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Social Nightmare (2013)
Though it's not flawless, it's actually a really interesting story with plenty of twists and turns. I was pleasantly surprised, considering the mostly negative reviews. The "twist" would have been really well done, if not for it being spoiled in the one of the titles and some of the cover art itself. Seriously, who thought it would be a good idea to spoil the twist literally before the film even begins? A very bad decision on their parts
A Lucky Man (2017)
Great acting, and great message
Thanks for sharing, this was great and really needed. I love the wry title. It does a great job at deconstructing the idea and showing how inaccurate and disgusting it is to say things like that--along with "guys are always willing", "why is he complaining about getting laid??", "he got an erection, so he must have wanted it", etc.--in response to things like that
It's really ignorant how so many people act like rape is suddenly less bad, or even good, just because the rapist is a woman / women. The message is so important. Also the acting was on point; it really helped drive it home
Mientras duermes (2011)
Increasingly Intriguing and Exciting
I went into it mostly blind, and at first I wasn't really sure what the story was or why people were behaving the strange way that they were. But as the main character, his motives, and the extent of his actions was gradually revealed, the film became very enthralling. The story is told from the perspective of the villain, and some of his set-ups were so elaborate, precise, and risky that I found myself rooting for him, in a sense. Getting anxious when he was nearly caught. Etc.
It kind of had a "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (esp. the novel) vibe in that regards. Where the main character is disturbed and commits a terrible crime. And yet the intricate preparation that went into their plans made the larger part of me want the plans to succeed just by virtue of how smart and precarious they were. "Will this crazy plan actually work?" Of course the plan is so crazy that one would expect it not to, so it's always a bit satisfying when it does. I'm usually satisfied when the protagonist (hero, villain, or otherwise) finally achieves what it set out to do from the beginning. Even if it was a nefarious goal
Overall, it was entertaining enough to be worth watching
Not much plot, but scary nevertheless
Yeah, it didn't have much of a plot. But that didn't stop it from being terrifying in all the right ways. It was creepy without being excessively gory, and is the kind of thing you'l conveniently remember when you're walking alone in the house at night.
I was really impressed
The animation is gorgeous, and the storyline is much more engrossing and heartfelt than I expected
It was nice. Nothing groundbreaking (the ending is what one would expect). But still entertaining and worth watching. Rohan Chand put up a convincing performance, especially for his age
Velvet Goldmine (1998)
Great Acting, Multi-Dimensional Characters, Beautiful Story, Complex Relationships
The first time I saw this film was a while back (maybe a decade ago), and I thought it was interesting. I saw it a couple more times since then--each time a few years apart--and I liked it more and more with each viewing
In my opinion, it's one of the most underrated films. I really don't have any negatives to say about it. It's pacing flowed perfectly, which is really important since the story isn't linear and it travels around through the timeline. Sometimes this isn't done well in films and it becomes confusing to try to figure out when in the timeline a certain scene takes place. This wasn't like that at all; it was always clear when everything was, in spite of how often it jumped around to different events
It didn't shy away from the bisexual element, which I wholeheartedly applaud. Most films, especially ones with famous actors in them (as oppose to small, indie films), will avoid actually showing things like men kissing or any other man / man sexual content. To where even if a character is said to be gay or bisexual, the viewer will never actually see any clear evidence of this. But why shouldn't it be clear, considering how explicit man / woman relationships (kissing, sex, etc.) are shown in nearly every mainstream film?
