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  1. lolly

    A movie watchers blog

    Atomic Blonde (2017) An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents. Charlize Theron and James McAvoy star in this spy "caper" based on a graphic novel it seems where Theron is the Ice cold MI6 agent sent to Berlin to investigate the murder of her lover and to get the same mcguffin that they needed in the original mission impossible movie. These lists must get thrown together at the same time the shopping one is done. Anyway what follows is a game of cat and mouse as Broughton(theron) digs into the Percival (McAvoy) who seems less than snow white in his approach to the cold war divide.Eddie Marsan, John Goodman and Toby Jones are also in it as various supporting characters and it shows the strength of the movie that such quality are happy in bit parts. I mentioned in the dedicated thread a few years ago that the action looked a little unconvincing as you could see Theron not connect with her punches and while it may be true it's a silly thing to bring up as unless you're really looking for it you wouldn't notice. Fights in this are brutal , long and very well done- there's a level of apparent physicality that eclipses the Bourne movies because is shot steady and you can see every thrown punch, kick and stab. The story is pretty straightforward and just keep the characters moving on to each new action set piece. Theron and McAvoy are both great as the deadly ice maiden and sleazy broker MI6 agents respectively with McAvoy especially looking like he's enjoying himself. All in all a fantastic action movie the with Theron proving between Mad Max Fury road and this that she is fantastic in action roles. 4.5/5
  2. There are going to be a more arguments on the internet about the who, what and how of this than there are stars in the galaxy. Personally, I'm already a little fatigued by the entire star wars thing and I love star wars - even playing the SWGOH mobile game for about 18 months. Calling Jon Bernthal for Canderous Ordo though.
  3. The liquid terminator coming off the chassis of the exoskeleton one was pretty cool though. Almost all of them after 2 have some sort of really good elements let down by the rest of the movie, 3 has the crane chase and ending , Genesis has the re imagined opening to 1 which is actually pretty well done other than Jai, salvation as some interesting terminator designs and grittier fight against the machines, at least in the opening. But it's like they've not had the courage of their convictions or have been hamstrung by having to make sure that they could be shown to as wide an audience as possible so were watered down by committee.
  4. lolly

    A movie watchers blog

    Jupiter Ascending (2015) A young woman discovers her destiny as an heiress of intergalactic nobility and must fight to protect the inhabitants of Earth from an ancient and destructive industry. Stupider Ascending is more like it , amirite? Written and directed by The Wachowskis this is a fairly straightforward bit of guff where a "chosen one" must save humanity from a big bad , in this case our ancestors spoiler * who live for millennia by turning the populations of planets into blue powerade and drinking it or taking baths in it . That shit is 50% of your average daily recommended sugar or something equally horrific BTW. Anyway , Channing Tatum is a genetically spliced warrior combination wolf/ human/marmoset/ whatever tasked with grabbing Jupiter (kunis) , said nobility, and delivering her to the intergalactic republic because she owns earth and eddie redmayne wants it. Or something, the story is a load of bollox and I obviously wasn't interested. Redmayne is dire as the big bad, an overblown bombastic performance with little or no threat/ menace. Tatum is fine , Kunis has very little to do despite being one of the leads and yer one from orphan black and the commitments puts on a wojus Russian accent as jupiter's mother. Which all makes it sound like it's a load of shit, and it is, to an extent but what nearly saves it is the design and a few of the set pieces. The look of the alien craft and general design of all the otherworldly stuff is fantastic and really well done with some beautiful vibrant colours. Many of the designs are fish based and just really well imagined so that aspect was really pleasing on the eye. Also some of the fighting and set pieces , in particular in downtown Chicago(?) was high energy and again looked great while others were , if not up to the same standard, still decent in their own way.it's also reasonably brutal but most "deaths" are of alien CGI characters so nothing too gory. So all in all, a bit shit but actually worth a watch as even if the story is pretty slight and some of the performances a bit naff there's quite a bit to like in this from a visual perspective. 2.5/5
  5. lolly

    What books did you read in 2019?

    Echopraxia - Peter watts lifted directly from Wikipedia: Zombies, vampires, aliens, cults, genetic mutation, cybernetic implants etc all together in one story . Sounds like a shitty movie thrown together by the Asylum or some other low budget studio in a bid to capture the interest of as many people as possible. Except a lot of it's based on hard science and it appears meticulous research has gone into pretty much everything even if it's a bit far fetched... Anyway, it's not a long book, there's a few decent set pieces in here , a lot of talk about the divide between God and Science but no real connection to any of the characters.Some of the concepts , of which there are many ,are explained in too much detail pulling momentum from the story.It got to the stage I was skim reading towards the end and by then my emotional investment had waned to the point I was happy it was over. That makes it sound much worse than it is but it's worth a read, especially if you enjoyed Blindsight.
  6. lolly

    What books did you read in 2019?

    The Quiet American by Graham Green Set during the conflict in Vietnam between the French and Vietminh it's a story of a love triangle between an older English journalist, his young Vietnamese girlfriend and a young, idealistic American diplomat, i.e CIA . It's pretty on the nose as a metaphor for the English, Vietnamese and American nations in respect their characters and escalating American involvement in the region while still maintaining an interesting and engaging story. I understand a lot was based on the author's own experiences so it's pretty on the nose in that regard and at 180 or so pages is not a lengthy or difficult read. haven't seen either of the movie versions so can't comment on their faithfulness but will probably check at least one of them out. Recommended.
  7. lolly

    What books did you read in 2019?

