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Movie Time 2.0: TT mini reviews

This made me realize I was ambiguous about something—I didn't mean to say that the movie is figuratively a chore to watch, only that the movie is primarily made up fo scenes of the title character literally doing chores.
You were clear and I was just kind of illiterately misreading Loki's post, which was also just descriptively using the word "chores." Brain fried
 
Weird is possibly the funniest movie to come out in 2022. As someone who grew up with Al's music and watched UHF a bajillion times on VHS, this is exactly the kind of "Biopic" I wanted and expected. Daniel Radcliffe is so good at the kind of mania required of him here, and Evan Rachel Wood kills it every scene she's in.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Bullet Train is not a movie that needed to be as long as it was. It was enjoyable, but I found myself looking at the run time loooong before it was over. Felt in a lot of ways like a return to the Very Very Cool action movies of the mid aughts that wanted to be Kill Bill very badly. And as far as that goes, it was one of the better ones, certainly better than Lucky Number Slevin or Seven Psychopaths, maybe not as fun as The Losers. Brad Pitt was a delight throughout, and he’s usually someone I’m ambivalent towards.

That being said the last twenty minutes or so completely transforms it, and why couldn’t I have been watching that movie all along.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
The Sight and Sound poll, and other polls like it, are good for creating a list of films to watch if you are interested in expanding your understanding of cinema and what can be done with the medium. Jeanne Dielman is probably nobody's favorite movie to watch, but if this poll gets more people to watch it, it's doing its job.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
I watched The Banshees of Inisherin and I wish I liked it more. Basically, there is one element that I really didn't like and while ruined the movie is too harsh, it really did hamper my enjoyment of the rest of the movie. Otherwise, I really liked it.

I also saw Babylon. Damien Chazelle really goes for it. There are some really great scenes, but I'm not sure it adds up to anything. Other than Brad Pitt's character, and maybe Jovan Adepo's jazz trumpet player, the movie doesn't really let the viewer into its characters. Margot Robbie is at a ten all the time, and it works, other than when it needs to connect all the pieces of her character and it becomes clear there is nothing there. The individual pieces are mostly great.

That said, if you want to see an elephant crap on a man or a little person bounce around on a phallic pogo stick that actually ejaculates, where else are you going to look?
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Owing to mistaking it for a different movie with the same title, I watched the 1982 Horror/Thriller/Rom-com(?) Deadly Games.

It’s… very terrible, and if it weren’t bookended by some narratively baffling nudity, it would be prime MST3K fodder. The movies genres just crash into each other so recklessly that I’m honestly unsure if it was supposed to be a comedy and that the jokes just weren’t landing, or if it was just genuinely terrible at all three.

The lead character isn’t just unaware she’s in a horror movie, she’s convinced she’s in a rom-com, and seems to forget there’s a masked serial killer about who has murdered her sister. She’s also acting fifty to one hundred times harder than everyone else in the movie put together, trying to sell “Quirky College Girl”. She is not acting effectively just more.

The killers whole… deal… is incredibly arbitrary, he’s supposed to be inspired to his murders by a board game he’s playing (which is nominally a lawyer friendly Dungeons and Dragons, but looks more like Candyland with Universal Monsters), but the deaths and victims have absolutely no bearing on one another, so we just get ominous dice rolling and folding up playing cards and then someone dies in an unrelated way.

There’s also only three murders in the entire film, and since this is a bad 80s slasher there’s no creativity to them at all. One involves a lady being buried alive, which is normally very scary, but it’s done by the killer, literally, tossing dirt on her with his bare hands while she stands around in an empty grave screaming. It is perhaps the most absurdly ineffective death scene I’ve ever seen in the genre.

The movie also keeps trying to bring up a plot twist that it also keeps… forgetting it introduced because it’s never paid off. Then the movie ends abruptly; like they ran out of film and decides to stop there.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Confess, Fletch is a real good Dramedy, that focuses much more on the medy than the Dra. Jon Hamm plays to his greatest strengths by being a really charming asshole, opposite a varied cast that are also charming assholes operating at different ratios of charming and asshole.

The murder mystery kind of took a backseat to just having Fletch bounce off every other character, but if you’re watching a John Hamm movie, you’re there to see him be an charming asshole at people.
 

karzac

(he/him)
I've heard really good things about Confess Fletch and am annoyed that it's not on any of the streamers I have
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Still working my way through the Disney animated canon. Theatrical only but I'm watching everything Disney had. And then they tricked me because while Peter Pan: Return to Never Land was released in theatres for some reason, it was clearly intended to be one of their shitty direct-to-video bizarro-Disney experiences. The only one of those I've actually seen was Return of Jafar when it came out.

