View Poll Results: MIDSOMMAR

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Thread: Midsommar (Ari Aster)

  1. #1
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Midsommar (Ari Aster)

    Cold War (Pawlikowski, 2018) - **** / 9.3
    Minding the Gap (Liu, 2018) - **** / 9.0
    Green Book (Farrelly, 2018) - **˝ / 5.8
    Mandy (Cosmatos, 2018) - **** / 8.9
    The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (Mitchell, 2019) - *** / 7.7
    Alita: Battle Angel (Rodriguez, 2019) - **˝ / 5.9
    Bohemian Rhapsody ("Singer", 2018) - ** / 4.1
    Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (Persichetti/Ramsey/Rothman, 2018) - **** / 9.2
    Vice (McKay, 2018) - **˝ / 5.6
    The Favourite (Lanthimos, 2018) - **** / 9.3

  2. #2
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Got to see this one this week too, and it's an odd one in the sense that I don't think it was as potent, tightly conceived or instantly gratifying as Hereditary, and yet it's been stuck in my head in a very contently messy ways, almost as if the things I didn't think now sit with me feeling contently unresolved.

    Pugh is just great, the production design and construction is phenomenal and Aster's eye with how to stage and display scenes and characters in spaces is absolutely stellar, but there are the lingering ideas of both what it does and doesn't chase in its overall narrative and themes that feel as untapped in some places as they do beaten over the head with a giant hammer in others.

    It's absolutely worth the watch since even if I'm not sure it's as immediate or essential a work as Hereditary felt last year, it still absolutely feels like the second full-length work of a director who will likely be a fascinating force to reckon with for the foreseeable future. But also worth nothing he (along with Jack Reynor) was at the screening too, and just as with his screening in Toronto last year, he remains an improbably sweet and modest dude.
    Cold War (Pawlikowski, 2018) - **** / 9.3
    Minding the Gap (Liu, 2018) - **** / 9.0
    Green Book (Farrelly, 2018) - **˝ / 5.8
    Mandy (Cosmatos, 2018) - **** / 8.9
    The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (Mitchell, 2019) - *** / 7.7
    Alita: Battle Angel (Rodriguez, 2019) - **˝ / 5.9
    Bohemian Rhapsody ("Singer", 2018) - ** / 4.1
    Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (Persichetti/Ramsey/Rothman, 2018) - **** / 9.2
    Vice (McKay, 2018) - **˝ / 5.6
    The Favourite (Lanthimos, 2018) - **** / 9.3

  3. #3
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    It's not flawless. The conversations among the Americans are mostly mundane, even if they are believable. Ari Aster should either work on the dialogue, or (even better) drop most of the dialogue completely. The Before trilogy this is not.

    Where he falters in screenwriting, he more than makes up in being a preternaturally great director. He has fantastic assists from his cinematographer, composer, and production designer for sure, but he's obviously doing something right in communicating the type of symphonic cinema on display here. The first moment of horror at the Swedish commune is a great, gory setpiece. This is followed up by nice moments of woozy psychedelia from both magic mushrooms the group brings + the potent elixirs the commune provides. Having maybe (I admit nothing!) indulged in said psychotropic substances in my salad days, this is one of the more realistic depictions I've seen on film.

    There's an interesting self-actualization from Florence Pugh's character. At times it almost reminded me of Don Draper's breakdown at the hippie retreat in the final episode of "Mad Men." The tragedy depicted in the initial scene of the film pushes her character into "fuck it" territory. Storywise, Ari Aster does a nice job of covering his motivational bases. Many people will wonder why the group doesn't take off at the first signs of the commune / cult fuckuptitude, but this is in part a satire of academic, anthropological tolerance.

    Mostly it's cool to see a film get a wide release in multiplexes that blossoms from '70s cult movie icons like Peter Weir, Ken Russell, and Alejandro Jodorowsky. I know a lot of Ari Aster's influences, but teenagers who haven't seen films made before 1990 or so (like the gaggle of girls behind me in the theater) might get their minds blown.

