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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:18 pm 
 

Not intentionally. Maybe subconsciously though.
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YesIam
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:44 am
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:08 pm 
 

darkeningday wrote:
So now is when I ask for Johnnie To recommendations, because I'll watch anything this guy's done, especially if they're even better than Drug War.


It would depend a bit on what kind of movies you want, because he has done a lot of different stuff (and I have not seen his entire filmography). But my top 6 would probably be The Heroic Trio, A Hero Never Dies, The Longest Nite, Mad Detective, Election and Exiled. Out of these six movies, The Heroic Trio is the one that really stands out as being a very different movie. This is Johnnie To driving into wuxia and gun-fu, being more like a campy live-action cartoon than anything else. But I ain't gonna lie, this is easily my favorite Johnnie To movie. Super fun from beginning to end. But it's a very unusual Johnnie To movie, like I said.

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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:15 pm 
 

Smalley wrote:
I'd probably say Thief is my favorite Mann (though I do still need to watch at least Manhunter & The Insider before I've seen his most "essential" films), and looking backward at his defining Crime films by decade, they really do compliment each other surprisingly well in terms of their individual scopes, forming a sort of unofficial trilogy; with Collateral, you have a relatively small-scale, single-night Thriller that's all the more tense for its compactness, while Heat falls on the opposite end of the specturm, with a near 3-hour runtime and a much more sprawling, almost epic scope (slightly too epic at times, although I already mentioned that in my review), with Thief in restrospect serving as an accidental midpoint, with a more ambitious scope than the former, but without getting as bloated as the latter got at times, which is why I feel it's the Goldilocks "just right porridge" of the Manns I've watched (although the other two are still right behind it for me anyway).


Heat is my favorite of his, and one of my all time favorite films, but I can understand your preference for Thief. That one's also in my top five Mann films, and I do highly, highly recommend Manhunter, which is also in my top five.

darkeningday wrote:
Collateral is just so dumb and ridiculous, I can't understand what anyone would enjoy about it. So a gorgeous A-list lawyer just happens to fall for Foxx, and the second after she leaves, a person unknowingly connected to her steps into the same cab, kicking off a night of abject police incompetence (except when it's convenient, such as a cop appearing roughly 7 seconds after Foxx purposely rams into a medium; where were these guys the 5,000 other times egregious shit happened on the open road in one of the most populous cities in the world?), Tom Cruise turning into some sort of amalgamation of Robocop and Agent Smith (best part was the nightclub, where a crackteam of cops and mobster security can't even make eye contact with the guy who kills half of them, never mind can't knick him through a hail of bullets), yet in the subway he's got a straight shot at Foxx, but can't land a single bullet while an untrained cab driver turns Cruise into Swiss cheese? I've lived in LA, if you started taking potshots with an unsilenced gun in an alley, the pigs would be on you faster than slop during a drought; this happens MULTIPLE times, and no one, never mind the cops, bats an eye. And despite the film boasting a $65 million budget, the movie looks like a high school student film, and sounds like one too with an awful Audioslave song playing its entire duration over the soundscape, blotting out everything else.

It's not lean and mean, it's two hours of increasingly absurd coincidences that eventually mutate from improbable to impossible, and what's even worse, it tries to justify it by a discussion about "cosmic coincidences." Cosmic coincidence in a quasi-realisitic thriller is also known as bad writing, but if you mention that you're aware of how bad the writing is, it suddenly becomes good?


Geez, did CinemaSins turn down your application?

To put it bluntly, the coincidences don't get my panties in a twist as much as they do yours. What Collateral is is a sensationalist, but tight-knit story à la 24 (which the script was definitely inspired by), and in order to accomplish that, they create scenarios that run the risk of improbability. If that bothers you to the point of non-enjoyment, fine, but it doesn't mean it's bad writing. Since it doesn't bother me, I can be won over by the combating world-views of the two main characters that's explored both verbally and physically between them. Like I said, it's not my favorite Mann, but it accomplishes what it set out to do really well (as do most of his films, in my opinion).

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Smalley
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:06 am
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:55 am 
 

KeeperOfTheMissingLink wrote:
Heat is my favorite of his, and one of my all time favorite films, but I can understand your preference for Thief. That one's also in my top five Mann films, and I do highly, highly recommend Manhunter, which is also in my top five.
I'll definitely get around to Manhunter and his other essentials eventually, since I'm generally a pretty big fan of what I've seen from him (although not really Mohicans, since it felt pretty inauthentic to me, sort of like his Spartacus, but I like everything else I've seen besides that). And I'd probably like Heat just as much as Thief if they had gotten rid of the unnecessary sub-plots with the prostitute and Dennis Haysbert's getaway driver, and cut it down by about 15 minutes, but it is still really, really good otherwise, and a movie that I've appreciated more over time.
Quote:
Geez, did CinemaSins turn down your application?

To put it bluntly, the coincidences don't get my panties in a twist as much as they do yours. What Collateral is is a sensationalist, but tight-knit story à la 24 (which the script was definitely inspired by), and in order to accomplish that, they create scenarios that run the risk of improbability. If that bothers you to the point of non-enjoyment, fine, but it doesn't mean it's bad writing. Since it doesn't bother me, I can be won over by the combating world-views of the two main characters that's explored both verbally and physically between them. Like I said, it's not my favorite Mann, but it accomplishes what it set out to do really well (as do most of his films, in my opinion).
Heh, seriously; speaking personally, while plot holes aren't a good thing, they also aren't something that, in my experience, breaks a film solely on their own, and I think that's apparent in the fact that, while people may praise or criticize a film based on whether it's dramatically engaging or not (or for a number of other things), and while I see people criticize movies all the time solely for plot holes, no one does the opposite, and says a movie's good because the "plot makes sense". Like, I've never seen anyone say something to the effect of "The Godfather was great because the plot made sense". To me, that's an admission that plot holes don't actually matter that much, so I put little stock in opinions that focus solely on them, which is why I don't like this online cult of uber nit-picky, glass all-empty users that crap like CinemaSins perpetuates, encouraging people to watch movies with a "gotcha!" attitude, treating film like it's a mathematical equation where every single number has to add up or it's wrong, instead of the imprecise artform it actually is, with keyboard Einsteins on IMDB thinking they've made a valid criticism of A Quiet Place when they ask "Why didn't the family just move next to the waterfall??", when complaints like those would immediately collapse if they applied one-tenth of the same scrutiny to their own "logic" that they do to films in the first place, but they don't notice because everyone else in that circlejerk is saying the exact same thing and patting themselves on their back for it.

/rant
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darkeningday
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:22 am 
 

I certainly hope no one's applying nitpick fetishism in movie plots to me. Action scenes like this are my favorite, and the less respect to the laws of physics and gravity, the better.

Collateral, on the other hand, parlays an uncomfortable compromise: if it's fantastical, why does it look like absolute dogshit most of the time, and with most potentially cool-looking moments, e.g. Cruise bullet dodging and ninja-ing the scads of gun-wielders in the nightclub, either a grainy, blurry mess or simply happening off camera? Hell, if it's a cool action movie, why does only about 3% of the exhausting runtime actually have action?

