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Topic: The Movie Thread

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RogerRoger

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy I guess it can join The Empire Strikes Back, Fawlty Towers and a bunch of other classic things which got lukewarm-to-negative reactions upon release, then!

I know next-to-nothing about the wider Predator franchise, beyond a vague acknowledgement of its release history (the next film was a direct sequel, but then it became Aliens Vs. Predator for a while, before we got modern "let's resurrect this for some cash" reboots, yeah?). I doubt I'll watch any of the others; I don't think the film demands a sequel, but thanks for the warning all the same!

@Ralizah Yes, I have seen Commando. It would probably be my favourite Arnie film, if I weren't already a Batman fan and we briefly forget that True Lies is a thing. It's a perfect time capsule, absolutely agreed. It was great fun trying to guess when he'd reload, only to discover that he never does.

@JohnnyShoulder Oh, sure, it was likely contractual. But it feels like, at some stage, somebody said "There we are, my script is all finished. Who do we have starring in it?" "Arnie." "Damn. Well, he'd better bring his own one-liners, because I sure as heck haven't put any in here for him." They felt separate from the other lines that have since become famous ("If it bleeds, we can kill it", "Get to da choppah!" and "You are one ugly...") because those weren't puns, they had context and were reasonable things to say in context.

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Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

There is a comic where the Predator fights Tarzan of all people @RogerRoger 😂

The totally non existant third film had a decent enough premise with the human cast being brought to the Predator homeworld to be hunted in an alien safari type thing which is miles better then the ridiculous LA gang war setting of the second.

But "Predators" (Terribly confusing naming convention too for these films) had Adrian Brody as the lead and... he doesn't really work as some mercenary dude like Arnie and his crew

Also Shane Black (Who directed The Nice Guys, Iron man 3, the fourth Predator film called "The Predator" and a bunch of other films) was Hawkins in the first film who told the terrible jokes

Edited on by Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

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KALofKRYPTON

@RogerRoger @Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy
I really like Predator 2. It was a decent sequel doing more of the same but with enough changes to proceedings to make it worthwhile. The gritty, crime ridden smelting pot city setting really works and there's just a touch of expansion in terms of lore to excite and the plot doesn't try to do too much more than the original.
Glover is well cast and his character, struggling all the way through the film is convincingly out of his depth against the alien foe.

Of the 'sequels' - AVP 1 and 2 are for the most part irredeemable trash. The first had the makings of something interesting to add to both franchises, but loses it's way faster than a marketing meeting full of blue-sky thinkers. The second is what happens when those same marketers try and reduce fan's appreciation of an IP to 4 set-pieces and handful of one-liners to make a sale.

'Predators' fares slightly better, but casting and needless escalation spoil what could've been a worthy undertaking.

The Predator is an awful film though, top to bottom. It's worth watching just for the experience.
Unlike Predator 2, the convoluted - nonsensical plot threads, tired tropes, shoddy direction and (even worse) script drag this far below the levels of even the AVP films - and I do not say that lightly.

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Ralizah

@LN78 Oh yeah, the cinematography is just fantastic throughout. If a little...self-indulgent at times. But it's a Kubrick movie; self-indulgence is part of his cinematic DNA. Like the earlier Halloween, though, we have an amazing use of the Steadicam to create these wonderful, fluid shots of movement. You get a great sense of twisting interiority as the camera twists and glides throughout the labyrinthine hallways of the Overlook.

My problem with the pacing of the film is, partially, the I don't think it does a good job demarcating the passage of time. Now, again, maybe this is intentional, as one's sense of time would get distorted in some old, isolated hotel, but I don't think its use is effective here. Like the initial jump... one month in the future, I believe. It doesn't feel like a month has passed, The only thing the title cards throughout accomplish is give the sense that the film is trying to build up to something, because the film itself doesn't have this feeling.

