Author Topic: Movies you've recently watched  (Read 141500 times)

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Offline Oburi

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1150 on: May 27, 2017, 02:36:12 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k12tbOBvYZ4

If you add up all the superficially "AWESOME" moments from AVP:R, you basically get the Red Band trailer, which is infinity better than either of those god awful shit movies put together (because its four hours shorter).

Offline Griffith

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1151 on: May 27, 2017, 05:17:31 AM »
Looks about on par with Alien: Covenant's trailers, maybe less cheesy if anything, and if you just look at some scenes from the first one, they even seem passably half-decent if they were part of a better movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sE-YwK6_PI But the reality was this hamburger with extra cheese: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh1TwRilcLo&t=3s

Anyway, despite all that, it's impossible for me to believe Ridley Scott could do worse than these or anything after Alien: Resurrection. Just no fucking way even on his worst day it'd be more worthwhile just to look at. So, with that said, here's my Alien/Predator movie rankings off the top of my head, feel free to disagree, and if you think this is a waste of time, I actually sat through all this shit save for Covenant:

Alien
Aliens
Predator
Alien 3
Prometheus
Covenant
Predator 2
Predators
Alien: Resurrection
AvP
AvPR

There's a few that I'd accept are basically interchangeable on here, like Alien 3 and Prometheus, the lesser two Predator movies, and AvP and Resurrection could be switched (AvP isn't crazy bad, but by the same token at least Resurrection has crazy going for it). So, without seeing it, by my estimation Covenant can be no worse than the 5th "best" Alien movie, and 6th including the full A/P canon.

Offline NightCrawler

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1152 on: May 27, 2017, 02:36:20 PM »
You can boil down every Alien sequel as a remake of the original in the vision of its director (progressively getting worse with each iteration). Resurrection is abysmal, but its cooky sci-fi frenchness is somewhat endearing. I haven't seen it in a decade or more, but i can safely say that it has a vision. Even Prometheus had an almost clear vision, eventually diluted by the Alien lore.
If you remove what was good in Covenant (a rehash of the themes in Prometheus, with almost nothing new added), you're left with a by-the-numbers 90's b-movie Alien clone, with terrible cgi. It confuses the Alien timeline even more, retcons so much shit, i don't even care what's canon or not. The worst offense is how boring it was. Not suspense, no tension, you're just yawning the whole way, waiting for it to finally end.

I haven't seen Predators or AvP:R, but my ranking would be pretty similar to yours: A, As, P, A3, Pth, P2, A:R, A:C, the rest.
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Offline Griffith

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1153 on: May 27, 2017, 10:49:18 PM »
You can boil down every Alien sequel as a remake of the original in the vision of its director (progressively getting worse with each iteration).

Which actually worked well for a few movies. A sci-fi trilogy directed by Ridley Scott, James Cameron, and David Fincher is unbeatable on paper, and the movies almost bear that out if not for Fincher's youth and studio interference. Certainly a better result than what came after.

Resurrection is abysmal, but its cooky sci-fi frenchness is somewhat endearing. I haven't seen it in a decade or more, but i can safely say that it has a vision.

Yeah, that's why I put it above the AvPs and could be talked into it leapfrogging Predators, which is probably less embarassing than Ressurection but also completely lacking reverie. Too bad they didn't let a raw Joss Whedon direct his own Resurrection screenplay as the satire it was meant to be; that'd actually be more appropriate now given the state of the franchise.

Even Prometheus had an almost clear vision, eventually diluted by the Alien lore.

Yeah, I was upset with all the half-measure pseudo-Alien lore in Prometheus, but it sounds like it's better off for it now that they've fully committed to it and fully whiffed. The only guy to successfully build, expand or add depth to the creature was Cameron by simply showing how they could/would function as a group, hive, or colony, which actually made them more real and grounded the movie. Since then it's just been a bunch of mumbo jumbo extoling the perfect killer alieness of it blah blah blah when just being terrifyingly "alien" was already enough to begin with.

If you remove what was good in Covenant (a rehash of the themes in Prometheus, with almost nothing new added), you're left with a by-the-numbers 90's b-movie Alien clone, with terrible cgi.

Sounds like Alien: Ressurection, and looks like it too:

https://youtu.be/14Mf_nTyWBc

Same off the shelf, no-name space trucker/marine red shirts, same weightless cgi alien, it's just the 2017 model now.

It confuses the Alien timeline even more, retcons so much shit, i don't even care what's canon or not. The worst offense is how boring it was. Not suspense, no tension, you're just yawning the whole way, waiting for it to finally end.

Truly sad to hear. I'm still curious to see just how bad it is  or if I disagree with everyone and find it competently entertaining course correction like Ruhe Strom seemed to. Is that at least possible to you with a different set of expectations (no Alien/s, but doesn't shit itself), or might this just as well be directed by Paul W.S. Anderson?

I haven't seen Predators or AvP:R, but my ranking would be pretty similar to yours: A, As, P, A3, Pth, P2, A:R, A:C, the rest.

