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Author Topic: Come December, keep in mind there is already a Star Wars thread - Movie Reviews  (Read 40339 times)
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Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #640 on: 05-07-2018 19:41 »
« Last Edit on: 05-07-2018 19:44 »

"The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder."
Alfred Hitchcock

I haven't peed in about 9 hours.



Interestingly (or not) enough, I never really find myself having to pee in the middle of an exceptionally long movie. It's more that, the longer the movie goes on, the more self-indulgent it seems and the less engaged with it I feel. I think that's what that Goldman quote of hobbitboy's is ultimately getting at. There are some directors/writers/producers who need 2.5, 3, even 4 hours to effectively tell a story; however, it's a tricky balance, and you risk appearing undisciplined or hack-y if you go on for too long. Of course, it's all contextual, and some movies will be longer by nature of the genre (like, the Godfather movies are rather epic-length, especially the second one, but it feels like Scorsese actually needed all that time; I'm not yet convinced that superhero movies, as a genre, are required to be over two hours long).

For what it's worth, I was forced to watch the 2009 quasi-reboot of Friday the 13th last night, and that movie was pretty much the ideal length for what it was and what it hoped to accomplish. I mean, it was fucking terrible, from a writing standpoint, but it was fast-paced and it basically held my (disgusted) interest. The filmmakers definitely cut the fat out of that narrative, Voorhees style.
winna

Avatar Czar
DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #641 on: 05-08-2018 00:49 »

So..... I should watch... it?? ?
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #642 on: 05-30-2018 03:40 »

Some short reviews of movies I have watched in the past several days because I am concussed and there's nothing else I can really do with myself.

Newtown
If you want to get real angry about gun laws in the U.S., you can watch this documentary profiling a handful of parents who lost children at Sandy Hook and ruminate on the fact that this massacre of literal children happened over five years ago and nothing has changed and possibly this country has gotten even worse. It's actually a deeply humanistic, largely apolitical portrait of how victims of mass trauma personally grieve: it doesn't say anything new, really, but it says something important. 4/5

Christine
Not the movie about the demon car--this one came out in 2016, and it's a dramatization of the real-life case of Christine Chubbuck, a reporter in Florida who shot herself in the head on a live news broadcast in the '70s. I've always had a morbid fascination with this particular case, and I've been wanting to see the movie since it came out...but, overall, it was pretty disappointing. The writing is pedestrian (almost mawkish, especially in the scenes between Christine and her mother), and the narrative is both overlong and somehow abrupt (the ending doesn't even definitively settle the question of whether Christine lives or dies--though, you know, it's the latter). That said, Rebecca Hall's performance is fucking stellar--like, one of the best performances I've ever seen anywhere, period--and for that reason alone I highly recommend the movie. In every other regard, though, it's just average-to-slightly-below-average. Oh, and Michael C. Hall is also okay in it I guess. 2.5/5

Goodfellas
I have seen this movie a lot. It is pretty okay. The over-reliance on voice over has always bugged me--even though I get that it's intentional, and deployed just as much for expository purposes as for comedic ones--and like every Scorsese movie I've ever seen it has some not-great portrayals of women (I think Scorsese is smart and self-aware about a lot of things, but the violence against women in his movies has always struck me as gratuitous and not terribly interested in making some larger point about toxic masculinity (as it directly relates to how men treat women--in other senses, Scorsese is hyper-aware of how performative dude-ness can be ruinously destructive for everyone involved)). It's one of his best movies, but I think I like Taxi Driver better, so, like, whatever. 4/5

Manhattan
I think some people think this movie is better than Annie Hall, but those people are wrong. It's funny enough, and beautifully shot, but it's also Woody Allen at peak Woody Allen creepiness (not helped by the fact that he allegedly tried courting then-teenager Muriel Hemingway in real life, not just on-screen). Diane Keaton is the best part of this movie, as she is the best part of most movies, but her character is pretty flat and honestly she could do better than either of the men with whom she's embroiled in a love triangle. I don't find Woody Allen repellent or anything--he's oddly attractive, in his own nebbish way--but of all the movies of his that I've seen, this one is most egregious in its Gary Stu-ness (for lack of a better term). Like, both Diane Keaton and a 17-year old Muriel Hemingway want to fuck this guy? And the latter is actually in love with him? And, like, the end of the movie attempts to sort of valorize the dating of teenagers by forty-something men? Nope nope nope. 3/5
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
****
« Reply #643 on: 06-08-2018 16:50 »

I've seen some stuff recently...

