Author Topic: In Which I Review Movies  (Read 10813 times)

Description: Trespass

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #250 on: September 05, 2017, 06:29:58 PM »


Zodiac (2007), directed by David Fincher

I'm trying to write this without reading anything about the case itself, or the film. So if I'm wrong about anything we can blame it on that. Murder mysteries are something I just have to watch. It doesn't matter how long they take to be solved. I need to know what happened, and I don't care how long I sit there in order to find out the answer. In this case there is no answer, merely a theory. A theory is good enough. That this film has such a gigantic cast is a major plus point for me, no expense was spared in order for this film to be presented the way it needed to be. That I watched this so soon after Dirty Harry was perfect. Not only do I feel like I know the Bay Area, but it's a great contrast to what happens in that film.

The details of the events contained in this film seemed to be meticulously researched, and because of that it will be difficult for me to relay all the details. All of the action takes place early in the film, which I'm sure pissed people off. The Zodiac killer is a serial murderer, who sends letters to the San Francisco Chronicle and the police. Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) is tasked with the job of covering the story, and Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a cartoonist who hangs around his desk wanting to know more and more information. On the police side, David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) and Bill Armstrong (Anthony Edwards) are the inspectors tasked with seeking down the murderer of a cab driver. In the process of that, these two things come together in interesting ways.

There should be no secrets to this, because of how infamous a case this was. There were so many actors involved with this project that I couldn't name them all. It's not that I don't want to mention them, but nobody stands out over the rest. That's not supposed to be a criticism, it's meant to show that everyone was that good in their role. Lots of people don't have the patience to watch something like this. I shouldn't be surprised that this film didn't make good money, which sounds like a crazy notion knowing what it is that I just watched.

As far as technical aspects go, the screenplay stands out the most. It isn't easy to adapt books to the big screen, especially one like this. Due to the lack of action, casting is important and can make or break a film like this. If anyone gives the kind of performance that doesn't fit a character, due to how much time all of the characters get, the whole thing falls apart. Brian Cox as Melvin Belli, an attorney who counsels the Zodiac killer on live television, struck me as particularly inspired casting. He's good in everything. In Troy he played a part that could not have been more different than this one, but I bought it.

There were also an abundance of scenes that will stick with me. The first and most obvious is the only scene where you actually see the killer while he's doing what he's doing. That could not have been more effective in establishing what kind of guy this actually was. The hood, the vest, and all that shit. I was tripping out. There's also the scene where Arthur Leigh Allen (John Carroll Lynch) is interrogated. There's nothing to this other than the interrogation, it's just perfect. The best one is the scene with Bob Vaughn (Charles Fleischer) takes Graysmith into his basement. Not knowing what happened and not having read anything about this case beforehand, that's what a suspenseful scene is supposed to feel like.

What I appreciated more than anything else was that this film felt authentic, like a real police investigation. Of course that's because it was, but even though that keeps movie studios from making money, that's how it was presented. Gone Girl is in obvious contrast to that, even though that's also really good. A meticulous approach to filmmaking can work wonders sometimes, but it's not for everyone. I'm sure a lot of people found this dull, disengaging, and boring. I feel bad for them. They probably like watching garbage television. There was something else I was going to say, but in the shuffle of everything else worth mentioning, I've genuinely forgotten what it was. Maybe I'll remember tomorrow.

Fake edit: Oh, it was that the Zodiac killer didn't only kill people, he wrecked people's lives through fear and obsession. His thirst for attention was a life breaker for most of the people who worked on this case in any fashion, and I thought the film was great at laying all that out there.

10/10

Offline cobainwasmurdered

  • CWM
  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 13,148
  • CWM
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #251 on: September 05, 2017, 09:15:06 PM »
It's a great movie that was generally super accurate from what I've read however one thing that's been pointed out as wrong was

Spoiler: show
 the portrayal of avery as broken by zodiac. He actually went on to a lot of future success and a number of his former colleagues criticized the way he was shown. He did have a based houseboat though.

Offline CENA ❤️ ORTON

  • I WILL NEVER "PIMP"
  • CXF Writer
  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 12,822
  • Gary
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #252 on: September 06, 2017, 01:58:14 AM »
"The fuckin' library!"

I fucking love "Zodiac". Fincher's best movie IMO, without a single moment feeling like filler.


I AM THE CHEESE! I AM THE BEST CHARACTER ON THE SHOW!! I AM BETTER THAN BOTH THE SALAMI AND THE BOLOGNA COMBINED!!

"This Whole Thing Smacks Of Gender," i holler as i overturn my uncle's barbeque grill and turn the 4th of July into the 4th of Shit

Offline Old school tough guy

  • PosterFest Winner
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 22,106
  • Your POV
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #253 on: September 06, 2017, 05:22:41 AM »
I fucking love "Zodiac". Fincher's best movie IMO, without a single moment feeling like filler.

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #254 on: September 10, 2017, 05:53:19 PM »


Be Kind Rewind (2008), directed by Michel Gondry

When I watch a classic like Zodiac, it's impossible for any other film I watch afterwards to measure up. So what I like to do is get a nice dose of average, or maybe watch something that I know is going to be bad. Considering I don't care for Jack Black, I was 100% expecting this to be terrible. The first twenty minutes or so were such that I wanted to turn this off. I have a rule against doing that, and more than any other film I've reviewed, I've never had the inclination to do so more than tonight. I didn't think those twenty minutes were bad, but I thought this was supposed to be a comedy. I found them completely boring. In the end, this wasn't such a boring film after all.

Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) owns a failing video store, one which time has passed by. His store is practically falling apart, and he only rents older VHS tapes. Mr. Fletcher has one employee named Mike (Mos Def), who works hard for very little pay. Fletcher leaves the store on a vacation, but it turns out that he's seeing what his competitors are doing right and what he's doing wrong. The city also wants his store so othey can demolish it, gentrify the neighborhood, and build condos there. The store has a problem visitor named Jerry (Jack Black), and he thinks the government is using a power plant to control his mind. Jerry enlists the help of Mike to break into the plant, but they nearly get caught and Mike decides that he wants nothing to do with it. Jerry gets electrocuted, and when returning to the store he touches the tapes, demagnetizing them all. Mr. Fletcher tasks Miss Falewicz (Mia Farrow) with checking on the store, and she wants to rent Ghostbusters. The problem is that they no longer have it, and Mr. Fletcher will find out about what happened if they don't rent out a copy. So, Mike and Jerry figure that because she's never seen the film, they can make a home video version of it.

It surprised me to great extent that this was what the film was about. I didn't realize, but I found this pertinent. When I was in high school, I had a friend whose parents had just purchased a Sony HDR. We would do something similar to this. I had one of the tapes and I have no idea what happened to them. I think they're long gone. Anyway, we would take the tapes to school and edit them in our free time using Final Cut Pro. It's not something I've ever talked about before, because why the fuck would something like this ever come up? This film brings back those memories. Of course we were far more lazy and didn't wear costumes. We would just re-enact some scenes to see how they sounded. I have no idea what happened to any of those people. While I feel inspired to find out, some things are better left in the past.

As I said, the versions presented in this film are a lot better. Jack Black and Mos Def were believable in their roles. So was Melonie Diaz as Alma, a woman needed for additional parts in these home videos. I wasn't expecting to have any positive feelings about this film after the way it begun. I really did think it was boring, and I really didn't think it was any good. The scenarios presented here are massively implausible, and the solutions in terms of making these films seemed costly. At least too costly for the situation. There's really not a hell of a lot to this movie in terms of the cast, so much further writing about this film would be nothing other than padding.

I don't understand what the filmmaker was attempting to achieve, which leaves me at somewhat of a loss for words. This was a comedy that wasn't very funny, and it ends in a fashion I can only call depressing. There's also SO much missing from this film. All of a sudden Alma goes from a major part of the film to a nothing. Mr. Fletcher goes from hating this scheme to participating in it with no explanation given whatsoever. The characters here are a big pile of nothing. I don't understand it. Anyway, the film resembles a hodgepodge of things, but the one that sticks with me the most is that this felt like an ode to having fun making home videos.

5.5/10

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #255 on: September 12, 2017, 06:10:54 PM »


The Legend of Tarzan (2016), directed by David Yates

The consistent Hollywood obsession with remaking old stories is one of the most confounding things about a complicated business. The marketplace has changed over the course of the last decade, and to some extent people no longer want to see these stories. They can only be told so many times. Now, the ability to do so is entirely reliant on the stars that can be attracted to these projects. Otherwise, they won't be able to make any money. One issue with that is that Hollywood has done everything they can to minimize the star power of the actors they can employ. While this system will lead to an end of telling the same story over and over, this also leads to great projects being rendered unable to make any money. This was not one of those great projects.

Everyone knows the basics of the Tarzan story, so there's no reason to go over that part of the story anymore. What this version does is put their own twist on it. Tarzan/John (Alexander Skarsgard) is a member of the House of Lords, and he's married to Jane (Margot Robbie). Sounds like a natural conclusion to the age old tale. The Congo has been claimed by King Leopold II, and he has invited John to visit the Congo and report on the development of the area. John declines, then is encouraged to accept the invitation by George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson). Jane wants to come along, so now we have our party of three. Once they get there, they find out that Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) has been enslaving Africans to build things for Leopold's project to steal money and resources from the area. The main characters were already suspicious of this, and we were introduced to Rom earlier in the story as he encountered Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou).

