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.


    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.

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