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Movie Time 2.0: TT mini reviews

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
Fire Island is an adorable romcom, an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice but with gay men. Gay men in their 30s slot pretty cleanly into the stories of Victorian women ten years their junior, and I would like more movies like this, thanks. Also Conrad Ricamora is perfection, like the best romcom character ever. Real “I had fun once, it was terrible” energy. Every moment he’s on-screen is a delight.

I do have to chuckle at the movie trying to criticize the community’s shallowness while also spending 90 minutes exclusively focusing on the hunks. Like there’s exactly one fat guy in the entire movie who only exists to criticize fat-phobia at the beginning and then retreat into the background, his warding ritual complete.

Like, Joel Kim Booster takes his shirt off and the friend goes, “I don’t know how you can conform to our community’s impossible beauty standards” and, like, huh? I don’t know a single person who would scold their friend for being traditionally hot. How dare you conform to beauty standards with your actual body.

The movie’s trying to talk about the “No fats, no fems, no Asians” phenomenon that plagues hookup culture, and how any one of those things marks you as undesirable, which, yeah, good point. But then the fat guy spends the whole movie as an accessory, usually hiding his body, having all his sexual escapades off-screen.

It’s no more or less shallow than any other romcom, though. If you’re a fan of that genre, it’s top-notch.
 

Tegan

𝑬𝑿▰▰▰▰▰▱▱▱
(She/Her)
I'm still digesting Hatching; I'm not sure I could tell you what it's about, only that it's very good.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
I guess Everything Everywhere is not going to walk away with title of 'Badger's Favorite Movie of 2022' because I just saw RRR. It is a hard movie to explain; its basically historical fan-fiction about a pair of early 20th century Indian revolutionaries. Imagine if Michael Bay directed Braveheart, but it was also a musical and a Fast & Furious movie.

The movie starts heightened; its at 11 and you don't think it can go bigger. But somehow for 3 hours it just keeps going bigger.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Halloween III: Spirit of the Witch is a bad, mean-spirited movie which is also fun to watch thanks to it's wacked out plot and killer score from John Carpenter.


Also, Tom Atkins is a fun horror actor and needs to be in more horror things.
 

Violentvixen

(She/Her)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is on Paramount+ and is about as fun as the first movie, only with less unnecessary humans and more pastel furries. So, perfect for Sonic fans and precisely no one else.

I'm impressed at how much Rachel justifies the presence of the unnecessary humans. This woman is just livid that she has to live in a Sonic the Hedgehog movie. I would watch a whole series that's just her trying to have a normal day until a talking animal shows up with a Chaos Emerald and suddenly everyone around her starts spouting nonsense and pointing not-guns. I demand every ill-advised live action adaptation have a character like this from now on.

I'm looking forward to the Idris Elba Knuckles series and hope it's as overwrought as he is. Please give me Ken Penders-style scenes with dozens of echidnae who are all just Knuckles in a hat.

I am also a total hypocrite because I was very tepid on Chip and Dale and yet loved this movie, even though Chip and Dale is definitely a better movie.

We watched this last night because I have Paramount+ for free and I've heard so much from other people I had to see it myself.

I'm glad I didn't have to see this in a theater, we did a lot of fast-forwarding through the human-only scenes. With the strong exception of this scene with Rachel, because this is amazing and I have no idea why a Sonic movie has a bride slow walking from an explosion while chugging champagne but I have no complaints. Also a general positive is how many non-white actors there are, that's pretty cool.


Jim Carrey is completely bonkers and doesn't count as a human character anymore, in a good way. Stone is there for Jim Carrey to bounce off of and it works (also Stone is extremely attractive so that doesn't hurt). The final boss robot was exactly the right design and movement pattern.

The scenes that actually involved Sonic/Knuckles/Tails were how I expected the first movie to be! I think my final wrapup is that I truly don't understand why they even made the first movie, they could have taken a couple scenes from Sonic 1 and replaced/reworded a couple in Sonic 2 and had a much better movie.