Perhaps with this being 2016 and all, it's very easy to notice that this was one of those white savior stories. Some of the general problems with the portrayals of Tarzan films do not exist that much here, which is a relief. I'm particularly thinking of the way all black people are presented as savages. That's definitely not the case. The visual effects are good in some ways and not in others, which struck me as a pretty big problem. The facial animation for the animals was something else, I still can't believe it's possible to put that in a film. On the other hand, every single scene when Tarzan is swinging on vines is such obvious special effects that it takes me out of the film. That goes for pretty much every background in the whole film actually. They're all on green screen, and if they're not, I can't separate the ones that are from the ones that aren't. Most of them HAD to be on green screen due to the jungle setting.

That's not to say it's all bad, but of course it's going to sound bad the way I've been describing it. Including George Washington Williams was a neat piece of the story, because after all George Washington Williams is the person who first called on Leopold to end his slave state in the Congo. Some of the performances, like those of Waltz and Robbie, were pretty good. They have a scene together on a boat that helped flesh the story out. On that note, there's a lot more talking in this film than I expected, which was necessary as the plot and motivations of the character could have been a bit murky otherwise. For example, we find out that Williams took part in operations against Native Americans, which is absolutely what he did in real life. While Skarsgard strikes me as quite distant in this film, his romance with Robbie felt authentic. So that was nice. The flashbacks were too, and I enjoyed the scenes where the animals tore shit up. It also should be stated that there needs to be another big film that focuses on what Leopold did to people in that region. I have read extensively about this, and because this film wasn't completely about that, they didn't go into detail of the horrors inflected on that area. Any film would certainly not make very much money, be very violent, and not be looked upon kindly by those who give out R and NC-17 ratings. The story still needs to be told.

The problem with this film overall is that the setting felt completely inauthentic, because it was. I'm simply incapable of getting over that. I've never seen Avatar, but unless the plot was unbelievably good, I'm sure I would have the same problems with that film. Regardless, somehow the film was much better once it got to "Africa." The early setup wasn't something I addressed yet, and I actually found it to be the worst part of the whole movie. There is absolutely nothing to any of the scenes designed to get Tarzan back to Africa. Another crazy thing about this is that the film cost $180 million to make. I read a report right before posting this that said it lost $40 million. So fortunately, there will not be another one. I still can't give this a really bad rating though. The positives I posted are really big positives in the favor of this film, and placing it in the Congo was great, even if it didn't feel real.

6/10

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #256 on: September 13, 2017, 03:17:40 PM »


The Insider (1999), directed by Michael Mann

I knew this film was going to be about cigarettes, but with my head planted firmly in the sand, it was a perfect film to not know anything else about beforehand. It turns out that the film is about exactly what I expected, because what else can a film about cigarettes be about? It's also Michael Mann, man. There has not yet been something he's made that I didn't find interesting after watching it, or that I do not yet want to watch. Or for that matter, that I'm not going to rewatch to review in this thread at some point. I don't give a shit if anyone's reading or not, but after I watch something I have the compulsion to talk about all my thoughts regarding a film. One thing that's hard about making a film like this one is that dramatization will inevitably lead to the parties getting angry. That certainly happened here.

My first reaction to the opening scene was that I thought this was a film about cigarettes. Anyway, Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino) is sent by 60 Minutes to learn about Sheikh Fadlallah, a major part of Hezbollah. We find out that Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer) wants to interview the Sheikh, and it is established that Mike Wallace is a real journalist and all that stuff. At the same time, Jerry Wigand (Russell Crowe) is fired from his job at Brown & Williamson, a tobacco company. He was an executive of research and development, and was working on cigarettes with less carcinogens until he was fired. Bergman receives a package containing technical documents about big tobacco, and he wants Wigand's help translating them. Wigand is bound by a confidentiality agreement, and his wife (Diane Venora) and children are dependent upon the money that comes with his severance package. So what does Wigand do? Well, he just can't help himself.

Again, I thought this film was about entirely about cigarettes, but there are large parts of it that aren't. In 2017 we know all about big tobacco and what they've done. In 1999 that wasn't as much the case, but the film is about investigative journalism. My reviews of Spotlight and Zodiac should show that I get a major hard on for movies featuring investigative journalism. While the film is distinctly about that subject, it is also distinctly a movie with two different halves. Which half you prefer is probably entirely reliant on if you prefer Pacino or Crowe as actors. I'm in the Pacino camp, but I also really enjoy Crowe's work. The first half is still great though, but their roles in the story rotate as the film progresses.

Pacino's character needed to get that story out of Crowe's character, and 60 Minutes used to be the kind of show where that's what you would get every week. So, the first half revolved around that. The second half is what took place once the story was told. Considering this is public fact, there's no reason not to say that CBS refused to air Wigand's interview after it was conducted. CBS was in the process of being sold, and nobody wanted to deal with this kind of problem. I consider the second half better because Pacino's character goes buckwild in trying to get this interview aired. He just won't stop, and he's a character of real moral turpitude. At least that's if you think he was right to encourage Wigand to ruin his life and tell the story. He was, but it's not some easy moral quandry there.

There is one distinct problem with this film, and it's that the dramatization runs over some people. Mike Wallace said that he was one of those people. There is also no proof that Wigand received death threats. I mean, sure there's claims of that, but there's no proof. Wigand's wife believes that Wigand put a bullet in the mailbox himself, and as presented in the film, the FBI also believed that. The film also presents Bergman as a massive crusader. While entertaining, it's very inaccurate. But again, such things come with the territory of dramatizing true stories. Michael Mann is one of our best filmmakers, and it's unfortunate that he no longer makes very many of them. Making a suspenseful movie out of this material was great, and the way Pacino performed in it was fantastic. I left out a lot of characters in the process of writing this, but I thought there were other good performances worth seeing. Plummer made for a pretty damn good Mike Wallace.

Ultimately, what matters most is the overall messaging. Cigarettes kill people, and Big Tobacco doesn't want us to know about that because they want to make as much money as possible. The media is intertwined with these industries and is in constant danger of being disallowed from telling the truth. Some people take films like this for Oscar-bait, but I don't think anyone makes these films with the express purpose of winning awards. The story needed to be told. Of course, this film is really long, so if you want to watch it, make sure you have the time to finish it.

8.5/10

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #257 on: September 15, 2017, 11:39:07 AM »


Black Mass (2015), directed by Scott Cooper

Black Mass is something that presented immediate moral quandries to me once I was done with watching the film. The problem is that Johnny Depp's portrayal of Whitey Bulger makes Bulger look awesome. I mean, that's really a horrible thing to say about Bulger. After all, he did evil shit. I know that it makes me sound like an asshole to even say what I just said. But I said it, and I don't delete anything I say unless it's factually untrue. This certainly wasn't a classic of the genre, and the film wasn't long enough to be fleshed out the way I would have wanted it to be. It was still quite entertaining.

The film starts with Kevin Weeks (Jesse Plemons) beginning to tell his story to the FBI about Whitey Bulger's (Johnny Depp) business. Bulger was a maniac of sorts, one that it's difficult to write about, and as such it took me a whole other day after watching Black Mass to finish doing so. Bulger's story begins with an introduction of his associates. His right hand man is Stephen Flemmi (Rory Cochrane), a man who eventually pleaded guilty to ten counts of murder. Bulger had a hitman under his employ named Johnny Martorano (W. Earl Brown), and over the course of the movie many other people would come across him. Bulger was at war with the Italians, and an FBI agent named John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) has information about the Angiulo Brothers wanting to have him killed. It is made clear that Connolly knows Whitey well, and that he also knows Whitey's brother named Billy (Benedict Cumberbatch), a Massachusetts State Senator. The idea that a State Senator would be so intertwined with a crimelord like Whitey Bulger is patently ridiculous, but it's also true. Due to Whitey and Connolly's connection growing up together, they make for pretty good friends and associates throughout the years.

The plot of this film was great, but it could certainly have used more time in order to tell a more complete story. The wives of Bulger and Connolly effectively play minimal part in the film, even though there's more to their story. After all, Whitey's child died of Reye syndrome. But the film's not about that, or why Whitey did the things he did, it's about showing what he did. That's a singular focus that separates this from the best movies in the genre, because it doesn't go down the same road films like Goodfellas and Casino do. It is very straight forward like that. I still have a problem with Kevin Bacon, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsgaard, Julianne Nicholson, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Adam Scott not being given the opportunity to do anything with the roles they were given. In some cases it's understandable, but in others it obviously was not. Still, this was a film with a singular focus, and that's fine.

Most importantly with regard to this film, there were a lot of good scenes. Sarsgaard stole the screen the three or four times he was on there. I was quite impressed that such a minor character could stick with me the way his did. Depp's performance as Bulger has been noted by a lot of people, but it was the things in the script that require the real attention. It was impossible to mess some of those scenes up. There's one of his murders in particular that was very difficult to watch. When I'm talking about good scenes though, pretty much every scene with Edgerton as John Connolly would apply there. Very rarely am I taken aback by somebody's performance and able to enjoy it as much as his. His explanations for everything were very amusing. It is insane that the things in this film actually happened.

With all that said, there's quite a bit of good and quite a bit of bad as it comes to this movie. Another thing as of yet unmentioned is that unlike other crime films I'm having a hard time pinpointing the overarching theme. Part of that is because there's no insight given as to Bulger's thoughts. The story is told from no perspective in particular. If The Godfather is about family, and if Goodfellas is about power and respect, I can't figure out what vision the filmmaker brought to this film. That's okay though, because this was still good if not great. The way Depp actually looked as Bulger was made more impressive by the cinematographer, Masanobu Takayanagi. The cinematography in Spotlight was nice too, but I am surprised that this man did not receive any recognition for what he did in this film. Or The Grey for that matter. The thing I can't get over is that other than Connolly's relationship with his wife, there is ZERO here in terms of inter-character relationships. I still enjoyed the film.

