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Movie Time 2.0: TT mini reviews

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
There's a point in the middle of the second Hobbit movie where you can tell that it was the original break when they were planning it to just be two movies. I think it's when some randos are sailing across the lake.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
Yeah, I really liked the first Hobbit movie, though you could see the seeds of the problems the latter movies had in it. The only one I have a real problem with is the third; the middle one is like half delight and half slog. Bilbo tangling with Smaug is fun, as is some of the stuff in Lake-town.
 
I think I like middle one the most. Smaug is cool and I like Ed Sheeran's song. I didn't see the third until... a few months ago.
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
I bowed out after Smaug. I was pretty disappointed with how they actualized his and Bilbo's interaction. I'm not one to insist an adaptation be faithful to its source but I can't say I was happy to see they replaced all of the meat of the book with inconsequential action.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
To be clear, I liked Bilbo and Smaug's interaction, I did not like the action scene that followed it, which changed things from the book in a way I didn't like (like the dwarves going into the mountain before Smaug leaves).
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Today, I watched the 1988 movie Hobgoblins. As far as I know, it is a poor-mans Gremlins. The budget was 1500 dollar, which should tell you everything you need to know. The hobgoblins are there, but also kind of not, stuff happens kind of arbitrarily (me and my friend had some trouble following what was happening). There is also an appearance of a band in the middle of the movie, whose name I forgot, but who created music until 2013, so that's something.

The twist to the formular is, that (aside from the hobgoblins being aliens) they can make your deep desires come true. If you are curious, the deepest desires of the men is to have sex or be violent, and the women just want sex. There is a weird scene, where the protagonist and his friend take up brooms and use them like bat'leths, for a pretty long fight scene. The protagonist loses, and is critizised for his weakness by his girlfriend, while the friend and his girlfriend have sex in the van of said friend (the van is shaking, you see).

I dunno, it's a very bad movie, but also pretty entertaining. It's actually used in an episode of MST3K, so I guess some people here have already seen it.
 

Jeanie

(Fem or Gender Neutral)
Everybody is quick to assume that storm troopers are terrible because of how easily Ewoks defeat them in the finale, nobody stops to consider that Ewoks are terrifying killing machines
There was a Dark Horse comic series that was basically Star Wars What If?. The third story they told had Threepio get destroyed at Jabba's Palace and without him the Ewoks killed the Rebel force sent down to the forest moon. Also:


Edit:
Today, I watched the 1988 movie Hobgoblins. As far as I know, it is a poor-mans Gremlins. The budget was 1500 dollar, which should tell you everything you need to know. The hobgoblins are there, but also kind of not, stuff happens kind of arbitrarily (me and my friend had some trouble following what was happening). There is also an appearance of a band in the middle of the movie, whose name I forgot, but who created music until 2013, so that's something.

The twist to the formular is, that (aside from the hobgoblins being aliens) they can make your deep desires come true. If you are curious, the deepest desires of the men is to have sex or be violent, and the women just want sex. There is a weird scene, where the protagonist and his friend take up brooms and use them like bat'leths, for a pretty long fight scene. The protagonist loses, and is critizised for his weakness by his girlfriend, while the friend and his girlfriend have sex in the van of said friend (the van is shaking, you see).

I dunno, it's a very bad movie, but also pretty entertaining. It's actually used in an episode of MST3K, so I guess some people here have already seen it.
There was and what's worse is apparently the MST3k did so well, it inspired the sequel.
 
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Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
There was a Dark Horse comic series that was basically Star Wars What If?. The third story they told had Threepio get destroyed at Jabba's Palace and without him the Ewoks killed the Rebel force sent down to the forest moon. Also:

I've been horrified since I first saw the Ewoks create swinging, crushing log traps, rolling log traps, and catapults, and I'll keep mentioning it every time it comes up.

And it's neither small logs, nor just a few logs--its whole tree trunks! Exactly WHAT do Ewoks fight on the regular to be able to rig those?
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
The implication to me is that they were getting ready to fight the Empire already. The Rebels appearing just started their plan early. They're bloody terrifying, and I love the deliberate Vietnam parallels - they're hugely technologically inferior, but it's their turf.
 

Fredde

Let me rock you Chaugnar Faugn
I've been horrified since I first saw the Ewoks create swinging, crushing log traps, rolling log traps, and catapults, and I'll keep mentioning it every time it comes up.

And it's neither small logs, nor just a few logs--its whole tree trunks! Exactly WHAT do Ewoks fight on the regular to be able to rig those?
Obviously you have not seen the greatest of all Star Wars movies, Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, which answers that very question.
 
