Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Qin Feng » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:42 pm

Well, it's definitely not a new movie but recently they ran Indiana Jones and the last crusade on TV and I loved it. It's been so long since I last watched it, but it's still really enjoyable. It's a really fun movie and I played the PC adventure game more than I am willing to admit :lol:
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:00 am

We tried Netflix gay romance Alex Strangelove which has a potentially intresting premise of high school sweethearts but Alex (Daniel Doheny) meets Elliot (Antonio Marziale) and things begin to change. Unfortunately the one thing it does well is comedy like the opening school nature documentary, and it is a humorous film when it wants to be but its main focus is romance, drama. That is unfortunately where it has a lot of issues.

The romantic triangle lacks a consistent chemistry and it is hard to warm to them, they seem like nice people but the scenes don't click and so film runs out of steam. The best friends feel like stereotypes of films from ages back, dialogue inconsistently clicks, the big early disagreement between Alex and girlfriend Claire (Madeline Weinstein) is very much done in a clumsy tell rather then show.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:54 am

Tried The Master, it wasn't bad by any means but any time there was a break or a pause, there was a "how long have we got left?" At times everything clicks, the dialogue and performances click, one is really drawn in by Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) struggles after WW2 or the charisma of Lancaster Dodd (the late Philip Hoffman). Then there are other times where it just doesn't quite work, the dialogue doesn't gel, the cast don't click and the scenes feel a little slow.

Watched Eli Craig's horror comedy Little Evil. Premise: Gary (Adam Scott) has married his beloved Samantha (Evangeline Lilly), becoming step-dad to Lucas (Owen Atlas). He soon starts to twig there is something very very nightmarish about Lucas....

For me, this film was inconsistent, it could be very funny for spells and then a bit flat, my sister felt it was more consistently funny but we both agreed the ending was weak. Craig nicely uses horror tropes and gives them a comic edge and there is some good horror tension around Lucas who makes a creepy child. I sometimes felt that, despite good support from Al (Bridget Everett), Gary's strands could be the weakest when not directly involved with his family, that the laughs and the horror would just drop off.

Two strong comic strands were the mysterious wedding they agree never to talk about (and then reveal is very funny) and Samantha's character. A lot of the stronger comedy is based around her reaction to events
how the clown issue became Gary's clown within five minutes was great
, her frustrations with Gary or the way she casually slips new information in for a puzzled Gary, Evangeline showing a good comic touch.

Me: 6.0, Sis: 6.5

=====

Watched Being John Malkovich which is a film we had heard of but didn't quite know what to expect. The opening isn't its strong suit though the puppetry on display is very impressive. Craig (John Cusack) is very unlikeable though some supporting characters like his boss Dr Lester (Orson Bean) provide some comic support and it had the sense of strange about it. My sister was contemplating leaving and was waiting to see if the arrival of Malkovich would change things, I was engaged in the film happily enough.

When Malkovich came in, it really clicked into gear for me. There was an enjoyable weirdness about it, Charlie Kaufman touched on and explored some very intresting areas and themes and though Craig wasn't likeable but he was an intresting lead. The main idea
people being inside another's body
was really well executed and they explored some ideas with that, it went at good pace and had a good romance. Felt the ending phase was hampered by its choice of what to concentrate on, example I would have axed an action scene to explore, say,
why Maxine (Catherine Keener) was drawn back to Lotti (Cameron Diaz). I get it in my head but would have liked something on the film


Me: 8.0 Sis: 7.0
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:34 pm

Watched Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, first post Suchet Poirot, got decent reviews and a fair bit of publicity with a famed cast. Visually impressive for the most part with the train and the areas of the world it goes through, though one or two "person standing in front of the green screen." Opening is a little forced with the humour but you meet the passengers and key figures, builds a sense of the great detective. The mystery goes along alright for a bit due to the visuals, the humour and one good flash back
the Armstrong case
. I also liked the way they touched upon attitudes of the period towards nationality and race to good effect.

