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Movie Time 2.0: TT mini reviews

Purple

(She/Her)
On the one hand, yes. At the start of his career, M. Night Shaymalan accidentally made a good movie. I don't know if that was because of studio meddling or a lack of confidence or not having found his voice yet or what. But I do sincerely feel that his later movies, and Old in particular is what it is 100% on purpose. Like, it's BAD. It's DUMB. But everything in it feels very intentional. Like he sat down and went "I am going to make a movie where 100% of the dialog is surreally explicit exposition. An I am going to give a rapper the most ridiculously arbitrary name I can think of. And I am going to have a truly truly ridiculous boss battle at the end."

It's not like he's still trying to make 6th Senses and failing. He is succeeding in making weird garbage. And I have to respect that.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
Yeah, it gave me The Happening vibes. It's made in a way nobody else makes movies, and it doesn't seem like an accident.

The thing about the ending is that trying to come up with a logical explanation at all is a bizarre instinct. The exact same story except the hotel owners are just sacrificing people to please an elder god using a magic aging beach would make more sense.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Was in the mood for a werewolf movie, and in the mood to whittle down my streaming movie backlog, so I sat down to watch I Am Lisa, which… was fine. Better than it’s 3.5 on IMDB would suggest, at least. Felt like a middle of the road episode of Buffy.

Gal gets beaten nearly to death by a corrupt sheriff and her cronies, but instead of being eaten by wolves as corpse disposal as intended, she gets bit by a whillwharf and then becomes a wharwelf and then she uses her new powers to get revenge for herself.

Movie is carried more on the strength of the lead actress being pretty likeable more than anything else; there’s lots of points where the editing or sound design slips, but the makeup effects are decent (the werewolf makeup looks exactly like the vampires from Buffy). Movie also decides to be a horror comedy for a good chunk of the middle which didn’t really fit the tone of the rest of the movie.

Still, decent enough. Didn’t distract me from playing a fun video game, but I also didn’t feel tempted to turn it off so I could focus on a fun video game. Kind of movie you’d rent at Blockbuster on a Sunday morning.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
I'm still stunned how on reflection I think my favorite werewolf movie is actually Ginger Snaps 2. It... really takes a hell of a turn.

Meanwhile, I just sat a friend down to watch Weird Science for the first time, and my first time watching it in a good long while, and like... OK, we've got this scene towards the end with these guys:
weirdscience-07.jpg


And like, OK, the idea is that the magic computer genie girl the protagonists have created to dom them into manhood decides what they really need is for some Mad Maxes to show up, for them to have to stand up to, and so she summons them to crash the party, sure. Honestly, this is probably better logical progression than literally any other scene in the movie. And then they do that, sure, and being just magically summoned enemies here to pick on these losers specifically (and... kind of assault some innocent bystanders which is pretty uncool), they're pretty easily and nonviolently defeated, and we have an actually quite funny bit where they'll all "you have a lovely home by the way" and all... but then the bald guy says something like "could we not talk about this whole thing? I don't want to lose my teaching job," and NOWI HAVE QUESTIONS.

Were these four not all just kinda magically conjured from nothing? Was this a pre-existing Mad Max gang just existing in the area who only do all this stuff for fun on the weekends? Or were random people from around town Mad Maxified and compelled to come violently crash the party? I can accept that computers are just magic and that this one particular brand of alcohol makes you speak jive and that somehow these two awkward weirdos are the popular kids/bullies at school, but this one, this stuck with me.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
Yes, the computer AI has the amazing ability to turn meek schoolteachers and other ordinary people into scary skinhead bikers, for the sole purpose of teaching two teenage nerds a lesson. It's a dumb, random movie that comes oh-so-close to being aware of its improbable self-indulgence. The lead character is literally a Deus ex Machina, who shows up at the start of the movie rather than the end. She turns the one kid's obnoxious thug brother into a turd monster. It's a cracked out power fantasy for geeks. Coherence and logic is not strictly necessary here.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
One of the bikers is also the head villain in the original The Hills Have Eyes and also appears as a goofy serial killer in the absolutely bonkers Voyage of the Rock Aliens.

