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1 hour ago, linkster said:

Wilderspeople was mildly cooky but just too generic and dull, paused it one night and didn’t go back.

I think you may have misjudged this film, and also spelled "Wilderpeople" wrong. And either used the word "cooky" in entirely the wrong context, or spelled "kooky" wrong. 

 

I can't see how anyone would find it dull - although it may have a slightly weird pacing to it. You do have to stick with it until about 30 minutes in. . And if you think it's generic, I'd love to know what genre you think it belongs to. 

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I watched more than 30 minutes. There’s nothing to it. He stole most of it from Up with a tweak here and there. Trouble is, Up never covers from its opening five minutes, so he ripped off the weak bit. He’s a tiresomely “kooky” film maker with no obvious talent other than to keep getting hired on the basis he seems to turn up unprepared to everything, but shoot it anyway.

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Wow. I really think you missed the point of the film (as well as the story, acting, humour, Rhys Darby cameo, etc). 

 

Maybe Sam Neil's character put you off? He isn't supposed to be likeable for much of the film. 

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I don’t really give a shit about the film, it just annoyed me to see it praised over what I think is a much more interesting experience, not for the first time, criminally underrated movie. Granted a lot will suffer motion sickness, cant begrudge them 

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Missing Link

 

Laika Studios takes on a classic adventure yarn

 

As a die hard fan of stop motion I ought to love Laika, but I don't. Their movies leave me cold. Technically, they are astonishing - Kubo especially. But it's like Peter Cushing in Rogue One - it looks like something I love, and yet it's like The Thing. It's just wrong. 

 

Martial arts, Eastern cinema, is a bit of a passion, I'm not in any sense exhaustive about it but I love the ethos of those movies, Ghibli obviously manages to be quintessentially Japanese and yet speak to us all, but I also adore Kung Fu Panda, dismissed all too readily as disposable fun but unfairly so since it is authentic and passionate to its core about the subject matter, as proven by how China took this US take on its culture to heart.

 

The trouble they come to quite quickly with Missing Link is a complete failure of characterisation. There is nothing remotely likeable about any of the characters. Sir Something Frost (I just can't remember), Hugh Jackman as pointy jawed 'British' tweed adventurer, steals looks and mannerisms from here and there - Sherlock Holmes, Phileas Fogg - but is so utterly charmless. Maybe they didn't see either Paddington movie but they make a mockery of this attempt to parody the Reform Club blusterers. It's an American studio, just as with Kubo's failed attempt to tell an Eastern story, ticking off every British stereotype and coming up with a setting so much less than the sum of its parts. I haven't seen Holmes and Watson, Will Ferrel's universally derided attempt to do the same, but I can imagine this is only slightly more bearable.

 

The opening scene, involving a Loch Ness Monster type creature, just makes it clear he's an arse, and will never be in peril. Not a good start. As the movie goes on, he becomes - very poor judgment - an Indiana Jones type character, one that worked precisely because you thought he'd die any minute.

 

The 'Missing Link' himself is also just plain annoying. Again it's like they've tried to ape Po from KFP but instead just completely missed how to make a character that tries too hard to be liked but utterly wins the hearts of the audience. It's like if they'd cast the John Candy character from Planes Trains and Automobiles with James Corden instead.

 

The part I was most looking forward to, the magnificent - given the right role - Timothy Oliphant, also fell flat. The sheriff of Deadwood plays a hired thug - small, bald and ugly, a bit of a twist for an extremely pleasant man to look at in real life. But with Oliphant, you have to let him off the leash - see Go, or The Girl Next Door, for how to do proper fucking crazy. Here, he's just given too little to work with.

 

There are laughs, quite a few actually, but even when they come the direction, the timing, is flat. Compare it to the unloved Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists by Laika's great rival Ardmaan and frankly it's just not in the same league.

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Loro (Them)

(2019) Paolo Sorrentino

 

Sorrentinos utterly indulgent 3hr30min Berlusconi Bunga Bunga party.

I loved this. It is so sumptuous, languid and Italian. So extra. Like Caravaggio got raped by Mario Testino. It's utterly self absorbed and overly literal, but it also gave me the raging horn.

 

 

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I'm about half an hour into First Reformed. How on earth Rami Malek won the best acting Oscar over Ethan Hawke is beyond me; even more confusing is he didn't even get nominated. Not that the Oscars are an effective barometer of quality, admittedly. 

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5 hours ago, Stopharage said:

I'm about half an hour into First Reformed. How on earth Rami Malek won the best acting Oscar over Ethan Hawke is beyond me; even more confusing is he didn't even get nominated. Not that the Oscars are an effective barometer of quality, admittedly. 

