MOVIES ...
#61
I've watched a couple of films lately that I thought were ok/interesting. First was Bad Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. It's a comedy with Seth Rogan and Zach Effron and the sequel to Bad Neighbors. It's fine, kills a little time and you'll have a few laughs. Anyone who saw the first one, or happens to like comedies with Seth Rogan with pretty much know what this is going in. It's fine, it's stupid and a laugh.

The other one was Captain America: Civil War. I'll try to avoid spoilers, though there will be some minor points I mention that could be mild spoiler territory.

To get it out of the way right off the bat (no pun intended), I'm going to get the comparison with Batman v Superman out of the way. I know I said in my post about BvS that Marvel and DC films aren't comparable, but having watched these two films, this time I do think they can be compared. Thematically there's quite a few similarities and parallels that can be drawn. Whether you compare Captain America and Iron Man's dispute to Superman and Batman's, the motivations, the influences from the public, the use of the press in both films and honestly the weight of the conflict and the same basic concerns that is the source for both are undeniably similar. I think both are excellent, somewhat for different reasons, but my personal preference is towards BvS. Aside from the fact that that I have grown up on Batman and Superman (and Spider-man but he's just a cameo really), I think BvS gave me more meat to sink my teeth into and the direction Zack Snyder took the film in really appealed to me as it was influenced by comics and graphic novels I grew up on and still remain some of my favourite stories. I enjoyed both, while BvS gave me something more abstract in it's storytelling, CW was more literal and direct.

Comparisons out of the way, I think CW was an excellent film, pretty much my favourite Marvel film to date. I liked the fact that consequences of actions were being discussed and it's relationship with real world political structures. More than that, I thought there was a gravity to the personal places that the characters were in that haven't been explored as deeply, or rather anywhere near as well, in previous Marvel films. Seeing the heart of the conflict for both the lead characters was actually quite emotionally affecting, although personally I didn't think many of the supporting characters were as well done, with the exception of maybe a couple.

The cinematography was excellent, it was very much along the lines of The Winter Soldier, but ramped up with some scenes being spectacular because it was clear that they were special effects, but looked very natural. The action sequences were also very, very well done and choreographed. Again, it's what you've come to expect from Marvel films, but just ramped up to be all the more spectacular.

Onto what I wasn't keen on. As mentioned I thought some of the secondary characters were disappointing. In what was a deep and heavy conflict, they offered comic relief, but it felt out of place for me given the nature of the fight. To be specific, I thought Ant-Man was great as a character who added fun to the whole thing and he had some awesome moments, but honestly when I look at what his role was in the film, he was brought in for the big fight between the two sides, a fight that imo never really felt more than a cool action scene, as I didn't feel much emotion or heavy heartedness when watching it, as with the exception of one casualty, the whole conflict went without any significant consequences. On the contrary, the final fight scene in the film was totally the opposite, it did feel very personal and had a lot of weight to it and thus was probably my favourite action based scene in the film.

However, with all my issues with side characters, I did really like Black Panther and Spider-Man. Black Panther was just awesome, especially in his action scenes and without being too familiar with the character, it got my curiosity and interest for the standalone film up tenfold. As for Spider-Man, I thought Tom Holland nailed it in this version. Spider-Man is one of three characters I grew up on (the others being Batman and Superman), and this may have been my favourite on screen representation of the character I've seen, though I'll wait until the stand alone film to make a proper judgement.

The other weak spot for me was the soundtrack. I don't think it's just this, but pretty much all Marvel films leave me feeling disappointed with the soundtrack. There's nothing that I find memorable or anything unique.

All in all though, this was an excellent film, I had really good fun with it and it surpassed my expectations.
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#62
I would be interested if people had thoughts to share about films they watch. I'm surely not the only one watching them here and I doubt I'm the only one that's watched BvS, Star Wars and Civil War here Big Grin Would like to know what others thought of the films.

Anyway, I just wanted to post as I watched the director's cut (i.e. Ultimate Edition) of BvS and thought I'd share a few thoughts. There will be some minor spoiler territory stuff, but not going into specifics.

For those who read my previous posts, I was a big fan of the theatrical cut of the film, but having now watched the UE I won't watch the theatrical cut again. The UE should have been the version released theatrically. Yes, it's a 3 hour film and frankly those who hated the original version probably won't like this one. However, the scenes it adds make the film much more cohesive and helps the film flow better.

More than that, some pretty vital scenes to the story are included, fleshing out the opening sequence in Africa, Clark Kent's story helping flesh out his motivations, Lois Lane's story arc (which many found weak) and fully explaining Lex Luthor's motivations and actions, which for me was the strangest element of the theatrical cut as I felt it jumped quite a lot with him. There's also things that weren't explained clearly in the theatrical cut that are here. You get a better understanding of what occurs at certain points and actions that characters take, but you also get a more fleshed out world, understanding better what some of the side characters are doing and why.

