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davidm

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ha ha, just watched that Artemis Fowl movie on Disney+

Context : its clearly not aimed at me, I've never read the books, don't know a thing about them (have read one book by the author, but that was the strange HHGTTG sequel thing ; was ok). But what I knew about this movie was that it was meant to be a "big thing", big name director, some stunt casting and they clearly had spent a LOT of money on it (tons of SFX) and I assumed it had just been bumped to D+ rather than theatrical release because of all the covid stuff. Hadn't read *any* reviews of it before I watched it either.

But boy was it a big mess. Some truly awful performances (apart from the lead fairy girl, she was good). It kinda all didn't make sense in the same way that the original version of Highlander 2 didn't make sense ; plot just jumped around, whole bits seemed to be missing, time spent on stuff that just didn't matter and so on.

Just looking on twitter now, and everyone seems to hate it too.

Only saving grace was that it was only 90m.

Explains why they were happy to demote it to D+ then.
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
With the cinemas being reopened in the UK I have finally seen a few new films. No spoilers/spoiler free reviews

Unhinged

It's what you hoped a chase thriller starting Russell Crowe to be like, his character "Tom" is a "not so lean", but mean, killing machine. Story wise it's nothing new, but the execution is done well and works as the popcorn thriller that it is. The film social messaging about driving awareness is over the top at times, but that doesn't stop the enjoyment and excitement of this 90 minute thrill ride. 8/10

BabyTeeth
'Babyteeth' is an Australian film, which surprised me as not many international films get shown at my Cineworld (America doesn't count)
It is slow moving, and some bits feels stereotypically "indie" like a girl who befriends an old man and listens to alternative dance music while her parents are liberals in a conservative environment, yet the film still had a few interesting things to say about drug dependency and the ending is raw and pretty moving. I'd give it a 7/10

Tenet
I am a big Christopher Nolan fan and I have admired most of his works, His films bring high concept and artistry into Hollywood blockbusters, as Mark Kermode said "He makes arthouse films disguised as summer blockbusters" and with Tenet the same tricks and tools are used. In all honesty I think it is more complicated than it needed to be, I won't say what it is, but the visual mechanics are simple, but the explanation of the mechanics are very complex. I enjoyed the Nolan's signature suaveness, with Robert Patterson playing someone who is a calm as a Hindu cow in light of the films events. The actions sequences are pretty cool, but not nearly on the scale of inception or The Dark Knight films, in some ways the film feels quite small despite it's high concept, as they are not many characters or that many locations for 2hr and 30 minute film. The score is distracting, some of it works well, but there are scenes which it just sucks all the momentum out of the dialogue with it's loud distracting THUMPING. Overall 'Tenet' is not Nolan's best work, I will say that it is well paced in that the film moves on before you have time to overthink anything and the action set pieces kept me entertained, It's a overloaded and convoluted , but also an engaging film. I'm feeling it a 6.5/10

It was good to get back to the cinema. I am seeing Tenet again this Monday so maybe I'll enjoy it more.
 

Professor

Previously AndrewRollercoaster
Tenet (2020)
Not a big Nolan fan at all. I only really like his Dark Knight movies. In fact I love them.
To me this was more of the same stuff he does in his other movies: little emotion, no humour, too much tell and not show (a real movie maker sin to me).
There was far too much muffled unclear dialogue which I think is intentional. BOOM music at times. The style fits The Dark Knight and really worked there but here are you are often left with the sense that you should care because things are getting hectic but you just don't. Several MacGuffins which I think are there because Nolan writes himself into a corner at several times (same as in Interstellar). A very boring villain and boring female character who doesn't give a damn about anything except her son who you never see or see that she has a bond with. A few changes to the script could have solved that.
The movie clearly takes some inspiration from James Bond but for me (the perhaps more braindead to be fair) Mission Impossible series is the only one left of the three that I can actually enjoy (even the new Bond trailer itself looks bad somehow).
A 4/10 which is pretty much exactly what I was expecting. No fun or joy at all. Even Schindler's List has more jokes. There is light even in the darkest of times in human history. It's ok to show that in a movie I think.

If you like Nolan you will probably like this or enjoy yourself mostly. It definitely has an audience. I'm just not part of it and I don't know why I keep torturing myself going to see Nolan movies.

