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Movie Time 2.0: TT mini reviews

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
I remember watching this back in the day with someone who had OPINIONS on why Ghost Hunter TV shows were bad because they were mean to the ghosts.

It was a very validating experience for them.
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
THEM: Ghost Hunters is BAD!
ME: I agree!
THEM: ...because trying to capture the ghosts on camera will only make the ghosts angry and make the haunting worse!
ME: Wait what.
THEM: The ghost hunter guys yell at the ghosts and that makes the ghosts feel bad!
ME: Uhhhh
THEM: Hey have you seen Paranormal Activity?
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I’d be reluctant to hack off a ghost that already burned down my home.

In comparison, yanking off bedsheets is kind of low key stuff.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
I'd try to reach an arrangement with the ghost.

I'd set up some nice, breakable vases on a shelf, fasten the bedsheets tight under the mattress so it becomes a fun challenge to pull them loose, and buy really noisy door hinges and cabinet drawers, and just let them go wild on them while we went about our daily routines. In return, they get to protect the place from robbers and phone scammers.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
The ghost didn’t really start getting rowdy until she moves in with her bad boyfriend either; so it plainly had her best interests at heart.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
I'd try to reach an arrangement with the ghost.

I'd set up some nice, breakable vases on a shelf, fasten the bedsheets tight under the mattress so it becomes a fun challenge to pull them loose, and buy really noisy door hinges and cabinet drawers, and just let them go wild on them while we went about our daily routines. In return, they get to protect the place from robbers and phone scammers.
Don't encourage geists! You're just asking for trouble.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Zatoichi and the Doomed Man

Hey, this title actually isn't generic! Also, the Doomed Man seems like an afterthought. I'll say people say this is one of the weakest ones and I agree but there are good things. The last fight is OK and Zatoichi's partner for the story is a bit fun (I assume he was a popular Japanese comedian who wanted to be in a movie), a scoundrel who tries to steal Ichi's identity and gets in trouble for it. I think the film would have been a better movie if it leaned into the farce more or had an interesting villain. Instead, its yet another corrupt government official. Thematically, it works but practically it doesn't differential them from any of the other villains and usually they have a henchman who provides a physical threat to Ichi who also has some sort of connection to him. Instead, nada.
 
I've watched movies, including two box office bombs this weekend...

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions - fun for a bit then wretched. Has established that maybe nothing happened in this one but ends with a nasty downer ending. Not what I wanted!

Old - pretty stupid? It's a cool idea that is well-established in the trailer and takes everyone waaaaay too long to figure out. Also the explanation for why these people have been put in this situation does not hold up! Almost would've been better if it were an accident and there were no way out. (the way out? silly, comes out of nowhere) Sorry to be churlish... glad I watched it nonetheless. It's cool to see people react to the basic problem, when they eventually do...

Snake Eyes - wanted everyone to kiss whenever two characters spoke on screen. Good film. Well, fine. Saw this in an empty theater on a Saturday morning. Not happy about any of this. I wish the best for all these hot actors. Not familiar with G.I. Joe.

Clockwatchers - really loved this. Sometimes you can just watch a nice movie!!!!

The Wicker Man - original. Had never seen before. Quite good, obviously! Knew about the ending, but kind of wasn't expecting the square Christian police officer to land some good points about how this isn't going to last. Good for him! I'm fine with any ending on a case by case basis but I am a little annoyed by cults being just too competent and secure in movies.

Journey to the Beginning of Time - what I like to see... stop motion dinosaurs. Dinosaur puppets. Beautiful matte paintings. The same mountains; lit differently. Just a great looking film.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
Old - pretty stupid? It's a cool idea that is well-established in the trailer and takes everyone waaaaay too long to figure out. Also the explanation for why these people have been put in this situation does not hold up! Almost would've been better if it were an accident and there were no way out. (the way out? silly, comes out of nowhere) Sorry to be churlish... glad I watched it nonetheless. It's cool to see people react to the basic problem, when they eventually do...
The original... graphic novel, apparently, was called "Sandcastles" which in addition to just being a better title all around doesn't make it painfully obvious what's up from the get-go. And when you're legitimately going to spend the first what? 45 minutes or so acting like some big mystery is afoot that might be something other than hyper-aging, it kinda feels like you shouldn't spoil that with the damn title.

Also you should maybe consider, like, applying old-age makeup to your actors as things go on. Maybe, I dunno, have scenes where people are in fear of aging, or like, finding themselves more prone to injury, or like... have negative reactions to people dying that aren't wondering if there's perhaps a murderer afoot. Especially close family members.

On the positive side, this DID break me free of my senseless notion that perhaps Shyamalan can still direct really well if handed a straightforward script from someone else. And also I can't totally knock a movie that names a character Midsize Sedan. Unless I dock it those positive WTF points for having a 6 year old knock up another 6 year old. That's just gross, movie. You could totally have just not gone there.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I've had time to try to catch up on the Zatoichi series.

