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Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #950 on: October 13, 2018, 04:26:45 AM »
After seeing it, I'm disagreeing with your assessment of Hell Fest on the grounds that it's horror comfort food and does a good job of subverting some slasher tropes while embracing others. The kills are actually the weaker part, but the meta-narrative within, where characters don't find classic horror elements frightening until the knife is coming at them, is brilliant. The dialogue between the cast is also very solid, with some exceptions, and the growing relationship between Natalie and Gavin is one of the best things going for it, one I wish they dedicated more time to.

I couldn't get over how much I hated the cast (specifically Bex) and the ending.


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 #951 on: October 13, 2018, 05:28:21 AM »
Bex had her moments, but it probably didn't hurt that I grew up with so many people like that. It was actually Matt Mercurio's Asher that I couldn't stand.

The ending was a few beats too long, but I enjoyed it for the throwback factor.

Maybe the real deep state was the friends we made along the way.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #952 on: October 13, 2018, 06:41:41 PM »


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), directed by David Fincher

Something which should have started a franchise, except for the little part about Sony deciding that finances matter more than quality filmmaking, as pretty much any studio would. I'm a little surprised that the budget for this film was $90 million in the first place, but after all, it's David Fincher. Everything he makes has to look and feel exactly as intended, with no compromise. As I have just said, these things have positives and negatives. It was entirely intended for this to become a series, but now we are jumping forward to The Girl in the Spider's Web. I intend not to watch too many excellent movies one after the other, but the problem here is that I need to watch The Girl in the Spider's Web once it comes out in theaters, which is just one month from now. While that isn't a direct sequel, it comes out in less than a month and therefore I needed to space out these portrayals too. My expectations for that, naturally, are much lower. Claire Foy was strong in First Man, but does she really have the ability to pull this off? We shall see. I also intend to watch the Swedish versions of the following two movies in this series at some point in the future. If unable to get the full story in English, considering I don't want to read, why not get it in another language?

Having not seen the original, I have a different feeling on this than many who have. In Stockholm, divorced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) has been sued for libel and lost to a very powerful businessman. Simultaneously, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) is investigating Blomkvist at the behest of a business magnate, Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer). She doesn't know anything about why, just that this is something she needs to do. Lisbeth has a hard life, with a state appointed guardian because apparently she is too mentally incompetent to handle her own affairs, whatever that means. I suppose I will continue to tell her story in the rest of this paragraph. Her appointed guardian has a fall, which leads to her being appointed a new one, Nils (Yorick van Wageningen). Nils is very obviously not going to be a good guy. He uses his authority to extract sexual favors from Lisbeth, which eventually turns into a rape that Lisbeth recorded. What could someone in her mental state possibly do in response?  She'll take care of the problem. We also learn over the course of her story that she's a computer hacker, one who knows how to access everything that the hardly technologically literate cannot possibly figure out. Whether she has to do it legally or illegally is nobody else's concern.

Of course, let's get back to Mikael. Mikael was convinced that he had great journalistic information on his target, but he didn't. He and his lover Erika (Robin Wright) share ownership of Millennium, a magazine which will certainly be destroyed as a result of the losses Mikael took in the lawsuit. The thing is, as we know, someone's interested in him. He's given an offer to travel to Hedestad, a very distant (fictional) town in Sweden. Henrik wants Mikael to investigate the disappearance and murder of a relative, Harriet. This happened 40 years ago. In return, Henrik will double Mikael's salary and give him information on the man he lost the lawsuit to, Hans-Erik Wennerstrom. Mikael is subsequently asked to move onto the Vagner estate, where Henrik makes clear the situation. Barely anyone in the family speaks to each other. Martin (Stellan Skarsgard) is Henrik's grandnephew (if I got this right), and he lives on a hill overlooking the island. He and Henrik speak to each other. Henrik does not speak to his brother Harald (Per Myrberg), a Nazi who keeps all that stuff out in the open inside his house. He loved being a Nazi. Cecilia (Geraldine James) is his daughter and they do not speak. The caretaker would seem to be the only one who speaks to everyone, but besides that, there are lots of frayed relationships. Mikael is at a complete loss about a book he's given with some random numbers and initials. The question anyone unfamiliar with the material would wonder is how Mikael and Lisbeth would come together in the first place.

This is an enormous investigation, which is cool, but I have major misgivings about the epilogue. Fifteen minutes of what turned out to be unnecessary material being shoved into the movie is not cool. The point was seemingly to set up a sequel, which as we now know, did not happen. That's too bad and it would have made more sense in the context of a series, but I'm sure for a viewer in theaters, they felt as I felt that this film became too bloated as a result of the ending. That aside, I thought this was a pretty good movie. The immense amount of characters leads to the investigation being incredibly sprawling, which I found was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's greatest strength. I didn't think the film was bloated until after the main investigation completed, I should note. Fincher's capability of handling movies such as these is well noted at this point. Zodiac, however, is much better than this due to the amount of time given to the pieces of the investigation. Here, things moved far quicker, which considering the inclusion of the epilogue is for the best. The material here is cold and vengeful, which is an interesting contrast to a large amount of these sorts of stories. The much discussed revenge scene worked out very well. There is an overindulgent mistake in terms of revisiting it later on, I thought.

What I seem to remember everyone wanting to see at the time of this production was for Lisbeth Salander's portrayal to be true to source material. As I don't know the material, I can only phrase the portrayal as very different. Obviously, we know that very bad things happened to her, but none of them are mentioned in the film. The vulnerability of this character disappears as rapidly as one things she may be a victim throughout the entire film. It's quite nice. A perfect film this is not, but her inclusion into the investigation leads to things progressing in a different fashion than they otherwise would have. I am left to recall The Ghost Writer, a movie I reviewed where Ewan McGregor played a nameless character and had to complete one of these investigations on his own. He was sent to Martha's Vineyard under the guise of writing a biography, and so was Mikael. Eventually, they both were found out. Those two films are both quite similar and quite good in my opinion. So similar in fact that I'm going to give them the same rating. Both benefit from their directors, both needing heavy guidance from Fincher and Polanski in order to bring everything home. In the case of these movies, I think Polanski got the absolute maximum from his script whereas the script may have hurt Fincher's effort. The epilogue is unforgivable.

Even with these problems, ultimately The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo benefits from its huge cast, and true, tireless lead portrayals. If casting Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig, a movie should be good. I can't see how it wouldn't be. That the movie is also in one of my favorite genres is just another big benefit. Some credit should also be given to Fincher for condensing the book. While I didn't read the book, I read some summarizations and comments about the book. It appears that the subplot with Millennium was far too large, and the epilogue was even larger than shown on screen here. It also appears that Mikael would fuck anything that walks. This is not something I think lends itself well to an American film. The resolution of the crime, by the way, is excellent. I have tried not to be specific, but I liked things played out in a fashion that was more bumbling than calculated. Stories with all the answers tend to present more problems than their worth. Ones where someone comes out of nowhere and foolishly commits down a road when nobody's even sure of what they did wrong, that's a hell of a lot better. Impulsiveness is a hell of a thing. While things don't work out as awesomely as I would have liked, as they did in Zodiac, I think this is a great movie on a far lesser level than Zodiac. The chase scene, and particularly the framing of the aftermath, was a huge winner. I've never explored 2011 on any real level, and I really need to see Tree of Life, but I thought the cinematography in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was superb on a level that would be hard to match.

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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #953 on: October 14, 2018, 06:24:46 PM »


Miracle at St. Anna (2008), directed by Spike Lee

A movie best known for Spike Lee attempting to start a public feud with Clint Eastwood, Miracle at St. Anna should probably only be known for that and not anything else. A film as disjointed as anything Spike Lee has ever made, lacking oomph and being far too long, unfortunately this is a film that in attempting to tell a story about Buffalo Soldiers winds up stereotyping a slew of other groups in the process. I will say that it appears as if Spike Lee didn't have much of a choice in his characterizations, the film is ultimately adapted from a book I haven't read. With that in mind, I shouldn't be too harsh, and this is a work of fiction that I should treat as such. Miracle at St. Anna has a lot of pieces that should lead to a good film. It's about World War II, in the Italian theater, something which isn't covered very much by English language movies of late. Spike Lee directed it and I usually enjoy his work. There are two battle scenes as well. Why wasn't this good? I have numerous complaints, but I will save almost all of them. The main problem with the story in Miracle at St. Anna is, the movie slows down to glacial pace. This also runs for about two hours and thirty minutes. That's bad. Real bad.

Our film begins in 1983, something entirely jarring in a sense that I found to be entirely unnecessary for the purposes of the story. There are also needless cameos in this story before we move forward. Hector Negron is an older World War II veteran who works in a post office. He recognizes a customer and shoots him dead with a Luger he brought to work. Some hours later, it's time for an investigation. At his apartment, a reporter and two detectives discovered a statue head that's worth tons of money, a Purple Heart, and a picture showing some of Negron's other awards during the war. Negron has been placed in a mental hospital because none of this makes any sense (go figure), but eventually, after some prodding, he's willing to tell his story. There are major problems with this sequence. The existence of Negron post-WWII lets the viewer know that he survives, which kills some intrigue. We also know that the statue head went home with him, and that he got injured in the course of the fighting. Again, this is adapted from a novel, but it leads me to wonder whether this is a novel about Buffalo Soldiers that merited adaptation. I will continue.

Finally, after that laborious introduction, we move back in time to the 92nd Infantry Division. There are cameos from known actors in this and the opening sequence, but our film centers on four specific GI's. Staff Sgt. Aubrey Stamps (Derek Luke) is their leader, Sgt. Bishop Cummings (Michael Ealy) is an arrogant sort who hates authority, Cpl. Hector Negron (Laz Alonso) is a man we have already met, and Pfc. Sam Train (Omar Benson Miller) is the most ridiculous and ludicrous character I have ever seen in one of these movies. The 92nd is sent to attack German positions across the Serchio River in Tuscany, and it goes extremely poorly. These four guys are the only ones to make it across, and we get a scene where artillery is called down on their position as the commanding officer doesn't believe they could have possibly crossed the river. This leads to even worse scenes, as it is revealed Sam is carrying the statue head from earlier in the film. He believes the head has magical powers, and seeing as that's the case, he wouldn't just give it to Negron, so we know what happened to him. Sorry to be so blunt. Sam and Bishop rescue an Italian boy named Angelo from a collapsing building, and subsequently the group heads to a small Tuscan village. The movie slows down so badly from this point, but there's two things worth mentioning. The group winds up staying in a house owned by a fascist with a hot daughter, Renata (Valentina Cervi). Secondly, Italian Partisans are roaming the hills, and the group's radio does not work.

I want to stop there because the middle of the movie is so devoid of plot development that I could easily write about things two hours into the film without spoiling anything. The film lacks intrigue once the statue head is shown and when it is explained why it's being kept, but the intrigue dissipates even more once the Partisans show up in the village and we see the guy Negron killed 40 years later. In that sense, the opening sequence seems like an even more gigantic blunder. I don't like the story, but I can tell you how the film should have started. It should have started with Negron in the mental hospital. It should have featured Joseph Gordon Levitt's character asking him why he would randomly kill some Italian guy. I have just chopped off 15 minutes of the film very easily. I don't think this would have made things very much better as I really detested one of these characters, but the film could move at a more brisk pace. Of course, Spike Lee is an indulgent director, sometimes to great benefit and sometimes in bad ways, this being the latter. I often appreciate his thorough approach, but the opening sequence is horrible.

There are some positives with the story, same as any World War II film. I find that his approach to dealing with scenes about race relations always work for me. There are a few major stereotypes in terms of how the command structure is presented, but there are also some really good flashbacks. The scene as the ice cream shop in Louisiana is a major winner. Some of the imagery qualifies as such too. We know Spike Lee, so once he gets to showing montages of posters, those are the scenes that really hit hardest. The social commentary about how black soldiers would feel outside of our country in comparison to our own is largely corroborated by those who fought in various wars. The presentation of Axis Sally isn't supposed to be exact, but I thought the scene was quite poignant in terms of showing the kinds of propaganda that Nazis would use. I also thought Negron's character himself was quite good, and so were the two Partisan characters in the movie. These are all positives, and to some extent the only things keeping this from being an all-time stinker. The scene at the Serchio is shot in Mel Gibson fashion, not for the faint hearted.

While Miracle at St. Anna was shot on a smaller budget than many other war epics, the budget for Hacksaw Ridge ten years later was even less, so I have no positive comments for the way that Miracle at St. Anna slowed down in the middle. The film was an absolute boring drain for far too much of it, and the parts that weren't boring in this span were dominated by Sam. If there's one thing I really hate about war movies, it's when the trope of 'soldier too stupid to be there' is used. Sam Train is the absolute worst case of this trope I have ever seen. The stuff that he says and does, I just can't handle it. It's such an enormous pile of bullshit. There are too many things in the plot that are disjointed, too much that doesn't make sense, too much of the movie that simply lacks real impact. Other than Sam and his childish mentality, these characters lack real development. Far too much time is spent on Angelo as well, I never  got to talking about that, but the thing is, I really don't want to. I have done a sizable review as fast as I possibly could. I don't mind historical inaccuracies in these movies, after all Saving Private Ryan has an absolutely massive amount of them. It's that the fictional story here just isn't good, that there's a good story about Buffalo Soldiers left on the table, one that will probably never be made now. It's too bad. I think studios learn the wrong lessons from movies like these. It isn't that the subject isn't worthy of recognition, it's that the manner of telling the story was entirely backwards and too focused on other things.

3.5/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #954 on: October 15, 2018, 02:02:18 PM »


Bad Times at the El Royale (2018), directed by Drew Goddard

Perhaps more than any other movie all year, Bad Times at the El Royale is a movie that was sold to me on the strength of its marketed. It appears that people do not feel the same way and that the movie is going to bomb. Once again, as with First Man, I do not understand. Perhaps it is because the movie is simply too long for modern audiences, this is something that I have seen many complaints about, most cannot handle movies of any length longer than 100 minutes unless there are superheroes in it. While I understand that, it means the market for these kinds of films is dying very quickly. That's too bad. While Bad Times at the El Royale is very indulgent, and I will certainly have some complaints about that, this is a good movie. There are not too many adult themed, long drawn out thrillers that are good movies anymore. The movie is fun, different, featuring a lot of actors who I like, most of whom I don't often see. In some cases, that's because I don't pay attention. In others, it's because they don't do all that much. Jeff Bridges has been in a few things lately, for example. I don't pay attention. In any case, with the movie being set in 1969 and all that, it's inevitable I would like it. Did I love it though?

Bad Times at the El Royale is a huge sprawler, with multiple different plot elements and some scenes that are shown multiple times from different perspectives. Needless to say, I like that. We open in 1959, with a man (Nick Offerman) arriving at the El Royale hotel to bury money in the floor. After he finishes doing so, he's shot by another man and killed, but that guy has no idea where the money is, so he leaves. We move forward ten years to our current situation, with guests checking into the El Royale. If you've seen any promotional material you already know this, but half the hotel is in Nevada and half is in California. There are interesting intricacies on both sides, but the casino on the Nevada side has been closed for unstated reasons. Our guests are as follows. There's a Catholic priest, Daniel Flynn (Jeff Bridges); Laramie Sullivan (Jon Hamm), a vacuum salesman; Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo), a great but struggling singer; and Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson), a very aggressive hippie who arrives after all the rest. I have been deliberately vague in describing the opening as I think it's quite funny. The only employee at the El Royale is Miles Miller (Lewis Pullman), and the job is much too hard for him to do alone. Half the rooms aren't clean, maybe even more, and there's nobody to tend the bar or do much of anything they're supposed to do.

Unbeknownst to the guests, there's something going on here. Something extremely weird, something that apparently only one of them is even remotely aware of, because he was sent there on a mission. It turns out that there was a reason Laramie Sullivan demanded the honeymoon suite, it's because he knows there's a surveillance operation going on at the El Royale. Nobody seems to know who runs it, but this is a major problem. When important guests came to the hotel in the past, back when this thing was really moving, Miles was tasked with making recordings of things those guests were doing. He was also supposed to send those recordings to somewhere in Pennsylvania. I have no idea what, or even if this is referencing anything. Sullivan is actually an FBI agent, his name is Dwight Broadbeck and he has been sent to investigate the hotel. He finds and removes a ton of surveillance equipment, which leads us to the last thing in the trailer I'll reveal, the mirror system. The mirror system, as shown in the trailer, allows the hotel workers (in the past I assume there were more) to spy on people through the mirrors in every room. There's a tunnel where the worker can set up a camera to film, too. So, why would an FBI agent possibly be there? Draw your own conclusions. This is a movie that I don't really want to spoil as to do so opens up tons of other questions. The fact is, everyone's at the El Royale for their own reasons, nefarious or not. You must watch the movie to find out.

Some of the twists and turns in this movie are very well disguised and unexpected, but there's one in the trailer that isn't a twist or turn. It's that Chris Hemsworth plays a cult leader. I didn't know how to work him into the other paragraphs. Despite how good this cast is, the budget of the film came in at $32 million, not too shabby for a Hollywood movie these days. This is supposed to feel like a Quentin Tarantino movie, which I think is something Drew Goddard really accomplished. The dialogue isn't very similar, but the unknowns of each character are like in those movies. The characters are also incredibly dissimilar, which leads to good dialogue when they interact with each other, and the film is stuffed with plot development. The way Goddard tells the plot has positives and negatives. The scene showing a major event from different perspectives is a real winner, but it also has its problems, it gives off the feeling that there's no way to resolve what just happened without introducing new characters. It turns out that was correct. There is at least a moral center in this movie, Darlene. I'm completely unfamiliar with Cynthia Erivo, who is apparently a singer and theater performer, but her performance here as the only real person of the bunch was strong. The setting also works heavily to the benefit of the events, and I like the implications of what has been done with the films made at the hotel.

There are downsides though, and most of them are in relation to the film's ending. I found it to be drawn out to the point of excess on multiple levels. First, there's David Lynch style scenes, similar to when the man sweeps the floor in Twin Peaks, where here we are shown the inner workings of a jukebox during a crucial sequence. I am not sure if this was intended to build tension, I do not know why it was even here. The ending is drawn out in the sense of the epilogue being unnecessary. Two characters told each other they would do something and they did it. I don't think we needed to see any of that. There are other issues with the cast becoming too large, these are things that lead to the time of the film also becoming too large, and that's a bit of an issue for me. I also would have liked something with one of the pieces of film to be explained. I think this could have done more with the story had it been confirmed that Nixon was taping political officials with the purpose of using those tapes as bribes during election time. There is a Nixon speech early in the film, but this is something that remains unresolved.

I liked how creepy this movie was despite my complaints, but the drawn out factor of the ending is really enormous to me. I don't know how to talk about it without explaining the entire movie, but the closing scenes make sense yet don't really fit into the way I like to view movies. I also found practically no emotional attachment to any of the characters bar one, our guy Laramie Sullivan. Who isn't emotionally attached to Don Draper in some kind of way? I heard numerous people laugh the moment he appeared on screen for the first time. Bad Times at the El Royale is something that I think is extremely likely to hold up well over time and become a cult film. It is very layered, and it is likely I wouldn't care too much about the ending if I watched this again, which I will do with my parents in a few months. The movie is very enjoyable despite its faults, and it's too bad it won't make enough money to support making more of these kinds of movies. Hollywood talent is nowhere near close to running out of ideas, but people whine about Hollywood running out of ideas and they won't even go see the movies that are out there. Like, what? The last two movies I've seen are perfect examples of things that Hollywood either didn't do or couldn't do years ago, these things were finally made, and nobody's going to watch them. I don't understand why people whine so much if they won't follow through with their demands for originality.

7.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
5. Blindspotting
6. On My Skin
7. Private Life
8. Eighth Grade
9. Sorry to Bother You
10. Bad Times at the El Royale
11. Searching
12. A Simple Favor
13. Hold the Dark
14. The Land of Steady Habits
15. Monsters and Men
16. White Boy Rick
17. Papillon
18. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
19. Alpha
20. The Predator
21. The Angel
22. The Commuter
23. The Nun
24. Operation Finale
25. The Equalizer 2
26. The Spy Who Dumped Me
27. Venom
28. Skyscraper
29. The Meg
30. Assassination Nation
31. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
32. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
33. The Little Stranger
34. Night School
35. Peppermint
36. Mile 22
37. The First Purge
38. Kin
39. Hell Fest
40. The Happytime Murders
41. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #955 on: October 15, 2018, 06:12:02 PM »


Rocky IV (1985), directed by Sylvester Stallone

Perhaps the most ridiculous of them all, Rocky IV simultaneously brings the best and worst of jingoism to the table. This will be short. The Creed movies are doing a great deal to redeem this franchise, but these are movies that simply shouldn't have been made in the first place. To Stallone's credit, he decided to make this full of amazing montages that nearly saved the movie entirely. I cannot pad this review as I do with many others, because I don't have a lot of things to say in the opening section. Everyone knows the lines that Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) has, but I've never watched this before. The lack of realism is what really gets to me, the plot is also not developed enough as a result of those montages, and overall the movie serves as a homage to Reaganism. You can make of that what you want, but that isn't a great legacy to leave. Sorry I am absolutely crapping on this film, but it is actually difficult for me to motivate myself to write about it. It's like Seinfeld, everything's the same and you either like it or you don't.

Ivan Drago is a Soviet amateur boxing champion, and he's headed to the United States with his wife, Ludmilla (Brigitte Nielsen). Ivan is managed by Nicolai Koloff (Michael Pataki), who tells the world about how great the Soviet Union really is. After Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) gets tired of it, he's motivated by the chance to show Ivan Drago about the goddamn USA. Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) thinks that Apollo has nothing to prove, that he might get hurt. Apollo feels the need to prove that he can still fight, even though that completely defies logic. Rocky asks Apollo who the fight is really against, and he doesn't answer. After a testy press conference, Creed and Drago have their exhibition fight. Why an exhibition? I don't get it. Anyway, Creed's entrance is amazing and he's played to the ring by James Brown. The fight doesn't go well for Apollo. He lands some stuff, it does nothing, and Duke (Tony Burton) begs Apollo to give up. He doesn't, so Drago literally kills him. Rocky's journey the rest of the movie is to exact revenge, although this is very literally never stated as his reasoning for taking the fight.

I usually do five paragraphs when I'm struggling with things to say, but in this case with no real introduction, it will only be four. The way that Rocky never verbalizes his feelings to anyone about Drago heavily detracts from the film. His character doesn't need further motivation, but the audience needs to hear his motivation. This is never given. The montages are great considering that the film doesn't have any of those other things, but if the montages weren't there, perhaps it would. The screenplay suffers from an extreme lack of ideas, showing that there were no real ideas left for how to display the story, merely for villains that Rocky could go up against. That's quite sad, something better than the Rocky character from the first film deserved. Gone is that guy, replaced with something else, a caricature that simply couldn't tell anyone why he does the things he does. The movie doesn't make sense.

With all that in mind, I'm going to skip forward to Creed rather than watch Rocky V. I mean, I will come back to it, but I'm not going to prioritize that right now. The way that Rocky beats Drago at the end of the movie defies all logic, and the damage both guys sustained is entirely illogical. There's no reason that Rocky could handle the punches that Creed couldn't, and with that in mind, this is a bad movie. The stories about production are the best thing about this, but there's no way to be sure they're true. I would like to believe Stallone was hospitalized after getting punched in the chest, but I don't know! I also thought the way the last fight ended in a montage could have been related to that, but the montage was not my favorite thing. Could we at least get a realistic boxing match at the end? I guess not. If not for the memes and montages, this would be totally awful, but it's also one of the reasons that this is so bad. Talk about a conundrum. I wanted to like this more, but I was at a complete loss. I have never reviewed a movie that was over 50% montage, some of those montages being clips from the other movies. There was around 75-80 minutes of original footage here, maybe even less. That's incredible.

4/10


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

Offline Mayor of Flavortown

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #956 on: October 16, 2018, 02:19:59 AM »
Spoiler for Rocky V that might make you want to watch it to see how bad Stallone's acting choices are

Spoiler: show
They give him brain damage from the damage he sustained during the Drago fight, but Stallone just goes to far with it and makes it an uncomfortable performance. Rocky Balboa and the Creed movies pretty much pretend Rocky V doesn't exist, so they drop the brain damage stuff.


Rocky IV is one of my favorite bad movies, so I'm gonna pretend that 4/10 is an 8/10.

Offline cobainwasmurdered

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #957 on: October 16, 2018, 02:21:29 AM »
Rocky IV is such a perfect embodiment of it's time and place there's no way I could ever give it such a low rating. It IS the 80's.

Offline Avid TOXIE Enthusiast

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #958 on: October 16, 2018, 06:04:11 AM »
Do NOT skip Rocky Balboa, the final entry before the series focuses on Creed Jr. It's easily the second best (after the original), and features one of the greatest "get back up and fight" speeches you'll ever hear.

Maybe the real deep state was the friends we made along the way.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #959 on: October 16, 2018, 06:07:52 AM »
Do NOT skip Rocky Balboa, the final entry before the series focuses on Creed Jr. It's easily the second best (after the original), and features one of the greatest "get back up and fight" speeches you'll ever hear.

Unfortunately I'm going to have to because I don't want to have boxing movie burnout. I do intend to go back to it.


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 #960 on: October 16, 2018, 07:58:21 AM »
I've never actually seen Rocky V.  I've seen the others though.  Rocky IV is silly, but it isn't boring.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #961 on: October 18, 2018, 12:10:17 PM »


The Hate U Give (2018), directed by George Tillman Jr.

