Recently Seen

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Melvin Butterworth
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sat May 04, 2019 12:21 am

crumbsroom wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 8:34 pm
It's rare for a film to be successful being stupidly faithful to source material.

Watchmen is stupidly faithful.

It's probably the only interesting movie Snyder has ever made (almost definitely because of the source material it is stupid about), and I have rewatched it a couple of times, but it's also mighty awful for long stretches.
Watchmen worked (to the extent that it worked) with Snyder because his visual style fits. I think Watchmen didn't work (to the extent that it didn't) because Snyder is ideologically at a right-angle to Moore. Moore made an anti-comic book hero graphic novel, but Snyder is a true believer in graphic action violence as a narrative "solution" to problems in a world. I still think that the source material shines through and given how so many people said this movie could never be made, I think the film is a success. When it came out the response was positive.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by topherH » Sat May 04, 2019 2:08 am

That sex scene though. Extremely artistic.
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Patrick McGroin
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Sat May 04, 2019 6:16 pm

Priest - This places second in the "Paul Bettany needs to have a talk with his agent" sci-fi/horror offerings behind Legion. As bad as that one was it still wasn't as disposable as this. Clocking in at under and hour and a half it feels undercooked, even while kiping elements from Judge Dredd and The Searchers. Warrior priest battles vampires in an apocalyptic wasteland might sound intriguing but only if executed properly. This wasn't. And aside from Bettany's earnest attempts the rest of the cast is either wasted (Karl Urban, Maggie Q) or overacting (Christopher Plummer). And Cam Gigandet is a cigar store indian of an actor. Grade C-
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat May 04, 2019 8:11 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 6:16 pm
Priest - This places second in the "Paul Bettany needs to have a talk with his agent" sci-fi/horror offerings behind Legion. As bad as that one was it still wasn't as disposable as this. Clocking in at under and hour and a half it feels undercooked, even while kiping elements from Judge Dredd and The Searchers. Warrior priest battles vampires in an apocalyptic wasteland might sound intriguing but only if executed properly. This wasn't. And aside from Bettany's earnest attempts the rest of the cast is either wasted (Karl Urban, Maggie Q) or overacting (Christopher Plummer). And Cam Gigandet is a cigar store indian of an actor. Grade C-
While still not a good movie, I much preferred it to Legion. The latter is a poor Terminator rip off with some really oofy moments (old lady demon is embarrassing and Dutton is gonna Dutton).

Priest has that cast (you shamefully forgot Amick) and some neat violent gags, like Q using that whip thing.

Neither are noteworthy but one deserves a bit more ire and it's not Priest.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Sat May 04, 2019 10:42 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:11 pm
While still not a good movie, I much preferred it to Legion. The latter is a poor Terminator rip off with some really oofy moments (old lady demon is embarrassing and Dutton is gonna Dutton).

Priest has that cast (you shamefully forgot Amick) and some neat violent gags, like Q using that whip thing.

Neither are noteworthy but one deserves a bit more ire and it's not Priest.
In my defense Amick was onscreen for only a couple of minutes. And it's not like a clear cut #1 and #2. I don't think it even comes down to personal preference. If I had been rewatching Legion I would have said Priest was the slightly better one. I guess it's whichever one has most recently molested my eyeballs.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Slentert » Sun May 05, 2019 11:45 am

That Zac Efron Ted Bundy flick is extremely dull, shockingly boring and not worth your time... :rotten:
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Sun May 05, 2019 2:11 pm

Faster, Pussycat! Kill Kill! has a reputation for being trash cinema; after all, it features fast cars, full-figured women, woman-on-woman and man-on-woman wrestling, and as the opening narration attests, plenty of violence. Even so, I found it to be a quality noir with traits that should be its true selling points: genuine tension, memorable and quotable dialogue and surprisingly complex characters. The jazzy soundtrack also deserves a mention. This is the first Russ Meyer movie I've seen, and it's clear that like Doc Brown in Back to the Future II, he's extremely fascinated by the great mystery of the universe: women. While he doesn't solve it, he attempted to do it in the best way possible by making Tura Satana, Haji and Lori Williams his research participants.
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Rock
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Rock » Sun May 05, 2019 3:58 pm