Zatoichi and the Chess Master is a step in the right direction again. The title Chess Master is both a villain and ally to the title character, an amoral killer who is willing to help Ichi because he likes him and thinks he's a worthy shogi opponent but is willing to turn against him if the circumstances are right. The stuff with that character is the strongest stuff, as well as the fact that it is largely about Ichi dealing with the guilt of an innocent caught in the middle of one of his battles.

Zatoichi's Vengeance
, despite the title, is really a film about Ichi trying to do the right thing but being approached by a blind biwa player who notes that Ichi's good intentions are also violent and may have a negative affect on a boy in town. But Ichi also finds inaction is equally poisonous and finds himself having a moral quandry. Ends with a great finale in which the villains cleverly try to "blind" Ichi with Taiko drums on a bridge.

Zatoichi's Pilgrimage (also called Zatoichi's Ocean Voyage, which is misleading) This is probably my favourite in a while with two quality piece of shit villains, one a brutish bandit and the other an appeasing town leader just waiting for either Ichi to kill him or vice versa so he can keep his hands clean. The story is pretty much a retelling of High Noon with Ichi and it works. A little romantically hokey at times but despite the fact that we've seen Ichi dispatch armies of baddies before, it really sells the idea that Ichi might really need help to survive this time.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
Gunpowder Milkshake was a serviceable John Wick-like from Netflix. It's a bit more cartoony (but still just as graphic), it has a good soundtrack, and all of the major characters are women -- Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, Carla Gugino, pretty good cast.
 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Watched Luca on the weekend. Its kind of mid-tier Pixar but even that can be very, very enjoyable and this film is. I really liked the whole thing and feel like it could be a fun revisit. If it shows up in theatres when restrictions are lifted in my province, this is definitely the one I want to take my niece to for her first movie. Especially if the other choices are Boss Baby 2 and *shudder* Paw Patrol.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I kind of feel like you’re going to already know what your final thoughts on Snake Eyes: G I Joe Origins before you watch it, based on your reactions to the title. But I gotta say, it was better than I was expecting; this here is a genuinely good action movie!

The GI Joe connections were pretty slight, if you’re going in expecting lots of that (Scarlet and Baroness barely amount to more than cameos and are basically used like Samuel L Jackson), and honestly kind of pulled me out of the movie a bit. But everything else had its hooks in me but good. Movie wound up giving Storm Shadow a way better character arc Than he ever had before.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Zaotichi's Cane Sword

Usually the Criterion Channel tries to ad some details why this particular Zatoichi is worth noting but they come up short. Still, It's a pretty decent entry. Ichi learns his sword is on the urge of breaking when he encounters the apprenctice of the originator of his original sword. Ichi uses it as an opportunity to leave his life of violence in town and becomes a masseur at the local inn... which is beset by yakuza and corrupt officials. There's a fun reveal at the end but overall its more noted for "Ichi gets a new sword" at the end, even if it is fundamentally the same as his old one.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Zatoichi the Outlaw

Zatoichi's Cane Sword was about giving Ichi a new sword. This one is about giving him some real edge. This is the first movie in the series where the actor had his own studio produce the movie and it is a real turn from the norm, a much grimier, bloodier movie. Despite the fact that the protagonist has been feeling blue about his tainted past through the series and even has taken his methods to task, this is the first one that really digs in on the idea that even if we are on Ichi's side, we shouldn't forgive his mistakes. Arms get chopped off, now. Ichi ends up accidentally being responsible for putting a monster into power. He's a guy who seems to be the shrewdest guy in the room but ends up getting completely played in a way that speaks to who the character is. It even goes back to its roots with Ichi identifying himself as a yakuza, which he hasn't done for a VERY long time in the series.

This feels like a very intentional turn not only to the earlier take on the character but also adding a surprisingly welcome sense of nastiness. The fights have felt increasingly bloodless but this film both ups the ante but also makes the decisions felt. The first time Ichi does kill someone, its a third of the way through the film and his enemy's family is witnessed and horrified. You can justify "he was the bad guy" all you want but killing hurts. And that's what I like about it. This isn't an edgelord sheen, its a promise that the world the character traverses is morally murky and that even Ichi, who tended to make smaller mistakes in the earlier movies, makes big ones with big consequences.

The premise of this one is Ichi comes to town and meets a former ronin who fights only with his hands, never kills and wants to teach proper farming and keep the peasants away from gambling, booze and whores. It sounds puritanical but actually makes a thematic sense as all of these things put money into the hands of the yakuza and through them the authorities, a fact the film is very explicit about (particularly the gambling, Ichi's favourite pastime). Ichi also meets to yakuza, one who is clearly rich and corrupt and another who promises to help the people. The story turns in an unexpected direction about halfway through with Ichi killing the "bad" one, goes into hiding... then finds out the "good" yakuza whom Ichi felt was an exemplar of the way of the yakuza has immediately started bleeding his community dry after he leaves.

The structure leads to one of the darkest stories in the series but also one of the more complex. Ichi is an avenging angel to be sure but less a hero. If anything, its mostly him cleaning up his own mess and trying to free a real hero. Zatoichi the Outlaw is the most compelling film so far and though the main villain isn't as great as the series first three (whom sadly they never topped), he lives up to his piece of shit status. Seriously a few films ago he called someone the worst guy he fought and it felt hollow. Here it would have felt right. Here's hoping the rest of the series is as strong as this one!
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I used the roll of a dice to figure out which of several movies I preemptively decided to give a 10/10 to i should watch.

