Saddam Hussein

Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1500 on: December 15, 2015, 10:02:43 PM »
Snowpiercer (Bong Joon-ho, 2013)

So the earth has frozen over, and the last of humanity has formed a dystopian society aboard a self-sufficient train that perpetually travels around the world.  You have to admire a movie that takes an absurd premise like this and plays it entirely straight.  If they had started making jokes or something, it would have all fallen apart.  But with a solid cast that give committed performances, violence that never feels glamorous or stylized, and some neat visuals, this ends up being a thoughtful, entertaining action film.

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Offline Snupes

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1501 on: December 17, 2015, 08:28:31 AM »
Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014)

Goddamn, this was a good movie. It just solidifies Jake Gyllenhaal as my favourite actor, because he's a damn chameleon. I could barely watch him in this with how cringeworthy and unsettling he made the character (as he was supposed to), and everyone around him did a wonderful job. Basically, the movie is about a guy who starts a job himself of capturing crime scene footage, employing...questionable methods to do so. I'd rather not say more than that, as watching it all unfold is part of the joy and fuels the trepidation, but it's great. Just great. It's uncommon for me to actually be on the edge of my seat with movies, since most of the time things are pretty predictable, but this film had me nearly bursting at the seams from all the tension at times.

Despite the overall movie's quality, the cinematography was fairly standard and dull. I was kind of hoping for more from what little I'd seen of the movie, but that aspect was passable to decent.

So yeah. Good movie.


On another note, I'm now three episodes into Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I keep watching one every couple weeks to give it another shot and I just can't figure out how I feel about this show. It range from painfully unfunny to kind of hilarious, and I'm not sure if it balances out or not. So much of the humour is tired and worn, but then there's random bursts of good comedy as soon as I think I'm bored enough to finally just quit. With another actress I'd probably have given up, but Ellie Kemper plays Kimmy delightfully enough that I can't hlep but look past the writing she's given and take some delight in her performance and how fun she is to watch.

So yeah. Sigh. I dunno what to dow ith this show. Each "I'll watch one more to figure out if I like it or not" is just as vague and enigmatic as the last.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2015, 09:05:16 AM by Snupes »
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Offline Snupes

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1502 on: December 17, 2015, 01:13:56 PM »
Dust in the Wind (Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 1986)

My second HHHHH film. I acutally really liked this one, despite it prominently featuring the molasses pacing I tend to jokingly give Blanko a hard time for. While I'm way too tired to go as in-depth as I'd like (w0w it's like that's a recurring theme in my reviews), this kinda made me realize how much Hollywood's oversaturated and overwrought pacing and style has affected my view of movies. I'm so used to twists and big things having to happen at every given moment that it was originally hard for me to stomach a movie that actually moved and felt like real life.

Anyway, it's a beautiful film, both story-wise and in terms of cinematography. Granted, I don't consider myself well-versed enough in that department to adequately analyze it, so hopefully the Hou panel I'll be watching tonight will shed some light on that, but it was purdy to look at. In terms of story, well, things happen. It's never boring (for me, at least), but there's not much to say since it's pretty simple. A boy and girl like each other and life things happen.

I'm gonna give myself a day to sleep on it because, honestly, I couldn't tell you why I liked this film as much as I did. It has, however, reaffirmed that I really need to watch Millennium Mambo again. It's been nagging at me for months.

Anyway, very good movie. I recommend it.
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Offline Snupes

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1503 on: December 18, 2015, 01:26:49 PM »
Well, just finished watching episode 9 of Master of None, and I just wanted to write a quick little blurb about it. The episode is titled "Mornings", because it takes place entirely in the morning. Not the same morning, but dozens of mornings over the course of a year or so. The episode's about, basically, a little over a year of a relationship. A few episodes ago the main character, Dev, met a girl and they decided yar yar let's be togethar. This episode is set in his apartment and just explores the little nuances of relationships that happen in the morning, and I wanted to write about it because of how damn well it does so. It catches all the little things, the goofy moments and the annoying ones, the tranquil moments and the angry ones, the little fights and the huge ones, stuff like when mannerisms clash, when you can't quite agree on things, when things are neglected or doted on too much. Honestly, this episode basically acts as a short film. I'd go as far as to say no prior viewing of the show is required to watch this episode, and it may actually work even better on its own because of some stuff at the end. Even if you don't like Aziz Ansari's humour (which I don't), that's not what the episode is about.

