So which film have you seen last ?

Talk about films, television programs or a good read you'd like to share.

Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Bobbobthebob on Mon May 09, 2016 10:57 am

I watched a lot of documentaries lately:

Korengal
Named after a dangerous valley in Afghanistan where this documentary is set. A sequel of sorts to Restrepo which focuses much more on the emotional/psychological lives of the soldiers involved. Almost as good too.

Killing them Safely
Documentary about Taser International's record of denying all deaths associated with their product and their rather shady behaviour with regards to testing and listening to the scientific evidence from their own research. The documentary is not particularly even though and very little analysis is done against alternative scenarios where a cop's only choices would have been pepper spray or a gun. A taser killing a small minority of victims is probably still better than gunshot wound survival rates. It also doesn't pay enough attention to police use of tasers which has creeped from occupying a firmly self-defence role to being used to force compliance and often triggered several times in a row - a scenario apparently not used in human tests by Taser but still an option they allow in their product. :scratch:

Son of Saul
A Hungarian holocaust film. Saul is in the sonderkommando - a group of Jews singled out as being strong enough to labour in the death camps for a while before being condemned themselves. In the midst of all this he finds the body of a boy he claims is his son and becomes obsessed with getting the correct, full Jewish rites to be said over him before burying him. You follow Saul as he sneaks past soldiers and overseers, deals with understandably reluctant inmates and pulls every trick he can to get this dead boy a rabbi. Everything is shot with Saul in close-up, often occupying 2/3rds of the frame and leaving the surroundings out of focus. While I think what the film does in terms of giving an eye on the ground feel for the industrial scale of the Holocaust, I don't think the camera angle gimmick really helps the film much. Coupled with some spotty subtitling and it gets very hard to understand whats going on a lot of the time.

Capt. America - Civil War
I think I'm tiring of comic book films or I've forgotten how to turn my brain off. I actually read the comic when it came out and it had interesting things to say about the war on terror, national allegiance and expectations of privacy that were a big deal in 2003. It wouldn't take much modification now to have it focus on government spying and the abuse of other countries' sovereignty would probably make good topics that work with the story. Instead we get cod philosophy and pensive frowns as justification for some rather stupid and self-contradictory behaviour. The big action set pieces were great (Antman's contribution in particular), the humour and wise-cracks were what we've all come to expect from Marvel films but the screenplay was a plodding mess from an actually interesting source material :(

The Lobster
A weird, disjointed examination of human relationships and single life. In some sort of dystopian future, people without a partner are rounded up and taken to a complex where they must find true love within a certain number of days or be turned into an animal of their choice. Intelligent, darkly funny and always with an undertone of viciousness, it gets a little exhausting by the end but well worth a watch.

Dirty Wars
A documentary on an important subject (extra-judicial killings by the Americans in countries where they are not at war) narrated by a self-aggrandizing journalist who needs his close-up in 50% of the shots and edited by someone with no imagination whatsoever.

Nostalgia for the Light
A Chilean documentary film set in the Atacama desert. He interviews the astronomers who take advantage of the clear, dry sky to see into the cosmos and hunt for our universal past, archaeologists searching for a more recent past - finding mummies, petroglyphs and pot shards in the perfect dry conditions; and widows and bereaved sisters whose loved ones were taken from them by Pinochet's government and whose mummified remains continue to turn up to this day in bleak corners of the desert. Somehow Guzman marries these searchers, their concerns and the underlying history into something really compelling. The visual comparisons between stars and dust, between bone shards and asteroids are really quite remarkable.

Cowspiracy
A basic intro to the environmental argument against animal agriculture. This will possibly make you a vegan, especially if the statistics associated with meat production were unclear to you before. Unfortunately if it's fairly familiar stuff, you're left with a mumbling, slightly stoned hipster who is hard to take seriously when he tapes interviews where he spends the whole time slouched in his chair and wearing a cap indoors. Once again, important content poor presented :(
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Silkie on Mon May 09, 2016 10:59 am

It seems to be standard for Marvel now to have an in credit and end credit bit.

Captain America: The First Avenger. Netflix. Despite being set in WW2 this is the most light hearted of the three films and features a strong cast but weak story. Couldn't be helped too much as they didn't have a lot to work with but it remains an enjoyable film.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Netflix. A really good film that's more spy thriller than super hero flick with superb action sequences.

Planet Hulk. Netflix. An animated story that's been much too cut down to really do the Hulk exiled into space story justice.

