Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Shao Shanshu » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:33 am

Totoro is simply brilliant.
Never seen it in the cinema, though. See no point.
It's best watched at home with kids. :)
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:59 pm

Watched Noah Baumbach comedy Mistress America. Premise: Tracy (Lola Kirke) is unhappy at college, life there is not as exciting as she had hoped. With her mother (Kathryn Erbe) due to be married, she meets future and older sister-in-law Brooke (Greta Gerwig) who turns her life upside down.

There is a certain stereotype associated with Gerwig movies and this fits in some ways, privileged self-obsessed, meant to be endearingly eccentric white characters, tendency for dialogue nobody would actually say but which writers think sounds smart and wise. There are elements of that though there is also awareness within the film at the characters privilege which helps balance it out. Film slightly drags near end of first half before picking up again and Tracy doesn't feel like a fleshed out, developed character at the end.

Enjoyed the film though, there are good situations with Tracy, side characters provide humour particularly in a generally amusing second half, there is somewhat unusual side romance, cast do a good job. What really adds to the film is Brooke feels a (within indie eccentricities) someone with a very believable problem
As she ages, her time is running out for success and regrets are piling up as she makes one last bid to do something
which builds up gradually across the film and is intresting seeing it explored.

Both: 6.5

=====

Watched sequel/prequel to Snow White and the Huntsman (without Kristen Stewart) The Huntsman: Winter's War. Premise: Huntsman Eric (Chris Hemsworth) was raised as a child by broken hearted ice-queen Freya (Emily Blunt) and served as a soldier under her army. Now his past is about to catch up with him in Snow White's Kingdom.

Slightly slow start, particularly when we got to adult Huntsman, but mostly the film does a lot of things ok and nothing much more. Freya is a reasonable villain but not much more (there are also elements of the story that feel very close to some Disney stuff), cast does fine but Hemsworth takes awhile to get going, humour doesn't work at first but as more characters come in that changes into an amusing film, fine action, romance is meh. The writers don't seem worried at how their scenario's would actually work in practise and the ending phase is simply ridiculous with one cast member
Theron as Queen Ravenna
acting as if told "just go so so so ridiculously over the top as you can".

Both: 6.0
“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 Nike12 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:27 am

Lion - movie about indian boy who got lost in India and after adopted by an Australian family. Touching story, great actors play, I personally admire Nicole Kidman. Based on a real story.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:37 pm

I tend to really enjoy Kidman's work, in some of my fav movies

Watched spinoff Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, not played the video game but father had. Animated well bar one or two weird mouth movement when talking, I liked what they attempted to do with world building and issues but it could be a bit clumsy. The political staff was the best, had good themes, intresting characters including baddies making impact, best voicework even if Lena Headey was given Liu Bei-esque lines, enjoyed the political battles. I didn't care much about the guards and felt some of the voicework wasn't as good with their strands, went action heavy near end.

Both: 6.0

=====

Watched Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising which went for new angle of female sority led by Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz) and how times have changed for those in first film. There is a nice theme about Teddy's struggles with his life and nice nod that first film had consequences, one or two nice running jokes but generally the humour falls flat for me and this time there aren't the likeable figures to enjoy, I didn't care for any of the characters. The film writers also mean well with little shots at society and sexism but, while one or two neat points, they fail to really build on it.

Me: 5.5
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:24 pm

Watched Alice Through the Looking Glass , James Bobin taking over from Tim Burton. The first film I had liked, particularly when the Queen's of Wonderland came in, but had issues (most of side characters) that if fixed could lead to a good sequel. They go with a standard time travel tale which as long as done well, not going to be worried if it lacks originality but film got really bad reviews for good reason.

There are moments that work, little bits of humour here or there, bit of emotion near the end
the Queen sisters pulled off when Hathaway and Carter rise to the moment. Also liked the moment where Alice "failed", knew that was not going to be the end but it was an excellent few seconds
but most of the film doesn't click. The first film got good performances from Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Wasikowska but everyone here doesn't quite same at it, they don't bring the same force of personality with Carter barely recognizable and Hathaway seemingly told to overact while lacking the darker edge the White Queen had in first film. Most of the humour doesn't quite land, Depp is still the annoying Depp as Madd Hatter, the big bad has nice ideas but doesn't come off for most part. The adventure also has some logic holes, fails to develop ideas while Alice being tremendously stupidly reckless and hard to support what she is doing

Me: 5.5 Sis: 6.0

====

Watched coming of age film The Edge of 17. Premise: Nadine Franklin (Hailee Steinfeld) is something of a loner and never recovered from the death of her father (Eric Keenleyside), when her life-long best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating Nadine's older brother Darian (Blake Jenner), she does not cope...

Has a bad start, there is a clear sense of humour from early on but the cast struggle to get the relations to click for awhile. After about 20 minutes, the cast performances begin to click and dialogue works better, there are plenty of good performances. The humour is very enjoyable from Nadine and others but particularly any scene between Nadine and her teacher (Woody Harrelson), likeable figures like the awkward Erwin (Hayden Szeto), plenty of good scenes between characters and good situations that make for an intresting enough movie.

Where it is lacking compared to films like Easy-A and the Duff is that every character other then Nadine feels, by the end, underused, some vanish party way through and appear near end but even those that stay feel underwritten and needing fleshing out. Nadine is also very very difficult to like, it is clear she has issues and when she is not thinking about herself she is likeable but she is extremely immature, self obsessed and unaware of others.

