Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:49 pm

Tried Adam Sandler rom-com Punch-Drunk Love but the director Paul Thomas Anderson and cinematographer Robert Elswit seemed to be either trying to emulate or spoof certain type of artsy films with a tendency to hold moments too long, the camera angles they went for but it just really slowed the film down without adding anything. Also tried The Brothers Bloom which has a great premise by Rian Johnson yet the style of the film and the performances don't gel.

Watched Stephen King adaptation A Good Marriage, adapted by King himself. Premise: Darcy (Joan Allen) and Bob (Anthony LaPaglia) Anderson celebrate their 25th anniversary, they have lovely grown up children, a strong relationship that is admired by all. However Bob has a rather nasty secret that will soon come to light....

King has a good premise
a more spoilery version
Bob is a serial killer and wife founds out
, the routes it takes isn't unpredictable once you know the type of film it is but generally well executed, yet I found that I wasn't quite engaged. It was nice enough but sometimes scenes just weren't clicking which I put down to the performances. Allen and LaPaglia are great as a couple in love, with an easy charm and a sense of knowing each other 25 years, and they tend to bounce well off characters outside the home like neighbour Betty (Cara Buono). However when it goes for drama or more testing times, the performances of the two leads becomes erratic, sometimes they click but other times the tension or the emotional punch isn't there.

Me: 6.0 Sis: 6.5

=======

Watched Brigsby Bear. James (Kyle Mooney) has spent his entire life underground, protected from the dangers of the world by his parents (Mark Hamill and Jane Adams), inspired by the Brigsby Bear TV show, the one TV show he has ever seen. When the FBI come calling, James is in for a bit of a culture shock

The film has a good heart, no characters in it are monsters but people who make mistakes out of human failings or misguided intentions. It balances out the humour from James awkward adapting to the world with little reminders of how messed up the situation James is in. James is a likeable enough lead and there are likeable characters around him like Spencer (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) or Detective Vogel (Greg Kinnear), a good cast, plenty of amusement and the adventure/drama goes along nicely.

One flaw throughout is that Aubrey (Ryan Simpkins) never gets explored which doesn't do her character any favours when she is unhappy about things involving James, one can understand her view but not due to anything the film does. The handling of James family overall is good when on screen but it can leave them off-screen for too long, key moments in transition to end phase feel clunky becuase of this. Ending however feels appropriate for the tone of this film and was likeable fun.

Me: 7.0, Sis: 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 Zyzyfer » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:18 am

I recently had a flight over the Pacific so ended up watching several films. There are strong cons to watching a movie on a flight (hard to hear everything in particular) so I'll just do quick reviews.

Fahrenheit 451 - stars Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon. Having never read the source material, a little hard to follow at times. I thought it was OK.

Pacific Rim: Uprising - Who did it star? I'm not really sure. The bad guy's plan was far too convoluted. The "Voltron" nod with the kaiju in the climax was pretty cool but we never got the pay-off response from the heroes there.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle - What the hell?!? First one was a bit campy but enjoyable. Catchy soundtrack still carries over, jabs at American culture were fun, but otherwise a real stinker, I thought.

Rampage - WHY DID I WATCH THIS.

Was supposed to watch Justice League but napped too much I guess.

-----

At home, we caught Gifted on TV which stars Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, McKenna Grace. Frank (Evans) has been raising Mary (Grace), who happens to be a math whiz, only to have their lives upended when his estranged mother returns and tries to gain custody of her granddaughter. Although I've been enjoying Evans' acting since at least as far back as Push, my wife only knew him from his Marvel role and was impressed by the acting chops he puts on display. While the script is a little heavy-handed at times, it has a warmness and honesty to it, especially the interactions between Evans and Grace, and a good balance of quirk without going too overboard. Reminded me a lot of Infinitely Polar Bear, with the bonus of not being auto-biographical in nature.

Also, Fred is the smartest cat ever.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:35 pm

Pity I had heard good things about Kingsman 2

Tried Green Room but never warmed to the band and pace was slow, was showing some promise around other people the band met but when we got to first ad-break, I was either way and my sister was negative. We also tried ye olde film (1932) The Most Dangerous Game, again it was alright but not quite enough for us to continue. Some of the acting was good but those playing the Towbridges dragged the scene down, action holds up reasonably well though effects are old, some old attitudes but decent story and the big problem is it lacks a bit of zip.

