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nadroJ

CF Legend
So, I forget when or why, but @nadroJ was badgering me to watch a couple of musical films. I assumed I was being wound up as I remembered her recommendations generally being gorefests, but I have a lot of free time on my hands, so I went along with it.

Moulin Rouge is lively and exciting - it has immediately likeable (dareIsay relatable) if a little larger-than-life characters and it also helps that the musical numbers are mostly variations of well-loved classics. It's loud and almost demands your attention. I laughed a lot, cried a bit and then did the same all over again when I listened to half the soundtrack in the car the following day. I'll let it slide that surely the entire cast should have contracted TB...

La La Land by contrast, just feels like musical theatre by numbers. The start is promising and around 90 minutes in, you feel it's finally going somewhere, but here we have only two-dimensional, one-note characters, a not particularly engaging storyline and an ending that I shouted 'PREDICTABLE' at and at which I'd have thrown my socks if I hadn't been barefoot. I did like A Lovely Night and obviously The Fools Who Dream though. Also Ryan Gosling annoys me, though like my overall view on the film, I think that might be because I'm male.

I'm glad I only paid for the former :p I still have Romeo and Juliet on top of the cabinet for when I'm next feeling ludicrous...

Now watch A Star Is Born. I'll save you The Greatest Showman though if you didn't like La La Land as the songs were done by the same people. And I'd largely agree, La La Land IS very basic when it comes to storytelling and characters, I just really like the ending , and unfortunately for you to get there and for it to have any sort of resonance whatsoever you DO have to sit through the rest of the film 😂
 

Will

Strata Poster
^
Can't I just watch A Star is Burns*?

I used to work with a guy who was unfortunate enough to have an exaggerated version of many of my neuroses and last night I finally understood why he used to say he 'threw his socks' at films. The 'forget me, live your dreams blabla' ending was just too obvious and cloying for me, especially when they'd already made a couple of nods to Casablanca (which incidentally, I love). Like I say, I'll definitely end up watching Moulin Rouge again if I'm in one of those annoying moods I go into from time to time.

I complained about it on FB and got a reply from a recovering CFer on the lines of 'I don't know who you're trying to impress by putting yourself through that, Will, but I admire your dedication' which cracked me up :D

*Actually - might be too soon for Pukahontas
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
Over the past few weeks I’ve made my way through the Harry Pottz films. I remember watching them all on release (as an overzealous hateful fanboy) and now, quite detached from the books (as an overzealous hateful man), I find myself having quite different views.

As a youngster, I resented (quite heavily) any side-stepped / curtailed plot, as if the films were somehow ‘missing out’ or suffering from the absence of granular detail. Now, I recognise that what works in a book doesn’t necessarily work in a film. Actually, the absence of such laborious storytelling can make a tale more demanding of attention.

Overall, Radcliffe, Grint and Watson are brilliant - they could not be better cast. Grint simply IS Ron.

Also, Alannnnnnnnnnnnnnnn….. (10 second pause) Rick-mannnnnnnnnnnn, is sensationally hilarious, especially in the first few films. I’m particularly fond of his “………… up to something!” tirade in the first. Brill.

***spoilers***

Philosopher’s Stone - Surprisingly one of the better films, by far the most charming and ‘magical’. A lack of budget on some scenes, notably the wizard’s chess section, is rather unfortunate, but overall better than I remembered. Good Dumbledoor is ace, shame he got replaced with crap Dumbledoor later on. Oh, anyone else notice that this is the only film/book with a flying lesson? 7/10

Chamber of Secrets - The longest film of the whole set. Somewhat mixed as it contains some jarring ‘dark’ moments with twee nonsense (such as the flying car). Notable for having Mr. Malfoy about to bust out the killing curse on Harry in Hogwarts before being stopped by Dobby - salty! Dobby can do one though, annoying as. 6/10

Prisoner of Azkaban - One of the more satisfying books, but one of the most nobishly directed films. Yes, there is a ****ing bridge. I have seen the bridge. I know it’s there! Stop showing me the ****ing bridge!! And yes, there’s also swinging pendulum. I get it. Also, the whomping willow. I ****ing get it! Stop it! Plus it’s bookended with the stupidest start (lumos in the bed - expel that ****) and ending (Harry farts during a broomstick freeze frame). Frustrating, but the stronger plot carries it. 7/10

