Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

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Wooley
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Wooley » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:39 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:42 pm

15. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Rian Johnson's film has gotten a lot of hatred and vitrol online due to various factors. But I think it's the same kind of noise that was spewed by those who decried the idea of a female Ghostbusters unit.

What I really liked about Jedi is the little things that connected with previous films in the series. Luke's reluctance to take on Rey as a Jedi serves as a parallel to Yoda taking on Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. Finn and Rose's venture to a casino to retrieve someone who could break a code offers reminders of Luke and Obi Won's trip to the Cantina to find a smuggler pilot as well as everyone's adventures in Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. The cute new Porgs come from the same world as the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi.

But the film isn't just interested in the past. It also wants to go its own route. It explores hero worship with Poe and Rose. It dives into what happens when dreams get washed up by the dark reality of the world they live in. It's about the search for hope when everything is growing dark. It's about finding your own voice. It's not about giving up when everything goes dark, but choosing to fight back anyway.

Oh, and that one scene in the throne room is really cool.

I have to disagree here because I am one of the haters of this film, I loathe it, though I think you still have to say it was better than the comically-bad disaster that was Rise Of Skywalker.
Anyway, my point is that I enjoyed The Force Awakens so much because of Rey. I thought she was the best thing in that film and I thought she was a great, great choice to be the next center of the Jedi saga. I thought they just completely mishandled, well, everything, and made a movie that I can only say sucked if I give it enough credit to not say the whole thing was just a laughably bad shit-show. They didn't even do their best by Rey, who becomes very powerful and remains a sort of moral center for the film, but otherwise it's not just poor it's really shit.
I didn't think there was anyway the franchise could recover from The Last Jedi and it turns out I was right as they went on to make an historically bad film.
But none of that has anything to do with people not wanting a female Ghostbusters, which I was also completely fine with and even got on board when I saw that Kristin Wiig was at the center, but just wasn't a particularly good movie, it's because Rian Johnson et al made a really bad movie that completely derailed just about everything the first film had going for it.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Stu » Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:45 am

Apex Predator wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:42 pm
16. A Quiet Place (2018)

Spooky horror throws us in the middle of a scenario where we have to work things out for themselves. After a tragedy early, we sit in on a family who is trying to survive against creatures who seem to have taken over the world. The father has an idea about how to protect themselves. The joy of this as it were comes down to the lack of sound of the film . Noise which they use to track humans. You can argue with parts of the film, but it all worked well enough for me.
Glad to see you liked it too, as I felt similarly, and, not to go off on a rant here, but a lot of the negative reactions I've seen directed at A Quiet Place solely based on its plot holes/implausibilities strike me as being motivated by this "gotcha!" mentality that's sprouted up online since the late 2000's, especially after CinemaSins got big (hurl), where people completely ignore underlying filmmaking craft in favor of harping on surface-level holes. Yes, AQP does have a few such holes in it, but they do not fundamentally ruin the film, and I say that not out of some personal bias to the film because I happened to like it personally, but because I've never seen any movie that was ruined because of plot holes, because plot and premise are mere means to an end, because they're irrelevant in light of the ultimate sensations that movies bring to us as viewers, and film is an art, not a science, so movies do not have to be perfect, clockwork-precision machines on a plot level, or even anywhere close to that, and acting like any of them should have to be that, especially a high-concept work like AQP, is just fundamentally misunderstanding the medium, IMO.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Apex Predator » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:59 pm

Thief, nice to see we can agree.

Wooley, love ya man, but while you think The Last Jedi ruined whatever things were offered by The Force Awakens, I enjoyed the things Rian Johnson added to the plot. Sure, Rose's line on the battlefield was a clunker and a half and I could complain about the direction they took with Oscar Isaac's character, but the arc they took with Luke and Rey really worked for me. Agree to disagree.

Stu, yeah, I might have had a few quibbles with A Quiet Place but I did feel the film generally worked on its minimalist instincts to create an atmosphere of dread and fear. I am however dreading the sequel because I think one trip in that world was enough.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Apex Predator » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:07 pm

The hiccups are gone and it's time to reveal...the top 10 films I've seen in 2019:

10. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

From Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows), a story of a defiant young Maori kid and his grumpy foster uncle (Sam Neill) who go on the run from New Zealand authorities who want to take him to another foster home after the nice aunt dies. It mixes some action, some heartwarming moments and some laughs without ever going off the rails towards sentimentalism or chaos. This family movie just got real all the way to the climax.

9. The Stranger (1946)

I have heard some complaints about sequences and concepts being left on the cutting room floor for this Orson Welles film. But what remains is a claustrophobic thriller about a college professor (Welles) with a disturbing secret and a federal agent (Edward G. Robinson) determined to get his man. In the middle is the professor's recently married wife (Loretta Young) who loves her husband, but grows increasingly intrigued by what the newcomer has to say. While there's the occasional plot hole, this film noir rides all the way to a bravura finale in a clock tower.

8. A Separation (2011)

Well before A Marriage Story came into the picture, we had the story of Nader and Simin who find their relationship tested by his elderly father who has Alzheimer's and the mother's desire to leave Tehran for America to give a greater opportunity for their daughter. Enter a woman who gets hired as a caretaker while hiding her pregnancy and we're set for a story of tragedy, retribution and days in front of a judge. This tense, well acted drama leaves you caring for both main characters as they struggle with the dilemmas in this film.

7. Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (2018)

It's clear that the whole kid gets bitten by a spider, gains super powers and learns to deal with super enemies has kind of run its course (no, I haven't seen the ones with Tom Holland yet). Or has it? By moving the film into Brooklyn and making it about Miles Morales, the filmmakers added some new spin in this saga. By making it like The One and having multiple-Spider Men (and women) to assist him, it showcases just how universal the story is. While not afraid of going into some dark places, this film also remembers the laughs and crowd rousing moments that make the franchise, well, heroic, allowing this new take to swing around the city with ease. Throw in an interesting soundtrack, and this is one Spiderman that I'm hoping there's a sequel for.

6. Moonlight (2016)

On the one hand, Chiron has had a very interesting and specific life in Miami. Having to deal with a world that never seems ready to accept a gay youth, he has to take the lessons learned from his drug addicted mama, a kindly neighborhood drug dealer and his wife, and his best friend and apply them as he grows into a more confident young man. Yet in some ways, this can serve as a bookend to the 2014 Boyhood where in both cases, you have to hope that both kids can overcome the obstacles placed in their path and not only survive, but thrive. It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. And the beauty of Moonlight is that not only do you get to see how the people he's met along the way has influenced him, but you get to see how Chiron influenced those he knew years later.

5. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness meets The Vietnam War in this look at the absurdities of war. From the opening scene where Martin Sheen shows the dangers of hurry up and wait, he's all too eager to take on the assignment of killing an officer gone rogue. But his journey of darkness with a boat crew is going to hit some surreal passages along the way from a sequence involving a surfing officer (Robert Duvall) to a crazed photographer (Dennis Hopper) in this film that just gets more bizarre as it goes. One scene involving a soldier participating in a battle scene while high is a highlight. By the time we meet Kurtz (Marlon Brando), it almost proves to be too much. But it isn't.

4. Coco (2017)

Kid who loves music and can't understand why his family hates it and forbids it heads out to the Land of the Dead where he meets a trickster named Hector and his mariachi idol Ernesto de la Cruz. While his family desperately try to find him and bring him back, Miguel finds out some interesting family secrets that might explain everything. From the land of Pixar, you know that it's going to be colorful and have good music. BUT, in the last 10-15 minutes, don't be surprised if you suddenly get all the feels as well.

3. Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018)

It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood as we learn about the life of Fred Rogers from passing seminary in Pittsburgh to changing his entire life and career around thanks to the magic of television and feeling like it could be utilized a lot better than it is. You get to see him advocate for public TV, explains how he was able to overcome some bad ratings in the early days and even glimpse some sense of humor (turns out he wasn't opposed to Eddie Murphy's take on SNL). Mostly, you find that what you see is what you get as the documentary showcases his attempts to overcome racial prejudice through a kiddy pool, explain world events to kids, and appeal to how special and important his audience is. I think it's a fitting eulogy to one man and how badly we miss him in today's world.

2. Double Indemnity (1944)

Iconic film noir by Billy Wilder deals with an insurance salesman (Fred McMurray) who gets over his head when his latest client (Barbara Stanwyck) decides she'd rather have the salesman than her husband. The agent and the wife get involved in the titular scheme where an accident can pay double, but things take a turn when an insurance investigator (Edward G. Robinson) starts searching around for the truth. This one has plenty of bite and some delicious lines as it travels towards its conclusion.

1. Lawrence of Arabia (1964)

Epic saga focuses on a British officer (Peter O'Toole) who befriends Prince Faisal (Alec Guinness) and Sherif Ali (Omar Sharif) and works with them to help the Arabs and British to fight off the Turks. David Lean provides some impressive desert footage and leads the actors to great performances. Considering the film is book-ended by a reporter asking about him, I think the film offers a darned good answer as to who he was and why he made a huge difference in a lot of people's lives.

Whew! Now finally onto 2020!
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Thief » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:25 pm

There are a lot of bangers in that last batch. If I were to choose a favorite from that bunch, it would probably be between Moonlight and Apocalypse Now... but A Separation, Lawrence of Arabia, Spider-verse, and Double Indemnity are all great.

