Author Topic: In Which I Review Movies Part II  (Read 3974 times)

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Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #100 on: March 31, 2019, 06:19:20 PM »


John Wick (2014), directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski

I've said what I wanted to say many times before, so I'll spare everyone. I am surprised that John Wick was even made considering that in the years after this film, most movies made with this size budget wind up bombing even when they're good. John Wick and Atomic Blonde are some exceptions, and no surprise that there are people talking about fusing these franchises together somehow. I don't know how that would work out, but after finally checking out John Wick, I really need to see it. I am a little bit surprised that people distilled the events down to John Wick's dog even though that's not what the movie is actually about, but people do what they do. I remember a lot of individuals talking about that at the time of the movie, but to me, that's not really what this is about. What John Wick is, is a triumph of choreography and stunts, of the goofy CGI blood, of fun more than anything else. When you turn a movie like this on, you feel like Batista, saying "GIVE ME WHAT I WANT," and these movies don't usually do that. John Wick is not one of those movies. There are some early issues with pacing, and maybe the story doesn't make the most sense in the world, but John Wick absolutely gives you what you want.

So, John Wick (Keanu Reeves). Some may not have the stomach for this, or think it's stupid, but I don't really care. John loses his wife to a terminal illness, after which he receives a puppy from his wife that will help him cope with her death. The puppy is named Daisy. John makes a connection with the puppy over the course of the day, because he's alone. He and his wife did not have kids. At a gas station, John has an incident with three Russian guys. Iosef (Alfie Allen) is their leader, and he's a piece of shit, but he also wants to buy John's car. John is not selling his car. The car? It's a 1969 Ford Mach 1. There is no way on this planet I would ever sell this car if I had it. Later that night, unfortunately, these guys have followed John back to his house. Once they get inside, they knock John out, kill Daisy, and steal his car. Obviously, I wouldn't react like John, but I would be pretty fucking mad. Iosef takes the car to a chop shop run by a man named Aurelio (John Leguizamo), and John is apparently familiar with people like Iosef. John knows exactly where Iosef would go, at which point we are told by Aurelio that he punched Iosef and kicked him out of his shop. Aurelio tells John who did it, and there's no coming back from here. Why?

John learns that Iosef is the son of Viggo (Michael Nyqvist), who just so happens to be the man in control of the Russian crime syndicate of New York City. There is so much more to this though. It turns out that John knows Viggo, there's a reason why. John had a previous life as a hitman, which he was able to leave by doing a job or Viggo that Viggo was certain would kill John. Viggo is told about John, and that leads to an incredible monologue which takes place mixed in with footage of John preparing for problems. Problems? A lot of them. Viggo also offers a contract on John to John's mentor, a hitman named Marcus (Willem Dafoe) who had spoken to John during his wife's funeral. Subsequently, John checks into the Continental Hotel, a place in New York City where criminals stay when they need shelter. Business is not allowed on the property, and they have rules that must be followed. The hotel manager (Louis Riddick) is kind of the creepy sort, and Winston (Ian McShane) is someone I'm sure will play a larger part in the following two films. Anyway, John's goal? He wants to kill Iosef for the pain and suffering he's caused. There's nothing that's going to get in his way, he'll stop at nothing.

Alright, so as it relates to the issues with pacing, I thought the start of this movie was a little difficult for one introducing a new action franchise. I don't often complain about things like this, but it was slow enough to be quite noticeable. Now, on the other hand, for that to be one of the film's only problems is a pretty good sign. I think another one is the way one of the final fights ends. Either way, this is a hell of a ride while it lasts and I enjoyed it the whole way. The gun fighting is realistic to the point where it might actually be too realistic, even though the blood, as I think I mentioned, is obviously not. The performances, you know, they are what they are. I'm not saying anyone was terrible, but I don't think anyone was really great with the exception of Nyqvist. His lines were delivered with aplomb, without exception. Even if those lines may have been bad, they weren't bad because he was delivering them. Keanu's performance, I wouldn't say that was great either, but it was understated. This was a neat touch considering there's only one other person I could see doing this role, that being Liam Neeson. If Neeson had done this role, this would feel like just everything else though. The casting here ensures that John Wick does not. That's probably the film's greatest triumph.

There are lots of action films similar to this one of course, but I said that John Wick feels unique. The reason it feels unique is because of the approach to each individual scene. there are lots of movies that try to create their own universe and fail entirely, one of the reasons this doesn't is because the attempt in doing so isn't so pervasive that it ruins the film. Instead, we have a movie where the greater workings of creating a franchise exist outside of the revenge story. This, of course, is something I like. I don't know how someone could watch this and get the idea that his lust for revenge is merely driven by the dog, but rather what the dog represents and that those people decided to fuck with him. I'm not going to go overboard here because I think this is a really good movie, but it has been reviewed to death and there's really nothing I think I can add. The casting decisions here were great, even when the roles were quite small themselves. The movie is cool, that's what it is. The copious amounts of killing and gun shit, it may surprise you but that doesn't bother me at all. What you hope for is that a movie gives you what you want, and this one does. That's all that matters to me. The scene in Viggo's club where Iosef is hiding, that's obviously the best one of many great action pieces. I don't think I need to tell you that. All the franchise ideas are great too, I'm looking forward to seeing more.

7.5/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #101 on: April 01, 2019, 05:24:09 PM »


Lowriders (2017), directed by Ricardo de Montreuil

For the first time, tonight I decided to tell some of my own experiences with lowriders to people here, all of which I said were true. I think that was the only time I mentioned this. The funny part was that I also have a video tape of my cousin bringing his lowrider to my third birthday party, but I no longer have anything I can watch that video tape with. Everyone knows enough about lowriders to have some base knowledge of the subject, right? The intention of creating a lowrider was to have something different than what white people had, or so I've been told. Lowriding culture is definitely a thing here in Los Angeles, because of course that's where it all started. I did not expect to see a movie about this subject. Not just now, not in the past, but ever. It's a new time I suppose. I'm not surprised if people haven't heard of this film because I suspect that it didn't get much play outside of this area in the first place, but to be honest, I'd never heard of it either. With a respectable $6 million take, it appears that enough did, and there we have a film. What's it about though? You'll have to read on if you want to know that. I think this is a film with heart, but it also has an enormous flaw that soured me on the movie. I actually feel bad that I wonm't be giving this a good rating though.

Danny (Gabriel Chavarria) is a young adult who likes to draw graffiti on bridges, but most would call it street art. It's quite nice. The beginning of the film features Danny with his friends Chuy (Tony Revolori) and Claudia (Yvette Monreal), they're going out to drink a little and dance a little. On the way home, Danny needs to take a piss, so he has Claudia pull over on one of our bridges that crosses the LA River. Danny doesn't really only need to take a piss though. He climbs over the bridge wall and starts tagging it, and Claudia has some good things going for her, so she wants absolutely no part of this. She bails and leaves Chuy with Danny. Of course, here comes the cops. Danny and Chuy run as best they can, but inevitably they're caught and booked. Chuy doesn't know anyone else to call, so he calls Miguel (Demian Bichir), Danny's dad. Danny is displeased with this, but you know, it isn't always up to you who bails you out of jail. Or is it? I don't know anything about that shit. Anyway, it turns out that Miguel and Danny have some friction in their relationship and with good reason.

Miguel, as you may expect, owns a lowrider shop, which is how things tie back to the title. Miguel's problems with Danny largely stem from how Miguel was as a father, he wasn't a good one. He was drunk all the time, and Danny's mother died while all that was going on. Danny is not the only one who feels that he was mistreated. Francisco, or "Ghost" (Theo Rossi) is Danny's brother, he is a fair bit older than Danny and has stronger memories of the way his childhood was. Ghost has just gotten out of prison and he was there for a while, and it turns out that in addition to how Miguel treated him as a kid, Miguel also failed to visit him in prison. This isn't good. Miguel has now remarried to Gloria (Eva Longoria), who for whatever reason plays little part in this movie other than showing that she provides stability for her husband. Miguel no longer drinks either, but that doesn't really matter to Ghost. Ghost wants to get to know his brother better, but there are a few issues in the family that have to be settled. One of them is Elysian Park. There's a very important lowrider contest there, and both Ghost and Miguel will enter. Danny wants to get closer to Ghost because he's been gone so long, but what's the deal?

I did leave out that Danny has a girlfriend, Lorelai (Melissa Benoist), but I found it difficult to work into that last paragraph. Anyway, I think this is a film with heart, with some pillars of a good story, but ultimately there's a creative decision that I find to be stereotypical and bothersome. Why do the Mexicans have to resort to violence when there's friction and conflict? Do you see what I mean? I could just put down my score after that and it's easily justifiable, but I'll go on. I do not see why a rare Mexican-American drama film has to have such content. We don't need that. The dramatic content is also not all that great either, the soul of the film really works but the rest does not. On the subject of said soul, that's just something you'd have to watch to understand what I mean. This is a coming-of-age movie where the protagonist learns to embrace his heritage, roots, family, whatever you'd call it. Perhaps the best word to use would be tradition. This is what the film should have been about, with less conflict and more scenes where the young man learns about himself and his past. I don't like the need to bring gang shooting into a movie like this, it bothers me greatly.

The lead performance is also not that great, but Demian Bichir is always good and he carries this film a really long way. This role couldn't have been that easy as Bichir is not from Los Angeles, but I really couldn't tell. I should also point out that there are aspects of the family feud that are interesting, but ultimately, I think that this isn't what the film should have been. I rarely say that, but when I do, it's with good reason. The film isn't too well directed and isn't too well written, but I did think there was a good storyline with Lorelai. What her character represents is like gentrification, of ignorance, and I thought that plot point was well paid off. Now that all being said, I think there are hardly any films that serve a Mexican-American audience and that a studio really should get to work on some. In the last year or so, the only ones I could really think of that I saw were Creed II, Sicario: Day of the Soldado (from my experience, seriously), and The Nun (also featuring Bichir). I think everyone can see that there's a big gap here. I also think Hollywood knows it, but it's not like they're doing anything about it. They have decided that the audience is better served by watching the exact same films as everyone else, but I think the past of the industry has shown this is not true. Maybe I'm wrong, but my brain and the sheer amount of material I've watched is telling me that I'm not. When they can't make one without having gangs and shooting, I don't know bro. That's not right.

5.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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 2019
« Reply #102 on: April 02, 2019, 06:10:00 PM »


The House (2017), directed by Andrew Jay Cohen

I was thinking of making all kinds of horrible jokes at the start of this, but I'm afraid I've both had enough of said terrible jokes and that nothing I could say is as bad as what I just watched. So, I'd rather not. I'm not sure why I turned this on other than that I am attempting to be comprehensive with 2017, and as a result I'll be watching quite a bit of trash over the next few months. That's fine as I usually don't watch trash movies, and they're different. I've said before that I prefer bad comedy to bad drama, but what about when it's so bad that I didn't laugh even at how bad it is? That doesn't happen very often with me, so you know how I really feel about this movie when I say that. The poster for The House does leave little to the imagination here, obviously the two lead characters run a casino of some kind. However, having not watched the trailer, this was not what I thought it would be. It's actually a hell of a lot worse, something that never should have been made. It's no wonder that comedy has gone to shit when the premises are this bad and when the lead actor has appeared in countless movies as a lead without changing his act a single time. We don't need this anymore. The last good thing Will Ferrell did was what, Step Brothers?  Not trying to count animated movies there, but that's pretty bad.

Scott (Will Ferrell) and Kate (Amy Poehler) are parents to Alex, who is headed off to university. They're on a visit at Bucknell, which is where Kate and Scott went to, and it turns out that Alex decides to go there during her visit. She also gets accepted, which leads to hopes that Alex will be funded by their community's scholarship program. Unfortunately, she is not. A city councilor named Bob (Nick Kroll) plays a large part in deciding that the city council will not fund these scholarships so that they can build a community pool. I guess this is a political statement of some sort, but I don't really care. Scott and Kate are then forced to try begging for loans, a raise, etc, but they're rebuffed at every turn. Enter Frank (Jason Mantzoukas), Scott's best friend. Frank is getting divorced from Raina (Michaela Watkins) because he has a gambling problem and a porn addiction, both of which Frank denies in the way that people typically do, but he still wants to go to Las Vegas. That just gets thrown in there somehow, but anyway, Kate and Scott go with him.

Upon arriving, we get basically no buildup or anything and shoot straight over to a craps table. Imagination is not on the agenda here. Scott decides to play and does well, but ultimately he says something he shouldn't say and the couple loses the money they were intending to win college tuition with. Back at home later that week, Frank decides to pitch an idea to Scott and Kate. His plan? He wants to start a casino at his house, because the house always wins. He thinks he can get his wife back if he does this, and he also believes that his friends will be able to get the money they need for college. In order to evade detection, his scheme revolves around the idea that people in the town will be able to park at the grocery store, go in and buy something so they can explain their whereabouts. Meanwhile, after they're done with that, they go around the back and walk through a wooded path to his house, knock on the back door, and head on in after giving a password. Sounds like a plan, it's not a bad one anyway. Problem is, that guy Bob is an annoying, terribly unfunny piece of shit, and he'll have problems when people aren't paying attention to him.

I think I've been able to illustrate that this film just isn't funny or original at all, and other than Jason Mantzoukas this is a total waste on every level. I have no idea how movies like this one even get made, and never once did I get the feeling that anyone was invested in ensuring this film was successful. For whatever reason a lot of people still find Will Ferrell amusing, I genuinely couldn't tell you why, but this material is even beneath him. This genre where middle aged people go extreme just isn't my favorite either, so keep that in mind as you read everything above, should you read it at all. Everything here is ridiculous on every level, and anyone with a brain should figure out that it's impossible for them to have enough friends to get them to fund someone's college tuition through gambling. Who do they really know anyway? Two of them are fucking losers and the other one gets laughed out of the building when asking for a raise. There's just no ingenuity or imagination to any of the proceedings here.

I need to reiterate that I didn't laugh hard a single time and only laughed a few times. There were some things here that I just couldn't bring myself to laugh at, and I was in a really good mood when I turned this on! Where things really blow apart, is that we're supposed to feel bad for someone whose parents can't pay for their education when almost everyone who goes to school these days is forced to go into insane student debt. Get that bitch a loan and stop wasting my time.

3/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline muzzington

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #103 on: April 02, 2019, 08:55:01 PM »
I took the leap and watched The House mainly because Mantzoukas was in it.

Not sure why I didn't enjoy it exactly. It has a lot of people I find funny in other things in it but it just felt so shallow.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #104 on: April 03, 2019, 06:08:51 PM »


Miss Sloane (2016), directed by John Madden

The name of John Madden always throws me off when it comes to the director, with this film being more opposite than anything I think the REAL John Madden would be interested in. I knew I wasn't entirely done with 2016 yet, there were remnants I had to go back to see, and I intend to stick with that. Anyway, I like Jessica Chastain and that's all the reason I really needed. There aren't too many movies out like this one anymore, and the box office failure of it is one of the reasons why. I saw that this rated as one of the worst opening weekend per-theater averages at the time, and it's not too hard to figure out why that is. A talky political movie that's rated R? There's no market for that anymore, as The Front Runner shows. Being topical is the aim these days, and lobbying has faded into the background at this point in time. In the past, this may have made decent coin, although I'm not sure people would have considered a powerful female lobbyist to be interesting at that point in time. I also think the ending of this film is also more suited to a time in the past, with how ridiculous the twists and turns begin to become. One thing's for sure though, I did think the female lobbyist was enthralling despite Miss Sloane's warts, of which there were quite a few.

Our film begins at a congressional hearing chaired by a senator, Ronald Sperling (John Lithgow). In front of Sen. Sperling, he has called Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) to testify. The issue in question is whether or not she violated Senate ethics rules while working for a very powerful, fictional Washington D.C. lobbying firm; Cole, Kravitz & Waterman. Liz is counseled by her lawyer (David Wilson Barnes) that she should take the fifth amendment over and over again, regardless of what she is asked by Sperling. Things become personal and she cannot continue to repeat herself, which means she is now compelled to testify or be held in contempt of Congress and sent to prison. Will she testify? You have to wait until the end of the film to find that out. We snap back three months, back to when Liz is working for Cole, Kravitz & Waterman. She is in the midst of a battle related to Indonesian palm oil, one where her clients are the Indonesian government. While dealing with that, she is called into a meeting by her boss George Dupont (Sam Waterston), they are scheduled to meet with a "gun rights" representative named Bill Sanford (Chuck Shamata). They did everything they could to not say the letters NRA. The meeting does not go well and Liz does not want to represent the gun lobby. It seems that she actually has conviction on this issue, and Sanford's idea was rather patronizing, to have her lead up the fight in shorting up the female pro-gun vote. Although Liz laughs him off, George says that she absolutely must do what Sanford says

Liz is not going to do what Sanford says. After a fundraiser, she is approached by Rodolfo Schmidt (Mark Strong), the CEO of a liberal lobbying firm, Peterson Wyatt. Schmidt wants Liz to lead the charge in favor of a bill called Heaton-Harris, this bill being one that will expand universal background checks to all gun purchases. Liz cannot resist this and says yes. Her motivations are never made clear other than to say that she loves a challenge and really wanted this win. The next day, Liz goes to work and decides that she's going to quit on the spot and ask which of her staff would like to come along with. Pat Connors (Michael Stuhlbarg) is either above her or her equal, that isn't clear, but he will not leave. Neither will Jane (Alison Pill), her very trusted assistant. Liz gets very mad and basically tells everyone that those who stayed will have to eat shit. Once Liz gets to Peterson Wyatt, she befriends an existing staffer at the firm, Esme (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). Esme is the survivor of a school shooting and Liz becomes aware of this quite quickly, and anyone with a brain can see that she's going to use this to her own benefit. Here's the deal from here. The two firms need to get undecided votes any which way they can. They will both go to extreme means to do so, and they're now in competition. Liz already said what would happen should they be in competition, so it's going to get very nasty.

The casting in this scenario is perfectly fitting for this kind of movie, but some of the twists and turns near the end of the film are absolutely ridiculous nonsense. Jessica Chastain does a great job of ensuring that said nonsense doesn't feel as bad as it actually is, but make no mistake that her character's plans are completely absurd. In fact if you listen to what she says at the beginning of the film, you can see everything coming. This is a mistake and I don't know why any filmmaker would do this other than to make people think "omg I paid attention and she actually did that lol." We don't need any of that. Of course, a movie like this needs to have a moral compass, and the character of Esme is very fitting here. I also thought that it was nice a movie like this wasn't so cynical that they would have the devious lobbyist use the diversity of her staff as a bonus point in her favor. Of course, such a film is a good statement against the system of lobbyists that we currently have, but I think politics in this country has gone beyond the point of lobbying. Sure, lobbyists do have their impact and I wouldn't deny that, but the lines in the sand are fucking drawn. The party line is what it fucking is and none of that's going to change anytime soon, even though some of those things really should.

I don't think Miss Sloane is a masterpiece of anything like that, but it's functional and good. I do think it's amusing this was timed to come out literally right after the election, which had an outcome I'm sure nobody saw coming and as a result some of the things in this feel really weird. The glass ceiling was shattered in some ways and not in others, but I think everyone's now aware that women can play very evil politically oriented characters. I wouldn't say that Liz is good even though her cause certainly is. The way the film presents things, she's a very bad person. But, stories about very bad people can be good, and in some cases even fun. I think Miss Sloane is fun even though the trappings of the film are totally ludicrous from one hatched plan to the next. I think I love this shit, in all honesty. I watched House of Cards for a while, but I don't think I can finish it after Kevin Spacey was outed. I did finish The West Wing, two times I should add. No regrets there. I have a need for stories like this and I'll probably seek one out to watch on television at some point in the next few months, that's just how I am.

I didn't intend to watch The Hummingbird Project and Miss Sloane back to back like this, but I thought that Miss Sloane was something different than what it actually was. In reality, they both feature a small team of people fighting against a crooked system fueled by massive amounts of money, so these are companion movies in a way. I wouldn't say that I felt bored watching Miss Sloane even though I now realize how similar the two are, though. There's actually a decent contrast and I see what makes one of these movies better than the other. The outlandish things in Miss Sloane, even the ones that are more realistic, are something lacking in The Hummingbird Project. Miss Sloane has just enough substance and plenty of style, enough for me to have a decent opinion of the film. The Hummingbird Project has substance and the style is nothing that I really care for at all, so we have these two different feelings here. I don't think either of the films was trying to make a grand political statement at all, they were attempting to be good entertainment. One achieved and one nearly did, but they both have artistic merit. Jessica Chastain is given so much more than Alexander Skarsgard though.

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 2019
« Reply #105 on: April 03, 2019, 06:10:57 PM »
I took the leap and watched The House mainly because Mantzoukas was in it.

Not sure why I didn't enjoy it exactly. It has a lot of people I find funny in other things in it but it just felt so shallow.

I think it's too bland and goes nowhere near far enough. Beyond the premise, the house casino itself feels really cheap and the idea is unexplored. The stolen money angle also sucked.


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 2019
« Reply #106 on: April 05, 2019, 06:25:50 PM »


XXX: Return of Xander Cage (2017), directed by D.J. Caruso

I decided to make sure that I watched something bad tonight, something ridiculous and not particularly good. I didn't quite know how ridiculous XXX: Return of Xander Cage was going to be, but I really should have known. This was a rare case of a franchise I thought I'd completed, but for whatever reason someone decided many years later that there needed to be a third XXX film. Why? I can't answer that, I genuinely don't know why. I thought XXX: Return of Xander Cage had to be a film that became self-aware and was in on the joke, but what if it wasn't? What if the director though they were making something that actually made sense? To be extremely clear, XXX: Return of Xander Cage does not make sense on any level at all. The film also features some of the more ridiculous things all year, and it's not good. You know what though? I think I loved it. I can't really explain why, but when a movie goes full bore into being as ridiculous as possible, it's quite endearing. Also, in the case of XXX: Return of Xander Cage compared to some of those other kinds of movies, there are no annoying characters. Just one ridiculous person after the next, making the film what it is. The stuff here is totally insane and stupid, watch it at your own peril.

If you need anything to jog your mind, and you probably do, Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) is an NSA agent, and he's in Brazil eating Chinese food with Neymar. Why? He's trying to recruit Neymar as an agent, which is totally stupid, but the movie pushes through that. If you need a further refresher, Augustus is the constant in the series, the only character who appeared in both films after Vin Diesel decided he was not doing a sequel. While eating, a satellite crashes in Brazil that kills both Neymar and Augustus. Huh? After that, a team of four consisting of the leader Ziang (Donnie Yen), Talon (Tony Jaa), Hawk (Michael Bisping), and Serena (Deepika Padukone) decides to infilitrate a CIA office in New York City. Their mission is to retrieve Pandora's Box, a device which is supposed to be capable of controlling satellites and causing them to crash. How could anyone not see this twist coming? The team accomplishes their mission, then we pan out to another group. Jane Marke (Toni Collette) is a CIA agent who needs someone to learn more about Pandora's Box. Her target? Xander Cage (Van Diesel), who fakes his death after the first film and went to live in the Dominican Republic. I am presenting some of these things as dryly as possible so that I can actually type them out without laughing as much as I did when I watched this. Xander is somehow convinced to return to active service, and so it goes.

Xander needs to put together a team of his own of course, otherwise nothing's going to go well for him. Enter Adele (Ruby Rose), a sniper; Tennyson Torch (Rory McCann), their driver who keeps count of how often he crashes; Becky (Nina Dobrev), a weapons specialist who is assigned by Jane in the first place; and Nicks (Kris Wu), who is just a guy. I have no idea why this character is there at all. The team's intention is to find out how to locate Xiang and his team, and we learn that they're hiding out in the Philippines. So, there we go. After a long sequence that I found to be the only boring part of the film, we come to learn that Xiang and Cage have goals that aren't very dissimilar at all, but they don't know that. So, from there, on the movie goes and things get more and more ridiculous as they go. Did you think this would be the film that had an anti-gravity gun battle on an airplane? If you did, you win a prize. That's here and there's so much more.

XXX: Return of Xander Cage is quite short, so my ability to summarize things sputtered out once I got further along in the story. There have never been more ridiculous things filmed by a major Hollywood studio, I think. Did you ever want to see someone ski through a jungle? How about crash a plane into a satellite that's falling to Earth? If you do, you just need to watch this and turn your brain off for a while. I have not even been remotely comprehensive here. Some of the stunts are just bonkers. I also thought that the style in which this was filmed was absolutely horrible. This movie has what I like to call "video game entrances." You know what I mean by that? Character appears, quips, and there's an overlay screen that comes on summarizing these people's accomplishments. Absolutely none of these overlays are funny at all. There's also a lot of stuff here that's really lame, and I guess you could say that all of it is, but I think that's the charm. They don't make movies like these anymore and that's true, but it's also good that they don't. At the same time, when they do come along, I think they're funny as hell. So take that for what it is.

It's not just the action and introductions of characters that are ludicrous, but Vin Diesel is ludicrous himself. This character is a parody of some kind. I think Michael Bay would be proud, but he's better at creating side characters. This film does not do such a good job, even though the amount of cameos made me laugh. I already mentioned Neymar and Michael Bisping, but Tony Gonzalez? I don't know how this cameo was even conceived nor do I want to know. Admittedly, I think XXX: Return of Xander Cage is a guilty pleasure. I do feel guilty, I know this is a bad movie, yet I paid attention to everything with the utmost. There are so many logical issues with these events, I don't have it in myself to point out all of them. Perhaps my favorite was when Vin Diesel's character gets shot and not killed as a result of wearing body armor. The person who ordered him to wear body armor was the one who shot him, and forgot that he had protection. See what I mean? Totally stupid, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, but even if it was or wasn't, it's just not good. If you like movies where people front flip over moving cars, I do recommend watching this.

4.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline The Art of Rasslin'

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #107 on: April 06, 2019, 04:10:27 AM »


I can't believe a guy can be that big, and jump around like he does what a great athlete!

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #108 on: April 06, 2019, 04:16:07 AM »
LIRL


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 2019
« Reply #109 on: April 09, 2019, 06:27:21 PM »


Mudbound (2017), directed by Dee Rees

Immediately upon finishing Mudbound, and just a few minutes before I started this review, I was left with the thought that Mudbound was heavily snubbed for major award nominations. I was also left with the thought that this is one of the best films I've seen that didn't manage to win one of the big awards in any category whatsoever. Why though? I think the most easy explanation is that this is a Netflix movie and those nearly always are shafted. It took one of the best films I've ever seen for Netflix movies to actually get recognition, but even then, it wasn't quite what the film deserved either. I don't think it's fair when great films are ignored because they debuted on a platform people do not care for. So, with that in mind, let's talk about Mudbound some. This is a much different racial drama than much of what I've seen, in no part thanks to the presentation of it, this film deciding that it would present the reality of the situation as best as the director and cinematographer are able to do so. The location used for this film is also spectacular, with the title being what it is in large part due the amount of mud in the area. There's still something more to it than that, and there are changes from the novel that I am keenly aware of, but I thought this was a great film. Did I say that enough?

Our film begins with something that leads to a flashback presenting the entire story, which I've already mentioned is something I absolutely hate. Henry (Jason Clarke) and Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) are brothers, they clearly live on a farm of some kind with a lot of mud. They attempt to dig a hole before a rainstorm comes, but they aren't able to complete matters. The next day, the coffin is too heavy for them, and Henry has to ask a black family passing by in a horse and wagon if they will help him lower the coffin into the hole. There's obviously been some kind of problem, and that's where we head back. Before World War II begins, Henry begins a courtship of Laura (Carey Mulligan), who narrates the way things turned out. The things she says indicate that the love between them is in question, but it doesn't take a genius to figure that as Carey Mulligan is a great actress who can portray emotion with her face very well. The two are living in Memphis, but Henry has a dream and he's very much the old type of husband who will make orders and his family will listen to them. One day, he comes home and says that Laura and their two daughters will be moving to a farm he's bought in the Mississippi Delta. He says that his father Pappy (Jonathan Banks) will also be coming to live with them. Pappy is an incorrigible racist fuck, that is of no consequence to Henry and he doesn't care. So, down to Mississippi they go, but Henry is also stupid. He did not ensure his family had a decent house to live in, so they live on the farm in a very nasty house.

At the same time, the Jacksons are a family in Mississippi. They are black, the parents are Hap (Rob Morgan) and Florence (Mary J. Blige). Their lot in life is not so great. They are sharecroppers, which is just fucking horrible. They dream of owning their own land one day, and they have a large family, but dreams are merely just that. The idea that the Jacksons will ever come to own their land is just that, an idea. The war had begun by the time to McAllans moved to Mississippi, and that impacted everyone. Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell) is the oldest of the Jackson family, he had enlisted in the Army. Ronsel now commands a Sherman tank, and while in Europe prior to the absolute end of the war, he had a relationship with a German woman. Racism is not something that affects him to the same degree anymore, but the fact is, wars end. People have to go home. Things in Mississippi aren't so good, but the McAllans also have someone in the war, it's the aforementioned Jamie, who had disappeared from the story for a while. Jamie is a captain who flies B-25's, his journey in the war has not been so good. Again, wars end. Eventually everyone must come home, but there are some problems with the situation. As mentioned, the Jacksons want their own land, and Henry has never run a farm before. He has no idea what he's doing, he's also harsh, and still a racist. Just not to the same extent as Pappy. Pappy, now there's a fucking problem if I've ever seen one before.

Something sticking with me after watching Mudbound is that films like Mudbound shouldn't have needed to be made because these things all shouldn't have happened, but the fact is that they did happen. Racism is a fucking stupid thing, but I don't think people are entirely capable of understanding how far these things really went. So, on that level, of course Mudbound needed to be made. Beyond that, I thought this was a good story that built up to the ending in a way that a film should do. There are payoffs throughout the story, however small they are, but the ending really delivers and carries massive weight. I'm not going to say anything about how people need to watch this because the people who need to watch it most either never will or they'll sympathize with the wrong people, that's something I think a lot of people need to understand. Beyond racism, the reason I watched and thought Mudbound was a great film because the utilization of dramatic moments worked to incredible effect. I found myself interested in the fates of all the characters although there isn't delivery in some cases. Of course, Laura would be forced to stay married even though she didn't love her husband, but a lot of people would never pick up on that or realize it without that being thrown in their face. I think there's something to be said for how slowly the story is told here, and on that level I can understand why people wouldn't find Mudbound to be a great film. I also find some of the things where people say "THIS IS THE MOVIE WE NEEDED FOR THIS TIME IN OUR HISTORY" to be totally stupid, so you'll never see me say that again if I ever have.

Of course, one can't write a review about Mudbound without talking about the performances and technical aspects, so that's how I'll finish things up. The cinematography by Rachel Morrison is excellent and not for the first time, I read that she was given a lot of freedom to shoot this as she wished. The results are fantastic and I just want more of this. The sets and the mud all feel period correct as they're supposed to as well, this is in large part because of the cinematography and choices made filming each scene. Jason Mitchell and Mary J. Blige have great performances too, but I wasn't surprised by that. Carey Mulligan was no slouch either. The film is long enough that everyone is given the time they need to craft their characters and bring them to life. I have read that this was Tamar-kali's first attempt at taking a shot as the lead composer, and yeah, it's good man. It's something that immediately stands out. The script and story are pretty good too, but I won't be overly effusive in praise because after all this is a book adaptation. That being said, adapting books is pretty hard. I feel bad in saying I liked a film with the ending Mudbound has, but I thought this was an excellent example of maintaining tension until the payoff point. Lots of filmmakers aren't good at doing so, but perhaps Dee Rees is. I think I will need to see more from her before coming to a final judgment, but this was really strong work.

I could write more but I'm trying very hard to stop droning on, so I'll leave it at that.

9/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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 2019
« Reply #110 on: April 10, 2019, 06:42:43 PM »


The Cloverfield Paradox (2018), directed by Julius Onah

I remember when in the moments leading up to this film's release, that I was eagerly anticipating it and made plans to pound straight through 10 Cloverfield Lane as soon as possible in order to watch this and have it make some sense. I remember when I was watching the Super Bowl and saw that Netflix bought the film, which left me with mixed feelings. Was this so good and so weird that Paramount thought the movie couldn't possibly make any money? Was it merely the latter of those two things, that it was just weird? Did Netflix buy this because Paramount knew it was trash and Netflix themselves have absolutely no taste? When reviews began to trickle in, I knew which one of those scenarios that it really was, so I made the decision to wait on this film until I'd watched more Netflix trash. The day to finally watch The Cloverfield Paradox was now, and I did know what I was getting into. I don't really know if they're going to continue this franchise, but I do think this film should be disregarded. It opens up too many...paradoxes, I could say. The film just does not make sense and I don't know how a franchise could continue after what I just watched unless it was decided to disregard the entire venture. Would they do that? I hate to say it but this film was trash and needs to be treated as such, and with the cast this had, I have no idea how anyone could make something so bad. Is it the case that each Cloverfield movie takes place in a different dimension? The things in 10 Cloverfield Lane suggest they do not. I don't want to deal with stupid shit though, I shouldn't have to think about things to this extent.

