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Added by the giraffe on 4 Aug 2019 08:43
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Movies the giraffe watched in 2019: August

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Noteworthy: The best films I saw this month

The breakdown: 27 films watched
24 first views, 3 re-watches
17 via streaming, 1 via DVD/BR, and 9 in the theatre
Decades touched: 1970s-2010s

I picked up Netflix this month, and everything I watched at home is on the streaming service (even The VVitch, though I watched my copy of it). I guess you could say I got my money's worth from it. This month had its ups and downs film-wise, but most of what I watched was at least worth sitting through once so that's good. I had intended to switch to Prime for September, but since I could only find 2 things I genuinely cared about watching over there and still had several films in my Netflix queue at the end of August I decided to stick with Netflix for one more month. Hopefully that proves to be as worthwhile. I tried to knock out all the horror films that were on there that I could this month, as next month I won't watch any horror unless it's on the big screen in order to better appreciate the joys of my annual Horrorfest.

Lots of theatrical releases this month I wanted to see, and I managed to catch almost all of them. And those were worthwhile as well, aside from the occasional audience members that suck. So yeah, August was good to me overall.
First viewing - Aug. 21st

This was my main reason for signing back up for Netflix this month, and I'm proud to say it delivered. In a better world it'd get a theatrical push and be up for animation awards at the end of the year, but hopefully it manages to snag a few anyway. Enter the Florpus captures everything that makes the Zim series great, and the kiddo and I laughed throughout the film. The animation looks even better than it did during its original run, and I loved it so much I left it in my queue so I can revisit it in the future.

After this we watched Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling, which was dull in comparison and suffers from its insistence on going meta instead of just creating a new story to tell. The kiddo bailed out before the midpoint, and I went back to finish it without her after she went to bed. Some of the jokes hit the mark, but mostly I was underwhelmed by it. And if you're wondering why I'm talking about it here, it's because the special has a bug here on Listal which prevents me from adding it to my list. I could come back later to add it, but odds are I won't remember to. (Rating: 6/10)
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People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 7.3
First viewing - Aug. 3rd

This is just a total crowd-pleaser and I couldn't help but enjoy it. The cast is excellent and drew me into the characters, plus the subject matter which could be rather dark is played mostly light in the most endearing ways. I wasn't as emotionally affected as I thought I might be, but I deeply appreciated the film and would gladly sit through it again.
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First viewing - Aug. 17th

André Øvredal remains one of my favorite genre filmmakers, which should tell you enough about this film. Now I never read the books it's adapted from, but I thought the film was excellent. For a PG-13 film the horror aspects were strong enough, and there are some rather unnerving moments. It just missed the mark of greatness, but I highly enjoyed it and would gladly watch it again.

My only complaint had nothing to do with the film itself, but a couple who were seated behind me and wouldn't shut up. Eventually I said something to them and they stopped, but it diminished my overall enjoyment.
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People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 6.7
First viewing - Aug. 25th

I was itching to see Ready or Not from the first time I saw most of a trailer for it earlier this year, so I jumped on the first chance I had to see it. And it's excellent all around. Samara Weaving is at her best, the rest of the cast is solid, and the film walks the balance between comedy and horror wonderfully. Best of all it's a takedown of the 1%, which I thoroughly appreciated. My only complaint is that it wasn't released in October, but rest assured at some point it'll be part of one of my Horrorfests.
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First viewing - Aug. 31st

Simply put I pretty much loved everything about The Peanut Butter Falcon. It's one of those little films that hits the right marks and I'd gladly sit through it again.
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People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 5.8
First viewing - Aug. 2nd

I began August with Psychokinesis, which I've been wanting to see ever since I found out it would be the follow-up to Train to Busan from Sang-ho Yeon. And while it's not as great as that film I wound up really enjoying it. I went in blind which meant it surprised me quite often with where it went, and overall I appreciated the story of this father trying to win back his daughter's favor, and it's got some really amusing moments. The cast is solid for the most part, though the villains are comically overdone which kinda worked but not all of the time. It's nothing I'd watch a million times, but I wouldn't mind watching it again.
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People who added this item 88 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.3
First viewing - Aug. 3rd

Much ado has been made about Apostle and since I had extra time on this Saturday night I figured I'd finally sit down with it. It's an interesting film, a slow burn which kept me intrigued as to where it's going. There's a hell of a villain here that was so well portrayed I wanted to scream at the TV until someone killed him (don't worry, I restrained myself). It's not without a few flaws, but overall I was entertained enough that I barely minded them. I'm glad I finally gave it a look.
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People who added this item 41 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5
First viewing - Aug. 4th

