only being introduced to “Aliens” recently, she has quickly turned into one of my favourite female protagonists of any renowned blockbuster. Ripley was a compelling element in the first film to be sure, yet the qualities she displayed there are even further explored by Cameron and company. As shown by this outing in particular, she was never envisioned as this invulnerable, perfect being; She isn’t immune to fear or mistakes, nor does she feel the need to announce her credentials out loud. Instead, Ripley is written with such a palpable humanity in her faults and terror, yet in the very same breath, she also demonstrates a resilience that’s handled incredibly well. Ripley is the kind of vulnerable but determined action lead that I find very engaging, and even the heroines featured in many modern franchises rarely strike that precise balance. Similarly, Weaver’s oscar nomination for this role is especially notable, given the academy’s long standing bias towards genre films, let alone the female protagonists of said films. Weaver has become so synonymous with Ripley, and the impact of her portrayal is so well known, that it’s reasonable to look at what she does beyond this movie’s script to create a memorable character. The most honest and straightforward response to that question is to say she does plenty.

Mitchell Murray said...

Weaver’s performance begins as very much a logical progression of the Ripley we saw in the first film. After the scene where she’s discovered and revived out of her prolonged cryogenic sleep, Weaver creates an immediate consistency between the two pictures, expressing the same kind of forceful demeanor she played before. After all, there’s an inherent level of command in Ripley based on both her job and attitude, and Weaver is an actress with a naturally strong screen presence. This is put to great use in an early sequence, when Ripley is questioned by a panel of corporate figures, and Weaver hits the right notes of sterness and blunt articulation. At the same time, however, Weaver never makes this seem like a mere repeat of her first performance, and effectively shows the trauma of the events aboard the Nostromo throughout her introduction. It is indeed suggested that Ripley may have a form of PTSD, due to her night time anxiety attacks and general lack of jubilation. Weaver is quite moving in this regard, as she again builds a convincing thread-line between both iterations of the character, and finds the needed emotional weight for Ripley’s previous run in with the titular baddie.

There is certainly more I can praise about Weaver’s overall approach, as her work is obviously crucial for the movie to find its narrative focus. Whereas in Scott’s film Ripley was part of a large ensemble - at least until the final act - Cameron gives her a more dominant role in the proceedings of his story. It’s Ripley’s decisions that impact a great deal of the film, and as such, the audience must buy into Weaver’s characterization to truly connect with the experience. Weaver rises to the challenge by offering a believable and well rounded lead, someone whose decisive and practical, and who’s not afraid to take action when others won’t. Weaver’s specific charisma as a performer really shines through, here, allowing Ripley to be at once charming and humorous, as well as wholly sympathetic. For example, I quite like the sly grin she gives Corporal Dwayne Hicks (Michael Biehn) and Sergeant Apone (Al Matthews), upon demonstrating her skill with what is essentially a full body forklift. Nevertheless, while there are definitely lighter moments of her performance to be enjoyed, Weaver still retains the needed texture whenever its required. She’s present to convey the baggage weighing down on Ripley, which reveals itself in the concerned looks she gives the men around her, who are perhaps not as attuned to their mission’s real severity as she is.

Mitchell Murray said...

Now once the primary plot kicks in, and the marines Ripley was asked to advise respond to a nearby distress call, Weaver continues to serve as an anchor within the frenzied action. Take the scene where the soldiers actually infiltrate the abandoned space colony, and are eventually ambushed by a group of xenomorphs. Ripley is nowhere near the creatures when they attack, yet back in the surveillance vehicle, Weaver’s horrified reactions add so much to the scene’s intensity. She is on target every time the camera pans back to her, as we see Ripley revisit the terror she felt from that very first encounter. More importantly, we also witness Ripley’s underlying instincts regain control, since she’s the only person who ultimately tries to save the crew, and not there stunned, inexperienced Lieutenant (William Hope). It’s in this desperate rescue that the finest aspects of the character spring to life, namely her intelligence, proactive mindset and striking amount of willpower. These are not even born out of composure, though, as Weaver so effectively portrays the fear fueling Ripley’s actions, making them not of a qualified person following a premeditated plan, but rather a qualified person using every tool at her disposal to ensure the survival of others, as well as herself.

One of the strongest elements in Weaver’s performance lies with the dynamic she creates opposite Carrie Henn, who plays a reclusive girl named “Newt” hiding in the ruins of the colony’s structure. Right from their initial exchange Weaver portrays an entirely different register in Ripley, who takes on a more gentle disposition in order to try and calm the scared kid. It’s a most affecting choice by our protagonist, and one that’s granted even more significance by Cameron’s directors cut. In a scene that was omitted for the theatrical version, Ripley is given a photo of the daughter she had waiting back home, who sadly died during her half century stasis. The revelation that Ripley was once a mother makes her relationship with Newt all the more touching, as we understand the girl’s role as a surrogate child of sorts. Weaver of course realizes this in an effective fashion any ways, conveying the tenderness of Ripley’s interactions with Newt quite well. She provides such an earnest warmth in their conversations and really develops this maternal side of the character, thus grounding the selflessness of Ripley’s behaviour later on. I suppose I’d be remiss, however, if I also didn’t mention Weaver’s chemistry with Biehn. Thankfully the on screen dynamic between Ripley and Hicks never strays into baseless romantic ploys, but having said that, a connection between both characters is still heavily alluded to. This completely works for the film as both performers find the needed respect between these two people, with Weaver being especially convincing in the unspoken fondness she implies. She does convey Ripley’s admiration for a man who has shown a drive equal to her own, hinting at a potential kinship between them, even though the movie never confirms such a union occurred in the end.