It's 2028, and this Earth is suffering from a global energy crisis, with no sign of an inter-dimensional or alien invasion. The space agencies have made a pact to test a particle accelerator called the Shepard, they know this is the only chance for the human race to survive and prosper. The Shepard is supposed to provide infinite energy for the planet, and it is on the Cloverfield Station, which is orbiting Earth. There are some conspiracy theorists, quite similar to Alex Jones in fact, and they say that the Shepard could in theory create a paradox and open portals to alternate universes. Nobody knows what the particle accelerator is truly capable of doing, people are quite cautious. We are first shown Ava Hamilton (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who is struggling with her decision about whether or not to be part of this project. She is married to Michael (Roger Davies), who encourages her to take part. They had children who died as a result of Ava attempting to steal power so their family could push on, but Michael seems to not blame her. Of course, Ava goes on the station. The crew also consists of Jason Kiel (David Oyelowo), the American station commander; Ernst Schmidt (Daniel Bruhl), the lead physicist from Germany; Monk Acosta (John Ortiz), the doctor from Brazil; Gordon Mundy (Chris O'Dowd) and Sasha Volkov (Aksel Hennie), the engineers from Ireland and Russia respectively; and lastly Ling Tam (Zhang Ziyi), the engineer responsible for working on the particle accelerator and Schmidt's girlfriend. That was a mouthful.

Anyway, the crew is about to take on their first attempt at activating Shepard, and of course it goes badly. So do many others, and what do you know it, it's two damn years later. The situation on Earth is getting worse and worse, the crew is left to find a solution. They think they have one and activate Shepard, and it seems that they'll have a good beam, but it turns out that they do not. The accelerator overloads and that leads to a power surge, which everyone works to fix as quickly as possible. Once power is restored, there's some weird shit going on here. I'm going to do my best not to spoil things too much in case someone cares, but here's what's important. Earth has vanished from the view of the station, and the gyroscope that allows Cloverfield Station to be navigated properly is missing for some reason. Volkov is experiencing some weird stuff going on with his face, and things are strange overall. Want to know how weird? The crew finds a woman in the wall, her name is Mina Jensen (Elizabeth Debicki). For some reason she has been fused with the wires inside of that wall, and it turns out there's something going on with her too. When she wakes up enough to speak, she tells Ava not to trust Schmidt, as she believes beyond dispute that Schmidt is a spy sent by the German government to prevent Shepard from working. To make a long story short, it turns out that when Shepard did work, it sent the station to a parallel universe, and because they aren't supposed to be there, things that aren't supposed to happen are happening.

I just really can't try to make heads or tails of how this all fits in with the other two Cloverfield movies, but the bit at the end with the giant monster now being large enough to peek through the crowds, I'm gonna say that's a no from me. This movie also straight out copies many other things from other films, which is the opposite of the other two. I hate when movies do this kind of thing. For lack of a better word, The Cloverfield Paradox is a trainwreck. There's so much stuff going on and very little of it I actually enjoyed. I thought the set design was nice and as always, I enjoyed that there was a movie at least related to space as I need more of that, but this wasn't good. I cannot accurately describe how disappointing a film this is, but I do think it's funny that people ran to watch this immediately after the Super Bowl. What a waste of time that sounds like. I think the film has too many problems to say, "this is the greatest problem with The Cloverfield Paradox," but there are some things that come to mind. One is that I didn't care about any of the characters, all of whom were quite boring and not fleshed out. The one who was, I didn't care for her at all. The Cloverfield Paradox also has issues with specific scenes where people have to walk into space and do things that just don't make any kind of scientific sense. The idea that people can jump from one part of a space rig to another without using any kind of tether sounds like ludicrous bullshit that I would rather not entertain any possibilty of being realistic.

I fucking hate this movie as you can tell, and I don't know why anyone allowed this to be made at all, but Paramount has made a lot of absolute garbage in the last few years. Their studio head got sick and died, which probably played a large part in that, but it seems like their new one is doing a slightly better job. Of course, someone would have to release all those shitty movies, and this is one of them, so it takes time to turn around a sinking ship. To have received $50 million for garbage like this is genuinely incredible and sounds impossible, but it isn't impossible because we know it happened. What made the Cloverfield franchise interesting to me was the way those films were loosely tied together and very well tied together as well, but The Cloverfield Paradox destroys that. I don't know how someone could even make a good Cloverfield movie from here, and I guess what I really wonder is why anyone would truly want to? Originality is very difficult in the film business, a lot of people can't pull it off, but we see here that someone tried to expand this film universe and failed entirely. Could it have been expanded at all? I don't know how to answer that, because nothing about this makes any sense at all and this shouldn't have been made.

3.5/10

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.   Climax
22.   Can You Ever Forgive Me?
23.   Mid90s
24.   Eighth Grade
25.   Sorry to Bother You
26.   Vice
27.   The Old Man & the Gun
28.   Suspiria
29.   Vox Lux
30.   Boy Erased
31.   Bad Times at the El Royale
32.   The Other Side of the Wind
33.   Searching
34.   A Simple Favor
35.   The Hate U Give
36.   Unsane
37.   Bumblebee
38.   Mary Poppins Returns
39.   Creed II
40.   Hold the Dark
41.   The Land of Steady Habits
42.   Halloween
43.   Ant-Man and the Wasp
44.   Beirut
45.   Mary Queen of Scots
46.   Aquaman
47.   Outlaw King
48.   Overlord
49.   Ben Is Back
50.   Monsters and Men
51.   The Mule
52.   On the Basis of Sex
53.   Bohemian Rhapsody
54.   White Boy Rick 
55.   Papillon
56.   Game Night
57.   Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
58.   Instant Family
59.   Alpha
60.   The Front Runner
61.   The Predator
62.   Apostle
63.   The Angel
64.   The Commuter
65.   Beautiful Boy
66.   The Nun
67.   Operation Finale
68.   The Equalizer 2
69.   The Spy Who Dumped Me
70.   Bird Box
71.   12 Strong
72.   Venom
73.   Skyscraper
74.   The Meg
75.   Assassination Nation
76.   The Girl in the Spider's Web
77.   The House with a Clock in Its Walls
78.   22 July
79.   Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
80.   The Little Stranger
81.   Tomb Raider
82.   Night School
83.   The 15:17 To Paris
84.   Peppermint
85.   Mile 22
86.   The First Purge
87.   Hunter Killer
88.   The Cloverfield Paradox
89.   Kin
90.   Hell Fest
91.   Proud Mary
92.   Robin Hood
93.   The Happytime Murders
94.   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 2019
« Reply #111 on: April 11, 2019, 06:11:56 PM »


Rough Night (2017), directed by Lucia Aniello

Being a completist, as it turns out, can be a complete bitch when it comes to having to watch films like this one. I'm going to watch Girls Trip as well, but that has much better reviews and as a result I don't feel so negatively as I did after watching this film tonight. It turns out that Rough Night has negative reviews for a reason, and I'm resisting the urge to make puns here, but this was for me as the title would indicate. Surprisingly for a comedy, there are numerous reasons this didn't work. Often enough, there's only a few and they're all really bad, but I actually have a lot here. I think it may turn out that television is a better medium for comedy than film, and that probably has a lot to do with why comedy is dying at the box office. I'm just guessing, I don't really know why it is, but I do know that it's happening. Perhaps it's that people just don't know how to make good comedy movies, but I do really think it's what I said about television. Usually, the people who write these movies now come from television and have to learn to make a story stretch far longer than it does on the small screen. Obviously, it doesn't work, and I'm just rambling on at this point. I would say that Rough Night is bad, but it's not that bad. I've seen a whole lot worse, but I expect more from a movie like this one.

Rough Night starts off in 2016, with Alice (Jillian Bell) and Jess (Scarlett Johansson) playing beer pong at George Washington University. Naturally, they win, and head back to their room where their other friends Frankie (Ilana Glazer) and Blair (Zoe Kravitz) are currently...sitting? I don't remember what they were doing. After some jokes, we fast forward a decade and everyone has moved on with their lives. It turns out that Frankie and Blair were in a relationship, and now Frankie is a professional protester while Blair is a high powered real estate agent who had a child and is getting divorced. Jess is attempting to run for her state senate, and lastly Alice is now a teacher. I feel bad for those kids. Jess has problems with relatability, and pretty much resembles Hillary Clinton in a TV spot that made me chuckle. Anyway, the four are scheduled to fly to Miami, the reason being that there's a bachelorette party for Jess. At the same time, her fiance Peter (Paul W. Downs) is going to have a bachelor party with his friends Tobey (Bo Burnham), Jake (Eric Andre), and Joe (Hasan Minhaj). The guys plan to do a wine tasting, which sounds unbelievably boring and is something I don't want to do at any point in my life. Visions of Sideways come to mind here.

Once the group of women arrive in Miami, they are joined by a friend Jess made in Australia while there for a semester, her name is Pippa (Kate McKinnon). Pippa, as you may suspect, is very fucking weird. The group meets her at a restaurant, and Frankie procures some coke from one of the busboys. So, it's time to have fun and they go to a club, Alice falls down like a goof, all seems good. They get back to the house they've rented on the beach, and I left out that they had weird swinger neighbors, Pietro (Ty Burrell) and Lea (Demi Moore). The neighbors are not home. That's good considering what happens next. Frankie hires a male stripper named Jay (Ryan Cooper), and he says some stuff that Jess didn't like. When Jess moves away, in comes Alice, who jumps on the poor bastard and kills him. I laughed. Anyway, Peter calls Jess right after this happens and she says that her friends hired a prostitute, then her phone gets smashed right as she's screaming "NOOOOO" into it as Peter is asking if she still wants to get married. The panic also leads to Blair confiscating everyone's phones, and they need to make their next move. They've moved the body in attempts to hide it from other people, so they're already screwed, but I'm going to get to the point. What could become a real problem is that Peter has decided to travel to Miami in an attempt to win Jess back, but the girls don't know that. They also need to get rid of the body as this has become a Weekend at Bernie's scenario.

The premise of this movie is totally stupid, and doesn't really flesh things out to the extent that it should in order for any of these scenes to really matter. I did laugh at Kate McKinnon though, and I also said I laughed when the guy died. Those scenes were genuinely funny. There are some others that get light chuckles, but yes, only light ones. I do find it interesting that Rough Night and Girls Trip were released in the span of a month and one movie made a lot more money than the other. I am not an expert enough to figure out why that is, but when I watch the latter film, maybe I'll know. What I thought was that Rough Night was too light and nowhere near as dark as it really should have ben. A movie like this needs people to become pieces of shit, and we just don't really have that here. Nobody goes far enough in order to get rid of the body, and the scenarios are rather PG-13 even though this is rated R. I will admit that I don't really know any of Ilana Glazer's comedy, or that of the director and writer, but I didn't find this to be particularly funny. I think we as an audience need so much more than this, and there are even minor misses in terms of the story. There's a scene where Blair has to have a threesome with the weird neighbors, and it turns out that there was no reason for her to do so because the security cameras didn't work. Why didn't they work a situation where the other girls had broken into the house only to find that out themselves and not say anything until a point later in the film? I don't know, it's a missed opportunity though.

Not everything here falls flat, but this is a film with other missed opportunities and I found myself wishing that other things had happened. I'm not the kind of person that thinks "DURRRRR WOMEN AREN'T FUNNY," but this isn't a great example of a funny movied helmed and driven by women. It's much more the jokes on parade here than the cast members, exhibited by one scene where someone goes to buy adult diapers to the tunes of "The Next Episode." Yeah, this is trash and revels in it being trash, but some of the cast members do a better job of making their horrible material work, like Kate McKinnon does, and others simply just can't. What we have here is a good outline for a story, but there's nothing to fill it out. I can't believe I'm going to make a weird food analogy because I absolutely never do that, but this was like when you buy a taco and they forget to put the meat inside. There's no meat here, and that's all there is to it. As already stated, a film like this needs to go over the top rather than play things straight and normal, this just doesn't do any of that.

4.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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

Offline Avid Enthusiast of Warehouses

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #112 on: April 12, 2019, 03:22:12 AM »
So they remade Very Bad Things but took most of the darkness out? Sounds as awful as it looks.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #113 on: April 14, 2019, 05:51:53 PM »


Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (2017), directed by Joseph Cedar

Talk about a mouthful of a title there, the original title of Oppenheimer Strategies was much better. Anyway, I must admit that I believe I've only seen one of Richard Gere's movies before. I can't explain how or why it is, I just think it's true when I look at what he's done. That's pretty weird, but in any case, it isn't like Gere's done very much in the last ten years. So, if anyone cares, they shouldn't and I'm just going to move on. Norman is the kind of movie that I'm a little surprised even exists, but I found it to be quite amusing. This was described as a thriller, and I would suggest that it really isn't? I found this guy to be so fucking obnoxious that I can't believe anyone would even be forced to be around him. In that, I found quite a lot of humor, and I also thought that this film really brought something to the table. It's nice when a film leaves the viewer with questions, and that's also very hard to do, so when I see something like that I'm quite satisfied. I also thought this is the kind of movie best viewed at home, which I don't often say. It's quite slow, and with that in mind, I probably wouldn't recommend it to everyone here. Anyway, what's this all about? Read on.

If I knew someone like this, I think I would smack their head in, but fortunately I don't. At least I don't anymore. Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere), if that is his real name and if he's even what he presents himself to be, is certainly in question come the end of the film. Norman is one of those professional bullshitters. He has a business card even though he doesn't have an office, and his company is called Oppenheimer Strategies. Norman fashions himself as a fixer, he makes connections with people and sticks them together with one another so that good things happen. The film starts with him spinning a trash ass investment opportunity in the Ivory Coast as an excuse to get two people in the room. He'll use other people for whatever reason, and he says that a Harvard graduate named Philip (Michael Sheen) is his nephew, but I don't know if I believe that either. He uses Philip in an attempt to set up a meeting between a deputy Minister of Energy in the Israeli government named Micha Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi), and a businessman in New York named Arthur Taub (Josh Charles). For whatever reason he thinks these two will make great business associates. He buys Micha a pair of shoes and assumes that he'll come to the dinner at Arthur's house, which I should point out Norman invited himself to, but he did not. Arthur is dejected, but the pair of shoes was so expensive that Micha feels the need to call him later that night and apologize. They have a conversation, it turns out Norman does some small favors for Micha along the way, and we have a friendship.

The film moves forward a few years, and it turns out that Micha has become the Prime Minister of Israel. A bullshit artist like Norman is very pleased with this. There's a convention of some kind in Washington D.C., and Norman goes there to see Micha again, who remembers him. Now I don't know if Norman did those favors or not, but in the process of this meeting, he gets reingratiated with the PM and meets a ton of people. Obviously, for someone like Norman, this is fantastic and he's going to be able to spin more yarn. Norman's ability to name drop is unmatched, and he does his best to portray himself as setting up connections between two people who don't really need him. Now, on the way home, he gets on the Amtrak back to New York City and winds up sitting next to a justice official working at the Israeli consulate, Alex Green (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Alex initially pays Norman no mind, and once she ignores him, this sets him off into dropping the most knowledge he can possibly drop in order to get her attention. What seems to get her is when he asks questions about her personal life, and these questions lead to her asking how he knows the Prime Minister. You know exactly what a guy like that would do in order to get her attention. At the same time, Norman is also seeking to be in further contact with Micha, and there's a problem with finding a donor for his synagogue, which is run by Rabbi Blumenthal (Steve Buscemi). I can't really describe these schemes to any of you, but they all intertwine delightfully. They are also going to explode, make no mistake about that.

The first thing I noticed about this film's cast was that all of the Americans in the more prominent Jewish roles are not Jewish. This is clearly on purpose, I don't know what the director's humor is because I haven't seen any of his other movies, but there's something going on with that. I think the cast for such a film is also quite strong, and that this was quite nicely made overall. Rarely do we have a portrait of someone with this affliction of being an insane liar, it was strong enough that I don't know what to make of it. I'm loathe to pass judgment on people or characters who don't deserve it, but I was left with the feeling that lying so much is a mental illness rather than a sure sign of someone being such a bad person. If you watch the film you'll see what I mean. There are some logic gaps in the story though, for starters I don't understand how a person like this can even afford to survive. Norman's consulting services aren't those that earn money, instead they inflate his social standing as a result of being connected to all these people. It also makes him feel like he's needed by the people who he actually hangs around because he can drop names in an attempt to get his actual friends out of a jam. I don't know what to make of this shit. I can only assume that someone who lies this much has a painfully low opinion of their own worth and value to the world.

Now, there's no movie like this without a character coming near to the equal of Norman, and while the Israeli Prime Minister is not quite that, he's a good one. He's visited by an American lobbyist or congressperson of some kind, and when the American asks him what his message while touring this country is going to be, Micha goes on a very long rant about his own standing in the world and what it means for him to be the Prime Minister. He wants peace and says that there's two ways it could go, that God put him there to take all the credit or he doesn't understand why God put an incompetent like him in such a job. Either way it feels like he puts no bearing on his own part in the process of creating a peace treaty and if he fails, it isn't his fault. That kind of bizarre narcissism manifests itself so well at the ending of this film. I was going to rate this a little lower, but as I summarize the events of Norman, I find myself liking it more and more. You know how often I feel that way about a film after the fact? It isn't a regular thing for me, but I'm thinking about how Steve Buscemi was playing a rabbi, and how Richard Gere was lying about absolutely everything, and this worked for me on almost all levels. It really did, and I didn't realize how much I liked the movie until I started to write about the character Hank Azaria played, who was a younger guy doing the exact same things Norman was doing. The look on Gere's face when he encounters this guy is incredible, and this was a pretty good film with lots of neat touches like that. Things just take a while to pick up.

7.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

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


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 2019
« Reply #114 on: April 16, 2019, 05:55:13 PM »


Strong Island (2017), directed by Yance Ford

I thought that it had been a long time since I watched a documentary, and I also thought that I'd put Strong Island off for long enough. I knew that this would be a difficult watch, because these crime documentaries do affect me. That's why I don't watch them very often and that's why I've never spoken about watching a true crime documentary series. My documentary reviews are always short and with good reason, I believe that documentaries are something that people have to watch in order to gain full understanding from what's in front of them. Films like this one are the greatest example of that, they hit very hard. I wasn't quite expecting exactly how hard some of this would hit, I thought this was going to be an investigatory documentary, but I was wrong about that. Strong Island feels very different in that way, it is more a reflection of what happens to a family in the wake of such tragedy. This film is just different, it really is. People need to learn why it isn't acceptable for others to die because someone says that they're scared. Merely saying that one is scared appears to be enough to justify anything. What is there to be scared of? In the case of this film, it sounds like there was nothing to be scared of, and certainly nothing that should lead to a life being taken too soon. This documentary is so personal, so raw and real.

Strong Island tells the story of the Ford family, and specifically of the killing of William Ford, a 24 year old black man from Long Island who was shot dead by a mechanic, Mark Reilly. Ford had gone to pick up his car from a chop shop after they'd smashed into the car while he was driving and they'd made a deal to fix it at the shop. When the accident had happened, Reilly had said something about Ford's mother. Ford saw Reilly at the shop, he followed Reilly to speak to him or for who knows what, and Reilly shot him with a rifle at intermediate range. Not close range. The case was investigated, or rather "investigated" and brushed aside. Ford's murderer was never even brought to trial, exonerated by a grand jury of 23 men who thought the killing was justified because they'd argued at the shop some time before. Self-defense, whatever that means, was the determination. The district attorney effectively worked against Ford in order to prove Reilly's innocence, the way that these things have always happened, but some people want to believe this is a more recent phenomenon. This murder occurred in 1992, the killing has haunted the filmmaker and his family since then. Guilt, regret, and stress has done horrible damage to them.

The Ford family starts with two people, the father, William Sr., and the mother, Barbara. The two had left the Jim Crow South in hopes of a better life, thinking that if they played by the rules of America and did everything they were supposed to do, things would be just fine. For a long time they were. They had children, three of them. William Jr. was the oldest, a somewhat short and stocky young man. Yance was born a woman, is now a man. Coming to terms with himself was very difficult. The youngest sister, she tells her story, but in truth she seems to have been protected. There is a reason the film centers around the director and his mother, and you'll need to watch it if you want to know why. The story Barbara tells where she says she regretted telling her children to judge people by their character instead of the color of their skin, that was a sad moment that could be perceived in many ways. It was clear to me what she meant, which is the sad fact that white people can't handle black people getting mad at them when the white person does something wrong. There are many stories told in this documentary, but the overall point is as such. If an institution is intent on pretending a black death did not happen, that's exactly how it's going to be. White society has made it acceptable to ignore those who do not share our background and pretend that their problems do not matter. If you can't hear them, it didn't happen. If you do hear them, they're talking too loud about it and need to do it the right way. That's how it is. 

I actually don't have much to say about this film beyond what I've already said, I think I've made my feelings clear. I think as far as a documentary goes, this is put together in expert fashion, presenting things in a chronological order. I did not feel anything was left out, it seems some people on the internet disagreed. A person getting mad and picking up a car door a week or two before that is no reason to take life, that's a reason not to try to fuck someone over as it appears this chop shop was doing. I thought it was an excellent piece of filmmaking to leave out two details related to Ford's life until they came about chronologically. The first one was that William was a witness in a trial where someone had shot an assistant district attorney in the process of robbing them. William had tackled the gunman and prevented him from escaping. The other story was about how William was attempting to become a corrections officer. His appeal had been granted weeks after he died and he would have been one had he not been murdered. The case that people can play by the rules, die anyway, and nobody will do anything about it? That sticks with me, it always has, and when I watch something like this, I do understand why it's acceptable. It's because the people who have the power to do something (read: white people), are content to do nothing because they found something out about the victim they did not like. In the absence of that, they just fall back to the lamest card in the book. The person was scared and therefore they can do anything they want. Bullshit.

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 2019
« Reply #115 on: April 17, 2019, 06:19:27 PM »


Gifted (2017), directed by Marc Webb

I was putting together my list for this month, and I went down the list of expiring movies on Cinemax and saw Gifted. After seeing it, I checked IMDB to see what it was about and who was in it, and I saw that this had an incredibly high IMDB rating for a film I'd never heard of. I learned immediately why the film had such a high rating. I think it was good enough, but the story is such that neckbeards around the internet would flock to proclaim this as being a perfect film. I find that very amusing. I also think that for the most part, such stories are no longer made anymore unless they're religious films, so certainly this is a unique kind of film where such things aren't pushed on people. Is that why this film had a decent box office or is it because Captain America played the lead? I don't know the answer to that, but we'll find out if Captain America is a real box office draw soon enough. Anyway, about the movie itself. Movies featuring children in these kinds of stories are not my thing. That's double the case when it's a custody battle like in I Am Slam. That stuff isn't for me at all, I don't find them particularly enjoyable, and I hate that movie. I hate it so much in fact that I can guarantee I will never rewatch and review that film in any way, not even when these reviews shorten in the future.

Frank (Chris Evans) and Mary (Mckenna Grace) are the Adlers, they live in a small house somewhere in St. Petersburg, down in Florida. Frank is Mary's uncle, and Mary is six or seven years old. Mary came to live with Frank when her mother committed suicide, and Frank believed that his sister Diane would have wanted him to become the guardian of her child. In his previous life, he was a philosophy professor in Massachusetts, but those were different times. He now repairs boats, which is a job that allows him to stay close to his niece as it isn't particularly intensive and she can join him on those boats. Anyway, when the film begins, against the wishes of Frank's neighbor Roberta (Octavia Spencer), it's time for Mary to head off to school. Roberta is also Mary's best friend, for reasons that will become apparent as I continue writing. On that first day, her teacher is Mrs. Stevenson (Jenny Slate), and Mary does not treat the teacher the same way the other children do. Why? Because she's not like them. Mary finds the curriculum to be far too easy, and she doesn't like the children her age, which explains why Roberta is her friend. Frank is displeased with Mary's initial behavior as he wanted her to blend in and not show off, because they'd had an agreement for that not to happen.

Eventually, there are problems with the principal, Mrs. Davis (Elizabeth Marvel), because she thinks Mary belongs in a school for gifted children. She's not entirely wrong with that, but Frank thinks the same things I do. While the world works because of gifted children who had their minds nurtured, there are other kids who don't do so well with that. Most children with extreme intelligence do not have a normal life because people put expectations on them. Anyway, when it's show-and-tell time, Mary starts to become a little more acclimated to school. She brings her one eyed cat Fred, and there's also an art assignment that culminates in her defending someone from being bullied. The problem with Mary's defense is that she broke the bully's nose, and this springs the principal into action. After much searching, she finds Mary's grandmother, Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan). Frank and his mother have an estranged relationship, that much is obvious. There are reasons why, the one I can most easily bring up is because Frank has resentment over how his sister was treated by their mother. Once Evelyn is found and springs to action, all bets are off. She's driven to ensure that her granddaughter is given an absurdly restrictive education, regardless of if that's what a child needs. So, Evelyn sues for custody, and you see why this film has a high IMDB rating, because a man has to TAKE HER ON IN COURT.

Gifted is a very cliched film, that's no surprise and anyone can see how that would be the case. I really don't have much to offer beyond basics here. I find that when there are films like this one, my enjoyment of them is related to the questions they pose to the viewer. In the case of Gifted, there's an easy answer to whether or not this poses questions. It doesn't. A lot of people really loved the film despite that, and that's cool, I'm just not one of those kinds of people. I will say that the actors here do have very strong chemistry. Evans does with everyone, and for that matter so does the child actress, I was a little surprised by this. It's really disconcerting now when there are child actors near their teen years that were born after I became an adult. I'm not ready for any of that. I think this film is merely adequate as a whole, and I'm going to wrap up the review from there. There are some moments where I did feel the script had emotional weight, this is a big difference from the ridiculous aspects of I Am Slam. Have you figured out how much I hate that movie yet? There's one glaring flaw in Gifted, one which prevented me from talking about the movie more. Mary, Evelyn, and Frank are rarely on screen at the same time, and the trio needed to be much more so that we could understand more about Evelyn's motivations beyond the fact that she wants to create another genius mathematician. The film doesn't give us that, so...

6.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   The Shape of Water
3.   Get Out
4.   Mudbound
5.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
6.   Logan
7.   Wonder Woman
8.   The Big Sick
9.   Thor: Ragnarok
10.   Logan Lucky
11.   The Beguiled
12.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
13.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
14.   The Lost City of Z
15.   First They Killed My Father
16.   Darkest Hour
17.   A Ghost Story
18.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
19.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
20.   It
21.   Battle of the Sexes
22.   Okja
23.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
24.   Kong: Skull Island
25.   It Comes at Night
26.   Split
27.   1922
28.   Personal Shopper
29.   Chuck
30.   Atomic Blonde
31.   Wheelman
32.   The Lego Batman Movie
33.   Megan Leavey
34.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
35.   Menashe
36.   American Made
37.   Beauty and the Beast
38.   Imperial Dreams
39.   Gifted
40.   Murder on the Orient Express
41.   The Zookeeper's Wife
42.   Free Fire
43.   Win It All
44.   The Wall
45.   Life
46.   Breathe
47.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
48.   Sleight
49.   Alone in Berlin
50.   A United Kingdom
51.   Trespass Against Us
52.   The Mountain Between Us
53.   War Machine
54.   Happy Death Day
55.   Lowriders
56.   Justice League
57.   To the Bone
58.   Wakefield
59.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
60.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
61.   Rough Night
62.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
63.   Sand Castle
64.   CHiPs
65.   Death Note
66.   The Belko Experiment
67.   The Great Wall
68.   Fist Fight
69.   Snatched
70.   Wilson
71.   Queen of the Desert
72.   The House
73.   Sleepless
74.   All Eyez on Me


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 2019
« Reply #116 on: April 20, 2019, 05:45:08 PM »


Fast Five (2011), directed by Justin Lin

I had heard people say many times that this franchise was turned into capeshit, but I didn't understand exactly how far that went until I decided to rent this movie. This was clearly a good decision. It would have been a horrendous mistake to make another film in this franchise without bringing something unique to the table. Doing a heist that goes so far beyond anything realistic is the best way to deal with that problem. I know that everyone thinks this is so much better than the other movies and I agree, it is better than them. I particularly enjoyed the scene where Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson have a steroid handshake like in Predator, that's the point when I realized that everyone was totally in on the joke. Fast Five is a film that smashes your brains in, overloading your brain with so many different things at once that the viewer is stunned into going along with everything. That's the way it should be, right? The decision to make this a heist franchise is one of the best that a Hollywood studio has ever made, both in terms of finances and my own entertainment. I'm sure there are a lot of people who didn't like this for some of the very obvious reasons, the largest one being that Brazil is presented as being a corrupt hellhole. To that I say, well, you can't argue with the facts. The image of Brazil is what it is for a reason, so in that way, this was exactly the right place to set a huge motion picture like this one. I cannot fault anything this imaginative and wish I'd seen it in a theater.

How can anyone possibly summarize this properly? Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) is being transported to prison at the start of Fast Five, during which his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and friend Brian (Paul Walker) show up to save him by causing the bus to violently crash. Somehow this frees Dom instead of killing him, but that's cool, we have a movie ahead of us. The three of them somehow escape to Rio de Janeiro, but their arrivals are a bit staggered. Mia and Brian join Vince (Matt Schulze), he hasn't been in one of these since the first. Vince has created his own life in Rio, he now has a child and he also has needs that come along with that. Vince presents a job to Mia and Brian, they are to steal three very expensive cars from a train for some easy money. He knows some guys, so they'll have a crew. Along with the other participants finally comes Dom, who sees that one of the criminals, a man named Zizi (Michael Irby), is only interested in the GT40 on board. To be fair, that's what I'd be interested in too. Dom then tasks Mia with stealing the car, which leads to a fight and to Zizi killing the DEA agents who are supposed to make sure the cars are transported properly. To cut a long story short, Dom and Brian are then captures by a man named Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), who seems to be a drug lord of some kind. He wants the cars, but Dom and Brian escape so they can get back to their hideout.

Upon arriving back in the favelas, the GT40 is examined to find out why it matters so much. Vince shows up after a long delay, and goes straight for a computer chip on the car. He's busted and admits to attempting to sell the chip to Reyes, then he's made to leave. When Brian looks at it, he learns that it contains where Reyes keeps all his cash, well over $100 million. Then, as that's all going on, it's time to introduce another big character. You guys have seen this before I'm sure, and it's time for a worthy adversary in Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Hobbs works for the Diplomatic Security Service, he has been given a target, he takes no shit from anyone, and he will do what he needs to do. He wants a local officer who isn't corrupt, so he's looked at files and decided on Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky) as his translator. Elena is deemed to be not corrupt because her husband was killed in the line of duty. Now, back on the other side, it's time for a plan. Dom, Brian, and Mia are going to get that $100 million and disappear. In order to do so, they're gonna need some help. A lot of help. You ready for almost everyone from the other films to come back? I sure was. There's  Han (Sung Kang), Tej Parker (Ludacris), Gisele (Gal Gadot), Leo (Tego Calderon) and Santos (Don Omar) from the Dominican Republic, and perhaps most importantly...ROMAN PIERCE (Tyrese Gibson) CAME BACK. They have to steal that $100 million, but Reyes and Hobbs are each looking for them because they have something they aren't supposed to.

I left out so many details just for the sake of doing so, but the climactic scene of Fast Five is one of my favorites ever and it is hard to judge the movie fairly as a result. I also mentioned the steroid handshakes, right? There's more than just the one. The film is totally ridiculous and the ability of the team to survive makes no sense at all, so I'd rather not think about that too much. This is just everything I need from a movie, I don't know how else to describe it. The next thing they need to do is go to the fucking Moon. I demand that shit happen somehow and the way this is going, I wouldn't be surprised if Universal went through with it. I have seen the trailer for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, and that's pretty much science-fiction. More of that please, I won't complain at all even if it makes no fucking sense. I also think that the way this was made is a great case of direct fan service leading to something ultimately very pleasing. The viewer is rewarded more by Fast Five if they've watched all the other movies. If they haven't, it doesn't really feel the same. I was initially a bit put off by the run time, but I didn't feel any of that as I was nearing the conclusion. The credits were also really long, but the mid-credits scene was quite interesting itself. I learned not to question, simply to watch, and that's how a person needs to approach this series.

In the end, I think we as a society need films to be like this one. I need to turn my brain off, yet still waatch something funny that does have a cohesive plot even though the surrounding elements are nonsense. Even the more stupid scenes got a laugh out of me, and I thought the main action pieces were brilliantly executed and filmed. The stuff with the vault is incredible, I don't know how much is real and how much wasn't, but I also found myself not caring. The villain here is an absolute nothing, and I accept that. The task at hand is what needed to be most important and that's the way it happened. I still don't understand how a series about stealing TV/VCR combos turned into this, but I accept it and am very happy with it. As far as negatives go, there are just a few, and I think I'll only mention one more. The scene where Gal Gadot has to obtain a handprint by having someone put their hand on her ass? That's way too ridiculous for me, but besides that, I don't have many complaints at all. As far as action movies go, this is as good as it gets. Tossing the street racing in favor of trying to steal something big, that's what it's about. I'll watch one of these a month until caught up.

8/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #117 on: April 22, 2019, 05:39:00 AM »


My Cousin Rachel (2017), directed by Roger Michell

I don't really make a habit of watching movies like this one, but I needed some list filler and decided to watch this. I also really like Rachel Weisz, that's all the reason I needed to give this a look. I knew before going in that My Cousin Rachel is an adaptation of a book that was already made into a film with Olivia de Havilland, but I do not know if either of these are faithful adaptations to the book or if the film is a remake of the first film. I don't read, so that's why I don't know. I probably won't ever start reading fiction either, I find it rather boring. Yes, I really just said that. I said that it's boring because the really good works are going to be adapted to the screen anyway, and it's very time consuming to read a novel. I made the mistake of reading all of the books and spoiling Game of Thrones for myself, trust me, that shit was dumb. I wish I hadn't. That was the last time I followed my brother's recommendation to do something like that, it turns out that I get no joy out of knowing the events before they're shown on screen. I know that I won't do that again even if encouraged to by anyone. So, sorry for those who encouraged me, I won't go through with your ideas. Anyway, back to the film. I don't know why anyone would be so driven to make a film that was already done by Olivia de Havilland, that seems like a dumb idea. Some things just shouldn't be done. Now, all that being said, I thought this was a perfectly acceptable film.

