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Added by VierasTalo on 1 Jan 2018 12:36
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Film Journal 2018

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April

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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 6.1
It's fascinating to see this mid-2000s Eastern European drama -motif used to tell the story of a teen rapper in the 1980s and because of that being the style it manages to hop over some uncomfortable biography tropes (while still indulging in several). It showcases a tact you don't expect with hip hop culture showcased in American films. The film doesn't necessarily do anything much to excite but hey, that's kind of cool here.
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A beautiful, human film filled with empathy that shows what happens when cool action heroes, villains and goons realize that they're all inhuman monsters and how they cope with the pressure born from that realization and whether they can or can't forgive themselves for all that they've done. It is amazing how warm You Were Never Really Here is.
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
When Paddington 2 is a Wes Anderson but actually great prison movie it's the best film of 2017.

Everything else is very good as well.
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People who added this item 2189 Average listal rating (1540 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
The best possible cast and crew for a 90s action movie make one and it features a car chase full of perilous situations featuring old ladies crossing the road, an antique street car, sports cars, humvees, sick flips, paralympic athletes crossing the road, a truck full of water and a sick jump through a glass window.
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This is the best of the first three Insidious-movies which isn't really saying much because they're all very messy and scattershot. When they hit, they hit big, but they miss so often it doesn't really feel like it counts for much. Everything they do in this movie, much like the prior two, that pertains to their netherrealm nonsense is poor, but the spooks leading up to all that during the first 50 minutes or so are very good, even best in the series so far. If you can live with the not-very-well explained mystical superpower battles in the ghost-a-verse this is totally a pretty good movie! I can't.
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People who added this item 293 Average listal rating (228 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Paddington is wonderful and I re-watched it just so the missus could see it before I force-feed the second one to her instead of watching it alone. Of note: I've previously only seen the Finnish dub of this movie and I could swear it has about 80% more lewd, bawdy jokes aimed at adults than this original does. Which is bad, it sort of detracts from the fairly ethereal feeling the actual movie has.
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People who added this item 2275 Average listal rating (1533 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 0
This movie is terrible.

I love it.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.5
I Kill Giants (2017)
Here's a cool tween fantasy movie with a good message. It tugs at your heartstring a bit too aggressively towards the end when it starts spoon-feeding you said message, but before that it actually treats the viewer like a human being instead of whatever the hell the similar-ish, absolutely dreadful A Monster Calls did.
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People who added this item 1879 Average listal rating (1249 ratings) 4.9 IMDB Rating 0
A somewhat OK disaster movie gets marred by Shyamalan's tendency to make very weird comedy out of every scene. There's no tension anywhere and Mark Wahlberg is in a way the worst person you could cast for this part, but as a result, he's the only truly entertaining component in all of it and sort of saves the viewing experience.
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People who added this item 1327 Average listal rating (866 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 0
It is absolutely incredible that M. Night Shyamalan ever made another studio film after the sheer incompetence on display in the film-making of Lady in the Water.
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May

