Serious Movie Discussion | Page 42

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by Bullitt68, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. Bullitt68 Senior Moderator

    Bullitt68
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    Been a long time without a mega post and today I reached my limit. I couldn't ignore the itch any longer. I had to drop by and dump a movie avalanche on all the good folks of the SMD.

    Over the last several weeks I've been on an action movie tear. I've been trying to limit my viewing to movies that I either haven't seen before or that I haven't seen in so long that I might as well have never seen them before.

    I started with the Sensei. He just recently shot a film with Bey Logan and I'd been seeing pictures from on-set for months on Facebook and it made me realize that the last time I had a Seagal marathon was so many years ago (it was 2012, when Seagal teamed up with Stone Cold for the supremely awesome Maximum Conviction) that I was likely several movies behind.

    For the highlights: I'm fascinated by Seagal's explicit turn to criminal characters. One of the best threads running through Seagal's career is his obsession with codes of honor and complicating the ethical responsibilities of his law enforcement characters (whether he's a cop or in the CIA or whatever), which he frequently dramatizes via organized crime, be it the Italian or the Russian mafia, the Japanese Yakuza, the Chinese triads, etc. However, in Gutshot Straight (where he does little more than a cameo) and Force of Execution, he's a straight up criminal. In the latter, he's a crime kingpin. In something like On Deadly Ground, he's a "good guy" who realizes he's been snowed and actually wasn't all that good. In Force of Execution - and continued through the quasi-sequels A Good Man and Absolution - he's a "good guy" who became so disillusioned that he became a "bad guy" and now is so turned around that he can barely even remember what actually being good means. Very cool stuff. And Absolution is particularly awesome because Josh Barnett has a huge role and does a fantastic job. Like, legit the dude should be doing more stuff good.

    The weirdest of the bunch was undoubtedly The Perfect Weapon (unfortunately, Jeff Speakman had nothing to do with this one ;)). @europe1, are you aware of this movie? I think it's got you written all over it.

    Cartels
    was pretty good (made much more fun by the appearance of GSP), as were End of a Gun and Contract to Kill. But the standout was definitely Code of Honor. The script got a little too convoluted for its own good, but it's a great spin on the Death Wish type of vigilante story for today's technologized and militarized world.

    After my Seagalathon, I shifted to JCVD. I've always felt like a heretic, but I can't help it: This guy's movies fucking suck. Most of them are just plain awful and the ones that aren't awful are so clearly subpar products. The cheese makes (some of) them tolerable, and some are even enjoyable, but the only legitimately good movies from his prime are Bloodsport, Death Warrant, and Hard Target. And, even with those three, only in Bloodsport are the fight scenes anything to write home about. His cinematic fighting style has never done anything for me and I absolutely can't stand watching him get the ever-loving shit kicked out of him in every single fucking fight and then just doing a few jumping spin kicks. Of all the big-time martial arts stars, he makes by far the worst movies and by far the worst fight scenes. I rewatched Double Impact and Timecop, which are above-average JCVD fare, but quit after powering through Nowhere to Run and Desert Heat.

    After Seagal and JCVD, I decided to take a sharp turn into what some of you might consider strange territory, but I have now (re)watched every film in the Fast & Furious franchise (not counting Tokyo Drift). A friend of mine and I saw the original in theaters when we were like 12. After that, I never bothered. I figured, since I'm the most un-car guy on Earth, there'd be nothing for me, but in the last few years, they evidently decided to turn these movies into weird mashups of Mission Impossible and James Bond.

    The Fast and the Furious was fun to watch because I realized it's literally the exact same movie as Point Break. I mean exactly. (Paul Walker/Keanu Reeves) plays an undercover FBI agent who infiltrates the adrenaline-fueled world of (racing/surfing) to break-up a ring of adrenaline junkie criminals (robbing trucks/robbing banks) only to find himself loving the (racing/surfing) life, forming a surprisingly tight bond with the ringleader (Vin Diesel/Patrick Swayze), falling in love with the woman closest to the ringleader (Diesel's sister/Swayze's ex), and ultimately allowing his love for the life and his bond with the ringleader to dictate his actions over and above his professional responsibilities (Reeves lets Swayze go so that he can die on his own terms and Walker lets Diesel go so that he can give him his 10-second car).

