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Thread: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

  1. #61

    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    I saw "Fences".

    The cast was superb, but it felt like the scenes didn't flow well into the next, probably because it was adapted from a play? And I felt like both the subplots with the uncle and the son needed more attention.

  2. #62
    The Die Has Been Cast Count Mario's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wagomu View Post
    I don't want to go through all of this, just a couple of things I feel the need to address:
    Understood.

    Spoiler:


    But it was. That's the only way he's implied to have gotten the money to open his bar. They never implied that he left or did something else, just that the gig paid him a lot of money that he was planning on using for the bar, and then he opened the bar. This is largely written as a bad thing, except that he has a bar in the end.
    I can agree that it is wonky how the band gig obstructing his dream somehow ended up smoothly getting him what he wanted. I just barely condone it because there was a five year timeskip, so maybe he pushed for his contract getting changed. But I can't act like off-screening stuff like that is something I can just pretend isn't abysmal shortcutting. It devalues the argument that they had earlier in favor of letting them have an emotional reunion where you see that Sebastian did get his head back in the game when it came to being true to himself while skipping how he came to that conclusion. I think it could have worked if we actually had several minutes taking place over the timeskip seeing how Sebastian deal with Mia not being in his life and coming to terms with finally pursuing his dream and playing the music he likes. But since we didn't get that, I agree with you on that front.


    It's more like the specific flaws of these characters and the portrayal of their relationship gives me no reason to believe they actually care for each other. Real relationships are flawed, I get it, but when the movie's trying to cast this in a glamorous light, I'm gonna call bullshit. Like they had something that wasn't just exchanging shallow praise and bodily fluids. The only things that keep it going are the dude's self-importance, and the girl's low self-esteem.
    Then we'll just have to agree to disagree there. I found their talks of inspiring each other and learning what got them into their creative passions was quite insightful and beautiful. They matter a lot to them and have a significant connection to who they are as well as the themes of the story. The only things in their relationship I consider wonky is the ex boy friend date thing that could've been cut out of the movie and their first date starting off negative but suddenly ending well even though they really just tap danced (TLC mentioned that earlier, and I can actually agree on that point). But with how they developed their relationship, how it feel apart, and how they briefly reunited? I have no problems with it, and I do not consider talks of artistic integrity/passion and expressing your dreams in an insightful philosophical manner to be shallow at all. They're a gorgeous of getting to know someone past the standard fare of simple small talk. I always take that seriously when I discuss that sort of thing with someone, because it's one of the rare ways you can really get into someone's soul, see how they tick, and realize an inherent aesthetic about how they think and act. People bond over all sorts of things, and I'm never going to agree that having that be in sharing your dreams, seeing each other's potential, and inspiring one another because you honestly think they are that proficiently wise is shallow whatsoever. If they only watched each other from a distance, assumed all of this about each other without talking, and just had intimate contact and PG-13 sex all of the time, THEN I would start agreeing with you.


    So this guy cares so much about getting the girl out of her funk that he'll drive over to her childhood home and intrude on their home, but sending a text message like 'are you coming? last chance' is too awkward, smell ya later.

    It's a bit rash, but after everything that's happened, I can get why he's in a state of mind like that. They could have easily shown Sebastian sending a text and not getting a response in a few minutes, prompting him to leave before Emma comes along saying that her battery died or something. It has the exact same effect and doesn't change anything. The context still works. I still think you're bloating this nitpick, which is a slight flaw at best. I think it's reasonable to believe that after everything he went through to support Mia and express how much he cares about her, that he can rely on her to show up without having to send a text to be sure at that point.


    It'd be one thing if this wasn't where the movie ends, on a melancholy beat despite the fact that by all other metrics girl character is happy. She has a successful career and a family, but the last glimpse we get about her is longing for a boring adolescent relationship. How am I supposed to not hate that character? She got everything she could ever want and acts like it's worth shit. Maybe it would be different if it were more competently directed and we saw her being happy with her new life, but if comes off as her just sorta shrugging off everything she worked for.

    As a whole, her opportunity and the loss of her relationship come at the very end with no buildup. By the grace of god she lands a big role and becomes successful, everything she ever wanted and struggled for, then flash forward to the future and she isn't even that thrilled about her life. The storytelling and direction is just so weird.
    My issue with what you're saying is that you're interpreting the final sequence as meaning that she completely regrets everything that happened in her life without Sebastian while I view it as her reminiscing what could have been. Thinking about what could've been does not solely mean you think your life completely sucks and you don't appreciate the merits of what you have. After all of the trouble that proceeded with getting her to become successful and have faith in herself, that interpretation goes against the themes of the rest of the film. It just means your sad that things didn't work out, especially when you were forced to part with something/someone you cared about. That's like saying whenever you're nostalgic, you literally wish that you were a kid again and think your whole life leading up to becoming an adult was completely wasteful. They smiled each other off in a bittersweet way at the end because the fulfilled their dreams and found a happy living, but get sentimental about the fact that it couldn't have worked out. Almost in a way of saying sorry that everything couldn't have gone like they intended.

