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Author Topic: Come December, keep in mind there is already a Star Wars thread - Movie Reviews  (Read 23920 times)
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Tachyon

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« Reply #520 on: 10-09-2017 08:06 »

Arrival

Finished it about 30 minutes ago, and I'm still processing it.

Provisional B

Over the years I've watched and read more alien visitation / first contact scenarios than I could count. Superficially, Arrival doesn't break much ground in that context. It's kind of formulaic in a way but it's subtle about it. In some respects it's reminiscent of Interstellar, stylistically.

Definitely worth a rental. I was sitting on it on Amazon waiting for the price to drop, but my boss' boss lent me his copy.

Gorky

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« Reply #521 on: 10-10-2017 03:19 »

I kind of accidentally wound up seeing Arrival when it was still in theaters (it was my birthday, and I had two discount movie passes for the local multiplex and an afternoon to kill with a buddy), and it was perhaps the most delightful stumbling-upon of a theretofore-unknown-to-me movie in my young life.

Tachyon

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« Reply #522 on: 10-10-2017 08:20 »
« Last Edit on: 10-10-2017 08:23 »

Serendipity is a wonderful thing, eh? smile I really enjoyed the overall style and the way it told its story, not rushing anything.



Independence Day: Resurgence

Assigning a letter grade is proving harder than I thought. Probably even those who haven't seen it yet are already aware that it's not a good movie. Maybe people might get some enjoyment out of it if they're bored. If somehow I could go back in time a couple of hours and tell myself not to bother with it, I would.

So given that I've seen a number of bad movies and this one was far from the worst, I'll go with a D


winna

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« Reply #523 on: 10-10-2017 16:35 »

Playing time travel games is a bit risky though.  Plus it gets confusing.  And to top it off, you get accused of being accused of being crazy, no less than three times, at least once from yourself, and they all seem plausible.

In all of your adventures and cunning planning, you will probably either destroy a relationship you cared about completely, or you will live as the homeless do for some time.

And I know time travel seems like fiction; it has always seemed like fiction, and will always seem like fiction.  However, it's not.  Christ was a time traveler, and it's just as well if you find that forwarded thought laughable.  Son of Man.... what's that, what does that mean?  I go to prepare a place for you--the future.

This is a movie review thread.  Or perhaps a thread review per movie.  The things I said about time travel can be wholesale ignored.  Even if they were true, and someone was playing time travel games with you, it would probably seem like fiction.
Tachyon

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« Reply #524 on: 10-10-2017 22:42 »

My philosophy on time travel is that it's impossible for you to travel into a past that affects my timeline. If you traveled back to 1910, say, that would be budding off a new timeline at that juncture. Your future would be completely indeterminate at that point. Truly random events would take place and shape your new future. You would not change my past or present. WW1 would likely still take place, in my view, because of the enormous social forces in play.  Would the ostensible beginning be kicked off by the assassination of Arch-Duke Ferdinand? Hell no. And if you managed to live until the 1970s or 1980s they would be radically different from the 1970s and 1980s in your former/my current past.

But it's just fiction, so far as we know. smile

winna

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« Reply #525 on: 10-10-2017 23:57 »
« Last Edit on: 10-10-2017 23:58 »

Correct.  However, in order to stay on the same timeline as you, either the traveler on your line, or a traveler on a different line may have to go to the past of your timeline from your viewing perspective.

That said, the travelers may be identical in any discernible way.  Last, there may only be one real timeline.  Ie, all of the possibilities exist, but only the timeline possibilities which are observed may be real.  Under this framework, you could also have many "real" timelines, perhaps an infinite amount, dependant upon the requirements of a "true" observer, whatever that is, if it's a thing.
UnrealLegend

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« Reply #526 on: 10-13-2017 09:54 »

I watched Edge of Tomorrow a while ago. I loved it. Really entertaining premise for a movie and it captured the feeling you get when you're playing a really hard game and need to repeat the same part over and over again. The ending was a bit of a let-down but was otherwise an amazing movie. The design on the aliens was scary as hell.

