Movies are awesome

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

Post by Sparky Prime »

Lightyear
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They set this movie up with some text at the very beginning as being the movie Andy watched leading to him want a Buzz Lightyear for his birthday in 1995... Which is fine, but I think there are a few problems in that logic with how this film's story goes. The space ranger suit that Buzz wears in most of the film isn't the same model as the toy. A suit closer to the Toy Story version of Buzz only appears at the very end of the film for maybe like 2 minutes. So it's like they made the main action figure of the line out of a version of the suit we barely see in the film. As a comparison, I don't think they've even made a toy version of the Spider-Man suit shown at the very end of No Way Home that was only in the film for like a minute. Buzz in this film also isn't "defending the galaxy from the threat of invasion from the evil Emperor Zurg". Instead, he's the member of a... exploration crew? I'm not sure, the movie wasn't clear on what their mission was prior to making a pit stop to check out an unexplored planet they end up stranded on.

Because Buzz feels guilty for stranding them on this planet, he volunteers to test the formula for their hyperspeed crystal fuel, which is difficult to get the mixture just right to keep it stable. Thanks to the effects of relativity, Buzz ends up skipping four years with each test flight. After multiple failed test flights, Buzz has ended up about 60 years in the future, at which point the crew has settled in to life on this planet and no longer desire to leave.In the meantime however, Buzz's companion robot, a cat named Sox, has figured out the correct formula. Stealing the test ship, Buzz and Sox end up another 22 years into the future after a successful test flight. At this point in time however, the planet is under siege by Zurg and his robot army.

Unlike the Toy Story version of Zurg, he's a giant mech suit that an older version of Buzz pilots. I really like the design, but aside from the head, he really doesn't resemble the Toy Story version of the character. At any rate, he explains to his younger self that when he landed after the successful hyperspeed flight, he was threatened with jail, so he took off on another flight, where he found this alien ship in the future, and then used up his hyperspeed crystal fuel time traveling back to this era. The time travel paradox here is a little confusing, but whatever. Zurg Buzz intends to change history by giving the hyperspeed crystal fuel to the stranded crew after they'd crashed, but younger Buzz in the meantime has gotten to know some of the descendance of the crew, who'd be erased from history, and refuses to help his older self. Young Buzz, with the help of the group of colonists he's met, manages to destroy Zurg's ship and hyperspeed crystal fuel, and are welcomed back to the colony as heroes.

In a post-credits scene, it's revealed Zurg is still alive in orbit.

It's a decent enough film in its own right, I enjoyed it for what it is. But the premise as being the movie that Andy saw in 1995 and inspired the Buzz Lightyear toys just doesn't work for me. It contradicts what little of a storyline they'd established for Buzz in Toy Story and Toy Story 2.
Last edited by Sparky Prime on Sun Aug 21, 2022 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Thor Love and Thunder
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Turns out that Thor unintentionally enchanted Mjölnir to protect Jane while they were still dating. Jane, in the years since, has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (I don't think they ever said what specifically) and travels to New Asgard since medical science hasn't slowed the progression of her disease (Stellan Skarsgård getting a small cameo to deliver this news... even though his character, Dr. Erik Selvig, is not a medical doctor), and finds that she's able to wield the hammer. Mjölnir is able to reassemble and break itself into pieces at will now... So breaking it basically made it better? I wish they would have done a little more with this. I mean, with Stormbreaker I guess Thor wouldn't have any need for Mjölnir anymore, but why would he just leave it where Hela broke it? I'd have thought he'd try to fix it or something in the time between Infinity War and Endgame.

So in the meantime, Gorr gets this God killer sword and starts killing Gods throughout the universe. Thor (who has been adventuring with the Guardians of the Galaxy) returns to Earth to fend off an attack when he goes to New Asgard, but Gorr kidnaps all the children in the town. Thor, Jane Thor, Korg and Valkyrie head to the city of the Gods to ask Zeus for an army of Gods to fight him, but Zeus refuses, because he thinks Gorr isn't a big threat and is willing to allow him to pick off some 'lesser Gods', while they remain safe in this city. Thor seemingly kills Zeus and they steal his thunderbolt. Going to face Gorr on their own, Jane discovers Gorr is after Stormbreaker, because it's a key to getting to Eternity. Apparently anyone who reaches Eternity will have one wish granted to them, and he intends on using it to kill all the Gods. The fight goes poorly, and Gorr captures Stormbreaker while the heroes retreat to Earth.

