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Rate the last film you watched out of 5


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2 hours ago, englishbob said:

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) - Disney +

 

I really enjoyed this film - knowing nothing about it. It's half usual American comedy fair (with the usual roster turning up) but then it takes an unexpected turn into arthouse cinema in places that sets a completely different tone to it. It takes it's time over scenes and mellows out, without being too overly preachy about the message in it. Filming scenes outside of the usual American landscapes was also a great move and elevated above what it could have been, a boring seen it all before comedy drama that takes place in New York or wherever.

 

Stiller would probably make a great director in future once his oddball comedy roles dry up. 

 

4/5

I saw this about a year back. I don’t think there’s anything quite like it. 

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I watched it for the first time the night before I flew out to Iceland, knowing I was going to visit several locations from the film on my trip. This trip became a holiday of a lifetime and changed my perspective on life in a few ways, so the film - and it's soundtrack in particular, which I still listen to when going away - have become quite special to me. 

 

Shameless plug for my holiday snaps! https://www.petejohns.photography/Gallery/Iceland/

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1 hour ago, Ry said:

The Woman in the Window - 2/5

 

By the numbers thriller. Dull. Another Netflix dud to add to the list. 

 

Netflix: Where Duds Go To Die.

 

Seriously, the likes of Thunderforce and Friendsgiving are going to be the end of that platform. One Bridgerton every six months isn't going to pay back the loans.

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Oxygen - 2/5

 

15 minutes in or so we outlined what the plot was going to be and it played out exactly as we predicted. The wonderful Mélanie Laurent being trapped in this movie amuses me enough to give it an extra point.

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2 hours ago, Festoon said:

 

Netflix: Where Duds Go To Die.

 

Seriously, the likes of Thunderforce and Friendsgiving are going to be the end of that platform. One Bridgerton every six months isn't going to pay back the loans.

 

Looking through their own produced feature length films they have maybe 5 films that can be classified as great. Out at least 300 films.

 

I need to pitch my movie as they accept any old shite. 

 

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Without Remorse 

 

A film so good, I keep having to look up what it's called. I will say we were a couple of bottles of wine in before we started this, but I just found it all really dull, full of clichés, a bit "hoo-rah America!" and there were loads of either plot holes or plot devices, depending on how you look at them. It was a just meh. 

 

2/5

 

 

Train To Busan 

 

Been meaning to watch this for a while. Great film. A brilliant spin on the zombie genre. Properly thrilling throughout. Loved the characters, the tension, the action... 

 

Couple of things, though: (spoilered in case anyone hasn't seen it) 

Spoiler

The pregnant woman was pretty light on her feet, considering the fact she was about drop. 

 

I thought the lead character / dad bloke's death was a bit forced and spoiled the end a little. He literally stuck his hand in a zombie's mouth and really didn't need to. 

5/5, though 

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Possessor 2/5 

Excruciatingly violent. Like holy fuck. 
Cronenburg junior is a chip off the old body horror block. But not anywhere near as good. 

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Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

3/5

 

If I could go back in time and tell my nine-year-old self that one day a Sonic the Hedgehog movie would be made, but that I'd wait over a year before seeing it, I would not have believed me.

 

Then 1995 Nick would have asked 2021 Nick if the movie was as good as the Master System/Mega Drive games (no, it's not as good as them), as good as Sonic the Comic (no, it's not as good as that), or as good as the two early-'90s Sonic cartoons (well, it's not as good as I thought they were at the time). 

 

Then my past self would have asked me if Sega ever beat Nintendo, and how many great Sonic games have been released over the years since then, and I'd have to decide how to let him down gently...

 

If we must  have a Sonic film in the same "CGI critter in live-action world" genre as things like The Smurfs, Hop, Yogi Bear, and Alvin & The Chipmunks (and, I must admit, also Paddington), this one is about as good as we could reasonably expect. I know that's damning with faint praise, and three stars is being extremely lenient - I realise I'm lowering my standards and going easy on the film thanks to a sense of relief it's not what we all imagined it was going to be (especially after the first trailer showed off that horrific character design). But it's fine; it should not annoy too many people too much, but it's also not going to get anyone very enthusiastic about it either.

