Recently Seen

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Wooley
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:24 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:12 am
Aquaman is my 2nd favorite in the DC universe after Man of Steel. They both have script issues but have a degree of spectacle that is fairly staggering, at heights the MCU didn’t effectively reach until Infinity War.

Aquaman especially captures a James Cameron-esque approach to spatially aware, highly complex action scenes that is simply masterful on a technical level. This made it a far more enjoyable watch than Wonder Woman, which had fairly atrocious action sequences with rubbery CGI doubles that looked straight out of Blade 2.

A harmless, popcorn romp with fun world building and an enjoyable lead.
I must respectfully disagree.
I am now an hour and forty minutes into this and I'm calling it the second-worst DCEU movie, easily, and it still has time to unseat Suicide Squad. It makes Thor: The Dark World (which I unfortunately also recently watched) look like Citizen Kane.
I am surprised, I must admit, to see you praise it's technical aspects, it is the most two-dimensional film I've seen in a long time with poor green-screening in every scene reducing it to essentially a couple of actors running and fighting unconvincingly in front of a painted backdrop, while the CGI is close to the worst I've seen in a tentpole film since... well, Justice League. I'm not aware of Marvel having any film, not even Incredible Hulk or Iron Man 3, this bad.
I will save my evisceration of this amalgamation of video-game cut-scenes for a full-posting in my own thread.
Sorry.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:27 am

Wooley wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:24 am
I must respectfully disagree.
I am now an hour and forty minutes into this and I'm calling it the second-worst DCEU movie, easily, and it still has time to unseat Suicide Squad. It makes Thor: The Dark World (which I unfortunately also recently watched) look like Citizen Kane.
I will save my evisceration of this amalgamation of video-game cut-scenes for a full-posting in my own thread.
I'd agree, if it were a Marvel movie. As far as DC goes, it's in the upper half. And it is head and shoulder's above Suicide Squad. This is clear enough that I think one can make the case, more or less, objectively (e.g., standards of editing, emplotment, characterization).
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:27 am

Wooley wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:24 am
Sorry, I was in the process of editing to reflect on some more of MKS' thoughts when you quoted and replied.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:33 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:27 am
I'd agree, if it were a Marvel movie. As far as DC goes, it's in the upper half. And it is head and shoulder's above Suicide Squad. This is clear enough that I think one can make the case, more or less, objectively (e.g., standards of editing, emplotment, characterization).
I guess the reason I say it has a chance to unseat SS is that SS had Harley and as long as she was on-screen or had a chance to do something interesting, I was still paying attention despite what a complete disaster was going on all around her, whereas this film, I just can't find anything to hang my hat on. The "villain" is terrible. The secondary villain is mishandled badly. Every character is a one-dimensional nothing. The story is paint-by-numbers for six year-olds. Even Mamoa's charisma can't keep this thing... afloat. I will grant, I guess, that at least the narrative, however remedial it may be, is coherent and linear and the scenes are edited together in a way that makes sense (something that actually can't be said for BvS, SS, or JL).
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:34 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:12 am
Aquaman is my 2nd favorite in the DC universe after Man of Steel. They both have script issues but have a degree of spectacle that is fairly staggering, at heights the MCU didn’t effectively reach until Infinity War.
I just couldn't get into Aquaman either but I really liked Man of Steel.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Death Proof » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:09 am

Wooley wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:07 am
I love you.

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:40 pm

My recent obsession with '90s action movies led me to The Last Boy Scout, which I enjoyed. Is there anyone better than Shane Black at writing buddy relationships and quotable dialogue in action movies? Whether it's the scene at the strip club or at Hallenbeck's house, I appreciated how the movie took its time to develop these characters' relationship instead of doing what lesser action movies do: truncating scenes like these in favor of ones with resultingly meaningless action. As much as I enjoyed the Willis's and Wayan's performances and their chemistry, it's Taylor Negron (R.I.P.) who steals the show as the delightfully smug villain Milo. It's hard to believe that the production was disastrous, whether it be the leads' contentious relationship or Joel Silver limiting Black and Scott's creative contributions. Even so, I'd still like to see the version of the movie in Black's original script, especially since Milo is apparently even crazier in it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:49 pm

Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) - 8/10

This film makes for an effective post-WW2 allegory of European political systems along with a vast array of clever visual tricks to boot. In it, Tarr examines the brutalization of the Hungarian town by the government through the decaying corpse of a whale which serves as a metaphor for a bloated political system as where the mysterious cloud which hovers over each town it visits represents the spread of the monolithic government system across the nation. The Prince which accompanies this circus attraction represents the centralized power of this government. These set pieces in addition to several others and the roles of various characters make for a multi-layered, slow-burning representation on this. Equally important to the story are the rather unconventional visuals/camerawork. For instance, a recurring theme of the film are the transitions from lightness to darkness which, to be honest, are becoming a bit of an overused metaphor at this point (although, I still loved the opening). Most importantly though is the pacing which is a trademark of Tarr's filmography. Several shots of this film last for a few minutes and consist solely of a character or a group of characters walking. Instead of cutting from one location to another, the character is often shown walking over to it. Although these shots may seem unnecessary at first glance, the effect they give the film is that it feels like it was shot in real time. In a way, it feels like we're right there in the town as we follow the individual characters around and how we act as an observer, slowly witnessing the town's decline. Overall, this is a truly unique and clever effect which is practically impossible to come by (we need much more films like this). As for the soundtrack, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. I don't dislike it, nor do I think it benefits the movie that much (the movie fortunately ends before it starts getting repetitive). Regardless, this is pretty insignificant compared to the rest of the film, and it doesn't come close to preventing me from loving it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Terror » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:00 pm

Wooley wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:05 pm
Sounds good.
I really don't care if there are any people in the movie at all.
Honestly, as someone who considers himself a Godzilla fan, but not an expert, I'm struggling to remember ONE thing a human character has ever done in one of these films, with the exceptions being the Japanese cut of Gojira and the obnoxious little boy in All Monsters Attack. I think I'll be fine.

Disclaimer: This is not to suggest that no previous film has had worthwhile human elements, only pointing out that I've managed to be a fan of these things for 45 years without ever noticing them.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by LEAVES » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:43 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:49 pm
Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) - 8/10

This film makes for an effective post-WW2 allegory of European political systems along with a vast array of clever visual tricks to boot. In it, Tarr examines the brutalization of the Hungarian town by the government through the decaying corpse of a whale which serves as a metaphor for a bloated political system as where the mysterious cloud which hovers over each town it visits represents the spread of the monolithic government system across the nation. The Prince which accompanies this circus attraction represents the centralized power of this government. These set pieces in addition to several others and the roles of various characters make for a multi-layered, slow-burning representation on this. Equally important to the story are the rather unconventional visuals/camerawork. For instance, a recurring theme of the film are the transitions from lightness to darkness which, to be honest, are becoming a bit of an overused metaphor at this point (although, I still loved the opening). Most importantly though is the pacing which is a trademark of Tarr's filmography. Several shots of this film last for a few minutes and consist solely of a character or a group of characters walking. Instead of cutting from one location to another, the character is often shown walking over to it. Although these shots may seem unnecessary at first glance, the effect they gives the film is that it feels like it was shot in real time. In a way, it feels like we're right there in the town as we follow the individual characters around and how we act as an observer, slowly witnessing the town's decline. Overall, this is a truly unique and clever effect which is practically impossible to come by (we need much more films like this). As for the soundtrack, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. I don't dislike it, nor do I think it benefits the movie that much (the movie fortunately ends before it starts getting repetitive). Regardless, this is pretty insignificant compared to the rest of the film, and it doesn't come close to preventing me from loving it.
I don’t recall reading any political allegory from the film, and when I read the book after the film (which has an entirely different tone until it gets to the mob portion) it’s much more of a direct warning of the danger and peril of mob mentality. If anything, the government arises as the efficient and just corrective to the corrosive effects of unthinking mob rule. I’d have to watch the film again, though, to feel the difference.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:19 pm

LEAVES wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:43 pm
I don’t recall reading any political allegory from the film, and when I read the book after the film (which has an entirely different tone until it gets to the mob portion) it’s much more of a direct warning of the danger and peril of mob mentality. If anything, the government arises as the efficient and just corrective to the corrosive effects of unthinking mob rule. I’d have to watch the film again, though, to feel the difference.
I haven't read the book yet so I can't really say much on that, although I think it's worth pointing out that the book was published at about the time of the Soviet Union's collapse. In addition, the mob from the film is brought about due to the actions of the Prince and the whale (the Prince uses political dogma to stir them up in fact). There are also other various details such as how Tunde Eszter, who has ideas of political opportunism, eventually occupies Gyorgy's house after he's thrown out onto the streets. I think there's a bit of mob mentality in the film (especially in some of the later scenes), but when I consider all of this, in addition to Janos's ultimate fate at the end, I feel like there's a lot more going on in the film other than just the dangers of mob mentality. The setup for the mob seems too absurd for the film to be primarily focused on that.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:36 pm

I thought Aquaman took a while to sort its shit out but turned into a fun pulp pastiche with some cool themes... bubbling just under the surface.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:25 pm

