Discuss and rate the last movie you watched

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (7/10)

So, if nothing else, Winter Soldier is an action movie. And it's a pretty good one, in as much that the action is good, flows well, and has an intensity to it that a lot of MCU films lack. I think it's hightened by how the characters aren't god tier - like, Cap is tough, but he can still bleed for instance.

There isn't too much to say about this film. From what I've seen, this film seems to be well regarded and, yeah, I can't really debate that assessment. I also want to give it credit for its subtext, about the whole order vs. control, commentary on the modern surveillance state, drone warfare, etc. Don't get me wrong, this isn't some in-depth examination of these issues, but it gives the film more weight than it might otherwise have had. Also, Cap's probably at his most interesting here in all of his appearances, such as visiting the exhibition on himself (a touch I really like, as it gives the MCU a touch of its own culture, so to speak), and does the whole "man out of time" thing well without hammering it home too much. That said however, I think it kind of botches the ending, because it seems to want to have it both ways. The whole idea of "yeah, Hydra usurping control of SHIELD was bad, but you still need us [intelligence agencies] to do these things." It's like it wants to criticize a lack of accountability, but can't fully commit to that.

So, yeah, not much else to say. Good film.

Black Panther (7/10)

So, in case you missed it, Black Panther became a "thing." Having finally seen the film, I can attest to how it's a good movie. However, I can't call it a great movie. A movie can still be good, yet also overrated. And while what counts as "overrated" is going to vary from person to person, I feel that this film gets a lot of praise that it doesn't really deserve.

That said, I'm going to start with what the film does right. It flows well, and while it's an archtypical hero's journey, it's a journey that's done well. The action is pretty good (especially the Busan chase - holy shit, that was fun to watch), and it does a good job in worldbuilding. In fact, I think the worldbuilding of this film is better than any other MCU film. Wakanda feels like a real nation, or at least as real as it can feel given what he have to accept about its existence. Also, the characters are likable, though it's a case of where the protagonist (T'Challa) is arguably the most boring character of them all. Also, Everett Ross more or less exists to have exposition given to us, but I don't feel it's necessary, because the film does a good job of establishing its setting regardless of his presence. Honestly, the best thing about said presence is his interactions with Shuri, but Shuri manages to be enjoyable enough without Ross.

Right, with all that aside, I'm going to go into some things that I feel don't work as well, or at least, get too much praise. So, with that said:

-There's the whole idea of Wakanda being a "what if?" version of an Africa that was never colonized. Actual history aside, the film never really supports this idea. Wakanda is as powerful as it is because of vibranium. That's it. Magical space rock makes Wakanda strong, and it's space rock that the land's tribes fought over like humans have always fought over resources. Wakanda is Afro-futurism, Wakanda is arguably wish fulfillment, but it still relies on magic space rock to work. Also, what I want to know is how this even came to pass, because apparently this meteor had to be big enough to give Wakanda thousnads of years worth of resources, but not so big that it caused a mass extinction. For reference, the KT meteor gave a layer of iridium throughout all the Earth, while this meteor must have been huge enough to support an entire civilization, but not so big it wiped life off the map? Um, okay...

-Let's talk Erik Killmonger. He's a villain that's got a lot of praise, and while I feel some of that is earned, I don't feel all of it is earned. Basically, his schtick is "Black people are oppressed, so I'm going to send Wakandan weapons to them so they can overthrow their oppressors." And look, from a historical standpoint his anger is understandable, but I have two points of contention:

-We never see Erik suffer any actual racism. It's established that he went to MIT, joined the SEALs, then J-Soc, and so on. By all accounts, Erik's done extremely well for himself in a supposedly institutionally racist society. And look, I know that racism is an issue, but there isn't a single instance in the film that actually shows any of it. The only suffering he does experience is because of Wakanda killing his father (his mother is conventionally never seen).

-His plan is stupid. No, seriously, his first drop sites are New York, London, and Hong Kong. I don't know how many Black people are in Hong Kong, but I can say off the top of my head that the Black population of the US is about 12%, while in the UK, it's 3%. Even if I accept that every one of a certain skin colour in the UK would automatically revolt as soon as they got high tech gear, I can't see any revolution succeeding with such a disparity of numbers. In the US? Well, maybe, but even so, the film never gives the sense that this plan is really well thought out, and if it was, it was apparently made in a matter of days.

Thing is, I get what they were going for with Killmonger. He's the archtype of a character who's torn between two worlds, both of which have marginalized him. His plan is nonsensical, but get the sense that it's meant to be, that he's lashing out rather than acting rationally. However, it's a case of telling rather than showing in a lot of cases here, and we have to juggle his screentime with every other character as well. Also, he has a girlfriend who's never named, and the Klau thing feels redundant when he could have just gone to Wakanda, prove his lineage, and get an audience like that. Klau is a fun character, but he's a character that could have easily been cut from the film.

-There's also a minor point that Black Panther is still set inside the MCU, and the MCU has to have at least one foot in the realm of reality. So it's all well and good for T'Challa to go on about Wakanda providing support and technology transfer, but it can only go so far. Unless something drastic happens, I guarantee that we won't see any Wakandan technology in the setting at large outside Wakanda itself. So by the dictates of the setting, his words can't help but seem as hollow.

All this aside, I want to reiterate that I did enjoy the film. That I think it's pretty good, and is ergo in the upper tier of MCU movies. But on the other hand, while I can call it a good movie, I can't call it a great movie.

Ant-Man (6/10)

So, fun fact, Ant-Man and the Wasp is one of my favourite MCU movies. This however, is one of the blandest that I've seen. It's actually really weird to consider how the second film was a laugh a minute, while this...well, it has laughs, but it's just so...trite.