    But I get why you had the impression you did, and it's a fair argument to say that the sequence could've been executed better direction-wise to not make it look like Mia's married life was completely regretful. Skipping out on seeing how Mia and Sebastian got a grip on their lives and found both their callings and unique forms of happiness is legitimate lost potential characterization-wise. That could have made the ending feel more satisfactory. But I'm fine with it as it is. The end of the movie is meant to be the definitive end of their relationship. Seeing the exact moment they emotionally split up before the timeskip would've made the ending redundant, because the ending was supposed to be their true final farewell and encapsulate what it must've been like for them to break and then some with showing how their efforts to inspire each other to pursue their dreams paid off. It had to be either/or at the end of the day because they just would have leeched off of each other due to pretty much doing the same type of narrative conclusion in different contexts.

    Wut. You act like her getting noticed for her play was less on a whim than her auditions. It just so happened that a scout saw her play and didn't vomit, and it just so happened that they were auditioning a part in a non-conventional way that worked for her. She would have found that eventually through auditions, since not every audition is run by assholes who judge only on line reading. It woulda felt right if she learned to commit to her auditions, or if she committed to writing, but she sorta just ends up back on the first track after switching trajectory. Not that this stuff doesn't happen, it just doesn't make for a compelling arc.

    So she has to put up with all of that BS and can't reasonably try to break off and do her own thing to get properly noticed? Going through with still doing hit-or-miss auditions can be admirable in its own right, but that doesn't have to be the only answer. It doesn't feel like a copout because she understandably rushed off thinking that she completely blew it through eavesdropping on couple random opinions and letting the emotional stress from her relationship and the fact Sebastian didn't make it there on time get to her. The acting agency being there was unexpected, but it works because the whole point of the play was Mia building up the guts to stand out and give individualized attention to her acting and scripting without being superficially compared or playing by other's rules. The whole theme there was building up the will to stand up and get noticed for your passion and skill than always be subjugated by someone else's arbitrary expectations. Or in simpler terms, just appealing to whatever people conveniently liked.

    Just because there's an extremely small chance she could have found an audition like that if she kept persevering in maintaining the old grind doesn't mean she can't find a unique way to get around that process through her own merit. She ironically ends up back on the first track, but through her own rules this time. It's not redundant, it works in-context. She gets to control how her acting talent is represented and the attention that's put on her. It makes for a compelling arc because she got character development and her suspenseful efforts paid off. The whole point of starting these indie plays or whatever they were was to get noticed and make her own unique unfiltered impression. Not make a whole profession out of them. Finding fulfillment in them could've been a decent twist depending on the execution, but it didn't have to be that way. Getting noticed by the agency might be convenient, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a satisfactory payoff to what's been built-up literally and figuratively that is reasonably possible.

    We don't know Simmons' perspective on jazz, just his perspective on his business. He isn't running a jazz club. Like what if you hired a birthday clown for your kid, and the person you hired comes over without makeup and starts putting on a one man production of Hamlet. The quality of Hamlet isn't the problem.

    This is mostly what I wanted to address because it's just so utterly wrong. John Legend never says 'fuck Louis Armstrong, he's old,' just believes in not playing the old stuff and moving the genre forward. The argument between this narrative and the regressive stance dude character takes is a pretty well-documented phenomena in jazz. Dude character takes the place of Wynton Marsalis, a conservative who views a certain era of jazz as a classical music, and any deviation as a blasphemy (check dude character's regards for pop music or John Legend and you can see that shared disgust). John Legend plays the role of Miles Davis, a musician who believes that the core value of the music is in progressivism, and who pushes it forward by staying open-minded about the directions in which it can be taken (Miles' later work included embracing hip hop and electronica in his sound). Also remember that in this exchange it's John Legend extending a job offer to the dude character, who's treating John Legend like a dick, calling him names behind his back, and gets his girlfriend to hate him. John Legend's putting up with dude character's crap because despite all of it he recognizes him as a good musician and that's what's important. Dude character flips a shit at the guy and almost completely turns him down because he's not troo jazz.
    [/COLOR]

    The reason I brought up the Davis and Marsalis interaction is because in comparison, Davis was more rude to Marsalis than John Legend was to dudeguy. Dudeguy wasn't much better than Marsalis (who similarly went around parading his rhetoric and taking potshots at newer jazz musicians he didn't like), but Davis never would have invited Marsalis to play with him (the reason these two are mentioned together is because of a famous incident where Davis refused to let Marsalis play with his band), while John Legend actively offered dude character a spot and a chance. That's why I resent the movie acting like I'm supposed to side with the dude character at all, or hate John Legend. The way they frame that relationship is really weird, like John Legend is the asshole for having a vision for his music, and letting the main guy be a part of it despite their grievances.
    But he is running a restaurant. And restaurants (outside of ethnic ties or being really quirky for the sake of it) do not have to solely cater to a specific commercial theme, that's only done arbitrarily. Playing jazz doesn't betray anything about it being a restaurant or even that it's Christmas. As it's some figurative law that only cliche Christmas songs can play during Christmas. Simmons' character isn't a bad guy and he has the right to dictate what he does and doesn't want his customers to hear, as well as fire employees who don't comply But that doesn't make his rules perfectly sound. And there doesn't necessarily have to be a villain it or a theme about who is superior in musical taste. It's just about Sebastian finding a place where he can be content to express himself freely while making a living. It's about seeing characters meet opposition towards their goals, and building up the courage to make their own rules rather than disparage themselves to live by others. It's not about "you're a bad/good person if you dislike/like classic jazz". It's about realistically staying true calling in life and both the efforts and mistakes experienced on the way of building up the willpower to take the necessary risks, not whether that calling is better someone else's.