My Cousin Rachel starts with a summing up of some events, explaining how we got into this situation. Philip (Sam Clafin) was once a young boy who was adopted by his older cousin Ambrose, and Ambrose raised him as a son on his estate in England. There were no women in his house, so Philip had a bit of a strange upbringing, but he was fine with this. Ambrose eventually leaves his estate for Florence, which sounds awesome to me. Philip is then left with his godfather Nick (Iain Glen), and over the course of letters, Philip learns that Ambrose has met his widowed cousin Rachel (Rachel Weisz) and married her. Ambrose previously didn't care about women and there are conversations indicating that he may have liked boys, but anyway, things aren't going so well in Florence for him after the marriage. He has sent some letters saying that he doesn't trust his medical care, and later on in the film we learn that he thought his wife was poisoning him. Philip heads off to Italy, but he learns from a man named Rinaldi (Pierfrancesco Favino) that Ambrose has died. He is very mad, even when learning that Ambrose willed Philip his estate. Philip then makes the decision to threaten Rinaldi and is convinced Rachel killed Ambrose.

Eventually, Rachel comes to England and Philip has every intention of confronting her. He makes comments about how fat she must be, what a bad person she is, all this stuff that I'll address later. He is convinced that Rachel is a bad person. At the same time, while this is going on, he's somewhat interested in Nick's daughter, Louise (Holliday Grainger). I think I'd be into her more than Rachel, but this guy is kind of weird. When Rachel arrives and Philip knows she's there, he goes up the stairs and sees her. He finds that she isn't the demon he believes she is, but he's overly infatuated. Infatuation leads to some bad things, and with this bloke never having been around women on a regular basis, he's dumb. Really dumb. When Rinaldi comes to visit, there's a strong possibility for explosion. At the same time, Nick has been looking into this woman, and when Philip wants to give Rachel some of his inheritance, Nick will certainly have something to say about it.

What I thought about My Cousin Rachel was something I'm sure a lot of people considered the whole time, that the lead character had a very typical virgin reaction. I did enjoy the idea that maybe this was all in his head, maybe he was just experiencing that virgin paranoia people have when they've had sex with someone and that person doesn't want to spend the rest of their life with them. I think everyone's heard of that, right? My perception was that Rachel was coyly manipulating the young man into doing what she wanted, but I'm not sure she was poisoning him. There's obviously no way to know and that remains in question. I will say as to the film as a whole, the lead character is also overmatched by Rachel Weisz and therefore much less interesting. Was this the best choice for the Philip character? I don't think it was. The latent misogyny present in Philip did make me laugh, I must admit. It's not that I find it naturally funny, but when he's going around asking about how fat his guardian's wife was, come on with that. It's hard not to laugh. The virginal obsession though, that stuff is hilarious and something I enjoy seeing in a movie.

Now, the grand question of whether or not Philip was being poisoned remains unanswered, and as such I will judge the film appropriately. I see no reason for the viewer to be left in the dark, so I didn't like that. Even if all the characters don't get an answer, I think there is a bit of an obligation to the audience to do so. The letter does not quite go far enough in absolving anyone. I would also say that the events in this film are a little too tasteful for me as well. I'm apparently not the only one who felt this way, the events don't play out ridiculously enough. My Cousin Rachel is a bit bland, and I also thought that the beginning when we learn about Philip's childhood was interesting enough to overshadow some of the events of the film. I was also naturally comparing this to The Favourite while watching it, and there's no real comparison at all. That's where most of my complaints are born from though, both films are set in a time period long gone by, and one is simply much more extravagant and interesting than the other. The inherent problem with the film is that Philip is a sorry character, I never felt bad for him at any point and found myself detesting him. Not all acclaimed books will have a strong film adaptation, and I guess this is one of them. I did find the movie decent enough, as I already said, and that's because I didn't quite know where the story was going from one scene to the next.

6/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   The Shape of Water
3.   Get Out
4.   Good Time
5.   Mudbound
6.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
7.   Logan
8.   Wonder Woman
9.   The Big Sick
10.   Thor: Ragnarok
11.   Logan Lucky
12.   The Beguiled
13.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
14.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
15.   The Lost City of Z
16.   First They Killed My Father
17.   Darkest Hour
18.   A Ghost Story
19.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
20.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
21.   It
22.   Battle of the Sexes
23.   Okja
24.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
25.   Kong: Skull Island
26.   It Comes at Night
27.   Split
28.   1922
29.   Personal Shopper
30.   Chuck
31.   Atomic Blonde
32.   Wheelman
33.   The Lego Batman Movie
34.   Megan Leavey
35.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
36.   Menashe
37.   American Made
38.   Beauty and the Beast
39.   Imperial Dreams
40.   Gifted
41.   Murder on the Orient Express
42.   The Zookeeper's Wife
43.   Free Fire
44.   Win It All
45.   The Wall
46.   Life
47.   My Cousin Rachel
48.   Breathe
49.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
50.   Sleight
51.   Alone in Berlin
52.   A United Kingdom
53.   Trespass Against Us
54.   The Mountain Between Us
55.   War Machine
56.   Happy Death Day
57.   Lowriders
58.   Justice League
59.   To the Bone
60.   Wakefield
61.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
62.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
63.   Rough Night
64.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
65.   Sand Castle
66.   CHiPs
67.   Death Note
68.   The Belko Experiment
69.   The Great Wall
70.   Fist Fight
71.   Snatched
72.   Wilson
73.   Queen of the Desert
74.   The House
75.   Sleepless
76.   All Eyez on Me


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 2019
« Reply #118 on: April 22, 2019, 10:53:24 AM »


Men in Black II (2002), directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

Continuing franchises I haven't finished has proven to be quite hard, I think I may have some kind of mental block that prevents me from doing so. I was supposed to watch Men in Black II last month, then I decided to put it off until now. I also waited nearly this whole month to watch it. I do intend to watch the third one next month before the series is restarted, but after seeing crowd reactions to the trailer, I suspect that the series doesn't need to be restarted and will bomb hard. Nobody has ever reacted to the trailer whatsoever. With all that being said, I don't think Men in Black II was particularly good. A movie with Will Smith is always going to have something to it, but very rarely are they actually good and that rule applies here too. Even though Men in Black II isn't good, I did laugh quite a bit. There are some things here that I found would destroy a more serious franchise, but this is not a serious franchise and is intended to be an amusing one. The first film is more surprising because the rules of the universe are not established to the viewer, and as a result the film is more entertaining. The first film also has a better story, but it's missing one thing the second one is not. Does Men in Black have Michael Jackson in it? No, it doesn't, and that's a big difference. I am surprised this part has not been edited out yet.

We moved forward quite a few years as the gap between films was large, and it's five years to be exact. Men in Black still exist, still monitoring and regulating alien life. Agent J (Will Smith) has a new partner, Agent T (Patrick Warburton). It seems that things are alright. The film starts with us viewing a video of a supernatural mysteries type show, where a man is talking about the Men in Black and something that happened in the 70's. He says that leaders of Zartha fled their planet to escape the Kylothians, particularly Serleena. They brought to Earth the Light of Zartha, a very powerful object. Subsequently the Men in Black were tasked with hiding it, but things actually turned out that the Zarthans escaped with the object while Serleena was detained. After that, we move over to Central Park, with a spaceship landing on Earth and seeming to make a very big landing. It turns out that the ship was quite small and just turned up some dirt. When it's time for the thing on board to disembark, a bug like creature is deposited on the ground, and a dog is scared away by the tentacles that begin to spread. There's a magazine in the grass, the wind flips the pages open to a Victoria's Secret ad, and the creature turns into Lara Flynn Boyle. When someone tries to rape her, she eats the man and seemingly vomits his bones back out. Sounds fun, right? I thought this was the best part of the film.

After that scene, we finally see our agents, both of whom I have already mentioned. They see a flower coming out of the sidewalk, but it turns out that it isn't a flower and rather an enormous alien worm. The worm is violating an arrangement, but that's of no consequence. There's a scene that follows and after it's over, T starts crying and J decides he should send him back to his old life. Good idea. It's difficult to deal with the way this film keeps flipping back and forth, but Serleena eventually decides to rendezvous with someone who has contacted her, a two headed called Scrad (Johnny Knoxville). His other head is called Charlie, but it doesn't matter. These two are fucking idiots. At this point, we learn that Serleena is seeking the Light of Zartha from earlier, and Scrad has tracked it to a guy who may have it. At the pizza place, there's the owner Ben (Jack Kehler) and his best employee, Laura (Rosario Dawson). Serleena breaks in and grabs Ben by the throat, demanding information about the Light of Zartha. We get some exposition and all that stuff, Laura hides. After it's over, J goes to the headquarters and is given a new dog partner, Frank (Tim Blaney). He gets to the pizza place, it turns out he likes Laura and doesn't neuralyze her, but here's the deal. The only person with information about the Light of Zartha is Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), and his memory has been wiped. Both sides need to bring him back somehow.

I feel like I described literally the entire movie, which is no good. The setup for the scenario takes so much longer than the events that follow, which is a pretty big issue. I also think that once the filmmakers peel back the curtain and show even more aliens, the amusing things in the first film are no longer so interesting. The talking dog is also unbelievably stupid, and honestly, I don't think the actors making this movie really cared about what they were doing. The twist ending is ridiculously predictable and you'd have to be a fool not to notice it, and to this end, the film is so short that they don't even present another option as being the Light of Zartha. It's pretty ridiculous, and the length of the film makes absolutely zero sense to me. Who makes a blockbuster that's only around 85 minutes? It's strange, I don't get it, I would like to know why it happened. I did do some reading and found that filming ended very shortly after 9/11. That seems like something that would lead to the film being much shorter.

All in all, as far as Men in Black II goes, I don't think I really cared. There's some good jokes and the film is relatively funny, but the plot is too thin and doesn't have any real threat. If you've seen as many blockbusters as I have, you've seen this even if you haven't watched it. I would have liked this more had there been consequences that felt more real and pressing, but neither the actors nor the director made it feel like THE WORLD IS ACTUALLY GOING TO END. The film is the definition of a cash grab. So, with that in mind, I'll cut myself off here.

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 2019
« Reply #119 on: April 22, 2019, 06:16:05 PM »


The Mummy (2017), directed by Alex Kurtzman

I wish I could explain to you why Universal wanted to reboot The Mummy, but that's going to take a long time. The shortest way I can explain it is by saying they don't have their own comic universe, therefore they don't have a gigantic guaranteed profit generating machine. So, because of that, they're going to keep trying to make things into a universe. I don't know when they'll make another monster movie like this one, but it's a certainty they'll try again. Something, somehow, is going to be turned into a universe. In any case, it is clear to me after watching 2017's The Mummy that this will not launch any franchise. There are quality related reasons this lost money, but beyond that, I don't think anyone wanted to see this. Someone should have ensured that the budget was kept down somehow, that's all they really needed to do. Apparently Universal decided to let Tom Cruise do everything he wanted and that ballooned the budget. If you want to know how that worked out for them, just read this. The Mummy is a rather bland film, there are some decent moments and that will explain my score, but I thought the film was lacking in imagination. Most of those decent moments are horror related, with the film featuring more of that than I'd expected, but that alone is not enough to save The Mummy from the abyss of failed franchise launches.

The Mummy kicks off in London, with construction workers discovering a crusader tomb that has a ruby of some sort inside of it. This must have happened a very long time ago. Afterwards, we continue the things that don't make sense, a list that piles up very rapidly as the film goes along. Sgt. Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and Cpl. Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) are in Iraq, doing fuck knows what. I guess they're treasure hunting, and last I checked, there isn't an Army division for that. They're looking for treasure, and after calling in a huge airstrike, they discover the tomb of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). Ahmanet had attempted to summon an Egyptian God called Set, she was caught and mummified while alive. There is a lot of mercury in this tomb, unbeknownst to everyone before they go in. Before Nick and Chris climb down, they are encountered by an archaeologist named Jenny (Annabelle Wallis). Jenny apparently had a map stolen from her by Nick, so these guys are clearly outstanding citizens. When they head down into the tomb, Nick is compelled to shoot something that's keeping Ahmanet in her prison, and up goes the coffin. Col. Greenway (Courtney B. Vance) is the superior officer to these two soldiers, I don't know why he or they are there, but he's going to airlift them out with the coffin. They have to beat a sandstorm, but of course, this is a Tom Cruise movie and they're able to do so.

The Mummy oddly boasts a small cast, I'm only leaving one character out until it's convenient to me. While they were in the tomb, Chris was bitten by a spider, but now they're on the plane. He is not feeling so good. Greenway approaches him because he's standing too close to the coffin, so Chris stabs him and kills him. He continues on to trying to attack everyone else, and initially Nick doesn't want his friend to die, but he shoots him three times anyway. After that, the flight to London continues, but crows attack the plane, going into the cockpit and destroying the engines. So, they're going down. We get one of those things where Tom Cruise does a stunt, and Jenny is given a parachute as the plane goes down. Everyone dies except for Jenny, but later that day, Nick is in the morgue and wakes up. When he wakes up, the Ghost of Chris appears and tells him what's going on with Ahmanet. Here's the deal. Ahmanet is going to escape from her coffin and is going to try to find that ruby in London. She wants to turn Nick into Set. At the same time, there's a secret society in London that deals with supernatural threats, which is how Jenny got the map in the first place. Their leader is Dr. Jekyll (Russell Crowe). Need I say very much more?

I can admit that even though this isn't a very good film, the horror scenes I found to be quite effective. I also have really wanted to see Jekyll and Hyde in a film, and I've missed absolutely everything that those characters appear in. I know exactly how stupid it is, but I'm telling you, it's true. Those scenes ensured that I wasn't going to hate The Mummy too much, and that's how I felt. I don't see the purpose for this film at all, but it's nowhere near one of the worst films of the year. I think people are beginning to have blockbuster fatigue and this is a casualty to that, but people also really don't like Tom Cruise and just need a reason not to go see his films. If one of them gets middling reviews, they're going to swerve it just enough for the film to make dick at the box office. A $90 million loss, even for a studio like Universal, is a pretty big loss. I think the largest problem I have with this film is that a different Mummy story was told more effectively by other people. Taking the story out of Egypt is also an absolutely ridiculous decision that deprives people of getting what they want. I think people have certain expectations of The Mummy and one of them is not the characters galvanting around England and London. I don't know who decided that was a great idea, but they should have been fired the moment they suggested it.

The Mummy is simply bland, there's not a lot else to say beyond that. I thought Tom Cruise was terribly out of place here and that almost any other actor could have done what he did. Casting him obviously cost the production a ridiculous sum that could have been put to more important things. Like, for example, a story that made sense and was set in the right place. The obsession that Ahmanet has with Nick feels completely out of place here, I simply don't like it. If it's up to me, they will remake this again as a straight horror movie. I've seen that Universal is partnering with Blumhouse to make The Invisible Man, which sounds like an excellent decision. Certainly these ideas don't need to be left in the hands of people who don't know what they're doing, and in this case, they absolutely did not know what they were doing. I think making these films as horror flicks is a nice guaranteed cash cow, but nowhere near as accessible as a movie like this, so we'll see how long that lasts. This never could have been good even though it has many parts I like, enough that I didn't want to turn it off until it was finished.

4.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   The Shape of Water
3.   Get Out
4.   Good Time
5.   Mudbound
6.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
7.   Logan
8.   Wonder Woman
9.   The Big Sick
10.   Thor: Ragnarok
11.   Logan Lucky
12.   The Beguiled
13.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
14.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
15.   The Lost City of Z
16.   First They Killed My Father
17.   Darkest Hour
18.   A Ghost Story
19.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
20.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
21.   It
22.   Battle of the Sexes
23.   Okja
24.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
25.   Kong: Skull Island
26.   It Comes at Night
27.   Split
28.   1922
29.   Personal Shopper
30.   Chuck
31.   Atomic Blonde
32.   Wheelman
33.   The Lego Batman Movie
34.   Megan Leavey
35.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
36.   Menashe
37.   American Made
38.   Beauty and the Beast
39.   Imperial Dreams
40.   Gifted
41.   Murder on the Orient Express
42.   The Zookeeper's Wife
43.   Free Fire
44.   Win It All
45.   The Wall
46.   Life
47.   My Cousin Rachel
48.   Breathe
49.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
50.   Sleight
51.   Alone in Berlin
52.   A United Kingdom
53.   Trespass Against Us
54.   The Mountain Between Us
55.   War Machine
56.   Happy Death Day
57.   Lowriders
58.   Justice League
59.   To the Bone
60.   Wakefield
61.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
62.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
63.   The Mummy
64.   Rough Night
65.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
66.   Sand Castle
67.   CHiPs
68.   Death Note
69.   The Belko Experiment
70.   The Great Wall
71.   Fist Fight
72.   Snatched
73.   Wilson
74.   Queen of the Desert
75.   The House
76.   Sleepless
77.   All Eyez on Me


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 2019
« Reply #120 on: April 24, 2019, 04:31:19 AM »


The Greatest Showman (2017), directed by Michael Gracey

I have never seen a greater whitewashing of bad deeds than what I saw when I watched The Greatest Showman. P.T. Barnum is far more interesting than the way this film made it seem, but absolutely none of that is covered in detail here. I usually start my reviews off with other things, but I'm going to get straight to tearing down this movie. The Greatest Showman is a movie sanitized for public holiday consumption, one which isn't very interested in facts or anything remotely related to the truth. Instead, The Greatest Showman shows people that P.T. Barnum organized some downtrodden members of society and made them feel good about themselves. Exploitation is not on the menu today. This movie is quite surreal, I'm not sure what exactly it is that I even watched. I am not sure I've seen anything in a very long time that was this lacking in plot. However, I will also state that The Greatest Showman does have its moments. I wish I knew how to properly summarize a film like this one, where everything feels like some sort of corny fever dream. Never before have I had to attempt to do so. I guess what should be said is that this entire film is fiction and nothing in it should be taken remotely seriously. It's still difficult to put my thoughts into words because P.T. Barnum is someone who deserves a serious movie or television series made about their life.

Almost everything of value in The Greatest Showman is shown via song and musical bit, so this will be short-ish. Our film starts with P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) and his group performing at the circus, then it's time for a flashback to his childhood. Barnum and his father work for the Hallett family, and Barnum gets a major crush on their daughter Charity after making her laugh. The Hallett patriarch (Fredric Lehne) slaps the fuck out of him, this is not going to stop him from getting what he wants. The two children keep in touch through letters, and eventually Charity (Michelle Williams) meets P.T. again, which leads to their marriage and the birth of two daughters. Even this is fudged as they actually had four daughters, but whatever. Barnum takes a job working for a shipping company, but they go broke. This leads to Barnum running a fraud scam on a bank because he's somehow acquired the deed to his employer's sunken ships, using those ships as collateral to acquire enough money to buy Barnum's American Museum in New York City. The museum showcases wax figures, but Barnum wants so much more. This leads to him finding circus freaks, and the rest is history.

The people he found consist of albino twins, a tattooed lady, a strongman, Siamese twins, a dwarf named Charles (Sam Humphrey), a bearded lady named Lettie (Keala Settle), a snake dancer, voodoo twins, a three legged man, a dog boy, and a trapeze duo consisting of W.D (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and Anne (Zendaya), brother and sister respectively. There are others, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind, and they're more important if they're named. The circus receives horrible reviews from a reporter (Paul Sparks), but this circus train is going to keep on rolling. Barnum can't help himself, he still wants more even though he's created a successful circus. He meets Phillip (Zac Efron), who has written some famed plays, and he convinced Phillip to join the circus. Phillip seems to really care for Anne and that's probably a factor in his joining, but Barnum's Circus acquires fame really fast, leading to a trip overseas to England. On that trip, Barnum meets Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson), a famous Swedish singer with great looks and obviously a great voice. He wants to become her manager, break down the aristocratic walls, and make a real name for himself among the elite in New York City.

I've probably done a shitty job explaining things, but that isn't my fault. This isn't a very good movie and it doesn't do a good job explaining things either. The plot beyond what I've mentioned is incomprehensible garbage, simply put. I do not know how to describe any of the events leading up to the finale because some of them happen with no buildup at all. I will say that I found the scenes with Barnum going around looking for talent to be very good. One thing I would never accuse The Greatest Showman of is being a bland movie, it's simply made for a different audience that I am not part of. I don't find much value in Broadway shows and this was something that felt as if it was on Broadway and shown to a wider audience. Musicals like La La Land are a lot better to me than this was. I do think that part of one's enjoyment of a musical is heavily dependent upon whether or not they find the music engaging. The last musical I watched was Mary Poppins Returns, which I did find very engaging. The songs brought me back to a more simple time when I was a kid, it was a very strong piece of cinema in that way. I didn't care for a few of the characters, but that's beside the point. The songs in The Greatest Showman are not engaging or whimsical at all and therefore I was bored. One of the musical numbers made me cringe, that's not good.

I think I've made clear where I stand as it relates to musicals, I need to feel engaged with the story and I didn't get that from The Greatest Showman. Everyone's different and all that shit, but I've heard similar from family members who told me they didn't care much for the film. The outright falsehoods are something that came to mind as I was watching this, but I'm not lying in saying they had no impact on how I felt about the film. Making up shit is just that, making up shit. The story can be good even with made up shit or it may not be good at all. This film isn't much for story. I did think the choreography and use of color is great, but The Greatest Showman is totally fucking ridiculous. Take that for whatever it's worth. I don't find that to always be a bad thing, but when a movie is entirely lacking in plot, it drives me crazy. The film feels like it isn't long enough even though I'm not sure I could have handled the film being any longer. Hugh Jackman's performance was quite strong and believable, I think that goes without saying. I don't like this film, but that doesn't mean I don't care for the genre even though I'm a straight man. I have seen some musicals I liked and will give musicals the credit they deserve if I liked them. I don't know how I never made this connection before, but Chi-Raq used poetry to an extent I guess you'd be forced to call it a musical. I also REALLY enjoyed that film and wish there were more like it. The Greatest Showman doesn't measure up. Now someone please give me a real P.T. Barnum movie.

4.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   The Shape of Water
3.   Get Out
4.   Good Time
5.   Mudbound
6.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
7.   Logan
8.   Wonder Woman
9.   The Big Sick
10.   Thor: Ragnarok
11.   Logan Lucky
12.   The Beguiled
13.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
14.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
15.   The Lost City of Z
16.   First They Killed My Father
17.   Darkest Hour
18.   A Ghost Story
19.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
20.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
21.   It
22.   Battle of the Sexes
23.   Okja
24.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
25.   Kong: Skull Island
26.   It Comes at Night
27.   Split
28.   1922
29.   Personal Shopper
30.   Chuck
31.   Atomic Blonde
32.   Wheelman
33.   The Lego Batman Movie
34.   Megan Leavey
35.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
36.   Menashe
37.   American Made
38.   Beauty and the Beast
39.   Imperial Dreams
40.   Gifted
41.   Murder on the Orient Express
42.   The Zookeeper's Wife
43.   Free Fire
44.   Win It All
45.   The Wall
46.   Life
47.   My Cousin Rachel
48.   Breathe
49.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
50.   Sleight
51.   Alone in Berlin
52.   A United Kingdom
53.   Trespass Against Us
54.   The Mountain Between Us
55.   War Machine
56.   Happy Death Day
57.   Lowriders
58.   Justice League
59.   To the Bone
60.   Wakefield
61.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
62.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
63.   The Mummy
64.   The Greatest Showman
65.   Rough Night
66.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
67.   Sand Castle
68.   CHiPs
69.   Death Note
70.   The Belko Experiment
71.   The Great Wall
72.   Fist Fight
73.   Snatched
74.   Wilson
75.   Queen of the Desert
76.   The House
77.   Sleepless
78.   All Eyez on Me


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 2019
« Reply #121 on: April 25, 2019, 06:24:22 PM »


Bright (2017), directed by David Ayer

I should have watched this far sooner, because now my review of Bright is no longer topical and I'm probably preaching to the choir. I knew this wasn't going to be good when I saw that Max Landis wrote Bright and Ayer directed it, but I decided I was eventually going to watch this. It was never my intention to wait so long, but this concept was stupid and I wasn't exactly looking forward to it. I decided to pound my way through a Netflix backlog some time ago, and this has finally brought me to Bright...and I probably should have watched this with other people but I no longer wished to wait. I cannot believe this was made, but at the same time I also mean that in a positive way. Whether you like the film or not, and almost everyone doesn't, this is an original concept. We need more films that boast original concepts. I don't expect everyone to agree with me and that's alright, but what I thought was that Bright was the right kind of bad. This isn't a boring film at all, take that for what it's worth. There are elements of the film that are really bad, there are some that are okay. What I thought once this was over were two things. This is nowhere near the worst film of 2017. The second was that this could have been good had the concept been taken in a drastically different direction.

Bright is set in an alternate universe where Los Angeles exists as some kind of dystopian hellscape, run down and looking entirely like shit. Humans co-exist with other races, some of which are never explored, but I spotted centaurs, humans, orcs, elves, fairies, and dragons. If there was anything else, I didn't notice it. Anyway, in this version of Los Angeles, Daryl Ward (Will Smith) is a LAPD officer who has been forced to partner with the nation's first orc officer, Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton). The way the film presents it, this world has a racist structure and in effect the portrayal of these things is also racist due to stereotyping. The orcs are on the bottom of the pyramid, humans are in the middle, and elves are on the top. Fairies are like flies that need to be gotten rid of. At the start of the film, we see footage of Ward being shot by an orc who was coming out of a store after robbing it. Ward did survive, but everyone in the department blames Jakoby, and everyone hates the idea that Jakoby is part of the police force. There are no exceptions to this. Our early scenes show the way things are, how the city works, how the elves are the rich class of people, and a little bit of history is thrown in there too. There was apparently something called the Dark Lord, all the races besides the orcs (who supported the Dark Lord) had to unite to kill it, and as a result that means magic exists too. Anyway, while on a call, Ward and Jakoby encounter a crazy guy ranting and raving about the Dark Lord. This is the way I wish the film would have continued, or I would rather have seen them investigate a series of cases dealing with the relationship between the three feature races.

Instead of what I wanted, I got something I laughed a lot at but didn't want. Before that, one thing is made clear by Internal Affairs. They believe Jakoby let the orc escape after shooting Ward due to racial politics. They want Ward to record Jakoby admitting that he let the perp escape. Afterwards, they respond to a disturbance at a safe house for an extremist group called the Shield of Light, but it isn't like the officers knew beforehand. After a shootout, they go inside and see a magical being fused with a wall, an elf girl named Tikka (Lucy Fry), and a magic wand. Magic wands are how magic enters the world, but they are very rare and only people called Brights are able to touch them without killing themselves. When Ward calls for backup because they've found a wand, the four arriving officers, led by Pollard (Ike Barinholtz) and Ching (Margaret Cho), they want to take the wand and sell it or use it for their needs. They want Ward to kill Jakoby, which leads to Ward demanding the truth. Things get way out of hand from there, and there are all sorts of gangsters in that neighborhood. You think there's just human gangs kicking around? I think not. In any case, with a wand in play, there comes some interesting people along with. Kandomere (Edgar Ramirez) is an elvish federal agent who investigates these kinds of things, and he has a human partner, Hildebrandt (Happy Anderson). Are some of these names taking the piss or what? Anyway, if you find a wand anywhere, that's who you're supposed to call. Poison (Enrique Murciano) is a leader of a human gang, he's in a wheelchair while calling the shots. There's Dorghu (Brad William Henke), leader of the aforementioned gang of orcs which is called Fogteeth. Then there's Leilah (Noomi Rapace), leader of a cult called Inferni, they are working to bring the Dark Lord back and need to find three magic wands.

I try not to use such long paragraphs, but it's hard not to when setting this up. I still didn't spoil the events of the plot although it doesn't exactly take a genius to figure anything out. I already said what my wishes were and it's true, there's an opening montage that makes clear the divisions in the city and that some areas only elves are allowed to go into. I would have preferred that Bright explore that rather than go down such a ridiculous road. Now, seeing as the film went down this path I have to talk about it, and obviously I didn't like the way things went. I thought the first half the film was almost good. Yeah, I said it, and what? I don't have a problem admitting it. The problem with the film and this has to be taken into account when a lot of people are saying this is the worst movie of the year, is that people didn't pay to watch the film. They can also easily change the channel without having to worry about time investment, and because they're at home, they're going to think about what they could be doing with their time. I don't like this film, I'm going to be clear about that, but it ahd its moments. The shootout scenes are totally ridiculous and Bright also has some of the worst cinematography Ive seen in a long time, but I do think the shitty writer and director stumbled onto something with the concept of their world. The problem is that they just don't know how to use these ideas cohesively and craft them into something interesting.

Some of the jokes are offensive, which is hardly shocking considering the source of these jokes. I did find the banter between Smith and Edgerton to be nice, and a few of the action scenes have their moments as well. The one in the gas station probably wins out over the rest even though it's filmed very, very poorly. I think films need to embrace strange concepts more, even when they don't work out. This is not anything I would have ever expected to be made ten years ago, and after the sequel I doubt we'll see anything like this again. So if you cherish racist jokes wrapped up in a fantasy world, you should enjoy them while they last! Again, this isn't good, but it's reasonably fun. Each of the races has their own strengths and weaknesses, which is a whole other story now that I'm thinking of the ramifications of what I just said, but I'm going to end this review before I think about that too much. Bright fails when the film gets serious and should have played more and more to its strange side, but there is one thing coming to mind. What if this was a television show and the first half of the film was its pilot? What would people think then? I don't really have an answer to that, but even though the events of the film can best be classified as 'beyond rote', this was okay. The thing is, imagine being Netflix and spending $90,000,000 on this? That's totally insane, I have no idea what they're doing. The script is a goddamn mess and they're doing this again after everyone used the ideas they thought were good. You know the next one is going to be irredeemably shit.

5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   The Shape of Water
3.   Get Out
4.   Good Time
5.   Mudbound
6.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
7.   Logan
8.   Wonder Woman
9.   The Big Sick
10.   Thor: Ragnarok
11.   Logan Lucky
12.   The Beguiled
13.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
14.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
15.   The Lost City of Z
16.   First They Killed My Father
17.   Darkest Hour
18.   A Ghost Story
19.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
20.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
21.   It
22.   Battle of the Sexes
23.   Okja
24.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
25.   Kong: Skull Island
26.   It Comes at Night
27.   Split
28.   1922
29.   Personal Shopper
30.   Chuck
31.   Atomic Blonde
32.   Wheelman
33.   The Lego Batman Movie
34.   Megan Leavey
35.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
36.   Menashe
37.   American Made
38.   Beauty and the Beast
39.   Imperial Dreams
40.   Gifted
41.   Murder on the Orient Express
42.   The Zookeeper's Wife
43.   Free Fire
44.   Win It All
45.   The Wall
46.   Life
47.   My Cousin Rachel
48.   Breathe
49.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
50.   Sleight
51.   Alone in Berlin
52.   A United Kingdom
53.   Trespass Against Us
54.   The Mountain Between Us
55.   War Machine
56.   Happy Death Day
57.   Lowriders
58.   Justice League
59.   To the Bone
60.   Wakefield
61.   Bright
62.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
63.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
64.   The Mummy
65.   The Greatest Showman
66.   Rough Night
67.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
68.   Sand Castle
69.   CHiPs
70.   Death Note
71.   The Belko Experiment
72.   The Great Wall
73.   Fist Fight
74.   Snatched
75.   Wilson
76.   Queen of the Desert
77.   The House
78.   Sleepless
79.   All Eyez on Me


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

Offline muzzington

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #122 on: April 25, 2019, 07:24:36 PM »
Bright sounds like the height of Netflix's hubris.

Offline cobainwasmurdered

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #123 on: April 26, 2019, 05:02:39 AM »
That movie was just typically silly bad sci-fi not "omg worst movie of the year bad" like critics acted. It felt like obvious bias because it was a big netflix project with a big name in it. "Valerian" was out in the same year IIRC and was far worse.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #124 on: April 27, 2019, 06:33:59 PM »


Crown Heights (2017), directed by Matt Ruskin

I am not sure how to open this review of Crown Heights, which is a biographical film about a crime that in this case ended in a wrongful conviction. Apparently this film was conceived and adapted from a podcast regarding the case, which would explain why I'd never heard of the case as I do not listen to podcasts. I think in the case of Crown Heights that the facts of the story are greater than the reenactment of the trauma inflicted upon the people involved. I decided to watch this in the first place because I believe Lakeith Stanfield is one of the best working actors in Hollywood, I think I would watch anything he acted in without exception. If you've seen some of the trash I've watched, certainly you know this must be true. I was also surprised to learn that Nnamdi Asomugha has become an actor. That seems to have come out of nowhere and is nothing like what I thought he would do after retiring from football. It seems that he's also producing projects and I hope he gets a big break into things that more people view. What I would say about Crown Heights before delving into further detail is that I appreciate the commitment of the writer/director, of Colin Turner for participating in the project after his name was cleared, and that the project seems to have been faithful in not fabricating anything. This is quite useful when telling a story such as this.