Not Nolan's fault but wearing a mask in a cinema for 2 1/2 hours is too much for me I found. This is not working for me sadly.


I also rented Onward (2020) the other week. That was superb! Another Pixar gem. 9/10
So much character development. Strange things that actually work really well in the end. A realisation that what is being longed for was always there. I love these type of messages. So up-lifting. The title takes on a special meaning after you've seen the movie.
I wish Nolan's non Dark Knight movies had more of all that sort of stuff.
It is what it is. I should probably watch more Pixar in the cinema. They hardly ever disappoint.
 
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Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
Tenet - re-review

Sorry to bump the thread, but after watching
tenet again, I do like it more than my first viewing, the plot for one makes alot more sense and the action and visuals just seemed better. I still have issues with it, such as the editing, sound design and some of the dialogue, but it is a good film and it is worth seeing if you need to get out of the house. 7/10

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gavin

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I've watched a bunch of random **** over the last few months which I can't really remember enough about to bother posting about.

Finally got back to the cinema today though (they've been open a couple of weeks, but without anything new being released until the last week or so).

Antebellum

Decent enough, but nothing amazing. It's hard to describe it without giving too much away. The idea behind it was decent, but it felt like it didn't take full advantage of it, instead wasting time on a bunch of filler scenes. They could have either pared those back a bit, or made the film a bit longer maybe.

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gavin

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Double post since I just watched another one.

Tenet

Total bollocks. Two and a half hours of crap, an hour and a half of which is monotonous car chases, gun fights and CGI smashy smashy.

Despite the obvious attempt at mind-f**kery, there's only an hour's worth of actual plot. Ooooooh look, we've got these cool "backwards" special effects; let's do that for over two hours.

F**king s**te.

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Professor

Previously AndrewRollercoaster
Double post since I just watched another one.

Tenet

Total bollocks. Two and a half hours of crap, an hour and a half of which is monotonous car chases, gun fights and CGI smashy smashy.

Despite the obvious attempt at mind-f**kery, there's only an hour's worth of actual plot. Ooooooh look, we've got these cool "backwards" special effects; let's do that for over two hours.

F**king s**te.

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My frustration with the movie has actually grown since I saw it.
It really annoys me as Nolan more than thoroughly entertained me with his Batman movies. In fact I think they are on par with the original Richard Donner Superman movies and only Infinity War from Marvel was ever as good as all that too.

I felt NO emotional connection to ANY of the characters in Tenet, unlike in the Dark Knight and Rises, one minute you agree with Alfred, then Bruce, then you root for Gordon, you are surprised at Joker and Bane's cleverness, tricks and double plays or pure strength or will. So many things are thrown at you.
In Tenet you don't feel anything for anyone or care about a god damn thing.
It's as if some computer autocomplete algorithm wrote the script.

-----

Toy Story 4.
I rewatched it last night. I still think it is somewhat unnecessary but it is mostly well done. Some of the animation is SO beautiful. The music brings it all home.
It deserves an 8/10 but I still think leaving it with Toy Story 3 at a 10/10 would have been a bit better / complete.
The emotion works well, good jokes and the story is probably one of the best it could have been after 3.
 

Professor

Previously AndrewRollercoaster
Spiderman: Far from home (2019)

Really bad. It all seems very childish to me. Some of the stuff such as the mid and post credits scenes were just eye rolling annoying I thought - yes I made it that far, not sure how. Quite patronising towards the audience with almost every character intentionally behaving like an idiot most of the movie (see the teachers / classmates etc) No one takes anything seriously, even referring to the horrific events in Infinity War as "The Blip". The movie makers treated the gorgeous Zendaya actress like an afterthought, probably had to pay her a fortune, and placed her in bland clothing. She even presses her lips together most of the movie looking like a disinterested duck.

The movie makers treated its audience as if they are only 3 year olds. Far From Home makes an average Pixar pic seem like a Shakespeare play.

It all moves fast, constant CGI. Little emotion and the stakes don't seem to matter as the revelation of what the bad guy is doing comes too quickly (Iron Man 3 esque horrible). No stock taking (or at least very little) Peter Parker feels down, hears a few lines from Happy and then turns into Tony Stark. Ugh.

An awful take on the superhero formula. I don't like this at all.

