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Watch any good movies lately?

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  • AcathalaAcathala Member Full Members
    edited November 2011
    I watched the Ring trilogy again for Halloween(1 sequel & 1 prequel). The first two films were good. However I found the prequel a bit strange. It felt a lot like if Carrie was written by a Japanese person. Still if you liked the first two films then Ring 0 is worth a look.
  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited November 2011
    Monster post time.
    The Amityville Horror (1979) and The Amityville Horror (2005). Both are pretty lousy, but the remake actually improves a bit on the formula, not least by being half an hour shorter. Margot Kidder is fine in the first but her husband James Brolin is doing very little to stand out from the wood in the walls, while Roy Scheider gets stuck overacting as a priest haunted by the house and then eventually going blind, in a waste of screen time considering it never impinges on the main narrative. The nearly two hour run time of the original goes by very slowly. Then comes the remake, which tries to show more but is hamstrung by the inability to show any real kills in a story where no one dies (oops, that's a spoiler. Too damn bad.) Ryan Reynolds is trying to be Jack Nicholson in the Shining, a bad idea when the comparison can only be a bad one. Lots of jump scares, lots of hallucinations that turn out not to be real, a profoundly stupid ending. As haunted house movies go, these are bad. Leave them alone.
    The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad. The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear. The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. Lasting testimony to the greatness of Leslie Nielsen will be found here, along with other samples of his work like Airplane! The Naked Gun trilogy ignores feeble concepts like plot and character in favor of just throwing jokes at every moment, an art that's seemingly been lost in modern comedies. Sure some of the jokes don't work, but the rapid-fire pace is so effective that the misses are immediately superseded by the hits. Marvel at the spectacle of O.J. Simpson doing comedy (boy, that's a blast from the past), see George Kennedy mostly play a straight man, see Ricardo Montalban and Robert Goulet and Fred Ward take on the mantle of villains no one is supposed to take seriously for a moment, see a picture of Neville Chamberlain waving the Munich pact to his audience as bar decor, see Leslie Nielsen be mistaken for Phil Donahue in order to spectacularly foul Pia Zadora's musical number at the Oscars, see Weird Al make a cameo in all three, and have fun.
    Blacula. Ah, the blaxspoitation era. A movie like this would never be made nowadays, and while it's pretty bad in many aspects, it's also a lot of fun as camp. William Marshall is our title character, cursed by Dracula in 1780 then awakened 200 years later by two very gay men who become his first meal. Poor William Marshall sports the clothing, but his gigantic facial hair and eyebrows make him look more like the Wolfman than a vampire. The vampires he creates also don't look right, because they have makeup more akin to zombies than blood-suckers. The soundtrack is either very annoying repetitions of single chords, or typical waka-waka music for a blaxspoitation movie that don't work at all for something even tentatively horror. Blacula himself (yes, Dracula dubbed him by that name) adjusts with no problems whatsoever to suddenly being in the early 70s when he came from an African nation to try abolishing the slave trade (so of course he went to Transylvania, hotbed of the Atlantic slave trade to do so), and while he has a nice deep voice, isn't much of an actor elsewhere. Neither is his love interest, the reincarnation of his bride from 200 years ago. There's a lot of stupidity, and casual racism movies nowadays wouldn't ever let slip by, but it moves fast and is apparently considered with high regard by some. I enjoyed it in an MST3K fashion at least.
    Children of the Corn. Ah, a letdown of a Stephen King adaptation, what else is new? Seeing Linda Hamilton in a role right before her fame as Sarah Connor is neat, and the scenario is kinda cool. I think this just inherently works better in written form though, because once it becomes a movie, we have to deal with real child actors playing the roles. It's hard enough getting one child actor to do a good job, let alone a whole flock of them, and I couldn't get over the hilarity of watching a kid play at being a preacher. Then comes the end with a gigantic explosion in a corn field and a cartoon scary face going up in flames ... it was kinda funny, but not scary in the slightest. Still, by the standards of Stephen King adaptations it's not bad.
    The Return of the Pink Panther. It's better than the original movie, worse than A Shot in the Dark. Most of the scenes with Peter Sellers are great, and one mispronunciation in particular I find hilarious in a way that the vast majority of people without my surname won't. The setup is pretty long though, and kind of out of place in a slapstick comedy. Then there are the many scenes with Christoper Plummer as the Phantom trying to find who stole the Pink Panther, which are only funny (and this is brief) if him breaking fingers of a squealer seems amusing. Still, seeing Peter Sellers try his hardest to get his trousers off a chair after superglue came into the picture is pretty amusing.
    Sh! The Octopus. I seriously doubt anyone here has ever heard of this, nor should you. It's a quickie B production from the late 30s, with the octopus of the title being some kind of crime lord. It's a real octopus though, witness the many tentacles that come out to switch off lights or close doors. Most of the movie is in a lighthouse though, where a variety of characters gather and try to upstage each other with their overacting. Despite being under an hour in length, it feels long. There's a great effect near the end as someone reveals herself to be the Octopus (though apparently another octopus is still in the lighthouse with its tentacles), but the stupid 'it was all a dream' ending is a great big cheat.
    Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. A friend advised me to see this, and its made-for-SyFy roots are everywhere, mostly in the absolutely horrid script and the computer effects that the Dreamcast probably could have outdone. Still, it's entertainingly stupid at points, and the spectacle of Debbie Gibson and Tiffany sharing the screen is focused on (rightly). Debbie is a doctor who loves animals so much that she robs a pet store to let pythons loose in the Everglades, where they inexplicably grow and become CGI and start eating the alligators and Tiffany's fiancee, so she grabs some experimental protein-inhibitors and feeds them via frozen chickens to the gators, which now that their muscle growth is uninhibited run loose and also become gigantic. How gigantic? Well, one of them took up an entire city block when walking, and a python swallowed a train in one gulp. Logic, you have been left adrift.