Damn, Covenant ranking behind Resurrection and even nostalgic favorite Predator 2 is not a good sign. On the bright side, the Alien 3-style rehabilitation campaign for Prometheus is already underway! By the time Scott makes another couple of these stinkers Prometheus will seem like a masterpiece in retrospect. :ganishka:
« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 12:42:19 AM by Griffith »

Offline Oburi

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1154 on: June 01, 2017, 01:57:30 PM »
Anyway, despite all that, it's impossible for me to believe Ridley Scott could do worse than these or anything after Alien: Resurrection. Just no fucking way even on his worst day it'd be more worthwhile just to look at. So, with that said, here's my Alien/Predator movie rankings off the top of my head, feel free to disagree, and if you think this is a waste of time, I actually sat through all this shit save for Covenant:

Alien
Aliens
Predator
Alien 3
Prometheus
Covenant
Predator 2
Predators
Alien: Resurrection
AvP
AvPR

There's a few that I'd accept are basically interchangeable on here, like Alien 3 and Prometheus, the lesser two Predator movies, and AvP and Resurrection could be switched (AvP isn't crazy bad, but by the same token at least Resurrection has crazy going for it). So, without seeing it, by my estimation Covenant can be no worse than the 5th "best" Alien movie, and 6th including the full A/P canon.


I'd agree with this ranking (haven't seen Covenant), except for maybe putting Resurrection above Predators, just because of what was mentioned before about it having some uniqueness in its vision (the frenchness), whereas Predators really had nothing, just an adolescent remake of the original (with a samurai!). I mean seriously, shoving a predator/samurai fight scene in that movie is like having Yoda whip out his tiny green light saber in Attack of the Clones. One person thinks it's cool and forces it into the movie no matter how much it doesn't belong. But anyway ranking anything after Predator 2 is like figuring out which turd is least offensive. 

Anyway, despite all that, it's impossible for me to believe Ridley Scott could do worse than these or anything after Alien: Resurrection. Just no fucking way even on his worst day it'd be more worthwhile just to look at.

It's interesting to think about. He's a competent filmmaker who's made unquestionable classics. You know he's got it in him to make something truly great, and that's what's so frustrating when you look at his filmography and see some just plain bad movies or even worse, the almost good ones with the baffling choices that end up ruining the movie. You're right that from a visual standpoint, even his worst movies look great (Prometheus included). A lot of the time the real bad stuff comes from a few simple decisions that just unwind the whole thing, sometimes it's in the script and other times it's something done in post production. To me it's a real mystery. How can a man who puts so much work into something and make it look so great be so seemingly foolish to let a few no brainers bring the whole movie down? This goes way beyond Prometheus, which, as we all have said, could have really been something had that script been wiped clean of Lindelof's religious crap and the unnecessary confusing alien mythos forced in, all which added nothing to the movie and had no consequence in the end. Too many cooks in the kitchen. It seemed like Scott had a pretty good grasp on the movie he wanted to make initially. Oh, and keep your helmets ON for the love of god! EVERYONE thought that was stupid.

Another example of Scott's frustrating skill as a filmmaker to make a movie look amazing, but be so terrible because of a few simple bafflingly bad decisions is Kingdom of Heaven. I actually wrote several paragraphs on why I think that movie is so strangely close to being great while at the same time so far... but I don't want to clog up this thread with it. I mean, unless you really want me too I guess I could post it I suppose.

Offline Griffith

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1155 on: June 01, 2017, 05:22:09 PM »
I'd agree with this ranking (haven't seen Covenant), except for maybe putting Resurrection above Predators, just because of what was mentioned before about it having some uniqueness in its vision (the frenchness), whereas Predators really had nothing, just an adolescent remake of the original (with a samurai!). I mean seriously, shoving a predator/samurai fight scene in that movie is like having Yoda whip out his tiny green light saber in Attack of the Clones. One person thinks it's cool and forces it into the movie no matter how much it doesn't belong. But anyway ranking anything after Predator 2 is like figuring out which turd is least offensive.

Yeah... Resurrection is probably better on paper, but I put Predators above it simply because I think it's easy to forget how embarrassingly weird a lot of Resurrection really is, and not in a good way. Ripley has an Alien-Human hybrid spawn that originally displayed full frontal male/female genitalia ("too weird even for a Frenchman!" to paraphrase the director =). Like, if you tried to watch that movie with somebody you'd be squirming with embarrassment, whereas Predators is just a dumb actioner that merely disappoints (it's also relatively a return to form after the AvPs, wheras Resurrection was when Alien really went wrong). As you said though, one wouldn't want to choose to watch either of these movies. Also, I probably shouldn't have included the Predator movies because, let's face it, aside from the original they're pretty much hot garbage and the Alien film series is better and more respectable top to bottom, save for its dalliances with those low brow, jock hunters (you just know Predators vote with the NRA; better game =).

It's interesting to think about. He's a competent filmmaker who's made unquestionable classics. You know he's got it in him to make something truly great, and that's what's so frustrating when you look at his filmography and see some just plain bad movies or even worse, the almost good ones with the baffling choices that end up ruining the movie. You're right that from a visual standpoint, even his worst movies look great (Prometheus included). A lot of the time the real bad stuff comes from a few simple decisions that just unwind the whole thing, sometimes it's in the script and other times it's something done in post production. To me it's a real mystery. How can a man who puts so much work into something and make it look so great be so seemingly foolish to let a few no brainers bring the whole movie down?

