Movie Review Thread

General MWC related discussion stuff.
Homer
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Movie Review Thread

Postby Homer » 24 Jun 2013, 00:59

Taken 2 ~ Terrible Movie

Has anyone been bored/dumb enough to see Taken 2? If so, I hope it wasn't in theaters.

Plot Synopsis: Same as Taken 1....except this time the Albanian sex traffickers want to take Liam alive, murder his wife in front of him, and imprison his daughter as a sex slave for the rest of her days....VENGEANCE!!! Will these Albanian motherfuckers never learn who they are dealing with? In the beginning Liam Niassan's smoking hot ex-wife decides her current husband is a bald fat bastard whose ridiculous wealth is nothing compared to the ravishing looks, accent, and unrivaled security Liam brings to the table. (Who didn't see this coming, and who can blame her?) The intro makes it clear that although not obscenely wealthy, Liam drives a brand new Toyota Camry Sedan, and is no slouch himself, as a CIA operative he's still capable of taking on private contracts or some such shit I guess, and pocketing large sums of cash for exclusive security details. He's also got a great government pension a 401K, an IRA, and his health.

Liam shows up at the house to pick up his daughter for her 3rd driving test attempt, and him and his wife quickly fall back in love. He then tracks down his daughter by way of the GPS he has discreetly implanted on her phone after the whole kidnapping incident. Good old dad. She is at her new boyfriends house, who by way of appearance is some slacker/artsy type, probably an Albanian. Liam looks the skeezy perv up and down and seriously considers breaking this kids neck and getting it over with, but decides it would upset his daughter too much and really ruin his chances of getting his family back. He refrains, waiting for a better excuse down the road. It's clear to anyone this kid is a scheming SoB, and going to die at some point at the hands of Liam. In the meantime though the douche is going to be all over his daughter, Liam prefers not to think about that though, biding his time until Taken 3 or 4 when the kid will die for spilling an Arizona ice tea on the seats of his Camry (Liam loves that fucking car).

Later that week, over in Istanbul, the Albanians are hard at work, bribing Turkish officials to look the other way or give them information on his whereabouts, but first they capture and torture that poor French bastard from the first movie. It wasn't enough Liam came running into this guys life like a wrecking ball the first movie and then shoots his wife and pistol whips him. Now the poor bastard has to be captured and interrogated by the Albanian's, I suspect he gets murdered after giving up the whereabouts of Liam, whose character's name in the movie is completely irrelevant. This French guys entire life is ruined just through association with Liam, and if he wasn't French, the movie would've done a great job of creating empathy towards the character, but he is French.

Liam's idiot hot wife and daughter surprise him in Istanbul, "it's almost as pretty as Paris, but not really" they think, then Liam becomes aware that the Albanians are after them, when 4 black Mercedes filled with half shaved men wearing track suits, carrying machine guns are tailing him. This is where he gets on the phone and tells his daughter that she and him and her mom are all about to be taken again. Baffling though it may be to the viewer that the writers did use the same line almost verbatim in the 1st movie. At this point the viewer thinks, am I really watching this, why did they say that again? is it funny or just sad? His daughter panics again, at the fear of being raped and imprisoned for life, and both her parents being murdered in a foreign country. She is really doubting her decision to fly over sea's again, and this time to a country that is far less safe than France even was. Chase scenes ensue, and she manages to get away. Liam being a secret agent, always packs hand grenades and 9mm pistols instead of clothes, he tells his daughter to grab some grenades and toss them around Istanbul, so he can hone in on where she is, because at this point he's been captured but has a secret cell phone the size of a quarter on him. She does it without too much questioning, she pulls pins counts to three and despite throwing like a model/actress that she is in real life somehow manages to launch the Grenades like a college QB 70 yards in any direction. "This is easy!" she exclaims with joy, "I'm really getting the hang of it!" as she lobs another explosive off a roof top near some poor Turk trying to enjoy his coffee at a local cafe, he spills boiling hot beverage into his crotch and runs for his fucking life thinking he's in some sort of terrorist attack, no it's just Liam's daughter playing a more interesting version of Marco-Polo with her father. No need to be alarmed citizens of Istanbul, go back to whatever it is you do here.

