Discuss and Rate the Last Film You Watched

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Thaluikhain

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All Quiet on the Western Front (1979)

Made for TV movie adaptation of the classic German novel about how being in the trenches of WW1 wasn't much fun. Well done, got the bleakness across without gratuitous blood and guts, though longer than seemed necessary, though that could be an adaptation thing.
 

Casual Shinji

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I've been reflecting a bit more on my time with Prey, and some things stuck out to me (less than favorably).

First of all, Naru (I think that's the girl's name) spends most of the time in the background watching the Predator kill something or someone else. It never feels like in those moments she's at risk, because there's no real direct interaction between the two. I mean, I get it, we need to have scenes where she's aware of the Predator without the Predator actively fighting her, because at this point she'd get totally gutted if it did. But as is there's four times where she's just looking on from cover; Predator v.s. the bear, Predator v.s. her tribes men, Predator v.s. the french pelters, and Predator v.s... well, him just checking out an empty camp.

Other than this being kinda dull, it also takes precious time away from the cat and mouse game that's supposed to really test her skills against this thing. Instead we get a very rushed final confrontation which is just a straight up fight. It skips on the tension of the Predator trying to track her location while she's trying to evade/trick it. Similar to the third act in the first movie. Not that this movie should just copy that, but it was the best utilization of the Predator v.s. a human being. Honestly, the most tense sequence in this movie is when Naru gets stuck in the mud and needs to hook her rope and axe to a tree stump as she slowly sinks. And it has nothing to do with the Predator.

Speaking of the fight, there were a few moments that felt like Naru suddenly gained the strength of four men, like when she rips off one of the Pred's mandibles to stab it in the eye, and another moment where she pulls him over into the mud. Who knows, maybe those mandibles are just that easy to snap off, though I doubt that, but her pulling this behemoth over by herself? Nah, sorry. I can buy four dudes tripping it over by pulling the chain that's attached to the bear trap it has its foot stuck in, but not this young girl pulling it over with just a rope.


Also, I've seen people praising this movie's cinematography and I must say... REALLY?! I mean, I've seen worse looking movies, but this just felt like the same flat and textureless visuals as most blockbuster movies today. Granted I didn't find Dune very intriguing to look at neither, so maybe I'm just peculiar about cinematography. Or maybe I'm just very adverse to the digital sheen that's on most movies now.
 
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Piscian

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I've been reflecting a bit more on my time with Prey, and some things stuck out to me (less than favorably).

First of all, Naru (I think that's the girl's name) spends most of the time in the background watching the Predator kill something or someone else. It never feels like in those moments she's at risk, because there's no real direct interaction between the two. I mean, I get it, we need to have scenes where she's aware of the Predator without the Predator actively fighting her, because at this point she'd get totally gutted if it did. But as is there's four times where she's just looking on from cover; Predator v.s. the bear, Predator v.s. her tribes men, Predator v.s. the french pelters, and Predator v.s... well, him just checking out an empty camp.

Other than this being kinda dull, it also takes precious time away from the cat and mouse game that's supposed to really test her skills against this thing. Instead we get a very rushed final confrontation which is just a straight up fight. It skips on the tension of the Predator trying to track her location while she's trying to evade/trick it. Similar to the third act in the first movie. Not that this movie should just copy that, but it was the best utilization of the Predator v.s. a human being. Honestly, the most tense sequence in this movie is when Naru gets stuck in the mud and needs to hook her rope and axe to a tree stump as she slowly sinks. And it has nothing to do with the Predator.

Speaking of the fight, there were a few moments that felt like Naru suddenly gained the strength of four men, like when she rips off one of the Pred's mandibles to stab it in the eye, and another moment where she pulls him over into the mud. Who knows, maybe those mandibles are just that easy to snap off, though I doubt that, but her pulling this behemoth over by herself? Nah, sorry. I can buy four dudes tripping it over by pulling the chain that's attached to the bear trap it has its foot stuck in, but not this young girl pulling it over with just a rope.


Also, I've seen people praising this movie's cinematography and I must say... REALLY?! I mean, I've seen worse looking movies, but this just felt like the same flat and textureless visuals as most blockbuster movies today. Granted I didn't find Dune very intriguing to look at neither, so maybe I'm just peculiar about cinematography. Or maybe I'm just very adverse to the digital sheen that's on most movies now.
Somewhat self explanatory, but in each case the Predator doesn't see her as a combatant. She notes this a couple times and many times throughout the film the Predator gives both creatures and people the opportunity to decide "If they want some of this shit?". It watches prey animals looking to prove itself against other predators. Theres moments in the film where theres visual metaphors showing her being like the small rabbits the predator sees as beneath it. The theme of the film is that, like her, this predator is young and untested, going through the same ritual. As for overtaking the predator she slices his calf muscle and then uses her weight to tip him over, she doesnt drag him, I just checked. She does seem pretty skilled but not so superhuman so it never took me out of the immersion.

