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Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
Mortal Kombat
It's not that bad actually. Not good, but certainly better than I expected it to be. A group a friends roped me into seeing it, but I had a decent time with it, if you are fan of the games and know of the "lore" then there is plenty too enjoy, my biggest complaint is that for someone like me who knows little about the Mortal Kombat franchise the film doesn't do a very good job at explaining and presenting the world to you, you are more or less thrown in and expected to care. The redeeming factors here are Kano, the Aussie bro who makes snide remarks at other characters and Mehcad Brooks who I really wish was in it more. The fights were good and bloody, the storytelling wasn't great, but the film had good enough pacing to keep me semi invested. 5/10

Cruellla
I had no idea that this film even existed until a week before it's release. It's defiantly stands out as a highlight of an otherwise modern bastardisation trend of Disney classic animated films. Emma Stone and Emma Thompson bounce off their wits perfectly with each other. You have to applauded Jenny Beavan outstanding costume design work here, the whole film really depends on it as the whole backdrop is the 70s London fashion scene, the bin bag dress stood out as my favourite out of 30-something different looks the titular character has. As you would expect the material here is darker than most Disney remakes and spin off's, they hint as some stuff, but I hoped that they would go a bit further than they did considering this is 'Cruella' we are talking about, but still it's a product that actually feels like a film. A project in which there is a clear creative vision and you can tell that everyone evolved were working their hardest and it pays of for the most part. 7/10

First Cow
After hearing glowing reviews from the likes of Mark Kermode I was interested in seeing this indie film. 'First Cow' has had a very limited release showing in only 20 so screens across the UK, the only place it was showing near me was the "Home" cinema in Manchester city centre. I have been there a number of times in the past several years, it's a good cinema if you're into independent and art-house films. To be honest I was disappointed in the film itself after hearing so many great things. I still thought the film was decent, the large appeal for me was the beautiful framing and delicate cinematography as well as Toby Jones delivering another great if not smaller role as the film's main antagonist "Cheif Factor". The film's pacing is the main complaint for me here as the first hour truly drags and I am quite a patient person, I feel as if many of the shots, while beautiful are way too long and have said everything they needed to say at least 10 seconds before they cut. 6/10
 

peep

CF Legend
FINALLY saw Raya and the last dragon at the cinema. The animation, textures and World creation are beautiful apart from the Elsa dragon-faces. Everything about the dragon designs are nice but the heads just look really jarring, like they stuck one of the princess doll heads on it. It has quite a large roster of interesting characters and a lot of heart, the score was great, very emotional towards the end. I also really liked the short film that showed before it, it's amazing how far the tech for CG animation has come.

The Father, I thought this was a really clever way of showing how the father's mind is slowly going, it feels like the film puts you in his shoes and keeps you wondering what's real and what is a distorted memory. Quite depressing with brilliant performances from the whole cast.

Nobody was exactly what I wanted it to be, stupid fun action film in a very similar vain to John Wick. Just really fun.


Last night I went to a special screening of Scott Pilgrim vs the World at the Odeon in Leicester Square. It was introduced by Edgar Wright and afterwards there was a Q&A with him and Bill Pope (famous cinematographer). It was sold out which post-lockdown was a really surreal experience and the atmosphere was amazing. It was an amped up version of the film for the 10th anniversary especially in Dolby Atmos and Vision and the sound during the battles and band scenes was phenomenal.
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
FINALLY saw Raya and the last dragon at the cinema. The animation, textures and World creation are beautiful apart from the Elsa dragon-faces. Everything about the dragon designs are nice but the heads just look really jarring, like they stuck one of the princess doll heads on it. It has quite a large roster of interesting characters and a lot of heart, the score was great, very emotional towards the end. I also really liked the short film that showed before it, it's amazing how far the tech for CG animation has come.

The Father, I thought this was a really clever way of showing how the father's mind is slowly going, it feels like the film puts you in his shoes and keeps you wondering what's real and what is a distorted memory. Quite depressing with brilliant performances from the whole cast.

Nobody was exactly what I wanted it to be, stupid fun action film in a very similar vain to John Wick. Just really fun.


Last night I went to a special screening of Scott Pilgrim vs the World at the Odeon in Leicester Square. It was introduced by Edgar Wright and afterwards there was a Q&A with him and Bill Pope (famous cinematographer). It was sold out which post-lockdown was a really surreal experience and the atmosphere was amazing. It was an amped up version of the film for the 10th anniversary especially in Dolby Atmos and Vision and the sound during the battles and band scenes was phenomenal.
That's awesome about seeing Edgar Wright! Did he talk about his upcoming film?

