Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:49 pm

I tried Eagle Vs Shark, didn't click for me at all but my sister enjoyed it. We tried the musical Hello Dolly which has an inventive opening and seems solid but one could hear the jokes rather then laugh, the humour just wasn't quite landing. Taxi Driver, wasn't a fan of the main character and never warmed to the film other then when Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) and Tom (Albert Brooks) were joking around.

Watched anti-bullying film A Girl Like You. Premise: The success of South Brookdale High School, a public school becoming one of the best schools in USA, is getting a documentary. However when Jessica (Lexi Ainsworth) attempts suicide, amidst rumours she is being bullied by popular Avery Keller (Hunter King), things change.

Filmed in a documentary style either through POV cam's or from the camera crew (Amy S. Weber playing the director as well as directing) making documentary. Once or twice I was not entirely sure how a camera was meant to have captured that moment and the documentary team seems horrible irresponsible at times. Is a bit of a hit and miss film, Jessica and her friend Brain (Jimmy Bennett) have some very good moments, and Hunter King is impressive as Avery and the film does a lot of work to give a balanced portrayal of her character. Weber shows there are wider issues and that people don't always react well in crises. However when the film moves off the duo (they are not as strong singly) or Avery then it can fall flat, some clumsy dialogue and clumsy blatant message/heart pull moments that makes the eyeroll, I feel it should have done more on how bullying has evolved from the parents day.

Both: 6.5

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Watched Luc Besson's adaptation of French sci-fiValerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Premise: Humanity has gone into space and formed a vast city that houses creatures from all across the universe. Major Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Sergeant Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are upholding the law but about to have a major adventure....

The work of Pierre Christin is not one I am familiar with but when this came out, there was a lot of talk of the influence it had on others. The universe and races created over decades of writing gets an intriguing glimpse here, the world building is one of the few intresting parts of the movie, seeing the different races and a sense of the universe makes me want a sequel more then the actual film did. There are things one recognises from movies and books that followed while the "one can recognize what kind of beings they are from way they look" trope is an issue here.

A hit and miss movie. I enjoyed the opening, seeing humanity's advancement into space and the scene following is a brave move that goes on a little too long (pacing is an issue in this film). Big budget that worked in terms of the visual effects, Sam Spruell did a good job as General Okto Bar, there are some humorous and inventive side adventures
the other dimensional market and the treasure
where the film comes alive for a brief time, there is also a cute creature.

The miss? The adventure one can guess the way it is heading, doesn't feel well constructed, action scenes involving the main story lack tension or impact. Dialogue can be filled with exposition and/or preachy, the characterisation of the two leads feels all over the place (at one point one of the leads describes the duo's motivation based on characteristics we didn't see during the entire 2 hours). The end phase feels like it takes all the worst bits of the movie and none of the good bits so alas it does not end with a high.

Besson does not get the best out of the cast, the only figure to really add to his character was Spruell. The rest are either passable enough or have flare but erratic, the latter includes Delevingne who sometimes brings humour and fun to a scene but sometimes doesn't quite land. This is still miles better then the awful performance of Dane DeHaan. For a role that is meant to provide comedy with witty lines, romantic chemistry and charisma, we get none of that from DeHaan. His jokes fall flat as do most of his lines, there is no easy charm or chemistry bar possibly with one figure (Rhianna's character), lacks a sense of authority or... anything. So flat. A real problem given the film relies on the two leads to provide charm and humour.

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

Unread postby Kong Wen » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:11 pm

I watched Coherence! I appreciate that it wasn't an attempt to copy mind-boggling plot-setpiece style stories. They actually lay out what's happening quite close to the beginning, and then just let you experience it from a character's point of view.

It feels claustrophobic at first, but you get used to it, and I cut them some slack when I realized it was literally filmed in the guy's own house on one camera.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:45 am

Watched War of the Planet of the Apes, third of the reboot. At its best when it touches on what has worked in past. The look at the wider world moments are intriguing, new characters like the child (Amiah Miller) and an eccentric (initially annoying) new ape (Steve Zahn). It looks good, and the cast do a fine job.

It felt like they decided to make this a very different movie to the others
revenge movie then a prison escape movie
and it didn't work. The adventure wasn't exciting, the villain didn't quite work, action was flat, no tension, pace dragged, I missed the intelligence of old and the exploration of society. It ran out of steam well before an end that was over-dramatic and trying too hard.