Meyer's style makes his movies feel less sleazy than they should given the obvious trash factor. I'm a fan, and if you liked that one, he's definitely worth exploring further, as everything I've seen from him shares its punchy visual style and colourful dialogue (if not necessarily executed quite as well as in that one).
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Patrick McGroin
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Sun May 05, 2019 4:48 pm

The Predator - On paper at least this checked a lot of the boxes that successful action flicks need to account for. A talented and proven director in Shane Black. A solid enough cast. And an existing and established premise. But then when you take a look at the numerous sequels, they've never been able to recapture the vitality of the original. They made this bigger and bolder and, with the added benefit of an R rating, bloodier. Admittedly, they did come up with some new and novel ways for the characters to die. And Black is still adept at staging action sequences. But then they also added a jocular sort of atmosphere that, again, might have looked good on paper but never completely gelled. The solid sounding cast turned out to be a mixed bag. No real star turns to be had. Theon Greyjoy is in there somewhere. And Keegan-Michael Key. And even though Shane Black is supposed to have Tourette's it still doesn't make it okay to use a character suffering from the syndrome. Not for the obvious PC reasons either. It just isn't funny. What it is is mostly cringe inducing and self-consciously dated. That alone might have been the final nail in the box office coffin for this movie. Grade C.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun May 05, 2019 5:18 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 4:48 pm
The Predator - On paper at least this checked a lot of the boxes that successful action flicks need to account for. A talented and proven director in Shane Black. A solid enough cast. And an existing and established premise. But then when you take a look at the numerous sequels, they've never been able to recapture the vitality of the original. They made this bigger and bolder and, with the added benefit of an R rating, bloodier. Admittedly, they did come up with some new and novel ways for the characters to die. And Black is still adept at staging action sequences. But then they also added a jocular sort of atmosphere that, again, might have looked good on paper but never completely gelled. The solid sounding cast turned out to be a mixed bag. No real star turns to be had. Theon Greyjoy is in there somewhere. And Keegan-Michael Key. And even though Shane Black is supposed to have Tourette's it still doesn't make it okay to use a character suffering from the syndrome. Not for the obvious PC reasons either. It just isn't funny. What it is is mostly cringe inducing and self-consciously dated. That alone might have been the final nail in the box office coffin for this movie. Grade C.
I think you may have successfully shut your brain down as a defense mechanism to its onslaught of stupidity if you only mentioned the autism stuff. I mean, that’s terrible but this one is on a “how the hell is this real” level of bad.
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Patrick McGroin
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Sun May 05, 2019 6:07 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 5:18 pm
I think you may have successfully shut your brain down as a defense mechanism to its onslaught of stupidity if you only mentioned the autism stuff. I mean, that’s terrible but this one is on a “how the hell is this real” level of bad.
Oh hell, I forgot to mention the kid with Autism. No I was talking about Thomas Jane's character. He was the one with Tourette's. It was a "Ewww" moment every time he was front and center. And the rest were either preposterous caricatures or ciphers. If I were to start listing all the things wrong with the movie it would turn into one long critique. I was expecting so much more from this.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun May 05, 2019 7:17 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 6:07 pm
Oh hell, I forgot to mention the kid with Autism. No I was talking about Thomas Jane's character. He was the one with Tourette's. It was a "Ewww" moment every time he was front and center. And the rest were either preposterous caricatures or ciphers. If I were to start listing all the things wrong with the movie it would turn into one long critique. I was expecting so much more from this.
Start listing and I’ll help. I gotta bring that C to an F.
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Torgo
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Mon May 06, 2019 12:39 am

Rock wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 3:58 pm
Meyer's style makes his movies feel less sleazy than they should given the obvious trash factor. I'm a fan, and if you liked that one, he's definitely worth exploring further, as everything I've seen from him shares its punchy visual style and colourful dialogue (if not necessarily executed quite as well as in that one).
Good to know. Are Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Up and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens on par with it? I'm intrigued since Roger Ebert (R.I.P.) was a co-writer.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Rock » Mon May 06, 2019 1:37 am

Torgo wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 12:39 am
Good to know. Are Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Up and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens on par with it? I'm intrigued since Roger Ebert (R.I.P.) was a co-writer.
Haven't seen Vixens yet, but Dolls is close in quality if less focused and lacking a presence as forceful as Tura Satana in Pussycat. It's less pure B-movie and more of a showbiz satire that's always entertaining if not necessarily cogent. Ebert admits to him and Meyer making it up as they went along, which definitely shows but mostly in a good way.
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Blevo
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Blevo » Mon May 06, 2019 2:57 pm