Tom Holland is a pretty bad Spiderman. As Downey Jr's silly sidekick he sort of worked but on his own this new Spiderman is mostly irritating with a very vague line of skills what he is capable of doing exactly. I used to see Spiderman (Toby Maguire) as sort of strongish (to a certain extent), fast, with webbing skills but also sort of vulnerable like a real spider. Amongst the menacing guys he sort of was vulnerable at least, I thought. There is none of that anymore because of added Tony Stark tech skills. The superhero's are becoming too similar now. So there is no cleverness or whit in overcoming the bad guy. It is just bang bang, "I am stronger and can resist everything" type of stuff. Seeing Wonder Woman in a golden iron suit doesn't bode well either. These two Spiderman movies have been the worst out of the 7 over the last 20 years by far. It is time to either take Peter Parker out of high school or stop making these childish movies altogether I would say.

On the Blu Ray I rented there is a glaring problem with the 5.1 sound mix with the sounds from the speakers at the back being FAR too loud at times. I have a decent balanced system and somewhat sensitive ears so it was quite obvious.

2 / 10

Literally one point for the effects crews. Even Michael Giacchino's score sucked - repetitive, he's normally great. I guess he didn't have much decent footage to score to, to be fair. Compare it to his stellar Rogue One score for example. Now THAT was a movie: grit, emotion, darkness, menace, clever nostalgia, great characters all treated with respect, no one behaved like an idiot, but still lots of fun. If you want the opposite this latest Spiderman is the ticket.
 
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nadroJ

CF Legend
I watched a really bad film last night which inspired me to dig out this thread and give a brief review of some stuff I've watched recently. Let's start with the worst...

Antebellum
Urgh...OK I was drawn in by this because the poster art looked cool, the trailer is fab and it has the great accolades of being from the producers of Get Out and Us, both of which I loved. Antebellum's biggest crime is that it is very much marketed as a horror film but the horror involved is much more....insidious and broad, therefore it doesn't really work as your typical horror. It also takes waaaayyyy too long to get into it, feels extremely gratuitous in what we do see to the point of eye-rolling (do we really need more on-screen time given to pain being inflicted to black bodies by white people?) and whilst I enjoyed the overall idea behind the film*, it just didn't really feel like it did anything.

*it's a Civil War Re-enactmentment immersive theme park experience with a whole...slave fantasy thing going on.

The Faculty
At the start of lockdown last year I made a big ol' list of movies I want to see but always forget about. The most recent of these I managed to tick off was The Faculty. It's a 90s teen horror type affair but with a twist
(the teachers are aliens)
. And it's really great. It's extremely 90s with a soundtrack to match and the whole thing has a very Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibe mixed in with the creature effects of Men In Black and a pinch of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. There is a little bit of questionable CGI but aside from that I had a ball.

Melancholia
I love Lars Von Trier but I've tried to sit down and watch Melancholia multiple times and never really been in the mood. It is agonisingly slow, but believe me when I say the payoff makes it all worth it. Essentially it's the end of the world and the movie follows two sisters and how they approach the situation differently. For me it's as close to a real life reaction to such news as one could imagine, but it's drop fed through. We see people doing bizarre things, but they're mostly not focussed or commented on, and when we reach the end of the movie (where you can guess what happens) it all seems to come together perfectly. Brilliant, but you need to pay for the payoff with your undivided attention.

News of the World
I love Tom Hanks, I love stories about the American 'dustbowl' and this has been nominated for an Oscar, so I gave it a watch, The story wasn't my favourite thing in the world (has some slight Dances with Wolves vibes) but the cinematography is just glorious and makes the whole thing worthwhile of your time.
 
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davidm

Strata Poster
Antebellum
Urgh...OK I was drawn in by this because the poster art looked cool, the trailer is fab
Yeah I watched that last night (Sky's Movie-of-the-week to blame!) - liked it in the end, glad I didn't watch the trailer first though.
 

furie

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IThe Faculty
At the start of lockdown last year I made a big ol' list of movies I want to see but always forget about. The most recent of these I managed to tick off was The Faculty. It's a 90s teen horror type affair but with a twist
(the teachers are aliens)
. And it's really great. It's extremely 90s with a soundtrack to match and the whole thing has a very Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibe mixed in with the creature effects of Men In Black and a pinch of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. There is a little bit of questionable CGI but aside from that I had a ball.

