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Offline Kahran Ramsus

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1100 on: January 23, 2019, 07:36:37 AM »
I'm not sure what is so hokey about the adoption stuff in the original.  Judah saves Arrius' life and Arrius ends up being credited with a great victory and he adopts him out of gratitude.  That's a very Roman thing to do.

I never saw the new version.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1101 on: January 23, 2019, 06:04:07 PM »


The Light Between Oceans (2016), directed by Derek Cianfrance

After The Place Beyond the Pines, I'm sure a hell of a lot of people were looking forward to Derek Cianfrance's next effort. Did they expect that he would make something like this? The Light Between Oceans is a less ambitious film than his previous work, which isn't too surprising given that The Light Between Oceans is adapted from an Australian novel. I don't want to say I was disappointed because this was a good film, but it wasn't The Place Beyond the Pines. What could be, anyway? I shouldn't have high expectations like that. Those two films certainly have thematic similarities, that much was clear to me. It's nice to see something so different than the films I usually watch, but I was hoping for something with more intensity. While that was lacking from The Light Between Oceans, I thought this was solid melodrama. I also think that perhaps this is material best left in a book. Adapting a book with this many twists and turns has some problems, the largest of which relates to the end of the film. In the end, we are left with an ending I didn't want, one twist too many, something sad and still quite unsatisfying. The film was always going to end in sadness, but I was hoping for something else.

Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) is a man who has been through the grinder during World War I. He is clearly bothered by the things he's seen, unable to express his emotions. What Tom needs is a clean slate, something that will get him away from the world and allow him to tend to himself. The solution is to be hired as a temporary lighthouse keeper at Janus Rock, which is quite far off the coast of Western Australia. The previous keeper had been suffering from mental problems related to his isolation from the world. His wife had died two years before, yet he was seeing her attempt to flag down ships. He was taken away, and Tom takes his position. After some time at the lighthouse, he comes to town for a break and sees Isabel (Alicia Vikander) throwing food to seagulls. It turns out that he's going to dinner at the house of her father, and during dinner he learns about the previous lighthouse keeper's predicament. On another break sometime later, he is told that the permanent keeper decided to kill himself. Tom is subsequently offered a position as the permanent keeper for three years. He enjoys the work, so he accepts.

On his breaks into town over time, he becomes more acquainted with Isabel. She requests to be allowed to join him at Janus Rock, but he tells her that only the lighthouse keeper's wife and family can join him there. They are both desperately alone, Isabel in large part because he brothers died during the war. After the two send letters to each other, they decide to marry. They are very happy with each other and return to Janus Rock, continuing on with their life and having the intention of starting a family. Once Isabel becomes pregnant, they are both overjoyed. It's like a storybook. Unfortunately, things don't stay so nice for very long. Isabel has a miscarriage, they are forced to have a burial on the island. They decide to try once again, the same thing happens. Another marker, another burial. A couple days later, Isabel has clearly cracked and is entirely despondent, there is no escaping this depression. At least, that is, until Tom sees a rowboat in the distance. He shouts for Isabel and they come running to the boat. Inside, there's a dead man and a baby in the boat. I'll cut to the chase. In Tom's position, he is obligated to log the events pertinent to the lighthouse. His wife's miscarriage was not logged as it doesn't belong in the book. This, on the other hand, it has to be. Isabel is overjoyed as it seems her prayers have been answered by this child. What will Tom do though? Can they bear such a secret?

The answer to the last of my questions, at least in the case of Tom, is that he cannot. I was thinking about similar torment on someone's conscience as in The Place Beyond the Pines. I seem to remember Bradley Cooper's character being around when bad shit happens, and he couldn't handle it, but he used the events to get himself ahead. That's a film I think I need to revisit at some point in the next year or two, but that's just one of the similarities I noticed. Another was Cianfrance's willingness to let his stories play out over an unbelievably long period of time. The last coming to mind is his introduction of new characters well into the film, and the important placed upon them is similar to his prior movie. Unfortunately, the story he has to tell is one that works against him come the end. I thought the last few scenes were absolutely ridiculous nonsense, all of which happened far too fast over too long a span of time. We are essentially cheated out of seeing what happened to all of these characters, only seeing two of them. This part sucked.

I did like this movie, and I was wrapped up in the events, but I am very annoyed with how the film concluded. Regardless of that, I thought it was strong work. The story itself is quite tragic, although again, the finale does some work to undo that. The scenes on the island prior to the arrival of the child, when Tom's guilt consumes him, all of these scenes carry emotional weight. The introduction of Rachel Weisz's character into these events does the same thing, it's clear to see this is only going to end in painful fashion. The performances in this film from all three name actors are very strong, everyone's motivations laid out on the table. The ending, however, just absolutely kills me. I can't shake it, and I was going to rate the film higher, but as I'm typing these things out, it bothers me that much. The Light Between Oceans is a good film with a pernicious ending that serves to destroy all of the building blocks Cianfrance has created. This isn't his fault as it's an adaptation, but this alone shows that not all material merits being adapted into something else. If he couldn't do enough to make me forget about the ending, I'm sure that absolutely nobody could. I think Cianfrance is a great filmmaker and would like to see more work from him, and I think he has some projects in the pipeline. I think this would have been complete garbage without him and the performances he was able to draw from his cast.

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 #1102 on: January 23, 2019, 06:05:03 PM »
I'm not sure what is so hokey about the adoption stuff in the original.  Judah saves Arrius' life and Arrius ends up being credited with a great victory and he adopts him out of gratitude.  That's a very Roman thing to do.

I never saw the new version.

In comparison to the way Judah escapes here, it is hokey. Do not bother to watch the new version though, it's terrible. Pretty bad that was the only thing I could think of to place above its predecessor.


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 #1103 on: January 25, 2019, 06:19:49 AM »


The Lego Batman Movie (2017), directed by Chris McKay

When I saw that they'd made a Lego Batman film, that was the first time I was interested in an animated movie for a long time. Probably since Toy Story 3, so I'd decided that when this was expiring on HBO, I'd finally get around to watching it. That's the case now, and if you want to see this and haven't, and if you have HBO, you should get around to it. My recommendation for people to get around to it isn't a recommendation of the film itself, but I'm trying to say that there's an easy way to watch this if you can. I didn't know exactly what to expect of this, but I thought that with this being an animated movie and all, it was a certainty that this wouldn't only be about Batman. Obviously, it isn't. I am still surprised that the budget wasn't even larger considering the absolutely massive amount of voice actors in this film. There's an enormous list that I won't be posting. What's really important to the audience I'm writing this review for, is whether or not this is too much of a kid's movie? I don't think it is, but at the same time, some of the choices in voice actors and characters is extremely annoying. That's not too harsh a critique, is it? I do think it was a smart move to take the best character from The Lego Movie and make a movie about them, though.

Of course, after The Lego Movie, it's time to delve into other Lego universes. The first I have even the slightest interest in would be DC's, and as the title tells you, we'll start off with Batman (voiced by Will Arnett). Batman is the same here as he was in the other film, no real difference...at the beginning at least. Batman is on a mission to stop the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) from taking over Gotham City, as is always his remit. He does so, and in the process tells the Joker that he isn't as important to Batman as he seems to think he is. Of course, that means Joker is going to seek revenge in a way Batman has never seen before. The next day, Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) is helping Bruce get ready for a gala celebrating the retirement of Commissioner Gordon. Gordon is slated to be replaced by his daughter Barbara (Rosario Dawson), something that I wish would happen in a real movie, but I'm sure it never will. Anyway, she has a plan for Gotham, and it includes getting rid of the need Batman. Such is the way these things go. Bruce, of course, is displeased. This is a cartoon movie, so imagine the kind of displeasure you'd get in that kind of thing.

While Bruce is voicing his displeasure, along comes the Joker, accompanied by every minor villain he could find. His goal? To surrender. Why would he do that, well, it's the Joker. Why else would he do something like that. The Joker drags every other minor or major Batman villain down with him, and they all wind up in Arkham Asylum. Again, this is what you'd expect. With that being the case, Batman doesn't know what to do with himself. While at the gala, Alfred and Bruce seem to have made the assumption that he's adopted a child. This doesn't make any sense at all, but that's how we get Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) into the mix. Dick is eager, wants to know more about Bruce, and Alfred invites him straight into the Batcave. Batman has a plan to actually get rid of the Joker, but the likelihood of completing it is quite slim. His intention? To put Dick in the Robin costume and enter Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Batman wants to send the Joker to the Phantom Zone, where all other villains from this Lego universe appear to have been sent. Who that brings into the movie? I guess you'll have to watch.

The Lego Batman Movie isn't as good as The Lego Movie, because it attempts to accomplish way too much and makes the mistake of throwing too many characters out there with no development other than that of Batman. Is that so bad though? Also take into account that the stupid stuff with Will Ferrell and his kid, or any other human beings for that matter, was completely removed from this story. I also think that the novelty of a movie with Lego characters is kind of destroyed by franchising things out like this, and I'm sure that this won't be the only one. I know they did the same thing with Lego video games too. As I already alluded to, the voice cast is too large, and the amount of characters in the film disallows for character development. Sans Batman, of course. I do think Batman's character development is good, and I also think that Will Arnett does a great job voicing him. It was an inspired decision, and I did laugh a fair bit, but not as much as I thought I would.

I'm actually left with not too many thoughts about this movie, because the animation style is basically the same and all that. There's not much to discuss here. I should point out that I really, really hated Robin here. I'm not a fan in general, but the voice and look of the character really bothered me here. I did, on the other hand, really enjoy the use of numerous other Warner properties in this film. I also thought the movie was geared towards those who already had knowledge of DC properties, yet at the same time, the film is a bit too childish to really cater to those like us. Or is it? I don't really know the answer to that. Lots of comic book fans love watching that cartoon shit. Overall, I think this movie moved at far too quickly a pace, but that's just my feeling, and truthfully it isn't much worse than The Lego Movie. As far as the appearances from other properties go, I probably liked Sauron (Jemaine Clement) the most. That was completely unexpected.

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   First They Killed My Father
12.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
13.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
14.   Okja
15.   Kong: Skull Island
16.   Split
17.   Personal Shopper
18.   Atomic Blonde
19.   The Lego Batman Movie
20.   Megan Leavey
21.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
22.   American Made
23.   Imperial Dreams
24.   Free Fire
25.   Win It All
26.   The Wall
27.   Breathe
28.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
29.   Alone in Berlin
30.   Trespass Against Us
31.   The Mountain Between Us
32.   War Machine
33.   Happy Death Day
34.   Justice League
35.   To the Bone
36.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
37.   Sand Castle
38.   Death Note
39.   The Great Wall
40.   Fist Fight
41.   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 #1104 on: January 25, 2019, 06:21:42 PM »


Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), directed by Stephen Frears

I had some reticence to ever list Florence Foster Jenkins, but I decided to do so because Meryl Streep was nominated for an Oscar and I don't think I can not watch something that was nominated for an Oscar. That, I suppose, is the standard that I've set now. I also said at some point that I needed to go through Meryl Streep's list of films and start doing major damage on them, that not seeing her great performances is quite inexcusable. I do think this was a very strong performance, but probably not for the reasons anyone would expect. I don't think people really actually knew what this film is about. The commercial for Florence Foster Jenkins is actually very confusing and makes someone think this is a film about an eccentric singer. That is not what this is. Instead, Florence Foster Jenkins is a film about the way in which others will save their loved ones from embarrassment in an attempt to indulge their wishes. The commercial does not properly advertise this movie, and you'd really only understand it if you've seen the longer trailer. That strikes me as a major problem and because of that, it's no surprise the film bombed in the United States. On the other hand, shouldn't a studio have expected that? After all, we are talking about a period movie without violence...

Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep) was a very rich New York socialite who'd inherited a lot of money from her land-owning family in Pennsylvania. Apparently this gave her the means to do whatever she wanted. As this film tells it, she founded the Verdi Club to celebrate her love of music, and her husband St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant) managed her career as best he could. The gimmick of the film is unfortunately revealed far too soon, it's that Florence Foster Jenkins was a horrendous singer. We also learn that she has syphilis, and unbeknownst to her, the apartment she thinks Bayfield lives in alone is also inhabited by his mistress, Kathleen (Rebecca Ferguson). Kathleen is well aware of the situation with Florence and Bayfield, but Florence is not and this could present real problems. However, at the time anyway, it does not. Florence has not passed syphilis on to Bayfield as they have not entirely consummated their relationship, with them both being well aware of this. They love each other though.

Anyway, due to Florence having syphilis, she frequently becomes very fatigued and cannot handle much exertion. She decides that she wants to start singing again, though. Florence hires a talented pianist, Cosme McMoon (Simon Helberg), and he's hardly able to tolerate her horrendous singing. He knows that this is a better way to live than working in a bar or restaurant, so he keeps on while stifling his laughter. Carlo Edwards (David Haig) is Florence's singing coach, he seems to have no such problems with laughter. He knows beyond doubt that Florence can't sing, but he's able to keep his composure, he's more professional and he's older. When you get older, you're willing to do pretty much everything for the money you can get. Bayfield arranges a recital and tries to fill it with Florence's friends, assuring that Florence will not receive criticism. The problem is that some others are invited in, McMoon can barely keep his mouth shut, and this seems like a situation that could turn out pretty badly. But, Bayfield seems to know his abilities quite well, and perhaps he's enough of a man to really protect his wife when he knows she needs it.

This isn't a great film, but I was very surprised by Streep's performance in projecting a complete inability to sing. You know how hard it is for someone to sound that bad? That takes some effort on her part, but the movie is just as much about Bayfield as it is her. I think to some extent Bayfield is the lead character here, and to that degree I think Hugh Grant's performance was a major surprise. This was his kind of character, though. He has faded quite a lot over the last few years, so I guess it's fitting that he would return with a big performance in something like this. It's right in his wheelhouse and there are rarely films like this one made these days. I think there are some major issues with the timing of this story, though. People are more likely to be interested when they have base knowledge of the subject, but Florence Foster Jenkins has been gone for an extremely long time. Nobody who went to see this, or almost nobody, could have actually experienced her singing as part of their childhood. That's the mistake in this film, it's something that should have been made many years ago even though it's too niche. I was also amazed at the ability of her husband to keep her shielded from criticism.

I did some reading and found that the performance shown at the end of this film was done when the actual Jenkins was 76 years old, but it makes an odd suggestion that Florence Foster Jenkins died because she saw criticism and couldn't handle it. I don't consider that a flaw of Florence Foster Jenkins, but the film is flawed for different reasons. I addressed one above when talking about how long ago these events were, but I also think that the film is quite thin as a whole and doesn't make the best use of its cast. A few of the roles, such as one played by Nina Arianda, steal the spotlight in the very little time they have. Others simply don't make any impact at all. Ultimately, this is a film that's carried by the performances of two people. I see why Meryl Streep was nominated for a Golden Globe in the Musical or Comedy category, and I thought that she was very funny here. I wasn't exactly expecting that, I thought her nomination was one of those cases where she was thrown into a category at the Globes just because they didn't have room in the Drama category. So, I was wrong. Florence Foster Jenkins does have good laughs, but I think it's too generic and doesn't take risks with the subject matter. It's a milquetoast presentation on someone's life, but if you're cool with that and if you want to laugh at bad singing, perhaps this is for you.

6.5/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1105 on: January 26, 2019, 06:42:26 PM »


It (2017), directed by Andy Muschietti

When you read books as a kid, you hope that somehow, someday, you'll be able to see these things as movies. At least that was what I thought when I was a kid. The ABC miniseries did not quite do It justice, so it was time to keep on dreaming. Sometimes, when you actually get what you want, it's even better than you thought it would be. That's where I'm at with It, a story that isn't yet completed, but one that I need to see out. I feel like I'm inherently biased in favor of this story, that I can't look at it objectively, and with that in mind my review should be taken for what it is. I was hoping that the film was able to capture moments from the book, although I didn't quite expect the movie to do much in maintaining its themes. One of the issues with the film is how much we've seen this kind of story done, but the source material is...the original version of the story. One of the best versions of the story. I think I've made clear that I've made up my mind. I do think there's another issue with how many times we see Pennywise, but besides that, this is one of the most faithful Stephen King adaptations that exists. This also feels like a time capsule, like another 80's movie, which there aren't enough of.

Our film begins exactly the way it should, with Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) giving his very young brother Georgie a paper sailboat. These events take place in 1988. Georgie sails the boat down a rainy street, and it goes into the storm drain. Once he goes to get it out, he encounters a timeless villain, Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard). Pennywise is a clown who inhabits the sewers, he's friendly to kids, or at least you'd think so for a little bit. Once Georgie comes closer to get his sailboat, Pennywise does the kind of thing that it turns out Pennywise does. He bites Georgie's arm off, then when Georgie is crawling away, shows incredible reach in dragging Georgie down into the sewers, killing him. The film continues the following summer, with Georgie long gone. Bill and his friends Richie (Finn Wolfhard), Stan (Wyatt Oleff), and Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) spend their time heavily avoiding bullies which are led by Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton). Henry is absolutely insane and it's clear to see that bad shit's going to happen when he comes around. I should describe the other characters too. Richie talks a lot, Stan is a Jewish kid who doesn't care as much about his religion as his family thinks he should, and Eddie is a hypochondriac who is encouraged by his mother to be this way.

When these four kids run afoul of bullies, it isn't very good. Bill finds out that his brother's body may have washed up in a wasteland called the Barrens, and he wants his friends to investigate. At the same time, a fat kid named Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) discovers that their town in Maine has a history of strange disappearances and mishaps. They occur at a far higher rate there than anywhere else in the country. Ben, of course, is also targeted by bullies. After something that happens in the Barrens, our group nears completion. They encounter Beverly (Sophia Lillis) at a pharmacy, when in need of supplies to stop Ben from bleeding out. She's able to easily distract the perverted pharmacist, she's also been torn apart by awful bullying due to rumors about her sleeping with all her classmates. Lastly, in perhaps that character whose story gets cut the most, we have Mike (Chosen Jacobs). Mike is the lone black kid both in the group and for that matter in the whole movie. Obviously, that puts a large target on him, and it's the 1980s, and the bullies in Derry are demented. Here's how things go from here. They are terrorized and need to find out what Pennywise is, what they can actually do about it, and how to stop Pennywise from killing anymore kids. But the things that happen to them before that are all pretty bad, and in some ways this becomes a movie that sees how long you can last before wanting to shit your pants.

I think on some level, It is supposed to be the kind of horror movie you would want to bring a 10 year old to so that you can scare the shit out of them. Considering that's around the age I read the book, I think I would have let a kid watch this. I don't have any kids so nobody needs to call Child Services on me. Anyway, the film does have a hard break in the middle of it, which is another one of the flaws I mentioned here. The break comes and everything rapidly comes back together, which is a problem I suppose. Another are the scenes with children in their underwear. I don't care for these, I never will, and that's why I said this was a movie I think you were supposed to be able to bring your kids to. The box office reflects the possibility that a lot of people did bring their children to watch something they knew about when they were younger. I think the movie is properly scary to this end, there are numerous good jump scares. The scene where Pennywise pops out of the projector would have made me shart if I was younger. I also thought that the director did a good job of presenting the things that scared each child, this was also a difficult task. These things happen without any scenes in between to break them up, so someone may like this or they may not. I liked the change of pace and how quickly things came about.

Because of my attachment to the story, I can't really give this a fair analysis. I did hate the score as well, but all these things are overriden by the atmosphere of It. There are numerous scenes that are going to stick with me, it's a timeless story. I didn't just read the book once, I read it two or three times. So many of these presentations are very unsettling, particularly the one with Pennywise dancing in his lair. The performances of the kids vary in quality, but Beverly, Eddie, and Henry Bowers seemed to stick the strongest. In the end, it's all about Pennywise. The film nearly entirely rests on someone's ability to portray Pennywise, to carry off the feeling that Pennywise could be many things. We know that the being kills kids, but whether or not it's a pedophile, or how much it toys with the children before finishing them off, that's something we aren't going to find out. When you see that face, you wonder. I also think it takes some balls to actually go through with a film opening where the villain has to kill a child in gruesome fashion. This one did not disappoint in any way. Despite my critiques, most of them are small, but I have a feeling I could feel differently if I gave this a repeat viewing. So, I won't do that for a few years. It is something I'm going to have to keep in mind going forward, there are no real shortage of memorable scenes.

The Lois Lane line, by the way, is properly disgusting. I think one of the goals in the film is to make human villains seem as bad as the supernatural. Mission accomplished with that scene, or with the things Henry was doing. Yikes.

7.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   It
12.   First They Killed My Father
13.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
14.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
15.   Okja
16.   Kong: Skull Island
17.   Split
18.   Personal Shopper
19.   Atomic Blonde
20.   The Lego Batman Movie
21.   Megan Leavey
22.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
23.   American Made
24.   Imperial Dreams
25.   Free Fire
26.   Win It All
27.   The Wall
28.   Breathe
29.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
30.   Alone in Berlin
31.   Trespass Against Us
32.   The Mountain Between Us
33.   War Machine
34.   Happy Death Day
35.   Justice League
36.   To the Bone
37.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
38.   Sand Castle
39.   Death Note
40.   The Great Wall
41.   Fist Fight
42.   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 Avid Warehouse Enthusiast

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1106 on: January 27, 2019, 06:03:02 AM »
I'm in the minority with Buster Scruggs, I guess, because I loved all of it. It may actually be among my favorite Coen Brothers works, actually. The titular short was like a gritty mockery of Tex Avery cartoons with some love toward 50s westerns, and anything featuring Tim Blake Nelson deserves love.
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 #1107 on: January 27, 2019, 03:13:15 PM »


Stan & Ollie (2018), directed by Jon S. Baird

Perhaps more than any year in terms of awards recognition, 2018 was one where biography movies reigned supreme. One just needs to look at the lack of award nominations for original acting performances to know I'm telling the truth here. In fact, none of the Best Actor nominees performed in an entirely original film. With that in mind, I am very surprised that Steve Coogan was not nominated for his performance in Stan & Ollie. I think his was a performance much better than some of the other nominees, and he would have been totally deserving of winning an award for it. But, such is life, and that's not my grand takeaway from the film. I should admit that I don't really know anything about Laurel and Hardy, or at least I didn't before I saw the film today. The film is very effective in educating its audience while ensuring that people who already know the story are entertained. Stan & Ollie also walks the line between being too sad or too pleasing in a very effective way, and considering what the story entails, it's certainly difficult to do that. While some of Laurel and Hardy's comedy is massively outdated by modern standards, that seemed to not matter as the film went on, and these characters are about as sympathetic as in any in a film all year.

The beginning of our film takes place in 1937, but we'll revisit this scenario at various points in the film. Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (John C. Reilly) are the famous comedy duo that everyone at least has name recognition of. In those days, they were some of the most famous people in the country. While making Way Out West, Stan has a blowout argument with studio head Hal Roach (Danny Huston). Stan correctly believes that Roach is not maximizing the global appeal of Laurel and Hardy, not giving them the financial awards they really deserve. Stan and Ollie have separate contracts, though. Ollie is still attached to Roach, while Stan wants to go with Fox and do their own thing. He's quite convinced they can make a lot more money and take care of their respective problems. Ollie is supposed to meet with Fox and sign a contract, but he does not, and this leads to Stan feeling betrayed and bitter. After all, he thought Ollie was going to stay his friend for good, that they'd continue to make movies for years and years. That doesn't happen. Instead, Ollie continues to make movies for Roach and does so with a new comedy partner.

Those scenes happen at various points of the film, but I thought it was essential to lay out the situation prior to the following events. One of the only problems I have with the film is that they didn't do this. Many years later, Stan and Ollie are headed on a trip to revitalize their career, with the intention of gathering funding for a Robin Hood film that Stan is desperate to make for them both. Their trip? They're going to head around Great Britain on a theater tour put together by Bernard Delfont (Rufus Jones), a very shady seeming promoter. I kept waiting for him to screw people over, but that didn't happen. The tour is very grueling, and at the start of it anyway, the audiences aren't so big. Their lodgings are also not the best. Delfont is far more interested in his up and coming British star, he didn't really put much effort into this tour. One example of that is how people in Glasgow thought this was a tour where people were playing Laurel and Hardy, not those two doing so themselves. So, what's the deal and what's the drama with all this? Ida (Nina Arianda) is Stan's wife and Lucille (Shirley Henderson) is Ollie's, they are to join their husbands when the tour gets to London. This creates problem as tensions the two men have with each other comes to the surface, and they still haven't heard back from the producer of their proposed film.

The performances in this film, I think they speak for themselves. They are both very accurate representations of the subjects in terms of their looks, with John C. Reilly wearing a fat suit you have to see to believe. There's a scene where Ollie is in bed with his wife, and he takes up nearly the entire bed. The way this is filmed is fantastic in illustrating this and it's obviously the point. I thought Stan & Ollie was a film that accurately describes the struggle comedians and other entertainers go through when their career is on a downward slide to nothingness. We also are given a presentation of how money is often a deciding factor in these kinds of splits, they just happen due to finances and nothing can be done about it. Both pairings of actors have chemistry here, and if you haven't already figured it out, there are multiple scenes with Ida and Lucille together on their own. This is a strong comedy duo in and of itself. The confrontation between Stan and Ollie is also deeply cutting without being vulgar, an argument befitting of such a good film. The characters are both so good and so interesting.

I said that the scenes of Stan and Ollie in the 1930's are ill-placed, this is not an understatement on my part. I think the underlying tension between the two may have been better if the audience was aware of the entire story before the film got well and truly underway. However, these things are completely overshadowed by the costumes and appearance of John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy. The makeup job, fat suit, all of that stuff looks incredibly realistic. I also thought the ability of the actors to perform Laurel and Hardy's shtick is quite incredible to me, that isn't exactly an easy thing to do. This could easily have looked very bad and awful, it did not. Also, it should be pointed out that there were lots of scenes of this, in fact nearly the whole movie is full of this stuff. Overall, Stan & Ollie is a film that makes me happy, it seemed to make everyone else happy too. It was touching at the conclusion of it, and if you didn't like this, I don't really know what you're thinking. One may vary on whether or not they think this is a good or great film, but I unapologetically loved this. Not much else to be said.

8.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Roma
2.   A Star Is Born
3.   First Reformed
4.   The Favourite
5.   Widows
6.   First Man
7.   BlacKkKlansman
8.   Blindspotting
9.   If Beale Street Could Talk
10.   The Sisters Brothers
11.   A Private War
12.   Stan & Ollie
13.   Green Book
14.   Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
15.   Mission: Impossible - Fallout
16.   The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
17.   On My Skin
18.   Private Life
19.   Can You Ever Forgive Me?
20.   Mid90s
21.   Eighth Grade
22.   Sorry to Bother You
23.   Vice
24.   The Old Man & the Gun
25.   Suspiria
26.   Vox Lux
27.   Boy Erased
28.   Bad Times at the El Royale
29.   The Other Side of the Wind
30.   Searching
31.   A Simple Favor
32.   The Hate U Give
33.   Bumblebee
34.   Mary Poppins Returns
35.   Creed II
36.   Hold the Dark
37.   The Land of Steady Habits
38.   Halloween
39.   Mary Queen of Scots
40.   Aquaman
41.   Outlaw King
42.   Overlord
43.   Ben Is Back
44.   Monsters and Men
45.   The Mule
46.   On the Basis of Sex
47.   Bohemian Rhapsody
48.   White Boy Rick 
49.   Papillon
50.   Game Night
51.   Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
52.   Instant Family
53.   Alpha
54.   The Front Runner
55.   The Predator
56.   Apostle
57.   The Angel
58.   The Commuter
59.   Beautiful Boy
60.   The Nun
61.   Operation Finale
62.   The Equalizer 2
63.   The Spy Who Dumped Me
64.   Bird Box
65.   12 Strong
66.   Venom
67.   Skyscraper
68.   The Meg
69.   Assassination Nation
70.   The Girl in the Spider's Web
71.   The House with a Clock in Its Walls
72.   22 July
73.   Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
74.   The Little Stranger
75.   Tomb Raider
76.   Night School
77.   The 15:17 To Paris
78.   Peppermint
79.   Mile 22
80.   The First Purge
81.   Hunter Killer
82.   Kin
83.   Hell Fest
84.   Proud Mary
85.   Robin Hood
86.   The Happytime Murders
87.   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 Kahran Ramsus

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1108 on: January 28, 2019, 10:53:29 AM »
I need to see that movie.  I grew up watching old Laurel & Hardy films. 

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1109 on: January 28, 2019, 06:43:33 PM »
I need to see that movie.  I grew up watching old Laurel & Hardy films. 

You'll be stunned by their ability to pull these scenes off then. Doesn't feel inauthentic in the least.