Titled after a quote from Tupac Shakur, The Hate U Give is a film where the commercials and trailers really telling the story, not obscuring its subject in the least. These references to Tupac also occur throughout, something which helps ground a film that is supposed to make this subject accessible for teenagers. This is yet another police shooting movie this year, the third I've seen, and the fourth police brutality film of the bunch. I have rated all of them fairly highly on my list, but I believe that it is actually quite easy to mess these up. I think that such films are actually quite topical for our current times, and this is very likely going to be the only financially successful one of the bunch. The thing is, I don't know if teenagers want to get hit with this dose of reality. Hollywood executives consistently tell us that young people don't go to the cinema anymore, so I'm not sure if this is really going to reach said audience. It's a bit paradoxical to make movies in this situation, no? I think there's also a strange creative decision here to set the film in a fictional neighborhood. Granted, The Hate U Give is adapted from a novel that does the same, but that does leave the film less grounded in realism than I really would have preferred. That being said, the events in the film are quite compelling.

Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) is a senior in high school who lives a dual life. At her home in Garden Heights, which is a majority poor black neighborhood, she's herself. There was an incident when she was a child, so she goes to school in Williamson, a majority white area with a rich prep school. Her mom Lisa (Regina Hall) will not have it any other way, and that is that. Starr has a hard time balancing these two lives with each other. She has a boyfriend Chris (KJ Apa), who her father Maverick (Russell Hornsby) has no idea about. Maverick is the kind of father who teaches his kids Seven (Lamar Johnson), Starr, and Sekani (TJ Wright) about the Ten-Point Program. I don't know how many people are aware of the Ten-Point Program. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense Ten-Point Platform and Program is probably a better way to phrase it. Their mom's brother Carlos (Common) is also a police officer, so their family dynamic is different. On top of that, Seven is just Starr's half brother who was had when Lisa and Maverick were broken up. Seven's step father is King (Anthony Mackie), leader of a gang called the King Lords, one which Maverick is no longer part of because he took a sentence for something he didn't do in order to get out of the gang.

So, with all that setup, it's time to progress the story. Starr has two sets of friends. Her best friend in the white area is Hailey (Sabrina Carpenter), who knows absolutely nothing about her home life. Then there's Khalil (Algee Smith), Starr's best friend when she was a kid. Starr goes to a party with her neighborhood friends, and there's an altercation at the party between two random guys. Someone fires their gun, after which Khalil and Starr bail out of there. Khalil offers to take her home, and we get some important conversations to set up the things to come. As soon as Khalil pulls out of park, he's pulled over. Of course, the first thing the viewer remembers is the beginning of the film, where Maverick is reading his kids the Ten-Point Program. Khalil was not one of his kids. After giving the cop lip and being asked to get out of the car, he reaches in his car to grab his hair brush. The cop shoots him. I'm trying not to spoil anything really specific about the events, but this puts Starr in a bad position. She's there, so she's going to be asked to testify when people don't want her to be in the middle of it. In addition, her testifying will lead to her home life being exposed, which considering she's still really young and in high school, she doesn't know how to handle. Not only that, but as you'd expect, there's always character assassination of victims of police murder, or those who see it.

The one thing I had to keep in mind as I was watching the movie was that this was PG-13, made with the intention of ensuring that teenagers open their mind and head to the theater to see this. I don't know if that's going to happen, but this is a good film that is intended to make viewers leave the theater somewhat pleased over the end result. The film is simultaneously heavy handed and appropriate for the time in which we live. Pretty much every scene that I hoped to happen did wind up happening. I found one where Starr's high school skips classes to protest the shooting and merely leaves school instead of actually doing anything to be a necessary critique of faux activism. I don't think this is going to be a movie that wins awards, but I think The Hate U Give appropriately addresses institutional racism rather than give a false dawn, the idea that it may end because of the actions of a few people when it probably never will. A black coming of age film such as this is actually quite rare too, there are so few of them that I can't remember a single one at this particular moment. In differentiating this from Monsters and Men, I think it would be important to point out there are huge moments of levity that are quite amusing, and unlike one of the chapters in that other film, everything here ends with resolution.

The glowing things I have said should serve as no indicator that this is a perfect film, because it absolutely isn't and has quite a few problems. I don't like Carlos. His role in the story is to explain the perspective of an officer during a shooting, and inevitably his speech ends in a hypocritical comment, which I think is a bit too much pandering for my tastes. Subtlety is key in such situations. I wonder how long it's going to take for a new screenplay to be produced where a black cop goes against the system and be a positive factor for change. Would that be too overboard? Maybe. I also think that in this film, there's a performance from Russell Hornsby that effectively overrides Stenberg's. I don't know if that's good or not. The film is also very careful to straddle a line between becoming preachy and not telling the viewer enough, it's quite a difficult line to walk. This also may seem like a "American race relations for dummies" kind of movie, but again, this is a movie about a high schooler. High schoolers do not understand the world yet. Everyone thinks they did when they were that age, but they didn't.

I still believe that the seriousness of this will drive away young viewers, but I thought overall that the film was quite enjoyable. I know full well how bad that sounds when I have only mentioned a black guy getting murdered by a cop, but you'd have to see this. There's also a scene in the movie that I heard someone crying during, which I understood as it hit quite hard. Some of the characters in this are good enough that I hoped that this was a television series instead of a movie. Others, like King and Carlos, are really not explored by the script and the actors do not have any kind of opportunity to do something worthwhile with their moments. I am curious to see whether or not this is a movie that will get real mainstream traction and become a cultural event of some kind. I expect not. If police shootings aren't seen as importantly as they really should be, I shouldn't expect a movie to be in that category either. The Hate U Give also comes extremely close to ending on a note that I would have considered much less than pleasing, but there is an abundance of scenes to make sure that doesn't happen. For Tillman, this is a good effort and represents a lot of the things about Notorious I really enjoyed. The unflinching commitment to telling his stories is quite welcome.

7.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
5. Blindspotting
6. On My Skin
7. Private Life
8. Eighth Grade
9. Sorry to Bother You
10. Bad Times at the El Royale
11. Searching
12. A Simple Favor
13. The Hate U Give
14. Hold the Dark
15. The Land of Steady Habits
16. Monsters and Men
17. White Boy Rick
18. Papillon
19. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
20. Alpha
21. The Predator
22. The Angel
23. The Commuter
24. The Nun
25. Operation Finale
26. The Equalizer 2
27. The Spy Who Dumped Me
28. Venom
29. Skyscraper
30. The Meg
31. Assassination Nation
32. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
33. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
34. The Little Stranger
35. Night School
36. Peppermint
37. Mile 22
38. The First Purge
39. Kin
40. Hell Fest
41. The Happytime Murders
42. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #962 on: October 19, 2018, 10:52:02 AM »


The Sisters Brothers (2018), directed by Jacques Audiard

The Sisters Brothers is a movie I've been looking forward to for months, so much so that I decided to skip on Halloween until Monday when I've also really been looking forward to that. There were multiple reasons for my interest. First and probably most importantly was the cast. Second is that this is a damn Western. How many of those get released these days? I count three from last year, and this will be the only one released theatrically in 2018. That's such a shame, this is a genre that deserves better, but the box office predictions for this film show why it doesn't. The Sisters Brothers had a budget of $38 million before promotion, it has currently made $6 million worldwide in limited release and would be lucky to double that. Where I come from, we call that a major bomb. So, I wanted to see this in order to do something to help it. The last reason I wanted to see this was because of Jacques Audiard. I liked Dheepan a hell of a lot, and some elements of scene construction present in Dheepan were also very prominent here. This was Audiard's first English language film and considering the returns, possibly the last, but I truly enjoyed what I was watching today.

More than anything else, this is a movie that gives the viewer expectations of what they will watch and diverts so far off the beaten path in order to tell a different story. Eli (John C. Reilly) and Charlie Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix) are hitmen, hired by a guy called the Commodore who remains unseen until much later in the film, unless I'm missing something. The first scene with these two is a shootout at night, it's pretty great. Audiard seems to love his action scenes done in the dark if I'm to judge from these two movies of his I've seen. Eli makes comments about how people are constantly stealing from the Commodore, but Charlie is a sociopath and is the leader of the two men. Charlie enjoys his job so much that he will constantly defend the Commodore, regularly get drunk, consistently kill people that don't have to be killed, and he gives the orders for how high Eli has to jump and he'll follow along. Eli is the older of the two, but this doesn't seem to matter. The two regularly talk about their existence, when this life is going to catch up to them, and although Eli wants something more from life Charlie does not. There is no idealism here or hope that things will get better, or that people will stop trying to kill them. They are well aware of their situation.

Their job after the initial shootout is to kill a man, Hermann Warm (Riz Ahmed). Charlie is told that Hermann has stolen something and that is that. Unusually for the Commodore, he wants there to be a guy to head in before the Sisters brothers to catch the target, John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal). Morris is a scout and detective, he needs to find Hermann in order for him to capture him and facilitate the exchange. He does not know exactly why this is happening, but it's happening. Morris finds Hermann on the way to California, because Hermann is headed to California during the Gold Rush and all that. Hermann and Morris become friends, with Hermann talking about his hardships, and eventually telling Morris what his plans are in California. Hermann is a very small guy who is not fit for hard labor, that much is clear. Hermann has no idea that he's going to be captured, at least until Morris falls asleep and Hermann finds handcuffs in their room. Once he realizes what Morris is going to do, he confronts Morris and is knocked out. After Morris ties him up, it's time to reveal his plans for the Gold Rush, what he's really going to do. He also tells Morris what will be done to himself, and Morris simply can't handle any of that. After their conversation, Morris and Hermann decide to head out on their own towards San Francisco, where they'll make their own claim and try to get money for very different purposes.

Admittedly, The Sisters Brothers takes a long time to get to the point, but it's necessary in order to explain the entire Sisters backstory and what they're going to do with their lives. I can't explain why I'm so tolerant of movies that take so long to tell their stories, and I'm fully aware that such opinions aren't shared by everyone, but this is one of the best cases of drawing out the story that I've seen in a while. There is an incredible lack of films addressing the Gold Rush. I would have expected more after There Will Be Blood addressed the oil boom so well, but there weren't. The Sisters Brothers isn't only about the Gold Rush, but it's quite well layered and the gold serves as a catalyst for the events. Things just don't go well for the brothers, these two are also not very good guys. They're trying to make it through the world, but they had a bad father and justify their actions because they have his blood in them. The Sisters Brothers is a better film when it focuses on the brothers, but when these two stories come together, it works out extremely well. It's difficult not to spoil any of this, but the brothers adventures are amazing. The way they deal with the hurdles placed in front of them is a joy, something entirely unexpected. It is now easy for me to understand why this won't make money, it's because audiences don't care about character studies and want big showpieces or battles in their films. It's really as simple as that. Even though The Sisters Brothers boasts a few, that's not what the film is really about.

As you'd expect, Joaquin Phoenix is great in this film, but John C. Reilly serves as more of a lead than him and carries the movie on his back. This is almost everything I would have hoped for. Reilly is better in dramatic roles with Step Brothers being the exception to that, and this is the best performance he has ever had. Don't care what else he was nominated for or won for. Audiard being French also gives him a different perspective on the Western that he transfers to his movie, which leads to a lack of cliches and very few similarities to other famous Westerns. Emphasizing a sibling duo over a solo act or group leads to different ways to tell a story. The initial premise I told you guys about with the Commodore is not uncommon, the talks about sibling mortality are, and that's what carries the movie. This was also filmed in Spain and Romania, which surprises me as I would never have expected Romania to stand in as a reasonable facsimile for the Old West. Spain on the other hand is a lot more natural and has lots of unused territory that allows for huge vistas. The ending of the movie is also brilliantly acted if quite drawn out. I can see people who watch the movie having major problems with just how drawn out the ending really was. Everything after the point where our four characters meet comes completely out of nowhere.

The unpredictability of The Sisters Brothers is such a huge bonus in its favor, but even without it this is a great film. I don't think the movie will be rewarded in any way for its greatness as it is now such a big bomb that Annapurna is completely revamping their studio, but this should be considered a classic of the genre. I don't expect it will be as it defies expectation and runs very far away from cliches of the genre, but I loved seeing a Western with characters who talked about their feelings. Unquestionably this genre is completely dead as a money maker, but someone out there has to be willing to lose money on them. Netflix? When my grandfather died, his wife told me that he only had Netflix so that he could watch Western stuff on there. I know there are younger people out there who feel the exact same way. Almost all the people in my theater were my age, so if it's possible to keep budgets more reasonable than this one, there should be a future for Westerns. I should note that I feel like knocking down my Mission: Impossible - Fallout rating down a peg and have thought to do so for two weeks. With the benefit of hindsight, it simply wasn't as good as A Star Is Born or First Man, or for that matter any other movie I gave a 9, and doesn't deserve to share its rating. It was still a great action movie and was to action movies what this is to Westerns. Welcome, unexpected, fresh in terms of the way it delivers its story to the viewer, and a hell of a good time. This was adapted from a book, which is something I neglected to mention. The writer, Patrick deWitt, has a few other novels that sound quite good. An Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay should be on the cards.

8.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Eighth Grade
10. Sorry to Bother You
11. Bad Times at the El Royale
12. Searching
13. A Simple Favor
14. The Hate U Give
15. Hold the Dark
16. The Land of Steady Habits
17. Monsters and Men
18. White Boy Rick
19. Papillon
20. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
21. Alpha
22. The Predator
23. The Angel
24. The Commuter
25. The Nun
26. Operation Finale
27. The Equalizer 2
28. The Spy Who Dumped Me
29. Venom
30. Skyscraper
31. The Meg
32. Assassination Nation
33. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
34. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
35. The Little Stranger
36. Night School
37. Peppermint
38. Mile 22
39. The First Purge
40. Kin
41. Hell Fest
42. The Happytime Murders
43. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #963 on: October 19, 2018, 06:19:00 PM »


13th (2016), directed by Ava Duvernay

13th is a documentary best viewed rather than explained, because nothing I could possibly do will suffice as a fair explanation of what the documentary attempts to get people to learn. 13th simultaneously serves as a history lesson, a guide for the present, and the roadmap for our future. The things showcased in this documentary must be overturned. 13th is also a documentary that is profoundly saddening and disheartening, it is very difficult for me to properly summarize the way that I felt about it. Some of the things in 13th, I already knew. Others were enlightening and frightening. The saddest thing is that we're two years on from the release of this documentary and nothing has changed. Granted, considering who runs the country, we should not have expected things to change. This is our fault, the fault of the people who decide elections in this country, ultimately the fault of voters. Such films should serve as a nuclear weapon to our system, the kind of thing that leads to it exploding, but yet it doesn't. The average American is being hammered from all sides and unfortunately only has the capacity to care about so much. Will our situation change?

Featuring Van Jones, Michelle Alexander, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Bryan Stevenson, Angela Davis, and countless other activists whose names I am sadly incapable of remembering, 13th opens with a history lesson, one which is unfortunately necessary for much of the American population. In order to further shed light on that history lesson, people such as Newt Gingrich, Grover Norquist, Charles Rangel, and Cory Booker participate as well in explaining some of the laws and statutes put in place that ultimately targeted and disproportionally harmed black people. Gingrich provides some surprising comments whereas Norquist is a hack as you'd expect. The inclusions of Gingrich and Rangel serve as a reminder that both white and black politicians were highly incorrect in realizing what our problems were and how to address them, Rangel's inclusion in particular being a reminder that lots of black folks bought into the rhetoric pushed upon society by a largely white, overreactive media. With those contributors in mind, we head back to immediately when the Civil War ended, and how the circumstances of the time led to a situation where our prison system works as modern slavery for the state or for large corporations, most of whom are frequented by most Americans.

There's so much in this documentary that I can't really talk about anything other than the guests and what I thought of the documentary. It would be foolish to do otherwise. There are a lot of extremely upsetting moments over the course of this hour and a half. There are, however, just a few errors that I found to be a problem. There's news footage of the 1924 Democratic National Convention, one which was very frequented by Klan members and devoid of any color whatsoever. It should have been mentioned that Theodore Roosevelt had appointed black people to federal government jobs only for Woodrow Wilson to immediately overturn that, which led to said convention in the first place. The convention also attempted to add an anti-KKK portion to the platform and was declined. I also think that the film skirts around the question of reparations more than it should. Obviously reparations are an extreme position, I do not know how such things would be implemented, but there's clearly a problem with our society that necessitates a form of reparations in the future. Multiple times I heard contributors talk about things that should be done in the future to make up for the problem, but such solutions are left unstated. At some point in the future, if these problems are ever fixed, they are going to need to be stated. That isn't so much a complaint as a comment of my own.

As far as documentaries go, it's hard to imagine anything that would serve as being more powerful as this. I should note that any liberals who seem to be wavering on their own beliefs would do well to watch this. The racism from the left in the Twittersphere is not present in this film, and I think that it needs to be kept in mind that people on Twitter are hardly real people. The ones in this documentary are real people and they are important. I have seen a lot of "liberals" push back on inclusion, on diversity, and really on all sorts of things that seem to be bothering them because of how bad some of the people demanding these things are at making their points. Random Twitter users who Tweet 200 times a day are not the ones to be listened to. The footage in this film, as well as the contributions from various sources, serves as a reminder that real people are out there and are struggling. There is one specific thing that I think sums up my feelings on the current state of politics and our need for change. Somewhere in the middle of the film there's Bill Clinton, talking about how sorry Hillary Clinton was for her comments on the crime bill, and almost instantly says that she was right because of some fictional kid murdering someone. This, like most of the film, simply cannot be described and has to be viewed for yourself, because it defies explanation. It is no surprise that people were not excited to vote for a Clinton after that happened.

I think where 13th is most effective is in illustrating that the contributors are real people just like everyone else, some of whom were incarcerated or prosecuted without good reason. Considering the personal wrongs that have been done to these people, whether in terms of being hounded out of their job (Van Jones), or stitched up for a murder that they had nothing to do with (Angela Davis), or those with sons stuffed in solitary confinement, all of them are able to explain to the viewer what the problems are without screaming at them. Again, this is something not present on Twitter, and it's something that needs to be kept in mind when getting mad at internet people who may or may not be real. Real people out there are suffering, and there is no reason to compromise in ones beliefs because of an extremely vocal, massive minority. I hate that I focused on that aspect so much, but I was incapable of properly reviewing 13th. It's something that should be watched as it is appropriately paced, laid out to perfection, and most of the points made here are beyond refute.

9.5/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #964 on: October 21, 2018, 06:49:34 PM »


22 July (2018), directed by Paul Greengrass

22 July is a film that I delayed watching as long as possible within the constrictions of my rules, because I didn't know if I'd be able to handle it. A lot of critics have given this rave reviews and it is possible that the film will receive some traction in awards season, but I hope it doesn't. I cannot initially explain why I feel that way without doing a very deep dive into the story of the film, and I promise to do my best. I think, perhaps, the problem is that I don't like the idea of 22 July even existing as a film. I think the concept comes dangerously close to exploitation, and giving airtime to these sorts of things is massively problematic from my perspective. Greengrass is a filmmaker who specializes in bringing these events back to life, putting them on film so that people can see what happened during these events for themselves. Terror voyeurism is certainly a thing these days. Liveleak specializes in it, and there are other news organizations, such as Vice, who get their reputation because they bring stories to the viewer as they really happen, without sanitization. There is a difference in breaking a story and recreating something, though. In recreating an atrocity such as this, there's an enormous problem, there is no way in which the filmmaker can adequately show the loss of the families. In effect the events are distilled into a story with one victim who speaks for others. This is not uncommon, and I really should have known this before turning the film on, but I didn't realize it.

22 July is about the 2011 Norway attacks, visualizing them in a way that everyone can see the basics of what and how these things happened. Our film begins with Anders Behring Breivik (Anders Danielsen Lie) finalizing his plans and finishing his insane manifesto, much of which was made public at the time this happened. At the same time, we are shown Utoya, the island on which Breivik went on his rampage, killing 69 of the 564 people on the island. At the time, this was the worst mass shooting I ever thought I'd hear about, a freak incident, soemthing which would not be so common. Things have gotten much worse since then. 22 July doesn't examine the sickness of gun culture though, instead we are left with the simple fact of what happened, that a white supremacist decided to murder people because of his insane, sickening ideology. Before the attack, we are also shown some scenes of Jens Stoltenberg (Ola G. Furuseth), the Prime Minister of Norway and leader of the Labour Party, who was scheduled to speak at Utoya the next day. I was surprised with the meticulousness in which Breivik's first attack was shown, the oft-forgotten van explosion in Oslo. Similar althought not as impactful as Timothy McVeigh's attack, his bomb destroyed the Prime Minister's office and killed eight people. Breivik also believed the PM was there. He was not.

On Utoya, we are introduced to a group of characters, but ultimately we have a film with two plots, one centering around the following individual. Viljar (Jonas Strand Gravil) is a young man from a small town 2000km north of Oslo, and he's having a lot of fun at the camp. The children are gathered and asked a question about what he would do if he was Prime Minister. I will refrain from answering as the scene is merely supposed to show what Breivik was fighting against. After the people on Utoya hear of the explosion in Oslo, Breivik drives to the island. This takes about two hours. Once he gets to the island, he uses a police uniform. It is unexplained how he got it, but it was enough for the ferry operator and camp leaders to believe him. Upon arriving on Utoya, well, you know the story. The rest of the film centers around VIljar, who receives horrible injuries as a result of Breivik's shooting. There's things that go beyond physical injuries, but there's also a horrible mental impact on survivors. In addition, our other plot revolves around Breivik and Geir Lippestad (Jon Oigarden), his lawyer. Lippestad represents Breivik because he believes in liberal principles, that people are entitled to their defense and that people have rights which should be upheld.

Lately, I have wondered if standing up for fascists in an attempt to ensure they are given the same opportunities to speak is an aspect of liberalism which is going to lead to our downfall as a society. The events of this film do not do much to dissuade that notion. I wouldn't call this a particularly thought provoking movie, I think it is a very base film addressing the attacks. I think the decision to shorten the attack in order to make the movie about his defense and the recovery of Viljar had mixed results. Although I complained that the film shouldn't center around the recovery of one victim, Viljar is quite a good character and I was left wanting him to succeed. Back to my earlier point, again, the scenes with Breivik in court lead me to wonder about the merits of our beliefs. This is someone who shouldn't have been given an opportunity to say anything that would recruit people to his cause. This is also a cause that has grown incredibly in numbers since these events. I don't think the two go hand in hand, but I am left to wonder. I believe this is something I shouldn't even have to wonder about. The trial should have been conducted in private, not aired for public consumption, and he should have been locked away. There is also the matter of solitary confinement, which the Norwegian government got in trouble for. There is no simple answer or solution, there is no good way to deal with individuals like Breivik. This also feels like it is not what the film was supposed to make me think about.

On the subject of Breivik's white supremacy, I find it so odious that the film is essentially preaching to the choir. I no longer get any joy out of white supremacy getting called what it is. The mere acknowledgment that he was a white supremacist instead of someone who was merely mentally ill, that doesn't do it for me either. Where the film succeeds is that this serves as a reminder that we are nearing a time where this is going to happen again. As a society, we have learned very few lessons from this incident. What we should be learning from it is, the internet needs to be monitored because it is dangerous. Gun sales are in the same category. Right wing groups need to be monitored as they are our greatest danger to society. People who isolate themselves need to be watched. We have learned none of these things. We have had many incidents that fit into at least one of these areas of scope. Another huge right wing attack is coming. It is going to have severe, far reaching consequences for society. Our governments are seemingly going to just let it happen and there is nothing we can do about it. This is also not the first movie about these attacks this year. Another called Utoya: July 22 was filmed in a single take from the perspective of kids on the island, with the purpose of showing what they went through. There is no attempt at all to give Breivik's side of anything or anything that happened with him. While slightly exploitative, I think that's the best tact if making a film about these events.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I think this is a technically solid film, but it's one I hate for so many reasons. I won't give it a very low rating because I found its depiction of the events at least functionally accurate. I simply do not like these kinds of movies. It isn't that they're provocative, because they do not provide much food for thought for me, but I think they give a voice to those who have done bad things and give the world an opportunity to hear and see things from their perspective. At least 22 July does absolutely nothing to make someone feel bad for Breivik, but it did make me feel bad that he had a lawyer who had to do that to himself. I should also note that the decision to have these events take place in English rather than Norwegian makes things feel inauthentic. Breivik not looking like Breivik is no real big deal as I don't think anyone would want to look at that guy.

Regardless of one's feelings towards the film, I don't see how someone could find this to be enjoyable on any level. Perhaps this is a film more geared towards those who don't believe in common sense, but such individuals aren't going to watch this in the first place. I don't understand what's to be done about that. The attempt to find meaning in tragic events is something that I do think is a noble message, but I also think that this is a major error in allowing a sick ideology to be shown on screen like this. This is essentially what Breivik wanted and demanded. He demanded the opportunity to give his opinions in court. Norway did that, but those events weren't told worldwide in a voice representative of his own. 22 July makes the most egregious error a movie can make from my perspective, it actually cedes ground to the terrorist and lets them have at it. I simply cannot believe this was made in the first place, it is in horrendously poor taste. Viljar's scenes could have been their own story, there is much more mileage in showing the attack and what happened to him than the entirety of what Breivik did between the attack and his conviction. Most critics seem to disagree with me and that's fine because there is a positive message here, but I feel sick.

