Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:31 am

Watched Man on a Ledge. Premise: Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is a convicted ex-cop who books himself at a fancy hotel then stands on the ledge overlooking New York. When this attracts attention, he demands Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) be sent to negotiate with him. Meanwhile other things are going on....

It had a great start, seeing Cassidy preparing for his time on the ledge very very carefully, the puzzlement of the cops, Paul Cameron's camera work giving a great sense of huge height, I liked the crowd scenes with sadly underused news presenter Suzie (Kyra Sedgwick). Then the thriller aspects comes in and it doesn't work, the plotting for how it works is fine but Jamie Bell and Genesis Rodriguez don't spark as a duo, neither romanticly or providing comedy. Meanwhile the ledge stuff runs out of steam, plotting begins to rely on convenient moments, Worthington and Bank ran out of steam and didn't hold my attention either.

5.5
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:45 pm

I remember really enjoying that film, although, like you say the strongest bit is the beginning!
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:07 pm

Rewatched The Corpse Bride with someone who hadn't seen it before. It has it's own sense of style with the animation, a potentially intresting plot, some good moments
I like when the undead come back to the living world and meet old friends
, a decent baddie and some nice little characters. I remember being wowed when I first saw it as a youngster, now it is nice but the plot feels a bit threadbare, it doesn't spend enough development with the lovers to really pull me into their romance, songs hampered by bad sound quality (only for the songs, dialogue was fine)
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:32 am

The Great Muppet Caper has a poor first half, it feels clumsy with the 4th wall stuff at times like opening credits, some good (though some "boys about girls" jokes feel dated) jokes and a good (if overly long) song "Happiness Hotel" but the overall plot feels thin, it feels like the film is filling in gaps at times while it waits for a chance to get to the meat of story. Starts to turn around with Miss Piggy, 4th wall jokes are better, the plot begins to move at a nice pace, some good cameo's, the baddie has a bit of fun, Diana Rigg overdoes it though, two nice old fashioned dance numbers

6.0

Watched Mythica: The Darkspore aka second of the crowd funded fantasy films. Bad set up, constant flashbacks or swirling images, dashing from place to place as it tries to explain what is going on, exposition dialogue, Kevin Sorbo's set up scene seems not quite at his best. However as soon as the group of 4, plus Qole (Rocky Myers) joining in, start to merge together again, the film finds its feet.

This time they do better pacing, there isn't the cave of "oh gods we need to suddenly character exposition" but it's final battle takes too long with some of the extras seemingly not quite sure what to do, there are some strands that are really really not built up at all like two bounty hunters. They also benefit from good flashes of what I assume is the franchise big bad and Matthew Mercer manages to give Szorlok some force as the baddie for the film. Special effects are "this is crowded funded" but hold up pretty well with less overearch, logic about supplies is better handled.

While a nice adventure, the strength last time was humour which is there, the sense of joy a character can have and the likeable group dynamics. Those all return, it is easy to warm to the group, there are fun little insults and clashes, charming and sweet if badly underwritten romances (one has two scenes, it works). The characters are not deep, again was left wishing there had been more delving into the characters (and the romance) but I enjoyed the trip

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

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:16 am

Attempted to watch Blade Runner 2049, weren't feeling up to it so we put it on the backburner for a couple of days, only for my VOD purchase to expire. Now I have to view it...by other means... :evil:

After finding out that the purchase expired, we watched Nocturnal Animals, starring Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Michael Shannon. After much time has passed, a woman receives a package from her ex-husband, which turns out to be a book manuscript. Unhappy with her current marriage, she starts reading the story and considering reconnecting with her ex.

Gyllenhaal was dependably unsettling, as is his thing these days. He plays a far more vulnerable character than some of his recent roles, however. I barely even recognized Taylor-Johnson until the awkward toilet scene where he kind of let his natural voice slip in and outed himself. Michael Shannon quietly steals the show as offbeat police officer, Bobby Andes. Everything else takes a back seat to these three, for better or worse.

I'm not sure what to make of the ending. It leaves a fair bit to interpretation, and if you take it at face value, the entire movie falls flat, so it's almost an obligation for the viewer to read more into the ending. That said, the link between the story in the book, and the one going on in the "real world" outside of the book, is fairly muddled. After reading some fan interpretations and considering them, I still felt like the film ends weakly, despite being a quite intense ride all the way up to that point.

Verdict: Worth a watch, just don't put too many expectations on the ending.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:12 pm

Watched Underworld: Blood Wars, a franchise that is not top quality but tends to have enough to make a pleasant afternoon. Does some nice recapping (one or two moments we wish there had been a bit more), continues to build out the lore (which will help the TV show I imagine) though one strand was annoying "so and so is so special", some good action (though undermined in some scenes by every non important vampire apparently being incompetent in a fight), some good baddies thanks to performances of Lara Pulver and Tobias Menzies, dialogue can be hit and miss.

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

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:54 pm

Watched M. Night Shyamalan psychological horror Split. Premise: Returning home from a party, classmates Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), Claire Benoit (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula) are kidnapped by a man with multiple personalities (James McAvoy)

Apparently part of a trilogy, hadn't heard of the first one and had no idea till I looked up film on wiki the day after.

