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davidm

Strata Poster
I also saw that Gunpowder Milkshake over the weekend too (just on SkyTV) - I thought it was a bit rubbish tho'. Some of the set pieces were well done (especially the one towards the end
in the diner
), I saw it described as like a comic-book adaption that didn't actually have a comic-book to adapt, and I agree. ;)
 
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toofpikk

Mega Poster
saw The Suicide Squad in the BFI with a couple mates. As has been said, it was quite a fun movie, definitely one of DCs lighter ones in terms of how dark and dingy the universe can be, but also I did feel like it was a bit disjointed. Lots of fun tho.

Jungle Cruise - kinda similar tbh, it was good fun but took way too long to get going and was very disjointed. Also, questionable soundtrack, breaking out into noughties glam rock at periods? Felt like it was trying to fill the shoes of Pirates a little tooooo much, but still quite fun nonetheless.
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
No Time to Die:
It's finally here! it feels like a dream that I have actually seen it! When it was announced in 2016 I had my reservations - in fact I didn't want to see another Daniel Craig Bond film after the extremely disappointing 'Spectre', after seeing 'No Time to Die' I am so glad that they made another. I think they realised the shortcomings and missteps of Spectre, but also made that film better by deepening the arching storyline. This film is the perfect bookend to the modern bond franchise, just like when we first met him in Casino Royale; Bond is a more human and relatable character, in almost every bond film it's "more than the job", but this feels as if he is past trying to prove his legacy, it's merely about survival. Without spoiling anything there is one small moment in this film where Daniel Craig has an "Oscar Moment", not in a obvious way, it's quite subtle, but you just see the heartbreak in his eyes. I have some minor quibbles such as some plot holes and over-expositional dialogue, but in the grand view of things this film a great finale to Craig era Bond. 8/10


The Many Saints of Newark:

It's hard to imagine what the television landscape would of been without the legacy of "The Sopranos", not only did it put HBO on the map, but it raised the quality of television in general, with such a legacy it's easy to understand why series creator David Chase was very sceptical about making a Sopranos movie. Firsts things first - I never finished sopranos, I saw the first 3 seasons and seemed to lose track, I will say that if you have seen it all you would probably appreciate the film more than I. If you are looking for a crime mafia film that this will satisfy that basic need. I think what the film does really well is create a introspective character in "Dickie" Moltisanti, a man who on the surface seems like your typical gangster, but beneath it all there is a morality that is slowly eating him up inside. The film is good, but is just frustratingly short of being great. 7/10

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings:

I feel like I am the odd one out here, I just didn't think it's was good movie. While the fight scenes were better than 80 percent of the MCU films, I just didn't think there was a lot to it. The thing that really made me dislike it was the Awkwafina being completely obnoxious during the whole runtime, I didn't think the characters were that interesting, despite the sappy backstory. It's a shame because I was interested to see what they would do with it, but I can't help but feel disappointed at the end result. 5/10
 
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Howie

Strata Poster
No Time To Die.
Very disappointing, didn't like it very much. Not terrible, just... well, a bit boring. Too long for a start, plot was a bit disjointed, didn't make much sense. Characters - especially bad guys - not really fleshed out, motivations unclear. There's some sort of deadly weapon, although what it's to be used for and why remains unclear. There's a remote bad-guy lair, as there always is. There's plenty of action but it's just not very engaging or original - for example every time Bond gets into his Aston a fleet of blacked out, JLR vehicles suddenly appear from nowhere, merely to be dutifully run off the road or smashed up. Yawn.
But the worst thing is the woke-ness. I blame Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Clearly brought in to massage the script into something more palatable for the snowflakes, her contributions stick out like a sore thumb. I'm surprised Bond didn't look into camera and deliver a monologue about the sacred ovary. Or something.
I mean, in Skyfall and Spectre I was quite happy to assume that Ben Wishaw's 'Q' is gay. Or not. Whatever. It didn't matter. Q's sexuality was never brought up and and is never relevant. However, NTTD makes a point of saying 'Q is gay, deal with it!'
And we've all heard the idea of a female 007 being banded around, well here they go one better. Not only is she a she, but she's black aswell. Oh bravo Ms Bridge, that's sexism AND racism defeated, then. 🙄
I mean, really? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for strong, interesting female characters but why can't they just write some new ones instead of having to redefine everything?
Rant over.
No, wait, the theme song is rubbish too.
And so is Hans Zimmer's score now you mention it. Bring back Thomas Newman.

