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

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