Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:17 pm

Watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, probably my least favourite of the three. Started slowly, trying to establish the new set up
aka district 13 and it's rebels
and new characters but throughout the film, the new characters and the situation never really comes alive when based around the new figures. It is when the old guard are around either with Katniss or elsewhere
Effie or the President for examples
that the films begins to click. The old guard click, the old guard have the best lines, the old relations still stand true and the film begins coming to life. Some are really good scenes the longer the film goes on, most outside the city like how other districts react to events, other scenes that worked were
major spoilers
The hiding under the district as bombers come in, the tension as the raid into the city begins, Katniss fury at the bombing of a hospital, Peter's scenes.
.

Both: 6.5
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:06 am

Watched Annabelle the other night, which is kind of a spin-off from The Conjuring based on the doll we see at the end of the movie. A husband and wife are expecting a child and for some inexplicable reason the wife likes to collect creepy dolls. After obtaining the titular doll, they are attacked by a couple in the middle of the night and a curse is placed on the doll, and weird things start to happen.

To be frank, I didn't go into this with high expectations; I'm more into gore horror rather than these thriller sorts of films, but my fiancée loves this crap. That being said, while the film did get me with a couple of legit spooks and scares, and the doll itself is quite creepy and used well in the film, the plot was transparent and I couldn't get over how dumb the wife was throughout the movie. There is one scene in particular...

...where they throw away the doll after a bunch of creepy stuff happens and move, then find it in the bottom of one of the boxes while unpacking, and the wife decides to keep it...


...which seemed like it had shades of some great foreshadowing for something genuinely shocking, but nope, it just ended up being that the wife really is rather dumb.

Not to mention, by the end of the movie, I wasn't really left with the impact that this is the same dangerous doll that gets introduced at the end of The Conjuring. The story just didn't have enough weight or intrigue to it.

Verdict: Pass, unless you thought The Conjuring was the absolute bestestest movie EVAR and need to follow the whole mythology.

-----

Also, I finally saw Inside Out a while back. No point in doing up a review, it was a really fun and solid film. One neat thing I liked was how I looked up the cast later and was like, "Wow, they cast the perfect people for so many of these roles!" I also couldn't believe how emotional one scene made me:

Bing Bong's erasure from Riley's memory


Admittedly, I'm a total crier when watching movies, have been ever since I first saw Glory. But that scene in particular really got me in the feels.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Bush Leagues » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:48 am

Zyzyfer wrote:Admittedly, I'm a total crier when watching movies, have been ever since I first saw Glory. But that scene in particular really got me in the feels.


I wouldn't call myself a "crier" when it comes to movies, but Inside Out hit me hard. I started crying something like 3 or 4 times during that film. It was kind of an emotional day though, so that might have been it, too. I think Inside Out is kind of special because anyone can relate to it. We all remember being children, we all remember the things that we had to leave behind as we became adults.

Also glad you mentioned Glory, as that's one of my favorite movies. Also some very good and emotional scenes there, as well.

Also, if anyone is interested, the Youtube review series Half in the Bag from the channel RedLetterMedia has reviewed both Annabelle and The Conjuring. Some of you might be familiar with the long Star Wars reviews done by the character Mr. Plinkett, and it's the same guy, but in a much more standard fashion - typically, it's just Jay and Rich sitting around talking about the movie. They talk about the technical aspects, story, characters, etc. I've been watching a good deal of it lately, and it's quite enjoyable. They go into great detail most of the time, and give appropriate warnings for spoilers as necessary.

EDIT: Pardon me, meant to say "Jay and Mike", not "Jay and Rich".
Last edited by Bush Leagues on Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Ranbir » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:30 am

Sicario

Super tense and awesome.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:17 am

Bush Leagues wrote:Also glad you mentioned Glory, as that's one of my favorite movies. Also some very good and emotional scenes there, as well.


I was fairly young the first time I saw it. Maybe pre-teen or something. But the ending to that movie set the golden standard for Zy's Weepy Time and I've never been the same since I watched it. Any time a character in a film does a selfless sacrifice, and the movie is taking itself seriously at all, cue the waterworks. It has since broadened to the point that, as long as the climax of a film isn't stupid, I will probably end up getting misty-eyed at some point...it's honestly kind of embarrassing.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:33 am

Watched Role Models for a little bit after recommendation, first 10 minutes are funny and Elizabeth Banks characters looks promising but then it drags.

Watched comedy-horror from Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon Cabin in the Woods, was a hit with critics with Whedon in a "can do no wrong" phrase. As a horror, it does some good sudden scares but it's "moments of tension" fail other then one scene late on
when Dana is staring at Fornicus that just stares back, actor Greg Zach managing to be quite creepy
. This is more a Whedon/Goddard story about horror movies then a scary film.

It has what one expects from that duo: some familiar faces (Fran Kranz, Amy Acker and cameo by Tom Lenk), their style of humour, doing something different with the theme (horror movies), little nods, likeable characters (I dislike Kranz's Marty Mikalski but liked everyone else). I thought the two story strands were well crafted though the group going to cabin strand drifted at moments during second half, enjoyed the ending phase, I enjoyed the basic idea behind the movie. For my sister it started slowly but she enjoyed it once it got going.

