Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri May 17, 2019 11:27 am

Watched Snowpeircer, slept near end but caught up on it. I see potential and think TV show could make more of this, I would have liked more glimpses at the world within the train with some of the carriages being rushed through, to learnt of the lore and the life. Does feel like stuff was cut out either from movie or from the graphic novel without closing the gaps properly, pace was slow, didn't care for most of the characters, not sure if netflix or film decision but lack of translation for Korean wasn't a good decision. Was some decent action, I liked wise Gilliam (John Hurt), Yona (Go Ah-sung) and Minister Mason (Tilda Swinton), ending clever but lacked impact, there was always something that kept me watching but overall too many drifting moments in film.

Both: 6.0

Watched coming of age drama The Way Way Back. Premise: Duncan (Liam James) reluctantly goes on summer vacation with mother Pam (Toni Collette) and her new boyfriend (Steve Carell), things are unhappy but meeting Owen (Sam Rockwell) and finding the water park begins to give him some hope...

Sets up the dynamics quickly and well particularly between the family, neighbours Betty (Allison Janney) and Peter (River Alexander) bring humour, there is hints of romance, some good family scenes. It builds nicely, cast are good, balance between the lighter moments and the tension, it drags slightly when Owen is on screen for a time as his shtick tires quickly but eventually he clicks. I was having a nice time but by end phase, it hadn't juggled all the pieces enough to give proper depth, there was a lack of punch to the ending scenes. One or two leering scenes which were creepy.

Both: 6.5
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed May 22, 2019 12:23 pm

Watched Ant-Man and the Wasp and felt... it was ok. At its best when humour out of the unexpected or inserting ordinary mishaps into superhero, some good jokes, the villain is underwritten but what they touch on and the cast member makes it work better then it should. Evangeline Lilly works well as a heroine and would like to see her with the other heroes, decent action and there is romantic chemistry or heroes vs baddies chemistry, love the scenes between Scott and Cassie. Wish they had more ant scenes as those were effective.

Overall though, the film didn't quite knit together. There wasn't the same sense of inventiveness about the first movie, the main group's chemistry wasn't clicking at times, too many jokes fell flat. It did get better as the adventure got better after a flat start but was one of the weaker of this round of Marvel films.

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

Unread postby Lord Yang Jiahua » Thu May 23, 2019 9:36 am

Watched John Wick 3 Parabellum :
(Turns out the name is a corruption of the latin by Vegitius but whatever (Preparat es bellum) i think is the original).
Very Good movie overall. Total lack of shaky cam or cut action sequences, so you aren't getting a headache watching the bodies stack up. High attention to detail in every fight sequence, and yes it bothered me in the last movie that apparently Keanu had infinite bullets in his guns, not this time, he picks up clips quite often. Halle Berry was awesome in her role, hands down pulls off a difficult character. Like how everything got explained, including what the coins and markers mean.
(if this reads like a refutation of a Cinemasins videos, its because it is, seems like the writers actually watched it and took out alot of big glaring things that were sins in John Wick 2).
The ending bothered me along the lines of "John Survives this", but hey, movies gotta sequel.

9.5/10
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue May 28, 2019 9:20 am

Watched black comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous. Premise: The small rural town of Mount Rose is hosting their annual beauty pageant with the favourites being Amber Atkins (Kirsten Dunst) and rich Becky Leeman (Denise Richards) whose mother Gladys (Kirstie Alley) runs the pageant. Those who cross Becky do seem to have a series of unfortunate accidents...

Slow pace so being only 90 minutes helps, a good comic cast with likes of Allison Janey and Will Sasso, at its best there are some really funny jokes particularly around flirty Leslie Miller (Amy Adams), corruption and misunderstandings. Some of the comedy has, while well delivered, involved subjects that have not aged well. The murders lack impact and isn't much mystery, the latter doesn't seem to be something they particularly cared about but there should be more oomph. While a pleasant film with a fair few laughs, might have been better cutting the last twenty or so minutes and using it to build the characters or do more with the beauty pageant.

Both: 6.0

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Watched family fantasy film The Secret of Moonacre. Premise: Maria Merryweather (Dakota Blue Richards) is left orphaned with the the family estate sold to pay father's debts, she and her loyal governess Miss Heliotrope (Juliet Stevenson) travel to her less then welcoming uncle Sir Benjamin (Ioan Gruffudd). Yet something strange is going on at the house...

