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  1. I introduced some people to Edge of Tomorrow yesterday. Naturally they loved it, it's still amazing to me how few people have seen this absolute gem of a film. One of Tom Cruise's best roles, and the best role I have ever seen Emily Blunt in. The film has a perfect balance of action, humour, and drama. Looking up the film to read the trivia again, I was delighted to read about Tom Cruise's new deal with Warner Bros and the enthusiasm of everyone from Emily Blunt to Doug Liman to make a sequel. I hope it materializes
  2. You are spot on there, both about the turn of events and the inspiration, but I felt like it was not really set up properly. I read that on the IMDB trivia list as well, but in general I thought it borrowed far more from The Book of Three. I ordered the short story collection. It will take a while to reach me, but I'm curious. Not sure whether I'll check out the Westmark books. Alternate history isn't really my thing. That's pretty crazy as a spoiler I must say. I wasn't planning to watch any further, but that's a very bold move. And probably the best use of the actors who were indeed a bit anachronistic.
  3. You know, based on your commentaries, I actually looked up the books and found them for a pretty cheap price online. I bought them and read them last week. They were really good, especially the later ones. Taran Wanderer and The High King were just beautiful and the series as a whole had some pretty good life lessons for kids. So thank you to the both of you for inspiring me to check them out! The first two were also good, but I think a turn off for me was the outdated I was particularly impressed by the following aspect One thing I didn't understand Based on what you @hauberk and you wrote, I'm not sure whether I'll go back to it. Depends on how my calendar clears up. I did find that the fights in the Catch 22 adaptation from George Clooney a while back had more captivating air scenes.
  4. I watched The Black Cauldron, Disney's fabulously expensive "1985 animated dark fantasy adventure film." This bombed like crazy at the box office and it's not hard to see why. Probably one of the worst Disney films I have seen. The only thing truly interesting about it are the dark scenes featuring the Horned King antagonist, but reading IMDB trivia, the one saving grace of this film upset studio executives so much that they actually cut a lot of the darkest material. A big mistake in my opinion. The film would probably have made no extra money, but I do think it would have eventually turned into a cult classic like that. Now it's just extremely forgettable, with a bunch of the most generic LOTR knock-off characters you can imagine (the beast man Gollum/Sam hybrid in particular was weird). I also found the main character Taran quite annoying, so I wasn't really rooting for anyone here. I read that the books this is based on are a lot different, but I'm not sure whether I'd even want to try and read them after this. The bolded was the answer I feared. The show looks very good and the action scenes were okay, but the characters are ciphers. It's been a long time since I watched its two predecessors, but didn't they begin in basic training or back home? This show doesn't even try to give me a reason why I should care about these particular people. Building on my reply to @Corvinus85, I was hoping for a journey with interesting characters and cool action sequences. After episode 1 I was tempted to just go for episode 2 and jump ahead to the combat scenes. The ones in episode 1 were interesting enough to maintain my attention, so I might just do that.
  5. I also watched the first episode of Masters of the Air and found it rather forgettable. Does it become more compelling after a while?
  6. People have been recommending Severance to me ever since it came out. I finally tried it out and I have to say, it is great. If they can keep up the same quality throughout the seasons (or even better improve some more), this has a big chance of going down as one of the all time greats. I'm always a bit queasy about these mystery shows (there is a big chance that it turns out like Lost), but so far I'm definitely intrigued. I think it was a great idea to frame this device around the workplace, because it is quite recognisable at times. Not sure whether anyone else has that feeling, but there were some aspects of the Lumon culture that were creepily familiar to some real-life places I worked at. Fortunately for me not for a very long time, but I joked with friends who had to stay there for longer and they all agreed about the cultish atmosphere in Severance reminding them of that place. Everything about Severance has been great so far, but I want to give a particular shout out to Tramel Tillman, the actor playing Mr. Milchick. I don't think I have ever seen him in anything before, but he was an absolute delight. For me he's definitely the stand-out performance. It really isn't easy to strike that balance between friendliness and intimidation, but he manages to hit it perfectly every time. My favourite scene was this one in episode 7.