    2 Fast 2 Furious was kind of dumb but fun enough. Starting from 4 on, though, they got surprisingly good. Vin Diesel never really put the kind of time and energy into his physique that he needed to in order to pull off the kind of bad ass tank he's supposed to be, but his acting chops were strong enough to where the character works really well. Paul Walker is just a dumb pretty face and a lame actor, but his character was written well enough to where his puzzle piece fit and allowed everything else to proceed smoothly.

    Fast Five seems to be the one that gets the most buzz, but I thought Furious 6 was much better. And the loose trilogy formed by 6, 7, and 8 is pretty fucking high-quality action. I'm glad that I have a new franchise to follow and I'm looking forward to seeing where they go from 8. Any of you guys have any thoughts on these movies?

    After the Fast & Furious movies, I shifted to a Jason Statham marathon. I realized that I'd never actually seen The Transporter or Transporter 3 in full. Sadly, they both stink. First off, in all of contemporary martial arts movies, I think Statham movies suffer the most from shaky cam syndrome. I can barely tell WTF is happening. Second, that French cop isn't just insufferable, he's also unintelligible. I had to watch every fucking scene with him with the subtitles on, and he was fucking speaking English. Third, the chick in the third one was awful and ugly as fuck. Transporter 2 is the only one worth a shit, and IMO it's one of Statham's best films.

    I also rewatched the Crank movies, which I think are the movies that really give Statham the most space to shine. Aside from the action and the fighting, he also gets to show off his dramatic and comedic chops, and all at the same time.

    Chaos and War are both worse than they had any excuse for being given the casts - Statham, Ryan Phillipe, and Wesley Snipes in the former and Statham and Jet Li in the latter - but still decent (War is the better of the two IMO).

    The two Mechanic movies suck. The first one failed to capture the dynamic between the two killers from the original as it struggled trying to decide whether it was trying to be a remake or a reboot. And the sequel has one of the dumbest plots ever. Jessica Alba shows up as a pawn of some criminal. His plan is to send her in as a damsel in distress, get Statham to fall for her, and then kidnap her to get Statham to do a job for him. Instead, Statham learns about his plan to use her to trick him into falling in love with her so that when she gets kidnapped he'll be forced to work for him...and then falls in love with her so that when she gets kidnapped he's forced to work for him. I didn't even watch it long enough to see Tommy Lee Jones, and if I stop a movie before I get to see TLJ, that says A LOT, because I fucking love me some TLJ.

    Speaking of TLJ, my last little mini-marathon was DDL-fueled. I rewatched The Crucible (such a great fucking movie, right up there with Inherit the Wind when it comes to religion bubble-bursting), Gangs of New York (by far DDL's best work and one of the GOAT performances, not to mention one of the most criminally underrated movies in recent memory), and There Will Be Blood (DDL is incredible but the movie tanks so fucking hard after his son loses his hearing and only comes back to life at the end) before watching Lincoln for the first time.

    Anybody else see Lincoln? Was I the only one surprised to find that, in a film called Lincoln which was (ostensibly) about Lincoln, Lincoln was at best the second-lead and was unquestionably a supporting player to TLJ's Thaddeus Stevens? @Ricky13, did you watch this one? I imagine you could have a field day breaking down this script. TLJ gets the central ethical conflict, TLJ's decision determines the outcome of the story, and TLJ gets the final emotional uplift. His arc is the film's arc while DDL just wanders around like somebody's lost and confused grandpa telling stories to whoever is around. The only really meaty scenes for DDL were the one where he's talking about the implications of his wartime decisions and the one where he's talking about Euclid. And he knocked them out of the park. But that doesn't a leading star performance make. TLJ was the star of that movie. And he fucking crushed it. I was so happy to see him absolutely dominate that film. Then I was sad when I realized that I didn't even know he was in the fucking movie before I started watching, that DDL got all the praise while nobody bothered to point out that TLJ blew him off the screen.

    And how ironic is it that DDL, who wasn't the lead, won Best Actor, while TLJ, who was the lead, lost Best Supporting Actor :confused:

    Lastly: Ricky, do you remember when we spent weeks arguing about Sorkin and sexism and I mentioned how it'll be interesting to see what he does with his directorial debut in which his lead character is a woman? The wait is almost over.



