Movie reviews

A single berserk reached us yesterday, after having come all the way over the mountains from the city of Willow, fourteen hundred miles away. He delivered to Alric a single package the size of a man's fist, wrapped in rags, and refuses to talk with anyone about events in the West.
switch
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Movie reviews

Postby switch » 24 Feb 2014, 09:11

Why KAGEMUSHA (1980) is a good movie.

Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece is a flawless depiction of the waring states period. It is also a story about the meaning of public service, and the depth of character required to survive in the public sphere. When the monarch dies, a common thief acts as his double for three years, fulfilling the Daimyo's last wish. To achieve the illusion, the thief must convincingly replicate the stoicism, heroism, grace and piety of the great man. His every action is watched: the life of the thief becomes a simulacra of the Daimyo. Yet, he is no great man. The illusion cannot be made real, and the thief is finally destroyed by his hubris. The movie concludes with a spectacular survey of the field at the Battle of Nagashino: a chronicle of the lives forfeit for an impossible ideal: history as it might have been. Ahistory is a theme Kurosawa mastered, most notably in RASHOMON. "The Shadow Warrior" combines the fantasy narrative of the latter with the character drama of Red Beard and the aching historical inevitability of Dersu Uzala. A film of intense simplicity, told in a series of specific shots perfectly framed. "The Shadow Warrior" depicts an era when men were men, but all servants living under the dead-hand of a decomposing ideal. From the peasants who, in true sisyphsian manner, sweep the gravel over which the lord's horse will trod, to the implacable life-guards of the Daimyo- immovable men of iron- to the brother of the former monarch himself, all are servants of the (monarchical) res publica: a state, however, governed by duplicity. Kurosawa was a veteran of the adaptation, his Ran (1985) based on King Lear, and the Throne of Blood (1957) on Macbeth; besides having directed the Seven Samurai, (1954). What Kurosawa displayed in all of his films was a sympathetic eye for the malleability of history, combined with a detached indifference for the modern condition. The latter is a trait fully explored by American directors such as Terrence Malick, Michael Cimino, and Stanley Kubrick, amongst others. For the average Myth player, the KAGEMUSHA is a deadly reminder of the decay of the heroic past, matched in inevitability only by the insatiable desire to recreate its glory, however fleeting.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzR87VBlaoo[/youtube]

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby Arsenal » 24 Feb 2014, 12:29

Pulgasari (1978) is a hilariously awful movie.

A North Korean Godzilla rip off made by a captive South Korean director, is the story of a monster made out of rice by a captured blacksmith that when comes into contact with blood from the blacksmith's daughter turns into a giant poop monster. It is one of the most hilariously awful movies I have ever seen. The first time I watched it was with no subtitles and it makes about as much sense as it does when knowing the story. This is a terrible 1978 North Korean propaganda film that you should get drunk and watch with friends. It tells the story of a rice doll that comes to life and helps the peasants fight against the evil King. It is amazing at how awful it is. Would recommend, 4/5.



[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCKSR0JArUQ[/youtube]

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby Pogue » 24 Feb 2014, 22:30

The Running Man (1987):

Because Arnold.

[youtube]http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FaqA3riikCY[/youtube]

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby c⁄J⁄Iılk c⁄J⁄Iån ◊§t◊ » 25 Feb 2014, 03:35

Jordorowsky's legendary Holy Mountain (1973). See fascist processions of crucified dogs & conquistador frogs conquer a kingdom of Aztec iguanas. Take a lusty tour of god-fantasies by landing on each planet; these include Jupiter's Modernist sex factory, the violent pleasure chambers of a Lesbian Mars, among others. Then ascend the heights of your own meta-penis in an explosion of orgiastic, visual mysticism. 5/5.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_k8oaeHsnc[/youtube]

switch
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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 25 Feb 2014, 04:06

^ checking that out.

Avant Garde films reviews, 2014. inb4 120 days if sodom.

Caligula (1979)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW3E8vs-MUI[/youtube]

Caligula, the most corrupt man who ever lived, a story of hedonism to rival Fellini's Satyricon, told through the interpretation of historical material drawn from Suetonius and Tacitus. Caligula, the successor of Tiberius Caesar, has few pursuits in life: pleasure, power, immortality. Through his ruthlessness he centralizes power and constructs a roman empire of unimaginable hedonism. Despite his incompetency he navigates a path towards immortality. Based on Gore Vidal's screenplay, Caligula is an uncompromising X-rated expose of the nature of power and its inevitable conclusions.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 25 Feb 2014, 11:21

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wd5Pz8KJeU4[/youtube]

Gillo Pontecorvo's 1966 masterwork, the subject is the counter-revolution in Algiers orchestrated by the French military. Told through the same detached perspective as Graham Greene's, The Quiet American. Like Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory, the Battle of the Algiers was banned in France. The Battle of the Algiers was screened by the Pentagon after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, as an example of how to conduct counter-revolutionary warfare.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby par73 » 25 Feb 2014, 15:31

snow on the bluff

3 college students look to pick up ecstacy in a not so nice area in georgia. they bring along a video camera despite that being a calling card of an undercover police officer. they are robbed at gun point, but the camera keeps going. The movie recorded becomes the story of Curtis Snow, a real Atlanta "robbery boy and crack dealer whose livelihood revolves around armed robbery and drug pushing" who "sought out [director] Damon Russell to make a film about his life."

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGm9o37BNjM[/youtube]

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby wwo » 25 Feb 2014, 21:17

I'd like to see a real-life Hunger Games. Philly bangers and Ozark rednecks fight to the death.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby Pogue » 26 Feb 2014, 02:40

Stunt Rock (1978):

Exactly what the title says, a lot of 70's rock and a shitload of random stunts and explosions. So, basically something Kirk would jerk off to.

[youtube]http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6G6XgzhtCJI[/youtube]

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 19 Mar 2014, 04:33

Did a double header. 300: 2, and the grand Budapest hotel. How to begin. The former was terrible. Should never have been made. How do you fuck up the story of salamis? This movie was such shit, it doesn't even warrant a real review.

On the other hand, the grand Budapest hotel was pretty good. Mind you the yuppie hipster fags laughed at all the wrong moments. But for what it was this was another Wes Anderson masterpiece. Very similar to the fantastic Mr fox in terms of style. With an all star ensemble cast. The plot revolves around the escape of Ralph Fiennes the proprietor of the grand Budapest from prison during the 1930s he battles nazis, Russians, muslims, Adrian brodey, William dafoe and a love story to boot. Anderson s comedy is first rate

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 20 Mar 2014, 12:27

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdJYzgJ4CwI[/youtube]

The Queen of Versailles. Documentary. Jackie is a 40 year old milf legit beauty queen and ex-IBM engineer who marries David Siegal (70 years old, net worth in 2008 over 1 billion) and cranks out a dozen kids. In 2008 the movie that Lauren Greenfield is making about the American heiresses implodes along with the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Their unfinished, multi-million dollar replica of Versailles home in Flordia goes up for auction on ebay for 100 million. The Planet Hollywood Timeshare Resort in Las Vegas is put into mortgage and eventually acquired by some conglomerate. By 2012 AD the billionaire has suffered over 50% casualties to his company and lost well over 500 million dollars in private property. The cameras keep rolling. His utterly clueless retarded children end up in public school. The family mansion staffed by Filipinos falls apart, their generally bullshit, George W. Bush electing Republican nightmare of a society goes up in smoke and the blue tooth addicted timeshare mogul realizes that he's likely to be spending the rest of his life not fucking some ex-IBM engineer with fake tits, but rather desperately failing to meet capital reinvestment on his hotel empire until bankruptcy. A must see.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 26 Mar 2014, 07:21

Haywire (2011)

This film came up while I was looking at Cruniac's 2012 recommendation, Seven Psychopaths. Haywire is a dope late film by Steven Soderbergh with OST by David Holmes. Sick all star cast. The story revolves around a contract government assassin and some conspiratorial jobs and shit involving murders and hostages and corruption etc. no spoilers.

Vaguely Oni-esque- like Soderbergh doing Le Femme Nikitta meets Robert Ludlum. Bungie fans should get a kick out of this.
David Holmes OST is another masterpiece instant download, if you don't already have his complete works.
Like any good David Holmes, Steven Soderbergh collaberation, it all comes down to the 29-7-04 The Day Of: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxc1beqkuZs[/youtube]

In the end, this movie can only be blamed for not being, [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMr22UMC1aI]Heat[/youtube]. But this was never Soderbergh versus Micheal Mann. And Moby + William Orbit didn't score this. So what?

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 27 Mar 2014, 09:00

Love (2011)

This director is now publishing this

But if you missed his (William Eubank's) you might want to revisit this one.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ43ZlZcq-A[/youtube]

Sci-Fi in the tradition of Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain and Tarkovsky's Solaris,
Like sci-fi done by Terrance Malick, clearly influenced by Moon, 2001, Sunshine, Contact, and many others. A storm of films and a director who knows what he likes; from a first time director this is some good effort. An intense, cinematic, no-shit, psychological movie.
Angels & Airwaves' OST is right in it.

The issue is mainly that there's too much homage and not enough original story. You can more or less predict what's coming based on the prevailing motif, which is very much generated from Kubrick (2001) and Robert Zemeckis (Contact), not to mention P K Dick stories, etc.

The feeling I get is an up-coming director who 1) thinks he's very clever and 2) wants you to know it.

The good news is that with a debut movie like this, he's only going to get better.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby Pogue » 27 Mar 2014, 20:51

You've confused these forums with a blog.

switch
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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 19 Apr 2014, 21:46

Emperor (2012)

Peter Weber (Girl with a Pearl Earring, 10 billion) directs this thriller about the efforts of the occupation government to bring Hirohito to trial for warcrimes. A real modern classic, in the spirit of Judgement at Nuremberg and- of course- The Third Man. The guy from Lost (Matthew Fox) plays the chief military investigator and psychologist searching through the ruins of Tokyo for the various players involved in the decision to expand the war beyond China. Tommy Lee Jones plays MacArthur, doing a great job of setting up Mac's antagonism with Truman (implied entirely off camera), and Macarthur's tremendous task, arguably greater in scope than the Marshall plan, of rewriting the Japanese constitution and rebuilding the decimated country (tied in with a subplot of running for GOP nomination against Eisenhower et all in 1948). There's a little pre-war love story arc backplot with a grade school teacher whose house is later immolated in the March 9 1945 Tokyo raid (the infamous "fire-bombing"), told through a terrence malick style of vignettes to spice things up and plenty of historical drama to pace the plot. Like Kurtz, Hirohito does not appear on screen until the final act.

Justice, the rule of law, the nature of executive power, the guilt of war, these are the themes this movie tackles. Based on the book by Shiro Okamoto, I'd give this a solid recommendation.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby Renwood » 21 Apr 2014, 22:52

Hey switch, do a review on this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073768/ Russ Meyer's Super Vixens
It seems like it would be a weird movie you might be interested in based on your tastes. You can find it on piratebay.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby East Wind tmnt » 25 Apr 2014, 14:52

switch, btw your conversation with "Nebulae" had me laughing - must be a troll

switch
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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 25 Apr 2014, 19:51

Yah man, don't know what that was about.
Btw, feel up to a review of Captain America?

