Weekly Watchlist: Week 4

Weekly Watchlist. Week 4. This week is completely packed with movies as I have worked towards watching at least one film per day. Lots of variety this time around, mixing classics, more contemporary films, criterions, and some marvel movies.

So here’s what I watched this time around.

Saturday (3.23.19)

Chinatown (1974) – 4/5

  • A classic I was required to watch for my film classics class in anticipation for the midterm; quite a nice film though; Jack Nicholson kills it and the story is genuinely cool.

Young Frankenstein (1974) – 4/5

  • Another classic I needed to watch for the midterm mentioned above; this film was definitely ahead of its time and incorporated a lot of comedic elements that I appreciated.

Sunday (3.24.19)

Mid90s (2018) – 4.5/5

  • One of my favorite movies of all time due to the subject matter and the personal story it tells; I relate to it a lot to I love to watch this.

The Soloist (2009) – 3/5

  • Not a big fan of learning about African-American poverty through the lens of a rich English white dude but it wasn’t terrible. Nice performances by the actors and props to the kid who played the younger version of Jamie Foxx and killed it on the cello.

Us (2019) – 4/5

  • Lots to unpack in this movie honestly. The soundtrack/score is amazing; the cinematography and writing are really well done; I need a 2nd viewing asap to interpret the rest.

Monday (3.25.19)

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) – 3.5/5

  • Not much to say about this movie; decent origin story and well executed

Tuesday (3.26.19)

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) – 4.5/5

  • Quite honestly, I’ve already listened to the music score for this film a million times before finally watching it. This film is a great example of beautiful story telling. The plot is touching and extremely real; in addition, all artistic/visual elements are so well done and I love it

Wednesday (3.27.19)

Captive State (2019) – 2/5

  • This was a true waste of talent and money to the fullest extent. This was poorly executed w/ many flukes and just lame writing. I wish I could like it more cuz it was filmed in Chicago and we need more of that but oh well

Mandy (2018) – 4/5

  • The visuals in this movie are absolutely crazy; lighting and cinematography go hard af. Also, Nicholas Cage in a chainsaw battle is a nightmare-esque image that I’ll be thinking about for a while

Thursday (3.28.19)

Punch-Drunk Love (2002) – 4/5

  • This is really good anxiety-ridden writing w/ excellent cinematography and it hits hard; there’s literally so many subplots in this it’s crazy. Sidenote: Sandler & Hoffman KILL it in this

Friday (3.29.19)

The Beach Bum (2019) – 3.5/5

  • Accurate representation of South Florida residents played by Matthew McConaughey in his final form. The plot is kind everywhere but it works for the most part; I like it but I don’t think I’d watch it again

Saturday (3.30.19)

Us (2019) – 3.5/5

  • A 2nd viewing reveals some plot holes and delivers more questions than answers tbh; nonetheless, great film and extremely well don

To The Wonder (2012) – 2.5/5

  • Personable and nice but kinda just pointless w/ not much substance; this is shot very well (on film) by Lubezki. In addition, this is the first Mallick film I’ve seen (sadly) so there are several more to come

Sunday (3.31.19)

Punch-Drunk Love (2002) – 4.5/5

  • 2nd viewing in the span of 3 days; somehow watching this with friends actually made it more enjoyable and better so it gets an extra half star for friendship

Monday (4.1.19)

Magnolia (1999) – 4.5/5

  • Honestly not sure how to process everything I have just absorbed in these 3 hours of cinematic excellence

Tuesday (4.2.19)

The Avengers (2012) – 3.5/5

  • Loki is a cool antagonist; thought this movie was the most badass thing when I was 12

Weekend (2011) – 4/5

  • I really like the cinematography; the camera here peers into these people’s lives and listens into their conversations. The dialogue is nice and realistic and shines through the long ass takes; very very nice

Wednesday (4.3.19)

Iron Man 3 (2013) – 2.5/5

  • I don’t like the backstory for the main antagonist; not my fav marvel movie & I hate gwyneth paltrow

Thor: The Dark World (2013) – 2.5/5

  • This movie is just lord of the rings characters w/ star wars technology

Thursday (4.4.19)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – 3/5

  • Yeehaw; I like the character development w/ Bucky’s character and the bromance he got going on with cap’n murica

Short Term 12 (2013) – 3.5/5

  • Inspiring that an alumni from my school made this; sad to see that a POC writer/director filled his film with a full caucasian cast though, the only minorities in this film serve as very small roles or supporting characters; which I guess was typical in 2013? Idk man. The story is nice/unique and the subplots within it help move it along pretty well. Cinematography is rather nice and completely handheld and I enjoy the score.

