Apex Predator's Film Discussion Thread

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As per usual, decided against both. So I'm combining Presenting Princess Shaw with the 2017 Dirty Dancing. Both are finding different ways of disappointing me so far.

May have to find a real gem next to make up for them.
Jul 21, 2017 2:55 PM
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Apex PredatorAs per usual, decided against both. So I'm combining Presenting Princess Shaw with the 2017 Dirty Dancing. Both are finding different ways of disappointing me so far.

May have to find a real gem next to make up for them.

Aw, I really liked Presenting Princess Shaw. And once you get into her family's backstory . . . watching someone who is dealing with so much past baggage, and so much current nonsense and yet is still ambitious and producing creative works is incredibly inspiring to me.
I love her track on Thru You Too. I had no idea about Kutiman's story or her life story.
Jul 21, 2017 3:14 PM
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Takoma1
Apex PredatorAs per usual, decided against both. So I'm combining Presenting Princess Shaw with the 2017 Dirty Dancing. Both are finding different ways of disappointing me so far.

May have to find a real gem next to make up for them.

Aw, I really liked Presenting Princess Shaw. And once you get into her family's backstory . . . watching someone who is dealing with so much past baggage, and so much current nonsense and yet is still ambitious and producing creative works is incredibly inspiring to me.
I love her track on Thru You Too. I had no idea about Kutiman's story or her life story.

Will give it another chance late Sunday/early Monday. Will say this much: I have no issue with Shaw and her life story. I'm more than OK with seeing someone lift themselves up from poverty through their talents.

My issues are more with Kutiman and how the documentary presents things.?
Jul 23, 2017 1:53 AM
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Black Philip
Apex PredatorWill watch one/both tomorrow. Catching up on laundry.

Also in the plans for next week:
Bokeh
Annie Hall?
Presenting Princess Shaw
Moonlight?
Shadow of the Thin Man

I started Bokeh on Netflix. Will finish it up sometime. Starts a bit slow but wonderfully shot. Tell us what you think.
Also worth seeing is The Wizard of Lies about Bernie Madoff on HBO.

Don't really have HBO, so I'll have to take your word for it on Lies.

Will hopefully get through Bokeh sometime Monday.
Jul 23, 2017 1:54 AM
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Popcorn Reviews
Apex PredatorWill watch one/both tomorrow. Catching up on laundry.

Also in the plans for next week:
Bokeh
Annie Hall?
Presenting Princess Shaw
Moonlight?
Shadow of the Thin Man

Moonlight is an amazing film.

Will keep that in mind. Really do want to see this.
Aug 2, 2017 9:31 PM
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Got a couple free movie codes from Redbox.?

Any ideas with the second one (the first one will be used with La La Land, the film that almost won an Oscar before it went to Moonlight)?

In case you're wondering, working on finishing up Destiny today and perhaps Dirty Dancing. Would love to get back on film watching and reviewing.

Would also love to get back to Apex Predator again. Oh, that wacky RT!
Aug 11, 2017 3:46 PM
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Brian ClarksonGot a couple free movie codes from Redbox.?

Any ideas with the second one (the first one will be used with La La Land, the film that almost won an Oscar before it went to Moonlight)?

Based on the Redbox website, I'd most recommend (sorry if I list ones you've already seen):
Logan
Get Out
John Wick 2
Free Fire
Aug 11, 2017 5:29 PM
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Black PhilipI watched Bokeh on Netflix. Interesting but nothing special. Moves slow as hell. Did you happen to catch Okja yet?

Yeah, caught it a couple of weeks ago. Reviewed it here and on Rumpled's thread.

Thought it was pretty decent with a great lead performance by Seo-Hyeon Ahn. Solid support from Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, and Giancarlo Esposito.

Makes up for some awkward tone shifts, Jake Gyllenhaal's performance which ranges from on point (early on) to hammy, and a weak ending.
Aug 11, 2017 10:32 PM
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Takoma1
Brian ClarksonGot a couple free movie codes from Redbox.?

Any ideas with the second one (the first one will be used with La La Land, the film that almost won an Oscar before it went to Moonlight)?

Based on the Redbox website, I'd most recommend (sorry if I list ones you've already seen):
Logan
Get Out
John Wick 2
Free Fire

Seen a whopping zero out of those. Don't think an apology is necessary even if I have seen all of them.

