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A Quiet Place - 8/10
My suggestion. Watched this as a family. I've not seen too many horror films, but this one was very good. The fact they showed the monsters early on meant you weren't wondering what they looked like, so it was more character driven, rather than waiting around for jump scares. I imagine I would have been PISSED if someone was in the cinema eating popcorn loudly during this movie. Weird seeing Krasinski not being Jim. Blunt is fucking incredible. Things like sand being on the paths, but not talked about makes it feel more immersive - like a real, lived in world. I much prefer this type of thing to where everything is explained to us. When the writer assumes we already know why, or trusts us to work out why, makes everything feel more real to me, and was one of the reasons I liked this movie.
Blinded By The Light - 7/10
My Mum's choice. A good film. My Mum liked it a lot because it's set not too far away from where my Mum and Dad grew up, and the characters in it are about the same age as my parents were at that time. They also had an Asian friend who fell out with his family for similar reasons. So she enjoyed it a lot. It was a decent film, with a decent story, and decent acting. It annoyed me when Javed spoke purely in Springsteen lyrics. It was an enlightening film in terms of how rampant racism was so recently, and so close to where I live. An enjoyable film, but not one I would have chosen to watch.
Minions - 5/10
Okay… I can explain. I watched this over a Netflix party and Zoom call with my friends. We spent about an hour (literally a full hour) trying to agree on a film we all wanted to watch… so ending up settling for a film none of us wanted to watch. Hence, Minions. I mean… it was fine, I guess. It wasn’t offensively bad. But it was just fine. I don’t think I was the target audience when they made it. And that’s all there is to be said about that I think.
Mean Girls - 7/10
I enjoyed this one a lot more than I was expecting to. I watched this with my Mum because she likes films about American High Schools. It was quite good. The cliquiness of the school is something I found to be quite accurate, if a little exaggerated. Was not expecting to see Leslie Knope in this film at all. It encapsulated the life of a teenager trying to fit in well while remaining light-hearted. It was cool seeing Rachel McAdams actually acting a bit. In other stuff I’ve seen her in she hasn’t really. It was one I would watch again if it was on Netflix or Prime and I had nothing else to do. Was pleasantly surprised by this film I reckon. I’d like to see a retelling of this from the point-of-view of Regina because there must have been some fucked up stuff happening in her life.
Schindler’s List - 10/10
Perfection in every scene. People that think Liam Neeson is the same in every role need to watch this asap. It’s a three hour film but never felt like it dragged at all, and there was no wasted time. Everything was so clearly deliberate and considered. Going into it, I thought it was going to be Boy-In-The-Striped-Pajamas-esque. As in, a very crying-your-eyes-out type of sad. But I found it to be much more shocking than straight-up sad. The only scene where I felt like I was going to cry was the one near the end, where Schindler broke down and started saying everything he was wearing could have saved the life of another person. Fiennes was flipping spectacular because I fucking hate Goeth with a passion. The scene where the little kid in the concentration camp was trying to find a place to hide, but the other people in the toilet were saying go away was another tear jerking scene, thinking about it. The score as well. THE FUCKING SCORE. John Williams needs to be made immortal. Or at least his brain so we can still have all the juicy musical goodness. No actually he does need to be made immortal he’s reaching god status at this point. One of the greatest films ever made. Not exactly an unpopular opinion, but still.
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly - 9/10
This one I watched with my Dad and my brother. My Dad’s choice, because he likes Westerns. This was very good. My expectations were high going in, because my Dad had said good things about it before, and I was not let down. My only complaint was that at times it felt like it dragged a bit. Sometimes it built up tension so much to the point it went away, and had to start all over again. However, it was a masterclass at building tension. The iconic scene at the end with the building score and increasingly close-up shots of the three faces made me finally get references from cartoons I’d watched as a kid. The tension in that scene made the rest of the film worth watching. Clint Eastwood is one cool motherfucker. And Lee Van Cleef was excellent casting because you could see in his eyes that you couldn’t trust him. Beautiful scenery made me tempted to visit those areas of America at some point. You know the score was iconic when it’s played at the beginning credits, and both me and my brother can whistle along to it, when neither of us have seen the film before. I’d also never really appreciated that Westerns were set at the same time as the American Civil War, but to be fair to me, this was the first proper one I’d seen (not counting spoof skits and things).
City Slickers - 7/10
Sticking with the cowboy theme. This one my Mum chose. I knew nothing about it at all. Didn’t think I’d ever see the day where Tommy Pischedda, Marv from the Sticky Bandits, and Harry Burns would be riding into a farm guiding a herd of cattle, but that’s what week three of lockdown can throw up I guess. It was a fun film. I think that’s the best way to describe it. Good fun. Nothing spectacular, I don’t think. But did the job as Saturday evening viewing with a takeaway. Never thought I’d see a cow being born on screen either. It was a cool premise. A coming-of-age film through a midlife crisis rather than adolescence. Jack Palance was the clear and obvious highlight I think. In his element in the western setting. I’m guessing… I’ve not actually seen him in anything else.