Sent from my SM-A217F using Tapatalk
 

peep

CF Legend
That's awesome about seeing Edgar Wright! Did he talk about his upcoming film?


Not really, he obviously plugged it and the Sparks Brothers documentary but they kept it all to pretty much Scott Pilgrim. Someone who asked a question mentioned she was an extra for the new film though.


Saw a few films over the last week - Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard - The first one was ok but it really didn't need a sequel. This film wasn't as fun, the cast felt like they were just going through the motions, even if Selma Hayek going mental is fun to watch. There were a few moments that made me laugh but overall it's a bit tedious.

Fast and Furious 9 - NINE! How are there nine of these now? I saw it in a busy IMAX screening and it was great fun, it's absolutely stupid but the film is so aware of this and runs with it and jokes about how ridiculous everything is and that is why it works. There were entire scenes where everyone was just giggling at the absurdity on the screen, great atmosphere. Family.

Before F9 was also a 10 minute preview for Jurassic World 3. Most of it was like a nature documentary in the time of the dinos - they had fur! The CGI was stunning. It then cuts to a scene in the modern day which is great fun, has me very excited for the film, just sad it's still a year away.
 

Howie

Strata Poster
The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard.
Total sh*te.
But it was my first outing to the cinema in over a year so I still kinda enjoyed it.
Plus, Salma Hayek's gravity-defying, age-defying boobs are always a joy to behold, even when covered up, so there's that at least. 🤷‍♂️
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
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Just saw Luca, that new Pixar film.

It was ... Okay? I mean, it's not boring, and it's visually stunning, but it's probably the most by-the-numbers Pixar film I've seen to date. If you've seen the trailers, you know the entire plot, and it's a plot you've seen before. The characters are not particularly interesting (possibly with the exception of the girl's father, who has quite a few touching moments, but he's mostly a background character). There aren't many highlights among the jokes. The world building is not Pixar's best either (granted, that's a very high bar to clear, but they aren't really trying).

It's serviceable. I suspect it wouldn't really have been a smashing success at the box office, but its format suits streaming just fine. It's almost so one suspects that Pixar decided to take a very old story recipe and make a movie that followed it as closely as possible, without really taking any chances, but also to make the prettiest movie to ever follow that recipe. It works fine as a well-crafted showcase of a lot of old tropes, at least.
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
A few more this week ...

Fast & Furious 9:

Well here we are 9 (10 really) films in and each one gets more insane than the last. I don't have to tell anyone that this series has jumped the shark. If you want to turn you're brain off and see how silly a film can get that you'll have a good time like I did, I wish I could spoil it, but I won't, It has to be seen to be believed! 6/10 Pretty much agree with what @peep said.

Luca:
It's no surprise here, but this film is visually stunning, there is a real eye for detail and actually a lot of restraight here when it comes to the plot and location. I do agree with some of @Pokemaniac 's points about the film being fairly average, I think the title character and Giulia (ginger girl) could of done with more character development, but I would say that Luca's friend Alberto was an interesting character as he uses denial and fantasy as his way of battling his grief and I feel his whole "silenzio bruno" sensibility steams from knowing nothing worse can happen to him, or maybe I am reading to much into it? 7/10

The Father:
For the most part this felt more like a horror film than a drama. I found it's disturbing, in the best way, seeing the world through the perspective of a dementia patient is truly horrifying and the worst part is that this happens to many people, in fact one of my friends grandparents had it and it was a very traumatic experience for everyone involved, what I loved about this is that the film never forces you to feel anything, everything is shown in a kind of matter-of-fact documentary style. I don't recall a score being used, but maybe their was, either way the performances from the legendary Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman make this film worth a watch even if it may be too upsetting for some. 8/10
 
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peep

CF Legend
Freaky - the premise of this film is fun and simple, serial killer ends up swapping bodies with a girl he was trying to kill because the knife he uses is cursed. It's a little clunky in places but it's really fun, Vince Vaughn looked like he was having a good time with the whole girl trapped in his body role.


Another Round - Brilliant film about a group of teachers starting an experiment they heard about where they drink a little bit of alcohol every day to make them better teachers. Obviously things spiral a bit but it's really heartwarming, sad and also funny. If you get a chance to watch it I highly recommend.
 

peep

CF Legend
Finally watched Luca, it is beautiful, fun and bright. I loved the suspicious cat and the gran the most.

