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TheLastWolf

Watch Watched Watching: Indie Art Cinema Wave #__?

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I’ll echo that The Suicide Squad had some good humor but was really stupid.  The ratio of funny to stupid wasn’t high enough to call it good or to recommend it to anyone.  The action/music set pieces reminded me a bit of The Umbrella Academy.

Speaking of which, Loki has started well but has some similarities to The Umbrella Academy (and possibly a hint of Legion too).  Tom Hiddleston elevates it though.  We’re only a couple of eps in, but hopefully it continues well.

And I only just discovered the Formula 1 show on Netflix.  I’ll definitely be working through that on my own.

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21 hours ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

King Shark really grew on me.

He fed on you?

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Posted (edited)

To get away from the barbs thrown in the U.S. politics thread...

I just finished the early 90's The Three Musketeers. Holy shit that was funny, but for all the wrong reasons. Oliver Platt as a heart throb? Over David Kiefer Sutherland and Charlie all the STDs Sheen? Shitty Robin was D'Artagnan? And I knew I recognized De Mornay from something, but I was surprised to learn that she was the actress from the opening scene of Wedding Crashers

And Tim Curry's smile is just so maniacally wonderful. 

Edited by Tywin et al.

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18 minutes ago, The_Lone_Wolf said:

He fed on you?

Yeah well, i'd risk anything for love.

11 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I just finished the early 90's The Three Musketeers. Holy shit that was funny, but for all the wrong reasons. Oliver Platt as a heart throb? Over David Kiefer Sutherland and Charlie all the STDs Sheen? Shitty Robin was D'Artagnan? And I knew I recognized De Mornay from something, but I was surprised to learn that she was the actress from the opening scene of Wedding Crashers

And Tim Curry's smile is just so maniacally wonderful. 

Every single one of them were tripping balls 24/7 on that movie. 

No love for The Hand that Rocks the Cradle? That was her biggest film.

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2 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

Every single one of them were tripping balls 24/7 on that movie. 

Can we talk about the fight choreography? That has to be some of the laziest shit I've ever seen. No one is trying at all except the main henchman villain, and frankly he's trying too hard, though I did appreciate it. 

Quote

No love for The Hand that Rocks the Cradle? That was her biggest film.

Haven't seen it, but I'll check it out this week. She's also in Risky Business and Backdraft, both films I need to see as well. 

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5 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Can we talk about the fight choreography? That has to be some of the laziest shit I've ever seen. No one is trying at all except the main henchman villain, and frankly he's trying too hard, though I did appreciate it. 

Either he was the only one who was sober or he got the cocaine/alcohol mix right.

Literally decades since I've seen any of those films.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

Either he was the only one who was sober or he got the cocaine/alcohol mix right.

Literally decades since I've seen any of those films.

Probably the latter.

And on that note, let's go  Deep Blue Sea!

Edited by Tywin et al.

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The Suicide Squad was somewhat disappointing considering the widespread acclaim. It definitely hit well on lots of good one liners and corny antics, but the plot was eye-rolling at best, and groan worthy in general. I didn't see the first one, but I hardly think that mattered. 

Spoiler

 

I only knew going in who Harley Quinn was, and that apparently Gunn had free range to kill off anyone he pleased. I guess I thought that would make things more interesting. Alas, my buddy and I called pretty much every death from the character introductions, down to the minute or so before each exit. I would have enjoyed a dozen less jokes for one or two compelling moments in general.

We also agreed that a lot of the visual flair stuff didn't quite work. The scene cue cards were a giant swing and a miss, in my opinion. The ridiculous aquarium suckerfish, Harley's otherwise kickass escape scene with the Looney Tunes animation sprouting around her? And the 50 million dollar colossal city destruction setpiece versus... an angry starfish. Sheesh. Eh, even with some pretty terrific weed, I was pretty checked out for the duration.

 

 

That said, the actors seemed to be enjoying themselves throughout. Robbie was a treat, to be sure. Somehow made something interesting beyond a horny goth teenage fantasy pastiche. All in all it was worth some laughs, but I hardly think it deserves a 95% + Rotten Tomatoes and all that.

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28 minutes ago, Argonath Diver said:

The Suicide Squad was somewhat disappointing considering the widespread acclaim. It definitely hit well on lots of good one liners and corny antics, but the plot was eye-rolling at best, and groan worthy in general. I didn't see the first one, but I hardly think that mattered. 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

I only knew going in who Harley Quinn was, and that apparently Gunn had free range to kill off anyone he pleased. I guess I thought that would make things more interesting. Alas, my buddy and I called pretty much every death from the character introductions, down to the minute or so before each exit. I would have enjoyed a dozen less jokes for one or two compelling moments in general.

