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Author Topic: Come December, keep in mind there is already a Star Wars thread - Movie Reviews  (Read 21371 times)
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JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« on: 01-22-2015 19:56 »

Posted so we can hear UrL's thoughts on Days Of Future Past. And I assume he watched The Wolverine as well?

The title of this thread will be subject to change.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #1 on: 01-23-2015 13:16 »

Posted so we can hear UrL's thoughts on Days Of Future Past. And I assume he watched The Wolverine as well?

Ah, I've got an audience waiting for me. Excellent. And yes, I did watch The Wolverine, but that was actually the one X-Men film I had already seen so I didn't bother with a review for that (I think I already posted one some time last year). Opinion hasn't changed too much; it's good but definitely not a stand-out.

Anyway, here we go:

X-Men: Days of Future Past

This was pretty mind-blowing, and not just because it was a frikken amazing movie. I saw it about five days ago and I'm still trying to make sense of it all. I'll just dump my thoughts down in a blotch of bullet points since I can't be arsed formulating coherent paragraphs:

-The future had a very distinct Matrixy feel to it. Dark sky, scary robots and somebody "dreaming" of a better past. Also, all the mutants in this period were fun to watch, especially Blink.
-I feel like they jump kind of dumped us into the horrible future without really setting anything up properly. For example, they never really formally address the reason for Xavier being alive, they just sort of hoped everyone had seen the post-credits scenes from X-Men: The Last Stand and The Wolverine. That's a bad idea in itself in my opinion, but I feel like they should've added maybe another 10 minutes to the movie to tie up the loose ends. The franchise may have had some duds in the past, but sticking your thumbs in your ears and pretending they never happened doesn't help with credibility. On the other hand, I sort of admire that fact that they jumped right into it without giving too much exposition.
-There's also Wolverines claws. They were broken in The Wolverine and they seem to be magically fixed now. I know Magneto might have used his powers to fix them but it would've been nice if this was at least addressed.
-As far as the overall plot goes, I thought it was very well done. I liked that Logan was mostly a spectator this time, and the story primarily followed Xavier, Magneto and Mystique. Hugh Jackman's a great actor but I feel like Wolverine is starting to overstay his welcome a bit.
-The kitchen scene with Quicksilver is easily one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in a movie. Marvel has a lot to live up to with Age of Ultron if they want to top this version of the character. And that little bit where he tasted the flying soup? Amazing. eek
-"Fuck off." -Charles Xavier, 1973. big grin
-Why does every man seem so repulsed by Mystique? How could anyone not like that sexy blue body? confused
-So from what I can tell, the main difference between the original timeline and the revised timeline is that Xavier and Magneto hate each other less, and Mystique isn't a murderer (and I  suppose she would despise Magneto in this timeline as well). Obviously X-Men: The Last Stand never happened, because Jean and Cyclops are alive at the end. The first movie must have happened to some extent, since Rogue has the white streak in her hair. I not sure about X-Men 2, because it's not clear what happened to William Stryker. I think we can assume Mystique brought Logan to Xaiver much earlier than they met in the original timeline, which would eliminate any motive to investigate the facility if he never received the adamantium upgrade. This would also wipe out most of X-Men Origins: Wolverine (like anyone cares roll eyes ), which might affect Sabretooth's alignment (I doubt it, though). Finally, it's likely  that the Japanese lady from The Wolverine visits Logan in the new timeline, because he would've still met the General during WWII. However it's highly unlikely that the events of the movie play out in the same way, since he'd be with the X-Men and have the likes of Storm, Cyclops and Jean on his side.
-Despite it being a hugely enjoyable experience, I reckon I preferred First Class. It had a much more refined plot that wasn't being held back by other movies in the series.

So overall, I'd rank the franchise something like this:

1) X-Men: First Class
2) X-Men Days of Future Past
3) X-Men 2
4) The Wolverine
5) X-Men
6) X-Men: The Last Stand
7) X-Men Origins: Wolverine

That's all for now. If you actually read all that, well done. wtf?
Spacedal11

Space Pope
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« Reply #2 on: 01-23-2015 18:58 »

I call for a change of title.

Days of Future Past was my favorite movie of last year but I'm reluctant to talk about it because all the comments I've seen from the X-Men fans are much more critical. Overall they are okay with it but take many issues with how it deviated from the source material (the comic and the animated series). I had lost interest in the X-Men films so I had missed out on First Class when it hit theaters. But I heard a lot of good things about Days and went in basically blind, which I think is mainly why I liked it so much. I did not know what was gonna happen and I thought it was such a cool story which I think is why I'm pretty forgiving of the comic book movies. I know comics on a basic level but being able to go in with an idea of what I'm about to watch but not actually know what's gonna happen has really made me enjoy most of them. And I find with Days of Future Past, not having a big nostalgia for the other movies has helped me not worry about continuity and things like that.  
JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #3 on: 01-23-2015 19:40 »
« Last Edit on: 01-23-2015 22:15 »

I really liked DOFP, and as a mostly non-comic fan I definitely had no complaints about deviation from source material.