Last night, after hearing about it for years, I finally watched Magic, the movie with the scary as fuck preview that traumatized a generation of children.


It's not as scary as that preview but it's a decent if imperfect psychological thriller about a magician named Corky who gooses his act with a foul-mouthed ventriloquist dummy named Fats but when he is finally about to hit the big time, he is told he needs a medical check... and this soft spoken guy flips out. Turns out his partner for years has been a second personality and he's terrified of someone finding out and ends up hiding in his old hometown where the woman he pined for never moved on... and it turned out she pined for him too. But three's a crowd, as they say and four moreso because she's married and the dummy has little interest in any relationships for Corky that aren't him.

The actors are all good but I guess mostly there are few surprises and twists through the film. Director Attenborough is definitely trying to be Hitchcockian and there are definitely some good misdirects, which goes into some of the movie's themes. But while I didn't want the movie to be all misdirects, it's not hard to see where a lot of the bigger picture plot was heading with few surprises (I was expecting one but it was dispelled pretty quickly).

Hopkins is good but originally they were looking at Gene Wilder for the role and I would have loved to see that. I also appreciate the film doesn't make Corky without his dummy "good" as part of an attempt as psychic connection he keeps harassing and yelling at the woman he loves and it turns out he isn't just unwell but he was actually performing a magic trick and his cruelty was a nasty misdirect to make her think they DID have a psychic connection.

Overall, it's a good movie with a great cast and a William Goldman script but I guess I was hoping for more. Still, decent film.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
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.

I’m legitimately sad that the Shayamalan Tales from the Crypt isn’t happening. It would’ve been the perfect playground for him.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
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.
I haven't seen one of his movies in years but it seems like it ties into what seems to be a fear of mental illness that manifests in making people with mental problems (and I'm going to assume this problematic aspect bleeds into his depiction of neurodivergence, again, going only by descriptions of his films) scary monsters.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
Reminds me of how HP Lovecraft described minorities with the same morbid, melodramatic tone as his frightening tentacled creatures from other worlds. He was supposed to be a master of horror, but I got the feeling he was just a scared little man, afraid of everything outside his narrow comfort zone.

I think Stephen King got it right, turning things that normally bring people comfort into unexpected threats. Family pets, classic cars, a loving spouse... what possible harm could THEY do to you? More than you'd think, apparently.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Reminds me of how HP Lovecraft described minorities with the same morbid, melodramatic tone as his frightening tentacled creatures from other worlds. He was supposed to be a master of horror, but I got the feeling he was just a scared little man, afraid of everything outside his narrow comfort zone.
I mean, he may have been scared of everyone except English people, but he was still a giant racist. There's no excuse for that. (Not that I think you're trying to excuse it, I'm just annoyed at how in the year of our lord 2022 we're still using this jerk's ideas like they're fresh.)
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
I'll admit, I'm not deeply familiar with his work, aside from that unfortunate quote and general pop culture osmosis. I'll give him credit for that one episode of Night Gallery where the dude died, then refrigerated himself to preserve his re-animated corpse. Night Gallery lacked the sense of clarity and purpose than Rod Serling's previous show The Twilight Zone had, but that was satisfyingly weird and creepy. It still didn't make a whole lot of sense, but you know, Night Gallery.
 

Tegan

𝑬𝑿▰▰▰▰▰▱▱▱
(She/Her)
Knowing that the cat from The Rats in the Walls was named after his actual cat really shines a light on it.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Muppet Treasure Island is my least favourite theatrical muppet movie with the caveat I have not seen Muppets in Space. But it isn't bad. Like Muppet Christmas Carol, the weakness is the muppets add tonal texture but their goofs just aren't funny. They aren't awful, they are just there. Tim Curry is bringing it but I feel like this version of Long John Silver, one of literature's great villains/antiheroes is slightly underwritten so when he does a good thing (but never redeems himself), it doesn't land as strongly. Still, there's a bit of what I want in there and Curry's charm shines through. I will also say it has three good songs but only the first one is permanently lodged in my mind.

 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Didn’t know there was a sequel to Westworld, but apparently there was, and it was called Future World and it is… not great. Not tragic or nothin’, just one of those 1970s movies that are real slow paced and also really boring.

