2019 Movie Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by benthebobjr, Aug 26, 2019.

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How many 2019 releases have you seen?

1-5 6 vote(s) 54.5%
6-10 1 vote(s) 9.1%
11-25 3 vote(s) 27.3%
25-49 0 vote(s) 0.0%
50+ 1 vote(s) 9.1%
  1. Another great read!
    I wonder, do you post these anywhere else? Your reviews seem too good to be restricted to a website that isn't even dedicated to films. :p (this being in the 'Miscellaneous' section)
    Nickblockmaster likes this.
  2. Thank you! Yes I do post them elsewhere. I write all my reviews for my Letterboxd page (a site dedicated to logging, reviewing, and listing movies) and then just take my reviews for major films or my reviews I'm most satisfied with writing and I share them here with my favourite community!

    Here's the link to my Letterboxd page though. You can see all my reviews, my ratings for over 750 films, what I watched and when I watched it, my ranking for movies in the years 2013-2019, and a bunch of other cool stuff:
    https://letterboxd.com/daybreaker/
    Nickblockmaster and 607 like this.
  3. Ah, nice! :)
    Nickblockmaster and benthebobjr like this.
  4. Featured review: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
    Grade: 5/10 - Not so beautiful


    A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood has secured its spot as one of the most underwhelming films of the year. I guess that's what happens when you build expectations. I'm about to criticize a movie partially about Fred Rogers. Can you ever forgive me?

    A journalist's life is enriched by friendship when he takes on an assignment profiling Fred Rogers. Based on the real-life friendship between journalist Tom Junod and television star Fred Rogers (Google).

    That is a bland synopsis Google. Let's retry, but this time I write the synopsis:

    A narcissistic journalist's life is horrible, and an assignment profiling Fred Rogers dares to change that. Based on the real attempt to bring optimistic thoughts to a pessimistic person. Plus it has Fred Rogers so go buy tickets now! He's even on the poster, and for sure he'll get the top of the credits!

    If you think you're in store for an optimistic biopic about Mr. Rogers, you are in for a surprise. I'm not going to fault the movie for having Mr. Rogers as a supporting character. In fact, I think he might work better there. It's a creative choice on how to handle a movie, and that's fine. However, I do wish they advertised it like that. It's almost misleading. As if they're using Mr. Rogers to sell tickets. Which I'm fairly confident they are.

    Now let's be fair. In advertising this movie around Mr. Rogers, they could also be hiding the fact that the rest of this movie has no appeal. Surprise, it doesn't. The plot, aside from Mr. Rogers, is a bland, boring, depressing, and predictable TV movie. Man is at odds with his father, he must have an epiphany to make amends.

    Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) is the main character of the film. He is a very unlikeable protagonist. He's a narcissistic asshole that has a depressing outlook on everything. In his first lines, Vogel exclaims that journalism is the only happy part of life, and he has a wife and a kid. A character like this is very hard to get behind, and hence hard to root for.

    Enter Mr. Rogers. He's very different, almost like a character foil to Vogel. That doesn't stop Vogel from doubting Mr. Rogers' realism and plotting to uncover a deep dark story behind the legend. So now the character we're supposed to be rooting for is not only an asshole but also trying to work against the icon of kindness.

    Mr. Rogers being Mr. Rogers wants to help Vogel get over his personal problems. That leaves the audience rooting for Mr. Rogers, not Vogel. In rooting for Mr. Rogers, who's rooting for Vogel, we're in turn rooting for Vogel as well. If that's confusing, imagine it this way: we're indirectly rooting for our main character. Which reminds me that this movie would fall apart without Mr. Rogers.

    I question how Lloyd Vogel got married. Also, before anyone says it was based on a true story, stop. The real person was Tom Junod. For whatever reason they changed the character's name to Lloyd Vogel. In the same sense I expect they changed more to his story, or if not, failed to change. There's no way this guy could be so pessimistic and still end up married with a kid, there has to be more there. You can tell his wife is irritated with him through most of the movie, and it makes you think he was like that for many years. Presumably long before he met his wife.

    A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood happens to be very experimental with things. An example of this is how the transitions are handled. When changing setting, the camera cuts to a miniature replica as it changes. Whether that be from New York to Philadelphia, or just night to day. The thing is, they don't do this all the time. So two-thirds of the transitions are like this. As if the miniature replica transitions weren't odd enough, they're also inconsistent. It's a small aspect of the film that just didn't work.