As far as continuity goes, though, there's definitely valid criticism, and it doesn't stem so much from nostalgia for the earlier films as it does from the movie's blatant attempts to convince us that continuity from those earlier films matters. With First Class, there was a sense that continuity with the earlier films was being thrown out the window entirely (besides Hugh Jackman's appearance) and that a new timeline was being created, which is why that movie feels so unrestrained and fresh. DOFP however tries incredibly hard to tell us that all of the movies definitely share the same universe (to the extent that it almost seems to be the movie's main purpose, in order to wipe the slate clean for future movies), yet fails to explain some majorly important plot points in the process when it wouldn't have been very difficult to do so.

As UrL pointed out, the most glaring of those plot points is Xavier's livelihood. The post-credits scene from The Wolverine that serves only to directly set up DOFP confirms that he was in fact dead (so they didn't just want us to assume Last Stand didn't happen) but without offering any explanation for how he's back whatsoever. There's the very vague hint from the post-credits scene of Last Stand where Xavier seems to possess some other hospitalized person's body (which is pretty nonsensical without context, unless Xavier had a twin brother who was also handicapped), but that's all we got. I can put the whole thing out of my mind and still enjoy DOFP for the very entertaining movie it is...I just don't quite see why they couldn't put in the slight extra effort to have such a big plot thread make sense when they tried so hard to make sure everything else lined up for the most part.
Beamer

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« Reply #4 on: 01-24-2015 04:43 »

SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK

So, I finally watched this last night (I'm a fan of Charlie Kaufman's work but had never gotten around to this one until now - largely due to the polarising response it had received). Now, I know that pretty much anything with Kaufman's name on the script is going to be a massive head fuck and will probably invoke at least some scale of existential crisis in the viewer at some point, but this one resonated with me on a level so profound, words can't even describe. It's definitely one of the most challenging things I've ever watched, but it's also one of the most rewarding - consistently hilarious and yet deeply, immensely saddening, forever making you question everything you see on the screen while tackling the subject matter of... well, everything. It is literally a film about nothing more and nothing less than LIFE, and it's awe-inspiring just how much Kaufman managed to cram in over the course of two hours. The only thing more impressive than the scope of this film's boundless ambition is the fact that it actually pulls it off. The cast is also fantastic (the ever-excellent Philip Seymour Hoffman is in perfect form here, and I'd go as far as to say that this probably wouldn't have worked without him), though it's a film that isn't about its characters or narrative rather than the overall experience, and if you're able to let go of any and all notions of what a film "should" be, and willing to give something this surreal and abstract a chance, it's one of the most immersive and life-changing cinematic experiences imaginable.

10/10
Melllvar

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« Reply #5 on: 01-25-2015 10:26 »

We're working our way through the X-Mens....  Having just watched The Last Stand, noticed that Bill Duke's character, Secretary Trask....  An allusion to Bolivar Trask, played by Peter Dinklige in DOFP.   Same guy?
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #6 on: 01-25-2015 11:11 »

Probably originally planned to be the same guy before getting a quiet retcon. I believe a similar thing happened with Emma Frost between X-Men Origins: Wolverine and First Class.
Melllvar

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« Reply #7 on: 01-25-2015 19:39 »

Well, I think we're on Origins: Wolverine next....  So it'll become clear (again)...

I'm also guessing that Rogue's mutation being "cured" in Last Stand may be retconned after the timeline/schmimeline thing in DOFP. 
JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #8 on: 01-25-2015 21:06 »

I don't even know if all the retcons to the original trilogy's timeline will make any difference in the franchise after DOFP seeing as the upcoming movies are planning to continue the First Class timeline only.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #9 on: 01-26-2015 02:45 »

I'm also guessing that Rogue's mutation being "cured" in Last Stand may be retconned after the timeline/schmimeline thing in DOFP. 

Is that even necessary though? The chess scene with Magneto basically confirmed that the "cure" is only temporary.
Melllvar

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« Reply #10 on: 01-27-2015 23:56 »

True....  I forgot about that bit.

Meanwhile....

