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Films Watched in 2020| Bml93

Movie list created by Bml93 Avatar

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People who added this item 101 Average listal rating (69 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 6
The Taking (2014)
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Not as bad as some people on a certain political side would lead you to believe, nor is it as good as people on the other political side claims it to be. It's somewhere in the middle. A film that falls prey to its own structure and inspirations. The last act is enjoyable, with some well-directed action sequences, but the road to get there is pretty dire. Like a mix of DEADPOOL and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, it unfortunately lacks the wit and character work of both of them to be fully successful. Employing a lot of flashbacks and narration from Margot Robbie, the film effectively kills all momentum whenever it decides to break the fourth wall and pointlessly tell you something that you didn't need to be told in such a manner. The supporting cast is good, but they're given very little to do and every one of them feels criminally underused. To the point that when they finally team up, you don't fully believe in it. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a potential scene stealer, but her character is so thin that it's barely anything. Ewan McGregor is delivering a gloriously campy performance as the villain, but even he feels underutilized (and he could have used the mask more).

This would be more forgiving if the film fully delivered upon its emancipation of Harley Quinn. Yet somehow I feel like the film can't truly accomplish that without the presence of Joker - and to solely rely on the existence and memory of SUICIDE SQUAD - is quite simply not enough. You need to see her truly break free from him for it to be as powerful and emotionally satisfying as it should be.

That being said, I love the look of the film.
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People who added this item 412 Average listal rating (295 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.6
Parasite (2019)
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People who added this item 1228 Average listal rating (847 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5
The Conjuring (2013)

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People who added this item 1478 Average listal rating (1019 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.2
The Descent (2005)

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People who added this item 29 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 3 IMDB Rating 4.1
The Grudge (2020)

It's a bit of a jumbled mess. But it does try to do something that in theory could be interesting. It jumps back and forth in time to show how different type of people have been in contact with the grudge and how it all lead up to whatever is happening in present day. The thing that they all have in common though, is that they each have some sort of tragedy in their life. A couple is having a baby that will most likely be born with ALD, an older man is looking into assisted suicide for his wife due to her illness, and the main character is a widower and single mother, after her husband died of cancer. The filmmakers could have taken these elements and tried to say something thematically interesting about grief, fear, death, trauma and whatever else you could squeeze out of it.

Instead they have rather sloppily weaved it all together through a bunch of lazy jump scares with the most generic form for horror sound design, and none of the things that the film ever so slightly introduced are given any pay-off. It's all just tossed in there, mixed around and puked out in the most ugly way possible. It's such a shame to see that so many horror directors continuously fail to understand that spooky CGI-imagery alone are not scary. You need that human emotional connection for it to work, and it is not enough to just introduce it. You need to develop it and let it grow.

So in terms of story, THE GRUDGE could have been a bit more interesting than what it ultimately turned out to be. Unfortunately the filmmakers didn't jump at their chance. So what we're left with is a horror film that becomes frustratingly boring, confusing and dumber the longer it carries on - and one can't help but think that its horror tropes are bit too dated by now.
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People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.8

Those first twelve minutes of THE MUMMY'S TOMB left such a sour taste in my mouth that it was impossible for me to enjoy the reminding 48 minutes of it. Dedicating so much time in such a short film to a flashback that just shows complete scenes from its predecessor, which essentially added nothing more of value than what they could have gotten by just throwing in a quick line instead, is such a cynical way to stretch this out to feature length. It shows a complete lack of imagination - and that lack of imagination is deeply carried through the rest of the film as it plays out just like THE MUMMY'S HAND only on a different location instead.
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People who added this item 366 Average listal rating (251 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.1
The Mummy (1932)

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People who added this item 194 Average listal rating (131 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7

Such a rewarding film experience. Combining cosmic horror elements with Greek mythology into a hypnotically mesmerizing descent into madness. Further viewings are required to get a more complete understanding of it, but I'll take great pleasure in doing so, as I loved every second of what I saw.
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People who added this item 357 Average listal rating (199 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4

It's sweet and beautifully animated, but I found the story and characters to not be as engaging as I hoped for.
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While watching it, I sort of felt that the novelty of Lego films has worn off. It felt uninspired - sorely lacking the amount of creativity and wit that made the first LEGO MOVIE such a blast.
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People who added this item 207 Average listal rating (143 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.4
1917 (2020)

Some people would probably say that this film is just gimmicky and all "style over substance". I would simply call it exceptionally good filmmaking.
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People who added this item 478 Average listal rating (335 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
Lady Bird (2017)

This was such a delightful slice of life. This film has emotion all over every frame of it, and not only through the journey of the titular character, but also from all the people in her life. When her first boyfriend broke down in tears, afraid after realizing that he's gay, I got tearful. When her dad's depression came to light, I got tearful. When her mother cried at the airport, I got tearful. When her best friend cried on the couch at prom night, I got tearful. So it's safe to say that there were a lot of tears. But that's what you get when a film manages to capture the complexity of everyday life in such a simplistic, yet equally delicate manner.
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People who added this item 100 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.6
The Two Popes (2019)

I would probably have liked it a tiny bit more if it ditched the documentary style of filmmaking (or fully committed to it). More than half of the film is composed of exaggerated shaky cam, zoom-ins that serves no dramatic purpose, news footage and mind-boggling jump cuts. If the whole film was like that, then it would be easier to accept as an attempt at creating something that feels real, natural and organic, in the style of a documentary. But when the filmmakers have decided to mix that storytelling device with a more traditional style of filmmaking - one that includes neatly framed images, steady wide shots, a lot of black & white flashbacks and so forth - the transition between those two often becomes a bit jarring.

