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Added by the giraffe on 5 Jun 2022 04:05
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Movies the giraffe watched in 2022: June

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Noteworthy: The best films I watched this month

The breakdown: 51 feature films and 44 short films for a total of 95 films watched
92 first views, 5 re-watches (I watched 2 of the short films twice)
90 via streaming, and 5 in the theatre
Decades touched: 1940s, 60s-90s, 2010s-20s

What a month! Things were already going swimmingly prior to the big event this month, as going into it I'd watched 23 films, 3 of which earned spots in this section. Then I took a week off from work to fully enjoy the 2022 Chattanooga Film Festival, and wound up watching more feature films than I'd watched outside of it plus a slew of short films. I don't feel like adding every short and feature to Listal, so I just added the two below and am moving on with my time. For my thoughts on everything I watched during the Chattanooga Film Festival, visit my Letterboxd profile and click on Diary, or you can see the list I made for it on there with just my ratings (the order of films differs a little as some of the films they showed didn't get added to Letterboxd until late...the order in the list is correct while the diary is off). I had a total blast the whole week, though by the final day I was getting a little burned out and actually started a few different films that I wound up dropping from due to lack of interest. Overall it was well worth the money spent, and next year if I can't go in person I'll at least attend virtually again, as they've already said the event will be a hybrid format.

I also made it to the theatre three times, twice for double features of my own choosing, and all the films were at least worth checking out. So yeah, pretty great month.
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 7.4
First viewing - June 24th

Chattanooga Film Festival 2022

My favorite film of the fest. It's smart, original, funny, & heartfelt, with a great cast. As the best friend of an addict this really resonated with me. Here's hoping Shane Brady makes more films as good as this in the years ahead. I'll be there to see whatever he makes next.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 6.8
First viewing - June 27th

Chattanooga Film Festival 2022

This film is absurdly gorgeous, there are so many shots I loved. The cast & story are great too, adding up to an erotic thriller that's totally my kind of film. Here's hoping more people find it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 245 Average listal rating (155 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.5
First viewing - June 6th

HBO Max

Dark Passage rocks. Love the way it unfolds, the camera choices are smart & effective, plus Bogey & Bacall heat up the screen. The rest of the cast delivers strong performances too. Lots of twists & turns along the way, & it kept me hooked in through every one. It's a great little noir film & I'm glad I gave it a look.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 310 Average listal rating (182 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.5
First viewing - June 12th

HBO Max

Finally got this blind spot crossed off my list. The cast is excellent & I appreciated the story about 3 guys asserting their individuality & humanity in the face of the system they're indebted to. Ashby takes a laid-back, hangout style as we follow them on their journey & lets us enjoy it on the surface while saying so much more beneath. Only issue I had was some of the musical choices didn't work so well, but aside from that it's pretty great.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 129 Average listal rating (79 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.3
Intruder (1989)
First viewing - June 13th

Shudder

I'm so glad I finally got to watch Intruder. The effects work is great across the board, the cinematography is outstanding (I kept geeking out over shots & transitions), & the film deploys scares & humor effectively at every turn. Thanks to its supermarket setting I was also entertained by seeing bygone products & old packaging. There's also a great example of why they eventually added a safety gate to box crushers. The cast may not be A list, but they do a mostly solid job & I had no real complaints. Overall I loved it, & I'm keeping it in my Shudder list until they drop it or I get my hands on a physical copy.
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Home viewings

People who added this item 176 Average listal rating (128 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 5.9
First viewing - June 1st

HBO Max

I think I'm better off NOT digging through Candy's films I missed, as this is further proof he had a lot of misfires along the way. This one rarely plays to his strengths, forcing him to do far too many pratfalls & denying his character of both brains & heart. And then to make matters worse he keeps disguising himself for no real reason, including one with brownface.

The rest of the cast fares better, & I connected more with them especially given their disdain for the titular character. There were a handful of moments that made me laugh, & almost all of them were courtesy of the supporting cast. If you're looking for a bumbling detective, you're better off with Clouseau or Fletch. This one's not worth wasting time on.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 2nd

Shudder

It felt appropriate to watch this documentary during Pride month, & I'm so glad I finally gave it a look. The Elm Street series was the first horror franchise I embraced, & when I ran the series a few years ago my appreciation for Freddy's Revenge grew. This does an excellent job of digging into the film & its legacy by way of focusing on Mark Patton's life story & all he's gone through. Best of all it treats him with the dignity & respect he deserves, & it's a great journey from start to finish. There are a few clunky moments, but they're spread out & didn't derail the overall effect much. In the end I'm just glad it exists, because his story is absolutely worth being told & as long as Shudder exists people will be able to find it.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 3rd

YouTube

Look he made us more content. Open wide!

