Movies are awesome

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JediTricks
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Matrix Resurrections - laughably bad, and painfully meta. Nobody should have made this movie at all, but especially not a bitter creator who wants to air grievances more than tell a story and convey new ideas. Aside from 3 leads, the cast was either charisma-free or written/directed to be charmless and generic in a way that even Apoc and Link in the original couldn't lay claim to. Disappointing all around, and also shot cheap with sad action.

Cars 3 - I didn't expect this to be the worst entry in the series, the original is already pretty shallow and lame while the sequel is shallow but fun as hell and not repeating the same beats. This one tries to make itself out as focusing on growth from aging which is weird since it's been 11 years since the original which ain't that long in Pixar years, but ultimately it tries to have its cake and eat it too as it also repeats beats from the original that aren't as intentional. Ultimately, the problem comes down to writing of a sympathetic but ultimately muddled new character that just doesn't quite make sense in the position they're given.

Ready Player One - holy shit this was bad, this is Spielberg's new low, worse than 1941 by a lot. Not only is this shallow and dumb, but it's stupid in ways that supposedly the book wasn't. I kept waiting for the twist to have there be more, but it never came. The goals are also just not set up to be important enough, and the villainy is way overboard and clumsy.

Amazing Spider-Man 2 - I had heard some defense of this recently so I gave it a chance, and it doesn't deserve any praise. What a mess of a movie, painfully long and mired in too many plots that don't deserve the weight, and not a single character worthy of spending time with. Downright awful.

Tenet - Nolan continues his downward spiral into his own butt. Not a terrible movie, but not one that needed to be seen in COVID theaters either. The mixing really is atrocious, we just turned on subtitles and left them on, normally that'd steal spontaneity from a film but this one doesn't have characters, just chess pieces, so it wasn't really a problem. A lot of clever filmmaking without a story is an empty thing, and this clever filmmaking didn't even look that good.

Shang Chi - adequate entertainment, but the titular character doesn't get much to do in the film, meanwhile Tony Leung absolutely steals this show and I would have spent another hour on his character easy. The last act is a whole different kind of ridiculous CGI mess.

Freaky - cute horror twist on Freaky Friday, could have used a little more meat on the premise's bones, but ultimately did what it needed to do.

Ava - ehhh, wanted to be something more but fell short. Nothing to talk about, which is a shame given what it's trying to achieve.

Dune - I didn't like this at all. It's ugly to look at, I didn't like the designs, I didn't like the lack of color. I hated the "music" which was just the same droning Zimmer bullshit over and over. The story felt thinned out and told from Paul's perspective but with even less than what he understands, so there's not much of the larger tale left here, it's just events.

Happy Death Day - I liked this a lot, it was a lot of fun and clever, horror movies like this and Freaky prove that ideas can be reused without just feeling like rehash.

(and with that, I realize I haven't been here in 2 months so I'll stop at Halloween :p )
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See, that one's a camcorder, that one's a camera, that one's a phone, and they're doing "Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil", get it?

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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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I didn't even realize there was a Cars 3!

The Red Badge of Courage - I remain fascinated by Civil War history, and I enjoy a good movie set in that era. This is a John Huston-directed film starring Audie Murphy, a highly decorated WW2 vet turned actor, who I had heard of but never seen. He does a good job as a young Union recruit headed for his first battle, wondering if his courage will hold once the shooting starts. The movie generally follows him and the other men on the ground, and the audience only sees and knows what they know. They wonder when they're going to fight, they hear and spread rumors, when they get to the battlefield the enemy are distant shapes across a field covered with smoke from the muskets and cannons. I'm involved with Civil War reenacting, and I know a hundred muskets on either side can produce a lot of smoke, so I would imagine several thousand would create quite a fog, which is what we see in this film. I kept getting distracted by familiar faces from various other movies and tv shows made in the 50s. This is a very short movie, not much more than an hour, and I read that the studio had no faith in it and cut it down from the original two hour length. It doesn't feel butchered, it flows very nicely. It's a good film, well worth watching.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Spider Man - No Way Home
Spoiler
This felt like such a love letter to all the previous Spider-Man films with elements of all of them in this film. Great seeing Alfred Molina, Willem Dafoe, Jamie Fox, Andrew Garfield, Tobey Maguire, Thomas Haden Church and Rhys Ifans all reprise their roles.

I liked that they established Wong was Sorcerer Supreme while Stephen Strange was dusted. Little surprised how quickly he agreed to help Peter out with this spell. And unlike in the trailers, Wong doesn't really protest, he just says he's going to stay out of it and goes about his own business.