Me: 5.5, Sis: 6.0
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:19 pm

Tried Now You See Me 2, sequel to magical heist film we liked. We didn't manage to finish this one. It brought back all the old guard, even ones they might have been wiser to leave out. Isla Fisher left so Lizzy Caplan came in with a new character and it didn't work for us, and though Caplan brought energy but the comedy felt forced. In fairness to Caplan, this described a lot of the comedy in the movie, it was trying too hard.

They don't build the badinage and the humour between the main characters, only one or two moments work. Most new figures struggle to stand out and in one case is just really really annoying. The big public spectacles aren't there and what they try to bring in instead doesn't quite feel real, tense or exciting as it lacks a sparkle. The investigation is far less of a focus and a uninteresting mystery takes over.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:22 am

Watched Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. While it was better than the fourth installment, it heavily relies on riding a wave of nostalgia, the baddies bring nothing new to the series (they are like some weird amalgamation of Barbossa's and Davy Jones' crews), and it really lacks the chaotic cohesiveness of the previous entries. I was never left feeling like Sparrow was subtly manipulating events to get what he wants in the end. He actually came off as pretty listless instead, and his banter from the previous films is sorely lacking.

Producers etc are also guilty of retconning quite a bit, ignoring their own lore, etc.

Aside from needing to tie up the loose end that is Will Turner in charge of the Flying Dutchman (which this movie sloppily attempts to do), this series artistically ran its course after the third film. There is a little bit of fun to be had in Dead Men Tell No Tales but definitely go in with low expectations.

Also, one huge spoiler-ish no-no for me. I was quite disappointed that our new Turner and "Swan" ended up spending around half the movie tied up or locked up. You're trying to set up a new hero and heroine, and then don't actually let their characters DO anything? They finally come to life a bit toward the end but by that point I felt the damage was done, for that and various other reasons.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:00 am

Saw three movies over the weekend.

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First up was Ant-Man and the Wasp in the theater. While it's good fun, it definitely does an about-face on recent Marvel entries and tones down the stakes (or does it???) and somber tone in a big way. Acting was fine all around - I actually admittedly really enjoyed the actress who played Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) in this, it really looked like she was having a blast with this. Evangeline Lilly also has a welcomed more prominent role. I had not realized it, but read somewhere after viewing that this is the first Marvel film with a female superhero featured in the title.

I think some may find the humor hit and miss, the audience at our viewing was generally enjoying it but that may not be the case for everyone. I will say that the humor is different, there's less punny jokes and banter, and more situational humor. My favorite bits were Scott Lang's quips when he's in over his head when it comes to the science, and of course Luis's informative monologue (only one this time, but it's done well).

Despite the light-hearted adventure tone of the film, I'm willing to bet that, between all the science-ing and the ending, this is also going to fit into the bigger Phase 4 narrative as well. That said, it's also very possible that it doesn't, as there is only one really obvious connection to the rest of the movies going forward for now.

Verdict: Perfect popcorn muncher.

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Next two films were home viewings my wife picked out. First up was the 2017 remake of It. I remembered bits from the original but nothing substantial other than Pennywise, really.

I really enjoyed the acting by the young cast, I picked up on a strong Stand By Me vibe from them. That said, the horror scenes didn't really strike the right note for us, despite an often creepy performance by Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise. I think the relatively bad CGI for Pennywise at times may have played a part here. Another complaint was that there were points in the movie when the soundtrack selection made no sense.

Verdict: Not bad but not for us.

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And last up was French film Raw. Full disclosure, we watched it with Korean subtitles and my French and Korean are both not up to being able to fully enjoy a movie, so I may have missed some nuanced bits here and there. Another horror film, this time about a younger sister going off to start her college life, and losing herself to temptation in more ways than one during pledge week.

Interesting premise and I felt like the main characters were strongly cast. We went into this with no warning and I read later that people were so grossed out that they left the theater. While there are certainly some gross bits, I guess my wife and I are jaded to that sort of thing, as we just winced a little and kept watching. I also feel like the director could have leaned a little more into the whole "eating meat" aspect, my post-reading revealed that she apparently wanted to explore a couple of different themes and ended up not fully committing to any of them, which does detract from the film a bit. The ending also saps any good will built up with a wave-away explanation for everything of sorts.

Verdict: Solid but could have been better.
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