Ethan Hawke is beautiful in that role

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On 20/04/2019 at 07:39, linkster said:

Hardcore Henry was the best movie I saw that year. I expected a gimmick and got some batshit surrealism like a lost Terry Gilliam. Glad to have seen it in the cinema for the full headfuck experience. One of the most underrated movies around and an absolute travesty it got a 1/5 review in Empire given the generic shite they routinely score 4/5.

 

Wilderspeople was mildly cooky but just too generic and dull, paused it one night and didn’t go back.

 

A mind-boggling brace of opinions there.

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I saw lovely Kenyan flick Rafiki at the cinema yesterday:

 

 

A fairly simple story of forbidden first love, that becomes far more than the sum of its parts as a tale of young lesbians in Kenya, where homosexuality is all but illegal. It’s also deftly told, really draws you into its emotional universe.

 

Beyond all that though, I think it’s one of the most visually sumptuous movies I’ve ever seen, probably only second to Les Parapluies de Cherbourg in this regard. A real treat for the senses from start to finish, you just want the screen to eat you up.

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Train to Busan. 

Really enjoyed it. An enjoyable zombie movie that has some characters you actually care about. Some of the acting seems a little off at times, but that doesn’t stop it being great fun. Of course there’s some social commentary/class struggle thrown in too. Action is pretty much non stop. Recommended.

 

Avengers: Infinity War.

That seemed like it went on for days. It looks spectacular, but was phenomenally boring. Unlike Busan, I didn’t find myself caring about anyone other than Stark. Given all the hype, this was a hugely disappointing film.

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42 minutes ago, skondo said:

Train to Busan. 

Really enjoyed it. An enjoyable zombie movie that has some characters you actually care about. Some of the acting seems a little off at times, but that doesn’t stop it being great fun. Of course there’s some social commentary/class struggle thrown in too. Action is pretty much non stop. Recommended.

 

Avengers: Infinity War.

That seemed like it went on for days. It looks spectacular, but was phenomenally boring. Unlike Busan, I didn’t find myself caring about anyone other than Stark. Given all the hype, this was a hugely disappointing film.

 

Train to Busan is really excellent, it's crazy to think how good "zombies on a train" actually could be. Some real heart to moments of it too.

 

How many lead up films for IW have you watched? I feel like if you jump in it without investing time on the characters you're not going to have much connection with them. Obviously that bares nothing on how you feel about the length and plot, just wondered about the characters as it's more like a season finale than a stand alone film.

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21 hours ago, ZOK said:

 

A mind-boggling brace of opinions there.

And a tiresomely predictable contribution from you

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1 hour ago, skondo said:

Train to Busan. 

Really enjoyed it. An enjoyable zombie movie that has some characters you actually care about. Some of the acting seems a little off at times, but that doesn’t stop it being great fun. Of course there’s some social commentary/class struggle thrown in too. Action is pretty much non stop. Recommended.

 

Avengers: Infinity War.

That seemed like it went on for days. It looks spectacular, but was phenomenally boring. Unlike Busan, I didn’t find myself caring about anyone other than Stark. Given all the hype, this was a hugely disappointing film.

IW truly is catastrophically dull, too many characters poorly handled and edited by a drunk chimp. I can barely even remember Stark being in it but Cap adds a touch of class even if he looks embarrassed to be there. I cant get even slightly excited for the ‘finale’. Hype is the word.

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@Stigweard 3 x Thor, 3 x Cap, 3 x Ironman, Black Panther, Antman, 2 x Guardians and the previous two Avengers. Think that's everything I've seen.

 

I think linksters use of the word 'dull' is on point.

 

 

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Anyway, let's not derail the blog thread with MCU stuff, plenty threads for those who like what it's turned into to offer hankies to each other

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5 hours ago, skondo said:

@Stigweard 3 x Thor, 3 x Cap, 3 x Ironman, Black Panther, Antman, 2 x Guardians and the previous two Avengers. Think that's everything I've seen.

 

I think linksters use of the word 'dull' is on point.

 

 

 

So most of them then huh. I guess after all them if you're not invested in any of them then by that point it probably is a tough sell.

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17 minutes ago, Stigweard said:

 

So most of them then huh. I guess after all them if you're not invested in any of them them by that point it probably is a tough sell.

He didn't say he wasn't invested in them, he said he didn't like this film

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2 hours ago, linkster said:

He didn't say he wasn't invested in them, he said he didn't like this film

 

Quote

I didn’t find myself caring about anyone other than Stark.

