Rate the Last Movie You've Seen!
  • The Great Wall

    Vapid, mildly enjoyable crap.  Kind of an 80s movie.  I wanted more House of Flying Daggers.

    John Wick Chapter 2

    Amazing action.  Wide angle Jackie Chan combined with Matrix brutality.  The story is crap: welcome back to assassin land.  Worth seeing just for the actual people chucked down actual stairways for your amusement.  The current standard for stunt work.  Least favorite stuff was the CGI car crap at the start.

    Logan

    Even better than I hoped.  Brutal.  Just Brutal.  All the way through.  I don't mean the brutal, Braveheart blade blender where not everybody can die, violence.  Emotionally brutal, as in determined to yank tears out of you.  Even Eric LaSalles support character will make you tear up.  It's the Xmen world paired down to its core.  Simple relationships and desperation.  Xmen, from the start, has been a direct, on purpose, metaphor for minorities.  You may have thought Days Future Past took the genocide theme as far as it could go, but this just makes that theme of extermination so much more personal.  Just Logan, his father figure Charles, and the kid he never asked for; three generations trying to survive a world that hates them.  The seizure scenes are bonkers to think about.  The acting by all is so choice, this could be Messr Stewarts last great turn.  The use of Shane is obvious, but so so great.  The final image is so perfect.  Man did I like this movie.
  • Get Out

    Really good movie.  Peele builds tension masterfully, trouble hits the first scene, but the exact explanation evaded me the whole time.  When it was revealed, it was even more horrible than what I had imagined.  The social commentary is blindingly obvious, but the way it puts you in the protagonists shoes, feeling discomfort in your native culture is quite well done.  The social aspects are over shadowed by the stunning pacing.  It just builds and builds until you think no climax could pay off on this... and then it does.
  • Get Out looks like Being John Malkovich reimagined as a horror movie for black men.
  • Ip Man - 7/10

    Ip Man mostly works as a good, borderline great martial arts movie that has a messy final 30 minutes or so. Particularly adept at tonal shifts, the playful, blood free, colour imbued first two fights are jovial, and then a minor antagonist is introduced. Immediately, the colour palette muddies, weapons are trotted out, and blood gets put on display. It's a good visual rising motion.

    The set pieces in movies outside of the US and UK still aren't where they quite need to be for period pieces like this, and thankfully, the camera only has one significant overhead panning shot, it's just a shame it happens early. The budget and infrastructure, even in places like China or Russia, simply can't quite support the epic constructions that the US and Uk regularly trot out.

    At its core, the story is really an excuse to trot out fight scenes, with little motivation and little relevancy to some of them. That said, the choreography is on point, and Donnie Yen's Ip Man has a natural subtlety to emotional display and ability to feel good and yet maybe a bit smarmy deep down. His sly grins are money. The fights are mostly good, although like a lot of Kung Fu films, the humour introduced in some of the actual action is a bit hit or miss (see: Ip's child trotting out on a bike in one).

    On that note, Ip was always, to me, a weird choice for Chinese folk hero revival. The dude never actually fought the Japanese, was a huge opium addict, and was an officer in the KMT, having to flee China during the 2nd civil war. 

    Anyways, the movie works really well up into the very end. The characters are effective, flawed but compassionate if good guys, and grim and intimidating if bad. I would have liked to see Ip Man falter at some point; that he is perfect in every fight, wordplay contest, etc., renders the tension a bit flat. They also totally deconstruct his wife, who up until the end of the movie is a nice character, throwing her agency under the bus in a melodramatic laden scene that is a bit painful. In fact, it's when the movie reaches for high drama at the end that it falters a bit. This is, quintessentially, a Chinese nationalist film and anti Japanese WW2 film, and the horrors that Japan unleashed on China stand for themselves without silly flashbacks, dramatic music, and other overproduced elements. This is, also, still at its heart, a kung fu movie, and other than praising Chinese fighters against Japan, it doesn't have a whole lot to say about war or the horrors it unleashes, often sugercoating them a bit with Ip Man or his wife looking on the brightside of being together still.

