Discuss and rate the last movie you watched

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X-men apocolypse.

Honestly this film was just a massive cocktease. No good fight scenes, no team fight scenes, Phoenix force is used as Deus Ex Machina, everything returns to normal at the end.

Xavier and Magneto were excellently protrayed however, particularly Magneto attempting to live a normal life, only for an act of kindness and a cruel twist of fate leaving him broken once more. The sparing use of wolverine was OK as well.

Gojira and Godzilla King of the Monsters: GOt a special edition that goes into the history behind it, both versions of the first outing of the big angry green guy, and Commentary on both versions in english. As a big time Godzilla nut, I am well pleased.

The darkest outing of the series, the human element is a struggle to survive the aftermath of the devastation that is newer, adn more powerful nuclear weapons, and weather or not to stop this malevolent threat by a WMD that will inevitably lead to an even worse arms race.

Solo.

It was okay. The actors did a well enough job, the plot was competent and it had some nice action scenes.

Though admittedly I did kinda miss parts near the end because I stopped paying attention. I don't think I've ever done that in a SW movie before, where I literally started doing other things because I wasn't invested in what was going on.

It also doesn't help I've seen(and liked) Rebels so another interqual between the Old Republic and the rise of the rebellion doesn't do it for me like it might have otherwise.

A Dog's Purp....A Dog's W...Show Dogs? Isle of Dogs? A Doggone Chri....Jesus, these fucking dog movies, what was it? Weiner-D...wait, it's DOG DAYS!

The formula is simple: Human with a single perceived flaw as a defining trait. + A cute doggins. x Various bonding scenes. = Human cured of flaw and ready for love or whatever next. Insert happy pop music wherever possible.

Now, this film takes a firm 'Quantity over quality' approach here and gives us five of these bastard stories in pure innocent anthology. It's admirably efficient though: Enter human... present flaw... present dog, present 'upbeat' bonding...bam! Success achieved! You are now a flawless productive member of society, good work, citizen! And good job, Doggins!

The film isn't technically bad, it's inoffensive, harmless fluff. But the dogs aren't that characteristic. In fact, they more often than not look like dogs being dragged around by over-excited actors so other people can wistfully stare at them with cameras.

...

Bohemian Rhapsody.

*Breathes in deeply*

Well.

Rami Malek's performance is the one element keeping this film above water, the best part, hands down. That said...

That was as disappointing as expected. People talked up the disappointment and I went in prepared for the disappointment and came out going "yup, that was disappointing alright."

However, the more I think back on it, the more annoyed i feel. Knowing the remaining members of the band had a strong hand in the creative process, it does shape how some scenes come across, and I admit to cringing pretty hard at certain points due to this very knowledge. The remaining band members are presented as flawless good guys, only Freddy gets the flaws. The whole script is sugar-coated feel-good (in the sense of a shallow motivational poster 'feel-good') nonsense, it's as if Disney were to make a Black Sabbath biopic. You don't sugar-coat rock star lives! That's not how it go! The Ray Charles biopic, 'Ray' was far more girtty and down to earth than this (also just a brilliant all round film too, go watch if you haven't).

One can imagine what this is really about: certain people need that PG rating not only for more initial ticket sales but to also promote the band to a newer generation. They're not interested in telling an honest, gripping human heartfelt experience, they're wanting to promote an inoffensive family-friendly image in which parents can feel comfortable buying their newly-enthralled kids the albums after seeing the family-friendly feel-good film.

The most annoying part is this is like the one chance in a long while they had to make the story of an inspiring music legend something powerful and resonating, not a toothless caricature. Or is it the one chance? Hey, can we reboot the Freddy Mercury shared universe anytime soon? Get that Sacha Baron Cohen version made once the other band members optimise and squeeze all the profits they can out the brand and have their fill before gracefully dying?

Green Book (8/10)

Reviewing this film, I debated whether I should address its surrounding controversies, because this film's got a lot of them. After some thought, I've decided not to - some of those controversies I can understand, some I think are blown out of proportion, but at the end of the day, I've decided to steer clear of them. I'm only going to touch on a few where they're directly relevant to the film itself, but apart from that, if you want to look into said controversies, a quick Internet search will illuminate them, written by people who can address them far better than I can.

So, the Green Book is set in the 1960s, during the Jim Crow era. Film takes its name from the literal Green Book which basically lists establishments that negroes would be able to stay at in the segregated south. Don Shirley, a black pianist/composer, is going on tour of the Deep South, and hires Italian Tony "Lip" to be his chauffer. So, cue road trip, cue racism/segregation/bigotry, and why these are bad things.

In fairness, Green Book isn't really saying anything that we don't know, nor is the structure of its story all that new. However, what it does, it does well, and while the trailers might lead you to think otherwise, the film's actually really funny. It's dealing with heavy subject matter, but the banter between the two characters had me and a lot of other people laughing through much of the runtime. However, I feel that at this point, I should weigh in on some of the controversies that the film's generated, namely the idea of it being an example of white saviour narrative. There's one specific scene where Tony basically states "you (Shirley) should know these (black) composers, they're you're people," to which Shirley responds (paraphrased) "I know of them, I just don't listen to their music." This gets to the point where Tony basically claims that because he grew up in the Bronx, "I'm blacker than you." That Shirley doesn't know his own people because he's been living in an ivory tower. Now, I've seen some reviwers chastise this scene, and I really don't get why, because the entire point of the scene is that Tony's being an arrogant arse, and that (as much as I hate this term) basically committing micro-aggressions (or rather, stereotyping). Thing is, Tony isn't nearly as bad as the people who enforce segregation in the South, but at the start, it's clear that he's willing to engage in morally dubious acts, and has his own set of biases - not just against Afro-Americans, but also Russians and Germans. He's not a bad person, but he's a prejudiced one, and by the end of the day, he emerges feeling less prejudiced. Again, not exactly a new story, but it's one that's done very well with lots of heart and wit. Shirley kind of undergoes an arc as well, but it's a very subtle one - Shirley, as portrayed in the film, is an admirable character who keeps his dignity and moral code throughout the entirety of the runtime.