Carnage (2011) – 3.5/5

  • Nice opening shot, really great casting, very nice lighting, prod design is amazing. The funny thing about adults is that they aren’t direct and to the point like children, they dance around the subject in this film and try to politely take stabs at each other’s family/issues. The tense situations are alleviated by the awkward humor of John C. Reilly’s character and upfront sarcasm by Christoph Waltz’ character; but the dialogue between the 2 mothers as they try to hide their bitchiness behind politeness is what I enjoy the most. In agreement w/ my friend Q, the entertainment value diminishes towards the end; you can only play w/ the idea of 4 adults bickering in one apartment for so long before it gets old, though I like how the story/characters evolve throughout the film.

Thank you for reading along for this week; I hope these comments offer insight into your choice of what to watch and what to avoid.

Make sure to check in next week to see what I watch.

Written by: Eduardo Orozco

Vince Staples & Buddy at The Observatory North Park

Born in Compton & raised in Long Beach, Vince Staples has risen to be one of the leading artists of west coast, new wave rap.

On April 2nd, he performed at The Observatory North Park along with up-and-coming artist Buddy (famous for tracks such as “Black” ft. A$AP Ferg, “Trouble on Central”, and “Trippin’” ft. Khalid). Similar to Vince Staples, Buddy was born in Compton and went to highschool in Long Beach, CA. Throughout their “Smile You’re on Camera” Tour, they have consistently sold out shows (including the one in San Diego), and made good money selling stylish merchandise at venues.

The Observatory North Park served as a fantastic host site for the event.

Considering that the venue is one of the best in SD, it helped that their was a large enough space to hold a huge rap-loving crowd. For those over 21, the venue includes a bar that serves drinks throughout the night. Additionally, security consistently ensured their was no underage or irresponsible drinking

As the crowd slowly poured in more and more, spaces were condensed and mosh pits were formed. Vince Staples’ entrance was as grand as his latest album and immediately made an impact, causing hype throughout the crowd. His presence fueled the energy of the fans and consistently maintained an open environment for those screaming the lyrics they had memorized

As a Vince Staples fan who has been listening for years…

I was ecstatic each time an old song was performed. Vince Staples recognizes crowd favorites and catered to those long-time fans. In addition to his new album, he performed songs from every single one of his albums and even some long forgotten mixtapes.

The visuals and lighting used for this show were extremely well done and added to the grandeur of things. Smoke was used to create an ambience that filled the stage as the lights created a silhouette of Vince Staples. The live video playing in the background features low-res footage shot with slow shutter to make it seem as if Vince Staples were moving in slow motion, but in real time. All in all, it was very impressive.

When concluding his show, he walked off and let his friend take the stage in a special way. They played a video of Mac Miller performing an NPR Tiny Desk concert; to add to the mood/sentiment, it was shown in widescreen format as well as black-and-white. Seeing as Mac Miller has passed and I never got to see him live, I truly appreciated the deed; it was as if Vince Staples was touring with him and it felt so authentic as if he was really there; they used audio from a live performance where he thanked fans for coming and was speaking from the heart. It was heartwarming to see that 90% of the audience stayed for the entirety of Mac Miller’s “performance” as it was just a video that was not advertised/warned.

What San Diego received was an overall great show with great stage presence from both performers and a hyped crowd that fell more in love with the artists/music. As they continue their tour, we in San Diego can only appreciate the good time that they carried in with their arrival that night.

Written/Photographed by: Eduardo Orozco

Weekly Watchlist: Week 3

weekly watchlist

Weekly Watchlist Week 3: Lots of films in this edition; a few of them are Marvel movies as I have started a binge chain ahead of Avengers: Endgame. I didn’t watch many classics this week but next article will include a few Criterion Collection films and more movies in theatres again.