Lots of good stuff throughout this collection of material cut from last year's Inside, & I'm thankful he decided to let us see it. Not all of it works, but then that's why it's here. Still, I like this peek into the creative process & the fact it's mixed in with other goodies best left unspoiled. And while I was initially skeptical of it being released via Youtube, it turns out that's the perfect place for it to live.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 6.2
First viewing - June 5th

Shudder

So glad I knew nothing about this film & was able to just roll along with it. Someone on Dreadit shouted it out recently, so I gave it a chance & fell under its spell. Loved the ways it plays around with the genre tropes while creating something new & heartfelt. I'm smitten with it & am keeping it in my Shudder queue so I can return to it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 169 Average listal rating (118 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6
Alligator (1980)
First viewing - June 8th

Shudder

Alligator does just what it should & I'm here for it. Sure it's a little too convenient how it manages to run into almost every character that matters along the way, but at the same time we want it to. My only real complaint is that the city's layout could be more clearly established so the audience can anticipate where it'll turn up next. Otherwise it was just what I'd expected in the best ways & I'm glad I finally got to see it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 4.2 IMDB Rating 4.9
First viewing - June 11th

Shudder

All you have to tell me is that Jeremy Gardner is involved in a film & I'll gladly watch it. I quickly realized he'd just be a supporting character here, which would be fine if I gave a damn about any of the others. The whole film operates on dream logic & I just couldn't buy into it. The attempts to scare fail entirely, & there's no real depth to any of it. The cast does their best with what they're given, but can't overcome the weak script. There are some good visuals scattered throughout, & the music is good when it's not being misused. Overall this was a waste of my time though, even if it did allow me to see another good if underutilized performance from Gardner.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1839 Average listal rating (1044 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.4
Eraserhead (1977)
Re-watch - June 12th

HBO Max

It's been about 20ish years since I last watched Eraserhead, & the 1st time I saw it I really disliked it. But back then it was only the 2nd Lynch film I'd seen, while now I've seen several. I'm not a big fan of his, as his style doesn't always work for me, but I wanted to give this another chance. So I dialed my patience up & waded back in.

This time around I got more out of it, though I wouldn't say I enjoyed it much. He's clearly working through his thoughts on fatherhood & married life, giving us his nightmare version of What to Expect When You're Expecting. There are some interesting visuals & the use of sound is different. My main issue with it is the pacing, which makes an 89 minute film feel like 3 hours. That's clearly intentional, but it works against the film for me as there's not enough there to sustain my engagement with it. But hey, at least I tried & now I've gone from hating it to appreciating aspects while acknowledging it's just not for me.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 47 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 6.8
First viewing - June 16th

Shudder

I don't know that this film works from a narrative perspective, but from a visual & craft perspective it works like gangbusters. My eyes feasted upon the visual delights & left overstuffed but happy about it. And when the story threads fail to tie together in a sensible way, you can just lose yourself in what you're seeing to the point it hardly matters. I'm not sure this will make sense to anyone but Phil Tippett, & yet that's fine. I'm just glad he made it & delivered it to the world to enjoy, & I'll sit through it a few more times to see what else I get out of it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 307 Average listal rating (202 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 6.1
First viewing - June 18th

Shudder

Grave Encounters is fine. I got most of my enjoyment out of the opening stretch with the footage that would've been cut out of a televised show...the characters displaying how little they take what they're doing seriously & the lengths they'll go to to sell what they want the audience to see. The biggest issue here is that the characters aren't interesting or engaging enough to bring me into caring what happens to them once it all goes sideways. Also, they do a decent job of capturing scary images, but not so good at making any of it genuinely scary. There's enough going on that it kept me engaged, but it had potential to be so much better than it is.

Just a thought: A really bad idea would be to make a drinking game out of drinking every time a character says "Matt".
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6
Tragedy Girls (2017)
Re-watch - June 18th

Shudder

I picked this one to watch with my daughter because she likes Craig Robinson now that she has fallen in love with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and I knew she'd be pleasantly surprised when he turned up. Overall we both had a fun time with Tragedy Girls. I still think it's solidly entertaining with some excellent effects and a decent cast.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 95 Average listal rating (66 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.5
King Richard (2021)
First viewing - June 19th

HBO Max

I'd initially let this one slip past me because I didn't realize that the intention here was always to tell Richard's story & focus on his role in shaping Venus & Serena into the great athletes they are. I'm sure we'll get one or two films about their lives down the road, maybe when they've retired. This was what the Williams family wanted the movie to be, & while I wasn't familiar with all the details prior to watching the film I'd say they pulled it off. The performances are excellent across the board, to the point I was often as frustrated with Richard as those around him. And yet I came to understand where he was coming from. On top of that it's just a good story all around, & while it may be a bit formulaic at times I thought it worked. I'm glad the film exists as an entry point for the uninitiated, & I have no doubt that it'll hold more meaning to those directly inspired by Venus & Serena than it did for me.