Here's the answer:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000631/#writer

That's actually more threadbare than I suspected (it's amazing he didn't accumulate more writing credits just through directing/producing). The truth is Scott's not some auteur, he's a great director and fine producer, but obviously not a writer, so he cedes a lot of creative control over the quality of "his" stories, which explains why there's such irregularities there. Since he's in his writers' hands, if they don't have the goods the best he can do is polish a turd (I think that sums up his lesser entries rather well).

Quote
Another example of Scott's frustrating skill as a filmmaker to make a movie look amazing, but be so terrible because of a few simple bafflingly bad decisions is Kingdom of Heaven. I actually wrote several paragraphs on why I think that movie is so strangely close to being great while at the same time so far... but I don't want to clog up this thread with it. I mean, unless you really want me too I guess I could post it I suppose.

Go on. I thought the extended cut supposedly fixed it?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 11:03:37 PM by Griffith »

Offline Oburi

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1156 on: June 01, 2017, 07:55:13 PM »
Go on. I thought the extended cut supposedly fixed it?

I'm guessing you haven't seen it?  I'm going to disregard the theatrical edition totally since it's a complete mess. The Directors Cut of Kingdom of Heaven is another example in the same way as Prometheus in that it's a massive letdown because all the work that went into the movie can't save it from the few glaringly obvious bad decisions. On the one hand this is a movie I really want to enjoy because it's a historical epic about the crusades that looks fantastic, has a great cast and if you're like me and enjoy long movies like the Godfather or Apocalypse Now, Kingdom of Heaven is four hours long and made in the classic Hollywood tradition containing an overture and an intermission. Scott could have a masterpiece on his hands here, even with the liberties taken with the actual history. But despite how much I want to like this movie I have no desire to ever sit through it again (although I did sit through it many times out of fascination). For the average person, once is enough, like Prometheus.

That's actually more threadbare than I thought it would be. The truth is Scott's not some auteur, he's a great director and a producer, but obviously not a writer, so he cedes a lot of creative control over the quality of his stories, which explains why there's such irregularities there. Since he's in his writers' hands, if they don't have the goods the best he can do is polish a turd.

This is basically what I've come to believe is the major problem. Even if the issue with the movie isn't necessarily with the actual script, like dialog or specific plot points, it's with general preproduction choices that have major consequences for the film. It's still no excuse though, and I'll use Kingdom of Heaven as an example. Scott may not be a writer, and maybe he's wise for letting others do the writing, but he chooses his projects very carefully and it's still baffling to me as to how he can move forward with the problem decisions. Maybe it's a case hindsight is 20/20. Or maybe that's just how it always is, whether it's Scott, Spielberg, Cameron or Lucas. But honestly, Scott being underrated or overrated as a filmmaker aside, he's just as peculiar as the others when it comes to the trend of tarnishing ones own legacy or staying on the mound too long or however you look at it. Alien is without a doubt a masterpiece.

First big problem with KoH is that Scott seemingly caved into the studio pressure to have everyone speaking English. Let's be real here, this movie looks gorgeous. The attention to detail is amazing. Game of Thrones's art department and wardrobe on steroids. If you're going to make the film look this authentic with the giant sets and exotic locations and incredible armor departments then why not apply the same thinking to the language aspect? I understand why studios don't want subtitles in movies for American audiences but you'd think someone like Scott would have enough clout to make the call on his big budget period piece. But I guess he folded here and it's devastating to see the great Muslim Saladin talking to all his generals in this weird English accent, clearly affecting his performance too. All the characters speak English in the entire movie, there are no subtitles. The whole world spoke English, which is very distracting after the heavy multicultural diversity message that's at the heart of the movie. There are scenes that take place in the Muslim army and they all speak English to each other. It's even worse when it's actually used in the plot when an eavesdropping captured English crusader overhears some important information being spoken between Muslim generals and can easily converse right back with them. DOH!

Another big issue for a four hour movie like this is the pacing. I actually enjoy really long, slow movies, but even my patience is tested here and it wouldn't be that big of a deal if it wasn't for the fact that they are constantly skipping over major battles that could have injected some life into the movie. Again, I understand why they do this. They want to save it all for the final big battle, a massive siege for the final 15- 20 minutes. But when you have 3 and a half hours of buildup, that final siege needs to be one of the greatest battles ever put to screen and, of course, it is not. It's not that bad, it's actually totally serviceable. But when we have The Lord of the Rings and Troy and even Scotts own Gladiator, where the battle is right at the beginning, it's a gamble to save all the action for end of the 4 hours. It could have been satisfying had there been other conflicts throughout the movie, just a few smaller battles here or there. They even have a perfect opportunity for a great battle in the desert a little over the halfway mark into the movie where the Muslim army ambushes the English who decided to march into the desert without enough supplies. But they skip over it, instead showing the before and after. We see the torn up battlefield and we wish we could have witnessed some of the action. In a show like Game Of Thrones I can understand not being able to film a big battle scene, especially in the first season, and having to cut around it, but in this movie there's really no excuse. After four hours of politics I don't know if any movie could wow it's audience with action. It's got to be dispersed throughout. 

