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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2160 on: December 25, 2021, 04:58:50 AM »
I thought it was fine

imagine being this wrong
I also think they could have stopped after the first Matrix movie. Other than that, it was about as decent as I expected in that it wouldn't be good but wasn't absolute dog shit.

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2161 on: January 07, 2022, 09:36:51 PM »
Cowboy Bebop (2021)

You've heard this is bad. It is. But there are specific reasons why this ended up so bad worth exploring, and I'm worried they're being drowned out in the general wave of fanboy truisms that typically follow poorly-received adaptations, especially ones involving anime. It's far too simplistic to just shrug and say that it's bad because it's a live-action adaptation of an anime and those are always destined to be bad, and it's just plain wrong to say that it's bad because it made changes to the anime and it should have been a 1-1 remake. If anything, this show tends to be stronger when it isn't directly adapting an episode of the anime or trying to recreate one of its more iconic scenes or moments, because then at least there isn't an equivalent point in the anime you can point to as having done exactly what the show did, but far better. The point is that this show wasn't dead in the water to begin with. Netflix gave the people behind it a decent budget to work with, and more importantly, also the creative freedom to make it as offbeat and eccentric as the anime was. They had the tools to make this show into something special.

The main reason why what we ended up with sucks is the writing, both in concept and execution. And by the writing, I particularly mean the dialogue, because there's so much of it, and it's all so, so bad. It's the worst kind of Joss Whedon/Marvel-inspired dialogue, where everyone is sarcastic, everyone is detached, everyone is witty (or at least what this show imagines is witty), everyone is a little self-aware in a metatextual way, and everyone constantly quips. Going down this route would be a really lame, generic decision for an adaptation of Cowboy Bebop even if the comedy worked, but it doesn't. It's terrible. Another issue is that in stark contrast to the anime, which was very restrained when it came to strong language and sexuality, this show is full of contrived swearing and lowbrow yukking about subjects like bukkake and shaving one's pubes. It's so childish, like it was written by a bunch of teenagers loudly swearing in jubilation when their parents aren't around. The worst example of this is encapsulated in Faye. She was never going to be an easy character to adapt, but I cringed when I discovered that she ended up as a tired stereotype of a plucky girlboss here, and almost all of her lines are either awful quips or hilarious swearing.

On a related note, the show is extremely bloody and gory, far more so than the anime ever was. It's a splatterfest, and a splatterfest that the show apparently thinks is hilarious and plays for comedy. This is one of the more baffling decisions the creators made, I have to admit. I just don't see the logic. For a show like The Boys, by way of a counter-example, with a similar level of nasty violence and a similarly mean-spirited presentation of it, the grotesqueness of it all is meant to parody the usual sanitized, bloodless violence of most capeshit and show just how horrible and messy the effects would really be if capeshitters used their powers on people. In Cowboy Bebop, nothing about the violence seems to be intended as satire, deconstruction, commentary, or anything like that. It's just there, and it's just played for laughs, with jaunty music playing over slow motion footage of people being killed in horrible ways and the main characters quipping in their wake. I'm not offended or disturbed by any of it, but I don't think it's appropriate for this show. It feels like very unnecessary edge for edge's sake.

What's kind of interesting about that last point is while the violence is far more gruesome and horrific than it was in the anime, the universe in general is presented in a far more egalitarian, hospitable, and overall pleasant light. The showrunner has claimed in multiple interviews (here's one) that he never saw the world of Cowboy Bebop as a dystopia, and while that's led to him predictably being roasted as an out-of-touch elitist whose wealth and privilege have blinded him to the anime's portrayal of the future as absolutely horrible and dystopian in the extreme (I'm reminded of this meme), I actually don't buy it. The show is too deliberate in its sanding down of the obvious political and social commentary present in the anime. Grungy neighborhoods are replaced with cheery suburban homes. Virtually all of the extras and side characters we meet appear to be either affluent or comfortably middle-class, in stark contrast to how often the anime would focus on the lives of the poor and desperate. And perhaps most importantly of all, for every institution that the anime portrayed as being systematically corrupt, like the police or the medical industry, the show goes out of its way to stress that it was only one or two corrupt individuals behind their problems, and the institutions themselves were perfectly fine. So, yeah, I think the showrunner and writers willfully excluded the political and social commentary present in the anime for this show, probably to fit better with the "fun" MCU-like tone they were aiming for, and the showrunner tried to get in front of any criticism by pretending he didn't think the anime was dystopian at all.