So, yeah. Green Book. While a "safe" film, it's still a very enjoyable and well executed one.

Happytime Murders.

Did not want to watch this. But we can't always get what we want. Not mostly. Not halfly. Not even marginally. It's best to assume we get absolutely nothing we want and work up from there. With violence. Or music. Maybe art. But definitely violence. Implied through artful music! *Phew* Legally cushioned words are best words.

What was I on about? Ah yes! Shit movies.
This film is a prime example of how a child thinks adult humour is supposed to be. It's also boring, predictable and so very derivative. Also, why in the flying fuck is there one muppet introduced with weirdly human proportions? It looks truly horrid in comparison to every other muppet there. I'm not exaggerating (for once). There's one depressing reason so far I can imagine for this choice, and that's due to the muppet supposedly being the "sexually seductive femme fatale" in which some producer/director somewhere demanded the unquestioning trogolodyte audience must connect to the author insert muppet protag when he's seduced by her, cause....it matters for this one sole moment? So she must have human sexual characteristics, damnit! How else can the audience know?? How else??? It's like someone tried to do a furry porn character but forget it had to also be some sort of animal. And that they can't draw at all. That's a bad. You did a bad. This film is a bad.

Fantastic Beasts: the first one

Have masterfully avoided all Harry Potter movies somehow, not entirely through choice, they seem like charming romps full of talent that I have little interest in but wouldn't turn off if they happened to be on TV. So technically speaking, that makes me the most qualified entity on Earth to consider this with a fresh perspective and unblemished opinions. Sort of.

Is this an alternate origin Pokemon story? One where instead of imprisoning the creatures to harrowingly beat the shit out of each other for the mere pleasure of a sociopath society, they're just kind of mercifully ignored? And newt is the good-universe version of Ash where he only wants to catch and study them all in his magical suitcase prison pokeball?

Other questions: What is the space in Harry Potter magic land? Is it an alternate dimension full of magic or is it the same dimension as this, but the space hidden from normal people by magic? If the latter, why are all these creatures being magically hidden from normal world people at all? Most don't seem any worse than a disgruntled elephant. If the former, ehh...alright, I'll accept the collectathon obsession as compulsive multi-dimensional robbery.
Why does shooting a wand at someone like it's a gun make a loud noise that people can easily hear and dodge accordingly? It's bloody magic! Surely you can magic that noise away and shoot as many oblivious victims as you want?
It's alright though. Not enough Pokemon however. The sequel even moreso.

Bad Times at the El Royale
Is intriguing and captivating until maybe the last 10 minutes where it loses its bite. Thor makes an appearance as a character that should be a way more entertaining twist on his popularity than it ends up being. I think he should've hammed it up a bit more, over-act the role into something memorable. Cynthia Erivo is wonderful as is Jeff Bridges. Though couldn't stop thinking of the film 'Identity' with John Cusack throughout and was anticipating some way-out twist similar to that. Won't say if it does or not, so others can suffer the annoying doubts as i.

Neurotic Void Melody:

Bohemian Rhapsody.

*Breathes in deeply*

Well.

Rami Malek's performance is the one element keeping this film above water, the best part, hands down. That said...

That was as disappointing as expected. People talked up the disappointment and I went in prepared for the disappointment and came out going "yup, that was disappointing alright."

However, the more I think back on it, the more annoyed i feel. Knowing the remaining members of the band had a strong hand in the creative process, it does shape how some scenes come across, and I admit to cringing pretty hard at certain points due to this very knowledge. The remaining band members are presented as flawless good guys, only Freddy gets the flaws. The whole script is sugar-coated feel-good (in the sense of a shallow motivational poster 'feel-good') nonsense, it's as if Disney were to make a Black Sabbath biopic. You don't sugar-coat rock star lives! That's not how it go! The Ray Charles biopic, 'Ray' was far more girtty and down to earth than this (also just a brilliant all round film too, go watch if you haven't).

One can imagine what this is really about: certain people need that PG rating not only for more initial ticket sales but to also promote the band to a newer generation. They're not interested in telling an honest, gripping human heartfelt experience, they're wanting to promote an inoffensive family-friendly image in which parents can feel comfortable buying their newly-enthralled kids the albums after seeing the family-friendly feel-good film.

The most annoying part is this is like the one chance in a long while they had to make the story of an inspiring music legend something powerful and resonating, not a toothless caricature. Or is it the one chance? Hey, can we reboot the Freddy Mercury shared universe anytime soon? Get that Sasha Baron Cohen version made once the other band members optimise and squeeze all the profits they can out the brand and have their fill before gracefully dying?

I saw this a couple days ago. First off, I'm not much of a pedant when it comes to film and I'm nothing if not entirely ignorant as to Queen (i.e.: I knew a lot of the songs sung throughout the film, but had no idea Queen sung them,) but this movie just felt noticeably stitched together. It felt like a biopic based off the second half of the Cliff Notes. Mercury sees a band, meets them after the show, and in the next scene, he's suddenly their lead singer and running the show netting decent gigs? Was that transitory period (for all involved) so unnoteworthy, it could pass completely tacitly? Was this film about Queen the band or just about how a flamboyant a Freddie Mercury with a swollen ego can be?

I saw black panther! Wee, aren't I in touch!

Action scenes where the panther was fighting were garbled and a bit of a mess, the car chase was good and all the physical combat without superpowers was also good but that's kinda it, not enough oomph otherwise.

Cool story and aesthetic, I wish they explained the tech more (why does the magical marble heal the guy's spine? is it nanomachines like in MGS or what), great villain (he kinda steals the show imo) and relatable but slightly boring protagonist, I wish he'd stay in his "kind persona" more and not try to be just a dude cause it removes a lot of the gravitas I hoped to get out of him. The supporting cast was overall interesting, I loved the little sister character's energetic spunk and the bald warrior maidens were badass. The love interest was boring and completely uninteresting as was the warrior leading general (the lead bald lady's husband).