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 #1110 on: January 28, 2019, 06:43:45 PM »


A United Kingdom (2017), directed by Amma Asante

I'm actually left at a loss for words after watching a A United Kingdom, an overly sentimental look at what became an independent Botswana's first ruling couple. I was hoping for more from this film, but I really should have known better beforehand. I took it upon myself not to look at any reviews, simply went by the expiration date and description, and gave this a shot. This wasn't a bad film, but I'm not sure I should have done this. It feels like I've seen this exact kind of historical film so many times before, and I have more on my list for next month in fact. I may change things up though. It isn't that I can't handle watching these kinds of movies because I could watch them all day. What I need is for a film to bring something extra to the table, and A United Kingdom simply doesn't have that. It's one of those things you know when you're watching something, but the most glaring example of this is that the film has the cinematic sheen of a television show. This is the kind of thing that even when a film is much better than this one, I have a hard time getting over. The other thing that I thought about this story was that it desperately needs the South African boogeyman to present itself in a form of a real character, simply mentioning it or using a British government official didn't effectively pull that off. Want to see how? Read on.

Obviously, A United Kingdom is based on a true story, one regarding the heir to the throne of Bechuanaland (pre-Botswana), Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams Khama (Rosamund Pike), the woman who would go on to marry him. Seretse is in London after World War II, where he meets Ruth for the first time. He goes on to marry her, but the beginning of this film is extremely focused on the problems that come with such a marriage. Obviously, Seretse is black and Ruth is white, but there's more than that, the British government is very concerned about how this will impact their relationship with South Africa. Despite what you might believe, apartheid South Africa still had gold reserves, and ultimately that ruled over human rights concerns. Alistair Canning (Jack Davenport) presents this picture throughout the film, he's the British representative in Southern Africa. South Africa itself is terrified about the prospect of a black king marrying a white woman and how this will inspire their system to be overthrown/prevented. Ruth has her own problems though, those with her father George (Nicholas Lyndhurst), who hates blacks. He threatens to disown her after Seretse's proposal, but she goes through with it anyway.

After Seretse and Ruth marry each other, there are other problems brought into the equation. As you may suspect, the King of Bechuanaland would not actually have absolute power in the country, that role was done by white overseers. Seretse's uncle Tshekedi (Vusi Kunene) is the Regent, handling the duties of the thrown until Seretse is prepared. That day had come. Problem is, Tshekedi is demanding that Seretse divorce Ruth and marry a Bamangwato princess. As you might suspect, Seretse rejects this, but this leads to enormous problems as the British use the situation to drive a wedge between the two men. The British subsequently argue that the marriage is causing unrest in Bechuanaland, and make moves against Seretse to heavily restrict his power. When Seretse discovers that the British are looking into mining the country, he wants to ensure that the resources of the country go into the hands of his people, not into those of the British. The situation, of course, must come to a head. Ruth is called to London at a time when she's finally become close to Seretse's sister Naledi (Terry Pheto). The three of them realize that Seretse needs to go instead of Ruth. Problem is, what happens when the British decide to banish a king from his own country?

I've addressed most of the flaws I found in this film, but the one I didn't say anything about was the way in which the story was told. It's told in a way that, well, is highly simplistic and almost entirely through dialogue and not actions. We also see that people have problems with the ruling situation, but their concerns are entirely sanitized. People died in rioting over Seretse's exile, there is no scene of this in the film at all. The opening of the film that relates to Ruth and Seretse's courtship is also quite bland and cliched. I do think that the film is effective in presenting many aspects of the political situation, but it doesn't do as strong a job in pointing out that the marriage wasn't the sole reason the British were against Seretse's return to the country. Bechuanaland was an important location for the British, another bulwark against potential Communist thought on the continent. It was also rich in resources as this film makes one clear of. I believe Botswana now ranks 30th on the democracy index, it is a prosperous economy by most standards, and isn't a corrupt nation at all. The British wanted to keep some kind of hold on these resources and keep the region close to their vest.

I was more interested in the political aspects of the film than anything else, but I think it's really quite a standard film as a whole. I think it's effective in ensuring that people do understand the problems with colonialism, but I think the film could have gone further in doing so. There are some good scenes showcasing how Clement Attlee (Anton Lesser) got in bed with the South Africans over their gold resources, and another that shows Winston Churchill was a piece of shit like the rest, but I would have liked there to be more to this. I think the film lacked the anguish that happens when couples are separated like this, and I also think there was a great story to be told here if it was done properly. However, obviously I don't think this was done properly, and while there are strong contrasts shown between like in Africa and life in Britain, the film needs a little bit more driving force. Some explanation is required to explain why Churchill would campaign on ending Seretse's exile and change his mind after the election. There's none here. I would have liked something a bit more raw than this turned out to be, I thought A United Kingdom was lacking heart and passion. I hate to say that about a romantic film because of how bad it sounds, but it is what it is.

5.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   It
12.   First They Killed My Father
13.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
14.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
15.   Okja
16.   Kong: Skull Island
17.   Split
18.   Personal Shopper
19.   Atomic Blonde
20.   The Lego Batman Movie
21.   Megan Leavey
22.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
23.   American Made
24.   Imperial Dreams
25.   Free Fire
26.   Win It All
27.   The Wall
28.   Breathe
29.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
30.   Alone in Berlin
31.   A United Kingdom
32.   Trespass Against Us
33.   The Mountain Between Us
34.   War Machine
35.   Happy Death Day
36.   Justice League
37.   To the Bone
38.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
39.   Sand Castle
40.   Death Note
41.   The Great Wall
42.   Fist Fight
43.   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 #1111 on: January 31, 2019, 05:23:26 AM »


Wakefield (2017), directed by Robin Swicord

Does a thought provoking film always have to be good? Wakefield is something that really tests whether or not that's the case, it's a movie that I actually have a strong feeling of distaste for. I know that's also the point. I don't think it's necessary to have a likable character as the lead in a film, but in this particular case it's very frustrating the way things turned out. I think at some point, a lot of people have felt like the lead subject in Wakefield. They've wanted to retreat from the world, but actually doing it is unconscionable, something most people do not want to inflict on their loved ones. Others have good reasons for retreating and decide to cut their family out for good, which is totally reasonable. Some kill themselves to get out of a bad situation, but that isn't what the deal is here. What we have here is someone who wants to remain involved at the periphery of the lives of their family members, but doesn't want to have real relationships with them and would rather they not know he even still exists. This character is so odious, so far beyond the pale, that I can't in good conscience say that this is a good film. I almost hate it and may have derived the incorrect emotions from watching this.

Howard Wakefield (Bryan Cranston) is a successful attorney in New York City, married to Diana (Jennifer Garner) and living with her and their twin daughters Giselle (Ellery Sprayberry) and Taylor (Victoria Bruno) out in the suburbs. On his way home from work, there's a power outage, so he returns home very late at night. A raccoon heads into his detached garage and winds up in the attic, but Howard's able to get that thing the hell out of there. He subsequently decides to look through the window and is able to see perfectly inside the house, where his family is eating dinner. For whatever reason, he decides to ignore calls from his wife and starts getting happy about her distress, but Howard really gets mad when she walks outside and throws his dinner plate into the garbage. In order to avoid fighting, he sits down with the intention of going into the house later, but he falls asleep. The next morning, Howard decides to narrate some of the details of his life. Diana and Howard decided to start flirting with other people in order to add spice to their sex life, but Diana hates it and can't stand Howard's persistent jealousy. Who could? After all, that's what he wanted and now he's whining like a fucking bitch.

This, unfortunately, is not the first time Howard whines like a bitch. When he wakes up that next morning, he believes that Diana will accuse him of having an affair, so he decides to wait for her to leave for work before heading into the house. The problem with that is, she's not going to leave for work for quite a while. When she sees that his car is in the garage, she realizes that Howard didn't leave her, and it's time to call the police to report him missing. Howard feels terrible about this and decides to go inside, but Diana's mom Babs (Beverly D'Angelo) shows up at their house. Howard hates Babs with every part of his soul, he will absolutely not go in that house while she's there. Eventually, everyone leaves and he goes inside, but this is when he has a major breakdown. After he goes inside, he realizes that Diana is carrying on with her routine without him, and he just can't have that. He thinks that his disappearance is a blessing in disguise for her, or that she's relieved, because she probably thinks she married the wrong guy. So Howard, in his infinite wisdom and consistently laughing at his wife's difficulties, decides to head back into the attic, with no intention of ever leaving, while spying on Diana the entire time.

The main flaw in this film is something a good director never would have revealed, and it was so easy not to do it. She just couldn't help herself. There is a scene where one can see that it's possible for any of to have seen Howard if they'd looked at the attic window while walking out of the house, and I think that's completely inexcusable. We are talking about Howard being in that attic for around 9 or 10 months without getting busted by any family members, that doesn't hold up under any level of scrutiny. I said something earlier about how I got the incorrect emotions from this film, and what I meant was that I found some glee in seeing Howard push the self-destruct button on his own life and effectively turn himself into a loser bum. There's also some joy in everyone being able to move on the longer that Howard stays gone, but this is something I also think is unrealistic unless it really was the case that Howard was a black cloud on their life as he seems to believe. This could also be considered a portrait of someone having a nervous breakdown, which he clearly was. I just find some deep disconnect with the reality of what would happen and what did happen in this film.

There's certainly some artistic merit to the film, I would never argue otherwise. In fact, it's the only thing keeping me from saying this was outright bad. I did have a ton of interest in seeing a story about someone who withdrew from life to this extent, but I think the story is ultimately too much and that anyone besides Cranston would not have been able to pull off the weight of this role. The problem is that his character is scum to the degree that only murdering or raping characters have been able to feel as low as, I had no sympathy for him at all. The character also has thoughts that are frankly insane, and all of these are narrated to the audience. There's a scene where Jennifer Garner has pretty much no clothes on and all he can manage to do is complain about her outfit. What the fuck? I just can't get behind this kind of character at all, this is super bizarre and I hated this character beyond all rationality. Towards the end of the film, once he decided to snap out of it, I did feel a bit bad for him. Problem is, I remembered that he abandoned his children and had only had thoughts about them a grand total of one time, and he enjoyed seeing them go through pain at the beginning of his disappearance. Fuck this guy.

5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   It
12.   First They Killed My Father
13.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
14.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
15.   Okja
16.   Kong: Skull Island
17.   Split
18.   Personal Shopper
19.   Atomic Blonde
20.   The Lego Batman Movie
21.   Megan Leavey
22.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
23.   American Made
24.   Imperial Dreams
25.   Free Fire
26.   Win It All
27.   The Wall
28.   Breathe
29.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
30.   Alone in Berlin
31.   A United Kingdom
32.   Trespass Against Us
33.   The Mountain Between Us
34.   War Machine
35.   Happy Death Day
36.   Justice League
37.   To the Bone
38.   Wakefield
39.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
40.   Sand Castle
41.   Death Note
42.   The Great Wall
43.   Fist Fight
44.   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 #1112 on: February 02, 2019, 06:07:55 PM »


CHiPs (2017), directed by Dax Shepard

I think there are two things I should get out of the way as it relates to CHiPs, a reboot movie clearly intending to launch a franchise. The first of those things is a question rather than anything else. Is it terrible to relaunch something that was never that good in the first place? I don't understand the outrage from those who thought this shit on a horrible television series, and that's truly what it was. Maybe it's that this continued the CHiPs tradition when people were hoping for something more? I don't know. One of the reasons I watched CHiPs tonight was because I heard someone the other day say that they ran into Erik Estrada, and that sounded like a good enough reason to me. The other problem with the film is that I can't stand Dax Shepard. This is probably related to the fact that my dad watched Let's Go to Prison no less than ten times and would regularly rewind the movie to go back and laugh at his favorite parts. So, yeah. That's where I'm at here. I also have absolutely no idea how he was able to land a gig directing a studio comedy like this one. I'm not alone in thinking he's done nothing to deserve that, right? It turned out that in the end, Warner Bros. got exactly what they deserved.

Shepard's film has a very different story than what CHiPs was in the first place, which could be part of the problem to begin with. FBI Agent Castillo (Michael Pena) is undercover with a crew of bank robbers as their getaway driver, helping to evade police in Miami. He changes vehicles and torches the car they were in to begin with, then he reveals that he's an undercover agent and helps the FBI arrest these guys. While that's going on, a former X-Games motorcycle guy named Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) has joined the CHP Academy. He really wants to be in our highway patrol because his marriage to Karen (Kristen Bell) has all but dissolved, with his glory days long gone it has been very difficult to keep his wife's interest. Jon fails nearly all the tests, but he can ride a motorcycle better than everyone else, and that leads to him being graduated on probation. He has to be a good officer in order to keep his job, or he's going to get canned. These scenes happen in around the same amount of time that it would have taken anyone to read the first two paragraphs, which sets the tone for a movie that is paced too quickly. I should also mention that Castillo is a sex addict and Baker is a pill popper.

Now, our impetus for the two officers coming together is that there's dirty shit going on in the California Highway Patrol. An armored van has been attacked by motorcycle riders, and their leader goes by the call name of "LT" (Vincent D'Onofrio, and if you can't instantly tell you're an idiot). Anyway, LT accuses the armored guard and a helicopter pilot named TJ of stealing from him, and they're boyfriends. TJ decides that given the choice of LT killing his boyfriend or TJ killing himself, TJ will do the deed. So, TJ jumps from his helicopter to his death. Now, Castillo is informed by his boss Peterson (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) that he's going to go into a new job, working as a CHP officer with a cover name of Francis Llewellyn Poncherello, or as everyone knows that name, Ponch. Ponch is supposed to go in and claim that he was transferred from Redding, and his new partner is going to be the village idiot, you guessed it (if you even care), the new guy Baker. We are subsequently introduced to numerous characters, including officers Lindsey Taylor (Jessica McNamee), Ava Perez (Rosa Salazar), Lt. Raymond Kurtz (Vincent D'Onofrio), the CHP Captain Jane Lindel (Jane Kaczmarek), and Castillo's supervising FBI officer, Clay Allen (Adam Brody). Castillo and Clay have some history, at the beginning of the film Castillo shot Clay on accident.

Movies that rely on gay panic to this extent can very rarely be good, but the moment I knew this wasn't going to be an exception to the rule was when I looked at my notepad and remembered that the scenes that were filmed in "Miami" were really filmed here at the port. I could tell instantly and I don't know why anyone would attempt to pass that off as the bridges are too obviously an LA landmark. More to the point of why this doesn't work, even though I enjoyed how much the film traversed across Los Angeles, very few of the gags in CHiPs land. The ones that do are more of the variety that is hard to even believe those things are being filmed, the bathtub gag being the worst of those. I'll save you guys the details on that one, and if you aren't interested in seeing how bad a movie can really be, you shouldn't watch this. One of the series of jokes that did land was a fight through the house of the widow whose husband killed himself. I was waiting for that to happen because Shepard took the creative decision of ensuring the audience would know that would happen, and even though I hated that part, the fight was very good. There's also a few funny things with Baker being a willfully blind cuck, and I can't help myself when it comes to that stuff. I think it's amusing. The film is also horrendously cast with multiple actresses given roles beneath their talents. One example of this is the way Rosa Salazar moved on to a big tentpole film like Alita: Battle Angel. That one may not be so good either, but surely it's better than this?

Unfortunately, or perhaps rather fortunately as I would rather there not be a series of these movies, this was quite terrible. Terrible enough in fact that there's no way there could ever be a sequel. The changes from the television show are all unanimously not good. I didn't understand why it was decided for Ponch to become an FBI agent, or why he'd tell Baker almost instantly about his real job, but anyway, that doesn't really matter to me. None of this did. I wanted to get this bad movie out of the way because I had a few more this month, but I do think CHiPs achieved its goals. I assume everyone in it got paid somewhat nicely, and this was a motorcycle chase movie. Motorcycle chase movies can really only be so bad, and a lot of these chases were quite good even though the end results of them were completely predictable. This is way too goofy, and I didn't think there would be such prolonged discussion of analingus in this film, but I guess I should have known better. There were many reasons this had bad reviews, but I feel an incessant need to find these things out for myself. I think there's an increasingly smaller market for films like this one, though. Nothing in it is truly unique, and even though I'm always down for motorcycle chases, I don't know what to think of this. It's a movie directed with no flair or anything at all. The comedy genre is basically dead and CHiPs is just another example of that.

If anyone cares about the list placement of this, I'll justify it. Recoiling at bad jokes and laughing a few times is a hell of a lot better than being unable to pay attention due to how boring a film is, or having a lead character who I hated so badly I wanted to see them die for the entirety of the story.

3.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   It
12.   First They Killed My Father
13.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
14.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
15.   Okja
16.   Kong: Skull Island
17.   Split
18.   Personal Shopper
19.   Atomic Blonde
20.   The Lego Batman Movie
21.   Megan Leavey
22.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
23.   American Made
24.   Imperial Dreams
25.   Free Fire
26.   Win It All
27.   The Wall
28.   Breathe
29.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
30.   Alone in Berlin
31.   A United Kingdom
32.   Trespass Against Us
33.   The Mountain Between Us
34.   War Machine
35.   Happy Death Day
36.   Justice League
37.   To the Bone
38.   Wakefield
39.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
40.   Sand Castle
41.   CHiPs
42.   Death Note
43.   The Great Wall
44.   Fist Fight
45.   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 #1113 on: February 03, 2019, 06:31:08 PM »


Chuck (2017), directed by Philippe Falardeau

I think almost everyone in this country is at the least somewhat aware of Chuck Wepner, right? Chuck should have done a lot more to capitalize on this, but instead it appears that not very many people were aware of this film at all. You could barely call this film's release in theaters a real release. I didn't even know this existed until a few months ago, even though Chuck boasts some actors and actresses that I really enjoy. That's just a bad promotional strategy. Part of the other problem is that the film is only merely quite good. This is one of my favorite stories, though, and it's one that refuses to sanitize its content for anyone. Chuck Wepner had a hard life, he fucked up, and his local celebrity status did absolutely nothing to help him at all. The cast of Chuck is slightly too large, and there's some inconsistency with the story in terms of how characters fade in and out, but perhaps this is all quite truthful. I am getting a little tired of these kinds of biographies, which is a problem considering how much of the film landscape is littered with them, but I did enjoy this one. Of course, a biography about Chuck Wepner is a hell of a lot different than one of someone whose life we know more about. In the case of Wepner, we only know about 15 rounds against Muhammad Ali, and the rest is somewhat of a secret. At least until now.

Chuck is the story of Chuck Wepner (Liev Schreiber), a boxer best known for fighting Muhammad Ali (Pooch Hall) in Cleveland. Chuck was never a world champion, but he was tough as fuck. You don't get a nickname like the "Bayonne Bleeder" unless you can take some huge punishment and brawl. However, this story is about before and after the fight, with some huge emphasis placed on afterwards. Chuck is married to Phyllis (Elisabeth Moss), and they have a daughter. The problem is that Chuck can't keep it in his pants, and this gets a lot worse the more famous he becomes. Chuck's day job is one as an alcohol salesman, which puts him in contact with some strange people, and he likes to have fun. Unfortunately, one of the times he's having fun, Phyllis sees what's going on and decides to move out of the house with their daughter. Chuck is seemingly undeterred in his hustle, and it turns out that he's top ten in the world after years of club fighting. His manager Al (Ron Perlman) has a proposal from Don King, who wants a racial war kind of fight as Don King always really wanted. After the Rumble in the Jungle, Chuck will get a shot at the winner. Sounds great, right?

Chuck subsequently heads off to a training camp in the Catskills, the first time he's ever done that and the first time he says he's done anything like a real professional. Chuck narrates this film of course, because otherwise a lot of the events in it wouldn't make sense. I was reminded of Liev Schreiber's time on HBO boxing, narrating their 24/7 programs, it's a pleasant memory. Anyway, Chuck and Ali finally have their press conference showdown, this turns into a race thing, and what's done is done. However, the point of this film isn't the Ali fight, it's the downfall that came afterward. Chuck found some real positives in his fight with Ali, even though he came away battered and bruised. He was a real celebrity in New Jersey now. Of course, as you might suspect, overnight celebrities always do bad shit. There's drugs, and oh yeah, there's women too. It turns out that he'd entirely forgotten about his brother Donny (Michael Rapaport) for years, his best friend John (Jim Gaffigan) starts hanging around again too, and that he's interested in a bartender named Linda (Naomi Watts). Marriage will certainly not deter this man in his quest to destroy his life.

This is a slightly unique story in that I didn't find any redemption in the presentation of Wepner's life, and perhaps that's what I appreciated most here. Instead, there's an evaluation of the things that lead someone to ruin themselves after one moment of fame. There's not much to say about someone going on cocaine binges, womanizing, or thinking they're too big to be around other people. All of this applied to Chuck Wepner as the film presents it. I think to this end, Liev Schreiber was great casting. I would also like to see him play Jake Roberts at some point, not that I think that's going to happen, but the likeness when he grows out a handlebar mustache is uncanny. I think Chuck does make some mistakes in covering too long a time span in too short a film, but there are good performances from everyone throughout the film. Elisabeth Moss has one good series of lines when she catches Chuck about to start cheating on her, I thought this was one of the best parts of the film. Another is a scene where Wepner is watching the Academy Awards all by himself in hopes that his story portrayed in Rocky would win, and even though he celebrates he finds out that nobody cared.

There aren't enough stories about what happens to those who are unable to handle even the most minor of fame, and trust me, this certainly was minor fame. Getting destroyed by Ali shouldn't have made anyone super famous, but Chuck seemed to think that it did and that everyone should have cared about him. He was wrong. I think the weaknesses of the film lie in the fact that the plot does meander, if you can even call it a plot. Wepner is also a relatively minor subject, and if you don't care about prizefighting, you may not care whatsoever about this film. Ultimately, this is a film that I would consider to be a good ride at best, possibly boring if you don't care about the subject, but I think everyone can say there are strong performances here. Of course, this is yet another modern boxing film without much boxing in it. That presents some problems as well, I don't really care for that. The point of Chuck was that Chuck had some charisma and he ruined his life. The director does fall a bit in love with his subject, but I thought this film was similar to The Wrestler. When someone's past their prime, thinks they're famous, and there's nobody to go home to, some bad shit is going to happen. There are very few exceptions to this in reality, and I was glad that the film didn't pull any punches. Falardeau was clear to show that Chuck Wepner wound up in prison, many films would not, and I appreciated that.

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   It
12.   First They Killed My Father
13.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
14.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
15.   Okja
16.   Kong: Skull Island
17.   Split
18.   Personal Shopper
19.   Chuck
20.   Atomic Blonde
21.   The Lego Batman Movie
22.   Megan Leavey
23.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
24.   American Made
25.   Imperial Dreams
26.   Free Fire
27.   Win It All
28.   The Wall
29.   Breathe
30.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
31.   Alone in Berlin
32.   A United Kingdom
33.   Trespass Against Us
34.   The Mountain Between Us
35.   War Machine
36.   Happy Death Day
37.   Justice League
38.   To the Bone
39.   Wakefield
40.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
41.   Sand Castle
42.   CHiPs
43.   Death Note
44.   The Great Wall
45.   Fist Fight
46.   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 #1114 on: February 05, 2019, 06:23:19 PM »


Wilson (2017), directed by Craig Johnson

I didn't initially know what to make of Wilson, because when I first ran a search to see if this got positive reviews, there were a fair amount of positive and negative ones. I also looked at the cast, and I saw a fair amount of interesting actors who could make for a good film. I don't want to write a long list or anything like that, but there's quite a few. I did see that Wilson was an adaptation of a graphic novel, one which I actually won't look into to see if it was faithful or not. I don't think it cares. My take on the film is that it whiffs massively, I didn't laugh hard for about 38 minutes. This was a film that I'm surprised was ever made, and even though the roles were perfectly cast, it didn't resonate with me at all. How am I going to fill out a review for a short, not good movie that left me without too many thoughts? I haven't quite figured that out yet. I think Wilson was desperate to play on Woody Harrelson's celebrity and likability to create an asshole character...and it just didn't work at all. There are things about Wilson that I liked, and in some ways this is a good concept, but I didn't like it. It's fair to say Woody Harrelson should not be doing the same kinds of comedy gags that Clint Eastwood does about our culture.

Wilson (Woody Harrelson), as I already alluded to, is a man that seems to think there are lots of things wrong with what the world has become and none of them are his fault. He hates comptuers and all that stuff, like you'd expect from one of those kinds of characters. The anti-millennial shit comments are endless from this man and none of the gags are amusing, so it's fair to say that I never would have had a fondness for this character like I did Clint Eastwood's in The Mule. Wilson is an older white guy who thinks everything's wrong with the country, and that's how we got Trump, so yeah. There's not a hell of a lot I can say about this. We're introduced to him at a point where lots of things are leaving his life, and his friends are moving off to Missouri for whatever reason. He also routinely drops his dog off with a sitter, Shelly (Judy Greer). Surprisingly he doesn't try to hit on her, and instead he shoots his sights far lower. Ugly lady coming out of the pet store? Of course, that's Wilson's kind of thing. His way of getting her phone number is to try to rear end her, so this is the kind of guy that isn't exactly mentally balanced on any wavelength at all.

One day, after immense life failures, Wilson decides that he wants to contact his ex-wife who he hasn't seen in a very long time. Her name is Pippi (Laura Dern), and Wilson thinks all kinds of disgusting bad shit about her. I don't know if it's true and that isn't the point of the film. It turns out that they take a liking to each other again, and Wilson talks about an abortion that Pippi once had. She didn't really have it. Instead, their daughter was put up for adoption and is now 17 years old, she's named Claire (Isabella Amara). I don't see a good way to cut to the chase from here, but I'll do my best. Wilson essentially forces Pippi to go with him to the Mall of America to surprise Claire, and after many conversations, it turns out that Claire is not living her best life. She's bullied constantly, thinks that nobody cares about her, and she doesn't have any friends. Are Wilson and Pippi good enough influences to become her friends? The answer is obvious, of course they aren't.

The humor is hit or miss, but I could see someone really enjoying how dark Woody's material is here. It's the kind of movie that I can't ever recommend, but who knows? The thing is, speaking only for myself, I thought this was terrible and painful. It wasn't only the sketches, but the entire concept of the movie grated on me so badly. I'm usually not hyper critical of comedies, I just want to laugh. I didn't laugh at all though! This is supposed to be an examination of Wilson's life, but there's no explanation of his job situation or how he can afford to do anything at all. Even the scenes with Cheryl Hines and Margo Martindale don't bring anything to the table. This turns into a family comedy at some point, then it's a prison movie, and I just hated this shit, I really did. The prison movie line isn't a joke either, but I don't want to say how that happens. Wilson is a complete mess, I'm considering cutting things short here before typing another paragraph. It is genuinely that bad, but some people loved it. I am quite convinced that nothing could have made me like this, I hated it almost immediately. Wilson is the kind of guy who would walk up to you at a urinal and start talking to you, then the film actually shows him doing that, and I just couldn't handle it at all.

It isn't that Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern give bad performances, the problem is that they are unable to transform the material into something cohesive. The director was also working against them in this way, there's nothing tying most of these scenes together. It's presented like an episode of Always Sunny with none of the same charm? I don't really know how to describe a movie where it seems to me that everything falls apart. I found no value in Wilson's redemption as he was such an enormous piece of trash before that point, and I'm kind of over those redemption stories to begin with. The movie is goofy, but that's really all it is. What it should be is an examination of why people with that kind of attitude fail in life, but we didn't get that. As a whole, I'm giving this one a full burial job, I have never seen anything with a cast I liked so much that I hated as much as this. This is comedy gone bad, the director should be banished too. I didn't like A SINGLE SCENE and hated this more than Fist Fight, that says it all.

3/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   It
12.   First They Killed My Father
13.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
14.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
15.   Okja
16.   Kong: Skull Island
17.   Split
18.   Personal Shopper
19.   Chuck
20.   Atomic Blonde
21.   The Lego Batman Movie
22.   Megan Leavey
23.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
24.   American Made
25.   Imperial Dreams
26.   Free Fire
27.   Win It All
28.   The Wall
29.   Breathe
30.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
31.   Alone in Berlin
32.   A United Kingdom
33.   Trespass Against Us
34.   The Mountain Between Us
35.   War Machine
36.   Happy Death Day
37.   Justice League
38.   To the Bone
39.   Wakefield
40.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
41.   Sand Castle
42.   CHiPs
43.   Death Note
44.   The Great Wall
45.   Fist Fight
46.   Wilson
47.   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 #1115 on: February 06, 2019, 12:08:50 PM »


Men in Black (1997), directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

I am fully aware that it makes zero sense for me to never have seen Men in Black, and after watching the film I understood this even less. There's no real excuse as this was a movie that was regularly on television in my house for years, but I never bothered to watch it for myself. So, with that in mind, I guess today was the time. I was thinking throughout Men in Black that this was a film made in an era long past, one when Hollywood was still very focused on creating movie stars. Of course, Will Smith was supposed to be that guy for a very long time. I suppose that he was, but those days are now over. There should be an examination into what created the end of the Hollywood movie star system, but I'm not the person to write about that. After all, how could I? Look at the amount of things I haven't seen before. While it's a shame that I've never seen Men in Black prior to today, and I probably would have liked it more when I was a kid, I thought this movie still held up to a greater extent than I'd expected. I also still have two more of these to go. Overall, this was what I hoped it would be, and featured one acting performance that I found quite surprising.

