Author Topic: What was the last movie you watched?  (Read 1522798 times)

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Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18405 on: January 11, 2019, 04:41:24 PM »
A Night At The Opera (1935) - I thought it was only okay at best. I think all the hype for this film didn't help. I like the Marx Brothers, but have only seen a little of their stuff. I remember not being impressed with Duck Soup that much either. So I thought I would give what is often considered one of their best a try. I didn't care about the love story, that wasn't surprising, and it's apparently a common complaint. But I also didn't care about the opera or the singing, and there was more of it than I thought. But most surprising was that some of the comedy didn't work for me. There is a long contract negotiation scene between Groucho and Zeppo that was just a slog to get through, and I didn't laugh once. Only some of Groucho's one liners worked for me. In fact, the character that made me laugh most consistently was Harpo. His facial expression when the buffet servers are handing him food is priceless. And having him be the central point of the end action during the opera was the best decision they made in the whole movie. I get why they work as a team, but I kind of just wanted to see a movie starring him.

I'm a huge Marx brothers fan, and these are all valid complaints (except the contract negotiation scene; I enjoy finding the humor in that). Duck Soup gets critical praise for its ant-war message and extreme surrealism. A Night At the Opera works best as a movie story-wise. But I believe Animal Crackers is their best, because it is their most accessible. It's the best paced imo. The jokes come and go at a brisk enough pace to be interesting without being too much or too little. If I'm introducing someone to them, I start with Animal Crackers. If you're interested in watching any more, I recommend trying Animal Crackers next. And if that doesn't do it for you, then stop immediately. Haha.

Here's a 2min scene from Animal Crackers. It's a good representation of the movie's humor as a whole. If you don't like this, then I say skip it all together:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/5xUMeF5rgQo" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/5xUMeF5rgQo</a>
Nicely said.

This is a model for how to respond informatively about a topic you obviously have knowledge and interest in without veering over in to haughtiness. For me, anyway, because I can be a haughty prick.
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Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18406 on: January 11, 2019, 06:40:29 PM »
Seeing how I was in the mood for something more sophisticated today, I watched Commando, starring Arnold Schwarzanegger. It was very fun but a bit silly at times... I guess that's kind of why it's so fun to watch.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18407 on: January 13, 2019, 11:37:40 PM »
Legendary Weapons of China ( a.k.a. Legendary Weapons of Kung Fu )  ( 1982 )
This was the film Ric Meyers once called the greatest martial arts movie ever made. I never really agreed with that assessment, but it is among Liu Chia Liang's masterpieces. A cult is teaching it's members Kung Fu that is suppose to make them invulnerable to bullets. But after several of the cults members are killed by Westerners guns, one of the cult leaders disbands his chapter so no more of his students will die. The other cult leaders deem him a traitor and vow to hunt him down. The highlight of the film is the final duel where all of the 18 Weapons of Wushu are used. The film could have done away with the mid section where Alexander Fu Sheng's con artist character shows up, and it suddenly becomes a comedy until his character leaves. But it is one of the best martial arts films of the late Old School era.

DOUBLE FEATURE
This week I am watching not one, but two Wonder Woman movies. Why? Because Saturday Night Live is still on it's Christmas break. Because if the stuff I had ordered from Amazon on Cyber Monday finally arrived then I would have another WC Fields film to watch this weekend, but the order still hasn't been processed or shipped. And because it turns out the two Wonder Woman pilot movies from the 70s we're pretty short, so I may as well get rid of both on the same night.