We enjoyed it, only Casey gets explored as a character of the three girls (and there is a carefully revealed backstory) but they go in depth on the lead man, McAvoy doing a very good job as he switches personas which means very different situations and reactions arise. The film goes for tension which works well as they are placed in unsettling (for them) situation, but knows when to play a scene with humour (like the reactions of the girls to new personalities), we liked the personalities we got to see though we felt one of the four shown got underplayed. Dr. Karen Fletcher's (Betty Buckley) strand with McAvoy's character is good, enjoyable dialogue and exchanges between the two which helps flesh him out and her thinking about his troubles.

It makes some decisions in the end phase that we felt didn't work
Dr Fletcher refusing to leave and going supernatural
. The individual scenes were good, there was tension and plenty of intresting moments but some of the moments felt unnatural compared to other scenes and so there was a bit of a confused tone.

Me: 6.5, Sis: 7.0
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:30 pm

Watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 a belated (2002 first one, 2016 this one) sequel to a warm rom-com with heart. One worries at so long a gap and I had read bad reviews but when we watched it, though it had a lost a bit of its sparkle, it was still a nice, fun, warm movie. We had a nice time and while there are issues, not sure why the film was so critically disliked

The film brings back all the old guard including the obscurer ones (doesn't mean it wasn't appreciated), some nice and unexpected nods, they add new characters like main couple's daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) who fitted in well with the dynamics and was a likeable figure. Plenty of comedy as you would expect and it was nice enough, some good "things going on behind the speakers", more physical comedy, the comedy of big personalities and big family. A little bit of sweetness and plenty of warmth with the big moment landing thanks to good dynamics, acting and choice of song. Theia Voula (Andrea Martin) remains awesome!

In terms of what didn't quite work, some jokes felt forced and there were times where they tried to crowbar in "look at the big loud Greek family turning up". While both films were 90 or so minutes, this one is less disciplined, all sorts of things will suddenly pop up out of nowhere which means the moments don't have the impact the writers hoped. They also go for three big strands, Paris strand works well enough, Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria's (Lanie Kazan) provide a lot of heart and then there is Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett), the couple of the first film. As parents to Paris, they work well with some fun observations from Toula and they are fun when with the wider family but when they focus on them as a pairing, the film slows down. The first film they worked as they were the normal figures amidst big loud characters, got a lot of time and development, here they are squeezed and it leaves them feeling boring compared to the others around them, they also lack chemistry this time.

Both: 6.0
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:49 pm

Watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, sequel to a film I had found overhyped but fun. Was looking forward to it, had heard Gunn tried too hard to repeat the old magic and was concerned at amount of characters this one was going to have. Afterwards, my sister and I agreed on the strengths, on the flaws but both came away with different enjoyment levels: for me it was nice but had been sucked out of the first half of the film too many times, my sister really enjoyed it.

It mostly has what one would expect, plenty of humour, adorable Groot (I did feel they avoided overusing him), ye olde music though this time very much less effectively used then in first film, a very good cast, the guardians still getting into trouble and well integrated dynamics as a group, the visual style is still lovely. I did feel like Gunn believed Rocket's success was based on his insults and he becomes a bit of a trope, there are some good lines but it gets tiring seeing him mouth off at every opportunity.

There's a lot to like, it was funny, it had some fun action scenes, I loved a big ending moment
the funeral and the mourning of the ravagers
. I liked Quill, Gorama worked but more due to dynamics and Zoe Saldana rather then the role she got, Drax had a bad start due to overusing one aspect
the laughter
but they use him more cleverly as film goes on, they had fun with Groot, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) was someone I warmed to. They went with two villains, both of which were very enjoyable, so much so I wished the secondary baddie was kept back to be a lead baddie
The Sovereign were fun, the gold, the sheer sense of arrogance and wealth, their battles being video games was excellently done while Elizabeth Debicki provided a charismatic leader. Kurt Russell was a big name and he matched it with a big performance as Ego, was a very good idea, linked well with Quill.


So what went wrong? I did feel Gorama was underwritten, Rocket and Yondu were both annoying, still don't care for Nebula. It split its story into strands with characters paired off, some of them worked really well due to strong dynamics, two strands had their moments but also fell flat as I didn't care for the characters
the sisters didn't click together, Nebula has a few good moments were the pain of her childhood comes through but otherwise don't care. Rocket and Yondu both go through very similar and unimaginative characters arcs, there are glorious moments like Groot trying to find things or Yondu's weapon show but also so many flat ones.
It also left the main story not quite being as good as it should have been, twists didn't get enough build up so it lacked oomph as it rushed through
like "something is wrong." Minute later "oh look the dead children"
, they rely very much on the cast to cover that which they do quite successfully. The big battle does go on too long but is interspersed with enough "now for something different" that it never quite gets boring.

-Groot's failure as a thief provided a lot of laughs

-I do hope Stallone and co do turn up as a group again

-The moment when Quill finds out what happened to his mother, excellent anger and broken heart.


Me: 6.5, Sis: 7.5
“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 Sun Fin » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:28 pm

We went to see The Greatest Showman. I'd heard positive things and it lived up to all of them! Music was awesome, acting believable and the story line was interesting and engaging! We got home and put the soundtrack on straight away! Would definitely recommend! Might even get a 9 from the Dong's! :lol:
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