 

If you're invested in the other characters, you care.

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10 minutes ago, Stigweard said:

 

 

If you're invested the other characters, you care.

That doesn’t follow. I like the characters very much based on the previous movies, it doesn’t make this one any good

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It does because liking something and caring/making a connection with it are completely different. I like other sports teams outside my own but I don't really care how they do, I have zero investment in them.

 

It's fine for him to find the film dull, was just curious what his lack of care for the characters was. Was it because he'd jumped in without backstory like some people, which then makes having any care really difficult or was it that he may not like characters based on previous films to care all that much. Or maybe not enjoying the film meant characters he did care about before seemed less important. I dunno.

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On 12/04/2019 at 21:59, linkster said:

Wild Rose

 

Jailbird mum of two dreams of escaping Glasgow and her life to be a Country star

 

I had every reason to be scared of this. Watching Scottish people on screen has its own sense of the Uncanny Valley, even when they are actually Scottish. Jessie Buckley and Julie Walters are not Scottish. Very early in the movie the word 'bawbag' is uttered. It reeks of patronising, insufferable, media friendly, whacky old 'Glasgae' as seen through the horn-rimmed spectacles of Old Compton Street.

 

There's also plenty in the movie that's just plain fucking wrong. Buses going from Stirling to Glasgow do not, at any point, pass the sea. Jail is not a friendly place. But the crucial one - 'who ever heard of a Country star from Glasgow'? Fuck's sake Bob Harris, how could you go along with this?

 

Country music is inedibly woven into the place. I grew up listening to a cunt called Frank Skerrit on BBC Radio Scotland, our own Whispering Bob (actually sounded more like he was talking with one of those holes in his throat smokers have), my dad would have nothing else. Sidney Devine, a legend. Ricky Ross, Marti Pellow, Sharleen Spiteri - whoever heard of a Country singer from Glasgow, indeed. What bawbag wrote this? (Damn)

 

It also commits that unforgivable sin, in my book anyway, of being nostalgic about Glasgow. About how no matter where you go in the world, the city will draw you back. Which to me is the stuff of nightmares. 

 

For all that, this is an absolutely fucking glorious experience. It's there in the music. I went on a road trip straight after college, three weeks with some friends. I don't know why we took in a stop at Nashville and Memphis, but the place amazed me, talent the like you've never heard playing for tips in every bar.

 

I've seen A Star Is Born twice and just been blasted back in my seat by the sheer power of those songs and I was worried in early scenes this would come off a piss poor copy, a Scotmid-own brand embarrassment, but I needn't have worried. There are a number of cracking numbers and while it unashamedly ticks off every feel good trope in the book, it just fucking works.

 

Aside from the music, it is a winning central performance. A number of laugh out loud moments, especially an authentically Glaswegian utter lack of tact when pitching her wonderfully clueless mentor for money. Having an elder sister who too is red haired, completely mental, selfish, leans on her mum for childcare, but staggeringly musically talented (and has also played Celtic Connections), but also memorably took a trip to London to see me and was so overwhelmed by the place she was on the train home before I even finished work, I felt unexpectedly emotionally gripped at times with a need to see her. 

 

I'm already feeling spoiled this year with a number of cracking movies, really glad to add this to the list. Hoots och aye and all that.

...

 

I just came back from Wild Rose today. What a bloody fantastic movie. It was genuinely gut-wrenching in places (especially how she puts her ambition before her kids) and I couldn't fathom how this element could be resolved satisfactorily (but it (mostly) is).

 

I thought it was a brave film in many ways, epecially how it doesn't conform to the rags to riches archetype. I mean, Rose-Lynn, is pretty abhorent in certain scenes, though admittedly does redeem herself to some extent.

 

Particularly loved how the realisation of her dream was handled.

 

Really, really funny in places too.

 

 

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In The Line Of Duty 2 aka Yes, Madam! aka Police Assassins etc (1985)

Can two tough female cops get hold of a microfilm stolen by petty thieves before a crime boss gets hold of it? I can't find any concrete info but I gather this was made before the first In The Line Of Duty and therefore Michelle Yeoh's first outing as the tough HK cop. This time she is joined by Cynthia Rothrock in her first film. Unremarkable story, plus it has a bit too much of that goofy HK slapstick and irritating comic relief for my taste. However it's all about the physical action, fantastic fluid fighting in a stylish 80s hyper-modern Hong Kong setting. The final battle is particularly impressive, with some genuinely awe-inspiring moves and invention. Rothrock is pretty hot in a fashionable 80s kind of way, complete with Princess Di hairdo. Her entrance, kicking arse at the airport whilst wearing a tweet suit, set a high standard. As I said with the first In The Line Of Duty, I am certainly not an expert or well versed when it comes to Hong Kong cinema so I can only really go on how it affected me, and generally despite the humour not really doing it for me, this was exciting and slick with high production values.

