Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:58 pm

Watched comedy horror Sightseers that I had tried once before but then events happened midway through for hours. Premise: Tina (Alice Low) is haunted by the death of her dog and has a tense relationship with her mother (Eileen Davies) but her boyfriend Chris (Steve Oram) is taking her on a caravan holiday against the mother's advice. What could possibly go wrong?

I really liked it in the first half, some lovely little known locations in England, the cast do a good job. I liked seeing the relationship between Tina and Chris develop on their first holiday together, getting to know each others foibles, the rush of new love, the arguments while the dark side of things is introduced well. It veered for me somewhat in the second half, it just didn't quite feel right at times, that the film was perhaps trying a bit too hard but it had a good ending.

Me: 6.0
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Gray Riders » Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:37 pm

My brother and I finally saw the legendary Troll 2. It is by far one of the stupidest films I have ever seen.

11/10 would watch again.

In all seriousness, a handful of scenes are somewhat competent as horror, but not enough to stop it from being a great comedy instead.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby ivolga » Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:54 pm

Watched (and rewatched, and going to rewatch again later with my poor husband who constantly has to suffer like this from my Chinese history addiction :) ) "The Lat Supper" (or "King's Feats", Wang De Sheng Yan 王的盛宴).

The plot revolves around the last days of Liu Bang, the founder of the Han dynasty, with a lot of flashbacks, as the emperor reflects on key events in his life. The movie has a haunting, claustrophobic atmosphere and is very psychologically intense.

The creators put a lot of efforts into making the material aspect of the film be as accurate as possible, including costumes, armor, weapons and other objects. The plot somewhat deviates from history though, but the movie itself gives an explanation for this (basically, that history is written by the winners).

But in order to truly enjoy the movie one needs to know the history of Qin downfall and Liu Bang's conquest (including its reflection in folklore and culture) and also what happens after Liu Bang's death, otherwise it would probably feel like watching a brilliant adaptation of only a middle act of a Shakespeare's play, while having not read the play itself.

10/10
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:32 pm

sounds an intresting film

Watched Westworld, a film we had sort often been meaning to watch due to reputation but only got round to it because of the TV show being shown soon. Michael Crichton's writing was clever, one could see why one would pay a lot of money to go to one of the three worlds (medieval or Roman for me), and is something you could perhaps see happening in the future, Peter Martin (Richard Benjamin) and John Blane (James Brolin) make a good duo to provide a platform for the viewer. It also builds up to the crises well while it's treatment of the company and scientists is respectful, one can see what they were trying to do and that their steps were reasonable.

When it switched to action, that was less to my taste then the build up but it was again well written and well delivered, ending a bit of a mixed bag. I wish the film had been longer to develop more themes but it never quite came fully alive, it was intellectually intresting rather then drawing me in.

Both: 6.5
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:35 pm

Watched 2004 musical horror comedy Stage Fright. Premise: Camilla (Allie MacDonald) is haunted by the death of her mother (Minnie Driver) at the opening of The Haunting of the Opera. Ten years on, she works in the kitchens of parental figure Roger McCall (Meat Loaf) who hosts a musical summer camp and is going to put on a new production of The Haunting of the Opera...

It starts well with some nice songs, sets up well and then drifts. It has some good shots at the darker side of the entertainment industry without being novel, it's adapting famous musical songs isn't a bad idea but nothing stands out, it has too many characters for it's own good. Having MacDonald rivalling Melanie Leishman's character felt like a mistake as Leishman felt the stronger singer and though there are good moments, it felt like writer/director Jerome Sable didn't have enough to fill the short film and it drifts.

When the production and the killings really start, it does pick up though it's big twist is questionable
major spoiler
there is no way Roger fits into the original killers robes
. The killing is done with flair and amusement, humour generally picks up and it goes along nicely. Could have done with an epilogue

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

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:27 am

Sort of watched Black Mass, had some distractions so I couldn't follow the movie perfectly. Stars Johnny Depp as real-life mobster Whitey Bulger. When push comes to shove with the Italian gang muscling in on his turf, Bulger strikes a deal with the devil and then plays both sides in order to thwart his enemies while blissfully continuing his life of crime.

