• Welcome to Talking Time's third iteration! If you would like to register for an account, or have already registered but have not yet been confirmed, please read the following:

    1. The CAPTCHA key's answer is "Percy"
    2. Once you've completed the registration process please email us from the email you used for registration at percyreghelper@gmail.com and include the username you used for registration

    Once you have completed these steps, Moderation Staff will be able to get your account approved.

  • TT staff acknowledge that there is a backlog of new accounts that await confirmation.

    Unfortunately, we are putting new registrations on hold for a short time.

    We do not expect this delay to extend beyond the first of November 2020, and we ask you for your patience in this matter.

    ~TT Moderation Staff

Movie Time 2.0: TT mini reviews

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
And I was kind of dissapointed that Starro was the final boss; not because I was disappointed to see Starro (that is an impossibility), but because he was shown in all the trailers and I was sure they wouldn't have spoiled the big villain like that and that Starro was a fakeout
I mean, they did fakeout the real villain though; it's Waller, who was perfectly willing to basically cause a slow-rolling global apocalpyse so long as the US's short term interests were served.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Yeah, but they didn't get into a big CG fight against her that closed out the last twenty minutes of the movie, someone just hit her in the face with a golf club
 

Purple

(She/Her)
So OK. Fear Street is a.... 6 hour long horror movie on Netflix based on books by the Goosebumps guy, which is somehow simultaneously clearly aimed at kids because it has a real serious Monster Squad/hey, the kids have got this sort of vibe and general sensibility, but.. also a decent amount of swearing and people's faces getting hacked up with axes and I think like 2 whole seconds worth of nipple maybe? And also it's set in 3 different time periods, doing style homages for each, and going through them basically in reverse chronological order, and is technically broken into 3 movies roughly on those lines (but fortunately the 90s steal an extra hour away from the 1600s' movie at the end).

Anyway it's kind of hard to review it any way other than what it does with each decade so...

Part 1/90s: Pretty darn fun. We've got this backstory which is pretty bare bones here and gets fleshed out to very lore-y once we start getting into the flashbacks where basically every N years, someone in this town becomes a slasher villain. A lesser movie would use that as an excuse to just be a slasher movie with no need to set up a backstory, but this uses it for the far nobler purpose of setting up this whole gang of slasher antagonists in various period costumes who all just kind of hang out together in a roving stabby pack and fan out to stab whole buildings full of teens more efficiently. That's fun. And then there's this whole coordinated plan later working out what motivates them and again, it feels very Monster Squad. I kinda wish the whole thing was just this but also like, I understand this aspect of the concept is pretty limited and we're probably close to the maximum we can stretch it to without losing the tone. Also turns out it's secretly wholesomely gay.

Part 2/70s: I'm honestly pretty impressed how hard it pushes into sleazy '70s summer camp slasher land for again, something so spiritually wholesome and kid friendly. Drugs are used! Sex is had on screen! But it's not all in enough with it to really feel authentic, and I mean ultimately it's just inherently going to be a downgrade to shift from a whole Monster Squad worth of slasher antagonists to just one of them. I feel like maybe I'm just spoiled by like, Final Girls? Still, probably the best acting of the lot. Got that one girl from Stranger Things. No the other one. Sadly though, we forget to be gay, wholesomely or otherwise, and kinda break what would otherwise be a good thematic through-line for the whole thing.

Part 3/1600s: This just blows. Like... the way it's teased at the end of part 2 it looks like it's gonna do this surprise accidental time travel thing and one of the established characters is going to have to like set things right and get home somehow without being seen as some kind of future devil but... no we don't actually do that and just do the most obvious and formulaic possible thing and we don't really have much in the way of actual horror moments and we're recycling the cast from the other periods just kinda because and they... just don't have the skill set to do this sort of period piece well. The best thing it does is admit defeat early and give over the back half of its running time to just doing more 90s stuff. And it's super overtly kinda the whole point even wholesomely gay which is also good.