Little iffy on the rule they all knew Peter Parker was Spider-Man, since I don't recall Electro learning his secret identity... And Tom Hardy's Venom has never even encountered Spider-Man in their universe (if there even is one). I know the symbiote makes some reference to their species having a hive mind that transverses universes in Venom 2... But that's just dumb. I'm glad they only showed Eddie Brock in a post credits scene. Interesting a bit of symbiote is left behind... I'd love to see the alien suit saga done better.

Also really nice to see Charlie Cox playing Matt Murdock. I think this is the first time the films have acknowledged the Netflix series. It'd be really cool if a future film would do a team up with Daredevil and Spidey.

I'm surprised they killed off Aunt May, and had her impart the "With great power..." line. I guess, since the MCU skipped the origin story, it wouldn't have resonated with audiences as well to reference a version of Uncle Ben we never even saw, so I get why they did it this way... But I'm a little disappointed they didn't so much as reference the MCU's Uncle Ben in this film. We know he existed from some subtle hints in the previous films. I think it would have been nice if all three Peter's would have mentioned their Uncle, and maybe added to MCU Peter's grief that he's lost both of them and blames himself for their deaths.

I liked that Peter set out to fix all the super villains before sending them home, especially when he learned they'd probably die when they went back. It's nice to see the hero trying to help the bad guys.

The interactions between the Peters was great. The way they supported each other, their curiosity about Tobey Peter's organic web shooters, their senses of humor, the meta jokes... I enjoyed every second of it.

Interesting to see Peter chooses not to reintroduce himself to his friends. It's a bittersweet ending. But it's good to see Peter is getting a fresh start. I wish we got a better look at the suit he made for himself at the end. I'm curious if he's still got the Starktech suits, but I get the impression they're toast.
Overall, great movie start to finish.

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Re: Movies are awesome

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The Matrix Resurrections

Having seen so many negative reviews about this film before watching, I was expecting it to be really bad... But, I have to say I enjoyed it.
Spoiler
It shares several story beats with the first film, in that Neo is once again trapped in the Matrix, and a group of freedom fighters find him and fight to free him, while elements within the Matrix want to stop this. Since Neo remembers the events of the Trilogy (albeit initially believing it's just a video game he created), it is a new take on the story without simply rehashing everything. Something that is pointed out within the film itself, since Neo is tasked with creating a "Matrix 4" sequel game within the story that he and several of his co-workers have a brainstorming montage with. I've seen a lot of criticism about how meta this story is in this regard, but honestly, I really liked it. It seemed fitting given the themes of the Matrix films. There's also a line about how their parent company, Warner Brothers, is going ahead with a sequel with or without Neo being part of the project that I've seen particularly criticized. I'm not so sure this line actually was meta commentary. Lana Wachowski said in an interview it was actually because of her parents deaths that she chose to return. She found comfort in the idea of being able to bring back Neo and Trinity.

There are a few characters I'm a little disappointed they didn't do more with. Neo writes a program that's supposed to be like an amalgam of Smith and Morpheus, Neo's subconscious way of trying to free his own mind (because they were the two instrumental elements to free him the first time). This program starts out an Agent within Neo's program, but he's quickly freed and joins the humans at the start of the film. At which point he's just Morpheus 2.0. They really don't use the Smith side of character. And that may be because there is another Smith in this film, who actually is the original. But they don't really do much with him either, besides having him fight Neo a couple times. I dunno, it just seemed like they really wanted Smith to still play a role, but didn't really know how to incorporate him into this story. Most of the crew of the ship Neo ends up on don't play much of a role either. Not that most of the crew in the first film did either... But beyond one of them geeking out over Neo (played by the guy that played Lt. Scott in Stargate Universe), the captain and the operator... I can't remember the rest of them, while I could at least name the crew members in the first film.

It's interesting to see how technology and events are shown to have progressed in the real world since Revolutions. While Neo's peace agreement seems to have since collapsed, it did have some positive outcomes leading to some significant changes. It would have been nice if, again, they could have developed some of the history a bit more. We get a general idea of events, but it still felt like they left unanswered questions. But then, the Matrix franchise doesn't answer everything.

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Re: Movies are awesome

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Sparky Prime wrote:
Sun Dec 26, 2021 8:22 pm
Spider Man - No Way Home
Spoiler
This felt like such a love letter to all the previous Spider-Man films with elements of all of them in this film. Great seeing Alfred Molina, Willem Dafoe, Jamie Fox, Andrew Garfield, Tobey Maguire, Thomas Haden Church and Rhys Ifans all reprise their roles.

I liked that they established Wong was Sorcerer Supreme while Stephen Strange was dusted. Little surprised how quickly he agreed to help Peter out with this spell. And unlike in the trailers, Wong doesn't really protest, he just says he's going to stay out of it and goes about his own business.

