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Offline L'AZentat

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #350 on: October 26, 2017, 12:47:02 PM »
Born on the Fourth of July is also recommended, and I have to say that the first Vietnam movie to really shake me was Tour of Duty.
Maybe the real deep state was the friends we made along the way.

Offline IRS Abdominal Stretch

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #351 on: October 26, 2017, 01:19:13 PM »
All the great ones have been mentioned, but I still gotta rep Rescue Dawn and Casualties of War.

Online Great Patriot Hostage

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #352 on: October 26, 2017, 01:59:12 PM »
Full metal Jacket dawg. The movie that gave us R Lee Emery AND the birth of fat Vincent D'Onfrio.

Prob my fav war movie

Offline cobainwasmurdered

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #353 on: October 26, 2017, 02:10:57 PM »
bz as always has excellent taste. Although I can't say it's my favourite WAR movie as there are SO many excellent world war 2 movies.

Offline strummer

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #354 on: October 26, 2017, 04:34:07 PM »
Apocalypse is  still the standard for me.  Maybe simply for the "Ride of the Valykries" scene.  One of the best scenes in movie history imo.

Kilgore is the best

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #355 on: October 27, 2017, 05:20:35 AM »


Do the Right Thing (1989), directed by Spike Lee

If we want to talk about ambitious movies, this definitely has to be considered one of the most ambitious as well as one of the best of this category. Unfortunately, some of the problems presented in this movie are still problems to this day. One thing I'll say after watching this is that I haven't seen many better casts than this one. There are actors in roles I'm not used to seeing them play, as well as people who became stars later on in very minor roles. It takes some kind of talent to put together such a vibrant picture of a neighborhood. I was absolutely hammered by the ending of this film. It is strange to see a director make themselves a main character like this, as I've stated before. It's not like Spike Lee was an accomplished actor of any kind, but I suppose his character didn't require all that much acting. Still, his character is the vehicle through which the audience travels along the path this film takes you...

It's Brooklyn, and a man named Sal (Danny Aiello) owns a pizzeria. His sons Pino (John Turturro) and Vito (Richard Edson) work with him, and Mookie (Spike Lee) is their delivery guy. Mookie is the vehicle through which we will see the entire neighborhood. Through him, we learn that he has a sister named Jade (Joie Lee), a girlfriend named Tina (Rosie Perez), and a son named Hector. We also get to know the people in the neighborhood. Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn) carries his boombox through the area at full blast. Da Mayor (Ossie Davis) is a drunk who seems to rule the neighborhood in his own mind. Smiley (Roger Guenveur Smith) is mentally disabled and constantly asking for donations while drawing pictures of Malcolm X. Mother Sister (Ruby Dee) is like a neighborhood watcher, and she doesn't like Da Mayor at all. There's also a local radio station, the DJ being played by Samuel L. Jackson. Then on top of that, there's three older guys who talk shit all day from their corner of the neighborhood. One of them is played by Frankie Faison in a role that could not be more different than his role in The Wire.

Anyway, it turns out that Pino hates black people. Very much. He just can't handle black people in any way according to him. It's a hot day in Brooklyn, so tensions are ridiculously high as it is. Mookie's friend Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito) is mad that Sal's Wall of Fame doesn't have any black people's pictures on it. He and Sal get into a big argument over it, which leads to Buggin' Out deciding that this pizzeria needs to be boycotted. Radio Raheem and Smiley wind up joining him in this boycott. Another recurring theme throughout the film is Mookie being treated like shit. Sure, he doesn't show back up to the pizzeria immediately after delivery, but he's treated like shit all the time anyway, especially by Pino. This film is really funny until its climax, I'd say. I consistently laughed at the scenarios presented in it. My favorite was probably when Buggin' Out confronted the guy wearing the Larry Bird shirt.

The ending of the film is completely shocking and seemed to come out of nowhere, but it played on a great scene from earlier in the film. Considering the director I should have known something like this would happen, but I wasn't prepared to see it. There is another scene earlier in the film that should prepare viewers for the ending, where characters shout racial epithets across the block at each other. The point is that racism festers inside of people until it explodes. If you push people until they explode they're going to wind up saying stupid racial shit. Of course this was more the case 28 years ago than it is now, but it still exists. Naturally, there are a lot of people who wondered if this film should even be screened, which is a great example of the existence of white supremacy. The reason cited was that black people would riot when the ending is shown. What the fuck kind of logic is that? Then again, I'm not a white supremacist and simply don't understand this logic. It's just a way of saying that black people shouldn't make films for black people to watch.

I have deliberately danced around the ending of this film because I think the review is better by not mentioning it, but the last few scenes are so good that I have to mention them. When Radio Raheem walked into the pizzeria with his boombox on again, it was clear that something was going to go down. Buggin' Out and Radio Raheem were not completely innocent in the events that subsequently took place, but there's a step between that and saying Radio Raheem deserved to die. I mean, that's crazy shit and I'm sure some of the people who watched this feel that way. I am not entirely certain of what the title refers to. Is it that Mookie threw a trash can threw the window to keep Sal from getting killed? I have no idea. the riot is justified in any case and if you're focusing on that rather than Raheem being choked to death for no reason, you're wrong. This film is balanced enough to make me wonder about a lot of this.

The final thing that I can't get over is that Gus Fring played Buggin' Out. I can't believe it. You can't tell at all. When I watch more stuff, and if he played more characters like this one, I'll be able to tell. It was just weird. I haven't done this film justice in any way, but I loved it. Great comedy early on mixed with a shocking ending, can't hate on that.

9/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #356 on: October 27, 2017, 12:44:38 PM »


28 Days Later (2002), directed by Danny Boyle

I was trying to put off watching this film until Halloween, but it was also expiring on Halloween, so I couldn't do it. If I wind up having nothing to do that night, I'll watch Train to Busan. I am trying to make sure I have something to do that night. So, obviously this is a lot different than the movies I've reviewed in this thread. It's a little similar to I Am Legend and that's a coincidence, but there's pretty big differences between the two of these films. Like, for starters, the main character in I Am Legend trying to find a cure. The entire film revolves around it. That isn't the case here! Instead, this is about the fight to survive, with nothing held back. Nothing meaning no blood being held back. Or anything else. I much prefer this depiction to I Am Legend.

The film begins with three morons breaking into a laboratory, trying to free some chimpanzees. The supervising scientist tells the morons that they had better not release the chimps as they are infected with a virus that makes them crazy. It is highly contagious. Morons being morons, they didn't listen. After releasing the chimpanzee, it bites one of the morons and immediately infects them. The scientist says that they need to kill her immediately, but the other morons don't, and she attacks them, infecting everyone in the room.

Subsequently, we move forward 28 days. Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up in a hospital. We later learn he was in a coma after a car plowed into his bicycle. Jim doesn't understand what's happened, even though he sees the empty streets and London city squares with notices posted on them. Eventually, he comes across a church full of people who have presumably killed themselves. Thing is, there's infected in the church too. Talking gets their attention. Jim runs, but he's rescued by two survivors named Selena (Naomie Harris) and Mark (Noah Huntley). Jim wants to go to his former house, and they go even with the possibility of encountering infected, and because it takes all day, they have to stay the night. Jim unwittingly attracts the attention of the infected by lighting a candle, and naturally, the infected attack. Mark is bitten, so Selena kills him immediately, establishing the fact that anyone bitten must die extremely shortly after. It is also established that Jim and Selena need to leave because more infected will follow. In the process of doing so, they encounter Frank (Brendan Gleeson) and Hannah (Megan Burns), a father and daughter. Frank and Hannah don't have water, so it's time to get the hell out of there.

This is more than I usually prefer to type out about a movie's plot, but I needed to establish enough of the actors involved. I didn't know that Gleeson was in this, but you know, IT'S BRENDAN FUCKING GLEESON so of course I would like this movie to some extent. That's an automatic. His character was a pretty good one and not very dissimilar from the roles I've usually seen him in. I am also pleased that this film made the infection immediate rather than go through a whole thing about people trying to hide it. That gimmick is played out so hard, so I was glad to see it discarded. Of course, that doesn't make sense, but who cares, none of this is supposed to make sense. If there's anything to be bothered with in terms of making sense, it's the scene where Gleeson's character drives his car over a tunnel piled up with cars. The rest strikes me as a pretty reasonable conclusion.

The third act is weird, and I'd rather not discuss it very much, but I suppose I wasn't expecting gang rape. You can see the ending coming, but that's okay, it couldn't have ended with gang rape. Just imagine if the film had. Instead, this basically is what it is. It's a good movie about a virus that makes people go crazy and try to kill people who aren't infected yet. Your expectations should not be that high to begin with, but this film surpassed my expectations. There is another good appearance from Christopher Eccleston that I have not addressed, but this appearance added a ton to the film. The sex slave angle was a little bit unexpected. Now that I'm done with this, I'm going to look into the alternative endings. Jim dying would have been a good one. I will eventually take a look at the sequel.

7.5/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Offline Kahran Ramsus

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #357 on: October 28, 2017, 12:02:27 PM »
Apocalypse is  still the standard for me.  Maybe simply for the "Ride of the Valykries" scene.  One of the best scenes in movie history imo.

Kilgore is the best

Yeah, I hate to sound like a broken record, but Apocalypse Now is my pick for best Vietnam movie too.

Offline cobainwasmurdered

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #358 on: October 28, 2017, 12:08:00 PM »
I really don't care for that movie after the epic start but I can't get into it withour spoilers.

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #359 on: October 31, 2017, 06:58:44 AM »


The Pianist (2002), directed by Roman Polanski

It's going to be borderline impossible for me to discuss a Holocaust film with the kind of levity that they deserve. It's obviously something I am not capable of doing. That's one reason I don't watch movies so artistically important. I know that's a terrible excuse and I also know that these films need to be watched. Unknowing that this film was based on an autobiography of somebody who lived through the Holocaust, there was one scene in particular that nearly had me in tears. I would also say that this is the most compelling film related to this subject. Polanski's own experiences allow him to tell the story in a way that encapsulates the experience of hiding from a force that wants to kill you. I could not believe what I was watching.

Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody) is a Jewish pianist who plays on the radio. While doing so, the station is bombed during the Nazi invasion of Poland. Szpilman goes home, and he learns that Britain and France have declared war on Germany. As we know, the French and British were inactive at a time when they could have crippled Germany. Unfortunately, they did not come, and the Germans took over Poland. With that comes anti-semitism. Jews are forced to move into the Warsaw ghetto, and they're walled off from Polish society. That Szpilman is a world class pianist was completely irrelevant. Eventually, the Nazis decide that it's time to start rounding people up and sending them to Treblinka. These are some of the roughest scenes that I've watched in a movie. One in particular features an old man being thrown out of his wheelchair to the ground 30 feet below. Some time after that, Szpilman is separated from his family, who is sent to Treblinka to die. Szpilman then becomes a slave, and the movie goes on from there.

I have spoiled at least an hour of this film, but I guess that's too bad as everyone should have watched this anyway. The closing scenes are haunting. There is very little hope or anything resembling that in this film. It is a very bleak picture painted here, I would say moreso than Schindler's List. The story presented here is fantastic. Szpilman doesn't become an action hero or anything of the sort in order to survive. He's starved, sick, and trapped. The Pianist is best at showing how things got to that point. The film is long enough to show the entire process of the Holocaust, sans camps, which Szpilman was lucky enough to avoid. Perhaps lucky isn't the right word. Fortunate. Blessed. I don't know. Survival was mostly determined by luck and chance.

I said that there were haunting scenes, and that's true, but there are others that were downright sickening. There's a Nazi piece of shit who gets his rocks off to Jews dancing while waiting to travel from one ghetto to the other. There's multiple scenes where people are lined up and shot in the head. There are no punches pulled with this material, no music to make you feel bad or pull at your emotions. No drama with some of these scenes either. That's what genocide is really like to begin with. Some day, someone decides they're going to line up some people and put a bullet in their heads, and they just do it. While those scenes are sickening, they need to be presented, but obviously these films are not for the faint of heart.

Someone here has made comments about how ultra-violent films have a habit of desensitizing the viewer, but I'm not entirely sure how true that is. This film is a good counterpoint to that, at least as it applies to me. I could not imagine being densitized to the content in this film. When I referred to nearly being in tears, it was a scene where Szpilman gets busted by a German officer (Thomas Kretschmann), who catches him trying to open a can of cucumbers so that he doesn't starve. There is something that happens during that which is impossible for me to describe on any level whatsoever. The performance that Adrien Brody gives is one of the best I've seen. It's quite difficult for an actor to do a role like this one, where the entire focus of the film is on you. Then pair it together with this kind of subject matter. Tough job. The scene that will stick with me the most is the wheelchair scene, though.

10/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #360 on: October 31, 2017, 11:31:53 AM »


Half Past Dead (2002), directed by Don Michael Paul

As I've said previously, I like to follow up a classic with a big let down movie. The pace has to be changed, especially given that The Pianist was as serious as a movie could possibly be. This is contrary to that. In its attempts to be serious, it is anything but. Half Past Dead is without question one of the worst films I have ever watched. I am fully understanding of why these kinds of movies get made, though. In some country out there, people think these movies are fantastic. That sounds insane to me, but I can see how. Prior to this, I'd only watched one Steven Seagal movie. I can't remember which one it was, either. I believe it was Hard to Kill, but by no means am I certain of that. I'll have to watch it some day in order to find out.

