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Rate the last film you watched out of 5


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Silent Trigger (1996) Amazon Prime Video

It has a pretty standard plot involving a sniper and his spotter escaping a job gone wrong reuniting, yet it uses this to create a stylish and good-looking film with very 1990s production design and music. It does look great in a 90s way, maybe a tad too stylish at times although there is a very consistent tone. There's a theatrical feel, essentially a four-hander, Dulph Lundgren and Gina Bellman compliment each other well. It may be a bit too ponderous for some, but for me it was stylish, very watchable with action that feels apt for the tone they were going for.

 

3.5/5

 

I'm finding Prime Video a good source of films lately, it has a shedload of the sort of B-movie and genre films I tend to enjoy, you just have to dig a bit deeper. It's certainly a lot better than Netflix which, as I've said before, is pretty much just a cable TV channel that has given up all pretence of a movie rental service at this point.

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Fast 9. 3/5

 

Completely ridiculous and over the top but an enjoyable spectacle at times. Possible scores an extra point because it was just so nice to be in a cinema again. 

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Da 5 Bloods (2020)

 

Disclaimer: The only other Spike Lee film I've seen is Inside Man, so I have no idea what I'm talking about with respect to his work but I do plan to watch BlacKkKlansman soon.

 

The use of archival footage and photos that regularly appear in the movie was possibly a little heavy-handed, but the Vietnam War being yet another way in which white America fucked over black Americans (11% of the population at the time, yet made up 23% of the armed forces and were much more likely to be assigned to combat units) was new to me and the reality of that footage made the brutality hit that much harder, like the photos of the My Lai massacre that flash up during the initial confrontation in the jungle and the footage of the execution of Nguyễn Văn Lém (I'd only ever seen the famous photo).

 

The shot/reverse shot (not sure if that's the correct term, but it's the thing where you see a scene and then the camera flips to the opposite side of the characters in shot to show the exact same action?) was definitely overused though, the CGI puffs of blood just didn't work for me, taking away some of the weight of the action scenes and the de-aging CGI on that photo of the Bloods was fucking terrible. Well, it could have been a composite image made using photos of the actors in their youth but fucking hell man. I realise there were budgetary issues but that just looked cheap as fuck.

 

Ahem. Before I forget, Delroy fucking Lindo absolutely killed it. Hands down a great performance and one that elevates the film.

 

3.5/5

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22 hours ago, Nick R said:

Black Narcissus (1947)
3/5

 

I bounced off this one the first time I watched it (many years ago), but it's one of those that perfectly hit for me when I gave it another go a few years back. I genuinely believe you sometimes just have to meet a film at the right moment.

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On 13/06/2021 at 09:50, Stigweard said:

In The Heights (2021)

 

Adapted from the award-winning Broadway stage play written by Lin Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame. This tells the story of Usnavi, a bodega owner who has mixed feelings about closing his store and returning back to the Dominican Republic to restore his late father beach bar or staying in Washington Heights.

 

From the get go you can tell this is by the same guy who wrote Hamilton, there’s a lot of the same sounds, inflections and if you’ve watched Hamilton you recognise the rhythm of his hip-hop style. But this is less “epic” than Hamilton, it’s more of a traditional musical and also takes a lot of its sound influences from Central/South American culture, so it mixes rap, hip hop and salsa to wonderful effect. It starts out with an absolute banger of a tune and dance routine and if you aren’t in by then, then you might as well just stop.

 

There’s nothing relatively special about the plot, it’s just kind of follows the life of various characters connected by their close nit community, but the characters feel real and you enjoy being in their presence. We follow stories surrounding long lost loves, failed dates, ambitions, local business plights, salon girls and some very real-world issues such as racism & DREAMers (undocumented immigrants). 

 

The cast are strong, in singing, acting and dancing and the pace never lets up, it nips along at a great pace and for a 2hr 20min film it just flies by. It’s so vibrant and full of life throughout, especially with how it mixes the visuals of New York and South America influences.

