Movies you've recently watched

Can't say I've seen many films these past few years that I would genuinely recommend friends and family, but that being said I recently saw the crime thriller Dragged Across Concrete (directed by S. Craig Zahler of Brawl in Cell Block 99 and Bone Tomahawk fame) and it was quite a fun ride. Pacing is slow (intentionally) but it builds up to such a crazy rollercoaster that it really pays off towards the climax and resolution of the film. I'm torn between this or Cell Block 99 as my favorite film of his, but I think Zahler is on a roll and am looking forward to what he does next. Definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Heat or films of that ilk.
I liked Bone Tomahawk a lot more than CB 99, both pretty different. Thanks for the write up. I missed seeing DAC last month cos work was extremely busy, hope to have the time to hit it up before it disappears from theaters.

Ever watch Green Room or Blue Ruin?
 

Walter

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Ever watch Green Room or Blue Ruin?
I really liked Green Room. I was just down for evil Patrick Stewart and ended up getting quite a bit more, hehe. One of the best low-budget movies I've seen in some time. I really admired how much they did with such a limited set. I still need to sit down for Blue Ruin.
 
I've rewatched "The Thing" recently. And i'm talking about the one from 1982. The special effects and the way the monster looks still looks amazing too this day! :ubik:
 
I liked Bone Tomahawk a lot more than CB 99, both pretty different. Thanks for the write up. I missed seeing DAC last month cos work was extremely busy, hope to have the time to hit it up before it disappears from theaters.

Ever watch Green Room or Blue Ruin?
I have not. :( I will definitely check those out sooner rather than later. I've heard good things about both. And yeah, if you enjoyed Bone Tomahawk, DAC might be up your alley. Not as gory as BT and definitely not reinventing the wheel, but still an enjoyable watch.

I've rewatched "The Thing" recently. And i'm talking about the one from 1982. The special effects and the way the monster looks still looks amazing too this day! :ubik:
Can never go wrong with The Thing. :badbone: Something about 80s movies haha.
 

Walter

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Staff member
Was pleasantly surprised by Avengers: Endgame. As someone who thought Infinity War was a boring, predictable slogfest, nearly everything they did in this movie abated my concerns with its first half. And it's all spoilery of course, but in brief, they made good on the damage done by the snap, which was something I had utterly no faith they could pull off.

I spent most of my Infinity War review complaining about how ridiculous it was for a comic book movie to attempt to pull off a mass-death sequence involving key franchises and expect it to emotionally resonate with an audience that has been trained like dogs to lap up every morsel of new Marvel movie info. And while OF COURSE 100% of those superhero deaths were reverted by the end, it didn't matter. Because the emotional impact of those deaths had already taken its toll on the main cast within the scope of the story. The effect it had on the characters vindicated the momentary embarrassment of asking the audience to doubt "the snap" was fleeting. The writers took that opportunity and did some really interesting and entertaining things with the (some of) the characters. So that won me over, right from the get-go. Salt-and-Pepper Hulk needs his own movie now.

The 3h length felt appropriate to me, because in a movie that ends with two massive armies duking it out over a blinged out cosmic football, it still afforded enough space to land the emotional punches without feeling cheap or forced. And they held true to hanging it up for two of the biggest characters in the franchise. Good on them. It certainly felt like it was time, and it's appropriate that it was Tony, given that the success of his first movie is what forged this whole thing.

Now, I do appreciate that a rematch with Thanos seemed the most appropriate way to up the anté here. But the way in which that opportunity manifested felt grossly contrived. Every ridiculous step in the process that led to Nebula opening a time portal for Thanos and his forces to appear, create a massive crater, and have everyone survive with a few scrapes. Come ... on. It was so happenstance and pat that it almost felt like it required some kind of "the stones are calling to me" grounding or something to justify it. But whatever, it truly was "inevitable." And it created some really fantastic moments. I had forgotten how much I had wanted Cap to wield Mjolnir until it happened, and that was a great fucking moment. Even if it didn't really add up to much more than spectacle, it was good to see that promise delivered.

Ending something is hard. But despite the overwrought nature of this universe, they did a great job hitting the right buttons to bring this to a satisfying closure, even saying that as someone who only enjoyed maybe 1/4 of the Marvel movies I saw. This one earned the emotion and spectacle that most of these movies simply claim as a matter of course.
 
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Griffith

My posts are better.
Was pleasantly surprised by Avengers: Endgame. As someone who thought Infinity War was a boring, predictable slogfest, nearly everything they did in this movie abated my concerns with its first half.
Glad you enjoyed yourself, and even though it was messier and more indulgent than the relatively focused and restrained Infinity War, it took the time because it could and actually used it, had the better moments and emotional resonance, and indeed earned this. It was also fun and inventive in addition to paying all this off and maybe breaking every box office record. So, kudos to Marvel.