We also agreed that a lot of the visual flair stuff didn't quite work. The scene cue cards were a giant swing and a miss, in my opinion. The ridiculous aquarium suckerfish, Harley's otherwise kickass escape scene with the Looney Tunes animation sprouting around her? And the 50 million dollar colossal city destruction setpiece versus... an angry starfish. Sheesh. Eh, even with some pretty terrific weed, I was pretty checked out for the duration.

 

 

That said, the actors seemed to be enjoying themselves throughout. Robbie was a treat, to be sure. Somehow made something interesting beyond a horny goth teenage fantasy pastiche. All in all it was worth some laughs, but I hardly think it deserves a 95% + Rotten Tomatoes and all that.

You're no fun at all.

My first impression was a "meh" to "good enough", but I'm warming up to it. But yeah, it's not the most head-scratching example of the fruit/vegitable consensus, but it's definitely overrated.

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I'm actually a hell of a lot of fun. Thanks. But I am a bit tired of superhero films in general, to be sure. Serious ones and send-ups alike. 

We still had a fun time watching it and laughed throughout.  I just don't think it was that memorable, nor worth such a high critics consensus. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Argonath Diver said:

I'm actually a hell of a lot of fun. Thanks. But I am a bit tired of superhero films in general, to be sure. Serious ones and send-ups alike. 

We still had a fun time watching it and laughed throughout.  I just don't think it was that memorable, nor worth such a high critics consensus. 

You're not the only one.

It's impossible to say exactly what effect Covid or streaming has had on films like this or Black Widow, but I'm thinking the box office of BW isn't an aberration. I think the capeshit stuff more or less peaked with the end of the Infinity Saga. Momentum was definitely a factor in the success of the MCU and that ended in 2019. Of course I could be hilariously wrong. 

TSS and BW just didn't seem to generate the buzz this stuff did before the pandemic, and this is at time people should be clamoring for new films. They have 3 more MCU films coming out before the end of the year and they don't seem to be getting much traction. They'll make money but, streaming or no, the days of reliable billion dollar box office might be over. The Disney+ stuff seems to be popular, but then so was the Arrowverse stuff at first. On average those shows have consistently had declining viewership with subsequent seasons. Again I could be wrong.

What's really disturbing to me is the sudden spike in nostalgia. Keaton's Batman is coming back for The Flash. Maguire, Garfield, and Molina are supposedly making appearances in the next Spider-Man. That's all well and good but where do you go after that?

Edited by Deadlines? What Deadlines?

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That’s a good point, it’s never a good sign if you need to rely on bringing back old actors and characters to generate buzz about a property.

Partly I think the fact that a lot of these movies are being home streamed and compete even more with the swathes of super hero tv shows that don’t feel any different to a big budget actioner, is really adding to the fatigue with the genre.

There is almost nowhere left to go, though I’ve been saying that incorrectly for years.

The Sucide Squad is definitely something I’d be interested in watching more of, the genre is at a point of not really being able to take itself seriously any more 

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Star Wars too. The lions share of the stuff they have coming out take place during the inter-war periods between Ep. 3 & 4 and 6 & 7. The biggest moments of the last season of the Mandalorian were cameos from existing characters. One of them we thought was dead for 35 years. But not only is he not dead, he's getting his own show!

I used to think a Mace Windu return was all kinds of tinfoil but now I'm not so sure. By gods you just know they're working on a way to bring him back.

At least the next GoT prequel can't play that card, as it takes place too far in the past.

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40 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

I used to think a Mace Windu return was all kinds of tinfoil but now I'm not so sure. By gods you just know they're working on a way to bring him back.

 

I really hope not. In the books it's clear that force lightning can kill you, especially when it's concentrated entirely on your chest and head. Mace absolutely should stay dead.

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3 hours ago, Heartofice said:

That’s a good point, it’s never a good sign if you need to rely on bringing back old actors and characters to generate buzz about a property.

Partly I think the fact that a lot of these movies are being home streamed and compete even more with the swathes of super hero tv shows that don’t feel any different to a big budget actioner, is really adding to the fatigue with the genre.

There is almost nowhere left to go, though I’ve been saying that incorrectly for years.

The Sucide Squad is definitely something I’d be interested in watching more of, the genre is at a point of not really being able to take itself seriously any more 

I acknowledge I am well past the cultural zeitgeist, but I do wonder if the 'stars' of today are on the same level of stars of the past.  Who is this generation's Harrison Ford or Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise....stars who can guarantee a good if not great opening?  Timotthe? Pattinson?  One of the Ryans?  Who is the new Julia Roberts?  Anyone?  Who are the stars in their early 30s that are really bankable?

