What was the last movie you watched?

Discussion in 'Film & Television' started by Shadow Fox, May 27, 2016.

  1. Pass_the_M

    Pass_the_M Senior Member

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    Finally saw The Last Jedi. CUHHHH what a terrible movie. I almost quit 40 minutes in, but I needed to see if it would get better. I think even worse than the movie itself was the fact that I can't talk to anybody about it because they act like if there wasn't any "SJW" stuff in it then it would be a good movie.
     
  2. yoda313

    yoda313 JEDI MASTER
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    I think for me it was too long and they killed everybody off and the casino planet sequence was too long and lacked any true impact since it was away from the main battle leaving three concurrent plots going.
     
  3. Pass_the_M

    Pass_the_M Senior Member

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    waaaaay too long. that casino planet thing was like a filler fetch quest and it didn't even work lol and that battle with that silver storm troop lady had zero build up whatsoever. I feel like Mark Hamill didn't even want to be there so they had to kill him off lol
     
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  4. yoda313

    yoda313 JEDI MASTER
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    Not feel like he didnt want to. He even said so in the background on the bluray.
     
  5. Novaire

    Novaire Serial Editor
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    Over the past couple of days, I watched both of the Kill Bill films, which I got fairly cheap in a Blu-Ray double pack. I'm a pretty big martial arts fan, and I've gotta say these are some the best that I've seen in terms of creating a compelling story and telling it in an interesting way. As far as action goes, the two films feel pretty different in kind of an interesting way. Minor spoilers ahead:

    I'd classify Volume 1 as sort-of an Americanized version of a wire-fu flick, as the action has this floaty quality too it. I don't mean that as a bad thing either, as there's a lot of great action in there, and it's really well paced, I just think it's kind of interesting. This film has a great line of sight, if you catch my meaning - something the second one lacks.- here there's this great through the line because of how much it zeroes in on Lucy Liu's character as the central antagonist. O-Ren is just a really cool character at the end of the day, likewise, her henchmen land in the right way.

    Also, major props to the costume designer for the look of Uma's riding suit; obviously there's some tribute to Game of Death in there, but it just looks good all of the time. The characters are quite good, even the minor ones like Hanzo and Yubari, everyone just feels so memorable. The fights are good, and there's some nice variety in terms of location, style and choreography. The whole thing is just rock-solid.

    I'd say that Volume 2 has a more visceral, relatable feel to it, but not necessarily in a way that I found all that compelling, fight-wise. There's some good stuff in this movie, but there are also some things that just didn't work for me.

    I felt like the Pai Mei chapter dragged for a long time, he had an interesting backstory, but when we actually meet the character, it didn't click at all. I didn't much like the end of Michael Madsen's run either. It just felt like kind of a copout, given how his sword skills were being played up by Bill earlier on. It felt less like the film was trying to subvert expectation, as can't imagine someone not seeing the turn coming from a mile away, and more disappointing than anything else. I felt he was really given a disservice in terms of characterization too - when you see him and Bill talking at the start of the film, Budd feels like an interesting figure and you can feel some depth to his character, but as soon as it shifts away from that and moves on to his chapter, he becomes very one-note and, honestly, rather boring. Likewise, I never found Elle to be a very compelling character.

    With all of that said, the last half hour or so of the film is just fucking fantastic. There's plenty of David Carradine, some really good back and forth, and what was honestly my favorite fight in either film, albeit one that was far more subdued than any of the others, and to top it all off, a really good, kind of original ending sequence after that goes down.

    I like everyone in their respective roles, but I'd like to specifically call attention to Lucy Liu and David Carradine again as being particularly memorable. I'd argue that Carradine and his character are so good that I find that to be the biggest problem with the sequel - you just want more of him and less of everybody else. In the first film, you get just enough to keep him in your head, but it's enough that he doesn't take over. Lucy is the focus of the bulk of the first volume, and it just works. In part two, you get these great little snippets of a seriously a phenomenal antagonist, but it was never enough for me - it just focuses in too heavily on the less interesting characters.

