Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:57 am

Tried Freeway for a few minutes, the opening credit drawings are different but a tad... creepy in the wrong way, dialogue was not clicking and wasn't warming to anyone.

Watched Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation which was one of those nice but didn't quite have enough. Usual spirit, ok baddies, some good jokes, meh romance, decent enough end phase. All sorts of "that was nice" but also moments where the film flagged, the jokes not quite working, the baddies and the goodies not quite doing enough to pull one in.

Me: 6.0 Sis: 6.5

Watched Sony superhero movie Venom, one that critics hated but sold well and fan scores seemed high so was curious as to how we would react. First segment bad, Venom good might sum it up. The build up takes awhile and does not help it, there are attempts to build up the baddie philosophy but I found the villain stuff never clicked (for me, Riz Ahmed didn't click as evil scientist). The main romance is... ok but doesn't spark as well as one would hope, there are attempts at humour but it misses more then lands, however we did like Anne (Michelle Williams). Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is meant to come across as a flawed, loveable man but he more comes across as an irritating idiot, humour with him tends to be try too hard or a bit too crude. I was not a fan of Matthew Libatique's camera work, felt the film looked visually bad at times.

Once Venom (also voiced by Tom Hardy) comes into it, the film livens up and has a sense of fun. There are some decent action scenes but also Venom's humour works, his attitude towards his host (bar some late things that are not at all explored) and those around Eddie, his objections and demands, the sudden insults, the bluntness. They use the creature inside another thing decently, the culture clashes, felt the lack of Spiderman wasn't a hindrance and there was laughter. When Venom was around, the film held our attention.

Both: 6.5
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:20 pm

So, I've been watching a whole bunch of Soviet and Kazakhstani movies recently. I posted the reviews on my blog, but I'll just post a Twitter-length review here and a rating as well as a link to my blog post on the same movie.

Pervyi eshelon (The First Echelon): Sweet, easy-on-the-eyes romantic comedy with an outsized score by Shostakovich and one outrageously fun action scene near the end. 16 / 20. Link: ... et-to.html

Mest' (Revenge, or The Reed Flute): Beautiful, stylised and surrealistic epic saga of revenge spanning 300 years - a movie by and about Soviet Koreans. Features hedgehogs. 18 / 20. Link: ... oviet.html

Otyrardiń kúıreýi (The Fall of Otrar): Grand-scaled but rather cynical historical epic about the fall of Khwarezmia to Genghis Khan in the 1200s. Features Doqdurbek Qydyralıev getting tortured a lot. 18 / 20. ... le-of.html

Kavkazskii plennik (Prisoner of the Mountains): Masterpiece of Russian indie film with an anti-war message, a transposition of Tolstoi's novella of the same name to the Chechen War of the 1990s. Easily some of Sergei Bodrov's best work. 20 / 20. ... t-his.html

Shıza (Schizo, or The Recruiter): Starts off as a rough-and-tumble crime thriller, but quickly turns into a romance. The main character is Kazakh but has more similarities to an archetypical Russian anti-hero. 17 / 20 ... drama.html

Kóshpendiler (Nomad): Another Sergei Bodrov film. Big, loud, noisy historical war drama featuring hammy performances by Mexican soap opera stars. All in good fun. 12 / 20. ... jurek.html

Ulzhan: Gritty road movie which tries to turn into a shamanic discovery-of-self journey. Gets lost up in its own pretentiousness. 7 / 20. ... -hunt.html

Réketır (Racketeer): Story of the life of a boxer who grows up in the 1990s and falls in with the 'wrong crowd'. Has Muslim undertones. 15 / 20. ... stice.html

Tulpan: Slice-of-life, understated comedy about a Navy vet who goes back to his home village in hopes of marrying. 18 / 20 ... teppe.html

Kelin (Daughter-in-Law): Set on the steppes in distant antiquity, the tale of a love triangle which escalates into a web of murder and witchcraft. Beautifully shot but harrowing, with a lot of sex, nudity and violence. Gulsharat Jubaeva defs worth looking at, tho. 16 / 20. ... bleak.html

Baikonur: Sweet, quirky romantic comedy set on (and outside) the famous Cosmodrome. Space-obsessed Kazakh youngster Gagarin falls for a French cosmonaut from a distance. 17 / 20 ... -frie.html

Jaýjúrek myń bala (Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe): Historical war drama about the liberation of the Kazakh Khanate from the Dzunghars. Technically a better movie than Nomad, but has less charm. 15 / 20 ... jurek.html

Shal (The Old Man): From the same director as Kelin, a retelling of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea set on the Kazakh steppe. The titular old man has to defend himself and his herd of sheep against enraged wolves during mating season. 17 / 20. ... teppe.html

Ya ne vernus' (I Won't Come Back): Journey of two runaway orphanage girls on the road to Kazakhstan. A rather bittersweet and melodramatic tear-jerker, but incredibly well-done. 18 / 20. ... -lake.html
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:04 am

Watched Pixar's day of the dead movie Coco which was one of those films that we had meant to see but events kept putting it off so was wondering if it would be a disaster. Not quite what I was expecting (hoping for more music and more day of dead from moral side) but it was a nice family friendly movie.

Visually looked impressive, had a nice heart, set out some members of Miguel's (Anthony Gonzalez) family well and his dream, the dog Dante is adorable and moves so well. What songs there are nice with it's main one well used, good voice work by likes of Renée Victor and others listed here. They used Miguel's ageing great-grandma (Ana Ofelia Murguía) sparingly but to great effect, has decent enough humour but not the funniest Pixar movie, they land the old movies of Ernesto (Benjamin Bratt) in terms of getting the style right. Story touches on some sad themes and has a very moving end phase that is above the rest of a decent film.

The twists are easy to guess, the support characters like Hector (Gael García Bernal) don't quite provide the great charisma or humour to support main character. I feel one direction they went in is predictable and expected for these kind of films but was a mistake given what could have been done instead
having a villain. Felt like using human nature would have been more effective then moustache twirling evil

Both: 7.0
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