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Old 09-21-2020, 08:06 PM   #1
RWMaverick
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See any good movies lately?

Hey guys, see any good movies lately? New or old! I thought we could get a thread of short movie reviews/discussion going, especially since we've been sheltering in place for 6 months now and we could probably all use a few suggestions. Please keep the spoilers to a minimum.

Bill and Ted Face the Music (2020)

I've actually been waiting a long time for this one. I was excited to see original writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, and returning stars Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter all join forces again! And it turned out kind of okay? Alex Winter was back with his A-game after many years in the director's chair. His portrayal of Bill is still charming and entertaining. Keanu's performance felt a little off to me though. In fact, the actress who portrayed his daughter did a better rendition of "Ted" than he did, in my opinion. Demeanor and body language were a spot on match!

My main problem with the movie is that it felt very rushed. The scenes sort of jet from one to another. I also feel like the way it's edited doesn't give many of the gags time to breathe. Maybe I'd feel differently on a second viewing, who knows. I also felt like the production design was a bit lacking, really far removed from the creative sets and scenes from Bogus Journey. Overall it was an enjoyable film! Watching a goofy lighthearted comedy felt like a breath of fresh air after months of SIP. The fact that it featured two beloved characters and the original creative team was a nice bonus.

Overall rating: 2.5/5. It's no Bogus Journey, but it was an enjoyable enough way to spend 90 minutes.
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:19 PM   #2
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Solid review

Look forward to it because I loved the first one and like stupid comedy.
Plus the OG Bill and Ted... I just want to see how the dudes do.

I got one for ya.

A movie I had missed from a couple years a go just got
Three from me.

Peppermint
A Death Wish themed script with a strong female lead.
Sexy, vulnerable, determined, tough and skilled with payback on her mind. The gangs that try to take her out learn all that.

Can’t tell you who is in it.... so I suck but if you have not seen it and want to see a scorned mother getting some payback it is a good watch.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:18 PM   #3
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I too forget who Peppermint was. Something about a Death Wish revenge female I like, maybe just because rare.

I liked Irresistible with Steve Carell even though he’s one of those comedians I find tiresome. Great maybe timely political comedy with a bit of a twist. Too many unnecessary f bombs makes me think the writers are lazy but a few days later and Im smiling about it.
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:23 AM   #4
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Peppermint was Jennifer garner

Amazon Original - Guns Akimbo with Daniel Radcliffe.

Totally thrown off by his not Harry Potter voice. Total senseless violence movie and light on plot but when I was finished it did not seem like it was 90 minutes long so a good movie in my book.
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:02 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions and reviews! Keep 'em coming! Guns Akimbo has been on my list for a while, I should get around to watching it soon. I've also added Peppermint!

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - Extended Edition (2001)

I just rewatched this with my girlfriend who has never seen it before, so I figured that was a good excuse to write a quick review! As a Tolkien fan, I'm sure I'm a bit biased but I think the extended edition is the only way to watch this film (my favorite of the trilogy). Great scene pacing and buildup, spot-on casting, brilliant practical and special effect, and Howard Shore's score with its masterful use of leitmotifs combine to make Fellowship one of the best big-budget films of the last 20 years (again, speaking with some bias).

My girlfriend pointed out some CGI elements that don't hold up so well (namely the ruins as the Fellowship escape Moria, and another aerial shot of some ruins earlier in the film). She also pointed out how dense the film is with characters, backstories, etc., something I've always just accepted having read the books. The density of the plot and lore is either a positive or negative depending on who you are, but it's undeniably a hurdle for new viewers.

I highly recommend watching the "Making Of" content on the Blu-Ray editions.

Overall Rating: 5/5 - A tour de force of modern cinema, and a special treat for Tolkien fans. It is... precious to me. Second breakfast worthy!
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:26 AM   #6
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I've never seen the Extended editions, but we watch the trilogy at least twice a year. High on the list of favorite films.

I have not read the books, but I'm aware of them and the Tolkein lore.

And what comes across in this movie is that the lore is there. For example, I don't have to know the lore behind Weathertop, but I do know that it has some, and the story has been worked out. It's not just a set. Not just a place to camp and battle. There's more to it.

And the entire movie drips of that unsaid backstory.

Someday I'll get to see the extended editions. Well, I should say, some of it. I'm notorious for falling asleep during movies. I can sleep through gigantic battles in the movie theater. I'm constantly "losing time" watching movies.

So, watching something as long as LoTR, it never surprises me when I catch something new in them.
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Old 09-24-2020, 01:47 PM   #7
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Amazon Original - Guns Akimbo with Daniel Radcliffe.

Totally thrown off by his not Harry Potter voice. Total senseless violence movie and light on plot but when I was finished it did not seem like it was 90 minutes long so a good movie in my book.
+1, enjoyed it more than I expected to.

