Film and Episodic Content Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by purr1n, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

    Friend Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
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    The Northman was shockingly decent for a Hollywood film. There's obvious censorship, ripoff shots, and studio focus group meddling that take you out of the film but it's a good big budget movie.
     
  2. Qildail

    Qildail Friend

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    Just finished Ozark, and without throwing spoilers, I think it's one of the better series endings in recent memory (I'd count Breaking Bad and The Americans up there with it). They might have been able to work one more season out of the material, but it felt like the story was thinning out. It was good to see it get a not entirely rushed ending.
     
  3. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Went to see Alex Garland's new film MEN and it is without a doubt the worst movie I've seen all year and one of the worst movies I've seen period. One of those arthouse "elevated horror" movies that stinks of pretentiousness.

    Beautiful to look at, devoid of any actual content. Audience was howling with laughter toward the end it and not with the movie, but at the movie.

    It also doesnt make any sense. SPOILERS!!! The main character basically holes up in this countryside cottage and every single person she encounters in this town is the exact same man, just wearing different clothes, hairstyles and professions, and not once does she acknowledge this. There is even a kid who has the face of this 50 something year old man (via CGI), and she still says nothing about it. It was so bizarre to watch someone completely ignore such a glaringly odd thing. And it was downhill from there. By the end I was cringing at the film's misguided attempt at shock value that just ends up unintentionally hilarious.
     
  4. Rustin Cohle

    Rustin Cohle Friend, FKA jazztherapist

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    What did you think of Garland's other stuff?
     
  5. Wilson

    Wilson Socially Anxious Volleyball

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    Re: Garland, I thought Annihilation was terrific.
     
  6. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Really liked Ex Machina, was pretty "meh" on Annihilation... but that movie is worlds better than this film.
     
  7. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    I loved EX MACHINA. IMO it's a giant step above many other AI tales.

    Around that time I was developing a personal imperative: see any movie Oscar Isaacson is in. This film definitely helped drive that...

    PS: FWIW, Domhnall Gleeson kinda creeps me out, and I couldn't explain why.
     
  8. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    "Top Gun Maverick" was the perfect antidote to the pretentious wankery of "Men".

    It is a masterclass in how to write, shoot and edit a crowdpleaser. It reminded me of the old fashioned blockbusters that put story and character over the political and cultural obsessions of the day. It's just a popcorn flick and it knows it and doesnt try to be anything else.

    The flying sequences are the best I've ever seen. No movie really comes close, not even the original. You can sense how passionate Cruise and the filmmakers were about putting the audience smack dab in the middle of ariel combat. And you really do feel every heart pounding moment of those combat sequences.

    I am overfuckingwhelmed.
     
  9. roughroad

    roughroad formerly mephisto56, Rando

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    ^^^^ There's another movie I won't see. Can't stand Cruise as an actor.
     
  10. haywood

    haywood Friend

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    I used to feel the same way but he was so good in
    Tropic Thunder that it completely changed my mind about him. So many actors now just play themselves it was kind of shocking to see something so out there from someone I’d considered in the same category.
     
  11. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    His movies are usually at least decent imo. Edge of Tomorrow is one of my favorite scifi movies of all time.
     
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  12. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    IMO Cruise is one of those actors who does best in genre films. He's not the type to disappear into a role; he's the type you see acting all the way from start to finish. It's almost as if the character du jour is playing Tom Cruise, not the other way around. And that's OK. There have always been stars like that in Hollywood.

    He's done especially well in sci fi films like MINORITY REPORT, EDGE OF TOMORROW, OBLIVION, and big tentpole actioners like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. But we won't see him play HAMLET any time soon (horses for courses).

    As for the new TOP GUN, I never saw the original. I saw the previews and read the reviews. I'm not good with military dramas in general. I thought TOP GUN had more than a whiff of jingoism, American exceptionalism and plain old machismo. Not my thing. But obviously a ton of people liked that movie and will like the remake.

