Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:44 am

Thought Bandits was a fine popcorn muncher, the plot is pretty ridiculous but the main cast play off of each other well.

Sat through Ghost in the Shell the other evening. I never watched the original animation so was going into this blind and without too many preconceived notions. The story itself was not very compelling, or maybe it was but was not told in a compelling way. I found it difficult to care about most of the characters, although I took an immediate liking to Pilou Asbaek as Batou, he looked like he was lifted straight out of some anime and tended to stick with those "big man sidekick" tropes so common in Japanese sci-fi animation.

As for the white-washing, I tried not to let it bother me but grew to dislike it quite intensely as the film wore on. Two big sticking points for me were that everyone called Hanka something like "Haen-kuh", and when people interacted with Beat Takeshi's character Arakami, they would stand there and speak in English, and he would respond in Japanese, and then the other person would be using English again. Entire conversations were carried on in this fashion - indeed, Beat has zero English lines and I'm fairly certain the Caucasian actors don't bother with any Japanese. It was the pits. Just pick one and stick with it. Or at least offer a quick explanation for why it's possible (cybernetic enhancements, Beat likes messing with his underlings by only using Japanese, etc.) There's no excuse for this bizarre choice.

The setting also didn't work for me, it's in Japan but outside of a few cliché references in the form of the ads and server robots, the location ends up being irrelevant.

Verdict: Watchable, but barely.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:23 am

Watched The Hitman's Bodyguard last night. Buddy action movie starring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, and Gary Oldman. After blowing it with a major client, bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds) is down on his luck taking small-time cases until an old flame (Elodie Yung) calls him up asking for help getting one of the most notorious hitmen in the world, Darius Kincaid (Jackson) to his witness testimony in one piece and under the radar.

The plot itself isn't anything special, a lot of the major beats are pretty predictable for the genre.

But what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in potty-mouthed banter. Personally I thought the exchanges between Reynolds and Jackson pretty much made the movie. I have to admit that I'm biased because I can watch either of these two in even the worst film, so long as they're able to be themselves. Selma Hayek also manages to charm a bit in her few scenes, either going down the foul language route as well, or cheesily playing up her sex appeal. Gary Oldman however looked really out of place in this, he is not really pushing the envelope at all and brings little innovation or creativity to his role, leaving his character as an afterthought.

My wife and I enjoyed it on its comedic merits, I think if you have any serious expectations at all when watching it, or strongly dislike the humor of either of the leads, the movie will be terrible. But there are certain scenes which kind of made it clear to me that everyone on set was not really taking anything seriously - the final scene in particular (an over-the-top bar fight) strongly suggests this.

Felt the action scenes were solid to good depending on the scene, sometimes there was a bit too much cutting, but then at the same time, there is at least one scene, between Reynolds and the #2 baddie, where they did an impressive extended shot of their fight. The boat chase scene was also fun, but I was confused by it because Reynolds is wearing something to cover his head - inviting the possibility for stunt doubles - while I'm pretty sure we can see Jackson in the boat during all of those stunts.

Verdict: If you want to see Deadpool and Nick Fury team up, you'll find this acceptable.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:23 pm

That's fair about Bandits. I have heard the Ghosts in Shell adaptation is poor use of good material and lots of people were unhappy at the Whitewashing, heard The Hitman's Bodyguard was quite poor but main duo was quite good

Watched comedy Horrible Bosses. Premise: Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman), Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) and Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) all have horrible bosses: manipulative bully David Harken (Kevin Spacey), sexual harassing Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston), new boss and playboy Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell) respectively. Having had enough, they muse on killing their bosses...

The basic idea (which they happily acknowledge isn't 100% original) is a good potential one for a comedy, it has a good start as it sets out the three characters and their three bosses, why they would want to turn on them. Harken is a good boss from hell and Dr Harris has her moments but soon the bosses go to the background and then film... becomes hit and miss. Even the ending which was fairly good yet finished on a moment that made me wince. Was a ten minute spell were I nearly left and was one of those "lots of good moments but oh so bad" at other times.

