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  1. katha

    The Last Duel (2021)

    As with many Ridley Scott movies, I thought the characters sort of appeared as if seeing them underwater/muted, because he is so focused on staging/spectacle. For me, it usually creates a distance, here as well. Nevertheless, it is a good, well-acted movie. And it is a shame that it looks like a flop at the box office, since that will only reinforce to studios that high-end ambitous productions are not worth it and they should only do superhero and/or franchise movies. Comer does the most with what she's given, both Damon and Driver leave their ego at the door and delve into the true unpleasan
  2. I don't think they were the worst parents ever or anything, but the movie tried to depict them as trying their best during the divorce and IMO they really didn't, so: Nicole and Charlie in "Marriage Story". They are so wrapped up in their own egos and trying to tear each other down, they don't put the kid's best interest first at all while at the same time being super performative about how much they supposedly love him. Charlie can be controlling and has trouble putting his son before his career, Nicole weaponizes the kid in the divorce to the point of flirting with parental alienation.
  3. Yeah, Phoenix' win was the traditional screwed up "we're making it up to you" Oscar, because the Academy thought that they "owed" him for superior work (personally, I think he should have gotten it for "Her"). And the idiotic thing is, I think the majority of the people who voted for him knew that he didn't deserve it for "Joker", they're just trapped in that stupid "logic" of the Oscars. And they set another one of those mechanisms in motion because IMO it seemed as if sentiment in the industry was that Driver deserved it on the actual performance. So now some members of the Academy thin
  4. IMO Tony Leung is one of the greatest living actors, so it's cool that he is getting wider recognition for this and the film is decent in general. 😀 A Marvel movie having a strong villain also isn't all that usual, so that's good to hear as well. I hope he cut a nice paycheck for this. 😉
  5. Yeah, Costner is charismatic in the right kind of role, just not in everything (coughRobinHoodcough). But sometime at the start of the 90ies he thought he could do about anything and really crashed and burned a few times with projects. He's doing decently for himself now. Channing can have a certain appeal, but I don't know how much it is tied/not tied to his looks. Agree that he doesn't have much range, though he does have decent comic timing. Things like "Magic Mike" or "Logan Lucky", IMO people like McConnaughey or Daniel Craig, Adam Driver created more memorable characters.
  6. Most of Hollywood's attempts at girlboss! movies are super tiresome. Which is tied to the fact that there's often no real reflection on the role capitalism plays in these sorts of narratives and that a tale of economic and corporate success is in many cases strongly tied to exploiting and undermining others. So most of the time they are tales of white, privileged women getting even more privileged with no examination of the cost. This can be an interesting story, but it's very seldom done with a critical lense and just sold as wholesome feminist empowerment.
  7. katha

    The Star Wars Saga

    I fundamentally disagree that Kylo was ever supposed to be the big bad. IMO his redemption arc is set up from TFA. It's Abrams' best bit of characterization: He kills Han and immediately regrets it. It's played beautifully by Driver: He thought killing Han would be a relief, but he's more conflicted than ever. I also think that TLJ and Johnson built on that redemption arc. I read Kylo as totally sincere in his interactions with Rey, if wrongheaded to a ridiculous degree. It's also played as sincere and Johnson has since confirmed that. Carrie dying really made all of that more difficult
  8. I like most of Metallica's controversial 90ies stuff. Yeah, the try-hard aesthetic was hit or miss, "Re-Load" has too much useless filler and Ulrich started talking way too much. But they did loads of interesting things and expanded their stylistic repertoire in a way that felt organic and secured their survival past the die-hard 80ies Metal scene. Hetfield also really grew as both a songwriter and performer during that time IMO, even though he wasn't all that comfortable with many of the more streamlined altrock aspects of that era. And "S&M" really holds up as an album and a reimagining
  9. Close absolutely should have won an Oscar by now. But I think her last two nominations show the drawbacks of this guilt/you are owed principle. In my opinion, The Wife was an incredibly weak movie that couldn't be lifted by Glenn's performance either. There are moments in it that basically scream "Look here, her big Oscar scene coming up" because the premise is so unbelievable and disjointed. I was incredibly disappointed by it all and am glad that she didn't win for it. It would have been like Winslet or Moore winning for inferior work. Zendaya is incredibly promising, to stay on topic.
  10. I actually think that the stuff that has been nominated is pretty decent in quality on the whole. To me it seems like there have been way worse years when it comes to the overall standard of films. But as was already said, since nothing can be released properly, a lot of it is on offer in some form on streaming services etc., but nothing really made an impression. So it's all very muted, as if we're all under water or something.
  11. Sociopathic jerk as main character and/or narrator is so difficult to pull off and I don't think movie makers that attempt it always realize how much careful decision-making it needs. "American Psycho", "Fight Club" or "Gone Girl" were some that worked, but you're walking a fine line. And even if it's done right, sometimes you have some misguided audience members taking it at face value anyway, like with "Fight Club". You're also in for a very alienating, cold movie usually, or you need to set up some counter narrative that contrasts with the focus on the sociopath, and making any of that
  12. I've not been convinced by anything she's done outside of Star Wars so far, unfortunately. She becomes strangely bland/forgettable IMO. SW is a very specific blank slate/self-insert action movie character and I'm not sure that the skillset that had her do well in that setting necessarily translates well into roles where she needs to be more distinct. It might also be a case of bad judgement from her/her management, where they don't know what suits her and chose projects for her that don't really have here stand out and don't do well in general. Boyega has shown much better judgement so fa
  13. "Chaos Walking" being dumped and buried by the studio last week made me sad for Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley. Both haven't had much luck with picking projects outside their franchises so far. Holland will probably get more chances, given the sexist nature of the industry. Ridley is in that dangerous moment where she needs something notable not tied to Star Wars. Getting your big break in a franchise can be a blessing and a curse..
  14. Pleasantly surprised that Mikkelsen made the cut for Best Actor at the BAFTAs. He's been getting some of the best notices of his career, but since the performance is not in English, it's flown under the radar. I don't think it will get him an Oscar nomination or anything, but at least it's been acknowledged somewhere... He was sensational in "The Hunt" and "After the Wedding" as well, but again the performances weren't in English.
  15. I always wondered how exactly the politics with Zellweger played out last year tbh. On paper, it should have been a slam dunk for Johansson: Praised performance in a praised movie. Big movie star finally getting her due. Yet she garnered no momentum whatsoever it seemed to me. Her history of controversial statements working against her? Overshadowed by Dern and Driver? I mean, she shouldn't be judged against the co-stars in her film, but compared to the other actors in her category. But perhaps unconsciously some voters fought "Driver and/or Dern gave a better performance, so I won't go with S
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