I enjoyed Coco, but I wasn't crazy about it. I'm also one of those that has a few issues with The Stranger, but it is still a good film.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:33 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:07 pm
The hiccups are gone and it's time to reveal...the top 10 films I've seen in 2019:

8. A Separation (2011)

Well before A Marriage Story came into the picture, we had the story of Nader and Simin who find their relationship tested by his elderly father who has Alzheimer's and the mother's desire to leave Tehran for America to give a greater opportunity for their daughter. Enter a woman who gets hired as a caretaker while hiding her pregnancy and we're set for a story of tragedy, retribution and days in front of a judge. This tense, well acted drama leaves you caring for both main characters as they struggle with the dilemmas in this film.

7. Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (2018)

It's clear that the whole kid gets bitten by a spider, gains super powers and learns to deal with super enemies has kind of run its course (no, I haven't seen the ones with Tom Holland yet). Or has it? By moving the film into Brooklyn and making it about Miles Morales, the filmmakers added some new spin in this saga. By making it like The One and having multiple-Spider Men (and women) to assist him, it showcases just how universal the story is. While not afraid of going into some dark places, this film also remembers the laughs and crowd rousing moments that make the franchise, well, heroic, allowing this new take to swing around the city with ease. Throw in an interesting soundtrack, and this is one Spiderman that I'm hoping there's a sequel for.

6. Moonlight (2016)

On the one hand, Chiron has had a very interesting and specific life in Miami. Having to deal with a world that never seems ready to accept a gay youth, he has to take the lessons learned from his drug addicted mama, a kindly neighborhood drug dealer and his wife, and his best friend and apply them as he grows into a more confident young man. Yet in some ways, this can serve as a bookend to the 2014 Boyhood where in both cases, you have to hope that both kids can overcome the obstacles placed in their path and not only survive, but thrive. It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. And the beauty of Moonlight is that not only do you get to see how the people he's met along the way has influenced him, but you get to see how Chiron influenced those he knew years later.

5. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness meets The Vietnam War in this look at the absurdities of war. From the opening scene where Martin Sheen shows the dangers of hurry up and wait, he's all too eager to take on the assignment of killing an officer gone rogue. But his journey of darkness with a boat crew is going to hit some surreal passages along the way from a sequence involving a surfing officer (Robert Duvall) to a crazed photographer (Dennis Hopper) in this film that just gets more bizarre as it goes. One scene involving a soldier participating in a battle scene while high is a highlight. By the time we meet Kurtz (Marlon Brando), it almost proves to be too much. But it isn't.

4. Coco (2017)

Kid who loves music and can't understand why his family hates it and forbids it heads out to the Land of the Dead where he meets a trickster named Hector and his mariachi idol Ernesto de la Cruz. While his family desperately try to find him and bring him back, Miguel finds out some interesting family secrets that might explain everything. From the land of Pixar, you know that it's going to be colorful and have good music. BUT, in the last 10-15 minutes, don't be surprised if you suddenly get all the feels as well.

1. Lawrence of Arabia (1964)

Epic saga focuses on a British officer (Peter O'Toole) who befriends Prince Faisal (Alec Guinness) and Sherif Ali (Omar Sharif) and works with them to help the Arabs and British to fight off the Turks. David Lean provides some impressive desert footage and leads the actors to great performances. Considering the film is book-ended by a reporter asking about him, I think the film offers a darned good answer as to who he was and why he made a huge difference in a lot of people's lives.

Whew! Now finally onto 2020!
I wouldn't say I'm as big on Coco as you are, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm a huge fan of the others you mentioned though, with Arabia being my favorite. I also need to rewatch Apocalypse Now soon.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by crumbsroom » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:43 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:38 am

I've come around some (back in my teens, I would call myself one of those fundamentals). I can appreciate the challenges brought by XTC's Dear God and laugh at some of the foibles of Life of Brian and not feel bad inside. I enjoyed Glory, Glory for crying out loud.

I do think he has a sense of humor. Otherwise, why would the platypus exist?

And I am fine with its message. I guess my issue is that some of the jokes felt a bit tasteless and tacky.
If by tacky you mean dated, I doubt there is anything in Python's history that is completely exempt from this. I would argue that Life of Brian is the least dated of all with its humor though. I can't think of much which falls completely flat, and there is definitely that in Holy Grail, and certainly is in chunks of Flying Circus.

As for tasteless...that's a bad thing? It is kind of their MO half of the time. It makes about much sense to complain about Python's tastelessness and their nonsense. It all comes with the package.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:43 pm

Stu wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:45 am
a lot of the negative reactions I've seen directed at A Quiet Place solely based on its plot holes/implausibilities strike me as being motivated by this "gotcha!" mentality that's sprouted up online since the late 2000's
I liked A Quiet Place okay, but it's plot holes (or whatever you want to call them) really did it in for me. And in many ways, this is only amplified by the strengths of the film around it.

Let's start with the fact that the acting is good and the characters are relatable/likable. Thus I want them to live.

So when you get a good chunk into the film and then
then father and son go on a walk to a place where apparently they can talk openly it's like . . . ."WHAT?". So you're telling me that there's a place where they can talk and make noise without being eviscerated, and yet they just . . . don't want to move there? Or, alternatively, if the creatures eventually learn to ignore constant noise they haven't set up a house with always-playing speakers, let the creatures adapt, and then move to that house?

To me, that's a complaint beyond nitpicking. It's something that occurs to you immediately upon seeing that scene and the film offers nothing to explain why they wouldn't leverage this to their advantage.
Then you get into the very obvious element of
the creatures being sensitive to sound. And this is about the film not trusting its audience. We absolutely do not need the newspaper clippings, one headline of which reads something like "IS IT SOUND?!". By adding this exposition to the film, not only is the audience treated as though they are stupid, it adds a whole layer of implausibility. There was time for the army to fight the creatures (and for newspapers to write about it) and they never used any sonic weapons (something the army already has)?
It's frustrating because these aren't things the film is missing, they are things that the film has but should have cut or changed. And I don't think that either of these complaints are "gotchas" or nitpicking.

By the time it becomes really, really obvious that
the father is going to die (because the mother obviously isn't)
, I was just kind of annoyed with the film. It felt like I was being set up to
be really sad and upset about something, when an obvious solution had been presented to us just twenty-some minutes earlier.
I know that there are plenty of films where I just shrug off plot holes, so I get why some people were able to do that here. But the two issues with the plot are not just little nitpicks, and honestly I think that in more experienced, confident hands they wouldn't have been an issue.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by crumbsroom » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:46 pm

Wooley wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:51 am
I think Brian is a pretty great film on its own and may or may not be the best MP film.
But, Holy Grail is really fucking funny and more surreal, which is a different kind of fun that I really enjoy.
Which, of course, is why I really love Meaning of Life, because it is a surreal fucking film and, even thought it is a collection of shorts, it ultimately feels cohesive to me, not just a Now For Something Completely Different-type compendium.
Holy Grail I think has some of their best individual bits, and is certainly less cohesive (surreal?). Normally this might be what I would gravitate to more, but Life of Brian is not only at least as funny in my opinion, it is a cohesive statement. And it's message is important. And while I don't generally care much about how well a film pulls off a narrative, especially in Python, this attitude of mine is dimmed substantially when I think a film pulls off what it wants to say almost flawlessly. And Life of Brian is teetering pretty close to flawless.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Takoma1 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:05 am

crumbsroom wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:43 pm
If by tacky you mean dated, I doubt there is anything in Python's history that is completely exempt from this. I would argue that Life of Brian is the least dated of all with its humor though.
Agreed. I got really tense when I realized that one character was basically transgender. But even if the film does mock certain notions about being transgender (as in the character wanting the right to have babies), I think it's really important to note that the character is neutral or even generally benevolent. When compared to other comedies and how they portray cross-dressing/transgender/gay characters, it's markedly better and less fear-mongering.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Thief » Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:55 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:43 pm
I liked A Quiet Place okay, but it's plot holes (or whatever you want to call them) really did it in for me. And in many ways, this is only amplified by the strengths of the film around it.

Let's start with the fact that the acting is good and the characters are relatable/likable. Thus I want them to live.

So when you get a good chunk into the film and then
then father and son go on a walk to a place where apparently they can talk openly it's like . . . ."WHAT?". So you're telling me that there's a place where they can talk and make noise without being eviscerated, and yet they just . . . don't want to move there? Or, alternatively, if the creatures eventually learn to ignore constant noise they haven't set up a house with always-playing speakers, let the creatures adapt, and then move to that house?

To me, that's a complaint beyond nitpicking. It's something that occurs to you immediately upon seeing that scene and the film offers nothing to explain why they wouldn't leverage this to their advantage.
Oh, c'mon Tak. Do you expect the family to live in that beautiful waterfall? LOL. I mean, that space is obviously reserved for intimate and poignant father/daughter conversations, not mundane, everyday mingling.

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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Wooley » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:31 am

As people have said, there's a lot of great movies in that last batch but I just wanna say I think Double Indemnity is special for all the reasons you said and probably many more, just a quintessential film sure in the noir genre but really in having noir cross out across all genres, IMO. Along with The Big Heat.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Takoma1 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:36 am

Thief wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:55 am
Oh, c'mon Tak. Do you expect the family to live in that beautiful waterfall? LOL. I mean, that space is obviously reserved for intimate and poignant father/daughter conversations, not mundane, everyday mingling.
"But if we move to the waterfall, we can't hang our exposition-heavy newspaper clippings! They'll all get soggy!!"
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by crumbsroom » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:37 am

Wooley wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:31 am
As people have said, there's a lot of great movies in that last batch but I just wanna say I think Double Indemnity is special for all the reasons you said and probably many more, just a quintessential film sure in the noir genre but really in having noir cross out across all genres, IMO. Along with The Big Heat.
Double Indemnity is really great, but for my money, I want my noirs to also double as fever dreams. The Big Sleep and Kiss Me Deadly are the high water mark for me.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Wooley » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:12 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:43 pm
I liked A Quiet Place okay, but it's plot holes (or whatever you want to call them) really did it in for me. And in many ways, this is only amplified by the strengths of the film around it.