I wouldn't really recommend this to anyone and have no desire to watch it again, but there's something oddly fascinating about it.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
I just watched the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers film that had no reason to exist. It feels too self-indulgently Hollywood, a look from the inside that always feels like it strikes the fourth wall too hard. I get it, it's supposed to be meta, but when you're getting into the more intimate aspects of the film industry and struggling actors, it's maybe a little too inside for my tastes. You have to really be involved in that kind of life for it to have any real relevance to you, and without that attachment, I just don't care all that much.

In short, I didn't like it. I didn't expect to like it, I didn't even want to like it, and for the most part, I didn't. But perhaps not for the expected reasons. And I find myself especially resenting the parts that are funny, because I can't give the movie that full-throated hatred I gave it before I watched it. These moments happen much too infrequently, sandwiched between references for the sake of references and "I know what happens next, because it's a trope!," but they do exist. Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats in a alley was a nice touch.

(Sonic 2 was way better, in that its jokes felt in full service of the storyline, rather than smashed in there as general commentary on the film industry. Tell us what you REALLY think of mockbusters, Disney. I guess only mighty you have the right to wallow in the spoils of public domain, not anybody else.)
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
ViolentVixen: Regarding Sonic, I liked Rachel much better in the second movie than the first, where she was a volatile, disapproving sister-in-law. But I'm looking back at the continuity of the two films and it feels like they wasted her daughter, who starts out as a kindergartener cobbling velocity proof shoes for Sonic, and spends the sequel doing next to nothing. Okay, why was Jojo making NASA-grade footwear for Sonic in the first flick? If she's that smart, they should have made her besties with Tails, the other child genius inventor. It just felt like a wasted opportunity, not expanding on that character and strengthening her purpose.
 

Tegan

𝑬𝑿▰▰▰▰▰▱▱▱
(She/Her)
I don't think it's ever implied that she made the shoes, IIRC she just gives him some nice shoes that they just happened to have.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
Really? You're right; I'm Googling this and there's no indication she made them. For some reason, I presumed that she actually crafted the shoes, and that they were highly resistant to wear under heavy use. I mean, it's Sonic. It seems like he'd burn through normal shoes in a heartbeat.
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
I guess Everything Everywhere is not going to walk away with title of 'Badger's Favorite Movie of 2022' because I just saw RRR. It is a hard movie to explain; its basically historical fan-fiction about a pair of early 20th century Indian revolutionaries. Imagine if Michael Bay directed Braveheart, but it was also a musical and a Fast & Furious movie.

The movie starts heightened; its at 11 and you don't think it can go bigger. But somehow for 3 hours it just keeps going bigger.
I have heard a lot of people liked this movie, but after looking into it even a bit, I don’t want to see a ultranationalist movie from India with all the bad stuff the Indian government is doing right now.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
I can see that, though I don't know enough about Indian politics to comment on how the movie portrays things. From an outsiders perspective it was mostly "fuck the British colonialists" which is a sentiment I think most of the world can agree with.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Disney's the Hunchback of Notre Dame is... it's an odd duck. Even as a kid, I was like "I'm pretty sure the source material was nothing like this." (Weirdly, from minimal research, the goat is in the book). Heck, the end of the book is heartbreakingly and morbidly sad. It's such a weird pick to make into a Disney movie, even considering how Disney makes their own spin on old stories. It's a tragic epic and making a ridiculously happy ending is very weird, even more than the other tragedies turned into adventures.

But what about it's own terms, not worrying about extra-textural sources? A mixed bag. Kevin Kline's Phoebus is pretty blah (no slight on Kline) but Tom Holce's Quasimodo is great. Demi is fine. Tony Jay is stellar as Frollo, the villain and one of the best parts of the movie and his song Hellfire is haunting when the others are, at best, forgettable. The gargoyles just suck and should not have been in the movie. I hate them and they add little. I think you can make a case they are in Quasimodo's head but if they made that more text, I'd be more permissive. But they are literally fighting soldiers in the climax so no. It has good stuff but as a whole its definitely one of the weaker Disney Renaissance films but it's not for lack of trying and I do think there are a few soulful moments. It's not nearly the embarrassment it could have been but it's a misguided film in a lot of ways.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I watched Hunchback for the first time in 2012, and was really blown away by how much I enjoyed it. That includes the music, there are some songs aside from Hellfire that I really like. Especially The Bells of Notre Dame was an amazing entrance to the movie. I adore that song.