Deadpool 2

I thought the first one was a teeny bit overrated, but luckily I thought the sequel was a bit improvement! There's some hilarious comedy and very creative sequences, although it still feels like it's trying too hard to be edgy sometimes. On the other hand, they used the fourth-wall breaking gag sparingly and when they did it was absolutely legendary.


Ocean's Eleven (2001)

Fast-paced, witty and incredibly satisfying to watch; this movie hit all the right notes. The twists and turns were wonderful and I can see why this movie is loved. The only thing I dislike is it pulls the stupid "Guy gets the girl in the end" trope out of nowhere which felt very forced and insincere.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the lost Ark

Yeah, I'd never seen this movie (in its entirety) before. It's really silly and campy but has so much charm. Also, it's way more violent than I expected from a PG-rated movie. The guy at the start had spears through his face... and by the end, the nazis didn't even have faces! I also didn't realise that John-Rhys Davies was in it until I heard Gimi's very distinct laughing and grunting. tongue

Solo, I reviewed in the Star Wars thread, so I won't bother repeating it here.

I rewatched Wonder Woman and it wasn't as good as I remembered it being. It's got a great second act, but the plot twist feels so thematically detached from the rest of the movie that it kind of tears the whole thing down. It also suffers from what I like to call Justice League Syndrome (JLS): the climax becomes a disappointing blob of ugly colours filled with mediocre CGI. Suicide Squad and BvS also suffered from JLS.
athena1999

Starship Captain
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« Reply #644 on: 07-03-2018 04:21 »

I want in! Here's my personal list of movies I've seen in the past month (both in theatres and on Netflix/Blu-Ray) and my honest and possibly shallow opinions. Lots of sequels, as you can see:

The Circle
The Honest: I saw snippets of it as this was watched with my client at work. It seemed to parallel the almost Orwellian world that Facebook and other social media have created. The Circle is a tech company analogous to Facebook. The main character (played by Emma Watson) was hired by the Circle and is immediately stripped of all privacy, and when she chooses to go completely transparent and film every moment of her life, things turn ugly. This movie seems to double as a social commentary-- a warning as to where society is headed as we collectively seem to allow social media (and its friend and follower counts) to control our lives, while almost poking fun at how complacent we are. It seems benign at first glance, but the implications are quite frightening when seeing where we are headed with our complete lack of privacy in the near future.
The Shallow: Emma Watson does a pretty bad job of mimicking an American accent, but she gets a gold star for effort.
Rating: 3/5

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
The Honest: The original Jumanji was definitely a kids' movie and despite the PG-13 rating, this one seemed to have been marketed toward kids. The production crew should have either toned down the violence or provided a plot more congruent with what teens and adults want to see-- either something complex, or something full of action for the sake of action. Personally I would have gone with something more complex than "work together and uncover your hidden talents". Dwayne Johnson and Jack Black were by far the best parts of the movie, but all four of the principal actors were pretty strong in their own right. I particularly enjoyed seeing Jack Black as a high-school girl trapped in a middle-aged man's body, despite how unlikeable the character was. Props to the special effects department. Everything fit seamlessly and felt more like our own world than a video game.
The Shallow: I was mostly looking forward to seeing Dwayne Johnson stifle his crying.
Rating: 3/5

Deadpool 2
The Honest: Deadpool 2 was considerably darker and edgier than the first, and it tackled some pretty heavy themes. However, it still managed to keep a good pace and the original's dark sense of humour, and it even threw a lampshade on certain moments that other movies would have never played for laughs.
I also like how Marvel was not afraid to self-deprecate. Also, they need to be commended for having an openly LGBTQ+ superhero (who is not Deadpool, although everyone knows Deadpool is as pansexual as they come) but not drawing a lot of attention to it. Most importantly, it didn't suffer from the Dreaded Sequelitis-- i.e. it was not a rehashing of the original. That said, you do need to see the first movie to really appreciate all of the callbacks scattered throughout this one.
The Shallow: Thanks a lot for spoiling the ending of Logan, Deadpool. Then again, that was a total Deadpool move.
Rating: 5/5