I've heard that while the films are generally regarded as bad, they do TRY stuff, like a Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Lion King movie and a Back to the Future Part 2 Cinderella movie. This is sort of the same, as it's about someone living through wartime and REALLY needs a childhood. That's actually a decent enough set up for a Peter Pan movie but frankly it's all pretty trite and dumb. I also feel Peter Pan works best when he's almost emotionally detached from consequences except when a friend is in immediate trouble but this Peter Pan seems too... comforting. Compare that to the first shot of Peter in the 1953 film where he looks like a devious imp. No, it's a much more bland interpretation and while I won't say it's the worst theatrically released Disney film, it just feels so limp, even next to the weaker Pooh theatrical releases.

I also watched Sleeping Beauty. Yeah, not nearly as bad but it is also a weak movie from the classic era. However, Maleficent kicks ass and it's no surprise they just gave her a movie (even though that wasn't that great either). But the "main" character seems at a real remove and both she and Prince... I don't even remember. Anyway, they are dull.

I also watched Frozen II. It's fine. But the songs are much weaker. Olaf has a song that feels thematically interesting but doesn't really work in the larger narrative.

And Zootopia is still good.

Unrelated, Dial Code Santa Claus is a fucking wild movie and everyone needs to see it. I almost don't want to tell you what this is but it got attention a few years ago for being weirdly close to a movie that came out a year later that became one of the biggest money making family movies of all time and this is... a very different film. But to me it was an oddity. But beyond that, it's actually a well-made thriller but also a uniquely bizarre one. Basically, if you want me to spoil it for you a rich child genius finds himself under attack from a murderous mall Santa his mother fired. But the kid doesn't know it's a mall Santa and he thinks the real Santa is trying to kill him. Then it's Die Hard meets Silent Night Deadly Night and basically was Home Alone (ish) one year prior) If you have Shudder, watch it.
 

karzac

(he/him)
Confess, Fletch is a real good Dramedy, that focuses much more on the medy than the Dra. Jon Hamm plays to his greatest strengths by being a really charming asshole, opposite a varied cast that are also charming assholes operating at different ratios of charming and asshole.

The murder mystery kind of took a backseat to just having Fletch bounce off every other character, but if you’re watching a John Hamm movie, you’re there to see him be an charming asshole at people.

Turns out this is on Paramount Plus and you can get a free trial. Watched it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I could watch a whole movie of Marcia Gay Harden's character.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Autopsy is a pretty artless giallo that I don't recommend. It starts being very in your face "isn't this upsetting you" and then kind of drops into a pretty messy but standard whodunnit with an abrupt ending and I guess it's trying to hint at some cosmic horror implying sunspots make people go crazy and suicidal. Also, it really paints most mean as sex creeps and... Italy in the 70s? Maybe. Not the worst movie in the world but it's a real "don't bother".
 

Purple

(She/Her)
Bullet Train is not a movie that needed to be as long as it was. It was enjoyable, but I found myself looking at the run time loooong before it was over. Felt in a lot of ways like a return to the Very Very Cool action movies of the mid aughts that wanted to be Kill Bill very badly. And as far as that goes, it was one of the better ones, certainly better than Lucky Number Slevin or Seven Psychopaths, maybe not as fun as The Losers. Brad Pitt was a delight throughout, and he’s usually someone I’m ambivalent towards.

That being said the last twenty minutes or so completely transforms it, and why couldn’t I have been watching that movie all along.
Having just watched this, yeah, I was starting to frown a bit when it looked like we were going for one of those bleak black comedy things where everyone dies except for Brad Pitt but the second they reveal that Lemon is still alive somehow I knew I was in safe hands.

I'm also impressed with the dedication to the main bit. Was it actually as consistent as having a new intro card every 10 minutes on the 10 minute mark? Because they felt remarkably evenly spaced right up until the very end.
 

ASandoval

Old Man Gamer
(he/him)
I watched The Menu on HBO which I recommend going into without reading anything about it*. I'm not sure if I 100% am down with what it was selling, but I had a good time with it and only regret I didn't watch it with a group of likeminded friends.

*Within reason. Context under the spoiler, no plot details: It is a horror movie. I did not know this going into it, and that's good for me, probably won't be for everyone.
 
I watched The Menu on HBO which I recommend going into without reading anything about it*. I'm not sure if I 100% am down with what it was selling, but I had a good time with it and only regret I didn't watch it with a group of likeminded friends.

