Author Topic: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers  (Read 3428 times)

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Online Firmino of the 909

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2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« on: January 10, 2019, 11:47:24 AM »


Escape Room (2019), directed by Adam Robitel

Escape Room was the first and so far only film released in 2019, and in some ways this is the perfect kind of film to ring in a new year. We needed a goofy horror movie to kick things off, and Escape Room is up to the task. I know that these films are similar to Saw as many people have said that already, but the thing is that I've never seen Saw. I can only assume that it's one of these kinds of puzzle movies. That seems like something that could be horribly repetitive after a while, but as it comes to Escape Room, such puzzles are seemingly sanitized and not given an R rating. That, I assume, is the difference between the two. I see that Escape Room has already made a hefty chunk of money compared to its budget, and seemingly there are a lot of reasons for that. The budget was quite low in the first place, I assume because of a lack of name actors. I only recognized one of them from True Blood. There were also just a handful of sets, some of which may or may not have been full of real things. I assume not, but even if so, this couldn't have been too expensive. One thing's for sure, this movie was designed to make money on a small budget. Sony will probably be very happy with this.

I suppose I should start things off by saying the first three or four minutes of the film spoil the rest. Show up late if you're bothered by this. I have no idea why studios allow filmmakers to use these kinds of flash-forwards prior to when they tell their story. Anyway, I don't want to say what it is, so let's go back. Six people are sent a package with a puzzle box, calling them to come to a Minos Escape Room with the chance of winning $10,000. All of them have their own unique circumstances, and I'll explain them in the most basic way possible. Zoey (Taylor Russell) is a quantum physics student who is too shy to speak in front of other people. She also seems to have anxiety problems. Ben (Logan Miller) is a guy who is trapped in a stockroom job, the owner of his store will simply not let him interact with customers. The owner says there's a good reason for this, and it isn't just because Ben's a cigarette puffing alcoholic. Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll) and Mike (Tyler Labine) are our two more mysterious ones, to tell their story is to spoil big chunks of the film, so I won't. Jason (Jay Ellis) is a young stock trader/broker, he's interested in the money and that's why he's there. Danny (Nik Dodani) is a video game enthusiast and escape room fanatic, he's really into this shit.

So, once the group comes together, they are asked to turn over their phones and proceed to a waiting room. Danny sneaks a phone in, but it's irrelevant as the enormous concrete building blocks any use of cell phones. After they introduce themselves to each other, Ben gets tired of waiting and needs to have a damn cigarette. Too bad for him, he can't. The door handle breaks off and locks everyone in the room, with all we can see being a temperature gauge. The group is subsequently tasked with figuring out the temperature gauge, and once they do that, things get crazy. The waiting room turns into an oven, and they need to find out how to get out of the room without turning on other parts of it, which are inevitable. Ultimately, the final task in this one of many complicated puzzle rooms is to find a way to place weighted coasters on a table long enough for the characters to climb through a duct. All of the marketing shows you that they do, and that they wind up in a room reminiscent of a winter landscape. How will they get out of that?

The premise, as I think it already sounds like, is quite simplistic. Most of the intrigue is based upon what the rooms will look like, at least from my perspective. I caught on pretty fast as to what was going to happen, and truthfully so should everyone else. You'd have to be kind of an idiot to be surprised by any of this stuff. Of course, that being said, it doesn't make the movie less fun. It's a decent ride while it lasts, although I do have some major gripes. The third act is beyond bad, and I was hoping for pretty much any other solution to the problem, but that was not what we were going to get. This isn't a film that deserves a lot of deep thought, it's interesting enough. The opening is bad too, though. I don't accept the prologue at all, it ruined a lot of the intrigue in terms of who lives and dies. It's too bad. Much of the premise is also rendered irrelevant by the events that come to follow, but I did think there were some good surprises with Amanda.

The characters and rooms are goofy, but I think everyone who went to the theater to see this knew that would happen. The end of the film is also blatant sequel-bait, the kind which I would expect from a January horror movie. Just look at the film calendar for the last few years and see what I mean. It would have been nice if a few of these characters stuck around longer and some of the others were disposed of more quickly, but I thought this was acceptable fun. A movie like this is near devoid of content, so it's difficult to discuss on this level. Of course, the characters have a tie to each other, and learning that is part of the reason I said the third act wasn't so good. I'm sure there will be a sequel, but it's hard to imagine a sequel being better than this. I would call it decent and the score will reflect that, but I'm trying to make sure I score the 2019 offerings better. I won't post a list until I'm a few films into this year.

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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 05:29:52 PM »
Spoilers, obviously. A lot of them.



Glass (2019), directed by M. Night Shyamalan

Even though Glass is destined to make shitloads of money, it's possible that I have never been disappointed more by a film in my entire life. I have been looking forward to Glass for months, I was convinced that a film with this concept and these characters would not be a mistake. Rarely before does such a concept seem so likely to succeed prior to the release of the film. However, I suppose, I did forget about the most important piece of the puzzle. As much as television is about the quality of the writers, film is the realm of great directors. There are countless directors who partake in acts of self-sabotage because they cannot help themselves. Sometimes, their inability to help themselves creates films like Unbreakable and Split. Glass is not one of these films. Even though it inhabits the same universe as those two works, Glass is a film that arguably shouldn't even have been made but for Shyamalan's ability to create a big box office on a relatively small budget ($20,000,000). This is something that was unquestionably created and filmed much too quickly, with no opportunity for Shyamalan to change his mind about pretty much anything. I have read that he started writing the script just a month or so after the release of Split, so this finale (if it is one) could not have been something conceived long ago. This was clearly rushed. You know what the worst thing about Glass is? It's fucking boring.

Boasting one of the best concepts for a comic movie ever, Glass takes place just three weeks after the events of Split, the story remaining set in Philadelphia. David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is back, he works with Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark), who is now his adult son. David has fully embraced his superpowers and uses them to protect people, just as Unbreakable suggested would happen. His alias is "The Overseer", and along with Joseph, they are intending to hunt down Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy). Kevin is still suffering from disassociative personality disorder and has been locked away by his other personalities/The Horde, all of whom seem to appear throughout this film. So, if you're here for that, you'll get exactly what you want. The Horde has captured a group of cheerleaders, this time inside of a warehouse and not at the Philadelphia zoo. David is on the hunt for The Horde, hoping that he's able to touch him and have some kind of vision. Once he does, David heads into a warehouse and frees the girls, at which point we have the confrontation we've all been waiting for. The fight between David and The Beast is great, it's one of the only things in Glass that I don't have a complaint about.

Unfortunately, we are not treated to many more confrontations throughout the rest of Glass. The police are able to capture David and The Beast, which leads to them both being institutionalized. We also learn that Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), otherwise known as Mr. Glass, has been placed in this facility for many years. The hospital's head doctor is an interesting woman, Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson). Dr. Staple is entirely convinced that this concept of superheroes is complete bullshit. She specializes in working with patients who say they have special powers, and her remit is to find out what kind of people these really are. Dr. Staple's main form of doing so is to tell these three special individuals that they have a mental illness, that there isn't anything great about them and that regular people could do things similar to the things they do. Throughout this part of the film, we are introduced to...all of Kevin's personalities. David is held in a cell that could be flooded by a water tank, so he can't leave. In Kevin's case, there are lights placed by the door, and when one of his crazy personalities shows up as he walks towards the door, the lights come on and Kevin changes from one personality to the next. So, with all that in mind, we wait to see if Dr. Staple will perform surgery on these three. In the case of Elijah, he is very heavily sedated and can't do anything.

Now I'm going to leave some lines where you could turn around.

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I did already say that this movie is fucking boring, and it sure is. The film is super high concept, as you can tell, but it lacks punch and excitement. The joyless second act completely dooms the film, and truthfully, at that point I had made up my mind on how I felt about Glass. Nothing could save matters at that point, but the conclusion of the film just further solidified my opinion. Glass is dull. There's no other way to put it. What's worse than dull is that the ending is unsatisfying. Perhaps the boring second act is a result of the low budget, or perhaps the budget was a result of the script being written this way. I don't really care. There's also commentary on Shyamalan's career as a whole, but I couldn't find a way to care enough to write about that. I am very, very disappointed. The film makes attempts to redeem Elijah and Kevin, as you'd expect. As a result, we see the two characters attached to them either by blood or circumstance. Elijah's mother (Charlayne Woodard) and Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) do make appearances, but in the case of Casey, this appearance feels very wrong and misguided. It's absolutely necessary to see the first two films in this trilogy in order to understand anything that's going on here, but I wish that I'd left matters with those two films and never went to see this one. The performances, as well as our clash between The Beast and David at the start of the film, are our lone positives. McAvoy's ability to act out these personalities is always a joy.

The point of joylessness that really sticks with me, the thing that I keep thinking of whenever I try to write a sentence, is the matter of the narrative revolving around a character questioning the abilities of three people who we know have them. The characters have been introduced to us already and we do not need to have their credentials questioned, but that happens for 40-50 minutes. It is a very frustrating and painful exercise to be put through this. The problem with Glass is that it's quite clear to me that Shyamalan either didn't know how to close out his trilogy or that he shouldn't have been allowed to. The message the film departs with is absolutely mystifying, and the constraints of the psychiatric hospital turn matters into something that feels like a bottle episode of Star Trek. We are never really given what we want, and what we should have had was a film with many of these elements placed in entirely different positions. David should have been hunting down Kevin the whole time. The problem is that there's no real way to get to that point within the series, and I think what we have here is a group of characters whose stories never could have been meaningfully concluded. Such is life. I'm really bummed, though. There's nothing any of our three superpowered characters bring to the table that we didn't already know about in the first place. It was all those years and still David had no answer to his water weakness, there's no element of true surprise here. From a filmmaker noted for his insane twists, I can't think of anything more perfunctory than how Glass turned out.

I didn't read any other reviews before or after going to see this, but I suspect that a lot of reviewers harbor deep disappointment over how this turned out. I could easily have rated this lower, but I can only imagine what it would have been like to have watched Unbreakable 18 years ago and for this to be the follow-up. Like, for real. Holy shit.

4/10


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

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2019, 12:54:38 PM »


The Upside (2019), directed by Neil Burger

Before I got to the theater, I was anticipating writing a review about how this was yet another unnecessary remake, following the unnecessary remake I reviewed last night. The problem with this opinion is that clearly it was necessary considering how many people have gone to see it in comparison to its budget, in combination with the amount of laughter I and others were eagerly participating in. Of course, this is a flawed film, and you might be able to expect where I'm going with this, but with these sorts of stories there's always an undercurrent of black people and white people from different backgrounds being able to get along with each other. I should note that I don't think think this is the worst thing in the world, but it seems that the film industry is convinced these stories need to be told. The Intouchables wasn't the first instance of this, and I think everyone knows that this kind of movie is super corny, but at the same time, there are ways to give it the material a bit of a boost. I thought Green Book did so with the exception of one or two particular scenes, and for the most part, The Upside did this as well. I also saw that there were some tweaks from the source material, and I think this is for the best. That being said, I think everyone knows that the formula of a black person making a white person care about life again is getting very tiresome. As long as it's funny though...

Our film begins with one of those things I detest, a flash forward. I'll spare you from that part of the story because I really hate that shit. Anyway, Dell Scott (Kevin Hart) is a parolee with a very rough background. He's been robbing people, pulling guns on people, apparently for quite a long time. He doesn't really want to get a job, but at the same time, he's desperate. You need signatures if you're on parole, signatures that prove you're looking for work. He doesn't have enough of them, and the jobs he's forced to go for are really shitty. His son Anthony doesn't really care about him after years of neglect, and his ex Latrice (Aja Naomi King) wants nothing to do with him. In a moment when Dell has nowhere to stay, he's told by Latrice to get out of her project house. Fortunately, he has received a job opportunity, even though it's one that he'd certainly rather not do.

Phillip Lacasse (Bryan Cranston) is a very rich older man, he's also a quadraplegic. Dell arrives at his place assuming that he's going to interview in the janitorial field, which is something befitting of his talents after the wrongs he's done and lack of willingness to do anything with his life. Yvonne (Nicole Kidman) is Phillip's executive, and over the course of the film we learn that Phillip got rich by investing in bad businesses and turning them around. He's also written books on this subject, letting people know about his ideas on business theory. Phillip's day is obviously very difficult for everyone, most of all him. He can only move his neck, so there are a host of qualified professionals wanting this position. Dell wants a signature from Yvonne or Phillip so that he can move on to the next thing, but it turns out that Phillip wants someone unqualified so that the next time he has a health crisis, he can just die. Even though Dell didn't want this job on the first day, after Latrice gave him the big boot, he doesn't have much of a choice. So, Dell signs up, cashes a big check, and takes on the job of doing everything for Phillip. The most important thing seems to be to get Phillip the hell out of his penthouse.

The film is very careful not to show Phillip's complete redemption, which is what saves this from being a brutal fantasy of a movie. Instead, I thought this was funny due to who they chose as cast members. Obviously, this was predictable, cliched, all of that shit. It's still funny and there are some great gags. It isn't just Kevin Hart, but Cranston is more than capable of holding up his end. I haven't seen the original film, but I'm pretty sure nothing about my opinion would change. I understand the original got better reviews, but I feel how I feel about this kind of story. There are good ones and bad ones, but they aren't great. This film was shelved for so long because the Weinstein Company collapsed, but I think this was a film that needed to be shelved anyway. Green Book came out, and this is a cliched story as I already said. I'm surprised this was ever made, but people need their English-language remakes, don't they? The Upside is a funny film, I won't deny this. I actually laughed a lot, but it plays things quite safe. Again, the laughs go back to the casting and in having someone like Cranston in the wheelchair, there's a good foil for Kevin Hart to play off of.

Obviously, I think whoever decided to make this film again decided that they would rather see Kevin Hart in the role Omar Sy played, and I guess that's alright. This is a bromance movie to the core, it's also a movie that has to balance a thin line due to how much it makes one think that all a rich white guy needs to be happy is someone from the hood to balance them out. But, I don't really go against crowd reaction nor do I go against my heart, and I liked this. I thought there were issues with the visual quality of the projection in my theater, though. There was too much blue shading, and I also thought that some of the production in general was a bit goofy. The ending of the film seems to run on for far too long, and I don't really care about the redemption story of either character. What I was there for was to have a good laugh, see what would happen, and hope that the two guys had some good adventures. There's nothing wrong with that, is there?

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

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2019, 11:44:26 AM »


Serenity (2019), directed by Steven Knight

Ah, January. Finally I come across one of these films that was obviously dumped here because the studio knew that it was a bad idea to release something like this when people were paying attention. I wasn't able to find the time to see Replicas before it was yanked from theaters, so this has to suffice as my first experience with a January dump. I wonder how films like this one are made in the first place. There are tons of reasons why Serenity shouldn't have been made at all, and it's going to take everything within me to not spoil the film's huge twist. This is a twist that's so bad that once you see it, you'll never forget it. I laughed constantly once this happened, and there were other people in the theater who were not, so I have no idea what they thought. To call Serenity ambitious would be an immense understatement, but I'm convinced that this will be considered one of the year's worst films. Serenity is also a very critically divisive movie, it appears. I was looking at Metacritic and saw Richard Roeper had given it an 88 (yikes), and that the Washington Post's reviewer gave the film a 12. I think you can easily decipher which of those two streets I'm on. I will say one thing though. The horrendous twist helped to liven up the film when it was in danger of becoming very boring.

Serenity takes place on an island seemingly in the Caribbean, a fictional place called Plymouth Island. In reality this was filmed in Mauritius, quite the amazing and exotic place to film a movie. No wonder they attracted a great cast with a horrible script like this one. I would love to go somewhere like this. Anyway, the film begins with Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) out on his fishing boat with his first mate Duke (Djimon Hounsou). These two are guiding some tourists through sport fishing. While out there in the beautiful Indian Ocean waters, they get a bite from a gigantic tuna fish, the kind which these tourists paid to try to catch. Dill has different plans though. His intention is to catch the fish himself, and if you don't know about sport fishing, the scene with him putting on a harness and all that is highly amusing. Dill pulls a knife on the fat tourists to get them to back off the fishing rods, but even though he's done that, he's unable to catch the fish himself. After this, we learn that Dill keeps a log of notes on this fish, and we also learn that he's struggling financially. When he can't catch anything to make money after selling it, he goes and dicks down Constance (Diane Lane), a local woman with an adult son working in Miami pumping gas. At some point, Constance would like her son to work on Dill's boat. In the meantime, a man named Reid Miller (Jeremy Strong) is attempting to get in contact with Dill for some reason. We consistently see a man in a suit, the only such man on the island, and he'll walk through water in order to get to Dill. How odd.

These things I described above took up about ten minutes of the film. Dill has these visions of him with his son Patrick back in the past, but he's out on this boat now and it's time to dick down or get to fishing. Duke and Dill both have monetary problems in part because of this chase for the big tuna, and they're getting close to a point where Dill could lose his boat for non-payment of loans. Dill lives in a shipping container himself, the island life is no easy life for him. One day, Dill is met with a dose of his past, when Karen (Anne Hathaway) arrives in the only bar on the island. Karen has a request of Dill, one that will help him out quite a lot. It also turns out that Patrick is their son, and that Dill really wants nothing to do with her. It appears that Karen ran off in the past with a man named Frank (Jason Clarke), an abusive alcoholic with a penchant for sport fishing. Frank is also quite rich. Frank is not yet on Plymouth Island, but Karen has a request. Karen desperately wants Dill to save her from her marriage, save their son, all that stuff. If he does what she asks, she will give him ten million dollars. His mission is simple. He needs to forget about catching the big fish and kill Frank. And on top of that? I guess Dill's name isn't Dill? I don't know why this matters.

I cut things off before getting to the twist in this film, which was so bad that I will not write anything about it other than how bad it was. It's the kind of thing you need to see for yourself. There is nothing I could say that would prepare you for it, as the twist is completely incomprehensible trash. I did laugh a ton after said twist, I just couldn't help myself. Again, nothing really prepares you for this. The actors seemed to either know exactly how bad this twist was or leaned all the way into their characters. Jason Clarke is the best example of this. To say that he hammed it up would be an understatement, and there were times I thought McConaughey was doing the same thing. Other actors, like Diane Lane, weren't in the film enough for their contributions to matter. The early introduction of her character in combination with her lack of importance to the plot despite constant appearances, makes me think her scenes were left on the cutting room floor. I am left at a loss as to how such a film could even be made, or picked up after being made. Aviron had to have bought the rights at a pittance as nobody should have thought this was good after watching a screener, but it seems that some people really do believe in this film. I can't figure out why.

With my reticence to spoil the film's twist, I must wrap things up as best I can. I am only not spoiling it because it is genuinely the worst twist in a film that I have ever seen and I think people deserve the opportunity to see that without being spoiled. The twist does make this fun, I must admit. This is camp in the extreme, I thought it was gone but it really isn't. A movie like this couldn't possibly feel more like trash than this does. There's a scene where Dill is going to take his ex-wife from behind after treating her like shit, he sees the marks on her back from her being beaten with a belt, pumps away for a little bit and just stops. Nothing about this makes sense, but at the same time, I have to recommend it. If you want to have a fun time watching a very bad film, go no further than this. It's an assault on your senses, it's very difficult to hold in your laughter, and best of all it isn't boring. The film is also nice to look at in the background, with Lane and Hathaway being no exception, but the film is so singularly focused on McConaughey and you see a lot of him sweating and looking like a disgusting pig. If this was only a neo-noir about someone trying to catch a tuna, I have no idea what I'd think, but it's much more than that.

3/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   The Upside
2.   Escape Room
3.   Glass
4.   Serenity


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

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2019, 06:29:37 PM »


Miss Bala (2019), directed by Catherine Hardwicke

Do we really need an English-language remake of a Mexican movie when the target audience seems to be Mexican-Americans? This is an existential crisis of sorts, I'm not sure this is a film that should even exist, but I went to see it tonight because I genuinely could not remember the last time I went to see an action film in a modern setting where people shot at each other. I am struggling to think of any possibilities, so I did a search and found that the last time was The Girl in the Spider's Web, which wasn't particularly good. I also saw that way back in the middle of November, many months ago. Oddly enough, both these films were released by Sony, both of them weren't particularly good. They're of similar quality, with one distinct difference between the two. One is a straight remake of a film that was acclaimed and therefore has no excuse to feel so uninspired. I must admit that I'm not familiar with the director, only with our lead actress, who I like very much. I think that this is a film that doesn't bring much to the table at all, and I thought that if there were any messages in the first film, they were certainly lost in a remake that entirely lacks messaging and any semblance of a theme at all. Instead, we have a movie where someone is simply trying to find out where their friend is, and will do anything in order to pull that off. Yawn.

Miss Bala is about Gloria Fuentes (Gina Rodriguez), a makeup artist from Los Angeles who wants to make something more of herself. Her boss at a random fashion show ignores her, but she's on her way to Tijuana anyway. Her reason? She wants to visit her friend Suzu (Cristina Rodlo), who lives with her kid brother in Mexico. It turns out that Gloria also once moved to Mexico, but she was born in the United States and eventually came back. The main impetus for Gloria's visit is because she's going to be the makeup artist for Suzu, who wants to enter the Miss Baja California beauty pageant. Suzu is pretty and all, but some of the scenes where Gloria is treated as if she looks like shit defy explanation. Anyway, Suzu and Gloria decide to go out at a club. We are subsequently introduced to the police chief, a man named Saucedo (Damian Alcazar), and apparently he holds some swing at the pageant. Suzu tells Gloria that the winners wind up sleeping with him, and I puke because this guy is disgusting. Anyway, while Gloria's in the bathroom, in come some guys through the vents. They have guns, and they have a plan. They also want Gloria to shut the fuck up. So, they go in there to try to kill Saucedo, but it doesn't go so well, and Saucedo's able to escape. In the aftermath, Suzu and Gloria are split up, and Gloria's unable to find her friend.

The next morning, after Gloria sleeps in a cafe, she's desperate to find out what happened to her friend. She goes up to a police officer and tells him about the guys who shot up the club, which is pretty much the stupidest thing she could have done as the guys told her not to. Not only that, but people like those guys have connections, right? Apparently one of them is the police officer, who subsequently takes Gloria to meet with the gang's leader. These guys are called the Estrellas, and led by Lino Esparza (Ismael Cruz Cordova). Lino lived in the States for some time himself, but he was deported at a young age and never really fit into either society. Lino, as you might suspect from a cartel leader, is a bad guy. He decides to threaten Suzu's brother in the process of all this, and he wants Gloria to bomb a DEA safehouse. Gloria just wants to get find her friend, but this is going to become an extremely large problem. Another example is the fact that the DEA knows all about her and wants to get to know her better. Brian (Matt Lauria) is a supervising agent with a big file on Gloria. His intention is to get her to place a tracking card into Nino's phone which will allow the DEA to arrest or kill him.

This movie is extremely formulaic, and I don't think I need to say anything more than I already have about the plot. It seems like it would be clear to everyone that this is standard popcorn fare. There are some good laughs, but the intermittent mixing of Spanish language into these jokes (sometimes without subtitles) shows me that the market audience for this is...people who very well could have watched the original film. Gina Rodriguez does her absolute best with the material, direction, and lack of inspiration in the script. I'm not sure if this is a shot for shot remake or what, but I know that I need to watch the original Miss Bala. At some point I definitely well. The action scenes are alright I suppose, they scratched the itch I was trying to scratch. I just wanted to see something where people shot at each other. This worked to that end, but I was displeased by some of the narrative decisions here. The DEA thing seems to oddly go by the wayside, and I would say the conclusion of the film bordered on sequel bait. Was not expecting that at all.

