Necroshaman’s Films Watched in 2020by Necroshaman | created - 4 weeks ago | updated - 13 hours ago | Public
The ongoing saga of movie watching and the eternal search for the perfect movie
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1. Body at Brighton Rock (2019)
R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A park ranger spends the night guarding a potential crime scene on a remote mountain trail.
Votes: 938 | Gross: $0.01M
Part survival, part psychological horror and a bear for good measure. A suspenseful slow burn that had beautiful outdoor cinematography. A little bit of a twist too. 7/10 - 1/1/2020
2. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)
PG-13 | 108 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
On Halloween 1968, reclusive Stella and her two friends meet a mysterious drifter, Ramón, and uncover a sinister notebook of stories.
Votes: 40,909 | Gross: $62.74M
It was an okay anthology of horror vignettes joined in an overarching story. The time period setting worked well. The stories were okay and all felt urban legend-ish. I’d say the pace of the movie was a little slow and the filming quality a little dark. I liked the references throughout to old horror movies. 6/10 - 1/1/2020
3. Knives Out (2019)
PG-13 | 131 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.
Not the kind of murder mystery I was expecting but I enjoyed it greatly. The story had layers like an onion and even if things seemed super clear, they were in fact not. Great cast, even with Craig’s bad accent. 8/10 - 1/1/2020
4. Amarcord (1973)
R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama
A series of comedic and nostalgic vignettes set in a 1930s Italian coastal town.
This was awful. For a Fellini film and for a top 250 film. It has no business being here. Absurdist stories with no discernible plot. There are like no redeeming qualities. 2/10 - 1/1/2020
5. Frozen II (2019)
PG | 103 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa's powers in order to save their kingdom.
Enjoyable sequel but the songs were less memorable. I liked the darker undertones. The story was pretty simple and I felt some things were left unexplained. 7/10 - 1/2/2020
6. Summer of 84 (2018)
Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
After suspecting that their police officer neighbor is a serial killer, a group of teenage friends spend their summer spying on him and gathering evidence, but as they get closer to discovering the truth, things get dangerous.
Votes: 27,269 | Gross: $0.09M
Serial killer mystery with a Stranger Things vibe (kids, synth music, 80s). The storyline was clichéd but enjoyable for what it was. Probably could have used more 80s references. 7/10 - 1/3/2020
7. Blade of the Immortal (2017)
R | 140 min | Action, Drama
Manji, a highly skilled samurai, becomes cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. Haunted by the brutal murder of his sister, Manji knows that only fighting evil will regain his soul. He promises to help a young girl named Rin avenge her parents, who were killed by a group of master swordsmen led by ruthless warrior Anotsu. The mission will change Manji in ways he could never imagine - ... See full summary »
Votes: 13,215 | Gross: $0.15M
Miike does two things well: weird films and samurai films. This would be the latter. A slower paced film with decent action sequences littered throughout. A touch of supernatural worms. Some stylish costumes were used. The focus of the story wavered a bit towards the end. I enjoyed myself overall. 7/10 - 1/4/2020
8. Bushwick (2017)
TV-MA | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
When a U.S. based military force invades their Brooklyn neighborhood, 20-year-old Lucy and war veteran Stupe must depend on each other to survive.
A film that is a collection of long takes, including the opening half hour single take. I found the long takes added intimacy to the urban warfare going on in this new civil war film. I feel the story was influenced by the recent political divides going on and if they were taken to an extreme. There was a sense of nihilism throughout the film. 7/10 - 1/5/2020
9. The Trouble with Harry (1955)
PG | 99 min | Comedy, Mystery
The trouble with Harry is that he's dead, and everyone seems to have a different idea of what should be done with his body.
Not one of my favourite Hitchcock. Sort of a dead body farce. Some beautiful autumn cinematography in gorgeous technicolor from the early 50s. Kris Kringle from Miracle on 34th St was here and looked naked without his beard. His voice was very recognizable though. 6/10 - 1/5/2020
10. The Emperor's Candlesticks (1937)
Approved | 89 min | Drama, History, Romance
A male Polish secret agent and a female Russian secret-police spy smuggle messages to St. Petersburg in candlesticks. While chasing after stolen candlesticks they discover each other's identity and fall in love.
A spy story mixed with a love story lacking any chemistry which is hard considering how suave Powell is. The problem was Rainer and perhaps her bad Russian accent. It was also a bit predictable especially where the mix up with the candlesticks would be. 6/10 - 1/6/2020
11. Jojo Rabbit (2019)
PG-13 | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, War
A young boy in Hitler's army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.