5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Eighth Grade
10. Sorry to Bother You
11. Bad Times at the El Royale
12. Searching
13. A Simple Favor
14. The Hate U Give
15. Hold the Dark
16. The Land of Steady Habits
17. Monsters and Men
18. White Boy Rick
19. Papillon
20. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
21. Alpha
22. The Predator
23. The Angel
24. The Commuter
25. The Nun
26. Operation Finale
27. The Equalizer 2
28. The Spy Who Dumped Me
29. Venom
30. Skyscraper
31. The Meg
32. Assassination Nation
33. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
34. 22 July
35. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
36. The Little Stranger
37. Night School
38. Peppermint
39. Mile 22
40. The First Purge
41. Kin
42. Hell Fest
43. The Happytime Murders
44. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #965 on: October 22, 2018, 04:54:17 PM »


Halloween (2018), directed by David Gordon Green

It has been around 10 years since the first and only time I saw Halloween, and about 15 since I saw the amazing Busta Rhymes version, which was called Halloween: Resurrection. By amazing, I should note that it really sucks. I laughed a lot though. Halloween doesn't quite equal to the original, but I thought it was a good ride while it lasted. There was a point at which I thought I was going to turn on the film and hate it, but fortunately said piece only went on for about five minutes. Ultimately, this is supposed to be a fan service movie. It would appear that some like it and some don't, the Metascore is currently sitting at 68. I think as a whole this is the kind of movie that I would have wanted. There's some comedy, and I wouldn't be surprised if that was the reason for some of the dislike. I thought most of it, including the subplot with the incel, was quite amusing. It's very difficult to balance fan service with giving people something new and poignant for our time, which is simply much different than the way things used to be. Terror is substituted for lots of killing. Jokes take the place of scenes that are meant to creep people out. So with that in mind, this is going to be a largely positive review. Read or don't at your leisure.

It's forty years on from the Haddonfield murders, so of course, we get a dose of modern reality. Aaron Korey (Jefferson Hall) and Dana Haines (Rhian Rees) are podcasters who talk about murders, so they head to a sanitarium to interview the man who everyone wants to know more about, Michael Myers. Myers, of course, will not speak. Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) has taken over the case from Dr. Loomis, who has died. He tells the podcasters that Michael chooses not to speak, and Aaron takes out Michael's mask and mentions Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). Nothing happens. After Aaron and Dana leave, they go to Laurie's house to speak to her. She's paranoid, has PTSD and never did anything about it, and she is ready for Michael to inevitably get out of jail. Her house is barricaded up pretty well, she has secret passages, and she has trap doors. Aaron and Dana pretty much get nothing out of Laurie bar a few comments that set up more scenes, but one thing's clear. Laurie is waiting for Michael to come back, she has every intention of killing him, and nothing's going to stop her if she can get the chance to do it.

Of course, as you might expect, she's going to get the chance to do it. Her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) have little contact with Laurie, for multiple reasons. Laurie is agoraphobic, Karen was taken away from Laurie when she was twelve, and of course Karen doesn't want Allyson to have a relationship with what she thinks is a crazy person. Meanwhile, Michael is scheduled to be transferred to another prison. Laurie's waiting outside in her truck with a gun in hand, but it goes unused and she downs some alcohol instead. Fast forward a little bit to later that night, so I have talked about a very large chunk of the movie by now. Michael's bus, well, it crashed. There are mental patients all over the road, all of them are alive. What do you think Michael Myers is going to do in a situation like this? IT'S TIME TO KILL. Laurie is also very, very ready. There are also targets presented early on in the film, so it's not like he's just going to be taking out randoms.

The scenes at the beginning that nicely set up everything that happens later, that's what makes this a good film. There are also interesting characters that do and don't get killed. That's pretty much what I hope for from something like Halloween. Laurie Strode isn't a victim here, she's ready and trained for these moments, with every intention of dealing with them as they deserved. This isn't a super spectacular movie or anything, but there are characters here worth caring about before they get killed or disappear. My favorite was the incel. There were so many things he did, and knowing what kind of film this was, it was great to know that he was going to get killed after being truly creepy. It was also fascinating this was made on this budget. There are only two name actors here, but there's a lot of variety in set pieces for the events. Even though I felt like there was some inevitability to the events on screen, I thought the film did a good job of maintaining intrigue throughout, and I also thought that the soundtrack for this was excellent at ensuring this was the case. The opening credits were also outstanding and immediately invoked nostalgia.

Now, if I do have complaints, they are largely related to the events of the film being a vehicle for things to get back to Laurie's house. The moment we saw how barricaded her house was, we knew this would happen. This creates a few problems because with the benefit of hindsight, common sense dictates that only Laurie's family is getting to the house. That's poor movie construction, but it is what it is. The events leading up to that moment are quite fun. Another complaint I have is that the way in which Michael gets out of prison is absolutely ridiculously contrived and leads to some scenes that don't make the most sense. A good example is the way that Laurie is effectively booted from her daughter's house. Like, what? That would definitely never happen. Ultimately those are minor complaints within the context of the movie as a whole, and I think that's alright.

It's fair to say that I knew I would like this and that's why I like it, I don't have much of a counter-argument to that. I wanted to like this, that's all there is to it. The way everything pays off worked very well for me, and I didn't find any characters overly annoying to the point I did in other movies. Again, the incel thing is quite amusing. I will at some point go back to watch the other ones, the Rob Zombie version being of particular interest just to see how bad it is. I think I prefer things being this way, where the viewer doesn't know how Michael Myers became so evil, we just need to know that he kills a lot of people and we need to see him doing it because that's what horror movies feature. That's it, isn't it? I don't know what more I could really say about this, it was a good movie and I haven't rated many horror movies all that highly of late.

7/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Eighth Grade
10. Sorry to Bother You
11. Bad Times at the El Royale
12. Searching
13. A Simple Favor
14. The Hate U Give
15. Hold the Dark
16. The Land of Steady Habits
17. Halloween
18. Monsters and Men
19. White Boy Rick
20. Papillon
21. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
22. Alpha
23. The Predator
24. The Angel
25. The Commuter
26. The Nun
27. Operation Finale
28. The Equalizer 2
29. The Spy Who Dumped Me
30. Venom
31. Skyscraper
32. The Meg
33. Assassination Nation
34. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
35. 22 July
36. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
37. The Little Stranger
38. Night School
39. Peppermint
40. Mile 22
41. The First Purge
42. Kin
43. Hell Fest
44. The Happytime Murders
45. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #966 on: October 23, 2018, 07:27:40 PM »


Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016), directed by Ang Lee

I have been waiting for a while to watch Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, but it's about to expire in a day or two and I finally had to make my move. The reason why I waited is because I know this was seen as a major misfire. Ang Lee is not known for such misfires. Due to that, there was some amount of intrigue and reticence in watching the movie in the first place. See, I assume that when a critically acclaimed director has a misfire such as this, that reviewers will soften the blow a little bit due to their amount of respect for the talent behind the camera. I wanted to find that out for myself, but at the same time, I knew that if people were willing to say it was even average meant it was definitely not good. That's where I stand anyway. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk was touted for having major technological advances, because for some reason Ang Lee thought that his ability to use a higher frame rate would let his film shine through and speak for itself. I have major problems with the way in which this was executed. A film with one Iraq War battle scene really needs this? Obviously not. Only a few theaters could even screen this film in its intended format, so it goes without saying that this was a pretty bad idea all around. The low box office take is related to something I've already brought up once before, that people do not want to watch movies about Iraq.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is about a guy, Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn). No shit. He's an Army specialist from Texas who is seen on camera dragging his wounded sergeant, Virgil Breem (Vin Diesel) to safety during a firefight in Iraq. Perhaps unknown to the general public is that Breen died. I assume it is unknown because the turnout for Breem's funeral was marginal at best. As you might expect, the Army takes full advantage of this situation and uses it for public relations, as they did many times during the Bush Administration. This is set in 2004. During the squad's publicity tour, they go to a few small locations, and eventually they wind up in the halftime show of the Dallas Thanksgiving game. Dime (Garrett Hedlund) is the leader of the unit, which finds themselves fortunate to be back at home. Albert (Chris Tucker) fervently attempts to find a movie deal for them throughout the movie. There are other squad members in this movie, but truthfully, they have basically no character.

Over the course of the movie, we are sent back to previous events in Billy's recent life. There's Iraq, of course, including the battle that explains what happened to Breem. There's also Billy's home life, which features some bad stereotype caricatures. His liberal sister Kathryn (Kristen Stewart) doesn't believe in the war and doesn't want him to go back to Iraq. His other sister is a major cheerleader for the war, his dad is in a wheelchair, and his mom is one of those stupid idiots who thinks that everything is so great about what her son is doing. Same old shit. Back on the subject of the game, there are a lot of PR things that the squad is scheduled to do. They meet with Norm Oglesby (Steve Martin), who effectively serves as our film's version of Jerry Jones. Some of these things are funny and others are not. The one that really isn't funny, but simultaneously I don't know how to describe this because of how corny it feels, is the one day romance with Faison (Makenzie Leigh). These probably more than anything else are the scenes that needed the most work. I will explain below why it wasn't possible to do so. The ultimate goal of this trip is to do the halftime show, where Destiny's Child is performing (unseen therefore bad). The squad will participate in some way.

The film very obviously suffers from bad acting, which can be directly attributed to the technology not allowing for retakes of scenes that really needed them. There are genuinely countless scenes that seemed to have these kinds of problems. The only ones that didn't were those with Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, and Chris Tucker. Some of the rest have huge problems. I understand that Hollywood likes Joe Alwyn and is putting him in a lot of big projects, and I haven't seen him in much else, but this was a tough one for a debut actor. It's almost unfair to expect anything from him here. I also don't think the movie's greatest weakness is the acting problems. I think it's that this is a poorly executed concept. I don't think it's automatically bad to do a movie about a soldier from this perspective, one of a soldier who knows the war is bad and is constantly patronized by other people as a result of their indoctrination of needing to support the troops. The plot is so ridiculously poorly executed, though. There are scenes in the film that make absolutely no sense to me, and the narrative just doesn't work as a result of this. Squad member starts fight with someone who comes back later in the game to beat them up, like, what? Are we supposed to feel sorry for someone or take this as a thing that PTSD can create?

The satirical aspects that the novel supposedly features hardly exist in the film. There is also not enough contribution from Vin Diesel or Kristen Stewart. Because of that, this just isn't very good. It's a character study about someone who did bad shit who can't cope with it, but it's simply not a good one. The idea of weaving a plot through a PR exercise at a football game and a war zone is, again, not the worst idea that I've ever seen. The problem is that everything rings so ridiculously hollow. There's supposed to be a poignant scene where a few characters smoke weed, but the bad acting in the scene renders the entire thing quite surreal. I think the actors knew this too as I saw some funny looks on faces. The squad is simply not compelling enough for the movie to work as a whole, and some of the southern accents are really, really bad. The best way I can phrase things is, the surreal marijuana scene carries over to the rest of the film, with one exception (pictured above) where Billy is listening to the national anthem and cries. If a director is more focused on their new technology than fleshing out the plot and making the characters feel real, then this is the result. The attempts at deepness later on are so bad I cannot even describe them. I should give some credit to Steve Martin and to some of these ideas, though. The idea to make a movie about how soldiers are used for PR is quite sound even if it didn't quite come off. Martin also makes for an amusing version of Jerry Jones, Chris Tucker is also a convincing Hollywood agent who helps liven up some of the bad moments here. I should write more but I'm at a loss.

4/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #967 on: October 24, 2018, 12:35:05 PM »


The Old Man & the Gun (2018), directed by David Lowery

The Old Man & the Gun is a film that trades so heavily on nostalgia that it is nearly impossible to do anything but fall straight into the trap and enjoy it. This is supposed to be Robert Redford's last role as an actor, and although I don't believe that, I do believe this is going to be the last time he plays this role. It is a role we have seen too many times to count, one which everyone is or should be familiar with. This is what he does. It is too easy to identify with him and I can't really explain why. Perhaps it's because he's played this role so many times, and all of them are serious but just not serious enough to bring people down, but the roles are executed in a way to make people happy. This film is similar, which doesn't make sense if you look at it in a simplistic way of stealing money. Of course, nothing is so simple. I will explain more as things go along. Another aspect of the film that dives straight towards nostalgia is the way it was filmed. 16mm is always the easiest way to ensure that things give off the look and nostalgic feel that a director wants from his film. While a bit slow, this is just fun. There is a sequence of flashbacks which uses old Redford footage that pretty much makes the film in my eyes.

The Old Man & the Gun, as the opening title screens say, is mostly true. Mostly could be a stretch. Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) is a career criminal, a bank robber to be specific. His manner of doing so is in the most kind way possible. It is very likely that he has never hurt anyone before. After the robbery that opens the film, and while he's making his escape he encounters Jewel (Sissy Spacek). Jewel is a widow with a broken down truck, and even though Forrest doesn't know how to fix the truck, he knows how to pick up women. So, he drives her to a cafe and they get some pie, at which point he gives her a fake name and decides to drop the bank robbing bomb on her. She doesn't believe him, or does she? That's up to you to watch this movie and find out. The manner in which he does these robberies is interesting enough on its own. She thinks that Forrest wears a hearing aid, but in reality it's a police radio with a headphone he has placed in his ear. Jewel's husband is long gone and she has a farm that she has to take care of all by herself.

Of course, because Forrest is a bank robber, it's very unlikely that he would be this age and not be in prison unless he had something working for him. He does. He has a team, consisting of two other old guys, Teddy (Danny Glover) and Waller (Tom Waits). They have their own roles in the events to play. However, theirs are not the most important supporting characters. John Hunt (Casey Affleck) is a Dallas detective with a life that seems to be a bit on the fritz. I don't know if he's depressed or what. His marriage to Maureen (Tika Sumpter) seems to lack real spark, but his kids love him and all that stuff. On the way taking his kids to school, there's a spark. He goes into a bank, and you can pretty much guess what happens while he's there. Subsequently, his life begins to revolve around catching Forrest, which livens things up in every way that it already should have been before the event. As part of the investigation, we learn that these two robberies we have seen Forrest committing are nowhere near the amount of plundering he has truly done. He has big things planned too!

I said more than I really wanted to, but nostalgia kicks in so strongly during some of these events. Redford's performance is exactly what we've come to expect as an audience. I have no idea if he'll be nominated for awards but I do suspect that there will be some groups that do so. I don't begrudge anyone for that, as Redford playing a robber goes hand in hand with what movies are really supposed to be about. The movie turns more towards comedy as things play out, but that's obviously intentional and it is also very enjoyable while it lasts. It doesn't last long as the film is quite short, arguably too short. There are obvious budget constraints here that lead to this, but they don't serve as a problem in any real way. I never for a single moment though that Forrest was an evil character for robbing banks. The way he did it was endearing and he wasn't stealing money from normal people. He didn't hurt anyone either. That large portions of the story are true serves as a benefit to the story, and kept me wondering what was real and what wasn't.

All of the things in the trailer that regular movie-goers all would have seen is constructed in a way that the viewer can't tell how those things in said trailer came to be, so that was nice. As is made clear very early on, and considering Forrest Tucker was real, people should know that he escaped from prison. There is a montage of his escapes and all I could do was laugh. The film is set in the 1980's, so there's plenty of opportunity for period themed scenes that actually isn't explored. I may be one of the only people who is tired of said period scenes being in every film and am glad that we didn't get any of those here. Even though Hollywood seems to have cancelled Casey Affleck he has a great performance here and I'm surprised that the usual Hollywood standards for those who do wrong do not seem to apply to him. If I do have complaints I haven't mentioned yet (besides the run time), they are largely related to the viewer not seeing many of Forrest's heists. These also go hand in hand with the budget and short run time, I'm sure. Forrest's compadres are also nothing special and barely have any lines. A waste of both to be sure.

Even though those two characters are wasted as I said, and even though the movie is quite short, I thought this was thoroughly enjoyable and a good time. The story was concise and didn't have any padding, so even though I would have liked more from Waits and Glover, I was quite satisfied. Both Forrest and Hunt needed their work in order to feel like they had a life worth living, they completed their work, and the viewer was left to assume what would happen to them. Familiar patterns sound very possible. It's also nice when I can't pick a specific scene of the movie as my favorite, but one I haven't mentioned yet is the one where Forrest and Hunt finally come together after a lot of waiting. The contrast beween the two is nowhere near as large as it may seem, and that's what's going to stick with me more than anything else in the movie. This serves as a great final tribute to Redford, but I really don't think it will be his last effort. Much like the character he played in this film, he's addicted to it. Sissy Spacek also serves as a bright spot as an older actress. Older actresses don't often get opportunities to do good work such as this.

7.5/10

2018 Films Ranked



1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Eighth Grade
10. Sorry to Bother You
11. The Old Man & the Gun
12. Bad Times at the El Royale
13. Searching
14. A Simple Favor
15. The Hate U Give
16. Hold the Dark
17. The Land of Steady Habits
18. Halloween
19. Monsters and Men
20. White Boy Rick
21. Papillon
22. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
23. Alpha
24. The Predator
25. The Angel
26. The Commuter
27. The Nun
28. Operation Finale
29. The Equalizer 2
30. The Spy Who Dumped Me
31. Venom
32. Skyscraper
33. The Meg
34. Assassination Nation
35. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
36. 22 July
37. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
38. The Little Stranger
39. Night School
40. Peppermint
41. Mile 22
42. The First Purge
43. Kin
44. Hell Fest
45. The Happytime Murders
46. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #968 on: October 25, 2018, 05:06:41 AM »


Game Night (2018), directed by John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein

First thing, who directs movies together when they aren't related? I'm confused. Anyway, Game Night was one of this year's only successful comedies. I have been eager to point out that comedy is dead, and truthfully this film doesn't do much to counter that idea. Successful is also a relative term as The Hangover made well over $450 million on the same budget as Game Night, which made $117 million. If you needed more proof that comedy is dying, this will do it. I don't know why this is the case, I just know that it is. The movie is funny because of the way in which dramatic actors act out these scenarios. So, is it that comedians just aren't as good as they once were? I don't know. This movie is also simply different from other comedies in terms of how it is presented, with lots of odd scene constructions that come about as a result of the camera seamlessly moving from a gameboard to a neighborhood. It's weird as hell. Let's put it this way. Different is good when the movie focuses on how different it is, and when it's not different it's just a standard comedy. Perhaps this is why comedy is in the state it's in, but I also think there's the fact that people don't really feel like relaxing and laughing anymore. Television ratings would seem to support this. So, what's the deal?

Game Night is the most obviously titled movie in history. It begins with Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) as competitors at a bar trivia night. Of course, they wind up falling in love, getting married, and that leads us to the events of now. We are shown them at their fertility doctor, it is not going great. They can't get pregnant and eventually the reasoning settles upon sibling rivalry between Max and his brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler). Sometime later, it's time for Max and Annie to host their game night. We are introduced to Gary (Jesse Plemons), their neighbor. Gary is creepy as fuck and his wife left him. The reason why is seemingly shown in the post-credits. Anyway, they don't want Gary to come. Instead, their friend Ryan (Billy Magnussen) brings a random date as he always does, and a married couple named Kevin (Lamorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury). Anyway, it is made clear that Ryan's random dates don't even bother to play the games, so we can forget about her. It was intended for everyone to arrive quietly so that Gary wouldn't hear, but Brooks shows up as loud as possible and tells all kinds of bad stories about Max.

The next week, game night is supposed to be at Brooks house. He's staying in our unnamed city because he has to wine and dine some clients. See, Brooks is a big shot of some kind and has tons of money. So, we get to that night and Ryan has brought someone else along, Sarah (Sharon Horgan). This is not his usual guest. She's older and not brain dead, so Ryan has a chance tonight. Here's the setup. Brooks isn't playing board games or charades tonight, it's time for something much different. He has contracted a company who specializes in playing "real games" for people, and they're going to disappear someone and leave clues with which they can find the person. I don't really get it but I'm willing to play along. While Brooks is going through the possibilities of this scenario, all of a sudden, two guys break in and attack him. The group thinks it's all part of the game so they're laughing and having a good time. Obviously, it isn't part of the game and that's apparent to the viewer. The thing is, Brooks is into some shit. The clues were left behind by an actor who was playing an FBI agent (cameo, so not saying), so our three groups get on to it as duos. It's time to find out where Brooks went!

I have already discussed many of the things I would like to say, so I guess I will default to the actual story. The story of the movie is standard for a comedy but has lots of neat tricks in terms of its execution. There's an instance where the group of six has to get an item, and it's filmed in one take fashion even though there's obviously a few parts where new takes are somewhat seamlessly blended in. I really liked the invention there. The movie is also exactly the right amount of length, even though towards the end there's the bad feeling that characters are being invented simply to extend the events. At least they are still amusing. I also, like basically anyone, like Rachel McAdams. Her role here has some weird lines, but it all works and comes together nicely. There are some cliched conflicts between the characters, specifically Max and Annie's fertility issues, but the conflict between Michelle and Kevin is much better. Michelle claims to have slept with a celebrity while they were on break and Kevin can't handle it. This is actually very funny. So is Meth Damon's role here.

There aren't many funny movies anymore, so the weaknesses of it aare those that can be easily glossed over in the name of making something that I thought was worth laughing at. Yes, this film introduces characters much too easily as it suits the needs of the film. There's the cliched pregnancy storyline. Lots of these things are still funny. Because of the initial premise that this is a game night, it doesn't feel too odd when these things are shoved into the film. The thing that really wins though, is the payoff to Michelle's boasting about sleeping with a celebrity. That pays off in one of the most hilarious ways I can remember seeing in a movie for quite some time. This was a pretty nice distraction last night, one which I needed very much after the Dodgers lost Game 2. At least I was able to get some laughs out of this without wondering why the movie ended so quickly, or being confused as to why we zoomed through a sequence of scenes so fast I couldn't even understand what was happening. I don't understand why it's always Jason Bateman in these rare comedies that are funny even though he doesn't contribute all that much to the humor of them. Perhaps it just feels that way because it is inexplicable.

6.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Eighth Grade
10. Sorry to Bother You
11. The Old Man & the Gun
12. Bad Times at the El Royale
13. Searching
14. A Simple Favor
15. The Hate U Give
16. Hold the Dark
17. The Land of Steady Habits
18. Halloween
19. Monsters and Men
20. White Boy Rick
21. Papillon
22. Game Night
23. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
24. Alpha
25. The Predator
26. The Angel
27. The Commuter
28. The Nun
29. Operation Finale
30. The Equalizer 2
31. The Spy Who Dumped Me
32. Venom
33. Skyscraper
34. The Meg
35. Assassination Nation
36. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
37. 22 July
38. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
39. The Little Stranger
40. Night School
41. Peppermint
42. Mile 22
43. The First Purge
44. Kin
45. Hell Fest
46. The Happytime Murders
47. Slender Man


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

Offline Avid TOXIE Enthusiast

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #969 on: October 25, 2018, 09:51:29 AM »
I thought that movie was the drizzling shits outside of a few clever visuals and it serves as evidence as to why comedy films are dying: they're trite and fucking bland, just like Game Night.

Maybe the real deep state was the friends we made along the way.

Offline Hawk 34

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #970 on: October 25, 2018, 10:31:22 AM »
Not every movie can be funny like Hereditary. 

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #971 on: October 26, 2018, 04:34:13 AM »


The Beguiled (2017), directed by Sofia Coppola

The Beguiled is a movie that was getting a ton of positive reviews at Cannes prior to its release to the public, so naturally I was looking forward to eventually watching this. It was time tonight. The Beguiled is a second adaptation of a novel written in 1966, the first adaptation featuring Clint Eastwood. People didn't like this Eastwood movie because it was a role heavily against type for him, so it bombed. This version of The Beguiled didn't quite bomb, but it wasn't an enormous success. Rated R movies are often one or the other, so it's good that this wasn't a bomb. This was a very nice movie to watch for multiple reasons. First, Coppola's movie's are very nice to look at in general. They're filmed in a way that really works for me. The focus on the scenery the actors are doing their work in takes up large portions of the movie and that's nice. Of course, that's not the real big deal here. The big deal is that Sofia Coppola is able to blend numerous themes throughout her film, almost all of them work out quite well. The repression of the era comes through very strongly here. What's best is that the film isn't too long, it ends exactly when it should, without any drawing out of the events and needless padding. Mystery is good here, and there's plenty of it.

The Beguiled begins with a young girl, Amy (Oona Lawrence) out picking mushrooms in the woods during the Civil War. It's 1864 in Virginia, quite a contentious time. It is, however, just a war, and it is perceived that she's not in any real danger, so she just goes out there when asked to do so. While out there, she encounters a Union soldier, Corporal John McBurney (Colin Farrell). He's behind the Confederate lines, so he's in some danger. He's also hurt, very badly. There's a giant wound on his leg, which is near mangled. Amy attends a girl's school which only has a few people there, so her idea is to bring McBurney back there for treatment. Upon his arrival at the school, he passes out on the front lawn and has to be dragged inside. Just to set things up, before introducing the characters, all that's at the school are women and girls. Colin Farrell is a handsome dude. Just saying it for what it is and that's what kind of movie this is going to be. I don't trip out over stuff like that when I turn on a movie, nor should anyone. The people are concerned about McBurney because Confederates make sweeps for Union soldiers, kill them on the way to prison or don't treat them medically, and nobody at the school believes things should be like that.

Now, as for the school itself, it is run by Martha Farnsworth (Nicole Kidman). Martha had her husband go off to the war and now he's dead. Her entire life is about making these girls into good homemakers, the kind who are cultured and speak French, who know how to host parties and all those things privileged girls in that era were expected to do. Her only other help is the teacher, Edwina (Kirsten Dunst). Everyone has abandoned the school, slaves included. It's close to battle lines, so there are only five students left as well. In addition to Amy, there's Jane (Angourie Rice), a girl who has a father who is a major part of the Confederate Army. She's still there just because she wants to be. Emily (Emma Howard) and Marie (Addison Riecke) are not really important to the story. Alicia (Elle Fanning) is, on the other hand. As the oldest of the girls and of adult age, she's the closest to leaving the school entirely. She's also the most likely one to get into trouble as a result of that. The simple facts are, McBurney is eventually going to wake up, heal, and Martha is going to decide when the Confederate soldiers can pick him up. In addition, all the girls at the school are extremely interested in him. That includes Martha and Edwina too.