Mitchell Murray said...

During the film’s climax, Ripley is put front and center as she ventures into a collapsing power plant, frantically searching for a kidnapped Newt. Weaver’s physical performance in these scenes is nothing short of remarkable; She functions incredibly well as a reactionary force, nailing every tense expression and exhausted gasp. Even forgetting that commitment, though, a big reason why I found the segment so gripping is because Weaver conveyed such a potent drive behind Ripley’s behaviour. She took the necessary time to build her relationship with Newt, allowing the audience to understand how much she means to Ripley. As white knuckle as this set piece is, it wouldn’t be nearly as effective without the emotional undercurrent Weaver provides. Even her elevator ride down to the xenomorph’s lair emphasizes this idea, most notably the deep breath Ripley takes before the doors open. It’s a small detail in the grand scheme of things, but Weaver makes the most of it by portraying the simultaneous fear and courage within the character. And when Ripley confronts the alien queen at the very end, uttering that now iconic line, Weaver absolutely earns it. Through her flawless delivery she cements Ripley as a top tier action hero, yet still makes her a somewhat uncommon one given the dramatic weight she also expresses. Weaver expertly blends both tones, however, and does so with exceptional finesse. Her performance, sturdy, athletic, but also surprisingly layered, goes above and beyond the call of duty by giving “Aliens” its voice and heart. Weaver not only justifies the acclaimed status of Ripley’s legacy, her effort in this film can stand by itself, separated from the rest of the franchise, as its own example of great screen acting.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: I know the genre isn't quite "your tempo" , but can I have your thoughts on "Sunflower", from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse?

And your thoughts on the "Baskin-Robbins" scenes from Ant-Man? Both the "I'll have a burger" and firing scenes.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Oh, and...uh...which film would you say is worse: mother (exclamation mark) or the film you and "Verne" had a conversation about?

Matt Cofrancesco said...

Can someone help me find Louis's thoughts on Keitel and Scorsese in Taxi Driver?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Which GOT characters do you think Jeremy Irons would've been a great fit for.

Matt Mustin said...

Luke: Tywin.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Not sure if it counts, since it wasn't written for the film, but could I have your thoughts on the original version of 'Cruel Summer' from The Karate Kid, and the cover version used in Cobra Kai.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the cinematography of Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt and Lifeboat.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Woooo, boy. I don’t even want to talk about this new Game of Thrones. That was a complete mess.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I have no idea what to make of that episode either. It felt absolutely pointless and melodramatic at times. Conleth Hill and Peter Dinklage I felt did bring their A-games though, and Hill would be my MVP.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

But of course, my largest gripe with the episode would be what they did with the arc of one of my favorite characters. It was disappointing as hell, to say the least.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Game Of Thrones and your episode MVP.

Mitchell Murray said...

I won't dare ask anyone to watch the full interview, but to those who haven't seen this video, whats your thoughts on the first - say - few minutes?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Lj1Cx4pNUw

Anonymous said...

Poor Liverpool. They'll never win the league again unless Bruce Grobbelaar urinates on all four posts of the Anfield like he said. Still, happy for City. They have a great squad and a great coach, even if they underperformed in a few matches.

Louis: I've read that Carl Theodor Dreyer, the director of The Passion of Joan of Arc, had planned to make a film about Jesus. He had written several drafts between 1930 and 1949 before financing for the film fell through.

Erich von Stroheim also planned to make a film about the waning of the Hapsburgs in Vienna with Jean Renoir writing the script, but due to the outbreak of World War II, it was never made.

Thoughts?

Calvin Law said...

Mitchell: they play off each other well - wouldn’t mind seeing them in something together soon enough.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: To be honest, I think Emma Stone plays off pretty much everyone well.

Matt Mustin said...

Saw the new Spider-Home: Far From Home trailer and here's my thoughts. Looks interesting, Mysterio is obviously lying, I still don't like the Iron Spider suit.

Robert MacFarlane said...

The Far From Home trailer did nothing for me. I don’t totally care for the MCU take on Spider-Man being just another cog in the machine. I guess Spider-Verse spoiled me too much.

At least Jake doesn’t seem to be overacting.

Calvin Law said...