I feel like there's so much more to this story that was never explored. At the end of the film, one of the characters says that Gloria was a survivor...and yeah, except the part where she got another woman killed and didn't say anything, yeah, I guess she survived. This scene is one that turns me on the film almost completely, one that destroyed my opinion of Gloria, and I just couldn't stomach the film much after that. I've done my absolute best to rein in some of my tendencies to overrate movies in the moments after viewing them, and with that in mind, this was very much not good. One of the descriptions of the film is that Gloria takes power of her situation, and that's certainly one bogus as hell way to describe these events. Unfortunately, the PG-13 rating neuters Miss Bala massively. These kinds of movies have to be rated R, like Sicario. Truthfully, this is no Sicario and for me to compare the two of them is absolutely terrible, but I feel like it's essential to show how one story works and the other doesn't. There is literally nothing in this that is as good as anything in Sicario. There are a few decent action scenes, but that's pretty much it. I'm glad I didn't have to pay to see this, but I think the disconnect in this is movie is best shown by the film's villain. There's things he does that I can't imagine a cartel member actually doing with someone he's forced into captivity, and that's all that needs to be said about this.

4/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   The Upside
2.   Escape Room
3.   Miss Bala
4.   Glass
5.   Serenity


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

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2019, 06:39:33 AM »


Velvet Buzzsaw (2019), directed by Dan Gilroy

It's very difficult to talk about a film like Velvet Buzzsaw, because it's attempting to bring a lot to the table and remain fun at the same time. But is it really trying to bring a lot to the table? I thought Velvet Buzzsaw is supposed to be a film mocking the art world, and to that end it certainly achieved the goals aspired to. Nothing could possibly be more of a giveaway that this is a satire than the names given to each of the characters here. I am eagerly anticipating naming and describing all of them. Let's put it this way. The movie is eagerly goofy, you have to realize that from the moment you turn it on, and admittedly it's also nice to look at. The actors all get their turn to go full bore into their role, and while those roles don't often turn out to complete characters, I thought this was a lot of fun. My enjoyment of Velvet Buzzsaw is derived from the fact that I think this was supposed to be a comedy. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but Dan Gilroy thinks the same as I do. The point was to skewer the art world, to do so in an entertaining way, and he wrote his script based on that stuff. Now, see, that's something I really like. I was in awe for the most part as it came to watching this film, because there were definitely a few bad scenes and some that were more than good. The mannerisms, the vehicles, the costumes...all of that stuff just feels right, and I couldn't hate this movie.

How do you describe something that defies description? Morf Vandewalt (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a bisexual art critic who decides to attend an exhibition in Miami with his friend, Josephina (Zawe Ashton). Josephina is a stereotypical posh Brit with an inflated opinion of herself, but at the beginning of the film, she's been cheated on. So, the situation changes a little bit. In Miami we are fully introduced to our cast of characters, so I'll roll with that. Josephina works for an art gallery owner named Rhodora (Rene Russo), and Rhodora was in a band called Velvet Buzzsaw. Trust me, it's pertinent. Piers (John Malkovich) is a former artist himself, Gretchen (Toni Collette) is a curator who makes deals with various galleries, and Jon Dondon (Tom Sturridge) owns one of those competing galleries. Rhodora's gallery is called Haze, and she's going to run a show with a new artist who had previously specialized in street art, a former homeless man named Damrish (Daveed Diggs). In addition, we have two other people who work at Haze. There's the receptionist/assistant Coco (Natalie Dyer) and a blue collar working man who does all their shitty jobs, a guy named Bryson (Billy Magnussen). Bryson obviously has a crush on Josephina and Coco, but he's a working man and they seem to not give a shit about him. Now, with that in mind, I should transport the scene over to Los Angeles.

Back in Los Angeles, there isn't much going on other than the usual art world dealings. We learn that Morf hates his love life with his boyfriend, so eventually he starts a relationship with Josephina. Josephina herself goes home and finds a dead man named Vetril Dease in her apartment building. She sees a piece of art in his house and can't help herself, so she walks in and discovers a ton of paintings. Naturally, with Josephina not in the best financial position and her position in this world not entirely secure, she decides to steal the paintings. She fabricates a story, and with the help of lawyers she comes to the determination that she found these in a dumpster after Vetril died. Morf and Rhodora are completely entranced by these works and see a huge opportunity to sell the pieces, with Morf wanting to write very positive reviews. In return, Morf gets to write a book and it seems that everyone will make a huge amount of money from this. Now, to skip over some details in order to not spoil the film, let's talk about what happens when one of these characters decides to transport these pictures. The person opens a crate with the intention of stealing a picture, then they crash into an abandoned gas station out in the Angeles Forest. When they head into the gas station, they are subsequently attacked by a painting of monkeys working on a car, and the character goes missing along with the paintings they were transporting.

Do you see now how goofy this film is? There really isn't anything I can say to properly illustrate how much this is the case. Vetril's paintings are deliberately formed in a way where you can't tell if they're good or not, but that's the goddamn point of the film. This movie is goofy, the point is that art being good or not is entirely subjective and that the things people say or do as it relates to that art is very funny. Once the movie gets as serious as it could possibly get, I thought Jake Gyllenhaal really went nuts with his performance. Going all in is just one way to describe his performance, I thought it was similar to the one in Okja while remaining distinct enough and not completely goofy. I also think it's interesting for a film like this to be released so early in the year, but that's really the only time for it. I believe Netflix gave Velvet Buzzsaw a $21 million budget, I can see why. The movie is filmed very nicely and clean, similar to The Neon Demon even though there's a very distinct difference in quality between the films. Still, there are lots of great scenes with Gyllenhaal that carry this. One where he can't get hard, ostensibly because Josephina is a woman, that really cracked me up.

I also thought there was some interesting commentary on what people do with artistic works once an artist has died and given instructions that are never followed by those who carry out their wishes. Art can truly not die with the artist. Of course, this manifests itself in an interesting way, for lack of a better term. There's also some stuff with the artist being a murderer and people being completely willing to sell their work anyway, which as we know is the way things are. This commentary is merely superficial though. I think it's a neat twist that some dead guy's art inspires artwork to start killing people, but even typing out that sentence you can see how ridiculous this film is. Ones enjoyment of this is entirely related to the amount of ridiculous concepts they can tolerate, and in my case it appears there are a whole lot. I thought it was interesting the way Velvet Buzzsaw approached the way some facets of elite society work, but this is still a flawed film. The concept is so far out there that one cannot possibly conceive of another way to bring all these ideas together, but the ideas themselves are quite dark. In other words, that's right up my alley.

The pretentious attitudes of these characters are off the charts to an extent I've rarely seen, but I need to go back and look at Gilroy's last work. In any case, I think this is a worthy followup to Nightcrawler although the film is not of similar quality. The emphasis on how important money corrupts an industry just isn't as nicely woven through the film. I think calling this a horror movie would be a mistake in that nothing is seemingly intended to make the audience scared, and I also thought that Josephina was a poorly constructed caricature and given focus that wasn't commensurate with what the role brought to the table. Still though, this was fun, I think Roger Corman would be a fan of this.

6/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Velvet Buzzsaw
2.   The Upside
3.   Escape Room
4.   Miss Bala
5.   Glass
6.   Serenity


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

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2019, 12:58:48 PM »


Cold Pursuit (2019), directed by Hans Petter Moland

Including Netflix offerings, there were five films released this week. It seemed as if at least one of these would turn out to be 2019's first good film, and the one I was interested in seeing the most was Cold Pursuit. To talk about Cold Pursuit without mentioning what Liam Neeson said is an impossibility, so I should get it out of the way. It's beyond dispute that Liam Neeson did something extremely racist, and it's fortunate that he didn't actually kill someone. However, this was also a long time ago according to him, and considering that he brought this up without prompting, it seems like something he'd been thinking about recently and was unable to let go. His apology does suffice, but I'm not one of the people he could have wronged. That being said, I think that in order for our world to move on from its racist past, there has to be some contrition for racist deeds. In order to do so, one must admit they did something racist in the first place, which is what Liam Neeson did. Where he goes from here, that isn't really up to me. He did also seek help in order to put those thoughts behind him, which I think is crucial. I think everyone knows that he did something racist, but it's everyone's own decision to decide if he should be forgiven for having those thoughts long in the past. I simply do not know what his deeds are that showed he doesn't feel that way now, now that being said...I think I've made clear before that I'll watch anyone's movies. Liam Neeson is never going to be an exception on that list because there aren't any exceptions. We have to be able to talk about these situations where nobody has been harmed so that we can learn from each other. Now, moving on...

Cold Pursuit is about Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson), a snowplow driver who lives in a fictional resort town in Colorado. He lives with his wife Grace (Laura Dern), and the film begins with him picking up his son Kyle (Micheal Richardson) on the way home. Kyle needs to go to work, so he bothers his mom's car, but that's the last time his parents will see him. While Nels is at a ceremony being awarded Citizen of the Year for his snowplow driving, his son supposedly dies from a heroin overdose, but the audience knows what really happened. A man with a code name of Speedo (Michael Eklund) took him out into the woods, probably did give him a shitload of heroin, but he was shooting at him in the first place. Point is, Speedo was going to kill Kyle anyway. The reason why may have been mentioned at some point during the film, but I'm genuinely not sure. One can only postulate as to why because I don't think it was explictly stated and it's the audiences job to realize it. Anyway, Nels' life goes into a complete tailspin after this event. It appears that Grace hates his guts because they didn't know their son well enough, which leads to Grace taking all her shit and leaving their mountain cabin, never to be seen again.

Now I should bring myself back to the start of the last paragraph. Is Cold Pursuit really about Nels Coxman? Nels has every intention of killing himself, but his son's co-worker shows up at Coxman's place of work. Coxman is subsequently told that his son was murdered by a drug cartel, which leads to...I think you know what happens. This is a Liam Neeson movie after all. Now let's get to brass tacks. It appears that there's a big problem in Colorado, with two different drug gangs having an issue with each other because of what Coxman has done to the employees of the first man, a cartel leader based in Denver who goes by Viking (Tom Bateman). This is a code name, of course. Viking has a family situation with his ex-wife Aya (Julia Jones) and his son, but Coxman has been picking off his guys. He can't have that. Unbeknownst to him, Coxman has a brother who goes by Wingman (William Forsythe), and Wingman was more than willing to provide Coxman with the information he needed. Viking seems believes that these deaths are being caused by a Native American cartel led by White Bull (Tom Jackson), they're based in the fictional town of Kehoe. Obviously, he's wrong. In the meantime, we have two police officers, a young detective we'll call Kim (Emmy Rossum) and an older guy named Gip (John Doman). Gip wants to keep Kehoe as a place without any drama, but Kim seems to see there's a drug war on their turf and wants to put a stop to it.

I'll be the first to admit that Cold Pursuit has some major plot holes and leaves a ton of loose ends open, but this is also a film that is intended to be funny and succeeds greatly in accomplishing that. The marketing is beyond misleading here and this is not a revenge thriller to anywhere near the extent that you'd think. The director is hellbent on ensuring that the audience is laughing consistently, which I was. At least, that is, when I could hear the movie over the douchebag who was snoring in the seat next to mine. I eventually had to move because of that. Cold Pursuit almost goes into the realm of satire at some point, you could very well argue that it goes far beyond that. When one of the tough guy henchmen does something...entirely unexpected in a movie like this one, I laughed so much that I was starting to feel uncomfortable. This part alone would have won me over, but there are a lot more prior to that point. For some, this may be considered overkill, but I am not one of those people. Cold Pursuit also has unexpected artistic quality in the delivery of these death scenes, but I won't spoil that either.

This is a film with some deep flaws, but the things I mentioned earlier go a long way to covering those up. This is an English-language remake made by the same director, which seems to continue a trend in early 2019. A lot of films have been an English-language remake. Yawn. This being from the same director, they probably had solid awareness of what they may have done wrong with their original film. I don't know as I haven't seen that one, so that's a bad assumption I should apologize for. Still, I'm surprised by the way this turned out. I should also mention that the plot holes about why Kyle died and how Kim's character has her investigation completely flounder are so enormous they can't be ignored. Emmy Rossum and Laura Dern are completely wasted here. However, I think that if you believe this is a revenge movie after having watched this, you've totally missed the point. It's a comedy with a cartoon level villain who was trying to do his best Jason Clarke in Serenity level performance, and Tom Bateman completely succeeded at this.

I think Cold Pursuit could be entirely subjective in the sense that one's appreciation for dark comedy may be the reason for their interest. I must reiterate that this is not a typical Liam Neeson movie, and in fact his character fades into the background a bit while the director decides to go much more comedic with things. I was a bit disappointed with some of the creative decisions, but overall I thought this was a very funny film. The first half was a good Neeson revenge story as those things are, but the second half leaned all the way in towards comedy, which I appreciated very much. Very rarely does a film with this much killing go so dark with it, but one may hate all the nicknames and goofy shit that reminded me of a 1980s movie. I, on the other hand, really enjoyed it. At least this wasn't another copy of Taken and went another route.

7/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Cold Pursuit
2.   Velvet Buzzsaw
3.   The Upside
4.   Escape Room
5.   Miss Bala
6.   Glass
7.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2019, 12:12:01 PM »


The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019), directed by Mike Mitchell

After having watched two of these Lego movies in January, I think it's a fair judgment to say that the novelty wore off. This appears to have been the case for a lot of people judging from the first weekend's box office receipts, which had to be painfully disappointing for Warner Bros. and for the people who wanted to turn the Lego Cinematic Universe into something that lasted for a long time. The receipts are such that I'm uncertain another entry will be made for this franchise, which on some levels is too bad, but on another level I think these films have become a little too childish. The key to any successful animated movies is to ensure that adults are interested enough for a word of mouth to build up and for people to take their kids to the film. I don't think that was achieved here at all and with good reason, the film just doesn't have that kind of hook for older people. It isn't that I hate the movie, but I don't understand its message, which is in contrast to The Lego Movie or basically any other similar animated film. What I was hoping for just didn't happen here, but I had that suspicion when I went into the movie theater. I should also note that nobody was there, which is an extreme rarity for a big release such as this one. The weather was good today too! I still don't remember being at a release of this size with no audience.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is a continuation of the first film, part of which shows us what happened when that movie ended so quickly. If you remember what happened, Will Ferrell said that the kid's sister was going to be allowed to go play with the LEGO's, so that's what happens. She has started taking some of the creations from the basement and combined them with her own set of Duplo bricks in her room, but to bring it back to the actual plot, here's how it went. Bricksburg had been turned into a post-apocalyptic wasteland by said Duplos, who invaded and destroyed the city. It has been replaced by aforementioned wasteland, which is called Apocalypseburg. The Duplos invade sometimes, but the LEGO's have gotten used to this and have become grizzled. Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt), on the other hand, has not developed as a character at all and is still a goof. He wants to move into a dream home with Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), but I don't see how this is going to happen when the children in the house are constantly destroying things. And yes, the children do factor into the plot a lot more than in the first movie.

Emmet also has visions again, this time of a pending "Our-Mom-Ageddon." I did laugh at who played the mom in this, and I'll make the choice not to reveal this. Anyway, it's time for one more big invasion, this one led by General Sweet Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) and her Duplo army. The General announces that Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) of the Systar System wants to marry Batman (Will Arnett), with no reasoning given as to why, but that's what the queen wants. That's also what she'll get. Mayhem's forces subsequently kidnap Batman, Lucy, Benny (Charlie Day), Unikitty (Alison Brie), and MetalBeard (Nick Offerman), all those characters from the first film. I'm trying hard not to spoil here, but Batman is proposed to and says yes, and it also turns out that everyone except Lucy winds up liking their new lives in the Systar System, which is supposed to be the young sister's room. I think everyone's picked up on that aspect by now. Emmet on the other hand, is entirely unaware of this. On his way upstairs, he encounters a rugged adventurer named Rex, who has every intention of helping his newfound buddy rescue his LEGO friends from upstairs.

The problem with this film compared to the other two, as you may infer from my earlier comments and from my summarizations, is that the film is too childish. The emphasis on the sister story would naturally lead to this happening even though she's around the same age as the other kid was in the first movie, but girls are also into more childish things than boys that age. As such, there are musical numbers, a few more of them than in the first movie. I didn't really have any feelings about those scenes in all honesty. Was trying to come up with something to say and I failed completely on that subject. I also thought the addition of Rex was completely stupid and it wasn't a good idea to do what was done with the character near the end of the film. It seemed as if the filmmakers completely disregarded what children would think about that ending. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is merely an average movie due to how many of these small complaints add up. I see why this wasn't as successful as the first film financially, but it's not as if people knew the content of the film. I believe the reason for this is a lack of quality marketing and how cold most of the country is at this moment.

While average, and even though I've only listed negative things one after the next, there are numerous positives in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. One of those is not the obnoxious title, but Apocalypseburg was a nice touch. I didn't care for Emmet's behavior, but there were some good things here that reminded me of Mad Max: Fury Road. That was all I really wanted from this scene and it delivered. There are others with characters from franchises we haven't seen in the Lego universe yet, but to mention them would actually heavily spoil the film so I cannot. There's also plenty Batman here, and the more Batman the better. I demand more Batman, in fact. I also thought that the new characters served their purpose quite well and shook things up a bit as the last thing you'd want is for the second film to be exactly the same as the first one. I also actually did like the real storyline more than in the first film, even though the subliminal messaging of the film was off. There's some other good cameos here and I thought Rex was an oddly interesting character. These were not things I was expecting.

Unfortunately, recreating the first one is not possible due to the novelty of it. This is something Warners should have known far in advance of making this film, they should have known not to create too many of these. Instead, they absolutely did make too many Lego films or television shows, or straight-to-DVD, etc. The people involved with Lego did the same thing with the video games, and they do that with their merchandise too. There's so much of it that a lot of collectors are incapable of keeping up, they oversaturate their market across the board. There was no way the Lego Cinematic Universe would become a real thing due to the incapabilities of those entrusted with ensuring it could become a profitable venture for years. Lego stuff needed to take a much longer view in mind, one of decades instead of months and years, it didn't work out that way. I also thought that the anti-capitalist themes in the first film were completely gone from this one, that was much to the detriment of my entertainment. This wasn't bad or anything, but I didn't enjoy the movie as much as I thought it would. It was merely an okay entry.

6/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Cold Pursuit
2.   Velvet Buzzsaw
3.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
4.   The Upside
5.   Escape Room
6.   Miss Bala
7.   Glass
8.   Serenity


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

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2019, 11:40:00 AM »


The Prodigy (2019), directed by Nicholas McCarthy

A better title for this film would have been "Georgie Grows Up," seeing as this kid was the same as played Georgie in It. It's very difficult to figure out how to tackle a film like this, because as a rule I think horror movies with creepy kids are goofy. The Prodigy is no exception to this rule, it is what I thought it would be, but it is also a film with some surprisingly good performances. The real question such a film poses is whether or not one with a bad story and good performances can conceivably be good enough for me to call a good film. Rather than draw my own question out, I will immediately respond. The answer is no. The Prodigy is a ludicrous film when taken as a whole, featuring some things that are going to be difficult for me to explain. I must also admit that I didn't head into the film with a very positive attitude. The projector in my theater was off for nearly the whole set of previews, I was starting to become unsure that I'd even get to watch this. The people next to me were becoming displeased, but right on cue, the projector came on for the one trailer I wanted to see, for Child's Play. I also noticed that Child's Play and Toy Story 4 come out on the same week, which certainly was intentional. I can't imagine how it wouldn't be! In any case, I think it's fair to say that Child's Play will be better than this, and that The Prodigy was a little bit of a bust.

The Prodigy begins with a dual opening, featuring two separate stories in a way that initially made me think one was a flash forward. Not sure which to start with, but we'll go with the one related to the serial killer. Margaret (Brittany Allen) is seen running away from a house, she is missing her right hand. Once spotted by someone driving down the road, she gets to safety, and hell comes upon the place she escaped from. Edward Scarka (Paul Fauteux) is a serial killer who removes a hand from his victims, but he will not be able to finish the kill this time. The cops come and raid his house, killing him in the process. Now, at the same time, let's flip over to the other story. Sarah (Taylor Schilling) is a pregnant woman, living with her husband John (Peter Mooney) and their dog. Her son is going to be a little early. They go to the hospital at the same moment this stuff is happening with Edward, and right as Edward dies, their son Miles (Jackson Robert Scott) is born. We are subsequently shown some glimpses of his childhood that let the audience know this boy is extremely smart to the point of being abnormal. The scenes here also serve to let us know that Miles has problems getting along with other children.

Eventually we push forward to Miles as an eight year old, with the successes continuing as well as some of the issues. His family is seemingly quite happy, and so is the dog, even though the dog is beginning to randomly bark at things. I should also note that Miles has two-colored eyes, which Sarah seems to think is genetic. It isn't. One night, his parents are out on a date and drinking beers near Pittsburgh, while he's at home with his babysitter Zoe (Elisa Moolecherry). Miles suggests they play a game of hide-and-seek before bed, she complies, and down the stairs into the basement he goes. Little does Zoe know that this kid is fucked in the head, the kind of kid who would put glass on the steps so that his babysitter could step on it. Zoe does, and she has a huge cut in her foot, and Miles claims to his mother that he doesn't know what happened. I will skip past any other such incidents so that I don't spoil the film too much. There's something not right with Miles, the opening sequence displays that quite well. You can decipher it for yourself.

The story sucks, and the main reason why is because anyone with a brain can already figure out what's wrong with Miles from the first few scenes of the film. This is a ridiculous storytelling error which is subsequently compounded by the reality that nobody has any idea what to do with Miles and how to stop his dual personality. That's hardly a spoiler, right? You'd have to be a moron to not figure out this is why the kid is evil. The solution to the story makes literally no sense whatsoever, I was having to try very hard not to laugh at everything here. I have no idea why this was decided. I did think, however, that all of these things were surprisingly acted in a way which wasn't difficult to buy into. The actors, with Schilling as the greatest example, really leaned into this role and didn't mess around. There are also some very good jump scares, one which made the person behind me freak out big time. Those last two things are what allows me to accept a bad movie and give is a better rating than I otherwise thought I would.

This isn't a particularly notable entry into the horror mix of films with creepy children, but I'm always going to be interested in seeing a movie like this one. It looks nice enough and appears to have been shot on a higher budget than it actually was, and The Prodigy also featured some good perforamnces. The ending, however, is one of the most unintentionally amusing things I've ever watched. I had to pull up my hoodie to cover my mouth as I was laughing. I think this didn't go anywhere near as far as it should have, and the blatant sequel-baiting at the end was too much for me, it made me feel like I wasted my time. There probably won't be a sequel to begin with, which is why a story like this one needs some completion. The Prodigy is also one of the shortest movies I've seen in theaters, ringing in at 87 minutes prior to the credits. There wasn't enough meat on the bone here to give a truly thoughtful review, and this lacks a scene with the kid being kicked in the face. This wasn't very good.

4/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Cold Pursuit
2.   Velvet Buzzsaw
3.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
4.   The Upside
5.   Escape Room
6.   Miss Bala
7.   Glass
8.   The Prodigy
9.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2019, 05:30:09 PM »


High Flying Bird (2019), directed by Steven Soderbergh

Is it really Steven Soderbergh's next career move to continue to make dramas with his iPhone? That's a foolish question I already know the answer to, and High Flying Bird is seemingly the next evolution in that concept. I did not expect there to ever be an NBA lockout movie, but that's what we have here. There are similarities to the last NBA lockout, but for the most part this is its own thing, one where companies like Hulu and Netflix are used as plot points. If you can't fathom how that works, you'll have to watch the film, which you should be doing anyway. I have to get better at watching these Netflix films on the day or day after release judging by how good some of them have become, and even when they aren't particularly great, they certainly bring something interesting to the table. High Flying Bird is just one in what is becoming a long list, and hopefully such experimental films will continue going forward. If they don't, well, that would suck. In any case, High Flying Bird is entirely unique, something I don't think we've had before, with a perspective that really could only have been filmed in the last few years. If you disagree, you can name other sports related films that tackle the idea of challenging the white ownership system that genuinely brings absolutely nothing to the table in pro sports. Go on. Explain to me how ownership in sports brings anything to the table and what it is they do that helps grow the game.