    In the Bedroom. Much less frivolous than the others I've written about here, this is the story of a Maine family that deals with a crime. The plot is fairly simple to describe, but the acting and direction are standouts, and the pacing never drags. Character drama more than thriller, this is a very worthwhile movie for anyone who wants to see a realistic depiction of parents coping with a horrible loss that threatens to shatter their already-distant relationship.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited November 2011
    Eh, why not another big one?
    Joe Kidd. Let's get something straight right now: Clint Eastwood is awesome. All who disagree with this statement will be ignored and ostracized forever. Anyone who fails to find inherently awesome a scene in which Clint deals with a guy who unwisely got on his bad side by first tossing the contents of a cooking pot into the man's face, then smacking him with the pot, then looking over at the other person in the vicinity and saying "You want some?" is barred from my presence and forcibly gagged forevermore. Now, to be fair, this isn't a great Western on a technical level. It has John Saxon playing a Mexican - an interesting choice. It also has Robert Duvall playing the guy who initially hires Clint as a tracker to catch Saxon's character, then they cease to be on the same side. Sure, John Sturges isn't at the top of his game here, directing it solidly but without the greatness he brought to some of his earlier projects (though without the snooze-inducement of Marooned). This isn't a great Western or a great Clint Eastwood movie, but it's a pretty good one for people with an interest in both.
    The Day of the Jackal. Fred Zinneman directs a superb example of how to construct a thriller. Based very closely on the real efforts to assassinate Charles de Gaulle by diehard French groups that disapproved of his actions, it quickly finds one man determining to kill possibly the most-protected man in the early 60s (set before JFK got killed in 1963). The Jackal is smart, and the French security services seeking to catch him are smart. Shot on-location around European locales, it looks good, it shows things instead of telling them, it treats the audience like adults capable of holding thoughts in their heads, and it stays very exciting throughout.
    United 93. Flippant remarks don't really go with this deliberately low-key drama of the fourth 9/11 flight. No Hollywood disaster movie cliches are employed, which is for the best. The many scenes on the ground with FAA and military persons playing themselves in the roles they essayed on the actual day lends enormous verisimilitude, and the movie is highly successful in recreating the day and coming up with a very plausible finale. Everyone knows how it ends - United 93 didn't make it back. Reliving the events of that day is apparently too much to ask of many, but Paul Greengrass did a superb job with this.
    Pretty in Pink. Just a well-written John Hughes romantic comedy, the last movie of his that Molly Ringwald appeared in. What distinguishes it (and next year's Some Kind of Wonderful) is the emphasis on class, which I don't remember much from my high school days, but then again I have no idea how it worked in Chicago. Andrew McCarthy is bland but likable, James Spader does that sneering louse role he's done so often, Annie Potts looks too young to have done drugs in the 60s but is entertaining, Jon Cryer is incredibly extroverted, and the script is entertaining enough. Not exactly a GREAT film, but among teen romances it's near the top, which just shows how well they're usually done.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2011
    Ahh, the Naked Gun. Absolutely love those movies, and Leslie Nielsen of course. Did you ever watch any of his other genre parodies from the 90s? Spy Hard and Wrongfully Accused are both pretty damn funny.
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • IndineraIndinera Member Full Members
    edited November 2011
    I saw Deliverance. The pace is not fast but the movie is really good. The acting is quality stuff and you get some pretty awesome views such as several canoe descents and of course the part when one of the heroes attempt to climb that cliff.
    Owner of Aldorlea Games
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  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited November 2011
    Threads. Further confirmation that nuclear anxiety was at a high ebb in the early 80s, this is sort of the UK counterpart to The Day After. It begins by introducing us to a young couple who will be getting married soon, and we very quickly meet their families, all of it taking place in Sheffield. They attempt to plan for their coming life together, while in the background the news picks up. Seems a coup took place in Iran, which was a very real possibility if the Reagan administration could have arranged it, and the Soviet Union has taken such issue with it as to transfer troops from Afghanistan into a new place. That goes badly, until a US strike force of B-52s attempting to pound the Soviet base in Iran is hit with a tactical nuclear weapon, whereupon the base itself is hit with one. There's a pause before word of this gets out, and the Western and Eastern alliance forces kick into gear, when the missiles start falling. With a NATO air force base nearby, Sheffield sees a hit promptly, and then the bigger missiles start to hit the cities themselves instead of just targets nearby.
    The tone is interesting, sort of a quasi-documentary. Frequent text flashes onscreen to impart information to the viewer, and most of it isn't very happy. The story carries forward a long time, skipping haphazardly through the years to present snapshots of the UK as it struggles to survive after nuclear war. In the initial phase, people are fried and start to die of radiation poisoning. Then come the fuel shortages and food lack, with the remaining government security apparatus shooting looters on sight to prevent the public food stock from dipping. Then the survivors face the task of trying to grow crops when millions of tons of radioactive dust have been kicked into the air to cut down the sun's light to a trickle. The next year, lacking fertilizer and pesticide and all the amenities of modern agriculture, raising crops in the greatly increased UV radiation is hardly easier. One member of the couple at the beginning dies in the bombing, but the other, the pregnant Ruth, survives a whole ten years in the world after the bombs fell, trying to raise the daughter to which she gives birth (and the text informs us that children born after a bombing will be greatly affected by it). The maybe-20 Ruth at the movie's beginning looks 70 near the end, and a few years after her death the apparently retarded daughter has a run-in with feral looters in the countryside that leads to her own baby.
    The moral of the story is pretty apparent, but I don't think anyone would disagree with it. Well-made and gripping, this is hardly something to watch if in the hunt for light entertainment.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    edited November 2011
    Watched the entire Harry Potter series back to back last weekend. It was incredible.