There's a lot more I could criticize this show for, but I'll end this by talking about its two biggest additions to the story of Cowboy Bebop - the expanded roles of Vicious and Julia. In the anime, Vicious was a one-dimensional villain, while Julia was little more than a plot device. It was a perfectly sensible decision to beef up their parts, but the show handles them both about as badly as they possibly could. Vicious is one of the lamest, most pathetic villains I've seen in a movie or TV show in a very long time. He's weak, he's whiny, he's inept, he's constantly being shown up and humiliated, and the show makes a point to stress that the only reason he has any power at all to begin with is that he's the spoiled failson of one of the Syndicate's leaders. None of this added focus makes him a more sympathetic or rounded character, nor does it make his struggle more compelling. Like I said, he's simply a pathetic villain.

With Julia, there's at least a decent idea at the core of what they're trying to do. She's an active character with agency, and not a passive ingenue or damsel in distress waiting around to be rescued. But this is hampered by both Elena Satine's weak performance (she's the one member of the main cast who really drops the ball) and the crude writing that has no grasp of subtlety. Here's the best example of this, which sets the tone for this character nicely: Vicious at one point tells her that he plans to assemble the people loyal to him and openly go to war against the leaders of the Syndicate. Julia protests that this will put them in great danger, and when Vicious rhetorically asks what she would suggest doing instead, there's a big dramatic pause, and then Julia says he should arrange a coup and assassinate the leaders instead of openly fighting them in a gangland war. And the show treats this obvious idea like it's fucking brilliant. Julia carries herself differently now, Vicious looks at her with new respect, and we in the audience are presumably meant to be impressed by the fact that this seemingly innocent woman is more than just a pretty face, she's a tactical genius! That's the kind of writing we're dealing with here. I also didn't like what they did with her at the end of the show. I respect the writers' desire to take risks and deviate from the anime's overall story, but something about the way they handled this specific detail feels wrongheaded to me.

So that's Netflix's Cowboy Bebop. There are occasional moments of promise sprinkled throughout the show, but on the whole, I wouldn't recommend anyone watch this unless they're consumed by morbid curiosity to see how it all ended up, like I was.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2022, 10:16:43 PM by honk »
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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2162 on: March 24, 2022, 04:50:13 AM »
Spider-Man: No Way Home (Jon Watts, 2021)

spoiler worming

For better or worse, this final film in the spoderman trilogy continues the trend of simply celebrating other movies rather than actually being about its main character. This time around, rather than just reveling in its MCU setting (although it does do plenty of that), the emphasis is on nostalgia for previous spoderman movies. I won't claim to be immune to this kind of nostalgia. I had some feels when I saw Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, and Willem Dafoe appear on screen. Even with the writing and effects being absolute dogshit, seeing these great actors bring these beloved characters back to life again brought a little of the magic of those first two fantastic spoderman movies back, even if just for a short while. I have a hard time imagining that the Garfield movies mean as much to anyone as the Raimi movies do to those of us who grew up with them, but regardless, I hope the fans of those films were happy with what they got from them in this movie too.

Nostalgia aside, however, this is not a good movie. I would go so far as to say that it's an incompetent one, in much the same way that the Star Wars prequels are. Almost every shot is bland or ugly. The numerous green screens for even mundane settings are obvious and distracting. The "comedy" is pure cringe. I winced painfully at the awful, awful "Scooby-Doo this shit" line. What grown adult actually wrote that down and thought it was a good idea? The story itself is poorly structured - things just happen because the movie needs them to. Villains show up and start action scenes because the movie needs them to, Doctor Strange shows up and starts expositing because the movie needs him to, etc. And the general quality of the special effects is horrendous, especially for the MCU. These are the worst effects I've seen in a capeshit movie since the theatrical cut of Justice League. I know that they shot this during the height of the pandemic, but I'm not going to cut the movie any slack for that. It was their decision to keep making movies. If that means they put out sub-par ones, then that's on them.