Oh and the rhinos were bad CG but still I love them despite that. I want one.

Velvet Buzzsaw

Not bad. Basically what Rotten Tomatoes says is fair, solid 6.5/10. It's a decent little horror satire of the world of art dealing, even though it wasn't especially horrifying, could have done with being a bit weirder and having more bite. Still, Jake Gyllenhaal stole the show as the aloof, flaky art critic Morf Vandewalt. If you know anything about art criticism or the politics of the art world, you'll probably enjoy it. It's a fun watch.

Xprimentyl:
I saw this a couple days ago. First off, I'm not much of a pedant when it comes to film and I'm nothing if not entirely ignorant as to Queen (i.e.: I knew a lot of the songs sung throughout the film, but had no idea Queen sung them,) but this movie just felt noticeably stitched together. It felt like a biopic based off the second half of the Cliff Notes. Mercury sees a band, meets them after the show, and in the next scene, he's suddenly their lead singer and running the show netting decent gigs? Was that transitory period (for all involved) so unnoteworthy, it could pass completely tacitly? Was this film about Queen the band or just about how a flamboyant a Freddie Mercury with a swollen ego can be?

You aren't alone in that observation for sure, and there does seem to be a pretty sensible explanation for it too. The production was hampered not only by a complete throwaway after Sacha (oh crap I spelt his name wrong in original post, oops!) left and other issues with the alive band members not liking any further interesting suggestions, but also the eventual main director - Bryan Singer - managed about 2/3rds of the film before getting sacked for regularly being a shit to colleagues and not turning up to do his job much. Behaviour he was already well-known for. Apparently another well-known issue with him was his tendency to rush scenes and get them done quick as possible, whereas actors and the like - especially Malek - who actually cared about doing their best, ended up clashing on set with him. He's a bit of a hack really ignoring all those sexual allegations anyway *blood-smitten cough*. But Dexter Fletcher was hired to come in and fix the final 3rd before release. There was plenty mess in all this to contribute to the stitched up feeling of it, alongside the guiding hands of certain surviving musicians who'd rather see this as some promotional motivational poster-card bumper-sticker instead of a real human story.

To think that David Fincher was turned down by the alive band members after Sacha brought him in as a suggestion, ...there are no kind words to describe such thoughts.

Neurotic Void Melody:

Xprimentyl:
I saw this a couple days ago. First off, I'm not much of a pedant when it comes to film and I'm nothing if not entirely ignorant as to Queen (i.e.: I knew a lot of the songs sung throughout the film, but had no idea Queen sung them,) but this movie just felt noticeably stitched together. It felt like a biopic based off the second half of the Cliff Notes. Mercury sees a band, meets them after the show, and in the next scene, he's suddenly their lead singer and running the show netting decent gigs? Was that transitory period (for all involved) so unnoteworthy, it could pass completely tacitly? Was this film about Queen the band or just about how a flamboyant a Freddie Mercury with a swollen ego can be?

You aren't alone in that observation for sure, and there does seem to be a pretty sensible explanation for it too. The production was hampered not only by a complete throwaway after Sacha (oh crap I spelt his name wrong in original post, oops!) left and other issues with the alive band members not liking any further interesting suggestions, but also the eventual main director - Bryan Singer - managed about 2/3rds of the film before getting sacked for regularly being a shit to colleagues and not turning up to do his job much. Behaviour he was already well-known for. Apparently another well-known issue with him was his tendency to rush scenes and get them done quick as possible, whereas actors and the like - especially Malek - who actually cared about doing their best, ended up clashing on set with him. He's a bit of a hack really ignoring all those sexual allegations anyway *blood-smitten cough*. But Dexter Fletcher was hired to come in and fix the final 3rd before release. There was plenty mess in all this, alongside the guiding hands of certain surviving musicians who'd rather see this as some promotional motivational poster-card bumper-sticker instead of a real human story.

To think that David Fincher was turned down by the alive band members after Sacha brought him in as a suggestion, ...there are no kind words to describe such thoughts.

Wow, all that, and the patchworked result still managed to net a Film of the Year award. *Slow clap for Hollywood's ever diminishing standards* How bad were the films it beat out? I'm guessing a porno, a bum fight shot through the lens of a flip phone and an ASMR video with construction going on in the background?

Xprimentyl:
Wow, all that, and the patchworked result still managed to net a Film of the Year award. *Slow clap for Hollywood's ever diminishing standards* How bad were the films it beat out? I'm guessing a porno, a bum fight shot through the lens of a flip phone and an ASMR video with construction going on in the background?

Yeah, Oscars have some stupid inner politics that don't make a lot of sense. Not "sjw liberal" politics that the internet likes to fear-monger around, but more like some old fart or two within the board just really wanted to 'honour' the band they like or Freddie's legacy and this film was the only option they had that wasn't considered offensively bad to the majority. Or that they didn't want to put Malek in for best performance if there was too much risk of losing to other competition, so had to find a category less focused and easier to squeeze a win out of. It happens a lot with the other categories too. It's best to shrug in confused resignation and look to other award ceremonies until they sort themselves out or bring in a fresh new board of people to shake things up.
I'm almost certain they awarded Decaprio an Oscar for The Revenant as an intervention to protect him from himself after realising his relentless dedication knew no bounds. That was less an award and more an urgent prescription.

Neurotic Void Melody:

Xprimentyl:
Wow, all that, and the patchworked result still managed to net a Film of the Year award. *Slow clap for Hollywood's ever diminishing standards* How bad were the films it beat out? I'm guessing a porno, a bum fight shot through the lens of a flip phone and an ASMR video with construction going on in the background?