Yeah, I really liked the first Hobbit movie, though you could see the seeds of the problems the latter movies had in it. The only one I have a real problem with is the third; the middle one is like half delight and half slog. Bilbo tangling with Smaug is fun, as is some of the stuff in Lake-town.
I really liked the first Hobbit movie as well. That movie made the Mirkwood, Necromancer, and Suaron relationship clear to me. I read the Hobbit and LOTR in middle school and that relationship slipped my radar when I was reading it. I liked that aspect of the Hobbit a lot.

I also think the Spiders in Mirkwood give Jackson a chance to flex his horror directing muscles again. I enjoyed the Mirkwood sequences a lot.

I think the first Hobbit Movie is very propulsive. I don't recall being bored by it. I can't help but think how much better the Jackson movies would be if the Hobbit was two parts instead of three.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
The big problem with the Hobbit films was time. Lord of the Rings was painstakingly planned out for years, whereas because of the Guillermo del Toro situation they ended up with a year and a half's planning time for The Hobbit. The fact the studio got watchable films out of the situation at all speaks to Jackson's skill as a film maker.
 

Sarcasmorator

Same as I ever was
(He/him)
IIRC they started shooting Hobbit without a script, which seems less than ideal.

I've enjoyed the stuff pulled in from the appendices quite a bit. The main part of the first movie where it felt like it dragged was after they escape the goblins and then are immediately beset by Azog and his orcs, so there's another chase, and a fire, and like, OK, this is a lot of consecutive action sequences and very little else. I enjoyed it more this time, though. We're about 1/3 into Desolation and it's fine so far. I liked the sequence in Mirkwood and the Thranduil stuff a lot, though the river/barrel escape went on a bit long. The Tauriel/Legolas stuff feels (and is) jammed in awkwardly. Bombur momentarily got to do something besides be a fat joke, but still too much of fat joke for me to enjoy.

For an immortal race that are few in number, elves never seem very upset when one of their thousands-of-years-old comrades bites it.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
The fact the studio got watchable films out of the situation at all speaks to Jackson's skill as a film maker.
At what personal cost, though? I don't think I've seen a single picture of him during production of Thorin: A Thorin's Thorin Tale of Thorin (Guest Starring: A Hobbit), where he doesn't look utterly miserable.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Oh yeah, I feel for the guy. The sustained stress he must have been under must have been awful, now all he gets is people whining at him about how crap it was.
 
The Mirkwood scenes are in the second movie.

I checked plot synopsis of the films; I genuinely thought Mirkwood was in the first movie. There are Mirkwood sequences in both movies. Maybe the Mirkwood spiders which I spoke about in my original post are exclusive to the second film?

In the Unexpected Journey there is Gandalf confronting the Necromancer in his Mirkwood castle.

In the Desolation of Smaug there is a Mirkwood sequence with the Hobbit adventuring party.
 
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Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I'm not sure the cheque was worth it. It was years of stress, he put all his weight back on, he was fired for a bit - which must have been pretty humiliating - and I'll bet he doesn't like the films any more than we do.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
At what personal cost, though? I don't think I've seen a single picture of him during production of Thorin: A Thorin's Thorin Tale of Thorin (Guest Starring: A Hobbit), where he doesn't look utterly miserable.
Everyone else too, for that matter. Everything I've seen suggests that that entire trilogy is the work of a whole bunch of people having an absolutely miserable time and wanting it to be over already.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Which is an extra shame because by all account the core cast of LotR were having a *great* time during those movies.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Finally watched The Fly (Goldblum Style). Pretty... pretty glad I didn’t watch that on a full stomach. Turns out turning into a manbug over the course of 90 minutes is rough.

Seth elected to test His teleporter machine with a steak only AFTER ruining a perfectly good baboon with it. I can’t help but question his methodology. If nothing else, baboons have to be way more expensive than steaks. Even really good steaks.

Even if it was baboon-flank!

Also can’t help but feel worse for Geena Davis; she’s had a really bad week
 

Purple

(She/Her)
So I'm finally watching Terminator: Dark Fate and I'm kind of amazed by how lazy, cynical, and stupid of a soft reboot this is. Allow me to present my thoughts on this in 4 major sections:

The half-assed reboot softening:
We open with a technically impressive scene where yet another as yet unmentioned Arnold from the future just kinda strolls up five minutes after the end credits of Terminator 2 rolled and unceremoniously shoots adorable child John Connor in the back with a shotgun, killing him, and pretty firmly establishing that we are now in a continuity where all other sequels just did not ever happen. And also where none of the events of the movies we are accepting as canon make any damn sense, because we are also explicitly stating that this is treating as canon the alternate ending to 2 where smashing any future robot pieces prevents apocalyptic blue skullscape future from ever happening.