Okay, maybe that's not fair, but this film is "bleh" in a lot of areas. Guy trains under girl who resents him, they're kissing by the end of the film. Bunch of misfits come together to fight the power? Check. Evil guy is evil, and wants to sell his tech to evil people who'll do evil things, and make him rich? Check. Seriously, I can't even remember his name. I remember his suit (Yellow Jacket), but not his name. FFS, I even remembered Malekeith's name.

I will say that the sequences are pretty entertaining at times, but they're still dwarfed (no pun intended) by the creativity on display in its successor. But, yeah. In the end, it's a popcorn film, even by the standards of a franchise that exists mainly to be popcorn films. And sometimes I like popcorn, but the better popcorn films in this setting have butter. This film doesn't even have salt.

Scrooge 1970- 9.95/10

I watch this movie every year at Christmas so it might not count, but it's the last movie I have actively sat down and watched. I view it as the superior film version of A Christmas Carol and is the quintessential Christmas movie. Albert Finney did an amazing job playing Old!Scrooge as a bitter, angry and lonely old man without him coming across as spiteful or malicious in his dealings with his debtors. Sir Alec Guinness was creepy and vaguely unsettling as Jacob Marley. The spirits were well done, The Spirit of Christmas Present being my favorite due to his snarky attitude.
The only problem with this movie is the portrayal of Tiny Tim. Tiny Tim is a passive-aggressive, contrary little shit that deserves to have his crutch taken away and thrown into a fire.

The songs and dance numbers were catchy and memorable without being overly sappy, the song "I hate people" sung by Scrooge being my personal favorite.

Hawki:
Black Panther (7/10)

So, in case you missed it, Black Panther became a "thing." Having finally seen the film, I can attest to how it's a good movie. However, I can't call it a great movie. A movie can still be good, yet also overrated. And while what counts as "overrated" is going to vary from person to person, I feel that this film gets a lot of praise that it doesn't really deserve.

That said, I'm going to start with what the film does right. It flows well, and while it's an archtypical hero's journey, it's a journey that's done well. The action is pretty good (especially the Busan chase - holy shit, that was fun to watch), and it does a good job in worldbuilding. In fact, I think the worldbuilding of this film is better than any other MCU film. Wakanda feels like a real nation, or at least as real as it can feel given what he have to accept about its existence. Also, the characters are likable, though it's a case of where the protagonist (T'Challa) is arguably the most boring character of them all. Also, Everett Ross more or less exists to have exposition given to us, but I don't feel it's necessary, because the film does a good job of establishing its setting regardless of his presence. Honestly, the best thing about said presence is his interactions with Shuri, but Shuri manages to be enjoyable enough without Ross.

Right, with all that aside, I'm going to go into some things that I feel don't work as well, or at least, get too much praise. So, with that said:

-There's the whole idea of Wakanda being a "what if?" version of an Africa that was never colonized. Actual history aside, the film never really supports this idea. Wakanda is as powerful as it is because of vibranium. That's it. Magical space rock makes Wakanda strong, and it's space rock that the land's tribes fought over like humans have always fought over resources. Wakanda is Afro-futurism, Wakanda is arguably wish fulfillment, but it still relies on magic space rock to work. Also, what I want to know is how this even came to pass, because apparently this meteor had to be big enough to give Wakanda thousnads of years worth of resources, but not so big that it caused a mass extinction. For reference, the KT meteor gave a layer of iridium throughout all the Earth, while this meteor must have been huge enough to support an entire civilization, but not so big it wiped life off the map? Um, okay...

So what really get me is that Wakanda is, to everyone not Wakandan, a 3rd/4th world country with little to offer the rest of the world and like 99% agrarian. Except it's really supporting a futuristic civilization that is apparently incredibly self sufficient to the point they don't import or export anything, or at least anything noticeable, and it's implied they've been doing so far decades if not centuries because Magic Space Rock. And it feels like either this is because everyone's fallen for the "Nobody here but us poor starving africans. Nothing to see here. Move on" bit so much that nobody has bothered to even glance in their direction or they have a ridiculously good network clearing up all traces of their high tech existence to keep themselves hidden. Both of which merit a bit of scrutiny I doubt the writers ever considered. Instead it basically ends up looking like a MCU Hidden Elf Village, just with tech instead of magic.

Just saw Jumaji II? III? The sequel to the sequel(remake?) The Next Level, which should have been called New Game as they already do a level's system in the movie's game.

And its weird. I don't know. I can't tell if its racist/sexist or not? Like we have Jack Black pretending to be a Black Dude, and Dwayne Johnson pretending to be a Jewish stereotype. And then the other black dude turns into a black stallion...moving on. And then we have Awkwafina first pretending to be a squirelly Israely stereotype and then an old New Yorker Jew stereotype.
Just saying this feels like a movie that should have been made 20 years ago, and everyone involved has since apologized for. And I'm not some bleeding brain SJW. I just couldn't take a single second after they enter the game seriously at all.

You know what it felt like? It felt like when you go to your High School's new play production...King Lear. a dramatic Shakespearean tragedy. and your friend Zach is Lear and he uses the same voice he used last month to play the Grand Wizard Vistanius the Brave during DnD night. And then your other friend Jessica is Cordelia, and she acts the same way that one time you gave her non-alcoholic beer and she tried to act drunk for her crush.

And everyone is gasping and awwing with the production and you're just sitting there open-mouthed with respect and shame that they can stay in character the entire time, but also they're reliving their biggest fails.

Silentpony:
Just saw Jumaji II? III?

Well, if you count Zathura: A Space Adventure, it'd be 4.