Like the idea of Peter being forced to grow up - haven’t had enough of that great power, great responsibility chat. Hate the idea of Spider-Man becoming the new Iron Man. Like the idea of a multiverse (though hopefully they’ll continue to let Sony do their own thing). Hate the idea of Nick Fury falling for Mysterio so easily.

Calvin Law said...

Matt: agreed. Sometimes it’d be nice just to have the classic suit for Peter.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Also, I forgot to tell you, but James Mason was considered to play Garbo's love interest in that Ophuls movie she never made.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Blindspotting's direction is a confident debut. It isn't anything that really changes the wheel so to speak, but it is fine breakout turn. The little touches of greater expression are well realized visually particularly the flashback burning scene or the shooting scene. There is a really viscerally effective quality in these moments. Overall the film the film has an effective lack of pretense within its work creating just a believable if slightly off-beat atmosphere. Now I'll stand without question on my dissent regarding the rap scene (which might've worked for me with slightly different directorial choices) and occasionally over does "natural shaky cam", but otherwise it's remarkable effort.

The script is a fantastic work and easily the best film that comments on race in 2018. In fact it makes the others examples of it seem painfully simplistic in comparison in a lot of ways. It creates a far greater complexity while realizing so effectively through the relationship of the two central characters and their friendship. The tale never wags the dog as the story of the two men comes first, and those moments come naturally, for the most part, through their interactions. It also works though as a bromance/destructive relationship story. In that through the story you come to wholly understand the two men, how they work together, but really where they break off in their perspectives on life.

Tahmeed:

Her first scene is a hard to question stand out moment. She indeed commands the scene and makes up for any questions about a child ruler. Having said that I do think they ended up overplaying the note a bit, in that I think they could've done a little more the character and instead used her as the same thing every time. I'll say even with that limitation Ramsey certainly delivers on her end each time with that age inappropriate fervor and intensity. Although I think there was definitely a missed opportunity there to a certain degree it is never her fault.

Allen:

1. "I've gone too far"
2. "My real father died in King's Landing"
3. Hearing about Robb's death
4. Execution of Cassel
5. Capturing Moat Cailin
6. Saving Sansa
7. Reaction to "You're a good man"
8. Reunion with Sansa the first time
9. Arriving "home"
10. Goodbye to Sansa

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Indeed not quite my tempo, but a pleasant enough son I'll admit. I do prefer a bit more directly melodic pieces, however the extreme mix of the sounds is not unappealing in this instance, even if perhaps I do wish it had more "parts" so to speak.

Not my favorite scenes I'll admit as going hard into the product placement can be funny (e.g. Wayne's World), but this one didn't quite work for me. It just touched towards the too obvious for me, despite Rudd's best efforts, that weren't entirely wasted.

Luke:

Tywin of course, also think he would've worked as Baelon, the High Sparrow, Maester Luwin or Barristan Selmy. Though obviously should've cast him as Howland Reed (though I think they've forgotten about him).

Anonymous:

Saboteur is some strong work, though of course Hitchcock has his eye in almost every film that carries over. The key though is realizing those Hitchcock touches. Joseph Valentine does a more than admirable job in this way creating such a moody atmosphere in the often shadowy lighting throughout, that accentuate the villainous sorts especially well. There is a bit more play well realized though, such as the "Clever few" speech, where the villain is in light, but composed so brilliantly in a distant off-putting place against "our" hero up close and direct. Of course it is realizing the daring of Hitchcock in many ways, and part of that is how well the final scene is shot, where it does create a real sense of that place, and grants the scope, which is no small feat, without losing any of the atmosphere of the rest of the film.

Well if Saboteur's cinematography is a marvelous feature of that film, it is almost the life blood of Shadow of a Doubt. This is as the cinematography, especially the lighting work is such a fundamental aspect of the film. Valentine's work is incredible in realizing such striking juxtapositions between that optimistic glow of the Americana town against the piercing shadows of Uncle Charlie. Again though no shot should be mistaken as it brilliantly realizing the striking framing and composition, which is as essential here. This in especially creating these most powerful moments of the relationship between the Charlies in every given frame.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Well that episode requires many a thought. I'll agree with Tahmeed on Hill being the MVP who got to do something.

The acting rarely the problem with the show and most everyone acquitted themselves well enough on that point, I even rather liked Clarke's performance at times who does best with emotional desperation.

The fundamental problem with the episode for me was the pacing. The simple truth has been that there should have been 20 final episodes, as there remains this excessive rush which came to a real head in this episode, the same way it did in the beyond the wall episode last season. Most of the actual plot points didn't bother me, but the pacing threw them off.

Take the Brienne and Jaime stuff. I don't mind that choice, but the rush of the relationship in that moment really hurt what could've been a heartbreaking scene. Instead we see them together and then tear them apart within minutes. If it had been over a few episodes, really getting a sense of the two together. I also admit I didn't care for the way it was done within the overarching sequence of "Everybody gets horny after a battle". Still if it was drawn out just a bit, it would've been better I feel. I also don't think that Jaime will be a matter of character regression, however it sadly shows that apparently was the case in the River run scenes from season 6 in his scenes with Edmure. As I originally took it as a bluff but "guess not!".