 

It's best enjoyed as a chance to see Jim Carrey returning to the gurning comedy performances he did in the '90s. I realise his casting is just another bit of cynical nostalgia-bait ("hey, what actor was popular around the same time as Sonic, and who could still entice parents to bring their kids to see this?"), but it made me realise that I've quite missed seeing Carrey do that - though I can happily go another few years without seeing him do it again.

 

(I also liked Robotnik's henchman lackey! He doesn't do much but I liked him!)

 

They made the right decision in making Sonic an enthusiastic, well-meaning kid, rather than a "cool dude with 'tude" as in most previous portrayals. Can you imagine what it would have been like to get 100 minutes of the version from the Jaleel White cartoons? The bar scene is probably the section where he behaves closest to that, and also the most tedious and superfluous part of the movie. But generally the film sticks to the idea that he's a kid who is enthusiastic, but with an undercurrent of loneliness - that's a trait the character never really had before, and it is rather mawkish, but it's not overdone enough to get too schmaltzy.

 

OK, time for me an old Sonic nerd to talk about an obscure detail that no one else will care about:

 

Spoiler

In 1993, there was a Sega Europe tie-in book called Stay Sonic. It was almost entirely based on Sega of America's Sonic Bible documents for brand licencees, but one detail the book added was a brief mention of an owl character called Sophocles as a mentor figure for an orphaned Sonic. So it's very weird that 25 years later, the Sonic movie also had the idea of making an owl Sonic's adoptive parental figure - presumably completely independently, not as an intentional Easter egg reference to this most obscure bit of trivia. (Likewise, I don't think Garry Chalk was cast in this film just because he'd been a voice actor in a Sonic cartoon a quarter of a century ago!) Fortunately Longclaw is the only "X the Animal" original character (do not steal) who turns up in the film.

 

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Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)

4.5/5

Quote

Coppola: You should say that - all that, in the scene!
Hopper: I do, but, you see, the director, you know, the director says, "You don't know your lines!"
Coppola: Well if you know your lines, you can forget 'em.
Hopper: Oh, I see. Well that's what I'm trying to do. Forget the lines.
Coppola: No, but it's not fair to forget 'em if you never knew 'em.

 

The showbiz saying goes, "Never work with children or animals." After watching this documentary, which is up there with Lost In La Mancha as one of the most famous and well-regarded movie Making Ofs, I would add three more to the list: the Philippine military, method actors, and Francis Ford Coppola.

 

The only things really missing from it are any footage of Harvey Keitel as Willard, and anything about the post-production process. There must be some stories to tell in the gap covered by that "two and a half years later" caption, even if there was nothing quite as eventful the things that happened during principal photography!

 

After watching it, I'm still not much clearer on WTF Brando was going for in the last section of Apocalypse Now:

Spoiler

I'm still not at all sure what I think of Brando's scenes in Apocalypse Now. I think that it's an impossible task to write dialogue that could convince us of how exactly Kurtz managed to recruit so many people to his cause, while also being insane. The nonsensical ramblings that appear in the film are effective at creating an atmosphere, I suppose. And at least he enunciates his words fairly clearly, so it has that going for it over The Godfather.

 

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13 minutes ago, Nick R said:

If we must  have a Sonic film in the same "CGI critter in live-action world" genre as things like The Smurfs, Hop, Yogi Bear, and Alvin & The Chipmunks (and, I must admit, also Paddington), this one is about as good as we could reasonably expect. I know that's damning with faint praise, and three stars is being extremely lenient - I realise I'm lowering my standards and going easy on the film thanks to a sense of relief it's not what we all imagined it was going to be (especially after the first trailer showed off that horrific character design). But it's fine; it should not going annoy too many people too much, but it's also not going to get anyone very enthusiastic about it either.

 

The two Paddington films are light years ahead of anything comparable, but have you seen Detective Pikachu by any chance? That was surprisingly entertaining, although I've forgotten all the Pokemon lore that I built up over years of watching the cartoon on Sky One before going to work. Ahem.

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24 minutes ago, Nick R said:

But it's fine; it should not annoy too many people too much, but it's also not going to get anyone very enthusiastic about it either.

