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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 25 Dec 2018, 15:56
by HungFist
Flight viewing: part 1

The Meg (USA, 2018) [Flight] - 3/5
Jaws for today's kids: Statham vs. giant CGI shark. Very watchable nevertheless. It's a bit amusing how clearly this was aimed at the Chinese markets... the last 30 minutes in spoken mainly in Chinese!

Skyscraper (USA, 2018) [Flight] - 3/5
The Towering Inferno for today's kids: The Rock vs. skyscraper on CGI fire, with armed villains too. Very watchable nevertheless. And believe it or not, they speak Chinese in this one too!

The Equalizer 2 (USA, 2018) [Flight] - 3/5
Entertaining action thriller with a cool final action set piece in a storm beaten harbour town. The plot is a bit weak, though. Nobody speak Chinese.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 25 Dec 2018, 20:01
by Guro Taku
HungFist wrote:
25 Dec 2018, 15:56
The Meg (USA, 2018) [Flight] - 3/5
Jaws for today's kids: Statham vs. giant CGI shark. Very watchable nevertheless. It's a bit amusing how clearly this was aimed at the Chinese markets... the last 30 minutes in spoken mainly in Chinese!
My #1 guilty pleasure this year, so I'd probably even rate it slightly higher. I've actually followed this one through development hell for at least the last 10 years and while the result isn't perfect, knowing what some of the previous scripts were like, I'd say we got lucky. There've been a number of complaints (not least of all from Jason Statham and director John Turteltaub themselves!) about the lack of an R-rating and actual gore (apparently the source novel is much more violent) but I thought the filmmakers did a pretty good job making up for the lack of human gore with fish/whale gore, which apparently is A-OK with the US censors. The books get waaaaaaaaay crazier as the series goes on and introduce a ton of other prehistoric sea creatures so recent talk from something called the US-China Entertainment Summit that a sequel is in development is welcome news to me. One thing I'd be curious to find out is how Chinese audiences felt about the Chinese lead actress (Li Bingbing) in a film clearly designed for the Chinese market spending most of the running time lusting after a white dude (Statham)...

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 25 Dec 2018, 22:55
by grim_tales
The Snowman: 5/5

Raymond Briggs' animated classic. Why this seemingly isnt available on BD in it's original form (OAR, Raymond Briggs intro) I've no idea. You need to track down the 1998 US DVD for that.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 26 Dec 2018, 02:20
by Markgway
Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) *½
Odd, overwrought, militantly unpleasant drama about a teacher of deaf children (Diane Keaton, sexy, but unappealing) who does drugs and has sex with strange men. Men are dangerous, twisted bastards, especially if gay, whilst women are confused, hysterical sluts. Cautionary tale wraps up conservative values in a sleazy cloak? Lots of shouty 'acting', incoherent characterisation. 'Shock' ending isn't terribly surprising somehow.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 27 Dec 2018, 04:06
by Markgway
Young Guns II (1990) **
Emilio Estevez, one of the more engaging young actors of his generation, has fun reprising his unhinged 'Billy the Kid', but otherwise this modernised western is lacklustre and ordinary.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 27 Dec 2018, 10:14
by Ivan Drago
Guro Taku wrote:
25 Dec 2018, 20:01
HungFist wrote:
25 Dec 2018, 15:56
The Meg (USA, 2018) [Flight] - 3/5
Jaws for today's kids: Statham vs. giant CGI shark. Very watchable nevertheless. It's a bit amusing how clearly this was aimed at the Chinese markets... the last 30 minutes in spoken mainly in Chinese!
My #1 guilty pleasure this year, so I'd probably even rate it slightly higher. I've actually followed this one through development hell for at least the last 10 years and while the result isn't perfect, knowing what some of the previous scripts were like, I'd say we got lucky. There've been a number of complaints (not least of all from Jason Statham and director John Turteltaub themselves!) about the lack of an R-rating and actual gore (apparently the source novel is much more violent) but I thought the filmmakers did a pretty good job making up for the lack of human gore with fish/whale gore, which apparently is A-OK with the US censors. The books get waaaaaaaaay crazier as the series goes on and introduce a ton of other prehistoric sea creatures so recent talk from something called the US-China Entertainment Summit that a sequel is in development is welcome news to me. One thing I'd be curious to find out is how Chinese audiences felt about the Chinese lead actress (Li Bingbing) in a film clearly designed for the Chinese market spending most of the running time lusting after a white dude (Statham)...
The interesting thing is that the Fang Bing Bing character in the novel is Japanese. I can imagine if this film was made 15 years ago (it was first announced in 1998), we'd have had a situation where she was still Japanese, but played by Zhang Zi-Yi.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 27 Dec 2018, 20:16
by Guro Taku
Ivan Drago wrote:
27 Dec 2018, 10:14
The interesting thing is that the Fang Bing Bing character in the novel is Japanese.
It's Li Bingbing in THE MEG and not Fan Bingbing (who was in IRON MAN 3 and one of the recent X-MENs). As far as I know they are not related.
Ivan Drago wrote:
27 Dec 2018, 10:14
I can imagine if this film was made 15 years ago (it was first announced in 1998), we'd have had a situation where she was still Japanese, but played by Zhang Zi-Yi.
I really hate that sort of thing. Koreans playing Japanese, Chinese playing Koreans... I suspect it boils down to Korean actors and actors from China (or Hong Kong at least) being much more likely to speak good enough English to star in a Hollywood production but it still bugs me. It's also not quite a thing of the past, unfortunately. They are making a new HELLBOY flick and they originally cast Ed Skrein as a Japanese character called Ben Daimio. Social media shit itself in outrage over this whitewashing, so Skrein resigned and was replaced by Daniel Dae Kim, a Korean American actor, and everyone rejoiced. :banghead:

