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Author Topic: What was the last movie you watched?  (Read 1585596 times)

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Offline Relaxing Dragon

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11475 on: August 31, 2012, 01:30:02 PM »
I feel like you're looking for the wrong things when it comes to a martial arts movie. The Raid excels so much because it strips that sort of movie down to the bare necessities and has a firm grasp of pacing and flow. The characters may be thin and simple, but they are effective. Pure-hearted good guy, maniacal bad guy, shifty traitor, fanatical bodyguard, and so on. It's got what it needs, without any getting hung up on needless padding and subplots that would take it on too long. Gotta stay lean to get ahead in this genre (although I will say that it could stand to lose a further five minutes or so here and there).

The "it feels like a video game" comment is one I see for that movie and many like it, and it always puzzles me, because all those video games got the idea of this kind of layout (fighting the goons, fighting the boss, moving in a small area) from martial arts movies of old (Enter the Dragon and all that fun stuff). It's like things are coming full-circle again or something. And not sure what to make of the bit about the main guy never getting tired, since he's about ready to faint at one point. That final fight even drags out because of how tired and beat to hell everyone involved is. They just know how to keep the energy up while doing it.

Plus, that action is pretty damn solid. It hits hard, gets ridiculous at time (final fight gets crazy), and it's actually shot well enough that you can tell what the heck is going on, which (somewhat sadly) goes a long way in today's world. It's low on the props, yes, which may make it all seem repetitive, but movies that are largely hand-to-hand are like that. It's all about the flow and power of the blows themselves, and this movie's got that in spades.

So, while it's far from what I'd refer to as a deep movie, it works exactly for the sort of movie that it is. More so than the best such movies of the last decade, even (things like Ong-Bak, District B13, and Raging Phoenix).

For more, let the Hulk take it: http://badassdigest.com/2012/03/14/sxsw-movie-review-the-raid-and-the-wonderful-world-of-martial-arts-cinema/


Offline Riffman for Hire

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11476 on: August 31, 2012, 02:29:58 PM »
I feel like you're looking for the wrong things when it comes to a martial arts movie. The Raid excels so much because it strips that sort of movie down to the bare necessities and has a firm grasp of pacing and flow. The characters may be thin and simple, but they are effective. Pure-hearted good guy, maniacal bad guy, shifty traitor, fanatical bodyguard, and so on. It's got what it needs, without any getting hung up on needless padding and subplots that would take it on too long. Gotta stay lean to get ahead in this genre (although I will say that it could stand to lose a further five minutes or so here and there).

The "it feels like a video game" comment is one I see for that movie and many like it, and it always puzzles me, because all those video games got the idea of this kind of layout (fighting the goons, fighting the boss, moving in a small area) from martial arts movies of old (Enter the Dragon and all that fun stuff). It's like things are coming full-circle again or something. And not sure what to make of the bit about the main guy never getting tired, since he's about ready to faint at one point. That final fight even drags out because of how tired and beat to hell everyone involved is. They just know how to keep the energy up while doing it.

Plus, that action is pretty damn solid. It hits hard, gets ridiculous at time (final fight gets crazy), and it's actually shot well enough that you can tell what the heck is going on, which (somewhat sadly) goes a long way in today's world. It's low on the props, yes, which may make it all seem repetitive, but movies that are largely hand-to-hand are like that. It's all about the flow and power of the blows themselves, and this movie's got that in spades.

So, while it's far from what I'd refer to as a deep movie, it works exactly for the sort of movie that it is. More so than the best such movies of the last decade, even (things like Ong-Bak, District B13, and Raging Phoenix).

For more, let the Hulk take it: http://badassdigest.com/2012/03/14/sxsw-movie-review-the-raid-and-the-wonderful-world-of-martial-arts-cinema/

I respectfully disagree with almost everything you just said.  You even mention some of the film's problems in your posts.  The pure-hearted good guy, etc.  They're archetypes and not characters.  And not even well developed for basic archetypes.  I can't remember any of the characters' names except Rama.  And what do I know about him?  He's Muslim, he has a pregnant wife, a brother in a gang, and he fights well.  That's it.  There's nothing distinct or interesting about him or anyone else in the film.  You could replace one character with the hero and change nothing.  Characters like Martin Riggs or Indiana Jones or John McClane were distinct.  They had character and back story.  Rama has none.