    The first film is truly exceptional, and the second is a solid follow up with some stuff that I just don't like very much, but it isn't without its moments of brilliance. If you take it as one film, which was the intention, I'd say it measures far better than they do when you have Volume 2 by it's lonesome. I kinda wish I'd picked up the Whole Bloody Affair version that cuts them into a single film, but if I didn't get this edition I wouldn't have even learned of its existence, so I guess there's a catch twenty-two. Whatever; they're really good, check 'em out.

    Shame about the bad shit that went down behind the scenes, but at least something good came out of it.
     
  6. Oh Snape

    Oh Snape House Bantsratheon
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    There's meant to be definitive 3 hour cut of Kill Bill with both volumes edited into one coherent flick that Tarantino is always threatening to release. The movies it pay homage to are awesome and watching those was the bet thing about Kill Bill happening.

    I want that special edition tho.
     
  7. ReymousFumes

    ReymousFumes Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Nerd
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    The Village (2004)
    *in YMS' Adam Johnston's voice* So I just rewatched M. Night Shamalava's "The Village" and what do you know? It was a big pile of shit like everyone once said.

    Hah, kidding. It was actually pretty nice. I like its theme of innocence, and how human nature couldn't be contained no matter how you try. Very nice stuff from Shyamalan. There are a few annoyances like Shyamalan's obligatory cameo that was so freaking pointless, or how the film reminds the audience of certain foreshadowing through quotes that characters have said earlier, but overall, it's a pretty strong story with very decent casting and acting.

    We have some surprisingly big names here that I immediately noticed from the opening credits, like Adrian Brody, William Hurt, Joaquin Phoenix and f-ing Sigourney Weaver! Phew. Later on, I also noticed certain familiar faces showing up like a very young and non-snarky Jesse Eisenberg and Bryce Dallas Howard, both of whom certainly gave much better performances here than they did in their later films ("BvS" and "Jurassic World", like you have to ask).

    James Newton Howard also once again delivers with his master-craft as the music score here is beautiful, moody, and gives off that appropriate classical age atmosphere that brings the world to life. Very nice touch.

    Now, of course, I'm not going to spoil the twist, but you could pretty much guess what it is when I described the theme earlier, and it is a nice twist, and it only adds to the suspense and mystery of the movie. But I honestly think you could enjoy the movie knowing the twist anyway - I certainly did during this rewatch. I think that its theme being this human psychological study helps that a bit, and it helps you to pay more attention to how the characters are reacting to the events of the movie rather than all the twists and mystery. So yes, a second viewing is recommended, especially if you were lied to by the shitty marketing back when this movie was released.

    Is it an underrated movie that should have deserved better? I would say yes. 8/10.

    Btw, there are two reasons why I bothered to take a break from playing Fallout 3 to start watching movies again. 1) It's in preparation for Shyamalan's next movie, "Glass", so I might be watching "Split" soon, a film I didn't have time to watch back then, and 2) I'm watching the highly acclaimed horror movie, "Hereditary" soon. I think its screening is reaching its last week (two more days), so I might have to buy a ticket soon. Let's hope it deserves all the hype I've been hearing. I could use another decent horror movie.
     
  8. ReymousFumes

    ReymousFumes Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Nerd
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    Ghost Stories (2017)
    So I just watched "Ghost Stories" and it was pretty disappointing. I've had a bit of an expectation for this one due to all the hype it was getting. Well, it's overhyped, no thanks to its contrived little twist near the end. I liked the way the movie began well enough, but it's when the twists come about that it started to lose its footing.

    The movie is about a skeptic who's trying to debunk the supernatural due to his own father ruining his own family with his religious BS. In hindsight, now that I think about it, trying to debunk ghosts and spirits to disprove Judaism seems pretty stupid, as they don't really have that direct of a connection. But I guess you could say that if angels are real, then ghosts are too... yeah, right. Whatever.