So nah, didn't like it very much. Slightly better than Quantum of Solace is the best I can say about it.
 
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Crazycoaster

Giga Poster
Gay people have spent a long time having characters that are simply “implied” to be gay. We’ve had to look at the context and read the subliminal signs for a very long time.

I’m not sure why you felt like it affected a movie in such a negative way for you to mention it, but hoping it’s a case of ignorance on your part rather than homophobia.
 

Howie

Strata Poster
@Crazycoaster - Hi there, definitely no homophobia here sir, not at all. Quite possibly some ignorance but I'm quite happy to be enlightened in that regard. As for the film, it was just one of several things that stood out to me as deliberate attempts to pander to the 'woke' movement, whatever that actually is.
Sexism, racism, misogyny, homophobia are all, of course, disgusting but I'm just not sure that the 'cancel culture' is the right way to tackle it. Don't ask me what is the right way to tackle it, but so far this so-called Woke culture only seems to be making things worse.
 
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Crazycoaster

Giga Poster
Would you prefer all films and media just pander to the straight white Male demographic instead?

Is that not what all other Bond films have done in the history of Bond films?
 

Howie

Strata Poster
Would you prefer all films and media just pander to the straight white Male demographic instead?

I'd rather films and media didn't 'pander' to any particular demographic at all, rather they just focussed on telling good stories. The 'demographic', or target audience should kinda happen naturally and not be forced, or subverted, just for the sake of it.

@Thecoasterrus actually said it better in the above post than I did. Thanks mate. 👍
 

Edward M

Strata Poster
I mean, in Skyfall and Spectre I was quite happy to assume that Ben Wishaw's 'Q' is gay. Or not. Whatever. It didn't matter. Q's sexuality was never brought up and and is never relevant. However, NTTD makes a point of saying 'Q is gay, deal with it!'
And we've all heard the idea of a female 007 being banded around, well here they go one better. Not only is she a she, but she's black aswell. Oh bravo Ms Bridge, that's sexism AND racism defeated, then. 🙄
I mean, really? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for strong, interesting female characters but why can't they just write some new ones instead of having to redefine everything?

This is a very interesting point here. As a gay man, I've had this sort of argument with many straight friends of mine. I think your point lies mostly in the final statement: "why can't they just write some new ones instead of having to redefine everything?" And that's understandable. I agree, to a certain extent. There's a real issue in Hollywood with repetition and never leaving characters behind. We do indeed need new stories. However, I disagree with most other points here.

For one, the idea that Q's sexuality never mattered is notable, because it probably never did matter... to you. Gay people have been erased within cinema for its entire existence, and I think it is hard to understand what that does to someone. Because media is one of the ways with which we base ourselves in the world, we understand what is right and wrong largely through its lenses. To be straight is to understand oneself as entirely presentable and moral, because y'all are 99.9% of characters in the entirety of media presentation. No one has ever had to come to their parents, terrified of being ostracized, and said "mom, dad, I'm straight..." Growing up in the 2000s was to see gay people as little more than a punch line. Effeminate, horny, and little more than a caricature. Things may be changing ever so slightly in recent years, but gay characters make up a small fraction of characters to this day. We're lucky to get any representation outside of indie dramas, wherein we often die in tragic ways.

It's interesting that you were happy to assume that Q was gay but upset to see it stated outright. I think it goes back to heterosexuality as a default, which furthers an idea of homosexuality as an other. All I can say is that Q being gay may seem like an irritating bit of wokeness for the snowflakes for you, but, for me, I can't imagine what it could've meant seeing it as a 13 year old in the theater. Growing up in the deep south, deeply in the closet, the idea of sitting amongst over 100 strangers and being presented an openly gay character in a multi-million dollar property would show that being openly gay is acceptable. It's not something to be ridiculed but instead a fact of life. As you said "Q is gay, deal with it!" That may seem an irritating statement to you, but, to me, that's an incredibly powerful statement. Gay people are a fact of life. So, why should they not be seen in blockbusters like these? It helps move the needle toward a wider net of acceptance.

