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Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18045 on: May 02, 2018, 08:28:57 AM »
Watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle again last night, that helicopter scene still takes me out of the movie, thinking about it now it's interesting that all the other impossible stuff didn't have that effect, even other impossible stuff the helicopter does.

Made me think of the problems with early CGI creatures when they jumped around, when the physics was off it really stood out, so it must be a gravity thing, unrealistic gravity is something that breaks suspension of disbelief.

This time through I noticed more callbacks to the original, stuff in the background.




Offline kunedog

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18046 on: May 03, 2018, 03:10:42 AM »
Where's the Girl?  The Motion Picture

Recently rewatched Spartan (2004).  I'm throwing a couple clips in here that IMO don't count as spoilers, which makes me ten times more courteous than the official trailer.  Do NOT watch the trailer as it spoils most major plot twists.

A-

The President's daughter has vanished.  At least, that's "obviously" who she is, but no one ever says so.  A great strength of this movie is how much is left unstated, because what's unstated is usually something you don't need to hear, because you've heard it a hundred times before in other cop/detective dramas.

Here's the introduction to the forward operating base (dismal video, but only the audio matters):

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/eW8aI0aydqw" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/eW8aI0aydqw</a>

Except for Kilmer, this the first time we've met any of these people.  But notice there are no introductions or "As You Know" spiels of exposition.  In fact, we never really find out Kilmer's (or anyone else's) official position/rank.  We naturally grasp most of their authority and reputation from their behavior . . . everyone knows who everyone else is, and they all act like professionals with a job to do.

The movie subverts expectations effectively.  If David Mamet lets you in on a plan (and he often does), then expect it to go to shit (if it ever even gets off the ground).

But the big draw is Mamet's dialogue.  Some (Hell, most) of it's so simple and repetitive that I'm impressed the actors "get it" and figure out how to make it sound good.  A few lines do fall flat, but only a few.  IMO only Tarantino's dialogue sounds better.

I would've probably given this an A- when I first saw it, and I'm tempted to upgrade it for being every bit as entertaining a decade later even when I remember all the plot twists (but forgot some of the best dialog).  But I'll keep it where it is due to noticing a couple major plot holes this time.  This script cheats in a way that something like The Score doesn't.

Plot holes spoilered:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/aTsjwO97Aow" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/aTsjwO97Aow</a>

« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 03:17:29 AM by kunedog »


Offline wihogfan

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18047 on: May 03, 2018, 04:18:56 PM »
I watched Primer last night.  It's a low budget time travel movie.  So it's like a lot of time travel movies, but extra confusing.  The film makers and a lot of ardent fans take pride in this confusing narrative, but I find it sloppy.  If I hadn't read the Wikipedia summation of it, I would not have understood it at all.  There's something about this time machine.  You have to power it on to create a sort of "time bubble" that extends to the point where you turn it off.  You can only travel back and forth through the time covered by that bubble.  Also, you travel in real time.  So it's just like normal living except that you can go backwards.  Also, the chamber is flooded with unbreathable xenon gas or something so you need to bring your own oxygen supply.
I understand the criticism, but I went into Primer only knowing that it was an ultra-low budget scifi movie that got good reviews. I ended up loving the ambiguity and confusion and coming away impressed that someone was able to do so much with such a low budget. Which reminds me that I haven't gotten around to watching the director/writer's 2nd movie yet-plan to watch it this weekend.


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18048 on: May 03, 2018, 05:01:07 PM »
I watched Primer last night.  It's a low budget time travel movie.  So it's like a lot of time travel movies, but extra confusing.  The film makers and a lot of ardent fans take pride in this confusing narrative, but I find it sloppy.  If I hadn't read the Wikipedia summation of it, I would not have understood it at all.  There's something about this time machine.  You have to power it on to create a sort of "time bubble" that extends to the point where you turn it off.  You can only travel back and forth through the time covered by that bubble.  Also, you travel in real time.  So it's just like normal living except that you can go backwards.  Also, the chamber is flooded with unbreathable xenon gas or something so you need to bring your own oxygen supply.
I understand the criticism, but I went into Primer only knowing that it was an ultra-low budget scifi movie that got good reviews. I ended up loving the ambiguity and confusion and coming away impressed that someone was able to do so much with such a low budget. Which reminds me that I haven't gotten around to watching the director/writer's 2nd movie yet-plan to watch it this weekend.

