Discuss and Rate the Last Film You Watched

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Bartholen

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Lord of the Rings (1978), 4/10

Watching this the same day that I finished the best looking animated show ever might have been a mistake in retrospect. Because oh boy, this thing has aged poorly: the animation, the music, the fight scenes, the pacing, the editing, just about everything is done poorly here. Beyond being a time capsule and a curiosity this has next to nothing to offer besides unintentional comedy. While watching it I constantly was thinking "I wish I was watching Arcane or Peter Jackson's trilogy right now".

Whenever there's any sort of group scene (ie. any characters besides the main ones on screen), the visual look turns from okay (if blatantly rotoscoped) to borderline deep fried meme/instagram filter "animation", and every time it's jarring beyond words. And it looks so. god. damn. cheap. The Orcs look like dudes wearing raggedy clothes and Halloween masks. Helm's Deep has like maybe a dozen dudes on the walls. Gandalf's heroic rescue features a whole six guys on horses. This kind of thing is rampant through the whole movie and it's never not funny.

There's hardly ever any sense of location or geography: you're shown an establishing shot, maybe two, and then it's just disconnected shots after another. The editing is legitimately hilarious at points, like when they arrive in Lothlorien. The story skips huge chunks with just voiceover. The opening looks hilariously cheesy and cheap. The music is spectacularly unceremonious, and it in tandem with the jumbled editing and rushed pacing makes this supposedly world-spanning conflict feel stunningly small scale. And it ends incredibly abruptly to boot, being unironically almost "Poochie returned to his home planet" level.

I usually go for a bit more detail on these, but here there's no point: you can just point at PJ's trilogy for just about everything and say they did it better. The interesting parts are where they differ. I actually found Aragorn more engaging and human than his PJ counterpart. Mortensen's portrayal is iconic, but a bit morose and glum. Aragorn in this is way more expressive and boisterous. Gandalf is more entertaining as well, but for the wrong reasons: he's a huge asshole and drama queen, and it's hilarious. Even when he's falling down with the Balrog he's still insulting the party. When he appears to the orc hunting trio he goes out of his way to do a whole "look at meee" dramatic pose. He's actually closer to the "Bored of the Rings" version of the character than the source material, and I find that funny as fuck.

Another difference between this and PJ's version that I can give the faintest amount of praise are the establishing shots, which make this version of Middle-Earth seem much more fantastical and otherworldly. The Dead Marshes aren't just a marsh, they're a borderline rainforest full of dead trees and overgrown vegetation. The mountains around Mordor seem to be built of gargantuan skeletons, like something you'd see on a power metal album cover. Whenever one of those popped up the movie suddenly came alive for me as I marveled at the beautiful illustrations.
 
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Johnny Novgorod

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The Tender Bar

A memoir in which nothing much happens. The movie didn't clue me in at all why it was worth making, nor why the book was worth writing. It's a coming-of-age story in which nothing ever really stands in the way of its protagonist. He wants to get into Yale, he gets in first try. He wants a job, he gets one at The New York Times first try. He wants to date the pretty girl, he scores first try. So he's traumatized by an absent father, and I guess the big climax is telling his pa to go fuck himself. Power to him. Is that it? Not like you didn't grow up with lots of friends and a huge extended family that supported you and regaled you with cliché Kodak moments every step of the way.

Nothing is ever an issue. The mother gets sick, then gets better within the same voiceover narration. The uncle gets sick - he's out of it in the next scene. Time skips ahead, even grandpa Christopher Lloyd is still around. Again: nothing is ever an issue. JR Moehringer's two big achievements in his memoir are telling pa to go fuck himself and getting over an on-and-off gf who is just not that into him. Some fucking boss fight. As he's riding into the sunset to Steely Dan's "Do It Again" on the free Cadilllac his poor uncle just gave him, victoriously VO'ing about how he's decided to be a writer, I kept thinking: who the fuck does this guy think he is?
 

Dirty Hipsters

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-Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (7/10)
Starship Troopers 3 isn't a great movie, but it does have 1 absolutely fantastic line.