The repression of the school is probably what shines through the most, we have a group of women and teenagers who simply don't know what to do with themselves. There's also the problem of how their kindness is going to be repaid. Martha strongly believes in giving him to the Confederacy, but McBurney's going to heal up and is able to make his own decisions. After all, three grown women and four girls are not going to stop him. He's in pretty good shape. It seemed very unlikely to me that he would go easily into handcuffs. McBurney is also not loyal to the Union and arrived in this country with no real plans, eventually becoming a mercenary for the grand total of $300. The moral questions of such a decision permeated through my mind for quite a bit of the film. The script also flips from the usual Hollywood case of being presented as a male fantasy, to you know, it really isn't. I think that this film is woven together so nicely, with characters that are interesting without the viewer knowing entirely too much about them. Their actions and some of their words speak for themselves.

What we also have here is a case of a great script. There are aspects of The Beguiled that serve as dark comedy or double entendre, with Farrell delivering a load of them that cracked me up quite a few times. The conclusion of the events works out similarly. I know that my laughter could be perceived as sickening considering what happens, but if you've seen the movie, you can be the judge of that. The movie admittedly does start off very slowly if you aren't engaged in the sense of finding these comments funny, but I thought they were. Farrell's list of great performances is becoming absolutely ridiculous at this stage. We are lucky to have good actors these days who participate in the kind of variety that Farrell participates in. Very little of what he does is straight forward or cliched. Even though The Beguiled is a second try at a book adaptation, it's also not cliched and there aren't too many films that play out the way this one does. The way the movie changes after one specific event turns this into something more than I thought it was going to become. It was entirely unexpected and I thought that the girls would inevitably turn on each other in order to get McBurney to lead one of them from the school. I was incorrect.

In the end, because I liked the twists and turns of this movie and haven't seen the first adaptation of the book, I was consistently surprised by the things that happened. This is a film with plenty of intrigue, a great set, a small cast, and characters that are developed just enough to remain interesting. A lot of people have called this a boring movie, but I think it's the opposite. It's slow enough to feel like the events that take place are really important. McBurney's character serves as the only outlet to the outside world that the school has, and everyone in the school decides that it's really important to them. I am being very careful not to spoil the movie's big change in tone, and am going to keep it that way. It's funny the way films work, because I would have this in my top ten of 2018, but I've seen enough good films already from 2017 and know there are so many more critically acclaimed ones that I'm not entirely certain this would be in my top twenty once I finish catching up on 2017. Of course, as with everything, time will tell.

8/10

2017 Films Ranked


1. Get Out
2. Logan
3. Wonder Woman
4. Logan Lucky
5. The Beguiled
6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
7. The Lost City of Z
8. I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
9. Kong: Skull Island
10. Split
11. Megan Leavey
12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
13. Win It All
14. War Machine
15. Sand Castle
16. Fist Fight
17. Sleepless


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #972 on: October 26, 2018, 12:44:30 PM »


Mid90s (2018), directed by Jonah Hill

Mid90s is a movie that looked all along as if it was going to be right up my alley. A film that was about the mid 90's, one where the people in it ride skateboards and yell at security guards? Sounds great. There is one major problem with the movie as a whole though, it's simply too short. One thing I would say though, is that I'm interested to see what Jonah Hill wants to direct next. Maybe he doesn't want to direct anything else and this is the story he wants to tell. I would be a bit surprised by that. There are things that first time filmmakers do that you expect, some things that you don't, but overall the picture he painted of the era is quite good. Kids this really is not, it tells quite a different story. Mid90s is a movie with heart, and it goes down roads that I could see as being controversial for some, but ultimately they are emblematic of the era as well. Despite being slightly derivative of other movies, and even though the ending is nonsensical until you think about the things that cops in the 1990's really didn't give a shit about, I thought this was very good fun.

As you might expect, this is set in 1990s Los Angeles, with Jonah Hill taking inspiration from his childhood to make this film. Stevie (Sunny Suljic) is a 13 year old who lives with his brother Ian (Lucas Hedges) and single mom Dabney (Katherine Waterston). The life at home, I should say, is not good. There are so many issues that the two boys seem to have, and the mom has her share as well. The film opens with Ian beating Stevie up for some reason, and over the course of the movie, we learn there may be a reason for Ian's anger problems. Ian also vehemently orders Stevie to stay out of his room, which is full of a lot of cool shit. They head to Benihana's for Ian's birthday, and Stevie used the chance when Ian left to see what CD's Ian didn't have, but Ian doesn't give a shit about what Stevie bought him. A dad is something it appears neither of these two have, their mom has no idea how to relate to her kids, and as such they drift around aimlessly as young men in that era used to do before shooting up their school. Their mom has provided for them about as nicely as one could expect, back when it was possible for people to live on smaller amounts of money.

Unsurprisingly, Stevie and Ian both don't have any friends. Stevie has decided how he wants to have friends, though. There's a group of guys who hang out at a skateshop, he decides to walk in the next day even though he doesn't have a skateboard yet. He's just looking around, but the boards are pretty expensive, so he needs to make a trade with his brother. After doing so, he has a dork board from the late 80's that Ian was obviously given just because a little kid wanted it. Anyway, the group consists of Ruben (Gio Galicia), the youngest guy until Stevie shows up; Ray (Na-Kel Smith), a potential pro skater; Fuckshit (Olan Prenatt), obvious fuckup who does things that he really shouldn't be doing; and lastly Fourth Grade (Ryder McLaughlin), their camera guy. He films basically everything throughout the film and hardly speaks. There's a reason for that. Stevie fits straight into the group, but all the dynamics of Stevie's life and friendships change as a result of this. His brother Ian seems to hate him even more, and Stevie has mental issues that manifest themselves in ways that are...I dont know if I want to say, but it's pretty tough viewing both times it happens. The first time I didn't understand until the second.

The movie isn't just a representation of the era, it's supposed to be about something more than that. It's about the things that kids went through at the time, before social media. It's about kids who don't have friends finding friends and becoming part of a group, whether or not their parents like it. It wasn't just a different era, everything about society was different. The movie captures the feel of being in a group where inevitably the friends in that group get jealous of one another. My favorite scene of the bunch is probably one at the courthouse, where the group is talking to a homeless guy. It brought up memories about trying to have conversations that are so far beyond your depth and somehow finding your way through them, or conversely embarrassing yourself entirely. This is a really strong, impactful movie. I do have complaints about how easily dislikable Stevie is, and that Ray is the only character of the bunch that really reminded me of myself on any level at all. That's okay though as Ray also turns out to be the one we learn the least about. Fourth Grade is also a clear representation of Spike Jonze, which I thought was great. I am pretty sure that barely anyone will realize that unless it's pointed out to them.

When I was in my freshman year of high school, I wound up in one of these groups that consisted of three friends, the girlfriend of my best friend in this group, and a few people who drifted in and out as the things we were doing would dictate. We didn't do the exact same things as these guys, but the way the movie ended made me think about all the times that could have happened. It shook me up a little bit. Eventually, as with such groups, they inevitably fade away. While I don't like how short the film is, the way it ends prevents the viewer from seeing the dissolution of the clique while those who were in similar groups know that it's still going to happen. The skateboarding that permeates throughout this film is something I always wanted to do, but I could never figure out how to actually skateboard. So I never participated in anything exactly similar to the things the people in this movie did. I also don't understand the child abuse that clearly happened to Ian and possibly to Stevie as well. It is implied that their mom was different once Stevie was born, but the stuff Stevie does makes me wonder if he was abused by random guys as well and if Ian simply doesn't realize it. I thought Lucas Hedges would be a bigger part of this movie as well, but he wasn't. That was disappointing.

In the end, I think that there are things in Mid90s that some may have a problem with, but if they remember the era and the copious use of homophobic slurs, they should calm down. It's accurate more than anything else. What I did think, was that this was going to be one of the best movies of the year. I wouldn't go that far now, so would this be considered a disappointment by that standard? I haven't been able to figure that out myself. The movie is about a kid finding themselves, but I really thought that there would be more stuff in this similar to the things I did as a kid, which were admittedly a bit insane. That there's no resolution to the story is I think fitting of being a kid. I knew a lot of guys who did stuff like smoke weed in the bathroom, I don't know what happened to them, but I know that their cousin did the exact same thing and was doing fine when I ran into them a few years ago. People do things as kids and they move on. I think the most impressive achievement of the film is that a large majority of the cast here, I believe the entire skating crew in fact, are skateboarders and not actors. So, in that way they were playing themselves, but there are impressive performances from them here. I would like to see Jonah Hill make a movie with real actors, but this was obviously very close to his heart and that shines through completely. The opening scene is so full of nostalgia that the viewer can only think about the stuff they had in their own bedrooms back then.

8/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Mid90s
10. Eighth Grade
11. Sorry to Bother You
12. The Old Man & the Gun
13. Bad Times at the El Royale
14. Searching
15. A Simple Favor
16. The Hate U Give
17. Hold the Dark
18. The Land of Steady Habits
19. Halloween
20. Monsters and Men
21. White Boy Rick
22. Papillon
23. Game Night
24. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
25. Alpha
26. The Predator
27. The Angel
28. The Commuter
29. The Nun
30. Operation Finale
31. The Equalizer 2
32. The Spy Who Dumped Me
33. Venom
34. Skyscraper
35. The Meg
36. Assassination Nation
37. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
38. 22 July
39. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
40. The Little Stranger
41. Night School
42. Peppermint
43. Mile 22
44. The First Purge
45. Kin
46. Hell Fest
47. The Happytime Murders
48. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #973 on: October 28, 2018, 10:55:59 AM »


Apostle (2018), directed by Gareth Evans

Granted, I haven't seen everything from this year that I really should have, but Apostle is probably the most ridiculous movie I've watched in ages. I know that Gareth Evans directed The Raid, which I haven't seen before. The Raid has to be entirely different from Apostle, which is fantasy horror with some extreme violence. The stuff in this movie is admittedly absurd, but you know what, I think I liked the movie regardless of that. Apostle is intense to a fault, and when some of the material is such that I can only barely understand what's happening in front of me, the intensity almost serves as camp. The movie initially leads the viewer to believe it's something that it isn't, and there is one particular actor in this who looks completely unlike themselves. Apostle is also very long, so any flaws in the material really come through when in a shorter film they may not. What I'm trying to say is, I kind of wish someone had warned me what this movie was going to contain, but at the same time if I'd known, I may not have watched it at all. This is the kind of movie that certainly would not have been made without Netflix's involvement.

It's the early 1900s, and Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) is being tasked with traveling to a remote Welsh island. The reason? His sister Jennifer has been kidnapped by a religious cult of some kind. We learn that Thomas is thought to be dead and that his father hates him for something that happened years before. The two will not talk to each other and it seems that his father may not have the ability to do so any longer. In order to get to this island, Thomas has to pose as a convert. He notices that his ticket to the island has a mark that another does not, so he contrives a way for them to be switched with each other. He doesn't know anything about this cult, so seemingly it is quite easy for them to bust him. Who knows what they'll do with him if they can, right? On the way to the island, it is made clear that these converts are absolutely insane and that Thomas doesn't know what he's gotten into. Upon arrival, there's an inspection, a surprising lack of questioning, and Thomas is in. His job is to find his sister, bring her back, simple as that. Good luck!

Unbeknownst to him, this is a religious cult in the style of Jim Jones. Malcolm (Michael Sheen) is the prophet and leader of this cult. Malcolm has written a religious book that everyone on the island seems to know a whole lot about, and Thomas naturallly hasn't read it yet. The newcomers are given a jar and a bread roll, and there's a reason for the jar. While Malcolm talks about their community and lots of stuff that sounds like Marxism, he wants the residents to use the jar for blood sacrifices every night. Sounds awesome to me. The blood sacrifices are to maintain the fertility of the land, and that's what the residents are told. I guess, in that way, Malcolm isn't really lying. His confidants are Frank (Paul Higgins) and Quinn (Mark Lewis Jones), convicts who arrived with him on the island many years before. How absolutely bizarre this movie is. The thing is, I have buried the lede here. I'm going to keep doing that because I simply cannot spoil what Apostle is really about and the absolutely crazy shit that's in it. If you think you know, or if you think you have an idea, you really don't. The trailer only contains a tiny amount of what the movie brings to the table.

Apostle is really hit or miss in terms of what it does bring, because the initial part of the horror building is great while the end is absolutely absurd. It is also gleefully violent. I was careful not to say too much about the characters in this movie because I really couldn't quite figure out how to do it. I can lead with the flaws here as I don't particularly understand how the villagers could be so obedient to Malcolm in the first place. This is something that lacks the depth it needs as a story because it is entirely too ambitious for the amount of time a film is allowed to have. The story goes so far off the rails that I was left unable to understand exactly what was happening at points. The characters in this movie also do not really hold together as things play out. Malcolm in particular is an obvious one, and Quinn seems to come out of nowhere once things really get going. The movie never really commits to a theme other than the things that people will do in the name of religion. Apostle could have done with major trimming in order to progress things more quickly.

Once everything goes insane, personally, I like it in spite of how little sense it made. There's a torture sequence that is absolutely ridiculous, characters that are out of this world, and video game type shit that was hard to believe on any level at all. The gore in Apostle is also outrageous. There's basically nothing that could prepare you for any of this. A few of the animal sacrifice scenes are genuinely sickening. The story is off the rails of course, but that's the case for a lot of things that present fantasy elements. As far as that goes, you take what you can get. There's definitely the feeling of Celtic inspiration in terms of the story as a whole. The scene that explains the backstory for Thomas is superb too, and it's the one that makes me think that perhaps this was better suited as a limited series. There's enough in that three minutes that could fill one or two 60 minute episodes. It's also obviously very difficult to talk about the film without spoiling, so I'm going to cut myself off and head to the finish.

Apostle is so violent that at times it's disturbing, and if that's of the utmost importance to you, then this is a film for you. I want a little bit more than that, but I liked this quite enough. This is a movie I also liked in spite of itself, with so many things in this movie that I assumed I would not have liked until I saw them for myself. The film is also heavily bolstered by the performance of Dan Stevens, who makes some of this stuff work regardless of how far it goes. There are parts of this that remind me of The Crucible and others that do not. In any case, the two movies are not very similar and that comparison shouldn't make anyone believe they are. The fantasy aspects of the film are so ridiculous that you couldn't possibly believe them if I attempted to describe them to you guys, which is why I did not.

6/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Mid90s
10. Eighth Grade
11. Sorry to Bother You
12. The Old Man & the Gun
13. Bad Times at the El Royale
14. Searching
15. A Simple Favor
16. The Hate U Give
17. Hold the Dark
18. The Land of Steady Habits
19. Halloween
20. Monsters and Men
21. White Boy Rick
22. Papillon
23. Game Night
24. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
25. Alpha
26. The Predator
27. Apostle
28. The Angel
29. The Commuter
30. The Nun
31. Operation Finale
32. The Equalizer 2
33. The Spy Who Dumped Me
34. Venom
35. Skyscraper
36. The Meg
37. Assassination Nation
38. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
39. 22 July
40. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
41. The Little Stranger
42. Night School
43. Peppermint
44. Mile 22
45. The First Purge
46. Kin
47. Hell Fest
48. The Happytime Murders
49. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #974 on: October 28, 2018, 06:50:35 PM »


12 Strong (2018), directed by Nicolai Fuglsig

Sometimes, it is quite easy to forget that we are still embroiled in the War in Afghanistan. It may not be exactly what it was, but truthfully, maybe it is. The thing is, the media no longer covers the War in Afghanistan in any way whatsoever. It's impossible for the general public to really know what's going on there. I just know that we are nearing a date where adults will have only been alive while we were in Afghanistan. What's really messed up is that I'm sure there are adults taking part in the war who now only remember us being in Afghanistan. The United States presence in Afghanistan is nowhere near what it currently was, but it's still numerous. The reason we are there now is because the Afghan government wants us to be, at least. I think that's true anyway. 12 Strong is a movie that decides to eschew any real political statement about Afghanistan, there is no hindsight with regard to the war whatsoever. The story here is about some of the first people sent to Afghanistan after September 11th. The film does not tell you that these were the first, but there is very little comment about anything else that's going on at the time. I think our current case of sending soldiers off to foreign land is one of our numerous national shames, but it's overwhelmed by our other problems. Our other problems are admittedly worse at home, so that's understandable. Despite a cast that would seem to be interesting, the movie is a bit paint by numbers other than one aspect I would like to share.

Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth) is a US Army Captain with a squad, Green Berets Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 595. I absolutely blatantly copied that and don't care. He received an assignment for staff duty, but before taking it, the September 11th attacks happened. So, that staff assignment is something Nelson wants thrown out the window. His squad consists of Hal Spencer (Michael Shannon), Sgt. Diller (Michael Pena), Sgt. Milo (Trevante Rhodes), and numerous other soldiers who admittedly aren't as important as you'd think from a movie like this. That's one of the many issues I have with the movie. Anyway, even though I never heard some of these names a single time, it's time for Nelson to regain his command of 595. Diller, Spencer, and Nelson have families they must say goodbye too. Of course, while a natural part of such a film, the expectation of these scenes and delivery of them as expected is really strange. 595 travels to Uzbekistan, and after being chosen by Col. Mulholland (William Fichtner), it's time for this group of mad lads to head to Afghanistan. Upon arrival, they are supposed to rendezvous with General Dostum (Navid Negahban), leader of a Northern Alliance outfit. Oh, you thought the Northern Alliance was some kind of monolithic group? I guess that it isn't, plus this was adapted from a book and there's plenty of material out there that says this is true. Go figure.

Upon a rough arrival in Afghanistan, where the squad is flown in at 25,000 feet in a Chinook, they land north of a base called "The Alamo." A CIA agent (Taylor Sheridan) meets them with a huge group of Northern Alliance fighters, the imagery obviously being such to make you think that 595 is going to be attacked by the Taliban. Of course, they aren't and things head on. The goal of 595 is to take Mazar-i Sharif, Taliban stronghold and one of the largest cities in Afghanistan. The requirements of the mission mean that this squad must split up, there's no other way around it. There are only six horses for them to ride deep into the mountains, to camp south of an incredible amount of Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters. They are supposed to take the city, and in doing so they will have to battle Mullah Razzan, a man we are shown ruling a village with Sharia law. This scene was actually quite inspired feeling and it was pretty rough viewing. Dostum also does not respect Nelson as it is clear to him that Nelson hasn't killed anyone before. This is also true. Dostum is also an Uzbek born in Afghanistan who had been fighting for well over 20 years by this point. In addition, he was the Vice President of Afghanistan until 2017, when he was forced to resign after being accused of having a political rival raped with a gun. This was also videotaped.

The focus on making Dostum a hero is misguided as a result of this recent news, but 12 Strong was filmed before this news came out. Dostum would be quite the controversial figure to lionize these days, but it actually seems that nobody cared. Another problem with this film is that it does not acknowledge anything that happened after the Northern Alliance took Mazar-i Sharif. I believe that the Bush Administration also blocked investigations into this incident, but apparently the Northern Alliance slaughtered Taliban and al-Qaeda members who surrendered. I sure feel so sorry for them. I think a lack of mentioning this is actually quite a big problem though, it allows the movie to more easily take creative license with lots of other things. It isn't that I feel bad for those people who were massacred becasuse I don't, but that inventing or ignoring events in order to paint a heroic picture is a major problem with mass media. The film is also near blatant hero worship, there's no other way to put it. I would have edited out basically everything with the families of the soldiers, as this movie ran for about two hours prior to the credits. That's plenty long enough. The movie is also a blatant Trump's America type movie as a result of the creative license taken with the events. There is no examination whatsoever of what was going to happen to these areas once the Taliban was driven out.

Now, one thing I will give 12 Strong major credit for, and it's something I've actually been wanting to see for a while, is that it's a film which depicts the use of modern combat weaponry. This is the only reason I'm giving this more than a 4. The super awesome BM-21 is used here, and I know that whoever made the decision to rent one of these was really excited to make the most of it. I know the missiles shot here weren't real, but there were so many shots fired off with it that someone was definitely having an amazing time. The film also succeeds in the sense that because these were some of our first soldiers here, they had no real idea what they were getting into. Effectively operating as a cavalry is certainly something nobody thought would happen. The cast members chosen for this film are also, pardon the pun, quite strong. Michael Pena and Chris Hemsworth are given more lines than Michael Shannon and Trevante Rhodes, which is okay, I guess. It's not what I would have wanted, but it's fine. New Mexico also stands in exceptionally for Afghanistan and resembles a lot of the terrain that I've seen in documentaries. There were also decisions taken with cinematography to remove red from New Mexico's more rocky areas. I didn't quite understand the early cinematography of the film until I realized why things felt that way.

This is a movie that somehow fits a happy ending into Afghanistan, which is an extremely large load of shit, but it is what it is. As already stated, there is literally nothing in this movie that talks about what Afghanistan would become, we just killed some brown guys and got rid of the evil ones. The combat scenes here are quite awesome, the rest of the movie is not anywhere near their equal. The story is almost too good to be true, but it is true and that's why Jerry Bruckheimer wanted to make it. I don't think 12 Strong is a terrible film by any stretch, but I think everything in it needs to be taken with a massive grain of salt. I will admit that it is quite nice to see a positive portrayal of some Muslims in film. Yes, this is a portrayal of Muslims who kill a lot of other people, but they do it in the name of wanting something better for everyone else. That's American to the core, I think that was the real reason this was made. If it was to absolve the Bush Administration of their sins, I am not entirely sure as there was nothing offered from any political perspective here. I would have preferred that some of these characters had real depth, but other than Dostum, none of them did.

As a post-script, I wonder how far I can really dive into this year. I'm already at 50!

5.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Mid90s
10. Eighth Grade
11. Sorry to Bother You
12. The Old Man & the Gun
13. Bad Times at the El Royale
14. Searching
15. A Simple Favor
16. The Hate U Give
17. Hold the Dark
18. The Land of Steady Habits
19. Halloween
20. Monsters and Men
21. White Boy Rick
22. Papillon
23. Game Night
24. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
25. Alpha
26. The Predator
27. Apostle
28. The Angel
29. The Commuter
30. The Nun
31. Operation Finale
32. The Equalizer 2
33. The Spy Who Dumped Me
34. 12 Strong
35. Venom
36. Skyscraper
37. The Meg
38. Assassination Nation
39. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
40. 22 July
41. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
42. The Little Stranger
43. Night School
44. Peppermint
45. Mile 22
46. The First Purge
47. Kin
48. Hell Fest
49. The Happytime Murders
50. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #975 on: October 29, 2018, 06:31:28 PM »


Manchester by the Sea (2016), directed by Kenneth Lonergan

Manchester by the Sea is a film that I was never in the mood to watch, at least until I was already depressed about the Dodgers losing the World Series. As such I thought it was now the perfect time. I was told that this would be one of the saddest movies I've watched, but you know, I really don't think that it is. Due to an extreme lack of Hollywood sentimentality, Manchester by the Sea is more than something that fits into a simple category, it's a movie that allows the characters do things that normal humans do, things that aren't often seen in movies because nobody wants to have those feelings when they go to the theater. Reality is a bitch. As it relates to that reality, it brought up some memories of loss from earlier this year. I didn't react to any of those things in my life the way that I thought I would, so the way the things in this film play out is something I'm a bit familiar with. The catalyst to bring us our story is also one of the most shocking things I've seen in a movie for a while. Assumptions I had made about the story were clearly not true. That one can make such assumptions and not expect what's coming, I think that's fantastic. There is one thing in this film I didn't like and I will bring that up much later on, but I thought this was fantastic. One of the best films of 2016 for certain. Did I think it was the best, though?

Manchester by the Sea is a film with flashbacks, one where the viewer is supposed to decipher when our lead character, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is fading in and out of his memories. Lee is a janitor who lives in the Boston suburbs, doing basically nothing with his life and living in a basement. He's the janitor for four different buildings and has to deal with four buildings worth of problems on a daily basis. Eventually he tells one of them to fuck off because they insinuate that he's a pervert, and that leads to him being reprimanded by his boss. The correction from his boss leads to a fight with two random guys at a bar. Clearly this is someone with mental problems, and instead of thinking he isn't all there, maybe he's there quite too much. That's a problem I think a lot of people have. The next day, Lee is told that his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) has had cardiac arrest, and Joe dies before Lee gets there. Lee says "fuck this," apologizes for it, but it's another insight into his state of mind. There's a flashback during this where the viewer is informed of Joe's home life many years before, with a young son in Patrick, and his wife Elise (Gretchen Mol). After Joe gets heart disease, Elise turns into a drunk and psycho, leaving Joe to manage with Patrick (Lucas Hedges).

Lee is in the unfortunate position of having to inform Patrick, who knows full well what was going on with his dad for all these years, but Patrick is in a fog over the thing. It turns out that Joe has written a will with some last wishes. The most important one of these wishes is that Lee, an extremely anti-social loner, needs to be Patrick's guardian. Throwing other wrenches into the mix is that Joe owned a boat which has a motor that needs to be replaced. George (C.J. Wilson) appears to work on the boat, but this is slightly unclear and not that important to me. He's a family friend who steps up to do some of the things that Lee can't do, and George seems to know the deal. Patrick also has two girlfriends and Lee will need to navigate this situation as best as he can. Now, as to Lee's situation, I don't think there's much harm in saying that something really bad happened to him and he can no longer cope with life. He had a wife, Randi (Michelle Williams), who George informed of Joe's passing. In flashbacks, they had three children and things were going great as Lee would go fishing with Joe and Patrick. Everything was fine. Things, as we now know, are not fine. I don't want to say what happens, but it's pretty bad.

