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Random Movie Thoughts Thread

Doctor Anaximander

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I've never heard that but I do know Walter Sobchak was based on John Milius.
Yeah, everything from the look of the character to his demeanor was heavily inspired by Milius. To the point it’s mentioned by his kids in the Milius documentary
 

Totenkindly

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings:

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 91% based on 183 reviews, with an average rating of 7.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings isn't entirely free of Marvel's familiar formula, but this exciting origin story expands the MCU in more ways than one."[116] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 71 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[117]

huh. Go figure.
I wasn't sure what to make of it, from the trailers.

It's gotta be better than Captain Marvel, I guess.
 

prplchknz

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i think the one prediction i want to be wrong that is from post apocolyptic sci fi, is everyone uses chop sticks because I'd just starve
 

Totenkindly

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Watched Arrival again last night, after a friend was talking on FB about how he finally watched it for the first time and was blown away. This is one of my favorite-ever films, and I typically end up sobbing in just the first minute or two of the film just because I already know the story and how it all pans out.



I love how the film works well whether it is the first view or later views (once you know what is happening). It's funny how easy it is to lead the audience to make certain assumptions repeatedly, we simply group new information under the categories we formulated in our minds originally rather than considering whether our categories are correct. The other film that obviously comes to mind in this regard is "The Sixth Sense." But the music, the visuals, the color palettes, and the editing all seem to work effectively together to create this overall ambiance of longing and loss, desperation of understanding, frustration, and the complexity of life and how prescience is painful. It also still melds well with our world situation today where trust seems so fleeting.

This morning I finished watching Cruella, which just became free on Disney and which is probably the best of the Disney villain origin stories I have seen and even decent for a Disney film. The best elements are the set/costume design, the music soundtrack/editing, and the performances of both Emma's. it's kind of a throwaway in terms of depth, but it's a hell of a fun and zany ride... and makes Cruella, Horace, and Jasper far more interesting than the actual film this is the prequel for (101 Dalmatians, which I am currently watching since it has probably been 35-40 years since I have seen it). The weirdest part was in the first half of the film when there were throwaway shots of the Baronness' staff and I was like, "WTH, that looks like Mark Strong!" Mark Strong helps lead films, he is not a throwaway invisible character actor like he was being treated for half the film -- and so I wasn't shocked when this eventually pays off.

101 Dalmatians is pretty boring, I'm glad it is only 81 minutes. I've had to pause it twice so far. It's a great safe film to plunk your four-year-old down in front of, but I'm not sure what purpose it serves nowadays. I do like the minimalist/linework backgrounds, and the Dalmatians are nicely animated. I know for the 1960's this was pretty high-end stuff but not 50 years later. It's also full of the same Disney schtick and character cliches that pepper most of their films from that time period. Everyone is rather flat or one-note. I think the most hilarious thing is seeing what stuff has become taboo nowadays in Disney films in particular and in most films altogether -- namely all the drinking, as well as plates with mounds of cigarette butts and regular smoking. I had forgotten smoking was a regular thing even in kid's films from the time period.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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I've been watching "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" as my background repeat movie lately. This scene might be the most brilliantly acted scene, one of the most emotionally brilliant in cinematic history. I don't think I've ever seen another actor portray a special needs character with such nuance and sensitivity, and to add the layer of complex emotion on top is quite remarkable.

[video=youtube;GmIGvynRMyU]
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Now this I'm intrigued by. It does seem to be bringing a different look and feel to the table. This has a gothier spin on it rather than purely just aping the Nolan aesthetic. I felt a bit like I was watching a trailer for a crow reboot, which actually isn't a complaint. It's a little like a fusion of Nolan and Burton which isn't really a bad way to go.
 

Totenkindly

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Watched A Futile and Stupid Gesture on Netflix, which is a kind of biopic about Doug Kenney who helped start National Lampoon and cowrote Animal House and Caddyshack before dying an untimely death in 1980. I didn't recall/know he also was in Animal House (as Stork), or that he cowrote Bored of the Rings (which I picked up a copy of in high school), which was a spoof of Lord of the Rings. The film (based on a book) suggests that a lot of the initial SNL cast started out at National Lampoon as contributing humorists. I'm not sure I could discern how much of the film was literally true nor do I feel like I know Kenney very well by the end of it (it never gets under the veneer), but I have to say it was very entertaining and very funny.