Our film begins with a scene out in the desert, with a man driving immigrants across the border. Of course, he's paid for that, but he has no idea what's coming. He's stopped by Border Patrol, but along come some men in suits. Agents K (Tommy Lee Jones) and D (Richard Hamilton) decide to interfere with the stop and test some of these people being transported, with the intention of learning things about them. They find that one of them doesn't speak Spanish, and doesn't really say anything at all, so they take the man out into the desert. The rest are ordered to get back in the van and continue into the US. Over in the desert, there's a rather amusing problem. The illegal alien is an actual...alien? K and D take care of the problem, but in the process of doing so, D decides that he's too old to keep doing this job. It turns out that K has just the solution for that, he has a metal stick he can take out of his pocket and use to remove someone's memories. It's called a neuralyzer, on it goes, and away goes D's memories. Afterwards, K starts looking for a new partner.

Enter the next sequence, focusing on James Edwards (Will Smith). James is an officer with NYPD who gets in a foot chase with a very athletic suspect, too athletic in fact to be a human. Now that we already know about the alien problem, there's no real suspense with this, but after some cryptic comments, the alien leaps to his death. Afterwards, James is at the station, and all of a sudden in comes Agent K once again, interviewing James this time. After their conversation, and after another funny alien scene, James is neuralyzed and left with a business card that has an address on it. The reason? Agent K wants to find someone to join Men in Black, a secret organization that answers to no part of our government. They protect Earth from alien threats, monitor the existing alien population on Earth, and use those neuralyzers to ensure that alien activity is kept secret. Men in Black was established in 1961 when an alien ship landed in New York City, it was subsequently converted into a World's Fair exhibit, but an organization was needed to handle alien refugees. Enter MiB. The poster straight out gives away that James joins the organization, he is assigned the name of J. Meanwhile, in upstate New York, an alien crashlands on Earth and kills Edgar (Vincent D'Onofrio), a verbally abusive farmer. This alien is a violent one, and covers its body with Edgar's skin. His goal? Watch the movie I guess.

The performance I was referring to when saying someone had a great performance was that of D'Onofrio. I was impressed with the prosthetics, but even more than that, his ability to carry out the role was incredible. I haven't watched an alien related science-fiction movie set on Earth in a hell of a long time, I guess since Venom? I don't think that should even count, but it probably does. I'm naturally forced to compare the two films on some level, but there isn't much of a comparison. This was more of a comedy than anything else, and it was a funny movie overall. I still don't know why I never watched it before, and this is the kind of thing I'm going to keep thinking about for a while. I wouldn't say Men in Black was obviously a film intended to launch a film franchise, but you can tell that this was supposed to be rolled out in a way that would allow Sony to make a pile of money from this. Obviously, that worked out well for them and that's why this is continuing, but the film succeeds because it's a self contained story. Unlike, for example, Venom. See the need for me to draw a comparison?

I think the thing that may not stand up under scrutiny are the CGI special effects, but I thought they weren't anywhere near as bad as I expected. There's some other things related to computer technology, but you know, you should expect that from an older film. By the standards of the time, the effects were great. I don't know how modern audiences would react to them if they were seeing the film for the first time, though. The partnership between Smith and Jones makes this a winner, but I'm not going to be overly effusive in praise. It would be very difficult to mess this up, but I see that the second entry in the series has some bad ratings, so I'll get to see how. Some of the in jokes and references to this kind of science-fiction are lost on me, but this was fun and I laughed a lot. If I do have any complaints, it's that Men in Black is almost completely lacking in character development, I felt like I knew nothing about these two guys after watching them for 90 minutes. That's acceptable I suppose, but I didn't really appreciate it, and the end of the film didn't do too much to redeem that. I'll watch the second movie sometime next month, I'm interested in seeing how badly that went wrong.

7/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1116 on: February 06, 2019, 06:04:40 PM »


Gold (2016), directed by Stephen Gaghan

As I believe I've said before, I don't have too many more of these recent Matthew McConaughey performances left to watch, but it seems like he's going to keep churning them out as often as he can. The one after this is going to be The Beach Bum, which I have no idea what to think of, but the last one I saw was a horrible film in Serenity. As I said when I reviewed it, there are no words. I think McConaughey's ability to pick bad projects is unmatched, every performance he gives is far above the quality of the actual films. I think Gold is perhaps another example of that, which him hitting a few notes here that I don't think I've ever seen him do before. Oddly enough, I actually bought a ticket to see Gold once before and got a refund before showtime. Keep in mind that I didn't go to the theater at that time. The concept was interesting enough to me, and the trailer did a hell of a job getting this over. This looked like yet another adventure movie through the jungle. Of course, it wasn't exactly that, but I think the film may have been about the wrong character. I felt myself far more interested in how these things were pulled off, and how a character was able to pull the wool over the eyes of his partner, but that wasn't examined here at all. That's a mistake and one that ultimately dooms this film.

Gold starts in 1981, with Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) running a prospecting company with his father, who dies on the same day that we meet him. Times were good at Washoe while Kenny's father ran the company, not so much while Kenny was doing it. We fast forward seven years, with his father long gone and with it their nice office building. Kenny is broke, their business is broke, and his employees work out of a bar to keep expenses down and in part because they have no other job to go to. Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard) is quite the dutiful girlfriend to someone who doesn't really deserve her, and once Kenny lost his house, he moves in with her. Kenny is a huckster, there's no other way to put it. This is something one can see from a mile away, but he had a dream. In this dream, he was led to Indonesia to meet up with a geologist, Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez). Mike had previously had a copper strike there, so Kenny makes his dream a reality and flies out to Jakarta. Kenny is able to convince Mike to go into business with him, and he's able to raise some of the money he promised to finance their mining operation. About one-third of it or so.

Mike and Kenny are the embodiment of true believers, they're convinced that their mine is going to get them both rich. The film is based on a true story though, of a mining company called Bre-X. Once you know that, some of the intrigue dissipates, and that's why I said the film should have followed a different character. Anyway, the mine is a bust, it doesn't work out at all. The mine fails to show any gold and the workers know this, so they bounce back to their villages in the jungle. Working for free is not in their life plan. Mike, on the other hand, he has a plan to get them back out there. He promises fresh water so that people won't get sick, but Kenny gets a bad case of malaria and goes down for the count. So, while Mike's getting water filters and while Kenny's sick, the workers come back to the mine. Once Kenny finally comes out of it, Mike tells him that they've struck gold and have a real gold mine. The reports are extraordinary, so Kenny opens the office building back up in Reno and they are approached by Wall Street with some plans. Mike comes up with a proposal of his own, to bring some bankers out to Indonesia to show them the mine for themselves. The goal? If the bankers are convinced of the viability of the mine, that it goes hand in hand with the reports they've read, they're willing to fork over millions in investment dollars. Kenny and Mike could be rich.

Of course, this is based on a mining scandal as I've already said, and therefore I would have liked the film to focus on the individual accused of duping investors out of millions of dollars. In this case, that would be Mike. Mike was the man with the plan, he wasn't going to fail at striking gold, he was convinced it was there. Once it wasn't, he would do whatever it takes, they were going to make money off some fucking gold. The film should have been focused on him, and I'm called to think of War Dogs, which had a similar focus and came out the same year. At least in that film, which I thought was a fair bit better, the two characters were on screen together doing bad shit for a hell of a lot of the running time. In this case, the story is focused on Kenny, and even though this was a great performance I think that was a mistake. I also don't care for the twist in these kinds of movies where characters often get out with some amount of the illegal profits, but it's becoming so common that I better just get used to it and score films accordingly rather than whine about it.

I don't understand how someone could make Syriana and follow it up with Gold, because these two films are in such distinct contrast to one another. I think that Bryce Dallas Howard and Edgar Ramirez are extremely underused, and I have left out some details of the story but there are a few surprise appearances I felt the same way about. There are some good cases of storytelling here, particularly when it comes to Kenny being a narrator. McConaughey's transformation and performance are great, but ultimately they don't fit into a film that doesn't deserve them. Any attempt to make a moral turn with a story like this can't have the character walk away with millions of dollars at the end, I know I've already said this but I need to reiterate it. Kenny becoming rich is not a story told with any kind of meaning beyond the superficial, but I thought this is a story that could have gone much further. After all, a ton of the details were changed and that should have given Gaghan the license to do whatever the hell he wanted. Instead, this is another Reagan era tale where people attempt to get rich off the backs of others, this time in a foreign country where they practically use slave labor, but this is a poorly told variation of that story. After all, unlike American Made, nobody's banging it out while flying jet planes.

I should point out that this was merely a slight whiff. I did find the events quite entertaining on their face, but a film like this needs to be taken for what it is even when it looks nice. Let me clarify. Even when it looks nice while featuring one of the ugliest character transformations I've seen in a while. Hopefully I won't ever have to see McConaughey play a fat ass again and have a nude scene. That was brutal, I wasn't expecting that. With a better focus and a different touch, this could have been a hell of a hard hitting film, but instead we didn't get that. Gold just doesn't go far enough.

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 #1117 on: February 07, 2019, 11:12:02 AM »


They Shall Not Grow Old (2018), directed by Peter Jackson

This was the first time I've ever went to the theater to watch a documentary, and They Shall Not Grow Old seemed like the perfect time to actually go do this. I wasn't sure exactly what the focus of this documentary was, but the trailer looked good! I think most people were in the same boat as the trailer doesn't really elaborate on the focus of the documentary, but I did find the subject matter quite welcome. Comparatively there is a dearth of footage for World War I, a fact Peter Jackson is clear to make people well aware of at the end of the film. Perhaps the best part of this documentary is the half hour Jackson spends after the credits explaining how this project came together. He was sure to point out that he wasn't trying to offend anyone by colorizing the footage, and certainly this isn't a case of a sanitized product. Some of the footage here is very gruesome, this is a raw experience. It's also not quite what I expected, but that's great. Did I want to see something else explaining the origins of World War I? No, I did not. That territory has been covered too many times, so instead Jackson gives us something different.

Peter Jackson's They Shall Not Grow Old focuses on the lives of infantry soldiers during World War I, supplemented with some footage and photographs of their experiences. These pictures are mostly colorized, there was sound added to the film, and some lip readers were used to give re-enacted voices for the soldiers. If you didn't know they used voice actors, you genuinely couldn't tell. The documentary is ridiculously spot-on in this way. As I already stated, some of the footage is super gruesome, and there are numerous pieces of footage taken before entire units would have died. The film is also narrated by soldiers who took part in the war, but I'm not sure if any of the soldiers on camera had also provided audio commentary all those years ago. Jackson got his footage and narration from the Imperial War Museums, there was plenty of it. He said there was 100 hours of video footage and even more audio commentary (600 hours), the latter of which his team had to go through entirely in order to decide what video footage to include.

Choosing what to include had to be an extremely hard task, but Jackson's crew decided to visually restore all the footage they received, so in theory there could be more documentaries like this one. I do not know if they colorized all this footage though. I thought this wasn't the most interesting documentary in the world in part because this is subject matter routinely covered in books, but there are lots of important facts people may not have been aware of. This is, however, one of the most incredible documentaries ever made. World War I isn't something I had any real picture of in my brain other than black and white ones, but these pictures have been completely usurped by the ones in this film. I did also laugh at learning that part of the colorization process required Peter Jackson to reveal that he had a ton of World War I memorabilia. He never answered the question of why he had it, but that was something nice to learn as well.

They Shall Not Grow Old is an amazing technical achievement on every level, enough so that in many ways I'm lacking the words I need to describe it. Jackson wanted this to be an understanding of what it would be like to be a British soldier on the Western Front, and this succeeded in so many ways. There is numerous commentary one would laugh at, some that are absolutely horrifying, and the images on screen fit in both categories as well. There were so many dead bodies and faces of soldiers Jackson said went on to die in the immediate moments afterward that these images are going to be burned into my brain. I was thinking that this felt like a project Peter Jackson really wanted to make, regardless of whether or not there was any money in it for him and it turned out that there wasn't. I also think They Shall Not Grow Old is a film that needs to be viewed, so I decided not to say too much about the details and the order in which they occur. You can probably figure it out for yourself. I decided never to put documentaries in my lists, but if this had been eligible for awards it would have won a lot of them.

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 #1118 on: February 08, 2019, 10:59:16 AM »


Black Panther (2018), directed by Ryan Coogler

With my viewing of Black Panther tonight, that concludes my time watching 2018's Best Picture nominations. I do not believe I will go back to revisit these anytime soon, so my opinion on this and those other films shall stand for a long time. I think with that in mind, that in something that is a little surprising to me, I found Black Panther to be a worthy Best Picture nominee. But it's Marvel capeshit? Yeah, it's capeshit of the best kind since Nolan's Batman movies, and the reason why is because Ryan Coogler is a director who knows the appeal of a Marvel film is in how a director can utilize their ensemble cast. Numerous directors have failed to accomplish something like this. This film is bold on so many levels and feels like something unique, something that could launch these films forward. Of course, the latter of those things is because the technology used by the characters in this film will launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe forward in allowing other characters to use those ideas. Whether or not they will is something that remains to be seen, but I think you'd have to be a goof to not have enjoyed this. Black Panther was a success in part because this is a formula we haven't seen before, executed better than almost every other way in which we've seen it.

Our film begins with a short origin story to Wakanda, with an explanation of the scenario that leads to one having Black Panther's superhuman abilities. I won't lean into the details because this is a film that requires far too much explanation for that. The point is, the things that happened when the meteor struck Africa led to tribes uniting to form the nation of Wakanda. Wakanda uses the vibranium from the meteor in order to develop advanced technology and hide themselves from the world. The film outside of this story starts in 1992, with Wakanda's king T'Chaka (John Kani) visiting his brother N'Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) in Oakland. N'Jobu is in Oakland on an operation, but T'Chaka accuses him of assisting arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) with stealing vibranium. It turns out this is true, and that N'Jobu has been spied upon. We move forward a little bit to T'Chaka's death, with T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) becoming the King of Wakanda. His first job prior to being crowned is for he and a special forces agent named Okoye (Danai Gurira) to extract his ex Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o for her to join T'Challa's family members at his coronation. Ramonda (Angela Bassett) serves as Wakanda's Queen Mother, and Shuri (Letitia Wright) is T'Challa's sister. Let's continue.

T'Challa is challenged for the throne by M'Baku (Winston Duke), leader of the one tribe that never unified when Wakanda was created. The rules are that one is allowed to do that and the throne is no certainty for anyone. Unsurprisingly, Black Panther wins and we continue on with our story. It turns out that Klaue now has an accomplice, a younger guy named Erik Stevens (Michael B. Jordan). Erik and Klaue had a plan to steal a Wakandan artifact from a museum, and what do you know, they pull it off. Of course, T'Challa finds out about this, and his friend W'Kabi (Daniel Kaaluya) wants him to bring Klaue back alive so they can kill him. Did I mention that W'Kabi and Okoye are lovers? I guess I did now. I should also mention that Zuri (Forest Whitaker) is T'Challa's uncle and had crowned him after the combat challenge, and that Erik...is really named N'Jadaka. He's also N'Jobu's son, and he has plans of his own. This man has been trained to make things happen. In addition, while our favorite Wakandans are off in Korea, there's the introduction of a CIA Agent, Everett Ross (Martin Freeman). Who knows what this guy's really up to, and I was hoping that the Red Hulk would make an appearance, but we aren't ready for that it seems.

I don't want to say a lot of the shit (very truthful shit, I should add) that people have already said about Black Panther, so my focus is going to be on Marvel's inability to create other films like this one. I should also add that this is one of the most reviewed films I've ever seen and so I think I should avoid the beaten path. Everyone knows I agree with the beaten path anyway. I don't understand how with their resources that they weren't able to woo directors like Taika Waititi and Ryan Coogler far sooner, instead using uninspiring Hollywood plug-and-shoot type directors that had no unique outlook on these properties. I think on some levels this policy was an incredible policy and that it shouldn't have taken so long for Marvel to create films on this level. It shouldn't have happened like that. I would also say that this film worked for me because the villain actually got to kill some characters who seemed like they were going to be important. Who would've thought? In addition, the visual effects were spectacular, and using an Asian city for a car chase was an inspired decision. The lighting factored into that decision, of course. The car chase was incredible, and while I'd seen a very short clip of part of it before, I wasn't expecting that.

The ideas used here were spectacular across the board, none moreso than the use of costumes and the atmosphere in Africa to create things like...WAR RHINOS! The goddamn war rhinos would have been my favorite thing in practically every other movie, but not this one. Winston Duke had a great performance as M'Baku, his was another that would have been my favorite part of practically every other movie. Not this one though. Instead, my favorite parts were the complete usage of the ensemble, of the ancestral plane, of Rachel Morrison's cinematography, and Ryan Coogler's vision to compose all of these things together. It's one thing after the next that created a project that went far beyond what anyone's expectations should have been. I am resistant to talking about things other people covered better than myself, but I thought this was a great example of presenting a futuristic city in a way that felt realistic and genuinely plausible. The people in that city kept their humanity, it was just that some of the things in that city changed. This was what I was hoping for.

When wrapping this up, now I should focus on a few of the actors. Obviously Michael B. Jordan has received a lot of credit, but I also think that to some extent his performance is a bit overblown considering what was out there last year. The role was far more crucial than his performance, it was perfectly written and no good actor would have messed it up. I also thought that it was nice to see Andy Serkis get an opportunity to act without having to wear a motion capture suit. His ability with those suits has led to him wearing them for pretty much the entirety of his career, and I don't know if that would suck or not. I think it would. Ultimately, this is a movie that feels fresh even though it really isn't, that introduces so many interesting characters in a ridiculously short period of time, and one that makes quite a few good political statements. That's more than I hoped for and I think this was one of the best films of 2018 in the end. Granted, I'm still not all the way caught up, but this should land in my top 15 no matter what.

9/10

2018 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Roma
2.   A Star Is Born
3.   First Reformed
4.   The Favourite
5.   Widows
6.   First Man
7.   BlacKkKlansman
8.   Blindspotting
9.   Black Panther
10.   If Beale Street Could Talk
11.   The Sisters Brothers
12.   A Private War
13.   Stan & Ollie
14.   Green Book
15.   Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
16.   Mission: Impossible - Fallout
17.   The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
18.   On My Skin
19.   Private Life
20.   Can You Ever Forgive Me?
21.   Mid90s
22.   Eighth Grade
23.   Sorry to Bother You
24.   Vice
25.   The Old Man & the Gun
26.   Suspiria
27.   Vox Lux
28.   Boy Erased
29.   Bad Times at the El Royale
30.   The Other Side of the Wind
31.   Searching
32.   A Simple Favor
33.   The Hate U Give
34.   Bumblebee
35.   Mary Poppins Returns
36.   Creed II
37.   Hold the Dark
38.   The Land of Steady Habits
39.   Halloween
40.   Mary Queen of Scots
41.   Aquaman
42.   Outlaw King
43.   Overlord
44.   Ben Is Back
45.   Monsters and Men
46.   The Mule
47.   On the Basis of Sex
48.   Bohemian Rhapsody
49.   White Boy Rick 
50.   Papillon
51.   Game Night
52.   Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
53.   Instant Family
54.   Alpha
55.   The Front Runner
56.   The Predator
57.   Apostle
58.   The Angel
59.   The Commuter
60.   Beautiful Boy
61.   The Nun
62.   Operation Finale
63.   The Equalizer 2
64.   The Spy Who Dumped Me
65.   Bird Box
66.   12 Strong
67.   Venom
68.   Skyscraper
69.   The Meg
70.   Assassination Nation
71.   The Girl in the Spider's Web
72.   The House with a Clock in Its Walls
73.   22 July
74.   Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
75.   The Little Stranger
76.   Tomb Raider
77.   Night School
78.   The 15:17 To Paris
79.   Peppermint
80.   Mile 22
81.   The First Purge
82.   Hunter Killer
83.   Kin
84.   Hell Fest
85.   Proud Mary
86.   Robin Hood
87.   The Happytime Murders
88.   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 #1119 on: February 08, 2019, 06:32:33 PM »


I, Daniel Blake (2016), directed by Ken Loach

One night I was looking around on Showtime, and I saw that there was a very highly reviewed movie on with interesting subject matter. Obviously, it was I, Daniel Blake or I wouldn't be writing this at all.  The subject matter is very unabashedly leftist, which is to say that it's the goddamn truth. I, Daniel Blake is also a great story besides that, and I've read that Loach makes a lot of films similar in theme to these. I will have to check out more of them. I think there's definitely a gap in terms of public awareness of material relating to the less fortunate, but that's mostly because people don't want to know about things they believe they cannot do anything to stop. The problem with that is that the public can actually put a stop to these things, they simply have to choose to do it. As a society, we have failed. It's really as simple as that. People like to tell each other platitudes while not doing anything about these problems. I have volunteered at a food bank before, but I don't have the means to donate. It should be the job of government to do that, but...we don't elect governments that would. I'm not sure what's to be done about this when the general public is so eager to place their heads in the sand and pretend that we don't have these sorts of problems.

Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) is a widower who lives in Newcastle and works in construction, he happens to have a heart attack. His cardiologist has not allowed him to return to work, but the film begins with a work assessment given by a company contracted by the British government. At the work assessment, he's treated like shit by someone who isn't a doctor and has no genuine knowledge of his condition. The government idiot doesn't even bother to contact the doctor, and decides to deem Daniel fit for work. There is no reasonable way in which he could ever really work a full time job again, it's too stressful and it's asking for trouble. The bureaucracy in Daniel's way is absolutely incredible, I don't know how one could bother to cope with this. He needs to apply for an appeal, but that requires him to be called about the decision which he has already received a letter about. To call this absurd is an injustice, that's a word nowhere near strong enough for this situation. Of course, there's also the massive amount of time spent off the phone in order to be told that he needs to be called by someone else.

Eventually Daniel heads back down to the Jobcentre because he's asked to do something he cannot, he has to apply for benefits on a website. Daniel has no knowledge of computers whatsoever, this is something he just can't do. While at the office, there's an issue with someone else, a single mother named Katie (Hayley Squires). Katie arrived late for an appointment because she'd just arrived in Newcastle from London a few weeks previous and had no real idea where she was supposed to be going. Her son Dylan is a bit of a terror, and I just don't see how this situation is fair to anyone. Daniel decides to tear into the employees at that place, because they're doing wrong by their fellow man after all, and they don't seem to have compassion for anyone. Katie and Daniel become friends after this, and we learn that when Katie was in London, she lived in a homeless shelter with her children. The hook for the rest of the film is that Daniel is forced to apply for jobs that he can't take because they'll kill him, and it's clear to see that the welfare state in pretty much every civilized nation is absolute trash.

This is a film that resonates across borders, and I was telling someone the other day that it's hard to present good political material on film or television. This is clearly an exception to that, it's one of the best presentations of poverty there is. I think the film is a little too short as a whole, and I do think the film isn't really groundbreaking in terms of its presentation of poverty, but those are the only flaws I can think of. The performances of our two actors are excellent, they bring real urgency. More than that, it's the presentation of the welfare bureaucracy that really lands. I do now people who have gone through a similar situation and I don't envy them at all, it's simply not right. There were things Daniel did that I thought were great, that I really needed to see for cathartic purposes. Inevitably an old person ashamed to be on the dole has a high chance of lashing out, and I was pleased that this is the way in which he did so. Sometimes I feel like I need films like this one. The realism here is off the charts, there's no cartoon villain at the welfare office, these things are presented with the reality and coldness that such situations really have.

The film feeling so realistic is its real drawing card, but this is also a hard hitting and truthful presentation on society. Perhaps it's one on the future of society as jobs continue to disappear? This is something that everyone really needs to consider. I do think this is a depressing film, but at the same time it's one that brings the hope that other people out there know about these situations and intend to force changes in them. Whether or not they'll be able to do that is something there's no way to know at this point. Some of these scenes really hurt and bring pain, especially when you stop to think that multitudes of people are going through this or worse on a daily basis. I probably will not forget this, and I know that's a horrible platitude, but the film fully leans into the reality of being poor. The horrible shit that happens to someone in that situation never stops, it stacks upon someone until they simply can't breathe or take anymore. The ending of the film encapsulates this feeling completely. Society, unfortunately, is fucked.

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 #1120 on: February 10, 2019, 06:45:40 PM »


Battle of the Sexes (2017), directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

It appears that tonight was time to watch another film that nearly got me out to the theater in 2017, that one was Battle of the Sexes. Why that? First of all, it's just a damn good story. Secondly, the cast for a film with this budget is quite good, particularly in terms of the film's leads. I wouldn't begrudge anyone for not wanting to see Battle of the Sexes as the story is part of America's sporting lexicon and most people are certainly aware of it. That being said, it's a story that also needs to be told on film. I have heard before that this is a movie that was made with the intention of showing a case of breaking the glass ceiling when dealing with a scumbag, and as that pertains to the 2016 election, I suppose this is a true way of looking at it. I should also point out that I did not consider this at all until I finished the movie and there was a scene where someone was holding a "Billie Jean for President" sign. Of course, if politics are on your mind all the time, you'll think about it a lot more. I do not. So, with that in mind, let's move on from this. This is a story far more about Billie Jean King than Bobby Riggs, and that was a good decision. The less we see about Bobby Riggs, the more interesting the film becomes when he appears, and this makes for a mixture of the two people that leads to a very interesting film.

Everyone at least has superficial knowledge of Billie Jean King (Emma Stone), right? If you don't, pick up a book because this isn't the place for that. Biopics are a touchy subject in this way, but as it comes to Billie Jean King, I didn't know enough that this story would have become rote. Gladys Heldman (Sarah Silverman) was a female tennis promoter, and along with Billie Jean King they both worked to create the Women's Tennis Association, the first women's tour. The movie spins a yarn that Billie had a dispute with Jack Kramer (Bill Pullman), who effectively served as a stand-in for male tennis promoters around the world. The dispute was over pay, and the women threatened to start their own tour, but Kramer didn't listen. So, instead, Billie Jean and eight other women sign up to play on the Virginia Slims Circuit, leading to their banning from tournaments organized by the USTA. None of the other women really feature throughout the film, with the exception of Rosie Casals (Natalie Morales). As the tour picks up, Margaret Court (Jessica McNamee) joins up, and for those who don't know, she was an even more accomplished player than King. Not even close.

Meanwhile, there's Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), a huckster extraordinaire. Riggs was a famous player in his time, but at the point of the events of this film he was in his mid-50's. Bobby was more than famous, he was also accomplished, but these things all happened in the 1940s, around thirty years before the aforementioned Battle of the Sexes. Everyone knows that he played Billie Jean King in the Astrodome, but how did he get there? Bobby is married to Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue), who simply can't tolerate any of his gambling addiction. This addiction will not stand in her house, he gets the boot. After being thrown out, he decides to bring his carnival barker act into play, and challenges whoever the #1 women's tennis player shall be at the end of 1970. He'd already challenged King and had been told no. King is having some issues that the film presents as a postulation that led to the loss of her #1 ranking. She starts an affair with a hairdresser, Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough), and her husband finds out before a match against Margaret. It also turns out that Margaret is a homophobe, something which has been proven to be true in recent years.

There's no real hook here other than to see the events as they played out, with the added joy of Steve Carell once again portraying a more competent version of Michael Scott. He is completely typecast in my mind and nothing he can do will ever change this. That doesn't matter when he's in good material and this is good material. I want to see more of Steve Carell acting goofy, he's done a whole lot already but that's his thing. I also thought there was an interesting portrait of Billie Jean King here. It is very explicitly stated that nobody is able to find out about her sexuality because of the potential ramifications on the women's tour and the sponsorships they would lose. These scenes are played quite well, and this is never expressed as a motivating factor in King's play, but on some level you'd have to expect that it was. A flaw in this storyline is that Larry King (Austin Stowell) is presented as a passive observer of this and does nothing beyond a threat. I should note that this is not THE Larry King. I thought Battle of the Sexes also did a good job ensuring that people took Riggs bluster for what it was, merely bluster and an attempt to sell something. The distinction between that and of the sexism of the male promoter who feels like a true believer was also quite welcome. Movies do not often make such distinction.