I really liked this one, and if anyone is curious about whether or not they'll like the show, I'd recommend watching this episode to find out. They're not all like this (this is probably one of the least funny episodes I've watched), but it's a pretty good sample of the kind of little things the show likes to touch on.
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Offline Snupes

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1504 on: December 20, 2015, 12:00:13 AM »
Damn, Master of None's finale was great. I actually do recommend this show, finally. It picked up big time around halfway in, but even before that (second episode aside) it was pretty good in general. The second episode was an absolute travesty, though. Besides that, this show is really great at dealing with really human feelings in a sometimes frustratingly realistic way. During arguments I couldn't help but get annoyed or upset at how irrational characters were being and how things could've been solved, but I've also been in similar arguments enough to know that rationality doesn't always win out and sometimes doesn't even occur to oneself. Not to mention the show does a pretty great job at not being thoroughly predictable. Most of the times I expected it to fall into generic sitcom tropes, it usually let me think just that before deftly sidestepping them and moving on.

It was a mixed experience at times, but in the end I'm really glad I decided to watch this. Kind of given me some insights on life and relationships I gotta think about, as well.
There are cigarettes in joints. You don't smoke it by itself.

Saddam Hussein

Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1505 on: December 20, 2015, 10:34:13 PM »
Fargo (season two, 2015)

A tremendous improvement over the first season.  This has it all - fantastic acting, tragicomic characters, brilliant direction, an offbeat 1970s setting with a soundtrack to match, and most importantly of all, a (generally) believable plot that doesn't need to rely on coincidences upon coincidences or all cops in the world being idiots to advance the story.  I also liked how they got Martin Freeman back to narrate the penultimate episode.

One more problem I have with this show, however, is its frequent nods and references to the Coen movies (particularly Fargo).  Every time a character repeats a line from one of the movies, or the show does a little riff on a famous scene from a movie, I die a little inside.  It's literally the worst kind of cringey, try-hard fanservice, and it's just unnecessary for a show that's already shown that it can stand on its own feet.

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Offline Snupes

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1506 on: December 22, 2015, 10:03:51 AM »
Been watching the show Brooklyn Nine Nine and I really can't overstate what a pleasant surprise this show is. I've avoided it for years because I figured it'd end up being a generic, goofy shitcom with standard one-liners, clichéd quips and predictable punchlines, thanks in part to the quotes I've seen online, but it's actually turned out to be really damn good. All the actors are magnificent at their characters, all the characters are very well-written and fleshed out, and all the writing is quick, witty and subversive (to an extent). Much of the time I think I know how a joke's gonna go, it doesn't, and even the jokes I can see coming tend to be pretty damn funny regardless, either due to writing or the actors' talents.

It's not perfect, I know many here have bizarrely "high" standards, but I'm getting a good amount of actual laughter out of each episode so far, and this is coming from someone who's spent the last month checking out dozens of highly-rated shows in search of something she'd actually find funny. Who knew the answer would be in a show I'd long written off?

I actually really recommend anyone check this out, at least the first three episodes. That's all I've seen so far. I'd say go for either the first or the third if you only wanna watch one, but if you have an hour to spare check out all three. It's great.

EDIT: Oh, one more thing I wanted to add. It always bothers me in sitcoms how so many of the jokes seem so mean-spirited and barbed, not helped by the fact that the recipient usually just looks disgusted or offended and then it's not talked about. This is especially clear in shows with laugh tracks, since if you take those away it just seems like they all must hate each other. But even in ones without them, it's often groups of people who seem like they should not be hanging out, and nobody ever actually laughs at jokes or quips. Actually, that last part is a problem with comedies as a whole (which is why I love when some shows like The Flash actually show people acknowledging the one-liners and jokes their friends make by laughing and/or smiling).

Anyway, my point is that everyone in this show seems like they actually get along, and nobody there is really a perennial butt of jokes. And if they are, it's usually still in good fun. There's insults in the vein of the kinds friends make to each other, but in the end everyone genuinely seems like they enjoy working with each other. It's just really, really refreshing.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2015, 10:34:12 AM by Snupes »
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Offline rooster

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1507 on: December 22, 2015, 01:36:03 PM »
I loooove that show.

Been meaning to get a Hulu account just so I can watch it. I got hooked at a friend's house one day and have been suffering without it ever since.