    I think that Nobodyman's feedback about how Mia and Sebastian are flawed characters is what makes Sebastian's grievances work for me more than whatever I was attempting to say before. I don't necessarily think that Simmons and Legends' characters are villains or even bad at all since they understandably focused on their jobs and what they wanted. Like I said, Sebastian was begging to be fired by Simmons with the cathartic stunt he pulled. You're supposed to be invested in how Sebastian keeps inhibiting himself with these types of jobs rather than staying true to what earnestly fulfills him. Because you can obviously see how it's making him feel repressed, and you know that he wants to go out on his own to be successful but caves into fear before he could even try to open his night club, and then he becomes willing to lose it while living in this lie making a living means he's pursuing something that makes him happy.

    Thank you for enlightening me about Davis and Marsalis' history. That's a nice analogy, I like historical conflict parallels like that. But I think the issue is that you the movie is trying to push an argument between which perspective is better between favoring classic jazz or favoring progressive jazz when that is not actually the point. At all, really. It's just the diegetic motif that's used for the real theme of Sebastian being tied between committing to a risky individual effort he believes in and binding himself to an obligation that is safe and prosperous, but isn't fulfilling him. It's not trying to make you think "John Legend, you suck. Just play classic jazz all of the time like Sebastian wants", or that it's cool demonize R&B just because it's modern (that's the type of impression that you would get out of context). The concert sequence is about how Emma feels disturbed by Sebastian suddenly getting into something she knows he probably doesn't like and the lyrics foreshadowing their impending argument messing everything up.

    The film isn't really trying to make hatable villains (well, aside from Mia's interviewers to reflect how harsh acting auditions can be. Those scenes are directly inspired by actual experiences that Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have had when auditioning). It's about exploring how these flawed main characters stay true to believing in themselves enough to take bold risks after enduring professional lives that never work out like they want them to, and how they can diverge from that due to peer pressure and fear. Feeling bad for someone doesn't mean that you have to also think they were treated unfairly or even particularly agree with their personal preferences/ethics.

    Sorry if it seems like I may be contradicting myself, I just think that Nobody clarified Sebastian's character direction in a much more concise and effective way than whatever I was trying to say beforehand. I can agree that John Legend's character in the end is more in the right. But I'm still not condoning that line about how you should appeal to whatever the kids are liking nowadays for the sake of it regardless of it has artistic merit or not. You're right in that he's not putting down guys like Louis Armstrong just because they're old. But that definitely could've been reworded better to not sound like a pretentious conformist, especially since everything else was insightful and true about jazz's essence in the sense of being a revolutionizing force in music. Sebastian being a rebellious nostalgic asshat doesn't change that perspective of being a cool kid who's hip with the times in and of itself.


    Love it or hate it, "Shiny" is an incredibly inventive musical scene. I don't think I've ever seen such a moment in a musical, with an upbeat track where the villain sings about how great they are while beating down the good guys. It does wonders for characterizing a minor villain and it's the part that I still think about to this day. Tamatoa doesn't see himself as a villain, and he doesn't even hold much of a grudge against Maui (even goes out of the way to compliment the guy on his sweet tats). He's just a greedy and vain bastard who loves himself so much that even at his most menacing he's still just a happy little fab crab. Imagine Stronger Than You in SU, but if it was Jasper singing about how much she loves fighting? It's just so playful, unique, and unexpected that even though I feel weird about a minor villain getting a song and not the big bad, I can't hate it. Plus the way the song ebbs and flows with the scene was a fun way of using it.

    I don't see any sort of inventiveness like that in La La Land. Its first number is the most playful where they do the Bollywood style 'everyone is singing' thing, but then they never really do that again, and even that scene comes in confusingly, sets up nothing, and even, according to an interview with the director, was on the chopping block and left in on a whim.
    I don't mind the villain sounding conceited while they're being fought, I love it. I just feel like the song could have been more tonally consistent. They felt like two different songs, that are both good in their right, smushed awkwardly together that don't flow for me. I wish that Tamatoa's narcissism was more tonally consistent and integrated more into how he was antagonizing Moana and Maui then constantly going off-topic from how the scene is one big intimidating boss battle. I'm cool with the concept, but I don't care for how dissonant the execution is. One minute I'm getting into how he's talking about how everything Moana's grandma told her was a lie, and then he sporadically starts complimenting himself with a sudden detour by talking about he's shiny like a scrubbed ship or something. That and how the instrumentals change take me out of it. It's uniquely dynamic, I'll give it that. I just wish it either picked one side of the song or meshed them better than feeling so bi-polar. Out of curiosity though, have you listened to the demo sung by Lin-Manuel Miranda? It's pretty intriguing.

