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rllmuk

Nick R

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  1. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies - 3.5/5 Unfortunately I'd had most of the best jokes spoiled for me before seeing it, but they're still funny even if you know about them in advance. Most of the best jokes and songs turn up in the first 40 minutes; if it could have kept up that gag hit rate right up until the end, it would have been a 4. As it is, I'd say it's pretty similar in quality to The Lego Batman Movie. I liked the little I saw of the early-2000s Teen Titans cartoon (though it was no Batman, Justice League Unlimited, or Young Justice), but those fans who seem to be all over the internet complaining that Teen Titans Go somehow "disrespects the legacy of the OG cartoon and is a slap in the face to fans" are just weird. 21 Jump Street - 3/5 Some really funny bits mixed with some slightly annoying bits. I don't like it as much as the animated things that Lord and Miller have worked on, but there are some good self-aware, self-deprecating jokes: the character announcing "End of Act Two!", the flammable vehicles running gag, and Nick Offerman's scene ("You see, the guys in charge of this stuff lack creativity and are completely out of ideas, so all they do now is recycle shit from the past and expect us all not to notice."). Reading a few reviews of it, I'm not sure why people seem to dislike Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum; they've been fine in the few things I've seen them in. Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms - 3/5 Between the two Guillermo del Toro Hellboy movies, two straight-to-DVD animated features were released featuring the cast from the live-action films, plus Peri Gilpin from Frasier. I've now seen both of them twice, and even though neither of them are great (animation's inconsistent and the action is unremarkable), Sword of Storms is the slightly superior one, despite the absence of John Hurt. (Blood & Iron was a case of all the ingredients being there, but ending up less interesting that it should have been.) They don't follow Mike Mignola's art style, but instead the character designs were by Sean "cheeks074" Galloway (whose style was also used in the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon). It is faithful to Mignola's comics in some ways though: there are occasional cuts to ominous-looking statue and gargoyle faces, which never seemed to happen in del Toro's films! Plus it incorporates a very close adaptation of "Heads", one of the most memorable short Hellboy comics. The "Heads" adaptation comes in a section of the film where Hellboy is travelling through a historical/limbo version of Japan and encountering assorted folkloric monsters. That's probably the best section of the film, more interesting than the story's main world-ending threat: a pair of thunder-hammer and lightning-spear monster siblings. That's right: in this film it's Hellboy versus Ornstein and Smough! Unfortunately Amazon Prime Video has Sword of Storms cropped to 4:3, even though Blood & Iron is on there in widescreen.
  2. OK, but what did you do in the game?
  3. I've never seen A Knight's Tale but that film's use of Queen and other classic rock seemed to be pretty popular. In my experience, when period-set fantasy films attempt it, it's usually distracting or cringeworthy: I remember before the first Lord of the Rings film was released, there was an online Q&A with Peter Jackson where someone asked him, "Are you planning to use Led Zeppelin's music?" Imagine if "Ramble On" had turned up as the LOTR end credits theme! Yeah, Thor Ragnarok got away with it (twice!), but the MCU's relationship with pop music and high fantasy is rather different.
  4. [Beep beep] "Snake, be careful! There's likely to be a boss in this area!" "Huh... Looks just like a small rural garden to me." "Don't be fooled, Snake. Intel reports that this garden is the home territory of Honking Goose." "Honking Goose, huh? Never heard of him..." "You've never heard of Honking Goose?" "No." "One of our FOXHOUND agents encountered Honking Goose some time ago. By the time we were able to evac him from the field, he was in a terrible state. We tried to debrief him, but he was barely able to talk. The little he said did not make much sense, but from what we could gather, Honking Goose is one of the most annoying individuals on the planet." "The most annoying...?" "Correct. Honking Goose is not much of a direct physical threat, but he's an expert at sabotaging field operations. To the extent that his victims are driven completely insane." "Insane, huh?" "Snake, the only advice I can offer is to use your infra-red goggles to spot Honking Goose before he finds you." "Got it. Thanks, Colonel." [Honk honk] "Colonel, did you hear that?" "Yes, Snake, your codec communicator made an unusual noise." "It wasn't the codec. Colonel, I'm going to put on my infra-red goggles... What the--!?" "Snake, what's wrong?" "My goggles, they're gone! They were in my knapsack..." "Stay calm, Snake." "..." "What is it, Snake? "My gun! I only put it down for a second to retrieve the goggles, and it's gone! Colonel, I don't like this..." [HONK HONK] "There's that noise again! I'm going to investigate." "Snake, be careful!" "Colonel, I see an upturned cardboard box. The noise seems to be coming from underneath it. I'm going to lift it up..." "Snake, wait!" [HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK] "Aaaaaarrrggghh!" "Snake are you there? Respond! Snake... Snake... Snaaaaaaaake!" [♫ Honk honk, honkhonkhonk... Honk honk HONK! ♫]
  5. My count is 15, which is more than I thought when I first skimmed down the list: I like Amy Winehouse's singles, and the documentary "Amy" was excellent. But I've never heard Frank or Back to Black in full.