    It's also often intentionally funny!
    Last edited by Pop Trash; 07-03-2019 at 02:25 PM.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Marriage Story - 8
    Star Wars: The Last Jedi - 9
    Knives Out - 6
    The Irishman - 8
    Doctor Sleep - 8
    The Lighthouse - 9
    Parasite - 8
    Good Boys - 5
    Scream 2 - 7
    Black Christmas (1974) - 9

  4. #4
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Pop Trash (view post)
    Mostly it's cool to see a film get a wide release in multiplexes that blossoms from '70s cult icons like Peter Weir, Ken Russell, and Alejandro Jodorowsky. I know a lot of Ari Aster's influences, but teenagers who haven't seen films made before 1990 or so (like the gaggle of girls behind me in the theater) might get their minds blown.
    Fucking sold.
    Last Five Films I've Seen (Out of 5)

    I Lost My Body (Clapin, 2019) 4
    Frozen 2 (Buck/Lee, 2019) 3
    Honey Boy (Har'el, 2019) 4.5
    Knives Out (Johnson, 2019) 4.5
    1917 (Mendes, 2019) 4.5
    Krisha (Shults, 2015) 4
    Uncut Gems (Safdies, 2019) TBA Wednesday

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  5. #5
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Ivan Drago (view post)
    Fucking sold.
    There's quite a bit of Picnic at Hanging Rock atmosphere. The cream colored costumes + blinding sun, although the psychedelic aspect is much more explicit here for obvious reasons.

    To be fair, at least on paper this isn't wildly different from less "elevated" '00s horror movies like Hostel or The Ruins, but as Roger Ebert once said "it's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it" and the "how" here feels steeped in '70s art-cult flicks.

    You can tell Ari Aster is much more interested in being a cult filmmaker than having a mainstream following, even a mainstream critical following. Similar to Nicolas Winding Refn or Gaspar Noe in that sense, even if they have different styles.
    Last edited by Pop Trash; 07-03-2019 at 02:57 PM.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Marriage Story - 8
    Star Wars: The Last Jedi - 9
    Knives Out - 6
    The Irishman - 8
    Doctor Sleep - 8
    The Lighthouse - 9
    Parasite - 8
    Good Boys - 5
    Scream 2 - 7
    Black Christmas (1974) - 9

  6. #6
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    This movie blew my freakin' mind. I truly feel like I've never seen anything like it.
    Last Five Films I've Seen (Out of 5)

    I Lost My Body (Clapin, 2019) 4
    Frozen 2 (Buck/Lee, 2019) 3
    Honey Boy (Har'el, 2019) 4.5
    Knives Out (Johnson, 2019) 4.5
    1917 (Mendes, 2019) 4.5
    Krisha (Shults, 2015) 4
    Uncut Gems (Safdies, 2019) TBA Wednesday

    Fox Force Five News

  7. #7
    unattainable Zac Efron's Avatar
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    Mild yay, I think this is technically better than it is as a full experience through the script. A definite step up from Hereditary (hated it), I bought the relationship and frustrations, but there's something missing to hook me as a viewer and be on board with Pugh's plight. Its looks nice, has a decent score. Just fine. Aster still has some work to do as a filmmaker and writer.
    Last edited by Zac Efron; 07-04-2019 at 10:40 PM.

  8. #8
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    This works for a while, but Aster has the same problem here as he did in Hereditary in that he doesn't know how to end a movie, and gets far too bloated to get there.

    There's some masterful stuff in this though, just as there was in Hereditary. Aster's camera glides in and out and fits with the psychedelic nature of what the characters are consuming. There are things happening onscreen that make you question if your eyes or deceiving you or not, and the movie doesn't exactly focus in on these things. Florence Pugh is especially good.

    There's probably some things you'll pick up on in second viewings.

    And there's also some things that will make you hate it too...