Suspect Free Fire is Prime bound so I can take my time for it.

Not sure how much of the original X-Men trilogy and the Wolverine spin-offs is necessary for me to enjoy Logan.

Leaning towards Get Out or Wick 2 right now.
Aug 11, 2017 10:35 PM
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I'm kinda, sorta back with two shorts and a film. Let's get started, shall we?

In a Heartbeat (2017)

Stumbled across this on Letterboxd on someone who was/is on RT. Made it sound interesting and the time expended. Four minutes? We all have four spare minutes.

So I went on YT and pressed play.

This short does in 4 minutes what some feature length films struggle to do in much longer time frame. Tell a story with two likable characters from end to end.

This one boy is interested in this other boy, but is too shy/afraid to tell him. His heart leaps outta his chest and chases towards his target.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'd better like it!

The Vanishing Lady (1896)

Perhaps the first and last time you'll hear me drop the name George Melies.

It's a one minute short about a magician (the director) making a woman disappear. And spoiler alert, he does make her re-appear.

It says what it does on the tin. But there's nothing there, there beyond that.

Then again, it's only 1 minute.

Destiny (1921)

Could this be that I have finally saw my first Fritz Lang?

Yes, and in many ways it was a better intro to German expressionism than The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Yeah, I said it. Come at me.

Destiny is about this woman who had just married this man and they are so in love with each other that they even cover a goose's eyes when they kiss.

How sweet/cute.

But when Death hitches a ride in their wagon, trouble is sure to follow. And sure enough, the husband disappears when she goes into the next room for just a minute.

But when finally confronted, a weary Death agrees to let the woman have three chances to save her lover. One success means he'll reunite them in life (proving that love can conquer anything).

But it's not going to be easy as she'll have to navigate three separate situations in Persia, in Venice (although with the Carnival shouts, I could have sworn it was Brazil), and in China.

Lang pushes the outer limits of silent cinema in both visuals (a ghostly scene involving a wall has to be seen in order to be believed) and in travel (I think the same actors were in each of the three mini-stories).

But the story is more than worthy as love pits itself against death.

It's on Netflix now and at a tony 98 minutes, should be easy enough to catch considering they're removing most, if not all, of the older films this month.

See it.
Aug 12, 2017 12:53 AM
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Just spent a nice 30 minutes or so unlocking the secrets of hip-hop on Google. Fun.

Hopefully finish Dirty Dancing tomorrow and maybe start another one.
Aug 13, 2017 2:02 AM
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Popcorn Reviews
Apex PredatorCould this be that I have finally saw my first Fritz Lang?

Watch M next.

Should get on this sometime this month.

Not sure if I should get on a horror binge in September so I can be better ready to discuss horrors (and get points in Rumpled's game) or wait until October to have a nice list of titles.
Aug 13, 2017 2:52 PM
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Will do full reviews tomorrow but here's my basic thoughts.

Dirty Dancing (2017): Once again, filmmakers remake a film without understanding why the original worked or have a clue what they were aiming for (is it a musical, or simply a film with songs?). When Shane Harper has the best performance as a tertiary character, your film is pretty bad. Appreciated the efforts to make Baby's sister and mother to make them more two dimensional instead of one dimension. But film lacks chemistry, heat, much to recommend here. And about that wraparound story...:angry:

Presenting Princess Shaw (2016): Not bad. Found myself rooting for Shaw to succeed the entire time. Less uplifting at times than I really needed. Had some problems with how the documentary was presented, which grew once I understood the backstory. Still more good than bad, and her enthusiasm is contagious.
Aug 16, 2017 4:08 AM
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If someone asked me to recommend a Lang film I wouldn't suggest Destiny as their first, only because it's not the most accessible. So I'm glad to hear you liked it so much, because there's lots more where that came from.
The only 2 cents I'll add is that whenever you get around to Metropolis, look for the longest, most recent restoration you can find. I've been watching it for about 20 years and I find that whenever they discover new footage, the story becomes easier to follow, more coherent and just better overall. The Kino BluRay is the most up-to-date version as far as I know.
Aug 16, 2017 11:28 AM
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Apex Predator
Presenting Princess Shaw (2016): Not bad. Found myself rooting for Shaw to succeed the entire time. Less uplifting at times than I really needed. Had some problems with how the documentary was presented, which grew once I understood the backstory. Still more good than bad, and her enthusiasm is contagious.