People who added this item 36 Average listal rating (20 ratings) 4.8 IMDB Rating 3.5
Laser Mission (1989)
I have a somewhat high tolerance towards racist stereotypes in dumb action movies due to watching Hong Kong movies. If you don't, don't expect to get as much out of Laser Mission as I did. Because boy oh boy, this movie stars Brandon Lee, Ernest Borgnine and a whole mess of Germans playing either Russians or Cubans (seemingly in brownface) wielding absolutely ludicrous accents. The best of this being the German-sounding Russians who put up German warning signs on their private property, the worst is absolutely a pair of Cuban soldiers who are clearly German and are real danger close to being part of a minstrel show with their look and vocabulary. Beyond that, the first 40 minutes of Laser Mission (a film with 0 lasers by the way) are perhaps perfect 80s film-making, featuring non-stop sax music, plenty of deadly encounters, very poorly edited dialogue scenes and the best music cues this side of CSI: Miami. After that it dies down a bit, but never reaches any particular doldrums as it picks up significant steam towards the end as the editing and action get more and more frenetic. A hidden gem, this one.
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You know, this movie is a lot more tolerable on a rewatch since you know you're walking into a 2½ hour wannabe Johnnie To gangster drama that happens to have an hour devoted to real good action scenes.
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There's not too many worse feelings than when you start a film and know exactly beat-for-beat what's going to happen in it within the first 15 minutes. This charmingly animated story about a kid who ends up in a home for abandoned children is exactly that. As a result, all those story beats feel very mild, fluffy. There's a clear attempt at creating a textured cavalcade of characters, but it doesn't pay out as an intriguing movie. My Life as a Zucchini is actually at it's best whenever no one is saying anything (though the voice acting is on-point!), but rather when it becomes a series of shots where abandoned children stare at children who are with their mothers. The animation style perfectly straddles the line between haunting and adorable during these sparse shots.
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I love musicals.

This is too much.

The songs are either very punchy or very sappy and they all have the same structure. It spends an offensive amount of time trying to make us love P.T. Barnum as an endorser of diversity, equality and love while never acknowledging or representing him the way he actually was. It's also a movie about how diversity is the greatest thing in the world. If you know the first thing about Barnum you might see a conflict there. And oh boy does that problem just ruin watching this movie despite the good cast and occasionally real fun choreography.
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People who added this item 3203 Average listal rating (2173 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
Re-watch with Giant Bomb's commentary. Still a very fun movie. Decent commentary, not their best.
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People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (142 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
A fun, moody breeze through a pretty forest. I really appreciate how even and steady Annihilation is as an experience in terms of pacing, even if it often doesn't inspire much more within me than the enjoyment of pretty pictures. I wish it leaned into the cosmic horror in ways that were a bit more subtle than two people standing around saying "Whoa look at this molecular body horror" but eh, take what you can these days.

PS. This features a very good use of the "future interrogation" as a narrative device since it manages to not actually sacrifice any intensity in the climax despite knowing who is in that interrogation.
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People who added this item 403 Average listal rating (304 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Raising my score from a three to a four on a rewatch. This is really, really good, because it nails two things that are pivotal in emotionally charged sports films:
1) The feeling of power within the athlete is greatly built up by surrounding him with people essentially fighting the same, self-destructive demons as he is. One will be engulfed by them to do what she has always loved, one must repel them to embrace a new kind of love. Coogler & Covington's wonderful script allows the athlete to grow in power through those close to him, and because it's written so well, you really feel that growth. As such the struggle, key to most sports films, within Creed, is not an external battle against the circumstances such as poverty, but a battle of the mind. And thus, infinitely more relatable.
2) It revolves around a relationship. Sports movies are the ideal way of portraying relationships because they provide a basis for a romantic relationship that makes both parties heavily involved while also remaining grounded to the point where you don't think it's unreal that these two are so involved with the facets of their significant others life.
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This movie doesn't do a lot with what it could play with but what it does it does very well so... it's good? Look, the video game angle is almost completely wasted – the characters have life counters, they respawn, and there are heavily scripted NPCs. That's literally it. What the video game narrative offers, though, is ye olde body switching gag, and they milk it real well. Jack Black is amazed at having a penis, Kevin Hart is short and doesn't like it, The Rock mostly stares at his own muscles and Karen Gillan is basically Cynthia Rothrock, so everyone sort of plays against type by playing exactly their type. It's weird, I know, but it works, and almost all of the jokes revolve around it, so it damn well better work.
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I might have had the slightest doubts about that Suspiria-remake Luca Guadagnino is working on, but then he made Call Me by Your Name which is such a pitch-perfect Rohmer-tribute that all my hope is there for him to pull it off.

Oh, and this movie is alright. It's still Rohmer-y and dude's easily my least favorite new wave director. Yeah, more than Chabrol.

