such-beautifully-shot-scenes

ya girl is here with her the last jedi review

here’s my non-spoiler review: the writing is terrible the movie is shit and i honestly think that rian was drunk while writing this

spoilers under the cut 

ok so 

le good

- acting, everyone was incredible. Especially Daisy Mark and Adam. 

-Cinematography in some scenes. That hyper-speed scene was breathtaking. 

- REY. Even when she was ooc i still loved her and i adore Daisy.

-The first 30 or smth minutes of the movie was good, we had stormpilot and rey was in character and it was just nice to watch

-the Kylo Ren characterization (only kylo i will get to this point later) was good. He’s evil and that’s it . Too bad that he is a fascist and an abuser and i want to kick him in the face with a truck so I couldn’t enjoy it but honestly you can see that Rian nutted every time Kylo spoke in tfa so I will take any good writing that i can get.

-THE FINNREY REUNION it was one of the best scenes in the entire movie. It was emotional happy and just nice. 

-that poe rey interaction. yes give me the gay power duo

- i liked rey’s second outfit

-Luke’s death was a beautifully shot scene too bad that is was shi-


ok i cannot find any more good in this film so 

the bad or the scenes that made me want to die

- whomst the fuck does Rian think he is? He literally changes so much in this film. He ends the entire skywalker family for fuck’s sake. Who gave him the fucking power? You are not ending a trilogy Rian get your head out of your ass

- Why does this movie treat its female characters so badly? Rey does not have a storyline, she is just a plot device in Kylo Rat’s storyline. Rose is not a well-thought-out character, she is just there for forced hetero romance. Her storyline does not matter at all.

-Yeah while we are at that; poe finn and rose’s storyline does not matter. They literally could’ve done anything in the entire “storyline” and it wouldn’t change shit. I don’t know what Rian was thinking when he was writing this

-like everyone is so ooc? It was painful to watch rey poe and luke in some scenes

-The movie is f u l l of plotholes. In it’s most basic form, okay so resistance has a fuel problem. But the first order doesn’t? They literally can jump a little or send a few ships? What the fuck?

-The movie treats it’s POC characters so fucking badly I wanted to choke rian with my own two hands

-Yes so, What is the plot of the movie you ask? Kylo Rat and for some reason his non-redemption. This fucker literally killed his father, tried to kill Finn, killed Leia (i mean he doesn’t know that she’s alive so that makes her dead from his pov) and tried to kill Rey multiple times. He was okay with the entire resistance dying because of this “ let the past die bullshit”. He manipulated Rey throughout the movie and I am just sick of him. “Star Wars is about hope!11!!!1″ “Anakin had a redemption !111!!”  first of all george lucas himself thinks that Anakin didn’t have a redemption; he just saved Luke and died. I would’ve agreed to the hope thing if he dIDNT KILL LEIA IN THE FIRST HOUR OF THE FUCKING MOVIE. THIS FUCKER IS A VILLIAN A BAD GUY HE IS NOT A BAD BOI THAT NEEDS SAVING, HE IS BAD HE IS EVIL FUCK YOU FOR ROMANTICISING HIM

-Rey/o force skyping was the most ridiculous thing i watched with my own two eyes

-May i ask how long does this movie take place? Because Rey literally sleeps a few times while the entire finn poe rose storyline happens in 18 hours or something.

-This movie was a big fuck you to everyone who tried to come up with theories.

snoke? he’s dead fuck you

Rey’s parents? nobodies, lmaooo you thought we would come up with something logical? fuck you

-Rian wrote this script before he watched tfa and oh my god does it show, everything jj tried to do with tfa is not cared or entirelly forgotten.

-it just has such a shitty writing like for fuck’s sake

-If you are brining back an old character as a force ghost at least bring ewan back? Like we all know this guy wears his jedi robes under his clothes every day in case someone calls him. Give him what he wants and give me another scene with my boi Obi-wan Kenobi. BUttt yees Yoda, 

- Rian Johnson, you are writing a star wars movie not a marvel movie stop it with the jokes



I literally can go on but it is getting late and this post is a becoming a mess.

sorry for any mistakes i am not a native speaker and i am too angry to come up with actual grammatically correct logical sentences.