 

There’s some fantastic tunes in there, especially the ones that involve the majority of the cast like ‘In The Heights’, ’96,000’, ‘Black Out’ and ‘Carnaval Del Barrio’. Some of them blend into each other so well too, there’s a great sequence in the middle during a club scene which seamlessly blends 2 songs together.

 

I really enjoyed this and whilst it’s not on the scale of Hamilton for me (although I know comparing the two only comes from who wrote them), this from the Empire magazine review sums it up perfectly – “this is a big, soppy, traditional musical, a story about a tight-knit community helping one another through their issues with a shared sense of scrappy optimism and a killer sense of rhythm, to enormously uplifting effect”

 

4/5

Couldn’t agree more with your review, I absolutely loved it. Can you believe there are people who don’t like musicals and so won’t appreciate this? The poor bastards.

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Just watched Saint Maud. Knew nothing about it until a couple of posts in the Amazon Prime thread earlier. Thought I'd give it a whirl. 

 

Words can't quite express what I just witnessed. Utterly spellbound from the first minute with an extraordinary performance from the lead, Morfydd Clark. 

 

One of the the most oppressive movie experiences I've had for quite a while. The comparisons to Under The Skin are definitely valid but I came away from that film being not quite sure what to make of it, it was either brilliant or daft, I was never quite sure. 

 

This though, is a bonafide modern classic in the making. Stunning. 

 

FIVE

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On 20/06/2021 at 00:10, Vimster said:

I'm finding Prime Video a good source of films lately, it has a shedload of the sort of B-movie and genre films I tend to enjoy, you just have to dig a bit deeper. It's certainly a lot better than Netflix which, as I've said before, is pretty much just a cable TV channel that has given up all pretence of a movie rental service at this point.

 

Please watch Showdown the 1993 Billy 'Tae Bo' Blanks classic on Amazon Video.It came up in my Amazon recommeds the other day. I think it sets the record for some of the oldest looking actors playing American High School teenagers. Its a Karate Kid rip off almost 10 years after that was the cool new thing. I'm sure you wil love it, well watch it at least.

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Wrath of Man

 

Pretty straight forward crime/thriller with some nifty (and gory) action scenes. It felt like it was made by someone who loves GTA V who was trying to make a Guy Ritchie inspired film and not an actual Guy Ritchie film but I liked it for what it was. It's a really 90's like action flick, it's rather predictable once it gets going and character development is non existent as every character are more or less like GTA NPCs. 

It's Guy Ritchie + Jason Statham. While not as clever as Lock, Stock or Snatch (or even Gentlemen) it's a solid popcorn flick which pretty much plays out as a mission in the GTA games. 

 

3.5/5

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22 hours ago, Talvalin said:

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

 

Disclaimer: The only other Spike Lee film I've seen is Inside Man, so I have no idea what I'm talking about with respect to his work but I do plan to watch BlacKkKlansman soon.

 

The use of archival footage and photos that regularly appear in the movie was possibly a little heavy-handed, but the Vietnam War being yet another way in which white America fucked over black Americans (11% of the population at the time, yet made up 23% of the armed forces and were much more likely to be assigned to combat units) was new to me and the reality of that footage made the brutality hit that much harder, like the photos of the My Lai massacre that flash up during the initial confrontation in the jungle and the footage of the execution of Nguyễn Văn Lém (I'd only ever seen the famous photo).

 

The shot/reverse shot (not sure if that's the correct term, but it's the thing where you see a scene and then the camera flips to the opposite side of the characters in shot to show the exact same action?) was definitely overused though, the CGI puffs of blood just didn't work for me, taking away some of the weight of the action scenes and the de-aging CGI on that photo of the Bloods was fucking terrible. Well, it could have been a composite image made using photos of the actors in their youth but fucking hell man. I realise there were budgetary issues but that just looked cheap as fuck.

 

Ahem. Before I forget, Delroy fucking Lindo absolutely killed it. Hands down a great performance and one that elevates the film.

