Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:36 am

I'm probably going to rewatch Bladerunner at some point because I barely remember it

Watched spy-comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses. Premise: In the perfect American cul-de-sac live HR guy Jeff Gaffney (Zach Galifianakis) and his designer wife Karen (Isla Fisher) when they get new neighbours, glamorous well travelled Tim (Jon Hamm) and Natalie Jones (Gal Gadot). As this is a spy comedy, I suspect you can guess it isn't all that it seems :wink:

A patchy film. Decent but not memorable action, nice enough start
(though the Jones are so blatantly obviously out of place that it leads to questions about their competence)
and an enjoyable ending with a effective comic villain helping. Where it tends to really work is Jeff and Tim, the former a likeable enough lead with some comedy about him, Tim grows into the film and the two of them make a good pairing with enjoyable scenes. Sometimes the Jones have sweet scenes together, the comedy has some good jokes but is generally nice enough.

It's handling of the females isn't good enough, be it poor poor choice of wardrobe or simply making the female talks/moments far less intresting then Jeff and Tim. Isla Fisher is a good comic actress but felt more like she was lifting bad material to alright levels then anything else, I struggled to engage with her character or warm to the JeffxKaren. Gadot was erratic with some funny moments and some where her delivery was flat, did get better as the Joneses as a couple began to get fleshed out and she got more action to have fun with.

Both: 6.0

======

Watched the reboot of Ghostbusters: Answer the Call , I liked the original two but wasn't iconic for me, was pleased at idea of female reboot but like rest of the world, was aware of 1) that this was the devil's work for some, 2) the awful awful awful marketing including a racism row 3) the reviews were "good but it needed to be great" and it sadly didn't sell enough for a sequel. Which I would have happily have watched

Felt a patchy film, passages where we would be somewhat out of the film (though we disagreed on what bits, the start for my sister, the end phase for me for example) and passages like the great opening scene where we were pulled in, really enjoying the humour and wit. When the highs were high, the film was so much fun but too many bits that didn't hit. Poor action sometimes didn't help, poor choice for big bad as it felt like we had seen that before and had been hoping the first ghost we saw would be the baddie, some nice nods to the flak they got for doing a girls ghostbusters, felt they got the balance wrong on cameo's and eastereggs for the original films as it was cool at first but by end was just a little too much.

My sister felt too many times "the joke is great on paper but delivery not matching it" while we both agreed that the only figure of the team to really stand out throughout the film was Kate McKinnon's Dr. Jillian "Holtz" Holtzmann with the comedian providing energy and enjoyable eccentricity. Was good support comic acts that would shine in their moments but we hoped for more from the main group.

Both: 6.5
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:12 pm

Watched Finding Dory, had not been a fan of finding Nemo so wasn't that fussed but had heard good things in reviews. I should insert, in the interests of fairness, that we had a major interruption before the end phase but I don't think it impacted things.

Adventure has moments that drag and is probably the least intresting part of the film but Dory, who could so easily have gone wrong, makes a likeable and humorous lead with her memory issues used for humour but also sadness. Her scenes with her family as a baby are sweet and even moving, fun side characters like Hank or the seals, good voice-work. My sister felt there were some logic issues.

Both: 6.5
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Sakae Wu » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:01 am

Blade Runner 2029
Just watched this the other day and thought it was well worth the price of admission.
I'm old enough to remember the first one's debut but was never a huge fan, but enjoyed the concept/visuals.

if you like dystopian sci-fi themed flicks, this one is pretty top notch imo.
The visuals really make the movie for me.
Roy Batty/Rutger Hauer is a hard act to follow and none of the villains seem to have the same panache although Leto seems to have a knack for unstable characters.
I liked Gosling, but sometimes hard to swallow as a "Blade runner" in certain points. (Like beating the crap out of Batista)
Ana de Armas and Harrison Ford were fantastic.
It went a bit longer than I thought necessary, but a pretty minor critique overall.

A must watch if your a fan of the first one, or like Sci-fi flicks.

8/10
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:20 am

After an extended absence from posting, let me see if I can ease myself back into this thread.

Watched two films last night, first up was Colonia which is a fictionalized story based around the real Colonia Dignidad in Chile. Stars Emma Watson and Daniel Bruhl. Felt that Watson was a bit miscast and Bruhl was hit and miss, but it didn't detract from the powerful story being told about the colony itself. Michael Nyvqist as the baddie preacher Paul Schafer was on point.

Verdict: Worth a watch due to the creepy undertones, but don't expect miracles to be worked here.