Summary, fuck rian johnson and someone get his new trilogy away from him.

Fall 2017 Update!

Hey, this blog still exists! It’s been about half a year since I’ve written anything up, and it’s been a bussyyyyy time in my life. Got married, started a new position and found out I’m going to be a father next spring! Amidst all of those changes, I’ve still somehow managed to see a bunch of movies over the last 6/7ish months. I wanted to do a kind of catch-up on here to make up for lost time, a kind of ‘speed round’ for the blog. I’ll still do my end of year top 8 early January I’m sure, but I wanted to get something up before then (and I’ll be honest, we ran out of work at my job today and they’re making us watch Hocus Pocus on a super small TV in the auditorium so I’m boooorrrred). So anyway, here’s some thoughts on a selection of movies I’ve caught over the last few months!

I wanted to write about this one from earlier in the year because I wrote about Director Nacho Vigalondo’s other film ‘Timecrimes’ way back in the day for the blog (check it out with the archives link above if you feel like it). This movie was a ride. From moment to moment, I had no idea where this movie was going next. Vigalondo makes movies that nobody else could, straight from his wild imagination. Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudekis are both great in their roles, especially the latter in a shockingly dynamic role that I won’t spoil here. There are a lot of gender politics at play in this one that I wasn’t expecting, but it makes for a poignant finished product that I’m super glad I caught in theaters. Check this one out at Redbox if you want a dark, funny and totally original, unpredictable experience.

What else could I say about this one that hasn’t been said by most critics and obviously the worlds box office. This movie clicked with seemingly everyone, taking the #1 spot at the box office for 2016 so far, surprising everyone. I had a blast with this movie, with it’s creative and beautifully shot action scenes and measured pace. Wonder Woman isn’t afraid to slow down and let its characters breathe a bit, creating one of the best relationships I’ve ever seen in a superhero movie between Steve and Diana. Gal Gadot is revelatory as Diana and Chris Pine is as good as ever. I’ve always been more of a Marvel fan, but I’m truly happy that the DCU finally got a win, and I hope they have plenty more to come.

I’ve been eagerly waiting for the latest from Edgar Wright and as expected, it did not disappoint. The guy is one of the most exciting new directors working right now, possibly the MOST exciting, and his latest is a pure blast of energy like only he can deliver. More akin to a musical than his usual dark action/comedies, he’s doing something different and more challenging with Baby Driver. He’s getting even better as an action director, and the editing especially in this movie deserves an Oscar. This is one of the most fun movies you’ll see all year, and I’ll recommend it to everybody I meet.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that director Bong Joon-ho is one of my favorite directors working today. I wrote about The Host and Snowpiercer on here, and his latest might be my favorite work of his yet. His usual balancing act of tones is on display in Okja, a movie that is equal parts a Spielberg Amblin-era film with some Miyazaki, and a good amount of dark satire to top it off. It’ll make you second guess eating meat for a while after watching it. Okja also has one of the most bonkers, out-there performances of the year with Jake Gyllenhall’s psychotic TV nature-show host. This one is a Netflix exclusive, so definitely carve out some time for Okja.

The third attempt at Spider-Man finally nails the character like only Marvel studios could. Don’t get me wrong, I really love Raimi’s Spidey 1 and 2, but Tom Holland is the PERFECT Peter Parker AND Spider-Man. The movie is more of a coming of age story than a typical superhero movie, and it benefits from having a much smaller scale than a lot of the typical Marvel/superhero movies. It also benefits greatly from taking place in this universe Marvel has been crafting for almost 10 years now. It also has probably the best Marvel villain yet in Michael Keaton’s ‘Vulture’, a character as grounded and human as our heroes. It’s another great addition to the MCU, and I can’t wait to check this one out again.