Overall though I rather enjoyed that. I like this sort of Lite Horror generally and wish it was more of a thing, I think the weird formatting choice of just dropping a whole planned trilogy where they kinda work as self-contained works (well, 2 do) but it's really a miniseries is actually a really smart move because like... indefinite endings and endless sequels are kind of a blight on the genre. And just letting a director and largely the same cast play around with a bunch of different homages like this is always fun, more of that too.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Zatoichi Goes to the Fire Festival

This one's title only factors into the climax but who cares, this is easily my favourite of the series. It is ridiculously stylish, surprisingly artistic and has two of the series best villains: a blind yakuza boss who is considered at a mythic status and yet another in a series of swordsman who want to prove they can kill Zatoichi... except this time, its a weirdo who is killing all the men his wife slept with and he believes Ichi to be the last one.

Its also the kinkiest in the series. Like, not "sexy" conventionally, but there is a waft of sex coming off the whole thing. Also, there's a small subplot involving a clearly gay aspiring yakuza and it plays weird. Yes, somewhat offensive as you might expect in the era, but also he comes onto Ichi in order to assassinate him and Ichi... might be into it? But he also cuts the more feminine aspects of the guy's hair and tells him to be a man so... boo! (Also, dude was surprisingly hot for one of these kinds of movies).

But really, its all about the villains and the Boss Hokuto is the series best villain. If he just let go of his grudge from being insulted by Ichi things would have been fine but he bumps everything to James Bond level nuttiness for a fantastic finale.

The other villain just has presence. Look at this motherfucker.




This one is also a Katsu Production and they definitely have been making the strongest episodes of the series. Bloody, yes, but also very tense and atmospheric and with some amazing fights. The bathhouse scene is an all time great and ends with a spectacular shot of Ichi in a bloody onsen.



If you have Criterion, I urge you to watch it. I like the series but this is the only one I think you need to really rush to see if you are only going to watch one... though I have 5 left in the original series to watch (Darkness is his Ally is sadly not on Criterion but someone posted it on youtube and will hopefully not take it down).

And best of all, no Ja Rule!
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
The Green Knight is a hell of a movie and I am glad to have seen it. The costumes alone are worth the price of admission. Probably my favorite part was the scene where Gawain has been tied up and left for dead by bandits, and the camera slowly pans in a circle around the woods until after 360 degrees it shows his skeleton, still bound, and then pans back around just as slowly and returns to him, alive, and then he starts trying to escape.

That's setting up a big part of how the finale is depicted, with Gawain imagining how he might die and then finding the courage to avert it (with the camera implying that's what actually happens, a stylistic touch I just adore). But in the actual ending, there's naturally much more going on: Gawain finally comes to understand the meaning of honor through a premonition that everything he gains without it will turn against him, so that despite all his success he will hate his life and himself, and the fear of living will at last overcome the fear of dying; and he proves he has the makings of a great knight by deciding he'd rather die than suffer that fate.

I've seen a lot of cinematic adaptations of pre-modern stories that include significant alterations in order to make it compatible with modern values and therefore relatable to modern audiences. The Green Knight is one of them, but the changes it makes are somehow qualitatively different than any of those other adaptations, more difficult and more thoughtful, with the result that (to me, at least) it remains more faithful to the heart of that enigmatic medieval poem than I would have ever imagined viable.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Hellraiser has lots of genuinely impressive, and revolting practical effects (the scene near the beginning when our villain, Goo Skeleton first appears is... amazing and also really gross to behold). It's also pretty clear that Clive Barker and myself don't really share a lot of preferences.

Based on all the promo material for the series, I'm kind of surprised that a Goopy Skeleton was the main villain, and not Pinhead. But Goop Skeleton was genuinely terrible and PInhead was more of a guy doing his job, based on rules only he seems to understand and which he doesn't explain to people ahead of time.