I don't warm to the main three and the bosses are hit and miss (Harken great, Dr Harris come onto later, Pellitt blerg) though are very much the sideshow. It's comedy is mixed, some really good passages and one-liners that would raise a smile, some nice twists in the plot, make the film worth it. Yet there are attitudes and jokes that feel already.... out of date and when subtlety is required, too often the film will go headlong in and overdo something, can feel crass at times. Dr Harris works best when it pulls the jokes a bit and benefits from Antison's performance but too often it goes in really hard on the crass sexual humour element and at one point in a "they shouldn't have gone there" way.

Both: 5.5

=====

Watched Pink Panther Strikes Again, no premise as very connected to previous film. Basic idea
Dreyfus decides to get revenge on his nemesis
could have led to good film but this was one of the worst ones. Good Pink Panther opening credits, good first few minutes but once Clouseau turns up, it engages in about 500 pratfalls every minute which is tedious.

When it gets past opening segments, it has one part good, one part very bad. Clouseau on the case works for the same reasons it usually does though this time it does feel at a slower pace: his luck, his falls, the frustration and bemusement of those around him, the love interest (Lesley-Anne Down doing well with a small role), the inspector's pomposity and faltering English. Unfortunately the big bad is no longer a thief or really smart criminal but pretty much a Bond villain parody only without good jokes, threat or anything good about it, film drags when with the baddie and feels wrong for the franchise.

Both: 5.5

====

Watched Independence Day: Resurgence aka the belated sequel to a film I enjoyed as a child but barely remember. Usually when I watch a film that is going to go big on action, first half is the bit I enjoy and second half drags due to amount of action but this one is the other way round. The first half was hampered by too many characters (cutting out 90% of the comedy characters would have really helped, most were unfunny), romances that were barely done overall but didn't click when heavily forced (bar Maika Monroe's Patricia and Liam Hemsworth's Jake), dialogue that didn't quite fly, visually impressed yet I was left cold at times. I didn't particularly care for most of the cast which didn't help.

Second half, twists were readable, it could try a bit too hard with big emotional moments and some clunky speeches, particularly from Bill Pullman who I felt struggled (my sister disagrees) yet it did have some emotional punch, the introduction of Julius Leverson (Judd Hirsch) really clicked and the actions scenes were enjoyable, I enjoyed the big fights which I nearly never like.

Both: 6.0
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:09 pm

Tried Clubhouse for awhile. First act was fairly nice bar overuse of electrician (Scott Page) as plot device and that it seemed to think lead Tim Abell comes across younger then he does. The cast is decent enough and by having the main characters friends trying to kill him, it allows for dynamics and little plots. In act 2, it then removes most of the cast and tries to go with a major conspiracy which doesn't click, failing to replace the intimate nature of act 1 with something intresting.

Watched vampire horror-comedy Bloodsucking Bastards. Premise: Life has gone badly for hard-working Evan (Fran Kranz), things have fallen apart with Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick), his most hated rival Max (Pedro Pascal) got the sales manager position. The only way his life at the corporation could get any worse is if undead were somehow thrown in

Good set up, likeable enough characters with a sense of workplace drudgery while showing humour that grows as film goes on. The comedy is a joy, particularly with slacker best friend Tim (Joey Kern) landing it each time, aiming both at the vampire situation and bad work practise, a sense of its own absurdity and character foibles for humour. While there were constant laughs, I did feel the bits in-between could be a little underwhelming and lacking, my sister says it is proof I have no taste

Both: 6.5

=====

Watched kickstarter fantasy movie Mythica: A Quest for Heroes. Premise: Trainee wizard Marek (Melanie Stone) flees life of slavery and seeking adventure offers to help priestess Teela (Nicola Posener) rescue sister (Natalie Devine Riskas) who has been captured by an ogre. First she must gather a party...

This has a limited budget so effects and buildings are cheap, generally they handle the limits well but there are moments where its reach exceeds the budget and there attempts to get around it are obvious. I was more put off by sense of logistics (Marek seems to have enough powder to supply an alchemist workshop at all times) then then visual effects but one should be aware of it.

It has a good set up, taking its time, giving glimpses into characters, lots of humour (scenes at Hammerhead's (Christopher Robin Miller) tavern a highlight) and the general attitudes of the population, ending scene is also good as it uses group dynamics well. The general adventure is nice enough, the characters are likeable and fighter Thane (Adam Johnson) avoids the stereotypes, some fun humour with likes of thief Dagen (Jake Stormoen), the cast do a nice job, action is mostly fine, it was generally a nice time. Is one bad segment
in cave
where it feels like "oh dear, we need characters to come to such and such a point in their relationships but we are running out of time" so you get conversations and moments that don't feel earnt and feels all muddled together rather than smoothly flowing scene to scene. Without the need to gather gang together, in the sequel they should have more room for such moments.