7/10

Offline AA484

  • CXF Writer
  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,706
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #258 on: September 15, 2017, 01:22:36 PM »
There is a book that this movie is "based" on but there is another one about Whitey that is a little better by Kevin Cullen.  If you have any interest in exploring Whitey a little deeper you should check it out.  Goes into details about how he was experimented on with LSD in prison (voluntarily) that gave him nightmares for a lifetime.  Interesting read.

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #259 on: September 17, 2017, 05:54:03 PM »


The Limey (1999), directed by Steven Soderbergh

I wasn't sure whether to admit this or not, but I guess it's a good opportunity to cop to this. My exposure to Soderbergh is quite limited. That's not something that's going to continue, but I need to get it out straight away. Everyone's seen the Ocean's series or at least some of it, and that was good. So it's not like I have any problem with delving into his other works. I am going to do so over time. This film was very different than others that I've watched. The style in which it was edited was just so different from anything else. It was so bizarre.

I assume nobody has seen this, considering that I'd never heard of it until a week ago. So this section will be quite brief, and I have taken incredible care not to give too much away. A career criminal named Wilson (Terence Stamp) is headed to Los Angeles to find out what happened to his daughter (Melissa George). He read a newspaper clipping that was sent to him by Eduardo (Luis Guzman), and has come to the determination that his daughter wouldn't crash her car in the middle of the night, but that she was murdered. Eduardo passes him on to Elaine (Lesley Ann Warren), Jenny's acting coach, who tells him that her boyfriend was a man named Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda). We learn that Valentine is an older man that likes young women. We also learn that Wilson is a very violent career criminal. Lastly, we learn that Valentine has a private security team headed by Avery (Barry Newman). So what the fuck's going on here exactly?

The answer is a lot, although not as much as you'd think based on what I just told you. There are some great unmentioned side characters that I've never seen in anything else before, and many of the people who portray them haven't been in anything since then. One of them gets a couple of the best lines any character with less than ten lines has ever gotten. This film also doubles as a subtle critique of Hollywood, and if it wasn't intended to be, then I don't know how something could come off as such. Valentine embodied a Hollywood elitist to incredible degree. Whoever the inspiration was for this performance must have really had some kind of impact on Peter Fonda. It's perfect. His isn't the only one, though. Stamp's performance as a psychopath was strong too. The monologues are the kind of thing that make critics angry, but I thought they provided good laughs and levity to an incredibly serious film.

I would be remiss in bringing up this film and not getting to the nitty gritty of the editing. I had one sentence about it, but that's nowhere near enough. Soderbergh somehow got the rights to include clips from an old movie with Stamp in it in order to get over some aspects of his character. These flashbacks were simply edited into the rest of the movie, which itself was edited in the strangest possible fashion. I'm going to try to describe it. Much of the story is told in flashbacks and flash forwards. You get to see where the dialogue comes from, but immediately the film's editing kicks in and shows you a different picture that is either before or after the dialogue. You can't tell unless you're paying attention, and even then it's difficult, but I found it engaging. I'm probably not capable of describing how this worked, but I did my best. Major spoiler below:

Spoiler: show
There are also bits of editing that show the viewer things that don't happen at all.


The spoiler I have given is something else I found engaging if a bit frustrating, although it kept me on the edge of my seat at all times. I can see why this film never gained any financial traction nor cult status. The thing is, everyone's performance is pretty good. The Limey is also quite short and you can knock it out in 90 minutes, so it has that going for it.

Ultimately, somebody's enjoyment of the film is going to be entirely reliant on how they react to any mystery film. I found the editing enjoyable, but I'm certainly in the minority with that approach. Otherwise I'd have heard a lot more about this. I also thought the Los Angeles setting really fit this film. There's more to the setting than simply placing a movie somewhere, the director needs to get it and make people understand. That's what happened. For me, there's an early scene where Wilson is at a warehouse, and that's when I knew I had to complete this film (which I would have done anyway). It hooked me in, and even if the film had been edited more strangely, I would have kept going. I'm not sure how that's possible though. If you are not of the mind where you need to find out what happened in a mystery film, and if you can't handle a film being edited in a way you don't find to be straight forward...I strongly recommend not watching this film. It is not for you.

8/10

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #260 on: September 18, 2017, 05:19:51 PM »


Central Intelligence (2016), directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber

Central Intelligence is the first of the Rock's movies I've seen since Doom, and when watching this one I got the feeling that I haven't missed much of anything at all. The same can be said for Kevin Hart because I don't watch his shit either. I don't want it to sound like I thought this was horrible, because it wasn't. These guys are both funny and need to pick better scripts. I have no idea what either actor saw in this film.

Central Intelligence starts off in 1996, with Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) being honored at the last rally prior to high school graduation. During Calvin's speech, Trevor (Jason Bateman) and some other bullies throw Robbie Weirdicht (The Rock) into the gymnasium straight out of the showers. What's the point of that? Well, Robbie was a very fat kid. Only Calvin and his girlfriend Maggie (Danielle Nicolet) do not find this to be uproariously funny.

After that, we fast forward twenty years, to a time that doesn't make sense at all. Calvin's marriage to Maggie is struggling because Calvin believes he hasn't fulfilled his potential. Robbie on the other hand now looks exactly like the professional wrestler we know as the Rock. Robbie wants Calvin to help him with some accounting records, which Calvin does because he thinks Robbie is a cool guy and he felt bad for him to begin with. After Calvin does that, the next morning he receives a knock on his door. Robbie is gone, but the CIA is here, and Pamela Harris (Amy Ryan) is an agent who believes Robbie is a murderer. She states that Robbie killed his partner Phil (Aaron Paul), and is stealing codes under the name of the Black Badger. Harris wants something from Calvin, and so does Robbie, so on we go.

Despite the cameos, as well as the overarching plot which is interesting (although it barely holds together), this film is filled with horribly juvenile jokes. The culmination of the part that does matter was quite confusing and I had a hard time understanding what was going on. The culmination of the part that doesn't matter was terrible. The spectre of the high school reunion looms throughout the film, and it would have been better served to make that segment to close out the story very brief. Instead it felt long, never ending, and not remotely worth my time. I am not sure how this film failed to accomplish anything it seemed like it was supposed to do. I suppose I can blame the director for that. The action scenes are a big nothing as well, so even the one thing I was hoping to see in a film I thought may be bad didn't happen at all.

While there are a lot of bad jokes in this film, there are also good ones. At least if you are able to tolerate Kevin Hart. If you're not, this definitely isn't for you. Jason Bateman's turn was a bright spot and it felt like he took this material far more seriously than it deserved. Unfortunately it seems like both main actors care far more about business than being in good movies, so even though Kevin Hart could do more than try to be Chris Tucker, that's not what happened here. There's only so much actors can do with a bad plot, and it really felt like Hart was trying. Didn't matter. Another good thing was that this flew by, at least until the ending that dragged on and on forever. Also, those two should be in more movies together. Hopefully better ones.

5.5/10

Offline cobainwasmurdered

  • CWM
  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 13,148
  • CWM
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #261 on: September 18, 2017, 05:28:59 PM »
Pain and Gain is a movie with Rock you'd have a much better chance of liking I think. I enjoyed CI for what it was but i'd put it about where you did. Rock/Hart are a great duo and luckily you'll get to see them together again in "Jumanji"!!

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #262 on: September 18, 2017, 05:37:57 PM »
The Jumanji thing makes me want to VOMIT but I guess I have to watch it don't I.

Offline cobainwasmurdered

  • CWM
  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 13,148
  • CWM
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #263 on: September 18, 2017, 08:30:47 PM »
Yes Mr.  Remake I would say so.

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #264 on: September 19, 2017, 06:40:34 PM »


The 33 (2015), directed by Patricia Riggen

I generally find films that display a disaster to be engaging in a form of disaster profiteering that I find repulsive. Considering this film was not made in a fashion that was commercially viable, I did not find this effort to be repulsive at all. It's also good that I didn't know much about the situation other than that some guys got trapped in a mine and people worked to get them out. There's a little more to it than this, even though there are aspects of this film that have been proven to be fictional. Also, obviously the cast is not Chilean. I am sure some people thought this was a problem.

The film begins with a retirement party that barely introduces you to the cast of characters. Some clearly turn out to be more valuable to the story than others, so I will gloss over their roles. We have a soon to be young father named Alex (Mario Casas), the eventual leader of the miners named Mario (Antonio Banderas), and Elvis (Jacob Vargas). The last guy's name speaks for itself, does it not? All of these men have families and we'll get into that later, but this sets the scene. Afterwards, they're shown getting on the bus. Along the way they pick up an alcoholic named Dario (Juan Pablo Raba), whose sister Maria (Juliette Binoche) becomes an important part in organizing the families of the miners. There's also a guy with a wife and mistress, and Lucho (Lou Diamond Phillips), the foreman of this crew of misfits. As everyone knows, the mine collapses and these guys get trapped. It is made clear that Laurence Golborne (Rodrigo Santoro) and Andre Sougarret (Gabriel Byrne) led the rescue operation, and the guys come up as everyone knows.

Making a two hour movie out of this kind of material is not easy, which is what leads to the film being somewhat non-fictional. Nobody is smeared except Sougarret, who may or may not have cared, but we'll never know. The elephant in the room is clearly the casting. At least you can say that Byrne and Sougarret look alike. That's the only excuse for casting him, but a lot of people are unaware that there are white guys in Chile too. Casting Binoche was strange given that her real counterpart is quite brown. All in all, that's strange.