On the other hand, if it's gritty, grainy realism it's going for like some sort of spiritual sequel to Man Bites Dog, why are the actual outcomes of the boring action scenes as preposterous as any live-action cartoon? Why does it play edgey Audioslave songs nondiegetically over the soundtrack? Why is everyone but Foxx a GTA caricature?

And then there's just good 'ole inconsistent characterization: Cruise is literally perfect whenever it's convenient for the plot, a moron when it's convenient for the plot. That would be fine if he actually had a character with some kind of development and arc to justify the inconsistency. He does not. Foxx fairs a bit better but his transition from personable taxi driver with his head in the clouds to Superman was too sudden and felt, like most of Collateral, like a silly contrivance to keep the plot barreling forward.

These contradictions in theme and tone point to a movie that doesn't know what it wants to be, which in my book is a bad movie. Put simply, if it's a dumb action movie it should be dumb. If it's a smart action movie it should be smart. Is that really too much to ask? The fact that I had to google the screenwriter after too many daft events and cringe dialog piled up, and he happened to be the guy who wrote I, Frankenstein and the first G.I. Joe movie kinda spelled it out for me.

And I love Mann (mostly The Keep, The Insider and Heat), and I've never watched a CinemaSins video.
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Pretty rubbish, I must say. Certainly not worth the hype behind it. Boring and predictable. A band for 14-22 year olds.

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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:58 pm 
 

darkeningday wrote:
I certainly hope no one's applying nitpick fetishism in movie plots to me. Action scenes like this are my favorite, and the less respect to the laws of physics and gravity, the better.

Collateral, on the other hand, parlays an uncomfortable compromise: if it's fantastical, why does it look like absolute dogshit most of the time, and with most potentially cool-looking moments, e.g. Cruise bullet dodging and ninja-ing the scads of gun-wielders in the nightclub, either a grainy, blurry mess or simply happening off camera? Hell, if it's a cool action movie, why does only about 3% of the exhausting runtime actually have action?

On the other hand, if it's gritty, grainy realism it's going for like some sort of spiritual sequel to Man Bites Dog, why are the actual outcomes of the boring action scenes as preposterous as any live-action cartoon? Why does it play edgey Audioslave songs nondiegetically over the soundtrack? Why is everyone but Foxx a GTA caricature?

And then there's just good 'ole inconsistent characterization: Cruise is literally perfect whenever it's convenient for the plot, a moron when it's convenient for the plot. That would be fine if he actually had a character with some kind of development and arc to justify the inconsistency. He does not. Foxx fairs a bit better but his transition from personable taxi driver with his head in the clouds to Superman was too sudden and felt, like most of Collateral, like a silly contrivance to keep the plot barreling forward.

These contradictions in theme and tone point to a movie that doesn't know what it wants to be, which in my book is a bad movie. Put simply, if it's a dumb action movie it should be dumb. If it's a smart action movie it should be smart. Is that really too much to ask? The fact that I had to google the screenwriter after too many daft events and cringe dialog piled up, and he happened to be the guy who wrote I, Frankenstein and the first G.I. Joe movie kinda spelled it out for me.

And I love Mann (mostly The Keep, The Insider and Heat), and I've never watched a CinemaSins video.


I think your issue is the binary view and arbitrary rules you have towards films like Collateral. If an action film doesn't follow a certain recipe and mixes two different recipes that may seem to contradict each other, then it's a failure. The reason why I like Collateral and other Mann films like Miami Vice or Blackhat (both better than Collateral, in my opinion) is that they combine stylized reality with a more grounded one. I like the digital-camera look, personally. It has an immediacy to it (one term I've used is cinematic pointillism), and combined with other elements like the sound design of the gunshot, or the fact that Cruise constantly shoots in the same location on someone's body like a trained-gunman would, it grounds the film in a verisimilitude that, no matter how unlikely in our reality, I buy everything that happens on screen.

Like I said, if Collateral isn't your thing, that's fine, but you opined that you can't see how anyone likes it, and I'm trying to explain why I like it.

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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:22 pm 
 

One more since I'm thinking about the film. I'm not going to do a point-by-point rebuttal of your post, but when you say this:

darkeningday wrote:
Foxx['s] (...) transition from personable taxi driver with his head in the clouds to Superman was too sudden and felt, like most of Collateral, like a silly contrivance to keep the plot barreling forward.


I'm assuming you're referring to the scene where he's being interrogated by Javier Bardem. The way I see Vincent (Cruise) and Max (Foxx) is that Vincent is confident in his worldview, but stubbornly cynical and not too observant. Max, while passive and meek, is more open-minded and willing to listen. The scenario where Max has to pretend to be Vincent is testing him on his willingness to adapt, which he succeeds at. This is what Max has over Vincent, and it's what saves him in the end. If you notice, Vincent always shoots people in the same way (top of the head and then the abdomen), and he assumes that his shooting style will beat Max's because Vincent isn't willing to adapt. Max's sporadic shooting hits the mark while Vincent's trained, rigid shooting misses, which I think is a good window into their character perspectives. Vincent has decided on his misanthropic world-view and is not going to shake from it, but Max, because he takes the time to think, is able to come to a more refined worldview. So, it's actually very subtle characterization instead of what you accused it of being.

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darkeningday
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 3:32 am 
 

I liked the scene with Bardem, although I felt it happened too fast; there needed to be an escalation before he suddenly taps his latent abilities, like successfully managing to deceive Cruise about something minor. I did understand the experienced-but-rigid vs. inexperienced-but-adaptable characteristics between the two leads, though I failed to notice that Cruise's signature execution bit him in the butt. Kinda pissed at myself for missing that since we were explicitly reminded of it like 15 times. :grumble:

What I was talking about was Jamie Foxx suddenly managing to flip a cop onto his back, snatch his gun and cuff him to his car (Foxx yells "when did this become a negotiation!"), presumably motivated out of love for a random woman he just met. So he's Jason Bourne now, okay, yet despite still being under the love-spell, he forgets to turn off the gun's safety. So he's perfect when it's convenient for the plot (incl. the Bardem scene), but still lilly-livered at the exact moments it doesn't matter. In fact, this makes the ending all the more frustrating: why is he firing randomly when he's faced with BOTH self-preservation and protecting the one he loves? Before, Foxx's two performances were marked with cold, sudden calculation. Now he's screaming in fear.

But what ultimately did the movie in for me, and what a quick glance at the screenwriter's oeuvre confirmed, is that this is about the interplay between two characters... who aren't really characters at all but comic book archetypes. In lieu of nuanced and human characters or brilliant dialog, then the movie needed to have an actual plot with twists and surprises, rather than spending half its runtime with cardboard cutouts waxing lyrical about the cosmos. In a lot of ways the movie reminded me of David Mamet's Edmond but without the magnificent dialog--which is the only reason Edmond is so great.
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Pretty rubbish, I must say. Certainly not worth the hype behind it. Boring and predictable. A band for 14-22 year olds.

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Curious_dead
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:24 pm 
 

Anyone see Mank yet? Me and my girlfriend both fell asleep. I loved the aesthetic but maybe it was fatigue, the fact that I overate, I don't know but I couldn't get my mind into the movie. I think it's the first time ever that I fall asleep during a movie, so it's a bad sign... But I'll try and give it a second chance, maybe a night I'm more into it.

