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2019 Q2 MOVIE DISCUSSION

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5 hours ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

To me that was like the 15th most grotesque thing about the movie.

It was a rental so in case it comes on Showtime I won't be seeing it again. Go ahead and throw all that shit behind a spoiler tag cause I'd kinda like to see just how bad it really is. 

This being Zahler's opinion really disappoints me because I even used to read that guy in Metal Maniacs. 

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8 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

It was a rental so in case it comes on Showtime I won't be seeing it again. Go ahead and throw all that shit behind a spoiler tag cause I'd kinda like to see just how bad it really is. 

This being Zahler's opinion really disappoints me because I even used to read that guy in Metal Maniacs. 

 

Spoiler

I think what Zahler was going for was one part Reservoir Dogs and one part Crash but slight right leaning. So what I mean by character development is I think Mel's character was intentionally not as fucked up as he possibly could be, but I think Mel's wife in the movie along with Vaughn's character are used to lessen the blow of what was accomplished earlier in the movie by Mel's character taking liberties with someone they were apprehending. He got to have some sort of redemption story. The wife basically declares that she should be racist because of her daughter being constantly bullied by black kids, and that she thought she wasn't racist before she moved into that neighborhood. On the other hand, Vaughn's character really has no qualms about breaking the rules or giving a shit naturally about anyone except his girlfriend. The catch is ah ha...his girlfriend is black, Latina, or just racially ambiguous in general. So at least, there is something that is a bit elephant in the room especially when you discuss race, law enforcement in the United States, and how both intersect outside of the going ons that you might catch on a Facebook Live stream that goes viral. Based on how Mel and Vince's characters treated the Latino and Latina suspects earlier in the film, it shows that Vince's character only cares about sexual access in an interracial relationship and doesn't care so much about treating those he meets on his job or any walk of life with any type of respect. So as someone who follows this stuff, that rings true to me in this day and age. However, I didn't think it was bold to make the suspect and his girlfriend/main squeeze Latino when a large majority of the videos that have gone viral when it comes to law enforcement and their overreach and abuse of power have been African-American centered. I think that was the only lazy writing as far as the film went because you can't just throw black and brown in one bag and categorize it as all the same. 