Forrest Gump - 10/10
Masterpiece. I’d been meaning to watch this one for a long time, because of how iconic it is. To be honest, going into it I’d thought I would think of it as overrated and a bit soppy. But holy fuck was I wrong. I’d seen a few clips of it in history lessons a few years ago when we were doing the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War. Why we weren’t shown films like Selma or Platoon I don’t know, but anyway. I think it goes without saying at this point but Hanks is sublime. I thought Sinise was just as great though, and the scenes they had together tended to be my favorite I think. In a way, Jenny and Dan’s stories were quite similar, I thought, in that they were both very depressing on their own, with Forrest being the person that offered a different perspective on life for them, even though they both (especially Dan) found him difficult. It was very moving, and the scene near the end where Forrest is talking to Jenny’s grave almost got me. It told US history in the ‘60s and ‘70s quite well I thought, although my knowledge of it is limited. The pacing was great, and the way it transitioned into different genres of films, like a war film when he was in Vietnam, was very cleverly done, and very well executed. I know saying Forrest Gump is a very good film isn’t exactly a revolutionary statement, but the “cliche” films that people always say are great, have usually got to that status for good reason. But this film is one of the best. One of my favourites. Not a shot that you could take out. Superb acting all round. It;s just brilliant. I think I’ll need to watch it several more times to fully appreciate everything about it. In fact I think I will need to rewatch it.
Boyz n the Hood - 8/10
Watched this on my own because it was on Netflix and a friend recommended it to me. Didn’t know a lot about it going in. But it was very good. In a way I felt like Good Kid, Maad City, as a film. Maybe that’s a very loose connection but still. It was very well put together, the characters were very well developed I thought, and each of the gang had their own very distinct personalities. A very enlightening film, not a particularly easy watch, but that probably makes it more important. Definitely a story that needed to be told, and one told very well.
The Grand Budapest Hotel - 8/10
Holy balls was this movie fun to watch. A lot of fun to watch. The camera play and cinematography was really clever and interesting to see, the dialogue was well-written and fast-paced, and the story was very original. I didn’t really know what it was about going into it, but it’s one of my friend’s favourite films so I was expecting good things. And it definitely delivered. I don’t think it did anything groundbreaking but it was just really good fun to watch. The intriguing story and dialogue I think were the highlights for me, as well as the production and camera work. Was a very good film.
Airplane! - 8/10
Very close to giving this a 9 I reckon. My Dad’s choice. It was described to me before as ‘very silly’ but it was just constant laughter. Even at the most stupid things. One that got me particularly was the smoking ticket. Set the tone for the whole film, being so early on. Unexpected and really dumb but just hilarious. The scene where he’s sweating in the cockpit is the same just dumb humour that shouldn’t work but does. Very glad I watched it, and can see why it’s always talked about among funniest films of all time. Right up there for me, falls just short of Monty Python stuff. But it was a very enjoyable film.
Reservoir Dogs - 8/10
Although I’ve not seen all of his films, I’m a big Tarantino fan (the one’s I’ve seen are Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol. 1, Inglourious Basterds, and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood). So I went in expecting there to be a lot of swearing, violence, and quick dialogue. Check, check, check. It was very Tarantino, which I thought was quite impressive that he’d already got such a distinct style and narrative approach in his first film. It’s also fucking crazy that he got that cast in his first film. But yes, Reservoir Dogs was very good. Enjoyed it a lot. There was the right balance between action and dialogue I thought. I found the way it told the story to be a little confusing, but that might just be because I watched it at two o’clock in the morning and was quite tired. A very cool film. I think I need one of those suits.
The Princess Bride - 8/10
My mum and I had been meaning to watch this for about a year, after I got given a DVD of it for Christmas one year. And lockdown meant we finally did. It was really good. It was raining the day we watched it, and it was the perfect rainy afternoon film. There were so many references that I now understand because of watching this film. My mum has been saying “prepare to die” to me for the past three days now whenever I don’t do something she asks. I imagine it would also be the perfect film to watch when you’re ill as well, but that’s literally the premise.
Brokeback Mountain - 7/10
Well this shit’s sad. And fucking hell Heath Ledger could act. There were times when it felt like this film dragged a bit. Sometimes it felt like the camera stayed looking at certain things for a bit too long. But maybe that’s me just being impatient. It probably would have felt rushed if the scene changed immediately. Or at least not hit the same. The pauses and silences meant that you had time to think about what was actually going on and empathise with the characters to a whole different level, which made the emotional moments hit harder I thought. And holy fuck were there some emotional moments. And as I said before, fucking hell Heath Ledger could act. It was also the first time I’d see Jake Gyllenhaal in a role where he had to act to the level he did, which was something I’d not previously fully appreciated that he was capable of. The scenery was also really pretty, which is always a bonus isn’t it. But anyway, this film was really good, but to me it felt like there were some scenes from time to time that went on for a bit too long.