Would you care to elaborate on this bit?
I really liked the film (I had already fallen in love with her track on YouTube) and I thought that the way that the movie slowly introduces her struggles (financial difficulties, her sexuality, her history of sexual abuse) was well paced out and I liked it a lot more than if they'd had a huge exposition dump in the beginning just listing her problems. I liked getting to know her and then finding out more about her past.
Aug 16, 2017 8:05 PM
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Captain TerrorIf someone asked me to recommend a Lang film I wouldn't suggest Destiny as their first, only because it's not the most accessible. So I'm glad to hear you liked it so much, because there's lots more where that came from.
The only 2 cents I'll add is that whenever you get around to Metropolis, look for the longest, most recent restoration you can find. I've been watching it for about 20 years and I find that whenever they discover new footage, the story becomes easier to follow, more coherent and just better overall. The Kino BluRay is the most up-to-date version as far as I know.

Was planning on finding one that's about 150 minutes because I think that's what the restored edition was?

But yeah, I'm catching M this month and maybe Metropolis in September.
Aug 16, 2017 11:41 PM
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Takoma1
Apex Predator
Presenting Princess Shaw (2016): Not bad. Found myself rooting for Shaw to succeed the entire time. Less uplifting at times than I really needed. Had some problems with how the documentary was presented, which grew once I understood the backstory. Still more good than bad, and her enthusiasm is contagious.

Would you care to elaborate on this bit?
I really liked the film (I had already fallen in love with her track on YouTube) and I thought that the way that the movie slowly introduces her struggles (financial difficulties, her sexuality, her history of sexual abuse) was well paced out and I liked it a lot more than if they'd had a huge exposition dump in the beginning just listing her problems. I liked getting to know her and then finding out more about her past.


Problems on the presentation: It was less how they introduced us to Shaw. Will agree that they did a good job setting things up on her end.

The problem is more along the lines of the parts where Kutiman was watching Shaw for the first time. For some reason, I felt like that was staged. My concern about the truthfulness of the documentary were raised when I read the review by The Metro which indicates how director Ido Haar found Shaw: through Kutiman. Apparently, Kutiman let Haar know that he was going to feature Shaw in his compilation. And so Haar decided to head to New Orleans to follow Shaw.

http://www.metro.us/entertainment/presenting-princess-shaw-is-an-ethically-dubious-doc-on-a-future-star/zsJpez---pIr8g40XvUAYw

It was also touched on in Glenn Kenny's review in RogerEbert.com.

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/presenting-princess-shaw-2016

This process feels ethically questionable at best. But much like Kenny, I was ultimately taken by the uplift and enthusiasm of the film even as I had my qualms about how it was made.

PS: Clever. I thought I was the only one to catch that she was a lesbian.
Aug 16, 2017 11:56 PM
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Captain TerrorThe only 2 cents I'll add is that whenever you get around to Metropolis, look for the longest, most recent restoration you can find. I've been watching it for about 20 years and I find that whenever they discover new footage, the story becomes easier to follow, more coherent and just better overall. The Kino BluRay is the most up-to-date version as far as I know.

Thanks for this! I also haven't seen any Fritz Lang film; I've wanted to check Metropolis for a while, but always see there are several versions with different durations. I was about to ask this, but you beat me to it. Thanks!
Aug 17, 2017 12:09 AM
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Apex Predator
Takoma1
Apex Predator
Presenting Princess Shaw (2016): Not bad. Found myself rooting for Shaw to succeed the entire time. Less uplifting at times than I really needed. Had some problems with how the documentary was presented, which grew once I understood the backstory. Still more good than bad, and her enthusiasm is contagious.

Would you care to elaborate on this bit?
I really liked the film (I had already fallen in love with her track on YouTube) and I thought that the way that the movie slowly introduces her struggles (financial difficulties, her sexuality, her history of sexual abuse) was well paced out and I liked it a lot more than if they'd had a huge exposition dump in the beginning just listing her problems. I liked getting to know her and then finding out more about her past.


Problems on the presentation: It was less how they introduced us to Shaw. Will agree that they did a good job setting things up on her end.