    Anyway, the movie is mostly in an anthology format with three different "ghost stories," though technically, it's more like two ghost stories and one about some Jersey Devil goat-like creature. The latter story about the creature in particular unintentionally got me laughing because of one really stupid line. Other than that, however, I did like the way the skeptic interviews the various "witnesses" who encountered the supernatural. The interviews are natural enough and the movie took time to set up a normal and ordinary conversation instead of jumping straight into each horror story. Then the twist arrives...

    To be honest, the twist isn't that bad. I mean, it's kinda cliched and has been done before, but I do see the connections the filmmakers were trying to make between its premise and the twist. There's a certain irony at play here related to skepticism towards the supernatural. But the main problem with this particular kind of twist is that the more you think about it, the less it makes sense. I can't really talk too much about it without giving away the twist, but the whole set-up is just full of holes and contradictions. The supposed "condition" at the end doesn't explain many of the factors that we've seen earlier.

    6/10. Remember: just because a story is filled with abstract elements doesn't mean it's not shitty or unoriginal. Such movies are just one plot-hole away from being utterly pretentious, not "intelligent." Let's hope "Hereditary" doesn't fall on its face either.
     
  9. yoda313

    yoda313 JEDI MASTER
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    I finished two recently:

    Rocky 5

    Citizen Kane

    Rocky 5 is nowhere near as bad as ive been led to believe. Actually the ending was strangly satisfying. Sure it lacked the punch of the others but it was still enjoyable overall (pun half intended :D)

    I just finished citizen kane sunday. Watched half saturday half sunday. It was good of course but i need to know the context of why its considered one of the top movies of all time. I checked it out of the library but ill think ill wait on documentaries on it. Personally i think the intro was too long. Also they did the flying camera tnroughthe lounge sign on the roof too many times. If that was a groundbreaking camera trick it was overused. The story was interesting enough. The mysyery did keep you going.

    So i know ck is a good picture now. I just dont have the context for its place in cinema history.
     
  10. ReymousFumes

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    Hereditary (2018)
    [​IMG]

    Director and Writer: Ari Aster
    Starring: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd and Gabriel Byrne
    Music: Colin Stetson
    Cinematography: Pawel Pogorzelski

    "Hereditary" is the directorial debut of Ari Aster, and much like the directorial debut of many renown directors, it was impressive, standing out from the other conventional movies of its genre. I saw a lot of "hype-lines" in the trailer for this. You know the kind. The trailer would show critics praising this like the next coming of Christ, or in this case, comparing it to "The Exorcist", which almost seemed like hyperbole at first. But after I watched it, I would say the hype is pretty well-deserved. Though I might not hold it up to the likes of The Exorcist, the movie is well-crafted enough that its existence became as important as "The Conjuring" or "The Babadook", breaking horror conventions and reinventing the genre into a smarter and more intelligent kind of horror.

    That being said, I have to be blunt and admit that I do try and stay away from this kind of film. I don't like it when films are so vague they confuse the hell out of you, requiring you to have a second or even third viewing in order to "fully enjoy" it like it's some kind of homework assignment. This is why I didn't like "It Follows" or "2001: A Space Odyssey", neither of which I have bothered to rewatch.

    Thankfully, this is not that kind of film, and its themes are relatable and, more importantly, realistic enough for any one to understand, and that's why I strongly recommend everyone, not just horror fans, to check it out. It's not even really a horror film so much as it is a drama film with horror elements occasionally thrown into it. Now, onto the review. In light of the nature of the film, I will be avoiding spoilers, but you could just skip to the end if you want to check out the movie yourself.

    The movie is about a miniaturist artist, Annie Graham and the terrible history her family has suffered from, especially her mother, who has just passed away at the beginning of the film. It's later revealed that Annie's entire family has suffered from a variety of mental illnesses that resulted in their deaths. This anxiety towards her family having such a history is often felt throughout the film. Ari Aster ensured to keep this existential fear alive in the portrayal of Annie (portrayed magnificently by Toni Collette) and her daughter (Milly Shapiro in her debut performance), both of whom are a little 'off', and such a behavior keeps you wondering if any of the supernatural phenomenon you witness in the film are mere delusions. I know many movies that often cheated me out of the experience by either revealing that it's all fake or leave its true nature on an ambiguous note. Thankfully, this film didn't pull such contrive techniques.