Crown Heights is about Colin Warner (Lakeith Stanfield), a young man trying to make his way in the inner city after emigrating from Trinidad to the United States. New York City was a very tough place in the 1980s, as I think everyone is well aware of. Crime was very high, people were up to all kinds of wild shit. Colin, to his credit, does not absolve himself entirely of anything he may have actually did. We are shown Colin while he's in school as a mechanic, learning a trade as people used to do. He has many friends there, including Carl 'KC' King (Nnamdi Asomugha), but that's all about to chance. Colin wants to know if the shop is still taking stolen cars for money, and they are. So, when Colin's mother Grace (Adriane Lenox) tells him to pick up the color TV from the repair shop, that isn't all he intends to do. Colin tries to steal a car only to be spotted by the car owner in the process of doing so, the man gives chase. Eventually, this being a small neighborhood, the man sees his vehicle and therefore Colin, which leads to Colin having to drive away as fast as he could. The man latches onto the car and is knocked off, but Colin crashes and has to abandon ship. He takes the TV with him, but eventually he is stopped by some detectives, drops the television, and is arrested.

Presumably Colin believes that he's been arrested for stealing cars even though he's not going to say anything, but it's far worse than that. Colin has been accused of killing a man named Marvin Grant. The detectives say that he can sign the paper confessing to the crime or not, he doesn't and is sent to jail. Over the course of these two years, Colin is presented with various problems that come as a part of being in jail, but he did not kill anyone and does not belong there. Eventually he has an attorney, Bruce (Nestor Carbonell), and Bruce is convinced that he can get Colin acquitted for this murder. The problem is that Colin's case is picking up another defendant, a juvenile named Anthony Gibson (Luke Forbes). Anthony has been accused of shooting Marvin while Colin supposedly drove away, and while we know of Colin's innocence, Anthony is a whole other story. It is hard to believe that Anthony did not do it, but the prosecution's case is full of holes. They call a witness, a kid named Clarence (Skylan Brooks). Clarence has been busted for an armed robbery, he has been told what to do by police officers, yet when questioned about it these things are objected to and he is not allowed to testify about them. So, with an offer on the table, Anthony isn't the smartest guy, and Colin won't have the charges dropped against him when he could have. Unfortunately, this leads to Anthony being sent to prison on a juvenile bid, while Colin gets 15 to life. In New York. In the 1980's. I can think of nothing else worse than that, a life taken before it has started. Colin and Carl absolutely must work to get Colin out of there.

I've just gone and spoiled the whole movie, but I think if you turn this on anyway, you understand the premise is that a man is unjustly sent to prison for something they did not do. Presumption of innocence is supposed to be a part of our legal system, yet I don't think that it is or that it really ever has been. Cases without proof regularly lead to convictions and unnecessary plea bargains that spare the unfairly accused from something far worse. There is a very good film from last year that addresses this, but to say what it was would spoil the ending of it. I think on some level the director failed to make clear exactly how bad it is for an innocent man to be in prison, because the film is not long enough for us to see all of the horrible things that happened to Mr. Warner. On the other hand, torture porn is not something I find to be a requirement in a film, so I choose to let that slide. Crown Heights has a more measured approach to showing these things. The film follows a similar theme in many features recently, one of the complete and utter failure of law and order policies. These policies unfairly target black men, and the snippets with Reagan, Bush, George Pataki, and Bill Clinton speaking about other human beings sums up why this so easily happens to people in prison. I am left with the same feeling I have felt for many years now, that we live in a racist society. Nothing has ever changed. Crown Heights does not address this, but advances in the ability to detect who committed crimes only benefit those who have the money to buy themselves a proper defense.

As for the rest of the film, what comes to mind is that Crown Heights has to be carried by two actors and to a more minor extent a third one. The actors with the bulk of the load are Stanfield and Asomugha. The first 65% of the film focuses on Colin Warner almost entirely, the last 35% is about Carl King's journey to get his friend out of prison. The third actor I'd like to mention is Natalie Paul, who plays Colin's wife Antoinette. Colin knew Antoinette before going inside, married her in prison, and there's a scene related to this that I found quite devastating. The usual Hollywood touch with people weeping is fortunately not present in this moment, Crown Heights is a far more grounded film than most. I think that's the way I would sum it all up as well. Crown Heights focuses on a moral victory that is far too long in coming, the story is rather painful and the film is also quite depressing. I left some details out even though the result is obvious, but I am glad Crown Heights was made. Not enough do these kinds of films have any sort of realistic moral victory for the wrongly accused, but this one does. I appreciate that. The facts are a little overwhelming though, and I think the film needs some room to breathe where it focuses on the protagonists reflecting on what's happened to them, or what could happen. What I'm saying is that maybe this is too quickly paced.

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   The Shape of Water
3.   Get Out
4.   Good Time
5.   Mudbound
6.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
7.   Logan
8.   Wonder Woman
9.   The Big Sick
10.   Thor: Ragnarok
11.   Logan Lucky
12.   The Beguiled
13.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
14.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
15.   The Lost City of Z
16.   First They Killed My Father
17.   Darkest Hour
18.   A Ghost Story
19.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
20.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
21.   It
22.   Battle of the Sexes
23.   Okja
24.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
25.   Kong: Skull Island
26.   It Comes at Night
27.   Crown Heights
28.   Split
29.   1922
30.   Personal Shopper
31.   Chuck
32.   Atomic Blonde
33.   Wheelman
34.   The Lego Batman Movie
35.   Megan Leavey
36.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
37.   Menashe
38.   American Made
39.   Beauty and the Beast
40.   Imperial Dreams
41.   Gifted
42.   Murder on the Orient Express
43.   The Zookeeper's Wife
44.   Free Fire
45.   Win It All
46.   The Wall
47.   Life
48.   My Cousin Rachel
49.   Breathe
50.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
51.   Sleight
52.   Alone in Berlin
53.   A United Kingdom
54.   Trespass Against Us
55.   The Mountain Between Us
56.   War Machine
57.   Happy Death Day
58.   Lowriders
59.   Justice League
60.   To the Bone
61.   Wakefield
62.   Bright
63.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
64.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
65.   The Mummy
66.   The Greatest Showman
67.   Rough Night
68.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
69.   Sand Castle
70.   CHiPs
71.   Death Note
72.   The Belko Experiment
73.   The Great Wall
74.   Fist Fight
75.   Snatched
76.   Wilson
77.   Queen of the Desert
78.   The House
79.   Sleepless
80.   All Eyez on Me


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 2019
« Reply #125 on: April 28, 2019, 05:51:19 PM »


The Space Between Us (2017), directed by Peter Chelsom

Have you ever watched something that was so fucking trash you read the ending of a film well before finishing it? The Space Between Us is that bad. I have never done this before in the entire time I've been writing these reviews, but I did finish this movie even though I knew the ending. I made a big mistake when I turned this on, that's for sure. I should have bothered to read a review, but I don't do that, I assumed from the cast list and the inclusion of space that this would not be so ridiculous. I was wrong. This is my mistake, of course. I should have bothered to look into the director and if I had, I would have seen this man directed Hannah Montana: The Movie. I laughed numerous times at the end of this film, but I'm confused so much more by how a YA romance movie attracted Gary Oldman and Carla Gugino to these roles. I have never been so befuddled by anything related to a movie before, but I only have myself to blame for this. I promise to give this a full review, at least. One thing's for sure, I don't know how this happened and feel like I've killed some of my brain cells. Of course, this all being said, should I review more of these kinds of movies? The answer anyone would give me is yes, and maybe I will, but I don't know if I can take them. This is a very frustrating experience, and the film clocked in at a full two hours, that's difficult for me to accept and tolerate. The Space Between Us has the worst script I have ever seen, the performances in the film are not all that much better.

The Space Between Us begins with a space launch, with the leader of a private company deciding to colonize Mars. The man is Nathaniel Shepard (Gary Oldman), and this is the worst performance of Gary Oldman's career. Nathaniel is a visionary of sorts, but the things that happen on such a journey cannot be predicted. Sarah Elliott (Janet Montgomery) is one of the astronauts on this adventure, it turns out she is pregnant. Nathaniel and everyone involved with the project know the risks, but they do not know whether or not they can do anything about it. In the end, they decide a cover-up is their best option, because the child will have a different bone density due to gravity and nobody really understands what the effects of being born on Mars could mean when someone's never gone to Earth. In the process of childbirth, Sarah dies and Nathaniel is devastated. In the process of deciding to cover up the incident, Nathaniel goes for a walk out of his company and never comes back. I have never seen a more transparent case of a film foreshadowing what's to come. I guess I should expect that from a YA romance movie, but why the hell is Gary Oldman taking part in some trash like this?

Sixteen years later, Sarah's son Gardner (Asa Butterfield) has grown into a smart young man who has never been to Earth, only ever met a few people at the station on Mars. One day, apparently when this film picks back up, he begins to search for information about his mother. In the process of doing so, he discovers a video of his mother and another man, and Gardner has also found the wedding ring, so he wants to find his father. Gardner also has a habit of logging onto chatrooms, and he has a friendship with a foster child from Colorado, her nickname is Tulsa (Britt Robertson) and that's all we get. Tulsa has not had a great life, and Gardner has been spinning her some stories about why he can't leave his house in New York City. Anyway, Gardner also has a mother figure, an astronaut named Kendra (Carla Gugino), and she videos Nathaniel and the new director Tom (B.D. Wong) to tell them that he is too intelligent to stay on Mars forever. Nathaniel tells her that Gardner needs to have surgery and train to be on Earth, which is what happens. So, Gardner comes along. Nathaniel meets him even though he didn't want Gardner on Earth at all, and it turns out that Nathaniel is right, Gardner doesn't belong on Earth. Gardner has an enlarged heart, which he doesn't know, but he desperately wants to find his father. So, he escapes and goes to find Tulsa.

The Space Between Us is a huge trash pile, as I already said. The extent to which it is a trash pile can only truly be discovered by watching this, which you should not. The acting performance from Asa Butterfield is one of the worst I've ever seen, unless you think it's the point for him to act bewildered to this extent, in which case this is the worst script ever. Some of the situations this kid gets in are totally ludicrous. The thing that bothers me the most is that I can see a decent concept trapped in this awful film, but the point is to make a shitty teenage romance movie and therefore that's what the audience gets. I do not have anything positive to say at all. When Gardner nearly drowns to death at the end of the film, I actually laughed. Nothing about this makes any sense at all. The idea he could have an enlarged heart upon arriving on Earth and the idea that these awesome scientists would not know that is mind-boggling to me. The Space Between Us is such a piece of crap. There's a scene where the two are stealing/buying clothes that are too expensive for them, yet they still have money to continue driving across the country. The most ridiculous part isn't that, it's the way this foster kid with a rough life starts singing when she finds a piano in the store. I just, you know, I can't. I don't know what anyone was doing here.

There are scenes far more ridiculous than the ones I've already mentioned. I will continue to list them. One scene where Gardner intends to confront his father ends with him not doing that and walking into the ocean instead. There's another where he trades sunglasses with a bum he finds in some random part of Florida, I have no idea what the deal is with this scene but obviously someone found it amusing and forced the actor to do it. The film is also set in a society with greater technology than we have now, but the cars are the same and people still use dry erase boards. I don't get this. The two leads are also Butterfield and Robertson, I have no intention of misleading anyone here. They are ten years apart in age and Robertson is playing a high schooler, so I really should have known what I was getting into when I turned this on. Another one of my favorite scenes featured Gardner taking the overhead eyewash station in a classroom and turning it on for no reason, soaking himself. How did he get in a classroom? If you want to know about trash like this, all I can tell you is to watch it for yourself. The last thing I'll leave you with is the scene where he collapses in Las Vegas, is told that he's going to die and just powers his way all the way to Santa Barbara. That's around a six hour drive. I don't know what to say about some shit like that, which is why I listed these scenes. The movie is inconsistent and foolish. I can't imagine how anyone could have enjoyed it. This is one of the worst films I have ever seen, but after the two things I watched earlier today, it was a good time to view some trash.

2/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   The Shape of Water
3.   Get Out
4.   Good Time
5.   Mudbound
6.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
7.   Logan
8.   Wonder Woman
9.   The Big Sick
10.   Thor: Ragnarok
11.   Logan Lucky
12.   The Beguiled
13.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
14.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
15.   The Lost City of Z
16.   First They Killed My Father
17.   Darkest Hour
18.   A Ghost Story
19.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
20.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
21.   It
22.   Battle of the Sexes
23.   Okja
24.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
25.   Kong: Skull Island
26.   It Comes at Night
27.   Crown Heights
28.   Split
29.   1922
30.   Personal Shopper
31.   Chuck
32.   Atomic Blonde
33.   Wheelman
34.   The Lego Batman Movie
35.   Megan Leavey
36.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
37.   Menashe
38.   American Made
39.   Beauty and the Beast
40.   Imperial Dreams
41.   Gifted
42.   Murder on the Orient Express
43.   The Zookeeper's Wife
44.   Free Fire
45.   Win It All
46.   The Wall
47.   Life
48.   My Cousin Rachel
49.   Breathe
50.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
51.   Sleight
52.   Alone in Berlin
53.   A United Kingdom
54.   Trespass Against Us
55.   The Mountain Between Us
56.   War Machine
57.   Happy Death Day
58.   Lowriders
59.   Justice League
60.   To the Bone
61.   Wakefield
62.   Bright
63.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
64.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
65.   The Mummy
66.   The Greatest Showman
67.   Rough Night
68.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
69.   Sand Castle
70.   CHiPs
71.   Death Note
72.   The Belko Experiment
73.   The Great Wall
74.   Fist Fight
75.   Snatched
76.   Wilson
77.   Queen of the Desert
78.   The House
79.   Sleepless
80.   All Eyez on Me
81.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #126 on: April 29, 2019, 06:57:20 PM »


Phantom Thread (2017), directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

When Daniel Day-Lewis announced his retirement, I was probably not the only one who was wishing that he hadn't chosen a film with this description to be his last. After actually watching Phantom Thread, I am perfectly happy that this was his last film. The less said about Phantom Thread the better, so if you haven't seen it yet, scroll to the bottom for my score or turn around. There is absolutely nothing better that Daniel Day-Lewis could have gone out with, at least from where I sit. If I hadn't just seen Avengers: Endgame, this would have been the most pleasing film that I've watched for ages. I really mean that too, for ages. I'm not yet done with 2017 but I'm completely certain that the best two films from that year are decided in my mind, nothing is going to change the way I feel about this subject either. Is this the best movie I've seen in a while? Yes. Not even in dispute actually. With a comment like that I should explain my scores. A ten is rather large, it is because these films are so superior to everything else even if other scores are just a little bit behind. A ten is when I realize that I'm watching a masterpiece well before the conclusion of the film, when every element is in place to please me and does so with aplomb. The perfect film is something that does not often happen, but anyone who has watched a lot of films should know one when they see it. I hopped over to Metacritic and saw that the only critics who gave this a poor review seemed to have completely missed the point of the film. That's another way in which I know I've seen a masterpiece. People don't make films like this one either. Sorry, one person does. I have made a mistake.

One thing I would say about a movie like this is that they are a lot easier to sum up than the rest. The character work is so in-depth, the people involved are laid out for all to see. Phantom Thread is set in London circa 1954, and Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a famed fashion designer. His life's work is to create dresses, he is a very interesting and peculiar fellow. One of our first scenes features him at breakfast in his house, with what seems to be his girlfriend Johanna (Camilla Rutherford) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville). Reynolds has fallen out of love with his girlfriend, that much is clear. Johanna is eventually sent away, but we learn a lot from these moments. Reynolds is in a very low patch, but Cyril is not. Cyril is the guiding force in Reynolds' life, she ensures that he stays on his path and caters to him in every way which she can. After Reynolds is done designing a dress, he heads off to his house in the countryside. On the way there, is is infatuated with a waitress, a foreign woman named Alma (Vicky Krieps). Alma is asked to take Reynolds' breakfast order, and Reynolds plays games that I feel I should borrow and utilize in my own life. They seem to be quite effective anyway. He asks Alma to dinner and she accepts, at which point the courtship continues. It goes very well. I'm not sure I'll borrow this little trick of his.

After dinner, that's when things get strange and when I realized I was in for something quite more interesting than the short description made the film sound. Reynolds takes Alma back to his house and they have a conversation, after which he decides to take her upstairs. When they go upstairs, in comes Cyril, like she was there all along waiting for this. Cyril sits down with a book, and Reynolds gets straight to work taking measurements. I have no idea if Alma expected this, but Cyril jots down the measurements and Reynolds makes a dress for her. They are both infatuated with each other, which leads to Alma moving to London and becoming Reynolds lover and a model for him. This is where the meat of the film comes. We learn that Reynolds is a controlling person who is heavily focused on his routine, which is always disrupted when he has a new girlfriend. If one's mind wanders from here, like mine did, I started connecting the dots of what may have happened to lead to Johanna leaving. This is never, ever outright stated and is something I was thinking alone. Reynolds is extremely difficult to please, and Alma is her own person with her own desires. One thing I will leave you with is a scene where Alma is disgusted by the behavior of someone wearing one of Woodcock's prized gowns. Her motivational speech leads to him going crazy and having Alma take the dress off. Love is in the air from there.

If you're reading this, you've probably already seen the movie, but there are some devilish twists and turns from that point. All of them were entirely unexpected from my end. The events have more and more significance as the film carries on, which is how it should be. Too often the viewer is not given that consistent upward path to events with more emotional weight. This film is a masterpiece, I'm sure some don't agree, but I could not feel more strongly about anything. There's a scene with goddamn buttered toast that slays me. I don't like to make platitudes of a grand scale, I don't like saying a specific film is someone's 'best' work. I think in Paul Thomas Anderson's case that all his works have great artistic merit. I'm not just saying artistic merit, but GREAT merit. This is not his first masterpiece nor will it be the last, do you see what I'm saying here? There are so many scenes in this film that I thought were great that I can't even single one of them out above the rest. The score is one of the best I've ever heard and left me without words, it perfectly encapsulates the time in which the film is set. Jonny Greenwood's use of the piano here fills nearly the entire film with his sound, I do not know how someone conceives this either, but it is a piece of genius. The cinematography is not the best (here I go being a hypocrite) I've seen in one of Anderson's films, but the New Year's Eve scenes are spectacularly filmed. I snagged a picture of one of them to put above.

Phantom Thread is, rightly or wrongly, a film that makes me consider whether or not other films I hold in great standing are hokum. I'm trying not to think that, but when I see performances like the three in this film, I'm not sure what to say. This is another case of Daniel Day-Lewis crafting a unique character that I am unsure exists in another piece of film. Vicky Krieps, I will say, actually does an equal job of this. How? I don't really have an answer to that. You know how good another actor has to be in order to be DDL's equal? I think the scene in which this is best encapsulated is the wedding scene I have already mentioned. Deconstructing these scene presents these two people to be massive dickheads, but it's essential to understanding the characters. Reynolds is a weak person who is in need of being in control, he has surrounded himself with women for a reason, because he needs a mother figure after the death of his own. Alma is a much more strong willed person, she has a more difficult time accepting that this is how Reynolds is. He is a person of routine for a reason and is in need of being catered to. The scene where Reynolds has a dream lays all this stuff out there for anyone to see, but the way this film is directed obligates you to do some legwork yourself. Art is open to interpretation and this is certainly one of those cases.

If you read this even though you haven't seen it, you've gotten what you've asked for because when I see something like this I cannot keep spoilers to myself. The film has an odd authenticity that I cannot figure out how to put my finger on exactly. The house is very tall and has well defined rooms, but beyond that, when Alma gets flustered she responds in a certain way and falls over her words. I would like to know what goes into making something like Phantom Thread, I will have to search that out at some point. I know that a lot of people think that certain directors tick boxes to make what constitutes a "good movie," but I don't really believe in that process. In attempting to do that, and I do think that some directors do, I notice films that inexplicably fall flat as a result of doing things that do not come naturally to the director. What makes a great film is when someone has a vision in mind and achieves it without attempting to force anything the actors are incapable of making the audience believe in. I really wish I'd seen this in a theater because the score and cinematography was that strong, but on some level I understand why a person wouldn't care for this film. I don't know why you wouldn't, but I do see this work as being a problem for some who can't understand the relationships in question. The problem is that I found everything was exquisite and therefore I absolutely do not agree.

The best films in 2017, of which I would say there were two, bring something unique to the table. I would say though that the bombast of Dunkirk only slightly wins out. To create a unique narrative in the midst of that historical event, and for me to not find any real weakness, I think that says a lot. Dunkirk also does a great job disorienting the audience and disposing of characters as need be, which retains tension throughout. The tension in Phantom Thread, great as it is, is not quite as strong even though the technical aspects are fantastic. I also think Dunkirk has its own fantastic technical achievements. It would take something to absolutely blow me out of my seat in order for me to think anything from the last two years is as good as these two films. Yeah, better than Roma.

10/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   Wonder Woman
10.   The Big Sick
11.   Thor: Ragnarok
12.   Logan Lucky
13.   The Beguiled
14.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
15.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
16.   The Lost City of Z
17.   First They Killed My Father
18.   Darkest Hour
19.   A Ghost Story
20.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
21.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
22.   It
23.   Battle of the Sexes
24.   Okja
25.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
26.   Kong: Skull Island
27.   It Comes at Night
28.   Crown Heights
29.   Split
30.   1922
31.   Personal Shopper
32.   Chuck
33.   Atomic Blonde
34.   Wheelman
35.   The Lego Batman Movie
36.   Megan Leavey
37.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
38.   Menashe
39.   American Made
40.   Beauty and the Beast
41.   Imperial Dreams
42.   Gifted
43.   Murder on the Orient Express
44.   The Zookeeper's Wife
45.   Free Fire
46.   Win It All
47.   The Wall
48.   Life
49.   My Cousin Rachel
50.   Breathe
51.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
52.   Sleight
53.   Alone in Berlin
54.   A United Kingdom
55.   Trespass Against Us
56.   The Mountain Between Us
57.   War Machine
58.   Happy Death Day
59.   Lowriders
60.   Justice League
61.   To the Bone
62.   Wakefield
63.   Bright
64.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
65.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
66.   The Mummy
67.   The Greatest Showman
68.   Rough Night
69.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
70.   Sand Castle
71.   CHiPs
72.   Death Note
73.   The Belko Experiment
74.   The Great Wall
75.   Fist Fight
76.   Snatched
77.   Wilson
78.   Queen of the Desert
79.   The House
80.   Sleepless
81.   All Eyez on Me
82.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #127 on: May 01, 2019, 06:08:47 PM »


Godzilla (2014), directed by Gareth Edwards

Is Godzilla even a movie about Godzilla? That's what came to mind once this was over, and I found that I had an extremely large problem with the way this was directed. Before that, I should talk about my own Godzilla experience. I cannot be the only one who went to see Godzilla at a drive-in in 1998, and this was not something I have positive feelings of. I thought the ending of that film was ridiculously stupid, but it had even greater problems. Chiefly among them was that there was no plot whatsoever, but the cast was also absolute garbage. I decided after that movie that I didn't really care about Godzilla and would never see another Godzilla movie if they made one. The problem is that I was a kid and because I was a kid, I wasn't telling the truth. I wanted to see more Godzilla movies, and as I got older I watched a few more. The thing is, 2014's Godzilla is the only film since that 1998 trash to be made entirely by an American studio. I absolutely demand more of these, so hopefully they continue to make money here and continue to be made. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is coming out around the end of this month, so with that in mind, I had to finally commit to watching this Godzilla entry. What I thought was that it was alright. These films, such as they are, need to be built around monsters instead of around the people who come into contact with those monsters. I will be the one to say this fails in that regard. It is still alright and could have been a lot worse. If you want to know exactly how much worse, just watch the film from 1998.

The way this film tells it, in 1954 Godzilla was lured to an island in the South Pacific in an attempt to kill him with a nuclear bomb. It doesn't take a genius to figure out they failed. We move forward to 1999, with Monarch, a secret organization that investigates these sorts of monsters, looking into a collapsed uranium mine in the Philippines. Monarch's remit is to hunt and study massive organisms, and Godzilla presents the idea that Dr. Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Dr. Graham (Sally Hawkins) are their lead scientists. While investigating the mine, they find two giant spores. One of them is dormant and the other has hatched and made its way out to the ocean, which brings us over to another country. In Japan, Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) is the supervisor of a nuclear plant in the fictionalized large city of Janjira. Joe and his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) have a child who for some reason is named Ford, and Sandra also works at the power plant. Sandra and some other technicians are sent into the reactor by Joe, but there's a problem. An earthquake of some kind breaches the reactor, which leaves everyone unable to make it to the blast doors guarding against radioactive exposure. Sandra dies right in front of Joe, but that's not all that happens to the plant. All of a sudden the place begins to collapse, the entire city becomes a quarantined zone, and it's time to move forward to our next part.

Of course we move forward another 15 years to 2014, which is when this film was released. Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has joined the Navy and is an explosive ordinance disposal officer, which in short can best be described as a guy who turns shit off. He returns from his tour of duty to his family in San Francisco, his young son Sam and wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen). Unfortunately, his father has been detained in Tokyo for trespassing in the quarantine zone and Ford must travel there. After he arrives, he perceives that his dad has lost his mind, but he's very wrong. Joe has a need to find out the cause of the nuclear meltdown, and he's able to get Ford to come along with him to retrieve some data he left in their old house. Upon arrival, they find that the zone is not contaminated by radiation, but they are detained again and brought to a facility that is in the ruins of the plant. The facility is exactly what I expected. There is a large creature of some kind in the middle of it, and with no radiation in what should be a quarantine zone after a meltdown worse than Chernobyl, it's obvious that the creature is doing something with that. For whatever reason, Dr. Serizawa does not understand this and the thing has been emitting electro-magnetic pulses. It's eventually going to wake up, but Serizawa has always had a theory about Godzilla, whose existence has remained secret. He thinks Godzilla is supposed to keep the Earth relatively safe. We will soon find out.

As I said, this film focuses too much on humans, but Godzilla: King of the Monsters appears to be giving us literally the exact opposite of that. In the end, we'll see which I approach I liked more. The MUTO is a pretty nice creation, but I was really feeling the length of this movie around the middle portions. I do not believe Godzilla appears on screen until a full hour in. One may be able to take that approach with one of the characters in an Avengers movie, but this is fucking Godzilla and I do not think that's acceptable. There is a positive to this approach in the sense that it made the battles and appearance of Godzilla feel more important, but again, I don't think that's a particularly good idea. The battles themselves are more than important, they're excellent to watch. I also got a lot of enjoyment from seeing the MUTO destroy everything in their wake, or from Godzilla emerging from the ocean. I don't really understand the logic of that Hawaii scene after the same thing didn't happen in San Francisco, but this isn't a movie where you're supposed to think about stuff like that. You are supposed to only think about the monsters, but the presentation Gareth Edwards has given us is odd in this way. I did find some of the scenes where he would show media coverage of the monster battle to be nicely amusing even if they disrupted the pace of the film.

I'm still looking forward to Godzilla: King of the Monsters, I do think Godzilla was a bad step of sorts. The film isn't bad, but the decision to focus on the human characters so much is an egregious error only saved by the kaiju battles everyone waits so long for. The director obviously thought people would care about his cast, but it turned out that I didn't. I do not need the human reaction to Godzilla, maybe this makes me weird, but I want what I want. The scientific parts of the storyline are acceptable although I always question the intelligence of the characters who believed things that didn't turn out to be true. Makes me laugh. The problem with the human side of the story is that Bryan Cranston is doing literally everything he can to save it, and when he disappears and you see his intensity gone from performances in front of you, the film suffers. I can barely give this a passing grade in fact. I don't know why studios allow directors to make films like this one, or rather I don't know why studios think audiences want to see human cast members in these kinds of movies. I largely want to see monsters killing shit and I want to see a smaller focus on humans, who still belong in the film. There just shouldn't be so many of them.

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 2019
« Reply #128 on: May 01, 2019, 06:26:10 PM »


John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), directed by Chad Stahelski

You know how good a sequel has to be for me to instantly believe I overrated the first movie? I've actually gone back to change the score and that isn't something I'm really in the habit of doing. When it comes to a movie like John Wick: Chapter 2, one instantly compares the action scenes between the sequel and its predecessor. The performances and the story actually do not matter that much, but rather the journey of the character itself and what they have to go through. I am fully cognizant of the fact that in effect that's the story, but for some reason I just don't entirely see it that way. I have had the pleasure of seeing a lot of similar revenge films in the last year. Some of them bring something unique to the table and others didn't, but as far as the ones with copious murder go, the John Wick films stand out above the rest. John Wick: Chapter 2 simply has the most unique action scenes of the bunch. The way I felt while watching this was that I didn't want it to end, I wanted to see how the film would continue and how nicely I would be surprised. Eventually, I remembered that John Wick: Chapter 3 is coming out in a few weeks and I was able to forget about that. I really can't wait to check that out, already bought my ticket, but for now my mind cannot wander much. The blatant scene with Neo and Morpheus fucking made this movie for me, if it wasn't already made well before that. But, if you need that hook to be interested, it's there and waiting for you.

John Wick: Chapter 2 is set four days after the first film, which is interesting and father good. John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is attempting to get his stolen Mach 1 Mustang back from a chop shop, which is owned by Abram Tarasov (Peter Stormare), the brother of the villain from the previous film. I will spare you the details for the purposes of enjoyment, and because it doesn't really matter. Once John is done, he visits Aurelio (John Leguizamo) once again, and Aurelio is to repair his car. I know without doubt this must factor into the third film somehow. After that visit, John cements his weapons and coins back into the ground, and presumably that's it. That's not it. John is visited by Santino D'Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), an Italian mafia boss who reveals some important things to us. When John completed his task that allowed him to be normal again, he asked Santino for help. Santino helped him, but he also swore John to a marker. A marker in the world of John Wick is a blood oath medallion, a promise he cannot break, and there are consequences if he does. The main consequence is death. He is simply not allowed to break this oath, but he claims that he is retired. The events in the first film show that he is not, but John asks Santino to leave anyway. Santino decides to blow up John's house with a grenade launcher, so he has nothing that he started the first film with. All of it is gone.

Of course, that having happened, John travels to the Continental Hotel. He drops his dog off with the concierge, Charon (Lance Reddick), and heads upstairs to talk with Winston (Ian McShane). Winston, as you know, is the owner of the hotel and controls a large part of this assassin game. He tells John that if he rejects the marker, as I already said, he will be killed. There are two rules that cannot be broken. No blood at the Continental, and every marker has to be honored. John then accepts his fate and meets Santino, who wants John to kill his sister Gianna (Claudia Gerini). Gianna controls a stake in the game and has a seat at the High Table, which is a council of crime lords Santino wishes to sit on. Gianna inherited the seat when their father died, and Santino is jealous. Santino sends John to Rome, and unbeknownst to John, he is followed by Ares (Ruby Rose), the mute bodyguard of Mr. D'Antonio. Upon arrival, the stage is set for mayhem. John has to infiltrate the party where Gianna is being given her seat at the high table and assassinate her. Gianna is also protected by Cassian (Common), her bodyguard. Everyone takes part in this little game as this film makes more clear. It also turns out that Ares is following John so she can kill him, because after all, Santino must take revenge against his sister's killer. Funny how all this works.

The way Mr. Stahelski is able to weave these action scenes together from one to the next is something I really appreciate, but I found that the beginning of the film dragged a bit. I think that's a natural reaction when the film starts off so nicely, but John Wick: Chapter 2 is an awesome film. The scenes once John arrives back in New York are so excellent, I have no words for these. I don't particularly care for the creative decision that ends the film, but knowing there is a third chapter and that the chapter appears to be so good, I don't really care. There are so many good things here. Shall I list them? I don't think I will this time, but my favorite sequence by far was the series when the open contract on John goes out. That shit was everything to me. I think what I've learned from watching John Wick: Chapter 2 is that I want more creative action scenes rather than the slow down and built up story that exists in John Wick. The second entry is a hell of a lot more violent, more stylish, more colorful, and more quickly paced. This isn't the best shoot 'em up I've ever seen, but it rates highly enough that if I was making a list, I would have John Wick: Chapter 2 on it. That's the highest of high praise. I went down a list of my IMDB ratings and found that the film would almost certainly rank in my top 20. That's very high praise indeed, but I'm not a list maker and I'm not going to create a list, so forget about that. John Wick: Chapter 2 also may not be in my top 20 for long so that would be a pointless exercise, I have too much to watch.

I did see that Lionsgate was considering making a series about the Continental Hotel. I don't know what other people think about this, but from my point of view this is a good idea. Less is more, that's certainly true, but there are so many stories to tell within this world they've created. The lore with the blood oaths, the coins, the contracts, I think all that stuff is something I'd like to see explored more. Nearly every time I see an article about a studio turning a film franchise into a television franchise, I cringe as hard as I possibly can. This, Star Wars, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe are the only times I haven't! So, that's the kind of quality I guess we're talking about here. I'm going to give this film a rating it deserves because I loved it, I will not sugarcoat anything. I know everyone has their own opinions about these two films and which one is better, but it's clear where I stand. If someone told me that a movie was created where the underworld was supposedly as strong as it is in John Wick: Chapter 2, I would have laughed at you, but this is very nicely done. I can only hope that when they make the television series, they adhere to the same principles. The scenes that really work, I don't think they would cost all that much money to make on television. In any case, Lionsgate mostly makes trash now and would really need this to be good, so I think they'd try their best. I really want to see it.