Ray Burke (Andre Holland) is a basketball agent, he has a long history with the game and is intent on ensuring that his place in it remains secure. This is set during a lockout that has some similarities to 2011, but is not exactly based upon it. Our first scene introduces us to Ray's client, a rookie who went #1 and wound up on the Knicks, Erick Scott (Melvin Gregg). Erick has made a mistake during the lockout and taken a loan, he is worried about what may happen to him because of it, but nobody's going to kill him or anything. He's guaranteed money and he's good for it. Ray isn't very pleased, but such is life and nobody's getting the money they need right now. After this scene, Reggie Jackson has cameo talking about his experiences as a rookie, and he joins Karl-Anthony Towns and Donovan Mitchell in talking about their rookie year at important points in the film. We continue on after that, with Ray getting bad news from his boss David Starr (Zachary Quinto), who tells him that the spigot for their division at the agency has dried up, so the corporate expense account is cut. Someone needs to make something happen, Ray is tasked with doing so. Some background is required on Ray, his cousin Gavin was his avenue into the NBA as an agent, but Gavin had something bad happen to him. This is a lesson which Ray has used in order to ensure his clients get what's coming to them.

In order to understand how Ray could accomplish this, you must understand that the lockout presented in this film is overwhelmingly stacked against the players. The owners are as dug in as it gets, with David Seton (Kyle MacLachlan) serving as the Knicks owner and representative of the owners in negotiations with the NBPA, represented by Myra (Sonja Sohn). Ray's mentor Spencer (Bill Duke) is keen to press upon Ray the facts of the situation, that the NBA owners have created a game on top of the game that has been used to keep the people on the court from getting the benefits they should be receiving. Ray did have an assistant who was going to help him in this, but Sam (Zazie Beetz) got the hell out of his business and has joined up with someone else. Sam still lingers around in this film with good reason. Ray's plan is simple, he needs to find a way to upend the ownership figures and put an end to this lockout. Erick is his way of doing so, he is the #1 pick, and even though one of these scenarios is a little ridiculous, it all seems to come together quite nicely as a story. The point overall is simple, it's that Ray knows what the hell he's doing and is going to disrupt this system in order to ensure everyone gets their fair share as soon as possible.

There's lots of talk here from Ray about changing the system of professional sports, and Ray echoes a lot of things that I've been thinking and saying for quite some time. I have never understood the ownership system in pro sports and have been waiting for some time for the players to break free of these controls. One of these days it's going to happen. I'm sure that if any NBA owners watch this, they're going to think it's a load of shit. If players watch the film, on the other hand, I think they'll get the message Soderbergh was intent on sending. Even though this is a film with a message, there's more to it than that, this is a very good story and very good film even when the greater picture isn't taken into account. This kind of sports movie is something I've needed for a while, it's a look behind the veil. Even the most seasoned of basketball fans could learn a lot from how this film was done, of the problems of players, their agents, or even the simple matter of social media use. There's a lot here to tackle. I don't think films have the same impact they used to have, so in reality this will probably not pose any cultural questions. It seems to not matter how good a movie like this is because this isn't a societal priority.

I was also sure to notice that High Flying Bird continues a pattern with Soderbergh, where seemingly regular people take the power back from institutions that are intent upon keeping them in their stations. Logan Lucky and Che are the two most obvious examples that come to mind. Ray Burke is certainly no Che Guevara, but the ideas he presents to his client in order to attempt to force an end to the lockout really resonated with me. The performances are all excellent, zero exceptions. Bill Duke puts in a great performance as a figurehead of the game in New York City, one can easily see a player like Kevin Garnett filling into this sort of role as he ages. The man knows the game, understands what's at stake, and he won't take any shit! Ultimately it's the performance of Andre Holland that stands out the most, which I think is the point. This was a big starring vehicle for him, and he really pulled his role off, even though I am left with the question of whether or not he REALLY wanted Erick to take the court and play that streetball game. These are characters I would very much like to see more of in a sequel or in a miniseries, but there's no chance of either happening.

Lastly, I suppose I should talk about some of the technical aspects. Soderbergh makes some hard and jarring editing cuts that are a little bit distracting, but ultimately the focus from a technical standpoint is on whether or not the iPhone is an acceptable filming device. The answer is yes, but I found some difficulty in long tracking shots where the phone had to move too much. I am not capable of technically describing the issues, but I thought there were issues with the one wide tracking shot that was used as Ray was walking down the street in New York City. There was clearly too much going on for the filming device to properly handle the scene, and you could notice pretty much instantly that this was an issue. However, this was really the only thing I noticed that was wrong with the way this was filmed. Otherwise, I found it quite good. I have no idea what Soderbergh's fascination with the iPhone is, I'll never understand it, but he says that the device allows him to get shots that he otherwise could not achieve with a camera. Taping the phone to a wall seems like the most obvious thing, as well as one's ability to move as quickly as possible on any kind of shot with a phone. I still don't get it, to be honest. That being said, you know, it doesn't matter what I think. With the exception of that one shot, the film looked pretty good, and more to the point the story was very good. That's what really matters to me, and I thought this film was very successful in its presentation. This is 2019's first very good, possibly great film? We'll see how I feel about it in a few weeks.

8/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   High Flying Bird
2.   Cold Pursuit
3.   Velvet Buzzsaw
4.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
5.   The Upside
6.   Escape Room
7.   Miss Bala
8.   Glass
9.   The Prodigy
10.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2019, 05:55:59 PM »


Alita: Battle Angel (2019), directed by Robert Rodriguez

There is one thing that kept going through my mind as Alita: Battle Angel was coming to a conclusion, and with good reason this kept coming to my mind. The thought was that I should remember not to take this too seriously. Is that the first time anyone has said that about a film James Cameron has written? This is beyond simply producing the film, this was something he wanted to have made regardless of how much it would cost, and trust me it cost a lot. The budget was reported as $170 million, I can only imagine what the real number is after promotion. I think this is the kind of film you make to keep James Cameron happy, and I'm not sure a bomb will dissuade Cameron from making a sequel. I'm sure he'll have lots of money after people splurge on his Avatar sequels. I'm also not entirely sure this will bomb, because let's face facts. This kind of material with tons of CGI and a PG-13 rating has the capability of drawing in lots of people. Word of mouth may be quite strong for certain scenes, and I also saw there was a Dua Lipa song tie-in. Things like the latter, I'm not entirely sure those matter anymore, but I do wonder. I also thought that the film left people a bit surprised by a cameo at the end, which I advise you to not search for if you have any intention of watching this. Those kinds of things are the right kind of surprise to leave people with, but again, I am reminded of my own thoughts. When for the last few minutes of a film I have to keep reminding myself to not take things too seriously, that isn't good!

Alita: Battle Angel is based on the manga series, and I must reiterate the word based on. I have no idea how faithful the adaptation is, nor how to explain a film like this one. Here goes. Alita: Battle Angel is set in the year 2563, many years after "The Fall", which was a war that left the Earth devastated and with only one remaining sky city, a place called Zalem. The regular citizens of Earth live in huge junky cities, not quite slums but not so glamorous either. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) is a scientist who works on cyborgs, and he's looking through the junkyard in Iron City to find something he can use. While there, he discovers a cyborg torso with an intact human brain and a ridiculously super-powered heart, but this is something Dr. Ido prefers to not tell anyone. The cyborg has no memories, not even of her own name, so once rebuilt Dr. Ido names her after his deceased daughter. She is Alita (Rose Salazar), one of the most fascinating human-CGI creations that I've ever seen on film. To call this an achievement is an understatement. The point seemed to be to ensure that people didn't confuse the character for human, of which there are many in Iron City. Alita immediately befriends Hugo (Keean Johnson), who has designs on moving to Zalem one day. He'll do what it takes to get there. Before that, Hugo introduces Alita to the sport of Motorball, which is a battle royale where cyborgs fight to the death. The ultimate champion will be called up to Zalem, getting the one thing so many people want to do.

It turns out Dr. Ido has major secrets. His ex-wife Chiren (Jennifer Connelly) is a scientist who is aware of Alita, but we'll shelve that for now and focus on his second occupation. Dr. Ido is desperately in need of credits to continue his cyborg clinic, and one night when Alita follows him, we all discover that he is a Hunter-Warrior (bounty hunter). They encounter some cyborg assassins led by a big cyborg called Grewishka (Jackie Earle Haley), and it turns out that Alita has powers only Ido is truly aware of. He decides not to tell her, so let's set up some of the rest of this. There are other bounty hunters out there, the main one being Zapan (Ed Skrein), and I will admit that the plot is a bit of a mess. After Grewishka's failure, he returns to Chiren and an enterprising sort named Vector (Mahershala Ali). Vector seems to run the motorball circuit, Hugo is in league with him on some of these schemes Vector has going. Grewishka is subsequently possessed by a man named Nova who lives on Zalem, and he tells them that they need to kill Alita. It's as damn simple as that. Interspersed with some of these revelations, it appears Alita has some rediscovering of her memories. For starters, it appears that she has been in battles on the Moon, and eventually she takes a trip out of the city with Hugo, who wants to show her something. There's a space cyborg suit inside of a spaceship that isn't from Earth, some crazy shit, and you know what I just CAN'T EXPLAIN THE PLOT MORE THAN THIS. As she begins to unlock her potential, the more people who want to use her and the more people who want her dead. There you go.

Despite the messy plot, this could have been a very good film but for the inclusion of one person, the romantic interest Hugo. The decision to cast someone who had never been in anything of value is one of the craziest things I have ever seen in a movie like this. Keean Johnson's performance here was of the quality of a wet paper bag. His plot thread is no better and James Cameron's idiotic attempt to humanize Alita with a romance story, as with all his other movies that have these shorts of relationship stories, really failed here. I think Cameron is a visionary in terms of his application of visual effects, but there are no words for how bad a plot this was. There are a lot of people who are in vehement disagreement with my point of view though. The cyborg-human love story in a tech-driven society appears to some in part because there haven't been too many of them. Fortunately, not the entire film centers around Hugo's relationship with Alita, even though there's too much of it. There should have been more focus on motorball, which is exactly my kind of jam. I need more of these scenes, didn't get them, but I enjoyed what was here.

The visual effcts, of course, are ridiculous. Anyone can see that by watching the trailer, but nothing really prepares you for what Alita: Battle Angel looks like in 3D. The colors pop, so do the costumes, and the environments do as well whether they're real or not. Some of the cyborgs, particularly Zapan, are insane to look at. I can hardly believe someone created a thing that looked like this. There are some great moments in this film, most of them center around Grewishka. Wouldn't they have to? A huge, powerful cyborg is guaranteed to entertain. The motorball scenes have to be nearly entirely CGI themselves, seeing as all the participants are cyborgs. I am left to wonder if the delay for this film's release was because it really took nearly two years to put these effects together. This has the feel of a JRPG even though it doesn't quite have the story down to the extent that it should, and Mahershala Ali's dual performance has some great moments. That's as close as you'll get to a spoiler from me. The scene set on the Moon is also absolutely incredible and reminded me of Mass Effect. I should point out that the graphics were many, many times better. A video game with this level of detail is still a long way off I'm afraid.

In the end, I keep coming back to two things. One is how much I was entertained, and the other is Hugo. Fucking Hugo, I tell you man. Hugo is by some distance the worst character James Cameron has ever written. The person who played Hugo also had one of the worst performances I've seen in a while. The lone saving grace with this character was that Cameron did ensure to give him the same double-sided motivations as anyone else in Iron City, but by that point I just couldn't handle looking at that guy anymore. The plot is a mess, and there's a truly horrendous character in this film, but I liked it anyway. It should also be noted that Alita: Battle Angel is not really a sci-fi film, it doesn't present any of those existential questions with any level of skill, but it is a film with good action and  incredible visual effects. I do hope that Disney decides to throw some money down the drain and make a sequel.

6/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   High Flying Bird
2.   Cold Pursuit
3.   Velvet Buzzsaw
4.   Alita: Battle Angel
5.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
6.   The Upside
7.   Escape Room
8.   Miss Bala
9.   Glass
10.   The Prodigy
11.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2019, 06:03:06 PM »
I should also mention that if Hugo WAS part of the manga, he should have been left out like some other stuff surely was.


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

Offline fazzle

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2019, 06:52:26 AM »
From what I've seen in some basic online perusal Hugo IS in the manga, but he's also kind of a piece of shit.   She loves him in the manga, but he doesn't really care about her and just uses her as a means to an end.   Probably would have been preferable to the Hugo that was in the movie though, because the character was as basic as possible while the actor seemed like he was having trouble just remembering his lines.  To steal a sentiment I've seen other places, they should have just scraped the Hugo character and made it a story of a girl and her dog, because she had way better chemistry with it.  Motorball really was exciting even though they shared absolutely zero information about what the rules of this game were, hopefully it gets more time in a sequel, although I have my doubts.

I saw it in IMAX 3D, only the second time I've seen a movie in that format (The Wandering Earth last week was the first time) so the effects were even more incredible that way.  The IMAX really adds a bunch, because I generally *hate* regular 3D, but both times I've seen IMAX 3D, it's been pretty damn good.  Overall my feelings on the movie are pretty similar to yours, but I'd be a bit more generous and give it a 7.  Maybe I'm just adding an extra point because I got a kick out of seeing
Spoiler: show
Hugo get killed TWICE

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2019, 03:03:25 PM »


Happy Death Day 2U (2019), directed by Christopher Landon

It's time for a sequel, and it's a rarity that I ever review these. I think the last live-action direct sequel that I reviewed was The Bourne Supremacy, but I'm not going to bother to check that. Here's the other thing I'm going to bring up, how many sequels of not particularly great movies wind up being better than their predecessor even though they're directed by the same person? None of them are instantly coming to mind, but I'm no historian. My score won't represent much difference, but I do think there is a large difference in quality between the two movies. In part this is because of things that were done in the first film to create that situation, and the dedication to using the first cast and having them in slightly differing roles really makes matters better. I will also point out that Happy Death Day 2U is a film with too many ideas, it's overboard...but that's what makes it fun. If one doesn't care for the humor style of the first film, they shouldn't even bother to watch this because it goes a lot further. This is ridiculous nonsense that everyone knows is nonsense, but I am concerned that this is going to be made into a franchise with tons and tons of sequels. It only really needs one more.

Happy Death Day 2U begins with something I was not expecting at all, with Carter's (Israel Broussard) roommate Ryan (Phi Vu) waking up in his car the day after the time loop from the first film ended. September 18th was the day of the first loop, and it's September 19th. Ryan finds Carter with Tree (Jessica Rothe) in the room after she'd broken the loop. Everything is quite good, but it has only been the lump sum of one night. Ryan is a bit freaked out and doesn't want to stay in his car, so he goes to his quantum mechanics lab to continue work on his thesis project. Samar (Suraj Sharma) and Dre (Sarah Yarkin) are his colleagues, but the school's dean, Bronson (Steve Zissis), has decided that he wants the project shut down. It is an enormous quantum reactor, who knows what this thing can really do, but it is also opening loops in...TIME AND SPACE. So you can see how ridiculous this will be, and why I'd like it. After Bronson stops the project from continuing on, Ryan goes into an empty lab. Guess what happens? Samar tries to give him a churro, but Ryan is freaked the hell out. As he turns to leave, out comes...you guessed it, a person wearing a baby mask who subsequently stabs him and murders him.

I'm sure you can guess what happens next as well. Ryan wakes up, in his car...and he seems to realize exactly what's happening to him. He makes the smart decision to immediately tell Tree and Carter, which leads to the events of the rest of the film. Tree finally tells Ryan about her time loop, and tells him that somehow the loop has been passed onto him. They decide to recreate the day, which leads to them finding nobody in the lab. Now they go to a basketball game to ensure Ryan isn't killed, which actually leads to...someone trying to kill Ryan. I hate to use so many ellipses, but it's that kind of film. When an alarm is pulled and everyone needs to evacuate, the killer appears once again and attempts to go after Ryan, only for Tree to rescue Ryan and unsmask the killer. The killer this time is ANOTHER RYAN. The second Ryan is really upset, he seems to know exactly what needs to be done to close this time loop, and I don't think it's correct considering he already tried this once. He says that the first Ryan needs to kill himself, which leads to Ryan activating the quantum device to kill the second Ryan, and it releases a pulse that knocks everyone to the floor. Guess how things start back up? I have to say because I can't mention anything about the rest of the film without it, but...TREE HAS RE-ENTERED HER TIME LOOP. AND IT ISN'T THE SAME.

Happy Death Day 2U is the kind of film that I really don't want to spoil, because I laughed a lot at the surprises in this, so I'll be brief in this last paragraph. The changes are without exception very funny, but I thought there was a few issues with whether or not Tree would decide to come back to the real timeline. I'm doing my best not to spoil and I can hardly resist. Happy Death Day 2U throws so many ridiculous concepts from other movies at you so quickly, all in an obviously joking fashion, and you'll either like it or you don't. This is actually hardly even a horror movie, I should point out. It's a comedy and it's one that I laughed at a lot, much harder than I'd expected. The death scenes are always funny, and with a great lead actress there's really nothing else to ask for from something like this. That being said, I am a bit wary of the idea of potential sequels. In addition, that thing I said about Tree coming back to the real timeline, it's an enormous flaw. I just don't want to spoil. I'll cut myself off and this is one of my shorter reviews, but this is a sequel that directly recreates the plot from the first movie. There is not a lot I can say about something like this, and I don't want to ruin the movie from anyone else. All the pleasure is in the surprise.

6.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   High Flying Bird
2.   Cold Pursuit
3.   Happy Death Day 2U
4.   Velvet Buzzsaw
5.   Alita: Battle Angel
6.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
7.   The Upside
8.   Escape Room
9.   Miss Bala
10.   Glass
11.   The Prodigy
12.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2019, 06:13:01 PM »


Polar (2019), directed by Jonas Akerlund

I must admit that I broke my own Netflix rules when I decided not to watch Polar right after it came on the service, but I saw all those bad reviews and was tempted to avoid the film entirely. Instead of avoid it entirely, I decided to watch it tonight. Polar is very much what I hoped for, I knew this would be trash as too many sources said that it was, but it was my kind of trash. There are only a few films as ridiculous as this one made in any given year, with actors you'd know deciding to take on roles that are beyond stupid, but they're in this movie anyway. Some of the people who reviewed this had said that this was done with tongue in cheek, which I think it clearly was, but a tongue in cheek look at the source material doesn't automatically mean the film is good. I am left to think about how many people gave this film a 0, and I can't completely disagree with that outlook. This was like something out of the 1980s, but with far more realistic blood and cinematography. Take everything I've said here for what it's worth. This is trash to the maximum, sleazy, and most of all highly amusing. I can't say that I didn't enjoy this, because I did. The problem is that Polar runs for much too long after what should have been the ending, and there are also bad creative decisions that didn't work for me.

Polar begins with a man named Michael Green (Johnny Knoxville) being killed by a group of assassins at his home in Chile. These assassins are from the Damocles corporation, which is a private security firm that always attempts to kill its assassins once they reach the age of 50. You can tell exactly how stupid this is from what I've just said. The scheme is for Mr. Blut (Matt Lucas) to raid the pension accounts of those old assassins to pay off debts the company has racked up over the years. Why would anyone kill for this guy? Who knows. Anyway, the team of assassins all have unique personalities as these movies tend to do. Sindy (Ruby O. Fee) is the hot one who works as bait for the team, Facundo (Anthony Grant) is their leader, Hilde (Fei Ren) is another hot one who works as a gunman, Karl (Kurrgan) spends a lot of time on the toilet, Alexei (Josh Cruddas) is some guy who looks like Sheamus, and Vivian (Kathryn Winnick) usually hangs out at Damocles assigning these people missions. Their next mission is going to be against yet another old assassin, but Duncan (Mads Mikkelsen) is more than up to the task. He doesn't know they're coming, so he's at quite a bit of a disadvantage.

In order for us to understand how old Duncan is, we're shown some scenes of him getting a prostate exam. After that's over, Vivian says that Blut wants him to travel to Belarus so he can find out who killed Michael Green. That isn't something he wants to do. Instead, Duncan leaves some money behind with his accountant, and disappears to Montana to go retire. Duncan seems to have psychological issues though. The biggest one is related to nightmares, and he has two really bad ones. After one of them, he kills a dog that he bought that day. After the other, we see that he had a botched hit and nearly killed an entire family. Duncan settles in Montana as well as he can, and one day he notices his neighbor Camille (Vanessa Hudgens) chopping wood. She's having a hard time, so when she leaves, Duncan decides to chop the wood for her. Eventually, Vivian contacts Duncan again, this time doubling the price for the assassination in Belarus related to Michael Green. Duncan travels there, but nearly instantly he realizes that Damocles wants to have him killed. After taking care of the problem, Mr. Blut dispatches the hit squad to find Duncan and kill him, so we have our movie.

To say this is the bottom of the barrel would be the most appropriate way of addressing a movie like Polar. That isn't to say I thought it was worse than a standard bad movie, because I'm not going to give it worse than the usual rating I give to really bad movies. To be worse than a 3 is when a film is beyond explanation, but that isn't the case here. The sex and gore in this is off the charts, and it's just for the sake of being shocking and has no real material value. The performance Matt Lucas gives as Mr. Blut is one of the worst things imaginable, I am very certain I won't see anything worse all year. It's not possible for other actors to be this bad, or at least it shouldn't be. The entertainment value of Polar is strong, but this is all trash. I thought that Vanessa Hudgens and Mads Mikkelsen did their best, but this was totally ridiculous. I understand the possibility that this was a parody/satire, but come on. The amount of blood is unbelievable here, so if you're all about that, this film is all about you. The torture scene also sends the wrong message, I thought it was funny more than anything else.

While Polar is full of logic gaps, I must admit that I was interested in the film until the ending took too long to wrap up. Why? It's one of those projects with ridiculous title screens when introducing a new character, which is just classic trash of the best kind. The twist at the end is entirely predictable, and the film takes way too long in getting to the point. The more interesting characters also die far before their time, and the plot struggles as a result of that. I don't know what to say about a movie as bad as this one and I've exhausted my thought process. It's hard to come up with the right words for Polar, but I may have liked this when I was 15 years old. That's a very damning critique, and Mads Mikkelsen shouldn't be in projects like this one. One of the sex scenes is such that I think it may have been his entire reason for participating in the film. Polar is still somehow not the worst film I've seen this year, that spot might be wrapped up. I should have given Serenity a 2.5 and will approach the rest of the year like I did, I don't know how anything's going to beat that. At least Polar made me laugh for the right reason a couple times.

3/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   High Flying Bird
2.   Cold Pursuit
3.   Happy Death Day 2U
4.   Velvet Buzzsaw
5.   Alita: Battle Angel
6.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
7.   The Upside
8.   Escape Room
9.   Miss Bala
10.   Glass
11.   The Prodigy
12.   Polar
13.   Serenity


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: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2019, 08:10:30 PM »
Quote
I must admit that I broke my own Netflix rules when I decided not to watch Polar right after it came on the service, but I saw all those bad reviews and was tempted to avoid the film entirely.

"instead I got CWM to watch it with me." I think that's the go to in this situations. Mr Blut and Ruby O Fee's character were the highlights. Ruby needs to be in every trashy netflix movie.

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2019, 01:25:50 PM »


What Men Want (2019), directed by Adam Shankman

Perhaps I should immediately address the elephant in the room, that this is yet another female centric remake of a very successful comedy. To say What Women Want was a success would be an understatement, I don't think any comedy in our current climate could make $374 million at the box office. You have to go back a very long time to the last time that happened. I suppose The Hangover Part III was the last really successful comedy, which feels like a joke. I guess it isn't a joke. Gender switching and movies probably doesn't work in terms of creating a film that gets lots of people to the box office, but it doesn't really matter to me if I see one of these kinds of movies. I think there's plenty of new ground to cover outside of the gender swapping aspect, and I thought What Men Want did that to a reasonable extent. However, when it comes to a movie like this one, with a redemption story being what it is, the story has to actually make sense. This one does not. A bad director will often find an inability to put the entirety of their story together, will often leave things out and have them happen off-screen or on a television screen, and that's exactly what happened here. Look at what Adam Shankman's directed before, this was never going to be great.

Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson) is a sports agent in Atlanta, and she's driven to absolute success. The first scene of the movie features her waking up at 3 AM to stay on top of things, then her assistant Brandon (Josh Brener) arrives to help her get to work. Brandon is a pushover and Ali is perfectly willing to run him over entirely, and once they arrive at Summit Worldwide Management this is even more clearly the case. Ali has been working hard to become a partner there, but she's also focused on her neighbor (Kellan Lutz) because she wants to have sex with him. Ali is tired of him ignoring her and Brandon thinks he's gay, but anyway, let's talk about the meeting. SWM is full of guys as you might expect, led by Nick (Brian Bosworth), lead agent extraordinaire I suppose. Ali thinks she'll become partner, but she's wrong. Nick instead announces that some guy named Eddie has been named the partner, and that it was because Ali wasn't unanimously selected by everyone else. Ali also doesn't have any clients in MLB, the NFL, or the NBA, so she's going to have to do something to get a promotion. Her idea is to announce that she'll sign the future #1 pick in the NBA Draft, a kid named Jamal Barry (Shane Paul McGhie).

There's a few obstacles in front of Ali's plan with Jamal, though. The first is that Jamal's day, a Lavar Ball clone named Joe Dolla (Tracy Morgan), is insistent on running/ruining his kids career. Some of the lines he's given are funny and others are too ridiculous to be real, much like the person who inspired this character. Anyway, Ali goes to a bar with her father Skip (Richard Roundtree) and encounters Will (Aldis Hodge), a single father who it turns out has a wife who has died. Ali doesn't know that, but they go back to his house and have sex while she acts crazy, which leads to the next morning where she discovers Will has a son. She also discovers the picture of Will married, freaks out, and leaves. Now, as to the important part, Ali needs to connect with Joe Dolla and with Jamal or she's screwed and will never be able to achieve her goals. One night, she joins up with her best friends for a bachelorette party and they've hired a psychic played by Erykah Badu. First, she reads Ali's fortune, and Ali tells her about how poorly her job is going. Eventually, Badu gives her some funky tea and Ali starts to feel sick, which leads to her hitting her head after getting drunk and passing out. You know the rest of what's coming, SHE CAN HEAR MEN'S THOUGHTS.

I think everyone who went to see What Men Want knew that this wouldn't be good, you'd have to be stupid to think otherwise. I think the film wasn't too bad and that it achieved its goals both of making me laugh and presenting Taraji P. Henson as a star. That seemed to be the entire point of this, and it also seemed that someone really wanted to fit a Lavar Ball character in the film no matter what. This entertained me enough but I'm not going to be overly effusive in praise. This doesn't make sense and the ending scenes are poorly structured, making things feel like they're dragging on for much too long. The film also plays on stereotypes as you'd expect, but those are the kinds of things I wanted to laugh at. They didn't disappoint too much, that's for sure. I'm also a little bit confused as to what the moral of such a movie was, but I've come to the conclusion that it didn't really have one. I can't make heads or tails of the idea that Ali didn't understand men at all, because I wouldn't understand how she had clients or a job in the first place. The film goes way overboard with this idea to its detriment.

I should note that I didn't really care for What Women Want, but I do think What Men Want was a slightly better film. That isn't to say it was good or anything, but I'm judging by the standard of which movie made me laugh more. I don't think a person is supposed to take something like this seriously, but I did think that Taraji P. Henson did a great job with this character. I left out some of the appearances for a reason, but I think that in the end this is a film that basically gave the viewer exactly what they were expecting. Another minor issue is that the best laugh in What Men Want is something shown in the trailer for theaters they've been showing for months. Take everything I've said here for what it's worth, but there aren't many comedies in the theater in the first place these days. This one was acceptable enough and there was the added benefit of looking at someone more pretty than Mel Gibson. Shocking, I know. In any case, this will make money which is rare for a comedy, and this is the kind of movie that lots of people will watch on TV for years and years. At least, that is, when they edit out the copious amount of cursing.

5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   High Flying Bird
2.   Cold Pursuit
3.   Happy Death Day 2U
4.   Velvet Buzzsaw
5.   Alita: Battle Angel
6.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
7.   The Upside
8.   Escape Room
9.   What Men Want
10.   Miss Bala
11.   Glass
12.   The Prodigy
13.   Polar
14.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2019, 11:24:29 AM »


Fighting with My Family (2019), directed by Stephen Merchant

Has anyone ever went to see a movie in theaters before that you were there for the filming of? Such was my experience with Fighting with My Family, I was there when they filmed the match that ends the movie. As such, it's very strange to see these things placed into a somewhat cohesive event when I saw it myself and know that it wasn't. Considering one of my complaints about the film is its ending, you guys should know where I stand and part of why I may be complaining. Subconsciously this may be the reason I didn't like the ending. My initial impression when I saw the trailer for Fighting with My Family was that this would be a garbage movie. After seeing the film, I think MGM should fire whoever cut the trailer. Very rarely have I seen a trailer as misleading as this one, which totally misses the tone of the actual film and makes it look as corny as a film could possibly be. While Fighting with My Family is somewhat corny, I would never go so far as to say this is as corny as the trailer made it look. That would be wrong and that was ridiculous. I was left with the thought that very rarely has there been a film about wrestlers that actually captured the mindset of a wrestler, and that Fighting with My Family was one of them. I also thought the casting for these roles was spot on.

Fighting with My Family is about Paige (Florence Pugh) and her journey to WWE, as everyone here undoubtedly knows. Our film begins with footage of Paige and her brother Zak (Jack Lowden) as children, watching WWE and wishing they will one day be able to accomplish their dreams. As we know, one of them did and one didn't, which it appeared a lot of people in the theater did not realize. The first few scenes establish Paige's home life with Zak and their parents Ricky (Nick Frost) and Saraya (Lena Headey), who go by their ring names at most times. They work in their own promotion, an indy in Norwich called the WAW. This is a family operation and they're struggling, there's no bullshit here about how well they're doing. Zak and Paige (sorry, I can't see her with any other name)  also have a half brother Roy (James Burrows), and Ricky tells us that Roy is in prison after failing a WWE tryout. Zak and Paige also have a job with WAW training aspiring wrestlers, as there are lots of neighborhood kids around who have nothing going on and need something to do. Anyway, after sending in tapes for a while, eventually WWE gives them a call.

Hutch Morgan (Vince Vaughn) is a scout with WWE, and there's going to be a Smackdown taped in London which will lead to a series of tryouts. Zak and Paige are supposed to be there, with Paige not yet having that name yet and being called by the name of Brittani. Hutch wants her to lose that name and eventually she does, but there's the tryout. There are many wrestlers there, and potentially many wrestlers could succeed, but only one of them does. It's Paige. Zak is destroyed as this is his dream too, and Paige thought she'd be going to Orlando with him all along. Zak isn't going to come though, and Paige is left to decide if she'll go without him. I don't really need to tell you what happens next. It turns out that actually getting into WWE is much harder than Paige thought it would be, that she can't make any friends, and ultimately she's having a much more difficult time without her brother than anyone could have expected. Hutch is also a hard driver and wants to push these aspiring wrestlers to their limits, and Paige has a difficult time with that too.

The first thing that comes to mind is that WWE has never been successful in making a propaganda movie before, but there's a first time for everything and this is the first time. The reason why this is a success is completely down to Paige's story actually being worth telling. The casting director did a fantastic job picking the four Knight family members, and I thought that the depiction of Saraya was a little flattering to Saraya at first, but the makeup director did a good job of making Lena Headey...look more like Saraya. The depiction of Ricky is also spot on and couldn't have been chosen better. All in all, I thought this was more of a comedy than anything else. The attempts for emotional moments didn't work on me because I already knew the story, but they seemed to work on other people who were sitting there. In that way, Fighting with My Family is a very successful film. I thought Florence Pugh made a great Paige, even though there isn't much facial resemblance I bought the transformation almost completely. Vince Vaughn on the other hand, it is very difficult to believe him in anything now. True Detective happened, there's no putting the genie back in the bottle there.

Fighting with My Family is a film that is also very heavily reliant on the viewer not questioning the story as it is laid out, which I should point out is massively lacking in truth. With that in mind, you very well may dislike this film massively. The lack of truth in this film is astounding, Paige's entire NXT tenure is distilled to training at the performance center and doing a house show or two in Florida. That's it. The last match is also presented with the idea that it isn't a work when the rest of the movie well establishes that wrestling is all a work, which actually made me laugh. I will point out one thing though. There are very few movies like this about younger women. The lack of training montages featuring younger women who girls could aspire to be is something that remained in mind while I was watching this. I'm sure someone is going to make a joke about Paige's sex tape, but the thing is, that doesn't change the fact that now it is believed that becoming a female wrestler is something girls can now aspire to do.

With all that in mind, this is a good film but not a completely special one. It is still very strange to see a movie like this one where there are lots of people in the theater to watch something that is effectively very successful WWE propaganda. The director did a very good job placing these things together, but I must point out that people here who have knowledge of the story are going to find some problems with it. In any case, I was surprised that this wasn't completely terrible and that the Rock's involvement in front of the camera seemed heartfelt. I'm sure there will be more of these WWE movies going forward, and the Hulk Hogan one with Chris Hemsworth is just one of many. Nobody should be surprised by that either, there's so much ground to be covered here and it seems that people really enjoy watching it.

6.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   High Flying Bird
2.   Cold Pursuit
3.   Happy Death Day 2U
4.   Fighting with My Family
5.   Velvet Buzzsaw
6.   Alita: Battle Angel
7.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
8.   The Upside
9.   Escape Room
10.   What Men Want
11.   Miss Bala
12.   Glass
13.   The Prodigy
14.   Polar
15.   Serenity


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

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2019, 02:01:55 PM »
What I have noticed is that people who don’t know anything about professional wrestling enjoyed this movie way more than those who follow the wrestling industry with a critical eye (this board as an example).   I personally found it annoying as a wrestling follower they skipped a large chunk of her career and also the fact that Rock apparently runs the company but hey, it’s his movie.

The best part of the movie as expected was the family dynamic of a bunch of weirdos and honestly, I’d love a follow up movie with just Nick Frost playing Ricky, doesn’t even have to be wrestling related.


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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2019, 11:36:23 AM »


Arctic (2019), directed by Joe Penna

I'm trying and failing to come up with an opening line for Arctic, but that isn't because there are a shortage of things in the film to discuss. I think the best way to begin things is by pointing out that Arctic is a very simple, small-budget film, the kind which usually doesn't get released in theaters. Its content is commercially unappealing and that is reflected in its box office, but the idea that Arctic is going to lose money is very difficult for me to fathom. Survival movies shot in the cold are actually few and far between, there's a pretty good reason for that. Finding actors that want to do these kinds of films is quite difficult, and writing a story that doesn't feel similar to other survival movies is also difficult. There are some things in Arctic that do borrow from other survival movies, but this is a feature that ensures we aren't inundated with terrible moments where our lead character is a failure. No, this is very much different than that, the lead character here is someone who actually knows what they're doing. The problem is that he's in the Arctic Circle, it is bitterly cold, there is no easy way back to civilization because none actually exists. What a person is supposed to do in this situation, I do not quite understand. However, people do have to deal with these situations, and the way they do so is the embodiment of the human spirit. Most people just will not give up.

Overgard (Mads Mikkelsen) is a man stranded in the Arctic Circle waiting for rescue. He has clearly been there for quite some time, at least a month or so judging from his beard length. His life in the Arctic is difficult, as you might expect. He has a decent little setup though. His cargo plane is what crashed, but it is also relatively intact. There's some mystery in this situation as you don't know exactly what happened, you have to put the pieces together yourself. Attention is the key. Overgard spends a lot of time trying to get rescue, going to different ridges and small mountains in order to head up top and signal for help. He also has a nice ice fishing thing going on, but the catches are quite small. He is clearly dying, there isn't very much that he can actually do about this situation. Stuck is the word. There's also an encroaching problem he can't do a hell of a lot about either, a polar bear. His storage for the fish has been disrupted and there are huge paw prints in the snow, there's only one thing that could have caused that. There's something I should note, though. Overgard is doing everything by the book, he hasn't fucked up or made any bullshit science that went his way, this is simply unfair.

One day, Overgard heads out to start turning the crank and signaling for rescue, and oddly enough, there's a helicopter out there. There is also a massive storm and this is a big problem, the helicopter cannot land. Overgard is devastated, but not compared to what's going to happen because the helicopter can't land. The helicopter also can't get any air, and it meets its inevitable end in a very shocking scene. When it crashes, Overgard stands there in shock like a real person would do. Once he lumbers down the hill, he finds the pilot is dead. However, the other person onboard is not, even though she (Maria Thelma Smaradottir) has a major wound in her torso that Overgard is forced to staple together with the medical kit from the helicopter. This is an unforeseen wrinkle in his plans though. It's impossible to know what he was going to do before this point, but there's only so long that he has alcohol to put on her wound to keep her from dying, and only so much fish to feed someone. The woman also cannot sustain her life inside of Overgard's plane. So, Overgard has a plan. There is a base that is many days walk away, they are going to go there or die trying. Simple as that!

There's quite a bit of ground to cover here, but the first thing coming to mind is that this is quite an impressive first feature film. I was thinking last night that there needed to be an Oscar given out to films that qualify as a director's first feature film. Arctic would certainly be a contender if this was a category next year, but most likely it will not be. There should also be a category for rising stars but that is not related to this at all. Mads isn't a rising star, obviously. Instead, this is an enthralling tale that plays on the audience's recognition of the actor in order to tell its story. The vulnerability of the character here shines through the screen. What we get to see from Mads is a very strong application of survivalism, it doesn't work out for him because the elements cannot be accounted for, but this isn't a film with bullshit. Arctic is a film with such few words, it's believable because we don't have a man endlessly speaking to himself. The MacGyver type shit is left to a minimum here, but the character is someone who had training in anticipation of this potentially happening while they flew the cargo plane.

I have read that Arctic does have a few digital effects, but I think it's an accomplishment that I couldn't tell exactly what they were while watching the movie. In hindsight, it would seem the plane is one of those effects, and obviously the helicopter as well. It's incredible though that effects have gotten to this point where the untrained eye can't tell without already being very skeptical. I will say that the film is a slow one, as you might expect from a minimalist survival drama. However, Mads Mikkelsen puts in arguably the best performance of his career, one which will probably not receive any recognition from those who hand out trophies. That's too bad. There's a good story about how this film was originally set on Mars and not in the Arctic, which probably would have been a huge mistake. The atmosphere here is much more realistic, obviously. Arctic is also very nicely shot, it looked like a much more costly film. The moments in this film actually carry weight, but as I already said, this is a very straight-forward film. I think everyone would prefer I review a movie this way instead of revealing too much. I don't know what more I can say about a work like this one, but I think this sets an early high bar for the competition to clear.

8/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Arctic
2.   High Flying Bird
3.   Cold Pursuit
4.   Happy Death Day 2U
5.   Fighting with My Family
6.   Velvet Buzzsaw
7.   Alita: Battle Angel
8.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
9.   The Upside
10.   Escape Room
11.   What Men Want
12.   Miss Bala
13.   Glass
14.   The Prodigy
15.   Polar
16.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2019, 01:32:42 PM »


Greta (2019), directed by Neil Jordan

I would say that Greta had the best trailer of anything debuting so far this year, in terms of piquing my interest in something I otherwise may not have been interested in a few years ago. Let's put it this way, if you've been waiting for camp since Serenity was released, and particularly if you want better camp than that, Greta might be for you. I am a little confused by some of the things related to this film though. Hasn't Neil Jordan been nominated for awards? I'm a little bit confused how someone could go from that to this, but that could also be said for our cast. Trust me, this is a film that could not have started off seeming more boring. To clarify, that's just at the start. Things pick up so much from that point though, and even though you pretty much know what's coming, it's still fun the whole way. Surprisingly, it took me being the only one laughing at some very funny things in order for other people to stop laughing, but make no mistake here. Greta is a very, very funny film, I cannot believe that these three actresses took part in something so goofy. I'm also happy they did.

Greta begins with Frances (Chloe Grace Moretz) working at a restaurant in New York City, this is something she doesn't seem too experienced in doing and with good reason. It turns out that Frances' mother has died and she is in more than a bit of a funk, and that she went to live with her best friend Erica (Maika Monroe) in Manhattan. While on her way home, Frances finds a nice looking bad on the subway and does what a person should do with such a bag. I don't mean that she stole it, or anything in there, even though Erica really wanted to. Erica has a fascination with bullshit fads like colonics, and she did suggest that they take the money out of the wallet, but in any case, Frances is from Boston and I guess that means she doesn't steal (lol). If you haven't figured it out, Frances is a little dumb. She is also quite a bit lonely. The next day, she heads to Brooklyn with the intention of delivering the purse to Greta (Isabelle Huppert), a lonely Frenchwoman whose family has departed her some time ago. Her husband is dead and her daughter lives in Paris, so there's a potential for a bond between the two women.

Greta and Frances have a very good first meeting, which naturally leads to other meetings between the two. Erica thinks this development is absolutely bizarre and calls it out for what it is, that these two are indulging each other in their grief and that it won't last. It doesn't last. Greta plays the piano and is very good at it, this is something that serves to put Frances at ease. Frances helps Greta adopt a dog, they go to church, and all that good stuff. One night, Frances is going to abandon Erica so that she can go to dinner with Greta at Greta's house. While there, I'm sure everyone who's seen the trailer has seen this, but Frances is asked to look for some candles. Frances does so, and in the act of doing so she opens the wrong drawer and sees a lot of purses similar to the one she returned to Greta. Frances feigns sick and jets on out of there, but there are already some omnious signs. One is that Greta has presented herself as being technologically illiterate when she is not. There's a scene where she spies on Frances' Facebook page, but she had a flip phone and didn't know how to use the camera. Another problem is that she locks her house from the inside with a key. Anyway, I think you know how this one goes. Greta is simply not going to allow Frances to break their bond and get away with it.

Greta is a film much bolstered by its score and cinematography, and I think without said cinematography, a lot of the juice would have been sapped from this film. We know that Seamus McGarvey is a very good cinematographer from what he did with Nocturnal Animals, which I think is a film I underrated when I reviewed it. The score is completely batshit, by the way. Javier Navarrete has also been nominated for awards for his scores, and this probably won't be...but it still fits the film so well. This is love or hate material, I think. You may find this too ridiculous to pay any mind, but I did not. I found that this material was entirely tongue-in-cheek, it just had to be. There's a part where Greta twirls on the floor like a ballerina, one which made me howl with laughter. I mean, come on. Yes, this is a stalker film, but there's no way anyone could possibly think this is supposed to be serious. Talk about a ridiculous movie. At one point I thought that Jordan was trying to make a statement about how ridiculous this subgenre is.

Of course, this all falls apart without the performances of our three actresses. All of them are entirely necessary to the film, but I thought Isabelle Huppert was the standout. That's no surprise. She makes for a perfect stalker, and was shockingly good in the more amusing parts of this story. There are numerous things that were shown in the trailer that I thought would be hard for her to pull off, but none of them were. This was also a very good follow-up to It Follows for Maika Monroe. Since then, she did a bunch of stuff that I haven't watched, some of which I'll certainly never watch. This role is made for her though, and I'm going to leave it at that. I was also thinking that Chloe Grace Moretz is innocent looking enough for this story to actually work. Ultimately, it's the work of the trio that renders this film a success with me, but I wouldn't go too far overboard. This is certainly a film with problems, the largest one being that Moretz's character has to be a really stupid idiot to fall for this stuff. The beginning of Greta is also mind-numbingly boring, I lost track of how many times I yawned, and in truth I also closed my eyes and very well could have fallen asleep. I'm glad I didn't, and while Greta isn't a triumph of cinema, it is very amusing in ways these films often are not.

6.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Arctic
2.   High Flying Bird
3.   Cold Pursuit
4.   Happy Death Day 2U
5.   Greta
6.   Fighting with My Family
7.   Velvet Buzzsaw
8.   Alita: Battle Angel
9.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
10.   The Upside
11.   Escape Room
12.   What Men Want
13.   Miss Bala
14.   Glass
15.   The Prodigy
16.   Polar
17.   Serenity


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

Offline YEAAAAAH, WE DID IT AGAIN!

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2019, 07:33:44 AM »
Saw "Greta" yesterday and actually enjoyed it quite a bit. It's refreshing to see a mainstream thriller that also isn't afraid to add a bit of campy black humor,


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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2019, 06:36:32 PM »


Paddleton (2019), directed by Alex Lehmann

I was thinking two things at the moment I turned on Paddleton, and one thing after I'd started the movie and realized what was going to be the case throughout. The first of those things was that I just watched a movie about sickness, but I already knew that. No big deal. The second was that this was the kind of movie that...let me say it this stupid cliche once more...WOULD ONLY BE MADE BY NETFLIX. Sorry, it's true, there's no bankability in a story like this one and the film could never make money. The thing I was thinking was that it's completely fitting Paddleton premiered at Sundance. This is the most Sundance of films, one which has only two characters of any consequence, a plot about something controversial, a downer ending, and a great case of stretching out a finality into a full feature film. This is also quirky as Sundance premieres tend to be. I do have one problem though. I was intending to see the latest Madea film today, but the projector broke and I couldn't. I'm pointing this out because I very rarely watch two very good films in a row, and there's a reason for that. I don't like to have my expectations get too high. So, my intention was to split this with that Madea movie, but I didn't, and now I can't do anything about it. Oh well. In any case, I really didn't think this would be any good, so I waited too long once again to watch this after its release. Big mistake.

Michael (Mark Duplass) and Andy (Ray Romano) are two older guys with shitty jobs, the kind that make you lose your soul and become a robot. The only time these two don't feel that way is when they're together. They aren't gay, but it's clear to see that these are two men who love each other and value each other as friends. The film opens straight away with Michael receiving a diagnosis of terminal stomach cancer. It's not going to be good and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Andy wants Michael to fight for survival, but terminal is terminal and that's going to be it. Michael does not want to suffer. They continue doing the things they do, like make pizzas together, or watch kung-fu movies, finish puzzles, all that stuff that people do once they get old even though they aren't that old. Michael and Andy also play paddleton, which is a game the two made up together. There's an old, overgrown drive-in theater in town, where they hit balls off the back of the screen and try to knock said ball into a trash can which seemed to be full of water. This is the shit they want to do.

I buried the lede, but there's something else that Michael wants to do. He wants to take his own life through medication prescribed by his doctor, which makes Andy quite upset. Michael isn't going to change his mind though, and I think I'd be in the same boat at the point of being in massive pain, but he needs to take a road trip to the closest pharmacy that will fill the prescription. In something I found very amusing, the pharmacy is "six hours away," but outside of the story concept it's really just 20 minutes. I know because I've been to this area. Anyway, Andy is willing to come along with Michael, so a road trip it is. They talk about things they still want to do, and we learn that there could be further difficulty in getting the medication. A lot of pharmacists do not want to fill these prescriptions, but to that I say they can go fuck themselves. Let the man die in peace. So, as the road trip goes, getting the medication is their goal, and Michael wants to end his life on his terms.

This movie is very short, and I did my best to pad out the description a little bit. I think Paddleton was only 86 minutes, which is good for material so heavy. I don't always mind when a film with this subject matter is long, but it's better to be short with it. I'm a little surprised by a few of the reviews as I didn't find much of this to be amusing at all. I actually found it quite sad, and at the end of the film I was very bummed out. When the more emotional moments in the story come on, I thought the bond between the two extended to the viewer a little bit, it was hard not to like these guys even though they were both strange. Ray Romano does an excellent job here, the post-Everybody Loves Raymond comeback is real, it is legit, and he needs to be in more films like this one. I think Everybody Loves Raymond was trash, but I'm curious to know what Romano actually thought of the show. His work in the time since then is very different and he's become a very well-rounded actor. It doesn't hurt that he's made enough money to do absolutely anything that he wants to do.

I have to be short here because Paddleton is so short itself, but a film that carries real weight like this one, or like The Big Sick, those are the kinds of films that I find myself most readily wanting to check out. I don't think this was a great film, unlike The Big Sick, in part because the humor here doesn't really resonate with me the same way. It's one of those things where I don't have experience of the situation and don't have the exact same feelings. That, though, is why Paddleton is worth checking out. Assisted suicide is a taboo subject even to this day, although I don't know why anyone would be against it. I don't think pro-suffering is the greatest of positions to take. I also thought Paddleton was a rare case of a film that played around with the reality of same-sex platonic love without resorting to horrible comedic tropes. No other movie I can think of is entirely capable of doing this without those horrible "I LOVE YOU BRO" moments. I won't watch this film again, but I appreciate that 2019 has started off quite nicely. Sure, there was also a lot of shit released at the start of this year, but there's also a fair bit of quality if you look hard enough. Two of my top three films being Netflix offerings is weird though.