It telegraphed what you’d expect the story to be incredibly blatantly; I don’t know how many times you can repeat that Futureworld is a theme park where nothing can possibly go wrong, before it stops being foreshadowing and starts becoming a forecast, but it definitely came as a surprise when nothing goes wrong with it. It’s a perfect vacation spot to get your fill of robot sex and robot murder.

Murder and sex of robots by you, not like Terminators making baby terminators.

The only actual negative consequence is that the company that built the park is abducting it’s more affluent customers, killing them, and then replacing them with genetic duplicates that have humanities best interests at heart which is depicted as a bad thing.

Yul Brynner gets top billing despite only showing up in a dream sequence where he ties up Blythe Danner with twizzlers.
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
On the one hand, yes. At the start of his career, M. Night Shaymalan accidentally made a good movie. I don't know if that was because of studio meddling or a lack of confidence or not having found his voice yet or what. But I do sincerely feel that his later movies, and Old in particular is what it is 100% on purpose. Like, it's BAD. It's DUMB. But everything in it feels very intentional. Like he sat down and went "I am going to make a movie where 100% of the dialog is surreally explicit exposition. An I am going to give a rapper the most ridiculously arbitrary name I can think of. And I am going to have a truly truly ridiculous boss battle at the end."

It's not like he's still trying to make 6th Senses and failing. He is succeeding in making weird garbage. And I have to respect that.
I was listening to Late Seating's review of Lady in the Water and they posited that M. Night Shyamalan must have dirt on one or many people in Hollywood to keep getting the kind of funding he does for films.
 
I was listening to Late Seating's review of Lady in the Water and they posited that M. Night Shyamalan must have dirt on one or many people in Hollywood to keep getting the kind of funding he does for films.


looking at the performance of most recent work, i think there's a less conspiratorial reason:

Budget $18 million
Box office $90.2 million

Budget $20 million
Box office $247 million

Budget $9 million
Box office $278.5 million

Budget $5 million
Box office $98.5 million

he's a pretty good investment!

there was a brief period from lady in the water through after earth when he was getting budgets that were really big that mostly just didn't work, and although those tanked his critical reputation the only one of those that was a commercial failure was lady in the water, and even that broke even—since then he's been getting small budgets and using them very successfully

his movies don't always work for me, but honestly in 2022 i'm basically happy to see anyone make successful wide release movies that feel like they're the result of extremely personal artistic choices and not the IP factory
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
I wish I'd seen Top Gun Maverick before hearing people gush about Top Gun Maverick. It was pretty good, though not the masterpiece I'd been led to believe. Seeing jets in action is inherently really cool, and there was a lot of that. The rest was just enough of everything else to hold it together.
 

jpfriction

A most radical pontiff
(He, Him)
Beavis and Butthead Do the Universe isn’t as good as Do America, or probably just watching them riff on videos for 90 minutes, but few things are and it’s still new B&B content in the year of our lord 2022 and that’s just dandy. I enjoyed it.
 

Sarcasmorator

Same as I ever was
(He/him)
Watched and enjoyed Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, but something about it felt a little lacking? Just, narratively. One effect of there being so many shows that last for 4-6 hours is that the two hours of a movie feel a bit lightweight in terms of events covered, and the films are kinda becoming stops in between shows rather than the shows filling in space between movies. And the seams of the effects were showing more than usual, I thought.
 
One effect of there being so many shows that last for 4-6 hours is that the two hours of a movie feel a bit lightweight in terms of events covered, and the films are kinda becoming stops in between shows rather than the shows filling in space between movies.
Honestly I feel like the opposite. The shows seem to only exist to set up films that come later and rarely end in a satisfying place because they're just elaborate prologues for theatrical events. And most of the D+ Marvel shows feel like they only have enough narrative content for a film and are stretched wayyyyy too thin. Like, Kamala here in her show? She's barely scratching the surface of her identity and powers, and we're like two hours deep into her story. And there's already been like 5 discrete scenes of her disappointing her parents which is beginning to feel a bit redundant.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I have also watched the 197- Anthony Hopkins psychological thriller Magic, and, yup… Good but Not as Good as I Was Hoping.