Now, as many have pointed out, and I felt this way watching, this was more like a season/series finale than the conclusion to a bunch of films. Of course it's not meant to be the end, never will be, etc, but I can't help but feel like they almost did too good a job putting a bow on this so it won't be the same again and that much harder to keep their unprecedented winning streak going, critically and financially (even nu-Star Wars had a bomb four films in). Like, where do they go from here? Besides another GotG, Black Panther, and I guess Spider-Man, I can't think of anything must-see from Marvel now. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt because they've always found a way, but it feels like the end of an era where there's now more questions than answers.
 
I enjoyed Endgame more on the first watch than the second. I think I prefer Infinity War over this movie because there's more Thanos and the build up to the snap was a bit more intense compared to Endgame. On my second viewing, it was a different kind of excitement because you're in the know of what's to come and the 2nd act (Time Heist portion) kinda fell flat. Overall, it's definitely a lot of fun (thanks, Thor) and I'll watch Infinity War x Endgame (together) again when it's available on BR.

Did Peter Parker show up before the movie to say "Hey, we'll play the trailer for the new Spiderman film after the movie ... so as not to spoil folks."? I thought that was weird haha. I mean, what's the point. We know there's another movie with the same actor in it.
 

Walter

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Did Peter Parker show up before the movie to say "Hey, we'll play the trailer for the new Spiderman film after the movie ... so as not to spoil folks."? I thought that was weird haha. I mean, what's the point. We know there's another movie with the same actor in it.
It's because of what is conveyed about Tony.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Speaking of Spider-Man, I saw Far From Home and it was a perfect...ly adequate entry in the Marvel canon. Again, the strength of these movies is they're not afraid to do weirdly specific, everyday and even casual stuff with the characters, but the downside is it can feel like we're also not aiming very high here and it is just a casual experience, "hang, no pun intended, with Spider-Man for a couple hours, no big deal." Maybe that's exacerbated by following the transcendentally good, existentially significant for the character Spider-Verse (which I saw a couple weeks ago and it mostly lived up to its excellent reputation after a slow start). The best part of FFH was Mysterio's fever dream-like illusions, which there could have been more of. Otherwise, eh, it was aight; mid-tier Marvel but getting raves as usual. It also introduced something of a significant dissonance for me because of the appearance of a certain actor, but I haven't seen that much discussed so maybe it's just me. Anyway, the obligatory updated Spider-Rankings!

Spider-Man 2 - Still leaving it as the quintessential Spidey-movie and a transcendent classic of the genre.
Into the Spider-Verse - The existential Spidey-movie and transcendent classic of the genre.
Homecoming - Was different and paid off well enough on the promise of Holland's Civil War appearance.
Spider-Man - Iconic, innovative, and influential, but penalized for organic web shooters, Macy Gray, and other goofy shit.
Civil War - Penalized for not being a Spidey movie, but 100% great Spider-scenes.
Far From Home - Like I said, it was good, not great or significant.
The Amazing Spider-Man - A decent enough retread, uses real web-shooters, but penalized for Andrew Garfield.
Italian Spiderman - Should be higher.
Spider-Man 3 - A mess that's as bad as you remember, but also better than you do too.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - A miserably messy retread AND a dead end. Led to MCU and Spider-Verse though.

Most of the top seven could be flipped or even move around a couple spots with their adjacent Spidey-films, showing just how consistently good Spidey's been on the big screen. Except for the bottom two of course (Bonus: A lady's POV, largely by era, The Raimi trilogy, dancing and all, Spider-Verse, the Holland movies, and then the Amazing movies, with 2 edging out 1 because it kills Emma Stone =).
 
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Griffith

My posts are better.
*Final Attack-Revive*

Been catching up on my Tarantino lately:

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - It's great! A fine escape that registers in the top half of my Tarantin-O-Meter. Now I'm digging on the soundtrack which is basically like listening to 1969 LA radio, ads and all, "Tanya tanning butter, with no sunscreen for a genuine Hawaiian tan!"

It's rather star studded, which is a smart pivot by Tarantino, but they're all basically character actor roles in a pretty delightfully weird, eclectic and meandering movie (think Jackie Brown meets Basterds). Leo's role is the most showy, but it's basically making fun of him half the time.

The best part might be the meticulous care taken to restore L.A. to it's 1969 glory. It might be Tarantino's best directing job too; not necessarily his best movie, but he's much improved technically/visually from his 90s heyday or even the Kill Bills.

The Hateful Eight - It's good(?). It's like The Thing crossed with Reservoir Dogs but adapted as a Western. So, weird movie! I'm kind of transfixed by the climax.
 
I enjoyed The Hateful Eight because of Walton Goggins (Chris Mannix).

I'll go backwards in my watch list.

Hobbs and Shaw - at 2 and a half hours long, this felt looooong. It's not even the kind of bad that is so bad that it's good. It's one of those mid-tier bad movies that's forgettable like most films with The Rock. More importantly, it didn't feel like a Fast and the Furious movie, which's weird. I can appreciate the complete disconnect from the franchise (because of the feud between The Rock and the rest of the FATF cast) but this feels like a MI meets xXx film. Shaw's jokes on Hobbs' character were gold, watch it if there's a reel on YT many months down the road.