*Within reason. Context under the spoiler, no plot details: It is a horror movie. I did not know this going into it, and that's good for me, probably won't be for everyone.
It was a good movie. Definitely recommend going in as blind as possible. Also don't really buy what it was selling. I understand and accept most of the film's premise. I don't buy the staff all blindly following the head chef into such a dumb plan.
 

Beta Metroid

At peace
(he/him)
Shin Ultraman is a really fun time! It is an absolutely unabashed love letter to the original, 1966 Ultraman series. I think due to Higuchi and Anno's involvement with Shin Godzilla and Evangelion, there were some expectations of a more cynical/horror-themed film, and anyone preparing to see it should know that is absolutely not what this is about. I liken it much more to another Higuchi product, Gamera, Guardian of the Universe (but not Gamera 3), in terms of presenting very silly source material with earnestness, emphasizing the awe and wonder involved. To go outside the realm of kaiju/toku, it feels very comparable to Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man: directly drawing on the origin and a handful of specific issues/episodes of the source material, presenting them with a level of campiness, but always remaining sincere and never feeling like a parody or mockery of the original, and exploring both superheroes and "everyone else" and the relationship between them.

It arguably packs in a bit too much, and I could see the wisdom in letting some of the story beats breathe a bit more, but I feel like everything escalates and feeds into later developments quite effectively.

The effects are overall solid, and I absolutely ADORE the creature designs. They do seem to bite off a BIT more than they can chew, mostly in one fight scene where the limitations of the VFX budget feel very apparent. Outside of that sequence, everything is very comfortably covered by my suspension of disbelief.

And the soundtrack has some absolute bangers. (If you're concerned about spoilers, you may just want to listen to that track and not watch the accompanying visuals. The first 25 seconds or so only spoil that Ultraman is in an Ultraman movie, but later on it shows something that he fights). There are some excellent new songs, and great use of classic Ultra pieces. Plus there are those comforting Ultra/Showa Godzilla sound effects that are permanently imprinted into my mind!

There are quite a few Deep Cuts as well. I haven't watched the original Ultraman all the way through, so I didn't catch everything, and I don't think they're essential to enjoying it or anything, but some fun stuff I picked up on:

For those unfamiliar, the original season of Ultraman IMMEDIATELY succeeded the first "Ultra" show, Ultra Q. It's like an Outer Limits/Twilight Zone kinda deal, except 90% of the time the "weird mystery" is a kaiju. Ultraman was initially conceived as an Ultra Q one-off concept, but was eventually rolled out as its own series, which premiered the week after Ultra Q ended (and there was nothing really "final" about Ultra Q's finale). So Ultraman actually uses Ultra Q's title sequence, then has its own title sequence and theme song "smash" through it.

With this movie "succeeding" Shin Godzilla in a similar fashion, it opens with the Ultra Q visuals and theme, and the title "Shin Godzilla," before "Shin Ultraman" smashes through. It's cute.

The opening credits montage is basically a montage of Ultra Q, showcasing several of its most popular critters (including my boy Peguila, the flying walrus with a breath weapon that simultaneously freezes and causes anti-gravity effects, like a Metroid beam with stacking, wildly different effects!) Ultra Q's very first kaiju was Gomess, which was just a redressed Godzilla suit. In homage to that, the movie opens with a blatantly redressed Shin Godzilla, with goofy additions comically contrasting with its horrific base design.

In the original Ultra Q/Ultraman run, the Toho monster Baragon had his suit repurposed to serve as four distinct kaiju that in-universe are completely unrelated. One of them is featured in Shin Ultraman's opening montage, and two of them fight Ultraman. Here, their similarities are noticed, and end up being a plot point. They are also really well designed and executed. I've always been drawn to this genre more for the kaiju than the humanoids or mecha, and Neronga and Gabora really showcase some cool modern kaiju scenes. And despite their aforementioned body similarities, their powers and behavior are quite different.

Seeing as how many original concepts they adapt straight from the source, I was surprised to see them take a more abstract approach with Zetton, the "final boss" of the original Ultraman and one of its most iconic kaiju. Still, I really enjoyed how it was portrayed (and that they retained it speaking its own name in monotone), serving as an almost Majora's Mask-esque lingering threat.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
I've seen one episode of UltraQ and it's honestly damn fascinating to see this sort of thing where "just have the guy henshin and beat up the monster of the week" isn't an option on the table. Need to see more.
 

karzac

(he/him)
Just got back from seeing Tár in the theatre. Wow. Blanchett was incredible. Gonna have to sit with this one for a minute to collect my thoughts, but it was fantastic overall.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Watched Hobbs and Shaw last night, which was also my fathers first experience with the Fast and Furious saga.