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Offline spoon

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1508 on: December 23, 2015, 03:07:25 PM »
I have watched the first six seasons of X-Files this semester in preparation for the reboot this january, still got 3 seasons to watch in a month, shouldn't be too bad.

Anyways, I went in with low expectations, not a huge fan of shows you can pick up at any episode in any season, but X-Files isn't exactly that. There are a few plot arcs stretched over top of Scully and Mulder hunting down monsters and murderers. Apparently, this was an accident. It was supposed to just be a "monster of the week" show, but Gillian Anderson got pregnant, and so the writers had to add some depth to the series.

I am now deeply vested in the series, very content with the ratio of plot to non plot episodes. While far from genius, the writing is entertaining enough to keep me coming back. That, and my growing hardon for Gillian Anderson. However, I'm afraid my love for the series will fade much like Scully has in the past 15 years.

8.43/10
inb4 Blanko spoons a literally pizza

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1509 on: December 24, 2015, 11:38:53 PM »
My fever is back for the third time and I'm watching Marvel's Jessica Jones.

I love it. She is my soul mate. I may watch this all in one sitting.

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1510 on: December 25, 2015, 11:36:35 AM »
Boudewijn de Groot - Eeuwige Jeugd (2005)

Titled "Eternal Youth", this is concert footage of Boudewijn performing a wide variety of pieces from across his career. I particularly enjoyed seeing the arrangements of "De Reiziger" and "Het Land van Maas en Waal" for a smaller ensemble, as well as the live rendition of the wine glass solo in "De Engel is Gekomen" and the extended violin/washboard duel in "Wegen". Definitely worth watching, and I'll probably watch it again sometime.

I accidentally watched this in two parts because my power went out halfway through the first time, so my memory of the first half is a lot less clear than the second half. That's probably why all my stated highlights are from the second half.

Also, this is a pretty great film for Dutch learners, since in addition to the lyrics, Boudewijn speaks to the audience in Dutch between songs. I can't understand most of what he's saying yet, but I'll get there in time!
« Last Edit: December 25, 2015, 11:39:38 AM by Parsifal »
when you try to mock anyone while also running the flat earth society. Lol

Saddam Hussein

Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1511 on: December 30, 2015, 03:22:17 AM »
The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino, 2015)

If Fallout 4 was the most frustrating video game of the year for me, than Hateful Eight was the most frustrating film.  The first half or so of it is great.  The titular eight characters (technically there are more than eight of them, but the extra characters aren't particularly important) are introduced to the story brilliantly.  Each of them has a distinctive personality, a particular moral failing, a history they recount to the other characters that may not be entirely true, and absolutely no reason to trust most of the people that they're forced to hole up with in a cabin as a blizzard rages outside.  And then something happens that strongly indicates that at least one of the inhabitants wants everyone else dead.  Sounds great, right?  A clever high-concept story, a new genre for Tarantino to experiment with....and then he goes and fucks it all up by "resolving" the plot in the laziest, most obvious way he possibly could.  Intricate character development and well-earned moments of frantic suspense are utterly squandered in favor of anticlimactic shootouts, gross-out blood and gore effects, and the lowest of the low, shock value.  I won't reveal the ending, but I will say that if you've seen any of the last three Tarantino movies, it'll feel very familiar to you.  That's not a good thing.

Also, while it's far from the film's biggest problem, another thing that bothers me about it is that Tarantino seems to have lost his touch for ultra-violent slapstick.  Horrific violence being played for comedy is all well and good, but (at the risk of taking an objective stance on a subject as inherently subjective as comedy) the humor in violence very rarely comes from the violent act itself as much as it does the reaction from the characters.  Great comedy acts throughout the ages have understood this, like Tom and Jerry and the Three Stooges. And even when you can't get a reaction from the character whom the violence has been inflicted upon (for example, if they're killed by it), you can still get one from the other characters.  Take this famous scene:



What makes this scene funny?  Is it the actual shooting of Marvin in the face?  Or is it how Travolta and Jackson react to the shooting?

