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Thread: What have you watched lately?

  1. #3526

  2. #3527
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    So, back to movies, ARQ is the poor man's Edge of Tomorrow. That pretty much covers it. Carry on.

  3. #3528
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Similar to EOT but not entirely. Main difference's being in more than 1 person affected and the ground hog day effect only occurred within a certain radius which nicks from an episode of Stargate.

  4. #3529
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Groundhog Day was a nice flick that used the time loop trope effectively, because it wasn't trying to be sci-fi. It was a story of personal growth and redemption, and the time loop was a way to compress the change in Bill Murray's character to fit the message of carpe diem, i.e. you can choose to change yourself any day. The time loop required no explanation or suspension of belief, because it wasn't the point.

    Edge of Tomorrow was sci-fi, so they had to come up with a premise for the time loop that was serious enough to hold up to the average person's logic ability while they busy are chugging popcorn, slurping soda, holding their partner's hand, and listening to explosions in THX. For the rest of us, the time loops in Edge of Tomorrow were just a way of peeling off layers of an onion, each time learning more about the aliens and going deeper toward the heart of the alien threat. It wasn't a particularly smart film, but the action and CGI made it a fun watch. And as much as I hate the fact that Tom Cruise is a scientologist, the guy is a really good actor and can make something decent out of an average script.

    ARQ asks us to take the time loop seriously, more like Primer does. That's it's first failure. It also has a somewhat silly premise and back story. That's it's second failure. And the story is pretty short; on film it would work better as a half-hour Twilight Zone episode. There's not enough meat for sci-fi fans to chew on for a full feature film. That's a third failure. Finally, the director and cast approach it like a horror movie. The time loop is just an excuse to throw new scares at the protagonists over and over in the same house. My wife liked it after a couple glasses of wine but I couldn't get into it.
    Last edited by heywood; 6th Mar 2017 at 13:00.

  5. #3530
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Well I'm a junkie for these movies and will keep watching them as long as they keep making them.

    Continuing the streak, tonight was Time Lapse: don't fuck with time. This was one where you could tell they really pulled out the poster board & markers to brainstorm and plot the shit out of it. In that respect it was almost a little too deliberately constructed, or rather it was a bit too leading, although they sort of address why (but not really). I mean "leading" in the sense of implying a hidden author to time jerking people around, as opposed to Primer, which was also meticulously plotted, but still felt natural and organic, even the earphone bits were played naturally, and there was no hidden hand beyond what people did to themselves.

    Well the premise of TL is different in an important way, though. No one's time travelling or repeating time. So the logic of the puzzles & paradoxes have to work differently, it needed that hidden hand for the plot to even work & it couldn't be like those other movies anyway. It did a good job with the premise it gave itself. Better than I could have imagined, and I know because I tried to script the same kind of premise before and I couldn't keep it going more than a few rounds. This carried it the whole movie, so deserves brownie points just for that.

    Anyway I liked it. Fun characters and sort of hokey but fun enough action.

  6. #3531
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Legion. Oh yes. It is good.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm sick of this superhero jamboree thing we've got going on. It was kinda alright at first, but it's so old now. The only reason why I gave Legion a try was because I didn't know it was sortakinda X-Men related going in.

    I'm glad I gave it a chance, because it is grand.

  7. #3532
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I just started that myself, and was pretty much grinning at how it felt like exactly what you'd expect if you had the guy in charge of the Fargo reboot go and do an X-Men show. It displays the exact same brand of twitchy neuroticism Fargo S1 had, only this time it takes over the entire format and presentation of the show while bouncing it off of a few archetypes. It's pretty cool, and the cinematography ensures there's some consistently lovely visuals playing around with those pastel 60s motifs.

  8. #3533
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Nearing the end of the final season of Farscape. I'll say more on it when I'm done, but one episode was quite interesting. The show was in the unique spot of starting up several years prior to 9/11, and so had the outlook we all + tv and movies had back then, but by the time of the final season it had happened and the show reflected on that and of how we went from looking outward to the stars (with dreams of space exploration, colonization of planets etc etc) to only looking inward with hate and distrust of other cultures/religions etc etc. Not everyone became like that obviously, but there was a large monumental shift in that direction ever since that point in time.

