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Veltigar

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Posted (edited)

I'm going for an unnecessary long title without anything original in it to pay "homage" to Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead. I should have listened to all of you here and passed on it, but instead I decided to waste 2.5 hours of my life watching this shitty excuse for a movie. The only thing that made me finish it was the fact that my friends and I were trash talking our way through the film. If I had to see this in theaters, or any other setting where silence would have been required of me, I'm pretty certain that I would have walked away before the end.

I went in thinking it couldn't be that bad. The board tends to hate Snyder, and I'll happily admit that the man is a fascist in denial about his own political allegiances, but his movies can still be fun. To this day I can say I really enjoy 300, Watchmen and from what I remember Dawn of the Dead wasn't bad either. Heck, I even felt like the Snyder cut was a pretty good time all things considered. Based on that and my general love for zombie films I was pretty determined to give Army of the Dead a shot.

The movie is however, not worth a damn. It's like he wanted to give his detractors a movie that they could use as a convenient checklist to group all the criticisms that have ever been leveled at any of his movies. It's just awful really. It's barely cohesive, put together as Frankenstein's monster from parts pulled from better films. It lasts about as long as the last ice age, but it doesn't use this duration for anything. All characters remain ciphers, barely growing above their characterization in the opening montage. There are no cool action sequences I will be remembering in a week from now. The world building is utter drivel. That video someone shared in the previous thread explaining all the Easter eggs (UFO's, robot zombies, time loops) just enrages me. At this point, Sneaky Snyder is building franchises just by cramming as much as he can into one abysmal piece of schlock, throwing it at the audience and then seeing what the weirdo's on YouTube and Reddit make of it to build his fucking anime spin-offs around. The musical choices are terrible and I'm surprised he didn't find a way to cram a damn cover of Hallelujah in there. Did the heirs to Leonard Cohen hire the mob to threaten him never to use a cover to that song again? I sure hope so.

The VFX is mediocre, the narrative convoluted and the setting is barely a thing. There are so many idiotic twists and turns in the film that are just insulting. I'll sum a few up between spoiler brackets

Spoiler

1. Why the fuck did this film even include a heist plot? If all they wanted was the head of the Queen (which is also stupid, you'd think they'd want Zeus himself), why not just recruit a bunch of mercenaries and/or soldiers to extract that instead of embedding one guy into a team of expendable stooges who might die?

2. Even if you include the heist, why is no one questioning the fact that they need a safe cracker? Isn't this Tanaka's own property? Shouldn't he have the damn access codes to the safe?

3. If these zombies are so smart, strong and fast, how come a line of three stacked containers is enough to keep them contained? 

4. Why on earth would there be something like a coyote smuggling people into zombie wasteland? You can see that Snyder is one of those nutters who hates the federal government because no way those camps would require as little as 5 k to escape from.

5. How on earth are any of the characters in the heist team living outside that quarantine camp? You either have everyone in there or no one

6. When Bautista kills his wife, why does he throw his pistol away? I get it's emotional, killing a loved one turned into a zombie, but having to jam a fucking knife in her skull is not making it any easier

7. The Aliens knock-off character who is the first to die, why doesn't she shout out to everyone that Tanaka's employee left her to die? Doesn't she care about revenge or saving the people she loves?

8. If Zeus was so dangerous, why would the government transport him in a convoy that could be derailed by something as relatively mundane as a convertible? It's not an IED, what kind of a shitty safe was that to let the chief zombie escape so easily. The US Military has been transporting nukes for more than half-a-century at this point, so they aren't exactly rookies at transporting dangerous cargo

9. If the government is able to create android-zombies than why the fuck aren't their armies of robot soldiers sweeping around the place

10. Why does Zeus insist on turning people one at a time? Is there only a certain level of infection he can pass around at any given time? Or does he just enjoy giving victims the time to escape?

11. Why does everyone (but especially the female characters) not care to properly cover themselves up? They might be zombies, but their teeth are still only human. It's perfectly possible to protect the majority of your body against bites.

12. Why are zombies even a threat? Given the number of headshots people pull of in this film it's amazing how incompetent the military must have been to lose out on this?

