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[quote=Izzy Black]
Apex Predator

Apex PredatorWas more convinced by Bale as Batman than as Bruce Wayne, ironically the same issue I had with Val Kilmer's take. No, the other films didn't help that part either.


He was more convincing as Batman, but too over the top.


Apex PredatorWill also agree that Freeman had not enough to do in any of the trilogy.

But put me down for Caine's Alfred being good in different ways than Gough's Alfred. I liked how they found a different take that avoided going down the same path that the Burton/Schumacher films did.

And yeah, Murphy and Neeson both made the most of their roles in my opinion. ?Definitely agree with the Scarecrow being interesting and different, a decision I wish the rest of the franchise attempted more often. His scenes proved to be the best in the film.

I liked the father/son type mentoring going on between Neeson and Bale, even if you knew exactly where it was headed.

I think as a whole, action films had been heading the wrong direction when it comes to clarity (cough*Transformers*cough) and making out what is going on.


I blame Nolan as one of the ones who started this trend. But really it's a trifecta of Bay, Greengrass, and Nolan, responsible for the biggest action movies in the past decade, and yet are some of the worst action directors of all time (well, at least Bay and Nolan, Greengrass is a more complicated case). It's amazing to me. Truly amazing.



I think you need to separate Bay from Nolan and Greengrass for being bad action directors. In different ways, Greengrass and Nolan have their advantages while Michael Bay is closer to Uwe Boll than he'll ever care to admit.

Greengrass brought immediacy to his Bourne films which definitely influenced the Daniel Craig Bonds (witness the opening chase in Madagascar during Casino Royale or the opening chase on a train during Skyfall). But his later films with Bourne never really moved the needle on character development and once you got past the visceral thrill of the action in Bourne Identity, everything started getting to blur in to each other. Also, he never learned to write a solid female character (outside of maybe Potente).

Nolan succeeded in world-building (most notably during Inception although the Gotham City of his Batman trilogy felt more alive, more vibrant than in either the hands of Schumacher or Burton). But he never learned to deal with emotion in a coherent manner (a fact illustrated during the story of Interstellar which he confused emotional manipulation with the more natural output of emotions) and his track record with female characters is only slightly better than Greengrass or Bay. He might have came the closest to pulling off the two villains in a superhero film with The Dark Knight Rises, of all films.

Bay brings his love of America, women as various lust objects (even when clearly inappropriate such as Megan Fox in Transformers 1 or Nicola Peltz in Age of Extinction), muscle cars, cheap stereotypical humor, explosions, and incoherent storywriting into the mix of his action films.

Will agree in any instance that I prefer films that can provide more clear, coherent action that allows me to know what's going on without needing bifocals or binoculars. ?Don't think that's too much to ask.?
Jun 27, 2017 5:05 PM
Black Philip
Apex Predator
Black Philip
Apex Predator

Next: Probably The Blackcoat's Daughter. Unless anyone wants me to tackle either Spongebob Squarepants 2 or I'll See You in My Dreams.

Check out I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House.

Will once I get my Netflix account back.

Blackcoat's Daughter just seems weird so far. Like it's trying to show scary moments without any buildup.

Even less goes on in I Am the Pretty Thing but I like the mood created. Still not sure what to think of Oz Perkins but he's onto something.

Or perhaps he's the arthouse answer to Rob Zombie (only without the pathological need to cast his wife in everything)?

Should finish tonight and maybe I'll have some answers.
Jun 27, 2017 4:43 PM
Popcorn ReviewsIf you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend McQueen's Hunger. It's not for the faint of heart, but it's really powerful.

Had been needing to see this ever since I saw 12 Years a Slave. Will add to the list!
Jun 27, 2017 4:42 PM
Black Philip
Apex Predator

Next: Probably The Blackcoat's Daughter. Unless anyone wants me to tackle either Spongebob Squarepants 2 or I'll See You in My Dreams.

Check out I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House.

Will once I get my Netflix account back.

Blackcoat's Daughter just seems weird so far. Like it's trying to show scary moments without any buildup.
Jun 27, 2017 2:49 AM
BadLieutenant
Apex Predator
Izzy Black
BadLieutenant
Izzy Black
Apex PredatorNo one is arguing about the atrocities of the Holocaust here. At least I think nobody is arguing it.

But the title feels like a government issued generic title. Although I get your point about the bureaucratic nature America was looking at it, a documentary of this sort needs a better, more interesting title.

Unless poetic or rhetorical flourishes undermine your goals in titling a document, which I take it is BL's point.