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The Honest: I had been looking forward to this one for quite some time. Jurassic Park is in my top three all-time favourite movies and although the first two sequels didn't live up to the original, Jurassic World came pretty close. As a whole, the Jurassic Park/World franchise is living by the "we spared no expense" mantra, particularly with the special effects. They definitely had a bloated budget, and they showed it. And now for a ton of spoilers:
The Shallow: Needed more Jeff Goldblum. The production crew should have spared more expense.
Rating: 4.5/5
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #645 on: 07-03-2018 09:18 »

I watched Incredibles 2 last week. It's been... a while since I saw the original, but I think I might like this one even more. The animation looks utterly stunning, even considering how well the first one still holds up.

I didn't really like the short at the start though. I might get crucified for this... but I wish they'd just cut those out, as cute as they are. They're not what I payed to see.
Tachyon

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #646 on: 09-14-2018 19:04 »

The other night I finally got around to watching Alien: Covenant. The lousy reviews after its release dampened my enthusiasm for the film considerably, but I watched it for free on HBO at my brother's place, here in Florida.

Prometheus really pissed me off, for reasons that are difficult for me to articulate. I liked it, but I was frustrated because I felt that it could have been a much better movie. winna's earlier comment about Alien: Covenant being "Prometheus 2" is accurate. Aesthetically it seemed a blend of Alien and Prometheus. Katherine Waterston's character in Covenant is right from the same mold that produced Alien's Ellen Ripley and Dr. Elisabeth Shaw from Prometheus. And I just love all three of those characters, by the way.

This film didn't really annoy me to a significant degree until near and at its climax, when I was vocalizing my annoyance regarding a key character's motivation for their actions. I was shouting "God, what a lame trope!" and "That doesn't make any sense!". Ultimately I think that I understand where Scott and the writers are coming from, but it left me feeling somewhat pissed-off. Yes, there are plot holes in this movie. When watching an entertaining film I surrender myself almost completely with regard to the suspension of disbelief, and typically don't dwell on potential plot holes at all—I just want to enjoy what I'm watching, to the fullest. But I was still annoyed.

If you liked Prometheus you will probably enjoy Covenant, I think.

I'll give it a grudging B

Inquisitor Hein
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #647 on: 09-29-2018 13:47 »

Deadpool 2
Got it on Blu Ray, which also featured an extended cut.
Unfortunately, they failed to correct that unforgiveable flaw of the theatrical cut:
THEY  STILL KILLED BLACK TOM CASSIDY IN THAT MOVIE, THOSE VILE RACISTS!!!!
ShinyMetal***

Professor
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« Reply #648 on: 10-02-2018 04:04 »

White Boy Rick
Alright guys, I'll admit I'm a sucker for movies based off of true stories, but the whole "gang/mafia" scenarios are new to me. However, I've been seeing a new guy recently and he's really into the whole Mafia thing. I've watched probably 4-5 gang related/inspired movies within a week or so, all taking place throughout 1920's-present time. They're GREAT! I went into the theater relatively prepared, and was not disappointed. It's of course very similar to other small-town-gang based movies but you have to appreciate a directors effort in bringing that small town story to life in a honest way while still allowing you to connect with the drug dealing, murderer of a main character. I really enjoyed it but I think it's definitely more of a sit-on-couch-with-wine-and-popcorn movie, so I'd wait until it hits RedBox or Netflix.
9.5/10
 

Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #649 on: 11-26-2018 01:02 »