The Usual Suspects - 8/10
I knew very little about this going into it. It’s one of my parents favourite films, so they made us watch it. It was really good. It’s a touchy subject for obvious reasons, but for the sake of this post, I’m going to separate art from artist and ignore the fact that Kevin Spacey is a shit human being. He acted very well in this. I was slightly annoyed that I couldn’t work out who was Keyser Soze before it was literally told to the audience. It was very cleverly told and very cleverly put together. The narrated flashbacks were enjoyable to watch a good way of avoiding the usual linear story.
Solo: A Star Wars Story - 7/10
I didn’t get to see this film at the cinema, which I was annoyed about, but anyway. I wasn’t crazy about seeing it anyway. If anything I was nervous going into it, because Han Solo is my favourite character in the original trilogy. And I didn’t really think that his backstory was a story that needed to be told. The ambiguity surrounding his backstory was something that always made him so interesting to me. However, given that he was living up to Harrison Ford, Alden Ehrenreich did a pretty good job. Seeing Emilia Clarke in something other than Game of Thrones was cool. The best part of the film for me by a long way was Donald Glover as Lando. He fucking killed it. He’s just really fucking cool isn’t he. Phoebe Waller Bridge as a droid was something I didn’t see coming but was quite cool to see. The main issue I had with this film was that it was just unnecessary. I would have preferred there to be a Star Wars spinoff about something we hadn’t actually seen yet. Or something with more questions surrounding it. But maybe that’s just me.
Breakfast At Tiffany's - 8/10
Why the fuck is it called Breakfast At Tiffany’s when all she fucking does is eat a fucking croissant while looking at the jewelry while the fucking opening credits are rolling. Aside from that, this was a pretty cool film. A fairly predictable, easy, romantic comedy, mildly racist Asian neighbour aside. It’s not really my favourite sort of film but it’s one I could still appreciate it’s quality. Audrey Hepburn is almost unnaturally beautiful. I thought, considering how old it is, it held up pretty well over time.
Jojo Rabbit - 9/10
Taika Waititi is a genius. Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows are two of my favourite films. So is Jojo Rabbit now. My expectations were pretty high for it going in and boy did it deliver. I’m not sure how they found a child who can act as well as Roman Griffin Davis could. The opening scene was one of the funniest opening scenes I can remember. Archie Yates was great as Yorki as well. I was expecting to see a bit more of Alfie Allen and didn’t expect to see as much of Stephen Merchant. The way it slipped between comedy and tension so easily was genius. The scene where the gestapo come into the house looking for Elsa had me nervous as fuck. Thomasin McKenzie was great too. It was the first time I saw Scarlett Johansson in a role other than Black Widow and saw that she could actually act emotions other than stoicism. Because she was really good and was a highlight for me. The fact that Waititi made a film about the holocaust as funny as it was sad is pretty amazing. Thoroughly enjoyed this one, and will recommend it to everyone.
American Psycho - 8/10
I’ve not actually seen Wolf of Wall Street, but I feel like this was Wolf of Wall Street but he liked killing people. I knew very little about it going into it. I only watched it because it was on Netflix and I was bored. But I was left very surprised by it. In a good way. Christian Bale is never a bad thing. And he was really good in this film I thought. The development of the character when he slowly delves deeper into his psychopathic side was really interesting to watch. Reminded me of Macbeth, except without the crippling guilt. Not sure I will rush back to rewatch it, but it was very good.
The Silence of the Lambs - 8/10
I knew this was good before I watched it, and it lived up to my fairly high expectations. Everybody please give a standing ovation to Anthony Hopkins because even though this film is like thirty years old he deserves it. Then after we’ve finished that can we do the same for Jodie Foster please. Thanks. Horror films have never been my favourite genre. Jump scares I find just a bit boring. But the fact that this was more psychological horror made me much more engaged with it. The point of view shots made you feel like you connected to each character more, especially with Clarice Starling. It has stayed with me for the past few days, so has definitely impacted me. I think I’ll need to watch this again to fully appreciate what was going on.
Someone give Naomie Harris an Oscar now even though it’s like three years late cos holy fucking shit. She was definitely the highlight of the film for me. I felt like in some cases it had a similar problem to Brokeback Mountain where some scenes dragged for a bit too long. But again, it’s obvious that this is a deliberate choice. So maybe I’ve just been conditioned to expect films to always be travelling at breakneck speed. That probably meant that the pauses felt longer than they actually were to me. But anyway. Thematically there are a lot of similarities between this one and Brokeback Mountain. The inability for men to properly communicate with each other. I think overall the bits of this film I liked most were when Little was… little. When he was a kid. Mainly because Juan I thought was really well acted. And Naomie Harris was flipping spectacular throughout the whole film. That’s what I thought of Moonlight.
Citizen Kane - 7/10
This is supposed to be the best film ever right? Well I wouldn’t say it is. Not to say that I thought it was bad. I just think compared to some of the other old films I’ve seen, it doesn’t hold up as well? It took a while before I fully understood what was going on, with the way the plot was set out. It was an interesting way of telling the story, which on one hand was refreshing, but I found I had to concentrate a lot to fully understand what was going on. It was very well written. There was no line of dialogue or anything that was out of place. So on the whole, it was a good film, but is quite dated and not what I would call the best of all time.
Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) - 8/10
This was just good fun to watch. Like a few of these films, I didn’t know a lot about them going in, and only watched it because it was on Netflix and I was bored. But I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. I loved that it was a completely original story but the characters were still fully fleshed out and felt so real. The acting all round was very good. And overall it was a cool premise, especially with the superhero films being the dominating force they are at the moment. I also liked the fact that Riggan is a former superhero actor and Michael Keaton used to be Batman. But that had very little to do with the actual film. This feels like the sort of film I’ll rewatch if I want something in between easy viewing and interesting.
Atomic Blonde - 7/10
Okay, so I watched this film a week ago as of when I’m writing this, and don’t really remember it in loads of detail. It was perfectly serviceable as an explosion film. And it was enjoyable to watch. It was an entertaining film to watch. It wasn’t too challenging a plot to get a hold of, and the flashback storytelling made it more interesting to watch. But it wasn’t a particularly mind-blowing film that I am eager to rewatch. It fitted the need for a blowy up film to watch with beer and pizza.
The Dark Knight Rises - 8/10
Somehow, despite The Dark Knight being in my top five films of all time, I’d never seen this film all the way through before. I’d seen bits of it. I think it was on at a party once. But I’d never sat down and paid full attention to it before. I think it partly suffers because it will always be compared to The Dark Knight, which is rightly considered one of (the best, in my opinion) superhero films of all time. Although it is definitely a weaker film. Partly because of how long it is I think. There were lots of scenes that could and probably should have been cut from it. But Bane was a cool villain. Well acted by Tom Hardy. Christopher Nolan for sure knows how to make a banger of a film.
Lady Bird - 8/10
A pretty fucking perfect coming of age film. Obviously, being of a similar age to Lady Bird, and about to head off to university myself, I could relate to a lot of the scenes and themes in this film. Saorise Ronan fitted the role perfectly. As did Laurie Metcalf. It didn’t outstay its welcome - it was the perfect length for this type of film. And at the same time, considering it spanned a two year period (it is two years right?) it didn’t feel rushed at all, which is testament to the way it is written and the way it is paced and edited. Great job Greta.
Good Will Hunting - 9/10
Was gonna go for an 8 for this one. But I just couldn’t. I didn't know what it was about really, just knew that it was supposed to be good. And holy shit can Robin Williams act his arse off. The bench scene. Yeah, everybody talks about it, but it’s because it’s beautiful. Perfect acting, perfect writing, perfect location. Matt Damon killed it as well I thought. The chemistry between all of the actors - Damon and Williams, Damon and Affleck, Williams and Skarsgard, Damon and Driver - was very authentic and genuine. Very deserving of all the praise it gets. So much emotional weight to it. Didn’t overstay its welcome. Perfect length for this sort of film. Skarsgard’s character I thought was really well done. Like a pushy parent who is trying to live through their child. Very powerful that it’s when Chuckie says basically the same stuff to Will and he actually listens to him, showing the strength of their friendship. And I have to talk about the it’s not your fault scene as well. Good shit. Very good film, enjoyed a lot. Definitely going to be watching this one again at some point.
The Notebook - 7/10
I watched this with some friends on a Netflix party and Zoom call again. I won’t pretend like romance films are my favourite. A lot of the time I find them to be predictable and boring. But this managed to stay fresh, probably because of the fact that it kept flashing back to Annie and Noah when they are old. It didn’t take too long before it became glaringly obvious that the old couple were Noah and Annie in the future. And once I’d worked that out, it lessened the suspense and drama around the two of them when they were young, because I knew that they would end up together. Which you knew anyway really, but still. It was a good film. But again, not one I will be dashing back to rewatch any time soon.
Spirited Away - 7/10
I didn’t realise this film was so revered until after I’d read about it after having watched it. One of my friends recommended it to me, so I gave it a watch. At the beginning, before any characters had spoken, I was slightly concerned that it would be in Japanese and I’d have to concentrate harder to watch it. So I was glad when I found out it wasn’t. It was really cool how there was so obviously so much lore and history that the makers had come up with when writing it, but it was only ever mentioned in passing or not mentioned at all, rather than shoved down your throat for the sake of showing off the fact that they’d thought about it. The fact that all characters were so richly developed, but nothing was explained and you just had to sort of go with it made it really fun. But at the same time, sometimes some things were just a bit weird. Like why is there a big fuck off baby there. So it was a good film, but I don’t think I fully got it. At least on the first viewing. Just didn’t quite click with me for one reason or another.