Dalisclock:

So what really get me is that Wakanda is, to everyone not Wakandan, a 3rd/4th world country with little to offer the rest of the world and like 99% agrarian. Except it's really supporting a futuristic civilization that is apparently incredibly self sufficient to the point they don't import or export anything, or at least anything noticeable, and it's implied they've been doing so far decades if not centuries because Magic Space Rock. And it feels like either this is because everyone's fallen for the "Nobody here but us poor starving africans. Nothing to see here. Move on" bit so much that nobody has bothered to even glance in their direction or they have a ridiculously good network clearing up all traces of their high tech existence to keep themselves hidden. Both of which merit a bit of scrutiny I doubt the writers ever considered. Instead it basically ends up looking like a MCU Hidden Elf Village, just with tech instead of magic.

I don't have an issue with Wakanda hiding itself. It portrays itself as a shithole bereft of precious resources, and it's stated that it denies any foreign aid. So it's a double whammy of putting off people going there, and taking steps to prevent people from going in.

What I do want to know is the agrarian people we actually see outside the main city are actors or not. Are they doing a front thing, or do they want to live a more simple lifestyle?

Hawki:

Dalisclock:

So what really get me is that Wakanda is, to everyone not Wakandan, a 3rd/4th world country with little to offer the rest of the world and like 99% agrarian. Except it's really supporting a futuristic civilization that is apparently incredibly self sufficient to the point they don't import or export anything, or at least anything noticeable, and it's implied they've been doing so far decades if not centuries because Magic Space Rock. And it feels like either this is because everyone's fallen for the "Nobody here but us poor starving africans. Nothing to see here. Move on" bit so much that nobody has bothered to even glance in their direction or they have a ridiculously good network clearing up all traces of their high tech existence to keep themselves hidden. Both of which merit a bit of scrutiny I doubt the writers ever considered. Instead it basically ends up looking like a MCU Hidden Elf Village, just with tech instead of magic.

I don't have an issue with Wakanda hiding itself. It portrays itself as a shithole bereft of precious resources, and it's stated that it denies any foreign aid. So it's a double whammy of putting off people going there, and taking steps to prevent people from going in.

What I do want to know is the agrarian people we actually see outside the main city are actors or not. Are they doing a front thing, or do they want to live a more simple lifestyle?

I mean, there's that too, but I would think at some point they had to order/import some kind of industrial equipment to get themselves going. I don't think they invented all that tech ex nihilo, so I guess they got an incredibly early start and bootstrapped themselves up from there?

I guess it just comes across as the problem with Atlantis, the idea that normally you have super advanced civ depicted while everyone around them is basically dirt farming to avoid starvation and none of that tech diffuses outward, except in this case atlantis is also really good at pretending they don't have any and apparently done a good job of hiding it as long back as people have been noticing.

And it feels like they have to have been doing this for a while considering about 150 years back there were Europeans running around Africa and colonizing the shit out of it so somehow Wakanda managed to, around that time, created an industrial infrastructure for themselves while at the same time keeping the European Empires from catching wind and trying to annex the place. Unless the Wakandans apparently basically just homegrew their industry as well independent of the Industrial Revolution, which feels like it needs more justification then "magic space rocks".

Maybe I'm just overthinking it, which I suspect is a bad idea where the MCU is concerned. It's kinda like trying to make all the Indiana Jones stuff fit together.

Akira - Saw this as a send off to 2019. Still an excellent movie despite compromises with the story. The movie was made when the manga was yet to complete only on its 2nd volume. The movie has aged well despite that. The art, animation, and character designs I feel come to life out of the screen. The only thing aged about Akira is the original English dub from Streamline Productions. Thankfully, I'll never have to hear it, because of the 2001 redub from Pioneer. It's fun to hear Johnny Yong Bosch & Joshua Seth (Voice of Tai Kamiya from Digimon) got full ham.

Dalisclock:

I mean, there's that too, but I would think at some point they had to order/import some kind of industrial equipment to get themselves going. I don't think they invented all that tech ex nihilo, so I guess they got an incredibly early start and bootstrapped themselves up from there?

I guess it just comes across as the problem with Atlantis, the idea that normally you have super advanced civ depicted while everyone around them is basically dirt farming to avoid starvation and none of that tech diffuses outward, except in this case atlantis is also really good at pretending they don't have any and apparently done a good job of hiding it as long back as people have been noticing.

And it feels like they have to have been doing this for a while considering about 150 years back there were Europeans running around Africa and colonizing the shit out of it so somehow Wakanda managed to, around that time, created an industrial infrastructure for themselves while at the same time keeping the European Empires from catching wind and trying to annex the place. Unless the Wakandans apparently basically just homegrew their industry as well independent of the Industrial Revolution, which feels like it needs more justification then "magic space rocks".

Maybe I'm just overthinking it, which I suspect is a bad idea where the MCU is concerned. It's kinda like trying to make all the Indiana Jones stuff fit together.

I don't have a problem with much of that. Concerning Atlantis, Atlantis arguably has an easier case for justifying its isolation in that it was located at sea (according to most versions of the myth), and if we entertain the notion of Atlantis actually existing, it was during the Ancient World, where it's much easier to keep yourself hidden.

But as for Wakanda, I actually don't have a problem buying the idea of it engaging on its own path of development. For instance, the Industrial Revolution is regarded as starting in one particular place (Britain) and spreading, but other human ingenuities have developed independently, such as agriculture and writing. So if we accept that Wakanda is isolated throughout history, through whatever means, then I can also accept that it follows its own path, from warring tribes, to agriculture, to industry, and so on.

I'm not overly concerned with the in-universe history of Wakanda, in that I can accept the premise of "African country develops in isolation from rest of the world because of magic space rock." The issue I have is that this is somehow indicative of "if only Africa was never colonized," as:

1) Magic space rock.