Sasha (Steven Seagal) is a Russian car thief who is interrogated at the beginning of this film. Why? Apparently he's going to work for a crime boss named Sonny, who we are later told killed Sasha's wife. Sasha delivers a car to some warehouse, at which point the FBI shows up to arrest him and his buddy Nick (Ja Rule). In the process of arresting them, Sasha is shot and nearly dies (hence the title), after which Sasha and Nick are sent to a newly reopened Alcatraz. Upon arrival, there's a warden (Tony Plana) who likes to mix English and Spanish, which is the first awesome cliche in this movie. I mean that unironically. I really love it. Soon after a scene where Sasha beats up a prison guard, the first death row prisoner is brought to Alcatraz. This man stole $200 million in gold, and for some reason he wants to talk to Sasha. While talking to him, some terrorists arrive and do all kinds of stupid shit.

If your favorite kind of movie is one where guys jump off of three story balconies to shoot people, this is for you. Nobody gets hurt while doing so! The plot doesn't make sense either, which is cool. It turns out that Seagal's character is an undercover FBI agent sent there to make Nick trust him more, even though Nick already trusted him a lot. Of course this doesn't make any sense. Nothing in this film does. You have a Russian with no Russian accent. A terrorist (Morris Chestnut) who talks far too much while saying nothing at all. This is the perfect recipe for a bad movie. One of the speeches Chestnut gives is amazing. The Supreme Court Justice taken hostage is a female liberal. You can probably figure out what is said after that. Everything to set these scenes up is incredibly razor thin, so I don't feel guilty about giving the movie away.

I didn't mention the ending yet, which is completely hilarious and features the prisoner blowing themselves up. There is nothing at all to explain why he'd do this. There's also nothing to explain why Nick and the other prisoners would help Sasha shoot the terrorists. Sasha never tells them that he's an FBI agent. After all, they'd kill him. Not even the editing style with thousands of quick cuts can make some of the action scenes good. I am particularly confused at how Seagal is able to climb into a helicopter that crashed through the glass ceiling of the prison. Magic? Maybe. I should never doubt somebody like Seagal anyway. I know I'm going to give this a low score, but if you like bad movies this should be near the top of your list. I cannot imagine many ways it could have been worse.

I was trying to save this until the end of November in case I had a day or two where I couldn't watch a movie (and I would subsequently knock this off the list), so I'm a little bummed I had nothing to do this afternoon. That being said, I wouldn't have been able to see skinny prisoners jump off third and fourth story balconies to shoot at people and miss. I believe that the prisoners shot a few hundred bullets throughout the movie and didn't hit a single thing. So, why were they on Alcatraz in the first place? I will watch more of these in due time. Hopefully there will be better discussion material in Seagal's other films.

3/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #361 on: October 31, 2017, 11:38:18 AM »

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #362 on: November 01, 2017, 08:53:26 AM »
Yeah, I first watched The Pianist pretty blind only knowing it had Brody and was a WW2 era film. Probably the most impactful film of that era I've seen since Schindler's List and that's saying something as somebody who has seen a lot of the films covering that era & subject matter.

One of the more haunting scenes to me is (IIRC)
Spoiler: show
when Wladyslaw finds the boy by the wall & tries to help him escape but the Nazi is holding the boy's legs and kills him. The aftermath with Wladyslaw just holding his lifeless body :(

Offline The Paper Industry

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #363 on: November 01, 2017, 09:38:05 AM »


Half Past Dead (2002), directed by Don Michael Paul

I can't believe I watched this trash...glad I did though, even bad movies have redeeming qualities that are worth an hour and a half of your time.

So in that way, watching this actually deepened my appreciation for movies. If I can convince myself to sit through this and get something out of it, it’s hard to justify not taking time to sit down with something watchable, let alone good.



I wouldn’t say this was the best scene, the skydiving one was superior but this is certainly in the discussion.

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #364 on: November 01, 2017, 05:58:16 PM »


The Night Before (2015), directed by Jonathan Levine

I genuinely do not remember the last time I watched a Christmas movie for the first time. Usually, it's the same stuff in the rotation. Both Home Alone movies, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Die Hard, Jingle All the Way, and The Muppet Christas Carol are ones that everyone likes. Sometimes I don't watch any. I'm not always in the mood, and watching these can bring up memories I'd rather not revisit. Obviously, this is a bit early for a Christmas movie, but I was pissed off after the World Series and decided I should watch a bad comedy movie to get my spirits back up. It almost did the trick, surprisingly. There are reasons unrelated to the main story that made that the case. I will talk about them below.

Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen), and Chris (Anthony Mackie) are three friends who have a Christmas tradition. Ethan's died 14 years prior to the events of this film, and they keep a tradition of going out and doing crazy shit on Christmas Eve. Thing is, they're moving on. Chris is a football player, and Isaac has a kid on the way. Ethan is a loser of sorts, as is made clear as things go along, but it is also seems like he doesn't want the tradition to end. The guys know of a huge party called the Nutcracker Ball, but they've never seen able to go. That is, until Ethan steals some tickets out of a jacket at his work. Isaac's wife Betsy (Jillian Bell) is nice enough to supply Isaac with drugs as they go along, which leads to some interesting scenarios. Chris wants to bring some weed to the big party, so he calls up Mr. Green (Michael Shannon). On their last adventure prior to the party, the guys encounter Diana (Lizzy Caplan), who broke up with Ethan because he refused to meet her parents (people actually do that shit?).

I dropped a lot of information there, but the first and by far most important thing is that Michael Shannon is in this film and not just in one scene. That alone caught my attention when I listed this. The guy is a great actor. I don't know how many people watched Boardwalk Empire, but after that I'd take a look at anything he does. I say that knowing that he's also been in a lot of garbage. This also won't be the only Michael Shannon movie I watch this week. Clearly his part will be a lot different than this one as a drug dealer. Or will it?

I don't have the same Seth Rogen fatigue that everyone else has. I don't watch his shit at all. As far as his star vehicles go. Knocked Up and Pineapple Express are it. That probably sounds crazy to some people, but whatever, it doesn't even matter. The point is that his formula is still not tired to me. His formula is also quite clear. He does some shit in the process of growing up, by the end of the film he has matured, and everything's good as he goes along with his life. There is nothing inherently wrong with this formula as long as the movies are amusing. Tiresome, sure. I can't disagree with that, but I don't watch his movies. Of course, as with everything else, that will probably change. I'm on the journey to watching way too many movies as it is. It doesn't hurt this effort that Mackie and Gordon-Levitt are both good even when the material is not that awesome.

Make no mistake, everything in this film is not amusing, and there's one specific subplot that's really bad. Actually, more than one. The one where James Franco is sending dick pics to Seth Rogen as Rogen has accidentally taken Mindy Kaling's phone? Why is this in the movie? I don't know. Yeah, that's the worst one. The stuff with Baron Davis and Chris' teammates isn't all that much better, except for the part where I'm like...that's Baron Davis? In a movie? I didn't expect to see something like that. I'm sure that a lot of people don't care for a Christmas movie having a drug trip. That on the other hand I did care for. I thought it was different enough to be enjoyable.

I guess that's what I'd say about this movie in total, it was different enough that I could enjoy it. This is a high grade, but the film did have Michael Shannon in it, and his scenes were really good. Certainly I won't add this to any kind of Christmas movie rotation, which is something I'm trying to get away from doing in the first place. One thing I will say about this movie is that I believe people are ready to revisit the late 90's. It's just a matter of time before a host of television series follow a path similar to how Stranger Things revisits the 80's. I'm totally there. It's time to see my childhood in grand scale. I have deliberately ignored any bad scenes because on some level I think this is worth watching. I don't remember the last Christmas comedy prior to this one, and the one this year features Ed Helms and Terry Bradshaw. So, I'm not sure anybody wants to go down that road. I'll do it for you in a few months.

7/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #365 on: November 01, 2017, 06:00:34 PM »


Half Past Dead (2002), directed by Don Michael Paul

I can't believe I watched this trash...glad I did though, even bad movies have redeeming qualities that are worth an hour and a half of your time.

So in that way, watching this actually deepened my appreciation for movies. If I can convince myself to sit through this and get something out of it, it’s hard to justify not taking time to sit down with something watchable, let alone good.



I wouldn’t say this was the best scene, the skydiving one was superior but this is certainly in the discussion.

It's too bad people don't make gif's for old movies but...I think this was the best scene with dudes jumping down from balconies and landing on their feet while Steven Seagal is in a helicopter that crashed through the ceiling shouting CEASE FIRE. HOW DID HE GET IN THE HELICOPTER WHO THE FUCK KNOWS SON

koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #366 on: November 03, 2017, 06:42:12 PM »


Kicks (2016), directed by Justin Tipping

There was only one reason I watched this film, in truth. I saw that the Notorious B.I.G's son was in it. My assumption was that he was in the lead role. I was completely wrong there. I am so glad that I watched this anyway. Opening the mind is good. I only knew this film was related to shoes in some way, but I guess it really wasn't. It was about something else entirely. I know that nobody watched this, so anything I say may determine whether or not other people do. According to Wikipedia, this film had a massive $150,191 take at the box office. So big! What this film really is, is a short film about the East Bay. What's the East Bay? The Oakland area. How does this film describe Oakland? Oakland is poor. Rough. You grow up the hard way. The main character knows all about that.

Brandon (Jahking Guillory) is the smallest kid his age, and he grows up in a really poor, seemingly broken family. He has long hair and wears shoes that are falling apart, so naturally he's bullied relentlessly. He does have two friends, though. Rico (Christopher Meyer) seems to be drowning in girls. Albert (Christopher Wallace) on the other hand says that he is, but he's really not, and both of his friends make fun of him for it. Brandon is able to somehow scrape together money to buy shoes that aren't falling apart, in the process restoring some confidence in the young guy. It seems that these shoes are stolen, but I hardly see how that matters. He bought them. So, the thing is, that just makes him more of a target. Flaco (Kofi Siriboe) is a typical piece of shit. A typical piece of shit with friends who like to beat up on little kids. Oh yeah, he has a gun too. So, Brandon has to give up those shoes in the process of catching a beating that gets put on YouTube. Brandon just can't have this. After all, he's a man, and his friends keep telling him he needs to be one. He needs to get those shoes back. So, he takes his friends to go find someone who will help him get those shoes back.

The someone who gives Brandon advice is an Oscar winning actor, but I don't want to spoil the surprise. Clearly this film examines a few things I'd like to go over. A few of those things are repeated rather often in order to ensure that the viewer understands what this movie about. One is being a man. What do people expect from men? Especially poor men who have shit taken from them? You're supposed to do something about that. You're actually supposed to do something about that even if you aren't poor. Why do people have a gun to protect their house and belongings? Fortunately what I'm about to describe is diminishing to some extent, but there's also the way a real man is supposed to treat a woman. They're supposed to know their place. Now, one of my criticisms of this film is that such a theme is probably better placed ten years ago. A lot of women won't tolerate that shit anymore, and they shouldn't. Another thing I don't understand is the astronaut. Maybe my take on this is wrong, but I'm not sure. I think the astronaut is supposed to represent his childhood, which is obviously slowly slipping away as the events of the film continue.

This film is also dark and displeasing to great extent. I did think this was going to be like Dope. Well, I was totally wrong about that. Dope presents a more hopeful vision of urban life. This on the other hand does not. This is dark and far more raw. It is a reality that there are people like Flaco in our cities. Flaco isn't completely bad, at least he cares for his son, I guess. That makes him an interesting character that is very well portrayed, but for the most part he's beyond redemption. There is another part unmentioned that I liked a lot, it is pictured above. I also can't describe what it is. To do so would spoil the events of what actually happen. It's not long after Brandon goes to Oakland to find his uncle. The main reason I say this film is displeasing is because I had a hard time figuring out why Brandon did some of the things he did. His ability to listen to advice changes as things go along, and he should know better based on the events of the film.

All this being said, this is a good film, especially given this was the director's first attempt. The director says that he was also jumped for his shoes, but that the people who did it wound up not taking them after destroying him. I'm sure that's exactly why he decided to make this movie. There are a few miracles of casting. Obviously, the Oscar winning actor was a great get. Casting a 13 year old as a 15 year old was pretty smart too. It ensured that he looked like someone who got bullied. Despite the things that I said were wrong with this movie, there were quite a few great scenes. Plus, the music selections were excellent. Any film with "Get Stupid," "Sideshow," and "C.R.E.A.M"? I'm there. The things I brought up as discussion points are things I'd like to see other opinions on if people watch this, which is why I didn't elaborate too much.

7/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #367 on: November 05, 2017, 06:25:56 PM »


A Most Violent Year (2014), directed by J.C. Chandor

A Most Violent Year appeared to be a film released in awards season with the intention of winning some big ones (specifically awards that are televised), but that didn't quite happen. Watching this now, I wanted to believe that critics were wrong. I mean, what's not to like? The poster presents the image that this is a crime classic. It presents Oscar Isaac's character as a mafia boss. How could anyone disagree? Just run a search if you don't believe me. That alone piques my interest. This film is also very particular in its choice of opening song. "Inner City Blues?" Come on man. They're just setting me up to love this. So, what happens when a movie isn't what you think it's going to be? What happens when you're presented with a good film regardless of it not being what you wanted to be watching?