The Truman Show - 8/10
This was a good film but holy fuck Jim Carrey is annoying. And Truman is a stupid as fuck name. But that aside, this was a really fucking good film. Morally, what the fuck is going on with everyone involved. That fucked with my head a lot. And it shows that the film was really fucking good when I enjoy it to the extent I did even though Jim Carrey, who I find annoying as fuck, in the lead role. I feel like the people who thought this up need to be psychologically checked because this had some proper fucked up people in it. The donny that organised the show is one of the most fucked up people I’ve seen. You gotta have something seriously wrong with you to adopt a fucking baby and turn it into a business. But this film was really fucking good so fair play to the writer(s?) for coming up with something as original as this but also as interesting and unique as this. Sort of like the Hunger Games without the killing. It creeped me out when they referred to the people like his dad and mum as ‘actors’. How fucked would that be, growing up to find out that your mother isn’t actually your mother, and everyone you know is only friends with you because they are paid to be. Got 1984 vibes from the way that he was being watched with all the cameras as well.
The Wolf of Wall Street - 8/10
How the fuck did DiCaprio not win Best Actor for this. Pretty much the only criticism I have of this is that it was three hours long. Leo was fucking spectacular. Jonah Hill was fucking spectacular. Margot Robbie was fucking spectacular. Someone please remind me to never go into Wall Street banking, because it looks pretty crazy. Obviously I knew Wall Street people used drugs a lot, but this was a whole lot more than what I was expecting. The fact that he was brought down by his fraud stuff seemed like the perfect way for him to have his lessons taught to him. And it hits even harder considering the fact that it’s based on a true story. I’d like to know how much of it was 100% fact and how much was exaggerated or made up for the sake of the film, so maybe I’ll have to read Jordan Belfort’s book. If it’s half as entertaining as this film, then I will absolutely look into it.
The Pianist - 8/10
There’s a whole lotta eights on this list. Because I’d watched it earlier in lockdown, I obviously compared this to Schindler’s List, even though they are really quite different films, even though they both tell the story of the holocaust. They tell the story from completely different points of view, which puts into perspective the scale and horror of the whole thing. The fact that it was so graphically shown was a very good move. There shouldn’t be any beating around the bush in displaying the brutality of concentration camps and the ghettos. But at the same time, it didn’t seem unnecessary or over the top. I did feel like it went on for a bit too long though. If it had ended with him still on the run I think that would have been a good way to show the danger of the situation Jews were in at the time. But it was very good.
I, Tonya - 7/10
Another one I watched because I was bored. I was aware of it when it came out but it didn’t really interest me at the time. But it was one I intended to have on in the background as I was gaming or something, but I actually ended up giving my full attention to it. Fucking hell she lived a fucked up life. Jeff’s a cunt. LaVona’s a cunt. Fuck both of them. Pretty much all the performances are great, but I thought Allison Janney and Margot Robbie were the standouts. Allison Janney stole every flipping scene she was in. And Margot Robbie made you actually feel sorry for Tonya Harding, which was probably quite difficult. The writing probably helped with that element as well, which I think leant towards showing Harding in a positive light. But that was probably to be expected, thinking about it. This was a good film, but I don’t think it’s going to be one that stays with me particularly. It was a good biopic and from what I’ve read afterwards was mostly true (correct me if I’m wrong) but apart from Allison Janney as LaVona, there was nothing particularly standout for me.
Slumdog Millionaire - 8/10
Definitely didn’t expect the bollywood breakdown at the end credits but that was a good way to end it. This has been a film I’ve been wanting to see for a long time. It’s also a film my mum’s been wanting me to see for a long time. I didn’t really know what it was about, I just knew I wanted to watch it. It surprised me with the way the story was told. I didn’t really know what to expect but thought it was going to be a fairly linear storyline. But I really enjoyed seeing the life of the young kids in Mumbai. The sequence where they were being chased by the police was one of my favourites because it showed them having fun, despite the conditions they live in. I enjoyed the symbolic gesture of the guy (can’t remember his name) killing himself in the pile of money near the end. Definitely worth watching, it was good fun.
Blade Runner - 8/10
I think I need to give my brain a rest after watching this. I’ve been mind-fucked into oblivion. So obviously this film is playing on what counts as human and what doesn’t, and where the line is. And now I’m doubting my existence. I’ve had more existential crises in the last twenty-four hours than I have in the rest of my life. I’m still trying to get my head around what the fuck I just watched. Harrison Ford is a very good actor. I’m pretty sure it was the first thing I’ve seen him in when he’s had to act more seriously. And he was very good in this film. The little nuances in his performance was what really sold the mind-fucky-ness to me. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to be thinking about this for a long time. I think I’m going to have to watch this one about sixteen more times before I fully understand what was actually going on in this film. God it was good.
The Prestige - 8/10
What’s Christian Bale’s actual accent like because I’ve got no fucking clue at this point. It was proper weird seeing him with a cockney accent in this, especially because I’m used to seeing him in the batman films. But anyway, this film was really good. I’m a big fan of Christopher Nolan films, Dunkirk, The Dark Knight, and Inception are some of my favourite films. I was really confused watching this in the beginning but I guess that’s kind of the point. I was also surprised to see David Bowie as Tesla. Maybe the way it was structured could have been slightly less confusing. The overall concept of the film was really cool though. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale were both very good. And if you didn’t already know it was a Christopher Nolan film because of how confused you were at the start, you could have worked it out because Michael Caine was in it. The big reveal about the twin was really cool and made me feel stupid because of the hints that were there in the beginning. It was also really weird seeing Scarlett Johansson with a British accent. Thoroughly enjoyed this film.