Well, just as a point of clarification, I'm not issuing any blanket edict that sober documentary work must inherently shy away from the poetic in its titling. Night and Fog is a perfectly fine title for that particular movie. What I'm saying is that any apparent artlessness shouldn't inherently be a demerit against the quality of a movie's title if that artlessness tells you more about the movie than some needlessly poetic flourish would. In the case of German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, I think the title primes you to understand what the movie is better than something like Memory of the Camps would, and I'm hard-pressed to think of how the title could be made more interesting.

yeah, no doubt. I agree. Like I said, it all depends on your goals and what you're trying to accomplish with a film or document.


Obviously, I can see where goals and motivation might influence a title.

But I suspect that its title might scare off more casual documentary viewers at least. And once again, I point out that just because I find the title a bit...dull doesn't mean the film itself is going to be.

An admitted reductio ad absurdum here, but would you call "The Warren Report" a lousy title because it wouldn't hook the casual conspiracy thriller fan? I'm not trying to be snarky (well, not entirely), but I don't think you're grasping the idea of the title here being tied up with the film's status as a historical artifact, and that's the best counterexample I can think of to reflect how your concerns over commercial appeal don't really make sense to me.

I think we're talking about a different subject there. Warren Report is a historical document.

We're talking about film titles here.
Jun 27, 2017 2:47 AM
We're all talking about slasher films, yet nobody mentions Peeping Tom? Shame.
Jun 27, 2017 2:44 AM
Best/All of 2017 I've seen so far:

B+
Forever Pure

B
Oklahoma City

B-
Accidental Courtesy
The Last Laugh

C+
Farmer/Veteran

C-
They Call Us Monsters

Hoping to add Wonder Woman and Blackcoat's Daughter sometime this week
Jun 27, 2017 2:40 AM
Izzy Black
?Apex Predator
Batman Forever is indeed better than both, although the margin between that and Begins is somewhat thin. I felt as though the performances were the best thing about Begins even as Christian Bale struggled to get inside the Batman/Bruce Wayne paradox.


This may sound trollish, but I think the margin is pretty wide. Batman Forever is superior to both and it's not very close imo.

I wasn't impressed with the acting in Begins. I thought Holmes was pretty bad, and I like her, and Bale was flat, stilted, and boring. He conveyed neither any emotional depth nor charisma (by my lights, he's only better than Clooney, coming in pretty low on the list of movie Batmans). He was nothing more than a lifeless vessel for trite, Nolanian brooding and exposition. Holmes' character was even worse, functioning almost entirely as a device to push the film's plot and themes along rather than having any life, depth, or arch of her own.

Freeman is OK, but they don't do much with him that's terribly interesting, and they fail to convincingly explain why he's as knowledgable as he is (this is more of a problem in later films though). I prefer a less hands on Alfred myself who is more of an emotional presence and only a minor sidekick (the Burton alfred). Gary Oldman is able to transform into the character, but I found his role pretty pointless in this movie. To be fair, nearly every Batman film suffers from this problem.

And most importantly of all, the editing and framing is horrid. You can't make shit out. It's a complete clusterfuck.

Two good things: First, Cillian Murphy did a good job here. I thought Scarcrow was the most effective thing in the movie both visually and narratively, and is arguably one of the best, most convincing Batman villains we've seen on film. Second, Ra's al Ghul was nicely done, both by Neeson and Wantababe, but jesus pick one. The plotting on this I thought was stupid and unnecessary. Also, we don't need two villains. Unfortunately every Batman film makes this mistake.

I prefer to think of this as a difference of opinion.
Yeah, I'm not going to defend Holmes in this. Although not flat out terrible, she was definitely out of her depth in this. Also the lack of chemistry between her and Bale made those parts of the film weak. Recasting her in the Dark Knight was a wise move.
Was more convinced by Bale as Batman than as Bruce Wayne, ironically the same issue I had with Val Kilmer's take. No, the other films didn't help that part either.
Will also agree that Freeman had not enough to do in any of the trilogy.
But put me down for Caine's Alfred being good in different ways than Gough's Alfred. I liked how they found a different take that avoided going down the same path that the Burton/Schumacher films did.
And yeah, Murphy and Neeson both made the most of their roles in my opinion. ?Definitely agree with the Scarecrow being interesting and different, a decision I wish the rest of the franchise attempted more often. His scenes proved to be the best in the film.
I liked the father/son type mentoring going on between Neeson and Bale, even if you knew exactly where it was headed.
I think as a whole, action films had been heading the wrong direction when it comes to clarity (cough*Transformers*cough) and making out what is going on.
Jun 26, 2017 2:53 AM
Best thing for Valerian may be noting the director is Luc Besson who pulled off this world-building with Fifth Element. Other directors span from mediocre (Wachowski Starship) to bad (Bay-hem).
Jun 26, 2017 2:44 AM
Black PhilipHalloween 3: Season of the Witch is the best of the bunch.

