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Added by the giraffe on 6 Jun 2020 12:31
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Movies the giraffe watched in 2020: June

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Noteworthy: The best films I watched this month

The breakdown: 28 films watched
18 first views, 10 re-watches
22 via streaming, 4 via DVD/BR, and 2 in the theatre
Decades touched: 1940s, 60s - 2020s

This month had highs and lows, with more films than usual that I did NOT enjoy. That's to be expected at times though. Streaming options are keeping me going for the most part, but probably the best theatrical experience this month was getting to go to the drive-in. I don't know when theatres will be able to reopen and screen new films, though it seems foolish for them to reopen before we've got a vaccine for the Coronavirus that's mass produced. At least with the drive-in it's easier to maintain distance, and for a few hours I was even mostly able to forget about the situation we're in.
People who added this item 155 Average listal rating (118 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7
The Platform (2019)
First viewing - June 5th

If you haven't seen The Platform yet, you should fix that. Go in as blindly as possible. I loved the hell out of it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 75 Average listal rating (46 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3
Talk to Me (2007)
First viewing - June 27th

I saw that Rick Famuyiwa (director of Dope and The Wood) wrote this film, which made it a priority for me to check out this month. The film tells the story of radio personality Petey Greene, of whom I knew nothing prior to watching it. And it's an important story to tell, full of wonderful characters and events that still have impact today. The cast is great across the board, and I loved the music so much I put it all in a playlist to listen to. I can't recommend Talk to Me highly enough.
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First viewing - June 6th

I decided that Saturday I'd just stay on the couch and watch movies all day, only breaking for meals. After breakfast I kicked it off with The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, a film I've wanted to watch for some time now. It's a very well-made film, and worthy of its classic status. The cast does an excellent job all around, and I liked the story about how greed can affect men. I thought it was great for the most part, and I'd gladly sit through it again.
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Home viewings

People who added this item 243 Average listal rating (154 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.2
Dope (2015)
Re-watch - June 1st

Given the present state of race relations in America I wanted to kick off the month with some films that are excellent representations of the current moment. Actually, I was going to watch these two films and The Hate U Give during work, but I got pulled off my first-of-the-month project and had to bow out of my triple feature. So I made it a double.

It's been four years since I last watched Dope, and I enjoyed it every bit as much the second time around. The characters are great, the soundtrack is outstanding, and it's a deeply thoughtful exploration of the difference between what we think we see when we look at someone and the reality of a person, all of which makes it pair perfectly with the next film on this list.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 60 Average listal rating (38 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
Blindspotting (2018)
Re-watch - June 1st

I'll keep singing the praises of Blindspotting every chance I get. Watching it a second time only reaffirmed that it's among my favorite films, and it's possible that at some point in the not-so-distant future it'll squeeze out that last star from me.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 39 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6
The Lovebirds (2020)
First viewing - June 3rd

The Lovebirds came out while I was doing the Chattanooga Film Fest last month, so naturally it got put on the back burner. Now that I've seen it, well, it's fine. Kind of uneven really (especially the humor), but Issa and Kumail have enough chemistry together and charm overall to make even the more painful moments worth sitting through. I don't need to watch it again, but I don't regret watching it either.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 39 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.7
Freaks (2019)
First viewing - June 6th

After lunch I tackled Freaks, another film I first heard about thanks to an article on Rotten Tomatoes where they asked Mike Flanagan for some recommendations. And I wound up really enjoying it. There's great attention to detail that really amplified my belief in the world it creates, and the performances are solid all around (even the young actors). If the same creative team made a sequel I'd be on board, yet it's also good as a standalone film. I was fairly impressed with the effects throughout as well. It's not quite great, but I'd watch it again. Overall it's totally worth a look.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (20 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.3
In Fabric (2019)
First viewing - June 6th