Little iffy on the rule they all knew Peter Parker was Spider-Man, since I don't recall Electro learning his secret identity... And Tom Hardy's Venom has never even encountered Spider-Man in their universe (if there even is one). I know the symbiote makes some reference to their species having a hive mind that transverses universes in Venom 2... But that's just dumb. I'm glad they only showed Eddie Brock in a post credits scene. Interesting a bit of symbiote is left behind... I'd love to see the alien suit saga done better.

Also really nice to see Charlie Cox playing Matt Murdock. I think this is the first time the films have acknowledged the Netflix series. It'd be really cool if a future film would do a team up with Daredevil and Spidey.

I'm surprised they killed off Aunt May, and had her impart the "With great power..." line. I guess, since the MCU skipped the origin story, it wouldn't have resonated with audiences as well to reference a version of Uncle Ben we never even saw, so I get why they did it this way... But I'm a little disappointed they didn't so much as reference the MCU's Uncle Ben in this film. We know he existed from some subtle hints in the previous films. I think it would have been nice if all three Peter's would have mentioned their Uncle, and maybe added to MCU Peter's grief that he's lost both of them and blames himself for their deaths.

I liked that Peter set out to fix all the super villains before sending them home, especially when he learned they'd probably die when they went back. It's nice to see the hero trying to help the bad guys.

The interactions between the Peters was great. The way they supported each other, their curiosity about Tobey Peter's organic web shooters, their senses of humor, the meta jokes... I enjoyed every second of it.

Interesting to see Peter chooses not to reintroduce himself to his friends. It's a bittersweet ending. But it's good to see Peter is getting a fresh start. I wish we got a better look at the suit he made for himself at the end. I'm curious if he's still got the Starktech suits, but I get the impression they're toast.
Overall, great movie start to finish.
Agreed. I loved this movie.
Spoiler
I've never seen the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies. I've read that they aren't all that good (JT just reviewed the second one a few posts back and said the same), but I enjoyed Garfield's performance, so I've ordered a copy of both. I'm curious to watch them and see what I think.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

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andersonh1 wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:19 am
Agreed. I loved this movie.
Spoiler
I've never seen the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies. I've read that they aren't all that good (JT just reviewed the second one a few posts back and said the same), but I enjoyed Garfield's performance, so I've ordered a copy of both. I'm curious to watch them and see what I think.
Spoiler
Yeah, the Amazing Spider-Man films aren't so good... The first one has a much darker tone to it with Peter a 'too cool for school' skater kid type of character and the whole reason he becomes Spider-Man is to become a vigilante to hunt down his uncle's killer... Which in itself isn't bad, it just feels like they tried to make Spider-Man more like Batman, which misses the mark on Peter/Spidey's character. Beyond that though, it's a decent enough film. I really liked the cast of this movie, and the story was alright, even though it was largely the origin story for a second time.

The second one... was written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It is truly terrible. Lots of cool action scenes, but not a lot of substance and the plot meanders with a lot of convenient contrivances.

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Re: Movies are awesome

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Red Notice - this isn't a real movie, it's like one of those movies within a movies that thinks it's being cheeky and has 3 A-listers to convince an audience the movie's in-story universe is more real. But it's not, this is a hollow, bland, cheap-looking mess that feels like it was entirely shot in Georgia, and turned out actually to be true!

Eternals - well, it lives up to that name. I hated this movie, haaaaaated it. It's incredibly slow, boring, and then when you get to the twist that
Spoiler
they're just basically robots and the Earth is just an egg for a Celestial
, there's absolutely nothing left to care about at all despite those things coming pretty early in the film. The characters and their interpersonal lives are shallow and bland and just a drag to sit through. Scenes go on and on and on. Action is dull and meaningless in empty spaces that are "real" but don't use that reality to their benefit. The superhero powers are disinteresting and have nothing to say. All this movie did was make me think I was too harsh on Shang-Chi.

F for Fake - the final movie that Orson Welles himself made is a documentary/film essay on an art forger, his biographer who turned out to be an even bigger forger of the truth, and the oddities of the worlds that connected these people to Welles. Fascinating mess, but proof that Welles is an excellent storyteller even in the most confusing setting.
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See, that one's a camcorder, that one's a camera, that one's a phone, and they're doing "Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil", get it?

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

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The Eternals

I watched this over the weekend. Honestly, I felt this was the weakest of the Marvel films. I was hoping it was almost over halfway through it... It spends the majority of the film introducing the characters after they've gone their separate ways over the recent centuries with flashbacks to their past but ends up doing so little with any of them. It makes the story incredibly slow and boring.

I did not like the revelation
Spoiler
The Eternals are essentially robots. What was wrong with the comics origins having them an offshoot of humanity created by the Celestials? Does this mean Thanos was a robot, since he is an Eternal as well (something the film affirms with Starfox's appearance)? Thanos was the child of two Eternals in the comics... can they have kids if they're robots in the films? Making them robots just raises too many questions and potential problems.
The fights never feel like they have much impact. Even though the final battle is supposed to be this big world ending event, it just doesn't feel like it.