I loved the theatrical cut, I didn't have any difficulty with the plot or motivations and most of the gaps I filled myself by putting two and two together. However, given that there were scenes that filled these in the original cut (UE cut) and made for the film to flow better, it's a real shame that the film was ever cut.

For those who had issues with certain individual moments in the film, such as the now infamous Martha scene, the end battle or the way other Justice League characters were introduced, this cut won't change their minds. Personally, I loved those moments, I thought the criticism of the Martha scene has been unfair and that's one of my favourite scenes in the film, the end battle is totally justifiable given it's fundamentally a massive blockbuster and I never really expected more from the cameos.

However, I feel most sorry for Zack Snyder and those who made this film. Warner Bros executives basically screwed them over by not allowing the original vision and creation to be released fully and they've had a lot of hate from people about issues they frankly addressed in this cut of the film.

For those into these movies, Comic Con recently happened and a bunch of cool new trailers came out. Here are the pick of the bunch for me:

Doctor Strange
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSzx-zryEgM

Wonder Woman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lGoQhFb...i1p3auVaCh

Lego Batman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6DOpfJzmo0

Suicide Squad
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0Xb9BhfVjY

Justice League
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gglkYMGRYlE

I've seen a LOT of comments about how it seems Warner Bros and the DCEU creators took note of the criticism from BvS to change upcoming films. Notably, it was the more colourful Wonder Woman trailer and the general humour in both that and the Justice League trailer that has resulted in this. While I have no doubt that there will be some influence, I'm calling BS on this point for the most part. Each of these films were always going to have their own style, Suicide Squad has had humour in the trailers from the start, I always expected WW to be less dark than BvS given the source material and both Chris Terrio (scriptwriter for BvS and Justice League) and Zack Snyder (director for BvS and JL) went on record that Justice League simply wouldn't be as dark as BvS. That's because not only is that film set in a different point in time (both Superman and Batman being in very dark places/point in life in BvS), but having a more varied cast with people who have different personalities naturally means that emotionally the film can't be weighed down by specific individuals.

My posts when it comes to the DC films are quite defensive about them and I have no qualms in admitting to it. The reason is I actually really like what's been created so far and honestly have hope for what they'll create and hope they don't stray too far from what they originally had in mind. However, everything they seem to be creating seems to be getting very cynical views and harsh/unfair criticism and certain individuals (Snyder in particularly) are being ruthlessly left hung to dry for their creative vision.

Anyway, as mentioned at the start, would love to read other opinions on movies in general. Frankly, it's far more interesting than Milan right now.
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#63
Edit: Forgot to add when posting, but RIP Carrie Fisher who passed away yesterday, best known for starring as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films.

Not sure if anyone reads this thread, I tend to just post to myself in here it seems, but I thought I'd post about Shin Godzilla, or Godzilla Resurgence as it's also known. It's the latest Godzilla film to come out of Japan and it's a super film in many regards. Firstly, I want to say the director is Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion) whose work I'm a big fan of and this is very much his work. He's very much an art house director, who has a very distinct way of directing.

In that respect, this film is definitely not for everyone. It's quite a challenging viewing, as Anno likes to have very fast editing and people speak very quickly, making it difficult to keep track at times. In addition to this, people looking for lots of action and destruction, while you do get this, it isn't the majority of the film. In that respect, expect long dialogue sequences where the sequence is nothing more than a meeting held.

This is actually what makes the film so good though, it's a spiritual successor to the original 1954 Godzilla, only modernised to be a commentary on modern Japan. Whereas the original used Godzilla as a metaphor for the threat of nuclear weapons, this uses Godzilla to parallel the events of Fukushima in 2011, where natural disasters (earthquake) resulted in a nuclear power plant suffering damage and thus a nuclear radiation leak. 

The film is a satire on Japanese Bureaucracy, has extremely strong political commentary both on the Japanese government and their relationships with other nations and treads into questioning certain cultural trends in Japan.

Visually the film has some stunning moments, particularly when you see the destruction of Tokyo, but also noteworthy is the music by Shiro Sagisu, which is unique and modern, yet also reuses tracks from the original film in their original form, as if to pay homage the the classic and history of these films.

I remember watching the Gareth Edwards' Godzilla a couple of years back and was left disappointed as it never hit any of the notes I thought it would based on the trailers. Instead, I came into this one not totally sure what I'd think of it having seen a few short clips, but have been left extremely happy, to the point that this is my favourite Godzilla film thus far (probably the 1954 film is on par). 

For me, this also shows that however often Hollywood tries to create Godzilla, it is quintessentially a Japanese product and I think what it comes down to is that it's not just a giant monster destroying a city, but rather is closely entwined with disasters and politics in Japan.