Let's start with the fact that the acting is good and the characters are relatable/likable. Thus I want them to live.

So when you get a good chunk into the film and then
then father and son go on a walk to a place where apparently they can talk openly it's like . . . ."WHAT?". So you're telling me that there's a place where they can talk and make noise without being eviscerated, and yet they just . . . don't want to move there? Or, alternatively, if the creatures eventually learn to ignore constant noise they haven't set up a house with always-playing speakers, let the creatures adapt, and then move to that house?

To me, that's a complaint beyond nitpicking. It's something that occurs to you immediately upon seeing that scene and the film offers nothing to explain why they wouldn't leverage this to their advantage.
Then you get into the very obvious element of
the creatures being sensitive to sound. And this is about the film not trusting its audience. We absolutely do not need the newspaper clippings, one headline of which reads something like "IS IT SOUND?!". By adding this exposition to the film, not only is the audience treated as though they are stupid, it adds a whole layer of implausibility. There was time for the army to fight the creatures (and for newspapers to write about it) and they never used any sonic weapons (something the army already has)?
It's frustrating because these aren't things the film is missing, they are things that the film has but should have cut or changed. And I don't think that either of these complaints are "gotchas" or nitpicking.

By the time it becomes really, really obvious that
the father is going to die (because the mother obviously isn't)
, I was just kind of annoyed with the film. It felt like I was being set up to
be really sad and upset about something, when an obvious solution had been presented to us just twenty-some minutes earlier.
I know that there are plenty of films where I just shrug off plot holes, so I get why some people were able to do that here. But the two issues with the plot are not just little nitpicks, and honestly I think that in more experienced, confident hands they wouldn't have been an issue.
Man, Tak, I agree with every word of this and I have more complaints to boot.
The father didn't need to die in that situation, it was totally forced.
A shotgun to the face kills these things and yet the entire worlds' militaries apparently fell helplessly?
And the thing with the waterfall, like you said, they could have just set up a recording of a waterfall on speakers around the house or, as you point out, move to the goddamn waterfall.
I mean, seriously, if you know that you are safe where there's lots of noise, then why is everyone trying to be QUIET?!!! The whole goddamn premise falls apart under only a moment of refrigerator scrutiny.
I'm glad you've said what you said because I wondered if I was a crazy person, the movie really seemed so stupid to me on reflection. Well-crafted stupidity.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Wooley » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:13 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:36 am
"But if we move to the waterfall, we can't hang our exposition-heavy newspaper clippings! They'll all get soggy!!"
Ha!
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Wooley » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:14 pm

crumbsroom wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:37 am
Double Indemnity is really great, but for my money, I want my noirs to also double as fever dreams. The Big Sleep and Kiss Me Deadly are the high water mark for me.
Those are damned good ones, for sure.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Apex Predator » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:01 pm

Wooley wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:31 am
As people have said, there's a lot of great movies in that last batch but I just wanna say I think Double Indemnity is special for all the reasons you said and probably many more, just a quintessential film sure in the noir genre but really in having noir cross out across all genres, IMO. Along with The Big Heat.
Can't believe you mentioned that...that's my first film of 2020!
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Stu » Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:48 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:43 pm
I liked A Quiet Place okay, but it's plot holes (or whatever you want to call them) really did it in for me. And in many ways, this is only amplified by the strengths of the film around it.

Let's start with the fact that the acting is good and the characters are relatable/likable. Thus I want them to live.

So when you get a good chunk into the film and then
then father and son go on a walk to a place where apparently they can talk openly it's like . . . ."WHAT?". So you're telling me that there's a place where they can talk and make noise without being eviscerated, and yet they just . . . don't want to move there? Or, alternatively, if the creatures eventually learn to ignore constant noise they haven't set up a house with always-playing speakers, let the creatures adapt, and then move to that house?

To me, that's a complaint beyond nitpicking. It's something that occurs to you immediately upon seeing that scene and the film offers nothing to explain why they wouldn't leverage this to their advantage.
Then you get into the very obvious element of
the creatures being sensitive to sound. And this is about the film not trusting its audience. We absolutely do not need the newspaper clippings, one headline of which reads something like "IS IT SOUND?!". By adding this exposition to the film, not only is the audience treated as though they are stupid, it adds a whole layer of implausibility. There was time for the army to fight the creatures (and for newspapers to write about it) and they never used any sonic weapons (something the army already has)?
It's frustrating because these aren't things the film is missing, they are things that the film has but should have cut or changed. And I don't think that either of these complaints are "gotchas" or nitpicking.

By the time it becomes really, really obvious that
the father is going to die (because the mother obviously isn't)
, I was just kind of annoyed with the film. It felt like I was being set up to
be really sad and upset about something, when an obvious solution had been presented to us just twenty-some minutes earlier.
I know that there are plenty of films where I just shrug off plot holes, so I get why some people were able to do that here. But the two issues with the plot are not just little nitpicks, and honestly I think that in more experienced, confident hands they wouldn't have been an issue.
There's a good deal to respond to here, but in the interests of keeping my post at a semi-reasonable length, I'll just respond to the point about why the family doesn't just live next to the waterfall, which is one of the complaints I've seen the most from the detractors of AQP, one that I think is very telling to the level of nit-picking we're talking about with the complaints about how the holes/implausibilities somehow "ruin" the film, because the answer to it is incredibly obvious, to the point that applying just 10% of the same scrutiny to it that has been directed to the film itself instantly invalidates it, and asking it at all is almost engaging in bad faith criticism, IMO:

They can't live next to the waterfall because they have no long-term shelter there, and moving next to the waterfall would entail setting up some sort of temporary set-up, like say, a tent, which is obviously much more difficult to stay warm, safe, quiet (which is kind of important in this film), or dry in than a big, sturdy house, with that last point being particularly important if they were right next to to a source of water that would naturally get flooded out in heavy rain, something they would run the risk of even in a big, sturdy house, let alone a flimsy piece of fabric that could get blown away by a stiff breeze, one that's already huddled underneath a forest of trees and heavy branches that, on a long enough timeline, will eventually fall and squash someone. It's either that, or, as a family comprised of three children, a pregnant woman, and a non-construction working, engineer father (just like my own dad, who, even as a big DIY-er, still had to hire outside, professional help to build his current home), they somehow find a way to transport all the necessary materials, learn the required knowledge in a post-Internet age, and obtain the manpower needed to not only build a solid house there from scratch, but also do so without once making enough noise to be discovered over the sound of the waterfall (which would be an extremely difficult thing to guarantee, because, speaking as someone who's helped build a house firsthand before, it's often a fairly noisy process, much louder than, say, the sound of one person shouting, even if they somehow tried to build and maintain the house directly beneath the waterfall itself, which is an even more ridiculous idea).

No offense, guys, but having to state any of this at all honestly makes me feel like Lisa when Krusty attempted a comeback through observational comedy, and he says "Have you ever noticed how there are TWO phone books, a white one, and yellow one? I mean, what's the deal with that??":

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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:34 pm

Stu wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:48 am
There's a good deal to respond to here, but in the interests of keeping my post at a semi-reasonable length, I'll just respond to the point about why the family doesn't just live next to the waterfall, which is one of the complaints I've seen the most from the detractors of AQP, one that I think is very telling to the level of nit-picking we're talking about with the complaints about how the holes/implausibilities somehow "ruin" the film, because the answer to it is incredibly obvious, to the point that applying just 10% of the same scrutiny to it that has been directed to the film itself instantly invalidates it, and asking it at all is almost engaging in bad faith criticism, IMO:

They can't live next to the waterfall because they have no long-term shelter there, and moving next to the waterfall would entail setting up some sort of temporary set-up, like say, a tent, which is obviously much more difficult to stay warm, safe, quiet (which is kind of important in this film), or dry in than a big, sturdy house, with that last point being particularly important if they were right next to to a source of water that would naturally get flooded out in heavy rain, something they would run the risk of even in a big, sturdy house, let alone a flimsy piece of fabric that could get blown away by a stiff breeze, one that's already huddled underneath a forest of trees and heavy branches that, on a long enough timeline, will eventually fall and squash someone. It's either that, or, as a family comprised of three children, a pregnant woman, and a non-construction working, engineer father (just like my own dad, who, even as a big DIY-er, still had to hire outside, professional help to build his current home), they somehow find a way to transport all the necessary materials, learn the required knowledge in a post-Internet age, and obtain the manpower needed to not only build a solid house there from scratch, but also do so without once making enough noise to be discovered over the sound of the waterfall (which would be an extremely difficult thing to guarantee, because, speaking as someone who's helped build a house firsthand before, it's often a fairly noisy process, much louder than, say, the sound of one person shouting, even if they somehow tried to build and maintain the house directly beneath the waterfall itself, which is an even more ridiculous idea).
I think that you're way overselling the difficulty of living in that location. There are plenty of houses built near rivers or waterfalls. Find a sturdy tree and build a treehouse. If severe winters or storms are a danger, have the house as a backup location. I live near running water. I'm literally looking at it right now. We even had horrible rains/flooding two years back but my house (and my chickens' house which is even closer to the water) is still standing. Because they are built uphill from the water. Like you do.