When Rico sees the giant war robots for the first time and comments that they're ugly and gets told "they weren't built to do pretty things."
 
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Dalisclock

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Lord of the Rings (1978), 4/10

Watching this the same day that I finished the best looking animated show ever might have been a mistake in retrospect. Because oh boy, this thing has aged poorly: the animation, the music, the fight scenes, the pacing, the editing, just about everything is done poorly here. Beyond being a time capsule and a curiosity this has next to nothing to offer besides unintentional comedy. While watching it I constantly was thinking "I wish I was watching Arcane or Peter Jackson's trilogy right now".
I'm pretty sure I watched it before the Peter Jackson films came out and even 20 years ago it felt like it'd aged poorly. I can't imagine trying to watch it again now.

I think the most fun I had watching the movie was singing "In da gadda da vida" every time it turned into some kind of wierd acid trip.
 
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Thaluikhain

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A trip to the moon, a short 1902 French silent film, possibly the first sci-fi film ever made. They put quite a bit of effort into it, especially in making the moon look weird and alien, which most movies just don't bother with nowdays.
 

gorfias

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I'm pretty sure I watched it before the Peter Jackson films came out and even 20 years ago it felt like it'd aged poorly. I can't imagine trying to watch it again now.

I think the most fun I had watching the movie was singing "In da gadda da vida" every time it turned into some kind of wierd acid trip.
His best cartoons were "Wizards" and "Fire and Ice" and even they were great only for parts, not on the whole. Worth taking in if you haven't already seen them.

Wizards Trailer


Fire and Ice movie on Youtube

 
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Piscian

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The House

The new stop motion flick on Netflix. Its funny strictly running the numbers on these streaming channels, you wanna cancel netflix, but then they put out some show or movie and you gotta think "well I woulda paid $15 to see that in theaters" so its hard to call it a rip-off.

This one is firmly in the "not shovelware" category though its definitely a netflix venture I dont think. I think its another one Netflix picked up on the cheap.

Its 3 short stories done in stop motion animation about Houses. The first Story is a horror story and its amazing. Im actually disappointed it wasn't a full movie. A Family gets talked into living in a kind of "Winchester Manson" I highly recommend looking that term up if youve never heard of it. The second is a gentlemen renevating a house when he sees a bug infestation and things get dark from there. Sadly I was less invested in this one becuase weve seen this kind of horror/thriller before going backto Stephen King 1970s books. That said its entertaining enough to keep you through to the end. The last story is about a woman trying to renovate a boarding house damaged by flooding. This is distinctly different from the first two and is more of a drama. Its good.

If I had a complaint I'd say the middle story should have been something else. Im guessing these were winners from an animation festival and picked for quality and context over uniqueness. Regardless its a solid way to spend a Lazy Sunday. checking it out wont hurt you.

The Colony

Cheap netflix streaming shovelware that came out this week. These kinds of films provide students with opportunities to learn filmmaking which is great, but this one has shitty writing, acting and its just boring. Easy skip.
 

Hawki

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Starship Troopers 3 isn't a great movie, but it does have 1 absolutely fantastic line.

When Rico sees the giant war robots for the first time and comments that they're ugly and gets told "they weren't built to do pretty things."
The line's decent, but I wouldn't put it as "absolutely fantastic." I mean, there's no shortage of quotable lines in the film, but I'd say the crown jewels are in the FedNet propaganda. Such as:

"Federal scientists agree that a) God exists, b) he's on our side, and c) he wants us to win!"

I agree that it isn't a great movie, but it's certainly a good movie. Cheap as hell with its CGI (though okay with its practical effects), but it certainly 'gets' the first film, and goes full bore into it with its sattire. Or even its "one click enlistment" stuff, with the "Enlist Now!" tab in the right, while under it is "Disclaimer: By clicking this you waive all legal rights and become property of the Federation." 0_0

Oh, and "It's a Good Day to Die." Beautiful. It's the perfect mixture of cheese and sincerity.

