Bilby, 2018 - ★★★★

    This short is, indeed, extremely cute. But it's also impressively executed in terms of the writing and the animation.

    Parenting pro-tip: Shorts like this one are good to keep handy for when you need to extinguish a tantrum without starting a longer watching session.

    Top Gun: Maverick, 2022 - ★★★★ (contains spoilers)

    This review may contain spoilers.

    Sure, it’s a couple hours of Tom Cruise being paid millions of dollars to do stunts literally everyone else in the world would have to pay millions of dollars to do. But nails the fan service, the tech, and the physics.

    And it’s fun.

    Also, it includes an appearance by the Ice Man himself, though anyone who has seen Val Kilmer’s autobiographical documentary Val will instantly notice that Kilmer basically just walked onto the Maverick set dressed as he always dresses to greet company these days.

    🍿 Prey, 2022 - ★★★★ (contains spoilers)

    This review may contain spoilers.

    A Predator movie is only as good as its protagonist. 

    The dialogue can mostly suck, as it does here. 

    The CG effects can look like trash, as they too often do here. 

    The plot can be an early colonial-American choose-your-own-adventure story, as it (mostly) is here. 
    But if you have 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger, or 2022 Amber Midthunder, you will have a movie worth your time, and worthy of a theater run. 

    That Prey didn't get the latter is an affront to Midthunder's performance. 

    She carries the movie, together with the skilled eye of Philadelphia's own Dan Trachtenberg. 

    And you can't help but notice, as the movie progresses toward a climax that thrills in spite of its predictability, that only she and the Predator get any character development. They're growing in parallel: she coming into her power, and it learning that its power may, for the first time, not be enough to ensure its survival.

    (And yes, the dog lives.)

    Moon, 2009 - ★★★★★

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 out of 5 stars)

    This is the last one for today, I promise.

    Another rewatch, Sam Rockwell’s performance puts this movie on a level with The Martian. 

    I know they’re very different movies, but, for my money, Moon does at just as much with fewer/older VFX and a much lower budget.

    How much lower?

    Well, The Martian had a $108 million budget. (Source, via Wikipedia)

    had a $5 million budget. (Archived source, via Wikipedia)

    And a little piece of trivia: Benedict Wong is in both Moon and The Martian, not to mention Annihilation, which I also recently re-watched.

    Annihilation, 2018 - ★★★★

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 out of 5 stars)

    I can confirm in watching this movie again that it is ambitious, original and has a fully committed cast.

    If you like sci-fi and somehow haven’t seen Annihilation yet, do yourself a favor and watch it.

    The Menu, 2022 - ★★★

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars out of 5)

    I don’t regret watching this and I would certainly recommend it to certain people, but I’m not sure I’ll ever need to watch it again.

    Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, 2023 - ★

    ⭐️ (1 star out of 5

    Wouldn’t watch again, wouldn’t recommend

    The story was incoherent except as a forced setup of Kang and of passing of the Ant-Man-tle to Lang’s daughter.

    Riders of Justice, 2020 - ★★★★

    It both is and is not the movie you think it is, and both in the best way.

    FUMC Ideas

    Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness, 1986 - ★★

    Awful… awfully wonderful

    CODA, 2021 - ★★★

    Awful family places burden of their livelihood on daughter for her entire life and finally decides to let her be her own kid as she leaves for college. 

    It was good but it was kind of missing that one show stopping, jaw dropping song that the third act of any movie in this vein kind of demands.

    Black Widow, 2021 - ★★★

    It’s worth a watch for the chemistry between the sisters - you don’t see a lot of effective portrayals of sisterhood in action movies - and David Harbour is a lot of fun.

    Edit: the pig scene was totally unnecessary and gross.

    The Suicide Squad, 2021 - ★★★★

    A lot of people love this movie for the same reasons a lot of people hate this movie. It simultaneously shamelessly indulges in the same clichés and tropes that it’s constantly subverting. A lot of people just want it to pick whether it’s going to shamelessly indulge or it’s going to subvert but I think what makes it so much fun and so unique is that it does both.

    Don't Look Now, 1973 - ★★★★½

    The non sequitur implementation of the ending cost half a star but the film is visually stunning and narratively bold. I can’t say what movies clearly took inspiration from it without giving it away, but you’ll probably know right away after you watch it.

    Starry Eyes, 2014 - ★★★

    Watched on Tuesday July 20, 2021.

    The Peanut Butter Solution, 1985 - ★★★

    You will not know where it’s going until it gets there.

    FUMC History

    The films watched by the FUMC, in order.

    Cigarette Burns, 2005 - ★★★

    Watched for the FUMC.

    House, 1977 - ★★★

    Well you should all watch it once. Watching it alone was disorientating and left me wishing I had someone to share the experience with but it was a hell of ride. Go in blind and don’t ask of it any more than it is.

    A Quiet Place Part II, 2020 - ★★★★★

    I try to be stingy with 5 stars but this movie deserves it. The writing, direction, acting and SOUND DESIGN are as good as the first and in some areas even better. 

    The main flaw that bugged me was SPOILER ALERT:

    The day one flashback was really only there to remind us who JK was on the first one and introduce us to Cillian and his kid. One or two more flashbacks throughout the story may have balanced it a bit. I wouldn’t want anything predictable like showing one of Emmit’s family members dying, I actually think not seeing that stuff puts us in his mindset: it’s hard for him to think about but it’s all he thinks about. 

    I thought the conclusion was perfect, with the children both growing into their dad’s shoes, although it’s worth nothing that mom is consistently as badass and brave as dad. But when you lose someone you love you often want to live up to them somehow because it feels like they’re still there with you when you embody their best qualities. So I get it.

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