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Movie Time 2.0: TT mini reviews

jpfriction

A most radical pontiff
A Promising Young Woman was really really good. The basic premise is that Carey Mulligan's character has an act where she lures opportunistic rapists into thinking she's too intoxicated to resist, but after they try to take advantage of her, she turns the tables on the "nice guy" attackers.

The movie wasn't perfectly executed perhaps - there are some plot details that feel a bit awkward in retrospect - but emotionally it's a slam dunk. When the end music started playing and the credits began rolling, my jaw was on the floor. The movie pulls no punches describing rape culture and its effects on women. I also liked how
the only man in the movie who has a little bit of good in him is the scumbag lawyer who's had a probably irreversible mental breakdown after realizing how much damage he has done
This movie was fantastic and ruined my week and everyone should see it.

Definitely a movie where I simultaneously think people should try to go in blind but also feel like it needs a big old honking content warning.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
In the Heights is really freaking good, up there with the best movie musicals. It never feels like they're trying to shoehorn a stage show into a movie, it just flows naturally in and out of songs. Miranda's more story-focused songwriting definitely helps there, as there are fewer showstoppers to try and build around. It's also impeccably cast, in that everyone involved is both a good actor and a good singer.

I highly recommend it for anyone who likes musicals, or anyone who wants to watch a fundamentally cheerful and optimistic movie that never feels saccharine or fake. It is kind of long, though.
 

spines

behold my godlike
(she/her, or something)
watched the lost boys at a drive in movie tonight. was a lot of fun, a weird/trippy/flashy teen romance/horror/80s kidventure comedy thing that manages to work, and i really think it's because it's perfectly willing to be stupid as hell. most of the humor hits with the same tone as someone awkwardly trying to defuse a tense room, and so even though they're almost all written with the dumbest or most obvious punchlines i could imagine it actually works because they're recognizable as jokes even when you didn't expect them.

really one of the weirdest things about consuming media while getting older is just kind of seeing those sorts of obvious "period" elements of media over time. it's a really pleasantly 80s movie, which i say without any true nostalgia (having been born in '89), and that still really shines through the costuming and setting. this isn't something that's exclusive to movies set in the "real" world either (to me the "80s" elements of spaceballs land as much funnier than the star wars parody, for example), but it's really fun here with all of the random people in the opening and the flamboyant appearance of the main vampires in particular. can't say the movie being super hot for kiefer sutherland doesn't hit a little different after two decades of 24 and shit, but it's still kinda great.

there's also a scene early on which seems like it may have inspired that one eurovision song that caused the whole "epic sax guy" thing

there's some kinda interesting theming around the whole vampire thing, particularly how it's the main connection to the "80s teen movie" genre elements, which i feel like the movie maybe doesn't entirely want to examine due to the plot needing to resolve by killing them all at the end, but definitely hints at with stuff like the earring and the train bridge scene. in the end i still laughed at loud at the scene full of fake blood exploding all the pipes in the house so what can i say, i loved it. i really just think they don't make bad movies this good anymore
 

4-So

Spicy
Oh man, you'd never seen The Lost Boys before?! Required viewing. Used to be in the rotation when I was a teenager. (I was born in '80, so I remember when it came out.)
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Hercules

The Disney one.

I haven't seen it in a long time. I remember that when it came out, I was all into Greek mythology and wacky humour and this seemed specifically aimed at me but when I finally got around to watching it years later, I was disappointed for reasons I couldn't articulate. Watching it again, I like it more. Maybe it just seemed slight at the time. After all, even though it is about a hero battling monsters, its almost more of a sports story, which the film leans into. It does have some elements that I don't care for from the Disney renaissance at the time (just some weaker jokes that feel like they are for the trailer) but I definitely like it more than I don't. James Woods the man is a huge pile of shit but he is good at playing people who are almost as scummy as he is (re: Videodrome).

I will say, outside of the songs with the muses (which are great), the other songs are simply serviceable. I feel like we are heading to the spot where The Emperor's New Groove is happening, where they stop the musical numbers and just make a wacked out comedy.
 
