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Movie Time 2.0: TT mini reviews

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
Been watching some Fast & Furious movies with the new one coming out:

The Fast and the Furious is a perfectly fine Point Break. Paul Walker gives off strong young Keanu vibes, and Vin Diesel is still identifiably human. It is an aggressively 2001 movie.

2 Fast 2 Furious is a movie that seems like it knows what the series will become, but still doesn't quite have the magic of Fast 5. Instead of Point Break its Miami Vice. An observation from the Blank Check podcast, but this movie really holds up the furious end of the title, as everyone seems unjustifiably angry all the time.

Fast 5 is still the best. A masterpiece.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Adventures of Zatoichi

Zatoichi travels to visit a temple for new years and sure enough becomes embroiled in some shenanigans. A political assassin escapes prison to get revenge on the people who used him an threw him under the bus. Understandably, Zatoichi is actually not that interested in stopping him since his mission is noble but also thinks he just shouldn't bother, at least for the sake of his sister. Ichi also meets an old man who has a back story that somewhat lines up with him being his father (but remains ambiguous in the end, though is likely not), a sad drunk.

This one has a generic title (I would have gone with Dawn of Zatoichi, which is also generic but fits in more with what the movie is about) but I feel like its actually getting its groove back. A few brief moments of nice cinematography. The character is still good. The strongest stuff is the pathos between Zatoichi and his maybe daddy and its the most effecting part of the movie. This is movie 9 of 26 so I'm hoping at least this is a sign that the stories and ancillary characters catch up with the lead again. They were the best parts of the earlier films.
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
In addition to being a really fucking cool old action movie with some absolutely killer songs, it's also a Rosetta stone for pretty much every sidescrolling arcade beat em up, and every late 80s/early 90s cult classic anime.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
YUUUP (well, that and The Warriors). Also, Rick Moranis as a sleazy manager who is also... sort of a bad-ass? I love how it takes place in made up 1950s /60s/80s fairy tale world.
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
A series of unpredictable events led me to watch Baraka (1992), which I had never even heard of. An extremely pretty wordless documentary with a very broad purview, focusing largely on mass ritual practices from around the world, with a bit in the middle that cleverly compares orderly industrialized life with chicken farming. I thought it was pretty neat.
 

spines

behold my godlike
(she/her, or something)
streets of fire is wild, i finally got to watch it for my third time tonight with demi and my parents and each time i've remembered that it's kind of weird, but not how weird it is. as perhaps befits a movie billing itself "a rock and roll fable" the setting really doesn't make any damned sense, an old-timey urban undercity in the midst of an apparently endless sprawl; the characters drive for what's said to be hours only to find themselves just as deep, if not more so, in what seems to be the same continuous metropolis, with trains and roads apparently overpassing literally everywhere. it might even just be midgar, really, the cars are about the same. it's lit with a ton of flair, and every set and scene just looks strange and busy enough that it's clear why people would make videogames about it. my dad commented on the neon especially. "that looks like the 50s"

the plot is unpleasantly misogynistic but simple enough not to register as incoherent despite the fact that most of it kind of just happens, interspersed with musical numbers and usually unnecessary violence. weird people pop up just long enough for the movie to linger on like a dream, then usually leave behind (except for the sorels). the musical numbers and everything else strike a weird balance of real enough to register as true in the movie yet still resonate with a bizarre aura of fantasy. only trust your fists, the police will never help you, shoot their cars with your shotgun i guess

rick moranis is incredible, playing an absurd mix of tough-talking swagger and cowardly sheepishness that's honestly hilarious in almost every scene. he carries the role of a man the movie loves to hate perfectly, with confidence and bluster that finally breaks through to something real by the end. it's one of my favorite performances from him, easily. though my favorite character is still mccoy, who the movie goes to incredible lengths to avoid having to have anyone say is a lesbian. instead we just get the most euphemistic use of "soldier" i've ever heard in my life

the ending scene is just the best. it's the only way for the movie to end and the lyrics are so absurd, letting off a movie that's just 100% high on its own wild emotions. i'm not an angel but at least i'm a girl

it's a dumb flop and just like after watching the lost boys recently i'm just left with such sadness that no one gets to make major films that are so confidently absurd anymore
 