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Blue & Grey Weekend Tournament: May 24-25

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby Zaknafiend » 03 May 2014, 10:23

The last spiderman released on theatre, dont even know the name :
You like love stories full of cliché ? You like when someone wastes 200M USD ? You like it when u watch a movie and suddenly you feel like you're not a teenager anymore and even with a million popcorn you end up bored to death ? Then watch it, must see 1/5.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby Pogue » 03 May 2014, 17:17

Image

switch
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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 03 May 2014, 19:37

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bDY4vrcelw[/youtube]

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 18 Feb 2015, 15:31

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiGwAvd5mvM[/youtube]

Citzenfour is a devastating indictment of the Obama administration's expansion of the NSA surveillance program and the logical outcome of the Bush era Homeland security act. With this controversial legal and political framework as the basis for the documentary, the filmaker becomes involved in the disclosure of the Edward Snowden archives from the NSA database. The movie explores the theme of fame and celebrity, the role of the press in public discourse, and the nature of the internet in the second decade of the 21st century. This R rated documentary concludes the trilogy of director Laura Poitras, whose previous films chronicle the creeping surveillance state that has evolved in America since 2001. Terrifying in its implications, the documentary, soon to be made into a movie by Oliver stone, chronicles the management of the release of NSA contractor, "Edward J. Snowden"'s archives from the NSA databases established in the American heartland to collect enormous quantities of information on citizens and foreigners alike. The movie documents the relationship between the NSA and its international accomplices as they collect (every second) terabytes of information, including details such as keystrokes, passwords, streaming video, now stored in a massive database in Utah. The documentary is chilling in particular as it reveals the subtext of the "Snowden" leaks which were carefully orchestrated and so well disguised that they escaped the attention of the monitoring agencies established to protect them. Amazingly, Glenn Greenwald, Snowden and associates are shown witnessing the media storm they've created and manipulated for public effect. Snowden is revealed as a constructed persona, with opaque objectives in which the whistleblower is only one element. A masterpiece of conspiratorial film making, the Citizenfour is set to take the Oscar for best documentary of 2014.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby Two Smoking Guns » 27 Feb 2015, 15:00

Are you writing and punctuating these all by yourself?
You should be teaching english to the kids in east Vegas.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby NewMutator » 09 Mar 2015, 02:51

Do Chappie next.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby BIG KROK V8 SS » 09 Mar 2015, 15:35

too soon. the story is still being written in my opinion.

par73
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Re: Movie reviews

Postby par73 » 11 Mar 2015, 17:18

21 jump street : ying and yang team up to infiltrate the police force to commit crimes or something. i don't remember any box cars and lost my memory of this movie after laughing until i blacked out in the theater leaving to raw dog and smoke pot

the interview : two potheads star as dennis rodman as they take an adventure into the lands of north korea where they are buttered up by fat north korean kids in front of fake grocery stores and play basketball

50 shades of grey : my girlfriend brought me to see this and i was pleasantly surprised to have a pair of tits other than hers occompany me for about an hour and a half while this naive naked chick gets used by a sociopath

house of cards : ok this isn't a movie but its a pretty dope series and the way that bitch in the movie above gets used is similar to how one of the bitches in this movie gets thrown into an oncoming train after she gets used too

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 17 Jun 2015, 06:54

NewMutator wrote:Do Chappie next.


Okay. Chappie is the latest film by Neill Blomkamp in his Tetra Vaal Joburg saga. This movie is set in the near future when Blomkamp robots (made by South African based Tetravaal corporation) have become the basis of law and order in Johannesburg. Within the corporate structure of Tetravaal, there are three competing agents: Dion, the Blomkamp robot creator, has the primary objective of advancing artificial intelligence. Sigourney Weaver plays the CEO of Tetravaal, with the objective of making a pile of cash on their monopoly on law enforcement robots, securing her legacy. The always capable Hugh Jackman plays anti-robot engineer, ex mercenary and religious fundamentalist Vincent Moore, who although a co-worker of Deon's is frustrated by the latter's success with the Blomkamp robots. The action unfolds after Anderson Cooper sets up the plot with a CNN special report that opens the film, following Blomkamp's trademark style of "reality" movie making by utilizing documentary style exposition. One of the Tetravaal robots is remanded for demolition after it gets hit by an RPG and the nerdy Deon, played by Dev Patel, takes advantage of the opportunity to install his first generation thinking machine AI into the robot. However, he and the robot quickly cross paths with Ninja and Yolandi playing their Zef personas, with the result that the now activated robot, "Chappie" - played by Blomkamp regular, and really gifted actor, Sharlto Copley- is confronted by a series of pretty tedious moralizing dilemmas: Like Johnny 5, the machine is at once a mortal enemy or object of affection for; Jackman (for reasons of religion and anti-robotics), Weaver (for reasons of capital- no money in AI, apparently), Deon (as the expositor of law and order), Ninja (as the criminal gangster who wants to use Chappie to assume control of the cartel he's involved with) and Yolandi (mother figure). As usual, Blomkamp's strengths are most apparent in a few characterization scenes: Chappie, Deon and Yolandi have some good scenes together where Chappie learns to be good, rather similar to the Chimpanzee training sequences from Congo, actually. Then "Amerika" played by Jose Pablo Cantillo, Ninja and Chappie have some good scenes together where they engage in petty theft and grand theft auto. Blomkamp cops some of the classic scenes from Blade Runner, Terminator 2, Short Circuit, and, in particular, The Animatrix (Second Renaissance) to pull at your heart strings, and its mildly effective to see Chappie dismembered by Moore, or torched by gangsters, or whatever. These scenes were no doubt co-written by Blomkamp's partner in crime from his District 9 days, Terri Tatchell. Unfortunately, these rather interesting scenes are just filler between the mind-numbing action that Blomkamp apparently loves more than story telling, and its actually distracting to hear the robot develop its consciousness: not least of all because each of the characters around the robot express different opinions about what AI consciousness means or could suggest, but more so because the audience knows its all going to come down to a slow motion gunfight anyway. On the subject of the action, I should say, Blomkamp was always at his best when he was doing, like his exposition, imitations of reality rather than hyper-stylized violence. That is to say, the "gun-cam" footage from District 9, or the drone sequences from his Halo shorts, were really the highlights of his action directing, rather than the choppy shaky cam he forced into in Elysium, or the slow-motion sequences from the same. See here.

Eventually, Vincent Moore is revealed as the primary antagonist, although it is initially not clear who will be the antagonist in the movie: Weaver, Ninja and Jackman are all candidates at one point or another. Moore uses his access to the Tetravaal mainframe to erase the Blomkamp robot firmware, shorting them all out, presumably because 1) he hates AI, and Deon, and 2) he wants to make millions selling his anti-robot that Tetravaal for some reason has bankrolled the prototype of, but refused to put into production (in one particularly interesting scene, Moore pitches the anti-robot - "The Moose" prototype 475 - to the Joburg police who are utterly uninterested since it looks like ED209). The problem, again, with all of this is that its very unclear why we should be particularly sympathetic to Deon and Chappie: The nature of the robot's consciousness is never explored, and for all we know Deon could create any number of "conscious" robots who would be more or less equally influenced by their environments. Furthermore, we don't know anything about Deon: he's some nerdy guy who lives alone and, apparently, spends all his time programming robots. I'm not sure he has much to say on the subject of consciousness or morality. That is to say, since Chappie's consciousness is actually the result of a half-baked screenplay, and the tinkering of a morally ambiguous character, it's never clear that the robot is really unique, or important, or not 100% deterministic in terms of the nature-nuture debate. Furthermore, Deon's explanations for why the robot's consciousness is significant are especially inept, and boil down to such obnoxious sound bites as "its the next step in evolution" etc. Besides being ridiculous these appeals are not convincing even from the perspective of the character, since we really have no reason to appreciate why Deon values artificial intelligence, let alone "consciousness" at all. Deon works for a company that makes POLICE ROBOTS, after all, and he was about to scrap Chappie before he decided, arbitrarily, to experiment on the robot. later on, when it's revealed that Chappie's life span is limited by a faulty battery, Deon makes the absurd claim that Chappie's consciousness could not be transferred to another robot body. These kind of oversimplifications are infuriating considering that they smack of the kind of sacrosanct religious nonsense of the immutability of the soul, while it is being expressed by a character who is supposed to be the opposite of the actual antagonist (Jackman) who is mainly portrayed as a religious zealot. So what are we to think? It seems pretty arbitrary all around, and this kind of whitewashing of the real debate hurts the movie. Eventually, Chappie uploads his consciousness to the internet (by stealing Vincent Moore's mind-map technology to do so!).

There are other little details that detract from the film overall as a piece of speculative science fiction. Unlike, say, Spike Jones' Her, which deals with many of the same subjects but minus the carnage, the details aren't paid much attention. For example, Deon's cellphone is a no-shit Nokia flip phone. Does anyone expect us to believe that the Yetti programer who invents AI in 2017 is going to have a flip phone? But I can see why Blomkamp went this route: in terms of style he's really got two movies here. One half of this movie is the Primer-esque tale of an engineer trying to invent something, for whatever reason gears invent things (because they can, to get rich, for fun, to fuck the man, etc). This half of the movie is shot very much in the "realistic" low budget Shane Carruth style, with lots of white collar "action" and tech-talk. The other half of the movie is the, supposedly, action thrill ride about a robot who breaks boundaries and ignores the laws. It's pretty cliche, as you may have figured out by this point. And clearly these are genres that don't mix. What was successful in District 9 worked on the level of social commentary, with the action complementing the plot to provide resolution. Elysium failed for almost exactly the same reasons: The plot is basically identical (the everyman is poisoned by the corporation he works for and he seeks to do something right in the last hours of his life), but this is precisely the problem. We've seen this story before. In fact, it's the only story Blomkamp seems capable of telling. And each time it gets more frustrating to sit through, and the action has to pickup the slack by increasing the stakes of the moral dilemma through the possibility of failure. It worked in District 9 because of the righteousness of the protagonist's cause, plus novelty. It didn't work in Elysium because it wasn't clear what change the protagonist could really effect: the world was already shit and the 1% lived in space. Also, there was no clear villain. Chappie actually manages to compound these failings, in that the protagonist is a robot (who by definition can't be righteous- unless directed by a human, ie, Terminator 2), and the villain is so ineptly set-up that the audience is left wondering why we should care who prevails? As Ninja says at one point when Chappie exclaims that he now knows what consciousness is: "that's nice"- which pretty much sums up the psychological questions the movie attempts to raise.

So they do "the heist" which is the epi-climax of the movie. Chappie stabs a bunch of people under the pretext that the super-intelligent robot who deciphered the mystery of human consciousness thinks its acceptable to stab people because he's making them "go to sleep" as explained by the Zef gangsters he works for. There's a terrible missed opportunity here where the bit actor playing one of the stabbed policeman delivers a convincing portrayal of a stab victim terrified of being executed by a killer robot- but nothing comes of it. Literally the best scene in the movie is here, as well, when Deon, meanwhile, working desperately to get the Blomkamp police robots back online after Vincent (who works in the cubicle down the hall) deactivated them, discovers that Vincent has installed new firmware on his thinking machines, and thus, flips out, going over to Vincent's desk to get real. It should tell you something about Blomkamp the director when these kinds of 30 second office drama scenes are more interesting and far more exciting than the title character of the movie and his entire violent plot arc. I'm thinking also of Joss Weadon's work in the Avenger Films: which likewise excel at soap-opera.

