Discuss and Rate the Last Film You Watched

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PsychedelicDiamond

Wild at Heart and weird on top
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Apr 4, 2020
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Zack Snyder's Justice League

A lot has been written about this movie, much of it relating to its relationship with a version of itself released in 2017 that director, cast and crew have, mostly, disowned entirely. That version. while still crediting Zack Snyder as its director, was, so goes the story, a tonally and narratively incoherent mess cobbled together from studio notes and reshots done by substitute director Joss Whedon, a reportedly rather nasty person accused of multiple accounts of sexual harassment and bullying. Impressions of this version overwhelmingly assess it on a scale from barely watchable to unwatchable. I'll have to believe those impressions, because I haven't seen that version. What I have seen was Justice League's predecessor, 2016s superhero epic Batman v Superman, also directed by Zack Snyder. Much like Rian Johnson's playful Star Wars sequel Last Jedi, Batman v Superman was a controversial release that earned the ire of the notoriously close minded nerd orthodoxy and was widely considered an act of iconoclasm towards a beloved cultural artefact. The fact that Warner Bros bowed to that outrage lead to the 2017 of Justice League, after Snyders had to quit the project practically on the finish line, following a death in the family. 4 years later, in spite of Warner Bros and in spite of toxic fan culture that would have gladly burned Snyder at the stake for bringing a degree of introspection and social commentary to the superhero genre, we finally get his version of Justice League and what might very well be the most ambitious work the genre ever produced. There are countless angles from which one could review Zack Snyder Justice League. Mine is that of a fan of Snyder's previous works in the genre, mainly Watchmen and Batman v Superman. So, how does it compare, then?

Well, even compared to those two movies, Justice League is an absolute monster. At a runtime of 4 hours and 2 minutes it's the longest movie I've watched since Love Exposure (I swear, I'll get around to Satantango some day) and as a fan of Snyder's previous movies, it managed to subvert my expectations in more than a few ways. Of course I'm using this expression with just a hint of sarcasm, considering the very people treating BvS or TLJ as inexcusable acts of heresy tend to complain about exactly that. So let me clarify that I'm not using it in a negative way. BvS, Justice League's immediate predecessor, was a rather dark and downbeat movie, as big on sociopolitical commentary as it was on spectacle. It adressed themes of political corruption, propaganda, paranoia and many more through a moody and gothic stylistic lense. Justice League, in comparison, is a surprisingly sentimental and, may I say, almost whimsical film. Which isn't to say that it's less thematically rich, mind you. While I'll have to see Justice League a few more times before I can properly compare it to BvS or Watchmen, narrative and visual language both strike me as quite rich. But where Batman v Superman, up until the end, had almost a film noir sensibility to itself, where jaded main characters were investigating sinister conspiracies with a megalomaniacal capitalist in their center, Justice League completely embraces epic fantasy to an overwhelming degree. In retrospect it seems like an obvious development, of course. Where Man of Steel started off with a tone that owed more than a bit to Christopher Nolan's stubborn gritty realism and Batman v Superman had a constant undercurrent of Watchmen's larger than life pop mysticism traing to break through the veneer or a David Fincher style neo noir, Justice League depicts a world of pure magical realism, invoking Guillermo Del Toro and Terry Gilliam in how it depicts a world which is based on our own, yet couldn't possibly be confused for it. Atlanteans live on the bottom of the sea, Amazons on the island of Themysceria off the coast of Greece, a sinister force form another world has its eyes set on all of it. The premise is a rather conventional one, actually. The death of Superman activated three ancient devices, referred to as Motherboxes, which, in turn, catch the attention of horned demonic emissary Steppenwolf, servant of evil overlord Darkseid, who resembles a cross of Thanos from the Avengers and Baron Underbheit from Venture Brothers. Bruce "Batman" Wayne and Diana "Wonder Woman" Prince prepare for his invasion by recruiting a team of six superhumans. They all get their share of character development. Arthur "Aquaman" Curry lives a reclusive life as a local hero in a poor icelandic fishing village, teenagers Barry "The Flash" (Though I don't think anyone if the movie ever calls him that) Allen and Victor "Cyborg" Stone represent a younger generation of heroes and while both, though moreso Stone, come with their share of heavy emotional baggage but still provide a decent contrast to grizzled veterans Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