The film is not entirely entertaining if I'm being honest. There are some scenes that I'd consider an exception of course. Most of them revolved around Dario. His withdrawals were interesting, as were insights into his mindset. The same could be said for the Bolivian, who got picked on relentlessly. My favorite scene in the whole movie is when Dario hallucinates a big meal the miners shared with each other...only for him to have nobody to comfort him, and for him to be all alone. Anyway, that was by far the best scene in the film and really the only one worth discussing. There's quite a few good subplots though, particularly the battle between the mistress and wife over who belonged to wait for their miner to leave the shaft. In the film it is presented that they knew all along their man was a two-timer. In reality they had no idea until encountering each other afterward.

This was a straight and to the bones telling of the story. If you want to know who to blame for what happened, that's not what you get here. The film will just not give you that. I did find the characters interesting though, and credit should be given to the cast for pulling off those performances. The actual miners deserved to have their story told in a manner that appropriately placed blame for the mine collapsing. You know what the problem is? The courts can't even agree to that part. The mining company was found not criminally or civilly liable. That's capitalism for you. A mine can collapse on people, the emergency area can be completely without food and first aid, and it's nobody's fault. Go figure that one. There is no way anyone could not have known a mine was going to collapse unless they didn't want to know.

6.5/10

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #265 on: September 20, 2017, 02:08:26 PM »


Michael Clayton (2007), directed by Tony Gilroy

After watching Michael Clayton, my initial reaction was that I didn't understand how this film could have made any money. After all, it's pretty slow, and it gives off the perception of blowing its wad in the first 20 minutes. That's not what happens, but that's what it felt like. I can only imagine a lot of the box office for this film was driven by word of mouth. It's funny I'm going on like this about the film without giving any of my thoughts about it. I mean, I'm basically shitting on it. I shouldn't be doing that. It turns out that I really enjoyed this and thought it was a great watch. Should have viewed the movie far sooner, and I'm surprised nobody I know ever recommended it to me. Of course, this genre is not for everyone, and perhaps that's the reason why.

Michael Clayton (George Clooney) cleans up everyone's shit. That's the simplest way of putting it anyway. He works for a very powerful law firm, and apparently he likes to gamble. The film starts off with Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson) ranting and raving, something that plays into the story much later. Anyway, there's further conversation about a settlement or something like that, and we see a woman named Karen (Tilda Swinton) in the midst of a full blown panic attack. After that, we see Clayton gambling, which leads to him being sent to somebody's house to deal with a problem. Clayton tells the man that he needs to get a criminal attorney, which makes him very upset. So Clayton leaves, and after he stops to look at some horses, his car blows up.

Don't you want to know why his car blew up? Well, it takes you the better part of 90 minutes to find that out. In the meantime you learn all about Clayton, Karen, and Edens. Edens turns out to be a manic depressive defending a company named U-North from a lawsuit. Their products killed people, and Karen was their chief counsel. Edens had a major meltdown of sorts and Clayton was brought in to fix the problem. To what extent? Who knows. What does Karen think about the company being left in the wind? Watch the movie if you want to know. You should want to know.

There's nothing particularly bad about this film, it's simply slow. Legal dramas generally are slow and you need to know the characters in order to get invested. To some extent there are too many subplots in this film, which is why I won't be giving this a mega high rating. I didn't care very much about Clayton's family, and I'm not sure it was entirely necessary for one of the characters to be in the story at all. That being said, it padded the film out to manageable two hour length, without making the main plot too bloated.

The payoff to the story is really good, as is the information given about how things got to that point. Clooney, Wilkinson, and Swinton all give really good performances. I think Wilkinson stands out the best, but as we know from my RocknRolla review, I really like him. One pet peeve I have about movies like this is when the filmmakers give away everything about the company early on. That's not the case here. You get a document and that's all you get, but the information about the corporation is revealed to you when you need it. Perhaps best of all is that everyone involved knows the corporation is guilty, so they're not exactly hiding things from anyone. That makes things much more interesting.

There are a few things I wanted to mention that don't fit into my usual format, and the one I have to mention is the film's title. I really do not like the title of the film being named after the lead character. It drives me nuts. Best of all, if you're not paying attention, you don't notice that Clayton's son plays a part in driving Edens forward on his crusade. I wasn't really expecting the film to end the way it did, and it took me quite a bit to write about all this stuff while digesting that.

8.5/10

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #266 on: September 20, 2017, 06:31:21 PM »


Death Race (2008), directed by Paul W. S. Anderson

My initial reaction when I saw that I was going to wind up watching this was one of cautious joy. I mean, this movie is what it is. I don't know how many people saw Death Race 2000, but I have fond feelings of watching that when I was younger. I don't remember how old I was when I saw that, but probably nowhere near old enough. That film was totally bonkers and may be worth revisiting in the distant future. I don't remember much of anything about it except people trying to run over kids. I also remember playing Twisted Metal when I was younger. It's fair to say that was a lot better than this. I am extremely confused by the cast they put together for this. Someone in particular does not belong in this movie.

The film begins with a title screen that explains the US economy has collapsed and the prison system has been privatized. The warden of Terminal Island Penitentiary is Claire Hennessey, who profits from this system by showcasing a race to the death where inmates kill each other with their vehicle. On the outside, Jensen Ames (Jason Statham) has been laid off from his job. He goes home afterward, and his wife gets killed while he's checking on their baby. Jensen gets knocked out, and when he gets up, there's a bloody knife in his hand and he's been framed for murder. Some months later, Jensen finds himself at the prison, and is asked to assume the role of "Frankenstein." Frankenstein is a masked racer who was killed by Machine Gun Joe (Tyrese Gibson), but Hennessey doesn't want anybody to know that Frankenstein died. The race has been losing money in the meantime, so Jensen needs to take the spot. Jensen meets his team of mechanics, with Coach (Ian McShane) being the leader of this ragtag outfit. Jensen also thinks a nazi named Pachenko (Max Ryan) killed his wife, so in the race he wants to deal with these problems and earn his escape.

The person who doesn't belong in this movie is clearly Joan Allen, who is way above this material and director. Seeing her go into a rage and start cursing was too weird. Everyone else was cast pretty well, although it also turned out that Jason Clarke was better than this material as his career progressed. Of course any movie with Jason Statham and Tyrese isn't going to feature good acting, that's not what this was about at all.

Unfortunately, this also isn't about the satire or exploitation aspect of what you'd expect the story to focus on. It's all about the cars and guns. Make no mistake, this is a trash film to the maximum. The noise in it is complete overload, and it's corny as shit. There's a part with McShane's character at the end that felt like something straight out of a B movie. Which, you know, that's what this is. This film is also very violent, but that's what anyone expects from a Jason Statham movie. That's also what I need. It seems like very few people like these movies, but I thought Crank and [/i]Crank 2[/i] were very entertaining. They were the right kind of overboard. So is this.

This is definitely a love it or hate it movie, because of the way it combines genres and does things that people usually hate. There are so many stereotypes in this movie that it can be completely nauseating if you start to think about it. The problem is that I liked this. I know I shouldn't, but I just don't care. For everything that's wrong with it (like Joan Allen, like Tyrese's character being gay, the gay jokes, the stereotypical Chinese character), there are so many other things right about it. The race sequences are all good. I just couldn't hate them. The more ridiculous they got, the better. I know this movie is shit and I still couldn't hate it. The role of Jensen was supposed to be given to Tom Cruise, which is a crazy thought. I like Statham a lot more though, and he fit the role of...DEATH RACER.

6/10

Offline Harley Quinn

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 14,138
  • Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
    • View Profile
    • Culture Crossfire
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #267 on: September 20, 2017, 09:56:45 PM »
I remember liking the race sequences in that film a lot but that was about the extent of it. Like you said, there are some bad things that almost overshadow it but the film is what it is to the point that it kind of becomes easier to overlook.

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #268 on: September 23, 2017, 06:29:33 PM »


Slumdog Millionaire (2008), directed by Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan

Full on head in the sand mode with this one, as I never knew this film was controversial to some people. All I knew was that it was about some kid trying to win on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. I really should have known this would be more controversial though. Any portrayal of a foreign country that carries the word 'slumdog' in its title was inevitably going to piss people off. It's best to address that straight away. Some of the child actors in this film were paid basically nothing and still lived in slums. Obviously that's not okay, but I've already made up my mind about what I've watched so it's hard for that to have an impact on my opinion of the film. Of course there is also truth to the portrayals in this film. That is part of why films like these make people so upset. It's very difficult to watch something like this where you know that's what people actually live like.

Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is a Muslim kid from the slums, who somehow got on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He's one question away from the grand prize, but the police are convinced he's cheating. An inspector (Irrfan Khan) has to know how Jamal was able to answer these questions. After all, Jamal is a nobody. He's 18, he has a menial job, and he has no family. The answers to his knowing the answers to these questions is often disturbing. There are three phases of this story. Adult, teenage, and child. We learn that Jamal's brother Salim (Madhur Mittal) is quite the psychopath. We also learn that Latika (Freida Pinto) is someone Jamal spent years to find after their initial separation at childhood. There are also worse things than this. A man named Maman (Ankur Vikal) who does horrible things to children in order to make money. We learn that Jamal's mother was killed during the Bombay riots. What were the Bombay riots? As presented in this film, they were pogroms against Muslims. There's a whole lot more to the story of course, but it's not my job to go over the entire thing.