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

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:58 am

Watched John Wick with the adorable dog. Cinematographer Jonathan Sela and director Chad Stahelski found a good sense of visual style that made it stand out including colouring some of the Russian subtitles, good use of lighting and so on. Has a good big bad thanks to a sense of style and the performance of Michael Nyqvist, action held together and enjoyed the big end fight, good pace. I liked some of the idea's like the hotel though I did feel it didn't get the best out of an intresting cast, particularly Adrianne Palicki, but still provided a good fun time.

Me: 7.0
“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 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:28 pm

Watched 90's romcom Big Fat Greek Wedding. Premise: Fortoula "Toula" Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) works at her family's restaurant, under pressure to marry a nice Greek boy but not feeling hopeful about her prospects. When she meets and falls for the non-Greek Ian (John Corbett), family reaction is divided....

Was a nice, warm-hearted film, a good sense of humour, cast do a good job, has a good eye for the silly things families get up to with each other. Uses cultural differences carefully and well, romance is fine but I was more interested in Ian meeting family or Toula with her family.

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

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:28 pm

Watched Mike Flanagan adaptation of Stephen King novel Gerald's Game. Premise: Married couple Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) and Jessie (Carla Gugino) take a romantic trip away and try out handcuffs to spice up the lovelife. Alas when Gerald has a heart-attack, Jessie is still tied up, left alone with just her own thoughts and a stray dog.

Slow start as the couple struggle to hold attention and performances don't quite gel but once the trapped moment begins then it really gets going. There is good work on what would happen if your trapped with hands tied for so long including the dangers and impact on the body, the cast (including Henry Thomas) do a good job, it provides a bit of tension every time Jessie tried something to improve her situation, her flashbacks and thoughts in her head were intresting to watch unfold. My sister felt it had some scary moments, I more felt tense. Ending slightly undermines the film
particularly it's handling of the death figure, feels like it is trying to be too neat


Both: 6.5

====

Watched kids film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (please note, I did not watch this in 3D) based on the stories of Robert Rodriguez children. Premise: Max (Cayden Boyd) is still believing in his dreams including of the child heroes he created Sharkboy (Taylor Lautner) and Lavagirl (Taylor Dooley) which is leading to some frustration among adults. Then one stormy day, the heroes appear and ask for Max's help...

Very much a "aimed for the youngsters" film, has slow start as setup only has a few moments of interest, I was worried about the message they seemed to be sounding out about "being a dreamer" and some irresponsible adult characters. Once Max is recruited by his imaginary friends, it gets going. Has a sense of humour and a sense of the ridiculous, decent baddies with George Lopez as Mr Electric and some nice "bad" gags, has some nice little messages, the adventure itself isn't that good but there are decent signs of children imagination in the settings, cast generally did a good job as long as they aren't asked to act like a superhero and felt Boyd was a bit flat as a lead.

Sharkboy and Lavagirl work as a duo with contrasting attitudes (she is positive, he tends towards sarcasm) and abilities that film uses well, willingness for the characters to be selfish and bicker, they provided a fun centre (Max rather less so). End phase is hit and miss, feels like it tries to do too much, it's attempt to wrap up the messages don't quite work, characters we barely know become key figures.

Both: 6.0
“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 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:54 pm

Watched Bernard Roses 2015 adaptation of Frankenstein. Premise: A man with the intelligence of a baby (Xavier Samuel) is created in a lab by science team Victor (Danny Huston) and Elizabeth (Carrie-Anne Moss). Alas problems soon start to emerge....

The basic idea of a being created an adult but with the mind of a newborn who has to learn in unusual circumstances isn't a bad one and at times it does it well. The beginning is good as "Monster" bonds with scientists and develops with their mixed reactions or when with figures like Wanda (Maya Erskine) but there are also times where it drifts a little and I end up disengaged. Narration is slightly annoying with a sense it tries too hard to be wise, good make up work for Monster, decent ending.

Me: 6.0 Sis 6.5

====

Watched Warcraft movie. My father, sister and I have played Warcraft 3 and enjoyed the fantasy setting (love the undead) but haven't played the predecessors including the first game this one seems based on orcs vs humans. Knew it had got bad reviews and needed China to come to finicial rescue so didn't have high hopes but was still looking forward to it

Visually it does feel like it captures the Warcraft look but one can see the strains with one scene rather undermined by the guy clearly swinging against a green screen, action scenes are generally poor with only a few decent moments. Cast is more miss then hit, the duo from Preacher (Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga as human royalty) particularly poor while others suffer from dialogue being forced and expositiony. A nice twist near end that is badly pulled off but would look forward to any sequel though doubt one is coming.

There are good members of the cast in team orc and team orc also benefit from having characters who relax and have friend moments: Paula Patton as the half-orc Garona seems to lift those around her and provides emotional heart, Toby Kebbell as orc chieftain Durotan and his second in command Robert Kazinsky as Orgim, Daniel Wu as the orc warlock Gul'dan doesn't have relaxed moments but has authority. The only human to have the relaxed, humour moments is mage Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer) though Schnetzer is no Patton.

A big problem Warcraft has is that it hasn't streamlined the story and characters enough so it is forced to jump about from scene to scene which can have considerable time jumps, too many characters who one can't quite recognize in battle and even main figures can struggle for depth. The orcs come off better here then the humans but even they have time jumps and characters not done properly becuase of a lack of time.

Both: 6.0
“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 Sun Fin » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:00 pm

Finally watched Blade Runner in anticipation of watching the sequel now it's been released. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought the special affects have aged better than other films from the same era and I found the plot engrossing. I understand the traditional criticisms about pacing and the like but if you can get past that then I think its well worth watching! I decided to watch The Final Cut as it was suggested to me it is the most logical ending for the sequel.
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