Regarding your visual complaints regarding the film, I got nothing. I thought the film was beautiful. I think you may be on an island there.



One of the choices I really enjoyed about this film is that they didnt push the "girl power in a mans world" theme. Its noted the tribe acknowledges shes the best tracker and her brother is supportive of her want to become a warrior. She gets hazed, but its more typical teenager stuff and no one tells her what she can or cant do, they just see her as an untested kid whos enthusiasm is irritating. I like it because its not cliche, and when she does "kickass" it doesn't feel like too much stretch or feel like the message is more important than her character. I think this movie could have easily been terrible, but they really threaded the needle to make it all work. I loved the touch of the french guys not understanding her, so to an audience member it still feels like natives are speaking a foreign language even though its english.

If I had two minor complaints, the animal CGI was just bordering uncanny. In some spots you cant tell, but in the close ups it just wasn't quite perfect. I forgive it as they couldn't harm animals and you can tell they filmed actual animals and used CGI only when they had to. Ill take reasonably competent CGI. I acknowledge going all practical would have been a struggle.

Secondly, the herb that makes your body cold I had mixed feelings about. I felt it was a bit of cheese at the time, but I looked it up and confirmed, in theory yeah there are herbs that do that. Its a bit convenient, but I let it go.

Theres some debate on reddit about the predator accidentally shooting itself. I kinda justify it by assuming she fucked around with the mask and figured it out by watching him and at that point in the movie the predator was pretty fucked up and not thinking straight. The argument on reddit is that this predator is still a kid like her and that the movie shows hes pretty arrogant. I think thats kind of the theme, when she talks about animals chewing their own legs off to escape traps. The movie shows her growing in parallel with the Predator failing its own trial.
 
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Casual Shinji

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Somewhat self explanatory, but in each case the Predator doesn't see her as a combatant. She notes this a couple times and many times throughout the film the Predator gives both creatures and people the opportunity to decide "If they want some of this shit?". It watches prey animals looking to prove itself against other predators. Theres moments in the film where theres visual metaphors showing her being like the small rabbits the predator sees as beneath it. The theme of the film is that, like her, this predator is young and untested, going through the same ritual.
I'm fine with that, but doing the same thing four times feels uninspired and it makes the main character feel uninvolved. I wanted more interesting (indirect) interactions with the Predator other than 'Naru watches from cover as he kills some people'. As much as I like the scene where the pelters get butchered, I feel it comes at the expense of more interesting scenes between Naru and the Predator.

As for overtaking the predator she slices his calf muscle and then uses her weight to tip him over, she doesnt drag him, I just checked. She does seem pretty skilled but not so superhuman so it never took me out of the immersion.
We see the dude lifting a bear after said bear had sunk its teeth into him. I'm sorry, but unless she cut through both his achilles tendons she's not tipping this guy over.

Theres some debate on reddit about the predator accidentally shooting itself. I kinda justify it by assuming she fucked around with the mask and figured it out by watching him and at that point in the movie the predator was pretty fucked up and not thinking straight. The argument on reddit is that this predator is still a kid like her and that the movie shows hes pretty arrogant. I think thats kind of the theme, when she talks about animals chewing their own legs off to escape traps. The movie shows her growing in parallel with the Predator failing its own trial.
I'm more confused about how this "helmet" even operates as it appears to be no more than a skull face. I get the little aiming circuit, we can actually see that, but where is the thermal vision in that thing? There's no eye holes or goggles, it's just bone, yet he can see indentical to the more advanced Predator from the first movie. By the way, I get wanting to change the Predator's face, but this guy's face looked not great. Having real human eyes behind the prosthetics in the first movie added so much to that creature.
 
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BrawlMan

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My understanding is that this is the movie that started the trend of buddy cop movies.
Not started, but heavily popularized the genre. Early pioneers were Stray Dog, In The Heat of the Night, and Freebie and The Bean. The biggest starts were 48 Hours and Running Scared. Then Lethal Weapon came, and it became open season on the genre, because it is so damn good.