The reveal of what happens is genuinely stunning and I don't know how I didn't see it coming, but I just didn't. The movie is comedic at times and extremely serious at others, it's a borderline perfect mixture of these things. As it is that kind of mixture it also feels like something more than what is usually gotten from sitting down to watch a movie. It is a complete story, with no longing for more and no hoping for less. Repetition is thrown entirely out the window here. Due to Manchester by the Sea's independent beginnings, the story is allowed to breathe and occur as naturally as these events really play out. The movie is like a puzzle that slowly begins to be put together. Once down to the last pieces to complete the middle of it, things take place extremely quickly just as one does when they've finally figured things out. There is no need to hold hands here. Obviously, the event that does happen is bad enough that it is the entire being of two of our characters, both of whom decided to deal with it in different ways. The way Lee dealt with it is one of isolation, that's just what he did. I do think that Affleck and Hedges performances have been well acclaimed and talked about so much that I don't really have anything to add here. This is very much a case of Affleck playing type extremely well. He was entirely deserving of his awards. I would be remiss if I didn't mention him being cancelled by Hollywood after a performance like this, which is a bit surprising as they usually don't do that to talented people. He'll be back.

I also have some problems with the film, some more minor than others. I think that Michelle Williams should have had a slightly larger role in the story, although the screenplay is so good I'm not sure how to figure that out. Her scene with Affleck near the end is really great, it is ultimately one scene and doesn't change my mind in believing that she belonged in more of the film. I also think that Matthew Broderick's cameo as a mega-Christian was really bad if entirely in place. I have never liked Broderick and I can't explain why. I don't think it's his causing of a fatal accident either. I just don't like him and never have. As far as negatives go, that's genuinely about it. Any problems I had with the opening of the film were removed the more I learned about the characters, and I really need to learn to not be so quick to rush to judgment when watching a movie. So many of these scenes feel like they're going nowhere, and suddenly they just don't. When you think Lee is going to be a bro for Patrick, he isn't. When you think Lee is going to abandon Patrick, he won't. When they have similar breakdowns, Lee is by Patrick's side. The layers of the characters really shine through here and they do not behave in standard fashion, you can't assume anything that they're going to do.

I'm getting close to completion with 2016, I probably have just a few more good movies to watch from that year and some franchise stuff. I was going to watch American Honey, but I read that it's quite similar to Kids, which is similar to Mid90s, which I just watched on Friday. So, for now I'm going to bench that one. I do only have three more films left that were nominated for Best Picture, some others that were nominated for awards, and I'll leave a few small lists pertaining to 2016 once I've watched the last of those movies that was nominated for an award I deem important. I'll do the same for 2017 and 2018 as well. But for now, I think that Manchester by the Sea wasn't the best film of 2016 and that the Academy was correct in giving the Best Picture award to Moonlight. In fact I think Hell or High Water was the second best film, and even though I haven't seen all of them, I have a hard time believing it will be displaced. Hell or High Water has stuck with me for months. I think a lot of people aren't able to say "these are all great films, but this one is the best" and instead decide to come up with reasons to say why one film wasn't as great as the next. With the exception of Loving and I suppose Jackie, I think all the films that were expected to be nominated for these awards were great films on one level or another. My problem with Loving was also related to the restrictions of the characters and their ability to show emotions as the real people did not. Anyway, that's how I feel. Manchester by the Sea is a movie with a simple plot, quite realistic, and deals with an aspect of grief not seen often in cinema. The reality that not everyone gets over bad things is something a lot of people simply aren't equipped to handle.

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 Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #976 on: October 30, 2018, 06:36:17 PM »


Margin Call (2011), directed by J.C. Chandor

Margin Call is, for lack of a better word, quite educational in showing the viewer what the people who work in the financial industry think of their customers and how they operate based upon those thoughts. I hadn't watched this because I'd made an assumption that Margin Call would be a film that explained what certain kinds of investment products do, how they package them together to fuck people over, but now that we know that's a ton of bullshit there's no reason for the film to do that. I don't know if all the characters in this film are based on real ones as I don't read financial news, but I assume that to some extent they are. The movie doesn't explain exactly how the financial crisis happened, because the point isn't to do that. The point is to explain the psychology of the people who let it happen. I don't believe in saying that people aren't quite human, but moral values in that industry beyond maximizing assets on a sheet of paper do not quite exist. I'm sure it's the same now as it was in 2008. People who make decisions on Wall Street do not exist on the same plane as regular folks and do not ever have to understand the ramifications of their choices. Some of the characters in Margin Call are better than others, but I think that the picture the film paints of the financial industry is quite accurate.

Margin Call begins with a scene I've seen quite a few times both in television and film, a mass layoff. The layoff, while unexplained throughout the film, makes a ton of sense in the context of the rest of the story. 80% of an entire floor is to be let go. One of those guys let go is Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci), the manager for the risk management division. All that remains of his division once the day is over are Pete (Zachary Quinto) and Seth (Penn Badgley). The others are terminated. Their bosses subsequently become Will (Paul Bettany), and Will reports to Sam (Kevin Spacey). I'm leaving out last names because I just don't see the point of all that. While Eric Dale is leaving the building, he attempts to tell the people above him that there's a problem with the bank, but nobody wants to listen. Eventually, he gives a USB stick to Pete and tells him he needs to be careful with it. Over the course of the night, Pete continues to work on the USB stick, and has discovered a major problem with the firm's mortgage-backed securities. You know, those things that helped to cause our financial crisis back in 2008, which is what year this film is set in.

I don't know much of shit about finance to begin with, which is something I should have gotten out of the way. The simple way to put things is that these assets are toxic and entirely too risky to have on the books. If the firm's assets decrease enough, the loss will be greater than the firm and they'll go bankrupt. Leverage as shown here is one of the reasons for the 2008 crisis. The consumer had too many things they wanted that they couldn't pay for. Banks didn't have enough capital to cover losses for assets that depreciated. I think I have this right. Fraud is another reason for the crisis, but anyway, this film is about the psychology of those who managed to navigate the crisis. Even though it's past midnight, it is decided that everyone important with the firm has to be called in to work. Jared Cohen (Simon Baker) is the division head who thinks he knows everything. Sarah Robertson (Demi Moore) is the chief risk management officer, and along with Jared, they seemed to know this was coming. Lastly and most importantly, we have the CEO, John Tuld (Jeremy Irons). Tuld isn't in this position because he knows all the aspects of these securities and he needs everything laid out in plain English. What Tuld is there for is, he's there to make a decision. His decision will have vast ramifications on his firm and the entire market, and much like Goldman Sachs, he's going to get through this thing no matter what the ramifications are on everyone else.

For those who don't know, even though GS made it through the financial crisis, it wasn't entirely due to the bailout. They were the first to sell all their trash assets to other firms, brokers, and what have you. They navigated the crisis at the cost of their reputation, made money after the fact, and didn't care what people thought of them for doing it. Lehman Brothers was second and they went broke. I think the finance history as a whole is completely fucked and immoral, but there are good points made about the fact that regular people can't afford what they want without said industry. The film specializes in presenting the mindsets of those who navigated this crisis to maximum benefit. As such, the film is quite good. There is a problem with who is in the movie at this point, though. Kevin Spacey is an elephant in the room now, and eventually the film grows to center around his character, which makes for viewing that feels a bit strange. There's also an issue with the events not being all that dramatic because we know that the consumer gets fucked as a result of decisions that people such as these make. For them, it is and only ever has been about what they can get from the consumer for themselves. As a result the film is not as dramatic as it otherwise could have been.

The film is still quite informative into the mindset of the individuals who partake in this system, and due to how focused the film is there isn't very much to say. There is rarely subject matter with a narrow focus like this, and I'm trying to make reviews for merely "good" movies shorter to begin with. All of the performances are very strong, with Jeremy Irons doing the best work of the group here. The movie feels like Glengarry Glen Ross in no small part due to Spacey's participation, but it just can't hit that level of psychopathy and callousness. Margin Call is so methodical in showing the way these things work that it is actually quite strange. The way in which trades of millions of dollars are made is genuinely astounding, and I really need to watch a documentary about this so that I can understand how this actually came into being. I think and hope I am intelligent enough to figure it out for myself. I thought some of the scenes with more soulless characters were incredibly poignant, some people just don't give a fuck. It is funny that there are people on the side of these huge banks, and it is genuinely astounding that they have been allowed to become too big to fail, but they really are and they just don't give a fuck. I am a believer that these institutions should be broken up, but they're not going to be, and in that event they really are too big to fail. The ramifications on the economy if the financial system truly collapsed would destroy society as we know it. That we have not regulated these huge banks into many smaller banks is quite astounding, and regulations are being stripped away as we know it, so this will definitely happen again soon. This time I don't know if the country is even slightly prepared to deal with it without one of Thomas Jefferson's famous quotes about the tree of liberty being applied to the situation.

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 Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #977 on: October 31, 2018, 12:07:13 PM »


Hunter Killer (2018), directed by Donovan Marsh

For once I went to watch a movie where the very existence of it perplexes me, and I was left with no answer to my question after sitting through these two hours. The fact is, a movie that you'd think is a submarine chase should be better than this was. The problem is, it isn't a submarine chase and relies on so many stupid tropes that the movie collapses upon itself. I am shocked that a script such as this would attract the cast that it did, with Gerard Butler being the exception to that as almost everything he's in is really shitty. I don't think that's because of something Butler did, but rather because he can't pick a good script. Maybe he doesn't care. This cast would indicate that everyone was fooled by the script, so I'm not sure the film was anyone's fault other than the people who directed and wrote this. Also, I think this isn't a film that is derivative of anything else. That's what's so strange about this, that nothing is coming to mind as entirely comparable movie. Yet, all things considered, this feels like something that could have been straight to VOD, which is weird for a movie with a budget in the mid-eight figures. I'm at somewhat of a loss for words as for how to describe this beyond all the things I've already said, but I'll try my best.

The indescribable sometimes requires explanation, so pardon me if I mess any of this up. The USS Tampa Bay is on a mission in the Arctic, shadowing a Russian sub. Problem is, there's another Russian sub somewhere above it. As soon as the target has an incident onboard and explodes, the Russian sub decides to shoot USS Tampa Bay with a torpedo and kill everyone on board. Afterwards, Rear Admiral John Fisk (Common) is given a mission by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. Charles Donnegan (Gary Oldman). Said mission is for the USS Arkansas to investigate what happened in the Arctic. It is assumed that the boat had an accident of some kind, so Fisk is sending them there just to have a look around at the bottom of the ocean. The commander of this sub is new, and his name is...JOE GLASS (Gerard Butler). I don't know who picked such an amusing name. Anyway, Glass is a man of the people, or rather of the sea. He didn't go to the Naval Academy and worked his way up through jobs on submarines along the way. He may not have the experience of commanding, but he knows what the men are going through. Upon arriving at the site of the Tampa Bay, Glass discovers that the Tampa Bay was torpedoed and all hell breaks loose as a result.

Simultaneously, there's a problem going on in Russia. Their President, Mr. Zakarin (Alexander Diachenko) is visiting a local naval base to be nearer to the scene of these events, and his defense minister, Mr. Durov (Mikhail Gorevoy) has come along with him. Unbeknownst to Zakarin, Durov has a different plan for the country and is going to take advantage of his positioning to all these military assets. The United States is apparently very aware of this. Jayne (Linda Cardellini) is an analyst with the NSA, and she's at the Pentagon with Fisk and Donnegan. She tells Fisk that they need to find out why all these assets are at the base, and that something fishy is going on. I am fully aware my explanation doesn't make sense. As a result of all that, it's time to send in a team consisting of four Navy SEALS, led by Lt. Beaman (Toby Stephens). They are supposed to observe, spy, and provide reports to the Pentagon. The thing is, while they're there, they see something that could ignite a major war, as Durov kills most of Zakarin's staff and captures him, deciding that it's time for Russia to have new leadership in a time of war. His motivations can only be deciphered by the audience as they are never explained at any point in the film. Glass is then tasked with responding to Russian aggression, no matter what happens after he does.

It's hard for me to adequately describe the plot, as I already said numerous times. Do you understand why? The whole movie doesn't make sense and lacks defined characters. I don't necessarily expect well defined characters from a military fiction film with a very large cast, but that's part of what's wrong with the genre and why I have a hard time giving these sorts of films their due. I am confused as to how Gary Oldman got in this film, but not so much Gerard Butler, who continues to remain unable to pick a decent script. Hunter Killer is a script that defies description, and any attempts to create conflict between Joe Glass and his XO (Carter MacIntyre) just do not have any feeling of reality in them. This seemed better when it felt like it was going to be a submarine chase movie with all the tropes of that genre, instead we are given a blend of the politics of the Pentagon, a submarine staying undetected until a point at which they really need to be detected, anda movie about the SEALS attempting to infiltrate a naval base and rescue a foreign leader. That's ridiculous, isn't it? It's way too much for a movie like this. The special effects that you'd hope to be a highlight in this are similarly not great. I don't know what the deal is.

With all that in mind, I can't pad this review out with content as the film is devoid of intriguing content. I took a restroom break during a scene where the Russian fleet was supposed to be surrounding the USS Arkansas, came back, and felt like I missed nothing at all. I also looked at the plot and discovered that I really didn't miss anything. Hunter Killer was boring and everyone at the theater to see it was older than I am. Gary Oldman shouldn't be in movies like this one, but he was, and this was actually filmed in 2016. So, somebody out there decided that this movie stunked and that they'd sit on it for a long time before releasing it. The story simply fails to land, and other than a bit where the president of our country looks somewhat like Hillary Clinton, this is a movie that takes things far too seriously and lacks levity. I don't understand some of these scenes either. The one that introduces us to Glass is when he's hunting in the Scottish Highlands, and he decides not to shoot an elk because it has a family. Then, even though he shot at and destroyed another stop, I guess this was supposed to mean that he's compassionate? I don't know. All of these characters aren't interesting and this movie wasn't very fun. A lot of the people who've seen this liked it, but the critics did not and I'm with them on this one. Too boring for me.

4/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Mid90s
10. Eighth Grade
11. Sorry to Bother You
12. The Old Man & the Gun
13. Bad Times at the El Royale
14. Searching
15. A Simple Favor
16. The Hate U Give
17. Hold the Dark
18. The Land of Steady Habits
19. Halloween
20. Monsters and Men
21. White Boy Rick
22. Papillon
23. Game Night
24. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
25. Alpha
26. The Predator
27. Apostle
28. The Angel
29. The Commuter
30. The Nun
31. Operation Finale
32. The Equalizer 2
33. The Spy Who Dumped Me
34. 12 Strong
35. Venom
36. Skyscraper
37. The Meg
38. Assassination Nation
39. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
40. 22 July
41. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
42. The Little Stranger
43. Night School
44. Peppermint
45. Mile 22
46. The First Purge
47. Hunter Killer
48. Kin
49. Hell Fest
50. The Happytime Murders
51. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #978 on: November 01, 2018, 06:41:48 PM »


Live by Night (2016), directed by Ben Affleck

I must provide fair warning here. I do not like when actors direct their own movies. Clint Eastwood is the only exception to this, and that's because he's the only guy who seems to properly be able to separate his performance from the things going on behind the camera. Ben Affleck on the other hand is not able to do so. He shows an extreme lack of charisma in Live by Night, a face that shows some level of distraction that should be readily apparent to almost all viewers. Affleck has had performances like this in other films, but he's also had very good ones. These sorts of performances are becoming more frequent the older he gets, so I suppose it's a good thing he's been booted from the Bruce Wayne role. Instead he can play an unemoting autistic guy as this seems to be better suited to his current career trajectory. I must also point out that this film was released right after The Accountant, so perhaps the performances are linked in some way and he was not able to shake things. I also looked this up and found that he filmed The Accountant and Live by Night right after each other. So, I'll stand by my comments here. Live by Night is the kind of title that gives absolutely nothing away, and perhaps that's for the best. Due to nothing being given away, one is left to run wild with their imagination until they watch the film. Once they watch it, they can see what Ben Affleck's imagination is like. It's an interesting one.

Live by Night is a movie about lots of different things, it seems Ben Affleck could not quite decide. However, there's still something here worth a look at the very least. This is a movie that takes place over many, many years. Our first story and introduction to the latter part concerns Joe Coughlin (Ben Affleck), our lead character and World War I veteran. He's the son of a Boston police captain, Thomas (Brendan Gleeson). Thomas knows what Joe does for a living and seems to care, but not quite enough to completely ignore him. Joe is a bank robber and general stick-up artist, he's killed people and stuff, but he's not affiliated with any particular gang. Joe has fallen in love with Emma (Sienna Miller), and Emma is the mistress of one of the two main gang leaders in Boston, Albert White (Robert Glenister). Albert is at war with Maso Pescatore (Remo Girone), and as you may guess, this is an Irish vs. Italian thing. Maso finds out what Joe is doing and makes him an offer, either kill Albert or be outed to Albert and he will kill Joe. Joe decides to call Maso's bluff and flee to California, but he has been busted. Meanwhile, he's also been busted robbing a bank. After he goes down for three years, and after Albert kills Emma, it's time for the story to head over to Florida, where business slows down a bit.

The story in Boston is the most cohesive part of this sprawler, because once things head to Florida the story gets awfully convoluted and difficult to explain. Maso, I should have mentioned, enlists Joe once Joe gets out of prison. His job? It's to take out White and run Ybor City for the Italians, and to do so, Joe needs to enlist former buddy and partner in bank robbing, Dion Bartolo (Chris Messina). The situation in Tampa is not all that great. Joe is tasked with creating new relationships with the people around. In order to produce rum, he needs molasses. Enter the Cubans. Graciela Corrales (Zoe Saldana) is part of a gang, and the story is woefully unclear as to her role in it, but Joe needs to form relationships with Cubans in order to get what he needs. At the same time, there's Irving Figgis (Chris Cooper). His daughter Loretta (Elle Fanning) is headed to Hollywood to become a movie star, so Irving is a bit alone at home. Irving is also the police chief of Tampa. He makes clear where Joe is able to do business. Doesn't want to know what he does and doesn't want any money from him, this is the way by which he can proclaim that he isn't corrupt. The problem is, he has a brother-in-law who is part of the KKK. R.D. Pruitt (Matthew Maher) is the name, and he's a memorable character if I've ever seen one. His goal, as you might expect, is to cleanse the area of what he deems to be filth. Or, if there's a chance, take all the money from it for himself.

The movie sprawls way beyond any of the things I've already mentioned, but I can't and won't list more beyond any of that stuff. I don't think this is a terrible movie by any stretch, but it's one with too many moving parts, and as a result of that the most interesting facets of the film are given short shrift. There are too many characters involved and none of them are given the time on screen that they need. Joe and Dino are the only two who are ever present, and Dino obviously to a lesser extent. Brendan Gleeson is in this film nowhere near enough as he should be, and I was disappointed that we were presented this picture of a vibrant Boston only for the setting to change so drastically. The film is also so incredibly stuffed that we can't understand the other characters on any level. All we are able to understand is the uncharismatic Joe, who is lacking charisma for reasons that are beyond my comprehension. Ben Affleck is really poor and uncredible here. It was initially suggested that his time in Europe during World War I did something to him, but there's nothing in the film to back that up. His performance is so bad, it's the events in his script and the other performers that go a long way towards saving this. His homage to the 1930's is full of too many things, but it's fun and entertaining in that way.

Affleck's movie being derivative of other material is not automatically bad, but it's bad when the stuff that he's using isn't very good to begin with. The story with Graciela is bad. The stuff with Pruitt is good, and so is our story with Figgis. I think as a whole that the stories he decided to take are good, but there's still the looming problem of there being too much of this. Nothing in the film is surprising either, and the conclusion of Live by Night is drawn out so much longer than it really needed to be. I like things like this as a rule, with Boardwalk Empire being one of my favorite period dramas for this era, but the film is simply plain average. Huge crime stories are simply better told on television than in movie fashion, and this is no exception to that. Tension is substituted for entertainment, and that's acceptable, but I'd never go overboard with my rating for a movie such as this. I also saw that Live by Night was one of the biggest box office bombs in quite some time. I can't imagine why anyone would think they could roll with a $90 million budget after promotion for a rated R period movie in 2016. What would make anyone think there's a market for stuff like that? According to Variety, this bombed to the tune of a $75,000,000 loss. That's pretty bad! I think I've said just about all there is to say. Live by Night is a film that's overly long, fun if you turn your brain off, but not anywhere near what this kind of movie should really be due to a lead character who is devoid of charisma. There you have it.

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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #979 on: November 02, 2018, 09:38:30 AM »
My cousins just ruined my showing of Bohemian Rhapsody so I won't review that until I can rent it. Mega pissed.

Maybe I'll just push more of my schedule back.


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #980 on: November 04, 2018, 02:23:20 PM »


Suspiria (2018), directed by Luca Guadagnino

I have been at a loss for words for about thirty minutes prior to starting review, I don't know how to unpack my feelings about Suspiria. This is the most strange film I have watched all year. That's clearly the intention of Guadagnino, who seems to revel in how surreal some of these events really are. After getting home, I decided to read the description of the original movie directed by Dario Argento. I would describe it as being only slightly similar to the original, it is different in most ways including its conclusion. I suppose a better way to phrase things is that this film is based on the original and not a remake. If I seem like I'm repeating myself, it's because I'm truly at a loss for words. I cannot think of any other movie that left me as much at a loss as I am right now. Suspiria is a film that slams a load of different stuff into your face, and you'll most likely either love it or you won't. It's a film that is so long (2:30) that you'll hate it if you aren't fully invested in the outcome. Suspiria is also likely to get some of the worst reviews of the year. Why? The content is controversial, so far beyond what people are used to, and so close to being completely obscene that I can't believe this was given an R rating. A lot of people can't handle this, of course. Others also simply can't handle being forced to think for themselves. Suspiria has no easy answers, you must think for yourself, and many of the questions I have about the film are left unresolved. That's completely okay!

Suspiria is a film that takes place in Berlin during 1977. Susie (Dakota Johnson) is an American from a religious Ohioan family who has left the comforts of Ohio for the Markos Dance Academy in West Berlin. The academy is having major problems and people in it have assumed that a former student, Patricia Hingle (Chloe Grace Moretz), has joined up with Palestinian terrorists to commit hijackings and bombings. Patricia had told her therapist, Dr. Klemperer (Tilda Swinton), that the academy is controlled by a witch coven. I should clarify that the doctor is a guy. Patricia has left some journals with some really crazy shit in them about witches which predate organized religion. Klemperer dismisses these claims as bullshit hokum for good reason, because such things are never real. The thing is, Patricia disappears after this conversation and he starts reading these books. Anyway, as you might suspect, this movie is creepy as fuck. Due to the things that happen with Klemperer, I don't know what I should say and what I shouldn't. Klemperer lost his wife during the Holocaust, and by lost I mean that he doesn't know where she went. He also has papers that say they weren't Jewish, but regardless of that, he doesn't know where she is. That must mean they were Jewish, right? In any case, knowing that Swinton is playing the doctor makes the movie even more interesting than it already is, and it is very interesting.

Now, as for the academy, I should set up the events before quickly shutting things down before talking about the film as a whole. Susie gets in on her initial audition, with Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton) dropping by for the audition. This never happens. The academy is in a gigantic building, one could call it cavernous. Once Susie is accepted, she is given her own room. There are some problems though. She has dreams every night, most of them are very violent and they're all full of weird content. Over the course of her time at the academy, Susie befriends Sara (Mia Goth), another dancer who seems to have just arrived there not too long ago. We also learn that the academy does recruiting in the form of performing around the world, which eventually brings young girls to Berlin to have a go at becoming a professional dancer. The academy also houses these girls and they don't have to worry about anything financially. It's a hard world out there in 1977. Susie climbs the ranks as a dancer, eventually becoming one of Blanc's favorite students, but there's so much more going on at this place. Blanc and others are constantly speaking in German so that some of the students can't understand them. There is also a vote to decide whether or not Mother Markos or Madame Blanc should rule the academy. Markos is not shown on screen for a long time. In any case, she wins the vote. Then, upon Susie's ascension to the lead in Volk, the most famous dance of the troupe, there's an incident. Olga (Elena Fokina) is a Soviet student who just can't take this shit anymore and she thinks her dancing is shit. When she can't take this shit, something happens that's genuinely inexplicable, something that showed me this wouldn't be some kind of simple horror movie, it goes so much more beyond that to the point where I had to watch the ending through my fingers.

That this is so much more than a regular horror movie means that I have no idea how to properly formulate my thoughts. I think the best thing I could do would be to point out that the film relies on two themes very strongly, with national guilt probably coming through the strongest even though I think it was a subplot that could have been chopped. There are lots of stories throughout about hijackings and terrorist actions, and this is also a story that happened when West Germany was reflecting upon their role in World War II. It's almost impossible for me to explain this without spoiling as it's a theme that is only revealed to the viewer once the ending comes along. There's also the matter of Klemperer feeling guilty about losing his wife, about his role in the Reich, and all of that. Doesn't matter that they had Aryan papers, she was still lost and he thinks about her all the time. There's also the matter of the way that the older women at the academy prey on the students instead of helping them. I suppose you could call that abuse of power, but it feels a lot worse than that. I think this is a theme that isn't as pervasive as national guilt, or at the least it just doesn't work out that way from my perspective. The evil in the film, the belief in the supernatural regardless of what it may bring to the coven, that's what really shines through. Did I just spoil and say this is a witches coven? Yes, I did.