I really enjoyed this film, and thought it was excellent the way the director was able to weave between the three settings. It's not all that hard to present the game show aspect, especially when the host (Anil Kapoor) gives such a good performance. I was quite impressed. He embodied that character. The police station is also not that difficult, because those sections were brief. Dipping into the past though, in combination with making the other settings feel worth watching...that takes some doing. Of course this film won a ton of awards and that's the reason why. There were a few parts in particular that shocked me, yet were presented in a way that didn't feel like exploitation. The first and most obvious is when Jamal wants to get a glimpse of an Indian celebrity. There wasn't anything I viewed in the last year that shocked me to this degree. I could hardly watch. The kid was covered in shit and it looked too realistic. I think everyone's also heard stories about organized begging. It's very difficult to watch in documentary or fictionalized film form. People turn these children into slaves. Of course this was one of the things in the film that was criticized, because it presents a negative image of India, although a factual one.

On the subject of presenting a negative image of India, this film certainly does do that. Presenting the image itself is not the problem. It's that the general public is stupid enough to believe that everything in a film is fully representative of a country. Is it the job of filmmakers to make sure that doesn't happen? Well, no. It's really not. Stupid people need to be held responsible for their own perceptions. That's one of the only negative things I felt about this film actually. I also felt that the film was much less interesting once the characters became adults. That isn't because the adult actors were bad or anything, they were actually great. It's because the child and teenage actors were just a lot better. I was fully invested in their story and needed to see what happened to them.

I feel like the world needs stories to be told about the slums. Maybe we've forgotten in the nine years since this. It's not like conditions are getting all that much better if we're being totally honest. I'm sure a lot of people would vehemently disagree with that, but I'd really like to see some kind of material showing it. I haven't yet. Maybe it doesn't exist. The ending of the film was great even though the credits sequence was super corny. I had to turn the movie off immediately and I don't know why it was there. It's impossible to make movies like these and make everyone in the world happy, but I enjoyed this a lot and wish I'd watched it much sooner. I will be watching more of Danny Boyle's stuff in order to see how this compares.

9/10

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #269 on: September 25, 2017, 07:43:01 AM »


The Blues Brothers (1980), directed by John Landis

I was extremely uncertain that I'd like this. The reason I was checking it out because it was expiring. Didn't know what it was about, but I knew the film had something to do with music and that it was supposed to be funny.. I find a lot of comedy movies from this era to be boring and not worth my time. I know that's something a lot of people would be unhappy to hear, but it is what it is. If Venk was here to hear that, I'm sure he'd be one of them. That's another reason I wanted to watch this. Same reason I will eventually watch Ghostbusters. The one with the women, that is. The problem with my initial perception is that I did like this. It's hard for me to explain why, but I'll try my best. In the first 15 minutes I felt like turning the whole thing off. James Brown showed up after that.

We're introduced to Jake (John Belushi) and Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) when Jake is released from prison after a three year sentence. Elwood picks him up in a former police car, and tells Jake that he needs to go to the orphanage they were raised at because he said he would when he got out of prison. At the orphanage, they learn that $5,000 in taxes are owed or the orphanage will be closed. After that, they're sent to church, where they hear a sermon from Cleophus James (James Brown). During that sermon and the subsequent dance routine, Jake and Elwood come to believe that they're on a mission from God to reform their band and save the orphanage.

In the process of reforming the band, the Blues encounter quite the cast of characters. Carrie Fisher appears as a crazed woman that wants to kill the two brothers. Her name is never given. Ray Charles is a music store owner that supplies the band with their equipment. Aretha Franklin is an angry soul food restaurant owner. There's also neo-Nazis (how pertinent in this particular time), bumbling cops, angry country music bands, and John Candy is cast as a detective trying to hunt the brothers down.

All of these things come together so much better than I would have expected. I found the opening to this film extremely boring, like I said. I never would have expected that to turn into something this entertaining. I actually don't think this was a film about the main characters, in the sense that they weren't what made this so good. The parts where Carrie Fisher blew stuff up are what made this good. The two car chases are what made this good. Both of them were so long, so overdone, and so funny. I preferred the one at the mall to the one that closed the movie out. The film also ended at a perfect point without anything dumb being added onto to it for some cheap resolution to the story.

If I have any criticisms about the film, it's that the main characters are merely avatars of the audience. They don't really do anything to establish themselves as characters, they exist as vehicles to take the audience from one wacky event to the next. That's my take on it anyway. Some of the sequences in this film are overload too, but that's not a problem for me. The cameos were also pertinent to the time and helped to revive some careers. I have read that the studio did not want some of the musical stars in this movie. It just shows that studio executives really don't know shit. If you removed any of them and replaced them with contemporary artists of the time, this film would be a big nothing. It's 37 years later though, and it feels pertinent because of who was utilized in those positions.

8/10

Offline Zetterberg is Go

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 4,267
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #270 on: September 25, 2017, 08:02:26 AM »
Have to agree about a lot of these "classic" comedies from the late 70's-early 80's. They aren't awful or anything but I never find them nearly as funny as they're hyped to be. Different eras and whatnot but still.

Offline Čœrêÿ Łåżárüß

  • Live Tax Free or Die
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 13,172
  • everyone gets laid
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #271 on: September 25, 2017, 08:32:33 AM »
They're funnier than most comedies we get today. The humor tends to be more varied while the characters exist only to serve as pawns. Part of that is my growing up on them (Caddyshack and Slap Shot are holy), part of that is that most modern comedies try too hard to display an actual story arc. It also doesn't hurt that it was still the New Hollywood era, which remains the best period of mainstream cinema.
occasionally streaming sexy things, click below for details

It gets insane, and really speaks to how dumded down we are

Offline Old school tough guy

  • PosterFest Winner
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 22,106
  • Your POV
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #272 on: September 25, 2017, 08:48:19 AM »
It also doesn't hurt that it was still the New Hollywood era, which remains the best period of mainstream cinema.

I'm curious to hear you expand on this.

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #273 on: September 25, 2017, 11:58:53 AM »


42 (2013), directed by Brian Helgeland

42 is the story of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Personally, I have fallen out of love with baseball. I find that the game is far too slow and boring for my taste these days, and given I'm not a kid and can no longer play, it holds no value for me. That being said, I'm always very interested in the history of sports. Fictionalized or documentary versions work, but I think I prefer documentaries as far as this goes. The problem with a lot of sports biopics is that they are more focused on the message of them than presenting the characters to you. Because of the unique way of how Robinson's baseball career turned out, it isn't possible to focus on the message more than the man. It's for the best. This film should have been done many years ago.

42 exclusively focuses on Jackie Robinson's career, with Chadwick Boseman playing the man. I don't think there's that much of a need to go into the details of the story as I think almost everyone knows them. It isn't the easiest thing to do to play a figure so important to American history, but Boseman does well. Unfortunately there are only a few scenes where he can really get after it and try to make the role into his own. The film is very good at immediately reminding us of the situation at the time. Robinson is on the bus with his Negro League team, stops at a service station, and is not allowed to use the toilet. The film pulls no punches with the language used here. It made me uncomfortable. That is what it's supposed to do.

To some extent the film is still sanitized. I am sure not everything was okay with Jackie Robinson off the field. Rachel Robinson (Nicole Beharie) was practically a saint, but this film goes to incredible levels in order to present that. There isn't any drama as far as Robinson's home life goes. Robinson's relationship with Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) is presented in a similar way. What this film doesn't do is present much insight into his thoughts. While that's the case, the filmmakers were a lot better at presenting insight into the thoughts of other people on the team. There are some good scenes with Pee Wee Reese (Lucas Black) and Eddie Stanky (Jesse Luken), as well as a few early on with Leo Durocher (Christopher Meloni). I did not know that Durocher was banned from baseball for adultery.

It's difficult to write about movies like these because they're retelling a story I already knew, and therefore I don't know what I should say about them. There were two supporting characters who really stood out, though. Wendell Smith (Andre Holland) was a reporter who covered Robinson, but he knew his job was to do more than report. He wanted to make sure Robinson knew exactly what he was getting into. He wasn't really objective or anything like that with that being the case. There's also Ben Chapman (Alan Tudyk), the racist manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. There's so much more than simply calling him racist. He peppered Robinson with slurs, but there were other things he did too. At Yankee Stadium he taunted fans with Nazi salutes. He apparently taunted Jewish players as well. This was a pretty good character performance to say all these things and not betray that it was an acting job. I was a little surprised at how easy this was.

While Jackie Robinson's story was great and something that is far more important to the history of our country than anyone would have expected at the time that this took place, the movie was merely good. I would have liked there to be a bit about what Robinson did for civil rights after he left the game. This quote seems to resonate with me the most.

"There I was, the black grandson of a slave, the son of a black sharecropper, part of a historic occasion, a symbolic hero to my people. The air was sparkling. The sunlight was warm. The band struck up the national anthem. The flag billowed in the wind. It should have been a glorious moment for me as the stirring words of the national anthem poured from the stands. Perhaps, it was, but then again, perhaps, the anthem could be called the theme song for a drama called The Noble Experiment. Today, as I look back on that opening game of my first world series, I must tell you that it was Mr. Rickey’s drama and that I was only a principal actor. As I write this twenty years later, I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world. In 1972, in 1947, at my birth in 1919, I know that I never had it made."

7/10

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #274 on: September 25, 2017, 05:54:42 PM »


Magnum Force (1973), directed by Ted Post

I figured I'd visited San Francisco a grand total of three times in the last month, so it was time to go back. Granted, Interview with the Vampire spent almost no time in San Franciso, but it was still there. Regardless of that, two of the films were set in the same period, that being the very late 60's and early 70's. My opinion of Zodiac compared to Dirty Harry was that Dirty Harry was better at establishing the San Francisco setting. It really was and it's impossible to dispute that. San Francisco was a very seedy area, where the misfits of society decided to trek. The portrayal of Scorpio in Dirty Harry was really good. Zodiac on the other hand was better at portraying what it was like to be a detective working a case. The Dirty Harry series does not see fit to bother with that. It was action that people wanted and action they were going to get.