The problem is that none of the umpteen characters, even Poirot's friend Bouc (Tom Bateman), get developed due to lack of screen time with 114 minutes to cover so many figures. Some literally are in "greeting as people get on train" "talk with Poirot once" "group end phase", even those with far more time struggle to build a strong sense of motivation and character while one or two silly action scenes didn't help. End phase is erratic, some powerful moments
flashback to murder, the little moments in the aftermath
but the big "Poirot addresses the crowd" didn't land

Branagh's Poirot doesn't feel right. Ok fair enough he needs to make it his own, he borrows from other books which doesn't always work
one of the great lines from Curtains is wasted here, the one woman he loved isn't a bad idea but done too heavy handed here
, there is attempt for a fresh take on his view of the world which is fine, they are a bit erratic with his sense of morality, there is the arrogance and an intresting style of moustache. A stronger lead performance would have helped but most importantly, they forgot the kindness. The great detective may be arrogant, of a certain strictness but he is kind and that wasn't in this film enough, he even felt like a jerk at one point.

Me: 5.5, Sis: 6.5
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:44 pm

Watched rom-com How to be Single. Premise: 4 single ladies in New York, Alice (Dakota Johnson), who recently decided to take a break from college boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun), meets party girl Robin (Rebel Wilson) while her doctor sister Meg (Leslie Mann) refuses to have relationship. Meanwhile Lucy (Alison Brie) who is searching for the one at local bar that the others sometimes frequent run by friendly bachelor Tom (Anders Holm).

It starts well, Alice and Josh breakup scene is well done and they have some good early scenes, there is a good scene with Meg and a baby and Lucy+Tom's first scene is amusing while he also bounces well of Alice. What carried the film is that some individual relationships work well due to the cast's chemistry
a later one
Meg and Ken (Jake Lacy)
and there are good individual scenes that, for humour or character reasons, brighten up the film. Also the ending deserves credit for not going in the directions one expects, generally feeling right for the characters though one feels oddly left out
ending spoiler
Josh


The problem is the script becomes less and less cohesive as it brings in new characters that become big but I struggled to care about, some of the starting characters never feel fleshed out and even risking being clichés, longer film goes on the script increasingly makes questionable logic decisions with their characters and the plot including clumsy handling of scenes that make the moment feel false
big spoiler
the still engaged Josh hooking up with Alice and his poor attempts to justify
. Humour was always more hit then miss, some really good lines but too often it fell flat while Robin felt like a character I had seen Rebel Wilson play many times and often better.

Both: 6.0

====

Watched Wallace and Gromit style animation football comedy Early Man. Premise: Pre-historic man discovered football when meteorite crushed dinosaurs but one tribe has forgotten the art. The rabbit hunters are forced to flee their home due to bronze age tribe led by Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston), can they find a way to get back their valley?

My sister doesn't like football but seemed to have a nice enough time, is more about a feel good tale and comedy. I never warmed to Dug (Eddie Redmayne), his pet hog or the tribe with the exception of the cautious chief Bobnar (Timothy Spall), comedy there was more miss then hit but when it did hit, the jokes landed well. Things tended to liven up when with Lord Nooth (once they get past the posh French bit at the start) or when Dug was in the bronze city with some comical escapades, chases and the politics in the city. It does build well towards its finale and gets stronger in those last build ups, the final match isn't one for seeing football really well done but is amusing and enjoyable in terms of comedy with great punning commentary.

Both: 6.0

=====

Watched the great movie of our culture Emoji movie as someone was under the weather so we wanted a quick easy one. In fairness, I could see a way this could have worked with the idea of life inside a phone, teenage life, all sorts of apps. They even had the potential with their possible theme about Gene not fitting in (T.J. Miller) but they never stick with that and explore it, it gets dropped as the adventure starts then back near the end (my sister disagrees but felt it had no emotional impact). There are very few positives, the animation is good, Hi-5 (James Corden) lifts the film up single-handed and Maya Rudolph's baddie has her moments after an overdone start.