The use of location is great, but the treatment of the characters just stinks all around. For example, one should get the feeling, I think, that Jack is growing progressively mad throughout, but, honestly, the man always seems like he's just one step away from butchering his family in the first place. Again, maybe this is intentional, but seeing a crazy dude become a... slightly crazier dude doesn't have the same impact as watching a flawed but overall decent man succumb to his demons and the occult influence of the hotel and turn into a monster, which is probably what the film should have been about (and, knowing King, is probably closer to what the novel is like). I'm not surprised to hear you mention that Kubrick "doesn't like people," because these characters feel like there's little to no humanity to them. They exist to embody needed dramatic elements of the narrative, and that's it. And that sort of approach is fine in a very plot-centric story where you don't need to care about or sympathize with anyone in particular. But, if you subtract the human element from Kubrick's film, you're left with something that focuses on mood and style. Which... isn't necessarily always bad. Some of my favorite films are just pure exercises in style, but they're not usually two hours long and set in one location the entire time.

Also, I have issues with the use of music in this film. I understand that Kubrick wants to impart a sense of tension throughout, but just playing scary music through 90% of the movie only ends up dulling the use of music to impart different moods overall. Simply put, when it sounds like someone is about to get murdered when nothing is even happening, and it just keeps happening throughout the film, I just learn to ignore the music instead of letting it supplement my emotional reaction to what is happening on-screen. The score itself is just wonderful for a horror movie. Very creepy and iconic. But a score also needs to be USED effectively in a film, and I just don't think that's the case here.

PS: I'll try to check out that documentary and TV miniseries. Maybe the novel, too, depending on how long and meandering it is. I have very little tolerance for King's style of storytelling at times.

Edited on by Ralizah

Playing depressing games alone in my cold, dark room <3

PSN: Ralizah

LN78

@Ralizah I must confess to not having seen the film in quite a while. There's a new 4K edition on the market so I might give that a look before I see "Doctor Sleep." I haven't read the book but I'm certainly interested solely on the basis of Flanagan's work on "The Haunting of Hill House" and especially "Gerald's Game" which I thought was splendid.
PS The novel of "The Shining" is one of King's earlier, less indulgent novels. I think it weighs in at around 400 pages or so. Not a massive undertaking by any means and it's actually a pretty darn good read.

Edited on by LN78

LN78

RogerRoger

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy @KALofKRYPTON I'm on my way out of the door, so forgive my brevity. I'm grateful for your replies. All I'll say is that I'd totally watch Predator take on Tarzan. Make it happen, Hollywood!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

JohnnyShoulder

Please Hollywood, do not listen to @RogerRoger on this forum!

Oh who am I kidding, they are probably already making it.

The original Alien v Predator graphic novel is actually very good. You can see bits of it in the films, I think Paul W S Anderson tried to play homage to it but get the feeling the studio intervened. He doesn't have the best track record however, so could have entirely how own decision!

We are now in a world of people being offended for other people who they think should be offended, who arent offended.

There is no longer a good time to release a game. There are only less s**t times to release a game

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LN78

@JohnnyShoulder There was a "Batman vs Predator" comic mini series from Dark Horse back in the early Nineties. It was surprisingly pretty good.

LN78

KALofKRYPTON

@LN78 They did a bunch of them. I think I still have the third one - crap art, but good story.

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crimsontadpoles

I went and watched Joker today. It was an excellent deconstruction of a man who had had one too many bad days, and I really enjoyed the movie. The story was well written, and Joaquin Phoenix was excellent as the lead role.


Also saw Blades of Glory on TV the other day. It's a Will Ferrell comedy about two rival figure skaters who are polar opposites of each other. After they get banned from singles figure skating, they reluctantly team up to become the first all male pair to compete in paired figure skating, and they'll need to put aside their differences if they want to win. It was a decent enough film, some good laughs along the way.

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KALofKRYPTON

@crimsontadpoles What are you thoughts on a sequel?

Personally I think it would completely spoil the achievement of the film and just sit really badly.

Had a bit of a movie day yesterday. Finally got around to seeing Stan & Ollie , which is pretty wonderful. One of my grandparents was a big fan of Laurel & Hardy, there was usually one on when we'd visit. Coogan and Reilly really excel themselves with some brilliant support along the way (especially Nina Arianda).
It's a really nice runtime and the pacing is spot on.