OK maybe not more than Chabrol. Still. On the bright side it's all-around quite charming.
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People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (59 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 0
Look, I know I give Disney shit for appropriating cultures using their own white dudes to do it, but here's a Fox-animation based on a book a white dude wrote about Spanish bulls in the bullfighting circle that, to start with, is such complete horseshit I could never get over the sheer concept to actually enjoy anything this movie has to offer. So this bull (voiced by John Cena, the voice of Spain) wants to sniff flowers and gallop on open fields with his human owner but gets thrown into a bullpen from which bullfighters grab their opponents. After like 80 minutes of movie we get to the bullfighting scene which naturally ends the only way it could in a kids movie: John Cena humiliates the matador and the audience begs to let the bull live. And he does! Now, this is an actual thing; The audience can, with the approval of the person preciding over the events, pardon the bull in a bullfight, skipping the part where they stab a big sword into it's heart. However, it happens when the audience is beyond impressed with the bull's ability to withstand the pain of having six spears shoved into it's neck and whatnot. If the bull does what Ferdinand does here, or what he does in the book, that audience is sending him to the nearest restaurant because a Spanish bullfighting audience is there to see blood, sweat and pain. It's a masculine sport in the most traditional of senses, something to revel in the toughness of. And ain't one of those people waving that white handkerchief for a bull that does fuck all.

Because where the story goes is so stupid the Brazilian director (the only significant PoC in the entire crew/cast save for bit-parts in the voice actors) doesn't even bother trying to make a movie that would connect it to the real world, which makes the inclusion of real-life transportation like modern cars and trains all the more baffling. If it'd gone full-on fantasy it'd work better but it's a timely film. It's a weird call. I don't really know how you could ever pull this story off without significant changes.

Though I will say, not having John Cena and Kate McKinnon, two people I really do love, as the poster names for your movie about a Spanish bull would be a pretty great start because those people are both whiter than an early 90s SNL sketch.
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 4.3 IMDB Rating 5
Absolutely primo 90s horror schlock filmmaking. The editing and style is incredibly on-point. Whenever the 90s reach that same fever-pitch of nostalgia the 80s have, this'll be in high demand. Stock-full of offensive, great, terrible lines (and line-reads), The Granny runs super smoothly through the 85 minutes it takes to tell the decade-spanning tale of a granny whose greedy relatives kill her only to have her come back as an avenging demon. It often makes no sense but the characters are so fun and they spout such bullshit that it absolutely never matters.
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Lesley Gilb is a treasure as the proverbial lady Dracula in this movie, but uhh. What the hell is everything else here? So, the lead, a girl named Lila Lee, is almost sexually assaulted by every adult man she encounters during the first 20 minutes, then plague zombies attempt to eat her but she's saved by vampires lead by Gilb's Lemora, who instead of having vampire brides has vampire kids because she's a woman, then she spends an hour seducing Lila Lee leading up to a final confrontation. Everything during that one hour save for a plague zombie attack that ends with shattered glass and a face on fire is pretty boring, but the climax kicks it up a notch with a fun duel of wits between the two women.

It's kind of a shame the movie is heavily colored by the full-on pedophilia of the opening 20 because the rest is kind of fun when it isn't boring, and the music throughout is very enjoyable. The story doesn't make sense since there is a lot of missing footage that has never been recovered but I guess that's what happens when you make a movie about seducing kids? Anyhow, when Lemora is crazy, it's great, but when it isn't, well, it isn't great either, and it's very clearly a vampire-rehash written by men that just kind of happens to have a lady lead vampire because that justifies some of the more gross seduction? Which in turn makes it more gross? Ehhhhh.
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A somewhat flabby comedy about the making of The Room that mostly hangs on how funny you find a pretty good Tommy Wiseau -impression, which is kind of a shame because there's an actual movie waiting to be made within that book that doesn't come out here in particular.
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February

People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (139 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.6
I, Tonya (2017)
There's something in the domestic abuse angle here but I find it kind of at odds with the rest of the film, being mostly about of bumbling criminals, ice skating, and making sure everyone gets their voices heard. Sure, they're all abuse in one form or another, but what could be a strong narrative gets tarnished by the supposed objectivity of the script despite the fact that it's far from objective to begin with. Since they lean very heavily on a certain interpretation of all this (which you kind of have to), I don't know why they wouldn't just, you know, lean heavier, give it a 110% instead of 90%. That 10% really nags away at me.

