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This Year In Film / Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Last post by samsong on Today at 07:01:06 AM »
about one million times better than tfa but that's like saying HIV is better than cancer.  thankfully more like rogue one than tfa, which is to say clearly not made by jj abrams.  when johnson gets his visual daring on, which isn't often enough, it's pretty pretty pretty pretty great.  i really only ask to be amused by these things, and it sort of did that.  still a nostalgia-grubbing cash grab (obviously) but it's at least a sporadically fun action movie that's surprisingly pretty meta.  should've been 45 minutes shorter.

i almost wish the movie opened with the continuation of the last scene from TFA (rey and luke coming face to face) because it would've been that much more hilarious when he throws the light sabre away.  the porgs aka this year's big star wars xmas toy were actually fairly amusing, and that weird four titted penis monster that luke milks had me thinking of rick and morty for a hot second.  that and the sphincter of darkness. 

the fin and rose stuff is such heavy-handed bullshit and hilariously inconsequential by film's end.  casino planet was especially insipid... one percenters and arms dealing/war profiteering, justin theroux, blah blah blah.  benicio del toro reprises his performance from the unusual suspects. 

kylo killing snoke and the ensuing (and only!) light sabre fight of the movie, pretty fucking great.  yoda puppet!  that scene between luke and leia was pretty loaded... wonder if that was emphasized in editing post mortem or if it always played that way.  carrie fisher's performance is far more impactful than in the last one.

anyone else feel like there was a weird pro-PETA/vegan slant in this?
This Year In Film / Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Last post by Drenk on Today at 06:08:49 AM »


I entirely agree with you and that's the main issue with these movies. The First Order is an abstract threat to an abstract galaxy. If I remember correctly, the movie says that they've "won"? They are in control. Of what? From what we see the galaxy seems...fine...? The First Order is just chasing fifty people across the galaxy, seeming really worried about powerless people...? That's why it feels like watching people in a Star Wars simulation.

I also wanted to talk about the casino: I was waiting for it, thinking it would be fresh, but like Lottery said I was drifting watching it. It was so weird. Not only because Finn is now an empty vessel for cheap jokes and Rose—the new character—just spits plot at us and that they have absolutely no real moment where they talk to each other or seem to have a bond. (Remember when Finn is angry at Del Toro for taking as payment the half-moon from Rose? Why does he care that much? Who knows!) And the scenes were rushed, lifeless, with no sense of adventure...It was sad...

But I liked everything about Rey and Ren. Their fight together was epic. The shots after Dern kills herself by jumping her ship into The First Order were stunning. What the movie showed about leadership was interesting, it's too bad that Poe Dameron is an underwhelming character and that Laura Dern came out of nowhere but her last scene with Carrie Fisher—who's very good in that movie, making everything stronger and more real just by the strength of her presence—was a sweet note.

I actually don't mind if it's about repeating the past, but I wish the whole didn't feel as fake...And can a trilogy function if every movie works against the last one? That "scene" with Maz was funny—once again another "cool looking" character from The Force Awakens that was supposed to be mysterious but that is actually just...a plot faciliator...

I'll see the last one. And then the new one from Rian Johnson—since he'll be writing the first one, maybe it will be better than that...But I see in The Last Jedi how all his interesting ideas about legacy ended being wind and I don't hope too much.

This Year In Film / Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
« Last post by samsong on Today at 05:41:52 AM »
maybe a third time and you'll see it.

maybe you can accept that mildred is somehow above suspicion for the firebombing of the police station (dinklage says she was with him the whole time... checks out, moving along!  :yabbse-rolleyes:) but it's an inconsistency that only really occurs whenever mildred acts out in anger.  it becomes a comedic set piece and there are no consequences, and not for lack of circumstances in which she would or should suffer consequences.  it's lazy, bad storytelling.

as for mcdonagh conveying her grief... how?  because she breaks down every now and then?  because she's volatile but vulnerable?  because she talks to deer?  the flashback of her last interaction with her daughter didn't exactly suggest that she was any different before the incident.  once a cunt, always a cunt.  but she was in an abusive relationship, so sympathy points to counter the hard-to-take stuff, right?  speaking of which, why is there no concern expressed directly to the new girlfriend about that?  i get that she's her newer, younger, tighter replacement and there's probably ill will, but to the point where she just lets her be her stupid self and doesn't warn her at every opportunity that she's with a woman-beating maniac?  again, cunt!  also did john hawkes suddenly learn not to beat up women?  these things can be swept under the rug as true-to-life human inconsistencies, but the film's pretty tidy and weirdly consistent about the way it treats caricature and verisimilitude.  clearly it worked for you and that's fine, but i think a lot of it seems predicated on your being on its emotional wavelength and overlooking some pretty glaring technical errors in the writing.  or maybe i view them all as errors because it left me out in the cold.  either way there seems to be this sense on your end that i missed something, and i can assure you, i didn't.  i just didn't like the movie. 

the only moving and remotely convincing bit of rockwell's preposterous redemption narrative is the scene in the hospital with caleb landry jones.
Paul Thomas Anderson / Re: Phantom Thread - Interviews
« Last post by Mogambo on Today at 04:02:59 AM »
No there's no spoilers. I haven't seen the film and I heard it. Just talks about the shooting, editing and scoring process.
This Year In Film / Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Last post by csage97 on Today at 12:47:29 AM »
Just got back from seeing it. Here are my thoughts.