Now I wouldn't construe this as lazy writing all the way, but the female characters aren't really given much to do as much as move the plot forward. The closest female character who meant something was the mom of Tory Kittles' character Henry because you know she turns tricks for money and is on drugs which actually does somewhat justify the actions of Henry. He is not really a knucklehead or anyway malicious from what we can tell. If he is, it pales in comparison to the other characters. In the case of Mel's character, based on a very brief cameo by Don Johnson, you're not sure if he hasn't been promoted because he was a once great cop partnering with Don Johnson and then eventually couldn't hack it or just bends the rules too much to be promoted. It's kinda not clear but largely irrelevant because the main driving factor seems to be his casually racist sick wife who can't work and his bullied daughter. The thing is even though Mel's character straddles the line of racist and veers more toward being corrupt as a means to an end, you never really have sympathy for his daughter being bullied. If the throughline is well these type of often maligned people have problems too, it's hard to give a shit knowing that what Henry's character has likely suffered from in part due to racist ass cops, mass incarceration, and overall what his family has probably been dealing with for generations as African-Americans. Meanwhile, Vaughn's girlfriend is barely in the movie and only there for his motivation of needing to buy an engagement ring along with him having some poignant, sad poetic moment when he expires towards end of the film. That brings me to the worst written character of the film. Even if it doesn't take away from the film, you can see there is an agenda because the character is played by Jennifer Carpenter who Dexter fans loathed for awhile. Anyway, the synopsis of how all these characters are connected is Henry is going to take part in a bank robbery set up by his longtime friend, older brother type figure, and mentor played by Michael Jai White. Apparently, Henry wants to use the money to get his family away from the bad part of town (hmm again that seems like a way to compare the struggle of Mel's family in the film and how they want to move out of the black (?) neighborhood but okay). However, Henry doesn't really trust the people who MJW is partnering with so they can pull off this bank robbery. On the other side of town, once Mel and Vince get suspended, they set out on a stakeout to basically follow Henry and his friend to rob them but it takes them awhile to figure who they are and what they're trying to do. That's seriously a half an hour of the film just so you can see how different the characters of Mel and Vince are. The older guy is more stern and just wants to get all this done quickly while the younger guy is cracking jokes for light comic relief (especially compared to the brutal black comedy type stuff earlier and later in the film). We find out after a few downright gory scenes that Henry and his friend are doing a bank robbery with a crew led by Thomas Kretschmann. His two masked accomplices are the ones doing a majority of the downright violent killings in the film. If you remember the gas station convenience store part of the trailer with the exploding chip bags, that is one of the scenes and one of the two guys working for Kretschmann's character. I circle back to the character of Jennifer Carpenter in this film. We get into her character kinda cold. At first we have no semblance of who she is and how she relates to the plot. When we first see her, you might think she is some drug addict who is stalking her boyfriend (who I originally thought was one Kretschmann's guys unmasked but turns out I was wrong). We find out that she is a mother who just had a baby, badly suffering from post-partum depression, and can't bare to leave the apartment to go back to work as a bank teller. Her boyfriend urges her to leave the apartment after she looks at her baby one last time through the door so she can show back up at work on time. She leaves the apartment, gets on the bus, gets off the bus, and is greeted by her co-workers excited to see her return from maternity leave. Guess what? That's the bank the masked crew, Kretschmann, Henry, and his friend are robbing and it's getting hit the same day she returned. Henry and his friend are in White Girls type makeup pretending to be white I guess to throw people off. Mel and Vince are tailing them in their car and sit back while the whole incident is going down. This leads to the goriest scene in the film because you do have a sense of dread once you find out Carpenter's character is a bank teller. Not a minute or so after Carpenter's character gets back to work, the masked crew along with Henry I believe (MJW was the driver IIRC) rob the bank and on schedule the masked crew who were absolutely heinous whenever they've been shown start blasting people. Most notably, Jennifer Carpenter gets her fingers on her right hand blown clean off by one of the masked crew trying to set off or signal for a silent alarm or something of that nature. Then, for your incredibly sad moment of the movie, she pulls out a baby sock or some memento with her one whole hand she has left while she is in shock and pleads/asks the masked robber guy to give it to her baby. Accordingly, since the masked crew guys don't give a fuck about anyone and showed no regard for human life, she promptly and literally gets her head blown smooth off by a shotgun blast. No real character development other than she is just there to move the plot forward and make you extremely sad and grossed out about how she lost her digits. I think they violently kill the bank manager as well, but that's done off camera I believe.