The plot itself? It starts with a woman having killed herself, and the plot concerns our leads trying to solve that case, which involves a large scale drug operation. This totally lost me. Normally with a police procedural you get to see the case being laid out and the police connecting the dots while interrogating witnesses to let the viewer be part in the solving process. In this movie: no such luck. I lost track of how many times our leads went to a place to find things out and it immediately turned into a shoot-out. It was almost comical, and I didn't get a strong sense of the psychology that made the bad guys act how they did, leaving me with the thought "Well, I guess this just happened." rather than "Oh, I see why they'd do that.".
While you are not wrong in some parts, not every spot lead to a shoot out. Plus, this was typical stuff from the time. Also, the LW series from what I've been told, is more of a stealth parody apparently, but I did not realize that until 2009. The first movie is more of a film noir, so not sure if you noticed. So similar to that, you have the conspiracy storylines and such. The bad guys acted in a way that makes sense to me. Roger's old friend was in some deep shit, his friend wanted out, his merc buddies Shadow Company killed the man's daughter for getting cold feet. Riggs and Roger get the info, and the bad guys want to kill them for knowing too much. By the way, were you watching the theatrical cut or director's cut? The Director's Cut irons out a few details and adds a couple of scenes to flesh out Riggs, and give some more details on the bad guys.
 
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Thaluikhain

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Bit off topic, but I like how the later Lethal Weapon tv series had to get rid of Riggs' character, because the actor playing him was harassing cast and crew and other bad behaviour. Trying to be Mel Gibson thing a bit too much?
 
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Bedinsis

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While you are not wrong in some parts, not every spot lead to a shoot out.
Fair. One of them led to a house being blown up.
Plus, this was typical stuff from the time. Also, the LW series from what I've been told, is more of a stealth parody apparently, but I did not realize that until 2009. The first movie is more of a film noir, so not sure if you noticed. So similar to that, you have the conspiracy storylines and such.
I've come to despise so called stealth parodies. We have a world full of stories, experiences, people and fates that a story can be about; stealth parodies claim to be about those things only to go "Oh, no, no, no, we are not about any of those things, we are about the medium itself." It's so naval gazing. It also brings to mind the phrase "I meant to do that".
The bad guys acted in a way that makes sense to me. Roger's old friend was in some deep shit, his friend wanted out, his merc buddies Shadow Company killed the man's daughter for getting cold feet. Riggs and Roger get the info, and the bad guys want to kill them for knowing too much.
You know what? I take it back. The bad guy acted with a consistent psychology. A very simple-minded psychology, and had the leads acted how I thought they'd act a very stupid psychology, but a consistent psychology. With all the killings they did I thought the natural cause of action would be for our leads to call in back-up, since clearly this was people who were a danger for public safety, and their behaviour would put the police on high alert for them. That's not what our leads did, so their behaviour made sense.

Now that I think about it: the problem was that the movie makers choose not to dramatize the crime solving process as anything more than by-the-by conversation, and scenes were I would think they'd get more info led to shoot-outs and people that could provide information dead.
By the way, were you watching the theatrical cut or director's cut. The Director's Cut irons out a few details and adds a couple of scenes to flesh out Riggs, and give some more details on the bad guys.
I saw the version that's on HBO Max. It had a scene where Riggs is alone in his trailer-house(?) watching a Christmas cartoon and contemplating suicide.
 
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Thaluikhain

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I've come to despise so called stealth parodies. We have a world full of stories, experiences, people and fates that a story can be about; stealth parodies claim to be about those things only to go "Oh, no, no, no, we are not about any of those things, we are about the medium itself." It's so naval gazing. It also brings to mind the phrase "I meant to do that".
Yeah, or they pretend not to be making the lowbrow/sleazy/whatever movie they are making, they are complaining about those people who do by making the same thing themselves.
 

BrawlMan

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Now that I think about it: the problem was that the movie makers choose not to dramatize the crime solving process as anything more than by-the-by conversation, and scenes were I would think they'd get more info lead to shoot-outs and people that could provide information dead.
The sequels somewhat fix that issue, so some good news. Though there is still issue of the duo, with some buddies depending on the sequel, going at it alone and not waiting for back up.

I saw the version that's on HBO Max. It had a scene where Riggs is alone in his trailer-house(?) watching a Christmas cartoon and contemplating suicide.
That's in both versions. The Director's Cut version has a scene where before meeting each other, Riggs deals with a hostage situation in a school. That's in the Director's Cut version only.

I'll help you out a little a bit. If you want a more grounded buddy cop movie, either watch In The Heat of the Night, 48 Hours, or Running Scared.
 
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Bedinsis

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The Director's Cut version has a scene where before meeting each other, Riggs deals with a hostage situation in a school. That's in the Director's Cut version only.
I did not see a scene of that sort, so presumably it's the theatrical cut I saw.
I'll help you out a little a bit. If you want a more grounded buddy cop movie, either watch In The Heat of the Night, 48 Hours, or Running Scared.
Most kind of you.
 
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BrawlMan

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I did not see a scene of that sort, so presumably it's the theatrical cut I saw.
I don't know why WB keeps doing this. The director's cut version of Lethal Weapons 1 through 3 are on standard dvd, but not on blu-ray. That's another problem with streaming. Why would they put in the theatrical cut, but not the directors cut?