Yes, two pilot movies. ABC was so desperate for a Wonder Woman series that after the first pilot tanked, they found a different producer and completely rebooted. The second Wonder Woman pilot did well enough in the ratings that the series was picked up. I had always assumed that the pilot film with Cathy Lee Crosby was the pilot for the Linda Carter series. Okay, so it had a different cast, setting and WW costume. But that happened a lot with pilots and their eventual series. And the Crosby movie and Carter series were less  than a year apart. As for the Linda Carter pilot movie, I never realized it existed because once the series was picked up the pilot was split into two episodes for every rerun and syndicated version of the show. And the Carter pilot film is not listed on Amazon's superhero movie list. ( A lot of pilot movies aren't. ) But the Crosby film is. I found out there was a second pilot when I checked to see if the Crosby pilot was an extra on the series set. ( It wasn't, despite both pilots being owned by Warner Bros. Television. )


Wonder Woman ( 1974 )
So here is what  ABC wanted. They were very interested in doing a series based on Wonder Woman. But they wanted the character updated as a modern 70s woman. It was the height of the Woman's Liberation movement. Helen Reddy's I Am Woman had just reached #1 on the charts. Billie Jean King had beaten Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes. The voice of the movement came from  Dorothy Pitman Hughes and Gloria Steinem's magazine Ms., and Wonder Woman was on the cover of the first issue. Which was why ABC wanted to make a Wonder Woman television series. But wanted her updated for the Women's Lib era. Their reinvented version of Wonder Woman would be a spy who wears civilian clothing during missions. Instead of super strength she uses judo. Instead of bracelets that repel bullets and a magic rope that forces people to tell the truth, her bracelets and rope are standard 007 style spy equipment. She does say she has an invisible plane, but most likely as a joke as it is never seen. Her iconic costume is gone, and when she does finally wear a Wonder Woman costume, it is this...


 
The plot? Someone has stolen code books that when combined reveal the names and identifies of every top agent in Europe. The head of the agency Steve Trevor decides to send agents out to find the culprit who stole the books. He has narrowed down the suspects to three crime bosses, one of which is so mysterious that no one has ever photographed him. Eavesdropping on the meeting is his secretary Diana Prince. After his agents are dispatched, Diana announces that she will be absent for a few days so she can have dental surgery, although it is made clear that Steve knows she is really Wonder Woman.  Deciding that the mysterious Mr Smith must be the culprit, Diana checks in as a guest at a hotel he is alleged to own.  Within seconds one of his henchmen calls in to say that Wonder Woman is checking in to the hotel. For the next hour it is Diana escaping one spy trap after another. Mr Smith wants to sell the Agency back the code books for $15 million. For the transfer he has sent the Agency a mule in a crate, giving Steve Trevor instructions to take it to a ghost town, put the ransom in a sack on the mule's back and slap it on it's rear so it delivers the ransom to Smith. Steve puts tracking devices on the mule, but it had been trained to walk through a building with a machine that deactivates the devices. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman shows up, finally in her costume, and tracks the mule herself. But she runs into Ahnjayla, another woman from Paradise Island who earlier in the film Diana was warned had left the island in persuit of a criminal career.  Ahnjayla had been hired by Smith to protect him from Wonder Woman, and the two get into a very lame pole fight. Ahnjayla loses the fight and tells Wonder Woman where Smith's secret base is. Wonder Woman infiltrates Smith's base, blows up his escape helicopter with her spy bracelet which is really a bomb, then when he tries to escape by rowboat, jumps into the river and catches him. Diana then returns to the agency to tell Steve that her dental surgery was a success.


Despite this film having almost nothing to do with Wonder Woman, it wasn't really that bad. Or at least i wasn't board while waiting for Diana to finally put on her Wonder Woman costume,  which doesn't happen until the final 20 minutes of the movie, although since she has no powers and is acting as Wonder Woman when she wears civilian clothing, there was not really any point in waiting. The dumb thing about this film is how the Mr Smith character is either written or cast or both. Basically it is one of those films where you do not see the villians face for most of the film, shooting him from the back, from the neck down, or at an angle where his head is blocked by something. you hear his voice, see his hands a lot, but never see his face. Finally in the last act of the film when Wonder Woman infiltrates Mr Smith's base, he swivels around in his chair and his face is revealed. Except that Mr Smith was played by Ricardo Montalban who has one of the most recognizable voices in show business, so you know what the mysterious Mr. Smith's face looks like long before he reveals it. It seems so stupid for them to spend the entire film hiding it.