Also saw Official Secrets, which tells the sordid tale of the leak of British/American governmental efforts to start our illegal war in Iraq.
Good film and worth watching, I remembered a few bits from the time, but there were parts of this film I was sure had been embellished - researched a bit afterwards to find that they weren't.
Good film.

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crimsontadpoles

@KALofKRYPTON Same, I don't think they should do a sequel to Joker. If they carry on with the story then it'll inevitably have quite a different tone to the first movie, and I just don't think that'll work.

And glad to hear you had fun with those other movies. Stan & Ollie does look good from what I've seen of the trailers.

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JohnnyShoulder

This could be a bit of a game changer for some people.

https://www.engadget.com/2019/11/12/star-wars-movie-4K-disney...

The only place you be able to get every Star Wars movie in UHD for the foreseeable future will be, yep you guessed it, Disney+.

We are now in a world of people being offended for other people who they think should be offended, who arent offended.

There is no longer a good time to release a game. There are only less s**t times to release a game

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LN78

@JohnnyShoulder I saw that and also that the Han/Greedo cantina scene has been altered yet again for some obscure reason. It won't be for too long. Word on the street is that a nine movie "Skywalker Saga" 4K boxset is due out next Spring. I'm willing to bet they won't make each trilogy available separately either which means I won't be shelling out for it. Truth be told the Disney 4K blu-ray releases have been very erratic in terms of picture and sound quality. Some like the first "Avengers" movie are great whilst others like the recent "Thor" reissues are hardly better than the earlier 1080p releases.

Edited on by LN78

LN78

Ralizah

(Warning: some basic, unmarked spoilers. I tried not to go into too many specifics, though.)

So, unpopular opinion time: I enjoyed Doctor Sleep more than The Shining.

The most important thing to keep in mind about the film is that, despite it being a direct sequel to The Shining, it almost completely recontextualizes the mythology of that film. Simply put, Doctor Sleep is a superb science-fiction/superhero story, but terrible if you go in expecting the intense psychological horror that defined the previous film in the series. DS is often atmospheric and disturbing, but in no sense of the word should it be interpreted as a horror film. It's just not.

The easiest way to describe DS is: it's basically what The X-Men would look like it if were created by Stephen King. Unlike the claustrophobic and tight focus of the first film, DS's scope is massive, spanning events and characters spread out across the United States. We discover that 'the shine' is actually something almost everyone has access to, but it's concentrated in some people to a greater degree than others. While its utility in The Shining was limited to telepathy and an increased sensitivity to the supernatural, we find that, in sufficiently gifted children, it has psychokinetic properties and can be weaponized to conduct psychic warfare against other people with a similar level of 'shine.' Astral projection is also heavily utilized in the film. When the film picks up, we follow an adult Danny Torrance who has become something of an alcoholic like his father (the film draws extensively from the Kingian version of The Shining in terms of its character development; I was bothered at first that entirely new actors were enlisted to depict Jack and Wendy Torrance, but it becomes more understandable when you realize that these are the warmer and more complex versions of the characters from the book, as opposed to the cold, alien, and stereotyped portrayals in Kubrick's film) and has moved to a new community to clean up his act and get his life together. He starts working at a hospital and uses his shine to console elderly patients on the verge of death, which earns him the nickname "Dr. Sleep." He eventually finds his calling after getting wrapped up in a long-distance psychic conflict between Abra, a teen girl with immense shine powers, and a group of nomadic, nearly immortal psychic vampires called the True Knot, led by the enigmatic Rose the Hat, who travel around the world torturing and killing children in bizarre rituals to feast on their shine (which is visualized as a sort of steam that escapes peoples' mouths when they're experiencing pain and/or fear).