Torgo wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:40 pm
My recent obsession with '90s action movies led me to The Last Boy Scout, which I enjoyed. Is there anyone better than Shane Black at writing buddy relationships and quotable dialogue in action movies? Whether it's the scene at the strip club or at Hallenbeck's house, I appreciated how the movie took its time to develop these characters' relationship instead of doing what lesser action movies do: truncating scenes like these in favor of ones with resultingly meaningless action. As much as I enjoyed the Willis's and Wayan's performances and their chemistry, it's Taylor Negron (R.I.P.) who steals the show as the delightfully smug villain Milo. It's hard to believe that the production was disastrous, whether it be the leads' contentious relationship or Joel Silver limiting Black and Scott's creative contributions. Even so, I'd still like to see the version of the movie in Black's original script, especially since Milo is apparently even crazier in it.
All true. Especially Negron.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by LEAVES » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:56 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:19 pm
I haven't read the book yet so I can't really say much on that, although I think it's worth pointing out that the book was published at about the time of the Soviet Union's collapse. In addition, the mob from the film is brought about due to the actions of the Prince and the whale (the Prince uses political dogma to stir them up in fact). There are also other various details such as how Tunde Eszter, who has ideas of political opportunism, eventually occupies Gyorgy's house after he's thrown out onto the streets. I think there's a bit of mob mentality in the film (especially in some of the later scenes), but when I consider all of this, in addition to Janos's ultimate fate at the end, I feel like there's a lot more going on in the film other than just the dangers of mob mentality. The setup for the mob seems too absurd for the film to be primarily focused on that.
If anything, the book should have been more critical of government overreach since the communist government was in the practice of, for instance, forcibly redistributing property (see: Satantango). With Werckmeister you have a film from a capitalist country that is eating itself. Capitalism brought rampant inequality and divisiveness to most Eastern European countries, not governmental overreach. This film was made many years before Orban’s current de facto dictatorship, but his widespread support is emblematic of a rot from within.

Whatever the political opinions at the time of the film, though, to say The Prince is a political figure is to paint a picture that doesn’t really exist. He’s barely in the film. What his motivations and effects are is hinted at - at best. I think the mystery is far more central than any explanation. When a film offers little context and a lot of atmosphere, there’s an impulse to fill the void with context that’s not given in the film, but I think that falls afoul of the expressionistic power of the film. It’s a far more interesting book (and, from what I remember, film) because the explanations don’t fully account for the behaviors. Sometimes a rabbit hole really is a rabbit hole!

I do like acquarello’s take, as per usual. He links the individual rot to the greater failings of misguided political ideals, and the whale is a dead, rotting ideology:

http://filmref.com/2017/12/22/werckmeis ... nies-2005/
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:10 pm

Wooley wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:25 pm
All true. Especially Negron.
"Yes there is a problem officer, there are too many bullets in this gun."
I remember seeing this film in theaters back in the day. I think I was 13 or 14 and right from the opening scene, this film felt so raw, so "adult" to me. I revisited a couple of years ago and, although you have to acknowledge the inherent silliness, I think it holds up pretty well. IMO, one of the best representations of late 80's/early 90's action films there is.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:29 pm

LEAVES wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:56 pm
If anything, the book should have been more critical of government overreach since the communist government was in the practice of, for instance, forcibly redistributing property (see: Satantango). With Werckmeister you have a film from a capitalist country that is eating itself. Capitalism brought rampant inequality and divisiveness to most Eastern European countries, not governmental overreach. This film was made many years before Orban’s current de facto dictatorship, but his widespread support is emblematic of a rot from within.

Whatever the political opinions at the time of the film, though, to say The Prince is a political figure is to paint a picture that doesn’t really exist. He’s barely in the film. What his motivations and effects are is hinted at - at best. I think the mystery is far more central than any explanation. When a film offers little context and a lot of atmosphere, there’s an impulse to fill the void with context that’s not given in the film, but I think that falls afoul of the expressionistic power of the film. It’s a far more interesting book (and, from what I remember, film) because the explanations don’t fully account for the behaviors. Sometimes a rabbit hole really is a rabbit hole!

I do like acquarello’s take, as per usual. He links the individual rot to the greater failings of misguided political ideals, and the whale is a dead, rotting ideology:

http://filmref.com/2017/12/22/werckmeis ... nies-2005/
I think I see what you mean now. It does seem like the political allegory I read from this film likely isn't what Tarr intended with it. Thanks for linking the article btw. I thought it was quite interesting to read. I especially liked his reading of Gyorgy's research on the musical scale. I'll have to check out the book someday.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:12 pm

Shazam! - 8/10 - Light hearted and humorous. I'm not saying all DC movies should go this route but they could stand to lighten up a little. The big finale suffers a bit from what so many other superhero movies do. It goes on a little too long and is a little too heavy on the CGI. But it's not so egregious. Maybe because the characters are all so likable. At this point I don't think DC will ever catch up to Marvel but at least they don't appear to be (literally) flailing around in the dark.
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Re: Batman Returns (Burton, '92)