Take the Tyrion and Varys stuff, which I actually did think was the strongest aspect of the episode, however it would've been even stronger if the turn by Varys had been through a series of episodes rather than in two scenes.

Take the death of the second dragon, which with just a better paced SCENE it could've worked better. Say the ships revealed the legion of scorpions, rather than "Oh there's Euron out of nowhere", as a purposeful surprise attack. (Though I don't really agree with those going long on the scorpions given that Qyburn rose the dead himself already, so is making a crossbow capable of killing a dragon really that of an extreme leap?)

Take Missandei's death, which also just was rushed, where again taking just a bit more time, say she's captured in one, then executed in the next even. Instead, captured....dead.

Take even the goodbye to Ghost, maybe give enough time for Jon to give his loyal wolf an actual farewell, rather than "later, I know you're hurt, but ehhhh".

The only things I think I flat out detested were Euron being in it at all (shame he is just a terrible villain in every respect), and Tormund becoming a full blown cartoon character in the celebration sequence.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Lastly, to keep with the "better version of 2018 awards contenders" theme, your thoughts on the screenplay for Stan & Ollie?

Matt Mustin said...

Saw Endgame again. Downey's performance really is a triumph.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: if you’ve time could you give your Endgame thoughts on the film and cast?

For me personally it’s only grown all the more over time on all levels. Probably the strongest superhero ensemble cast of all-time.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: It also needs to be said that it MOVES. The pacing just rocks.

Mitchell Murray said...

Bryan: To respond to that theme, actually, we've already discussed our general rankings for the 2010's best picture nominees, but what about the 2000s? For instance, my overall preference for the actual winners might be something like this:

1) "No Country for Old Men"
2) "The Return of The King"
3) "The Departed"
4) "The Hurt Locker"
5) "Chicago" (I rather like the movie, myself, although I don't love several aspects of it.)
6) "Gladiator" (Good old fashion swords and sandals epic - hey, you could do a lot worse.)
7) "A Beautiful Mind"
8) "Slumdog Millionaire"
9) "Million Dollar Baby"
10) "Crash" (#9 bored me to no end, #10 actively pissed me off, so its really a tie for the last spot).

Also, for everyone here, what are your initial thoughts/predictions about the following upcoming films?

"Knives Out"
"The King"
"Little Women" - and I'll just point out the fact that Emma Stone was originally cast, but went on to be replaced by Emma Watson; Rather ironic, wouldn't you say?
"The Good Liar"
"The Last Thing He Wanted" - Nomination #5 for Willem Dafoe?

Mitchell Murray said...

And here I am still not having seen "End Game"... oh well, I'll rectify that eventually.

Calvin Law said...

Matt: YES.

My ranking would be:

1. Return of the King
2. Gladiator
3. The Departed
4. No Country for Old Men
5. The Hurt Locker
6. Slumdog Millionaire
7. Million Dollar Baby
8. A Beautiful Mind
9. Chicago
10. Crash

As for these following films,

Knives Out (should be fun but no idea, great cast though)
The King (seems promising)
Little Women (EXTREMELY looking forward)
The Good Liar (McKellen and Mirren? Sign me up)
The Last Thing He Wanted (ehhhhhhh...sounds a bit generic? Could be good)

Bryan L. said...

Mitchell: Actually, my ranking would be the same as yours, though I'd switch Gladiator and The Hurt Locker.

As for those 2019 films...

Knives Out- I hope it works out, since Johnson has assembled a great cast and it feels like it's been awhile since we've had a good "who-dun-it" film.
The King- A bit bullish on Chalamet as the lead, but I think it could be good with Michod and Pattinson, McKenzie, Edgerton and Mendelsohn in the cast.
Little Women- Actually liked Gerwigs last film, so this could be a major step up.
The Good Liar- If it's good, I think McKellen takes home the Oscar.
The Last Thing He Wanted- Yeah, I could see that happening.

Oh and as for your review of Weaver in Aliens...it's making me want to rewatch the film.

Mitchell Murray said...

Bryan: She is great, and its rather baffling that it took me this long to she her performance.

Emi Grant said...

Mitchell:

1. No Country For Old Men A+
2. The Departed A
3. Gladiator A-
4. The Hurt Locker A-
5. Million Dollar Baby B
6. Slumdog Millionaire B (I keep a soft spot for this film given that it was probably my favorite film to watch as a child, I am aware that it would worsen for me if I ever watched it again, so I try not to)
7. Crash (won't bother for the moment, but safe for the song In The Deep, Dillon and Pena, I heavily disliked it)

Knives Out: Honestly? Sounds like fun.
The King: Really interested on the supporting cast.
Little Women: Again, really looking forward to the cast and the film. Hopefully Chalamet steps up his game on his next few films.
The Good Liar: Looks interesting.
The Last Thing He Wanted: Not sure how I feel about Dee Rees directing it, but I have hopes on the cast.