It turned out in the end that King and Riggs remained friends for life, because of course they did. Really, they did. It's funny the way those things work out, because in that way it feels like both of them were in on the Riggs act and the whole thing wasn't really about that at all. The film presents the picture that it wasn't, and Billie Jean King is still alive to dispute things if that was the case, and she did not. I thought this was a great portrayal and representation by Emma Stone, and I will be the one to point out that during the real broadcast of this event, all Howard Cosell did was talk about Billie Jean King's looks. Have we come far enough where that doesn't matter in a sporting context? Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg tells me to some extent we have come that far, but I read some odious tweets from mainstream media after the fight that would dispute that notion. I don't know how far we've come when I think about things like this. Pay has certainly come a long way in terms of the differences between what women and men are paid for the same product, with the same attention on each product as is the case with MMA and tennis. It's also very difficult to watch the female athlete being treated like shit in this movie.

I think Billie Jean King said it best when discussing this film, that the film doesn't have to be entirely accurate. I've said that a lot about biographies because it's true, it's about capturing the feeling of the time and the people involved. This does that about as well as a film can possibly do. The promotion of the titular event, of the way they used old footage of athletes thoughts at the time, of the usage of Howard Cosell and his commentary, and of the ludicrous jacket Bobby Riggs wore into the Astrodome that day all made me laugh really hard. It captured the moment brilliantly. My score for the film is going to be almost entirely due to the limitations of the script, and due to this being an event a lot of people knew so much about in the first place. I am also quite partial to sports biographies. The Battle of the Sexes is something that has the issue of being too well known and not of something a lot of people would find so important that they'd have to see a movie about it, and the box office reflects that notion. However, I do think this is the kind of movie that has some rewatch value. Steve Carell and Emma Stone are great here, it's a duo I never knew that I wanted to watch together, but there is a bit of wanting them to be together more than happened in reality.

If anyone cares I did some housekeeping on this list after having time to reflect.

7.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   First They Killed My Father
12.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
13.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
14.   It
15.   Battle of the Sexes
16.   Okja
17.   Kong: Skull Island
18.   Split
19.   Personal Shopper
20.   Chuck
21.   Atomic Blonde
22.   The Lego Batman Movie
23.   Megan Leavey
24.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
25.   American Made
26.   Imperial Dreams
27.   Free Fire
28.   Win It All
29.   The Wall
30.   Breathe
31.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
32.   Alone in Berlin
33.   A United Kingdom
34.   Trespass Against Us
35.   The Mountain Between Us
36.   War Machine
37.   Happy Death Day
38.   Justice League
39.   To the Bone
40.   Wakefield
41.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
42.   Sand Castle
43.   CHiPs
44.   Death Note
45.   The Great Wall
46.   Fist Fight
47.   Wilson
48.   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 #1121 on: February 11, 2019, 06:22:42 PM »


The Belko Experiment (2017), directed by Greg McLean

I assume that quite a few people were initially interested in The Belko Experiment because of James Gunn's script, but what I've learned over the last little while is that films don't succeed on the merit of the script, but rather the direction. That isn't to say James Gunn's script for this film was any good, because it wasn't. What we have in The Belko Experiment is a film that never could have worked for many different reasons, but the direction of the film took any potential for whimsy out of the equation. As a substitute we received a brutalist version of something that could have at the least been somewhat adequate. There are numerous scenes that feel like they've gone too far in the context of America's mass shooting problem. Maybe that was the point, but I don't really accept that. I have a taste for horror that actually works, this is something I've seen numerous other times. There are ways to do this and there are ways not to do it. One example of the good way is Battle Royale, which I think most have seen by this point. This is one of the bad examples! Sometimes with bad films I'm not able to put into words why I didn't like something, but in the case of The Belko Experiment, I damn well know why I didn't like it. That isn't a good sign for a movie like this one.

Our film has a triple start of sorts, with Mike Milch (John Gallagher Jr.) driving to work at Belko Industries in Bogota. On the way, he buys something from a street vendor. Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) is his and everyone else's boss, and he arrives the same day to find that the Colombian workers at the company are being turned away by security guards he doesn't know. Meanwhile, there's a new employee who I swear wasn't named, but her name is Dany (Melonie Diaz) and she arrives around the same time. She is told that tracking devices are implanted in the head of she and her fellow employees to ensure that they aren't kidnapped, which is quite common in Colombia. There are other characters as well, including Leandra (Adria Arjona), Mike's girlfriend; Wendell (John C. McGinley), a creepy fuck who has a crush on Leandra; their boss Terry (Owain Yeoman), a family man not from America like the rest of these people; Bud (Michael Rooker) and Lonny (David Dastmalchian), two maintenance workers; and lastly Evan (James Earl), the building's only security guard. The last of those things is genuinely dumb as fuck for a building with 80 foreign employees in a country with a high crime rate, but anyway, once the 80th employee shows up, there's a big problem.

A voice (Gregg Henry) comes over the intercom, and we see that nobody's in the room with the intercom, so this is not good. The voice instructs the employees to kill two of their co-workers or some bad shit is going to happen. People try to run outside, but this isn't going to work out because steel shutters have sealed off the windows and doors. They are all locked in. Everyone ignores the announcement, thinking that it's a prank, or not finding the courage to go out there and doing this, but this leads to the aforementioned bad consequences. There were people on the roof, the most important of them being Marty Espenscheid (Sean Gunn), an admittedly amusing conspiracy theorist who has a hard time believing any of this shit is happening. This shit is happening. The woman he's standing next to appears to be mowed down by gunfire, and so do a few other people throughout the building, leading to four dead. This shit is getting way more serious though. The film mostly follows Mike, who attempts to remove the tracker from his head once he and everyone else realizes the tracker exploded and killed those four people. Mike is subsequently warned that he will be killed if he continues, so he does not. After that, the group is told that thirty of them must be murdered inside of two hours, and if they aren't, sixty will die. This leads to a faction led by Mike (John Gallagher Jr.), who believes they should sit there and die. The other faction is led by Barry, who is ex-Special Forces and wants to get home to see his kids, regardless of whatever it is he must do.

There are numerous large problems with the film, but I think the worst one is that Mike is one of the most dislikable characters I've ever seen in a movie like this one. The concept is tired and played out as it is, but he's an annoying fuck. I will admit that I was hoping for someone to kill him so that I didn't have to tolerate someone who was acting like this. That's merely one of this film's problems, and I can't say more about Mike without spoiling everything. Another is that the concept is tired as fuck and beyond played out. Does anyone want to continue to watch movies based on the Battle Royale concept? I can think of some ways that I would, like for example if everyone was to die or for there to not be any protagonist at all. I can't believe Mike was the protagonist and I didn't see it that way, but he was! This was terrible. The last thing I feel obligated to complain about beyond how uninventive this is, is the way that the massacre scene played out. I've never said this before as it pertains to any other film, I think this was too far. It felt like a classic case of shock value just for the sake of it, but I didn't think this was acceptable at all. These were just random characters I don't think I'd even seen prior to this point in the film, so the scene holds no weight and is entirely unnecessary.

I know full well how morbid this would be, but one of these films really needs to have the characters follow the instructions to the letter. I'm sure one of them's out there, but hell if I know what it is as I'm not a horror expert. I wanted to see what would happen enxt once they followed instructions, we were robbed of this in a very predictable manner. The characters also bring absolutely nothing to the table on any level at all, there's no background for any of them. At least something like Escape Room that works upon a similar idea of survival (I won't say concept because that's not true) provides some background for its characters. One could lazily argue that there are too many for The Belko Experiment to properly do that, but that's when it's time to pick and choose. If they can bother to focus on some characters, which they did, we need some background. When a film doesn't provide that, why should I care? You have to get to know the characters to care about when they die, this didn't do that, and it's a shitty movie because of that and for countless other reasons. The massacre scene is something I need to have bleached out of my brain, I found absolutely nothing interesting about that scene at all.

I have a long way to go for 2017, I mean a really long way. There will certainly be a lot of bad movies along the way, but I'm not sure how many of them will feel more brazenly ridiculous than this one. I got no enjoyment out of this and I found that the film failed to pose the kinds of questions that a movie like Battle Royale did. It also frankly didn't have any kills anywhere near as interesting as the ones in Battle Royale. While the film would have the same problems, at least I would have been entertained by the ridiculous scenarios in which people's lives came to an end?

3.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   First They Killed My Father
12.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
13.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
14.   It
15.   Battle of the Sexes
16.   Okja
17.   Kong: Skull Island
18.   Split
19.   Personal Shopper
20.   Chuck
21.   Atomic Blonde
22.   The Lego Batman Movie
23.   Megan Leavey
24.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
25.   American Made
26.   Imperial Dreams
27.   Free Fire
28.   Win It All
29.   The Wall
30.   Breathe
31.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
32.   Alone in Berlin
33.   A United Kingdom
34.   Trespass Against Us
35.   The Mountain Between Us
36.   War Machine
37.   Happy Death Day
38.   Justice League
39.   To the Bone
40.   Wakefield
41.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
42.   Sand Castle
43.   CHiPs
44.   Death Note
45.   The Belko Experiment
46.   The Great Wall
47.   Fist Fight
48.   Wilson
49.   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 #1122 on: February 12, 2019, 06:02:12 PM »


The Girl on the Train (2016), directed by Tate Taylor

My brother told me quite recently to watch The Girl on the Train, and he'd said he read the book and that was good as well. What he did not tell me was that the book and film are supposedly in such large contrast to one another. I didn't bother to find out myself, I don't want to read. I was figuring that the reason my brother recommended this to me was because it was at least somewhat similar to Gone Girl, which I suppose the film was on a superficial level, but I just don't see the similarities at all. It's only similar in the way that both are mysteries, but I don't think every mystery is similar just because someone is searching for something. That just doesn't wash with me. So, with that tangent out of the way, how about the movie? The Girl on the Train is a mystery, and yes, it is a murder mystery, but this is one from an unusual perspective. This is also based on a novel that sold very well, it was set in London and the setting was moved for American audiences. Fortunately there are no bad accents here and it seems to have been decided for a few of the actors to not even try to fake an accent, and while that isn't a priority, it's best to not be distracted during a mystery like this one. The real mystery for me is how the film made so much money. What we have here is a very average movie, with slightly more positives than negatives, but I don't see how this could have been a best-selling novel. Perhaps the changes in the story were too much.

Rachel (Emily Blunt) is an alcoholic, and she's going to tell her life story throughout the film. Or, at least, her recent story. She says that her husband said she had an incredible imagination, and she explains why she rides the train. Her spiel sounds absolutely insane, and it's clear that she has a tenuous grip on reality. She says she always sits in the same seat, has ridden this train for years, and she views a neighborhood every time imagining the lives of people she passes on the train. She also wonders if the people in the neighborhood ever pay attention to said train. Numerous times we see her watching a blonde woman, who we later learn is named Megan (Haley Bennett); along with her husband Scott (Luke Evans). Megan and Scott seem to have a great marriage and Rachel tells us that they have the perfect marriage, one she believes she could have had herself. We also learn that Rachel is a heavy alcoholic and drinks bottles every day, and she's also very fascinated with the blonde woman to the point of sketching her on a pad. How strange. Rachel also says that she used to live a few doors down, which explains her interest in the neighborhood.

Now we should address the blonde woman. We go back six months, with Megan speaking to her therapist, Dr. Abdic (Edgar Ramirez). She tells Dr. Abdic that she has had to become a nanny when she doesn't want to be, and that Scott wants her to become a mother, which she also doesn't want to be. Dr. Abdic asks her if this job helped, but no, it fucking sucked and Megan doesn't want to do it. Subsequently, we are introduced to Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), who is washing her baby Evie while the nanny is there. Guess who the Nanny is? It's Megan. There have been more and more phone calls on the telephone that aren't answered, and they speculate that...Rachel has been calling Anna's house. The reason? Rachel used to be married to Tom (Justin Theroux), who is now Anna's husband. Easy to see how all this comes together, and we are given a flashback to Rachel taking Evie at some point and running outside, Anna getting the baby back unharmed. Rachel's life is such a mess at this point that she lives with her friend Cathy (Laura Prepon), who does somewhat enable her destructive behavior. At least, that is, until one day when Rachel sees Megan and Dr. Abdic sucking face. At least, that is, until the same night when Rachel gets super drunk and decides to tell Scott about this. At least, that is, until Rachel passes out in a tunnel and wakes up with blood all over herself. The next day, it turns out Megan is missing, and she is now being investigated by the police. Detective Riley (Allison Janney) does not believe a single thing she says. What could have happened that night?

The Girl on the Train's story was moved from London to the Hudson Valley, which I suppose was a good decision in order to maintain interest from American audiences. The film made good money, but most of that came from foreign audiences, so I'm not sure it even mattered! A lot of my complaints are related to things I don't really want to spoil, and some of the positives are as well. I have read complaints that this feels like a Lifetime movie, but I would never go that far. Emily Blunt's performance here, particularly in a scene where she's drunk and saying she would attack Anna (yes, I left that out), is quite strong. Stronger than this material deserves I'd argue. I would also say that her performance does enough to keep me hanging on for the duration of the film, even when there are points where I feel like I couldn't give a shit less about any of the other characters. It's not that they're bad characters, but they are distinctly in a supporting role here compared to Blunt's portrayal of Rachel. The film revolves around her almost entirely, with the Megan scenes not really resonating with me until the last one. Oddly enough the last big one is the point at which someone should care about her, but I think that revelation belongs nearer to the beginning of the story.

The film does make mistakes similar to the thing I put down in the last paragraph, where all the pieces come together in a deluge of scenes lacking breathing room whereas the beginning of the film does not have any of this sort of action. The Girl on the Train feels imbalanced because of that. Emily Blunt is able to carry this material, but it's only so far that one can carry it. I don't know if the book was better, don't care either. The Girl on the Train is a film for women in the end, I don't think there's anything wrong with being able to point that out. There's also nothing wrong with that, but the reveal of each lurid detail, and of the numerous red herrings thrown out there, that stuff is like bait for an audience who desperately wants to see stories like this one. That's cool too. I did find all of the characters very dislikable though, and it was only my (and probably many other people's) crush on Emily Blunt that really kept this one going for me. It was interesting to see her play this role, but really, that's just about it. The material is schlock, I thought it was okay due to some performances, take that for what it's worth. I don't want to say anything else because it would spoil the film.

6/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1123 on: February 13, 2019, 06:18:35 PM »


The Zookeeper's Wife (2017), directed by Niki Caro

At this point, I feel like some of my 2017 watching is list padding, but I'm not sure that entirely applied to The Zookeeper's Wife. I was interested to say how a Holocaust film could possibly tie into one about the fates of animals, and it turned out that the fate of the animals went by the wayside. I thought that was quite strange, and this wasn't what I'd expected. However, is it bad that this wasn't what I expected? That's something I intend to examine, but I have to address the proverbial elephant in the room (no pun intended). The question is whether or not a Holocaust film has to be great in order to have artistic merits, or if they are all great by default? If one isn't great, is it offensive? I'm not entirely sure how to answer any of the questions I've posed, but I think that a movie about this subject, particularly this one, does have artistic merits without being great. I still believe there are some issues with the film and I will address them all if anyone cares, but I also think that people who find such films offensive may be going a bit overboard. Yes, to some extent this does sanitize the events due to the producers seemingly wanting to get a PG-13 rating. There's a nude scene here where I don't understand how they got said rating, but anyway, I've once heard people complain about weak movies in this subgenre being offensive. I wanted to say I don't think that applies here.

Our film begins prior to the invasion of Warsaw, with Antonina (Jessica Chastain) aiding her husband Jan Zabinski (Johan Heldenbergh) in directing the Warsaw Zoo. This appears to be a very fulfilling job to say the least, and everyone seems to be having quite a good time in their roles at the zoo. Their largest help as a zookeeper appears to be Jerzyk (Michael McElhatton), who is fiercely loyal. One day, they are visited by Dr. Lutz Heck (Daniel Bruhl), the head of the Berlin Zoo, and from that point on you can see what's coming. From the trailer I don't know how you wouldn't anyway. Once the film moves to September 1939, the bombardment of Warsaw begins. Bombs kill many animals, these scenes make for tough viewing. Antonina bunkers down with her son Ryszard, they're able to live, but the zoo is thrashed. The Polish Army arrives and shoots many of these animals because they're running out into the streets, this scene is horrible. If not for the PG-13 rating, if a director had really leaned into this gruesome aspect, I don't know if I could have pushed on through this scene. Once the dust settles and the Nazis arrive, Dr. Lutz arrives to have soldiers shoot the rest of the animals, and they'll take over the zoo to use as an armory.

Jan and Antonina have basically no choice in these matters, they also have friends who have impending problems beyond human comprehension. As happened in Warsaw, Jews were going to be sent to the Ghetto, and two of their friends Magda (Efrat Dor) and Dr. Fraenkel (Iddo Goldberg) are trying to find a place for their friend's insect collection. While there, Antonina makes an offer to shelter Magda in a closet, full well knowing she and Jan may be killed because of this. After this, as you may expect, Jan and Antonina decide to use the zoo to save Jews. In order to really pull that off, they're going to need some help. They decide to speak to Lutz at his headquarters in Warsaw, at which point a trade is made. The Zabinski's want to turn their zoo into a pig farm that will feed the German occupiers, which will allow them to make trips into the Warsaw Ghetto to find garbage to feed the pigs with. At the same time, Lutz has his own wishes. He has a crush on Antonina, but what he wants to do is recreate the Aurochs as a symbol of the Third Reich and their capabilities. Jan really intends to use these trips into the Ghetto to bring Jews out in his feed trucks after pouring the pig feed all over them and concealing their bodies, but Lutz doesn't need to know that. It appears they have a deal, and the movie played out from there.

The reason The Zookeeper's Wife isn't a great film is largely down to the fact that it appears that the main character never had any arc. She was resolute throughout. It's different, but this is a little difficult because the main obstacle in the path of the Zabinski's is initially presented as quite a nice person and a man of science. This facade evaporates quickly, and Jan's character arc happens so fast that it jumps over numerous steps. The animals also disappear from the film as a necessity and are replaced with humans inside of cages that reside in the Zabinski's house, this is quite a reminder of the way in which certain human beings are treated based on small differences with one another. I also thought the film's director made a bad mistake in allowing every actor to present whichever accent they wished to do. I liked Chastain's Polish accent well enough, but this clashes strongly with Bruhl's perfect English as a Nazi occupier. I also believe this is sanitized for children, then you have Jessica Chastain's nipple in here and I don't know what to think at all. That seems to conflict with how American parents treat their children.

While not a great film, I do think this was a good film. Or rather, good enough. The scenes with the animals being bombed are absolutely horrifying, if you don't feel anything when you see that you don't have a heart. There's also the fact that this is told from a female perspective, a rarity in a Holocaust movie, but one I'm sure there will be many more of in the future. I won't say this is the first because it isn't, but these films are simply not told from this perspective. I know this was supposed to be a starring vehicle for our lead actress, but I thought the role of her husband really stood out. Jan's scenes seem to hit the hardest, but they don't hit as hard as they should, and that's the thing I keep circling back around to. The scenes in this film could have been great in the hands of someone else, this could be a great film. It isn't a great film though, and because of that, The Zookeeper's Wife feels like many other movies that we've seen before, which is too bad. One thing I was surprised by was that Daniel Bruhl once again played a Nazi, this being the second time he did so in a film that was released in 2017. I know he also played Baron Zemo, but that character was altered so that he wasn't a Nazi. There are others too. Still though, man. Don't typecast him!

6.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   First They Killed My Father
12.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
13.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
14.   It
15.   Battle of the Sexes
16.   Okja
17.   Kong: Skull Island
18.   Split
19.   Personal Shopper
20.   Chuck
21.   Atomic Blonde
22.   The Lego Batman Movie
23.   Megan Leavey
24.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
25.   American Made
26.   Imperial Dreams
27.   The Zookeeper's Wife
28.   Free Fire
29.   Win It All
30.   The Wall
31.   Breathe
32.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
33.   Alone in Berlin
34.   A United Kingdom
35.   Trespass Against Us
36.   The Mountain Between Us
37.   War Machine
38.   Happy Death Day
39.   Justice League
40.   To the Bone
41.   Wakefield
42.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
43.   Sand Castle
44.   CHiPs
45.   Death Note
46.   The Belko Experiment
47.   The Great Wall
48.   Fist Fight
49.   Wilson
50.   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 #1124 on: February 17, 2019, 06:24:39 PM »


1922 (2017), directed by Zak Hilditch

In 2017, there were a lot of Stephen King adaptations. Some were for the theater, others were streaming, and there were some that were aired on television. I've only reviewed It, but there will be quite a few more coming. I think I have one more this month, but for now, it was time to watch 1922. I was hardly able to concentrate after seeing tonight's Elimination Chamber match, but in the end this film hooked me more quickly than I'd expected. A lot of Stephen King adaptations are very difficult to bring to the screen, but that's because they attempt to cover too much ground when it's difficult to do so. 1922, on the other hand, is a much more simple story. It is filmed in a way where only an idiot would struggle with the concept or with how things work, and if you are that idiot you shouldn't out yourself. I'm not familiar with the source material, so I must admit that I was unnerved when there were all these rats over the place. I wish I'd known! The subject matter, as you might expect, is quite morbid. There are rats that are supposed to make you feel sick. 1922 also features a great performance that makes a slow burner like this one work. It seems as if the source material needed to be padded by such a performance, and that's what we got. Bad shit was going to happen, and it's a lesson about unforeseen consequences.

1922 starts with a flash-forward featuring Wilf (Thomas Jane), a farmer in Nebraska who has went to a hotel to write a confessional letter. What has the man done? We take no time to head back to 1922, where Wilf lives on a farm with his wife Arlette (Molly Parker) and son Henry (Dylan Schmid). Henry is 14 years old and becoming a man, and with life expectancies what they were, Wilf is worried about what his son will inherit in the future. Arlette and Wilf are having some serious marital problems because Arlette did not take to life out on a farm, away from a city and away from all those people. Arlette wants to sell an adjacent 100 acres of land that she inherited from her father, with Wilf owning the other 80 acres and farming them both. Wilf has no interest in this plan whatsoever, the thought of it makes him sick. He hates city life and hates the people there even more, his land is the source of his pride. The problem is that Arlette wants to open a dress shop and will divorce Wilf. She does not care to live at their farm any longer and has been seeking a lawyer to sell the land to a pig farm and slaughterhouse, which would render Wilf's land unable to be farmed as blood would flow down the stream and ruin crops. This cannot happen.

Wilf decides to plot against Arlette, using some of the scummiest things I could imagine, and I'm going to spoil them. Wilf believes that he needs to convince Henry to help him murder Arlette so that he does not lose his land or his son. His plot is quite devious, he knows that Henry has interest in their neighbor's daughter, a girl named Shannon (Kaitlyn Bernard). Arlette wants to take Henry with her to Omaha to open that dress shop, Henry doesn't want to go. Wilf consistently plants thoughts in Henry's head to get him on his side. When Henry isn't paying attention, it's time to fill Arlette's head with thoughts of Wilf actually appeasing her and moving to Omaha with the family. This makes Arlette very happy. Once Henry sees his mom happy, drunk, and talking shit, that's going to be it for him. He can't handle it. Wilf and Henry summarily do the deed, but there are lots of unforeseen consequences. I really mean there are lots. There are also lots of rats, and I also mean there are lots. Wilf and Henry must figure out how to adjust to their new life without Arlette, work the farm, and they also must ensure they are not caught.

Deciding how many details to reveal for a film like 1922 is one of my favorite aspects of these reviews, and I think I cut myself off at the right time. This is one of those films that takes a great approach of building up minor transgressions until something really fucking bad happens, and when it does happen, I found those scenes to be enthralling. Of course, the scope of the film is extremely limited, but the director does a great job of turning Wilf into a complete character. We see and hear all his motivations, his actions, understsand what makes him tick. He has an accent that makes him sound like a complete idiot, but he reads all the time and is a true deceiver. That's his deal. People like this guy always find the faults in others, and they usually use that information to tear someone down and make them into what they want them to be. They also don't always realize the consequences of their actions. Wilf, for example, didn't think that his son would become so rebellious without a motherly influence. He thought wrong. Maybe the things with him would have happened anyway? There's no way to know, but he did something wrong and there was no coming back from it.

The supernatural aspect of a film like 1922 isn't my absolute favorite thing in the world, but I thought there was enough room for interpretation that one could come to a conclusion that Wilf went insane and his insanity kicked into overdrive the longer he lived after killing his wife. That sounds right to me. People are often unable to shake what they've done. I also thought it was interesting how much of the film centered around Wilf being by himself, and I thought Thomas Jane did such a good job with this scenario. It's very difficult to act alone, as many actors have said before, but good actors do it in a way where you can't see their difficulty through the lens. I'm going to watch something a little longer tomorrow as these stories I've been watching lately don't always have a large scope, with a few exceptions. That isn't a negative, but it's a factor that serves to make these reviews a bit shorter. You could tell this was done on a small budget as it seemed the editor decided to use the same piece of music, but I'm not a particularly musical person and I could be way off on this one. In any case it was strange and I thought that was another weakness of the film, but otherwise this was very good. I was trying to explain my rating a little bit here, but make no mistake, this is worth watching.

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   First They Killed My Father
12.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
13.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
14.   It
15.   Battle of the Sexes
16.   Okja
17.   Kong: Skull Island
18.   Split
19.   1922
20.   Personal Shopper
21.   Chuck
22.   Atomic Blonde
23.   The Lego Batman Movie
24.   Megan Leavey
25.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
26.   American Made
27.   Imperial Dreams
28.   The Zookeeper's Wife
29.   Free Fire
30.   Win It All
31.   The Wall
32.   Breathe
33.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
34.   Alone in Berlin
35.   A United Kingdom
36.   Trespass Against Us
37.   The Mountain Between Us
38.   War Machine
39.   Happy Death Day
40.   Justice League
41.   To the Bone
42.   Wakefield
43.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
44.   Sand Castle
45.   CHiPs
46.   Death Note
47.   The Belko Experiment
48.   The Great Wall
49.   Fist Fight
50.   Wilson
51.   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 #1125 on: February 19, 2019, 06:19:29 PM »


Icarus (2017), directed by Bryan Fogel

It often turns out that with good documentaries, the intent is to make a film that winds up entirely different from the finished product. This is the case with Icarus, which I'm certain was not supposed to be a movie about the Russian doping program during the Sochi Olympics. Both subject matters are patently absurd, the documentary is completely ridiculous, and yet it's all true. Could Bryan Fogel ever have imagined his subject would take him to Vladimir Putin. The answer to that question is obvious. There are so many ways to feel about Icarus, but the one that I'm left with is Vladimir Putin's willingness and capability at engaging in numerous international conspiracies. This is a man with a vision so far beyond anything I'd expect from another human being, and the most hilarious thing about these conspiracies is that all of them have been found out. Or have they? There's an endless amount and there's probably even more, but he's not particularly good at managing the after-effects of his machinations. The subject matter is no exception to this. The funniest part about Icarus is that the initial story would have likely never seen the light of day, so this is a case of great fortune. It's also a case of Bryan Fogel doing a great job of piecing together the events and ensuring that they're easy for the viewers to understand.

Bryan Fogel seemed to be fascinated with Lance Armstrong and with amateur cycling, and had the intention of documenting his progress in an amateur cycling competition over in Europe. I'm also fascinated with Armstrong and that's why I've reviewed two films about him, but Fogel was far more obsessed. He did very well in his first time running the Haute Route, which is a very difficult race in the French Alps. Fogel finished 14th out of 440 without using drugs. His goal for the documentary? It's time for him to win the race. If he can cheat and get away with it, anyone could do it and compete. His findings are shockingly not so great. After a very long doping program, one where he wasn't caught, he gets to the race and has a mechanical issue on one of the first stages. Fogel is never able to recover from this, which shows there's also a psychological aspect to winning said races, as well as the possibility other people are cheating too. Plus, the race is pretty damn hard, and even though he'd made huge gains in his capabilities, there's just so much more to competing than that. Or is there? Maybe it's just that the mechanical problem put him too far behind to recover. There's no way to really know.

While preparing for the Haute Route, Fogel is rejected by another doctor who doesn't want to ruin his reputation, even though this is supposed to be a documentary exhibiting how doping controls can be defeated. Instead, Vogel is passed on to Russia, to someone who runs a goddamn anti-doping lab. There's no real way to know this person's motivations in helping Fogel, particularly with what comes after the race, maybe this was his intention the whole time? I genuinely don't know. Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov was the director of Russia's national anti-doping laboratory, but he's telling Fogel exactly how he can beat the system and possibly even win the race. My suspicion is that Rodchenkov did this with the intention of cultivating a relationship with an American who could bring him here, which would allow him to reveal everything he knew and not die in Russia as tends to happen to people who do those things. Eventually, Rodchenkov becomes good friends with Fogel, and he decides to tell Fogel that Russia has a state-sponsored Olympic doping program which he oversees. Most people at least know some of the details of this, but you can't possibly understand how a state-sponsored program could work and be successful without watching this documentary.

