Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:03 am

Sakae Wu wrote:I wondered if anyone here had a favorite holiday movie?


A Christmas Story for me. It's got the total package in terms of kid nods and adult nods going on.

Got stuck watching the thriller Hereditary the other night. Gets off to a great start and the middle still keeps it coming, but the climax really leaves so much to be desired. I will say that Toni Collette and (usually) Alex Wolff give strong performances. But it is hard to recommend a movie where you get so invested, just to have that sort of cop-out kind of ending.

Continuing the Toni Collette love-in, my wife rewatched Miss You Already, a mainly British film about the effects that breast cancer can have on someone. Everything else feels slick and smart as I would expect from a British flick, and Collette again brings some great intensity to key scenes, but I can't help but wonder why her character has an American friend who just happens to be living in England, as it doesn't seem to be the sort of choice that adds anything plot-wise.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:27 pm

Sakae Wu wrote:I wondered if anyone here had a favorite holiday movie?


Probably the Muppets Christmas movie, songs, comedy, warmth and some family memories.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:50 pm

Sakae Wu wrote:I wondered if anyone here had a favorite holiday movie?

Home Alone for me. No matter how many times I watch it, the Wet Bandits crack me up.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:54 pm

Watched Maze Runner: The Death Cure. the last instalment was held up by serious injury to lead Dylan O'Brien and I found early on I wished there had either been a recap or I had looked up on wiki but did get my bearings. Those making the film seemed aware of past issues, they worked to give more of a sense of the world which they did just about decently enough and to ensure other characters beyond Thomas, who still remained too "world revolves around him", got more of a look in.

As a film? For the most part it was... nice enough, went along pleasantly, you don't feel the film's long length, usual YA beats are touched, nothing remarkable about it. Humour didn't quite land with only one figure
Gally (Will Poulter)
landing humour due to cast member being the one cast member to shine and character not being so enamoured with Thomas while the usually reliable Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) didn't land his jokes. Is a feeling for my sister and I that Denise Chamian and director Wes Ball assembled a talented cast, adding good supporting adults over the three films, but Ball has failed to get anywhere near the best out of them in any of the trilogy, they lacked a spark here.

It goes action filled near the end and, being more tired then we thought, both us had become sleepy, but the action fails to excite, it goes on too long and the big emotional punches they go for don't land. Mostly becuase we just don't care enough about those characters over the trilogy. Granted I had apparently missed one big scene via sleep looking at wiki in interests of fairness.

=====

Watched Don't Think Twice. Premise: New York improv group The Commune are close friends, seeking to take the step up in comedy. Weekend Live (why, no this doesn't sound like a famed comedy show :wink: ) sends producers to watch and two are offered trials: impressionist (Keegan-Michael Key) and girlfriend Sam (Gillian Jacobs). How will this impact the group?

As a comedy, it isn't funny, the improv and the banter often falls flat though one can see how the jokes should work. The cast are full of faces I recognize (writer/director Mike Birbiglia, Kate Micucci and Tami Sagher, but Chris Gethard was new to me) in usually smallish roles, they do a good job and create a sense of the community and friendship. As a drama it mostly balance its cast bar Sagher) screen time, most have a plot to follow and their own dynamics. The varied reactions of all involved and how that evolves to the chance of two getting the success they desire is well done, they let the characters behave badly when it makes sense while keeping a balance.

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

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:01 pm

Tried Indian Horror Tumbbad which I was enjoying, had a good creepy atmosphere and nice set up but slowed right down as they revealed Vinayak (Mohammad Samad) background as an adult. For my sister it was nice enough but when she realized there as still an hour left, she wanted to watch something else.

Watched slasher "based on true events" Wolf Creek. Premise: Two British students Liz Hunter (Cassandra Magrath) and Kristy Earl (Kestie Morassi) are backpacking across Australia with Australian friend Ben Mitchell (Nathan Phillips) and heading to Wolf Creek but, being a slasher film, they will soon face a threat...

Was seeking a casual horror film to while away time for someone unwell, this was the wrong choice, this is a brutal and uncomfortable film. It's attitude on if this is real or not I felt crosses the line as thought it was based on real events (with Greg McLean filling in gaps) based on how hard they pushed that overall when it wasn't. This wasn't my type of film and I slightly regret finishing it.