 

3.5/5

 

BlacKkKlansman is great but make sure you watch Do the Right Thing for peak Spike Lee. It's been in my Top 5 favourite films since I first watched it back in the early '89 and still relevant and powerful today. It's on Prime and Netflix I believe. 

 

Lee's back cat is patchy but there's loads to enjoy. Summer of Sam is also a big favourite (currently on Disney).

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The Djinn

 

Solid B-horror, brought above average by a likeable central performance by the kid. If you're going for a child-centric, claustrophobic horror, it's typically better when you don't want the kid to die. And I didn't. Some nice little scares, and good use of a limited space.

 

2.5/5

 

Alive

 

I'm pretty much over zombie films, but this one had enough to make it enjoyable. It mostly focused on how a younger generation of Koreans might adapt from their cushy gaming bubbles to something real. I didn't love it as much as others seemed to last year, but I definitely enjoyed it. And I didn't really expect to.

 

3/5.

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18 hours ago, KartoffelKopf said:

Just watched Saint Maud. Knew nothing about it until a couple of posts in the Amazon Prime thread earlier. Thought I'd give it a whirl. 

 

Words can't quite express what I just witnessed. Utterly spellbound from the first minute with an extraordinary performance from the lead, Morfydd Clark. 

 

One of the the most oppressive movie experiences I've had for quite a while. The comparisons to Under The Skin are definitely valid but I came away from that film being not quite sure what to make of it, it was either brilliant or daft, I was never quite sure. 

 

This though, is a bonafide modern classic in the making. Stunning. 

 

FIVE


Is it scary? Maybe I mean is it gory? I dont like horrors, or at least I dont like gory films, but this sounds like it is not like that.

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23 minutes ago, kempstar said:


Is it scary? Maybe I mean is it gory? I dont like horrors, or at least I dont like gory films, but this sounds like it is not like that.

 

Difficult to categorise really. Yes, it's a horror movie of sorts but its way more psychologically affecting than most modern horror franchise shite could ever dream to be. It's a study of a disturbed individual and how loneliness can screw with your mind. 

 

I've just been thinking about it all day, it's had quite a profound effect on me. 

 

There are some gory moments but it's not excessive and it supports the story.  I gasped out loud at one particular scene but it's over in a flash. 

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Hmmm.

 

It was OK, but it was a big disappoinment compared to the rave reviews it seems to have been getting.

 

It feels like the depth and ambiguity that some people see, just isnt there, to me. Its actually a pretty straightforward story.

 

A couple of (big) redeeming factors. The lead actor is fantastic; Ambiguity or not. Secondly, Scarborough is beautiful. In so many ways. Not all of them good.

 

6/10 Would Not Watch Again, But Would (Partially) Recommend

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Luca on Disney+

 

A respectable 3.5. but it gets bumped to an easy 4.5 after finding out my nursery-age daughter walked around the supermarket afterwards exclaiming "What's-a wrong witha you, stupido!"

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41 minutes ago, kempstar said:

Hmmm.

 

It was OK, but it was a big disappoinment compared to the rave reviews it seems to have been getting.

 

It feels like the depth and ambiguity that some people see, just isnt there, to me. Its actually a pretty straightforward story.

 

A couple of (big) redeeming factors. The lead actor is fantastic; Ambiguity or not. Secondly, Scarborough is beautiful. In so many ways. Not all of them good.

 

6/10 Would Not Watch Again, But Would (Partially) Recommend

Yes, I also thought it was overrated. Atmospheric and some memorable imagery but not a great deal else to it. Mind you, I didn’t like Relic either and everyone seems to rave about that.

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Savage Three (1975)

 

Pretty weird Italian crime flick where three buddies who work boring jobs as number crunchers go on a random crime spree. The three leads do reprehensible things, but I couldn't tear my eyes away from it.

 

4 out of 5

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City of Industry - 3.5/5 (Amazon Prime)

 

I picked this on a whim based on the title and synopsis, and it’s a very decent little 90s Noir. Harvey Keitel plays Harvey Keitel seeking revenge after a heist goes very good and then very bad, and he’s off hunting in LA’s underworld.