A Most Violent Year is set in 1981, which was a horrendous year for violence in New York City. Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) is trying to achieve the American Dream. It is not said where he came from, but he emigrated to the United States. Abel owns a heating oil company, and heating oil is valuable merchandise. His trucks transporting the oil are carrying thousands of dollars in quantity. Julian (Elyes Gabel) is one of Abel's drivers, who is hijacked and beaten up by two guys with guns. Anna (Jessica Chastain) is Abel's wife, who encourages him to get stuck in and start fighting back, but Abel doesn't want to do so. It appears one reason for that is because he's getting investigated by a prosecutor (David Oyelowo), who is certain that Abel's company is dirty. On top of that, he's gotten in a deal with some Chassidim to purchase a property he cannot afford. If he does not close the deal on time, the property will be sold to one of Abel's competitors and he will lose a huge down payment.

See? There's nothing related to the mafia there. Well, besides the fact that Albert Brooks and Jerry Adler are in this film. There's that, at least. Their parts are much different than those in Drive and The Sopranos, which is obviously for the best. Brooks plays Abel's lawyer, and Adler is the Chassidim owner of the property Abel is buying. Naturally, I am immediately reminded of this scene.



While this film is not related to the mafia, there are things in the setting that are immediately reminiscent of it. Obviously, the hijacked trucks come to mind. It's a textbook mafia tactic. There's also Abel's palatial estate, which...wouldn't be palatial now, but if you're living in a place like that in 1981, you're living like a mob boss would be doing. There's also Anna. You'd think I'm about to say that she's a typical mob wife. Nope. Anna is not a textbook version of the wife presented in mafia related films. Some of them, at least. At first I was confused as to why Jessica Chastain would take a role like this after some of the things she has said. It didn't take me that long to understand why. This is a very strong female character. Stronger than her husband in some ways.

On the subject of her husband, Abel is a strange character. It is unclear why Abel wants to be the magnate of this business. There is a scene where this is addressed and he's unable to answer. That's one way to deal with a character's motivations, I suppose. I still didn't understand them even by the end of the film. I guess that Abel is a simple man in some ways. For whatever reason, he believes that he can be rich and run his business the right way, without doing anything wrong. All of his competitors are counterpoints to that. None of them have done things the right way. The story of this film presents the idea that one or all of them are guilty of stealing from Abel. This film also presents the reality that much like other businesses, the heating oil business was divided into mafia style territories, which Abel seemed to encroach upon.

This film is not bad, and after setting my expectations to the side, I think saying so would be an incredibly stupid take. However, it is not great. For as much as Abel's character confuses me, there are some great scenes in this. The one I would like to post from YouTube is far too long and at least 10-15% of the film, I'm not even sure it's on there. A large amount of the scenes utilize setting exceptionally. It is very rare for me to encounter jump scares in any movie that is not deliberately looking for them and setting you up for them. Somehow this has two of them. It felt like 1981. There was graffiti everywhere. A bleak atmosphere. Radio messages about people getting stabbed. Decaying subway stations. Concrete houses. Bad hair. Gaudy clothes. Nice cars. Corruption. This film is full of good performances that made me believe in them, but the motivations (or lack thereof) of some of the characters and slow pace can be a little offputting. This is worth watching anyway. I suppose I would say that critics weren't wrong. This has a 79 on Metacritic, which sounds appropriate.

7.5/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #368 on: November 07, 2017, 08:12:10 AM »
I had no idea that I wrote this much about this movie. Yikes.



99 Homes (2015), directed by Ramin Bahrani

99 Homes is going to be very difficult for me to write about in the aftermath of viewing it. I'm not sure what to make of the ending. This is also not light subject matter. See, I got eviction notices some time ago. Nobody's proud of that or of admitting it. However, I left prior to the kinds of events that were depicted in this film. I was looking over the director's filmography after watching this one. The subjects he presents in his films are very interesting. I am going to have to go back and look at them, but they are quite obscure. It will obviously take a while, but it appears that we have a director who specializes in natural situations humans find themselves in. The message presented here is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Dennis (Andrew Garfield) is a construction worker who works in Florida circa 2010. He has done two weeks of work and not been paid. Sometime later, or at the same time (it is not made clear), it is time for Dennis to be evicted from his home, which has been foreclosed. Enter Rick Carver (Michael Shannon), somebody who immediately makes people feel nasty things in their guts. Doesn't everyone hate people who kick others out of their homes? Dennis lives with his son (Connor) and mother (Laura Dern), who are incredulous as to what is happening to them. Carver is obviously successful in his eviction, and Dennis is forced to move his family into a motel room. That's certainly my worst nightmare. In the process of doing so, Dennis believes his tools have been stolen, and decides that he needs to go back to encounter the people who removed his possessions from his house. When doing so, Carver walks out of the building to announce that there's a situation at one of his houses. He offers Dennis some money to come along, and after all, Dennis needs to work. He has no money. They get to the house and find that a tenant has filled the house with shit. What will Dennis do for money? Go in there to deal with the shit.

Dealing with shit is one way to describe how this film turns out. This film is set in 2010, shortly after the financial crisis, so the rash of foreclosures presented in this film make more sense. The eviction scene is presented in the most raw and realistic way imaginable. I actually can't believe how well done it was. If this was the only scene of value in the entire film, this would still be a decent film. The rash of foreclosures and encounters with people who can't pay their mortgage takes this from a decent film to a great one. The scenarios presented are all harrowing and stomach turning. The performances in these scenes are excellent. What this film does is show how fucked our society has become. Was it always this way? I can't answer that. I wasn't alive.

There are many films about capitalist greed, and this goes up towards the top of the list. It isn't only about greed, but Michael Shannon's character is the picture of it. I am incapable of understanding why the movies Michael Shannon makes do not make money. He's one of the absolute best actors we have. He even did a horrible Superman movie so that more people would get to know who he was. That seems to not matter at all. Perhaps it's just that movies about the struggles of real people don't make money. Hell or High Water made $38 million and that was one of the best movies about economic hardship of the last decade. Maybe people are just never going to accept Michael Shannon as a lead actor. I don't know, but the situation really pisses me off. The monologues he has in this film are all fantastic. Gordon Gekko type stuff.

I skipped out on the last round of Spiderman movies, so all I'd seen from Andrew Garfield prior to this was The Social Network. His part in that film is big, but I'm having a hard time remembering the intricacies of this film, so at some point I am going to have to watch it again. I was impressed with what I saw here. It is very difficult to play a character like this one. Contrary to Charlie Sheen's in Wall Street, Garfield's character does not understand what he's getting into. For whatever reason Dennis and Rick avoid discussing the subject. Like Rick says, it doesn't really matter. Dennis needs money. He is not in a position to say no to a job. He got fucked at his last one and he lost his house. This is the capitalist conundrum. What would you do for money if you have to live in a motel room? Would you kick people out of their houses? What about the ramifications of that on your soul? My personal experiences give me the perspective of somebody who would have to do this. I have not done something like this. I am a realist, however. I would do this. Your kid has to eat. You have to live. That the evicted parties didn't pay their mortgage is very little moral cleansing. It's probably best not to even think about that. This makes me sound like a soulless bastard, but if you've ever thought you were going to be homeless, maybe you'd understand.

There are some problems with this movie, specifically the ending, which is not tied together in a way I find realistic. There are a few reasons why I have that opinion, so if anyone would like to talk about it below this review, we should probably use spoiler tags. That being said, I did like that the ending was ambiguous. You don't really know what happened, and I don't think that you need to know. The thing about capitalism is that there are many various ways in which that could have ended. Would the police even believe what has been said? There's no way to know that. I am sure that everything about the ending was constructed this way intentionally. After all, the line between unscrupulous and ethical is so thin in America. That's what we are. Another problem I have with this movie is the way Laura Dern is relegated to the sidelines. I was surprised by this and do not quite understand.

That all being said, I am going to say something I've told a few people. For whatever criticisms of Hollywood people have, and there sure as fuck are a lot of them these days, the variety that is presented these days feels different to any other time I am aware of. There are movies and projects out there seemingly about everything. What there isn't, there is going to be. Not all of them follow general plot devices, although this one is quite reminiscent of Wall Street, transported down to street level. A few of the things I wanted to write down related to that, I forgot about already. That's too bad. I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're not down with the way I shit on capitalism sometimes, this is still a good film for you to watch. All of the scenes are well acted and this isn't presented as propaganda.

8/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #369 on: November 07, 2017, 10:48:55 AM »
Another problem I have with this movie is the way Laura Dern is relegated to the sidelines. I was surprised by this and do not quite understand.


8/10

The Michael Keaton McDonald's movie The Founder wastes her even more. I think she only has like three lines. I thought she did okay with what she had in 99 Homes, but should've been a more important character.

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #370 on: November 08, 2017, 05:30:01 AM »


Shaft (2000), directed by John Singleton

Shaft is another movie that I've seen before, and I've been pretty careful not to review too many of those. I believe I've only reviewed one before, and it just so happens that it was another John Singleton film. I didn't remember anything from Shaft, so this was a great candidate for revisiting. If I had remembered things about it, it is quite likely I wouldn't have watched it at all. Surprisingly, the cast is full of big names who were attracted to this material at various stages of their careers. Was this true to the source material? Honestly, I don't think that it was. Has anyone seen the source material? This just doesn't give off the right feeling. As I've said before about unoriginal material, I don't really care if it's true to the source material as long as it's good. Nothing has changed, I still believe that. What about when it isn't good?

John Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson) is on the scene to investigate a murder. Trey (Mekhi Phifer) was murdered by Walter Wade (Christian Bale) after Trey's response to some racist comments ended up in Wade bashing Trey's head in with a pole. There is a witness named Diane (Toni Collette), but she disappears. Wade gets bail even though he's a potential flight risk, so he leaves the country. In the meantime, Shaft has been moved down to narcotics, because he punched Wade in the face when arresting him. While on a bust, Shaft encounters a drug kingpin named Peoples Hernandez (Jeffrey Wright), and arrests him on some trumped up charge. Shaft is then also alerted that Wade is returning to the country, so he arrests Wade too. Wade has another bail hearing after that, and bail is granted once again, so Shaft resigns from the police force in order to...BRING WADE TO JUSTICE. Meanwhile on the other side, Wade hires Peoples to find Diane and get rid of her.

There's a lot to unpack about this movie, but I think the most important things are these. Does Samuel L. Jackson make a good Shaft? Yes. Was this the best way to utilize a new Shaft? No. Absolutely not. There are a lot of funny lines, that goes without saying. Apparently there were clashes on set over some of these lines. I can see how. After all, when a "it's my duty to please that booty" gets in there, I can only imagine what else the script had in store for our guy John Shaft. It's too bad that we didn't see a full bore vision of whatever this film was originally intended to be. The scene at Shaft's congratulations party is probably as close as we got to seeing that.

On the subject of this not being the best way to utilize Shaft, I'll be quite frank. The movie sucks. There's no way of getting around this. It isn't on the level of some of the other bad movies I've watched, but this wasn't good. There are a lot of characters who show up and don't mean anything, and there are others you have no idea will be a big part of the story, who wind up being in the film for a long time even though they only have a few lines. Vanessa Williams' character is probably the best example of this. She is there and I don't know why, because she never speaks. Why is Busta Rhymes driving Shaft around? We'll never know the answer to that. Why is a Spanish speaking character played by Jeffrey Wright? The casting of this film is incredibly backwards, but it's not the only time John Singleton cast a film as strangely as this one. 2 Fast 2 Furious is another obvious example. That all being said, if Jeffrey Wright wasn't playing a Dominican, I doubt anything in this would have been entertaining. Shaft would have had nobody to be his counterpoint, and Jeffrey Wright had a good performance even though it seems like somebody else should have been in that spot. It's also not like Christian Bale was well used. His character returning to the country for no apparent reason is a pretty egregious offense as far as formulating a plot goes.

It's really hard to write about shitty movies sometimes, because when they suck, it's hard to summarize my thoughts in any kind of way that is entertaining to read. My thoughts wind up scattered all over the place. This film is actually quite similar. It was not as entertaining as it should have been given the characters available to the director. The basics are reasonably solid, Singleton just couldn't fill the gaps. I am going to try to avoid this guy's movies for a while because I'm tired of watching them. There is also a lack of appropriate music in this film, and the Shaft theme was merely put on repeat throughout. I can't be the only one that sees a problem with this. Fortunately, I do think the Shaft concept still has life. I know they're making a movie called Son of Shaft, but it needs to haave a good director. I can see it being a success.

5.5/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #371 on: November 09, 2017, 03:27:07 AM »


Deepwater Horizon (2016), directed by Peter Berg

Here I was, about to tear into this film for profiteering on a disaster. I had every intention of doing just that. Then, naturally, I watched the film. I am left with some strange feelings after doing so. As I am now aware of, there was no profiteering from this film at all. I don't know if there was intention to do so. I also am a firm believer that it is completely inappropriate for movie studios to profit from disasters like this one. This being a disaster is something I had to keep in mind as the movie played out. Why do I say that? Perhaps because there's a lot of things prior to the actual disaster. Perhaps because there is literally nothing to do with the resulting oil spill. That's not a typo. The resulting oil spill is mentioned one time at the beginning of the film and not covered in any other way. Is there something wrong with that? Hell yes.