Movie really picks up steam in the back half when it changes gears from “Awkward Stage Magician Tries to Make it Big” into “Psycho, except Little Wooden Boy”

Kind of weird that the Dummy gets separate billing in the credits, But then he also steals the show when ol’ Tony Hops gets all ga-ga for murder.
 

Sarcasmorator

Same as I ever was
(He/him)
Watched and enjoyed Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, but something about it felt a little lacking? Just, narratively. One effect of there being so many shows that last for 4-6 hours is that the two hours of a movie feel a bit lightweight in terms of events covered, and the films are kinda becoming stops in between shows rather than the shows filling in space between movies. And the seams of the effects were showing more than usual, I thought.
Another issue with it: it just has Wanda repeat her character arc from WandaVision (drastic solution to a major loss --> insistence she's not a monster --> realization that she is a monster --> repentance). It tries to blame this on her using the Darkhold, but... it's still the same arc, just with her conjured children as the driver of it instead of Vision.
 

Paul le Fou

24/7 lofi hip hop man to study/relax to
(He)
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.
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.

Yeah, I watched this movie and did not like it.
One: This is not in and of itself a bad thing, but it's very standard Indian cinema. It's absolutely cartoonish in how melodramatic, overblown, and simplistic everything is. Again, that's fine if you like that, but I don't, and from the ways people were talking about it I thought it'd somehow be different. It's not.

Two: It felt pretty nationalist. I wasn't 100% clear on the details, or the exact details of India's modern-day politics, and it rubbed me the wrong way even before I started looking into it after the movie. I didn't recognize almost any of the heroic historical figures in the end, but even I thought it was odd that Ghandi and Nehru weren't included (maybe because they're the only ones I'd know, but I found that sentiment echoed by Indian critics as well). It also gets kinda racist in a few weird ways. The Gond character, Bheem, has a moment where he laments how foolish he was for not understanding the great Ram's plan (despite it being an extremely secretive plan that even we the audience only learn about more than halfway into the 3-hour movie, with his actions up to that point appearing to be the exact opposite of his apparent true intentions); It's shown that he can't read or write (yet the historical figure could in fact read and write) contrasted with Ram's piles of books because he's super-smart. And at the end, his request to the other guy was "Teach me!" or "Give me an education!" positioning him as the lesser of two heroes. The movie thinks it's setting up these two equals, but it's pretty clear that one is meant to be The Real Hero and the other guy is, while also heroic, definitely a lesser/sidekick role, and that's before it dresses up Ram very literally as a Rama figure.

Also, Netflix only has the Hindi dubbed audio track instead of the Telugu-language original. It took me literally half of this 3-hour movie to realize that was why all of the dialog was so terribly ADR'd.

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.
That's exactly what someone in Big Pharma would say, isn't it?! Nice try, ViolentVixen, or should I say BigPharmaVixen!

On the one hand, yes. At the start of his career, M. Night Shaymalan accidentally made a good movie.
Two! Unbreakable was a good movie and I will die on that hill. The rest is as you say, though.
 
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Sprite

(He/Him/His)
Beavis and Butthead Do the Universe isn’t as good as Do America, or probably just watching them riff on videos for 90 minutes, but few things are and it’s still new B&B content in the year of our lord 2022 and that’s just dandy. I enjoyed it.
We just finished watching it, and yeah. Just what it says on the tin. I love how many elements try to creep in and raise the stakes to turn it into an actual movie but B&B just refuse to engage with anything beyond trying to score. I needed something stupid, and it delivered.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I wanted to watch Beavis and Butthead Do The Universe, but I didn’t want to get lost in the plot so I Rewatched Beavis and Butthead Do America instead.

Still a very, very fun movie about two very, very dumb people being completely oblivious to the tense high stakes action movie happening all around them. Exactly what you’d want from 90 minutes worth of Beavis and Butthead

Probably the most emoting Bruce Willis has done in any movie outside of Die Hard, too
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
Jerry & Marge Go Large is vaguely pleasant. Insubstantial, but enjoyable enough all things said. It reminded me of The Big Year from about a decade ago, a bird watching comedy starring Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin, which it turns out was directed by the same guy. So it makes sense.
 
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