Imagine having access to one of the top three most popular capeshitters in the world, a character far more iconic and famous than any of the others you have access to, a character with enough source material to make a dozen movies from, and all you can think to do with him is make him a mascot for the rest of your franchise.
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Offline Roundy

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2163 on: March 24, 2022, 05:15:22 PM »
I think it's ridiculous to think of it as Oscar-worthy, but No Way Home was still pretty good, almost everyone who has seen it responded.
Dr. Frank is a physicist. He says it's impossible. So it's impossible.
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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2164 on: March 24, 2022, 06:05:45 PM »
I think it's ridiculous to think of it as Oscar-worthy, but No Way Home was still pretty good, almost everyone who has seen it responded.

Saddam saw a meme about how Batman has better visuals than NWH so that is probably the basis for this most recent hot take.

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2165 on: March 24, 2022, 07:00:41 PM »
Clearly NWH was made by incompetent people.  Any idiot can produce a film.  It's not even hard lol
Th*rk is the worst person on this website.

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2166 on: March 24, 2022, 07:23:03 PM »
I think it's ridiculous to think of it as Oscar-worthy, but No Way Home was still pretty good, almost everyone who has seen it responded.

Saddam saw a meme about how Batman has better visuals than NWH so that is probably the basis for this most recent hot take.

I was wondering where it came from. Saddam just repeats what the critics are saying so often this review legit came out of left field.
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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2167 on: March 24, 2022, 10:18:29 PM »
the fanboys are triggered
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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2168 on: May 06, 2022, 04:25:58 AM »
Dr. Strange 2 aka WandaVision s01e 10/11/12

this movie is shit and you should not pay money to watch it

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2169 on: May 06, 2022, 04:28:21 AM »
Tell me more.
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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2170 on: May 12, 2022, 05:28:32 PM »
Tell me more.

I've watched it three times now and it is still shit, but less shit than the initial viewing. You still should not pay to watch it, but if you do make sure it is on discount Tuesday or something.

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2171 on: May 12, 2022, 08:40:05 PM »
I liked it.
Dr. Frank is a physicist. He says it's impossible. So it's impossible.
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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2172 on: May 13, 2022, 01:37:50 AM »
Tell me more.

I've watched it three times now and it is still shit, but less shit than the initial viewing. You still should not pay to watch it, but if you do make sure it is on discount Tuesday or something.

Why? Why are you spending your time and money on going to see a move you don't even like multiple times? I don't get theatrical repeat viewers. I mean, if it's first and foremost a social event, then fine, but going to see a movie in theaters again specifically because you want to see that same movie again is just weird to me. No matter how much I might love a movie, I don't want to see it again within a few days or weeks. That makes the movie feel stale, and wears it out in my mind. I'd much rather watch a movie for the second time after at least a few months' time. And I wouldn't waste my time on rewatching a movie I especially disliked at all.
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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2173 on: May 13, 2022, 02:37:19 AM »
Tell me more.

I've watched it three times now and it is still shit, but less shit than the initial viewing. You still should not pay to watch it, but if you do make sure it is on discount Tuesday or something.

Why? Why are you spending your time and money on going to see a move you don't even like multiple times? I don't get theatrical repeat viewers. I mean, if it's first and foremost a social event, then fine, but going to see a movie in theaters again specifically because you want to see that same movie again is just weird to me. No matter how much I might love a movie, I don't want to see it again within a few days or weeks. That makes the movie feel stale, and wears it out in my mind. I'd much rather watch a movie for the second time after at least a few months' time. And I wouldn't waste my time on rewatching a movie I especially disliked at all.

it's called going with different people...

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2174 on: May 13, 2022, 03:47:42 AM »
Well, I'm glad it's not some weird kind of self-imposed nerdy "obligation" on your part, but I think when faced with a potential third viewing, none of your friends would think any less of you if you just said, "You know, guys, I saw this one twice already, and I really wasn't a fan. I think I'll sit this one out," or even suggested an alternative.

Also, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.
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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2175 on: June 10, 2022, 04:23:43 PM »
RRR was very good. It has over the top action, wholesome male friendship, and a great musical number. You'll laugh, you'll cry, it's a gr8 time.

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2176 on: June 24, 2022, 06:22:31 PM »
The Batshit Odyssey makes its long overdue return!