    And Another Day in the Sun sets up the movie's themes about dreamers abandoning their homes. It doesn't contribute to the plot at all, granted, but it doesn't take away anything either. It sets a rather nice thematic tone and is effective in making the latter half of the movie that much more surprising and engrossing for me. So I appreciate it atmospherically, and just being a likable song lol.

    It seems like the major crux of our argument stems from arguing over what the direction of the movie was thematically implying. So I really don't think there's much more headway to make in this debate, assuming you even want to keep talking about this because I can tell you're not feeling this discussion. But I appreciate you opening my eyes about a few things about the movie's quality though. It's definitely not perfect or even truly great objectively. I still like it though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobodyman View Post
    For what it's worth, I just saw La La Land and I liked it. I didn't love it and I certainly didn't hate it, but yeah, I liked it.

    Spoiler:
    I guess I can see where Wagomu and TLC are coming from with the Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone characters and how they made some dumb decisions, but they didn't really bother me. I personally didn't think we were supposed to see them as noble characters. They were flawed characters who made mistakes while just trying to make it big in LA. Like in the JK Simmons scene, I didn't get the sense we were supposed to hate him, it's just that Ryan Gosling couldn't play the music he was asked to since he wasn't being true to himself and it wasn't a good fit.

    My biggest problem with the movie though was the tone. While I enjoyed the story and musical numbers by themselves, I'm not sure that they meshed well together. It kind of felt like two different movies fighting for control.
    Spoiler:
    Yeah, I pretty much agree with your interpretation. And I get what you mean about the balance between the story and musical numbers, but I don't mind that. I think it all managed to flow and could have been a LOT more disjointed.

    "The universe has a wonderful sense of humor. The trick is learning how to take a joke."

  3. #63

    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Mario View Post
    .
    Aw man, I nearly missed a La La Land discussion.

    Anyway, since Count seems to be the main defender of the film, which over time seems to be getting more divisive (or at least more ambivalent response compared to its initial universal accalim), I'd like to ask him what he thinks of this review: https://rateyourmusic.com/film_colle...s/review198518

    Select quotes:

    Quote Originally Posted by LimedIBagels
    A celebration of millennial nostalgia and their gorgeous misunderstood bodies that's so proudly, slavishly sentimental for the Golden Age of Hollywood
    Quote Originally Posted by LimedIBagels
    2016 already gave us an even more dazzling-looking and just-all-around-way-better film about old Hollywood in the Coen brothers' misunderstood Hail, Caesar!
    Quote Originally Posted by LimedIBagels
    La La Land is just straight sentimentalism...which is, y'know, fine, except that director Chazelle, on the basis of Whiplash and now this, seems to have some troublesomely stern moralizing ideas about what makes an Artist. Both of his movies seem to imply ultimately that sheer single-minded pursuit is the only thing that can get you into the pantheon of True Art
    Yeah as you can see, the guy's quite a cynic.

    Huge disclaimer: haven't seen the film myself personally so I don't know how much of this guy's interpretation is projecting/inaccurate/misconstruals,etc.


  4. #64
    The Die Has Been Cast Count Mario's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pachylad View Post
    Aw man, I nearly missed a La La Land discussion.

    Anyway, since Count seems to be the main defender of the film, which over time seems to be getting more divisive (or at least more ambivalent response compared to its initial universal accalim), I'd like to ask him what he thinks of this review: https://rateyourmusic.com/film_colle...s/review198518

    Select quotes:





    Yeah as you can see, the guy's quite a cynic.

    Huge disclaimer: haven't seen the film myself personally so I don't know how much of this guy's interpretation is projecting/inaccurate/misconstruals,etc.
    I don't mind cynics at all if they back up they're passionate reviews.

    Spoiler:

    I agree that Stone and Gosling aren't really good singers, but that doesn't matter to me. What does is the singing feeling like it's in-character and is a proper emotional catharsis of what's happening. And that is what La La Land did fine with. Some songs can often come across as more impressionable to me in how flawed and human the actor sings. Another example of a song where the singer is poor but it's still charismatic would be You're Welcome from Moana. The Rock is not a good singer AT ALL lol, but that doesn't mean the way his personality is portrayed alongside the gorgeous visuals isn't endearing. When an actor is forced to sound like a good singer for the sake of it, THEN it comes across as forced and unlikable. If I want to listen to a musical just to hear good singing voices over acting chops, I'll go to Broadway.

    I completely disagree about the reviewer's accusation that the movie tones down on music numbers in the second half because it got cold feet about them. It did that because the narrative became more of a focus, and the musical elements were used for the contexts of when the romance was hitting it off and There's no quota saying "you have to have this exact ratio of music numbers and here" in a movie. They need to organically fit in above all else in balance with the story. And while La La Land's balance is unconventional, it still works in that regard. But I can understand why people feel turned off by that, as Nobodyman mentioned that as his sole critique to add to the discussion.

