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LimeGreenLegend

Tenet

dir. Christopher Nolan/2020/2h30m

TENET – U.S Movie Wall Poster Print - 30cm x 43cm / 12 Inches x 17 Inches  Christopher Nolan: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home

Tenet is the latest high-concept action film from Christopher Nolan.  It stars John David Washington, son of Denzel, with a supporting cast including Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Michael Caine (albeit just in one scene).  Elizabeth Debicki is also in this, but like most women in Nolan films, she's there to spout exposition and act as a plot device rather than an actual character.  The plot, from what I can make out, concerns Washington's character, named The Protagonist (yeah, he's really called that, and he says several times during the film "I'm the protagonist", and it made me inwardly cringe every time) being recruited by the CIA to investigate a secret society called Tenet who are involved in a convoluted plot to launch a nuclear attack on the present from the future and stuff goes backwards. 

The big evil bad guy is a Russian billionaire, played by Branagh, who goes full Bond-villain mode; and I kinda loved it.  I really enjoyed his ridiculous Belgian accent in Murder on the Orient Express (a trailer for the sequel, Death on the Nile, played before Tenet and it looks great), and his ridiculous Russian accent is just as entertaining.  Pattinson plays Neil (had to check what his name was), the Protagonist's contact and handler who starts the film as a gin soaked louche, a characteristic that seems to just disappear halfway through sadly.  Taylor-Johnson is unrecognisable as the leader of a military unit that comes into play in the third act, and I liked his no-nonsense British squaddie character.  Michael Caine was I honestly don't know who, but he said some wise words and told Washington to get a nicer suit.  I'm always happy to see Michael Caine in any film, but he looked really old here in a way that made me kind of sad.  Thankfully it looks like he had an easy days work, sat in a restaurant eating what looked like fish fingers.  

To me this film is a mostly well made mess.  The plot is just babble, and I don't think it would hold up under proper scrutiny like Inception and The Prestige, the two most comparable films from Nolan's filmography, can.  I'll have to watch it again to see if I missed anything, but I was paying attention and got lost several times.  Often I was left in the dark as to why a character was doing what they were, even though it was probably explained in the previous scene.  It didn't help that the typical Nolan sound mixing is in full effect here, with the score and sound design overpowering the dialogue, even in scenes where nothing was exploding.  It was a very good score though, with Nolan working with a different composer than Hans Zimmer, Ludwig Goransson, and it really does sound different than his other films.  

The performances are solid all round, especially Washington, who has all of the intensity and charisma of his father, but a couple of his jokey, Bond style one-liners fell flat for me.  Pattinson continues to be a fantastic actor, and just exudes a cool confidence here that is totally natural.  Branagh is a delightful ham.  But the main event here are the action scenes, and the set-pieces here, and there are several, are all spectacular.  The highlight for me being the car chase where one car is moving forwards in time chasing a car that is moving backwards in time.  This is all done with mostly practical effects (Nolan bought a real 747 to crash into a building because it was cheaper than doing it with cgi!) and it adds that extra special something that you don't feel with a Marvel or Transformers film.  

If you're going to see this you should definitely see it in the cinema, this is a film made for the big screen and a booming sound system, but I can only really recommend it for the set-pieces and some good performances.  I'm of the opinion that Nolan needs to work with a co-writer, or adapt other works, because his original stories, though grand in scope and ambition, which I will always appreciate, feel like they need a second pair of eyes to keep him in check.  6.5/10

 

I read that you saw this recently @Schumi6581, what did you think?

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Schumi6581
1 hour ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

Tenet

dir. Christopher Nolan/2020/2h30m

TENET – U.S Movie Wall Poster Print - 30cm x 43cm / 12 Inches x 17 Inches  Christopher Nolan: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home

Tenet is the latest high-concept action film from Christopher Nolan.  It stars John David Washington, son of Denzel, with a supporting cast including Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Michael Caine (albeit just in one scene).  Elizabeth Debicki is also in this, but like most women in Nolan films, she's there to spout exposition and act as a plot device rather than an actual character.  The plot, from what I can make out, concerns Washington's character, named The Protagonist (yeah, he's really called that, and he says several times during the film "I'm the protagonist", and it made me inwardly cringe every time) being recruited by the CIA to investigate a secret society called Tenet who are involved in a convoluted plot to launch a nuclear attack on the present from the future and stuff goes backwards. 

