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2021 MOVIES DISCUSSION


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On 4/29/2021 at 2:41 PM, Contentious C said:

Amazon Prime is really letting me cross a lot of bad movies of my "meant to watch this for years" list.

First was Mulholland Falls, which is too busy and not remotely compelling.  It's funny this came out the year before L.A. Confidential, and, despite that being a far more convoluted film, it hits absolutely every mark that Mulholland Falls misses.  Let's face it, if you're watching this, you're doing so strictly for the following reason: Jennifer Connelly circa 1995/96.  There.  That's it.  That's what's good about the movie.

I had watched about the first half of Shooter some years ago and then never finished it, and might have been better off keeping it that way.  Totally mediocre popcorn action movie, though it does have the distinction of being the first - or at least an early - example of Michael Pena as the plucky sidekick who steals the show.

I would have things to say about The Happening, except the post formatting is going berzerk on me right now for some reason.

1) Just as bad as everyone says.

2) The most visually boring movie I've maybe ever seen, so I can almost believe he intended to make a bad movie, because that's one surefire way to do it, but

3) He made so much other turgid, self-indulgent garbage that he doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt. 

Really should have been the end of anyone giving him money, but of course this movie turned a profit, so...here we are still stuck with his crap.

Ah, The Happening... 

 

https://youtu.be/Tz1y2ihvOpU

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On 5/1/2021 at 11:43 AM, John from Cincinnati said:

Good.

While we're at it, what was his take on the Hunt for Red October adaptation? I remember hearing something, but finding it on the google is a real pain. 

I’ve never heard anything about his thoughts on that one. I know he loathed the film version of Patriot Games.  And I recall him joking about being the author of novel that Phil Alden Robinson ignored when he talked about The Sum of All Fears. 

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Regarding M. Night, after the Happening, he only really kept getting money to work on shit like the Last Airbender and After Earth. It's shocking, I know, I once thought the Happening was one of the worst movies ever...until I saw some of Last Airbender and After Earth. So after those two turds, that was basically it for him getting big money and I believe, and I might be wrong, but he's essentially self-financing his shit starting with the Visit.

The Visit was pretty good even if it was obvious where it was headed. Even still, it's a good horror movie. Split I think is awesome. Glass is...man...Glass is fucking terrible and it's the closest my wife has ever come to walking out on a movie.

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1 hour ago, StuntmanCrowley said:

M. Night was responsible for Devil as well, wasn't he?  I was a big fan of that movie.  

That was supposed to be the first of a series of different horror films IIRC, each with a different director. Dunno what happened there. 

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28 minutes ago, Curt McGirt said:

That was supposed to be the first of a series of different horror films IIRC, each with a different director. Dunno what happened there. 

The Visit was supposed to be a part of that deal, but then everything inexplicably fell apart.

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Got Netflix back for the month as I hop between all the not-Prime things, decided to watch a couple of things that had been on my list for...jeez, years.

Free Fire was as ridiculous as it promised to be.  There isn't much of anything wrong with it, except for one bit where it's not clear who shoots who in a big moment halfway through (the character says so later and it's the only reason why you know).  Really great send-up of crime and action movies as a whole.  Kinda wish I'd bought this used when I saw it at The Sound Garden probably 3 or 4 years ago.

Quigley Down Under is...out of place, to put it mildly.  I don't really recall the marketing for it, but I do recall it being a huge flop and essentially the death knell for Tom Selleck being allowed to headline movies (I mean, he was in the 3 Men & a Baby sequel, but hardly by himself).  But I wonder if it got marketed all wrong, or if it would have mattered.  I wasn't expecting it to be such an offbeat comedy, but it lands a few jokes well enough here and there.  Its moral compass is not really 1990, either; it seems like it would have gone over better - at least in terms of its political messaging - if it were made today.  Seeing super-young Ben Mendelsohn, who turned out to be a better actor than anyone not named Alan Rickman in the whole movie, is kind of a trip, too.  I wouldn't recommend this, per se, but I also can't say it's some absurdly awful film either, because it's actually got some good shootout bits and things that work.