Watched the final Mythica film Mythica: The Godslayer (amazon had a different title, one that didn't fit the film). As the final one, it did seem to have a longer running time though unfortunately it also had a slow pace. While I'm glad when they delve into characters rather then when they don't, some of this felt like stuff that really needed to be dealt with in earlier films rather then thrown in here. Each scene tended to just lack zip which undermined the usual humour, villain was better then usual, decent action, some nice nods
spoiler for past films
Nicola Posener did well playing two characters
. It isn't bad but it is just lacking and is drifting.

When the separate pieces knitted together into one part, it did find its pace again, some nice twists, the humour worked again and it built well to the final battle. Alas the pre-exchanges was better then the final battle which lacked a bit of oomph and felt a bit quick. Appropriate ending to the franchise followed with a fun after-credit scene, whatever the flaws of this particular film I left it on a high note.

Me: 6.0, Sis: 5.5

As a franchise, leaving aside the stuff one forgives due to budget, it was flawed. It could be poorly paced, open up fascinating strands and never follow them, Teela sometimes got 4th wheeled, its villain was a little lacking till last two films and at one point the franchise went steam-punk out of nowhere. This was never a top franchise, this tended to get nice enough 6's out of us.

So why did we watch the next one every few months? It was likeable, it had a bit of charm, a sense of humour. The 4 heroes were an intresting bunch, they were not a cohesive unit in a good way as they loved, fell out, took verbal and sometimes real shots at each other. We rooted for the romances, laughed at the jokes, enjoyed the pettiness between all of them. This was a group that would get drunk, that if people pick up something powerful would show great glee and excitement rather then be solemn or responsible, it was nice to have something a bit different in attitude.
“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 Aug 28, 2018 12:23 pm

Watched Armando Iannucci comedy The Death of Stalin. Premise: When Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) dies, a battle for power begins involving his two children and his chief ministers, a time of chaos and ambition. Only by the guys behind Thick of It....

This was highly reviewed but for me, as a comedy, it didn't work. It had actors I know can be funny like Buscemi, Palin and Tambor while plenty of comic actors in far smaller roles. I know the writers can be funny but the jokes generally don't land with the possible exception of Rupert Friend's struggling son Vasily. What kept me watching was the political side, the little sense of atmosphere before and after Stalin, the careful plotting of the characters and Stalin's daughter Svetlana (Andrea Riseborough) had some powerful moments as people manoeuvred around her. It does decently as a political film, enough to keep watching though near the end, the story doesn't flow smoothly as characters suddenly do stuff that doesn't feel earnt.

Both: 6.0

=====

Watched 2005 fantasy MirrorMask from Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. Premise: Helena (Stephanie Leonidas) is unhappy working at her parents circus and is rowing with her mother Joanne (Gina McKee). When her mother falls badly ill, Helena finds her dream sees her sucked into a strange fantasy land....

I wasn't a fan. Set up is slow and lacks the emotional punch it should have, the circus moment was nice but I wasn't warming to the characters. When we get to the adventure, it is impressively crafted visually but the humour was more miss then hit, I liked the evil queen and she provided some of the better humour. I didn't warm to the adventure pairing of Helena and Valentine (Jason Barry) enough for them to be the leads, they were alright but not enough to keep me engaged and the adventure scenes lacked excitement.

Both: 5.5
“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 Sun Fin » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:06 pm

Sakae Wu wrote:
Kong Wen wrote:I saw this last night. The latest hurricane-force nor'easter took out our power, so my brother-in-law and I took a dangerous blizzardy road trip up to the local cinema. I agree with your assessment overall. And like you, I'm still trying to make sense of the movie. Much like Lena's experience in the shimmer, I felt the film was equal parts nightmarish and beautiful.

I also agree with JJL being perhaps the least compelling/believable character, and with Portman putting in a great performance.

The crazy BWAAAAAM music in the scene at the end (you know the one) was just fantastic. I broke into a big smile when that started playing. Just a wonderfully-realized scene.

I'm definitely going to have to spend some time digesting this one.


Nice, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
I can't remember ever having to compose myself before pulling out of a movie theater parking lot. There was a young lady crying in the row behind me during the final scene. Which made me even more freaked out haha.

That's a good description btw...beautiful and horrifying at the same time.

There's quite a lot of discussion on Reddit also. A lot of theories being debated there which helped me understand certain aspects. I'm pretty sure there will be sequels as there are a couple more books in the series.

I was tempted to post a link to the Soundcloud of the ending music. But I think it's best if others experience it with the film. One of the more memorable scores that I can remember.