The film is well made, dialogue and performances feel natural with bonds of friendship, the big bad
big spoiler
Mick Taylor (John Jarratt)
is an effective baddie, good tension, well done action. The set up is slow and long however, it takes some time to get to the horror elements which is understandable as it builds up the friends but pace could have been better. The characters also seem to make some odd choices in the horror/slasher moments, including blatantly stupid ones, and there is a decision trend that leaves one wondering what the characters are thinking
why do they keep thinking people would leave keys in the car? Every single time they assume it, every time they are wrong and cost themselves valuable time.


=====

Watched mockumentry No Men Beyond This Point. Premise: In the 50's, fatherless pregnancies begin and male birth rates decline, changing the way the world was shaped. In the modern day, 37 year old Andrew (Patrick Gilmore) is the last male born and housekeeper to the household of Iris (Kristine Cofsky) and Terra (Tara Pratt)

I was a little disengaged at first though my sister was drawn right in, I did feel it got stronger when it got balance more towards Andrew+co rather then history (also far less "bad re-enactments" that I didn't find funny) as gave a more emotional power, it does well in giving a sense of characters to the talking heads and to the household. The film has a tendency with its look through the history to play to stereotypes about females and males, one assumes to lampoon it, but those moments aren't quite as funny as they should be (bar male liberation leader Darius (Cameron McDonald) who does land jokes more then he misses) and it blunts the edge. Where the film is at its best is when it wanders off the stereotype to provide a surprise twist and an edge as it shows darker side of human nature, sometimes using humour so the full implications take a moment to hit you, or using right on language that hides/excuses bigotry or something believably horrible.

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

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:24 am

Sakae Wu wrote:I wondered if anyone here had a favorite holiday movie?



Love Actually for me, with The Nativity running it close in no. 2.


Dong Zhou wrote:Watched Maze Runner: The Death Cure. the last instalment was held up by serious injury to lead Dylan O'Brien and I found early on I wished there had either been a recap or I had looked up on wiki but did get my bearings. Those making the film seemed aware of past issues, they worked to give more of a sense of the world which they did just about decently enough and to ensure other characters beyond Thomas, who still remained too "world revolves around him", got more of a look in.


I got this for Christmas! Like you it felt like a long time since I'd watched any of them so I've gone back to the beginning. Hopefully I might watch no. 2 and 3 some time today!
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:59 am

I hope you have more joy with the 3rd film then I did and enjoy rewatching the trilogy
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:48 pm

Tried Nightmare on Elm Street, age and constant references/parodies haven't helped it but still seemed decent enough, they took some decisions that felt fresh even now but wasn't particularly engaged. Tried 2009 Hong Kong film Accident, good premise with arranging intricate murders that look like accidents but the pace is so slow.

Watched sci-fi romance Passengers (2016 version), felt like a movie that would have been helped if writer Jon Spaihts and director Morten Tyldum had gone down a dark character exploring film, it showed tantalising signs of what it could be in the opener, with the premise of a man on a ship woken up many many years too early. That segment feels a little rushed to get to the romance which lacks chemistry, Tyldum failing to get the most out of Chris Pratt (some of his expression work does not express what I think they were looking for) or Jennifer Lawrence and it is all a bit... Hollywood. That it slightly shirks the dark side, it pulls the punches, is a bit more glamorous. It isn't a bad film for what it is, it went along nicely enough despite not rooting for the leads and passed the night away.

The highlight was its treatment of computer and AI, it responded with computer intelligence and delivery but faced with problem it could not understand, one saw the line where it wasn't quite human. Michael Sheen's bartender exemplified this, one could see in everything he did and said how human he seemed yet how he wasn't quite human, where suddenly the computer not quite being human came through. Sheen brought charm and humour, the scenes in his bar were some of the best in the movie.

Me: 6.0, Sis: 6.5

====

Watched 2015 festive horror Krampus. Has great opening scene set in the Christmas shopping rush then sets up the unhappy Engel family and their loss of festive spirit. Set up takes enough time without going too long to set up the characters and dynamics of the adults plus some of the children. The adults are engaging enough, the children less so with child performances not a strong point. When the horror starts, I found it effective enough for tension but my sister disagreed and they mix it well with character/family scenes, with Conchata Ferrell as the Aunt providing some fun humour. Nothing goes on too long and I was enjoying the film for the most part.