 

It’s not perfect, with a few bits that might make you scratch your head, but the atmosphere is top notch, with more than a few surprises. Also a really solid collection of supporting characters by people like Stephen Dorff, Will Hutton, Famke Jansen, Michael Jai White, Wade Dominguez, Elliot Gould and Lucy Liu keep it interesting as everyone double crosses everyone. Seems like the sort of thing @Vimster might like!

 

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The Marx Brothers' first two films:

 

 

The Cocoanuts (1929)
3/5

 

Whenever Harpo and Groucho aren't on screen, all the other characters should be asking, "Where are Harpo and Groucho?"

 

(I know that was asking that.)

 

The Marx Brothers' first feature film has a good number of funny bits, and I wasn't too bothered by the common criticism that its static, stagey camera angles illustrate the growing pains of early talkies, and of transferring a stage show to the screen.

 

But too much of it is taken up with tedious song and dance diversions focusing on other non-Marx characters. In particular, the film's love theme (Irving Berlin's song "When My Dreams Come True") is played and reprised several times - it's an extremely irritating earworm (it ends on a cadence and lyric that's similar to Disney's "When You Wish Upon A Star" from over a decade later), and I still had its bridge section stuck in my head several days later. Argh!

 

The dance sequences are unremarkable, but the film is notable because one of theme features an overhead shot, of the sort that were later famously used by Busby Berkeley.

 

The film includes a farcical chase through hotel room doors - it's well-coordinated, and might have been impressive on stage, but is unfortunately not very funny. A Night at the Opera features a much better version of a similar idea.

 

I watched the Blu-ray edition that also includes the Marx Brothers' second film (Animal Crackers) on the same disc. Watching the two together illustrates just how much of an improvement that second film was, and how much talkie production techniques had improved in less than a year.

 

My favourite bit of Groucho dialogue from The Cocoanuts:

 

Quote

Mrs. Potter: Mr. Hammer, your costume's wonderful.
Hammer: This costume has been condemned by Good Housekeeping.
Mrs. Potter: I love the colour scheme.
Hammer: That isn't a scheme, it's a conspiracy!

 

 

 

Animal Crackers (1930)
4/5

 

Margaret Dumont: I'm fascinated!
Groucho: I'm fascinated, too. Right on the arm.

--- (Unexpectedly relevant, 91 years later!)

 

The Marx Brothers' second released film a big improvement on The Cocoanuts in almost every way. It's a lot funnier: Groucho's dialogue comes thick and fast, and Harpo's physical comedy is more outrageous. There are fewer awkward edits and camera angles, and fewer lines get flubbed (although there is one scene where the film makes a virtue out of a character name mix-up). Best of all, unlike The Cocoanuts and A Night at the Opera, there are no musical dance routines, the romantic subplot between non-Marx characters is less obtrusive, and even the romantic lovers' duet is only played once and is more tolerable than the equivalent in its predecessor.

 

The fact that Animal Crackers was produced within a year of its predecessor illustrates how quickly talkie techniques and technology were progressing. For example: the story goes that the sheet of paper featured in one scene in The Cocoanuts had to be wettened to prevent its rustling noises being picked up on the soundtrack; whereas Animal Crackers features multiple scenes of people handling and folding paintings, suggesting that extraneous noise had become less of an issue by then.

 

I think this might be my favourite of the Marx Brothers films I've seen so far - though Duck Soup, A Day at the Races and Monkey Business are all overdue a rewatch.

 

The plot involves two separate conspiracies to swap a painting for two different fake copies ahead of its grand unveiling. It initially seems like the story is going to be a farce that asks the viewer to keep track of the location of all three copies; however, this turns out to be a very minor part of the comedy. (Also, I'm not even sure if the movements of each copy actually make sense in the end.)