On the whole; twere fine. Didn’t feel like Dwaynerock the Johnman or Jason Steak Thems had enough chemistry together to really sell a buddy-cop movie, even when the premise is that these two people profoundly dislike each other. Also, Idris Elba as an unstoppable cyborg was kind of pushing it conceptually.

And yes, Im saying that despite having seen the previous Fast movies; where “Suddenly the Terminator shows up” would pass without comment.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
My admittedly limited understanding is that Dwayne "the seemingly inevitable future Republican president" Johnson is kind of a big ol' jerk to a large percentage pf people he works with.
 
I watched Underwater on Hulu. In Underwater deep sea miners are terrorized by creatures from the deep. Its basically Alien underwater.

I have an strong appetite for Alien knock offs. I like this movie and I like Creature as well. Underwater is a fun popcorn movie with decent CGI.
 

Lokii

Administrator
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
Caught Strange World over the weekend. Very pretty movie with great design, and hooray for unabashed LGBTQ representation coming out of Disney, but the story was about as interesting as a walmart bag.

Loved that Splat tho, very good sidekick. Film needed way more of that energy and less wheel spinning on family drama clichés.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Watched Bullet Train over the holiday weekend. Was a good (violent) time, basically became an anime by the end (not a criticism).

After that, and with too much strong beer in my system, I also saw The Burbs for the first time. Tom Hanks is a baby! Carrie Fisher is awesome but not around enough. Corey Feldman is very Corey Feldman, though also pretty incidental. The big speech main theme is kinda undercut by the twist ending. Oh well. The beer definitely helped get through it.

And then we masked up and went saw the new Avatar in 3D with a fancy high-contrast Dolby projection system. It was very pretty. Nothing at all surprising happened, but both my wife and I noted that there were several points at which the plot *could* have been dumber or more tedious but moved along instead, which was nice.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I don't want to say too much about the movies I'm watching because I'm doing watches for the Adventure Movie list but I'll say I finally watched a classic I've been waiting a LONG time to check out and, hey, it's very good.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
My father and I have made a list of every movie in my library that I’m sure he’d like but he’s either never seen or has forgotten, and yesterday that brought us to the Woody Harrelson stage magic heist film Now You See Me.

S’pretty good. Few plot holes in it (throwing bundles of loose bills over a roaring crowd is… not an effective means to redistribute wealth), and of the entire cast only Woody Harrelson seems to have any degree of stage patter you might expect from a successful stage magician.

Not a bad way to spend 100 minutes; there are better heist movies and better CRIME WIZARD movies, but it satisfied.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Instead of watching one of the movies on my backlog that I’d been meaning to see, or anything that was recommended to me, I decided to watch Evil Toons, the 1992 horror-comedy where several college girls are menaced by an evil cartoon character.

Now, I’ll allow “horror”, but between the bad acting and terrible script I am genuinely unsure if there was anything approaching a joke in the entire runtime. There *may have been*, it’s impossible to tell. Also, just one cartoon character, who has about a minutes of screen time total and looks like it was animated with Mario Paint. But what it lacked in horror, or comedy, or animated monsters, it certainly made up for in bosoms, because the movie has, like, five sexy dressing/undressing scenes over the course of its 90 minute runtime, most of which in the front half of the movie.

no, they aren’t relevant to the plot, and yes, every single female character gets one. Including the one who is only in that one single scene,

They show bloopers over the credits, and David Carradine looks embarrassed to be in the movie.
 
Instead of watching one of the movies on my backlog that I’d been meaning to see, or anything that was recommended to me, I decided to watch Evil Toons, the 1992 horror-comedy where several college girls are menaced by an evil cartoon character.

Now, I’ll allow “horror”, but between the bad acting and terrible script I am genuinely unsure if there was anything approaching a joke in the entire runtime. There *may have been*, it’s impossible to tell. Also, just one cartoon character, who has about a minutes of screen time total and looks like it was animated with Mario Paint. But what it lacked in horror, or comedy, or animated monsters, it certainly made up for in bosoms, because the movie has, like, five sexy dressing/undressing scenes over the course of its 90 minute runtime, most of which in the front half of the movie.

no, they aren’t relevant to the plot, and yes, every single female character gets one. Including the one who is only in that one single scene,

They show bloopers over the credits, and David Carradine looks embarrassed to be in the movie.
Mario paint: was it 4, 6 or 9 frames?
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Hey you know what’s a vastly better movie than that? And, statistically probably a better movie than the most recent movie most people have seen?

Dredd.

Dredd is a very good movie about exploding people
 
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