PS. Paul Walter Hauser should've been nominated. Such nuance.
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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (37 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 0
Functional isn't the word I'd like to use when speaking of horror films. This is exactly that. There are a scarce few creepy moments but nothing worth sitting through 105-minutes of mostly not-particularly-exciting exposition. The music in particular is a weird mishmash that fails any mood the rest of this movie tries to build up. And it goes a few ways! You've got your paranoia thriller, your average haunting horror and an early 90s nostalgia trip to Spain. It kinda pulls off the last part but doesn't focus enough on the rough drunkards littering the streets for it to be enjoyable for, again, 105 minutes.
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People who added this item 708 Average listal rating (520 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Enjoyed this more on second viewing as I had kind of accepted that yeah, the writing is mostly poor and such a cynical riff on Cherbourgh, but just watching it for cute people, great HDR, good music and good choreography? That's quite alright.
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People who added this item 29 Average listal rating (279 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
As someone who gets misty-eyed for Moana's way of discussing remembering those who came before you the heavy-handed handling of the subject in Coco was a bit much. It's still good. Dunno how much I enjoy this concept of Disney making movies about other cultures without much participation of members of them but hey, they're doing it regardless.
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There's a very nice, even distribution of things in The Shape of Water which makes it a very, very enjoyable fairy tale. It isn't GDT's best and kind of lacks a clear emotional journey but hey, I'll watch Sally Hawkins act this well any day of the week. Bestiality is also certainly a message I can get b... uhm
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People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (209 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Lady Bird is a movie through which you re-experience all the classic hijinks you experienced when you were a teenager.

I never had these experiences so I mostly come to these to appreciate the good acting and occasionally funny situations. It's OK for that.
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People who added this item 26 Average listal rating (160 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.6
It's one of these adaptations. Branagh acts circles around everyone which carries it. The execution could do with a bit more punch, wit or both.
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People who added this item 84 Average listal rating (217 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Black Panther is why my self-imposed no-half-stars rule is problematic. I give four stars to a blockbuster that is really, really good. I can't call Black Panther a masterpiece which would be five stars. But it is an exceptional movie. It is the definition of my four-and-a-half. But I can't go to five. This is why I've decided to coin a new phrase: "Watch the tips, not the pips." Eg. read my comments, don't look at the scores. Here's my detailed comment:

This is fucking great and Coogler's best movie and features Marvel's best-written single character.

