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Added by the giraffe on 2 Jun 2018 04:19
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Movies the giraffe watched in 2018: June

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Noteworthy: The best films I saw this month

The breakdown: 26 films and 1 short film watched
21 first views, 6 re-watches
11 via streaming, 10 via DVD/BR, and 6 (including the short) in the theatre
Decades touched: 1930s, 40s, 50s, 70s, 90s, & 2010s

I guess June was a pretty good month. The films I enjoyed least even had their merits, and I don't think there's anything here I completely regret sitting through. I made it to the theatre to catch everything I wanted to see that found its way here, which is always a plus. I'm noticing however that a lot of the smaller indie movies I'd like to see tend to not get any screen time, and that's largely due to the loss of my favorite theatre to new owners. I have no doubt that if it hadn't changed hands I would've been able to see The Endless or Mohawk or Under a Silver Lake already this year. The Endless and Mohawk have now been released for home viewing, and I'm hoping the latter just hasn't turned up here yet but also doubtful it'll arrive at all. I guess I could make a road trip elsewhere to see these films, but it seems silly to do so rather than wait to see them at home. Ah well.
People who added this item 71 Average listal rating (47 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.4
First viewing - June 10th

Of the three films I saw in the theatre this weekend, this was the most important one. Mr. Rogers had a huge impact on me as a child, and I was impressed by how well it has held up when I've watched episodes with my daughter. So naturally I wanted to check this out, and there's a clear purpose to the doc beyond just exploring Fred Rogers's career in television. It's the kind of documentary we (Americans especially) need right now, with messages as important and timely and life-affirming as the Paddington films. I loved everything about it, and I'll gladly revisit it once every 10 or so years to remind myself why.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.8
First viewing - June 22nd

I recall seeing ads for Lost in London when it came out, but I failed to catch it for its single-night broadcast. So when I saw I could stream it I jumped on it immediately. And it's completely worth seeing. It's all shot in one take, which is damn impressive, and I've always liked Woody Harrelson who delivers an excellent performance all around here. The fact that he starred in this, wrote it, and directed it makes it even more impressive. I'd love to have a physical copy of this with a behind-the-scenes look at how they pulled it off, because it can't have been easy.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 539 Average listal rating (316 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7
Gilda (1946)
First viewing - June 24th

And here's another film whose leading man plays a role that's strongly suggested isn't heterosexual. Glenn Ford's character seems to be bisexual here, which kept the central love triangle really interesting. Even without that, however, the dialogue between these characters and the overall story are so strong and well-executed that I was deeply engaged with the entire film. And yes, Rita Hayworth is both an excellent actress and beautiful to look at. It's no surprise we still know her name all these years on. I really enjoyed Gilda overall, and anticipate I'll be seeing it again.
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Home viewings

People who added this item 7129 Average listal rating (5094 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3
Men in Black (1997)
Re-watch - June 2nd

It's been a while since I last watched Men in Black, and the kiddo had never seen it so we watched it together. Aside from being totally creeped out by D'Onofrio's performance she enjoyed it, and even repeated some of her favorite lines from it. I still find the film to be solidly fun and entertaining, and for the first time I realized David Cross was in it which means I haven't watched it since before I started appreciating his work.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 6465 Average listal rating (4517 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.9
The Mask (1994)
Re-watch - June 3rd

I'm not sure how long it's been since I last watched The Mask either, though much like Men in Black a lot of it has stuck with me over the years. The kiddo enjoyed this one too, and Milo the dog was easily her favorite part of the entire movie followed by the dance routines. It's still entertaining enough, and quite a few moments make me laugh.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 165 Average listal rating (112 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.3
Keanu (2016)
First viewing - June 5th

I was curious about Keanu back when it came out, but from the trailers it didn't look like anything I'd pay to see. Being able to stream it at home for nothing was therefore safe, and overall it was a decent watch. While it's clearly an action-comedy, the tone didn't feel consistent to me and some of the humor fell flat. But I liked the characters well enough, and the humorous moments that did work for me made it worthwhile. I doubt I'd ever need to watch it again, but I don't regret catching up with it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 250 Average listal rating (196 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 6
First viewing - June 7th