Trailer:



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#64
I haven't posted in a while, but after watching Split today, I just had to post a few thoughts. 

Split is the latest film from M. Night Shyamalan who back in the late 90s and early 2000s was thought to be the "next great director". Following hits like Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, imo one of the greatest superhero films of all time and a MUST watch imo, he started falling out of favour after taking on more mainstream cinema projects with probably the biggest flop being Avatar: The Last Airbender.

However, he seems to be returning to form as The Visit (not yet seen it myself) is meant to be a decent return to roots and most recently Split, starring James Mcavoy in the lead. The film is about 3 teenage girls getting kidnapped by a man suffering from split personality disorder (with 23 personalities!). What ensues is suitably tense thriller affair, as the girls do anything within their power to escape, while you get an insight into the inner workings of the man's personalities and the struggles he goes through. The acting is excellent from the leads, with Mcavoy and the lead actress excelling, while the editing, writing, cinematography and sound design are all superb and in keeping with the tone of the film. It's a slow burn, but it's vital to be patient as the ending is highly satisfying for people who "get it". Big Grin

On the ending, it made the movie something I enjoyed a great deal into something special for me, leaving me going full fanboy and pretty much screaming "F*** YES!!!!!". I won't say anything more about it, but people who have seen it will probably understand why based on a comment I made in this post earlier. I'm also hoping this means Shyamalan is back, because he's a hugely talented director that hasn't always made the right decisions. Anyone who has enjoyed Shyamalan's early work MUST give this one a try.

For a while I've been the only one posting here. I'm hoping someone else will post, I just can't believe I'm the only film fan on the forum! Big Grin
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#65
(06-11-2017, 07:53 PM)ACMILAN1983 Wrote: I haven't posted in a while, but after watching Split today, I just had to post a few thoughts. 

Split is the latest film from M. Night Shyamalan who back in the late 90s and early 2000s was thought to be the "next great director". Following hits like Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, imo one of the greatest superhero films of all time and a MUST watch imo, he started falling out of favour after taking on more mainstream cinema projects with probably the biggest flop being Avatar: The Last Airbender.

However, he seems to be returning to form as The Visit (not yet seen it myself) is meant to be a decent return to roots and most recently Split, starring James Mcavoy in the lead. The film is about 3 teenage girls getting kidnapped by a man suffering from split personality disorder (with 23 personalities!). What ensues is suitably tense thriller affair, as the girls do anything within their power to escape, while you get an insight into the inner workings of the man's personalities and the struggles he goes through. The acting is excellent from the leads, with Mcavoy and the lead actress excelling, while the editing, writing, cinematography and sound design are all superb and in keeping with the tone of the film. It's a slow burn, but it's vital to be patient as the ending is highly satisfying for people who "get it". Big Grin

On the ending, it made the movie something I enjoyed a great deal into something special for me, leaving me going full fanboy and pretty much screaming "F*** YES!!!!!". I won't say anything more about it, but people who have seen it will probably understand why based on a comment I made in this post earlier. I'm also hoping this means Shyamalan is back, because he's a hugely talented director that hasn't always made the right decisions. Anyone who has enjoyed Shyamalan's early work MUST give this one a try.

For a while I've been the only one posting here. I'm hoping someone else will post, I just can't believe I'm the only film fan on the forum! Big Grin

i wasnt a huge fan of split but i got the ending, wasnt the split character removed from the unbreakable film last minute as they felt he warrented his own flick?
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#66
Amazing, someone actually posted in this thread besides me Big Grin

SPOILER WARNING TO ANYONE WHO HASN'T WATCHED SPLIT

Yeah, the character (called The Horde) was removed from Unbreakable as Shyamalan couldn't devise a way he could coherently tell the full story in one movie.

There's going to be a third part, most probably the end of the trilogy, called Glass (named after Samuel L Jackson's Mr Glass from the first film).

END OF SPOILER

I also watched John Wick 2 last week. I think both this and the first one are great action films. They aren't clever or thought provoking, the stories are generally silly and the characters are one dimensional. However, they're good popcorn fun with great action and it's actually hard not to be endeared by the ridiculous world and rules they've set up.
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#67
Won't delve too deep, but saw Dunkirk the other night at the cinema. Any fans of war movies, Chris Nolan movies or just movies in general and don't take issue with the subject matter should watch this film in the cinema. Incredible cinema experience and an outstanding movie. The subject matter is very serious, the story is very simple but the narrative structure is clever in how it fits with the thematic nature of the film.

The acting is excellent, despite the lack of strong characterisation (something I actually applaud the film for doing). However, where the film peaks is probably the direction, cinematography and sound design (I include the score in that). It's a superbly well made film, placing you at the heart of a desperate situation in war.

Quite possibly my favourite war movie of all time, one which delights and leaves you in despair at the same time.
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