The Virginian(2014) 3/10 6/10
They don't all have to be 'good' movies, do they? The best 'bad' movie I've seen in a while. Based on the 1902 book by Owen Wister (1860-1938). It describes the life of a cowboy on a cattle ranch in Wyoming and was the first true fictional western ever written."Bargain Bucket" DVD bought to take on holiday for watching where there is no TV; and to start with, it was initially quite weird to watch. It was like some weird 'B/C' grade 'direct to DVD' movie (which it was, and doesn't even have subtitles), even thought Ron Perlman was in it. Stilted dialogue, obvious signposting, western tropes galore (but this is where some of them originated, so...) rigid camera work, but a strangely compelling story and the fact that the quality of the actors, even when they were underplaying it - possibly to not stomp too much on the original material - kept it engaging to the satisfying end.There was one VFX guy in the credits, but he must have put in a few puffs of smoke when guns were fired and no more. Film Riot's 'Westworld to Yuma' has higher production values; but you could almost imagine that's what a movie made then would have looked like using some of today's (or possibly 5 years ago) technology. Or today: with an iPhone... If you find a copy in a bargain DVD bin and have nothing better to do, give it a watch.
Disclaimer : I am not a Warcraft player either digital or boardgame.
Ok so I do like fantasy, so this movie spiked an interest. It is VFX heavy, but done so well it blends into the fantasy world. I found the story fun.
So if you like a bit of magic and orc bashing give it a try.
Blade Runner 2049
I had such hopes for this one, but I see why the reviews have been so middling and the box office weak. First off, the music, while a great Vangelis, score like the original, is so blaringly loud it overshadows almost everything in the movie. Second, the ending tries so hard to be an homage to the original movie, they forget they are dealing with different characters and different raison d'etre so it loses that feeling from the original because we feel different about the characters. Third, after spending 3 hours in the theatre, we want a more satisfying resolution then the one given just before Credits roll!! I'm sure there will be those who disagree, and that's okay. But that's the way I see it...
Blast from the Past. Unwatchable. Aborted after one re-try. I don't think I've seen Brenden Fraser in anything that wasn't a crock of **** and should have stopped watching as soon as I saw his goofy expression.
Murder on the Orient Express (the new one) - 6/10
It's alright. I enjoyed it, but I don't feel I need to watch it again.
Ha, well that shows how different we all are. My wife and I have watched Blast From The Past about 34 times. But then, we are blasts from the past ourselves, so perhaps that explains it.
Two recent favorites...
1) (from Wikipedia) O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 crime comedy film written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson, with John Goodman, Holly Hunter, and Charles Durning in supporting roles.
Set in 1937 rural Mississippi during the Great Depression, the film's story is a modern satire loosely based on Homer's epic poem, Odyssey.
Tim Blake Nelson was the star of the show, imho. This is a silly madcap comedy with some great music. Not usually my cup of tea, but this one was done so well I could watch it every night.
2) (from Wikipedia) Ruby Sparks is a 2012 romantic comedy-drama film directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, and written by Zoe Kazan. It stars Paul Dano as an anxious novelist whose fictional character, Ruby Sparks, played by Kazan, comes to life.
This movie is both fun, and quite thoughtful.
Paul Dano writes a character in a novel he's working on, falls in love with the character, and then she comes to life in his apartment. Zoe Kazan as Ruby Sparks (the fictional girl who comes to life) is adorable, and so very similar to one of our nieces, which adds another dimension for us.
The heart of the film is that Dano is a kind of God in regards to the girl he has created. He can re-write her at any time. At first he resists editing her, but when the relationship starts to go sour he can't resist.
This movie could be about control issues in relationships, and it could also be about the coming virtual reality era where we all will be able to create ever more realistic fictional characters in our lives, with who knows what result.
There's a great scene near the end of the movie where Dano finally tells Kazan that he created her, and then he goes on a control orgy as he revels in his God-like powers, only to finally realize the perils those powers contain.
I'd put this film in the genius category, as it manages to be both wonderful lighthearted entertainment, and thoughtful commentary on human relationships and the times we live in at the same time. It's a serious film, that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Seven thumbs up for this one.
Blade Runner 2049
The cinematography was stunning, and the industrial score was clearly an homage to the Vangelis score of the original, which I still preferred. It was a better fit than an orchestral score would have been for a Blade Runner film, especially given so richly textured the world is.