7.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Arctic
2.   High Flying Bird
3.   Paddleton
4.   Cold Pursuit
5.   Happy Death Day 2U
6.   Greta
7.   Fighting with My Family
8.   Velvet Buzzsaw
9.   Alita: Battle Angel
10.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
11.   The Upside
12.   Escape Room
13.   What Men Want
14.   Miss Bala
15.   Glass
16.   The Prodigy
17.   Polar
18.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2019, 01:00:25 PM »


Captain Marvel (2019), directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck

I think I'll immediately start with an aside here, I don't understand the need for a filmmaking duo as opposed to a single filmmaker, but I need to do some research. Anyway, Captain Marvel. The one instance of Marvel actually being behind DC in getting with the times, I cannot believe it took Disney so long to green light a superhero movie with a female star. The reaction to this film is probably a large reason they didn't, and by that I mean, as soon as Brie Larson said anything remotely controversial, it was blown up into a thing when what she said wasn't a big deal at all. Those things shouldn't matter, but unquestionably they do. People were clearly looking for a reason to get angry, but this was a controversy not remotely in mind when I got into the theater today. Even if it had been, I think the title introduction featuring all of Stan Lee's cameos would have immediately removed thoughts of the controversy from my brain. It appears that nobody else cares either as Captain Marvel is going to clear $160 million in North America this weekend, only some guys who pound on keyboards cared in the first place. I was hoping for something more memorable than the average Marvel movie, something better than Thor: The Dark World, with more lasting impact than Ant-Man, but my expectations weren't so high that this would be another Wonder Woman. I knew better than that, and this wasn't as good as Wonder Woman. However, that does not mean that this wasn't good. It was quite good.

Captain Marvel kicks off nicely and fast, with Vers (Brie Larson) having recurring nightmares that feature an older woman. She lives on the Kree planet of Hala, which shows that the MCU is massively going to branch out into space over the coming years, and I really like that. Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) is her mentor, her commander, and he is trying to train Vers to control her emotions to harness powers that she has been given. Nobody else has these powers, but Vers does, and she is unable to understand how or why. See, Vers lost her memories, but if you know anything about comics, you know who she is and where she came from. Vers has a mission ahead with a Kree team of operatives, including the already mentioned Yon-Rogg, Korath (Djimon Hounsou), and Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan). There are others but they aren't important. Their mission is to rescue a Kree operative who has infiltrated a group of Skrulls, shapeshifters who the Kree have been at war with for a very long time. I'll cut to the chase though, this mission doesn't go very well at all. Vers is captured by the Skrulls, their leader being Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), and he's set on probing through Vers mind.

When he does probe Vers mind, we are privy to very important information. We learn many things, one of them being that she was a fighter pilot who didn't have the best childhood. We don't learn that her name is Carol Danvers, but come on.  She's Carol. In addition, we learn that they're probing Carol's mind for a reason, because they want to know more about someone running a program called Pegasus, Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening). Earlier in the film, when Carol went to meet with the Kree's Supreme Intelligence, she also saw Dr. Lawson. It was said by Yon-Rogg that the Supreme Intelligence is unique to each person who sees it, so we now know that Carol is tied to Dr. Lawson in some way. Carol does manage to escape and winds up piloting an aircraft of some kind to Earth, crashing in Los Angeles. At this point, it is revealed that this film is set in 1995, because Carol is in a Blockbuster with True Lies and Babe memorabilia. Her landing has attraced a crowd, namely Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). Carol's mission? To stop the Skrulls from infiltrating Earth, and find out why she has memories of being on this planet. Specifically, memories related to Dr. Lawson.

There are some good things about Captain Marvel, there are also some bad ones. I guess I'll start with the bad and segue to the better. My initial reaction when seeing certain Kree characters reappear is that we'd learn more about them, but that wasn't the case at all. This is very much a story about Captain Marvel and not anyone else, but in the process of this story, we learn about things that are pertinent to the Avengers movies both past and in the future. There are also things from the Captain Marvel comic books that have some appearances here, and they're pretty cool. I don't want to spoil more than I've already done, but there's also a nice twist on the usual Marvel way of telling a story with this subject. I will leave it at that. I was also quite satisfied with how Captain Marvel tied into Avengers: Endgame, but I won't say how or give any details as to that at all. This film also plays heavily on nostalgia for the 90's, and I thought it worked entirely. There wasn't a single thing as far as that went that I thought was out of place, or going overboard with things. Bear in mind that I am not entirely aware of the dates of the music used here, but everything else I know was spot on.

I should also point out that I'm biased in favor of this film because I love space related shit, and it doesn't have the nauseating amount of comedy that exists in the other space related Marvel films. Yes, I said nauseating. Most people disagree, but that's how I feel. I did much appreciate the more serious tone here, and when things did get funny, there was a damn good reason for them to be funny and they actually had a real impact. The film's conclusion is good, but as is often the case with Marvel's films, it's horribly drawn out. I couldn't believe how long it took for the credits to start rolling. The thing is though, that this can't be as good as a Black Panther or even a Spider-Man: Homecoming because I didn't find there to be any actual moral of the story. The comment on society is lacking entirely from my perspective, so even though this features a great performance from Brie Larson, Captain Marvel is only a very good film. If I wanted to post spoilers, this review would be so much longer, but I think once everyone watched this film they'll easily be able to figure out where I stand on each given event. I also really liked Samuel L. Jackson's performance as Nick Fury here, and him getting a larger role as in Captain America: Winter Soldier is always something I'm going to enjoy. I would like to see him play Nick Fury in larger roles a few more times before departing the MCU. In fact he deserves his own movie when it's time for him to depart, one where his character gets a dignified death while establishing a big new villain. I'm left to think that even films about side characters like him would make quite a bit of money and should be made.

7.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Arctic
2.   High Flying Bird
3.   Captain Marvel
4.   Paddleton
5.   Cold Pursuit
6.   Happy Death Day 2U
7.   Greta
8.   Fighting with My Family
9.   Velvet Buzzsaw
10.   Alita: Battle Angel
11.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
12.   The Upside
13.   Escape Room
14.   What Men Want
15.   Miss Bala
16.   Glass
17.   The Prodigy
18.   Polar
19.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2019, 06:34:43 PM »
Chichewa, subtitles



The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019), directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor

Let's keep it going with debut films, shall we? I intend to see one in theaters next week as well, but this is a particularly interesting debut film in that it is a film not in the director's native language. This would seem to be a difficult task. I decided to look up some reactions in Malawi to Ejiofor's use of the language, and people didn't like it. Well, the thing is, as someone who doesn't know the language, the subtitles suffice and the performances are what shine through. I am, however, not too surprised that this was Ejiofor's first feature effort from the director's chair. This is exactly the kind of story that the Western world is not too aware of, of the struggles that others encounter and their difficulty surviving life on this planet. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is also a film that reminds one of their advantages in life, of the things that we complain about that actually aren't important. What else bothers me is that we have these problems all around the world, including in our own country, and we don't actually do anything about them. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is adapted from a book, it is a true story, and it's one that left me a bit taken aback. I've already explained what my thoughts were, but why did this film pull those emotions from me and those thoughts out of my head?

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is set in Malawi, in a village outside the capital where famine has taken hold. There are reasons why this is, an inconsistent rainy season that leads to either floods or dry land and no crops. Sometimes things are good, but usually not. William Kamkwamba (Maxwell Simba) is a young man who lives with his family in the aforementioned small village of Wimbe, his focus is on school. William also fixes radios for his friends at times, using simple technology from the local junkyard. There is a problem though. The famine has taken hold and even though his father Trywell (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and mother Agnes (Aissa Maiga) have saved money, this isn't going to be enough. All they were able to grow was corn, and not a whole lot of it. Due to this, and due to flooding, these problems keep continuing to add up and Trywell is no longer going to be able to send William to school. The film is set in 2001, before 9/11, times are much different everywhere. The intention was to send William's sister Annie (Lily Banda) to university, but now that's not going to be able to happen. Their hope is that with what they have, and with some of their stores, they will be able to make it through the year.

There are other issues though that lead to more flooding. For example, due to the rainy season, other farmers are selling their land, including some of those with trees on it. That leads to trees being demolished and to more flooding, all of this is happening because the chief (Joseph Marcell) is powerless to stop it. He cannot support everyone else. Eventually, the lack of tuition fees add up, and that leads to William being kicked out of school. This is not good for the family, because he is learning even though nobody will listen to him. Then 9/11 happens. The markets crash, food costs skyrocket, and Malawi is one of the world's least developed countries. It's a country lacking in food for many reasons, but at this time there was a horrible food shortage. Malnourishment was prominent, this was said to be the worst famine in the history of the country. Electricity was also not common for citizens, and certainly not in William's family. His intention is to find a way to help his family and save his village from the drought, he does have a few ideas. His teacher Mr. Kachigunda (Lemogang Tsipa) has a dynamo attached to his bike, the electricity he generates allows his bike to have light at night. William needs to find a way to replicate this so he can create a windmill, but more pressing is the need for immediate food. The situation is not good, and he's booted from school, but he also knows that Mr. Kachigunda is seeing his sister. This information could prove to be a valuable tool.

I probably did a bad job describing The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, but I thought the depiction of famine and what people will do in order to be able to eat was something I really needed to see at this time. It's a reminder to be grateful for what I have, something that people really need. One should not take for granted what has been given to them, and even though this country isn't great, I'm glad I was born here and not in Malawi. I thought the film was good in showcasing famine without falling into tropes where people do all kinds of horrible things that make Africans look bad, the story properly humanized the characters so that people could understand why people do these things for their family. The presentation that people are savages, which has happened in quite a few films about the continent, that isn't here at all. Some of the events here are very sad, and I was left in sadness as some of these scenes played out. There are things people in our country do not account for when a person is really starving. The familiarity of pets, or of school in a country where there is no public school, or of new clothes, or of bathing, those are things that all disappear when one can't eat. This struggle is something anyone can understand if they've truly been poor. I thought the scenes once the famine really kicked in were absolutely heartbreaking, and I had to resist the temptation to minimize. They weren't too painful to watch, but when you see people getting beaten up for having food, that's so sad.

I think Ejiofor was careful to frame Malawi in a way that didn't make the country look bad, and that it's any other place that one could have wound up being born in, and this touch really worked for me. I do think there's an issue with some of his directing though, particularly the placement of musical pieces that doesn't feel too right. That's okay though. What this is, is quite a powerful film. The story is very simple, and even though I did also find there to be some issues with the timeline not being entirely clear to the viewer, or at least to myself, I'm fine with that. For someone's first effort, I think this is a fantastic film. I don't want to discredit someone's first try, particularly a noted actor like Ejiofor. I prefer not to focus on the negatives in that case. His performance was excellent, as always, and so was his effort in directing the whole thing. It seemed clear this was a labor of love, that this was something he really wanted to make, and he did well enough with the language that he felt comfortable speaking quickly and screaming as he's known to do in pivotal scenes. I also loved seeing Geoffrey finally return from exile post-Fresh Prince. I haven't seen him do ANYTHING since then. Lastly, I was left with the thought that this year has started off very nicely. There are more good films at the start of this year than last, with this being among the best of them. I recommend checking this out.

7.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Arctic
2.   High Flying Bird
3.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
4.   Captain Marvel
5.   Paddleton
6.   Cold Pursuit
7.   Happy Death Day 2U
8.   Greta
9.   Fighting with My Family
10.   Velvet Buzzsaw
11.   Alita: Battle Angel
12.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
13.   The Upside
14.   Escape Room
15.   What Men Want
16.   Miss Bala
17.   Glass
18.   The Prodigy
19.   Polar
20.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2019, 01:59:37 PM »


The Kid (2019), directed by Vincent D'Onofrio

So, debut directing efforts. This is a subject which has continued to be prevalent in my reviews because I watch a lot of independent movies, but this one is not an independent. Instead, this seems to be a few things. One possibility is that this was a favor to D'Onofrio, another is that Lionsgate actually really wanted to make the film. Something else that's coming to mind is that it didn't cost too much to make this Western, and I really don't think that it did. D'Onofrio was able to get a good cast and use family members to fill other roles, but more than that, he found someone to fund their kid being in a movie. That, more than anything else, is how someone can get their debut film made. The thing is, even though this did feature a first time teenage actor in a very important role, his performance was not bad. I wouldn't say great, but not bad. More like above average or good. I think anyone who wants to direct their first movie would do what it takes, but I think I would say that if someone was directing their first movie, character development is a necessity. Some of that would go a long way, but The Kid does not have character development where the film really needs it.

The Kid begins with a messy prologue, but quite an effective one even though we never get a good look at all the participants. Rio (Jake Schur) is a teenager who lives at home in the Old West, New Mexico to be specific, with his sister Sara (Leila George) and his parents. There's a problem at home though, his father is very abusive. The first series of scenes features his father trying to beat his mother to death and succeeding at doing so. Rio, as alluded to, is too late to do something about it. The thing is, guns are quite prevalent in America at this time. Rio's able to get one and shoot his dad to death, which leads to a commotion from outside. Rio's dad was a piece of shit, seemingly nothing compared to Rio's uncle Grant (Chris Pratt). Grant intends to kill Rio for what he's done, but Rio takes a piece of glass and stabs Grant in the face, gashing him open. Afterwards, Rio and Sara make their escape, running as far as they can and eventually stealing some horses. Let's move forward to the next morning, when after some rest they intend to go to Santa Fe. They aren't getting to Santa Fe. When they finally stir, they are joined by some interesting folks, namely among them Billy the Kid (Dane DeHaan). Billy wants to know what they're doing, but Sara has made it very clear to Rio that he shouldn't tell anyone what's happened.

Unbeknownst to everyone, they have also been joined by some lawmen. Pat Garrett (Ethan Hawke) has a warrant and he'd just been elected sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico. He's only been on the job for two weeks, but he wants to capture Billy the Kid. Garrett doesn't have any trepidation about what he must do to accomplish this, so after a gunfight that has some crazy stuff in it, Billy is captured. Here's the thing though, Sara and Rio still need to get to Santa Fe. They're going to hitch a ride with Garrett, and obviously Billy wants to escape. Rio is just a kid, and he's torn here. He doesn't seem to understand what Billy has done, and it doesn't matter to him. He knows that Billy killed people, but so did he, and it's easy for people in that era to paint murdering as justified. I must reiterate that Billy is absolutely going to escape, there's no way he's going to be held in a jail cell. There is an issue though. Eventually Grant catches up to Rio and Sara, which leads to Rio having to make a decision. Would he rather enlist Billy or Garrett's help? This is an important decision, one which could form the rest of Rio's life.

This isn't a great film in part because the story is convoluted and the obvious decision on Rio's part is very predictable, but I did think that D'Onofrio did a good job casting things. It's nice seeing Chris Pratt have a role with some meat to it, where he acts like an unrepentant piece of shit. I thought I would have a hard time buying him in this part, but that wasn't the case at all. Some of the things that he said, for a minute I thought they had to be dubbed over due to his own beliefs. It appears they were not. I thought Ethan Hawke was Ethan Hawke, there's nothing to be said about his performance and he's been in many Westerns. Dane DeHaan was a little surprising too as I wasn't expecting him to really bring anything to the table here. I also thought that guy was actually very young and he's already 33, so it's time for him to start putting in quality performances. If he doesn't, we know what happens to actors as they get older. I was also surprised by Vincent D'Onofrio's daughter, but again, this is one way to make a movie that it seems there would be no real justification for making.

The weakness in this film beyond the story being convoluted, is that the script isn't too great either. The Kid is a film that thrives on atmosphere more than anything else, of knowledge of some of the characters, and on the fact that there simply aren't very many Westerns anymore. These things all combined make for a decent film, but I'm still surprised by the lack of character development (Rio) in a film directed by one of our greatest character actors. I must also admit that I haven't seen any of the other movies about Billy the Kid. If I had, maybe I'd feel differently and dislike this, but this also wasn't truly a film about Billy the Kid. It's about the moral choice between being truly bad or not so good yet halfway decent. It's a choice many people had to make in the West, and the film examines that purely if only on a superficial level. Again, The Kid was decent, there were good performances, but there needed to be a better script.

6/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Arctic
2.   High Flying Bird
3.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
4.   Captain Marvel
5.   Paddleton
6.   Cold Pursuit
7.   Happy Death Day 2U
8.   Greta
9.   Fighting with My Family
10.   Velvet Buzzsaw
11.   Alita: Battle Angel
12.   The Kid
13.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
14.   The Upside
15.   Escape Room
16.   What Men Want
17.   Miss Bala
18.   Glass
19.   The Prodigy
20.   Polar
21.   Serenity


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

Offline Baby Shoes

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2019, 04:28:21 PM »
Very disappointed that had nothing to do with the Bruce Willis movie of the same name.  They shouldn’t be reusing the names of classics.
[img width=800

Quote
Fan: WHY CAN REY BEAT BIG GUYS BUT NOT KIDMAN
Kevin Nash: Kidman wears a wife beater

Offline Bladelock

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2019, 05:19:29 PM »
Very disappointed that had nothing to do with the Bruce Willis movie of the same name.  They shouldn’t be reusing the names of classics.

Spencer Breslin was available for a role in this movie if they wanted to pay tribute.

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2019, 06:41:37 AM »


Triple Frontier (2019), directed by J.C. Chandor

I wonder how it's possible for a film to be in production hell for ten years. For ten years this was in pre-production, with so many stars attached at one point, back when Kathryn Bigelow was tabbed to direct. Even after J.C. Chandor took over, the same thing was the case. Eventually Netflix acquired the film and it was made, but talk about a troubled production. Oddly enough, I can see why this was a troubled production yet I also see some value in this film. Very rarely do studios make movies like Triple Frontier these days. Ten years ago, there were a lot more, and this would have had no real impact at all. Now, maybe it does. It's released on Netflix, budget probably around $75-125 million, and I know there's no real financial return but I do think a lot of people will watch this. Whether or not it's a lot depends on many things, this doesn't have the meme potential of Bird Box or the quality of Roma, but this is Netflix making a traditional Hollywood blockbuster type of movie. What I thought this was also like, was a worse Three Kings set in South America. That isn't to say it's bad, but a lot of the more subtle commentary in the film needs to be spelled out much more clearly. Because it isn't, what we have here is a film that could have been much better, but it wasn't bad regardless of those mistakes. I still have no idea why anyone would give a crew this much money to go out and shoot in the Andes Mountains. There's a reason that doesn't happen!

Triple Frontier is a very ambitious film, as already alluded to, and it's very difficult for me to figure out how I'm going to review such a production. The film starts in Colombia, with Santiago "Pope" Garcia (Oscar Isaac) working for private military trying to stop drug crime. Said private military is also affiliated with the US government, and while there, Pope has encountered an informant named Yovanna (Adria Arjona) who wants help smuggling her and her brother out of the country. They work for a drug lord called Lorea, and she tells Pope that Lorea lives out in the jungle in a house which contains at least $75,000,000. Sounds good, right? Pope wants to get it, and he could bring in the CIA to help, but he has ulterior motives. It's also not entirely up to him because he can't retrieve this money on his own. It's time to do some recruiting. Of course, Pope was in the military at some point before this, which means that he heads off to America to find some new guys. Did I mention that there was a big shootout before this? I should have.

Over in America, his first stop is with current military motivational speaker William "Ironhead" Miller (Charlie Hunnam). Of course he's in, he doesn't have that much money. His brother Ben (Garret Hedlund) is a club fighter, so of course he's in too. Again, all these guys are ex-military. Francisco "Catfish" Morales (Pedro Pascal) is going to serve as their pilot, and lastly, there's Tom "Redfly" Davis (Ben Affleck). Redfly is perhaps the most screwed of them all, he's divorced and working as a realtor selling very shitty condos, there's no life for him back home in Florida. Redfly's job on the mission is to do reconnaisance, he's their leader and he does not want to engage in any killing. The thing is, there's a hell of a lot of money involved. He just can't resist. Upon arriving in the jungle, they see that this is going to be more difficult than imagined in the first place. There are a lot of guards, and there are children. Here is their mission. They do not want to kill the kids or even want them to be there. What they are doing is illegal and they aren't getting bailed out at any point. If they get shot, they will have to mend it themselves. Nobody's coming to help them, but they do have some assets. They need to retrieve money from the house, the $75,000,000 they've planned for, take it over the Andes Mountains on a helicopter, and meet a boat in the ocean so they can get home. The thing is, greed is going to kick in at this level, and if there's more than they can carry, you know how men are. They're going to carry it anyway.

The commentary about greed is too subtle, but it is mentioned enough that it was coming to mind during the closing events of the film. I do have complaints though. Can films stop using nicknames for military guys? This has gotten ridiculous a long time ago, it's really bad now. I don't want to hear any of that shit in a movie anymore, it sucks. The script is also very thin, I thought. Triple Frontier isn't short on moments or atmosphere though. There are numerous things I didn't see coming as the film went on, I was left with the thought that this was at the least quite original. Triple Frontier also is filmed in the Andes, or at least it seems that way, but the mountainous atmospheres in this film are in any case very unique to a film. I just don't see things like this enough. There are also chase scenes through jungles filmed on a helicopter, and I don't know where they filmed that, but this kind of thing is again not too common. As I've said before, Netflix is too willing to spend money on things that other studios won't. It's nice of them as I'm not used to this, but I also thought Triple Frontier was something that belonged in a theater. The scenes were grandiose like that, and it felt weird seeing an excellently filmed helicopter crash released for the first time on a streaming service. That just doesn't make sense and I don't see how a film like this one can make money for Netflix.

I think I've addressed almost everything, but I should point out that even though I dislike Ben Affleck, he was very well cast here. When you watch this you'll see what I mean. That is, if you watch this. I am surprised J.C. Chandor would do this unless he was paid a hell of a lot of money, it isn't similar at all to the other films that he's done. A Most Violent Year could really not be more different than this is, and I don't understand the tonal shift. A Most Violent Year is a very slow burner, Triple Frontier has big moments happen quite frequently. I thought it became amusing at some point, but the way these heists never pan out the way someone wants them to, and the way people think they can get away with doing stupid shit, that's where this film really succeeds. Everyone had their own goals for this heist, but more than anything else, they wanted to get away with it no matter what. This kind of unbridled hubris makes a film worth watching, and I also don't think I've seen this much fake movie money ever before in my life. Unfortunately some of the characters are far too similar to one another, with Affleck and Isaac's being the only two who really stand out.

6.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Arctic
2.   High Flying Bird
3.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
4.   Captain Marvel
5.   Paddleton
6.   Cold Pursuit
7.   Happy Death Day 2U
8.   Greta
9.   Triple Frontier
10.   Fighting with My Family
11.   Velvet Buzzsaw
12.   Alita: Battle Angel
13.   The Kid
14.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
15.   The Upside
16.   Escape Room
17.   What Men Want
18.   Miss Bala
19.   Glass
20.   The Prodigy
21.   Polar
22.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2019, 12:21:38 PM »


Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral (2019), directed by Tyler Perry

Is this really going to be the end for Madea? I have my doubts, but I must admit that I don't really want the character to go away. Everyone winds up becoming attached to a horrible film or television character at some point, but Tyler Perry deserves the right to move on. That being said, I genuinely don't know why he would. This character requires very little effort, the direction of these movies also seemingly requires no effort, but I can imagine that it's still difficult to find a cast and go put on all that makeup and prosthetics every day. Admittedly, there is also no more mileage in the real MCU, with every story that could possibly have been told being long exhausted. These movies really are what they are, but I haven't reviewed one of them yet. I have seen some, but that was before I started these reviews. Is it wrong to feel guilty for laughing at some of this? Spike Lee's comments really stuck with me for a while, he said some things that were very harshly against this movie, but did I have the shame to stay out of the theater? The answer is no. Come on, do I really have shame? The only reason I haven't seen certain movies is because I don't always have time.