Post by Stu » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:03 am

Wooley wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 1:21 pm
I think you've really nailed this here, pointing out not only the strengths and weaknesses of this (very enjoyable, if flawed) film but also how this film accentuates some of the shortcomings of its predecessor. I agree with you completely and also agree that this movie's strengths outweigh its weaknesses and make it a film worth taking time out for.
Thanks, Wooley!
Thief wrote:
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To this day, I've never seen Batman Returns. Not sure why.
Like I wrote, it does its share of notable flaws, but I feel it has more than enough unique strengths to outweigh those problems, and still make it worth checking out in the end. It's no Dark Knight, but out of the first 4 live-action Warner Bros. Batman films, it's certainly my favorite, as the original was just so... empty, meandering, and substance-less an experience, and the Schumacher entries, from what I remember, are fairly obnoxious, day-glo colored, cinematic cotton candy, so it's not like they give Returns much competition, heh.
Apex Predator wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:36 pm
It may be the first time that I realized that Tim Burton can fall in love with darkness for darkness's sake making it difficult on the viewer.

Still there are its good points such as Pfeiffer taking to the Catwoman like most cats do with milk and a dark carnival like street fight.

Kinda telling that it took a long time to bring back the titular character to the film named after him.
Yeah, Selina in Returns is definitely the best female character in any modern, live-action theatrical film featuring Batman; Vicki Vale was just there in the original to look pretty and be the film's token girly girl, Chase Meridan was a embarassingly, ridiculously over-the-top Bat fangirl, Alica Silverstone's Batgirl was... yeah (Uma Thurman's Poison Ivy was campy fun, sure, but not a good character in the traditional sense of the word), and Rachel was pretty weak/miscast in the first two entries of The Dark Knight trilogy. Talia in The Dark Knight Rises was somewhat better, but Hathaway's girl-next-door vibe kept her from having credibility in her role, at least not much when she was trying to be in Catwoman mode, Wonder Woman was mostly a needless afterthought in BvS, and while Suicide Squad was a lousy movie, Harley, if not necessarily a "well-written" character, was still at least one of the more memorable characters in this category, for Robbie's convincing, credible performance if nothing else, which is saying something about the franchise's track record with women.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:27 am

Autumn Sonata had all the cinematic beauty and emotional potency one would expect from a double Bergman joint.

10 Rillington Place was a great True Crime film that feels lineage to both In Cold Blood and the Wrong Man. If not seen young Richard Attenborough before and I couldn't shake the feeling he was James Spader cosplaying as Toby Jones. Richard Fleischer is a terribly underrated director.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by LEAVES » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:45 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:29 pm
I think I see what you mean now. It does seem like the political allegory I read from this film likely isn't what Tarr intended with it. Thanks for linking the article btw. I thought it was quite interesting to read. I especially liked his reading of Gyorgy's research on the musical scale. I'll have to check out the book someday.
I should note that I’m extra hesitant to read a lot into symbolism these days, especially if it doesn’t feel to me like the primary source of ideas for a work. There’s a huge chasm for me between symbolism being present in a work and symbolism actually serving a meaningful and worthwhile function in a film. In the same way I would rather avoid a mediocre film than watch it, I would rather avoid spending time trying to decipher mediocre use of symbolism in a major expressionitic work. No matter what, I always feel these late Tarr films, and that takes precedence for me. There is so much from the book that Tarr ignores that a normal film would include, but that, to me, is largely a sign that the important part is not the text but the feel. And it works!
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Re: Batman Returns (Burton, '92)

Post by Thief » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:41 pm

Stu wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:03 am
Like I wrote, it does its share of notable flaws, but I feel it has more than enough unique strengths to outweigh those problems, and still make it worth checking out in the end. It's no Dark Knight, but out of the first 4 live-action Warner Bros. Batman films, it's certainly my favorite, as the original was just so... empty, meandering, and substance-less an experience, and the Schumacher entries, from what I remember, are fairly obnoxious, day-glo colored, cinematic cotton candy, so it's not like they give Returns much competition, heh.
I've been hearing similar things for years. It's a weird thing and I can't put a finger on why exactly I passed on this film. I mean, I liked the first one, I was 15 years old when this came out, so arguably, I had a bullseye on me as far as target audiences are concerned. But still, for some reason, never saw it. Plus, I did saw Batman Forever several years after, which makes it even more weird that I skipped this one.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:03 am

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Rock » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:40 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:27 am
10 Rillington Place was a great True Crime film that feels lineage to both In Cold Blood and the Wrong Man. If not seen young Richard Attenborough before and I couldn't shake the feeling he was James Spader cosplaying as Toby Jones. Richard Fleischer is a terribly underrated director.
It's very good. I think compared to other serial killer movies, it manages to get under your skin not just on the basis of the killer's capacity for violence, but on the way he manipulates an innocent man. I'm not sure I've seen that dynamic explored to the same extent in another movie about the subject.