I've gotta say, Election Year is kind of a mixed bag. On the one hand I appreciated the exploration of the world that the series exists in, as it pulls back to give us an even bigger picture than the previous entries did. It also gets points for having a trio of characters whose relationship helps elevate the film by giving it a heart. On the other hand, it's not as focused as Anarchy is. There are a lot of detours to try and show what's going on with nameless supporting characters that adds some color but mostly serves as a distraction from the parts of the film that actually matter. And with all the bouncing around between various groups it loses some of its potency, whereas a narrower focus would have made the whole thing more worthwhile. It feels like it wants to do more than it can in a satisfactory way, but rather than scaling down a little it just plods on regardless. And sure, there are some really good moments along the way, but by the end I was struggling to care about what had happened.

Now I understand there's another entry in the franchise scheduled for release next month. After sitting through these three films, I can't say I'm enthusiastic about a fourth entry, much less one that's a prequel. And from what I've seen in the trailer it'll mainly be following some people who figure out what's going on as the first night unfolds, which means a bunch of rehashing of what we already know. This sounds like a huge misstep, but maybe I'm wrong. I'll be keeping an eye out to see what others think about it, but at this point it's very unlikely I'll bother with it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 2498 Average listal rating (1709 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
Halloween (1978)
Re-watch - June 8th

Did you see the new Halloween trailer? Holy shit. I've been skeptical ever since it was first announced, but it looks like they'll be delivering the goods for the first time in ages. I mean, the damn trailer left me with goosebumps, and I can't recall the last trailer from the series that did that (if any). I'm totally on board with the new one. And while my excitement continued to run along over the new film, I figured it was a good night to revisit the original...which is a stone cold classic and excellent all around, as I'm sure you know.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 173 Average listal rating (121 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.7
Ferdinand (2017)
First viewing - June 9th

The kiddo & I were supposed to see Ferdinand in the theatre, but the timing never worked out. On this night I was asked to babysit her & her step brother, so I put this on for all of us to watch together. It's a cute movie, but nothing especially outstanding. There are some very amusing moments, and some really stupid stuff too (like there evidently being only one place that keeps bulls in the entire area, and I say area because the actual geography is never really clear). On the upside it has a positive message, and my daughter really enjoyed it, so it was time well-spent. Just don't expect me to go out of my way to revisit it without her.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 253 Average listal rating (186 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.5
First viewing - June 11th

Here's another Stephen King adaptation I can't compare to the source material, but I really enjoyed it. It's a dark, twisted little film that's occasionally tough to hang with but kept me guessing until the end. There are some creepy and gory moments that I appreciated, and it took me a little while to unwind from it so I could sleep without expecting one character in particular to invade my dreams. I'm not sure the ending entirely works for me, but overall I'm glad I gave it a look.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 14th

I had pretty low expectations for this one. I think it was only in theatres here for like a week and the reviews were mixed. Add to that the fact that it's based off a Neil Gaiman short story that's pretty forgettable, and you've got a movie I fully expected to turn off without finishing. I gave it a chance, however, just to see what they'd do with Gaiman's ideas (I am a fan of his, even if his short story left no lasting impression on me) and wound up being pleasantly surprised. I suspect that this will eventually amass a cult following as people discover it, and I'll gladly be a part of its supportive fanbase. It's not great, but it's got enough heart and memorable visuals that make it completely worthwhile. I enjoyed the central relationship and the story created around it, and the characters are ones I'd spend time with again. I wasn't crazy about some of the stylistic visual flourishes and camerawork, but thankfully the rest of the film managed to outshine its flaws. I wouldn't watch it over & over, but I'll gladly watch it again down the road.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 8089 Average listal rating (5897 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8.2
Re-watch - June 16th