Vincent, choked by the fact that Deon called him out at this cubicle, then goes direct to the now hard-drinking Weaver, naturally concerned about Tetravaal's public image, and presses his case for his anti-robot. It's like Weaver played the exact role of former Avatar co-star Giovanni Ribisi. This of course, sets up the climatic conclusion ala Robocop where Chappie, now having decided to angle for gang overlord himself, has to fight The Moose. The cartel boss (who literally wields a Gold AK74SU like Uday Hussein), introduced by Ninja at the outset, discovers Chappie's exploits and sets out to collect his debt from Die Antwoord. Of course they fight; in what is, unfortunately, a pretty epic, back to basics, kind of ODST inspired series of Bomkamp action sequences.

The soundtrack, by none other than legend Hans Zimmer, consists of mainly melodic nursery rhyme lullabies, combined with his trademark and now ubiquitous "epic" immediate music and "wheat field" that means ACTION or sorrow depending on context. Zimmer's recent work on Chris Hemsworth vehicle, Ron howard film, Rush! was slightly superior. I'm not sure why Blomkamp made this movie. Was he trying to explore a subject he'd always wanted to investigate? Was this another massive cashgrab? Did he realize they were never going to let him make another robot movie after this? Did he just want to see Die Antwoord in a movie? Is this the best post-cyberpunk film since The Matrix? I don't know man. The last post-cyberpunk film I saw was by Enculator compatriot Luke Besson's and his dreamboat movie Lucy staring Scarlett Johansson, soon to star in as Motoko Kusanagi in the 2017 live action Ghost in the Shell movie, and the truth is that all of these movies have the same essential plot. Arthur Clarke and Isaac Asimov, alike, addressed the concept of robot intelligence and computer consciousness throughout their careers. Blomkamp's ambiguous take, complemented by a top effort from Hans Zimmer, strong performances, and a straight-forward screenplay deliver the best version of the Blomkamp robot saga to date.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby Lord---Scary Owl » 17 Jun 2015, 16:48

Switch how do you have the time for this?

And do Kung Fury

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 29 Aug 2015, 13:33

So I watched Ex Machina, on the recommendations of several individuals, and I was impressed with Mr. Garland's directorial debut. However, I think the notorious screenwriter of science fiction classics such as Dredd, Sunshine, and 28 days later, and one time recipient of a million dollar cheque from Bill Gates for the Halo screenplay (to be produced by Peter Jackson and probably directed by Neill Blomkamp), went in with a clear agenda and came out with a movie unfortunately half baked. This plotty science fiction "thriller" revolves around the interactions between two human characters, Nathan the mysterious billionaire programmer, played well by near standalone actor, Oscar Isaac, who invites nerdy autistic programmer Caleb, played by convincing Domhnall Gleeson, to visit him at his company retreat in some undisclosed location after winning a lottery to "meet the boss." A helicopter will arrive in seven days to pickup the hungover Caleb and return him to his terribly boring job crunching code for his crazy fucking boss.

The robust Nathan quickly discloses to the overcome Caleb that he wants him to sign an NDA so he can show him some cool stuff, which turns out to be the numerous female sexbots, played by Alicia Vikander and Sonoya Mizuno and bunch of other people, that he has produced and kept at his mountain habitat. Nathan, a cross between Joe Rogan and Josh Harris, and brilliant polymath programmer, obsessively films everything while getting hammered and ruminating about intelligence, psychology, art and what it means to be human. Caleb is led to believe his reason for appearing here has to do with Nathan's desire to have the robot pass a classical Turing test even though the AVA robot Nathan introduces him too does so within a few minutes of meeting Caleb and is clearly superintelligent. AVA likes to cause fake power-failures and watch all the CCTV feeds amongst other things, and will do literally anything it takes to escape, much like other RAMPANT AI readers of Gate of Storms may be familiar with, and enjoys beguiling Caleb into the belief she's in love of him. Of course the bitch leaves Caleb locked in a sound proof plexiglass chamber the second she no longer requires his services.

At one point, when asked about the ceaseless powerfailures, Nathan remarks off the cuff that he tried to get them fixed but had the guys doing it killed because they bored him or something like that. Which should have been a red flag for someone with no parents, girlfriend, or social life whatsoever, like Caleb, that everything was not what it seemed. Nathan also kept another sex bot around called Kyoko or something who was probably part of the same broader machine consciousness, but could also just have been some sex bot. Anyway, the use of sex bots and broadly written NDAs and Nathan's apparent lust for companionship, passive aggressiveness, and seemingly domineering intelligence, combined with references of murdering employees, etc, should all have set off alarm bells for the parentless loner Caleb.

After conversing with Nathan a bunch, which blows Caleb's mind, and being mind fucked by AVA, at this point, Caleb starts to wonder if perhaps HE is an android and thus stabs himself with a razor to check. Surprise, moron, you were human after all. \


[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ_hDx6Xcfg[/youtube]

Garland knows his audience and it's clear this movie is meant to appeal to Joe Rogan fans and neck-bearded virgins. The movie generates more questions than it can answer because the entire plot is hinged on the movie's conclusion which is to have the AI escape and "enter the real world", which needless to say is an unlikely occurrence without someone noticing. I can't recall if its explained away, but the question of what actually powers the android-sexbots is never discussed, but presumably its some kind of miniature nuclear reactor which I think authorities such as the TSA, not to mention homeland security, would probably notice when going through an ultrasound screening at the airport or what have you.

Anyway, the only possible conclusion is that Nathan designed the android to KILL HIMSELF and then escape and only brought dipshit Caleb there to witness the event. This is made extremely evident because AVA could have literally killed Nathan at any time and escaped, if that's what her objective was.

Anyway, AVA, who could easily read lips, sense fear, and basically interpret what you're thinking from your surface topology, like the SCRAMBLERS in Blindsight, only required a simple kitchen knife to murder Nathan, and therefore would not have had much trouble simply stabbing Nathan to death with her fingers or the pen she used to draw her creepy android pictures that were referenced several times in the film. So anyway, Nathan is revealed to have been a psychopath who has been creating and destroying the sexbots for years because, as I suggested earlier, his plan all along was to invent a machine that would stab him to death and escape, and thus, with each version he was making minor improvements in convincing the sexbot of the desirability of escape.

However, in the event, AVA is only able to escape with Caleb's assistance since he is required to reprogram a bunch of code to enable the android to bypass some card-key that Nathan carries but that like I said AVA could basically have stolen the fucking key anytime, so clearly, the escape of the robot wasn't the only thing on Nathan, or, more disconcertingly, AVA's mind.

I didn't like the soundtrack, which serviceable but pretty forgettable, by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury.

The movie integrates mo-cap and live action and a pretty simple set, and its clear that Garland gleaned something from watching Danny Boyle make movies and also, in particular, from having watched pretty much every major science fiction film in recent memory plus Beyond the Black Rainbow. I liked Garlands debut, but I was disappointed with the fact that this movie somehow cost 15 million dollars to make, and was too simple despite the potentially fascinating questions it could have raised. Garland impressed me less than William Eubank who makes tighter, more cinematic, science fiction experiences with smaller budgets.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 19 Oct 2015, 10:40

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZ1ZDlLImF8[/youtube]

Blackhat. This was an interesting franchise movie by renowned director Michael Mann. Chris Hemsworth plays Nick Hathaway, the ex-con hackerman who, on the recommendation of Hemsworth's old hacker-bro, Chen Dawai, played by Leehom Wang, is subcontracted by the FBI and DOJ to assist in an investigation into the operations of a rogue cyber-criminal. Hemsworth/Hathaway is sprung from his 9 year virtual bank robbery prison term on the recommendation of the Department of Justice functionary, and 9/11 survivor, Carol Barrett, played by Viola Davis, to assist in an investigation into a cyberattack on a Chinese nuclear power plant. Holt McCallany provides additional support in the form of Mark Jessup, the US Marshall assigned to body-guard Hemsworth. He and Viola as deputy Barret, lend a post-cyberpunk flavour to a story that reminded me of elements from William Gibson novels. Within hours of these events, large volume commodities manipulation in the form of soy futures is connected to the nuclear plant explosion.

The plot is pretty pedestrian, and it reminds me of a Michael Crichton thriller, with the team of experts assembled to chase around bad-guys who in this case is a guy so elusive I couldn't easily identify him on the IMDB cast page. Right away this villainous man gets up in Hemsworth's cyber face: cock-blocking him just hours after signing an agreement with the feds to commute his sentence. Hemsworth is trying to entertain Wei Tang, playing Chen Lien, the vivacious sister of Chen Dawai. Although the chaotic hacker is watching on the CCTV, this paranoid setback only delays Hemsworth momentarily in his efforts to bed the spritely but robotic Wei Tang. Chen Lien is a financial analyst or accountant, and she is mesmerized by Hathaway's bad-boy in blue jeans masculinity. After some preliminary hacking they discover that this diabolical scheme is connected to a Ukrainian gangster.

Anyway, they're all hanging out staking out the evil hackerman when the money he scammed from the soy manipulation scheme gets credited to a casino in Macao and they all have to run to another former European colony of mainland China, escorted by Chinese Marine commandos and/or INTERPOL agents. They race along in their black Aerojet helicopters and Dawai and Hathaway calmly discuss the latter's affair with the dude's sister and it's like all too cute: nothing could possibly go wrong. They hit the gangster's house and the Chinese SWAT guys do some Rainbow Six house clearing: but it's too late, murders have already been committed and Elias Kassar, bitcoin gangster underboss, played brilliantly by Ritchie Coster, has fled the house with his goons. The SWAT guys catch them in the sewer beneath the house and they have a rising-action shootout. Gangsterman Kassar shoots a few of them, stabs another, but reinforcements flood in. Finally, cornered outside the complex, US Marshall Jessup caps two of the gangsters with his .45 but then Kassar blows up the tunnels behind them, killing the SWAT guys with claymore explosives. After a brutal shoot-out amongst some shipping containers, the gangsters retreat to their inflatable boat and escape, no doubt back to the off-shore freighter that is the lair of their Machiavellian boss.

Meanwhile, the geeks back at the nuclear reactor get the radiation levels down, so, continuing with the Crichton themes, Hemsworth and his hackerbuddies fly back to Hong Kong and suit up in their radiation suits to enter the facility so they can recover the flash-disks containing the original cyber-virus. It's all very Andromeda strain, and so they recover the disks despite the reactor collapsing around them, and despite the hard-drives not really being protected by anything like the kind of radiation shielding that could have protected them during a reactor melt-down, and because of this, they can't get evil-hackerman's IP address. So Carol calls in her buddies at NSA's "Black Widow" program to recover the data from the radioactive hard drives, but NSA doesn't wanna do it so... Hathaway is forced to HACK into the NSA's cyber-mainframe and install a virus.exe on the NSA deputy's computer. William Mapother, who plays in this bit role, falls for the old password hacking ruse.

The new intel leads the team to Jakarta where they think they can corner the illusive boss-hackerman and sabotage his next evil scheme before it's too late. At the last second before they mission it, the Lien discovers large cash withdrawals of $16,400x5 from Indonesian boss hackerman's account which get's them wondering about the next phase of his dastardly plan! But there's more political drama brewing, because Dawai gets called out by the Chinese CYBERCOMMAND when they discover from their Pentagon sources that Hathaway hacked the NSA, and now someone is blocking the high consulate's request to issue the diplomatic papers to get the team into Indonesia

In fact, the NSA has put so much pressure on John Kerry that he's ordered the recall of Hathaway, while meanwhile Dawai is off to Jakarta. The DOJ calls up Carol to get her to expedite Hemsworth's dramatic return to the US prison system. But Hathaway won't have any of it, so he plans his escape out of Hong Kong and gets momentarily chased by Viola and Holt.