The dancing in this movie as pictured above is also beyond strange. The choreography needed to pull off some of these sequences had to be incredible. It probably took ages to film these. The stuff going on here is also, as you might suspect, a lot more than simply dancing. Suspiria as you might expect, is also extremely graphic. There's an initial scene to let the viewer know this is going to be the case, and the marketing should also let us know, but nothing can really prepare people for what they see here. The film also is divided into six acts, all of which were different from the other and introduced new elements to the story. If you're as entranced with the movie as I was, it's possible you may not notice. Tilda Swinton's performances here are incredible. I was careful not to list all of them and decided to settle on two. Dance is a huge plot device in the film, and she's incredibly believable in her roles as the master of dance and psychotherapist. Dakota Johnson also shows something here in her scenes and is believable as a dancer when I believe that she has no experience in that field. There's pretty weird shit here. I could continue to write about things but I literally don't know how to do it without spoiling the entire movie.

Suspiria is a film that has been compared to The Neon Demon, with good reason, but I think The Neon Demon is a better film that more accurately streamlines its scope into a more digestible package. Both movies are pretty much as dark as it gets, but I think Suspiria is too long and that gives Nicolas Winding Refn's film the edge. There's nothing that can be cut from the movie as it needs to be given the room to tell its story, and I think the comparisons ultimately aren't entirely logical because the movies are about different things. The Neon Demon is about stealing the essence from a young girl in order to prolong beauty. You think that Suspiria might be about that, it turns out that it isn't. That's all I want to say as well. I don't think I'll watch a more fucked up movie than this one for a long time. It is so fucked up that at times it becomes offputting, and the end is so far beyond anything I've seen in a theater. It's as extreme as it gets and you don't even have to wait a long time for some of that stuff. This is crazy shit, end of story. Whatever you think this might be, it's far beyond that. It's also very pretentious seeming in the way that it doesn't need to explain any of the events, so take this insight-free review for what it's worth.

7.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Mid90s
10. Eighth Grade
11. Sorry to Bother You
12. The Old Man & the Gun
13. Suspiria
14. Bad Times at the El Royale
15. Searching
16. A Simple Favor
17. The Hate U Give
18. Hold the Dark
19. The Land of Steady Habits
20. Halloween
21. Monsters and Men
22. White Boy Rick
23. Papillon
24. Game Night
25. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
26. Alpha
27. The Predator
28. Apostle
29. The Angel
30. The Commuter
31. The Nun
32. Operation Finale
33. The Equalizer 2
34. The Spy Who Dumped Me
35. 12 Strong
36. Venom
37. Skyscraper
38. The Meg
39. Assassination Nation
40. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
41. 22 July
42. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
43. The Little Stranger
44. Night School
45. Peppermint
46. Mile 22
47. The First Purge
48. Hunter Killer
49. Kin
50. Hell Fest
51. The Happytime Murders
52. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #981 on: November 04, 2018, 06:14:32 PM »


Into the Inferno (2016), directed by Werner Herzog

I wasn't necessarily trying to watch one Herzog documentary a month, but that's how things turned out this month. I don't know if this will happen again, we shall see. Herzog strikes me as being absolutely obsessed with volcanoes, he simply cannot help himself. For the second time, I have encountered a documentary in which Herzog becomes interested in the bizarre aspects of his subjects, which ultimately leads to the documentary revolving around them. At the very least I'd say those are the moments that shine through more than the others. I think that to some extent, if you're going to enjoy this feature, you must also have a morbid curiosity with volcanoes and what they can to do other people or the terrain around them. I have always been in this category. The person writing this is someone who has seen Dante's Peak between 30 and 40 times. I certainly need to watch more documentaries and there is no shortage of them, but I have a major film backlog and I have to pound my way through it. Over the course of time, as with the backlog, I will figure things out. In the meantime, I should probably talk about Into the Inferno. I will probably be brief because this is a documentary that is also quite brief.

Into the Inferno is a film obviously shot with no intention of crafting a cohesive narrative, but ultimately over the course of some of the conversations in the film, Herzog decides to circle back to mysticism and the things that people believe about volcanoes. Initially, it seems as if the film will be about how these giant explosive mountains will kill us all, but that is not quite the truth. Instead, Herzog decides to entertain with the ridiculousness of human beings. The way some people believe these things is entirely incomprehensible. He collaborates with Clive Oppenheimer, a volcanologist who surprisingly doesn't have too many things to offer in front of the camera here, but certainly offered quite a lot behind the scenes. Oppenheimer has apparently written a book about the impact that volcanoes have on society and the world as a whole, and ultimately the film decides to take us to numerous locations. Some, like Iceland, do not have much to offer the project and are only briefly shown on camera. Others like Ethiopia are more scientific in nature, with Oppenheimer talking to other scientists about the things that have been placed on the ground over all these years we have existed. Admittedly, this sequence is a drag on the film. Indonesia is also here because it's a volcanic hotspot, and featured here we have some rituals and a building dedicated to a volcano in some kind of way. Most importantly, we have Vanuatu and North Korea. I think you may be able to guess why these are most important.

As is propaganda in North Korea, we have Mount Paektu, the most important piece of the revolution. There are so many reasons why this is and it is probably best to listen to North Koreans telling Werner Herzog this for themselves, but it is propaganda that Kim Il-sung learned how to stop the Japanese there, and North Korea claims that Kim Jong-il was born there as well. Therefore, this mountain is practically worshipped and featured in all sorts of propaganda. The North Korean Constitution says that it is the sacred mountain of the revolution. Again, this is Herzog showing the world that people believe these things about giant explosive mountains that can end human life. Over in Vanuatu, we examine a primitive tribe that believes in John Frum. I have no idea how many people even know about John Frum, but nothing about it is logical. Some people believed in this stuff, we landed on Vanuatu during World War II, and the cult got a hell of a lot more strong. It pertains to this documentary because some tribesmen believe that John Frum lives in the lake of a local volcano, and apparently this cult is stronger than it should be. These folks believe that John Frum will bring them modern goods from the sky, he's their god, and that is that.

Eventually due to the content matter, this becomes an absurdity that centers around the things people are willing to believe because they aren't capable of handling the reality of what they live next to. I guess I would say it is what it is. Humans are not going to change anytime soon. It is also jarring to see people living in such a primitive state at this point of human history. I think there are those who believe in interfering for the good of their society, but hardly anything we've ever done in that regard was good for anyone's society. They would also still believe in John Frum. Into the Inferno is so completely bizarre in this way, it lets us know about aspects of humanity we may not otherwise know. The videos of these volcanoes are also spectacular without exception. Herzog's narration does everything to enhance these pictures, the way he presents the film is so utterly strange. Volcanoes are clearly an obsession for the man, he believes that they are something beyond humanity, something about our Earth that is much more than the human spirit. He's not incorrect. I think Herzog does fail a bit in making the point that volcano eruptions can come at any time and wipe us out, at least until the end when he delivers a stirring monologue. Nothing about these things actually makes sense, but volcanoes are what they are and we are not even in the way of them. We could be destroyed at any point. To create a strong documentary such as this, to get into North Korea under the guise of studying the volcano and deliver something different, that's what a strong documentarian does. Herzog, as many people say, is the best of them. I will need to watch more documentaries to find that out for myself. His view of the world is fascinating.

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 Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #982 on: November 05, 2018, 06:24:56 PM »


Passengers (2016), directed by Morten Tyldum

Passengers is a film that received immediate backlash for very good reasons, because the concept of the film made things sound extremely creepy. Not only does it turn out that things actually were creepy, but I am willing to admit that the film actually started off in really interesting fashion. The way things became in our third act is something I am unable to separate from the rest. The thing is, I think this was a decent concept and I'm always up for watching another space movie. However, I can only laugh about this being nominated for two Academy Awards. At least it didn't win one. I think there's no way to beat around the bush here, but I made a strange observation. Apparently Passengers was the fourth largest live-action original film release in this country during 2016. Isn't that insane? That would also be the case now, and in fact I believe it's worse because this would be third. So, we definitely have a lack of creativity in the box office these days. Can someone else please create something that people turn out in droves to see? At least the leader last year was Get Out. Get Out, unfortunately, this is not. It's sci-fi and not even great sci-fi. Any of the work it does is blown apart by the end, but the things at the early part of the film really stand out. Does the good outweigh the bad?

The Avalon is a transport ship, sending 5,000 colonists and 258 crew members to Homestead II, a planet that the Homestead Company intends to colonize. I can only laugh at how many times these crew members must make the journey to this place. Who knows, maybe they don't leave Homestead II? This is never expanded upon. The journey takes 120 years, and the people traveling must hibernate nearly the whole way there. 30 years into the trip, the Avalon collides with an asteroid field, which causes a huge malfunction. Although the ship has meteor shields, that is irrelevant. The first ramification is that one of our hibernation pods malfunctions, which leads to Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) waking up 90 years too early. Jim, of course, is shocked to be alone. He's an engineer, but that's of no consequence at this stage as he doesn't know what to do. He can't access the crew deck so that he can wake someone up, and it takes years for the ship to send messages. He's completely screwed. His lone bit of company is an android barman, Arthur (Michael Sheen), and Arthur doesn't make for the best conversation in the world. This is what it is. Unsurprisingly, the hologram instructors are no help at all and Jim is left with the reality that he will probably die alone.

After Jim makes it a whole year, and I don't understand how he was able to do that in the first place, he considers going to an airlock and killing himself. Instead, he goes to the bottle, until one day he notices Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence). Jim immediately decides that he's going to read everything she's ever written, he really likes her stuff, and look how she looks. He can't really decide whether or not he's going to wake her up, he knows that it's wrong, but he's going to do it anyway. After doing so, Jim decides to claim that Aurora's pod malfunctioned. She can't handle the idea that she's going to die on the ship, that she won't be able to get to Homestead II, and decides that she's going to write a book about the situation. As you might suspect, two people alone get to doing what they're going to do. Stockholm Syndrome? Maybe. The thing is, Arthur knows all about Aurora from Jim's conversations, he knows that Jim struggled with the idea of waking her up, and he knows that Jim woke her up. He's also a robot, there's no forgetting any of that stuff, it's simply there. What do you think happens when Aurora finds out about this? If your answer is that the script has nowhere to go from that point and sputters to a boring and corny conclusion, you've guessed correctly!

The problem with good concepts is that they are simply concepts, that the story without a natural conclusion to said concept is junk. Passengers is a movie that doesn't have a conclusion and decides to introduce a third failed hibernation, a character played by Laurence Fishburne. There are no words for how bad I think this actually was. To the benefit of the film it took about an hour and twenty minutes for us to get to this point. I say that this is a feature of the movie because playing it out any longer would have left the film far too predictable, which isn't to say that it wasn't predictable. Having it happen shorter would have left our conclusion much longer than it needed to be. That this is a love story is also goofy due to how creepy this is, but it's a movie that lacks heart because nobody else is in it. All the hallways and concourses are vacant and lacking life. This is something I would not consider to be a good thing, it's actually horrible. The visuals of the film are also poorer than you'd expect with the exception of a gravity free sequence, and there's a few scenes with an almost nude Jennifer Lawrence that are nice too. Just being honest here.

Unfortunately, the idea of being trapped on a spaceship for the rest of your life falls flat when things aren't played as a horror film. I would really like to see this sort of story played for horror. Instead, nothing here really is, and the creepy appearances from Jim only feel creepy instead of it being downright scary that he's stalking Aurora around the ship or talking to her over the intercom, forcing her to hear his every word. I'm awfully tempted to take the most monstrous shit on this movie, but I can't bring myself to do it because I thought the events were genuinely interesting until Fishburne showed up. Some of the shots are framed in the most bizarre fashions, but ultimately the film is too clean and lacking character. Passengers just doesn't go as far as it really should. Leaning into creep factor is simply unacceptable, my hopes and expectations are that this material goes much further than that and is played for scares. Instead, the conclusion of the film is absolute trash, literally the worst thing that could possibly have been chosen as an ending. I can't imagine anything I would have wanted less than what happened. At least the actors got paid a lot! The product placement of Chivas Regal ensured that I buy whiskey tomorrow before Election Night, but I don't think it's going to be that one. I'd rather have Bulleit or Maker's Mark.

This review may not have been what some people wanted in terms of me fully lampooning the concept, but I didn't have it in me due to the way the conclusion played out. That just about sucked the life out of me. The last cameo cracked me up a lot though, it was unexpected. I guess you could say that this film is a positive in the sense that it carries some novelty factor, but there's a reason that critics said Passengers was bad. That's because it was bad. Not offensively bad, not enough for me to dive head first into scores that I give to truly terrible films, but bad.

4.5/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #983 on: November 07, 2018, 11:53:06 AM »


Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), directed by Dexter Fletcher

I refuse to give Bryan Singer or any other fired director credit for a film they didn't finish, particularly when the presence of the second director was needed in order to salvage the project. I think Bohemian Rhapsody is the kind of movie that is entertaining and simultaneously a huge problem in the sense of being massively inaccurate. If you are hoping for an introspective into Queen or into Freddie Mercury, the viewer is left lacking that, so this is a film that is simply not going to bring that to the table. Straight Outta Compton, while also flawed, did at least do some of that. What I would also say is that we also somewhat needed this movie. People may not agree with that, but I have a different perspective. Our world sucks, making a vanilla version of a band movie isn't exactly the most unforgivable sin. However, I would have liked if said movie was about a different band and not this one, but I don't think anyone's signing up to throw away their money on a project that makes people look bad. A commercial cash grab is always what this kind of movie is going to be, but I'd also say that if we continue to have music biopics pushed out there, someone needs to make one about Van Halen and not give us a weaksauce version of it. I need the tension, and not made up falsehoods. Even though I've said all these things, the fact of the matter is that I just liked the movie. I wanted something more, but I am able to look at this for what it was.

The film begins in London, with Farrokh Bulsara (Rami Malek), our future Freddie Mercury, handling baggage at Heathrow in 1970. He's consistently slammed with racial slurs because he's brown, treated with no respect whatsoever, and his Parsi parents don't like him because he tries to fit in with regular Englishmen. One night, he goes to a club to watch a local band called Smile. They're good, but the lead singer quits to join a shitty band that never goes anywhere. Freddie approaches Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) after the show, belts out a song, and as Bohemian Rhapsody tells it, he joins the band. This film has contributions from band members with their own motives so I have absolutely no idea how much of these parts are true, but I think the point is to show that they were immediately impressed with him. Anyway, John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) joins as their bassist, and they're off. They tour the UK regularly before deciding that it's time to finally make an album, at Freddie's behest, selling their van in order to afford it. Who needs a van when a successful album can get you a bus, anyway? The scenes showing the creation of their debut album are pretty cool, then Farrokh changes his name to Freddie Mercury and shacks up with Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton), his girlfriend and love of his life.

Freddie, as you might expect, is extremely flamboyant and played as such by Malek, so I don't understand how any woman could have not suspected that Freddie was gay in the first place. Anyway, we push on and during Queen's tour of the United States, Freddie starts to question his sexuality and there's a scene where he's going to follow some random truck driver into a bathroom. It's hard to have natural plot development in a film like this one, so I'll bring some bullet points to the story. They want to record an album, A Night at the Opera. Earlier in the film they had been signed by John Reid (Aidan Gillen), who is now their manager. Paul Prenter (Allen Leech) serves as Freddie's personal manager, and Jim Beach (Tom Hollander) is their lawyer. They get into a major disagreement with a record executive, Ray Foster (Mike Myers). They had went to record the album, a lot of things happened, and Foster hated the idea of releasing "Bohemian Rhapsody" as a single. As everyone is well aware of, things went great, they left Foster's label, and pushed on to massive success. During and after the band's world tour, Freddie and Paul have an affair, which leads to Paul slowly driving a major wedge between Freddie and Queen. Lots of gay orgies and stuff happen after that, presented in glossy PG-13 fashion so that people will still bring their kids to go watch Bohemian Rhapsody. Is this a problem? Sort of.

I don't know how to address concerns of straightwashing at this point. I was going to ask my brother to watch the movie so that I could see what he thought, but he said that the negative press about Freddie being straightwashed made him not want to watch the movie at all. So, with that in mind, I don't really know how to put these things. I think that short of showing simulated sex scenes and tons of scenes where he did drugs, I don't know what exactly could have been done to this end that would have made people happy. I think the far greater grievances are related to factual inaccuracies, and the film is laden with them. I'm not a diehard Queen fan, but I did know that Freddie Mercury wasn't the first member to make a solo album. The way it was presented here was that he was a driving force in breaking up the band, which he was, but I think that factual inaccuracy is unnecessary here and reflects poorly on the surviving band members for allowing that to be in the film. In addition, Freddie didn't have HIV or AIDS before Live Aid. It's a brutal way to rewrite history, one that didn't have to be in the movie at all, but they wanted people to leave the theater on a high note after the Live Aid performance. I think this is really, really wrong. The way that the film simply ends after the performance is absolutely bizarre, and so is the way that Mercury's diagnosis was used as a motivational tool.

Even though this is a film with such gross factual inaccuracy, and even though Rami Malek doesn't sing his own songs, I thought this was a very entertaining film. I think some luster is lost as a result of Malek not doing any of the singing, but he had a very strong performance both on and off the stage. That the material is not entirely suited to reality is not the fault of the actor. The movie also entertainingly does everything possible to straddle the rated R line without going past it, which I thought was nice. This was sanitized but not completely so. The cameo by Mike Myers is also quite nice and it's hard to believe that it was Mike Myers in this role. The filming of the Live Aid performance was also expertly done and spectacular, it nearly made me forget about the inaccuracies of the movie. It was pretty cool. Even though Mercury's story isn't told to the extent it should have been, the story that is told is still engaging and kept me intrigued throughout. It is much better to have this than to have nothing at all. I was also interested in learning things about the other Queen members and their contributions to the band, of which there were some. Introspection was not in any way a part of their story.

Because of how far over the top the performances are, and because there is some introspection into Freddie Mercury's mindset, I liked this film enough to give it a passing grade. I should explain why beyond simply the things I already mentioned. The thing is, musical biopics are always entertaining even when they aren't good. I think this is one that is almost good. Even with replacing directors in the middle of the project, everything somehow comes together in a way that feels like a coherent film. It isn't the mess that I thought it would be or that its reviews indicated that it was. I think there's definitely the potential for a far better film here, but it just wasn't. You know, that's alright. I don't think everything has to be what I want it to be, and this was somewhat disappointing, but I can separate it from the fact that I liked Bohemian Rhapsody. That's just the way it is too, I probably won't change my mind. I also liked seeing the way the band would form the songs, some of their frictions, the stuff with Freddie's personal manager trying to rip the band up as a negative influence. These things do outweight the bad of the factual inaccuracies, but if not for the performances, I would have hated the film. I'm able to admit that I'm biased in this way, a lot of people will give a defense that doesn't outright just say that, but I'm not one of those people. The performances and studio stuff was awesome, I left the movie happy, it was a good time.

6.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Mid90s
10. Eighth Grade
11. Sorry to Bother You
12. The Old Man & the Gun
13. Suspiria
14. Bad Times at the El Royale
15. Searching
16. A Simple Favor
17. The Hate U Give
18. Hold the Dark
19. The Land of Steady Habits
20. Halloween
21. Monsters and Men
22. Bohemian Rhapsody
23. White Boy Rick  (adjusted down for similar flaws)
24. Papillon
25. Game Night
26. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
27. Alpha
28. The Predator
29. Apostle
30. The Angel
31. The Commuter
32. The Nun
33. Operation Finale
34. The Equalizer 2
35. The Spy Who Dumped Me
36. 12 Strong
37. Venom
38. Skyscraper
39. The Meg
40. Assassination Nation
41. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
42. 22 July
43. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
44. The Little Stranger
45. Night School
46. Peppermint
47. Mile 22
48. The First Purge
49. Hunter Killer
50. Kin
51. Hell Fest
52. The Happytime Murders
53. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #984 on: November 08, 2018, 06:35:07 PM »


To the Bone (2017), directed by Marti Noxon

To the Bone is about one person's battle with anorexia, and it is also a film that simply does not resonate with me. The events are played out in the fashion of a TV movie, because that's what it seems like Netflix used to do instead of taking on ambitious projects. In fairness, Netflix acquired distribution rights and didn't produce this project, that would feel a lot worse, but this had to land somewhere I suppose. I was looking at the Metascore for the movie and a lot of people praised it, but I disagree with those takes for the most part. The movie is obviously tough viewing as one should expect, that's not what my problem here really is. I'm not sure this is the best way to tell such a story, that's what my problem is. I feel like a large part of what was needed in order to balance the film out was simply never part of the film in the first place, it leaves the viewer lacking any sort of conclusion. Now I've gone and spoiled the whole thing. That's good, because whatever you may be hoping for here doesn't really exist. That isn't to say To the Bone is a terrible film, but it's certainly lacking in real characteristics that would lead viewers to have real sympathy beyond perfunctory things.

Ellen (Lily Collins) has dropped out of college because she has anorexia, brought on by a slew of things. The film begins with Ellen in an in-patient program, not making progress, and getting sent back home as a result of that. Her dad will straight out not deal with her because she's like this and as such we don't see him in the entirety of the film. Instead, the duties of the father fall onto Ellen's obnoxious stepmother, Susan (Carrie Preston). I think you could easily guess that my opinions of her obnoxiousness are born from a lack of sensitivty to her stepdaughter's condition. Some of the scenes introducing this character are absolutely bizarre. Ellen's half-sister Kelly (Liana Liberato) doesn't understand why her sister is this way, but that doesn't stop her from being a loving sister. As we later find out, it's a problem in the sense that Kelly now has all these memories of her highpoints clouded by what Ellen was doing at the same time, such as being in the hospital, or in in-patient therapy. Things like that. The thing is, now Ellen doesn't even seem to want treatment. It seems that she's pretty cool with dying and just doesn't care about anything.

Susan, on the other hand, is not remotely okay with this and will not stop trying. She sets Ellen up with a specialist, Dr. Beckham (Keanu Reeves), who wants Ellen to join his program and live at a house with other people who share her condition. In addition to that, Dr. Beckham has some strange methods which could prove quite useful for a rebellious young woman who doesn't know her place in the world. Over the course of the story, we learn that someone killed themselves after being inspired by Ellen's art, which seems to have sent things into a horrible downward spiral. At the house, there's five young women as well as Luke (Alex Sharp), a ballet dancer who was down below 100 pounds. He also has a horrible knee injury and can no longer dance, but he's gained about 40 pounds and seems to be on his way out. As you might suspect, Luke takes an interest in Ellen and it is revealed that he knows about her art. Well, alright then. After a few days at the house, we are given the full picture into Ellen's life once her mother Judy (Lili Taylor) and other stepmother Olive (Brooke Smith) arrive at a family therapy session. As already said, Ellen's father does not show up. I don't really want to say what happens at this, but the short version is that the session doesn't exactly put a stop to Ellen's slide.

I think I already said that Ellen did hit rock bottom, but that the film didn't conclude her story. It really didn't. The film ends after she hits rock bottom and heads back to the house, but there were people in the house who were there more than her and there was no true indication that her anorexia was going to become a thing of the past. We live in a really strange society as well, this is a film that focuses on those who have the ability to treat their problems, but there's so much more ground in learning more about those who do not. If this film was about a less fortunate anorexia victim, someone who couldn't go to in-patient therapy, well, that's really what I would have liked to have seen. Instead, this is a guide to eating disorders and some of the things that are done to treat them, unfortunately leaving any chance for a great character study off the script entirely. It's too bad. It's not that I don't have sympathy for those with eating disorders, because obviously I do, but the things covered in this film are things that everyone knows. In that way, To the Bone doesn't bring much new to the table. You could argue and would be correct to argue that if the film leads to one person deciding to treat their eating disorder, that the film was worth being made just for that reason. You'd be right. I think, all things considered, that was the point of the movie in general.

To not talk about the performance of Lily Collins would be completely idiotic, because the amount of weight she lost was extraordinary and also disturbing. I am left to wonder about double standards though. How many people said Christian Bale's weight loss for films was disturbing? People said he was a badass for being that committed, and such a comment should extend to an actress as well. Commitment to a role is something that should almost always be commended. Jared Leto's commitment to playing the Joker, on the other hand, should not be. I think hers is a very strong performance and for me, someone who does not have an eating disorder and has never struggled with something like that, the real valuable thing that can be taken away from the film. To the Bone isn't enjoyable, that would be a foolish expectation, but it tells a decent story in a very superficial way. The great performance of one person doesn't really change the fact that there are stories to be told about eating disorders, but I don't know if this is one of the best that could have been made. I'm pretty sure I've just said a lot of things that most people wouldn't dare say, so I'm a monster now. A movie just has to do more for me.

5/10

2017 Films Ranked


1. Get Out
2. Logan
3. Wonder Woman
4. Logan Lucky
5. The Beguiled
6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
7. The Lost City of Z
8. I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
9. Kong: Skull Island
10. Split
11. Megan Leavey
12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
13. Imperial Dreams
14. Win It All
15. War Machine
16. To the Bone
17. Sand Castle
18. Fist Fight
19. Sleepless


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

Offline Two-Time Hall of Famer

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #985 on: November 09, 2018, 01:20:46 AM »
I was pretty bothered by the inaccuracies in the story especially regarding the HIV diagnosis. I felt there was a way they could have worked that aspect into the story without completely fuckin' lying about when he contracted the disease but this isn't a movie that does subtlety, I guess. I don't expect any normal person to know that the full version of "Seven Seas of Rhye" wasn't on their debut and I'm almost willing to forgive showing them performing 1978's "Fat Bottomed Girls" before recording "Bohemian Rhapsody" but I'd like to think people are aware that "We Will Rock You" wasn't 'stache Freddie. C'mon movie. Also, the band never broke up before Live Aid - they toured extensively in 1984 and '85 supporting The Works so that part is totally made up. And speaking of Live Aid, hope anyone who sees this movie is a fan of that festival because not only does it end with an elaborate re-creation of Queen's performance but also the last 20 or so minutes before that is about the buildup to it. And the opening credits too, come to think of it. Also, moving the beginning of Freddie's relationship with Jim Hutton to after he was diagnosed avoids the very real possibility that Jim infected Freddie, which was something Jim himself wasn't sure of.