Equilibrium. Netflix. Stylish with some ideas that despite being rather silly make for an interesting premise in this 1984/Matrix dystopian science fiction film starring Christian Bale. A secret policeman in a world where emotion is drugged out of the population begins to turn against his masters and aid the resistance. Actually dictatorships tend to rely on emotion over reason but the fights look good.

I Love You Phillip Morris. Netflix. Based on the story of a conman who fell in love in prison but couldn't control his tendency to blow ever cent he gets then steal some more is a bit messy and to my mind over rated. It has a few funny moments and poses a few questions about what passes for justice in some parts of America but is an OK movie rather than a must see.
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Silkie on Wed May 11, 2016 6:26 pm

I needed some cheer up films so....

101 Dalmations Amazon Prime. The original animated version never fails to make me laugh and although the live action version is also a favourite of mine I still prefer this classic which tried a different style of animation without which Cruella wouldn't have been so menacing.

The Aristocats. Bluray. Another different looking Disney classic and one which always holds a special place in my heart as my late sister Kathy took me to see it on an early UK cinema release when I was just a wee small boy. Brilliant tunes and voice acting compliment humour that never seems to age much but like I said I can't be even a little objective about this one.

Sherlock Homes. GooglePlay. A nice free gift as I really enjoy this and although for me Jeremy Brett still remains the definitive great detective this edges out the BBC series which got stale very quickly for me. A magnificently menacing British Lord (Mark Strong) attempts to kill off all but his chosen allies in parliament in a plot that Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr.) and Doctor Watson (Jude Law) must foil aided by former adversery Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams).

Hulk vs. Netflix. A compilation of two short Lionsgate animations with the not so jolly green giant facing off against Thor in the first part and Wolverine in the second. The second was more enjoyable as it had better voice acting and plot. Nothing special but OK for comic fans.
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Bobbobthebob on Thu May 12, 2016 5:41 pm

Paths of Glory
Didn't expect to be quite so impressed with a 1950s war film or to be as emotionally engaged with a Kubrick flick. I've watched a lot of war films and this one and Come and See are probably the only truly "anti-war" films I've ever seen. While many war films claim to portray war as horrible they normally can't avoid making it seem exciting with the action, pyrotechnics and the audience comfortably observing in safety. Even films like Thin Red Line struggle against that. But Paths of Glory barely depicts the fighting itself, the Germans are never seen - just an impersonal barrage of bullets and artillery - men just slumping over at random or dieing off-screen. Instead what we really watch is the arguing, the fear, the egos, the misery and most of all the injustice of war.

Martha Marcy May Marlene
This was the first major film role for Elizabeth Olson (Marvel's Scarlet Witch) and it's a heck of a debut. Martha (Olsen) has been living in a cultish commune for a few years before she runs away and, after a panicked phone call, seeks refuge with her estranged sister. The film bounces back and forth between the present day where her bizarre behaviour confounds her sister and brother-in-law (she's only told them she was with a boyfriend in the Catskills) and her initiation into and life with the cult. The scene changes are deliberately vague and leave you constantly on edge that the cult members have arrived at her hide-out in the present. Martha battles with this fear and her state of limbo - having not quite fit in with the cult and struggling to refind her identity in an outside world she barely remembers how to operate in.
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Silkie on Sun May 15, 2016 4:24 pm

The Incredibles. Bluray. After watching the extras (finally) I watched this classic film again with greater appreciation of what they went through to get it made in the first place.

The Wild Bunch. Amazon Prime. On the surface a violent Western with two ex partners now on either side of the law all in the middle of the Mexican revolution but I always felt there was more to it than that. Good as it all is it always felt to me like it was men being chased out of existence by the encroachment of civilisation. You murdered the natives and laid down the towns now be good little cowboys and go away because this is only for us civilised people. Sometimes you and your three crazy friends just say screw it and pick a fight with an entire army as a way of giving the finger to civilisations phony smile as you'd rather die than live with it's bullshit.

The Rescuers. Amazon Prime. Not a Disney I'd ever watched before but a lot better than I'd expected for a film from their years of mediocrity and although I felt it stole designs from their older films it wasn't half bad.

Oliver and Company. Amazon Prime. Another one from that time that's based on Oliver Twist but relocated to New York and set in the seventies as a homeless kitten falls in with a dog (urchin) street gang. Predictable but with some solid musical numbers it suffers from some major flaws but is actually entertaining.