We loved both of his films. Upstream Color is darker and pretty full on, but excellent.

We watched Primer twice, and I think it's fantastic. The first time we watched it we had to keep pausing it to discuss what had happened. It's hard work, but it's rewarding. I do remember there being one plot point towards the end that we needed to look up to understand, so I think it was 100% successful in conveying the story.
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Online Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18049 on: May 04, 2018, 05:00:03 AM »
Blade Runner 2049

This was a really good movie.  Despite the fact that it continues the story of the first film, it doesn't feel like it's trying to copy the beats of the original or trying to turn it into more of an action movie.  I do think that it is a movie that was stuck in a dilemma with the marketing: like Thor: Ragnarok, the film could have had a pleasant surprise if a major character's appearance (and major role) in it was kept secret but also that same thing is a selling point.  I'm sure a lot of people were disappointed there wasn't more Harrison Ford but I like that it keeps the story more on Ryan Gosling's character.  I also appreciate that what would have been a big reveal in some films is addressed pretty early on and they manage to take it in a direction that is satisfying and genuinely surprising.  There are a few moments where it puts a button on things a little too much (which I think might have mostly been editing room stuff, in some cases), but I feel it is a science fiction mystery film that respects the audience's attention enough not to spell things out all the time.  Sylvia Hoeks is also a great villain as Luv and I hope to see more from her.


Offline wihogfan

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18050 on: May 04, 2018, 06:12:48 PM »
Upstream Color (2013)
Thought it was an amazing movie but one that I don't think I could watch again as it was just so dark and intense and unrelenting throughout (not fast paced unrelenting- not fast paced in any way- but the slower pace was perfect for keeping it psychologically tense). I think knowing what the basic premise was had been what had kept me away from it until now and the premise was one that could easily have made for a terrible run of the mill horror movie in the wrong hands, but it kept me wondering where it was going the whole way.     


Offline Pastor of Muppets

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18051 on: May 04, 2018, 06:53:30 PM »
Hellraiser 10.  The actual name is "Hellraiser: Judgement", but when a franchise has this many installments I think it's more fun to just give the number.  It was a direct to video just like the previous 5.  It was okay.  It was weird.

There's this house where a demon named "The Auditor" straps you into a chair and asks you questions about your sins.  He types it up into a report with some strange and overly complex typewriter.  Then another demon named "The Assessor", who looks like an ordinary fat human man, walks in and eats the report.  The Assessor then vomits into a tube.  The tube runs into another room where three demonic women eat the vomit, then render a verdict based on the taste.  When the victim is found guilty, he is taken to a room where these women lick him a bunch, then vomit into his mouth.  They call this "cleaning".  After the cleaning, another demon in some sort of leather bondage suit comes in and kills the victim and removes his skin.

There's more to the story than that.  It's framed around a police procedural story about a serial killer who goes around killing people based on their violations of the 10 Commandments.
I'm not particularly religious, and I don't really like Muppets, but I do love word play.


Offline wihogfan

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18052 on: May 04, 2018, 07:06:11 PM »
I saw Hellraiser 10 as a cheap Seven (1995) knockoff with some unnecessary Pinhead thrown in to make it a Hellraiser movie. It wasn't the worst of the Hellraiser movies, but it also wasn't what I would consider good, just not totally terrible.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 08:50:28 PM by wihogfan »


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18053 on: May 07, 2018, 12:35:44 AM »
Bodyguards and Assassins ( 2009 )
Still have at least one more of the Dragon Dynasty release to watch, just as soon as it arrives in the mail. In the meantime, here is a DVD release that was inexplicably released by Vivendi instead of Dragon Dynasty, considering at the time Vivendi handled the distribution for Dragon Dynasty. It was a major release with an all star Chinese cast which won best picture and director at the Hong Kong Movie Awards. Something Dragon Dynasty certainly was interested in releasing.

The box credits Donnie Yen as the star, but he is not in much of the film. It has a large all star ensamble cast, and similar to films like New Years Eve ( 2011 ), cuts back and fourth between different story lines. The plot takes place in 1906 Hong Kong.  Revolutionary leader Dr. Sun Yat Sen plans to visit  for a secret conference with the rebel leaders from the other provinces in order to combine forces for a revolution, However, the Empress Dowager has found out that Sun is visiting Hong Kong and orders an army of 100 assassins to sneak into Hong Kong and kill him and any rebels they can find.  In order to keep Sun safe, and his conference a secret, fellow revolutionary Chan Siu Bak arranges for a decoy to travel in a rickshaw through the streets of Hong Kong, and for the decoy to be protected long enough for the real Sun to sneak into Hong Kong, hold the conference, and sneak safely out. Needless to say the decoy and the fighters protecting his rickshaw face off against hoards of assassins.