Bohemian Rhapsody

This movie is not especially good, in an artistic sense--as in, there is no real overriding artistic vision or point-of-view (or point, period, beyond perhaps "Freddie Mercury was a tortured genius and isn't it sad about his AIDS?"), and there is an overall lack of cohesion to the characters' arcs--and the whole thing has the whiff of hagiography about it, but Rami Malek's performance is even better than advertised and the basically-shot-for-shot recreation of Queen's Live Aid performance was quite a thing to behold on the big screen (and, in general, the movie is well-shot and shiny and eye-catching/attention-grabbing), so I'd give it a 3/5, would watch again when it inevitably hits cable or streaming.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #650 on: 03-01-2019 13:30 »
« Last Edit on: 03-01-2019 13:38 »

Okay, I haven't posted here in ages so here's a whole bunch of stuff I've seen since my previous post (based off my viewing history on Netflix, so I may have forgotten some):

IT
Kick-Ass
Hot Fuzz
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Disaster Artist
Arrival
What We Do in The Shadows
Juno
Tropic Thunder
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Birdman
...and all eight Harry Potter movies.

I liked all of them at varying levels (with the exception of TASM2 and Juno, which I thought were mediocre).

Can't be assed making an actual review for any of them though. What do I look like, a guy who's not lazy? I just felt like saying something.
winna

Avatar Czar
DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #651 on: 03-02-2019 05:21 »

Was Juno the fourth season of Arrested Development?  Maebe?
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #652 on: 03-05-2019 12:36 »

They had pop-pop in the attic.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #653 on: 05-25-2019 07:22 »

I just got back from seeing John Wick 3.

I thought it was pretty disappointing. When the credits started rolling, I couldn't help but think that the story barely progressed, and could probably be summed up in a short paragraph. And as entertaining as the action scenes were, a few of them felt like they dragged on far too long. That said, I like how they embrace the campiness and do ridiculous stuff like the knife-throwing scene.

I don't hate it but it's a big step down from the previous two.
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #654 on: 02-08-2020 01:34 »

I swear I wasn't trying to be cute or anything, but I watched two movies last weekend and they both had the word "ghost" in the title:

Ghost
This movie is a little racist in the way all movies of the late '80s and early '90s are a little racist (the mugger is Puerto Rican! The psychic is a sassy black lady!), but Whoopi Goldberg is still an absolute delight and Patrick Swayze is very charming and very hot. (Demi Moore is also pretty hot, but she is given nothing to do but cry a lot and almost get herself killed on various occasions.) It's a little schmaltzy, but it's also genuinely suspenseful, the cast has great chemistry, and the conceit itself of a recently-deceased guy who has to learn to harness his ghostly powers to save the woman he loves dittos is quite compelling.
4/5

Ghost World
A former classmate recommended this movie to me a few years back because I'd written a short story about a vaguely creepy relationship between a loner girl and a middle-aged weirdo, and it reminded her of Enid and Seymour. I've since watched this movie several times, and while I don't exactly love it, it's still plenty entertaining (and so late '90s it hurts). There's just a little too much, like, performative snark mixed with a little too much "wow, suburbia is surreal" commentary for my taste; I have a sense both these elements play a bit better in the source material (which I haven't read, but I'd like to), and that some degree of underlying subtlety or pathos has been lost in translation. (Speaking of which: this is one of the few movies where Scarlett Johannson's naturally monotone affect is well-suited to the role.)
3/5
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #655 on: 02-08-2020 09:20 »

So that's why you said you had to go meet that ghost.
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #656 on: 02-15-2020 18:56 »

I’m thinking about starting a new review series called “Movies I Only Kind of Watched Because Someone Else Put Them on Too Late at Night and I Fell Asleep on the Couch in the Middle.” The first entry in this series is:

GoldenEye
I have literally never seen a James Bond movie in my life, and I guess that’s still sort of true. The only scene I saw in its entirety was Judi Dench yelling at Pierce Brosnan for being a prick, and it was very well-written and quite satisfying. Also at some point a biplane cuts off Bond and his girlfriend while they’re driving on a dirt road, and at some later point they appear to be in the same (or a similar) biplane, which then crashes into some trees? That was kind of cool. Alan Cumming is in this movie for like a hot second playing a bad guy; he dies very ironically after proclaiming himself victorious, and I couldn’t tell if this was meant to be tongue-in-cheek or if maybe Bond movies are just sort of cheesy? But overall I guess it was OK and I’d probably happily fall asleep on the couch to another one of the six million Bond movies out there. Oh, and Pierce Brosnan seems like he kisses weird, just sayin’.
3/5
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #657 on: 02-16-2020 01:05 »

I couldn’t tell if this was meant to be tongue-in-cheek or if maybe Bond movies are just sort of cheesy?