I thought Ryan Gosling was great as the android blade runner discovering his own humanity over the course of the film. It's a bit slow rather than action packed, which I appreciated. I'm a bit tired of the excessive action and minimal intellectualism these days.
The ending felt like it was a blatant setup for a sequel (probably because that was the goal), but I'm looking forward to seeing it again on BluRay.
Whew, boy! Where do I start? It was a huge disappointment to say the least. Anytime a trailer has 16 scenes that are nowhere to be seen in the theater I can't help but feel I have been baited and switched. I cannot figure out how much the movie suffered by having a different director finish it up with all the reshoots because I am not even close to a fan of the Snyder-verse of DC but I have loved what Whedon did with Marvel but the added humor came off as too forced to me, and seemed out of place. I loved the personality of Ezra Miller's Flash but his running looked waaay off-kilter to me; almost spastic. They should have just blurred his lower half and kept his torso as is. I don't know how to describe it but his legs seemed to shift sideways as he ran especially in the post credit tag. And I have to agree with some comments I've read about where was everyone else in the movie? They changed the color grading to make it more menacing that Earth was being terraformed into Apokolpis, but there was not even one shot of humanity as a whole being terrified as one would expect. But, others may feel different.
EDIT: On a side note, I just finished watching the 1st parts of a 4 part crossover event with the Arrowverse on television that unites those series and it is shaping up much much better than JL. The studio heads making the the movies need to take notes from the television crews on how to handle their comic franchises. The only DC movie that I thought got it right was Wonder Woman (and they let her have all her power like she's supposed to have not the watered -down versions we've seen before.)
Wonder Woman 8/10
I really enjoyed this film, I kind of went into it with two minds, having taken a stand to not see the Batman v Superman mess that was, I heard some good things about this movie from trusted sources and I was not disappointed. The movie felt well paced, looked great and felt like a super hero movie should feel like. The trench scene to village was just thrilling. I also like the little nods in the movie to other classics (Superman original alley scene with Clark catching the bullet).
So if your looking for a fun, hero getting stuck in movie from DC then this is it. I have only one little grumble. Dina is drop beautiful and so what man isn't going to lust after her but did we really need the suggested sex scene, for me it just felt wrong.
Andy says : Ill be watching this again sometime.
Fast and Furious 4 (8/10)
One of my most fave of the series. Even inspired me on my truck project, lowered it, put some Nitto tires, forged wheels and good tuner for drag race. Next rate will be the incoming Star Wars installment.
Melbourne Rewind - 7/10 because its a local Indonesian movie with no online translation. A friend recommends it because its a love story. BUT, if I can understand it I think I'll give it 8 or 9/10.
@LizPekler if I am reading your last post about Melbourne correctly, you are saying that the Style, look and general quality of the film was 7/10 but was held back to obtaining a higher score because of the lack of translation. If you here to promote the film, no problem just drop a link to it.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi 8/10
Really enjoyable, beautiful and some great set pieces. Maybe a little over-egged, but you can overlook this. Go see it!
Heist - 11/10 (also released as CheckMate)
If you've ever made any sort of movie, seriously: watch this and feel better about yourself and your editing decisions.
This 'Direct to DVD' movie from 2015/2016, 'starring' Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones and Sean (Lord of the Rings) Astin doesn't quite challenge The Room for 'best, worst movie', but it gives it a good run for its money.
Reviews here make interesting reading, but contain spoilers and this movie is best watched cold: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3781616/
I'd not seen those, but guessed it might have 'issues'; even the DVD sleeve looks like it was knocked up from a basic template on some free movie making software, and the only jacket quote says "Action packed and full of surprises" by Cardinal XD ( who he?) That's certainly true, just for all the wrong reasons.
After the clunky opening titles (someone's high school render project using Blender?), no subtitles or extras of any sort, things could only get better...or worse. There is nothing in this film that is not incredibly rewarding in some way as an example of how not to make a movie. Just do the opposite of what you see here. Every scene has something. The script, the 'acting', the camera angles, the editing, the green screen reflection on Glover's face, the apparent lack of coherent direction and the most amazing music selection ever heard outside of some 'free generic tunes for holiday videos' included with a basic video editing program. Two characters having a chat about their plans? Bippity mid-tempo tune. Disaster strikes, bullets fly? Bippity mid-tempo tune. Explosions, mayhem? Bippity mid-tempo tune. Character dies? Bippity...