Robert MacFarlane said...

1. The Departed
2. Return of the King
3. The Hurt Locker
4. No Country for Old Men
5. Um
6. Er
7. Hmmm
8. Mmmmmmmm
9. MMMMMMMMMMMM
10. A Beautiful Mind

Matt Mustin said...

Robert: Really, A Beautiful Mind below Crash?

Bryan L. said...

Matt: I'm surprised about that too. Oh and I mainly agree about Endgames pacing.


To be fair, I've actually never watched all of Crash. I've seen enough though.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

1. Return of the King
2. The Departed
3. No Country for Old Men
4. Gladiator
5. The Hurt Locker
6. A Beautiful Mind
7. Chicago
8. Million Dollar Baby
9. Slumdog Millionaire
10.Crash

Gus B. said...

1) "No Country for Old Men"
2) "The Departed"
3) "The Hurt Locker"
4) "Million Dollar Baby"
5) "Chicago"
6) "The Return of The King"
7) "Slumdog Millionaire"
8) "A Beautiful Mind"
9) "Crash"

Never saw "Gladiator" - and still don't quite care to watch it, really.

Luke Higham said...

Knives Out - (Top Notch cast and a murder mystery would be a really good fit for Johnson)
The King - (See Chalamet being a mixed bag as I'm concerned about whether he'll deliver on the warrior aspect of Henry V, aside from that, the supporting cast in particular should be great with Edgerton and Mendelsohn in particular being very intriguing)
Little Women (Ronan and Pugh on their A game)
The Good Liar (McKellen has given some of his best work with Condon)
The Last Thing He Wanted (Could be interesting)

And lastly, two of the best nights of football (soccer) I've ever witnessed.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Stan & Ollie's screenplay is a splendid little thing. Although covertly fairly impressive, as I have to give all the credit in the opening conversation that so effectively establishes almost every pressing relationship and detail about the two men with such ease. From there though it is an honest love letter to the two. I love that it doesn't try to make too much or to little about them. It appreciates them but does not glorify them into some petrified idea of the men. It shows their appeal, but also their humanity. The major inaccuracy in the fight feels wholly honest though in the way it so effectively builds up on the well known differences between the men, and feels genuine in that sense. The relationship is made so authentic even within the writing by providing natural contrasts, but also that connection. The same is supported in the wives who are so well used, as both, despite in the role of the "supportive wife" are granted their own personalities, and relationships with their husband and each other. They are never simply there. Thrown in for good measure though is the effective framing device of the tour which manages to create the right balance in granting a sense of both their loss of popularity in some, but their everlasting power with so many. It's not some earth shattering work, but just a delightful little story fitting the delightful two men.

Oh, and despite detesting both I can easily say I preferred the film I talked with Verne over, as I have to admit the hell and Elysium imagery was fairly remarkable, and Ganz and Dillon gave compelling performances. That's more than I can say about anything in the film with the gratuitous exclamation mark.

Calvin:

WELL *SPOILERS*

Again I thoroughly enjoyed Endgame which very much worked as a payoff both for Infinity War but the entire cinematic universe. This with so many relationships paying off both in funny ways, but also in genuinely emotional ways. I'll give them all the credit for their success in mapping out a proper epic, and I was quite entertained the distinct three acts of the fallout, Back to the Future Part II and then the final battle. Each with their own flavor, but a natural rhythm in each segue. Each balancing the humor/drama especially well in avoiding the inappropriate quips, leaving the first act nicely with only some minor humor, having a whole lot of fun in that Back to the Future setup, and then delivering the emotional pay dirt in the end. Now as common for Marvel not every joke worked, but most did. More than anything the emotional moments did so, and supported every action set piece most importantly. My biggest quibble honestly is the third sendoff. Not the actual final scene, but the park bench talk. I would've preferred a touch more ambiguity there as that reminded a little too much of the Deathly Hallows epilogue. Oh and I wish Wong had been part of the mission.

Hemsworth - (Not quite on the level of his great work in Infinity War. This though is kind of the other end of that work where that was mostly dramatic with a strong vein of comedy in it, here he's mostly comedic with a strong vein of drama. Hemsworth though once again shows that the man does best when he's got humor to work with. This is he's flat out hilarious as the pathetic Thor throughout, but manages to find a real emotional desperation within that once again that powerfully evokes the sadness in the character even as he hides it with more than just a good sense of humor this time.)

Ruffalo - (Just rather enjoyable work from him again, who I think has found the right place here in just sort of the lightly comic approach.)

Louis Morgan said...

Renner - (I mean no surprise here that he can deliver on the emotional intensity. It needs to be said though that Renner does this and does not hold back in the regard even though it is a superhero film. He brings the genuine heartbreak to the character and carries that weight powerfully in his performance.)