Meh'ndgame
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The Nameless One
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by The Nameless One » Mon May 06, 2019 3:51 pm

Blevo wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 2:57 pm
Meh'ndgame
This is the most stunningly awful wordplay I have ever seen. Congratulations
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The Nameless One
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by The Nameless One » Mon May 06, 2019 3:54 pm

Why did you even go see it? What's your investment in the Marvel universe or are you just a sheep who got herded by the BIG NUMBERS. Like, what's the point of even voicing your opinion, what little of it there is?
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Blevo
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Blevo » Mon May 06, 2019 4:09 pm

I have no interest in defending my shitpost with a textwall of well formulated opinions and astute observations.
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Macrology
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Mon May 06, 2019 4:21 pm

Blevo wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 4:09 pm
I have no interest in defending my shitpost with a textwall of well formulated opinions and astute observations.
:heart:
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DaMU
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Mon May 06, 2019 4:26 pm

Jinnistan wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 9:34 pm
For me, I don't think any of the changes in the film from the graphic novel better illustrate Snyder's incompetence than the flashback where, according to the book, Kovacs becomes Rorschach. In the book, the scene is disturbingly perfect. There's really no production necessity to change it, and no one has offered a sensible reason for it, other than Snyder, apparently, likes his superhero tantrums.
Are you talking about him using the cleaver? Snyder's explanation was that it was too much like the original *Mad Max*. Maybe that's truly why he changed it. But I agree with you that something is lost by turning it into a hissy fit.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Wed May 08, 2019 8:24 am

So Stage Fright is top tier Hitchcock (upper middle at least), and the fact that anyone thinks otherwise is baffling to me.
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crumbsroom
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by crumbsroom » Wed May 08, 2019 12:33 pm

Macrology wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:24 am
So Stage Fright is top tier Hitchcock (upper middle at least), and the fact that anyone thinks otherwise is baffling to me.
Errrrrr....

My memory is admittedly cloudy on any particular details or criticisms but the impression it left on me was kind of insignificant. Kind of put in the I Confess bubble of Hitchcockian mehness for me.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Wed May 08, 2019 1:34 pm

I remember "Lovely Ducks" and that one guy looking like a matinee-idol version of Eric Idle.

sorry Mac, maybe my brain has only so much memory for Hitchcock. (but I'd be glad to hear why it is a movie worth remembering)
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Wed May 08, 2019 3:31 pm

Macrology wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:24 am
So Stage Fright is top tier Hitchcock (upper middle at least), and the fact that anyone thinks otherwise is baffling to me.
I remember enjoying this one, but it's been waaaaaaaaay too long.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Wed May 08, 2019 5:48 pm

Top tier may be a bit much, it definitely doesn't stand up against his very best, but I think it fits in nicely with the films that fall within the comic-adventure mode (Foreign Correspondent, The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes). It offers a clever inversion of his wrong man trope, and I like the conceptual underpinning, where everything is built on illusion/deceit/theatricality and these various ruses eventually lead to the revelation of the truth.

Maybe it was just much better than I expected it to be. Definitely underrated.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Apex Predator » Wed May 08, 2019 6:24 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 6:16 pm
Priest - This places second in the "Paul Bettany needs to have a talk with his agent" sci-fi/horror offerings behind Legion. As bad as that one was it still wasn't as disposable as this. Clocking in at under and hour and a half it feels undercooked, even while kiping elements from Judge Dredd and The Searchers. Warrior priest battles vampires in an apocalyptic wasteland might sound intriguing but only if executed properly. This wasn't. And aside from Bettany's earnest attempts the rest of the cast is either wasted (Karl Urban, Maggie Q) or overacting (Christopher Plummer). And Cam Gigandet is a cigar store indian of an actor. Grade C-
Surprisingly, you were a bit more generous with the final outcome than I was. Will disagree with Urban being wasted...he was the one good thing about this one.

