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Everything posted by Veltigar

  1. As to John Wick IV's ending Jared Leto in this film is amazing. I'd watch a spin-off of just that guy overacting and putting on his exaggerated fake accent. He just cracked me up.
  2. Ask someone to point a gun at you and shoot if you do not finish an episode. Works wonders
  3. It's been awhile since I last saw ATLA, but apart from some exceptions in the first book, I do think the average level of world building and plotting was much higher than what we see in The Mandalorian. The frustrating thing about The Mandalorian is that I see glimmers of something better in there on occasion. I have said it before and will say it again, but The Mandalorian has pretty cool character design and his relationship with Grogu works exceedingly well as the emotional centre of the show. But the writers insist on breaking their own windows by not thinking this shit through.
  4. Got caught up on The Mandalorian. I think it has improved somewhat from the bumpy start of the season, but it's still a show that exudes wasted potential. The last episode included a Roc like flying creature that provided some nice action set pieces, but the way the story contrives to make the problem solvable for the (not terribly bright) protagonists in this show is really a drag.
  5. I went to see John Wick Chapter IV yesterday with some friends and had a great time. One of them had never seen any John Wick films before and was hesitant to give it a try seeing how it was the fourth film in a franchise, but afterwards he came to me and said it was exactly the relaxation he needed after a very busy week at work I feel like this film really shows the evolution of the director's abilities. It's a step up on almost every level, bar one. It succeeds into creating a more interesting narrative and it introduces interesting characters at a faster pace than prior instalments. Visually it's also stunning, with beautiful use of colours and neon (I'd say that Refn is a major influence) and a lot of locations that flash just how lavish the budget must have been. The one thing that wasn't a step up, strangely enough, was the action. This franchise has the best action violence of the last years. I love how brutal it remains and there were plenty of creative kills. What I was missing however, was something new. A lot of action scenes reminded me of things they did in the first and third film especially. That's not a bad thing per se, because those films are awesome. I did however feel like a lot of it was just a parade of greatest hits (here is Keanu killing people in a nightclub, here in a muscle car, here is a dog, etc.) and that perhaps the creative team needs time to germinate some new ideas for fight scenes. I read on the internet that John Wick is taking a break for now (although there are spin-offs in the work), but I do suspect he'll eventually return. It wouldn't surprise me if a longer hiatus would be good for the franchise and lead to a truly spectacular 5th film.
  6. Been catching up on South Park. I watched the three episodes of this season and the Streaming Wars specials that I missed last year. The specials have never really done it for me and the Streaming Wars is not much of a step up from the previous specials. That being said, the new season of South Park has been pretty good so far. It has returned to a more episodic format and I feel like it is a return to form. I hope they keep experimenting with other formats (like a seasonal arc), but that they are also confident enough to only do this when they have a clear idea/desire to do so.