    So yeah. Fun kung fu movie, great action, really good up until a bit of a messy end.
  • @GoodEnoughForMe I'm not sure which YouTuber does this, (every frame's a painting comes to mind), but it talks about how Hong Kong cuts action movies really differently. I think you would really like it.
  • Tony from EFAP is fucking awesome! If you want to know something about cinematography or editing he's probably the best person on Youtube to watch. 
  • Thanks guys, I'll check that out
  • Related to this - our very own Leon Thomas (formerly of this parish) does very cool analysis of cinematography stuff in his Renegade Cut videos.
  • Spring (4/10) -- This feels like a work from a new director who has too many thoughts in his head to make a tight, compelling movie. It's a mismash of genres, bad CGI, and weird political diatribes/rants and melodrama. Mostly, though, the movie is let down by a script that plays the romance dialogue way, way too over-the-top, and leaves the main protagonist, who already is a questionable talent, out to dry. What are supposed to be clever, romantic comebacks end up being awkward and amateurish sounding and sort of painful to think an actual human would say. His lady friend, whose lines tend towards more loose and funny and critical, are better, and it's a shame they didn't take the same route of personality for the protagonist. Sadly, much of the story in this movie is dumped by the woman's long, expository speeches near the end of the movie, all of which, honestly, could have been avoided with better pacing or even just leaving some mystery to the viewer. And the political 'humour' or discussion I mentioned is always oddly out of place.

    The film has some pretty scenery of a small Italian town on the coast, but it has the weird, smoky filter going on that is an odd aesthetic choice. But for such a shoestring budget, some of the aerial shots are great. There's also this odd, creepy vibe to some of the town residents that is well done but probably could have been explored further.

    Other good parts? There are some funny moments here. It makes me wonder if perhaps the humour should have been played up more, because it kind of has that schlocky feel to it (although it clearly doesn't want to be considered as such). Some of the side characters are funny and fun and it's sort of a shame they and the humour get mostly tossed aside. 

    Ultimately, though, the bad script and acting weigh this down. What strives to be the next Let the Right One falls well short of the mark. Like I said, this feels like a director with a ton of ideas trying to cram too many of them into one movie. A more down-to-earth script and tighter focus would have done wonders.
  • Whiplash (8/10) -- A fantastically acted movie. JK Simmons nails a terrorizing figure striving to create perfection from flawed students. His character is grotesque, mean, but utterly compelling to watch. Although, pretty much every character in this movie has a chance to show their bad-side, people full of flaws and bad decisions and arguments, the only one who comes out completely sympathetic is the main character's brief romantic interest.

    The biggest flaw, really, is the cheap foreshadowing. There's a reason narratives often come back to the beginning sentence/setting/scene/song at the very end. It can be an effective and familiar but moving cycle. What this movie does, though, is introduce the first part of the cycle about 3/4s of the way through, and then comes back to it at the very end, making it feel shoehorned and cheap to happen in such a short time. One of the two foreshadowing events being a bit dishonest on the part of JK Simmons' character is an interesting wrinkle, but still doesn't really save it.

    All that said, it's a fast moving, entertaining watch, with someone who goes against pretty much every rule in psychology and teaching but manages to do so believably because of a good script and performance.
  • Some movies i saw recently, 

    Ex machina 6/10
    Beautifully done until it deteriorates into a typical Frankenstein movie

    John Wick 7/10
    Keanu Reeves kicking ass what is not to like

    Kingsmen 8/10
    A better Bond movie than the recent bond movies

  • Autoreiji - 10/10

    image

    This picture adequately describes most of this movie. I know GoodEnoughForMe feels the same way.
  • Outrage -- 6/10

    Competently acted Yakuza film. It's a crowded genre and Outrage doesn't really have anything new to say, just a bunch of angry, intimidating men in suits who constantly punch each other. I do appreciate how the movie was willing to kill off characters and not have the guy who you think is going to come out on top come out on top. Beat Takeshi always looks world weary, and it works in a Yakuza film. Some of the slow-mo was silly. 

