Movies are awesome

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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

Post by andersonh1 »

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - I had not seen this in years and years. My 19 yo daughter expressed an interest in watching it, so I checked a copy out of the library and we sat down to watch it last night. She thought it was really good, and appreciated the slow pace, and the fact that we were given plenty of time to see the future landscapes and spacecraft at our leisure. I say future, though since it's 2001, it's 22 years past now! For those who have never seen it, the film starts with "The Dawn of Man" and shows a black monolith appear on the plains near a tribe of apes, and it clearly affects their physical and intellectual development. Cut to the distant future of 2001, a future where PanAm spacecraft take passengers to a space station with Hilton and Howard Johnson hotels on board. Dr. Heywood Floyd is heading to the Moon on a covert mission where another monolith was discovered and is being kept secret. It's clear now that some form of alien life left both. The monolith sends a radio signal towards Jupiter.

So a mission is assembled, and 18 months later we see astronauts Dave Bowman and Frank Poole on board the ship, along with three others in suspended animation. The computer running the ship is the HAL 9000 (built in 1992 he later says!). This is probably the most famous part of the movie as the computer, supposedly infallible, starts making mistakes. When Frank and Dave discuss shutting it down, HAL kills Frank and the sleeping crew, and attempts to lock Dave out of the ship. This part has the famous "Open the pod bay doors, Hal." "I can't do that, Dave" sequence. Dave gets in through the emergency airlock, spending a few seconds in the vacuum without a helmet (which would be possible) and then shuts down HAL's higher functions. The third and final section of the movie is the strange part where it's not entirely clear what's going on as Dave sees images he can't understand (and neither can we, which is probably the point). My daughter thought he was getting information he couldn't understand, I thought he was traveling somewhere. He ends up in a set of rooms where he seems to live the rest of his life before transforming into a baby that ends up floating in space around the Earth??? I interpret the ending as Dave experiencing something so alien that he just can't understand it, but I really have no idea.

The special effects hold up very, very well. I thought this movie came out in the late 60s, but it still looks great today. You can spot the matte paintings in a few shots, but no green screen fringing, and the model work is excellent. The pacing is very slow, meaning the story unfolds at a pace that allows us to breathe rather than to be hit over the head with a firehose of visual information as so many modern movies do. My daughter commented that the acting was good, and the people felt like real people, doing real things and having conversations. I would agree. We both thought it was a very good movie, though the ending is a mystery. I appreciate the fact that we never see the aliens who left the monoliths, and that they're left entirely to the imagination. Gary Lockwood plays Frank Poole, and of course I'm familiar with him from the second Star Trek pilot. My daughter was feeling sorry for HAL, until he killed the four astronauts, then it was like he got what he deserved. I told her he gets repaired in the sequel, and I think his breakdown is explained there. It's never explained here, though I think it was conflicting instructions over the mission? A lot is left unexplained in this movie, which oddly enough works in its favor. If we're exploring mysterious alien life, the more that's left to the imagination, the better. Any revelation would be a letdown, I think.
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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Catching up on some Marvel films...

Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania
I think it was a mistake for them to make Kang the main villain of this film. If he's supposed to be the next Thanos of the franchise, this really undercut him as that level of a threat.
Spoiler
Especially in that Antman kills him, despite Kang's boasts that he's killed so many Avengers they all blend together and are meaningless to him. This was supposed to be the variant of Kang so evil, even the other Kang's decided to cut him off by banishing him to the Quantum realm. If the most evil of them all was defeated by Antman, how bad can they be?
Overall, this movie felt like a lot of wasted potential, and forced as a storyline. The whole movie could have been avoided if Janet just talked to them.