I haven't seen very much from Fleischer, but 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a fine adventure film.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:42 am

The Narrow Margin is another incredible Fleischer flick. One of my favorite noirs and one of my favorite train movies.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:06 am

LEAVES wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:45 pm
I should note that I’m extra hesitant to read a lot into symbolism these days, especially if it doesn’t feel to me like the primary source of ideas for a work. There’s a huge chasm for me between symbolism being present in a work and symbolism actually serving a meaningful and worthwhile function in a film. In the same way I would rather avoid a mediocre film than watch it, I would rather avoid spending time trying to decipher mediocre use of symbolism in a major expressionitic work. No matter what, I always feel these late Tarr films, and that takes precedence for me. There is so much from the book that Tarr ignores that a normal film would include, but that, to me, is largely a sign that the important part is not the text but the feel. And it works!
If the symbolism enriches what the main point or ideas the director's trying to convey, I usually do consider it as it benefits my viewing of the film. If it's just secondary to what I love most about the film though, I usually just go "Yeah, pretty cool. Moving on though." I'm still sort of new to Tarr's filmography. The only other film of his which I saw was The Turin Horse and, although I remember liking it quite a bit, I don't remember a whole lot about it. I'll definitely consider viewing Tarr like you do in the future. It's just that I typically value story above all other qualities when I watch films as that's usually what keeps me coming back to them. By focusing on both the feel and the story of this film, I'd say I got quite a lot out of it. Of course though, this doesn't mean I shouldn't at least try your suggestion though.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by LEAVES » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:59 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:06 am
If the symbolism enriches what the main point or ideas the director's trying to convey, I usually do consider it as it benefits my viewing of the film. If it's just secondary to what I love most about the film though, I usually just go "Yeah, pretty cool. Moving on though." I'm still sort of new to Tarr's filmography. The only other film of his which I saw was The Turin Horse and, although I remember liking it quite a bit, I don't remember a whole lot about it. I'll definitely consider viewing Tarr like you do in the future. It's just that I typically value story above all other qualities when I watch films as that's usually what keeps me coming back to them. By focusing on both the feel and the story of this film, I'd say I got quite a lot out of it. Of course though, this doesn't mean I shouldn't at least try your suggestion though.
Well, symbolism is indirect. It takes a lot of context and repetition and whatnot to elevate something from an empty symbol to a meaningful symbol. An 8 minute shot of a guy walking down a street is not exactly the paragon of a symbolically rich film, to me. There’s clearly sculpting in time, though, which is immediately felt. In fact the longer it goes the more you feel it, for better or worse!

Literature is great for symbolism. Many thousands of words. A film like Song to Song with an average shot length of 2.5 seconds (I made this stat up): also great. A densely cluttered mis en scene reminiscent of highly symbolic Renaissance paintings like a Greenaway film: also great. A guy walking down a street? One of these things is not like the other!

I value story least of all. Plots are for synopses. You don’t have to watch a film to learn the story. You can’t learn the way a film feels any other way than watching it, and you can’t put all of the innumerable nuances of movement paired with time into words, and you can’t capture the ideas sprung from the confluence of these things in words in the same way. That, to me, is the heart of the art. All the things Hollywood ignores for the sake of the same generic plots that all sound the exact same in synopses and are all the exact same in action...
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Bandy Greensacks » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:46 am

LEAVES wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:59 am
I value story least of all. Plots are for synopses. You don’t have to watch a film to learn the story. You can’t learn the way a film feels any other way than watching it, and you can’t put all of the innumerable nuances of movement paired with time into words, and you can’t capture the ideas sprung from the confluence of these things in words in the same way. That, to me, is the heart of the art. All the things Hollywood ignores for the sake of the same generic plots that all sound the exact same in synopses and are all the exact same in action...
That's a fantastic description of why great film is great. I personally don't care about "spoilers" at all anymore, because it's not about the destination as much as the journey.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:04 pm

LEAVES wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:59 am
Well, symbolism is indirect. It takes a lot of context and repetition and whatnot to elevate something from an empty symbol to a meaningful symbol. An 8 minute shot of a guy walking down a street is not exactly the paragon of a symbolically rich film, to me. There’s clearly sculpting in time, though, which is immediately felt. In fact the longer it goes the more you feel it, for better or worse!

Literature is great for symbolism. Many thousands of words. A film like Song to Song with an average shot length of 2.5 seconds (I made this stat up): also great. A densely cluttered mis en scene reminiscent of highly symbolic Renaissance paintings like a Greenaway film: also great. A guy walking down a street? One of these things is not like the other!