Enders Game. Bluray. A child tactical genius is trained by the military to lead an counter invasion of an insectoid alien races homeworld after their attempted colonisation of Earth. It felt a bit truncated in the middle but it remains a noble stab at something that might have been better as a mini series. The young actors and actresses put in some commendable performances as well.
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Silkie on Thu May 19, 2016 10:51 am

X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Bluray. The early days of the clawed Canuck are a kind of frustrating movie in that it missed so many opportunities but at least provided an opportunity for a Deadpool dry run despite that stupid mouth sewing.

Ant-Man. Bluray. A movie I thoroughly enjoyed at the cinema that needs much more love for being a modest action comedy with a likeable main character with a lot of laughs/fights. Great ant sequences as well.

Bridge of Spies. Google Play. 75% off a movie rental? Sold. Good but not great and if it wasn't blessed with Tom Hanks probably wouldn't have got a watch from me. It's message however is one that never ages as if you stare into the abyss...
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Silkie on Sun May 22, 2016 4:04 pm

I felt the need for giving my sub-woofer a workout so...

Blade. Bluray. Still good and even if not my top choice of vampires at least there were no sparklies. BTW just in case you don't get the sub-woofer thing.





Sucker Punch. Amazon Prime. Sometimes I like to watch awful movies just to see how bad they really are. This is one of those movies. Apparently written by a 12 year old boy too dumb to take the porn filter off the family router. It has a pretty good soundtrack though.
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Binerexis on Mon May 23, 2016 12:51 pm

Ex Machina.

I like the concept. I like the writing. I like the acting. I like how the story plays out. I don't like the ending. Not because it's a 'bad' or sad ending, it just seemed a little unnecessary. I'd almost say it's out of character for one of the characters involved but an argument could easily be made in favour of that being the point. Don't worry, no spoilerino. Check it out.
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby EWJ on Wed May 25, 2016 1:50 am

X-men Apocalypse. Didn't find it as enjoyable as First Class. Fairly predictable and too drawn out too.
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Bobbobthebob on Wed May 25, 2016 9:09 am

London has Fallen
My extremely low opinion of Gerard Butler keeps getting confirmed. This film continuously insults your intelligence; not trusting the audience to remember anything beyound 90 seconds. It's also an actively racist fantasy of absolute American exceptionalism in which all the middle eastern looking people are terrorists and only the Americans can stop them, even when events take place in another first world country. We're meant to side with a protagonist who is two dimensional and mostly psychopathic, backed by a government and ideology that literally says "might makes right". Almost beats Law Abiding Citizen on my "films I actually hate" list - yet another practically fascist Gerard Butler horrible-fest.

Zootopia
Bloody lovely! Deals with racial stereotyping/profiling in a way that is neither heavy-handed nor too difficult for kids. Overall a heartwarming story with lots of jokes that work on multiple levels to keep all ages happy - didn't expect to see Breaking Bad references in a Disney film!

Short Term 12
A tight little drama about a couple who help run a government foster home in America. Script feels a little heavy in the way it just repeatedly dumps horrible events on a few people in order to generate the drama but very well acted throughout by Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr.

Mary and Max
A stop-motion animated weepie comedy about an intensely lonely young girl in Australia and an overweight autistic Jewish man in New York who become pen pals.

In the Name of the Father
A political drama that largely eschews the specifics of the political problem to focus on the father/son relationship between Peter Postlethwaite and Daniel Day-Lewis' characters.

Rashomon
This is the film credited with kickstarting those films where you get given multiple points of view of the same event and each person gives a different version. Rashomon differs a bit in that it doesn't explicitly claim any of them as being the "truth" although you're going to come down leaning hard on one of the stories. Get's a bit schmaltzy at the end and rather unbelievably has the characters overly concerned about human dishonesty as if this was some kind of new concept. The cinematography is pretty interesting with the heavy use of dappled light in the forest to highlight character actions and plot points. The shamaness character is also very effectively spooky in a way I didn't expect to see from a '50s film. Kinda hard to watch these days given the f***ed up gender politics but interesting nonetheless for all the other reasons.

X-men: Apocalypse
Meh. Just meh. Poor motivation for pretty much every character in this film and apocalyptic action that had so little weight to it that I didn't really care much about what was going on. In fact all the action was so lightweight that it even managed to make Nightcrawler seem rather tame. On the plus side, it made me appreciate CA:CW a lot more and I did enjoy Quicksilver's bits!
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Silkie on Thu May 26, 2016 3:48 pm

Grrrrrrr!