Anyway, even though the violence in H8ful 8 is clearly intended to be humorous, none of the characters have any funny reactions to it.  We're apparently supposed to think that so-and-so being punched in the face or getting their head blown off is funny in and of itself.  Jackson does frequently react to the violence by laughing hysterically at it, but that's not funny, it's just sad.  It makes him look like he's very easily entertained, and even worse, like he's supposed to be a prompt for the audience to also laugh.  A kind of one-man laugh track, so to speak.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 07:24:57 PM by Saddam Hussein »

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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1512 on: January 08, 2016, 03:38:35 AM »
Surprise, assholes.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (Joss Whedon)

Hydra is up to no good ─ again! ─ and the Avengers come to kill them except some not quite X-Men people are also there and then Tony Stark creates an AI that wants to kill everyone because Iron Man fixing his own mistakes is pretty much what the MCU is about so James Spader kills some people and things explode and you know the drill.

The novelty of seeing a bunch of superheroes from different films team up to save the day has obviously worn off by now, so they can’t really rely on that this time around. To that end they try to cram as much stuff into the film's 140 minute runtime as possible, and it feels like Whedon can’t quite juggle that many things at once. More so than in the previous Avengers film the action jumps around between all the different members of the team in a rapid-fire style which, while not exactly giving me a kind of shot-driven nausea, does make it difficult to become invested in what’s going on, the inevitable brevity of each individual bit taking considerable weight off what should have been far more impactful scenes.

On the other hand, Jeremy Renner gets to play an actual character this time, and it’s nice to see Hawkeye, who was pretty much just a guy who stood around shooting arrows at robotic goons, do more than shoot arrows at robotic goons. On that note, the area in which the film definitely does better its predecessor is the "character moment." There are quite a few scenes, no matter how brief, which feature two characters having some meaningful dialogue with each other, and they're pretty good. They're stronger, more fleshed out, and this works nicely to offset the excessive action which predominates, but again I have to come back to the fact that there are just too many different things to explore all vying for screen time. This could probably have been 160 minutes, just to give it some space, and especially so that there could have been more time to develop the Ultron character. It's a neat role and James Spader does a great job with what’s there, easily giving the most enjoyable performance of the whole film despite being CGI the entire time, but it could have been even better if there had been more time, more depth.

Of course the plot beats are predictable and the one liners/banter are clichéd and silly, that’s pretty much a given and not really something I expect a film like this to try and avoid, so I don't really think about it, but there are literally no surprises in the entire film and I feel like that could either be down to me or Joss Whedon being jaded, he did quit the MCU after this, after all. I think the MCU still has good stuff in it, Guardians of the Galaxy was a nice surprise, and I'm sure there's more of that good stuff to come, but this ain't it. The focus is too much on watching Captain America hit things while arguing with Iron Man/Thor/Hulk/whoever or everyone crying because ego problems and not enough on Ultron which, despite being the main villain and the crazy muhfugga gon kill us all, has a lot of implied character that we miss because we spend too much time catching up with everything else. Whingers: Age of Ultravox is a mess, it fails to build on the promise of The Avengers and feels like a major missed opportunity, I can't quite call it bad, but it should have been so much better.

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Offline junker

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1513 on: January 08, 2016, 04:01:56 AM »
I'll call it bad for you, because it was bad.

Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1514 on: January 08, 2016, 04:03:32 AM »
What's bad is both your opinions.

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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1515 on: January 08, 2016, 04:13:06 AM »
I'll call it bad for you, because it was bad.
Certainly wasn't very good. I think the only thing keeping me from saying it was bad is that, although I was disappointed by it, my expectations were not high enough for my reaction to be that strong.

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1516 on: January 08, 2016, 01:55:55 PM »
Capeshit is bad.

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1517 on: January 13, 2016, 01:24:06 PM »
The Revenant

It was a beautiful movie. Mostly a story about human endurance than revenge.
There are so many moments that are hard to watch because of their viciousness and cruelty. Wounds, attacks, stabbings, murder, gore.. it's all present.
The pacing was decent. A little slow, but in a poignant way. I don't know if I'd watch it again, but I loved it.

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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1518 on: January 17, 2016, 06:44:22 AM »
The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu)

I'll say right off the bat that I liked this a lot more than Birdman, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that Birdman felt like I was watching someone tell me how clever they are, whereas this feels less like a virtuosic display of fancy tricks and more like crawling around in the mud with your skin torn off. It's a very raw and intense film, the camera is scarcely withdrawn, you're always right there in the thick of the action, which could be a Sioux raid on a trapper camp or it could be a man near freezing to death as he disembowels a horse and prepares to crawl inside to catch what glimpse of sleep he might. The cinematography helps, too, showcasing the harsh beauty of the landscape in beautifully composed shots, and with a decided emphasis on the harsh part, taking the staple vistas of the now classic exemplars of the revisionist western and subverting them into desolate visions that are as much of the mind as they are of the physical world. It feels tactile in a way, textural, where Birdman felt synthetic. I won't lie, there is still a little of that synthetic feeling here, which for me comes from the soundtrack and, I think, may ultimately be the result of Iñárritu and myself not seeing eye to eye on everything, but the primary mode is of flesh and blood and grit and visceral sensation.