2) It's a simplification of history to entertain this "what if?" If anything, it undercuts Africa itself because even a basic history of Africa shows a dynamic continent with empires rising and falling. I can entertain a "what if?" history of the Scramble for Africa never occurring, but you'll have a hard time convincing me (and probably most people) that between 1870 and now Africa would shoot ahead of the entire world

3) Again, magic space rock

Hawki:
I'm not overly concerned with the in-universe history of Wakanda, in that I can accept the premise of "African country develops in isolation from rest of the world because of magic space rock." The issue I have is that this is somehow indicative of "if only Africa was never colonized," as:

1) Magic space rock.

2) It's a simplification of history to entertain this "what if?" If anything, it undercuts Africa itself because even a basic history of Africa shows a dynamic continent with empires rising and falling. I can entertain a "what if?" history of the Scramble for Africa never occurring, but you'll have a hard time convincing me (and probably most people) that between 1870 and now Africa would shoot ahead of the entire world

3) Again, magic space rock

While I'm sure you've heard people say that and there are probably articles stating as such, we all know that wouldn't be the case.

It's a flight of fancy seeing an African Culture that was untouched by Outward Influences who were able to grow technologically and independently to a potential power on the world stage. It's nothing more. But yes, an inkling of "What if I came from some place powerful or important". That's what all fiction usually is.

That's why we as geeks have people wishing they were born in the 24th century so they could be on Star Trek, because they identify with those belief systems. Or a long time ago in a Galaxy far, far away so they could be Sith or Jedi.

I am a product of Outward Influences in Africa. The nation where my people are from is foreign to me. So far removed it is just a notion, not a link. The nation where I was born still largely treats us like the other, dashing any ideas that are not solely their own as a waste of time or something to be mocked.

I shorten my given name. Because while it is as common in African or Arabic countries as John or Michael, most people can't pronounce the two syllables accurately. I get tired of the "Why can't your culture use normal names" when our normal names have literally be stripped from us.

I still have to hear how I should just accept American Culture as my culture, from people who claim how proud their ancestors are from Ireland, Italy, Britain, and France... how they go over and visit their relatives and how much strength they derive from that bond of where their family comes from.

So Yes, Magic Space Rock. But while it felt great to see a place where I could just be accepted and not constantly have to explain or apologize or reason 'why this is that way', it also felt tremendously sad that to feel that way, I needed an alternative reality and an abundance of a magic space rock.

It's escapism. A typical escapism of the Conquered.

"What if we were born with the upper hand?"

ObsidianJones:
But yes, an inkling of "What if I came from some place powerful or important". That's what all fiction usually is.

I can't agree with the "usually" part of that statement. Some, yes, but there's many works of fiction where the function isn't wish fulfillment. Especially if one goes into literary fiction, then wish fulfillment is rarely the purpose of it.

The Hate U Give (7/10)

So, I debated whether to discuss the film's themes in this case. I mean, its thesis itself is clear - "the hate u give fucks little kids for life." Or, to put it in a less lewd context, the cycle of hatred/poverty/racism comes back to bite the next generation. And I don't think it's a thesis that many can disagree with, at least in principle. On the other hand, this isn't a film where you're expected to make up your mind on the issues at hand - it presents the issues, and presents its stance on the issues. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, many great works have a "message" behind them, or at the very least, has a distinct view/point that's being conveyed. So, for instance, I found myself sympathizing with the officer who shoots Khalil more than the film expects the viewer to, which is not at all. Similarly, when we see the school BLM protest (which is really an excuse to skip class), I found myself being reminded of the climate strikes. Yes, I support them, but I can't help but wonder how many students are using it as an excuse to skip class. I have a feeling that a lot of how one views this film will depend on what one brings to it, even if the views of the film itself are clear.

Also, of all the themes, one thing that never gets discussed at all is gun control. Again, this isn't really a slight against it, as I can't fault a work for "not" doing something, but in the issues on display, it seems pretty pertinent to touch on. But it's never brought up, even though that tighter standards would help alleviate a lot of the issues displayed in the film.

That said, it's still a solid film. It manages to be both intelligent and emotional, and certainly there were a lot of moments that got me in "the feels." But it does make one think as well. So all in all, it's a solid piece.

Batman Returns (6/10)

So this is the last Burtonverse Batman movie that I've seen. And of the four, it's the only one that seems to be without consensus. 1989 is widely regarded as being the best, Batman Returns is regarded as flawed but with some good elements, Batman & Robin is detested. Returns however, doesn't seem to have the same level of agreement as to how good (or bad) it is. That said, I did like the film, even if it's simply okay rather than good. I certainly liked it more than 1989, which, if you've read my review of that film, you'll know how I feel about that.

Anyway, I'm actually going to start with what I didn't like about the film first, because this film has some...interesting choices, when it comes to its antagonists. The Penguin is a deformed monstrosity, while Catwoman is an undead loony. I'm kind of left to ask "why?" in both cases. Starting with the Penguin, there's a trope in fiction about the misshaped outcast being shunned by society, only for society to pay the price for its intolerance. It's a trope that goes as far back as Frankenstein arguably. However, if this is what the film is aiming for, it doesn't really pull it off with Penguin. Yes, he's left to die by his parents, but when he emerges from the sewers (literally), having saved a baby in what anyone should be able to see as having been staged, the Gothamites treat him with adoration. They let him see the city's records, and a sizable portion back him for mayor. Yes, they do turn on him, pelting him with tomatoes and all that (because of course you're eating tomatoes and lettace during winter), but that's only after Bruce plays the recording of how he holds Gotham in contempt. Penguin is a product of his parents' actions, but Gotham isn't at fault here. So I'm left to ask why Burton chose Penguin to be this deformed monstrosity when the moral seems to be "he's deformed, ergo, evil." It's telling that he leads a trope of circus freaks, further falling into this trope. I think his bid for mayor would have worked much better if he was less deformed, because it would be easier to believe that so many people rallied behind him.

