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The Gentleman (2019)

The Gentleman (2019)

British gangster movies have always felt a little off to me somehow. Violent, criminal, but never really as classy as the Hollywood ones. American Gangster. The Departed. Casino. That kind.

But those didn't have Matthew McConaughey, or Charlie Hunnam, or Hugh Grant. They might have had Colin Farrell, but not this kind of Colin Farrell either.

When they mix it up like this? Well then it's a different ballgame. Best of both worlds. The British richness of storytelling, their eccentricity, and the American ambition, and attitude, and all the nuances that make a character a character. Even if it's mostly Matthew. He is the character.

The Gentleman.

It's not just that though. It's the music too. The smoke and haze. The bits of comedy and darkness alike, like when Ray creeps out from the shadow to confront Fletcher when they're carrying the corpse from the freezer.

They leave us these little clues as well.

But where it excels is where most Hollywood movies have problems these days. With the script and narrative. With the details they leave out intent­ionally, and the ones they leave in, and how they play not only with words and nuances but also the very fabric of time and space itself. The fourth wall, even, if only for a short while with the intro.

I haven't felt as delighted, fulfilled and kindled by a movie in a long time as I did with this one.

The name suits it too. Calm, considerate and composed men, with class and intellect yet not without the mind to do what they have to. The ones capable of greater things. That's who they are. Gentlemen.

I went to a pre-screening of this one earlier this year btw. What a treat! Stood in line over an hour for the tickets but: worth it. Couldn't have chosen a better one to go to, and it was free too. Thank you SF.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

The Blue Knight (1973)

The Blue Knight (1973)

Bumper Morgan walks his beat. He walks the street. He sees some thugs. He finds a dead prostitute. He stumbles across a promising young shoe shiner. He talks to his snitches. To his girls. To his boss. To his love, of moving away to San Fransisco. Just another week and it'll all be over...

But that's before they start getting a lead on the killer. Before he starts working with homicide. Before he starts learning the codes. And before the dragon he's looking to slay shouts out that he'll drop him, when one time too many Bumper disrupts his not all legit business.

It's an authentic and casual movie. You see the people. You see the life­style. You walk around, and go to court, and get a glimpse into the soul of this one officer of the law, with a belief in justice but maybe no longer as much in love. It's a sometimes depressing tale, but not to tear-point. You understand what it's about, the life in blue that woos so few.

William Holden might seem a bit old by modern standards, but he feels authentic here. Everybody does. There's not much action but the authenticity's on point, and a myriad of threads all come together at the end. Almost. Still a few more dragons to slay. The beat goes on.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)

I loved the Jumanji reboot recently. It might not have held up to the original in terms of props and details, but it more than made up for it with the cast, and comedy, and a story that felt just right for all ages.

This one? Let me tell you what I didn't like about it first: Fake ostriches, a cliche start, and not the best character switches - though Jables and the Asian were just amazing.

It grows on you too.

I'm not sure if it just takes a while to immerse yourself this time around or if it really does get better. Like they didn't fully believe in the sequel when they started, but as they got it going... they started to.

Kevin Hart has a smaller role this time around; The Rock a bigger one. Just saying. Great end too. When it was all over it was a blast, they really brought the action element to the next level, and both the buggies and the wells and all were atmospheric no doubt, but it feels like it took a while before it really started getting there. First half or so I was missing out.

Sequel though? They definitely left a window open...

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Star Wars 9 - The Rise Of Skywalker (2019)

Star Wars 9 - The Rise Of Skywalker (2019)

Watched this one at the cinema twice. First the normal version, then VFR HD (is that the right abbreviation...?).

It was great. It was nostalgic, yet it was new, and it ended with just the right amount of sacrifice.

It feels like they're following a strict formula with these lately though. It's so exciting. So engaging. So great but still... there's something missing.

I miss that natural warmth and character with the older ones. I miss the differences. It's the same thing with each one of these now. They try hard, but maybe they try a bit too much.

Star Wars has become such a huge franchise that it's probably difficult for loyal fans to quench their expectations with each sequel, and maybe that's why they now pour their all into each and every one of them, but I'm no loyal fan. I'm a casual fan. I feel like I could have become a loyal one if they just slowed down a bit and let things have their way. Like they used to. Took some time to build things, and get creative with the premise.

I should've reviewed this in full back when I first watched it though. It's been a year now. I'm sure I had a much richer net of impressions after the first watch. About the sometimes lacking special effects in particular, something about the suits, and the chase... feels like I'm forgetting a few details now, but overall impressions remain. It's great but: still the same.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019)

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019)

Tarantino can make movies! Holy shit he can make movies.

The build up's the big thing. That and the moments. How they all add up and coincide - all to the backdrop of glimpses from a time I was never a part of - with hippies and cigarettes and shimmering music you just can't replicate with our modern day crispness.

The screenplay's not all that advanced, but the acting most definitely is. The young Asian girl and Mike Moh (who placed Bruce Lee) are two major favorites.

Not that I feel Bruce Lee was handled justly - childhood hero of mine as he is - but he was depicted beautifully, and the way Tarantino surrounds himself with controversy and themes most people wouldn't dare put in their blockbuster movie - like snoring ladies, cigarette commercials and hippie killing - is one of the reasons you enjoy him. You never know what to expect. Well, you know THAT is what you should expect. That's the great thing about him. Predictable unpredictability and lack of self-censorship..

Having Brad Pitt (wonder if he had a stunt double for any of his scenes here) and Di Caprio as the two lead roles is of course the most awesome part. Huge fan of both. But there's not a bad actor around them either. Everyone's amazing.

I miss a bit of Al Pacino's old tough guy crudeness, but he does have just the right movie biz charisma otherwise too...

It's nothing amazing, all in all, like most of Tarantino's movies. But it has amazing moments. Some grotesque. Some crazy. Some so impeccably coordinated or slice-of-life-like that you can't help smile simply at how well it all goes together, even if sometimes there doesn't seem to be anything special to it. Maybe it's similar to how life is all about those individual moments? They bring it all together. They're the reason for all.

And that's the mastery, isn't it? That's what sets Tarantino movies apart from others. He makes mundane scenes stand out. He makes the moments memorable. He makes making movies seem like the easiest thing in the world - though in this particular case some of the behind the scene scenes (making movies within the movie) were pretty brutal. You feel for the actors too. In the movie. As the people they act. It's not all sunshine and roses.

And I do wonder who that little girl prodigy really was...

Bravo, Tarantino. I really enjoyed this. Would've hoped you'd never stop.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Parasyte: Part 2 (2015)

Parasyte: Part 2 (2015)

The bridge between the first and second was the darkest part really.

It picks up again with the raid, and the moment with the baby, and the rooftop... yet somehow I'm not as overwhelmed as I was with the first part.

Maybe it's the increase of special effects. Maybe it's how certain elements seem skipped - like how the girl suddenly seems to know all about Migi as well - no need for explanations. It goes too fast, but in the end... it's another segment definitely worth seeing.

And I believe I leave a bit more hopeful than I did the anime. Or maybe that's just because I know how it'll end already. The fate of humankind... that's what it all comes down to here.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

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