Yes, there is some level of goofiness in a top-hat wearing psychic lady waging mental warfare with a teenager who lives across the country, and the fact that her colleagues all have weird names that make them sound like Metal Gear Solid villains doesn't help, but, as with many Stephen King stories, it's the human element that grounds it and makes it compelling. In this case, there's the inherent evil and violation of the True Knot's ritual killings (displayed, very prominently, in a long and almost unwatchable scene near the film's midpoint; if you can't stomach the idea of watching a terrified child be tortured to death, maybe you'll want to reconsider watching this); the tension that arises from Abra and Rose's cat-and-mouse antics throughout; Danny's tenuous grasp on normality as he recovers from the terror of his childhood, only to be forced to confront his own demons again in his conflict with the True Knot; and, in grand Kingian fashion, the struggle of decent people to overcome their fears and confront evil.

If the film slips up at all, it's in its final act, which sees the main cast return to The Overlook, and in the director's inability to step out of the shadow of Kubrick's version of the story. The film repurposes many of The Shining's iconic images in this film (Room 237, and the hag hiding within; the ghostly twin sisters; the bleeding elevator; etc.) along with sound cues originally used in that film (the tribal chanting you hear in the original when Danny is "shining" can be heard in a similar context in this film), but it fails to understand the symbolic and narrative context in which those images were nestled. As a result, everything in this film related to The Overlook seems out-of-place, distinctly tributary, and, at times, borderline fetishistic insofar as the treatment of this iconic imagery is concerned. It doesn't belong in this story. And, in general, I found the final confrontation between Rose, Abra, and Danny to be a little... well... ridiculous. You're treading a thin line when you portray psychic warfare in cinematic language, and while the film mostly nails it with some bizarre and mind-bending sequences, it doesn't work as well for direct, face-to-face encounters, and comes off as rather pretentious, and not unlike certain dream sequences in Inception.

Overall, though, it's a fantastic mix of sci-fi, dark fantasy, supernatural horror, and superhero tropes and story elements. While not as excellent as pure cinema, I found it to be a good deal more relatable and entertaining. Just don't go in expecting anything like the Kubrick film, because you won't get it here.

@Solea RE: Joker: It's interesting how American establishment media broadly interpreted this takedown of modern American hyper-capitalism and its structural violence against vulnerable people as some sort of paean to white male terrorism. My suspicion, for years, has been that the left and the right weaponize racial identity politics to keep white and non-white working class people tense and at each-others' throats so that they don't question the fundamentally predatory social structure in their society. Inflaming racial tensions, after all, is a time-worn strategy of the capitalist class, and was often used to break up strikes and the formation of unified labor movements in the late 19th and early 20th century.

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Th3solution

@Ralizah Sounds like a really fascinating film. Thanks for the review. I wasn’t particularly paying attention to it, but now I’ll have to check it out sometime. I’ve not been a very big Stephen King fan, but the guy can certainly dream up some crazy stuff.
And although I haven’t seen The Joker, I found your take fascinating on stoking the fires of racial discord as a tool to propagate societal and capitalist subordination of the working class. Now I need to see that movie too.

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WanderingBullet

I don't think Tim Burton's style (art direction) would suit Batman Beyond's futuristic setting but then again he might not be directing the movie.

Edited on by WanderingBullet

Huntin' monsters erryday.

KALofKRYPTON

@WanderingBullet If (giant sack of salt) a BB movie ever actually happens - they should just get Bruce Timm and the animation studio on board for production and directing duties.

I'm also really, really skeptical about a live action BB suit. The cartoon suit and cowl is great. I've never seen any fan art or game version that looks halfway decent.

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WanderingBullet

@KALofKRYPTON Yeah, it's gonna be interesting to see the cowl especially the mouth if they do make a live-action movie.

Huntin' monsters erryday.

Ralizah

@Th3solution Thanks! Yeah, both films are worth watching. It's an odd age we live in where mainstream comic book movies can be more 'transgressive' than independent cinema, innit?

@Solea Ahaha. You know, that clip probably isn't entirely off-base. I imagine watching these psychic goofballs from the outside might look somewhat familiar. I want a deleted scene where some random person stumbles into the hotel looking for warmth and finds a couple of adults making combat noises at eachother as they engage in telepathic warfare!

Edited on by Ralizah

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