Black Widow I saw on a big screen and it was fine. Probably one of the weakest films in the MCU for me. If it was released around the time the story takes place would I think better of it? Only a bit. The accents were extremely distracting and the action scenes were ok but predictable due to the billions of adverts over the past year and a half.

Caught up this weekend with the Netflix Fear Street trilogy. I really enjoyed them, I liked the overall story arc and the way the films linked up. I was surprised by how gruesome some of the deaths were. Also the songs on the soundtracks are brilliant.


I had to self-isolate this past week due to the covid app ping and now I'm overwhelmed with how many films at the cinema I have to catch up with. Looks like the release schedule this summer is bonkers.
 

solarfall

Roller Poster
I watched Mary & Max recently. It's really good - equal parts funny, touching, and depressing. Plus I'm a sucker for stop motion animation. It's available to stream on the Criterion Channel if anyone is interested.

Just a warning: it's not child-appropriate at all even though it's animated.
 

furie

SBOPD
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Administrator
Moderator
Just saw Luca, that new Pixar film.

It was ... Okay? I mean, it's not boring, and it's visually stunning, but it's probably the most by-the-numbers Pixar film I've seen to date. If you've seen the trailers, you know the entire plot, and it's a plot you've seen before. The characters are not particularly interesting (possibly with the exception of the girl's father, who has quite a few touching moments, but he's mostly a background character). There aren't many highlights among the jokes. The world building is not Pixar's best either (granted, that's a very high bar to clear, but they aren't really trying).

It's serviceable. I suspect it wouldn't really have been a smashing success at the box office, but its format suits streaming just fine. It's almost so one suspects that Pixar decided to take a very old story recipe and make a movie that followed it as closely as possible, without really taking any chances, but also to make the prettiest movie to ever follow that recipe. It works fine as a well-crafted showcase of a lot of old tropes, at least.
Yeah, it was really pedestrian. I did enjoy it, but it was so shallow. Was perfect as a Disney Plus, plus - I'd have been really disappointed to see it at the cinema though. It was lovely to look at, but so little actually happens - we never really follow the parents or delve into the world under the sea. Just completely lacking in any real meat.

Black Widow I saw on a big screen and it was fine. Probably one of the weakest films in the MCU for me. If it was released around the time the story takes place would I think better of it? Only a bit. The accents were extremely distracting and the action scenes were ok but predictable due to the billions of adverts over the past year and a half.
100% the weakest MCU film for me too. I was hoping for something more - Winter Soldier is one of my favourite MCU films because it takes the time to be something other than a "Spandex Super" film - it's more akin to James Bond (Tuxedo Super?). So yeah, I had a lot of hope that maybe it would follow a similar path, but it just didn't.

The accents were bad (why have somebody famed for being a broad cockney play a Russian?) - but the biggest issues were the basic premise and the bad guy. Again, the MCU fails to deliver a big bad. Taskmaster was criminally underused and Cockney Russian Gangster bloke was useless. "I shall surround myself with mind controlled girls of DOOOOOM!" or something?

The horror of what was done to the Widows was the fact that they were taken as children and turned into living weapons. Make them into robots with fairy dust that turns them back into real girls? It all just falls apart. I need to watch it again, just to see if there was something that can redeem it.

Caught up this weekend with the Netflix Fear Street trilogy. I really enjoyed them, I liked the overall story arc and the way the films linked up. I was surprised by how gruesome some of the deaths were. Also the songs on the soundtracks are brilliant.
OMG - This thing frustrates me so much.

I have a problem with the basics of it. The entire film is based on the horror tropes (it wears this proudly). The problem is, that the tropes it plays on are all from films that have killers who (originally) weren't meant to be supernatural. Jason (well, his mum) and Michael Myers predominantly, in their original films were more sinister because they were human.

Then Scream was the perfect film where it played on these tropes. Again, none supernatural. So, you have a series of films, that ape "real life" killer films, only with a supernatural twist. Achieving none of the threat, terror or horror of the tropes they played off.

Even worse, the soundtracks... Sorry @peep

I liked the soundtracks, but they were the most "what songs can we have that define the era, only songs that not everyone listened too to show how cool we are for not going for the obvious?" The trouble is, that the songs were too esoteric. Moonage Daydream rather than Ziggy Stardust, Carry On My Wayward Son instead of Sweet Home Alabama, Come out and Play instead of Smells Like Teen Spirit? Even worse, they used Don't Fear The Reaper, which was already used in Scream! And nobody, NOBODY, listened to White Zombie in 1994 :D

Don't get me wrong, I actually like the soundtrack and have appreciated all those songs for many decades - but they were never popular. I think the fact that The Offspring are used, when they wrote a song with the lyrics "I'm not a trendy asshole" shouting out against the mallrat mentality of early/mid 90's teens (which most of the film revolves around) just shows how "edgy" they were trying to be and failed.