    There's only one Jack Frost.

    [​IMG]

    That actually looks pretty damn good. I wish they could've gotten someone better than Pierce Brosnan, but I'll watch Jackie's version of Collateral Damage.

    I never "got" Emma Watson. Maybe because I didn't care about Harry Potter?

    Just wanted to go on record to say that, when I get around to watching mother! - which I'll now be watching a hell of a lot sooner than I would've otherwise, assuming I would've even bothered with it at all - I'll definitely be coming back to your thoughts in here.

    [​IMG]
     
    #821
  2. Sigh GunRanger You think anybody will notice?

    Sigh GunRanger
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    Yeah the FF movies are good, but they havent topped the safe chase from five.

    If you havent seen The Killer Elite with statham, you should.


    I loved Lincoln, but i dont know what youre seeing about tlj being the lead of the movie. The moral conflict regarding slavery and the amendment in congress, sure, but ddl has far more screen time. He also hires the lobbyists surreptitiously to go get votes, and he personally meets with jefferson davis to negotiate the end of the war.


    Plus hes much more pragmatic than Stevens was, who never would have accomplished anything because he was so headstrong.

    The best scene in the movie lincoln tells him exactly this, and i love the cinematography here because stevens is clearly right, so hes in the light, whereas lincoln starts partially covered, because in order to accomplish things in politics th e ethical choice isnt always the best path




    And yeh it's criminal waltz won the oscar over TLJ
     
    #822
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  3. HUNTERMANIA "I'll be the prince."

    HUNTERMANIA
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    @Bullitt68 when I say this... like I'm not sure how you'll take the movie. I think your movie critic self will hate it, because I was thinking of your criticisms of Black Swan SO much during the film and after the film and those problems you raised are x1000 in this film. But the thing that really turned me off of it was that it was simply so wrong about God, and I get he wanted to make a political statement about how people treat the earth and even, let's say all of the people shown are ONLY 'believers' (first adam, then jews and then christians), it doesn't offend me because people are fucked up and they do destroy the earth, but how it's depicted is so problematic... Even though the ending is beautiful in a grotesque way, I can't let Aronofsky off every single hook ever and all of reality and history and his source material, which is SO CLEARLY the bible, like this isn't him interpreting something the bible doesn't explain, he is taking exact scenes out and doing them wrong and missing so much and portraying God completely wrong... but almost convincingly.

    So, your movie critic self will hate it, but your cultural/philosophical self might enjoy it for how stupid, destructive, and simple it makes God/Christians seem. But, that's his failing.
     
    #823
  4. ufcfan4 Can't Andle The Riddum

    ufcfan4
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    Great post as always. Barnett was in it?? I'm on board. Josh was on Joe Rogan Experience a few months back, I was just sitting there enthralled while listening to the guy. Just a compelling, interesting, intelligent fighter. I knew he was into pro wrestling and what not but did not realize he did acting as well.

    Yeah I've never been a fan. But I'm glad you mentioned Hard Target as one of his good ones. That movie was my jam back in the early 90s. Solid action flick and I'll give JCVD props for that one.

    My favorite scene in The Fast and The Furious will always be right after Brian is involved in the drag race and meets Dom. He's smiling from ear to ear and points to Dom and says "I almost had you" as he had nearly won the race prior to his car starting to fuck up due to the toll the race toon on it. Diesel just looks at him and sarcastically says "Almost had me? You never even had your car.." and proceeds to dissect Brian's performance in the race. Caps it off with his point about "ask any racer, any real racer- doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning's winning." For whatever reason I just felt that scene effectively captures the appeal of that movie.

    You're right though. It is basically Point Break and Point Break is awesome so they knew they had a good formula there.

    Never saw 2F2F but I think it's generally considered one of the weakest of the franchise. You're right that 4 starts to veer in different territory but the reason 5 gets a lot of love is because with the introduction of The Rock and the changing of the formula, it kind of functions as a turning point for the series. I like 6 better as well. That was a wrap for me though. Haven't seen 7 or F8 of the Furious. I'll get around to them but I'm in no rush. I never loved the series. It is fun and I think it's one of those rare franchises that actually got better a few movies in but I'm not lining up on opening night for them.