Although I'd argue Transcendence needs a spot in the "Paul Bettany fires his agent" sweepstakes. Even if it doesn't fit neatly with the sci-fi/horror offerings.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Jinnistan » Thu May 09, 2019 2:15 am

DaMU wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 4:26 pm
Are you talking about him using the cleaver? Snyder's explanation was that it was too much like the original *Mad Max*. Maybe that's truly why he changed it.
Likely story. Shame if Snyder were to do something derivative. (I have a strong inkling that Mad Max nicked a similar scene from an older western, but the specifics are eluding me,)
DaMU wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 4:26 pm
I agree with you that something is lost by turning it into a hissy fit.
In my view, the coldness was key. He became detatched, whatever concern for human suffering that motivated his vigilantism had been severed. Kovacs the man became Rorschach the cruel indifferent cypher.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Jinnistan » Thu May 09, 2019 2:31 am

Tiers for Hitchcock can be very complicated (very top-heavy), but I think that I would still put Stage Fright at the bottom of his 50s output (maybe tied with Harry, but I like the change of pace of the latter), and roughly around the middle of his catalog. The flaw is not the film but the relatively high quality of everything else. I prefer ones like Rope and I Confess among the more underrated. I blame Hitchcock for being too good. A glutton of talent.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Thu May 09, 2019 2:47 am

The early 30's and the 50's are my Hitchcock blindspots. From the early 30's, I've only seen Murder! and The Man Who Knew Too Much. From the 50's, I've seen Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, Vertigo, and North by Northwest. But that's the thing; the man made 11 films, ELEVEN! during a period of 10 years. I mean, is there a more prolific director? And that's without getting into the quality of those 50's films I mentioned, which was arguably his best stretch. The fact that some of the lesser known titles ended up NOT being hits/critically acclaimed can't be considered a bad thing.
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Oxnard Montalvo
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Sun May 12, 2019 10:55 am

unless you have sentimentality for the Pokemon brand/childhood experience or are under-12, I don’t think Detective Pikachu is worth recommending. it’s not like I didn’t enjoy it but there wasn’t much clever about it. the novelty of seeing live-action Pokes is probably the biggest thing going for it, so I guess it’s not something worth re-watching unless they George Lucas a bunch of new Pokes for the home release.

and in case anyone is wondering, High Life is playing nowhere near me so that’s my excuse.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by crumbsroom » Sun May 12, 2019 1:02 pm

Thief wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 2:47 am
I mean, is there a more prolific director?
Fassbinder made 12 films between 1969 and 1972.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun May 12, 2019 2:18 pm

Takashi Miike has made 20 films in the last decade.

He's slowed down because he made 34 between 2000 and 2010.

Not counting TV shows.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Epistemophobia » Sun May 12, 2019 4:00 pm

high life was fucking dope
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Slentert » Sun May 12, 2019 4:09 pm

Epistemophobia wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:00 pm
high life was fucking dope
Agreed.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Sun May 12, 2019 6:18 pm

yeah but did it have any herds of Bulbasaur in it?
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Mon May 13, 2019 9:04 am

Just rewatched The Cell and despite it being trope-'o-licious, by the numbers, Silence of the Lambs bullshit, God is it pretty to look at.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by John Dumbear » Mon May 13, 2019 10:39 am

"Night School" - 1/10

Kevin Hart is a good stand up comic but his film career is like Dangerfield without the legacy. Thought that " Central Intelligence" was horrifically bad, but thought I'd give him one more shot. Jesus, this is bad in about every way possible



"The Highwaymen" - 8/10

Damn fine Costner/Harrelson combo. Work well together as defunct (at the time) Texas Rangers. A story about the end of Bonnie & Clyde without the sugar coating that Hollywood usually sells.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Tue May 14, 2019 12:28 am