    Just the way the show reflected on it, reminded me of how things were vs how they are now. I hope we return to how things used to be some day.

    This is in no way me wanting to start a discussion on 9/11 or whatever (as we've had zillions of threads on it here in comm chat). Just reflecting and remembering of what was. I remember as a kid watching Star Trek and dreaming of visiting other planets some day. How things change.

    In John's (the main character of Farscape) case he hated what the world had become and wanted no part of it. Don't blame him one bit.

  9. #3534
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    iceman I know exactly what you mean. It's even worse for somebody who grew up when we landed on the moon. The hope we had just cannot be explained to those who were not there. Now we seem on the cusp of 1984 newspeak with a growing fear unimaginative dullards and religious fanatics will drag us back into the middle ages. Throw in a bit of Blade Runner corporate controlled dystopia as they gain control of politics more and more and I just don't want to read the news anymore.

    On the other hand the movie "Hacksaw Ridge" is just damn phenomenal and it was robbed at the Oscars. La La Land sucks for even daring to be placed in contention with it. As an ex medic you would assume I would say that but it really is damn good. There are points you think this damn movie is trying to jerk a tear but then you remember it is a true damn story. I had heard the story of pvt. Doss when I was in the service but you figure it to be myth to spur you to greatness. Nobody could do what he did. The odds against it are too crazy. But then you hear his prayer after each man he saves and you know it is. "Just one more. Please God, just one more." That rings true as crystal. I was never the dirt under that mans fingernail but I recognize that pure decency and sacrifice, even self serving hedonist that I am, it brings to mind why I picked medic as my field.

  10. #3535
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Just got back from watching "Logan" at the cinema. Is this the best X-Men movie? I thought the movie was excellent, and there's not really a thing wrong with it, but I would say no. That crown belongs to X-Men - Days of Future Past. All quite debatable though.

    Great acting by all besides the head of the bad guys. I thought that his second in command did a better job. Great plot, and it all ends quite well. Great movie overall. The banter between Logan and Professor X was outstanding. They really mixed well.

    9/10.

  11. #3536
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    Nearing the end of the final season of Farscape.
    Remember, you're not actually to the end until you've also watched The Peacekeeper Wars.
    Last edited by ZylonBane; 12th Mar 2017 at 10:16.

  12. #3537
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    True . I was speaking only of the TV seasons side of it.

  13. #3538
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.

    Been binging a bit here and there on Adventure Time. Just starting season 6.

    Also starting to, slowly, catch up on Black Sails (currently around the middle of season 3).

    Watching the 4th season of The 100 and suffering since I have to wait like everyone else. Same with Steven Universe.

    I'd like to start watching some good current anime series. Any recommendations?

    Ah, and I went recently to the theater to watch Get Out and had a BLAST! Want to watch Logan soon.

  14. #3539
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Steins;Gate is still popular here and running strong.

    And "Kimi no na wa" ('Your name is...?') has been a phenomenon. Person-swap movie actually played out like it should be. The connection to Fukushima was obvious, although I got a little miffed it didn't just tell a story about Fukushima itself and fled to fantasy, but it's a way to more safely deal with it where the feelings are still so raw maybe. And young love is still so innocent here, almost to the breaking point from the west's perspective. But nevermind all that. Still an excellent story and fun to watch, and emotional if you're receptive to it.

    I just noticed Kino's Journey is getting a remake this year. Opinions vary, but I liked the original run. I like the idea of motorcycling through, say, 1959 Europe and really not knowing what to expect. Just rolling with the cultures as they come. This is a fantasy version of that.

    So Manchester by the Sea. It's pretty much distilled depression/frustration with a Boston accent & humor. The one hook is the uncle taking care of a younger version of basically himself, which has a nice karmic edge. It makes me think that we think of sadness differently when it's under the shadow of great tragedy, and that's what was at the core of this movie. If you took away the tragedies, it's just depressed people talking to each other. But add them and it's, not sure the term, but special (sacred is too strong maybe), but not in a way that makes it any easier to deal with.