Anyways, Liam has now escaped his cuffs and killed 80% of his captors, while trying to save his wife from bleeding out, who by the way was cut in the neck with a pocket knife and suspended upside down to bleed out in front of him. Lucky for Liam most of the Albanian bastards are just lounging about watching soccer and drinking tea in their track suits not paying attention as he comes in and assassinates all of them. In the end he runs down the boss man and is about to kill him before fighting the best man on his staff, an awesome display of hand to hand combat ensues, Liam breaks his neck as to be expected in the end. The old bastard gets killed but not before a conversation that mentions he has two more scum bag sons who will probably want revenge as well. Liam accepts that, kills him, and goes back to LA which is home and eats ice cream with his precious family on the Malibu Pier while staring down his daughters new boyfriend. "Who is this fucking guy?" "Where did he come from?" "Does he use protection?" "If he lays a hand on my daughter, I'm going castrate him." "We'll find out soon enough who you really are boy."

The End.


Homer
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Homer » 24 Jun 2013, 15:52

your loss.

Pogue
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Pogue » 24 Jun 2013, 17:01

That was way better than the movie was.

dac
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby dac » 24 Jun 2013, 17:02

i missed homer posts

adrenaline
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby adrenaline » 24 Jun 2013, 17:18

watched World War Z last night... pretty decent. Heard it's a bad adaptation of the book... but having never read the book, I enjoyed the movie quite thoroughly. Worth seeing in 3D.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby dac » 24 Jun 2013, 18:00

zombie movies bore me though, generally speaking they are stupid.

is this movie stupid too?

adrenaline
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby adrenaline » 24 Jun 2013, 18:50

It really is not stupid at all. And some zombie movies are awesome... such as Shaun of the Dead.

dac
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby dac » 24 Jun 2013, 20:13

hated that movie.

gonna pass

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Pogue » 24 Jun 2013, 21:14

The new Star Trek was pretty decent I thought, and stfu Dac, Shaun Of The Dead was a good movie.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby dac » 24 Jun 2013, 21:24

shaun of the dead was retarded.

british humor is terrible.

hot fuzz was better, but both were groaners

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Myrk » 24 Jun 2013, 22:22

Taken 2 was pretty good, Liam Neeson is in it and the daughter is fiiiiine.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby dac » 24 Jun 2013, 23:24

the grey was terrible and liam is in it too

Homer
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Homer » 25 Jun 2013, 02:13

Myrk wrote:Taken 2 was pretty good, Liam Neeson is in it and the daughter is fiiiiine.


I admit the action was good, just like Taken 1. They had no legitimate reason to make a sequel though and it wasn't good overall.

But seriously, if putting a hot girl in a movie makes it good, then 95% of movies are good. Is this your logic or criteria?

Do you own "American Pie: Presents, Band Camp"? It seems likely, there were some fine ass girls in that as well.

Another genre of movies you might find to be quality films, Myrk, called pornography. Sometimes the women are good looking and you get to see their boobs and genitals.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Homer » 25 Jun 2013, 02:18

dac wrote:shaun of the dead was retarded.

british humor is terrible.

hot fuzz was better, but both were groaners


I agree those movies I think made me laugh once the whole time, and they never busted out a mass killing of zombies in Shaun of The Dead, they had the perfect concept and really didn't come through in the end with anything too good.

But these movies are more of an example of Slapstick British humor, they have way less complexity and subtlety than better British comedies. For example, I can't think of one right now but I assure me they are out there. Who needs British comedy though when we have our very own Dantski, I've never met anyone with such a dry, dark, witty sense of humor. The guy is constantly cracking jokes....isn't he?....right?

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Myrk » 25 Jun 2013, 02:27

I never said it was a good movie just because the daughter is hot. The acting was good, the plot was good, and keep in mind we're talking about an action movie here. Also sure they didn't need to make a sequel, but it sure is great that they did

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Homer » 25 Jun 2013, 02:33

If Taken 3 is about how her new boyfriend is secretly the Albanian sex trade lords son, whose infiltrated her life, family, trust, only to betray her and kill her. Then the plot will be completely redeemed.

All I want before I die, is to see Liam break that kids neck.