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Purple

(She/Her)
my favorite character is still mccoy, who the movie goes to incredible lengths to avoid having to have anyone say is a lesbian. instead we just get the most euphemistic use of "soldier" i've ever heard in my life
Rather famously, the part was written for like a 50 year-old guy. Then that actress came in, auditioned for it, did well enough for them to agree to cast her, and she was adamant that absolutely nothing get rewritten to account for it.

The same thing also happened with Lenny from Legion.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
My long wait on continuing my “Watch Every Canon Disney Movie” project has ended, as I watched Sleeping Beauty; which I had seen before so it was nothing new to me.

To the best of my knowledge, we’re past all of the movies with incandescent racism, so that’s something to look forward to.

For a movie with a barely 70 minute run time it still manages to drag unbearably; the entire middle third of the movie could be omitted and nothing of value would be lost.

It is, however, possibly the nicest looking movie yet, with plenty of instances of my eyes literally goggling at the visuals, and also it had Maleficent, who remains my favourite Disney villain. Nice to finally have a Prince character who has some degree of personality too. Still can’t manage anything more complex than “Conventionally Attractive” and “Sings Well” for a personality for women though.

Also, the entire back half of the movie takes places on the same day. The titular sleeping only lasts an afternoon!
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
Rather famously, the part was written for like a 50 year-old guy. Then that actress came in, auditioned for it, did well enough for them to agree to cast her, and she was adamant that absolutely nothing get rewritten to account for it.

The same thing also happened with Lenny from Legion.
McCoy fuckin owns.
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
Rick Moranis as a sleazy manager who is also... sort of a bad-ass?
Honestly he reminded me of Ward from Iron Fist. The second you see him, you go "Ah yes, I have seen this character before in thousands of other movies and tv shows, and therefore know exactly what purpose he serves and what to expect because archetypes like this are are useful storytelling shorthand."

And then you're WRONG.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
If you want to watch a show with the same actor that played Ward but in a better show, he's in the 3rd season of Ozark on Netflix.
 
I watched F9. I liked it, but it felt uninspired. At this point the series feels likes its on autopilot.

It was cool to see the Tokyo Drift crew.

For those who have seen it and bothered to watch the extra credit sequence, who was the character who Jason Statham was talking to? It happened too fast for me to recognize his face.
 
I think I liked it better than Fate, but all I can say for sure is that neither this nor Fate blew me away like Furious 7, the first/only one I saw since watching Tokyo Drift in high school. Nadir to me was Vin being sad while a building was collapsing. I was just like, wow, is this a 3/5 star movie? But I was won over by the end. Often feeling very Saoirse Ronan “women!” GIF.

Certainly better than Hobbes & Shaw, which I didn’t bother watching until last week.

In theaters, when Charlize Theron appeared some guy said “nice bowl cut” and he was right to. Han’s resurrection and its explanation were totally perfunctory. (don’t care; it’s fine, barely remember who these people are or how they relate to each other)

No idea who that guy was… sorry…
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Replicas is the next How Did This Get Made? movie and while it has lots of unintentionally dumb moments, its mostly just not that interesting, and this is a film that ends with Keanu Reeves teaming up with Robot Keanu Reeves to protect his clone family from corporate evil. I feel like the movie would have been served better from the wife and family's point of view, slowly learning they are clones. Instead, there's a lot of farce as Keanu needs to make excuses while continuing to grow clones of his loved ones. Its also weird to see Thomas Middleditch in a substantial role following learning he's been a creep in the club scene.
 
Been watching some Fast & Furious movies with the new one coming out:

The Fast and the Furious is a perfectly fine Point Break. Paul Walker gives off strong young Keanu vibes, and Vin Diesel is still identifiably human. It is an aggressively 2001 movie.