As we know, Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is part of the San Francisco Police Department. What's different from the first time is that he isn't part of the homicide squad anymore. At the start of the film, we see a mobster named Carmine Ricca being shot by a traffic cop after being accquitted on a technicality. This fact is not made clear to Callahan until later in the film. Callahan has yet another partner, this one being named Early (Felton Perry). Early and Callahan see the scene even though they're in a separate squad, and Lieutenant Briggs (Hal Holbrook) doesn't care for Callahan at all. So, he wants Callahan to go away. When Callahan does go away, after getting some food at the airport, he impersonates a pilot and stops a plane hijacking. After all, Callahan's the guy who does all the dirty jobs.

Unfortunately, the scenarios presented in this film are ridiculously implausible compared to those presented in the first film. The realistic scenarios in the first film are replaced with impersonating pilots, somebody shooting up a pool party, foiling bombings, pimps killing women with drain cleaner, Callahan using a gun shooting competition to find out more about someone he suspects of murder, and a great car chase that ends with an overly complex segment on an aircraft carrier. Did I forget to mention the squad of vigilante cops that wants to kill all the criminals in San Francisco? I see that I did forget. Yeah, there's also that. They're also rookies.

Just like in the first film, only two actors really get the opportunity to do something with their time. In this case it's Eastwood and Holbrook, both of whom are obviously legends of the screen. The film works best when they're on together, regardless of how overly complicated and hairbrained the plot becomes. I was very surprised that the film turned out this way. Although Scorpio was a ridiculous murderer in the first series offering, the film seemed a hell of a lot more grounded. Not only that, but the messaging calls into question Harry's tactics. In this case that's not the true. In fact he is completely absolved of everything wrong that he thinks, because the other guys decide to take it a step further and do something about it.

There's two twists in this, one of them you can see coming from a mile away, and the other not quite so much. I don't want to go ahead and spoil that part of the film, but if you watch this you'll definitely see it coming. It is impossible not to. I thought there were a few things in this that didn't need to be there, and the obvious one is the pimp pouring drano down the woman's throat. I do not know why that needed to be shown, and worst of all it inspired the Hi-Fi murders. If you want to read about that, look it up. It's pretty bad. The murderers specifically believed that their form of killing would work as well as it did in the film. Obviously, that's not good. Granted, it's not really the fault of the filmmakers, but some probably see it that way.

I don't know if it's a problem with this film or not, but once a film decides to succumb to overdoing everything, I want them to go more and more over the top. The best thing about Magnum Force is that's exactly what happened. It shows real commitment not to do something in half-assed fashion. It's especially easy to half-ass an action film, but there were countless instances of very overdone scenes that didn't seem to fit the tenor of the first film. It sucks that John Milius merely did that to make Callahan look less bad, but it made for some good scenes. I don't want to go overboard myself in praising this film, because as I said there was a hell of a lot wrong with it. Magnum Force also failed to capture the charm of the first film as there was no moral quandary as it related to anything that happened here at all. In hindsight I think I would take back my decision to take a point away from Dirty Harry. After all, those things are what made it a more complex film. This one failed to reach those heights. Eventually I'll watch the other three in the series.

6.5/10

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #275 on: September 27, 2017, 04:59:24 AM »


Straight Outta Compton (2015), directed by F. Gary Gray

I put off watching this for a while, too long in fact. I knew that I would like this, so there's really no excuse. Part of why I didn't watch it is until I had to was because of the exclusion of what happened to Dee Barnes. That really bothers me, but eventually it's time to watch the movie anyway. The thing is, this movie was good enough to almost make me not care. There were some extremely accurate portrayals here to the point where I didn't see the actors as playing a part, but being the part. It was kinda crazy.

I'm not going to go over the story as usual, because I see no reason to do that when a biopic is as detailed as this one. I'll only bring up the introductions to each character. The simple facts are this. The movie starts with Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell) in a trap house, making a drug deal. The cops come with a battering ram to tear the house apart, and Eazy escapes by climbing out of a window and over some roofs. Right at that moment, I knew this was going to be legit. Not like everyone else said this was legit, right? Anyway, the casting for this was perfect. Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins) is at home listening to music. His mom is mad at his work situation and slaps him after he talks back. Dre moves out. Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson Jr.) is riding home on the school bus when some other kids are flashing Crip signs to some Bloods driving down the street. The Bloods board the bus and put a gun to the kid's head.

Oh, but you thought those were the only NWA members that mattered? Think again. This movie doesn't go far enough as it should to dispel some of those notions held by white America, but it does a decent job. DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr.) is one of Dre's friends who he works at a dance club with. The owner doesn't want them playing any rap shit. They do anyway. MC Ren (Aldis Hodge) is merely introduced as Eazy's friend. MC Ren was pretty upset at his portrayal in the film, in fact. It seemed that he had good reason to be. His part was heavily marginalized. Last and definitely not least, there's also Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti). The portrayal of Heller is as good as you'd expect from an actor like Giamatti, but that's not the one that sticks with me the most. It's Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E. I mean, Mitchell didn't look that much like him. Doesn't really matter though. Perhaps I'm feeling this way because the way the film ended was such that he was able to put his stamp on the film separate from other characters.

The film was such a big deal for a host of reasons, obviously. It was a story that needed to be told even though some things were left out. Even some of the minor things feel extremely important. The first thing I'm thinking about are the cameos. Tupac and Snoop Dogg are hardly in the film at all, but their appearances just felt too legit. Suge Knight (R. Marcos Taylor) was probably the best one. He was in the film for a few scenes and EMBODIED Suge Knight. The scene where Suge beats somebody up over parking in his parking spot made me feel a little intimidated. Hard to get that feeling from a screen, but there it was. That's what a good acting job can do.

The recurring theme throughout this film is one of police brutality, which surprised me a little bit from such a big studio movie. There's quite a few things in Straight Outta Compton you'd think that Universal would want sanitized. The parties are the first that comes to mind. Nothing was pulled out of those. Considering the scenes with Jerry Heller did not have his permission, that's something else that comes to mind. Heller said that this movie played a big part in his health deteriorating and eventual death, and I guess I see how that could be the case. The portrayal of him was dead ass accurate. Heller believed until his death that he didn't steal anything from NWA, but if you believe that you're pretty dumb.

If there's any problem with this film, and there really are very few of them, it's that some seemingly important parts where removed. The women integral to NWA's success are completely out of the film. Arabian Prince is gone from the film. MC Ren's character in the film is not rounded in any way whatsoever. There is not a single scene dedicated to developing his character. Michel'le and Dee Barnes are not in this at all. These are obviously problems, but the film was entertaining enough that I looked straight past them. That's the honest truth of the matter. The characterizations of Cube, Eazy, and Dre were all so good, but the director is what mattered here. There's a lot of films like these out there, but very few of them that get picked up and pushed by a big studio. There's even less that people think are good enough to be nominated for Oscars. F. Gary Gray did a good enough job that Suge Knight threatened him. That tells me everything I need to know about how good this movie was.

I know I did a shitty job writing about Straight Outta Compton, but that seems to happen whenever I enjoyed a film as much as this one. There was a lot of fan service here, and rarely is there ever a project that comes along where the viewer can get something like that. It was catered to anything a fan could have ever wanted to see. It's not like I've seen everything from 2015, but I have a hard time believing that Jason Mitchell wasn't nominated for an Oscar. I mean, come on with that.

8.5/10

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #276 on: September 27, 2017, 01:44:10 PM »


The Ghost Writer (2010), directed by Roman Polanski

I've discussed Roman Polanski one time in my life. It was either on this forum or in the chat room, but I remember saying that I would NEVER watch anything he did. Clearly I lied. I'm going back on a lot of things I said that I would never do lately. I feel the need to open my mind lately, I've closed some things off to myself that I clearly should not have done. Watching a Roman Polanski film doesn't exactly fit into that, but I see no problem with discarding faux principles in this case. Obviously Polanski did something wrong and I'd rather not get into the specifics of that. The concept of the film when I read the description sounded interesting to me. Plus, James Bond playing a fictionalized version of Tony Blair? Sign me straight up.

Former Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan) wants his memoirs published, but as we all know, those guys don't write that stuff themselves. A ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) who will be hereafter referred to as the Ghost is hired to complete the book, which someone had nearly completed before committing suicide. Of course, with Lang being a former Prime Minister, he carries quite the entourage. His personal assistant Amelia (Kim Cattrall) seems to be a little more than that. It appears that Lang's wife Ruth (Olivia Williams) also knows this. When the Ghost shows up at Martha's Vineyard, he encounters some interesting problems. For one, he can't take the book's manuscript outside of Lang's house. Another is that he finds he only has two weeks to complete the book. Most importantly, Lang comes under investigation for war crimes.

Seeing as this isn't an action film, there are a few words that come to mind when describing it. The first word is long. I mean, really, this feels like a long movie. It's 128 minutes, but because of the subject matter it feels longer. The suspense is built well and there aren't any special effects in this entire film. I mean, if there are, I genuinely can't tell. That's a good thing. This film is based on a book, but there's a lot of great books that turn out to be shitty movies. This is not one of them, and the reason why is that this was extremely well directed. I'm not great at describing how, but the way the movie moved from one scene to the next felt seamless. Of course, a seamless film with no flash isn't for everyone. The setting is also quite strange, knowing that this definitely wasn't Martha's Vineyard as Polanski isn't allowed to travel there. I saw that this was filmed in the North Sea. Genuinely couldn't tell the difference.

