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Resolutions 2023

I would've liked to start the New Year with a clean slate.

I always do, yet I realized early on I wouldn't be able to with this one. And so I think I've come to peace with that prospect a bit more than usual.

Life runs on.

It runs on regardless of if there is a new year or no. Or new week or no. Whatever phase of days you currently reside in, it moves on, so why treat any new day any different? It always comes with the same amount of potential for betterment and progress - even if a 'New Year' somehow still carries with it that illusion of MORE.

Maybe it's because we change our calendars.

Maybe it's because we get new diaries, and schedules, and routines, and that our new plans and ambitions also manifest themselves in new machinery we now rely on to carry us forward, like for example a brand new cellphone that'll allow us to be however many times more productive than we were before (I just bought one - a Samsung S10e - it boots fast, takes good pictures and fits my pocket - so far I love it), but really... shouldn't we slow down instead?

What's the point of letting ourselves be carried away on this wave of technological revolution, where on top it may look fine and futuristic, but below all the fascinating creatures we share this planet with are dying at our expense, and we leave behind this radical rainbow of newness a trail of scorched earth, plastics, pesticides, mountains of trash and bitterness?

I'd like to start this new year new, too... but I want to start with a newfound sense of consistency in regard to this newness I aim to find. I don't want the NEW year to end up like the old one - which though not bad, has just blown by, and once again I don't feel I managed anywhere near as much as I hoped I would.

I've watched a ton of movies though - and still have reviews in draft to last me half another year. So I definitely managed THAT resolution. To leave at least one review a day for the full duration of the year.

But how does that benefit me in the long run? Why did I think it would?

I imagine I set that as a resolution since I figured it'd allow me to finally get through the surplus of drafts I had lying around at the time. Instead I've just watched more, and I still have drafts lying around.

I am the type of person who doesn't like to leave anything with nothing.
So if I'm running out of reviews: I write ahead. I bunker up. I hunker down. I put on a film or two. Time or no time. But I also enjoy film, and I don't want that like to turn more into a chore, so no more.

I'll still be watching movies, mind you, but not by resolution. I'll watch movies when I want to watch a movie - that's all the commitment a pastime as such should require - even if these reviews do contribute to the wealth of content that now exists on this site, and make me feel at least a little productive in times I am otherwise not...

But I wasn't happy with my progress last year either. I rarely am.

I am happy I don't have a cold this Christmas. I don't have that as an excuse for my recent lack of progress site-wise, but I have had a freelance gig going on since the start of November that's been eating virtually all excess time I have, so this year I have an even better excuse! Win or lose it's: still excuses.

First thing's first, though this life doesn't always go how you choose it, you need to force yourself to stay congruent. Motivate yourself. Keep moving. So once again I'd like to remind myself, that no matter how much time I've left behind, for the future: Don't wait, but don't haste. Don't hesitate. Don't stall, don't fall, don't all. Don't say "yes" if you stress. Don't do if you are not supposed to. But mostly, a 'can't do' won't do: think instead of what you could do. Be good too.

That's what I will, and what you should do.

And so, resolutions! What this post is supposed to be all about:


This year I vowed to...


Rocket Santa

Merry Sleddin'!

Elevator Game (2023)

Elevator Game (2023)

Supernatural horror, based on the eponymous online phenomenon, a ritual conducted in an elevator, in which players attempt to travel to another dimension using a set of rules that can be found online.

Contortionists have really become a thing huh? All scary movies use the same song and dance now - though admittedly it's a little scarier with this one!

They found a good elevator, they found a good cast, they have the story, they have the atmosphere, they have a catchy outro song after it's all over too - which I REALLY appreciate when it is. But the shock value's just... overplayed. I don't see horror movies the same way these days. When the threat is TOO perceptible it ruins the scare for me. Ghosts aren't real. Except when they are. Except when they really aren't there...

I love the play with lights, the humming, the numbers, the slow build, the red world. But then it just speeds up and loses me. Why they gotta do a good movie like that. This could've been... friggin' amazing.

It still is pretty solid horror.

The effects are good too.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

City Hall (1996)

City Hall (1996)

Another patriotic American movie. Narrative a la Al Pacino, and politics... was what I thought initially.