I enjoyed this film a lot, even though the fighting was not well choreographed or filmed.  But it was a great well told story, as was the stories of the individual characters. Well deserving of it's best picture award.

The Limits of Control ( 2009 )
"I know we agreed no exchanging gifts. But here. Open it. It's a great film. You'll love it. It's from my favorite director Jim Jarmusch. It's an incredible film. Expand your mind."

There is a reason me and my friends settled on a "No Gift Exchange" rule. We don't want to blow two months worth of spending money buying each other items no one asked for, probably didn't want, or if something they did want, probably already had. Or putting off buying something you did want until January because there was a remote possibility someone else bought it as a gift for you and you wanted to avoid the awkward "I already have this" moment. Or having to actually use an unwanted gift to avoid being rude to the gift giver. Even if it means wearing that jacket once and never again. ( Or more than once if the gift giver didn't show up at the party you wore it to. )

But in the case of this gift, I didn't need my mind expanded. I already knew of director Jim Jarmusch. I had seen his work before. Dead Man ( 1995 ) is one of my favorite films, even if I haven't yet got around to buying the DVD. I would have not minded if she had tried to expand my mind with that film. As it turned out I didn't get around to expanding my mind with this gift for a couple of years. But this week, I have watched everything else I own, and no longer have an excuse to put off watching it.

I think this film is suppose to have a story. But I am not sure. Some sort of agent travels through Spain. (  You never get his name, nor the name o any other character. Nor are character's proper names given in the credits. ) He is told to go to a cafe in Madrid and wait to be contacted by another agent. When the other agent finally arrives, they exchange matchbooks. The other agent begins to talk about some sort of philosophy before telling the first agent where to met his next contact. He then opens the matchbook, removes  coded note, reads it and destroys it by swallowing it. this goes on throughout the film, with he agent meeting contact after contact, each who go through small talk involving philosophy before exchanging matchbooks with coded notes and telling him where to meet the next contact. Eventually the agent ends up over a bluff where below is a  heavily guarded compound, which inside is the goal of his mission.

This is a spy film where nothing happens. Most of it is the agent sightseeing in the various locations while he awaits for the next contact to show up.  We never find out what were in those coded notes. And when he finally gets to his mission at the compound. The film just cuts to him already inside. When asked by what I suppose is the film's villain how he got inside, his answer is "I used my imagination." That's right, we never see how he gets in. Nor do we ever see him fighting any of the armed men. No action sequences whatsoever. Th film doesn't even clue us in on what evil thing the villain had done ( or was planning to do. )

Is his film suppose to be a metaphor for something? Or is there a story and I was expected to pick out the clues to what is going on throughout the film?  There is one moment that stands out. Tilda Swinton's character talks on and on about how much she likes cinema before switching match boxes with the agent. At one point she says " i love movies where the characters don't talk" and then neither character talks for a minute. The movie drawing attention to itself.

The Limits of Control is filled with symbols, both obvious and hidden. I've searched the internet and it seems no one has figured out what this film is about, or what all the symbols add up to. There are some theories, and my own personal theory is the  main character is actually in the art museum the entire film, and everything that happens outside the museum is his imagination, aided by the various paintings he is looking at. But that is just a theory.

So no, I didn't  like this movie as much as my friend hoped I would. But it did have it's good points.  Paz de la Huerta plays a character , identified as "nude"in the credits, who is always naked, with the exception of one scene where she is wearing a plastic seethrough raincoat.  She is in the film longer than most of the other characters, and makes a stunning nude. Even after her character departs the film leaves a few hints that she is still following the main character around, and eventually does show up again, naked, near the end of the film. If that is not worth watching, then the cinematography is. The movie is filled with shots of interesting locations and architecture. That combined with it's soundtrack music keeps the film from being boring when it should be. Unless you like watching films that are puzzles then I would not recommend this. But if you are into artsy films, then this is one of the best looking artsy films I have ever seen.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 12:40:20 AM by stethacantus »