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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:15 pm 
 

darkeningday wrote:
What I was talking about was Jamie Foxx suddenly managing to flip a cop onto his back, snatch his gun and cuff him to his car (Foxx yells "when did this become a negotiation!"), presumably motivated out of love for a random woman he just met. So he's Jason Bourne now, okay, yet despite still being under the love-spell, he forgets to turn off the gun's safety. So he's perfect when it's convenient for the plot (incl. the Bardem scene), but still lilly-livered at the exact moments it doesn't matter. In fact, this makes the ending all the more frustrating: why is he firing randomly when he's faced with BOTH self-preservation and protecting the one he loves? Before, Foxx's two performances were marked with cold, sudden calculation. Now he's screaming in fear.

But what ultimately did the movie in for me, and what a quick glance at the screenwriter's oeuvre confirmed, is that this is about the interplay between two characters... who aren't really characters at all but comic book archetypes. In lieu of nuanced and human characters or brilliant dialog, then the movie needed to have an actual plot with twists and surprises, rather than spending half its runtime with cardboard cutouts waxing lyrical about the cosmos. In a lot of ways the movie reminded me of David Mamet's Edmond but without the magnificent dialog--which is the only reason Edmond is so great.


Is Foxx's character not allowed to be good at some things but bad at others? And what's bad about archetypal characters? Seriously, you're not assessing the film, you're just throwing everything that comes to your head at the wall and seeing what sticks.


Last edited by KeeperOfTheMissingLink on Wed Mar 10, 2021 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:17 am 
 

Curious_dead wrote:
Anyone see Mank yet? Me and my girlfriend both fell asleep. I loved the aesthetic but maybe it was fatigue, the fact that I overate, I don't know but I couldn't get my mind into the movie. I think it's the first time ever that I fall asleep during a movie, so it's a bad sign... But I'll try and give it a second chance, maybe a night I'm more into it.


Oh, I kind of went off about how much I disliked it a few pages back.

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Curious_dead
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:13 am 
 

jimbies wrote:
Curious_dead wrote:
Anyone see Mank yet? Me and my girlfriend both fell asleep. I loved the aesthetic but maybe it was fatigue, the fact that I overate, I don't know but I couldn't get my mind into the movie. I think it's the first time ever that I fall asleep during a movie, so it's a bad sign... But I'll try and give it a second chance, maybe a night I'm more into it.


Oh, I kind of went off about how much I disliked it a few pages back.


I see, it kinda sums up my first impressions, and I share your concerns with this winning Best Picture. It hits all the right boxes.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:26 am 
 

I loved Mank myself. One of the more complex scripts I saw last year. Thought it had a lot to say about being a writer and politics and all sorts of things. Just a labyrinthine piece of film. Gary Oldman was tremendous too.

Lucky - This will get some polarized reactions if people end up seeing it. I can't say too much without spoiling it. It's got some eerie moments, some things that draw back to Carpenter's 'Halloween,' but the context is warped into something like a psychological thriller. But really it's a social commentary type of movie using horror as a vehicle. It's very blatant and seems to sit right on the edge of being too much. But I like the fuck-you attitude this had and the artistic intent was really clear. I think you have to be loud like this to get the point across.

Solaris - Tarkovsky's space epic that really was more of a drama and a spiel about desire and such. This was slow moving but in a good way, really drawing you in. Masterful pacing. The settings were sparse and then every once in a while you'd get just this amazing, gorgeous visual. The two leads played off each other well and watching the small amounts of characters interact was well done. I got a lot of themes of loss and grief and just 'what if' in terms of how we'd react in this scenario. A fantastical, somber epic.

Open 24 Hours - A new slasher about a girl who takes a night job at a gas station to try and escape her demons. Predictably doesn't go as planned. Some of the settings were cool and it's generally well acted - though it's weird when everything is bathed in bright oranges and yellows for no reason near the end. Kills are pretty standard and it becomes less compelling the longer it goes on.

Me And You And Everyone We Know - A weird offbeat comedy I hadn't seen yet. I really got into how this movie wrote characters and had these fully defined, absurd kooks. You get hooked on the dry wit and the sheer absurd situations. I just had fun with it. It's sensitive at times and quietly insane at others, and it all comes together super tight and making sense where things end up. Artful and wild.
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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:16 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Solaris - Tarkovsky's space epic that really was more of a drama and a spiel about desire and such. This was slow moving but in a good way, really drawing you in. Masterful pacing. The settings were sparse and then every once in a while you'd get just this amazing, gorgeous visual. The two leads played off each other well and watching the small amounts of characters interact was well done. I got a lot of themes of loss and grief and just 'what if' in terms of how we'd react in this scenario. A fantastical, somber epic.


That was the first Tarkovsky film I ever watched, and in retrospect, it turned me into a super-fan immediately.

In terms of the topic on Mank, I don't know if I said this before, but I have almost no interest in checking it out, and I like David Fincher enough. Though, I'll admit what he said about Welles when promoting the film kind of pissed me off.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:26 pm 
 

What did he say? Last interview I saw, Fincher said he worshiped Welles and was glad to stand in his shadow every day, etc.
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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:46 pm 
 

I just remember him saying that Welles' other films apart from Citizen Kane weren't as good because of the circumstances he was making them in and the writing. Now granted, Kane was the only film that Welles had an easy time making, whereas on a film like Othello, it took three years to shoot because his financial backers kept running out of money and/or disappearing, so the part about unenviable circumstances is true. But Othello's dialogue was written by William Shakespeare, who's objectively a better writer than Herman J. Mankiewicz (with all due respect). I'm pretty sure Citizen Kane being more popular than Othello or Chimes at Midnight (my personal favorite Welles film), has nothing to do with the quality of the writing, so I thought that was a kind of stupid thing Fincher said. He's not alone in perpetuating the myth that Citizen Kane is Welles' only good film, but it's disappointing that someone who made a film that's indirectly about him would say something like that.

I'll admit that I'm a little petty, but I love Orson Welles.

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darkeningday
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:57 am 
 

Andrei Rublev is considered Tarkovsky's best, but Solyaris (please use this spelling to distinguish it from Steven Soderburgh's underwhelming cum tribute) will always be my favorite of his, and probably my favorite Soviet film. If Eisenstein had finished Ivan The Terrible that would probably be #1 otherwise, but I'm still a sucker for sci-fi so IDK.
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Pretty rubbish, I must say. Certainly not worth the hype behind it. Boring and predictable. A band for 14-22 year olds.

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jimbies
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:18 am 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Me And You And Everyone We Know - A weird offbeat comedy I hadn't seen yet. I really got into how this movie wrote characters and had these fully defined, absurd kooks. You get hooked on the dry wit and the sheer absurd situations. I just had fun with it. It's sensitive at times and quietly insane at others, and it all comes together super tight and making sense where things end up. Artful and wild.


I've been meaning to rewatch this for a long time. I saw it back in 2011, and watched it at like, 11pm when I was exhausted and didn't get as much out of it as I feel I should have. I remember enjoying it, but I think it's worth a revisit.