After two films in a row centered on White characters, I decided to switch to one that centers on POC. And somehow that landed me here. I had the chance not long ago to catch In Fabric in the theatre, but passed on it at the time. Having finally watched it I can't say I made the wrong choice. Don't get me wrong, this is a well-made film all around. It's a different approach for a horror movie, and I can respect that. But it's ultimately just not to my taste. The film is aggressively weird at times, and while it maintains that baseline well enough I struggled somewhat to hang with it. Suspense of disbelief was difficult at times to maintain. I'm sure the film will earn a devoted cult following, but I'm just not part of it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 38 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6
Come to Daddy (2020)
First viewing - June 6th

I ended my night with Come to Daddy, which was more palatable for me than the previous film. I thought it overplayed its hand early on, but ultimately delivered a satisfying experience overall. The cast is solid all around, and the story was decent enough. It's nothing great and I doubt I'd sit through it again, but it's worth a look.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 36 Average listal rating (24 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.7
First viewing - June 8th

I've been seeing some positive buzz for The Vast of Night among those I follow online, so I figured I'd give it a look. I dug its Twilight Zone-esque approach, and for a small budget film it delivers a solidly entertaining story well. Some of the dialogue was a little unbelievable, and it's not deep enough to transcend into greatness. But it's worth seeing, and I might even watch it again down the line.

Just a thought: There's one easter egg here that I deeply appreciated. No, I'm not saying which one.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (24 ratings) 3.4 IMDB Rating 4.1
Artemis Fowl (2020)
First viewing - June 12th

I recall seeing the first trailer for Artemis Fowl in the theatre with the kiddo and we both thought it looked pretty good. At that point neither of us had read the books. She eventually sought out the first book and read it, whereas I still haven't given them a look. Thus I can't compare it to the source material. However, neither of us enjoyed it much.

The actor playing the titular role is dreadful, the script rolls along like it's ticking off boxes instead of trying to put forth any care or effort into connecting us to the world it contains, and Josh Gad delivers so much exposition it quickly becomes overbearing. Oh, and the CGI often comes off as primitive by today's standards. Not even Judi Dench nor Colin Farrell can save it (though at least the latter does his best with what he's given). There are a few gags that hit the mark, but mostly it's just dull because there's nothing to care about. And the ending sets up a sequel that I'm doubtful we'll get (unless it too goes straight to Disney+). I can't think of a single reason anyone should bother to sit through it. Perhaps they would have been better off turning it into a TV series instead.
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Re-watch - June 13th

I believe I've mentioned before my daughter is really into Monty Python's Flying Circus, so when I spotted this on Starz I added it to my playlist to watch with her. She'd seen most of it before, but enjoyed it all the same. My favorite part was seeing her get excited when she realized which sketch they were starting next.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 293 Average listal rating (220 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.3
The Shallows (2016)
Re-watch - June 15th

Since my daughter enjoyed Jaws so much both times, I figured I'd see whether she'd like The Shallows. Aside from her squeamishness with the blood, she enjoyed it. Unlike Jaws she didn't root for the shark to win though. I thought it was just as good the second time around.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 82 Average listal rating (63 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.6
First viewing - June 17th

I got a couple hours break from the kiddo on this day, so I wanted to watch something I couldn't watch with her and opted for I Lost My Body. I appreciated the ways it looks at ideas of fate versus the cause and effect relationship of our actions, and I thought the presentation of these ideas was fresh. It's a neat trick to make an audience empathize with a severed hand. I'm not sure whether it crossed my personal threshold of greatness, but I'd gladly watch it again to confirm that.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 4588 Average listal rating (3194 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7
Re-watch - June 21st

I had good intentions of spending Father's Day having a movie marathon based on themes of fatherhood that I could watch with the kiddo. Unfortunately chores prevented me from getting started before lunch time, and then when I was ready to begin my daughter joined me for this film and decided she didn't want to watch another movie.