It's difficult to understand how this actually works until you realize that WADA has decided to clear Russia in the wake of this. It's a matter both of not wanting to know and not wanting to do anything about a problem once someone knows about. I am left with the idea that the concept of anti-doping in sports is completely bogus and that someone could beat tests if they had a doctor who knew what they were doing. Make absolutely no mistake, these doping conspiracies are not unique to Russia, this is merely one that we know about. There have been more of these kinds of scandals than I can count. The fact is that people don't really want to know. Cycling has been forced into exposing these because the French are infamously anti-corruption, but that is the only sport with fans who really do want to know. It's a fact that we accept these miraculous recoveries from injury, the long careers of certain athletes, and their wonderful athletic abilities simply because we want to believe they are naturally possible when most evidence shows us that it is not. It is conceivable that many athletes could have a doping program if this regular guy could have just a little assistance in pulling it off.

The Olympics were supposed to be pure sport, but the wool has been removed from the eyes there, the lipstick off the pig. The IOC appears to be an incredibly corrupt institution itself, as Icarus shows us. A lot of their executives did not want to believe and in the end they allowed Russian athletes to compete, claiming that politics was getting in the way of sports. This is one of the most brazen and easily disproven lies I've heard. What I liked was the way that this film laid all the cards on the table and was willing to tell the truth about how athletes are a pawn in these political games, which is what international sport really is at times. The Olympics is one of the most political events going and everyone should be able to acknowledge that these days. The lone flaw with the film is that Fogel takes a bit too much of a central role in the documentary when Rodchenkov should have been given the complete focus of the events, but in some respects this is unavoidable. Rodchenkov was left unable to travel and could not participate in all of these meetings, nor did he want his voice on the phone because he was paranoid. The reasons for his paranoia are all laid out here, with the most obvious one being that Rodchenkov's friend who participated in the doping program mysteriously died after Rodchenkov's disappearance.

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 Harley Quinn

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1126 on: February 19, 2019, 09:54:41 PM »
Been waiting a while for you to tackle Icarus so glad you finally got around to it :)

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1127 on: February 22, 2019, 05:59:05 AM »


It Comes at Night (2017), directed by Trey Edward Shults

I remember a lot of people being angry that It Comes at Night wasn't a real horror movie, whatever the hell that means. After watching this, I do see how it isn't much of a horror movie, but I thought this was a psychological treat just the same. The low IMDB rating tells me that a lot of people feel differently and that's fine, people shouldn't agree on everything. After seeing Krisha a little while ago, I was looking forward to finally getting around to Shults' next effort. This movie is in some ways similar to Krisha. The drama with that film comes all at the end, when you know something bad is going to happen, and that's the case with It Comes at Night. These films are still radically different, obviously. Krisha is about someone's own demise, It Comes at Night is about what could happen in a post-apocalyptic scenario, about trust, and obviously about family and what it actually means. Obviously we are going to see a lot more going forward from this director, but I hope that his future works are of the quality of his first two. For me, the science-fiction aspect of It Comes at Night is what makes the film.

Our film begins with Bud (David Pendelton) dying of a mysterious sickness, the sort which lets everyone know that this is yet another post-apocalyptic work. This disease is very highly contagious, so after our characters kill Bud out of mercy, they burn his body. Paul (Joel Edgerton) lives with his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), and Bud was her father. Paul and Sarah have a son, Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), and he's plagued with horrendous nightmares. It is very difficult for Travis to sleep, but I'm sure it's even more difficult considering that he was there when his grandfather was put down. The family home is fortunately very deep in the woods, but they're isolated and some element of paranoia has crept into their activities and thought process. It is made very clear they are correct. The next night, there's an intruder attempting to break into their house. Who knows the reason why, one can only guess as to the real reason. There's a shortage of supplies and of potable water, and Paul's house is also really nice and easy to defend. Paul captures the potential robber and ties him to a tree to see if he's suffering from the disease, which fortunately it turns out that he is not. The stranger is Will (Christopher Abbott), a man with a wife Kim (Riley Keough) and a son Andrew, who says he was trying to find fresh water.

After much interrogation, and after Will sits there for a day or so, it is decided that Will is not sick. Will also says that he didn't know the house was occupied, and that he has things to trade for water. He has some goats and chickens, and says that he was staying at his brother's house after his brother died. Sarah suggests that Paul bring everyone back to their house as it would be easier to defend themselves. Paul doesn't love this idea, but he does think it works for them. We come to learn that Paul is a deeply distrustful person and with good reason, people in this version of the world are very fucked up. Travis continues to have worse and worse nightmares as well, including one of his father spilling black bile out of his mouth. So, Paul decides to take his truck out of the garage and go with Will to find Will's family, but there's a problem. On the way there, they are ambushed by two guys with guns, a very big surprise indeed. Paul's distrust is such that he believes Will set the attack up, which serves as a reminder that this film could really turn out all sorts of different ways. I forgot to mention that Paul is so careful that his family has to wear gas masks and gloves whenever they may come in contact with another human being, which it turns out is quite a smart decisino.

I think most of the people here have seen It Comes at Night, right? This is a simple story featuring the themes I pointed out at the end of my first paragraph, the point is that nobody in the family wants to get sick. This is a thought that consumes their being, they will not have this happen to them no matter what it is they have to do. It's a life or death situation, one which leads people to have to make horrendous decisions. The viewer is naturally meant to question whether or not they'd do these things in order to keep their own family alive, and I think in this situation I'm on the side of Paul. I know Paul is a dick to his kid and I wouldn't go that far, but the way he approaches the situation makes the most sense to me. I'm all about the common sense of the situation and don't have much thought for idealism and waiting to see what happens. You have to do something in scenarios where you very well could die. I thought the ultimate resolution to the story was brilliant and I'd also add unexpected. Didn't see that coming at all. The details of the story, as well as the nightmares, are also very well placed throughout the film.

I do think there are burgeoning problems with how many films are deciding to inhabit this genre, and at this point there are far too many post-apocalyptic or post-breakout films. It was ridiculous quite a long time ago. That being said, It Comes at Night is one of the better films in this genre because its story is so intimate and doesn't attempt to haphazardly explain how this all came to happen in the first place. We also don't have any characters deciding that they want to go live inside of trees, or deciding to kill their whole family out of paranoia. Sorry if I've spoiled. My interpretation of the ending was not one of paranoia but rather of common sense, although there is a goof in terms of my inability to understand how the door was opened. I also thought It Comes at Night was a little too slow in building its story, and that the slowness was too apparent throughout the movie. This was only around 90 minutes long, so being a slow builder is a bit strange to me. There are some unanswered questions, but ultimately there aren't too many of them, and this was a good film.

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   First They Killed My Father
12.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
13.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
14.   It
15.   Battle of the Sexes
16.   Okja
17.   Kong: Skull Island
18.   It Comes at Night
19.   Split
20.   1922
21.   Personal Shopper
22.   Chuck
23.   Atomic Blonde
24.   The Lego Batman Movie
25.   Megan Leavey
26.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
27.   American Made
28.   Imperial Dreams
29.   The Zookeeper's Wife
30.   Free Fire
31.   Win It All
32.   The Wall
33.   Breathe
34.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
35.   Alone in Berlin
36.   A United Kingdom
37.   Trespass Against Us
38.   The Mountain Between Us
39.   War Machine
40.   Happy Death Day
41.   Justice League
42.   To the Bone
43.   Wakefield
44.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
45.   Sand Castle
46.   CHiPs
47.   Death Note
48.   The Belko Experiment
49.   The Great Wall
50.   Fist Fight
51.   Wilson
52.   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 #1128 on: February 22, 2019, 06:07:44 PM »


What We Do in the Shadows (2014), directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi

There were many reasons I decided to watch What We Do in the Shadows, and it's tough to narrow things down to one. Some of the more obvious ones are related to the fact that there's going to be a television show based on this film, which I thought I was going to watch. I still am. Another reason was that I wanted to know how Taika Waititi made the jump from filming movies in New Zealand to doing something for Marvel. This film did go a long way towards answering that as this kind of movie is completely different than almost everything I've seen before. Another of these many reasons was an intrigue as to what a New Zealand movie would feel like. I don't think I've seen one before that wasn't obviously produced for worldwide audiences. Local humor is the kind of thing I'm always interested in, but I'm not certain that this was really local humor. There's also the fact that I rarely watch things that really make me crack up, and that it's interesting to see vampire life in combination with a modern society. I also thought it was funny how What We Do in the Shadows was co-directed, but more than anything else, I think I watched the film because it was leaving Amazon Prime.

I do not often watch mockumentaries, but What We Do in the Shadows is one of the best of these kinds of films. The last one I checked out was Borat. A documentary crew who are wearing crucifixes is following four vampire roommates who live in Wellington. Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) used to be a tyrant and has amazing powers, but as he has gotten older (862 years old), these powers have begun to wane. Viago (Taika Waititi) is 379 years old and fashions himself as the leader of the household who assigns chores to everyone and keeps things in line. This guy is a dork. In Viago's previous life, he was a noble of some sort and those characteristics have sustained for all those years. Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) is the youngest, he is 183 years old. He's rebellious because of that status and enjoys some really weird shit. Most of all he wants to be cool. The oldest is over 8,000 year old, he is Petyr (Ben Fransham) and he is very much like Nosferatu. This guy is creepy and has a great makeup job and cool set of hands. He really doesn't like to talk to the other vampires and prefers to keep to himself, sleeping in a tomb in the basement. We don't see much of him.

Alright, so with all that in mind, everyone's completely aware of the general vampire rules, right? We get to see a lot of that stuff here, and I thought it was highly amusing to see how the quartet has not adapted to the way life is now. Petyr in particular will not go outside at all, and when you see how he looks, obviously that's for the best. Deacon is lucky enough to have a familiar, which is a nice way of saying he has a slave, Jackie (Jackie Van Beek). Jackie does the vampires work that they don't want to or don't know how to do, but she hates that Deacon won't turn her into a vampire when she'd asked for it. One day, Jackie is tasked with bringing some virgins to the flat for the trio of vampires (meaning not Petyr), one man and one woman. She brings Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) and an unimportant random woman, but Nick isn't too receptive to the plans and really wants to leave. They also weren't virgins. I should point out that the plans are to drain him of his blood and kill him, which he seems to catch onto once the vampires begin to do weird things to him. When Nick tries to leave, the vampires chase him down and attempt to kill him. All of a sudden, Petyr shows up and attacks Nick, and at a later point it is revealed that Nick has been made a vampire. Nick prefers to keep his friend Stu (Stu Rutherford) around, but from that point on, the film takes on the extra focus of a young vampire learning how to live that way.

What We Do in the Shadows is a bit of a corny movie, but it is also very funny and I laughed quite a lot. I also thought the film was as weird as it needed to be, with every character fitting into the plot perfectly and some of the others not overstaying their welcome. There are some obvious logical issues, but this is also the point, and one shouldn't be stupid about it. Who expected a vampire comedy? Certainly not me, didn't even know that one existed until a little while ago. I only wish I'd seen the film much sooner. I was also left with the thought that we desperately need another Nosferatu movie as people have become enthralled with the concept of the beautiful vampire, which isn't something I think should continue on forever. We need more weird, as campy as the character may look. I think the goal of a movie like this one is to bring consistent laughs, and I thought this was ridiculously successful in doing so. The way every scene is played with a deadpan face is incredible and I'm sure the actors had to do tons of takes, the things in this are too ridiculous and I'd go so far as to say someone should be careful not to have a drink in their mouth at any point here. My lone complaint is that Petyr eats it, but to achieve this on a budget less than $2 million is incredible.

The comedy scene is so unbelievably dogshit that anything good is prone to being overrated, but I don't think it's possible to overstate how successful the humor in What We Do in the Shadows really was. I was assuming that the introduction of Nick's character would ruin the movie, or that the werewolves would do the same, but neither of those things happened. I also thought it was ridiculous the way Viago would feed on people and mess up every time, and you know what, this is just too much. I simply can't see how the television show won't be an enormous success. I must assume that a lot of people don't know that this even exists, but they better figure it out soon! To miss out on watching What We Do in the Shadows is actually pretty bad, I needed to stay current on film for far too long, and once I smash through some recent years it will be even easier to do it the way I am currently attemping to. One thing's for sure though, I can't believe that a film like this actually exists. It's not because the material is overly provocative or anything like that, but the creativity here is off the charts. Very rarely is anyone able to pull something like this off, and I thought having two directors didn't make any sense, but that doesn't seem to matter. The filmmakers also said they shot enough footage for three different cuts, and I'd like to see the other two at some point.

I don't think they'll make a sequel now that they're making a TV show, but this material desperately cries out for an update on the original trio of vampires. I demand one.

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 #1129 on: February 23, 2019, 06:40:20 PM »


Avengers: Infinity War (2018), directed by the Russo Brothers

I must immediately point out that sometimes there are films so big that you can't possibly review them. Or, at least, it seems like there are going to be movies that big. I can't think of one quite as big as this movie, but maybe there are going to be movies like that going forward. I did not expect I would ever really catch up on these Marvel movies until I forced myself to do it. I have been a procrastinator forever in this way, that's just how I am. Anyway, I got around to this as fast as I could. I have been waiting for some time to see them do an Avengers film correctly. I hated the second one and thought the first was just okay, but this was some distance beyond that. That being said, I do not think this was better than Black Panther, which is a sentiment I've heard expressed so many times in the lead up to this year's Oscars. People should quit with that. I'll explain why I feel this way, I always try to do that, but with something like this you never know how to describe things. Anyway, with a cast like this one, I'm going to eschew my usual summing up of the event and I'm going to summarize them my own way. With the box office being what it is, I'm sure everyone's seen the movie to begin with. So doesn't everyone know that shit anyway?

There's Thanos (Josh Brolin), the character attempting to accumulate the Infinity Stones we've all come to know from the universe. His lieutenants all play their part here, but this is a film with at least fifty characters. That isn't an exaggeration either. Every Avenger you'd want to see is here besides Hawkeye and Ant-Man, and we're at a point where it's super hard to actually address the events. The Infinity Stones are all increasingly more difficult for Thanos to acquire. The most difficult are going to be the Time Stone, Soul Stone, and Mind Stone. The Time Stone is in the possession of Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), and he is able to deduce that there's only one way this can actually end positively for the universe as a whole. We'll see exactly how that works. The Soul Stone, Thanos is not exactly aware of who has it or where it is, but he seems to be drawn to Gamora (Zoe Saldana). Gamora asks Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) to kill her if Thanos should encounter her, as she knows she will be forced into revealing the location of the Soul Stone. This is not good. The easiest one of these three to acquire is in theory the one on Vision's (Paul Bettany) head. Vision and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) have been off in Scotland, seeing as they're on the run with the other Avengers who didn't have things go their way during Captain America: Civil War.

Thanos actually acquiring these stones, on the other hand, is going to be a very difficult task. As you may have figured out, the Avengers and the other superheroes that haven't officially joined the Avengers are extremely resourceful. They know what the hell they're doing. There's also the other Guardians of the Galaxy, and yes, all of them factor into the film. But there's also so many other characters from the other movies, and with not all of them having died, you can never really know when anyone will show up at any given point. When it comes to Avengers: Infinity War? I mean ANYONE. The action never lets up, and you should expect the worst as the worst is going to happen.

As far as the worst goes, I was genuinely not expecting Dr. Strange to have envisioned that scenario and decided it was the only way things would actually work out. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It's very difficult to juggle all of these characters and give them what someone would consider to be fair screen time, so the only way to get around that is to inundate the film with action and prevent slowing down. Avengers: Infinity War does that as well as I've ever seen a film do so, but nothing else has had such a critical mass of talent on the chess board. Juggling these things is even more impressive than the story itself, the balancing act allows the director to do things that may not make sense that are easy not to think about. The visual effects also work to this end, and so does the ending. Making half the cast disappear like this seemed to be perfectly planned in order to get maximum crowd impact. Star-Lord is a love or hate him character, and for some Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is too. Then, you have characters that everyone really likes and they all just disappear. This was chosen perfectly, I couldn't believe that shit. Obviously, a lot of it will be reversed. But what?

The problems with Avengers: Infinity War are few and far between, the most obvious one being that there are some major instances of poorly timed humor. This is prevalent for far too much of the film, but not for the final battle when it feels like things really matter. I think everything should matter to that extent though. The humor is the main reason I think Black Panther was a better film. I also have to say that I love Peter Dinklage, but his casting as the giant Eitri was not a good decision. I was extremely distracted during all these scenes and had a very hard time paying attention, which was a problem because those scenes had an incredible payoff that I did not initially understand. In the end, to be honest, I don't really know what to say about any of this stuff without being questioned. There's so much in this movie, so much to the story, and so many crazy character interactions that I'm a bit overwhelmed. The stakes matter, people die and you think some of them are definitely going to stay dead, but who knows? I'm eagerly anticipating the next film, as well as what comes next in the Marvel saga. There's absolutely no way to know what could be next.

8.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Roma
2.   A Star Is Born
3.   First Reformed
4.   The Favourite
5.   Widows
6.   First Man
7.   BlacKkKlansman
8.   Blindspotting
9.   Black Panther
10.   If Beale Street Could Talk
11.   The Sisters Brothers
12.   A Private War
13.   Avengers: Infinity War
14.   Stan & Ollie
15.   Green Book
16.   Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
17.   Mission: Impossible - Fallout
18.   The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
19.   On My Skin
20.   Private Life
21.   Can You Ever Forgive Me?
22.   Mid90s
23.   Eighth Grade
24.   Sorry to Bother You
25.   Vice
26.   The Old Man & the Gun
27.   Suspiria
28.   Vox Lux
29.   Boy Erased
30.   Bad Times at the El Royale
31.   The Other Side of the Wind
32.   Searching
33.   A Simple Favor
34.   The Hate U Give
35.   Bumblebee
36.   Mary Poppins Returns
37.   Creed II
38.   Hold the Dark
39.   The Land of Steady Habits
40.   Halloween
41.   Mary Queen of Scots
42.   Aquaman
43.   Outlaw King
44.   Overlord
45.   Ben Is Back
46.   Monsters and Men
47.   The Mule
48.   On the Basis of Sex
49.   Bohemian Rhapsody
50.   White Boy Rick 
51.   Papillon
52.   Game Night
53.   Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
54.   Instant Family
55.   Alpha
56.   The Front Runner
57.   The Predator
58.   Apostle
59.   The Angel
60.   The Commuter
61.   Beautiful Boy
62.   The Nun
63.   Operation Finale
64.   The Equalizer 2
65.   The Spy Who Dumped Me
66.   Bird Box
67.   12 Strong
68.   Venom
69.   Skyscraper
70.   The Meg
71.   Assassination Nation
72.   The Girl in the Spider's Web
73.   The House with a Clock in Its Walls
74.   22 July
75.   Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
76.   The Little Stranger
77.   Tomb Raider
78.   Night School
79.   The 15:17 To Paris
80.   Peppermint
81.   Mile 22
82.   The First Purge
83.   Hunter Killer
84.   Kin
85.   Hell Fest
86.   Proud Mary
87.   Robin Hood
88.   The Happytime Murders
89.   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 #1130 on: February 24, 2019, 06:50:28 PM »


Allied (2016), directed by Robert Zemeckis

It appears that as it relates to Allied, I'm in the minority with my opinion of the film. I believe that I liked this much more than the majority of people who watched it. I will do my best to explain why, but it seems that I'm going to have a difficult time as I'm already running into writer's block. One thing that was coming to mind as I first turned on Allied were the rumors that Marion Cotillard had an affair with Brad Pitt. These weren't true and have been denied by all parties, but they're the kind of thing that comes to mind repeatedly when those stories were so prevalent. I am of the belief that these kinds of things play on the minds of people when they analyze the work related to said rumors. At least that's how I felt about it. I could be wrong on this one. Perhaps my favorite thing about Allied was that the story turned on a dime from one thing to the next, but this is the kind of thing that seems to bother a lot of people. But what about that not bothering me? Everyone has their own tastes, I have mine, and that's how it is. I should point out though, that I do prefer movies that have lasting consequences as a result of the actions of the characters, and it seems that Allied is one of those films. Who would've thought? Robert Zemeckis has went completely off the rails the last few years, some think this is one of those movies, but I don't agree.

Allied starts in 1942, obviously during World War II. Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) is a Wing Commander who serves in the Royal Canadian Air Force, which serves as a point to explain away Vatan's lack of accent. Vatan is serving out intelligence duties, and he has traveled to Casablanca in order to assassinate a German ambassador. His mission leads to a partnership with a French Resistance fighter, Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard), and they present themselves as a married couple to the locals in order to further their cover. Marianne has escaped from France after her resistance group was compromised, so her path to Morocco was not exactly great. The two agree that becoming close is a problem and that in their line of work, it could very well lead to their death. Marianne has worked herself into being trusted by the Germans, and through that she has secured an invitation for Vatan to go through with conducting the assassination. When they calculate their odds of survival, they decide to have sex in a car out in the desert, because that's just how likely it is they die. They can't help themselves. Without spoiling what exactly it is that happens, both Marianne and Vatan survive and escape to England.

I don't really want to spoil the thing that turns the movie on its head, so let me bring things back a little bit. In order for Marianne and Vatan to pull this off, they have to deal with a lot of factors that nobody could possibly be aware of. There's the fact that German intelligence officers could easily see them both prior to the attempted assassination, the fact that Marianne needs training with the weapons Vatan has brought to Morocco, and the whole thing about their life inside of a city full of spies. Now, once things return to England, we fast-forward quite a long time. Vatan decides to bring Marianne to England as his wife, and the two do get married. We learn that Max has a sister, Bridget (Lizzy Caplan), and she's in the military too. Max and Marianne have had a baby girl, born during a bombing raid, and this is done in typical Zemeckis fashion with all kinds of ridiculous effects. I didn't think anything was special about that part to be fair. Max also now works from home, and his Col. Frank Heslop (Jared Harris) is a non-descript character. I thought his appearance here played on viewers knowledge of Mad Men due to the lack of details given to his character. Anyway, the war isn't over, the Germans still have bombing raids, and that's all I want to say!

The point about actions having consequences is what sticks with me, and this film definitely has that. I do think, on the other hand, that it's very difficult to create a film like this one that has two stories. Both stories are good from my perspective, but many people disagree with me. That's cool. I thought Marion Cotillard was excellent here, Brad Pitt a bit less so, but he was solid. I think I might be a bit of a sucker for romance stories when they don't have some corny ass ending. There you have it. I thought the film was successful in the way that Zemeckis decided not to use music to ratchet up tension in scenes that don't need pointless sound. I do think that there needed to be more romance scenes, though. Those scenes were required in the last half of the movie and they simply aren't there as often as they needed to be, but the first half is loaded with them. I think the hook they use to twist the story inside out is quite a good one, and I think it's one we've all seen many times before, but the large budget of the film allows for extra tricks. I'm a little surprised Brad Pitt made so many movies where he played a soldier, though. Seems to go against his politics in basically every way, but he is playing someone younger than his actual self. I suppose that's the appeal.

One thing that I did find strange was how narrow in scope the story was when the budget for the film was so large, but I actually don't mind this. For the most part I am getting sick of films with enormous casts. Sometimes there's a need to trim things down, and I think that's yet another one of the hooks for me. I don't think this is a great film, that's going too far. It is, however, quite good in my opinion. The romantic scenes are believable to me (which makes one wonder about rumors), and there's some decent war action as well. Any movie where Nazis get shot up is going to make me feel something, but I did think there should have been just a bit more of this. When I'm thinking of war films shot by directors in the same generation, one that comes to mind is Bridge of Spies. Bridge of Spies is a slightly better film, but I think that it's one that seems to give the easy way out when playing with the emotions of the audience. Allied does not do that, and that kind of commitment to the story is something I found welcome. I wanted to watch something tonight that was nominated for an Oscar in the past, and even though Allied was merely nominated for Costume Design, it fit the bill.

7/10


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

Offline Kahran Ramsus

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1131 on: February 25, 2019, 02:02:59 PM »
The interesting thing about Infinity War is that Thanos is very much the main character of the film.  It is all about his quest, and he's the one with the greatest character development.

I'm not sure that has been true for a superhero movie since the Tim Burton Batman films, so it was certainly something different and fresh.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1132 on: February 25, 2019, 06:02:34 PM »


Queen of the Desert (2017), directed by Werner Herzog

Deciding that my first Werner Herzog narrative feature would be this one was probably not a good decision, with hindsight being what it is. Foresight also should have told me this wasn't a good decision as Queen of the Desert was slaughtered by reviewers, that only happens for a reason. When a film starts filming in 2013 and is released in the USA in 2017, that's a very bad sign. Queen of the Desert is simply a very dull and boring film that gets the focus on its subject all wrong. Did anyone need a movie about Gertrude Bell where her focus was almost entirely on other men rather than what she was hoping to achieve? When I phrase it that way, I realize exactly how bad this film is. It is one I am surprised anyone would give $36 million in funding for. That is truly incredible, and the gross was just $2 million, which means this was a truly horrendous bomb. How does this happen? Is it that nobody would dare tell a filmmaker like Herzog that they don't have the ability to make exactly what they want to make? I believe the last question is also the answer, and it is also the only explanation as nothing else makes any sense. I think Herzog should just stick to documentaries.

Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman) is the kind of subject one would make a film about if they had the carte-blanche to make anything regardless of potential financial gain, or if one was hellbent on making a female centered epic biography. This, unfortunately, does not feel epic at all. Queen of the Desert begins with a scene where men are whining about the possibility of Gertrude being a kingmaker in Iraq after World War I, which I'm sure is something that actually happened. It is still weird. We then flashback to the things leading up to that, the first of those being Gertrude at home in England. She graduated from Oxford and really hates being at home trying to find a suitor as her parents would want her to do. As a result, she is allowed by her parents to travel to Persia, taking residence at the British Embassy in Tehran. Her uncle Frank (Mark Lewis Jones) is the Ambassador to Persia, he's also quite the dickhead. I have no idea why the film would focus on this, but we are subsequently introduced to Henry Cadogan (James Franco), the apparent love of Gertrude's life until she found another one. Their romance is less than inspiring to put it nicely and there's no chemistry between the two, but regardless of that, things continue on their path.

Henry is interested in Farsi poetry and as this film tells this, he is a motivating factor in Gertrude's fascination with Bedouins. This is an incredible pile of piss. Anyway, Henry eventually proposes to Gertrude in the lamest fashion, and she says yes. With it being the custom of the day, Henry must ask Gertrude's father Hugh (David Calder) for Gertrude's hand in marriage. Not only does Hugh refuse due to Henry's station and heavy rumors of gambling debts, but he calls Gertrude back to England and she has to come. While there, Henry simply cannot take that and kills himself. I must point out that Kidman has aged very well and I genuinely couldn't spot the age difference even though I knew it existed. With Henry out of the way, we are still not spared from a portrayal of a truly trailblazing woman reduced to a fascination with men as the driving of her spirit. For the rest of Gertrude's life, she is dedicated to exploring the Middle East. Along the way, with her guide Fattouh (Jay Abdo), they encounter some notable individuals from the era. T.E. Lawrence (Robert Pattinson) makes an appearance, so does Winston Churchill (Christopher Fulford), and Charles Doughty-Wylie (Damien Lewis). Even though Charles is a married man, he continues on an unconsummated affair with Gertrude through love letters. Said love letters are prominent in the film even though she goes to Arabia, Syria, and Jordan.

When I critique a film for the focus being unfairly placed on men, you should know that it's pretty bad. I don't think I've ever done that before. This film is an absolute mess. There's no drama, no impetus behind the story, and the romance is garbage. This is one of the worst screenplays imaginable, I think. I'm genuinely at a loss for words and even though I don't know that much about Gertrude Bell, I know that this is the definition of bad history. There are historical things jammed together and out of place, a book would deal with this subject much better. The important things Bell did were not shown here at all and I do not think this is remotely comprehensive. I did laugh very hard at how King Abdullah and King Faisal have a tiny role in the film at the very end. Like, are you serious? This is totally ridiculous on every level. Imagination is out of the equation and Queen of the Desert is beyond boring, I cannot believe I made it through the movie. I was struggling badly at points.