Guardians of the Galaxy vol3.
Something bothers me about how they just establish the High Evolutionary created the Sovereign. It does make some sense, given they share his interest in creating what they'd consider a perfect race/society... But it undercuts how Ayesha acted under her own authority in the previous Guardians film, for her to be subservient to the High Evolutionary in this film. On top of it, the High Evolutionary doesn't even hold them in high regard, saying he made them simply for aesthetics. And it begs to question why they didn't capture Rocket when they had the chance, or why we've never seen anyone specially after Rocket. The movie does address that, but only to pretty much hand wave it away. But anyway... If they were going to have the High Evolutionary create the Sovereign, I feel like that should have been alluded to in the previous film. And speaking of previous movies, Gamora I felt was handled poorly. Of course, she's from a time before the Guardians met, but only by... I dunno maybe a day or less. The problem is, she doesn't seem like the Gamora from the beginning of the first Guardians film. She was smart and level headed in that film, but in this one, she's hot headed and impulsive.
I felt they over did it with the music in this film. A lot of the songs didn't really feel like it fit the particular scene. The previous Guardians films, there was a point to every song they chose with the scene they played it during. Maybe there was for this film as well, but particularly for the action sequences, it felt like they'd play a song just for the sake of playing music with no tie to the theme of that scene.
I didn't think it was as good as the previous two Guardians films, but it was better than some other recent Marvel films.
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Shockwave
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Re: Movies are awesome

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The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1965): This movie is 3 hours long. But it's paced well enough that it doesn't feel like it. This is the movie that has that iconic "western" theme and the music in general is good throughout. The plot is about three people trying to find $200,000.00 in gold. it's burried in a grave. One man knows where the graveyard is, another knows which grave, so they wind up having to work together to get the treasure. All while trying to avoid the Civil War and the bounty hunter that's after them and the treasure. I think this is the 2nd of Clint Eastwood's "Spaghetti westerns", the first being A Fistful of Dollars. That one is also a good movie, but much shorter. Both movies were good and the cinematography holds up. Plot wise, I felt like I was watching something like John Wick or Man On Fire. Anyway, I thought both movies were good and I plan to watch the other two movies featuring Eastwood's "Man With No Name" character, For a Few Dollars More and Hang 'Em High. Side note: They're called spaghetti westerns because they were made by an Italian film maker. Apparently any western made outside of the US has some regional quisine as the genre of western. The Japanese western "Tampopo" is sometimes referred to as a "Ramen Western".

I love going back and watching old movies to see how they hold up today. I've seen others and will post more thoughts later.
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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

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The Marvels
Spoiler
So the reason Carol has mostly been avoiding Earth since the 90's is that she destroyed the Kree Supreme Intelligence (the main computer system looking somewhat like the comic book counterpart) following the events of the first Captain Marvel film. This resulted in a Kree civil war that has made Hala nearly uninhabitable. Not sure how it's habitable at all with a poisoned atmosphere, no water, and a dying sun. We see the citizens wearing breathing masks, but even with Kree super technology, not seeing how they survive with out a sun and water... Anyway, Carol says she's been trying to fix that mistake over the last ~30 years. Nice to finally get some explanation as to what she's been doing in space all that time. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't really elaborate how she's been going about that. I guess she hadn't really made much progress, beyond helping to make some alliances with the Kree and a couple other planets.

Our villain of the film (whose name I don't remember) takes it upon herself to fix Hala by taking resources from those worlds that are important to Carol, by creating unstable jump points that sucks in everything around it. This also destabilizes the network of jump points, getting the attention of our heroes. This causes their powers to become linked through quantum entanglement when Carol and Monica touch the energy around two jump points. Not sure why Kamala's powers also are linked with the other two though. The movie explains it as they all have light based powers but... It's just not enough of a justification to me when the catalyst seemed to be touching the jump point. I'd think they could have explained Kamala being grouped with them because of the Quantum Band, given it also glowed at that moment, and the villain is using the second one to create the unstable jump points in the first place. But then, the villain should have been switching places with them as well, unless it doesn't work with her because she doesn't inherently have light powers...? I dunno, I just felt they could have fleshed out the reasoning for their switching when they used their powers a little better.