The film doesn't make the best of what it has, director Gábor Csupó is not able to bring the best out of his cast that includes Tim Curry and Natascha McElhone with performers tending to be erratic, feels like scenes were removed with sudden jumps and a feeling something is missing. It starts well, the child and her governess have a good chemistry, their attitude towards events is fun, some good dynamics within the house, Beatrix Aruna Pasztor does some excellent costumes that mixes od time with a modern twist and Michael Webber is reliably comic as servant Digweed. When it gets towards the fantasy, it feels less intresting with other characters underdeveloped and not connecting, poor costumes outside the house, the adventure not particularly exciting, ideas that make sense but are underdeveloped to have real impact. It was still a nice time with enough humour and some likeable figures but could have been better.

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

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Tue May 28, 2019 7:30 pm

I've been watching a bunch of Kazakh movies recently.

Baikonur: a sweet, quirky and very post-Soviet romantic comedy by Veit Helmer with hints of magical realism. A young Kazakh boy nicknamed 'Gagarin' (Alexander Asochakov) falls in love from afar with a female French astronaut named Julie (the gorgeous Marie de Villepin), who launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome up to the International Space Station. On her return, her capsule crashes in the steppe where 'Gagarin' finds it. He is aided by his childhood friend Nazira (Sitora Farmonova) in his attempts to wake her up. There are only a couple of laugh-out-loud moments; in most cases the humour is gentle and understated. It's as much a love poem to the space race as it is a romantic comedy in its own right. The cinematography is brilliant, and there are a few judicious uses of archival footage from Soviet launches from Baikonur. The acting is also sterling, particularly on the part of Gagarin. Highly recommended, 8.5 / 10.

Kelin: a 2009 Kazakh art house film directed by Ermek Tursunov. Almost no dialogue in this movie, which shows off the acting chops of the leading lady and men. A young bride (Gulsharat Jubyeva) is married off against her will to a neatherd (Erjan Nurimbet), though she preferred another suitor - a hunter (Quandyq Qystyqbaev). She is brought to her mother-in-law (Turahan Sadykova), and starts to get to like her new husband, when her previous lover shows up. This is an incredibly well-shot film. Cinematography is utterly gorgeous, including the long shots of the scenery and wildlife. The story is simple, and brutal: it's a movie about revenge, survival, the battle of the sexes and the battle of generations. There is a Tengriist religious theme throughout the movie. Apparently it was pretty controversial when it was first released in Kazakhstan, a.) because it portrays Kazakh culture as primitive, violent and barbaric, and b.) because the heroine is shown naked a lot, has multiple sex scenes and is even shown to enjoy some of it. Both criticisms are somewhat valid, but I wouldn't call the film pornographic or creepy. The total lack of dialogue comes off a bit forced, though. I'd recommend it, but only for age-appropriate audiences. 7.5 / 10.

Ulzhan: another art-house movie, 2007, about a French hitchhiker Charles (Philippe Torreton) purportedly in search of a lost Nestorian treasure on Mount Khan-Tengri in Kazakhstan. Along the way he meets the titular young schoolteacher (Ayanat Ksenbai) and a half-German, half-Kazakh biker/tramp named Shakuni who doubles as a shaman (David Bennant). The film starts off as a gritty realistic road movie set in Kazakh oil towns but soon drifts into magical-realism territory as it becomes a liminal shamanic journey into the realm of the dead. I'm still not sure if the overall effect is profound or pretentious, but in many respects this is a slow, frustrating film to watch. It's competently done, but I wouldn't recommend this as my first pick. 5.5 / 10.

The Fall of Otrar: the 1991 classic war drama by Ardak Amirqulov. A Qypshaq scout (Doha Qydyraliev) comes back to his home city of Orgensh to warn his Shah (Abdurashid Mahsudov) about the Mongols, but he is not believed. Instead he is tortured and exiled for speaking honestly about the threat. His lord, Qaiyr Han (Tungyshpai Jamankulov), robs a Mongol caravan, and the Shah of Horezm executes a Mongol envoy who complains about it. As a result, the Qypshaq city of Otyrar is besieged and razed by the Mongols, and its khan executed on the orders of Shyngys Han (Bolot Beishenaliev). Filmed mostly in sepia-tone black-and-white, with a lot of impressive technical work (gore, horsemanship, pyrotechnics, fight choreography) going into the final battle. Highly recommended, though certainly not for younger audiences (lots of violence, one sex scene). 9 / 10.

