The Painter and the Thief
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After seeing The two popes, I feel very underwhelmed. The movie started off low, but I feel like it got increasingly lower as it progressed. At the beginning it was uninspired, and by the middle it was incredibly dull. Now I do think some of the same things about this movie as others do- Jonathan Pryce was great, as he always is, and the same goes to Anthony Hopkins. But while they both did a great job in their roles, I can remember better performances for both actors in their past movies. That's not to say they don't earn any of the awards they get, but it's also not to say you need to see this movie to see the best performances out of the two. I also liked how the script made them argue amongst each other while still being polite- but I think this counts more for the first half of the movie than the later portion. Finally, for the things I didn't like about this movie. It doesn't really know what it wants to be, because it seems like the cameraman and the editor thought this was a documentary, but the director knew it was more of a bio pic. For example, the cameraman uses the zoom feature on the camera and uses handheld and drone captures for basically all the runtime of the movie, shots that are used in documentaries. The editor uses news footage for a large portion of the film, which I argue is lazy even for documentaries, but it is used in that context a lot more often. And then of course, by the end the movie the entire thing just drags, and I don't entirely see the purpose of sitting through the entire 2 hour runtime. I'm sure many people have gotten something out of this movie, but I'm just disappointed that Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins couldn't have been in a more interesting film.
I finally got to see Ford v Ferrari, and I thought it was good. It definitely stood out on its own, and I think I'll be able to think of this on a different plain as other car movies I've seen. Attention to detail is put on different things that you'd expect in car movies, and I'm glad for this because they're the most important parts of a good movie (in my opinion). For example, the cinematography. Most car movies use a very close claustrophobic camera with fast cut editing on random parts of the car, and Ford V Ferrari does do some of this, but objectively with a lot more style. I love how the camera cuts from the wheel of the car, and you just see enough of it to see it speeding up- and then to the speedometer, which you can see climbing steadily. So yea- I guess the editing is great too. On a performance standard, Christian Bale is the only one who really stood out to me in this film, everyone else being incredibly mediocre. He really seems like he's playing the role he's casted to, and not Christian Bale, which is I think a problem many actors struggle with. But for the downsides of this movie, there are a few. First of all, the whole movie is definite Oscar bait. Every scene is very cheesy and plays out exactly the way you'd expect it to, and there are of course the cheesy corporate villains, and all that crap...it's just stupid. The whole movie does stand out on its own, yes, but that's if someone else doesn't make another Oscar-baity car movie.
Les Miserables is not the musical, and I'm glad it isn't. It brings it's own food to the table, and presents itself with an above average arc. but for a foreign film, I have to say this shouldn't be on the top of anyone's to watch list, which got me a bit disappointed. I saw leagues of spectacular foreign films this year, and I have to admit that this one's on the bottom of my list. But that's not to say it was a bad movie- everything worked together really well, and some scenes made me feel very strong emotions, be it madness or sadness. It really worked for what it was trying to do, so I congratulate the director for that. It's just that what it was trying to do wasn't a very original idea, even if it was presented in its own way. Also, the cinematography in this movie isn't great. I can tell the cameraman loves using a camera, but I can also tell that this is one of the first films he shot. There are very constant zoom-ins and shakiness on handheld, both things I know I tried and experienced my first time with a camera. But the acting was all pretty good, and the characters all showed there pros and cons in nice unique ways. A good movie overall.
1917 was a good movie. While I didn't think it was the masterpiece that others believe it is, I still really enjoyed seeing it. I mean seriously, the cinematography. It was great! I loved the idea of a long, continuous shot through editing and creative liberty, and it made the movie feel much more unique. Also I really liked the big action set pieces, the production design, and the acting. all great things on those fronts. But this movie shows itself as weaker in its story and plot. While I think the script to the movie is good, there's nothing special to the main story of this movie. I'll be it, it does set up some cool ideas for scenes in the future, but I really feel like these scenes are mostly made special from the camera, and not really their ideas. I just feel like this movie was made more for the production than the actual plot, and I really think more thought should've been put into this aspect, and this movie would have a lot less stereotypes and be a much better movie overall. Still recommend it as a fun movie to watch, but it's not the best thing out there.
After seeing Pain and Glory, I can confirm that it was pretty damn good. First of all, I have to address the thing everybody LOVES about this movie, and that is the god himself, Antonio Banderas. And I can confirm, that while he isn't my favorite thing about this movie, he deserved all the love he's getting. My favorite part about this movie is probably the execution, how everything fits together like puzzle pieces in a puzzle, and how satisfying it is to see the story unfold. I have learned over the years that pacing makes or breaks a film, and in this case, it perfects it. Other than that, there's not much more to say about Pain and Glory. Everything just works.