The Dark Knight (dir. Christopher Nolan)

Where to begin talking about a film that seems to be defined more by its reception, indeed its reputation, than its content? Few if any films this century have risen so quickly to Olympian heights in the public consciousness, fewer still have been so closely shadowed by external tragedy. Through his death, Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker was transfigured in the popular mind; in many ways it is the film, is what people talk about when they talk about The Dark Knight. So what should I talk about? I have been accused on occasion of resisting cliché to the point of absurdity, all for some egomaniacal, perhaps narcissistic desire to stand apart from the crowd. In fact I love cliché, I love commonalities; I am not ashamed to admit that I am like most people in most ways. Rather I cannot stand to repeat myself, and I feel as though I, despite having thought little about this film since I first saw it in 2009, have had this discussion myself so many times that the bottom of the barrel has been scraped dry and sanded smooth. I hope, mostly, to talk about the film itself, and to try to reconcile what it is in itself with what it is remembered to be.

The second instalment in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman films, The Dark Knight pits the caped crusader against the Joker and Harvey “Two Face” Dent. For those of us who are familiar with these villains already—most will be intimately familiar with the former purely through his ubiquity, his status as the king of Batman villains—there is a sense of inexorable tragedy. We know that the Joker can never be saved from himself, we know that Harvey Dent will place his faith in the coin toss and the absolute fairness of chance after a transformative event changes irrevocably his perspective on human conceptions of justice, human systems of law. So, too, for Batman himself, who hides in plain sight among the upper echelons of society as Bruce Wayne; his two halves, his bipolar masquerade, can never be resolved. This conflict in itself is what defines him, even more so than his own transformative event, the killing of his parents. In many ways, then, we already know, as soon as we encounter each of these three leads, precisely where the film is going.

The Dark Knight is a more or less direct continuation of Batman Begins. Following his saving of the city from Ra’s al Ghul, Batman’s heroics have inspired confidence in the citizens of Gotham, in some cases a little too much, as armed vigilantes cheaply outfitted in the Bat’s image take to the streets with automatic weapons. This particular consequence of Batman’s vigilantism is touched upon only a couple of times in the film, which I feel is a wasted opportunity. If Christopher Nolan is indeed the “thinking person’s blockbuster director” (a mantle which, I should point out, he seems neither to warm to nor shy away from in his public statements) then a deeper consideration of what comes in the wake of not a superhero, but an essentially ordinary man taking justice into his own hands and striking down thugs and drug dealers and their bosses, should be his bread and butter here. The somewhat nuanced, empathetic treatment of Gotham society, penetrating the various strata that make it up, to which we were treated in the first part of Batman Begins, seems here to have been forgotten. The film’s presentation of Batman’s unwanted army of trigger-happy doppelgangers is no discussion at all but a statement, a claim, unexplored beyond its most superficial level: it exists. Batman seems to be held responsible for the shift in attitude towards crime in Gotham, that is, he has shown Gotham that crime is in fact possible to defeat, or is at least containable, manageable, punishable; this not least of all by the mob, which feels the tightening of the screws at every turn, and becomes more and more desperate, like a wild animal cornered. Harvey Dent, the new District Attorney, an optimistic, grandstanding young (by the standards of the legal profession) man, rises over Gotham as Batman prowls beneath it, and the people seem ready to believe that together, even if official policy would have them at opposite poles, they will fulfil the promise of the new optimism blooming on the city’s bustling streets. Yet all is not well in the Gotham legal system, mob-compromised cops work surreptitiously within its halls and offices, and, when the mob itself becomes compromised by the Joker, the entire structure seems to teeter upon the precipice of total, irretrievable collapse.

Harvey Dent is dating Bruce Wayne’s former squeeze Rachel Dawes, here played by Maggie Gyllenhaal (as Katie Holmes, who had previously portrayed the character in Batman Begins, was then busy being abducted and brainwashed by cult leader and walking Teflon advertisement Tom Cruise) and you already know where this is going, even if you haven’t seen the film. Dawes is to serve as collateral in the Joker’s sadistic plot to corrupt Dent. One thing I do particularly enjoy about the Joker in this film is just how extreme his actions become over the course of the film, as he continues to attempt to push Batman over the edge, to turn him into a killer, by burning down the order he seeks to uphold. However, the “love” between Dent and Dawes, thus the tragedy of the latter’s fiery death, is blunted by the little screen time we see them spend together. Even with a new actor in the role, at least the Dawes/Wayne relationship was previously established; no matter how well Aaron Eckhardt plays Dent’s pretence to quietly resolved protective desperation over the situation of his beloved, he cannot add an extra film’s worth of shared character development to their history that will make us believe that she is his beloved.