Ninja III: Domination

I was made to watch this movie tonight. It's an obscure 80s movie so it's full of problematic 80s nonsense but oh man. This is literally the most Octo-thing I've ever seen. I'm sure you guys have heard of this film before since it seems like a cult classic. But in case you haven't, here's the first few minutes of the film:


There is no context to what happens in the beginning here, no lead-ins, or narration, this is just how the movie starts.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
That's the one where the aerobics instructor gets possessed by the ghost of a ninja and continues to do ninja things, right?
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
True Romance

I had heard of this one for a while, knowing it was a Quentin Tarantino script. Boy does it feel like it, in the worst way. And I like Tarantino a lot but this feels like young Tarantino, writing a movie about a "cool" version of himself. The first act is kind of hard to tolerate. Its all his worst instincts. It never gets completely good, but it gets to be a much more watchable movie as it goes on, with lots of fun moments. Its also got a Hell of a stacked cast, including some real "before they were mega stars" dudes in smaller roles, like James Gandolfini as a heavy and Brad Pitt as a stoner (there is a great scene between them). I think as it goes on, the better instincts of Tarantino in terms of building tension peak through but so does a lot of the ill-considered race stuff that feels nakedly "transgressive" without actually being clever as he thinks. Its also very much a Tony Scott movie as much as it is a Tarantino one. Very of its era, for better AND worse.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
Where'd You Go, Bernadette is an odd movie. Certainly not the movie the trailers I kept seeing a couple of years ado sold it as. It made me think of The Goldfinch, another fiction adaptation from the same time. I will kind of defend The Goldfinch; it is a failure of movie, but it is also weird and interesting in its failure. Where'd You Go Bernadette is less of an outright failure, but it feels like all the things that would make it weird and interesting have been sanded off. I read the novel synopsis on wikipedia afterward, and it seems like everything is re-arranged and softened to the point where the only character who is at all compelling is Bernadette. It's hard to describe; with the cast and Linklater directing it never fall below a certain level of competence, but its all for nothing.
 
I feel like the there is renewed interest in lower budget or lesser known 80s and 90s horror and action movies going on right now. Red Letter Media's Best of the Worst covers this material regularly. Vinegar Syndrome is putting out lesser known genre movies with nice blu rays.

A big part of the appeal of these movies is the discovery. Sometimes you may have an uninspired copy of a higher budget movie and sometimes you have a ninja killing people on a golf course.

Having these lower budget and lesser known films available now reminds me of the better parts of the video store era. Where you rent something blind and sometimes it surprises you.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Godzilla vs Kong excelled when it gave me things like the crazy underground upside down world, magic axes built for giant gorillas, and Godzilla boring a hole to the center of the Earth with his laser breath, and at every instance where a giant monster punches another giant monster.

Fortunately, all that makes up 70% of the film.

The other 30% is Millie Bobbie Brown teaming up with a podcaster to expose the truth of an evil robot company and a not terribly well explained evil plan by villains that everyone is surprised by
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
I don't think the robot plan was intentionally evil. At least not for reasons beyond the usual greed. Building a remote controlled robot to fight giant monsters doesn't seem like an inherently bad plan in world where giant monster attacks happen. The evil part came in when they used the brain of a evil space Cthulhu as a necessary and vital component of said robot.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I don't think the robot plan was intentionally evil. At least not for reasons beyond the usual greed. Building a remote controlled robot to fight giant monsters doesn't seem like an inherently bad plan in world where giant monster attacks happen. The evil part came in when they used the brain of a evil space Cthulhu as a necessary and vital component of said robot.

Well when you’ve got that as your start point you’ve kind of gotten past the idea of having a giant robot for good
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Treasure Planet

In the waning days of the Disney Renaissance, this is one of the later films and a bomb. Does it deserve to be? ...No but its also not super great, either. The lead isn't particularly engaging and it all falls on the shoulders of the villain. Now Long John Silver is one of the most beloved villains in literature. He is kind of scummy, but also genuinely kind in his way, so its a shock when his betrayal is reveal. The film lets us no pretty early. I kind of understand if you assume the audience knows. But I don't know if the children in the target demo are as familiar with Long John outside of the name (especially since he is just "Mr. Silver"), so it is a shame they didn't. Also, the end he gets a bit of a quasi-redemption and Hawkins miss him while I think in the original his feelings are more complicated. Still, some of the animation and alien designs are cool. But for the most part, the sci-fi element doesn't feel necessary. I could really do without Martin Short's "wacky" robot character.
 
Orphan is still incredible after all these years. Preposterous trash. Also I wanna know where exactly this movie is taking place that it is snowing every day and cold enough for a pond to freeze, but never otherwise piling up. Isabelle Fuhrman gives an all-time great performance but also they should not have had a child do all this shit! Well, I'm glad she seems to enjoy the movie's legacy. I should check out her new film The Novice while you can still rent it.
 
It's funny that you mention Vinegar Syndrome - I happened upon their web store recently and had thought of telling people about it here.
I ordered my first set of movies from them over the Memorial day sale. My order came with a cool sticker (below).