8/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   Wonder Woman
10.   The Big Sick
11.   Thor: Ragnarok
12.   Logan Lucky
13.   The Beguiled
14.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
15.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
16.   John Wick: Chapter 2
17.   The Lost City of Z
18.   First They Killed My Father
19.   Darkest Hour
20.   A Ghost Story
21.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
22.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
23.   It
24.   Battle of the Sexes
25.   Okja
26.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
27.   Kong: Skull Island
28.   It Comes at Night
29.   Crown Heights
30.   Split
31.   1922
32.   Personal Shopper
33.   Chuck
34.   Atomic Blonde
35.   Wheelman
36.   The Lego Batman Movie
37.   Megan Leavey
38.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
39.   Menashe
40.   American Made
41.   Beauty and the Beast
42.   Imperial Dreams
43.   Gifted
44.   Murder on the Orient Express
45.   The Zookeeper's Wife
46.   Free Fire
47.   Win It All
48.   The Wall
49.   Life
50.   My Cousin Rachel
51.   Breathe
52.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
53.   Sleight
54.   Alone in Berlin
55.   A United Kingdom
56.   Trespass Against Us
57.   The Mountain Between Us
58.   War Machine
59.   Happy Death Day
60.   Lowriders
61.   Justice League
62.   To the Bone
63.   Wakefield
64.   Bright
65.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
66.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
67.   The Mummy
68.   The Greatest Showman
69.   Rough Night
70.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
71.   Sand Castle
72.   CHiPs
73.   Death Note
74.   The Belko Experiment
75.   The Great Wall
76.   Fist Fight
77.   Snatched
78.   Wilson
79.   Queen of the Desert
80.   The House
81.   Sleepless
82.   All Eyez on Me
83.   The Space Between Us


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

Offline cobainwasmurdered

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #129 on: May 02, 2019, 07:12:48 AM »
I'd be fine with a TV show. I thought JW2 was a step down from the first movie personally as it felt a bit too selfaware but was still a fun movie.

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #130 on: May 02, 2019, 06:01:45 PM »


Maudie (2017), directed by Aisling Walsh

After watching what I watched in the last few days, I made a decision to swing as hard as possible away from those films as I could. This decision turned out to be successful. One thing I was thinking about the other day is that Canadian entertainment seems to have a major stigma. The works most film buffs talk about out of Canada are filmed by Quebecois and Native filmmakers. Fairly or unfairly, the rest of the provinces either produce American works (British Columbia), nothing at all, or things that are derided and called inferior. I'm not an expert on Canadian cinema and won't claim to be one, but I do read what other people say and that's what I've based this on. So, with that in mind, why did I choose to watch this? Ethan Hawke is a good enough reason, the film has a decent Metascore, and it seemed like it was very different than anything else I've watched in a long time. That's often how I justify a lot of the things I decide to review here, and I don't watch anything without reviewing it. There are some tonal issues with this film, I found that to be quite clear, but ultimately I thought Sally Hawkins put on another great performance. That wins out when it needs to, and that's enough for me. But what if it wasn't Sally Hawkins playing this role? What if an inferior actress was in the slot with the responsibility of carrying the film? That sounds like it would have been an utter disaster from top to bottom.

Maudie takes place in rural Nova Scotia, and is focused on the life of a Canadian artist, Maud Lewis (Sally Hawkins). Maud made paintings that I could best describe as similar to those my mom made when she was younger, the resemblance was uncanny. Of course, Maud came first and was born in 1903. Maudie starts off with Maud at a young age, suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and making her way through life anyway. She lives with her Aunt Ida (Gabrielle Rose) because she is not able to take care of herself. Her brother Charles (Zachary Bennett) pays Ida to take care of his sister, but this is the 1930s and I don't know how much money that is. Enough to matter? That isn't made clear. Maud learns from Charles that he has sold their family home when their parents died as it was not left to Maud. He pocketed the proceeds and Maud was upset. Maud then goes out one night to a nightclub in their very small town, and there's a reason for Ida's anger that we do not yet learn until later in the film. But, as I said, Ida was angry and didn't want Maud going out. Eventually Maud has enough and looks to leave with any chance she gets. Along comes a chance one day at the local general store, when the local fish peddler Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) walks in and posts an advertisement for a maid on the board.

Everett is clearly very gruff and nobody in their right mind would take this job, but nobody thinks Maud is in her right mind. She also wants the hell out of her aunt's house. She takes Everett's ad and goes to his very small house, which isn't connected to the electrical grid in any way, is very dirty, and needs a massive cleaning job. That's what Maud is there for, but there are obvious limitations on what she may be able to do. Everett is a piece of shit and doesn't give a fuck about what she may be able to do. She can do it or leave, simple as that. There's also some scandal in the town because Maud has moved in and the two are not married, which as you know was a bad thing in those days. There was gossip that Maud was Everett's sex slave, which is pretty ridiculous. Anyway, Maud starts painting things once she gets more and more settled in, which leads to an opportunity. Sandra (Kari Matchett) is one of Everett's customers and she'd bought fish from him, but Everett has forgotten because he doesn't write anything down. Sandra is from New York City, but she loves Maud's paintings and wants her to start making things for her to buy. Everett likes this because now more money is coming in, but Maud has some things she wants to. Like, for example, to marry this guy even though he sucks ass.

The film's decision to show so much of Maud's marriage even though her husband is abusive, even though he eventually comes around, is something I just don't understand. Maudie lacks a little bit of imagination as a result of that, the film should have been about the creativity of Maud Lewis and her inspiration for painting. There's not a lot of that here I'm afraid. I have a major issue here because I strongly believe this is a poorly made film yet there are things I like about it. This is strange. The reason I say this is poorly made is because we're supposed to be pleased with the end of the film even though Everett was a very abusive cunt. I was not. I also stuck around to watch this for a bit of the credits and I saw that there was a video of the real Maud and Everett. This was a big mistake. Everett looks nothing like Ethan Hawke whatsoever and that blows a hole through everything I was thinking as this film went on. I'm also curious to know if Everett was exactly this abusive. There is, I believe, no way to know. The film loses its way when one starts thinking of the details in creating a cohesive, likable motion picture. They are lacking here.

On the other hand, the film does boast two very strong things and those are Hawke and Hawkins' performances. No real surprise there. Hawke's character here is a real nasty fucker, and even though this isn't a role I've seen him in before, I still buy it. Sally Hawkins really did her best though, I have seen old and frail looking women before and the performance was more like a likeness. This was uncanny, entirely believable, and her character was very sympathetic. Maudie is one of those films I'm surprised was even made, and I'm only just going to give this a passing grade. It is missing some of the details and notes that I think are necessary in making a film about an artist, but the two lead performances are excellent. I saw a thing while looking at the Wikipedia page about how Nova Scotians were angry this was filmed in Newfoundland, and I'm not sure I've ever heard anything more Canadian than that. Contrary to what some would think, my problem with Maudie isn't the subject matter (meaning art), it's the presentation that just doesn't do it at all for me. I also don't find much redemption for abusive husbands in films like this one, so that's where I'm at. I really hate that shit and find it sometimes to feel like we're supposed to understand where the abuser is coming from. Well, I do not.

6/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   Wonder Woman
10.   The Big Sick
11.   Thor: Ragnarok
12.   Logan Lucky
13.   The Beguiled
14.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
15.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
16.   John Wick: Chapter 2
17.   The Lost City of Z
18.   First They Killed My Father
19.   Darkest Hour
20.   A Ghost Story
21.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
22.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
23.   It
24.   Battle of the Sexes
25.   Okja
26.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
27.   Kong: Skull Island
28.   It Comes at Night
29.   Crown Heights
30.   Split
31.   1922
32.   Personal Shopper
33.   Chuck
34.   Atomic Blonde
35.   Wheelman
36.   The Lego Batman Movie
37.   Megan Leavey
38.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
39.   Menashe
40.   American Made
41.   Beauty and the Beast
42.   Imperial Dreams
43.   Gifted
44.   Murder on the Orient Express
45.   The Zookeeper's Wife
46.   Free Fire
47.   Win It All
48.   The Wall
49.   Life
50.   My Cousin Rachel
51.   Breathe
52.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
53.   Maudie
54.   Sleight
55.   Alone in Berlin
56.   A United Kingdom
57.   Trespass Against Us
58.   The Mountain Between Us
59.   War Machine
60.   Happy Death Day
61.   Lowriders
62.   Justice League
63.   To the Bone
64.   Wakefield
65.   Bright
66.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
67.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
68.   The Mummy
69.   The Greatest Showman
70.   Rough Night
71.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
72.   Sand Castle
73.   CHiPs
74.   Death Note
75.   The Belko Experiment
76.   The Great Wall
77.   Fist Fight
78.   Snatched
79.   Wilson
80.   Queen of the Desert
81.   The House
82.   Sleepless
83.   All Eyez on Me
84.   The Space Between Us


The line of what people should watch on that list, by the way, is above and not including Beauty and the Beast. Below that line is entirely dependent upon how you feel about the genre or subject. You should absolutely not watch anything below Sand Castle.


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 2019
« Reply #131 on: May 05, 2019, 09:29:18 AM »


Walking Out (2017), directed by Alex and Andrew Smith

My decision to watch Walking Out was two-pronged. I wanted to watch another winter survival movie because I had not done so in a few months. Not the worst idea in the world. The other reason I turned this on was because it was very critically acclaimed. I am not so high on the film, but I did like it and can say that I would recommend giving this a look. This is the kind of movie there isn't much to, hoping that the viewer sees the film as a case of less being more. Less is more but there are also times when things are too much less, when the plot of the film does need bolstering and movies with a minimalist approach don't bring more to the table. The thing that separates Walking Out from The Revenant is exactly that, but those things also cost a hell of a lot of money. The producers of Walking Out obviously did not have that, so I'll give them full credit for making a good movie on what had to be a small budget. I think part of the reason I don't think this is a great film is because I found one of the two characters to be an utterly annoying simp for around half the film. Is that wrong of me? Probably. There's a unique opportunity for a story to be told in this space, I am going to explain how it was done below. That's the part that really got to me, where the film has the most power.

David (Josh Wiggins) is a young boy who is sent to Montana to spend some time with his father during winter. When he's flying in on a plane, we see him playing video games on his cell phone. Upon arriving, we meet his father Cal (Matt Bomer), a man who hunts in the mountains and lives off the grid. He has expectations of his son and they are going to be followed. David is just not like that though. He wants to play around on his phone, but Cal isn't going to allow that. Kids the age of David, and particularly people in his generation, just don't care about nature or much of anything beyond their limited worldview. It is hard to understand how Cal created a child like this when he's a man of the wilderness, but everyone has to get to the wilderness by joining the world. That kind of thing is bought and earned. This part is left up to your imagination. Anyway, the first goal is for David to kill a quail. This is a complete and utter failure, he's inaccurate from any and every distance. This starts to make his dad angry. When they go back to the cabin, they have to share a bed and David plays games on his phone, which leads to Cal threatening to smash it. The relationship between these two is more primal than a normal father-son relationship because the father in this case is not normal.

After this first night, Cal has a plan for David's trip and thinks he knows how this will go well. He has been tracking a moose for some time and wants to take David up to the mountains to hunt and kill it. Then, they will eat it. David does not understand the point of this and a lot of people his age wouldn't either. While up in the mountains, Cal is going to explain life to his son as you'd expect. They also left David's phone at the cabin, so that's done and dusted. Cal has also done things that are significant to him, but not his son. One of those things is for him to give his father's rifle to David. There's more to it than simply explaining life to his son though, the ultimate question David wants to know is what his grandfather Clyde (Bill Pullman) was like. What that leads to is a conversation where David asks Cal what his first kill was like, and while I'm not going to say anything about that, these flashbacks are quite effective. Of course, as any movie like this goes, something bad happens and the title gives it away, the two must walk out of the wilderness and find help.

I think the praise for Walking Out was a bit overboard, but I do think this is a good movie. The cinematographer had only worked on television shows, which is a bit strange considering how nicely this is put together. The shots of a wilderness landscape are always going to look good in fairness, but there's also nice bits of operation and scene structuring. The thing that kept me engaged with the film is that we have a millennial who can't let go of their phone doing things that they're completely unaccustomed to. There's some real value in that aspect of the story, but at the same time I was having difficulty with the incompetence of the young adult. The screenplay is also nice, but I think the flashbacks lead to the story becoming a little disjointed. I don't have an answer as to what could have been done to make that better. I will also admit it is nice to see another movie with only a scant few cast members. The last one I saw like that, I can't talk about it because it debuted earlier this year and I presume nobody here has seen it yet. It would also spoil the film.

This is the kind of movie that looks to check off certain boxes, because it's a father-son coming of age drama. It hits pretty much all of them, but the story doesn't resonate more strongly with me because I never went to do this with my dad. You know what my dad did when he wanted to bond with me? We went to the movies, or we went to see the Lakers play the Spurs, or took a trip to Six Flags. Shit like that. I'm not a product of divorce and have been able to spend plenty of time with both my parents, so I'm privileged in that way. Because of those things, the story doesn't hit as strongly with me as it may have with others. The ending of the film is quite good though, I will tell you that. I sort of expected the ending to be what it was, but without having seen it before, there's still impact in the moment. But, I think that overall, this is more for people who have gone hunting with their dad. I am not one of them.

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   Wonder Woman
10.   The Big Sick
11.   Thor: Ragnarok
12.   Logan Lucky
13.   The Beguiled
14.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
15.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
16.   John Wick: Chapter 2
17.   The Lost City of Z
18.   First They Killed My Father
19.   Darkest Hour
20.   A Ghost Story
21.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
22.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
23.   It
24.   Battle of the Sexes
25.   Okja
26.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
27.   Kong: Skull Island
28.   It Comes at Night
29.   Crown Heights
30.   Split
31.   1922
32.   Personal Shopper
33.   Chuck
34.   Atomic Blonde
35.   Wheelman
36.   The Lego Batman Movie
37.   Megan Leavey
38.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
39.   Menashe
40.   Walking Out
41.   American Made
42.   Beauty and the Beast
43.   Imperial Dreams
44.   Gifted
45.   Murder on the Orient Express
46.   The Zookeeper's Wife
47.   Free Fire
48.   Win It All
49.   The Wall
50.   Life
51.   My Cousin Rachel
52.   Breathe
53.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
54.   Maudie
55.   Sleight
56.   Alone in Berlin
57.   A United Kingdom
58.   Trespass Against Us
59.   The Mountain Between Us
60.   War Machine
61.   Happy Death Day
62.   Lowriders
63.   Justice League
64.   To the Bone
65.   Wakefield
66.   Bright
67.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
68.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
69.   The Mummy
70.   The Greatest Showman
71.   Rough Night
72.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
73.   Sand Castle
74.   CHiPs
75.   Death Note
76.   The Belko Experiment
77.   The Great Wall
78.   Fist Fight
79.   Snatched
80.   Wilson
81.   Queen of the Desert
82.   The House
83.   Sleepless
84.   All Eyez on Me
85.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #132 on: May 05, 2019, 06:18:42 PM »


Ghost in the Shell (2017), directed by Rupert Sanders

What happens when you take a property that people want to see adapted, do a few controversial things along the way and give the reins to a shitty director? You get a box office bomb, and that's what they deserved. It is somewhat incredible that Rupert Sanders have been given the opportunity to direct two blockbuster films based on absolutely nothing at all. It appears that he directed some commercials and that's it. Imagine that. Of course, this was a mistake and it doesn't make sense, which is reflected in the box office of both Ghost in the Shell and Snow White and the Huntsman, which I have forgotten even existed. I never watched the latter either, probably never will. Of course, the white washing controversy was a big deal at the time this was made, but I am convinced that was not the reason Ghost in the Shell bombed at the box office. There are so many different things I can think of and I'll talk about them later, but what I really want to say is that people in Hollywood need to give more care to who they give these potential franchises to. We've seen this time and time again where millions of dollars are flushed down the toilet because someone was unable to execute an interesting idea. The things in Ghost in the Shell are intriguing ideas, but none of them are followed up on whatsoever. The focus is instead on the Hollywood ideas prominent in the story, and it turns out this is a major problem.

Sometime in the future, in a city never named and a country never spoken of (which is peak lazy), humans are augmented with cybernetics in order to improve the attributes they need to improve. Hanka Robotics is a developer of these things, and they have started a project with the intent of learning how to place a human brain inside of an artificial body. Mira Killian (Scarlett Johansson) is the sole survivor of a terrorist attack, picked up from her refugee boat on the way into this unnamed country. Her designer is Dr. Ouelet (Juliette Binoche), and Dr. Ouelet's boss is a man named Cutter (Peter Ferdinando). Cutter wants Killian to become a member of an anti-terrorist police force called Section 9, the reason being that her brain inside of that robotic body is the way of the future. We fast forward a year and Killian is now a Major in said police force, her partners are Batou (Pilou Asbaek) and Togusa (Chin Han). Their chief is Mr. Aramaki (Takeshi Kitano), who speaks Japanese and everyone is able to understand him. Some of these things aren't explained when they should be, but I digress. The opening of the film is about Killian and the glitches she has in her system that lead to visions, or at least Ouelet says these are glitches. Of course they aren't. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this medication she has to put in her neck is also not medication that allows her to use this body. If you bought that at all, wise up.

The first mission we see Killian on is at a business conference for Hanka Robotics. There is a diplomatic delegation from Africa at the conference, and we are shown moments of terrorists planning an attack. Among those terrorists is a robotic geisha, which I posted a picture of because I thought it was cool. The geisha starts murdering hostages, which leads to Killian putting it down. After that's done, her team learns that the geisha was hacked by an unknown being called Kuze (Michael Pitt). This leads to Killian doing a "deep dive" into an AI, which leads to it trying to hack her, and this is all pretty stupid. Anyway, this hack leads to the team being led to a nightclub, which has some cool stuff in there. Cutter is mad that Killian is being endangered in this way because that's his pet project, and he threatens to have the unit, known as Section 9, shut down. It turns out that Kuze is attempting to kill people who worked on a specific project that he was part of, and if you want to know more, watch this stupid movie yourself. There isn't anything else I can tell you!

Ghost in the Shell is dead set on playing out all these Hollywood cliches with Killian, where she does things unwittingly that she is told mean something else. The most obvious example is with the medication she puts in her neck. I absolutely hate this kind of shit, I don't find there to be any value in it at all. The road to robotic self-discovery is usually great, but the medication that is a memory suppressor, and the existential questions in this film are the wrong ones. The juice isn't in what the robot/person was doing before the events in the film, but what makes them different than everyone else. Their personalities and augmentations have their own purpose, but this is not explored. Ghost in the Shell is a generic film as a whole even though it does have some strengths. The concept in the anime film sounds a hell of a lot better to me, and before anyone asks, I am not going to watch it. If one is to present a film with as many technological matters as Ghost in the Shell, I demand the producers really lean into things. There could have been questions about why the person's brain was taken and put into the body and face of someone of a different race. That's one way to deal with whitewashing.

Part of the reason I didn't like Ghost in the Shell is because I've been watching Westworld, which goes so far beyond and above this concept. The difference in the mystery and intrigue between the two works is too large to put into words, but I think the greatest thing is that one is about the search for one's soul, while this is about trying to find what someone was before these events. I am of the opinion that the latter does not matter. The lone thing I thought Ghost in the Shell brought to the table was that of visual brilliance. The presentation of Tokyo, or wherever this is supposed to be, is nothing short of excellent. I love those super-futuristic city landscapes, I would like to see even more of them. The problem is that the cinematographer is not equally up to par. When at ground level, where the characters are walking through hallways or inside of buildings, this feels like a SyFy television show. I was floored by this until I saw that the cinematographer for Ghost in the Shell did this year's Serenity as well. That makes all the sense in the world! The performances, unfortunately, they're nothing. The looks of the characters also bring something to the table, which is again a matter of visual brilliance. The production design when not in those hallways is off the charts.

On some level, I found myself thinking that this movie was for young teenagers. There isn't much here to dispute that notion, but I thought Ghost in the Shell was not good at all. The villain concept is also not the same as the description of the manga character. There is no element of Kuze being the leader of anything at all. Ghost in the Shell is lacking in details, the story brings nothing to the table, and that's why the film didn't make any money. I didn't find anything here particularly enjoyable at all.

5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   Wonder Woman
10.   The Big Sick
11.   Thor: Ragnarok
12.   Logan Lucky
13.   The Beguiled
14.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
15.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
16.   John Wick: Chapter 2
17.   The Lost City of Z
18.   First They Killed My Father
19.   Darkest Hour
20.   A Ghost Story
21.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
22.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
23.   It
24.   Battle of the Sexes
25.   Okja
26.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
27.   Kong: Skull Island
28.   It Comes at Night
29.   Crown Heights
30.   Split
31.   1922
32.   Personal Shopper
33.   Chuck
34.   Atomic Blonde
35.   Wheelman
36.   The Lego Batman Movie
37.   Megan Leavey
38.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
39.   Menashe
40.   Walking Out
41.   American Made
42.   Beauty and the Beast
43.   Imperial Dreams
44.   Gifted
45.   Murder on the Orient Express
46.   The Zookeeper's Wife
47.   Free Fire
48.   Win It All
49.   The Wall
50.   Life
51.   My Cousin Rachel
52.   Breathe
53.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
54.   Maudie
55.   Sleight
56.   Alone in Berlin
57.   A United Kingdom
58.   Trespass Against Us
59.   The Mountain Between Us
60.   War Machine
61.   Happy Death Day
62.   Lowriders
63.   Justice League
64.   To the Bone
65.   Ghost in the Shell
66.   Wakefield
67.   Bright
68.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
69.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
70.   The Mummy
71.   The Greatest Showman
72.   Rough Night
73.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
74.   Sand Castle
75.   CHiPs
76.   Death Note
77.   The Belko Experiment
78.   The Great Wall
79.   Fist Fight
80.   Snatched
81.   Wilson
82.   Queen of the Desert
83.   The House
84.   Sleepless
85.   All Eyez on Me
86.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #133 on: May 07, 2019, 02:18:29 PM »


Baywatch (2017), directed by Seth Gordon

I may be the only person here who has never watched the television show, not even as jerking material. Baywatch is something I am completely unfamiliar with, but I am comfortable in stating that this an homage to a bad television show. The ending of Baywatch strongly indicates that it cannot be anything else, and with that in mind I'm not sure how to tackle such a project. The best way of doing so is probably for me to do this in a short way. Obviously, with this being announced as a short review, that means I didn't particularly care for the film. Not only is Baywatch not funny, but the seriously corny parts later in the film are absolutely horrendous. Could anyone have made a good Baywatch movie? I don't think that's possible, but I think the director and studio could have chosen a more coherent and consistent tone for the film that wouldn't have been this bad. The largest problem is that a movie like this serves a lot of masters and the people making it aren't entirely sure what they want to do. So, as a result of that, they do everything. When a movie tries to do everything, no matter what it is, it just isn't going to be good. I probably would have liked this even more if it was a hard R-rated comedy, even if it wasn't good. I would have liked to laugh a little bit. This is the risk of watching movies you haven't read reviews about, I didn't know exactly what I was getting into and that's always going to be a problem for me. I just don't want to know.

Set in a fictional town called Emerald Bay in Florida, Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) is a lifeguard lieutenant who has given his life to protect the beach as part of an elite unit called Baywatch. This is laughable, of course, and the early part of the film does nothing to dissuade that notion. We are given so many scenes of guys staring at ass to the point of complete ridiculousness. Almost as many shots of the guys staring as there are asses. Mitch has made 500 rescues, which bothers his boss Captain Thorpe (Rob Heubel) and the local police officer, Sgt. Ellerbee (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). The reason the cop is bothered is because Mitch thinks his unit should also serve as detectives, which they obviously should not. Mitch's team consists of his second, Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera) and C.J. Parker (Kelly Rohrbach), who serve the roles that I guess they're supposed to. Before things really kick off, Mitch discovers a small bag of flakka, a drug that has washed up on shore near a club owned by a busineswoman, Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra). Victoria is in the process of bribing city councilmen because she wants to privately own the beaches, and they're needed to make it happen.

The concept of this is that there are going to be tryouts for a singular lifeguard position, and there are three hopefuls. First, there's Ronnie (Jon Bass), the fat guy with a crush on C.J. and a dorky friend named Dave (Hannibal Buress). There is no logical way in which this guy could conceivably become a lifeguard. Next up is Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario), a friend of Stephanie's although none of this is ever expanded upon. Lastly, there's Matt Brody (Zac Efron), who is a former Olympic gold medal winning swimmer at a low point in his life. During a relay race, he vomited in the pool and that was the end of his career. He's also on probation, I didn't catch why, but the point is that Captain Thorpe wanted Brody to be on the team. So, Mitch is tasked with getting him into the tryouts. Thorpe also believes that the city won't cut Baywatch's funding any further if they rehabilitate Brody's image and make him the star of the unit. Do you see how much nonsense this is? I can't quite put my finger on it either. Anyway, Mitch gets into the exclusive three person tryout as a result of Thorpe's involvement and his willingness to save a drowning woman and her kids during a challenge where he's competing with Mitch.

This movie makes a strange shift from weak-sauce comedy to bad melodrama, and I'm having a hard time pinning down exactly when that happens. The melodrama is where I assume this becomes an homage to the original show, but I'm not certain of that. It's pretty bad. That was why I said this needed to commit to a tone, but if the film had entirely committed to that tone, it would have been terrible anyway. I don't have a lot to say about this movie because I didn't care for the style and I had a busy day. What I would like to say is that I think this is the worst movie the Rock has ever been in. I also think that Zac Efron has tanked his own career when he's a good performer who is above this sort of material. I don't understand why he or anyone else chose to be in this, with the exception of the fat guy. The fat guy gets to bang the hot blonde chick, as usually happens in these, so I see why he wanted to be in this. When the comedy leaves, the film gets worse, but what's crazy is that I've seen even worse from 2017. Nothing here makes any great sense, but I did like the David Hasselhoff cameo. I just wish this wasn't so absolutely boring.

3.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   Wonder Woman
10.   The Big Sick
11.   Thor: Ragnarok
12.   Logan Lucky
13.   The Beguiled
14.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
15.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
16.   John Wick: Chapter 2
17.   The Lost City of Z
18.   First They Killed My Father
19.   Darkest Hour
20.   A Ghost Story
21.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
22.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
23.   It
24.   Battle of the Sexes
25.   Okja
26.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
27.   Kong: Skull Island
28.   It Comes at Night
29.   Crown Heights
30.   Split
31.   1922
32.   Personal Shopper
33.   Chuck
34.   Atomic Blonde
35.   Wheelman
36.   The Lego Batman Movie
37.   Megan Leavey
38.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
39.   Menashe
40.   Walking Out
41.   American Made
42.   Beauty and the Beast
43.   Imperial Dreams
44.   Gifted
45.   Murder on the Orient Express
46.   The Zookeeper's Wife
47.   Free Fire
48.   Win It All
49.   The Wall
50.   Life
51.   My Cousin Rachel
52.   Breathe
53.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
54.   Maudie
55.   Sleight
56.   Alone in Berlin
57.   A United Kingdom
58.   Trespass Against Us
59.   The Mountain Between Us
60.   War Machine
61.   Happy Death Day
62.   Lowriders
63.   Justice League
64.   To the Bone
65.   Ghost in the Shell
66.   Wakefield
67.   Bright
68.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
69.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
70.   The Mummy
71.   The Greatest Showman
72.   Rough Night
73.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
74.   Sand Castle
75.   CHiPs
76.   Death Note
77.   The Belko Experiment
78.   The Great Wall
79.   Fist Fight
80.   Baywatch
81.   Snatched
82.   Wilson
83.   Queen of the Desert
84.   The House
85.   Sleepless
86.   All Eyez on Me
87.   The Space Between Us


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

Offline Baby Shoes

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #134 on: May 07, 2019, 02:50:54 PM »
I thought JW2 was a step down from the first movie personally as it felt a bit too selfaware but was still a fun movie.

Just want to thank you for saying this as this is how I've felt but I feel like I've been the only one to say this of everyone I have talked to.

Saying I had high hopes isn't the right thing to say about Baywatch but it definitely had potential to be more than the dull movie we got.
[img width=800

Quote
Fan: WHY CAN REY BEAT BIG GUYS BUT NOT KIDMAN
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Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #135 on: May 09, 2019, 11:24:06 AM »


Beatriz at Dinner (2017), directed by Miguel Arteta

I remember when it was coming time for Beatriz at Dinner to be released. My memory is telling me that a lot of people were laughing at the concept, and to be fair, I was one of those people. I was one of the people who said that I had no interest in this, but my brother saw the trailer and asked me if I was going to watch it. I lied, I told him no. I just watched the movie, so look at me now. Beatriz at Dinner is an extremely ambitious work, one with strengths and flaws just like everything else. The strengths outweigh those flaws by quite a lot though. I think the concept is quite interesting, there shouldn't be a lot of these kinds of movies, but I am surprised that there were not more of them. Somehow the film ends in a less than pleasing way after the things that come before it being so enjoyable in their own way, but prior to that I thought this was fun. Was it supposed to be fun? I don't know how to answer that question. I can say that I have never cringed more while watching a movie. I am unfamiliar with the director entirely, but I do see that he seems to have directed a lot of similar comedies. In that case maybe I need to go back a little bit in the future, but in all likelihood I won't. I just wanted to string you along in case you're actually reading this, I'm not sure how many people are.

Beatriz (Salma Hayek) wakes up one day and is taking care of her animals, a group which for whatever reason contains a goat. Before that, she was having a dream where she was rowing a boat in a swamp, and I must admit that I never connected the dots on this bit in relation to the story. She drives a Volkswagen with a bad starter, and after a long journey through Los Angeles traffic, she arrives at her workplace. Beatriz works at a cancer center and meets with people there, she practices things like sound therapy and massage, what I would call "somewhat" alternative medicine. After her shift, she drives to the house of a very rich client in Newport Beach, Kathy (Connie Britton). That's a long haul from her house in Altadena, let me tell you. During the massage she gives Kathy, she winds up telling Kathy that her neighbor has murdered one of her goats because it had gotten outside. When she goes to leave, she can't start her car. Beatriz tells Kathy that someone will come to fix it when he gets out of work, but that could take some time. Kathy asks Beatriz to stay for her dinner party, which Beatriz does as she doesn't have much of a choice. After all, Kathy insisted and it's clear Beatriz won't be allowed to wait in her car. I could only imagine what it would be like to be in the proceedings that follow.

After a bit that includes Kathy's husband Grant (David Warshofsky) getting mad about Beatriz staying at their house, the two couples begin to roll in. First there's Shannon (Chloe Sevigny) and Alex (Jay Duplass), both of whom are elated with the way Alex's business venture is going. When Beatriz goes up to them, I have never cringed so much when watching something. It gets worse. Next up is the other couple, Doug (John Lithgow) and Jeana (Amy Landecker). At this point, everyone goes outside and Kathy introduces Beatriz to her friends, but there's still the matter of the men. Anyway, the reason Kathy really knows Beatriz is because Beatriz was a major factor in Kathy's daughter recovering from cancer. When Beatriz is told that her friend can't show up in the morning, Kathy says that she can stay the night in her daughter's room. Then it's time for Beatriz to meet Doug. Doug thinks she's a housekeeper, and Beatriz says that she knows him from somewhere and can't place it. Doug tells her that he's famous, which is very true. It turns out Doug is like one of the Koch Brothers, a true scumbag who builds things in foreign countries, exploiting that cheap labor in order to do things that destroy the region these things are built in.

As I already alluded to, Beatriz at Dinner is a maximum cringe movie the likes of which I have never seen before. I've never had such a strange feeling while watching something before, I knew Beatriz's feelings and felt empathy for the character from the very start. Hasn't everyone been in this position in a room full of people who you think won't agree with you, then it turns out when you talk to them that it's even worse? Especially when you don't want to be there? If you haven't felt this, you need to get out of the house. What I also thought was that Beatriz at Dinner featured some strong performances. Salma Hayek showing almost no emotion multiple times during this really took the cake. That's so hard to do with the things she was saying. There's a moment when we see her walking up to hug the first arriving couple, and that's when I knew how weird this was truly going to be. The conversations going on here were also great. John Lithgow as a manifestation of right wing scum shit wasn't just a great performance but also great screenwriting. Beatriz had nothing in common with any of these people, but in the way that immigrants in this country have to do, she has to listen to these guys consistently make racial jokes. When she finally says something about another serious matter said and shown as a joke, everyone gets mad at her. When someone doesn't fit in with a horrible group of people such as this, they don't win.

Beatriz at Dinner is a great example of how we really have two Americas. There are people like us and like Beatriz, this is Real America. Some of us come from other countries, others are born here, but we all know what the real American experience is like. We have jobs and bosses we all must obey, we know what it's like to not be able to buy anything you want. Then there's the other America I would call Gated America. Some of the people in this category came from Real America, but the vast majority of them have forgotten what it's like to be like us. They live behind gates where they don't have to worry about getting hurt because they disrespected someone and didn't realize it, they can outright disrespect and shit on whoever they want without having to deal with the ramifications. Nothing bad they do has any real impact on their life because they always get away with it. They can go hunting for helpless animals in foreign countries just because they can, and they know that in the end, if someone does manage to tell them what they think, it doesn't really matter. People in Gated America think that you have to wear a white hood to be racist, and they don't know anyone who does so that problem is removed from our country. Of course, Lithgow's character here is what I'd call 'the spirit of Trump', and with that in mind, you should know how you feel about this film based on that. I will point out there are some horrible moments though. The dream sequences are absolutely unwatchable and there are a lot. Beatriz at Dinner is also short, so you feel them.