The final MAJOR problem is Ridley Scott made here is casting Orlando Bloom as the lead. He simply cannot carry this movie for it's length. Imagine Jon Snow in the first season of GoTs. Lots of staring, looking confused, not speaking a lot, or speaking slow in a deep gravelly voice. Furrowing of the brow. It's painful to watch and it actually gets worse with multiple viewings. I don't know how Scott could have overlooked this. It destroys his movie.

Spielberg, Scott, Cameron and Lucas. They're all different enough that you can't use the same brush to explain away all the problems that come with all their recent work. But with the exception of Cameron, they've all revisited their own franchises to try and capture that same magic again, and they all end making the weakest iteration of their own series. Out of all of them though Scott to me is the most frustrating. Talk about ranking piles of shit, besides the prequels out of all those directors Scott has the most bottom turds. I mean, have you seen 1492: Conquest of Paradise? Makes Kingdom of Heaven look like Lawrence of Arabia. I could talk about all the problems with that movie too, but there's hardly anything even remotely redeeming about that movie. Literally not worth it.

Offline Grail

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1157 on: June 01, 2017, 09:30:35 PM »
The Directors Cut of Kingdom of Heaven is another example in the same way as Prometheus in that it's a massive letdown because all the work that went into the movie can't save it from the few glaringly obvious bad decisions. On the one hand this is a movie I really want to enjoy because it's a historical epic about the crusades that looks fantastic, has a great cast and if you're like me and enjoy long movies like the Godfather or Apocalypse Now, Kingdom of Heaven is four hours long and made in the classic Hollywood tradition containing an overture and an intermission. Scott could have a masterpiece on his hands here, even with the liberties taken with the actual history. But despite how much I want to like this movie I have no desire to ever sit through it again (although I did sit through it many times out of fascination). For the average person, once is enough, like Prometheus.

Man, this takes me back. The tragedy about Kingdom of Heaven is that it had what I felt like every opportunity to be a truly transcendent film: an ensemble cast, beautiful soundtrack, and a pretty unique setting that you don't see getting rehashed often. On top of that, there was some gorgeous cinematography and scenes that hinted at its potential greatness, but in the end it ended up feeling like a bit of a whoopee-cushion-gag-version of the Gladiator. I just don't know what happened with that one.

I think the part that ended up driving me most crazy were the two fellas that die in the very beginning of the movie, the Nordic-looking guy with the pig-tails and the other one who looked like he might have been North-African. Why kill off the two most intriguing-looking guys right at the start?! :ganishka: 12 years later and I'm still not over it, clearly!
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 10:04:01 PM by Grail »

Offline Griffith

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1158 on: June 02, 2017, 12:08:16 AM »
I'm guessing you haven't seen it?

Nope, but now I feel like I've read the book, but I asked for it and am no different as I will prove again below. =)

This is basically what I've come to believe is the major problem. Even if the issue with the movie isn't necessarily with the actual script, like dialog or specific plot points, it's with general preproduction choices that have major consequences for the film. It's still no excuse though, and I'll use Kingdom of Heaven as an example. Scott may not be a writer, and maybe he's wise for letting others do the writing, but he chooses his projects very carefully and it's still baffling to me as to how he can move forward with the problem decisions. Maybe it's a case hindsight is 20/20. Or maybe that's just how it always is, whether it's Scott, Spielberg, Cameron or Lucas. But honestly, Scott being underrated or overrated as a filmmaker aside, he's just as peculiar as the others when it comes to the trend of tarnishing ones own legacy or staying on the mound too long or however you look at it.

See, I don't know about how careful he is either, because he's done some projects that were suspect going in (like Hannibal after Demme AND Foster passed on it and he had no previous connection to it, like he's just a hired gun), and though he was seemingly avoiding the legacy trap all those years it seems like that was accidental too, like he simply wasn't in position to because he wasn't the owner or creative force of his own best works, but more an executor.

And yeah, these baffling production decisions you speak of kind of support the idea that he otherwise stays out of the writer's room for good reason, because maybe his own ideas aren't great and/or he doesn't recognize and object to bad ones either.

I think Prometheus is a great example of him being an absentee custodian of his own legacy because, despite his talk about the scope of it and these upcoming Alien movies, it seems like Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof were the ones hashing out what it was about while Scott sat on the sideline and just shot whatever they came up with (though approached it like it was all very important and profound because that's his style, not necessarily because he thought so or had a point). Like, I still don't think I know what HE wanted it to be, and maybe that's because he didn't, and still doesn't either according to Covenant viewers. Whereas Cameron and Lucas, for better or worse, always have a strong, to the point of being obstinate, vision.

The final MAJOR problem is Ridley Scott made here is casting Orlando Bloom as the lead. He simply cannot carry this movie for it's length. Imagine Jon Snow in the first season of GoTs. Lots of staring, looking confused, not speaking a lot, or speaking slow in a deep gravelly voice. Furrowing of the brow. It's painful to watch and it actually gets worse with multiple viewings. I don't know how Scott could have overlooked this. It destroys his movie.