I don't even know how to describe a movie like this one, so maybe I won't. Instead I'll answer some questions people may have. David Otunga does not beat anyone up. Madea does not die. There is no actual bad guy in this but rather there is a confluence of events that leads to someone dying of a heart attack. Secrets are kept. Tyler Perry plays multiple characters again, including one who doesn't wear makeup. I do not know the backstory of this character in its entirety, but I'm sure there's some things that I'm missing. I laughed some, I thought some of this wasn't all that funny at all. A few of Tyler Perry's characters really whiffed for me, and the two women accompanying Madea are terrible. I have absolutely nothing good to say about either of them.

What I wanted to say about this movie, was that I think Tyler Perry is a really, truly bad director. I've liked him in other parts, but this film lacks imagination. All of these are directed in very similar ways, they're on budgets that aren't all that large, and they use actors who haven't really done anything before. I must admit I didn't recognize much of anyone in the film, but I do see that the budget for Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral was up compared to other prior entries. I also saw this was filmed back in 2017, I'm not sure why it wouldn't be released until now. Unfortunately, one of Tyler Perry's new characters, a Vietnam War vet named Heathrow, was really not funny even compared to the other characters I didn't like. Joe (also Tyler Perry), on the other hand, he pretty much saved the movie. I laughed hardest at the things he was saying, but make no mistake, you should feel bad for laughing hard at these things. I really do feel bad too.

Of course, the nature of these movies is that they will never have good stories, everyone knows that by now. That's why most people hate them, and Tyler Perry has no self-filter to prevent him from putting bad jokes in the movie. He leaves everything in even if it isn't funny, and I give some credit for that level of ridiculous hubris. Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral is a film packed with absurd melodrama, with people who have to take their clothes off in a PG-13 way, with actors having to react to the things Madea is saying or pretend that she isn't saying them at all, and you know, that's really what I needed today. I've had a pretty shitty week, I just wanted to laugh, and I did. I'm sorry that I couldn't properly describe what this was, but I couldn't figure out an angle to take with this story.

4/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Arctic
2.   High Flying Bird
3.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
4.   Captain Marvel
5.   Paddleton
6.   Cold Pursuit
7.   Happy Death Day 2U
8.   Greta
9.   Triple Frontier
10.   Fighting with My Family
11.   Velvet Buzzsaw
12.   Alita: Battle Angel
13.   The Kid
14.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
15.   The Upside
16.   Escape Room
17.   What Men Want
18.   Miss Bala
19.   Glass
20.   Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
21.   The Prodigy
22.   Polar
23.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2019, 12:39:39 PM »


Captive State (2019), directed by Rupert Wyatt

When I went to see The Predator way back in September, the best teaser, as well as the only one I hadn't seen before, was for Captive State. If you've seen said teaser, you know exactly what I mean. It looked somewhat like Cloverfield, and we saw a glimpse of alien ships in addition to John Goodman wearing a mask while strapped into something that looked like a chair. When this was being filmed, I also remember a lot of promotional material related to that. Of course, now I will mention that said promotional material disappeared entirely once the film got closer to releasing. That's usually not a good sign. In this case, I see why it disappeared, this is an impossible film to market. People don't care about original stories anymore, that's very clear, but even more than that, this is a film that I would consider to be somewhat lacking in action. This is a major problem considering what the story really is, but this is science-fiction and there's very little of that released these days. So, I was happy, but the longer this film went on, the more annoyed I became, this does not really land with the stories it is attempting to tell. There are others that are for whatever reason not included in this plot at all. Why someone would make a movie about an alien occupation of our planet and not show how they came to occupy it in the first place is a total mystery.

You should disregard the Wikipedia description because it spoils the film and in general it's complete nonsense. Captive State begins and stays in Chicago, with our eyes set on a computer screen describing some of the events that have happened since aliens took over Earth. What's most important though, is that we see what happened to some of the people involved. There's a family of four, with two boys in the back seat and a husband and wife in the front. They are talking about an insurgence, and it is clear that people are being cordoned into areas in Chicago that they are allowed to inhabit. Instead of doing that, the husband decides that he's going to turn around and go his own way, attempting to take a route out of the city or into a zone he isn't allowed to go into. This situation is chaos, but for him that won't last much longer. There are aliens, which can best be described as of the crawling kind. They can stand up too, and they had the ability to easily kill the parents. The children in the back seat, on the other hand, the aliens decide to let them leave. I wasn't able to figure out why because it doesn't make sense. I can admit that I don't know exactly what scene came after this one, but I know that we then see our antagonist, a police officer named William Mulligan (John Goodman), meeting with a prostitute (Vera Farmiga) and having sex with her (unseen) in a neighborhood called Pilsen.

The situation on the ground in Chicago is not great. The aliens have called themselves the Legislators, and the Legislators have created a zone in the middle of Chicago where only they and specific collaborators are allowed to travel. The two children have grown up, but Rafe (Jonathan Majors) has died as an insurgent while his brother Gabriel (Ashton Sanders) is still trying to make his way through life. Gabe is friends with Jurgis (Machine Gun Kelly), and together they are both hustlers. They both badly want to get the hell out of Chicago, where people are trapped and not allowed to leave. The aforementioned Mulligan takes part in what is now a heavy surveillance state, and apparently he's watching Gabe. Mulligan also believes very strongly that the insurgency is still going, and that the Legislators were not able to kill them all when they'd had a failed attack. The Legislators have taken over the world, every major city is now run by them, and so are the governments. People do not do anything without them knowing, and they've planted living bugs inside of people that track them. Rafe had joined the insurgency despite this, but he's supposed to be dead. Or is he? Captive State is a film that presents so many ideas I literally do not know how to keep track of them or how to explain them, but the prevailing one is that they're destroying the planet by stealing our resources at a very rapid rate. They also take prisoners and send them to work off planet, and there are talks that eventually they will take some people with them to leave Earth behind, destroyed as it is.

Did I make clear that I can't possibly explain the plot? This is totally ridiculous and presents so many ideas that I don't know how to explain them all in the context of the film. It's easier to do so outside of context. How about the idea that living outside of the city would be considered freedom? These people don't even know what's going on outside of the city because the aliens have completely destroyed the capacity for people to know. There are also ideas about what insurgency entails, the passing of information from one person to the next, and the commitment that goes into said insurgency. I really liked the presentation of that. I also liked the idea of aliens implanting live trackers onto humans. Yes, they would totally do that if they wanted to take over our planet, but now effects have finally come far enough for them to actually show it. The insurgency thing, that's something which frequently came to mind as an allegory for a fight against an oppressive government, but the film just doesn't have enough depth and weight to it. There are frequent sequences of scenes that are horribly edited, where we go from one character to the next, leaving me with the feel that there isn't a true main character. This is not good.

This is not good is a sentence that applies to the film as a whole, it isn't exciting enough even though there's good concepts, and there's a serious inconsistency with the quality of the editing from one part of the film to the next. When you don't get to see how aliens occupied the planet or how humans decided to start getting rid of them at the end, this just sucks a lot of enjoyment out of the movie. The ending is horrendous, they clearly didn't film enough to actually explain the conspiracy in depth, and because of that this left me with a sour taste as I was walking out of the theater. Some of the CGI is also quite bad, but I didn't actually notice this until the very end of the film. There are too many characters and I don't understand all of their situations, and this is a lesson that not all of the directors who write films should be allowed to make whatever they want without there being some kind of restrictive force. Due to budget restrictions, there's also not the ability to show these aliens often enough, and that's a really big problem. Oh well, they can't all fulfill my wishes. I would say though, that this would be a film I classify as a small failure. It is at the very least extremely interesting, and John Goodman is on screen a lot, so it can't really be that bad. I'm still left with thoughts of what it could have been.

5.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Arctic
2.   High Flying Bird
3.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
4.   Captain Marvel
5.   Paddleton
6.   Cold Pursuit
7.   Happy Death Day 2U
8.   Greta
9.   Triple Frontier
10.   Fighting with My Family
11.   Velvet Buzzsaw
12.   Alita: Battle Angel
13.   The Kid
14.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
15.   The Upside
16.   Captive State
17.   Escape Room
18.   What Men Want
19.   Miss Bala
20.   Glass
21.   Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
22.   The Prodigy
23.   Polar
24.   Serenity


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

Offline RedJed

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2019, 05:46:04 AM »
Yeah, Captive State was a total fucking mess.

There was just too much disconnected and confusing stuff going on here, it was like Rupert Wyatt must have had too much leeway in development of this or something. It just came across as a concept that maybe sounded better on paper but the development of it (or lack there of) showed in the final product.

I went in blind except the main trailer so certainly expected something drastically different than this. That was problem number one. Then came the massive and incredibly confusing plot holes from scene to scene, the lack of a flow or transition from one supposed plot point to another, the incredible number of characters that had such little development that you couldn't even keep track who they were and what their relation was to this muddled story....I could go on and on but you get it.

I had a hard time as well even staying awake during this (granted, this was my third film on Saturday, but still...). The story had little engagement to it. And most importantly, it was not built well from start to finish and I found myself if I should just split out of this since nothing redeeming was keeping me there except a comfortable reclining seat. So I ended up just dozing off for 5 minutes at a time.

I guess the only good things I can say is that there was the twist at the end that kind of tied up some extremely loose ends, but it still didn't satisfy me at all. I liked the general looks of the alien tech and aliens in general, but the effects sure didn't do them any favors either. Much less an explanation about this alien life form.

Looking back, I think I would preferred them to think of whatever this long winded story was, to slow it down and just have the first film be an alien invasion to the max hook with the events they talked about in the first five minutes being a basis for a first film. That might have helped this out tremendously and could have potentially set up a trilogy if done right. But that was not the plan obviously.

I don't know if this was the worst film I've seen this year, but it most certainly was the most confusing and tonally dull one for sure.

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2019, 12:53:49 PM »
French, subtitles



Climax (2019), directed by Gaspar Noe

In things that matter only to me, I struggled with which list to place Climax on, but I decided that due to some other listings I have made it will go on this year's. In the end I don't think that really matters. What does is what I think of Gaspar Noe. I've heard a lot of things, but in truth this is the first film of his that I've watched. I've also seen comments saying that this was his most accessible film, and I have seen some descriptions of his others. Enter the Void sounds like the only other one that I'd like, but what I thought about Climax was that I was waiting for something to be like this. When I went to see it today, someone inexplicably got a seat right next to mine, which led me to go sit in the back of the theater. This was a wise decision. I should also say that when I left my house, I wasn't sure that I actually wanted to go see this. I was having second thoughts, but I should point out that I thought the subject matter would be worse than it actually is. It's like when I went to see Suspiria. Being uncomfortable is the point, but I would daresay that Climax is more enjoyable, and to me is also the better film. Talk about things I did not expect to say. Part of this is because Climax is an hour shorter, but the other part is because all of the events are distilled to a more personal level. We also get to know the characters just a little bit more, and as a result this is absolutely insane.

Climax starts with a woman bloody and crawling through the snow in Paris, circa 1996. Our view is from overhead, one of many interesting perspectives we'll have over the course of these events. After Noe rolls the end credits, Climax then shows a series of audition tapes, with strange books and VHS tapes alongside of the television. Some that stuck in my mind were Harakiri, Salo, Suspiria, and a book about homosexuals. Do not look this stuff up for your own benefit. Anyway, these audition tapes are far more important than I'd realized, as they give insights to the mindset of the case. This is a film with a lot of characters, you need to pay attention to them, and some of them are beyond description. As the film goes, you just know who they are. After the audition tapes, the dancers have gathered in an abandoned school and have an incredible 12 minute long take, five of which is an insane dance. Apparently this took 16 takes and only two of them were usable. After this scene, it's time for an after-party, with copious amounts of sangria supplied by them by the troupe's master, Emmanuelle (Claude Gajan Maull). The lead choreographer is Selva (Sofia Boutella), and after this, we are introduced to the rest of the group we've seen in the tapes.

Everyone from the tapes has now been there for a little while, and they gossip like crazy about one another. There are also several personal issues with the group. Selva's current hookup David (Romain Guillermic) has apparently been sleeping with just about everyone, there are problems between Taylor (Taylor Kastle) and his sister Gazelle (Giselle Palmer) because she's interested in guys who aren't her brother (wtf), and that's not even scratching the surface of this situation. However, I just can't get into everything. So many of these people have slept with each other, many of them are bi or gay, and over the course of these events, we find that a lot of them just have really sick thoughts. Noe puts together about twenty minutes of conversations that enlighten the viewer on this point, but one thing's clear, their mindset is wacked before the catalyst for the events that follow. The catalyst itself, is that someone has spiked the sangria with LSD. You don't find out who did it until the end of the film, but things spiral so far out of control once the drugs start to kick in. Of course, people are going to be blamed for spiking the LSD, but more than that, everyone has their personal issues and everyone wants to fuck each other as it is. This, obviously, is not good. Did I tell you that Emmanuelle's son is there and that he drank some of the sangria too? Did I mention that he's like 7 or 8 years old?

I didn't want to go through the entire cast because there's a lot going on here, and you either want to watch this or you don't. It's the kind of movie you'll really like, or you're really hate it. There's no room for anything else. Even though I thought the film was very good and borderline great, there were some things I didn't like. The long-take scene closing out the film is genuinely fucking amazing, 42 minutes without cuts, but I hated the way the camera turned upside down for the last ten minutes of it. I found that aspect to be a little nauseating. What I did like was that the film was super intense and was committed to keeping the viewer on their toes, and I also liked the way the events were set up from one to the next. Nothing was really missing from this as far as my tastes go, there are only things that either go too far or creative decisions that bother me, like the upside down camera. The mayhem and conflict of these scenes, I just don't know how to describe it. Eventually everyone stops focusing on who spiked the drink and anarchy sets in, and the long take passes off from one character to the next while other people scream in the background, sometimes because they've nearly burned themselves to death, or done other things.

Again, I don't know what to say about something like this because this film is so self-indulgent, Noe is clearly full of himself. There's a sequence of credits before the mayhem where his name is plastered all over the screen over and over again, so you know, that is what it is. I did more research and found that the actors besides Boutella had no prior experience, but I thought all of them had great performances. Boutella is on screen the most and is given the more emotional parts of the plot, she carries them very well. Overall, I just can't believe what I watched. I was entranced by the great selection of dance music, the dance scenes were all incredible, and so were the long takes. Climax is so fucking weird. The manner of this film is so disorienting, and the placement of the audition tapes is something I found to be another negative. It's not like anyone could have realized what was to come from those scenes, but this also could simply be a lesson that I need to pay more attention. It's still a very jarring way to be introduced to other characters, but that's one of the only negatives I have for this. It's a very strong film, very enthralling. Someone might think it's trash, and while I disagree, I can't completely dispute it. The subject matter here is inherently divisive.

8/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Arctic
2.   Climax
3.   High Flying Bird
4.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
5.   Captain Marvel
6.   Paddleton
7.   Cold Pursuit
8.   Happy Death Day 2U
9.   Greta
10.   Triple Frontier
11.   Fighting with My Family
12.   Velvet Buzzsaw
13.   Alita: Battle Angel
14.   The Kid
15.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
16.   The Upside
17.   Captive State
18.   Escape Room
19.   What Men Want
20.   Miss Bala
21.   Glass
22.   Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
23.   The Prodigy
24.   Polar
25.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2019, 01:00:59 PM »


Us (2019), directed by Jordan Peele

Early 2019's most anticipated film by some distance is Us, so of course I was going to run out to see it as soon as possible. One thing I was thinking once I got in the theater was that people's expectations for this film are probably way too high. Get Out was a unique experience, there is no way to actually follow up on it. It is a unique film that addressed the problems of our time in a way that couldn't possibly be done again without feeling like a direct copy, so in the end, it's for the best that Jordan Peele did not go this route. If you don't want to be spoiled you should turn the hell around and exit this topic, because I'm going to spoil a lot. What Peele does instead of address race specifically is to create a story with a lot of subtext, there are many people who simply won't pick up on it. There are other things that are more obvious. I will admit the only thing I really picked up on in terms of subtext was the Hands Across America deal. The reason I know about this is because after that bullshit initiative to cure hunger by holding hands, I know that Ronald Reagan wound up saying that people were hungry because they were stupid. Do you not make the connection between that, the title of this film, and what it seems like this film is about from the preview? Maybe we're evil and we inflict these things upon other humans because of our natural instincts. Anyway, there are so many cultural references here that it's totally ridiculous, but that seemed more like an attempt to ensure that everyone remains engaged rather than anything else. Surprisingly, Us is a very slow builder. It is also extremely pleasing.

The film starts off with a video referencing the aforementioned Hands Across America, and alongside of the television there are video tapes like The Goonies, C.H.U.D, and The Right Stuff. Is this a Twilight Zone version of Climax? Not quite. It's 1986 in Santa Cruz, California, and Adelaide Thomas (Madison Curry) is on a vacation with her parents. They're on the boardwalk playing carnival games, and the mother Rayne (Anna Diop) seems to be angry at the father Russell (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) because Russell is acting like a typical dad who has had some alcohol. Anyway, when Rayne goes to the bathroom, Russell is tasked with watching his kid while he plays whack-a-mole. He does not. Adelaide wanders off and comes across a hell of mirrors on the sand under the boardwalk, she is annoyed as she seems to have never seen one of these before. While down there, she encounters a version of herself, but is unable to repeat the experience to her parents. There are flashbacks to this event throughout the movie, the story is not quite told at this point. We must move on though.

After that, we snap to the present day, with Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o) going on a beach trip with her husband Gabe (Winston Duke), their daughter Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph), and their son Jason (Evan Alex). Ade is not having the best time in the world because she hates Santa Cruz, but they have a beach house there anyway. This is, in my opinion anyway, the film's lone gigantic plothole, but there's also another way to look at that aspect. I will treat it accordingly. Anyway, they do have friends there who also traveled to Santa Cruz, Kitty (Elisabeth Moss) and Josh (Tim Heidecker). Like the Wilson family, Kitty and Josh have two kids, twins Gwen and Maggie. Let's get to the more important part of this shit. There are some similarities to Ade's first trip to Santa Cruz. A man who was holding a sign referencing Jeremiah 11:11 in her past has been stabbed and appears to be dead in her present. The hall of mirrors is still there but has been rebranded from its previously bigoted Native motif into something referencing Merlin. I'm leaving a fuckload of details out in case someone decide they weren't going to stop reading this review, but Ade and this beach just do not go together. Jason wanders off and she has the idea that the same thing may happen to him as happened to her, but it does not. When they find Jason and go back to the house, later that night Ade wants to pack up and leave. They're not going to leave. As you can see from the preview, there's a family outside of the house. Gabe goes outside to warn them off the property, but they will not leave. When he wanted to get crazy, they got crazier and got inside. These people, whatever they are, they're US. Very much of this is explained inside of that house.

The relationship between the Tethered and their more privileged dopplegangers, I don't even know where to start with this stuff. My initial thought process was that we are unfortunate not to get more science-fiction like this. Another thought I had was that Winston Duke's dad jokes were fucking hilarious and served to make the early slowness of the plot quite enjoyable. I'm not trying to say the movie was initially boring, but I was saying that there's a massive amount of build to lead to what comes later. Fuck, I really just don't know how to go back to the Tethered. To make clear, I fully understand the juxtaposition of the scenario, but I'm more floored than anything else by the way in which some of these scenes were executed. There is one on the beach in the present that is super fucking easy to miss if you aren't paying attention, but I realized what it was at a later point in the film and was kind of freaking out in my seat. This kind of material, well, there's really a lot to it and I don't have space to focus my review around all of it or truly any specific part. What I do think is that this film was a fantastic idea, something that I think is going to become so much more appreciated over time. The amount of horror references is also totally staggeering, and each event in the film does one of my favorite things in invoking the question of "why is this happening?"

I thought Us was going to be a small scale film, but I will reveal one aspect of it, that it is not a small scale film and is far larger in scope than I ever expected. I think due to this, there is some shit that doesn't really go in junction with each other, but I'm more willing to forgive that when something is both consistently entertaining and ambitious as this is. I think on some level this is to poverty as Get Out is to racism, but I doubt that's ever going to be explicitly stated by Jordan Peele. If you start thinking about this too much, there are aspects of the story that do break down, but there are a ridiculous amount of other things that do not break down. To me, that is its big achievememt. More than that, there are numerous technical achievements here and incredible performances. There isn't a single bad performance in the film, but Lupita Nyong'o played the lead and therefore hers is the standout. Keep in mind that she had to play two characters, this is not an easy task. There aren't enough superlatives, and we'll see how things stand come the end of the year, but there will absolutely not be many better performances than this one. Also, keep in mind that Nyong'o has never been in a horror movie. So, think about the performance when taking that into consideration.

Overall, I think Us is a great film, but it isn't as good as Get Out. Us presents different ideas, and also it arguably has plot holes, but I think that it comes together very well. Some of the things that could be perceived as plot holes are also explainable, but I think ultimately, the main idea that there's always an actual Us out there, that's what really shines through. When you see this, you can make some guesses as to what I mean, but I think you guys have picked up on that point as well. I'm trying so hard to not get into major points as I could take pages upon pages writing about this, but in two years I think this is a film that will be even more positively received than it already is. As it relates to technical things, I guess I didn't address them yet, so I'll finish up with them. The choice in music and the score itself are absolutely brilliant, so was the cinematography from MIke Gioulakis. There isn't much surprise there although most people don't know who he is, but he was the DP for It Follows. So, yeah, he knows what he's doing. I do think that Us does suffer from a few instances of it being a little too obvious what's going to come next, but there are so many things in this that really resonate with me that I unabashedly loved the film.

As a note, I'm not sure anyone cares, but Climax really was a 2018 movie so I moved it to that list.

8.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Us
2.   Arctic
3.   High Flying Bird
4.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
5.   Captain Marvel
6.   Paddleton
7.   Cold Pursuit
8.   Happy Death Day 2U
9.   Greta
10.   Triple Frontier
11.   Fighting with My Family
12.   Velvet Buzzsaw
13.   Alita: Battle Angel
14.   The Kid
15.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
16.   The Upside
17.   Captive State
18.   Escape Room
19.   What Men Want
20.   Miss Bala
21.   Glass
22.   Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
23.   The Prodigy
24.   Polar
25.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2019, 04:01:15 AM »


The Dirt (2019), directed by Jeff Tremaine

I think just about everyone would be skeptical of a movie about Motley Crue directed by the Jackass guy, right? I don't know how the director was chosen for this, but I have a few thoughts running through my head. When everyone hears about a music biopic, people hope that it isn't a bastardized Hollywood version of someone's story. I will tell you that it is one of those two things, but you'll have to read the whole review to figure out what. What I will say is that this is not Bohemian Rhapsody. There are things about it that are similar, but I would not call this a sanitized portrayal. What I would say is that the events presented in The Dirt are presented without commentary, you can make of them what you will. This is a dangerous road for a film to take because a lot of people are stupid fucking idiots that are unable to take those things for what they are. On the other hand, I think on some level, if you're intelligent enough to have Netflix, you should know the difference between right and wrong. Another thing I'm thinking is that some bad things that were written in their memoir were not placed in this film, so again, you can make of that what you want. There's a part in the book where they talk about raping someone, and the people in Vince Neil's car crash wound up brain damaged. He also killed his friend, but you know how those things are played on film. Take them for what they are worth. The band members are also producers, because after all, it is their story. Now, what I will tell you, is that a lot of the stuff in this movie, it's pretty fucking bad. I'm surprised this was even made.