I finally watched it. I’m, still trying to process it all. I don’t suppose you guys have made more sense of it?
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Sakae Wu » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:00 am

Sun Fin wrote:I finally watched it. I’m, still trying to process it all. I don’t suppose you guys have made more sense of it?


It's mostly viewed as "theme based" movie rather than a plot driven one. What the actual theme is has been debated quite a bit on reddit and other discusssion boards. For me, it mostly boils down to two theories:

A couple possibilities
One is that the alien entity is like a cancer. A highly evolved form that's infecting the planet. The randomness of the meteor hiting the lighthouse, the tumor at the heart of the shimmer, the mutations and jumbling of cells. Phosphorous grenade mirroring chemo. There are many clues that seem to support this if you look into it.
The other one, and this is the one I kinda lean toward is that the human race is viewed as the cancer and the Aliens/Shimmer is an attempt at a cure. All the women who go in are destructive or self destructive. Ventress herself actually has cancer. The shimmer attempts to change or copy and replace all of them. Over the entire southern reach it's like a massive radiation treatment. But it's always the humans that die inside of it. An interesting line from Lena was "It's not out to kill us, it's making something new" Possibly a different race of humans that aren't so destructive? I have no idea to be honest haha.
In the end, it's Kane's copy in the hospital and Lena is the actual Lena but forever changed by the shimmer. The director Garland has stated it's about self destruction but also added it's mostly up to one's own interpretation. Spooky and fun to think about.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:16 pm

Tried Spanish drama The Motive which started nicely, good use of dog, Alvaro's (Javier Gutiérrez Álvarez) frustrations in life but I found him increasingly pretentious and annoying, the story started to drift. Also tried Hong Kong comedy Love on Delivery which has some really good ideas and jokes, not a fan of slapstick but there are other sorts of humour including spoofs, the main character is sweet but delivery kills the humour too many times.

Miss Congeniality is a film everyone in the family had watched and liked so we decided it would be a family film. Of course we were younger when we watched it and times have changed so is a risk, particularly in a comedy based on tomboy FBI agent entering pageant, of humour being very dated and feeling wrong nowadays. The opening scenes were worrying, more becuase of a lack of zip and chemistry though there were, in officer banter, some "ooof moments" but the scanning for the future pageant contestant was surprisingly funny.

When Sandra Bullock's agent meets Michael Caine's pageant consultant, any worries faded away. There was immediate spark as two cultures and minds clashed, funny insults flying, both with amusing asides about the other, her makeover scene is a lot of fun. Bullock is a good comedic lead and there is a good set of characters around her, Shatner's pervert presenter is on the right side with his jokes, Candice Bergen's head of pageant Kathy Morningside has enjoyable spike, Miss Rhodes Island (Heather Burns) is a likeable figure. There is a nice atmosphere, plenty of jokes as Bullock's agent get frustrated and clashes with others, main romance is sweet enough thanks to a sense of humour.

Me: 7.0 Sis: 6.5
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Sakae Wu » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:16 am

Crazy Rich Asians

Rom Coms aren't really my thing but this was an excellent movie. First all Asian cast out of Hollywood in 25 years. I'd love to see more Asian representation in film and media in general.
Michelle Yeoh is amazing as always. Defintely one of my all time favorite actresses. Gemma Chan nailed the rich socialite role, I think she has a bright career ahead of her.
Awkwafina was hilarious and really everyone did a good job in my opinion.
Some parts were a little silly but overall some really funny parts and a few sad ones.
Filmed primarily in Singapore and Malaysia with some beautiful shots of the downtown area.

One of the few movies I can remember when everyone in the theater applauded at the end.

9/10
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:27 pm

Tried Blue Ruin, pace felt slow during set up though Macon Blair did a good job as the lead, was some nice touches but it wasn't coming alive. Then suddenly it did come alive
as lead hunts and kills someone
with tension and good action which meant we stayed on a little more but alas, even with more characters coming in, never felt the film was clicking.

Watched The Man from Earth: Holocene sequel to the thoughtful Man from Earth. This time the professor John Young (David Lee Smith) is starting to feel like he is ageing while four of his students begin to put pieces together as they research his mysteriously unexplained past....