The reluctant, yet in the end sincere comraderie among these characters is probably the most jarring tonal difference between Batman v Superman and Justice League. Having introduced Bruce Wayne as an unhinged, paranoid mess in the previous movie, his quest for salvation and acceptance of his responsibilities leads to situations where his jaded exterior gives way to moments of self deprecating humor and almost fatherly concern for the younger team members. Cyborg's backstory is a source of angst, yet the focus is on overcoming it rather than wallowing in it. The Flash, for better and for worse, sometimes feels like an exchange student from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an awkward nerdy teenager who uses snark to hide his obvious insecurities. Justice League is not necessarily a light hearted movie, but one with a constant underlying current of warmth and optimism. If Batman v Superman was about the things that divide us, then Justice League is about the things that connect us. In a flashback we find out that when the forces of Darkseid last attacked earth, they were stopped by only by humanity coming together and standing up to him united. It's almost corny in how it puts these themes of hope, love and friendship forward. The best example might be the action sequence that introduces us to Wonder Woman. It's climactic moment involves a far right terrorist holding a group of school children at gunpoint that conjures up very uncomfortable memories of the crimes of Anders Breivik. It ends with Wondy disposing of him with great prejudice and consoling a little girl. Justice League never backs down from the moral that evil can be defeated, that a better future is possible and that personal demons can be overcome.

Justice League is not the end I expected Snyder's trilogy to have, but perhaps the one it needed. It abandons most of the its predecessors more deconstructive elements in favour of something that is just as dramatic and just as opulent, yet also thoroughly uplifting and inspirational. The subtitle "Dawn of Justice" might fit it better than it did Batman v Superman, because, if nothing else, it feels like daybreak after a particularly dark and rainy night. It is jarring, yet not unwelcome, to see Zack Snyder utilize his talent for high drama and unrestrained opulence to build a monument to hope. In retrospect, there was a clear progression from Man of Steel's grounded, matter of fact realism, followed by Batman v Superman's gothic, philosophical deconstructionism to Justice League's triumphant celebration of superhero media. Some scenes suggest that a potential continuation, unlikely as it is, considering the movies history, would go some darker places again, which might be interesting in its own right, but as it is, Justice League concludes Zack Snyder's trilogy on a high note. Was it what I expected? No, for the most part. But I want art to surprise me, not to appease me. Zack Snyder fought hard for his vision to be realized, but he got away with it. And after all he's been through he deserves nothing but respect for it.
 

Thaluikhain

Elite Member
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If anything, it shows how cowardly the US military can be sometimes. God forbid, there is any grey areas or not everyone is clean and pure. Even back then, I felt it was not the best decision when finding out that later detail.
Dunno about that, if you're making the people involved look like cool action heroes (may or may not have been what they were doing, though), might not want the child abuser to be depicted that way. Not saying it was the right move to change that, but it seems at least defensible.
 

McElroy

Elite Member
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Apr 3, 2020
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Silence! BP is awesome. It has some flaws, but it's a good film. I disagree big time.
I haven't even seen the whole film and was just talking about CGI effects. The rhino scene and the final fight scene are universally panned for their unfinished special effects.
The lighthouse doesn't look like a real lighthouse on a real bit of coast.
That happened in a snow globe.

I guess you went wrong expecting realism. I mean, Dolph Lundgren is in the movie.
 