Lastly, I'd like to address this idea of a black female 007. I think the frustration here goes back to the idea of redefining old characters as opposed to creating new ones. But, then I ask, were you upset when they hired Pierce Brosnan? How about Daniel Craig? If not, then why exactly was that? What is about a black woman that makes a new 007 casting a bad thing? It may not be sexism and racism defeated, but, hey, it's better to try, no? Don't black women deserve to be seen as badass heroes in a multi-million dollar property? Sure, said casting could happen in a completely new franchise outside of James Bond, but said franchise would not have the global reach Bond does. The more eyes that see a black women kicking ass and taking names as 007, the more people will come to understand that black women are not an "other." And, more importantly, black women, possibly the most marginalized group in the western world, are able to see themselves up on the screen as the one of the coolest characters ever! If you really need to see 007 as a straight white dude, you can always go back and watch the literal dozens of other Bond films throughout the decades. Can't black women have at least one?

I hope this didn't come across too harsh, but it's something I've had discussions with many friends about. So, seeing it here on the forums, I thought I'd bring my own two cents into the equation. I've been studying queer film for a few years now, and I just want to bring in my own viewpoint as a gay man studying and making queer films. Still love ya Howie.
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
Interesting discussion and good on both of you for your responses. It’s nice to see a conversation like this play out sensibly.

I don’t tend to get bothered with such things but the very best example of irritating ‘tokenism’ / ‘pro-whatever’ is the long deleted youtube trailer for the Bat-woman TV series, which was one of the most disliked videos in history. At the very end, the lady (batwoman) approached the traditional bat-suit (worn by Batman) in the batcave, unsuited and made a comment to the effect of: “this suit will be perfect… when it fits a woman.” Golly gosh, that was ****ing annoying. What any sensible writer / person / human should have said, to the exact same effect (actually, far more badass sounding) was: “this suit will be perfect… when it fits me.” and people would have been cheering with the trailer rather than boo-ing it.

I haven’t seen No Time To Die but on another forum I frequent, I was surprised by the amount of people getting upset over the ‘black woman 007’ from the trailers - I assume her character takes over the 007 moniker for a bit, I don’t really know why people would be sensitive about that. However, if James Bond himself was then portrayed by a black woman then yes I would find that a little odd.

On which note, I did have an amusing (left turn twist) conversation with my brother regarding the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play, in which Hermione Granger was portrayed by a black actress. It went something like this, after we left the theatre:

Him: “Man, I know it’s acting, but I can’t get over that Hermione was black.”
Nitefly: “What do you mean? You can’t say that….”
H: “The liklihood of Hermione being black is absurdly low - like, less than 1%.”
N: “Ah, well, in the book it never specifically mentions her race at all… she could very well be black.” *feels smug and morally superior*
H: “Uh, excuse me… two parents that are dentists?”

I had to laugh as I had dismissed his thought process as being driven by prejudiced thoughts, when actually he had picked on something very minor yet specific from the books (and it’s true that black people are under-represented in dentistry - even more so when the books were written). Of course, he was not intending to infer that actors / characters should be race restricted, but expressing that it can be a little jarring sometimes when it does happen.

As for Q being gay, things like this are important for the reasons that’s @Edward M mentions although I do find myself being a little cynical from time to time and wondering whether studios are predominantly trying to dodge criticism (in respect of a lack of diversity) rather than doing anything noble. When it comes to James Bond specifically, the franchise has been about as ‘heterosexual male’ focussed and sexist as films have ever been, so there’s quite a bit of catch up to be done. But… a lot of modern films are so hell bent on avoiding accusations of pandering to males that natural sexual chemistry is often removed from films entirely… leaving bland characters devoid of sexual tension.

Quite interesting to think that not too long ago, we had characters in films like ‘The Hangover’ (2?) saying things like “GAAAYYY” for comedic effect, which wouldn’t even be raised as a potential joke in today’s climate. Even South Park (which pretty much get things spot on every time with their satire) has a couple of episodes that feel a little dated now.

It’s all a swinging pendulum (too little, too much etc) - I think the industry is going in the right direction and is already ‘settling down’ in that regard (i.e. less Batwoman silliness)
 
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Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
The Last Duel

Ridley Scott films are a bit of a 50/50 in terms of quality, he has his hits and misses for sure, but with such a strong cast and beautiful production design I was optimistic about this release. Adam Driver, Matt Damon, Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck make for an impressive cast and their skills are put to good use. Adam Driver is usually a very charismatic person, but he does such a great job here at playing a problematic character. Matt Damon gives a very stern performance. Ben Affleck is hilarious in this film, despite having such a dark and heavy subject matter the film has a surprising amount of humour, but make no mistake; this is Jodie Comer's film, she has perhaps the most difficult role to play and does an exceptional job paying the role with great sensitivity.