This film presents an interesting tale, which does diverge from facts in some ways. Like, for example, BP's own responsibility in this incident as a company. With that in mind, this tale decides to center on one person and unfurl from there. Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) is headed out on his 21 day shift working for Transocean, a company that leased out Deepwater Horizon to British Petroleum. Deepwater Horizon was, as everyone should know, an oil drilling rig. Transocean is a company that owns drilling rigs, which are leased out to various oil companies. Everything's good at home for Mike. He has a hot wife named Felicia (Kate Hudson), and a daughter as well. Along with him, there are some other people headed to the rig for their shifts. Mr. Jimmy (Kurt Russell) is the manager, and although this isn't made as clear as it should be, he's the head of the rig. At least as far as until BP starts worrying about profits and their contract, which is overdue. Jimmy and Mike arrive with Andrea (Gina Rodriguez), who appears to be in charge of navigating the rig. Alright.

So, I have set the stage for nothing at all, really. I have explained some things better than the film itself attempted to do. It is made clear that the drilling is not going all that well. Knowledge of oil drilling seems to be of little use, just know that it's not going so great. In the process of drilling, they stick mud in there to protect something. You know, something, okay? Don (John Malkovich) is the BP manager at the site, and he's not happy with how far over schedule the project is. He has every intention of drilling without testing to see if things would go well. It is one of the film's fictions, as this is not true. In reality, Don called his bosses because he did not know what to do. In the movie, Mr. Jimmy gets Don to conduct this test prior to drilling. It doesn't go the way either of them want, so Don has Jimmy kicked out of the room in order to do the test again. They do it, and it seemingly goes okay until some mud is spotted on the deck. Mud comes up, boom, blowout. Blowout leads to fire, leads to explosion.

Perhaps I could have written about the events of this film better than I did. Perhaps the events of this film could also have been portrayed as closer to what they actually were. Initially, this film was to be directed by J.C. Chandor, who coincidentally was the director of A Most Violent Year, which I just reviewed. Chandor wanted an ensemble cast. The studio did not. They fired him and replaced him with Peter Berg, who centered the film around a smaller group of characters, and specifically Mark Wahlberg's. Is this an acceptable way to make a film like this? Yes. It's also a lot different than what it could have been. Films like these do need to be simplified, so my criticisms in that area shouldn't be taken so strongly. Should a film lengthen itself by 30 minutes in order to explain an industry people don't care about until their prices at the pump go up? The answer is no.

That all being said, there are numerous good things about this. John Malkovich is great as the mythical slimy oil executive. I could genuinely not tell it was him. His accent was quite authentic. Also, this movie has Kurt Russell as a cranky fuck. That's good. The visual effects are incredible. It is interesting that this movie did not win an Academy Award. I have not watched enough of the movies from last year to determine whether or not this deserved to win. That being said, the effects were great. Everyone loves seeing some fire. The film is also accurate in a few ways of pertinence. The idea that BP was trying to get the job done while spending as little money as possible is beaten into our heads relentlessly. I am a little surprised that BP allowed this to be released without tying this up in litigation, but I assume they couldn't take another PR hit. Another positive is the direction. I don't care for the hero aspects of this story, I'm not that kind of person. However, Berg's use of the camera left me not knowing what the hell was going on, which is exactly the feeling we should have watching a movie like this one.

My score for this movie probably won't make sense in the context of all that I have written, but the thing is, I love disaster movies. That this was based on a true story does not change that. I assume that with this not making money, and Geostorm bombing pretty hard, that there won't be too many more of these kinds of movies. I don't know why anyone would sign off on a giant budget for a film like this one anyway, but they did and I'm glad that I watched it. If you like seeing shit get blown up, this is for you. If you like that hero shit, this is for you too. I don't really care for the hero story, but there's enough here besides that to make this an enjoyable film. I liked this while I was watching it and I think that's what matters.

6.5/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #372 on: November 09, 2017, 06:30:18 PM »
Spoilers below.



War Dogs (2016), directed by Todd Phillips

War Dogs is the first film I've watched in a while that I genuinely did not even want to watch. Why did I not want to watch this? Have you seen the trailer? This looks like a rip off of The Wolf of Wall Street. That is not inaccurate. It's also a really awful trailer. On top of that, I can't stand Miles Teller's face. I have no idea why anyone would decide he can be made into a sympathetic lead actor. Even after watching this, I know without doubt that this is not possible. That being said, I have a thing for this genre. Even if a movie steals as many of Scorsese's gimmicks as this one does, it's hard for me to hate the movie. It felt kind of like an homage. One reason I watched this so soon was that I wanted to eliminate another film based on a true story. I'm getting a little bit bothered by watching them, but I have a few more lined up this month. I have a feeling they'll be better than this one.

I did just made this movie sound really bad, but I swear that it isn't. David (Miles Teller) is a guy who works as a massage therapist. There is a funny scene related to this early on. He has a girlfriend named Iz (Ana de Armas), who becomes pregnant as this story goes on. Of course, it's hard to support a kid on the kind of money you get as a massage therapist. Enter Efraim (Jonah Hill). Efraim is a guy who David knew from junior high, who has returned to Miami in order to start a company called AEY. AEY is a defense contractor, meaning that they supply the US government with weapons. This film is also set in 2005, during the middle of the Iraq War. AEY is a shit company who fills orders for these contracts as cheaply as possible, using suppliers who aren't allowed to do business with the US government themselves. Efraim wants David in, and David wants in too, so he tells Iz that he's selling cotton sheets to the government for soldiers in Iraq. Obviously he isn't, which Iz finds out when there's a situation in Jordan. Guess what? David and Efraim have to go deal with the situation.

I think I may have spoiled a shitload of the movie, but that's not my problem. If you didn't want to know, you wouldn't be reading this. This movie is a lot better than it has any right to be given the circumstances I have laid out. This is, as I said, a direct Scorsese homage. There is constant narration from David, who turns out to be the Henry Hill of this story. There are also freeze frames at moments of value. Lastly and most importantly, the film comes to its conclusion the same way Scorsese would do it, although obviously in a way less skilled. I do not care for any attempts to garner sympathy for somebody who was selling weapons to mutilate brown people with, and the last seven minutes or so were a really blatant attempt to do so. The most appealing thing about a Scorsese film is that you know the people involved are pieces of garbage, and he doesn't really try to pull any nice guy tricks on you at the end. You get it straight.

This film isn't all nice guy tricks by any stretch, which is nice because it shouldn't be. Jonah Hill's performance here was great, even though he gained so much weight to do this. He looked completely gigantic and far bigger than I've ever seen him before. I couldn't believe it, actually. So, if we're drawing comparisons to Scorsese characters, Efraim would be your Tommy DeVito. Both guys don't like being told what to do. They're loose cannons, even though Efraim is too much of a pussy to kill anyone. He'd screw anyone out of money without a second thought, but he also has good ideas, just like when it was time to pull off the Lufthansa heist. Perhaps my comparisons are off, but I really think not. It is hard to shake this homage attempt once I started thinking about it. It isn't anywhere near as good, of course. Still, Hill would not be out of place in a Scorsese movie, as we know from when he was actually in one. Just like in The Wolf of Wall Street, there's even a guy (Bradley Cooper) who knows what the fellas need at exactly the time they need it.

There's one big difference between War Dogs and Goodfellas though, and it should be obvious to everyone. Goodfellas is a fucking classic. Maybe the best film that has ever been produced. This is not. I will probably watch 300 more movies over the course of the next year and will not remember any specific scene from this movie. i can already feel it slipping away from me. That is the difference between a classic, and a good, but average film. I realize that I have shit on this pretty hard with the exception of Jonah Hill, and that was kind of my intent. Without Hill, and with anyone else in this role, the entire film is dead. I have avoided mentioning Miles Teller's performance because I feel the exact opposite about it. I feel like the guy is a mentally stable Shia LaBeouf and I got nothing from his performance whatsoever. Seeing as Hollywood is going to push him, we'll all unfortunately be seeing a lot more of him. I could just delete everything I said earlier, but I have to take it back. For some time I will remember the scene where Hill pulls out a semi-automatic and pops it off into the air. The exposition to explain how these deals can happen is also pretty good.

I realize that I literally just gave out the same score to another movie, so I would like to revise that to a 6.5 as War Dogs was better by a small level. Like I said, I really like the descent into chaos genre. Many of the films in it decide to take their editing process straight from the best film in this genre, but that doesn't bother me as much as it should. I was expecting a movie that was a LOT worse than this.

7/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #373 on: November 10, 2017, 06:06:41 PM »


Panic Room (2002), directed by David Fincher

So, how have I never seen Panic Room? I don't know how to answer that properly. You know what's funny? I have this on DVD. There's really no excuse in that scenario, but I'm a weird fuck. We already know this. I also really like David Fincher. One thing about waiting so long to watch a film like this one is that its flaws are amplified. I usually try to ignore flaws like the ones I'm talking about. Like, for example, the visual effects being really obvious and terrible. There's a few cases that are too terrible to ignore. The title screen for this film is also goofy in a way that something which could only be put together with new programs circa 2002 could only be goofy. That's okay. I try to ignore that. Regardless, bearing in mind I haven't seen all of Fincher's movies, this is his worst offering that I've seen. Is it still good?

Meg (Jodie Foster) is trying to buy a house for her and her daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart) to live in. In the process of doing so, she tours quite the interesting pad. It's a four story brownstone, New York City living. The house was previously owned by a financier, and has a lot of interesting features. The house is under full surveillance, has an elevator, and an intercom. I left one thing out. The surveillance is stored inside of a panic room, protected by steel on all sides. In case of a home invasion, somebody can go in there and make a phone call to the outside. How can Meg afford a house with these features? She's divorcing Stephen (Patrick Bauchau), who seems to be a pharmaceutical executive of some sort, but of course those people have a lot of money. Must be nice, right?

Of course, living in a house like that makes somebody a target for home invasions. That's even more the case when everyone knows that a financier lived there previously. On the first night Meg and her daughter move in, it's time for a home invasion. The unwitting trio of Junior (Jared Leto), Burnham (Forest Whitaker), and Raoul (Dwight Yoakam) come to rob $3 million in bonds, which will be split among them in various ways. They believed nobody would be there. They were wrong. It turns out there's a reason Junior wanted to do this. He's the grandson of the house's previous owner, so he knew what was in the safe. Best of all? The safe is in the panic room.

Now that all that's out of the way, I can talk about the parts I actually want to discuss. How about the use of setting? The house tour at the beginning of the movie is preparing you for what's to come, but you don't really know that when you begin watching this for the first time. By the time the middle of the film comes, you should know every turn of the house. Fincher has deliberately made sure this is the case. If you don't know when he's shown the viewer all of that stuff, you're kind of an idiot. The premise of the film is pretty solid, after all. Everyone knows Meg and Sarah are going to run into the panic room. What could go wrong when they do? There is nothing hidden about the circumstances Meg and Sarah are in. Everything they do inside of the house is all of what they do prior to the home invasion. Nothing is omitted. If you didn't see them do it, they didn't do it.

I prefer not to be treated like an idiot, so the visual and narrative style of this film is very appealing. The ending of the film is definitive and nothing hangs in the balance. Unless of course, you're an idiot. I almost want to run a search to see how many idiots are out there, but I might not be able to handle it. I already know the country is full of them. This isn't a perfect film by any stretch, but I cannot state enough how much I appreciated that the house and rules of the house were laid out prior to the major events of the film. As for the narrative style, it's a chess game. Everyone should know that about this film by now. People have things they need. There are ways to get them. The problem is getting them without getting hurt.

On the subject of flaws, there are two massive ones, even though I enjoyed the individual performances. Burnham and Junior are really fucking stupid. There are things to explain this as far as Burnham goes, but I don't understand Junior at all. I can't even discuss him, that's how much I don't understand the character. All I could understand was that Junior was a jilted rich boy. Is that all I'm supposed to understand? Because if there's more, I completely missed it. As for Raoul, there's a reason I omitted him. Dwight Yoakam was great casting here. Not something I'd have thought to do. Raoul's reaction to the situation seemed the most natural. He's the guy who brought a gun to a home invasion. He's the one willing to do whatever it takes to get into the panic room. It's hard to understand why the other two would stick around when they aren't. I think Burnham checking for video tapes at the surveillance station may explain this. If Burnham thought he and Junior were on tape, there's good reason not to leave. He and Junior would have known they were on tape, though. So why weren't they wearing masks?

Unfortunately, those two flaws are too big to ignore. I tried to ignore them when writing this out, which is why I waited so long. I can't do it. I thought Leto was exceptional in his role, he had some great lines, but the character doesn't make sense to me. Am I missing something here? Maybe I am. I also really don't want to give another movie a 7/10 score. I had decided that before turning this on. Given the ability to re-rate some of these given more context of the other things I've watched, I certainly would. It will be something for me to think about going forward. That being said, this is better than many other movies in the genre, while it's also definitely one of Fincher's worst. However, this is clearly a writing problem. As good as Jodie Foster's character was, Kristen Stewart's character is too generic. Almost like a trope.

6.5/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #374 on: November 12, 2017, 04:52:40 AM »


Mad Max (1979), directed by George Miller

I know, right? How have I never seen any Mad Max movie? I can't explain that at all, nothing I can say on this subject is even moderately acceptable. I myself do not know how this is possible. Obviously, this film brings up memories in my mind of Death Race 2000. If you've seen both, you'll know what I mean. How could it not? It's a wasteland out there. People have weird vehicles and they do crazy shit. I can't explain what it is about this movie that attracted people to this franchise. I mean, I'm going to try my best, but certainly I won't put my finger on it. Lots of people just don't get it on any level, and like the movies anyway. It may turn out I'm one of those people. You can judge by reading.