In The Dark Knight, Two Face is the Joker’s creation. Not only is the Joker the cause of his disfigurement both physical and mental, not to mention the defacing of what will become his signature coin, but the clown prince of crime comes to Dent in the hospital and rattles off a speech tailor-made to impress a teenage boy on the verge of rebelling against his parents, which apparently is good enough for a highly educated man approaching middle age. To be fair, Dent is suffering from severe trauma, and I can be charitable and accept that even if Dawes were a complete stranger, the deeply felt pang of survivor’s guilt would doubtless see him in an emotionally fragile, susceptible state of mind. Alas, if only someone had brought him a copy of Seneca’s On Providence first! By hook or by crook is Two Face thus born, revenge the only word on his twisted lips as he escapes an exploding hospital and somehow finds himself a rather perfectly half-burnt suit. This he seeks to take not on the man who put his former self and his former self’s love in the most heinous of predicaments, but on slightly dodgy copper Jim Gordon, whom Gary Oldman’s slightly dodgy accent returns to play.

The dramatic climax of the film is played out between Two Face, Gordon, Gordon’s family, and eventually Batman. Two Face holds Gordon’s family at gunpoint, and asks Gordon which one he loves the most, so that he might, supposedly, experience what Harvey Dent experienced. I have already commented on the somewhat ludicrous prospect of Dent taking the loss of Rachel Dawes this badly, and at the risk of repeating myself I find it even more ludicrous that Two Face would go after Gordon when he is precisely aware of the Joker’s involvement in Dawes’s kidnapping and death, and even had the opportunity to kill the Joker in the hospital. So the plot sort of resolves to a damp squib of a scene in which a Character A goes after Character B and essentially subjects Character B’s family to emotional torture because Character A was reduced by trauma to the intellectual level of an angry fifteen year old boy smoking cigarettes he stole from his dad’s bedside cabinet. Batman shows up, Two Face falls to his death, Batman runs away having taken the blame for Harvey Dent’s crimes because Harvey Dent was a symbol of hope and blah blah blah.

Essentially, The Dark Knight’s Two Face has the exact opposite problem that plagued the one we regrettably encountered in Batman Forever. In that film, Tommy Lee Jones played a Joker knock-off who had no prior life upon which to base his villainous mutation; in this one, Aaron Eckhardt has a relatively rich prior life that exists to basically serve us a tragic villain who dies after maybe ten minutes of screen time. Jones is undoubtedly far worse on every level, turning in a horrid, idiotic performance that cannot merely be blamed on the litany of failings to be found in the script and direction, whereas Eckhardt’s problems are entirely imposed upon him by the film itself. Rather than doing the sensible thing and setting up Two Face as the possibly redeemable anti-hero in the sequel he already knew would be greenlit, Nolan was more concerned with sacrificing this reasonably well-developed character to a dramatic climax that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The treatment of Dent’s nascent tragedy here seems so artificial because we arrive at it by such mediocre means, and I feel little for his fall from grace despite the fine performance Eckhardt gives in the role.

I began this review by talking about the Joker as a sort of cultural synecdoche for the film itself. It’s strange, then, that I should find myself now having very little to say about the character or Heath Ledger’s performance, which was made monumental by his overdose. I also said that the Joker cannot be saved from himself, and perhaps Ledger was much the same. There is a temptation to read in, to blur the lines of fantasy and reality, professional and personal, to give in to the romantic notion of the method actor, who inhabits their role and temporarily loses their own being, sacrifices it to their art, maybe even relinquishes some small part of it forever. Few are more keen to have this notion accepted than the ones who do it, what some call “love me” acting, wherein the Method, originally a far more humble, “pure” craft-oriented conception of acting through deep empathy, gives way to the spectacle of the actor, of a performance beyond the performance. The desire to conflate events occurring around a film with the film itself is a curious one. It seems in some ways a mirror to the desire for (typically) science fiction and fantasy media to expand infinitely, so that the adventure, the escape, never comes to an end. Here the fictional spills out into the real, the artifice loses its boundaries; Heath Ledger becomes the Joker becomes Heath Ledger.