Votes: 64,857 | Gross: $0.35M
The war told through the innocence of a child who is confused and his catharsis over the course of the film. Also a comedy with an imaginary friend who happens to be Hitler. Elements of Moonrise Kingdom in style I found. Waititi played Hitler completely hammed up. The film also had poignant moments. I can only imagine Jojo’s defining moment in the movie with his imaginary friend eliciting cheers in the audience. Definitely a different take on a WWII film. Also good. 8/10 - 1/6/2020
12. The Criminal Code (1930)
Passed | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
After a failed attempt at running for governor, D.A. Mark Brady is appointed warden of the state prison where many of the criminals he prosecuted are incarcerated.
Pretty bland pre-code film with a well known director and some well know actors. Acting wasn’t very good and the story so blah. 4/10 - 1/7/2020
13. American History X (1998)
R | 119 min | Drama
A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.
Votes: 983,624 | Gross: $6.72M
It remains a powerful film which sadly seems to document some of the rhetoric we see today in our political squabbles. Edward Norton puts in a staggeringly good performance. 9/10 - 1/7/2020
14. Champion (1949)
Approved | 99 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Sport
Boxer Midge Kelly rises to fame...mainly by stepping on other people.
A serviceable boxing film from the late 40s. Even had the training montage scene (minus the Rocky music of course). Story was simple enough but the boxing scenes were surprisingly well done. Throw in gamblers and fixing fights for good measure. 7/10 - 1/8/2020
15. Mystery Street (1950)
Passed | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A small town policeman is assisted by a Harvard professor when a human skeleton is found on a Massachusetts beach.
The sub-genre may be small but I think I enjoy these forensic noir films. Paying attention to the science and logic to deduce information from the corpse. The picture was filmed beautifully and the actors were good. First time I’ve seen Montalban before he did Star Trek. Lanchester was great in these later roles. She seems to have fun with the role. 8/10 - 1/9/2020
16. All About My Mother (1999)
R | 101 min | Drama
Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his second mother, a trans woman, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela.
Votes: 83,619 | Gross: $8.26M
Kind of a weird comedy. Sort of enjoyable to watch and sort of sad in bits (the son). I don’t think I’d want to watch it again though. 7/10 - 1/9/2020
17. The 400 Blows (1959)
Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama
A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.
Still as dull as the first time I watched it. The film is seen through the eyes of the children. They were kind of brats. But the parents weren’t any better nor was the teacher. 5/10 - 1/9/2020
18. The Brasher Doubloon (1947)
Approved | 72 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Detective Philip Marlowe encounters a variety of characters while checking on why Leslie Murdock stole a rare doubloon from his mother.
A nice zippy noir about one of the Philip Marlowe stories. Montgomery isn’t the best Marlowe but who can beat Bogey? Some scenes felt like they were skirting the censors. 8/10 - 1/10/2020
19. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History, Thriller
In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Votes: 49,758 | Gross: $0.05M
Very much felt like a propaganda film of sorts with the rising up against their oppressors. Some beautiful outdoor, on the ocean cinematography from 1925. Surprising amount of violence and blood. It was interesting seeing the Odessa steps sequence and the baby carriage bit that influenced a The Untouchables later on. 7/10 - 1/10/2020
20. De Palma (2015)
R | 110 min | Documentary, Biography
A documentary about writer and director Brian De Palma.
Votes: 4,390 | Gross: $0.16M
As a cinephile and a De Palma fan, this was quite an enjoyable documentary. The style is simple as he basically walks you through all his films over time. But he talks his techniques and influences and it’s a sort of history of cinema of some pretty great films and some films I have still to see! 8/10 - 1/10/2020
21. Disobedience (2017)
R | 114 min | Drama, Romance
A woman returns to her Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her for her attraction to a female childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.
Votes: 21,062 | Gross: $3.48M
Started off strong with the death of the father/rabbi. But between an unbelievable love story between Weisz and McAdams and clichéd religious scenes, it went downhill fast. It also was a relatively slow paced film. 5/10 - 1/11/2020
22. Scarface (1983)
R | 170 min | Crime, Drama
In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.
Votes: 691,830 | Gross: $45.60M
Classic remake with iconic lines. Didn’t really notice the De Palma style much. Definite 80s synth going on throughout. The film, at 170 minutes, could have used better editing to trim the story down and improve the pacing. 7/10 - 1/11/2020
23. That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)
R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama
Recounted in flashback are the romantic perils of Mathieu, a middle-aged French sophisticate as he falls for his nineteen year-old former chambermaid Conchita.