  7. I went to see Creed III in IMAX earlier today. I still have trouble believing this franchise is real. If you would have told me before the release of the first one that these films would not only be good, but actually surpass the Rocky franchise from which it spawned (and of which I am a tremendous fan), I would not have believed you. And yet they do. Pound-for-pound or even in a direct line up (Creed 1 v. Rocky; Creed II v. Rocky II, etc.) the Creed franchise takes home the gold. This third instalment is no exception. In fact it is a magnificent film and it might even be my favourite film in the entire franchise. It contains all the classic elements I have come to adore about a Rocky film, but it manages to make the story feel even more personal by daring to delve into darker territory. The story of two friends/brothers struggling with past trauma and not being able to manage it in a constructive way is heart-wrenching. The excellent story is furthered by complex performances from all the main cast members. Michael B. Jordan has always been terrific as Creed, but this film actually manages to flesh out Tessa Thompson's character. The same goes for Phylicia Rashad's Mary-Anne Creed, who gets some beautiful scenes with her son. Stealing the show however is Jonathan Majors. i have said before that the man is a star in the making and I stick to that. So far, he's been good in all the atrocious stuff I have seen him in, but here, in this film I feel we finally get to see what the man can accomplish when he's not fighting against a mediocre story. He might be the best antagonist this franchise ever had. More intimidating than Clubber Lang, more openly hostile than Apollo in the beginning and much more of an active player than Drago was. On top of the performances and the story, I also have to shower praise on the director. This film has some superbly interesting shots in it and I know I now really want to see Michael B. Jordan helm more films. It's such an accomplished feature that it really pops out visually. He's done an excellent job. The fights also hit hard and if you watch it in IMAX, it feels like you are right there with the actors in the ring. Great experience in sort of the same way that Top Gun: Maverick was. I might even go again if it plays in IMAX long enough. One final thing I really liked was the score. Great musical scores throughout and the only thing I was really missing was
  8. Dude... If I'm Rothfuss I'm calling that guy and ask him to ghostwrite A Door of Stone for me
  9. I watched a bunch of stuff yesterday, including: The Harley Quinn Valentine Day special. I love the fact that this series is now popular enough to warrant specials. That being said, it was very forgettable as far as Harley Quinn episodes go. Would recommend it if you are really into the series, but otherwise perfectly okay to skip. The new episode from The Mandalorian. I was real glad that it only lasted for twenty minutes. That felt like mercy to me, so not a great sign for the series as a whole. If I didn't see this with friends, I think I would quit. Hopefully that feeling changes over the course of the season. Then I watched Logan Lucky, one of those films from the last couple of years that I never got around to. It wasn't a great night of entertainment for me and I think this was probably the worst thing I saw that evening. Everyone aside from Riley Keogh was really poor in it, the humour was non-existent (apart from one extended hilarious joke about TWOW) and even by the low, low standards of heist movies I thought the plot was convoluted. I'm also pretty sure that this film was the first that tried to give us Daniel Craig's take on a good ol' boy and I believe we all concur that it needs to stop. We finished off with a pallet cleanser of Rick & Morty. Specifically the episode in which they make fun of heist movies. We followed it up with the dragon episode which is not really seen as a good episode, but I still loved tremendously with it.
  10. I was in the same headspace as your wife concerning goodwill for the franchise and I also found the beginning quite difficult. I guess we're so conditioned to expect a certain thing from SW now that it is hard to adjust to a different take. I did restart it eventually however, after more than a month of break due to travel at the recommendation of @Corvinus85 and others, which was very fortunate for me as it picks up considerable speed from episode 4 onwards to become one of the best TV-show of last year. There is a famous actor from LOTR who is included in later episodes whose arc in particular floored me. In fact, his last scene in the first season was probably my favourite moment of television in 2022. So there is something to look forward to definitely
  11. A friend talked me into watching another season of The Mandalorian. In preparation for watching the episode together tomorrow, I finally watched the three Mandalorian episodes embedded in The Book of Boba Fett. I have to say that I'm not entirely looking forward to season three of The Mandalorian based on these episodes. I'm not saying anything shocking when I state that this is clearly no Andor. What I find striking however, is that whenever I watch The Mandalorian, I come away with a feeling of wasted potential. The Mandalorian is a pretty cool character (visually) and the emotional connection at the core of the story works well. It's just so unfortunate that the emotional storyline of Grogu and Mando is played out on such an idiotic canvas. The world just feels fake. There is no depth to anything. There are also no stakes and most of what works is just reminiscent of better properties outside of Disney Star Wars So yeah, The Mandalorian season 3 is facing an uphill battle to convince me. It's just maddening to know that they can produce an Andor if they set their mind to it and then just choose not to do so. Plus est en vous Disney.