To be clear, I do not accuse Ledger of attempting to gain something, of myth-making through death. For all I can tell, Ledger was a somewhat self-effacing actor who was devoted, at least in his final years, to the craft of acting. He took his work seriously. The baggage conferred by the vagaries of reputation had initially led to outcry among certain circles that Ledger, who had played many throwaway romance and adventure roles and presumably given little or no indication that he could play in a “serious” film about a man dressed up in a bat costume punching people, was unsuitable for the role. The only other film I have seen Ledger in is The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which he began filming after The Dark Knight, so I am not in a position to comment on his prior work. As I said, for all I have written about the reputation of Ledger’s Joker, I find myself with curiously little to say about the performance itself. The tail may well have been wagging the dog back in 2008, but that dog now stalks a hinterland that would seem to be beyond reach, beyond human time, ageless and on some level insensible. Suffice it to say it is the most engaging portion of the film, injecting clown colours and a wonky panache into the same grey and brown anywhere cityscapes that made Batman Begins so impersonal.

The Dark Knight is more personal than its predecessor, it is more about characters and relationships than anything else, even if they don’t come off anywhere near as real as they were intended to be. The cosmic scale of Ra’s al Ghul’s crusade rendered Batman’s fight for Gotham partially intangible, for all that Gotham itself was the focus; here the Joker’s earthbound terrorism cries out for a Gotham to destroy, but instead he is reduced to corrupting, or attempting to corrupt, a handful of people. When he pits the captive passengers of two boats against each other, each one rigged with a bomb to which the other has the detonator, that he, or better yet Gotham might see whether it is a group of hardened criminals or of ordinary citizens that will pull the trigger on the other, a bunch of people we neither know nor care about are suddenly introduced as stakes in a game the rules of which have never been clear. The Joker claims he is an agent of chaos with no plan, and the film seems structurally sympathetic to his raison d’être to the point of distraction. He dominates the film to its detriment; all the goings on with Batman himself even seem forgettable, marginal events on the periphery of Joker’s litany of carnages. The mismatch of scale and intent leave the film itself scrabbling for a satisfying conclusion, one which it cannot find, but that is wrapped up in authoritative drivel—which would be platitudinous if only I believed that even the writers actually knew what they meant by it this time around—which was either intended as a placation of the audience for an unsatisfactory ending, or perhaps thrown together without much thought since it was already known, already understood that the Joker was so strong as to reduce all else in the film to a triviality.

The Dark Knight is the very definition of slick mediocrity, which is more or less what I have come to expect from Christopher Nolan over the years. He is a brilliant deviser of intriguing, sometimes astounding set-pieces, but he is at a loss as to how to piece them together into anything resembling a complete work of cinema. Whereas, for example, Quentin Tarantino had a sort of golden period before his scripts degenerated into mere collections of, on a good day, individually fine scenes, Nolan has never convinced me of a macroscopic understanding of narrative and theme, of character and place, how these things coalesce into an artistic statement. This film has many good elements that would be exciting were they not strung together without purpose, except perhaps a shallow exploration of nihilism. The plot is constructed with the understanding that the Joker must remain an enigma to the end, but it doesn’t understand that the Joker and the film as a whole are connected yet discrete entities, and that what is true for one does not necessarily hold in the case of the other. The Joker’s arc—a term I use only for simplicity’s sake—cannot resolve to an answer, but he does have a point that he is driving at continually, while the film conversely answers its own questions but in doing so reveals that it has no point. Ultimately, there have been sweeter sounds and greater furies than this, and I can’t help but find that whatever impressed me in 2009 is no longer there in 2022. The Batman film we need, the Batman film we deserve, whether they are the same or not, whether such criteria can be applied to superhero movies at all, is somewhere other than here.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 08:02:21 PM by Crudblud »

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2177 on: June 24, 2022, 08:01:32 PM »
However, the “love” between Dent and Dawes, thus the tragedy of the latter’s fiery death

nice spoiler

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2178 on: July 13, 2022, 03:41:35 AM »
capeshit capeshit cape to the shit

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Sam Raimi, 2022)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.