I found the Deviant villain to be more interesting than the Eternals.
Spoiler
I actually wanted to see him absorb more of the Eternals powers to see what he'd evolve into. But he's basically a red herring. The "real" villain turns out to be Ikaris... who wants to stick to their mission. And then, despite having trouble killing the Deviant throughout the film, he's easily killed off at the end, making it all fall flat.

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Re: Movies are awesome

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Ghostbusters Afterlife
Spoiler
The movie opens with Egon's death and quickly introduces us to his daughter, Callie and her two kids Trevor and Phoebe. They never establish when Egon had a daughter or who Callie's mother is or what happened to her (or Callie's husband[?] for that matter). Ultimately, I guess it really doesn't matter to the plot of this movie. But I would have liked some background here since it was never suggested Egon had a kid before, and given the actress' age, she would have been born before the events of the first film. At any rate, Callie feels abandoned by Egon, having grown up without him around, so her only interest in learning about his death is what her inheritance is as it may solve her own financial problems. Only Egon had debts himself, so they end up stuck living at his farmhouse in Oklahoma.

Phoebe is lead by Egon's spirit to a trap he had hidden in the house, and from her summer school teacher, learns that her grandfather was a Ghostbuster. Not really sure why Phoebe goes to summer school. She's established to be extremely intelligent and inventive. They kinda suggest it is just to give her something to do, rather than helping her mom clean up the farmhouse. Anyway, Phoebe, her friend who calls himself Podcast, and teacher Gary, decide to open the trap, releasing the entity trapped inside. Egon's spirit then leads Phoebe to a secret lab, and helps her fix up a protonpack, while Trevor fixes Ecto-1, and end up teaming up (with Podcast) to capture their first ghost. After getting arrested for tearing up the town in the process, Phoebe calls Ray (apparently the old Ghostbuster hotline is still in service, and connects to Ray's book store). He tells her Egon was raving about the end of the world and disappeared one day, taking all the Ghostbuster equipment with him. Not sure why it seems like none of the Ghostbusters apparently believed Egon, after what they'd been through with Gozer and Vigo. But then, the movie also establishes ghosts haven't been seen in 30 years.

Figuring out that Ivo Shandor had built another temple to Gozer in this town. Despite Gozer being established to be able to take any form it wants, just like they did in the first film, Gozer is still depicted the same, even with the statues in the temple. Little disappointed they didn't go with a new big bad, reusing Gozer, but at least they do a little something different with it. Egon had tried to stop another resurrection of the Sumerian God, but was killed while trying to trap the Keymaster and Gatekeeper. Callie discovers the hidden lab, and that her father had actually been keeping tabs on her for her whole life, when she's possessed by the Gatekeeper, and her love interest (Phoebe's summer school teacher) is possessed by the Keymaster. Luring Gozer back to the Farmhouse to complete Egon's original plan, the original Ghostbusters (including Egon, who appears as a ghost) show up to assist, and ultimately, Gozer and a storm of ghosts are all contained in various traps Egon had buried around the property.

In a couple post credits scenes, it seems to be implied Peter and Dana married. And Winston became a wealthy business man. He covers the rent for Ray's bookstore. Despite Ray telling Phoebe the firehouse became a Starbucks, it is shown abandoned when Winston returned Ecto-1 to restore it. In the basement, a light is shown flashing on the ghost containment unit...
Didn't quite have the same charm as the first two films, and there were a few things I think they could have done differently or better. But still, I'd have to say that liked it. It was a decent enough follow-up to the first two films, unlike the complete mess that the 2016 reboot turned out to be.

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Re: Movies are awesome

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Zack Snyder's Justice League - I've watched disc 1 so far, two hours and twenty minutes or so, and it's a big improvement over the theatrical version, though it still suffers from overly violent heroes (for example, Wonder Woman's fight with the terrorists early in the movie makes it clear that she's killing them, with bloody smears on the walls after she's thrown them head-first into them). The first disc ends right when the JL have decided to use the Mother Box to resurrect Superman. It's interesting to watch what is essentially the same movie telling the same story, and yet it's very different because of different pacing, a different score, and a ton of new scenes that add to the story and better explain some of what's going on, smoothing out the narrative flow. Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg get a LOT of new material in this version, telling us a lot more about these characters. The route that the characters take to learn about the mother boxes works a lot better than the exploding Parademon and wall painting. Darkseid actually appears in this version, both on ancient Earth and apparently at the end of the movie, and I'll be interested to see that. So far, so good, I am enjoying this much expanded Justice League movie.

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