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With that said, I'm up to three films all the same, though they were all home viewing. None of them are particularly inspiring. More on that and the first way-too-early list in a second.
But just to get this started, I'll explain what this topic is in case you're new and have run into this for the first time. This topic is part of a yearly tradition where myself and many others post to discuss the movies we saw, and/or post reviews, lists, whatever the case may be. The topic generally will keep to movies from 2019 (2018 is still active as of this posting). Over the years I have had fun watching the list grow and by the end of the year it makes it easier to gauge just how good or bad the year was. 2018 was a high-water mark for me, as I saw about 120 movies and counting. I'm not sure I will get to as many in 2019, but I'll feel pretty good as long as I hit 100 or so.
And now, for some very quick thoughts on the three movies I have seen:
Fyre, or "the Netflix one", is the documentary I chose to watch about the fated Fyre Festival. It's a fun recap of the 2017 fiasco, that takes pleasure dunking on virtually everyone involved from the braintrust behind the festival to the people that are easily influenced by quote unquote social media influencers. But even though there is enough to scratch our heads about why we let people like Billy McFarland have enough power to desert thousands of people on an island, it begins to feel like it covers and recovers the same ground. At some point, I think the film would be better if it shifted its focus to us and figured out why we get so much joy dunking on these festival goers. Sure they are vapid and over-privileged enough to where they would spend thousands to go to a hypothetical festival, but this should have been scarier than it was in the moment, right? Still, there's enough there to inform about the dangers of following influencers sight unseen, which is a very current theme in today's culture, and the documentary manages to be funny enough.
Velvet Buzzsaw is the second of two Netflix Originals that I saw in early 2019. The ensemble cast is pretty much one that you would dream of watching, but unfortunately the movie's take on the art world just isn't as scathing as it seems to think it is. I was pretty much over it by the time it got to its genre switcheroo. There are good character moments particularly from Toni Colette and Jake Gyllenhaal, but Dan Gilroy's films seem to be sticking in my mind in decreasing fashion as we go.
Lastly, I rented Piercing, which was frankly an embarrassing De Palma wannabe starring Christopher Abbott and Mia Wasikowska. The story is that a new father hears voices and decides that he wants to go away and secretly kill a prostitute to satisfy them. That's a fine setup and all, and it's actually a little tense for the prostitute (Wasikowska) up until the first small twist, and then it just becomes a race against the clock to see who can get over who before the film ends and it gets harder and harder to care.
2. Velvet Buzzsaw
Pretty dire start, but things should be looking up. I'm not getting out of this weekend without watching High Flying Bird, and then I should be able to carve out some time to see Cold Pursuit this week as well. Second year in a row that my first theater outing will be a Liam Neeson film.
I’ve gotta catch up on the Netflix movies of note soon, especially High Flying Bird. So far I’ve only seen Escape Room
It was not good
The only 2019 movie I've seen so far is Reign of the Supermen. For some reason, it failed to grab me as much as The Death of Superman did. It was still an enjoyable follow-up.
Well, Lego Movie 2 is out, so that oughta be a good one.
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1. Ash is Purest White
3. High Flying Bird
5. High Life
6. The Image Book
7. Her Smell
8. Velvet Buzzsaw
We also would have accepted, "Tell me what you think of me."
I'm looking forward to seeing High Flying Bird though I'm going to try and finish up with a few things from last year before starting on films from this year.
Seeing 8 movies by this point is pretty good, especially with that quality. It looks like I'm still over a month out from Ash is Purest White.
I’ve seen 18, but 16 are festival holdovers and 2 are Netflix. I haven’t been out to the movies in awhile.
1. Ash is Purest White
2. Coincoin and the Extra-Humans
6. A Land Imagined
8. High Flying Bird
9. The Proposal
10. All Good
11. An Elephant Sitting Still
12. Diary of My Mind
14. Manta Ray
15. Long Day's Journey Into Night
17. In the Aisles
Only thing I've seen in the theater is Glass, the rest are festival or screeners (some of which might not get released, who knows), or Netflix. Going to watch High Flying Bird today.
3. Under the Silver Lake
4. Season of the Devil
7. Utoya: July 22
9. Everybody Knows
10. Sophia Antipolis
13. At War
14. Girls of the Sun
16. Velvet Buzzsaw
I saw this topic's namesake, Robert Krzykowski's The Man Who Killed Hitler and then Bigfoot. I thought it was useless. You have the considerable presence of Sam Elliot, someone you'd imagine would be tailor-made for a contemporary b-movie/grindhouse exhibition in the vein of Brawl in Cell Block 99, and you waste him on a banal, horrifyingly glossy and superficial examination on grief. Normally that bait-and-switch would work on me but this thing is terribly uninteresting, loading a soaring John William-esque score that would seem to undercut any potential moment of authenticity. Whole thing rings terribly false and I just could never jibe with what this film was trying so tirelessly to do.
Also saw High Flying Bird which I would consider to be the best film of 2019 so far (excluding festival items I saw last year). It's just so breathlessly efficient and rich in all the qualities that make a Soderbergh film Soderberghian. Also benefits from the fact that besides Godard's The Image Book, which is the kind of curiosity that resists usual classification, I haven't seen anything new this year worth a damn.
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