Parasite - 9/10
There were about fifteen minutes of this film where it could have been directed by Tarantino. Because it kinda came out of nowhere and then all of a sudden it was a fucking massacre. This was the first foreign language film I’ve seen, and I was surprised that after a while you just forget about the subtitles. I sort of assumed that you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the acting to the same extent. But you really could. I knew pretty much nothing about it before seeing it - just that it won Best Picture and it was in Korean. I ended up pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. It was very enjoyable to watch. It made some very interesting comments on class division, which were embedded in a pretty much perfectly made film. I’d have to watch it again, but I don’t think it would take too much for me to change this to a ten. Because it was really fucking good. Even though I’m almost a year late to the party.
BlacKkKlansman - 8/10
Holy. Fucking. Shit. What a film. If it hadn’t ended by showing the clips of the neo-nazi rallies in 2017, I think most people would have thought something along the lines of “oh my god, I can’t believe people like that used to exist, that’s awful”, but with the way it ended it forces you to realise that people like that still exist. Which is very clever. Aside from that, this film was very well made in most aspects. All the performances across the board were good. Spike Lee is becoming one of my favourite directors.
You’ve Got Mail - 7/10
Well, I didn’t know you used to have to log on to the internet. And that when you did no one could use the telephones. So maybe this film counts as educational in that respect. It was a perfectly good film to watch on a Sunday night. Clearly Meg Ryan was just the go-to for romantic comedies in the nineties (When Harry Met Sally was nineties right?). But yeah. I don’t really have a lot to say about this one. Just that it was perfectly entertaining and easy watching.
Blade Runner 2049 - 7/10
So first of all, this was definitely not as good as the first Blade Runner. But it definitely had a large amount of stuff going that made me question my existence. My mind feels like it has been completely and utterly fucked into oblivion after watching this. This was a lot slower than the first one I thought, and not as much actually happened. But the suspense and tension worked well. And after having watched it I was wondering if I was a robot and if Amazon’s Alexa is a human.
If you’ve read all the way to the end then thanks for reading I hope I wasn’t too dumb in the things I was saying.
[Vestiges of Power] Chapter 18
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With as many people down as we had, Opal and Archie, who had become the de facto leader for Billie’s Vestiges, agreed to slow down our traveling pace, making more stops and even stopping at a motel so that everyone could clean themselves more thoroughly. Lucy and I had to bunk with some others from Billie’s team, but everyone kept quiet and to themselves.
It was interesting to see the difference in how other Vestiges spent their time. The motel had boasted its recent renovations, including tankless hot water heaters when we looked it up at a gas station, so we all took long showers to wash off the grime of both traveling and fighting. I was hesitant about doing anything with magic, even though the cat was out of the bag that I had fire magic, so while the other two women sat on one side of the room practicing their respective magic, Lucy and I pulled up another workout video on my phone.
“You don’t mind if we do a workout?” I asked. “We’ll keep the video quiet.”
“Whatever,” one of the two women said.
The other one rolled her eyes. “Newbie.”
Lucy and I each took a second shower by the time we were done going through the playlist of workout videos. Despite the tankless water heater, by the time it was my turn to shower, the water was coming out cold. It felt good after the intense series of videos we had followed along to, but it was also disappointing to not feel hot water again, since it was unclear when we’d stop again, especially since I still needed some sleep, both physically, and to get into that dream.
The bathroom started steaming up, despite the cold water. Right. Fire magic. I supposed I had unconsciously tapped into it ever so slightly. Well, at least I wouldn’t freeze getting out of the shower if the bathroom was filled with steam.
We split from Opal’s group when we reached western Virginia. Not everyone was back in action, but both groups had recovered enough people that we felt comfortable splitting up. The part that worried me the most was that Billie was still out. Opal assured Archie and Billie’s other regulars that none of her Vestiges used laced weapons, and that whatever was happening was either natural, or something the Jorgensons had done that nobody had noticed.
“I thought they were all tied up with our getaway drivers,” Archie said.
“So did I,” Opal said. “But it’s hard to say. If we start having suspicious of foul play from the Jorgensons based on any of our currently fallen, we’ll let you know, now that we’ve got phone numbers.”
“Likewise,” Archie said. “Well, wouldn’t want to keep you from wherever it is you’re headed off to next.”
“And if you get any leads on Jorgensons, I’ve got a bone to pick with them,” Opal said.
Opal and Archie shook hands, everyone got into their respective vehicles, and we took off in our separate directions.
Archie took an even more leisurely pace through Virginia, sticking to back roads and stopping when we were at about half a tank of gas. I started wondering what was wrong with Billie when we were out of the mountains and starting to approach DC.