Don't go in expecting a medieval epic, because this isn't it, if anything it is a courtroom drama, not that that is a bad thing. Ridley Scott really gets to shine here in terms of his choice of shot composition, the film has a non-linear storyline that weaves through prior events through different perspectives and there are many subtle but clever directional choices made to convey the idea of perspective.

For a film structure that repeats itself multiple times, it never gets boring. It's a lengthy film sporting a 2hr 30 minute runtime, but I was invested throughout, although I do feel that the script could of been a bit tighter, especially during the film's first act. 'The Last Duel' is one of the few really good movies I have seen in the cinema this year and while it isn't an easy watch at times, it's certainly a film that stands strong on it's artistic merits. 8/10
 

solarfall

Roller Poster
I've been trying to watch a bunch of horror/Halloween-themed movies for October. I haven't been able to watch too many since the month started, but here's what I managed so far:

The Woman in Black (2012) - It's really cool that Hammer is still making these kinds of gothic horror movies! Unfortunately, this didn't really do much for me. It has a lot of things that really annoy me about modern, popular horror movies (that copy/paste sound design, jump scares punctuated by loud noises that are coming from some orchestral hit instead of a loud noise actually taking place in the universe of the film). Also this was some of the worst child acting I've seen in a long time - the rest of the performances were pretty good though. It's no masterpiece, but I think you could do a lot worse if you're in the mood for a modern horror movie. I don't think I'll ever rewatch it, but I don't regret watching it either.

Friday the 13th: The (so-called) Final Chapter (1984) - "Hey Ted, where the hell's the corkscrew?" 11/10 everyone should watch this masterpiece.

The House that Jack Built (2018) - For someone as talented as Lars von Trier, it's kind of annoying to have (what would have been) a disturbing premise for a horror movie get mutated into some weird self-indulgent fart sniffing meta commentary for two and a half hours. His stupid self pitying is impossible to ignore too - he literally inserts a freaking clipshow of his other movies just in case you (somehow) missed the point that he's comparing himself to this pretentious serial killer in some kind of weird self-deprecation. I feel like whether or not you agree with Lars's defense of his own movies, it's just boring to sit through such an on-the-nose metaphor of this defense for such a long run-time. On top of that, I noticed continuity errors and dumb script decisions left and right (please don't try to convince me these were intentional). I will say this still managed to be a unique and often shocking movie, but American Psycho (2000) and Martyrs (2008) both manage to outdo The House that Jack Built both for shock value AND for meta-commentary done in a much more subtle, interesting way.

Despite my negative opinion, I'm still considering a rewatch at some point and it's worth checking out to form your own opinion. There's still a lot to appreciate and von Trier is of course a very polarizing and controversial figure.

CW for lots of sexual violence, and also violence against children.

The Black Cat (1934) - This is one of a handful of Universal horror movies that came out in the mid-30's very loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe stories, and starring then-horror icons Bela Lugosi (Dracula) and Boris Karloff (Frankenstein's monster). I think if you're willing to watch these older black-and-white horror movies from this era, you generally know what to expect - it's of course not very scary by today's standards, and a lot of the characters come off as goofy to modern audiences. Nonetheless, I was surprised at some of the subject matter in this movie. The backstory involves war crimes, the villain commits incest in a Woody Allen kinda way, there's Satanic cults with ritual sacrifice, and a character gets partially flayed off-screen. It's some pretty heavy stuff for the 30's, and I have to imagine audiences would have been very shocked by it back then. Also I couldn't help but notice that the score, shadow work, and camera movements showed some vast improvements from movies like Dracula (1931) or its Universal ilk, that came out just a few years prior. I think genre fans who are used to watching films from this era will get a lot of enjoyment out of this movie - Lugosi and Karloff are both in peak form. For everyone else, it might just be a historical curiosity, and probably not a particularly good starting point to get into 30's Universal Horror. Look to Wolfman (1941) or Bride of Frankenstein (1935) if you wanna take that dive.
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
@solarfall - I’m quite into my horror films. I tend to find I have an appreciation for much of the genre; I get kicks from laugh along popcorn horror and I often dig the unusual too. ‘Classics’ is probably my least admired sub-genre, only through lack of experience/exposure. When I do watch them, I tend to appreciate the 1930s-1940s ‘classics’ rather than truly enjoy them.