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ObservationSlave
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:51 am 
 

Haven't seen too many movies this year, but caught a few this weekend:

King of Staten Island: Pete Davidson is far from the best actor on the planet, but it doesn't really matter when you're playing yourself I guess. This movie was a breath of fresh air for me, because it didn't follow a formula, didn't make a big statement, and didn't compromise itself. It was a story about regular people doing regular shit and I was thoroughly entertained.

Tenet: I was surprised to see mixed reviews for this one. I think it flows better than Inception, and even though it is confusing as fuck at the beginning, the pieces start to come together and make for a good story. The action sequences were phenomenal and everything about this movie felt very polished and professional.

Soul: I probably started this one a little too late at night, because I struggled to keep my eyes open for the last 15 minutes or so, but I thought it was good overall. Cool concept and premise, although it didn't grab me quite as much as other Pixar movies. I kind of wish I was able to see it as a kid version of myself and then as an adult to see how much my perspective of it would have changed, because it definitely feels like it is catered toward an older audience.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:05 pm 
 

KeeperOfTheMissingLink wrote:
I just remember him saying that Welles' other films apart from Citizen Kane weren't as good because of the circumstances he was making them in and the writing. Now granted, Kane was the only film that Welles had an easy time making, whereas on a film like Othello, it took three years to shoot because his financial backers kept running out of money and/or disappearing, so the part about unenviable circumstances is true. But Othello's dialogue was written by William Shakespeare, who's objectively a better writer than Herman J. Mankiewicz (with all due respect). I'm pretty sure Citizen Kane being more popular than Othello or Chimes at Midnight (my personal favorite Welles film), has nothing to do with the quality of the writing, so I thought that was a kind of stupid thing Fincher said. He's not alone in perpetuating the myth that Citizen Kane is Welles' only good film, but it's disappointing that someone who made a film that's indirectly about him would say something like that.

I'll admit that I'm a little petty, but I love Orson Welles.


Ah I hadn't really paid much attention to the interviews. I should see some more Welles films I guess.

darkeningday wrote:
Andrei Rublev is considered Tarkovsky's best, but Solyaris (please use this spelling to distinguish it from Steven Soderburgh's underwhelming cum tribute) will always be my favorite of his, and probably my favorite Soviet film. If Eisenstein had finished Ivan The Terrible that would probably be #1 otherwise, but I'm still a sucker for sci-fi so IDK.


I remember being confused earlier in life because that Soderbergh movie came out around the time I was first really delving into more movies, and so I never even really knew about the Tarkovsky one for a long time, and never bothered with that other one either. I haven't really liked any of the Soderbergh movies I've seen.

jimbies wrote:
I've been meaning to rewatch this for a long time. I saw it back in 2011, and watched it at like, 11pm when I was exhausted and didn't get as much out of it as I feel I should have. I remember enjoying it, but I think it's worth a revisit.


It's just a feel good movie if you're into more wry, crazy humor like I am. I thought it was just a lot of fun. Excellent performances and writing both.

ObservationSlave wrote:
Tenet: I was surprised to see mixed reviews for this one. I think it flows better than Inception, and even though it is confusing as fuck at the beginning, the pieces start to come together and make for a good story. The action sequences were phenomenal and everything about this movie felt very polished and professional.


It's one of those movies where you just have to go with the flow. It's weird for me to say as many of my favorites are script or character driven. Tenet is just a full throttle thrill ride that works on the strength of the visuals, action, etc and it's tremendous in that regard. The story only tangentially makes sense, but it's a fun enough ride and like you said, by the end it comes together well enough and has an interesting point to it of sorts.
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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 4:08 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
KeeperOfTheMissingLink wrote:
I just remember him saying that Welles' other films apart from Citizen Kane weren't as good because of the circumstances he was making them in and the writing. Now granted, Kane was the only film that Welles had an easy time making, whereas on a film like Othello, it took three years to shoot because his financial backers kept running out of money and/or disappearing, so the part about unenviable circumstances is true. But Othello's dialogue was written by William Shakespeare, who's objectively a better writer than Herman J. Mankiewicz (with all due respect). I'm pretty sure Citizen Kane being more popular than Othello or Chimes at Midnight (my personal favorite Welles film), has nothing to do with the quality of the writing, so I thought that was a kind of stupid thing Fincher said. He's not alone in perpetuating the myth that Citizen Kane is Welles' only good film, but it's disappointing that someone who made a film that's indirectly about him would say something like that.

I'll admit that I'm a little petty, but I love Orson Welles.


Ah I hadn't really paid much attention to the interviews. I should see some more Welles films I guess.


Well, like I said, it could just be that I'm petty. As you can probably ascertain from my defending of Collateral, I tend be to be gung-ho when someone criticizes a filmmaker or a film that I happen to like quite a bit.

But yes, more Welles films are worth your time.

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darkeningday
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:28 am 
 

Empyreal wrote:
darkeningday wrote:
Andrei Rublev is considered Tarkovsky's best, but Solyaris (please use this spelling to distinguish it from Steven Soderburgh's underwhelming cum tribute) will always be my favorite of his, and probably my favorite Soviet film. If Eisenstein had finished Ivan The Terrible that would probably be #1 otherwise, but I'm still a sucker for sci-fi so IDK.


I remember being confused earlier in life because that Soderbergh movie came out around the time I was first really delving into more movies, and so I never even really knew about the Tarkovsky one for a long time, and never bothered with that other one either. I haven't really liked any of the Soderbergh movies I've seen.

Not that there's any shortage of movies right now so watching something not exactly amazing that came out ages ago might not be the best use of your time, but as someone who also doesn't like Soderbergh, I can say there were interesting things about the movie that may make it worth checking out. I watched the movies in the wrong order (remake first, original much later), so I have a negative view of the remake, but thinking back on it had I watched them chronologically I think I would've liked it a lot more.

The remake is also only 90 minutes, features a sexy cast and probably cost more than Tarkovsky's entire filmography. And Soderbergh can certainly make his movies look pretty.
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Pretty rubbish, I must say. Certainly not worth the hype behind it. Boring and predictable. A band for 14-22 year olds.

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darkeningday
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:26 am 
 

Fabricated City- Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with South Korea? I'm gonna spoil the first 20 minutes to make a point: so the movie surrounds a lonely 20-something unemployed gamer whose sole companion in life is his sweet, poor mother who's devoted her life to taking care of the elderly. The gamer is framed for the repeated rape and murder of a child, despite the audience clearly knowing he's innocent. He's immediately sentenced to life in prison, his mother crying alone on streetcorners everyday for his freedom as he's living in prison, and her grief eventually leads her to suicide (or so the main character is told). The main character is repeatedly beaten and raped in prison, to the enjoyment of the guards and other prisoners. He then tries to kill himself by ripping out his wrist veins with his teeth. That's the first 20 minutes.

This is a mostly light and airy action movie about a gamer teaming up with his CS:GO teammates to prove his innocence, while having some romance and silly comedy (with corny music) along the way. The movie seems to be marketed to a teen audience.

I repeat: the fuck is wrong with Korea.
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Pretty rubbish, I must say. Certainly not worth the hype behind it. Boring and predictable. A band for 14-22 year olds.