After that was Buried with Ryan Reynolds. It was a re-watch for me and first-time viewing for my wife. Man trapped in coffin tries everything he can to escape. Although I enjoyed Reynolds' performance the first time around, I actually caught all of the side points being made this viewing. I had thought it was some sort of spy thriller type of thing before, as opposed to a political statement piece. We actually mainly booted this up because we were looking for a Reynolds film to watch and this was listed, which surprised me, because I had either forgotten about it, or never realized.

Verdict: It's an unorthodox movie and is not without its faults, but I pretty much feel like it's required viewing for any serious film person.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:19 pm

Welcome back Zy, heard good things about Buried

Watched children's fantasy Albion: The Enchanted Stallion. Premise: Evie (Avery Arendes, first film) is a poor stablegirl with a disabled father Connor (Stephen Dorff) who wishes she was special. When she finds a horse outside it's stable on Christmas Day, she is led to the mystical land of Albion which needs her help...

Note: Due to way netflix advertises it, had been expecting it to be a horse film (and dreading it) but more a fantasy comedy that happens to have a horse.

There are a lot of things that don't work: slow beginning that didn't warm me to Evie, a disappointing ending that concentrates on the aspects of the film I didn't care about and completely missed out what I wanted to see, the eye-rolling "Evie is special" which feels clunky. Arendes does alright but some of the cast don't shine either, the plot isn't well constructed once they get to fantasy land with jumps from "arrive, work out way in, meet person and get artefact" followed by "arrive, work out..." and victory moment is anti-climatic.

I was going to leave the film when Evie comes across first ally Eriu (Castille Landon, also wrote and directed) and then things clicked. The companions (including Daniel Sharma's Lir) provide likeable characters that bounce off each other and enjoyable humour, there is a fun comic romance, they provided a much needed spark with the cast doing well. None of them are gone into as characters in much depth but they do enough to give one a sense of the character. Baddies aren't too bad, John Cleese evil ruler is hit and miss due to a tendency to overdo the style of humour but does mean some laughs, Liam McIntyre delivers a good performance as a evil general and the film touches on something intresting potential themes with him.

Me: 6.0, Sis: 6.5
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:10 am

Tried Ben Affleck's crime film the Town but quickly grew bored, felt like the skilled cast and script were trying a bit too hard to seem like criminals, heist lacked tension with the camera work trying something different but I found it disruptive.

Watched The Return of the Pink Panther (and Peter Sellers). Premise: Pink Panther diamond is stolen from museum in the country of Lugash, the glove of the Pink Panther left as a calling card. Clouseau is summoned from France and is on the case!

A film that undermines itself sometimes. On the positives the Litton stuff is good with Christopher Plummer and Catherine Schell doing a good job, it has some decent running gags with Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) or underworld underling Pepi (Graham Stark), clever opening heist and good ending, some good moments of humour. Yet, yet yet....

Some of the Cato (Burt Kwouk) jokes are... dated would be one way of putting it, the film had a slow pace that meant even good scenes dragged on too long and jokes that were good ideas lacked snap due to said slow pace, sometimes felt like two films not quite gelled together with Clouseau being one and Plummer's section being more of a spy movie. Schell's character is fun, entertaining and badly badly underused, as fun as Dreyfus and Pepi stuff can be it is hit and miss, much preferred Alan Arkin's inspector over Sellers version.

Both: 6.0

=====

Watched survival film the Shallows. Premise: Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) travels alone to a beach her mother had once gone to and enjoys some surfing. While on the sea, a shark attacks, can she get to safety or will she be shark-food?

Nice set up, we learn about Adams over time and her history, bits of humour, get a sense of other characters at the beach, surfing scenes are well shot but those dragged for me. When the shark attacks happens, my sister and I split though we both agree the last scene was poor and the shark is way too large that it fatally undermines the tension and realism, that film managed to change things up before a scene or scenario could grow boring, was a sense of humour, many many people were highly irresponsible.

For me, I liked Nancy Adams despite some foolishness, I enjoyed watching her try to work out how to get out of the situation, I felt good tension until near the end despite the issue of the ridiculous. My sister lacked that tension as the shark was too ridiculous for her and she didn't like some of the story decisions they made (whereas I thought most of them made sense and worked well).

Me: 6.5, Sis: 5.5
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:29 pm

Watched The Legend of Tarzan. Premise: Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) is back in England, married to Jane Porter (Margot Robbie), when King Leopold II's envoy to the Congo Léon Rom (Christoph Waltz) invites him to tour the Congo. Reluctant to go, Tarzan is persuaded to return to Africa where I'm sure nothing will happen...