The New Original Wonder Woman ( 1975 )
The day after the ratings came in for the Wonder Woman pilot, here is probably how the meeting at ABC went...

"God damn it! We started out strong in the first quarter, then the ratings tanked! Viewers were tuning out! What went wrong?!"


"I'll tell you what went wrong! My grand kid was watching that show! The whole time he kept saying `Grampa, where's Wonder Woman?` Who's idea was it not to have Goddamn Wonder Woman in a Goddamn Wonder Woman show?!"

" That was Jenkins!"


"Screw you! You were all on board with the idea! This was suppose to be a modern Wonder Woman for the 70s.!"


"We weren't all on board! I warned you Jinkins! I said that DC had already tried that shit back in the late 60s and it failed!"


"That does it! Jinkins! your fired! I want your desk cleared and you out of showbusiness by the end of the day! The rest of you, I want a Wonder Woman show that is exactly like the Comic Book! Exactly! Do I make myself clear?!"


So ABC went with a second production company and came up with a Wonder Woman series that was so identical to the original comic book that it even took place during the Second World War. This pilot film follows almost exactly the plots from All Star Comics #8   and Sensation Comics #1, only leaving out the part that Wonder Woman runs into a nurse named Diana Prince who wants to go to South America to be with her fiance, and pays her the money she needs in trade of keeping her identity.   I am guessing that for a brief period ABC toyed with  turning Wonder Woman into a camp comedy series identical to what was done with Batman in the 60s. Most of the cast were veteran comedians. For example, Lyle Waggoner had just left The Carol Burnett Show after 7 seasons of sketch comedy to play Steve Trevor. The guest cast was full of notable comedians including Redd Buttons, Kenneth Mars and Stella Stevens as Nazi spies, Henrey Gibson as a counter agent, and Cloris Leachman as Diana's mother. It even had Anne Ramsey in a bit part as a cab driver. But somewhere after casting the pilot with comedians, the network decided to produce the movie as a dramatic action adventure.


I honestly can't remember if Wonder Woman the series was any good, having not seen it since I was a kid. I guess I will find out soon since the only way to get the second pilot movie was to buy the series. What I do remember about the series was how annoying that theme song was ( and still is. ) Although now that I am older, I realize how inappropriate a Funk theme song is on a show that is suppose to take place during the early 1940s. Of course another thing I remembered from the series was how in the second season it suddenly switched to the 1970s with no explanation, or any characters aging. This pilot works a lot better than the first pilot specifically because it is very faithful to the comic book.  But it is a victim to the ridiculously low budgets of 70s television.





Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18408 on: January 16, 2019, 06:57:21 PM »
I got Demolition Man in the mail today. Watched it and had a blast. That movie is just so damn fun, and unique in that its the only movie in which I can stomach a performance from Rob Schneider. Well, that's not true, Judge Dredd was okay I guess... but let's not bullshit I'd much rather watch Dredd instead.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18409 on: January 19, 2019, 04:42:50 PM »
Stan and Ollie (2018) - This was great! John C Reilly and Steve Coogan do a fantastic job, really getting into the feel and mannerisms of the legendary duo. I was surprised that their falling out because of an argument was so little of the movie. It comes in late in the movie, so most of the movie is them going from place to place together on the tour getting acquainted with each other again. It gives the movie a wonderful feel good quality. I even liked the wives. They are sometime written as rather shrewish, so I expected to be annoyed by them, but the actresses do such a good job that they are likable. They even have a little mini comedy team bit that they do at a party that was nice.
I highly recommend this.



Offline wihogfan

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18410 on: January 19, 2019, 04:51:53 PM »
Jingle All The Way (1996)
Just as unfunny and unenjoyable as Bad Santa (2003), so now tied for the worst Christmas comedy I think I've ever seen. 