Last week I also saw Kill Bill (part 1 and 2). Holy moley, I was not prepared for such an overload of campiness. Mind you, that isn't to say I disliked it (Though I would say it's my least favourite Tarantino movie of the ones I've seen) but it really caught me off guard. In any case, it was supremely entertaining. The sword choreography is excellent (albeit ridiculously unrealistic) and it's gotta be one of, if not the, most deliciously violent movies I've ever seen.
One thing I didn't understand was why they went to the effort to keep the main character's name a secret. It felt like a really pointless decision that had no impact on the story since the so-called "reveal" was just casually mentioning her normal, boring name but without the bleep.
winna

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« Reply #527 on: 10-13-2017 16:06 »

Since the films were originally released with a lot of time apart, hiding the protag's name was kind of a big deal.  It's also quite possible that it's a reference to something else.

By the way, how do you know the swordplay was super totally fake?
winna

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« Reply #528 on: 10-13-2017 20:05 »

I recommend the movie Billy Jack

It discusses political ideas in heavy detail, racial prejudice, America's treatment against the Native Americans (though the tribe in the movie is apparently fictional), and it features martial arts (hapkido).

I also just read the wikipedia article about the actor/director/producer who is Billy Jack, and he seemed like a fascinating guy:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Laughlin
UnrealLegend

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« Reply #529 on: 10-14-2017 02:17 »

Since the films were originally released with a lot of time apart, hiding the protag's name was kind of a big deal.

I just looked it up. They were released in 2003 and 2004, respectively. That's not long at all.
winna

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« Reply #530 on: 10-14-2017 02:47 »

That's a whole year to solve a mystery, which was probably part of the point, since it's two movies that tell one story and intrigue interests people.  I have my suspicions that it's also referencing something and/or is part of some joke in tarantino's brain-mind.
UnrealLegend

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« Reply #531 on: 10-14-2017 04:24 »

I have my suspicions that it's also referencing something and/or is part of some joke in tarantino's brain-mind.

That wouldn't surprise me, since it's a very Tarantino thing to do.

But... there was no mystery. It had no relevance to the plot and ultimately amounted to nothing more than a weird gimmick.
winna

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« Reply #532 on: 10-14-2017 05:28 »

Yeah, that's what I was getting at.  Keeping the name secret in the first film probably had the intended effect of drawing an audience back for the second.  And in the first movie, there very much is a mystery under foot:

Who is this "the bride"?  Why did Bill take the effort to kill everybody in a church in the middle of no where?  What is the relationship between "the bride" and the Bill she will kill?  Why does she need to Kill Bill?

It's not genius in this way, but it isn't terrible story telling either.  Also, it seemed like a pretty good self advertising move, though it very much is a gimmick.  Furthermore, she gets called Kiddo in the first film if I recall correctly, which seems like a pet name, the expectation of which is subverted in the second film when the name isn't bleeped out.  And it's a weird name; one which I suspect is a reference or an homage of some kind.  Lastly, it is the driving factor for the story.  We already know what happens in the story: Bill gets killed.  However, we have no idea how the story will unfold, and the name bleep macguffin is the gear that propels that forward, by slowly unraveling the story and answering the above questions I asked in a snowball katamari process culminating in the climax as all of the mystery is finally revealed.
UnrealLegend

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« Reply #533 on: 10-14-2017 08:16 »

It's not genius in this way, but it isn't terrible story telling either.  Also, it seemed like a pretty good self advertising move, though it very much is a gimmick.  Furthermore, she gets called Kiddo in the first film if I recall correctly, which seems like a pet name, the expectation of which is subverted in the second film when the name isn't bleeped out.  And it's a weird name; one which I suspect is a reference or an homage of some kind.  Lastly, it is the driving factor for the story.  We already know what happens in the story: Bill gets killed.  However, we have no idea how the story will unfold, and the name bleep macguffin is the gear that propels that forward, by slowly unraveling the story and answering the above questions I asked in a snowball katamari process culminating in the climax as all of the mystery is finally revealed.

I never said it was terrible storytelling, I just thought it was silly. However, your assessment of the "Kiddo" thing is interesting. If they wanted to keep the audience assuming Kiddo was a pet name rather than her surname, then there'd be nothing stopping the characters from calling her Bea or Beatrix.