    Edit. Never sure what to tag for spoilers...
    Last edited by demagogue; 12th Mar 2017 at 19:26.

  15. #3540
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Yeah, Manchester by the Sea was a fair depiction of what dealing with life is like after a crushing tragedy. I thought Casey Affleck did a fine performance, but whether it was something Oscar-worthy is up for debate. I guess I didn't really relate much to the character in the end: he starts off a douche, deals with the situation forced on him with the limited emotional reserve he has while frustration bubbles up to the surface occasionally, remains a douche in the end. Realistic for observational drama, but I didn't get much insight from it, as Affleck remains walking negative space for most of it.

  16. #3541
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I was actually surprised by how funny some of Manchester by the Sea was. While its story is tragic, it isn't crushed under the weight of that tragedy and recognises that there can be humour (if sometimes of a deeply bleak kind) even at the worst moments. And I never thought that the main character was a douche - he's traumatised and deeply damaged by the guilt that's weighing on him, but I found him relatable pretty much throughout.

    Also, Moonlight is gorgeous and beautifully tender. I was a bit worried that the film might be too overt in trying to be meaningful and relevant, but it never feels like the kind of film that is Trying To Say Something Important. Gotta say that I've very much enjoyed all the Oscar nominees I've seen this year.

  17. #3542
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    The humour is what leavened it for me. Like I said, it's not personally relatable to me, perhaps because I've been through the cycle of deeply internalising things until I've decided to let them go, which isn't something he does. He's struggling with deep pain beneath the calm face he wears and lashes out because he hasn't been able to forgive himself, but at the same time makes choices that lock him into being that sort of person forever. That, to me, is pretty selfish, though maybe not in a classically douchebag way. He's got reasons to be a jerk, but those reasons are almost all of his own making.

  18. #3543
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Trainspotting 2

    At one point Trainspotting was my absolutely favourite movie in the world, and I watched it almost every week for a year. In total I've seen it maybe 40-50 times. Like my other favourite movies, it's more about characters than story, so the fact that T2 is a bunch of plotstrands that end up going nowhere particularly interesting, if they go anywhere at all, isn't a big problem. But it also doesn't quite have the same strong character-moments as the first one. Sure, there are a few, like Mark revealing why he's staying in Edinburgh, or the updated Choose Life speech, but a lot of it is also just a movie where characters sitting around talking about the previous movie. "Hey, remember when Tommy died?" "Yup." "Hey, remember when we did all that heroin?" "Yup." Though there's also a few flashbacks to events that weren't in the first movie, instead taken directly from the novel I guess(which I still haven't read, for some reason), and those I enjoyed a lot. Overall, even if it doesn't stand up to the original, I liked this. There's some funny moments, some fantastically gross moments, and I just liked seeing where these characters ended up.

    John Wick 2

    It's what you expect! The action scenes are solid, and I like how they've fleshed out the mythos of Wick's crazy underworld of assassins.

    The Magnificent Seven

    I wanted to like this, but it was just dull as hell. Good actors wasted on boring characters and uninspired action scenes.

    Everest

    Pleasantly down-to-earth portrayal of real-life events that are dramatic enough on their own to not need much additional heightening to make a great movie. If this story has a moral, it's Don't climb Mount Everest!

  19. #3544
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    He's got reasons to be a jerk, but those reasons are almost all of his own making.
    Sure, but I'm not sure I'd be able to, or want to, forgive myself if I felt responsible for the
    spoiler:
    death by fire of my children
    . I can definitely relate to his self-destructive, self-punishing behaviour even without that kind of backstory.

  20. #3545
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I have the impression the Affleck's (and maybe a Damon & Wahlberg or 2) have some mission to bring Boston area sensibility to the masses, and are always on the lookout for vehicles to lampshade it. I've been instructed by my Boston friend that they have a morbid kind of humor that's irresistible, profanity flows like water (which explains the quasi-running joke they had with that), stoicism and burying of feelings is kind of expected, etc, etc. So I had the idea they started with these kinds of primitives and worked their way back to a character that distilled it all, and then just let it play out in the situation they set up.