Yeah, Oscars have some stupid inner politics that don't make a lot of sense. Not "sjw liberal" politics that the internet likes to fear-monger around, but more like some old fart or two within the board just really wanted to 'honour' the band they like or Freddie's legacy and this film was the only option they had that wasn't considered offensively bad to the majority. Or that they didn't want to put Malek in for best performance if there was too much risk of losing to other competition, so had to find a category less focused and easier to squeeze a win out of. It happens a lot with the other categories too. It's best to shrug in confused resignation and look to other award ceremonies until they sort themselves out or bring in a fresh new board of people to shake things up.
I'm almost certain they awarded Decaprio an Oscar for The Revenant as an intervention to protect him from himself after realising his relentless dedication knew no bounds. That was less an award and more an urgent prescription.

Oh, I don't watch awards shows; I only watched the Golden Globes because my girlfriend made me. I'm just surprised that a film could win best picture despite being so overtly "messy" to someone like myself who's generally blind to cinematic minutia, particularly those of films that don't interest me (my girlfriend made me watch the movie too. Hmm, she makes me do a lot...*does a testicle check*) That was pretty gutsy of "them" to slide that one past people of much more discerning cinematic taste in pursuit of anything less than the general consensus on quality.

Off topic, well, tangential question: I actually really liked The Revenant and thought DiCaprio did a helluva job; do people feel his Oscar was undeserved?

Xprimentyl:
Oh, I don't watch awards shows; I only watched the Golden Globes because my girlfriend made me. I'm just surprised that a film could win best picture despite being so overtly "messy" to someone like myself who's generally blind to cinematic minutia, particularly those of films that don't interest me (my girlfriend made me watch the movie too. Hmm, she makes me do a lot...*does a testicle check*) That was pretty gutsy of "them" to slide that one past people of much more discerning cinematic taste in pursuit of anything less than the general consensus on quality.

Off topic, well, tangential question: I actually really liked The Revenant and thought DiCaprio did a helluva job; do people feel his Oscar was undeserved?

Ooh, apologies, I should've been more specific with words there. The Revenant and DiCaprio are both very good, for sure! It's just that within acting circles, he is considered fairly limited in his range as opposed to others who can often appear unrecognisable when they sink into a role. His screen presence is still impressive and very convincing, but there were others, even in the same film, who adopted a much more distinctive behaviour change from their usual self where it's possible to not know who they really were. The role itself was far more famous for how much punishment he put himself through for the scenes, which, when considered alongside his regularly admitted passion for winning an Oscar, sort of gave the impression that maybe he might end up pushing himself too far in pursuit of that goal in future roles. I not saying any Oscar is undeserved, there is always an element to appreciate no matter the winner, it's just the way they pick categories and nominations are a bit wonky when you look at what the category says it's supposed to be. So a film or actor would often seem more appropriate in a different nomination, and that can be down to the selection board and producers playing a weird sort of Tetris to fit everything they like in. :)

(Testicles are overrated, they only get in the way. Sharing entertainment choices with your other half shouldn't scare them away just yet, unless it's a particularly horrifying choice, not the good sort of horrifying either ;p )

Neurotic Void Melody:

Xprimentyl:
Oh, I don't watch awards shows; I only watched the Golden Globes because my girlfriend made me. I'm just surprised that a film could win best picture despite being so overtly "messy" to someone like myself who's generally blind to cinematic minutia, particularly those of films that don't interest me (my girlfriend made me watch the movie too. Hmm, she makes me do a lot...*does a testicle check*) That was pretty gutsy of "them" to slide that one past people of much more discerning cinematic taste in pursuit of anything less than the general consensus on quality.

Off topic, well, tangential question: I actually really liked The Revenant and thought DiCaprio did a helluva job; do people feel his Oscar was undeserved?

Ooh, apologies, I should've been more specific with words there. The Revenant and DiCaprio are both very good, for sure! It's just that within acting circles, he is considered fairly limited in his range as opposed to others who can often appear unrecognisable when they sink into a role. His screen presence is still impressive and very convincing, but there were others, even in the same film, who adopted a much more distinctive behaviour change from their usual self where it's possible to not know who they really were. The role itself was far more famous for how much punishment he put himself through for the scenes, which, when considered alongside his regularly admitted passion for winning an Oscar, sort of gave the impression that maybe he might end up pushing himself too far in pursuit of that goal in future roles. I not saying any Oscar is undeserved, there is always an element to appreciate no matter the winner, it's just the way they pick categories and nominations are a bit wonky when you look at what the category says it's supposed to be. So a film or actor would often seem more appropriate in a different nomination, and that can be down to the selection board and producers playing a weird sort of Tetris to fit everything they like in. :)

(Testicles are overrated, they only get in the way. Sharing entertainment choices with your other half shouldn't scare them away just yet, unless it's a particularly horrifying choice, not the good sort of horrifying either ;p )

Ok, I was about to say who took issue with The Revenant?? That movie was amazing! But had no idea that DiCaprio put himself through much other than intensely convincing makeup sessions for that role; gonna look that up. I'll be severely disappointed if Wikipedia doesn't say he wrestled a REAL bear...

But OT, I looked up what other films were nominated for the Golden Globe alongside Bohemian Rhapsody, and found one of them was A Star Is Born. My girlfriend also recently made me watch that (I mean, I chose to allow her to ask me if I wouldn't mind watching it with her cuz I'm the man and chest hair, red meat and penis,) and I must say it was the superior film. I'm not big on dramas; I'd rather spend a couple of hours laughing or engaged in action and spectacle (why does anyone insist on movies that make you sad?!?), but this movie was pretty touching and the performances all round I feel were excellent, enough so to carry the tired plot; of all the "unlikely rising star" tropes I've seen, this is one of the better ones. As to its quality when compared to past versions or accuracy to whatever true story it might have been based on (can't be arsed to check,) I can't say, but there was enough there to appreciate that I can say I'm glad I saw it.

I just saw Glass tonight...

OH MY GOD THAT MOVIE IS LONG! Sheesh, I had Interstellar flashbacks with how long it was and how often I was like 'Ok, it will end now...now...ok, now...'. I swear I was expecting Matt Damon to show up as an extra villain.

M Night is a good idea guy, but I think he should just be that and give it to someone more skilled. Glass was frustrating, drawn out and I don't understand quite a few of the characters, such as that girl from Split, ugh, I hate her so much.

