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Topic: The Movie Thread

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RR529

47 Meters Down: Uncaged (DVD) - What I'm assuming is a direct to video sequel to 47 Meters Down (which my father thought he was ordering. I'm guessing the Uncaged bit threw him off and he thought it was marketing wording for an "unrated" version of the original, rather than a sequel).

Anyhow it's a shark movie that sees a foursome of teenaged girls decide to get into mischief by scuba diving into underwater Mayan ruins (the father of a couple of the girls is an archaeologist, and they knew where his team left some of their gear), and once an accident closes their way out, they must make their way through the dangerous labyrinthine ruins to find another exit, all the while their air is running out and they're hunted by a shark that calls the ruins it's home.

It's very much a horror b-movie with all that entails (the obviously bad decisions, an extended scene of young girls/women splashing around in almost nothing, albeit with no nudity, a bad CGI shark(s) that gobbles people up in surprise, bloody attacks). While the location is kinda neat, overall it's just okay. The type of thing you'll know whether or not you'll like just based on it's premise/description.

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RogerRoger

@RR529 That sounds like Tomb Raider crossed with Deep Blue Sea and my brain can't figure out whether that's awesomely terrible, or just plain awesome!

***

Maybe because its reputation set my expectations so low, I really enjoyed Spider-Man 3, to the point where I'd applaud the whole trilogy for its consistent quality and entertainment value. It provided a satisfying pay-off in the ongoing Peter, Harry and M.J. soap opera and was perhaps at its strongest when rightly focusing on those relationships, which we've been invested in since the beginning. It tries to get lost amongst some new villains and flashy effects (and I was briefly distracted by how much Toby Maguire's CGI stunt double looked like Tom Holland; very weird in hindsight) but it keeps coming back to those core three characters, and it's all the better for it.

Knowing that Venom was a last-minute studio demand was only obvious during the eleventh-hour acceleration of convenience, when Eddie Brock stumbles across Peter detaching himself from the symbiont, but otherwise I'm struggling to see how Peter's darker development would've been justified without its alien influence, so it kinda earns its place. The whole Sandman / Uncle Ben revelation held its own, for sure, but it needed something to push Spidey over the edge; I wouldn't have agreed with it being the only reason for Peter to succumb to revenge.

The effects (aforementioned CGI foreshadowing aside) look great, particularly Sandman, and the pacing is perhaps a little more consistent than the previous film, albeit still having to juggle a heck of a lot of plot components. Everything had a purpose, though, even the cringeworthy midway montage which has since become a popular meme; I think we're supposed to be reacting that way to it, because the symbiont is amplifying what Peter, a nerdy and awkward teenager, thinks is "cool" rather than actual self-empowerment. I'd argue the worst offenders are the news anchor and reporter covering the final fight, who were clearly aiming for campy fun but wound up an unwelcome, laughable distraction.

A fantastic trilogy overall, therefore, and some of the best superhero movies I've ever seen. It's gonna be interesting watching the Amazing films because I kinda feel like these were the definitive takes on Spidey, but then I suppose I've enjoyed many a bat-film since Michael Keaton, so I'll keep an open mind.

@nessisonett I think the "French" waiter was the best Bruce Campbell cameo yet! And yeah, I did read up a bit about Sam Raimi's plans for a potential fourth film. I would've killed to see Dylan Baker take up a larger role, he's a terrific actor, but it does sound like they were throwing a heck of a lot of villains at the script (Vulture, Mysterio and Black Cat, as well as developing Baker's Lizard) and the lack of M.J. would probably have made the film feel disjointed from the previous three. At least it was an amicable decision not to make it, based on all available reports at least. Wise move, I'd say.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

nessisonett

@RogerRoger Spider-Man 3 is entertaining, if totally off the wall. Looking back on the trilogy, it’s easy to see why they’re revered compared to the TASM movies. I love Dylan Baker, he’s brilliant in the Good Wife-verse as a creepy wife-killer and he brings a massive presence to every project he’s on. I might now go back and watch them, you’ve got me in the mood for the trilogy and hey, I really enjoyed the DCEU movies on second viewing so maybe I’ll change my feelings on Spider-Man 3!