13. Bautista won the medal of freedom and saved the Secretary of Defense and he's flipping hamburgers? No fucking way, he'd be out there being feted as a hero and being used by either the government or the opposition to further their cause. Either way he'd only be flipping burgers at minimum wage if he really wanted to

14. What on earth was the point of that random mother to be included? In the end she died off screen and we didn't even see her body. What was the damn point of wasting screen time on that plot line? There is a billion other ways to get the daughter involved.

15. The henchman of Tanaka is nuts. If they were going to double cross them, then why not wait until they were safely out of the zone and then murder them all. 

16. All these people are way to cheap. Plus, doesn't anyone talk to one another (character A: what are you going to do with your X million dollar? Character B: What I'm only getting 500k, son of a bitch) 

I could go on like this until the end of time. Everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves

Edited by Veltigar

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I also watched the Shawshank Redemption for the first time yesterday. I have been ducking this film for years, mainly due to the excessive amount of praise it gets. It could never live up to the hype, but yesterday I decided to give it a try. As expected, I thought it was a pretty good film, but nowhere near as good as its ranking on IMDB would lead you to believe.

It's not even the best adaptation of a Stephen King story set in a prison directed by Darabont. I'd very comfortably give that honor to The Green Mile, which is also by far the best overall adaptation anyone has ever made of a King story. That being said it is pretty good. All the characters are likable, the performances are strong and there are some moments of poetry in there.

I think what didn't work for me where basically three things. Firstly, the sort of fairy tale prison they were in. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't like to be locked away in Shawshank, but apart from the bull queers, all the prisoners seem to get along quite well. Particularly weird was the lack of racial animosity within the prison. Given the fact that this takes place in a time that was far more racist than today, with far less technology available to monitor the population I'm sort of amazed that there is no gang violence or other sort of more organized crime in here.

Secondly, what little violence there was, the film glossed over the impact that would have on character's psychology. 

Spoiler

Apart from a few bruises, Andy seems pretty unaffected by the incessant sexual violence. If you are getting raped on like a weekly basis, than that must do something to you that we simply do not see any hint of in the way Andy behaves

  Finally, I was also no enamored by the ending. It was just a little too sappy and feel good to me. 

Spoiler

I was actually expecting that Red would go to the place Andy had told him he had stashed something and instead of finding money and a letter, that he would find the gun used to kill Andy's wife and her lover. I actually think this film would be a whole lot better if Andy had in the end turned out to be guilty. it would also fit the character more, seeing how stubborn, secretive and determined he was. He actually lied to his best friend throughout the entire runtime of the film (claiming he wouldn't use the rock ax for tunneling, not confiding him in at any point, etc.)

 Compare that to the far more powerful ending of The Green Mile which is

Spoiler

bittersweet in the sense that Hanks' character has had to see all the people he cared about die, but on the other hand is also uplifting because John Coffee walked this earth and helped us therefore proving that there is a higher power out there looking out for us.

 

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Seeing that there's new Lucifer episodes out, I decided a rewatch was in order. I will have two full seasons of new content for myself, so it'll be a good ride.

Possibly my most hated beloved show of all time, or my favorite show I can't stand. I'm not sure. I love me some whodunits, and this show is basically Matlock with gorgeous people and camp. I hardly ever find the episodal mysteries engaging, but there's no shortage of brief roles by recognizable actors hamming it up. The show hits the same beats over and over. Lucifer is confused but it works out!  Chloe is about to cry - good lord does she almost cry more than anyone since early era Claire Danes! 

But for every eye roll from me - and that's about five per episode - I do get a good chuckle, and the show drips with charm and top-tier eye candy for every viewer. It's delightfully binge-able, and I expect to zoom through five seasons far too fast. I just hate it. Can't wait to catch the next one. 

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Well Zack Snyder. His version of Justice League is available on Apple TV+ for 17 €. I dunno if it is worth it. I enjoyed the original a bit and I'm a Henry Cavill fanboy I guess. 

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The guys off RedLetterMedia made a good recap of Army of the Dead:

 

I like that these guys have a technical background, so they are even to spot things that I didne't get because of my focus on character and narrative. It's amazing how lazily this film has been shot and edited

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6 hours ago, Veltigar said:

I think what didn't work for me where basically three things. Firstly, the sort of fairy tale prison they were in. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't like to be locked away in Shawshank, but apart from the bull queers, all the prisoners seem to get along quite well. Particularly weird was the lack of racial animosity within the prison. Given the fact that this takes place in a time that was far more racist than today, with far less technology available to monitor the population I'm sort of amazed that there is no gang violence or other sort of more organized crime in here.