To be fair, Popcorn, I'd give Halloween 3 (which continuity from the other films is noticeably absent except for being set around the same time) and H20 (which is a direct sequel to the first couple of films) a crack. The others are more in shades of if you get around to it or not.

Friday the 13th is notable more for who is behind the killings than anything associated with them. It may be a genre mainstay, but I think the franchise as a whole lacks art.
Jun 26, 2017 2:42 AM
Finally got through Girl on a Bicycle.

Remember a few weeks ago when I thought it was a likeable quirkfest? Yeah, that changed a bit.

The plot: Paolo is a tour bus driver who becomes engaged to flight attendant Greta (she of the biting wit and yep, superior video gaming skill. Not sure why this was a thing in 2014, but I'm more than OK with this. #EqualSexIndeed)

Anyhoo, he becomes fascinated by this French woman on a bike named Cecile and he seeks advice from buddy Derek (Paddy Considine). Paolo, thanks to some ill-chosen words ends up Cecile's husband and father to her two children who have been convinced that their father speaks English and is off fighting dragons.

Before you can say "The quirkfest has become a farce", Paolo is forced to lead two lives as Greta's fiancee and as caretaker to Cecile and the kids.

Pleasant but forgettable fluff whose interest may come down to your opinions of meet cutes, cloying songs that spell everything out, children who can cry on cue, and airplane singalongs, particularly to a song you suspect the majority haven't heard of before.

Next: Probably The Blackcoat's Daughter. Unless anyone wants me to tackle either Spongebob Squarepants 2 or I'll See You in My Dreams.
Jun 26, 2017 2:34 AM
Izzy Black
jasper de largeIzzy did you say Batman Forever is better than Batman Begins and Dark Knight Rises?

I was with you on BF being decent and worthy... but idk bout all that sis!

Yes, I think it's better than BB and TDKR. BB is a bad movie IMO. TDKR is better visually and thematically, but still suffers from Nolan's worst tendencies (bad exposition, stilted characters, and crappy editing). As for BF, I try to explain why I think it's good in my other posts.

Batman Forever is indeed better than both, although the margin between that and Begins is somewhat thin. I felt as though the performances were the best thing about Begins even as Christian Bale struggled to get inside the Batman/Bruce Wayne paradox.

Rises really hurts due to its stretching of themes to the breaking point and its bombastic overload (I felt like I was watching a Michael Bay film at times).
Jun 26, 2017 12:20 AM
There is the matter that North Korea has been testing missiles for months. And threatening South Korea and the United States.

When it comes to antagonizing, Kim Jong Un had his game on and ready before Trump got elected.
Jun 24, 2017 1:54 AM
The Guy
Apex Predator
The GuyAll Eyez On Me. It is a title so bad my cell phone doesn't even want me to type it.

It was a title of one of 2Pac's albums, so at least it's an appropriate title.

It just seems kind of cliche. Call it poetic justice if you will, grew up in the East Bay but never listened to Tupac. Did hear a lot of rumors about women he raped, before his conviction no less. Wonder if they threw any of that in the film...

I suspect that got left on the cutting room floor if it was filmed in the first place.

Musical biopics do tend to leave off details that might go against the narrative of the project. Documentaries do that sometimes as well.
Jun 24, 2017 1:52 AM
Izzy Black
BadLieutenant
Izzy Black
Apex PredatorNo one is arguing about the atrocities of the Holocaust here. At least I think nobody is arguing it.

But the title feels like a government issued generic title. Although I get your point about the bureaucratic nature America was looking at it, a documentary of this sort needs a better, more interesting title.

Unless poetic or rhetorical flourishes undermine your goals in titling a document, which I take it is BL's point.

Well, just as a point of clarification, I'm not issuing any blanket edict that sober documentary work must inherently shy away from the poetic in its titling. Night and Fog is a perfectly fine title for that particular movie. What I'm saying is that any apparent artlessness shouldn't inherently be a demerit against the quality of a movie's title if that artlessness tells you more about the movie than some needlessly poetic flourish would. In the case of German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, I think the title primes you to understand what the movie is better than something like Memory of the Camps would, and I'm hard-pressed to think of how the title could be made more interesting.

yeah, no doubt. I agree. Like I said, it all depends on your goals and what you're trying to accomplish with a film or document.


Obviously, I can see where goals and motivation might influence a title.