As a result of the malicious laissez faire, take no prisoners attitude shown by the masked crew, the robbery goes south at least as it relates to Henry and his friend. They already know and get the sense that there is a 90% chance that Kretschmann and his crew blow them away when they reach the designated place to split the money. MJW is driving, Henry is in the passenger seat, and the masked crew with Kretschmann are in the back of the van unlit all the while making serious veiled threats toward Henry and his friend. MJW is nervous as they're driving back to the designated spot getting all the ridiculous white makeup off him and Henry have on. Henry is trying to keep him calm so they can get through this. Going back a little, Mel and Vince's characters pretty much know the bank robbery has gone awry but I believe Vince's character is weary about interfering because it's incredibly suspicious two suspended detectives are around a most likely fatal bank robbery in progress. So once Henry and the masked crew jump back in the van after the bloodbath, they follow them as usual as to not alert them. After I guess was several hours in movie time where it's night when they reach the designated area, Henry full well knows by then the masked crew and Kretschmann are going to execute him and MJW. The long, long winding road to the film leads to what I think is the best part of the film. Here is what I thought would happen: The masked crew kills MJW, then Henry who probably goes out like a G, and have a shootout with Mel and Vince. Vince dies and Mel fights his way out, riding off into the sunset with the money. But I guess in order to give Mel's character some sort of righteousness with a touch of white savior, something unconventional had to happen. As much I don't like the slight touch of white savior (by way of white morality making cooler heads prevail), I think it did allow Kittles to steal the film from Mel and Vince. Here is what happened. They arrive at the designated spot. The masked crew order Henry and MJW out of the van, and Henry to open up a garage. He does that, however, something happens where MJW and Henry have a shootout with the masked crew. MJW basically sacrifices himself so Henry can get away and hide. MJW dies. Mel and Vince show up in the nick of time to have an ineffective, long distance shootout. Vince eventually gets shot in the crossfire and mortally wounded. Despite Vince's character being a callous, probably racist shitheel, he does gets a moment where Mel's character calls his girlfriend (while Vince is bleeding out) who turns down the marriage proposal from a missed call earlier. The dramatic moment is Vince's character dies before he can hear the actual voicemail response. Anyway, angry Mel decides to get in his car that they had been tailing these guys with and rams the van which turns over. The van is on it's side with the passenger side I believe facing the sky. Mel kills the masked crew and Kretschmann one by one who hilariously have now turned coward (Kretschmann doesn't turn coward really as much as try to wait out Mel so he can kill him) and believe Mel's character should show some mercy because they were injured when the van turned over. This part is a little confusing because I'm not sure if one of the two masked guys was killed by Kretschmann because we hear a gunshot inside the van. Then one of the masked guys pops out of the passenger side asking for medical help for himself only to quickly get part of his hand blown smooth off and a head shot for some karma. After all is said and done, Kretschmann and his masked pair of maniac killers is dead. For a few minutes, an injured Mel is collecting the money from the robbery. Then, in a quite downright funny ass cribbed straight from Sam Jackson in a Tarantino film manner, Henry walks back into the picture stage left to alert Mel he doesn't plan on letting him get away from the money. They have a short shootout, but Mel is clearly the more hurt of the two afterwards. They come to some sort of compromise pitched by Mel's character, who it turns out doesn't have a bunch of leverage given his dire physical condition. Henry is going to get most if not all of the money (you can see where this is kind of going) in exchange for burying Vince and cleaning up this bloody ass crime scene so neither of the detectives names are muddied up even further. You really expect them to turn on each other. They packed mostly everything up, get in the van, drive out to the spot in the backwoods where I guess Henry and MJW left a truck to drive back into town with after they ditch the van. Mel sees to it that Vince's character is buried and desperately asks Henry to maybe send his cut to his family (yes, the racist wife and the bullied girl we don't know too much about). Henry doesn't make any real promises. Mel's character dies shortly thereafter because he was secretly mortally wounded in the shootout with Henry. He somehow survived that long ass drive to the woods. I guess he willed himself to live or whatever. Henry ditches the van and gets in his car to go back into the town. Fast forward an undetermined amount of time at the end of the movie. Henry, his little brother, and his mom are living in this lavish house in what clearly looks like Vancouver (I think the film is set in New Jersey but it's small budget what can you do?). Cut to Mel's family...yes, receiving some money sent by Henry because black people have to take the high road. Cut back to the lavish house where Henry is happy to be out of the criminal life and playing video games with his brother. End.

I'm surprised I remember damn near every main detail.

Edited by Elsalvajeloco
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I still think the M:I films peaked with Ghost Protocol, but they've been great since as well.

The only Fast and Furious movie that I think was on the same level as M:I and John Wick was 5. 

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Yeah, I don't have an F&F movies on the same tier. It might be the worst eight movie series I've definitely watched every single second of. 

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Thanks for the read Loco. Looks like I didn't miss much, it honestly looks like a longwinded mess.

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44 minutes ago, Curt McGirt said:

Thanks for the read Loco. Looks like I didn't miss much, it honestly looks like a longwinded mess.