Problem is, the adventure falls flat and rarely generates any excitement, I don't care for Gene or most of the other characters including the romance, Gene's parents (Steven Wright and Jennifer Coolidge) seem a nice idea on paper but bar one good moment
Paris
, it doesn't work. The humour has some moments (though its poop jokes are very tired), particularly around Hi-5, but not enough to lift a flat film.

It also loses points for the money grab. Films having sponsorship and product placement isn't something I particularly object too but it is too blatant that whole scenes are built around "who is paying." I also can't shake the suspicion that Patrick Doyle's choice of music was based around similar concerns as they never fitted the scene they were in.

Me: 4.5, Sis: 6.0
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:03 pm

Tried The Game with Michael Douglas, I can certainly see the appeal. A good idea, enjoyed watching the way the main character was hooked in, had mystery, a bit of humour in the news-reader segment but there was something not quite clicking. I would pulled in one moment, out of it the next. I also didn't warm to Moonstruck, which had some nice humour but pace was slow and kept thinking I could use my time better.

Watched Despicable Me 3 which was... alright. Some strands were good, I enjoyed the villain (Trey Parker) and sense of the eighties theme though his catch-phrase got overused. It had a decent final battle, the minions had a good amusing segment and Agnes had an adorable strand. Humour overall was hit and miss but there were enough jokes that the comedy was nice but Gru+Lucy strand never clicked for me and felt like they were trying a bit too much to see what stuck and what didn't, a little lacking in cohesion.

Me: 6.0 Sis: 6.5

====

Watched romantic drama The Spectacular Now. Premise: Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) is a charming young man in last year of school, rocked by being dumped by his beloved Cassidy (Brie Larson). He soon meets quiet bookish Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley) and gives her a hand....

Had a cold so thought a nice but not great rom-com would do us. This wasn't a rom-com but at 95 minutes it was short and its quality was good but not so good that we regretted seeing it while under weather. This was more about exploring Sutter, his issues beneath the charming, care free attitude, his romance and how he impacts other people+how they impact him. A good young cast with nice, but not great, romantic chemistry and doing it from the popular joker figure angle was a nice change.

Sutter and Aimee are well developed and likeable enough figures, the sense of their place in society, their goals, why they have an interest in each other. Everyone else is lucky to get 4 scenes (if that), even Cassidy is barely in it, but they are used well to give a sense of character and how they impact the main two. They refuse to make villains, characters can be inadvertently cruel but they all have their charms and good points. Cassidy for example is likeable and her reasons for dumping make sense and help build a sense of Sutter. The adults are frustrating as it does feel they failed people like Sutter, even the most well meaning figures, but again they aren't villains and there are some powerful scenes with the authority figures in his life.

The film goes along nicely, likeable enough characters, decent romance, the odd powerful scene here or there, the story developing logically and getting deeper into the characters. The ending is a bit of a miss
big speech feels it should have been reworded as can see what they were going for but it felt false, I'm also not sure if that final shot is really true "oh dear, she has fallen out of love" or they meant for her to be pleased and mishandled it.
but I had a nice time.

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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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:51 am

I kind of stopped posting my usual reviews because I think only 2 people read them at most, haha. (bit busier at work than before, too). I think this one deserves a brief mention, though.

After avoiding it for a long time since I expected it to be a different kind of movie, I finally sat down and watched Whiplash. Man, this was a good movie. J.K. Simmons as Fletcher is a frightening presence, and while I'm not a huge fan of Miles Teller (more of an indifference to him), he carries the role of Neyman well enough to make this movie work.

But the real high point of this film is how it takes you down the roads that would be the last for you to expect it to go down. Quite a few Hollywood tropes are deftly avoided, and although I couldn't stand either Neyman or Fletcher by the time the climax hit, it was something magical to see nonetheless. And the intensity!

There are a few homophobic slurs and plenty of strong language that could turn people off, but I strongly recommend sitting down and watching Whiplash anyway if you have yet to see it. You don't even need to like music or musicians or drums or school bands to enjoy the message. This film is easily in my upper echelon of good movies.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:00 am

I read reviews! I just only comment on ones that I've seen or know I'm going to!
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