Johansson - (A performance of hers that I was genuinely impressed by here as she really delivers in bringing a far greater emotionalism in her work. She doesn't compromise sort of the innate nature of the character, yet here in just some key reactions shows so well the almost hidden devastation in her. This only just, and doing so is leaves quite the impression here in showing the honest emotion of the losses.)

Cheadle - (I think he should've had more scenes with Downey to be honest as they really barely even mentioned that they were friends rather strangely. Nonetheless Cheadle delivers with the little he has especially his moment with Nebula.)

Rudd - (Really fairly exceptional work from him here as he manages to be his typically extremely affable self as the often deprecated Ant-man. His portrayal of the internalized loss of the man though is beautifully done, and honestly one of the most moving moments in the film was his pitch perfect reaction to seeing his daughter again, which captured so well the sense of emotional relief but also sheer surprise of it all.)

Larson - (Eh, she's more consistent here, in that it's at least one character this time, but I don't think the approach plays to her strengths as a performer.)

Gillan - (Biggest turnaround in the MCU in terms of performance. This is to the point that she even gets to set things right in her original performance, even if it technically is inaccurate. This is as past Nebula she doesn't over do the "I'm evil" thing that she did in Guardians, instead finds something in the extreme need for approval with Thanos that is far more resonate. On top of that though she's genuinely great in her moments of portrayal of the matured Nebula, and brings such a sense of that growth that has come with the real sense of loss in connection with her sister.)

Cooper - (Once again wonderful Rocket in just bringing so much humor in his deliveries throughout, hitting those extreme sardonic notes so well. Again though finding a real nuance in those key moments though that go beyond.)

Brolin - (Far less to do here but does deliver in offering both a far more confident and cold Thanos and a far more exasperated one, albeit briefly.)

Most of the cameos are simply fun, but felt Russo, Slattery and Swinton made the most out of their more extended ones.

*END OF SPOILERS*












Mitchell:

1. LOTR: The Return of the King
2. No Country For Old Men
3. The Departed
4. Gladiator
5. The Hurt Locker
(GAP)
6. A Beautiful Mind
7. Chicago
8. Slumdog Millionaire
9. Million Dollar Baby
10. Crash

Calvin Law said...

My favourite cameo was actually Rene Russo. And I see what you mean about the park bench scene though I personally loved it.

And yeah, more Wong can never be a wrong thing.

Calvin Law said...

Also is everyone supporting in your books?

Michael McCarthy said...

As much as I dug the park bench scene on an emotional level, it's very difficult for me to get past the logical implications of it. Yes I know time travel stories are almost never airtight, but DAMN did they break their own rules for that one.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: Do you prefer Endgame or Infinity War more overall?

Matt Mustin said...

Also, my favourite cameo in terms of performance was easily Slattery, but there's a couple that made me so happy just to see, they didn't even need to say anything (though I'm glad they did).

Bryan L. said...

Michael: I won't lie; I actually got a bit of a headache trying to decipher the logistics of that scene.

Calvin Law said...

I just ignored the logistics quite frankly. Although I’m pretty good with that sort of blatant ignorance.

Matt Mustin said...

I never thought to the think about the logistics. It made sense to me.

Michael McCarthy said...

For me it was inconsistent both with the established time travel rules of the film as well as with who Steve Rogers is as a character. Don't get me wrong, the scene was emotionally quite satisfying, but what it all should mean for the overall plot line drives me kind of crazy.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Yeah everyone is supporting for me.

I had several problems with the moment, but the biggest problem for me was that it felt a little too much like "Screw you, Bucky". Not because of the shield hand off, but rather that choice seemed especially selfish with him in mind. This is that he missed out as many years, but in the interim was being horribly abused the whole time. I mean come on, he couldn't even say a proper goodbye to the guy he had just made now completely alone in his experience as man out of time?

Matt:

Not sure yet, I'd really need to watch Endgame again.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: I get the feeling watching it twice now that he and Bucky had discussed it the night before.

Michael McCarthy said...

Matt: I had the exact same thought the second time I watched it. Louis has a point about Steve kind of doing him dirty with that plan now that I think about it though.

Matt Mustin said...

Michael: Sure, and I don't even disagree, but I think Bucky was in on it.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Although the film was pretty bad, what are your thoughts on Willem Dafoes' narration in Vox Lux?

Calvin Law said...

Huh, I guess I really will have to disagree with most because I found Steve Rogers’ storyline to be wrapped up perfectly thematically, I really can’t see another way I could’ve seen as satisfying an end for him. And yeah if you note Stan’s reactions throughout the whole sequence it’s very obvious that he’s fine with everything the way it is. Heck, I wouldn’t even be surprised if he was the one who persuaded Steve to make that decision in the first place.

Calvin Law said...

The only issue I did have with the wrapping up of stuff was I think they should have had at least one more Nat scene among the snaps, Bruce’s one in particular.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your thoughts on ‘Portals’ on the soundtrack.

Mitchell Murray said...