XsjadoBlayde

Intersectional Multidimensional Pansexual Alliance
Apr 29, 2020
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Dunno about that, if you're making the people involved look like cool action heroes (may or may not have been what they were doing, though), might not want the child abuser to be depicted that way. Not saying it was the right move to change that, but it seems at least defensible.
The military had veto over every part of the film, so the actual honest information is only in the book of the events by journalist Mark Bowden;


Also, the part about Stebbins from the wiki page;

SPC John Stebbins was renamed as fictional "John Grimes." Stebbins had been convicted by court martial in 1999 for the rape and forcible sodomy of his six-year-old daughter.[7] Mark Bowden said the Pentagon, ever sensitive about public image decided to alter factual history by requesting the change.[8]
 

Agema

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
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I guess you went wrong expecting realism. I mean, Dolph Lundgren is in the movie.
I approve of Dolph Lundgren in the movie. One of the better parts.

It actually took me a long time to realise it was Dolph Lungren, which was about 20% the weird soft focus pervading the film, and 80% sheer disbelief they would cast Dolph Lundgren.
 

BrawlMan

Lover of beat'em ups.
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I approve of Dolph Lundgren in the movie. One of the better parts.

It actually took me a long time to realise it was Dolph Lungren, which was about 20% the weird soft focus pervading the film, and 80% sheer disbelief they would cast Dolph Lundgren.
Because he's Dolph Fucking Lundgren! That's why!

I haven't even seen the whole film and was just talking about CGI effects. The rhino scene and the final fight scene are universally panned for their unfinished special effects.
Okay then.

The military had veto over every part of the film, so the actual honest information is only in the book of the events by journalist Mark Bowden;


Also, the part about Stebbins from the wiki page;
Thank you for proving my point.
 

Gordon_4

The Big Engine
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If anything, it shows how cowardly the US military can be sometimes. God forbid, there is any grey areas or not everyone is clean and pure. Even back then, I felt it was not the best decision when finding out that later detail.
The problem with including that detail is it happens six years after the events of Black Hawk Down so it’s not relevant to actions taken on screen, and any foreshadowing is just going to look ham handed and weird. Second of all even if the Pentagon didn’t veto the shit out of it, as a filmmaker a decision like this is the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. If you leave the guy in unaltered there will be a shitstorm about glorifying a child rapist. Leaving him out or replacing him (which they did) and you get....well this. And it’s not like he’s the only thing that got the chop: there was supposed to be a Pakistani armoured division with them at the end, and all manner of bad behaviour from the Rangers on the ground that would actually have been pertinent to the plot that was casually sanded off.
 
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BrawlMan

Lover of beat'em ups.
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The problem with including that detail is it happens six years after the events of Black Hawk Down so it’s not relevant to actions taken on screen, and any foreshadowing is just going to look ham handed and weird. Second of all even if the Pentagon didn’t veto the shit out of it, as a filmmaker a decision like this is the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. If you leave the guy in unaltered there will be a shitstorm about glorifying a child rapist. Leaving him out or replacing him (which they did) and you get....well this. And it’s not like he’s the only thing that got the chop: there was supposed to be a Pakistani armoured division with them at the end, and all manner of bad behaviour from the Rangers on the ground that would actually have been pertinent to the plot that was casually sanded off.
Honestly, fine,I don't care too much at this point. Plus, I never really liked BHD any way.
 

Thaluikhain

Elite Member
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The military had veto over every part of the film, so the actual honest information is only in the book of the events by journalist Mark Bowden;

But, the first part of the film is about showing the US forces as incompetent and vaguely sinister. I dunno why we are here, I just want to kill things. This is my safety catch. We probably will only be there for the afternoon, so we definitely don't need extra water or night vision devices. No man gets left behind, oh the convoy has forgotten us and driven off.

Was that just being incompetent at not showing themselves to be incompetent, or am I missing something?
 
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Baffle

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Apr 6, 2020
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Birds of Prey. Took ages to get going and the narration is annoying.
Interstellar: Matthew McConaughey's hidin' in ur bookcase, touchin' all ur dust. (I've seen this before but obviously never got to the end. Mad. The best bit is the water world, would've liked the film to be a bit more of just checking out cool planets.)
 