The second to last one I wanted to write about is ‘It’, the surprisingly huge box office sensation. I didn’t expect much out of this movie for one reason or another. The trailers were effective, but I just expected a run of the mill jump-scare fest. I had also watched the original movie/miniseries awhile back and thought I knew what to expect. The movie definitely has plenty of jump scares, but I was surprised at how much heart the movie had. The cast of child actors were great across the board, and I was surprised at how emotionally engaged I was with their journeys through the movie. On top of that, all of the creepy clown stuff really worked for me, and Skarsgard killed in the role of Pennywise (no pun intended). I was surprised at how much I enjoyed It, and I’m stoked to see where the story goes next in part 2

I really can’t believe this movie exists in its current form. The fact that Marvel locked down Taika Waititi for a ‘Thor’ movie is ridiculous, and that he didn’t quit mid-production is even more shocking in this Hollywood climate. Thor Ragnarok is a breath of fresh air for not only the Thor series (yes it’s obviously the best of the three) but really, for Marvel as well. In my opinion, it one-ups Guardians vol. 2 (which isn’t on here but I really enjoyed) by being a straight-up delivery machine of fun and hilarious moments. Jeff Goldblum at his Goldblumiest, Waititi as the scene stealing ‘Korg’, and Thor actually being an awesome, badass character?! Yes!


That’s going to do it for this speed round on the blog! I just wanted to do a bit of a catch up on some of what I’ve been watching lately. I’ve seen a lot more than these, and will definitely write up more near the end of the year. Some of these might be on my faves list but most won’t be. If there’s something surprisingly absent from here, chances are it’ll pop up later this year. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed reading this, and as always hit me up to talk about any of the above movies! I’ve been busy with my movie podcast ‘Director Showdown’ that I make with Adam Daufen, so go check that out on iTunes if you haven’t and thanks for reading!

ms-daphne replied to your post “I never did write anything original during November. I got as far as…”

I think it would be an interesting storytelling excercise for like all of hollywood to do this for one year. One solid year of movies being 17% male. You know, as an exercise. A cinematic etude.

Fuck yes.

Like I said, it doesn’t have to like, be a Thing. Nobody’s ever got to mention it. “What do you mean, there’s no men in this film? Chris Hemsworth’s got his shirt off in it for like, five whole minutes! There’s a whole long scene where we watch him work out!” “He dies in the second scene.” “Yes but he’s so important to the emotional arc of the film, you know?”

It’d be neat if they did this with race, too–

“What? There are totally white people in this film. Our Hero and her lithe, feisty-but-submissive Love Interest/Sidekick Boy [who will either later die to fuel her woman-pain OR will be her trophy at the end] go to the exotic, distant Suburbs to meet up with the Mystical Caucasian! Her husband prepares them traditional foods [there’s a beautifully-shot scene where our protagonists struggle to respectfully eat hot dogs suspended in gelatin and unseasoned boiled chicken breasts with no salt, played for laughs] and then imparts plot-crucial Mystical Knowledge to them, whereupon they flee, and the Suburbs are destroyed by the pursuing Big Bad. These characters are never mentioned again except in a desultory flashback where the Hero is given renewed resolve to defeat the Big Bad because of the horrible tragedy of what it did to the Suburbs.”

But what do I know. 

OK BUGHEAD ASIDE. 

CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW BEAUTIFULLY THIS SCENE WAS SHOT?

LOOK AT THAT DUAL REFLECTION OF ALICE. ALL OF HER SECRETS AND LIES AND THE MASK SHE WEARS AND BETTY’S ASKING HER TO EXPOSE THEM. And it’s so telling that because Betty is facing her mom head on she can’t see that dual reflection. 

I LOVED the way that they cut this scene with Betty and Alice to Penelope and Cheryl. How it’s Betty standing her ground, facing her mother on equal footing, and even forcing Alice back a little, demanding the truth and leaving Alice shell shocked. So much growth since the pilot scene where Alice swoops in, condescendingly holds Betty’s chin, drops of Betty’s meds, and swoops out. 

