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Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:25 pm
by Vivia
What a little sweetie! You were so close to betrayal. :)
I want a dog so I can name it Peanut. There aren't enough dogs in this forum.

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:14 pm
by Chun the Unavoidable
Jupiter Ascending: Gorgeous visuals, but, unlike Guardians of the Galaxy, no heart.

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:49 am
by Vivia
I'm really not a fan of Swedish public television, but sometimes they strike gold when it comes to documentaries.

Robin Williams Remembered: I wasn't planning to watch it and I was surprised of how much I cared. Every actor and comedian talked about Williams being the most generous, the most caring person they have known. Usually, it goes something like this when people remember artists: they were selfish/weird/awful/bad parents, for William they had nothing but good things to say even when it was bad, he was universally loved. This means quite a lot because he had addiction problems and there are few people that are more self-absorbed and selfish than addicts. I don't think I have ever seen someone in Hollywood so without pretensions and so humble about his craft. He was an artist because it was the only way to battle his inner darkness. Heartbreaking. :cry:

I have never been a fan of Good Will Hunting, I don't like the story and I certainly hated Matt Damon (from then on). Williams on the other hand, killed in his role. He is the only reason I would watch it again.

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:12 pm
by Chun the Unavoidable
Ant-Man is a pressure-release switch for the MCU (one that doesn't come with the 18 rating of Deadpool, at least ;) ) - very much enjoyed.

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:48 pm
by Xisor
What I'm watching, after a fashion...

Quite enjoying the film, even if it's a little different to what the internet would have me believe...

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:03 pm
by Chun the Unavoidable
Harlock: Space Pirate: entertaining cheese with some absolutely gorgeous -and very 40k- CGI.

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:28 pm
by Vivia
Color of Night:

Semi-beloved '90s flick, one of the many so-called erotic thrillers. It's SO bad, so bad, but I watched it to death on cable.
Bruce Willis deserves an award for standing out as reasonably sympathetic protagonist in this schlock. His acting is very low-key, it's unfortunate he is starring in this farce. The film itself stands out for a totally hysterical suicide scene, this is the only time we can indulge in this, it makes no sense. The score playing at said scene is horrendous. :lol: From that scene on we know we aren't going for a smooth ride. It's very clear the film suffers from directorial problems, the usually competent cast can't act, certain footage was totally off and superfluous, they felt like a commercial, and the soundtrack was so god-awful. They completely botched up Jane March in some scenes, she wore so much make-up to the point of terrible, the MUA should be sued for that mess.
The plot is mind-bogglingly bad, Brad Dourif is wasted talent. Wasted! It did enrich my life unlike the next film. :mrgreen:

Magic Mike:
I was going to pass on this until I saw the name Steven Soderbergh. Wow.
This film make me feel the same way Saturday Night Fever and American Gigolo, they're weird and so ugly to watch, nothing bad about Richard Gere, he was good. I think there is a cultural difference at work here, I was reading the reviews and I was like are were we watching the same trashy film. I feel a little sorry for viewers looking for excitement in this movie, people need to get out more. When a film feels this grimy to me it acts as a repellent. I'm sorry Matthew McConaughey, but put that shirt back on. :?
I praise Soderbergh for successfully giving the film an authentic touch, but the Showgirls vibe is a little too strong for me despite him being endlessly more successful at it than Verhoeven. With Cody Horn's character I felt she reflected my own thoughts about the people in the story.
Since I suck at English name I thought for the longest time Channing Tatum was female. He reminded me a lot of Elizabeth Berkley in Showgirls which is the opposite of attractive in my eyes, he came across as artificial. His acting wasn't actually that bad, he gave the perfect mix of soulless and detachment for his role, much like a porn star. The story was as empty as he was.

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:27 pm
by Chun the Unavoidable
Godzilla (the last remake): perhaps not quite as enjoyable as the similar Pacific Rim (yes, I know they have a shared history), this was, nevertheless, a lot of good giant monster-bashing fun. The ending is much better than Ferris Beuller's take on the story, too (it only wanted some fish, for God's sake!).

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:14 pm
by Vivia
These are the moments to live for, things that warm my black heart. Also, I have been waiting for this since Good Will Hunting (18 years of wait! Gasp!). Justice! :D
Education, Hollywood style.
Matt Damon explains diversity
Mansplaining and whitesplaining, this is gold. I just can't believe he hasn't worked with colonialist Ridley Scott. This is proof that being a white bread is a problem.

It deserves a Mugatu gif. Happy! Happy!
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Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:05 pm
by Chun the Unavoidable
Thoroughly enjoyed The Martian. Gorgeous visuals (of course, it's Scott, after all); disarmingly natural, human, acting; a lag-free plot; and science, for God's sake! Recommended.