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   Wonder Woman
10.   The Big Sick
11.   Thor: Ragnarok
12.   Logan Lucky
13.   The Beguiled
14.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
15.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
16.   John Wick: Chapter 2
17.   The Lost City of Z
18.   First They Killed My Father
19.   Darkest Hour
20.   A Ghost Story
21.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
22.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
23.   It
24.   Battle of the Sexes
25.   Okja
26.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
27.   Kong: Skull Island
28.   It Comes at Night
29.   Crown Heights
30.   Split
31.   1922
32.   Personal Shopper
33.   Beatriz at Dinner
34.   Chuck
35.   Atomic Blonde
36.   Wheelman
37.   The Lego Batman Movie
38.   Megan Leavey
39.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
40.   Menashe
41.   Walking Out
42.   American Made
43.   Beauty and the Beast
44.   Imperial Dreams
45.   Gifted
46.   Murder on the Orient Express
47.   The Zookeeper's Wife
48.   Free Fire
49.   Win It All
50.   The Wall
51.   Life
52.   My Cousin Rachel
53.   Breathe
54.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
55.   Maudie
56.   Sleight
57.   Alone in Berlin
58.   A United Kingdom
59.   Trespass Against Us
60.   The Mountain Between Us
61.   War Machine
62.   Happy Death Day
63.   Lowriders
64.   Justice League
65.   To the Bone
66.   Ghost in the Shell
67.   Wakefield
68.   Bright
69.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
70.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
71.   The Mummy
72.   The Greatest Showman
73.   Rough Night
74.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
75.   Sand Castle
76.   CHiPs
77.   Death Note
78.   The Belko Experiment
79.   The Great Wall
80.   Fist Fight
81.   Baywatch
82.   Snatched
83.   Wilson
84.   Queen of the Desert
85.   The House
86.   Sleepless
87.   All Eyez on Me
88.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #136 on: May 10, 2019, 04:25:27 AM »


Brad's Status (2017), directed by Mike White

I know what you might be thinking right now. Yes, I did watch a Ben Stiller movie. If something has a good Metacritic score, I'm going to watch it even if I think I may not like it. In the case of Brad's Status, I'm very glad to be wrong. There aren't all that many films anymore that are simultaneously funny and contain heart. If you're lucky, you'll get trash comedy and probably wind up hating it at the end. I will tell you one thing though, it would have been difficult to imagine myself watching this if Amazon hadn't picked it up. The number of bad films Amazon has released is very small, one can assume that if they're releasing something it's good. If it isn't, chalk it up to a rare failure and move on. Of course, this is yet another comedy that didn't make any money. Comedy is fucking dead. I did the customary thing where I go back to watch the trailer for the film, and I did see that this one strongly whiffs on the way Brad's Status felt when I was watching it. The film's title plays into the trailer far too much as you are led to believe this is some kind of Facebook trash, but the status refers to the status of Brad's life. Let's put it this way, nothing in the trailer would make me believe that I really need to check this out. It's massively misleading and gives away too much all at the same time. It's a good thing that I don't usually remember these trailers when I'm in the theater. It's a good thing that the trailer is usually not a good indicator of a decent movie.

Brad (Ben Stiller) runs a non-profit that he started in the aftermath of leaving journalism as nobody reads long-form articles anymore. He has a good life with his wife Melanie (Jenna Fischer) and his son Troy (Austin Abrams), but there are things from his past sticking with him. He can't stop thinking about what his old friends are doing, how they are more successful than him, or so it seems. Craig Fisher (Michael Sheen) was the Press Secretary at the White House, Billy Wearslter (Jemaine Clement) now lives in Maui with two girlfriends after selling his business idea for a massive amount of money, Jason Hatfield (Luke Wilson) runs a hedge fund, and Nick Pascale (Mike White) is a filmmaker. All of these people are very rich and have made great accomplishments while Brad and Melanie are having a comfortable life because of their job, but not successful to that extent. This is a movie about white people problems, but it's self-aware and this point is made to Brad during the film. Finally someone calls this shit out. Before that, Brad is at a party and sees Nick's spread in a magazine. Nick has just bought a very large house, that's what seems to bring all these feelings on. Melanie is far more content and happy than her husband.

The next day, there's a trip planned for Brad and Troy to visit colleges in Boston. On the agenda is Tufts University, Tufts being Brad's alma mater where he met these people I've already mentioned. Unbeknownst to Brad, his son has a great chance of getting into Harvard, and they're going to go there as well. For whatever reason it wasn't clicking with him, largely because he's been in this funk, but now he can live vicariously through his possibly more successful son. Troy is a musician, a great pianist, and that's the way by which he could get in. The problem is that Troy has made a mistake, he missed his appointment by a day as they didn't arrive on time. The thing is, Brad just can't let this go. He learns through his wife that Craig gives lectures at Harvard, which leads to Brad calling Billy. When he calls Billy, he finds out that Nick got married and Brad was not invited, which leads to bad thoughts. He believes that he's a failure, has thought so for a while, but even worse than that he now believes his friends see him as a failure because he is not included in the important events of their life like the rest of them are. Brad does talk to Craig even though he doesn't want to, and through that he gets Troy two meetings. One is with a famous Harvard music professor and the other is with the dean of admissions. The flip side of that is, Brad now has to have dinner with Craig.

I left out so many details, because those details are what makes this a good film. As I already said, these are white people problems and I loved that the matter was addressed over the course of the film. I think this has a moral lesson in that one has a hard time relishing their own success when they're so fixated on what other people are doing and if those people are doing better than them. This is something that a lot of Facebookers have a hard time dealing with, but I have always done well in compartmentalizing and not looking up what other people are doing. I'm comfortable with myself, if they're more successful it doesn't matter, I'm doing my best. I'm not sure if most of the people watching this would take that away from the film or if the message they'd get is that some people are awfully vain. Both can be true. Even though one could find problems with Brad and find themselves disliking the character, I thought this wasn't how it worked. I thought that it was interesting to see a portrait of people who turned out this way and insightful in that I could perhaps grow to understand them. Brad's Status is satire to some extent, but I thought the material was pretty strong. There's a moment at a bar that is very poignant, something I wasn't expecting from this at all. Brad's Status is a film with quite a good story.

Of course, Ben Stiller's performance has to be pretty good in order for this to work. While he's been in a very large amount of trash, I don't think he's a bad actor. Things just need to get more serious, and even though this movie is amusing, his role in it is rather dramatic. I didn't much care for the ending of the film as I didn't understand his dinner with Craig, but this was solid. More than that, it's nice to see a movie that actually makes the audience care about the character. I still think the film could have taken a little more risks with the characters I did not bother to mention. I don't bother to mention characters sometimes because I find there to be more value in the process of seeing what happens for yourself. In some cases, the inclusion of the character descriptions destroys the review I'm setting up as it makes things too blatantly obvious. Sometimes the characters don't matter at all. One of those three things I've just mentioned applies here. I thought there were many funny parts, but Mike White also does a very good job of grounding things when the time called for it. Obviously, I liked this movie very much, and it wasn't even what I intended to watch tonight. The cast worked out nicely as well, but I have seen that some people hate this movie with a passion. To each their own.

7.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   Wonder Woman
10.   The Big Sick
11.   Thor: Ragnarok
12.   Logan Lucky
13.   The Beguiled
14.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
15.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
16.   John Wick: Chapter 2
17.   The Lost City of Z
18.   First They Killed My Father
19.   Darkest Hour
20.   A Ghost Story
21.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
22.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
23.   It
24.   Battle of the Sexes
25.   Brad's Status
26.   Okja
27.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
28.   Kong: Skull Island
29.   It Comes at Night
30.   Crown Heights
31.   Split
32.   1922
33.   Personal Shopper
34.   Beatriz at Dinner
35.   Chuck
36.   Atomic Blonde
37.   Wheelman
38.   The Lego Batman Movie
39.   Megan Leavey
40.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
41.   Menashe
42.   Walking Out
43.   American Made
44.   Beauty and the Beast
45.   Imperial Dreams
46.   Gifted
47.   Murder on the Orient Express
48.   The Zookeeper's Wife
49.   Free Fire
50.   Win It All
51.   The Wall
52.   Life
53.   My Cousin Rachel
54.   Breathe
55.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
56.   Maudie
57.   Sleight
58.   Alone in Berlin
59.   A United Kingdom
60.   Trespass Against Us
61.   The Mountain Between Us
62.   War Machine
63.   Happy Death Day
64.   Lowriders
65.   Justice League
66.   To the Bone
67.   Ghost in the Shell
68.   Wakefield
69.   Bright
70.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
71.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
72.   The Mummy
73.   The Greatest Showman
74.   Rough Night
75.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
76.   Sand Castle
77.   CHiPs
78.   Death Note
79.   The Belko Experiment
80.   The Great Wall
81.   Fist Fight
82.   Baywatch
83.   Snatched
84.   Wilson
85.   Queen of the Desert
86.   The House
87.   Sleepless
88.   All Eyez on Me
89.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #137 on: May 11, 2019, 09:35:41 AM »


The Post (2017), directed by Steven Spielberg

After Bridge of Spies wasn't particularly to my liking, my opinion of Steven Spielberg's future non-CGI filled movies was rather low. That's part of why I waited so long to watch The Post, I didn't quite know what to expect even after it was nominated for awards. As you may know, I don't always see eye to eye with the people who decide what is worthy of those awards. There's a little caveat here though. It turns out that I love journalism movies. If there is an exception to that, nothing is really coming to mind at this moment. The people who actually tackle journalism related projects seem to only be the good ones. A bad one probably gets buried in the idea stage and never sees the light of day, but there is of course the chance I am wrong. Would The Fifth Estate count as a journalism project? Perhaps. If it does, then we have a horrible one. If it doesn't, we'll keep searching at some other time. Here's what I do know. I don't recall seeing a better cast in a movie for a long time. Even if those people served in small roles, that didn't matter. I could not possibly list everyone in this movie and who they all played, so if you want to know that, check Wikipedia or something. What I can say is that I found myself enjoying The Post far more than I expected. I'm not going to make any proclamation saying that this is "the movie that we needed," but this was the cast that I needed. How about that?

The Post begins in 1966 during the Vietnam War. Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) is an employee of the State Department and he is in Vietnam documenting the war effort in the region for Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood), the Secretary of Defense. It is unclear how long he's there, but as we all know, the war effort was not going great. When they're flying home, Ellsberg is with McNamara and others, they are talking about the way things are going. In the process of that, McNamara tells Ellsberg in private that the Vietnam War is a lost cause. The problem is that, as we know, once he lands he says that he has confidence in the war effort, it's going great, and that's what all the reporters gathered decide to write about. Ellsberg was very displeased with this, and over the course of his life becomes a military contractor. It's 1971, and he smuggles out some documents from the RAND Corporation. These documents are not merely documents, they are the damn Pentagon Papers and the RAND corporation had a copy of them. Ellsberg is able to smuggle them out of the building every night, and he decides to copy every page, seemingly over and over again. The Pentagon Papers themselves are the DoD's history of America's political involvement in Vietnam, McNamara commissioned the report because he wanted to prevent policy errors in the future. It is unknown when these would have been released, but the intention was certainly not to do so in 1971. This study was damn secret.

Now, let's try to summarize the other side of the story. After Ellsberg leaked the documents to the New York Times, we snap over to the Washington Post. Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep) is a socialite in Washington D.C., but she also owns the Washington Post, which is a major conflict of interest from where I stand. Times were different. She had inherited the paper after it was kept in the family, and has the intention of launching an IPO for the paper. Fritz (Tracy Letts) is her most trusted advisor, Arthur (Bradley Whitford) is the proverbial thorn in the side that believes she shouldn't have the paper at all. Katherine has little experience in this business even though it was in the family, and she does have some clashes with the editor, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks). The New York Times has received these papers but the Washington Post has not, and they're in competition with one another. Ben is furious that his staff doesn't have any leads. It's a great staff after all, and this film is absolutely loaded, but I'm finding a way not to mention everyone. Through a stroke of luck while Katherine is meeting with A.M. Rosenthal (Michael Stuhlbarg), the Post learns that Nixon is seeking an injunction against the Times to stop further publishing of the Pentagon Papers. Now they're in the game, and Ben Bagdikian (Bob Odenkirk) is a reporter who thinks he has a real lead on this story. He's going to find the hell out, that's for sure.

The problem with this movie as far as reviewing it goes, is that Steven Spielberg gathered an amazing cast and some of them play very small roles. So, I couldn't figure out how to squeeze those roles into my review. Getting such a strong cast to play roles this small is a large achievement, it's very nice to see so many people I recognized in a project like this one. The Post isn't one of Spielberg's most imaginative films, but the production design, cinematography, and costume design is spot-on in a way that allows the film to FEEL like it took place in that time period. Of course, I left out a lot of the details, but the crux of the movie is about whether or not Katherine Graham would allow the Pentagon Papers to be published amidst threats from the Nixon Administration towards the New York Times, threats that could have had a similar impact on the Post. Spielberg's ability to create tension in this scenario is very great, there's nothing but superlatives to say about his performance as a director. Of course it doesn't hurt that my man Saul Goodman is the driving force from the journalism side of the film. There are relevant things in the film as well, like Nixon's attack on the free press, but as the years have gone on during our current administration, a work about such attacks feels less impactful as I have become more jaded by everything. The stage for this film is set so very well, and there are also lots of moments where exposition is expertly dropped in so that it doesn't feel like exposition.

The Post does have one very large specific mistake though, possibly one from reality that just doesn't fit. I feel like Katherine Graham and Bob McNamara's scenes are just missing something. The accusations aren't there to the extent I would have liked, more fury required in those moments. The Post is successful in every other way though. Spielberg is able to make clear that decisions in the absence of a madman that have a large impact on history are carefully weighed by those who make them. The precision with which each domino is put into place is nicely done. I will point out a few other things though. The Post is also a movie that is to some extent unoriginal, lacking those things that make other films slightly more memorable. Of course this is something I notice more when I wait a day to finish my review. Maybe I'll do that more. The film also has an inherent lack of tension in that we know the conclusion of the story and that those papers were published. There are also some blatant pandering scenes where Streep's character walked past a group of women who were supposedly inspired by her, but I don't think so. That scene in particular was totally ludicrous and it's a good thing the film was over as that took me out of things. So, there are some weaknesses here but there are also some great strengths. I just think that if your main criteria for a great film is originality, then this one doesn't quite meet the mark for you. I also really liked that Tom Hanks was playing old and salty.

8.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   The Post
10.   Wonder Woman
11.   The Big Sick
12.   Thor: Ragnarok
13.   Logan Lucky
14.   The Beguiled
15.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
16.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
17.   John Wick: Chapter 2
18.   The Lost City of Z
19.   First They Killed My Father
20.   Darkest Hour
21.   A Ghost Story
22.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
23.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
24.   It
25.   Battle of the Sexes
26.   Brad's Status
27.   Okja
28.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
29.   Kong: Skull Island
30.   It Comes at Night
31.   Crown Heights
32.   Split
33.   1922
34.   Personal Shopper
35.   Beatriz at Dinner
36.   Chuck
37.   Atomic Blonde
38.   Wheelman
39.   The Lego Batman Movie
40.   Megan Leavey
41.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
42.   Menashe
43.   Walking Out
44.   American Made
45.   Beauty and the Beast
46.   Imperial Dreams
47.   Gifted
48.   Murder on the Orient Express
49.   The Zookeeper's Wife
50.   Free Fire
51.   Win It All
52.   The Wall
53.   Life
54.   My Cousin Rachel
55.   Breathe
56.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
57.   Maudie
58.   Sleight
59.   Alone in Berlin
60.   A United Kingdom
61.   Trespass Against Us
62.   The Mountain Between Us
63.   War Machine
64.   Happy Death Day
65.   Lowriders
66.   Justice League
67.   To the Bone
68.   Ghost in the Shell
69.   Wakefield
70.   Bright
71.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
72.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
73.   The Mummy
74.   The Greatest Showman
75.   Rough Night
76.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
77.   Sand Castle
78.   CHiPs
79.   Death Note
80.   The Belko Experiment
81.   The Great Wall
82.   Fist Fight
83.   Baywatch
84.   Snatched
85.   Wilson
86.   Queen of the Desert
87.   The House
88.   Sleepless
89.   All Eyez on Me
90.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #138 on: May 13, 2019, 09:42:02 AM »


Annabelle (2014), directed by John R. Leonetti

It's fair to say I was very much not looking forward to watching Annabelle. The obvious reason why is because this film had horrible reviews, but I was fair and made sure not to read any of the reviews prior to checking this out. There is a third Annabelle coming out at the end of June, which is a movie that looks far better than this one did. The trailer for Annabelle gives almost everything away, the omissions not being so important in the first place. There is no doubt whatsoever that Annabelle was made to capitalize on The Conjuring as quick as Warner Bros. could possibly do so. When a studio does something like that, quality control is obviously not a high priority. That was very clear when I was watching the film. The time between filming and release was only a few months, and the movie was only conceived after The Conjuring was successful. It doesn't take a long time to film a horror flick, but the turnaround time on this was impressive. So impressive in fact that everyone should have known it would be absolute garbage. The only way Annabelle could have been worse is if it didn't exist. Would that really be worse though? I haven't gotten around to reading anyone else's complaints, I have a small list of my own. I don't really care very much one way or another about this film though.

Annabelle is set in Los Angeles during the late 1960s, with Helter Skelter causing a panic and terrifying the area. John Form (Ward Horton) is a doctor and his wife Mia (Annabelle Wallis) is pregnant, they are a happy couple. First, we are shown the exact same scene that opened The Conjuring, so if you remember that you get some brownie points. After church, Mia and John are driven home by the neighbors, the Higgins family. The Higgins daughter has disappeared and seemingly run off to go join a cult, which everyone knows is going to have some impact later in the film. John and Mia are both a bit sensitive with the baby on the way, and after a spat, John gives her a doll she's been trying to find. I think everyone can also decipher that it's the Annabelle doll. That same night, Mia wakes up to a scream in the house next door, and it's her neighbors, the aforementioned Higgins family. Someone has decided to do a home invasion on them, and when Mia calls the cops, she and John are attacked by the missing daughter Annabelle (Tree O'Toole) and her insane boyfriend, whose name is never mentioned. It turns out that the boyfriend stabbed the Higgins couple to death, while Annabelle goes into the nursery and slits her throat. Some blood drops into the doll, or something like that, and the doll now becomes Annabelle.

The two murderers were part of a religious cult that wanted to summon supernatural beings, demons, all that kind of stuff.  I left out that Mia was stabbed in the stomach, but there was no damage to her pregnancy and she'll be alright. Mia wants the doll thrown out even though its been cleaned up, because the murderous woman had the doll in her hands when she killed herself. There's also some strange things going on in the house, but that doesn't greatly manifest itself until one day when John's at work. There's popcorn on the stove from the previous night, it wasn't used because Mia fell asleep before John started cooking it. All of a sudden all the burners on the stove turn on, and when Mia cuts her finger on the sewing machine, she notices that the Jiffy Pop has caught fire. When she tries to run away, she trips over a chair and falls on her stomach. Regardless, she is rescued and has a baby girl, Leah. For whatever reason, after they move to Pasadena, Mia is followed around by a woman we later learn is named Evelyn (Alfre Woodard). The simple fact is that the Annabelle doll followed Mia and Leah to their new house. There's going to be haunting shit, and as always, in the end, there's no real impact on the people who were haunted. Same old shit.

The lack of consequences for the people who were haunted never ceases to amaze me, and once I noticed it I've never been able to shake that feeling when I watch this universe of films. I don't think I'm asking a lot for one of these ghosts, demons, or spirits to actually kill a lead character that they're haunting. Obviously, I think this movie is complete trash. The lone saving grace is that it's quite short, I couldn't imagine what it would be like to watch Annabelle if this was any longer. Of course I did know exactly what I was getting into and as a result I shouldn't complain too much. The issue was that this was the second film in what has become a very long series and I'm now having a hard time understanding how this universe became popular in the first place. There are so many things here blatantly ripped off of other horror movies. There's actually too many to list so I am not going to. What I am going to point out is that this director also directed Mortal Kombat: Annhilation. I love that film for all the wrong reasons, but I know that film is absolutely trash on every level. This is yet another case of someone failing upward in Hollywood. Someone with his track record should never have had the opportunity to film something like this.

I also admit that I have a problem with the doll itself not being shown doing anything scary. I know that would send the film fully into being as awful as it truly should have been, but these films as a whole are far too cliched. Spice it up a bit with a walking doll. The actors also do absolutely nothing to make me feel like I was watching anything decent. I also don't really care for baby scares. It's hard, nearly impossible for a film to deliver on that in any way after Rosemary's Baby. The way these scares are executed here is laughable. You can just tell the film is cheaply made, and it isn't for me. Annabelle is also very stupid beyond description, and I think I've said all that I need to say. I'm struggling to come up with anything good to say about this, so the rating is quite easy. Beyond the problems with the story, Annabelle is unforgivably lacking in visual pleasures.

3/10


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

Offline Firmino of the 909

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Re: In Which I Review Movies 2019
« Reply #139 on: May 13, 2019, 05:36:31 PM »
I decided to watch two trash in one day. Good choice?



The Book of Henry (2017), directed by Colin Trevorrow

I am still quite uncertain what The Book of Henry was actually about, and no explanation at all would make any sense to me. The tone of The Book of Henry is as off as I've ever seen in anything that I've watched, these are two things that should not go together. As a result this is one of the most horrendous scripts and concepts that I've come across. I really shouldn't be surprised by anything anymore, I've seen some trash in the last few years and this isn't even the worst of it. There's nothing that I can take away from the film and present as being the moral of it, or anything similar to that. It just sucked. I'm not skilled enough with words to properly illustrate the problems with The Book of Henry, just know that if you're reading this and can't come up with the words yourself, that you aren't alone. I am simply dumbfounded. The more insane part is that this is a script fished out of a trash can somewhere, it was written in 1998. In 1998, I could see something like this being made and I could also see the film getting mild praise. The problem is that directors who botched Jurassic World shouldn't get the chance to make things. A bigger problem is that this guy continues to have the chance to botch Jurassic World 3. What's the deal with that? This isn't the worst film I've ever seen, but I don't understand how a director who can't create an engaging story would be given the opportunity to make anything with a large budget ever again. It's good to be this guy, I guess. It seems that a person who has made one good movie has free reign in Hollywood.

Set somewhere in New York, The Book of Henry follows an 11 year old genius, Henry (Jaeden Lieberher) and his younger brother Peter (Jacob Tremblay). They are raised by their mother Susan (Naomi Watts), who has a lot of money sitting in a bank account and in stocks, but she goes to work at a bad waitressing job anyway. How did she get all that money? Apparently Henry is great at playing the stock market, and regardless of that nobody is spending the money. One example of that is the way Susan drives around an old Volvo. Susan wants to write children's picture books, but she doesn't? I don't know how to make sense of this. Henry is also the kind of kid who protects his brother from bullies, and he builds machines in his treehouse. They have a neighbor, Glenn (Dean Norris), and he has a stepdaughter, Christina (Maddie Ziegler). Christina acts a little strange, but not knowing anything about the plot until watching the movie, I thought absolutely nothing of it. Those are the benefits of not reading these reviews. It turns out that Glenn is a bad fucking guy, and Henry sees this one night before bed. Christina is being abused, and Glenn is spotted by Henry in the process of that. Glenn doesn't know that Henry sees him, and Henry decides to call social services.

The problem with his first plan is, Glenn is the police chief and the head of social services is seemingly his brother. Nothing he can do about that is going to matter at all. Henry takes his quest a step further, because if the principal of their school reports things, it will actually work. This does not work either because the principal doesn't want to get into a fight with the police chief when she has no definitive proof of anything. Henry is an altruistic kid though, he's very smart and effectively he's navigated his mother's life, the circumstances of which make absolutely no logical sense to me. So, his intention is to create a plan and log all these steps in a book. I guess he knew something would happen to him? Again, that makes absolutely no sense. He develops a plan to rescue Christina, writes it all down and makes a recording someone could listen to. While that's all going on, Susan is regularly visited by her best friend Sheila (Sarah Silverman), and I guess that matters in the end although I'm loathe to explain how. The problem with Henry's plan is that he will be unable to execute. Unbeknownst to everyone except perhaps Henry, he has a brain tumor. He has a major seizure and surgery is attempted, but it won't work. That means he's going to die. But does it? Maybe he's so smart he can perform surgery on himself or tell the doctors what to do. Everything so far in the movie indicates this is possible.

The last few sentences I wrote should show you exactly how bad this is, that The Book of Henry could have gone two ways at that point of the film. He could have cured himself or he could have given that book of stuff to his mom to use against Glenn. Either way, we have the makings of a really shitty movie. It's not just that, it's everything leading to that point that's bad too. There are very few high points in The Book of Henry. The most obvious one is Naomi Watts. She tries her best to elevate this absolutely horrendous material, and I'm convinced that some people must've truly believed this film would win awards. There is no reason for this cast to have signed onto anything like this. I also thought the execution of the scene where Susan is attempting to follow her son's plan was nice, but there's problems with a school talent show scene interspersed into these moments. In case you think it's merely the script that's bad, there's that. The direction of The Book of Henry is beyond awful on every level. That anyone would attempt to film this script is the largest strike against the director, there's a reason it was shelved for 20 years. The script is just beyond awful in its attempts to be charming like a movie from the 1990s would be.

The worst aspects of The Book of Henry relate to the tone of the film and the mish-mash of horrible genres, all of which should be buried for the rest of eternity. Mega intelligent kid? I always want to see some other kid beat the shit out of them. I'm just being honest here, if you don't like it, stop reading. The way the kid talks to his mother is beyond the pale, I never showed disrespect like this. The way she accepts it is as unrealistic as it gets. Sick kid? That aspect is jammed into here too. Kid's doctor getting creepy and it feeling like he's trying to creep on the mother of a dead child? Fuck yeah. That part felt like it was mostly edited out as well. There were some remnants that could not have been edited, but I feel like I'm massively missing something there. I would have liked to see that just to see the depths to which this film could have reached. The already mentioned abused girl doing a talent show scene that inspires an elder to take action on her behalf, that shit is rough viewing. I hated it very much. Pedophile trying to cover his tracks? Hell yeah. This is full of genres, it's impossible to cover all of them, and the end result is something I wouldn't recommend on my worst enemy. The people who made this movie have no concept of how real people behave, and they tried to manipulate the emotions of the viewer by throwing all these things at them in order to create something people would remember. Fuck that. I will remember this, but for all the wrong reasons. When they managed to finally get me to want to see something, they didn't do that either.

2/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   The Post
10.   Wonder Woman
11.   The Big Sick
12.   Thor: Ragnarok
13.   Logan Lucky
14.   The Beguiled
15.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
16.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
17.   John Wick: Chapter 2
18.   The Lost City of Z
19.   First They Killed My Father
20.   Darkest Hour
21.   A Ghost Story
22.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
23.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
24.   It
25.   Battle of the Sexes
26.   Brad's Status
27.   Okja
28.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
29.   Kong: Skull Island
30.   It Comes at Night
31.   Crown Heights
32.   Split
33.   1922
34.   Personal Shopper
35.   Beatriz at Dinner
36.   Chuck
37.   Atomic Blonde
38.   Wheelman
39.   The Lego Batman Movie
40.   Megan Leavey
41.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
42.   Menashe
43.   Walking Out
44.   American Made
45.   Beauty and the Beast
46.   Imperial Dreams
47.   Gifted
48.   Murder on the Orient Express
49.   The Zookeeper's Wife
50.   Free Fire
51.   Win It All
52.   The Wall
53.   Life
54.   My Cousin Rachel
55.   Breathe
56.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
57.   Maudie
58.   Sleight
59.   Alone in Berlin
60.   A United Kingdom
61.   Trespass Against Us
62.   The Mountain Between Us
63.   War Machine
64.   Happy Death Day
65.   Lowriders
66.   Justice League
67.   To the Bone
68.   Ghost in the Shell
69.   Wakefield
70.   Bright
71.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
72.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
73.   The Mummy
74.   The Greatest Showman
75.   Rough Night
76.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
77.   Sand Castle
78.   CHiPs
79.   Death Note
80.   The Belko Experiment
81.   The Great Wall
82.   Fist Fight
83.   Baywatch
84.   Snatched
85.   Wilson
86.   Queen of the Desert
87.   The House
88.   Sleepless
89.   All Eyez on Me
90.   The Book of Henry
91.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #140 on: May 15, 2019, 05:16:52 PM »


Marshall (2017), directed by Reginald Hudlin

I've never hit a review wall where I wanted to review something less than Marshall. I've had a personal matter in the last few days, but I believe in pushing on through those things and not slowing down. I didn't realize Marshall was going to be almost exactly like On the Basis of Sex in its presentation, although the two films are different enough for me to decipher what those differences actually are. I did also think that Marshall was better than On the Basis of Sex, and that those two films must be compared to each other for obvious reasons. Marshall does have a different narrative though. It is set in one year, over the course of a very short period of time, whereas On the Basis of Sex is not. Marshall takes place in a way that almost entirely deals with the court case, the other film does not. Marshall has a better cast than the other film. The main difference is that Marshall The similarities, however, are too great to ignore. Both are not about the issues that led to each justice sitting on the Supreme Court bench. I was hoping for something more comprehensive when watching both films. They both left me wanting more. They are both fan service towards those individuals, but in the case of On the Basis of Sex this is more obviously apparent. Both films are directed by people who haven't directed a film in some time, and this shows. Of course, both films are about people who were marginalized inside of those courtrooms as well as outside of it, and that's where both stories become worth the viewing time it takes to check them out.

Of course, Marshall is about Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman), who as we know was the first African-American Supreme Court justice. However, this film is not about that, but about something he did on his path to the court. Marshall was an NAACP lawyer who traveled around the country defending people of color who were accused of crimes for reasons pertaining to their race, not their guilt. Marshall would not take a case unless he was convinced of the innocence of the accused. After doing a case in Oklahoma that did not go very well, he returned home to New York City where his wife Buster (Keesha Sharp) lived. Upon returning, the head of the NAACP Walter White (Roger Guenveur Smith) has the intention of sending him to Connecticut. Don't make jokes about Walter White please. Thurgood is supposed to defend Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown), a chauffeur who is accused to of rape by his employer, a socialite named Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson). As you may have guessed, Mrs. Strubing is white and married. This case has taken on a life of its own, because that's what happened when black men were accused of doing something like that to white women. In Connecticut, the NAACP has the intention of using an insurance lawyer, Sam Friedman (Josh Gad) in order to get Thurgood admitted to the local bar. Seems easy enough.

It turns out that getting Thurgood admitted to practice law in Connecticut is very difficult. Judge Foster (James Cromwell) is friends with the father of the prosecutor, a Mr. Willis (Dan Stevens). Marshall is admitted, but he is not allowed to speak in court and Friedman is forced to become Mr. Spell's lead counsel, which is a problem. Friedman is merely an insurance lawyer, has very little trial experience, and certainly doesn't have any in this field. He does also not want to do this. He is worried about the potential for his reputation to be destroyed, and worried that Mr. Spell is not telling them the truth. The thing is that Mr. Spell is definitely not telling them the truth. It doesn't take a genius to figure that part out. The real question is if Sam has the guts to stick this one out, to have Marshall lead him through the case when he's a grown man, it's difficult to have the humility to do that. There's also the matter of who may testify, hard for a black man to be believed when he's on the stand in 1940. I accidentally left that part out too. A Jewish guy and a black guy in wealthy Connecticut trying to prove that a black man did not rape a white woman. Sounds tough? It had to be tough.

Marshall takes place almost entirely in the court room or in lawyer's offices, which is something I'm fine with. It still takes great actors to elevate a courtroom drama beyond being merely good. Marshall does not have that, it has good actors and that's what the film is. It's good. The events are entertaining and play out as a buddy cop movie, with both guys doing things to the ends of the case, to get their client acquitted of something he did not do. It's clear the moment Marshall demands Spell tell him if he did it, that Spell did not do anything wrong. When the audience is given that knowledge, some of the mystery of the film is gone, and I thought the events were rather predictable. Predictable does not equal bad. The story has merit and is another one that needs to be told, but I will admit this is not what I wanted from a film about Thurgood Marshall. I do not like that the people who wrote this story picked a trial that required Marshall to be part of a duo. I assume they thought the way to show Thurgood Marshall in his best light was to show him working with a member of another race that receives a massive amount of racism and religious bigotry directed at it. I see that as a very distinct possibility and even a likelihood.

One of the few issues that Marshall has, is the simple fact of Chadwick Boseman being outperformed by Sterling K. Brown again. On some level it feels as if the roles being reversed would have enhanced the film to great degree. If you like the parts on Law & Order where they're in the courtroom, this is for you. If you hate Josh Gad like many of the people here do, this is definitely not for you. I have no feeling about that guy at all, so my review score is based on the merits or lack thereof that Marshall possesses. The direction of Marshall is also lacking a little bit. I don't particularly care for its use of 50s noir style as this wasn't set in the 1950s in the first place. The music also seems to be more fitting of that era, it isn't my favorite thing in the world. I still liked that the filmmakers bothered to make multiple depictions of the accusation as the two involved were giving their testimonies of it, so we could see what both of them were describing. The overall tone of the film being that both Marshall and Friedman were a little overwhelmed with the task of their case, I did like that. That was something I wasn't expecting and it's much appreciated when these stories often present lawyers as being extra smooth operators. Of course, that can't always be true.