    Knives Out - ** 1/2
    Honey Boy - ***
    Last Black Man in San Francisco - *** 1/2


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  9. #9
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Hereditary was a movie that couldn't figure out what sort of horror movie it wanted to be, so it just decided to be every sort of horror movie all at once, which made for just an absolute frustrating mess of a movie. So automatically, just by sheer virtue that this movie actually has some damn focus it's already a tremendous improvement over that one.

    That said, like Hereditary, I still feel this one is precisely 30 minutes too long. But on the whole, I did enjoy this one a hell of a lot more than Hereditary, even if I still feel like it's not necessarily great. Ari Aster has good ideas and can paint a stunning image on the screen, but not everything always seems to quite click into place in his films, like he should perhaps do a couple more passes on his scripts beforehand.

    So yeah, if this was another Hereditary, I was ready to write this director off. But seeing how much he's improved since that movie, I'll be willing to continue to see how he progresses as a director.

  10. #10
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    But... Hereditary is really good.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Marriage Story - 8
    Star Wars: The Last Jedi - 9
    Knives Out - 6
    The Irishman - 8
    Doctor Sleep - 8
    The Lighthouse - 9
    Parasite - 8
    Good Boys - 5
    Scream 2 - 7
    Black Christmas (1974) - 9

  11. #11
    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    Hereditary was a movie that couldn't figure out what sort of horror movie it wanted to be, so it just decided to be every sort of horror movie all at once, which made for just an absolute frustrating mess of a movie.
    Totally agreed, at least when it came to the 2nd half of that film; it's if Aster was holding himself back somewhat up to that point, but then he got to the halfway mark, and suddenly remembered all of the wannabe "spooky" moments he wanted to put in it, so he got in a mad rush to cram everything in to the remainder of the screenplay, with nary a care given to if it would actually end up as a coherent, effective experience (and he actually admitted that he came up with all of the imagery and setpieces he wanted to force into the film before he even had any sort of a story connecting it all, because that's good way to write a film, right?). Of course, I do want Midsommar to be an improvement from that, and some people (like yourself, of course) did enjoy it, but, seeing as how the overall average score for it on RT is currently a fairly whopping 8 points lower than Hered, and it's definitely a hard pass from me when it comes to seeing it in theaters; I'm just not looking towards annual disappointments from Aster, and life's just too short to keep spending your hard-earned time/money on such risky ventures, I say.

  12. #12
    Quote Quoting StuSmallz (view post)
    Seeing as how the overall average score for it on RT is currently a fairly whopping 8 points lower than Hered, and it's definitely a hard pass from me when it comes to seeing it in theaters; I'm just not looking towards annual disappointments from Aster, and life's just too short to keep spending your hard-earned time/money on such risky ventures, I say.
    No offense, but I think this is a bullshit attitude that has perpetuated the mainstream dominance of safe, boring, mainstream Marvel films.
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    El
    (1973) 70
    The Day After
    (1983
    ) 63
    Duck, You Sucker (1971) 68
    Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) 71
    Noriko’s Dinner Party
    (2005) 61
    The Third Murder (2017) 56

    /Audition
    (1999) 85

    /Toy Story
    (1995) 65
    Vice (2018) 57
    The Counterfeit Traitor (1962) 62