Votes: 18,995 | Gross: $0.06M
Not as surreal as you’d expect from a Buñuel film but surreal-lite. Having the same character of Conchita played by two different actresses depending on the characters mood was interesting. And the general hijinks of the story told was entertaining to watch and sufficiently weird. I found the dress and hairstyles timeless so it didn’t really feel like a 70s film. 7/10 - 1/12/2020
24. Entanglement (III) (2017)
85 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
While recovering from a suicide attempt, Ben Layton accidentally falls in love with a girl who was very nearly, almost his sister - and then things start to get weird.
A quirky and weird introspective romance. I didn’t see predict everything that happened either. Although parts I did. Had a very indie vibe to the whole thing. 7/10 - 1/12/2020
25. Repeat Performance (1947)
Approved | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
On New Year's Eve 1946, Sheila Page kills her husband Barney. She wishes that she could relive 1946 and avoid the mistakes that she made throughout the year. Her wish comes true but cheating fate proves more difficult than she anticipated.
The single conceit kind of made it like a time travel film noir but sadly, it was barely used except how to start the story. It might as well just have been what was shown as, outside of a few comments from Leslie, the film barely contrasted what happened the first time (which was never shown) and the redo. The story itself was kind of weak. 6/10 - 1/13/2020
26. Fanny and Alexander (1982)
R | 188 min | Drama
Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls.
Votes: 53,733 | Gross: $4.97M
Already way too long a film, it definitely does not get better on a second viewing. It just fails to maintain my interest, even if the mother Emilie looks like a spitting image of Emilia Clarke. 4/10 - 1/13/2020
27. The Blackbird (1926)
Not Rated | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Two thieves, the Blackbird and West End Bertie, fall in love with the same girl, a French nightclub performer named Fifi. Each man tries to outdo the other to win her heart.
Votes: 601 | Gross: $0.25M
Average silent film. The stand out was Chaney in his duplicitous role. Everyone else was so so. The camera work also seemed suspect as there were scenes where the person talking was completely out of focus and I don’t think it was an artistic decision. 5/10 - 1/14/2020
28. Bulldog Drummond (1929)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A bored WWI veteran helps out a young woman, whose uncle is being held hostage by embezzlers.
An early talkie but you could tell by how poor the dialogue was written and how badly the actors delivered their lines. Story was okay. The ending was kind of bleh though I thought the “circus gag” was pretty ingenious. 6/10 - 1/15/2020
29. Reign of Terror (1949)
Approved | 89 min | History, Romance, Thriller
Robespierrre, a powerful figure in the French revolution, is desperately looking for his black book, a death list of those marked for the guillotine.
Enjoyable political scheming / espionage thriller. Acting was good. Some interesting direction and style. It also felt more like a “modern” historical film. 8/10 - 1/16/2020
30. The Psychic (1977)
R | 90 min | Mystery, Thriller
A clairvoyant woman discovers a skeleton in a wall in her husband's house, and seeks to find the truth about what happened to the victim.
A predictable Cassandra complex type mystery film that was somewhat predictable in its conclusion and drawn out to get there. Minimal gore from the usual king of gore Fulci though the opening was effective and a nice touch. The idea of the film was good though. 7/10 - 1/18/2020
31. 1917 (2019)
R | 119 min | Drama, War
April 6th 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message, that will stop 1,600 men, from walking straight into a deadly trap.
I love the single take sequence movies. It offered unparalleled intimacy and suspense for a wartime movie. The cinematography by Deakins was beautiful. The story inspiring and sad. It was a pretty great movie. 9/10 - 1/18/2020
32. Missing Link (2019)
PG | 93 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Mr. Link recruits explorer Sir Lionel Frost to help find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, this trio of explorers travel the world to help their new friend.
Votes: 13,781 | Gross: $16.65M
Some intermittent laughs throughout but uneven in the entertainment value. Animation was okay even if everyone had a congested red nose. 6/10 - 1/19/2020
33. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
R | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
An augmented human and Sarah Connor must stop an advanced liquid Terminator, from hunting down a young girl, whose fate is critical to the human race.