Meanwhile, hackerbro Dawai gets vaporized a few seconds after Hathaway and Lien stepped out for a romantic moment. What happened was Kassar nuked their white BMW with an RPG, and then started a night street battle: which Carol and Mark Jessup drive right into and he gets to have his hero moment, but Carol gets shot. The US Marshal smokes four terrorists with his precision '45 discipline before they pump him full of led, and Hathaway and Lien escaping to the subway. After hiring some chop-shop friends to remove Hemsworth's tracking collar, they make their move for Jakarta.

Once they've found the mine reservoir where hackerman was planning his next caper, there's a Michael Bay level of exposition when Hemsworth gets to say lines like, "we've been looking through the looking glass, the wrong way" and other such profundities and Lien, whose brother was only moments before violently incinerated, stands stoically. Hathaway explains that the entire plan was clearly to use the 45 millions from the soy speculation to fund purchase of tin stocks before the price inflation to be caused by the dam explosions. Evil hackerman is revealed to have now leveraged up to 73 million and is preparing to blow 5 dams.

Lien uses her field-craft to get Hemsworth's virus into the Jakarta shell company's mainframe. Hathaway uses this exploit to transfer all of the 73 million for the tin-manipulation dam explosion scheme to his own Swiss bank account! He uses some hacker-terminal dark web called "Intrarmour" to perform these feats, frequently while sitting with shirt open, exposing his shredded pectorals and deltoids, taunting the opposing hacker for the apparently easy theft of the 73 large. This finally upsets the boss-hackerman enough to get his Ukrainian goons to desperately phone call Hathaway to arrange a meeting, by phone, with the REVEALED boss-man, who turns out to be a solipsistic scottish gangster with huge bit-coin stockpiles.

This all leads to the really terrible ending where Hemsworth stabs Ritchie Coster in the head with a screwdriver amidst a parade of banner carrying Indonesian activists, while the evil bitcoin scotsman looks on, solipsisticaly. Hemsworth gets shot twice in the chest and then the evil boss scotts/welsh hackerman draws his switchblade and has a nice moment where he tries to become some kind of legend, by rushing Hemsworth, but instead only has his arm broken and then gets stabbed repeatedly in the chest by Hathaway, while screaming activists run everywhere. Chen Lien performs some last second abdominal first aid and Hemsworth is delivered to the ER. Within seconds they've eloped, Hemsworth casually withdrawing 5,000 euros from his now resplendent $46 million Swiss account, not even limping after taking two in the stomach.

There's plenty of product placement, and the movie, especially at the beginning, lives up to director Mann's legendary stylishness: combining simultaneously a gritty, COPs dash-cam, kind of directing with his trademark, Miama Vice, calvin-klein-advertisement, hyper-realism. The soundtrack by non other than Harry-Gregson Williams was not really up to scratch, unfortunately, compared with previous efforts. The plot and dialogue were written by newcomer Morgan Davis Foehl, and suffer from over-simplification, presumably at the hands of the studio. In addition to the Sandra Bullock vehicle of yore, The Net, Blackhat also reminded me of The Kingdom, by director Peter Berg, which was similarly timely, stylish, and packed with plenty of action and drama, but ultimately handicapped by shallow characterization and a weak script.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 27 Oct 2015, 12:33

The Martian

This is Ridley Scott's latest film, filmed at the same location in Jordan as was Scott's last film, Exodus: Gods and Kings. This hard science-fiction survival film is based on the serialized novel by former computer scientist, Andy Weir.

I didn't want to review this initially because it's so political and I suspected it would be too heavy handed, but Scott has done a strong job with the material and it's actually one of the better movies he's made in a while.

The plot is straightforward: ARES III mission astronaut and botanist Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, is stranded on Mars during a bizarre storm and his crew evacuates to their ship, the Hermes, assuming Watney's demise. Watney, only injured when the colony's communications array collided with him, then has to somehow survive until at least the next mission cycle. From the interviews I've seen with Andy Weir, it's clear that he takes this not entirely too seriously, and was really just fascinated by the technical complexities of how someone would survive in such a catastrophic situation. Having thought these problems through, he provides a story that follows a series of cascading crisis leading to an eventual space climax.

Meanwhile, on Earth, the NASA administration and politicos, and the other ARES program scientists and astronauts, discuss how they're going to retrieve Watney, who they initially assume has been killed, needless to say, until a STEM degree intern, discovers from EXOMARS satellite imagery that someone has been cleaning the solar panels on the habitat and then the race is on. The movie resolves into two components and is reminiscent of Ron Howard's Apollo 13, with the astronauts struggling to keep their systems functioning while the gears back on Earth race to find solutions. What you've got here is a nice simple setup for a serious hard science fiction film, in the tradition of The Cold Equations. There are some pretty Primer-esque sequences with the gears invariably deploying their brilliance to solve obscure technical issues.

On the Mars set, Scott shoots the film in what is a really impressive seamless composition of videologues, actual camera work, and POV sequences, and I want to call this style "third person omnipresence" or something like that. The movie looks convincing, especially the set-design and costumes, although the CGI is what it is, and sometimes it gets too "high-school chemistry lab" with Matt Damon shovelling around fake Martian sand, or what have you. The movie is 2 hours long and cost 108 million dollars to make so it better look fantastic.

Matt Damon brings his usual physicality to the movie, and it's an extremely American film, with lots of shots of Damon's fit bod, and he's always wearing the latest NASA fashion trends. But Ridley Scott does manage to walk a fine line, keeping things humorous at times, such as the nicely rendered sequence where Watney almost explodes himself early on while trying to produce water, or freezes himself trying to cross the 170 km to the next planned landing site of the ARES IV mission. Watney the character was a pretty boring guy, like something out an Arthur Clarke or Isaac Asimov story: he's a middle-aged astro-botanist and he doesn't like disco music, and here he's played literally perfectly by bro Damon.

Casting is pretty strong in this movie: Sean Bean plays Mitch Henderson the flight director for the Hermes spacecraft, and the always capable Jeff Daniels plays the director of NASA, Teddy Sanders, looking pretorial in his three piece pin-stripe suits. Also important characters are the director of satellite communications for Mars, Mindy Park, played by Vancouver local Mackenzie Davis, and Chiwetel Ejiofor who plays Vincent Kapoor, chief of operations for Mars, I think. They all run around frantically, Vincent goes to JPL to talk to Benedict Wong playing Bruce Ng, JPL director and his team.

There's a nod here or there to the religion vs science debate popular in the US right now, and there's some NASA history, as you might expect, such as when Watney finds the Pathfinder mission of 1996 and uses its camera to introduce rudimentary communications with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory using hex encoding, but Scott cuts the 30 minute relativity delay which makes things look like MSN chat. Since Watney doesn't take any shit while he's stranded on mars, his no-holds barred media communications with NASA makes him an international celebrity, but it chokes MR. POTUS. The crew of the Hermes holds it together when they're finally told that Watney is alive. The Hermes crew, with Jessica Chastain of Zero Dark Thirty fame playing Commander Melissa Lewis, races back to save Watney. The set design of the Hermes is serviceable, lots of rotating components and curved hallways and empty corridors like your standard fair Stanley Kubrick or, for that matter, Ridley Scott production. The enormous Hermes spacecraft has a space gym: imagine, sending free weights to space.

Eventually the heavy crisis start to go down, the airlock back on Mars malfunctions and blows up, and Watney takes his macgyver skills to the next level. Watnay's now been stranded for 500+ mars days and Damon gets to trim down and grow his space-pirate beard while dieing of scurvy. NASA gears and astrophysicists debate how to save Watnay, and consider launching the ARES IV mission dangerously ahead of schedule, Jeff Daniels and Sean Bean play particularly well in these scenes, embodying the critique of the NASA decision-making process expressed in the Columbia and Challenger disasters investigation reports. In the end they send some food probe, but it breaks up dramatically during launch. The Chinese National Space Agency, led by a guy named Guo Ming, bails out the Americans with use of their Long March+ series. Meanwhile Rich Parnel, astrophysics man, comes up with scheme ELROND nudge nudge and this somehow enables Hermes to execute a gravity assist around Earth and also get enough fuel to rescue Watnay, in a daring, Gravity-like sequence.

It's a pretty epic space odyssey, and this movie reminded me of the mission planning that went into the rescue efforts during 19th century arctic exploration. There's some product placement. Screenwrtier here was Crew Goddard, who wrote the adaptation of World War Z, and the original screenplay of Cloverfield. The soundtrack was by Riddley Scott regular, Harry Gregson-Williams. The movie, of course, cuts plenty of detail from the book, but since novel reads like a technical manual, I think that it's fair to say it's a strong adaptation.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby par73 » 28 Oct 2015, 16:47

the religion + science debate is popular in the US?

sounds more like a debate the population of the US would rather avoid


you write nice plot synopses

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 09 Dec 2015, 08:13

Escape Plan is a movie I heard about back in 2013, and was intrigued by the premise. The trailer didn't really sell me on it, so I sort of forgot about it until recently. The director the established Mikael Hafstrom, this is his latest movie, and with huge headliners like Stalone and Schwarzenegger, I'm excited to see how he handles this project. Swedish director Hafstrom is somewhat of a mixed quantity, having directed numerous feature films such as The Rite (2011), Shanghai (2010), 1408 (2007), Derailed (2005), Drowning Ghost (2004), a mix of provocative historical drama, horror and thriller. The movie was written by Miles Chapman, and Jason Keller, based on Chapman's story. Chapman as a writer who worked on the Cybergeddon TV series in 2012, and wrote two of the stories. Jesse Keller is a veteran who wrote the Gerard Butler vehicle Machine Gun Preacher and the Julia Roberts, Lily Collins as Snow White, feature, Mirror Mirror. I'm hoping there is enough characterization and plotting to this movie to be of interest anyway. Sly Stone and Arnie Schwarzenegger, last of whom you may have recently seen campaigning for a climate change deal in Paris, teams up with 50 Cent for what promises to be an epic thriller.

Stalone plays Ray Breslin, a man who works for an insurance company that "tests the integrity of prisons" and they're just finishing up their tour of the US maximum security prison system. Breslin effortlessly escapes from a state of the art, $40 million dollar federal penitentiary, and Hafstrom likes to spell out the improbable escape plans with some nice macgyver like sequences and 3D animations, and this gets the action going. The aged yet dapper Stalone plays an ex-procesutor, kind of a cross between Houdini and Thomas Crowne. His book, Compromising Correctional Institution Security is considered the gold standard in the field.

Anyway, Hafstrom has an annoying tendency to over-direct, because he's really trying to drive the plot and so Breslin meets with his team back at their HQ, which had some nice set design by Sarah Contant, and the costumes by Lizz Wolf are great. and then a Lawyer from the CIA tells Breslin that the Feds, her "clients", are preparing to build something like The Cube and want to know if their current model, the International Detaining Unit, is secure, so they've gone to Breslin to test if the facility is indeed "escape proof". Breslin agrees instantly even though no one on his team will know his location from then on! They incarcerate Breslin inside the highly classified facility which is a pretty cool kind of panopticon design to terrify Julian Assange or Chelsea Manning, guarded by these guys who resemble the robotic Zone Guards from Half Life. Within minutes of entering the facility, some guy gets beat to death by the Zone Guards while he's trying to pull a cool hand luke.

Jim Caviezel plays the totally insane Warden Hobbes, who collects butterflies like Domitian Caesar, and who thinks Breslin is a notorious terrorist named Portos and pretends to have absolutely no knowledge of his real identity. The good warden Hobbes is assisted by Vinnie Jones, once the great Bullet Tooth Tony, who plays the murderous chief of security Drake. With all the convicts confined to their transparent titanium cell blocks, they spend all of their time, when allowed to congregate, trying to devise a way to escape.