Unfortunately, any historical examination of her actions is gone, and one has to consider that she is responsible for the Middle East being what it is today, both good and bad. Mostly bad. This movie is sad, and when Herzog decides to place so many names and details in the film, he should actually be sure to get all of them right. Werner Herzog of all people should know better than that. Queen of the Desert is also a plodding, very standard Hollywood film, but one where the actors other than Kidman do not have true belief in their own material. One of the standards by which I judge biography movies is if the subject would be angered by it and for what reason. Sometimes, the subject being angered would be a good thing. That is not the case here. This is absolutely nothing like any description of Gertrude Bell that I've ever heard. My favorite part was the way James Franco's accent faded in and out and it seemed that nobody noticed this, so they have scenes full of this wavering accent. Yikes. That's damning enough, but I think the worst thing I could say is that nobody should watch this. There are zero redeeming qualities, the only reason I'm not giving the film a lower score is that I was not reduced to laughter at any point. My list ranking supports the idea I can handle bad comedy much easier than bad drama...or whatever the hell this was. There was no drama in this film and no story beyond showing that Gertrude Bell explored some stuff.

3/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   First They Killed My Father
12.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
13.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
14.   It
15.   Battle of the Sexes
16.   Okja
17.   Kong: Skull Island
18.   It Comes at Night
19.   Split
20.   1922
21.   Personal Shopper
22.   Chuck
23.   Atomic Blonde
24.   The Lego Batman Movie
25.   Megan Leavey
26.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
27.   American Made
28.   Imperial Dreams
29.   The Zookeeper's Wife
30.   Free Fire
31.   Win It All
32.   The Wall
33.   Breathe
34.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
35.   Alone in Berlin
36.   A United Kingdom
37.   Trespass Against Us
38.   The Mountain Between Us
39.   War Machine
40.   Happy Death Day
41.   Justice League
42.   To the Bone
43.   Wakefield
44.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
45.   Sand Castle
46.   CHiPs
47.   Death Note
48.   The Belko Experiment
49.   The Great Wall
50.   Fist Fight
51.   Wilson
52.   Queen of the Desert
53.   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 #1133 on: February 25, 2019, 06:08:45 PM »
The interesting thing about Infinity War is that Thanos is very much the main character of the film.  It is all about his quest, and he's the one with the greatest character development.

I'm not sure that has been true for a superhero movie since the Tim Burton Batman films, so it was certainly something different and fresh.

I think it had to be that way. Post-credit scenes simply aren't enough to establish a character, no matter how many of those scenes there are. Another weakness in the movie I neglected to mention, even though it shouldn't matter, is that I believe movies need to have some kind of resolution. As much as I loved Infinity War, and I really did, there was no resolution.


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 #1134 on: February 26, 2019, 08:09:38 AM »
The interesting thing about Infinity War is that Thanos is very much the main character of the film.  It is all about his quest, and he's the one with the greatest character development.

I'm not sure that has been true for a superhero movie since the Tim Burton Batman films, so it was certainly something different and fresh.

I think it had to be that way. Post-credit scenes simply aren't enough to establish a character, no matter how many of those scenes there are. Another weakness in the movie I neglected to mention, even though it shouldn't matter, is that I believe movies need to have some kind of resolution. As much as I loved Infinity War, and I really did, there was no resolution.

I actually do think it has a resolution, just not one you would normally expect.  Now granted we all know there is going to be a sequel, but as far as the story being told in Infinity War it has an ending.  The only thing really hinting that it isn't over besides what we know from how these franchises work is that one line from Dr. Strange.  Where I have more of a problem is the other side of the film, the beginning.  This is a film that doesn't stand on its own in that respect.  It completely requires you to know not just these characters, but what exactly happened in the previous films.  I don't know how to get around that given that this movie is long as it is and they have to squeeze everything in, but you basically have to watch 10 other movies for this one to make any sense.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1135 on: February 26, 2019, 06:32:59 PM »


Arrival (2016), directed by Denis Villeneuve

I have often complained to many of the people who I know about a lack of quality science-fiction. With such complaints, it seemed to be time to finally tackle Arrival. I should have done so much sooner, but I didn't and that's fine. Quality science-fiction should leave the viewer a bit stumped by the results. There is no need to understand everything, as much as some people complain that they don't. One thing I was thinking as I reached the end of the film was that I wasn't sure if this was even Villeneuve's best film, which is an incredible thing to be thinking about something as good as this was. I am also a little bit pissed off with myself that I never made a rankings list for 2016, but it's way too late to do that now. Arrival is the kind of film that leaves me without words, I was floored to that extent. I was going to do a list of bulletpoints explaining what I thought made a quality science-fiction film, but that's too much. Here's the deal. If you want a film that presents the idea of what I find to be the most likely scenario should aliens make contact with humans, that's what Arrival is. I used to think that we needed a film like this one that dealt with first contact in a more realistic sense, but now that we have it, I'm left with a need for even more. It strikes me as being very difficult for a screenplay that presents these ideas to actually tie them together.

Our film begins with a glimpse at Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a woman who had a daughter that died of an incurable illness. It would seem to me that Louise is driven by these events. She is a linguist and language professor with a very small class, which we should have expected when she was walking to the room and people were freaking out. Louise begins to give her lecture, but everyone's phone is going off. She is asked to turn on the television and does so, at which point we learn that at 12 sites around the world, there are huge spaceships touching down to make contact with us. These ships hover above the grass and emit nothing whatsoever, the ship looking like an obelisk is an excellent creation. The next day when nobody's at class, Louise is visited in her office by Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker). They have worked together once on a Farsi project, so Louise has top-secret clearance still to this point. Weber presents an audio tape, obviously recorded from contact with the aliens, where they make some guttural sounds that cannot be understood. She refuses to discuss the matter without being flown to the site in Montana, which leads to her telling Weber to go deal with one of her colleagues who isn't as good a linguist. Whether he does meet with the man or doesn't is irrelevant, because Weber shows up that night and wants to bring Louise to Montana. She complies.

Aboard the helicopter, Louise is greeted by a theoretical physicist, Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner). The point of the mission is simple, the Americans want to know what the purpose of the aliens on Earth is. Once the helicopter arrives at the base in Montana, it is clear that some experiments are going on. There is also coordination between the 12 sites, all of which are in different countries. The reason the aliens chose these 12 sites is incomprehensible, but you should understand as the film goes on. Louise, Ian, and a team of soldiers/equipment operators all need to go on board the spaceship. When they do, let's put it this way, the things required for them to actually get to speak to the aliens are crazy as fuck. Louise is met with resistance from Weber and a CIA Agent Halpern (Michael Stuhlbarg), they don't really care for her proposed method. The method is as such. She wants to write down our words, the first of them being "human" so that the aliens can understand at some point what she's writing down, and what we are. Similarly, the aliens are impossible to understand, so things need to get to a point where they do the same thing. These aliens are called heptapods because they have seven limbs, and it turns out they do have a written language. They communicate in circular symbols and contain a lot of intricacies that could mean many different words. It is Louise and Ian's job to figure out what those are.

I didn't know how to describe the premise of the film, so I did my best. Has everyone seen this yet? I would hope I'm the only one far behind the times. I was so glad that I wasn't watching a movie where aliens blow up shit and humans blow them up too. That isn't to say that all of those films are bad, but I was pleased beyond words with the way this turned out. There are so many little moments that help to bolster the story, and the revelations, once they come anyway, are all quite spectacular. The film is deep, I immediately searched for numerous things that I was wondering the resolutions of only to find that I would have already known them. The last one, about what the aliens themselves want, is actually a very common sense solution that is answered by their purpose. One needs to consider the possibility that Arrival is a film that places humanity in a different context, in the context that if we actually want to do something, we really can. It is possible for us to succeed when we already know something, this film is a firm believer in the idea that humanity can handle the obvious and be prepared for it. Climate change would seem to work against this idea, but I've tried to ignore that. The emotional weight of the scenes throughout the film is quite brilliant in that way and in others.

Arrival is also a triumph of technical aspects, of how the heptapods were formed with visual effects, of the cinematography, and of the overall atmosphere at. The obelisk-like spacecraft is an incredible choice, it is quite ominous and gives real intrigue to the scenes when our characters first walk inside it. The creation of the language, however, is totally ridiculous. It's too bad there aren't awards given out for those kinds of things. I was awed by it in ways that can't be expressed, because this is completely innovative and I've never seen anything like this before. The way the heptapods created black air, that was great too. Unfortunately, I'm also left with sadness that Johann Johannsson won't be able to create another score like this one. I just don't understand how some awards are given out and that's one of them too. I really wish that I'd seen Arrival in a theater as this is a film which seemed to massively benefit from that, and it's lost on me because I didn't. Coke and medication don't go together and that's something I'm going to remember, let me assure you. The sound in general is spectacular, not just his part in it. I am also very confused as to why Amy Adams was not given an Oscar nomination for this movie.

I was deliberately vague with a lot of the things related to the film, because I don't know what more I can say. Great science-fiction leads the viewer on a journey of discovery as the film passes, and from one scene to the next this delivered in spades. Arrival is a little bit slow, but there's a purpose to all of this. A few months ago, my dad tried to sit down and watch this and he just couldn't. It wasn't for him. I feel like that could be the case for quite a few people, but this is a film with intellectual depth even though I haven't gotten far into commenting on the questions the film asks and answers. If people comment on this review and have things they want to say, that would be great as I'd like to have a discussion about this. Arrival was a hell of a surprise for me. I suppose I was expecting something come the end of the film, but not that. The events seemed to pile up leading to something big, but I wouldn't have guessed that's exactly what it was. I thought the aliens were there for good purposes, but I expected the film to go down the road of an attack taking place before a real breakthrough. Sometimes you get what you expect and sometimes you don't, and even more often you get some of what you expect. The best films are those that go beyond your expectations to deliver something that only a visual medium can bring to you.

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 #1136 on: March 01, 2019, 06:41:00 PM »


Wheelman (2017), directed by Jeremy Rush

If anyone had ever told me I'd enjoy a Netflix B movie more than the second Guardians of the Galaxy, I'd have laughed right in their face. I should also note that in early 2017 I never imagined I'd be watching Netflix B movies, if someone told me that I'd also have laughed at them. It's always time to try something new I suppose. Wheelman is pretty much exactly what Netflix should be doing when they aren't giving auteurs the opportunity to make weird shit that no studio would ever give funding to. This is pretty much the definition of weird shit. Wheelman isn't for everyone, that's for sure. The film is extremely constrained, this is something that could bother a lot of people, but I enjoyed the events more than I thought. There are other problems too, but again...did I ever think I would enjoy this more than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Nope. It's always nice when you sit down to watch something, it's really short, and the story is really cohesive. The downside is that the film is very short, the story is constrained to that specific thing, and it turns out you don't like any of the characters all that much. Is that okay?

Wheelman is the story of an unnamed wheelman (Frank Grillo), who will be referred to by his real name. Frank is a man who has just gotten out of prison and is getting a divorce from his wife Jessica (Wendy Moniz), which leaves his daughter Katie (Caitlin Carmichael) caught in the middle of that whole thing. Frank has a job to do on a random night in Boston, and the film starts off with him picking up what is supposed to be an inconspicuous car. Instead, this car has a red trunk and the rest is painted black, which is an ominous sign. That car is very easy to find. The background information with Katie happens on the way to his pickup, and I've already explained all of that, but Frank is trying to call Clay (Garret Dillahunt) about the details of this job. That isn't working, Clay doesn't answer because he's an idiot. So, Frank goes to pick up a guy with a mohawk (Shea Whigham) and Ben Okri (Jeffrey Samai). The ensuing conversation tells us that the mohawk man and Ben are completely insane, or maybe they just want Frank to think that. We subsequently learn that their intention is to rob a bank, and Frank is their driver. Once they get to the bank, it's on.

After they get to the bank, while Mohawk and Ben are in there doing their stuff, Frank receives a call from a mysterious voice. It is absolutely irrelevant who voices these characters over the phone, by the way. Nobody you'd know. Anyway, the voice tells Frank that once Mohawk and Ben get back in the car, they're going to ride to the drop point for the money and kill Frank once he gets out at the drop. This isn't good for Frank, so the voice tells Frank that he needs to leave those guys when they put the money in the trunk. Surprisingly, Frank listens to this guy he's never heard of before, because he really doesn't want to die. Eventually, Frank is able to get a hold of Clay, but there's a problem. Clay doesn't want to tell Frank anything about the handler who called Frank at the bank, and it turns out that Frank owes people some money from when he was in prison. Clay and the handler both want Frank to go to the drop and make an exchange. He does, and it's a drug deal. Will Frank do what he's told? No. Will he continue to be jerked around? Yes. Is there going to be ramifications for him not doing the bank job like he was supposed to? Also yes.

I accidentally buried the lede to a massive extent here, but I should have pointed out that all of these events take place from the constricting viewpoint of Frank's car. The only one that doesn't is at a point when he's switching cars. That's it! So, if he has a conversation with someone outside of a car, or if he's in a car chase, of which there are many, these things take place with cameras mounted on or inside of his car. Given those constraints, I thought everyone involved did a hell of a job. I don't know why the director wanted to do this, but it's a gimmick that should certainly have gotten the attention of a lot of people. It seems that it did not as this Netflix film has less reviews than most of the ones I've seen before. I think this is quite a simple film and there isn't much beating around the bush. The screenplay isn't fantastic because of the phone call concept, we don't ever see the faces of a lot of the people that Frank speaks to. To that end, the voice work ranges from okay to good.

What really matters here is whether or not the car chases actually work, and they really did. I found Wheelman to be quite exciting, which is really what matters most. Frank Grillo did a pretty good job carrying the film as well, which considering how much we see of his face, the entire thing really rests on his shoulders. There is a little thing here in the middle that throws a wrench in the script and makes things a bit difficult to follow, but I thought it was easy enough to pay attention and figure things out. Everyone's noticed the common theme in these reviews, right? If you pay attention, things should be easy to understand. I was thrown off a little bit by the practical car chase scenes, there is a decided lack of CGI and it is replaced by real crashes. There is one of these scenes that is pretty damn cool, and overall, I do think this is somewhat of an achievement in filmmaking. I've seen complaints about these kinds of movies before, like Locke or Phone Booth, but I think Wheelman is definitely better than Phone Booth and I haven't seen the other. When there's a lack of violence to this extent in a film like this one, when it happens, it seems to mean a lot more. This was good and as everyone knows I love car chases movies, so I recommend this for those who also do.

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   Thor: Ragnarok
6.   Logan Lucky
7.   The Beguiled
8.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
9.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
10.   The Lost City of Z
11.   First They Killed My Father
12.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
13.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
14.   It
15.   Battle of the Sexes
16.   Okja
17.   Kong: Skull Island
18.   It Comes at Night
19.   Split
20.   1922
21.   Personal Shopper
22.   Chuck
23.   Atomic Blonde
24.   Wheelman
25.   The Lego Batman Movie
26.   Megan Leavey
27.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
28.   American Made
29.   Imperial Dreams
30.   The Zookeeper's Wife
31.   Free Fire
32.   Win It All
33.   The Wall
34.   Breathe
35.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
36.   Alone in Berlin
37.   A United Kingdom
38.   Trespass Against Us
39.   The Mountain Between Us
40.   War Machine
41.   Happy Death Day
42.   Justice League
43.   To the Bone
44.   Wakefield
45.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
46.   Sand Castle
47.   CHiPs
48.   Death Note
49.   The Belko Experiment
50.   The Great Wall
51.   Fist Fight
52.   Wilson
53.   Queen of the Desert
54.   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 #1137 on: March 03, 2019, 05:54:21 PM »


Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), directed by Peyton Reed

After watching Ant-Man and the Wasp, I am FINALLY caught up on the MCU. Such happiness ordinarily means I would not be able to write my review until the next day, but in this case it should prove quite easy. When Ant-Man and the Wasp was released, I read quite a few major complaints about it. One was in regards to the tone of the film, which people should have known would be the case beforehand, but I found that the film did a nice job of lightening things up after Avengers: Infinity War. The thing is, that isn't for everyone and that's fair. As far as I'm concerned, this was merely a good film, if we can say that a film is merely good these days. Nothing went above and beyond my expectations, but nothing was beneath them either. After the events of the last MCU film, I think this was exactly what it needed to be. Besides, did anyone expect any real resolution to the Marvel saga in this film? It seems that some did, which is pretty funny. Anyway, Ant-Man is supposed to be a goofy character and there's no way to change that because the film would not even exist otherwise. I do realize that I massively overrated the first movie though. There's no correcting that now, but that will explain the difference in scores. These films are near equal.

We jump forward two years after Captain America: Civil War, with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) on house arrest due to violation of the Sokovia Accords. Clearly he should not have taken Captain America's side. Due to this, the feds believe that Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) were cooperating with Scott and they've had to go on the run. As far as the last Ant-Man film goes, we pick up basically where we left off. Hank and Hope believe that Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) is trapped in the quantum realm and has been for thirty years. Hank wants his wife back and Hope wants her mom, so they've been busy. When Scott visited the quantum realm during the last film, he had entered into a quantum entanglement with Janet, and that leads to him receiving a message from her. I have decided to omit some events leading to this. The message is a vision of Hope's childhood, with her and Janet playing hide and seek. Scott calls Hank for the first time since Scott's been on house arrest, and he decides to tell him about the dream. This leads to Scott being knocked unconscious by a bug flying through his living room. Now let's rewind a bit.

Still leaving out some of these events, I should update on what Scott is doing. He's with his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson), who has been visiting. Luis (Michael Pena) is there and they've been working on a project trying to save their business, this is not a spectacular situation. While Scott's playing with Cassie, he trips an alarm on his ankle bracelet, which leads to him receiving a visit from FBI Agent Woo (Randall Park). So we know that he will immediately be arrested if he does leave his house. Now let's bring it back. When Scott was knocked out, it was by Hope, who has taken off his ankle bracelet and placed it on a giant ant. After a ride in a miniature SUV that can change its size, they arrive at Hank Pym's lab, a building which can also change in size. Hank and Hope have been building a tunnel to reach the Quantum Realm so they can bring Janet back, they say there's no other way to do so. When Scott describes his vision, they're even more sure of what they must do. Hope has the intention of buying a piece of equipment from a black market dealer, Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins). Burch knows the deal and the gig is up, and he tells Hope that he knows she's a fugitive and could have her gotten rid of. There's a problem though. It turns out that Hope has been followed by Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), a person with incredible phasing powers who can move in and out of anything. There's more to the story, but she wants this quantum equipment and she wants the damn lab.

This movie has more of what's good about Ant-Man, but the expansion of the story leads to a lack of intimacy in the events. Of course, this also means that Scott's family life does fade heavily into the backburner, which isn't the best thing. Still, it's good enough. I also very much enjoyed the Laurence Fishburne scenes, I'd forgotten that he was advertised here. I have a feeling he'll return. Where Ant-Man and the Wasp gets a big boost is in the scenes with shrinking cars and Scott's new ability to grow massively in size. The fight scenes are quite good, but I don't much care for Ghost. This was yet another weak Marvel villain offering, but I don't think it was the point for this to have a strong villain. The villain in an Ant-Man film exists to have Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne do cool shit, that's what happened here. I am a bit confused by some of the things in the film, but I'm not too sure everyone's checked this out yet. There are unfortunately less scenes where Michael Pena rambles on and on, and that was my favorite aspect of the first film, so you can pretty much see where I stand here. The mid-credits segment is also a bit of a problem for me and things would have been more fresh if the roles there were reversed. Anyway, it is what it is.

One's expectations for a solo Marvel offering shouldn't be too high, and in the case of an Ant-Man film, I believe that's double the case. This is the MCU's version of an action-comedy, with emphasis on the comedy aspect. That's fine, and I will give some credit here. It has become very difficult to make a good comedy movie these days. This one works not just because of the humor, but because of how ridiculous the scenarios are with characters that can shrink and grow at the push of a button. I actually think I enjoyed the Wasp's involvement in the action scenes more than Ant-Man. Didn't expect to be saying that. In any case, I would be surprised if they didn't make a third Ant-Man movie, but I should point out that the last time they made one of these, they announced a sequel quite quickly. This time, Marvel has absolutely nothing with a release date for 2020, and they haven't announced a sequel for a movie featuring actors that have signed contracts. It's a bit strange, and they better get a move on with some Phase Four announcements. Other than that we know they're making an Eternals movie and a Black Widow film, there hasn't been any, and we don't know when those are going to be released. Time to get a move on, but at this stage I think it's very unlikely anything will be released next year. It takes too long to make a movie. Not impossible, but unlikely.

7/10

2018 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Roma
2.   A Star Is Born
3.   First Reformed
4.   The Favourite
5.   Widows
6.   First Man
7.   BlacKkKlansman
8.   Blindspotting
9.   Black Panther
10.   If Beale Street Could Talk
11.   The Sisters Brothers
12.   A Private War
13.   Avengers: Infinity War
14.   Stan & Ollie
15.   Green Book
16.   Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
17.   Mission: Impossible - Fallout
18.   The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
19.   On My Skin
20.   Private Life
21.   Can You Ever Forgive Me?
22.   Mid90s
23.   Eighth Grade
24.   Sorry to Bother You
25.   Vice
26.   The Old Man & the Gun
27.   Suspiria
28.   Vox Lux
29.   Boy Erased
30.   Bad Times at the El Royale
31.   The Other Side of the Wind
32.   Searching
33.   A Simple Favor
34.   The Hate U Give
35.   Bumblebee
36.   Mary Poppins Returns
37.   Creed II
38.   Hold the Dark
39.   The Land of Steady Habits
40.   Halloween
41.   Ant-Man and the Wasp
42.   Mary Queen of Scots
43.   Aquaman
44.   Outlaw King
45.   Overlord
46.   Ben Is Back
47.   Monsters and Men
48.   The Mule
49.   On the Basis of Sex
50.   Bohemian Rhapsody
51.   White Boy Rick 
52.   Papillon
53.   Game Night
54.   Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
55.   Instant Family
56.   Alpha
57.   The Front Runner
58.   The Predator
59.   Apostle
60.   The Angel
61.   The Commuter
62.   Beautiful Boy
63.   The Nun
64.   Operation Finale
65.   The Equalizer 2
66.   The Spy Who Dumped Me
67.   Bird Box
68.   12 Strong
69.   Venom
70.   Skyscraper
71.   The Meg
72.   Assassination Nation
73.   The Girl in the Spider's Web
74.   The House with a Clock in Its Walls
75.   22 July
76.   Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
77.   The Little Stranger
78.   Tomb Raider
79.   Night School
80.   The 15:17 To Paris
81.   Peppermint
82.   Mile 22
83.   The First Purge
84.   Hunter Killer
85.   Kin
86.   Hell Fest
87.   Proud Mary
88.   Robin Hood
89.   The Happytime Murders
90.   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 cobainwasmurdered

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1138 on: March 03, 2019, 06:43:43 PM »
Yeah I enjoyed this movie and I don't know how anyone expected any big reveals in it. It's intended as lighter fare with less "big" plot advances that you can enjoy with your kids or take a date to and I think it did well at that.

Marvel is being very cagey about anything that might reveal plot details about Endgame which is why I think they haven't revealed anything of phase 4, beyond the obvious contract stuff that still is lingering. They have it all mapped out as far as I know but they're keeping it tightly wrapped.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1139 on: March 05, 2019, 06:36:05 PM »


The Big Sick (2017), directed by Michael Showalter

I'm definitely going to eliminate a lot of 2017's most talked about films this month, and I suppose some of the best too. The Big Sick is first up on that list, and I have to say that I'm glad I finally got around to this. I was told at the time of the film's release that I should watch it as soon as possible, but I never did that shit back then. Obviously I should have, and this isn't going to be a problem anymore. For now, I'm focused on ensuring that doesn't happen again. Anyway, yeah, the film. I did not realize it would be possible to make a funny movie about someone being sick to this extent, but that's what we have here. As everyone knows, Emily Gordon wrote her own story into a film, and there are some things used in different light than how they happened, that's cool. After all, it's someone's own story. The thing is, I thought this was the kind of movie some people need to watch, but it's also one that follows the age old trope. It won't reach the audience it needs to reach because those people won't want to watch something like this. That's just a fact. With all that in mind, I'm glad someone found an avenue to tell their own story in a way that is heart-felt, and I thought the film was very pleasing overall.

Some time frames are fudged here to make things work, as this is set in modern times. Anyway, Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) is an Uber driver in Chicago who does standup comedy, he's trying hard to make his big break and it isn't really working out. Kumail also has a one-man show about his Pakistani background, but it's very dry and doesn't really work for the audience. His parents Azmat (Anupam Kher) and Sharmeen (Zenobia Shroff) are dead set on arranging a marriage for Kumail, and they want him to do things that he's not very interested in doing. One example is that they don't like his standup comedy and they want him to become a lawyer. Another is that they think he's a practicing Muslim when he isn't, he goes down into their basement when it's time to pray near dinner and plays video games for five minutes. Why Kumail plays along with this is something I think someone from my background is not capable of entirely understanding, but I think at the same time, nobody wants to lose their family. That's probably the best way to explain it. Playing along with the lawyer part seemed overboard, but anyway, that's none of my business and it's there to make a point. His brother Naveed (Adeel Akhtar) has played along and has a wife named Fatima (Shenaz Treasury), they are very happy together.

One night during a standup show, Kumail is heckled by Emily (Zoe Kazan), who was doing so in a positive way during his set. Kumail decides to approach her, which leads to a one-night stand. Good job on his part. The thing is, she wants to get an Uber home, and in one of the better laughs of the film, his phone starts going off. Kumail takes Emily home, and these run-ins continue to add up, which leads to a nice relationship. There are problems though. Kumail is very worried about being disowned because that happened to his cousin for marrying a white woman, and he has this consistent issue with his mother trying to arrange a marriage for him. This does not stop Kumail from telling his brother about his current dating situation, but Naveed tells him he should stop. Kumail does not want to stop. After some time, Emily goes into Kumail's things and finally sees a box full of pictures of Pakistani women that he's tossed into it. Kumail has no interest in them, but there's deeper problems. Like, for example, can he marry her? He doesn't think so, and that's it. A few days later though, there's a problem. Emily has fallen ill and must be placed into a coma. Kumail must call Emily's parents, Terry (Ray Romano) and Beth (Holly Hunter). And while he may not have told his own parents about his girlfriend, Emily's parents know everything about him.

Nothing I've said should be this funny, but it is, and I thought beyond that this also featured a great performance from Kumail Nanjiani. His acting felt authentic, and I've said before that I prefer these performances to anything where you put on makeup or fat suits. It's true, and this is another film that bolsters my thought process. I do, however, think it is very weird for Kumail's now wife to be played by someone else. I don't want to harp on that though. Anyway, I do think these kinds of films feel very fresh at this moment. There's some material out there that addresses what it's like to be an immigrant trapped between the old ways and the ways of the country one now lives in, but there isn't enough of it. We need more of this, not only because some of the set pieces are funny, but so that people like myself are more capable of understanding the experiences of other people. The Big Sick is very effective in this way, and I thought that was the case throughout the events of the plot. The dynamic between Terry, Kumail, and Beth is also extremely awkward, and apparently Terry and Beth are creations of Emily Gordon. Those weren't based on her real parents.

I also thought The Big Sick was good at portraying the life of a struggling comic, which also doesn't happen often in film. I know it does on television but I don't often watch those things. I also thought the portrayal of what happens in a moment of crisis when three people who don't know each other are effectively forced to come together in support, that was also spot on. I had this experience when my grandfather died last year and I met a lot of family members I had never seen before. This was obviously written and directed by people who had experience in this matter. This is how real people act. I must admit that I found a lot of the closing scenes to be quite sad, and I didn't know how to balance them with the events that took place before that, so I was left with a strange feeling when the film ended. That said, this is a great story, and despite the sadness of it, I thought it was a very enjoyable and pleasing film. It's hard to spoil something like this because it's based on a true story, but I thought the reveal when Kumail told his parents he was in love with a white woman was a very poignant piece of cinema, and I felt a lump in my throat while he was telling them this. Films don't often resonate like this.