Look, you can't introduce a place that is seemingly safe from the monsters and then do nothing to explain why they don't use that to their advantage for more than just father-child heart-to-hearts. A simple line from the father ("Your mom and I thought about trying to move out here but a few years back there was a horrible flood and we just couldn't risk it") would have cleared things up. The fact that it isn't mentioned at all is very bothersome.

And your explanation of the horrible risk of living near a waterfall does nothing to address the much larger conceptual problem introduced by that scene: the creatures apparently learn to ignore continuous noise. (In fact, on rewatching the scene the fater and son walk past a swingset that is creaking loudly in the breeze and neither of them seem worried that the sound will draw the creatures in). The characters don't have to scream during the waterfall scene, so enough white/background noise to mask voices is enough to protect them. How on earth have they not used this to their advantage?

There are fishing traps set up in the water. The sound of the father splashing and dropping the fish isn't enough to draw the creatures. Even just next to the river the father says that small sounds are safe. From behind the waterfall, the father is able to yell loudly. Sitting on rocks across from the waterfall (in front of a very placid pool of water), the father and son are able to have a conversation in their normal voices. If this isn't a place they would live, you'd sure think that it would be a frequent destination for them.

I really don't get it. Their current living situation is such that dropping a spoon could get your whole family eviscerated.

I'm not trying to nitpick. This is really a major thing that doesn't make sense to me. I can't believe that people read/edited that script and no one ever asked "Why don't they just live near the waterfall?". Someone must have asked. And I feel like they just chose not to address it.

And that doesn't even begin to get into my complaints about how easy it seems like it would be to trap the creatures without endangering yourself at all. (Because that would be nitpicking).
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Wooley » Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:15 am

Yeah, I really don't get the "nitpicking" argument at all, between just our two posts (Tak and I) very little of the movie is left. I feel like we're not picking nits so much as pulling at extremely large loose threads that feel almost impossible not to pull on, to discover that the movie simply comes apart under any scrutiny.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:21 am

Wooley wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:15 am
Yeah, I really don't get the "nitpicking" argument at all, between just our two posts (Tak and I) very little of the movie is left. I feel like we're not picking nits so much as pulling at extremely large loose threads that feel almost impossible not to pull on, to discover that the movie simply comes apart under any scrutiny.
I would say that the plot kind of comes apart. The direction is fine. The acting is really, really good. The writing is good.

I mean, I liked Prisoner of Azkaban, despite the fact that we learn in it that there's apparently a time-travel device that could have been used in the previous two films that would have saved a lot of trouble. It's a plot hole and it's clumsily handled, in my opinion. But all the stuff around it (the acting, the direction) allows me to shrug it off.

So shrug off the plot stuff with A Quiet Place if you like it, or if you can bend your brain around to its logic (something I happily do for movies I like). But don't pretend there aren't issues with the plot or that it's nitpicky to point them out.

Going back to my earlier post, I think that the film just needed to have the guts to leave certain things out. The conversation between the father and son could have taken place in a location that was more obviously uninhabitable. Get rid of the newspaper clippings. Let us, and the main characters, know even less about the creatures.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Wooley » Fri Feb 28, 2020 3:43 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:21 am
I would say that the plot kind of comes apart. The direction is fine. The acting is really, really good. The writing is good.

I mean, I liked Prisoner of Azkaban, despite the fact that we learn in it that there's apparently a time-travel device that could have been used in the previous two films that would have saved a lot of trouble. It's a plot hole and it's clumsily handled, in my opinion. But all the stuff around it (the acting, the direction) allows me to shrug it off.

So shrug off the plot stuff with A Quiet Place if you like it, or if you can bend your brain around to its logic (something I happily do for movies I like). But don't pretend there aren't issues with the plot or that it's nitpicky to point them out.

Going back to my earlier post, I think that the film just needed to have the guts to leave certain things out. The conversation between the father and son could have taken place in a location that was more obviously uninhabitable. Get rid of the newspaper clippings. Let us, and the main characters, know even less about the creatures.
Yes, well, I said above that the craft was very good. But yes, the story comes apart for me badly enough that, in the theater, I was actually getting pissed off as the movie went along. Like you said, I don't think it treats the audience like they are very smart. And then other things we've discussed just don't hold together as narrative points or in some cases don't even begin to work. It's funny to me that the plot point most people picked on was that they got pregnant in the first place in a world where a baby crying could doom them all, that I actually just took as given, that without which there is no plot, didn't bother me in the least. The rest of it was problematic.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Stu » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:38 am

Wooley wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:12 pm
Man, Tak, I agree with every word of this and I have more complaints to boot.
The father didn't need to die in that situation, it was totally forced.
A shotgun to the face kills these things and yet the entire worlds' militaries apparently fell helplessly?
And the thing with the waterfall, like you said, they could have just set up a recording of a waterfall on speakers around the house or, as you point out, move to the goddamn waterfall.
I mean, seriously, if you know that you are safe where there's lots of noise, then why is everyone trying to be QUIET?!!! The whole goddamn premise falls apart under only a moment of refrigerator scrutiny.
I'm glad you've said what you said because I wondered if I was a crazy person, the movie really seemed so stupid to me on reflection. Well-crafted stupidity.
No, it wasn't;
his ability to move had already been signficantly impaired due to his injury from the monster, his children were in imminent mortal danger, he had already dropped the ax, the only thing he had nearby to make noise with, on the ground, which is something that the monster did hear, and made it hesitate for a moment, but then it went right back to attacking the truck because it had heard the kid scream from it already, and it knew they were people still in there somewhere. The best thing the father could do in that moment was to sacrifice himself by screaming, insuring that the monster knew that for sure that there was another human nearby, drawing it to him, and allowing the kids to escape. As for the point about the shotgun, as the film already made clear through the father's notes, the monsters were armored to the point where any human-devised weaponry was completely ineffective against them, and they only became vunerable after the shrieking from the daughter's device was amplified to the point that it agitated them enough for their armor to pop out of their heads (rendering them vunerable), and as for the point about setting up white noise speakers, if the family did that and then were safe underneath that blanket of noise, then there would be no danger from the monsters, and the film would become extremely dull in comparison, so you're basically criticizing the film for not working to undermine its own premise/purpose, which is not a legitiimate complaint.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:05 am

Stu wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:38 am
No, it wasn't;
his ability to move had already been signficantly impaired due to his injury from the monster, his children were in imminent mortal danger, he had already dropped the ax, the only thing he had nearby to make noise with, on the ground, which is something that the monster did hear, and made it hesitate for a moment, but then it went right back to attacking the truck because it had heard the kid scream from it already, and it knew they were people still in there somewhere. The best thing the father could do in that moment was to sacrifice himself by screaming, insuring that the monster knew that for sure that there was another human nearby, drawing it to him, and allowing the kids to escape
My problem with the whole sequence is that
I knew (and I can't speak for other audiences) that the dad was going to die. I just knew. The mom was obviously going to live because she goes through the whole birthing sequence. So while I can't fully articulate it, the whole part of the dad dying felt forced and artificial and I felt a sharp stab of annoyance at it. Especially because the girl's hearing aid is hurting the monster and the film teases that maybe this will be the moment they figure it out, but no, the dad has to die first, then they figure it out during the next attack.
and as for the point about setting up white noise speakers, if the family did that and then were safe underneath that blanket of noise, then there would be no danger from the monsters, and the film would become extremely dull in comparison, so you're basically criticizing the film for not working to undermine its own premise/purpose, which is not a legitiimate complaint.
The film doesn't have to work against itself. But when you set up a scenario where there are several things that seem like obvious solutions, you do need to address it. Even with one simple line. You cannot establish that
the creatures adapt to repeated sounds (like the waterfall, like the creaking swing) and then just not have the characters explain why they haven't been able to use that to their advantage. The film itself introduces this concept! I went back and watched the scene and the dad and son are SCREAMING under the waterfall. The film goes "Hey, welcome to this dark world where any noise can get you killed. Oh, here's a place where you can safely make a ton of noise. But anyway . . .". It brings that element into the film and then just ignores all of the implications that come with it. They could easily have had a throwaway line about the river only being loud enough after a heavy rain or something.
Heck, they could start by saying that they've been
living with something that makes noise, but their solar collectors/generators/whatever are slowly dying and they have to keep them turned off to conserve power.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Stu » Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:40 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:34 pm
I think that you're way overselling the difficulty of living in that location. There are plenty of houses built near rivers or waterfalls. Find a sturdy tree and build a treehouse. If severe winters or storms are a danger, have the house as a backup location. I live near running water. I'm literally looking at it right now. We even had horrible rains/flooding two years back but my house (and my chickens' house which is even closer to the water) is still standing. Because they are built uphill from the water. Like you do.

Look, you can't introduce a place that is seemingly safe from the monsters and then do nothing to explain why they don't use that to their advantage for more than just father-child heart-to-hearts. A simple line from the father ("Your mom and I thought about trying to move out here but a few years back there was a horrible flood and we just couldn't risk it") would have cleared things up. The fact that it isn't mentioned at all is very bothersome.

And your explanation of the horrible risk of living near a waterfall does nothing to address the much larger conceptual problem introduced by that scene: the creatures apparently learn to ignore continuous noise. (In fact, on rewatching the scene the fater and son walk past a swingset that is creaking loudly in the breeze and neither of them seem worried that the sound will draw the creatures in). The characters don't have to scream during the waterfall scene, so enough white/background noise to mask voices is enough to protect them. How on earth have they not used this to their advantage?