2 Fast 2 Furious is a movie that seems like it knows what the series will become, but still doesn't quite have the magic of Fast 5. Instead of Point Break its Miami Vice. An observation from the Blank Check podcast, but this movie really holds up the furious end of the title, as everyone seems unjustifiably angry all the time.

Fast 5 is still the best. A masterpiece.
In the last few weeks, I too powered through all of the F&F movies. I loved pretty much all of them? If I'm ranking them against each other, I would go:

3 = 5 > 1 > 7 > 2 > 6 = 8 > 4 > H&S

  • Tokyo Drift is my personal favorite, mostly just because it has the best actual racing in the movies. It's literally just Initial D with a Hollywood budget, and that's dope AF. There's a whole lot of rainbow-flavored assortment of different types of Asian actors that are being passed off as being Japanese in this movie, which predictably sounds hilariously bad when they have to actually say stuff. But that's mostly quibbles for a movie that manages to still be really good and also hey, lets Asian people do work in Hollywood in meaningful ways.
  • I read somewhere I forget that a nameless Hollywood exec once said that the success of the F&F franchise has done more for convincing Hollywood that you can sell movies with inclusive and diverse casts than all of the socio-political activism campaigns against Hollywood combined. And I think about that a lot because it's both a big point of pride for this franchise, but it's also a strong condemnation of Hollywood as an institution.
  • F&F has always been a horny franchise, but 7 and 8 up the horny levels significantly. Almost to the point of parody.
  • F8 has an interesting scenario, but I spent the entire film marveling at the fact that it was probably entirely concocted in order to avoid having Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson on set at the same time.
  • I remember hating F2 back in high school, and going back I'm honestly gob-smacked by how good it is. It's also sad that Tyrese went from being so cool and badass in that movie, and slowly morphed into a butt-monkey more and more as the franchise went along.

    Han’s resurrection and its explanation is totally perfunctory. (don’t care; it’s fine, barely remember who these people are or how they relate to each other)

    No idea who that guy was… sorry…
  • Han is the single best character in the franchise, I love him so much. I was legit upset at how 6 ended, and again at how 8 just kinda forgets that he was murdered and allowed his murderer to sit at the family table like nothing happened. 9 retconning his death goes a long way to making up for both and makes both films more palatable to rewatch.
  • I dunno what happened, but I remember disliking Michelle Rodriguez a lot back in the day, especially her stint in LOST. But somewhere along the lines in these movies, she won me over and now I adore her.
  • 8 fridging Don's baby-mama is probably the nadir of the franchise.
  • Hobbes and Shaw was a perfectly fine action movie, but I find The Rock to be borderline insufferable, and he's at his most Rockyness in this film. When Hobbes and Shaw are trading bad quips and chest thumping over how not-masculine the other is, this movie blows. When it's doing good action stuff, or literally any of the Samoa stuff, it was actually really really good. Also, if it wasn't clear before, it should be abundantly clear by this movie that Johnson just really really really really really really really really really wants to play Superman.
  • Justin Lin is crazy talented, and I can't wait to watch F9 and see his return to the franchise. It's also fun to see his buddies from Better Luck Tomorrow make cameos throughout the different movies.
  • I like it when the cars go fast.
 
Oh, I do know who Han was, I was just very unclearly in retrospect saying I didn’t know who Voncaster was asking about.

Been a Michelle Rodriguez fan since Resident Evil and the Resident Evil DVD commentary track with Michelle Rodriguez, Milla Jovovich, Paul W.S. Anderson and probably Jeremy Bolt…
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
In the last few weeks, I too powered through all of the F&F movies. I loved pretty much all of them? If I'm ranking them against each other, I would go:

3 = 5 > 1 > 7 > 2 > 6 = 8 > 4 > H&S

My rankings go 5 > 6 > 1 > 7 > H&S >2 > 8 > 3 > 4.