8.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   The Big Sick
6.   Thor: Ragnarok
7.   Logan Lucky
8.   The Beguiled
9.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
10.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
11.   The Lost City of Z
12.   First They Killed My Father
13.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
14.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
15.   It
16.   Battle of the Sexes
17.   Okja
18.   Kong: Skull Island
19.   It Comes at Night
20.   Split
21.   1922
22.   Personal Shopper
23.   Chuck
24.   Atomic Blonde
25.   Wheelman
26.   The Lego Batman Movie
27.   Megan Leavey
28.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
29.   American Made
30.   Imperial Dreams
31.   The Zookeeper's Wife
32.   Free Fire
33.   Win It All
34.   The Wall
35.   Breathe
36.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
37.   Alone in Berlin
38.   A United Kingdom
39.   Trespass Against Us
40.   The Mountain Between Us
41.   War Machine
42.   Happy Death Day
43.   Justice League
44.   To the Bone
45.   Wakefield
46.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
47.   Sand Castle
48.   CHiPs
49.   Death Note
50.   The Belko Experiment
51.   The Great Wall
52.   Fist Fight
53.   Wilson
54.   Queen of the Desert
55.   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 #1140 on: March 07, 2019, 05:39:11 PM »


Beauty and the Beast (2017), directed by Bill Condon

I remember some time ago that there were talks of remaking the cartoon film everyone knows and most people love, but that the idea of remaking it was to reimagine the story and make it something a little different. Having this knowledge in mind was not the best thing to know when I decided to turn on this version of Beauty and the Beast. I kept finding myself thinking that I would like a greater difference in scenes and songs than existed here. I also think that having watched the animated version as many times as I have was probably not the best thing for my opinion of this film either. When I was a kid, my brother and I watched every Disney movie religiously until the point where our VHS tapes wore out. To this point, I have only ever seen two (now three) of these Disney live-action remakes, one being Alice in Wonderland and the other being Jungle Book. I will see the others but I've never bothered to do so before now. There's no particular reason for that, it just is what it is. Disney is leaning heavily into making more of these, so it stands to reason that I'll continue on and on until I die. What I was thinking at the end of this film, once I saw the box office, is that I was surprised Disney hasn't contrived a way to make a sequel or prequel out of this story. Even still, I'm also surprised that this was a complete remake, one with imagination and creativity but lacking in originality. This kind of thing often hurts films badly in my eyes and Beauty and the Beast is no exception to the rule. Does that mean I think it's bad? No.

I think if you haven't seen the animated film before, that's really fucking strange. However, the casting of this version is superb, so I'll roll on with my usual recap. The film begins as does the original, with an old beggar woman arriving at a castle seeking refuge from a storm. When the prince refuses, she reveals herself as a sorceress and curses the prince and his service, turning them into a beast and household objects respectively. The castle and everything related to it are subsequently erased from the memory of surrounding villagers, and the sorceress leaves a rose. She tells the prince the curse will only be broken if he falls in love with someone and she with him, and if he cannot do so before the flower wilts, they'll be doomed to be these things forever. I hate to say it but I genuinely was hoping for more there. Many years later in small town France, Belle (Emma Watson) lives with her music box making father Maurice (Kevin Kline), with Belle hoping for a life better than in said small town. Gaston (Luke Evans) is a piece of shit who wants to marry here, and you know how this story goes. I've always thought that Gaston was one of the best Disney villains, one which is very educational for children. The man is the embodiment of toxic masculinity, and he wants to marry Belle because she's the bet girl in town. Obviously.

After this introduction, which is accompanied by songs from the original animated film, Maurice is headed off to a convention of some kind. He gets lost in the forest and seeks refuge in the Beast's (Dan Stevens) castle, but he's caught stealing a rose and imprisoned for life. Maurice's horse runs into town to Belle, who subsequently heads out into the forest and finds her father locked in the castle dungeon. Then, as things work out, Belle takes her father's place, which sends Maurice back into town to warn people of the Beast's castle. Nobody believes him. As we all know, the household objects sing and all that stuff. I was surprised by some of the casting. Ian McKellen voices Cogsworth, the mantel clock; Ewan McGregor voices Lumiere, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci voices the hapsichord; Audra McDonald is the flamboyant wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw is now a feather duster after being transformed from a maid; and Emma Thompson voices Mrs. Potts, the housekeeper who has been transformed into a teapot. These were all good casting choices. Eventually, someone does listen to Maurice's tale about the castle, and it's Gaston. Along with Gaston's sidekick LeFou (Josh Gad), they will head out into the forest to find this castle, prove that there really is a beast, and Gaston can win Belle's hand in marriage! Or so he thinks.

The largest complaint I had throughout the film was something I've already addressed, it is the lack of originality. I find it quite amusing that this is the way Bill Condon wanted it. He has said that it was Disney's idea to make a different story out of things, but he said no, and I think that wasn't the best decision in the world for my entertainment value. At the box office though, there's no denying this was the correct decision and what people really wanted. I've harped on the subject of originality many times before, but that's what I'm most interested in when it comes to a film, even one like this. I gave Mary Poppins Returns a higher score than I'll give this because of that originality, but to say it is lacking here would be an understatement. There is nothing original about this at all. The visuals are great, yes, but I didn't find anything original about them either. If I will give praise to one aspect of the film, it's that the performances of "Be Our Guest" and "The Mob Song" are quite a bit better. The latter was my favorite part when I was a kid, and I think saying that a song about killing the Beast was my favorite part is very morbid. It's true though.

Of course, a film like this one falls apart if Belle isn't perfectly cast, and yes, Emma Watson is very well cast here. There are deeper issues though. Luke Evans doesn't make a good Gaston because he isn't burly enough, that's something more suited to a muscle man like Dave Bautista. Seriously, it is. No idea if the guy can sing though. I felt myself tuning out a little bit due to the lack of originality in each scene, which is bothersome. I would be remiss if I never brought up the LeFou being gay subplot, but I think that's totally stupid as well. There's nothing to that, and for the director to play on that as a selling point for the film is totally lazy. There's nothing there and that's not what the story is about. In any case, I think being faithful to the source material is a problem for my tastes, but everyone's different. Another final issue worth mentioning, is that the animated version of this story is very dark for a kid's movie. That's not the case here either, so I genuinely think the director missed the point entirely. There are a ton of people who disagree with me, but I'm not one to follow the pack. Even though this is a decent film, there's something about it that just doesn't sit right with me. It's all the things I already mentioned, but there's also something I can't quite put my finger on. I'm not sure if it's a lack of true inspiration or that so many of the things in Beauty and the Beast just don't feel like authentic storytelling. The film very heavily leans on the idea the viewer has seen this story before.

I realized just before posting this that there's something else I wanted to say, about this year's Aladdin remake. My expectations are very low, but I should point out from the trailer that there is a distinct feeling of originality that Beauty and the Beast is lacking. That doesn't mean the former film is going to be good, and I actually expect that it won't. But I daresay I may be more interested in it anyway because of the differences that seem more apparent in the marketing material. Of course, if tAladdin is just the same damn thing as the animated movie, I'm probably going to shit on it. The degree to which I'll shit on it, I don't really know, because I loved the original a lot more than I loved Beauty and the Beast. Time will tell.

6.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   The Big Sick
6.   Thor: Ragnarok
7.   Logan Lucky
8.   The Beguiled
9.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
10.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
11.   The Lost City of Z
12.   First They Killed My Father
13.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
14.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
15.   It
16.   Battle of the Sexes
17.   Okja
18.   Kong: Skull Island
19.   It Comes at Night
20.   Split
21.   1922
22.   Personal Shopper
23.   Chuck
24.   Atomic Blonde
25.   Wheelman
26.   The Lego Batman Movie
27.   Megan Leavey
28.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
29.   American Made
30.   Beauty and the Beast
31.   Imperial Dreams
32.   The Zookeeper's Wife
33.   Free Fire
34.   Win It All
35.   The Wall
36.   Breathe
37.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
38.   Alone in Berlin
39.   A United Kingdom
40.   Trespass Against Us
41.   The Mountain Between Us
42.   War Machine
43.   Happy Death Day
44.   Justice League
45.   To the Bone
46.   Wakefield
47.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
48.   Sand Castle
49.   CHiPs
50.   Death Note
51.   The Belko Experiment
52.   The Great Wall
53.   Fist Fight
54.   Wilson
55.   Queen of the Desert
56.   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 #1141 on: March 09, 2019, 07:07:24 PM »


Murder on the Orient Express (2017), directed by Kenneth Branagh

So, remakes of extremely famous adaptations of great novels. I don't really know what to think of that, but I think that in the case of Murder on the Orient Express, it was a wise decision to produce this film. That way, the producers would know if there was a greater appetite for Agatha Christie adaptations. As we now know, there is, and as a result there are probably going to be many more of these. Even though Murder on the Orient Express is not a particularly great film, said adaptations are quite welcome. There are very few murder mysteries made these days, even less of them set in a different period, and the setting for Death on the Nile is obviously a bit unique to Hollywood. I'm very happy with this. Now, that all being said, I think the quality of the films is going to have to improve at some point. This was simply the story everyone knew, but could the actors really add anything to the version everyone's aware of? Look at the difference in casts, and while this was a very strong cast, there's no comparison at all. The more familiar film featured Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, Albert Finney, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York, Jacqueline Bisset, and Anthony Perkins. That's major star power, and that's a cast. Hollywood can no longer truly do such a thing. So, with everything in mind, is it surprising that Kenneth Branagh was unable to create a film that was different from an adaptation that has already been remade many times? I should note that if you don't know the story, it's actually quite alright.

This is a film set in 1934, with Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) solving a theft in Jerusalem. I will leave out some of the details. After solving the case, he's given a message that tells him he needs to return to London for another case. In order to do so, he must travel to Istanbul and take a ride on the Orient Express, even though that isn't what he wants to do. His original intention is to travel to Istanbul for leisure, but his friend Bouc (Tom Bateman) is related to someone affiliated with the Orient Express line, and as such he can get a ticket on short notice. In the station in Istanbul, we are introduced to numerous characters. I will wait a while to get to that, but I'm stunned this film had a $55 million budget. It simply doesn't stand to reason. Once Poirot gets on the train, it's quite a long trip through snow all the way to London, a look at a map will tell you that. Another thing is that some of the passengers naturally take interest in Poirot because he's very noted around the world for solving these cases, something which Poirot finds to be a problem and a bit difficult to handle. His services are consistently in demand and it's hard to balance his life properly.

Now, the passengers. There are many of them, including Gerhard (Willem Dafoe), a Nazi who says a lot of bad shit; Princess Dragomiroff (Judi Dench), old European royalty who travels with her second, Hildegarde (Olivia Colman); Mary Debenham (Daisy Ridley) and her partner Dr. Arbuthnot (Leslie Odom Jr.), the latter of whom is the only black man on board; Pilar (Penelope Cruz), a newly religious individual; Marquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), a man just passing on through; Caroline (Michelle Pfeiffer), an older woman who seems to be interested in Poirot; and two members of royalty we hardly see, Count Rudolph Andrenyi (Sergei Polunin) and Countess Helena (Lucy Boynton). But, those are not the most nefarious people on this train. Those honors reside with Edward Ratchett (Johnny Depp) and Hector MacQueen (Josh Gad). They're accompanied by a man called Edward (Derek Jacobi), but his role here is not large. Hector is Ratchett's assistant, but Ratchett himself is messed up. Our first encounter with him is one where he attempts to hire Poirot as a bodyguard, pulling a gun on him because he's received threatening letters he doesn't know the origin of. That's not going to happen. The thing is, after some events that occur, an avalanche derails the train. Ratchett has already been a piece of shit to many people on board, and when everyone wakes up the next morning...he's dead. Now watch the movie or read the book.

It's hard to talk about something like this if you don't know the story, because it's the kind of thing that's easily spoiled, but the fact remains that this is a great story. This is also not an original presentation of the story, and there are ways which one could tell the story in a different fashion. You could, for example, update things to modern times and change stuff. Or tell the story in a different setting entire. But that seems to defeat the purpose of adapting something and it's a weird criticism. No, the film is not like the original, that much is clear. How could it be? This is a great cast but the talent level is lacking particularly among the male actors, there's no Sean Connery here. I don't have anything against anyone who participated in this production, but that is what it is. I also thought there was an instance of this film trading on your knowledge of these actors rather than creating cohesive characters for all of them. Some do and some don't, but the original film was 131 minutes and did not have the Jerusalem scene. I should also point out that I won't hold too much against the film because this is obviously a gateway production to something greater. Murder on the Orient Express is also ridiculously focused on Poirot to its detriment, but directors always do that when they feature in their own film.

The juice though, it's in the story and the mystery, and as long as the film has that, it's going to be alright. I think I would say it's alright, wouldn't go further than that. The cast needed to be utilized better, but I did appreciate the introductory scenes in Istanbul. If one pays attention, they can see some of the early building relationships, but I must admit that I did not see the conclusion coming. I will watch the original film at some point, but that probably won't be for a while. The real intrigue is in whether or not Death on the Nile is any good. If it isn't, then Branagh should step aside as the director and let someone else have a crack, because there really is a lot of potential here for a long running franchise. People miss stories like this, or even like Gone Girl, so when they're made, the general public is going to get hyped for them. I would ordinarily comment on the performances of the cast, but I found that there were too many characters in general and as a result too many people to mention. This is probably why the cast was attracted to the project, there weren't too many scenes each individual person would have to participate in. I did, however, really appreciate learning that Daisy Ridley could act. All I've seen her in is Star Wars, of course, but this was nice to see from her.

As always, if there are inconsistencies in my list relative to the scores I gave those movies, it's because I had time to think.

6/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   The Big Sick
6.   Thor: Ragnarok
7.   Logan Lucky
8.   The Beguiled
9.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
10.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
11.   The Lost City of Z
12.   First They Killed My Father
13.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
14.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
15.   It
16.   Battle of the Sexes
17.   Okja
18.   Kong: Skull Island
19.   It Comes at Night
20.   Split
21.   1922
22.   Personal Shopper
23.   Chuck
24.   Atomic Blonde
25.   Wheelman
26.   The Lego Batman Movie
27.   Megan Leavey
28.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
29.   American Made
30.   Beauty and the Beast
31.   Imperial Dreams
32.   Murder on the Orient Express
33.   The Zookeeper's Wife
34.   Free Fire
35.   Win It All
36.   The Wall
37.   Breathe
38.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
39.   Alone in Berlin
40.   A United Kingdom
41.   Trespass Against Us
42.   The Mountain Between Us
43.   War Machine
44.   Happy Death Day
45.   Justice League
46.   To the Bone
47.   Wakefield
48.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
49.   Sand Castle
50.   CHiPs
51.   Death Note
52.   The Belko Experiment
53.   The Great Wall
54.   Fist Fight
55.   Wilson
56.   Queen of the Desert
57.   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 #1142 on: March 10, 2019, 06:27:50 PM »
Hindi for half the film, subtitles



Lion (2016), directed by Garth Davis

Things have turned out so that I have numerous Best Picture nominees from the last few years to watch this month, and I had not yet made a dent in that list. I thought I should start off with the one that there was somewhat of a campaign against, so it was time to finally watch Lion. I also haven't watched a real feel good movie for some time, a lot of I've watched lately has been somewhat devastating. That is also somewhat the case with Lion, but doesn't last throughout the film. I must admit that I also felt a little dirty when I saw that Weinstein Company logo come on the screen when this began. That's something which really needs to be removed from these films, I don't care that his company made them, just get rid of it. It's a bad reminder. The story in Lion seems to ridiculous to be real, but it is real even though there's been some heavy detail editing in order to bring the story to screen. I am sure nobody wanted to make a film featuring Saroo eating out of a garbage can and going through severe struggle on a daily basis. Now, before I get into the meat of the film, and even though I thought this was a very good film, I must address the other elephant in the room. There is absolutely no way Lion should have been nominated for Best Picture. That was the reason I decided to watch this before the rest, because I was aware that was probably the case. I should have made a list for 2016, but it's way too late for that now. I'm not certain this would be in my top 25 and I'm still not done.

Lion is a tale of two stories about the same person, both of which are radically different stories with different casts. I will try not to spoil either one too much. Set in 1986, Saroo (Sunny Pawar) is a five year old who lives with his brother Guddu (Abishek Bharate), mom (Priyanka Bose), and much younger sister in Khandwa, India. Guddu and Saroo both get up to no good during the day, because that's what life in a third world country really is. They steal coal from freight trains so they can trade it for milk and food, this is not a good life at all. One day, Saroo insists on accompanying Guddu to the train station for a job that takes place at night, but Saroo is too tired to continue once they arrive. Guddu does not return, so Saroo gets on a train thinking that Guddu is there. Five year olds would do that. Saroo subsequently falls asleep, wakes up on it, and is trapped on the train for many days. Saroo then arrives in Kolkata, 1600 km away from his home, unable to speak Bengali. This sounds like the worst thing that could happen to a child. I will skip over some of the details to bring up that Saroo is entirely unable to find his family, nor is anyone able to find his family for him, and this leads to Saroo being sent to Australia to be adopted.

Upon arriving in Australia, Tasmania to be specific, Saroo meets his adoptive parents, John (David Wenham) and Sue (Nicole Kidman). We then flash forward 25 years, to Saroo (Dev Patel) as an adult, with his adoptive brother Mantosh (Divian Ladwa) having had major psychological problems after his adoption many years before. Saroo is moving to Melbourne to study hotel management, but Mantosh is absent at the going away dinner. Mantosh's problems have also given Sue health problems over the years, she is very worried about him. Upon arriving in Melbourne, Saroo starts a relationship with Lucy (Rooney Mara), a fellow student at his school. They are invited to a dinner at their Indian friend's house, which leads to a triggering emotion. After Saroo is clearly unable to eat with his hands and not used to the cuisine, he sees jalebi in their kitchen, a delicacy from his childhood in India. This brings back a flood of memories, which he tells his friends about. Their suggestion is to try this new thing people may be aware of, called Google Earth. See, Saroo had a tenuous grasp on Hindi when he was 5, no ability to read, didn't know where he came from in the first place, but he knew which train station he wound up in once he arrived in Kolkata. From there, he could find out where he came from, but what about the things he doesn't know, what he doesn't remember?

I tried hard not to reveal too much about either part of the film, but the stories are very different. They're different to the point where one is clearly much better than the other as well, and it doesn't take a genius to realize which one of those two stories it is. The first, with newcomer actors, and faces I'm not familiar with, in a foreign language, focusing on a kid getting separated from his family...nothing is really going to match that part of the film. Danny Boyle was able to weave three narratives together in Slumdog Millionaire, but there's nothing woven in here, instead they are entirely separated from each other, which leads to a natural comparison. Not everyone has the skill Danny Boyle has though. The films are also very similar and not just because they're about India and feature Dev Patel. I don't think everyone's seen Slumdog Millionaire, but the main character's mother is killed in a pogrom, which leads to the child being abandoned. So those are similarities, and I think the fact is that those stories of child abandonment do often feel very hard hitting. It seems that only good filmmakers have the balls to take those on. I would say that both aspects of the two films are equal, but Lion fails in that the story of Saroo attempting to find his family just doesn't match up.

I thought the performances in the film were strong, particularly that of Dev Patel, but back to the point of Saroo attempting his family, there are scenes there that aren't so good. I dare say the reunion scene with Saroo and his mother doesn't feel authentic. I'm sure a lot of people cried over it, but that was how I saw things. I thought it was more interesting when Saroo was trying to find himself during the process of these Google Earth searches. I don't think I'm a negative twat or anything like that, but I think a lot of people feel the same about the two stories feeling disjointed. Nicole Kidman's performance was similarly strong, I think a lot of people don't understand what it's like to be an adoptive mother. Even when the kids are horrible, a lot of adoptive mothers still feel the same ties as a biological mother. They chose to have the child after all, for most normal thinking people that is how it is. They are tied to the child for life. Even though the second half of the film isn't fantastic, her performance is. I also thought that there would have to be something wrong with you if you didn't feel anything during the first half of Lion, this is exactly what I watch films to see. The emotion derived from such stories is what it's all about.

Technically, I thought this was excellent, featuring great cinematography and a very strong score. The pictures of India are simultaneously beautiful and haunting, it's a country that we all know should be something more, but haunted by its past. Sometimes the things we see in these kinds of films bother me very deeply, this is no exception. This feeling, like it or not, also does make the second half of a disjointed story difficult to pay attention to. There's a large gap between great and good here, it's a tale of two halves. The finale, as already alluded to, not only didn't feel authentic but felt like hokum. I already said this shouldn't have been nominated for Best Picture and that's true, but I think the finale is also the reason it was nominated for Best Picture. Just look at how Green Book won this year. Awards voters love that stuff, bottom line. Still, the things that open the story, even though this doesn't go to the depths that Slumdog Millionaire does in showing how bad life is for impoverished children, those moments are very heavy and I think the film should have been more focused on them. The journey is a greater story than that of someone who learns something and feels like they no longer belong, in my opinion.

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 #1143 on: March 11, 2019, 06:27:20 PM »
Danish and German, subtitles



Land of Mine (2016), directed by Martin Zandvliet

As I've said before, I need to watch one foreign film a month. Land of Mine makes two, and I have another that makes three. Some claim that this is a film that has gross historical inaccuracy in that supposedly Danish officers did not command German soldiers to remove landmines in the way it is done so in this film. A lot of Danish historians were angry about this because German sergeants led the work of clearing these land mines, but I must be honest, I do not really see the difference. Anyway, now you know what this is about. Land of Mine was submitted to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Oscars, and it was nominated for the award as well. The film ultimately lost out to The Salesman, and although by no means will I ever watch all these submissions, there are some I do very much want to watch. Land of Mine is not quite as strong an offering as The Salesman, but it's pretty good anyway. I'll stay out of the part related to whether or not these kinds of things happened exactly as stated, I just don't know. What I will say is that the director made this film to point out that there were mistakes made in the past by all countries, and he makes a good point. I also believe the same as him that we have not learned from these things. Another thing I would like to say before I started is that I'm glad Sony Pictures Classics picks up films like this. I'd never watch it otherwise.

After Denmark was liberated from German occupation in May 1945, the Wehrmacht was to evacuate the country. They were defeated. The film begins with a Danish sergeant, Carl Leopold Rasmussen (Ronald Moller), coming across a German POW who he believes looks at him funny. Not good for that POW. He punches that guy in the face over and over, and when another German asks him to stop, that guy gets messed up too. Afterwards, a group of young Germans are handed over to the Danish army and trained in the art of defusing land mines, not something that anyone wants to do. Danish Captain Jensen (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard) is responsible for training these kids, and he decides to do it the very harsh way. He smacks them on the hands with a stick when he thinks they'd kill themselves, this is a harsh training. Once, when they're defusing live land mines, they are sent into a room. Jensen believes many of them will kill themselves, but in fact it's the one he least expects that blows himself up. I should mention in this paragraph that the reason Germans were removing these land mines was because they were placed on the west coast of Denmark, facing the North Sea. It was believed that there could be a British invasion, so it was decided to make sure. Thousands of land mines were placed on the beaches, and nobody wanted good Danish boys to remove them. So, German slave labor.

In case you didn't understand the point, the Danish really fucking hate the Germans. We learn after the explosion scene that Rasmussen is in fact going to be in charge of these land mine removals. The neighboring farm hates Germans, but nowhere near as much as him. These kids are told that nobody will feel sorry for them, certainly not Rasmussen. Some of them become prominent enough to recognize by face, and all of them are stripped of rank. Sebastian Schumann (Louis Hofmann) effectively becomes their leader, and he's the only one that Rasmussen seems to want to talk to at the start of this work. Helmut (Joel Basman) was seemingly the highest ranking of these individuals, but that doesn't matter anymore. I'm also just guessing. Ludvig (Oskar Bokelmann) seems to be the oldest, and some of the others are practically children. Ernst (Emil Belton) and Werner (Oskar Belton) are twins, they probably haven't even shaved yet. Sebastian tries to discuss plans for when they finish their work, but Helmut doesn't want to hear any of that shit because he thinks they'll die. There are a few major issues as it relates to this work. The POWs are not given food because there isn't enough to go around, so they must starve. The most major issue though, is that the work is very dangerous. Wilhelm (Leon Seidel) is starving like the rest, to the point of vomiting repeatedly while out in the field. One of the times he does, his arms are blown off. This will not be the only time someone explodes, but time will tell if Rasmussen can keep his mettle in a country that is very fervently anti-German. His superiors even more than him.

Land of Mine is effective in that it doesn't tell us what these young men did before defusing the land mines, so we don't know what they did in Denmark prior to their capture. This is the wise choice, there is no reason to automatically feel sorry for them or to prejudge them based on actions that took place in war. War is bad. You could conversely say that their participation in war is bad enough and that's your right. The fact remains that some of the people shown here probably barely grew hair on their balls. This is not a true story based on someone's recollection of matters, but a dramatization of what happened on the west coast of Denmark. Half of the POWs who performed this task died, it was extremely dangerous work. I don't think I need to describe it, but if you want to know, just check out the film. The point is that war is fucking bad, and the act of dropping those land mines is going to have victims regardless of whether or not there's an invading force. I don't believe in war in general, but these are tools that should be banned. The Ottawa treaty has not done so becasue countries like ours do not participate.

Land of Mine itself, well, it's almost a great film. There are limitations with the story, but the tense moments here are very tense. Given the framing of these German soldiers, it is hard not to feel something when they're going to defuse these mines. One of the film's weaknesses is that some of the German POWs are difficult to differentiate from one another and simply blend in with the pack. Nothing here feels like an attempt to mine (no pun intended, I swear) for sympathy, the events feel authentic and this story is told very well. The ending is also very goddamn effective, and for that matter so is the rest. The characters are naturally sympathetic though. Rasmussen's anger is borne from things that happened during the war, the POWs are kids who were effectively drafted in at the end of the war. It is also easy to understand why Rasmussen wouldn't give a shit about them. Land of Mine is nicely short, it tells its story in a rather quick manner, towards the end I'd lost track of time and was surprised the film was concluding. That rarely happens with me. Some of the explosions are also very gory, this is not a film for the faint hearted. Neither is war. I think I shouldn't judge whether or not this is a film that merited Oscar nomination, because I'm not going to ever get to that point of watching all its competition, but this is a very strong, raw film. What I would say is that I can see why this got picked up for distribution in this country, and that any film which makes me audibly gasp "NO", those are the films worth watching.

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 #1144 on: March 12, 2019, 06:15:36 PM »


Life (2017), directed by Daniel Espinosa

When watching a film like 2017's Life, I have the grand total of one hope heading into it. It's that the derivative nature of such a film is kept to a minimum, replaced with some element of originality or something that derives material from lesser known works. That's something Life does not do, sad to say. When this film was released, I was thinking about how it's impossible for a film with these actors to deserve such mixed reviews, but a lot of time has passed since then. I now know exactly how that happens. When a film does have mixed reviews, oftentimes some people thought it was really good or really bad. In this case, the reviews are similar to my thoughts. This is a very average film. The question I was pondering at the end of Life was which side of average I thought the film landed on. A film so similar to Alien needs to do a lot of work to land above that positive side of average, but I thought this was merely alright. These kinds of films rely entirely on the characters being stupid as fuck, but I would like to know about one of these stories where they weren't. I'm sure one exists somewhere, I must find it, but in any case I thought Life was a film that could have been better, but featured some strong visual effects and a nice ending.

Set sometime in the future, an unmanned space probe returns from Mars to Earth orbit with samples of soil that potential contain evidence of life on Mars. This probe has run into space debris at some point, which leads to it very slightly going off course. In one neat scene, we're shown the crew on the International Space Station capturing the probe with a robotic arm. The crew itself consists of the commander, Ekaterina Golovkina (Olga Dihovichnaya); the exobiologist responsible for dealing with the Martian life form, Dr. Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare); systems engineer, Sho Murakami (Hiroyuki Sanada); the engineer and repairman responsible for capturing the space probe returning from Mars, Rory Adams (Ryan Reynolds); the quarantine officer, Dr. Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson); and lastly the medical officer, Dr. David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal). Among this group, two are American, two are British, one is Japanese, and one is Russian. They all get along quite well. Dr. Hugh is paralyzed from the waist down, but this is not relevant in space. He takes a cell from the sample that came from Mars, and learns that it very quickly grows into a multicellular organism. On a video conference with Earth, a school is chosen to name this thing, and the name of Calvin is chosen.

Calvin is a strange creature, and this is an experiment, nobody knows how the organism will react to anything. One day, there's an accident in the lab that leads to Calvin becoming dormant, not moving at all. Everyone onboard is displeased by this, Hugh of course being bothered the most, but eventually everyone gets the heart to push on. They have no idea what the accident will have done to Calvin. It turns out that Calvin is now very hostile. Hugh attempts to revive the creature with electric shocks, but it attacks Hugh and crushes his right hands into bits. Calvin is also much more intelligent than it would seem. Hugh had placed the sharp electric shock tool in the enclosure, this was not a good idea. Calvin subsequently stabs through the gloves and is able to escape his glass cage, which leads to the creature also devouring a lab rat. This event leads to Calvin growing massively in size, eventually resembling an octopod or something similar. Rory decides that he needs to get into the lab, even though that breaks quarantine. If he doesn't, this thing will kill Hugh. He does not expect that David will lock him in the lab, but of course he will. They can't break quarantine. I will not spoil what happens specifically, but during this lab encounter, someone fucking dies. Badly. And Calvin gets out, growing in size by the minute, devouring any liquid it can.