Then a skeleton dragon comes out of nowhere at the end to close out the movie and I don't know why except "We made this kickass skeleton dragon and couldn't work it into the movie before now". Which is all the justification I need, really.

Anyway, if you want a movie where a sexually frustrated woman feeds people to the gooey skeleton of her former romantic liaison after he escapes hell... umm... there's this one.
 
I watched a couple movies.

Zombie Island Massacre. I'm watching the last of my Vinegar Syndrome discs. Zombie Island Massacre is an early Troma film where tourists go to a Caribbean Island and are slowly killed off by drug dealers and an island creature (who does not appear to be a zombie). There is one voodoo zombie, I think, who does zero killing. Definitely a classic VHS bate and switch title. Its a pretty boring film despite having a lot of plot twists.

Trespass (1992). Two firefighters (Bill Paxton and William Sadler) from Arkansas find a treasure map while putting out flames in someone's apartment. The treasure map shows where the owner stashed gold from a church he looted. The treasure is in St.Louis and the fire fighters take a road trip up to St. Louis to explore for treasure. The treasure location is an abandoned apartment complex that local gangs members (notably Ice Cube and Ice Tea) are using as a hideout.

The firefighters encounter the gang members. The gang members think they are cops and a firefight breaks out. The rest of the film has some nice tension as the fire fighters barricade themselves against the gangs members in the apartment building, try to survive the gangs attacks, and look for the treasure at the same time.

Trespass is written by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis of Back to the Future and Tales from the Crypt. I enjoyed Trespass and think its worth a watch.
 
Gonna circle back to The Suicide Squad: it wasn't nearly as cynical as I was expecting/hoping but I gotta praise it for giving Idris Elba something unquestionably fun to do. He's a movie star and really shined, which doesn't always happen with his projects. Don't get me wrong, I love plenty of that garbage, too. (CATS ❤️)
 
Gonna circle back to The Suicide Squad: it wasn't nearly as cynical as I was expecting/hoping but I gotta praise it for giving Idris Elba something unquestionably fun to do. He's a movie star and really shined, which doesn't always happen with his projects. Don't get me wrong, I love plenty of that garbage, too. (CATS ❤️)
I honestly can't remember the last time Idris Elba was in a movie that didn't waste his talents or hide him behind a bunch of unrecognizable makeup. So I agree, it was very refreshing to just have him actually feature in something and have it mostly work. I struggle to say he's the solitary star of the film tho, because Margot Robbie steals everything she's in.
 
Giant shark man was fun, but I wasn't all that enamored. Since this version of King Shark was 1) just a Groot remix, and 2) inferior to Ron Funches' King Shark in just about every capacity.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Hell Comes to Frogtown is precisely the kind of trashy, exploitative 80s movie you’d expect from the title.

Fortunately, it stars Roddy Piper, and his combination of oblivious charm and embarrassment at the Movies entire premise shines through; itd have a drastically different and vastly less fun experience with just about anyone else in the lead.

Had a lot of parallels to Fury Road, just with more frogmen and fewer car chases.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
So, you just watched Hell Comes to Frogtown, eh? Well sit yourself down kid, because you're gonna learn about this soon enough, and it's better ya here it from me than learn it the hard way on the street.

Yer gonna hear things. Things about sequels. Sequels with names like The Toad Warrior. One with Robert Zdar even.

But you listen to me, and you listen good. You don't wanna track those down. You're not gonna have a good time. You're not gonna be ironically amused. You're just gonna be really, really bored.

Don't go makin' the same mistakes I made, kid.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Isn't Fury Road basically just one very short car chase followed by a second very long one though?
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
You gotta take some breaks for health and well being.

