Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:07 am

I dunno, I saw a smattering of critical reviews of Black Panther. And I should clarify, I enjoyed the film. I just took issue with...

SPOILERS
...the direction the movie went in starting from T'Challa's meeting with Killmonger. Everything was humming along splendidly up to that point. All of the right things were happening, we know Killmonger's coming and we know he has got a plan to mess some stuff up in Wakanda. And then...after a wonderful and tense exchange in T'Challa's throne room...Killmonger just issues his challenge and T'Challa accepts.

At this point, it's starting to become clear that Killmonger is going to somehow "kill" T'Challa and take over, and movie logic dictates that T'Challa will somehow live through the ordeal and come back to challenge Killmonger. Which is what happens. And they did OK with that.

But I guess I just wanted more political intrigue. Killmonger is supposed to be able to come in and destabilize countries and take out targets, he is an elite professional at this stuff. But he doesn't really destabilize Wakanda prior to his challenge. He just brings in the bad guy's body to gain entry and then flashes his royal heritage. Had he gotten the tribes to turn on T'Challa, close aides to turn on T'Challa...yes it changes T'Challa's own character arc and growth by doing so. Yet I still think that Wakanda spiralling out of his control would have made for a more thrilling ride. His court is crumbling around him as this usurper with a legitimate claim to the throne is systematically undermining him. THEN have the fight.

Also, with the climax, we see W'Kabi face off against his love, right? (Who was originally fighting Killmonger...) Then he turns and sees Wakandan versus Wakandan, and silently surrenders. They hit the right beats here, but not in the right *way*. So that also bugged me, too. Like I wanted W'Kabi in particular to act as the fulcrum for the larger struggle here, and see how his doubts and misgivings were playing out. But I felt they didn't capitalize on his internal struggle at all.


Edit: I should also mention I am not oblivious to the race discussion going on through this movie, in that regard I think the movie was the best Marvel movie hands-down. They took some potential gambles doing this with a Hollywood blockbuster and it really, really exceeded expectations there. Almost everythinhg else from Marvel has played it safe and I was happy to see BP buck that trend in a very big and cool way. I hope it leads to some positive changes both culturally and in the movie industry itself...but...well, fingers crossed.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:27 am

The ones I have seen as very positive so merely "I like it quite well but" is akin to reviling it in comparison :wink:

Edit: I should also mention I am not oblivious to the race discussion going on through this movie, in that regard I think the movie was the best Marvel movie hands-down. They took some potential gambles doing this with a Hollywood blockbuster and it really, really exceeded expectations there. Almost everythinhg else from Marvel has played it safe and I was happy to see BP buck that trend in a very big and cool way. I hope it leads to some positive changes both culturally and in the movie industry itself...but...well, fingers crossed.


Yes that is one of the things I have heard a lot is that 1) they tackled race, 2) they tackled it really well, thoughtfully without being heavy handed. It was also important Black Panther did well as Marvel films have both been brave (quite a few films have been "Guardians of the Galaxy" like gambles) and cowardly (every lead till quite deep in phase 3 is white male), if this merely did alright then was a risk that "of course I'm a super fan of a black lead but well, Black Panther shows the public is just not ready for it." would happen. We would get black and females but in Falcon/Black Widow roles, not leading.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:51 am

I do think that people are just so impressed by what BP stands for that it can be difficult to look at it critically. Even in my case, when I was in the theater watching, I was definitely of two minds about things, even though I'd like to think I am pretty good at stepping outside of the experience and looking at a film with a critical eye, I was very torn in BP's case.

-----

The Shape of Water finally hit theaters here. I saw the preview during BP, and my wife and I enjoy the work we've seen from Sally Hawkins, so I figured we'd give this a whirl. It was kind of funny to me, going into this I thought based on the preview that the story would involve aliens, and then we start watching and I realize it's more of a Frog Man, hehe. Set in the 60s, an unconventional love story unfolds as Elisa (Hawkins), a janitor at some top-secret military facility, discovers what the subject of a covert project is, and tries to save it with her neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins) and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) before either the Russians or the Americans can get their grubby mitts on it and study it.