I value story least of all. Plots are for synopses. You don’t have to watch a film to learn the story. You can’t learn the way a film feels any other way than watching it, and you can’t put all of the innumerable nuances of movement paired with time into words, and you can’t capture the ideas sprung from the confluence of these things in words in the same way. That, to me, is the heart of the art. All the things Hollywood ignores for the sake of the same generic plots that all sound the exact same in synopses and are all the exact same in action...
Well, like I said, I'll definitely consider your advice. You made many interesting observations, and I'll be happy to consider what you said in the future.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:26 pm

I enjoyed Q: The Winged Serpent even though I'm not sure what to make of it. It's the kind of movie that leaves you with a "well, that was something" reaction when it's over. The ancient Aztec God Quetzalcoatl is terrorizing New York City in the form of a giant bird that feeds on human heads, and it's up to a libertarian recovering drug addict with the coincidental name of Quinn to inform the police of his nest, i.e. the top floor of the Chrysler building. Quinn is hesitant to divulge the nest's location because he hid there after participating in a botched jewelry store robbery. In short, it's a monster movie on one hand and a redemption story for Quinn on the other. Michael Moriarty plays Quinn in a chaotic, unhinged way that made me think Charlie Day would play the role if the movie were produced today, and while he often got on my nerves, his amusing anti-government leanings, likely a product of the kind of early '80s sentiments about the U.S. government also found in Ghostbusters, make up for it. His story and the Quetzalcoatl story don't entirely mesh - there were times when I was thinking "didn't this movie used to have a monster in it?" a la Hans Moleman from The Simpsons, but on the whole, I admire the movie simply for existing: it takes a lot of guts for a production company to fund something so strange.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:25 pm

Excellent take on a typically gonzo Larry Cohen movie. There's all these myriad elements and eccentric characters in the mix. Pre-production supposedly took place over the course of a week after Cohen was fired from another movie in NYC and didn't want to waste his prepaid hotel room. He threw together the script in six days.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Jinnistan » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:42 pm

Bandy Greensacks wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:46 am
That's a fantastic description of why great film is great. I personally don't care about "spoilers" at all anymore, because it's not about the destination as much as the journey.
Blah. The definition of "suspense" is not knowing what's going to happen next. Great thrillers (like Psycho, which I've seen at least 50 times) can offer an endless amount of insight into the "journey" as you go along, but I, for one, have been perfectly content having seen the film before knowing the twists, and experiencing those twists in the real-time rhythm of the viewing. It's better.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:35 pm

Torgo wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:26 pm
I enjoyed Q: The Winged Serpent even though I'm not sure what to make of it. It's the kind of movie that leaves you with a "well, that was something" reaction when it's over. The ancient Aztec God Quetzalcoatl is terrorizing New York City in the form of a giant bird that feeds on human heads, and it's up to a libertarian recovering drug addict with the coincidental name of Quinn to inform the police of his nest, i.e. the top floor of the Chrysler building. Quinn is hesitant to divulge the nest's location because he hid there after participating in a botched jewelry store robbery. In short, it's a monster movie on one hand and a redemption story for Quinn on the other. Michael Moriarty plays Quinn in a chaotic, unhinged way that made me think Charlie Day would play the role if the movie were produced today, and while he often got on my nerves, his amusing anti-government leanings, likely a product of the kind of early '80s sentiments about the U.S. government also found in Ghostbusters, make up for it. His story and the Quetzalcoatl story don't entirely mesh - there were times when I was thinking "didn't this movie used to have a monster in it?" a la Hans Moleman from The Simpsons, but on the whole, I admire the movie simply for existing: it takes a lot of guts for a production company to fund something so strange.
Yeah, I really enjoyed this movie when I was younger and now, with you being the second or third adult to speak well of it in the last year or so, I think I may go back and take a flyer (yuk yuk) on it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:36 pm

Jinnistan wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:42 pm
Blah. The definition of "suspense" is not knowing what's going to happen next. Great thrillers (like Psycho, which I've seen at least 50 times) can offer an endless amount of insight into the "journey" as you go along, but I, for one, have been perfectly content having seen the film before knowing the twists, and experiencing those twists in the real-time rhythm of the viewing. It's better.
I don't disagree but I do think there can be great artistry in unravelling a mystery/setting up and executing a twist effectively for an audience.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Jinnistan » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:46 pm

Wooley wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:36 pm
I don't disagree but I do think there can be great artistry in unravelling a mystery/setting up and executing a twist effectively for an audience.
My issue is that "effectively" requires an audience that is unaware of what's coming.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:13 pm

Rock wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:40 am
It's very good. I think compared to other serial killer movies, it manages to get under your skin not just on the basis of the killer's capacity for violence, but on the way he manipulates an innocent man. I'm not sure I've seen that dynamic explored to the same extent in another movie about the subject.