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4 hours ago, Mike Campbell said:

  And I recall him joking about being the author of novel that Phil Alden Robinson ignored when he talked about The Sum of All Fears. 

Well, I mean, Clancy wasn't wrong about that

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1 hour ago, Raziel said:

Well, I mean, Clancy wasn't wrong about that

Does that mean the movie is actually good?  I'm pretty sure Sum of All Fears is the worst novel I've ever managed to finish reading.

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25 minutes ago, Robert C said:

Does that mean the movie is actually good?  I'm pretty sure Sum of All Fears is the worst novel I've ever managed to finish reading.

No, the movie wasn't great either.  It just only vaguely resembled the book (basically only the Red Phone scene)

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Contentious C said:

I do recall it being a huge flop and essentially the death knell for Tom Selleck being allowed to headline movies 

Selleck headlined more than half a dozen "Jesse Stone" TV movies.  around 2004-2012.  I love them all way more than I should. 

Edited by Tabe
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15 hours ago, Contentious C said:

Quigley Down Under is...out of place, to put it mildly.  I don't really recall the marketing for it, but I do recall it being a huge flop and essentially the death knell for Tom Selleck being allowed to headline movies (I mean, he was in the 3 Men & a Baby sequel, but hardly by himself).  But I wonder if it got marketed all wrong, or if it would have mattered.  I wasn't expecting it to be such an offbeat comedy, but it lands a few jokes well enough here and there.  Its moral compass is not really 1990, either; it seems like it would have gone over better - at least in terms of its political messaging - if it were made today.  Seeing super-young Ben Mendelsohn, who turned out to be a better actor than anyone not named Alan Rickman in the whole movie, is kind of a trip, too.  I wouldn't recommend this, per se, but I also can't say it's some absurdly awful film either, because it's actually got some good shootout bits and things that work.

That movie always seemed like it was the third or fourth flick in a franchise, like they didn't know what to do with Quigley anymore so they sent him to Australia. I don't think it was a flop due to Tom Selleck, no one was interested in standard westerns or standard westerns with a twist in 1990, they could have put a bigger star in that role and it still would have broken even. It had a second life on cable where most people saw it and enjoyed it, but how can you not enjoy Alan Rickman as a villain, Laura San Giacomo playing crazy, along with some kick ass stunts and shootouts. Quigley is #2 on the list of Tom Selleck movies, with Mr. Baseball being #1, that movie is way better than it should be.

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44 minutes ago, Mister TV said:

That movie always seemed like it was the third or fourth flick in a franchise, like they didn't know what to do with Quigley anymore so they sent him to Australia.

Yes, absolutely!  And the movie just kind of treats Quigley as a guy you should already know about.  It's so fuckin' weird.

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M. Night co-wrote and produced Devil, but he didn't direct it.

I remember years ago telling this story on here, but who cares, it's like 11 years ago. I can't remember which movie I was at, but the trailer for Devil came on. It's a really strong trailer, and the audience, myself included, were all getting sucked in. Then his name came up, and, swear to God, you could see the whole theater lose interest all at once. People leaned back into their seats, you heard whispering and snacking again, etc. I've never experienced anything else like that, before or sense. His name alone killed the interest.

(The movie was pretty okay iirc)

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re: M. Night Shyamalan:

i saw "6th Sense". thought it was pretty decent but saw the twist coming very early on.

never saw "Unbreakable".

saw "Signs". i thought it was OK but never really made it to "good" territory

then some friends and i rented "The Village". it was plodding. the movie was so fucking boring that i said "i'm just going to pretend these people are Amish and that it's not actually set in 1600 or whatever." Lo and behold, that was the twist of the movie. It was at this time that i swore off all of this person's movies. I haven't seen any, and i won't, for as long as i live.

@Brian Fowlerdescribed my reaction to seeing the "Devil" trailer perfectly. damn good trailer, had my interest, until they flashed the 'written by...' screen, at which point i rolled my eyes and promptly lost all interest.

