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AUGUST 2017 MOVIE THREAD

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On 8/9/2017 at 7:42 AM, Brian Fowler said:

Tim Brayton, a film critic I really like, loved Prometheus.

I think Covenant is his least favorite movie of the summer

I thought Covenant was middling, but that's enough to make it one of the better movies I've seen in theaters this summer.  Wife wants to watch Baywatch again when it hits home video.  I'm not thinking about divorcing her before then, but I haven't decided to stay with her through that either.

Edit: Corrected a typo.  Saw Covenant on theaters, not Prometheus.

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I never bothered with Covenant because after a billion ads and sneak peeks I felt like I'd seen all I needed to see.

Say what you like about Prometheus, at least it sparked people's imagination and led to debate - personally I loved the story and implications of our creation but it was certainly flawed. Covenant arrived and disappeared like a fart in the wind and just undid any intrigue built in the previous film but I guess that's fan service for you

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I didn't mind Prometheus, really. I actually enjoyed it after I convinced myself it wasn't part of the Alien franchise.

But Alien: Covenant can fuck right off and dive into an endless lake of burning shit.

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I honestly think that's a major part of people's hate of Prometheus - we were promised an Alien prequel and didn't get it but if you just take it on its own terms it's fine. I was PISSED when I read the original script as it read as note perfect prequel but... #franchiseeverything

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37 minutes ago, CreativeControl said:

I honestly think that's a major part of people's hate of Prometheus - we were promised an Alien prequel and didn't get it but if you just take it on its own terms it's fine. I was PISSED when I read the original script as it read as note perfect prequel but... #franchiseeverything

I read that script, too.  It's amazing to me that someone in Hollywood, in this age of lazily taking advantage of a baked-in audience, and creating a "shared universe" for everything, thought the best approach to Prometheus was to remove anything that made it an overt prequel to Alien.  And they brought in Lindelof, who I'm convinced literally can only orgasm when writing an awful plot twist or never-to-be-revealed mystery.

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Even if you hated Prometheus it had probably the only scary moments in either of the two prequels. Covenant was a real wet fart in that regard, after the terrifying original poster and a really creepy teaser trailer that showed up on TV right before the film opened. It felt like a bait and switch almost. With Prometheus at least there was the self-surgery scene and that creep-ass pre-Xenomorph (the black one). 

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3 hours ago, CreativeControl said:

I honestly think that's a major part of people's hate of Prometheus - we were promised an Alien prequel and didn't get it but if you just take it on its own terms it's fine. I was PISSED when I read the original script as it read as note perfect prequel but... #franchiseeverything

Just so I understand you correctly: there is a script for Prometheus that would have made a perfect prequel? If so, do you mean this one? (I just Googled it, so I'm not sure if that's the one you mean.) If that's the case, I know what I'm going to do tonight while listening to the Prometheus soundtrack.

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You guys ever seen Lisztomania by Ken Russell? It's the nuts, balls to the wall, throw everything on the screen kind of nonsense I wish was made more often. (How come outrageous rock operas like this aren't made nowadays?)

 

Here's a couple of NSFW clips

 

 

Also stars Ringo Starr as the Pope and Rick Wakeman as Thor.

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I've seen some Ken Russell before: I LOVE The Devils, Lair of the White Worm is a laff and a half, Whore was honestly pretty boring IIRC. 

But that... THAT. WHAT IN THE BLUE HELL DID I JUST WATCH?! 

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I love Gothic. The movie i try and watch every hallowe'en. 

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12 hours ago, Roman said:

Just so I understand you correctly: there is a script for Prometheus that would have made a perfect prequel? If so, do you mean this one? (I just Googled it, so I'm not sure if that's the one you mean.) If that's the case, I know what I'm going to do tonight while listening to the Prometheus soundtrack.

The one I read was a PDF and looked like an actual script but it was by Jon Spaihts so yeah I assume it's the same. FWIW one aspect of the script I loved was David becoming self-aware due to the fact he'd learned the language of the Engineers, like it was some lock on every creation. That perfectly explained his change rather than trying to please Weyland or, with Covenant, becoming obsessed with creating the perfect lifeform 

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Saw Valerian today and it's pretty much the definition of a 3 star movie (Out of 5).  It's wildly imaginative, has some great effects and some cool creatures and stuff but the two leads were kinda bad (Dane DeHaan's Keanu Reeves impression is baffling.  The entire movie he sounds like he's doing a send-up of 1990s Reeves.  I kept waiting for a "Whoa!" or "I know kung fu") or kinda drab (Cara Delevigne's performance consisted of pretty much just shouting "Valerian" all the time and no emotion whatsoever, ever).  The whole Rihanna performance, either by virtue of it being a lot of voicework or whatever, is baaaad and the interminable striptease (in a PG movie, natch!) goes on for so long and doesn't really make sense.  But I think the biggest problem with is is that the opening sequence of Earth welcoming all the various species of aliens is wildly imaginative and neat.  Then there's the sequence of the planet with the long, waifish creatures with the shells and pearls and it's really glorious and imaginative.  And then there's the sequence with the 4th dimension marketplace that is so fun and imaginative.  And the then the rest of the film takes place largely on a drab, space station basement that could be the corridors of the Death Star, engineering from Star Trek, or even the never-ending basements of 'Space Mutiny' and it just feels so dull and drab considering the craziness that came before it.  So I mean, it's worth a watch, but it's far from extraordinary.

