Author Topic: In Which I Review Movies Part II  (Read 16414 times)

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Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #50 on: January 31, 2019, 05:23:26 AM »


Wakefield (2017), directed by Robin Swicord

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

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

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

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

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

5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #51 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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #52 on: February 02, 2019, 06:07:55 PM »


CHiPs (2017), directed by Dax Shepard

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #53 on: February 03, 2019, 06:31:08 PM »


Chuck (2017), directed by Philippe Falardeau

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

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

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

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

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

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #54 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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #55 on: February 05, 2019, 06:23:19 PM »


Wilson (2017), directed by Craig Johnson

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

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

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

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

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

3/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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



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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #56 on: February 06, 2019, 12:08:50 PM »


Men in Black (1997), directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

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

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

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

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

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

7/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #57 on: February 06, 2019, 06:04:40 PM »


Gold (2016), directed by Stephen Gaghan

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

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

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

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

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

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

5.5/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #58 on: February 07, 2019, 11:12:02 AM »


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

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

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

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

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

9/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #59 on: February 08, 2019, 10:59:16 AM »


Black Panther (2018), directed by Ryan Coogler

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

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

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

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

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

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

9/10

2018 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #60 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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #61 on: February 08, 2019, 06:32:33 PM »


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

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

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

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

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

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

8.5/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #62 on: February 10, 2019, 06:45:40 PM »


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #63 on: February 11, 2019, 06:22:42 PM »


The Belko Experiment (2017), directed by Greg McLean

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #64 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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #65 on: February 12, 2019, 06:02:12 PM »


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

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

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

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

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

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

6/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #66 on: February 13, 2019, 06:18:35 PM »


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

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

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

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

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

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

6.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #67 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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #68 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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #69 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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #70 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: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #71 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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #72 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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #73 on: February 17, 2019, 06:24:39 PM »


1922 (2017), directed by Zak Hilditch

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

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

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

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

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

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #74 on: February 19, 2019, 06:19:29 PM »


Icarus (2017), directed by Bryan Fogel

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

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

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

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

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

8/10


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

Online Harley Quinn

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #75 on: February 19, 2019, 09:54:41 PM »
Been waiting a while for you to tackle Icarus so glad you finally got around to it :)

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #76 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 grapeswasmurdered

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #77 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.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #78 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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #79 on: February 22, 2019, 05:59:05 AM »


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

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

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

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

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

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

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #80 on: February 22, 2019, 06:07:44 PM »


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8.5/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #81 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

Offline Hawk 34

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #82 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.


Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #83 on: February 23, 2019, 06:40:20 PM »


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

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

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

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

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

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

8.5/10

2018 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #84 on: February 24, 2019, 06:50:28 PM »


Allied (2016), directed by Robert Zemeckis

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

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

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

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

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

7/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #85 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

Offline Kahran Ramsus

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #86 on: February 25, 2019, 02:02:59 PM »
The interesting thing about Infinity War is that Thanos is very much the main character of the film.  It is all about his quest, and he's the one with the greatest character development.

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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #87 on: February 25, 2019, 06:02:34 PM »


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

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

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

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

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

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

3/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #88 on: February 25, 2019, 06:08:45 PM »
The interesting thing about Infinity War is that Thanos is very much the main character of the film.  It is all about his quest, and he's the one with the greatest character development.

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

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


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

Offline Kahran Ramsus

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #89 on: February 26, 2019, 08:09:38 AM »
The interesting thing about Infinity War is that Thanos is very much the main character of the film.  It is all about his quest, and he's the one with the greatest character development.

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

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

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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #90 on: February 26, 2019, 06:32:59 PM »


Arrival (2016), directed by Denis Villeneuve

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

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

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

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

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

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

9/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #91 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 Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #92 on: March 01, 2019, 06:41:00 PM »


Wheelman (2017), directed by Jeremy Rush

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

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

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

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

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

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Gary

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #93 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,

"go ahead. keep screaming "Shut The Fuck Up " at me. it only makes my opinions Worse"

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #94 on: March 03, 2019, 05:54:21 PM »


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

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

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

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

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

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

7/10

2018 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline grapeswasmurdered

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #95 on: March 03, 2019, 06:43:43 PM »
Yeah I enjoyed this movie and I don't know how anyone expected any big reveals in it. It's intended as lighter fare with less "big" plot advances that you can enjoy with your kids or take a date to and I think it did well at that.

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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #96 on: March 05, 2019, 06:36:05 PM »


The Big Sick (2017), directed by Michael Showalter

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

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

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

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

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

8.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #97 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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #98 on: March 07, 2019, 05:39:11 PM »


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies Part II
« Reply #99 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