Oddly enough, the events described in The Dirt made me want a Van Halen movie very much, even though I think punches would definitely be pulled in that case. The film begins with something that never would have been allowed in a studio movie, with all the band members trying to bang someone and some squirting involved as well. So, there's that. We snap back to 1973, with a very young, not quite Nikki Sixx screwing over his stupid mother Deana (Kathryn Morris) and having her thrown in jail so that he can get away from her. Eventually, he moves to Los Angeles, grows up, and changes his name to Nikki Sixx (Douglas Booth). Nikki, as he tells it, is plagued by not having a father and attempts to connect with him. He fails. A year later, we snap over to the suburbs, where Tommy Lee (Machine Gun Kelly) lives with his family. At a diner, Tommy abandons his date and attempts to befriend Nikki, which seems to work out nicely for them both. Nikki is forming a new band, and they need a guitarist, so they place an ad. Answering the ad, we have a fat guy and Mick Mars (Iwan Rheon), a somewhat older guy with ankylosing spondylitis. He is in bad pain, but he can jam and he joins up. The trio then needs to complete matters with a lead singer, and Tommy says that he knows a guy. Enter Vince Neil (Daniel Webber). Vince brings along his girlfriend, she decides whether or not she'll like the music and encourage him to join. She does, and there you have it, a band with no name yet.

While they have no name, they have some ideas for one. Most of them are Tommy's and Nikki's, and they suck. One of the ideas does now, and wouldn't you have it, there you have Motley Crue. They go to their first gig and get in a fight, but people like the gig well enough and they start playing shows around Los Angeles. These shows lead to an ambitious executive at Elektra Records named Tom (Pete Davidson) signing them to a five album deal. They'll need a manager too, and at this point they break the fourth wall to point out that some of the things in the film are bullshit, or that people have had to be deleted. Doc McGhee (David Costabile) is their guy, playing the role that Paul Giamatti usually plays in these kinds of films. After that, they go national, and become the Motley Crue that everyone is well aware of. As far as debauchery goes, seemingly nothing is left out of the film. That includes Tommy Lee punching a woman in the face, heroin overdoses, Vince Neil's car crash, and so much more. I will take care not to spoil what so much more actually means.

I said that I want a Van Halen movie, because the story is better and they were a bigger band, but I'm not sure we'll ever get that. Anyway, one should take this presentation for what it is. These are guys who did really bad shit, a lot of it is shown to you, they had a fun time and hit rock bottom before coming back like they started out. That is literally what happens in all of this shit. The director seems to have no idea how to deal with the last half of the film once things start spiraling downward into addiction, but I thought the first half of the film was excellent. The cameos from people playing musicians I don't really want to name, they keep this film feeling alive. The start of The Dirt feels anarchic, there's seemingly nothign these people wouldn't do. Some of the montages and presentation of concerts and music videos, the scene when they show Tommy Lee strapped onto the rotating drumset as it goes upside down, that's my jam. It's a fun ride. I can't speak to the veracity of these events so I'm going to take them for what they are and not take them too seriously. I think everyone is well aware that by the standards most people should have, three of these guys (Mick apparently the exception) are pretty bad guys.

Even though this film has been given the Hollywood treatment, I'll still say that I like it. That being said, I do have caveats. The second half of the film should have been directed by someone else. The events in that section are simply not handled very well, when you'll see this you'll know what I mean. Related to that, due to the length of a movie, there are things that Motley Crue did or had happen to them that were not covered the way they should have been. We jump from time to time like the years don't even matter, with Vince Neil's daughter getting sick and dying being one of the more obvious examples of this strange time warp. Still, overall, I think I liked this more than Bohemian Rhapsody, which I'm certain I've overrated. There's a new song at the credits as I posted above, and I thought the credits themselves were pretty great. The performances, particularly that of Machine Gun Kelly, get the spirit of the time right. I never thought I'd say that. I'm not going to say they're great as a whole, but I thought the Tommy Lee one was very good. The first half of the film is so fucking crazy, I'm glad this got made even though it's not a fantastic film. So, take that all for what it's worth. I'm wondering if part of the point of this film was to make people feel guilty for enjoying the band's music. It goes far enough to that extent where the thoughts did pop in my mind. With all that said, when it comes to a film I give 6/10, you know damn well that means you can take it or leave it. For people who enjoy their music, or for those who like these music biopics, it's worth your time to turn this on. Just don't watch this with people who may be offended.

I may talk myself into liking this less if I keep going, so I think I'm going to stop. This film is mindless and if you think you're going to get any real insights into the life of a rock star, you won't. I think that's okay though, and bear in mind that I rate anything below a 6 a failure on some level. This barely passes the mark by that standard.

6/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Us
2.   Arctic
3.   High Flying Bird
4.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
5.   Captain Marvel
6.   Paddleton
7.   Cold Pursuit
8.   Happy Death Day 2U
9.   Greta
10.   Triple Frontier
11.   Fighting with My Family
12.   The Dirt
13.   Velvet Buzzsaw
14.   Alita: Battle Angel
15.   The Kid
16.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
17.   The Upside
18.   Captive State
19.   Escape Room
20.   What Men Want
21.   Miss Bala
22.   Glass
23.   Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
24.   The Prodigy
25.   Polar
26.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2019, 10:21:06 AM »


Gloria Bell (2019), directed by Sebastian Leilo

Did anyone think I was going to swerve what so obviously felt like a movie for women? Fuck no, I'm built for this shit. After going to see Gloria Bell today, I am left to wonder how many directors have made remakes of their own films. There admittedly aren't too many of those coming to mind at this point, and in looking at the Wikipedia page for Gloria, this looks like a nearly exact remake. I saw that this was called a reimagining, but I don't think so. The question here is whether or not a direct English-language remake has artistic merit? Obviously, there's commercial merit because a lot of people in this country will not watch foreign movies as they don't like to read subtitles. Artistically, I actually do think there's merit in this. You know why? This story is one of the better personal films in recent memory with a female lead. I have read that this was more than a remake as basically every scene was exactly the same, but I don't see much problem with that either. My only problem with Gloria Bell is the way the film ends. Regardless of said ending being a tad bit flat, I think it's clear from my earlier comments that I really enjoyed the film. Now, that all being said, I wonder how I'd feel if I watched the original. In any case, I did not expect that Julianne Moore would still be doing nude scenes at her age, but looking like she does, then I understood why. Just giving people a reason to watch this if they don't already have one.

Gloria Bell (Julianne Moore) is a divorcee, living her life on her own, no matter what may come of it. Gloria's children are all grown up, and this film starts with Gloria going to dance clubs inhabited by other people her age, or in some cases rather older. If you want to see Julianne Moore singing in the car, this is your film. Gloria lives in Los Angeles, so it's fair to say there are a lot of single people her age in the area. She works as an insurance adjuster downtown, her kids Anne (Caren Pistorius) and Peter (Michael Cera) have their own thing going on. Anne is dating a surfer from Sweden, Peter is taking care of his son while his wife/girlfriend is off in the desert trying to find herself, or whatever idiots do. There are some funny comments made about this situation as time goes on, but it is what it is. Unfortunately, I realized some things about my own self while watching this, as when Gloria was talking to Peter, I realized how disappointing it is when your grown kid is not entirely paying attention to you and is more focused on their phone. Gloria is also occupied by some situations at home even though she lives alone, with her neighbor in the midst of a major mental breakdown and screaming loud enough for Gloria to hear everything, as well as a hairless cat constantly finding ways to get inside her house. Eventually she keeps the cat, which is what I would do too.

After some scenes where we continue to set up more of Gloria's life, and that she has a mother (Holland Taylor) who is now a widow, we get to move forward with the story. Enter Arnold (John Turturro). Gloria meets Arnold at a dance club, they hit it off almost instantly. When they go back to Gloria's house, some funny stuff happens that you'll have to watch the film to see, and I won't spoil it either. In the days following Gloria's night with Arnold, they contact each other again and go on a date. At the date, we learn that Arnold has been divorced for one year and Gloria for twelve, and that Arnold has two daughters who are heavily dependent on him. They are 27 and 31, but that doesn't matter, and Arnold excuses this as just how they are. When they call, he will answer and do what they tell him. That's just how it is. Gloria, by contrast, is very independent and will not do that. Things still go well, at least that is, until it's time for Arnold to tell his family about Gloria. He will not. That's obviously fishy, and Gloria realizes that too, this is no dummy situation we have here. Eventually, Gloria decides to take Arnold to her son's birthday party. At the birthday party, there's her ex-husband Dustin (Brad Garrett), who Gloria hasn't seen in four years now. Dustin is remarried to Fiona (Jeanne Tripplehorn), and Anne is there too. This situation is where things don't go so well, and I'll leave it at that. Let's just say this was one of the most awkward sequences I've seen in a while.

That sequence being as awkward as it was, I thought that really made the film. There's no amount of words I can use to describe the level of cringe I had here. I thought that overall, this movie was really sweet and that I found myself sympathizing with the lead character more than I thought possible when I went to see this. Julianne Moore, I don't even know what to say at this point. I know she's been in things that aren't good, but I have either not watched them, or I have and they've been deleted from my mind. She is one of the very best screen performers from this or any other country, that's for sure. Her ability to make this character to easy to understand, to feel like a real person, that's something a lot of actors just can't do. As a result, when good things happen it feels good to the audience, and when bad things happen you really feel those too. What I was thinking was that other than the copious amount of nude scenes, this would be a nice movie to watch with my mom. Copious is also not an overexaggeration. I thought the lack of melodrama was also fresh, the characters all stayed true to themselves, and that we didn't get any bizarre inclusions into the story that other films often have when attempting to tell a tale like this one. That's what separates the wheat from the chaff. I nearly messed up and didn't say anything about John Turturro's performance, which I also thought was quite strong.

I think one of the aspects that appears to be prevalent in the remake is that the director decided to cut out characters he thought were unnecessary. I do think there's an inherent issue with remaking a story that's already been told, but if you haven't seen Gloria, this remains an original story. The ending, I will say, is not exactly what I would have wanted and I found it to be a bit weird. It shows that life continues on, that's what I thought of it anyway. In any case, I think this is a uniquely strong film. Often, these kinds of films spend too much attention on the family members of the woman, but there aren't even that many of these movies anyway. Instead, things are changed to where Gloria is literally the entire focus of the film, every scene has Gloria in it, and there's absolutely no exception to that. I really, really liked this and I'm going to give it a high rating. The use of color and the score are also exceptional, and for that matter so is the choice in music from the past. One thing I found a little weird is that I'm getting to a point where I enjoy stories like this more than seeing some guy with a gun go crazy on some terrorists. Perhaps that's just part of growing up. If you watch this and don't like it, I don't know what to say about your taste. Fuck you guys, I guess.

8.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Us
2.   Gloria Bell
3.   Arctic
4.   High Flying Bird
5.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
6.   Captain Marvel
7.   Paddleton
8.   Cold Pursuit
9.   Happy Death Day 2U
10.   Greta
11.   Triple Frontier
12.   Fighting with My Family
13.   The Dirt
14.   Velvet Buzzsaw
15.   Alita: Battle Angel
16.   The Kid
17.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
18.   The Upside
19.   Captive State
20.   Escape Room
21.   What Men Want
22.   Miss Bala
23.   Glass
24.   Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
25.   The Prodigy
26.   Polar
27.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2019, 06:37:05 PM »


Dumbo (2019), directed by Tim Burton

Here's the thing about this year's Dumbo movie. I absolutely hate Tim Burton. His style has always bothered me, and truthfully I can't even say which of his films was the last one I liked. I don't even know. With that in mind, I went into Dumbo with guarded thoughts, even though I was looking forward to seeing how some of these actors would be used I also thought Dumbo would be a gauge of how receptive people will eventually be to all these live-action Disney remakes. I was surprised this was made so quickly as part of that project, to be honest. I thought Dumbo was one of the absolute hardest films they could have adapted, and I think after watching this that my feelings are somewhat vindicated. Again, I do not like Tim Burton, but he's not the largest problem with Dumbo. I do think that Dumbo will make some money, but in the end it may actually not be that much. There's a reason for this. The screenplay is not very good, and this doesn't stay true to what Dumbo is actually supposed to be. Instead, it's imagined as being something else, which has strengths as well as weaknesses, but I don't really like this. It turns out that I do want the Disney remakes to stay extremely true to what they are, and that when you throw the talking mouse out of the picture, this was never going to be as unique as the original. I'm not saying I want talking Jim Crows, but you know, I wanted something more.

It's after World War I, and we are presented with the picture of a traveling circus which is currently in Sarasota. The Medici Brothers Circus is run by Max Medici (Danny DeVito), who apparently does not have a brother. Returning home from the war is a veteran and equestrian performer, Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell). While Holt was gone, he lost his arm in the war, and in addition to that his wife has died. His children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) have been guarded over by the circus in Holt's absence, something which he is appreciative of. Milly is a girl who is interested in science and Joe is a nice kid, these kids are the most cookie-cutter characters in the history of Disney movies. It felt like they were literally only there because Disney mandated there be children in the movie who helped Dumbo. Speaking of Dumbo, let's address the rest of the circus. They have a snake charmer, Pramesh (Roshan Seth); a strong guy, Rongo the Strongo (DeObia Oparei); a "mermaid", Miss Atlantis (Sharon Rooney); and a few other assorted people you'd expect to see on a circus. More than anything else though, there's Medici and his monkey. In the midst of financial difficulties, Medici has been forced to sell Holt's act, the circus horses. Holt is subsequently reassigned as a caretaker for elephants, which he really doesn't like.

There are a few elephants in the Medici Circus, but most important among them is the pregnant elephant, Jumbo. I'm gonna skip over a ton of stuff to avoid spoiling the movie. As you may know, Jumbo gives birth to an elephant with huge ears. Medici is afraid of this because he thinks nobody will want to see the new act, so he demands that the ears are covered. They do not stay covered, which leads to the elephant being given the name of Dumbo, and an accident. This accident is pretty bad, so Jumbo and Dumbo are separated. When the kids are comforting Dumbo, they learn that Dumbo's ears are so big he can fly as a result of flapping them. Dumbo is able to do so because feathers trigger this ability in Dumbo, and this leads to Dumbo actually flying during a show. I'm leaving out so much of the story here for the purposes of not spoiling the film, but I will spoil this part because these people are in the trailer. After word spreads, Medici is approached by the owner of an amusement park in New York City, it is called Dreamland. The owner is V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), he presents himself as the king of the circus business. Colette (Eva Green) is a French trapeze artist, and Vandevere has a plan. He wants to partner up with Medici and create a show where Dumbo can fly with Colette on his back, an insane idea if I've ever heard of one.

Spoilers below.

One of the many differences between this Dumbo story and the other one, beyond the talking animals, is that this is a Disney film that oddly rails against the idea of there being a Disney in the first place. I don't know if that's what Tim Burton intended as he's made tons of money from Disney in the past, but that's what I saw here. I do think Burton is a hack, and a lot of this film works to support that opinion. To take this story and be unable to play with my emotions in the least is really bizarre. My brother was telling me that he didn't want to see this because the cartoon was something he found sad, well, this isn't sad at all. I felt nothing when the film was over. The only emotions I felt were in the first half of the film when Frank Reynolds was dominating the proceedings of a circus. This? Give me all of this. I was smiling the entire time this was happening and I think most people here would be too. The problem is that Vandevere is a representation of Disney and also of Donald Trump, which feels really weird while watching this? There's a scene where he doesn't get his way, doesn't understand the consequences of what happens when he doesn't listen, and goes full Trump. This was all I could think of as the film was closing. I also don't know who had the bright idea for Disney to make a film where a tiny circus is absorbed a conglomerate, the conglomerate subsequently lays off all the absorbed workers and keeps the animal captive that they deem to have the most value? This is extremely weird, but I did like this even though I'm not sure that was supposed to be the intention. The final shots of the film indicate that it wasn't. So, Tim Burton is simply a stupid hack.

With all that in mind, and what I'm telling you about this film being unable to garner real emotional attachment, it shouldn't surprise anyone here that I think this is a really average film. There are some moments of inspiration even after DeVito's character takes a back seat, one of them being a very large parade, and the aforementioned final shots as well. I also thought this was a visual feast, which is pretty much the only thing Tim Burton really brings to the table at this point. It may not surprise you that this film has an Oscar winning production designer, Rick Heinrichs, and he probably deserves more of the credit than Burton for any of this. He has also worked on most of Burton's films in one capacity or another. I rarely think to give credit for down the line crew, but I think this guy did a great job. I think that overall, there's some attachment to Dumbo itself that is preventing me from giving the film a bad score. My mind is telling me that I should, but I don't think I can. I'm having some memories of my attachment to the character when I was young, and of DeVito's performance, and that's proving difficult to overcome. This isn't a good film, but I do think it's serviceable. Serviceable for $170 million, by the way, is a sick joke. I don't know how Burton keeps getting projects, but after this doesn't profit to the extent Disney would have liked, maybe that's the end. I hope so. He almost ruined this.

6/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Us
2.   Gloria Bell
3.   Arctic
4.   High Flying Bird
5.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
6.   Captain Marvel
7.   Paddleton
8.   Cold Pursuit
9.   Happy Death Day 2U
10.   Greta
11.   Triple Frontier
12.   Fighting with My Family
13.   The Dirt
14.   Velvet Buzzsaw
15.   Alita: Battle Angel
16.   The Kid
17.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
18.   The Upside
19.   Dumbo
20.   Captive State
21.   Escape Room
22.   What Men Want
23.   Miss Bala
24.   Glass
25.   Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
26.   The Prodigy
27.   Polar
28.   Serenity


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: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2019, 05:22:06 AM »
Sleepy Hallow is his last good movie. Although I didn't see Corpse Bride which might have been good.

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #38 on: March 31, 2019, 06:08:47 AM »
Sleepy Hallow is his last good movie. Although I didn't see Corpse Bride which might have been good.
"Corpse Bride" is fine, but I really dig his "Sweeney Todd" movie.


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Offline cobainwasmurdered

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #39 on: March 31, 2019, 06:53:25 AM »
I didn't watch that as Depp fatigue has fully set in. Especially Depp/Burton.

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #40 on: March 31, 2019, 11:39:16 AM »
I know it's 25 years old now, but Ed Wood is one of my favorites.  Actually, looking at his filmography...Sleepy Hollow might be the last really good film he made, and that was 20 years ago.

Offline Epic for the Summer

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #41 on: March 31, 2019, 11:53:58 AM »
Dark Shadows and Big Eyes were just fine. Peculiar Children was dogshit though and I've said this before but Alice in Wonderland is one of the worst big budget films of this decade.

Agreed that Ed Wood is his best film.

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #42 on: March 31, 2019, 12:45:27 PM »
Are we forgetting Big Fish?

Offline Epic for the Summer

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #43 on: March 31, 2019, 12:47:38 PM »
I was referring to his work from the past decade but I liked Big Fish.

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2019, 08:45:39 AM »


The Beach Bum (2019), directed by Harmony Korine

It should come as no surprise that The Beach Bum is a movie you'll either really love or really hate, considering who wrote and directed what turned out to be another hedonistic romp that reviewers either loved or hated. Neon seems to be a distributor that specializes in releasing such films, like Vox Lux and Assassination Nation for example, but nothing could really prepare you for The Beach Bum. The Beach Bum is a movie that features more sex than I think I've seen in a film for quite a while, and admittedly more laughs than I've had in around a year. That's not an exaggeration either. Given what I just said, you can see which side of love or hate that I fall on, but remember I am a guy who grew up on Cheech & Chong. A film like this one is something that feels like it's made for me, it's something I needed in life. The initial trailer felt hallucinogenic in that I have never envisoned something I never knew I wanted so much, and rest assured I have not been disappointed. The Beach Bum is a trip, one that when the novelty of it begins to wear off, the film is just about over as it should be. That, of course, is how a film should really be. Granted, I will not say this is a great film and there are reasons for that. I unabashedly loved it though.

The Beach Bum is Moondog (Matthew McConaughey), a poet living in the Florida Keys. This man is a local legend, a celebrity, an electric piece of what makes Key West into what it is. Moondog spends his days getting high, drunk, getting into poon, and doing all kinds of other weird shit, if you can figure out what other weird shit would even be. How could Moondog afford this lifestyle? His poetry is a legitimate thing, he has written books. His wife Minnie (Isla Fisher) is very rich, she doesn't care what he does as long as he's happy. So, that's that. I will point out from here that what plot there is, is also quite minimal and doesn't really matter. You can either choose to enjoy this film or not. Moondog might look like a bum, but he isn't actually a bum. The dead tooth is just decoration it seems, an irrelevance that has no impact on the quality of his life. His daughter Heather (Stefania LaVie Owen) is getting married, but in the meantime, we are introduced to some other people in Moondog's life. Moondog's agent Lewis (Jonah Hill) really needs Moondog to write his next book, and it appears that's a commonly held opinion by the people around Moondog. In order to write it, he carries around a shitty typewriter and gets to typing whenever he sees fit.

When it's time for Heather to get married, Moondog is banging some sleeze in the back of a burger joint, this is just how the guy is. Everyone eating finds this quite amusing. Afterwards, Moondog makes his trip to the wedding, which is hosted by Lingerie (Snoop Dogg), Moondog's friend and Minnie's lover. I'm gonna leave out a massive amount of details as always, but my favorite part in this sequence is a scene where Lingerie shows Moondog a Christmas tree made of marijuana that he found in an isolated pond in Jamaica. Anyway, let's talk about after the wedding. Once the wedding is over, there's an issue with Moondog's life. He is going to be without home or money, effectively becoming an actual bum. The journey from this point could not be more ridiculous. All those other people in the trailer factor into the story somehow, but this is a ride. It's a ride that I didn't want to end, where I wanted to see the side characters much more, and ultimately you can't really predict where any of these things are going. 

Everyone knows that Martin Lawrence and Zac Efron are in this, but their roles themselves are highly amusing. I thought Lawrence's was the best side character of the bunch, which means that I think this is the first good thing he's done since Bad Boys II. A lot of people don't think that's any good either. Now, to that point, I think this is a film that has heart even though nothing in the promotional material seems that way. Moondog has chosen to live the good life, but it is a choice with consequences. Said consequences are not focused on very much here, but there's enough. I think Moondog is going to go down as being one of my favorite characters on screen. The performance is spectacular, everything here feeling improvised, so it probably was. There's only one poem that Moondog recites multiple times in the film, and it's a hilarious one. I don't know what people think of these drug fueled journey movies, but I'm all about them. This movie, to that end anyway, is exactly what you'd expect. The point, I thought anyway, is to show people a caricature of someone who decided to shut off the world and delve into their own happiness even if to the detriment of others. The detriment, though, I don't really see very much of that.

Is this one of McConaughey's best performances? I think most people would agree that it is one of them, but a lot of the people who don't like this have a problem with the film as a whole. I am not one of those people. The ending feels like the most tacked on, ludicrous scene that anyone could imagine, and I think I loved that too. The Beach Bum takes on what people expect to get out of society and runs over those concepts because clearly some people don't agree with them, and I really appreciate that. There's a part where some random guy is driving his wheelchair and gets his head bashed in with a bottle, it's entirely played for laughs, that's just what this is. Seemingly this is offensive, and I guess that it is, but this is someone's vision of this kind of life and you have to accept it. Or, in the end, you don't. Moondog is an asshole, that much is true, but one may find the character to be quite brilliant and enjoyable.

In closing, I should talk about the technical aspects of The Beach Bum. This film has great cinematography, which is one of the least surprising things about it. Have you seen any of Benoit Debie's movies? The Sisters Brothers also boasts this, but The Beach Bum is a different style of movie. The moments in the film are shown in scenes that I can't really describe as completed scenes. Montages? Kind of, how do you describe this shit? The essence of the film is to capture the moment and this is accomplished superbly. The score, also, is not what you'd expect. John Debney is a composer who has worked on things like The Jungle Book, or Evan Almighty. Yeah, the score is exactly like that. You know how much I loved that shit? It felt perfect. I feel like this movie was filmed on the fly and that there were all kinds of ideas jammed into it as production was going on, and that's probably the best way to approach a movie like this one once the director can get a quality cast. Trust me when I say nothing could prepare someone for this cast of characters, and that holds true whether or not you like this. I know I'm in the extreme minority of people on the internet but I don't give a fuck. I'll watch a movie with Matthew McConaughey playing a bum who parades around in a thong and like it. Much like similar movies from the 70's that I loved, I'll probably watch this again.