Thor decides to go after Gorr himself, as he uses Stormbreaker to open the portal to Eternity. Jane isn't content to lay dying in a hospital bed and joins Thor in the fight. Together they are able to destroy the God killing sword, but Gorr is able to reach Eternity... Which also transports Thor and Jane for some reason. Thor realizes if he's about to die, he'd rather spend his final moments with Jane as the woman he loves. This moves Gorr, who realizes he could wish back his daughter, but as the sword poisoned him, he's dying and she'd have no one if he brought her back. Thor agrees to raise her, so Gorr makes his wish and both he and Jane die. Apparently Eternity bringing her back also gave her god powers.

In the post credit scenes, we see Zeus wasn't killed after all, and sends Hercules to get revenge on Thor. And Jane is greeted by Heimdall in Valhalla.

I was in no rush to see this movie as I have not the biggest fan of the Thor films. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this movie. The screaming goat joke I felt was over used, and there were a few things I wish they had explained better or gone a little more in depth on. But still, overall pretty good. I'm surprised they killed Jane off. I was thinking she would be the new Thor moving forward, but I liked how they handled her story, giving her the chance to be the hero and a proper sendoff rather than just saying she and Thor broke up off screen.

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Re: Movies are awesome

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Lightyear was ok, it wasn't a good fit for the Toy Story in-universe connection and I doubt any child ever would find that movie interesting enough to go full Star Wars over the way the producers suggest they are. I didn't dislike it, and I bought all the Hyperspeed-series ships from it (except Zurg's mothership), but it's a bit of an odd fit from Pixar and definitely feels like product more than art.

Thor Love and Thunder was a let-down compared to Thor Ragnarok, but wasn't bad IMO, just felt like the writer/director didn't put in the effort this time around, which is a shame since the previous one was so damned good. The character writing didn't really feel nailed down well for anyone, I do wonder if that's why there were two writers this time around, the other one barely has any credits at all. I'd say this is the weakest of the 4 Thor films, but I actually like the first two films so don't take my word.
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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Thor: Love and Thunder - feels like a movie of two halves to me, the first half just about convinced me not to bother finishing it, but the second half is pretty good drama. Every movie needs some humor to break the tension and give the audience a smile from time to time, but they really need to cut some of the silliness out of these films. It gets to the point that it just undercuts a lot of the threat when people are constantly quipping and joking. There are things I liked about this movie and things that I really did not. "You flicked too hard!" is a funny line, I have to admit.

Also rewatching the Hobbit movies and I don't get why some people are so down on them. For the most part I really enjoy them, and don't mind at all how things from other books like the battle at Azanulbizar or the debates of the White Council or Gandalf's meeting with Thorin in Bree are in this movie even though they weren't in the book. What other opportunity would Jackson have had to film them? More decent Tolkien adaptation is better than less. I'm not a fan of the excessive silly escapes from Goblin-Town or the Elvenking's dungeons, and there are other things I could pick apart about them. But I also don't mind that a short book was made into three long movies, not when I enjoy the movies. And considering what we've seen since with ROP, The Hobbit looks even better now.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

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I'd also have to say I've never gotten why so many people are so down on the Hobbit movies. The only thing I didn't like about them is how, in The Desolation of Smaug, they don't actually decimate Smaug. Instead Jackson saved that scene for the beginning of The Battle of the Five Armies, where it felt out of place to me. It's like if they'd started Return of the Jedi with Boba Fett getting away with Solo frozen in carbonite at cloud city, instead of ending Empire Strikes Back with that.

Hocus Pocus 2
It's not as good or as charming as the first, and some of it felt a little cheap. The scenes in the woods particularly took me out of it to me because of how fake the set looked. I enjoyed parts of it, but I wanted more than what the film gave.

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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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I finished Battle of the Five Armies and went on to rewatch "The Fellowship of the Ring", and while it's still very good, I hadn't really thought about just how much Peter Jackson had to cut and streamline to make even his very long movie. While The Hobbit adds in other material, the Lord of the Rings cuts it out. Whole characters and subplots are gone (the subterfuge by Frodo of buying the house in Crickhollow, Fatty Bolger, Tom Bombadil, Glorfindel), while other incidents are streamlined and characters simplified (Merry and Pippin are the prime examples, though Gimli counts as well). I get why he did it, as interesting as the council of Elrond and all its backstory is on page, it would take an hour of the movie of characters just sitting and talking, so simplifying in the translation from the page to the screen makes sense. Most of Jackson's choices make sense, apart from some of the character changes, the worst of which are in the next two movies. Overall, Fellowship holds up pretty well, and I guess I should be thankful that the original two-film treatment wasn't followed!