Even though Lang is a thinly veiled version of Tony Blair, it never really feels like that. Brosnan was able to make Lang feel like his own man. The same can be said for the Ghost, who feels like a distinctly unique character. While we don't know all that much about his background, it's easily possible to get some kind of measurement of what he's about. The same can be said for Ruth, as well as another character who...I don't want to talk about. If you haven't seen this before, hopefully that is mysterious enough for you. Because I have never seen anyone talk about this movie on this forum, I don't want to say too much. One thing I did find pertinent though is that in the years since this film was made, there has been a lot of talk in the UK that Tony Blair should be prosecuted for war crimes in Iraq. By a lot, I mean to the point of the high court getting involved.

In any case, this is a good mystery, and if you like the genre you should watch it. I have deliberately not mentioned what the mystery even is.

8/10

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #277 on: September 28, 2017, 04:33:47 AM »


Crimson Peak (2015), directed by Guillermo del Toro

For whatever reason, I don't remember watching anything that del Toro has done. Sure, it's possible that I've watched Hellboy, or at least parts of it. I really don't remember though. It doesn't matter to me in any case. I did know enough about del Toro that I had some reasonable expectations of what to expect from this film. I was expecting gothic architecture. Definitely got that! Considering the material, I was expecting a ghost story. To some extent that's what I got, but not at all near to my expectations. This was also supposed to be a horror movie. Or at least that's what I remember the trailers presenting this as. Now for sure that was not true. I have no problem with romance films, but this wasn't one of my favorites.

Surprisingly, the initial sequence of the movie is set in Buffalo. A young girl named Edith (Mia Wasikowska) sees a ghost after her mother dies, and it tells her to "beware of Crimson Peak." Whatever that means. Many years later, Edith is still in Buffalo, with her father Carter (Jim Beaver) being quite a wealthy man. An entrepreneur named Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) has come to the United States to seek investment for some kind of mining invention. His sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) is in tow, and after meeting Edith, Thomas is quite smitten. It appears that a doctor named Alan (Charlie Hunnam) is smitten as well, so there's a matter of two suitors. Or at least you'd think. Anyway, Edith marries one of them, and winds up at the proverbial Crimson Peak. Crimson Peak is a house filled with ghosts, and the walls bleed.

This movie is completely not what it initially seems to be. The opening scene presents something that someone would naturally want to know more about, but the problem is that the film does not deliver on this. I am still wondering exactly what that was all about. As I have said already, romance films are just as enjoyable as anything else. Slumdog Millionaire was a romance film and I gave that a super high rating, right? The problem with Crimson Peak is that, basically, they lied. I've never been a big fan of false advertisement, and the premise of what the film was going to bring to the table is a lot better than what it actually was. There are quite a few reasons for that. For one, Wasikowska is a lot better actor than both suitors (I am trying to be vague). Hiddleston is LOKI, and it's very difficult for me to see him as anything else. Maybe I can see him in this part someday, but that day is certainly not this day. Maybe I need to be pointed in the right direction. Everyone says bad stuff about Hunnam, I don't need to pile on there. I just have a hard time seeing why a character like Edith would fall for either of these guys. She's too smart for that.

There's still a lot of good here, of course. As I said, Wasikowska is a great actor. It's no surprise she'd be chosen to carry a film like this one. Jessica Chastain is great, although it's difficult to pull off her character. The close of the movie is pretty solid, and I was into seeing what happened at the end despite the problems I thought this had. When I think a movie has a lot of problems, it's rare for me to have that feeling. I also enjoyed the opening sequence and could find little fault with it. I've seen a lot of Jim Beaver over the years and that guy is a national treasure. This film is also ridiculously over-elaborate, and I think that's great. Of course it renders a film like this one unprofitable, but hey, I don't really care about that part. That's Universal's problem. The art direction here is amazing, and it actually seems like $55 million wouldn't be enough to put together a setting with the effects used here. This some kind of visual spectacular, an overload to the senses. The minute detail is excellent. I have rarely seen a movie so visually appealing, besides Roger Deakins films which are nice to look at for entirely different reasons than this one.

Unfortunately, style took massive precedence over substance in Crimson Peak. The story was not enough to maintain suspense, as it wasn't exactly surprising the way the film would end. I also didn't much care for the surprise, which I am completely unable to say anything about without spoiling. A TV show does that part much better though. Still, this wasn't a bad movie, just not a great one and not particularly good. Great to look at though.

6.5/10

Offline Harley Quinn

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 14,138
  • Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
    • View Profile
    • Culture Crossfire
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #278 on: September 28, 2017, 07:28:50 AM »
The best role, by far that I've seen from Hunnam, is the film Green Street Hooligans (which is probably one you'd enjoy to some extent) because he stole that entire film forwards, backwards, and sideways despite being opposite Elijah Wood, Claire Forlani, and Leo Gregory who all put in solid performances too.

Screw it, I'll nominate Green Street Hooligans as another film you should check out if you can.

Online Hawk 34

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 2,654
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #279 on: September 28, 2017, 07:48:26 AM »
Hunnam was fantastic in The Lost City of Z which is a film 209 would probably greatly enjoy.

Offline Old school tough guy

  • PosterFest Winner
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 22,106
  • Your POV
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #280 on: September 28, 2017, 08:26:36 AM »
Green street hooligans is melodramatic trash, don't watch it unless you need more bad movies.

Guillermo Del Toro gave a free talk here recently, maybe I should have gone.

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #281 on: September 28, 2017, 11:54:53 AM »


The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), directed by Andrew Dominik

I won't refer to the title of this film again because it's so long, but obviously this film presents an unusual scenario. Very rarely do I recall any movie giving away its whole plot away in its title. By rarely, I pretty much mean never. I don't understand why an event that's faded from everyone's memory needed to be spoiled like this. I do see now that Brad Pitt had it written into his contract that the title couldn't be changed. So, there you go. The thing is, I shouldn't be talking about the title this much. Especially not when the movie was so good. If you can't handle a movie being slow, though...stay away from this one. Talking about all this stuff has kept me from going all in on my Western love, which is probably for the best.

The film starts off in 1881, with Robert Ford (Casey Affleck) wanting to talk to both of the James brothers before a train robbery in Missouri. Frank (Sam Shepard) tells Bob to piss off. Jesse (Brad Pitt) seems to enjoy his conversation with Bob, though. Unfortunately the robbery isn't any good, and the gang retreats to safety. Frank tells Robert's brother Charley (Sam Rockwell) that there won't be anymore robberies. Charley, Wood Hite (Jeremy Renner), and Dick Liddil (Paul Schneider) all decide to stick together though. Jesse sends them away, while Bob helps Jesse move houses. Once they're done, Bob is sent away and rejoins with his brother and the others. Unfortunately, I am going to stop there and you can watch the nearly three hour movie if you want to know more specifics about the plot. Obviously anyone who reads this knows the end, but there's no reasons to talk about the way there.

The characters are what make this film. Even though they're all outlaws, they're all distinctly different. Let's go one by one. Dick is a philanderer, which plays a bigger part in the film than you'd think. If you weren't paying attention very early, you'd miss the part where he tells Bob that he plans to capture Jesse James for a bounty. Now you won't miss it. Wood is Jesse's cousin, and he has quite the temper to put it nicely. Charley on the other hand is a big moron. He's a simple man. Last but not least, there's Bob. I need to get this straight out there. The homosexual undertones. I mean, there seems to be no other way to put it. Robert Ford is obsessed with Jesse James and the film subtly presents the picture that it was a sexual obsession. I see in reading this after formulating that thought, that Roger Ebert thought the same thing. Well, it's pretty fucking obvious and you have to be an idiot not to see it.

There are some things here that are fictionalized. Somebody gets shot and killed and the reason given in the film is not the one that actually happened. I'm not talking about anything Jesse James does when referencing that, which narrows it down if you've watched the movie. It is also not stated in the film that Ford was arrested and tried for murder, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to hang, then was pardoned by the governor. I don't really care though, and I don't believe that it matters.

There's a few things that come to mind as being wrong with this film. The first that sticks in my mind is that there's an incident between two of the characters off camera that would have been much better to be seen. I mean, when somebody says that there was a shooting incident...I wish that I'd been able to watch it. Another is that the film probably should have ended prior to Ford's demise. Or at least less should have been shown prior to his death. I thought it ended quite flatly. This wasn't a problem for me, but I thought the film would have been more beloved by audiences had it opened with a scene further away from the demise of Jesse James.

Despite those small complaints, this is a great film. There were a lot of great ones in 2007, it seems like. The film is nicely indulgent in ensuring that we understand the characters, a luxury that most filmmakers do not have. The train robbery that gets things really moving was an excellent piece of cinema. The performances are great as well, with Brad Pitt doing things that immediately brought Fight Club to mind. Hard not to have such recollections with some of these scenes. As I've said a ton of times, I don't really watch anything, so other than Gone Baby Gone I haven't seen a film with Casey Affleck having this much screen time. He was pretty good, though. This was not an easy role to pull off, and his performance specifically deserves acknowledgment, even though I'm just a guy posting about this on an internet forum. There's also a cameo from James Carville that I really liked. Yeah, that James Carville. In a Western.

8.5/10

Online 👹

  • BZ
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 15,589
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #282 on: September 29, 2017, 04:47:47 AM »
Great job on these. Enjoying reading them.

Suggestions:

Inside Llewen Davis
Snowpiercer
Good Time (just came out, though)
Frank
Blue Ruin
The Founder

Offline cobainwasmurdered

  • CWM
  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 13,148
  • CWM
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #283 on: September 29, 2017, 04:58:18 AM »
Snowpiercer is fun

Offline Brodypedia

  • BruiserBrody
  • CXF Writer
  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 17,860
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #284 on: September 29, 2017, 05:53:54 PM »
How come we don't throw these up on CXF? Content is content and obviously an effort is being made in these write ups.