Then there's Catwoman. There was a poll as to the favourite live-action version of Catwoman at some point, and this one came up on top by a large margin. Frankly, I have no idea why. When I think of Catwoman, I do not think of a zombie (because that's what Selina basically is in this film, a zombie) who's mentally damaged. Yes, Selina in this film is mentally ill, let's not mince words. Again, this isn't bad in of itself, but when you get down to it, her role in the film is pretty superfluous. The primary conflict is between Bats and Penguin - Catwoman exists to take revenge on Shrek and Bats. Also, there's no explanation as to why or how the cats resurrect her, and again, not bad in of itself, but it's an example of magic in a setting that's otherwise bereft of it (as in the Burtonverse, not DC as a whole).

Also, Shrek. In a way, he's arguably the best villain, as he gets to play off Bruce. That said, I think he's squandered a bit. It's established that he cares for his son, enough to take his place as Penguin's hostage, but this isn't commented on or elaborated on.

All that having been said, I can now get on to what I like about this movie. First of all, the action. It's not great, but it's much better than its predecessor. Bats isn't that agile in the suit, but he's still more agile, and there's enjoyment to be had in the fights, plus the sewer chase and all that. Also, I much prefer this version of Bruce to the one in Batman 1989. You might recall how in that film I commented that Bruce seems to be caught in a daze, as if he's sleepwalking through the film. I get what they were trying to do, show Bruce as being mentally damaged, but I feel they played it up too much. Here, there's elements of this, but it's far less on the nose, both as Bruce Wayne and as Batman. He'll smirk, he'll crack a joke, but he's still damaged. If I was considering the in-universe rationale, I think it might be due to Vikki, that he's become more 'normal' between films, in part due to his temporary relationship with her.

Also, the Penguin. This is a pro, in that while I do have gripes with him, I think he does work well as an antagonist when he gets to be a villain who taunts Bats and schemes. It's telling that Penguin is able to trick Gotham into thinking Bats has gone rogue (though how they come round to the truth is never explained), and also telling that Bats turns the tables on Penguin by using wits rather than brute force. So that's good.

So, yes. Enjoyed the film. Not great, but enjoyable. Also, one last point - is this a Christmas film? I ask, because while it takes place at Christmas, no-one seems to call it as such when discussing the film.

Oh, and Bats still kills people. Quite a few people. Yet it's in BvS that people freak out.

Cats: not as bad as people make it out to be, but no where as good as it could have been

Hawki:
snip

Bats has always killed. Its only in recent year that he's now a non-murderer. Also, much of the non-murder outcry was about Superman in Man of Steel. Which is even funnier when he still sometimes murders and he straight up murders during Christopher Reeves edition.

Returns, like Die Hard, is a Xmas movie. Also, I thought Returns was still well regarded. Forever is the one that is mixed. I rewatched them all a couple of years ago and found it fun but Robin jumped the shark.

trunkage:
Also, much of the non-murder outcry was about Superman in Man of Steel.

Yeah, I know, but that's separate from BvS for me, at least as far as Bats is concerned.

Personally speaking, Supes killing in MoS doesn't bother me. In BvS though, where one of his first acts is to kill a militant, it kinda does.

Also, I thought Returns was still well regarded.[/quote]

I'm not a big Batman (or heck, superhero) fan, so I can't comment too much, but from what I've seen, Returns seems to vary wildly when people are ranking Batman movies. One of the most common complaints I've seen is that Burton was given too much control over the film, in that it's got his signature wackiness. I didn't mention this in the review, but in some ways I kind of liked it - it made the movie seem more like a comic book movie (in a good way). On the other, again, I'm really not fond of some of the decisions made for Penguin and Catwoman.

Forever is the one that is mixed.

Mixed as in lack of consensus, or mixed as in mixed quality-wise? Because if the former, that surprises me, as Forever seems to widely be regarded as being pretty flawed, where the series began to lose its edge.

Black Panther was just on TV.

Yeah, lots of hype about that film, and it just wasn't good. Now, having a black superhero movie about black people (and one hobbit), with lots of female characters doing things, sure, that's rather different from most. But could they have put any effort into the story? At all? Now, it's traditional for superhero movies to avoid that sort of thing, but I don't think it's a law.

The Philosophy of Phil (5/10)

This is a film I saw a lot of people watching on the planes I've been travelling on recently. Thought I'd give it a try myself. Having given it a try, I'm left to ask what people saw in it (or maybe they were disappointed like I was).

Film centers on a man experiencing a midlife crisis, with an estranged daughter, suicidal tendencies, and being oblivious to how his secretary is attracted to him. He treats a patient who appears to have it all, only later to find that said patient commits suicide. To this end, albeit by blundering into it, he claims to be the man's old Greek friend and offers to do his widow's bathroom, while trying to find out why such a happy person killed himself.

This isn't the worst idea for a plot, but I'll be honest, it does make me uneasy. Our protagonist learns Greek (or at least enough Greek to get by) very quickly, and he only uses the Greek accent after meeting said widow. Also, there's the inherent moral quandry of pretending to be someone else, while offering comfort to a man's widow. Not sexual or romantic or anything like that, but still, it's iffy territory. And yes, the film acknowledges this - once he's found out, the widow is understandably pissed. If anything, I kind of like how it doesn't go a romantic route, down the whole "you pretended to be someone else, but I fell for you as you" or whatnot. But it doesn't really have that much to offer.

Jojo Rabbit

I had a sensible chuckle at all five of Rebel Wilson's lines. The rest was pretty dull or mawkish or mawkish and dull.