 

Presumably the film is called "Animal Crackers" due to the subject of the painting, and the African safari stories. Speaking of which: everyone always quotes the "elephant in my pyjamas" joke, which is great, but the film includes another Groucho joke with a very similar structure: "I don't like Junior crossing the tracks on his way to the reform school. I don't like Junior at all, as a matter of fact."

 

I've quoted Groucho enough; I should probably say something in praise of the other three. Harpo's introductory scene as "The Professor" concludes with him getting into a gunfight with a clock pendulum and some statues; it's very silly and I liked it a lot. And the film's ending is all about him too. I wasn't so keen on the bridge game scene that pairs Chico with Harpo - I think Chico's best scene is probably the one much later in the film, when he drives Groucho crazy with his theory on where the painting has gone:

 

Chico: What do you think-a make-a this painting disappear, huh? Mawths! Mawths eat it! Left-handed mawths!

 

As for Zeppo: his finest moment is his scene as the straight man to whom Groucho dictates a nonsensical letter, including this bit bringing a punctuation symbol down to size:

 

Groucho: Semicolon.
Zeppo: How do you spell 'semicolon'?
Groucho: Alright, make it a comma.

 

It turns out that the version I saw was only restored very recently for the current (2016) Blu-ray release. When the Hays Code came into effect, some risqué lines were removed, and they were only restored for this new release thanks to the discovery of a pre-Code copy held by the BFI. For example, the letter dictation scene includes this bit of dialogue, cut from the film for over 80 years:

 

Groucho: 'Dear Elsie...' - no, never mind 'Elsie'.
Zeppo: Do you want me to scratch 'Elsie'?
Groucho: Well, if you enjoy that sort of thing, it's quite alright with me. However, I'm not interested in your private affairs, Jamison.

 

Other favourite terrible puns and other jokes from the film:

 

Quote

Groucho: You know, I'd buy you a parachute if I thought it wouldn't open.
Chico: Hey, I got pair of shoes!

 

 

Groucho: As I say, I was sitting in front of the cabin when I bagged six tigers. [...] I bagged them to go away, but they hung around all afternoon. They were the most persistent tigers I've ever seen.

 

 

Groucho: You know, I've always had an idea that my retirement would be the greatest contribution to science that the world has ever known.

 

 

John Parker: Say, if we could find the fella who painted this picture, well, we'd have a pretty good clue.
Groucho: What'd you say?
John Parker: I said, if we could find the fellow that painted this picture, we'd have a pretty good clue!
Groucho: You just said that. What a dull conversationalist you turned out to be.

 

And so, in conclusion, as Groucho says upon breaking the fourth wall:

 

Quote

Well, all the jokes can't be good. You've got to expect that once in a while.

 

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Three Days of the Condor (1975)
4/5

You can see so many later spy movies in this: Mission: Impossible

Spoiler

(the team wiped out, with the lone survivor a suspect)

the Bourne Identity

Spoiler

(fugitive spy escapes thanks to a random woman and her car, and then gets into a relationship with her),

the Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan films

Spoiler

(a CIA agent who normally sits behind a desk is thrust into the field),

Tomorrow Never Dies and La Femme Nikita

Spoiler

(the involvement of a tall, European, ruthlessly efficient  assassin/"cleaner").

 

And in the other direction, film historian Sheldon Hall points out (in the bonus interview on the 2016 Masters of Cinema Blu-ray) that a lot of the story can be traced back at least as far as Hitchcock's The 39 Steps.

 

But for me, the movie it most resembles is The Fugitive, as so much of the appeal comes from seeing a charismatic actor on the run, creatively solving problems to evade the people in pursuit.
 

Three Days of the Condor is often paired with The Parallax View in discussions of '70s post-Watergate paranoid conspiracy thrillers, and it's easy to see way: both were written Lorenzo Semple Jr., were released in consecutive years, and Warren Beatty was originally going to star in Three Days of the Condor before Pollack and Redford became attached and Beatty did the other film instead. I watched The Parallax View for the first time earlier this year, and it was good, but its bleakness, though appropriate for the film, stopped me from loving it. I liked Condor more, at least partly because it leaves room to be slightly more optimistic!