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 27 Dec 2018, 22:33
by Ivan Drago
Ooops, my bad! Got my BingBings mixed up!

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 30 Dec 2018, 11:18
by Markgway
The Post (2017) **½
Acceptable drama about the Nixon admin's attempts to stop the publishing of the Pentagon Papers.
Not up to Spielberg's usual high standards.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 30 Dec 2018, 13:33
by Guro Taku
Under the Silver Lake (USA, 2018) [DCP] - 3.5/5
I don't think I saw a weirder film all year. Andrew Garfield plays an unemployed slacker in L.A. who's soon to be evicted from his apartment because he can't make any payments. He spends his days smoking, fucking and spying on his neighbors. When a young women he peeped on and briefly connected with is suddenly gone the next day, he's drawn into a mystery that quickly spirals out of control. And when I say out of control I mean out of fucking control. Among other things he hooks up with an underground comics arist/conspiracy theorist, is almost killed by an owl goddess, bashes in the head of an anciet dude who's personally written every single iconic pop song of the last couple decades with Kurt Cobains guitar and discovers secret caverns in the Hollywood hills that are used by the ultra-rich as pyramical tombs and a gateway to another dimension with the help of a Legend of Zelda map found in an old issue of Nintendo Power Magazine! Hooooly shit. Sure to alienate most viewers because Garfield's lead character is not at all likeable (and, uh, other things - see above) this has future cult classic written all over it. Reminded me at times of Theodore Roszak's book Flicker and Alex Cox' Repoman (1984).

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 19:25
by Markgway
Maleficent (2014) ***
Entertaining Disney re-telling of Sleeping Beauty with focus shifted to the wronged 'villainess' deliciously played by Angelina Jolie.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 31 Dec 2018, 23:55
by Markgway
Doc Hollywood (1991) ***

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 01 Jan 2019, 22:01
by Markgway
The ABC Murder (2018) *½

The BBC's fourth attempt at re-imagining Agatha Christie.
I didn't like 'And Then There Were None' and skipped 'Witness for the Prosecution';
as for 'Ordeal By Innocence', well, I may have seen it, or part of it, honestly not sure...?
This time we have Hercule Poirot (a miscast John Malkovich) investigating a serial killer who taunts him in his retirement.
I've never read the novel, but apparently this bleak, gritty adaptation junks much of it, and it shows.
I found it dull and muddled, buffs will likely be horrified by the blatant, heavy handed revisionism.
They even work in backstories to do with refugees and anti-immigrant sentiment.
Seemingly made by Guardianistas who don't actually like Agatha Christie!

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 01 Jan 2019, 23:52
by Guro Taku
Event Horizon (UK-USA, 1997) [BD] - 4.5/5
I don't think I've seen this one since originally catching it in a freezing cold theater in Valletta, Malta in the summer of 1997. Great production design, lots of glorious practical effects, very atmorspheric and - despite the legendary censorship cuts - still seriously nasty at times. One really has to wonder how Paul W.S. Anderson managed to make something this good when taking a look at the rest of his filmography. What the hell happened to this guy?