So here’s what I watched this time around.

Monday (3.11.19)

Captain Marvel (2019) – 2/5

  • Marvel story structure + throwaway Star Wars characters – any substance whatsoever = this movie. Honestly a disappointed on this one because it was fairly hyped up and not very good; props to Marvel for finally making a female led movie.

Tuesday (3.12.19)

The Kid (2019) – 2.5/5

  • Not really as great as I had hoped it would be; Ethan Hawke kills it but that’s about it; the other performances kind of annoyed me (especially the title character) but Chris Pratt did fine as a villain. Not enough yeehaws in this western.

Alien (1979) – 4/5

  • My professor was the 1st Assistant Director on this movie and clearly made it known when he screened it in class; other than that, this movie has really nice lighting, nice set design and just some really advanced stuff for 1979. The movie itself was not all that scary and it was semi-predictable but it wasn’t necessarily cheesy.

Wednesday (3.13.19)

I’m Not Here (2017) – 2/5

  • This movie had nice casting but I feel like this idea has been way overdone; it just felt like a super long PSA about alcoholism. Also, I’m not sure what made me sicker: J.K. Simmons bare as cheeks or the overpriced movie nachos.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2019) – 3.5/5

  • I really love the dialogue in this; the writing is very nice and feels natural/real. The casting was really well done and I think each actor gave a pretty good performance. Other than that, the cinematography was adequate and that’s about it.
  • I really love the dialogue in this; the writing is very nice and feels natural/real. The casting was really well done and I think each actor gave a pretty good performance. Other than that, the cinematography was adequate and that’s about it.

Friday (3.15.19)

Iron Man (2008) – 3.5/5

  • Don’t think I’ve seen this since it came out in theatres and I was 9 years old. The CGI looks shit but back then it was new technology so it’s kinda cool to see how far we’ve come. Gwyneth Paltrow was kind of annoying in this; everyone else is pretty good; this movie makes you highly dislike Jeff Bridges but he’s a king.

Saturday (3.16.19)

The Incredible Hulk (2008) – 2/5

  • This movie was not very good; not very Hulk. Glad they changed the lead role to Mark Ruffalo; Edward Norton was a little stale in this.

Sunday (3.17.19)

Iron Man 2 (2010) – 2.5/5

  • If you haven’t noticed, I’m doing a Marvel binge in anticipation of Avengers: Endgame. Very glad they replaced the James Rhodes character and brought on Don Cheadle; he kills it; excited to see how these characters develop in the 2 following phases of the MCU (or at least rewatching it).

Tuesday (3.19.19)

Thor (2011) – 2.5/5

  • Alright the cinematography in this is really really bad. It is not good. Literally 60% of all shots are dutch angles and it just does not fit the story…It’s fairly cheesy and Lord of the Rings-esque (if it took place in space) but that’s okay considering its a superhero origin film. It was funny to read and find out that the director of this is the guy who voiced Miguel in The Road to El Dorado (2000).

Wednesday (3.20.19)

Climax (2019) – 4/5

  • So, Act I consists of sexual dancing party; Act II consists of sexual dance party banter; Act III consists of every nightmare and fear you;ve ever imagined but it’s not scary, just super uncomfortable. It’s worthy noting that there are heavy Suspiria (1977) influences sprinkled everywhere and soundtrack reminiscent of Good Time (2017). This song is a heavily experimental visual experience that I recommend and also forewarn that it might not be your type; it’ll probably be pulled from theatres soon anyway because Us (2019) is coming out.

Thank you for reading along for this week; I hope these comments offer insight into your choice of what to watch and what to avoid.

Make sure to check in next week to see what I watch.

Written by: Eduardo Orozco

Weekly Watchlist: Week 2

weekly watchlist

Weekly Watchlist. Week 2.