It honestly didn't really bother me though, at least not enough to justify me writing four posts about it. tongue
winna

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« Reply #534 on: 10-21-2017 03:27 »

Hardcore Henry

- Art
winna

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« Reply #535 on: 10-23-2017 00:54 »

Scanners
Tachyon

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« Reply #536 on: 10-23-2017 06:37 »

What did you think of Scanners, winna? It struck me as a low-budget film that had the ingredients to be a good flim, but couldn't quite pull them all together. And to be fair, it's been a long time since I watched it. If it's on late-night TV and you stumble across it, it might make for an interesting drinking game if you take a shot each time the special exploding effect occurs smile

winna

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« Reply #537 on: 10-23-2017 07:27 »

I thought Scanners about Scanners.

I'd buy it on laserdisk, if that helps.
Tweek

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« Reply #538 on: 10-23-2017 19:25 »

What I thought of Scanners.
Tachyon

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« Reply #539 on: 10-30-2017 21:55 »

Ghost in the Shell (2017 release)

Please note that my only exposure to GITS consists of 3-4 episodes or partial episodes on late-night cable and listening to various Peelers discuss the show. I nearly didn't watch this movie in the first place due to Ms. Johansson playing the lead roll. I have nothing against her personally*, but was concerned that it would interfere with my immersion into the movie. I needn't have worried, as there was only one moment in a single scene where she came across as herself to me. The rest of the time I was really enjoying the character.

Giving it a B


*As most people here are aware wink

winna

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« Reply #540 on: 10-30-2017 22:27 »

It was good eye candy.

I think the franchise started as an animated movie btw.
Scrappylive

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« Reply #541 on: 11-01-2017 08:38 »

Does anyone have any recommendations for a good movie that is in theaters now? I wound up with a free movie ticket through Regal Cinemas that is only good for about another five days, but the problem is that everything that's out right now that I'm aware of looks kind of... rubbish...

Also, as per the Arrival conversation above... I friggin' loved that movie. It is one of a few movies I saw in theaters last year, and I'm glad I did.
winna

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« Reply #542 on: 11-01-2017 08:56 »

049 may still be in theaters.  That's what I'd want to go see.
Scrappylive

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« Reply #543 on: 11-01-2017 09:30 »

BladeRunner 2049? I've never seen the original, and I'm weird like that (wanting to see the original first).
winna

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« Reply #544 on: 11-01-2017 09:40 »

049 won't go back to the theater.  You can find the first movie in just about any pawn shop dvd bin.  I have it on laserdisk. 

If I could, I'd watch the original in a theater, but that isn't happening.  049 is in the theater now.  You could throw down the original in the next five days, or break down the door opportunity has presented.  I've heard good things about 049, don't know anything else that's on the big one right now.
Tachyon

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« Reply #545 on: 11-01-2017 12:59 »

Scrappy, *the* Blade Runner version to see is The Final Cut. Failing that, The Director's Cut isn't bad, but it's not really the director's cut. The Final Cut is the actual director's cut. Got that?

As for current movies, is Hidden Figures still playing? It's in my queue to watch, but it's got lots of recommendations.

Gorky

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« Reply #546 on: 11-01-2017 18:51 »

Does anyone have any recommendations for a good movie that is in theaters now? I wound up with a free movie ticket through Regal Cinemas that is only good for about another five days, but the problem is that everything that's out right now that I'm aware of looks kind of... rubbish...

I haven't seen this movie yet myself, but I saw the trailer ahead of It and I've since read positive reviews from slasher-flick-minded friends, but Happy Death Day might be surprisingly good? I say this as someone who dislikes most horror films but likes anything that plays even a little bit with time/time travel (as mentioned above), so take that how you will.

Anyway, my sense is that this movie is like Groundhog Day, but bloodier and probably a little more superficial because it's about college students. It seemed pretty self-aware and darkly humorous from the trailer, though, so I imagine it might not be a bad way to spend 90 minutes, especially if your ticket's already been paid for.
UnrealLegend

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« Reply #547 on: 11-05-2017 10:34 »

Thor: Ragnarok

Saw this last week. It was really good! I know it isn't saying much but it was a big improvement over the first two. It had some really badass action and cinematography, and a few surprising turn of events.