    The only thing that puzzles me about Tom Cruise is what he'll do when age overtakes him. He's still in the phase of defying his age, overcoming it with workout ethos and sheer force of will. But eventually that won't be enough. Most actors fall back into character work, and I wonder if Cruise will bother with that.
     
  13. haywood

    haywood Friend

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    That’s what I used to think but after watching him in Tropic Thunder that seems more like the role that he’s expected to play in the movies he’s cast in. He’s a known quantity so people write a “Tom Cruise” part when he’s attached to a project.



    You may have already seen it or it doesn’t change your opinion but it did for me.

    Anyway back to TGM, I haven’t seen it but it seems to be a throwback to the kind of storytelling @ColtMrFire was talking about with his post about villains. Judging by the audience ratings this resonates with a lot of people, maybe we’ll start to see the pendulum start swinging back towards this style as Hollywood chases a success.
     
  14. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    Never saw TROPIC THUNDER. Didn't know Cruise was in that.

    Also never saw EYES WIDE SHUT, which some describe as Cruise's most actorish work.

    FWIW, my favorite Tom Cruise part by far is "Vincent" in COLLATERAL. Cruise normally plays the good guy, but here he plays the baddest of bad guys. That's a real risk, and a stretch for him. Plus so many times in that film he went out on a limb, doing or saying something over the top (it's all in the incredible Stuart Beattie script), but never loses the thread, never appears merely frantic. He comes across as a driven sociopath, smarter than everyone else and unwilling to moderate a single thing he does. Great work there...Jamie Foxx was great, too (also playing against type).
     
  15. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    The air bnb I'm staying at has Disney+, so I decided to check out the new Obi-Wan show. I've seen like one episode of Mandalorian when I briefly had a subscription and didn't care for it at all, and I feel like Star Wars just doesn't work as television. The nature of this series is too cinematic to work in such a cookie cutter format... granted I haven't seen the Clone Wars stuff so maybe it works better in cartoon format. But I was not at all impressed with Mando.

    Anyway Obi-Wan is awful... which is a shame because McGregor is actually quite good in it, he's just surrounded by the badness of a "television show". I got midway through episode 2 before turning it off. Did they learn nothing from Phantom Menace and centering stories around bad child actors? And the black female sith or whatever she is, belongs in the prequels she's so awful... her b-level acting is only eclipsed by her complete lack of menace. She's supposed to be a badass Jedi hunter but seems like she'd be more at home as a Wal-Mart greeter.

    They once again manage to take a beloved legacy character that was once a beacon of hope and enthusiasm and turn them into a depressed, beaten down, dusty old barnacle. Yes, Obi-Wan fucked up, and his friends are dead... but he still had the foresight to take the twins and watch over Luke with a plan of hope. Like Jake Skywalker (not a typo, google it), Obi-Wan is nothing like the man he was in the prequels and the man we see in A New Hope. Who the fuck is this imposter who has all the self esteem of a 14 year old girl with an instagram account? It is an attempt to wring a new story and arc out of a character who didn't need it.

    The show also has none of the momentum and cinematic vigor of the original films... even the prequels are much better in this regard. The television stuff seems so stilted, especially Obi-Wan, which features badly shot and badly paced sequences. I don't understand how Disney allows a show like this to be directed like a bad youtube fan film. There is little to no wow factor... throwing famous iconography and nostalgia at the screen just doesn't work anymore. Star Wars can no longer coast on its vintage coolness.

    It's astounding just how much Disney has completely ruined the value of what was once the hottest property in Hollywood. I am kind of in awe really. It should be mandatory teaching in business schools of what not to do.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2022
  16. Qildail

    Qildail Friend

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    It's not neglect; it's by design. The formula is taking content, boiling the salt out of it all, then selling it as identically apportioned experiences. Star Wars may be running out of steam cinematically (for now), but the shows will still get enough views to keep folks subscribed to D+. Between that and the theme parks, it'll still be profitable for a while longer.

    There are so many stories they could tell in this universe, and somehow we always end up with the fate of the galaxy crowbarred into a forced intersection of the same ten characters. Star Wars isn't the only franchise that does this, of course, but it's one of the most notable.
     