A cool side plot would be, if he took on an apprentice, like Shia Lebeouf, and taught that bumbling jack ass how to be a mediocre agent, and then that goof ball married his daughter after he killed the new boyfriend from Taken 2. Then the rest of us can have some hope after seeing Shia get the girl in the end, we can feel like, hey ok, maybe yeah just maybe, I'll have my day someday.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Honkey » 25 Jun 2013, 02:37

Review how shitty Star Trek 2 was. It is supposed to be a fucking sci fi movie and all it is is people sitting in a cockpit talking

Homer
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Homer » 25 Jun 2013, 03:22

"Snow White and the Huntsman/men?"

50 Stars down

Mirror, Mirror on the wall who is the worst actress of them all? Kristen Stewart, hands down. Dead eyed, incapable of emotion, both quality traits a person looks for in an actress right? No. Wrong. These are traits people look for in mimes and expect from hookers. Besides the great production quality of this movie, you are subjected to 10 hours of her none acting and melodramatic horse shit. She stares dully into the camera and your not sure if she's about to cry or just fall flat on her face and die. You hope the latter. The plot is clearly snow White and the 7 dwarves, minus snow white being called such, and some other bullshit.

In the end the good guys win the day, Kristen Stewarts corpse manages to thwart the evil hot queens ambitions of living forever and ruling over a populace of drooling peasants and assholes. This is one of those movies where the actors are so dull, and so uninteresting you actually find yourself rooting for the Evil side to win out over all that is good and pure just because you are so bored, you really want to see something different, and have no care for the protagonists.

Charlize Theron plays the evil queen, and other than her good looks and extravagant costumes, she just yells really loud. Why was she cast for this? Other than the fact that she's attractive, not even she knows. She doesn't pull off queen bitch any better than Kristen Stewart pulls off sadness, anger, loss, regret, joy, or any other human emotion a person would expect an actress be able to express.

The two are completely awful together, and dominate every scene.

One saving grace of this movie is the dwarves, they actually look like dwarves, they have quirky personalities, and fight with odd weapons. They play good music and get shit hammered every night by the fire. ENTER KRISTEN STEWART STAGE LEFT, running through woods tripping over every fucking twig in the forest and skinning her precious knee's. AND SCENE RUINED. The dwarves worship her as great beauty and savior, when they should ignore her pathetic face and go about their business.

After much back and forth and harrowing heroism, the Queen Bitch makes a final play, and so do the rebel armies of the kingdom. Kristen Stewart mounts a fully armored horse and charges forth with her army into a stone castle. Suddenly she can wield a sword and bellows commands to her men off the back of a steed fully exposed to arrows. No one really gets her in the head with one so she runs up to fight the queen. Some crap about her being chosen and pretty she kills the queen, good job. She brings in a reign of righteousness and good will for all. And the people who watched the movie live miserably ever after, having to live with the fact that they have wasted the better part of 3 hours to see it.

IF anyone is thinking about this movie as an option, don't. If anyone's girlfriend is thinking about this movie as an option, say no, if she persists, dump her.

Do not see this pile of horse shit, you will regret it. You will wait for some epic battle hoping anything will save this movie, it never comes, the last battle is totally fucking lame, as stated above, by the focus being on a 100 lb girl, pretending to be a bad ass warrior, when we all know all she really battles in anorexia and couldn't lift the script if she had more than 10 lines.

Stop reading this right now and destroy any copies of this movie near you.

The end.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby dac » 25 Jun 2013, 03:48

homer is quite talented.

you should write more reviews. a terrible movie I just saw today was that "odd life of timothy green"

it was epic bad. lets do it.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Myrk » 25 Jun 2013, 05:02

dac wrote:the grey was terrible and liam is in it too


ehh I dunno. Wolves don't actually behave as depicted in the movie but it was fun regardless.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby dac » 25 Jun 2013, 05:51

disagree.

the movie was horseshit

there's been a lot of bad movies lately come to think of it.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Pogue » 25 Jun 2013, 13:51

dac wrote:
there's been a lot of bad movies lately come to think of it.


Well not surprising when you consider it's that time of year for the mindless Michael bay type blockbusters/shitty sequels to movies that never should have been made to begin with. I haven't bothered to see Man Of Steel mainly because when I found out the guy making it made 300 and Sucker Punch I knew it would suck, plus it has Kevin Costner in it...