Also he missed a prime easter-egg/self-reference joke. At one point, one of the Split's personalities says how he is a talker and often spoils movies, and then said a spoiler to some movie, but he should have spoiled the twist to The Sixth Sense! It was such a prime moment missed.

Anyways, this movie series is one I wish was better, cause the idea is neat, but it definitely could be executed better.

Also fuck scenes where Oh look, everyone is secretly in on it, and everyone is secret agents pretending to be regular people in a public place... JUST GO TO YOUR OWN SECRET GOVERNMENT BUILDING AND BE EVIL PRIVATELY! It just wants to be a 'cool moment' but is just absurd.

Anyways, it sets up a future sequel, I will probably end up seeing it, but I will probably be frustrated with that movie too, just as I was with Glass, and with Split.

Escape Room (6/10)

So I saw this as part of a double screening (nothing fancy, just decided I'd see two films back to back), with Escape Room first and Alita: Battle Angel second. My anticipation was that ER would be pretty bad, and Alita would be at least decent. Turns out I was wrong - ER was reasonably enjoyable, while Alita was a flaming dumpster fire. I'll get to Alita later, but for now, let's focus on Escape Room.

So, first thing you should note is that this isn't really a horror movie. Indeed, the most genuinely frightning point was the trailer I saw for Brightburn. There's suspense, sure, but the suspense doesn't come from atmosphere or terror, but rather the question of how the protagonists will solve the puzzles before them, and who's going to die along the way. And while you can probably guess quite easily who's going to die before other characters, it's still reasonably enjoyable to see the characters triumph or not. Also, I couldn't help but be reminded of Saw (well, what little I've seen of Saw), in that the characters have secret pasts (there's an in-universe reason as to why the characters are chosen), and the people behind the game know everything about them. It kinda reminds me of Jigsaw's whole "I'm going to torture you so you better appreciate your life" sort of thing. Luckily it's without the gore or sadism, so that's a personal plus for me. And as for the rooms and puzzles, they're decent overall. There's one room that particuarly stands out that I won't spoil, but for those who've seen the film, I'm going to say "upside down room" and you'll know what I'm talking about (or does that give too much away)?

Still, this film isn't perfect, and even for the genre, it has to rely on some heavy contrivances, plus there's some logical loopholes that stand out. For instance, the penultimate room is basically set up in a way that ensures only one person can move forward and live. So with that said, the actual final room feels like a waste of time on behalf of the creators, especially since the whole conciet is in part based on the idea of "last man/woman standing"). For the record, the question of "why" is indeed answered (which adds to my assertion that this isn't really a horror movie), but whether you'll find it satisfactory is another matter. There's also some really clunky dialogue at the start of the movie between a character and her professor, where he uses some kind of atomic theory as a metaphor for taking chances in life. The dialogue is extremely clunky, and it left me wanting to yell "no-one talks like that!" And yes, the dialogue/metaphor is brought up later on, but the protagonist could have easily done the same thing if she never heard said dialogue.

Also, last point - the last five minutes of the movie really aren't needed, but not only is it a hook for a sequel, but the plan that's presented for said sequel is extremely contrived. I honestly feel that ending the movie five minutes earlier, with the last twist and the protagonist's point of despair, would have been far more effective. But I can't really get into that without spoilers, though I'm not sure if anyone cares.

So, yeah. In spite of all this, Escape Room is dumb fun. Like, it's very dumb when you get down to it, but it's also quite fun, because even if you can guess the outcome, navigating the rooms towards that outcome is an enjoyable experience.

Alita: Battle Angel (4/10)

Okay, I technically arrived to this movie a bit late - I arrived where Ito picks up Alita's body from the trash. So, maybe there's something I missed in those prior minutes that will invalidate all of my complaints. That said, I saw 99% of this film, and I don't forsee an extra 1% changing my mind. Because this film is, quite frankly, a mess. And a lot of the time, it doesn't even get to be a good looking mess. It's so much of a mess that I'm actually at a loss as to where to start, because in almost every aspect of story this film falls flat.

Okay, let's start with the protagonist, Alita herself. She's a Mary Sue. She's so much of a Mary Sue that I want to talk to Rey from Star Wars, give her some chocolates, and say sorry for being so hard on you. Now, Mary Sues/Gary Stus aren't strangers in fiction, especially power fantasies (and make no mistake, this film is a power fantasy), but it's a power fantasy to the extent where we have a protagonist that starts off being perfect, gets even better, and doesn't get better by her own merits. As in, from the start, Alita is basically on god mode. She can utilize some kind of Martian martial arts technique that no-one else can (I can't pronounce the name - it's a case of a proper noun being said to make it sound meaningful, but really isn't), and ergo, can beat practically anyone. Now, protagonists overcoming antagonists isn't new, but ideally along the way, there should be some kind of setback. Throughout the entire film, Alita arguably experiences one setback as far as martial/physical prowess goes, and it's more a draw than any kind of actual defeat, let alone learning experience. And when Alita does get a power boost, it's from a new body. That's it. She doesn't need to do anything to earn this new body. There's no realization about this new body. It's basically an upgrade that she gets after finding it earlier on. Y'know, like armour you find in a videogame that exists irrespective of the plot. Oh, and fun fact, the body is called a berserker - the term "battle angel" is never used in the film itself.

So Alita is basically unbeatable. That isn't unique to this film - take characters like Superman and Goku for instance, who are not only in god mode, but are in this mode by virtue of their biology. Alita is no different, in that she was designed to be a killing machine, and utilizes tech more advanced than anything in the setting to do it. But even characters like Supes and Goku have near equal antagonists to fight against. Alita doesn't. Or, rather, by the end of the film she doesn't, at which point she can cream her rival with barely any effort. Basically, the fight between them at the film's midpoint is more interesting because they're more evenly matched. This further extends to the motorball sport, where after almost no experience in her old life or current life, Alita beats everyone around her. I don't know if the writers know this, but I'll spell it out to you - there is no dramatic tension in being unbeatable. None. Many antagonists are unbeatable from a literary standpoint in that they're guaranteed to win at the end, but the film's narrative doesn't even generate significant roadblocks for the character, nor are her buffs in any way tied to development. Even Goku needed to train to be strong.