Finnish review here: www.laajakuva.com/black-panther-2018/
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (51 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.3
The Ritual (2017)
Stick with the Anno-movie.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 4
Come for dirty jokes, get disappointed at the relative lack of them (replaced with general biology chatter among young ladies which I guess is funny for some people?), then stay for Jennette McCurdy being a fucking star with no good material. I do like a healthy relationship portrayal with teens and that scene where the two cops argue about what color car they're chasing is good but beyond that, eh. Leave it.
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A totally fine sci-fi action romp with grand adventure in mind. Takes minor beatings from not having a particularly clear throughline since the McGuffins change ever fifteen minutes, and from Dane DeHaan not being what this character should sometimes be. The first doesn't annoy me much since you know what is going on and why on a moment-to-moment basis which is what actually matters in a nonsense sci-fi actioner, and DeHaan is basically Bruce Willis without the ability to go to emotional extremes which means he works very well when he's supposed to be sincere and the movie should grant him the right more often. The action and visuals are a highlight and are real fun, as is the fact that this movie doesn't tease you with a will they/won't they chemistry as much as it does just plain lean on the former part of the equation. Also, Cara Delevingne is an incredibly charismatic screen presence and makes up for DeHaan's shortcomings.
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I kind of dislike how Kill List made familial murdering the ultimate litmus test for morality and similar directors to Wheatley just love milking it, often churning out something that just makes me hum that old System of a Down -song in my head where they go "It's a violent pornography." This movie has plenty of good moments, Colin Farrell crying is always the best crying in a movie, but man, it's total sociological porn achieved through violence, isn't it? I can sort of appreciate the construct but I don't think I actually like it.
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 5.2
The Outing (1987)
The Lamp (or The Outing if you're a fancy-pants dude with a blu-ray of it) starts off real strong with three hillbilly assholes murdering a granny and stealing her magic lamp. The genie in the lamp then murders them (one of them by having the granny, with a double-sided axe in her skull, pull the guy into her skull-axe!) and it's a lot of goofy fun. Then we have car chases, slapstick humor and a scene in a high school intersexual locker room where a bully threatens the school principal, using the N-word, followed by the principal asking him if he wants to feel some black power. The retort? A slavery line. It's one of those movies.

Eventually all the teens get locked into a museum with the genie killing them off. It's a lot of fun, especially in the end, when the bumbling dad has to hack a wireframe model of a lamp on a 1980s-ass computer to reveal how to kill the genie (pro-tip: break the lamp!) while the genie rips a big hole into the steel shutters separating the two. Oh, and the genie looks like a big-ass street shark, save for the shark part. That's a real good part.
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January

People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.7
I love a 110 minutes of The Florida Project and I hate that 1 minute in the end so much I dropped this down to three out of four. It is such a stylistic misfire. I get the point. It's hard not to. But for a movie filled with such wonderful magical realism without ever being magical at all, it's a pain for it to end the way it does.
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People who added this item 63 Average listal rating (79 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 0
There is so much to unpack in A Silent Voice I can't do it here. I don't know if I could, period. Some of the stuff to unpack doesn't give you much despite it being real hard to get done – the dichotomy of bullying most of all – but there's something very rewarding about a lot of it, especially as a portrayal of disability and anxiety. I wish it was simpler. I like how hefty it is but every issue is given a whole textbook worth of content and plotlines.
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I'm torn about this rating. It's great. But then it sometimes is too overtly emotional, a thing the previous movies kind of manage to avoid by being, on occasion, real cold. With the wacky sidekick and a cute kid thrown in, War feels like the most traditional of this prequel-trilogy.

