Dandy Cat

Dandy Cat

Letterboxd Diaries—June 2021

  • Point Break: While watching this, I became even sadder knowing that Patrick Swayze is dead. He was a great talent, but more than that, we’ll never get to see a sequel where Bodhi is somehow still alive and finally makes everyone’s dreams come true by getting it on with Utah. Surf-style. Also, I will never not enjoy John C. McGinley yelling his damn head off at other people. That’s my happy place. (★★★½)
  • Capernaum: This is an amazing, moving, important film that I never want to see again. It sapped me of so much energy and was one of the toughest watches I’ve ever had. There can never be enough praise given to Zain Al Rafeea for his supernaturally good performance. What he did, and at his age, is beyond comparison. It was truly something special. (★★★★½)
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: An extended version of a show that’s already one of the best superhero cartoons ever made is sure to be excellent. This one did not disappoint in any way. In fact, it elevated Batman. By delving into Bruce Wayne’s history, we’re shown more about the motivations and hindrances that the Caped Crusader faces. Throw in a great Mark Hamill performance and a mysterious new antagonist and you got something timeless. (★★★★)
  • Bo Burnham: Inside: A melancholic, introspective look at isolation, humanity, the desire for connection, and creativity. This is a moving and imaginative work of art. It comes with frequent bouts of brilliance, as well as songs that can stand on their own. I’m astounded by how much Bo Burnham was able to accomplish on his own. He’s got true talent. After watching this, I wish nothing but the best for him. (★★★★½)
  • An American Tail: That damn mouse! So much heartache and terror just because a kid wouldn’t listen to their parent, but I guess that’s just reality when it comes to children. There was some pretty astounding animation shown off in this film, and it was apparently unique in its classic feel. It goes a long way to making a somewhat thin storyline feel more robust. This film gains depth by providing some astounding eye candy. (★★★½)
  • Shadow of a Doubt: The peculiar editing of this film threw me off so much that I thought there was something wrong with the video file itself. To find out that this is one of Hitchcock’s favorites of his own work takes me aback even further. Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotton are thrilling and excellent, to be sure, but this one just didn’t do it for me like the director’s other works have. It’s a dang shame because the story is clever and unique. I wanted to enjoy it more than I did, but alas… (★★★)
  • Say Anything…: Watching this felt like I was peering through a portal into my teenage years. So much of this felt familiar. It’s astounding to know that this is Cameron Crowe’s first feature film. His first outing is this damn strong? Who the hell does he think he is?! If I had watched this film when I was Lloyd Dobbler’s age, I’m sure I would have related to him the most. I’d be sick of the world, man, and I’d be head over heels for Diane Court (Ione Skye is breathtaking). Now that I’m almost twice his age, I find myself more enamored by John Mahoney as James Court, and I don’t think that’s just because of my love for Frasier. The tragedy of his character is so palpable that I want nothing more than to spring him from his prison cell in a daring, midnight prison break. Maybe one day. (★★★★)
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004): As a first feature film, this is a strong offering. Zack Snyder, along with the incredible help by the usually amazing James Gunn, has somehow managed to take a classic of the genre and not turn it into a flaming dumpster fire. That’s usually much harder to accomplish than it should be. However, there’s not a huge amount of depth to the characters. They’re all caricatures of their upbringing/profession, and until the very end of the film, are never given a chance to be anything more than a police officer, a nurse, or a homophobic loudmouth. (★★★)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: I watched the extended edition of this film, which is probably the only way this trilogy should be watched, and it continues to hold up. The visual effects are beginning to show their age, which is no surprise considering the age of these films. For my money, the main draw of this trilogy has never been the visual effects. The adventurous, thrilling, and at times, heart-wrenching story of the Fellowship was what captured my imagination and what keeps this movie engaging. It’s a timeless good vs. evil story that has begun to acquire the same fame and importance that its source material has developed over its long life. (★★★★½)
  • Wall Street: The notoriety this one has developed since its release led me to believe that it would be far better than it ended up being for me. By the end of it, I found its strongest aspect to be Michael Douglas’s performance. No wonder why he received an Oscar for it then. Its quick pace and the finance-centered script made it something of an inscrutable watch for someone who has no foot in the world of Wall Street. Beyond that aspect, it’s just a fairly good downfall drama that Aaron Sorkin probably would have written if it had been made in the last decade. (★★★½)
  • Airplane!: Oh boy, did I ever see this one at the wrong time of my life. I should have watched Airplane! when I was a teenager because that’s clearly the target audience for this film. I think I would have appreciated it far more than I did. I would be hard-pressed to call it a bad film—it’s not by any stretch—but I don’t think it achieves the legendary comedy heights that so many people believe it has. This is worth a watch for Lloyd Bridges and Leslie Nielsen in one of their first comedic roles. (★★★½)
  • Thelma: I can’t figure out why, but something about Joachim Trier’s films really does it for me. His previous film, Reprise, was a transformative experience. This one takes that same Norwegian drama feel and adds a supernatural aspect to it. It works on every dang level. Some people may be put off by its slow pace, but if that’s not an issue, then you’ll be treated to a great mystery. The fraught love story at its core gives the film balance and momentum. A woman who has grown up in a religiously oppressed family falls in love with a woman. There’s no way that’s not going to be an emotionally charged story. Throw in possible mind powers and you’re left with a film that’s going to stick around for a long time. (★★★★)
  • Army of the Dead: Compared to Dawn of the Dead, this film is clearly an improvement in many ways. Thanks primarily to a healthier budget, the scope of the film, the visual effects, and the sheer bombastic attitude have been elevated to extreme heights. When it comes to something like story, there’s not a huge amount of improvement. Everyone’s trying their damnedest to inject more dimensions into their characters and, aside from Dave Bautista, it largely fails. As with Dawn of the Dead, it’s hard to create something that just isn’t there on the page. The unique premise makes for thrilling fun, though. (★★★½)
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet: I truly enjoyed the first film. I thought it was filled with fun and had a lot of heart. Where that one taught the important lesson of loving yourself for who you are, this one throws all of that out with the message that you should try your damnedest to be someone else if it’s attractive to you. I feel that so much effort was put into visualizing the grand and intimidating world of the Internet. I wish more was put into asking whether this film truly needed to be made. (★★★)
  • Network: I want so badly to call this film something like an adult dramedy. It goes to lengths that seem absurd, including giving our poor, dear Howard Beale his own sensational, televised soapbox from which to yell. The last decades since the release of this film prove that it is instead a sad, prescient satire. This film shows that it’s still okay to be “mad as hell,” so long as your anger doesn’t interfere with anyone else’s money. If it ever does, there will be hell to pay, because life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness only apply to the richest among us. Once it infringes on their money accounts, you’re a problem to be squashed (unless you too somehow become rich, and then, hey, you’re actually worth a damn). Dream, dream, why don’t you, but don’t you dare make any real noise. Don’t you dare try to lift the boot that is squashing you out. You’re here to make the rich richer, and that is your only value. You could make this movie today without changing a thing and it would still be exactly as relevant. Still… there are some extremely funny bits. Faye Dunaway earned the hell out of her Oscar. (★★★★★)
  • Boss Level: I really should have just watched Groundhog Day or Palm Springs. Those were more engaging than this thing. I expected more from Joe Carnahan. (★★)

Total movies watched: 16

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