But I suspect that its title might scare off more casual documentary viewers at least. And once again, I point out that just because I find the title a bit...dull doesn't mean the film itself is going to be.
Jun 24, 2017 1:50 AM
Popcorn Reviews
John Dumbear
Popcorn Reviews
John Dumbear
Popcorn ReviewsHere's a list of some popular movies that I either despised or don't care for:


Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

:(
To me, this is a brilliant film that cannot be labelled by a single genre. Cant recall another one that comes remotely close to it, in that aspect. Is it a war film? A fantasy? A love story? An adventure/quest? ?A period piece? It is about as anti "Hollywood" as a film can be nowadays. Adding to that, the soundtrack is even more haunting than Requiem for a Dream, in which makes it perfect in my eyes. Shame on you PR, for shame.

Here's why I wasn't impressed that much by it. Firstly, I liked how the fantasy world contained dangers like the real world. That was a creative addition to the film. Also, the special effects, cinematography, and soundtrack were nice. However, there are actually very few scenes of fantasy in the film despite the fact that it tries to sell itself on that. I grew impatient to get to the fantasy moments a lot while watching it. Also, Vidal and the other "bad guys" were catoonishly violent with little to no middle ground anywhere. Wars are never fought like this, so Del Toro's propagandistic purpose didn't work. As for what you said on how it can't be labeled by a single genre, I somewhat agree, but not to the same extent as you. I see it as a fantasy/war film. I've never been confused over what genre is the most appropriate to label it as.

I don't really see it as "cartoon-ish" in the sense of the violent nature of that era. But do agree that more could have been done to connect the fantasy and that of the said era. I just viewed it as brilliant in its delivery as a little girl seeking an escape. Through fantasy as an escape from reality. This is the way I viewed the film, through the girl's eyes. Viewing it that way, is why I was stunned by the film. I connected to it.

Soldiers aren't as sadistic as the movie described them as. If the movie had explained why Vidal was as violent as he was, I likely wouldn't have much of an issue, but the movie didn't explain that, so I had an issue with that aspect of the film.

He didn't care for his stepdaughter. It was his son that he was worried about. Which informed the actions of the climax.
Plus, John's analysis of the film is solid enough. It was about the girl escaping from both the war and her dreary home life.
Jun 24, 2017 1:44 AM
Janson Jinnistan
David BaileyEven the stodgiest Boxing stooges will have respect. The guy is stepping into a different sport... taking on 'the best ever'... that alone is worth something.

Does anyone remember the name of the sumo wrestler who fought Muhammad Ali? ?Nope? ?Weird, considering how he technically won, I believe.


David BaileyBut on top of that, Conor will surprise em. ?Just watch. ?It's all talk now, but just watch.

We can make it interesting if you want, but I think the odds speak for themselves. ?Floyd's a scumbag, but he's not going to take a dive for that kind of payout either.

At his peak, Inoki wasn't what most would assume to be a sumo wrestler. Not at 6 ft 3 and 220 something pounds.

But point taken, I guess.

PS: We won't mention the time Floyd got in the wrestling ring for Wrestlemania.
Jun 24, 2017 12:11 AM
Batman Forever was a major improvement over the dourness in Batman Returns. It proved to be an effective, if uneasy alliance with the Batman TV series featuring actors (Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones) who seemed to get what it was. Val Kilmer was solid as Batman, somewhat less so as Bruce Wayne, but he was solid enough that he deserved a second crack at it. They unfortunately gave Nicole Kidman not enough to do, an unfortunate circumstance considering the number of new characters in the mix.

Found Batman and Robin to be just a bad film. Much like Returns, Robin leaned too close to the edge of camp and fell right in it. Clooney was overwhelmed as Batman, Arnold was punnily bad trying to capture the depth and nuance of a character outside of his narrow skills, Uma Thurman was easy on the eyes, but a few years away from being more comfortable with big budget set pieces. Silverstone was as bland as her Barbara character was unmemorable. The script was bad and the sets were garish, a painful combination.

MKS came up with a serviceable 15-20 minutes of Batman and Robin footage that emphasized the old TV series more. But the problems went well beyond that. It was just a bad film.

To answer your question, I think the answer is no. Thanks for the talk.
Jun 23, 2017 1:21 AM
The GuyAll Eyez On Me. It is a title so bad my cell phone doesn't even want me to type it.

It was a title of one of 2Pac's albums, so at least it's an appropriate title.
Jun 23, 2017 1:11 AM
MaxRennBest
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Grosse Pointe Blank
Hell Comes to Frogtown
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Midnight Meat Train
Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?
Once Upon a Time in America
They Saved Hitler's Brain
Wags the Perplexed Pup

Worst
An Alan Smithee Film Burn Hollywood Burn
Eegah!
Freddy Got Fingered
Good Will Hunting
Hope Floats

Darn it! I meant to include that title.
The answer is always no, by the way.
Jun 23, 2017 1:09 AM