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18411 on: January 19, 2019, 04:57:50 PM »
Jingle All The Way (1996)
Just as unfunny and unenjoyable as Bad Santa (2003), so now tied for the worst Christmas comedy I think I've ever seen.
I'm glad to see someone else who doesn't like Bad Santa. Everyone else seems to love it, but I found it uncomfortable and obnoxious. Billy Bob Thornton's character was irredeemably annoying and unlikable.



Offline wihogfan

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18412 on: January 19, 2019, 04:59:53 PM »
I got Demolition Man in the mail today. Watched it and had a blast. That movie is just so damn fun, and unique in that its the only movie in which I can stomach a performance from Rob Schneider. Well, that's not true, Judge Dredd was okay I guess... but let's not bullshit I'd much rather watch Dredd instead.
Dredd (2012) was definitely a better movie, but I watched Judge Dredd (1995) again recently and I enjoyed it- Rob Sneider and all. It still wasn't what I could consider great, but it wasn't as bad as I remembered it being and it had more things from the comic then I remembered it having.


Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18413 on: January 19, 2019, 05:08:59 PM »
Dredd (2012) was definitely a better movie, but I watched Judge Dredd (1995) again recently and I enjoyed it- Rob Sneider and all. It still wasn't what I could consider great, but it wasn't as bad as I remembered it being and it had more things from the comic then I remembered it having.
There are definitely some things I like about Judge Dredd, but when I think of Karl Urban's performance as the character, I keep thinking that it was a role that just wasn't well-suited for Stallone. Back in the early to mid-90's I read a lot of the original comic run and it was dark and sometimes depressing but always pretty fun to read. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens was a pretty cool miniseries. I remember I really, really wanted the movie to be about the Dark Judges. The whole plot of Dredd having a twin brother and being framed just felt too much of a generic direction.

Tonight I watched the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic The Running Man. It was actually pretty fun. Near the end I was thinking to myself "Why the eff is Dynamo in his underwear all of a sudden?". Then of course my mind hit a barrier consisting of the thought "Nevermind... I really don't want to know."


Offline wihogfan

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18414 on: January 19, 2019, 07:36:38 PM »
Spring Breakers (2012)
I haven't been this confused by a movie in a long time. I wasn't confused by the plot (that was easy enough to follow), but I was confused by the motivations of all of the characters and what point it was trying to make (if it was trying to make one at all). There were times early on where I almost turned it off, but I thought that maybe it was going somewhere. It never did and I found myself trying to come up with motivations for the characters actions- outside of the girls stealing to go on spring break and the James Franco character wanting to bang 4 college girls, I have no idea why anyone did anything they did in the movie. I didn't really hate it because it did nothing to earn that strong of a reaction. Verdict if I had to give one would be it was easily forgetable and a waste of an hour and a half of my time.


Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18415 on: January 20, 2019, 11:14:21 AM »
This one's in progress at the moment I'm watching a movie I've never even heard of before, it's called Summer Rental starring John Candy and its directed by Carl Reiner. 


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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18416 on: January 20, 2019, 09:10:12 PM »
Watched Solo for the first time. I actually liked it quite a bit. It was the first Star Wars movie I’ve seen in a long time where I didn’t want it to end. I liked pretty much all of the characters and it was fun. Even the action was cool and exciting. Wasn’t anything amazing, but enjoyable all around I thought.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18417 on: January 20, 2019, 11:42:01 PM »
Stan and Ollie (2018) - This was great! John C Reilly and Steve Coogan do a fantastic job, really getting into the feel and mannerisms of the legendary duo. I was surprised that their falling out because of an argument was so little of the movie. It comes in late in the movie, so most of the movie is them going from place to place together on the tour getting acquainted with each other again. It gives the movie a wonderful feel good quality. I even liked the wives. They are sometime written as rather shrewish, so I expected to be annoyed by them, but the actresses do such a good job that they are likable. They even have a little mini comedy team bit that they do at a party that was nice.
I highly recommend this.