I haven't seen very much from Fleischer, but 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a fine adventure film.
It's unique also among what I've seen of Fleischer, both stylistically and in regards to content. What I've seen from him is usually "bigger" films like Soylent Green (which I goddamn LOVE) and sword and sandal types like the Vikings, Red Sonja and Conan the Destroyer. I will only not defend the latter.

He has some other serial killer films like the Boston Strangler, which I feel like I need to seek out now.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Death Proof » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:44 am

Torgo wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:26 pm
I enjoyed Q: The Winged Serpent even though I'm not sure what to make of it. It's the kind of movie that leaves you with a "well, that was something" reaction when it's over. The ancient Aztec God Quetzalcoatl is terrorizing New York City in the form of a giant bird that feeds on human heads, and it's up to a libertarian recovering drug addict with the coincidental name of Quinn to inform the police of his nest, i.e. the top floor of the Chrysler building. Quinn is hesitant to divulge the nest's location because he hid there after participating in a botched jewelry store robbery. In short, it's a monster movie on one hand and a redemption story for Quinn on the other. Michael Moriarty plays Quinn in a chaotic, unhinged way that made me think Charlie Day would play the role if the movie were produced today, and while he often got on my nerves, his amusing anti-government leanings, likely a product of the kind of early '80s sentiments about the U.S. government also found in Ghostbusters, make up for it. His story and the Quetzalcoatl story don't entirely mesh - there were times when I was thinking "didn't this movie used to have a monster in it?" a la Hans Moleman from The Simpsons, but on the whole, I admire the movie simply for existing: it takes a lot of guts for a production company to fund something so strange.
Moriarty is great in Q. An unexpectedly well-written, well-acted character in a B movie.

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:51 am

I liked Dark Phoenix quite a bit. One of the better X-Men films overall and avoids a lot of the mess ups of the Last Stand.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:47 am

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) - 6/10

Biopics typically don't do much for me, because I often get the feeling that they barely scratch the surface of what great movies can do since they often have nothing on their minds other than to champion someone or a group of people. Regardless, I decided to try this one out anyways as I love both John Ford and Henry Fonda. While I wasn't blown away, I'd say this was a bit better than your average cookie cutter biopic as it had its fair share of effective moments. For instance, I liked how it avoided the overwritten, Oscar bait dialogue which can sometimes cause more harm than good to their films (Darkest Hour, for instance) and instead saved all of it for a chillingly effective scene in the middle. In addition, I thought Abigail Clay managed to bring a decent amount of intrigue to the courtroom sequence with how she acted as the moral center of it. And, of course, Henry Fonda is terrific (although, I kind of expected that going into it). It's just that a decent amount of bland sections which do nothing for me are also in the film. They serve no purpose other than relaying this story to us in an accessible way. In addition to this, I could've done without the occasional bits of humor (I feel like this is a trapping of 30's films which hasn't aged well). Fortunately though, John Ford would go on to make much better films. If you like biopics, check this one out. If you don't, I wouldn't recommend adding this one to the top of your queue, but you should at least get some value out of it if you decide to watch it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by crumbsroom » Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:50 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:47 am
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) - 6/10

Biopics typically don't do much for me, because I often get the feeling that they barely scratch the surface of what great movies can do since they often have nothing on their minds other than to champion someone or a group of people. Regardless, I decided to try this one out anyways as I love both John Ford and Henry Fonda. While I wasn't blown away, I'd say this was a bit better than your average cookie cutter biopic as it had its fair share of effective moments. For instance, I liked how it avoided the overwritten, Oscar bait dialogue which can sometimes cause more harm than good to their films (Darkest Hour, for instance) and instead saved all of it for a chillingly effective scene in the middle. In addition, I thought Abigail Clay managed to bring a decent amount of intrigue to the courtroom sequence with how she acted as the moral center of it. And, of course, Henry Fonda is terrific (although, I kind of expected that going into it). It's just that a decent amount of bland sections which do nothing for me are also in the film. They serve no purpose other than relaying this story to us in an accessible way. In addition to this, I could've done without the occasional bits of humor (I feel like this is a trapping of 30's films which hasn't aged well). Fortunately though, John Ford would go on to make much better films. If you like biopics, check this one out. If you don't, I wouldn't recommend adding this one to the top of your queue, but you should at least get some value out of it if you decide to watch it.
Yeah, I'm not huge on this either. It's fine. And better than some biopics. But it doesn't really feel like it rises beyond being a decent watch and little more.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:54 am

I'm a big fan of YML because of Fonda's performance and the ending that was stolen by James Cameron for the Terminator.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Death Proof » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:26 am