    What I love most about this kind of film is that its supernatural horror is merely an accessory and not the main focus. Instead, the real 'horror' and disturbing parts lie in its characters and their actions, turning the movie into more of a domestic drama/character study. You often see in such stories that the more obvious horrors like demons and zombies often bring out the ugliness in people, and I feel like this was such a case here as the film explores the sins of Annie and how her husband and children struggle (but fails) to overcome the dysfunctional nature of their family. And it's not really the exaggerated kind of caricatured dysfunction either, but a very down-to-earth 'this could happen in your neighborhood' kind.

    At first glance, the twist might seem kinda stupid and might have even ruined the whole set-up of the movie. But when you pull back and look at the themes of the film regarding "heritage" and what we inherit from our parents - in this case, the fearful inheritance of mental illness - you start to see just how powerful the twist is. This is the exact kind of twist I like to see, one that ties strongly into the theme of the story rather than exist for the sheer sake of "cleverness." I won't spoil anything important. You'll just have to watch the movie yourself to see how brilliantly the twist ties into the fears and beliefs of the main character, Annie. It's awesome and sets a very frightening message for those with a family suffering from mental illness, and whether if we are predetermined to follow the same horror.

    As a horror film, it appropriately doesn't let the audience become comfortable enough for too long, and I feel like this unnerving presence was intentional as it also ties in to the theme of mental illness as you question yourself as the characters question themselves whether if what you are seeing is real. The movie can become quite ambiguous even after the twist is revealed, especially in regards to the nature of Annie's daughter, Charlie, and whether if she might really be the spoiled brat she initially appeared to be, but I feel like the movie dropped enough hints by the end to either question or even clarify that notion for you, so in other words, there's really not that much ambiguity if you simply think back to those hints.

    Before I conclude the review, I must talk about Toni Collette's performance. To play the insane is not easy, and many actors tend to go overboard. Collette, however, balanced it well with enough rationality for you to relate and sympathize with her while keeping the unhinged side of her present enough that you would also question her. This frustration of keeping up with her sanity is true to life and reflects the pain of living with such a person in real life. Collette definitely deserves an award or two for this.

    Finally, I also have to talk about the studio, A24. It has produced one of my favorite sci-fi films of all time, "Ex Machina" and has also produced several other arthouse films like "Room", "The Witch", "Amy", and of course, "Moonlight". This is a studio you definitely want to look out for in the future. I only curse that I didn't hear about this film or the studio 'till the last final day of the movie's screening in my country.

    8.5/10. While I wouldn't hold it up to the likes of "The Exorcist", to tell you the truth, it's pretty damn close. It definitely sets a standard that other horror films should follow in their exploration of disturbing themes. Rather than just frightening us with demons and spirits, Hereditary frightens us with a very realistic subject, and that's a real horror that marks the next evolution of modern horror films. Let's just hope we don't regress back to, ugh, "Evil Dead" remake or "Resident Evil".
     
  11. ReymousFumes

    ReymousFumes Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Nerd
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    The Dead Zone (1983)
    A David Cronenberg movie based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King with references to Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" and "Sleepy Hollow". Surely, such an amazing combination of the three masters of horror would crank out a phenomenon work that's one for the classics, right? Right? Oh boy.

    First of all, I just want to say, I'm a big fan of Cronenberg's "The Fly" remake, having it as one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time. Cronenberg's way of crafting a sympathetic character you could care about before thrusting said character in tragic circumstances was the key ingredient that made that film such an impressive horror movie you would remember, and here in The Dead Zone, the same technique works just as well.

    The first thing we are made aware as the audience is that the main character, Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) is quite a charming and amiable fellow. He's friendly with the kids, sweet on his girlfriend, and yet he possesses extensive knowledge on the works of Poe, sharing said knowledge with his students. Naturally, this is a red flag in any horror movie and something bad did come along to spoil the picturesque life. Johnny gets in a car accident and loses five years of his life in a coma, and even his girlfriend left him for someone else too. If that's not enough, he's now cursed with this strange telepathic ability that allows him to see the past and future of any one he touches the hand of.