I'm pretty sure this got swept to the side during the release of "End Game", so has anyone seen this trailer yet?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEMUbTBvkLY&t=2s

All I can honestly say is "yikes"...its kind of sad, to, that what I'm most hoping will come out of this movie is Winstead's profile being raised, so she can attract some meaty, bankable roles worthy of her skill.

Anonymous said...

Is Pegg's review coming tonight Louis.

Matt Mustin said...

I watched The Sisters Brothers. I liked it, but I question why they got someone as dynamic as Rutger Hauer to just be a silent cameo.

Bryan L. said...

Matt: Yeah, I wish they had given something to do, although it was nice seeing him again in a good film. I think he could've been great in Phoenixs' role back in the 80s as well. Your ratings for the cast?

Matt Mustin said...

Bryan L:
Reilly-5
Phoenix-4.5
Gyllenhaal-2.5(How many accents was that, exactly?)
Ahmed-3.5
Kane-3

Matt Mustin said...

By the way, the thing about Gyllenhaal is that he's actually not bad when he's silent, but whatever he's doing vocally is so distracting it hurts the rest of his performance.

Michael McCarthy said...

Yo who else saw the It: Chapter 2 trailer?

Bryan L. said...

Michael: I have. Interesting that they showed a full scene as the trailer. Oh and I'm in for Bill Hader in a dramatic role (which he was again excellent in the last episode of Barry).

Bryan L. said...

Matt: And yeah, I agree on Gyllenhaal. I felt that he was giving a better performance physically rather than vocally. As in, he was definitely conjuring up the right presence for the part.

Mitchell Murray said...

Michael: I was somewhat wary when I first heard of the project, but after seeing that scene and the cast they've gotten, I'm on board.

Matt: That really plays into some of Gyllenhaal's most misguided tendencies as a performer; He's extremely talented, to be sure, but he's also a risk taker, and is sometimes willing to go broad or mannered even if the role in question doesn't really warrant it. There are times when this approach pays off - technically speaking, his performances from "Stronger" and especially "Nightcrawler" are quite defined by facial quirks and/or atypical choices. Those portrayals worked, though, because Gyllenhaal still realized a strong character in each, and conveyed a consistency in each man's own psyche and experiences. In less demanding parts, but particularly a flashy supporting turn, Gyllenhaal should be more careful to not go overboard as he's done in the past.

Bryan L. said...

Just for the heck of it, I saw Long Shot. Not bad actually, and it does add a bit more commentary to go along with the plot beats found in these types of romcoms. Endings a little rushed though.

Theron-4 (Solid comic performance from her,
Rogen-3.5 (Rogening it up, though he's good in his few dramatic moments)
Jackson Jr-3.5 (Could've used a bit more of him)
Serkis-3 (Doesn't make too much of an impact, but he's fine)
Odenkirk-3 (The writing behind him is NOT subtle, though he's enjoyable)
Raphael- 2.5 (Eh a little bland)
Patel-3
The other cameos- Good

Luke Higham said...

Guys, your predictions for:
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
A Hidden Life
It: Chapter Two
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
The Lighthouse
True History Of The Kelly Gang
Ad Astra
Brightburn
Godzilla: King Of The Monsters
Rocketman

Bryan L. said...

Luke: OUATIH- Will be hailed as one of Tarantinos best and become the Best Picture frontrunner
A Hidden Life- A return to form for Malick, since hes working with an actual script this time (Thank God)
IT: Chapter Two- It'll be good
Star Wars- Will be criticized for being it too safe
The Lighthouse- Will be hailed by the critics, though slammed by audiences like The Witch.
Kelly Gang- Kurzel back doing smaller films? I think it'll work out
Ad Astra- Will probably be this years First Man
Brightburn- ???
Godzilla- Mediocre reviews and will underwhelm at the box office
Rocketman- Should be better than Bohemian Rhapsody, and Egerton will be in the race

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on One Punch Man's opening-
https://youtu.be/atxYe-nOa9w
(turn on captions for English translation)
If you ever had to watch a shonen (action) anime Louis, this is one I'd wholeheartedly recommend.

Bryan L. said...

Luke: Although to tell you the truth, I didn't really care for The Witch, so that's why I'm expecting a similar reaction this time. I did like the performances though, and Pattinson & Dafoe sounds too good to pass up.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Also, is Serenity "fun" bad or "I'm wasting my freaking time" bad? Because that films' twist sounds like it must be seen to be believed.

Mitchell Murray said...

Luke:

OUATIH - I could see some backlash due to Tarantino's current reputation; Otherwise, DiCaprio looks terrific and I'm hoping the movie will be another enjoyable, acclaimed effort from the director.

A Hidden Life - Thankfully this seems like a good Malick film, and for nothing else, it'll be a final fair well of sorts for Ganz and Nyqvist.

It:Chapter Two - Should be good, and the cast has some reliable faces.

Star Wars - Ehh, I'll admit to not particularly caring for the new franchise, so I can't really predict how I'll feel about Skywalker.