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   The Post
10.   Wonder Woman
11.   The Big Sick
12.   Thor: Ragnarok
13.   Logan Lucky
14.   The Beguiled
15.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
16.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
17.   John Wick: Chapter 2
18.   The Lost City of Z
19.   First They Killed My Father
20.   Darkest Hour
21.   A Ghost Story
22.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
23.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
24.   It
25.   Battle of the Sexes
26.   Brad's Status
27.   Okja
28.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
29.   Kong: Skull Island
30.   It Comes at Night
31.   Crown Heights
32.   Split
33.   1922
34.   Personal Shopper
35.   Beatriz at Dinner
36.   Chuck
37.   Atomic Blonde
38.   Wheelman
39.   The Lego Batman Movie
40.   Megan Leavey
41.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
42.   Marshall
43.   Menashe
44.   Walking Out
45.   American Made
46.   Beauty and the Beast
47.   Imperial Dreams
48.   Gifted
49.   Murder on the Orient Express
50.   The Zookeeper's Wife
51.   Free Fire
52.   Win It All
53.   The Wall
54.   Life
55.   My Cousin Rachel
56.   Breathe
57.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
58.   Maudie
59.   Sleight
60.   Alone in Berlin
61.   A United Kingdom
62.   Trespass Against Us
63.   The Mountain Between Us
64.   War Machine
65.   Happy Death Day
66.   Lowriders
67.   Justice League
68.   To the Bone
69.   Ghost in the Shell
70.   Wakefield
71.   Bright
72.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
73.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
74.   The Mummy
75.   The Greatest Showman
76.   Rough Night
77.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
78.   Sand Castle
79.   CHiPs
80.   Death Note
81.   The Belko Experiment
82.   The Great Wall
83.   Fist Fight
84.   Baywatch
85.   Snatched
86.   Wilson
87.   Queen of the Desert
88.   The House
89.   Sleepless
90.   All Eyez on Me
91.   The Book of Henry
92.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #141 on: May 16, 2019, 06:14:23 PM »


Yardie (2018), directed by Idris Elba

Yes, that is not a typo. Idris Elba directed a film and hardly anyone from this country went to go see it, so I don't know how many people even know this exists. Yardie is a film that has sat on the shelf in this country all the way from Sundance 2018 to now. That's a long time! That doesn't mean that the film has no strengths or that it's bad, I certainly don't think Yardie was a bad film. Instead this is a rather average film that seems to have no audience in this country of ours. The reason why it doesn't have an audience is obvious at first glance. This is a movie about a Jamaican who moves to London, it's hard to understand anything in this movie to a point where I had to turn on subtitles. I don't do that very often. I didn't realize Yardie was based on a novel, but that's a little interesting. Now it may be hard to have misgivings about some of Elba's decisions in directing the film. I think this story has some misguided aspects, but it is a unique story and that's something I am keen to keep in mind. Not only do I not watch films like this one, but films such as this are not particularly common in the first place. Yardie is a glimpse into something that's a little foreign for me, so this feels original, and that's why some of us watch these films, right?

Yardie is a film with one part that leads into the rest, so I'll try to summarize the first part as best as I can. Dennis Campbell (Antwayne Eccleston) is a very young man, trying to make his way through life in Kingston, Jamaica. It is still very violent in Kingston as you may know, but in the 1970s it was worse. The film presents West Kingston as being in the midst of a gang war between the Tappas and the Spicers, the Tappas being led by a man named Skeets (Rayon McLean) and the Spicers by King Fox (Sheldon Shepherd). These two gangs shoot each other up with no care for anyone potentially involved in the crossfire. Jerry Dread (Everaldo Creary) is Dennis' much older brother, he has an idea to end the gang war. He drives down out of the hills to Kingston, with Dennis stowing away unknowingly, his intention is to set up his sound system to get everyone on stage to shake hands with one another. This works better than expected, and the two leaders do get on stage with one another. The problem is that a young kid named Clancy decides to shoot Jerry Dread as he's holding up the arms of both gang leaders, and Jerry dies. Now Dennis doesn't have anyone to take care of him. After Jerry passes, there is a ceremony where people believe things that are part of Jamaican religious culture, I do not know how to describe them. Dennis freaks out during said ceremony, and it is believed Jerry will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Eventually we fast forward some years, and Dennis is now "D" (Ami Ameen). He was taken in by King Fox in the aftermath of his brother's murder, becoming part of the Spicers himself. This is not something Jerry Dread would have wanted, but it does not matter. People have to do what they have to do in a place like Kingston and I'm not one to judge others for that. King Fox is in the middle of setting up a cocaine deal, during which we learn that Dennis has a horrible temper. He certainly is haunted by what happened to his brother, but Clancy is long gone in New York and there's nothing he can do. After an incident, Dennis needs to leave Jamaica in order to prevent a war on the streets in Kingston. King Fox wants Dennis to take a kilo of coke with him to London, to meet with a man named Rico (Stephen Graham) and pass it on to him. We learn that Yvonne (Shantol Jackson), Dennis' childhood sweetheart, has moved to London with their daughter some time ago. Anyway, the coke is what's important. Something happens when Dennis arrives in London as well. There are a lot of people who would like to have a kilo, King Fox who wants to have his money, and Rico is a bit psycho himself. What does a young man do when they have a kilo strapped to their leg? Well, they find people they knew from back home in Jamaica.

I said earlier that the accents were a stumbling block for me, but nothing could make this more clear than actually watching the film for yourself. It's tough to handle this, which is why I turned on the subtitles, but watching this in a theater would seem to be a problem. I had some criticisms before I wrote this recap of the story, but I realize some of those critiques were ill-founded. So, I've revised them a little bit. What I'd say is that Elba does a good job creating the pieces for Yardie to have a cohesive storyline, but the weight of the film, and of D's actions, just can't hold up under intense scrutiny. It is very difficult to root for the young man because he has not grown into a good man, the story does not end with him being a good man, and his actions are such that he puts his loved ones at risk. The film still has heart, it has culture, and in that way it surpasses other things that do not. The period settings are both excellent and believable, and the performances are acceptable, but you know by how I'm beating around the bush that this is a typical gangster movie. There are aspects of the story that are entirely too predictable as well, one of them had about a five minute buildup and I knew exactly what would happen and how it would end. Cliched is not the way forward for a film like this one.

Yardie is definitely an interesting film, I'll give it that. Stephen Graham's ability to work with the accent, I much appreciated that. I did not know his grandfather was Jamaican, so you learn something new every day. There are some little bits I've left out, but at the same time, the film has problems with those little bits and I couldn't figure out how to include them in my review. For everything that I liked, there was equally something that I did not like. The ending is rather strange, that was one of the only things that left me without much of an opinion at all. The soundtrack is great in setting the tone of the film, but the nuts and bolts of the story just aren't tightened enough. We've also seen these stories where someone goes on a journey and encounters someone from their past regardless, but it's more plausible because the Jamaican community in London was certainly smaller in the 1980s. I didn't quite know what to make of this either, so you see where I'm at with the film. I don't know what to think of it, and there's only a few ratings to give a film where you're left with those feelings. There's nothing here that I felt I could stick my teeth into, and no sequences of scenes I could say I really appreciated. No series of scenes I could say I hated either, but I would say this was not good. Even though the film debuted in this country in 2019, it came out in the UK in 2018, so this is a film from last year.

5.5/10

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.   Climax
22.   Can You Ever Forgive Me?
23.   Mid90s
24.   Eighth Grade
25.   Sorry to Bother You
26.   Vice
27.   The Old Man & the Gun
28.   Suspiria
29.   Vox Lux
30.   Boy Erased
31.   Bad Times at the El Royale
32.   The Other Side of the Wind
33.   Searching
34.   A Simple Favor
35.   The Hate U Give
36.   Unsane
37.   Bumblebee
38.   Mary Poppins Returns
39.   Creed II
40.   Hold the Dark
41.   The Land of Steady Habits
42.   Halloween
43.   Ant-Man and the Wasp
44.   Beirut
45.   Mary Queen of Scots
46.   Aquaman
47.   Outlaw King
48.   Overlord
49.   Ben Is Back
50.   Monsters and Men
51.   The Mule
52.   On the Basis of Sex
53.   Bohemian Rhapsody
54.   White Boy Rick 
55.   Papillon
56.   Game Night
57.   Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
58.   Instant Family
59.   Alpha
60.   The Front Runner
61.   The Predator
62.   Apostle
63.   The Angel
64.   The Commuter
65.   Beautiful Boy
66.   The Nun
67.   Operation Finale
68.   The Equalizer 2
69.   The Spy Who Dumped Me
70.   Yardie
71.   Bird Box
72.   12 Strong
73.   Venom
74.   Skyscraper
75.   The Meg
76.   Assassination Nation
77.   The Girl in the Spider's Web
78.   The House with a Clock in Its Walls
79.   22 July
80.   Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
81.   The Little Stranger
82.   Tomb Raider
83.   Night School
84.   The 15:17 To Paris
85.   Peppermint
86.   Mile 22
87.   The First Purge
88.   Hunter Killer
89.   The Cloverfield Paradox
90.   Kin
91.   Hell Fest
92.   Proud Mary
93.   Robin Hood
94.   The Happytime Murders
95.   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 2019
« Reply #142 on: May 17, 2019, 05:37:38 PM »
Do not read this if you intend to watch this movie.



Wind River (2017), directed by Taylor Sheridan

I've been sitting on this one for quite a while, not sure if I was going to be in the mood to watch or to review it. I was certain once the film began that the subject matter would deliver in a certain way, and that's exactly what happened. Not much surprise, even though the film was rather strong. Is that just the way these Taylor Sheridan screenplays are? That's something that is now in question for me, so even when I'm left with the feeling that the film is very good, I'm curious to know. Time will tell. Anyway, Wind River. It's time for the neo-Western to start coming on more strongly than it has even to this point. We need more of them, but I don't think this is a neo-Western to the extent that a lot of people do. We are lacking a driving force, someone with a more strongly stated mission. Someone who may be a bad seed. However, when it comes to Wind River, it's better that is not the case. The film does not need bombast, it highlights an issue that we need to talk about. It doesn't matter that nobody's going to talk about it, but the film heads in a different direction than I was expecting. I was thinking that Wind River was going to address the poverty cycle on reservations. I did not think Wind River was going to address the disappearance and sexual assault of women on reservations. This isn't about any specific case, but I do appreciate that this story is about something different.

It's winter in Wyoming, brutally cold, nothing which I would like to visit or live in. Natalie Hanson (Kelsey Asbille) has no such choice. She is 18 years old and lives with her parents, Martin (Gil Birmingham) and Annie (Althea Sam). What we see in the opening scene is a bit jarring. She runs barefoot through the snow while crying and looking back at something we don't see, but that's all we see. In the next scene, Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) is in camouflage and is shooting a wolf. He is a hunter with the Fish and Wildlife Service, he kills predators in the area so that people and their livestock are not in danger. After that, we are shown him picking up his son from his ex-wife Wilma's (Julia Jones) house, taking him out to her parents who live on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Cory and Wilma had a daughter who died, but nothing was stated. While Cory's out trying to track mountain lions, he comes across the body of a young woman. He tells people it's Natalie, and we see that it's the woman from the start of the film. She has no shoes on, her toes and feet are frostbitten, and she got hit in the head at some point as well. Cory reports the dead body, of course, and Ben (Graham Greene) is the Tribal Police chief. Natalie has been raped and presumably murdered, the body is miles from any building, and with such a lack of officers on this police force, it's time to call in the FBI.

When the FBI is called, it takes a long time for somebody to arrive. Coming up from Las Vegas is Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen), and when I heard this name, I was thinking that the names in this film needed some work. Jane is an FBI Agent, obviously, and she arrives during a horrible snow storm. During said storm it is made clear she is not dressed properly, and there's a scene where I nearly missed the entire point of it, which was to get her into the clothes Cory's deceased daughter used to wear. After a ride out to the scene, it turns out that Cory is correct. it is Natalie. Natalie died while running away, from cold hitting her lungs and causing them to burst. Jane says that this is a homicide, as everyone knows, but there's more to it than that. At the medical examiner's office, they say that Natalie was raped by an unknown amount of people, but due to the specifics of how she died (blood in lungs), the cause of death will not officially be homicide. This means Jane has to go it alone. Does she really? Of course not. Cory goes to Natalie's parents house, and this is when he is told by her father that he needs to take care of the problem. Natalie and Cory's daughter Emily were best friends, so this is something Cory feels obligated to do. I'm going to leave out some of the mysteries here, but there are a lot of them. The long and short of it is that Natalie has a boyfriend and many people know this. There aren't very many people in the area. But, they should talk to these guys who deal drugs. After all, Natalie's brother might be there and he may know something.

I gave away more than I wanted to, but in truth, if you haven't seen this yet you are probably not going to. I can see a person being of another mind than me on this one. This does have a distinct feel of case-of-the-week type stuff here. That is not always a bad thing, and I found it to be spiced up a fair bit. There are no big surprises as far as the narrative itself goes, but there are lots of mysteries and I was glad to see almost all of them resolved. The scenes between Jeremy Renner and Gil Birmingham are strong, I was left wishing there were even more of them. Of course, with Renner and Elizabeth Olsen in the same movie, one is immediately drawn to think of Marvel stuff, and I couldn't help myself in that regard either. I did find the execution of these scenes to be very good, for this to be full of strong performances, and was glad that the film ultimately centered around four characters. The one I did not mention so far in this paragraph was Ben, the police chief. He was ever-present throughout the story, and without him I think there's some part of this that falls apart. It's another of the many good performances in this film. Even the side characters bring it in their small moments on screen, all of them are very believable.

I was going to see John Wick: Chapter 3 tonight, but I was too exhausted to drag myself outside. I did not realize that Wind River was going to have great action moments, but they're filmed in an entirely different way. The point is for the main moment here to be rather confusing, and it sure as hell is. Beyond that, we have the moment where we learn exactly what happened, with absolutely no build we are thrown straight into a completely different point of view than we've seen for the entire story. I loved that too. It takes balls to create something like that, it was entirely unexpected. You know what I really think though? I think I was too harsh in critiquing the screenplay earlier in this review. Yes, the story is rather predictable but Prisoners is also predictable once you get to a certain point. Wind River makes the decision not to show you the perpetrators at any point leading to the reveal, Prisoners decides to place the bets on the table and you know one or more of these people has done wrong. I do think Prisoners is a better film and now that I have the benefit of having further refined my tastes, I would rescore that as a 9. The overall point is that now, I know what I like and nothing's going to change my mind. The tension was maintained throughout even though I thought that inevitably Renner and Olsen's characters would make their way out.

I do see some overall problems with the way that Wind River ends, with the tribal police practically executed, but they were a small force tasked with doing something that was going to lead to them dying. I also very much enjoy stories set in this atmosphere, which I think I've gone over before. Stories about cultures foreign to mine are much appreciated, and this did bring light to a problem I did not know existed. Is anyone going to do anything about that problem? Of course not. Native problems are not treated with seriousness by our legislators or anyone else with the power to do something. When those sorts of problems dovetail with a vigilante story, yeah, that's going to work for me. There are still some issues with a lack of fully fleshed out lead characters, but I'm willing to forgive that when the payoff to the story suits me so well.

8.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   The Post
10.   Wonder Woman
11.   The Big Sick
12.   Wind River
13.   Thor: Ragnarok
14.   Logan Lucky
15.   The Beguiled
16.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
17.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
18.   John Wick: Chapter 2
19.   The Lost City of Z
20.   First They Killed My Father
21.   Darkest Hour
22.   A Ghost Story
23.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
24.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
25.   It
26.   Battle of the Sexes
27.   Brad's Status
28.   Okja
29.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
30.   Kong: Skull Island
31.   It Comes at Night
32.   Crown Heights
33.   Split
34.   1922
35.   Personal Shopper
36.   Beatriz at Dinner
37.   Chuck
38.   Atomic Blonde
39.   Wheelman
40.   The Lego Batman Movie
41.   Megan Leavey
42.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
43.   Marshall
44.   Menashe
45.   Walking Out
46.   American Made
47.   Beauty and the Beast
48.   Imperial Dreams
49.   Gifted
50.   Murder on the Orient Express
51.   The Zookeeper's Wife
52.   Free Fire
53.   Win It All
54.   The Wall
55.   Life
56.   My Cousin Rachel
57.   Breathe
58.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
59.   Maudie
60.   Sleight
61.   Alone in Berlin
62.   A United Kingdom
63.   Trespass Against Us
64.   The Mountain Between Us
65.   War Machine
66.   Happy Death Day
67.   Lowriders
68.   Justice League
69.   To the Bone
70.   Ghost in the Shell
71.   Wakefield
72.   Bright
73.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
74.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
75.   The Mummy
76.   The Greatest Showman
77.   Rough Night
78.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
79.   Sand Castle
80.   CHiPs
81.   Death Note
82.   The Belko Experiment
83.   The Great Wall
84.   Fist Fight
85.   Baywatch
86.   Snatched
87.   Wilson
88.   Queen of the Desert
89.   The House
90.   Sleepless
91.   All Eyez on Me
92.   The Book of Henry
93.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #143 on: May 18, 2019, 06:12:12 PM »


The Circle (2017), directed by James Ponsoldt

I am left wondering how Mr. Ponsoldt could go from directing The End of the Tour to The Circle, an incredible gap in quality between films if I've ever seen one before. There are more problems with The Circle than I can count, more than I will be able to put down in this review. I just can't bring myself to care this much. I was curious as to why Tom Hanks participated in this film, but I looked at the author of the novel this was adapted from, and saw that Dave Eggers also wrote A Hologram for the King. A Hologram for the King was a bore, but it wasn't bad, and there were neat touches with Tom Hanks moving through places in Saudi Arabia that he wasn't supposed to go. There are no such novelties here, The Circle is a satire that falls flat. Is it a satire? I'm not able to figure this out, but this film is absolutely stupid on every level. There are things that are supposed to be played for awkward laughs due to how ridiculous the scenarios are, but I didn't laugh at anything. The traditional plot structure of such a film is also blown completely out of the water. It's bad. The scenes are very disjointed from one to the next, and there are others where I felt we had already seen something like that just a few minutes before. The other, very large, very clear problem is that Emma Watson could not possibly have been more boring in this role. This just sucks.

Mae Holland (Emma Watson) is a young woman working a boring job, living with her parents somewhere in the Bay Area, and her parents are struggling to make it through life. Bonnie (Glenne Headly) is Mae's mother and Vinnie (Bill Paxton) is her father, the latter of whom suffers from multiple sclerosis and is underinsured to the point of lacking care. Mercer (Ellar Coltrane) either is or was her boyfriend, but the film does a very poor job of making that clear. One day, while at work, she receives a call from her friend Annie (Karen Gillan), who has scored her an interview at a place called The Circle. The Circle is a facsimile for any other mega tech company, and as a result they are nefarious and bad. The way this is presented from the very start of the film is something I thought was laughable. After a few days at the company, it's time for Mae to go to a meeting with Annie. The CEO Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks) presents things like Steve Jobs, and The Circle's new invention is the SeeChange, which is a small camera someone can place anywhere and have really high quality video of a location. No permit is needed to film and anyone can place as many of these cameras as they want, as the intent is to ensure they cost as much as a pair of jeans.

Mae's time at work is similarly strange, culminating in a visit from Circle's social media team. They want to know why she isn't participating in activities with other employees, and her father's health condition is of no consequence to them. Their response is that she should go to groups held by other employees whose parents also have multiple sclerosis, or that she should look to get her parents involved with other Circle programs. That kind of very creepy, overly intrusive, emphasis on a lack of privacy theme is very common throughout this film. After this happens, Mae's time at work goes more smoothly. Eventually she comes in contact with Ty Lafitte (John Boyega), another Circle employee who created True You, which was a thing that brought everyone's passwords, bank cards, and Social Security related things all into one single profile and log-in type of thing. She does not know who Ty is, at this point he's just a guy. Some of these concepts are not fleshed out and I admit that I'm winging it a little bit here. After this, the COO of The Circle, Tom Stenton (Patton Oswalt), presents a political candidate who pledges full transparency through SeeChange and other products that allow all of her e-mails to be made public in real time. Eventually, Mae goes to a party and encounters Ty, this time Ty tells her who she is and she can't believe it. Before he did that, he took her down into the lower facilities of this place and showed her an enormous cloud server room where The Circle intends to store a massive amount of data. Ty also tells her that his product is not currently being utilized as he intended, and the movie goes on from there.

Do you see what I mean about the film lacking a traditional plot structure? I usually try to wrap up those sections somewhere in the first act, but I can't place if this is the first act or the second. The film is bad, simple as that. There are some redeeming ideas in the way that the film tells you that all this social media is a bad fucking idea, but I think everyone knows that by now. The people who need to learn this lesson are people much older than those my age (31), but I don't think a film with Emma Watson starring is going to reach them. I see what this film is trying to do, I just think that it failed in part due to a poor script and uncharismatic lead performance. Beyond that, there's also the fact that The Circle is far too preachy and when I'm being preached to about something I already know, I hate that stuff. The end of the film is also shortened and ridiculously unsatisfying on every level. The aftermath of Mae's final decision when returning to The Circle is never shown, it's something I found to be very lacking after sitting through a film like this one. Where's the payoff to the story? When there isn't one, I feel like I wasted my time. The Circle also does not take risks with the story, there's nothing here that's truly bonkers like in other thrillers when you get a peek behind the curtain.

Perhaps the film's greatest sin is that the director fails so badly in setting the tone of the film that I never figured out what it is that this story wanted me to feel. Did they want me to think Mae or Mercer were in danger? I didn't feel that at any point until someone's truck was driving off a cliff. There's also the matter of this being a failure as a big tech movie. When someone's making a movie about a big company being unethical, unless it's in the case of something like cigarettes, the people telling that story are much more subtle in hiding that the company is up to no good. That is not the case here, their awful behavior is thrown straight into the face of our lead character and she willingly participates and plays along for her own gain. This kind of thing makes a character very difficult to relate to. When the cards are on the table and something bad happens, which takes until the very last moments of the film I should add, I just can't take a movie like this seriously. There is one thing I really did like though. This idea that Tom Hanks was a bad guy, the kind of guy people would be tricked into giving all their data and personal information to, I was a fan of this. That was good casting, but he outshines the lead of the film by so much that any problems with the story are exacerbated more when his presence is not in the picture. I'm giving this a 4 because I've seen a lot of bad movies from 2017 and this one isn't particularly offensive whereas the others feature horrible caricatures, extremely stupid concepts, or are so boring it took everything in me to finish watching them. At least The Circle wasn't that!

4/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   The Post
10.   Wonder Woman
11.   The Big Sick
12.   Wind River
13.   Thor: Ragnarok
14.   Logan Lucky
15.   The Beguiled
16.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
17.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
18.   John Wick: Chapter 2
19.   The Lost City of Z
20.   First They Killed My Father
21.   Darkest Hour
22.   A Ghost Story
23.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
24.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
25.   It
26.   Battle of the Sexes
27.   Brad's Status
28.   Okja
29.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
30.   Kong: Skull Island
31.   It Comes at Night
32.   Crown Heights
33.   Split
34.   1922
35.   Personal Shopper
36.   Beatriz at Dinner
37.   Chuck
38.   Atomic Blonde
39.   Wheelman
40.   The Lego Batman Movie
41.   Megan Leavey
42.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
43.   Marshall
44.   Menashe
45.   Walking Out
46.   American Made
47.   Beauty and the Beast
48.   Imperial Dreams
49.   Gifted
50.   Murder on the Orient Express
51.   The Zookeeper's Wife
52.   Free Fire
53.   Win It All
54.   The Wall
55.   Life
56.   My Cousin Rachel
57.   Breathe
58.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
59.   Maudie
60.   Sleight
61.   Alone in Berlin
62.   A United Kingdom
63.   Trespass Against Us
64.   The Mountain Between Us
65.   War Machine
66.   Happy Death Day
67.   Lowriders
68.   Justice League
69.   To the Bone
70.   Ghost in the Shell
71.   Wakefield
72.   Bright
73.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
74.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
75.   The Mummy
76.   The Greatest Showman
77.   Rough Night
78.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
79.   Sand Castle
80.   The Circle
81.   CHiPs
82.   Death Note
83.   The Belko Experiment
84.   The Great Wall
85.   Fist Fight
86.   Baywatch
87.   Snatched
88.   Wilson
89.   Queen of the Desert
90.   The House
91.   Sleepless
92.   All Eyez on Me
93.   The Book of Henry
94.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #144 on: May 19, 2019, 06:19:19 PM »


Landline (2017), directed by Gillian Robespierre

When I was making my way through Amazon Studios movies they'd made earlier this decade, I initially skipped Landline. I was waiting until a later date, but part of it was that I wasn't sure I was ready to see a movie that had middling reviews. I did see that this was listed as a comedy, and by that standard Landline had good reviews, so I decided I should go back and give the film a look. This was a good decision, which I realized a few minutes into the film. This feeling was persistent throughout, and that's what I was hoping for. There's lots of comedies that just can't keep momentum going on any level at all, but when the tone shifts into being more of a drama, the film works too. I usually don't come out so strong in favor of a film in my opening paragraph, but I liked this even when I found those flaws to be apparent. Landline didn't make money and there's no real surprise in that regard, I didn't know this even existed until I made my way down a lit. That's often the problem with these Amazon and Netflix releases. The overall awareness of them is not all that great. So, what is Landline actually about? It seems that this film cannot decide which theme it wants to fully commit to, so it decides to give what the writer-director things are insights into those things. In some cases they are insightful and in others they aren't, but in any case, I think I appreciated what I watched until a point. I will leave you hanging on what that point actually is.

Landline begins with Dana Jacobs (Jenny Slate) having sex with her fiance Ben (Jay Duplass) out in the woods, and at this point I wasn't exactly sure what I'd gotten into. After they finish, everyone piles up into a car and they're on their way. It seems like the Jacobs family has a house outside of New York City. Pat (Edie Falco) and Alan (John Turturro) are husband and wife, Dana is their daughter, and they have a younger daughter named Ali (Abby Quinn). Obviously, they're going back to New York City, and it works out that Dana and Ben live together, while the other three live in their own house. So, Ali is that age, the age where she wants to do everything and still has to come home to deal with her parents. She wants to go raves, doesn't want to go to school or do her tests, and more than anything else, she wants to get high. Sounds like a good life to me. Pat and Alan have a weird relationship that often happens with older couples, one becomes disinterested in the other and seems to hate them. This is the case with how Pat behaves towards Alan and it's impossible to explain why this is unless the person says why it is, but that's never stated in this film. It just is how it is, people behave how they behave. Dana and Ben have a pretty good relationship by the standards of this film, I'd say.

While they have a good relationship, the way this film works is that you know it won't be the case forever. One day at a party, Dana runs into a former ex-boyfriend, Nate (Finn Wittrock). It turns out that she is enamored once again with Nate and decides to take off work to go to a record store, where she runs into him. Oh, I left something out. This is 1995, so those record stores still matter, and so do a lot of other things. Nobody has a cell phone, which I suppose matters. I don't know if it really does. At the same time, Ali returns from a rave one night and finds a bombshell, that her dad has written love notes on a floppy disk that she popped in to try to find some files on. The notes are written to a woman dubbed as "C," and they're vulgar, and Alan definitely wrote them. Ali is confronted about going to raves some time after that, but she hasn't said anything about what she knows. She goes with her boyfriend to her family's house outside New York City, but Ali has tried to escape Ben and Nate there as well. Will the two tell each other what they know? To this point of the film anyway, they have been very distant and like to make fun of each other.

So, the director is inspired by a list of things that seemed obvious to me, the largest ones being her commentary on marriage, on cheating, and on being sisters. I actually...don't have any experience with doing either of those things, so I am unqualified as a reviewer to deal with Landline. What I do in a situation like that, is that I don't really deal with it and let the movie speak for itself in those regards. I enjoyed how we had a film with these secrets, but the secrets are only kept from three people who don't know what everyone else knows. Of course, a movie like this one where someone is supposed to get married and they're having a hard time dealing with that, there's a lot of routes the story could go. I think I prefer this one. Ben is a fucking boring guy, and when women realize that they're dating boring guys, this is how some of them react. Men react the same way too, that's human nature. The parental relationship is also an example of what happens when people don't address their incompatibilities prior to getting hitched. The arguments when these things finally come to the forefront are what I would call good cinema, but they aren't great. Great is what happens when you watch "Whitecaps", but the dramatic impact of that moment is simply lacking from this rather short film.

As far as flaws go, even though the movie is set in the 1990s, there are few statements of culture in the film, so I'm confused why this was set in the 1990s in the first place. I also didn't care for the ending lacking true resolution to Alan and Pat's story, but we're left for that being what it is. This also doesn't feel like a film in that the story is extremely intimate, doesn't do anything that shocks you to your core, and that's why Landline isn't a great film. It's merely a good one, but being good is perfectly acceptable and welcome in these times. I'm not familiar with the director at all, but if she creates more work I'll check it out. I thought the family dynamics were very nice and that the sisters felt like complete characters rather than caricatures. That is something I don't see every day.

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   The Post
10.   Wonder Woman
11.   The Big Sick
12.   Wind River
13.   Thor: Ragnarok
14.   Logan Lucky
15.   The Beguiled
16.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
17.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
18.   John Wick: Chapter 2
19.   The Lost City of Z
20.   First They Killed My Father
21.   Darkest Hour
22.   A Ghost Story
23.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
24.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
25.   It
26.   Battle of the Sexes
27.   Brad's Status
28.   Okja
29.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
30.   Kong: Skull Island
31.   It Comes at Night
32.   Crown Heights
33.   Split
34.   1922
35.   Personal Shopper
36.   Landline
37.   Beatriz at Dinner
38.   Chuck
39.   Atomic Blonde
40.   Wheelman
41.   The Lego Batman Movie
42.   Megan Leavey
43.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
44.   Marshall
45.   Menashe
46.   Walking Out
47.   American Made
48.   Beauty and the Beast
49.   Imperial Dreams
50.   Gifted
51.   Murder on the Orient Express
52.   The Zookeeper's Wife
53.   Free Fire
54.   Win It All
55.   The Wall
56.   Life
57.   My Cousin Rachel
58.   Breathe
59.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
60.   Maudie
61.   Sleight
62.   Alone in Berlin
63.   A United Kingdom
64.   Trespass Against Us
65.   The Mountain Between Us
66.   War Machine
67.   Happy Death Day
68.   Lowriders
69.   Justice League
70.   To the Bone
71.   Ghost in the Shell
72.   Wakefield
73.   Bright
74.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
75.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
76.   The Mummy
77.   The Greatest Showman
78.   Rough Night
79.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
80.   Sand Castle
81.   The Circle
82.   CHiPs
83.   Death Note
84.   The Belko Experiment
85.   The Great Wall
86.   Fist Fight
87.   Baywatch
88.   Snatched
89.   Wilson
90.   Queen of the Desert
91.   The House
92.   Sleepless
93.   All Eyez on Me
94.   The Book of Henry
95.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #145 on: May 20, 2019, 06:27:56 PM »


Baby Driver (2017), directed by Edgar Wright

I had a few more films with great reviews to watch over the course of the rest of this month, and it was time to watch Baby Driver tonight. When I turned this on, I was a little cautious because I'd just watched John Wick: Chapter 3. I was curious to see how the action in the two films measured up with each other, but I now know the answer to that. No, I do not intend to dive right into that subject. Much like John Wick: Chapter 3, Baby Driver is a movie where you often experience sensory overload, but in this case it is a very pleasurable thing. One thing I am taking away from Baby Driver is that I need to return to a time when the movies I watch have greater tonal and thematic differences, so I'm going to plan out my schedule much more studiously going forward to avoid that. It can be hard to watch one movie after another with the same stuff in it, I know I'm not alone in that. What I thought was that this was a mash of different things, there were moments that felt like True Romance, others that felt like Ronin, or even like Reservoir Dogs. This was an homage to movies in the genre while at the same time remaining unique, even surpassing those three films I decided to list. The highs are higher, the lows aren't as low, and in the end this is a heist film that can be compared to Heat. The key to making this work to the extent that it does is a matter of care, of time to think about these plot twists long before actually committing to them. I am not surprised at all that Edgar Wright had been ruminating on this for years.

How does one describe the first scene of this film? I don't even know. I guess I won't. Doc (Kevin Spacey) is a crime boss, a man who runs game on various jobs throughout Atlanta. If you want to do something big, he's the guy to figure it out. Doc doesn't use the same exact crew on any job, but he does have one constant who he trusts very much. That's the driver, Baby (Ansel Elgort), a guy who used to hijack cars. Baby simply looks like a kid although he is not, and our heist is with a crew consisting of Griff (Jon Bernthal), Darling (Elza Gonzalez), and Buddy (Jon Hamm). Buddy and Darling are married, so you can see how this duo goes, they are supposed to be like Bonnie and Clyde. Griff is simply a thug, but he's smart. The opening scene plays out as it does, and t is almost as good as the opening scene from John Wick: Chapter 3. I didn't spoil that scene either, that's just how I deal with these things. During this scene, it is made clear that Baby likes to listen to music, and as the film plays out it is stated that he has tinnitus after a car accident that killed his parents when they were arguing. Doc pays Baby out after those scenes I'm not divulging, and he is told that he's one more job away from paying off his debt. After doing that, he goes back home to take care of his deaf foster father Joseph (CJ Jones), and that's pretty much how his day goes. Job, home, stash money underneath the floor.