DiCaprio is of course getting all the talk right now, and indeed his performance as Hugh Glass is commendable, as I did really feel like I was watching a man come back from at least very, very near death, if not a full blown resurrection. Being unable to speak and/or having no one to speak to for long stretches of the film gives an added physicality to his performance, his entire body must do the talking more so than any dialogue. Make up effects of course enhance the experience, as wounds are portrayed with what I guess I would call a visceral accuracy ─ like so much in this film, it's there and it really feels like it is. Even the bear, which is CGI, has a weight to it, and I could believe even as I sat there in the cinema that Hugh Glass was really fighting for his life. Aside from that obvious bravura performance, one of the best performances for me is that of Will Poulter, whose character is young and green and clearly out of his depth amongst the trail-hardened men that predominate both in main and supporting roles; he could have easily been forgotten amongst the intense physicality of DiCaprio and the thickly-accented Tom Hardy, whose accent work has gotten a lot better since Mad Max: Fury Road, but he remains, a symbol of innocence or near-innocence seemingly now just being born into the reality of a violent and cruel world.

The soundtrack is, for me, the major weakness of the film. It is the main source of the synthetic feeling that maybe characterises about 10% of the overall experience for me, certainly not enough to ruin my enjoyment of it, the film is overall too strong for that, but it does take the edge off of some scenes because, as I find typical of Sakamoto, it is simply too soft. There are no hard edges, no angles, the dissonances are soft and resolution is always forthcoming, and it feels like a warm and comfy intrusive blanket made out of almost nothing but triads. There is something to be said for its Spartan harmonic density as a reflection of the nakedness of existence portrayed in the film, but this quality is negated for me by the friendliness of the harmonies that are there. Aside from this, the bizarre choice to include a minor snippet of Messiaen's Fête des belles eaux in one scene seems to tip a little too far back towards Birdman, as not only does its inclusion seem synthetic, it is no less than a composition for an ensemble of electronic instruments; some people are pointing to this as being, along with the rest of the score, a sonic embodiment of the psychological/spiritual realm which Glass visits throughout his bitter journey, but I just find it unpleasant, and not in an appropriate way. At the moment I can't decide if I would have preferred a different score or no score at all, but suffice it to say the score that is there does not work for me.

I've been using the words "felt," "feeling," and "feels" a lot in this review, and I think this is mostly subconscious on my part, I haven't intended to rely on such limited vocabulary but there simply isn't another word which I could use so reflexively to talk about this film. Although there were plenty of moments in which I was very much aware that I was watching a film, at other times, and comprising a substantial amount of the film's duration, I was feeling it more than anything. The cinema was pretty warm, so I didn't feel the cold that some others have talked about in watching this, but the feeling of snow underfoot, of being swept downstream by rushing waters, of intense uphill climbs with heavy loads to bear, of sleeping on the fallen bark chippings of thousands of dead trees and clad only in a few furs, that was all very much present and there were times when the level of immersion, save for the ineluctable artifice of film, really was enough to take me out of the screening room and into that world.

Thus conclude my thoughts on The Revenant. I didn't like everything in it, but I was certainly very much into it while I was watching it and, upon collecting my thoughts here in the early morning of the day after watching it, I find that I still I am very much into it. I don't think it's the most amazing thing ever, and there are films yet to come this year which I am too hyped for to not be super biased towards, notably Anomalisa and High Rise, but I would be lying if I said I'm not keen to see what Iñárritu does next, because if his progression from Birdman to The Revenant is anything to go by, he's moving on to something really great in the next ten years or so. It's a very good film and I recommend seeing it.

Re: Just Watched
« Reply #1519 on: January 17, 2016, 04:19:58 PM »
I watched Primer last night. I'll be honest, it got a little confusing in some parts. But it was nice to see time travel approached in a more serious way than it historically has been.