And... look, any way you slice it, this is just a massive plot hole. You can nerd the hell out about how this one successful assassin robot was somehow sent back to the past from this never-happened future, and indeed a throwaway line it'd be cool if we'd explored it at all suggests the really bleak Chrono Cross style explanation of things where that no longer existent future still exists in some weird hypothetical time hole and just keeps sending robots back out of spite, but in addition to being pretty damn bleak, and a problem that fundamentally has no possible resolution, AND contradicting Reese's confidence in the original movie that they have the robots on the ropes and this time traveling robot thing was just a desperate Hail Mary they shouldn't have the resources to keep doing essentially forever...

A- Why can't Skynet be reverse-engineered out of any of these other Terminators' various strewn corpses?
and
B- Why in the world would Sarah Connor of all people, whose entire deal is being a hardcore survivalist brinker convinced that evil robots will end the world no matter what, and the best case scenario is that SOME of humanity will survive if her son does be firmly convinced that there will be no future robot apocalypse after straight up watching a 3rd future robot shoot her kid in the back? Because she's kind of our main source of information that things worked out.

Fortunately, absolutely none of the above plot hole-ery actually matters, because that poorly thought out intro only really serves to justify getting Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger on set.

The actual plot is that, somehow, leftover time robots and trauma notwithstanding, the events of Terminator 2 prevented blue skull future from ever happening, BUT for reasons I don't think we even bother getting into, a completely unrelated evil robot future happens for completely unrelated reasons, and those evil robots ALSO send a future robot assassin back in time to keep the resistance against THEM from ever forming, and THAT resistance also sends back a Kyle Reese to stop it.

And that all just kinda plays out and like original Sarah Connor is redundantly there hanging out but honestly kinda contributes nothing.

Everything about this is bad, lazy, cynical, and poorly thought out, and they'd have been much better off just doing a straight up remake.

Pretending they didn't bother and this was just a straight up remake:
Instead of having Arnold-shaped meat over a robot skeleton, or a shapeshifting pile of goo, we have a shapeshifting pile of goo over a robot skeleton. Which also kinda means we just straight up have two Terminators teaming up I guess? The potential mechanics of this seem interesting but are not particularly explored. It's really just kind of a set up for a single WOAH moment where it leaves the skeleton behind to steer a truck while otherwise climbing up on the hood to throw rebar.

And instead of having some kind of forgetable actor as a weird wild-eyed syncophant Kyle Reese we have a cool butch woman channeling that Furiosa vibe so well I had to double check that is wasn't actually Theron in the role, who is also a cyborg. And that's great. She's the one good thing about this movie.

Also because having Remake Reese be a girl kinda makes it impossible for her to get Remake Sarah pregnant (unless they'd made her trans or she had some really fetishy cyborg bits I guess), there's a scene where she admits that she was raised as an orphan by Remake Sarah and came back in time to save her own mom. Which is a way less creepy (if way more tragic) way of having basically the same ending.

Unfortunately, we have like... no real scenes or lines for Remake Sarah, Remake Terminator I don't think has a consistent face, no real establishing shots of it doing anything, and is basically just a big special effect, and there really aren't any particularly good or memorable action scenes (I hadn't even finished the movie when I started this post and already all I can really remember is throwing rebar at each other on the highway). So... better Reese aside, yeah, this doesn't even come close to holding a candle to the original movie.

The incredibly dumb 3rd act twist that almost got me back on board:
So the other bit of older movies continuity we have is that, and I am not making this up, I swear:
After unceremoniously strutting up and shooting John Connor in the back with a shotgun, the Arnold robot that walked in through a plot hole had nothing left to do, and just kinda wandered off, met a nice young woman, married her, raised a child with her, and retired to a nice little cabin in the woods where our heroes just kinda run into him. He offers them beers, pets his dog, and agrees to come along and help them, after quickly pausing to tell his family of 20 years to just kinda screw off and leave the movie entirely, adding that he told them offscreen "I won't be back."

This is... quite possibly the single stupidest thing I have ever seen in my life. It feels like some sort of hacky joke you'd have as a throwaway line in a cheesy sketch show or something where you were specifically trying to go for the most nonsensical backstory ever. And... I mean I'm kinda here for it? This movie was just kinda terrible and soulless and felt completely without any sort of appeal until they busted this absurdity out, so, hey. I'll take it, but.... you DID turn your whole movie into a total joke by even considering this angle.