    Well we are in complete agreement that TLJ is a boss. Also, he is, in a lot of ways, the soul of that movie. However, I don't really see him as stealing the movie right out from under DDL. To me, Stevens' mission, which is morally on point and very admirable, lacks the pragmatic/political savvy that Lincoln is able to bring to make things happen. It is Lincoln who really alerts him to the fact that they have to be strategic in the way they pass the 13th Amendment. I really like that scene where Stevens talks about his moral compass and Lincoln says- well a compass can show you due north but it's not going to show you the bogs and swamps and dangers you might face on your path.

    To me what is great about Stevens in the movie is that he is resolute in not only securing freedom for slaves but absolutely believes that black Americans are equal and should have all the same rights as any other American. His values are impeccable but, without Lincoln's pragmatism, it would have all been for naught. You see it in that big, awesome best supporting actor reel scene where Lee Pace and the other dude try to rattle him so that he will go hardcore in professing the extent of his beliefs in equality and alienate the fringe voters. We know what Stevens really believes, but he cannot profess that belief before Congress because it will kill the amendment in its crib. It must be a huge struggle, but he does it and that is a powerful scene right there. One of many.

    But, I think Lincoln's struggle is also portrayed in a great way through that film. He is a virtuous guy but he has to resort to what is essentially bribery of lame duck politicians in order to get the 13 Amendment to pass. But, again, it is the commitment to the goal- he knows they have to pass it so that end justifies the questionable means. Not only that, we see the struggle within the republican party and the way Lincoln must outright lie to stalwarts of the party like the guy that the great Hal Holbrook plays. Jackie Earle Haley and co. are basically riding north specifically to discuss terms of surrender but Lincoln has them detained by Grant so that he can keep the imminent nature of the surrender secret from the conservative wing of the Republican party. He knows if they see the Confederacy ready to end the war, they will make it happen without the freedom for all slaves being a matter of law.

    All in all I was fully impressed with the performances of both DDL and TLJ. And, in fact, I think TLJ was a frontrunner to win the academy award but ultimately got Tarantino'd as Waltz won again. Frankly, I thought it was a crime DiCaprio wasn't even nominated that year.
     
    #824
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  5. Sigh GunRanger You think anybody will notice?

    Sigh GunRanger
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    Blade Runner 2049 was excellent. A sequel that really expands the original, and makes it better. Ford mightve given his best performance ever.
     
    #825
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  6. JSN #NotMyNelly

    JSN
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    I enjoyed the living FUCK out of Blade Runner 2. Not willing to declare it better than part 1, but it is for sure of similar quality and holy shit what a theater experience.
     
    #826
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  7. ufcfan4 Can't Andle The Riddum

    ufcfan4
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    I gotta see it today or tomorrow.
     
    #827
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  8. JSN #NotMyNelly

    JSN
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    Do it up. I don’t see a lot of movies in the theater so this could ultimately be not the highest praise, but I think watching BR2046 was my best theater experience. Definitely great to experience the sound especially in a venue designed for that.
     
    #828
  9. HUNTERMANIA "I'll be the prince."

    HUNTERMANIA
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    I liked Blade Runner 2049 well enough as a sequel. I watched the original this morning and then went and saw it in theater. It felt VERY similar, so I would say it was a successful sequel. If you liked the original, I think you'll like this. I was disappointed with how it ended bc I liked a certain character very much, but, overall, I liked it. A little slow, but better than being too fast, I think. The whole 'world' and story FEELS slow even though everything is faster in the future, so it works. I wish we could have seen more of the 'creator' dude is maybe my only complaint, Mr. Wallace, I think? Can't remember.
     
    #829
  10. europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

    europe1
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    This makes me feel bad over retiring my own megaposts. I put them on the backburner for so long that they sort-of fazed out.

    Nah I haven't seen squat from Segal's later years. The last movie of his I saw was Half Past Dead. I like some of his early films just fine but I never found his fascinating like you do.

    Why would you signal out Death Warran as one of his high-points? To me that's one of his least memorable pictures. I remember thinking it was just... servicable.

