MUWT 2: The Quickening


I saw Akira Kurosawa’s medical drama Red Beard in a theater today and it owned. Red Beard himself, played by Toshirô Mifune, is one of my new favorite characters in cinema. He’s a gruff but charismatic, extremely class-conscious, super-talented doctor who maintains a free clinic for the poor, correctly identifies poverty as a major cause of physical and mental illness, occasionally uses rich patients as sources of funding but in the process totally fucks with and humiliates them, and if threatened is willing to judo fight his aggressors and then treat them for the injuries he inflicts. And he looks just like @shrug’s friend Tony.

Overall the movie has a very refreshing empathy to it, and it depicts issues of pain, death, and especially trauma extremely well. It has an inexplicably long backstory sequence for a total side character that kind of drags, but this IS Kurosawa we’re talking about, and that bit is mostly justified by the way it changes the main character’s point of view on the dignity of his peasant patients.

I kind of wish Kurosawa had made a sequel where Red Beard went on to become a full on Che Guevara figure, cuz I saw some interesting parallels between the two.


The Old Dark House (1932)

The setup is great. Three people traveling by car in a storm are cut-off by a landslide and have to take shelter in the old dark house.

When the second set of unlucky house-guests shows up their boisterousness sets them apart. This is genius because it makes it so the audience can easily identify the three groups of people instead of having just two; The guests don’t immediately merge into one group like they would otherwise.

The horror is subdued compared with modern efforts. The scenario feels like it could really happen, but the stakes feel lower because of this.

Overall, a pretty solid old horror flick.


I watched FIRST REFORMED like a week ago and honestly it kind of fucked me up. I haven’t watched anything since. I don’t know how to follow it. I guess more schrader? I have ROLLING THUNDER and BRINGING OUT THE DEAD. Oh I need to get MISHIMA for sure.


The Favourite is real good, and uses dissolves in the most interesting way I’ve seen since the last episode of Twin Peaks: The Return.


yeah I can be hot and cold on Yorgos but really enjoyed this


Watched BATMAN V SUPERMAN DAWN OF JUSTICE (the snyder cut, per my one internet friend’s insistence that it’s actually great) and ONLY GOD FORGIVES, which I guess both have in common that I fucking hatedddd them when I saw them when they came out years ago before I regularly watched movies but they’re both good, actually.

Batman v superman pairs with FIRST REFORMED I guess in that both are about the desire to take radical action in response to despair at the prospect of the end of the human race? I have no clue what the thirty minutes longer ultimate cut really adds, and I vaguely suspect it might be inessential (like pretty much every director’s cut??).

I really appreciate it as some extremely goth melodrama where the main characters scream shit at each other and then one slams a sink over the others head. It’s amazingly shot and loaded with heavy handed christian symbolism and it’s portentous as all helllllll. If this wasn’t a franchise superhero movie I would probably adore it. Idk the zack snyder aesthetic is a lot more drab than the kind of thing I’m usually into but it’s totally clicked for me and I think it’s badass that like, ~the biggest movie in the world (circa 2016)~ also works as a totally distinctive aesthetic showcase for a director?

It’s also filled with unironic unsmirking adoration for the male physique, and that smash cut to a random underground pit fight had me fucking howling.

Only god forgives is an incessantly violent good time with colored lights and amazing (vaguely shin megami tensei nocturne esque?) music, idk. I was like 100% in the zone watching it. I think both are probably movies that really appreciate on second viewing.

I love portentousness. I didn’t used to be able to stand it. I used to be really really antsy all the time.

Next up is EXCALIBUR.


Watch all the Refn, if you haven’t. Valhalla Rising is a God Damned Masterpiece


It’s on the list!


Dakota, if you’re on an '80s fantasy kick, have you seen LEGEND? It’s the most mood of them all and Ridley Scott summons all his powers of fog and lighting to misinterpret mythic archetypes as best he can

pair it with Michael Mann’s The Keep for laser castle demons killing nazis, or maybe the half-seen world and Death Stranding prequel:


it turns out what panos cosmatos movies need to be good is to be 20 minutes long instead of 2 years long


I saw legend as a kid, not since tho! I suppose I should see more ridley scott. Also it’s a shame I can’t find the keep in more than a blurry tv rip. Same with the blackhat director’s cut. I don’t necessarily expect a lot different but it’s a good excuse to rewatch a good movie, I suppose.


extremely thrilled that alfonso cuaron is back


for one i generally consider him to be a competent artisan so i feel compelled to check out roma but like,

lubezki is not doing the photography which is what usually makes his films specially nice and the whole thematic of “rich family’s relationship with their poor, poor maid” is so bad 99% of the time


I know and yet!!!


Interesting how Netflix is giving Roma a wide theatrical release. I believe this is the first time they’ve really gone all-in on theatrical screenings. Okja got a tiny run of like 3 screenings, one of which I was lucky enough to catch in Boston. I suppose that must have been a proof of concept and this is the result.

Netflix has been publishing surprisingly good work lately, and I’m glad to see them embrace the theatrical run. They already killed movie rental stores; the last thing I want is for them to kill the theater too.


Beasts of No Nation had a pretty wide release, I think.


They want that OSCAR


You don’t need a wide release for the academy though, it has to play like, 3 or 4 theaters for a week or so

Netflix not ever releasing stuff in theaters aside from awards bait is in stark contrast to Amazon, who give their productions proper releases in conjunction with real distributors, even with 3-6 months before a home video release and longer still before they turn up on Prime Video


(also Netflix hasn’t put money into something that I’ve liked as much as Patterson so Amazon has that too)


I’ve heard that Amazon will be shifting away from prestige releases, though. They’ve been quite good in the past few years