A few years from now, a man called Nightrider (Vincent Gil) has stolen a police car. Why or how could he do that? This is never explained and I'm glad it wasn't. Apparently he'd killed an officer in the process of doing so. After Nightrider raises hell and scares the shit ouf of everyone on the road, it's time for the police to send out their best police chase specialist, Max (Mel Gibson). Max knows exactly what he's doing. He gets Nightrider to crash into a roadblock of some sort, which kills him and ends the pursuit. After that, we are introduced to a larger cast of characters. Max has a wife (Joanne Samuel) and child, which seems out of place in this hellhole of a society the director has created. Nightrider was not alone in his eccentricity, it seems. He was part of a strange motorcycle gang, led by a guy called Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Continuing with the mystery of the film, they only have one V8 supercharged patrol car remaining. How does this happen?

Well, you never find out how this happens. There are things about this scenario that are slowly revealed to you, though. One is that there aren't many women remaining in this society. There is also seemingly no production of things like tires. Or cars. Nomads roam and pillage through towns with nobody able to stop them. The nomads are also a bit touched in the head. More than a bit, even. The legal system is completely borked. I'm sure there's some explanation as to why this is, but I don't want to know. It's for the best not to know. There are things slowly revealed as the movie goes on, which is enough for me.

So, how did this film series become so popular. Well, to start, the biker gang in question in this film is super weird. It is implied that they rape a dude, but besides that, there's quite a bit more. The things they do don't make sense. It seems like people want that in their movies sometimes. The film also looks a lot more gritty than other films of the time. Most post-apocalyptic movies look good and are filmed with the highest quality material available at the time. Not this one! This was done on the barest-bones budget and I really don't understand how they pulled it off. I would say best of all, this film was short and accessible to anyone. Not much of a time commitment here.

The things that make this film attractive to me are a bit different than that, and largely related to how the characters were treated. There is minimal humanity in this movie. Very rarely do you see the characters feeling bad. Why would any of them feel bad? This is a post-apocalyptic film, after all. There's really nothing anyone can do about this situation. It is accepted. The narrative is very simplistic in this way. It is not hard to follow unless you're the type to start looking for things that aren't explained and get mad when they aren't given to you on a platter. Another thing I liked about this was that there was, as I've mentioned, no exposition. The film also doesn't pull any punches in terms of depicting what it is the biker gangs will do. Yes, they will run over a mother and child. That is the way things are. Of course, this being 1979, quite a few people were massively upset at the events depicted in this film.

I got to watch a version of this that featured the Australian dialogue, which was apparently edited out when released here at first. It's quite jarring to hear some of the things the actors were saying, but it's for the best. With that being the case, perhaps it's a good thing I waited so long to watch this. I wouldn't have wanted to watch an edited version, I want the real deal. One thing I'll say is that I'm going to try not to write the bulk of these the day after watching a movie. There are some things I wanted to say that I've completely forgotten by now. The ending of this was great, though. If you haven't seen it, you should.

7.5/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Offline Kahran Ramsus

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #375 on: November 13, 2017, 02:42:21 AM »
The first film has a very different look and feel from the sequels.  It is more of a pre-apocalyptic film with society on the verge of collapse than the total wasteland of the sequels.  If you decide to watch The Road Warrior next you will notice a big difference right away.

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #376 on: November 13, 2017, 04:49:33 AM »
The first film has a very different look and feel from the sequels.  It is more of a pre-apocalyptic film with society on the verge of collapse than the total wasteland of the sequels.  If you decide to watch The Road Warrior next you will notice a big difference right away.

After watching too many Marvel movies in a short span, I try to spread series like that out for a while. I am going to watch it but I don't know when.
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #377 on: November 13, 2017, 04:49:43 AM »


All the President's Men (1976), directed by Alan J. Pakula

It's fair to say that All the President's Men has been the standard for journalism movies for 41 years, yes? Spotlight may have usurped that in the eyes of some. I was interested in seeing if that was the case. Not only that, but this film is going to be pertinent for the duration of Trump's presidency, isn't it? There are a lot of people who believe there's nothing there with regards to Trump and Russia, and there's really only one thing that's going to make them believe it. The road to putting people in handcuffs is a long one. It needs to be made clear that it took two and a half years for Richard Nixon to resign. That's a long time and this all started in a more clearly defined way than the Trump campaign's involvement with Russia. As time plays out we'll know what we need to know, or at least we should. There is no way to know for sure what the ultimate ramifications will be. Not all of the ramifications of Watergate were so good, and worst of all, we have forgotten why they were needed.

June 17th, 1962. Watergate complex. Security guard sees that an unlocked door has been messed with. He calls the police. They come. They arrest five burglars in the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) is assigned to cover this story, which is seemingly just a burglary. Except, it isn't. The five men are arraigned, and guess what? They already have an attorney. Guess what else? None of them made a phone call. Something's obviously up. When asked by the judge what their occupations were, one guy answers that he's an anti-communist. Another says that he just left the CIA. Why would two guys like that break into the DNC? Woodword does a good job hunting down some intformation, which leads to him being paired with Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), a more experienced reporter. Their editor, Ben Bradlee (Jason Robards) wants them to keep hunting and doesn't like that nobody is willing to go on the record with information. That being said, Woodward has a great source. It's Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook). Deep Throat keeps Woodward on the right track, wherever it may take him.

A lot of people still don't understand the details of Watergate to this day, and believe that the entire thing was concerning the break-in. It wasn't. We still don't know why Republican operatives broke into the Watergate complex. We are however aware that Republicans had a plan to win elections at any cost. Does this sound familiar? They had enlisted the FBI, IRS, and CIA in this plan. Now, I'm gonna be honest, talking about this shit makes me sick, so I'm going to be a bit more brief than usual.

To answer the initial question regarding this film being the standard for journalism movies, I'm going to say that it no longer is. Why do I say that? The actual impact of the story is shown in Spotlight, for starters. This film is entirely centered around the newsroom. This film does not address the personal lives of the reporters. That's perfectly fine, it's just not a better movie than Spotlight because of those two things. All that being said, this was clearly an influential film, because there was a lack of these kinds of movies previously. That appears to be the common theme of comments in looking at other reviews for this. The film is obviously well casted, and the material is such that it could really suck without charistmatic and capable actors. Yet, it didn't suck, and people are still watching the film to this day. There are a few great scenes in particular, with Woodward running out of the parking garage and thinking he's being followed the most obvious one. Another with Woodward on the phone appeared to be a very long single shot, and even though he messed up his line and quickly corrected it, they left it in the film. I like to see that as it gives some authenticity. People are not always completely accurate when stating other people's names.

When writing that entire last paragraph, I goofed, but I'm too lazy to rewrite it. The standard for journalism movies isn't Spotlight either, it's Zodiac. Although, it's not strictly a journalism movie like Spotlight and All the President's Men are, so that's quite unfair. Little known fact I would like to share. I established that the editor for this story was Ben Bradlee, right? Well, the editor for the Spotlight story was Ben Bradlee Jr. So, I guess finding out the truth seems to run in the family. I fully realize I didn't write down very much about Watergate, but I didn't want to, and I explained why. Still, very good movie. Very accurate movie. Everyone should pay attention to it and learn from past errors.

8.5/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #378 on: November 13, 2017, 06:34:10 PM »
Spoilers. Lots of them.



Southpaw (2015), directed by Antoine Fuqua

Southpaw is a film I nearly watched upon release. See, my power was going out for the day, so I had to go to the theater. I chose between this and Jurassic World. Knowing what I know now, obviously I'd rather have watched Southpaw on that day and Jurassic World at home. I never finished the Rocky series, which was intentional, but I'd rather not talk about that even though the comparison is obviously in mind of anyone who watched this. Is Southpaw as good as Rocky? Hell no. If anyone thinks that, they're crazy. This is more like a modern adaptation, for both good and bad reasons. If you like seeing someone get relentlessly shit on, this movie is for you!

Did I say spoilers? Yes, I did. I'm going to post a lot of them and I'm not going to stop. Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a prizefighter. What's a prizefighter? A prizefighter is a boxer. Larry Merchant calls them prizefighters, which sounds more appropriate to me. Billy is the light heavyweight champion, and after the fight depicted at the beginning of the movie, his wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) wants him to retire. After all, Billy's style is much like that of the late Arturo Gatti. Blood and thunder is the name of the day. After Billy's fight, he can barely walk. His promoter Jordan (50 Cent) wants him to take a big deal with HBO for some guaranteed money, but what Maureen has told Billy has made some kind of impression upon him and he won't do it. An upcoming fighter named Miguel Escobar (Miguel Gomez) really wants to fight Billy, though. While Billy's at a charity event, Escobar makes some comments about taking Billy's title and his wife. Billy can't have that. They get in a fight, and after punches are thrown, Miguel's brother pulls out a gun and fires. Unfortunately, the shot hits Maureen and kills her, leaving Billy alone to raise his daughter Leila (Oona Laurence).

To make a long story short, Billy goes insane after losing his wife. A common story in actuality, but well-depicted here. Billy does have to keep fighting to maintain his lifestyle, as any championship fighter has very likely overextended himself, with Billy being no exception to that. In Billy's next fight, he takes a beating reminiscent of the one Floyd Mayweather put on Arturo Gatti, and headbutts the referee when the referee stops the fight. So, that leaves Billy suspended, and he continues to spiral out of control.

Have I posted enough spoilers yet? Actually, I don't think so. I'll continue as I go along. The thing is, this movie completely discards all nuance and subtlety. You (the viewer) are instead hammered over the head with bad shit. Bleak shit. There comes a limit to how much of this stuff I can handle, and this film went so above and beyond that limit that I feel borderline depressed after watching it. The hopeful ending gave me no positive feelings whatsoever. I cannot possibly be the only person who felt this way. I'm trying to pinpoint the limit, but I can't settle on which part was worse. The part where the kid who helps Billy lace his gloves gets murdered by his dad? Or the part where Billy isn't able to see his daughter? I misphrased. PARTS. VARIOUS PARTS.

It's too bad, because there are two great performances here that I felt like the plot takes a gigantic dump on as it was impossible to enjoy either of them. I'm talking about Jake Gyllenhaal and Forest Whitaker. It shouldn't be any surprise to anyone that these two guys were so great in this film. When are they ever not? Whitaker is not always blessed with the quality of material that Gyllenhaal is given, and there's obvious reasons for that. Namely, Whitaker is a lot older and that's the inevitability of being an old actor. Besides that, he hasn't always picked the best parts. Battlefield Earth is something I don't understand why he'd be in. A Criminal Minds spinoff? I get that one. TV money is highly appealing. Instead, that isn't his lot in life and he has to take challenging roles like these.

Gyllenhaal on the other hand could have any role he wants and consistently takes on the most challenging material available. There's many examples of that, and I've reviewed a lot of them at this point. Some of the ones I've watched and haven't reviewed I will go back to, and there's always going to be more. Gyllenhaal's performance in this film wasn't enjoyable, it was actually rather haunting. The depiction of a punch drunk boxer was actually a bit difficult for me to understand. After all, his speech wasn't clear. His look and everything was strange. He stuttered a lot. As an actor, he becomes these roles in such strange ways. I don't understand him and don't understand what motivates him. He's an interesting guy.

With all that I said in mind, did I make this sound like a modern adaptation of a Rocky movie. No, I did not. It's not the way I make it sound rather than how it actually looks and the overall feel of it. Every boxing movie has cliches that must be adhered to, this is no exception. You have the trainer rebuilding a broken fighter. You have family problems. You have a bent promoter trying to pull something off like a scam. That's what boxing movies are. This is not my favorite one of them by any stretch, it was just alright. I will also never watch it or any scenes from it again due to how depressing they were, this has no future value to me. I probably need to explain my rating system at some point.

p.s. Jim Lampley and Roy Jones Jr. as commentators? A fantastic decision.

6.5/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #379 on: November 15, 2017, 06:21:47 PM »


Trespass (1992), directed by Walter Hill

Trespass is one of the strangest films I've watched in the last year, but I had a feeling that was going to be the case. After all, it's not every day that I watch a film with Ice-T and Ice Cube in the cast. That's nowhere near descriptive enough, either. Bill Paxton is in this too. It's about gold. Does anything in the title make this sound slightly like the case? No, of course not. That goes without saying. Why would I watch this, then? It's because of the cast. Anything with Ice-T and Ice Cube together has novelty value alone. That's kind of the thing I'm looking for when choosing to watch movies. I'll probably get around to watching everything of value to begin with, but novelty value when I like three of the people involved? That's near the top of the list.

Vince (Bill Paxton) and Don (William Sadler) are firemen from Arkansas. While trying to put out a fire, they encounter a crazy guy who starts ranting and raving about gold. He runs into the fire and kills himself, but not before handing the two firemen a treasure map and a newspaper clipping. Don looks into this and finds out that the nutjob was talking about gold he'd stolen from a church. It was believed that he hid them in a building, although this was unclear. Anyway, Vince and Don head to East St. Louis (a really bad idea) to find this gold. Upon arriving there, they have a difficult time finding out where in the building this gold happens to be. In the process of looking for it, a homeless man named Bradlee (Art Evans) saw what they were doing, so they had to tie him up. Meanwhile, a gang led by King James (Ice-T) has planned an execution on the roof. While killing the man, they throw him through some glass, and he falls down a few stories. Unfortunately for Vince and Don, King James sees Vince, who had walked into a corridor to see what was going on. Luckily for them, Don is crazy enough to grab the brother of King James and hole up in a room.