There are fishing traps set up in the water. The sound of the father splashing and dropping the fish isn't enough to draw the creatures. Even just next to the river the father says that small sounds are safe. From behind the waterfall, the father is able to yell loudly. Sitting on rocks across from the waterfall (in front of a very placid pool of water), the father and son are able to have a conversation in their normal voices. If this isn't a place they would live, you'd sure think that it would be a frequent destination for them.

I really don't get it. Their current living situation is such that dropping a spoon could get your whole family eviscerated.

I'm not trying to nitpick. This is really a major thing that doesn't make sense to me. I can't believe that people read/edited that script and no one ever asked "Why don't they just live near the waterfall?". Someone must have asked. And I feel like they just chose not to address it.

And that doesn't even begin to get into my complaints about how easy it seems like it would be to trap the creatures without endangering yourself at all. (Because that would be nitpicking).
When it comes to the point about why the waterfall apparently isn't a more frequent destination for them,
the father only brought the son along with him that time because it was necessary to show him how to catch fish in order to groom him to grow up to be the man of the house after the dad inevitably dies, and, even if the place itself is safer to be at temporarily, walking there through the forest in the first place still risks making noise, and even if you yourself stay completely quiet, you still risk getting hunted down if you accidentally get too close to a random animal or another human being (and the latter did actually happen in the film, after all).

And at any rate, you're overselling the ease of living near the waterfall; the question isn't whether or not the methods of building a home near a river or a treehouse currently exist, because they obviously do (although the tendency of trees to attract lightning strikes would make building a long-term house in one an even more terrible idea in that world), the question is, how does this family build a new, sturdy, long-term dwelling while also guaranteeing that, in the process of gathering, transporting, and assembling all the necessary materials, they never, at one point, make enough noise to be discovered (because current building techniques inevitably involve some amount of sawing, hammering, and other extremely noisy techniques, as they were obviously designed to be used in a world that hasn't been devastated by incredibly deadly creatures who hunt by sound). They would basically have to invent an entirely new, completely silent overall method of construction completely on their own in order to make that work, which is a ridiculous expectation to have of the characters, so again, it's a complaint that completely collapses if you apply 10% of the same amount of scrutiny to it that you are to the film itself.

And, as for the point that they should've shoehorned in a line answering any nit-picks about why they don't "just" live there, its absence is not bothersome at all, because, for all the reasons I've already listed, it's not something that makes sense for the father to bother bringing up on his own in the context of the scene, nor would it make sense for the kid to bring up, because it should be apparent even to him that they can't live there because the answer is so obvious in the first place; I would've been a lot more bothered if they tried to force in that kind of unnecessary exposition into the film, like that one scene in Terminator 2 where a 10 year-old kid who just survived an attack by a machine from the future made out of liquid metal stops to ask the other metal machine from the future who just rescued him why the T-1000 just doesn't disguise itself as something small, like a pack of cigarettes, in order to kill him, as if that made sense for his character to be wondering that in the moment. Thanks for the unnecessary exposition, James, but bothering to fill in that plot "hole" did not fundamentally improve T2, as it did nothing to add to the overall tension, creativity, and excitement of that film, and I'm more bothered by the idea of this kid having the presence of mind to act as a surrogate for a nit-picking audience member, and force in an explanation for something that didn't need to be explained in the first place.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Stu » Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:09 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:05 am
My problem with the whole sequence is that
I knew (and I can't speak for other audiences) that the dad was going to die. I just knew. The mom was obviously going to live because she goes through the whole birthing sequence. So while I can't fully articulate it, the whole part of the dad dying felt forced and artificial and I felt a sharp stab of annoyance at it. Especially because the girl's hearing aid is hurting the monster and the film teases that maybe this will be the moment they figure it out, but no, the dad has to die first, then they figure it out during the next attack.
The film doesn't have to work against itself. But when you set up a scenario where there are several things that seem like obvious solutions, you do need to address it. Even with one simple line. You cannot establish that
the creatures adapt to repeated sounds (like the waterfall, like the creaking swing) and then just not have the characters explain why they haven't been able to use that to their advantage. The film itself introduces this concept! I went back and watched the scene and the dad and son are SCREAMING under the waterfall. The film goes "Hey, welcome to this dark world where any noise can get you killed. Oh, here's a place where you can safely make a ton of noise. But anyway . . .". It brings that element into the film and then just ignores all of the implications that come with it. They could easily have had a throwaway line about the river only being loud enough after a heavy rain or something.
Heck, they could start by saying that they've been
living with something that makes noise, but their solar collectors/generators/whatever are slowly dying and they have to keep them turned off to conserve power.
You see, I'm not going to take issue with that complaint because
a pivotal story moment feeling forced or predictable is a legitimate criticism, because it would actually lessen the effect of that moment; it's the same reason why, even though I didn't feel the same way that he did, I still didn't bug Rock about feeling that the "loud" moments in the film were predictable, because it's not a nit-picky question about the various applications/implications of the premise, and it's an aspect of the film's craft that would actually undermine the suspense/tension of the experience, which was the actual main point of the film.

However, the points about the film needing to include a line about heavy rains or the detail of their power failing don't matter, because the end results would ultimately still be the same as they were in the final film, so forcing the movie to include them would be just making it jump through unneccessary additional hoops that it does not need to do, and including those details would also do absolutely nothing to, say, add to the surprising intimacy of the earbuds-couple dance that the parents share, the refreshing sense of liberation during the scene under the waterfall (a scene which, as I've already explained, does make sense in the film), or the film's extremely strong grasp on suspense, sound design, and tension in general, as seen in moments like the birth scene...



... a scene that would not have been substantially improved at all if they'd just explained why they couldn't live next to the waterfall, a point that 100% applies to the rest of the film as a whole, as far as I'm concerned.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:39 pm

Stu wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:09 am
You see, I'm not going to take issue with that complaint because
... a scene that would not have been substantially improved at all if they'd just explained why they couldn't live next to the waterfall, a point that 100% applies to the rest of the film as a whole, as far as I'm concerned.
It's not about improving the scene. It's about respecting the intelligence of the audience.

In the script itself, it says that this is the first time that
the son has had a conversation using his "real" voice
.

The mere existence of the scene raises questions and for me (and clearly for others) it harms the experience of the film because it makes the main characters seem kind of stupid.

I am completely unconvinced that
living in a make-shift tent/tepee by the waterfall and retreating to the house during times of severe weather would be in any way worse than their life as presented.
Again, it's fine that you don't care. It's fine that you don't need the film to take time out to address these concerns. But they are not invalid criticisms just because they don't bother you.

I happen to think that the scene that we're discussing and the whole thing with the newspapers are examples of the film overreaching and creating questions/implications that just do not hold up well under the smallest amount of scrutiny.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Stu » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:04 am

This is mostly a repost from Apex Predator's thread, but it's part of a sort of personal thesis I've been developing lately, so I'll post it in here as well; plots holes, on their own, don't ruin movies, because, since plot/premise logic never fundamentally make a film, they never fundamentally break them either. I mean, no one comes out of Raiders Of The Lost Ark saying "Hey, that movie was so exhilarating; the plot made so much sense!" No one comes out of Alien saying "That was so terrifying; the implied backstory behind the Xenomorphs was so logical!". No one comes out of The Godfather saying "That movie was so dramatic; the logistics of the move against Don Corleone were so un-confusing!". No, they come out of those movies praising them because their plots/premises are a means to an end to what truly makes movies great, which are the underlying feelings they ultimately leave us with, whether they be excitement, horror, dramatic effect, or something else, regardless of whatever holes (which exist in almost every movie ever made, regardless of their overall greatness) exist in them. But, it's supposed to make sense when people try to flip that logic around, and act like plot holes are all of a sudden a make-or-break deal for movies, and having too many of them can completely negate the underlying sensations that those films produce, the thing that actually determines whether a movie is good or not? I don't think so.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:58 pm

Stu wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:04 am
But, it's supposed to make sense when people try to flip that logic around, and act like plot holes are all of a sudden a make-or-break deal for movies, and having too many of them can completely negate the underlying sensations that those films produce, the thing that actually determines whether a movie is good or not? I don't think so.
I don't go into films looking for plot holes. Like, I am quite the opposite.

So for me to notice something in a film that doesn't make sense to me, and then notice another thing that doesn't make sense, is disappointing. My brain should be brimming with interest and emotion. But something like those stupid newspaper clippings sends my brain off on a tangent and then I can't enjoy what's happening immediately after. Sometimes plot holes (small though they may be) become distractions that pull you out of your suspension of disbelief.

I had a friend in college who just couldn't get over watching badly-faked CPR in movies. She just couldn't. She wasn't looking for a reason to be grumpy or criticize, but it just clearly pulled her out of the reality of the film.

I was not able to achieve the depth of emotional investment that determines whether or not a film is good (for me), and it's due to the plot stuff. So in my case, yes, the plot holes get in the way of A Quiet Place being something I consider a "really good film" and diminished both my enjoyment viewing it and my enjoyment thinking about it afterwards.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Stu » Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:25 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:58 pm
I don't go into films looking for plot holes. Like, I am quite the opposite.