Socks before or after trousers, but never socks before pants, that's the rule. Makes a man look scary, like a chicken.

LN78

@nessisonett Dylan Baker is currently in the Amazon exclusive "Hunters" as a Nazi war criminal posing as a high level official in President Jimmy Carter's Oval Office. I couldn't really get the hang of the show (the tone is far too schizophrenic for my tastes - half "Inglorious Basterds" and half "Schindler's List") but the acting from Baker, Al Pacino, Carol Kane and Saul Rubinek is just wonderful.

LN78

KALofKRYPTON

@RogerRoger
Glad you enjoyed Spidey 3.
I hated it when I first saw it at the cinema, I don't like it much more now other than for a couple of the set-pieces and effects work.

There's too much there to not like really. Harry's butler's 11th hour revelation is a (truly) horrid, convenient, yet hilarious way for Harry to decide to seek redemption rather than find his way on his own.

I wasn't a fan of the Sandman arc, at all. It felt as horrible a contrivance as Harry's road to redemption, and leaves us essentially with several story arcs of the main cast of characters that bisect - which would be absolutely fine, if by the conclusion every single on screen main character wasn't on a redemption arc. Even Eddie is victimised by the symbiote by his end, and we're instructed to sympathise accordingly.

Anyway... on to TASM.

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RogerRoger

@nessisonett Yeah, it was his performance in The Good Wife which made me notice him (although it didn't help that, as a result, I immediately feared for Peter's safety whenever he showed up). I hope you enjoy re-watching the trilogy, and find new things to like about the third in particular!

@KALofKRYPTON Thanks, me too. I can certainly see how some of the sudden and contrived plot acceleration would grate. As I'd mentioned, everything seemed to require a little extra push in parts; I felt like Harry was already doubting his position, or was already thinking he'd go and help save M.J. regardless, and that the butler showed up simply to underline things with some "Are we being too subtle here, folks?" mandated exposition. I could've done without it, and the film would've carried on fine without it as well, but it didn't offend me (because ever since, that kind of forced jackhammer storytelling has become commonplace in a lot of mainstream media).

I didn't sympathise with Eddie at all; he was a vindictive moron who got what he deserved. It was quite telling that Spidey was able to pull him out of the symbiote, but didn't pull him away from greedily lunging to his death. He flirted with everything that moved, so Peter didn't "steal his girl" (revealed to be a relationship consisting of one shared coffee earlier in the film) and he deserved to be fired, because he photoshopped fake news images of Spidey to further his career. I had zero sympathy with him, and found him to be one of the purest "baddie" villains of all time.

But I agree with you regarding Sandman, as I'd said before that there was already a creeping sense of New York suffering from "small universe syndrome" so his personal connection to Peter could've been handled a little differently. That being said, his confession at the end did get me all misty-eyed, so I think it achieved what it set out to achieve (probably thanks to the actors, rather than the script).

Anyway, I'm rambling and yes, on with the Amazing films!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

RogerRoger

Yeah, so The Amazing Spider-Man was a thing I just... eh, whatever.

Perhaps the most mundane, by-the-numbers production I've ever sat through. None of it was inherently bad; on the contrary, it had a great cast, it was a very glossy presentation, and the script went from A to B to C without tying itself in knots (although "I have to stay behind to evacuate a building which was established as empty twenty minutes ago!" ranks up there with some of the most blatant plot contrivances committed to celluloid). It also boasted one incredible scene, in which New York City construction workers align their cranes to help an injured Spidey save the day. That got me.

But it couldn't settle on a tone, landing in an awkward middle-ground between the MCU's light touch and Zack Snyder's DC films. Andrew Garfield's unique interpretation of Peter Parker came across as more than a bit of a jerk, moping around to a Coldplay backing track and infusing his Spidey's first major moment with a personality which came across as annoyingly arrogant. It was a good performance, don't get me wrong, but in wanting to distance itself from the fond memories of Tobey Maguire's goofy, wide-eyed charm, it lost its way and ended up a bad fit for the character.