Tulpan: a 2008 slice-of-life drama / comedy by Sergei Dvortsevoi about a Russian navy sailor Asa (Ashat Kuchencherekov) who returns home to his sister Samal (Samal Esliamova) and brother-in-law Ondas (Ondas Besikbasov) with dreams of settling down and starting a ranch. He courts the only eligible girl in range, Tulpan, but she doesn't like him because his ears are too big. There's a lot of situational comedy that follows, mostly surrounding Samal and Ondas's family and Asa's Page 3 girl-loving friend Boni (Tulepbergen Baisakalov), their livestock and other animals, and a scene where Asa delivers a lamb that's both tender and hilarious (Asa looks distinctly uncomfortable and doesn't at first know what he's doing). A sweet but decidedly unromantic close-up look at a modern nomadic family and their life. HIGHLY recommended. 9.5 / 10.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:59 am

Watched animated Pixar film Ferdinand. Premise: In Spain, bull Ferdinand (John Cena) does not wish to be a fighter and is happiest among the flowers but one accidental rampage sees him sent for bull fighting training....

It's a patchy film, capable of sweet moments, some good comedy particularly around Scottish bull Angus (David Tennant) and comfort goat Lupe (Kate McKinnon), touches on certain themes, plenty of passages that keep one engaged and enjoying the world, the show and it builds up well to a enjoyably done finale. Yet there are also passages that just feel slow, were the laughs or the emotional beats don't quite hit, were it just isn't quite as enjoyable. Likeable and pleasant way to while away the afternoon

Both: 6.0
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Juliore » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:52 pm

went to the movies past weekend and enjoyed John Wick 3, really good movie in my opinion.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:35 am

Watched rom-com Book Club. Premise: Four life long friends have a book club: hotel owner Vivian (Jane Fonda), judge Sharon (Candice Bergen), still married Carol (Mary Steenburgen) and narrator Diane (Diane Keaton). Vivian brings in 50 shades of grey and that starts them thinking about their romantic lives...

It's alright, they have a decent chemistry as friends and doing a rom-com on mature ladies gives it a fresh angle they try to use, usually pleasant romances, humour is there but sometimes the cast don't deliver it properly. It goes along nicely for the most part bar one initially fun strand where "um this is deeply wrong"
Carol drugging her husband Bruce (Craig T. Nelson)
comes into play and Diane tends to drag as she is meant to be a bit... eccentric but instead is annoying with Keaton not giving one of her better performances. Endings don't tend to land, they don't segue into what had gone on before and feels clumsy.

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

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:45 am

Watched Deadwood: The Movie, a chance to finish off a great show with a made for TV movie, the cast mostly back together. Start is hampered by the language, it had the unreal trying too hard feel of a Shakespeare production where the cast are struggling to find the rhythm of the dialogue or perhaps it has been so long we had gotten out of practise with their style. Some choice insults and themes were building, flashbacks used briefly and carefully to gently remind key points, but it wasn't quite clicking for a spell.

The language began to warm and use of Trixie helped knit the plots together, performances flowed and there were warm scenes with emotion, relaxed moments, big moments and the themes it always had flowing gently underneath. Where characters were ten years on felt right and one or two were used for the sense of passing time (others could have been picked up a week later from where we left), it built well to suitable endings for the figures. I did feel by the end a little "wish it had been a bit better" and even more wish it had been a season to properly explore themes, did wonder what the point of Caroline (Jade Pettyjohn) addition was.

Me: 6.0, Sis: 6.5

Watched The Blues Brothers, hadn't seen it for awhile and was a nice adventure. I feel the humour... it isn't so much hasn't aged well but other people ran with the jokes like the use of Nazi's as comedy opponents and have done it better since and ending was kind of juggling too much. The best jokes were Sister Mary Stigmata (Kathleen Freeman) early scene and Carrie Fisher's attempted assassin, otherwise wasn't particularly funny. Were it shone is the music with performances from Ray Charles, James Brown, Arthea Franklin and Dan Akyrod bringing some lovely music that really does add a lot sparkle to an alright film
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:08 am

Tried the original adaptation of The Producers, bad credit sequence that slowed the film down, Zero Mostel was impressive as the proud theatre mogul in decline, had that sense of power still there while also conveyed the decline and loss of glory. He didn't land the comedy and Gene Wilder's comedy didn't work for us, was lacking spark. Also tried The Survivalist but found it a bit slow and a bit creepy

Watched Netflix sci-fi film I Am Mother. Premise: After apocalyptic events, a facility for restarting human race restarts with one daughter (Clara Rugaard) brought up by robot Mother (Luke Hawker performs, Rose Byrne voice) but their life is soon to be shaken up when a stranger (Hilary Swank) arrives...

This got decent reviews, seemed like our sort of thing and we had a nice time, built up well at the start, went along well, ending is effective and has clever ideas. The robot is well done, an attempt to seem friendly while still a robot and just adding those little bit of errors in delivery every now and again without going too robotic. We could predict the "twists" but they are handled well enough, felt it tried too hard for atmosphere once or twice, I also felt like the writing could have been a bit sharper to just make stranger and some moments more effective.

Me: 6.5, Sis: 7.0
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