This was the kiddo's pick, and she unwisely chose to watch it after dinner. She initially mocked the stated reason it's PG-13, which is "Intense Science Fiction Terror", telling me that the phrase made no sense as Sci-Fi isn't real & thus can't induce terror. She changed her tune as the film went along, which amused me even more. The raptors definitely scared her, and the T-Rex did a little too. She was pretty wound up by the end of it, so we watched some of the behind-the-scenes features so she could see how they brought the dinos to life & it helped her calm down. She certainly enjoyed the film despite it scaring her, and the next day she kept singing the theme from it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 558 Average listal rating (423 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.6
Re-watch - June 17th

After we got home from seeing Incredibles 2 we had a couple hours to kill before going to her mom's for dinner, so I put on Skull Island for her. She really enjoyed it, and spent most of the film cheering on Kong. She's now almost as excited as I am for the Kong vs. Godzilla movie that's coming up. I still think it's just as good as it was the first time I saw it. Not a great film but solid fun from start to finish, and I dig what they did overall.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 101 Average listal rating (52 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 4.9
First viewing - June 18th

I haven't read Fahrenheit 451 since high school, and to be honest I've mostly forgotten it. That's probably for the best as it allowed me to approach this adaptation with no real expectations. I appreciated the ways it updated the story to include more modern technology, though I thought it was a misstep to lead with them burning hard drives instead of books since it lacks the same impact. The acting is solid all around, and I thought the tone was pretty consistent. I was entertained by it, but it's nothing I'd need to sit through again.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 19th

OK, so I am not at all the target audience for this movie. I hate modern pop music, I'm not a fan of Lonely Island, and I haven't enjoyed much of anything that's come out of SNL since the '90s ended. But I've seen so much praise for Popstar that I decided to give it a chance. I'll concede that there are some really funny moments here, but it wound up being between 1/4 and 1/3 of the film for me. A lot of the humor failed to connect with me beyond my recognizing that what I'm seeing or hearing is supposed to be funny. Luckily the film is brief and while it's nothing great the story kept me engaged enough that I was able to sit through it. Sure it's obvious from the start where it's going, but it's more about the journey than the destination and the journey was entertaining enough for a single viewing.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.5
Downrange (2017)
First viewing - June 22nd

Downrange comes to us from the man behind Versus, Ryuhei Kitamura. And while I didn't care much for his other films No One Lives or Midnight Meat Train, this one finally delivered. It's intense from start to finish, and has a streak of very black comedy to it. The acting is good for a bunch of nobodies, even if there's not much character depth. There's just enough digging into the main characters that you do care whether they'll survive, and I was never sure how the film would play out. I'm glad I watched it, and if you've got access to Shudder you should totally check it out.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 80 Average listal rating (49 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.3
First viewing - June 23rd

I stopped into the library to pick up some older films because there's far too many recent ones on this list, but when I spotted The Lure I had to pick it up too. I've seen quite a bit of praise for it, so I was hoping I could back that up & maybe have a new, under-the-radar favorite. Well, not so much. I appreciate the approach to what's basically the Little Mermaid story, and I'll concede it's truly different. The acting and effects are really good, and the visuals are often quite impressive. I didn't realize going into it that it's a musical film, and thus encountered my usual struggles with this approach which I'm not convinced fully works in the film's favor. Overall it's an interesting spectacle, but nothing I'd bother with again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 6.2
First viewing - June 23rd

This was the only other recent release I picked up from the library, and I'd been wanting to see it because I'm a long-time fan of Demetri Martin thanks to his stand-up specials. He wrote, directed, and stars in Dean, and I can confidently say that if you're also a fan of his stand-up routines then this will absolutely be worthwhile. The film serves as an amusing and heartfelt look at dealing with loss, and takes the fresh approach of exploring how the impact of losing someone can still linger a year later. The cast is terrific, and it had plenty of surprises for me along the way. I really enjoyed it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 257 Average listal rating (150 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
First viewing - June 24th

After doing my chores at home I settled in to watch some movies. I kicked off my run with Little Caesar, the film that turned Edward G. Robinson into a star. And of course he's excellent as the titular gangster whose rise and fall is the center of the film. What I found most interesting though is that it's strongly suggested throughout the film that he's a homosexual. That's pretty risky given when the film came out, but I guess since it's never openly discussed they were able to get away with it. The rest of the cast is solid, and while it's certainly a film worth seeing I don't know that I'd go out of my way to revisit it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 552 Average listal rating (347 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9
East of Eden (1955)
First viewing - June 25th