That said, it's definitely an incredibly weird choice, and after reading Les Miserables, I'm itching to read through this one as well. I really need to be able to compare the source with that movie. The whole idea is so weird.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
It is and I feel like whoever made it probably liked the book but it's weird to stretch yourself into pretzels to make it a Disney.

Also, my brain immediately defaults to "Just take him out to lunch, jack."
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I couldn't say with certainty but it still might have been a response. They probably announced it and someone probably realized how dumb a chirpy musical for this would be (not as outlandish as a Streetcar Named Desire but still) and made a sketch on it. Just a theory.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
I finally saw The Beach That Makes You Old. It... is one of the singularly most stupid movies I have ever seen.

It is not terrible. There is a beach that makes you old, and, like, it is basically a play with some light horror elements. You establish the characters, everyone has their clearly defined personality quirks and problems, and then you see how they grapple and cope with what is going on. Straightforward, and vaguely a morality tale about dealing with aging and watching your family change over the years, not too much to it. But I swear there must have been, like, a test viewing where people didn't get it, or the author(s) (whoever is responsible for the actual writing in this case, to be clear) automatically thought people wouldn't get it, or... something. Whatever happened, the end result is that the characters take for freaking ever to figure out what is going on despite immediate and obvious evidence, and then spend the rest of the plot explaining the premise at every available opportunity. Like, it is only a marginal exaggeration to say actual dialogue sounded something like, "Oh no! He cannot hear me because he is old now and old people have bad hearing! Because we are on a beach that makes us old!"

And to get into something specific (spoilers/description of body horror): there is a great segment toward the end wherein the woman that apparently has a calcium deficiency is repeatedly breaking her own bones, and they are healing too quickly, and she is basically turning into some kind of spider monster because all her limbs are all cracked and broken into horrible positions, but she is still scampering along and threatening the children. And, like, it is a great scene, because it somehow makes what is technically an 80 year old woman with brittle bones an actual threat that you can believe is going to hurt characters you care about. If you think about it for five seconds, it is ridiculous (she can barely stand up! She is not a threat to anyone!), but it is directed in a great way that really makes you feel the horror and menace of the character. Or, at least it would be, if the characters weren't taking the time to stand there and shout, "Oh no her bones are healing in the wrong way because we are on the beach that makes you old", and... dammit. Just shut-up and let the horror happen.

And do not get me started on the whole pregnancy subplot and how the related girl/woman is (plot wise) barely more than a womb followed by a sudden death that screams "we're done with this character now". I swear someone wanted to do the whole "and then one of the 'kids' gets pregnant!" concept without thinking for a damn minute how that would fit into anything else happening beyond being uncomfortable for everybody.

Oh, and when they finally get to the inevitable "twist" at the finale that explains the why of the beach that makes you old, and the purpose of who was chosen and all that... I swear they do nothing but reinforce the explanation for like 15 minutes. We get it! The movie is over now! Just call it!

Anywho, it isn't a bad movie, I just thought it was presented in, like, the dumbest way possible.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Rewatched X-Men for the first time in a while, and while I remember the film as being my Favourite of that series, I think I may have just been laser-focused on Ian McKellan; everyone else is in a summer blockbuster superhero movie (that is deeply Embarrassed to be in a superhero movie), but Ian is not.

He is Erik Lensherr, the Mutant Master of Magnetism, everyone knows it, so he doesn’t have to really belabour the point. And yet he is also acting circles around *even Patrick Stewart*.

In every other case with X-Men, when I read the comics it’s the 92 cartoons voices I hear for the characters. Except Magneto; he’s just Gandalf.

While my biggest complaint with the movie is that it’s embarrassed to be a comic book movie, I can’t really fault the costume work that went into the movie; I’d have preferred everyone in brightly coloured spandex but everyone wearing leather jumpsuits does fit with the original X-Men uniforms, and I liked Magneto having a well tailored purple suit or Sabertooth wearing all animal furs.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
Like, it is only a marginal exaggeration to say actual dialogue sounded something like, "Oh no! He cannot hear me because he is old now and old people have bad hearing! Because we are on a beach that makes us old!"