The latter. Bond was famously cheesy for decades until Austin Powers took the piss out of them and they decided to give the franchise a more serious approach. That's how we got Casino Royale, which is the best Bond movie by a fucking landslide!
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #658 on: 03-04-2020 00:35 »

Ah, noted! (Is it true, then, that Daniel Craig is one of the best Bonds, or is he just the beneficiary of vastly improved writing?)

On the subject of legacy film series, I watched the 2019 Shaft over the weekend. My only previous exposure to Shaft was this delightful scene of Bart and Lisa singing his theme song at a sushi karaoke bar, so beyond knowing the series typifies the blaxploitation genre, I was pretty much in the dark. As a newbie, I found this entry perfectly enjoyable, but not as laugh-out-loud funny as I'd expected it to be from the trailer. It was also kind of transphobic and misogynistic, and while I get that hyper machismo is part of Shaft's character, I don't think those jokes (such as they were) really landed, and they sort of took me out of things. Still, it was a fun enough romp, and I'd probably keep it on as background noise if I ever come across it on cable, so there's that.
2.5/5
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #659 on: 03-08-2020 15:34 »

Forgive the double-post, but I have a second entry in the "Movies I Only Kind of Watched Because Someone Else Put Them on Too Late at Night and I Fell Asleep on the Couch in the Middle" series:

Hook
Oh my god, this movie was bad. I understand that many people of my generation have warm-'n'-fuzzy nostalgic feelings for it, but watching it as an adult is an absolute chore. (Which is probably why I kept falling asleep.) First off, it's over two hours long, and it's horribly paced; like, there's a good 45 minutes to an hour of set-up before they even get to Neverland, and Robin Williams doesn't even remember that he's Peter Pan (spoiler? But not really 'cause this movie is literally as old as I am) until close to the two-hour mark, despite the fact that Julia Roberts (god, that haircut) has been flitting about saying EXACTLY THAT since she first shows up in the movie! (Also, she has a lady boner for Peter Pan and they "kiss for real" and then he friend-zones her? This movie has a weird preoccupation with "for-real kisses" that sort of grossed me out.) On a related note: I don't really understand who this movie is supposed to be for, because it's dumb like an early '90s kids' movie but also Captain Hook threatens suicide and it's treated like a very funny joke? Even when it's actually super fucked up? The one good thing I can say is that Robin Williams is probably the only actor who could've pulled something like this off, but it still feels to me like he's sort of phoning it in and I wouldn't call this his best work. Oh, and one other good thing, I guess: it's quite colorful and visually appealing...but that honestly just confuses me more because I still have no idea who the intended audience for this movie is, whether it's kids or their parents or teenagers or J.M. Barrie completists or literally no one on earth. Probably that last one, right?
2/5
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
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« Reply #660 on: 03-14-2020 14:53 »
« Last Edit on: 03-15-2020 02:11 »

(Is it true, then, that Daniel Craig is one of the best Bonds, or is he just the beneficiary of vastly improved writing?)

Well, two of his four movies were fairly mediocre so I don't think the writing for him is inherently better (although it was definitely great in Casino Royale). He gives one hell of a performance though.

An hour ago I finished watching The Hateful Eight.

Um, excuse me, there were more than eight people in this movie. What is this false advertising bullshit? tongue

Nah, I liked it. The slow start made the crazy last third incredibly satisfying as a climax. I loved Kurt Russel's character!
Svip

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #661 on: 03-14-2020 15:09 »

But only eight of them were hateful.
Tachyon

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #662 on: 03-14-2020 19:14 »


Also, she has a lady boner for Peter Pan and they "kiss for real" and then he friend-zones her?