The Lion King - the problem with this movie was that they aimed to make it as real as it could be with the look and behavior of every animal on screen, which meant - emotions fell flat because you were so used to seeing the cast incredibly animated in the original film (thanks to animation). Pivotal scenes fell flat because there was no fear or rage in the expressions of our beloved cats and most of the voice cast were lazy as hell! Beyonce didn't act and Chiwetel as Scar was meh. Donald Glover as Simba was off and his duet with Beyonce was forgettable, he couldn't keep up with her range. The movie mirrors most of the original. The CG is extremely impressive though. The rest - naaah.

The Farewell - I didn't think I'd like this film as much as I did. Check it out if you come across it. The film opens with a grandmother being diagnosed with cancer and the family decides not to share this with her. The family decides to hurry a wedding, so they have an excuse to visit and spend time with the grandmother without her being suspicious of why everyone wants to spend time with her.

Yesterday - you don't have to be a Beatles fan to watch this cute, pretty decent film and it's fun.

Toy Story 4 - not the best in the series and it says a lot when the new characters (are so much fun!!) outshine the original, mainstay characters.

John Wick 3 - best part was seeing those cool action stars from The Raid franchise. The first one was the best one. The fight scenes here are long-drawn and a little more elaborate but there's no sense of tension and they aren't anxiety inducing like The Raid/ The Raid Redemption (the model the Wick action crew were going after in this film).

Dark Phoenix - no comment. I'd love to hear what Griffith has to say about this one
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
I enjoyed The Hateful Eight because of Walton Goggins (Chris Mannix).
He was good, great shit-eating grin, but Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell were my jam in this one. Pretty much everyone was in good form, though. I'm still torn on this one, I like and enhoy it, but it's weird that it's basically a worse version of The Thing. Just goes to show again how influential yet criminally underrated John Carpenter is.

Dark Phoenix - no comment. I'd love to hear what Griffith has to say about this one
My comment on Dark Phoenix is hopefully I never, ever see it! Though, I'd like to hear what you think of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, all the more because it's curiously absent from your list.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Terminator Salvation - Wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, and I was sure it was going to give me a reason to disown it at some point. But given the sorry state of Terminator these days it's sad that a movie I wouldn't even sit all the way through up until this point now looks like a respectful effort in hindsight.

The Good: It did "The War Against the Machines" movie Cameron never has (besides Battle Across Time 3D =), which is what I always wanted and thought was the only sensible place left to go after T2, and it had plenty of it, even if not all the details match up (and I think Cameron's flashbacks contained more all-out war action). It did manage to keep the dates of Judgement Day etc murky so you could ignore T3 and fit it in the continuity of the first two as a prequel/sequel. The cast is impressive, you can't ask for better than peak shouting Bale as an older Conner, and Hamilton and Arnold are appropriately relegated to audio/visual cameos. Oh yeah, Stan Winston skeletal Terminators, lots of practical effects, the T-800 restored to its place as an unstoppable monster, and there's no insane gimmick terminators futily trying to top the T-1000. On the other hand...

The Bad: This movie is mediocre, underwhelming, unnecessary, and there's nothing really special about it other than what I noted above, so while it's not as embarrassing as things would get, it's not exactly a worthy successor either. It tries and it doesn't shit all over everything, but it isn't really going for anything either (probably it's saving grace though). The Marcus subplot is the main outlier and pretty much a wash in how silly/unwanted it is versus trying to introduce something different and interesting that isn't completely ill-fitting. Better than another T-X/T-5000/Rev-9, but spending that time fleshing out John Conner, Kyle Reese and their relationship probably makes for a better movie (ya know, like Kyle and Sarah, John and his T-800). Also, it's supposed to be the first in a trilogy, so it's pulling its punches on the stakes and how definitive it's even trying to be, but again, that might work in it's favor since this stops them well short of cocking up the final assault on Skynet and the time travel plot being set in motion, but instead reasonably explains how John Conner goes from being a guy to THE guy.

The Ugly: These Terminators should be called Throwinators; they don't kill anybody when they grab them, they just throw them like wrestlers! In the originals if the Terminator got you, you were dead, that's why they were scary! I get that John Conner can't get his skull smashed in the first act, but then don't have him wrestling terminators like it's a good idea.


Anyway, I saw T3 in theaters when it came out (and needn't ever again =), Genisys looks unwatchable, and this one is the most defensible, or just least offensive, of a bad bunch... so I guess I need to see T3 Part IV: Darkest Timeline to see if having Cameron involved at all does indeed make for the best T2 follow up. Working against it is the fact I don't think Cameron gives a shit, or wants any Terminator movies besides his to be good anyway, as evidenced by the plot points that make this sound like another awful retread/reboot where they're just changing the names while doing the same shit and trampling all over the originals.
 
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