Yeah, outside of obvious acting stars like Michael "can't we just have two of him in the movie?" Fassbender and Matt Damon (who came with/was the movie), he's had some pretty questionable casting choices that undermine the whole enterprise (welcome, Ryan Gosling!). Prometheus also had a lot of overqualified talent that was misused or underutilized (Elba stole his scenes, Theron was wasted) in favor of a largely uninspiring crew, and I think if you replaced Logan Marshall-Green with Tom Hardy it's probably 50% better already and we'd be like, "Fuck pussyass helmets; real space exploring manly men don't need 'em!" :ganishka:

I mean, shit like that, charismatic performances, a gelling cast, can make or break a movie. As it stands, only the talents of Fassbender and Scott really made Prometheus worthwhile, and tantalizingly so (I still want to like that movie more than it deserves for its visuals and unabashed dark sci-fi weirdness).

Spielberg, Scott, Cameron and Lucas. They're all different enough that you can't use the same brush to explain away all the problems that come with all their recent work.

Well, I think the broad stroke is not only they but the times they succeeded in changed. We expect these guys to be transcendentally great because of their transcendent works, but those works weren't created in a vacuum, but a specific time, place and context these directors excelled in. Filmmaking today, especially big budget blockbusters (which they weren't even necessarily setting out to make back then), aren't the same as 40, 30, or even 20 years ago and you can see where they've all struggled to adapt and live up to their past work to varying degrees.

Quote
But with the exception of Cameron, they've all revisited their own franchises to try and capture that same magic again, and they all end making the weakest iteration of their own series.

It's not too late for James!

http://deadline.com/2017/01/terminator-james-cameron-deadpool-tim-miller-david-ellison-skydance-1201890848/

Sounds bad already. :guts:

Out of all of them though Scott to me is the most frustrating. Talk about ranking piles of shit, besides the prequels out of all those directors Scott has the most bottom turds.

Really, he's only a couple of classics away from being the lesser Scott brother. :carcus:
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 02:41:58 AM by Griffith »

Offline Johnstantine

Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1159 on: June 02, 2017, 02:37:40 AM »
Saw Wonder Woman. Great movie!

Offline Salem

Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1160 on: June 02, 2017, 11:28:30 AM »
Saw Wonder Woman. Great movie!

I see the reviews are stellar.  Tell me, feeling so so about MoS, disliking BvS, and refusing to watch Suicide Squad, how was it?   Did we finally get over the bad writing and random plot devices?

Offline Johnstantine

Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1161 on: June 02, 2017, 01:12:05 PM »
I see the reviews are stellar.  Tell me, feeling so so about MoS, disliking BvS, and refusing to watch Suicide Squad, how was it?   Did we finally get over the bad writing and random plot devices?

WB actually let the director direct. I enjoyed the above mentioned movies (except for Suicide Squad), but I believe this is a movie everyone can enjoy. The best part is that they don't give away anything revealing in the trailers, so I was pretty surprised by a lot of stuff (that I won't mention).

Offline Salem

Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1162 on: June 02, 2017, 02:24:19 PM »
Cool.  I will prob check it out in theaters.  I wanted to watch Alien, but everyone in unison over how bad it is has stopped that desire.

Offline Griffith

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1163 on: June 09, 2017, 03:04:50 PM »
Alien 3: Assembly Cut - I was surprisingly, at least to myself, unmoved by the additions. I mean, it added some extra characterization and plotting for the prisoners, but that wasn't always a good thing, and not enough to really change or elevate the film so much as just make it more redundant (did you know they're religious!?) and considerably longer. The extended Alien catch and release plot certainly doesn't add much and makes everything seem dumber, the alien included, and more anticlimactic (Ripley: "I gotta stop the alien again... again.")

I think I actually prefer the original version because it's shorter, still has all the best scenes from both versions, and I prefer most of the alternate scenes too, including the opening despite some nice added visuals of the surface. Like not beating the alien twice, it just makes more sense for Ripley to be in the EEV, and that goes double for the dog scenario, which was better in just about every way unless I'm missing something?

So, like Alien and Aliens I'm sticking with the theatrical cut, warts and all, because the Assembly didn't really restore whatever Fincher's vision was or even remove the warts, it's just a longer compromised version and if you didn't like it or the characters in the first place this won't change your mind so much as confirm your impression. Finally, I think the overall oppressively bleak nature of the original contributed to a better atmosphere because the threat of the creature itself, which was bad and has aged worse, certainly doesn't carry the movie like it should, and making everyone a little more well-rounded doesn't really help compared to life itself being the enemy and the alien is just the proof. =)

Anyway, after being disappointed by Alien 3 all over again (shame on me) I've got to consider whether or not continuity and some sort of nostalgia is all that keeps Prometheus from leapfrogging it (and before Covenant it was a fun thought experiment to think which made for a better trilogy, Alien 1-3 or Prometheus, Alien, Aliens). I'm also ready to stick Covenant anywhere as high as 3rd place as well when I see it unless it's as bad as, almost, everyone says and the superior casts of Alien 3 and Prometheus keep them above despite their glaring flaws. I mean, how can they keep doing worse than Alien 3 given its disastrous production history:

http://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/alien/259437/alien-3-comparing-the-assembly-cut-to-the-theatrical-cut

https://magicmenagerie.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/my-pop-life-171-praying-for-time-george-michael/amp/

I guess despite all that they just don't make 'em like they used to.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2017, 04:52:55 PM by Griffith »

Offline Eluvei

Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1164 on: June 09, 2017, 05:35:26 PM »
I don't get why it's still not common knowledge that all the theatrical cuts are superior (especially Aliens' in my opinion, I think the extended cut turns it into a straight up boring movie).