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  13. #13
    Quote Quoting transmogrifier (view post)
    No offense, but I think this is a bullshit attitude that has perpetuated the mainstream dominance of safe, boring, mainstream Marvel films.
    It's a bullshit attitude to not be interested in a follow-up from a director who just directed my biggest cinematic disappointment of the previous year, a movie that's receiving noticably weaker reviews from critics, and is released by a studio that I generally find to be pretty overrated, especially their recent Horror stuff? Trans, if a movie looks appealing to me, then I'll see it, regardless of whether it's a big, sanded-down-for-general-audiences blockbuster or not; I drove an hour and a half to find a theater that was playing Lady Bird, and I paid good money to see movies like Phantom Thread, Annihilation and Isle Of Dogs in the local theaters, theaters that barely had any other people in them because the local audience was ignoring those films (I would've done it more this year, but the local multiplexes aren't offering many of those options this year, unfortunately), and I did the same thing for Hereditary in an otherwise almost completely empty screening, and it put me in a terrible mood for the rest of my day off (and then some) because of how frusturating an experience it was, so pardon me if I'm not looking to repeat that experience this year. If you're personally interested in seeing Midsommar because you liked Hereditary, then more power to you, but don't lump me in the same category as some mindless Marvel fanboy just because I don't feel like being a Bart Simpson, and continually attempt to grab the same electrified cupcake that keeps shocking me over and over again, plz.
    Last edited by StuSmallz; 07-06-2019 at 06:34 PM.

  14. #14
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting StuSmallz (view post)
    ...and life's just too short to keep spending your hard-earned time/money on such risky ventures, I say.
    Murder Mystery is now available on Netflix.

  15. #15
    Quote Quoting StuSmallz (view post)
    It's a bullshit attitude to not be interested in a follow-up from a director who just directed my biggest cinematic disappointment of the previous year, a movie that's receiving noticably weaker reviews from critics, and is released by a studio that I generally find to be pretty overrated, especially their recent Horror stuff? Trans, if a movie looks appealing to me, then I'll see it, regardless of whether it's a big, sanded-down-for-general-audiences blockbuster or not; I drove an hour and a half to find a theater that was playing Lady Bird, and I paid good money to see movies like Phantom Thread, Annihilation and Isle Of Dogs in the local theaters, theaters that barely had any other people in them because the local audience was ignoring those films (I would've done it more this year, but the local multiplexes aren't offering many of those options this year, unfortunately), and I did the same thing for Hereditary in an otherwise almost completely empty screening, and it put me in a terrible mood for the rest of my day off (and then some) because of how frusturating an experience it was, so pardon me if I'm not looking to repeat that experience this year. If you're personally interested in seeing Midsommar because you liked Hereditary, then more power to you, but don't lump me in the same category as some mindless Marvel fanboy just because I don't feel like being a Bart Simpson, and continually attempt to grab the same electrified cupcake that keeps shocking me over and over again, plz.
    He has literally made two films, and you've seen one of them. I can understand waving away a director after a few films if you just don't jive with them, and that's fine - as you say, life is short. But Aster has made two films, and they have both sparked intense reaction and love-it-or-hate it reactions and (importantly) they have both received wide releases at theaters. Isn't that exciting? Why would you want RT audience scores to dictate whether you see it or not? Would you do that for a von Trier movie, or a Refn movie? That's the part that perturbs me - the number of filmgoers these days that will actively avoid something that may "shock" them, as they say, and returning again and again and again to the same bland well of safe movies that leave you moderately entertained and unchallenged (I'm not saying this is you personally, just that the opinion you expressed earlier seemed to be a reflection of that attitude).

    Hell, the absolutely dominance of safe Disney product has actually made going to more challenging films at the theater less appealing for me because I dread seeing anything remotely controversial or non-mainstream with general audiences raised on Disney product because they are more likely to be disruptive and annoying when a movie doesn't deliver what they have been raised to value by current mainstream film-making. In other words, it's not really the screen counts and lack of screening times that harm smaller, more interesting films; its the growing disdain for them among general audiences that is going to kill them.
    Last 10 Movies Seen
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    El
    (1973) 70
    The Day After
    (1983
    ) 63
    Duck, You Sucker (1971) 68
    Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) 71
    Noriko’s Dinner Party
    (2005) 61
    The Third Murder (2017) 56

    /Audition
    (1999) 85

    /Toy Story
    (1995) 65
    Vice (2018) 57
    The Counterfeit Traitor (1962) 62

