Saturday, August 18, 2018

Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan (2007)

IMDb plot summary: The story recounts the early life of Genghis Khan who was a slave before going on to conquer half the world in 1206.
Directed by Sergei Bodrov. Starring Tadanobu Asano, Honglei Sun, Khulan Chuluun, and Aliya.

Pretty interesting dramatization of Genghis Khan's early days, though the first half of the movie is more interesting than the latter.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Mongol > Interstate 60
Mongol < Marty
Mongol < Ripley's Game
Mongol < A Separation
Mongol > Office Space
Mongol < 300
Mongol > Liz & Dick
Mongol > For Your Consideration
Mongol < Seven Chances
Mongol < Mother!
Mongol < Ghost World
Mongol > Precious

Final spot: #1294 out of 2833.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Blindspotting (2018)

IMDb plot summary: While on probation, a black man begins to re-evaluate his relationship with his volatile best friend.
Directed by Carlos López Estrada. Starring Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar, and Jasmine Cephas Jones.

This is one of those movies that is going to keep making me think for awhile. To the point where I'm not sure I can comment much on it now. But it was good.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Blindspotting > Interstate 60
Blindspotting < Marty
Blindspotting > Now You See Me
Blindspotting > The Ring
Blindspotting > Phone Booth
Blindspotting > My Life as a Dog
Blindspotting < Muriel's Wedding
Blindspotting < The Scarlet and the Black
Blindspotting > Baby Driver
Blindspotting > The Front
Blindspotting > Inherit the Wind

Final spot: #741 out of 2830.

Christopher Robin (2018)

IMDb plot summary: A working-class family man, Christopher Robin, encounters his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh, who helps him to rediscover the joys of life.
Directed by Marc Forster. Starring Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, Mark Gatiss, and Jim Cummings.

This movie is constantly teetering on the edge of cloying sentimentality, but it never quite goes over, and that is largely due to the incredible script capturing the tone of the original animal creatures *perfectly*. It doesn't ever feel like "somebody trying to tell a Winnie the Pooh story," it's just... Pooh and his friends. And the charm of those characters makes up, easily, for the awkwardness of how broadly the human characters are written. It's more delightful than it has any right to be, managing to never QUITE cross the line.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Christopher Robin > Interstate 60
Christopher Robin > Marty
Christopher Robin < The Holiday
Christopher Robin > The Graduate
Christopher Robin < Captain Blood
Christopher Robin < The Babadook
Christopher Robin > The Red Violin
Christopher Robin < The Land Before Time
Christopher Robin < Bicentennial Man
Christopher Robin < The Big Short
Christopher Robin > The Shape of Water

Final spot: #506 out of 2831.

The Meg (2018)

IMDb plot summary: After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.
Directed by Jon Turteltaub. Starring Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson, and Cliff Curtis.

Oh, this movie is absolutely ridiculous, and definitely too long for what it is, but it at least knows what it's doing and has a good time ramping it up. Seeing it on the big screen, the giant shark is pretty effectively thrilling, and they do some great cheesy reveals of it. It's goofy and terrible and a lot of fun.

2.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Meg < Alice Adams
The Meg > Mud
The Meg > Touch of Evil
The Meg > The Dark Knight Rises
The Meg < Primal Fear
The Meg > Smokin' Aces
The Meg > Walk the Line
The Meg > Snakes on a Plane
The Meg < Inland Empire
The Meg < 12 Monkeys
The Meg > Trainwreck

Final spot: #1513 out of 2832.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe (2012)

IMDb plot summary: A universal story about the freedom of the human spirit and the struggle against slavery and despotism, about love, loss and betrayal. It is seen through the eyes of simple Kazakh kids and teenagers.
Directed by Akan Satayev. Starring Asylkhan Tolypov, Ayan Utepbergen, Kuralai Anabekova, and Tlektes Meiramov.

This is the type of movie that, on paper, I should be absolutely bored by. Long epic war movie? Usually not my cup of tea at all. But something about this was surprisingly compelling to me. Maybe it was the likable leads, or the simplistic, almost fairy-tale nature of the plot, or the stunning landscape shots. Whatever it was, I found myself very moved by the film, particularly the final half hour.

3.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe > Imitation of Life (1959)
Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe < Meet Joe Black
Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe > The Prestige
Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe > God Wants Me to Forgive Theme!?!
Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe < Finder's Fee
Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe < Brave
Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe < Zoolander
Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe < Kingsman: The Secret Service
Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe < The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe < I Heart Huckabees
Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe < The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe > Ant-Man

Final spot: #883 out of 2829.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Mudbound (2017)

IMDb plot summary: Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war.
Directed by Dee Rees. Starring Carey Mulligan, Jonathan Banks, Garrett Hedlund, and Jason Clarke.

This is a tough watch. It's dark and unpleasant and angry and sad all around. I think it's a good movie, and it's definitely one that's going to resonate with me for a bit, but I can't imagine wanting to rewatch it any time soon.

3 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Mudbound > Water for Elephants
Mudbound < Ordet
Mudbound < The Act of Killing
Mudbound > Out of Sight
Mudbound > Bill Cunningham New York
Mudbound > Ran
Mudbound > Lucky Number Slevin
Mudbound < Monsters
Mudbound > Malcolm X
Mudbound > The Trojan Women
Mudbound < Frank

Final spot: #1074 out of 2828.

Muriel's Wedding (1994)

IMDb plot summary: A young social outcast in Australia steals money from her parents to finance a vacation where she hopes to find happiness, and perhaps love.
Directed by P.J. Hogan. Starring Toni Collette, Bill Hunter, Rachel Griffiths, and Jeanie Drynan.

This is a fascinating, almost-great movie with several great moments in it. Toni Colette is such a gem of an actress, and she brings Muriel to life here in a really engaging way. So much of this story is wildly relatable and fascinating and funny and sad... but somewhere in the last third, it seems to miss a beat and come to a resolution too quickly. It's possible that it was just done too subtly for me to notice, and that on a rewatch it would all fall into place.

3.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Muriel's Wedding > Le bonheur
Muriel's Wedding < Ordet
Muriel's Wedding > Les Miserables (2012)
Muriel's Wedding > The Magnificent Ambersons
Muriel's Wedding > American Outlaws
Muriel's Wedding > High Strung
Muriel's Wedding > The Scarlet and the Black
Muriel's Wedding < My Name Is Bruce
Muriel's Wedding > Tickled
Muriel's Wedding > Titanic
Muriel's Wedding > Split

Final spot: #719 out of 2827.