That being said, for mostly being a film about two religious people talking, I found it to be deeply gripping. The dialogue is well-written, sharp, touching and at times genuinely funny. And it is elevated by two outstanding performances from Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins. They deserve all the critical praise that they've received for their work. It's at its best when it focuses on them discussing religious doctrine, faith and the place of Christianity in a more modern and liberal world. It's not as good when it goes into expository flashbacks to explore their backstories. Which is a bit unfortunate.

But yeah. This was solid, if only a bit uneven.
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People who added this item 195 Average listal rating (140 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.1

I feel blessed to live in a world in which we get to see Jon Hamm and Dakota Johnson in the same film. That being said, I can't say I got too invested into it. It's at least 40 minutes too long and as the film kept on going, that length really started to kick in. It might also have something to do with the fact that the finale isn't anywhere close to being as interesting as the opening act. It's a film that doesn't really succeed in carrying its structure the entire way, and it eventually crumbles under that attempt.
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People who added this item 254 Average listal rating (198 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.6

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People who added this item 132 Average listal rating (98 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 8.2
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Easily the best of the first trilogy of Pokémon films. It's a film that actually is about more than just shoddy visuals and spectacle. While never scraping too much below the surface, it's still a film that manages to deal with a child's loss, grief and tragedy in a manner that is emotionally resonating and to a certain extent (within this universe) believable - and unlike the first Pokémon film, it manages to carry its theme throughout the entire film.

Ash is still pretty much a nobody character, but everything else here is also slightly better. The battles are more engaging. Team Rocket is funnier. If they had explored the lore behind Unown even more, I would probably have really enjoyed it.
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People who added this item 471 Average listal rating (275 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.1

- Rewatched

The issue I have with the film is that I feel that nothing really happens in it. There's a lot of action in it (which is not helped by the poor animation), but it's all empty and weightless. There's nothing too it. It's just a lot of color, and nothing is given any importance, emotion or relevance.
I mean, it's a film that I really don't feel anything towards. Which is shocking, seeing as this is quite possibly the first film I ever saw in a cinema and I should have a lot of nostalgia for it. Lugia is even of my favourite Pokémon. Yet I can't find anything in the film that is even remotely engaging.

And that breaks my heart.
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The first 15 minutes or so are actually kinda interesting. Mewtwo, a Pokémon that was created by genetic manipulation, tries to figure out what's his place in this world is. What the meaning behind his existence is. If he only is there to serve humans or if he is meant for something bigger. It's all very basic and surface level stuff, but it opens up a way for some fascinating psychological and philosophical themes that would be way above what you would expect from a quickly tossed together Pokémon film.
The film doesn't go anywhere with it, and once the film's title has flashed on screen and we're introduced to Ash and his friends, the film is all downhill from there.

There is enough color and spectacle to dazzle and distract you throughout the film, even if the animation is a bit rough, but beyond some Pokémon rather awkwardly punching each other, there's not a lot to see here. Even for someone who has grown alongside Pokémon. And the less said about the ending (and the very odd montage with some really bizarre song choice) the better.
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People who added this item 4830 Average listal rating (3203 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
Juno (2007)

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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 2.3 IMDB Rating 5.8

These cheap ROSEMARY'S BABY-inspired possession films are quickly turning into my least favourite type of horror subgenre. It tries to capture a feeling of grief and sorrow that's supposed to build up an atmosphere of dread and hopelessness that will eventually lead into terror and scares, but the filmmaking and screenplay is so inept that the film even struggles to handle its own unoriginal premise. A regurgitated horror film that brings absolutely nothing new to the table, is shot in the dullest way possible and with characters that has their motivation change solely because of what the plot requires them to do. There's no sense of natural character development. No sense of what makes up a creepy atmosphere. No sense of how to build up a scary scene on its own and there's no sense of how to craft a story that is coherent in its own right. It's terrifyingly boring and insultingly dumb. Yet worst of all, it's a film that deals with heavy material that is ultimately about absolutely nothing. It's just an empty vessel of a film.
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People who added this item 132 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Booksmart (2019)

It is fine enough. There's a lot of style and energy to it, but it did take me a solid hour or so until I started caring for the characters and I didn't really think it was particularly funny up until that point either. I kinda feel like the film lacked some sort of agency and even some sort of variety in the personalities in the film, as most of the characters just feels like slightly altered versions of each other.
But then there was a nice shift in the film that made me a lot more emotionally invested than what I initially was. And then it started to get really good. Just a shame that I wasn't that in to it earlier.
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2020 Diaries I'm Following (14 lists)
list by Mackenzi
Published 2 months ago 1 comment
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Bml93's Film Journals (36 lists)
list by Bml93
Published 7 years, 2 months ago 1 comment



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