Sunday, June 17, 2018

Coco (2017)

IMDb plot summary: Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.
Directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina. Starring Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, and Alanna Ubach.

While this movie doesn't connect with me on a personal level the way some of Pixar's others have, it's still a tremendously well-told, moving story, and it still managed to make me cry at the end. The narrative plot points were a little predictable but the characters (especially our main protagonist) are so likable it didn't really matter. Lovely movie.

4 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Coco > Maine Pyar Kiya
Coco > Baby Driver
Coco < Garden State
Coco > Bernie
Coco < The Lady Eve
Coco < The Red Violin
Coco > The Graduate
Coco > Never Let Me Go
Coco > The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Coco < The Fault in Our Stars

Final spot: #488 out of 2807.

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

IMDb plot summary: James Bond investigates the hijacking of British and Russian submarines carrying nuclear warheads, with the help of a K.G.B. Agent, whose lover he killed.
Directed by Lewis Gilbert. Starring Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Curt Jurgens, and Richard Kiel.

I'm often just bored by Bond, but this took the series to almost campy heights and that was a lot of fun.

3.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Spy Who Loved Me > Maine Pyar Kiya
The Spy Who Loved Me < Baby Driver
The Spy Who Loved Me > Unbroken
The Spy Who Loved Me < Girl Shy
The Spy Who Loved Me > Away We Go
The Spy Who Loved Me < Ikiru
The Spy Who Loved Me < John Wick
The Spy Who Loved Me < Sleight
The Spy Who Loved Me > The Fall
The Spy Who Loved Me < The Bad Seed
Final spot: #958 out of 2806.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

War Machine (2017)

IMDb plot summary: An idiosyncratic general confronts opposition from enemies, allies, and bureaucrats while leading a massive rebuild operation in Afghanistan.
Directed by David Michôd. Starring Brad Pitt, Daniel Betts, John Magaro, and Emory Cohen.

The tone of this movie is all over the place. While it's telling an interesting story and getting into some interesting details, it's too serious to actually be a comedy but too broadly goofy to actually be a drama. The result is an awkward tone shift every five minutes, and it's messy.

1.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
War Machine < Kiki's Delivery Service
War Machine > Along Came a Spider
War Machine < Sixteen Candles
War Machine < The Life of David Gale
War Machine > Play It Again, Sam
War Machine < The Trouble With Angels
War Machine > Baby Mama
War Machine > Swingers
War Machine < Cambio de ruta
War Machine < A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
War Machine > Before I Fall
Final spot: #1980 out of 2805.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

IMDb plot summary: A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene.
Directed by Robert Altman. Starring Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Rene Auberjonois, and William Devane.

Robert Altman's movies are... not easy for me to get into. They tend to be slice-of-life almost aggressively, daring me to make the connections between the tiny bits of everyday mundanity and form a larger narrative. I struggle to find the overarching story in these films where almost nothing is coded to be more important than anything else, and that is definitely the case here. When the final "showdown" happens, it's so downplayed that I was never sure the climax has actually happened. There's nothing really bad about this movie, but it's all so underwhelming that it doesn't really connect with me at all.

2 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
McCabe & Mrs. Miller < Lord of War
McCabe & Mrs. Miller > Sleeper
McCabe & Mrs. Miller > Graveyard of Honor (1975)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller < The Big Sleep
McCabe & Mrs. Miller < Man Hunt
McCabe & Mrs. Miller < The Love Witch
McCabe & Mrs. Miller < The Girl with Dragon Tattoo (2009)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller < Crank
McCabe & Mrs. Miller < A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
McCabe & Mrs. Miller > Neverwas
McCabe & Mrs. Miller > Sixteen Candles
McCabe & Mrs. Miller < Fifth of July
Final spot: #1748 out of 2804.

Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995)

IMDb plot summary: John McClane and a Harlem store owner are targeted by German terrorist Simon Gruber in New York City, where he plans to rob the Federal Reserve Building.
Directed by John McTiernan. Starring Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson, and Graham Greene.

The first Die Hard is a wonderfully taut thriller. This one is so bloated with extra fight scenes and plot points and silly riddles. The movie winds to its conclusion right around 1:25 and then just... keeps going. Cut like 40 minutes out of it and it'd be fun. As it is, it wears out its welcome.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Die Hard With a Vengeance < Lord of War
Die Hard With a Vengeance > The Children's Hour
Die Hard With a Vengeance > Double Jeopardy
Die Hard With a Vengeance < The Big Sleep
Die Hard With a Vengeance < Man Hunt
Die Hard With a Vengeance < The Love Witch
Die Hard With a Vengeance < The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
Die Hard With a Vengeance > The World Is Not Enough
Die Hard With a Vengeance < Little Lord Fauntleroy
Die Hard With a Vengeance > Our Paradise
Die Hard With a Vengeance > Einstein and Eddington

Final spot: #1737 out of 2803.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Undercover Blues (1993)

IMDb plot summary: A wise-cracking husband and wife team of ex-Spies arrive in New Orleans on maternity leave with their baby girl. There they are hassled by muggers, the police and their FBI boss, who wants them to do just-one-more job.
Directed by Herbert Ross. Starring Kathleen Turner, Dennis Quaid, Fiona Shaw, and Stanley Tucci.

This is a silly, fluffy popcorn movie whose entire strength rests on the fact that Dennis Quaid and Kathleen Turner are just really dang charming here. The plot doesn't matter at all, none of the side characters are interesting (not even Stanley Tucci, who's usually a shoo-in), but Quaid and Turner set the tone early on and they remain the most entertaining part. I'd enjoy watching their lives even if it didn't involve spies and nuclear explosives. (Maybe even more so.) There's nothing groundbreaking or impressive about this, but it's a cute watch.

3 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Undercover Blues > Lord of War
Undercover Blues < Manchester by the Sea
Undercover Blues > Blade
Undercover Blues < Auntie Mame
Undercover Blues < V for Vendetta
Undercover Blues < Jesus Christ Superstar (2000)
Undercover Blues < Nine to Five
Undercover Blues < City Lights
Undercover Blues < Witness
Undercover Blues > The Shining
Undercover Blues > The Killing
Undercover Blues < Loving Vincent

Final spot: #1046 out of 2802.

The Post (2017)

IMDb plot summary: A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government.
Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, and Bob Odenkirk.

A very good story but an awkward script that spends most of its time reiterating the same points over and over again and doesn't build much tension the way I usually expect from Spielberg's dramas. Decent, but better in concept than in execution.

2.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Post > Pulp Fiction
The Post < Manchester by the Sea
The Post < Blade
The Post < Mother!
The Post > Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
The Post < The Switch
The Post > Nowhere Boy
The Post < Downfall
The Post < The Scarlet and the Black
The Post > The Hangover
The Post < Batman: Under the Red Hood

Final spot: #1288 out of 2801.