So, fine. Alita is an uninteresting protagonist. Maybe the film can be salvaged in stuff like plot or worldbuilding. Well, to the former I say, no. The plot doesn't have any real structure and just chugs along. Not that a film is obliged to follow a three act structure, but through most of it I found myself indifferent to what was going on. The most interesting part of the plot was finding out Alita's backstory, and in principle, that's not a good sign, where the most interesting part of your character's life happens before the timeframe of the story you're actually telling (cue the saying "if you're not writing about the most important part of your character's life, why?"). But even that short changes us, because towards the end of the film, the flashbacks cut out, with more questions than answers left. Indeed, the film ends on a big fat "to be continued," and if this film does get a sequel, then it's clear that there's no justice in the universe. The shoddy plot also carries onto the worldbuilding because we're left with huge gaping holes in the worldbuilding. For instance, it's established that 300 years ago, Earth and Mars were at war. By the end of it, only Zolum was left (as far as Earth's sky cities went). We have no idea what's going on on Mars. We can infer the assault on Zolum failed, but it never occurs to Alita "hey, I tried to kill the people of Zolum and Tin City, now I'm fighting for them - conflict of identity? What's that?") Even the doctor states that she has a clean slate. Alita says she doesn't. Then she carries out actions that pretty much embody a clean slate because she's fighting for Earth and doesn't care about Mars at all. Maybe the manga answers this. Maybe future movies will cover this. But whatever the case, we're left with gaping holes in the film itself. I don't need everything explained, but I wouldn't mind at least some explanation.

Also, Alita's boyfriend dies twice. Seriously. He dies once, is revived, then the next time we see him he dies. The revival has no reason to exist at all, and if anything, undercuts the emotional impact of the first death.

The shoddy worldbuilding also extends to the cyborgs, as there doesn't seem to be any real rule as to what's taken to kill them. Sometimes it's just decapitation. Other times they just fall dead. Supposedly the head is needed for the brain, but Alita cuts off a cyborg's face and there's no organic matter to be seen, but...y'know what? Screw it. The film didn't care about consistency, why should I?

So, in spite of all this, why only 4/10? Well, simply put, the Motorball sequences, which are easily the best parts of the film. In these moments, I could let the spectacle wash over me and just enjoy myself. But writing this, it occurs to me that this film has a crisis of identity, because it's selling itself on a "battle angel," but its best parts are Motorball. Like, imagine if the Phantom Menace's best part was the podrace...okay, bad example, but the podrace is at least fun. Motorball is at least fun. Phantom Menace is at least passable. Alita: Battle Angel isn't. James Cameron can preferably focus on Avatar, Rodriguez can do whatever, but please, PLEASE don't waste either of your talent with this crap.

They Shall Not Grow Old.

A documentary about WW1 with a large focus on British Soldiers almost bereft of the larger scope, which is probably for the best. Surpisingly not nearly as depressing as I expected, it comes across as a slice of life with a decent amont of lighthearted moments to balance out the inevitable push into no-man's land.

Notably, the film is done with a mix of archive footage(being the first war to be filmed to my knowledge), photographs and illustrations from the era(such as propaganda posters). All of the narration comes from interviews with soldiers who survived the war(presumably decades later) and the wartime footage has been edited to make it look more like an actual film then a documenatry. The footage isn't always real looking and sometimes has an almost surrealistic feel to it.

The No Man's land sequence is particualry interesting since there's very little footage such attacks, so much of it is narration mixed with wartime magazine illustrations depicting such charges, and footage of the living soldiers intercut with photos of the recently killed. It might be worse then actually showing the carnage because it's all left up to your imagination and the aforementioned focus on what are essentially kids getting mowed down in the meat grinder.

So yeah, it's not gonna be a feel good movie and it's not perfect but it is worth a watch if you are interested in seeing a more personal take on the Great War with some rather good editing work.

5 no man's land/17 machineguns.

Buried: -4,296,753 / 10

FUCK that movie. I'll encapsulate my "why" in a spoiler as I can't really discuss my extreme dislike for it without spoiling it, though how one can spoil something that is so fundamentally rotten to its core I can't begin to imagine. If you've seen it, I'd really appreciate your insights as I've some serious issues with this film. If you've not seen it and are a decent human being, save yourself and DON'T.

Tintin: something about a unicorn?
Well it's been a long while since I've been taken aback by an animation's quality. For a film already 8 years old, that's impressive. Though not knowing what to expect must have helped a bit. Hadn't seen any posters, trailers, screenshots... bugger all except a trailer for a completely different film that I was sure was this until it started playing. Also, I've no history with the source material, we've never shared a cold, lonely night together, nobody said I should and I never felt I needed to, so haven't. But apparently the protag is a redhead male, which is pretty rare and should theoretically appeal, just rather unfortunate he doesn't have any personality to go with it. Plus I was certain he was blond before, however am starting to suspect I was confusing him with the vault tech guy from fallout. Nevermind!