Pros: It's a very good film in a lot of ways. Pretty much every major actor in this is firing on all cylinders in an effort to bring the quirks of their characters to life. Contrasting this, all of the minor characters are by comparison more like caricatures, this may possibly have been deliberate. And the look and feel are very, very del Toro. Oh, as is the creature itself, too. Certainly reminiscent of Abe from Hellboy, and played by the same actor Doug Jones. It also has some really sweet underlying messages to tell. My wife described it as a "heart-warming" film.

Cons: Here I go again! As sweet and as beautiful as the movie is, the plot gets brushed to the side at times in favor of making some sort of point, or focusing on other aspects such as the sets or whatever. Certain relationships play out either without much depth for the audience to take in, or are just shallow to begin with. The film also has its fair share of plot holes, some minor and some rather significant.

Interesting: My wife mentioned that we needed to bring our IDs just in case, as the film was rated as being for adults only here in Korea. I wondered why...and then ceased to wonder within the first five minutes of watching, as they establish Elisa as being quite a bit more comfortable in water. There are a handful of pretty awkward scenes, and while it could have been much, much worse, it's still worth mentioning.

Verdict: I'm not sure how it's poised to clean house at the Oscars, but if you like Guillermo del Toro, you'll love this.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:07 pm

There may well certainly be a case of that with BP.

I'm looking toward to Shape in the Water, I tend not to like Del Toro things (keep it under your hat :wink: ) but the adverts and the idea of the romance intrigue me.

======

Tried Swedish film A Man Called Ove which was one of those, technically impressive and well done but we just didn't feel we could go through the whole thing. Rolf Lassgård is very good as the grumpy (or very rude and inconsiderate) lead, good dialogue and so on, maybe if it had been a shorter film. Probably worth people giving it a try. Then tried Winter People, it has an adorable pig, we enjoyed the feisty child and the accepting father Waylan dynamic, the film has enough goodwill for us to wish it well but mixed feelings about potential love interest Collie and some scenes don't quite feel right

Watched monster/sci-fi film Colossal. Premise: Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is a mess, out of a job, spending all her nights drunken and now kicked out by her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens). Returning to her home-town, she bumps into bar owner Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) and during their nights of drinking, a monster attacks Seoul.

The set up is nice enough but given adverts and reviews reveal the connection between Gloria strand and the monster strand, it feels like it takes a long time to get to it. When it does get to the monster, it handles the whole thing well, showing good and bad sides of what is happening, having some fun and humour with the whole thing, doing public reactions. It has a good core in it's four people, Gloria, Oscar, Joel (Austin Stowell) and Garth (Tim Blake Nelson) having good camaraderie, well performed and providing heart while they do show sadder aspects to Gloria's destructive behaviour.

The second half, I see what it tries to do as it shifts to a darker path but the way they transition one character
Oscar
doesn't connect, it feels like a sudden shift. Not the first dark moments, they felt right but
then instead of seeing power corrupts or something like that, it goes for something else
Oscar was evil all the time
. It undermined the scenes with a main character and I regretted the change of tone. I did like the ending

Both: 6.0
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Sakae Wu » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:06 am

Annihilation

Holy bejeezus what a creepy movie :shock:
I don't want to go into many details for those of you yet to see it and like to go in fresh.
But, I just have to say I'm not usually affected by horror or scary type movies. This one freaked me out a little bit~

Personal thoughts
This film gets my vote for the scariest bear in cinematic history. I almost ran out of the theater screaming but figured it might cause a scene. (plus, tickets aren't cheap ya know)
Another vote from me for the coolest ending credits. Very trippy and fit the movies ambiguity. The last 30 mins or so are just all omg/wtf moments.


I previously didn't have a solid opinion on Natalie Portman one way or the other but she was superb in this. Very talented actress in my opinion. Gina Rodriguez was also fantastic.
I had trouble with Jennifer Jason Leigh playing a cold, heartless megabitch but all in all she did a fine job.