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 1:30 pm 
 

Maybe I'll give the other Solaris a shot... or maybe just watch the original again.

The Dark and the Wicked - A new horror movie about a brother and sister going home to care for their elderly parents. Tragedy strikes and then everything gets weird. This doesn't have a lot in the way of a deep plot or anything, but purely aesthetically it's brilliant, and the scares just keep coming at you. It's one of the more malicious, mean movies I've seen lately and just doesn't seem to have any light to it at all. If you're into diabolical cut throat horror that plays like a visual extreme metal album then this should be up your alley; utterly foul, evil shit.
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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:50 pm 
 

It's funny, because I've seen a good chunk of Steven Soderbergh's films (like 23), but I haven't seen Solaris. I almost have about as much interest in watching it as I do Red Dragon (another 2002 semi-remake of a favorite film of mine), but it has nothing to do with me thinking that Soderbergh is a bad filmmaker. I just feel like Tarkovsky's Solaris is so complete that I never feel the urge to see another interpretation to the story, kind of like how I feel with Michael Mann's Manhunter.

Anyways, I've been revisiting the extended cut of Ingmar Bergman's Scenes From a Marriage, and it's so good. I'm not bingeing it, so I've been watching each episode on different days when I feel the urge to, but even with the spaces in between each episode, it's such a finely detailed portrayal of a crumbling marriage. Famously, it caused a huge spike in divorce-rates when it was first released, so when I first watched it, I made the joke that Ingmar Bergman was responsible for the Swedish death metal scene in the 90's, since the musicians were born around the time the film was released (1973/1974), and probably grew up with parents who were fighting each other and had to let out all their childhood angst via death metal. Supposedly, the sequel that Bergman made in 2003 has death metal in it (which boggles my mind; it'd be like if Charlie Chaplin and The Beatles made a film together).

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Smalley
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:06 am
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:57 am 
 

darkeningday wrote:
I certainly hope no one's applying nitpick fetishism in movie plots to me. Action scenes like this are my favorite, and the less respect to the laws of physics and gravity, the better.

Collateral, on the other hand, parlays an uncomfortable compromise: if it's fantastical, why does it look like absolute dogshit most of the time, and with most potentially cool-looking moments, e.g. Cruise bullet dodging and ninja-ing the scads of gun-wielders in the nightclub, either a grainy, blurry mess or simply happening off camera? Hell, if it's a cool action movie, why does only about 3% of the exhausting runtime actually have action?

On the other hand, if it's gritty, grainy realism it's going for like some sort of spiritual sequel to Man Bites Dog, why are the actual outcomes of the boring action scenes as preposterous as any live-action cartoon? Why does it play edgey Audioslave songs nondiegetically over the soundtrack? Why is everyone but Foxx a GTA caricature?

And then there's just good 'ole inconsistent characterization: Cruise is literally perfect whenever it's convenient for the plot, a moron when it's convenient for the plot. That would be fine if he actually had a character with some kind of development and arc to justify the inconsistency. He does not. Foxx fairs a bit better but his transition from personable taxi driver with his head in the clouds to Superman was too sudden and felt, like most of Collateral, like a silly contrivance to keep the plot barreling forward.

These contradictions in theme and tone point to a movie that doesn't know what it wants to be, which in my book is a bad movie. Put simply, if it's a dumb action movie it should be dumb. If it's a smart action movie it should be smart. Is that really too much to ask? The fact that I had to google the screenwriter after too many daft events and cringe dialog piled up, and he happened to be the guy who wrote I, Frankenstein and the first G.I. Joe movie kinda spelled it out for me.

And I love Mann (mostly The Keep, The Insider and Heat), and I've never watched a CinemaSins video.
My beef was with people who do nothing BUT complain about plot holes in films, and it's obvious that the holes in Collateral are only one of your complaints against it (and I myself have griped about holes in movies that I didn't care for otherwise), so I can respect that. That being said though, while whether you like the digital video aesthetic of Collateral or not is up to you, for me, I think it adds an appropriate level of grit & authenticity to the film, and I wouldn't want it filmed any other way (and besides, I remember hearing that the coyote that they caught on film was an accident since it was a wild animal who just wandered on location when they happened to be filming, and if they hadn't been filming digitially, they wouldn't be able to set the shot up fast enough to catch it before it wandered off, so we wouldn't have seen that happy (but thematically-loaded) accident otherwise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX9JNJThhxY

As for the question of how Max was eventually able to take on Vincent gun-to-gun, a lot of that can be chalked up to blind luck (like him only winging him in the neck the first time he shoots at him, or the train door getting in the way of Vincent's shots), and I don't care about anything else that you possibly can't be chalked up to luck, because I didn't go into the film expecting a 100% realistic scenario on the whole; I mean it's inherent to the premise, since it's not 100% plausible that a professional hitman would take the risk of kidnapping a random taxi driver because he didn't want to bother driving around the city himself. But, is it still a great premise for a Thriller despite that, in a Speed-like manner? Absolutely!
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Smalley
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:02 am 
 

KeeperOfTheMissingLink wrote:
One more since I'm thinking about the film. I'm not going to do a point-by-point rebuttal of your post, but when you say this:

darkeningday wrote:
Foxx['s] (...) transition from personable taxi driver with his head in the clouds to Superman was too sudden and felt, like most of Collateral, like a silly contrivance to keep the plot barreling forward.


I'm assuming you're referring to the scene where he's being interrogated by Javier Bardem. The way I see Vincent (Cruise) and Max (Foxx) is that Vincent is confident in his worldview, but stubbornly cynical and not too observant. Max, while passive and meek, is more open-minded and willing to listen. The scenario where Max has to pretend to be Vincent is testing him on his willingness to adapt, which he succeeds at. This is what Max has over Vincent, and it's what saves him in the end. If you notice, Vincent always shoots people in the same way (top of the head and then the abdomen), and he assumes that his shooting style will beat Max's because Vincent isn't willing to adapt. Max's sporadic shooting hits the mark while Vincent's trained, rigid shooting misses, which I think is a good window into their character perspectives. Vincent has decided on his misanthropic world-view and is not going to shake from it, but Max, because he takes the time to think, is able to come to a more refined worldview. So, it's actually very subtle characterization instead of what you accused it of being.
Great points, and Lessons From The Screenplay actually talkined about how Vincent unintentionally pushed Max to adapt and step up to him (and become bolder in life in general) in this really good vid, if you're interested:

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darkeningday
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:43 am 
 

KeeperOfTheMissingLink wrote:
Is Foxx's character not allowed to be good at some things but bad at others? And what's bad about archetypal characters? Seriously, you're not assessing the film, you're just throwing everything that comes to your head at the wall and seeing what sticks.

Missed this earlier. Asking "what's wrong with archetypal characters" in a straightforward movie that thinks twists, beautiful cinematography, literate and layered dialog and stylish action are too gouache kinda makes my point for me. When Foxx throws his notoriously punctual captor's itinerary over an overpass not because it makes any goddamn sense but because it's the only way to raise the stakes and shake-up the monotony, good characters are the only thing that can redeem the movie. Yet Collateral's characters, with the slight exception of Foxx, are as layered as wax paper.