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) - 9/10

For quite a while, my relationship with Dreyer has been a bit of a mixed bag. I thought Ordet was quite good, Vampyr was pretty decent, but I didn't care that much for Day of Wrath. For that reason, I put off watching this film for quite a while until a few days ago when I decided that my tastes likely evolved since watching his other films (it's been a couple years since I watched one of his films). Fortunately, I was correct in this assumption as this proved to be quite an impressive feat which nails certain aspects with such perfection that it sometimes feels more like a horror movie than a drama. One of the tactics which gives it this effect is the brilliant camerawork. While earlier films experimented in close-up shots, they don't possess the same effect as this film. The shots of the judges and the clergymen are shot in high contrast often at low angles and are bathed in bright light. The lack of makeup reveals the cracks and crevices of their faces, making their appearances seem quite menacing. By contrast, the shots of Joan are filmed with softer grays which further drive home how overwhelmed she is. Since she doesn't have any makeup as well, her appearance seems solemn. Also, the fact that the set design consists primarily of blank walls helps to bring extra attention to these details. This film is also quite fascinating to watch due to Falconetti's brilliant performance. To capture all her finely balanced nuance, Dreyer filmed the same scenes multiple times, so he could pick just the right expression for each one. His work clearly shows, because yes, the film contains a lot of repetition, but I think Dreyer's handling of Falconetti brings nuance to the repetition as every shot of her seems meticulous and precise in the way how subtle differences in her reactions can be clearly observed. Overall, she gave a truly phenomenal performance and she deserves all the praise she received. Along with Richard Einhorn's evocative soundtrack, this film definitely blew me away. Now, maybe I might want to consider rewatching some of his other films to see if my opinion changes on them.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Wed May 15, 2019 3:10 am

My thoughts on Long Day's Journey Into Night.

https://letterboxd.com/tjjones/film/lon ... ight-2018/
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by LEAVES » Wed May 15, 2019 3:29 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 3:10 am
My thoughts on Long Day's Journey Into Night.

https://letterboxd.com/tjjones/film/lon ... ight-2018/
You missed the “and then forgets a noir plot”, which adds an additional half star.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Wed May 15, 2019 3:37 am

LEAVES wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 3:29 am
You missed the “and then forgets a noir plot”, which adds an additional half star.
I'm saving that half a star for a rewatch. I'm sure it'll earn it though I was apprehensive about giving it a perfect rating because the symbolism was heavy handed and very much evocative of the way the Sopranos handled dreams and the subconscious but the Sopranos wasn't defined solely by the subtext and experimental style. It was, at times, like David Chase trying to make Last Year at Marienbad.

Then again, I love all the things I just mentioned so I’m probably talking out my ass.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Rock » Wed May 15, 2019 4:04 am

John Dumbear wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 10:39 am
"Night School" - 1/10

Kevin Hart is a good stand up comic but his film career is like Dangerfield without the legacy. Thought that " Central Intelligence" was horrifically bad, but thought I'd give him one more shot. Jesus, this is bad in about every way possible
Jumanji 2 is actually pretty decent. For a movie where Kevin Hart spends a lot of time running from CGI animals, it's less dumbassed than I expected. I suspect his screen presence works better when he's in more of a supporting role.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by LEAVES » Wed May 15, 2019 4:08 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 3:37 am
I'm saving that half a star for a rewatch. I'm sure it'll earn it though I was apprehensive about giving it a perfect rating because the symbolism was heavy handed and very much evocative of the way the Sopranos handled dreams and the subconscious but the Sopranos wasn't defined solely by the subtext and experimental style. It was, at times, like David Chase trying to make Last Year at Marienbad.

Then again, I love all the things I just mentioned so I’m probably talking out my ass.
The symbolism was heavy handed... but it was also mirrored in the latter half in a completely different way. If it weren’t so heavy handed in the first half, it’s probably not as effective in the latter half because you may have missed it, and in that way it makes sense. Symbolism is always an odd thing, to me - if it’s too subtle you miss it and say the film sucks, if you catch it then it’s too obvious and the film sucks... nobody ever wins. Unless - you use it twice! In this film it’s kind of like the noir plot for me - it’s not a highlight until it turns it on its head in the last third. Biting your nails about the plot mystery? Too bad, nobody cares, it’s a story about mining and making memories into stories, not about plot! The plot matters to the characters, and the characters’ dreams are as or more important than their memories, and their futures don’t matter at all. A good summation of all storytelling, really!