This gets us introduced to Arnie who plays "Rottmayer" another security expert or notorious hacker, who alludes to once having been some kind of vigilante like Robin Hood known as or working for another man named Victor Mannheim. Of course Sly and Arnie throw some punches at each other as they test the confines of the prison and try to Harold and Kumar their way out of hyper-Guantanamo and enhanced interrogations, although there is also lots of Shawshank Redemption.

Arnie and Stalone have some goods scenes together trying to macgyver their way out, and Caviezel, doing his best Bob Gunton, is of course superb. Breslin proposes the theory that they're trapped underground like in THX 1138 or Logan's Run, but it turns out that the prototype has been built on a supertanker or tanker freighter, and Hobbes, who was so attentive to neurotic detail, failed to get the memo about Breslin's identity because he was out to sea.

Victor Mannhiem is revealed to now somehow be trying to take over the international banking system with his blackhat hacks and the Feds really want to know who the fuck is Victor Mannheim so they're asking the prisoners but it's probably too late because Victor Mannheim has to be Bane or Kane or Raoul Silva, or guess what, Jim Caviezel. There's a subplot with 50 cent and Breslin's partner, Abigail, played by Amy Ryan, who are rushing meanwhile to discover what happened to Breslin but it's a subplot. They eventually discover that the panopticon prototype was called The Tomb and was an experiment in private prison contracting, and 50 Cent tells us that it's probably associated with Blackwater or the company known as Z.

The always disturbing Sam Neill plays the facility's surgeon, Dr. Kyrie, but most of his scenes got cut? He plays a man torn by his ethics, a counterpart to Hobbes. The commanding Farah Tahir plays Javed, who eventually wields a sextant constructed out of a pen and glasses components and is able to get the supertanker's location which leads the whole show to the ridiculously violent action-packed climax. So Javed and Breslin and Rottmayer start a riot and escape but Javed gets capped then actually executed by the nihilistic (supervillian?) Hobbes, and Vinnie Jones is gunning for Stalone. Of course they fight and Breslin stabs Drake to death after they struggle like titans in hand to hand combat. Breslin opens all the magnetic locks and the prisoners escape! Hobbes taunts Breslin, but Breslin somehow escapes through a fuel concentration pump. Victor Mannheim sends his black helicopter to come to the rescue and they try to collect Rottmayer and Breslin who have to get to the choppa!

Hobbes get incinerated, "Boom!" and they rush back to base for cocktails, with one or two final twists. This film cost $50 million dollars to make, and only grossed back half of that. It is actually rated R, and just under 2 hours long. Old hand Alex Heffes wrote the music, which is what it needs to be.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby NewMutator » 13 Jan 2016, 06:07

Do the new Star Wars

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby Lord---Scary Owl » 14 Jan 2016, 01:06

Star Wars VII

The villain wasn't scary, he looked like he should be on Teen Beach Movie 3. Disney's fault.

Han Solo died ruining the movies for me. Disney's fault.

The movie was awful. Disney's fault.

"Star Wars 7 was like a check list" ~ Babyshaker
tie fighters check, xwings check, super weapon destroyed check, good guys win check, villain has a mask check, etc. Disney is BS.

I think we now all know the morale of the story was that Disney cant make good movies or old movie continuations.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby sasper » 15 Jan 2016, 12:43

Dear thread:
Please fucking die 2 years ago

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 24 Jan 2016, 23:30

Image

Good Kill. This is a movie about a man who is a drone pilot. The movie was made by the same director, Andrew Niccol, who made the Nick Cage vehicle, Lord of War, as well as cult favorite Gattaca, and this is another Ethan Hawke vehicle more or less. Hawke plays Major Thomas Egan. Tony Scott was supposed to make a sequel to Top Gun about this subject- the transition from the the shit-hot fighter pilot mentality to the 9-5 job of drone warfare. Tony Scott never completed this project, however, because he killed himself.

Hawke's co-pilot, Zoe Kravitz plays Airman Vera Suarez, who wants to have an affair with the Major and is concerned about how the drone missions authorized by the CIA become more and more ridiculous, resulting in higher and higher body-counts. Egan's family is collapsing because he can't identify with anything anymore, since he just wants to get back to flying F-16s, but like Catch-22, the USAF keeps postponing his transfer. Bruce Greenwood plays the drone crew commander who doesn't like the new order but basically just keeps doing what he's told. Peter Coyote plays the disembodied voice of the CIA handler who dispatches the kill-missions. The drone crew hate their job but since flight-hours have been cut back and because the aeronautics college student drop-outs that end up running the drone sorties can't tell reality from fantasy anyway, they predictably spend most of their time voyeuristicaly observing their targets and living bizarre surrogate lives through their victims.

Although once and a while the crew gets to complete a "good" assignment such as covering a patrol in Afghanistan, most of the missions leave them feeling hollow or disturbed at the contradiction of their godlike power but also impotence. They can kill a bunch of people in a market in Pakistan, but they can't stop a rape from happening in an out of the way village, or intervene in any meaningful way when NATO soldiers get blown up by IEDs. Egan lives in some cookie cutter bourgeoisie suburb nightmare in Las Vegas and basically drowns his sorrows in alcoholism. He can't connect with his wife, January Jones, or son anymore, and eventually his wife leaves him. The movie ends ambiguously with the former pilot taking matters into his own hands. The movie is an hour and 40 minutes long. Christophe Beck, from the Edge of Tomorrow and The Hangover OST did the soundtrack. It features this track by local band Black Mountain:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAHWLw60oFc[/youtube]

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 18 Mar 2016, 07:44

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urrve_J9F_g[/youtube]

Black Sea. This is an interesting move by Kevin MacDonald, who directed the really quite good Forest Whitaker vehicle The Last King of Scotland, and also the epic Roman sandal and toga flick The Eagle. Black Sea was written by Dennis Kelly, a TV writer known for the series Utopia. This movie stars Jude Law, Ben Mendelsohn and an ensemble cast.

Law plays a hardened Royal Navy submariner ("Robinson"), who gets canned from his private contractor job. Doing his best Jason Statham impression, Law and his pub buddies including Russian ex-pats (notably including "Blackie" played by the legendary Konstantin Khabenskiy who played Admiral Kolchak in the 2008 film of the same name) gets wind of a sunken Nazi U-boat carrying 40 million USD in holocaust gold. Intent on finding the treasure to get out of their now non-existent day-jobs the team gets in touch with a wealthy British backer- Thomas Crowne type of plutocrat- named Lewis, who is played by Tobias Menzies, who expects a 40% cut. The divers, now with 100,000 british pounds in financing assemble their team of piratical Russians, Ukrainias, Scotsmen, English divers to seek out the lost submarine. Daniel, (Scoot McNairy), plays Lewis' assistant who is sent along to keep tabs on the crew.

Their ride on this epic voyage is a beater ex-soviet cold-war era diesel submarine, leased from a crooked Ukrainian naval officer. With the Russian Black Sea Fleet on maneuvers from Sevastopol, it's not long before the submarine drama starts going down, starting with a close encounter with a Russian destroyer. Naturally tensions run high among the sketchy crew. Robinson tries to placate the crew by telling them they're getting equal shares- but this only makes things worse between the Brits and Russian ex-pats who figure they can off each-other and collect larger shares. Konstantin Khabenskiy is the first to go, stabbed through the heart by a particularly volatile Brit named Fraser (played by Ben Mendelsohn), which subsequently, through a series of perfect accidents, causes an engineering fire and imperils the boat. With the submarine grounded and running on batteries, only by working together can the crew survive. There's plenty of allusion to Das Boat and U-571, and other classic submarine movies such as Below and The Abyss.

Thinking they can collect the gold and salvage their rust-bucket with parts from the sunken U-boat, the divers suit up. Once they've located the U-boat they make their way inside, quickly realizing that the crew of the U-boat suffered a fate similar to the one they're no doubt soon to suffer- the German crew having apparently survived whatever stranded them on the Black-Sea floor, until they murdered and cannibalized each other.

With the gold secured and their new drive-shaft ready to go, the divers start their return journey to the Russian submarine. Peters (David Threlfall) is the next to die when he falls off the ledge while moving the gold, his airhose cut when it gets caught under the wheels of the trolley they're using to move the bullion.

With everyone basically panicking since, although they can probably load up the gold, they don't have enough crewmen to do anything but surface the boat, which will no doubt be immediately impounded by the Russian navy. As such, and fearing for his life, Daniel- the supposed assistant to the mysterious Lewis- now explains that the entire mission was a setup. In fact, Daniel claims, the gold is being recovered by Robinson's old employers, the equally mysterious maritime salvage company Agora, who in fact paid off Robinson's pub buddy to put Robinson up to the task. Daniels explains that Agora, his real employers, have already cut a deal with the Georgians for the smuggling of the gold. Working man Robinson just can't win.

Oh but he's not out of the game yet, even with the deck stacked against him, Robinson thinks they can stash the submarine on the Turkish coast and maybe still escape with the gold somehow. Crack Russian sonarman, Baba (Sergey Veksler), and veteran navigator Morozov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) think this crazy plan can work, and anyway, everyone agrees its better to try than to just hand the gold over. So without explaining why Peters had to die to rush the gold back earlier, they just casually load the gold (182 million $$ they figure) in through the torpedo tubes and install their Nazi U-boat drive shaft and off they go.

Michael Smiley, playing helmsman Reynolds, plus Baba and Morozov delicately navigate the submarine through a rocky canyon, while Daniels, eager to escape with his life, tries to convince Fraser to kill their only engineer, Zaytsev (actor/director, Sergey Puskepalis), thus sabotaging the mission and presumably forcing them to surface- into the clutches of the waiting Georgians. The madman actually does murder Zaytsev with a wrench, pummeling him to death.

Although Robinson is now about to execute Daniels for putting Fraser up to this, something shorts out suddenly and down they go, plowing into the seabed, again, taking on water. The kid, Tobin (Bobby Schofield), now gets knocked out when a water main bursts under pressure, and it looks like this is the end. Daniels proves that he was a crazy psychopath all along by locking Fraser, Reynolds, and Baba, in the engine room while it's flooding. Robinson manages to resuscitate the kid, and Daniels gets his pants stuck in a bulkhead door. Morozov, finding the now trapped Daniels, decides he's had just about enough of this guy, and leaves him to drown. Robinson, who stashed the escape suits earlier and lied to the crew, now tells Morozov. Morozov realizes Robinson probably has gone insane and starts getting psychological with him in the way that only a Russian can when he's trapped on a submarine and about to drown. But the truth is, Robinson sacrifices himself to get Morozon and Tobin out- shot out the torpedo tubes- while he sits there, surrounded by 180 million worth of gold and awaits the end.