  12. No. Nothing whatsoever 5c5ad7259e42b911d3055365.jpg (1000×669) (ghostwhalelondon.com)
  13. I went to see Cocaine Bear over the weekend. It was way better than a movie with that title should be (A friend of mine described it as "it's like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter except for the fact that it's also a good movie). It's definitely not a cinematic master piece, but it was a great time at the movies for me. The actors are all solid, which is not that surprising when you look at the cast. Keri Russel, Ray Liotta, Kristofer Hivju, Margo Martindale, Matthew Rhys, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Ice Cube's kid. That's an impressive line up for a film with such a jokey concept. I'm assuming Elizabeth Banks pulled a lot of strings to get this many veteran actors together for this type of a crazy concept film. The action is pretty good, the bear CGI is well done and aside from the fact that it has some really funny moments, it also has some pretty good dramatic beats (in particular, the cop's storyline was quite touching imo). So yeah, definitely would recommend seeing it.
  14. Oh, nice, that is sooner than I anticipated Although it will be difficult to decide whether to binge this or watch it on a weekly basis. So far I have done the binging strategy and I feel like the series is wonderful for that.
  15. They cannot be stupid enough to remake the LOTR trilogy. Who in their right mind would even go near an idea that is bound to fail. Extended universe stuff sure, that might actually lead to a few interesting films between all the shite.
  16. Does anyone have more info on this? There was an article on the Guardian about it, but I felt like it did a poor job explaining what exactly WB could attempt to do given all the rights issues.
  17. I watched Scorsese's The Color of Money (1986) a few days ago. It stars Tom Cruise, Paul Newman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and is a follow-up to 1961's The Hustler in which Paul Newman played the younger version of his poolshark Fast Eddie Felson character in this film. I tried to watch The Hustler a few months ago, but the film somehow failed to grab me. I therefore decided against watching The Color of Money, but luckily I picked it up again. This is a fantastic film in my book. Scorsese himself isn't a fan of it as it is probably the least personal film he's ever made, but I think the performances really sell it. Paul Newman is tremendous as the aging Fast Eddie Felso, who slowly falls back into his addiction to pool and finds meaning in that. Mastrantonio is great in her role as well, although I do feel that the script did her no favours by reducing her to a more stereotypical girlfriend character at the end of the film. Tom Cruise basically plays himself in this film, which is rather funny to see. So definitely another of the early Cruise films that deserve to be watched again.
  18. I finished my tussle with the LOTR Extended Editions with The Return of the King. Ultimately, my assessment remains broadly similar to the one I have had for the previous two extended editions. It's nice that they exist and if you are a big fan, you definitely have to have seen them at least once, but I would say that the theatrical cut is superior. As to the extended edition of tRoK specifically, I do think it is the best of the bunch. The fact that Saruman's fate is not resolved in the theatrical cut is quite odd and it's a good thing that the extended cut rectifies it. The scene with the Mouth of Sauron is rather cool, although I get why it was cut, as it makes Aragorn look like a bit of a war criminal. I also think that the added material makes the ending of tRoK's extended cut feel less bloated than the theatrical cut where the ending just keeps on going in comparison to what came before. All in all, I was very glad to be able to revisit this franchise. I would recommend people not to do it in 4K however. For some reason everything looked more childlike than I remembered. It doesn't surprise me now that PJ would end up creating The Hobbit. Like George Lucas, he was hemmed in by the state of technology which provided a check on his worst impulses as a film maker.
  19. Not sure how I will be able to see this, but it looks interesting:
  20. I watched the Extended Edition of The Two Towers yesterday. It's really been a very long time since I sat through the entire theatrical cut of this film (I used to usually fast-forward through all the hobbit stuff) and I forgot just how long of a film it is. An issue that is further exacerbated in the extended edition of course. All in all, I think the extended edition of The Two Towers is worth a watch from the moment you become a moderate fan of this franchise (which I'm going to define as having watched and loved the theatrical cut of the trilogy, not necessarily being into the books). On that front it's definitely more accessible than Fellowship's extended cut, which in my opinion is only worth it if you are a really committed fan of the franchise. That being said, if I watch this again some time in the future (and am at liberty to pick either the theatrical or extended cut), I'll probably stick to the theatrical cut. I guess it's even less faithful to the lore than the extended cut, but as a film experience I think the theatrical cut remains superior. Yeah, I'm definitely glad that I'm binging this XD I just think cliff hangers like that would detract from the experience. It's definitely way better than it should be and I am happy to see that it is rewarded for it. I can imagine positive reviews like my own kept it going, so good that the stars are aligned on a good film for once. I do always wonder about these numbers though. I'm not deep enough into them to understand how that 400 m haul translates to its relative performance. Is that a lot for a(n animated) film in general?