    Some of the best horror films I've seen weren't so much a horror movie as they were a character study, and The Dead Zone is no different. Most of the film is spent contemplating the feelings and reactions of Johnny on what he should do with this curse, and it focuses quite a bit on the existential side of things such as divine providence and predeterminism. And Cronenberg did indeed perform a good enough job portraying Johnny as a nice guy who's just been struck with a series of bad luck, but I do have to say that the pacing of the film feels a tad disjointed, especially when the "antagonist" of the story, a candidate for the United States Senate, "Greg Stillson," only arrived in the final 15-30 minutes of the movie, which is a very different portrayal compared to the novel. Unlike the movie, Stephen actually reflected how Stillson is a mirrored parallel to Johnny, a more selfish counterpart who manipulates and cheats in his rise to power, as opposed to Johnny, who wants nothing to do with power. I feel like this lack of fleshing out on Stillson's character hurt Cronenberg's film just a little because Stillson feels empty and even goofy (especially at the very last scene).

    That said, perhaps Stillson didn't need to be a developed character of his own, as Cronenberg's focus on Johnny's tragedy alone is enough for you to care about this poor schmuck without any external context towards anything else. And that's what makes character studies so brilliant; they don't need to set any grand or epic philosophical statements, they only need to show people being people and how they respond to events as we study them. Perhaps Stillson's bigger inclusion would just take away from the focus that is Johnny's predetermined fate.

    On the acting side of things, I have to say I wasn't wowed by Christopher Walken's performance. I like him well enough and his mannerism certainly amuses me, but I feel like he tends to exaggerated his emotions too much at times, or just feels wooden or stilted at other times. His acting came across so forced I had trouble sympathizing with him as a person, which was the factor that truly hurt this film, not the script or its pacing.

    Aside from that, I do appreciate how subtle and subdued this movie is. It doesn't have any hyperbolic or over-the-top horror scenes and, as I mentioned, is merely examining one man's choices in using his ability to save lives or allow it (and himself) to fade away, forgotten. I believe most of its subtlety is attributed to Cronenberg's talent, and it certainly helped him create an even more tragic hero three years later in Seth Brundle.

    6/10
     
  12. ReymousFumes

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    The Running Man (1987)
    When you go into a Schwarzenegger movie, you don't expect political satire or anything remotely intelligent. Thankfully, that's exactly my expectations. Unfortunately, it's not nearly over-the-top enough to satisfy. In fact, it's rather subdued compared to Arnold's much more high-octane works like "Commando" and "Predator". Here, a lot of punches are held back.

    I suppose the cartoonish villains are amusing enough. You have a fatass who's a literal Christmas tree and spits innuendos about raping the female deuteragonist - can't get more stereotypical than that. The political satire does have its comedic element, tackling the '80s sensationalism of violence in movies and the media. However, that's all it is - good for a laugh and nothing else clever to say. And worst of all, the Arnold jokes are soooo weak. They just fell flat for me instead of getting me laughing.

    Overall, is it a huge waste of time? I would say yes. It's not intelligent enough or hyperbolic enough to merit a viewing. This feels more like an average Steven Seagal movie than an Arnold movie - and no, that's not a compliment. Its action is humdrum and its dialogue is just as hackneyed. Go rewatch Commando instead for some good Arnold action. For a post-apocalyptic satire of TV networks, watch either "Network" (which will be on my watchlist) or even better, "Nightcrawler" with Gyllenhaal.

    5/10 (Mediocre)
     
  13. ReymousFumes

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    IT (2017)
    Quality films are a hard find. Quality horror films even more so. But sometimes, we are so desperate to find quality where there is none or very little that we tend to overrate things. The 2017 remake of "IT" by Andrés Muschietti is one of such things.