Like Immortan Joe said; “Witness Me at the Gates of Valhalla, Refreshed and Well Hydrated”
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
Reminiscence is a new release that is also available on HBO Max. It's a sci-fi neo-noir starring Hugh Jackman as the main character. I didn't know until after watching it that the writer/director for this was also a co-creator of HBO's Westworld adaptation, and in retrospect I can definitely see that connection. Ultimately I thought it was a bit uninteresting despite having a decent premise. It tries to make some socio-political points about climate change as part of the setting (it takes place post-climate change disasters), which was okay but IMO not nearly enough. Other than that, I think it leans too heavily on narration for the rest of the story -- the old "show, don't tell" thing -- but also if you've seen/read enough sci-fi stories, then this isn't really gonna do anything new for you.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I watched The Black Hole with the kids.

First up, this is not a good film. At all. It is very watchable, however, and I think there's something interesting in there somewhere. The problem is that the film can't decide if it's a Star Wars-y romp with cute robots or proto Event Horizon. There's ridiculous laser shoot outs with R2 rip offs doing barrel rolls then there's genuinely alarming zombie henchmen and a man getting food blendered.

The idea of an apparently dead lost starship found hanging in space above a black hole is a vivid one, which has been reused at least once that I can think of (Doctor Who) and it's a shame the results aren't a bit better here.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Zatoichi At Large

On vacation, I noted to a friend that I've been watching and enjoying the Zatoichi series. JBear contended that in my reviews my enjoyment seemed to be more academic than anything else and I contended otherwise, acknowledging the series has weaknesses but I enjoy it more than I didn't. But Zatoichi at Large doesn't make a good case. Most of the later Zatoichi's have been improvements, especially since Katsu Shintaro started his own studio to produce the films. This is the first film were he through in with Toho and the results are disappointing. As a "product" it's competent. The problem is the film feels like a bunch of recycled plots. Ichi must look after a kid? Been there. Ichi accused of a crime he didn't commit by a confused innocent? Happens twice. Unimportant side characters that are likely popular Japanese comedians I'm unfamiliar with? All over the place. Zatoichi at Large gives us very little and its a bummer that the production quality exceeds the script. Since this is near the end, I can't help wondering if even Katsu is ready to give the character a rest. Only two more before a very LONG break, then the final film (which I hope youtube hasn't taken down by the time I get to it.)
 
Hellraiser has lots of genuinely impressive, and revolting practical effects (the scene near the beginning when our villain, Goo Skeleton first appears is... amazing and also really gross to behold). It's also pretty clear that Clive Barker and myself don't really share a lot of preferences.

Based on all the promo material for the series, I'm kind of surprised that a Goopy Skeleton was the main villain, and not Pinhead. But Goop Skeleton was genuinely terrible and PInhead was more of a guy doing his job, based on rules only he seems to understand and which he doesn't explain to people ahead of time.

Then a skeleton dragon comes out of nowhere at the end to close out the movie and I don't know why except "We made this kickass skeleton dragon and couldn't work it into the movie before now". Which is all the justification I need, really.

Anyway, if you want a movie where a sexually frustrated woman feeds people to the gooey skeleton of her former romantic liaison after he escapes hell... umm... there's this one.
Can you watch 2 and review it?
3 is first one where Pinhead is the villain. But if you watch more stop at 4. 4 is not great, but has a space station, which you might appreciate!
 
hellraiser 2 on shudder. oh well, if you do get shudder Joe Bob Briggs did Hellraiser 2 end of season2 with special guests Ashley Laurence and Doug Bradley
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Watched Us as part of Octo Prime Movie Time discord. It was a very good people-choppin' kind of movie that lost a few points near the end when they decided to explain what was going up with all the people-choppin'. One of those situations where not only was it scarier not knowing why anything was happening, but the explanation just introduced plotholes and was more confusing than if nothing was said about it at all.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
My Zatoichi journey is near it's end.