It fell into the old horror trap of the revealed horrors not being as effective as the unsighted ones bar when deliberately comic set of horror villains
the gingerbread
which added levity. It also lost the balance as just went horror, horror, horror without much relief so lost impact. Ending was good but we had our doubts going into the end phase about the writers which suggests there was something that meant we lacked faith in them and what direction they would go.

Me: 6.5 Sis 6.0

=====

Watched Kung Fu Panda for first time, loved the opening and deliberately flawed narration of Jack Black and regret there wasn't more of it. Animation looks good, not as much humour as expected but tended to work when they went for humour, big name vocal cast do their job well, doesn't quite balance in enough time for some of the side characters. Did love Grand Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim), the wise mentor may not be a fresh role but it was really well delivered and one believed in what he was saying. Covers most of the things you would expect of such a movie but delivers them with enough charm and heart that it kept me engaged and having a nice time. Final battle went on slightly too long.

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

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:52 pm

Tried Sharknado, I expected better visual and audio quality from other Syfy productions I have seen. I can look past the bad special effects but the camera quality just seemed so bad. As a film just seemed bad rather then funny bad, Cassie Scerbo showed some spark but most of cast was lacking and Jaason Simmons was dreadful.

Watched vampire mockumentry What We Do In The Shadows, we had liked Taika Waititis's Thor and heard good things so gave this a try, glad we did. It can drift a little but the film really created its world and loved the moments the vampires were with other undead, the glimpses into their wider world and the film also has an eye for the little details. The vampires also reflecting a vampiric type down the years, the tensions of flatmates, the jerk way people can treat others unintentionally, the ego's, an eye for a bit of silliness, the vampires being out of date and clever use of history and how vampire powers would impact modern day flatsharing. It was a good time and with a lot of amusement, I have a hard time describing it but it's worth a see and may well watch the TV show coming up.

Me: 6.5, Sis: 7.0

====

Rewatched Legally Blonde, less of the dog then expecting and the first half doesn't really work as a comedy but is still a good movie. Its fashion and technology have aged, so has its use of stereotypes but it still has messages that ring true, sadly, nowadays, and not just on the "don't judge a book by it's cover." It builds up its main character well and that some of the issues she faces are due to her own attitudes holding her back, Reese Witherspoon does a very good job. Has everything one wants in a feel good movie, warmth, humour (particularly second half as lead character gets sharper), a bit of romance, cute dog.

The ending is a bit too fantasy for me, the characters around the lead tend to be thinly done and the few that aren't I felt were clumsily handled at the end phase. Was some odd editing, but I think ITV was seeking to shave off five minutes which led to conversations being cut off midway through rather then the film.

Me: 7.0 Sis 6.0

====

Watched Tomb Raider though my sister left it early, very much based around the first of the rebooted video games which doesn't do it favours as it has to whittle down the story into a lot shorter time frame, making some sacrifices and not producing a story as good. The one new element didn't feel right for the franchise
major spoiler
Lord Croft is alive
but some good nods to the game setplays, equipment and the movement felt very Lara Croft.

As a movie in itself it is... just about alright. The attempts at humour don't click but Alicia Vikander does some good action work, the big bad is erratic in terms of delivery, I wasn't pulled in by Croft or anybody around her but they held the attention long enough. Had a good end phase.

Me: 5.5
“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 Dong Zhou » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:44 pm

Tried Escape Plan, fun premise and good when focusing on the art of trying to escape, not a film that has great performances with Stallone taking awhile to click, twists lack surprise and not always sure they cast for the right roles. It was going along pleasantly enough but we were tired and dropped off.

Watched Lord of War which felt like a movie that was made more then sum of it parts by Nicolas Cage narration, some of the early delivery was a bit off but more and more it really held the attention, and it felt more intresting then the script he had been given. The movie outside it was... fine, some decent performances by likes of Eamonn Walker, Ethan Hawke and Yevgeni Lazarev (but not Leto), the script had some clumsy lines and was less then subtle about its theme though was good at the hypocrisy of those around the main guy, but it felt a bit overly long for its quality.

Me: 6.5, Sis: 7.0
“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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