But I understand the purpose of this film was to create a sanitized family-friendly biopic to enhance the Queen brand and on that level it works. I'm not sure if they give out Oscar nominations for movies as unexceptional as this one but Rami Malek needs to be considered for Best Actor.

Offline Epic by Faith No More

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #986 on: November 09, 2018, 01:44:33 AM »
I saw this last night and echo Kreese's frustrations though I really came out enjoying the movie. There were definitely some embellished and over-dramatized moments and yeah, fuck Bryan Singer but I felt it was a good profile.

Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #987 on: November 09, 2018, 02:33:03 AM »
Glad you finally tackled that movie as I saw it ages ago and liked it a lot more than you apparently. Looking back, I may've been too lenient on it but considering the Lifetime schlock I've seen that touched on the same subject, I felt this had a little more going for it from direction to Lily Collin's acting & the guy who played Luke.

"If this film was about a less fortunate anorexia victim, someone who couldn't go to in-patient therapy, well, that's really what I would have liked to have seen."

I think the issue with this take, while it would've made for a better character study, also takes off the table the aspect of persevering with the disease and trying to overcome it with help. People that don't go to in-patient therapy inevitably die or are forced to such places anyway so I feel like that script would've been encumbered by the lack of a real way to end that would've worked. Dealing with things like anorexia is more akin to treating depression with therapy/medicinal aid than say quitting alcohol cold turkey.

Offline Zetterberg is Go

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #988 on: November 09, 2018, 10:46:42 AM »
Watched it today and enjoyed it well enough. Malek was as good as advertised.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #989 on: November 09, 2018, 12:20:24 PM »


Overlord (2018), directed by Julius Avery

Overlord is a film that perhaps has one of the greatest disparities between trailer and actual film that I have ever seen. This is something that applies to Overlord's Metascore and Rotten Tomatoes score as well. The question is, why? I think this is something best answered if one is to actually watch the film, but now it is my job to tell everyone why. I think that Overlord is a film that should appeal to most people. It's a different take on a war movie, and it adds things to the horror genre that aren't entirely commonplace anymore. The mixture of these two things is very nice, but I've read a lot of people complaining about a lack of historical accuracy as it pertains to these events. Considering this is a historical fiction movie, I don't know why people complain about shit like this. Speaking for myself alone, the fusion of these genres makes for an extremely interesting film, one that does rely on some genre tropes in order to make the fusion blend together more nicely. Now, I'm left to wonder, why the hell did someone make this trailer? I don't think AC/DC is the kind of band to be playing in order for the film to hit its target audience. The trailer also makes this feel as if it's entirely cliched and a basic film when it really is not. So, after having seen trailers for this movie for four months now, what is Overlord?

Overlord begins with American paratroopers being sent into France the night before D-Day, their mission being to destroy a German radio tower inside of an old church. The opening scene is one of the best I've seen all year, with us being introduced to the squad members who survive the jump. As the trailer shows in detail, the plane does not survive the jump. The plane goes down in flames as everyone jumps out, and only some of the soldiers are able to survive. Our opening scene in the plane centers around Pvt. Boyce (Jovan Adepo), a young guy who seems to have major qualms about potentially killing people. He's terrified. Tibbet (John Magaro) is our group's wise guy, Dawson (Jacob Anderson) is a soldier who wants to write a book about his experiences, Chase (Iain De Caestecker) is the squad's photographer, Cpl. Ford (Wyatt Russell) is an explosives expert who has already served in Italy, and Sgt. Eldson (Bokeem Woodbine) is obviously the group's leader. With this being historical fiction and all, I can ignore the integrated army and to be honest I don't really give a shit about that stuff anyway, it makes for more creative freedom in the story. The squad not having a commanding officer is quite odd and I explained it to myself by referring to the plane blowing up at the beginning of the film.

So, with that all out of the way, let's talk about what happens once they hit the ground. Boyce is all alone, scared and has no idea what to do. He comes across Eldson cornered by a bunch of Nazis and intends to save him all by himself. Instead, Ford comes across Boyce and effectively saves his ass by not allowing him to attempt to make a save. Unsurprisingly, Eldson is gunned down by those Nazis and Ford has to assume leadership of the squad. The point is, don't get caught alone here. Ford and Boyce eventually come across Tibbet and Dawson, then they go to cross a field and a mine blows up Dawson, freaking everyone else out big time. As they get closer to the village to complete their mission, they encounter Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier), a civilian who seems to be looking for resources out in the woods. It's hard to survive in Vichy France, after all. Chloe is cautious of the Americans, but ultimately she decides to take them into the village and into her house. Chloe lives with her brother and her aunt, the latter of whom is very sick. Here's the thing, though. She has some kind of arrangement with a Nazi officer, Dr. Wafner (Pilou Asbaek) that keeps her from going into the Nazi base that our American squad is targeting. In addition to that, sick is probably not the proper way to address her aunt. It's so much worse than that. You know how Nazis experimented on people? We get a historical fiction version of that. Supersoldiers, zombies, deformed freaks. That kind of thing. It's fun. It's also going to be incredibly difficult to get into the base.

This was originally rumored to be part of the Cloverfield franchise, but it wasn't and that's good. I don't see how that franchise could have nicely been placed into this movie and it not have felt shoved into the story. That wouldn't have been a nice fit. The thing is, you can see why Overlord is a film with mixed reactions. It's more of a war movie than zombie horror, which is something I heard a person complaining about as they left the theater. A lot of people simply don't have it in them to go outside of their usual tastes, but the zombie-ish parts of this film are all very entertaining. This film as a whole is entertaining even though it isn't spectacular, but one should never expect spectacular films and merely hope for them. The cliched scenes here are exactly what you'd expect, something that still gets a reaction from crowds even after all these years. Woman with flamethrower? Check. Villain who acts like a freak? Check. Alternate Nazi history? Also check. For me, this is a mixture that is on point. The gore is also nice and it's neat to see the film not send a weak ass version of these characters out there. The freaks are exactly what they should have been all along.

The thing is, even though this looks nicer than a B-movie usually is, the roots of it are exactly what you'd expect from such a genre mash. You know what, that's okay. There's a lot of people who simply don't accept Nazism being treated with anything less than 100% facts. That's okay too, I don't agree though. The action scenes in the film aren't the best in the world, but the gore here is really ridiculous. The story here is admittedly not great, but there's a nice novelty factor and the violence is much appreciated. Once again I feel obligated to mention the opening scene, which is fantastic. There simply isn't very much to the film besides any of these things, which is why this may seem like a review devoid of content. There's no real twist, everyone knows what's coming from the trailer and massive hints throughout the film about what's going on, this is just a good case of fun. If you're hoping for a straight out zombie movie like apparently some people were, this won't do it for you. It's still fun historical fiction with excellent violence.

7/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Mid90s
10. Eighth Grade
11. Sorry to Bother You
12. The Old Man & the Gun
13. Suspiria
14. Bad Times at the El Royale
15. Searching
16. A Simple Favor
17. The Hate U Give
18. Hold the Dark
19. The Land of Steady Habits
20. Halloween
21. Overlord
22. Monsters and Men
23. Bohemian Rhapsody
24. White Boy Rick
25. Papillon
26. Game Night
27. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
28. Alpha
29. The Predator
30. Apostle
31. The Angel
32. The Commuter
33. The Nun
34. Operation Finale
35. The Equalizer 2
36. The Spy Who Dumped Me
37. 12 Strong
38. Venom
39. Skyscraper
40. The Meg
41. Assassination Nation
42. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
43. 22 July
44. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
45. The Little Stranger
46. Night School
47. Peppermint
48. Mile 22
49. The First Purge
50. Hunter Killer
51. Kin
52. Hell Fest
53. The Happytime Murders
54. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #990 on: November 09, 2018, 12:29:18 PM »
I was pretty bothered by the inaccuracies in the story especially regarding the HIV diagnosis. I felt there was a way they could have worked that aspect into the story without completely fuckin' lying about when he contracted the disease but this isn't a movie that does subtlety, I guess. I don't expect any normal person to know that the full version of "Seven Seas of Rhye" wasn't on their debut and I'm almost willing to forgive showing them performing 1978's "Fat Bottomed Girls" before recording "Bohemian Rhapsody" but I'd like to think people are aware that "We Will Rock You" wasn't 'stache Freddie. C'mon movie. Also, the band never broke up before Live Aid - they toured extensively in 1984 and '85 supporting The Works so that part is totally made up. And speaking of Live Aid, hope anyone who sees this movie is a fan of that festival because not only does it end with an elaborate re-creation of Queen's performance but also the last 20 or so minutes before that is about the buildup to it. And the opening credits too, come to think of it. Also, moving the beginning of Freddie's relationship with Jim Hutton to after he was diagnosed avoids the very real possibility that Jim infected Freddie, which was something Jim himself wasn't sure of.

But I understand the purpose of this film was to create a sanitized family-friendly biopic to enhance the Queen brand and on that level it works. I'm not sure if they give out Oscar nominations for movies as unexceptional as this one but Rami Malek needs to be considered for Best Actor.

I can really only assume that the surviving Queen members wanted to make themselves look better. Or that it was difficult to form a coherent narrative without libeling anyone not part of the band. I dunno though.

They do give out Oscar nominations for unremarkable movies though. See: The Iron Lady, Charlie Wilson's War, or The Help. I will disqualify Malek from my end of the year lists for the simple reason that he didn't do any of the singing.

I also think I already have five actors I would put in above him.

Ryan Gosling in First Man
Robert Redford in The Old Man & the Gun
Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born
John C. Reilly in The Sisters Brothers
John Cho in Searching

There will also certainly be more by the end of the year, so I wouldn't put him in there. That's just me though and those last two movies seemed to not be on any kind of awards radar.


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

Offline Mayor of Flavortown

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #991 on: November 09, 2018, 05:03:18 PM »
I haven't seen Bohemian Rhapsody (Or A Star Is Born/First Man/any of the movies on 909's list) yet, but I'll jump in with my five best actor performances so far this year:

Ethan Hawke - First Reformed
Joaquin Phoenix - You We're Never Really Here
Nicolas Cage - Mandy
Daveed Diggs - Blindspotting
Ben Foster - Leave No Trace

I imagine most of these will be eclipsed when I see more movies, although Hawke's performance is incredible and deserves to be in the Best Actor category. I doubt any of these performance or movies get any Oscar recognition.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #992 on: November 09, 2018, 06:22:54 PM »


Breathe (2017), directed by Andy Serkis

I thought I would continue where I left off last night by watching another film about someone's health problems. I believe that Breathe is the only one on my list, although I have not examined it to make sure of that statement. Breathe is a film that was produced by the son of its subject, which presents issues in terms of delivering the story and potentially allowing the audience to see the full scope of what actually happened. When dealing with films about those with health problems, one has to take them for what they are and keep their expectations minimal. I think we have gone beyond the point where people will automatically consider a movie good just because it's about someone's hardships. Breathe is also a film that I consider to be a relic of the past in that way. People simply want more from their films these days and being inspired by someone fighting to live doesn't exactly do it for most anymore. So, with that in mind, let's think about why this was made. When you're a producer and have enough money to do that, you can make pretty much whatever you want. When your father is a hero of yours because of his fight, you make his movie. You also don't examine your parents as human beings because that's not often what their family does. So, with that in mind, I think the most memorable aspect of the film is an unstated one, that someone's fight with polio shows how important it is for us to continue with vaccination.

We blow straight through the start of this movie so fast that I could hardly believe it, so I'll try to do my best in that regard too. Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield) is a young, seemingly privileged man who has a great life. He's met and married his wife Diana (Claire Foy) and has been sent to Kenya in order to start a tea broking business. It's a tough job, one that makes absolutely no sense to me, but the film presents it as being a grand old time. It simply isn't. It's also 1958, tough times, different times. After playing tennis, Robin seems to have contracted polio. Diana is pregnant, but polio is a killer disease with no regard for that. Robin has been paralyzed and will need a respirator to breathe for what is expected to be a very short life. After Robin is sent back to England, he falls into a very deep depression and wishes to be taken off life support. In addition, he wants Diana to stop seeing him, and he doesn't want his newborn Jonathan to see him either. Diana believes Robin can improve, Robin doesn't want to hear it, and we have a standoff between the two.

As time goes on, eventually Diana prevails upon Robin that he needs push on. Robin has a condition though, he wants to be out of the hospital. There's nothing else he can even hope for really. While observing what the nurses do for Robin, Diana realizes that she can do the same things as them, and she decides that they need to move out. There are steep obstacles in her way, though. The hospital administrator, Dr. Entwistle (Jonathan Hyde), absolutely refuses to consider the possibility of Robin leaving. First of all, it isn't safe, if the ventilator powers out while nobody's around, Robin is toast. Robin is also confined to a bed, unable to move around. Something will certainly have to change in that regard. Most importantly there's the matter of Diana not having help, and her twin brothers Bloggs and David (Tom Hollander plays both) are around, but they have their own lives I suppose. Robin simply needs to get out of the hospital, and he'd rather die than be stuck there. That's the most important thing, not being stuck somewhere. He can't be confined to a bed, to a room, to anything. Even though it is assumed he only had three months to live, he must push on.

As I said, the thing that sticks with me most is how much vaccinations are necessary, but I also keep thinking about how much this would suck if it happened to me. That is pretty much the driving force of the film from my perspective. It is obviously admirable that a wife would care for someone in this condition, but I recently watched Gleason, a documentary that tackled this subject with the most heavy doses of reality. Gleason did not sugarcoat a single thing whatsoever. ALS and polio aren't the same, but they're both pretty awful and leave the sufferer in similar condition. My point is that Breathe does not have any arguments between the two, other than when Robin says that he wants to die. This is a movie that has major problems as a result of that, the film feels sterile and lacking in authentic emotions. The film is also shot in an extremely clean fashion, evidenced by its PG-13 rating. The hardships of the care required for someone with polio are simply not shown. The film also plays on sentimentality far too much for my liking. It's schmaltz, there's no other way to put it. I don't hate the film but that is what it is.

Andrew Garfield's performance really stands out, and it appears that he was extremely committed to remaining immobile. Not once did I ever think about how he could realistically get up and walk straight out of that bed, instead he embodied his subject as best as an actor possibly could. I am aware that there is a massive pile of these kinds of movies and these kinds of performances, I will watch more of them even though I don't particularly care for this genre, but I thought Garfield's performance was a standout. Claire Foy's was strong as well, but naturally she doesn't have the herculean task of portraying someone with polio, her role is necessary to the story but not as much to making the film good. I think Breathe is just slightly above average, though. The film's best impacts are felt when we see the cast of absolute weirdos who hang around Robin and Diana, when Robin sees the conditions in a German hospital facility, and when their van breaks down in Spain and Jonathan is forced to hand pump Robin's breathing tube. These moments are much stronger than a beginning which is far too rapid, the lack of character introspection, lack of conflict, and how easy it was for Mr. Serkis to fall into the trap of spending a large chunk of the film making Robin Cavendish's life look easier than it actually was. That's just my opinion, of course. The film is available on Amazon Prime if anyone would like to dispute my findings. In order for me to feel sentimental and to feel real sympathy, I need to see the hardships. To the Bone was better at portraying this, but I think the reason Breathe is a better film is because it actually had a conclusion whereas the film I watched the other night did not.

6/10

2017 Films Ranked


1. Get Out
2. Logan
3. Wonder Woman
4. Logan Lucky
5. The Beguiled
6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
7. The Lost City of Z
8. I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
9. Kong: Skull Island
10. Split
11. Megan Leavey
12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
13. Imperial Dreams
14. Win It All
15. Breathe
16. War Machine
17. To the Bone
18. Sand Castle
19. Fist Fight
20. Sleepless


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #993 on: November 11, 2018, 06:48:27 PM »


20th Century Women (2016), directed by Mike Mills

20th Century Women is a film that was nominated for an Oscar, therefore I felt the incessant need to check this out even though I didn't really know what it was, or even if I'd like it. I'm trying to set that standard going forward, and I don't intend to watch every single award nominee ever, but when I'm clearing out a year going forward, I have to watch them if it's possible. The concept of the film is that Mike Mills wanted to show something that was like his childhood, when he was raised by women. The movie, as a result of that kind of inspiration, has very little plot. That's just how life works, isn't it? With that in mind, I take issue with the description of this as being a comedy. I wouldn't say that it was. It's certainly not self-serious or anything like that, and there are some funny parts, but this is a movie that I took seriously for the vast majority of the events. That's my feeling, anyway. This is a movie that feels like a lot of other coming of age movies, but it isn't entirely similar to any of them and brings something unique to the table. It's a film about the way in which life goes by, the things that we learn, and the characters in 20th Century Women feel authentic. I wasn't raised by a bunch of women, so I don't have any real experience to draw on in terms of making a comparison here, but I thought this was a great time. I will say that I know the experience of one of these characters, the typical matron, and found it to be quite an accurate picture of how lots of 50 and 60 year old women think about life.

20th Century Women is a film set in 1979, which is jarring at times because the filmmaker makes mistakes in showing modern packaging on items. I will certainly take this into consideration later. Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) is our high school student in this film, and his mother Dorothea (Annette Bening) is an older woman who had Jamie at a surprisingly late age. Dorothea has what she intends to be a boarding house, it's very big and she has two tenants when there could potentially be more. Abbie (Greta Gerwig) is a photographer and has cervical cancer. William (Billy Crudup) is a carpenter and mechanic who has experience with the hippie lifestyle, so this atmosphere is quite familiar to him. Jamie has a best friend, Julie (Elle Fanning). Julie sleeps in Jamie's room, but doesn't want to destroy their friendship. Nothing ever goes on between the two. This house is a pretty cool place if you ask me. The thing with Jamie is, his father left some time in the past and he has very little contact with his son, and as such is unseen in the film. No surprise there. Dorothea smokes a lot of cigarettes, and we are given a view into what the characters will become after the film's events conclude. This is a story that certainly doesn't lack conclusion. Jamie consistently complains about Dorothea's heavy cigarette smoking, and he's right. Dorothea will die of cancer 20 years after the story takes place.

Now, even though I've dropped that bomb, it's irrelevant to the story. I wanted to make the point that the film tells you how these characters wind up, and I thought that was great. It takes a very good film in order for me to actually care about stuff like that. Dorothea is concerned that she doesn't connect with her son as a result of his dad leaving, and well, a lot of other things. Look at the situation. She's a bit disconnected from what the world is in 1979 due to her age as well as her marital problems delivering a huge blow to her self-confidence. She's so concerned that she decides to ask Julie and Abbie to help raise him. After Jamie runs off to a punk show in Los Angeles, that's exactly what's going to happen. Abbie and Julie have their own characters as well and are not entirely dedicated to this one job, the people in this film are presented as three-dimensional beings. Julie is a person who has pregnancy concerns and advice to give to Dorothea as well. The fact Julie is just 17 doesn't change that. Everyone in life has advice for those who are willing to listen. Similarly, Abbie has a story of her own. She's a hardcore feminist, the kind of woman I would like to have as my own, the kind I will also never have. She has the most prescient advice for Jamie, and through this, we get a picture of what it's like to learn things and move through life.

The lack of plot works as a service to this film because we are given no manufactured events, everything here feels quite realistic and like the things young teenagers go through. I could have used some guidance, I never got it, but I lived in different times. People were different in 2004 than they were in 1979. Life goes on. There are some great lines in this too. "Wondering if you're happy is a great shortcut to just being depressed" is advice I can get behind. I don't think about that shit and that's better way to explain how than I could possibly think up. A wordsmith like that I am not. This is also a film that addresses the need people have to ensure their kids aren't raised by just one person, but of course, everyone's different. The nostalgia here also hits about as heavy as it comes, with the exception of the aforementioned packaging. It's a big oversight, but the talk about communes, cervical cancer as a result of extremely poorly researched fertility pills, a movie that in some ways feels like a continuation of great shows from the past. It is as married to its nostalgia as Mad Men is. Kids smoking cigarettes? Yeah, that's here too. No soft pedaling any of the material. The placing of the film in a post-Nixon and pre-Reagan era also leads to an interesting scene with people huddling around a television looking for leadership from Jimmy Carter. Carter was so horribly caught between what I'd consider to be right and what I'd consider to be wrong. Nothing about his speech made sense to me.

What makes 20th Century Women so good, what makes it really work, is how obviously personal these experiences and characters are. The lack of plot makes this a difficult film to discuss, but this is a very strong film. Every event in the story leads to scenes addressing that event, but the story continues to move along its path. William is a pretty good character as well and I've made a mistake not addressing his character. He's just as lost as Jamie, with no real clue what to do in life. There's a reason he's a tenant of a boarding house who tries to help Dorothea fix it up. He tried to fit in at a commune and it didn't work, he just doesn't know what to make of himself. We have a generation of people suffering from similar problems now, but their voices are as of yet unheard. We are told that we're complaining but men such as William are a product of their era, it makes people feel nostalgic and good. Someday, perhaps there will be parts of society that feel the same about the existential struggles of our generation. When I was looking for a cast list I read a comparison of this to Mad Men, and I obviously wouldn't go remotely that far, but there's definitely a parallel between some of the characters in each presentation. The lack of plot should be taken for what it is, but it doesn't do great harm to what I consider to be a great character study. Some of the scenes in 20th Century Women, on the other hand, whiff very badly. When they don't work, they really don't work. I also think this is the kind of sorry that is unsuited to making the viewer feel uncomfortable, which this did two or three times.

Ultimately, this is a very good film and it's easy to see why 20th Century Women was nominated for Best Original Screenplay. This is a nice film that makes one feel good, it also came in a hell of a year for original films. In a lot of other years this would strike me as a very poignant, perhaps the most poignant and realistic original story out there. Instead there were just many more of them. Annette Bening and Greta Gerwig's performances here were similarly strong, and as I begin to close out 2016 there are some performances that simply stood out more than the rest that year. Those are two of them. I would have liked this more had there not been blatant errors in terms of presenting a 1979 setting, but those were there, and I felt ripped out of the ending of the film as a result of that. Yes, I am butthurt about it and not going to let it go. 2016 ANGEL SOFT AND SKITTLES PACKAGING IN A STORE IS A MASSIVE MISTAKE.

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 RedJed

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #994 on: November 12, 2018, 05:34:07 AM »
I agree wholeheardedly on Hawke's performance in that film and how he really should get a nomination, and quite frankly I haven't seen anything else this year eclipsing that performance. Doubt the film itself will get a nom, but you never know.

Re: Overlord, I'm about where you are at with the thoughts. I think it had a ok balance of horror/war elements but I was pleasently surprised how violent, bloody, gory, etc, this was for a Bad Robot/Abrams film not associated with Cloverfield. I had some odd feeling they were going to try to tie in the formula itself into how the monsters in Cloverfield became or such similar nonsense as that, but good to see they didn't.

That said, there was some characters in Overlord that seemed underdeveloped, almost like too much was going on in too many facets to really slow things down and get to the point better. That was perhaps my main qualm with all of it. Film didn't completely deliver tenfold and I probably would not care to see a film mixing these historical elements into a horror meets war film formula, but it was a nice change of pace from cliche filmmaking at least.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #995 on: November 12, 2018, 01:55:31 PM »


Beautiful Boy (2018), directed by Felix Van Groeningen

Beautiful Boy is perhaps the worst and most ill-descriptive movie title of 2018, one that carries no meaning while simultaneously think this is a film that may be about something entirely different than what it is. Beautiful Boy is a film that packs an emotional punch while displaying the events in a very poorly woven narrative, in some ways it is really odd. I believe this is adapted straight from a memoir, but the film ends quite abruptly and doesn't entirely cover a large portion of the things shown as part of the book on Wikipedia. The characters in this film, while real, do some things that simply don't make sense to me. The actions of those people make for an interesting yet dumfounding movie, something I simply can't relate to because I don't know any hardcore drug users. This is a movie that feels personal and probably extremely so for the director, which explains some of the weird chopping up of scenes and placement of them, the focus is also strange and slightly offbase. With all that in mind, I think as with most drug addiction movies, Beautiful Boy features some strong performances. The problem is that it simply isn't as good as those other films because it is one that does not properly bring the material together into something cohesive and balanced. At the very least I can say that I was intrigued throughout.

The film begins with us diving straight into the meat of the plot, no setup or anything of the sort. David Sheff (Steve Carell) is a father who discovers that his son Nic (Timothee Chalamet) is missing. After two days, Nic turns back up, but there are obvious problems with Nic. Summarily we are shown some things from Nic's childhood, as takes place during most of the film, such scenes sometimes leading to the story feeling disjointed. Nic is taken to a rehab facility, does well, and then has the idea that he should go into a halfway house. At the halfway house, they have free time outside of the facility, and one day Nic decides not to show up afterward. David, as he somehow does through this film as if he has a GPS tracker attached to his son, goes to track Nic down and does so. Once they arrive at the rehab facility, Nic decides to tell David and David's wife Karen (Maura Tierney) the whole story. He tells them that it isn't just marijuana he's been obsessed with, but cocaine, ecstasy, and crystal meth. Crystal meth is, as we know, pretty much as bad as it gets when it comes to addiction. This is set some years ago, so I was left to wonder why there weren't more films like this when crystal meth was the drug of choice during an epidemic. Now we need a film about opioids and there probably won't be one until society has had time to reflect on that problem.

