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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:
News and Theory / Re: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE - modage wuz robbed!
« Last post by wilberfan on Yesterday at 08:45:50 PM »
The first thing I'm impressed by is that it's still possible to have a job running celluloid thru a projector!

And I shudder at the memory of my experience as a manager--with complete responsibility and zero power to actually change anything.   It's the absolute definition of "lose-lose".
Paul Thomas Anderson / Re: Phantom Thread - Interviews
« Last post by Tdog on Yesterday at 06:57:30 PM »
Is it spoilery? the movie isnt out until Feb in my country.
News and Theory / Re: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE - modage wuz robbed!
« Last post by Reelist on Yesterday at 06:49:24 PM »
I haven't posted in such a long time because the excitement of getting this new job and learning a skill I'm passionate about has been outweighed by the stressors of dealing with all the ways our theater has been mismanaged and failing for YEARS. We're still under this outdated model of operations from the mid-90's, and the majority of our employees were around then when the theater was thriving, so they see no need to change it despite the fact we're making so little money. Every new idea we pass by them throws a monkey wrench in the works because they've literally been doing the exact same thing for 20 years and think the place would explode if they were done differently. They don't seem to understand that it already has bitten the dust and it's largely due to their resistance from thinking outside the box. Now I find myself in a management position, because I'm there the most and make the biggest paycheck of anyone ( it still sucks ), yet I don't feel like I have any input into how the place is run because everyone see me as this "new fish."  "Oh, it looks like he has another idea about something, How cute." They don't seem to understand how much we disappoint and fail our customers on a daily basis, and I guess it's simply because they're not having my experience of seeing people deal with the same frustrating issues so many times everyday without them being fixed.

I know I've informed most of you that our movie selection is pretty lame, but this isn't even about that part of it. It's in how differently we function than any other movie theater and how that confuses and pisses off our customers. For instance, because we are a 'Domed' theater (one of 15 in the World, I'm told ) the rows are at a very steep slant, as seen here:

This means that we have to keep the doors locked at all times unless you're being escorted by an usher, and the reason I've been told is it's because there's a possibility someone could walk in there and injure themselves using the stairs since it's so dim while a movie is playing. Probably the more serious reason is that it's a children's museum and we don't want to risk a kid just running in there and getting lost. Anyway, it's SO UNUSUAL for a movie theater to do, because every other one you've ever been to practically has those saloon doors you can just swing through whenever you please. At ours, you only have a ten minute window to get in and find a seat before it starts, and then the doors lock. If you're late to the show, you also only have a ten minute window for 'late seating' which requires you to take an elevator to our second floor and enter from the top. The problem is, NO ONE GIVES THESE INSTRUCTIONS AT THE TICKET BOOTH, and there are no signs telling you to do that, so people arrive two minutes late to find the door locked and go "What the fuck?" They have to walk a football field's length back to the front desk and ask what they're supposed to do, requiring someone who doesn't even work at the theater to escort them back and inform the usher they're coming so they can unlock the door for them. Doesn't this sound batshit insane? At least 5 of our customers go through this a day, and it doesn't help that there's no appropriate signage telling you where the IMAX is. Sure, there are signs indicating we have an Omnitheater somewhere in the museum but it's anyone's guess where the hell that is when there are no arrows directing them where to go and we've chosen to scatter them throughout the museum instead of placing them all within and around the actual lobby. So, people will come up to the concession stand and go "Where's the IMAX lobby?" and multiple times a day an usher will have to tell them "it's right here!" like they're stupid when there are no signs around telling them that.

So, recently I noticed my boss was getting rid of all these old posters and I was looking through them to see if there were any that would be worth hanging up at home. One of them was for "The Polar Express" which is our highest selling movie ever, mind you that's because we've been showing it every holiday season for thirteen years, the same print. I thought, "Wait a minute, this is the biggest money maker for our theater, packs it out every year, and we have absolutely no promotion for it throughout the museum besides a clip of the trailer playing on flatscreens." It's very likely that many customers walk through our entire museum without even knowing we're playing it! So, I figured why not put that up in front of our concessions stand, then people will be reminded we're playing it and also say to themselves "Hey, this must be where the theater is! I see a movie poster.." Ever since putting it up, I haven't had anyone ask directions to the lobby they're in again, because they would look up and see the cartoon Tom Hanks and indeed feel very stupid.

That doesn't even begin to go into the half of it, but that's all on the part of how our museum is lazily designed and no one seems to want to put in the tiniest bit of effort to make it an easier experience for our customers until I put that rinky dink cardboard sign up.

Anyways, this is obviously a big vent, because you run into a wall with anyone you discuss making changes who works there since to them all they're hearing in every idea you have is more work for them. This has been the modus operandi I've noticed ever since I started working there and I've took it upon myself to make countless little changes like this all around the place without asking permission because I'm just so tired of seeing how dissatisfied the public is with the experience we're offering. I thought you guys as moviegoers might have some interesting feedback. Have you ever been to a theater with locking doors before?
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