I'm still trying to make sense of this film. So many surreal parts. One problem I had were some of the flashbacks and dialogue seemed to come way out of left field so to speak. But, I'm starting to think everything starts to add up in a roundabout way.
I'd definitely recommend if you like sci fi thrillers. I really enjoyed this one.
9/10


Edit: I forgot to mention the score in this movie, which was a huge part of the appeal for me. Intensely eerie and a little disturbing. Annihilation is like a field trip for the senses. The seats were actually vibrating during the final scenes. If you can't see this in a theater, I think it would lose some of that foreboding atmosphere.
Last edited by Sakae Wu on Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:03 am

In my opinion Natalie Portman is good when she has a good script/character casting that makes her put in the effort. Take Black Swan, for instance. But if she isn't being challenged then she just goes on "look pretty for the camera" autopilot.

That said, I tried to see if Annihilation is being released in Korea, but it doesn't look like it. :evil:
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Sakae Wu » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:23 am

Zyzyfer wrote:In my opinion Natalie Portman is good when she has a good script/character casting that makes her put in the effort. Take Black Swan, for instance. But if she isn't being challenged then she just goes on "look pretty for the camera" autopilot.


You're not alone in that assessment. And I might have been a little overzealous in my praise, but her performance was a pleasant surprise for me.
I liked her in V for Vendetta, but in this one she was on another level.

Zyzyfer wrote:That said, I tried to see if Annihilation is being released in Korea, but it doesn't look like it. :evil:


Sorry to hear that. If I were you, I'd start looking at flights (jk)
I head back to Japan in 11 days and wanted to make sure I got this in before I left. I didn't see a release date for there either oddly enough :?
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:06 am

Zyzyfer wrote:In my opinion Natalie Portman is good when she has a good script/character casting that makes her put in the effort. Take Black Swan, for instance. But if she isn't being challenged then she just goes on "look pretty for the camera" autopilot.

That said, I tried to see if Annihilation is being released in Korea, but it doesn't look like it. :evil:


She is perfect. I will definitely be going to see this one.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Sakae Wu » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:29 am

I was glad to see Sam Rockwell get best supporting actor for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. I saw it about a month ago and thought it was a pretty good movie but not great by any means.
It's a bit of a dark comedy with some very serious subject matter; rape, murder and racism.
Rockwell's character was a little complex and evolved dramatically as the film went on. I've always liked his work, and I'm happy he's getting the recognition.
Woody Harrelson was also great in this, the two of them made it worth watching in my opinion. He easily could have won it as well as far as I'm concerned.

McDormand was a bit of surprise for me. I think she's a good actress, but as the main character she makes it hard to empathize with her when she treats everyone (including her children) pretty shabbily imo. The flashback conversations with her daughter are pretty hard to swallow and require a deep suspension of disbelief. I hadn't seen the performances of the other nominees and the voters are probably seeing something I was missing.

I was pulling for Dunkirk in best picture, but it unfortunately lost out.

Not sure if anyone else follows the Academy Awards, I'd be curious how others feel about the results.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Kong Wen » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:52 pm

I actually have a movie-chat podcast so you know I have some thoughts on the Oscars this year. :)

Frances McDormand was my #1 pick to win Best Actress this year. I thought she hit it out of the park. Fantastic acting. It's OK to not like the role and still like the performance. It's also OK not to like a good performance, since acting is art and the impact of art is largely personal. :) So don't feel bad if you don't "get it". Sally Hawkins was probably my #2 pick. She was wonderful too.

It was good to see Rockwell get his due, and he was my pick for Best Supporting Actor as well. His performance came very close to being "too much" but he managed to keep it on this side of the line and was rewarded.

This was a pretty good Oscars overall this year because each category was so damn strong. Dunkirk was amazing—one of my favourite movies of the year—but it had no chance at Best Picture, that's just how strong the field was. I absolutely adored Three Billboards, Lady Bird, and Get Out. The Shape of Water and Dunkirk were both great but settled just outside my Top 3. It's a nice change from some of the weaker fields in previous years.

---

I'm hoping to see Annihilation in cinema this weekend.
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