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18054 on: May 07, 2018, 05:42:47 PM »
I watched Primer last night.  It's a low budget time travel movie.  So it's like a lot of time travel movies, but extra confusing.  The film makers and a lot of ardent fans take pride in this confusing narrative, but I find it sloppy.  If I hadn't read the Wikipedia summation of it, I would not have understood it at all.  There's something about this time machine.  You have to power it on to create a sort of "time bubble" that extends to the point where you turn it off.  You can only travel back and forth through the time covered by that bubble.  Also, you travel in real time.  So it's just like normal living except that you can go backwards.  Also, the chamber is flooded with unbreathable xenon gas or something so you need to bring your own oxygen supply.
I understand the criticism, but I went into Primer only knowing that it was an ultra-low budget scifi movie that got good reviews. I ended up loving the ambiguity and confusion and coming away impressed that someone was able to do so much with such a low budget. Which reminds me that I haven't gotten around to watching the director/writer's 2nd movie yet-plan to watch it this weekend.

We loved both of his films. Upstream Color is darker and pretty full on, but excellent.

We watched Primer twice, and I think it's fantastic. The first time we watched it we had to keep pausing it to discuss what had happened. It's hard work, but it's rewarding. I do remember there being one plot point towards the end that we needed to look up to understand, so I think it was 100% successful in conveying the story.

That last sentence should have read "so I DON'T think it was 100% successful in conveying the story." The complete opposite of what I wrote. Sheesh.
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Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18055 on: May 07, 2018, 05:43:40 PM »
Upstream Color (2013)
Thought it was an amazing movie but one that I don't think I could watch again as it was just so dark and intense and unrelenting throughout (not fast paced unrelenting- not fast paced in any way- but the slower pace was perfect for keeping it psychologically tense). I think knowing what the basic premise was had been what had kept me away from it until now and the premise was one that could easily have made for a terrible run of the mill horror movie in the wrong hands, but it kept me wondering where it was going the whole way.   

I'm just about ready to watch it again. I actually think it'll be a bit easier on the second viewing.
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Offline wihogfan

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18056 on: May 07, 2018, 06:20:19 PM »
Upstream Color (2013)
Thought it was an amazing movie but one that I don't think I could watch again as it was just so dark and intense and unrelenting throughout (not fast paced unrelenting- not fast paced in any way- but the slower pace was perfect for keeping it psychologically tense). I think knowing what the basic premise was had been what had kept me away from it until now and the premise was one that could easily have made for a terrible run of the mill horror movie in the wrong hands, but it kept me wondering where it was going the whole way.   

I'm just about ready to watch it again. I actually think it'll be a bit easier on the second viewing.
It hit me in an emotional way that few movies have. Another movie that comes to mind that had the same initial effect on me was Terry Gilliam's Tideland and I did eventually end up watching that one again a time or two (while I still don't think it's Terry Gilliam's best movie-I found it good but unpleasant on first viewing), so I'm sure I'll watch Upstream Color again at some point, but it was emotionally draining on first viewing.


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18057 on: May 07, 2018, 06:22:20 PM »
I feel the same way about Tideland, only I doubt I'll ever watch it again.
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Offline CJones

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18058 on: May 11, 2018, 07:03:30 PM »
Infinity War

After a decade of knowing it's comming, I expected it be good, but hardly the second coming. I was wrong. That movie was, quite frankly. INCREDIBLE!. I can't remember the last time I saw I movie in an actual theater. And I intend to go back tomorrow. It could easily have turned into a clusterfuck, but they made the good decision to try and keep them compartmentalized for most of the movie. 


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18059 on: May 13, 2018, 11:10:18 PM »
The Grandmaster ( 2013 )
Here is another movie that should have been released by Dragon Dynasty. The North American distribution rights were bought by parent company The Weinstein Company, and yet ended up being released by a different company for the DVD release in 2014. The last movie to be released by Dragon Dynasty, Outlaw Brothers, was in 2012.

It is yet another film about Ip Man, the Wing Chung master who gained renown for teaching Bruce Lee martial arts. After the release and success of IP Man in 2008 lead to other IP Man films by other studios, raising his status as a folk hero equal in popularity to Wong Fei Hung. And much like Fei Hung, much of It Man's life would be embellished for the screen in these movies.