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  16. #16
    Quote Quoting transmogrifier (view post)
    He has literally made two films, and you've seen one of them. I can understand waving away a director after a few films if you just don't jive with them, and that's fine - as you say, life is short. But Aster has made two films, and they have both sparked intense reaction and love-it-or-hate it reactions and (importantly) they have both received wide releases at theaters. Isn't that exciting? Why would you want RT audience scores to dictate whether you see it or not? Would you do that for a von Trier movie, or a Refn movie? That's the part that perturbs me - the number of filmgoers these days that will actively avoid something that may "shock" them, as they say, and returning again and again and again to the same bland well of safe movies that leave you moderately entertained and unchallenged (I'm not saying this is you personally, just that the opinion you expressed earlier seemed to be a reflection of that attitude).

    Hell, the absolutely dominance of safe Disney product has actually made going to more challenging films at the theater less appealing for me because I dread seeing anything remotely controversial or non-mainstream with general audiences raised on Disney product because they are more likely to be disruptive and annoying when a movie doesn't deliver what they have been raised to value by current mainstream film-making. In other words, it's not really the screen counts and lack of screening times that harm smaller, more interesting films; its the growing disdain for them among general audiences that is going to kill them.
    Yes, I have only seen one of Aster's movies, and like I said, that movie was my biggest disappointment of the year, in addition to Midsommar receiving a notably weaker overall score (from the critics, not from the audience score), in addition to me generally finding A24's releases to be fairly overrated, in addition to not being a big Horror fan in the first place, so that's reason on top of reason for me to be not interested in Midsommar.​ And me being more on the "hate" side of the spectrum for Herid is why it's legitimate for me not to be interested in his follow-up film, otherwise, you might as well be wondering why I (and many others) wasn't looking forward to Zack Snyder's next movie after I hated Batman V. Superman,​ despite that film's fundamental ambitiousness, so what kind of logic is that?

    And I didn't dislike Hereditary because it shocked me, I disliked it because of its messy, over-stuffed, and incohesive second half; as I've shown, I'm interested in seeing things besides the next standard Disney/superhero blockbuster (although, complaints about their fundamentally play-it-safe nature aside, while almost none of the MCU films are truly great, on average they're still generally superior films to Hereditary). I want to see Hollywood release challenging films more often, but none of that overrides the films needing to be fundamentally good in order me to stay interested in their directors, and being "challenging" never, ever earns you a free pass for creating a weak film, no matter what other factors are at play.
    Last edited by StuSmallz; 07-08-2019 at 01:16 AM.

  17. #17
    MadMan After Hours MadMan's Avatar
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    I actually slightly prefer this over Hereditary. I liked that this was more grounded in realism, and I loved that Aster choose to shoot most of the movie in stark, unforgiving daylight. Best damn remake of The Wicker Man, ever. Plus the dumb Americans bit recalls to mind Cannibal Holocaust. I even got Evil Dead and The Shining vibes. Yet in the end Aster fashions his own unique spin on things.

    Also the bear part is funny. I am amused by how some folks can visit a country without knowing anything about the culture or the people. I would at least try to learn some of the language before going.

    I really like A24, too. They support interesting and engaging horror and other genre films. Just because some don't, well, too bad cause they'll keep getting my money as long as their films come to my area.
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  18. #18
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    I'm conflicted with this one--it throws down, hard, over the final half hour or so, and I'm impressed by Aster's commitment to not hiding the degradations that the characters endure. Some really freaky art direction and staging, even if most of it all comes off as inevitable.

    That said, Christian's indifference to many of the events seems a bit off since he doesn't appear to have heavily researched the commune in any real way. And I don't love the hesitancy with which Aster stages the Christian/Dani relationship--I took Christian to be actively and passively trying to push Dani away in spots, to make her break from the relationship while letting him retain the quality of a "good guy." That's there from the offer to come on the summer trip to several of the decisions thereafter, but that relationship still comes off as a blank in ways that hinder why we spend so much time with him as a character.

