Reviews are based on personal preference. A score of 1 is a film I actively hated and probably wouldn’t have sat all the way through. A score of 5 is a movie that was okay, but not noteworthy and I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend. A score of 10 is a movie that would sit in good company with Schindler’s List or other terrific movies. Scores marked with an asterisk are noted because they were the last film shown on a long day of watching movies and fatigue may have influenced my score.
My favorite non-movie part of Lost Weekend 9 was the woman who shouted “ANDY IS TALKING!” at the theatre full of adults who needed the lights to be flicked on and off like children until they could shut up to listen to the guy with the microphone.
Borg McEnroe - 8/10 - 107 minutes
Film did good job of building suspense in tennis, a sport that I don’t understand well enough to appreciate. The movie also handles something that I appreciated - pressure of people participating in a high pressure environment. Although Borg and McEnroe were direct competitors, they also were the only people who could fully understand the mental pressures of the sport.
Good Time - 9/10 - 101 minutes
I only know Robert Pattinson from the Twilight movies. I didn’t recognize him in this one. About twenty minutes into the film, I leaned to Kerry and asked her who in this movie is Robert Pattinson. Turns out it was the lead character who I didn’t recognize, at all. You probably have never seen him like this before, and it’s certainly worth a look.
There is also an interesting outro musical track at the credits to Good Time featuring Iggy Pop that I enjoyed.
Rock Steady Row - 6/10*- 77 minutes
A film about bicycle thievery in a post apocalyptic college setting with the trappings of the spaghetti western. The film is fully aware of it’s ridiculous premise and doesn’t take itself overly seriously. The execution is solid. The heart of the film feels like an intentional homage to A Fist Full of Dollars with the protago pitting two rival criminal factions against each other, but the film doesn’t make it at all clear why one of the factions even exists, since the other one wipes them out easily. Maybe I’m being too hard on this one.
Pork Pie - 9/10 - 105 minutes
This years The Young Offenders. Very funny, plenty of action. The train dress up scene carried a terrific emotional weight for the film. Highly recommended. If you’re American, you might have to suspend disbelief about the protagonists not being slaughtered by the police at any point during their high speed chase across New Zealand.
LA 92 - 10/10 - 114 minutes
This is my favorite film of the whole Lost Weekend. It’s a documentary about the riots in Los Angelos following the Rodney King police brutality trial. It’s high score stems from it’s novel approach to the documentary genre and how thought provoking it was for me. The documentary is presented from news clips and home footage with no narration or interviews beyond what was in the media at that time. If I was in the habit of giving or taking half points, I think that I might ding the film because I would have appreciated it going into some additional detail about the aftermath of legislative things in this country following the entire ordeal, namely the outcome of the Harlins trial being instrumental to the increase of mandatory minimum sentencing in the USA. However, the film is a masterclass in editing.
Introspectively, as I watched the film, I felt myself waffling between outrage at the LA police department and some ol’ fashioned racism. Some of the scenes of black people brutally beating truck drivers for the crime of being in the wrong neighborhood on the wrong day and scenes of looting did prod whichever neuron in my brain is responsible for making wide generalizations about other people.
If you are a white person and have ever seen American History X, the dinner scene played out in it’s fullest in my brain during this documentary.
The events of that movie happened when I was nine years old. I’m 35 and they’re still going on.
Permission - 8/10 - 96 minutes
The premise of the movie is that there is a couple that has been together since high school, are on the verge of getting married, and the question is brought up, “Are you sure that you want to be with this person for the remainder of the rest of your life having never ever been with anyone else sexually?” From there things get messy.
I very much enjoyed this movie. The pacing was appropriate. All of the on screen characters felt meaningful and alive and imperfect. This felt like one of the few movies that the writers love all of their characters, but have no favorites. The dialog including ideas about romantic possession and the pragmatics of relationships, then into how irrational monogamy is (which it is) and then into how irrational polygamy is (which it is), and then back again.
The film begins with a happy ending, and ends with a better, but very much less happy ending. I recommend this one.
I Kill Giants - 7/10 - 104 minutes
Based on the Joe Kelly and J. M. Ken Niimura comic of the same name that was very well received by its audience. I didn’t read those though.
For the first third of this film, I was prepared to give this one a 2 or 3 out of a 10. The main character is an intelligent, sarcastic, imaginative child who enjoys geeky things and keeps most at arms length. I should have been able to identify with that, having been a similar kind of child. However, I hated her for most of the first part of the movie.
As she started opening up to others and after a particular item that I understood as a plot twist, I began to relate to the movie much better.
Zoe Saldana’s character was underutilized, in my opinion, but there are likely writing constraints due to working from source material.
Didn’t relate well to the child character, but the actor did a terrific job. Not Jada Pincknet was under utilized. Did get some tears.
In The Fade - 7/10 - 106 minutes
This one is a movie about a woman whose husband and child are murdered, then she seeks justice, then her own revenge. I enjoyed it. Also was nice to see a German killing Nazi’s. Americans used to do that.