It's not the worst movie I've ever seen but I'm struggling to find even a single thing I thought was above average. The only great thing I can say about it is that it made me want to watch Sleuth again. Now THAT'S a great two character movie!
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Pretty rubbish, I must say. Certainly not worth the hype behind it. Boring and predictable. A band for 14-22 year olds.

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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:05 am
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:28 pm 
 

darkeningday wrote:
It's not the worst movie I've ever seen but I'm struggling to find even a single thing I thought was above average. The only great thing I can say about it is that it made me want to watch Sleuth again. Now THAT'S a great two character movie!


You keep doing this thing where you name-drop shit just to dunk on Collateral or other films you don't like. Yes, I'm aware that Collateral isn't the only film of its kind in existence; I still think it's a good film.

darkeningday wrote:
Asking "what's wrong with archetypal characters" in a straightforward movie that thinks twists, beautiful cinematography, literate and layered dialog and stylish action are too gouache kinda makes my point for me. When Foxx throws his notoriously punctual captor's itinerary over an overpass not because it makes any goddamn sense but because it's the only way to raise the stakes and shake-up the monotony, good characters are the only thing that can redeem the movie. Yet Collateral's characters, with the slight exception of Foxx, are as layered as wax paper.


I think this is all just boiling down to personal preferences. You don't care about any of these characters either because of who they are or how they're handled, yet I'm invested in them for the exact same reasons.

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Subrick
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:22 am 
 

People, I'm sitting here high as a kite and thinking about The Lion King, and it really cannot be overstated how perfect this movie is. It's the golden achievement of American animation, as far as I'm concerned. A pure piece of art.
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I'm just perpetually annoyed by Sean William Scott and he's never been in a movie where I wasn't rooting for his head to sever by strange means.

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Zelkiiro
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:50 am 
 

Subrick wrote:
People, I'm sitting here high as a kite and thinking about The Lion King, and it really cannot be overstated how perfect this movie is. It's the golden achievement of American animation, as far as I'm concerned. A pure piece of art.

I've got problems with The Lion King. Not only is the soundtrack not as good as I remembered it being as a child, but the whole moral of the film ("If you make a mistake, you must face it and learn from it rather than run away from it.") is ruined by the fact that Scar admits his part in the plot and absolves Simba of all responsibility. Like, it's literally that scene from Rick & Morty where Mr. Goldenfold runs out of the cursed item shop screaming, "I haven't learned a thiiiiiing!" Bleh.
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Subrick
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:25 am 
 

But Simba still carried all that guilt with him for so many years, only for it all to be not true. That's essentially the same as, and possibly a little worse than, him actually being responsible for his father's death. He lost his childhood and most of his life to a lie. That's as tragic as you can possibly get.

I think your argument would have a little more credence if Simba had learned he wasn't responsible for Mufasa's death first, and THEN decided to go back to Pride Rock. He went back to Pride Rock still 100% believing he killed his dad.
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I'm just perpetually annoyed by Sean William Scott and he's never been in a movie where I wasn't rooting for his head to sever by strange means.

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AndromedaVessel
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Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:10 am
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 11:30 pm 
 

Big Post Man again, haven't been watching as many movies as I wanted to, but here are the ones I watched since last post (37 movies):

Spoiler: show
Jallikattu - Villagers team together to recapture a runaway buffalo.
This is a hidden gem worth watching. It's a Malayalam film but it is completely different from major Indian films in editing, soundtrack, characters etc. The energy it has in portraying the village's attempts to capture the buffalo is something that I don't see usually in Indian productions, but this is a smaller, more independent film, so I think that's be the reason why. Anyway, it definitely made me be on the look out for more Lijo Jose Pellissery stuff.

Help, Help, the Globolinks! - The Earth is invaded by aliens whose only weakness is music.
This was a German sorta sci-fi TV opera, where some students are stranded on a road amidst an alien invasion, and the aliens are these dancers with full body costumes, which can turn others into "globolinks" as well. I liked those abstract metal sculptures/structures, but other than that there's not much to talk about, it's basically divided in three parts, they decide who goes to the school for help, the teachers in the school decide how they're gonna rescue the children, and then they both meet in the end and the "globolinks" go away. Eh.

Mardaani - A female officer unravels a child trafficking ring.
It's not a bad Indian film, I mean, bonus points for not being a masala, but it's a run-of-the-mill action/thriller film with the only difference being that the main character is a tough female police officer.

Archangel - An American soldier suffers from amnesia in Russia in WWI.
Guy Maddin film, but it wasn't as enticing as The Forbidden Room. Still haven't given up on him, I do want to watch more of his movies, he always nails the silent-era-like look on his films.

If Anything Happens I Love You - A mother and a father reminisce about their daughter.
I'll be honest, I just watched this to see if it would affect me too, seeing that almost everyone that wrote about it said they cried. Now, I completely understand it and it was well done, to a point, but I couldn't connect it enough to affect me. Sorry.

Two Days, One Night - A woman has a weekend to convince her colleagues to not take a bonus payment that would cause her to lose her job.
When I read the plot I thought this would have a little more comedy, but it's a completely serious drama with a character who suffers of depression and still has to go through this stuff. Marion Cotillard nails the lead role and you can feel the stress along with her in each of her conversations, but the way this was shot and edited made me lose interest as it went on. Still finished it though, haha.

Jacob's Ladder - A war veteran starts having hallucinations.
This is somewhat odd because it doesn't look like it is. Everything you see is from the perspective of the main character, and it's well done enough that you also start having doubts about what is real and what is not. Except that what isn't real feels just as tangible as what is real. Or vice-versa. Well, by the end everything "makes sense", but it doesn't make the stuff in it less weird.

Alice - I mean, it's Alice in Wonderland.
Alice enters Wonderland through an elevator she finds in a room she enters through a drawer from a desk that is in the middle of a rocky desert that is an extension of her own room. You get the idea, right? Every character other than Alice (at some points even Alice herself) is a stuffed animal animated through stopmotion. It's a Jan Svankmajer film, so it would be weird if it didn't have any stopmotion. It's a really unique and creative vision.

Justice League - Heroes fight a villain.
I don't know if I mentioned previously, but I started watching the DCEU because of the new JL version that's coming out this year, it looked odd enough to pique my interest. But this was bad. Joss Whedon's directing style doesn't stick as well here as it did in the MCU, and even in that it started to get bad from Age of Ultron onwards. Jason Momoa was alright, Ezra Miller feels miscast, Ben Afflect (thanks Rich Evans) is still Batman, Gal Gadot (unfortunately) still is Wonder Woman and Ray Fisher is barely there. Steppenwolf is probably only memorable because of how forgettable he is.

Terminator Genisys - I don't know anymore
This feels like such a waste, but it's an interesting waste. Arnold Schwarzenegger is back and is pretty much the only enjoyable thing because it's Arnold Schwarzenegger. The rest of the cast feels so random. I mean, it's basically Terminator 1, until it isn't. I mean, the trailers had already revealed the big twist, so whatever. Kyle Reese is sent to the past to save Sarah Connor, except there is already a Terminator there protecting her. They go to the future (then-present) and meet John Connor, but now he's a Terminator too. The action is standard, but nothing special.