I'm having a bit of a depressing, self-flagellating morning and seeing one of my favorite sayings in print cheered me up a bit...thank you, Gorks smile Hopefully you're at least grudgingly open to the idea of accepting ladyboner into the English lexicon as a full-fledged word in its own right?

* * Tachy dreams of the day when he can flop open an honest-to-God, bound paper volume of The Oxford English Dictionary and thumb down to the word Ladyboner * *

Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #663 on: 03-18-2020 17:59 »

I would certainly approve of such an addition to that hallowed tome, good sir! (Though, when it comes to adding "lady" to terms typically associated with those of the masculine persuasion, I'm a bit more fond of "ladyboss." wink)

Anyway, here's entry three in my continuing series, "Movies I Only Kind of Watched Because Someone Else Put Them on Too Late at Night and I Fell Asleep on the Couch in the Middle"...

True Lies
I liked this movie! Granted, I fell asleep about twenty minutes in, then only woke up for the famous "Jamie Lee Curtis does a charmingly awkward strip-tease for Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom she does not yet recognize as her husband because he's sitting in (not exactly total?) darkness and disguising his voice via bulky tape recorder" scene, which means I pretty much only caught the third act in its entirety. Still, the action scenes were quite well-done--and I am definitely not a person who tends to notice such things--which is probably to be expected of a James Cameron movie, but I had the thought that probably 100% of the stunts in this movie would've been done in sleek-but-conspicuous CGI were it made today, and I appreciated the more old-school approach here. My only complaint is that, for all the big talk about James Cameron writing strong action heroines (see: Sarah Connor), Jamie Lee Curtis seems to have gotten the short end of the stick here...though she does a fantastic job with the material she's given, and she definitely deserved the Golden Globe she won for this role. And the Governator wasn't half bad, either--maybe James Cameron is just uniquely gifted at writing roles for Arnold Schwarzenegger that are well-suited to his limited but obvious talents? Anyway, my only real gripe about this movie is that things kind of drag after Jamie Lee Curtis is rescued on that exploded bridge--like, it takes another twenty minutes at least for Arnold to save their daughter from a high-rise in his fancy fighter jet--but since I didn't see the first, like, hour of the movie anyway, I guess it didn't really make for an over-long viewing experience from my individual vantage point. (Oh, and also the portrayal of the terrorists is...problematic. Looks like they rolled right out of Back to the Future, except here they're given far more screen time, so the problematic aspects just compound.) Even so, I liked this movie enough to try watching it again some day without falling asleep.
4/5
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #664 on: 03-20-2020 19:19 »

Forgive the double-post, but I have an update to share!

(Is it true, then, that Daniel Craig is one of the best Bonds, or is he just the beneficiary of vastly improved writing?)

Well, two of his four movies were fairly mediocre so I don't think the writing for him is inherently better (although it was definitely great in Casino Royale). He gives one hell of a performance though.

I watched the 2006 Casino Royale last night and found it to be quite good indeed! Daniel Craig as Bond was appropriately charming and bad-ass, but there was also a fair deal of humanity to him (albeit, concentrated mostly in his dick--it seemed like his character growth was tied entirely to his relationship with Vesper Lynd, but my sense is that this may just be par for the course when it comes to the Bond movies). Oh, and I was happy to see Judi Dench again, as she is a true delight. My one complaint is that the ending seemed a bit dragged out, but it was nothing too egregious, and the rest of the movie was fairly well-paced and appropriately tense. I'd give it a 4.5/5
Tachyon

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #665 on: 03-20-2020 20:45 »

Oh, I loved that movie! In fact, I was invited to an exclusive pre-opening showing, a couple of days before the release (I was the only person present aside from the projectionist!), on one of the two biggest screens the complex has. It was pretty rad...my friend Blaine, the projectionist, asked if I'd mind the sound being turned up a bit, so he could check for sound reproduction issues, in addition to the film itself. Sitting in the middle of a huge theater, with a small bucket of popcorn, enjoying a pre-release showing of a blockbuster film...just for me smile

Farnsworth38

Professor
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« Reply #666 on: 04-11-2020 00:58 »

Eh, I've got to do it...