Overall: Funny, likeable characters, enjoyed the story. Lacks scares and drifts a little
Both: 7.0

=====

Watched the 2012/Pete Travis version of Dredd based around the comic book Judge Dredd, Karl Urban starring with Olivia Thirlby as potential Judge Anderson. I had watched the Sylvester Stallone one as a child and liked it (less so when I grew older), this more straight laced and is more an action movie (bar the set up) set in one area vs the baddies rather then exploring the world of Dredd.

Starts slowly thanks to extreme overuse of slow-mo (three slo-mo's=about as long as the rest of movie), Dredd not clicking by himself and lacking a bit of sparkle. The pairing with Anderson helps, gives Urban/Dredd something to bounce off and once the action starts, once the big boss is brought in, it gets going. The characters are not deeply written but the two Judges and the big boss have weight behind them, partly costumes, mostly the performances of Urban, Thirlby and Lena Headey. The action is well done which is good as there is a lot of it.

Personally: Action heavy films aren't my thing but after a slow start, this was well done.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:30 am

I thought Cabin in the Woods was terrible, myself. I was never quite part of the "Whedon can do no wrong" crowd, so I guess that movie just went right over my head.

I must have seen Dredd randomly on TV like 4 or 5 times before the slow motion filming started to make sense. I felt that it wasn't a bad movie, per se, but somehow incomplete. And one thing didn't really make sense:

Big Mama having several judges in her pocket. Maybe I missed a detail, but why not make use of that from the beginning?


-----

It's taking a hammering from critics, but I'm looking forward to seeing Spectre over the weekend.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:25 pm

Zyzyfer wrote:I thought Cabin in the Woods was terrible, myself. I was never quite part of the "Whedon can do no wrong" crowd, so I guess that movie just went right over my head.


Heretic :wink:

Fair enough.

I must have seen Dredd randomly on TV like 4 or 5 times before the slow motion filming started to make sense. I felt that it wasn't a bad movie, per se, but somehow incomplete. And one thing didn't really make sense:

Big Mama having several judges in her pocket. Maybe I missed a detail, but why not make use of that from the beginning?



That seems a fair summary.

It costs a lot of money, even then Mama was a little reluctant to pay it.


It's taking a hammering from critics, but I'm looking forward to seeing Spectre over the weekend.


I think it is more divisive then hammered. Hope you enjoy it!

=====

Watched Dracula Untold though is not a vampire film in usual sense. Premise: Vlad (Luke Evans) former child solider of the Turks, once known as the Impaler is happy married to Mirena (Sarah Gadon) but the Turk scouts have arrived....

This is a film that never quite lands it's ideas and Vlad himself sums it up. Vlad (it seems) is meant to be a pleasant guy but one with a dark side from his time under the Ottomans (this is not a film that I imagine did well in Turkey) and it tells us constantly of the Impaler side. We don't really feel it though, what we get is Vlad the romantic, Vlad the butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, Vlad the so goody-two-shoes that he boy scouts would expel him for being too clean-cut. The dark edge fails.

It isn't a bad film, it looks good, goes along at a decent pace, good effects and action, has Charles Dance, a good romance as VladxMirena make a sweet couple. The villains are good when on screen but get shoved aside for most of it, characters aren't the most in-depth to say the least, cast do a good job. The problem is that it has the ideas to be so much better, like it's main theme
the darkness people will go for their child
but the film never lands those ideas, it lacks the depth needed to do that.

Overall: Nice enough
Both: 6.0
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:29 am

Zyzyfer wrote:It's taking a hammering from critics, but I'm looking forward to seeing Spectre over the weekend.


I loved it! Thought it was awesome!
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:17 pm

Bush Leagues wrote:Also, if anyone is interested, the Youtube review series Half in the Bag from the channel RedLetterMedia has reviewed both Annabelle and The Conjuring. Some of you might be familiar with the long Star Wars reviews done by the character Mr. Plinkett, and it's the same guy, but in a much more standard fashion - typically, it's just Jay and Rich sitting around talking about the movie. They talk about the technical aspects, story, characters, etc. I've been watching a good deal of it lately, and it's quite enjoyable. They go into great detail most of the time, and give appropriate warnings for spoilers as necessary.

EDIT: Pardon me, meant to say "Jay and Mike", not "Jay and Rich".


YES!

Virtual high-five, Bush Leagues!

I love RedLetterMedia, crude as it sometimes is. I agree probably about 80% of the time with Jay and Mike's reviews, their taste in B-movies is very similar to mine, and further I tend to agree with them completely on the topic of hacks like Adam Sandler, Michael Bay and Zack Snyder.

Anyway, speaking of movies...