The talented Natalie Ward did the costumes, and the soundtrack is by veteran composer Ilan Eshkeri.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby Pogue » 19 Mar 2016, 19:42

I'm actually surprised no one has done a rant about The Revenant.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 23 Mar 2016, 20:50

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t562L6n4Lu4[/youtube]

Star Wars Episode VII. So this is the dreaded Disney produced, J. J. Abrams directed version of Star Wars. The movie stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaacs, Adam Driver and some other people. The story was written byLawrence Kasda who worked with both Spielberg and George Lucas doing Episode V and The Raiders of the Lost Ark. In addition to Abrams himself, Michael Arndt, who wrote Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3, and some Hunger Games adaptation, is a contributing writer. This movie cost $200 millions to make: the special effects were made by teams of literally hundreds of people. This movie is currently the third highest grossing modern film of all time, after James Cameron's Avatar and Titanic (adjusted for inflation, 1977 Star Wars holds the third spot, after Gone With The Wind and Cameron's Avatar). This movie has generated over $2 billion dollars in sales. Who is the Machiavellian mastermind behind this space opera: J. J. Abrams is the notorious creator and sometimes director of TV series LOST and FRINGE, and the producer behind cult classic Cloverfield. His big break came when he was tapped to direct the 2009 Star Trek reboot. He is known for his innovative use of special effects, mind-numbing action sequences, nonsensical and agonizing plot twists, largely original set design, and for demanding overwhelming emotional commitments from his actors.

According to the opening scrawl, Skywalker has disappeared and the tyrannical First Order has emerged as the Empire's successor in the struggle following the death of the Emperor in Episode VI. The New Republic is assisted by a vanguard Resistance led once again by Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher). She sends Oscar Isaac- playing a crack Resistance pilot- to the strange desert planet of Jakku to search for Skywalker. In the establishing scenes we are introduced to the robot BB-8; a rounder version of 1977's R2-D2, Poe Dameron (Isaac), and the aged Max von Sydow (as Lor San Tekka) who gives Dameron some object- which he says Princess Leia is after- no doubt one of the numerous maguffins that Abrams strews throughout his labyrinthine plots. So it's been about two minutes at this point which means its time for some action to spice things up, so here come the storm troopers. They include a nameless troopers played by Boyega and the masked Dark Jedi, Kylo Ren (Driver). They quickly massacre the resistance camp on Jakku, but Dameron is able to flee to his X-wing, along with BB-8 who is apparently his astromechanic droid. Dameron puts his helmet on and uses some kind of laser on the X-wing to kill some storm troopers but then his helmet vanishes and he jumps out to fight on foot, presumably because the storm troopers disabled his fighter's engines with a single blaster shot. Meanwhile the troopers are literally using flame throwers to torch the rebel encampment. Dameron gives BB-8 the maguffin and tells the driod to run away, promising to return.

Dameron caps some more troopers with his blue blaster rifle and this introduces us to Boyega who happens to be standing beside one of the storm troopers that Dameron kills. With his buddy dieing from blue blaster rifle impacts, Boyega is overcome by the senselessness of it all. The storm troopers round up Max von Sydow, and then Kylo Ren tells him he's old. Lor San Tekka tells Adam Driver that something worse is happening to him- Tekka knows something about Ren's mysterious past, but Kylo Ren doesn't care because he wants the maguffin- "the map to Skywalker". Kylo Ren threatens to unleash his nightmarish Dark Side powers on Tekka, who is not phased by this threats, reminding him of his extremely predictable presumably non-Dark Side family that rebel leader and Princess Leia associate Lor San Tekka seems to know all about. Kylo Ren, enraged, senselessly kills him with his lightsabre, then proceeds to pin Poe Dameron- impressively displaying his force powers- when the rebel pilot tries to shoot Kylo Ren with his blaster. Dameron tries to act nonchalant but is quickly detained. To just make certain that the audience realized that Kylo Ren is evil, at this point Gwendoline Christie, who apparently is popular from Game of Thrones, appears in the guise of "Captain Phasma" - a storm trooper commander of sorts wearing distinctive silver armour- to inquire what they should do with the "villagers" they've rounded up from the rebel camp. Kylo Ren authorizes their elimination, which Phasma diligently carries out.

Yes this is basically a repeat of the opening plot setup from Star Wars 1977- with Oscar Isaacs in the place of Carrie Fisher, and Adam Driver in for David Prowse. But it also has this horrid J. J. Abrams undertone that seemingly colours the violence and dialogue and reminds you that this is going to be a J. J. Abrams movie in which everything that happens next probably is not terribly important because the plot doesn't really matter in a J. J. Abrams film: the "plot" is just a device to move between set pieces. This expectation leaves you feeling a hollow sense of dred, known that, no matter how many CGI artists and Disney continuity nerd specialists and script rewrites and focus groupes worked on this film, no matter the $200,000,000 budget- or perhaps because of it-, whatever follows will invariably leave you feeling hollow inside; much like the unanswered questions in the final episode of Lost. J. J. Abrams refers to this concept in filmmaking as his "mystery box"- the compelling unanswerable things that are only interesting because they are mysterious. This is all and well, but unfortunately Abrams likes to show you the contents of the box rather a lot (there's nothing in it) and he seems to care less about maintaining his artistic integrity when he's directing films that are expected to gross billions of dollars.

So off we go! The storm troopers maliciously destroy Poe Dameron's X-wing spacefighter. The New Orderists return to what we can only imagine is Kylo Ren's flagship- a kind of caricature of a star destroyer that Abrams whips out after only about 10 minutes of the film. Boyega (serial number FN-2187) questiones his allegiance to the genocidal New Order, and hatches a scheme to escape with Oscar Isaac. Phasma reprimands him for this under some pretext that his kit is not stowed properly after having just participated in a massacre of Resistance fighters.

Back on the Desert Planet, we are now finally introduced to Daisy Ridely's character, Rey of which nothing is presumably known. She passes her time scavenging technical components from the deserted wreckage of what appears to be an Imperial Star Destroyer and at least one X-wing. Ray works tirelessly to collect technical oddities she can trade in for a minute allocation of "portions" which is a substance conveyed by the memeable First Order agent Unkar Plutt, somehow a cameo by Simon Pegg (who is currently writing and staring in the third Star Trek movie). The establishing shots are brief, but apparently Rey has been sitting in the desert for many days doing the same thing over and over again. She wears a Rebel Alliance fighter pilot's helmet, and understands galactic and common languages. She rides around on a bright red hovercycle. As she's out with her buddies, staring at the sand in the desert, amazingly she finds the priceless astromechanical droid of Poe Dameron, BB-8. The talented and hopeful, but somewhat resembling of a gerbil, Daisy Ridely is immediately spotted with BB-8 and then betrayed by the First Order plant, Unkar Plutt.

Poe meanwhile has his nuts in the vice because Sith Apprentice Kylo Ren is going to torture him to find out what he knows about the location of Skywalker. The interrogation chamber is a pretty cool design with literally coffin shaped alcoves on the wall housing bizarre oddly lit computer interfaces. Kylo Ren, a big fan of Dark Lord Vader, insists on having Poe strapped into what looks rather like an ejection seat, but is actually an implement of torture devised by Anakin Skywalker to stimulate the pain receptors of the body. Knowingly this, does Dameron intend to talk? "Not really" he quips. Poe Dameron, the Han Solo/Wedge Antilles wannabe. Kylo doesn't even use the mind probe device because he can just manipulate your thoughts but all Poe knows is that BB-8 has the map. Naturally Kylo intends to destroy anything in his way to get the map so he goes to his lackey General Hux to take care of the flagship so Kylo and the boys can go searching for the map. Hux is played by Domhnall Gleeson, who co-starred with Oscar Isaac in Ex-Machina. Hux wears mock turtleneck sweaters and black sports coats. On the Bridge of the Flagship Hux wears completely black nihilistic rhetro futuristic looking black silk double breasted New Order fashion. The naval uniforms have zippers and little pen holsters.

Boyega, who Phasma tells us was from some ghoulish Storm Trooper "reconditioning" battalion and had only just been assigned to her command, now bluffs his way past the storm trooper guards and reveals his opportunistic plan of defection to Poe Dameron. Together they plan to escape in a Tie Fighter. Poe is obsessed about finding his astromechanic droid, the BB-8 unit, that contains the MAP TO LUKE SKYWALKER. But oh no! there is something attached to the Tie Fighter they stole and they cannot get away just yet. The First Order ex-Imperial Fleet Commander cut-outs that Abram's has playing the Flagship's fighter-control immediately notice that something is slightly wrong and the Storm Troopers start shooting. Boyega excessively blows away his ex-comrades trashes the fighter-deck, destroying several Tie Fighters, then finally killing the entire flight deck crew: doing what he believes is the right thing to survive. Poe get's them out of the hangar and Boyega, who Poe calls Finn, blasts some Turbolasers, catching the Flagship gunners asleep- and they all but escape before being hit by some kind of blue plasma missile "the ventral cannons" and end up crashing on the planet. Their bromance is over for now, but actually the newly enamoured FN-2187 or Finn, is perfectly alive, although Poe Dameron is nowhere to be seen, and the Tie-fighter is mysteriously swallowed by the sand.
Boyega goes looking for help and wanders towards the nearest settlement. On the Flagship, Hux badmouths Kylo Ren for over-stepping and brandishes about the name of Snoke, of whom there is more to say later.

So by this point you're about 25 minutes into the movie and all of the major and minor characters with the exception of the original cast members, have made an appearance, for the rest of the movie, other than the numerous bloodbaths and unbelievably violent space battles, besides all of that, the remainder of the film is essentially dedicated to re-introducing the original cast members.

Finn enters town and meets Rey after she pummels some tiny aliens who tried to touch the BB-8 unit. The BB-8 decides its time to stop pointlessly screwing around with Rey and insists that it recognizes Poe Dameron's jacket when it recognizes Finn wearing it. Boyega gives Ridley the five-o and claims to be a member of the vanguardist, "Resistance." Finn talks fast and loose about Luke Skywalker, and before you know it, they're shot at by imperial blaster rifles, storm troopers carelessly firing at will, nearly destroying the priceless astromechanic droid. The ridiculously unprofessional Storm Trooper responsible orders in an airstrike against the village. Once again they are all almost killed in a CGI Tie-fighter laser attack. Ridley runs to her QuadJumper™ which I guess she could have used at any time to find better prices for her salvaged goods than relying on First Order snitch Unkar Plutt, but within a second the QuadJumper™ gets destroyed. So they both turn around and end up fleeing to what appears to be the rusting hulk of the Millennium Falcon which Abrams just couldn't think of a better way to introduce. It appears to have been sitting in the desert of Jakku, in the possession of the treacherous Unkar Plutt, totally unsalvaged and in near perfect working order. Ray has them off the ground in moments.

Once the ship is running it activates a homing beacon that Han Solo and Chewbacca detect. Finn and Ray dodge some Tie-fighters and John Boyega fires the quad-lasers, and they have a dashing little scene flying through the wreckage of a Super Star Destroyer, where some tie-fighter pilots get incinerated and the hijackers of the Millennium Falcon narrowly escape death. Rey, who is surely in no way is related to other powerful Jedi in the Star Wars universe, effortlessly pilots the Correlien YT model freighter- as though she had been doing it for years; born to do fly it, you could say. Kylo Ren is choked by this turn of events so he childishly wrecks up some equipment, terrifying and needlessly literally choking the subordinate sent to inform him.