The villain steals the atmosphere of a planet where Skrull refugees have settled. Which contradicts the Secret Invasion series about having never been able to find a planet for the Skrulls to call their new home. There's also no mention of Nick Fury's wife. Not that I mind that show being completely ignored here, it's all the better for it. The Marvels manage to evacuate some of the Skrulls, which get sent to New Asgard on Earth. Next, the planet Aladna is targeted for its ocean, where Carol is married (which she explains to be a marriage of convenience) to their Prince. This gets silly given the Aladanians speak only in song, and cannot understand normal speech for some reason, save for the Prince who is "bilingual". I mean, they are still speaking English, if it's sung or spoken shouldn't make that big of a difference. Anyway, the Marvel's once again fail and the oceans are sucked through jump points (dunno why multiple portals open up this time around, and the atmosphere doesn't seem to get sucked in, just the water) to Hala.

Of course Earth is the next stop for the villain, where she intends to use our sun to restore Hala's. The villain gets both Quantum Bands during the subsequent fight, and is vaporized by its energies when she bangs them together, which also rips a hole in time and space to another universe. Somehow this un-quantum entangles the Marvels powers, allowing them to super charge Monica to close the hole, but traps her in the other universe. Carol uses her powers to restore Hala's sun. Something Monica had suggested earlier in the film, but Carol dismissed, simply saying she's never done anything that big before... Which, ok, restarting a sun is kind of huge, but she's also never experienced a limit to her powers. Carol isn't even winded after she successfully does it. Begs to question why she didn't attempt it before and was so hesitant about it. Returning to Earth, Carol settles in with Kamala's family at the Rambeau family house.

Unfortunately, the movie doesn't address what became of the stolen planet resources. There's a throwaway line about the planets recovering... But how? Kinda think the loss of a significant amount of atmosphere or ocean would be a little... complete devastation. Even if those resources were somehow returned, or the Kree only took a relatively small portion, those planets would be environmentally wrecked. And Earth's entire solar system would be impacted by the loss of heat and gravitational forces given they show the sun lost enough mass that it dimmed. To be honest, how did Hala survive with so many environmental problems? We saw their people wearing breathing masks at one point, so obviously they had some technological intervention... But even with super advanced technology, I don't see them lasting long with with their sun nearly dead, to say nothing about the water and atmosphere problems on top of it.

Anyway, in the final scene, having found a misplaced S.A.B.E.R. tablet with intel on several exceptional young people, Kamala visits Kate Bishop. The dialog is clearly inspired by the first Iron Man post credits scene, with Kamala suggesting they form a team of young super heroes.

Mid-credits, Monica wakes up to see her mother alive and well, although she clearly has no idea who Monica is. Beast, of the X-Men, walks in and explains Monica is in a parallel universe.
I have to say, I liked this movie. It has some flaws that could have been tied up better if they'd taken a little more time to think about it rather than hand wave it away... but it was alright.
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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Shockwave wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 8:53 pm The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1965): This movie is 3 hours long. But it's paced well enough that it doesn't feel like it. This is the movie that has that iconic "western" theme and the music in general is good throughout. The plot is about three people trying to find $200,000.00 in gold. it's burried in a grave. One man knows where the graveyard is, another knows which grave, so they wind up having to work together to get the treasure. All while trying to avoid the Civil War and the bounty hunter that's after them and the treasure. I think this is the 2nd of Clint Eastwood's "Spaghetti westerns", the first being A Fistful of Dollars. That one is also a good movie, but much shorter. Both movies were good and the cinematography holds up. Plot wise, I felt like I was watching something like John Wick or Man On Fire. Anyway, I thought both movies were good and I plan to watch the other two movies featuring Eastwood's "Man With No Name" character, For a Few Dollars More and Hang 'Em High. Side note: They're called spaghetti westerns because they were made by an Italian film maker. Apparently any western made outside of the US has some regional quisine as the genre of western. The Japanese western "Tampopo" is sometimes referred to as a "Ramen Western".

I love going back and watching old movies to see how they hold up today. I've seen others and will post more thoughts later.
So do I. A lot of these older movies hold up well, in my opinion. I need to watch this one myself.
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