Anyway, this atmospheric scene should have made it into the Assembly Cut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXBfQvzRKSE

Offline Griffith

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1165 on: June 11, 2017, 03:22:39 AM »
I don't get why it's still not common knowledge that all the theatrical cuts are superior (especially Aliens' in my opinion, I think the extended cut turns it into a straight up boring movie).

Because everyone goes around saying the director's cuts are, except the Alien one which is beyond unnecessary (wasn't there already a special edition in the 90's that was basically the theatrical cut plus the cacoon scene?). But I agree completely on Aliens, not only does it destroy the pace for virtually no return on investment but actually takes away from the relative suspense and mystery of the colonists and their fate. Alien and Aliens were already perfect films in their respective genres and didn't need special or director's editions; ironically, that sort of fixing should only be reserved for movies that were broken in the first place.

Anyway, this atmospheric scene should have made it into the Assembly Cut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXBfQvzRKSE

Heh, and while he's obviously shown the opposite of interest, let's say Alien 3 was his white whale and the reason he's not interested in a Director's Cut is because he'd like to do wholesale reshoots or restart from scratch, possibly with one of the infamous alternate scripts! Do you think once Ridley Scott's done raping the corpse of his legacy they'd let Fincher take another turn?



Saw Alien: Covenant today, which was shockingly pedestrian, and therefore bad, as previously reported. Seemed a lot more like an AvP or Predators-style imitation directed by the likes of Nimród Antal than an authentic Ridley Scott effort. The action and deaths outside the first hour have no weight or meaning, it just happens so fast it doesn't matter like a common B movie; contrast that with the care taken in previous films where the deaths at least constituted a moment for the characters and audience. Here it's just fast food junk. The Aliens tribute scene with the blipblorbs or snarfglabs or whatever in The Force Awakens is better than the final confrontation in this. The cast and characters are fittingly B grade as well. David, the most interesting creation in all of Prometheus or this film has unfortunately been reduced to a stock character. He's still far and away the best thing in the movie.

It's all unremarkable, but the worst is reserved for the Alien itself, which is probably humiliated the most throughout. It's basically more Frankenstein's monster without the pathos than "alien" now, and acts like a mindless, clumsy(!) animal to provide mere muscle, like a mutant dog, for the real antagonists. It's the least scary thing in the movie, and reduced to an ancillary role in its own ruined mythology. The movie manages to both do nothing with and yet spoil the mystery and potential of both the original Alien and, I never thought I'd say this, Prometheus (which I watched again before Covenant and found it to be less offensive and just more boring than I remembered, but leagues above this). The story goes nowhere and does nothing but cut off better potential alternatives in order to retread tired old ground less convincingly.

Finally, just for an example of what a superficial, intellectually bankrupt endeavor this is, the premise of the movie is this colony ship is carrying around 2,000 people and 10,000 human embryos to colonize a planet. Hmmmm, a ship carrying thousands of embryos? Sound familiar!? It's like Alien, but with humans! Surely there's a greater thematic point to this obvious parallel. Perhaps the humans are the invasive, aggressive alien species after all!? Ooooh, this could potentially be interes... No, it's just a coincidence. It doesn't come up despite numerous opportunities to make or acknowledge the connection (a single change of dialogue would have done to earn the credit). Maybe in the next movie like they keep promising, or more likely not; it'll just be whatever meandering bullshit Ridley's current writers pull out of their butts as an excuse to make yet another "Alien" movie, because that seems to be the only overarching point here. They might as well have let Neill Blomkamp ruin Aliens instead.

Red Letter Media Talks About Alien: Covenant - SPOILERS


Updated, spur of the moment Alien film rankings reflecting my mood as of this second:

1. Aliens - Because it's been proven that James Cameron was the only writer/director with a good grasp on this creature, and it's still somewhat quarantined off from the current shit.
2. Alien - How'd the all-time great sci-fi masterwork possibly go down since two weeks ago? Covenant actually made it, and Ridley Scott, retroactively worse! =)
*. Alien: Isolation - If games counted this rates higher than the films below. It respects the original premise and the Alien is terrifyingly unstoppable again. Also, there's only two good Alien movies.
3. Prometheus - Doesn't even have an Alien in it, which is probably best for all. Great cast and visuals, bad writing, some good scenes, but all the movies below make it look grand by comparison.
4. Alien 3 - Great cast, provides continuity and closure, and has its own unique, infamous yet enduring identity and legacy. Remember when a bad Alien movie was a big deal? Now this one's relatively good.
5. Alien: Covenant - 5th as projected, there's half a good movie here about something else, but the Alien part ruins it and vice versa. Time to retire or infuse the series with some new acid blood.
6. Alien: Resurrection - When Alien first went from tragedy to comedy; I can't forgive it. It's weird how similar some of Covenant's ideas are to this one, maybe I should rate it higher... Nah.
7. AvP - Dumb vs.
8. AvP2 - Dumber
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 07:15:30 AM by Griffith »

Offline IncantatioN

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1166 on: June 13, 2017, 01:50:50 PM »
I watched Wonderwoman opening weekend and it was decent. I appreciated the fight scenes and the origins story. This film wasn't about the main villain but rather about her discovering the world around her and what it takes to be a superhero I guess. Lets be honest, as charming as Gal is in quirky situations or action scenes, she can't act (her emotional range is woody) and the film's strength is in the supporting cast.