I also thought the name of the company was pretty weird and unique. Vinegar Syndrome is apparently the phenomena of what happens when film stock starts to degrade. I didn't know that before.

Last night I watched my first Vin Syn blu ray: Rest in Pieces. I thought it was okay. I will say the restoration work Vin Syn performs is great.

In the film a woman, Helen, receives a large inheritance and a housing complex in a remote part of Spain from her Aunt. The Aunt video tapes her will and promptly commits suicide. She tells Helen that she gets the inheritance because she reminds her of her mother. Helen thinks this is strange because her Aunt hated her mother because they both were in love with the same man and the man married Helen's mother. But despite this Helen and her Husband fly to Spain to check out the housing complex.

There they run into a strange set of a characters living on the premises: a doctor, a priest, a blind man, a maid, a man wearing Nazi gear, a woman and a mentally handicapped man. They find that these people are living rent free on the premises and they explain to the new couple that the Aunt pays for everything. There is a fortune somewhere in the housing premises.

The couple discover that all the people living there are dead. The doctor has mastered some technique that allows them to live forever.

The couple also discover that the dead Aunt is trying to kill the daughter as a sort or revenge for her mother stealing the Aunts lover.

A lot of attempted murders happen as the couple discover what is going on.

With the exception of one scene the movie is not very violent. It is funny though because the VHS cover of the film (reprinted on the inside of the blu ray) makes the film seem very extreme. The actual film is pretty tame in terms of horror and violence. Got to love misleading cover art; a hallmark of the VHS era!

 
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Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Hadn’t watched Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines in quite a while (possibly since it was in theatres), so I decided to fix that.

Its great if the one problem you had with the other Terminator movies was Sarah Connor, because not only is she not in this, she’s barely mentioned as existing! In her place is Grown Up Homeless Alcoholic Drifter John Connor! And if you think that doesn’t sound like an exciting character to follow for an action movie or, indeed, to be a messianic leader for a ruined humanity good guess! Ersatz Sarah Connor, Kate, is a much better character, but takes more than half the movie to reach the point where she’s willing to accept the idea of a time travelling skeleton murder-robot.

Fortunately, the Terminators, and the Mechanical Uprising they’re so concerned about, is as fun to watch as I remember (setting aside the bummer ending involving a lLiterally Everybody Dying). And if you judge a movie entirely on the amount of both trucks crashing into things and bathroom carnage, you will find little to better suit your weird specific needs
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
T3's not bad as an action flick, save for the boobinator. That was just...bad back then, I can't imagine that getting any better with the passage of time.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
It starts off with a fun twist on the Terminator formula (TX is sent back to kill all the future leaders of the resistance except John because that’s way easier, would result in a lot less pushback and still result in a win for the Machines), but all that gets tossed out the window when she sees a badly injured John Connor, chock full of dog neutering chemicals, and decides to focus all her attention on stopping this almost religious figure instead
 

Purple

(She/Her)
I know I've watched that movie at least once, but somehow I have no recollection whatsoever of god neutering chemicals.

Also I don't know that those are even a thing? They usually use, like, a scalpel I'm pretty sure. Hopefully also an anaesthetic of some kind but I'm not 100% sure on that.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
I think Terminator 3's biggest problem is that it's a sequel to two of the best sci-fi action movies ever made
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I know I've watched that movie at least once, but somehow I have no recollection whatsoever of god neutering chemicals.

I love this typo.

It’s possible that she was trying to distract him when she said that (since she then kicked him into a dog kennel, but little else in the movie suggests he isn't suffering from the effects of downing an entire bottle of the stuff they used to chemically castrate dogs
 

Beta Metroid

At peace
(he/him)
I think Terminator 3's biggest problem is that it's a sequel to two of the best sci-fi action movies ever made
And extremely casually downplays/almost entirely negats what was achieved in those movies. Of course, the dirty truth is that T2 also does this to the original.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
And Genisys had the advantage of being goofy as hell and having fun with the series main premise.

And there's also Salvation; which I will not speak of in polite company
 
I watched Champaign and Bullets. Champaign and Bullets is John De Harts low budget action movie passion project. John is director, writer, star, and composer. A lot of the movie is wooden dialog. But the movie also has action scenes, sex scenes, and satanic cult scenes, with John De Harts score. Its a trip.

Apparently the director has also re-edited the movie twice George Lucas style. I'm looking forward to watching Road to Revenge (edit 1) and Get Even (edit 2) at some point.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Geteven was featured on RLM's Best of the Worst show a few years ago, which is the only reason I know about it.
 
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