The fights are way too long and too absurd.  He beats up twenty or thirty knife-wielding guys in a hallway and isn't even breathing heavy.  Come on.  Even in MMA, guys get bloody and tired.  And he sustains, IIRC, one face wound and maybe some bruises.  It's ridiculous.  He only nearly faints once when he should be dead or nearly dead.  Even after the final fight, he keeps going.  It's impossible to suspend your disbelief with this much action.

And I don't think looking for character and story is the wrong thing to be looking for in a martial arts film.  They're integral in any film and they're sorely lacking in this one.  What you call needless padding and subplots, I call story and character development.

Even the twist with the brother is wildly improbable and way too convenient, so the film can be criticized on a story level. 

I can see we're not going to agree, which is fine, but I just thought I'd express why I don't agree with your arguments, well-reasoned as they are.


Offline Relaxing Dragon

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11477 on: August 31, 2012, 05:08:44 PM »
I respectfully disagree with almost everything you just said.  You even mention some of the film's problems in your posts.  The pure-hearted good guy, etc.  They're archetypes and not characters.  And not even well developed for basic archetypes.  I can't remember any of the characters' names except Rama.  And what do I know about him?  He's Muslim, he has a pregnant wife, a brother in a gang, and he fights well.  That's it.  There's nothing distinct or interesting about him or anyone else in the film.  You could replace one character with the hero and change nothing.  Characters like Martin Riggs or Indiana Jones or John McClane were distinct.  They had character and back story.  Rama has none.

The fights are way too long and too absurd.  He beats up twenty or thirty knife-wielding guys in a hallway and isn't even breathing heavy.  Come on.  Even in MMA, guys get bloody and tired.  And he sustains, IIRC, one face wound and maybe some bruises.  It's ridiculous.  He only nearly faints once when he should be dead or nearly dead.  Even after the final fight, he keeps going.  It's impossible to suspend your disbelief with this much action.

And I don't think looking for character and story is the wrong thing to be looking for in a martial arts film.  They're integral in any film and they're sorely lacking in this one.  What you call needless padding and subplots, I call story and character development.

Even the twist with the brother is wildly improbable and way too convenient, so the film can be criticized on a story level. 

I can see we're not going to agree, which is fine, but I just thought I'd express why I don't agree with your arguments, well-reasoned as they are.

I get what you're saying, but I still feel like my initial statement of "it's not that kind of movie" works here. I know that sounds like a bit of a slam against either "this kind" of movie as opposed to "that kind" of movie, but it's true. These movies are not Die Hard, nor do they need to be. They exist mostly to showcase some wicked martial arts skills, which this movie certainly does. The characters are exactly as thick as they need to be to get there, and as developed as they need to be to stay relevant, and the audience's reaction to the scenario at hand is based on the amount of damage inflicted and the visually evil acts of the bad guys weighed against the visually heroic acts of the good guys. I'll definitely call it simple, and yeah, in no way will these protagonists stack up against Indy or McClane in terms of memorability, but that's not why they're there. They're there to give us an easy, reliable side to root for in all the chaos.

I found the pacing of the fights to go rather well, and when you actually get down to timing them, most don't last long at all (the fact that the last one just keeps going is pretty much the point of that fight, too). And the scrawny little hero with improbable skills who never, ever goes down is a hardcore staple of martial arts cinema. Those heroes never get tired, and they can punch through a hundred guys and keep on running. It's what's expected of them, and so long as the action stays hard and fluid, we can accept it and enjoy it for what it is. As for the brother being an overly convenient plot point... well, yeah, he is, but then, that's the movies for you. It was pretty convenient for a off-duty cop to be in Nakatomi Plaza during a terrorist takeover, but they managed to make a pretty good movie out of that :P

I do realize you're not a fan of this one, and I doubt what I'm saying will convince you otherwise. I really just think you're looking at it the wrong way, and wanted it to be something it's not. Check out those other films I listed in the end of my first post, maybe one of them will float your boat better while still delivering on the action front that Asia can so well craft (alright, one's French, but they get a pass for it by making it look so cool) :)

EDIT: I should also mention that I do still have minimum standards and whatnot for these sorts of films as well. As balls-out awesome as the action scenes were in Bangkok Knockout (and they get seriously crazy), I found the characters so irritating and the story so bleh that it hurt the film for me. So, again, I can see where you're coming from. In this case, it's just a matter of something being "lean", not "empty".
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 05:12:11 PM by Relaxing Dragon »