    Decent but nothing extraordinary.
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - 10/10 
    Noobied by 1Winsord
  • Swiss Army Man -- 9/10

    Without giving too much away, let's just say that an affecting movie about a talking corpse that can propel people by his farts and use his erection as a compass that points home seems really, really hard to do. But credit to actors Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano in making a movie with a lot to say about life and love and loss never be too melodramatic. There's a lot of good humour in here, mostly about shit and manners and death, and Manny (the corpse) and his frank observations about the absurdities of the living world. It pushes a bit far sometimes; there's a lot of bathroom humour and that doesn't do much for me, and some of the sex discussions drag the joke out a bit, but there's also a lot of funny lines delivered sharply that stand entirely on their own, and a musical interlude that gets repeated twice that is kind of amazing. Infact, the soundtrack as a whole, with its airy, poppy, cheery choruses carries an uplifting mood as our two companions try to make their way through life.

    And if the courageousness of a farting, boner driven zombie doesn't do it, the ending is remarkably restrained. Restrained probably isn't the word you'd think for a movie like this, but it repeatedly is, never trying to go all out with cheesy speeches or rousing dialogue, and instead focusing on the bond between our two leads and their reminiscing about life.

    Most importantly, nothing is perfect. Movies that try to reaffirm life often gloss over the difficulties and just tell us to live our life without admitting it's hard and bombard us with beautiful, rich celebrities that feel super condescending are a dime a dozen, and the difficulties encountered in this movie and its end show that all the good thoughts and courageousness in the world can only go so far.

    The whole picture is just a really complete, funny, touching work about life that stirs up a genre overburdened with cliché into a really weird, gross, charming movie. Radcliffe's acting is weird and on point and his development is well done, and it leaves you wondering what happens to everyone in the end. Recommended.
  • Swiss Army Man - 9/10

    A surprisingly poignant movie. Often dealing with topics such as grief, regret, self-loathing and the guard we all put up in front of other people to not be silently judged. A more impressive effort than most considering this also mixes in impressive amounts of toilet humor, a quirky but charming soundtrack and an inspired performance by Radcliffe. 

    Would definitely watch again.
  • The Mist - Based on a Steve King story. Not to be confused with The Fog, this one was about a mist full of beasties that descends upon a town after a storm. Pretty good, the ending was brutal though.

    Fury - Brad Pitt and everyone's favourite dipshit Shia LeBoofhead star in a WW2 flick about a tank crew and the days leading up to their final stand. It was OK. Watching LaBeef get shot in the face was fun.

    Lights Out - This is based on a 2 minute short film. Do yourself a favour and just watch that. It's on YouTube. The movie was pretty anus all round.

    Sorority Row - Basically a similar idea as I Know What You Did Last Summer. A group of dumb sorority bints accidentally kill a sister and hide her body, only to start getting popped off themselves a year later. Meh.

    Rogue One - Saw it for a second time. My original verdict stands. If you're already a Star Wars fanboy you'll love it because the entire movie is empty fan service, but as an independent movie judged solely on its own merits, it's a bucket of vomit. Forest Whitaker is absolute trash in the movie, possibly even worse than the Chinese force Shaolin monk, and that's pretty bad since pretty much none of these characters have any screen presence, charisma, or memorable moments.
  • The Mist is great because it goes the other way.
  • @Dr Flibble

    Man, The Mist is great.
  • American Honey - 3 shitty tattoos out of 5.
  • The Bye Bye Man

    Fucking awful. You hardly see the ghost-thing or whatever he's supposed to be and there's just a lot of stupid actions. The concept is cool and could have been done really well, but man.

