2018 Film Challenge: 41. Mao’s Last Dancer

This is a film I’d had downloaded for years but never fancied watching quite enough to get around to it, so pleased I finally have. I mostly got hold of it for the Twin Peaks double-whammy of Kyle MacLachlan and Joan Chen.

I enjoyed it. It wasn’t the kind of film I’d specifically recommend that people watch, but it was an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. It’s based on a true story, which makes it particularly interesting.

Here are the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • That doesn’t sound sinister at all
  • Joan Chen!
  • So bizarre
  • Ah, capitalism
  • Did he actively choose to buy him that turkey t-shirt? Because that’s pretty weird.
  • I wonder if I could still do a crab. I’d probably just do myself a mischief.
  • Peak ’80s disco
  • I haven’t been to a ballet in ages. Might have to fix that.
  • The wall! 🙂
  • Awww, for a lie, that was pretty sweet and inventive
  • Kyle!! Texan Kyle.
  • Yay! Well, bittersweet yay.
  • Yeah, you tell them Joan!
  • Oh god
  • What’s going on here, then?
  • Yay!!
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2018 Film Challenge: 40. Live Flesh

From my favourite Almodovar film to what was definitely my least favourite. The title and the DVD artwork made it sound like it was going to be both raunchy and exciting, but I found it to be neither, sadly. It was kinda dull. Not bad, just not engaging. Don’t think I’ll be keeping the DVD of this one.

Here are the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • That was a speedy birth
  • Ew, no
  • Sometimes it’s better not to know the translation of songs in other languages
  • Why did the subtitles suddenly lapse into Spanish?
  • I’m finding this a bit dull so far
  • That’s not the time to say that!
  • Ha ha, are they going to become friends now?
  • Honest, at least
  • I don’t really care which of them kill each other
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2018 Film Challenge: 39. The Skin I Live In

Easily my favourite Almodovar film. I saw it at the cinema but hadn’t seen it since, despite having bought it on Blu Ray a little while ago, so it was great to finally get round to a re-watch. It’s a different experience watching it for a second time, as you know what’s coming, but you get to appreciate it in a different way.

Here are the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • Those lamps look like UFOs abducting something
  • Ah, creepy voyeurism. Though I guess voyeurism’s always creepy.
  • Well, that’s disturbing
  • Magic skin! I’d totally forgotten about this element.
  • This is really interesting to watch for a 2nd time
  • Ha ha, what the hell?
  • That’s not something you’d want to be watching
  • Oh, no no no
  • That’s quite the party
  • Ha ha, so tactful
  • So wrong
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2018 Film Challenge: 38. 10 Cloverfield Lane

I haven’t seen any of the other Cloverfield films, though I know they’re only loosely related to each other anyway, so I don’t think that’s a disadvantage. It might even be an advantage. A work colleague recommended this one to me.

Overall I really enjoyed this film – it’s tense, it’s interesting, plus John Goodman’s awesomely creepy. The ending’s almost like the start of a different film, which is a little jarring, but I didn’t hate it. You’re left with quite a few questions, but mostly in a good way.

Here are the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • Bad Robot! Is this JJ Abrams? I think I had read that but had forgotten.
  • Woah
  • That’s not a good way to wake up
  • I might have been playing too much Life Is Strange recently (not that that’s possible), but this feels like a scene from that.
  • He’s not a vampire, dude. Is he?
  • He’s got a jukebox? This bunker’s seeming more appealing.
  • Creepy
  • Woah
  • Bunker life doesn’t seem so bad
  • I’ve had actual nightmares about having to crawl through vents *shudders*
  • Creepy!
  • John Goodman’s so good in this
  • Woah
  • Eeeeek
  • OK, that’s a tad too unrealistic horror villain, but hey
  • That’s some impressive craftsmanship
  • Uh oh
  • Ugh
  • Yep, that pretty much describes it
  • That’s the end? I have some questions.
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2018 Film Challenge: 37. Magnolia

I’m genuinely not sure what I thought of this film. I mostly enjoyed it and it had some great moments and ideas, but it definitely felt too long, plus I felt somewhat underwhelmed by the ending.

Slightly spoilery here, but… the opening of the film set me up for some really contrived, intricate set of events, which is what I thought all the separate stories were going to lead to, but then suddenly it’s like ‘nope, here’s a load of frogs falling from the sky, because hey, weird things just happen sometimes’. I mean, it was a memorable image – it was a hell of a lot of frogs – but I was expecting my mind to be blown in some way. My mind felt too un-blown.

Anyway, here are the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • This already seems like my kinda film
  • Yay, Aimee Mann
  • Tom Cruise is a good creepy, misogynystic, pick-up-artist dick
  • Jealousy traps? Ugh.
  • Hee hee, Jiffy Lube. That’s never not a funny name.
  • This kid’s awesome (Edit: Wait, this just reminded me, you never find out what the deal was with the dead guy in the closet!)
  • I should really get back into Desperate Housewives some time
  • Yeah, you tell them Julianne!
  • No, dog
  • He’s worryingly reminding me of my ex there
  • Yes, lady! You get him.
  • I thought she was his daughter!
  • Curious how this is all going to come together
  • This is a bit too real and disturbing
  • This is a weird moment
  • There’s a lot of awful men in this film
  • I like these 2
  • Yeah, I thought that’s where that was going
  • Is that the only song he has?
  • Woah
  • That’s a lot of frogs
  • OK, it’s gone slightly bonkers
  • Ha ha ha ha ha
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2018 Film Challenge: 36. Patagonia

I had this downloaded, but apparently without subtitles (or at least not any subtitles that my TV recognised). As my Welsh isn’t really strong enough to follow a whole film (plus my Spanish is almost non-existent), I sought out an alternative copy and found that the full film (with English subtitles) is on YouTube! Score.

I found it a decently enjoyable film, though nothing particularly special. It’s currently got a 6.7 rating on IMDB, which I’d say is about right.

Anyway, here are the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • What’s she up to?
  • That’s not really the best time to spring a proposal on someone
  • Matthew Rhys!
  • That’s the emptiest London to Cardiff bus I’ve ever seen!
  • Good owl noise
  • Yep, that is very much Cardiff
  • Drunk Duffy
  • Well, that was inevitable
  • Yeah, bit of Ace of Spades
  • Yikes
  • Cate Le Bon!
  • I always carry a passport
  • Wait, it’s not his grandmother?
  • Really?? You’re that desperate for company?
  • Are you allowed to just do that? I’m fairly sure you aren’t.
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