    Another thing that doesn't work, and also happens to be experimental, are the dream sequences. Apparently Mr. Rogers is nightmare-inducing now. The sequences were weird, and a little bit out of place. It threw off the tone, making a grounded movie about forgiveness and kindness feel more supernatural. Mr. Rogers starts to feel like an apparition, not a real human being.

    Warning: minor spoilers moving forward.

    Vogel wakes from his second dream sequence in Mr. Rogers' home. That's weird and doesn't make any sense. First of all, when did he go to sleep? The last scene before the dream sequence starts is him sitting on a bus going to Philadelphia. Are we to assume he had the dream on the bus? How did he wake up in Mr. Rogers' house? If that's not it, the scene before he woke up showed him passing out on the set of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. How long did he pass out for? A whole day? Why was he in Mr. Rogers' house and not the hospital? I just don't get it.

    In the next scene, Vogel and Mr. Rogers go to a restaurant. While there, the entire restaurant goes silent and Mr. Rogers stares at you, the audience, for what feels like a solid minute. Was that part of the dream? It never really specifies when it ends.

    That's only one of the things that A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood omits. Along with that, we also don't get to see the first conversation Vogel has with Mr. Rogers, and you don't get to see most of the second either. There's also another major conversation later in the film that you don't see. Was it that hard to write dialogue? The movie isn't at the length where adding another scene would be too long, so why not show it?

    I feel like this movie is easy to like. Having Mr. Rogers, a man who shines with wholesome, it's easy to feel good when all the depressing stuff isn't in your face. I don't want to say it's manipulating the audience, because I don't think that's what it was trying to do, but that's how it felt.

    For Marielle Heller to go from Can You Ever Forgive Me?, one of my favourite movies from last year, to A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is rather disappointing.

    Now, I didn't dislike everything about this movie. I thought Matthew Rhys was great given what he had to work with. I also thought Tom Hanks was amazing, no surprise there. He really disappears into the role. This raises a question as awards season begins, is Tom Hanks a supporting actor? Obviously he is a supporting character in the movie, but come to the credits he is named before Rhys twice. When you Google the cast he is named first. He's on every poster, the star of the trailers. Perhaps it will be like Olivia Colman in The Favorite and they'll pitch him for lead actor. That would certainly be an upset.

    If nothing else, Tom Hanks carried A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood into "watchable" status. He's not enough to save it, and not enough for me to like it, but his performance was undeniably great. I just wish it was a better movie. If you want Fred Rogers, go watch the actual show. Or if not, go watch Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    Other recent 2019 watches:
    The Report: 8/10
    TuckerAmbr, 607 and Nickblockmaster like this.
  5. I've updated the reserved second post on this thread to include my "Best of the Decade" list. There you can see my ranking of what I consider to be the best films released in the 2010s. Everyone will have different thoughts as to where things rank. If you have your own thoughts I encourage you to share! I'd love to see people share their Top 10 of the decade or such! As I get through a few more top-rated films from this decade I do expect the list shall be updated slightly.

    Thank you!
    607 likes this.
  6. From context, and comparing against the post in this thread, I can say with almost 100% certainty that you meant to write "e.g.", not "i.e.". ;)

    I see La La Land at the top; I remember that when that came out, a lot of people were enthusiastic about it! Another Day of Sun is in my favourites on SST.
    I wasn't expecting to have seen any of the films on your list yourself, but I was surprised! I've watched The Disaster Artist and Inside Out. :)
  7. Ah yes, thank you! I have a bad habit of mixing those two up.

    La La Land is an amazing film! It is so beautifully crafted, with catchy songs and wonderful performances. It also means a lot to me. La La Land was the film that really got me interested in the artform of cinema. After watching it I got the idea of pursuing a career in film, and the deeper meaning of follow your dreams also helped support that. I rewatched it three weeks ago and it still held all the power it did from my initial watch, plus more added meaning and importance to me. That's why La La Land is not only what I consider the best film of 2016, but the best of the decade, and my all-time favourite.