It's a YMMV type movie for real. If you liked Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Thief, The Place Beyond the Pines, Heist, Straight Time, Leon, and Crash, then this is your film. It's all those films rolled up into one.  The overall message is a little hamfisted, but I place that on Zahler as I said earlier. He knows how to shoot action, make you squeezy, and have you on the edge of your seat. When the movie isn't that (ex. the stakeout scene with Mel and Vince at the motel), you can tell he wants to be Tarantino, Mamet, and Peckinpah so bad. He by far isn't the worst imitator because most of it eventually pays off entertainment wise, but it's clearly an imitation. Would I watch it again? Probably but the runtime is a little long and it's overly gory at points. Does the commentary bother me? Not really because I think the reviewers raised my expectations of the conservative message. I expected far worse to be completely honest. 

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On 6/23/2019 at 10:53 PM, Curt McGirt said:

The Dead Don't Die was a lot of fun. Hilarious and prescient without being preachy, I'd put it up there with Shawn of the Dead but think it works better as a horror movie while Shawn is a better comedy, if that makes sense. I also liked how Jarmusch decided to be openly meta because he just doesn't give a fuck. It feels like at the end of the movie he said "we don't have an ending for this, who cares?" Which is kind of the point.

Saw it tonight in a theatre that only had 2 other people. I love the reaction to the meta bit at the end of the film. Found the whole thing enjoyable. Amazing cast.

 

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Posted (edited)

Been watching a lot of mediocre movies lately.  Not a lot I really want to see and I rent from the public library for free.

Seen a fair number of Liam Neeson films lately.  Commuter, Non-Stop, Cold Pursuit, Taken, Run All Night.  Neeson is turning into the Actor's Guild equivalent of the Undertaker.  As long as you throw money at him, he's going to keep turning up to do the same tired schick.  

Replicas - the Keanu Reeve film about cloning - was the worst thing I've seen lately.  Oh god, the plot holes!  Where did the (original) bodies of his wife and kid go to?  Did he somehow pull the wrecked SUV out of the creek and hide it?  When he wiped memories of his youngest kid from the clones, did he somehow wipe the memories of the kid's grandparents, cousins, school teachers. neighbors, etc. too?  What good would it do to remove all of the memories of a person if everyone around you remembers you had another kid?

And, lol, at powering f***iung cloning pods with a bunch of car batteries chained together. For that matter, I',m skeptical that the character's basement was wired to support the power demands of three high-tech cloning pods.

Captain Marvel was enjoyable but not great.   I'd watch Brie Larson read the phone book for 120 minutes.

 

Edited by Doc Townsend

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Watched The First Purge last night. It was OK. I get why they kept making Purge movies, people kept going to see them and they made money, but... while the first one was a decent trapped in the house horror film with an intriguing premise, with the second they realised they could make a socio-political point about how society treats it's weakest members. Which was good, but it made you expect that subsequent films in the franchise would have something to say, and they don't. Election Year and First both do nothing more than reiterate that the purpose of the Purge is ethnic cleansing, which was a point already made.

The idea that the first experimental, localised Purge night was (outside of the one psycho guy) going to pass of relatively peacefully, until the Government sent in Mercenary squads masquerading as citizens to up the death toll, that's fine. If you're trying to make the point that most people are basically decent and if the opportunity came for them to kill without consequence, they wouldn't, yes make the point. But you could have done that with a throwaway conversation in Election Year, you didn't need to make a whole entire movie to say that.

Blonde hair suits Marisa Tomei though.

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Been watching criterion channel movies.

 

Chimes at Midnight:  I still feel like a lot of that Shakespearean dialogue just kinda washes over me and I only catch some of it.  Battle sequence was amazing.

Rules of the Game:  What an amazing film.  No old and dopey movie bullshit at all.  It's like the greatest Marx Brothers movie ever.

400 Blows:  It was OK.  The lack of sentimentality sets it apart. About as far away from A Christmas Story as you could get.

Weekend:  Big noisy pile o' hippy dippy horseshit.  What was up with the 10 minute monologues?  It was like old shitty Cracked magazine shit.  Shit.