    Also, Will Poulter's Josh is a leftover from crappy 80s horror films, all obliviousness when he also appears to be a grad student (asking one of them early on to look at a paragraph), and so his idiocy is frustrating. As is the oblivious acceptance of the British couple's disappearance. But some standout shots (the ominous rotating camera on the car drive, the smash cut to the airplane bathroom, and the final shot) still make this work, if less so than Hereditary for me (and I do stan that film).
    Ant-Man and the Wasp - 5
    Hereditary - 7
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? - 7.5
    The Tale - 8

  19. #19
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting dreamdead (view post)
    I'm conflicted with this one--it throws down, hard, over the final half hour or so, and I'm impressed by Aster's commitment to not hiding the degradations that the characters endure. Some really freaky art direction and staging, even if most of it all comes off as inevitable.

    That said, Christian's indifference to many of the events seems a bit off since he doesn't appear to have heavily researched the commune in any real way. And I don't love the hesitancy with which Aster stages the Christian/Dani relationship--I took Christian to be actively and passively trying to push Dani away in spots, to make her break from the relationship while letting him retain the quality of a "good guy." That's there from the offer to come on the summer trip to several of the decisions thereafter, but that relationship still comes off as a blank in ways that hinder why we spend so much time with him as a character.

    Also, Will Poulter's Josh is a leftover from crappy 80s horror films, all obliviousness when he also appears to be a grad student (asking one of them early on to look at a paragraph), and so his idiocy is frustrating. As is the oblivious acceptance of the British couple's disappearance. But some standout shots (the ominous rotating camera on the car drive, the smash cut to the airplane bathroom, and the final shot) still make this work, if less so than Hereditary for me (and I do stan that film).
    Movie hits its peak on that car drive into the camp and the acid trip that ensues. ****-level there.

    Agreed on Christian. It kind of came from nowhere that he was into a thesis and culture.

    Knives Out - ** 1/2
    Honey Boy - ***
    Last Black Man in San Francisco - *** 1/2


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  20. #20
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    Having been a grad student, I can tell you some of them are shockingly bro-y. Even when they are smart, they can come off as entitled dipshits (because many of them are). It's not wildly different from undergrad level, even if there is a better ratio of studious, hard working, intellectual sponges to brosef party boys.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Marriage Story - 8
    Star Wars: The Last Jedi - 9
    Knives Out - 6
    The Irishman - 8
    Doctor Sleep - 8
    The Lighthouse - 9
    Parasite - 8
    Good Boys - 5
    Scream 2 - 7
    Black Christmas (1974) - 9

  21. #21
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    I mostly liked Hereditary, but Midsommar takes a slight problem I have with Ari Aster's debut -- Collette being the only satisfyingly developed one in what should be a fully fleshed-out family ensemble -- and exacerbates it to a degree that really hinders the film. Compared to Hereditary, this film both places more importance on its lead's pov over other characters' but also relies more on those others for plot-related turns.

    Take for example the toxicity of Dani-Christian relationship that is supposed to be the underlying thread of the film (which emerges fully in the finale). It falls flat for me because apart from signifiers of bad, gaslighting boyfriend, Christian barely feels like a full character, and this extends to his circle of friends as well. That dual theses subplot feels like it comes out of nowhere because of the men's lack of characterization, and is further revealed to be distractingly schematic as it prompts a lot of behaviors that doom them.

    This lack of deeper thoughts even seeps into the cult stuff, which remains absolutely surface "Isn't this, and that, then this next thing, y'know, really freaky?" aesthetic, designed for maixum utilization with Aster's admittedly effective and stylish direction, but without a real feel for them as living, thriving community. And the film dwells its slow-burn energy on their endlessly step-by-step rituals a whole lot. In the end, even if the film remains compulsively watchable by the virtue of Florence Pugh's performance and its impeccable atmosphere, any decision or plot turn during the last act rings hollow, with only Pugh's raw intensity guiding us to a bare glimpse of what the film wants to be. 5.5/10
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  22. #22
    YUB NUB MF Irish's Avatar
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    What a load of pretentious clap trap. Aster has his head so far up his own ass it's embarrassing. I dunno why A24 keeps distributing movies like this; they're quickly becoming a parody of themselves.