Girls und Panzer der Film
The continuing adventures of Miho and the girls of the Ooarai Tankery team. Once again, the laws of physics are applied very selectively so that no one gets injured, although at one point the audience is encouraged to question if the show just got a whole lot darker. Everything from the TV series is here, but turned up to eleven. The battles are bigger and more intense, the tank exploits are more extreme, and the token villain suddenly gets his act together. There is definitely more suspense than in the series, and some genuinely emotional moments too. We get to see how various characters cope with having their world turned upside-down, and here the three clones of the Morals Committee get their time in the spotlight as we witness their temporary lapse into depression and delinquency. The computer nerds of Anteater Team also shine by subverting their trope, and Naomi, the token lesbian character, is shown to have another skill beyond ace gunnery. The new characters and tanks don't disappoint, with the crew of the BT-42 standing out: I really can't decide whether Mika is practicing zen or just likes to smoke stuff.

Miho's strange relationship with her family is probably the deepest element of the film. Maho shows that she is still close to her kid sister, and their mother's disapproval of Miho seems to soften. Given her position in the Tankery Federation, she must have given at least tacit approval to the secret arrangements for the final battle, which aimed to significantly reduce Ooarai's disadvantage.

There are some weaker points. The scene at the Boko museum adds fuel to Erika's opinion that Miho is rather immature, although it's clearly setting up a future friendship with rival Alice. Alice herself is even more of a contradiction than Miho: the youngest and literally most immature character, she becomes a fearless master tactician as soon as she boards a tank. I know this is all intended to relate the unconventional upbringing they both had as members of rival Tankery clans, but for me Alice takes the concept of child prodigy a bit too far. I hope this is leading to a payoff at some point in das finale which will justify some of the cringe, but as I'm not into Anime this may just be par for the course.

Eccentric characters that are easy to become invested in, bonkers tank action, and two references to The Great Panjandrum within an hour: I probably enjoyed this way more than I should at my age. Got to give it a B.
David A

Space Pope
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« Reply #667 on: 04-11-2020 02:05 »

Okay, okay.  I'll watch Girls und Panzer.  Just let me finish New Game!! first.  I only have eight more episodes to go.
Farnsworth38

Professor
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« Reply #668 on: 04-11-2020 12:08 »

If you do watch the TV series, be aware that it's a slow starter, and the quality of the animation also improves as the show progresses, with the film displaying a further improvement due to its higher budget.
David A

Space Pope
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« Reply #669 on: 04-11-2020 19:58 »

I don't really have any way to watch the film, but the TV series is free to watch on Crunchyroll.

They actually showed the film in US theaters a few years ago.  It was playing close enough that I could have gone to see it if I had wanted to, but I hadn't seen the show, so I didn't.  Missed opportunity, I suppose.
Farnsworth38

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« Reply #670 on: 04-12-2020 11:59 »

The film is definitely better than the series, but it would lose a lot of impact if you hadn't seen the series first. I'd describe the series as a cross between A league of their own and Kelly's Heroes. There are several KH references, both blatant and less so: even the closing scene of the series is loosely based on that of KH (there is a YouTube video of the final scene set to Burning Bridges which recognises that fact). I admit that that association may have influenced my opinion of the show to a certain degree.
David A

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« Reply #671 on: 04-13-2020 19:53 »

I probably would have already watched Girls und Panzer if I had known that it had references to Kelly's Heroes.  That's one of my favorite World War II films.

If you want to watch anime that's similar to A League of Their Own, I thought that Cinderella Nine was pretty good.  Actually, there's a lot of baseball anime, but I don't watch much sports anime, so that's the only one I've seen.
Tachyon

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« Reply #672 on: 04-13-2020 20:02 »

A free series, you say? Featuring the adolescent male fantasy staples of women and tracked armoured vehicles?

Where do I sign up?


I don't really have any way to watch the film, but the TV series is free to watch on Crunchyroll.


Thank you smile

Tweek

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« Reply #673 on: 04-14-2020 06:44 »

I watched the 'Girls und Panzer' series a while back... It was pretty good. I can't understand why tankery isn't an official sport for school girls 😛
Farnsworth38

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« Reply #674 on: 04-14-2020 09:51 »


Thanks for the link. Not my usual viewing, but I'll give it a go: could use a diversion at the moment.