2/5

6 Under: Remind me again why Michael Bay didn't just do a G.I.JOE movie, because this is G.I.JOE meets Mission impossible wrapped up in a n R rated film. Also Ryan Reynolds plays him self as another charming funny man.

saint of m:
6 Under: Remind me again why Michael Bay didn't just do a G.I.JOE movie, because this is G.I.JOE meets Mission impossible wrapped up in a n R rated film. Also Ryan Reynolds plays him self as another charming funny man.

Because he was busy screwing up giant robots. I like 6 Underground, but I don't want him to ever touch G.I JOE! The two live action movies and future movies are better off without his influence.

Don't have time to do in-depth reviews, but:

The Incredible Hulk (6/10)

It's actually quite decent for about two thirds. However, it's let down by Liv Tyler's acting, and that the 'special forces bad guy' really has no motivation, hence the final fight being a slugfest with no emotional stakes.

Sunshine (4/10)

It's bad. It's a film that tries to be hard sci-fi, philisophical sci-fi, and slasher sci-fi, and fails in all three. Kudos for cinematography (well, sort of - the directing gets weird with the slasher stuff) and the score, but there's few things more irritating than a film that thinks it's more intelligent than it actually is.

Joker - 8/10 (in the cinema, a little late, but they were still showing it for "all tickets are 5 bucks -day")

Tense film and not too long also! I liked seeing other people in the audience squirm in their seats when it got more fucked up. The message getting to "this is what you get" felt a bit forcefully pushed in there maybe. Phoenix gets a lot of pain out of him. The movie is mostly well-written too. It's not until later in the film when you realize Fleck was doomed from the start.

Jojo Rabbit

What was all the controversy about? It's about telling Hitler to go fuck himself (literally). Yes, the protagonist is a fervent Hitlerjugend but it's clear from the start he's no less misguided than your regular precocious little overachiever who wants to be a part of the Big Boys Club. He's fueled by infantile prejudice and ignorance, not hatred. The movie basically reduces nazism (and Hitler, shown as an imaginary friend to the kid and therefore no more intelligent than him) to childish whim and nuh-uh. Is it the comedy aspect of it? We've been making fun of Hitler for as long as he's been around. Longer than he ever lived, too.

I concede the ton of the movie is all over the place. Something like The Great Dictator and The Producers is consistent in its goofiness. Jojo Rabbit wants to tap on that Wes Anderson whimsy but also Schindler's List level of devastating (you'll know the scene when you see it). Nothing prepares you for it and nothing is ever *that* funny after it. I suspect some folk also don't like the idea of humanizing people with such a hateful doctrine, even if Jojo's nazi stint causes no real harm to anyone to begin with, and the movie is about rising above it in the end.

Little Women (7/10)

So, I know this film has attracted some controversy in some areas, namely the whole "men aren't seeing the film, ergo sexism/patriarchy" and the lack of people of colour in the film, but these things have been pretty fringe, so I'm going to leave it at that.

So. Little Women. Truth be told, if I did decimals, I'd give it a 6.5, but by the end, I felt compelled to go full bore and make it a 7. I will admit that there's a fair bit in this film that irritates me. Very often it goes into "twee" territory. Also, the film is constantly alternating between past and present, though only a few years divide the two time periods. This isn't bad in of itself, and for all I know comes from the book it's based on (a book I only know as "this is a thing that exists"). However, there's two problems. One, is how often the film alternates between the time periods and how rapidly. Two, compounding the first, is that a lot of the characters look the same between the said periods. From an in-universe standpoint, this is to be expected, since you don't change that much over just a few years. But when your two time periods have characters that look so similar, it can be sometimes be difficult to automatically know which period the events are taking place in. It doesn't help that the clothing of the characters remains similar for most of them as well.

Still, on the other hand, despite the fact that this is a film about girls, dealing with 'girl things' (some being of the period, some being more universal), they are characters that I managed to get invested in...mostly. Jo is the one I could relate to most, as she's an aspiring writer and one who deals with loneliness (so right from the bat we've got a lot in common). Also, there's a film I saw a few years back that dealt with Emily Dickinson. It was a film that was of similar time period and style, and it's one I detested because, among other things, Emily spends so much time wrapped up in self-pity, complaining about the world, about love, about everything. Jo, being a writer here as well, also voices her frustrations, but she never falls into self-indulgent misery. I know these are two unrelated films, but it's such a breath of fresh air to see a character in these circumstances voice their frustrations and feel like an actual human being rather than going down the route of melodrama.

Jo aside, the other girls don't fare quite as well. I mean, they're not bad, but they're not great either. One of them, Beth, gets far less screentime or development than the others, and while that's likely down to the novel more than anything else, it's a noticeable difference. Still, they get the job done. It's not a great film, and not nearly as good as Lady Bird (a previous film of Gerwig), but it's good. Also, there's how that of the three surviving girls, each of them has 'their man' by the film's end, and I saw the film literally just hours before being friendzoned by a co-worker, so I arguably saw the film at the worst possible time. I mean, didn't make me feel better or anything, and I'm not feeling better now. But again, that's not the film's fault.

So, not a film aimed at me, but still good at the end of the day.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood WTF/10

To clarify, that "W" in my "WTF rating stands for "Why." Why was this movie a thing? It was 2.5 hours of slow, boring build and wandering exposition about a has-been actor and his stuntman (oh, and occasional cuts to Margot Robbie walking around bright eyed and bushy tailed) that they then tie directly to the infamous Manson family murders in the last 10 minutes with some typical-if-comparatively tame, over-the-top Tarantino violence. Ok? AND?