Whereas the first film was quick to set up, friends in room, having party, discussion starts, this takes 45 or so minutes of it's 1 hour 40 to set up its scenario. This was going to take longer to set up as the students need to find out about the professor but it meant the two potential ideas they touch on (John facing potential mortality and from the students
how would you use John? How would you feel about him?
) are never built up, it covers some old ground and one or two clumsy dialogue moments. The romance with Carolyn (Vanessa Williams) never comes alive but John has a nice friendship with Dr Parker (Michael Dorn) while the student 4 have shallow depth but are likeable figures, lead Isabel (Akemi Look) brings the drive, flirty Tara (Brittany Curra) and sporty Liko (Carlos Knight) provide humour. Philip (Sterling Knight) is the least developed and the one that tends to be missing from a scene but as the religious figure, they handle him with more sensitivity then they did with religious figure in first film and the best philosophical stuff revolves around him.

The set up wasn't bad, it went along nicely enough, the moments where it did touch on philosophy (when not repeating old ground) was good, the humour was gently amusing, we liked the students. The transfer onto the next stage however is clumsy and arguably offensive in way it it is written
Tara trying to sleep with the professor? Fine, they could have done something intresting with the appeal of the 1,4000 year old man. Her speech about how people judged her for her looks... then tries to sleep with him then gets hammered for tipping their hand...
. It does go into an intresting philosophical discussion eventually but it gets one sided by the end, then they have a big moment and... then nothing. They do one scene set a bit in future, leaving several questions unanswered and with a feeling they had run out of money or time. It feels very incomplete.

Both: 5.5

=====

Watched Thor: Ragnarok which I had heard decent things about and knew director Taika Waititi's reputation had been enhanced which suggests film didn't suck. This felt different from the other Thors, its tone is much more guardians of the galaxy which isn't an issue in itself but was possibly too close on from guardians of the galaxy 2. It is a funny movie in and of itself (though I tended to not like Korg's humour) that just perhaps did a little too much humour by the end. We had many a laugh and was better then the last Thor film.

As an adventure it works well, action scenes hold up well with knowing when to use a bit of dialogue or humour to break it up before returning to the fight, film looks good including costumes bar one
Valkryie costume didn't work for me
and the story went along at a nice pace. It handles the transition for the Thor franchise well with new figures coming in, generally the long term new and old characters got enough time to make an impact and be developed
I liked Scrapper 142, kind of hoping they don't do a romance with Thor there. Hulk was fun, felt more of a character then he usually does and bounced off others well while Loki's reaction in the arena was hilarious. Banner felt odd and didn't warm to him.


The main villain worked in extent of good costume and an authoritative performance from Cate Blanchett but it suffered from the old problem of too little time to develop the baddie. After her opening scenes, Thor and co go off on their own adventure and we get the odd scene with her every now and again, very separate from the main events till the final (fun enough) showdown. The secondary baddie as it were
Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster
is more there for comedy then as a threat.

Me: 7.5, Sis: 8.0
“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 Sep 18, 2018 3:53 pm

Watched horror/comedy adaptation of Thai folklore Mae Nak Phra Khanong Pee Mack. Premise: Mid-19th Century Siam is at war but the hopeless Mak (Mario Maurer) just wishes to get back home so he and his friends flee. Mak is delighted to return to Nak (Davika Hoorne) and their newborn child but his friends start to notice something is a little off...

As a comedy, it is a bit hit and miss, some style of comedy isn't my thing (though the comedy "girlish screaming" is impressive in execution) but when it does hit the moment tends to be very funny, like its use of self-aware comparisons with other movies. As a horror, it takes awhile to get going but Hoorne delivers a good horror performance as film goes on and they generate some tension. It is a nice enough film but at 115 minutes, it goes on too long. Particularly the end phase with too many twists, a final battle, as it were, that goes on too long and even its sweet, moving ending is hampered by the way scene drags on.

Me: 6.0, Sis: 6.5

====

Watched Spanish thriller by Álex de la Iglesia the Bar. Premise: In a small bar/cafe in Madrid, a group find themselves trapped after a sniper shoots those leaving. As help fails to arrive, tension mounts amongst the group...

A slow start, takes its time setting itself up but it also has too large a group initially, the dialogue or the subtitle translation of it wasn't sharp with some clumsy lines. I felt that, after the sniper, its "what is going on outside" became a bit too fantastical which didn't help, there is a misogynistic bent to dialogue a few times during the film which I'm not sure if due to writer or simply the characters. One thing that did appeal in the early stages was homeless Israel (Jaime Ordóñez) his mental health meant some unpredictably while others reactions, both acts of kindness and cruelty, were intresting.

It picks up at a certain point
when most of group is sent underground
, they do better at getting sense of characters, of building tension as events happen, they annoy and bounce off each other and have to make decisions. It isn't great but it goes alone nicely until an end phase that goes down a route that feels action for sake of action and rather silly.

Me: 6.0, Sis: 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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