Goblet of Fire - Probably the most well balanced? Starts getting saucy with the hormones. Oooo to be young! New Dumbledoor goes full on ****-mode at one point pushing Pottz around like nob. Moaning Myrtle, horribly cast, makes another terrible appearance, this time perving on Pottz’s wand and not even hiding it, wtf. Sirius appears in the fire with mad face effects. Death eaters should have got the Vic rub ready for when Volders comes back, he is super congested. 7.5/10

Order of the Phoenix - Most people have mixed feelings on the book because it’s needlessly long and poorly paced. The film adaptation is rather good. Umbridge is super menacing. The pen scenes are super creepy. Cho Chang scenes are mad awkward. Sirius appears in the fire again but looks like ****, what happened there? I’m sad with the lack of brain jellyfish (from the book) but all things considered…… I think maybe the best ‘film’? Certainly improves on the meandering book. During a ‘nightmare’-sequence towards the end, Volders makes a really funny ‘MEP!’ sound and I lol-ed. 7.5/10

Half Blood Prince - Mixed thoughts on this because I really like the potions book / Snape plot developments, but even at the time of reading I found myself deeply annoyed with the ‘out of nowhere cupboard reveal’. In the film, that is heavily hinted at upfront and throughout and that actually makes it a tad better. Lake scene cool. Not all that bad. Potions class scene is great. Slughorn can chomp a ***** though. Glad to see ‘crap Dumbledoor’ finally get the Kadavra treatment - Hurrrghn!!! 6.75/10

Deathly Hallows Part 1 - lol Hedgwick, take that ya ****ing owl!!! I mean, Hedgwick was just mean. Man, my face when reading the book, it was like ******** **** for the first time - the child in you just dies. Good amount of teenage mooding in this one. I swear Pottz is making moves on Hermione in the tent. Not surprised, I’m in love with Hermione at this point. 7/10

Deathly Hallows Part 2 - Meh, ‘battle fatigue’ kicks in. Just too long, overwrought. Die already. 6/10

I’ll end with this majestic description of Order of the Phoenix on Now TV: “The boy wizard and his homies expected their fifth spell at Hogwarts to be tough... but this is riddikulus!”

👏
 
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peep

CF Legend
Finally got to watch Spider-Man: No Way Home on Boxing Day. Worth the additional covid-induced wait and was absolutely everything I wanted it to be and more. It was hilarious, heart-breaking and also the perfect end to this trilogy.
Having the legends from the previous Spidey films was amazing and I felt they managed to extend everyone's storylines and wrap them up really nicely while not taking anything away from Holland's Parker. The amount of meme references is incredible and I love how subtle they are as to not detract from the film or ruin it for non-nerds.

I also saw Matrix Resurrections in IMAX. It was ok, it feels like 3 different films that don't really tie together very well with plot holes/stupid decisions everywhere. The whole film had really weak camera work in the action sequences which is such a shame seeing as this franchise is well known for ground breaking action sequences and brilliant VFX. I found the meta part of the film quite amusing and some of the new ideas introduced later on in the film were interesting but boy it's hard to get around those poor action sequences. Some of the new actors introduced were great but there's zero reason they needed to be re-workings of previous characters, that was a poor decision. The film is also obsessed with cutting in little clips from the original trilogy which starts off being kinda neat and gets tired really quickly. I give it a big ol' rating of MEH.
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
I have just finished the new Disney film Encanto and I'm pleased to report that it is one of the strongest Disney films, if not THE strongest, in terms of an absolutely wonderful balance of wellbeing messaging...

BUT (and it's a big BUT) they completely **** it in literally the last minute of the film. Ok, it didn't completely ruin it, but what I'm taking about certainly added nothing but took away a lot:

...they got BACK their powers?! Are you kidding me!!! They had just all learned that they were all brilliant for who they were without their powers and that was all they needed... they could rebuild their life as a team with their love through honesty... AND THEY THEN GOT BACK THEIR POWERS?!?!?!

WHAT THE **** WERE THEY THINKING!!!!!!!!!
 

nadroJ

CF Legend
Echoing @peep's views on the Matrix, I also found it meh. I reeeeaaalllyyy wanted to like it but it just felt really pointless.

I also saw Spiderman, and really enjoyed it. Especially considering I've only **very** lightly skimmed the MCU and was worried I wouldn't have a bloody clue what was going on. I've always had a soft spot for Spiderman and this was no exception. I didn't get as much out of the BIG THING as others maybe have but it was clever nonetheless.
 