Also found a copy of Inside (2007, french) uncut on VUDU out of all places, since it wasn't anywhere else, and introduced my kid to it since he's into all sorts of horror and wanted to see it. I saw it a few years ago and my memory only recalled that it got crazy. Yeah, it's a crazy film, with this weird emotional core underlying all of it despite the explicit gore that occurs in this film. It's part of the 2000's French New Wave Horror for a reason (you can toss films like the original Martyrs and High Tension into the same category). It can be hard to stomach. There's a decent twist near the end that flips the plot on its head, unlike High Tension, which possesses a total cheat of a twist.
 
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SD45T-2

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I just watched Badlands and there were a few things that struck me. How does Martin Sheen's hairdo stay the same all the time? They're supposed to be living off the grid for an extended period but I guess he was still making it to his regular barber. :shrug:

The scenes with trains had my attention. At one point a passenger train goes by with what appear to be Budd Hi-Level coaches and being pulled by this locomotive: http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=4839641

Going by when the movie was made that would have been an early Amtrak version of the Super Chief. Which makes absolutely no sense for a movie set in South Dakota and Montana. :laugh:
 

Totenkindly

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James Wan's Malignant. I managed to avoid all the spoilers as well.

This is not meant to be a "scary" film, it's more of a "bonkers" film if that makes any sense -- and gruesome at times in its audacity.

This is B-movie heaven. I don't mean that sarcastically. The film opens in B-movie intensity and instead of trying to be something it is not, it totally leans in and doubles down on being a crazy-intense B film and succeeds wildly on that level. The plot curves are outrageous, so it doesn't even try to earn serious respect. The dialogue is rather on the nose or over the top, the plotting is melodramatic and crazy, and the music is specifically ramped up to be "too much." Which means that it actually is a pretty coherent, consistent vision for the film. What would have just been schlock under an attempt to take itself seriously instead works wonderfully as a crazy film. Everyone was in on the joke.

(The Wachowski's "Jupiter Ascending" might have taken some lessons here, honestly -- that film couldn't decide whether it was supposed to be goofy or serious, and only Eddie Redmayne seemed to realize what was required.)

Better yet, there's no real cheat here. There's evidence scattered throughout the film as to what is actually happening, you just don't know what to make of it and/or might even be tempted to write it off as hallmarks of a bad film. I even rewatched a small bit of it to confirm that yes, indeed, it all matches up.

I think my only issue with the film is that it comes in at a runtime of 1:52. There's some dead space in the first half of the film. Once it plays its cards, it moves quickly, but until then there are some draggy moments.

Anyway, this is simply a case of a film not pretending to be something it isn't, and instead embracing the crazy. It's all the better for it.
 

Trenton

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many hard to choose one. On weekends I watched movie called The Vault. 7\10. Not bad movie with interesting story and characters. Story about how legendary lost treasure will be deposited in the bank’s safe for just 10 days, Thom masterminds a meticulous plan along with charismatic art dealer Walter to break into the Bank. My friend invited me to watch this movie 123 movies . What about you? Have you ever seen this movie?
 
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Totenkindly

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Watched VAL today (the documentary about Val Kilmer) on Amazon Prime. Actually it was pretty fascinating since Kilmer apparently has always been a video-camera hound since the early 80's and has a ton of footage and memorabilia that made its way into the film. It's not like it was difficult for them to collect a ton of footage.

It gave a lot of flavor to him as an actor who isn't well-known to my kids' generation but to me was a mainstay name-wise. Also, there was his movie roles but then his private life, so I learned more about him off-camera. I do agree with the criticism is that the film is rather positive on him rather than digging much into his on-set melodrama. However, there is footage of him getting into it with Frankenheimer on the set of The Island of Dr. Moreau, and Kilmer does get kind of whiny about everything and rather unproductive. Also, if you just listen to Kilmer talk a lot (either through comments before he lost his voice, or there's a decent amount of talking nowadays with his neck hole, or having his son read comments for him), you can get the idea of how he's kind of fussy. Basically, he always wanted to be a serious actor, he took his roles seriously (Eric Stoltz is another I'd put into that category), and could be kind of unmanageable in his quest for perfection and staying true to his own interpretations.

He thought he would get to do a lot more with Batman but realized it was kind of a waste and actually very confining (with most of his performance simply being on his mouth, with the costume on), and Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey were stealing the show. The movie made a decent amount of money at the time and they wanted to start the next right away, and he just walked because he didn't want to do that. He did The Saint instead, which wasn't nearly as successful, but it sounds like it engaged Kilmer much more.

It does look like he's close to his two kids, and he was close to his own parents. Joanne (ex wife) shows up briefly in modern footage and lectures him for spraying her with silly string; her manner around him suggests that they have a workable relationship but still kind of frosty/distant.
 
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