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4 minutes ago, twiztor said:

re: M. Night Shyamalan:

i saw "6th Sense". thought it was pretty decent but saw the twist coming very early on.

never saw "Unbreakable".

saw "Signs". i thought it was OK but never really made it to "good" territory

then some friends and i rented "The Village". it was plodding. the movie was so fucking boring that i said "i'm just going to pretend these people are Amish and that it's not actually set in 1600 or whatever." Lo and behold, that was the twist of the movie. It was at this time that i swore off all of this person's movies. I haven't seen any, and i won't, for as long as i live.

@Brian Fowlerdescribed my reaction to seeing the "Devil" trailer perfectly. damn good trailer, had my interest, until they flashed the 'written by...' screen, at which point i rolled my eyes and promptly lost all interest.

Unbreakable is a really fucking good movie. Easily my favorite of his.

But The Village... I have never had a more disappointing movie experience. I was so excited for that after seeing the trailer. And it's so beautifully shot by Deakins. But it's just so bad. So so so fucking bad.

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Saw The Wrath of Man in a theater yesterday.  First time in 15+ months I've been to the theater.  It was nice other than me misreading Fandango and getting to the theater an hour early for my showing.  Argh.  Got the usual popcorn and pop.  They put the butter on the popcorn for me and gave me the sold in little plastic cups with a lid on them.  No refills on either one unlike before BUT the prices were a little cheaper as a result.

Movie itself was just alright. 
 

Spoiler

It's basically a revenge movie with Jason Statham becoming John Wick.  There's basically no hand-to-hand combat to show off Statham's skills, just him firing off one headshot after another.  Basically, Statham appears to be the head of a crew that robs armored car trucks or something.  He's watching a truck and the truck gets robbed, apparently by another crew though that's a little vague.  The robbers kill the guards - and Statham's son.  So he fakes a new identity, gets hired by the armored car company that had been robbed, and commences killing everyone.  Statham's original crew disappears about 1/3 of the way into the movie and is never heard from again other than it being implied one of them drives him away at the end.

 

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Got HBOMax just for Mortal Kombat. I'm glad I did. It was way better than I thought it was going to be.

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Posted (edited)

For whatever reason, despite renewing my Criterion Channel membership and signing up for Netflix this month, I decided watching things on Kanopy was a good way to go.

I began watching mid90s on Amazon, but then it went off their Included list, so I picked it back up on Kanopy.  Man, was this good.  Really, really good - maybe the best thing Jonah Hill has been involved with (I'm not nearly as high on Moneyball as a lot of people have been).  Not always easy to watch, but definitely believable, as I lived that time and knew people like this even in the suburbs of the Deep South.  Would have made my 2010s list had I watched it in time.

Despite having seen about a billion retreads of it, I had never watched the original Shane, either.  It's obviously a product of its time and place, and there are a lot of things that just don't work anymore with respect to how movies look and feel, but it does have some good acting, and the bones of it and the undercurrents that keep it moving have been effective in a lot of other films ever since.  It's also got a lot of ridiculous, annoying bullshit, though, like the kid who was way too loud and who can apparently run as fast as a cantering horse for who knows how many miles. 

I think as much as anything, I was struck by how much movies I hadn't even thought of have now obviously borrowed from it.  There are plenty of good (Logan) and bad (Waterworld) remakes, but Drive was the movie I saw the most of in this; the tensions between the 3 main characters in both movies are basically identical, except that Van Heflin isn't a lifelong fuck-up and Oscar Isaac is. 

I started watching Timecrimes, but I'm only about 30 minutes in and I already think it's going to be a movie that annoys the shit out of me.  Also, is it something about Spanish indie movies that they are contractually required to have boobs in them by the 5-minute mark??  Yeesh.  I watched some total garbage on Amazon a while ago called Sister of Mine or somesuch that had Ivana Baquero in it (best-known as the girl from Pan's Labyrinth but was also in the generally awful MTV Shannara show), and it was basically the same way.

Edited by Contentious C
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