I noticed that Crunchyroll includes the two .5 episodes of GuP. These are recap episodes that were aired to plug gaps caused by production issues: while they do contain original material, they are included as "bonus" content on the DVDs so you may want to skip them on a first viewing to maintain the flow of the story. But the choice is of course yours.
Gorky

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« Reply #675 on: 05-01-2020 00:39 »

Sophie's Choice

Apparently current events aren't bleak enough--I wanted to subject myself to a movie about the Holocaust. I saw this movie (and read the book upon which it's based) back when I was about 14--so long ago, in fact, that I had to loan it out on VHS from the local library--and I remember liking it quite a bit without necessarily recognizing its more problematic elements.

This time around, though, the moral ickiness was hard to ignore. The movie centers a Polish-Catholic survivor (one who fails, at every turn, to contribute meaningfully to the Polish resistance movement) and portrays its only main Jewish character as a mentally ill, abusive creep whose fixation on the Holocaust (which, in the timeline of this movie, is only two years in the past) is treated as a character flaw. I do think there are ways in which the movie subtly hints at Sophie's moral failings vis-a-vis the Jewish people, but that's a topic for my doctoral dissertation or something.

Back to the subject at hand: Questionable politics aside, the movie is very engaging. Meryl Streep earns the hell out of her Oscar, and Kevin Kline is a force of nature. The film's narrator and alleged protagonist is a total schmuck, but thankfully he's not on-screen too much. And the scene this movie is most remembered for--Sophie's titular choice--is so fucking devastating, even when you know it's coming. So, yeah, it definitely hasn't aged well, but I can see why it was so well-received at the time and can think of plenty of worse ways (and movies upon which) to spend two and a half hours.

3/5
winna

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« Reply #676 on: 05-01-2020 06:09 »

✒ Ponyo
It's a movie about a fish.

I think. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
David A

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« Reply #677 on: 05-01-2020 08:00 »

It's Hayao Miyazaki's response to Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid.  Of course, it ends up rather different from the original version, and very, very different from the Disney adaptation.

There's a fair bit of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen thrown in for good measure, as well.

Speak softly. Drive a Sherman tank.
winna

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« Reply #678 on: 05-09-2020 17:57 »

Ponyo ponyo!

9 out of 9.3 Ponyos I say!
David A

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« Reply #679 on: 05-19-2020 11:09 »

I saw this in the theater when it came out, but I caught the English dubbed version on TV the other day, so I may as well give it a review.

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes
All Might and the students of Class 1-A are invited to attend I Expo, an event held on I Island, where scientists from around the world study quirks and develop support items for heroes.  One of the scientists working there is David Shield, who was All Might's partner in the early days of his hero career.  David has a teenaged daughter, Melissa, who quickly becomes friends with Deku and his classmates.  Melissa has no quirk of her own, but wants to follow in her father's footsteps and become a scientist who helps to support heroes.

During the expo, villains take control of the island's security system and take the guests hostage.  At this point, the movie basically becomes an animated version of Die Hard, as Deku and his classmates try to get Melissa to the control room to regain control of the security system.  Battles with super-powered villains and various obstacles give each of the characters and their quirks a chance to shine, although some of the members of Class 1-A are left out of the action, including fan favorite Froppy.

Overall, this is an exciting superhero action movie with plenty of well-animated fight scenes.  It also has a number of funny moments, mostly in the early scenes before the villains arrive.  Fans of the series will probably enjoy this film the most, although an early scene provides exposition for new viewers: in the world of My Hero Academia, most people possess super powers known as quirks.  Deku was born without a quirk, but was given a chance to achieve his dream of becoming a hero when All Might, the world's greatest hero, passed his quirk on to Deku.  Now Deku trains to be a hero at UA High School, where All Might is one of his teachers.

If you are watching the TV series, you should be aware that the film does contain minor spoilers for the second season, so you should probably at least finish watching the sports festival arc before watching this.

Speak softly. Drive a Sherman tank.
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