**I was one of the few people who enjoyed the first SS, so I'll give this a watch some time in the next few days. 

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2 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

I acknowledge I am well past the cultural zeitgeist, but I do wonder if the 'stars' of today are on the same level of stars of the past.  Who is this generation's Harrison Ford or Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise....stars who can guarantee a good if not great opening?  Timotthe? Pattinson?  One of the Ryans?  Who is the new Julia Roberts?  Anyone?  Who are the stars in their early 30s that are really bankable?

**I was one of the few people who enjoyed the first SS, so I'll give this a watch some time in the next few days. 

The better question is  ‘will there actually be a next set of stars’.

I think we’ve moved past the era where actors and actresses could sell movies on their own. There’s a handful still hanging around that might pull people in like Cruise or Pitt but on the whole studios don’t seem to think adding in a huge star guarantees returns in the same way.

I mean the lack of risk taking right now is significant but clearly studios are not willing to invest huge sums in a movie unless it’s got some sort of pre existing audience behind it, so that’s more likely part of an existing franchise or based on a book. The star seems far less important than ever. 

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Posted (edited)

The Suicide Squad excels at dumb fun, and it makes no pretenses of being anything other than that. If you go in explicitly expecting dumb fun, you will probably enjoy it. If you are looking for something that remotely deviates from dumb fun, you will be underwhelmed.

I liked it. I have no idea why it's being critically applauded, but for the last couple of years I've had zero respect for the opinion of professional movie and television critics, so your miles may vary.

I recently watched The Imitation Game after reading the book Alan Turing: The Engima by Andrew Hodges. The movie was "inspired" by this book, and by inspired they mean the screenwriters were made aware of the existence of some guy named Alan Turing and just made up a World War 2 fantasy using that name. I hated this movie, mostly because Alan Turing and the Enigma project is an interesting story worth telling, but the screenwriters decided to go with some inferior nonsense they fabricated.

Critics love that movie though. It won an Oscar for adapted best screenplay, which is a shocking misapplication of good taste. To be fair though, it was in competition that year with The Theory of Everything, which is another movie about scientists/mathematicians for an audience utterly indifferent to science and mathematics.

Tonight I plan to watch Judas and the Black Messiah.

Edited by IFR

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Went to see Jungle Cruise in the theatre yesterday. Since all blockbusters have surprised me positively lately, I decided to give this a shot and I didn't regret it. It's certainly not on the level of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, The Mummy and the Indiana Jones trilogy which are the movies it rips off the most, but it is still a decent flick in its own right. Not as good as The Suicide Squad and Cruella, but better than Fast 9 and Black Widow (although it beats the latter mostly because I like this genre much more than superhero films).

I do feel like this was a decent to good film that could have been good to great with a little more focus. I'm a sucker for dad jokes and puns, so I really liked how this movie leaned into those. The Rock and Emily Blunt are always a joy to watch and while they had zero chemistry as a pair, I would say that their characters were enjoyable overall. The foppish younger brother and Prince Joachim were also well-acted, although there is nothing there that we haven't seen before. The story was serviceable, although it devolves into a big flaming mess by the very end. Shame that it didn't stick the landing, but at least what came before was fun enough. 

Spoiler

It almost feels like the last 20 or so minutes were written and directed by other people. The secret city behind the waterfall made my eyes roll, that's one of those clichés that just needs to die, the rules of the magical tree are nonsensical and Emily Blunt goes from a likeable female Indiana Jones riff to an idiotic clown by sacrificing the holy flower (humanities answer to all disease) on a guy who has explicitly stated that he was done living. Not to mention that the Rock then just walks away and leaves the conquistadores to a faith worse then death.  

My biggest issue with the film lay in the villain department. Even though this is a very derivative film, it tried to one-up the movies it rips off in this department and unfortunately there approach to do so didn't work for me. In order to explain what I want to say I'll have to go in spoiler territory for both Jungle Cruise and the aforementioned films it used as a template for its own story.

Spoiler

So when you look at the films Jungle Cruise rips off, the villains are:

  1. PotC 1: Undead pirates as the main villains, the stuffy British colonial establishment as very minor (not evil) antagonist
  2. The Mummy: Imhotep as the main villain, the douchy crew of grave robbers as minor villains
  3. Indiana Jones 1 & 3 (as 2 is without Nazi's): The Nazi's are the main villains

In Jungle Cruise though, it is hard to say who the main villain is. Is it German Prince Joachim, who is a Nazi villain in all but name despite the fact that this movie is set in 1916? Or are the undead conquistadores the main antagonists? If I were to remake this film I'd probably take a page from The Mummy's book and have Prince Joachim dispatched early on after awaking the Conquistadores as that allows for a more focused narrative in my book that you can either fill up with more action (the film did lack some exciting big action set pieces in my opinion, there was nothing like the final ship battle/duel in and around Isla dela Muerta from PotC 1) or with more development of the villain. Or if they really needed to have Prince Joachim in there, they should have had the balls to turn him into a Nazi and turned Aguirre in a sephardic jew or something like that, just to throw a wrench in their alliance at the end. 

