Watched any good movies recently?

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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Sakae Wu » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:50 pm

I haven't posted here for awhile, so I thought I'd mention a few movies that left an impression on me over the last few months:

They Shall Not Grow Old is defintely one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. What really sets this one apart is that they only use restored footage and photos from that period as well as actual veterans that do all the narration. (recorded years ago and digitally enhanced)
It's entirely from a British pov and directed/produced by Peter Jackson created for the Imperial War Museum archives. The most impactful part of the movie is watching the transition of enthusiastic English teens who assumed they were signing up for one long heroic calvary charge, to becoming gaunt, hollow eyed veterans who had seen too many horrors. A few parts showing post battle footage were pretty hard to watch.
There's little mention of the French or American involvement, and most comments about the German side seemed fairly respectful which was a little surprising considering the brutality of the fighting involved.
Very educational and highly recommended. 9.5/10

Shoplifters should have won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film in my opinion. While theft in Japan isn't that common relatively speaking, people living in poverty is unfortunately.
This film has many bittersweet moments of people trying to survive on the fringes of society. The characters are flawed but easy to root for. And the incredible performances of Lily Franky, Sakura Ando and a little gem named Miyu Sasaki made this one of the better movies I've seen in awhile. 9/10

May We Chat wasn't that great overall in my opinion, but it was unique, well acted and memorable. It's from Hong Kong and based on the lives of three young women whose overreliance on social media (namely WeChat) causes all sorts of problems but also brings them closer together. The first half is a tad boring and explores their day-to-day lives. The second half takes a dark turn and had me riveted for the rest of the movie. Rainky Wai Yue-Sam was fantastic in this and worth watching on her own. And the ending was a quite a surprise as well. 6.5/10
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:40 pm

Watched western anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Unusually we split this into two, we found the tales intresting but it has a slow pace and after the very slow Gold Canyon we discovered we still had an hour left, we didn't want to tire of it so decided to take a break.

Opens up with a sense of a book being opened, gives a real sense of ye old book with dedication and such details, each tale starting with a picture with a caption that teases a moment to come then once glimpses first words (and at end of each tale), first tale is the Ballad. Tim Blake Nelson is a good opening lead, there is cheer and fun songs to catch the attention yet also a dark side is quick to emerge. There is something dark about human nature in each tale, to point that one ends up waiting for the dark side to emerge though usually the moment is well executed. Each tale has its own style to help keep things fresh, opens with cowboy musical then there is horror, romance, plays and so on that keeps it fresh.

Each tale is, though tending towards the slow, really well done with only cast member I had issue with was Saul Rubinek's attempt to do a French accent. The tales are intresting, varied, endings have impact, has songs (not a musical despite the name) in two of the tales and they are enjoyable, it has a good eye for human nature and human misery but usually enough lightness to not make it too depressing.

Both: 7.5, nearly 8 but for the need to split
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:40 pm

Lost this while posting

Watched rom-com spoof Isn't It Romantic. Premise: Architect Natalie (Rebel Wilson) is single and no longer a fan of rom-com's which she sees as unrealistic and not hopeful of love. When mugged and knocked out, she slips into a rom-com world with flowers, suitors and song, something she is all too aware of and isn't so keen on.

This feels like a film where writers Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox and Katie Silberman had a basic idea they wanted, a rom-com that shines light on and has fun with the tropes. The problem is they didn't have enough fresh or well executed ideas to fill the 89 minute movie, there were some neatly done ideas here or there and a fresh ending phase but a lot of the ideas were either old or fell flat. Natalie's explanation/rant of why she hates rom-com to her underutilized friend/assistant Whitney (Betty Gilpin) summed it up, there were two or three moments that felt clever observations or delivered in an amusing fashion but a lot of it was ideas that have been mentioned for years and not delivered well. The rant overall felt overly long and didn't work as a whole, too much meh overwhelming the good moments.

As a rom-com itself, it isn't good enough. Some of the romances lack strong chemistry though best friend Josh (Adam DeVine) has moments in romance, it is hard to warm to them till near the end when some of them begin to click. Use of songs for romance doesn't work, the songs never come alive and though a decent cast (Liam Hemsworth and Priyanka Chopra), they don't spark off each other.

As a comedy? Some enjoyable visual "land of rom-com" gags and some good jokes over the near ninety minutes but have seen better comedy performances from most of the cast, they didn't manage to make the most of the "heard it before" jokes, to give them life. I found the attempted spoof of the gay best friend, played by Brandon Scott Jones, undercut its points by the way they played it but my sister disagreed.