I stopped going to theaters when the last reasonably priced movie theater in the city closed. I can't see spending nearly $20 to sit in a tiny theater with the sounds of films from the other multiplex theaters bleeding through the walls while watching a car commercial during a "Intermission" as worth it.   Instead I just wait the extra month and for the same price ( unless it is a Disney film ) can get the same movie on DVD or Blu-ray and own it forever. Still, being a huge Laurel & Hardy fan, I am very tempted to blow the $20 to see this on a big screen. ( or, almost big screen. )   

Spring Breakers (2012)
I haven't been this confused by a movie in a long time. I wasn't confused by the plot (that was easy enough to follow), but I was confused by the motivations of all of the characters and what point it was trying to make (if it was trying to make one at all). There were times early on where I almost turned it off, but I thought that maybe it was going somewhere. It never did and I found myself trying to come up with motivations for the characters actions- outside of the girls stealing to go on spring break and the James Franco character wanting to bang 4 college girls, I have no idea why anyone did anything they did in the movie. I didn't really hate it because it did nothing to earn that strong of a reaction. Verdict if I had to give one would be it was easily forgetable and a waste of an hour and a half of my time.


This is actually one of my favorite films. And whenever I hear either Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites from  Skrillex or Lights from Ellie Goulding, ( and Britney Spears Everytime ) I immediately think about that film and how much I ended up enjoying it.  The motivations of all the characters are explained. But in a nutshell, they all believe in and desire the lifestyles fed to them by MTV or similar outlets. James Franco and his crew want to be Gangster Rappers and have everything they see in those videos. The girls want to live out the Spring Break fantasy, and are so desperate to live it out that they will resort to armed robbery, and eventually living with a creepy wigger. They are so caught up in the fantasy that they believe they could take out a rival drug gang. My advice on this film though is to just forget about following motivation and simply enjoy the ride.


The Shadow Boxer ( 1974 )
Since this week is when I wrap up the Wonder Woman films, I thought for this week's martial arts film I would watch The Heroic Trio ( 1993 ), and perhaps find the time to fit in it's sequel Executioners ( also 1993 ) because one of the superheroines  was called Wonder Woman. But then I realized that both films are on Laserdisc, and my old laserdisc player is in need of repair as something is wrong with the motor.  So as a substitute I thought I would watch The 14 Amazons ( 1972 ) which is a Shaw Brothers movie about a group of women warriors avenging the death of their men. Not really anything to do with the Amazons in the Wonder Woman comics, but  there would be a bit of a theme with all of Saturday's films.  And then I got called  to help a family member do something  involving loading an item from a box store onto the back of a van, which lasted longer than I wanted it to, and definitely longer than I was promised it would take, which had me arriving home at 4:00 and going into one of the boxes with my martial arts DVD stash and grabbing a film at random. It wasn't until I was about an hour into it when I noticed in the corner of the room the box for The 14 Amazons which I had brought downstairs the night before  and thought "Aw f#@k! I forgot I wanted to watch that!" But by then it was too late.

This was one of the lesser potboilers from Shaw Brothers where the hero is a practitioner of  Tai Chi, a form of martial arts which really doesn't belong in action movies since it is mostly defensive than aggressive. So basically not good for attacking opponents unless you can get them to attack you first and redirect their blows against them. Even worse, the philosophy of Tai Chi is tolerance. Which is what the Tai Chi master in this film hammers into his student, who happens to be the hero of this film. So when the bad guys refuse to pay the full salaries of the men who work for them while demanding they work double hours, the hero does nothing. When the same bad guys ambush and fatally stab his master, he does nothing. When the head bad guy rapes his girlfriend causing her to commit suicide, he does nothing.   When the bad guys  attack and kill his best friend, he does nothing. But when they kill the town drunk, he hero has had enough and decides to abandon his tolerance philosophy to finally take vengeance. The movie ends with all the bad guys lying on a hilltop dead, and the hero, who is no longer angry,  crying  about the fact that he has killed someone.