 

I was more generous (3.5) but this was what I took away as well - it's nowhere near Pixar in terms of writing and stuff, but it's not a disaster either. It's "fine".

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15 minutes ago, Talvalin said:

The two Paddington films are light years ahead of anything comparable, but have you seen Detective Pikachu by any chance? That was surprisingly entertaining, although I've forgotten all the Pokemon lore that I built up over years of watching the cartoon on Sky One before going to work. Ahem.

 

I haven't! Pokemon is one of my big gaming blind spots, so I haven't felt much urgency to watch the movie. But everything I've heard about suggests it's probably the best game to film adaptation (unless you count Wreck-It Ralph). It definitely sounds like a much more creative way of handling the "game character in human world" idea than Sonic.

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I thought that it was surprisingly good, but there is a distinct possibility that I was biased by nostalgia so take the recommendation with a pinch of salt. I would love to see a sequel, but I'm not sure it would work in principle given the ending of the film. Anyway, if you were willing to give Sonic a 3, then I reckon you might enjoy Detective Pikachu more (I haven't seen Sonic, but I'm tempted to give it a go since it cannot be as bad as the recent Mortal Kombat film).

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7 minutes ago, Talvalin said:

(I haven't seen Sonic, but I'm tempted to give it a go since it cannot be as bad as the recent Mortal Kombat film).

 

Watch it if you want to see Jim Carrey doing his Jim Carrey thing, for the first time in years!

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Sound of Metal (2020) - 4 Stars

 

Overall its a really good movie and a really interesting look at the deaf community. It took me half the film to not dislike the lead but by I developed a lot of empathy by the end. In the cinema the sound design was exquisite and its a rare film where you should see it in the cinema if you can just for the sound. I felt it tripped into cliche a little bit at times, particularly when he 'does the deed' but it didn't have the Hollywood ending I was worried it was heading towards and by the end I felt it had overthrown my expectations enough. The only reason I have not gone higher is because despite all that it did not impact my emotions as much as I might have expected it to for some reason. Not sure why but there you go. I feel bad not rating it higher as the subject matter was so off piste. Also a really good portrayal of addiction told in a very unusual way. 

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On 16/05/2021 at 21:35, PeteJ said:

I watched it for the first time the night before I flew out to Iceland, knowing I was going to visit several locations from the film on my trip. This trip became a holiday of a lifetime and changed my perspective on life in a few ways, so the film - and it's soundtrack in particular, which I still listen to when going away - have become quite special to me. 

 

Shameless plug for my holiday snaps! https://www.petejohns.photography/Gallery/Iceland/

 

Some incredible photos there!

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The Platform

 

Intriguing thriller that kept me gripped. The simple set and effects were excellent and it was great world building despite the confined nature of the film. Great performances all round as well to help sell the situation. It developed it's central theme well and revealed maybe a bit too much early on with some clunky exposition Q&A stuff - which worked and seemed real but very convenient to clue the audience in. I think they could have kept certain things to themselves a bit more in the first act with regard to the quality of food supplied, maybe keep that as 2nd act reveal. Gratifyingly it doesn't fall into the trap of complicating its central premise, lots of films with a good idea feel a need to expand it instead of exploring it. However the concept does not hold up after the film is over once you think about it and you realise that the themes are quite simplistic. The "negative" reviewers  (more mixed than negative) tended to be those who saw the flaws as the film played out whereas I didn't think too hard til it was over :D

 

3/5

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Malcolm & Marie

3/5

 

If you watch the first 20 minutes you’ve basically seen the whole film. Beautifully shot though.

 

Sound Of Metal

5/5

 

Found this incredibly powerful, and expertly put together. Could easily have been mawkish awards bait, but instead is so much more.

 

Hugo Zhe

4/5

 

Working my way through all of the films of Zheng Yimou, and he rarely disappoints (haven’t got to The Great Wall yet).

 

A Taxi Driver

4.5/5

 

For some reason, I wasn’t expecting much from this, but it’s pretty damn great, and really moving by the end. Song Kang-ho is as brilliant as always.

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The Unholy.

 

only went because I met a friend who hadn’t been cinema in 2 years due to lockdown and this was the only film she could make time wise that she fancied.