The Lighthouse - Most intriguing, since I happened to like "The Witch", personally. In addition, Dafoe has been putting out some quality work as of late, so I do want this to continue his hot streak.

Kelly Gang - Great cast, and a strong historical source to boot. Should be worthwhile.

Ad Astra - Pitt needs a strong performance right now, so I'm really hoping that he delivers. As for the movie itself, I'm rather engaged by the genre as it is, though again, the execution will need to be on point.

Brightburn - I'm interested for two reasons, primarily: One is the notion of a sinister take on superman, which immediately catches my eye. And two, I guess I'm just curious to see Banks on screen again, so she better be good here.

King of Monsters - Nope.

Rocketman - I'm telling you guys, this movie better be f*cken amazing, because if they pull another "Bohemian Rhapsody" on us, I'll be very irritated.

Luke Higham said...

Mitchell: Your ratings and thoughts on the cast of The Witch. I personally liked it very much.

Anonymous said...

Guys, are there any performances that you feel are certain to make Louis' top tens for 2019

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Unless we get a ridiculously strong Supporting year like 2015, I'm absolutely certain Downey Jr. Will make it.

Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood is the only Lead performance I feel incredibly confident about as of now.

Mitchell Murray said...

Luke: It's been a little bit since I last watched the film, but here are some rough thoughts.

Ineson - 4.5 (MVP for sure. He has such a strong screen presence!)
Taylor-Joy - 4.5 (You understand after watching this performance why Joy has been built up as this promising young star. Very assured work.)
Scrimshaw - 4.5 (See thoughts on Joy, minus the young star angle, I guess.)
Dickie - 4 (Wasn't as entranced by her as the other 3, but she's still effective.)

Anonymous: DiCaprio in OUATIH, hands down. If its anything like his Wolf of Wall Street turn, at least in regards to his leading man charisma, he will be well received.

I suppose I'd should also mention that, in continuing with my bizarrely belated look into Sigourney Weaver's career, I saw "Gorillas in the Mist" today. Hardly a great film I think, and some of the choices in direction and writing really bothered me. Then again, you do have the central performance to consider...

Bryan L. said...

Anonymous: I think Sandler has a shot for Uncut Gems. The Safdies got a 5-star turn out of Pattinson, and I could see Sandler taking it up a notch this time around.

Emi Grant said...

Luke: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood - I'm actually just going to put my money on it for Best Picture and Director/Screenplay right now.

A Hidden Life - Not too familiar with Malick's work. Hopefully it'll be good

It: Chapter Two - As strong as the first film.

The Lighthouse - Will make a good enough impression. Maybe Dafoe becomes the Ethan Hawke of this year with this film.

True History Of The Kelly Gang: I feel that it's going to be overlooked, regardless of its quality, but will probably have a couple of knockout performances.

Ad Astra - No clue, frankly.

Godzilla - Will be a top contender for Best Trailer for a Disappointing Film.

Rocketman - Yeah, hopefully it is better than Bohemian Rhapsody. I'll make a bold statement though: History will repeat itself, and this will be the Walk The Line to BR. Edgerton is taking the Comedy Globe, but the film isn't doing any better than that.

Emi Grant said...

Anonymous: I'll bet Joaquin Phoenix finishes his phenomenal decade strong with another 5.

Luke Higham said...

Shit, I forgot about Phoenix.

Calvin Law said...

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood - (will be great I think, still dubious about the Manson stuff but that teaser helped dissuade a lot of worries)

A Hidden Life - (meh on the title change, a Malick film is always a hard sell anyway, great cast though and looking forward to see Diehl in a leading role)

It: Chapter Two - (okay that teaser was pretty good, second half of the story I do think is inherently less interesting but maybe they’ve got some added tricks to their sleeves)

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker - (not gonna lie not very excited to see what’s next because The Last Jedi felt like I dunno kind of...a resolution in itself so not sure where we go from here. Hopefully they won’t fuck it up)

The Lighthouse - (excited but tempered expectations since I didn’t love The VVitch that much, the two leads though pique a lot of interest and I love a good Gothic horror)

True History Of The Kelly Gang - (super hyped especially for George MacKay in a lead role, and a great real life story to boot)

Ad Astra - (the delays have me a bit cautious but I do really want to see the James Gray/sci-fi combo that could be a match made in heaven)

Brightburn - (the conceit sounds brilliant, hopefully it’ll live up to it)

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters - (I honestly think this will be great. I could be wrong, but I got a feeling. Visually stunning at the very least)

Rocketman - (still very looking forward to it, hopefully it’ll do something unexpected and Egerton will be great I’m sure)

Calvin Law said...

As for top 10’s, Lupita N’yongo is obviously gonna be there for Louis, and RDJ too most probably, otherwise let’s just see.

Bryan L. said...

Calvin: I believe Ad Astra is being delayed so it could have a more awards-season friendly date and so they could fine tune the visual effects. Oh and I think you forgot to mention Donald Sutherland :)