This is, I spose, an Indiana Jones/Uncharted/Lara Croft genre with set-pieces galore. Technically great and entertaining, while appeasing enough 'Tintin purists' too, I hear. But one issue that appears to be merely a personal hang-up is that everybody and everything within the universe still adheres to old fashioned cartoon physics, which wouldn't usually be a problem, except the ultra-realistic animation, pinpoint direction and soundtrack used to build tension kept making me believe there were proper stakes at hand when peril ensued, encouraging my pasty arse to grip the edge of the seat for fear of shit going wrong, only for the cartoon physics to kick in, save everyone, upon which I feel every muscle in the body just sigh. Not in relief, but disappointment that it was a trick I foolishly fell into, like every ten minutes too! By the final act, it was an effort to try and turn that part of the brain off even as [redacted] was [redacted] down the [redacted] on a [redacted]. The characters also seem to harbour an equally jarring cartoonish intelligence. Seems to be just a personal issues though, so am sure others will be fine watching it. It's a "can I have those physics plz?"/10

Nutcracker: The four Zelda dungeons realms
Ahahaha! The antagonist has a plan! And it's...harmless! Got no idea why anyone was even worried about it. Imagine if Hellboy 2's golden army was made out of month-old crackers, bumfluff and a healthy dosage of absolutely zero combat capability. Oh and they also had rigormortis, just in case you were worried they might accidentally hurt you while bringing the coffee instead of collapsing in the kitchen before they even turned the kettle on. Yet the big bad still maintains total faith in their plan that this army would enable them to take over the four Zelda dungeons. These things are incompetent at best! Just use a human army, you bloody idiot! Even a battalion of automated hoovers would be a vast improvement. Maybe that was the point, I am not so sure. There's not much character in this film apart from the big bad, unfortunately (and they are woefully held back for a predictable 'good-to-evil' twist as it is). So it's all I found interesting. Maybe one visual gag that brought a chuckle too.

Thor 3: Thor Hard With A Vengeance: 6/10.

This is what I cal a YouTube movie. It's got some cool or fun moments, but if you asked me about the whole movie I probably couldn't tell you much. Too much of the characters just riffing to pad the gag reel ands little substance. So the Hulk fights and the intro get watched on YouTube, maybe a couple other points, and I forget the rest.

It's sort of a shame, because I've been saying for a while I wanted more variety out of Marvel's movies, but...this was not it.

Something Amyss:
Thor 3: Thor Hard With A Vengeance: 6/10.

This is what I cal a YouTube movie. It's got some cool or fun moments, but if you asked me about the whole movie I probably couldn't tell you much. Too much of the characters just riffing to pad the gag reel ands little substance. So the Hulk fights and the intro get watched on YouTube, maybe a couple other points, and I forget the rest.

It's sort of a shame, because I've been saying for a while I wanted more variety out of Marvel's movies, but...this was not it.

Let me tell you something about Thor: Ragnarok. Its was "FUN"

Samtemdo8:

Something Amyss:
Thor 3: Thor Hard With A Vengeance: 6/10.

This is what I cal a YouTube movie. It's got some cool or fun moments, but if you asked me about the whole movie I probably couldn't tell you much. Too much of the characters just riffing to pad the gag reel ands little substance. So the Hulk fights and the intro get watched on YouTube, maybe a couple other points, and I forget the rest.

It's sort of a shame, because I've been saying for a while I wanted more variety out of Marvel's movies, but...this was not it.

Let me tell you something about Thor: Ragnarok. Its was "FUN"

I don't like Egocentrichead honestly. Been a bit of an asshole to interact with.

Aleeta: Battle Angel.

Never felt board, or that there were plotholes that you could fit a truck through. It could have soft gentle moments when it needed to be, funny when it wanted to be, and push the boundaries of what PG-13 can get away with when it come to violence.

If you seen the OVA, you might reconized some familar territory it does equal or better to here. Never read the monga passed a sampler a friend had, so can't comment there.

ANything else would probably be too spoilery.

Go. Watch. Now. Seriously, its the first time in years we get a proper live action adaptation of an Anime from a western studio. ANd yes, Robert Rodriguize was at the helm, and yes, we all seen what he can do with a small budget; they practicly gave him a blank check on this one.

Samtemdo8:

Something Amyss:
Thor 3: Thor Hard With A Vengeance: 6/10.

This is what I cal a YouTube movie. It's got some cool or fun moments, but if you asked me about the whole movie I probably couldn't tell you much. Too much of the characters just riffing to pad the gag reel ands little substance. So the Hulk fights and the intro get watched on YouTube, maybe a couple other points, and I forget the rest.

It's sort of a shame, because I've been saying for a while I wanted more variety out of Marvel's movies, but...this was not it.

Let me tell you something about Thor: Ragnarok. Its was "FUN"

I'm not sure how they felt about it.

Samtemdo8:

Something Amyss:
Thor 3: Thor Hard With A Vengeance: 6/10.

This is what I cal a YouTube movie. It's got some cool or fun moments, but if you asked me about the whole movie I probably couldn't tell you much. Too much of the characters just riffing to pad the gag reel ands little substance. So the Hulk fights and the intro get watched on YouTube, maybe a couple other points, and I forget the rest.

It's sort of a shame, because I've been saying for a while I wanted more variety out of Marvel's movies, but...this was not it.

Let me tell you something about Thor: Ragnarok. Its was "FUN"

In my opinion it's not just "fun" that makes a bunch of the recent MCU films crappy but how that fun is presented. Thor: Ragnarok's, Ant-Man's, and GotG's characters are walking jokes themselves while for example in the first Avengers the characters exchange quips that are supposed to be jokes in-universe too (ty Whedon). Aquaman was a welcome surprise as a fun movie that doesn't wink at the audience.

Alien Covenant.

I can safely swear at that film in front of my mother, as she's seen it as well.

Something Amyss:
Thor 3: Thor Hard With A Vengeance: 6/10.

This is what I cal a YouTube movie. It's got some cool or fun moments, but if you asked me about the whole movie I probably couldn't tell you much. Too much of the characters just riffing to pad the gag reel ands little substance. So the Hulk fights and the intro get watched on YouTube, maybe a couple other points, and I forget the rest.

It's sort of a shame, because I've been saying for a while I wanted more variety out of Marvel's movies, but...this was not it.

Weirdly, Thor Ragnarok was the first movie in the Thor series I actually kinda enjoyed. I couldn't sit through the first one, felt the 2nd was ok but the third one I was rather enjoying. Though that probably says more about the fact I really don't particularly care for the Thor movies then anything else.

I guess because, yeah, Thor 3 was silly, but I honestly have a hard time taking the Thor movies anywhere as seriously as the rest of the marvel films. Hell, the first 2 movies can't seem to make up their minds of the Asgardians are Gods or Sufficently Advanced Aliens, so it comes across as Aliens Cosplaying Norse Gods, but not in an interesting Way.