This was director Wong Kar Wai's take on the life of IP Man, which he began developing in 2003. But he couldn't get anyone to greenlight his film until after the success of IP Man. Kar Wai is Hong Kong's most prominent arthouse directors, responsible for such classics as Ashes of Time ( 1994 ), Chunking Express ( 1994 ) and Fallen Angels ( 1995 ). And In the Mood For Love, consider by many critics of being the greatest film of the 21st Century ( so far ). His style is to make the film up as it is being shot, often throwing out hours worth of scenes and shooting alternative scenes once he has figured out what the plot is.

Any Wong Kar Wai film is worth watching,   which includes this film, although I liked Ashes of Time a lot more than this one ( and loved Chunking Express a lot more. )  I only had two problems with this film. One, what was suppose to be Wong's tribute to Ip Man gets sidetracked into the life of another character, Gong Er. The climatic fight in the film is between her and the man responsible for her father's death. His best student who was to inherit his mantle of Grandmaster,  but then collaborated with the Japanese during the war.  Not that Gong Er's  ultimately tragic story is not compelling.  But the last third of the film is her story, with exception to the final minute  before the ending credits where captions explain that Ip Man would go on to become an important teacher in Hong Kong, and that Bruce Lee was one of his students. Another big problem is that Wong does not know ( or perhaps just doesn't care ) how to film and edit screen fights. This  sabotages what could have been one of Yuen Woo Ping's most memorable choreographed fight scenes, where Gong Er and the evil student fight on a platform just inches from a speeding train which each tries to kick  or push the other into.  Wong's films have always been more about setting a mood than action scenes. This movie does an excellent job at setting moods. But the action suffers.




Sparks ( 2013 )
Something actor William Katt is not know for is being Luke Skywalker. Lucas was close to casting him when he decided to take a role in a different film. What he is known for is the hit series The Greatest American Hero where for 3 seasons he played Ralph Hinkley, a school teacher who was given a superhero costume by space aliens that in turn gave him superhero powers. After that he starred in House, not the FOX medical series but the 1985 horror film with a cult following. ( Although he would latter make a guest appearance in the series House. ) But his career peaked with Baby: The Secret of the Lost Legend ( 1985 ), a big budget live action Disney film about explorers who find a live baby dinosaur in Africa. It bombed, and so did his career. 

Reduced to bit parts, he began capitalizing on his television series with paid appearances at comic book conventions. There he got the idea of writing comic books. Or at the least, like most celebrity comic book "writers", attaching his name to a book he may have just barely contributed to. Sparks was a six issue self published miniseries written by Christopher Folino with Katt's  name attached as co-creator. By the fourth issue enough comic book stores had stopped pre-ordering that they could not publish the fifth issue, and the miniseries was abruptly cancelled.

But that was not the end of it. Folino was also a film director. That is, if you count the self financed mocumentary Gamers: The Movie a film. He was able to scrape together enough investors to turn Sparks into a movie. And along with that releasing the entire Sparks miniseries as a graphic novel at the same time. William Katt was among the film's 15 credited producers, and somehow landed the role of the film's villain.

Honestly, with this production history and knowing the film was going to be a microbudget superhero film, with a novice director, I dreaded that it would end up being as bad as those superhero mockbusters I watched a couple of months ago. Fortunately this film is okay. Yes, it does try to be a period film on a shoestring budget, resulting in sub par CGI effects, vehicles and costumes from the wrong era, and establishing shots of what is suppose to be New York City in the 1940s with modern glass skyscrapers. But the acting is professional, the plot is reasonable, and there is no padding whatsoever.

Since most of this film is basically a  noir mystery where the hero Ian Sparks uncovers the motives of other characters, I can't really talk about any of the plot without spoiling it.  I will mention how it opens. Former superhero Ian Sparks is being hunted by the police for being exposed as a serial killer. Evading them, he sneaks into the office of a newspaper and offers to tell a reporter there the story of how he was framed.  The rest is in flashback giving his life story including what lead him to become a superhero, why he gave that life up, and what lead him to eventually become suspected of being a murderer.  I will say that much of the plot is easy to guess. And it is easy to figure out which characters will end up being revealed as villains.  But while I figured out most of the film before it happened,  I didn't figure out everything.  Much like The Watchmen ( which I am sure was the prime inspiration for the graphic novel this film was based on, ) the world depicted in this film is populated by powerless superheroes. Basically costumed vigilanties who are called "Supers".  So most of the fighting you do see in this film is punching and kicking .  But the plot probably would not have worked if the supers each had their own superpowers.

Sparks turned out to be a good film. But I have no desire to see it again.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 11:12:05 PM by stethacantus »