Another aspect that could-have-bothered-me-but-didn’t were all of the trick photography and/or blatantly “look at this cool thing” shots which don’t add anything to the characters’ story but do add to the filmmakers’ “making cool shit”, and this film is all about the cool shit!
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Wed May 15, 2019 4:14 am

LEAVES wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:08 am
The symbolism was heavy handed... but it was also mirrored in the latter half in a completely different way. If it weren’t so heavy handed in the first half, it’s probably not as effective in the latter half because you may have missed it, and in that way it makes sense. Symbolism is always an odd thing, to me - if it’s too subtle you miss it and say the film sucks, if you catch it then it’s too obvious and the film sucks... nobody ever wins. Unless - you use it twice! In this film it’s kind of like the noir plot for me - it’s not a highlight until it turns it on its head in the last third. Biting your nails about the plot mystery? Too bad, nobody cares, it’s a story about mining and making memories into stories, not about plot! The plot matters to the characters, and the characters’ dreams are as or more important than their memories, and their futures don’t matter at all. A good summation of all storytelling, really!

Another aspect that could-have-bothered-me-but-didn’t were all of the trick photography and/or blatantly “look at this cool thing” shots which don’t add anything to the characters’ story but do add to the filmmakers’ “making cool shit”, and this film is all about the cool shit!
I’m very forgiving of symbolism for that but even for someone that defends the womb symbolism of Gravity, this one was especially heavy in the back half, with the dream connecting so directly that there wasn’t a great deal of depth and interpretation of many of them, though it presented us with such a large smattering that some definitely hit better than others (clock and firework).

However, the best scene of the whole thing (if we don’t count that long take as a single scene) was the gangster singing karaoke. Between this, Only God Forgives and Blue Velvet, it may be my favorite thing in movies.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by LEAVES » Wed May 15, 2019 5:24 am

A lot of the obvious symbolic elements aren’t literary, though - they are symbolic to the characters, as well. The apples, the clock, the firework, the ping pong paddle are all meaningful to the character moreso than to the viewer as literary symbols. The dream sequence does what actual dreams do - takes elements that are meaningful or present from life and recontextualizes them. Clocks are broken in reality as in the dream, but where one is a store of memories the other is a tangible bond with another. The apples in the past are directly tied to Wildcat in his negligence and in Wildcat’s eating scene, but in the dream they are decontexctualized and serve as a reminder of a character wholly absent in the dream. The ping pong paddle is merely a line of dialogue in the film referring to a child he never had (or that was aborted) but in the dream it is wielded by a child that might be the age of his own... the opposite of the apples, in a way. They’re not symbolic in the way a broken clock is an overt symbol of timelessness (though he explicitly says as much in the dream) so much as they are signifiers of actual things. Whether they work on a metaphorical level or not they also serve another purpose and a varied one that I think helps tie the two parts of the film together strongly in a way that further separates them from the future never shown. This is important, too, because not finishing the story is a defining part of the film’s structure, much like in L’avventura.

There is also singing in both parts of the film! Granted, it’s more interesting in the first half, but her never making it on stage is a lot like her never being found in reality, so even that mirroring works. I don’t find it a densely metaphorical film, but it is an intricately poetic one where elements “rhyme”. I like those too!
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by LEAVES » Wed May 15, 2019 5:24 am

A lot of the obvious symbolic elements aren’t literary, though - they are symbolic to the characters, as well. The apples, the clock, the firework, the ping pong paddle are all meaningful to the character moreso than to the viewer as literary symbols. The dream sequence does what actual dreams do - takes elements that are meaningful or present from life and recontextualizes them. Clocks are broken in reality as in the dream, but where one is a store of memories the other is a tangible bond with another. The apples in the past are directly tied to Wildcat in his negligence and in Wildcat’s eating scene, but in the dream they are decontexctualized and serve as a reminder of a character wholly absent in the dream. The ping pong paddle is merely a line of dialogue in the film referring to a child he never had (or that was aborted) but in the dream it is wielded by a child that might be the age of his own... the opposite of the apples, in a way. They’re not symbolic in the way a broken clock is an overt symbol of timelessness (though he explicitly says as much in the dream) so much as they are signifiers of actual things. Whether they work on a metaphorical level or not they also serve another purpose and a varied one that I think helps tie the two parts of the film together strongly in a way that further separates them from the future never shown. This is important, too, because not finishing the story is a defining part of the film’s structure, much like in L’avventura.