Okay, it's not all bad. Having Sam Raimi at the helm is this movie's biggest strength, and results in one of the MCU's most stylish and visually unique films to date. This is far from an auteur piece, but there are still plenty of his signature flourishes and touches, ranging from the goofy to the genuinely eerie. I also respect that this movie had the balls to make Wanda the main antagonist and keep her that way until the end. I was almost expecting a big CGI monster to appear in the final act and become the real villain that Wanda and Strange would have to team up against or something, like in Shang-Chi, but that thankfully didn't happen. Unfortunately, I suspect I know why the brand-conscious MCU was willing to turn one of its heroes into a villain and kill her off - I think a future movie or TV show will just have an uncorrupted Wanda pop up out of the multiverse and conveniently take the old one's place. The MCU has done this sort of thing in the past, like with Thanos in Endgame and Loki in, uh, Loki - take a different version of a formerly dead character and let them just take over where the old version of them left off, as if they're the same character that we've seen grow and develop in previous movies. Even though they obviously aren't. It feels like very lazy, risk-averse writing. Nothing has stakes or consequences anymore, because they can just grab replacements for dead characters out of former timelines or different universes.

And while this movie seems to be aware of the fact that different versions of characters we already know will have completely different backstories and therefore can't really be called the same people, given that there's dialogue explicitly pointing this out, it still indulges itself freely. Strange and the alternate universe Mordo's confrontation means nothing. There is no dramatic weight to it beyond two random dudes fighting. These two men do not know each other. They have no actual history. Same thing with the relationship between Strange and the alternate universe's generic love interest. These two people do not know each other. They have never been in love. They have no actual history. The movie expects us to take for granted that this is Strange building on his relationships with these characters that we saw in his previous movie, or near enough, even while it has dialogue pointing out that this makes no sense. And speaking of Rachel McAdams's character, I hope that's the last we see of her. She's probably the most useless of all the love interests we've seen so far, and this movie seems to tie a pretty definitive bow on her and Strange's relationship.

I don't care about the Illuminati. If the X-Men and Fantastic Four were being introduced into the universe we actually have some investment in, then maybe I'd be interested, but introducing and promptly killing off those characters in an alternate universe we've never seen before and will almost certainly never see again tells me that none of it matters. It was just empty fanservice. The character of America Chavez also had no impact on me. She's just too generic, too predictable, too been-there-and-done-that. Everything about her personality, her arc, and her quips feels like a retread. And speaking of characters that feel repetitive, Strange himself - while thankfully not written to basically be RDJ-lite like he was in his first movie - is a nonstop fountain of bad jokes and quips. It's a bad fit for an otherwise straight-laced character like Strange, as well as a bad fit for an actor like Benedict Cumberbatch. Marvel either doesn't know or doesn't care that there are other ways for a movie to be funny than a constant stream of quips. Like, I could easily see Cumberbatch playing Strange as something like an Adam West figure, where the humor would come from him saying absolutely ridiculous capeshit nonsense with an entirely straight face. I think it could work really well, and it would definitely be funnier than cringeworthy quips like "Illumi-what-i?"

Like I said above, I like how they made Wanda the main antagonist, but I don't understand how that decision squares with the end of WandaVision. That show ended on a poor note for both myself and plenty of other people by its last-minute attempts to frame Wanda as the hero of that story rather than its villain via bizarre lines like "They'll never know what you sacrificed." What was the point of that when this movie confirmed that yes, WandaVision was in fact Wanda's villain origin story? Also, this movie looks really shitty. Not as bad as No Way Home, but the effects are still just awful for a movie of this budget. I suspect Marvel has become stretched too thin with their current schedule of putting out a dozen shows/movies every year, and the people they have working on their effects just don't have the time they need to make them look good.

tl;dr: The Marvel Cinematic Universe and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.
ur retartet but u donut even no it and i walnut tell u y

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Offline Fortuna

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Re: Just Watched
« Reply #2179 on: July 14, 2022, 08:25:08 PM »
The new minions movie I just watched was unironically better than 95% of MCU movies.