    Finished Absolution Gap by Alistair Reynolds It's in the Revelation space universe and for me is the 3rd part of the trilogy of Revelation space, Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap(the other stories in the series seem to be almost standalone even though some are set in the same locations) and continues in that a number of significant characters, not least the Nostalgia for Infinity . It take place over three different time periods and I was initially slightly confused as there appeared to be little crossover. Once my dim wits caught up with what was going on it all slotted into place and I found it a far better book than the middle entry, Redemption Ark, though thinking about that book there's some cracking sections in it too. Reynolds continues his habit of poor characterization for some of the "bit part" players who are focused on for significant sections and dropped with a few lines and barely a sentence or two referencing them in the remainder of the story.There always appear to be some forward momentum to the story which is fitting given the setting and it's a satisfying but a bit excessively quick ending . Will have to pick up Chasm city and anything else set in the universe too.
  8. lolly

    The Jazz Thread

    Got this over the weekend, really like it and love the final song "door" , beautiful tune.
  9. just got into this as there's such a plethora of super hero shit around and you've pretty much summed up my impressions of this , up to episode 5 I think and R squared was excellent.
  10. lolly

    Star Trek Discovery

    I've watched two episodes of series 2 and it defies logic completely already - there's a load of whizz-bang effects and awful dialogue. It feels like it's written for 8-12 year olds who won't notice the giant plot holes or general level of stupidity on show. Anson Mount is carrying it on charisma alone from a cast POV( Doug Jones has had f-all to do so far) and some of the visuals are decent in fairness.
  11. lolly

    A movie watchers blog

    Hunt for the Wilderpeople. A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush. As per the plot description courtesy of IMDB this does pretty much what is says on the tin while also being a free advertisement for the NZ tourist board. It follows the trials of the two protagonists as one initially gets lost in the bush and the other comes to find him , gets injured and they are declared missing/ kidnapped. they become fugitives of sorts and a manhunt is declared after an encounter with some hunters in one of the huts that dot the NZ outback. The movie becomes a reasonably gentle chase up until the finale where it picks up pace and despite a few hiccups the ending is suitably upbeat. The main cast are good with the two main actors Sam Neill and Julian Dennison both pretty good and their relationship develops quite nicely over the course of the movie. The strongest point though is the humour running through it, a generally dry, self depreciating NZ wit that had me laughing often during the course of the movie. I used the word gentle in my description of the chase and that's my overall impression of this, it's a nice , gentle feel good movie that's well worth checking out. I didn't realise that his is 3 years old either, thought it came out last year. 4/5 Hardcore Henry Henry is resurrected from death with no memory, and he must save his wife from a telekinetic warlord with a plan to bio-engineer soldiers. An FPS as a movie, complete with powers and upgrades etc, probably the 1st time it's been done end to end for an entire movie and not just that bit in Doom with "The Rock" . To be fair it's a pretty cool gimmick in that movie and probably the standout section in it . Here though it's constant and after a while the novelty wears off and you're left with a sub-par plot and Sharlto Copey hamming it up in a number of roles, some of which are better than others. It's also pretty gory and I winced a number of times during it. As the plot is so thin and the gimmick wears off tedium starts to set in as the various aspects of running, jumping and shooting just turn into a blur. I accidentally set the speed to 1.5 towards the end and it actually improved matters , including the dialogue. In saying that there's some pretty impressive set pieces and one parkour section was especially well done and quite enjoyable, the novelty initially was cool and there's some stuff to like here. probably would have been better as a 30 minute short as stretched to over an hour and a half as mentioned neither the plot or the gimmick can sustain the movie for the full run time. 2.5/5
  12. lolly

    Rugby thread (6 Nations, Heineken Cup etc)

    Sorry, yes actually, that being the more important takeaway. Suppose (eventual) fair play to RA for standing up against it at the 2nd time of asking. i'd imagine some of the local RWNJs will denounce RA for punishing Folau and suppressing free hate speech.
  13. lolly

    Rugby thread (6 Nations, Heineken Cup etc)

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/apr/11/israel-folau-to-be-sacked-by-rugby-australia-over-social-media-posts With this and pocock's injury, not great news for Australia
  14. lolly

    What books did you read in 2019?

    Jarhead- Anthony Swofford. Gulf war memoir of a sniper who saw very little action due probably to America bombing the fuck out of most of the Iraqi forces before most ground forces could engage. Details the tedium and depression of most of the soldiers lives as the wait for combat and in the very brief instances of actual combat experienced by the author leaves him disappointed and disillusioned. It echos a lot of other 1st hand accounts of war but gives a unique insight into such a one sided fight. the author's account of the Iraqi casualties is horrifying and the subject of nightmare fuel and the movie seems relatively faithful. I picked it up for $1 in the local 2nd hand bookshop and got through it pretty quickly (it's not long either) , interesting enough read but hard to recommend unless you really like war memoirs.Being a soldier sounds shit , regardless of whether you're at war or not.
  15. Re the beard thing- I thought there was a blink and you'll miss it of a flashback/forward in the original of a bearded terminator. Not that I care any more , it's a franchise of diminishing returns since No 2 with occasional good ideas and set pieces butchered over the course of the following movies.

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