Weirdly, it was very comedy-focused. I don't know if this is a side effect of the first Guardians of the Galaxy's success or not but it seemed unusual for a Thor movie to be full of jokes (Mind you, it was mostly situational comedy rather than being dialogue-based, with the exception of Korg the rock dude). However, basically all of the jokes landed unlike GOTG2 and Doctor Strange which had a handful of duds, and the comedy never felt poorly-placed. It was an all-round really funny movie. In-universe, I think you could chalk it up to Thor loosening up a bit after spending time around the other Avengers.

So even though it worked in this instance I hope it doesn't start a trend of really overblown humor than undermines the more serious moments. If Black Panther ends up making quips throughout his movie then I'd start getting quite concerned since that's the exact opposite of how he was portrayed in Civil War (The BP trailer seems promising, at least). It works for Ant-Man and Spider-Man, but not for everyone. Since Civil War struck the right balance I'm hopeful for Infinity War, however.

Went a little off-topic there. tongue Anyway, I'll get a little more spoilery below.


I think I'd rank it in the upper end of MCU movies. Let me just whip up a tier list:
tyraniak

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« Reply #548 on: 11-05-2017 16:28 »

I especially liked how they actually gave hulk an identity, which was really lacking in the previous films
Scrappylive

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« Reply #549 on: 11-08-2017 07:22 »

I ended up not having time to use that free ticket before it expired. I did, however, find a movie that I would like to see the next chance I get:

Loving Vincent
Quote from: Wikipedia
Loving Vincent is a 2017 biographical animated drama film about the life of painter Vincent van Gogh. It is the first fully painted animated feature film. It is written and directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman. The development was funded by the Polish Film Institute, and partially through a Kickstarter campaign.

Each of the film's 65,000 frames is an oil painting on canvas, using the same technique as Van Gogh, created by a team of 115 painters. The film premiered at the 2017 Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

Van Gogh is already my favorite painter anyways, and this film sounds like it will be visually stunning. I'm looking forward to seeing it sometime soon.
winna

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« Reply #550 on: 11-08-2017 08:43 »

That sounds incredibly interesting.  Traditional cell animation is a very real craft, I think, but oil paint is incredibly tricky to operate with, in my limited experience.  Color me intrigued.
Tachyon

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« Reply #551 on: 11-08-2017 12:59 »

Oh, I hope they managed to license the Don McLean song to use in the soundtrack!



Gorky

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« Reply #552 on: 11-09-2017 13:58 »

Just saw the new Thor movie last night, and it was pretty delightful. I think the Thor movies are actually my favorites in the Marvel Universe, precisely because they're all a little goofy--though this most recent one was the most demonstrably so. The characters weren't especially deep (with the possible exception of Loki; I appreciated Thor's lecture to him on how he has the makings of a good person but no desire to actually be one), but the cast has great chemistry and Chris Hemsworth is charming and hunkalicious and an able leading man and the fight scenes were cool (and not protracted, as is often the case in superhero movies) and the visuals were stunning, per usual. Anyway, I'd say it's a solid 4.5/5, A-, whatever.

So even though it worked in this instance I hope it doesn't start a trend of really overblown humor than undermines the more serious moments.

I think all the Marvel movies have serious tonal problems, just in general. I thought it was especially egregious in the second Guardians movie, which oscillated between the usual quippy, self-referential humor and a desire for genuine pathos from, of all characters, Rocket. I admire the effort, but in practice it doesn't always work. The third Iron Man might be the only one whose serious content is handled with an appropriately more somber tone, and that's among my favorite Marvel movies, period.

That said, I think the Thor movies pull off the tonal mishmash most successfully, because they're already this ridiculous blend of high fantasy and soft sci-fi and superhero action; I don't take any of the situations or characters too seriously (though the movie makes me care sincerely for them), because the premise and execution are already so silly.
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« Reply #553 on: 11-10-2017 03:58 »

I guess it's hard for me as a Scandinavian to like Thor movies.  Usually movies like that are supposed to make the legends and mythologies more awesome and epic (to use both ancient and modern terms), but the Thor movies seem weak compared to Norse mythology.  But maybe it's a bit too rough for prime time television, but even Norse mythology can be goofy in its own right.  Also a bit more bloody, I suppose.