I haven't read the original story but apparently Red was white in it (hence the joke about 'Maybe it's because I'm Irish') but Darabont thought (rightly) that Morgan Freeman would be great in the role, it doesn't seem the script was changed to take any account of the racism Red would inevitably have experienced.

 

Finally, I was also no enamored by the ending. It was just a little too sappy and feel good to me.

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I was actually expecting that Red would go to the place Andy had told him he had stashed something and instead of finding money and a letter, that he would find the gun used to kill Andy's wife and her lover. I actually think this film would be a whole lot better if Andy had in the end turned out to be guilty. it would also fit the character more, seeing how stubborn, secretive and determined he was. He actually lied to his best friend throughout the entire runtime of the film (claiming he wouldn't use the rock ax for tunneling, not confiding him in at any point, etc.)

I think the film-makers knew what they were doing, maybe some people would have liked it more but I don't think the film would be anywhere near as popular in general if they had included the twist you suggest.

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13 minutes ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

Well Zack Snyder. His version of Justice League is available on Apple TV+ for 17 €. I dunno if it is worth it. '

For just the movie, or for a month of HBO? Because 17 euros for that film is highway robbery.

13 minutes ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

I enjoyed the original a bit and I'm a Henry Cavill fanboy I guess. 

I think he's in the film only slightly longer than he was in the original, and it's all much more dour. I'd skip it unless you can get it for cheaper, or get a month of HBO and watch other stuff as well.

 

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So been pretty fascinated reading reviews for Cruella this morning/afternoon.  Lots of people seem to think it was a lot of fun - and even an amusing response to the ridiculous Joker film.  And considering I like both Emmas, the more I read the more I think I'll watch.  Still not gonna pay for it, so I'll have to wait, but quite surprised.

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1 hour ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

Well Zack Snyder. His version of Justice League is available on Apple TV+ for 17 €. I dunno if it is worth it. I enjoyed the original a bit and I'm a Henry Cavill fanboy I guess. 

If you liked the og cut, I think you'll like this one too. I think Snyder's cut is far superior to the original one.

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37 minutes ago, Ran said:

For just the movie, or for a month of HBO? Because 17 euros for that film is highway robbery.

I think he's in the film only slightly longer than he was in the original, and it's all much more dour. I'd skip it unless you can get it for cheaper, or get a month of HBO and watch other stuff as well.

 

It is for buying the movie. No lend option at this point.

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5 minutes ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

It is for buying the movie. No lend option at this point.

I liked the Snyder Cut quite a bit. That being said, 17 bucks for the film is indeed highway robbery as @Ran so succinctly put it. Watch it at some point, but you're not missing out that much by waiting until it comes as part of a package.

51 minutes ago, williamjm said:

I haven't read the original story but apparently Red was white in it (hence the joke about 'Maybe it's because I'm Irish') but Darabont thought (rightly) that Morgan Freeman would be great in the role, it doesn't seem the script was changed to take any account of the racism Red would inevitably have experienced.

 

To me it feels like the film tried its best to file the hard, ugly edges of prison life off. Don't get me wrong, I still wouldn't want to be locked up in Shawshank, but compared to many other fictional and real-life prisons I have experience with I'd much rather prefer to sit in Shawshank than in any of those prisons.

Quote

I think the film-makers knew what they were doing, maybe some people would have liked it more but I don't think the film would be anywhere near as popular in general if they had included the twist you suggest.

 I suppose not, but popularity and quality aren't always linked which is why someone like Snyder can keep on crapping out zombie pictures. If only quality and popularity were one and the same :crying:

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Posted (edited)
Just now, Veltigar said:

To me it feels like the film tried its best to file the hard, ugly edges of prison life off. Don't get me wrong, I still wouldn't want to be locked up in Shawshank, but compared to many other fictional and real-life prisons I have experience with I'd much rather prefer to sit in Shawshank than in any of those prisons.