I'm a fan of Brie Larson's, so I was curious about this film which apparently is not well-liked. And after yet another mass shooting here in the States I needed something to watch that wouldn't require any gunplay, so this fit the bill. The premise is admittedly silly, but if you can just run with it I think it works out. And at least the film is something I haven't seen before. The cast is solid and I was entertained enough by the story overall. Which I guess puts me in the minority who enjoy it, and that's fine. It's not great, but I might even sit through it again down the road.
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First viewing - Aug. 11th

Neither the kiddo nor I had seen The Princess and the Frog, so I suggested we give it a shot. I liked it better than I'd expected to. It's your typical Disney princess movie, but it deserves some credit for finally giving us an African American princess (better late than never?). It's nothing revolutionary, but we both enjoyed it and if she wanted to revisit it I wouldn't argue against it.
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First viewing - Aug. 14th

Backcountry is fine. It delivers more or less what you'd expect from it, and doesn't try to do much beyond that. I couldn't stand the lead male character, and find it baffling that the lead female character makes some of the choices she does along the way. For example, she's better prepared for their trip through the forest than he is, but then when the bear attacks them she grabs one (useless) item from a backpack instead of taking the entire pack with her so she'd have more supplies. It did the job for what I wanted I guess, but I wouldn't need to sit through it again.
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First viewing - Aug. 16th

One of my co-workers is really into horror, and she had mentioned liking both this and the film I followed it up with. So I figured I'd pair them up on this Friday night and see how it went. Would You Rather is not an easy watch, because it's tasteless and more or less in the vein of the so-called "torture porn" genre. And the ending is totally predictable. Yet I found it worth sitting through once due mainly to the performances from the cast, especially Jeffrey Combs who is stellar in his role. So it wasn't a total loss, but I wouldn't sit through it again or recommend it to others.
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First viewing - Aug. 16th

I highly enjoyed the premise of this one, where the characters go in search of the Philosopher's Stone in the Paris catacombs. The setting gives the film a unique look that I also appreciated. My main issue with this one is the fact it's all shot with handheld and GoPro-style cameras, which means a lot of the time it's unclear what's going on despite it giving you a true sense of being there with the characters. It also calls into question how we're seeing what's going on because this is a horror movie and thus not everyone makes it out alive. If it's found-footage, then who recovered it? Still, I thought it was worthwhile though I doubt whether I'd sit through it again.
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First viewing - Aug. 17th

Overall I really enjoyed this one. The friendship between the titular characters makes it worthwhile with both Eastwood & Bridges playing well off one another, and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of humor in it. My only complaint is the ways women are depicted throughout the film, as none of them are treated with any respect. Aside from that, however, I liked the film and might even watch it again some time.
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First viewing - Aug. 19th

I mostly enjoyed The Edge of Seventeen. The cast is wonderful and I thought the writing was pretty sharp. It's fun and heartfelt, and while I don't think it's great I'd gladly sit through it again.

Just a thought: At one point I observed that Erwin looks like he's about 30, and turns out that's 100% accurate (the actor playing him was born in 1985).
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People who added this item 115 Average listal rating (76 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.6
First viewing - Aug. 20th

Burning popped up on a bunch of critics' lists of best films for 2018, so I've been curious to check it out. And while it's got some really good moments I can't say I understand what all the fuss is about. I found it to be overlong and lacking anything to really make it resonate with me. The cast does a great job, but I struggled to care about the characters and the story despite the fact it held my curiosity enough that I was able to sit through it all. Perhaps it's just not my taste.
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People who added this item 1873 Average listal rating (1137 ratings) 4.7 IMDB Rating 5.5
First viewing - Aug. 22nd

The kiddo wanted to watch Spy Kids with me, which she's seen before. I had zero interest in it at the time of its release, and now that I've seen it I feel like I was right to ignore it. The action sequences are laughably bad and obviously fake, and when you're laughing at a film instead of with it that's not a good thing. One thing that surprised me, however, is that Machete is in this which I guess makes his films a spin-off from this series. The story is ridiculous, but then this is clearly aimed at kids more than adults. At least it's got a decent message about the importance of keeping a family together, but overall it's kind of a trainwreck and thus shocking that it spawned multiple sequels. I just hope she doesn't insist on making me sit through any of them.
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People who added this item 108 Average listal rating (79 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 5.7
First viewing - Aug. 23rd

If you want a truly good and worthwhile shark movie that's recent, go watch The Shallows instead of this.
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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6
First viewing - Aug. 23rd

I appreciated the approach to this film, but holy hell does the story drag along. I kept falling asleep during the last half of the movie, and then I'd wake up, back it up, and try to soldier on through to the end only to do it all again. Aside from the pacing, the film is fine. I wouldn't need to sit through it again, and probably the only thing that'll really stick with me is a joke told near the beginning that I laughed heartily at.
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First viewing - Aug. 30th