We Can Be Heroes - Superheroes' kids have to rescue their parents after they're kidnapped by aliens.
Robert Rodriguez' latest movie and it's ok. Definitely not his best and might be a recycling of Spy Kids' plot? I don't know, haven't watched any Spy Kids other than 3 yet, but anyway, it's still better than Machete Kills or Sin City 2, though it's a step down from Alita: Battle Angel.

Clue - Seven people in a mansion try to solve a murder.
I really enjoyed this one, Tim Curry was great and so was Madeline Kahn whenever she had a chance to shine. The only thing I didn't really like it's the fact that it has three endings.

The Mechanic - A hitman decides to take a target's son under his wing.
Somewhat different from what Charles Bronson would end up doing under Cannon years later, this one he's more laid back as his character takes time to examine his targets and prepare the way he kills them instead of going in all guns blazing. You can see the end coming, but the very last shot makes it all worth it.

High Flying Bird - A sports agent needs to come up with a plan to save one of his clients during an NBA lockout.
Another one of Steven Soderbergh's shot-on-iPhone films, and it's pretty much the only reason I watched it, same with his Unsane. Despite that, it's an entertaining sports film with a little bit of what happens with the up-and-coming players in NBA.

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House - A nurse moves to an old writer's house to take care of her.
This one was a rewatch, because I didn't like it the first time I've seen it. Having watched it again, though, I still don't like it. Oz Perkins can be a good director as proven by The Blackcoat's Daughter and (presumably) Gretel and Hansel, but this one feels more like an experiment rather than an actual horror film. The whole movie is pretty much a build-up for the ending, but everything is so slow that it feels like almost nothing happens.

American Ninja 2: The Confrontation - Michael Dudikoff has to investigate the disappearance of marines in a remote island.
Now I don't like Michael Dudikoff, but this is such a feel good summer action schlock with a ludicrous plot (marines being kidnapped to become brainwashed superhuman ninjas) that you can just ignore him. Once more, I think Steve James should have been the protagonist, he is the complete opposite of the massive charisma void that Dudikoff is.

Raman Raghav 2.0 - A corrupt cop tries to catch a man committing a series of murders inspired by an old 60's Indian serial killer.
I'm on Anurag Kashyap's tail just because I want to watch his No Smoking eventually, but he has this, Black Friday, Shaitan and Bombay Talkies on Netflix, I think. Anyway, in this movie we have two antagonists who are bad guys for different reasons. It's expected that the criminal won't redeem himself, but the main "good" guy is just as bad and maybe even more reckless than the killer.

Cyborg - A mercenary tries to rescue a cyborg from a post-apocalyptic gang.
I thought Albert Pyun and Jean Claude Van Damme would make an interesting combination, but this was pretty lackluster, the villain has a nice concept visually but is devoid of personality. Pretty much everyone was devoid of personality, and the only good-looking scene (and the excuse to set this up as "post-apocalypse") was the one in the city where the cyborg lady is kidnapped.

Murphy’s Law - A police detective is framed for the murder of his wife by an old criminal he arrested.
Cannon Bronson! It's your usual Cannon movie, just more toned down to be a little more thriller than straight up action, though it has its fair share of it.

Yesterday There Were Strange Things in the Sky - A man tries to finish his movie in his house with his family.
An uninteresting film about uninteresting people doing uninteresting things. No one cares about what happens, what happens doesn't matter. The film starts and ends, I wish I'd never started it, I wish it ended as soon as I started it. A film that tries to be smart when it isn't. Something that happens in the last 10 minutes is spoiled in the plot description and you just keep waiting for it to happen, and it never comes, and when it does, is of so little importance that even the character with which it happens says it didn't make a difference.

Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive - Stand-up comedy show after Tracy Morgan got better from the accident.
Eh, ti's stand-up, wasn't anything special. Felt like it had the wrong audience though.

The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience - A video album fictionalizing the story of the Bash Brothers.
I don't care about baseball, I don't really care about The Lonely Island; never was much into SNL stuff. But it was there one day, and it was a half-hour that seemed random so I thought "eh, what the hell."

Tromeo & Juliet - It's Romeo and Juliet, but it's "Tromeo". Because it's a Troma movie.
Humble beginnings, eh James Gunn? A bit all over the place, but feels just as without substance as other Troma movies. I imagine. I don't know, the last Troma film I've seen was Poultrygeist over 10 years ago.

The Open House - Mother and son stay in a house that's open for buyers and are the target of an unknown assailant.
I've seen the reviews and the scores and everything, but I still thought this could be seen in a different way, that the killer would have something different about him, like an unstoppable force. Nope, they (and us) just get teased for 75 minutes and then they're just killed.

American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt - A martial artist has to fight against a madman who wants to test a new drug on him.
David Bradley is an improvement over Michael Dudikoff as a person, but the action is dull, the plot is uninteresting; it's weaker than the first movie. Steve James still is the best thing about these movies.

TekWar - An ex-cop is hired to find a missing scientist.
I could see this being a series. I know it became one, but I mean this, the first one, could have been just episodes. It's pretty bland and William Shatner is just the "mission giver man", so he doesn't have much screen time, and the little he has isn't anything special.

Alone in the Dark - A PI gets entangled in a supernatural plot involving child experiments related to an ancient race of creatures.
How did Uwe Boll keep getting these movies done? How did people keep giving him these chances? There is nothing here related to the games except that the name of the protagonist is also Edward Carnby. Stephen Dorff is pretty much the only one that seems to give a damn here, also goddamn I didn't know Tara Reid was in this, she was bad in everything I watched with her in it. Also, what's up with that "shooting in the dark" scene?

Cymbeline - A man is exiled from the biker gang whose leader's daughter he is in love with.
Another one of those Shakespeare adaptations where they keep the dialog but modernize the setting. I liked Coriolanus, thought Almereyda's Hamlet was ok and I still want to watch Titus, but this was so boring. I didn't care about the protagonist, I don't like Dakota Johnson, I think Anton Yelchin didn't care for anything either.

Orpheus - A poet enamoured with Death goes to the underworld to rescue his wife.
This was pretty good! The whole underworld setting was great, the supernatural elements were varied and sprinkled here and there enough that they actually were impactful whenever they happened, the special effects were creative, everything was great.

Beau - A man is haunted by strange happenings before leaving for a trip.
Watched after reading that Ari Aster is making a feature-length version of this. Now, I didn't like Midsommar as much as Hereditary, but I haven't given up on Ari yet, if he doesn't screw up this could be really good. The feeling of dread and terror you feel along with the main character is great as everything and everyone seems to be attacking him and there is no explanation for anything, including the ending.

The Strange Thing About the Johnsons - A father and a son have an unusual relationship.
Decided to watch it after Beau. I went in kinda knowing what it was about, so it didn't surprise me that much. It's like The Human Centipede, where things are implied rather than explicitly shown. The dad here is played by the same actor that played the main in Beau, and his acting here is just as good in that. Since it's a 20 minute piece there isn't much time to develop things, but the acting all-around is pretty good.