Zatoichi in Desperation

This one isn't the strongest but it does benefit from start Shintaro Katsu behind the camera for this one. If there's one thing I love about him is that I think a lot of producers and directors and writers are pushing for our hero to be a good guy wracked with guilt but while Katsu is clearly in tune with the character, it never feels like he wants to use the character for his own vanity. I feel like he wants to push the series in not just more violent directions, but darker ones. I don't just mean meaner villains, but having the protagonist in positions that make him more pathetic. He's not a bad person, but he's so very flawed.

In this one, he accidentally assists in the death of an innocent. Not by accidentally cutting her down but rather she falls from a bridge by herself and while she's hanging on, he accidentally jabs her hand with his cane while trying to figure out what is going on, sending her plunging to her death. As someone who has a deep-seated fear of my own irresponsibility causing someone to be hurt, this speaks to me. Ichi, feeling trauma and guilt, is determined to free the old woman's daughter from a life of prostitution... unaware that the daughter is actually kind of indifferent to his intended heroism. She thinks its nice but she didn't find her life uncomfortable. Meanwhile, there's a concurrent story of a 14 year old girl in the same situation who has it far worse that the usually perceptive Ichi fails to notice. And for this failing, she and other people suffer.

Zatoichi is a relentless bleak adventure for the character, culminating in Ichi pushed into a corner greater than most of his adventures, maybe even the Fire Festival, by a far less competent but more fortuitous villain. Ichi manages to come up with a solution but by the stories end, despite the villain being defeated and the people no longer being harassed, it is not triumphant. Its quite sad as Ichi limps along to his next adventure. I will say it risks a Madonna/Whore complex but I feel like the "whore" isn't a bad person so much as not invested in the way things Ichi thinks they should be and is clearly in love with someone else. It's not my favourite but there's a lot to like, including a weirdly funky soundtrack.

Zatoichi's Conspiracy

A disappointing entry before the series goes to the small screen. It won't return for 15 years and I'll get to that one soon. But this is the last one for a long while. I wish it was better because the set up is great; Ichi returns to his childhood hometown where one of his childhood friend's is now an evil corrupt official/yakuza. That's a set up perfect for emotional power but I barely feel like the characters know each other and it lacks the sense of melancholy I think the film needs. It's also a bit dull, only livened up by a gang of rowdy punk kids.

One film left and hopefully no one took it off youtube.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
For the first time in a year and a half, I went to the movies and saw The Suicide Squad. It's James Gunn at his most self (except maybe Slither, which I haven't seen yet), a mix of irreverent gore and characters we actually care about even while fully embracing that they are largely not good people. Most of them are bad people but he finds them capable of something good and human in the core cast... mostly. But yeah, I think it is easy to forget that while the Guardians movies are over the top with violence and broad comedy that he engineers real affection for the characters and The Suicide Squad is no different, even if two of them spend a scene murdering armed guards who turn out to be on their own side. It's hard to properly balance proper and appropriate emotional weight with the thrill of a bunch of dumb goobers in costumes getting blowed up and blowing people up but the Suicide Squad makes me care for a lot of these characters. I think that all of the actors fucking kill it and there are some comedy bits that are going to stick with me for a while (not groundbreaking so much as well-played).

I like that this isn't Harley's story (entirely) but she is neither short changed nor does she bulldoze the rest of a story she is a part of but is much more about Ratcatcher II and Bloodsport. Even though the story is only partially hers, what she is given to do is not only funny and action packed but also features a great speech, one that I feel like takes a scene where I knew it was going and adds some weight with a bit of dark humour but also some truth to the character. Despite my feeling that it isn't about her, she is essential and adds so much to an already good movie and leads to some of the most weirdly beautiful moments.

I love the movie and I love what James Gunn brings. I want this series to continue. But I don't know if I want Gunn back. Not because he wouldn't make another killer movie but because I feel like the Suicide Squad movies should go the Mission: Impossible route, with each one bringing a director who can bring their own style to it and having Margot Robbie as the series constant. Heck, she's already probably the best part of the DC Cinematic Universe so make her producer like she was for Birds of Prey.
 
Top