That is admittedly way too harsh on Tokyo Drift (and arguably way too kind to the original), but I've always kind of found it to be the odd one out. It might be that I just don't really care about the racing. Han is cool, but I don't give a crap about Lucas Black or Bow Wow. Still, the only one of the movies I don't much like is 4.

I love Han, but one thing that stood out to me rewatching 5 & 6 is that he really doesn't do anything. Which is part of what makes him great; he's essentially playing the Brad Pitt role in the Ocean's 11 movies; he just needs to stand around eating chips and looking cool.
 
Another thing I really like about Tokyo Drift is that, while it's a totally preposterous scenario based more on a fake manga than on any reality, it gives a voice to Army Brats and their experience. Which is just kind of a thing media/society in general doesn't really do, so that was cool.

Also it has the best theme song of any of the movies, and when it turns on it makes every scene hype.


It will also never not be hilarious that everyone very seriously calls one character "DK" over and over.

My rankings go 5 > 6 > 1 > 7 > H&S >2 > 8 > 3 > 4.
Solid ranking. Can't really begrudge anyone for their rankings either. Totally get why people would put 3 low, don't think anyone has to apologize or explain that one; it just hit really well for me.
 
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Purple

(She/Her)
I love Han, but one thing that stood out to me rewatching 5 & 6 is that he really doesn't do anything. Which is part of what makes him great; he's essentially playing the Brad Pitt role in the Ocean's 11 movies; he just needs to stand around eating chips and looking cool.
I love the tradition for a stretch in there of him totally breaking the 4th wall and apparently being aware of how he's fated to die and going "eh, I don't think I'm going back to Japan yet. Gonna hang out for at least another movie, make it also have to be a prequel."
 
In F6 where he’s like “Yeah, we always talk about going to Japan, so let’s go,” with Gal was the single most heart sinking moment in the franchise.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Fear Street: 1994 ain’t bad. Ain’t great, but it ain’t bad. It’s an adaptation from R.L. Stines other YA horror series (the one that skews older, is generally considered to be better written, and is vastly less popular). And, as the title suggests, it’s set in the 90s, and as such its mainly a homage to a bunch of 90s horror movies; Scream and It in particular, but there’s also some Faculty and Flatliners in there too. It also borrows from 90s movies in some less fortunate ways (nice to have a lesbian couple as the leads, less nice to need to kill them to stop the murder-witch).

Its okay, they have to survive to act as a sequel hook for the next two movies

Also, a less common horror trope that also bugs me; I guess burning witches was a good practice because Witches are Real and Also They Are Assholes. On the other hand; executing witches just makes them stronger and madder, so I guess the real lesson of movies like this is to learn to just live with witches, and their comparatively minor evil.
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
Fear Street: 1994 i hadn't watched any trailers or really heard anything about it besides the fact that it exists, and as a fan of anthology horror aimed at, like, children, i dived right in and was a little surprised to see it was rated R. the violence itself wasn't particularly worse than what you can see in The CW shows (except for one death, which was pretty rough. it reminded me of the Scream tv series, where the violence was pretty mild, except for one incredibly graphic sequence), but i can see why your friend taking a bunch of pills to induce an overdose is the cool and heroic thing for them to do would get them an R.

it was good for them to establish early on that living in shadyside is basically a countdown until you get murdered or become a murderer, and at this point most people are pretty unphased by death, it really helps with the standard horror movie problem of having characters seeing someone get violently murdered in front of them and then just, be fine three minutes later.

The first half hour of the movie goes really hard on Classic Early 90s Music (and even some later 90s tunes thrown in there), in a way that's incredibly distracting.
 
Fear Street 1 was a classic book in my childhood... iirc... the yellow skeleton... was the boy (? there is a boy)

Films presumably unrelated? Will watch, I guess. Zeitgeist.

e: just did some research... that skeleton book was some other book. probably not from the RL Stine 4 (Young) Adults line?
 
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