Didn't get strong reviews and I can see why in a patchy film. Tarzan is not an intresting figure while being overpowered, action is alright and film looks nice. However CGI struggles to meld in with humans and there are some major logic issues during action scenes particularly during the finale, doesn't use their best assets as well as they should. Feels like it is trying to shine a light in a less known part of Africa's history but doesn't quite manage it while it's own clumsy handling of things does create issue of white/western saviour (African people all very much second string compared to the European and American characters, some scenes cringe-worthy as it tries to show how with it the film characters are with local culture). May also suffer from people not always knowing what to expect and struggling to adapt to what the film actually is.

There are 3 and a half strands that give the film a push, that rises it above the slightly below par rest of film. 1) Waltz does a very good job as Rom and he is a very compelling baddie, calm, intelligent, charismatic, has an eye for the little actions and intresting figure though it barely delves into his past. 2) Jane, particularly when not hugging all the villagers and being so one with them, as she is spunky with enjoyable humour. When Jane and Rom are both on screen, that is when the film is at it's best with delightful exchanges despite the film hampering it with a bad choice
Rom is in love with Jane with the usual deliberate attempt to make the baddie pathetic
. 3) Flashbacks to being Tarzan and meeting Jane, 3.5) Samuel Jackson's George Washington Williams is hit and miss with some good humour but also patches where he struggles to stand out, when he hits he livens up Tarzan's segments.

Both: 6.5

====

Watched Paul Feig spy comedy Spy. Premise: Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is CIA analyst for spy Bradley Fine (Jude Law) but circumstances soon force her into the field....

As a spy film, has some nice twists though my sister guessed one big twist, capable enough action, Rose Byrne's baddie is more used for comedy then actual threat, it is very much more of a comedy. Has more females in important positions like CIA boss Elaine Crocker (Allison Janney) then one usually gets and a good cast but does feel like the film would have been better off cutting down to a smaller set of characters.

In regards comedy (was more spy than comedy), it was an amusing movie with comedians like McCarthy and Miranda Hart (as best friend Nancy) or comic actors like Bryne or Peter Serafinowicz (as Aldo). There are good running gags like the state of the Cia office, the disguises Susan gets or Rick Ford's (Jason Statham) intresting high tales, good one-liners but it felt like the film needed someone to come in and advise when to just ease off the jokes or just not to always go in so hard with the joke. If the film is a comedian, it lacks a straight-person to act as a foil.

Both: 6.5

=====

Watched Netflix horror-comedy the Babysitter. Premise: Twelve-year-old Cole Johnson (Judah Lewis) is a lonely boy with few friends, one of them being his babysitter Bee (Samara Weaving). One evening he stays up after bedtime to see what happens when he is asleep and discovers Bee is leading a demonic cult....

Is a film that has a lot I enjoy due to comedy and some of the characters yet doesn't quite work due to film's own failings. Take the set up which takes its time to build up Bee and Cole, it goes through passages of "eh, not quite engaged" then a sudden moment or bit of humour will makes it fun. Where it works is Bee is a fun, forceful character, some good running jokes, Leslie Bibb and Ken Marino have fun as Cole's parents, there are good scenes involving Cole with his parents or with Bee. He also bounces well off neighbour Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind) which captures when friendship begins to transform among the young to something more, something awkward yet they are still youngsters. However Cole is not an intresting figure, moments with bullies fall flat, the attempt by Brian Duffield to write about a boy coming into puberty is clumsy and not helped by Shane Hurlbut's leer camera.

The satanic reveal moments are good, Bee's group gets built up and has a good cast, some over the top gore, willingness to be a little over the top in a good way, good interactions between characters including Cole, plenty of humour. Alas even then it's leer cam, the introduction of its awful awful use of captions that wreck a moment and the annoying John (King Bach) who felt stereotyped but may have been Bach's shtick. This could have led to an inventive, intresting horror film based on the satanic cult babysitter premise but alas no, it went for more traditional "victim one v one duel with baddies" route which felt like a waste.