    "Back when FF9 was coming out. People were rejoicing because it was actually a fantasy game and not a sci-fi game like 7 and 8. It's hilarious in modern context, with everyone wanking themselves to dehydration at the thought of a FF7 remake."
  • KeldarusKeldarus RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2011
    Bad Liutenenant - Port of Call New Orleans I like it, it was strange as all Herzog directions are, but it was a well told story and Nick Cage played a great eccentric cop in the film. It was a bit on the long side, and some scene's were there for no reason i.e. the alligator scene, but hey that's what makes it different.

    Next on the list is 9 Songs

    -Kel
  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited November 2011
    Bad Taste. With a title like that, what's coming should be apparent, especially when I say it's the first film Peter Jackson directed (for Meet the Feebles and/or Braindead veterans, that should be enough). It begins with some VERY quick exposition that something's gone wrong in a remote town, and 'The Boys' are being summoned to deal with it. We first meet one of them on a beach where he's being menaced by somebody acting like a zombie, but even zombies go down quickly when they're shot in the head - this thing goes down, but messily and with bits of brain flying everywhere. It seems they're not actually zombies, but aliens, as we learn from an impassioned monologue by their leader. Poor aliens are hungry, and humans apparently make great dining for their corporate empire which is searching for a new taste. This is just a prelude to an incredibly long but never boring climax in which the aliens prove that they really, really suck against three humans in ski masks.
    Want overblown gore? Well, the story of poor Derek will do that by itself. Seems Derek took a great fall off a cliff, and instead of doing what most people do after splattering on the rocks, he gets up and starts moving around again. Too bad his skull fractured, because now a part of it in the back keeps falling out to let a chunk of brain loose. Derek wields a chainsaw at the finish - to say that he's a bit unhinged by that point is an understatement. Want more gore? Strap in, because the tiny budget even by 1987 standards doesn't keep Peter Jackson back for long. The soundtrack is thoroughly 80s in the best possible way, underscoring the onscreen happenings or, more often, just being goofy.
    The middle stretch is a touch unimpressive, but the finale just keeps going and going, managing to be a blast too. Lots of knowingly goofy dialogue too. It's not quite as good as Braindead for me, but it's mostly entertaining instead of disgusting the way Meet the Feebles went, and lovers of gorily over-the-top mayhem ought to have a blast.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • KeldarusKeldarus RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2011
    So, I watched 9 Songs, it was a unique concept with lots of sex, more sex than was necessary, go watch it on netflix if you want.. Music was really good.

    Also watched Water Lillies It was in French and was a coming of age tale which I like, but it was better than 9 Songs, but still really weird. Also on Netflix. Netflix recommends me movies because I watched the original Millennium Trilogy and like coming of age movies, so they give me foreign indie ones to watch. Meh, I think I'll watch Red State next.

    -Kel
  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited November 2011
    Sophie's Choice. This is a powerful movie, one I won't be forgetting anytime soon. The setup is simple: a young Southern writer (Peter MacNicol) moves into a Brooklyn apartment house in 1947. There he meets his upstairs neighbors Sophie (Meryl Streep) and Nathan (Kevin Kline). His first time meeting Nathan is when the man is furiously comparing Sophie to a variety of diseases while leaving the building, then in the morning Nathan has completely changed and is an upbeat, charming guy. Sophie attracts the young man's libido, but she keeps coming back to Nathan no matter how badly he treats her, and Nathan is usually a really great guy. Save for a flashback detailing how Sophie and Nathan met, the first half is fixed on the present, though Sophie's past is alluded to frequently. In the second half, it becomes the subject of a very long flashback to when she was in Auschwitz, and eventually a shorter piece about what happened when she first entered the camp.
    Meryl Streep picked up her second Best Actress win for this, and I can't say it was unmerited. Sophie is a very complicated woman, but after seeing the whole movie, understanding the mix of things that go through her head along with a reflexive self-loathing is easy. She always does a solid job, but this is superb. Kevin Kline is a rather different presence here than he would later become, but he's effective as a man who mostly rides high in spirit but crashes down brutally (I'd call him bipolar, but it's something different). Peter MacNicol is fine, though a little underplayed at a few points. I'd nitpick and say the movie as a whole is a trifle too long and has an ending that doesn't match what came before, but there are a lot of wholly riveting scenes, and the movie as a whole is unforgettable. It doesn't seek to manipulate much, and that makes the events that would be pumped up to ludicrous levels in some places all the more powerful.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • NergalNergal The Don Full Members
    edited November 2011
    Saw Moneyball today. Not having the slightest interest in baseball/sport in general and coming from a country where it's not such a major phenomenon I was slightly concerned that my enjoyment would be limited. Thankfully, the film was well-made and emotionally engaging enough to hold my interest for its duration. Come to think of it, not knowing a single thing about the sport probably enhanced my enjoyment somewhat ("Will they make the 20?", etc). I'm now actually interesting in seeking out more "behind-the-scenes" sport-centric films, since I long wrote off the sport-drama genre as being a cliche riddled predictable cheesefest.