There is also singing in both parts of the film! Granted, it’s more interesting in the first half, but her never making it on stage is a lot like her never being found in reality, so even that mirroring works. I don’t find it a densely metaphorical film, but it is an intricately poetic one where elements “rhyme”. I like those too!
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Rock » Sat May 18, 2019 10:40 pm

Enjoyed John Wick: Chapter 3 - Dream Warriors...er, Parabellum, although I'd consider it a step down from Chapter 2. It continues in the borderline parodic vein of that one, which is good because this material is too silly to truly pass off as cool outside of Reeves' persona. It also feels quite a bit more brutal than the previous entries, and has Wick's best opponent yet in Mark Dacascos, who nails that mix of distinct screen presence (he seems almost starstruck with Wick) and credible threat that eluded most of his past foils. But perhaps because of the structure (which strings along set piece after set piece without pushing the worldbuilding as aggressively), the movie feels more repetitive and the individual fight scenes, while really well done, feel a bit less thrilling than the last entry.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Mon May 20, 2019 3:17 am

Rock wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 10:40 pm
Enjoyed John Wick: Chapter 3 - Dream Warriors...er, Parabellum, although I'd consider it a step down from Chapter 2. It continues in the borderline parodic vein of that one, which is good because this material is too silly to truly pass off as cool outside of Reeves' persona. It also feels quite a bit more brutal than the previous entries, and has Wick's best opponent yet in Mark Dacascos, who nails that mix of distinct screen presence (he seems almost starstruck with Wick) and credible threat that eluded most of his past foils. But perhaps because of the structure (which strings along set piece after set piece without pushing the worldbuilding as aggressively), the movie feels more repetitive and the individual fight scenes, while really well done, feel a bit less thrilling than the last entry.
Yeah, I think Chapter 2 is currently the high water mark of the Wicks, as it delivered on the unfilfilled potential of the original film with better action, visual style, and expanded world-building, while Parabellum feels like the series beginning to settle into a steady "franchise" mode, as it's beginning to establish a cyclical formula of "hint at/reveal just a little bit more of John's backstory, introduce some new characters who may or may not be show up in future entries depending on if we can coax the actors back, and leave a story hook wide open at the end for the inevitable next chapter in a couple of years", a formula which feels like they could just keep rinsing and repeating ad nasuem into infinity, and it feels like they're not building up to any firm, satisfying end to the series so much as they're stringing us along (although not as bad as with something like Fallen Kingdom). Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed 3, and as long as they're still giving us great style, action, and the unique, heightened cinematic world they've created, I'll probably still keep showing up, but I'd prefer if they'd quit while they're ahead, before the franchise fatigue sets in any deeper (at least, for the main series that is; I'd be totally up for an "impossible task"/young Wick prequel, parallel films about different assasins in the Wickverse, the upcoming spin-off series about The Continental, etc.).
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon May 20, 2019 4:26 am

JW:C3-P was the best of the franchise because it had by far the best action. If I start judging them on plot, performance, music, etc the whole franchise falls apart so this is the metric I'm comfortable with. Dacascos as Zero with his Shinobis played by the Raid cast members were necessary villains to FINALLY add some degree of danger in the franchise towards Wick that didn't feel like someone playing a videogame with cheat codes on.

The antique shop fight, the Villainess motorcycle fight, and the Raid climax inverted fight were the highlights.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Jinnistan » Tue May 21, 2019 5:40 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 4:26 am
JW:C3-P was the best of the franchise because it had by far the best action. If I start judging them on plot, performance, music, etc the whole franchise falls apart so this is the metric I'm comfortable with. Dacascos as Zero with his Shinobis played by the Raid cast members were necessary villains to FINALLY add some degree of danger in the franchise towards Wick that didn't feel like someone playing a videogame with cheat codes on.

The antique shop fight, the Villainess motorcycle fight, and the Raid climax inverted fight were the highlights.
I accept this metric, and I agree mostly with your highlights (plus the horses), but I still felt that it kinda blew the wad in the first half hour or so, and subsequent action felt dulled by monotony and implausible superhero perfection (ala, a video game on easy). I don't think it's a coincidence that two of those highlights, involving purely hand-to-hand work, prove to be much more exciting than the film's gunplay. There're a lot more interesting contingencies choreographed into the manual fight scenes, while the gunplay inevitable reduces to the same four or five moves the majority of the time.

The highlights you mention are indeed highlights of the series. But there's also this massive hole in the middle of the film, where the Casablanca fight might very well be the very worst of the series. By that metric, I'll still stick with the first one.
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