Will

Strata Poster
Now watch A Star Is Born.
As luck would have it, it was on telly earlier, so it's currently on iPlayer - may end up using that to kill some time on Thursday :)
I watched the first hour, but was getting very real I-see-why-she's-picked-this-and-it's-going-to-kill-my-mood vibes :p

In other happy coincidences, A Dog's Journey was also on - ironically, I caught the ending. I don't particularly like dogs, but since it also stars my future wife ;)
 
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furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
I did a quick run up to Christmas with two of the best Christmas films: Die Hard and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Both were really excellent to see on the big screen. I've never seen Die Hard at the cinema, and it's been 25+ years since seeing TNBC at the cinema. Would recommend to get you in the holiday spirit :)

Also got to see Spiderman last week. I really enjoyed it, but the basic premise is just so full of holes. It's "we've got a cool idea, now we just need to botch a story to make it happen". Ignoring that, it was great fun. I've been a true believer in Spiderman since 2000, and this rounded up Tom Holland's trilogy nicely. It wasn't the Sinister Six movie we wanted, but it was the Tom Holland origin story we deserved :)
 

Will

Strata Poster
As luck would have it, it was on telly earlier, so it's currently on iPlayer - may end up using that to kill some time on Thursday :)
I watched the first hour, but was getting very real I-see-why-she's-picked-this-and-it's-going-to-kill-my-mood vibes :p
...correct choice, Will. She's doing the same things she's been doing for ****ing years - and that's neither a jab nor a taunt ;)

I went into that going 'musical with Lady Gaga in. Joy.' and was more than surprised with the pay-off. I doubt I'll watch it again, not as enjoyable as Moulin Rouge, but I've laughed, cried and attempted to punch a hole in my coffee table. That was more a film that happened to have songs (and not bad ones either) in than a musical whilst I think Ms Gaga showed she's a better actress than she is songwriter; when she's not in the Simpsons anyway.

I'm also glad *that* scene took place behind closed doors.

...I also want to watch something funny and utterly ****ing mindless now. Where did I put my copy of Evil Dead? :)

EDIT: ****'s sake, I've just realised the Spotify algorithm is going to decide I'm a Lady Gaga fan now. That's going to be annoying - though I admit I find a track recently I didn't hate (probably because it had been on the Skins soundtrack)
 
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peep

CF Legend
I did a quick run up to Christmas with two of the best Christmas films: Die Hard and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Both were really excellent to see on the big screen. I've never seen Die Hard at the cinema, and it's been 25+ years since seeing TNBC at the cinema. Would recommend to get you in the holiday spirit

I went to see TNBC when they did a 3D re-release years ago and completely agree, such a great experience seeing it at the cinema.


I saw The King's Man on NYE. I enjoyed it, I was surprised by how much it subverted my expectations, especially considering this film has been massively delayed. The action sequences are stylish and fun and the plot has some interesting twists. It's a bit tonally all over the place and the middle slows things down a bit much but overall it's a bit of fun.

I also went to see No Way Home again, love it, look forward to see where they take Holland's Spidey next.
 

Will

Strata Poster
I've got a list of films to get through this week when my concentration span allows.

The trailer for King's Man did look like something I'd enjoy, Also looking forward to the release of Nightmare Alley

:)

...I also just caught the ending of Rocketman. I'm not exactly a big Elton John fan (despite regularly being told I look like him) but I feel like I want to watch the whole thing now.
 
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@Nitefly I did the same with the Potter films last year and agree agree most of your assessments! I disliked OoTP but Goblet was easily my favourite.

I DO, however, enormously disagree with your review of Encanto. I thought the film kind of sucked. Some of the songs were catchy but yeah, I found it a bit dull and a meh attempt at rivaling Coco with some lovely message about the importance of family.

I also watched Soul recently and wasn't blown away by that either despite hearing great things.
 

nadroJ

CF Legend
I just watched Encanto and I have mixed feelings...

I thought visually it was beautiful, really rich and textured and aesthetically delicious. I loved the design of the house and how it moved about - it kind of gave me Enchanted Tiki Room vibes and I'd love to see an interactive funhouse style attraction based off of it (that also houses a capybara and coati pen - hello Animal Kingdom I'm looking at you!)