    The Neighbor
    Starring Bill Engvall of Blue Collar fame, and with his shitty "here's your sign" catchphrase as the film's villain. It's just silly bad, but Bill plays creepy and sadistic really, really well. 
  • American Honey -- 8/10

    This meandering film is a capsule view of rural, southern and midwest white poverty and a future that has left behind those without money and degrees in the modern economy. It's a drawn out piece that portrays young adults, aimless, and without much guidance not only doing things they shouldn't, but also doing things they should (sticking up for one another, trying to make things work out). Some might come across all the characters as insufferable, but I hardly think they entirely are, and thy're as much a victim of circumstance as anyone ever is.

    And while this movie spends lots of time creating a sense of mood and place, it never really makes a suggestion. That's probably for the best; the director is British, afterall, but some might find it frustrating to see poverty so aptly and relatively fairly portrayed without having much to say about actual society itself. Or the racial element of a bunch of white kids rocking out to southern black rap but wanting nothing to do with actual black people. Or the willingness or unwillingness of certain wealthy side characters to help out. Everything is presented, but very little is answered or nudged.

    Both lead characters are acted well, Shia Lebouf being one of them, although he always feels a bit out of place compared to the grime and accent of the rest of the crew. There's an insect saving motif for the protagonist that feels ham-fisted.

    This is a long, plodding 3 hours with little in the way of plot. But in terms of recreating a feeling, of dragging the kids in high school who sat at the table called "white trash" and got in fist fights and scraped by on a 2.0 GPA into the silver screen, it does a good job. In terms of still trying to weave a little magic and wanderlust into the open road, it does a good job. I saw some of these people in school. And I've certainly seen the endless, desolate flat plains of the midwest, stretching on forever, leaving you thinking there's nothing left in the world.
  • Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift -- 10 Drift Kings (DK) out of 10

    Lucas Black (Sean) plays an underage high-schooler even though he is clearly almost 30 years old and looks like it. He is sent to Japan to live with his dad as punishment for racing, where he attends a fully Japanese school, even though he understands none of the language. There, he meets Lil Bow Wow (Twinkie). Lil Bow Wow is a military kid and Sean's dad is Navy but they don't live on or anywhere near a base, nor attend a base school. To mix it up even more, Neela is a character played by a Peruvian actress who apparently director Justin Lin thought sounded close enough to a Japanese one to call it good, because she does speak Japanese.

    Quotes? Endless. How about Sean hitting up Neela in class by messaging her on his laptop "how come i never c u drift??" 

    Or there's waxing about winning your first race "No problems. Just the moment..." as Sean and Neela share a moment.

    Or how about the first scene, where two guys race to win a girl. Not creepy at all.

    Or there's when Han talks about cowboy movies and running for Mexico and says Japan is his Mexico in some really contrived comparison.

    And what would be a movie in Japan without appearance by Yakuza with super stereotyped spiked hair, twirling chains, sunglasses, and intimidating glares, all smoking cigarettes? Yesssss.

    It's all so incredible. Nobody can act, nobody can portray anything convincingly, none of it makes any remote sense. And that's what makes it so amazing. i've seen it now 6+ times.

    Anyways, Justin Lin went on to direct several more F&F movies as well as Star Trek and has grossed over 2.3 billion in ticket sales with them. This was his first AAA movie that made money. This was the springboard.

    This was his drift king.
  • Proxy - This is a fucked up movie. Really horrible. I don't mean in the acting or production values, just the story and characters are all so dark they make Vader look like a joke. Not to give too much away, but in the first 5 minutes of the movie the main character, a pregnant woman, is assaulted after being dragged into an alley, with the assailant repeatedly hitting her in the stomach with a brick. The movie just gets worse from there. After sitting through the whole thing it doesn't even have the courtesy to provide a satisfying conclusion. It just ends. It's one of those movies that lets the audience make of the character's fates what they will. I hate shit like that. Just screams lazy to me. Imagine if Lord of the Rings ended with Frodo standing over the lava at Mt Doom, telling Sam that the ring was his. Fade to black. Credits roll. Fuck off.

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