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11478 on: August 31, 2012, 05:31:47 PM »
Fantastic Mr Fox. First time since seeing it in the cinema, and it's still wonderful.
FINE


Offline Riffman for Hire

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11479 on: August 31, 2012, 05:52:43 PM »
I respectfully disagree with almost everything you just said.  You even mention some of the film's problems in your posts.  The pure-hearted good guy, etc.  They're archetypes and not characters.  And not even well developed for basic archetypes.  I can't remember any of the characters' names except Rama.  And what do I know about him?  He's Muslim, he has a pregnant wife, a brother in a gang, and he fights well.  That's it.  There's nothing distinct or interesting about him or anyone else in the film.  You could replace one character with the hero and change nothing.  Characters like Martin Riggs or Indiana Jones or John McClane were distinct.  They had character and back story.  Rama has none.

The fights are way too long and too absurd.  He beats up twenty or thirty knife-wielding guys in a hallway and isn't even breathing heavy.  Come on.  Even in MMA, guys get bloody and tired.  And he sustains, IIRC, one face wound and maybe some bruises.  It's ridiculous.  He only nearly faints once when he should be dead or nearly dead.  Even after the final fight, he keeps going.  It's impossible to suspend your disbelief with this much action.

And I don't think looking for character and story is the wrong thing to be looking for in a martial arts film.  They're integral in any film and they're sorely lacking in this one.  What you call needless padding and subplots, I call story and character development.

Even the twist with the brother is wildly improbable and way too convenient, so the film can be criticized on a story level. 

I can see we're not going to agree, which is fine, but I just thought I'd express why I don't agree with your arguments, well-reasoned as they are.

I get what you're saying, but I still feel like my initial statement of "it's not that kind of movie" works here. I know that sounds like a bit of a slam against either "this kind" of movie as opposed to "that kind" of movie, but it's true. These movies are not Die Hard, nor do they need to be. They exist mostly to showcase some wicked martial arts skills, which this movie certainly does. The characters are exactly as thick as they need to be to get there, and as developed as they need to be to stay relevant, and the audience's reaction to the scenario at hand is based on the amount of damage inflicted and the visually evil acts of the bad guys weighed against the visually heroic acts of the good guys. I'll definitely call it simple, and yeah, in no way will these protagonists stack up against Indy or McClane in terms of memorability, but that's not why they're there. They're there to give us an easy, reliable side to root for in all the chaos.

I found the pacing of the fights to go rather well, and when you actually get down to timing them, most don't last long at all (the fact that the last one just keeps going is pretty much the point of that fight, too). And the scrawny little hero with improbable skills who never, ever goes down is a hardcore staple of martial arts cinema. Those heroes never get tired, and they can punch through a hundred guys and keep on running. It's what's expected of them, and so long as the action stays hard and fluid, we can accept it and enjoy it for what it is. As for the brother being an overly convenient plot point... well, yeah, he is, but then, that's the movies for you. It was pretty convenient for a off-duty cop to be in Nakatomi Plaza during a terrorist takeover, but they managed to make a pretty good movie out of that :P

I do realize you're not a fan of this one, and I doubt what I'm saying will convince you otherwise. I really just think you're looking at it the wrong way, and wanted it to be something it's not. Check out those other films I listed in the end of my first post, maybe one of them will float your boat better while still delivering on the action front that Asia can so well craft (alright, one's French, but they get a pass for it by making it look so cool) :)

EDIT: I should also mention that I do still have minimum standards and whatnot for these sorts of films as well. As balls-out awesome as the action scenes were in Bangkok Knockout (and they get seriously crazy), I found the characters so irritating and the story so bleh that it hurt the film for me. So, again, I can see where you're coming from. In this case, it's just a matter of something being "lean", not "empty".

Yeah, I can see what you're saying and understand it, even if I don't agree.  In any case, I seem to be in the minority opinion about The Raid, since a lot of people on rottentomatoes.com and other review sites loved the movie.  I find I'm often contrary when it comes to popular movies.  People loved films like The Avengers and Minority Report whereas I hated them.  I guess I'm just a contrary sort of person :)


Offline Relaxing Dragon

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11480 on: August 31, 2012, 11:25:01 PM »
People liked Minority Report? I've only ever heard of two.