AND THEN. IT TRANSITIONS TO CHERYL AND PENELOPE. And even though Cheryl has the higher ground on the stairs it is still Penelope on the lower level taking control. Cheryl’s sad baby voice BEGGING for her mommy to let her stay home killed me and then Penelope DOES NOT CARE. She literally says she does not care. And poor Cheryl runs away. 

AND THEN. IT TRANSITIONS BACK TO ALICE AND BETTY. AND ALICE IS THE MOST DRESSED DOWN WE HAVE EVER SEEN HER. Alice has clearly been crying and Betty is in a battle ready pose. Alice WILLINGLY SURRENDERS. She sits down on the bed, putting herself on a lower level, and exposes her secrets to Betty. Madchen had me in TEARS crying along with Alice. And I LOVE this emotional honesty that Betty is trying to build into all of her relationships. With Jughead, with the rest of her friends, and with her mother. 

These three scenes were absolutely gorgeous. 

Mindhunter

I’m seven episodes in, and I think I’m in love.

I could have binged the whole thing by now, but I’m…savouring it, enjoying the details and luxuriating in the experience. Thoughts not quite in order. (And spoilers up until episode 7)

1. David Fincher directed one of my all time favourite films - Zodiac - and Joe Penhall wrote a play, Blue/Orange, that I saw years ago at the Dublin Theatre Festival, and which I still admire. So, I was kind of primed to like this from the start. One of the things that I’ve always liked about Fincher as a director is…he’s incredibly good at portraying intellectual passions. Think of how many terrible films about writers or scientists you’ve seen - it is genuinely hard to get inside an intellectual process, especially one that drives someone to extremes, and make it comprehensible to the audience. But Mindhunter lives and dies by its ability to do exactly that, and I think it does it extremely well.

2. I enjoyed Hannibal - I watched every episode as soon as it aired, and I thought it was almost always a genuine pleasure to watch. But the third season kind of fell apart, and I think part of that was…the writers kind of falling under the spell of their own creation, and refusing to let Hannibal ever lose (in a dramatic sense). Now, I understand that Hannibal was purposefully unrealistic, almost performed in an operatic key, but it still fell into the trap of glamorousing its leading man.

Which Mindhunter never does. There’s something…comforting in the idea of murderers as artists, driven by complex, aesthetic desires, existing almost apart from us mere mortals. That makes them distant and unlikely - there are so few people like that after all. But Mindhunter’s killers feel more real to me - they’re mostly grubby, insignificant, pathetic men driven by solipsism and hatred of women. They’re not deep - in fact, their lack of depth is almost the point of them - they’re the OPPOSITE of glamourous - and that people who are so ordinarily, boringly horrible are capable of such…extravagant destruction, is precisely what makes them frightening.

3. I kind of love Debbie and Holden’s relationship. Mostly because…it feels like a relationship that is inevitably going to end - they never quite manage to communicate, and yet you can see them both…wanting something from the other that they are only almost getting. I’m not rooting for them exactly - I don’t think those two crazy kids will make it work, but the reasons why are quite revealing. Holden seems to vacillate between wanting Debbie as a partner and as an audience, without realising it himself.

I have seen some unpleasant comments about Jonathan Groff not playing a believeable heterosexual, which I think is nonsense. He’s awkward with Debbie because he’s awkward in general, I think - and the long, slow once-over he gives her in the bar the first night they meet was beautifully played. (I’ve often wondered if it’s a challenge for actors, specifically, to convey sexual desire on-screen, it’s so easy to tip over into sleaziness if they overplay it - there’s a distinction between lust and desire, but making that clear is a delicate balancing act).

4. It’s beautifully shot. There’s a scene with Wendy in the basement where the light keeps flickering through her glass of wine that is almost ludicrously gorgeous (especially for a bog-standard basement).