Considering the songs were by Lin Manuel Miranda I wasn't reaaallly impressed, especially considering how much I adore Moana. Like they were fine and some of them were fun but I'm not immediately humming any of them like I usually do with his tracks.

The storyline was weakest for me - like Taylor, I get big Coco vibes from it just with the whole family element. I know that was Pixar and this is Disney but truly, what's the difference at this point. It also felt like a critique of royalist structures in favour of socialism but in a really on the nose kind of way? I don't really know anything about Colombian history but I'm guessing that tracks? I dunno, the 'adventure' didn't feel very adventurous, it felt like more could've been done in every element of the movie bar the aesthetics, which were A+.
 

peep

CF Legend
I know that was Pixar and this is Disney but truly, what's the difference at this point.

Only one gets a cinema release now :( Still bitter about the Going Red news from the other day, I wanted to see the big fluffy Red Panda on the big screen.

Saw 4 films this weekend, bit of a mixed bag overall. I started with The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (which I think might be coming to Amazon Prime?) which stars Benedict Cucumber as Louis Wain, a very eccentric Victorian Londoner that does lots of things apart from holding down a steady job to help pay the bills. It's a true story and it's very interesting, he essentially ends up being the reason people keep cats as indoor pets. His life is really turbulent though so although he's very quirky and likeable he goes through some things which sends him on a bit of mental downward spiral. The film is amazing, I was concerned it was going to be too "arty" for me (it's shot in a 4:3 ratio for a start) but it's actually beautifully shot and sometimes things merge into a more artistic visionary moment. The cast are excellent and Olivia Colman's witty narration helps fill in a lot of details and humour in a way that drew me into the World of the film really quickly. The film is actually more emotional than I was expecting and also quite dream-like at times. Overall I loved it, just very unexpected and new oh and there's lots of cats.

The 355 - The trailers made this look absolutely pants and it is. The cinematography and editing in the action sequences is shocking but I don't know if it was just me but it always felt like they were shot like game cinematics changing to active gameplay. It'd go from a fairly steady cam following someone into a room etc and then the camera would like jiggle like it was entering the active gameplay mode but it was just the start of terrible camera work and poor action choreography. The script is amazingly predictable and it keeps thinking that it's like "yay Girl Power!" but it is actually so poorly written that it just comes off as cringe. I guess if you want something to have on in the background while you empty your brain then you could do worse.

West Side Story (Spielberg edition) - I've never seen the original (or a stage performance) but I knew going in I probably wouldn't like this, I'm not a massive fan of Sondheim (RIP) but I guess it was nice to see some context to a couple of the famous songs (I didn't realise "I feel pretty" was from this musical). I think the cast did a fine job and Spielberg always makes a solid film, this is just a musical that isn't my cup of tea. I did enjoy the "I want to live in America" sequence, there was so much life and energy.

Today I went to see Boiling Point in Dalston's Rio cinema, it just happened to be one of a handful of cinemas showing it and I hadn't been there before. The film starts with Stephen Graham literally walking around a corner into the restaurant and the people next to me went "that's around the corner!". The only reason I made the extra effort to see this film is because I'd seen plenty of positive buzz for months and oh it's so worthy of the hype. The film is "one take" and shows us an evening in a high-end restaurant, obviously there's a lot more going on with a bunch of the characters but we mainly follow Stephen Graham who is, as usual, incredible. He plays the head chef who clearly has a few problems going on in his life and it's fascinating to watch it all unfold over the course of the film. I absolutely loved this film, it's so well directed and the one-take style just adds to the growing intensity of the story and also gives even the smallest roles their time to shine with their own little stories going on. Highly recommend checking this film out if you can.
 

gavin

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
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Spencer

Not what I expected, and all the better for it. I was expecting a more full biography, but it's focused on one very specific weekend and approached from a very internalised point of view. I can understand people hating it, but I thought it was very good. Kristen Stewart is excellent.

The French Dispatch

If you like Wes Anderson's stuff, you'll probably like this. I do, and it was decent, but not up there with his best in my opinion. It's all a bit obvious and formulaic at this point. I guess it's good in some ways for a director to have a clear, obvious style, but this kind of came across as what would happen if you told someone else to make something in the style of Wes Anderson. It looks gorgeous, is well-written and performed, but is all a bit predictable at this point. I liked it though.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
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Encanto
Know what? I actually really liked it. The visual look of the movie is extremely vibrant, the setting is really nice and cosy, the characters are interesting, and it's a Disney movie without a twist villain, which is always great to see. Although one could say there's still a twist about a villain, namely that there isn't one (sorry for spoilers, I guess). Just people doing what they think is right until it completely exhausts them and things start falling apart, and that is the central conflict. Really relatable.