    Underwritten, leaden characters (and too many of them, most of the extend group of Americans serve no narrative or thematic purpose). The two lead characters behave like a married couple that's been together 20 years too long and is really bitter about it. The close (?) group of friends dislikes one another, at least, that's the only way I can figure why they act so grimly determined and passive aggressive during their interactions.

    Aster isn't a good director because directing is more than choosing the right angles and snapping pretty pictures and approving an edit. One of his jobs is to get performances out of his actors, but he hamstrung them with terrible writing and then allowed them to flop around the screen. Pugh is always watchable but she''s terrible here (and tbh I'm continually baffled at the his praise thrown at actresses when they either over-emote, telegraph, or do both, in scene after scene, for an entire production. Cf: Colette in "Hereditary" but also, and especially, Clarke in "Game of Thrones"). Jack Reynor doesn't deliver a single line that sounds believable. (I was absolutely baffled by Aster's choice to shoot him in profile, or from the back, in long shots for most of the movie.)

    There's very little story, certainly not enough to justify the insane runtime, and no drama. The characters don't make active choices, except twice, to do drugs, and then they passively go along with whatever idea is presented to them.

    Part of the problem is that this is supposed to be a horror movie but the Americans never realize they are in danger, so there's no tension outside what the audience imagines might be coming. (And since most of that audience has presumably seen one or two movies in their lifetimes, they know exactly what's coming.)

    The characters behave like typical fodder, mostly because Aster isn't interested in them, and you can tell because their point of view is all but abandoned during the last 30 minutes, when he lingers on empty rituals for the sake of freaky imagery.

    He focuses on the mechanics of a cult society but everything about that society is superficial. The rituals aren't rooted in anything real or relatable, or explored with any depth, and he uses academic culture as an expository crutch to get the point across. The whole movie feels under researched and ill thought, 2 hours and 30 minutes of world building an empty world.

    Because where are the people? Good horror -- think of any from any period -- needs an empathetic, human element. Otherwise, violence and gore is just a geek show.

    PS: I thought the twirling drone shot at the beginning, on the road, was neat. I tried to remember if I'd ever seen anything quite like that before, held for so long. I don't think I have. But the image was also such a heavy, dumb metaphor that the effect was marred (oh noes the world is upside down! hurrrrr durrrrrr). It's sorta like naming your male lead "Christian" in a movie about a pagan cult.

  23. #23
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    pretentious clap trap
    My favorite genre.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Marriage Story - 8
    Star Wars: The Last Jedi - 9
    Knives Out - 6
    The Irishman - 8
    Doctor Sleep - 8
    The Lighthouse - 9
    Parasite - 8
    Good Boys - 5
    Scream 2 - 7
    Black Christmas (1974) - 9

  24. #24
    Sunshine and peace Wryan's Avatar
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    Why again is Christian in this movie? I can't figure out his purpose.

    There was some nice thick tension in this but also a lot of airy bullshit. Would rather watch Wicker Man again. I thought Pugh did a nice job. The makeup/effects work made it hard to see, like, if we're supposed to recognize the skin some characters are wearing or making ritual offerings out of. There are some funny parts though, both unintentional and intentional. I like the look and design work.

    This is almost more enjoyable than the movie tho: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-6lDcDAgE4
    "How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine-making course and forgot how to drive?"

    --Homer

  25. #25
    Director Scar's Avatar
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    It’s been a long time since I’ve finished a movie, sat on my couch and stared, and then thought: I have no idea if I enjoyed that or not.

    I was engaged, I was sucked in, but I’m just sitting here kind of staring at the TV trying to articulate an opinion, and I got nothing.
    “I have a very busy head. I have inside voices that I have learned to contain.”

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