    I didn't feel the argument was shoehorned in at all. It's what gave the payoff meaning and helped make the movie more than just the typical "follow your dreams and life will be perfectly okay" cliche. And it shows the reality that on the way to achieving success with your artistic dreams, it is possible to have problems come up that cause you to lose valuable things in the process and can be forced to compromise if things don't go as expected. That happens in any good adventure across all of fiction, let alone a grounded live-action romance story like this. Yet this reviewer is trying to be so pretentiously cynical by trying to paint the movie as if it's forcing it down your throat that you can ONLY be successful if you choose to sacrifice your relationship or become an asshat. Which isn't true at all, because the main stars' flaws are what split their relationship apart mostly. They're convincingly flawed as this movie is meant to have elements of unexpected tragedy in it. And in real life, despite how comically trivial they can be portrayed, celebrity breakups happen for reasons like this. Sometimes, yes, life has you make touch choices where you have to choose between one thing or the other from all sorts of factors. It happens because dreams can be big, and getting big things with lots of competition means that you may have to take bold risks rather than play it safe with complacency. That's what makes the dream, well, THE DREAM. I mean, we're on a freaking One Piece forum. We see that happen all of the time when a crewmate comes to terms with leaving their islands and the adoptive families they have. How we react to struggles that can make or break us can in turn define our character. There's no shame in acknowledging that. It doesn't mean the movie is trying to force down everyone's throats that it's the ONLY way to be successful in the artistic world. It's just one unconventional method that people like to pretend can't and shouldn't happen before they're faced with such a stressful, depressing crossroads. I'll certainly take that over any discount ending that's just happily ever after because your dreams ALWAYS come true exactly like you expect them to if you just try "hard enough".

    The only thing he makes a decent point about is John Legend's character being more right than Gosling's. But even then, like I tried explaining to Wagomu just now, the film's themes aren't focusing on proving if one side is right or wrong. It's about the struggles of Gosling's character being willing to take bold risks to engage in what fulfills against what is profitable but repressive for him. It's not supposed to be a story where Sebastian sold out to "evil" artless music, it's about how he let his insecurities intimidate him from pursuing his dreams and even delude him into thinking that it's completely okay to give up on what makes you happy just because it's risky. If you want to argue that the style of direction and writing made it seem like John Legend was being villainized though like Wagomu's been saying, that's a fair argument even though I disagree with it.

    Fun fact, I'm not going to take anybody seriously if they use generalizing buzzwords like "millennial" to describe something they don't like about contemporary times akin to a bitter old man who's screaming at some kids to make them get off the front lawn.


    But I am curious about one thing though. I'm flattered that you asked for my opinion, but what use are my thoughts going to be if you haven't seen the film? Are you trying to gauge whether you should see it or not based on the discussion and are cool with reading spoilers? Not that you can't be interested in stories you see spoilers about, that happens to me all of the time as a peculiar way of getting me interested in something that seems uninteresting at first glance lol.

    "The universe has a wonderful sense of humor. The trick is learning how to take a joke."

  5. #65
    King of the Monsters Lucky Dragon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    The Host

    A South Korean monster movie released in 2006. If you haven't seen it here's a trailer to get a feel for what the movie is like.

    Hidden:


    First thing's first, before watching the movie I think it helps to know alittle bit about the setting the film takes place in. The movie opens in the year 2000 at a U.S. military base stationed in South Korea, a Korean man who works at the base is ordered by his American superior to dump formaldehyde down a drain that leads to the Han River. This scene was inspired by a real life event that played out much the same way, from there the film portrays a tension towards the U.S. that doesn't paint it in the most flattering light throughout. It's a reflection of a sentiment South Korean people had about the American presence in their country at the time. The way the film goes about communicating this is quite tasteful and amusing in my opinion.

    I admire how well this film balances being serious and even tragic without sacrificing a sense of humor. The protagonist of the film is a man named Park Gang-du, but the major component of the movie and why it works so well are his interactions with his family. At it's core the film is about a group of ordinary people who have their lives disrupted by a terrible disaster. A premise Cloverfield attempted later but I believe was pulled off to greater effect here. Because while the characters we follow are run of the mill civilians, they are given interesting colorful personalities, and what they go through is a satisfying combination of being funny, frightening, tragic, and awesome. Our monster in The Host is cooler too.

    The monster has personality in its mannerisms which makes seeing it do its thing attention grabbing everytime you do. I also appreciated that the actions of the monster have a profound life changing personal impact on the protagonist. That makes it memorable.


    Let the Right One In


    A vampire horror film from Sweden released in 2008.

    Hidden:


    It's funny how this movie premiered the same year the film adaptations of the Twilight book series started. As it does have a similar adolescent boy meets girl motif to it. Thankfully how this film engages with it is completely different.

    First let me just get this out of the way, the atmosphere of this film from start to finish is fucking outstanding. A boon given to the viewer by way of getting to know the protagonist, a young boy named Oskar. As you come to understand who the boy is and what his life is like, the tone of the film matches his identity as a person seamlessly. Which is a wonderful thing for the sake of immersion, the movie itself just has this palpable quality to it that makes going along with it vicariously through the characters easy.