Draft Day

If Kevin Costner is in a sports movie, you can guarantee it's worth watching.  KC is the GM for the Cleveland Browns who's up against it on NFL Draft Day 2014...  Handed the 1st pick in the Draft by trading away his 1st round picks for the next three seasons, he could pick the new superstar QB, but maybe that's not what the coach, the team, or the fans want...

I enjoyed this like I enjoyed Moneyball, there's something about American sports movies that don't have any sport in them.  KC is solid, and is supported by a fine cast (standout being Jennifer Garner as his love-interest / Browns lawyer).

Overall, it's an engaging watch, especially if you're a fan of these types of movies.

8/10
Melllvar

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« Reply #11 on: 02-14-2015 03:39 »

Big Hero 6

Simply lovely movie about coping with loss, with awesome voice performance from Scott Adsit (Pete Hornberger from 30 Rock), as BayMax an inflatable medical robot, assigned as companion to a robot inventor.   From stunning visuals of hybrid city San Fransokyo, to the ultimate super-hero payoffs.... I loved this movie.

Also, Show, from this very parish, worked on this movie, and you're advised to look for him in the credits.

9/10
~FazeShift~

Moderator
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« Reply #12 on: 02-14-2015 13:33 »

I agree with all of that, I did a mental double take when I found out it was Hornberger!

The Theory of Everything
Ok Redmayne performed well and the transformation he achieved was pretty impressive, Bafta deserved.
As for the story, it was ok, it's been done before, the whole struggling genius thingamabob.
Good though.
B-
Beamer

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« Reply #13 on: 02-15-2015 02:28 »

I agree with all of that, I did a mental double take when I found out it was Hornberger!

I spotted his voice almost instantly (he's also done some voice-over work on Moral Orel, playing Orel's dad, Clay) but somehow didn't pick out T.J. Miller as Fred.

Anyway, I echo Melllvar's review, though would probably give it an 8.5 myself. It was an absolute delight to watch. smile

Also seen recently:

The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is virtually impossible to adequately describe, but the ever-striking visuals, beautiful shot composition and fast-faced. ever-flowing dialogue all made it a cinematic experience like none other. Coupled with the fact that it's utterly hilarious and has a brilliant cast, puts it well into 9/10 territory for me.

And Birdman, which, much like Budapest, has its own unique style and tone that's quite difficult to put into words. I was, however, blown away by the way it was filmed, and loved all of the dark, hard-hitting Hollywood satire, even if it didn't quite make me laugh as much as I thought it would. It was definitely a unique cinematic experience though, and again, had a really great cast. 8.5/10 for me.
Spacedal11

Space Pope
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« Reply #14 on: 02-28-2015 05:27 »

The Lazarus Effect

File this one under, "Didn't Have to Pay for It So I Liked It".

One of the few perks in having a movie theater job.

C+
Olivia Wilde: love
winna

Avatar Czar
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« Reply #15 on: 02-28-2015 08:25 »

Do they still make movies?
Tachyon

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« Reply #16 on: 03-03-2015 06:16 »

Isn't that movie called Chirpie?

Speaking of Chappie... When I saw the first promo on TV, I instantly flashed back to this 2006 clip.  I've not looked up the people involved with both, but the styles are very close:



JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #17 on: 03-03-2015 08:27 »

Yes, that is from the short film by the same director as Chappie (Neill Blomkamp) that it's based on. His movie District 9 was similarly based on a low-budget short film he'd done earlier.
Melllvar

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« Reply #18 on: 03-08-2015 16:05 »

The Raid 2

This, the sequel to The Raid, is a 2 hour brutal Korean ballet full of glorious deaths, and simply breathtakingly choreographed fight sequences. 

Plot is thus: Rama, the bloke from the first one learns of the death of his brother at the hands of organised crime interloper, Bejo, intent on starting an underworld gang war.  So, by agreeing to join a clandestine police task force tackling corruption, he is brought undercover into a rival crime family, and thus avenge his brothers death, and bring the evil-doers to a grisly end.

And it is grisly.  The violence is pretty full-on, and the fights are absolutely amazing, my particular favourite being "hammer-girl", a one-eyed, deaf mute woman armed with two claw-hammers....  Nasty.

The running time is long, but if you enjoyed the first one, then this is right up your street.  The claustrophobic setting of the original is now expanded to city-wide, and includes car-chases as well as choreographed fights.

My one criticism, and it's a small one, is that the camerawork was sometimes a bit "handheldy"....  Other than that, brilliant.

8/10.

Dune - The Alternative Edition: Redux

I've been getting into a few fanedits, and this was one which caught my eye.  Being a fan of the original (David Lynch) movie...  Yes, I'm that guy, I thought this was worth a watch.