I mean, it's still the best Hollywood-trilogy since Lord of the Rings, but I don't know if that says more about the quality of it or the lack of quality in it's competitors. This is an interesting entry that I'm sure will grow on me if I ever re-watch it, much like the prior two did. It has some real heavy subtext about us as viewers caring for apes when humans are dying and everything about Woody Harrelson is grim AF.
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People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6
Tragedy Girls (2017)
There is so much going for Tragedy Girls but they waste it all on this bottom-of-the-barrel, stock-ass script with nothing unique or special about it.
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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 5.5
Mom and Dad (2017)
Brian Taylor finally made a movie I really, deeply enjoyed. A terrific title sequence followed by an even more terrific movie. The screenplay and tone are feverish throughout, enough so to ensure that Taylor's trademark ADD-stylings fit every moment of it to a T. Cage and Blair are at their modern finest and deliver the occasionally surprisingly harrowing dramatic scenes about midlife crisis, failure of reconciliation with the futile and limited nature of our lifespans and societal roles with a really surprising grace. And when they become crazy murderers, it's even better!
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 4.6 IMDB Rating 6.4
Opening Night (2016)
This was not a particularly fun comedy, but Taye Diggs is a star and if this was just him being charismatic as hell on screen, doing sexy dance numbers, it'd be a five star movie. Instead it's that only like... 5% of the time.
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (110 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.7
I have seen Phantom Thread once and can only say that it is PTA's most beautiful film. I can't say anything else about it's content. After a second viewing I hopefully can. It's that kind of movie.
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (63 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
140 minutes of Sorkin-ass Sorkin works better than you'd expect but this is still rather fuddled and seems only to exist to feed his ego as he's strongly projecting on the protagonist. It's entertaining enough at times but eh. Finnish critique probably incoming.
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People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (101 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 0
For how derivative this movie is it still is worth commending for the amount of energy it imbues in the well-worn subject. Makes up for a lot of the less-than-great use of a high concept.
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People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (73 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 5.8
Jigsaw (2017)
Jigsaw does some interesting things in the context of being a sequel to the seventh outing in a franchise that was ran so thoroughly to the ground they stopped making them despite them still making money. The characters behave in a far more rational way than anyone ever does in these movies, and it doesn't rely as heavily on it's twist as every other movie in the franchise save for VI. It also strips away any discernible character the series had left – the moral quandaries are decidedly less about morals and more about being brave, the gore lacks any punch by being very outlandish and CGI-heavy, and the editing is so crystal clear it leaves nothing to the imagination.
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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
Halko (2016)
A Finnish short about an actor who struggles to decide whether he wants to flaunt his own massive johnson in front of the camera for a nude scene or use a very small stunt cock. The lady crew just laughs at both dicks. The actors are all great and sell the poor material to their best abilities. This is mostly notable for being shown 17 minutes after Finland's most popular evening kids show. Those kids sure got to see a big fake penis all up in their TVs if they stuck around for this. Hope their parents can read the damn program information in the future since this is about nothing but dicks and if you don't want your kids to see dicks you probably don't want to let them watch a short movie about them either.
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On the bright side they finally do something new with the tired-ass magical fantasy rules of this world. Other than that it's a Star Wars movie. You know what you're getting.

That fan petition about striking this from canon because Luke Skywalker "is no longer a hero" is mad funny though. Dude's more of one now than he ever was in those first three.
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 2.3 IMDB Rating 4.6
They took out the offensive rape jokes so that's something? But what's left is a plotless movie that revolves around a dead man having a big penis. It isn't good.
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SO UH. Last year at Listal. As ya'll can probably tell this isn't exactly the #1 site for movie aficianados but hey, you stick with what you can get. In 2011. Now, though? There are actual alternatives. So ya'll can catch me starting 2019 from Letterboxd since I finally imported all my ratings. For 2018 I'll be putting up stuff there as well as here. Here's a link: letterboxd.com/vierastalo/

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5 votes
BradWesley123's Television Journal- April 2018
37 item list by BradWesley123
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BradWesley123's Television Journal- February 2018
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7 votes 2 comments

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Comments

Posted: 3 months, 2 weeks ago at Jan 2 15:49
Tämä saa olla ainakin itselleni viimeinen vuosi kun täytän katseltuja leffoja tänne sivulle, enkä usko olevani ainoa?
Posted: 3 months, 2 weeks ago at Jan 2 19:07
Siirtyisin Letterboxdiin jos jaksaisin importata katselut sinne. Yritin joskus mutta en jaksanut kikkailla riittävän kauan.
Posted: 3 months ago at Jan 15 13:36
Mutta mitä tapahtui Pikku Kaupungin Pormestarille?
Posted: 3 months ago at Jan 15 13:58
Pikku Kau Pung In Por Mes Tarille ei kuulu hyvää
Posted: 3 months ago at Jan 15 14:03
Hitto.
Posted: 3 months ago at Jan 15 17:33
Voitais järjestää eduskuntatalon edessä mielenosoitus, jossa vaaditaan että pikkukaupungin pormestari pitää saada jälleen kuntoon.
Posted: 2 months, 1 week ago at Feb 12 18:05
Musta pantteri on hyvä karkkipussi.

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