Anyway, speaking of Starship Troopers, got round to watching Invasion (7/10) and Traitor of Mars (5/10). So having watched all five, left to rank them as thus:

5) Traitor of Mars
4) Hero of the Federation
3) Marauder
2) Invasion
1) Starship Troopers

It's so weird coming to Invasion off Marauder, because it's the one film in the series that plays things completely straight. There's no propaganda, no sattire, the MIs are wearing power armour and are hyper-competent instead of being meat for the grinder. Everything's 'newer' and 'shinier,' and considering that in-universe it takes place one year after Marauder, it's a weird shift. Yet taking it on its own terms, as an action movie, it's actually pretty decent. I almost feel guilty having it as high up as it is, but what it does, it does very well.

And then there's Traitor of Mars. Ugh. Might write more on that, but out of time. But overall, genuinely enjoyed 4 out of 5 of these movies. So far, nothing's topped the first, but as a film series, I think it gets too bad a rap. Then again, I could say that for many film series that people feel stop being good after their first and second installment, so hey, what else is new?
 

Hawki

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Oh so someone finally read the novel then :p
Well, technically Verhoven did read some of the novel as well, he just detested it.

Invasion does make me wonder though if there's a subset of Starship Troopers fans who like it because of its loyalty to the book, or at least, how it plays everything straight rather than the tongue and cheek material that came before. Speaking personally, I've encountered one such person who dislikes the films because they take a dump on the novel, and, yeah, I can see why.

That said, Invasion is completely apolitical. It may be more loyal to the book in its depiction of its titular troopers, but it's bereft of the novel's themes and ideas. If I was ranking Invasion purely on its quality of theme and plot, it might rank last, but as a film that's attempting to be nothing more than "space marines vs. space bugs?" It's admittedly pretty good in that department.
 

Hawki

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Anyway, since I'm here, I'll comment on Traitor of Mars.

I really dislike this film. It's the one film of the bunch I truly dislike. Hero of the Federation has some notable shortcomings, but it at least does some stuff pretty well, to its horror elements to its satire. Traitor of Mars, on the other hand, is this weird little hybrid, of trying to combine the animation and technology of Invasion, while going back to the tone of the live action films when it comes to the propaganda side. Unfortunately, it does neither of these things well.

Traitor of Mars brings back the FedNet segments, but they just don't work. What was great about the propaganda of the first three films is that even if you saw through it, it's completely understandable why your average Joe doesn't. ToM's shorts, however, really go to the extreme. With lines such as "twenty years after the Battle of Klendathu, maybe this time, it won't be a complete failure," or having a segment called "Who Shall We Blame Now?" (for finding scapegoats). It lacks that plausible deniability angle that the other films had, and isn't helped by the incorporation of live-action into an animated film.

There's also the new sky marshal, Amy Snapp, whose biggest goal in the film is to...improve her TV ratings? I'm not lying, that's a fairly accurate description of her goals. She loves being sky marshal, she loves the popularity, and her plan is to destroy Mars due to its separatist tendencies, by allowing an Arachnid infestation to fester, sends the Fleet away just before the Bugs emerge, and plans to use a Q-bomb to destroy Mars as a warning against other colonies considering secession. As plans go, it's not too bad, sort of, but the way it's presented is just over the top tripe.

Also she looks like Hermione Granger. I've said it, and if you're like me, now you can't unsee it.

The action side of things might help. Rico's been demoted after Invasion to Mars, to train a bunch of newbies (all of whom are annoying), and they're the last line of defence against the Bugs. The action, however, has taken a back seat. Invasion's action pieces 'moved,' in terms of how they were shot, and how the MIs moved around with their new mobility. A lot of the time here, however, it's basically "stand and shoot." There's no 'wow' moments in any of it.