Anyway, it's been several years since I last watched Mrs. Doubtfire in its entirety. Let me tell you it works a lot differently when you're a parent than when you're a teenager, and especially if you've been through a divorce as a parent. It hit me a lot harder than it used to. I still love it overall, from the characters to the messages it conveys. It's not a great film, but it's a very good one that I'm sure to revisit a few more times down the road.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 412 Average listal rating (254 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8
Paper Moon (1973)
Re-watch - June 21st

I think I've talked enough about Paper Moon elsewhere on the site. It still brings me much joy. I was bummed to not be able to share it with my daughter, but I own a copy of it so we'll get there one day.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 341 Average listal rating (224 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.4
The Getaway (1972)
First viewing - June 22nd

I wanted something kind of light or fun to watch, and for some reason went with a Sam Peckinpah movie instead. Ah well. I enjoyed it for what it is. The cast does an excellent job across the board, and the story was interesting and entertaining most of the time. Some parts didn't make much sense to me, but then if films followed logic at all times they'd be pointless. I would've liked a little more humor in it, but it's fine. Not sure I'd sit through it again, but as a fan of McQueen's I'm glad I finally caught it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 39 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.9
First viewing - June 24th

I was talking movies with my friend at work and he mentioned The Wood as being from the same director as Dope. That night I noticed it was on the Starz app so I decided to check it out. I liked the characters, loved the soundtrack, and thought it mixed the humor and dramatic elements pretty well. It's far from a perfect film, but I enjoyed it for what it is and would happily watch it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 112 Average listal rating (77 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.2
First viewing - June 26th

Time-centric double feature


First off, just to get this out of the way, I've got a bunch of films in my Starz app playlist that I could easily pair up which may work out well. So I've decided that going forward Friday nights will be double feature nights until I've run through them all.

I kicked things off with two films from the '80s that clearly have time at the center of them. Both films even open with shots of alarm clocks, which further reinforced my decision to do this. Now I remember seeing ads for Three O'Clock High in comic books around the time it came out, but never saw a trailer for it. I probably also spotted it once or twice in Blockbuster Video, but never picked it up. Starz had this in my recommendations though, which is why it got a chance. And overall I did enjoy it. Some of the camera work was pretty impressive, and I connected enough with the protagonist to want to see him through. The film is nothing groundbreaking, but it's a fun little movie and I'm glad I watched it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 250 Average listal rating (169 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8
9 to 5 (1980)
First viewing - June 26th

Time-centric double feature


I saved 9 to 5 for last because I was more confident I'd enjoy it. And I did. It's great to see a film where the women run things better than the men, even though in true American fashion they don't get the full credit. They do get to follow their dreams, however, and progress which somewhat makes up for it. And Fonda, Tomlin, and Parton are just a joy to watch together. Dabney is clearly having a blast with his role as well, and overall this is such a fun time I'm annoyed with myself for waiting so long to watch it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 879 Average listal rating (508 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
First viewing - June 27th

If you'd told me when I was younger that one day a David Lynch film would be shown by Disney, I would not have believed you. And yet it's on Disney+. But hey, that finally allowed me to watch it after years of hearing great things about it. And its reputation is well-earned. The story was compelling and Richard Farnsworth delivers a fantastic performance. The film explores themes of regret and the passage of time, without overcommunicating the ideas. It's the least abstract of Lynch's films, but I wasn't complaining. The only issue I had was I thought the pacing could have been a little tighter, but at the same time you've got to have some long stretches to convey the amount of time that passes within the film. So yeah, I'm really glad I finally gave this a look.