One of those series / mythologies that just speaks to me and I just enjoy. I think they did a good job of continuing after T2 directly and liked how they handled the modified future. Having Arnie and Hamilton in this was nice and I liked how they handled their story. Good action sequences and some bad assery. 8/10 - 1/19/2020
34. Bicycle Thieves (1948)
Not Rated | 89 min | Drama
In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.
Votes: 134,079 | Gross: $0.33M
So much effort expended to find a very specific inexpensive bike. Should have just borrowed the money and got a new bike. But then there wouldn’t be a film. A little better than I remember but not by much. 6/10 - 1/19/2020
35. Empire of Passion (1978)
R | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Romance
A married woman and her lover murder her husband and dump his body into a well. After a while, his ghost comes to haunt them while the local gossip grows stronger.
The guilty conscience embedded in the reappearing ghost. It’s been done before and can be done well. Here it is a little slow moving and I don’t know if the pay off was worth it. 6/10 - 1/20/2020
36. The Red Violin (1998)
R | 130 min | Drama, Music, Mystery
A red-colored violin inspires passion, making its way through three centuries over several owners and countries, eventually ending up at an auction where it may find a new owner.
Votes: 30,630 | Gross: $9.47M
The stories and lives touched by the titular violin over hundreds of years. A good story and I liked how all the narrative threads intertwined and related. The nuance of the fortune teller was a nice touch. 8/10 - 1/20/2020
37. The Killing (1956)
Not Rated | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Crook Johnny Clay assembles a five man team to plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.
Not one of my favourite Kubrick. Story is fine but it feels cold. The narration was partly responsible for this. 6/10 - 1/20/2020
38. The Night Walker (1964)
Passed | 86 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A woman is haunted by recurring nightmares, which seem to be instigated by her late husband who supposedly was killed in a fire.
Kind of a surreal gaslighting story with images that channel a good Twilight Zone episode. Very artistic at points and I loved the recurring score. The wax mannequins were creepy. Enjoyable film. 8/10 - 1/21/2020
39. Murder à la Mod (1968)
80 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Naive young lady Karen wants to help her struggling amateur filmmaker boyfriend Christopher raise enough money so he can divorce his wife. Meanwhile, jolly psycho prankster Otto stalks the ... See full summary »
You can tell it’s De Palma from the pretty and stylish women dressed up in fancy 60s wear and the blood. You can tell it’s early De Palma from the art school experimental sensibilities and hollow plot. It was pretty to look at but nothing deeper than that. 6/10 - 1/22/2020
40. Night Tide (1961)
Not Rated | 86 min | Horror, Romance, Thriller
A young sailor falls in love with a mysterious woman, performing as a mermaid at the local carnival. He soon comes to suspect the girl might be a real mermaid, who draws men to a watery death during the full moon.
A romance with a bit of mystery and hints of horror that walks the myth of the mermaid/siren. Casts a young Dennis Hopper. Pretty good although some dangling threads at the end. 7/10 - 1/23/2020
41. The Exterminating Angel (1962)
Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy
The guests at an upper-class dinner party find themselves unable to leave.
A great title for a film. Too bad nothing in the film references it. I found the conceit wasn’t done very well as you felt there was nothing keeping them in there: no sense of supernatural or surreal. Speaking of which, given this was a film by Buñuel, I would have expected much more surreal imagery. The characters themselves were kind of dull and you didn’t care whether they were trapped or not. 5/10 - 1/24/2020
42. Bombshell (2019)
R | 109 min | Biography, Drama
A group of women take on Fox News head Roger Ailes and the toxic atmosphere he presided over at the network.
A huge cast of stellar talent litters this true story. A fascinating look on the inside of the conservative news world in amongst the scandal. The real life footage of the 2016 lead up to the election was a bit surreal. 8/10 - 1/24/2020
43. Persona (1966)
Not Rated | 83 min | Drama, Thriller
A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personae are melding together.
Some striking and occasionally shocking imagery in this Bergman film. It makes about as much sense as the first time watching it. Although, I can see the influences it has on Mulholland Drive. 8/10 - 1/25/2020
44. Sugar Cookies (1973)
X | 91 min | Drama, Thriller
A film producer murders his star actress during an erotic "game" and makes it look like suicide. The dead girl's lesbian lover discovers what happened, and plots her revenge.
Revenge thriller with exploitation level nudity. It wasn’t bad but the story was uneven throughout including pacing. The side story with the cross dressing overweight brother seemed unnecessary. Enjoyable enough. 6/10 - 1/25/2020
45. Thursday (1998)
R | 87 min | Action, Comedy, Crime