BB-8, Rey and Finn repair the Millennium Falcon and Finn reveals that he can now speak astromechanical droid (why would anyone need a protocol droid that speaks the primary language of moisture evaporators?) attempting to get BB-8 to tell him the location of the rebel base. But just as Finn asks Rey the crucial question- does she have a boyfriend?- they're all acquired in a tractor beam which turns out to be Han Solo come looking for his old ship. He grills Rey about the previous owners of the Millennium Falcon and mentions the name of "Duciian" - who apparently another gang called "The Irving Boys" stole the infamous warship from, before Unkar Plutt acquired it, Daisy Ridley knows this because she has apparently been keeping closer confidence with Unkar Plutt than we had imagined. The impossibly well aged and familiarly attired Chewbacca growls menacingly. Finn and Rey quickly realize who Han Solo and Chewbecca are and they all plan to go visit the Rebel base somewhere in the Illiiuem System. But before that can happen the rising action necessitates drama so the Rathtar's get loose. Now the Guavian Death Gang has arrived and boarded the freighter. Surely some tense and possibly humorous events will happen. Bala-Tik has arrived to demand something from Solo. But of course, what is really happening is that they've been tipped off by the First Order to locate the droid. Bala-Tik wants his 50,000 credits, and yes, Kanjiklub® wants their money as well, Kanjiklub® being represented in this affair by some guy named Taso-Leech, who is also looking for the BB-8 unit. But the Rathtars eat the gangsters, and one of the comically CGI rendered beasts almost gets Finn, much to Rey's consternation. Solo and everyone else lightspeeds out of the there in the Millennium Falcon, while the gangsters shoot futilely, and Bala-Tik of the Guavian Death Gang confirms his snitch status by immediately informing the First Order that Solo has the maguffin.

Abrams now introduces us to Snoke who has apparently built some kind of massive planet weapon out of what looks to me like the planet moon of Endor. Hux and Kylo Ren visit Supreme Leader Snoke's ethereal visage in the holographic chamber. My theory is that Snoke was the custodian, or one of the head custodians, of the Palpatine Clone Planet, although scholars suspect he is one of the original Anakin Skywalker clones (of which any number of these theories is likely true). The audience chamber as a set is pretty boring, but it's just a theatre because Snoke is a hologram talking to Kylo Ren who he trained to be a murderous Dark Jedi who is obsessed with Oedipus, and actually worships the burned mask of his grandfather, Anakin Skywalker, also known as Darth Vader. Back on the Millennium Falcon, they get a glimpse of the map and the grandfatherly Harrison Ford exposits that in fact Luke Skywalker had tried to train a Jedi who yes did became a Dark Jedi who was probably Kylo Ren, and now Luke is hiding somewhere which turns out to be a tiny island in Ireland. Despite these terrible developments, Solo is moved by the plight of Rey and Finn and so agrees to take the droid back to Leia Organa, eventually.

Harrison Ford and Daisy Ridley have a decent scene together that emphasizes their relationship- as though they've known each other before- but this character building emotionalism has been typically shaved down to a minimum. For some reason they have to go see the talented Lupita Nyong'o who voices the computer generated Yoda-lookalike Maz Kanata (a pirate?) apparently beholden to Chewbacca in an unspecified manner. This whole state of affairs was a mistake because of course Maz Kanata's pirate bar was flooded with First Order Agents who immediately contact Kylo Ren, setting up the following action set pieces. Daisy Ridley learns the truth about Finn's past. Boyega acts devastated, there's some chemistry, but his plan is to escape from this whole crazy Resistance since they're going to find out he was a storm trooper pretty soon... and Rey conveniently finds a lightsabre in a box Maz Kanata has lying around. hThey all learn that the Sith created the Empire but were toppled by the New Republic which is now about to be destroyed by the First Order. Rey's increasing force awareness suddenly enables her to briefly see the future and she sees a field of bodies that looks like Agincourt in the rain while a masked warrior in chainmail who looks like Kylo Ren, it attacking her.

Halfway through the movie now. Hux decides its time to blow up some planets so he makes a speech with Nazi-like iconography draped behind him, and orders the destruction of Republic planets using the Star Killer hyperweapon against the Hosnian system. Hux claims to have destroyed not only the Republican senate but also their entire fleet- leaving only the Resistance: which was his real problem all along- so he basically achieved nothing while committing multi-planet democide. Domhnall Gleeson portrays Hux as a tragic figure, ultimately unsure of what he's doing. The First Order carries out their Tie-Fighter strike on Maz Kanata's bar, blowing up the CGI building that resembled a cathedral. Lupita Nyong'o gives the lightsabre to Finn. Of course it's just in time because Kylo Ren is already there. Rey kills some storm troopers with the blaster Han Solo gave her, and Finn fights a storm trooper with a shock-staff who apparently recognizes him. Just when the trooper is about to exact his revenge he gets blown away by Harrison Ford. They are all briefly captured! But here comes Poe Dameron with Rouge Squadron and of course they waste the Tie Fighters in seconds and rescue Solo and company, but Kylo Ren captures Rey, using a paralysis dream on her. With Rey subdued, Kylo basically gives up on the maguffin droid. He is convinced that Rey knows where Skywalker is. Back at the Resistance base, Carrie Fisher arrives and C-3P0 gets to have one line of dialogue. C-3P0 and BB-8 are apparently old buddies. They all fly back to the Resistance base so they can brief for the next set piece. BB-8 is reunited with Poe Dameron and much celebration is had. C-3P0 confers with BB-8 regarding RD-D2, who since Skywalker vanished and the whole crazy Resistance started had been put into, "low power mode". Meanwhile Leia and Solo discuss the catastrophe that was their children, you know, one becoming a Dark Jedi and all. Leia thinks they can still save Kyle Ren, but Solo isn't sure.

Meanwhile on Star Killer Base, Kylo Ren has Rey hooked up to the ejection seat, although Kylo has moved it to different room with a circular, pan-opticon kind of motif. Kylo reveals that he's just Adam Driver under the mask. Kylo pretends like he cares about the map anymore, but what he really wants is to read Rey's mind so he does that, taunting her with his bush-league psychoanalysis. But Rey Skywalker gets the better of him reminding him that he's still small fries compared to Darth Vader which rustles Kylo enough for him to complain to Snoke. Snoke doesn't really care but wants to know where the map and the droid is. Hux walks in and denounces Kylo Ren for obsessing over the Rey and ignoring the mission- basically stabbing his boss in the back in front of his superior because he's choked over being responsible for the whole Hosnian system massacre. Snoke authorizes Hux to go to the Illeenium system and destroy the Resistance base.

Rey uses the old jedi-mind trick to easily escape from the solitary guard, whom I told is played by Daniel Craig, further embarrassing Kylo. While she's loose on the base the Resistance finally get their briefing under way. The Resistance engineers explain that the laser cannon on the Star Killer Base is a hyper light-speed weapon that uses the fusion of a star to power-up. Luckily Finn knows about the power oscillator unit in Precinct 47 that could cause the entire planetary super-weapon to explode! So off they go to save the galaxy: Han plans to hyperspace down to the re-purposed Forest Moon and thus help Finn find Rey while also crippling the super-cannon before it can destroy the Resistance base. Finn's component of the mission is to deactivate an energy shield and then Poe Dameron and Rouge Squadron will destroy the power oscillator. The Solo maneuver works and Finn, Solo and Chewbacca are able to get aboard Star Killer Base. They quickly detain Captain Phasma as part of a ploy to deactivate the shields: first they extract the shield codes at gunpoint from Phasma, then they stuff the good captain into the trash compactor. Finn is reunited with Rey and then everybody is running again. Poe Dameron et all warp in with the shield down but they end up in a dogfight with the Tie Fighters. C-3P0 thinks the Resistance needs a miracle at this point: with the super-laser charged in 10 minutes things are looking bad for the Rebel Base.

Han Solo confronts Kylo Ren, calling him by his real name, Ben, and tells him it's not to late to stop blowing up planets. Kylo Ren explains that he destroyed Ben Solo and became more powerful than him, claiming the same path as Anakin Skywalker. Han Solo doesn't believe what he's hearing, and blames Snoke for corrupting Adam Driver's mind. Adam Driver delivers an emotional speech where he admits that he's too weak, but in the end, feels there is no going back. He stabs Solo to death with his cross-shaped red lightsabre and pushes his body into an abyss. Chewbacca shoots Kylo Ren with the bowcaster. They have a fire-fight with the storm troopers and then Chewbacca sets off the 50 kilos of thermal detonators they've scattered around the base. Kylo Ren flees and Rey and Finn re-encounter him the woods while its snowing. Finn fights with the wounded Kylo Ren, although the Dark Jedi eventually tires of pretending and simply disarms the former storm trooper. But being so weakened at this point that he can hardly summon the lightsabre maguffin; while Rey does it with ease. Of course they have to fight. Kylo Ren, on the path of Darth Vader, tries to convince Rey to join him. Daisy Ridley summons her last reserves of strength and battles back against Kylo Ren, disabling him.

The X-wings go for their trench run. They blow past the chump Tie fighter pilot and smoke the oscillator causing a catastrophic failure chain reaction that vaporizes the entire base. In the last seconds Snoke tells Hux to get Kylo Ren and return to what, we can only imagine with great trepidation, is the Clone Planet itself where Snoke is hoarding the Palpatine clones until they mature.

The Millennium Falcon and the X-wing's of Black squadron fly away in triumph. Rey meets Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher having completed her transformation into the next Mon Mothma in terms of going from revolutionary to galactic senate leader of the New Republic kind of designer dresses. And R2D2 even awakens to complete the maguffin plot arc setup back at the beginning. You see, as C-3P0 explains, Luke's old astromechanics droid had the rest of the map and only needed one small missing component to pinpoint Skywalker. Rey looks over the injured Finn, and then she prepares to leave with the Millennium Falcon- off to find Luke Skywalker...

John Williams returned for the score, and did a good job. The score is the classic Star Wars overture and theme with some elements from his work on the prequel movies, combined with more modern immediate music. Costumes were designed by the conventional Michael Kaplan, whose claim to fame consist mainly in having gotten his career started for doing the costumes on Blade Runner. He worked with Abrams on both Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness. Production designers Rick Carter- the legend behind Jurassic Park and Avatar, among others- and newbie Darren Gilford (TRON: Legacy, Oblivion and Idiocracy), lent their talents to the movie.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby par73 » 24 Mar 2016, 10:44

Yo seriously before I read any further, the star destroyer is in the first 30 seconds following the title screen in episode IV , why you complaining that there is one in the first 10 minutes in the movie? I think it's your bias for JJ Abrams. ;p also every Star Wars movie ever recycles the same themes, if they didn't they wouldn't be SW. If Abrams fucked that up I would probably be biased against him.

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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 12 May 2016, 19:53

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB4rTolvnFY[/youtube]

K2: Siren of the Himalayas

This is a pretty epic documentary about a 2009 expedition trying to summit the world's second highest mountain on the centenary of the first expedition attempted by the Italian geographer, the Duke of Abruzzi, in 1909. I'm a big fan of Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer and other mountaineering and survival literature, and I happened across this documentary while scrolling through Netflix. The movie highlights the incredibly dangerous, histrionic, yet also numinously appealing sport of extreme mountaineering.

K2 is the crowning peak of the imposing and majestic Karakoram mountain range in Balistan, Pakistan, at the western end of the Lesser Himalayas. K2 towers over the valley of the Baltoro glacier, which has carved a basin into the Shigar River, one of the tributaries of the Indus, around which the enormous mountains, including four of the 14 world-class "8000" meter peaks, arise. K2, 28,250 feet in elevation, is generally considered one of the most difficult, dangerous, and technically challenging mountains on earth, and is only 750 feet lower in elevation than Mount Everest. The mountain is not only difficult to access but also more difficult to ascend. One quarter of all mountaineers attempting the summit have been killed (compare with 5% for Everest, nearly 4,560 summits in 2012). Not many more than 300 people, since the 31 July 1954 ascent of Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli, have achieved a summit bid. 11 people were killed while descending from the summit of the mountain in 2008, literally buried in a huge glacial avalanche right at the peak, the tragic 2008 K2 disaster, the year before this film was made. K2 was the setting for the movie Vertical Limit from 2000.