Me: 5.5 Sis: 6.25
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby SunXia » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:27 pm

Man the new Spider-man movie is awesome. Seriously so glad I didn't grow old and die before they really started doing good Comic Book movies!! Just need to get someone to fix or reboot the DCEU away from Snyder and his "grittiness"!!
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby PeanutButterToast » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:59 pm

SunXia wrote:Man the new Spider-man movie is awesome. Seriously so glad I didn't grow old and die before they really started doing good Comic Book movies!! Just need to get someone to fix or reboot the DCEU away from Snyder and his "grittiness"!!


Aaah! So jealous. I haven't seen it yet, but yes I agree about Snyder. He screwed up my all time favorite superheroes for "dark and edgy". I mean...ugh. Why make Superman dark? He's Superman! I could go on a whole rant about that but just...ugh.

Glad the new Spider-Man is good though.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:27 am

I only watched Homecoming on the plane home the other day which I really enjoyed! Will probably wait for DVD release for the newest one.

Batman at least seems well suited to gritty movies? I loved the Dark Knight trilogy and that was pretty dark! All that said I find Superman the dullest superhero ever so I've stayed away from most of the DCEU.
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Re: Watched any good movies recently?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:15 am

SunXia wrote:Just need to get someone to fix or reboot the DCEU away from Snyder and his "grittiness"!!


I got the impression, particularly with Snyder leaving after family tradegy and how badly Justice League went down, the latest movies like Shazam (from what I hear) have moved away from the dark grittiness.

Nothing wrong with being a dark gritty movie as long as done well and he really failed to justify why his Superman needed to be dark and gritty.

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Watched Netflix/Adam Sandler's murder comedy Murder Mystery which got decent reviews from places I keep an eye on so for once it wasn't critics vs Adam Sandler getting huge numbers. For us it was... just about passable, the slow start (only gets going once on yacht) is certainly true but it wasn't the "spoof of murder mysteries" that we had heard about and that was a pity as most of the best comedy was based around the murder investigation.

The murder part is fun enough, some twists, allows you to guess along, some amusing parodying of the genre but it also gets too actiony and doesn't delve into the potential suspects but does have fun with the inspector (Dany Boon). In terms of comedy, Adeel Akhtar as Maharajah Vikram Govindan is really annoying but very much a side figure while Sandler's benighted ordinary slightly inept guy role doesn't work (nor is his performance that good), his character is annoying and is unfortunately a main figure. Sandler also goes for crude jokes which just feel boorish, where comedy works is those related to the murder mystery, the inspector, the dislike in the murdered family, the parodies and to an extent Jennifer Aniston's more competent wife and her love of mystery novels.

There is a good cast, Aniston does well as does Luke Evans, Gemma Arterton and Terence Stamp the most notable. The idea of the outsiders (one a police officer, the other a fan of murder mysteries) finding themselves into a murder in a family, a poor couple now amongst the extremely wealthy does work at times but they got balance wrong, needed less focus on the main couple (including a slow set up) and more on the side characters. Or make a more intresting leading male character at least.

Me: 6.0, Sis: 6.5

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Kung Fu Panda 3 was the best of trilogy for us, the franchise has always had heart and humour but a tendency to drift. This film prevented that, it had the humour (using Seth Rogen's mantis and pandas well), it had good themes, it had an alright villain in Kai (J. K. Simmons) but one whose reaction to events could be fun. It mixed the fighting well with its humour which worked well for us, it looked as good as ever and was a sweet tale.

Both: 7.0

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Watched musical based film A Star Is Born, the most recent version directed and led by Bradley Cooper with Lady Gaga as fellow lead, had heard very good things of this one and first version of the film we have seen. We really enjoyed it despite being a bit patchy at times and couldn't shake the feeling it could have been better, felt like a film of two parts.

The first half, the rise of Ally (Lady Gaga) has the best songs like Shallow, Out of Time and Always Remember Us This Way, there is a good sense of concerts (says someone who has never been) but there is a sense of atmosphere and energy, Cooper is a good performer with a decent voice and Gaga is... well Gaga. Cooper's Jack is a little creepy with his flirting until the romance happens when it really clicks, set up a little slow but good dynamics with supporting figures like Jack's manager Bobby (Sam Elliot), the sense of Ally's confidence growing bit by bit as they build to Ally's breakthrough, but a little patchy in first half hour.

It then switches to the decline of Jack, one moment he is playing in front of packed crowds, next he is in a bad place and it wasn't the only time "I feel something had been cut" came to mind. Lady Gaga and Cooper have very good chemistry, it is easy to believe in the pairing and scenes between them or figures like Bobby are intresting. The scenes of Jack's public decline are well done and there are good personal scenes but it felt like there was more focus on "pop machine is bad" rather then reasons behind Jack's decline and Ally changing. It keeps touching on his hearing issues but never delves into it and it is far from the only issue, one wonders why "let us talk about it" never comes up (makes some sense with Bobby but not so much with Ally who is supposed to "get him") and the focus on pop machine=bad leads to ending phase not being as powerful as it should have been.

Both: 7.5
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