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Homer » 25 Jun 2013, 15:52

They stopped making good movies.

adrenaline
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby adrenaline » 26 Jun 2013, 04:10

just watched Spring Breakers with James Franco... NOT at all what I expected.

par73
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby par73 » 28 Jun 2013, 06:07

ugh i just blew all of the ashes out of the tray and shit

the other day I watched the boy with the pajama pants
DO NOT WATCH THIS if you are in denial of the holocaust or antisemitic.
also if you don't feel weird by the end of the movie then you most likely have some sort of emotional issues (or lack thereof)

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Honkey » 28 Jun 2013, 12:36

If you really wanna squirm go to the holocaust memorial/museum in Dc. That is literally the most depressing place I have ever been.

noblesteed
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby noblesteed » 29 Jun 2013, 00:28

The grey is the worst thing since bird flu I reviewed it in this same thread last year.

switch
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby switch » 29 Jun 2013, 01:40

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbw9hlBnG74[/youtube]

America can watch this on iTunes now. I have to wait until August.

Also, re StarTrek 2:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWLGH0VHUVs[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeyLm-pLVm4[/youtube]

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby tirri » 29 Jun 2013, 14:45

i cant believe mad max 2 was made over 30 years ago
9/10

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby tirri » 09 Jul 2013, 18:23

today i finally had the time to watch prometheus as my daughter has napped from 5pm to 9pm. i have no doubt she will stay awake all night now, yippee

i have watched my share of horror/sci-fi movies and i can accept the fact that characters do some pretty silly and dumb stuff when they are about to get killed off. but still i have to criticize this milburn guy who gets killed when he and the other guy are left alone in the strange structure. i mean, they have just witnessed some old recording where creatures are running away from something and one creature gets decapitated. or did they stray off before that, i dont remember but its irrelevant. then they encounter this completely new life form that they know nothing about expect that it looks like a snake and looks really hostile.

so this milburn guy keeps repeating how beautiful this snake creature is and basically stuffs his hand down the snake creatures mouth while the other guy is rightfully panicking. well surprise surprise the snake thingy starts biting milburns hand, crawls into his space suit and kills him.

i just for the life of me cant accept this guys behavior. how did they come up with this stuff, what kind of a movie goer can be anything but dumbfounded by his actions. i mean i could maybe understand if the movie was some silly funny horror flick but as a whole the movie seemed to take itself pretty seriously

5.5/10 tirri points

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Homer » 10 Jul 2013, 04:33

Yeah, I also like the part when the AI bot, sick of being ridiculed as sub-human, decides to vindictively sabotage the entire mission. Also Charlize Theron is hot, but that's neither here nor there. In summary the entire Alien series can suck my balls it is, and never was anything but a glorified horror movie with a little bit of technology, science, and mystery to give nerds a hard on. Sigourney Weaver is not attractive, albeit a good actress, I never want to see her naked she may be an actual alien she gives me the creeps. All ALIEN movies should just be based on Alien vs. predator, sick of seeing the same asshole human beings wander around and stare with wide eyed wonder at the venomous face sucking hatch-lings before it rips them a new one. It's just like Jurassic park, every fucking movie, the people are so busy being like WHOAAAA DINOSAURS, that they forget to look out for the 40 ft tall T-rex behind them.

If you discover new life never assume it's friendly.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby switch » 10 Jul 2013, 21:34

So I got ahold of the Europa Report which I must say was a really mixed bag.
The first half does a really top notch job of establishing both realistic scientific credibility, entertainment, character development, and so on. The story is told in a fashion comparable to District 9 with integrated "news scrolls" "interviews" from the popular "reality TV" shows and real footage of space launches combined with some excellent CGI. Very immersive and impressive effort for the first 30-45 minutes. The story quickly falls apart, however, and the movie fails to decide whether it wants to be Sunshine or Sphere or both. The second half involves some immensely unscientific nonsense and all of the conflict is the characters vs the environment (really, the ship's environment, ie, their own technology).

As the characters predictably get killed off one by one (asphyxiation, freezing, crushing, drowning, etc) you start to care less about them and question the legitimacy of the mission framework that is so incredibly dangerous.

The finale is lame and the movie would have been better without it all together.