Me being a long time X-Nerd I had to do this.

X-Men First Class. Bluray. Love that sixties feel and the casing mostly works with some nice practical stunt work such as the dogfight scene at the end. The new Professor and Magneto work very well for me although I'm disappointed they killed off Darwin so quickly.

X-Men Days of Future Past. Bluray. A good attempt but more of a big screen movie than the first one with one of the more well known story arcs and lots of fan service in the future scenes. A bit messy towards the end but a lot more good than bad and the introduction of the very enjoyable Quicksilver character.

X-Men Apocalypse. 3D Imax. After suffering some truly frigging awful adverts they finally swung into the film and I thoroughly enjoyed it BUT I feel it's more of a fan film than the previous two. The villains rather old fashioned compared to more complex characters but the casting was good and even brilliant in the form of the young Storm and Nightcrawler. Lots of stuff for fans but it could have been tighter for people who don't follow the comics especially those of us who remember the introduction of the newer team in the mid Seventies. The after credit sequence is rather odd in that it doesn't seem to be a straight set up for another movie but rather seems to leave it open for a number of things. Sinister things in particular. :lol:
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Binerexis on Tue May 31, 2016 11:55 am

I liked Apocalypse but I'll agree that something felt missing.

Don't have time to give my full thoughts on the movie at the moment but can anyone else confirm that they got Apocalypse's powers right in the movie? I could have sworn it was different in the comics/TV show to the degree that movie Apocalypse wasn't as dangerous as he could have been.
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Silkie on Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:45 pm

They tweak them so often it's hard to keep track but the original had a huge range of abilities which I tend to think is lazy writing.

Nikita. DVD. The film that spawned a remake that spawned a series but I was never interested in anything but this French original. A drug addict kills a policeman during a raid on a pharmacy and then as the sole survivor of the thieves takes the rap for all the killings. An espionage agency fake her execution and train her to be an assassin for them under threat of her fake grave becoming the real thing. Flawed but stylish it mixes black humour with action and features a character played by Jean Reno who I feel is the prototype for Leon. A little slow in places but still very much a favourite of mine after all these decades.
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Silkie on Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:18 pm

Heavy Metal 2000. DVD. From the science fiction magazine of the same name that started off printing reprints of Métal hurlant comes a film that's not really more proficient than the 1981 movie you probably only know from the South Park parody. Lacking the first films originality and featuring some mediocre animation and to my ears terrible music it kind of urinates on the first films good will. The voice acting is often good thanks to Michael Ironside as the main villain. Not much real plot but a mish-mash of guns, boobs and gore.

St. Elmos Fire. DVD. I'd never watched this eighties brat pack flick before and it hasn't aged well with most of the characters being so bloody awful but at least accurate for the time. An interesting look at a very odd time in history but an enjoyable soundtrack.

No Escape. Amazon Prime. A family get caught in the middle of a coup in an un-named Asian country and despite a solid cast even the solid pace can't save it from being bland fare. Owen Wilson is fairly good in a non comedy role and Pierce Brosnan steals the show as a British agent.
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Bobbobthebob on Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:30 am

Casablanca
Started to wonder if it was really so special about 3/4s of the way through as I found the romance rather tiresome (as I often do with these code-era films) but it pulled it all off so well in the end I fell in love with it all over again. So quotable too!

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Hearts and Minds
A heart-wrenching documentary about the Vietnam war filmed in its dying days. Some of the documentary techniques are clearly an influence on later film-makers, especially the likes of Michael Moore. Thankfully, while this film doesn't pretend to be neutral, you don't get that suspicion of dishonesty you sometimes get with Moore. It's one of the most emotionally draining documentaries I've ever watched and will make you furious. Just as an example:

There are scenes of funerals in Vietnam, wailing children and a mother trying to climb down into her son's grave as they lower the coffin. A man, his voice breaking and speaking in stilted sentences, shows his bombed out farmhouse where his entire family was killed:

My daughter died right here. She was feeding the pigs. She was so sweet. She is dead. The pigs are alive. My mother and my children
took shelter here. Here they died.

The planes came from over there. No targets here. Only rice fields and houses.

I'll give you my daughter's beautiful shirt. Take it back to the United States. Tell them what happened here.

