Weekly Watchlist: Week 6

Weekly Watchlist: Week 6. Unfortunately, finals week took its toll and took my time away from films this time around as I had to study for once.

We have a good mixture of oldies and modern films in this batch, though not that many in quantity. This summer I plan on watching around 200 movies before I have to go back into regular school year. Yeehaw, au revoir this is my last article of the semester and maybe for a while now as I am taking on new responsibilities as the new Video Director of this fine website/organization.

So here’s what I watched this time around.

Monday (4.29.19)

Boyz n the Hood (1991) – 4.5/5

  • Rip John Singleton: dude made this when he was 23. This movie is good and real af n I’m mad I haven’t seen it before. Quote of the decade: “They either don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about the hood”

Tuesday (4.30.19)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – 4/5

  • Planet of the Apes + Gravity + Star Wars – any logic + awesome lighting & set design + interesting mixture of cinematography styles – any more logic that remained + a huge baby = this movie

Guava Island (2019) – 3.5/5

  • Really big fan of the cinematography; it looks really beautiful and I’m glad they shot it on film,., BUT,.,., this is basically a super long music video with a cool animated intro. Rihanna’s talent is hugely wasted and the story/plot doesn’t entirely work that well; I wish I liked this more

Madeline’s Madeline (2018) – 4/5

  • Everything about this is wow; the cinematography flirts with a documentary style of filming at times. The plot is great and the acting is phenomenal. Lots more I could say but hard to put into words really.

Saturday (5.4.19)

Avengers: Endgame (2019) – 4/5

  • A second viewing I went to with my friend who hadn’t seen it. Glad I saw it though cuz I was able to catch more jokes and step back to analyze the cinematography/visual aspects more.

Tuesday (5.7.19)

The Last Summer (2019) – 1/5

  • Only watched this because my girlfriend had it playing as I woke up. Sad to see that Netflix is spending money on s**t like this. Overall: dumb, fake, & a waste of time.

Saturday (5.11.19)

Whiplash (2014) – 4.5/5

  • I don’t remember the last time I got so emotionally invested into a movie; very nice cinematography, extremely tight framing & extremely tight focus. The acting/directing is incredible w anxiety ridden writing fueling the entire plot. A good movie to watch at 9am but gives me PTSD to when I played the drums

Whiplash (Short Film) (2013) – 4/5

  • I prob should’ve seen this before the feature-length film but I enjoyed it nonetheless; they basically took out one great scene from the feature and made that into a short (which is a great way to get a feature funded; its cool how they translated some of the exact same shots into the feature and kept some of the same actors but I’m very glad they replaced the dude who was eventually played by Miles Teller.

Badlands (1973) – 4.5/5

  • I love the colors in this a lot; the cinematography is simple and nice. This is an extremely impressive director debut: i like the story of people on the run tbh. This film is like bonnie n clyde except bonnie ain’t really feelin’ it; I’m a fan

Naked (1993) – 3.5/5

  • sex -fueled monologues for days in this film; David Thewlis’ character is a god of sarcasm in this. This has a rather nice score & an extremely interesting storyline that goes in every direction. The long takes mixed in with long monologues by Thewlis’ hobo-esque character is such an interesting combination that we see multiple times in this film; each time either ending in screaming or sex. Felt dragged on and annoying at times though, especially towards the end.

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.

I thank those who read along and hope that you watch as many movies as you possibly can; this way, people can become educated on cinema.

Weekly Watchlist: Week 5

On this edition of Weekly Watchlist, an overwhelmed editor works through his backlog, and Eduardo might as well call this “the superhero edition” considering that he watched 11 superhero movies.

I’ve been on a s**t ton of student film sets this semester and these past 2 weeks were fairly busy for me so I didn’t have as much time to watch as many films unfortunately. AlsoRIP Stan Lee; you created a childhood for a lot of people. Not gonna lie though, I’m gonna go back to watching normal movies not filled with action and spandex outfits for a while. Anyways, here’s what I watched this time around.

Friday (4.5.19)

Shazam! (2019) – 2.5/5

  • Score was ass; the acting was the trashiest of trash. The cheap dialogue accompanied by the weak subplots almost ruined it completely. I guess it was really more for kids with adult jokes here and there. Zachary Levi did wonderful and was a great casting choice that saved the movie but other than him, I was thoroughly disappointed

Saturday (4.6.19)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – 4.5/5

  • A fun time viewing this and one of the MCUs most stylistic film but groot probably didn’t have to die ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ they honestly could’ve figured something out but oh well

Sunday (4.7.19)

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – 2.5/5

  • Not much to say about this one; wish we got to see more of Quicksilver. Not a terrible movie but not a bad one I guess?

Tuesday (4.9.19)

Raging Bull (1980) – 4/5

  • The only non-marvel movie I was fortunate enough to see. The character development is what sticks out most to me as we see De Niro’s character evolve from a boxer to a bum. Great performances with great directing; the cinematography was pretty well done but the sound design is a technical aspect that was very unique (animals sounds during fights and some experimental stuff thrown in); an overall enjoyable and good film if you don’t mind seeing chubby De Niro and hella blood

Wednesday (4.17.19)

Ant-Man (2015) – 2.5/5

  • Pretty decent and good casting with Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas; not my favorite though and boring-ish at times; Luis is my fav character prob with his story rants

Wednesday (4.24.19)

Captain America: Civil War (2016) – 3/5

  • I think we all feel bad that this is titled as Captain America when it’s literally a marvel movie; this movie has more Avengers in one scene that Avengers: Age of Ultron.        ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Pretty good though and sets up Infinity War/Endgame really well.

Doctor Strange (2016) – 3/5

  • A good origin movie I think and a good cast; ending credit sets up a sequel that will be coming out within the next 2 years.

Thursday (4.25.19)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) – 2.5/5

  • Honestly disappointing; it’s all about Starlord’s dad in this one and it’s not very interesting; not necessarily important either but there’s some good tunes

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – 3.5/5

  • I think it’s safe to say that this might be my favorite Spider-Man but it’s hard to say. It feels way too high-schooly for me and was a severe change watching this after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and then Thor: Ragnarok. Tom Holland is great in this role though and Michael Keaton makes a great Vulture; I’m sure that Scorpion will be a villain in either Spider-Man: Far From Home or the next one after that.

Friday (4.26.19)

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – 3/5

  • The best Thor movie in the trilogy and seals him as the most badass dude; nice to see more of the Hulk in this as we all know he ain’t gonna get his own solo movie ever again. Jeff Goldblum is awesome in this and I loved the director cameo.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – 3.5/5

  • Had to watch this before Endgame and I’m really glad I did; it’s so pleasing to see almost every single character they’ve created in one movie. I have too much to say about this and the whole series to jam into this article.

Avengers: Endgame (2019) – 4/5

  • Honestly extremely good and a wonderful end to the 11 year movie timeline; so many subplots and beautiful moments; there was some flaws in the plot and in the film overall but this was a gift to the fans and well executed. I honestly have quite a lot to say but it’d take several several paragraphs that I don’t have time to write.

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 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