 

Basic plot is a disgraced journalist goes to a small town on a bum lead for a nothing story, but ends up stumbling on what appears to be a girl graced with divine healing powers. Of course, the powers aren’t quite as divine as they appear, and the miracles she performs have a price attached to them.

 

I actually enjoyed it more than I expected to. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the lead, and he’s good (although plays pretty much a watered down version of characters he’s played before, at least at the start).  And there are some genuinely creepy bits that I liked, like a nightmare sequence that I thought was really well done. It does do the studio supernatural horror thing where it relies on jump scares a bit too much, and blatantly has scenes in that mainly serve to lead into a jump scare as the “payoff”.  I think with a better director it could have been a decent film as there were bits that had promise.  Like, there was a scene in a confessional which was good, but then didn’t pay off well (by leading into a jump scare scene), and a few other bits which could have been handled a lot better.  There were also a few bits that unintentionally caused me to laugh.  Spoilers, though nothing major plot wise here, just playing it safe.

 

Spoiler

In one scene Morgan is confronted by the big bad.....and proceeds to flip a table at them.  It just looks funny and tone wise seemed odd because it’s super dramatic how he does it.

 

The visual of the evil spirit when it’s talking to Alice looks like a bad version of tellytubby sun as well, so I couldnt shake that image when I saw it.

 

In one of the first miracles she makes a child able to walk who had multiple sclerosis, and they mention that defeating the spirit undos any miracles.  So of course later on there is a gathering where they get rid of her powers but everyone freaks out and runs away....except this kid who comically realises he can walk now and just drops to the floor.

 

I probably enjoyed it more due to low expectations but I did think some of it was interesting, the cast is good (Cary Elwes makes a small appearance which is cool) and it’s better than the average film of this type that gets shoved onto the cinema. Don’t think I could recommend it though, I suspect most people would not be that impressed.  Me, I’ll give it a 3/5, but only just.

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Anti-Life

 

 

Good lord why did Bruce Willis do this? Terrible substandard plot, awful characters spouting rubbish dialogue. Every single performance is woeful including Willis. It is an utterly amateur production, the special fx are hilarious and the sets are cardboard with posh cryo chambers with obvious perspex panels with screwheads jutting out.

 

I have watched amateur made films , mostly zombie ones plus the usual pap like Titanic 2, but I'm utterly baffled as to why certain actors were involved in this.

 

So bad it's fucking awful

 

1/5

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That trailer makes it look FAR better than it is. The actual film is much much worse.

 

The production quality, acting and "plot making sense" is not far off something on Best of the Worst (RedLetterMedia). I want to reiterate that I have watch amateur made zombie films that are obviously made by a bunch of friends using local locations and facilities that are better than this - that isn't a comic exaggeration! The sets and fx look sub-Red Dwarf.

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Some 70s stuff to expand my knowledge of the decade ( I know little outside the big four of Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas and Spielberg). 
 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 

 

Why did I wait until I was 50 to see this? An absolute masterpiece of a film with an incredible sense of tension. Wonderfully shot and it’s often quite scary. 
 

5/5

 

The little girl who lives down the lane

 

A good thriller with an incredibly young Foster and an eerie performance from Sheen. It’s nothing original, but I found it interesting and well paced

 

4/5

 

The Taking of Pelham 123

 

Shaw shines in this first rate thriller which felt the most 70s of the 4 films. I’ve seen the remake and whilst that was good this is far superior. All the cast are pretty much flawless. There’s virtually no fat on it, it’s straight to the plot. I loved the ending!

 

4/5

 

Smokey and The Bandit

 

I had a lot of fun with this. Just pure fun even if the plot is bonkers. Unbelievably, back in the 70s Coors beer really was not allowed to enter certain states in the US!  Field and Reynolds are excellent in the leads and have fantastic chemistry. 
 

4.5/5

 

 

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Dune (the 1984 theatrical cut with David Lynch's name on the credits - not one of the Alan Smithee versions)

 

I used to wonder why more movies don't use voiceovers over shots of faces to represent characters' thoughts. Watching this, now I know.