Good points:

Immersive, generally convincing graphics, editing and CGI.
Some legitimately terrifying sequences
Great set-design
A few interesting, realistic characters

Bad points:

Lame ending
Boring superflous characters
unrealistic in (significant parts) - ie, Europa's ice is kilometers thick but is portrayed as being not very thick
Predictable

Final score: Very similar to Apollo 18 but worse. Certainly one of the better recent Sci-Fi films, but more like a sampler for a larger movie than a final product. Like an HBO made for TV thing.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby tirri » 08 Aug 2013, 15:19

so i went to see a movie today. i have been pretty disappointed lately with every movie ive gone to see in the theaters but this one leaves me the most disappointed yet.

i watched pacific rim. 10-15 years ago i used to enjoy these action/sci-fi/superhero movies really much. i enjoyed the crap out of independence day, first x-men movies, even movies like hellboy. but i have obviously watched too many of these since then because in the last few i've watched, i honestly havent been able to find a single original idea.

SPOILERS

were the effects nice? i suppose so. were they much better than in the last 20 movies like this that i've seen? i have no idea, didnt feel like it. there were no funny parts in the movie at all, no plot twists to speak of. and i cant believe the ending. there is this portal to another world and through it come huge monsters that are out to consume the world. the heroes must go to this portal, possibly even through it, and then blow it up, then possibly escape narrowly. then they end up in the ocean in a tense moment where the people at the bridge are trying to contact them with the radio, are the heroes dead or alive?

how did they come up with this ending? they must have watched ANY film of the same genre made in the last 10 years

have i ended up as an angry old guy who doesnt like any movies any more? i have no idea, did someone really really like this film? it got 7.7 on imdb, thats actually pretty good for this type of film so i was pretty optimistic before seeing it

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby switch » 08 Aug 2013, 21:17

My intention is to see Blomkamp's latest sci/fi that's Halo but not really Halo, Elysium in theatres in the near future. I'll review it when I do.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlW0I8MniSM[/youtube]

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby par73 » 09 Aug 2013, 03:52

WE'RE THE MILLERS IS AN AWESOME MOVIE A GREAT MOVIE FOR BLOWJOBS AND LAUGHS

HILARIOUS SPIDER-BITE-TO-NUTSACK SCENE THAT PEOPLE LIKE ASMODIAN WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE

OVERALL B+ FOR THIS ADULT COMEDY

DID I MENTION JENNIFER ANISTON STRIP DANCING ALL MOVIE?

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Flatline » 09 Aug 2013, 05:21

tirri wrote:i cant believe mad max 2 was made over 30 years ago
9/10


One of my favourite movies.
Last 20 minutes or however long the truck chase scene was.....such goodness.
AUSTRALIA

oh also I owned the same model car that mad max's interceptor was. Nice car back in it's day.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby Flatline » 09 Aug 2013, 05:33

Myrk wrote:
dac wrote:the grey was terrible and liam is in it too


ehh I dunno. Wolves don't actually behave as depicted in the movie but it was fun regardless.


Didn't mind the movie was ok.
I liked the end scene a lot while everybody else hated it.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby frozenfire » 09 Aug 2013, 20:02

My review of Epic :

Epic was done by the same guys that did Ice Age and Rio. I hadn't seen their two prior films but assumed they were of high caliber directing, writing, and animation by the huge marketing burger king had done on them upon their releases. Anyways this led me to believe it was okay not to read any reviews as it would be the trifecta to their masterpiece with a fitting name to boot; besides it was the only G rated movie and I was in attendance with a four year old with picky taste that would cry endlessly had we opted for something socially enriching like Gatsby, so Epic it was...or was it [epic] ?
The 'character development' and establishment of character background was portrayed only briefly in the first 15 or so minutes of the film. It turns out both the main character leads were male and female teenagers of about 16 which should have appealed greatly to their target demographic audience of female tweens and beleibers -- the kicker about the two kids was they were both assholes, the boy is supposed to be in like the fairy equivalent of boy scouts according to his father, but instead he wants to fly in ghetto races akin to anakin in star wars, and the girl meets her father for the first time and cries to go home after five minutes of meeting him even though hes a super nerdy nice guy, kinda reminded me of Spa -- like that nice beta father that probably does a good job of raising kids well even while caught up in cooky hobbies. Anyways it didn't really make sense as her mom had just died and she wouldn't have had anywhere to go for 'home' at 16, but fortunately for plot development a contrived mini-twist of her cellphone failing causes her to walk home through a forest (likely story, right) where she goes on an ...EPIC adventure. Also I didnt stutter earlier when I said two main characters. Literally both the leads were equal in that the writers hoped the boys would identify with the boy and the girls would identify with the girl but they were always together throughout the movie so there was no independent character development rather the both of them together which lead to more confusion -- it would be like having a story about twins with the same personality and physical traits where its unclear who you are intended to identify with so instead of emotionally understanding the struggles of both you are just apathetic of whatever happens to either. Seriously, I'm adamantly against hollywood teaching our children this writing structure is remotely passable for any kind of story experience much less an epic one.