    IT is not a bad movie. It has great characters that it devoted ample amount of time developing, and in spite of its occasional suspenseful elements, it's also a decent adventure film for children, almost Spielbergian even. Even the soundtrack makes you occasionally feel like you're on an epic quest to defeat evil. It's a nice cross between "Goonies" and "A Nightmare On Elm Street" (the latter of which was even referenced in the film itself), so I think Spielberg would have been a nice choice for directing this. Little do people know, he has been known to handle darker works too (like "Jaws" and "Duel").

    The story is a decent coming of age tale where a group of kids overcome their real life troubles by defeating a supernatural one, symbolically maturing as individuals. It's not a bad story, and due to its time spent on fleshing out the characters, it can be a satisfying one where you come to care about and maybe even smile along with the characters by the end.

    But because such a story is so familiar, it does feel kinda run-of-the-mill by the end. Aside from a really creepy pedophilia sub-plot, there aren't really that much unpredictable or groundbreaking twists here that subvert the conventional tropes. If anything, there were even a few stupid moments here where you question the characters' actions. Sure, they're just a bunch of stupid kids, but it's still annoying to see them dumbed down just because of their age. There's even a really cringey moment where the power of true love saves one of the characters. God, I thought I was watching a Disney film. My eyes rolled so hard I wanted to gorge them outta my sockets. And that "kiss of true love" didn't even matter anyway because the generic hero gets the girl instead of the unconventional love interest who performed the kiss. What a waste of a sub-plot. Why was that kiss even there if it's not gonna affect the plot?

    Anyway, aside from those stupid moments, I guess it's a pretty decent film. There's supposedly a "Chapter Two" to this, and I hope it's better than this one. Maybe the first one for this would be like "A New Hope" and the sequel could be "Empire Strikes Back". I compare this to A New Hope because they are both kinda conventional hero's journey that got overrated through the passage of time. We all know Empire Strikes Back is the superior one.

    6/10
     
  14. ReymousFumes

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    [​IMG]
    The Invitation (2015)

    Disclaimer: This review does not contain spoilers for the movie.

    Finally, a great movie. Not just a "good" movie, but a great one that I could remember for years to come.

    I love suspense thrillers. When done well, they can pull strings on your mind, manipulate your logic, and just really make you question everything that's going on in the movie. The problem with it is that if it's done too well, you would learn the plot through the word-of-mouth and spoil the entire movie for you. But much like another splendid thriller I love, "The Gift" by Joel Edgerton, "The Invitation" by Karyn Kusama (known for "Æon Flux" and "Jennifer's Body") is obscure enough that it's a nice little gem that hits you by surprise.

    I won't spoil the plot for you, period. Because of the way the film gradually unfolds and reveals itself by the end, you really have to discover the plot yourself by watching the movie and not let it be spoiled to you by external factors (like the trailer, reading the premise on Wikipedia/IMDB, or just the word-of-mouth). I will say that its themes are things that most thrillers deal with; paranoia, grief, and fear of the unknown. You also have to pay quite a bit to the details if you want to be fully satisfied. It's not just the dialogue exposition, but also the ambiguous imagery cluing you into what's going on in the movie. As they say, "The devil is in the detail."

    Do be aware that the movie starts off as quite a slow burn for at least an hour or two, but this build-up is absolutely necessary, as the pay-off is so worth it.

    Finally, I will also say that the plot deals with a trend that made some headlines around 2015 and the few years before it.

    That's all I'm going to say, aside from the fact that I greatly enjoyed this movie. The mind-trip was satisfying.

    9/10
     
  15. ReymousFumes

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    [​IMG]
    Dancer in the Dark (2000)

    "OK, I'm a Nazi."
    - Las von Trier


    It takes a certain mindset to enjoy the films of Lars von Trier - you have to hate people. If you examine his list of films, from "Dogville" to "Melancholia", there's a common misanthropy throughout these works, showing humanity at its ugliest and most irredeemable. There's no glorified happy ending where the hero wins. And I think it's because of such a negative extremity that I've enjoyed his works. They're unconventional and they're spiteful. In a way, I think it satisfies the spite within me too.