Not a movie, but if you're not watching Raised by Wolves you are missing out. Same for Lovecraft Country.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:02 PM   #8
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And what comes across in this movie is that the lore is there. For example, I don't have to know the lore behind Weathertop, but I do know that it has some, and the story has been worked out. It's not just a set. Not just a place to camp and battle. There's more to it.

And the entire movie drips of that unsaid backstory.
That's such a great way to put it! The world feels like there's a history to it that's hinted at but never just blatantly told to the audience. The Argonath is another great example. Aragorn has a line about how he's always wanted to see it, the music swells, there's a sweeping CGI shot of the Kings' faces and the shot of the canoes passing by the feet of the statues for scale. All of the little details add up to make the world of Middle Earth to feel grand and ancient and lived-in.
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Old 09-28-2020, 03:52 PM   #9
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ALIEN (1979)

Another personal favorite of mine that my girlfriend and I watched together recently. Unlike LOTR though, I don't watch this one regularly so it's been at least a few years since my last viewing. This is another one that still holds up! Can you believe this movie is already over 40 years old? One thing that stands out to me is the methodical pacing of the movie. The audience gets enough time with the crew to get to know them and what they're all about, and it doesn't feel forced because the crew introduction is intermingled with the inciting incident (the discovery and investigation of the mysterious transmission). It's perfectly paced in my opinion; the slow buildup and escalation of the plot coupled with the character interactions over the first act of the film draws you in. The mysterious, quiet score seals the deal on the unsettling tone of the film. The net effect is that the characters feel like real people so there's actual weight when they fall victim to the Xenomorph, something that so many slasher/monster movies fail to accomplish.

The ensemble cast is superb and they're a huge part of what makes this movie so effective. Sigourney Weaver is of course fantastic, but Ian Holm's performance really struck me this time as well! Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt and the other actors all elevate their roles; no one feels like a throwaway character (though I can't say the same for the recent entries in the franchise, maybe that's why they're falling flat for me).

The practical effects and production design are a huge part of what makes this movie feel so visceral to this day. The titular alien is a guy in a rubber suit, sure, but H.R. Giger's disturbing vision for the creature elevate this over a run-of-the-mill Don Dohler-esque creature feature. The way the creature is framed and filmed really help sell the practical effects; Ridley Scott doesn't show his full hand until the end of the film, only showing small portions of the creature (tail, mouth, other mouth, etc.) right up until the third act of the film. It's the "Jaws" effect, where the audience is left to use their imagination to fill in the gaps, and the end result is more disturbing than if they had actually shown everything in gory detail. There's just that one shot in the air ducts where the Xenomorph looks like it kills someone using jazz hands... and one other towards the end where it looks like a parade float being wheeled forward on a dolly.

One final word on the production design: it's fantastic. Big banks of computers, arrays of flashing lights and switches (completely unlabeled, I love the look of "old sci-fi"), grimy looking and dimly lit sets all make the Nostromo feel like a real ship inhabited by real characters.

Overall Rating: 5/5 - A watershed film for modern sci-fi horror genre. Two ovipositors up!
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Old 09-28-2020, 07:24 PM   #10
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Actually, my favorite snippet in the movie is when they're preparing for the landing.

Specifically, Harry Dean Stantons character, at his station, cigarette dangling from his lips, as the chair is moving forward.

Simply, here's a guy, on a spaceship, surrounded by all this tech, and it's utterly, mind numbing routine and boring to him.

Just a job.
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Old 09-28-2020, 08:53 PM   #11
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Actually, my favorite snippet in the movie is when they're preparing for the landing.

Specifically, Harry Dean Stantons character, at his station, cigarette dangling from his lips, as the chair is moving forward.

Simply, here's a guy, on a spaceship, surrounded by all this tech, and it's utterly, mind numbing routine and boring to him.

Just a job.
And not only that, it's a blue collar job! They aren't scientists (with the exception of Ash) or swashbuckling adventurers or action heroes, they're a bunch of space truckers hauling some ore.

No scene is wasted! Everything either progresses the plot, develops the characters or informs the audience about the world that the movie takes place in.
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Old 09-30-2020, 03:33 PM   #12
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see "The Devil All The Time."
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Old 09-30-2020, 03:35 PM   #13
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enjoyed "Guns Akimbo" very, very much.
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Old 10-04-2020, 08:26 PM   #14
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see "The Devil All The Time."
Definitely not what I expected from the sequel to "The Devil Wears Prada" but it was pretty good anyway!
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Old 10-05-2020, 11:28 PM   #15
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"Alien" got mentioned. Yep. Took the kids to see it in a theater.

They sat on my right, a lady and her kids sat on my left. When the alien popped out of the chest I had the lady on my left crawl inside my shirt without asking.
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