  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited November 2011
    Hugo. Not like anything Martin Scorsese has ever made before, but the man's usual quality is definitely here. It's a love letter to early cinema, complete with characters sneaking into a Paris theater to watch a little bit of Harold Lloyd in Safety Last before getting the boot. 3D may have been the only option for its presentation here, and I had to sit on the far left side of the theater where the effect doesn't come off so well, but the use of it never irritated me and often looked really good, with the attention to bright color in order to counteract the effect this presentation usually has (the snow was particularly nice). The first shot zooms through the Paris train station all the way to the eyes of the title character watching through a clock's numbers, I loved it. Asa Butterfield does just fine as a real boy instead of a movie moppet in the title role, Chloe Grace-Moretz shows off more versatility than Kick-*** and Let me In allowed her to display, Ben Kingsley is solid like always in the role of Georges Melies, Christopher Lee gets to be a librarian who isn't evil, Sasha Baron Cohen as the station inspector is amusing, the recreation of a Paris-as-dreamscape in the early 30s is spectacular, Howard Shore's score does exactly what it should, the snippets of early movies made by Melies come across exactly the way they should, and the whole thing is only marred for me by an unnecessary dream sequence - even this shows off some decent effects, though.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • KeldarusKeldarus RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2011
    JuMeSyn wrote: »
    Hugo. Not like anything Martin Scorsese has ever made before, but the man's usual quality is definitely here. It's a love letter to early cinema, complete with characters sneaking into a Paris theater to watch a little bit of Harold Lloyd in Safety Last before getting the boot. 3D may have been the only option for its presentation here, and I had to sit on the far left side of the theater where the effect doesn't come off so well, but the use of it never irritated me and often looked really good, with the attention to bright color in order to counteract the effect this presentation usually has (the snow was particularly nice). The first shot zooms through the Paris train station all the way to the eyes of the title character watching through a clock's numbers, I loved it. Asa Butterfield does just fine as a real boy instead of a movie moppet in the title role, Chloe Grace-Moretz shows off more versatility than Kick-*** and Let me In allowed her to display, Ben Kingsley is solid like always in the role of Georges Melies, Christopher Lee gets to be a librarian who isn't evil, Sasha Baron Cohen as the station inspector is amusing, the recreation of a Paris-as-dreamscape in the early 30s is spectacular, Howard Shore's score does exactly what it should, the snippets of early movies made by Melies come across exactly the way they should, and the whole thing is only marred for me by an unnecessary dream sequence - even this shows off some decent effects, though.

    You have piqued my interest in this. I may have to check it out next weekend after the Muppets. Chole Moretz is always fantastic on screen. Seems we have a great crop up up and coming young actors and actresses in Hollywood.

    -Kel
  • KeldarusKeldarus RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2011
    The Mupptets was quite fun and I suggest people go see it. Good laughs, and great cameo's.

    -Kel
  • NergalNergal The Don Full Members
    edited December 2011
    Enter The Void: Been aching to see this for ages. It had extremely limited screenings here and until recently was only available on DVD as part of a very expensive Cannes box set. Finally nabbed myself a standalone copy and it has most definitely been worth the wait. One reviewer described it as "the 2001 of drug movies", and I tend to agree. The most visually and thematically intense movie I've seen in ages and a riveting rollercoaster ride despite being very light on (explicable) plot. Think Lynch on ecstasy with a sizable VFX budget.
  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited December 2011
    Let's do the massive roundup again.
    The Blues Brothers. Anybody around here unfamiliar with it, anybody at all? If you absolutely cannot stand the music, I can see it being a tough sit, but what a soul-dead person that would mark you as. Sustained lunacy all over the place, showing John Landis before he lost his way in the mid-80s, and one of John Belushi's great achievements in a sadly short career. Not to fault Dan Akroyd, for he's great too.
    Pink Cadillac. This is coming from someone who avidly watches Clint Eastwood in anything he does, and I must unfortunately report that it's pretty bad. The opening scene is enjoyable with Clint masquerading on the phone as a radio announcer lowering the guard of a guy who jumped bail. Then the main plot begins, with Bernadette Peters and her airhead character married to some meant-to-be-sympathetic-but-actually-just-dull husband who's in a white supremacist group. She jumps bail after getting nabbed for her hubby's misdeeds, Clint pursues, the title arises from what she drives, and eventually a climax arrives in which a lot of bullets are exchanged but somehow it feels like nothing happened and the ending comes as a shock for the wrong reason - that's it?? A couple of throwaway moments are fun, and despite how much I dislike her character I'll admit Peters snuck in a couple of good one liners. 1989 was not a good year for Clint, sadly.
    Blood Work. 2002 was better for him, but this is not a movie to watch if you care to note that an ex-FBI agent has no business grabbing a shotgun from a current officer of the law's trunk, discharging it at somebody he suspects to be a bad guy, being joined in the shooting by his current officer friend with a pistol, then driving away with no consequences, is ever so slightly unrealistic. While the most egregious, this tale of Clint's character recuperating two years after a heart attack while pursuing a serial killer has other scenes that require serious suspension of disbelief. Well-acted and interesting, it's nevertheless a minor work in Clint's catalog, especially when he made Mystic River the next year.
    J. Edgar. Out in theaters right now! Leonardo DiCaprio does superb work as the man who headed the USA's unofficial fourth branch of government for almost fifty years. The movie tells two stories about him, both firmly from his perspective. The first half is devoted mostly to flashbacks from the 'present' (the early 1960s) in which Hoover dictates the story he wants the world to know about the early years of his career and the FBI's creation. This takes in the Palmer raids that were devoted to deporting all those deemed unworthy of remaining in the country because of their Red ties, the creation of the first permanent federal judicial body and the hurdles it had to leap in order to get its authority respected by local jurisdictions unwilling to take it seriously, Hoover's quest to get good PR for the new organization to stop public sympathy for the gangsters springing up as the Depression unfolded, and the Lindbergh Baby case. The second half takes place partially in the past and partially in the 'present,' depicting in more detail Hoover's longtime #2 man Clyde Toland, who would be considered something else if the times and J. Edgar's mother were not so staunchly unsupportive of any trace of homosexuality. The times are never addressed explicitly, but Hoover's mother (Judi Dench) most definitely is. The energy level flags a bit in the last hour, but Hoover is a fascinating figure, and I deem the movie as a whole very worth seeing if the subject is at all of interest.