    For those who hate musicals, you'll probably like this film. This film spits in the face of musicals, calling it out on its idealistic bullshit, an idealism that ultimately brought our protagonist to her inevitable doom. On a similar note, it's also about the familiar tale of the American dream. You've seen the story before in many movies: Foreigner imagines a glorious future awaiting her in the land of the free, only to find herself betrayed by such foolish idealism in the most horrific manner. In a way, it's like a darker version of "La La Land". Both of them were anti-musical deconstructions that tore down the idea of idealism in musicals, but at least La La Land doesn't kick you while you're down as you mourn for the protagonist. Lars von Trier, however, holds no punches.

    But while I love the symbolism of the movie itself and what it represents, I have to admit that it is a tad long, and dragged a little towards the end. I felt like the movie could have ended 30 minutes earlier and leave the rest to audience speculation. That being said, these last 30 minutes were probably necessary in order to build up towards that grim final shot, to really set in the cynicism of the film, to remind you that no song and dance would bring any light at the end of that tunnel. In particular, when I saw the final parting words on the screen, it made me felt like I was watching a holocaust film, something akin to "The Diary of Anne Frank". It's bleak and joyless. I love it.

    I also like how the coloration of the film was used. For at least the first hour of the movie, everything was sepia-toned, as if to separate the idealism from the later (normal-colored) reality. And in spite of how bleak it all might seem, I think that it's still an ambiguous film where you might find a "glass half full" side to the story, that our dear tormented protagonist, appropriately named "Selma," has served her role and found her peace.

    Just a small little side note to end this review: people have often exaggerated that this film would tear you apart. I find the film to be quite tame myself, honestly, compared to the likes of "Grave of the Fireflies". I think it's largely because most of the protagonist's suffering isn't attributed to just her own foolishness, but also the inhumanity of others. Almost everything bad that happened in "Fireflies", on the other hand, was Seita's fault. Like at least 90%. But that's a review for another day.

    On the scale of how much I enjoyed this film, I liked it more than Melancholia, but not as much as Dogville. Dogville was really brutal, and really holds no punches in ripping against our ugly human nature.

    8/10
     
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  16. Kerberos

    Kerberos genki moe blob
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    SICARIO 2
    DAY OF THE SOLDADO

    [​IMG]

    The first Sicario is imho the best action thriller of all time and one of the best films of this decade. However it is also a film that tells a complete story with a clear and definitive ending. So there really wasn't a need for a sequel. Adding to that the first film's director Denis Villeneuve didn't return to direct the sequel (probably because he was too busy directing Blade Runner 2049)On the other hand the film's screewriter is Taylor Sheridan who also wrote the first one as well as the excellent Hell or High Water and worte and directed the fascinating Wind River. So I went in with somewhat mixed expectations. I came out highly impressed, having just been witness to one of those rare instences where the sequel ends up being almost very bit as good as the first film.

    The screenplay is once again fantastic. Filled with the same sense of incredibly tense realism, ethical quanderies and incredible amoutn of attention paid to every detail of each scene. The plot once again develops slwoly but steadily and actively makes you rethink your stance on certain policies and the actions of various characters. Emily Blunt's character does not reappear in this film which to me, makes sense because her story was over. However both Josh Brolin's hardboiled CIA Operative and the ever charismatic yet ruthless Allessandro Gilick played by Benicio del Toro in a career defining performance, have their own character arcs and they are immensely rewarding to see unfold.

    The first Sicario succeeded amongst other things because it originally presented itself as a straightforward narco-thriller only to later lay out the vary morally dubious activities of the CIA and DEA while comabting the cartels. Sicario 2 starts off immediately assuming you are well awarew of who these people are and what they do for a living. Yet it still pulls off the same trick twice. Introducing the threat of terrorism and in such a way that you even begin to wander if the unlawful actions of these men are, in this case, perhaps justified. Only to then later pull the rug right out from under you as it's revealed that not only are they doing the wrong things, but they might also be doing it for the wrong reasons...