The choreography from Yune Woo Ping  is good. But relies on the hero redirecting the bad guys blows, and throwing in a few finishing moves that are definately not Tai Chi. It  is definitely annoying  when every time the bad guys do something to the hero or one of the people he cares about , he flashes back to  a poster of the Chinese character for tolerance hanging in his master's dojo and hears his master's own voice saying "tolerance" after which he clinches his fists and walks away from the situation. Yea, we all know that eventually he will slaughter  all the villains. But you have to sit through 75 minutes until he  finally does something.

Wonder Woman ( 2017 )
This week brings me to the close of the Wonder Woman movies, not counting Justice League which will be purchased and watched at a later date. ( Still waiting to see if a deluxe or extended cut  ( or  Snyder cut ) is released before I spend [ waste ] money on the current release. With Wonder Woman reportedly most if not all of the footage made it into the final cut, so there was no risk of an extended edition being announced after I bought the original release.

It is a really good film.  But I still can't understand why they chose to change the origin story from World War II to World War I other than Warner Bros. didn't want anyone to notice their Wonder Woman film was really a rip-off of Marvel's Captain America.  (  Even practically the same ending, only it is the hero's love interest who sacrifices himself in an airplane while the hero watches instead of the other way around. ) DC's whateververse was copying the success of the MCU, and so decided the final film before their answer to The Avengers should be set in a World War, just as Marvel had done.  The good news is that even though this was Warner Bros. attempt to crack the MCU formula, it is still a very good film that is only noticeable as a rip-off if you know what to look for.

Now, if the film's I ordered last Cyber Monday finally arrived, then hopefully next week will be the final Zorro film and I can close out that character.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 11:43:52 PM by stethacantus »


Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18418 on: January 21, 2019, 06:06:39 PM »
Watched Solo for the first time. I actually liked it quite a bit. It was the first Star Wars movie I’ve seen in a long time where I didn’t want it to end. I liked pretty much all of the characters and it was fun. Even the action was cool and exciting. Wasn’t anything amazing, but enjoyable all around I thought.
Everyone and their mother at least LIKED Solo, so that makes me wonder... why the eff did it flop? And I will not accept the answer that maybe people thought it was a remake of the 1995 Mario Van Peebles movie.


Offline stansimpson

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18419 on: January 22, 2019, 07:10:06 AM »
Watched Solo for the first time. I actually liked it quite a bit. It was the first Star Wars movie I’ve seen in a long time where I didn’t want it to end. I liked pretty much all of the characters and it was fun. Even the action was cool and exciting. Wasn’t anything amazing, but enjoyable all around I thought.
Everyone and their mother at least LIKED Solo, so that makes me wonder... why the eff did it flop? And I will not accept the answer that maybe people thought it was a remake of the 1995 Mario Van Peebles movie.

Memorial Day weekend is historically not a very good slot for blockbusters. Also, it's the first Star Wars movie released less than a year than the previous one (actually less than half a year; a bold choice). Also, Avengers: Infinity War came out only 2 weeks before its historic run and Deadpool 2 in the middle of the two. Stacking tentpole blockbusters one after another like that is a gigantic risk as well; flat-out stupid if you ask me considering Disney owns both Marvel & Star Wars. So Disney was basically taking a lot of risks and hoping they'd all pan out. There might be something to say about MoviePass getting super strict about what movies could be seen by that time. Before Infinity War, it was a free-for-all. Afterwards, they started making blockbusters more difficult to see. The fact that anyone was surprised at the less-than-stellar numbers for Solo is *more* surprising imo.

Hope that answers your question without bringing the movie's quality or anecdotal evidence into it.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 07:24:33 AM by stansimpson »