So for me to notice something in a film that doesn't make sense to me, and then notice another thing that doesn't make sense, is disappointing. My brain should be brimming with interest and emotion. But something like those stupid newspaper clippings sends my brain off on a tangent and then I can't enjoy what's happening immediately after. Sometimes plot holes (small though they may be) become distractions that pull you out of your suspension of disbelief.
But that seems like an awfully thin detail to break your overall suspension of disbelief in the film on; I mean, the film was already asking a lot of mainstream multiplex audiences by essentially being, outside of two scenes, a completely silent film as far as dialogue goes, taking the risk that those audiences would behave and stay quiet which, fortunately, even with a near-fully packed house, my theater did, which resulted in a great, communal experience (of course, I know not every screening was as well-behaved, unfortunately). Besides, the detail of the newspaper announcing "It's sound!" wasn't in the original screenplay at any point, so it's quite likely that, when the script was purchased by one of the biggest studios in America (Paramount), the newspaper was dictated to have to be included in the film so that that bit of exposition was driven home as explicitly as possible, to ensure that even the least attentive of audience members immediately grasped the basic premise, and given the fact that, again, they took the risk of putting what is essentially a silent film out in a nation-wide release, I felt the film respected my intelligence more than enough as a filmgoer, and feel it deserves a pass for that minor detail, especially when I compare it the way a lot of Hollywood crap tends to condescend down to us, y'know?
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:55 pm

Stu wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:25 am
But that seems like an awfully thin detail to break your overall suspension of disbelief in the film on
To me it's not a thin detail. I actually feel like it raises some very large questions. And being immersed in a film is not 100% a conscious decision.
Besides, the detail of the newspaper announcing "It's sound!" wasn't in the original screenplay at any point, so it's quite likely that, when the script was purchased by one of the biggest studios in America (Paramount), the newspaper was dictated to have to be included in the film so that that bit of exposition was driven home as explicitly as possible, to ensure that even the least attentive of audience members immediately grasped the basic premise
But it's still in the film, and it's still dumb. It manages to be both patronizing AND another thing that raises some big questions for me.

I'm not trying to tear down the film. I think I gave it a B or a B+ when I watched it. I enjoyed it. I wouldn't think twice to recommend it to someone who hadn't seen it. But do I want to watch it again? Nope.

Again--things that annoy or distract me during a film are not something I can control.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Wooley » Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:24 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:55 pm
To me it's not a thin detail. I actually feel like it raises some very large questions. And being immersed in a film is not 100% a conscious decision.



But it's still in the film, and it's still dumb. It manages to be both patronizing AND another thing that raises some big questions for me.

I'm not trying to tear down the film. I think I gave it a B or a B+ when I watched it. I enjoyed it. I wouldn't think twice to recommend it to someone who hadn't seen it. But do I want to watch it again? Nope.

Again--things that annoy or distract me during a film are not something I can control.
Exactly.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:15 pm

Wooley wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:24 pm
Exactly.
And I think that it should go without saying that I've been on the opposite side of exactly this kind of debate. (And I bet most horror fans have at some point, as well).

Years back on RT we were discussing Upstream Color and someone was trying to point out a plot hole/inconsistency/something and I was just like NOPE! :x :x :x :x

I completely understand the frustration of thinking a film is pretty cool and it feels like some people are overlooking the strengths in favor of nitpicking tiny plot points.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Wooley » Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:30 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:15 pm
And I think that it should go without saying that I've been on the opposite side of exactly this kind of debate. (And I bet most horror fans have at some point, as well).

Years back on RT we were discussing Upstream Color and someone was trying to point out a plot hole/inconsistency/something and I was just like NOPE! :x :x :x :x

I completely understand the frustration of thinking a film is pretty cool and it feels like some people are overlooking the strengths in favor of nitpicking tiny plot points.
Absolutely, I've seen you do it.
I go into most if not all movies willing to accept them on their terms. Shit, even Justice League.
I went into A Quiet Place that way, for sure. I had absolutely no negative agenda, quite the opposite, as a first-film from the director and a horror movie, I was willing to accept quite a lot. But I think, like most viewers, you and I do expect that a movie will play by its own rules, and I think that is a fair expectation. If you set a movie up to be very real-world, then it has to follow that. If you set your characters up to be intelligent, clever survivors, that get by on making good decisions and using their wits, then they can't repeatedly be shown to be missing the obvious. If you set up rules for your antagonist(s), those rules must carry through the film. Etc., etc. It's totally fine to play totally loose with these things if that is how you set up your film but a film like this has to at least follow through at being what it pretends to be and when it cannot hold up that end of things, when the characters and the narrative for that matter are shown to have huge blind spots to obvious things that are practically jumping off the screen at the audience and over and over, and the story is actually completely driven by these complete misses, as in, if the characters just see and do what is right in front of them the whole time then there is no movie, well that's problematic.
All that said, I think Krasinski shows surprising competence as a director and promise (ONLY promise) as a writer, based on this film. But he's gotta be better at internal consistency and narrative and character logic.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Stu » Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:50 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:55 pm
To me it's not a thin detail. I actually feel like it raises some very large questions. And being immersed in a film is not 100% a conscious decision.

But it's still in the film, and it's still dumb. It manages to be both patronizing AND another thing that raises some big questions for me.

I'm not trying to tear down the film. I think I gave it a B or a B+ when I watched it. I enjoyed it. I wouldn't think twice to recommend it to someone who hadn't seen it. But do I want to watch it again? Nope.

Again--things that annoy or distract me during a film are not something I can control.
I'm just saying, it's just one example of the film over-explaining something to us, it's not an accurately representative example of how much the film respected our intelligence as audience members in general (which, for the reasons I've listed in here, is actually quite a bit on the whole), and it could've been much worse; it's not as though during the climax, after the mother shot the first monster, she then took a moment to disbelievably exclaim "That noise... it makes them VUNERABLE!" to us, so as to drive home the point that it wasn't "just" the shotgun that defeated it (you reading this, Wooley? :D ), although, knowing the CinemaSins crowd, I imagine almost all of them who wouldn't (or couldn't) figure that out for themselves would then be whining "Thanks movie, but I could've figured that out for myself!"... ugh. Anyway, at the risk of beating a undead horse, as far as clunky exposition in 2018 Horror movies go, those few seconds of the unneccessary headline on screen took me much less out of that film than the energy-sapping scene in Hermehditary near the climax (a scene that, to be fair, you've been critical of as well) which is almost nothing but Annie telling Steve about things that we're already aware of because we literally saw every single one of them happen ourselves (not to mention how I feel that Krasinski demonstrated a much stronger grasp on pacing, tone, and overall filmmaking craft in his movie than Ari Aster, the things that, much more than questions of plot/premise, IMO, actually determine whether a movie's good or not, but that's a whole other discussion entirely).
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:02 pm

Stu wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:50 am
I'm just saying, it's just one example of the film over-explaining something to us, it's not an accurately representative example of how much the film respected our intelligence as audience members in general (which, for the reasons I've listed in here, is actually quite a bit on the whole), and it could've been much worse
It could have been much worse, of course. Again, I'm not saying it's a bad film. The waterfall thing really did stick with me--a little rock in my shoe, you know? I do respect a lot of the choices made by the film, but in a weird way those make the missteps stand out even more.
I feel that Krasinski demonstrated a much stronger grasp on pacing, tone, and overall filmmaking craft in his movie than Ari Aster, the things that, much more than questions of plot/premise, IMO, actually determine whether a movie's good or not, but that's a whole other discussion entirely).
I would disagree here. While I do have some criticism of Hereditary, it's grasp on interpersonal dynamics and the "internal logic" of the film holds up much better to me than A Quiet Place. I knew exactly who was going to die in A Quiet Place and I also knew pretty much how it was going to end. It was obvious that
the father would die, they would discover the power of the hearing aid, and that they'd be able to kill the creatures
.

In Hereditary, by contrast, I was pretty sure that
the dad was going to die, but everyone else was up for grabs and the death of the daughter was genuinely shocking to me. There were like four or five shocking moments in Hereditary and nothing in A Quiet Place that was anywhere near as exhilarating.
But that might just come down to personal taste and what one wants out of a horror film (or any film in general).
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Wooley » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:18 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:02 pm
It could have been much worse, of course. Again, I'm not saying it's a bad film. The waterfall thing really did stick with me--a little rock in my shoe, you know? I do respect a lot of the choices made by the film, but in a weird way those make the missteps stand out even more.

I would disagree here. While I do have some criticism of Hereditary, it's grasp on interpersonal dynamics and the "internal logic" of the film holds up much better to me than A Quiet Place. I knew exactly who was going to die in A Quiet Place and I also knew pretty much how it was going to end. It was obvious that
the father would die, they would discover the power of the hearing aid, and that they'd be able to kill the creatures
.
Yes, all of those things were telegraphed so loudly throughout the film, there was little to no suspense by the end. I could have told you the ending what 30-40 minutes before it came?
Maybe that was "studio interference" but it was still on the screen so it's part of the movie.

Conversely, it was not clear to me where Hereditary was going to go with its story. I didn't think that was a perfect film, by any stretch, but at least it didn't treat the audience like idiots until the denouement.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Stu » Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:21 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:02 pm
I would disagree here. While I do have some criticism of Hereditary, it's grasp on interpersonal dynamics and the "internal logic" of the film holds up much better to me than A Quiet Place. I knew exactly who was going to die in A Quiet Place and I also knew pretty much how it was going to end. It was obvious that
the father would die, they would discover the power of the hearing aid, and that they'd be able to kill the creatures
.