I've also got an issue with how clean the film was. A good horror should be dark and dirty. Things hidden in shadows. Grainy film concealing death. The films showed everything, all the time. There's no suspense if you can see it all. "Oh, hi there guy with an axe stood in the spotlights!"

Having said all of that... I think that it was really interesting. This is what frustrates me. I enjoyed it. First of all, I think that films should progress. While I hated the way it played on the tropes, I liked the fact that it twisted it in a modern way. It was the clever use of streaming and the three film format to tell the whole story. Watching the first one, I couldn't understand how they could go back in time when they had revealed everything by the end of the first film? It was really quite clever the way they twisted the story across the films and the times. This is understanding modern audiences and using modern medium to do something a little different.

Having complained about the cleanliness of the film, the fact it showed some original (and unexpected) deaths with such clarity was actually very well done. It was actually shocking at times.

So, despite there being several things that irked me, I did kind of enjoy it. It just needed to be a bit less cheesy... Or a bit MORE cheesy? It needed to try less hard to be edgy if it was going to be so bland about some things. If you're going to riff off classics, riff off them, don't be a piss-poor cover band. It just wasn't quite there, but I think it gives us a taste of where the horror format could potentially go.
 

nadroJ

CF Legend
I watched Steel Magnolias last night, because it's on my list of films that I probably should wathc just becuase it's quite well known. And, what the hell is this movie? Is it a crazy comedy with women being wild and OTT? Is it a melodrama? Something else? The tone swings sooooo wildly with literally every scene that I had no clue what was happening.

So yh, it was all over the place but quite watchable so I don't regret seeing it as it's another off the list, but shan't watch it again.
 

peep

CF Legend
Taskmaster was criminally underused

Urgh, this so much. Such a great concept for a villain and they butchered it, feel like they should have been left for a team based movie to show how quickly they can adapt to the different fighting styles, or have more of a team-up moment with the family against them. So much wasted potential.



It was the clever use of streaming and the three film format to tell the whole story. Watching the first one, I couldn't understand how they could go back in time when they had revealed everything by the end of the first film? It was really quite clever the way they twisted the story across the films and the times. This is understanding modern audiences and using modern medium to do something a little different.

This is definitely something I really loved about them, I had no idea how the story could move forward if the next film was set in the past. I was shocked to find out they were originally going to be shown at cinemas one month apart - which is even more bold!



Some new films that I saw yesterday: The Forever Purge - I've enjoyed this series of films (still haven't seen the TV series), I like that they mostly explore inequality in modern society but in different ways. This is a very solid addition to the franchise. There's a brilliant sequence where it follows the main group through a city as they try to get to safety and the whole scene is incredibly tense.


Escape Room 2 - I liked the first one but don't remember too much from it so I was very grateful for the small recap at the start. This was fine and I don't think I can say much more than that.


Riders of Justice - This was brilliant, I loved how the whole film was shot, the cast were fantastic and the story went to places I wasn't expecting. It was quite funny at times but is mostly a very dramatic film about losing loved ones and coming to terms with that. If you get a chance to see this I highly recommend.
 

solarfall

Roller Poster
Saw a couple recently:

Bad Genius is a Thai film I watched the other night. It's a lot of fun - it's basically a heist movie, but instead of actually stealing stuff, it revolves around a very intelligent schoolgirl finding increasingly elaborate ways to help her (rich) friends cheat at tests. It gets legitimately tense at times. Even though the stakes aren't THAT high, the movie makes you feel like they are. I was a tad unsatisfied with the conclusion of the story, but it was still worth the ride. It shares some themes with Parasite, so if you enjoyed that movie (or just thrillers in general), I'd definitely recommend it. It's currently streaming on Netflix in the US (not sure about other regions).