Everything was just so bland and predictable (probably not helped by the fact that it was a reboot too soon, ever-so-slightly altering but otherwise copying well-established people and events). I liked that it didn't overstuff itself with villains, but Rhys Ifans' turn as cinematic newcomer Lizard wasn't enough to sustain tension between CGI set-pieces (of which there weren't as many as I'd expected, and none of which had me leaning forward with excitement). I much preferred Denis Leary's NYPD Captain as a more humble, everyday obstacle, regardless of his paint-by-numbers role in proceedings. Martin Sheen made for a cracking Uncle Ben, even if he did so simply by being Martin Sheen, but I'd expected more from Sally Field when I saw her show up as Aunt May. Emma Stone randomly stammering at a randomly-stammering Garfield made them well suited for one another, I suppose, but this approach to their dialogue tested my patience.

It kept me out of trouble for two hours. Gave me something to look at whilst I drank tea. The epitome of cinematic superhero wallpaper... and people say the second one is worse?!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Been fun reading your Spiderman impressions the past few days regarding the Raimi trilogy. Definitely is pretty good still and glad to see you had fun with it too Rog.

The second "Amazing" Spidey is pretty bad @RogerRoger... You'd swear at times it was trying to be a spoof or parody! 😂

I really don't like Dane Dehaan's Harry in this or the sequel either.

James Franco was pretty decent as Harry I thought and the friendship always seemed more believable between him and Pete in the original trilogy. I know they're supposed to be more estranged friends or whatever... I think?

I... actually don't remember all too well is Harry even in the first?... am I mixing up this with the second? Goes to show how good it is lol 😂

Edited on by Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

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nessisonett

@RogerRoger Yeahhh, TASM isn’t great at all. Rhys Ifans is totally wasted as The Lizard, who probably isn’t a character who could drive a whole movie by themselves anyway. I reckon it was a knee jerk reaction to how goofy SM3 was, and they wanted to go completely the opposite way. Unfortunately they went too far and it was a pretty boring movie.

Socks before or after trousers, but never socks before pants, that's the rule. Makes a man look scary, like a chicken.

RogerRoger

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy There was no Harry in the film I just watched, no. Which was good in a way, I guess, as they wanted to avoid too much repetition from the previous trilogy and focus on Peter's new relationship with Gwen Stacy; I didn't buy it, but I respected the decision to try it.

Maguire, Franco and Dunst made the soap opera love triangle elements work so well, perhaps better than the script was aiming for, because all three had amazing chemistry with one another.

I shall look forward to enduring this parody sequel of which you speak!

@nessisonett Dylan Baker could've driven a whole movie as Lizard. Enough said, really.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

RR529

License to Kill (Blu-Ray) - The next Bond film in line, it's the second (and last) of the Dalton era films, as well as the last one of the 80's.

While in the US attending the wedding of a friend (and DEA agent), things go wrong when his friend is mutilated (and his wife killed) at the hands of a powerful Colombian drug lord. Ignoring orders to "stay out of the Americans' problem" and return to England, he officially renounces his position and goes rouge to seek revenge for his friend.

I tend to prefer the entries that focus more on the Cold War era tensions between the West & the Soviets (like For Your Eyes Only & the Living Daylights), but I have to say I liked this one almost as much as those, and moreso than Octopussy & A View to a Kill. It's just a well made action thriller that hits the right tone most of the time (and I quite liked the aerial scenes). If there was any weak point, it was the Hong Kong agent ninjas. They were in and out so quick, yet the female ninja featured prominently in the opening music video, I can't help but think they were written out of a larger role.

Anyhow, I'll be off to Goldeneye next.

@RogerRoger, your Spider-Man reviews make me interested in picking up the original trilogy some day. I've developed quite a bit of superhero fatigue over the past decade with all the MCU & DC stuff (not many of which I'd actually like to own), but I remember really liking the original SM films back in the day.

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kyleforrester87

Never been into Clint Eastwood, but I watched Gran Torino last weekend which I enjoyed a lot, and then Million Dollar Baby which was good, but pretty miserable. I’m going to watch the first Dirty Harry tonight.

kyleforrester87

PSN: WigSplitter1987

LN78

@kyleforrester87 As with so many things the first "Dirty Harry" is the best. I wouldn't honestly recommend any of the others. Many people speculated that "Gran Torino" may have actually started life as a belated sequel to "Dirty Harry" so it's fun to watch it again through that prism - kind of like imagining Connery's character in "The Rock" was actually James Bond.

