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October 23, 2017, 04:08:32 PM
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Author Topic: Recent theatrical viewings  (Read 156253 times)
Rev. Powell
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« Reply #765 on: November 30, 2016, 09:31:33 AM »

MONANA: Defying her parents, an island princess sails off to find a mischievous trickster demigod to help save her home. Once again, Disney successfully tweaks their formula with this Polynesian themed winner that features unique sidekicks (a particularly dumb chicken, an impudent tattoo) and adversaries (coconut pirates, a giant singing crab). Like BSK, I liked it. 4.5/5.
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"Clive [Barker]'s idea of a great time is to have a nightmare about a woman with three heads and no skin who flays your body with a pitchfork. To give you some idea, NIGHTBREED has over 200 pus monsters, including one guy with a crescent moonhead like the McDonald's commercial and a fat guy with snakes that pop out of his stomach and eat your face off, and these are the GOOD GUYS. These are the people we're supposed to LIKE."-Joe Bob on NIGHTBREED
Rev. Powell
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« Reply #766 on: December 14, 2016, 09:57:37 AM »

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA: An angry, underachieving janitor returns to his hometown to face personal ghosts after his brother dies, leaving him to care for his fifteen-year-old nephew. An actors movie; Casey Affleck broods a dream. 3.5/5.

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS: An art gallery dealer (Amy Adams) receives a draft of a new novel from her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal); the story concerns a man whose family is kidnapped, and she thinks it's an allegory for their marriage. Both the framing story and the story-inside-the-story are good, though neither has a knockout ending; more assets than debits here, though, including a Lynchian atmosphere, a harrowing abduction scene, and Michael Shannon as a stoic West Texas police detective. 4/5.
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"Clive [Barker]'s idea of a great time is to have a nightmare about a woman with three heads and no skin who flays your body with a pitchfork. To give you some idea, NIGHTBREED has over 200 pus monsters, including one guy with a crescent moonhead like the McDonald's commercial and a fat guy with snakes that pop out of his stomach and eat your face off, and these are the GOOD GUYS. These are the people we're supposed to LIKE."-Joe Bob on NIGHTBREED
Ticonderoga 64
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« Reply #767 on: December 18, 2016, 07:58:47 PM »

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY(2016)

Pretty cool prologue to Episode IV: A New Hope, details of just how the Rebel Alliance got ahold of those Death Star plans in the first place. Nice use of some old characters here and great to see Darth Vader as a villain one more time. Smile
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #768 on: December 28, 2016, 09:56:31 AM »

LA LA LAND: Struggling actress meets and falls for struggling jazz musician in this old-style musical set in L.A. Predictable beats, but played in a vintage style with a refreshing lack of irony; impressive choreography, especially in the highly effective bittersweet climax. 4.5/5.
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"Clive [Barker]'s idea of a great time is to have a nightmare about a woman with three heads and no skin who flays your body with a pitchfork. To give you some idea, NIGHTBREED has over 200 pus monsters, including one guy with a crescent moonhead like the McDonald's commercial and a fat guy with snakes that pop out of his stomach and eat your face off, and these are the GOOD GUYS. These are the people we're supposed to LIKE."-Joe Bob on NIGHTBREED
Rev. Powell
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« Reply #769 on: January 04, 2017, 01:00:05 PM »

ROGUE ONE: A ragtag band of rebels steal the plans for the Death Star in this prequel to the original STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE. This standalone film departs from the standard STAR WARS formula by about 25%; just as Lucas' original was based on Kurosawa's THE HIDDEN FORTRESS, there's a certain SEVEN SAMURAI feel to this one. It doesn't take as much advantage of its opportunity to expand the universe and break from its cliches as it could, but it is a welcome diversion. 3.5/5.
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"Clive [Barker]'s idea of a great time is to have a nightmare about a woman with three heads and no skin who flays your body with a pitchfork. To give you some idea, NIGHTBREED has over 200 pus monsters, including one guy with a crescent moonhead like the McDonald's commercial and a fat guy with snakes that pop out of his stomach and eat your face off, and these are the GOOD GUYS. These are the people we're supposed to LIKE."-Joe Bob on NIGHTBREED
dean
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« Reply #770 on: January 04, 2017, 06:37:29 PM »

ROGUE ONE: A ragtag band of rebels steal the plans for the Death Star in this prequel to the original STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE. This standalone film departs from the standard STAR WARS formula by about 25%; just as Lucas' original was based on Kurosawa's THE HIDDEN FORTRESS, there's a certain SEVEN SAMURAI feel to this one. It doesn't take as much advantage of its opportunity to expand the universe and break from its cliches as it could, but it is a welcome diversion. 3.5/5.