Anyway, with that off my chest, I should explain some of the details pertaining to David and Nic's situation. David divorced his wife Vicki (Amy Ryan) some years before and won custody of Nic, so Vicki and Nic don't have a ton of contact with each other. David also has two kids with Karen, they should be his priority, but this situation with Nic has him extremely depressed and distracted. Vicki lives in Los Angeles and David lives with Nic in Northern California, so there's a huge distance between them. As with lots of drug addicts, Nic has issues as a result of that which are stated later in the film when he says that his father smothers him. Nic needs his freedom, and his dad sends him to school so he can become a writer as he wants to do. Problem is, freedom for an addict can lead to really bad things, and as you might expect, he goes back towards crystal meth and starts using again. The rest of the film centers around his potential recovery, but there's a lot and perhaps too much attention paid to how David deals with having a son who is a major drug user and consistent relapsing addict.

Literally the entire movie addresses Nic's addiction, there are absolutely no scenes in this whatsoever that don't, and not a single subplot unrelated to these primary events. As such, we get the opportunity to see Andre Royo playing Nic's sponsor, and the picture of Bubbles getting clean after all these years is a visual that was unquestionably an intention of this project. The problems with this film largely relate to Nic and David being very easy to dislike, I simply can't shake my feelings on this. While an intriguing film, Nic is supremely frustrating because he cannot shake his addiction and there is no real reason given to why he was addicted to drugs. He just liked them. That, unfortunately, is not my favorite story in the book. This is a character that is about as annoying as it gets, but the performance is spectacular and possibly worthy of recognition. Chalamet gets a few scenes where he can really dig in and bring all that he's capable of to the table. The subject matter is naturally depressing, but that's moreso the case when the addicted character is given the opportunity to scream. Carell on the other hand does his best with some material that I thought wasn't entirely suited to him. The scenes where we're seeing he and Nic as a young child are an exception to this, some of them landing very hard. Amy Ryan's character is completely misused and hardly in the film, which was too bad.

While Nic and David are easy to dislike, and while I really wanted to punch both of them in the face, I thought our director was very capable in showing the enjoyment that Nic got from using drugs. I suppose that's intended to suffice as the reason for his addiction, but that's tough for me. Beautiful Boy may not have been intended to serve as a PSA for drug addiction, but effectively it does due to the way in which some of the scenes play out as educational pieces. I'm sure that for those who have drug users in their families, this is a movie they will see and have positive feelings for as the film does let those people know they aren't alone in dealing with these problems. I believe there were scenes that would have heavily benefited from some editorialization. I was waiting for Maura Tierney's character to eventually snap and tell Nic how she really felt, but that never happened. This is a film that really could have used that kind of cathartic scene in order to bring it out of what I'd consider to be a very basic drug addiction drama. Much like Bohemian Rhapsody, this is a film that isn't great which could yet receive awards nominations in acting categories. Chalamet's performance seems like a shoo-in for Best Supporting Actor, and if you haven't seen the film and are reading this, you'd wonder how he could possibly be a supporting character. It's his movie yet he is, and in that way, that summarizes a lot of what's wrong with this very blandly constructed film.

6/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Mid90s
10. Eighth Grade
11. Sorry to Bother You
12. The Old Man & the Gun
13. Suspiria
14. Bad Times at the El Royale
15. Searching
16. A Simple Favor
17. The Hate U Give
18. Hold the Dark
19. The Land of Steady Habits
20. Halloween
21. Overlord
22. Monsters and Men
23. Bohemian Rhapsody
24. White Boy Rick 
25. Papillon
26. Game Night
27. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
28. Alpha
29. The Predator
30. Apostle
31. The Angel
32. The Commuter
33. Beautiful Boy
34. The Nun
35. Operation Finale
36. The Equalizer 2
37. The Spy Who Dumped Me
38. 12 Strong
39. Venom
40. Skyscraper
41. The Meg
42. Assassination Nation
43. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
44. 22 July
45. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
46. The Little Stranger
47. Night School
48. Peppermint
49. Mile 22
50. The First Purge
51. Hunter Killer
52. Kin
53. Hell Fest
54. The Happytime Murders
55. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #996 on: November 12, 2018, 06:03:45 PM »


The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017), directed by Patrick Hughes

I have read that The Hitman's Bodyguard is going to have a sequel, and after seeing this I'm not remotely sure how that's necessary. I took a look at the box office and saw that this made $176 million worldwide, so I suppose that explains it. The sole rationale for this even existing as a movie is that Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson would be on screen together and allowed to bounce jokes off each other while cursing a lot. This and a few other things are the only things brought to the table at all. The action genre has had some acclaimed movies to help revive it, but this seems to be an attempt to make a formulaic movie and spice it up just because of who is on the screen. You know, that's okay in a single dose. As a sequel, I don't know if that's going to work out. I also think this is a film that's much better when the focus is on the action rather than the comedy. There are very few films I've seen with less authentic feeling comedy than we have here. It's hard to buy into one of these characters as possibly being a real person, and that's probably far too high a standard, but it's one that I have for movies like these. I should have known this would be a film with problems when I saw that the director had very little experience, and the only film on his list that I knew was The Expendables 3. That sounds like a major problem to me. Another major problem to me is how Gary Oldman keeps winding up in stuff like The Hitman's Bodyguard or Hunter Killer.

Our film opens with a scene at an airport, with Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) tasked with protecting Takashi Kurosawa, an arms dealer. Bryce has a company and some bullshit about being AAA rated as a protection agent, and I don't know, I thought that was pretty stupid. Anyway, his company has a hell of a lot of employees. Things are going great until he gets on a plane, and once Kurosawa sits down someone shoots him in the head from a rooftop. Sounds great. Bryce never finds him, which leads to his current situation as a guy who protects drug addicts in London. Bryce blames his ex-girlfriend Amelia (Elodie Yung) for his problems, and she's an Interpol agent. So, he thinks that she did something that would lead to Kurosawa getting killed. Anyway, I don't really give much of a shit about that, so let's move on. Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) is a dictator and leader of Belarus, put on trial for war crimes and currently going through a trial at The Hague. Dukhovich, as you might expect, is very guilty of these crimes, but the prosecution cannot get anything to stick as they have no hard evidence. Of course, the prosecution has one last hope, Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), a hitman who has been incarcerated for some years. He wants his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) to be released as part of a deal through which he'll give them whatever they want.

Of course, there are others such as Dukhovich who have their own ideas. He has his own man inside Interpol, an Assistant Director named Jean (Joaquim de Almeida) who keeps feeding him information. As a result of that information, he sets up a trap for when Amelia is to transport Darius from Manchester to the Netherlands. Jean and Dukhovich's trap works, although not as well as they'd like, because of course Amelia and Darius escape. There are no real stakes here. They both believe someone in Interpol betrayed them, they're right, and we're shown who's doing it all movie. As you might expect, Amelia decides to call Bryce. Also, as you might expect, Bryce and Darius have a history. No shit right? This leads to a formulaic trip to the Netherlands, attempting to dodge danger along the way and running into a hell of a lot of it. While that's going on, we're given a few scenes that let us know a bit about Sonia and Darius, and it turns out that Sonia curses a lot just like her husband. Darius plans to get out at some point after Sonia does, hence his reasoning for going to court and testifying. He actually wants to be there, but they only have 24 hours or something like that.

I think that a gimmick movie such as this really needs to commit to one thing or another. Go all in on comedy or action or action comedy. The scenes feel disjointed as a result of a lack of commitment, we go from one extreme to another with some being serious action and others being genuinely funny. As already stated, there are no real stakes, if you've seen one of these movies you've seen a hell of a lot of them. Due to our two leads not dragging a third person along with them, we know that there's no chance of anyone important dying along the way, and everyone's going to go home or to jail happier than before things started out. I think one's enjoyment of The Hitman's Bodyguard is directly tied to whether or not a person likes one or both of the leads. There's genuinely nothing else to this. The script is all over the place, and I should note that I don't like Ryan Reynolds, so this is where I'm at. I like Samuel L. Jackson, and while this is material that's written for him, we've seen some of these things so many times. Speaking for myself here, I thought that when Reynolds was being chased and having to deal with a bad guy on comedic ways, the film felt like it was really doing something worthwhile. This only happened once or twice. While written for both lead actors, there's simultaneously the feeling that this film could be much more.

I also found a few technical gremlins in this film, much of which seemed to be intended. The seemingly random blurring of objects in the background or foreground is absolutely intolerable, I can't handle having my eyes put through the ringer like that. I don't know what the deal is with that. Also, it seems that Gary Oldman gave no fucks whatsoever and was dropping his accent whenever it pleased him, and for whatever reason the director just let him do it. I enjoy when actors treat trash scripts as they deserve, but it was something bothering me in a film already full of things that were bothering me. Another sweet one was the way Darius would randomly stop and start limping after he'd been shot in the knee. Let's be clear, this is a film with a few inspired scenes, but taken as a whole, one wouldn't be wrong if they called the whole thing trash. I wouldn't go quite that far, but there are so many things here that lack common sense, and the director seemed to not have the courage to correct any of them. There's another where a man is testifying about what happened in front of him to his family, it is dismissed as hearsay. What? That's not how any of that shit works at all. The point is, this movie is junk and has some really good action scenes. It has some that aren't so good, so just take this rating for what it is. I wouldn't be surprised if people here couldn't get through it at all.

4.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


1. Get Out
2. Logan
3. Wonder Woman
4. Logan Lucky
5. The Beguiled
6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
7. The Lost City of Z
8. I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
9. Kong: Skull Island
10. Split
11. Megan Leavey
12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
13. Imperial Dreams
14. Win It All
15. Breathe
16. War Machine
17. To the Bone
18. The Hitman's Bodyguard
19. Sand Castle
20. Fist Fight
21. Sleepless


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #997 on: November 13, 2018, 06:37:40 PM »
Farsi, subtitles



The Salesman (2016), directed by Asghar Farhadi

Once The Salesman won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, it was inevitable that I would watch this. As you guys know, I am interested in watching more foreign films after I clear some the 2016 and 2017 backlog out of my way. The Salesman is probably most notable in this country because Farhadi did not attend the Academy Awards after Trump enacted his awful "Muslim ban." As we know, it wasn't a "Muslim ban" and the whole thing was fucking stupid, but anyway, we push on. Due to this film winning an award, and in part because it just got a lot of strong reviews, my expectations for The Salesman were quite high. I tried to keep my expectations down, but that just wasn't going to happen. I didn't quite expect the things that happened here, but this is what I'd consider to be a welcome surprise. The film simultaneously makes a strong political statement while weaving together an excellent plot, the political statement apparently being far enough for some Iranian critics to say this was a film that disparaged Iran. I wouldn't go quite that far, I think that's a bit crazy. One thing I noticed while watching this is that my opinion of foreign films as a whole eventually may become skewed because I only watch those that are thought to be quite good. Is that a wrong thing to do? I'm not so into film that I feel the need to watch a bunch of subtitled movies that I won't enjoy. That's how I feel, I guess.

Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) are a married couple who live in Tehran, and the film opens with their building very near to collapsing. in a neat bit of political commentary, it is later said that the whole city is falling apart just like this. Anyway, the two need to move out of their building, there's no way they can live somewhere like that. Subsequently, the building is condemned. Emad has two jobs, one where he's a teacher at a local school and his second is with Rana, at the theatre. What do they do at the theater? As the title indicates, there's a tie-in to Death of a Salesman, and they co-star in the play as Willy and Linda. Good for them. Babak (Babak Karimi) is a fellow actor who knows about their plight with housing, and he owns an apartment that he's able to rent to them. The apartment isn't anything great, but it's a house. His last tenant was a woman who moved out and left all her stuff, and Babak can simply not figure out any way to get the stuff out of there. Anyway, in one of their first nights home, Rana is by herself and believes that Emad is coming home. Emad does come home and finds that his wife is missing, with the bathroom covered in blood.

Emad rushes to the hospital and is told by his neighbors about what's happened, which leads to lots of inferences and finger pointing that nobody would care for. The neighbors tell Emad that the former neighbor was a prostitute with many clients, some of whom she had major problems with, and presumably that's why she left her house. Rana didn't have an accident, it turns out that she was assaulted by one of these former clients. The rest of the film plays out in ways that I cannot quite decipher because I'm not familiar with Iranian culture, but I can tell you what I do know. Rana doesn't want to go to the police for obvious reasons, this is a society that isn't exactly favorable towards women. She also does not remember what her attacker looks like, and the idiot left car keys that fit into a covered pickup truck. The attacker also left his phone and some money, and Babak knew all about who he was renting to the house to. Although Emad and Rana will not involve the police, this is something that's going to eat away at Emad, and he must investigate this himself while trying to manage both his jobs.

This is a slow building film, with the incident leading to our conclusion not happening until very late into the film. Doing this allows the viewer to become attached to the characters and learn lots of things about them prior to the events that shape one's opinion of the film as a whole. The lead actor, Mr. Hosseini, was excellent here. I don't know if we'll ever see him in any English language films, but this feels like someone who deserves worldwide recognition. I believe he won some awards for this and they were very well deserved. The originality of the story is something I very much appreciated, and I was left to think about what I would do in a similar situation. I genuinely don't know. The first thing that came to mind was that I would have went to the police, but I don't live in Iran and Rana was unwilling to do so. I guess I would have dropped it, but that's just me. That Emad didn't drop it figures into a theme of the movie that I'll cover in the next paragraph. I have read that this is commentary on the failings of Iranian society, but that wasn't quite what I was thinking. It's good to read in that case, isn't it? The mystery of the film is consistently engaging, and there's a great payoff in terms of who did wrong here.

What I was thinking as a main theme of the film beyond the failings of Iranian society, because after all I didn't know that, was the way that people in Iran and other countries in that area of the world act like they own their wives bodies. The insatiable need for revenge once their wife has been sullied is not unique to the Middle East, but this is a film that addresses that and centers around the social constructs of the region. When trying to live up to cultural codes of honor such as this, bad things could happen and in The Salesman they do happen. What's done here is an attempt to bring revenge down to the most basic level. Instead of someone shaving their head and going around killing all kinds of people until they finally exact their revenge, Emad is on the search, with no real plans to do anything once he finds out what he needs to know. For me, this puts the film in a unique position and one I haven't often seen as I didn't watch very many films in general until the last year or so. Everything here is as realistic as it gets and is executed in a way that everything is comprehensible and powerful.

One thing I will say is that I'm not intelligent enough to know what the Death of a Salesman scenes were really supposed to mean. I'm able to admit that without fishing around for an answer and passing it off as my own. I found that the truth of some of the characters played out on the stage rather than in private amongst one another, and again, I'm really missing the point here. There was also a good laugh when the person playing Miss Francis was completely covered up, and they also talked about the censors coming over to make sure the play was proper. You know, that line led me to wonder about the state of Iranian censorship and if it's normal for lines such as that one to evade censorship in the first place. Obviously this one did. Again, I need to note that the conclusion of this film comes quite far out of nowhere, and I kept waiting for a cliched American-style conclusion to the film, but it never came. I also thought this was a film that showed the lives of normal Iranians, showed Tehran really feels and looks on ground level, and that aspect of the project was quite educational for someone (myself) who doesn't know much about Iran other than what's on the news. I do know better than to take that information as the absolute truth, but not knowing anything about the country beyond Muslim cultural norms and their politics, it was interesting to see these things. It's easy to see why this is a film that was given awards, and I may have liked it even more had I not been bothered by not knowing what happened to Emad and Rana's relationship.

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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #998 on: November 14, 2018, 11:03:58 AM »


The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018), directed by Fede Alvarez

The Girl in the Spider's Web is a great example of how it is possible to completely ruin what should have become a profitable franchise, although how profitable things could have been is entirely in question. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was only slightly profitable after considering marketing and the cut that theaters take, but it was a film that put together a lot of building blocks for a future franchise. Sony decided that they would toss all of that in the trash over how much making sequels would cost, so they fast forwarded to a fourth book written by a different author once Stieg Larsson died. How dumb. The last sentence is how I felt for a majority of this film, with the best parts of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo completely eschewed in favor of making Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) into a generic action hero. The roughness and authenticity of the character was removed, none of the edge or shady characteristics of Lisbeth remain after Sony got through with this. There are barely any words with which I can describe my disappointment. I expected something good considering that Fede Alvarez directed Don't Breathe, but given a greater budget and the opportunity to craft an action movie to his liking and to his artistic sensibilities, this was not anything like what I expected. Bad? Not quite. It isn't a Lisbeth Salander movie though. The characterization is gone and stripped from the whole thing.

Of course, this is a film that takes place in Stockholm, and we begin with a flashback where Lisbeth and her sister Camilla, both of them living with their father. Their father is apparently a psychopath who punished them both in ways that neither of them could handle. Lisbeth couldn't handle it so much that she decided to jump off a ledge into a snow bank, running away from home and becoming an orphan as we know from the other film. Afterwards, we snap back to present day Stockholm, where Lisbeth is putting a man who got too big for his britches back in his place. The scene goes as fans of the series may expect. Afterwards, she is presented with a job by Frans Balder (Stephen Merchant), a computer programmer who has created a program capable of accessing the world's nuclear codes. Balder created this program while working for the NSA and it is called Firefall, because apparently it can end the world. In that way, this franchise has effectively been turned into a generic spy film, stripped of everything that made it good in the first place. Lisbeth, as you might expect, succeeds in retrieving Firefall for Balder, even though an NSA Agent named Edwin Needham (Lakeith Stanfield) is able to track down where exactly this hacking attempt came from.

Edwin is obviously unable to get to Stockholm extremely quickly, but Firefall is stolen from Lisbeth by a group of mercenaries with spider tattoos on their bodies, hence the name. They also try to kill Lisbeth, but fail and she escapes with her life if not the material required to complete her job. When she doesn't show up to meet Balder at the required time, Balder believes that she decided to steal Firefall for herself, and he goes to the Swedish Secret Service. In doing so, this leads to Gabriella (Synnove Macody Lund) launching an investigation into Lisbeth, so she's facing far more enemies than she did the last time, far too many in fact. Let's continue to add onto the pile, shall we? Needham arrives in Stockholm as you'd suspect, but Gabriella is onto him as well and gives him a tourist guide. If he's caught doing anything that isn't on that guide, she'll snap him up. Balder summarily heads into hiding, and Lisbeth decides to enlist Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason) once again, needing his help in order to get to the people who attacked her and put an end to this job once and for all. The things Mikael learns are entirely predictable, unfortunately.

Do you see how they've stripped the humanity from Lisbeth in order to make her a generic movie character? One may enjoy the film in spite of this, but I was interested in the film for the character, and the character is no longer a real part of the movie. I mean, she is there, but it's not the same at all. I have never heard quieter reactions to anything in a movie theater than for this film. Not a single laugh, I mean nothing at all. It's obviously not something people expected, and I am speaking for myself here but I'm sure that I'm not alone. The temptation for a studio to curtail this character was obviously much too strong to resist. One wouldn't fault Sony for assuming there's little money in such dark portrayals, but there is clearly no money in this one either. They were wrong, there's no other way to put it. What has been done to Lisbeth Salander is a complete shame. It's particularly strange because there are so many references to the other film, this is something that constantly reminds people of something better and fails to deliver. The relationship between Mikael and Lisbeth is completely nonexistent and lacking any authenticity, so I suppose it's a perfect fit for a film such as this. The character of Erika, formerly played by Robin Wright and now by Vicki Krieps, is also completely different than what it once was. The film is lacking in sexuality and pretty much everything that made the first one so interesting.

I believe it's the fault of the book that Lisbeth went from murder mysteries to working on James Bond-esque projects, but I feel the same way about this as the rest of the film, it's a shame. The best portions of The Girl in the Spider's Web are spent when the movie focuses on Edwin, which isn't entirely surprising because Lakeith Stanfield is such a great actor, but this isn't supposed to be a film about that character. The action scenes are also good even though they don't fit in as part of this series. The series, by the way, will certainly not last after this. There's a need for strong female action stars in Hollywood films, but not like this. They have destroyed what made Lisbeth Salander interesting and destroyed my hopes for this franchise, so if for some reason they do make another film, I will watch it and remain disappointed the entire time. There's no way they can make another film though, this didn't make money and it doesn't deserve to in the coming weeks. This was one of the most disappointing movies I've watched in months, and the worst part is probably that it wasn't even bad. I didn't want to understand Lisbeth Salander, I wanted her to remain complicated, and I didn't want the character to become a hero either. The film failed on every single count and Sony was obviously trying to create something that they could make money on without spending lots of money on the future films, but they failed on every level.

5/10

2018 Films Ranked


1. A Star Is Born
2. First Man
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Blindspotting
5. The Sisters Brothers
6. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
7. On My Skin
8. Private Life
9. Mid90s
10. Eighth Grade
11. Sorry to Bother You
12. The Old Man & the Gun
13. Suspiria
14. Bad Times at the El Royale
15. Searching
16. A Simple Favor
17. The Hate U Give
18. Hold the Dark
19. The Land of Steady Habits
20. Halloween
21. Overlord
22. Monsters and Men
23. Bohemian Rhapsody
24. White Boy Rick 
25. Papillon
26. Game Night
27. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
28. Alpha
29. The Predator
30. Apostle
31. The Angel
32. The Commuter
33. Beautiful Boy
34. The Nun
35. Operation Finale
36. The Equalizer 2
37. The Spy Who Dumped Me
38. 12 Strong
39. Venom
40. Skyscraper
41. The Meg
42. Assassination Nation
43. The Girl in the Spider's Web
44. The House with a Clock in Its Walls
45. 22 July
46. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
47. The Little Stranger
48. Night School
49. Peppermint
50. Mile 22
51. The First Purge
52. Hunter Killer
53. Kin
54. Hell Fest
55. The Happytime Murders
56. Slender Man


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #999 on: November 16, 2018, 06:58:16 PM »


The Monster (2016), directed by Bryan Bertino

I feel slightly guilty writing about films such as this at times, but The Monster is one that completely whiffed for me. It wasn't so much that I thought the film was boring, or that I hated it, but that this is a movie I felt to be lacking in the details. There is a scene late at the end that entirely disrupted my immersion as well due to how ridiculous it was. With that in mind, this is also a film that clocked in at about 84 minutes, so it's quite short and difficult to talk about a large amount of things. The Monster is not a movie that lends itself to that. I was also talking with people as I was watching this, and found Brocklock's critique to be spot on. This is a film that feels like a Lifetime movie for around half of it, some people feel differently about that than others, but I'm one that finds it to be a problem. Admittedly, I did watch this because it was such a short feature film, but I probably should have checked out something else. I need to learn from things like this, but I probably never will.

Our drama sets up horror in The Monster, but neither are particularly spectacular. Kathy (Zoe Kazan) is an alcoholic shitpile of a mother, driving her 10 year old daughter Lizzy (Ella Ballentine) to her father's house for the weekend. Lizzy makes it quite clear that she doesn't want to come back home, so with that in mind, we push on through the rest of the film. The story is told with intermittent flashbacks that detail why Lizzy doesn't want to live at home anymore. Some of those are more effective than others, but the point I'm trying to make is, this attempt to turn a mother-daughter drama into a horror story that finally bonds the two together just does not work for me. All of the scenes with the two together in the past make me wonder how this ever could have lasted without the authorities getting involved in the first place. I will say that the scenes with Kathy getting drunk and raging out are effective in framing the characters, but there's a lack of follow-up that leads to the events being rendered ineffective in pleasing the viewer (me).

The two were supposed to leave early because nobody likes traveling at night, especially on a rainy one. Problem is, Kathy is a loser, fell back asleep, and they had to leave quite late. So, with Kathy struggling to drive at night, and with the two not exactly getting along, inevitably something happens and Kathy hits a wolf with her car. The wolf, for what it's worth, looks awfully fucked up for being hit by a car. Kathy gets hurt in the accident and the car is immobilized, so Lizzy has to call a tow truck and ambulance for her. Both will take a long time to get there as they're quite far out in the boondocks, but the tow truck arrives first. Jesse (Aaron Douglas) starts working on the car, and eventually Lizzy doesn't see the wolf's body out in front of the road anymore. Kathy can't stand talking to her daughter about this, so she gets out of the car to look for Jesse and she can't find him. As you might suspect from the title, there's a monster out there, one whose costume is quite neat, at least until the end of the film when you notice the actor's legs and boots in the monster's ultimate end and for some reason nobody thought they should do a take without those things.

That last sentence made me not want to write anything at all, but truthfully I've said a lot of what I already wanted to. While Zoe Kazan and Ella Ballentine do great work with the script, it is a script that is lacking depth and the ability for the audience to form attachments to the characters. That's how I feel about the whole thing. A lot of people disagree, that's cool with me, but I thought this was absolutely average on every level. Average is unfortunately no longer exciting for me, when it isn't good enough, it just isn't good. The two stories do make sense on their lonesome, but the blend of them isn't good and the director isn't talented enough to make a good horror movie with the parts he was presented. I probably wouldn't have the same problems with this if not for the extremely incredible gaffe with the actor and his monster suit. I just...can't handle it. The film was going decently until this moment, then the monster had to move too much in order for the scene to be credible, and the whole thing falls apart like a house of cards. It is very likely that the last scene was filmed near the end of the shoot as well. My logic is that if someone knew that was going to be a problem, it wouldn't have been in the film at all. Once a crew gets to the end of the shoot, it's way too late. This scene is going to rank as one of my worst of 2016. The film isn't outright bad, it's average, and that last scene was ridiculous. I won't hold it against the film too much though.

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