Honestly it's a pretty formulaic film, which is mainly saved by Depp giving off an intensely creepy vibe as time goes on. Films about mobsters can be very dependable when you need a bit of ruthlessness in your life, but this also means that they have a hard time casting off the accompanying tropes to make a stand-out film. Also deterring from the film is that, while it boasts an ensemble cast, some of the bigger names end up getting sidelined into parts that must pose them practically no challenge at all. In particular, Kevin Bacon and Benedict Cumberbatch are cast in roles where they come off as depressingly flat. Kevin Bacon mailing it in is nothing new but Cumberbatch stings, I really hoped he would be allowed more room to breathe.

Joel Edgerton does a great job as FBI agent Connolly. And I thought Rory Cochrane brought some needed complexity to the mobster side of things as Bulger continued to descend into the depths. Depp was good, but the make-up threw me off the entire movie, while he is no Mad Hatter in this, between the intense contacts and whatever they did with his hair, it just drew too much attention to him. There were seriously times where I would look at him and be like "That has got to be CGI." He's almost like a cartoon character.

This movie also has the unique trait of somehow making "mobster grows into kingpin" not come off as brisk and exciting and alluring. Usually they throw scenes of girls and drugs in there, but with Black Mass, even this arc is grey and somber and underpinned with sadness.

Verdict: Probably required viewing for fans of mobster films, just a bit too off-beat and gritty to really be must-watch for everyone else.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:23 pm

Watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. It' was pretty good, a bit of tension, very well delivered action, some good characters though others not fleshed out, some good old politics going on. There was one mis-step that felt horror movie
mutts
which didn't fit the tone of the franchise while Katniss's morality felt off, it was hard to back her stances.

When it came towards the conclusion, it's epilogue, it started to drift. I didn't care much for Katniss, didn't hate her but was meh about the character and the choice of characters it chose to concentrate on as the franchise due to a close was odd, the ones I wanted to learn how things ended for tended not to be the ones chosen.

Both: 6.5
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:15 pm

Watched the 2015 horror/thriller the Invitation. Premise: Two years after last seeing his wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and mourning the death of his son, Will (Logan Marshall-Green) receives an invite back to the old house for a party with old friends and her new love David (Michiel Huisman)

Has a cast that do well, quickly builds a good sense of the characters and it creates a good atmosphere that feels realistic. These are people who haven't seen each other for awhile, remembering a tragedy, people dealing with grief, there are the jokes of easy friendship renewed, there are tensions, there is well done awkwardness, there are new people like David trying to fit in with the group. Had the film been content to just be a dinner party, it could have been very good. Had a very good ending scene.

The problem is the horror element, the suspicions of Will took us out of the mood and distorts the movie, it doesn't feel as real as the rest of the film. When film changes tack, it isn't bad but it isn't as engaging as the dinner party human relations and one does miss it.

Both: 6.5
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:52 am

Watched a "teen" comedy called The DUFF last night. Football jock Wesley (Robbie Amell) ribs "outcast" Bianca (Mae Whitman) about how she is the designated ugly fat friend, or DUFF, amongst her immediate circle of friends (since childhood). Buying into it, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to shake off the stigma.

I put teen in quotes because, while the original book is YA and the content is apparently intended for consumption by teens, Mae Whitman is far too aloof and mature for me to buy her as a high school student.

That said, even though the plot is pretty darn forgettable and chock full of tropes, the two leads have surprisingly great chemistry together considering how their characters are initially polar opposites. They bring a certain charm to the film over its course that makes it a breeze to watch.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby ky9ersfan » Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:01 am

I watched Captain America: Civil War, I thought it was decent for what it was, that being a comic book fantasy based action type movie. If you like action type movies it was average. 6.5
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