The final scenes especially with Vader were terrific, but the script seemed a bit bogged down with some useless exposition.

A few notes (with spoilers):

Great that every main cast member got to have an emotional beat in the movie that covered their different personalities/motivations well (for an action adventure at least).

Forest Whitaker severely overacted in a role that seems like it was largely left on the cutting room floor. His role in the film was mostly useless and could have been tightened up. Either expand on his relationship with Jyn and develop how she became a rebellious sort in the first place (which needed fleshing out anyway beyond being imprisoned at the start) or just have a scene where they have to rescue the pilot from some bounty hunters or something without the emotional connections so you can move things along a bit quicker.

Decent villain whose main character traits and emotional plot lines are mostly absent because they were fleshed out in a novel set before this movie. I'm not annoyed by that but it just means that the excellent Ben Mendelsohn doesn't get enough 'scowl on screen' time that I would have preferred.

CGI Tarkin was an interesting one: I think that the concept of digitizing a dead actor to be a fascinating experiment (and somewhat pertinent given Carrie Fisher's untimely death and how that affects future films) but if I'm perfectly honest they should have just cast Charles Dance and then been given the option to have proper dialogue instead of shoe-horning old footage/audio into a film.

Vader had a terrible pun but makes up for it by going ballistic at the end. That actually gave me chills and I would actually watch a movie of him just flat out destroying people, which would be much better at showing how terrifying he is to the people in the Star Wars universe.

Overall I enjoyed it a bit better than Force Awakens, largely due to an original, albeit a bit paint by numbers, plot.
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #771 on: January 25, 2017, 01:34:39 PM »

20TH CENTURY WOMEN (2016): In 1979, a single mother asks two women, a feminist punk boarder and a promiscuous high school friend, to help her raise her son. Stuck a bit in the characters-in-search-of-a-story genre, but excellent acting and good humor make for an entertaining two-hour dramedy. 3.5/5.
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"Clive [Barker]'s idea of a great time is to have a nightmare about a woman with three heads and no skin who flays your body with a pitchfork. To give you some idea, NIGHTBREED has over 200 pus monsters, including one guy with a crescent moonhead like the McDonald's commercial and a fat guy with snakes that pop out of his stomach and eat your face off, and these are the GOOD GUYS. These are the people we're supposed to LIKE."-Joe Bob on NIGHTBREED
Rev. Powell
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« Reply #772 on: February 15, 2017, 10:39:23 AM »

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2017): Batman (the Lego version) must deal with the Joker's new league of supervillains, a new female commissioner of Gotham City with an anti-vigilante platform, the orphan he accidentally adopted, and most of all his own obstinant sense of self-reliance. An excellent extra-canonical Batcomedy; it's self-aware, sort of like an all-ages DEADPOOL, but sweet, funny, and with a likable protagonist. 4/5 (could go higher).
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"Clive [Barker]'s idea of a great time is to have a nightmare about a woman with three heads and no skin who flays your body with a pitchfork. To give you some idea, NIGHTBREED has over 200 pus monsters, including one guy with a crescent moonhead like the McDonald's commercial and a fat guy with snakes that pop out of his stomach and eat your face off, and these are the GOOD GUYS. These are the people we're supposed to LIKE."-Joe Bob on NIGHTBREED
Rev. Powell
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« Reply #773 on: March 15, 2017, 08:48:17 AM »

LOGAN (2017): In 2029 mutants have been virtually eliminated, and the borderline alcoholic former Wolverine hides out working as Uber driver; he takes on one last mission when a woman pays him to escort a young girl with mutant powers to the Canadian border. Dark, brutal, and elegiac, a fitting end to Marvel's gruffest superhero. 4/5.
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"Clive [Barker]'s idea of a great time is to have a nightmare about a woman with three heads and no skin who flays your body with a pitchfork. To give you some idea, NIGHTBREED has over 200 pus monsters, including one guy with a crescent moonhead like the McDonald's commercial and a fat guy with snakes that pop out of his stomach and eat your face off, and these are the GOOD GUYS. These are the people we're supposed to LIKE."-Joe Bob on NIGHTBREED
Rev. Powell
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« Reply #774 on: March 22, 2017, 03:38:37 PM »