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1 hour ago, caley said:

Saw Valerian today and it's pretty much the definition of a 3 star movie (Out of 5).  It's wildly imaginative, has some great effects and some cool creatures and stuff but the two leads were kinda bad (Dane DeHaan's Keanu Reeves impression is baffling.  The entire movie he sounds like he's doing a send-up of 1990s Reeves.  I kept waiting for a "Whoa!" or "I know kung fu") or kinda drab (Cara Delevigne's performance consisted of pretty much just shouting "Valerian" all the time and no emotion whatsoever, ever).  The whole Rihanna performance, either by virtue of it being a lot of voicework or whatever, is baaaad and the interminable striptease (in a PG movie, natch!) goes on for so long and doesn't really make sense.  But I think the biggest problem with is is that the opening sequence of Earth welcoming all the various species of aliens is wildly imaginative and neat.  Then there's the sequence of the planet with the long, waifish creatures with the shells and pearls and it's really glorious and imaginative.  And then there's the sequence with the 4th dimension marketplace that is so fun and imaginative.  And the then the rest of the film takes place largely on a drab, space station basement that could be the corridors of the Death Star, engineering from Star Trek, or even the never-ending basements of 'Space Mutiny' and it just feels so dull and drab considering the craziness that came before it.  So I mean, it's worth a watch, but it's far from extraordinary.

I don't get Dane DeHaan getting lead roles in films that cost over $10 or $15 million. I saw A Cure for Wellness when it came out. Jason Isaacs as the crazy Swiss physician and the visuals are downright tremendous, but Dane DeHaan for two and a half hours nearly is brutal. 

I think Besson thought the space opera elements, putting DeHaan around Sam Spruell (and his Edward James Olmos acne problem) and Clive Owen to buff up the acting a bit, and the general hotness of Delevingne and Rihanna (although current curvy Rihanna is way more my speed) would kinda hide DeHaan's shortcomings as an actor on this level and the overall incoherence of this film, but the nonsensical plot that ultimately ended in the love conquers all/we need to love pandering in basically Avatar directed by James Cameron if he had a bad LSD trip. For what it was, I thought it was okay as I had the hindsight of knowing what was coming from some of the reviews. It delivered on being bizarre. But the dialogue was so, so bad and delivered in the most junior high school production way possible by DeHaan and Delevingne. You could have made a much better film for $180 million that was bankrolled by several different business entities.

I also like that the first time we see the leads, they're dry humping in the most awkward way that makes you feel embarrassed for them.

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Wind River is fantastic, better than Hell Or High Water, and I'm thinking it'll end up in my top 5 for the year.  Pretty simple story but so satisfying.  Dwells on the sadness of a murder without wallowing in it, all while sneakily building tension and then paying it off in a big way.

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Recently watched

War Machine which was neither funny enough to be a political satire, nor eyebrow-raising enough to be a serious war picture and just kind of muddles in the middle somewhere.  Brad Pitt plays a fictionalized General based on real Generals who takes over the was in Afghanistan.  We're introduced to his variety of toadies and hangers-on who might be interesting but are never really given enough to do for any of them to really make an impression, other than Anthony Michael Hall (Who is wonderful).  It might have worked better as a series, giving more time to identify and differentiate each character a little more.  Also, while I love Scott McNairy, his narration was just dreadful as apparently his instruction was "Sound like a millenial slacker who doesn't really care about what he's talking about, and be condescending".  And while I kind of like Brad Pitt's performance, I don't think it suited the film at all.

A Man Called Ove which might prove I'm getting sappier in my old age but I LOVED this.  Ove is a 59-year-old widower who walks around his neighbourhood barking out orders at his neighbours and enforcing strict rules.  After being layed off from his 42-year career, he decides to kill himself and join his wife.  But the combined annoyance and warmth of his new neighbours constantly stifles his attempts at suicide.  It's pretty clear where the film is going from the opening 10-20 minutes or so, but I had such a wonderful time watching it.  Sometimes I hate the plot device of slowly unfolding a character's past through flashbacks and constantly hinting at one major moment that shaped the character's whole being but not revealing until the last stretch minutes but I thought it worked perfectly here.  It's sappy, it's funny, Glen Kenny said it was akin to cinematic comfort food, and it hit perfectly home with me (Maybe exactly what I'm looking for in my current emotional state after losing my dog last week to cancer).  I loved this movie.