I think the most interesting aspect of the film for me was the twist that The Rock was actually a 400-years-old Spanish Conquistador. Everything else in the film was predictable, but that was a surprisingly effective twist for me. The flashbacks to his past with Don Aguirre were the best part of the film to me and they really missed out an opportunity to elaborate more on those and create a three-dimensional villain. More scenes with Aguirre's daughter and a more gradual descent into madness would have made that villain a lot more tragic and then it could have ended with a lot more pathos than it did now as you'd understand the bond between The Rock and Aguirre better.

For me, the gold standard here are The Mummy 1 & 2. Those films get better the more you learn about Imhotep and when the resurrected lover for whom he was damned to a living hell abandons him in the second film you almost pity him.

Unfortunately, they tried to cram both a Mummy/PotC undead antagonist and a spiritual Nazi in the film and that just sucked the oxygen out of the whole thing for me. 

 

 

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On 8/6/2021 at 8:48 PM, RumHam said:

Easily the best DCEU movie. Though I never got around to Shazaam which I heard was one of the better ones. 

It's better than Shazam, although Shazam is definitely the second best effort in the DCEU.

On 8/6/2021 at 8:41 PM, Tywin et al. said:

I started too late and had to stop midway through, but what I saw was pretty good. Certainly better than any DC stuff I've seen in ages. 

Exactly :D

On 8/6/2021 at 8:58 PM, RumHam said:

Yeah, I liked Wonder Woman. But personally I'm always gonna prefer dark comedy over a traditional origin story type deal. 

Wonder Woman was trying to hard to be Iron Man in my opinion. Apart from the fact that it looked really drab, it could have been a standard MCU film. At least Shazam was a bit more irreverent and silly. 

On 8/7/2021 at 1:44 AM, DMC said:

Just finished Suicide Squad.  It was indeed really fucking funny.  It was also really..really fucking stupid.  Way worse than Guardians, even the second one.  Hope Gunn just viewed it as a paycheck or something.

I feel like I need to check your definition of stupid. GotG ends with a dance off against the big bad, while The Suicide Squad ends with a barely

Spoiler

veiled criticism of American interventionist foreign policy.

Both narratively and on a character level The Suicide Squad is far more ingenious and serious than GotG.  I think the word you and @Week are looking for is juvenile and even that is only a good description of the humor and not of the plot or characters. 

For me that juvenile humor was part of the appeal. As @Heartofice says:

Quote

THE Suicide Squad is a big improvement, by playing up the stupidity of the concept and the lameness of the villains it can get away with so much more. 

Superhero films by and large are lame and stupid. The whole genre thrives on men children who like to play with toys and care about non-issues like #releasethesnydercut. Gunn takes that lameness and irreverently throws it in your face. Best example near the very end when you have the traditional third act VFX battle 

Spoiler

and instead of the hordes of disposable alien/robot red shirts or the blue sky beam, Gunn has the balls to serve up something as stupid as a giant starfish with mind control powers. It's brilliant how they just leaned into the stupidity of the whole genre. 

I saw a good article in the Guardian where they compared Gunn's approach to The Suicide Squad with the rise of the revisionist western back in the late sixties and early seventies in which all the stuffy lore that had accumulated around the Western genre was deconstructed and used to build something new. I think they have a point as The Suicide Squad goes much further than say Logan or Deadpool in deconstructing the common tropes in the genre and giving us something new:

Spoiler

For example, I loved what they did with John Cena's Peace Maker and I'm already looking forward to his HBO show. On IMDB's trivia there is a tidbit about how Cena was asked to describe his character and answers that Peace Maker is like a "douchebag Captain America" and that's just a superb description of the character. 

If superhero's were real and they would have the backgrounds we usually see them as having in the comics, most of them would be closer to Peace Maker and Homelander from The Boys than Captain America and Superman. 

On 8/7/2021 at 6:56 PM, RumHam said:

I wonder if that was the most improved sequel? The list of sequels that are better than the originals has to be pretty short. 

I mean I really liked The Suicide Squad but nothing will ever beat the jump from Legend of the Drunken Master 1 to Legend of the Drunken Master 2. The first is excruciating to watch, while the second is a stone cold classic. 

On 8/8/2021 at 4:47 AM, Tywin et al. said:

So after Bloodsport I watched Road House. I forgot that Sam Elliott was pretty damn handsome when he was younger. 

Trying to decide if I should watch Tango and CashThe Thing or The Lost Boys next. 

Tango and Cash if you want to stick to silly action movies from the eighties and nineties. 

 

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