I would definitely make time to see Hereditary if you haven’t seen it already. I went in completely blind and it left an impression on me. Put that on your list!
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
No Time to Die
Hard to discuss without going into spoilers, but I had a chuckle over its approach to Norwegian geography. The locations shown are quite distinct, and they are absolutely nowhere close to another. Literally hundreds of kilometers apart on opposite sides of a mountain range. And they made a quick leap to Scotland in the middle of a car chase.

The whole theatre also laughed out loud when a character from Norwegian kids television made a cameo. Fantorangen is in James Bond, that's hilarious.
 

peep

CF Legend
The locations shown are quite distinct, and they are absolutely nowhere close to another. Literally hundreds of kilometers apart on opposite sides of a mountain range. And they made a quick leap to Scotland in the middle of a car chase.

Haha, the new Bond films are notorious with this, they did the same with the London Underground in Skyfall. (obviously all films do this but just feels more obvious in Bond)


I've seen a few films recently. Like everyone else I saw No Time To Die. I used to be huge Bond nerd but I've felt a bit sour on the franchise since Quantum of Solace, I just don't think Bond films should have a continuing storyline, should just be short spy stories with familiar characters. I liked bits of this film but didn't think the villain was good or well fleshed out. It seems to be trying to hitting us over the head with the 'member berries for older films like On her Majesty's Secret Service (the only film that is a solid adaptation of a Bond novel).
It's also clear that they made a last minute change to the villain's plan after Covid hit from being a virus to nanobots but it just made his plan make no sense and probably would have benefitted from not being altered.
So overall I wasn't a huge fan, like it's fine but the more I think about the film the more I dislike it.

Rons Gone Wrong - This was excellent, I highly recommend checking this out. It's very funny throughout (well, once Ron is activated) and it has a big heart. It's also got some really nice CG environments which I approved of.

The Last Duel - I thought this was a good film, I liked the scale and atmospheric feel of the film and I liked that with each rendition of the story (the film is split into 3 with the same story being told from different perspectives) your opinion genuinely changes or deepens with each telling. However telling the story 3 times over is also a bit of a burden and at times feels way too repetitive. I thought the cast did a good job, especially Jodie Comer, but I don't think anyone will ever get over the hairdo they gave Matt Damon.

The Addams Family 2 - I quite enjoyed the first one, I think the trailers made it look much worse than it actually was. This one I found to be the opposite, it's super tedious. They made Wednesday the central character again and it just felt boring and felt like it was treading so much of what was already covered in the first one. Avoid.

Halloween Kills - As someone who isn't massively into horror I quite liked the 2018 reboot/sequel so went into this with high expectations. Just before I saw the film I saw some peeps tweeting that it's a dumpster fire of a film and boy they weren't wrong. It starts off well with the straight continuation of the previous film but as it keeps going it just gets worse. They went from making Myers a mysterious and deadly character in the previous film to an absolute joke by the end of this film. Overall it's just a mess and I don't think the third film (I think it's already been made?) will redeem it in any way. One good thing was the soundtrack absolutely booming through the seats, the Halloween theme is so good.

Last night I saw Dune on a massive IMAX screen. It's an absolutely stunning film to look at, really glad I paid out to watch it at the BFI IMAX. The film is a little dull and tedious at times, way too many little glimpses of his visions. However I really liked the World building, it felt well thought out and interesting. The soundtrack is quite epic, both the score and the sound design. There was a moment where I felt the 'voice' travel through me and it really startled me, fun times.
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Last night I saw Dune on a massive IMAX screen. It's an absolutely stunning film to look at, really glad I paid out to watch it at the BFI IMAX. The film is a little dull and tedious at times, way too many little glimpses of his visions. However I really liked the World building, it felt well thought out and interesting. The soundtrack is quite epic, both the score and the sound design. There was a moment where I felt the 'voice' travel through me and it really startled me, fun times.
It was an absolute masterclass in film-making, but it was so, so tedious.

To be fair, it captures the book fantastically, possibly even excels what you could imagine in scope. So much was incredible, the visuals, the sound, the atmosphere.

But it was just lots of staring meaningfully at the camera in perfectly framed ways over and over, hour after hour :lol:

So, it was incredible, but dull. Pretty much what I was expecting. Needed more rain ;)
 
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