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #285 on: September 29, 2017, 06:33:20 PM »
I dunno, that's a good question. I should probably start, but at the rate I do them it would be almost one every day. If that wouldn't be a problem somebody needs to tell me.

Offline cobainwasmurdered

  • CWM
  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 13,148
  • CWM
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #286 on: September 29, 2017, 10:01:01 PM »
i've wanted to put several at a time in an article as mini reviews but i was letting 909 build up an archive and didn't know if he wanted to (i'd talked to him since then). Plus inertia.

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #287 on: September 30, 2017, 05:23:18 AM »
Another issue is that this forum is so low on activity I figure posting them here is for the best. If I inspire one person to watch the same movie after I do then it's worth it to me.

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #288 on: October 02, 2017, 06:01:06 PM »


The Fast and the Furious (2001), directed by Rob Cohen

Did anyone ever think this series would amount to shit? The answer to that is obviously no. I certainly didn't. The thing is, this movie inspired a generation of teenagers to want to put dumb shit in their cars. To be fair, I've only seen this and the next movie. For some reason I thought I watched Tokyo Drift, but once I turned this on I realized that I hadn't. There were a lot of things in this that I didn't remember, so it was worthwhile to give this another once over. Why was this the first movie I've rewatched in two years? I don't have any answer to that whatsoever. It doesn't make any sense considering there are much better movies in existence. I guess the simple fact is that I wanted to.

Everyone knows the story with this, right? I'm not telling you anything new here. There is a gang of people who surround tractor-trailers with their Honda Civics so that they can steal them. This is made very clear. The next day, a man named Brian (Paul Walker) is getting food. He is an undercover officer who is trying to infiltrate Dom's (Vin Diesel) gang to find out which of the many street racers in Los Angeles are doing this. Dom has a sister named Mia (Jordana Brewster), and there are some other characters who matter a little bit, but really they're not worth mentioning at all. I'm just gonna disrespect them all like that. Anyway, after a street race, Dom and Brian wind up being confronted by a man named Johnny Tran (Rick Yune), who blows up Brian's car. Brian owes Dom a car because he lost a race, so now Brian becomes part of the group.

There are many scenes in this film where it's called into question whom Brian is more loyal to, the crew or his bosses with the police. There is no answer given on that until the end, and as we all know Brian gives Dom his car. Sorry for spoiling. Anyway, with the benefit of 16 years hindsight, this film is extremely dated. The car scenes are really a big nothing, but they use special effects that any teenager would enjoy. I remember loving this movie. That's not really the case now and there's so many reasons for that. Only three of the characters actually matter, and some of the others can hardly act at all. An Oscar winning movie this is clearly not.

I am being really harsh, which is probably not entirely correct, but I can't help it in this case. There are still good things in this movie, of course. The plot in the first half of the film is more solid than you'd expect when knowing the sum of the parts. The lack of acting talent also helps to make the main characters more well rounded and natural. That's as backhanded of a compliment as I could make, but it's true. The best thing about this movie is that people wanted something like this on film and they got to watch it. The cultural impact of the early films in this series is far bigger than anyone would like to acknowledge.

It is also very difficult for me to talk about films I've rewatched, especially when they aren't very good. Part of the ease in writing the reviews in this thread is that when formulating my thoughts on all of the movies here I had no idea what was going to happen. In this case, with some small exceptions, I remembered everything. I'll probably watch the second one before the end of this month, and that was so bad I'll certainly have much more to say.

5.5/10

Offline Čœrêÿ Łåżárüß

  • Live Tax Free or Die
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 13,172
  • everyone gets laid
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #289 on: October 02, 2017, 10:34:08 PM »
That series went from being slack-jawed idiocy to nigh brilliance. It's insane.
occasionally streaming sexy things, click below for details

It gets insane, and really speaks to how dumded down we are

Online Hawk 34

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 2,654
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #290 on: October 02, 2017, 11:27:19 PM »
It's everything that James Bond pretends to be but could never actually accomplish largely because the guy is a British wuss and doesn't live life a quarter mile at a time.

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #291 on: October 03, 2017, 05:59:30 PM »


Dazed and Confused (2001), directed by Richard Linklater

Memories. That's the first thing that came to mind when watching this film. Everyone has their own high school memories. Some of them are really bad. Some of them are really good. Some people use their good memories to block out the bad shit. This film doesn't have any plot, which is for the best. How can you accurately capture your high school years and wrap them up with a Hollywood style plot? I really can't. Was there any day in your life that you could pack into a plot? Maybe, but that would be boring. Without a plot or main character, instead the filmmaker is able to present a full picture of the teenage experience. I have been told by older people that in days before teenagers had the ability to stay at home doing other shit instead of socializing, that the picture presented here is quite accurate.

My city was too big for everyone to gather like in this town, but our hub was In-n-Out on Friday's. We'd gather there, split off, make plans, as the situation called for it. Most of the time things were good. I have memories I won't forget. Walking through somebody's back woods with a samurai sword hacking away at bushes after making homemade edibles...that was that shit. Pool parties with girls taking their tops off before jumping in the pool. The cops getting called because neighbors complained, and everyone trying to run or hide. Those are memories that can't be forgotten. Sometimes bad things happened. Sometimes people took a van and drove it off a cliff on accident. Or crashed and died when getting off a freeway. That's not the shit I remember though.

What this film is, is one that deliberately presents the nostalgia you remember in your head rather than what actually happened. Those are only the best years of your life because you want them to be. In actuality, not a whole lot happened to almost everyone who goes to high school. Some people start a family, some drop out and have really bad shit happen to them. I'm not talking about that though, I'm talking about everyone in the middle. That's mostly everyone. What we do is we drift through those years with no idea where our lives are heading.

This film is FILLED with accurate caricatures similar to those you'd encounter in high school. I cannot believe the casting in this movie. I was nothing like Mitch (Wiley Wiggins), but I was the sophomore that wound up with the older kids via happenstance of being on the football team. My senior friend had a car, and my parents were stoners when they were in high school, so effectively I had their endorsement to be turned loose. I never got any shit over anything that happened or where I went. What this film does is present better pictures of some people. For example, Woody (Matty M) is a 1000% times better character than our older friend Jim. Jim was only one year older, but still. For whatever reason he hung around us, and by proxy we would be introduced to people older than him that he knew, etc. 

Naturally, considering this happened to me, the thing I found most interesting in this film was the integration of younger kids into older crowds. I'm sure this is something that a lot of people find weird, and it's difficult for me to comment on this to great extent because my own memories put a fog over any unbiased commentary on the matter. O'Bannion (Ben Affleck) is actually very similar to somebody I knew who tried to pull that bullshit on me over a pack of Skittles. I hit him with a two piece and that was the end of it, just like in this film when the younger boys pour a bucket of paint on him. The guy eventually disappeared from our friend group and I think he joined the military, which speaks for itself. It could not be more fitting.

This is a classic, and I really don't know how else to describe it. That's why I haven't discussed the movie very much, actually. Could be the only time where I do something like this. There were some great performances here, particularly that of Rory Cochrane as Slater, the stoner. If you didn't know somebody like this, I feel bad for you. Maybe you were that guy, maybe you were any of these people in this movie, I don't know. Maybe you weren't. Of course, because of that, this film is not for everyone. The characters and sequences presented here can either be ludicrous or accurate based on your own personal experiences. Of course, I don't think anyone here grew up in the 70's, so take that out of the equation. The absolute best thing about the movie is that you are given the gamut of perspectives from the cast of characters. No stone is unturned, and at least in the context of the 70's, nobody left out. It's not like you could stay home on a Friday then, after all.

I could probably write for a lot longer about this, but it's pretty late and I need to get some sleep.

9.5/10

Offline Spaceman Spiff 🚀

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 5,156
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #292 on: October 04, 2017, 12:18:03 AM »
Maybe do American Graffiti as sort of a companion piece to D&C?

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #293 on: October 04, 2017, 03:59:20 AM »
Maybe do American Graffiti as sort of a companion piece to D&C?

It's on the list now along with everything else mentioned in the last page, and it expires next month so I'll watch it by then.

Offline Old school tough guy

  • PosterFest Winner
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 22,106
  • Your POV
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #294 on: October 04, 2017, 06:10:18 AM »


But you have to watch the first one in order to appreciate this one. They are very different in terms of tone, but the second is quintessential early 90s action cheese and worth watching.

Offline #The Return

  • brock lock
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 4,909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #295 on: October 04, 2017, 06:25:00 AM »
He's being serious 909. The second one should be up there with all the 90's cheesy action classics like Con Air and Face/Off.

Offline cobainwasmurdered

  • CWM
  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 13,148
  • CWM
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #296 on: October 04, 2017, 07:46:41 AM »
i was reminded of a great movie while reading a book you should see, "The Guns of Navarone". It's old yes but I consider it one of the best WW2 movies and I've seen a LOT of WW2 movies....a lot.

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #297 on: October 04, 2017, 08:10:23 AM »
i was reminded of a great movie while reading a book you should see, "The Guns of Navarone". It's old yes but I consider it one of the best WW2 movies and I've seen a LOT of WW2 movies....a lot.

According to my IMDB list I have seen 3 WW2 movies and one of them I need to rewatch as I don't remember it.

lol.

Offline cobainwasmurdered

  • CWM
  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 13,148
  • CWM
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #298 on: October 04, 2017, 08:13:48 AM »
oh wow you haven't seen "Saving Private Ryan".

Offline 209

  • Admin
  • Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 29,134
  • 909
    • View Profile
Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #299 on: October 04, 2017, 08:18:23 AM »
That was the one I need to rewatch.