The American Friend:  Great fucking movie!  The language mixture, the lighting and Hopper's weird performance. 

Jigoku:  You gotta see this movie!  Better than the entire Estus Pirkle oeuvre!

 

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But Dave, you're in Escape Plan 3!

So, I watched Fight Club for the first time in more than a decade. How on Earth did the Alt-Right movement ever think that this movie could in any way support their views? Because (apart from the bit about being raised by women being a good reason to not marry young*) there's really nothing there outside of a general anti-capitalism, anti-society posture and pointing out that young heterosexual men (who are single for too long) are easily lead into going along with some pretty stupid ideas. It's basically a world without women, but they aren't all white guys. Far from it. And the whole point is that Tyler Durden's philosophy is self contradictory and meaningless. It's vanity and self obsession dressed up as profundity. The movie is about man's capacity for self deception. But an awful lot of people who love it refuse to see it's point. Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?

* We used to, about fifteen or twenty years ago get these confused fifty year old men coming in the shop, trying to microwave cheeseburgers without taking them out of the packet. Turned out that their whole life, all their cooking and cleaning had been done by either their mother, or their wife. Here they are middle aged and divorced, and they suddenly realise they have zero life skills. Can't even cook mashed potatoes (you boil them til they're soft, then pour the water out and mash them. If you try to mash them with the water in, that's potato soup. I did once explain this to a man I didn't know, who was old enough to be my Dad).

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3 hours ago, AxB said:

Can't even cook mashed potatoes (you boil them til they're soft, then pour the water out and mash them. If you try to mash them with the water in, that's potato soup. I did once explain this to a man I didn't know, who was old enough to be my Dad).

Did he have a panic attack when you started talking about milk, butter, and seasonings? 

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I was trying to encourage him, not scare him to death. Well, I did mention butter.

Then again, I also have the University story of how, in November/ December time (so we'd been there like three months) naive Steve knocks on my door and asks all sheepish like if he can ask me something but I have to promise not to tell anyone. So I say he can ask me anything, and I'm thinking he's about to come out and say he is in love with me or something along those lines. And he says "How do you cook bacon?"

Naturally, I told everyone. And still do, every chance I get. But, like, you know you're going away and you'll have to look after yourself for the next few years, yeah? Why wouldn't you ask your mum to teach you this stuff beforehand? And what was he eating for quarter of a year before he worked up the nerve to ask?

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Okay, wait, bacon? How the fuck do you not know how to cook bacon? Like, it's literally a one step process.

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48 minutes ago, AxB said:

And what was he eating for quarter of a year before he worked up the nerve to ask?

Take it a step further. Bacon isn't a meal. Maybe a component of a sandwich, but is this dude living on sandwiches? I'm worried about this person's diet.

I don't know what year this is, but he could have saved himself a world of embarrassment by just using the internet. 

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It was 1994, so... if he'd wanted to use the internet, he'd have had to ask how to do that too. I think he'd been living on baked potatoes. As in, he was buying baked potatoes from the takeaway. Buying raw potatoes and baking them yourself, that's more of an advanced technique.

I had another friend who lived in student accommodation where the only cooking equipment was a kettle. No oven, no grill, no hob, no microwave, no toaster. He ate a lot of boiled eggs and boiled potatoes, and nothing else. Apparently it takes about an hour to boil potatoes if you're just putting them in an electric kettle and repeatedly pressing the button, refilling it every so often. Why he didn't just go out and buy a microwave, I don't know. They aren't that expensive.

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Jesus. I feel better about making ramen in a mug in college now

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17 hours ago, West Newbury Bad Boy said:

Take it a step further. Bacon isn't a meal. Maybe a component of a sandwich, but is this dude living on sandwiches? I'm worried about this person's diet.

I don't know what year this is, but he could have saved himself a world of embarrassment by just using the internet. 

You know who else lived off of sandwiches?

Yep.

That's right.

Jared from Subway.

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