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:19 am
by Athelassan
Jurassic World (2D).

I wasn't sure quite what to expect from this: some of the stuff I'd heard about it pre-release (new genetically-engineered dinosaurs!) was a bit eye-rolly, and the reviews tended to err on the side of "spectacular, but without much in the way of heart".

The film almost certainly suffers by comparison with the surprise smash hit of the summer, Fury Road, which is surely one of the best action films ever made, and which I also rewatched recently. But I'm doing my best to judge Jurassic World on its own merits. I loved - and still do - the first JP film, but found the second just about satisfactory, and the third awful.

First off, I did really appreciate the nods both to the original film and the very quiet acknowledgement of the advances in palaeontology (and the mistakes of that film) since 1993. There's a welcome return for Dr. Henry Wu (the only original human character to feature) who at one stage points out that the dinosaurs in the park don't actually look like they're supposed to even before they mess about creating the genetically spliced one (which, of course, being featherless, they don't). Some of the set from the original film features quite prominently.

The genetically-modified dinosaur didn't bother me nearly as much as I thought it would. It's introduced in such a way it's clear even the characters know it's a corporate gimmick, with the more serious dinosaur-expert characters mocking the concept. This actually lends it verisimilitude. The trained raptors are similar in execution: overall, pretty well done.

Unfortunately the film also has many failings, firstly when it comes to characterisation. I felt much more sympathy for the raptors - and the butchered herbivores - than I did for any of the human characters. Most of the characters fall into straightforward archetypes: the grizzled warrior, the lost but brave children, the corporate woman who discovers the value of companionship, the cardboard bad guy who wants to monetise and militarise everything, etc. The most interesting character is the park's owner, but we see very little of him. The film's also cluttered with lots of pointless subplots which it's hard to care about: a potentially romantic relationship, a question over whether the kids' parents will stay together, etc. Some of them are left unresolved, maybe to be picked up in the sequel. Who knows.

Where the film failed hardest, for me, though, was where it should have been strongest, in the spectacle. The dinosaurs are well-rendered and feel real enough, but at no point did I sit up and go "wow" as I had in the first film. When you hear the stirrings of that theme it's hard not for the heart to rise a little, but the visuals never quite delivered on the promise.

But maybe this is in part down to familiarity, and this is something else where I felt a bit let down. At what point does borrowing material from earlier films stop being homage and start being repetitive? Rex stalking people hiding around jeeps? Seen it. Gallimimus stampede? Seen it. Raptors hunting through a visitor centre? Big carnosaur fight? Yup. Had I not seen the first three films, I might have been more wowed by those scenes, but as it was, I felt like I'd seen it before. It's not just familiarity with the earlier JP films, though, so much as an awareness of movie tropes in general. There was almost no plot twist that wasn't obvious before it occurred to anyone familiar with the way that these things tend to go. And those moments that didn't feel directly cribbed off other films felt somehow staged. The mosasaur was huge, but you could see it coming every time.

To an extent, it feels like an action film designed by committee, ironically since that's one of the things it was trying to satirise. As such it's fine, but not mind-blowing. I'm sure it would have been better on the big screen. It was miles better than JP3, at any rate, though that's to damn it with faint praise. Maybe better than JP2. Nowhere near as good as the first.

Ath

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:30 pm
by Xisor
Tweet notes from Ellardent on Kingsman. I liked the film, but I also feel these criticisms quite strongly: https://storify.com/ellardent/tweetnote ... et-service

Caught Macbeth the other week too. Interesting film and not terrible, but not especially great either. Did a few neat things, and it was good watching. But I think it would have been better overall if it had been... less stylised, more boring where filmography is concerned. The slowmo scenes grated.

Edit: off to see The Fifth Element & The Matrix at Manchester Cathedral on Monday as a double bill. All nearby should come!

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 3:13 pm
by Vivia
Ha, time makes fools of us all!
Anyway, I finally watched The Hobbit trilogy, not the first film though, I had a enough of it for twenty years.

*evil laughter*

So much and so bad is one way to describe them, but there is some light in the darkness. Peter Jackson is my least favourite director, he is going above Scorsese in this regard. This is after I worshipped, to the point of obsession, his Heavenly Creatures for decades. Well, goodbye, it was good while it lasted.