    I really like how this film doesn't spoon feed you everything and allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions about things. This is the source of my enjoyment of the vampire Eli. I don't know what it is about vampire characters that storytellers feel the need to show and tell elaborate backstories with them all the time. But I like that Eli is a mystery that's never solved, not because her mystery isn't worth solving, it's just irrevelant. Oskar cares about the life story of a stranger as much as he does somebody he's on good terms with, the here and now of the film is what's important not the past. As someone who prefers to view the film as a horror film rather than a romantic one. I see Eli as a manifestation of the void in Oskar's life, his desperation, what he desires most, and the long term ramifications of accepting a solution to his troubles that's too good to be true. Mix all those elements together and you have a dangerous perfect storm. We don't really get to know her accomplice, a man named Håkan, in great detail either. Which I don't think is a problem, what's important about Håkan is that his relationship with Eli exists as her bond with Oskar emerges. Watching these two relationships occupy the same space leaves you with something to think about by the time you get to the end.


    Train to Busan

    Yet another South Korean monster movie released last year. Of the zombie apocalypse persuasion this time.

    Hidden:


    In this film we follow a man named Seok-Woo. What's great thing about this film is that it's very much about his outlook on life, the impact its had on a personal level, and the impression it leaves of him on his daughter. The character arc of Seok-Woo plays out in the form of two other prominent characters in the movie. The character of Yon-suk is the personification of his already existing view of how to survive the zombie crisis. While the character of Sang-hwa is the road not taken that relates to his former status as a husband, and current status as the guardian of his child. This dichotomy in perspective is something you see random victims we never get to know participating in too. The resolution of this character arc has a bittersweet kind of optimism about the nature of humanity that left me in good spirits.

    As far as the action goes, let me just say this movie very conscious of the kind of movie it is. And it revels in it with a maniacal glee, as you can tell from the trailer. This film does not understate how screwed every living person caught in this situation is. This movie goes absolutely nuts with its zombies and I loved every moment of it.

    I thought of Godzilla as the embodiment of violence and hatred for mankind, because he was created by atomic energy. He's like a symbol of humanity's complicity in their own destruction. He doesn't have an emotion. He is an emotion. — Jun Fukuda

  6. #66
    The Die Has Been Cast Count Mario's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky Dragon View Post
    The Host

    A South Korean monster movie released in 2006. If you haven't seen it here's a trailer to get a feel for what the movie is like.

    Hidden:


    First thing's first, before watching the movie I think it helps to know alittle bit about the setting the film takes place in. The movie opens in the year 2000 at a U.S. military base stationed in South Korea, a Korean man who works at the base is ordered by his American superior to dump formaldehyde down a drain that leads to the Han River. This scene was inspired by a real life event that played out much the same way, from there the film portrays a tension towards the U.S. that doesn't paint it in the most flattering light throughout. It's a reflection of a sentiment South Korean people had about the American presence in their country at the time. The way the film goes about communicating this is quite tasteful and amusing in my opinion.

    I admire how well this film balances being serious and even tragic without sacrificing a sense of humor. The protagonist of the film is a man named Park Gang-du, but the major component of the movie and why it works so well are his interactions with his family. At it's core the film is about a group of ordinary people who have their lives disrupted by a terrible disaster. A premise Cloverfield attempted later but I believe was pulled off to greater effect here. Because while the characters we follow are run of the mill civilians, they are given interesting colorful personalities, and what they go through is a satisfying combination of being funny, frightening, tragic, and awesome. Our monster in The Host is cooler too.

    The monster has personality in its mannerisms which makes seeing it do its thing attention grabbing everytime you do. I also appreciated that the actions of the monster have a profound life changing personal impact on the protagonist. That makes it memorable.
    Ooh! It's very interesting to find out that somebody else watched The Host. I saw it several years back upon a recommendation from a forum friend who's a big Kaiju movie fan. I don't remember much about the film besides the ending, but I liked it. Especially for how it focused on the dynamics of the protagonist and his family, like you said. The creature was a bit quirky too. I should rewatch the film one of these days to see if I can appreciate it more.

    "The universe has a wonderful sense of humor. The trick is learning how to take a joke."

  7. #67
    King of the Monsters Lucky Dragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Count Mario View Post
    Ooh! It's very interesting to find out that somebody else watched The Host. I saw it several years back upon a recommendation from a forum friend who's a big Kaiju movie fan. I don't remember much about the film besides the ending, but I liked it. Especially for how it focused on the dynamics of the protagonist and his family, like you said. The creature was a bit quirky too. I should rewatch the film one of these days to see if I can appreciate it more.
    This film is very highly regarded, so when I heard about it I couldn't pass it up. It's funny you use the word quirky to describe the monster, because our protagonist and his family could be described the same way. I think the monster design is suppose to complement the charisma of the main cast. How the monster looks and moves is definitely an acquired taste, I won't dispute that. It's not the most believable looking fictional creature ever, but it stand out and doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the film. Things not to take for granted with these kind of movies, that's a win in my book.