In Hereditary, by contrast, I was pretty sure that
the dad was going to die, but everyone else was up for grabs and the death of the daughter was genuinely shocking to me. There were like four or five shocking moments in Hereditary and nothing in A Quiet Place that was anywhere near as exhilarating.
But that might just come down to personal taste and what one wants out of a horror film (or any film in general).
I felt the opposite way, although I will say that I felt A Quiet Place wasn't so much of a Horror movie as it was a high-concept cat-and-mouse Thriller that just so happened to feature monsters as the antagonists, as opposed to the straight-up Horror of Hereditary, so each film should be judged by the metrics of their respective genres. That being said, I felt that Place was far more effective in general in being tense/suspensful than Hereditary was in being scary/creepy, especially when comparing the 2nd halves of each film, where Krasinski managed to measure out a lot of tense thrills in a highly effective manner in his film, whereas Aster's film squandered the relative potential of its first half by descending into an endless clusterfuck of incredibly, laughably over-the-top Horror moments/elements/cliches in search of a cohesive experience that they never end up finding (which is no surprise, considering that Aster straight-up admitted that he came up with all the imagery & setpieces he wanted to cram into the movie first, and then tried to come up with a narrative to connect them all, as though that's a good way to write a movie), with all of them being shotgunned right in our faces one-after-another with Aster demonstrating little-to-no restraint when it comes to pacing or tone, the elements you'd need to actually be in control of most to make a film like this work. In other words, in his desperation to make his film the scariest ever made, Aster just made it incredibly tedious, obnoxious, and even unintentionally comedic at times, like when
Annie literally climbs the walls like she's Spider-Man, bangs her head like she's at a Death Metal concert, and has her headless body fly through the air as though she's Superman, which was a much sillier "woman flying" scene than the one in The Last Jedi people keep trying to make fun of. The only part of Hered that even came close to making as big a positive impression on me as the birthing sequence in AQP was the scene when Annie discovers Charlie's body, due to it being the only part of the film when Toni Collette going all-out emotionally is effective, as opposed to the endless series of pathetic whining, shrill yelling, and Jim Carrey-level facial contortions she was forced to engage in otherwise:

Image

Image

Image

:D
And Aster also admitted that that story turn basically wouldn't have made into the film if it wasn't for the inspiration of Psycho, so that's another example of the film trying to coast off of the ideas of another work. Anyway, long rant short, for me, Hereditary was sort of like if you took the aformentioned birthing scene from A Quiet Place, made it completely unscary/lacking in tension, and then tried to stretch it out for the entirety of the 2nd half of the film; doesn't sound so appealing when it's described that way, does it?
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Stu » Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:31 am

Wooley wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:18 pm
Yes, all of those things were telegraphed so loudly throughout the film, there was little to no suspense by the end. I could have told you the ending what 30-40 minutes before it came?
Maybe that was "studio interference" but it was still on the screen so it's part of the movie.

Conversely, it was not clear to me where Hereditary was going to go with its story. I didn't think that was a perfect film, by any stretch, but at least it didn't treat the audience like idiots until the denouement.
But like I already explained, a lot of people acting like A Quiet Place treated its audience like idiots aren't actually paying attention to the film, like when they assume that, even though the monsters conquered the world, the mother somehow managed to defeat them with "just" the shotgun, when it was clearly a combination of that plus the shrieking of the hearing aid. And even with the people who got that, you still have some of them unfairly trying to poke holes by working backwards from the conclusion, and asking "If that's the solution, then why did no one else try it before them?", as opposed to the real question to ask in that scenario, which is, if there are completely alien, incredibly deadly monsters everywhere, then why on Earth would you make any sort of noise, high-pitched or otherwise, and risk immediately drawing them to your location, insuring a sure death for you in the process?
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Takoma1 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:15 pm

Stu wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:21 am
Anyway, long rant short, for me, Hereditary was sort of like if you took the aformentioned birthing scene from A Quiet Place, made it completely unscary/lacking in tension, and then tried to stretch it out for the entirety of the 2nd half of the film; doesn't sound so appealing when it's described that way, does it?
I'm just on the opposite side of the fence here.

To me, the birthing sequence was genuinely suspenseful and nothing else quite managed to match it. A certain character death was telegraphed about a mile away, and the idea that the military apparently never deployed any sound-based weapons kind of puts a damper on the end.

Whereas I found that the last act of Hereditary had plenty of suspense. The sequence where
Peter is "banished" from his own body is one such moment.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Wooley » Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:39 am

Stu wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:31 am
But like I already explained, a lot of people acting like A Quiet Place treated its audience like idiots aren't actually paying attention to the film, like when they assume that, even though the monsters conquered the world, the mother somehow managed to defeat them with "just" the shotgun, when it was clearly a combination of that plus the shrieking of the hearing aid. And even with the people who got that, you still have some of them unfairly trying to poke holes by working backwards from the conclusion, and asking "If that's the solution, then why did no one else try it before them?", as opposed to the real question to ask in that scenario, which is, if there are completely alien, incredibly deadly monsters everywhere, then why on Earth would you make any sort of noise, high-pitched or otherwise, and risk immediately drawing them to your location, insuring a sure death for you in the process?
Are you kidding me man?
Of course it was the shotgun AND the hearing aid. And despite headlines in newspapers all over the movie shouting "Is It Sound?!", the combined military might of the Earth could not solve the absurdly simple riddle that animals that are sensitive to sound will find really loud sound problematic. Nobody could figure that out? Cause I figured that out after the very first scene with the hearing aid. So then it comes down to the most obvious answer in recent sci-fi/horror history combined with a shotgun was something only this family in the woods could solve, not, you know all the scientists and military of the entire world. And that's just ONE problem with the movie. It's got like half a dozen or more. I think your second premise is, well, it doesn't make any sense. As I said above, if you detect something is sensitive to sound, then hit 'em with lots of sound. That's really, really simple logic. We've seen this in a million movies, these things can see in the dark, great, shine a light in their face they won't be able to handle it then we can thump them with something. The whole movie relies on the entire world having been operating at the level of the kid who has to go sit in the corner in 2nd grade.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Stu » Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:47 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:15 pm
I'm just on the opposite side of the fence here.

To me, the birthing sequence was genuinely suspenseful and nothing else quite managed to match it. A certain character death was telegraphed about a mile away, and the idea that the military apparently never deployed any sound-based weapons kind of puts a damper on the end.

Whereas I found that the last act of Hereditary had plenty of suspense. The sequence where
Peter is "banished" from his own body is one such moment.
While the birthing scene was the tensest moment of the film for me, it was far from the only one (and even some of the non-tense scenes managed to leave a big impression, like the shared earbuds dance Krasinski & Blunt do to "Harvest Moon"), like the scene where the basement gets flooded, and the monster gets right next to the mother and her newborn cowering behind the falling water?:



Or the moment before that, when the mother wakes up to the flooding, sees that the baby is out there floating in its box, so she has to venture out in the water just as the the monster enters, and then it slides out of view somewhere underwater? Uhhhhhh... that moment legitimately made my skin crawl more than anything in Herid. Anyway, as for the point about the sonic weapons, the only indication in the film that the military might've had the the time to deploy sonic weapons against these incredibly fast, deadly monsters that conquered the world is the newspaper, which again, I feel the movie should be given a pass for, given the likelihood of creative interference from Paramount when they produced the script (and even then, it's still a fairly inconsequential detail), and I would say that the banishment scene is actually the moment when, after some earlier doubts, was the moment where I finally realized that the 2nd half of that film had finally lost me for good, partly being that, due to the film's over-stuffed pacing, it felt like the 10th wannabe "creepy" thing to happen in as many minutes, but to each his own on that point.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Stu » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:56 am

Wooley wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:39 am
Are you kidding me man?
Of course it was the shotgun AND the hearing aid. And despite headlines in newspapers all over the movie shouting "Is It Sound?!", the combined military might of the Earth could not solve the absurdly simple riddle that animals that are sensitive to sound will find really loud sound problematic. Nobody could figure that out? Cause I figured that out after the very first scene with the hearing aid. So then it comes down to the most obvious answer in recent sci-fi/horror history combined with a shotgun was something only this family in the woods could solve, not, you know all the scientists and military of the entire world. And that's just ONE problem with the movie. It's got like half a dozen or more. I think your second premise is, well, it doesn't make any sense. As I said above, if you detect something is sensitive to sound, then hit 'em with lots of sound. That's really, really simple logic. We've seen this in a million movies, these things can see in the dark, great, shine a light in their face they won't be able to handle it then we can thump them with something. The whole movie relies on the entire world having been operating at the level of the kid who has to go sit in the corner in 2nd grade.
No, I'm not kidding, because there are people who believe that the monsters were defeated with just the shotgun, and while I'm glad that you realized that, not everyone has, which is why it's something that still needs to be clarified (because the filmmakers made the mistake of trusting people's intelligences a bit too much on that point, apparently). Anyway, the movie was almost completely vague on the timeline of the whole monster invasion (with the newspaper being the only thing contradicting what was in the original screenplay, and even then, all that concretely proves on its own is that one newspaper in the world had the time to print out one last issue), so it does have an internal logic that's almost completely consistent on that front, which ties into the point about the militaries, which isn't a complaint that holds up to scrutiny, because, as the film showed us firsthand, the monsters are incredibly fast, absolutely deadly, and armored to the point that they're normally completely invulnerable to human weaponry (as evidenced by the fact that they conquered the world in the first place), and due to their general levels of noise, military bases are likely to be one of the first places to attract these creatures, so if it's a simultaneous worldwide invasion, then even the world's militaries would all be quickly overrun. Besides, if your base is being rapidly overrun by alien monsters, ones that you know literally nothing about in the few moments you've been aware of their existence (which means that you have no way to know that they're hunting by sound rather than sight), why would you use your only attempt to defend yourself with a sonic weapon first before trying a good old gun, missile, or whatever other conventional weaponry that's lying around? Then, if you're one of the few survivors left over after the initial phase of the invasion, and you've learned that the creatures hunt solely by sound, again, why on Earth would you risk your life by doing the one thing that's sure to attract their attention?