Baby also has other things he does. Apparently he goes to a diner regularly, a place called Bo's. While there, he meets a waitress, Debora (Lily James). They both like music, they like each other, they both have good lines. Typical True Romance kind of deal, but we never go that far with it. Speaking of which, I haven't watched that awesome Drexl Spivey scene in a while. Going to do that right now. Anyway, both of them want to leave Atlanta, but Baby's work is not yet finished. His last job, if there ever is a last job, is going to be with Bats (Jamie Foxx), JD (Lanny Joon), and Eddie (Flea). Bats is fucking insane, and this is Jamie Foxx's best performance in a very long time. Maybe ever! The last job is going to be doing an armored car, something that's never going to go well. Bear in mind that this is Atlanta, after all. There are probably going to be "good guys with guns" who shoot them all over the place not caring if they hit anyone else. Plus, Bats is just crazy. It doesn't take a genius to figure out where Baby Driver goes from here. These two scenes in combination with each other are excellent, but they're hardly the only big scenes in the film. There's more. So much more. Just because Baby wants out, doesn't mean he'll get out, or even get to the point where Doc will let the debt be paid.

Alright, so with all that said, my format means I can't talk much about the scenes specifically. I said that those two opening scenes were great, and I meant that. They hooked me instantly. Even when the film slows down, those slower scenes are really strong, and overall I've seen a whole lot worse. I'm trying to think of things that would have made me like the film more, and I almost want to say that it's the romance plot being cut out, but that plot is essential to making Baby into a complete character. The ending of the film is also quite drawn out, but it doesn't really diminish any of the things that came before that. Even still, it feels like the director just didn't know when it was time to end the story. This is just fun, it really is. I'm not one for social commentary when it comes to films, but I did see there were some criticisms to that end about the characters here. They can blow it out their ass for all I care, I didn't notice anything wrong with the film like that. I think it goes without saying that there are parts of Baby Driver that are really goofy, but that's the point, isn't it? The way Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm make their mark here is laudable, and I was able to ignore the elephant in the room (Kevin Spacey) as a result of their work.

The practicality of the car chases is what really makes the film work, but this is another case of a film best enjoyed in theaters, so I didn't get the full experience that I should have gotten. The way in which certain characters won't go away is one of my favorite parts of Baby Driver, it is used to a great extent but is also not remotely boring. This trope does not overstay its welcome here. I wish more directors had the vision to make a film like this one, because these films are needed in place of boring, trite garbage. Unfortunately, not very many filmmakers do have the ambition and the smarts to pull a film like this one off, I thought this was an excellent film. I do not think it's as good as Heat even though it is now in the same conversation, it is also one of the only films I've heard people talking about when leaving the theater a year or so later. Baby Driver is the kind of film that stuck with people, it seems. It's a film that younger generations will compare following car chase movies to, and that's an accomplishment in and of itself. There has to be something like The French Connection for every generation, and hopefully a film like this one inspires people to go back and look through film history for a car chase movie that stuck with their parents and the people before them.

I will say that I thought a lot of people could have played the lead character though. That's why I'm not giving this the same score as Heat, it's just missing that little extra thing where the lead actor goes fucking crazy in front of the camera. This one relies on the supporting actors to do it for him, which is good, if they weren't there it wouldn't quite have been the same. The film is getting such a high score because it made me feel something, that's the standard by which I do that. Most of the films I score under an 8 don't make me feel anything at all, but when I give out the score I'm giving now, it means I felt SOMETHING stronger. Something is unquantifiable, it could mean anything, it could be me clapping in front of my screen or at the end of the film, or wishing something happened or didn't happen. I don't know how to explain it. The higher the score, the more I felt, the higher on the list, the more I felt. You can see how this works for yourself by looking at any of my three lists.

8.5/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   Baby Driver
10.   The Post
11.   Wonder Woman
12.   The Big Sick
13.   Wind River
14.   Thor: Ragnarok
15.   Logan Lucky
16.   The Beguiled
17.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
18.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
19.   John Wick: Chapter 2
20.   The Lost City of Z
21.   First They Killed My Father
22.   Darkest Hour
23.   A Ghost Story
24.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
25.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
26.   It
27.   Battle of the Sexes
28.   Brad's Status
29.   Okja
30.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
31.   Kong: Skull Island
32.   It Comes at Night
33.   Crown Heights
34.   Split
35.   1922
36.   Personal Shopper
37.   Landline
38.   Beatriz at Dinner
39.   Chuck
40.   Atomic Blonde
41.   Wheelman
42.   The Lego Batman Movie
43.   Megan Leavey
44.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
45.   Marshall
46.   Menashe
47.   Walking Out
48.   American Made
49.   Beauty and the Beast
50.   Imperial Dreams
51.   Gifted
52.   Murder on the Orient Express
53.   The Zookeeper's Wife
54.   Free Fire
55.   Win It All
56.   The Wall
57.   Life
58.   My Cousin Rachel
59.   Breathe
60.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
61.   Maudie
62.   Sleight
63.   Alone in Berlin
64.   A United Kingdom
65.   Trespass Against Us
66.   The Mountain Between Us
67.   War Machine
68.   Happy Death Day
69.   Lowriders
70.   Justice League
71.   To the Bone
72.   Ghost in the Shell
73.   Wakefield
74.   Bright
75.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
76.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
77.   The Mummy
78.   The Greatest Showman
79.   Rough Night
80.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
81.   Sand Castle
82.   The Circle
83.   CHiPs
84.   Death Note
85.   The Belko Experiment
86.   The Great Wall
87.   Fist Fight
88.   Baywatch
89.   Snatched
90.   Wilson
91.   Queen of the Desert
92.   The House
93.   Sleepless
94.   All Eyez on Me
95.   The Book of Henry
96.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #146 on: May 21, 2019, 06:16:16 PM »


Disobedience (2018), directed by Sebastian Lelio

I considered writing the creepiest review of Disobedience that I could imagine, but in the end, I didn't feel like writing anything childish. Disobedience has been on my list for a few months, but I decided to shelve it for a little bit because I had watched Lelio's Gloria Bell and wanted to make sure the films didn't feel similar in any way. Of course, when it comes to this film, all everyone talked about for months was the sex scene. I don't blame anyone for that, I'm just saying that's how it was.  There's simply more to the film than that though. I know a lot of people don't care about a movie like this beyond the sex scenes, so that is what it is. In some respects I think Lelio didn't go far enough with this story, but this is apparently not his story at all. Once again we have a book written based on a novel, so the story is constrained for those purposes, and looking at the director to blame for problems with it is a mistake. What I got from this is that I need to watch at least one of Lelio's other notable works, I don't think I can watch Gloria as I already saw that plot and it might bore me. One thing's for sure though, Rachel McAdams being this character is very strange. Ultimately I found that this was a story focused on challenging traditions that don't fit into our world, and for good reason they don't fit into our world. The restrictive qualities of these things that were done for thousands of years, things that are merely continued because people always did them, are harmful to one's personal growth and I find them to be immoral.

Disobedience begins in a synagogue, with the Rav Krushka (Anton Lesser) giving a sermon about personal choice to his Orthodox congregation in London. During this sermon, the Rav collapses and dies. His daughter Ronit (Rachel Weisz) is contacted in New York City while she's doing a photo shoot, she is clearly not an Orthodox Jew, and with that bit of information the viewer should know she and her father were not close. She flies to London and goes to the home of her friend, Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), and Dovid is his father's student for lack of a better word. Dovid is a grown man and a rabbi, and members of the synagogue are at his house paying respects to the Rav. When Ronit arrives, she isn't like the other people there, and it's very awkward. The degree to which this is awkward is up to every individual viewer, but I thought this was rough viewing. Dovid insists that Ronit stay with he and his wife, but Ronit didn't know that he was married. There's a lot of things Ronit didn't know. For starters, her father was very sick and she wasn't there to care for him, but she didn't know. When Dovid introduces his wife Esti (Rachel McAdams), Ronit seems disappointed, and if you didn't read any of the numerous things written about this movie, you know something's up. How could you not have read anything about this film? I don't understand how that's possible.

The next day, or maybe it isn't the next day, it's Shabbat. Ronit, Dovid, and Esti are going to go to a dinner at her aunt and uncle's house, they are the Hartogs. Fruma (Bernice Stegers) is kind to Ronit even though she doesn't adhere to these traditions, Moshe (Allan Corduner) is a dickhead. I don't know any other way to put it. Their friends are the Goldfarbs, both of whom are rabbis and I found them to also be rude. There's an argument of sorts, Ronit can't handle these people nor should she, and she excuses herself to walk home. Dovid follows and Esti has the intention of catching up, and as we know, these religious rules are totally ridiculous. When Ronit breaks down to Dovid, talking about her father, he can't hug her and that's just how it is. The next day, Ronit has the intention of talking about her father's house with Moshe, and the Rav left the house to the synagogue. So, that's that, no financial freedom for Ronit. We also learn that Esti is a school teacher at an Orthodox school, which of course is something Ronit doesn't like when she finds out about it. Esti enjoys her job, but the fact is, she doesn't like her life or her marriage. She doesn't love her husband like that. You guys already know that Ronit and Esti have a sex scene, right? Fill in the rest yourself.

I wanted to say more about the way Disobedience is about breaking the bonds of tradition, but I already did so above, so I'm at a little bit of a loss with what I'm going to say here. What I'm thinking about now is that the extreme majority of people who live in the West do have a choice to participate in these things, even though they may not like the consequence of making that choice and what may happen to their life, they do have the ability to exit those communities. Or, maybe they don't? I'm going to watch a documentary about ex-Hasidic Jews next month, that will give me more insight although I won't be an expert even when I watch that. It just seems that this film is set in London, the married couple doesn't have children, therefore they do have a choice. This isn't a perfect film, the plot isn't the best, but the characters and performances win out and grab my attention. I wasn't aware that Rachel McAdams had this level of range, but her co-star obviously does and shines throughout. There are things about this film that are rather weird, but they're fitting. Disobedience is not a nice film to look at. The houses these people are in are by no means decorated, but as befits their religious community, they are plain. The only thing in this film that isn't plain is Ronit (deliberate) and the big sex scene (also deliberate). That stands out so much that even I noticed it.

What I meant about the plot not being the best, is the way that Ronit circles back from the airport when it is so hard to believe that she ever would have done that to Esti again as a full grown adult. I really, very strongly did not like this part of the film. I also don't care much for the visual style of this. It goes against what I think a great film is supposed to boast, I have a history of giving weaker films a better score because they pop on screen, but this deliberate blandness is way too far for me. It's one thing when the characters are in a very small defined space, but this was London and I couldn't take it. I don't care if that's a fair criticism. Overall, I do think this is a strong film, a very good one. If the visual style suited me more, I would have been effusive in praise, but the visual style of this story was a requirement. The plot problems also go beyond what I've already said. The narrative absolutely dies once Ronit heads off to the airport. Esti stated what she wanted to do, the man has the option of granting her freedom, but there's no doubt that she's going to do what she wanted to do even if he doesn't do it. Thus, the film hits a bit of a wall, and what I thought was building towards a bombastic finish does not quite provide that. That's okay, because this is very good. I liked it, and when the characters did things I really wanted them to do to break free from these shackles, I enjoyed it. With changes from the novel, this could have been an Oscar nominated film.

7.5/10

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.   Climax
22.   Can You Ever Forgive Me?
23.   Mid90s
24.   Eighth Grade
25.   Sorry to Bother You
26.   Vice
27.   The Old Man & the Gun
28.   Suspiria
29.   Vox Lux
30.   Boy Erased
31.   Bad Times at the El Royale
32.   The Other Side of the Wind
33.   Searching
34.   A Simple Favor
35.   The Hate U Give
36.   Unsane
37.   Disobedience
38.   Bumblebee
39.   Mary Poppins Returns
40.   Creed II
41.   Hold the Dark
42.   The Land of Steady Habits
43.   Halloween
44.   Ant-Man and the Wasp
45.   Beirut
46.   Mary Queen of Scots
47.   Aquaman
48.   Outlaw King
49.   Overlord
50.   Ben Is Back
51.   Monsters and Men
52.   The Mule
53.   On the Basis of Sex
54.   Bohemian Rhapsody
55.   White Boy Rick 
56.   Papillon
57.   Game Night
58.   Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
59.   Instant Family
60.   Alpha
61.   The Front Runner
62.   The Predator
63.   Apostle
64.   The Angel
65.   The Commuter
66.   Beautiful Boy
67.   The Nun
68.   Operation Finale
69.   The Equalizer 2
70.   The Spy Who Dumped Me
71.   Yardie
72.   Bird Box
73.   12 Strong
74.   Venom
75.   Skyscraper
76.   The Meg
77.   Assassination Nation
78.   The Girl in the Spider's Web
79.   The House with a Clock in Its Walls
80.   22 July
81.   Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
82.   The Little Stranger
83.   Tomb Raider
84.   Night School
85.   The 15:17 To Paris
86.   Peppermint
87.   Mile 22
88.   The First Purge
89.   Hunter Killer
90.   The Cloverfield Paradox
91.   Kin
92.   Hell Fest
93.   Proud Mary
94.   Robin Hood
95.   The Happytime Murders
96.   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 2019
« Reply #147 on: May 22, 2019, 05:53:53 PM »


Fast & Furious 6 (2013), directed by Justin Lin

I got the feeling once I finished Fast & Furious 6 that my review was going to be free of recency bias, and I thought that recency bias would be a very big deal when it comes to something like this. When there's a series with big stunts, people can't often help themselves and are immediately led to instantly say "this was the best entry of the series yet." With the benefit of very recently having seen very crazy films, and with just having watched Fast Five, I know that it isn't. Most people who want a refresher before heading into the theater to see a movie will have already seen the previous film once before. That means they will know what they didn't like, what they thought wasn't so great, and they will watch it all over again. What I find to be even more harmful in that regard is that the great stunts lose their edge once you've seen them more than once. A person wants something new, they easily jump into saying "this was their favorite." For the general public, it is their favorite, it's usually because they've only seen the movie once, and recency bias has kicked in. With that in mind, Fast & Furious 6 is a film that has great stunts. Some of them go way too far and are unrealistic, which is not the case with Fast Five. Fast Five keeps the superhero stuff to a minimum and Fast & Furious 6 does not. The question is whether or not the unrealistic aspects of Fast & Furious 6 can still lead to a good film. The answer is yes. I enjoyed this very much.

After their heist in Brazil, what I would refer to as THE FAMILY has spread around the world and is living a great life in places they cannot be extradited from. Dom (Vin Diesel), Elena (Elsa Pataky), Mia (Jordana Brewster), and Brian (Chris Walker) have all split to the Canary Islands, a place I would certainly want to live. Gisele (Gal Gadot) and Han (Sung Kang) are in Hong Kong, seems like they're still stealing things and having fun. Roman (Tyrese Gibson) is a jetsetter and so is Tej (Ludacris), the two Dominican brothers are gone to the wind, we won't see them again. Or will we? Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is still an agent, kicking ass, and he has a new partner, Riley (Gina Carano). I barely recognized her. They are investigating an incident in Moscow where a man named Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) has destroyed a convoy in an attempt to acquire components that will allow him to create a device that will allow him to shut off power in an entire region. This device would be very valuable, would go for a lot of money. You see, at the end of Fast Five, when Hobbs had those papers about Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), this is who she was running with. Owen Shaw is a bad seed, a former soldier, he's very tough and Hobbs just can't bring him down. Fortunately for Hobbs, he knows just the people to find who he can make a bargain with in order for them to do his bidding.

Of course, Hobbs first tracks down Dom, who wasn't very difficult to find. Once Dom sees the pictures of Letty, he can't help himself and he has to know what happened. This leads to Dominic making some demands, because he's no idiot after all. If he does this mission for Hobbs, a mission where he takes down Owen Shaw for him, THE FAMILY can get pardons and return to the United States. Sounds like a plan if you ask me. Some of these people have to be brought in from their locations, but in the end, everyone travels to London and sets up a base. One of Shaw's men was captured and interrogated by Hobbs, he has to give information on where Shaw is hiding out. Shaw is no dummy though, he knows what's coming. The trick is that he wants the police and any of Hobbs' people to go to his hideout, his crew has something else in mind and is breaking into a building in another part of London. After a chase, Shaw flees, and it is clear that he has everyone outmatched. They're going to need more equipment, they're going to have to get to know Shaw's people better, and everyone has their own jobs to do. Oh, I see that I left something out. During the chase, Dom encounters Letty and gets out of the car to try to talk to her. When he does, Letty shoots him right in the shoulder and jets, leaving Dom quite confused. What Dom does not know, although he may surmise, is that Letty has lost her memory and remembers nothing of anything prior to encountering Shaw. Great!

The unrealism of Fast & Furious 6 is something I can't help but think about, because that scene where Vin Diesel flies out of his car, diving across a bridge to catch someone is really sticking with me here. I just, you know, it's absolutely ridiculous and I can't help but think about it. I'm trying not to, I'm doing my best. That's hardly the only unrealistic thing here, but when hit with that commitment to being unrealistic, I can accept it. That is what the film is, it is consistent in what it is doing and it is also very fun. I was a little surprised that Dwayne Johnson was in this film a bit less than I'd expected, but I guess that this wasn't yet his franchise. The actors still don't think it's his franchise, but it kind of is. The spinoff film this year will do huge numbers at the box office to prove that. Everyone involved in making these films seems to realize at the point of this sixth movie, that creating as many memorable moments as possible is the way to go. There are a lot of them, but the plot isn't as good as the previous entry. Everyone does their best to try to bolster the plot and the characters, so we feel more attached to them because we know more about them, but in the end, it's hard to work with a plot like this one.

The twists near the end could not possibly have been more obvious, but that's something I'm fine with giving a free pass to. I do like that the producers of this film are willing to bring characters back from the dead as well. When the actor isn't dead themselves, it seems appropriate to play around with the timeline a little bit and fix what was a bad decision in the first place. There were two of them, the ones with Han and Letty, but unfortunately there's no way to completely fix Han's death, and we know it's coming at some point. This little restriction with Han makes matters difficult, but I do think that was very nicely handled. Everyone knows Jason Statham shows up in a mid-credits scene and kills him, so I'm not spoiling anything. This was a wise choice, something that I could not possibly have avoided knowing prior to watching this film. The car chases here are a tad bit acceptable, I wouldn't go so far as to say they were great or good. Other films in this series have had great car chases, but the one set in Spain that really took place in Tenerife wasn't the absolute best. I liked the tank, but there's some element of fuckery that will go into things because cars cannot stop a tank. It is what it is. Until I see otherwise, Fast Five is the standard of this series, but I'm going to watch the other two films in the next two months. I assume that things get more science-fiction like if the spinoff's trailer is any indication.

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 2019
« Reply #148 on: May 24, 2019, 04:57:13 AM »


The Glass Castle (2017), directed by Destin Daniel Cretton

The Glass Castle was one of those movies I was going to skip, I swear! The problem with this was that I turned around while watching something one night and saw my dad watching this. When I gave it a look, I saw that Woody Harrelson was in this doing his thing, and I was sold. I had assumed this was some small part, but it was not. That, I guess, is how a film can get my attention. I knew before I turned this on that this was based on the memoir of a journalist who had a very shitty life while they were growing up, and I think some aspects of that don't quite carry over to the film if I'm being honest. Perhaps that's why The Glass Castle didn't make as much money as I would expect a long-running New York Times best seller to make once adapted to the screen. This was not exactly booming at the box office. The impression I was left with at the end of The Glass Castle was that the film has a very bad ending, one which nearly cripples my feelings of the film as a whole, something I didn't want to see once this was over at all. I also thought that perhaps the film was a little too long, but all of these scenes serve a purpose to enhance the story. I know that this director also directed Short Term 12, but I haven't watched that yet. I swear I'm going to! What this movie is about, is when a set of parents abuses their kids without physically harming them, all done in "the best interest of their children". In those cases, they wind up destroying their children and making it very difficult for them to emotionally develop.

Our film has two narratives running throughout, and these serve as explanations for why characters feel a certain way from scene to scene. When I watch films like this one, sometimes I have a hard time remembering which narrative starts first. Jeannette Walls (Brie Larson) writes a gossip column in New York City circa 1989, and she is at dinner with her fiance David (Max Greenfield) in order for him to close deals with his clients. David is a financial analyst, into all that kind of shit, and I know nothing about that life. When the subject of Jeannette's family comes up, she talks about how her mother Rose (Naomi Watts) is a great painter and how her father Rex (Woody Harrelson) is working on a breakthrough in coal technology. Of course this is not true. On the way home, there's a drunk man in the middle of the road, and we see that it's Woody Harrelson, so we know it's her father. We also see Naomi Watts diving in a dumpster, so we know that's her mother. Afterwards, she calls to talk to Lori (Sarah Snook), her sister, and she tells her about the incident. Then, I'm pretty sure because Wikipedia is telling me so, it's time to snap back to Jeannette's childhood and time spent with her family. The question is, what happens when she is forced to encounter Rex outside of that taxi? Everyone knows it's coming.

Once things flash back, Jeannette is now very young, just 8 years old. These scenes don't last long so I'm not going to list the actors just yet. She and her family are basically nomads, they squat from house to house or make deals with people, but either way they're always on the move. One day, Rose is being lazy and is more focused on her art than taking care of her family, as always. Of course, she thinks this art is going to take her places, but it won't. The kids don't go to school, and with Rose being what she is, Jeannette has to make hot dogs for everyone while only being 8 years old. Her dress catches on fire, she gets burned up very badly, and winds up in the hospital. She's visited by a social worker because that's what really needed to happen, but Rex shows up and scares them off. Afterwards, he uses his son as a distraction, and breaks Jeannette out even though she has burn marks all over her torso. Rex tells his daughter about building the "Glass Castle", which is a house made of glass as it sounds, but this is obviously bullshit. Eventually the film snaps forward some, and Jeannette (Ella Anderson) is 11. Her sister Maureen is 3, brother Brian (Charlie Shotwell) is 9, and Lori (Sadie Sink) is 13. They have moved to West Virginia near Rex's parents, and they are extremely poor. Food is hard to come by, and Rex is content with drinking himself to death.

The strengths of a film like The Glass Castle are obviously Woody Harrelson's and Brie Larson's performances, with Woody's really standing out in spite of the script having intricacies that led me to believe the film wasn't that great. I thought the child actors also did a rather good job, but Naomi Watts wasn't given a whole lot to chew on here. The story does feel authentic, as a movie based on someone's life should feel. My dad was telling me about how his dad lived in Ohio's coal country when he was a kid, about the abject level of poverty and drunkenness in those communities, and about how it was so hard to get food. This is addressed well in The Glass Castle, but there's a problem when one of those storylines is introduced and not followed up so that the viewer can learn what happened. Unfortunately, with those kinds of stories that my dad told me, I know that the way the dual narrative works is not going to properly disguise anything to lead to a mystery. At least, I think it was supposed to be a mystery. It's clear to see how Jeannette and her father would become estranged, and the film doesn't do anything unconventional in terms of telling this story. The Glass Castle does have good cinematography, but the directing and editing is not my favorite thing in the world.

The script leading me to believe the film isn't great, although I do intend to give it an average score, is the ending. The ending is absolute garbage. After seeing two people abuse their children like this, I don't find any happiness in the ending where Jeannette goes to see her dying parent. I know that I would not have done so, but this is spun as being a grand reconciliation and I don't like it. There's not many other ways to resolve the story I suppose, and it is someone's memoir, but I don't have to like that aspect. I also thought some of the worst parts of the abuse and poverty were glossed over. In the memoir, it says that eventually Maureen got so tired of people's shit that she tried to stab Rose. There were also snakes in their house, which is rather frightening. Lots of these incidents are not mentioned at all, and there's far worse than what this film shows. I'm left to think of other movies that feature strange families, and The Glass Castle doesn't quite measure up to those. Again, I cannot handle the ending of this, and when they're trying to tear jerk you for some douchebag who got drunk all the time. Anyway, this was decent enough, I found it to be an accurate portrayal and thought it was worth my time investment although it was rather long.

6/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   Baby Driver
10.   The Post
11.   Wonder Woman
12.   The Big Sick
13.   Wind River
14.   Thor: Ragnarok
15.   Logan Lucky
16.   The Beguiled
17.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
18.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
19.   John Wick: Chapter 2
20.   The Lost City of Z
21.   First They Killed My Father
22.   Darkest Hour
23.   A Ghost Story
24.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
25.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
26.   It
27.   Battle of the Sexes
28.   Brad's Status
29.   Okja
30.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
31.   Kong: Skull Island
32.   It Comes at Night
33.   Crown Heights
34.   Split
35.   1922
36.   Personal Shopper
37.   Landline
38.   Beatriz at Dinner
39.   Chuck
40.   Atomic Blonde
41.   Wheelman
42.   The Lego Batman Movie
43.   Megan Leavey
44.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
45.   Marshall
46.   Menashe
47.   Walking Out
48.   American Made
49.   Beauty and the Beast
50.   Imperial Dreams
51.   Gifted
52.   Murder on the Orient Express
53.   The Zookeeper's Wife
54.   The Glass Castle
55.   Free Fire
56.   Win It All
57.   The Wall
58.   Life
59.   My Cousin Rachel
60.   Breathe
61.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
62.   Maudie
63.   Sleight
64.   Alone in Berlin
65.   A United Kingdom
66.   Trespass Against Us
67.   The Mountain Between Us
68.   War Machine
69.   Happy Death Day
70.   Lowriders
71.   Justice League
72.   To the Bone
73.   Ghost in the Shell
74.   Wakefield
75.   Bright
76.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
77.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
78.   The Mummy
79.   The Greatest Showman
80.   Rough Night
81.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
82.   Sand Castle
83.   The Circle
84.   CHiPs
85.   Death Note
86.   The Belko Experiment
87.   The Great Wall
88.   Fist Fight
89.   Baywatch
90.   Snatched
91.   Wilson
92.   Queen of the Desert
93.   The House
94.   Sleepless
95.   All Eyez on Me
96.   The Book of Henry
97.   The Space Between Us


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 2019
« Reply #149 on: May 26, 2019, 06:17:44 PM »


Shot Caller (2017), directed by Ric Roman Waugh

After a very long time of not watching prison movies, with Death Race being the only one related to that subject I can think of, it is time for me to watch three prison movies over the course of the next month or so. It also turned out that I could not get through a Sunday without watching something with a person from Game of Thrones in it. Perhaps I will attempt to keep that going? I don't know. Anyway, apparently this is part of a prison trilogy of sorts where the director continues to direct films related to prison in some kind of way. I haven't seen the other two, so I don't really have any awareness of what those films contain. Shot Caller is a movie that went straight to video on demand, so in theory, this should suck. I wouldn't go so far as to say it sucks. Shot Caller is a film with some issues and flaws, but it's also one that requires the lead actor to give a very strong performance, a very interesting film, and nicely made. It's also the kind of film that explains why people do certain things when they become incarcerated and why it is hard to break the cycle, you can't break the cycle of going to prison when the things you have to do to get through prison follow you to the outside. A lot of people like to talk about how this aspect of the prison system is dramatized, but I think most people in California know that's bullshit. It's definitely not dramatized here, not from anything that I've ever heard from relatives who worked in prisons. They should know better than anyone else, after all. I guess the thing I most wanted to know about Shot Caller, was what it was actually about?

Our film starts with a man being released from prison on parole, sent on a train to Los Angeles, where he encounters some people in a parking lot. The man is called Money (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the people are Shotgun (Jon Bernthal), Howie (Emory Cohen), and Chopper (Evan Jones). These people are very obviously white supremacists, as you see the white pride tattoo on Money's back before this scene and I merely neglected it. They go to a party full of other white supremacists, and this is the point where I realized these people were Aryan Brotherhood, so I shouldn't have been surprised by anything that happens next. Their party gets shot up by some people who are allegedly crips, and when everyone leaves, Money decides to drive around downtown. The reason? We snap back to his past, when Money is Jacob and he's a stock broker who lives with his wife Katherine (Lake Bell) and their son Josh. After dinner with his wife and their friends Tom (Max Greenfield) and Jennifer (Jessy Schram), his whole world is rocked. While drunk, he runs a red light and gets his friend killed, which leads to his future imprisonment. He is advised to take a plea deal that could lead to him doing 16 months, but Jacob has problems with other people. When his lawyer told him to stand his ground in prison, he took that shit too seriously and beat the hell out of a black inmate when provoked in the yard.

As people know, when you get in a fight with someone of another race while in prison, or really a fight with anyone, you're pretty much fucked. Keeping to yourself is one, very difficult way of getting through prison unscathed. Violent offenders (especially those who commit manslaughter) are housed together and if you've done something violent, it can be hard to stick things out. After some time, he is released back out onto the yard and has caught the attention of Bottles (Jeffrey Donovan), a white supremacist who is friends with the already mentioned Shotgun. Bottles says some stuff later in the film that explains the how and why these things happen, but I'm sure everyone's heard it in other material. The fact is this. Money had to make his way through prison, no matter what. He has angered a black gang member who was disrespecting him and there is no way around this anymore. As we already know, he made it through prison. But, the important thing is, what is he going to do when he's out of jail. We flash in and out of Money's past throughout the film, but his present is rather simple. He has to deal with his parole officer, Kutcher (Omari Hardwick). Kutcher wants to be in contact with him quite regularly because he knows Money's past. What Kutcher also knows is that Money and Shotgun have a major deal of some kind planned out in the desert. We also know that Katherine and Josh no longer speak to Money. You find out why as things go.

The film is effective and realistic in terms of presenting the prison system to the viewer, but Shot Caller is lacking very much in the way of having a protagonist. There is no protagonist here. We have a bad guy doing bad things because he has no choice, because his family will be killed by the Aryan Brotherhood if he does not continue down this past. It is easy for a person to justify their actions in his case because in their mind, they are doing it to other bad men. Of course, when someone turns on a prison movie, they know exactly what they're getting into and that this is the genre. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is very convincing as an American white supremacist gang leader, but this is no surprise to fans of Game of Thrones. He can pull off anything and make the viewer believe just about anything. The lone solace in his character is that you don't hear the character spouting that ideology, this is a prison gang story to the core. The transformation of himself is also quite effective and good viewing. The main problem with the film is that the other characters do not match up to Money in any way. The performances there are lacking. The tension is also lacking during the prison scenes because we already know that Money made it out of prison with his family secure. A linear narrative would have done this film a rather great service. There only needed to be a scene at the start showing him killing someone.

Shot Caller doesn't have any great shootout or fantastic action scenes, but that aspect lends itself to realism. The realism I'm talking about is the way that when someone gets shanked in prison, they keep getting shanked without much back and forth. Getting stabbed is a motherfucker. I would give this a higher score, but the events at the end of the film were pretty ridiculous and lacking in common sense. I'm sure nobody's seen this, but his actions border on unjustifiable because he has no idea what the other gang members have ordered, or whether or not they believed him going into the dramatic conclusion of the film. I'm slightly confused as to why a film featuring Jamie Lannister wasn't released in theaters when it has this hard-boiled subject matter, that's going to be something I just can't explain. The film is good, but when lacking in action scenes and when so full of detestable characters, there's a ceiling to matters and I can only go so high with a score. The family drama also whiffs here because it isn't as important as everything else is. I know those scenes serve to ground the lead character, to justify his actions, but no. It's far more interesting seeing someone like Keith Jardine screaming for someone's head to be ripped off, or for those prison gang alliances to be explored further.

7/10

2017 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Dunkirk
2.   Phantom Thread
3.   The Shape of Water
4.   Get Out
5.   Good Time
6.   Mudbound
7.   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8.   Logan
9.   Baby Driver
10.   The Post
11.   Wonder Woman
12.   The Big Sick
13.   Wind River
14.   Thor: Ragnarok
15.   Logan Lucky
16.   The Beguiled
17.   The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
18.   Star Wars: The Last Jedi
19.   John Wick: Chapter 2
20.   The Lost City of Z
21.   First They Killed My Father
22.   Darkest Hour
23.   A Ghost Story
24.   Spider-Man: Homecoming
25.   I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
26.   It
27.   Battle of the Sexes
28.   Brad's Status
29.   Okja
30.   Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
31.   Kong: Skull Island
32.   It Comes at Night
33.   Crown Heights
34.   Split
35.   1922
36.   Personal Shopper
37.   Landline
38.   Beatriz at Dinner
39.   Chuck
40.   Atomic Blonde
41.   Shot Caller
42.   Wheelman
43.   The Lego Batman Movie
44.   Megan Leavey
45.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
46.   Marshall
47.   Menashe
48.   Walking Out
49.   American Made
50.   Beauty and the Beast
51.   Imperial Dreams
52.   Gifted
53.   Murder on the Orient Express
54.   The Zookeeper's Wife
55.   The Glass Castle
56.   Free Fire
57.   Win It All
58.   The Wall
59.   Life
60.   My Cousin Rachel
61.   Breathe
62.   The Man Who Invented Christmas
63.   Maudie
64.   Sleight
65.   Alone in Berlin
66.   A United Kingdom
67.   Trespass Against Us
68.   The Mountain Between Us
69.   War Machine
70.   Happy Death Day
71.   Lowriders
72.   Justice League
73.   To the Bone
74.   Ghost in the Shell
75.   Wakefield
76.   Bright
77.   The Hitman's Bodyguard
78.   XXX: Return of Xander Cage
79.   The Mummy
80.   The Greatest Showman
81.   Rough Night
82.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
83.   Sand Castle
84.   The Circle
85.   CHiPs
86.   Death Note
87.   The Belko Experiment
88.   The Great Wall
89.   Fist Fight
90.   Baywatch
91.   Snatched
92.   Wilson
93.   Queen of the Desert
94.   The House
95.   Sleepless
96.   All Eyez on Me
97.   The Book of Henry
98.   The Space Between Us


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