Patrick Swayze double feature


To Wong Foo... is one of those films that I had zero interest in at the time of its release, but have heard generally positive things about over the years. That's part of the beauty of these streaming services, because you can check out a film that you have only a passing interest in and it doesn't cost you anything but your time. And overall it's fine. Swayze and Snipes keep the film worth watching, and I dug the overall message and this story about three drag queens improving the lives of the people in a small town they get stuck in. Add to the movie's favor too that it never makes a joke of the queens at its center, and treats them and the women they encounter with respect. Leguizamo grates on my nerves, however, and a lot of the comedy fails to elicit even a chuckle, so it falls short of greatness in my book. But I'm glad I finally gave it a chance.
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People who added this item 441 Average listal rating (304 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.5
Road House (1989)
First viewing - Aug. 30th

Patrick Swayze double feature


Actually this was technically my second viewing of Road House, but given that I remembered almost none of what happens I'm counting this as a first view. I know back in the early '90s I spent the night at a friend's house & he put this on for us to watch, but either I paid fleeting attention to it or it failed entirely to stick with me.

Now it's possible that the latter is the case because I wouldn't call this a great film by any means. It's solidly entertaining for an '80s action movie, but also fairly predictable and some parts just felt pointless or repetitive. Watching Swayze's Dalton fight the same group of guys over and over again with none of them showing visible injuries the next time they pop up is one example of the repetition. The few women in the film seem to only be present as sex objects, which is troubling. And just because that's how these movies worked at the time doesn't mean it's OK. Still, I was entertained enough that I felt it was worth watching once.

Just a thought: The character above with Dalton was easily my favorite in the entire movie.
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People who added this item 491 Average listal rating (363 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 6.8
Re-watch - Aug. 31st

With Robert Eggers's The Lighthouse on the horizon (no pun intended) I decided to finally revisit The VVitch. This time I watched it with subtitles which helped ensure I caught all of the dialogue and was much appreciated. Other than that enough has been said by far more articulate people than me about this film which is still great all around. It wound up being a good way to end out the month.
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Big screen attractions

Films I caught in a theatre
Re-watch - Aug. 3rd

After much debate I decided to revisit Once Upon a Time in Hollywood sooner rather than later (the deciding factor was being able to attend a screening with comfier seats than last time, a luxury I figured won't last through the end of the month). And I'm glad I did as I wound up appreciating the film more on the second round. Aspects that felt overlong on my first viewing didn't feel as tedious this time, and I wound up really warming up to the friendship at the center of the film. I'm still not sure that the Tate/Manson aspects are truly necessary to tell the tale, but I have a better understanding I think of what QT is going for in that respect and thus they worked better for me. It's still probably my least favorite of his films, but at least this time I walked out feeling more positively toward it. Maybe if I watch it enough I'll change my tune, but for now it falls just shy of greatness despite having some great moments.
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People who added this item 63 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 7.3
First viewing - Aug. 10th

This was the only theatrical release this month that the kiddo wanted to see, so I agreed to take her. Evidently she's quite a fan of Dwayne Johnson based on the few films of his she's seen and thus if it's not rated R I may have to take her to see it. Dude's got charisma and I like him fine, but he's far from a personal favorite. Anyway, this was a solid action film overall. The comedy side falters more often than it succeeds however, and the action set-pieces fall far short of anything in the Mission: Impossible series, but it manages to be solidly entertaining despite its flaws. I wouldn't need to watch it twice, but I don't regret sitting through it.
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First viewing - Aug. 17th

Evidently most of the backlash against this film come from people who read the book first and aren't happy with the adaptation. I've never read the book, so I can't compare the two which is probably why I enjoyed it well enough. The cast is solid, and I was entertained throughout. It's nothing I'd watch a million times, but I also wouldn't mind revisiting it down the road.
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People who added this item 3770 Average listal rating (2221 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.4
Re-watch - Aug. 18th

When I found out I could see Apocalypse Now in IMAX I jumped on the opportunity immediately. They screened it twice for the film's 40th anniversary, and it was the "Final Cut" of the film which runs just over 3 hours. Now I'd only watched the theatrical version before and only once because of the time commitment it requires. And so most of the "Final Cut" was very familiar to me, the exception being an extended scene with a group of French people who our main crew runs across. Said scene was fine, but far from necessary in my book. Anyway, it was quite a treat to see this on the big screen as the picture and sound were just stellar and the audience was very respectful.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.7
First viewing - Aug. 31st

Luce landed on my radar after I kept seeing praise for the performance from Kelvin Harrison Jr.. And the praise is justified, because he's excellent in his role. There's a lot going on in this film that I'm still processing, but the rest of the cast deserves credit too and the story is quite engrossing. If you're looking for a drama that'll leave you with ideas to discuss and consider after it ends, give this one a look.
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