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Re: Movies are awesome

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andersonh1 wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 5:35 pm
Also rewatching the Hobbit movies and I don't get why some people are so down on them. For the most part I really enjoy them, and don't mind at all how things from other books like the battle at Azanulbizar or the debates of the White Council or Gandalf's meeting with Thorin in Bree are in this movie even though they weren't in the book. What other opportunity would Jackson have had to film them? More decent Tolkien adaptation is better than less. I'm not a fan of the excessive silly escapes from Goblin-Town or the Elvenking's dungeons, and there are other things I could pick apart about them. But I also don't mind that a short book was made into three long movies, not when I enjoy the movies. And considering what we've seen since with ROP, The Hobbit looks even better now.
Huh, I also rewatched The Hobbit trilogy (well, I watched The Battle of the Five Armies for the first time, since I didn't bother with it prior), the EEs, and I found it worse than I had remembered. There's no magic whatsoever in them, no charm or artistry, because of the reliance on the HFR gimmick they couldn't do some effects practically so there's way too much CGI including bringing the large and small character actors together being set aside, the lighting doesn't do its job, everything feels very plasticky and unappealing. The story thrust is shifted entirely to being a LOTR prequel instead of building up its own tale, Bilbo is barely a character, almost none of the dwarves are characters, Thorin doesn't feel a thing like his fellow dwarves, there's too much video game-like action, the whole thing felt uninspired. The second movie is all over the place but never really gives story weight to the scenes with Smaug and Bilbo, they are over far too quickly, you never really get to know Bilbo as someone coming into his own throughout these stories because he's sidelined for so many scenes. Then we get to the battle of the five armies and there's not enough weight to the buildup, instead we get 45 minutes of one action scene and while there's some fun stuff going on, it has no story or characters to serve so it's just endless CGI-infused action, and the armies are overinflated horribly. I genuinely enjoyed very little about this trilogy, the first two get by on a few basic elements and the third eschews that for endless action.
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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Some of the chase and escape sequences, like Goblin Town or down the river in the barrels, I'd agree with you are too "video-game action-y" for their own good. And Martin Freeman deserved more screen time, he's excellent in the role and is the title character, but he does get pushed aside more often than I would prefer.

But I enjoy the way these movies aren't afraid to incorporate some of the more whimsical scenes from the book, such as the dwarves singing about breaking Bilbo's dishes and tearing up his house, or the Great Goblin singing the song from the Goblin-town capture, or three stupid trolls with Cockney accents. I love that we get the very fairy-tale image of a dragon sleeping on a literal mountain of gold. We even get the talking giant spiders. Jackson just goes for it and includes them all, which I'm not sure I expected in our more cynical age, even ten years ago when these were made. Only a few dwarves are really characters, but that's true in the book. Jackson makes the movie a Lord of the Rings prequel, but Tolkien did that too in some of his later writing about the events and characters. And one of the most effective and moving scenes in either the Hobbit trilogy or the LOTR trilogy is Bilbo just sitting there and crying beside his dead friend Thorin. If anything emotional comes through from these movies for me, it's themes of friendship and loyalty, and they are there, if often overshadowed by the plot and action.

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Re: Movies are awesome

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Black Adam - good superhero movie and I thought they did all the characters justice. The actor playing Hawkman really captured the modern angry, aggressive version of the character. Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Fate was the star of the show. I thought Dwayne Johnson did a good job at giving Adam some sympathetic qualities while still playing him as brutal and violent, but not beyond redemption. The twist in his origin story worked, I thought, though I don't know if it entirely lines up with what Shazam told Billy. Nice cameo by Superman at the end. The theatre wasn't very full at all when we went for a 6:20 show, so hopefully it did better at other showtimes.

A word about the casting: I'm generally annoyed when they cast actors that aren't the same race as the characters in the comics, because I want to see what I read on the page translated faithfully to the big screen, but both Aldis Hodge as Hawkman and Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone were excellent and the performances won me over pretty fast. I really liked Hawkman in this movie and felt it was a strong live action big screen debut (as far as I know, I know he's been in several tv shows already) for the character, and I'd like to see more of him. His friendship with Dr. Fate was a highlight of the movie. I also enjoyed a superhero movie set almost entirely in a (fictional) middle eastern country. It was nice to have a change of scenery from the typical American setting.

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Re: Movies are awesome

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Weird: The Al Yankovic Story - like most Funny or Die content, some of this is funny and then it runs out of gas on the good ideas but won't figure out where or how to stop. Unlike most FOD content, this is 107 minutes long, so you have an amusing first half of a movie and a second half where the jokes, the plot, and the music all fall off a cliff. If you don't mind just shutting it off at the point you think it's turned sour, this is a funny and clever movie for 47 minutes; if you are a completist like me, this becomes agonizingly lame and burns off all the limited goodwill it initially enjoyed.
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