Dalisclock:

Something Amyss:
Thor 3: Thor Hard With A Vengeance: 6/10.

This is what I cal a YouTube movie. It's got some cool or fun moments, but if you asked me about the whole movie I probably couldn't tell you much. Too much of the characters just riffing to pad the gag reel ands little substance. So the Hulk fights and the intro get watched on YouTube, maybe a couple other points, and I forget the rest.

It's sort of a shame, because I've been saying for a while I wanted more variety out of Marvel's movies, but...this was not it.

Wierdly, THor Ragnorak was the first movie in the Thor series I actually kinda enjoyed. I couldn't sit through the first one, felt the 2nd was ok but the third one I was rather enjoying. Though that probably says more about the fact I really don't particularly care for the Thor movies then anything else.

That's my order too. I, to this day, cant imagine how people could think Thor 1 was better than 2

McElroy:

Samtemdo8:

Something Amyss:
Thor 3: Thor Hard With A Vengeance: 6/10.

This is what I cal a YouTube movie. It's got some cool or fun moments, but if you asked me about the whole movie I probably couldn't tell you much. Too much of the characters just riffing to pad the gag reel ands little substance. So the Hulk fights and the intro get watched on YouTube, maybe a couple other points, and I forget the rest.

It's sort of a shame, because I've been saying for a while I wanted more variety out of Marvel's movies, but...this was not it.

Let me tell you something about Thor: Ragnarok. Its was "FUN"

In my opinion it's not just "fun" that makes a bunch of the recent MCU films crappy but how that fun is presented. Thor: Ragnarok's, Ant-Man's, and GotG's characters are walking jokes themselves while for example in the first Avengers the characters exchange quips that are supposed to be jokes in-universe too (ty Whedon). Aquaman was a welcome surprise as a fun movie that doesn't wink at the audience.

My problem with Aquaman was that it wasn't funny. At all. A complete waste of Mamoa's talent.

I guess people only know him from his Drago days and not his Ronan Dex days where he could look as deadpan today but pull of some physical comedy or quip that was funny. Frontier is always a disappointment for a similar reason

Show Dogs
The one single box quote on this is "A 'MUTT' see film..."

Cue dropping it in disgust. Eugh! Fuck that and fuck this film. the cover heavily implies it's crap anyway.

Dalisclock:

Something Amyss:
Thor 3: Thor Hard With A Vengeance: 6/10.

This is what I cal a YouTube movie. It's got some cool or fun moments, but if you asked me about the whole movie I probably couldn't tell you much. Too much of the characters just riffing to pad the gag reel ands little substance. So the Hulk fights and the intro get watched on YouTube, maybe a couple other points, and I forget the rest.

It's sort of a shame, because I've been saying for a while I wanted more variety out of Marvel's movies, but...this was not it.

Wierdly, THor Ragnorak was the first movie in the Thor series I actually kinda enjoyed. I couldn't sit through the first one, felt the 2nd was ok but the third one I was rather enjoying. Though that probably says more about the fact I really don't particularly care for the Thor movies then anything else.

The Thor series wasn't really enjoyed by many.

The first was...okay. I barely remember the second.

McElroy:

Samtemdo8:

Something Amyss:
Thor 3: Thor Hard With A Vengeance: 6/10.

This is what I cal a YouTube movie. It's got some cool or fun moments, but if you asked me about the whole movie I probably couldn't tell you much. Too much of the characters just riffing to pad the gag reel ands little substance. So the Hulk fights and the intro get watched on YouTube, maybe a couple other points, and I forget the rest.

It's sort of a shame, because I've been saying for a while I wanted more variety out of Marvel's movies, but...this was not it.

Let me tell you something about Thor: Ragnarok. Its was "FUN"

In my opinion it's not just "fun" that makes a bunch of the recent MCU films crappy but how that fun is presented. Thor: Ragnarok's, Ant-Man's, and GotG's characters are walking jokes themselves while for example in the first Avengers the characters exchange quips that are supposed to be jokes in-universe too (ty Whedon). Aquaman was a welcome surprise as a fun movie that doesn't wink at the audience.

And this is why I hate modern Marvel movies because they "Wink at me", completely takes me out of the experience. And that is exactly what I wanted DC movies to avoid.

Infamous example be Iron Man 3 and its "villain"

Stan & Ollie (6/10)

Watching this film, I'm left to ask as to whether this is a case of life imitating art, or art imitating life. Because if we're taking the story as being true, it's a story that quite conveniently fits well-worn tropes in this type of story. The tropes of being past one's time and not knowing it, of becoming friends through acting, of pushing oneself to the limit for the sake of art, etc.

Whatever the case, the film deals with the real-world comedians Stanley Laurel and Oliver Harding, forming the comedy duo Stan & Ollie. The film starts in 1937, but mostly takes 1953-'54, when the duo embark on what will be their last tour across the UK and Ireland. In this, they're later joined by their wives, who are also a riot, and are constantly ribbing against each other. In the middle of all this, Stan is trying to secure funding for a new movie, while Ollie is plagued with declining health. Plus, there's tensions in the past that come to the surface.

I'm rather mixed about this film. I've said before, I'm fine with a piece of media using tropes/cliches if it's executed in such a manner that such reliance is transecnded. Here, this isn't the case. I've also commented that films based on real-life stories sometimes have an uphill battle in that real-life rarely conforms to narrative structure. Per my opening line, this is a weird case where real life apparently does, or at least, the film frames real life in such a manner. That's actually a bit of theme in the film, where the everyday interactions of the two characters mimic their personas, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. Yet what we're left with is basically a by the numbers story.

There's also the skits themselves. Some are funny, some are not. Now, humour's subjective, and in the context of the film, the people usually find them funny. However, maybe humour has aged, maybe I'm just a cultural Neanderthal, but some of the skits that basically just involve the two dancing...sorry, I don't get why this is funny. Charming, sure. But funny? Nup.

So, film's fine. Unremarkable, but fine.

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