There are a few things that I'm hoping they work on for sequel: 1) Marek has a sense of joy in opening and end that goes missing in adventure, 2) one romance works well, the other feels better when one is just being a flirt rather then actual romance, they need building as a pairing, 3) Teela needs building as a character, the other three get time and sense of personality, she feels unfleshed out as more then just a cleric bar when with her sister, 4) Thane is a skilled fighter but he gets KO'ed one too many times while Marek gets the kill a few too many times

Both: 6.0
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Xiahou Ren » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:13 pm

This is one of those time again, when I post something.
Just watched Spiderman:Homecoming. It got critical acclaim, and everybody seems to love it.
How do I feel about the movie? I agree. It was very entertaining.

The Good:
Everything. No, seriously. The plot, the acting, the jokes. All of them are good.
With some few exceptions, which are...

The Bad:
1. It doesn't connect to anything
It doesn't add anything the the Avenger plot, or to the Spiderman role in it. In the end, he remains as the nice kid from the neighborhood; but way more responsible. So yeah, I guess Spiderman movies would most likely be unrelated to Avengers.

2. The choreography is just okay
TASM2 has the best choreography in any comic book movie. When fighting Electro, his Spider Sense activates and slows time immensely, giving Spiderman (and the audience) time to calculate things. And a very justified slowdown effect. in TASM1 Spiderman crawl all around The Lizard, covering him in a web-like cocoon... like a real spider. And there's other stuff, like using web to slingshot, throwing things, conduct electricity... Those were amazing!

Spiderman:Homecoming has only passable action scenes. Spiderman rarely uses his web, for other than sticking people to walls. That's it. And the final action scene is LAME. It's dark, it's flashy, it's shaky, it's hard to see anything, and The Vulture just went down like that. The only interesting action scene is the ferry fight. Boo, I say! BOO!

3. Vulture is just a dude
I'm not surprised if I'm the only person in the world who's get annoyed by this. In TASM2, Osborn corp develops all the super-armor. That makes sense, Osborn corp being a multi-million company. The Vulture, is just a random dude, who found a magic stone... Then he just invented Falcon's armor and basically plasma field that bends reality. And then he complained he couldn't get any job. Really?! How is that even... I mean, just like what my boyfriend said, "you are the DUMBEST SMART PERSON I've ever met in my life!".

After this whining and moaning, one would expect I dislike to movie. No actually. I like the movie a lot.
In fact, this is my personal rating for all Spiderman Movie:

1.The Amazing Spiderman 2
I've read articles, reviews, reddit, and I honestly can break all the "legit criticism" on this movie. Absurdly underrated. (9/10)
2. Spiderman Homecoming
This is dorky Peter Parker done right. He may be a dork, but he's still responsible & brave. Not like that wimpy Maguire(9/10)
3. Spiderman 2
"Hey, we can't do drama for ****. Let's just make an action film where everything gets destroyed". 'Tis a wise choice. (8/10)
4. The Amazing Spiderman 1
It's a good movie all around. It just lack that once powerful scene that has an "Oomph" in it. (7/10)
5. Spiderman 1
Same as above. But it has worse choreography and a wimpy Peter Parker, so it ranks lower. (7/10)
Spiderman 3
Of all Spiderman movie, this is the only one I actively hate. (2/10)
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:04 pm

Heard good things about Spiderman film, glad you enjoyed it

====

Watched Ice Age: Collision Course which got bad reviews. Premise is basically asteroid heading to earth and threatening
to wipe out Mammal life and there are signs of strain, some of the dynamics with Manny's family are the tired tropes one has seen before while elements of the plot that are going to be too... fantastical for some tastes. I would add it does have too many characters to juggle.