5. Wendy has the smooth, even bob that I keep having to remind myself my hair will not do. Ever.

6. I love Bill Tench. It’s hard to convey decency and make it dramatically interesting, and yet the actor manages to bring across his complexities, but also his fundamental goodness, incredibly well. How he didn’t whack Holden with a newspaper or something in the first episodes, I don’t know. (I have a tendency to remember voices more than faces, which meant I ended up spending the first episode distracted, because I knew I’d heard his voice before but couldn’t place him. Turns out he had a bit part in The Peacemaker - years ago - and that’s why I remembered him. Why THAT stayed in my mind but not a word of German, I don’t know).

7. There was some dreadful, tin-eared dialogue in the first episode. Like the writers desperately needed to establish certain ideas for the audience and weren’t too bothered about bludgeoning us over the head to do it (possibly a poor choice of words, in context).

8. I can’t say how relieved I am that we don’t have to SEE all the sexualised violence against women.

My review of SW: TLJ (spoilers)

Star wars, star wars, what do I have to say? Well, it was a good movie definitely, an 8/10 IMHO. TLJ had its strengths but definitely a few weaknesses that just spoiled it a little for me.

To start, Oscar Isaac was definitely one of the shining moments of the film. He was just so charismatic and likeable that I fell even more in love with Poe. Even though they wrote his character to the Angry Hispanic stereotype, Oscar delivered an amazing performance with moments of softness and emotions amidst all the chaos. His heart eyes at Finn was too much for my heart ♥️ Not to mention, he was really pretty in the film. Like REALLY pretty. And his relationship with his 2 space moms, absolutely loved it. Though it was pretty unnecessary for Leia to slap him, my poor baby.

Apart from my obvious love for Poe, I also loved Finn’s entire journey with Rose and how my little ex-stormtroooper just can’t stop himself from trying to do good. His story arc form starting the film about to leave and save only Rey, to discovering that together with Rose they had a chance to save the Resistance cruiser, and to finally deciding to sacrifice himself to give the resistance base some time just resonated with me. Rose was just lovely as well. She was just so pure and loving and cute and uhhhhh I just want to hug her so bad. Anddd, that line it how they’re not gonna win the war by fighting those we hate but by saving those we love, it just left me in tears. (pretty sure my friends were embarrassed they were watching the film with me hehe) One thing that didn’t sit well with me though, was how they made Finn and Rose’s journey be the bridge that caused the first order to find out about vice admiral Holdo’s plans. But meh, you don’t always get what you want.

Next part of the film that I liked was just Rey and Luke’s scenes on the Jedi Island. There were so many funny little moments, a few parallels to Empire strikes back and just Luke being Luke. I didn’t like how they make Rey’s character so tied to Kylo tho. I just couldn’t bring myself to enjoy how reliant they made Rey’s character development in this film to Kylo. Yes they share a force bond and yes Rey spend most of the film trying to bring Kylo to the light with her but like that entire convo abt how she’s nothing but not to him… that boy doesn’t deserve your saving Rey. On top of that, they’re pushing Rey into the “naive little girl who always sees the best in everyone” role that just seemed a little ooc to me. She’s survived pretty long by herself dealing with illegal traders and junkers, I’m pretty sure she’s not that naive.

Finally, all the scenes with Leia. I just loved them, she always seemed to change the air around her and always seemed to make things seem better. Everyone in the theatre was always extra silent and attentive whenever she was on. And that scene where she used the force, it killed me. Ohhh and “In Loving Memory Of Our Princess Carrie Fisher”. Let’s just say there were a few tears.

All in all, what made The last Jedi wasn’t amazing individual performances or the number of beautifully shot scenes, it was how the film was in its root, a star wars movie. While there were parallels to the empire strikes back, it didn’t mirror it as much as I feared it would.

P.S. Force Ghost Yoda is a little shit and I love it.

P. P. S. This is just my take on the film and I’m pretty sure it’s very different from many others.

7

As a devoted Person of Interest fan, In Extremis, S.2:20 is one of my favorites for several reasons.  The writers, Greg Plageman and Tony Camerino put everybody in extremis to one degree or another.

First, and most importantly, The Machine is dying. The number, Dr. Nelson, is dying.  Fusco is about to be arrested for murder. Carter has a huge moral dilemma- her hatred of dirty cops and her partner.