 

I mean, for definite. Because you're not wrong, it is a fairy tale. Pure fantasy. I can see if you were expecting something more real you might be thrown, but essentially all your criticisms are of the movie not being a different genre of movie, rather than criticism of the movie itself. Which fair enough, strokes for courses, but I'm not sure the movie would be better for changing any of it, Just different.

The one I can kind of roll with you on is the easily-brushed-off rape. I think Andy's indominability is meant to be the point there, but it does stretch credibility even for this.

Edited by polishgenius

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 I can see how The Green Mile might appeal more purely from the perspective of showing the cruelty of death row and so on, but Shawshank is a much richer film, thematically speaking, and less over-indulgent in terms of pacing (Darabont went too far making Green Mile run past 3 hours, IMO). Mileage, of course, will vary.

 

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I watched season 1 of Resident Alien. It was alright. Alan Tudyk was great, and the humor was excellent. The plot overall was pretty silly. For a SF comedy, they tried to pack a lot in the first season.

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3 hours ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

Well Zack Snyder.

You might enjoy this 7-part analysis of The 300, on which the blogger embarked back in 2019, to compare what Sparta really was with this movie.  It's pretty interesting.  The end of each entry has a link to the next one.  I'm finally up to part 6, which the historical analysis of the mythology (as opposed to actual) capacity of the Spartans as fighters:

https://acoup.blog/2019/09/20/collections-this-isnt-sparta-part-vi-spartan-battle/

 

 

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I found this morning that my Roku has Midsummer Murders for free, from the first season!  Nothing better on a rainy weekend than mindless escapism and British village porn, so great.  And Jones!  I never warmed up to the Neil Dudgeon version.

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10 minutes ago, Zorral said:

You might enjoy this 7-part analysis of The 300, on which the blogger embarked back in 2019, to compare what Sparta really was with this movie.  It's pretty interesting.  The end of each entry has a link to the next one.  I'm finally up to part 6, which the historical analysis of the mythology (as opposed to actual) capacity of the Spartans as fighters:

https://acoup.blog/2019/09/20/collections-this-isnt-sparta-part-vi-spartan-battle/

 

 

Wait...are you trying to tell me that the depiction of the Spartans in 300 was historically inaccurate?!?!

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Been watching Demon Slayer, mainly because apparently there is a movie which is the highest grossing film in Japan, so thought I’d give the series a shot.

But seriously I just don’t think I get Anime. I think I’ve watch quite a few of the highest rated shows, but the whole genre really tends to irritate me. The story telling is always so bad, the constant voice overs explaining what is going on reminds me of 90s marvel comics, plus there’s basically only ever a handful of themes or tropes that seem to get trotted out over and over, like massive robots or monsters, demons who possess someone.. etc.

I find that if I watch it on Japanese audio things improve because the voice actors seem to understand the tone a lot better, but even then it’s hard to watch.

Having said that, I really loved One Punch Man, mainly because it understands the silliness of those tropes and plays them up.

Or maybe I’m just doing something wrong 

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I've been watching Death Note and I'm tempted to agree- afaik Death Note is meant to be one of the high water marks and there are things about it that make me really want to like it but it leans so heavily on repeated clunky expository dialogue it's kind of hard to. Not given up but I have paused.

On the other hand I watched the first episode of Ajin Demi-human on Netflix and that seemed to avoid some of those issues.


But anime movies seem to have much higher standards than the few anime shows I've watched (admittedly not many and I'm not really sure you can even count something like Naruto which isn't pretending to try to achieve genuine prestige quality), and though budget is part of that it isn't all. It's odd: anime movies though I also don't watch loads have some ridiculously high-level storytelling. Where the tv shows overrelly on CHARACTERS SHOUTING INFORMATION IN DRAMATIC FASHION to make sure we get it, movies are far more likely to use editing and visual tricks to lead us to conclusions never said out loud at all (Satoshi Kon, king, looking at you).

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35 minutes ago, briantw said:

trying to tell me that the depiction of the Spartans in 300 was historically inaccurate?!?!

He is telling you in a most entertaining manner, with bits from various games thrown in for even bigger fun.  But the real fun is that this guy really knows his stuff; he teaches his source material, as assistant prof of ancient history.  His second specialty is ancient classical world military history.  But Roman history is his 'major' so to speak, and they are always the Winners! :read:

Nor does he come through taking himself too seriously at all, so fun as well as informative reading.

  :cheers: 

 

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