  6. It's unlikely to happen any time soon, but part of me thinks it would be funny to see Netflix get left behind because they didn't adapt to changing times and tastes, the way they left Blockbuster behind. The cost of building up a back-catalogue library of video is probably the biggest cost for any new video streaming service. But presumably the cost of setting up the storage capacity for all that video, and the network infrastructure to distribute it smoothly, is also prohibitively expensive. So I think it's more likely that instead of seeing new competitors, we'll see more companies piggybacking their libraries on the existing streaming services (e.g. the way that the BFI has an Amazon Prime Video Channel). That cost of setting up the infrastructure to stream video is probably the main reason we won't see any YouTube competitors any time soon. Yes, there are smaller specialists like Vimeo, and sites like porn sites and Liveleak that do things YouTube don't touch, and assorted language-specific sites like the various ones in China. But as far as I know, no English language video sharing sites are directly trying to compete with the might of Google and YouTube.
  7. Adaptation. - 4.5/5 In the current Rllmuk films of the 21st century poll, I was intending to vote for this as my favourite of 2002. But I'd only seen it once, the best part of 15 years ago, and my memories of it were very vague, so I wanted to rewatch it to confirm if it still holds that spot. I was a bit concerned that it wouldn't hold up. In the years since I first saw it I've seen more films telling metafictional interconnected-stories-about-stories (e.g. A Cock and Bull Story, Cloud Atlas, The Fountain, Charlie Kaufman's later Synecdoche, New York, and Meryl Streep's other 2002 film The Hours). So I was worried that the layers of self-referentiality that had impressed me so much the first time wouldn't seem anywhere near as clever today... maybe even irritating and self-indulgent? Maybe it's lost a bit (I think Being John Malkovich is still my favourite), but generally I needn't have worried! It's still a great film. Nicolas Cage's dual roles are still probably my favourite performance of his, Brian Cox is great in his brief appearance as screenwriting guru Robert McKee. And it's still great fun watching I liked the way that The 3, Donald Kaufman's cliché-packed screenplay-within-the-movie, bears a strong resemblance to Split, which I watched a couple of weeks ago! Also:
  8. I went through my films and lists on Letterboxd to remind myself what I might include, and found a few examples where the film's date in brackets didn't match what I expected. Cabin in the Woods (shot in 2009 and shelved) is listed as a 2011 film on IMDb and Letterboxd - but it was on general release in 2012 at the same time as Avengers, Wikipedia describes it as a 2012 film, and on Letterboxd I'd included it in my year ranking list for 2012 not 2011. Ex Machina (2014) was another one with an unexpected mismatch, due to its January 2015 UK release date. I don't think either of those films will make it into my top 3 for those years though!
  9. Completely agree that it was a combination of many subtle tweaks. Even after Halo came out, console FPSs still didn't always get aiming right. The way I remember the PS2 version of XIII, the auto-aim magnetism was so strong that you could sidestep some way around an enemy and stay locked onto them, without touching the aiming analogue stick at all! OK, my memory is probably exaggerating that, but it's an example of how FPSs like Halo, TimeSplitters, XIII, Black, Killzone, Cold Winter, Perfect Dark Zero all had similar twin-stick auto-aiming controls, but subtle differences made them all feel unique.
  10. Arguing about this whole list is futile, because of this:
  11. Halo's controls were definitely the best up to that point, in terms of how well-tuned the aiming turning circles were, and plenty of options for controls schemes and aiming sensitivity. (I can't remember if Halo CE had separate sensitivity settings for vertical and horizontal sensitivity, or was that added in the sequels?) But dismissing earlier console FPSs as "laughable" is real hyperbole. I mean, they're dismissing GoldenEye and Perfect Dark! (Which I'd argue made a virtue out of their aiming limitations, with the risk/reward choice of either shooting from the hip while moving, or standing still to manually aim with the R-trigger. On an N64 with a non-worn analogue stick, the aiming sensitivity was very good - certainly better than PD's XBLA remaster.) They're also dismissing other good console FPSs like TimeSplitters and the Dreamcast versions of Quake 3 Arena and Unreal Tournament. I only briefly played one of the Turok games but people seem to be fond of that too.
  12. That's the only explanation for putting Guitar Hero on there ahead of the subsequent plastic instrument games that improved on it. Rock Band 3 is definitely the best game I've played in the genre. I haven't played Rock Band 4 but the last I heard heard, it's improved since launch but still isn't quite as comprehensive as 3.
  13. Looked at another way, this is a very generous way of doing it. This way we can nominate 3 films per year * 20 years = 60 nominations total. Whereas previously when we've done decade votes, we were limited to 20 nominations. Assuming we'd be allowed double that since we're covering two decades, that's still only 40 films. (And as @Ork1927says in the first post, giving us all those blank spaces in one batch would be pretty daunting!) Having said that, limiting us to three slots per year doesn't allow for the fact that some years were stronger than others...
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