I also saw Censor a week or so ago, but forgot to post about it. It's a very stylish horror movie that takes place during the "video nasty" craze from 1980's England. The less I say about the story the better. It's very surreal, almost like watching a fever dream at times. The visuals and color palette (and some purposefully cheesy gore effects) clearly pay homage to stuff like Evil Dead or Suspiria, and I can't get enough of stuff like that. It's exactly the kind of weird, unique horror movie that I love to watch. Its somewhat-ambiguous plot (and especially the ending) might turn some audiences off, but I thought it was great. Highly recommended to anyone who likes weird, gory, trippy, disturbing stuff. I just paid a few bucks to rent it on Prime Video, but I think it's free if you have Vudu.
 

gavin

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Jungle Cruise

Enjoyable enough. Some decent nods to the ride, especially near the beginning. Worth a watch, but probably not worth a repeat viewing. I don't think it'll go down as particularly memorable and it certainly won't be doing a Pirates of the Carribbean in terms of its impact. A bit more scary than I was expecting (not for me obviously, but for a Disney film) - think Indiana Jones level of family film.
 
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I watched Mary & Max recently. It's really good - equal parts funny, touching, and depressing. Plus I'm a sucker for stop motion animation. It's available to stream on the Criterion Channel if anyone is interested.

Just a warning: it's not child-appropriate at all even though it's animated.

Oh I remember watching this year ago and turned into a blubbering idiot!

Fear Street: 1994- I really wanted to like this, and it had a lot of elements I thought I would be excited about, but it just felt kind of try-hard and fell a bit flat for me. I will be watching the other two in the spirit of being a completist, but I'm not jumping for joy at the thought. The characters also really annoyed me.

Truth or Dare- I watched this when I was in the throes of Moderna side effects because I wanted something that was both mindless an entertaining. It was exactly what I expected: cheesy, crappy, and entertaining, with characters who could've lived or died and it wouldn't have made any difference to me. Exactly what I wanted in the moment, but I won't go recommending it to anyone else.

A Classic Horror Story- Aw man I wanted to like this so much. It certainly wasn't horrible, and I liked that it remained a somewhat entertaining film within itself as it was trying to poke fun at many other horror movies already in existence, but I just couldn't get into it. The masses and my boyfriend really liked it, so maybe I have the attention span of a goldfish, or bad taste, but I can't describe it as anything other than just "interesting." Certainly not cinematic gold, but maybe worth a watch.
 

peep

CF Legend
The Suicide Squad - I had a fun time with this film, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is brilliant as usual and steals every scene she's in. King Shark works really well which I was surprised by. The VFX throughout are fantastic and the gore and humour are right up my street. If you tend to like James Gunn's films then you'll have a good time with this film and you don't need to have seen the first one to understand what's happening.

Jungle Cruise - I was kinda expecting to be disappointed by this film but I really enjoyed this, I guess I do tend to love an adventure film. I enjoyed Jesse Plemons and Paul Giamatti chewing the scenery. I really liked the score and it was nice to see some pretty big sets. I feel like this should be a standalone film but I'm aware they want to make more, it might be hard to make it work a second time but then I thought that about Jumanji and that turned out well.

The Sparks Brothers - Edgar Wright's documentary about the band Sparks, a band I knew very little about aside from their awesome song "This town ain't big enough for the both of us" which I first heard in Baby Driver. This documentary is a proper journey, they've had such a wild and varied career. I don't think you need to even like their music to enjoy this film it's just a fascinating story told with humour and interviews from such a wide range of people. It's over 2 hours but it really didn't feel like it, if you like a good music documentary I highly recommend checking it out.
 

furie

SBOPD
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Administrator
Moderator
The Sparks Brothers - Edgar Wright's documentary about the band Sparks, a band I knew very little about aside from their awesome song "This town ain't big enough for the both of us" which I first heard in Baby Driver. This documentary is a proper journey, they've had such a wild and varied career. I don't think you need to even like their music to enjoy this film it's just a fascinating story told with humour and interviews from such a wide range of people. It's over 2 hours but it really didn't feel like it, if you like a good music documentary I highly recommend checking it out.
I just watched this last night. I'm not a huge fan of the band either (in fact, I'd have struggled to name more than a handful of their songs), but it really is a highly entertaining watch.

Wow - I didn't know about this (or that the film was about Sparks. I rediscovered them about 12 months ago (like Talking Heads, I knew of them when I was younger and then "lost" them over the decades.

I'll have to check it out. #The Neighbours look in awe, at my, lawnmower#
 

Will

Strata Poster
My Dad loves Sparks and introduced me to them about 20 years ago - I've even been to see them once (they were awesome, though it was one of VERY few times I've been drinking with my Dad!) - as such, I'm quite looking forward to seeing the film, though it doesn't seem to be showing within 40 miles of us, annoyingly.

Glad to hear it was good anyway - check out the Lil' Beethoven album if you want to go off them a bit ;)
 
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