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 02 Jan 2019, 04:28
by Markgway
Carrie (1976) **½
Brian DePalma's celebrated adaptation of Stephen King's first novel.
Sissy Spacek is ideally cast and brings poignancy to an undernourished script.
The film for all its visual pizzazz requires more dramatic weight to offset the schlock.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 03 Jan 2019, 00:12
by Markgway
Heathers (1988) ***

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 03 Jan 2019, 20:34
by Markgway
Trespass (1992) **½
Pretty good urban thriller in which a pair of fireman are trapped in a derelict building by gangsters.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 05 Jan 2019, 06:05
by HungFist
Sixteen Candles (USA, 1984) [Netflix] - 3.5/5
John Hughes' debut film about the lovely Molly Ringwald with a crush on a boy she's afraid to talk to, and a geek (Anthony Michael Hall) trying to score with her, takes turns being dumb and totally adorable. The shower boob scene took me by a surprise.

The Breakfast Club (USA, 1985) [Netflix] - 4.5/5
Questionable ending (some might call it realism) aside brilliantly written youth film about a mixed bunch of kids having to spend a Saturday in detention together. It's funny that the best two films of 1985 are called Typhoon Club and The Breakfast Club, both are about kids trapped in a school building, and both were filmed in 1984 on opposite sides of the world.

Weird Science (USA, 1985) [Netflix] - 2.5/5
Adolescent fantasy about two nerds creating their dream woman is too tame to really take off, but there are some funny and adorable bits. Bill Paxton and Kelly LeBrock's accent are the best things about it.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (USA, 1986) [Netflix] - 1.5/5
Insanely over-rated, dull as dishwater comedy with the irritating Matthew Broderick as a high school kid skipping school. Drug addict Charlie Sheen and vengeful principal Jeffrey Jones are the only funny characters.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 05 Jan 2019, 12:21
by Markgway
A John Hughes binge, eh?

Your scores are roughly in line with mine.

Glad I'm not the only one who finds Ferris a smug irritant.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 05 Jan 2019, 14:34
by HungFist
Yep. Saw The Breakfast Club for the 1st time and decided to see the other Hughes films on Netflix as well.

Also seen Planes Trains a long time ago. I recall it being very good.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 06 Jan 2019, 03:12
by Markgway
Rambo III (1988) **½
Action-packed blockbuster unfairly bombed at the box office.
The politics are dated, but that's hardly the fault of the filmmakers.
More explosions than dialogue, but at least it has a sense of humour.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 09 Jan 2019, 06:39
by Markgway
Goodfellas (1990) **½
I know I'm in the fucking minority here, but I find this fucking gangster epic to be overlong and fucking overrated.
I actually prefer fucking Casino, which is fucking longer, but fucking faster, and more involving, so fucking sue me!
Henry Hill is a total fucking dick; he starts out a little dick, then grows into a bigger one, and ends up a whiny, coked-out dick.
There's style and verve to spare, and some shock moments of violence, and for a good fucking while I was on board,
but the fucking characters are one-note, and by the time we get to the 80s drug phase I was getting fucking restless,
until I fucking realised I didn't care who fucking died.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 09 Jan 2019, 15:23
by HungFist
Hacksaw Ridge (AU/USA, 2016) [Netflix] - 3/5
Gibson's prequel to Passion of the Christ.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 10 Jan 2019, 00:30
by Markgway
The Death of Stalin (2017) ***
Biting satire, very dark and often very funny.
Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, and Jason Isaacs standout in the cast.
And any film that gets up the noses of the Kremlin is doing something right.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 10 Jan 2019, 22:47
by saltysam
Markgway wrote:
09 Jan 2019, 06:39
Goodfellas (1990) **½
I know I'm in the fucking minority here, but I find this fucking gangster epic to be overlong and fucking overrated.
I actually prefer fucking Casino, which is fucking longer, but fucking faster, and more involving, so fucking sue me!
Henry Hill is a total fucking dick; he starts out a little dick, then grows into a bigger one, and ends up a whiny, coked-out dick.
There's style and verve to spare, and some shock moments of violence, and for a good fucking while I was on board,
but the fucking characters are one-note, and by the time we get to the 80s drug phase I was getting fucking restless,
until I fucking realised I didn't care who fucking died.
i've never seen Casino or Goodfellas. Just never fancied either,.