JOHN WICK (2017): John Wick wants to retire from being the world's best assassin but they keep pulling him back in, so he kills about 100 of the world's greatest hit men, but more keep coming because in this world about 10% of the population is composed of assassins. There's a good idea here about the structure and laws of the criminal underworld and its neutral zone hotels in major cities and the action sequences are lively, but the whole thing is so absurd, over-the-top and cliched that it can only be taken as a comedy---and I didn't laugh enough to recommend. Everyone else seems to love how dumb and violent it is, though. 2.5/5
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"Clive [Barker]'s idea of a great time is to have a nightmare about a woman with three heads and no skin who flays your body with a pitchfork. To give you some idea, NIGHTBREED has over 200 pus monsters, including one guy with a crescent moonhead like the McDonald's commercial and a fat guy with snakes that pop out of his stomach and eat your face off, and these are the GOOD GUYS. These are the people we're supposed to LIKE."-Joe Bob on NIGHTBREED
dean
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« Reply #775 on: March 26, 2017, 06:46:09 PM »

JOHN WICK (2017): John Wick wants to retire from being the world's best assassin but they keep pulling him back in, so he kills about 100 of the world's greatest hit men, but more keep coming because in this world about 10% of the population is composed of assassins. There's a good idea here about the structure and laws of the criminal underworld and its neutral zone hotels in major cities and the action sequences are lively, but the whole thing is so absurd, over-the-top and cliched that it can only be taken as a comedy---and I didn't laugh enough to recommend. Everyone else seems to love how dumb and violent it is, though. 2.5/5

Was that the original that came out in 2014 or the sequel that just came out? In any case, I enjoyed the first as a somewhat off-the-beaten-path actioner. Reminded me of a better done version of Smokin' Aces. Worth noting that the directors are stunt-men and it shows in the way they structure the action. Also of note is the new film by one of them, Atomic Blonde, starring Charlize Theron which looks like an almost carbon copy of Wick, style wise, and the other director being tapped to do the Highlander remake...
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #776 on: March 28, 2017, 03:55:16 PM »

A film is only a film. That is not what interests me so much. What really interests me is what it inspires and co-conspires. Thus, here is . . .
Beauty and the Beast.

SWF
What it took me by surprise, is that the appeal crosses all boundaries.
Single
also couples. Both married and non-married.
White
and non-whites. Which really is not much of a surprise. Ugly. Forgotten. By others. As I presume some non-whites see themselves as the Beast. And then there is the message of judge me not on my parents. Judge me on myself.
Female
and males. Both younger and older. and like non-whites, I presume some see themselves as the Beast. With the hope that a woman can see past the exterior Beast to the Prince in the interior.

If I got that wrong. I did get the next right.

Success
success  breeds success. And you have people both before and behind the camera, or more likely their agents, going to . . .
Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucas Films, House of Mouse (take your pick.) and saying . . . and here is an example from Marvel Studios. one of many.
"My client [Rachel McAdams] would like to do a film for you. What do you have?"--"Well, we do have this film called 'Dr. Strange,' and we'd like for your client to portray the title character's love interest."

Critic proof
I am sure there are critics that like the film. The majority of critics may even like the film, but if you look at those critics who dislike the film, you realize that they just don't get it. As to the why, one reason may be that it is an extremely old fashioned. It may have been released in 2017, but it would not look out of place if it had been released 50/60 years ago.

Boycott proof
If this is the 1st PG-rated film with a gay character, then the House of Mouse, which is normally ahead of the pack, is way behind the ball on this one. I was going to say that there had been homosexuals in films since the '30's, except, that there were gay themed films being made even before that.  All the way back to the days of silent films. And while I am not surprised by the boycott, which seems to have no effect so far, what surprises me is the strong backlash to the call of the boycott. And while I have not seen all the arguments on both sides of the issue, I know the ones calling for a boycott are being called out for being hypocrites on the subject.

Best
Normally, I pay no attention to the box office, but I just happened to stumble on the fact that Beauty and the Beast set a record or was 2nd in one day total box office for a film released in March. Which got me to thinking. This year the Academy picked Moonlight as last year's best film. Except, even when Moonlight went into general released it earned only a fraction of what Beauty and the Beast earned in one day. Even four months later, Moonlight has earned less than half at the box office of what Beauty and the Beast earned that 1st day. Thus, what is really the Best film. The one declared Best by the Academy, but which few want to see, relatively speaking or a film that a lot of people want to see, but is unlikely to be picked by the Academy as the Best film of 2017 or even nominated as one of the best films.