Most kind of you.
Always happy to help. One more thing, if you want something that's a little more over the top at some point, I recommend Drive (1997). It predates Rush Hour by a year, and predates The Matrix by 2 years, its action scenes. If you have an Amazon Prime account, don't watch that version as only the theatrical cut is available on digital streaming. The director's cut got released on Blu-ray and DVD last year, so just get that one, if you're curious.

 

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Prey - It's good.

The Devil You Pay - it's good.

Nightmare Alley - it's very good.

Bull - it's ok.

Memoria - it's better with a soundtrack played over. I found these to help;





Repression - It's fine.

Oculus - it's alright.

Aliens - It's long overdue but at least now I retroactively understand the context of 1000s of interweb memes.
 
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Piscian

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Prey - It's good.

The Devil You Pay - it's good.

Nightmare Alley - it's very good.

Bull - it's ok.

Memoria - it's better with a soundtrack played over. I found these to help;





Repression - It's fine.

Oculus - it's alright.

Aliens - It's long overdue but at least now I retroactively understand the context of 1000s of interweb memes.
"We got nukes! We got knives, sharp sticks!"
 

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WarGames (1983):

Not my first time seeing it, but honestly, it holds up pretty damn well and is remarkably grounded in reality for an "Rogue AI threatens to destroy the world" plot.

For those unfamiliar, here's a brief rundown: After a series of drills showed that a good portion of the people in the missile silos would hesitate and refuse to launch if they got their orders but couldn't confirm them (against regulation), they're automating the system. The top brass says to launch missiles, the orders go to an AI which determines the optimal targets and launches all the requisite missiles in accordance to its orders.

Meanwhile, we jump to our protagonist, a very young Matthew Broderick in his role as a brilliant but lazy high school student, computer and video games enthusiast, and amateur hacker. And I mean actual hacking, not that hollywood magic stuff. He wants to get into the school databases to change his grades? He arranges to get sent to the faculty office because he knows the password is written down there. He wants to break into a new game company's website? He figures out the area code and uses wardialing to find likely sites, and even then he has to use social engineering to figure out a backdoor.

...And that's where the plot kicks off: He finds the AI, which is loaded with a few strategically relevant games, including one titled "Global Thermonuclear War", making him curious. So he figures out a way into the system and starts playing the game. ...Meanwhile at Norad, all the screens are now showing missile launches in accordance to his plays. He's called away and a news report the next day clues him into the very real consequences of what he did. Terrified, he throws out the number and resolves never to do that again. ...And then the AI calls him because it wants to keep playing the game...and is in the process of trying to get the military to give it the codes to launch its missiles for its turn. Meanwhile, said military has traced the hack and assumes that it was intentional and that they have Broderick dead to rights on espionage.

Cutting to the chase, for a movie about AI and hacking, it's actually surprisingly grounded and well written. So yeah, I recommend this one.
 
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Thaluikhain

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Also, massively influential on the way society views hackers, including lots of up and coming hackers themselves.
 

Xprimentyl

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Prey: Good / Great

Set about 300 years in the past, a Predator (yes, that one) ravages a Native American tribe, and a young woman, dead set on proving her skill as a hunter and proving that the threat is not a mere animal, sets out to hunt him down.

Quality-wise, this has all the trappings of a made-for-TV movie. Not bad, but doesn't feel like it got the investment of, say, a direct Predator sequel meant to trumpet the iconic franchise. I don't feel like the Predator was characterized enough; he might as well have been just another movie monster. Most of what we see of him is what other people see; we see him dropped off by a cloaked ship, and what follows is the tribe's people finding random animals he has slaughtered and skinned while refusing to be bothered to believe it's not the work of a lion or French fur trappers who serve as ancillary antagonist giving a context for the young woman to exposit the predator's methods and motivations. That's to say, he doesn't come off as clever or methodical, just determined. Worth the watch, just not as great as it could have been given the source material.
 
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Xprimentyl

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I'm more confused about how this "helmet" even operates as it appears to be no more than a skull face. I get the little aiming circuit, we can actually see that, but where is the thermal vision in that thing? There's no eye holes or goggles, it's just bone, yet he can see indentical to the more advanced Predator from the first movie. By the way, I get wanting to change the Predator's face, but this guy's face looked not great. Having real human eyes behind the prosthetics in the first movie added so much to that creature.
Heeeey..... Yeah! I've not seen the first Predator in ages, but wasn't it his helmet that provided the thermal vision?? That bone skull thingy in Prey didn't have lenses as far as I could tell. I just look at it; it doesn't even appear to have eyeholes.