Xprimentyl

Made you look...
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Apr 10, 2020
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The Lie: OMG / Great

A film starring Mireille Enos (the mother,) Peter Sarsgaard (the father) and Joey King (the daughter.) Mom and dad are divorced and the film starts with mom dropping of the daughter to dad who’s responsible for getting her to some ballet event for the weekend. During the drive, the daughter notices her friend at a bus stop on a remote country road; she’s going to same event, so the dad offers her a ride. A little ways into the commute, the friend decides she has to pee, and requests the dad pull over; both girls get out and disappear into the woods together. After some time, the father becomes concerned, and goes into the snow-laden woods in search of the girls. He hears a singular scream, follows it, and finds his daughter sitting on a bridge over an icy river, alone. The daughter confesses that she pushed her friend into the river, and after frantically attempting to find her, he decides it’s impossible, and they leave the scene. They go back to the mother, and the parents together decide to try and protect their daughter from prosecution, to lie and cover up their involvement with the friend’s disappearance.

The movie leans heavily on anxiety, as one could imagine, but I feel it works really well. It’s a gut-punch of a film, but I recommend it.
 

happyninja42

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May 7, 2020
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Mr. Right.

It's basically Grosse Point Blank, but a bit goofier, and that film was already goofy. I happen to LOVE GPB, mind you, so I don't really care. For those who haven't seen GPB, Mr. Right follows the adventures of a nameless (for most of the film) hitman, who now goes around killing people who hire him, because "killing is wrong." He has a crazy random happenstance and meets Anna Kendrick's character (sorry I can't remember her name, Anna is always just...Anna Kendrick to me), and they have instant chemistry, and start a wild romance. This is all interspersed with the actions of various hitman and cops, with their own agendas, messing up their romantic weekend. And I love it.

Sam Rockwell being an absolute gem of a character. I love him in everything he's done. Even if it's a film I'm not a fan of, he will be the shining point in that film regardless. I honestly can't think of a film he's done that I've seen, that I didn't enjoy his work. Anna Kendrick as the love interest/lead character.

The two of them have fantastic, goofy chemistry. I'd seriously love to see the two of them do other films together, like I do with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.

It's hard to describe why I like Max Landis' writing so much but, I really do. This, and American Ultra, had the perfect blend of silly comedy and absurdity, but also a touching bit of drama, American Ultra specifically.

But, yeah I really enjoy this film. My wife and I watched it last night, and were both just giggling. The plot is very predictable, but, I don't really mind, because Max seems to take efforts in his script, to make what is a very standard plot, feel enjoyable. So even though you see the bends and turns coming, it's still fun. Actually I'd equate it to a roller coaster ride. You KNOW where you are going, it's clearly laid out in front of you, but, you still find yourself with your arms up, screaming and laughing as you go through it.

The supporting cast is equally enjoyable, all around really. A particular rapper turned actor for this film (RZA) was a wonderful supporting character. It's really just a fun little romcom/assassin film.
 

Dwarvenhobble

Is on the Gin
May 26, 2020
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Casino Royale

I wasn't a fan of the new direction proposed for the Bond Franchise so I'm only just getting round to bothering with them.

I surprisingly enjoyed it more than I thought I would but I still think it really didn't feel right. It felt like it wanted to be more silly or should have been allowed to be because it was still over the top as hell but trying to play itself more serious.

Also can anyone tell me if this was a plot hole or if it is just some set up for something later in the new bond franchise.

Le Chiffre's girlfriend / lover poisons Bond's drink and she wasn't that concerned over the idea of the terrorist group wanting to cut off her arm, she also wasn't there at the torture room / hide out. Is there more to her than was revealed because you'd think Bond or MI6 would have considered her a lead but seemingly she was ignored later in the film and just didn't seem to appear.
 