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
(Directed by Joel Zwick, staring Nia Vardalos and John Corbett)

A decidedly better-than-average rom-com: sweet, occasionally funny (got a couple of smiles out of me, but never any laugh-out-loud moments), and predictable, but never overly-manipulative or insulting to the audience's intelligence or sensibilities. One thing I will say is that the film had the unmistakable marks of Tom Hanks's fingerprints all over it (and, as it turns out, for understandable reasons), and I was not surprised at all to find out (because I hadn't known it before) that he had co-produced it.

The story follows a young Greek-American woman, Toula (Nia Vardalos) who works at her parents' (Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan) restaurant but dreams of getting out on her own and pursuing her own education. One day a young (but decidedly not-Greek) high-school teacher Ian Miller (John Corbett) walks into the restaurant, instantly causing Toula to klutz over him. Toula having wheedled her parents into supporting her college and career aspirations, she happens upon Ian again in her job at her aunt's travel agency, and the two of them start dating. The romantic tension doesn't really last that long and the movie doesn't really get that much out of it, but it consequently runs off the comedic value of the cultural gap between Ian and Toula's large and still incredibly-Greek extended family, as the two of them get engaged.

The comedy is all very gentle, with only a handful of vulgar moments - usually mistranslations of various Greek phrases at Ian's expense. The immigrant experience is treated sympathetically, with class and understanding (Nia Vardalos was the author of the script, so little wonder there). And being a communicant at an Antiochian Orthodox Church there are definitely certain 'Mediterranean' cultural elements that I can easily identify with. That said, though, it's still a rom-com. It's fluffy. It's not edgy. It's one of those movies that you can turn your brain off and watch all the way through with no problems.

With the exceptions of Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan, both of whom were obviously hamming it up and enjoying every minute of it, the acting is actually fairly reserved. John Corbett's Ian is a laid-back, go-along-to-get-along kind of guy, and he rolls with the punches good-naturedly; the stakes in all the culture-clashes are therefore never really that high (not that they really have to be). There's actually much more of the awkward (and drunken) humour where his parents (played by Fiona Reid and Bruce Gray) are involved, which was fun. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is probably about as good as a plain-vanilla film of its genre can possibly get, and it's enjoyable on those terms. Definitely gets a recommendation!

8 / 10


Turbo Kid (2015)
(Directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell, starring Munro Chambers, Laurence LeBoeuf, Michael Ironside and Aaron Jeffery)

This film was a RedLetterMedia recommendation: an over-the-top, totally-demented, strawberry syrup-spurting whackadoodle love song to the 1980's. And it is glorious.

It distills the entire essence of '80's B-movie schlock down to its most refined (if you can call it that) essence, and pulps it out into a cartoonishly gory, nostalgic post-apocalyptic horror-comedy-action-adventure, set to a retro soundtrack which sounds like it was done entirely on a DX7 keyboard. In the lawless, acid rain-soaked wastelands of a post-nuclear 1997, the remnants of humanity struggle to survive. One of these survivors, the Kid (Munro Chambers) makes his living by scavenging, trading what valuables he can find for food and the occasional bit of 1980's paraphernalia. Among his most prized possessions are a Walkman, a View-Master, his trusty BMX bike, and an (almost-)complete collection of Turbo Rider comic books.

In his explorations he befriends a hyperactive-but-sweet girl his own age, named Apple (Laurence Leboeuf), and a tough-as-nails arm-wrestler and gang-leader (Aaron Jeffery) - through a series of mishaps, the three of them are pitted against the ruthless, tyrannical lord of the wasteland, Zeus (Michael Ironside) and his bloodthirsty sidekick Skeletron (Edwin Wright), who exert their nefarious rule by controlling the only source of purified water. If this is starting to sound like Mad Max to you, trust me, that's no coincidence. In fact, one could easily describe this movie by rattling off a long list of its sleeve-worn influences: Repo Man, any '80's film by John Carpenter, Mad Max, the Fallout games, Transformers, Thundercats, GI Joe, The Goonies, The Neverending Story...

The whole movie is so deliberately throwbacky that it's painful, but at the same time the childlike awe and the genuine affection that it brings to bear on the objects of its nostalgia are so heartfelt that it's endearing. This is combined with an equally-puerile, perverse glee that the filmmakers clearly have for people getting dismembered, quartered, disembowelled, beheaded, liquefied or otherwise horrifically mutilated in the most specatacularly bloody ways - it's the same kind of mentality that leads gamers to choose the 'Bloody Mess' trait / perk in Fallout. Yet at the same time, the characters are all genuinely likeable (or hateable), such that you are emotionally engaged throughout the film without it feeling cheap or lazy or overdone.

So I have really conflicted feelings about this film. It doesn't have anywhere close to the same kind of stylings as James Gunn's Super, but it's a comparable film in many respects, from the scrappy-underdog story to the irredeemably-twisted humour of the writers and directors that deliberately and self-awarely transgresses all the lines of conventional good taste. And yet it's an enjoyable film, if you're the sort of person to get that humour. It's not the sort of film I can give a conventional number rating without double-guessing myself, to be honest - suffice it to say that I personally enjoyed it.
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