For this week’s “Weekly Watchlist”, I have to give a shoutout to AMC A-List. I worked for AMC for almost 3 years until I moved on to better things; but in my time there, I saw almost every movie that came out. After moving onto a different job, I no longer had access to countless free movies whenever I wanted. Just recently, I purchased AMC A-List and it’s the closest thing to seeing as many movies as I want. (3 movies a week, $24/month). I definitely am getting my money’s worth as I have been attending various showings of movies that never even appealed to me.

Time to list what I watched now.

 

Monday (2.18.19)

Greenbook (2018) – 3.5/5

  • Mixed feelings; hesitant to watch at first but it was pretty nice actually; character development was great and it was interesting to see how 2 complex characters from different backgrounds bonded together. Was originally 4/5 stars, but they won Best Picture at the Oscars over “Roma” and it didn’t really deserve it.

 

(Please mind the week long gap of no movies as my parents were in town visiting me for the first time ever. Note: The next movie has nothing to do with how their vacation went.)

 

Sunday (2.24.19)

Fighting with My Family (2019) – 3/5

  • Looks silly in trailers and advertising, but it’s not as bad as it seems. It’s also not as good as it seems though. The cinematography was bland; the pacing/editing are mediocre; the acting was pretty decent for the most part. The story itself though was very unique and based off a true story; a female wrestler breaking into the WWE; I’m not really a wrestling type guy but it wasn’t terrible.

Monday (2.25.19)

Isn’t It Romantic (2019) – 3/5

  • Thought this was gonna be a dumb musical-esque Rebel Wilson comedy; turned out to have pretty damn nice/funny writing; editing is great and hilarious. It’s incredibly cliche but on purpose. The cinematography is ass though.

Tuesday (2.26.19)

The Usual Suspects (1995) – 4/5

  • I was fortunate enough to watch this in my film classics class but I sadly fell asleep for some part due to slow beginning; pretty cool though and great film I hope to rewatch soon.

Wednesday (2.27.19)

Glass (2019) – 1.5/5

  • The writing was honestly one of the worst I’ve seen in a long while. The cinematography was questionable and the lighting/coloring was probably the only thing this had going for it. It is to my understanding that the guy who played Bruce Willis’ son was the same kid from the 2000 “Unbreakable” movie, but the dude can’t act at all and has got to end his career soon hopefully. It’s cool that M. Night Shyamalan made an attempt to create a superhero-like world, but it just doesn’t work.

Friday (3.1.19)

Greta (2019) – 2.5/5

  • I have some extremely mixed feelings about this movie. Saw it opening weekend, so the audience was pretty full, but the script was so extremely bad that the entire theatre was laughing at some parts; mind you this was supposed to be “Drama/Thriller”. Also saw this with a film friend of mine and it was just funny exchanging banter about the movie afterwards. This is not the worst movie in existence, but it’s not good in any aspect really. I disliked the cinematography, but the lighting was pretty nice though. I only recommend seeing this movie in a crowded theatre so you can know for sure that you are not the only one who finds some scenes hilariously bad.

Monday (3.4.19)

Minding the Gap (2018) – 5/5

  • Kinda pissed they didn’t include a warning in the beginning for emotional viewers that connect too heavily with the story. Thought this was a fun/cool documentary about skateboarding, but it turned out to be a heartfelt look into how skateboarding is an escape for people’s shitty lives. Doesn’t help when the director interviews his foreign mother who has trouble with English about how he was raised; hits the feels. The best documentary I’ve seen in a long time.

Tuesday (3.5.19)

Zombieland (2009) – 3/5

  • This movie is creative and fun for 2009, but it is 10 years later now and it’s just a little too cheesy and fake deep for me to enjoy; cool cast but I didn’t really like it all that much; very hyped up (and there’s another coming out this year oh boy)

Wednesday (3.6.19)

Apollo 11 (2019) – 4/5

  • Grateful to have seen this in IMAX; the visuals are extremely amazing; the score is chilling and so good. The editing is extremely well done but I can only imagine how long it took to sort through the hours and hours of footage they had to work with. As for the space mission itself, the amount of physics that goes into something like this blows my mind and scares the s**t out of me (I was not good at physics in high school).

 

Thank you for reading along for this week; I hope these comments offer insight into your choice of what to watch and what to avoid.

Make sure to check in next week to see what I watch.