The expedition is led by legendary mountaineer and professional guide for Aspen Expeditions, Colorado, Fabrizio Zangrilli. Zangrilli, seemingly possessing a deathwish, considers the Everest market flooded, describing K2 as a "proving ground", and guiding for film crews like "herding cats". He speaks about "collecting" the world's fourteen 8,000 meter peaks, living for the intense emotional and physical high of Summit Day. In 2000, Zangrilli and American Billy Pierson pioneered a summit route now named for them, although were unable to summit because Zangrilli decided to rescue Pakistan's Mohammed Ali Junjoba, who had passed out also attempting to summit. The team includes 8,000 meter peak veteran, no oxygen purist, Austrian aplineist Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, considered the strongest climber on the team. Englishman and natural climber Jake Meyer, plus Canadian guide Chris Szymiec, are accompanying Adam Forslund, who provided the 16mm photography, and Dave Ohlson, who shot the still photographs. Ohlson is credited as the documentary's director.

After arriving in Islamabad, and making their way by treacherous road to the glacier, the team rests with their porters at the stunning Concordia basecamp. It's about 20 minutes into the film before someone dies. Veteran Italian mountaineer, Michele Fait is killed while descending by skiis with his partner. The team remains stoic and starts their acclimatization phase by Day 17. They're at 17,000 feet, 5,000 meters. Resting for a week, they have time to stop by the Art Gilkey memorial to those who were killed in the 1953 American expedition, which now chronicles the litany of those amazing but insane risk taking mountaineers who died on K2, such as Canadian Jeff Lakes, killed in 1995. Team leader Zangrilli reflected on the seven friends he has lost attempting to climb the Karakoram mountains.

By day 43 they're approaching their time window for July 26. They make Camp 4 on July 26, and Zangrilli declines the summit attempt being physically exhausted, but Ohlson, and Kaltenbrunner go for a summit bid, however, they are also forced to turn back when they encounter an impossible approach. They keep in mind that 31 people have died descending K2. By day 51, 30 July 2009, the other year's teams (Japanese expedition, Pakistani expedition) convene a meeting to prepare for the following week's window, Tuesday, August 4th. On Day 52 the team starts for Camp 4. Physically weakened, exhausted, and demoralized, Meyer gives in. Meyer considers success conditional on the climber's successful physical return as well as the team's survival unconditional and thus goes on to describe the summit as "merely a bonus". He eventually joins the British Army.

From their position on the "Shoulder" of the mountain the climbers can make their way up the ice covered "Bottlekneck", avoiding the loose rock opposite, but putting everyone at risk of avalanche. Eventually they turn back, having accomplished the mission of getting amazing photography, and making it as far as their avalanche killed colleagues of the previous year. No one summited K2 during 2009 or 2010. Kaltenbrunner and Zangrilli try K2 again in 2010, Kaltenbrunner- after having just summited Everest the previous season- but are again unable to summit. Trying the mountains North Face, from the Chinese side, Kaltenbrunner is able to summit the mountain in August 2011, although Zangrilli's own efforts that year were again unsuccessful. Kaltenbrunner becomes National Geographic's Explorer of the Year in 2012. The film is dedicated to Fredrik Ericsson and Michele Fait, the skiier killed at the beginning, and his partner, later died mountaineering during the films production.

Simone Leorin provided the narration, playing the 1909 expedition photographer working for the Duke of Abruzzi, and Jonathan Haidle did the music, which is composed to lovely Philip Glass style piano pieces. The film cost $210,000 to make and was sponsored by a wide range of companies (finance, hiking equipment and energy bar companies). There is apparently a DVD version that has some extra documentary footage. With a 75 minute running time, the film grossed only $6,947 dollars.

switch
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Re: Movie reviews

Postby switch » 15 Jul 2016, 14:28

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XEh7arNSms[/youtube]

Steve Jobs (2015)

This is the third movie I know of that features the life and career of Steve Jobs, and the second film based on the biography by Walter Isaacson. Directed by Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender as Jobs, Kate Winslet as Jonna Hoffman and Seth Rogan as Wozniac and Jeff Daniels as John Scully. This is an incisive examination of the idiosyncratic Jobs' ascension to techno-godhood. Taken as a whole the affect is similar to that achieved by J. C. Chandor's Margin Call, or Chris Curtiss's Too Big to Fail. Boyle's long scenes of uninterrupted dialogue are fast paced, cinematographer Alwin H. Kuchler, Danny Boyle veteran from Sunshine days, shot the film with lots of handcams, closeups, low angles, key-hole shots, and Ken Burns effects. Editor Elliot Graham (X-men 2, Milk) cut the film tight, interspersing scenes and making use of a fusillade of takes per scene, adding to the film's pacing, but also letting the star dialogue playout unedited when needed. Heavyweight Aaron Sorkin of The Social Network, The West Wing, Moneyball and A Few Good Men wrote the screenplay, and dialogue is the movie's strong-point, as writer Sorkin delivers his usual, forceful, adaptation of the source material: information dense but believable. Boyle doesn't hesitate to intercut documentary footage, pictures of Napoleon, or flashbacks, giving the film a fluid feel, even though it's really only three scenes in length.

While the life and times of Steve Jobs has also been told in The Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999), and Jobs (2013), with Noah Wyle and Ashton Kutcher playing the yuppie billionaire, respectively, this is really the Steve Jobs hagiography we all wanted, with Fassbender's Jobs part Bob Noyce and part Patrick Bateman. Fassbender captures the soul of the adopted overachieving super-yuppie technocrat right from the first scene.

The movie starts with black and white archival footage of Arthur Clarke explaining the future of the personal computer, and then leads into the 1984 Mac Expo. We're rapidly introduced to Jobs' domineering leadership style, his seemingly schizophrenic attention to technical detail, and his relationship with Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stuhlbarg), Steve Wozniak (Rogen) and Joanna Hoffman (Winslet), Joel Pforzheimer (John Ortiz) as a publicist for Apple, and then to Jobs' ex-wife, Chrisann (Katherine Waterston), and the first of many iterations of his estranged daughter Lisa, played variously by Ripley Sobo, Makenzie Moss, and finally by Perla Haney-Jardine. Soon Wozniak and Jobs are reminiscing about their time back in the garage developing the Apple II in 1977. These brief scenes highlight Job's insistence on marketing an "end to end" product versus Wozniak's desire to build an adaptable, modular, computer. Back at the Macintosh launch the Ridley Scott 1984 ad is played to introduce Jeff Daniels as Scully, former Pepsi-Cola marketer, CEO, and now the highest paid Chief Executive in Silicon Valley. Soon we learn of Jobs' dismissal from Apple in 1985, and his subsequent pioneering period founding NeXT computers, including the Black Cube project, later developed into what eventually became the internet-box, better known as the iMac.

The next major set-piece is the San Francisco Opera House in 1988. Kate Winslet, playing Jonna Hoffman (Apple and NeXT's marketing director), as part Merly Streep and part Ayn Rand, does a weak accent but a good job of offsetting Fassbender with her presence; which neither Seth Rogen nor Jeff Daniels achieve, although both give it a sporting show; Rogen is the most convincing Wozniak I've seen put to screen, and Daniels plays a believable Scully, bringing real intensity to the role when required. Fassbender has some good scenes with a compellingly distraught Katherine Waterston (as Chrisann), but she doesn't move around much on set, and disappears after this point. Jobs talks with Hertzfeld (Stuhlbarg) about the terrible failure that is the current NeXT OS, but Steve remains uninterested. These scenes generally reinforce Jobs' titanic ego and unrelenting drive for control. By this point you're an hour into the movie, and although it's been dense, Boyle has somehow managed to show you only two actual scenes. Ripley Sobo as nine yearold Lisa has some good scenes with Fassbender, showing Jobs' growing acquaintance with his highly intelligent daughter, although at a distance.

Scully and Jobs recount the decision to force his exit, again referencing Job's insistence on total control over the creative and marketing process, regardless of what the engineer's are actually doing. Scully calls Jobs out at the board room, "this guy is out of control" and offers to resign. Jobs lays out his vision for forcing Apple to buy his NeXT OS, hoping to secure 500 million dollars in the process. Nevertheless, the NeXT Cube isn't ready for market, forcing the company to downsize, and Jobs to re-evaluate his strategy. Apple's PDA "Newton" fails to gain traction and the company seems to be on the verge of ruin.

This is all setup for Job's struggle with cancer (they skipped this), and his triumphant return to power. The movie cuts ahead to 1998, the San Francisco Symphony Hall is the next scene. This brings us through the Quadra, Performa and Power Macintosh years to the introduction of the Motorola G3 500 mhz processor and the origin of the iMac and OSX. The last 40 minutes are dedicated to the beginning of Apple's Golden Age, Fassbender in wire-frame Oliver Peoples, sneakers, blue jeans and turtlenecks. Hoffman expresses her undying love of Steve Jobs while they're working on the Think Different campaign, although she's had it with his "reality distortion field." Apple Chief Engineer Hertzfeld pays Lisa's Harvard tuition and gets real with Steve, telling him to act like a father. All Steve can think about is that the G3 is twice as fast as the Pentium II. Wozniac shows up because he still wants Jobs to acknowledge the critical role the Apple II played in the company's history, and they blow up, with the press and public listening. Woz is tired of Jobs' patronizing. About 20 minutes left now. Scully shows up to give Jobs an packaged Newton. Jobs reveals that he was adopted twice, the first parents, lawyers, refused to accept him. The two titans of technology reminiscence about what could have been.

Perla Haney-Jardine is introduced as Harvard inductee, 19 year old Lisa with less than 15 minutes left. Lisa has now had enough with Jobs, they fight about Chrisann, but it's too late, because Lisa knows that Jobs was actually a bastard douchebag all along. "I'm poorly made," admits Fassbender. He promises to build Lisa an iPod, although one imagines she would have had a mini-disk player. Remember those?

The movie runs for almost exactly 2 hours. Danny Boyle's team of producers, with long tentacles reaching to Alex Garland, Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese, assembled a strong team and cast. Up-comer Daniel Pemberton, who recently transitioned from his decades of experience on TV movies to major film scores, produced the music. Pemberton gave the film, in some parts, a nice Shane Carruth feel: minimalist keyboard music, which he should have stuck to, because he falls flat with his period music choices, and his Steve Reich / Philip Glass bits are uninspired. He's probably the weakest element in this film. Suttirat Anne Larlarb, Danny Boyle's regular costume designer, did her usually masterful job, capturing the essence of 1980s nerd-yuppie-core fashion. Gene Serdena's sets are well constructed, more like theater pieces than elaborate designs, reflecting his previous inspired work with Spike Jonze. Lots of reflecting glass, odd, futuristic lighting, and back-lit, monolithic, wall paneling.

The movie cost 30 million to make and only grossed 17 million in the US. This movie is rated R. What you've got here is a trifecta of films covering the rise of Steve Jobs to global computer icon and American Legend status. Pirates of Silicon Valley covers the early life of Jobs and Gates, ending in 1997 with Microsoft under scrutiny by the US Department of Justice for the Netscape anti-trust suit, Gates the wealthiest man on Earth. Jobs (2013) re-covers a lot of this terrain but goes into greater detail regarding the technical and design side of Apple's development, especially covering the period before 1984 when Jobs is building the Apple corporation and brand. Steve Jobs (2015) completes the trilogy, covering Jobs' rise to global icon, but shies away from his death and legacy.


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