Dunkirk which was a good visceral film.  I'll be honest, I couldn't tell a bunch of the characters apart (Didn't even realize Harry Styles was in it until the credits rolled), couldn't understand lots of the dialogue (Surprisingly, NOT the Tom Hardy parts which I found fairly easy to comprehend), had no idea about the historical details or the accuracy of said details, but I thoroughly  enjoyed the film as 100+ minutes of pure suspense.  Every time you see a character have a modicum of hope or success, you never get complacent because you know something will be right around the corner to ruin it for them.  And I loved the score, thought it wonderfully accompanied or mirrored each sequence.

Little Boxes which was a nice little Netflix find.  A mixed couple moves from their home of hipster-y Brooklyn to small-town Washington state and experience culture shock and changes to their family structure.  I thought for sure from the write-up it would be one of those "Everyone in small towns are actually kind of racist" kind of movies but it actually surprised me with how fairly it treated everyone involved.  Melanie Lynskey, the straight-up best working actress on the planet, plays the mother, while Nelsan Ellis is great as the father, perhaps the only black man in town.  I was stunned to see afterwards, looking it up on IMDB that Ellis died just about a month ago after heart failure (I never watched 'True Blood'), so that made the whole thing a little more poignant.

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Colossal was really good. You think it's a rumination on alcoholism with kaiju thrown in to underline it, then it goes down the rabbit hole and turns into a really dark rumination on broken relationships and obsession. Anne Hathaway looks fittingly busted as shit for most of it. Not a real upper of a film but it has just enough comedy to balance it. Interestingly, it was funded by Koreans so that's why the kaiju stuff takes place there, not because some Americans just thought "kaiju = Asia" and picked a country by throwing darts at a map. 

EDIT: I think it was funded by Koreans, I could be wrong. There were a ton of them in the credits, anyway. 

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Watched

Atomic Blonde which was good and violent and exciting.  I didn't realize it until after but one of the directors was one of the guys who directed 'John Wick' but it made so much sense in the way the fight scenes were plotted out. I also really respected that the actors took the time to "sell" injuries, pro wrestling-style, unlike in a lot of films of this ilk.  They look beat up and act beat up bracing themselves against walls, struggling to stand, lots of grunts etc. etc.  The plot's a little ehhhh but it seldom slowed down long enough to worry about it too much.

Cooties which I thought was friggin' terrific.  It's about a virus outbreak at an elementary school and a group of teachers (Including Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, Rainn Wilson, Jack McBrayer) trying to survive the attacks.  I thought it was particularly clever and funny but your mileage may vary depending how funny/shocking you think a guy backing over a kid witha  pickup truck is.  Ending kind of came out of nowhere, though.

Boy which was by the guy who directed my much-beloved What We Do in the Shadows, Eagle vs Shark and Hunt For the Wilderpeople and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi.  Boy is a little more sombre, though. It's about a boy whose dad returns for the first time in years with his "gang" in tow and how he worships his dad and thinks they're going to be going off on adventures together before slowly realizing that his dad is still basically a man-child.  There's still lots of Waititi wackiness (Like the titular Boy trying to impress his crush with terrible Michael Jackson dance moves) but the whole thing is a lot more bittersweet seeing the absolute terrible state in which these kids are raised.

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Saw Logan Lucky yesterday.

Fun movie, though I don't know if it belongs on anyone's best of the year lists. The performances are all quite good, though there are some issues with tone. Some characters, namely Daniel Craig and his brothers exist in pure comedy, while Channing Tatum is mostly playing drama. Seth McFarlane is unrecognizable and entertaining in his own fashion, but his character seems like he's been parachuted in from Talledega Nights. That said, Craig, Adam Driver and Riley Keough deserve mention as being the best of the bunch. Dwight Yoakam gets to sleaze it up pretty great as a shady warden.

Like most heist movies, it falls apart if you think to deeply about the actual heist. But for a pretty breezy summer movie with an original story, I can't really complain.

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Saw The Hitman's Bodyguard.  It is exactly what it looks like in the trailers. Lots of action, Reynolds makes a lot of quips and Jackson yells "Motherfucker" a lot. I enjoyed it. 

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*ahem*

I think I low-key loved ALIEN: COVENANT.  

I hated PROMETHEUS, mostly because it promised a high-minded sci-fi epic, only to deliver a dumb horror movie.  COVENANT promised a dumb horror movie take on the Alien franchise (and delivered, for better and...well, mostly worse), but also snuck in perhaps the best movie villain of the last 5, maybe even 10 years.  Once this movie hits infinite rotation on cable in a year and more people actually see it, they are going to flip their shit for Fassbender here.

I've gone from not caring at all about AC and wondering why they were bothering to continue that story in the first place to DESPERATELY needing to see the continuing adventures of David.

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http://dailygrindhouse.com/thewire/anthony-bourdain/

Tony Bourdain on walking out of Baby Driver and the greatest heist films of all time. Great interview. 

When they had him on TCM for their celebrity-picked-movies thing they used to do, he chose Get Carter (OG of course) and Withnail and I, so I'm forever indebted to him for getting to see those two amazing films. He also hipped me to The Friends of Eddie Coyle so, again. 

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