    I thought of Godzilla as the embodiment of violence and hatred for mankind, because he was created by atomic energy. He's like a symbol of humanity's complicity in their own destruction. He doesn't have an emotion. He is an emotion. — Jun Fukuda

  8. #68

    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Aye, that seems to be a good rebuttal, Count, maybe I could even send the guy what you said ;P (Though I'd have been interested to see you bring in Hail Caesar! and Whiplash into the discussion as points of comparison)

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Mario View Post
    But I am curious about one thing though. I'm flattered that you asked for my opinion, but what use are my thoughts going to be if you haven't seen the film? Are you trying to gauge whether you should see it or not based on the discussion and are cool with reading spoilers? Not that you can't be interested in stories you see spoilers about, that happens to me all of the time as a peculiar way of getting me interested in something that seems uninteresting at first glance lol.
    Yeah, the slowly more divisive reception it's been getting hasn't really been grasping for my attention and what with me being semi-spoiled anyway from all the buzz and commentary (I shit you, not there's this article called "If you didn’t love La La Land, are you dead inside?") around it, I thought it'd just be sufficient for me to just get small snippets of defenses here and there. I can't even be arsed to torrent it >o>

    Besides, if there's gonna be an Oscarbait movie I have to watch (legally maybe even! o3o) before March, it's gonna be this one (doesn't come out here till early Feb tho):



    (Or Hidden Figures I guess, even if that ends up being generic "gosh racial discrimination is bad don't you just love a feel-good tale about POCs and non-racist whites working together :))" story #14559)


  9. #69
    The Die Has Been Cast Count Mario's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pachylad View Post
    Aye, that seems to be a good rebuttal, Count, maybe I could even send the guy what you said ;P (Though I'd have been interested to see you bring in Hail Caesar! and Whiplash into the discussion as points of comparison)
    If I saw those movies, then I would have lol. I have heard about Whiplash plenty of times though, so I'm tempted to watch it more than ever.


    Yeah, the slowly more divisive reception it's been getting hasn't really been grasping for my attention and what with me being semi-spoiled anyway from all the buzz and commentary (I shit you, not there's this article called "If you didn’t love La La Land, are you dead inside?") around it, I thought it'd just be sufficient for me to just get small snippets of defenses here and there. I can't even be arsed to torrent it >o>
    Okay. Just do whatever pleases you. Not a fan of click bait articles like that, but I trust that no sensible person is.

    Besides, if there's gonna be an Oscarbait movie I have to watch (legally maybe even! o3o) before March, it's gonna be this one (doesn't come out here till early Feb tho):

    (Or Hidden Figures I guess, even if that ends up being generic "gosh racial discrimination is bad don't you just love a feel-good tale about POCs and non-racist whites working together :))" story #14559)
    Cool-io.

    "The universe has a wonderful sense of humor. The trick is learning how to take a joke."

  10. #70

    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Just watched Taxi 4. And it was so gloriously goofy. Everything about it made me feel like i was watching a live-action cartoon.

    The main villain is essentially the smallest of the Dalton brothers, and the police chief is doing an even hammier inspector Clouseau.

    Silly characters, French in-jokes that you can appreciate but not quite understand, slapstick of the most common (but enjoyable) variety.

    Not exactly the most high-brow of affairs. But it was exactly what i needed after a very fucked up day at work.

  11. #71

    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Late to the party in so many aspects it's not even funny, but here it goes. . .

    --> The Nice Guys: Unexpectedly funny comedy, unexpectedly great performance by Ryan Gosling. He was the perfect comic relief, one of the best I've seen in a long time. Some scenes left me in fucking stitches, like, I even had to stop the movie on the scene where Ryan punches through the glass door.

    The movie was also smart and witty, so really, well done Shane Black.

    --> Trainwreck: Great performances, great scenes, but the overall product was a bit uneven. The main storyline is actually very, very by the book, and the drama is a bit hit or miss (though there was a genuinely heart wrenching scene in there, if you've seen it you know which one it is). Not bad, wasn't expecting a great movie anyways, so there's that. . .

    --> Viva la Libertà:. . .which is the opposite of what I experienced here. Was expecting a Toni Servillo tour de force and, well, I got it, and he's great in it. . .but the movie has such a hard time trying to find its tone. The poster makes it look like a feel good film, but it had this dramatic undertones I didn't fully grasp, and it has severe pacing issues, and. . .yeah, it's not a particularly engaging movie. Servillo is so good, though.

    --> The World of Kanako: What.The.Actual.Fuck. One of the most hysterical movies in terms of its editing and pacing, but also in terms of how batshit nihilistic, destructive and devoid of any trace of humanity it is, to the point that at times it's even hard to watch. . .if not for how, as I said, hysterical, hyper dynamic and ultra stylized the whole thing looks, which, in my opinion, might work against the heavy tone of the movie. Or not, maybe it's the way the director tries to make it all bearable. I don't know.