AND FATE DECREED that I should watch Bill and Ted Face the Music

i loved it, and my preconceived notions were right on the money.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
I was so ready to be disappointed by Face the Music. Late coming comedy sequels never turn out well, but it turned out great.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
For every Scary Movie 2, there’s a Scary Movie 3

Note: I am not sure if I saw any of the Scary Movie sequels
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Zatoichi Challenged

The series returns to a more family friendly (ish) incarnation after the nastiness of the last one. In this one, Ichi has to take care of an adorable moppet until he can reunite him with his Dad, who is being forced to make erotic pottery for a yakuza. A decent film but the highlight is definitely the moody climax which leads to the most memorable battle in the series so far, facing a samurai with some real skills.
 
The wife enjoyed Excellent Adventure when we watched that a year or two back so we've made two separate attempts at watching Bogus but have yet to reach the end. Mostly I keep persevering because I want to get to Face the Music!

Watched Rear Window last night. My only prior exposure to this film was that Simpsons parody. Enjoyable, even if the main character's early jerkishness feels a bit forced or ridiculous for a character who otherwise seems quite grounded and worldly. Maybe would've been easier to swallow if it was played for laughs (or that's just my modern sensibilities talking).

The day before I watched The Duellists. This film also felt like it was teetering on the edge of some prime comedy potential, mostly because the premise (and actual historical events) is fundamentally amusing. Maybe to make the serious emotional moments land while capitalizing on that, it could have worked as a black comedy in the vein of Four Lions or In Bruges. But as it is, it was still enjoyable and didn't stay still long enough to get dull. Some of the direction (and musical cues, oddly) felt quite dated and hokey, but that didn't drag it down to any serious degree.

Also watched the 1960s Dr Dolittle in two parts over the past couple of days. I watched this an obscene amount of times as a very young child, since we'd recorded it from TV on a VHS tape. As such I had strong, mostly visual memories of a few scenes, and fragments of a couple of the tunes stuck as occasional ear-worms. I'd always heard it had reviewed terribly despite a successful stage production, so was curious to see just how bad it was. In general it was fine, a bit overlong and meandering without much point to it or even much in the way of a climax. Mildly amusing, at least. There were too many songs that didn't really stand out at all, with only a couple of memorable tunes, and the main character talking his songs rather than singing was a let-down.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
If you told me Jungle Cruise was written with a screaming kindergartner nearby shouting "I'm bored!" every ten minutes, I would believe you. It starts with some basic Indiana Jones-esque action hijinks, but, before they even leave port (spoilers for anyone that does not want to be spoiled on general plot beats), the villain has acquired a submarine to fight a friggen dingy, and is launching torpedos all over the place. From there, we eventually introduce zombie conquistadors, and, because zombies are passé, they are quickly upgraded to zombie-elemental conquistadors, with at least one character that is my favorite villain trope: a sentient, collective mass of angry bees. The finale happens as it must (with the main hero literally dying and resurrecting like three times), and, if it had lasted any longer, I am pretty sure some dinosaurs would have arrived to cap things off. Four out of Five Stars.
 

Exposition Owl

could use a space fortress
(he/him/his)
If you told me Jungle Cruise was written with a screaming kindergartner nearby shouting "I'm bored!" every ten minutes, I would believe you.

In all seriousness, I suspect that Disney executives are telling screenwriters and directors to assume pretty much exactly that.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Oh yes, Face the Music was genuinely Excellent.

Dangit, why is this still only on Hulu and not even available to buy on platforms I actually use? I guess if I end up subbing Paramount+ for a month for more Picard it's on there...
Oh wait, can I just buy AppleTV things via a smart TV app with my Apple login? I've never tried that before, but apparently you can buy it from there too.

Also watched the 1960s Dr Dolittle in two parts over the past couple of days. I watched this an obscene amount of times as a very young child, since we'd recorded it from TV on a VHS tape. As such I had strong, mostly visual memories of a few scenes, and fragments of a couple of the tunes stuck as occasional ear-worms. I'd always heard it had reviewed terribly despite a successful stage production, so was curious to see just how bad it was. In general it was fine, a bit overlong and meandering without much point to it or even much in the way of a climax. Mildly amusing, at least. There were too many songs that didn't really stand out at all, with only a couple of memorable tunes, and the main character talking his songs rather than singing was a let-down.

Hah, yeah, I saw this a lot as a kid too on account of my mom liked Rex Harrison and his comedies can entertain kids as well. But like all Rex Harrison musicals, it comes with the caveat that Rex Harrison Doesn't Sing, Actually.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Not according to Google! I can double check next time I'm on my TV, but this sounds like one of the rare cases where Canadians win a streaming.
 

Droewyn

Smol Monster
(She/her, they/them)
Yeah, doesn't look like USflix has any of the Bill 'n' Ted films at present.
 
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