The running time is expanded from 120 minutes to 177 minutes, and a few things are changed.  Most notably, the movie is split into four "books", each starting with a relevant quote from Frank Herberts novel.   Some of the scenes are reedited, or cut altogether, as well as adding in deleted scenes, and/or scenes from the TV Movie version.   Altogether it's the most coherent that this movie has ever been (I know that's not saying much), but I enjoyed it, both as a fan of the movie, and a sci-fi fan in general.

Trailer:

totalnerd undercanada

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« Reply #19 on: 03-08-2015 16:44 »

There's a slightly more coherent version of the David Lynch film? I need to watch that.
Spacedal11

Space Pope
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« Reply #20 on: 03-19-2015 08:35 »

Silver Linings Playbook

Now I remember why I don't watch a lot of romantic movies. They get me in the feels and make me think about my own life and the people I could share it with but can't. Here comes the spiraling depression.

A
winna

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« Reply #21 on: 03-23-2015 14:42 »

Romantic movies are actually propaganda films produced by the government to trick people into getting married, notice that the films always end on a high note.  At best, in reality, relationships end on an easy down note as individuals complacently grow older together.

Oh... you were talking about the movie?
Inquisitor Hein
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #22 on: 03-29-2015 18:04 »

Escape from Planet Earth

Saw that DVD for cheap at our local store, and did not expect much.

It was not really a stand-out, but nicely done. The gags and slapstick scenes worked, none of the (sometimes a tad formulaic) characters stood out in a negative way, and Scorch reminded pleasantly of Zapp Branigan. (No match in terms of epic assholeness, but getting a few shots highlighting why he could end up being hailed such a big hero).

Sometimes a tad tame and predictable, but still entertaining, and certainly good enough for a long afternoon.

B-
Tachyon

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« Reply #23 on: 03-29-2015 22:12 »


Was it patterned after Escape form New York?

UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #24 on: 04-04-2015 05:12 »

The Terminator

What's that? I'm 30 years late? Oh well. It holds up well and has pretty impressive special effects for its time. Come to think it, I'm surprised I never saw this movie earlier.
Tachyon

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« Reply #25 on: 04-04-2015 05:21 »


The first time? Surely you're joking!? <insert Frank Drebin quote here>

I agree that it holds up very well, and I rewatch it once or twice a year.

Melllvar

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« Reply #26 on: 04-04-2015 06:48 »

We watched this just this week, as we felt like it, and it does hold up.  It's the mark of a truly great movie that it holds up over time.  Even an effects-movie....
Tachyon

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« Reply #27 on: 04-07-2015 05:19 »


John Carter (of Mars)

An OK film.  Basically the same plot elements as Flash Gordon, but with less Queen and more of an orchestral score.

   C

UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #28 on: 04-21-2015 06:06 »

Pacific Rim

This is quite possibly one of the most boring movies I have ever seen. The acting was mediocre at best and whilst the action and special effects were pretty, they weren't any less shallow than a Transformers movie.

sleep/10
Tachyon

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« Reply #29 on: 04-21-2015 17:17 »


Dune - The Alternative Edition: Redux


Holy cow.  How did I miss your post?  This looks really interesting smile

UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #30 on: 04-23-2015 08:24 »

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Really enjoyed it. Retains the humour from the previous Avengers and builds upon the relationships between the characters, whilst keeping the excellent chemistry between them.
I was particularly impressed that they managed to have so many characters and give pretty much all of them some relevancy to the story; even Hawkeye, who's done bugger all until now.
I'm sure I don't need to mention the amazing action sequences, because anyone familiar with the franchise knows what to expect there.

I had a few issues with the way it becomes a bit sloppy with the continuity of the rest of the MCU, but nothing that really took me out of it. I'll get more specific under the spoiler tags:

(Legitimate spoilers below):

I wouldn't say I liked it more than the first Avengers but I definitely wasn't disappointed. Great movie.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #31 on: 04-23-2015 08:50 »

Thanks for the spoiler tags. Reminder to other people in more fortunate parts of the world: some of us don't get the movie until May 1st. So keep your traps shut!
Nutmeg1729

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« Reply #32 on: 04-30-2015 00:24 »

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Really enjoyed it. Retains the humour from the previous Avengers and builds upon the relationships between the characters, whilst keeping the excellent chemistry between them.
I was particularly impressed that they managed to have so many characters and give pretty much all of them some relevancy to the story; even Hawkeye, who's done bugger all until now.
I'm sure I don't need to mention the amazing action sequences, because anyone familiar with the franchise knows what to expect there.