It was a thorough one though - and narrated by John Cusack more than Al. Which might give you some hints about how things'd turn out in the movie.

It starts with a murder, and you think it's just a starting point, not as central a piece of the plot as it turns out to be. The corruption runs deep though. As do the feelings. The intrigue. The hazards and gambles of a government job - but also the glamor and high-talking that leads it all along...

I'm really not into politics in real life, but it's fascinating how captivated this movie kept me. The dialog, the characters... it's in the way they interact, and in what they say, more than what actually happens - even though there certainly is a lot of scandal and corruption a brewing too, in what starts off a seemingly simple murder case.

They speak so political I don't understand half of what they're saying, but I do love the way they say it. And I wonder what happened to the mayor, as well as the widow wife...

So there are certain loose ends, but it's an impressive movie, and ditto glimpse into City Hall N.Y.

It just may be the most realistic one they'll ever let you see.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Snowpiercer (2013)

Snowpiercer (2013)

Was reminded of this movie recently, and for some reason felt I had to see it again...

It's a post-apocalyptic science fiction Korean film based on the graphic French climate fiction novel Le Transperceneige, by Jacques Lob.

I'd like to read that book.

I didn't remember if the movie was horror or action - I recalled the insect scene strongly, but little else. I do remember it being sci-fi, and dystopian, a post-apocalyptic movie where the remnants of humankind are stuck on a nuclear-driven train...

Turns out it's way more action than horror. It's never horror. There's discomfort, and action, and philosophy, and love. Little else.

Everything goes in cycles. Even in the logo. The proper, sustainable balance... is a hallmark of the film. And what irony it is that in the end the chaotic nature of humanity derails it all. But even then, there is hope...

Chris Evans - who I thought was Scott Eastwood initially - is the main protagonist.

Tilda Swinton's there too, and Ed Harris, for a while.

You might also recognize Song Kang-ho, John Hurt, Octavia Spencer, Ko Asung, Alison Pill, the bald guy with the clear eyes, probably some others...

It really is a good movie. And the premise even more so than the film. It's about way more than the apocalypse. It's about the world. It's about us.

The special effects however did not age greatly, but everything else...

Great watch still.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Wingwomen (2023)

Wingwomen (2023)

French movies hit different man. There's just something about them... and I'm not just saying that cause this one stars a bad-ass femme fatale cast that I really just enjoy seeing.

The blood's not perfect, the scripting's not perfect either, but the directing... the directing's special here, the settings, the faces, the places, the transitions... and the charm's on overload.

The sights make me want to move to France, and the unconventionally passionate sequences remind me that there's a world outside Hollywood too.

Like the naked fight scene. That was new. Wouldn't see that in an American movie! Would you? At least not with as revealing angles as you have here. A clothed woman fighting a naked man that is - it's been somewhat included in other films the other way around, like with the first Point Break with Keanu Reeves. Or wait was the girl there maybe just topless... that scene probably left an imprint more so because I watched it in school (the girls in class were a bit flustered about it) more than because it really was all out there. Other fully nude mainstream movie fights I cannot recall, I must have seen some, in Naked Weapon maybe...

Here it's a relatively buff naked black man fighting a petite (but pretty athletic) white girl no less though. Which was definitely new to me. Cultural diversity FTW. And what better to convey both the potential threat and the vulnerability of a man than with their being naked.

Of course would have been way more interesting were they both naked.

Anyway some stunts they don't really do justice, and the fights overall aren't amazingly complex or fluent, but some... some are real good. Real good. They get creative too. Not just with that one fight above.

The scripting though: I'm not 100% happy about that part.

Like did she just plan to leave Alex hanging a full four years? And how did Alex get off that roof in the first place? And the heist went way too easy - all complications considered - all things leading up to it too. Same with the final showdown. The Godmother... she deserved more.

The special-effects are heavy initially, and some scenes are a letdown, but it definitely wins me over along the way. Sexy and action-heavy as it is right from the start, and with plenty of intimacy and character bonding along the way. Though no full on high five I really love a movie like this.

Great watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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