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Watched, Watched, Watching: It's not the plane, it's the pilot


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Jurassic World: Dominion  is bad but also maybe the best sequel? If nothing else it's the most visually interesting. The character interactions are hollow, but the characters were always thin. I'm here for the horror and it delivered. I appreciate that it's not more jungle. Or city. Or haunted mansion.

 

 

Edited by RumHam
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After having recently watched Zhang Yimou's To Live, I decided to see if I could find his wuxia film Shadow that I missed seeing when it was briefly available here in Sweden. I had absolutely loved both Hero and House of Flying Daggers, and figured I'd love this. Mostly, I did, though while looking at past reviews I see some critics actually preferred it to those two and I can't say I did. The pacing of the film is kind of odd, in that it goes a very long time just setting up the premise -- the kingdom of Pei is in a fraught alliance with the kingdom of Yang, who before the alliance took Jing City from them; the chief general, called Commander, is a great hero... but in fact he is a 'shadow', a double, because the actual Commander took a debilitating injury and doesn't want anyone to know that, and said shadow has now challenged Yang's chief commander to another duel to decide the fate of Jing.

That said, the real draw to this film is the production first, and Zhang Yimou's direction second, and the story is sort of a distant third (IMO). The set design and costuming are almost entirely monochromatic, inspired by ink wash painting, and it is absolutely gorgeous. Here's the trailer to get a taste of it:

There are a lot of elements of the film that I like, but the structure just didn't work for me. It felt strangely inverted in some ways, centering the shadow's relationship with the Commander and Madam, the Commander's wife, in a way that made the political side of the story feel kind of thin. It also lacked some of the charm that I had come to expect after House of Flying Daggers, but that's a genuinely romantic film in a way this one isn't and perhaps can't even be.

Still it's wuxia, with some very cool fight choreography, and like I said it looks gorgeous. 

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4 minutes ago, Ran said:

After having recently watched Zhang Yimou's To Live, I decided to see if I could find his wuxia film Shadow that I missed seeing when it was briefly available here in Sweden. I had absolutely loved both Hero and House of Flying Daggers, and figured I'd love this. Mostly, I did, though while looking at past reviews I see some critics actually preferred it to those two and I can't say I did. The pacing of the film is kind of odd, in that it goes a very long time just setting up the premise -- the kingdom of Pei is in a fraught alliance with the kingdom of Yang, who before the alliance took Jing City from them; the chief general, called Commander, is a great hero... but in fact he is a 'shadow', a double, because the actual Commander took a debilitating injury and doesn't want anyone to know that, and said shadow has now challenged Yang's chief commander to another duel to decide the fate of Jing.

That said, the real draw to this film is the production first, and Zhang Yimou's direction second, and the story is sort of a distant third (IMO). The set design and costuming are almost entirely monochromatic, inspired by ink wash painting, and it is absolutely gorgeous. Here's the trailer to get a taste of it:

There are a lot of elements of the film that I like, but the structure just didn't work for me. It felt strangely inverted in some ways, centering the shadow's relationship with the Commander and Madam, the Commander's wife, in a way that made the political side of the story feel kind of thin. It also lacked some of the charm that I had come to expect after House of Flying Daggers, but that's a genuinely romantic film in a way this one isn't and perhaps can't even be.

Still it's wuxia, with some very cool fight choreography, and like I said it looks gorgeous. 

This was one of my first UHD disc purchases a couple years ago when I got a 4K player. I’ve only watched it once so far, but I definitely remember the visuals more than anything. The scene of the warriors going down the hill on the umbrella looking things was fantastic. 

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I watched Little Miss Sunshine yesterday. One of those films I missed at the cinema, which lots of people seemed to talk about and I felt like I was possibly missing out on some important piece of popular culture... It was good, perfectly alright, but kind of predictable? Had I gone to see it at the cinema at the time maybe I would have liked it better.

After that I watched A Dark Song, which was a much better film. It has a similar kind of vibe to Saint Maud. I have to say that I spent a lot of the film thining 'is this really Wales?' whenever we saw the landscape. They were clearly trying to clue you in to it being in Wales but it never looked quite right to me. When the credits rolled you see that it was filmed in Ireland lol. Anyway, it's a claustrophobic two-hander with Steve Oram (Sightseers) doing a brilliant job of portraying an arrogant occultist and a mostly TV actress (Catherine Walker) as a grieving mother. Would recommend if you like quiet horror which makes you think and is not about jump scares. 

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5 minutes ago, Isis said:

After that I watched A Dark Song, which was a much better film. 

That ending though.

 

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21 hours ago, Spockydog said:

Unlike the mini-renaissance of Kate Bush, I'm finding it hard to get excited for anyone in Metallica over their own reflected ST glory. This, despite once being a big fan of theirs.

Guess I should never have watched Some Kind Of Monster. What a bunch of snowflakes and bellends. Great documentary though.

Oh, yeah. And Napster.