Drathnoxis

Artificial Person
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Detective Pikachu. It was alright, I guess. For a movie with detective in the title it wasn't a very good mystery movie at all. All the main breakthroughs in the case came from the villain straight up telling the main characters and the rest of the movie was blundering around causing mayhem and destruction without really finding out very much. It was an action movie where the Pikachu wore a hunting hat. It was a detective movie in the same way that Batman is a detective comic, as in not at all. Would have been a much better movie if it had been focused on a more small scale mystery rather than a city wide plot by a cackling madman.

Edit: Also it was so stupid when the journalist woman was running through the streets telling people to not let their pokemon breath in the gas. It's everywhere, what is she expecting them to do, suffocate their pokemon? Bust out the SCBA everyone is secretly lugging around?
 
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Piscian

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I watched The Empty Man (2020) over the course of the last two days. Despite the generic title it was anything but generic. Well I don't profess to be a fan of his reviews I happened to catch Chris Stuckmann talking about it on youtube the other day. He mentioned it had flew under the radar with no press last year and it has a small cult following. That was enough for me, I shut him off and picked it up.

It's really hard to describe this film and it's really jarring to watch play out. So much so that unless you finished the film you'd think it was some halfway completed horror film cobbled together by a bunch of writers and directors. It one of those rare horror films that has everything but the kitchen sink. It's a spooky horror film surrounding the Empty Man urban legend trope, There's a cult, an ex-cop solving a disappearance and a dash of "what is even real?" unreliable narrator stuff. I say that with all positivity. If I tried to talk someone into watching this I'd ask if you're a fan of the Silent Hill Franchise, do you enjoy stuff like The Wicker Man and Midsommar and do you have patience? Because this is 2 hours long, which is extreme for a horror film.

I liked it, but only under those prerequisites. It's scary at times, but thats definitely not the focus. It's a mystery film...kinda. I'd recommend it to folks more fascinated by unusual films and narratives than people wanting a horror movie. I think if you're into David Lynch this would make for a pleasant evening. It won't blow your mind, but I think David Lynch fans would enjoy it.

One thing Id agree with other reviews on is that you should try to watch it with headphones or a really good sound setup, because they did an amazing job on the sound track. There was a part where its growing loud bass with scary verb tones and just underneath it I swear to god I hear footsteps in the bass when there wasnt in the movie. I had to pause it because I literally thought someone was upstairs or on my porch or something and I freaked out for a second.
 

Breakdown

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Coming To America.

I watched this out of curiosity before I watch the new sequel. I remembered it being pretty funny from when I watched the film as a kid but it does not hold up. Eddie Murphy is as charismatic as ever, but the jokes just fall flat.
 

Agema

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
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Moxie (2021)

Teenage girl discovers her mother's old stash of Riot grrrl memorabilia and is inspired to fight sexism in her school with a suitably racially diverse group of allies. Pretty much designed to enrage the anti-SJW crowd. It's cliched, unadventurous, clumsy in places, rushes and fudges the ending. Lacks sharpness and the humour is at best mild: there are a lot of better teenage girl growing pains films. But, it's okay. Pretty solid, middle ranking effort.
 

Dwarvenhobble

Is on the Gin
May 26, 2020
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Moxie (2021)

Teenage girl discovers her mother's old stash of Riot grrrl memorabilia and is inspired to fight sexism in her school with a suitably racially diverse group of allies. Pretty much designed to enrage the anti-SJW crowd. It's cliched, unadventurous, clumsy in places, rushes and fudges the ending. Lacks sharpness and the humour is at best mild: there are a lot of better teenage girl growing pains films. But, it's okay. Pretty solid, middle ranking effort.
So Assassination Nation but not going as extreme then?
 

thebobmaster

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Finally got back to my marathon and watched Leprechaun: In the Hood.

While the title makes the movie sound ridiculous, and the movie is in fact ridiculous for the most part, it is certain the best of the Leprechaun movies so far. It knows when to get goofy, but when it wants to be serious, the acting on display is actually pretty solid, especially for a horror movie.