I generally like Tarantino's quirky, verbose and violent tales, and this film was NONE of that. Well, maybe some occasional verbosity, but rarely is anything substantive said! There's NO story, just a string of arbitrary moments strung together. I'm used to the disjointed nature of a lot of Tarantino's work, how he likes to tell multiple tales that run concurrently, then tie them all together in the end, but in this case, there were no real tales and the tie-in seemed incidental and rushed. Point in case: Margot Robbie (Sharon Tate) is seen throughout the film, wandering the streets, going to a movie, dancing, etc.; there's even a passage of time wherein we learn that she is months pregnant, yet she doesn't interact with the main characters until the LITERAL last seconds of the film where she recognizes DiCaprio (through an intercom, mind you, not even in person) as an actor in an old TV show and invites him in for a drink as the camera pans up and credits roll.

Someone please tell me if I missed something. How is this film nominated for a single Oscar? Ok, fine; Leonardo DiCaprio does a southern accent and Brad Pitt plays a convincing, well, "Brad Pitt," other than that... if movies were cakes, this one is just flour, sugar, milk and eggs. Complete waste of time; I think it's obscene run time was Tarantino trolling us.

Hawki:
Sunshine (4/10)

It's bad. It's a film that tries to be hard sci-fi, philisophical sci-fi, and slasher sci-fi, and fails in all three. Kudos for cinematography (well, sort of - the directing gets weird with the slasher stuff) and the score, but there's few things more irritating than a film that thinks it's more intelligent than it actually is.

THANK YOU! Seriously, everyone I know sings the praises of this movie and I couldn't agree with you more.

Xprimentyl:
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood WTF/10

To clarify, that ?W? in my ?WTF rating stands for ?Why.? Why was this movie a thing? It was 2.5 hours of slow, boring build and wandering exposition about a has-been actor and his stuntman (oh, and occasional cuts to Margot Robbie walking around bright eyed and bushy tailed) that they then tie directly to the infamous Manson family murders in the last 10 minutes with some typical-if-comparatively tame, over-the-top Tarantino violence. Ok? AND?

I generally like Tarantino?s quirky, verbose and violent tales, and this film was NONE of that. Well, maybe some occasional verbosity, but rarely is anything substantive said! There?s NO story, just a string of arbitrary moments strung together. I?m used to the disjointed nature of a lot of Tarantino?s work, how he likes to tell multiple tales that run concurrently, then tie them all together in the end, but in this case, there were no real tales and the tie-in seemed incidental and rushed. Point in case: Margot Robbie (Sharon Tate) is seen throughout the film, wandering the streets, going to a movie, dancing, etc.; there?s even a passage of time wherein we learn that she is months pregnant, yet she doesn?t interact with the main characters until the LITERAL last seconds of the film where she recognizes DiCaprio (through an intercom, mind you, not even in person) as an actor in an old TV show and invites him in for a drink as the camera pans up and credits roll.

Someone please tell me if I missed something. How is this film nominated for a single Oscar? Ok, fine; Leonardo DiCaprio does a southern accent and Brad Pitt plays a convincing, well, ?Brad Pitt,? other than that? if movies were cakes, this one is just flour, sugar, milk and eggs. Complete waste of time; I think it?s obscene run time was Tarantino trolling us.

Nostalgia for "Golden Age" Hollywood is automatic award show gold. Michael Bay could write a movie, with M Night Shyamalan directing, and starring Rob Schneider and Steven Segal; and as long as it was about golden age Hollywood it would rack up the noms.

Kyrian007:

Xprimentyl:
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood WTF/10

To clarify, that ?W? in my ?WTF rating stands for ?Why.? Why was this movie a thing? It was 2.5 hours of slow, boring build and wandering exposition about a has-been actor and his stuntman (oh, and occasional cuts to Margot Robbie walking around bright eyed and bushy tailed) that they then tie directly to the infamous Manson family murders in the last 10 minutes with some typical-if-comparatively tame, over-the-top Tarantino violence. Ok? AND?

I generally like Tarantino?s quirky, verbose and violent tales, and this film was NONE of that. Well, maybe some occasional verbosity, but rarely is anything substantive said! There?s NO story, just a string of arbitrary moments strung together. I?m used to the disjointed nature of a lot of Tarantino?s work, how he likes to tell multiple tales that run concurrently, then tie them all together in the end, but in this case, there were no real tales and the tie-in seemed incidental and rushed. Point in case: Margot Robbie (Sharon Tate) is seen throughout the film, wandering the streets, going to a movie, dancing, etc.; there?s even a passage of time wherein we learn that she is months pregnant, yet she doesn?t interact with the main characters until the LITERAL last seconds of the film where she recognizes DiCaprio (through an intercom, mind you, not even in person) as an actor in an old TV show and invites him in for a drink as the camera pans up and credits roll.

Someone please tell me if I missed something. How is this film nominated for a single Oscar? Ok, fine; Leonardo DiCaprio does a southern accent and Brad Pitt plays a convincing, well, ?Brad Pitt,? other than that? if movies were cakes, this one is just flour, sugar, milk and eggs. Complete waste of time; I think it?s obscene run time was Tarantino trolling us.

Nostalgia for "Golden Age" Hollywood is automatic award show gold. Michael Bay could write a movie, with M Night Shyamalan directing, and starring Rob Schneider and Steven Segal; and as long as it was about golden age Hollywood it would rack up the noms.

I couldn't care less about the Oscars, but seeing this film nominated and praised as it has been, I was curious to finally watch it, and I walked away dumbfounded. I mean, there were a couple of interesting moments, like when Pitt took the young lady to the hippie compound, and he senses something wasn't right, and decided to check on his friend. There was some genuine tension knowing what Manson's minions were capable of, aaaand... Nope; his friend is alright, just old and pussy whipped. He punched a hipped and one of them ran off to get help, gets back for some conflict aaaand.... Nope, Pitt just drives off. This movie was nearly three hours of a couple people treading water, who were unpleasantly surprised for a few minutes at the very end.