"It's been longer than it should usually take," Lucy said. "But we really shouldn't ask."
"How about what sort of activity we're supposed to be getaway drivers for?" I asked. "What if we're helping to steal the Declaration of Indepence?"
"Seriously?" Lucy asked. "You think some two hundred fifty year old parchment is what they're after?"
"Well I don't know what sort of stuff Vestiges might want to steal," I said.
“You’ve got a lot to learn,” Lucy said.
“No duh,” I said. “I’m just trying to avoid getting killed. But what sort of things would be more in line with what we might be assisting in the heist of.”
“For all we know, it could just be money,” Lucy said. “Probably something from one of the museums though.”
“Oh great, so we’re not just going to DC, we’re going to DC,” I said. “I hate traffic.”
“If they’re smart, they’ll pick a time that’s got less traffic,” Lucy said.
“We can hope,” I said.
We stopped in the middle of the afternoon when we started reaching the outer suburbs of DC. Archie had found a sizable truck stop, so after we had refueled and restocked, we stood around in a circle in some of the empty truck parking so we could strategize. “Billie’s not back yet, is he?” someone asked.
“Thanks for cutting to the chase,” Archie said. “We can prolly still get the item, but delivery’ll be a bit rough without Billie.”
“So do we wait?” someone else asked. “It hasn’t been a week yet, so it’s not quite time to worry.”
“We’ve got a deadline, remember,” yet another person said.
“A deadline, and a deal that was specifically for Billie to deliver it,” Archie said.
I didn’t know why the rest of Billie’s gang of Vestiges had thought that their leadership was in chaos. Archie seemed to have solid knowledge of their plans, and everyone seemed to respect him. But from my limited interactions, Billie had also run a pretty tight ship, whereas Archie was a bit more relaxed. Still business-like, but less tense.
“So we’re stuck,” the first speaker said.
“We can still acquire the item,” Archie said. “But if it gets down to it, we either try to bring Billie back, or I’ll try to deliver it. Alone.”
The other Vestiges started grumbling. They didn’t like the sound of this plan.
“Unless one of you’s got a better idea, it’s the best I’ve got,” Archie said. “Billy’d probably want us to at least get the item. From there, we can get in position and wait.”
Everyone acknowledged that Archie had a point. As the rest of the Vestiges piled back into their cars, Archie came over to talk to Lucy and I.
“I know the deal we had, but if you’re driving getaway, we’re going to need you to be able to drive a few others,” he said.
“We figured,” I said. “We do need the stuff we’ve got packed.”
“You’ll be operating out of somewhere, I assume?” Lucy asked. “Motel or warehouse I’m guessing?”
“Yeah,” Archie said. His face made it clear that he knew where Lucy was going.
“We get our own room, or at least all the keys to a room,” Lucy said. Or a lock on a locker. We’ll throw our stuff in there, and nobody else touches it.”
“Fair enough,” Archie said. “We’ve got a couple of options for where to base out of, so we’ll work it out when we get there. But that’s an easy enough thing to do for ya.”
We all shook on the agreement. Lucy and I had talked about it a little bit, but weren’t sure we’d be in a position to negotiate for it. The fact that Archie gave us that concession so easily was a weight lifted. Something about his demeanor made him seem more trustworthy than the rest of the Vestiges we were traveling with.
We were only driving an hour more to the motel we’d be based out of. Lucy and I were once again excluded from whatever meeting they had to plan their heist. I assumed we’d just be told when and where to be to pick up whoever we needed to be driving.
I looked through our snack food, more from nerves than actual hunger.
“Calm down,” Lucy said. “These things rarely go to shit. It’s usually in and out, and just a matter of having a vehicle that doesn’t attract attention.”
“Ah, yes, my old car that’s popular with street racers won’t attract attention,” I said. “Seriously, it’s DC. Big black SUVs with tinted windows are everywhere here.”
“Maybe when Congress is in session, or when the President is doing important stuff,” Lucy said. “It’s dead-ass in the middle of summer. Everyone’s off playing golf with campaign donors in Florida.”
That didn’t help to calm my nerves about my car sticking out like a sore thumb. “Besides, there’s security cameras everywhere, my license plate will be in every database within an hour,” I said.
“No, it won’t,” Lucy said. “If these guys are any good, which they seem to be, they’ll have a Techie with them who can disable nearby cameras. The fact that your car doesn’t have a lot of computers is probably a plus in their book. They can just fry everything in a certain radius, and we can race off into the sunset.”
“That sounds too easy,” I said.
“So what?” Lucy asked. “I bet you ten bucks that’s how it goes.”
“No real point in betting money if we’re already paying each other for stuff,” I said.
“Fine then what do you want to bet?” Lucy asked.
“I don’t know,” I said.
Arche knocked on my window. “We got the rooms,” he said once I had rolled the window down. “You’re in 139 with Elle and Clauds. We’re taking the rest of the day off, so you’ve got time to unload. Be ready at midnight.”
I took the keys that he dangled in the window and looked at the signs for where our room was so we could drive down there and reduce the distance we were hauling stuff.