    It can also not be overstated just how tense this film is. From the gutwrenchingly horrifying opening minutes to the eerily quiet final scenes every second of this film oozes with tension. This film also has imho the best action sequences in any action movie since the first Sicario. Exactly because it doesn't feel like an action sequence. There are no cars rolling over one another with explosions left and right while the protagonists crack one liners. Sure there are explosions in this film but they usually occur as the insighting incident and what follows is generally less a cool action sequence and more a one way slaughter. Nothing in this film occurs because it looks cool. Every piece of deris, every bullet feels liek a direct threat to someone's life. I also hugely appreciate the level of attention paid to scene setting turning something as seemingly innocent as a transition from the high way onto a dirt road into a genuine death trap.

    The one aspect in which this film doesn't do quite as well as the original is predictiably the direction. Italian tv director Stefano Sollima does an admirable job capturing the same sense of claustrophobic tensions and visceral violence, not to mention foreboding landscape shots. But Denis Villeneuve is simply a visual genius so this film was never going to match the first in terms of its visuals. The musical score however is just as good as the first one's was. Hildur Guonadottir took over from the far too early deceased brilliant composer Johann Johannsson and she does an amzing job capturing the same sense of sknin crawling tense dark violin orchestrations while also adding some of her own flavour to the film.

    However there is one element of the film I was a bit dissapointed by and this is difficult to talk about. Towards the end of the film a scene occurs that really took my breath away and left sitting in my seat, stunned. It was a move as bold and creative as I had ever come across in a big budget action film. Had they stuck with it I would've declared the film a near perfect masterpiece. However it ended up being a bit too bold for what it still essentially a Hollywood flick so they backpeddled. In a way that made sense for the story and fit within the style of hyperrealism the film had set up for itself. So really nothing was of value was lost. But I still would've prefered it had the movie stuck to its guns. Ah well, franchises gotta franchise I guess.

    All in all though, Sicario 2 is a worthy successor to the first and easily the best action movie of the year as well as quite possibly one of the best movies on the year in general. Exceedingly well written and stylishkly directed with Academy Award worthy perfomances from its two leads. Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado is a shining example of what an action movie can be and can achieve in the right hands while also proving that Sicario absolutely works as a franchise. Sicario 3 has already been confirmed and I for one cannot wait to go see it.

    8.5/10



     
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  17. Wind Adept

    Wind Adept Senior Member

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    Men in Black (1997)

    Still holds up fairly well imo. Sure, some of the technology, cgi and stuff shown in the film might date it a little but it's still an enjoyable watch.
     
  18. yoda313

    yoda313 JEDI MASTER
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    I make this look good :D

    Im planning on tackling more of the afi top 100 movie list. Maybe bidge over yhe river kwaii or maltese falcon or something (i think i did see maltese falcon now that i think of it).
     
  19. Gaff

    Gaff Za Warudo
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    Streets of Fire (1984)

    Walter Hill's psuedo-1950s 'Rock n Roll Fable', about a drifter out to rescue his former lover from a greaser bike gang, looks great and sounds great, but I think it falls into the same trap as many productions based on nostalgia, in that it slavishly repeats much of what was wrong with its touchstones, as well as what was right. In this case, the wonderful, glowing neo-noir cinematography is let down by a script that feels corny and predictable, with only a few unconventional undercurrents stopping it feeling like a rote b-movie or pulp novel of the period. It's still very watchable though, and would make an interesting double-bill with Hill's The Warriors.
     
  20. Oh Snape

    Oh Snape House Bantsratheon
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    I'll have to check Sicario. The first one had fantastic cinematography and performances but I didn't like how it all went Rambo during the climax. I mean....I thought dude was a lawyer? Ending was wtf I have to say and movie worked best when it operated in the gray areas of morality even if it did take the hollywood way most of the time.

    Anyway I watched the Fright Night remake. Recall checking the remain runtime and going '40 minutes left? Fuck. That. Movie is so generic that they could've saved everybody's time by just reminding everyone The Lost Boys and After Dark already exist. And are way more worth your time.

    I suppose its worth checking 5 minutes of it, incase you were wondering if Colin Farrell was still punchable. He is.

    1.5/5
     

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