I love The Faculty. I watched it on release at the cinema. I can't even start to pin down why it's so enjoyable, but it is. And it IS a movie right of that moment.

I watched Kong Vs Godzilla on Friday night. It's just 2 hours of stupidity. No real plot, just excuses to have these massive creatures fight loudly with each other. I'm a massive fan of the original series of films, and while they've lot the rubber monsters, these films do still capture the essence of the originals. I really enjoy them. I want to see giant monsters battling it out over zero plot. 10/10 for me, probably 4/10 for everyone else :)

Also watched Wonder Woman '84 last weekend. What utter tosh. It didn't help that they had an arcade with Operation Wolf in it in the opening sequence (it didn't hit the arcades until '87) which ruined my ability to suspend disbelief and couldn't believe that any of the rest of the film was any good at all. From poor CGI, to a plot the original 70's Linda Carter Wonder Woman series would have turned down. It was just a mess, dragged kicking and screaming until the awful finale. It's a shame, because I really liked the original and had high hopes. 4/10 and wouldn't watch again.[/QUOTE]
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
I Care A Lot:

Rosamund Pike gives a strong performance and the film has interesting things to say about some of the immoral aspects capitalism, the film is entertaining and is well paced, Peter Dinklage pulls of his role well, balancing the line of playing it straight while also having fun with it. The score fits the warped mindset of the main character. My main gripe is that Rosamund Pike's character, while brilliantly performed, is so vile that I didn't care about her when she was in peril and while I think the film ends somewhat satisfying, it doesn't quite make up for all the time we are meant to root for her, or at least not what to see her suffer. I'd give it a 7/10

One Night In Miami:
Saw this twice is one month, great film with a brilliant script from Kemp Powers, great performances all around. While it sometimes feels too much like a play, it has some great production design and plenty of interesting themes and ideas. It also made me discover a lot of Sam Cooke's songs so that is a plus. I'd give it an 8/10

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Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
Melancholia
I love Lars Von Trier but I've tried to sit down and watch Melancholia multiple times and never really been in the mood. It is agonisingly slow, but believe me when I say the payoff makes it all worth it. Essentially it's the end of the world and the movie follows two sisters and how they approach the situation differently. For me it's as close to a real life reaction to such news as one could imagine, but it's drop fed through. We see people doing bizarre things, but they're mostly not focussed or commented on, and when we reach the end of the movie (where you can guess what happens) it all seems to come together perfectly. Brilliant, but you need to pay for the payoff with your undivided attention.

Melancholia is a beautiful film, I was worried that I'd find Kirsten Dunst character annoying, but Trier does a great job at having the audience sympathise with her. I don't think I'd sit through it again anytime soon though, Trier's films aren't exactly relaxing

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Watched a few films the other day since I was ill and childless for the night.

Barb and Star Go To Vista del Mar

Ah I was looking forward to watching this even though it looked ridiculous. Kristen Wiig is a favourote of mine in the comedy world and Bridesmaids was so brilliant that I figured I was in for a treat with this one. Nah, honestly it had a few laughs and the dynamic between the two friends is cute but that's about it. A lot of the jokes didn't land and it was too ridiculously over the top for me. 6.5/10

The Rental

Felt like watching a horror film that wasn't too scary since I was home alone. Unfortunately it wasn't scary whatsoever, moreso just uncomfortable. It wasn't an awful movie but most of it is based on the characters' relationships and whatnot rather than anything particularly spooky, and when any action does occur it's brief and in the last, maybe, 15 minutes of the film? Not awful and a decent mindless watch but forgettable. 5/10
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
Spiral: From the Book of Saw

Another jumpstart to the Saw franchise after the utterly disappointing load of rubbish that was Jigsaw...

It was actually pretty good on the whole. Refreshing story and tone for the series, which keeps things interesting and true to the spirit of the franchise. Some nice nods to previous films too. It's not too trap-heavy compared to other Saw films (if anything, it could have done with one or two more imo), but they're all decent.

As for the patented Saw twist (spoilers ahead; duh..):
I wasn't particularly satisfied with it. There were two moments during the film I guessed Schenk was behind it - the first shortly after his introduction, the second after his not-shown death, which was basically shouting at the audience telling us it was going to happen.
I did like the twist within that he was the son of innocent guy, and it added some cool development. Having him escape in plain view of SWAT felt a bit silly though.

