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MARCH 2018 MOVIE DISCUSSION THREAD

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Great weekend of movie-going. Friday, I saw a midnight showing of a a remastered Phantom of the Paradise. Saturday, I saw a matinee of The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is now my 2nd favorite Anderson film. And on Sunday I caught a Wrinkle in Time. It was decent enough, but was extremely well-cast in my opinion. 

 

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So far this week, I've caught the following:

The Death of Stalin

 

I was disappointed. If you watch the trailer above, you've seen most of the best bits. The acting is superb, but the writing just doesn't measure up. I do appreciate that that since the story takes place in Russian language that we didn't get a legion of shit Russian accents. Instead every actor used their own natural accent.

 

Pacific Rim: Uprising

 

I loved the first film. I thought this one wasn't as good, but it was still okay. It looks like they'll attempt to create a franchise based mostly on this film, rather than the original.

Spoiler

Not much makes it from Pacific Rim to Uprising. Raleigh is mentioned once, but never seen. Basically, Boyega is his replacement in the narrative as the "Bad Boy Former Ranger"
Mako Mori dies in the first half hour.  The dialogue in the trailer is about 1/3 of all her dialogue. 

Remember the quirky scientists played by Charlie Day and Burn Gorman? Day is the primary villain. 

Once Newt is revealed as the villain (as the entire time before hand you're supposed to believe Jing Tian's Liwen Shou is), Shou makes a fine tertiary protagonist, and Tian has much better english than Kikuchi did. However, Shou is completely forgotten at the end of the film despite having 2 great moments at the climax. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh man, could not disagree more about DEATH OF STALIN. Thought the ads looked bad but went because I like the people involved, and it’s easily one of the best comedies I’ve seen in years. Steve Buscemi reminds everyone that he’s a great actor, and Michael Palin hasn’t lost a step.

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Wow, Uprising doesn't sound good at all. I'll check it out on cable I guess. Though I am still looking for that remix of Get It On Till I Die from the trailer.   

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It's dumbed down from the first one, but not to Transformers level.

 

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Got to second the love for Death of Stalin. My world's collided with Buscemi, Palin and Paul Whitehouse all acting alongside each other. If you like The Thick Of It, you will like this movie.

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This is a weird trailer, for the second Pink Panther movie. Narrated by an animated bullet, sounding like Mel Blanc. 

 

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Watched Brawl In Cell Block 99 with my dad tonight. His comment after: "Well, it was pretty gruesome."

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I realized I hadn't seen much of Todd Solondz's work, so I checked Amazon Prime to see what they had of his and ended up watching Dark Horse. I'm rarely gripped by movies out of the blue, but it's one that will stay with me. I identified way too much with certain aspects of the two main characters, which isn't a great feeling considering how they behave. It's weird to feel that way and see so much sorrow in a movie that also has some uproariously funny moments; I guess that's Solondz for you. He also deserves credit for casting Christopher Walken and directing him in such a way that he disappears into the fabric of the film instead of being Walken. It has a dark ending, but it's true to life in as much as people often learn and grow at points when it's too late to really make a difference for them. 

It also has one of my favorite pieces of movie trivia ever:

Estelle Harris, Jason Alexander and Jerry Stiller were hired to do voice overs for the scenes where Mia Farrow and Christopher Walken sit stone-faced watching an unseen TV sitcom. Todd Solondz felt the "Costanzas" on the TV series "Seinfeld" were a sitcom version of the family he was depicting, but he couldn't afford to use audio clips from "Seinfeld."

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20 hours ago, (BP) said:

I realized I hadn't seen much of Todd Solondz's work, so I checked Amazon Prime to see what they had of his and ended up watching Dark Horse. I'm rarely gripped by movies out of the blue, but it's one that will stay with me. I identified way too much with certain aspects of the two main characters, which isn't a great feeling considering how they behave. It's weird to feel that way and see so much sorrow in a movie that also has some uproariously funny moments; I guess that's Solondz for you. He also deserves credit for casting Christopher Walken and directing him in such a way that he disappears into the fabric of the film instead of being Walken. It has a dark ending, but it's true to life in as much as people often learn and grow at points when it's too late to really make a difference for them. 