Not sure what to say about the songs, though. They're not all that hummable and the lyrics are a bit too complicated to remember. But I'm willing to put that aside a bit to just revel in the amazing visuals. I'll give the movie a 3 on my three-point scale.

Don't look up
What a wonderfully frustrating movie. Well-meaning scientists discover an incoming disaster and meet idiot politicians, an uncaring public, and a media circus that mostly focuses on exploiting the division between those who acknowledge the problem and those who don't. Add a flashy tech billionaire proposing an unworkable (but potentially very profitable, so let's try anyway!) solution, and we almost get reality. Weird to think that this was written before Covid, because the response to the pandemic has so many similarities with the response to climate change that you just know they'd do the same with an incoming asteroid. I also like its take on conspiracy theories: "The people in charge aren't even smart enough to be so evil as you're give them credit for".

Still, though, a frustrating movie, and I think the ending dragged a bit. Let's give this a 2/3, I'm not immediately stoked to see it again.
 

Will

Strata Poster
Eye for an eye, why tear each other apart?
Please tell me why, why do we make it so hard?
Look at us now, we only got ourselves to blame

It's such a shame

Ahem. I was in a pretty dark place on Eurovision Night 2019 and an even darker one on what should have been Eurovision Night in 2020 - which is why I only got around to watching Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga tonight. Expectations weren't exactly high, but this actually had a lot in common with the films I've been watching lately - the same hackneyed 'never give up on your dreams' cliches and even larger doses of larger-than-life musical numbers.

Seriously though, I've actually really enjoyed it - it's fun, it makes you laugh, it tugs at the heartstrings but not in a cloying way, the characters are likeable, the girl isn't bad looking (the only one Holmes ever loved, I believe) and in true Eurovision style, it's not at all afraid to make fun of itself - I'm not Graham Norton's biggest fan, but he was brilliant. Definitely better than La La Land.

**** everything else, I need to work out where I'm spending the night of May 14. Aside from 2019, I've not missed one since '96.
Play it Sam. Play Ja Ja Ding Dong.
 
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Howie

Donkey in a hat
The King's Man.
Pretty decent. Very different from the other two Kingsman films, and I'm not just talking about the setting and the time period, but also the tone and the aesthetic of the movie. There's much less comedy in this one, it's less of a 'caper' and more of a war drama. It's darker, grittier and has less focus on fancy spy gadgetry and flashy action.
But don't let that put you off, there's still lots of fun to be had. Lots of OTT violence, foul language and plenty of Matthew Vaughn's trademark, balletic fight sequences. Cast is good too - Rhys Ifans as Rasputin is a hoot - and there's a even a feisty goat for good measure.
Worth a watch.

Matrix Resurrections.
NOT worth a watch. Rubbish.
The setup is mildly intriguing for about 15 mins - all very meta and Matrixy and you're like 'Ooh where is this going?' - but it doesn't go anywhere and just continues to get even more meta and befuddling to the point where the filmakers are almost laughing at us for buying into this sh*t again. "Audiences love a reboot", jokes one character. Hmm, no, we really don't.
But then again, there I was, paying my money and sitting through it like a chump, so I guess in reality the last laugh is all theirs.
Don't fall for it. Avoid.
 
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peep

CF Legend
Just got back from seeing the new Scream movie, I'm not 100% sure how I feel about it, I certainly had fun and the whole film (like the entire franchise) is very meta. I dunno, it's fun, not the greatest Scream film but if you enjoy the franchise you'll get a kick out of it.
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
I am convinced that I am the only person who liked Matrix resurrection.

I watched Boiling Point today and I was once again blown away by Stephen Graham's performance. The film is all shot in a single take, sometimes this can burden a film and make it feel self indulgent, but this is not the case here. As much as I would recommend this film, I am certain that I have lost hair from the stress that it has given me. There's so many characters that I wanted to punch in the face; from the all brass - no class customers, the social media influencers, the lazy pot washer and most of all the TV chef - thankfully all of this animosity is the filmmakers intention. A brilliant film to start off 2022. Rating: 9/10

Sent from my SM-A217F using Tapatalk
 
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