Finally, there's Dizzy being back. Sort of. GIven that she features on the front cover of the DVD, and featured heavily in the trailers, you might be forgiven for thinking she's in the film longer than 10 minutes tops. I didn't go into the film expecting it to be literally Dizzy, but how it's handled...well, Carl, who's in Snapp's custody, uses a mental projection of Dizzy to Rico, to guide him to the site of the Q-bomb. Considering that this DIzzy is showing significant cleavage, and kisses Rico, I can't help but wonder if Carl's enjoying himself too much. Or how Carl knows what the real Dizzy Wallin did in the first film - either he knew all along (somehow), or is probing Rico's brain to get the info, which if so, raises all sorts of moral questions.

But even then, it isn't used to full effect. There's a lot of stuff of Rico and 'Dizzy' just trudging through the deserts of Mars, and you'd think that could be used for character development, since in-universe 20 years have passed since the first film, but no, not really. There isn't that much insight into Rico in these quieter moments, how he misses Dizzy (conspicuously, there's a picture of her at his workstation at the start - not sure how Carmen feels about that), or even Carl and Rico's friendship, since he's the one technically talking, but no, doesn't really do any of that.

So, yeah. Traitor of Mars is a letdown. There's a few moments that gave me a chuckle (e.g. troopers being obsessed with social media, wanting to upload their kills to "FedBook"), but these are few and far between. Plotwise, it's nonsense. Action-wise, it's lacklustre. Every one of these films offered me something going through them, but ToM? Not really anything. I certainly wouldn't mind a sixth film, or even the supposed reboot, but whatever the case, this isn't a good place to leave the film series. :(
 

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Well, technically Verhoven did read some of the novel as well, he just detested it.

Invasion does make me wonder though if there's a subset of Starship Troopers fans who like it because of its loyalty to the book, or at least, how it plays everything straight rather than the tongue and cheek material that came before. Speaking personally, I've encountered one such person who dislikes the films because they take a dump on the novel, and, yeah, I can see why.

That said, Invasion is completely apolitical. It may be more loyal to the book in its depiction of its titular troopers, but it's bereft of the novel's themes and ideas. If I was ranking Invasion purely on its quality of theme and plot, it might rank last, but as a film that's attempting to be nothing more than "space marines vs. space bugs?" It's admittedly pretty good in that department.
Sounds like you may enjoy the Starship Troopers anime from 1988.
 

Hawki

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Sounds like you may enjoy the Starship Troopers anime from 1988.
Maybe. Difference is that the OVA's in a different continuity, so it doesn't help me the same way that the films do.

That, and after watching five of these films back to back, might go onto something different.
 

Bartholen

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I'm pretty sure I watched it before the Peter Jackson films came out and even 20 years ago it felt like it'd aged poorly. I can't imagine trying to watch it again now.
It's wild to think that we're almost as far from Peter Jackson's trilogy as that trilogy was from the 1978 film, yet the trilogy looks better than ever. I think they are, and always will be the greatest fantasy films ever made. I tried to think of what combination of IP, technology, casting and raw filmmaking talent could possibly top it, and I genuinely couldn't come up with one.
 

Bob_McMillan

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It's wild to think that we're almost as far from Peter Jackson's trilogy as that trilogy was from the 1978 film, yet the trilogy looks better than ever. I think they are, and always will be the greatest fantasy films ever made. I tried to think of what combination of IP, technology, casting and raw filmmaking talent could possibly top it, and I genuinely couldn't come up with one.
It really is a timeless trilogy of movies. The kind that you go "Wait, this was released in 2001???". Especially when you put it up against contemporary movies. The first Fast and Furious movie came out the same year as Fellowship. Insanity.
 

gorfias

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Aw, bless. The picture on that second video is straight out of the Gor era of fantasy book covers. On which note:
View attachment 5362View attachment 5363
They need an LOL button on these! Yeah, the movie was trying to mimic Frank Frazetta type of art work. Ah me. When I was young and before Internet, ahem, resources.
It is worth watching for about any time a character named Darkwolf is on screen.

Wizards has a genuinely surprising fun ending.