My daughter is dead. She will never wear the shirt again. Throw the shirt in Nixon's face. Tell them she was only a little schoolgirl.


This cuts straight to an interview with General William Westmoreland, in charge of operations in Vietnam at the height of the war talking about the appalling death toll:

Well, the Oriental... doesn't put the same high price on life as does a Westerner. Life is plentiful, life is cheap in the Orient.

And, uh, as the, uh, philosophy of the, uh, of the Orient, uh, uh, expresses it, uh, life is, uh, is not important.
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Shuriken on Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:28 am

Xmen Apocalypse - As a comic fan I thoroughly enjoyed it but I've already forgotten half the details. It did engage me though, so it was doing something right. I just don't know what.
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Silkie on Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:54 pm

TMNT. Amazon Prime. A fairly entertaining animated tale that sort of follows on from earlier films as the turtles have drifted apart but get brought back together by April who has been hired to track down stone statues by a rich businessman.

Hellboy Sword of Storms. DVD. An OK animated film with good voice acting that sort of continues on from what is now a largely dead film series as Hellboy 3 doesn't look as it's going to get the green light. The usual stuff with some nice bits of Japanese mythology thrown in.

About Last Night. DVD. The original with Rob Lowe and Demi Moore probably won't appeal to those who didn't live through the eighties but me it actually caught the era well. It's actually a very positive romance as two people cut through a very selfish (but fun) decades attitudes to fall in love. Lots of the old in and out with a very apt joke in movie from Demi about Rob who was one of those guys almost too good looking.

Paul. Amazon Prime. I didn't fancy the premise of this one and Seth Rogan's voice is nails on a chalk board to me (can't stand the guy) but despite this I actually enjoyed it and it's good geeky fun mostly. Watching it blind as I've never even read a review the end was loads of fun.
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Binerexis on Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:50 pm

Jurassic World

Great so long as you don't think about it for too long and view it as what I think it was intended to be: dumb fun with dinosaurs
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Silkie on Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:02 pm

I was in the mood for some low budget stuff and Amazon Prime has loads.

Deathgasm. I can only imagine that the director was a fan of Peter Jackson's early films and this has that same vibe (pun intended) with lashings of gore and Bad Taste (nyuck) humour. A metal slacker gets sent to live with his uncles family after his mother is arrested for publicly sexually assaulting a mall Santa and falls in with a three other outsiders who form a band. When they find a legendary reclusive heavy metal musician living on the edge of town they accidentally kill him and steal an LP that actually only contains a Rick Astly record and some sheet music. Queue demonic possession all across the town after they play it and a sinister organisation trying to track down the song. Gross in the extreme but pretty good for what it is it even features a fight between two of them and the possessed uncle & aunt where they use sex toys from the couples bedroom closet. Good for what it is.

Rubber. An short independent film that has a few good ideas but ends up being more of a curiosity. A sentient tyre develops dangerous telekinetic powers and goes on a toddler like tantrum causing anything that annoys it's head to explode. An audience is set up in the desert to watch the story with binoculars but then get mostly poisoned by the man who set them up there. A bit too self consciously weird.
"I prefer the company of animals more than the company of humans.
Certainly, a wild animal is cruel.
But to be merciless is the privilege of civilised humans."
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Silkie
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Re: So which film have you seen last ?

Postby Silkie on Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:35 pm

Blood the Last Vampire. DVD. The animated short film not the later live action. A girl working with a secret Japanese agency in the 1960's hunts demonic vampires and that's pretty much all the plot you get. Stylish and with a feel of Ghost in the Shell about it but way too short. It feels more like the pilot to a series that never happened and teases you with closing credits hinting at a switch of venue to Vietnam which is a fascinating idea. Wouldn't vampires be drawn to a conflict like that if they existed?

The Lady and the Tramp. DVD. A classic Disney animation about a spaniel whose pampered life get's turned upside down and the charismatic mongrel Tramp enters her life at the same time. Truly fantastic songs and top quality voice acting compliment rich traditional animation. Yes there are a few odd loopholes for the sake of a story but hardly anything worth bothering about in film that features the amazing voice of Peggy Lee.
"I prefer the company of animals more than the company of humans.
Certainly, a wild animal is cruel.
But to be merciless is the privilege of civilised humans."
User avatar
Silkie
Experienced Member
 
Player: Silkie
STEAM_0:0:523712
 
Posts: 1963
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:19 pm
Location: Somewhere Strange



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