  17. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Sure it is. There's a reason they've stopped making Star Wars movies altogether. The new trilogy was a complete financial failure, as each successive movie grossed less than the previous, and the spinoffs have not been successful... all this runs counter to what Marvel and other popular franchise IPs have been able to do in the movie realm (Iron Man 3 made more than Iron Man 2, which made more than Iron Man 1, etc). Although recently even Marvel has been floundering but that's another topic.

    The reason they've migrated all their content to Disney+ is because television is cheaper, meaning less financial risk, and they can mitigate any low numbers by the better numbers of other programs. It becomes about subscribers who are there for the entire slate, not just individual shows or movies, and they can count that as a "win" vs. their movies underperforming, which makes it more obvious that they've mishandled their property. Also people pay way less attention to viewership numbers vs box office... so the perception works in the studios' favor with television.

    On the flip side, it means Star Wars will never retain the glory it once had, since they've devalued it by turning it into a fucking television show. Star Was was never meant to be on television.... it became the most successful movie franchise by being in cinemas, not on TV. And those Disney+ shows have retained the cheap, low production value look of basic television, further devaluing the property... hell, they didn't even bother to make it look on the same level as something like netflix's Altered Carbon, which actually does look expensive. Again, how the fuck do you miss a layup like that?

    Star Wars retained the insane success and mystique it had because 1. it was always treated with high production value... it was a big, expensive looking franchise which just made people value it more. 2. Lucas was smart enough to space the movies out to make them more event like. Yes, there were comics, novels and video games, but that was ancillary, but the main event was always the movies. Disney seems content to just have Star Wars be a weekly television show, leaving little anticipation for audiences, since something is always coming down the pike.

    This isn't to say Star Wars isn't having some success, but Disney paid $4 billion for that IP, and so far they have not had the level of success I'm sure they anticipated when they paid all that money. I'm sure absolutely no one at the studio would've anticipated that nearly a decade later they would stop making movies altogether and make exclusively television... if they knew that, I seriously doubt they would've bought it in the first place. You buy a property like that to have Marvel and Pixar success, not Star Trek success.

    The franchise just doesn't have any leadership... Marvel has Feige, and you absolutely need someone like that to shut down dumb ideas, have a vision that assures success and be willing to think outside the box. This is the third goddamn Star Wars show that uses the same tired desert location and props. There is nothing about what they've been doing that shows "vision". But I will entertain the notion that Jon Favreau has forced them to start small in order to rebuild trust in the brand, and at some point start making movies again. But considering how god awful Kenobi is, I'm not sure I trust him.
     
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  18. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    Love this movie. You should watch it. Cruise is great in it. Everyone in it is great.

    Edge of Tomorrow is my favorite semi-recent Cruise performance.

    can’t wait to see Top Gun 2
     
  19. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Like most Kubrick movies it has layers upon layers that slowly unravel themselves over multiple rewatches. The gift that keeps on giving. Any fan of cinema should see it.
     
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  20. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    I'm rewatching Francis Ford Coppola's THE CONVERSATION (1974), and this film is blowing my mind all over again. From the first frame, an innovative, downwards floating overhead shot, the viewer is trapped in the paranoid world of surveillance. That couldn't have been more relevant at the time, with Watergate raging onwards, fueled by illicit tape recordings and sordid revelations.

    I've seen this film a couple times, including when it opened in theaters--but now, thanks to my big OLED and the ability to pause it and reflect, I find myself studying the film like some kind of meta-text. It's eerie how relevant this topic still is; how futuristic this 48-year old film feels now that every person with a cellphone can covertly record anyone at anytime.

    Did Harry Caul emerge from the womb as this paranoid, pointillistic voyeur, or did he become that due to his work? This great Coppola script won't enlighten us. It, too, is merely observing and recording.

    Goddamn, I miss cinema from the '70s. At the time I had no idea I was living amidst a cornucopia of great American films. But in retrospect, that's exactly what it was...
     
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    Last edited: May 31, 2022

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