“Anything else we should know?” Lucy asked.
“We’ll tell you when you need to know,” Archie said.
“Fair enough,” Lucy said.
We drove down to the room and unloaded as much stuff as we could bear to replace. I insisted on keeping one of my pots and frypans in the trunk in case we ever stayed at the fabled efficiency apartment with a stove for cooking for ourselves, or did more camping. Realizing the amount of sentimental crud I had brought with me was staggering. I had thought that I had been pretty efficient in my packing and had only brought things that I needed, but as we unloaded, I found that there was a lot more stuff that I didn’t really need, and that I hadn’t thought about since leaving home.
“Well, I guess we know what stuff to ship back to Jacks if we ever reach that point,” I said as I sorted through the stuff. I looked at the piles again. “You know, we could probably repack some of this stuff a little more efficiently so the backseat isn’t as cramped when we hit the road again.”
“We’ll see if there’s time,” Lucy said. “We could be just throwing it all in.”
“You said nobody’d be able to follow us,” I said.
“I did not,” Lucy said. “I just said it would be fucking hard for someone to positively ID us.”
“So you do think we’ll be getting chased?” I asked.
“Probably not,” Lucy said. “Unless building security has cars at the ready and authorization to leave and chase us.”
A knock came at the door and two women walked in. Lucy and I hadn’t been locking the door as we moved stuff back and forth between the room and the car, and they must have known that. Lucy and I quit our argument to assess our roommates.
“Y’all carry a lot of stuff ‘round,” one of the women said.
“We make more stops, when we’re on our own,” Lucy said. “And were driving through some pretty barren landscapes.”
“Whatever,” the other woman said, plopping herself down on one of the beds.
“Not to mention it’s cheaper to get groceries and eat on the road,” I added, looking at our collection of food.
“Hey, I ain’t judging y’all,” the first woman said. “Just observing.”
I made one more trip out to the car to make sure there wasn’t anything else we could reasonably put into the motel, and putting the rest of the stuff from the backseat into the trunk. I hoped that whatever it was they were planning on stealing didn’t take up too much space, because I didn’t have that big of a trunk to start with, and we weren’t going to have time to rearrange stuff if it needed to go in the trunk.
I got a short nap in during the afternoon, while Lucy tried to repack some of our stuff so it would take up less space. The results were less than impressive, but it was a start.
“Anything you can tell us about whatever it is we’re helping with?” Lucy asked.
“Not really,” the more talkative of the two women said. “We ain’t on this mission. As is, we’ll be hanging out next room over to make sure nothing fishy happens here.”
“Fair enough,” Lucy said. “How about Billie? He’s been out for more than a few days now.”
“Can’t say,” she said. “Haven’t been with him long enough to know what’s normal for him.”
Lucy sat to think for a moment. “He’s getting to the point where I’d worry about any Vestige.”
“Why’re you worried about him?” the second woman asked. “He’s not your boss. Him actually dying means you can go back to being rogues.”
“Better to have a known quantity than an unknown,” Lucy said.
“So how ‘bout y’all?” the first woman asked. “We could prolly still use a good getaway driver after this.”
“We’ve got other plans that we need to take care of,” I said. Then I remember the conversation Lucy and I had had about building up a reputation and favors. “But if we cross paths again, we’d consider it.”
“What sorta plans?” she asked.
Lucy and I looked at each other. I felt like it was painfully obvious that I was new to everything, but we didn’t want to verbally confirm it to too many people.
“Some friends of mine need a favor done,” Lucy lied. “We were headed in that general direction when your caravan caught up to us.”
“Better start getting ready,” the second woman said.
“How long does it take you to get ready?” I asked. I looked at my pile of clothes that were going back into the car, and the clothes I was going to wear for this. Lucy had decided that we’d be wearing the black outfits we had bought back when we were helping Fink with those Legacies. It was going to take me two minutes to change clothes, maybe another three to wash my face.
Since nobody moved, I got up and grabbed my clothes to make my point. Minutes later and I was dressed in black, hair secured away from my face, and feeling refreshed from the cold water on my face.
When I reemerged from the bathroom, all the of my roommates started laughing.
"Her magic isn't as conducive to storing," Lucy said. She was in the middle of going through my club purse and taking all the pennies out.
I opened my mouth to protest, but quickly decided against it. If we were stuck with each other for the long haul, it was going to be futile to keep insisting on some boundaries. Others would be essential, but my coin purse wasn't one of them.
"These will be better than smoke bombs though," Lucy said, taking the pennies in her hands and closing her eyes. Orbs of darkness formed and intensified before quickly dissipating.
A knock came on the door.
"You ready?"Archie asked.
We all got up. I took a look around the motel to make sure there wasn't anything else we absolutely needed, while Lucy went to open the door.
"Time to go," Archie said. He looked at all of us, and it struck me that I never learned which of the women was Elle which was Clauds.
Too late now though. We all left the room, and I locked the door behind us. It was time to get back on the road and get this job over with.