Remember, these monsters have never been scientifically studied before, so you know next-to-nothing about them or what potential weaknesses they may have (or even if have any), so why would anyone reach the oddly specific conclusion that "these mysterious monsters hunt by sound, so high-pitched noises HAVE to make the armored panels pop off of their heads and render them vulnerable!", when literally nothing in the film indicated that that would've been the result? For all you know, the only thing it would've done would be to attract more of them to your general vicinity, and also to agitate them, making them even more dangerous and unpredictable then they were in the first place (which was basically what actually happened in the film anyway, as the shrieking didn't permanently incapacitate the creature). You're choosing to look at this problem from the outside view of a spectator watching an artificial narrative which has a solution waiting to be discovered in order to reach the happy ending, instead of from the inside perspective of a person living in such an awful world, someone who, as far as they know, is just completely fucked no matter what alternate solution they attempt, so they might as well try carrying on living for as long as they can by doing the one thing that they know will keep them safe, which is by being quiet, and the "high noises = vulnerable" solution is one that, as far as I know, has no analogue in nature, so assuming that noises of a certain frequency have to be able to help defeat these creatures would be like assuming that, since elephants have really good senses of hearing, if you blast one with a high-pitched frequency, its skin will automatically grow thinner, making it easier to kill in the process, which is a conclusion that would make absolutely no sense.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Thu Mar 12, 2020 3:42 pm

I thought I'd give my take in here on the shotgun blast. I can kind of understand the criticism which Wooley and many others have raised towards the film. It seems odd that people wouldn't be able to figure out that high pitched noises can make the aliens vulnerable. You'd think that this would be a clear giveaway and that the worlds militaries would easily be able to defeat them as a result. However, even if a lot of people did know their weakness, this doesn't mean that they'd be able to kill them off and survive. In most zombie films I've seen, for instance, most of the survivors know of an easy way to defeat the zombies (shooting or stabbing them in the brain, for example), but despite the characters knowing this, this doesn't prevent the zombies from greatly outnumbering the human population near the start of the outbreak; it's typically the opposite. The way I like to look at these scenarios is that most of the people will be initially killed due to their confusion and not knowing what's going on, but even after they manage to adapt, this doesn't mean that they'll prove victorious as there likely won't be enough people to kill off all the remaining aliens. If you're alone with one, you'd likely have a pretty good chance, but if there's several of them in your area when you shoot one of them (such as was the case in the ending), this might complicate it a bit as, instead of having one to worry about, you'll now have several to worry about. It's more about a risky move of fending off whichever one's arrive in your area, risking your life in the process (if the aliens keep on arriving to your area, you could run out of bullets to fight them with or whatever high-frequency device you use to weaken them could malfunction).

With that being said, I'm eagerly anticipating A Quiet Place II and I hope that it's going to explore how the Abbott family got lucky at the end and the odds are that they won't get so lucky if they were to try shooting them again.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Wooley » Thu Mar 12, 2020 3:42 pm

Stu wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:56 am
No, I'm not kidding, because there are people who believe that the monsters were defeated with just the shotgun, and while I'm glad that you realized that, not everyone has, which is why it's something that still needs to be clarified (because the filmmakers made the mistake of trusting people's intelligences a bit too much on that point, apparently). Anyway, the movie was almost completely vague on the timeline of the whole monster invasion (with the newspaper being the only thing contradicting what was in the original screenplay, and even then, all that concretely proves on its own is that one newspaper in the world had the time to print out one last issue), so it does have an internal logic that's almost completely consistent on that front, which ties into the point about the militaries, which isn't a complaint that holds up to scrutiny, because, as the film showed us firsthand, the monsters are incredibly fast, absolutely deadly, and armored to the point that they're normally completely invulnerable to human weaponry (as evidenced by the fact that they conquered the world in the first place), and due to their general levels of noise, military bases are likely to be one of the first places to attract these creatures, so if it's a simultaneous worldwide invasion, then even the world's militaries would all be quickly overrun. Besides, if your base is being rapidly overrun by alien monsters, ones that you know literally nothing about in the few moments you've been aware of their existence (which means that you have no way to know that they're hunting by sound rather than sight), why would you use your only attempt to defend yourself with a sonic weapon first before trying a good old gun, missile, or whatever other conventional weaponry that's lying around? Then, if you're one of the few survivors left over after the initial phase of the invasion, and you've learned that the creatures hunt solely by sound, again, why on Earth would you risk your life by doing the one thing that's sure to attract their attention?

Remember, these monsters have never been scientifically studied before, so you know next-to-nothing about them or what potential weaknesses they may have (or even if have any), so why would anyone reach the oddly specific conclusion that "these mysterious monsters hunt by sound, so high-pitched noises HAVE to make the armored panels pop off of their heads and render them vulnerable!", when literally nothing in the film indicated that that would've been the result? For all you know, the only thing it would've done would be to attract more of them to your general vicinity, and also to agitate them, making them even more dangerous and unpredictable then they were in the first place (which was basically what actually happened in the film anyway, as the shrieking didn't permanently incapacitate the creature). You're choosing to look at this problem from the outside view of a spectator watching an artificial narrative which has a solution waiting to be discovered in order to reach the happy ending, instead of from the inside perspective of a person living in such an awful world, someone who, as far as they know, is just completely fucked no matter what alternate solution they attempt, so they might as well try carrying on living for as long as they can by doing the one thing that they know will keep them safe, which is by being quiet, and the "high noises = vulnerable" solution is one that, as far as I know, has no analogue in nature, so assuming that noises of a certain frequency have to be able to help defeat these creatures would be like assuming that, since elephants have really good senses of hearing, if you blast one with a high-pitched frequency, its skin will automatically grow thinner, making it easier to kill in the process, which is a conclusion that would make absolutely no sense.
Dude, I think we just have to agree to disagree on this. You feel like you can refute every negative we pose about the film and I feel like I can refute every refutation, so we're never going to get anywhere on this. Good discussion, though.
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Stu
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Stu » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:43 am

Wooley wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 3:42 pm
Dude, I think we just have to agree to disagree on this. You feel like you can refute every negative we pose about the film and I feel like I can refute every refutation, so we're never going to get anywhere on this. Good discussion, though.
Sure thing.

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Apex Predator
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Apex Predator » Fri May 22, 2020 12:20 am

The Big Heat (1953)

It took me about two thirds of it to determine whether it was the one with the grapefruit.

From Fritz Lang comes the tale of Dave (Glenn Ford) who strongly suspects that a policeman did not commit suicide. But his investigation gets him in trouble with his superiors (some of whom are on the take) and mob boss Mike Lagana (Alexander Scourby). Eventually, Dave finds out the hard way why he needs to cool it. But no matter the price, Dave refuses to give in. And he gets a break when the mistress Debby (Gloria Grahame) of second in command Vince Stone (Lee Marvin) starts to flip sides.

I've got to really think hard about my definition of film noir because there's no woman creating trouble for the lead this time. The film does dive into some dark territory as it plays to the courage of its convictions right until the end. The dialogue crackles as hot as the coffee is served and the plot connects from start to finish.

Well Done. A-

Next: A movie where a teen starlet and her chaperone learn life lessons in New York.
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Wooley » Fri May 22, 2020 1:53 am

Apex Predator wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 12:20 am
The Big Heat (1953)

It took me about two thirds of it to determine whether it was the one with the grapefruit.

From Fritz Lang comes the tale of Dave (Glenn Ford) who strongly suspects that a policeman did not commit suicide. But his investigation gets him in trouble with his superiors (some of whom are on the take) and mob boss Mike Lagana (Alexander Scourby). Eventually, Dave finds out the hard way why he needs to cool it. But no matter the price, Dave refuses to give in. And he gets a break when the mistress Debby (Gloria Grahame) of second in command Vince Stone (Lee Marvin) starts to flip sides.

I've got to really think hard about my definition of film noir because there's no woman creating trouble for the lead this time. The film does dive into some dark territory as it plays to the courage of its convictions right until the end. The dialogue crackles as hot as the coffee is served and the plot connects from start to finish.

Well Done. A-
:up:
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Apex Predator
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Re: Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0

Post by Apex Predator » Mon May 25, 2020 1:26 pm

The Chaperone (2019)

I know, I'm a bit of a stinker to use this for the film title category in Thief's thread. But the film itself is a bit of a stinker.

Norma (Elizabeth McGovern) volunteers to be the chaperone for Louise (Haley Lu Richardson) when she gets the opportunity to work with an exclusive dance troupe in New York. While Louise struggles to assert her independence and grow up, Norma has her own reasons for wanting to go to New York and leaving her husband (Campbell Scott) behind.

And to answer your next question, yes, it's THAT Louise.

Although both actresses have some nifty moments, the film struggles on the storyline side of things. It takes too long to reveal some revelations (it takes multiple flashbacks to find out why Norma was willing to take a break from her husband). One of the biggest revelations has potential for fireworks, but it never really goes anywhere or leads to much of anything. Instead, we get too many scenes of

If you find Downton Abbey your cup of tea, odds are you'll enjoy this. Sadly, outside of the Countess, it's never been MY cup of tea so it feels too poky for its runtime.

There's a nice cameo midway through, although it might have been better had they come up with a way to wrap this up.

Their choice is the final straw. D+

Next: Of jazz, murder trials and Jimmy Stewart.
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