The Fantastic Four - Four scientists, space, powers, fight villain.
The story is the same, but what I watched was the 1994 unofficially released version that Roger Corman produced for someone's rights-keeping. And the result is pretty entertaining and relatively well done for something that wasn't even supposed to be released. I still don't really know Doctor Doom became Doctor Doom, but his acting was quite theatrical, with lots of wide dramatic movements and gestures. The weird thing here for me is The Jeweler character, somehow he doesn't really seem to fit in with everything else.

Blood Diner - Two brothers prepare a ritual feast to resurrect an ancient goddess.
A ridiculous comedy horror that originally was supposed to be a sequel to Blood Feast, it's quite a fun movie. It's also really weird, the brothers are under their uncle's guidance, except he is a brain and eyes in a jar, a minor character is just an immobile doll etc. They are so blatant and enthusiastic about the stuff they're doing you can't help but root that they actually manage to resurrect the goddess.

Jailbreak - A group of police officers have to survive during a jailbreak in a prison.
Cambodian action film, and it's pretty much the sole reason I had an interest in it. It's not bad, but it's pretty basic. The fight scenes were alright, but it feels repetitive; not that I was expecting a big budget kinda deal, but it feels like they use the same corridors multiple times. Also it doesn't really seem to finish, it just stops, there's not much of a conclusion.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For - Three and a half more stories in Sin City.
Not nearly as unique as the first one, it's pretty much a companion piece in quality to Machete Kills, maybe even to Spy Kids 4, again, I haven't seen any other than the third. I'm amazed at how many stars Robert Rodriguez crams in his movies; still the cast doesn't save this from being just a regular noir thriller packaged in a strong black-and-white colored style.

CyberTracker - A secret service agent is framed by the mayor and is the target of android exterminators.
Just because of RedLetterMedia's failed attempt to be interested in it ("she is ACTING!"). And I don't blame them, there isn't much here to work with in any way, it's a regular 90's futuristic action b-movie with subpar action and an uncharismatic protagonist played by Don "The Dragon" Wilson. Who was also uncharismatic in The Last Sentinel so I wasn't expecting much. What I didn't know is that Richard Norton is in this and I kept rooting for him to show up, I liked him in both Rage & Honor films.

Burning - A guy's childhood friend comes back from a trip with a mysterious man.
This movie is pure implication, is the man really what he seems to be or is it all a coincidence? Did something actually happen to the girl or not? Was the greenhouse talk for real or not? But while I appreciate that, I feel it is a little too open and the end felt like too much of an easy way out for the man. This one also just ends after a point, but I guess it's expected with the whole feel of the movie.

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praey
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:33 am
Posts: 749
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 12:37 am 
 

Watched The Block Island Sound on Netflix tonight. I'm a big fan of aquatic horror movies and this one looked pretty good. It turned out to be a satisfying little flick, though the aquatic aspect turned out to be somewhat tangential, and overall I didn't love it as much as I thought I would. The trope of "main character constantly sees a dead character" was overused and is a tired cliche anyway (even if the reason for the hallucinations was explained later in the film). Fortunately, I found the characters pretty engaging and memorable, the overall quality was better than most direct-to-streaming indie flicks, and the concept itself was pretty well-done and original. The climax could have been more satisfying, but overall it kept us entertained even if it was a bit of slow burn. Having been to Block Island a couple times, it was also cool to see a locale I was familiar with. I'd recommend checking it out if you're looking for a science fiction/psychological horror movie in a cool coastal setting. 3.5/5.0

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darkeningday
xXdArKenIngDayXx

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 1:20 pm
Posts: 5643
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 1:24 am 
 

Mardaani 2 makes Mardaani irrelevant. Almost completely independent, and an improvement in all areas. But Kahaani is the best Hindi "female-centric non-masala thrillers" out there, and it's not particularly close, though it's on Netflix instead of Prime.
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ambientsorrow wrote:
Pretty rubbish, I must say. Certainly not worth the hype behind it. Boring and predictable. A band for 14-22 year olds.

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acid_bukkake
SAD!

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:45 am
Posts: 1844
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:20 am 
 

AndromedaVessel, I'll say this: the first Spy Kids is oddly brilliant if you look at it purely as a kid's movie. It basically took all of the usual Rodriguez insanity and cleaned it up, so there's a lot of over-the-top action sections and set pieces that work because of how slick they are. I'd argue it was the last Rodriguez movie really worth watching.

Though Spy Kids 2 has a surprisingly great turn by Steve Buscemi, just as he was in between indie flicks and Adam Sandler paychecks, and features the line "do you think God hides in Heaven because he, too, is afraid of His creation?"
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Dembo wrote:
It just dawned on me that if there was a Christian equivalent of Cannibal Corpse, they could have the song title I Cum Forgiveness.

darkeningday wrote:
I haven't saw any of the Seen movies.

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Curious_dead
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:13 pm
Posts: 560
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:05 am 
 

Watched One Night in Miami. It's about one night in, duh, Miami where Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cook and Jim Brown met together. It was an interesting movie focused on dialogues and different world views supported by great actors. I don't think it was anything to write home about, but unlike Mank I remained into the movie and didn't fall asleep, despite once again overeating over Saturday night supper (chicken and bacon poutine, if you must know). I don't know enough of these four characters to even guess at how accurate the movie is at portraying them, but all four were equally interesting. The direction is a bit flat, but that's probably because it's a movie very focused on a few characters and locations.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 29336
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:11 am 
 

Don't Look in the Fucking Basement - A bunch of ex-cons who now work as movers get called to a suspicious house and things go awry. This starts off fairly innocuous but goes in a dark direction later. Pretty fucking harrowing and violent, and that gets you to care about the leads through this plight. It's not subtle at all but this is just a sledgehammer of a movie that hits you straight in the fucking gut. Brutal.

Climate of the Hunter - OK, so I only just heard of director Mickey Reece from this article a while back and had to try it. Dude's from rural Oklahoma and has been making these crazy movies for years. This is the first one I've seen - a hazy, slow-paced old school horror about two sisters and a guy who might be a vampire. It's intriguing because the bulk of this is just people talking, and yet it creates a definite mood and gets you into it, channeling horror through the odd, slowly unfurling story and atmosphere. Really shows that you can do a lot with a little. Very compelling actually.

https://film.avclub.com/he-makes-all-hi ... 5Ll3dFJegU

Anybody else ever heard of this guy? I can't recall seeing him mentioned here but maybe I forget.
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darkeningday
xXdArKenIngDayXx

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 1:20 pm
Posts: 5643
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:19 am 
 

Oscar nominations are in.

Sound of Metal made it, boys.
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ambientsorrow wrote:
Pretty rubbish, I must say. Certainly not worth the hype behind it. Boring and predictable. A band for 14-22 year olds.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 29336
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:03 am 
 

That better fucking win. But I'm biased for it... and it could go any way really.

Suedehead - Another Mickey Reece one - a weirdo black comedy about this guy who gets out of jail to go work at a mall. Just utter chaos. Dialogue is a lot of fun stream of consciousness stuff, and the humor is as absurd and out of nowhere as I like it. Just entertaining stuff.
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