Am I one of the two?


Offline Lembach

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11481 on: September 01, 2012, 01:30:43 AM »
People liked Minority Report? I've only ever heard of two.

I loved the movie.
Also, since it's been mentioned: happy ending or induced wish fulfillment incarceration fantasy?


Offline mrbasehart

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11482 on: September 01, 2012, 07:00:28 AM »
Minority Report is a good film.

Quick overview of what I've been watching:

John Loves Mary - Romantic comedy made in 1949 starring Ronald Reagan as an officer who's come back from the war to marry his girl, but has to divorce the woman he married in England.  No kinky stuff though, as he only married her because his best friend loves her and he wanted her to come to America.  Misunderstandings occur, mild amusement ensues.

The Possession of Nurse Sherri
- Despite having a porno title, this is a Bad Horror Movie.  Plot - Nurse gets possessed by cult leader, decides to start murdering people.  Incredibly cheap, lacking talent both in front and behind the camera, and poorly ripping off both the Exorcist and Psycho. 

The Shocking Miss Pilgrim - The lovely Betty Grable stars in this musical set in 19th century Boston about the first woman to become a secretary in the city.  She becomes something of a beacon for women's sufferage, but comes into conflict with her boss, whom she's in love with.  It has some terrible messages to impart, despite seeming being for women, as it seems only pretty secretaries are allowed (and of course, they can be no more) and it's kinda interesting to think that this film was made about 20 years before the civil rights movement came into full swing.  Still, Gable is charming and the songs by the Gershwins are suitable peppy.

Fuzz - Based on an Ed McBain novel, this is a wildly mixed look at the workings of a police squad over the course of an investigation.  It flutters between comedy and drama clumsily, and it reeks of having the book's guts torn out to get all of the major plot points in.  Burt Reynolds does a bit of comedy, Raquel Welch does a bit of glamour, while Yul Brynner hams it up as the bad guy.

Honolulu - A kind of fun, if predictable, comedy starring the affable Robert Young as movie star Brooks Mason, who is so tired of getting mobbed he strikes a deal with a "regular" man who is his double (also Robert Young), that they swap places for a little while so Mason can recover.  On the boat to Honolulu, he meets Eleanor Powell, and understandably falls in love with her.  Trouble is, his double is engaged to be married to someone else, with Mason knowing.  Misunderstandings occur, mild amusement and a corking set of legs from Ms Powell ensue.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11483 on: September 01, 2012, 11:46:07 AM »
Faraway, So Close!

Fairly good, although I think a lot of people would find it too arty, especially in the first act.  What starts out as a ponderous film about an angel watching people's lives turns into a sort of fairy tale film about an angel learning that being a good man is much harder than he suspects.  It's a little overlong and it shift tones a lot, but I liked it overall.  Also, Mikhail Gorbachev, Peter Falk and Lou Reed play themselves.


Offline Starman!

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11484 on: September 01, 2012, 01:44:42 PM »
Wings of Desire (the first film) was better but I enjoy Faraway, So Close! as well. Plus it has two U2 songs in it (one is partly named after the movie).


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11485 on: September 01, 2012, 06:55:45 PM »
Finally watched Dracula (1931). Beleive it or not, I had never seen the whole thing. Mostly bits and pieces of it that were in other movies.

I liked it. And while it is definitely dated, it holds up better than I thought it would. Silly bats on strings notwithstanding. I was also very surprised that they didn't show ANYTHING of Dracula getting staked (and that Dr. VanHelsing didn't even think to bring any tools with him).
The guy who plays Renfield reminded me of Johnny Depp, too.
I can also see why Hor-Riff-ic Productions decided to riff it. That is going to be hilarious!



Offline lassieface

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11486 on: September 01, 2012, 08:06:27 PM »
Jaws: The Revenge

For the HDTGM podcast. Shockingly bad, and starring...Michael Caine? Really weird editing too.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11487 on: September 01, 2012, 08:15:44 PM »
Caine has said that he often takes roles to anyone who can pay his salary and if the location is appealing.  He had never been to the Bahamas so...


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11488 on: September 01, 2012, 08:21:18 PM »
I love the Michael Caine quote regarding Jaws 4:
Quote
I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.



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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #11489 on: September 01, 2012, 08:31:21 PM »
If you say Michael Caine's name in his voice, you're actually saying "My cocaine."