I think my biggest issue was that Schenk's motivation was just a throw away sentence or two. 'Jigsaw was right, so I'm copying him' doesn't do much. I guess it opens it up to be explored in a sequel if they choose to go that way, but I just feel like it needed a little bit more oompf to really solidify it.

So yeah, all in all, pretty good. 3.5/5
 

peep

CF Legend
Cinemas are back! It made me happy to return last night to see Spiral: From the book of Saw.

I haven't seen all of the Saw films and can't remember much of those I have, I do tend to at least enjoy the creativity of some sequences. It was nice to see this film try something different but there was something off about Chris Rock, lots of shots looked poorly dubbed. The torture sequences felt like they came from a different film to the rest, it just seemed disjointed and like two different films had been spliced together. I felt very underwhelmed when the credits started and I just can't stop thinking about how many things were just lame or cheap. Overall I found it to be a bit meh but there's certainly some fun to be had if you enjoy the Saw films.
 

peep

CF Legend
Saw two more films last night at the cinema. Started with Godzilla vs Kong in IMAX. I've been enjoying this new monsterverse series and this is a great addition to that line up. The visuals are absolutely ridiculous, the sheer scale of some scenes is just impressive. I thought there were some interesting Sci-fi elements and designs in there and I wasn't expecting them. The sub plot about the big tech company was predictable but helped keeps things from being just big battle scenes. The little deaf girl was amazing and gave the film some nice moments. Overall I really enjoyed it, a perfect spectacle for the big screen.

Then I saw Mortal Kombat in 4DX which was the best way to see this film. The dialogue is pretty garbage and a lot of the acting is dodge but the action sequences were fun and it really did feel like a fighting game turned into a movie. The 4DX effects were so ridiculous that it did make for a much more enjoyable time, each time a big character entrance was about to happen there was a fog effect in front of the screen, I loved it. The back poking effect was used a LOT which obviously makes sense considering everyone keeps getting stabbed. Overall I had a fun time, would probably watch the sequel in the same way if it happens.
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
It has been good to get back to my local cinema after so long, I have seen two films so far and I off to see Mortal Kombat this Saturday.

My New York Year
I went into this completely blind and it's the kind of film you'd expect it to be from the poster, no doubt it's a pensioner matinee, but sill I am an old man at heart so it suited me just fine. The film is based on Joanna Rakoff's experience working as an intern at Harold Ober Associates, a firm which represents privative author JD Salinger. During the first 30 minutes I had absolutely no interest in it whatsoever, it honestly felt like I was sat in a book club. About 45 minutes in it begins to pick up as you get to hear all of Salinger's fanmail and Joanna's reception to it. It's a fine film, but never exceeds being just fine.

Spiral: From The Book of Saw
I have developed a soft spot for the Saw franchise, while I only think the first two are actually "good" movies, the amount of bloodshed and gore throughout the series is somewhat of an achievement when you think about; how many mainstream films nowadays are as gory as Saw? it's the closest thing modern audiences get to the video nasties era. 'Spiral' attempts to break the series formula by altering the focus onto Chris Rock's character " Zeke". making it more of a police thriller than a horror film, the result of this is that the film often feels confused in what direction it wants to go in as half of it feels like a David Ayer film and the other is classic Saw; the shift in tone is just too jarring at times. Chris Rock has a habit of overacting in his scenes, but his intensity levels out with the films eventually so it's less notable towards the end. Samuel L Jackson does lift the marital slightly, but despite his talent, the poor writing does show in the films dialogue as well as it's messy story structure. Despite all this and with me acknowledging the film isn't "good" from a critical point of view, I still had a good time. It's cheesy but it's fun enough.
 

peep

CF Legend
Last weekend I saw two more films. I had planned on seeing 4 but two of them got spited at the last minute for reasons unknown, still angry about it.

First up was Cruella which was fun enough, I enjoy seeing Emma Stone and Emma Thompson and they were both fantastic. The film takes a while to get going but once the fashion house part of the story starts it gets pretty good and some the designs were really creative and interesting.

I also saw Those who wish me dead which is the latest from Taylor Sheridan and I thought it was great. It's a pretty slow start, lots of character and story set up but once the bad dudes are introduced things start to move along and get interesting. If you like Sheridan's previous films (Sicaro, Wind River, Hell or High water) you'll certainly enjoy this.
 
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