  7. I loved Under the Skin and this film was also well worth my time, so I think I will indeed do my best to watch Sexy Beast and Birth in the near future. Didn't know he did music videos before, but I see on IMDB he's done the Into My Arms video for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. That's very cool.
  8. I watched Jonathan Glazer's The Zone of Interest. If you are going to watch it, you already know what it is about, but to safeguard the rare chance that someone walks into this without knowing what it's about, I'll not go into details on the subject matter. In general, I would say that I found it a very unsettling and thought-provoking film. Definitely not something I'll pop in for a casual view, but the way it approached its subject matter so frank and matter-of-factly was illuminating. The way this was shot, with a bunch of stationary camera's all rolling, as if it was a nature documentary really added to the naturalism of the picture. A lot has been said about the sound design, and reading some of the trivia on IMDB, it really was very eery. I think this film will probably be used a lot in history or ethics classes. Definitely worth watching.
  9. I watched Bastarden (English title: The Promised Land), a Danish film starring Mads Mikkelsen (who else). It tells the story of a captain of humble origins who, after concluding his military career (the film is set in the back half of the 18th century), seeks to tame the Danish heather and make it ready for settlement. As this was the pet project of the Danish King, success meant ennoblement and sundry other rewards, but alas, the local dignitaries do not want a new colony in their spheres of influence. Enter the central conflict of the film between Mads' character and a particularly heinous young landowner. All in all, I was very glad to have seen it. The film is not particularly original, from the basic description above you know what you are going to get, but it is executed very well. What is particularly nice about it, is the fact that it is abundantly clear that this is not an American film. There are several rather graphic elements that I think would not make it in a sanitised American flick. The performances were all great of course, but what else can you expect with Mads Mikkelsen in the lead. He really bolts the plot of this entire film down, which is quite a lot of work, because they don't kid around with the number of subplots in the film. The film is delightfully abrupt with some of those, but if you didn't buy into the central performance, I think it would be hard to enjoy it. I wish more actors would go back and forth between these type of smaller films and blockbusters. In case of Mads Mikkelsen, he has of course more incentive to do so, since he's usually the villain in Hollywood, while he can play heroic characters in Danish films. Still on principle, it's nice to see that exchange of talent and ideas between various cinema's. If you get the chance to see Bastarden, I'd definitely recommend it.
  10. I finished my rewatch of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Interesting experience, since I last saw it many years ago. It's interesting to see the entire series in chronological order and it turned out somewhat different than I expected. I had anticipated book 1 to be a bit of a chore (which is why I didn't do this rewatch earlier I guess), with book 2 and book 3 being stellar. On my rewatch however, I found book 1 to be much better than I remembered. Sure, there are some unsophisticated episodes, but the whole was definitely a fair bit better than my memory gave it credit for. Book 2 is the best season, that was always what I remembered, and I stick with that after my rewatch. The one, let's say sour note, is book 3. I actually thought it weaker than what I remembered. Some of it was the remaining childish humour that doesn't mesh well with the seriousness of that last season, some was the underwhelming reveal of Ozai, but mostly I think I didn't like this final season much because it felt rushed. There were quite a few story beats that I think were rather good ideas, but were poorly executed, mainly due to a lack of time. For example, I felt that the following plot points deserved more episodes Now I think they did a reasonably good job given the time constraints, but it does feel a bit sloppy, as if they tried to cram to much content into one book. It does make me slightly hopeful that Netflix's live-action adaptation might have a reason to exist, as it could perhaps give that final season more depth, but I remain doubtful.