The duels were not well done, in my expirence to work it needs two things. 1) Well done chase and traps with impressive death/victory moment. Of the chases, only one works well
Sonya (Hana Mae Lee) under the house
with effective tension and victory moment which was an enjoyable passage, every other one is poorly done with the twists seen from a mile off due to awful foreshadowing, poor impact, questionable logic and amazing how conveniently Cole can do some of the things he does. 2) A sense of character/threat about the chaser/baddie. Bee obviously has that but John is annoying, Bella Thorne's cheerleader Alison has great start to film then descends into annoying stereotype, Sonya (Hana Mae Lee) gets no build up and relies on the actress who does her best with extremely limited material. The one exception (outside of Bee) is Max (Robbie Amell) who has a great dynamic with Cole and is fun to watch which at least rescues his section. End phase has poor logic though also some sweet moments.

Despite the low scores due to the film's serious flaws, we would happily watch a sequel as did have good comedy and we enjoyed some of the characters
Both: 5.5

====

Watched animated adult comedy Sausage Party. Premise: Food can talk, love and think, they all believe that the Gods will take them to the Great Beyond and a wonderful time if they are good enough. Two such people are love-birds, sausage Frank (Seth Rogen) and bun Brenda (Kristen Wiig), but soon their beliefs will be questioned.

My sky recording had it down for a 15. Not remotely sure what they were thinking with that one...

I had heard good things, liked the trailers and there are moments were it is great, the opening with it's song, the ending phase shone but it was the bits in-between that were problematic. Well animated with a good voice cast, the writers went into some brave areas and there were odd moments where it was funny or the point was well made. However I didn't care for the characters, some just stereotypes without going for something deeper and the sense of "You know what's funny? Using the F word a thousand times" when some restraint might have helped, to challenge them to write good comedy without relying on swearing.

Both: 5.0
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:38 am

On Saturday, had one of those "none of the films quite worked". Force Majeure has an intresting premise (family goes skiing, father abandons them in panic when seem under threat, aftermath of that), the family dynamics are nice, is intresting seeing the mechanics of a ski resort but the pace was glacial to the point that it put us off. Young Adult isn't bad but again, didn't feel it had enough to sit through as wasn't finding it amusing or warming to characters. BnB Hell has a bit of tension but slow set up and poor dialogue.

Had to sit through Escape from New York which was not enjoyable at all. Potentially great premise, I enjoyed seeing where Snake from MGS was based from, bad guy has some intresting additions to his car, nice little ending moment... and that's about it. Snake is trying oh so very very hard to be cool, action is weak, dialogue feels unnatural and cast struggle to pull it off. 5.0
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:27 am

Just got back from watching Thor: Ragnarok. After his vision of the destruction of Asgard back in Civil War, Thor sets out to try to prevent it. Mild spoilers follow, not enough to make me think I need to tag as they are not really plot-related and/or are fairly obvious from the trailer.

Pretty solid film, far superior to the first two. I took a gamble on seeing this in the theater as opposed to VOD or something like that, and was glad I did. It's a visual spectacle, to be sure. I'm still going to ding it on the somewhat awkward pacing, there were points where it dragged on just a bit. I also wasn't super-hot on the characterization of Hulk in this at first, although I can understand it being necessary to finally give Hulk his own voice and personality at long last. And he does still have his moments.

Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin was played twice, both times were awesome. I actually was worried they had blown the opportunity when they used it very early on, but the second placement removed those worries.

One thing that really stood out to me was the very heavy Tron influence in the second act, much of it revolves around a location where the music starts to take on a trippy electronica vibe and the fights get just a bit more...Tronny.

Dark horse favorite character would have to be Korg, so many great comedy bits featuring him.

I wouldn't go so far as to say Ragnarok redeems the franchise, Thor is a key MCU character but I still struggle to care about all the Asgard stuff, as it tends to throw a monkey wrench into the various heroes' and villains' power levels (I know, I know, common comic book problem). But with a name like Ragnarok, I suppose my issue won't be a concern going forward in the MCU.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:57 pm

Watched 2001 crime film Bandits. Premise: Joe (Bruce Willis) and Terry (Billy Bob Thornton) are in trouble as a bank robbery goes wrong. They look back on their time as the "Sleepover Bandits" and on meeting that girl (Cate Blanchett)....

I enjoyed it more then my sister but we both had a nice time. It works best in that its three main characters (though neurotic Terry and Blanchett's character take a little time to warm up) connect well, they are enjoyable, slightly eccentric figures that have good exchanges and very good performances behind them. I did sometimes worry at the route they were going for with Blanchett's character but was usually reassured, 3rd wheel Harvey (Troy Garity) was a likeable figure despite having such a small role, the film uses "how people react to their crimes" and "what happens when they get more famous" well. Did foresee ending twist but was still fun watching it unfold

Me: 7.0, Sis: 6.0
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