The big evil bad guy is a Russian billionaire, played by Branagh, who goes full Bond-villain mode; and I kinda loved it.  I really enjoyed his ridiculous Belgian accent in Murder on the Orient Express (a trailer for the sequel, Death on the Nile, played before Tenet and it looks great), and his ridiculous Russian accent is just as entertaining.  Pattinson plays Neil (had to check what his name was), the Protagonist's contact and handler who starts the film as a gin soaked louche, a characteristic that seems to just disappear halfway through sadly.  Taylor-Johnson is unrecognisable as the leader of a military unit that comes into play in the third act, and I liked his no-nonsense British squaddie character.  Michael Caine was I honestly don't know who, but he said some wise words and told Washington to get a nicer suit.  I'm always happy to see Michael Caine in any film, but he looked really old here in a way that made me kind of sad.  Thankfully it looks like he had an easy days work, sat in a restaurant eating what looked like fish fingers.  

To me this film is a mostly well made mess.  The plot is just babble, and I don't think it would hold up under proper scrutiny like Inception and The Prestige, the two most comparable films from Nolan's filmography, can.  I'll have to watch it again to see if I missed anything, but I was paying attention and got lost several times.  Often I was left in the dark as to why a character was doing what they were, even though it was probably explained in the previous scene.  It didn't help that the typical Nolan sound mixing is in full effect here, with the score and sound design overpowering the dialogue, even in scenes where nothing was exploding.  It was a very good score though, with Nolan working with a different composer than Hans Zimmer, Ludwig Goransson, and it really does sound different than his other films.  

The performances are solid all round, especially Washington, who has all of the intensity and charisma of his father, but a couple of his jokey, Bond style one-liners fell flat for me.  Pattinson continues to be a fantastic actor, and just exudes a cool confidence here that is totally natural.  Branagh is a delightful ham.  But the main event here are the action scenes, and the set-pieces here, and there are several, are all spectacular.  The highlight for me being the car chase where one car is moving forwards in time chasing a car that is moving backwards in time.  This is all done with mostly practical effects (Nolan bought a real 747 to crash into a building because it was cheaper than doing it with cgi!) and it adds that extra special something that you don't feel with a Marvel or Transformers film.  

If you're going to see this you should definitely see it in the cinema, this is a film made for the big screen and a booming sound system, but I can only really recommend it for the set-pieces and some good performances.  I'm of the opinion that Nolan needs to work with a co-writer, or adapt other works, because his original stories, though grand in scope and ambition, which I will always appreciate, feel like they need a second pair of eyes to keep him in check.  6.5/10

 

I read that you saw this recently @Schumi6581, what did you think?

I liked it... 7.5/10

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djw180

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Made by the Cohen Brothers, this is collection of 6 short Westerns. It is very, very well made, as of you'd expect from the Cohen's, and has some exquisite scenery shots, see trailer above, especially in "All Gold Canyon" (looks like Big Valley in RDR2 only on a much bigger, more stunning scale). It's brilliantly acted. One of them, 'Meal Ticket' starring Liam Neeson, has virtually no dialogue between his and the other main character, but you still understand the story, what is going on between them, and realise what the rather unpleasant ending is going to be.  My favourite is The Gal Who Got Rattled, about young woman on an Oregon wagon train, with one of the most tragic endings a film could have. The main downside for me is because they are short films you never get that much character developement and in half of them I felt I didn't properly understand who the characters really were and why they were in that situation. But very well worth watching.

8/10

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LimeGreenLegend

@djw180 that’s been on my watch list for a while now, heard lots of good things about it. I love a dialogue free film, that Neeson short sounds interesting. 

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djw180
2 minutes ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

@djw180 that’s been on my watch list for a while now, heard lots of good things about it. I love a dialogue free film, that Neeson short sounds interesting. 

It does have a lot of  lets say speech, or oration may be a better word, in it, but just not much actual dialogue between the characters.

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LimeGreenLegend

Cuties

dir. Maïmouna Doucouré/2020/1h35m

Netflix Apologizes for Highly Controversial "Cuties" Poster

Cuties is the most controversial film of the year, or rather, the most controversial poster of the year.  Above you can see the original French poster for the film on the left, and the Netflix produced poster on the right.  Taken on its own, the image on the right is uncomfortable, incendiary and doesn't represent the film at all.  It's just plain bad marketing.  While it does capture an image from one scene late in the film, this is not a pro-p*dophilia film like many virtue-signalling *ssholes who haven't even seen it will tell you it is.  What it is is a profoundly touching portrait of a young immigrant girl who is trying to find her identity, and thinks she can find it by hanging out with the group of cool girls at her school, the "cuties" of the title, as they call themselves.