OK, hopefully those are enough spoiler warnings. I thought the movie was really bad on the whole. It pretty much amounted to a bad Star Wars-themed action movie, so if you're kind of indifferent to Star Wars-specific spaceships and contexts, there's really not much more there. The lightsaber fight choreography was pretty good in that fight scene in the red room, but other than that, I got bored of the endless spaceships shooting at each other and high stakes infiltrating plots. It happens in just about every Star Wars movie. Do I need to see it again? Nah. Maybe there's some slight commentary about leadership or something, but not really.

One of the biggest issues was the shallow dialogue. The diction was just awful. It's like the characters each have the vocabulary of a second grader. There was no insight into anything important (no, saying, "keep hope" or "don't fight the ones you hate, but keep the things you love" doesn't have any weight).

Mark Hamill's acting was pretty flat and awkward, and so were the scenes between him and Daisy Ridley. I didn't like John Boyega's storyline at all as it was tired and uninspired, though I could see how someone would like some of the plot details (the casino was kind of cool, I guess). And the attempts at humour .... Ugh. Just awful. Lots of people laughed, but my gosh, it was campy. Maybe I shouldn't expect more or something, but this was just crappy, trying-to-be-cheeky super cheap stuff. All throughout the movie too! Some other scenes were ultra campy as well, such as that one with Chewbacca eating at the campfire.

The movie was totally devoid of any intellect. If I didn't sound pessimistic and pretentious before, well I probably do now ... but I'm not suggesting that the film needed to be really complex or snooty or say something about the origins and history of human greed or something like that. What I would want, though, is some sort of hint of meaning beyond "do good," or "keep persisting," or at least some sort of exploration of those things with a dash of nuance. Yeah, Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker are conflicted, but there's not much nuance to any of it. It's just spelled right out and then it's back to shooting blasters. They go through a bit of change, but I don't care enough and there's no depth there anyway. Why is Kylo Ren tempted by the dark side and by Snoke? What were Snoke's motives besides controlling the galaxy and being a really, really bad scary guy? Why are the First Order and Resistance fighting anyway? Do they even have any differences other than the First Order people being mostly ugly and sort of sinister for no reason at all? There's not really any reason given for the fighting other than that both sides want some control of the galaxy, but there's no reason to full-out attack each other other than that The First Order feel like being really bad guys. Perhaps I'm trying to read too much into this and should just accept that the First Order are basically the League of Extraordinarily Evil Psychopaths whose unstated motto must be "we want to rule things and have power but we also like looking evil and killing stuff!" I get that a lot of kids are going to want to see this movie, but there can still be some bigger intellectual weight or offering of something to be learned.

The other thing is that the galaxy is hermetically sealed in The Force Awakens and this one. We're shown some citizens in a casino in this movie, in that place where that old orange bad-CGI character with the goggles lives in The Force Awakens, and on Rey's planet, but other than that, the universe is populated by a few key characters fighting for the Rebels and in the Emp -- I mean, the Resistance and the First Order.
We can probably fill in the gaps and assume that others exist out there with stakes in this conflict, but these movies rarely show it, so rather than feeling vast as the size of a galaxy should, these movies feel really boxed in to me, like everything exists in these closed-in rooms (they do spend a lot of time on spaceships, so that could be it too). They try to insert some exotic creatures here and there to show diversity and variation, but these are created with terrible CGI and end up looking really bad and computer-generated.

What else? I hate to say it, but I just didn't really think the John Williams score worked, except in a few key scenes at the end. But the instrumentation and the classic themes are so damn tired by this point. It all feels recycled and the music failed to heighten or create much emotion, other than annoyance -- and believe me, I'm a music person and really like John Williams in general.

So I think that's all I have to say. In sum, a bad Star Wars-themed mostly action movie with no depth, crappy dialogue, and just about no insight into anything (and no, a good vs. evil dichotomy is not insightful, at least not how it's presented here. In other works, I've seen suggestions about dichotomies actually explored to gain insight into something we should find meaningful, but there's none of that here). I definitely won't see the next spinoff, and I probably won't see the next main story movie in two years.
Real-Life Soundtracks / Re: Now Playing
« Last post by Jeremy Blackman on Today at 12:19:20 AM »
Listen, I'm not the biggest fan of the rap music, but this is utterly amazing:

This Year In Film / Re: Dunkirk
« Last post by Jeremy Blackman on Yesterday at 11:49:04 PM »
I acknowledge I might have had a very different experience seeing this in a proper IMAX theater. But at home, it was a bit underwhelming. (I saw Interstellar at home, though, and was blown away, so who's to say?)

Having read a little about the actual Dunkirk, I was disappointed by how small-scale this movie was — a few hundred soldiers on the beach, two allied planes, a couple dozen citizen rescue ships. I respect the choice to focus on a handful of characters, that's necessary and fine, but this bears no resemblance to the magnitude of the Battle of Dunkirk or the escape.


I don't understand the choice to make this a bloodless war film. Bombs fall and create limp bodies but no carnage. Bullets hit people, but we aren't shown what happened. This is weirdly not as horrifying as it should be. Seeing the ships sink so quickly was horrifying, I'll give you that. But all the death was strangely muted. This feels more like an adventure story. And nearly all the protagonists survive. Considering that 11,000 British soldiers died because they were not able to escape, none of that feels quite right.

The chronological shuffling was good. That actually worked. Things were not too hard to follow. People who are calling this an experimental film are out of their minds, though.
In Front of the Camera / Re: Daniel Day Lewis
« Last post by wilberfan on Yesterday at 09:15:35 PM »
Makes perfect sense to me.  I'd delete my OP if I could...
In Front of the Camera / Re: Daniel Day Lewis
« Last post by ono on Yesterday at 09:01:37 PM »
Typically, the etiquette here is, any time you start a new thread, you first look for a thread it could go in.  Daniel Day-Lewis has a thread about him, so it'd go here:
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