Since I've seen James Dean's other two major roles I figured I should check out the one I hadn't seen yet. East of Eden is easily my least favorite of his three films, but that doesn't mean it's not worth watching. I appreciated the story, especially the fact that I was rarely able to predict where it was going. Dean's performance here kept making me think of Brando when he was younger, their mannerisms and vocal delivery are similar in some ways. It never crossed the line to greatness for me, but I'm glad I finally caught up with it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 141 Average listal rating (104 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
Blood Father (2016)
First viewing - June 28th

I've been curious about Blood Father ever since PvtCaboose91 sang its praises. And while I can't argue with his points about what makes the film worthwhile, I also wasn't as excited by the film as he was. Which is fine. It's a solid film all around, but as he also mentions in his review it needed a few more scenes or some added attention to the scenes that exist to really propel the emotional side of the film and make it hit home. That worked against the film I felt, which means I'm not likely going to sit through it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 859 Average listal rating (576 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.1
The Muppets (2011)
Re-watch - June 29th

The kiddo chose to watch The Muppets before bed on Friday night, and I'd wanted to revisit it since it's been a few years now. I still love this movie, and it's safe to say she appreciated it more this time around than she has in the past. She definitely caught more of the gags. And while I didn't plan to end the month with this film at least it allowed me to end my movie run on a good note.
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Films I caught in a theatre
People who added this item 314 Average listal rating (225 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
First viewing - June 9th

I had three films I wanted to catch this weekend, and kicked off my run with Upgrade. It's a total blast. Those who wonder what Cronenberg might do in body horror with today's technology will be very pleased. It would also fit in with Black Mirror. And while these thoughts occurred to me while watching it, I spent more of the film engrossed in the story and enjoying where it was going. And despite his uncanny resemblance to Tom Hardy, Logan Marshall-Green shows he has the acting chops to pull off leading roles and isn't just some lookalike. I'm looking forward to watching this one again.

See also: PvtCaboose91's review
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 538 Average listal rating (400 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
First viewing - June 9th

I wouldn't go so far as to claim Hereditary is the scariest horror film in ages, but it's definitely got some scares to deliver. I appreciated the fact that the trailers gave an incomplete picture of what I was getting without setting any false expectations, and that's as vague as I can be. I'm not giving anything away here. The acting is stellar across the board, and I really dug the various design choices. I had a few issues with the film, however, which kept it from winning me over like it has some people. But overall it's well worth your time, especially if you enjoy horror movies.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 98 Average listal rating (84 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.5
Bao (2018)
First viewing - June 17th

Bao is the short that preceded Incredibles 2. I like these shorts that tell a story without dialogue, and it was pretty good overall.

Just a thought: I couldn't help feeling like we need more non-white creative teams from Pixar getting the feature-length films instead of just shorts, but hopefully they'll continue moving in that direction given Coco's success.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 606 Average listal rating (463 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 7.6
Incredibles 2 (2018)
First viewing - June 17th

I kicked off Father's Day by catching Incredibles 2 in XD with the kiddo and we had a blast with it. I liked how it picked up where its predecessor ends, and there are some truly wonderful moments throughout the film. It never reaches the greatness or heights of the first film, but it's a solidly entertaining sequel that didn't disappoint me. I'm sure we'll watch it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 187 Average listal rating (140 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.5
Tag (2018)
First viewing - June 23rd

I managed to catch Tag for $4, so it was more or less worth it. I could just as easily have waited to stream it though, but I was in the mood for something fun & it delivered. Watching these men play tag and interact with each other is pretty amusing, and I dig how it's based off a group of actual people who do this. It gets a little ridiculous at times, but then it's a comedy. There were some touches I found more annoying that worthwhile, but if you want something that's kinda mindless yet fun this might work for you. I doubt I'd watch it again, but I don't regret seeing it once.
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