This was written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré, a black French woman with Senegalese parents, just like the main character of this film, Amy, played brilliantly by Fathia Youssouf.  She handles an incredibly sensitive subject with care and compassion, her direction full of life and colour perfectly encapsulating the feeling of childhood, knowing when to make the viewer feel uncomfortable with what they're seeing without it ever feeling exploitative.  This would be a much different film if it were directed by a man, let's say Bryan Singer, director of The Usual Suspects and The X-Men, who is actually a p*dophile.  

The theme of this film is self-discovery and acceptance, Amy wanting to make friends and fit in.  This is how she comes into contact with the cuties.  The internet also plays a large part of the film, with Amy and one of her friends checking out an adult-dance group on YouTube who dance in a sexualised manner.  Their respose to seeing this, "look how many likes they got".  Children are great imitators, aping what they see in the world around them, and this world, for the most part, treats women as s*xual objects.  The search for likes and follows is the most important goal for these girls, and they will copy those who are getting the most attention.  Librarians ain't getting any attention.  

Like I said above, this is a film that purposefully wants to make you feel uncomfortable with what you're seeing, and the dance scenes where these 11 year old girls are grinding and twerking, slapping each other's *sses and dry-h*mping the ground, totally naive of the meaning behind their moves, is uncomfortable to watch.  But they just know that it will get them attention.  Their innocence is highlighted in several scenes, one where they find a condom in the woods and think that only people with AIDS need to use them.  One scene shows them watching what I can assume is a p*rn video on their phones and being dumbfounded by what they're seeing, trying to make sense of it all.  This contrast between the adult world and the child world really shows how turbulent of a time that is for everyone.  Puberty is hell.  You don't know who you are and are desperate to discover yourself.  

In many ways this reminded me of Celine Sciamma's Tomboy, a film about a 10 year old trans girl who identifies as male.  This presents us with an uncomfortable situation that adults would rather pretend never happens.  If that film were released today I dread to think what the reaction would be on the internet, as it features a scene of full-frontal child nudity, the same child spending most of the film shirtless.  But these things are uncomfortable, and we should be able to explore these issues, safely and with sensitivity, rather then sweeping them under the carpet.  This is a world that sexualises young girls, and we have to acknowledge that before we can change it.  

I've spent most of this review talking about the stupid controversy behind it, so let me say a few things about the film itself.  I mentioned the direction above, and for a debut film this feels very assured and confident.  It won an award for direction at the Sundance festival earlier this year.  I just hope that Netflix hasn't ruined this woman's career before it even started.  All of the performances are superb.  The group of girls all act and talk in a natural way that always feels authentic.  Maïmouna Gueye gives a great performance as Amy's mother.  I won't say anything about her plot-line in this review because I thought it was revealed in a fantastic and touching way, but she feels like a woman struggling to hold it all together.  

I would recommend this to anyone who likes coming-of-age films, as this is one of the best in that genre that I've seen in a while.  Don't give into the herd mentality of judging this before you've seen it, as I think you'll find something very different from what you were expecting.  @Con, I know you were all up on this controversy, and would love to hear your opinion on the actual film.  It's on Netflix now, and I think we should support this new director by watching her film and seeing for ourselves what she actually has to say. 9/10

 

 

Edited by LimeGreenLegend
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Squirrel
23 hours ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

Cuties is the most controversial film of the year,

A couple of my friends certainly weren’t impressed by it. 
 

Vkedp3i.jpg

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1 hour ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

@Squirreldid they actually watch it? 

My initial reaction before I came across the controversy was exactly the same..."who made this abomination and who would want to watch it??!!, Clearly some p*do film executive is behind this." Naturally i had to google and learn more as I felt this film was getting more hate than A Serbian Film...what I learned was that it wasnt some p*do film executive behind this film but a woman from Senegal named Maiimouna Doucoure and learned that the film is much more than the controversy behind it as its supposed to be a cautionary tale. While I have not watched it and have not read Lime's review (cause I'm considering watching it myself first) I have summarized that the film is not focusing on 11 year olds shaking their *sses...and that the entertainment value is in the cautionary message and the twearking isnt the predominant thing on screen. 

I think i'm curious in how a woman from Senegal wrote something that I thought was just an American phenomenon. I mean, i know there is the internet but I didnt think other countries would have Twearking Contests never mind for children. I watched A Serbian Film so i'm sure I can get through Cuties if i had to. 