 

Unfortunately, the most significant problem with the film, and the main reason I hesitated over whether to give this 4 stars, is the shoehorned-in romance between Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway's characters.

Spoiler

Above, I compared that plot element to Marie's introduction in The Bourne Identity, but the way Condor handles it is closer to the coercion in the Robert Ludlum novel than to the softened version (bribery) used in the Matt Damon movie. Just as in that book, I found the fact that she willingly gets into a relationship with the hero, even after all those violent threats, quite implausible - even if he is Robert Redford. I could buy her accepting he's telling the truth and agreeing to help him, fine, but this just came across like putting a love interest into the film just because it was the expected thing to do.

 

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The Last Temptation of Christ

 

Now largely forgotten, the most controversial film of the 80s is an interesting watch. Dafoe is spellbinding in the central role and Scorsese does an admirable job of making the film feel vibrant and as plausible as the gospels version of the story. 
 

It is very wordy and also a little overlong. Peter Gabriel’s score is mesmerising and helps to alleviate some of the boredom that sets in in a few minor places. 
 

4/5

 

Zack Snyders Justice League 

 

A huge improvement over the original version but I still can’t stand Cyborg and found him deeply annoying in almost every scene he was in. I actually thought the first half was better than the second and it was nice to actually understand why the villains were attacking earth in the first place. 
 

As a huge DC fan it was refreshing to see my favourite superheroes getting a decent team up movie.

 

4/5

 

Triangle

 

A rewatch. I had forgotten just how good this film is. Hard to believe it’s from the same director as Creep (easily in my top ten worst films ever). George is perfect in the role and it’s hard to think of many people who would have been better ( Blunt perhaps ). I still haven’t got a clue as to what’s going on.

 

5/5

 

Godzilla. King of the Monsters 

 

Its taken my 2 attempts to get through this. It wastes a great cast (who are all excellent without exception) with a plodding story and poorly shot action. Luckily, it does redeem itself somewhat with an excellent final fight sequence. 
 

It seemed to me that bits of the story were simply missing as it leapt about from scene to scene.

 

2/5

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Onward

 

This Pixar film is the rare one that didn’t excite the critics. And from the trailers I was expecting something very different, more of a comedy fantasy with a pair of elves.

 

But what you get is a surprisingly endearing buddy/road movie with a lot of heart, and the usual gags that will go over the kids heads and hit home with the parents.

 

Ian has grown up in suburbia without his Dad, and his 16th birthday brings the chance to speak to him thanks to a powerful spell. When it goes wrong his older brother Barley - obsessed with a Dungeons & Dragons style game and painted van - takes him on a quest to complete the spell before sunset the next day. But when their mother and her new partner (a centaur cop) find out, they set out to keep the boys safe.

 

There are some brilliant twists, a running theme about the people who are always there for you and a superb set piece battle against a dragon. Maybe it was watching it on Father’s Day with my stepdaughter when I was really missing my late dad, but it was enjoyable and very soothing. Family is there for you, in whatever shape or form.

 

4/5

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I think Onward is an under appreciated Pixar/Disney film which I think may have been hampered by the onset of the pandemic on its release. I found it very heart warming and the two brothers in it were very convincing. 
 

The bit where

 

Spoiler

The van is sacrificed

Was actually quite moving. It isn’t as good as Coco on the heart string pulls though - my daughter gets worried when I watch that as it sends me to pieces. 

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12 hours ago, iknowgungfu said:

I think Onward is an under appreciated Pixar/Disney film which I think may have been hampered by the onset of the pandemic on its release. I found it very heart warming and the two brothers in it were very convincing. 
 

The bit where

 

  Reveal hidden contents

The van is sacrificed

Was actually quite moving. It isn’t as good as Coco on the heart string pulls though - my daughter gets worried when I watch that as it sends me to pieces. 

I think it's because they chose disgusting character designs.

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