    A Star Is Born (1976). The two earlier versions of this story are both top-tier. Not this one. The 1954 version already turned things into a musical, but it was still set in Hollywood. Now it's entirely in the rock music world, but that's not an inherent problem. Barbra Streisand's performance is. I sensed no career trajectory she went along like Janet Gaynor and Judy Garland did - Barbra is surprisingly blunt and impatient for a barely-scraping-by musician. I also sensed only fitful attraction between her and Kris Kristofferson, which is a problem when she's supposed to be madly in love with him and only seems like that a couple of times - mostly she looks like she can't wait for him to leave the frame. Kris plays rock that isn't particularly hard even by mid-70s standards, but I still have difficulty believing that an audience which showed up to hear HIM would eagerly accept Barbra coming out to do her thing. Not to knock Barbra Streisand, who does have an awesome voice, but a rocker she is not, and this crowd was way too easily swayed. There's also a baffling sequence in which Barbra and Kris appear to construct a vacation home all by themselves in the southwest desert, complete with magically producing a bulldozer and the ability to wire all of its utilities sans help. Doesn't look very good, hard to believe at any juncture, and feels way too long when it's actually shorter than the 1954 version and comparable with the 1937 one.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited December 2011
    Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I readily put forth that I watched them with Rifftrax, the only way I ever have and ever will see these movies. Watching them without that accompaniment would make me leave the room.
    Apparently there are people who believe the first of these was good, the second was bad, and the third somewhere in between. Nope, wrong. They're all on the same level of quality - Michael Bay's vision of ugly things exploding murkily, actors with careers embarrassing themselves for the sake of a paycheck, scripts that would be laughable if they'd gone through a David Mamet and Aaron Sorkin rewrite with Joss Whedon touching things up later, hyperactive shots that are unable to settle down for a moment, and their gargantuan length. Really, why do all of these movies weigh in at about the 150 minute mark? Cutting material to make them tighter would be amazingly easy, but not for Michael Bay, who seems to think everything he films is brilliant and must be granted to all the bad little boys and girls of the world instead of standard parental discipline.
    I suppose I should mention that I never watched Transformers as a child. Yeah, I had a vague awareness of it, and the theme is catchy, but for the most part I have no idea who all these robots are except insofar as they're built to be marketed as toys. The movies sure don't give me a clue, especially when they pretty much look the same in the action shots - ugly. Actually, they look ugly all the time. These effects remind me of stop motion animation with all the soul sucked out and distracted man-children in computer studios taking over. Ugly robots indistinguishable from one another in the action shots (this being Michael Bay territory, that's a lot of screen time) giving their voice actors some money and nothing else, oh my. I'm glad Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving are getting the paychecks I guess....
    Okay, the first one. So we start with the US military in a desert being attacked by some murky Decepticons, then we switch to a John Hughes intro from hell as our first glimpse of Shia LaBeouf. This guy makes me clench my teeth whenever he starts talking (at least in these movies, though I admit his character getting killed in Constantine made me happy), and of course he's using a class presentation to try to raise money for getting a car. Wow, way to eliminate any semblance of me ever liking this character. Then there's one of Bernie Mac's final roles which closes with a tremendously stupid use of tarantula wasp (oh those Rifftrax, getting into my head) blasting out the windows of everything in a thousand foot radius that is NEVER EXAMINED BY ANYONE. Sorry, stupid plot contrivance to get the car into Mr. Whitwicky's hands, you fail at ingratiating me. Blah blah Shia kicks out his best friend who we never see again blah blah yammers nonstop and acts like a jerk all the time blah blah Jon Voight embarrasses himself as Secretary of Defense blah blah Popeye-inspired robot runs around Air Force One blah blah Megan Fox exists solely to look attractive and be ogled blah blah Autobots come down and look ugly blah blah Megatron provided all technical knowledge for the enhancement of the world economy since the mid-30s (uh huh, sure) blah blah big pyrotechnical display in patented Michael Bay Confuze-o-Vision to close out the movie. Oh, and John Turturro being urinated upon. Truly a bastion of cinematic quality, this movie. I'll take away from it the fact that Shia can stammer out his syllables at a rate that causes my blood pressure to soar and that Bay likes to include useless characters to increase the screen time needlessly (see: the hackers) in what is already a bloated-beyond-belief production.
    Then the second movie. Okay, we've got a college roommate who's an idiot, John Turturro hopefully making a lot of money for displaying himself in a thong, an opening that continues the proud tradition of the first movie that the Autobots know nothing whatsoever about camouflage, un-comic relief in the form of mom getting high on a pot brownie that doesn't act like a pot brownie AND those two caricature robots, plenty of action that fails to be visually or narratively involving, the desecration of Egypt's ancient history by moving the pyramids all the way to Aqaba, and more! Yeah there's something called the Fallen which apparently can teleport but is defeated with ease anyway, Shia seemingly going to robot heaven because he's just such a great hero (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!) and a bunch of other stuff I'm not going to bother to remember. Really, the similarities between it and the first are too plentiful to let anyone get away with claiming they're such different beasts. Michael Bay's ugly fingerprints are all over.
    Then there's the third, which I might actually say is the best. It's really the equivalent of having a knitting needle jammed all the way to the bone or only into the muscle, but it's an important distinction. Perhaps it's due to shooting in 3D (which, having seen it in 2D only and not noticing a thing missing, I can say was useless), but Bay holds the shots longer and seems to have brightened the color palette to make everything a little less dingy and dark all the time. Anyway, now we get to see more of Shia being an unmitigated jerk, Ken Jeong showing up in one of the most unpleasant small roles I can remember, John Malkovich and Frances McDormand embarrassing themselves along with John Turturro, Leonard Nimoy voicing something called Sentinel Prime for no particular reason, Chicago being gifted with beautiful 9/11 imagery just because it could, the Challenger explosion being evoked for no reason, and some action in the last section that would make for a cool video game but is ludicrous from human beings (especially Shia slaying a Decepticon, suspension of disbelief in this instance is impossible). Robot gore is also perfectly acceptable when getting a PG-13, thus the deaths of transformers are pretty brutal here.