I had a few issues with the way it becomes a bit sloppy with the continuity of the rest of the MCU, but nothing that really took me out of it. I'll get more specific under the spoiler tags:

(Legitimate spoilers below):

I wouldn't say I liked it more than the first Avengers but I definitely wasn't disappointed. Great movie.

I agree with everything you said but I enjoyed it far more than the first one. James Spader is a magnificent human being and he does that character so much justice.


I think with such a large universe, they're honestly doing pretty well with the continuity. They're all worked on by a lot of different people, and I've seen sequels that have fucked up continuity more, so in my book, they're all good.
Tachyon

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« Reply #33 on: 04-30-2015 00:32 »


I have yet to see a lot of the movies in this universe, but I did thoroughly enjoy Avengers so I might even go through the hassle of seeing this in the theatre.

totalnerd undercanada

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« Reply #34 on: 04-30-2015 01:02 »

The problems I had with it were:

  • that the CGI in the beginning is obvious, clunky, and reminds me of the similarly obvious, clunky, CGI in the first Sam Raimi Spider Man movie.
  • that the film was only available in 3D at the cinema I went to. Obviously, I took my anti-3D-glasses along, but I still had to pay the price of admission for a 3D film. Which irked me immensely.
  • No second credits scene. Just the one. Was there a second that we don't get to see here in the UK, as with the first one? I'll be annoyed if the rest of the world is holding out on me.

What I enjoyed was that it was very obviously a Joss Whedon film. Plenty of dialogue that was almost Buffy-esque in the first half, a subversion of the expectations set up in the trailer, and a big showy piece for the ending. Nice.

Overall, it was okay. Could have been better in a lot of places (and it could have been a lot worse, so I'm not going to be too harsh). Could have used a couple of characters a little more. The team dynamic matched the previous film (and the characters matched their respective franchises), and the bad guy was... ...well, he was everything needed to match up well to the bad guy from the previous film.

The sloppy continuity was a given, since there are multiple franchises with multiple creative controllers feeding into these films, and surprisingly it didn't affect my enjoyment of the movie. It wasn't terribly jarring, and none of it was anything that the entire film revolved around. Sure, some things weren't addressed... but as Nutmeg has pointed out, that might be giving them more dignity than they deserved.

I'm giving it 8/10. Worth the price of (2D) admission.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #35 on: 04-30-2015 01:06 »

I'm seeing it tomorrow evening at the very first showing at my local cinema. Excited to say the least.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #36 on: 04-30-2015 11:58 »

Pretty much agree with you tnuk, although I didn't have any issues with the CGI. I feel like that's one area that these movies has always excelled it.

In fact, the "I'm always angry" scene from the first Avengers is one of my favorite scenes from any movie partially because it looks so fucking awesome.

If I gave scores, I'd probably also give it 8/10. But I don't, so I won't. tongue
 
Nutmeg: the main reason I liked the first movie more is because it had the hype and idea of the Avengers actually be on-screen together for the first time, after 4 years worth of movies building up to it. In my opinion there was literally no way AoU could possibly top that without a miracle, so I adjusted my expectations accordingly.
Nutmeg1729

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #37 on: 04-30-2015 19:13 »

That's a point. I think I enjoyed it more because I had actually forgotten it was coming out (for shame, I know) so I had seen the trailer once I think.

I agree with tnuk on the cgi thing. I have terrible eyesight for 3D and varying other movie things and a lot of it in the beginning in particular hurt me - and that was in 2D. We got the meerkat movies deals so it was 2 for 1 which made it cheaper so that's always a win.

My expectations seem to have been wonderfully low enough that I fucking loved it and I'm willing to take that even if other people I know saw flaws I didn't really catch.
Tachyon

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« Reply #38 on: 04-30-2015 20:42 »
« Last Edit on: 04-30-2015 21:05 »

If you were entertained, that's what counts, right?  

Also, through pure coincidence, I watched the '08 Incredible Hulk last night.  I was surprised by the depth of the film and the... ambiance (can't think of a better word) of a lot of the scenes set in South America.  I really enjoyed it!

Afterwards, also through pure coincidence, I watched one of my fave popcorn movies unedited (for TV) for possibly the first time: Demolition Man.  Yes, I still laughed out loud several times smile

Also...


...We got the meerkat movies deals so it was 2 for 1 which made it cheaper so that's always a win.


WTF is a "meerkat movie deal"?  
* Tachy wanders off to look up the reference



P.S. Liv Tyler is incredibly cute ;)

winna

Avatar Czar
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« Reply #39 on: 04-30-2015 23:41 »

He doesn't know what the seashells are for. wtf?

* winna wanders off to taco bell (metaphorically).
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