Yet I did enjoy it, there is a lot of good humour, I enjoy characters like Mannie and Sam, they have nicely amusing baddies and ability to spring a pleasant surprise. The squirrel strand is rather out there but, though one or two moments feel like they try too hard, it provided a lot of laughter. Plus it has Neil deGrasse Tyson so is clearly 100% scientifically accurate

Both: 6.0

=====

Watched Mexican romance Like Water for Chocolate, based on Laura Esquivel's novel. Premise: Tita (Lumi Cavazos) is the youngest of three daughters and family tradition demands she remain unmarried to look after strict mother (Regina Torné) so her beloved Pedro (Marco Leonardi) marries her sister Rosaura (Yareli Arizmendi). However Tita discovers her emotions have a great, magical impact on her cooking

Cast do a good job, nice romantic fizz, some nice characters like the doctor (Mario Iván Martínez), dynamics click in early. Dialogue, bar one or two overly flowery phrases, works well and that forms a solid basis for a, at times, absurd movie. There are "what the hell?" bizarre scenes, every now and again it will do something really dark then act as if nothing happens, it never really explains the cooking powers though uses them well, characters logic is the sort that one wonders why a parent doesn't take some of the characters aside and give them an education in logic. Pedro's "romantic" plan is utterly stupid and it can be, despite the chemistry, hard to root for the main couple as they do things that hurt others (Rosaura particularly and the film in the end decides to just savage her), some stupid choices and Tita gets another love interest who I preferred a lot more. When logic did settle down and we stopped having a laugh, it still carried along nicely as an interesting romantic movie with a good ending

Both: 6.5

=====

Watched the Purge: Election Year, the third film in the franchise. Premise: It is election year and Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), whose family was a victim of the Purge, is running for Presidency on an anti-Purge platform and closing in on New Founding Father's candidate Minister Edwidge Owens (Kyle Secor). So the Founding Fathers declare there are no protections for anyone this Purge.... Meanwhile local shop owner Joe (Mykelti Williamson) turns away two shoplifters.

It starts well, the politics is intresting as Minister vs Roan goes on and plots begin, there is chemistry between Roan and her security guard Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo), those who hang around at Joe's shop are nice and the shoplifters have initial flair, there is early tension as Purge night gets under way and people begin to move against each other. It's little nods to things people do on the Purge lifted the film throughout but once the two strands joined up, those little glimpses would be lighting up a film that seemed tired and dragging.

So what goes wrong? It becomes just another action film with some good Purge glimpses, solid enough action, Joe is given dialogue from somebody who is trying so hard to be cool but sense of cool is about 10 years out of date, they don't build relationships between characters or the characters themselves, some questionable decisions made by characters. The chance to do something special with election is mostly wasted and so there is that sense of disappointment. Nice ending though

Me: 6.0 Sis: 6.5

=====

Watched Addams Family Values which is the one I remembered most as a child (the camp, Joan Cusack's entertaining baddie). It still has that sense of darkness which they use for humour and a little reflection back on normal, the warmth and love between the family including the great romance that is Gomez and Morticia as parents. They use Christina Ricci's deadpan delivery for some great Wednesday jokes, the camp is a lot of fun, entertaining and fun baddie (though the end phase with that is a bit of let-down), lots of humour, adorable baby. Prefer this over the first film

I only wish there had been a chance for a third

=====

Watched animated comedy The Secret Life of Pets. Premise: Russell Terrier Jack (Louis C.K) loves being the pet of Kate (Ellie Kemper) but when she brings him big new dog Duke (Eric Stonestreet), they do not bond. Amidst their fighting, they get lost and caught by animal control, can they make their way back?

I went into this not realizing it would be an adventure so that was disappointment that, after an enjoyable start, it went down a conventional route rather then really exploring a fantasy world of the life of pets when unsupervised. It didn't help that it was not a particularly good adventure, the two leads are alright but not engaging and there were plenty of "and suddenly the two have the exact thing they need. Don't ask how". What the adventure does have is a fun villain in Kevin Hart's Snowball who tends to be amusing fun whenever on screen.

As well as the villain, where the film shone was the glimpses (like at start and end of the film) of the lives pets have when owners are away, there is an enjoyable sense of humour. While the main duo may have been a little underwhelming, it is the second team that gives a lot of enjoyment, led by the energetic Gidget (Jenny Slate). She is always a joy while her friends like the cat Chloe (Lake Bell) are also fun but they get pushed into the background in second half.

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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