 

 

Really? Would you be ok with people stealing GRRM's books and publishing them with out him getting paid? That's similar to what those initial sharing sites were doing. Getting the site $$ and the artists nothing. I don't wanna rehash that whole debate but considering we are on a site devoted to someone who could be pirated it seems an odd comment to make.  I have no issue with the artists getting more money for their work, good for them.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, RumHam said:

Jurassic World: Dominion  is bad but also maybe the best sequel? If nothing else it's the most visually interesting. The character interactions are hollow, but the characters were always thin. I'm here for the horror and it delivered. I appreciate that it's not more jungle. Or city. Or haunted mansion.

 

 

I'm about twenty minutes in and it's roughly as bad as I expected.  Why do they insist on leaning so hard into the evil corporation aspect of this series in the sequels?  It's by far the least interesting element in the series.

I just want a good horror film like the first Jurassic Park with great practical effects and compelling characters.  This series doesn't need to be some insane epic with the fate of the world at stake.  

Edited by briantw
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16 hours ago, RumHam said:

Jurassic World: Dominion  is bad but also maybe the best sequel? If nothing else it's the most visually interesting. The character interactions are hollow, but the characters were always thin. I'm here for the horror and it delivered. I appreciate that it's not more jungle. Or city. Or haunted mansion.

Why do people always treat The Lost World with such disrespect...

24 minutes ago, briantw said:

I'm about twenty minutes in and it's roughly as bad as I expected.  Why do they insist on leaning so hard into the evil corporation aspect of this series in the sequels?  It's by far the least interesting element in the series.

It's it available to rent now on a streaming service?

Quote

I just want a good horror film like the first Jurassic Park with great practical effects and compelling characters.  This series doesn't need to be some insane epic with the fate of the world at stake.  

Back to comparing books and movies, they should have just made a faithful adaptation of The Lost World. It's not quite as good as the first book, but still worth a read. Instead they took several plot points from it and stretched them out over three movies. I'm certain it would have been the movie you wanted if they just went that route instead.

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I’m a few minutes into Moonhaven from AMC+. 
 

‘Big problems don’t find small men.’

’Get small.’

 

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2 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

You would have to pay me to watch the Jurrassic Park movies.  I think I made it through the original reboot, which was terrible, but after that nah.  

At this point it's basically a sunk cost.  I'm in too deep.  Might as well see this shit storm through.

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Technology scares me. Over the holiday weekend I signed up for a Hulu subscription. Today I listened to a podcast reviewing The Watch. I just logged in and it's the first thing suggested to me. I listened to the podcast on my work computer and brought up Hulu on my PS4 at home. How.....

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6 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Technology scares me. Over the holiday weekend I signed up for a Hulu subscription. Today I listened to a podcast reviewing The Watch. I just logged in and it's the first thing suggested to me. I listened to the podcast on my work computer and brought up Hulu on my PS4 at home. How.....

Remember when you allowed cookies? The people behind your podcast probably make a good chunk of their money from people selling the data they collect. In theory you're just anonymous customer #1234. Combine that with location data and you're probably identifiable. 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, dbunting said:

Really? Would you be ok with people stealing GRRM's books and publishing them with out him getting paid? 

Yes.

It is far less necessary though. Books are usually not overpriced. Well, soft cover books at least. That's why far fewer people are downloading e books from torrents compared to the numbers of people downloading music.

And GRRM also isn't making millions from live readings.

 

Edited by Annara Snow
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I got about five minutes from the end of The Town (another film from years ago which I felt as if I should have seen) and then got a really strong sense of deja vu. Still not completely sure whether I had seen it or not. It could be that it's just an amalgamation of so many other 'organised criminals are cool/coming of age/starcrossed love/damaged man of integrity' movies. It's like you could make this film by stiching together stills from a bunch of other, better, films. 

In a drastic contrast I watched Boiling Point straight after that - it's a (?single-take, i.e. it's meant to look as if it's one continuous take) day-in-the-life account of a head chef and the staff in his restaurant in an evening's service. It's pure claustrophobic chaos filled with conflict and fuck up after fuck up. It is uncomfortable to watch, which is kind of the point I guess. I did find the storyline a bit obvious but I think it was well done overall.

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1 hour ago, Isis said:

I got about five minutes from the end of The Town (another film from years ago which I felt as if I should have seen) and then got a really strong sense of deja vu. Still not completely sure whether I had seen it or not. It could be that it's just an amalgamation of so many other 'organised criminals are cool/coming of age/starcrossed love/damaged man of integrity' movies. It's like you could make this film by stiching together stills from a bunch of other, better, films. 

 

But the pacing is so much better than those. That's the one thing that stands out for the Town with me. It's perfectly paced.

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I remember liking The Town, but I also remember thinking that if I wanted to rewatch a movie like it it was gonna be Heat or Infernal Affairs. 

 

It is, however, much better than Welcome to the Punch. 

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14 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Back to comparing books and movies, they should have just made a faithful adaptation of The Lost World. It's not quite as good as the first book, but still worth a read. Instead they took several plot points from it and stretched them out over three movies. I'm certain it would have been the movie you wanted if they just went that route instead.

I've been saying this since I read the book in the 90's

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