    If it works, it's because the Boston worldview actually makes a strong impression with its wry mix of tragedy and humor, and if nothing else they accomplished what they set out to do, if that was to put the spotlight on that way of looking at the world.

    Edit: How did I just get double ninja'd (*_*)?

  21. #3546
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    Sure, but I'm not sure I'd be able to, or want to, forgive myself if I felt responsible for the
    spoiler:
    death by fire of my children
    . I can definitely relate to his self-destructive, self-punishing behaviour even without that kind of backstory.
    Indeed, and that's where I mean I gained little to relate to or insight from it. We already have an inkling of what's going on by the time the first barfight explodes onscreen. I understand the pattern, and the movie paints a layered portrait of it, but there are no stakes high enough to cause him to confront his own behaviour in the end. He chooses to hold onto grief and be detached, even when his own brother dies, even as his nephew attempts to call him out on it.

    That's not a flaw, just that the movie isn't about a character arc, it's about a character in stasis, a snapshot of him frozen at a specific point in time, which the movie presents to you. Like I said, it is very well-observed, and done from a clinical enough distance that it works as a character piece, sort of like impressionistic European cinema. It's just that the character doesn't move me at all.

    dema: that context adds a bit more depth to it, I wasn't really aware of that.

    Edit: Thirith, I wonder if you've seen another movie by the name of 'Tyrannosaur'? It's... not pleasant, and some of it could be described as crossing the border into mawkishness, but I think it approaches the character study of Manchester by the Sea in a way that's similar yet different enough to reap a different set of emotions.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 13th Mar 2017 at 09:24.

  22. #3547
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    In other news, I saw Tokyo Godfathers over the weekend, because it keeps coming up in lists along with Paprika, and I liked Perfect Blue more than Black Swan, so what the hey, why not, right?

    And it's pretty much Satoshi Kon through and through, but not through the usual lens. I've never had an anime film draw me in as effortlessly as this one did, with the remarkably alive banter of its ragtag, dysfunctional family unit (that also happens to be homeless). It functions on a few levels, one being a (very odd) familial tragicomedy, and another being a madcap off-kilter Christmas caper, while at the same time being a send-up of the Hollywood Christmas Movie genre.

    That last one is arguably what makes the whole thing tick: so many coincidences happen, with a third-act save at a climactic moment that can only be explained as a slow motion Christmas New Year Miracle, that it's impossible that Kon wasn't having the biggest grin on his face while he was making this. The characters are just slightly exaggerated enough to be silly yet developed enough to be believably tragic; they're an explosion of humanity against the backdrop of wintry Tokyo nights.

    I've always been impressed with how Satoshi Kon's animated films could have easily been live action -- in fact, I'm pretty sure that's how he approached them, not as animation, but as just films, medium be damned. The level of naturalism to the characters - both in the voice acting as well as the animation (when it's not being exaggerated for effect) is brilliant, from the body language to how the actors just seem to inhabit their roles. It's probably what drew me in right at the beginning in the first place.

    It's also just really, really great filmmaking. RIP, Satoshi Kon. The world's a little less rich without you.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 13th Mar 2017 at 13:03.

  23. #3548
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Oi yea Tokyo godfathers was awesome, thought the sane about the coincidences too. Look up Every Frame A Painting episode on paprika on youtube, great insights into Kons style.

  24. #3549
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    That was a good watch, thanks! Also checked out the episode on Kurosawa's blocking of scenes in terms of movement, and it's lovely stuff for someone studying cinematic technique.

  25. #3550
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Edit: Thirith, I wonder if you've seen another movie by the name of 'Tyrannosaur'? It's... not pleasant, and some of it could be described as crossing the border into mawkishness, but I think it approaches the character study of Manchester by the Sea in a way that's similar yet different enough to reap a different set of emotions.
    Yup, I've seen it and enjoyed it (I love Peter Mullan, Olivia Coleman and Eddie Marsan, so how could I not?).

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