LN78

RogerRoger

@RR529 It does feel fresh, returning to some of the earlier superhero flicks before Hollywood oversaturated the market, so I hope you enjoy the Spidey films if and when you give them another shot. Also, great write-up on Licence to Kill, which does get a hard time from many casual fans. The stuntwork is second-to-none in that film, from the "fishing" opening sequence to the concluding tanker chase; I'm also a huge fan of the waterski gag, all accompanied by a cracking Michael Kamen score. Here's hoping GoldenEye continues your appreciation of the franchise!

***

Um... so, yeah, I really enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man 2 just now.

It isn't a perfect film, not by a long shot, but it was far more entertaining, energetic and original than its pedestrian predecessor. Elements that were retreads (specifically Harry Osborn) were altered way more than I'd expected, making them almost earn their place back on the big screen so soon, whilst I thought Electro was an interesting and visually-unique villain. It's also a superb case study in how a music can radically elevate a film, as Hans Zimmer's riskier score does far more heavy lifting here than James Horner's cookie-cutter, understated efforts did before.

It still sagged in the middle a bit, albeit with a more watchable cast this time around as everybody grew comfortable with their recurring roles (and crucially, with a Spidey who felt more like Spidey) and it could be ridiculous at times, but in a breezy way I couldn't ever be angry with. Somebody took a long, hard look at the first Amazing film and recognised its faults; this sequel was one possible way to address them and, regardless of the outcome, I appreciate that an effort was made.

And now it's a shame we'll never get a third, to conclude what was obviously designed to be a trilogy. It undercuts any importance these films might've had, with so much left dangling. It's also unlikely I'll ever want to watch the first one again (unless I'm having trouble sleeping) so I'm kinda left with this odd, standalone second act to an incomplete story. Oh well.

Give it a couple days, and I'll start the PS4 game. That'll hopefully make me feel better.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

JohnnyShoulder

@RogerRoger Finally, there is someone else out there! I know there is a lot wrong with the film but I really enjoyed it too!

Have you seen Homecoming and Far From Home?

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nessisonett

I’ve started a rewatch of the Marvel movies since they’re in 4K on Disney+. Well, not really all of them since I’m starting at Winter Soldier. I’ve seen the older ones well into double figures and I’d rather not ruin my enjoyment of them any more. The colours in Winter Soldier are a bit muted so it’s hard to see a noticeable improvement plus the CGI looks especially noticeable in 4K. Perhaps the newer ones will look better.

Edited on by nessisonett

Socks before or after trousers, but never socks before pants, that's the rule. Makes a man look scary, like a chicken.

LN78

@nessisonett The colours are muted in a lot of the MCU 4K Blu-Rays as well. Apparently it has something to do with the HDR application.

LN78

RogerRoger

@JohnnyShoulder Hurrah! Yeah, given the consensus and following such a dull and mopey start to Garfield's Spidey, I was properly braced for a disaster so I'm really surprised by how much I got into it. Maybe having low-to-no expectations helped, but glad to know it isn't just me!

I have seen (and very much enjoyed) Homecoming. Want to see Far From Home, but that can wait until I've got Disney+ and I'm in an MCU catch-up mood again.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

nessisonett

@RogerRoger Unfortunately the Spider-Man movies aren’t on Disney+ due to them being Sony movies first and foremost. It’s a shame, I was looking forward to rewatching them too!

Socks before or after trousers, but never socks before pants, that's the rule. Makes a man look scary, like a chicken.

crimsontadpoles

Thunderball, the fourth James Bond movie. It was decent enough, but some of the underwater scenes did drag on a bit. Emilio Largo was a great addition as the film's main villain, but doesn't quite reach the heights of the villains in the previous movie Goldfinger. It was cool to see more of the enemy organisation Spectre, while still keeping the big boss secretive and mysterious.

It was a good watch, but it is my least favourite out of the first four Bond movies.

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