The CGI is out of this world bad, it's so poorly done. One way to get comfortable is to make it into a drinking game whenever it comes on screen. I'm fairly certain it wouldn't take that much to get severely plastered, there are so many scenes.
I love how Jackson goes to where Italian producers went before him, if they did it so can he. So, the films are Asian historical action flick with flying Legolas action action, fan fiction, teenage angst, poorly done SFX, I was waiting like a spider for the gold and it happened! :)
The spider scene was awful, I lost all meaning, I was checking constantly if it was a real leaf or whether it was a real sun and not CGI. My mind was going places.
I liked watching Thranduil's character, I thought he brought much needed darkness and cynicism, really delving into Silmarillion territory. Those elves that are so old and have seen so much, they are totally aloof and world-weary. Bring it on.

The hobbits are some of my most favourite fictional characters of all time, I love Bilbo by Martin Freeman, he was charming and real. At least Jackson did good with the casting in the films, real solid actors that can turn the bad into good, kind of. Maybe. What I don't care for is that he is constantly upstaged by the other characters because a story with his name on it has to be about OTHER people. I want to see freaking Bilbo not Legolas flying around! The Swedish title is "Bilbo: En Hobbits Äventyr". And there are three films, three ******* films of the same.

That brings me to the badness, Legolas among them. Good grief, I don't know what happened to Orlando Bloom but here he was a black hole of a person, he was so bland, he should have been a chair. And the chair was pulled out! I don't quite remember him being this bad in LotR. It gets so much worse in the last film. Why. :oops:
Tauriel wasn't too bad, I don't blame the actors really, it's mainly a writing problem.

By god is my witness, I'm so grateful for Cumberbatch/some being a CGI monster and not a real person, that would have broken my mind if he would compete with Orlando Bloom. That is grim. Smaug's CGI was beautifully done, but kind of annoying, they tried too hard. I guess he went into that mine because he was all cunning and free like Zorro.
In all, I don't think too badly of the actors and their characters. I'm not one to be impressed by Thorin & co, the dwarfs to me are stoic and proud people that are way more relatable than the elves, and here they were merry band of Three Stooges.
The romance plot was as the French say, bad. It's more or less a fan fiction trope, someone read a Sailor Moon fic. 30 Rock has taught us many things about writers spending time online.

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My biggest problem was that the films lacked that creepy feeling of doom the book had. I know I was like ten when I read it, the spiders and trolls scared me solid, the scene with Gollum was horror to me, it scared me so much. I felt none of this underlying threat and it felt like was watching a good-for-all-the-family kind of a chewing toy. I'm not going to defend Tolkien because just like my other favourite author HP Lovecraft, they weren't very skilled with character development and prose, but they were amazing with mood setting. Part of me would have wanted this to be made in the '80s like A Neverending Story, that film had a lot of dark moments in a children's story.

I'm not going to dismiss or hate the trilogy because they have brought even more people into the fandom. Not the least, they have provided fodder for the slash/yaoi community, predominately female fans, for decades, endless amounts of fan art and fanfiction. It's similar to what The Transformers have going on, it's awesome for us long-time fans who lived in the fandom limbo for decades. :)

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:04 pm
by David Earle
Crimson Peak. I'm struggling with this one because I got spoiled on a lot of it the day before I saw it, so during the movie I spent a lot of my time laughing at how stupid people were being around obvious villains and I couldn't tell if it was because of the spoilers or not. But damn it, stupid things happened. Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely Gothic film and fans of the Gothic should go see it in all its Gothic glory, I certainly enjoyed myself, just for probably the wrong reasons. Eff you Lucille.

Jurassic World. My wife got this so our son could see dinosaurs and I think I ruined it for her, but the first thing that happens in the movie is an egg hatches and a CG Satansaur claw comes out, and that was a bad way to start. How is the CGI in this movie so bad?! There's a scene where a CG helicopter lands and then it cuts to a shot of the real version of the helicopter with its blades spinning. Why did they need the CG at all? The first ten minutes felt like watching the first half hour of Jurassic Park on fast-forward. Everyone involved in the Frankensaur project is a moron and so is Vincent D'onofrio's character. Apparently Bryce Dallas Howard is a robot that sweats from her chest out, I guess that's where her CPU is. Don't you talk to Nick like that, he runs the only thing in your deathtrap that's working as intended. Nobody gets dirty! I think one guy gets bloody. That poor British woman did not deserve to die like that, it's as bad as that scene in Silent Hill where Pyramid Head goes "*rip* Ta-daaa! *rip* TA-DAAA!". Eff this movie.

Viv, that was not Orlando Bloom. It was a hologram. Look into his soulless CG eyes and you will know this to be true.

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:17 pm
by Vivia
I think I knew it in my heart of hearts. That frozen face and empty eyes gives us a glimpse of a grim future.

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:42 am
by Chun the Unavoidable
Perhaps we should see it as evidence of his world-weariness, which changes after knocking about with Aragorn for a bit... :?