The title of Trespass obviously refers to these events, in hindsight. Everyone is trespassing. Nobody's supposed to be in this abandoned building. It's worse for Vince and Don because this is King James' territory and it's suspicious enough to see white people in East St. Louis. I also didn't refer to Ice Cube in my summary, but it turned out he was simply one of King James' lieutenants. Anyway, there's no reason to beat around the bush as it comes to this movie. There is only one thing to examine. The pursuit of gold. It is said that this film wasn't supposed to be political, so I can barely even read into any intentions of trying to make the film as such. But, humans have a natural longing for gold. This plays out just as you'd expect. Whether it's actually natural or not, I don't know. People who can afford it sure want it though. It's a status symbol and not actually important. It also represents money, and if you find a lot of gold, you'll get rich. Right?

Okay, now that I'm done with that, I want to point out that this movie isn't particularly good. It isn't bad. It's just there. There are a few good scenes. There's one where a henchman dresses up as a cop and beats up one of his buddies to try and lure the white guys out of the building. Very smart scene in its execution. The ending was hilarious for both good and bad reasons. I don't want to spoil that. Everyone knows that Ice-T can't act, so there's not much reason to go over that. There are some spots that required him to do so, and they were shot in a way that pretty much showed him storming out of a room. You know, simple stuff that doesn't make anyone look bad unless you're really looking for it.

The plot was unique enough that I was interested in it until the end. More than I thought I would be. When Vince and Don were locked in a room, I didn't really think the movie would move forward in an intriguing way from there. I was way wrong. I don't want to say too much, but I was consistently surprised even at some of the dumber plot introductions. There's a pretty good one where a chimney that was there the entire time is REVEALED TO THEM. See what I mean? It's that kind of movie. It's the kind of movie where they run around an abandoned building that the filmmakers pump smoke into so everyone can look cool. It has Tiny Lister. Ice Cube. Ice-T. Bill Paxton. Gold. Homeless men. Guns. A horrendous ending. What more could I want? This was a good night of viewing, even though this movie is dead middle of the road. You know this movie was initially called Looters and was supposed to be released two months after the Los Angeles riots? Yeah.

5.5/10
koab [8:27 PM]
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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #380 on: November 16, 2017, 07:12:03 AM »
Reading that review makes me think you need to review Judgment Night

Offline IRS Abdominal Stretch

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #381 on: November 16, 2017, 07:34:26 AM »
I think I recommended Trespass to you, 909. It was kind of a nostalgia movie that I haven't seen for close to 20 years. I remember walking in on my mom watching it, laying down on the couch and thinking it was a cool movie. But, it's still worth it to see both the Ices combine forces against Bill Paxton and William Sadler.

Offline Gary

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #382 on: November 16, 2017, 07:40:48 AM »
I'm a fan of "Trespass", as it's probably the last movie Walter Hill made that I all out enjoy ("Undisputed" is fine, but the sequels are so much more fun). Granted, I'm more susceptible to stuff like this, but hey.

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

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Offline Hawk 34

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #383 on: November 16, 2017, 08:53:45 AM »
Reading that review makes me think you need to review Judgment Night

He’s not ready for that real shit yet.

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #384 on: November 16, 2017, 09:02:17 AM »
I think I recommended Trespass to you, 909. It was kind of a nostalgia movie that I haven't seen for close to 20 years. I remember walking in on my mom watching it, laying down on the couch and thinking it was a cool movie. But, it's still worth it to see both the Ices combine forces against Bill Paxton and William Sadler.

The best part I didn't mention is the way Paxton keeps running back and forth across the room screaming about how they have to get the fuck outta there.
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Offline Kahran Ramsus

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #385 on: November 16, 2017, 02:50:05 PM »
Quote from: 909
When writing that entire last paragraph, I goofed, but I'm too lazy to rewrite it. The standard for journalism movies isn't Spotlight either, it's Zodiac.

I would actually say it is Network.  And it is probably more relevant today than ever.

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #386 on: November 16, 2017, 03:56:52 PM »
I agree with that

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #387 on: November 17, 2017, 11:36:02 AM »


Steve Jobs (2015), directed by Danny Boyle

I had previously sworn that I would never watch any movie about Steve Jobs. I think the guy was a total piece of shit and there is nothing that could change my mind. Fortunately, this film does not even make a slight attempt to do so. Isn't that nice? I assumed this was going to be something completely the opposite of what this was. There are parts in this film that brought back some good memories. My first computer was a Macintosh Plus. I don't know where we got it, and I know that my parents didn't pay full retail price ($2599) for it. Could you imagine paying that for a computer when people didn't know what they were capable of? Anyway, when we bought the computer, it came with Word Munchers installed. I don't know how many people know what that is, but it doesn't matter. When claiming a high score, I decided to put some curse words down as my name. I don't remember what they were. Rather than have my mom find out what I had written down, I decided to delete the program, at which point the computer became completely useless to me. I didn't have another one for years. How is this germane to the movie? It isn't, but I wanted to tell that story.

The narrative style of this film is strange to the point that I am incapable of describing it in any sort of detail, so it's better to leave a cast of characters. The film unfolds at the launches of three products Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) created. The Macintosh (1984), NeXT (1988), and the iMac (1998). It is probably best to have some reasonable knowledge of these things and/or computers prior to viewing, but I don't think it matters that much. The film presents Jobs as a massive asshole who deals with his problems in ways that are befuddling to normal human beings. He has some help in doing so, from his work wife, Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet). Hoffman keeps everything on track, that seems to be her job as presented in this film. Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) is the creator of the Apple II and co-founder of Apple. He feels that Jobs does not appreciate him. John Sculley (Jeff Daniels) is the CEO of Apple when Jobs launches the Macintosh. He is someone Jobs appears to have a lot of respect for, who Jobs has conversations with that he does not repeat to anyone else. There's also Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stuhlbarg), a member of the Macintosh team who Jobs pushes to fix a major problem that would destroy the launch event. Lastly and most importantly, you have Chrisann Brennan (Katherine Wasterston) and Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Who are they? Chrisann is Jobs' former girlfriend, and Lisa is Jobs' daughter, the one who he refused to acknowledge parentage of.

I have done my best to describe this situation, but there's something I must address. Much of what is in this film can only be described as fabrication. With that being the case, there's an interesting ethical question. Is it the job of the filmmakers to make an interesting film, or is it their job to present the most accurate representation of Steve Jobs life? It believe it may be impossible to do the latter. So, what they did was pack years worth of conversations and relationships into three launch events. I liked that quite a lot, actually. It appears that many of the people involved didn't. That shouldn't be surprising. There were also complaints that the relationships presented were inaccurate. For example, the people who knew Jobs said he wasn't that much of a dick. Clearly this film is a problem to some extent. That being said, it is more entertaining as a result of the changes and dramatization in this film. On top of that, Wozniak and Sculley did not complain about anything other than what I'd consider to be minor things.

Now that we've established that some of the things in this film are fabricated, I need to talk about the performances and characters. Fassbender as Steve Jobs was a nice piece of inspired casting. It's not like he looks like Jobs. It's not like anything he does reminds people of the image of Steve Jobs they have in their head. He still made people like Wozniak believe they were looking at an image of Steve Jobs as presented by filmmakers. It is extremely difficult to pull something like that off. There were two other characters I liked as well, those being Hoffman and Wozniak. Seth Rogen doesn't look like Wozniak either, but he and Fassbender had surprisingly good chemistry in their conversation. Kate Winslet on the other hand, you expect something like that. There are countless memorable scenes in this. The film is careful enough not to include any of Jobs' speeches, because after all, that bogs things down in the muck of things you are already aware of due to the content before the speeches. The flashbacks are the best part, one in particular being during one of Jobs and Sculley's arguments.

Once you notice that this is an Aaron Sorkin screenplay, it's very difficult to let that go. Every scene in this has his fingerprints on it. This film is full of walk-and-talk. Packed with rapid-fire conversations. They are not as quick as other Sorkin works, which is for the best. Someone needed to slow those down as they are completely unrealistic in other presentations. If there are any complaints, it is that the main character in this film is thoroughly detestable. There is nothing here that could possibly make anyone feel sympathetic for Steve Jobs. If you do, there is clearly something wrong with you. There are some other things I wanted to say about this film, but once again I forgot them by waiting to write this review for so long after watching it. From now on I'm going to take notes or something immediately after watching the movie, because I don't think this is acceptable on my part. What matters is that this is a good study of someone's character, which is very flawed. Due to how much I didn't care about the portrayal, in combination with falsehoods and fabrications, the score below is how I feel about this. I still enjoyed this film greatly and it is difficult to reconcile my score with my feelings, but there are parts of a very entertaining biopic that are bullshit.

7.5/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #388 on: November 20, 2017, 12:23:41 PM »


Triple 9 (2016), directed by John Hillcoat

Triple 9 is a film that's nearly impossible to introduce prior to reviewing, so I will discuss one thing in particular. Why do studios sit on films for so long after making them? There's a few reasons that I can think of. One is that for whatever reason you have some kind of production problems. That's not the case here. Sometimes there are reasons to believe the cast will be more famous, therefore studios sit on a film until they think it's most opportunistic for them. There's also another reason. Sometimes the film just isn't any good. Sometimes the studios assume that it will be and set it up to be released in awards season, but once everything's put together, the movie just doesn't come off. Triple 9 is in the latter category. It isn't that it isn't good. There are reasons to like this film. Initially this film had a slew of other actors cast, and I cannot help but wonder how this could have turned out. Instead, it is what it is. The filmmaker's vision just doesn't work out.

This film has a gigantic, awesome cast. How does this not work out perfectly? Mike (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Gabe (Aaron Paul), Russell (Norman Reedus), Marcus (Anthony Mackie), and Franco (Clifton Collins Jr.) are going to rob a bank in Atlanta. It is borderline impossible to figure out their names for quite a long distance into this film. Why are they robbing a bank? It appears they need to retrieve a safe deposit box. So, it's just like The Bank Job in that sense, except the film really isn't. After doing so, it turns out that there are some things we learn. Gabe and Russell are brothers. Marcus and Franco are dirty cops. Mike is the guy tying this whole thing together. Mike takes the deposit box to Irina (Kate Winslet), a Russian mafia boss who is a complete caricature. It's one of the biggest flaws of the film. Anyway, Irina is not satisfied, and wants this crew to go on...ONE LAST JOB. Their way of doing it? To kill an officer, because nobody will pay attention to what they're doing while that's going on.

While that's all going on, we're introduced to police officers. Two of them stand above the rest. Jeff (Woody Harrleson) is investigating this robbery. His nephew Chris (Casey Affleck) has been promoted to the gang unit at the same time, and it just turns out there's some MS-13 in the area. Naturally, MS-13 give police offers problems. The rest you can probably figure out for yourself considering everything I've written down here. There are some other characters as well, played by Gal Gadot and Michael K. Williams. With Affleck being the exception, because everyone thinks he's a piece of shit, this is a very likable cast. Considering Affleck, this is a fantastic cast. I put Affleck's shit to the side when watching a film. I am not paying for it specifically, it's on a service I use. Therefore I do not care. I cannot think of many better casts to put in a crime thriller. So how exactly does this film not work?

For starters, the early stages of the plot are extremely convoluted. I mentioned that it's impossible to tell who each of the robbers are, but it goes a little bit past that. You don't really realize who they are until one of them dies. The way that one of them dies is so goofy, it's hard to describe it in any rational way. It just didn't make sense. On top of that, Kate Winslet's character is a horrible caricature of a mafia wife. I'm not sure what was worse. The colorful clothes or the gaudy Star of David. I don't know how such a character made it out of the idea stage. There are many such caricatures in this film, none of which I liked. The straight and narrow cop, the junkie who needs to be put down before ruining the rest of the crew, women who have no part in the story, and bet of all the reluctant criminal. These are all things that can work well if used properly within the story, but this is what happens when they aren't.

The worst and possibly most egregious example of bad storytelling pertains to the ending of the film. The director has something he wants to tell you, that's plain to see. It's also plain to see that nobody knew how to tell this story. We are hammered with death after death, and in some cases shock tactics like legs being blown off. This all happens much too fast, which makes everything feel hollow. The deaths, like the legs being blown off, are also quite ridiculous. Characters are presented as being smarter or dumber than they'd shown in the movie to that point. My descriptions of this are making the plot sound more logical than it actually is. I assure you that it is not logical in any sense whatsoever.

Even though the plot isn't logical, there are still some great scenes. The initial bank robbery setup is excellent even though it's difficult to understand. The subsequent shootout of sorts is great as well. Of course, it isn't as good as Hell or High Water, which is the 2016 standard for bank robberies and shootouts. There's also a scene while Harrelson's character is drunk that I found hilarious for all sorts of reasons. In addition to that, there's a scene at a housing project that provides some tension. Between that scene and another where two of the robbers hijack a Homeland Security storage space, these provide the majority of tension in the film.

While this film has those great scenes, and those great scenes prevent it from being a bad movie, this was really nothing great. The actors do the best with the material they have. If you want to see Aaron Paul play Jesse Pinkman all over again, this is just for you! If you don't, and if you don't care for very violent movies, this isn't for you in any way. Of course, almost anything with this cast is going to be violent, so you probably know that heading in and I'm not telling you anything surprising. The plot still sucks, but it's watchable and not completely bad. Best of all, there's no main character and multiple guys are given equal time. That may not be the best thing to you, though.