    Just be warned: it's not (just) a homage to the ultra macho 70's flicks, as I thought I was about to witness, it's a trip down fucked up valley, and it goes very, VERY deep into it.

  12. #72

    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Last movie I saw was Ouija: Origin of Evil. There's been a lot of shitty horror movies banking on Ouija boards, but this movie... It was actually really, really good. 2016 was really refreshing in terms of horror movies for me. I absolutely loved Conjuring 2 and Lights Out, and Ouija: OoE continued a new trend I'm seeing in horror movies.

    Ouija had hardly ANY jump scares. Instead, you would see the figures hiding in the back. It's filled with scenes that you just rewind because you swore you saw something and you were right! It's not a movie that makes you afraid of the jumpscare that's coming. It makes you afraid of everything that's in plain sight. Kind of reminds me of 'The Strangers', where you saw the killers in plain sight while the main character's back is turned. And when you think about those situations, that is far more terrifying.

    Any actual jumpscares were either perfectly set up and creative (the lynched corpse, oh my god), or you see it swiftly coming and the build up is scarier than the actual jump. I want more of this.


    If anything sucks about the movie, the ending is kind of a bummer. But it's not one of those 'bad endings' that I feel cheated out of.

  13. #73
    One Piece/WWE Fan KaizokuFan22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Resident evil the final chapter..
    Not bad but the movie did lack something to it..the twist at the end was interesting...
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  14. #74
    Must've been rats Sakonosolo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Saw the book Rosemary's Baby at a book store today so decided to watch the movie. I'd watched it forever ago but a lot of movies I watched back then didn't make an impression on me for some reason. I really liked it this time. It never really gets too scary but it's got great suspense. The ending lays it on a little thick though.

  15. #75

    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakonosolo View Post
    Saw the book Rosemary's Baby at a book store today so decided to watch the movie. I'd watched it forever ago but a lot of movies I watched back then didn't make an impression on me for some reason. I really liked it this time. It never really gets too scary but it's got great suspense. The ending lays it on a little thick though.
    One of my favorite horror movies! I get what you meeeeean, but for a film from the late 60s, I bet that scene was pretty shocking. Laid on thick yes, but to great effect. This film has the most important thing a horror movie can have for me: atmosphere out the butt.

    --- Update From New Post Merge ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky Dragon View Post
    This film is very highly regarded, so when I heard about it I couldn't pass it up. It's funny you use the word quirky to describe the monster, because our protagonist and his family could be described the same way. I think the monster design is suppose to complement the charisma of the main cast. How the monster looks and moves is definitely an acquired taste, I won't dispute that. It's not the most believable looking fictional creature ever, but it stand out and doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the film. Things not to take for granted with these kind of movies, that's a win in my book.
    The Host is dope. Have you seen any of his others movies? Snowpiercer was amaaaaaazing and super anime.

  16. #76
    Must've been rats Sakonosolo's Avatar
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    Watched two movies today: The Den and Timecrimes

    The Den was fairly average but I like found footage films. Timecrimes was pretty great and is a simpler movie in the same vein as Primer where there are multiple versions of characters doing things in the background to ensure everything works out.

  17. #77

    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Split was the last movie I saw.


    Spoiler:
    If little miss survivor had kicked Kevin in the face in the car once he started putting on the mask the movie could have been a lot shorter.

    ~My Harem, S-Rank~



  18. #78
    King of the Monsters Lucky Dragon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Finally got around to watching the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, it's been about a year since I last saw it. I must've seen this movie atleast a billion times in my life. The underutilization of Leonardo, Donatello, April, and Casey Jones does hold this movie back somewhat from being as great as it could have been. Fortunately Raphael, Michelangelo, Splinter, and the Shredder getting larger focus compensates for that shortcoming.

    I still enjoy the ambiance of the movie, it has a cool time capsule appeal. Namely it captures the seediness of New York City during the 80s. Used to great effect with the Foot in particular, as they embody a side of the crime epidemic there at the time.

    As i've grown older one thing i've come to appreciate more about this movie is it's humor. What I like the most about the comic relief is its tendency to emphasize the personality of the characters. It doesn't clash with the otherwise serious tone of the movie either, the humor even enhances it at certain points. I honestly consider this to be the greatest achievement of the movie.

    I always make it a point to get reacquainted with this film, still love it to pieces.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPecans View Post
    The Host is dope. Have you seen any of his others movies? Snowpiercer was amaaaaaazing and super anime.
    I've only seen The Host so far, but Snowpiercer has been on my radar ever since I discovered Train to Busan. I've seen lots of comparisons made between the two movies online. In what way is it like anime?

    I thought of Godzilla as the embodiment of violence and hatred for mankind, because he was created by atomic energy. He's like a symbol of humanity's complicity in their own destruction. He doesn't have an emotion. He is an emotion. — Jun Fukuda

  19. #79
    One Piece/WWE Fan KaizokuFan22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    rogue one...Awesome film
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  20. #80
    Part of a Bigger Universe Rogues' Gallery's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the last movie you watched.

    Just saw the Lego movie for the first time.

    Mother of God, *That* song is an inescapable ear worm.

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