Hmm. Boris Vallejo appears to have been working fairly recently:
1642556715821.png
 
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thebobmaster

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Watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2. It's nowhere near as good as the orginal, but Tobe Hooper played it smart. Rather than trying to actually top the original, the sequel takes a completely different approach, being more of a bloody horror comedy than a surprisingly bloodless suspenseful film, and it's quite successful at being entertaining. Bill Moseley as Chop Top, the twin of the hitchhiker from the original, is particularly entertaining. He's over the top in all the best ways, as is the return of the chef from the original, now given the name of Drayton Sawyer. You just can't hate a movie where the climax kicks off with a sheriff on a revenge trip marching into the bad guy's lair, chainsaw running, singing "Bringing in the Sheaves", and having it get more over-the-top from there.

Again, it's not better than the original, or even as good as. It's still a hell of an entertaining movie, and what it aims to do, it does very well.
 
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BrawlMan

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Watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2. It's nowhere near as good as the orginal, but Tobe Hooper played it smart. Rather than trying to actually top the original, the sequel takes a completely different approach, being more of a bloody horror comedy than a surprisingly bloodless suspenseful film, and it's quite successful at being entertaining. Bill Moseley as Chop Top, the twin of the hitchhiker from the original, is particularly entertaining. He's over the top in all the best ways, as is the return of the chef from the original, now given the name of Drayton Sawyer. You just can't hate a movie where the climax kicks off with a sheriff on a revenge trip marching into the bad guy's lair, chainsaw running, singing "Bringing in the Sheaves", and having it get more over-the-top from there.

Again, it's not better than the original, or even as good as. It's still a hell of an entertaining movie, and what it aims to do, it does very well.
It's the best of the Texas Chainsaw sequels, so I'll give it that. I definitely do love this movie. It only started getting worse after 3, which was decent. It had Ken Foree going for it, but it felt like a glorified remake of the first movie. A problem that never ended and a sin that kept going over and over again.
 

Bartholen

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Léon: The Professional, 7/10

This had been on my Netflix watchlist for literally years, and I finally watched it. Way different from what I expected. Of all the things that have unnerved me deeply in movies, "juvenile delinquent reverse pedophile 12-year old girl" is now close to the top. It was incredibly uncomfortable to watch. I was just squirming in my seat in multiple scenes, and props to the movie for daring to go in such an incredibly twisted and taboo direction. I was expecting the exact opposite of the dynamic present in the movie: that Léon would be the hardened badass taking this girl into his world of darkness. Instead it's Mathilda who's dragging the literal hitman with her down even darker paths. Léon is clearly and constantly out of his depth and element, and I think his character resonates quite differently today than in the mid-90s. He's meek, awkward, quiet, ascetic, even illiterate, and clearly has next to no ability to function in society properly. I thought on a couple of occasions he might even be slightly autistic. That's what makes the character both interesting and terrifying.

The defiance of expectations extends to Gary Oldman as well. I'd assumed his character to be a crazy drug kingpin based on the famous "EVERYYYONNEEEE!" line, but him being a DEA agent adds a whole slew of nuance to the film. By the end I was realizing that the movie is essentially a tragedy played from the villain's perspective. Léon doesn't even think twice about slaughtering cops wholesale and without remorse to defend this completely fucked-up girl. It's at its core a twisted and depressing story where no one's the good guy, and no one wins in the end. It doesn't feel dated at all despite closing in on its 30th anniversary, which is quite remarkable. And Natalie Portman, just whoa. Her first movie role at 12 years old, and she knocks it out of the fucking park. Which is even more amazing considering what a twisted and multilayered character she's playing.

It's maybe a bit long and slow at 132 minutes, and it has a bit of a tonal dissonance in the middle when it's depicting Léon and Mathilda's life together. But I suppose you could say that it's part of the intended effect to juxtapose this cutesy stuff with the horror and tragedy underneath. It's also one of the few movies where I've paid attention to the sound mixing. While the movie is fine overall, the gunshots and explosions are mixed distractingly low, making no louder sounds than cars in the street, which makes the few shootout scenes a bit jarring to watch.