Next time: actually, Beauty and the Beast is not that uninteresting. Thus, we'll take up the film in and of itself.
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dean
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« Reply #777 on: March 30, 2017, 08:16:20 AM »


Ghost in the Shell:

I wanna like it. I really do. And I don't hate it. Visually it's pretty stunning, but take that away and what you're left with is some mild contemplative moments, lazy expositional dialogue and a general malaise that somehow takes longer than the original but has less to say. All the best 'recreations' from the original are washed down versions without much consequence, and there are a few moments that had no point in this, except either to be in the trailer or panicked attempt to smooth over the whitewashing controversy.

Overall I think you'd like it more if you didn't have a connection to the originals and I do admit there a few moments in this where it seemed like some thought had been put into it, but pacing wise it just seemed to rush over moments it should have delved into more and held too long onto too much 'and now I'm hacking the hotel system', 'now i'm doing this other things,' type dialogue which really would have excised almost a third of this film.

Biggest sin I noticed: IN the opening credits they show Ghost in the Shell twice and it confused the hell out of me.

Seen in 3d (which was actually good) in a cinema that had about a dozen people in it on it's opening day.
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alandhopewell
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Hey....white women were in season.


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« Reply #778 on: March 31, 2017, 02:23:16 PM »

LOGAN (2017): In 2029 mutants have been virtually eliminated, and the borderline alcoholic former Wolverine hides out working as Uber driver; he takes on one last mission when a woman pays him to escort a young girl with mutant powers to the Canadian border. Dark, brutal, and elegiac, a fitting end to Marvel's gruffest superhero. 4/5.

     Trace and I went to see this, and were deeply disappointed; crude, overly gory, and overly profane.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #779 on: April 05, 2017, 03:09:21 PM »

Actually, I find Beauty and the Beast interesting. One of the most interesting films I have seen in some time. I just like to run things thru the big picture. Thus, here is some of the things I find interesting.

Tropes. there be Tropes then there be Tropes
Here is one that I can date from more than 50 years ago. As what is ugly on the outside may be beautiful on the inside, and what is beautiful on the outside may be ugly on the inside.
Widowers
Contrary to fact, there are more widowers in films than widows. And this film adds 2 more to the list.
And one of my favorites, where someone, knowing that they may die,  finally expresses their true feelings to someone, because sometimes you have to say something to someone, ere you die. And there is a good example of this in the film.

Questions
And one not answered by the film. If I was in a similar situation as Belle in the film, how long would it be to I went mad.

Obvious. sometimes is not Obvious
If we know Le Fou is suppose to be the 1st canonical character who is gay, then the clues are there. If we do not know this, then the clues are still there, but they may not be that obvious. Again it may not be that obvious, but Le Fou seems to be not the only gay character in the village.

Music
I am so fond of the songs in the original animated version, I did not think that any new songs would equal this, but I was really fond of the new song Days of Summer.

Motivations
As pointed out, the motivations here are more plausible than in the animated version. Including the gay Le Fou. And the villagers. While you cannot condone their motivations, the film does make their motivations clearer.

Interesting. very Interesting
The Prince
Actually, comes off as less of a racist, than the villagers in the film. For if one looks closely there are more non-white characters, both as guests and servants, at the beginning of the film in the palace than there is in the village.
Handsome is as Handsome does.
I think the Prince looks better at the end of the film, his natural look, than he does at the beginning of the film, where he is covered in powder and paint.
Time and Distance
The distance between the village and the time it takes to get there, seemingly varies from scene to scene.
Guests
No guests were harmed in the pursuit of the curse. Seemingly, unlike the servants and the prince, allowed to escape the palace not cursed.

Emotions (IMHO)
The joys are more joyful than in the animated film.
The scares are scarier than in the animated film.
The sorrows are more sorrowful than in the animated film.
And the tragedy is more tragic than in the animated film.
Not only do the servants come across as being tragic characters, being caught up in something they had little to do with, but so does the prince, whose punishment seems to exceed his crime.

Characters
The priest
Accidentally or deliberately, comes across, excluding Maurice, as being not only the one truly educated man in the village, but also seemingly the only non-white man in the village.
Gaston
A more rounded character than in the animated, version going from a likable fool to a mean spirited fool. Which is just the opposite of the direction of the Beast/Prince who goes from mean spirited to more likable.
The fathers
Who take opposite directions in the film, when their wives die. Maurice, Belle's father, who becomes protective of Belle, while the prince's father, and there are hints to this, becomes abusive (emotionally? mentally? physically? sexually? or all 4) of the prince.
Enchantress
Who has a bigger part than in the animated version, and who may also be the village spinster in an alternate life.

Casting
Again impeccable and exemplary w/ a surprise in every film. Who'd have thought that Kevin Kline would do such a good job as Maurice. Not I.

Next time: possible winners and losers





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