But it turns out the rules of the magical fairy world are very arbitrary as they can turn humans into dumb little fairies except she doesnt have wings the boy clearly has a hard on for her and the rest of the story is retarded especially the ending which is like signs where water kills the enemy except here light music sounds of bats or something is pervious to the enemy somehow and they all die. BTW the enemy is termites, how lame is that? Termites hate wood not little fairy creatures.

Anyways im not going to end this review with saying epic was an epic fail because thats epicly obvious and im sure every critic has already used the epic was an epic fail. so ill just say this movie only saving quality was just how bad pit bull portrays a voice actor. it was laughably horrendous and almost made at least 1 hour of the 2 hr movie worth it.

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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby switch » 13 Aug 2013, 06:13

Right, so Elysium was not worth seeing in theatres. I'd dl this one, maybe. Using District 9 as a rubric- Blomkamp's previous offering- Elysium fell immensely short on a number of points. I really enjoyed District 9's gritty combination of human-interest drama, social commentary, and science-fiction action. Blomkamp attempted to repeat the formula here and it just didn't come together. This movie comes off as a mix-mash of Escape from New York and Total Recall. Things I liked: the OST- a decent combination of original music (by new-comer Ryan Amon doing his best Hans Zimmer + Lisa Gerrard covers) with some Beethoven thrown in for good measure. One or two fairly decent character building scenes. And I mean, literally, one or two. Which is the other thing I liked about this movie: it was short- at 1 hour 50 minutes its refreshingly manageable over these 2 hour + marathons people apparently expect these days.

SPOILERS

The movie is in essence a critique of the American health-care system. The story revolves around a blue-collar labourer from LA, Max (Damon) poisoned by lethal levels of radiation during a work-accident. He then attempts to 1) receive health care on Elysium and 2) seek revenge against the system that poisoned him. He's assisted by some post-cyberpunk hacktivists and his childhood crush Frey (Braga), who each have respective agendas, namely to destroy the Patrician/Plebeian system separating the denizens of Earth from the citizens of the 1% on Elysium; and to save her daughter from blood cancer, respectively.

These characters are opposed by Kruger (Copley- notably seen previously as Wilkus in District 9 and one of the scientists who gets offed in Europa Report), and the Elysium Secretary of Defence (Foster). Kruger, an Earth-bound ex-military operator and his buddies plan to take over Elysium for some reason thats not very clear, and so does the Sec. Def for reasons of wanting missile defence apparently (for some reason Elysium, the most expensive project ever attempted by man is completely undefended except for Kruger).

So, there's some initial character establishment and scene-setting: this is where Blomkamp is in his element and, once again, the first 30 minutes is solid movie making. Taking a page from Verhoven's Total Recall Blomkamp establishes the post-industrial nightmare that is 22nd century life, and the harsh divide separating the 1% and the rest. William Fichtner (legendary character actor from about a thousand movies) has a nice bit role here as a foil of a corporate CEO (Damon works for a company called Armadyne- no doubt a play on Terminator's Cyberdyne- that manufactures Blomkamp robots)*

*These are Blomkamp robots:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETwKqJCUgAM[/youtube]

There are some other Total Recall tributes, for example, the "Parole Officer" Max sees is throw back to the Auto-cab drivers from the latter film, and so on. Max is setting up to see his GF Frey when he gets terminally irradiated and that gets the plot proper underway.

The rest of the movie is a series of set-pieces involving 1) Max getting a military exo-skeleton, 2) Max doing a job to hijack data from the Armadyne CEO, 3) Max and Kruger fighting round one, leading to 4) Max hiding with Frey where there is a nice scene between Max and Frey's kid which is probably the best scene in the movie, which leads to 5) Frey and the Kid getting captured by Kruger 6) Max allows himself to be captured to save them .... and you can see that this story basically writes itself.