  11. I just love that this thread is already at 25 pages, but keeps on growing because no one is willing to tarnish their board credentials by starting a new one XD
  12. I finished Castlevania Nocturne today. Not as good as I had hoped, but still watchable. I really like the art style, the fact that it doesn't hesitate to be weird, and I have enough fond memories of the original adaptation to stick around for a while, but I do hope they'll put some more care in their plotting. Every character in this seems to be suicidal, the way they (repeatedly) walk into the same suicidal plan was kind of baffling to see. From a character and plot perspective, they could do better. That's mostly a good thing in my book though. I feel like for American films at least, there is a lot of pressure to release in as many markets simultaneously as possible (probably to combat piracy), which I like because I don't want to wait endless months to see a film and miss out on all the good discussion. It's actually one of the major disadvantages for other film industries (except for perhaps the Indian blockbusters, we get those pretty much simultaneously with India over here), since you sometimes see a great film from e.g. Poland or Denmark or anywhere really gather buzz, but then you never know what kind of release window it will have in your market. A little bit sad to see McNamara isn't part of this reunion. He works wonderful with Stone and he elevates Lanthimos imo. I still haven't seen Killing of the Sacred Deer, but The Lobster was not as good as Poor Things and The Favourite imo (still enjoyable of course). Sad you didn't like that scene, I actually thought that film could use some more explicitness like that, given the fact that it Agreed on what you write about Poor Things though, and I find it a sign of strength that it just immediately draws you into its world. I look forward to seeing some good video essays about everything going on in there
  13. Glad you like it. I feel like it's a bit underseen at the moment, which is a shame for a great film like this. If only the bolded could be arranged. I'd love to see a new attempt to bring Flashman to the big screen. McNamara would have to adapt one of the later Flashman novels though, one of those where Flashman interacts with a famous woman from history, as it does feel like McNamara is especially interested in (and good at) writing meaty parts for women (as evidenced by The Great, Poor Things, The Favourite and arguably even Cruella). I like Oppenheimer (and what I'm about to write is mostly the same text I could write about Killers of the Flower Moon), but I didn't love it mostly because I didn't feel like it pushed the envelop in the way something like Poor Things does. It's excessively long, elides some of the moral complexity in Oppenheimer's story despite of this length, and it just feels a little bit safe in comparison to a film like Poor Things. It is indeed very competently made and the performances are great, but the whole doesn't transcend the sum of its parts in my opinion. I think it's actually easier to illustrate what I mean by referring to Killers of the Flower Moon
  14. Enjoying a problematic piece of entertainment is not the same as loving said piece of entertainment, but here we go with yet another misrepresentation. A rather crucial one at that. If you wish to understand why certain people follow ideologies you do not condone on an intellectual level, it doesn't hurt looking at the propaganda that influenced them to break that way. Every propagandic piece of entertainment is build out of two layers, an intellectual and emotional one (roughly content and form). The target audience is usually unable to separate the two, gets overwhelmed by the emotions in a film and then soaks in the harmful intellectual arguments. Since the form of the message is what opens up the audience, it's good to understand what about the form appeals to people. If you find the ideological content abhorrent, than understanding the form helps you firstly, to design better counter arguments if you seek to do so, and secondly allows you to understand the level of danger. To use Fighter to illustrate the latter point, by Indian standards, this is a pretty expensive film, it is also competently made and released on a lot of screens (even outside of India). The fact that it carries such a scary message is a lot more concerning than coming across a shitty meme on social media that evokes the same message. The shitty meme might have been generated by a lone looney in their basement, but a film like Fighter is a gargantuan task, which could only be pulled off with assistance from the Indian Ministry of Defence and their Air Force. That's a pretty clear sign that we should be actively worried about the state India is in right now. Hmm, I get what you are saying, and I think you are right up to point. We shouldn't be surprised that the dominant sociological perspective is represented in a lot of films. It is an expensive, collective art form after all, so in a market-driven system like the U.S. naturally that's where the resources are. That being said, even in the American system (let alone the old Soviet or contemporary Chinese/Indian/etc. cinemas) a long tradition of blatantly ideological film making does exist. There are many reasons for that, but one obvious one, illustrated by both Fighter and Top Gun films, is the fact that the state has more money to blow than any other entity out there, and film makers tend to drift towards whatever can give them the resources necessary to create a successful film. There has been a lot of reporting over the last two years about the cosy relationship between the Department of Defence and Hollywood for instance:
  15. Exceedingly fair point for the bolded, I should have expressed myself better Yeah, I needed a long break after Blade of Tyshalle, and I did read two other books between Caine Black Knife and Caine's Law. It's definitely beneficial to my enjoyment to do it this way.
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