Along those lines, the relationships in the film are well fleshed-out and complex, including the two main ones between the male characters. I'm glad about that, because it's nice to see bisexual relationships between men depicted as being real emotional connections rather than merely hookups. Especially since it seems that the stereotype about bisexual men (besides that we don't exist) is that our greatest love and romantic attachment is always with women (or with a specific woman), and that men are just people we screw on the side. This film did a great job dismantling this trope
I loved the main characters. They felt real and I could empathize with them easily. Some of them had flaws (some very serious flaws), but they all had enough redeeming qualities that I couldn't hate any of them. They felt like real people, and this was boosted by how great the acting all was. The story had a bittersweet but mostly pleasant and completely satisfying ending that tied up enough loose ends and in the end left me with a positive outlook on how the characters would end up
Also, there were some cool songs, especially if you're into glam rock. Ultimately, I would recommend it
Interesting and engaging, except for the disappointing ending
The ending just left everything hanging. There were too many loose ends and no explanations. I'm fine with films that maybe don't explicitly explain everything, but where the viewer can figure it out on its own based on the clues given. But this wasn't like that. There were no clues or hints or anything
It seemed more like the creators just came up with the main idea (a cam girl getting her identity stolen), but couldn't figure out a way to tie everything together, and couldn't come up with a rhyme or reason for anything. And so the creators just vaguely blamed it on this nondescript "it"--that the viewer never learns anything about--that for no reason makes copies of cam girls, with slightly altered personalities
It had potential, but it didn't follow through. It was like a murder mystery that in the end has some unsatisfying "it was this random homeless guy all along who had no motive" type of ending. What was the entity? Why did it do this? What happened to all the other girls it did this to? It was just anticlimactic
The film could have gone with at least an extra half hour to its runtime and at least twice as much thought / planning on the part of the creators into the actual story to help sum everything up in a coherent fashion. As it stands, I enjoyed how much of it there was (the characters were interesting and engaging, the acting was good, the build-up was well executed), but it felt incomplete, like only the first fragment of a full idea
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)
The problem isn't that it's slow; it's that it's ultimately illogical and meaningless
Firstly, I don't mind slow-building horror, (so don't assume "this person just doesn't like that there weren't more jumpscares and cheap thrills!") For example, I loved "Hereditary" and the way all the foreshadowing and symbolism made sense in the end. Random events turned out to not be random. It was one of those films that became more impressive on the second viewing
"The Killing of a Sacred Deer" was the opposite of this. There was no explanation for a lot of the weirdness or for why the characters acted the way they did. It was like someone decided "I want to make a weird, uncomfortable movie about the Greek tragedy" without actually giving an account for why things were so weird
Only Martin was supposed to be psychologically disturbed. And yet all the characters acted in strange ways on at least a few occasions in which no mentally sound human would act. Like why would Kim still want to be with the boy who was trying to murder her and her family? "Well, if you do some mental gymnastics, the dad kind of killed them by killing Martin's dad". But for real, even if Steve 'started it', Martin was still clearly disturbed. Why would Kim want to be with him after seeing his nature?
There were three main things that should have had explanations:
--SPOILER START-- 1. How did they get away with killing Bob? Their house was in a nice, quiet neighborhood with other houses right next to theirs. Neighbors would have heard the four / five gunshots and called the police. Bob went to school. Teachers and the principal would have noticed his absence. The police would have started an investigation into how and why this boy went missing, and the gunshots would have immediately made the family a prime suspect
The ending made it look like it was all over: Martin got the sacrifice he wanted, and the family could move on. In reality, at least Steve would have been imprisoned for murder. There was no explanation as to why this didn't happen. The consequence of murdering Bob was just a huge loose end
2. The family's reaction to the death: basically there was none. Kim seemed perfectly happy about everything and smiled at Martin in the end. It would have made sense if she was a sociopath or if she hated her brother. But since she claimed to and acted like she cared about him earlier, why she was so nonchalant about his death made no sense
Same with Anna especially, since Bob was shown as being her favorite throughout the film. There was no explanation for all of their sudden blunted affect. Why did none of the characters act like regular humans? It was either weirdness just for the sake of being weird, or the creators did a poor job of depicting how real people in their right mind would have responded to the whole situation. They all acted like sociopaths or autistic people. It would have been fine if there were some reason for it. But there wasn't, and Martin was supposed to be the only person with mental issues --SPOILER END--
3. Martin randomly had the power to make people sick and heal them with his mind. It's amazing the amount of reviews saying "it's creepy because it's something that could happen in real life!" Um, no, probably not. Did they miss the very important fact that Martin is apparently some kind of psychic?
That element was just random, since there were no other supernatural elements and no foreshadowing. It just seemed like the creators right at the end were like, "okay, how is this kid going to be able to make these people sick, and then just heal them when he wants to? How would he have access to or know about a poison that does something like this? What poison would have the potential to bring someone to the point of death, and yet be able to be reversed immediately at any point before the person dies?"