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:14 pm
by David Earle
Canonically Legolas doesn't get world-weary until a seagull hits him in the face. :lol:

I think the problem is, Legolas didn't get many lines in LOTR until after he'd bonded with Gimli and Aragorn, so we saw him as a friendly elf who wasn't as prejudiced as, say, Thranduil. But all the Wood Elves in The Hobbit were dicks, so Legolas got smacked with character development in reverse.

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:43 am
by Chun the Unavoidable
It's Bond by the -old- numbers (considerably less gritty than Casino Royale), but Spectre is very entertaining. The plot doesn't bear to much mulling over, but the acting serves and the action sequences are rather awesome. Crucially, it's also very British, with a rather excellent closing shot.

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:34 pm
by Xisor
Chun the Unavoidable wrote:It's Bond by the -old- numbers (considerably less gritty than Casino Royale), but Spectre is very entertaining. The plot doesn't bear to much mulling over, but the acting serves and the action sequences are rather awesome. Crucially, it's also very British, with a rather excellent closing shot.


The very old numbers. I think that's why it's the least favourite of the new ones, for me. A bit too much Brosnan about it for my tastes. And, as you say, considerably less gritty.

Not a bad film, but not especially to my tastes. (Perhaps because I never really cared for old Bond [excepting Goldeneye]).

Re: The Film Review Corner

PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:11 pm
by Athelassan
I found Spectre troubling. As you say, it's old-school Bond (arguably signalled from the off by restoring the gun-barrel sequence to the start of the film for the first time in Craig's tenure), which doesn't bother me in itself as I rather enjoy the old-school Bonds, but it does mean discarding the delicate balance that Skyfall maintained and the film certainly suffers in quality as a consequence. I felt in some ways that it was a film of two halves. The first does a decent job of building tension and setting as Bond does his usual Bondish maverick blundering around into things he doesn't quite understand, but thereafter something goes rather awry (somewhere around the plane chase, I think).

I think my principal cricitisms of the film boil down to three key points. Firstly, it's preposterous, and much more obviously preposterous than probably any recent Bond film except Die Another Day (and we all know what a pile of tripe that was). Moreover, it's predictably preposterous. The history of Franz Oberhauser is such a trite cliché it's jawdropping. A certain casting decision makes the allegiance of a secondary character thoroughly predictable from his very first appearance on screen. I felt like I spent the whole film waiting for a subversion or twist that never quite arrived. And when a Bond film makes you feel like that, something's gone wrong.

Perhaps moreso even than that though is that the second half feels rushed, and further feels like it has to manufacture history for itself and even lean on the long Bond legacy in order to give itself the required weight. In the original Bond run, there were three SPECTRE films before Bond and Blofeld even met face to face, with their plots steadily getting more audacious and Bond working his way up the hierarchy, and then another where the conflict became more personal, and that's without even mentioning Diamonds Are Forever or the unnamed Blofeld-a-like summarily dispatched in For Your Eyes Only. Here it filches history from its predecessors, and having spent two films building Quantum up as an adversary, suddenly takes a swing away from them to reveal the man behind the man. It's a bit amateurish, cartoony even.

Moreover the insistence on tying this to the previous Craig films lends his Bond career a bit of a narrow, foreshortened focus. You'd think that he's only ever worked three cases in his career before, which doesn't really fit with the "grizzled old dog" approach taken here and in Skyfall. Without the shadowy presence of SPECTRE in earlier films, the conflict in the second half feels like it's been artificially imported, by filching from Quantum, by adding a (again, cartoony) childhood connection, and further by assuming a degree of genre-savviness on the part of the audience as to the significance of SPECTRE and Oberhauser's identity. Whether it's fair to assume that or not, that's not something the previous Craig films - even Quantum of Solace needed to do.

It was otherwise ok. Christoph Waltz and Ben Whishaw were predictably good, and I was happy to see an expanded role for the latter. We know what to expect from Daniel Craig and he gives a good performance. I'm not sure about the apparently new vogue for "action M" we've seen recently, but I've nothing against Ralph Fiennes in the role, and as I suggest above, I appreciate classic Bond enough to enjoy ludicrous vehicle chases, cheesy one-liners and punch-ups on trains for their own sake. I wasn't sure about the ending, though; I gather this might be Craig's last Bond film, but I'll be interested to see how they handle that in the next one (and I have no doubt there will be a next one, whether or not there was a "James Bond will return" bit in the credits).Then again, this would be a good opportunity to do an "OHMSS" in the next film and instil a bit more weight in the Bond-SPECTRE relationship, should they so choose.

Ath