    All of them feature constant yelling by the humans and action that's impressive on a technical level but totally uninvolving. Sure cities get torn apart and giant robots are smashing each other around, but I DON'T CARE. It's a bunch of noise that adds up to nothing.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • Cassandra RamosCassandra Ramos Eternal Kyoshi Administrators
    edited December 2011
    Last Sunday, I watched the 14th Pok
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited December 2011
    I could relive all the Dragon Ball movies I watched (all 17, yes indeed, on VHS back in the day) but now's not the time.
    Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. If one takes the concepts of these movies seriously in any way, insanity will result. What would really happen if Sigmund Freud, Ludwig von Beethoven, Genghis Khan, Socrates, Billy the Kid, Napoleon, Joan of Arc, and Abraham Lincoln were yanked out of time and placed into a Southern California high school in 1988? Well, I don't think it would be pretty. Still, seeing their madcap adventures is fun, and the title characters are also fun - because no matter how dim they are, they're likeable. Bill & Ted won't win any prizes for intellect from anyone, but they're fun guys to be around, and that's a key element many stupidly dumb comedies forget to include.
    Also, I don't think Death would really be vulnerable to a Melvin. Again though, Bill & Ted are likeable enough to get away with things like that instead of coming across as mean. Even their evil robot counterparts from the future have to strain to be evil, since their innate personalities are so non-heinous. This is almost certainly the best acting Keanu Reeves has ever done, given that I never doubted his character for a second. Aside from a guy who had no lines in The Lost Boys, I can't remember seeing Alex Winter elsewhere, but he's fine too. George Carlin is pretty much himself, all that he needs to be. The special effects aren't that great, particularly in the first, but it hardly ruins the mood. I don't feel like trying to rigorously analyze all the material in these movies, they just succeed at being silly fun that shouldn't be thought about too hard.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited December 2011
    The Son of Kong was rushed into theaters in 1933, the same year the original King Kong saw release. For the stop-motion effects Willis O'Brien used in the original movie, that's some impressive turnaround time, and it shows in the length of time it takes before any of those effects are actually shown this time around. Still, it's not terrible, just a letdown compared to the greatness of its inspiration.
    Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong reprising the role) is besieged by creditors one month after Kong took his dive off the Empire State Building, for the very good reason that something he marketed killed people and destroyed enormous amounts of property. This opening sequence is mostly played for laughs, as Denham's landlord drives off a creditor and a newspaper woman who snuck into the building (which does prompt the very good question of how he's paying his rent, but never mind). Then Denham sneaks onto the same ship that transported him to Skull Island in the original, where the skipper (also reprising his role) offers a partnership on salvage and trade expeditions for no apparent reason. Lacking any better options, and learning that a court summons has just been issued, Denham flees to the south seas. Their ship eventually winds up on one of the Dutch East Indies (remember, it's 1933) where he and the skipper take in a strange monkey band and the singing of Helen Mack. As the skipper observes, her voice isn't her strongest suit. A scene then ensues with her father having a drunken argument with the only other white man on the island (using the movie's terminology here, though it was commonplace at the time) that ends with the performance tent catching fire and Mack running out with her father dying from a blow to the head. Helen Mack never became a big star, and I can kind of see why - she's only okay at best, and in some scenes her acting just doesn't work for the intended tone. Anyway, the man who killed her father turns out to have a history with Denham, having sold him the map to Skull Island. Looking to get off the island in a hurry, this map seller fabricates a story on the spot of there being a great treasure on Skull Island, which tantalizes the skipper and Denham. Halfway through the movie, Skull Island finally looms again on the horizon, but is delayed even further by the map seller having incited a mutiny on the ship over the extreme dislike the crew has for suffering the fate of the sailors in the first movie. A not-unreasonable concern, but the dialogue forcibly links it to Communism, so big class politics get raised. Mack stowed away on the ship, and she's dumped with the skipper and Denham and the cook (Victor Wong, also reprising his role) in a lifeboat that rows its way to the island. They're promptly granted excess baggage when the crew takes poorly to the map seller trying to order them around and is dumped off the side. Finally, 60% of the movie is over and the effects start showing up in the eponymous character, who looks like his dad except only about 12 feet tall and with white fur. Denham and Mack (who he calls 'kid') save little Kong from quicksand and are soon saved in turn from the menace of - a big bear! Yeah, Skull Island does have its share of creatures, but Willis O'Brien must have been really strapped if the best he could come up with was a large bear. The fight is mostly played for comedy too, with young Kong falling down on his head and having his eyes circle around as a result. The skipper, cook and map seller were briefly menaced by a surprisingly vicious styracosaur that came out of nowhere and apparently liked to eat shotguns, so they're out of the picture for a little while when trapped in a crevice. Late in the movie little Kong fights a big lizard and the duplicitous map seller is eaten by something that looks more like a sea serpent than anything else, while Denham does find a treasure and snags it. Too bad Skull Island is caught in an earthquake and sinks into the sea, but little Kong demonstrates how loyal he is by holding Denham up out of the waves. The finale is on a ship that finds the survivors where Mack and Denham make clear their intention to tie the knot, and also manages to feel like a complete comedown after the sinking of the island.
    It's not a bad movie, but neither is it all that good. The efforts to be funny usually don't pay off well enough, and in a movie that only runs 69 minutes to let more than half the running time pass before showing anything at all on Skull Island is unacceptable. Most of the behind-the-scenes personnel are the same, so Max Steiner gets to reference his great score from the original, but the new tunes are completely forgettable. When the action finally does reach Skull Island, only a few locations are used, reducing the palpable size of the first movie (even though it was shot in studio sets, it felt grand) into something cramped and small-scale. It's really a shame, because the concept is worthwhile. If only it hadn't been rushed at every juncture....