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On 25/04/2019 at 18:02, Marlowe said:

Dead Ringers (1988)

 

Well this was quite something.

 

Having watched it, I immediately looked at how it was received at the time, and there's Roger Ebert calling it a straight up exploitation film. That really couldn't be further from what it is! Right from the off with the unsettling medieval imagery of the opening titles set against Howard Shore's achingly beautiful theme, it's clear this is going to be an interesting, multi-faceted work. What I didn't expect is how it's all balanced. There's no cheap scares, the body horror is unexpectedly kept to a minimum. In their place there is an unflinching focus on the lead characters, with the film's eerie atmosphere sustained through what we learn of their peculiar relationship and what we imagine them to be capable of. It's horror, but in the psychological/psycho-sexual sense.

 

Jeremy Irons is of course incredible. You know which twin is which in every scene, not from some blatant affectation but from the subtleties in his mannerisms, his tone of voice. Your initial reaction to the characters can't help but be one of disgust, but he manages to make you care about them as much as you fear them. His performance, coupled with the pace of the film and the turns the script takes is masterful in managing your sympathies. It reminds me of Kubrick's Lolita in how brilliantly it elicits both disgust and pity for the protaganists.

 

It's also beautifully shot. Every location is cold, clinical, sterile, conveying the vacuousness of the moneyed world in which the twins move in, and then increasingly as the film wears on, their detachment from reality. The ending is tragic in the proper sense. At the outset you're expecting the exploitation film climax that Ebert mistook it for, with vulnerable women being tortured and killed by the twins in perverse experiments. As the film draws on, you realise there could only ever be one conclusion, and if it's exploitative then we may need to reevaluate the Greek Tragedians.

 

*****

 

Good write up. I seem to have caught snatches of this flick over the years, but never had any desire to watch it until I read the above.

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Long Shot

 

Slacker (what else?) Seth Rogen has a romantic ‘long shot’ at Charlize Theron’s government high flier

 

I don’t really know what else I ought to have expected from this. I guess I was hoping for something like Miss Sloane, but it’s closer to Dave meets Love, Actually

 

It’s staggeringly misjudged. I honestly can’t see it being anything but a total flop. To have what looks from the outside like a political satire just cobble together every romcom cliche imaginable must have taken some serious quantities of cocaine.

 

There’s a nice sentiment at the core - become the POTUS while staying true to yourself and still making it as woman. And while there is Farrelly brother-style gross out comedy calling out sexual hypocrisy, it dates itself nonetheless by having the most tiresome stereotype of all, the black friend.

 

That O’Shea Jackson is so utterly wasted is doubly frustrating as the movie might have been significantly better if his and Rogen’s roles had been reversed and he had been the main star. Rogen is teeth grindingly annoying, his moral crusading coming across like an angry Muppet reject. The amount of screen time afforded his instantly grating ambling loser, who can’t even offer the kind of wit you’d have from say the Albert Brooks character in Broadcast News, is simply insufferable. 

 

Theron is, as always, a faultless screen presence. Even with such abysmal material she keeps it mostly classy, and even manages not to make the idea that she’d even consider sacrificing the role of a lifetime to hang out with rent-a-stoner dude seem as reprehensible as Rogen makes it seem. He is the biggest single argument against the movie even as a concept - such a shame since the last time I saw him, in The Disaster Artist, i thought it was pretty masterful deadpan.

 

In spite all this, there are genuine laughs, glitter among the chicken feed. I guess it’s meant to be feel good but TBC as 2019 political turkeys go it’s barely better than Vice.

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I cannot stand Theron. Along with Renee whatsherface she is the only actress (can we still use this word) I actively try to avoid watching in a film. 

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I've not really got any interest in the film, not my thing at all, but I was driving somewhere yesterday and had Radio 5 on, so I ended up listening to Simon Mayo interviewing Seth Rogan and Charlize Theron about Long Shot. Now I don't think I've ever seen him in anything to the best of my knowledge, and maybe he's a very lovely man, but my word Seth Rogan trying to sound amused was embarrassing, I've never ever heard a more annoying sound as him doing his laugh (I dunno, is this a thing, his laugh, something he's known for or something?), I was almost in the footwell of the car as I slid down my seat, cringing so hard. I seriously considered accelerating into a tree.

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