  21. I have been tearing through the second season of Vox Machina over the past couple of days. It's rather addictive, so I am sad that I finished it already. On the other hand, I can't imagine watching this show on a weekly basis. There are just too many cliff hangers, so it is better for my heart to watch it all in one go. Thanks to @Corvinus85 for posting about it and I do agree with his assessment that this second season was even better than the first outing. I suppose mostly due to the increased focus, as the first season had two arcs, while this only had one main arc. It's not ground-breaking storytelling by any means, but I do feel like this whole show is a testament to the power of well-executed tropes. A lot of things you can predict from a mile off and of course no one of the principal heroes is actually ever in any meaningful danger (not to mention the fact that they all have a tragic backstory straight out of central casting), but this show's earnestness and its sense of humour are enough to power through the predictability. You genuinely wish these characters to succeed, which is something other Amazon fantasy shows could learn a great deal from. I'd recommend a cinema outing for this. Watching this together with a respectful audience is a real treat and it will help you find some mental rest. I know it helped me on that front! It's no Top Gun: Maverick (), but The Banshees of Inisherin would definitely rank high in my 2022 list. I wonder whether it has a chance to prevail against Everything Everywhere All At Once.
  22. I went to see The Banshees of Inisherin yesterday. It's a marvellous film and I hope it does well at the awards. At first it was written and directed by the same director who did Calvary, but apparently it is that director's (more famous) brother. Between them, the brothers have made Calvary, The Banshees of Inisherin, In Bruges, The Guard and Seven Psychopaths. These are some talented people evidently. As to The Banshees of Inisherin itself, I find it hard to write anything about it without spoiling the film. I was engrossed throughout and was always kept on my toes as to what would happen next. The actors were amazing, the script was bleak yet funny and I thought the evocation of its time period was marvellously done. It really felt like a window into life on a small Irish island in the 1920's. Particular praise should be reserved for the costuming. I especially liked everything Kerry Condon's character was wearing. It felt authentic, yet oddly glamorous. A perfect fit for the character she was playing and I think there will be a lot of women curious whether they could lay their hands on one of her outfits.
  23. I was aimlessly scrolling through a list of 250 must watch films on IMDB yesterday. It was a tad depressing because I had seen most of the films included, but then I noticed a film that I had heard off, but never actually watched before. It is 1997's Donnie Brasco, directed by the same guy who made Four Weddings and a Funeral. It sort of cracked me up that that guy directed a hardcore mob movie, so I decided to give it a chance. That was something I didn't regret. This film is amazing. Everyone in it is really acting their pants off and is giving a performance that must rank in their professional top three. For someone like Depp (probably his best role after Jack Sparrow) or Michael Madsen (probably his best role outside of the Tarantino universe) that might not be that surprising, but I'm willing to say that the same thing is true for Al Pacino as well. He completely nails it as Lefty, who as a pathetic (yet strangely endearing) working class gangster is the perfect antidote for Pacino's altogether more glamorous upper class Michael from The Godfather franchise. In fact, I feel like this film, even more than Goodfellas might have a good claim to be the anti-Godfather. The world of the mob is so realistically rendered (amongst other things due to the fact that all the wiretaps from the undercover agent were mined for mob slang to up the veracity of the dialogue) and it is so grubby, you cannot help but wonder why anyone would choose to get involved with these sad-eyed clowns. @Corvinus85's list is pretty complete. The only other thing I would add to it is that they spent a lot more time in The Shire prior to departure, which I was not a fan off. Since you are feeling so evangelical about this, why not force the people's eyes open with ducktape to ensure they keep looking :p
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