7.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Us
2.   Gloria Bell
3.   Arctic
4.   High Flying Bird
5.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
6.   Captain Marvel
7.   The Beach Bum
8.   Paddleton
9.   Cold Pursuit
10.   Happy Death Day 2U
11.   Greta
12.   Triple Frontier
13.   Fighting with My Family
14.   The Dirt
15.   Velvet Buzzsaw
16.   Alita: Battle Angel
17.   The Kid
18.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
19.   The Upside
20.   Dumbo
21.   Captive State
22.   Escape Room
23.   What Men Want
24.   Miss Bala
25.   Glass
26.   Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
27.   The Prodigy
28.   Polar
29.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #45 on: April 03, 2019, 12:48:15 PM »


The Hummingbird Project (2019), directed by Kim Nguyen

I first saw the trailer for The Hummingbird Project when I was at an indie theater seeing Arctic, and my initial impression was that this could be something I really want to watch due to the potential for attention to detail. While that attention to detail is here, and while my expectations in that regard were met, this feels like a film that could have been great and didn't get over the line. Unlike a lot of people, I don't really mind these movies about Wall Street, nor do I find them particularly boring. I also enjoy Jesse Eisenberg's performances when he isn't playing Lex Luthor, so this felt like it was up my alley. In some ways it is and I'll get into that, but I should point out that only one of the characters here is really likable at all. This is something that hurts the film a lot, and then you take into account that there are some issues with whether or not the events portrayed here are functionally impossible. They probably are, but I always like stories where people have to achieve their impossible dream, whatever it may be. There's some other weird stuff here too, and this feels like it's a true story even though it's not. Instead, we have a really weird movie where the two lead roles are the opposite of how I would have cast them, yet both of them fit seamlessly into these parts. It's kind of odd, like the film as a whole is.

Vincent (Jesse Eisenberg) and Anton Zaleski (Alexander Skarsgard) are cousins who work at a trading firm on Wall Street, the specifics of their employment are not made entirely as clear as they should have been. At the start of the film, Vincent has a meeting with Bryan (Frank Schorpion), at which Vincent tells Bryan his plan. It appears that Bryan is a major investor of some kind and Vincent has to sell him on his plan, which he is able to do. What's the plan? Vincent is the hustle man of the duo, he has an idea to get mega rich with a little bit of hard work. The plan is to run a fiber optic cable from the Kansas City stock exchange to New York City, this is something that would cost a lot of money. As a result of having this fiber optic cable, they would be able to code things in away that allows them to automate trades faster than everyone else and therefore make a shitload of money. I have just massively understated the process of everything, but Anton's role in the process is to program the network and automate things. He's a very intelligent guy and as you see, they made Skarsgard a dork to play this role. I was impressed with this transformation. The trading firm Vincent and Anton work at is run by Eva Torres (Salma Hayek), a savage and ruthlessly demanding boss.

Of course, I'm talking about running a physical fiber optic cable all the way from Kansas City to the New York Stock Exchange. You know how ridiculous and hard this would actually be? It's impossible I'm sure, but Vinny and Anton need a construction guy with the knowhow and ability to get the right contractors to do this work. Enter Mark (Michael Mando), a specialist in this field who isn't much of a people person. Mark slides into the team and becomes essential to Vinny, doing what they need him to do. The thing is that Anton and Vinny really need to quit their jobs in order to take this project on. Anton doesn't have a way with people, but Vinny is able to convince him that he's being used and Eva doesn't care about his project, which is true. When they quit, Eva tells them that she won't forget this, and most assuredly she will not. Mark and Vinny head to Kansas City to start the project, and the land purchasing goes well enough. There are some major obstacles though. Firstly, they need to find a way to drill under the Appalachian Mountains on protected land, which is difficult but not impossible. The actualities of using the drill there are harder than getting clearance to use it. Then, there's Eva. Not only would she not let this go, but she's set on finding away to do a connection that runs even faster than the Zaleski's, and failing that she may just get them in trouble for fucking her over.

The performances in this film, as I said, are reversed from what I would have done. Eisenberg as the hustle is weird, and so is Skarsgard as the dork, but I really thought this was good casting. The story itself, is obviously about greed and the way such things may impact humans. People will go very far to make a lot of money, and when others are presented with the real world ramifications of doing so, they just can't handle it. The Hummingbird Project is also weird in that our journey is about running a line of cable through a forest. This is a film made by smeone who really, really wanted to make a unique film about Wall Street and not follow any of the tropes seen in this subgenre. To that end, the film works because it does not do that, but I still feel that there are some missed opportunities here. The ending is something I loathed, I also don't appreciate the effort to make more of this story than what it was. There isn't much opportunity or opening for some kind of moral triumph here, but Nguyen tries his best and as a result those parts of the movie feel very clunky. Still, I do really enjoy how far the film delves into direct market access. It's a thing, and it's also basically cheating, but that's how these firms stay ahead and participate in high-frequency trading.

The Hummingbird Project has had mixed reviews, which would indicate that people feel similarly to me about this one. I think the film lacks some style in addition to the things I've already discussed, but I also think this was alright and not boring even though it very well could have been. That shit where a movie about something like this tries to answer questions about how people live their lives though, I'll give that a swerve. However, even with the inclusion of such things, I don't think this was a bad film. The lead performances are good enough, but a movie where the events feel so important needs to have a little bit more levity. The cinematography is rather workman-like, and for that matter so is the music. It's easy to see why this film was dropped at this time of year after being shown in Toronto back in the fall, but that doesn't mean it's bad. It just exists. I made some changes to my rankings list too.

5.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Us
2.   Gloria Bell
3.   Arctic
4.   High Flying Bird
5.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
6.   Captain Marvel
7.   The Beach Bum
8.   Paddleton
9.   Cold Pursuit
10.   Happy Death Day 2U
11.   Greta
12.   Triple Frontier
13.   Fighting with My Family
14.   The Dirt
15.   Velvet Buzzsaw
16.   Alita: Battle Angel
17.   The Kid
18.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
19.   The Upside
20.   Dumbo
21.   The Hummingbird Project
22.   Escape Room
23.   Captive State
24.   What Men Want
25.   Miss Bala
26.   Glass
27.   Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
28.   The Prodigy
29.   Polar
30.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #46 on: April 05, 2019, 05:14:07 AM »


The Highwaymen (2019), directed by John Lee Hancock

I was looking for the right point at which to finally tackle The Highwaymen, and I'm not sure this was the actual right time for me to watch the film. I feel very tired after doing so, but I think this was also a function of the film itself. The Highwaymen is not a terribly exciting film, this is a a dad movie that requires an extreme amount of patience. I would have hacked this thing to pieces rather than let the events play out as filmed. I think the director may have been influenced by Zodiac, and I hate to say this, but this could not have failed in a more miserable fashion to view. You know what bothers me? This is a film that should actually be pretty good, but it isn't. It's too long, and very much of the drama is removed by the way this is filmed and the fact that everyone knows the characters don't die. So, sorry to spoil that point, but this is a true story and people shouldn't have false expectations. What really bothers me is that this is something that could have been a very good film, it just isn't executed to my liking at all. So, take that for what it is, but I think I've seen enough movies recently for my opinion to matter a tiny bit. I thought that a movie with Woody Harrelson in this role was guaranteed to be good and I thought wrong.

Our film begins with a prison break, something I wasn't expecting to watch tonight from the perspective that said prison break is from. In this case the action follows Wade McNabb (Josh Caras), a prisoner working on a farm in Texas. All of a sudden, Bonnnie and Clyde (played by unknowns, oddly) show up to rescue him and others. Wade is unable to make it to the car in time, but Bonnie and Clyde leave with their associates. there has to be a response of course, so the governor, "Ma" Ferguson is tasked with figuring one out. The Department of Corrections Chief (John Carroll Lynch) suggests that she hire someone who can track Bonnie and Clyde down and kill them on the spot as there isn't going to be any arresting them. Chief Simmons suggests that Ma brings a former Texas Ranger, Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner) out of retirement. The FBI is already tracking the outlaws, but clearly this is not working, so Ma acquiesces. Hamer himself does not really want to upset his family, but his wife knows that he wants to do this and she gives her permission after a shootout in Missouri that ends with Bonnie and Clyde killing some people.

Hamer does need a partner, of course, and he has one in mind. Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson) is another retired Ranger, one living a much harder life as a result of the Great Depression. Hamer doesn't approach Maney though, it turns out that Maney approaches him after Hamer went to a gun shop near him. Hamer bought an entire arsenal, which they very well may need. The pair decide that Bonnie and Clyde are going to head to Dallas, so they go there as well. They are convinced that something's going on, as even with such a large operation trying to find Bonnie and Clyde, they continue to get to places in Texas that they want to go, killing along the way if they feel they need to. Eventually, things do come to a head. The Rangers are only supposed to be in Texas as they only have jurisdiction there, but they follow the trail up to Kansas because they think there's going to be a stop for supplies. While Maney's taking a leak, he spots them sitting in a car. Apparently so do a lot of other people, which creates a scene with enormous crowds. Eventually the Texans give chase, but the gang is able to get away from them outside of town. Now what?

The last scene I mentioned was the second action scene in the movie and took about an hour to get to that point, so I think you can see how I feel about this film just from that. The Highwaymen is literally as dry as a movie about Bonnie and Clyde could be. All of the scenes with Bonnie and Clyde are filmed from a detached perspective of a witness and never feel exciting or intriguing even though said scenes feature them killing people. The only real redeeming parts of the story being told from this perspective are the old man monologues and their investigation tactics. I thnk that's really all this brings to the table on any level and I have much more negative things to say about the film than I do positive ones. However, I should continue with the few positives and point out that the film is visually pleasing, and nothing here is outright bad. It's just a matter of what this could have been as opposed to what it is that really rankles me. Again, the movie is far too long and there are numerous scenes someone could have chopped from this. Kathy Bates also should have been in this film more than she was, but this is a film where there are basically no supporting characters at all.

As far as negatives go, I said plenty already, but I think this film makes one thing quite clear. Bonnie and Clyde were the ultimate winners in the eyes of history and their pursuers were not. The story of their pursuers is also nowhere near as interesting as Bonnie and Clyde's, the best way to deal with things was to make a movie where they dovetail, but this isn't that. There are some funny lines Woody has, but overall I think this is just boring. There's also some stuff here about how good ol' hard work can defeat technology, and I guess that's true, but this is presented in such a weird way. The director clearly intended to present Bonnie and Clyde as being subhuman, that's part of the reason they're hardly in the movie, but with that so goes most of my interest. Ah well. You know it's a problem when it's a film this long and I can't think of all that much to say about it.

5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Us
2.   Gloria Bell
3.   Arctic
4.   High Flying Bird
5.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
6.   Captain Marvel
7.   The Beach Bum
8.   Paddleton
9.   Cold Pursuit
10.   Happy Death Day 2U
11.   Greta
12.   Triple Frontier
13.   Fighting with My Family
14.   The Dirt
15.   Velvet Buzzsaw
16.   Alita: Battle Angel
17.   The Kid
18.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
19.   The Upside
20.   Dumbo
21.   The Hummingbird Project
22.   Escape Room
23.   Captive State
24.   The Highwaymen
25.   What Men Want
26.   Miss Bala
27.   Glass
28.   Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
29.   The Prodigy
30.   Polar
31.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #47 on: April 06, 2019, 06:17:40 PM »
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8425058/

I watched this Brexit movie on HBO, but I can't bring myself to bother to write a review because I think Brexit is the stupidest thing in the fucking world and this was a TV movie. I'm going to give it a 6/10 and stick it in my list for the year though.

The film makes the case that what happened in public isn't why the Brexit referendum succeeded, but rather the ability companies have to mine data from people and target them so easily. Benedict Cumberbatch's performance is great, but the film needed to be a bit longer as the events don't bother to show how they affected potential voters bar one focus group scene. It is a TV movie though, so keeping that in mind, it's effective enough.


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2019, 06:39:57 PM »


Unicorn Store (2019), directed by Brie Larson

I put this off about as long as I could, because I both committed to watching these Netflix movies as fast as I could and I was busy in the days since the release, like everyone here. Wait no longer. I didn't know what to expect of this other than that I found Brie Larson's movie was getting heavily brigaded on reviewing sites by people who hadn't seen it, the IMDB user base chiefly among them. No wonder people don't pay attention to the internet and their wishes anymore. Anyway, in the face of such brigading I'm left with the question that really matters. Is the movie any good? Failing that, what does it bring to the table? That's what I wanted to know and that's what I was going to find out. There are a lot of interesting variables when it comes to this film. One is that it first premiered at Toronto in 2017, which was some time ago as I'm sure you can tell. Another is that this is the first film Brie Larson directed and she also starred in it. Filming took place back in 2016, so she was a lot younger and this film was shelved for a very long time. When watching it, I can see why it was shelved. That's one of my least favorite things to say about a movie, and yes, that does automatically mean that I thought it wasn't good. What matters is, why wasn't it good? I have managed to pinpoint that, but another question beckons. Does Unicorn Store bring anything to the table? The answer is yes.

Unicorn Store is about Kit (Brie Larson), a young woman who has too much going on to sum it all up in one sentence. She is an artist who has gone to school, in the process of doing so she has also failed. Nobody liked her art, which leads to Kit having to move back in with her parents. Kit has subsequently visited a temp agency and taken a job at an office run by Gary (Hamish Linklater). This may or may not be a good thing for Kit, because Gary is more than a little weird himself. On the subject of weird, so is Kit and so are her parents, Gladys (Joan Cusack) and Gene (Bradley Whitford). I don't really understand what happened to Kit to make her this way, but the film for whatever reason decides not to explore this. Dropped on her head? Spoiled? Home schooled? She's too innocent and approaches nothing like a normal adult would do. Emotionally she just isn't fit to be a grown up. As for her parents, there is the possibility that they've neglected her in favor of their job. Gladys and Gene run a therapeutic camp for teenagers with their own problems, and that's obviously a time-extensive job. The likelihood they have been there for Kit is quite small.

Kit, of course, is still into her art even though she's failed. She lives in the basement, which is strange because houses in Los Angeles usually don't have them, but I suppose this one does. In said basement, she has the kinds of arts and crafts that a girl would have had when they were 12. The only things missing are Lisa Frank books. Anyway, one day while doing her job at the copier, Kit has a letter delivered to her with her name on it. The letter has an address for a store, which she goes to of course. What's the deal with this store? She takes an elevator downstairs, and there we have a salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) dressed as goofy as Kit is. Indie movie? You bet. The store seems to be a place that sells people what they need, and the salesman has a proposal for Kit. He wants her to own a unicorn, but first she must complete some tasks. The first is to build a stable, but she's going to need some help. Enter Virgil (Mamoudou Athie), a guy who works at a hardware store. It sounds like Kit's paying, so this is help. Second, she needs to find a way to create a place where love flows through her heart. After all, a unicorn can't exist where there isn't any of that. At work, unrelated to this, Kit also has a task. She needs to create a presentation for a vacuum ad which may turn her temporary position into a more permanent one.

What I thought about Unicorn Store is that more than anything else, this script was really poor and didn't utilize anyone's talents to the extent they should have been. That being said, ultimately film is the medium of the director more than the writer, and therefore the blame lies with Brie Larson for not presenting some of these ideas in a more obvious way. The sexual harassment bit is horrible, by the way. It doesn't belong in this film at all, and it's one of the things I really didn't like here. Now, that being said, there's a lot of nostalgia and considering I just told you about this only lacking Lisa Frank related things, you might think I fucked with those. I did not, my brother did, and that's why I always thought he was gay. I was proven correct. Unicorn Store just doesn't land, and it doesn't have any real audience that I could decipher to be enjoyed in something like this. There are things in the movie that don't belong, so you can't show this to kids, but this isn't a movie for adults either. I guess that's where my own interest comes in, that because I'm a completist I'm the only kind of person that would watch the film? I think that might be true. I think Unicorn Store is a horrible miss that throws out some harebrained ideas without actually considering their implications or attempting to finish them off with a statement that feels like it matters.

I wish I had the ability to further describe how strange this film is, but I don't. I do think, however, that there are some good parts in spite of the story. The vacuum presentation itself I found to be very funny, and I do like the idea that Kit is forced to do things that cramp her individuality. This movie is too weird though. The only part at which things don't feel strange, where the film actually feels like it might be for me, is once we come to the ending of it. There's a decent amount of heart here, I will admit. I'm a pretty cynical person, but I found it interesting that the lack of growth throughout most of the film manifested itself in a few very strong scenes come the end of it. Isn't that how life goes? It usually takes one event that flips a switch in someone's mind, or at least that's how it is in my experience. That gives the film some semblance of reality, but the film as a whole is very much not. The costume designer for Brie Larson should be given some kind of badge of honor as her outfits were all totally ridiculous, but that's the only thing that really matches the performance of its star. Larson tries her best, but this is a horrible script and I've said that for a reason. HORRIBLE. I'm not surprised the film was shelved so long as a result of its qualities and its much larger deficiences, but I'm glad someone released it for those last few scenes. Beyond the script, this is still missing something else. I think it's that Brie Larson's direction either lacks the imagination or the budget it needs, I know if I was making a movie like this one, there would be a surrealist scene with neon unicorn logos floating over her head at some point. Believe that shit.

4.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Us
2.   Gloria Bell
3.   Arctic
4.   High Flying Bird
5.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
6.   Captain Marvel
7.   The Beach Bum
8.   Paddleton
9.   Cold Pursuit
10.   Happy Death Day 2U
11.   Greta
12.   Triple Frontier
13.   Fighting with My Family
14.   Brexit
15.   The Dirt
16.   Velvet Buzzsaw
17.   Alita: Battle Angel
18.   The Kid
19.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
20.   The Upside
21.   Dumbo
22.   The Hummingbird Project
23.   Escape Room
24.   Captive State
25.   The Highwaymen
26.   What Men Want
27.   Unicorn Store
28.   Miss Bala
29.   Glass
30.   Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
31.   The Prodigy
32.   Polar
33.   Serenity


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

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #49 on: April 10, 2019, 12:19:32 PM »


Shazam! (2019), directed by David F. Sandberg

I had delayed watching Shazam! to this point because I was mega busy and I'd rather have watched Liverpool play Southampton and Porto, but today was time to finally get to the theater and give this a look. I will admit that I did not think Shazam! would be this good, and I also didn't understand why WB was so driven towards making a Shazam movie. I still don't really understand why even though I obviously enjoyed this, but I bet there are a few nerds more than displeased that this film follows the New 52 origin story for Shazam instead of any of the others. I mean, how dare they? I don't know what other people thought of this film other than that it made a lot of money very fast, before I could even have a chance to go see it. So, with that in mind, let's talk about my own affinity for Shazam prior to this film. ...I don't have one. I never really took to Shazam for a lot of reasons, chiefly among them being that Shazam's story is one that largely appeals to children and not someone like me. At least, that's what I thought, and I guess I still do think that, but Shazam! did a nice job of refuting that notion. There are some nice moments here and overall the story is quite good, keeping in mind that I don't usually enjoy origin stories. I accept what this brings to the table.

Shazam! start off in 1974, with a family driving in Upstate New York. Thad is the youngest of the three, he appears to be regularly bullied by his brother Sid and his father (John Glover). Thad has a Magic 8 ball, and his dad seems to encourage Sid bullying him and trying to take the toy away because Thad needs to act like a man. Anyway, Sid is unable to hold onto the toy completely, at which point the thing appears to be glitching out. Subsequently, everyone disappears except Thad, and Thad is magically transported to the Rock of Eternity. The Rock of Eternity is a magical temple hidden in another dimension, it is inhabited by Shazam (Djimon Hounson), a very old wizard in search of his successor. At the temple also rest his enemies, the Seven Deadly Sins. The Sins are now statues, but they can speak. Shazam is trying to find a new champion who is pure of heart, someone who can take his place and his power. The Sins tempt Thad with their own promises, and it turns out that Thad is not pure of heart at all. Shazam sends the kid back to the car like nothing happened at all, which leads to Thad freaking out and causing his father to start driving erratically. After they spin out, before they can get going again, they are t-boned by a truck and the father is thrown out of the windshield. Sorry that I keep saying "the father," but no name is given for this guy. The father winds up paralyzed, and Sid blames his brother, which brings us to the present.

We're in Philadelphia, following Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a very persistent foster kid who continues to leave his group homes in search of his mother. Billy lost his mother at a carnival when he was a kid, because he'd dropped something and went to find it. When he went back, she was gone, and that was that. Billy is eventually caught outside of someone's house, and he is played in a group home run by Victor (Cooper Andrews) and Rosa (Marta Milans). Rosa and Victor have taken in a lot of kids, and it's listing time. Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) winds up becoming Billy's best friend, Darla (Faithe Herman) is the youngest of the bunch, Eugene (Ian Chen) is a kid who is very interested in hacking, Pedro (Jovan Armand) can best be described as the big guy, and Mary (Grace Fulton) is the oldest who has the intention of leaving Philadelphia to go to school here in California. Seemingly the first day at school, Billy saves Freddy from some bullies and needs to run away. He makes it into the subway and sits down, at which point...he is summoned by SHAZAM. Shazam no longer has any time to find someone perfect, but Billy is good enough, and Billy is transformed into the next champion, becoming SHAZAM (Zachary Levi). Billy doesn't know how to transform back to himself, but that comes eventually and he must deal with the consequences of bringing such powers back to a group home. In the meantime, Thad has grown up and become Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong). Dr. Sivana has been trying to find the Rock of Eternity for a very long time, and it isn't so that he can take the power of someone pure at heart, that's for sure.

The first thing to mention in this section, I suppose, is the mid-credits scene. That's the last thing I saw, but I did see the ending scene when I got home. I REALLY liked the mid-credits scene as they introduced a character I never thought would be in something like this, so that alone would have made me happy with the film. There's more to it than that, though. The story nicely weaves the familiar (to me) New 52 origin together with other things, which prevented me from becoming bored by watching something I already read a few years ago. To that end, I thought the scenarios Billy/Shazam were placed in really worked for me, and I thought they were quite amusing. That's the main obstacle in the way of making a successful movie about Shazam, the humor and whether or not the director can actually make it work. If the jokes bomb, the movie sucks and there's no movie worth watching at all. When they land, it's pretty good, although there is a natural ceiling to how good a Shazam story can actually be. The movie also largely rests upon whether or not the performance of Shazam is any good, the same can be said for whoever is decided to play the villain in this movie. Mark Strong and Zachary Levi do great work to that end, and the direction of some of Strong's scenes only enhances this feeling, with the cutting away from his monologue being one of my favorite parts of the film.

Overall, this film is light, and I do mean very light. That's good though, I wasn't really up for anything super serious and DC has regularly failed at achieving this, with examples that I don't need to name immediately coming to mind. Of course, Shazam! isn't a perfect movie, it does have some weaknesses. I also said it has a natural ceiling in that featuring a cast with so many children disallows the story from developing truly strong supporting characters, that's true throughout the film even though I found those stories engaging. I have always wondered why Shazam and Superman are so similar, and I still can't answer that, but I think WB/DC has been given a stroke of luck now that Henry Cavill has been canned. Do they really need to use Superman again so soon? I don't think so. The shorter version of everything I just wrote is that this film is well directed and well written, quite funny, and this feels like a film from an era long passed. Why do I say that? This is a bonding story after all, and it culminates in the characters fighting some goofy, 80's style demons. There's also stuff that takes place in a mall, and you know what, I'm just gonna stop right there. I don't want to spoil anything, but I do recommend this.

7.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Us
2.   Gloria Bell
3.   Arctic
4.   High Flying Bird
5.   The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
6.   Captain Marvel
7.   Shazam!
8.   The Beach Bum
9.   Paddleton
10.   Cold Pursuit
11.   Happy Death Day 2U
12.   Greta
13.   Triple Frontier
14.   Fighting with My Family
15.   Brexit
16.   The Dirt
17.   Velvet Buzzsaw
18.   Alita: Battle Angel
19.   The Kid
20.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
21.   The Upside
22.   Dumbo
23.   The Hummingbird Project
24.   Escape Room
25.   Captive State
26.   The Highwaymen
27.   What Men Want
28.   Unicorn Store
29.   Miss Bala
30.   Glass
31.   Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
32.   The Prodigy
33.   Polar
34.   Serenity


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