I kinda love that one of the characters just literally walks right up to every character and asks them what their full name and profession is, which everyone then happily recites.

And to get into something specific (spoilers/description of body horror): there is a great segment toward the end wherein the woman that apparently has a calcium deficiency is repeatedly breaking her own bones, and they are healing too quickly, and she is basically turning into some kind of spider monster because all her limbs are all cracked and broken into horrible positions, but she is still scampering along and threatening the children. And, like, it is a great scene, because it somehow makes what is technically an 80 year old woman with brittle bones an actual threat that you can believe is going to hurt characters you care about. If you think about it for five seconds, it is ridiculous (she can barely stand up! She is not a threat to anyone!), but it is directed in a great way that really makes you feel the horror and menace of the character. Or, at least it would be, if the characters weren't taking the time to stand there and shout, "Oh no her bones are healing in the wrong way because we are on the beach that makes you old", and... dammit. Just shut-up and let the horror happen.

That scene in particular is where all the pieces fell into place and it sank in for me that Shayamalan seems to have some sort of actual irrational phobia of old people. Not aging mind you just... an irrational fear of human beings who are over a certain age in the same sort of way that I will absolutely freak the hell out if I see a centipede in my home. Explains a lot about the movie as a whole. And that other one. And probably at least parts of the rest.

And do not get me started on the whole pregnancy subplot and how the related girl/woman is (plot wise) barely more than a womb followed by a sudden death that screams "we're done with this character now". I swear someone wanted to do the whole "and then one of the 'kids' gets pregnant!" concept without thinking for a damn minute how that would fit into anything else happening beyond being uncomfortable for everybody.
So if you weren't aware, Old is (preeeeeetty loosely) based on a friend graphic novel called Sandcastle. Basically everything that makes you laugh at the pure absurdity is an invention of the movie, from the weird exposition to the framing device to "wait his name is seriously Midsize Sedan?" and of course that body horror scene. The pregnancy bit plays out way different in the source material. None of this "oh, the baby died because she wasn't constantly eating which you'd think would be a problem everyone would have to deal with equally" nonsense, no no we get a full on adult baby and it's super awkward and we gotta sit with it.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
I really didn't understand the calculus the hotel owners were using to justify their actions. Like, the beach doesn't enable them to create new medicines, it just allows them to test their long term effects faster. How do they think that gives them the moral standing to sentence those people to death? Much less their healthy children? And why would you test multiple families at once, increasing the chance of violent incidents like the ones that occurred in the movie?
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
Adding to your question and discussing the reveal of the ending: Medical Trials do not work like that. And I don't mean the writers simply "got it wrong" or whatever, I mean, a medical trial performed like that simply will not work. They make a big deal about the woman surviving so long without a seizure on their new seizure medicine, but they literally do not know if that is simply because her exclusive biology worked well with it, because the high-stress situation of the beach that makes you old triggered the right conditions for the medicine to work, or even if the medicine reacted well to some other stimulus specific to this very unique situation. Like, never mind the fact that they are straight up sacrificing people in daily batches here, this is an incredibly unscientific way to test medicine of any kind. And never mind that they are simply "observing" through distance cameras and maybe some kind of audio recordings. Patients could be walking around on this new medicine with it causing cases of the genital smurfs or something, and no one would ever know (unless the writers made them continually shout "And for some reason, I have genital smurfs, too! I do not know if this is because the beach is making us old, though. It is a mystery to be solved later!") Labcoat dudes just ain't doin' it right at all.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I’m glad I clicked those spoilers because I had no no intention of watching the movie and that plot twist is so bonkers
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
I am also glad, because "genital smurfs" is a delightful phrase that will entertain me all day.
 

Violentvixen

(She/Her)
Haven't seen the movie but I can confirm that we do not run pharmaceutical trials on different age/gender/pregnancy status group cohorts on evil beaches. But hey, maybe they know something I don't. I'm not into horror movies but might have to look up the ending to see just how bad this explanation is.
 
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