The problem is more along the lines of the parts where Kutiman was watching Shaw for the first time. For some reason, I felt like that was staged. My concern about the truthfulness of the documentary were raised when I read the review by The Metro which indicates how director Ido Haar found Shaw: through Kutiman. Apparently, Kutiman let Haar know that he was going to feature Shaw in his compilation. And so Haar decided to head to New Orleans to follow Shaw.

http://www.metro.us/entertainment/presenting-princess-shaw-is-an-ethically-dubious-doc-on-a-future-star/zsJpez---pIr8g40XvUAYw

It was also touched on in Glenn Kenny's review in RogerEbert.com.

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/presenting-princess-shaw-2016

This process feels ethically questionable at best. But much like Kenny, I was ultimately taken by the uplift and enthusiasm of the film even as I had my qualms about how it was made.

PS: Clever. I thought I was the only one to catch that she was a lesbian.

On one hand, I understand the problem with the "staging", but another part of me feels like if she knew why she was being followed it would have altered her behavior even more than one would alter it just being watched by someone. I did not get the sense that the first time she sees her footage used in the song it was staged. Frankly, she seems like the kind of person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She takes the blessings that come her way, but never strikes me as being at all scheming or manipulative. The scene where Kutiman first sees her might have been staged (ie reenacted), but I have no reason to believe that it didn't happen basically as it is presented.
And as for her sexuality--I mean, it's weird that they don't have her talk a little more about it, but there's a pretty obvious section where she's talking to her girlfriend (and even kissing her) on the bench. But it's so unremarked upon by the movie. Not that it's anyone's business, but I have to imagine that it adds to what is already a pretty stressful life.
Aug 17, 2017 12:38 AM
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Takoma1
Apex Predator
Takoma1
Apex Predator
Presenting Princess Shaw (2016): Not bad. Found myself rooting for Shaw to succeed the entire time. Less uplifting at times than I really needed. Had some problems with how the documentary was presented, which grew once I understood the backstory. Still more good than bad, and her enthusiasm is contagious.

Would you care to elaborate on this bit?
I really liked the film (I had already fallen in love with her track on YouTube) and I thought that the way that the movie slowly introduces her struggles (financial difficulties, her sexuality, her history of sexual abuse) was well paced out and I liked it a lot more than if they'd had a huge exposition dump in the beginning just listing her problems. I liked getting to know her and then finding out more about her past.


Problems on the presentation: It was less how they introduced us to Shaw. Will agree that they did a good job setting things up on her end.

The problem is more along the lines of the parts where Kutiman was watching Shaw for the first time. For some reason, I felt like that was staged. My concern about the truthfulness of the documentary were raised when I read the review by The Metro which indicates how director Ido Haar found Shaw: through Kutiman. Apparently, Kutiman let Haar know that he was going to feature Shaw in his compilation. And so Haar decided to head to New Orleans to follow Shaw.

http://www.metro.us/entertainment/presenting-princess-shaw-is-an-ethically-dubious-doc-on-a-future-star/zsJpez---pIr8g40XvUAYw

It was also touched on in Glenn Kenny's review in RogerEbert.com.

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/presenting-princess-shaw-2016

This process feels ethically questionable at best. But much like Kenny, I was ultimately taken by the uplift and enthusiasm of the film even as I had my qualms about how it was made.

PS: Clever. I thought I was the only one to catch that she was a lesbian.

On one hand, I understand the problem with the "staging", but another part of me feels like if she knew why she was being followed it would have altered her behavior even more than one would alter it just being watched by someone. I did not get the sense that the first time she sees her footage used in the song it was staged. Frankly, she seems like the kind of person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She takes the blessings that come her way, but never strikes me as being at all scheming or manipulative. The scene where Kutiman first sees her might have been staged (ie reenacted), but I have no reason to believe that it didn't happen basically as it is presented.
And as for her sexuality--I mean, it's weird that they don't have her talk a little more about it, but there's a pretty obvious section where she's talking to her girlfriend (and even kissing her) on the bench. But it's so unremarked upon by the movie. Not that it's anyone's business, but I have to imagine that it adds to what is already a pretty stressful life.

I didn't think her scenes were staged. And I do agree that she's 100 percent real. She's very easy to root for. She takes the good and bad and has this maturity about her that presumably came from earlier in her life when she was abused.?
Aug 17, 2017 1:34 AM
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