6/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #389 on: November 21, 2017, 01:06:34 PM »


A Serious Man (2009), directed by the Coen Brothers

I needed to take a whole day to think about this film. The old me would have never watched this at all. Does it have violence in it? Does it have drugs in it? Is it supposed to make you laugh a lot? The answer to all of these is probably no. Nobody gets shot at and nobody dies over drug deals. There are no cops knocking down doors and taking names. This is a strange film. Totally not what I expected. Have you seen the commercial? There is absolutely nothing in it that reveals what this movie is actually about. The trailer is a little different, and it's longer, so if you watched that you'd have some kind of understanding. So, with that in mind, if I knew what this was about, do you think I'd have watched it? I'll say that I would have. A few months ago I mentioned how much I enjoy the Coens work. Nothing has changed, and I still feel the need to watch everything they've done.

The opening scene is a Yiddish folk tale that I'd rather not spoil in any way, and it doesn't have any relation to the rest of the film. Or does it? In any case, it was a great scene and I would like to see the Coens make a film in Yiddish. Anyway, this film is set in 1967, somewhere in Minnesota. Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) is a physics professor. He has a strange life. His son Danny (Aaron Wolff) owes money to some kid he bought weed from. His older brother Arthur (Richard Kind) lives with him for reasons unbeknownst to us. His daughter Sarah (Jessica McManus) says almost nothing throughout the whole movie, so we don't get to know her that well. Worst of all, his wife Judith (Sari Lennick) wants a divorce. Not just a regular divorce, but she needs a Jewish ritual divorce too. After spending some time with Larry's friend Sy (Fred Melamed), she has decided she would rather be married to Sy. On top of all that, Larry is awaiting a decision from his department head about becoming tenured. He also has a student named Clive (David Kang) who is trying to bribe him for a passing grade.

What exactly does this all mean? Considering it's a movie by the Coens, you may not understand until you think about it for a while. It's obviously a telling of the Book of Job. Why are all these bad things happening to Larry? What does Hashem expect of him? These are questions he asks himself because he cannot answer them. Who could? What is the point for Larry to keep going on living? These are all things I cannot answer. The film is deliberately engineered to be uncomfortable. That is the point. From the first scene to the last, you are not supposed to be happy about any of the things that you see. How could you be? Richard Kind's character is practically a Jingus. He scribbles down crazed mathematical equations in his notebook and goes into the lake to swim with kids. Aren't these the kinds of things that we made fun of Jingus for doing? He even invents a gambling system that somebody else had probably thought of beforehand. It's uncanny.

There are lots of funny moments to be sure, I wasn't trying to mislead. Most of them just aren't conventionally funny. Larry needs to see a specific rabbi, who is very old. His secretary slowly shuffles back to his desk. He isn't doing anything. He says he's busy. Coen films are full of this sort of humor, that's why they're such accomplished filmmakers. Other directors don't even try to do this, and when they do, it's not as skillfully pulled off. The same can be said for when Danny is at his Bar Mitzvah. He's high, and we've seen stuff like that before, but there's no goofy music or any of that. It's all very well done and not in a way that beats the viewer over the head.

It's also not beaten over the head too much that nobody cares about Larry, even though the stuff just keeps on coming. It's on the viewer to notice that nobody cares about him, the Coens aren't going to tell you that. This is a performance that could have turned out pretty badly had Stuhlbarg played the role with anger. Instead, this is a character who simply doesn't understand why this is happening to him, who is desparate to see a senior rabbi to tell him why. What could the rabbi do? That's a pretty good question, ovviously. The free will of man isn't going to go away because somebody talks to a rabbi about it. I mean, if you believe you can go to your pastor and that'll solve everything, that's fine, but I'll tell you now it doesn't work like that. A religious leader's job is merely to give you words of guidance, but as this film shows, not everyone's guidance is of equal value. Any religious leader who tells you they can do anything more than give you guidance that may or may not work is lying to you.

It's not like Larry is the only good character, as any seasoned film viewer would know, the Coens never have only one good character. Larry is also not the best character. Sy Ableman is the best character. Sy steals Larry's wife, as I've alluded to, but it goes much further than that. After taking his wife, he wants to talk to him and help guide him into his next phase of life. How funny is this? Very funny. There is very little explanation given as to why Judith is leaving Larry. Maybe it's an assortment of things. To be clear, Larry is a dork and it's 1967. He's also extremely focused on gaining tenure. His kids make him do mundane tasks that take a lot of time, so he can't spend any of it with his family. It seems like they don't want to anyway. His family also has Larry's brother foisted on them. All these things make for an ignored wife, at least as far as the story tells it, because she's barely in the story other than to tell Larry they need to divorce.

There are a few things I didn't mention that really take the cake, but there's no point in doing so as it would ruin the movie. That being said, anyone can tell from my Sopranos reviews that I like material that makes dreams a decent sized focus of it. I'm also watching Mad Men right now, and I finished season 1. There is substantial dream related content in that. Twin Peaks is another one. Why am I bringing up these things? Well, you'll have to watch this movie, won't you. Of all the great scenes in this, I think the prologue will stick with me the most. I can't stop thinking about it and I finished watching this last night.

8.5/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #390 on: November 22, 2017, 11:06:20 AM »


Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), directed by Amy Heckerling

It was suggested to me very recently that I watch this film, but it turns out that I was going to do it this week regardless. I didn't know what to make of this when I listed it. I know the scene everyone in this film talks about. I've seen it, and it isn't a really big deal to me. So what's the deal with the rest of this? I didn't know, but I wanted to find out. When the opening credits started playing, I saw that Cameron Crowe wrote the screenplay for this film. The only film of his that I've seen is Almost Famous. That's a great one, and eventually I need to revisit it. That alone would earn somebody another chance with me. Sure, it took me around 15 years to give that chance, but oh well. I know a lot of people shit on him for his last film, which I need to watch in order to see the reason why. Anyway, back to this.

This has a big ensemble cast, I guess you could say one of them is the main character. Stacy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a young girl, coming of age. Everyone knows how that goes. Or they don't. Regardless, this film follows a group of people at a high school. I will describe them as such. Brad (Judge Reinhold) is working a McDonalds type job in order to pay off his old car. He's Stacy's brother. Brad also has a girlfriend. Stacy has a friend named Linda (Phoebe Cates), she's more experienced than Stacy, and she seems to know everything. That's her deal. Mike Damone (Robert Romanus) is a guy who thinks he's cool. He buys tickets and scalps them at a slightly higher price, making a couple spare bucks. His friend Mark (Brian Backer) is a nerd. It's not surprising that Mark would have very little career after this film. He was in his mid-20's when filming this and looked 14. Just like any other nerd, Mark wants to get laid, he just doesn't know how. There's also Spicoli (Sean Penn). Spicoli is stoned all the time and clashes with a teacher, Mr. Hand (Ray Walston). There are other characters, but I've pretty much set the table.

Why is this movie a big deal? I will give my 35 years later perspective. Obviously, there's Phoebe Cates taking her top off. I'm not going to be some kind of an idiot and claim that's not a major part of it. I have read Roger Ebert's review of this movie prior to writing mine and I could not disagree with him more. I very rarely do that, but I had a feeling that he hated this film. He thinks that this film was merely a raunchfest. It wasn't. It's not entirely unrealistic. The movie is vulgar, but that's what high school is. The film also shows the characters doing stupid things and learning from them. There are also loads of great scenes. This film is supposed to make people uncomfortable. Kids do things that they shouldn't do. They jerk off in the bathroom while people are at their house, and they get walked in on. That's the way it goes. It's not like that's the only accurate scene either, the film is loaded with them. It's just hard for me to mention them because people here have told me they didn't watch this.

It has been said by other people that this genre was pretty much dead until this film was made. It isn't like a big studio such as Universal to take chances on movies. As mentioned, people considered this film smut. How does that happen? I don't really know. It's definitely not smut in comparison to a lot of other films made previously. It's probably because they were kids. Well, the actors weren't kids, so at least there's that, and there's no reason to feel dirty for watching this. It's easy for a filmmaker to make a movie like this, but it isn't easy to keep the viewer off balance throughout. A good example in my case is when Spicoli is on screen. I couldn't stop laughing whenever he'd say something. This is one of the best portrayals that I have ever seen. Nobody else in this film is even remotely as interesting as him.

If there are any criticisms, they are mainly in relation to one character. Rat is an extremely bad caricature and I didn't enjoy watching him in this movie. Is he accurate to the way high schoolers act? Yes. I was like that until I asked out my first girlfriend. But he stayed like that for the duration of the film. He didn't learn anything or progress forward very much. The post-script makes it sound like he did to some extent, but you know, not really. I also would have liked it if Forest Whitaker had been given more lines and more opportunity to be a dick. Instead, his character exists somewhere in the background. It's too bad. This film is also somewhat dated and not realistic in the sense of drugs having become a major part of every high schoolers growing up period. Perhaps that wasn't the case in 1982, but my parents have told me otherwise and that's when my mom graduated from high school. The film is set around here and my mom went to school around here. She would know.

There are a few things that separate this from Dazed and Confused, which is a much superior movie. Not to make this sound bad, because it wasn't. It's a classic in the mind of some people and that's fine. The characters in Fast Times are so completely different though. They are focused. Most teenagers are not, they're the exact opposite. The characters in Dazed and Confused are also simply more funny. Why? I don't know, I'm not capable of answering that. Perhaps it's because I identify with them more. There are lots of kids out there that are like those in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but I wasn't one of them. It's perspectives that lead to differing opinions on movies like these ones. I also need to watch American Graffiti, and there are others that come to mind, but I probably won't ever get tired of this genre. I mean, why would anyone?

7.5/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #391 on: November 22, 2017, 06:37:19 PM »


Love & Mercy (2014), directed by Bill Pohlad

I'm pretty sure the first reaction anyone would have to my reviewing this is...why the hell am I watching a movie about the Beach Boys? It's specifically about Brian Wilson, by the way. I can tell you a few reasons I'd watch this. First, it was nominated for Golden Globes. That means I have the need to watch this at some point, and it's completely unavoidable. Second, it's expiring today and I'm too busy to watch it later today, just like everyone else is. Third, I thought John Cusack was only doing direct to video releases these days. Turns out that isn't quite true, and why he's doing them at all is totally confusing. I think he's been blackballed for something he's said, and he isn't a box office draw anyway. The last reason I decided to watch this is because I like Elizabeth Banks. So, there you go. That's a full explanation. I know absolutely jack shit about the Beach Boys. They are not relevant to my generation. This film is a lot different than other musical biopics though, and I think people should watch it.

This film sets up nice and easy, in a completely unconfusing way. It alternates between the 1960's and 1980's at its own leisure, so there were parts when I was ready for the scenery to change again prior to it doing so. The film focuses on a younger (Paul Dano) version of Brian Wilson, and an older (John Cusack) version. I'll start with the younger. Brian had an episode on a plane, after which he has a discussion with the rest of the Beach Boys that leads to him no longer going on tour with them. Instead, he's going to put together their albums and music. Sounds like a plan, right? The older version of him is presented in a totally different way. He seems depressed. He goes to buy a Cadillac and has many people surrounding him, which doesn't make any sense. While shopping for the car, he meets Melinda (Elizabeth Banks), and gets her phone number. This is pretty obviously a strange guy. It turns out that he's on a heavy medication regiment prescribed by his doctor, Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti). Why? These are things you find out. If you are even moderately interested in the story that I have detailed to this point, and if you don't already know it, stop reading here.

The picture I have presented makes it sound like the film focuses more on the older version of him than the younger one, but it's actually the opposite. You know why I said this is different than other musical films? For starters, this film shows Brian Wilson's creative process. I am one of those people who has always been interested in seeing a musical film that spends time in the studio. Why are the songs what they are? This film perfectly illustrates how that's the case, even though this isn't a subject I cared about prior to turning this on. This isn't the usual musical film. Nobody's death is shown. Nobody goes crazy on drugs. There is actually minimal redemption for the character as none is needed. This is also quite a dark film. It is easy to see why this didn't do a big box office number, it's not for everyone.

The flaws in the film relate to its pacing and ease of alternating between realities. That's probably not the best way to phrase what happens, but it sounds acceptable to me. The story is told very well throughout, and there is plenty of focus given to other characters as they pertain to the Beach Boys during the creation of Pet Sounds and afterward. Not too much of the afterward, though. It is made clear that there were disagreements with Wilson's new recording style. It is also made clear that his mental problems didn't just occur someday, they got worse over a period of time. There is no explanation why this happened. He currently claims that this happened at some point after taking LSD. Another problem that I'm thinking of as I go along is that Wilson's mental illness was probably sanitized to some extent, but it's a movie about someone, and I guess you expect that.

Obviously, this is a strange film, but I haven't even gotten into the best stuff about Wilson's auditory hallucinations, of which there were many. How does a film portray something like that? That's a tough one. Instead they are established during a recording session when his overbearing father walks in to give the band shit. There's also a scene during a dinner party where he's unable to focus on anything other than the grinding of knives and forks. This film doesn't go as far as I'd like in portraying his time on psychedelics, which seems like a budget decision. It's too bad. Other bright spots were Giamatti and Dano. First of all, is Giamatti going to be in every musical biopic from now on? I can get used to it, but it's weird how he's so easily able to slip in and portray these kinds of controlling characters. I guess that's his thing. It's impossible to describe what I think about Dano other than that he seems like a genuinely weird guy. I don't really want to know more about him, but that's the feeling I get. I also can't shake his portrayals of Alex Jones and Eli Sunday. This portrayals seems to slide in perfectly among them. What can I say? I guess he makes a good mentally unstable kind of guy.