Other highlights are some incredibly contrived nonsense with a photo, a "raid" on a small shop, Plan 'B' (OMG!) and "We found you a heart". Unsaid after this last was "...it does have a hole from a sniper's bullet through it, but as the original owner managed to carry on talking for about a minute after he was shot, we still think it's a good one" ... but it should have been...
You could easily entirely remove the 'Starring' characters' sections from the film (they barely interact with the rest of the cast and where they do, their actions could easily be reassigned to someone else) and make an almost identical (possibly better) movie. The two, half-second long VFX shots (blink and you will literally miss them) could have been done better in Express; the greenscreening definitely could. Glover spends about 25% of his screen time with his eyes closed in "Wake me up when we get there" mode with half his face bathed in a green glow. These scenes, after you watch the whole movie, make zero sense.
Kudos to getting the 'stars' to take the money and spend about 30 minutes of their time for their contributions, but the film runs too long for the content, at 89 minutes (some reviews refer to a 102 minute version...the mind boggles). It could almost be used as a starting point for someone to re-edit into a snappy 15-20 minutes shortie. Or maybe it started like that and after the VC or some crowdfunding fronted for the 'stars' salaries (or they donated their time? Who knows how these things work?) bits were hastily picked up from the virtual cutting room floor and shoehorned in to pad it out.
If you do ever watch this, your reaction might vary from "It's so bad, it's good" to "No, it's just bad" to "So, so bad, it's brilliant" as each new affront to filmmaking and narrative steps forward. One thing's for sure, it's probably better after you've had a couple of drinks. While it's easy for me to comment from the sidelines - although I will watch it again, maybe more than once in various stages of inebriation - at least everyone involved gets to put on their CV: made a movie 'Starring' Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones and Sean Astin.
Dunkirk - 10/10 - The story of how civilian boats rescued British soldiers from Dunkirk, France in WWII. Excellent scenery, excellent dog fights between the German and British air forces, strange soundtrack but I kind of liked it & excellent FX. I really like movies that don't contain a ton of dialogue and this one certainly fits the bill. There were a few moments where I wondered why they went from night to day so fast until I realized....... you just gotta see it. ;^)
The Last Jedi - 8/10 - I reserve the right to change this after a second and/or third viewing- for better or worse.
Didn't like: The casino scene. Trying too much to be like a large Cantina. The music was a sad attempt to recreate the mood- sorry John.
Didn't like: Leia floating through space- I get that her force powers have gotten stronger but this was really a stretch.
Didn't like: and I'm surprised to hear myself say this.....the music. I miss the original themes and scores where the music was not only driving the action in a scene but accentuated the action as well. The soundtrack here just seemed forced i.e. the mention of Vader spawns Vader's theme prominently which I thought was a little too forced.....no pun intended. The music doesn't seem to flow very well even with the rehash of a few themes used for action sequences from the original trilogy including Luke and Leia's theme. What it all sounds like to me is Williams was trying to keep current with movie music styles and tried jamming the old themes in wherever he could.
Didn't like: the resistance males portrayed as hotshot cowboys and the women portrayed as measured and mostly in leadership roles. There was a time Leia would have liked Po's ideas and would've been willing to take the big risks.
What I did like: The humor. I thought it worked well. The opening sequence had me ROFL.
Did like: the Porgs. They weren't intrusive to or even a direct part of the storyline and just happened to follow Chewie onto the Falcon.
Did like: the scene with 10 seconds of deliberate silence. I thought it was very dramatic and unexpected at that point.
Did like: even though Luke was a little dark....okay a lot dark in this movie, I like that he played the hero one last time. The twist of how it happened was unexpected and clever given we learned something else the force can do. AND- he had his blue milk. Couldn't pay me enough to drink it though.
Did like: how they set Ben Solo up as possibly worse than Vader by killing his "emperor" of sorts. The only thing left is for his absolute power to corrupt him absolutely. And with those anger issues....one better watch out!
Once I see the movie again, these first impressions may change. This chapter certainly did not follow the traditional predictability that were evident in I, II and III.
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