    Inside Out and The Disaster Artist are certainly fantastic. I wish The Disaster Artist got more recognition at the Academy Awards to be honest. I encourage you to check out some more of the films if you get the chance. Marriage Story, my 4th spot, drops on Netflix this Friday (the 6th). It's a masterpiece. Whiplash, my 2nd spot, is written and directed by Damien Chazelle who directed and wrote La La Land. Both Blade Runner 2049 and Ex Machina are Sci-Fi masterpieces in different ways. I mean I could go on about a ton more but I'll refrain for now.
    607 likes this.
  8. I might look into some of these you name later (it's late now, with 'later' I mean another day :rolleyes:), to see if they might be for me, but I might as well ask you.
    I don't often watch movies, but when I do it's usually animation targeted at kids (and even that so rarely that a Disney+ subscription is not worth it :p). Besides, excepting a few cases (like The Disaster Artist), all films I've seen recently (live-action included) I watched almost primarily to get to know the context of the soundtrack, as I'm into the art of music a lot more than I'm into the art of film.
    It doesn't have to be animation (Inside Out seems to be the only one on your list in that regard), but are any of your favourites 1. kid-friendly and 2. remarkably well scored? :D
    Edit: The kid-friendliness is kind of important to me. I wouldn't watch a film like The Matrix, and even if it's not violent films can be quite hefty to me. For example, I think the best film I've ever seen is The Truman Show, but when I got the chance to watch it again 2 years ago I chose not to, because when I watched it for the first (and so far only) time it emotionally exhausted me.
    But if you have anything on your list that's as easy as, say, Pride & Prejudice, I'll be glad to hear. :D
  9. I just pulled up my list of animated films I've watched, I'll see what I recall having a nice score.
    • Frozen & Frozen 2 (the score was one of the better parts of the sequel)
    • Toy Story 4 (one of the best animated films of 2019, I can't remember the score but I know it has original songs competing for Best Original Song at the Oscars this year)
    • The Lego Movie & The Lego Movie 2 (have some catchy tunes, also hilarious at the same time)
    • The Lion King (my favourite animated film of all time, and a Disney classic)
    • Aladdin (In the same sense as The Lion King, it's a Disney classic)

    So pretty much anything Disney (or moreso classic Disney) will have music integrated into it. I've never seen Fantasia, but it would be an example of an animated Disney musical. Other ones like Beauty and the Beast, Snow White..., you get the idea.

    -----------------------------------
    Now in terms of music based ones, here's what I got:
    • Rocketman (One of the best musical biopics I've seen. It's not super kid-friendly though)
    • Bohemian Rhapsody (sigh. I don't like this one, but if you like Queen you might)
    • Yesterday (It's a rather cliche film for the most part, but it's got an amazing Beatles soundtrack)
    • A Star Is Born (I think it's slightly overrated when it comes to the film, but the soundtrack is undeniably good)
    • Whiplash (Okay, this is not for kids... at all. It's extremely intense. However, it is one of the best)
    -----------------------------------
    I think people overlook short films too much, but I have to recommend one animated short. It came out this year and it's probably the best animated short I've seen. If you have eight minutes to spare, check it out:
    607 likes this.
  10. Toy Story 4, I haven't seen it but my parents have. It truly does look amazing. I hope this is the end to the series, because, from what my parents told me, it ended quite well.
    benthebobjr likes this.
  11. I knew that, I have watched quite a bit of Disney. ;) Recently I saw The Aristocats again, which is my childhood favourite, and although it was not very memorable, it is very cute musically, and a couple of the tracks have gone into my favourites (the songs The Aristocats and Scales and Arpeggios and the scores The Goose Steps High and The Butler Sneak).
    It was funny to see these two together, especially with "In the same sense as [...]", because while The Lion King is my favourite Disney (and the score is amazing... Stampede + Mufasa Dies is breathtaking), I did not like Aladdin. :p

    It's also slightly amusing to see this list feature a lot of films about pop groups (or so it seems), as I am actually not interested in that. :D I don't mind Disney songs, but for me the focus always lies on the instrumental parts of the score. Some of my favourite scores are (in no particular order):
    • Good Bye Lenin!
    • Pok√©mon: Detective Pikachu
    • Forrest Gump
    • How To Train Your Dragon
    • The Lion King (Elton John's songs are amazing too, and so are Tim Rice's lyrics for them, but the most important part is indeed Hans Zimmer's score, to me)
    • Pride & Prejudice
    • The Truman Show (this one has got a lot of reused tracks; I'm planning to watch one of the original soundtracks soon)
    • Laputa: Castle in the Sky
    I'm sure you'll know some of these? :D

    I've added it to my Watch Later! Thanks. :D