Eventually they all end up on Elysium, Kruger kills Jodie Foster then gets into his exo-skeleton for the boss-fight with Max and then after defeating Kruger, Max transmits the code they jacked from William Fichtner that turns everyone on Earth into an Elysium citizen and then everyone gets Obamacare the end.

So, as you can see, the movie is interesting for about a half hour or so and after that there is like one scene that made me vaguely feel something.
For a movie that otherwise relies entirely on "style" there is way way to much shaky cam which effectively ruins the special effects. Whereas District 9 played it's actions sequences fairly straight with some nice "first person" cuts and nifty Alien weapon effects, Elysium relies entirely upon shakey cam bullshit which means you can't really see what's happening. Otherwise it basically looked like a video-game.

To sum up:

Good points:

Good setup, interesting premise for a movie
Solid, breakout soundtrack by a new-comer.
Some decent bit-character acting.
Short.

Bad points:
Predictable boring plot
No character development
Unwatchable shakey-cam

Missed Opportunities (a new section, where I sympathize with the director who probably had to change the story or something for mainstream movie people):

- Character interactions. This movie had some solid potential for some great scenes, for example, between the 1% space people and Max/the other Hacktivists, more development of Max's relationship with his earth buddies, some kind of love-story arc with Frey, more political intrigue amongst the Elysium "council" etc
- Action. For a movie that is basically an excuse to have two guys in exo-skeletons battling each-other Blomkamp just really blew it. If you're going to make an action movie with highly choreographed fight scenes and 400 fps bullet-time and shit don't have the camera shaking everywhere worse than in Transformers 2.
- Ending: mixed bag. Max dies but he saves everybody. Could have ended much better with Max as an anti-hero, or something. For Max to be a believable hero he needed way more character building than he got. He has about 5 minutes of flashbacks as a kid and all we know about the guy is that he's an ex-con blue collar worker on parole who had a shitty day and got irradiated.

Verdict:
Watch the trailer and you've seen the whole movie.

switch
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby switch » 15 Aug 2013, 06:47

Has anyone seen Linklater's latest (final?) film from the Sunset Triptych?

NewMutator
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby NewMutator » 15 Aug 2013, 06:48

Enjoyed your Elysium review, Switch. Have you thought about putting these on a blog?

switch
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby switch » 15 Aug 2013, 06:51

Thank you! I have.

NewMutator
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby NewMutator » 15 Aug 2013, 06:53

I would enjoy reading more like that.

switch
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Re: Movie Review Thread

Postby switch » 16 Aug 2013, 21:14

So, Linklater's latest film in the "Before" trilogy picks up nine years after the previous encounter of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy); last seen in 2004 in Before Sunset. Sunset ended ambiguously, Jesse and Celine confronted the possibility of a future together but one was left to decide if Jesse caught his flight back to the states or made love with Celine for hours. It turns out, the latter was the case and the affair became the subject for Jesse's next best-seller. He now teaches literature at "the American school" in Paris. Celine continued her work with an ENGO and had advanced up the hierarchy to the point where she is in striking distance of the lower-upper class.

Now together with their twin girls and Jesse's son, they are vacationing in 2013 Greece. I mention the date and place because politics does play a minor role in the film, although the focus of the film is as usual on the deepening complexity of the relationship between the characters. The looming threat of economic collapse and violent revolution is contrasted with the threat of Jesse's now ex-wife's control over his son's life.

The film clocks in at 109 minutes length and feels longer and more intense than its length perhaps suggests: the film is beautifully made, composed of long, often un-edited shots of dialogue on sex, relationships, life and death, similar in style to the work of Neil LaBute (Your Friends and Neighbours, 1998) or Denys Arcand (Decline of the American Empire, 1986).