By no means is this a perfect film, and if I made it sound like one that's my fault. This is somewhat limited in my eyes because of the subject matter. Sure, the director got me to care about the Beach Boys just a little bit, that was a difficult job and I'll give some credit out for that. But, it's still a film about someone I have no attachment to. If this was a solo case study about a person who wasn't real, the film would be just as good in my eyes. If you don't know Wilson's story, this film is even better, so that's why I left disclaimers above. There are a few things I would have liked to see in this film that were detailed and not portrayed on screen, so that's too bad. I also saw Cusack's portrayal as being a bit similar to Tony Soprano when in a dream state. Maybe I'm offbase there, but the similarities were too many to not mention. This is a good film, but I will never revisit it.

7/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #392 on: November 23, 2017, 04:22:11 PM »


Legend (2015), directed by Brian Helgeland

Is this the first time I've reviewed something where an actor plays two characters? I think that it may be. This is yet another biopic, which I wanted to get out of the way before moving on to continue the rest of my month. It's also yet another modern film where I revisit the 1960's. This is the third time this month, and I've been watching Mad Men this whole time as well. I was also intrigued to see why Tom Hardy would take on two roles. It's difficult enough to play one role, and it would seem to be easier that he'd be playing twin brothers, but I don't see how that's the case. The brothers are quite different. They required two different accents. One is homosexual and the other is not. This is quite a strange movie as a result of that, in combination with the fact that the director doesn't really know what to do with this story.

Reggie and Ron Kray (Tom Hardy) were gangsters in London, both of whom were totally different. The film does its best to illustrate that to a certain point. Reggie is more of a smooth operator who likes to rely on threats and scams in order to grow the family business. Ron, on the other hand, is a complete nutjob. He was in a psychiatric hospital until Reggie was able to threaten a doctor into releasing him. Basically, these guys were thugs. As the story tells it, Reggie becomes smitten with Frances (Emily Browning), a sister of someone who was driving him around. Ron does not like this, and has quite a difficult time accepting this. There's a strange cast of characters in this film, that's for sure. Nipper Read (Christopher Eccleston) is tasked with following the Kray's around and trying to put a case on them. His efforts are stymied and he fades in and out of the story at the director's leisure. Mad Teddy (Taron Egerton) is a psychotic lover of Ron's who seems to have partnered up with him to do business. Alright. Lastly, there's Leslie Payne (David Thewlis), a guy who walks the straight and narrow for the brothers. He's their business man and ensures they don't get caught doing anything.

The paragraph I have left above probably illustrates well why this doesn't work. What exactly is this movie about, and what is it trying to tell us? The answer is that it's about the Krays and isn't trying to tell us anything whatsoever. This film is basically a big nothing. Tom Hardy is tasked with keeping the film interesting all on his own. This is far too long for the story that has been told, and the characters surrounding the Kray brothers aren't the best either. Frances is a good example of that. She narrates the film and tells it from her perspective, but her character just wasn't strong enough to provide this film with any kind of balance. This film is loaded with caricatures of the genre as they pertain to her. That's not the worst thing in the world as long as the story being told is intriguing. It isn't. Emily Browning is really pretty and sympathetic, but this just didn't work.

This is another clear attempt to make a Scorsese movie without the capability of pulling it off. I believe I have established that I am not automatically against this, there is merely a way of doing it right and a way of doing it wrong. This is the latter. There are characters introduced without knowing what they're even there for and music that doesn't fit scenes. I don't think I'm jaded on this genre, I believe I could immediately turn on another gangster film and not have these kinds of problems. I also think that to some extent this film glorifies what the Kray brothers did. It's a matter of presentation. Related to that, I'm a bit tired of the idea that associates bring down criminal organizations like these ones. Especially when the film makes the opposite so obvious, yet refuses to go down that road. I don't understand it.

Unfortunately, this film wastes two great performances by Tom Hardy, who is above this kind of material. At least there were too good characters here. I would hate to imagine if this film didn't have them. There are too many side stories to be told that weren't told, and I'd hate to think this film would turn out longer. So, I'm glad they weren't. I think this was a decent film, but I don't really like it and will probably only revisit a couple scenes from it. The Krays are somewhat of a mythic figure in London, but that's an era long gone by, and in ten or twenty years nobody will care. Time moves on, and perhaps it's time to stop making average movies in a way that doesn't relate the material in them to the present.

6/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Offline Kotzenjunge

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #393 on: November 25, 2017, 02:27:43 PM »
Peter Sellers was multiple characters in Dr. Strangelove so you've written on a movie like that before.

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #394 on: November 29, 2017, 06:52:48 AM »
I forgot about that.



Pitch Black (2000), directed by David Twohy

For some reason I keep calling this movie Pitch Blake, so if I continue to do it throughout this post it's a complete and total accident. Anyway, until the last month or so, I didn't realize there was a movie about Riddick prior to The Chronicles of Riddick. I wouldn't have watched this otherwise, it's good that I found this out. I wonder if some other people were confused in a similar way. Its been a little while since I watched any movie related to space. Independence Day: Resurgence is related to space I suppose, that was around a month and a half ago. Stargate was another. That was a long time ago though. Does this movie measure up to those pieces of shit? The answer is clearly yes.

It's the future, and there's a ship transporting passengers to various planets. The passengers are frozen, including the captain and the ship's crew. We aren't told about the passengers for quite a while, but there's a problem. Debris knocks the ship off course and wakes everyone up, because that's not supposed to happen, after all. The captain gets hit with debris that penetrates the hull, so it's on the surviving crew members to land the ship. Carolyn (Radha Mitchell) wants to dump the passengers in order to do so, but her co-pilot won't let her. She's able to land the ship, but in the process quite a few of the passengers die, and some guy who was in a pod that wasn't allowed to be open is now free. Why did it say not to open the pod?

You may have figured it out, but Riddick (Vin Diesel) was a prisoner. Why? Apparently he's killed some people. There's no further explanation than that. Once the ship is landed, we're introduced to the other passengers. Johns (Cole Hauser) is Riddick's captor and he's transporting Riddick to prison. At least he wanted to. Imam (Keith David) is a, you guessed it, imam, who was bringing some pilgrims to a planet called New Mecca. The pilgrims passage is complicated by their lack of English speaking ability. There's also some bougie looking guy named Paris (Lewis Fitz-Gerald), who seems to be there as a plot device. There's no water on the planet the ship lands on, but he was bringing a lot of liquor to wherever he was going. Jack is a boy who seems to idolize Riddick for some strange reason. There's also Shazza (Claudia Black). I don't know why she's there.

This is a sci-fi movie in the similar way that Alien is. It's more of a horror movie, with the similar tropes and cliches that reside in the genre. That isn't to say it's not good. It's pretty good. The premise of the movie is sound. It is daylight on the planet all the time because there are three suns. There are creatures who reside in the dark, which there isn't very much of. What happens if it gets dark? Sorry to spoil the movie like that, but there it is. The main thing that hangs over the movie is that we know Riddick is a convict. The idea is presented that he will kill everyone and leave on his own. So is the idea that he'd leave everyone there. Why wouldn't he? They all know who he is and he was somebody's prisoner. Nobody really trusts him and he doesn't trust them.

That isn't to say this movie is perfect, it obviously isn't, nothing that sounds this cliched could possibly be. The special effects are all really dated and look bad. I think the film's pictures of the outside would have been bad even 17 years ago. That's what happens when doing mid-budget science fiction, so there's nothing really wrong with that. It is very noticeable though. Second is that Cole Hauser is once again incapable of playing a bad guy. I don't know who saw this and thought it was initially a good idea to pair Vin Diesel with him again in 2 Fast 2 Furious. But, no. Definitely not. There's something about him that I just can't stand and it's not in the good villain kind of way. He's like Jeff Jarrett or something. Glad I haven't had to see him in anything else, but eventually something will come up. There's also the usual horror movie problem of the characters only existing to be killed. But that's not really a big deal.

All in all, this was a decent movie. The plot of it carried the whole thing as this wasn't full of good performances or anything like that. Lots of decent set pieces and design, as well as the objective being pretty clear. I liked it.

7/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #395 on: November 29, 2017, 01:50:04 PM »


The Deer Hunter (1978), directed by Michael Cimino

If I had known how depressing this film was prior to watching it, I definitely wouldn't have. I don't know what I was thinking or what I was expecting, but for fuck's sake. I could barely handle some of these scenes. That was rough. I tried to wait for as long as possible to watch this, and I nearly let it expire prior to doing so. It's hard to get in the mood for a war movie, especially when one is three hours. That's a hell of a time commitment, and as I've told people before, I don't ever split movies in half to watch half at one time and the next half at another time. It's a full run through it. How does one even write about a movie like this? What could I possibly say of value that hasn't already been said? In attempting to do so, I will write this before reading a single thing about the movie. Other than the cast list, of course.

I have absolutely no idea how to properly summarize the plot. It's kind of impossible to do, and I've never tried to do so for a three hour film. The short version is that there are three parts. Before Vietnam, Vietnam, and after Vietnam. Before Vietnam, it's small town America. Steel working. What real men used to do. Mike (Robert De Niro), Steven (John Savage), and Nick (Christopher Walken) are heading to Vietnam. There's quite a lot of stuff going on around them prior to do so. Their friends Stan (John Cazale), Axel (Chuck Aspegren), and John (George Dzundza) are not going, but they have quite big parts in the film. I wouldn't mention them otherwise. Steven is getting married to Angela (Rutanya Alda), and Nick has a girlfriend named Linda (Meryl Streep). So, all that said, I'm not going to tell anyone what they do prior to Vietnam. At least in this paragraph. I'm pretty sure everyone's seen this, though. There's so much here that I can't possibly write about it all. There's just a massive amount of things to discuss. The wedding scene and setup took almost a whole fucking hour to get through. The deer hunting a little bit more. Then there's Vietnam.

It's a Vietnam movie, yeah, but at the same time it isn't. The film takes no care with heading to Vietnam, you are jolted straight into the scene. You aren't told about what Mike, Steven, and Nick have been doing. You are merely shown one thing. Mike is clearly the leader of the group. That's clear before they get there. This film is certainly not for the faint of heart. The scene with the flamethrower is one thing. I have no idea if Vietcong dropped grenades into hovels with children and women in them. I haven't read about the war. I'm sure they did. The Russian roulette is another. Are there many more harrowing scenes than this? With this being so soon after the war finished, I'm sure there was lots of nitpicking for accuracy. I don't really give a shit about that. It's a fucking crazy scene, end of story. As long as you don't know what's going to happen, anyway. Due to that, I have to stop spoiling stuff.

This film is excellent at maintaining the element of surprise. Due to how long it is, and due to the way the film is set up at the beginning with not making anyone definitively the main character, if you don't know what's going to happen beforehand, you're in for a treat. A depressing treat, anyway. Literally the entire plot is on Wikipedia if you don't want to spend three hours watching something that will make you feel like you need a Prozac. There were various points at which I couldn't believe what I was watching. That's quality filmmaking and I think it should be the main objective of a film like this. You shouldn't know what's coming. This material is treated the way it is supposed to be. This isn't supposed to be cavalier. It is a telling of how a war sticks with people. We are not supposed to forget what happens to the people who are there. They don't and neither do the people around them, even if those people are not made aware of what happened to their returning soldier. That's what the post-Vietnam scenes mean.

Is this an anti-war film? Yes. Almost all war films should be, and if you don't get that kind of feeling from them, you're a little bit psychotic. In doing so, it is inevitable that the other side of the portrayal in the film will be bad. I'm sure a lot of people around the world detested the Vietnamese portrayal. They were portrayed as savages and I can't really say anything to the contrary of that. The Russian roulette scene is another thing that, like I said, I don't know that it happened. Why would the Vietcong put a loaded gun in an American soldier's hand? I don't think they would, so I'm left a little bit confused. I am not confused by what the scenes mean. Isn't that what a war is? The people who place soldiers into a war theater are playing Russian roulette with the lives of those men. That's reality.

This film is long as I mentioned, which is obviously a big and divisive problem. I do not care how long a movie is as long as the story that's being told is compelling. Sure, it takes some time to get through this, but can anyone say this wasn't a good story? I think I'd like to see an explanation from somebody who thinks that it wasn't. I'm not from this era, so my feelings about the war from what I know are different than those who were. Everyone has their own opinion of it. I'm afraid to ask on some level. My grandma married someone who was there and they never talked about it with anyone. I lived with them for a brief time and the subject wasn't allowed to be talked about. Naturally, a film like this would piss some veterans off. Some would believe it was an accurate representation. I thought it was a great film.

9/10
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Offline cobainwasmurdered

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #396 on: November 29, 2017, 01:53:26 PM »
I find the before portion of the movie a huge drag to get through. Everything past that is fantastic.

Online Saddam of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #397 on: November 29, 2017, 01:58:47 PM »
Embarrassing tbh that was great storytelling.
koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Offline IRS Abdominal Stretch

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #398 on: November 29, 2017, 02:07:35 PM »
I agree with 909, here. I feel the first act did a great job setting up everyone's character, and while not as exciting as the other two acts is still great.

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #399 on: November 29, 2017, 02:08:04 PM »
Yeah

Anyways the Russian Roulette scene is one of the ones I go back to when I think about how young De Niro might be the greatest actor as I get older.