Updated, spur of the moment Alien film rankings reflecting my mood as of this second:

1. Aliens - Because it's been proven that James Cameron was the only writer/director with a good grasp on this creature, and it's still somewhat quarantined off from the current shit.
2. Alien - How'd the all-time great sci-fi masterwork possibly go down since two weeks ago? Covenant actually made it, and Ridley Scott, retroactively worse! =)
*. Alien: Isolation - If games counted this rates higher than the films below. It respects the original premise and the Alien is terrifyingly unstoppable again. Also, there's only two good Alien movies.
3. Prometheus - Doesn't even have an Alien in it, which is probably best for all. Great cast and visuals, bad writing, some good scenes, but all the movies below make it look grand by comparison.
4. Alien 3 - Great cast, provides continuity and closure, and has its own unique, infamous yet enduring identity and legacy. Remember when a bad Alien movie was a big deal? Now this one's relatively good.
5. Alien: Covenant - 5th as projected, there's half a good movie here about something else, but the Alien part ruins it and vice versa. Time to retire or infuse the series with some new acid blood.
6. Alien: Resurrection - When Alien first went from tragedy to comedy; I can't forgive it. It's weird how similar some of Covenant's ideas are to this one, maybe I should rate it higher... Nah.
7. AvP - Dumb vs.
8. AvP2 - Dumber

While I haven't watched Covenant yet, I'd switch first and second place for my ranking of the films. Totally agree with the points you mention about each film.
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Offline Salem

Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1167 on: June 13, 2017, 03:13:05 PM »
Griff, is it at the very least worth a watch?  I have a guilty pleasure for resurrection.  Covenant just sounds more and more like something to avoid. 

Offline Johnstantine

Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1168 on: June 13, 2017, 07:10:00 PM »
Griff, is it at the very least worth a watch?  I have a guilty pleasure for resurrection.  Covenant just sounds more and more like something to avoid.

Take it from someone who loved ALL of the Alien/Predator movies: it's awful.

Offline Salem

Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1169 on: June 13, 2017, 09:48:11 PM »
Take it from someone who loved ALL of the Alien/Predator movies: it's awful.

Such a bummer!

Offline Griffith

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1170 on: June 14, 2017, 05:29:45 AM »
While I haven't watched Covenant yet, I'd switch first and second place for my ranking of the films. Totally agree with the points you mention about each film.

Glad it sounds on point, the flip flop at the top is temporary punishment for Scott and points for Cameron for actually knowing what he was doing (I'll switch it by the time Avatar 2 comes out =). I keep thinking of the line from Aliens, "What do you mean 'they cut the power'? How could they cut the power, man?! They're animals!" Even as Cameron exposed them in the open and even turned them into canon fodder he still understood how to keep them mysterious, fascinating, and scary. Ridley Scott, on the other hand, apparently agrees with Hudson.

Griff, is it at the very least worth a watch?  I have a guilty pleasure for resurrection.  Covenant just sounds more and more like something to avoid. 
Take it from someone who loved ALL of the Alien/Predator movies: it's awful.
Such a bummer!

Yeah... I didn't have a visceral response like Johnstantine and others here, but it is indeed painfully, shockingly, and disappointingly average. It doesn't even have the je ne sais quoi of Resurrection. It's more like a medicore filmmaker's idea of what a good Alien movie looks like. It's the "Predators" version of a return to form, a pastiche that goes through the motions but misses the point. It's also kind of like some shitty superhero origin story crossed with a soft reboot/remake (rebake? =), which may work for something that was so instantly entrenched into pop-culture like Star Wars, but not Alien, particularly by Ridley Scott and what that implies in my opinion (though, as noted, this is literally his prequel trilogy).

All the dumbed down Alien-lite stuff is not just the writers fault either, there's almost none of the artistry or craftsmanship of even Prometheus, let alone Alien; it's just as straightforward as it gets in approach. Now, I didn't expect Alien 1979 of course, but maybe a flawed though entertaining modern reinvention to show how it should be done. After Scott's posturing about the integrity of the series, or lack thereof, as well as how he was snubbed or dumped, I expected him to give a damn or have a superior vision in mind, particularly where the alien itself is concerned. I thought if anybody would understand Alien and take the care to restore its majesty or at least do it justice with a better class of film, even if only on the level of Prometheus plus the xenomorph, it would be the originator. Instead he's just the latest to contribute to the series' degrading line of watered down knockoffs; his new Alien has more in common with what followed than his own original work, including what the franchise became at its worst in his absence. Instead of restoring the series' luster he's merely created an alternate version, his authentic version I suppose, of it going to shit. It's like this poppy popcorn trash is all even he thinks of Alien now, or worse, it's what he's always thought of it.

