Dunkirk

I’d been looking forward to watching this, and I have to agree that it probably would have had more of an impact if seen in a theater (especially in IMAX). That said, I still quite enjoyed it, and was pretty much glued to the screen from start to finish. Not my favorite Nolan film, but still definitely one of the better films I’ve seen this year.

Waves ’98

I caught this on Mubi, a Lebanese short film (a Cannes Palme d’or winner) that’s mostly animated, but mixing in a few live-action/photographic elements. It has a dream-like or poetic structure, and so narratively I didn’t find much to latch on, but I really loved the visuals on show, beautifully animated.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

I was pretty excited to watch this — as I wrote when I re-watched The Secret Service not that long ago, I liked it much more the second time around, and was now hyped for more. Overall, I can say I enjoyed it, especially the action sequences which are all top notch (especially that car fight at the beginning). I also really did like the portrayal of Statesmen — the American version of Kingsman — and wouldn’t mind seeing them more in a future entry (if that happens). I did feel that some sequences ran a bit long, in that when I’m watching a film like this I don’t really care about character development (seeing Harry take so long to get his memory back really was a bore), but they jammed in enough fun eye candy and enjoyable action that it didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment. I also found Poppy to be a more fun villain than Samuel L. in the first one, who I couldn’t stand.

Good Morning, Vietnam

I came into this expecting the laughs, and it is indeed still incredibly funny — probably the funniest Williams performance in a movie? — but I’d forgotten (or didn’t appreciate at the time) the fact that it’s really well shot. There are quite a few sequences where I was really struck by how interesting  and beautiful (beauty out of the horror) a particular scene was on a visual level. I also really appreciate that the majority of the non-American cast are not only Vietnamese, but also many struggle with the language, giving it a heightened level of realism (versus the typical Hollywood act of slotting in American-Asian actors no matter the nationality). Very much recommended.

No Way Out

I used to really like watching political thrillers (like the Tom Clancy movies, and stuff produced by Mace Newfeld, like this movie) and I had good memories of this movie. It starts off on the cheesy side — imagine a romance similar to what you get in Top Gun — but by the time the meat of the story starts (when a certain someone dies) it starts getting pretty good, and for the second half of the movie I was pretty into it (I’d completely forgotten how it ended). Not the best thriller out there, but still an entertaining one.

Mannequin

I was quite looking forward to watching this — sure, I didn’t think it would be anything amazing, but I remembered it being fun, in the same way that Weird Science is. I’d completely forgotten that James Spader was in this too — so make that two movies they did together in 1987, the other one being Less Than Zero — and he plays such a weird character, sorta like some sort of business-y take on Urkel (of Family Matters fame). Pretty much all of the other roles he was doing at the time amounted to the same sort of creep, so it was a bit of a shock to see him like this. As expected, it’s not a great movie, but it has its put-a-smile-on-your-face moments, like the music montage in the middle, and of course that Starship song at the end (I kept waiting for it to pop up).

Napping Princess

As I mentioned a couple of times on my blog, I’ve been looking forward to watching this (the Japanese title is Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari). I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed, and found it to be a delight — definitely in the vein of Summer Wars and Your Name, if you’re looking to compare it to something (but not necessarily has good as those movies). It’s a tale told in parallel (mixing fairy tale and reality), and it all works beautifully. Very much recommended (my wife enjoyed it as well).

The Hidden

When I added this to my list of 1987 films to watch, I thought I’d never seen it, but as I was watching it I started getting a sense of having seen it (I started recognizing some sequences and character faces). I think this is a pretty entertaining movie, and Kyle MacLachlan is fun and weird in his role (as an FBI agent, sorta — three years before Twin Peaks). For me, it’s one of the better (and not talked about) sci-fi action movies of the era — and Claudia Christian definitely sexes things up nicely (I remember her more from Babylon 5, so this turn is, ahem, interesting).

Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise

The first Revenge of the Nerds movie was one of my favorite comedies when I was a kid (meaning countless viewings), and so based on that alone at the time I’m sure I watched the sequel a whole bunch of times too (which is probably why I remembered so many of the lines). Is Nerds in Paradise a good movie? No, but as a nostalgic trip back to those characters, I had fun watching it, and I fully embraced the mountain of cheese and silliness.

Wall Street

This is still a pretty entertaining movie, and after watching it it actually made me want to re-watch the sequel that came out a few years ago — I’ve seen that sequel, and don’t remember thinking it was particularly great, but having the original fresh in my mind I’m more interested now in seeing the continuation of Douglas’s character. But yeah, it’s still a very iconic film to watch, especially the “greed is good” speech.