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited December 2011
    JuMeSyn wrote: »
    I could relive all the Dragon Ball movies I watched (all 17, yes indeed, on VHS back in the day) but now's not the time.
    Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. If one takes the concepts of these movies seriously in any way, insanity will result. What would really happen if Sigmund Freud, Ludwig von Beethoven, Genghis Khan, Socrates, Billy the Kid, Napoleon, Joan of Arc, and Abraham Lincoln were yanked out of time and placed into a Southern California high school in 1988? Well, I don't think it would be pretty. Still, seeing their madcap adventures is fun, and the title characters are also fun - because no matter how dim they are, they're likeable. Bill & Ted won't win any prizes for intellect from anyone, but they're fun guys to be around, and that's a key element many stupidly dumb comedies forget to include.
    Also, I don't think Death would really be vulnerable to a Melvin. Again though, Bill & Ted are likeable enough to get away with things like that instead of coming across as mean. Even their evil robot counterparts from the future have to strain to be evil, since their innate personalities are so non-heinous. This is almost certainly the best acting Keanu Reeves has ever done, given that I never doubted his character for a second. Aside from a guy who had no lines in The Lost Boys, I can't remember seeing Alex Winter elsewhere, but he's fine too. George Carlin is pretty much himself, all that he needs to be. The special effects aren't that great, particularly in the first, but it hardly ruins the mood. I don't feel like trying to rigorously analyze all the material in these movies, they just succeed at being silly fun that shouldn't be thought about too hard.

    There was an entire cartoon show dedicated to that very concept, actually. It was called Clone High and it was hilarious. It involved the super-popular girl Cleopatra, the jock JFK, an awkward teenage Abe Lincoln, a hyperactive Gandhi, a goth Joan of Arc, and more.
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited December 2011
    I knew going in that Jack and Jill would be bad. Few things are more painful than comedies that aren't funny, and Adam Sandler has a real knack for churning those out. In case you steered clear of the premise (understandably), it's simple: Jack (Sandler) is playing host to his twin sister from the Bronx (Sandler, in not very elaborate drag) over Thanksgiving that gets extended. Jack seems to be regarding Jill like all thinking members of the audience would, with disgust and contempt, while everyone else (like his wife Katie Holmes, in a role that is not exactly a challenge for any actress) keeps mollycoddling her to provoke unearned sentimental moments. There are a ton of drinking games that can be played with this in lieu of enjoying the material onscreen, and I'll just list some:
    Every time a scene goes on much, much longer than it needed to for the feeble joke to be essayed: take a shot.
    Every time Jill is in tears at the end of a scene - take a shot.
    Every time a needless cameo intrudes - take a shot.
    Every time a scene seems to be going for some weird incompetent art-film vibe instead of actual humor - take a shot.
    Each of those drinking games, and more I'm deliberately suppressing, is far more entertaining than the actual movie. The cameo of Norm MacDonald illustrates in microcosm what's going on here. He's on a date with Jill and wants to get out of it. So he does what anyone would: say he's going to the bathroom, leave her at the restaurant table for awhile, then actually be hiding in the bathroom, leaping up to cling to the light fixture over the toilet when Jill sees what's keeping him. Instead of the obvious gag, the movie went with something that makes no sense and raises questions that shouldn't be asked.
    Oh, and of course there's Al Pacino, playing himself, romancing Jill. Do I really need to say anything more?
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • KeldarusKeldarus RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited December 2011
    Four Lions. It's a British comedy about 4 completely inept terrorists trying to be suicide bombers and failing miserably. It's on Netflix Watch Instantly or probably on DVD as well, but completely worth watching.

    -Kel
  • nikonmalenikonmale New Member Full Members
    edited December 2011
    I have watched some good movies lately and they are Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and Alvin and the Chipmunks. Chipwrecked
  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited December 2011
    Man, I've been lax at this lately. Big one, here we go!
    Minority Report. I'd rank this among Spielberg's best. Certain aspects of the future seem in doubt even with a vantage point of less than ten years since this movie was made, I can't deny (will we be using little plastic cards that remind me of specimen containers in science lab for storing files?). The plot makes perfect sense though, throwing out the issue of whether it's right to imprison people for something they haven't done. The action sequences are spectacular. Tom Cruise is very good. Max von Sydow is solid as always. I could tell Janusz Kaminski that a few too many shots are bathed in super-bright light that makes things hard to see, but that's also purposeful, so it's a muted criticism.
    The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934). I saw Hitchcock's remake of this about ten years ago, and it never clicked with me. A lot of the raw material came from his original take on the subject, and while I still don't rank it among his best, it's nevertheless fascinating. Concision is the main difference, though being made in the UK in 1934 seems to have rubbed off on the sound, which I sometimes had to concentrate really hard to understand. Peter Lorre appears in his first English-speaking role, demonstrating what made him so captivating through the years. It's not great Hitchcock, but certain elements (two guys singing to each other in the back of a church in order not to be immediately identified) are refreshing even now.
    The Karate Kid Part III (with Rifftrax, naturally). Well, it's a blindingly obvious attempt to remake the first movie, and done badly. It's pretty boring for the most part, Ralph Macchio appears to be giving the future Shia LaBeouf lessons in acting at times, the villainy makes no sense, and elements are dumped without reason. A waste of time without the Rifftrax.