But this is why I actually like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (yes, I do), because they take these legends and mythologies and actually have some proper fun with them.  And I am not ashamed to admit I like those movies.  Haven't seen the latest one, though, but probably gonna see it soon.
winna

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« Reply #554 on: 11-10-2017 05:52 »

Thor in the Marvel universe isn't the same Thor in norse mythology in my mind.  He's like a comic book character that based his persona on Norse Thor.  I get what you're saying though.

How do you feel about Sam Raimi Hercules and Xena?
Gorky

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« Reply #555 on: 11-10-2017 13:03 »

Oh, I give not two fucks about actual Norse mythology, so having nothing else to compare Thor to I've always assumed it was meant to be either Norse Mythology Lite or that it was merely paying lip service to the source material's source material and using it as shorthand for "these Asgardians like to fight and also believe in freaky-deaky magical shit--you know, like our Viking ancestors!"

But I could see how that would be annoying, if not outright offensive, to someone more emerged in Norse culture by dint of where they're from or what history books they've read. In my case, I suppose, ignorance is bliss.
UnrealLegend

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« Reply #556 on: 11-10-2017 14:27 »

I've always assumed it was meant to be either Norse Mythology Lite or that it was merely paying lip service to the source material's source material and using it as shorthand for "these Asgardians like to fight and also believe in freaky-deaky magical shit--you know, like our Viking ancestors!"

That's how I've taken it as well. To me Marvel's Asgard is this weird homage to Norse mythology in the same way that many similar stories take inspiration from Greek, Roman or Egyptian ancient cultures. I don't exactly know a great deal about any of those to be honest, so maybe that comparison isn't really fair.
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« Reply #557 on: 11-10-2017 16:47 »

I am not offended, Gorky, just bored.  Big difference.
winna

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« Reply #558 on: 11-10-2017 18:37 »
« Last Edit on: 11-10-2017 18:38 »

No, svip is right, real Norse mythology dials all that shit up to 10k.  Some serious shit right there.  I've heard people in scandinavian countries will open their doors to strangers in winter, just in case one of the strangers turns out to be Odin.  Norse myth stories really are some of the best, nothing like the Marvel stuff.

Like I said I assume Marvel Thor is not actual Thor in any way or shape.  I don't keep up with movie Marvel Thor, so I assume any other resemblances are made up, or outright lies.

I also look forward to Fimblewinter though. 
* winna shrugs.
Inquisitor Hein
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« Reply #559 on: 11-13-2017 22:27 »
« Last Edit on: 11-13-2017 22:30 »

Thor : Ragnarök
B+

I am quite fond of Norse mythology, but have no problem with Thor.
Unlike the mentioned Pirates (that dealt with REAL humans/pirates), the Asgardians were just Aliens...once witnessed by human beings, who wrote down their inexplicable observations as mythology. The explanation "It's not Norse Mythology, it is something that spawned Norse mythology, written down by someone who probably didn't even get 25% of what he witnessed " was sufficient for me to deviate from the original.

About the movie itself:
The more goofy touch was hit and miss: Some scenes were hilarious (Loki "NOW YOU KNOW HOW THAT FEELS!!!!!"), others felt forced (Thor begging not to get a haircut...erm...nope).
It occured to me they went a bit for the "Civial War" approach: Despite the underlying dark theme, let's give the whole thing a sufficient amount of humor.

The actors in single review:

Hemsworth: Okay. The funny scenes were usually okay, though a few a bit too forced.

Hiddleston: Great acting, though the character was written a bit too much as a doormat.

Blanchett: Sorry, what was that? That Lady CAN act, but she was given a character that was more a function than an individual. ("Someone had to be the asshole, and that's Hela's job. Yeah, and that's basically all to say about her") Sorry, dear writers, give that actress something to work with and shine.

Thomson: Also a blank character deprived of much of a personality. Though - unlike Blanchett- she gave me the impression that she could not have acted a more elaborate character out.

Goldblum: Okay, that guy sealed the deal for me. Hilarious performance, some mixture of Collector and Hedonismbot.

The story seemed well developed to me. Especially enjoyed the wide range from "Man vs Man" in the Areana to the fate of All Asgard .
And - when recalling part 1-2 - the overall Story of the Thor trilogy showed a harmonic development for me.
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