So, to answer your question after my elegy for Alien: yes, as straightforward popcorn-accompanying entertainment it's not incompetent or a total waste and actually worth a watch in the same vein as Predators. Better actually, I'll give it the nod because it's highs are higher and lows no lower, and David is still fun, if something of a parody of himself now. Though if you wanted to see a true return to form or something of significance, you're going to be disappointed.

As for this whole endeavor and how it ties into the legacy of Alien, we'd have all been better off if Prometheus just took place on LV-426 and the Brand X black goo monsters were instead facehuggers, chestbursters and/or the xenomorph and they left it at that. As it stands, just pretend the pointy headed bastard at the end was a newborn Alien Queen and you're already better off than where Alien: Covenant goes with the mythology. Actually, it's better off just as what it was: not quite a xenomorph origin story, just something similar or related, a literal bastardization, while the real deal that we see briefly on the mural is safely waiting inside thousands of eggs in another mysterious ship on LV-426 and all is right with the world.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 03:16:00 PM by Griffith »

Offline NightCrawler

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Berserk isn't really "dark fantasy" either. It's plain fantasy
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Offline Griffith

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1172 on: June 16, 2017, 05:25:29 AM »
http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2017/06/13/film-crit-hulk-smash-ridley-scott-cinemas-underrated-weirdo

So, latter day Ridley Scott and his creations are to people what latter day David and his creations are to people. I can buy that. =)

I definitely prefer the first half of their careers when they were still more fascinatingly strange yet meticlous than mercurial madmen. And while I don't agree with the rehabilitation of Covenant through this viewpoint it is right about the fact that these are David movies, and the David trilogy or series, rather than anything to do Alien(s). Prometheus already worked best when viewed through the prism of David, and the Covenant officially makes him the thread throughout and de facto main character... and I was rooting for him the whole time. He's basically the reason I still recommended giving it a view even though as an Alien revival it's a failure that all but confirms their cinematic era is dead, but also that David's has begun in earnest (if it isn't now DOA). So, despite being an abominably damaging Alien prequel, the worst this side of Star Wars, perhaps it could be reconsidered on those merits down the line after all.

Back to the subject of comparison, I thought of David more like a literal Giger for obvious reasons, with his artwork and workshop being art imitating life imitating the creation of art, which was the best thing about the movie, though the Scott comparison is even better (especially since David has no good reason for what he's doing either). On that note, considering David's obsession with creation it's fitting, though completely un(der)utilized save for Shaw's infertility/pregnancy, that his true foils have actually been women, yet he cites men, particularly Mr. Weyland, or man in general as his influence/adversary. Women, rather than being true creators, are almost solely disruptive or destructive forces in this worldview. I wonder what David, given his purpose and position, would think of an Alien Queen? Probably about as much as Ridley Scott. =)

Anyway, I'm going to stop for now because I don't want to write hundreds or even thousands more words on a subject none are particularly interested in discussing further beyond offering an outside reading assignment. Better than nothing though, so thank you.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 07:31:20 PM by Griffith »

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1173 on: June 22, 2017, 10:43:18 AM »
I watched John Wick 2 (or "Chapter 2", whatever) and it struck me, just like the first one, as basically an action video game transposed into a movie. In fact I'd make the case John Wick is the first successful "video game movie", even though it's not actually based on a game. But really, the plot is paper thin and it's about a guy who headshots and/or annihilate in hand-to-hand something like 500 people in the course of two hours, where the nameless bad guys never stop coming and never seem to realize that they're obviously up against an impossible task.

Anyway I enjoyed it. People tend to describe any action flick or blockbuster as a "good, fun, mindless entertainment", but it's rarely the case in my experience. John Wick however really gets as close to mindless as you can get.

Offline m

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Re: Movies you've recently watched
« Reply #1174 on: June 22, 2017, 06:18:44 PM »
I watched John Wick 2 (or "Chapter 2", whatever) and it struck me, just like the first one, as basically an action video game transposed into a movie. In fact I'd make the case John Wick is the first successful "video game movie", even though it's not actually based on a game. But really, the plot is paper thin and it's about a guy who headshots and/or annihilate in hand-to-hand something like 500 people in the course of two hours, where the nameless bad guys never stop coming and never seem to realize that they're obviously up against an impossible task.

I agree with what you say about the movies, but I get the feeling that you're selling them short. The plot of the movies is undeniably simple and straight forward, but I don't think that's necessarily a negative. I can also see why people would find the scenes repetitive, but I didn't get that impression at all. I think that the movies have a lot going on for them, for example the action sequences, which I found to be top notch. As I've mentioned before, I also really like the world in which John Wick lives. It's a crazy world that in some aspects might not make much sense, but I can't get enough of it.

Anyway I enjoyed it. People tend to describe any action flick or blockbuster as a "good, fun, mindless entertainment", but it's rarely the case in my experience. John Wick however really gets as close to mindless as you can get.

I'm not sure I understood what you meant here. Did you mean that you enjoyed the movie but it was nothing but empty calories, and that in the grand scheme of things this movie was as much empty calories as it gets?