Plus it wound up being a good movie to watch on Father's Day.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 144 Average listal rating (72 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.6
First viewing - June 20th

Shudder

Come for the riff on Elizabeth Bathory's legend, stay for the stylish production. The story was engaging & interesting, though a couple of moments didn't work for me at all. Really didn't appreciate the defense & minimizing of spousal abuse. There were a few ideas that would've been better fleshed out, but it mostly works & the cast is pretty good overall. Can't say I loved it, but it was worth a look.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 36 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.5
First viewing - June 20th

Showtime

Despite being on Twitter for years, I completely missed the thread this film is based upon. Which is probably best, however, because it allowed me to engage with the film on its own terms. The story definitely took some unexpected turns, but my main issue is that I don't like a single character. Thankfully the film works well enough that I did feel empathy toward Zola, & over time I at least felt like I understood her. Parts of this film are super irritating though, & I spent most of the first half feeling like I should've watched something else instead. I'm glad I made myself stick with it, but it's nothing I'd sit through again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 177 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
The Letter (1940)
First viewing - June 29th

HBO Max

Wanted to catch this before it left HBO Max (at one point in June it was leaving 6/30, but now it leaves 7/31 so I moved it from the bottom section) & it's solid if a bit predictable. Cast is really good all around & I'm glad not every Asian character spoke in broken English since that's sadly the default for much of American cinema. Glad it ends the way it does too.
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Big screen attractions

Films caught in a theatre
People who added this item 120 Average listal rating (81 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 5.9
First viewing - June 4th

Easily my favorite film from Cronenberg since eXistenZ, this one's a treat. It's a visual feast that takes its time to find its footing, but eventually comes together in a fairly satisfying way. The cast is excellent, & the world created is compelling at every turn. I'm glad he's finally returned to body horror & hasn't lost his edge after all these years. I'll definitely watch it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 57 Average listal rating (42 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.3
First viewing - June 4th

Oh man does this one come together nicely. I dug the way we're kept in our protagonist's perspective the entire time (& once I realized that's what it was going for I quickly got over the lack of subtitles), & they do a great job of building the tension by keeping us with her. It's a fresh take on a story we've seen before, & I'm here for it. Plus Monroe gives a stellar performance throughout, though perhaps a little more depth could've been given to her character as I think about it. While watching the film I wasn't too bothered, however. The rest of the cast is solid, & the cinematography really captures the moods well. Overall it's a fairly lean film, but it makes the most of what it's got.

I also have to award them bonus points for the scene where we get a close-up of Julia's phone & there's an actual history of texts displayed, instead of like most movies where a character sends a text to someone they know & it's the only text visible...as if everyone deletes their text history all the time or they've never exchanged texts before.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.2
First viewing - June 15th

I've been a fan of Saul Williams ever since he opened for The Mars Volta almost 20 years ago with a spoken word performance, after which I was committed to check out anything he touches. Neptune Frost draws heavily from his ideas, & even includes reimagined versions of songs from his album Martyr Loser King. But it's so much more than that. Sure the music is consistently excellent, but the visuals are even more impressive, from set design to costumes to color palette. I'm not sure it fully came together from a narrative standpoint, though perhaps another viewing will help me determine that. It's absolutely worth your time, & if you can catch it on a big screen you should.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 2602 Average listal rating (1802 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1
Re-watch - June 19th

Took the kiddo with me for a double feature for Father's Day, starting with The Thing. Contrary to what you might have seen commented by Mick Garris, at our screening there were no issues with the film at all. It looked & sounded great, and my daughter loved it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 143 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 0
Lightyear (2022)
First viewing - June 19th

First off, if Andy had watched this movie as a little boy he would've wanted a Sox toy & we never would've heard of Buzz. Second, it's insulting that this was allowed to get a theatrical release while Turning Red, Luca & Soul were relegated to Disney+. Overall it's a fine movie, which never reaches the highs of those films on a dramatic or emotional level. It's not bad & I can't say I disliked it, but it's just average. Sox rocks though, & I liked some of the gags, but ultimately it failed to prove my original feeling wrong: nobody needs this to exist.
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Max Exodus

Films I caught before they left HBO Max this month
People who added this item 1075 Average listal rating (708 ratings) 5.1 IMDB Rating 5.6
First viewing - June 9th

HBO Max

This wound up being better than I'd suspected. I've avoided it for years due to some of the cast, but aside from Josh Jackson I thought they mostly did a decent job. The final stretch of the film starting with the dean going to his car impressed me the most, with some inventive moments, solid kills, & pacing that hardly lets up. Only trouble is there are a couple moments that don't clearly fit the killer's M.O., but I could let it slide. Overall it's a decent '90s horror flick & I'm glad I don't regret giving it a look.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 413 Average listal rating (258 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8
First viewing - June 20th

HBO Max

I really wish they'd cut this down a bit as there are too many threads to sustain & it doesn't wrap them all up very satisfactorily, resulting in an ending that doesn't stick. The attention to detail impresses though, & I'm glad it included some touches of humor to help it be more palatable. Plus the cast is just a murderer's row. I also appreciated the effort put into exploring what the wives of these men had to endure (though in some cases it might've dug deeper, but that's how it goes when a film is told from a totally male perspective) & the occasional moments that poke fun of & criticize the armed forces/NASA. Overall it was totally worth my time to sit through, even if it fell short in some respects.
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