This is, of course, very similar to Alien. You just need to watch Life to realize that, and once I did, which was about thirty minutes into the film, that was pretty much that. At that point, I was hoping for big effects shots and crazy deaths, and that's what I got. Make no mistake, this film does fail to make any grand statement of any sort. Even though there's an obvious case of "this is what could happen if we found sentient life," nothing is really made of this at all. There are also some weird scenes at the beginning of the events that don't serve any purpose. Yes, Jake Gyllenhaal's character prefers being in space to being on the planet, but I don't think that really matters. I did think some of these scenes were effective though. The kills all work. The one with people on Earth rushing to give this crazy creature a name, that was perfect. Nobody even know what it was or what it could do, but we must relate to it somehow and the way to do so is by having children name it. The spacewalking is always nice. Unfortunately, the plot here just does not have any depth whatsoever. You probably know this instantly, it doesn't take a genius to figure that out. The way that Hugh is able to activate a hibernating piece of Martian life after discovering it is laughable. That seems like something which would take an extremely long time.

The film is unrealistic, but I think I've already said all I need to stay about that. I thought Life did have a pretty good score, it was one of the things keeping me fully engaged in the events. The cinematography and visual effects are very good, even though they aren't as good as in Gravity. The natural similarity between those films is that they feature scenes where elements of space stations are torn to pieces. Gravity is a much better technical achievement though, the effects are better and although the story is limited, it is also better. Even having an alien with tentacles killing people is not going to make Life a much better film, and in the end I'm left to think about everything that it wasn't. Being derivative is a huge sin, but I do think this is somewhat redeemed by how good the ending is. Ultimately, this is just a workmanlike film. I don't want to give it a bad score because in my book, anything under a 6/60 would be a failing grade. This isn't a bad film, it's just too similar to ones that I've already seen, and there are so many more like it. I also have my own baseline film for the margin something like this would have to clear. It did. There are too many good scenes for me to give Life a failing grade.

6/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   The Big Sick
6.   Thor: Ragnarok
7.   Logan Lucky
8.   The Beguiled
9.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
10.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
11.   The Lost City of Z
12.   First They Killed My Father
13.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
14.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
15.   It
16.   Battle of the Sexes
17.   Okja
18.   Kong: Skull Island
19.   It Comes at Night
20.   Split
21.   1922
22.   Personal Shopper
23.   Chuck
24.   Atomic Blonde
25.   Wheelman
26.   The Lego Batman Movie
27.   Megan Leavey
28.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
29.   American Made
30.   Beauty and the Beast
31.   Imperial Dreams
32.   Murder on the Orient Express
33.   The Zookeeper's Wife
34.   Free Fire
35.   Win It All
36.   The Wall
37.   Life
38.   Breathe
39.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
40.   Alone in Berlin
41.   A United Kingdom
42.   Trespass Against Us
43.   The Mountain Between Us
44.   War Machine
45.   Happy Death Day
46.   Justice League
47.   To the Bone
48.   Wakefield
49.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
50.   Sand Castle
51.   CHiPs
52.   Death Note
53.   The Belko Experiment
54.   The Great Wall
55.   Fist Fight
56.   Wilson
57.   Queen of the Desert
58.   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 #1145 on: March 14, 2019, 05:52:12 PM »


City of Ghosts (2017), directed by Matthew Heineman

After 2018's A Private War, I felt the need to understand why the director would want to make a movie about Marie Colvin so badly. It's also not just that as the reason I watched City of Ghosts, I needed to watch a documentary this month and inch forward with things I've seen from 2017. The question of why he would make a movie about Marie Colvin was answered, it was something we needed. I know that by every real standard, A Private War bombed very hard at the box office, but it was one of the best films from 2018. It ranks high on my list and nothing will really change that, but the subject matter is too heavy for a general audience. That's also the case with City of Ghosts, a documentary which ranks among the best I've seen. That's high praise, but bear in mind I haven't seen all that many. I think City of Ghosts is a comprehensive documentary about reporting in Syria and what happens when people have to flee, the kind which we really needed two years ago when this was released. The situation on the ground has changed since then. Assad has taken back control, ISIS is nearly defeated, but as City of Ghosts points out, ISIS is merely an idea. The group may die but the idea will not, this is something that is going to continue on for some time. What I also thought as this documentary was coming to a conclusion was that I was really glad to have been born here, it is things such as this that make me appreciate my life a lot more.

City of Ghosts is about Raqqa, and specifically the activist group, Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently. The group was founded with the intention of publicizing atrocities committed by ISIS in Raqqa, after ISIS had attempted to cover some of these things up. Inevitably ISIS started creating their own videos, but there are many things those videos do not talk about. RBSS was started to ensure that the West is aware of these things. RBSS was founded by 17 Syrians, and when ISIS moved into Raqqa, the group started secretly posting information about ISIS. According to an RBSS member, they posted a lot of videos of crucifixions and executions, which is what really got things moving along. ISIS did not like this, and they started a campaign to assassinate the individuals who were feeding RBSS their information, as well as kill RBSS members who lived outside of the country. It turns out that ISIS was moderately successful in killing some members, doing so in broad daylight over in Turkey. However, the organization will push on, and nothing will stop them, not even threat of death or in some cases actual death. There are two brothers here who saw a video of their father and older brother being executed by ISIS as a consequence of their reporting on these atrocities. As far as a documentary carrying weight goes, I don't even know what to say about that. That's so sad.

Of course, a documentary featuring so much ISIS related material is going to have some real gory things in it, so you're well warned of that should you choose to turn this on after reading my review. I thought that Matthew Heineman was very adept in ensuring none of these things felt like they were being drawn out for shock effect, but more than that, it's the story of the group that really wins out. Whether they go from Raqqa to Turkey, to Germany, to New York City, back to Germany, you really feel their plight. There's an intelligent inclusion of an anti-refugee rally in Berlin, so if you think the Germans really banned Nazi shit, you can just think again with that. That trope should be dead to anyone if they've seen this. I think City of Ghosts is so incredibly effective in telling its story, and if you haven't seen any of those Islamic State propaganda films, they are in this. I found them to be upsetting and I know that was the purpose, sometimes it hits too hard, but again, that's the point. There are enough talking points where I could go through this for a very, very long time, but I think I should describe the film instead of doing that. I honestly don't know why anyone here wouldn't watch this, I know some of you care about this subject.

I thought it was important to watch this film after what happened in Christchurch today. I can't really explain my logic, but I thought there was a parallel between what ISIS did to people and what shooters do when they randomly walk into a place of worship and kill a lot of people. What films like this do, for me anyway, is paint the correct picture in showing that people are all the same. Some have been brainwashed, yes, that is true, but at a base human level, we are all the same. I do not understand why things have to be this way, and truly I'll never understand, but I have immense appreciation for those who break stories about conflict zones. It's an unbelievably difficult and ultimately underappreciated job, but the impact of this job on our subjects is shown at multiple times in a movie. There is nothing more a documentary can give than to show you a clip of a son watching an ISIS propaganda film where his father is shot in the head. For what it's worth, this wasn't grief exploitation, in fact the son said that he watched this all the time for motivation and because he couldn't not watch it. That's the kind of thing I can't really understand, something foreign to me, and I have great appreciation for people who tell these stories knowing that something like this could happen to them. The fact is that we need those stories, so I perfectly understand now why Matthew Heineman would go on to direct A Private War.

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 #1146 on: March 16, 2019, 05:27:22 AM »


Fences (2016), directed by Denzel Washington

So, adaptations of plays. I'm not a play person and I have never went to see one, much less one that was made for Broadway as Fences. It seems that people have what I'd consider to be a surprisingly mixed reaction to this story. It seems that I'm on the extreme end of positivity, but the Academy did nominate Fences for Best Picture, so I'm going to stick with what I think. Fences is obviously an adaptation of a play, directed by one of the best actors ever, also featuring that same actor putting on arguably the best performance of his career. If you care about this sort of thing, yes, he has had practice and time to refine his performance in this role, but I don't think that really matters. What transfers over to the screen is spectacular, even though there's a third act that really tapers off. I haven't watched a Denzel Washington film in a while, I thought this was the right time to do so. Once I watch Silence, I believe that's everything most people thought should be nominated for Best Picture. If that isn't, then I have more work to go, but I'm going to move on to 2017 in full. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but anyway, I just wanted to explain myself. In any case, I can think of only a few films from 2016 that I liked more than this one, Moonlight chiefly among them. This was a great cast doing their thing.

Fences is set in 1950s Pittsburgh, where Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) lives with his wife Rose (Viola Davis) and their son Cory (Jovan Adepo), with Troy working as a trash collector riding on the back of a truck. Troy rides the truck with his best friend, Mr. Bono (Stephen McKinley Henderson), and they've apparently been friends for a very long time. You learn how and why they became friends at some point in the film, I will not reveal how. Troy has a younger brother, Gabriel (Mykelti Williamson), and Gabriel suffered a head injury during World War II that left him very mentally impaired. He received a $3,000 government payout, but he was unable to use it, and Troy used the payout to purchase a home for his family. Gabriel was living with him and instead decided to move out. Due to Gabriel's problems, in addition to Gabriel being black, this leads to him getting in trouble with the police. Troy is unable to keep Gabe at his house, and I'm not sure he wanted to anyway, so this situation is what it is. He wanted Gabe to keep his freedom, and that happened, but that cost Troy a lot of his money.

I'm not going to explain what the deal is exactly with Troy, it's better to not know and watch the film to find out. However, some of this needs to be mentioned. Troy was a baseball player in the Negro Leagues, he was never able to make it to Major League Baseball. He was too old by the point at which Jackie Robinson came along. Troy also claims to have faced the Grim Reaper in his youth, this allowed him to survive pnuemonia. The thing you have to understand about Troy is, he's a classic bullshitter. Troy also has a son from a previous relationship, his name is Lyons (Russell Hornsby), and he visits Troy every payday to borrow money from him. This makes Troy very upset because Troy believes a real man takes responsibility for himself and provides for his own family. There's another issue as well, this one with Cory, and Cory is trying to play college football. Troy's not okay with this, he believes that black people are only on these teams to get screwed over, and that Cory will not get a real chance. He also obviously does not want Cory to fail and will not allow him to see a recruiter that would allow him to play college football unless Cory completes some very specific tasks. The long and short of it is, he wants his two sons to be what he thinks a real man is, he wants to have things going on right at home, and he wants everything to be his way. You know how it works with control freaks like that? It's never always their way.

Denzel Washington's electric performance carries this film very far, but this is also an achievement in script writing. The two in combination with each other make for something great, but Fences is a film that repeatedly features actors stealing scenes and making the most of the work they're given. This isn't an achievement of cinematography or of set design or anything like that, this seemed to have been done in a very minimalist way. I thought the story was enthralling as a whole, but the third act simply wasn't as good as the rest. There's a reason for that and I don't want to say why, you'd have to watch the film. I could not more strongly recommend that you watch this film. There's lots of commentary on the time, but the story does an excellent job of wrapping everyone up into it. I was thinking about so many things when I went to write this review, but I'm left without an ability to actually paint a picture of the film to my liking. There are the usual classic scenes where Denzel Washington decides to go full bore into ranting at an invisible object, and these do seem a little out of place at times, but they're also scenes made for him to show the full capabilities of his acting prowess. I thought Viola Davis was nearly as good, but her role is more limited. Regardless of that, this is a film where these two effectively spend their entire time acting in and around one little house.

This is a great drama, even if it doesn't bring anything truly unique to the table. The monologues Denzel Washington gives as Troy, particularly the ones targeting his son, those are too good. Viola Davis has a few that are just as good, one of which made me actually clap like a fool. I watched Fences last night, but I still feel 12 hours later that the film is just as good as I thought once it ended, and that's also a big achievement. Many times I do not feel that way, but I write my reviews so quickly after viewing a film to ensure that I do not forget the events in it. Registering at 134 minutes before the credit, Fences is quite a long movie, but it's one with some good moral lessons. Troy Maxson is a picture of someone who had a bad father, so many people who had bad fathers turn out like this, particularly in that era when it was a more commonly held practice to treat your sons this way. Of course, if someone is familiar with the play, this could be a huge nothing to them and they may find nothing great about this at all. On the other hand, I find that cinema really lacks in telling these kinds of stories about black people, even to this day. This seems to be getting better and better, but it's something that always sticks in my mind. Hollywood has to get better than offering one or two strong films featuring black people in one given year. Even more than that, people need to watch movies that don't feature guns and ridiculous special effects. Good luck with that.

9/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #1147 on: March 16, 2019, 05:12:43 PM »


Sleight (2017), directed by J.D. Dillard

It's back to the first time feature film well once again, something that is becoming a staple in these reviews. First time films have fresh ideas and Sleight is no exception to that, and this featured a lot of things I wasn't quite expecting. However, at the same time, this does have a lot of the same things I've watched in other movies. Kid living in Los Angeles with parents who are gone, and he's left to take care of his younger sibling. I've seen this story a lot, but I watch a lot of material and this is merely a case of me becoming fatigued due to seeing it so much. With that in mind, I think this is an interesting concept, but we really needed more scenes of the lead character doing magic. Due to how short this film was, my review will also be short, and I must reiterate that this is a movie that needs more magic. Have I made that clear yet? There's some quality here, but ultimately I'm left thinking about the things this film could have had and didn't have. It's still an achievement though, you try making a film with $250,000. That shit is hard.

Bo (Jacob Latimore) is a young street magician who has been fucked over after his parents died, of course none of that is anyone's fault. Bad things happen to people. Bo has turned to selling drugs in order to keep a roof over his and his sister Tina's (Storm Reid) heads. He doesn't have a choice, there's no other way for him to make money and put food on the table. He does have a neighbor who helps him out, her name is Georgi (Sasheer Zamata), and without her, I'm not sure what this kid would be doing. In the day, Bo performs magic tricks, he is able to somehow control metal things and keep them floating in the air. He has done this because he has an electromagnet implanted in his arm, I don't understand how this happened or even if it's actually possible. There's some backstory to this, but it appears that he controls this device with his fingers and thumb, with the battery running to his thumb. Again, I don't know how this is possible. In the process of doing these magic tricks, he eventually meets Holly (Seychelle Gabriel), who becomes his girlfriend. Holly has her own problems, it appears that she is abused by one of her parents, whom she lives with.

At night, Bo does a lot of other, very illegal shit that I have already alluded to. He sells cocaine and ecstasy, and Angelo (Dule Hill) is his supplier. I don't know why Angelo became his supplier or how, there's not a lot of character depth as far as that goes. Unfortunately, at the time in which the events of this movie occur, someone new has came on the scene and started selling drugs in Bo's spot. Angelo isn't going to tolerate this, he wants Bo to find this guy. So, Bo uses his ability to do magic tricks to find out who the supplier is. Going to leave it at that. Angelo also has Bo do worse things than sell drugs, I will also not divulge what those are. Eventually, this leads to Bo doing something very dumb. He doesn't want to sell drugs anymore, in fact he wants to leave Los Angeles behind and take his sister with him. His idea is to cut a kilo of coke into two, this is not a wise decision. The possibility this gets back to Angelo is strong, and keep in mind that Bo is just a kid. He's incapable of doing anything should he get in trouble, and that thing in his arm is infected.

I think this is simply a solid film, and I'm appreciative of the effort to the point where I don't want to critique. This is a neat take on superhero stuff, with our lead character having the ability to do that and nobody knowing about the magnet inside of his arm. I don't know if this is realistic or not, I assume that it isn't and I don't understand how that could ever work. The conclusion of the film is nice though, and it's weird to see Dule Hill playing a bad guy and cursing up a storm. That's weird casting. The script and the ingenuity has kept the film from being merely ordinary, and there are some good ideas here. Realism is not something we always need, but I'm a bit shocked by the level of special effects considering this film was nearly budgetless. As I said, this would be short, but I think there's also some good commentary on what happens to people who lose their parents. Society does not account for when that happens to young people.

6/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   The Big Sick
6.   Thor: Ragnarok
7.   Logan Lucky
8.   The Beguiled
9.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
10.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
11.   The Lost City of Z
12.   First They Killed My Father
13.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
14.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
15.   It
16.   Battle of the Sexes
17.   Okja
18.   Kong: Skull Island
19.   It Comes at Night
20.   Split
21.   1922
22.   Personal Shopper
23.   Chuck
24.   Atomic Blonde
25.   Wheelman
26.   The Lego Batman Movie
27.   Megan Leavey
28.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
29.   American Made
30.   Beauty and the Beast
31.   Imperial Dreams
32.   Murder on the Orient Express
33.   The Zookeeper's Wife
34.   Free Fire
35.   Win It All
36.   The Wall
37.   Life
38.   Breathe
39.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
40.   Sleight
41.   Alone in Berlin
42.   A United Kingdom
43.   Trespass Against Us
44.   The Mountain Between Us
45.   War Machine
46.   Happy Death Day
47.   Justice League
48.   To the Bone
49.   Wakefield
50.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
51.   Sand Castle
52.   CHiPs
53.   Death Note
54.   The Belko Experiment
55.   The Great Wall
56.   Fist Fight
57.   Wilson
58.   Queen of the Desert
59.   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 #1148 on: March 17, 2019, 06:34:14 PM »


Silence (2016), directed by Martin Scorsese

Many times recently I have had very long films listed to watch, but it nearly always turns out that I don't have the time or willpower to actually go through with doing so. It turns out Silence is a big exception to that, but I always knew it was going to be. I simply could not go without ever watching Martin Scorsese's passion project, what kind of person would I be? This is an adaptation of a novel, and it has already been adapted before, but I'm not sure if the Japanese adaptation was any good. The novel must be really damn good or it wouldn't be adapted twice, that's the way I look at it. Martin Scorsese is seemingly obsessed with the idea of people struggling with their faith, and this has to be because he has done so himself. How wouldn't that be the case? Anyway, I have read that the budget was tight enough that many people were forced to work for scale, and I can see how that was. The locations in Silence are numerous, there's a large cast, a massive amount of extras, and there's amazing cinematography that required some incredible capabilities. I wish I'd seen this in theaters, but I'm not surprised that a film with this subject matter and length bombed at the box office. What really gets me is that this wasn't nominated for any Academy Awards. The fuck? This is so much more worthy of nominations than many different productions, I do not understand. I also realize that with this, I've watched nearly everything that got an Oscar nomination for the 2017 show in an important category. Wow! I should say that the foreign language and documentary categories are important, because they are, but there's just a few entries in both of those that I haven't seen. Still though. Wow!

Silence begins in similar fashion to many of Scorsese's works, with a scene establishing the following events. This one is a prologue where we see a Portuguese priest named Cristovao Ferreira (Liam Neeson) witnessing the torture and death of five missionaries in Japan. Ferreira is helpless to stop this, and Japanese authorities are eager to partake. A minor history lesson is needed, this was a response to the Shimabara Rebellion. Some local Japanese Catholics had decided to rebel against the shogunate, and it was decided by Japan to drive out Catholicism because they thought Europeans had spread the fires of rebellion. A few years later in Macau, an Italian priest named Valignano (Ciaran Hinds) has received word that Ferreira has committed apostasy over in Japan after being tortured himself. Ferreira had tutored two priests, Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Garupe (Adam Driver). The two Portuguese absolutely refuse to believe that this is true, they know their mentor would never have apostatized. These Jesuits believe they need to make their way to Japan and find news of him or find him, and Valignano agrees to their request. First, they need to find someone in Macau who is from Japan so they can do a moderate translation as the priests do not know the language, Their man is Kichijiro (Yosuke Kubozuka), a drunk who the priests cannot trust, but ultimately they are powerless to do anything else.

When Rodrigues and Garupe arrive in Japan, it is at a village called Tomogi. Christians are no longer allowed into Japan nor are people allowed to practice Christianity, with everyone living in fear of the Inquisitor (Issei Ogata). Kichijiro takes it upon himself to go find Christians in the village, and in the end he finds a group of them who subsequently lead the priests to a safe house up in the mountains. The priests are told to stay hidden during the day, but at night they come down and minister to the people in the village. The village leader is a man named Ichizo (Yoshi Oida), and Mokichi (Shinya Tsukamoto) is another who are very, deeply Christian. They tell the priests that they've needed a priest for so long, and eventually the Jesuits become a necessary part of the village. Persecution, however, has run rampant. It is pictured above. The villagers are not able to keep any relics, nor a Bible, and we get to see what happens if someone does. Kichijiro has his own story, but you should watch the movie. Eventually, as you might suspect, the Inquisitor does come to Tomogi. It was going to come out that there were priests in the village, that was inevitable. Here is what the Inquisitor wants. He will give out silver to anyone who has information on Christians, because he was told there were Christians in the village. He also wants four hostages, and they must pass a trial in order for him to believe that these four villagers are not Christians. They must spit on a Cross, say that the Virgin Mary is a whore, and only then will he really believe them. If they don't do it? See above.

There are very few films of this length that are consistently intriguing throughout, but even less of them seem to carry real emotional weight. There are some questions I have about Silence, particularly related to Kichijiro, because I don't understand how he lives for so long. I'm not surprised that people didn't want to watch this. It's a story that critiques religion and at the same time leans into it, this is an incredible film. There's no other way to put it and in some ways I'm left without words. The harshness of the atmosphere was truly amazing, the priests invading a very cruel and tough land. Taiwan was a great stand-in for coastal Japan, finding these locales was an excellent piece of filmmaking. These backgrounds serve to establish the priests as entering hostile ground, with some yearning for hope but others unaccepting of their ideas. The start of the film does get a little bogged down, but these scenes only serve to give the film more power as it continues, one builds to the next and the conclusion of the film is everything I wanted it to be. If you don't have any feelings while watching this, I really don't know what to say. The scenes where people are persecuted are very difficult to watch, and there are a lot of them, Silence is not a film for the faint-hearted.

I thought Silence was a film with a strange existential dilemma, with our priests being Portuguese yet them not speaking the language. Sometimes Portuguese comes up and sometimes it doesn't, but this is weird and probably the only reason I'm not giving this a perfect score. The language thing is merely a distraction though, I thought Garfield and Driver gave spectacular performances. So did the Inquisitor for that matter, but I have seen some complaining about the "villains" in this film being Japanese. Villain is of course a very relative term, and in any case you can't change history. Stories about whether or not someone is going to doom other people to death as a result of their own beliefs, there just aren't very many of those. Of course, there is also always the lurking question of what will happen if or when they find Ferreira. Did Ferreira truly apostatize, or is he dead? This is something else one must watch the film to find out. These scenes carry so much wait, but I can see that if someone is disengaged from the story after about 20 minutes, there is no reason on Earth to continue watching this. I imagine that it would only get worse if that's how one felt.

I'm not familiar with other films like this one, including Scorsese's other efforts, as I just haven't watched them before. Silence is a truly great film though. I know why people have a hesitancy to watch long films, but when they're this good, there's something to be lost if you don't watch it. One thing that was coming to mind, is what someone would think if they believe negative things about the Catholic Church in the first place? This kind of thing, it's answered in the film. I assure you of that. There's one thing I know, I have to keep going to the theater this often because I cannot wind up missing out on something else like this. Considering I'm basically done with 2016 other than some random tracking back in the future, I'm left stunned that this film was not given any amount of true recognition. It just doesn't make sense to me, and this is better than so many other films. I repeat, so many other films. I was left with some questions abuot my own place in the universe after watching this, I don't have the answers to them and I will probably be thinking of them for a long time. I was surprised that this film actually bothered to explain the Japanese point of view, but that's probably why it was so long in the first place. I really appreciate that it was.

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 #1149 on: March 18, 2019, 05:50:36 PM »


Snatched (2017), directed by Jonathan Levine

I had a pretty shitty day, so I thought that the best way to deal with that was by throwing on some trash tonight. Snatched is certainly trash, but it's also the first Amy Schumer movie or television program that I've watched. How is this possible? That's simple, you just be like me and don't pay attention to shit. Eventually, I'll probably watch a lot more even though I know this is trash, but make no mistake my hopes were not high. I wanted to laugh at some stupid things, and for the most part that's what happened, although said laughs were few and far between. My expectation was that having Goldie Hawn in this would level things out a little bit, but I'm not cool with the kind of brownphobia that exists in Snatched. There's so much of it, it's prevalent throughout the opening of the film as well as the parts that are actually important, I'm just not cool with that. That being said, if you want to see Amy Schumer's nips, this just might be the film for you! In reality though, you should steer clear. Steer very, very clear of this mess.

Snatched focuses on Emily, a woman who works in a clothing store at the start of the film, but is fired for vapid, poor behavior. She is also dumped by her boyfriend not long after that, but she has a trip for two to Ecuador that she's unable to get a refund for. Nothing's going to stop Emily from going on her vacation, so inevitably, she turns to her mother, Linda (Goldie Hawn). Linda does not want to go to Ecuador, she just wants Emily to move on from her failed relationship. Emily has a brother, Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz), and he stays inside all the time so he definitely isn't going on a trip. In the end, it turns out that nobody else will go, and that Linda is very afraid of foreign countries. All I could think about this shit, was fucking hell. It's coastal Ecuador, who wouldn't want to go there? What's wrong with you? Anyway, with that out of the way, Linda does agree to come along and off they go.

There's no padding in any of these scenes, they come very quickly and the film is quite short as a result of this. Upon arriving at their hotel in Ecuador, Emily meets a man named James (Tom Bateman) at the bar, and they get their drink on. At the same time, Linda and Emily also meet Ruth (Wanda Sykes) and Barb (Joan Cusack), some weird people traveling to Ecuador as well. I don't know how to describe this shit. Anyway, Emily embarrasses herself repeatedly, but none of that matters. The reason? James takes Linda and Emily on a sightseeing trip, and during their trip, a white fan rams into James' car. This leads to Emily and Linda being abducted, and Linda is very certain that James was in on this the whole time. Anyway, the leader of these kidnappers is a generic villain called Hector Morgado (Oscar Jaenada), and he calls Jeffrey to demand $100,000 in ransom money. Jeffrey subsequently calls the State Department, coming in contact with Morgan Russell (Bashir Salahuddin), and it turns out that Morgan hates this guy's fucking guts. Anyway, the women are to be transported to Colombia, and who knows for what reason, but they are. That's that, they're kidnapped.

It's dififcult to know what to say about something like this, but the rampant anti-Latinx racism and the way this presented a picture of Ecuador being inherently unsafe, I felt like that was negative propaganda. Usually these kinds of films receive a fake country name or something like that, this one does not. I thought everything about this was so easy to dislike, bar the appearance of Christopher Meloni. I kept hoping for him to reappear and he didn't, so that was too bad. Amy Schumer's character is so easy to dislike, I find this incredible with all the backlash she's received over the last few years. It doesn't make any sense that she would play this role. She's a complete idiot, a typical basic bitch. That stuff is not funny. Goldie Hawn does have some good jokes, but there aren't all that many of them. I can't believe how short this film is and that it features absolutely nothing that sticks with me other than Meloni's character. I can't believe that. The caricature of Jeffrey, I did think that was a little funny too I must admit. With incels being what they are now, to see one on screen, it always gets some amusement out of me.

This film is also a mess, with things taking around 35 minutes to actually get to the point where Schumer and Hawn are kidnapped. I could not tell you why it took so long, but before I looked back up what felt like a few minutes later and matters were already coming to a conclusion. If that sounds like shit, that's because it is shit. Unfortunately, this is just missing absolutely everything that a film like this needs to have. The side characters have to be memorable and really need a chance to ham it up. The main characters have to be engaging in some way and one of them is not. The racism that seems to loom around this kind of film, particularly when it was made in 2017 when people were all well aware of these things, that's something that isn't good. The action scenes a film like this requires are also non-existent, so overall I am very confused by what I just watched. I really don't know how someone could become famous like Amy Schumer if this is what their material is like.

3.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Get Out
3.   Logan
4.   Wonder Woman
5.   The Big Sick
6.   Thor: Ragnarok
7.   Logan Lucky
8.   The Beguiled
9.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
10.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
11.   The Lost City of Z
12.   First They Killed My Father
13.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
14.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
15.   It
16.   Battle of the Sexes
17.   Okja
18.   Kong: Skull Island
19.   It Comes at Night
20.   Split
21.   1922
22.   Personal Shopper
23.   Chuck
24.   Atomic Blonde
25.   Wheelman
26.   The Lego Batman Movie
27.   Megan Leavey
28.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
29.   American Made
30.   Beauty and the Beast
31.   Imperial Dreams
32.   Murder on the Orient Express
33.   The Zookeeper's Wife
34.   Free Fire
35.   Win It All
36.   The Wall
37.   Life
38.   Breathe
39.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
40.   Sleight
41.   Alone in Berlin
42.   A United Kingdom
43.   Trespass Against Us
44.   The Mountain Between Us
45.   War Machine
46.   Happy Death Day
47.   Justice League
48.   To the Bone
49.   Wakefield
50.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
51.   Sand Castle
52.   CHiPs
53.   Death Note
54.   The Belko Experiment
55.   The Great Wall
56.   Fist Fight
57.   Snatched
58.   Wilson
59.   Queen of the Desert
60.   Sleepless


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