 

A few months ago, I re-read the first Dune novel for the first time in about 15 years, in preparation for the upcoming Denis Villeneuve movie. I'm glad I did: I'm not sure how anyone who had not recently read the novel could get much out David Lynch's 1984 movie adaptation. I mean, they could follow the broad plot, but they'd be confused by numerous minor things that are presented as important in the movie for no apparent reason, whereas someone familiar with the novel would recognise those things as remnants of things that were prominent and interesting in the book. Even all those clunky voiceovers of characters' thoughts don't go far enough to explain things!

 

It results in a film that's simultaneously an extremely faithful adaptation of the book, while also losing a lot of its appeal. For example:

Spoiler

the ornithopter rescue from the sandworm,

one of my favourite scenes in the book, is translated very faithfully in terms of its essential events - but the film loses the scene's point that the Atreides' priorities are very different from those of the Harkonnens who were running things before.

 

I don't know about other versions, but in the theatrical cut form, the film is really unbalanced. After the lengthy exposition at the start and several long scenes on Caladan, we're further into the movie than we were into the book before we even get to Arrakis. Then

Spoiler

Paul and Jessica's crash in the desert

happens about 40% of the way through the book, but over halfway through the movie, which contributes to the last hour of the film feeling rushed. Not only are interesting subplots jettisoned (e.g.

Spoiler

Gurney Halleck's mistaken belief that Jessica was the traitor

), but the film also completely misses one of the most interesting things about the book: the idea that Paul fulfilling his role will inevitably lead to a wave of religious destruction across the universe. The film doesn't capture the character's wariness about his own Chosen One story.

 

Kyle MacLachlan (in his first film role) seemed too bland to me. Brad Dourif's scenes are fun (I wonder if his role here, as an advisor to a powerful ruler, influenced Peter Jackson's casting of him in LOTR?). And oh look, there's Patrick Stewart - very different from how I'd visualised that character in the book. And apparently some Policeman musician also has a cameo in this somewhere, or so I've heard?

 

The stuff with

Spoiler

Paul's toddler sister being some kind of psychic super-genius

only barely works on the page (see also: Ender's Game), so I'm not at all sure how it could possibly work on-screen without being extraordinarily camp. There's a shot near the end of the movie of her holding a knife in her outstretched hand, while the echo of a distorted guitar decays away on the soundtrack, and it's quite a sight to behold!

 

I'm not sure if it's a good movie, but I think I liked it. But only because I'd read the book so recently, which let me fill in the blanks.

 

3/5

 

(I'm being cautious with spoiler tags because the new version is on its way!)

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Another Year (2010)

I've been working my way through these Mike Leigh films and this is another bit of gold. Touching, well-observed, full of detail and nuance,  knits together to build this picture of a couple who have been together for years, and the people they know. It says a lot about growing old and not necessarily being where you want to be, and having to deal with regret and lost opportunities. Stand-out performance here from Lesley Manville as the tragic, lonely woman in her 50s who finds herself on her own with little to inspire her, trying to convince herself she's happy, seeing other people find happiness. A great combination of subtle humour, genuine warmth, characters sympathetically drawn.

 

4.5/5

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5 hours ago, sandman said:

Some 70s stuff to expand my knowledge of the decade ( I know little outside the big four of Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas and Spielberg). 
 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 

 

Why did I wait until I was 50 to see this? An absolute masterpiece of a film with an incredible sense of tension. Wonderfully shot and it’s often quite scary. 
 

5/5

 

The little girl who lives down the lane

 

A good thriller with an incredibly young Foster and an eerie performance from Sheen. It’s nothing original, but I found it interesting and well paced

 

4/5

 

The Taking of Pelham 123

 

Shaw shines in this first rate thriller which felt the most 70s of the 4 films. I’ve seen the remake and whilst that was good this is far superior. All the cast are pretty much flawless. There’s virtually no fat on it, it’s straight to the plot. I loved the ending!

 

4/5

 

Smokey and The Bandit

 

I had a lot of fun with this. Just pure fun even if the plot is bonkers. Unbelievably, back in the 70s Coors beer really was not allowed to enter certain states in the US!  Field and Reynolds are excellent in the leads and have fantastic chemistry. 
 

4.5/5

 

 

Best decade for cinema.

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