"Meh, that's too hard. Let's just give him magic powers instead"
The Red Pill (2016)
Honestly, Everyone Should Watch This
This film is important for everyone, but especially for open-minded moderates (people not already full-fledged feminists or MRA's). Because anti-MRA's or close-minded feminists will probably just ignore all the information anyway, and MRA's will probably not learn much new. However I would still recommend it for new MRA's, and also experienced MRA's who want to see an overall basic summary of males' issues to keep in mind for the next time someone inevitably challenges the need of a Men's Rights Movement
The film addresses, along with provides evidence and statistics for, a lot issues that disproportionately affect males, like:
- the family court's bias against fathers. How custody battles and judges too often favor biological mothers, even abusive and unfit ones
- paternity fraud. E.g. how in French it's illegal to get a paternity test without the biological mother's consent
- the high rate of male homelessness
- the high rate of male suicide
- the state of boys in the education system
- workplace fatalities, which are nearly all men
- the prison sentence disparity for the same crimes, which is much higher between the sexes than between any ethnicities
- reproductive rights. A man can be denied fatherhood and be forced to let his child die; or he can be forced to provide for an unwanted child (including males who are raped, tricked into it, spermjacked, under-aged, or not even the biological father). Whether or not he wants to be a father, the choice is entirely the woman's and he's just forced to pay the consequences
- selective service and male disposability
- early death
- traditional sex roles, which do indeed disadvantage males as much as females. Men being demanded to slave away to make money for the family, take often dangerous jobs, risk and sometimes give their lives to protect women is not a privilege. In the past, both sexes were expected to conform to these restrictive roles. Now women are mostly free of them, but men are still often shamed when they don't conform
- one-sided domestic violence and sexual violence discourse and often laws. Police officers' tendency to arrest the man in a situation of domestic violence, even when he's the victim. No shelters for abused men. Physically and sexually abusive women not being taken seriously by professionals
- Boko Haram's misandry (how they would specifically spare the girls and murder the boys), as well as the gynocentric coverage of their crimes. E.g. the attention "Bring Back Our Girls" received, despite Boko Haram having murdered thousands of men and boys beforehand and that getting relatively no attention
- forced genital cutting against boys being legal pretty much everywhere
I'm glad there were feminists in the video, as well. Many of them exposed themselves as either liars or ignorant. One said "domestic violence is a cover word for men abusing women, because women don't abuse men. We only need more shelters for women and girls". Right before a CDC report that showed there were 5,452,000 men who were physically abused by their partners (and don't say it was by other men, because certainly only a small fraction of those men were gay) compared with 4,774,000 women
A couple feminists said things like "MRA's just whine online", "they don't actually care about male victims", "they don't do anything concrete". Just as these same feminists were protesting against and shutting down men's conferences. It's like "how are you going to complain about MRA's not doing anything concrete and real-world when you do everything in your power to attack them and fight against their real-world efforts as soon as they do?" Same with how feminists attacked Erin Pizzey for trying to get a shelter for abused men, how women's groups attacked rape laws in India being made gender neutral
There are still a lot of people who believe that modern Western culture is a patriarchy, who believe in male privilege, who believe the "women are powerless victims; men are privileged oppressors" narrative, who believe MRA's don't have any real cause to fight for and that they're just misogynists who want to take away women's power. This film exposes all those lies for exactly what they are
Good Acting and An Interesting Story, but An Unresolved Ending
The acting was on point. The characters were all pretty well developed. I thought it was interesting, the idea of a person with a disorder where she takes on the personality of the character she reads about. Unfortunately, that element was explored less as the story progressed.
Gradually, it got to where she didn't seem to have any disorder and Abigail's character became her own individual, no longer parroting the character in the book. But then, maybe that was intentional: maybe the point was that her disorder was gradually cured as she found acceptance and friendship in her relationship with Jeffrey.
Her relationship with Jeffrey is depicted mostly sympathetically. He's not shown as a one-dimensional monster preying on a hapless schoolgirl. They never do more than kiss anyway, and he's shown as trying to do the right thing: he gets close to her because there's a mutual attraction, he avoids her when he's worried about their relationship being inappropriate, but he gets back with her when he realizes that avoiding her is only hurting both of them. And of course, he turns down the other student who tries to seduce him.
I wasn't sure about the ending. Maybe it was meant to be ambiguous? While Melissa was falsely accusing the teacher, it became clear that the things she described were really things that her legal guardian had been doing to her. But then it's not made clear what happens:
Does Melissa admit to the police that she was lying about the teacher? Does the teacher end up getting arrested anyway? Does her guardian end up getting arrested? Do Abigail and Jeffrey continue their relationship, or is Jeffrey fired / in jail? Maybe the viewer isn't supposed to know. But I was unsatisfied with not knowing whether or not the police came to realize that the accusations Melissa made against Jeffrey were false and that her guardian was the only actual predator.
The Neon Demon (2016)
Not for Everyone, But...
I'm glad I took the chance to watch this despite the ratings. I really enjoyed it, and have seen it a few times now. It is abstract and has a pretty simple message about the issues with vanity and the modeling industry specifically. But personally, I found it entertaining and the acting was on point from all the actors / actresses. Keanu Reeves did a great job; his character was horrible yet hilarious at the same time.
POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD
There's pretty much one sane character (the amateur photographer) and everyone else is psycho or becomes corrupted in some way. But the characters were pretty interesting. There were a lot of strange things that were a bit "what...?", but it worked for a more abstract film. I also think it was clever how the woman who warned Jesse at the beginning to watch out for the male photographer and that "it's good to have good girls around" was ultimately the one who was the worst psycho of all.
That's My Boy (2012)
Appeals to the lowest common denominator of humanity
Basically nothing more than a tasteless, college-humor (more like adolescent humor) comedy. There are certainly enough non-intellectuals in America to get a kick out of making jokes about statutory rape, pedophilia, incest, and whatever other unnecessary things one can put in a movie to make it..."edgy"? I could never understand the appeal, but then I guess I've matured beyond 5th grade.
Would recommend if you're one of those people who hears a story about a woman raping a 12 year old and thinks "lucky boy". Would not recommend to children or adults with even half the brain cells of a decent human being.