I've said it before, when it comes to movies, I'm not much of a critic and am mostly easily amused. My responses generally range from "meh, ok, I saw it" to "wow, I enjoyed it;" I left this "film" feeling slighted, like my time was thoroughly wasted by some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Did I miss a patch or update? Does this movie have DLC or a season pass I'm missing?

Moana

Honestly, I thought it was pretty good. The voice acting on the parts of Alan Tudyk, Dwayne Johnson, and Auli'i Cravalho were all great (and yes, I am aware that Alan Tudyk's voice acting didn't consist of a single word. I still think he did what he had to do quite well). I also thought the animation was quite good for the most part, bumped up to the level of great when it came to Maui's living tattoo. Doing 2D animation on a 3D animated character shouldn't look as good as it did.

The songs were also quite good. The closest thing to a villain song, "Shiny", is a fantastically catchy David Bowie-esque glam rock number, and "How Far I'll Go", while horrendously overplayed by this point, is still quite catchy while still giving off the appropriately "yearning" sensation that the song is going for.

I also felt that, while a fair bit of the story was standard adventure fare, I did appreciate the small tweaks to the formula. Moana isn't truly rebelling against being stuck on the island, wanting to be free. She does indeed want to lead her people, but in a way not bound by an ocean barrier. I also got a few laughs when I was supposed to, and at least one scene early in the movie had me tearing up, so the emotional beats were there.

The movie wasn't perfect, however. The closest thing to the main villain...kind of goes down anti-climatically. Without any spoilers, I was left feeling a bit disappointed in the climax for that reason. I also thought that, while most of it was intentional, Maui came off as almost too unlikable at times, where rather than wanting to see him better himself, I was wondering why Moana was bothering with him.

Overall, I'd still give this movie a solid 8/10. One of the better Disney movies recently, especially because it focused on just being enjoyable first.

Catchfire

I'm fascinated by the existence of this movie. It stars Jodie Foster (saving a baby lamb in a scene, one year before she filmed that one monologue in Silence of the Lambs) as a witness to a mob killing conducted by, holy shit, Joe Pesci and Tony Sirico (Sopranos' Paulie Walnuts), who're working for, holy shit, Vincent Price. Sirico and John Turturro try and silence Foster but end up killing boyfriend Charlie Sheen instead. Now Foster's on the run and the mob gets another hitman played by Dennis Hopper - who also directed the movie. Throw in another mafioso played by Dean Stockwell - Hopper's cronie from Blue Velvet - Fred Ward as a fed, young Catherine Keener as a trucker and a random cameo by a chainsaw-wielding Bob Dylan too. Sure, why not.

It's like the perfect storm of veteran A-listers and soon-to-be-famous stars.

The sad part is that the movie sucks. It's choppy and jumpy and so illogical at one point I just stopped believing in it. I don't buy for a second that a successful LA art gallery regular - played by Jodie Foster as a no-nonsense feminist - would fall for a kidnapper and would-be assassin played by Dennis Hopper (who is "not so good with words" but has a fetish for Bosch and sax solos). Foster goes from one half-hearted escape attempt to embracing her kidnapper with lovebird passion, skipping 12 steps of Stockholm Syndrome and remaining there up until the end.

I also think it's a weird coincidence Foster would play the object of obsession of criminal weirdos twice in a row (Hopper and Hopkins), considering how much she hates being associated with that one criminal weirdo in real life.

The tone is all over the place and jumps as much as the plot does. It starts off as a tense, fairly dark thriller up until Hopper gets involved and he just makes it weird. Once he finally nabs Foster things turn to light comedy, scolding and bickering each other as couples would when forced to be with each other in Hitchcock movies. By the time they're involved in helicopter chases over the desert the movie has become full-blown camp. And the ending is as sudden as I knew it would be.

No wonder Hopper disowned the movie and so many cast members just refused to be credited.

Hawki:
So, if nothing else, Winter Soldier is an action movie.

Copy and paste for every Marvel movie.

Rented Joker- 3/10 (at best).

The entire movie felt like it was written by a thirteen year old after they had read half a chapter out of a book on nihilism and tired to make a deep and edgy movie.
Arthur repeatedly tried to be profound, like his "Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there." and "The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don't." lines. But the lack of buildup for either leaves the lines falling flat.

Most of the instances of people being 'mean' to Arthur are those people being completely justified and reasonable in dealing with him and with Arthur acting like a whiny and petulant child in response. He gets mopey and defensive when the mom on the bus asked him to stop bothering her son (justified).

He gets mopey when his boss chews him out for, apparently walking off of a job and keeping the store owners sign, then throws a temper tantrum when he gets outside (kicking the trash). He also gets mopey when he gets fired for bringing the gun into the children's hospital, and lying about it. Both instances with his boss show Arthur to be a less than ideal and dishonest employee. It shows that he did not tell his boss or the store owner about getting jumped or having the sign broken across his face. Explaining the situation to either one would not have been a difficult task.

Both Alfred and Thomas are justified in their interactions with Arthur, given that some strange man came to Wayne manor and put his hands on Bruce, then physically attacked Alfred when angered. Then he practically ambushes Thomas in the restroom and claims that Thomas is his father with scant supporting evidence.

The symbolism of Arthur and the stairs was superficial at best. Arthur's laughing condition was inconsistent, that weird dancing thing that he did showed up out of nowhere with absolutely no buildup.
Arthur's rant on the Murray show came off as an author avatar shot at people who don't like gross-out/shock humor anymore.

twistedmic:
Arthur's rant on the Murray show came off as an author avatar shot at people who don't like gross-out/shock humor anymore.

Not only was it Todd Phillips blatantly showing his hand, it was done with the tamest 'shock' joke imaginable.

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