The most shocking was Finch gathering polonium and handing it off to Reese who murders a man with it.  Our mild-mannered, anti-violence Finch- I mean, what a terrible thing for him!

Stuffed into this complex story were flashbacks of how Fusco began his criminal activities; Dr. Nelson’s relationship with his daughter; Snarky Reese (always a good thing); and some beautifully shot scenes by Director Chris Fisher and DOP Manuel Billeter.  And Bear made a short but dramatic appearance.

There were also many many locations with one scene shot in the middle of a blizzard! Can’t beat all this.  Super Episode.

I fucking love Kingsman movies. I might draw a really self-indulgent self insert at some point. I just fucking love those movies. They’re so beautifully shot and that scene in the West-Borough Baptist Church in the first one is still one of the best scenes in film history.

10

Leading Films of 2015

In place of a Top 10 films of 2015 list, A-BitterSweet-Life presents a list of films from the past year that bring forth the magical quality of visual storytelling while shedding light on how cinema as an art form can provide uniquely captivating stories that attest to the power of cinematic expression.

45 Years is a film all film lovers regardless of age ought to see, a cinematic experience all filmmakers ought to aspire to create: engaging, revealing, emotionally pulling, and inspiring. Director Andrew Haigh demonstrates the captivating effect of simplicity and subtlety, and whether it is through a long take of a human in reflection or the sound of the mountains burdening the soul of one imagining past events, he offers audiences and filmmakers an example of a film that naturally defines the artistic in cinema and the art form’s ability to capture and portray life in a close-to-the-skin, honest manner. The Assassin directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien shares a similar spotlight. The art of cinema could be defined as the poetry of moving pictures and sounds through Hou’s enchanting take on the wuxia film. Beautifully shot and edited scenes along with an impressionistic narrative reveal how a filmmaker of detail can create something so refreshing and yet all the while timeless, bringing to light the significance of the filmmaker’s style. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant reaffirms how exploring new frontiers in terms of ways to tell cinematic stories can be as equally impacting as an epic portrayal of survival and frontier justice. Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario pays further attention to the possibilities offered by the language of film: when guided by an attention for the visual and aural elements of film language, even a drug cartel thriller can deliver elegance, even artistic action films can exist.

Again we visit romantic love, and like Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years, Todd Haynes offers a captivating example with Carol of harmony in film, when each of its elements such as direction, the image, and performance come together to create what seems like a perfect arrangement of things. It brings to mind Robert Bresson’s definition of cinema: 

To me cinema is the art of having each thing in its place. In this it resembles all the other arts. Like the anecdote about Johann Sebastian Bach playing for a student, the student gushes with admiration, but Bach says, “There’s nothing to admire. You just have to hit the note at the right time, and the organ does the rest.” 

Son of Saul is unflinching on its quest to depict the realities of the Holocaust in film rather than approaching it for dramatic value. Once a student of Béla Tarr, director László Nemes similarly chooses to address the human situation within a story with his first feature, and he boldly sheds light on the transportational quality of film and its power to offer an intimate human experience. Comparisons to a master like Tarr do not come close to truly describing the true nature of the Nemes’ style of directing, it only furthers arguments for a promising career. Meanwhile, Creed director Ryan Coogler continues to impress. His sophomore effort shows how a film in the right hands can elevate from mere entertainment and offer an engaging cinematic experience. Paolo Sorrentino proves yet again that a stylistic approach to storytelling can enchant audiences–his film Youth is striking, visually and emotionally. Unique and intelligent filmmaking with an honest voice reveals itself in Marielle Heller’s first feature film Diary of a Teenage Girl and makes the demand for more diverse and human stories. “The human” continues to resurface in this list because one may say that film is the ultimate expression of the human experience. As such, John Crowley beautifully awakens the past and echoes the journeys of many with the well-crafted and emotionally engaging Brooklyn.

Honorable Mentions: Girlhood, Slow West, The Duke of BurgundyMe, My Friend Earl, and the Dying Girl, Joy, Phoenix, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.