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Squirrel

My friends issue isn’t the film subject or themes but the fact that they actually used kids for the roles. 
 

It was filmed in a France because the child protection laws are different there. This film would never have been allowed to be made in the UK, US or Australia. 

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LimeGreenLegend
3 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

My friends issue isn’t the film subject or themes but the fact that they actually used kids for the roles. 
 

It was filmed in a France because the child protection laws are different there. This film would never have been allowed to be made in the UK, US or Australia. 

Fair enough.  I’m pretty sure it was a safe set though, France is a country where child beauty pageants are illegal, and they didn’t do anything in the film that actual kids wouldn’t in real life.  I don’t regret watching it though, and would still recommend it to people. 

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6 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

It was filmed in a France because the child protection laws are different there. This film would never have been allowed to be made in the UK, US or Australia. 

That's interesting. Someone needs to make a documentary about why France is the only developed country that has relaxed child laws.

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LimeGreenLegend

@Squirrel I bet me and your mate would get on well 😄 Please, for the love of god, tell him about Tomboy, I need to see the reaction to that!

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Squirrel
21 minutes ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

@Squirrel I bet me and your mate would get on well 😄 Please, for the love of god, tell him about Tomboy, I need to see the reaction to that!

I think you would have a great debate. She’s actually a film student as well as spending some time as a social worker in the past. She’s got very strong opinions on this film. 

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LimeGreenLegend
27 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

I think you would have a great debate. She’s actually a film student and has done social work in the past. She’s got very strong opinions on this film. 

Nice, I'd love to hear more.  Has she seen it, or just the trailer/poster?

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Squirrel
2 minutes ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

Nice, I'd love to hear more.  Has she seen it, or just the trailer/poster?

She could only manage half the film. Got too much for her as she was getting too angry about it. 

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LimeGreenLegend
Just now, Squirrel said:

She could only manage half the film. Got too much for her as she was getting too angry about it. 

She really thought it was that bad?  I'll have to check out some reviews from female critics.  If she stopped halfway then she missed the parts that would probably make her the angriest, including a bathroom selfie scene that was genuinely shocking, but that was the point.  It's still better than Tenet though.

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In America we made a person named Honey Boo Boo and her mama famous for the child pageant circuit....which I personally find cringeworthy to see little girls caked up in makeup posing. Ever watch a child pageant swimsuit segment? Like whats the point of that to judge fabric? 

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33 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

I think you would have a great debate. She’s actually a film student and has done social work in the past. She’s got very strong opinions on this film. 

Tell  that woman to sign up with us just for the Film Club....love to have her share her opinions and views. I love strong women. 

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2 minutes ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

  It's still better than Tenet though.

Are you trying to say that there's no twearking in Tenet? Bond doesn't Reggaton in the Aston Martin??   I'm done. 

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LimeGreenLegend
Just now, Con said:

Are you trying to say that there's no twearking in Tenet? Bond doesn't Reggaton in the Aston Martin??   I'm done. 

Had Robert Pattinson dropped to the ground and started dry-h*mping then it would be film of the year, obviously.

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Honestly, I think we are all forgetting the most basic of things when it comes to the elements of the film Cuties.....and that is that its ultimately the PARENTS responsibility to protect their children. I mean, im no parent but I would have tact or attempt it, meaning if i walked into my daughter twearking, i wouldnt come down on her with the Ban Hammer...because surely that would make her want to Twerk more.  I just saw i was spelling Twerking wrong. lmao.  If your child is sneaking out behind your back....you are probably doing something wrong....I know my mother did. 

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American politicians are now tweeting cancelling Netflix because of the movie Cuties and people joining in who are judging it by the Netflix poster, just like I did at first and just like A Serbian Film, the horrible things said about it made me want to perceive it for myself...and I think that is the best advice I can give anyone with a strong opinion about this film Cuties without having watched it themselves first. 
  As a victim of s*xual assault as a child myself, yes you read that right, I feel I can speak through experience and can say that at no time did I feel while watching this that children were in danger on the set or that it was overly s*xual or was it filled with gratuitous camera moments. The movie is not about perfecting twerking moves by 11 year olds, it has those dance moments but out of necessity or did people want the filmmaker to ignore how the internet AND absent parents make for a huge part of children being exposed to adults doing adult things. 
 
I don’t want to say more about the film because it deserves its own review but do everyone a favor and watch it so you are fully informed regarding the film and not just your perception of its Teen Twerking elements.
If I had a daughter I would happily watch Cuties with her and have so much to talk about. 

Edited by Con
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