The Endless - 7/10 - 111 minutes
Any movie that involves a cult is going to get at least one point right off of the top. I love cults and communes. The film has an approach to the cult trope that feels original to me. The film also does a good job of dialing up the weirdness over the run of it. The movie is comfortable without giving the audience a full serving of exposition, which I always appreciate. If I had to ding it, there are bits where it felt like some comedy got tacked on, like the movie wasn’t certain if it should be funny or serious or something else.
Along with the Gods - 4/10* - 139 minutes
Korean film drenched in CGI work. Early on, I had thought that this might be an action version of What Dreams May Come, but no. The movie was way too long and filled with pointless action scenes that didn’t serve to build plot tension, or even have internal tension to the scene itself. I may have missed some of the movie’s messages because I don’t understand Korean Buddhism’s views of the afterlife.
Hate to bag on this one, but it was likely my least favorite of the Lost Weekend.
The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales - 5/10 - 83 minutes
Solid French film with farm animals. Had it’s charm, but not real remarkable.
Suck It Up - 7/10 - 101 minutes
Buddy film about damaged grieving people. Characters felt meaningful.
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamar Story - 7/10 - 88 minutes
Focused documentary on Hedy Lamar. I learned quite a bit about her.
Woodpeckers - 7/10 - 106 minutes
Dominican Republic film focuses on the use of sign language between a men’s prison and a women’s prison. I felt it was well structured and didn’t carry useless pieces of plot.
Tigers Are Not Afraid - 7/10 - 83 minutes
Solid Mexican film with quality child actors. Violent and dark. Juxtaposition of violent murders with the innocent play of children made the film emotionally more complicated.
Death of Stalin - 8/10 - 106 minutes
Very funny film occasionally about very dark topics. Steve Buscemi is the real star of this film. Give it a go.
Annihilation - 6/10 - 105 minutes
This movie is based on the Jeff VanderMeer book of the same name that I read and found out that I’m one of the only people that didn’t like it.
I went into this film as the only one in Lost Weekend’s line up that I knew, approximately, what I’d be getting. It’s directed by Alex Garland, who did Ex Machina (a personal favorite), so I was cautiously optimistic.
The edits from the novel to the movie make sense. Setting a more linear timeline with giving the audience flashbacks through the vehicle of found documentation instead of actual flashbacks were very well appreciated.
However, just like the book, I appear to be in the minority of people that didn’t like it.
- The Daily Beast - ‘Annihilation’ Is Mind-Blowing, and the Best Sci-Fi Film in Years
- Vox - Annihilation is a stunning science fiction thriller from the director of Ex Machina
I didn’t care about the success or failure of the characters. The early scene where Natalie Portman’s character is reunited with her presumed dead husband is one of the only moments where I felt emotionally invested in anybody.
And just like the book, I hated that the setting of the events of the story are set in “Area X”, like this is some sort of pulp sci fi novel from the 40’s.
But, hey, everyone else is liking it, so statistically probably will.
November - 6/10* - 115 minutes
This is a strange Estonian film. Also, this was the film that I sponsored. It was a very unusual film. The limited amount of information I was unable to avoid in the run up to seeing this movie strongly suggested to me that it would be a horror film. I think that I could tell you that there are likely some people who will get strange dreams from watching this movie, it’s not a horror movie. Despite selling souls to the devil, demonically powered machines, lycanthropy, witches, and partying with the dead, this is a love story, not a horror story.
It’s worth a watch just for the novelty of the movie, but it could have served to have some judicious edits to it. There are lengthy scenes that feel like sidebars to the plot which distracted me from what the movie was about.
The kratts were some of the best parts of the movie.
Sammy Davis Jr: I’ve Gotta Be Me - 7/10 - 100 minutes
Solid documentary about Sammy Davis Jr.. Well structured. I learned a lot.
Bad Genius - 6/10 - 130 minutes
Good heist film. Had some comedy and drama. Could have had the fat trimmed a bit.
Small Town Crime - 7/10 - 91 minutes
Entertaining shoot em up. John Hawkes’s performance was believable and sincere. Some of the kills in the movie were brutal.
Oh, Lucy - 8/10 - 95 minutes
Strange, Japanese / American film. Plenty of damaged characters. Interplay between different character story arcs was believable and enjoyable. I appreciated the final sequence of the film tying it to the opening scene.
Jane - 8/10 - 90 minutes
I’m an easy sell on anything Jane Goodall. This documentary is certainly worth your time.
You Were Never Really Here - 8/10 - 85 minutes
Joaquin Phoenix’s character is some sort of hitman or troubleshooter (it’s left loosely defined) who has PTSD. The film illustrates that with poorly defined flashbacks, leaving the audience to fill in blanks with their own imagination. Unhurried pacing of the movie without dragging was appreciated. The film is also light on dialog and makes interesting choices on scene framing. The use of CCTV cameras in one scene was particularly enjoyable.
The scene on the kitchen floor of Joe’s mom’s house got this movie a point all by itself.
The Fantastic Woman - 6/10 - 104 minutes
A film about a transgender woman whose boyfriend dies and then is harassed by people who are either transphobic or hated her romantic involvement with the deceased or both. It was okay, but I have the feeling that everyone else was more enthusiastic about the movie than I was.
Total Lost Weekend movie runtime: 2454 minutes (or 40.9 hours).