    Caveman. This could, and should, have been great. Ringo Starr leading a bunch of cavemen around learning the secret of fire and running from inept dinosaurs? It is funny in spots, but not consistently. It's too bad really. As-is there are plenty of humorous moments, most of them courtesy of a few dinosaurs that look goofy instead of scary, but just as many jokes that just aren't that funny. Fitfully amusing and should have been more.
    The Brink's Job. A less-known William Friedkin effort, it doesn't have the chase sequences he's renowned for. Instead, as the title implies, it's a heist movie, though less focused on the heist than many. Peter Falk leads a group of Boston criminals who zero in on the Brink's money changing establishment, ID all the ways it's a paper tiger, and proceed to make off with enough money to get J. Edgar Hoover's attention. Mostly it's a fairly light movie, with tension occurring from time to time but not constant. Not a major effort from Friedkin, but good enough to enjoy.
    Three Secrets. A young boy is left alive on the top of Thunder Mountain in California after the light plane carrying him and his adoptive parents crashed. While rescuers attempt to ascend the 12,800 foot mountain, three women arrive at the ground-based scene, each of whom had to give up a boy for adoption on exactly the same day five years ago. Eleanor Parker, Patricia Neal and Ruth Roman play these women, Robert Wise directs them. It's a soapy melodrama for the most part, and Neal's hard newswoman character is the most interesting especially considering it was made in 1950. Like many melodramas, certain elements come across as over the top. Eleanor Parker's character is also not very interesting compared to the other two leads. Good luck tracking it down, Warner Bros. never released it on DVD.
    Breakdown. The opening of this is quite strong: Kurt Russell and wife are traveling through the desert southwest, she gets picked up by a friendly trucker (J. T. Walsh) and he can't find her when rendezvousing. The little stretch where Kurt acts really angry toward everyone in the search for his wife is understandable but not as well-handled as the rest, says I. Then the bad guys find him and the plot is officially on, with the rest of the movie being quite tense and effective. Jonathan Mostow did a good job with the action of Terminator 3, and he does a good job here, with a role that reminds everyone what happens when Kurt Russell is crossed. One great sequence in which Kurt moves from the undercarriage of a big rig to the small area between the driving cabin and the cargo bay is spectacularly done. A tense thriller, effectively done.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited December 2011
    I dunno if it'd qualify as a movie, but I just finished watching the Neverland mini-series. I rather enjoyed it, it's a more mature take on the Peter Pan mythos, looking at the origins of Peter, Hook, and the Lost Boys rather than at his adventures with Wendy. Throws a science fiction bent on the story, which was a bit strange but managed to work. Whole thing is about 3 hours long total, so that's pretty close to movie-length.
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • Mike MoehnkeMike Moehnke Code: Kirin Administrators
    edited December 2011
    The Beaver. Man, what a weird movie this is. Just by the title, it's clear Jodie Foster either didn't care or was willing to gloss over all the implications that are pretty obvious. Since this didn't get big distribution and wasn't a smash, though, I'd better summarize:
    Walter Black (Mel Gibson) is a serious depressive. As the film opens, his wife (Jodie Foster) finally kicks him out, and he shortly checks into a hotel with the intention of committing suicide. He's stopped after a couple of failed attempts by something he picked up in the alley dumpster - a beaver puppet. Walter puts this onto his left hand and assumes a new personality through it, speaking with no attempt whatsoever to employ ventriloquism, as his mouth simply flaps along with the hand movements guiding the Beaver. Speaking with the Beaver on his hand at all times and this new personality up-front, Walter ingratiates himself immediately with his younger son, and Foster takes him back after receiving a note card informing her that this is a doctor's stratagem. Only the older son (Anton Yelchin) is unconvinced, but he has his own plot that involves being paid good sums for writing the papers of other students at high school, which takes up quite a bit of screen time and rarely meets with the Beaver's story.
    The triumphant montage is used way too often in this movie. After giving us the introduction to a scenario (such as, say, Walter Black marching into his office with the Beaver on his arm and immediately winning everyone over with his plan to make a line of Beaver toys), the montage is used rather than explore the idea in further detail. Then again, details would just rub into one's face how unbelievable the notion actually is, so there's no real way to win unless the entire movie's tone was radically altered. The third act goes somewhere totally different, apparently postulating that Walter Black is afflicted with multiple personalities instead of depression, which does the opening scenes no favors at all. Foster made the baffling decision to film a bedroom scene with her, Gibson, and the Beaver. How can that be taken seriously, let alone the even more disturbing shot of the three in a shower? The tone veers wildly all over the place, which makes narrowing down exactly what a scene is supposed to be doing hard sometimes. While certainly an interesting movie for a number of reasons, as a study of depression it must be judged a failure, giving short shrift to the subject in favor of cute shenanigans with a puppet.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.
  • NergalNergal The Don Full Members
    edited December 2011
    The Adventures of Tintin: Was incredibly apprehensive about seeing this, as the Tintin comic books and animated series were very dear to my heart as a kid. Thankfully, despite some glaring omissions and major artistic license, the movie was very entertaining and a lot of fun. My main issue was the fact they ditched most of Red Rackham's Treasure in favour of throwing in a fair chunk of subplot stuff from Crab With the Golden Claws instead. (SPOILERS: Though from the ending it seems they are setting up having the excised first half of RRT take place in the next film).

    I guess that's par for course with comic book adaptations though. This is the first time I've ever been really intimately familiar with the source material of such a film, after all.

    Hopefully there's more to come. I'd love to see what they do with Flight 714 and Destination Moon/Explorers on the Moon.
  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    edited January 2012
    No. But I did watch the single worst movie ever made: It's called "The Room." You all need to see this one. It is awe inspiringly terrible.
    "Back when FF9 was coming out. People were rejoicing because it was actually a fantasy game and not a sci-fi game like 7 and 8. It's hilarious in modern context, with everyone wanking themselves to dehydration at the thought of a FF7 remake."
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