The film is constructed in two parts. The first 50 minutes involves the interaction between Jesse and Celine and the friends they're staying with in Greece. These secondary characters are very well placed, representing different stages in the Jesse-Celine relationship; or different possibilities. As one would expect, they discourse mainly about sex, literature, the future, psychology, technology. Jesse and Celine start off. Jesse is worried that machines will replace writers much as Deep Blue defeated Kasparov. Celine states that all men really want a bimbo who won't challenge their artificial sense of superiority. The younger couple, Achilleas and Anna represent the new generation, pragmatic, technologically savvy, yet naively romantic and unconcerned about the future. Stafanos and Ariadni represent the slightly older Jesse and Celine, their relationship seemingly more stable, self-satisfied and less naive than the younger couples. Stafanos provides some comic relief, and is constantly warning Jesse that his writing verges on pretentiousness (probably representing Linklaters own doubts about the movies). Ariadni reminds me of Carol Gilligan in that she reminds the party that men and women have different interpretations of the significance of social interactions- a theme that recurs throughout the movie. Patrick and Natalia, the former the patron of the house, represent the growth of individualization and the loss of unity in long-term relationships. Patrick's wife is departed and he maintains that they remained individuals during their long relationship but were happy. Natalia discusses the loss of her husband in terms opposite to Patrick- she misses the comfort of her partner's embrace and feels that she is slowly losing the memory of him.

There is a brief interlude between the two film components where Jesse and Celine walk to the hotel, passing Greek ruins and stopping at a 10th century Byzantine Chapel along the way. This is an immensely important transition in the film: the topic of discussion is almost entirely death and sex and although being brief (the entire segment is less than 10 minutes long) conveys the growing sense of dread and loss that maturity invariably accumulates. If you're not paying attention you might miss the importance of this brief interlude of gravity into a film otherwise apparently light-hearted, often comedic, first 50 minutes.

The second half of the film takes place in a hotel room Stafanos and Ariadni have rented for Jesse and Celine. At first impassioned by their roaming through the Greek countryside (and eros & thanatos discourse on love and death), the lover's are interrupted by a phone call from Jesse's son concerning a forgotten science project that changes the mood and quickly the couple resorts to conflict: they debate the future of their lives, being confronted with several dilemmas- Jesse's relationship with his son, the future of Celine's job, and so on. Set in the context of a classic lover's quarrel this lengthy scene demonstrates the degree of hostility that simmers beneath the surface of the characters unable to deal with changing circumstances that seem beyond their power to control. Clearly, all they have is eachother, but each finds one another in conflict, possessing different aspirations and, of course, interpretations of the events of the day. Celine reveals that she feels pressured to pursue her work with the ENGO and achieve some status to match Jesse's publicity as an author, which she is immensely fascinated by, but also resentful of. Jesse, although his work has achieved some success, the topic of his books has always been Celine and thus he feels guilt for having exploited Celine for his own success.

Celine reveals the guilt she feels as a surrogate mother figure for Jesse's son, and Jesse reveals the doubt he holds about living in Europe, and his own guilt at not being a better father. The children in the story hardly appear but are hugely significant in that they represent at once the Atlantic divide (geography) that cannot be ignored in relationships and also the hope for the future. The twins are seemingly saintly, bilingual, blonde and endearingly cute. Jesse's son is apparently a great Chess player (Achilleas earlier mentioned that he "already misses his chess partner") and an aspiring scientist. The children confront Jesse and Celine with a best of both worlds scenario- Jesse to be the father of a man, and Celine the mother of woman... but also function in more rudimentary manner to hold the story together: Celine proposes an alternative to Jesse, Celine stays in paris with the girls and Jesse moves to Chicago to stay with his son, which Jesse flatly rejects. Thus, the children provide tension in what should otherwise be an ideal fantasy.

As the quarrel becomes more brutish it becomes more general: Celine can't stand how men take domestic labour for granted and patronize women and Jesse can't stand how men's entire life revolves around women. The audience becomes a participant, and this section reminded me of the brilliant documentary of Josh Harris, We Live In Public, where Josh and his girlfriend were fighting just to see the internet feedback rather than to prove a point. Celine is displeased with herself for not pursuing her childhood fantasies (for example, singing), and Jesse reminds Celine that "I fucked up my entire life for your singing"- which references the previous movie where Celine seduced Jesse with a song in the last minutes of the film (although it would be impossible to argue that the seduction was not mutual as Jesse provided every opportunity...). Celine critiques all men for wanting to domesticate, but Jesse is skeptical that men are still living in the Eisenhower era.

The movie, and it's already received positive reviews for this, manages to blur the lines between improvisation and directing. Anyway as we approach the film's conclusion the tension and uncertainty rises. Linklater is fantastic at doing this, one never knows how his films will end. I won't tell you how it ends. Linklater flirts with fourth wall breaking- but he's very tasteful about it. I guess we just have to wait for the next movie.

I would be especially interested to hear reviews of this film from people who haven't seen the other movies.


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