Also you're uh... ripping off an idea that Genisys already did but in a way that actually made sense and established a character the main cast had a meaningful connection to.

But yeah, evil killer robot settles down, raises family, has dog. Sure.

Feminism:
So... for a movie that basically doesn't have any men in it at all, this movie kinda seems to hate women and especially hate them having any sort of agency? And it's super weird?

Like, OK, we have original Sarah Connor here who we're just torturing with like the cruelest possible existence. She already lived through the first two Terminator movies, which is pretty rough, and left her basically feral, tortured in an asylum for years, constantly on the run, etc. And then she watches her like 12 year old son get straight up shot in the back, and gets like choked out by an evil robot. Then she's told everything she's been fighting for for her entire adult life ultimately doesn't actually matter at all and affects nothing. Then she finally tracks down the robot who murdered her son, is forbidden from getting revenge which she just quietly accepts, and has to suffer the indignity of it joking around about how great raising a son is and offering her beers. PLUS she has this fourth wall breaky knowledge that she's in a remake of her own life to the point where she actually goes "Oh OK, so you're actually John" to Remake Sarah at one point. It's just awful and painful to watch. Both the actress and the character deserve way better.

Then we have Remake Sarah who... I mean just really isn't a character. We don't focus on her at all, we don't get any sort of backstory to her. She's introduced in kind of a comedy scene where she watches Remake Reese's time bubble appear while her I think nameless boyfriend is banging her, and berating her for suggesting they check if the random teleporting naked woman is OK after she steals his clothes (and actually I'm not even fully sure that wasn't just some other woman) and past that she just kinda... gets told what to do by what are eventually 3 different tough badass guardians. She has so little development that I can't even say whether sending her own future daughter back in time to save her own life feels deeply out of character, but... you know that's also a thing she is eventually revealed to be on board with and that makes her pretty unlikable!

Then we have Remake Reese there, who again, I do like, but I mean it's pretty purely for aesthetic reasons. She still has the same problem as original Reese of being this one-dimensional zealot just here to protect her parent-figure from robot murder, and while she gets to do some action movie stuff, she doesn't really get much in the way of development, does the whole noble sacrifice thing, and spends an AWFULLY large amount of the movie all things considered being passed out/incapacitated/needing to be brought a bunch of drugs. And you know, ultimately has to team up with two other guardians to do her job, not even getting the final big heroic sacrifice of the finale. So, that sucks.

And then we've got the 4th (or 5th?) woman of note here, joke-Robot-Arnold's human wife. Who we are specifically calling out as being too stupid/oblivious/unconcerned to pick up on the fact that she's been married to a killer robot who does not eat or sleep for something like 20 years "because he's good at cleaning diapers," and who... agrees to just kinda walk out of the movie, and her home, and her marriage, without so much as a word of dialog, after being briefly introduced just for the sake of a ridiculous joke.

And like, that would be bad enough, especially for a movie that's specifically trying to cash in so hard on Badass T2 Sarah Connor, but this is as an immediate followup to Terminator: Genisys, the movie that was mainly about calling its own predecessors out for having this pretty gross plot where some future jerk sets up this weird manipulative time travel plot to get his friend laid by his mom in the past, make sure he's born, and gets to be future war Jesus, by both directly observing how that's messed up, and further altering the past so she just gets to be the big world saving badass herself and do a way better job of it to boot. And I mean yeah it kinda mucked things up enough to make a sequel practically impossible to do, but it's also the one movie in the franchise that was at least kind enough to actually leave a sequel hook open they could have used.

So yeah, not a fan.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I feel gratified whenever anyone appreciates Genisys for the work of art that it is.

Also, didn’t mention it with my summary of The Fly, but I think Jeff Goldblum kept his own severed ding-dong in a medicine cabinet.

And, man, that’s just unhygienic. You’ve got toothpaste and aspirin and stuff in there. At least put it in a sealed container!
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Dragonheart wasn't half bad, which is another way of saying "halfway through the movie I lost interest". But the first half of the movie was a lot of fun; with Dennis Quaid befriending Sean Connery and the two of them scamming peasants by faking dragon attacks while everyone EXCEPT the giant CG dragon just chews up all the scenery they can.

Then the tone shifts to Dennis Quaid and Sean COnnery trying to lead a peasant revolt against Evil King Badhaircut and the movies momentum just disappears.
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
The Kid Detective takes such a dark swerve near the end, and yet still manages to end the film on a laugh. It’s very impressive.
 
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