It also has one of my favorite pieces of movie trivia ever:

Estelle Harris, Jason Alexander and Jerry Stiller were hired to do voice overs for the scenes where Mia Farrow and Christopher Walken sit stone-faced watching an unseen TV sitcom. Todd Solondz felt the "Costanzas" on the TV series "Seinfeld" were a sitcom version of the family he was depicting, but he couldn't afford to use audio clips from "Seinfeld."

If you ever want to feel like putting a gun to your head then watch Welcome to the Dollhouse. If you want to feel like putting a gun to somebody else's head watch Happiness. 

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1 minute ago, Curt McGirt said:

If you ever want to feel like putting a gun to your head then watch Welcome to the Dollhouse. If you want to feel like putting a gun to somebody else's head watch Happiness. 

I've seen parts of Welcome to the Dollhouse, and I'll get around to Happiness at some point. I'd only seen Storytelling before Dark Horse, which worked because Selma Blair plays the same character in both. Everything I need to know about his body of work in general is that Dark Horse is considered lighter fare than the others and it's kind of devastating in its own right. Weiner Dog is on Amazom Prime too, so I'll probably watch that next. 

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From Wiki, re: Dark Horse

Quote

In July 2010 Solondz completed the script of his next film, Dark Horse, which was filmed in Fall 2010. To Solondz's surprise, the Creative Artists Agency has appreciated the script, the first time for a movie of his.[13][14] Solondz commented that he realized this is because "there's no rape, there's no child molestation, there's no masturbation, and then I thought, 'omg, why didn't I think of this years ago?'"[13][14]

Happiness is actually really funny. And really, really disturbing.

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http://www.indiewire.com/2018/03/march-madness-a24-auteur-directors-disney-brackets-1201944466/

A bunch of March Madness style brackets for movies.  I'd seen the Disney/Pixar bracket on Twitter but I'm not enough of an animation person to care; the A24 bracket is much more my speed as I've seen 30 of the 32 movies on that one. 

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G75awVf.jpg

My bracket

 

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I also managed to make it out to see Isle of Dogs. It was good, but not as good as The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson's last stop motion film.

 

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The article is more about the author's issues, and some of the things he complained about are literally explained in the first minute of the film (The only things that get translated to English are the dogs' barks.)

 

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@J.T. I am watching Zatoichi and the Chess Expert. It better be as good as advertised!

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4 hours ago, Control said:

@J.T. I am watching Zatoichi and the Chess Expert. It better be as good as advertised!

Have I ever disappointed you?  Well... there was that one time....

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9 hours ago, J.T. said:

Have I ever disappointed you?  Well... there was that one time....

It was great! Also, it’s the first time I really noticed the films portray Ichi’s blindness as a disability. I mean, he still kills everyone and saves the day, but there are several times when he’s actually hindered or disadvantaged by his vision. Usually, he’s super-abled.

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I am watching BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL right now and it is pretty amazing.

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5 hours ago, Control said:

I am watching BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL right now and it is pretty amazing.

It is in the On Demand queue for FiOS.  I loved the manga and I really need to sit down and watch the movie.

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Ready Player One was outstanding. Really, really fucking good. Exceeded my expectations. I had my doubts with all of the trailers, but Spielberg delivered. Got weepy more than once whenever I'd hear the Back to the Future chimes. Is it different from the book? Yes. Does it deliver on what the spirit of the book is? Absolutely.

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5 minutes ago, Craig H said:

Ready Player One was outstanding. Really, really fucking good. Exceeded my expectations. I had my doubts with all of the trailers, but Spielberg delivered. Got weepy more than once whenever I'd hear the Back to the Future chimes. Is it different from the book? Yes. Does it deliver on what the spirit of the book is? Absolutely.

I saw it this afternoon and as someone who really enjoyed the source material and is way too pedantic about book-movie translations I had a similar assessment.  The character development and a few key scenes could have been better, but overall it was a really fun movie.  The stuff they changed, especially the three quests, all sat well with me and were similarly entertaining.

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