Just a thought: Are there really no people of color in that part of the country? Granted we're never placed in a big city, but you'd think you might see one person who isn't white.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 292 Average listal rating (206 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 4.9
First viewing - June 27th

After dinner I decided to have a horror double feature based (somewhat in the case of this film) on Stephen King's works. I'd long suspected that this sequel didn't need to exist, but I've seen some people say it was not as bad as you'd expect. I finally caved and while it's got some moments that I liked overall it's a mess. Focusing primarily on child actors doesn't fully work here, and it reinforced my belief that Edward Furlong wasn't much of an actor. One character gets brought back to life and somehow manages to reintegrate into his family unit with minimal complaints from them, only to turn out to be evil anyway. Most of the effects are good at least (the dog effects work about half the time) and the film clearly exists within the same rules as its predecessor, but beyond that there's not much else good here and I'm disappointed in myself for bothering with it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 470 Average listal rating (282 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.1
Firestarter (1984)
Re-watch - June 27th

It's been probably at least 30 years now since I last watched Firestarter, so it's not too surprising that some of it hadn't stuck with me. It's been about as long since I read the book too, so I can't speak to how it works as an adaptation. As a film, however, it's fine. Drew does a good job given her age, and the rest of the cast does their best to sell the script. At times it feels like this could have been made-for-TV, but I suspect having her in it allowed it to go theatrical. There's nothing great here, but it's a decent watch.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1077 Average listal rating (745 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.7
Re-watch - June 28th

I couldn't let my weekend end without one good King adaptation, so I watched The Running Man for the umpteenth time. I don't have anything new to say about it, so I'll just throw out there that it'd be interesting to see a new adaptation of it with the right director.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 110 Average listal rating (83 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.5
The Hunt (2020)
First viewing - June 29th

I ended the month by checking out The Hunt, a film which caused a bit of controversy for...no real reason. It's no more political or shocking than any of the Purge films really, which makes its delayed release rather laughable. Unlike the Purge films, however, it's pretty damn fun. I had a blast with it, and was impressed by Betty Gilpin's performance. The film serves as a reminder that anonymity is the best approach to your online interactions, and that nothing you say electronically is ever truly safe. The Hunt isn't a great film, but I enjoyed it well enough for what it is and thought it was a nice way to end the month.
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Big screen attractions

Films caught in a theatre
People who added this item 7927 Average listal rating (5769 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8.1
Jurassic Park (1993)
Re-watch - June 14th

The local drive-in theatre has reopened for business, and when I saw they'd have this Spielberg double-feature running for most of my week off from work I talked to the kiddo and we decided we had to catch it. I thought maybe since we watched Jaws last month she might not care, but she was excited for it. Given the current state of cinema worldwide, they haven't had many options besides films I've already seen (usually paired with films I have zero interest in sitting through), and thus this was the first occasion I felt it was worthwhile. Considering the popularity of both films I opted to wait until Sunday night rather than potentially fight crowds or have it be sold-out before we could get in. We got out there early enough to eat dinner in the car before the films started, and wound up having a wonderful night out. I'm thankful they're able to be open at this time because I was really missing the big screen experience. Plus, both of these films are best experienced on the big screen. Hopefully they manage to put together some other solid pairings to justify more trips out there over the summer.
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People who added this item 4585 Average listal rating (3096 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 8
Jaws (1975)
Re-watch - June 14th

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Year-long focus: Godzilla's Showa era

I picked up the Criterion Collection release of Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954-1975 in 2019, and have decided to watch all of the films in it over the course of 2020. There are 15 films in all, so I'll watch no more than two per month.
People who added this item 77 Average listal rating (53 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.5
First viewing - June 19th

My daughter opted out of Ebirah, so I watched it on my own while she entertained herself. I liked it better than Invasion of Astro-Monster, but I don't know that I'll watch it a bunch of times. On the one hand it's cool to get Mothra and Gojira reunited, and I liked the central characters well enough. I suspect some of the events will carry over into the rest of the series, which I'm curious to see. But it's kinda weird to see Gojira rely more on throwing rocks when he fights (according to what I read, this script was originally intended for Kong instead, which explains that) and the whole thing is wrapped up a little too easily and conveniently. There's also so much time spent with songs for Mothra you can tell they're more filler than necessary.

One thing to note is this is the first time where the human characters are genuinely concerned with Gojira's well-being. I suspect this will continue forward, but we'll see.
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