The Fast & the Furious 2: Tokyo Drift - 4/10

Cold Pursuit - 7/10

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:45 am

I just realized that since I have access to an Amazon Prime account I can watch a buttload of movies on their service. All this time and I hadn't put the two together. Stuff like A Quiet Place, Hereditary and The Florida Project and so many others I've been wanting to watch. I can now easily double down on the films I'll probably never get around to watching. We're living in a wondrous age.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:30 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:51 am
I liked Dark Phoenix quite a bit. One of the better X-Men films overall and avoids a lot of the mess ups of the Last Stand.
Same here. The critics are being way too harsh on this one. To anyone else who is skeptical, don't let them stop you.
I think I enjoyed it more than Apocalypse. Better - and more - interpersonal drama, not to mention better action. That train scene was incredible.
Apparently, it's going to flop. I blame bad marketing, personally. I only saw the preview once, and it was at a theater. Also, it was probably a mistake to leave "X-Men" out of the title.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:07 pm

Torgo wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:30 am
Same here. The critics are being way too harsh on this one. To anyone else who is skeptical, don't let them stop you.
I think I enjoyed it more than Apocalypse. Better - and more - interpersonal drama, not to mention better action. That train scene was incredible.
Apparently, it's going to flop. I blame bad marketing, personally. I only saw the preview once, and it was at a theater. Also, it was probably a mistake to leave "X-Men" out of the title.
In complete agreement. I'm wondering if it has to do with following up Logan, which already seemed to end the franchise and this being the sole entry to not have Jackman in any capacity that's brought about this arms-crossed/closed-minded reaction as it doesn't reflect the quality of the film at all, especially in a franchise that has The Last Stand, X-Men Origins and Apocalypse.

At worst, it's reach exceeds it's grasp but almost every complaint that could be lodged against it, the "good" ones are also very guilty.

The difference is the lack of Logan and I can't help but feel that's made all the difference.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:29 pm

Mile 22 - 5/10 - This is lower tier Marky Mark. It's kind of confusing to begin with. And Wahlberg's character is so unlikable that someone calling him an asshole is actually in the script. I'm sure he was meant to be an anti-hero type. And his constantly racing brain/Asperger's/ADHD/whatever the fuck it's supposed to be is an interesting enough character quirk but the story mirrors it to the point where it's hard to settle in and just enjoy the movie. The payoff/twist turns out to be silly and kind of weak. Wahlberg and director Peter Berg supposedly had a trilogy in mind but their main protagonist wears out his welcome very quickly. His elite covert operative treats his supposedly valued team members like so much detritus. I can't figure out what Lauren Cohan or Ronda Rousey or any of the other character's brought to the table. And they waste Iko Uwais from The Raid movies. If you're absolutely in the mood for a Wahlberg (uttered by no one ever probably) try the one where he's a merchant sailor and a smuggler. I forget what it's called but I at least enjoyed that one. Or maybe his "oil rig on fire" one. Skip this one.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:49 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:45 am
I just realized that since I have access to an Amazon Prime account I can watch a buttload of movies on their service. All this time and I hadn't put the two together. Stuff like A Quiet Place, Hereditary and The Florida Project and so many others I've been wanting to watch. I can now easily double down on the films I'll probably never get around to watching. We're living in a wondrous age.
Seriously, man? :P It's pretty darn great. I think their library is the most complete. Just browse any film; it'll tell you if it's available free or for rental.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:03 pm

Thief wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:49 pm
Seriously, man? :P It's pretty darn great. I think their library is the most complete. Just browse any film; it'll tell you if it's available free or for rental.
I have a supposedly smart TV with remote buttons for Amazon, YouTube, Fandango and others that outside of Netflix I never had the time to explore. Along with the premium cable channels like HBO/Cinemax/Showtime/Starz (not to mention youtube's lineup of free 50's classic sci-fi flicks) last night's discovery was close to sensory overload.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Death Proof » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:01 pm

Gadające głowy - 7/10

Shepherds we shall be, for thee, my Lord, for thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, our feet may swiftly carry out Thy commands.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee and teeming with souls shall it ever be.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:34 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:03 pm
I have a supposedly smart TV with remote buttons for Amazon, YouTube, Fandango and others that outside of Netflix I never had the time to explore. Along with the premium cable channels like HBO/Cinemax/Showtime/Starz (not to mention youtube's lineup of free 50's classic sci-fi flicks) last night's discovery was close to sensory overload.
It can be a bit overwhelming. I tend to move between Sling, Prime, Netflix, and Hulu. Sometimes Tubi. Depending on what I want to watch.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:52 am

Thief wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:34 pm
It can be a bit overwhelming. I tend to move between Sling, Prime, Netflix, and Hulu. Sometimes Tubi. Depending on what I want to watch.
Tubi? Okay that's definitely getting bookmarked. I haven't been on couchtuner for awhile but it's always been notoriously balky. Thanks for the recommendation.
My heart is still and awaits its hour.
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