    I've always favored The Quest as one of his best. Which is like a more grandiose riff on Bloodsport. In both films the greatest fighters from across the world are summoned to participate in a tournament, but in The Quest they're summoned by the freaking High-Lamas of Tibet and made to duel in their anceint, mountain-top temple-city. Basically, while Bloodsport is more modern in it's sensebility, The Quest just has more dramatic gravitas, like when that sumo-wrestler get's Zulu'd in the semi-finals, that's some bad shit from the mongolian bro.

    I admit that I'm working from a very hazy memory here -- but isn't the throwdowns in No Retreat, No Surrender some of his best ones? Which is also one of his better films (even though he isn't the star) due to the ungodly amounts of delicious, Bruce Lee-fetishist cheese.

    Speaking of heresy, you finally put in a kind word for John Woo and Hard Target is your go-to movie? Yeah it's a good movie (mullet and cajun accent, how can it not be?:p) but c'mon! But yeah, Hard Target has a lot going for it with the Woo-ness (though mutet), the funny tidbits (snake punching), Lance Henriksen and that Dangerous-Game premise.

    I've always found it a bit amusing seeing people mention JCVD movies as their favorite martial arts films. Yeah I like them too but the choreography can be woefully uninvented (especially if you compare with HK-stuff). In shit like Kickboxer they're basically standing still and throwing roundhouse kicks to each others torsos for 30-seconds straight.

    Yeah it's sort of interesting how that series shifted into being one big spectacle-melodrama event-movie (excactly how many times do they say the word "family" in parts 8?)

    Never saw 6 (only one I haven't seen), I thought 8 was pretty average, and I absolutely loathed 7. Not sure why you find the action high-quality, to me it just seems pretty representative of modern spectable-action -- outlandish scenarios, effects-heavy, lot's of noise and happenstances but little flair, realness or gravitas to it all.

    Woa, woa, woa!!! Hold it there Bullitt Lee! You can't just springboard from a F&F discussion into a Jason Statham escapade without discussing his presence in Fast and Furious 8! His scenes with The Rock raised the roof in that picture and were easily the best parts. They're a spin-off being heralded with them two as the leads. Now that's a rivalry that could produce boatloads of fun.

    Much better than the other two, yes. Though honestly I can hardly remember much from 1 and 3.

    [​IMG]

    I thought the second one was a pretty limp rehash. One of those sequels that wasn't much except an inferior riff on the first one. But the the original Crank I agree is one of Statham's best pictures. It has a wild premise and just runs with it.

    Never seen the second one. But yeah the first Mechanic pales in comparison to the Bronson-Winner one. The original just nailed the procedural, live-by-the-code aspects much better.

    [​IMG]

    Place my name on the "confused about Emma Watson's popularity" list as well. (not a Potter fan either).

    I sort of get the impression that Spielberg wanted to highlight Lincoln's shifty-fingered pragmatism in order to achieve his lofty goals while you instead fell for TLJ's dilema which was supposed to be the side-dish adding nuance that main course.

    Not saying you're wrong though. Thaddeus arc was the most captivating part of that film, I agree.

    I too am willing to call that film by a whole slew of flattering descriptions. Excellent, splendid, magnificent, enthralling, fantastic and of course good old wonderful.

    And the original is one of my favorite movies to boot.
     
    #830
  11. ultimateriley-o Lego Maniac

    ultimateriley-o
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    The Dark Tower - 7/10

    Why did everybody hate this ? Matthew McCan't spell his last name overacted a bunch, but outside of that it was a perfectly serviceable fantasy action movie. Better than Blade Runner 2049 which everyone is trampling their own mothers trying to get a spot in line to suck the dick of.
     
    #831
  12. HUNTERMANIA "I'll be the prince."

    HUNTERMANIA
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    I'm gonna check out It today, I think.

    It was ok -- I think I didn't really feel well and didn't want to be at a movie. I could tell it was good but I wasn't always enjoying it so much, but several parts had me cracking up, it was pretty funny and a little scary.

    I think I like Blade Runner 2049 as the best movie of the year that I've seen (which isn't many). I really did like Alien: Covenant too, though. But not as much as Blade Runner 2049 I don't think.
     
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  13. Caveat Mozart in a Go-Kart

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    Nice to see good things about Blade Runner 2049. I'm going to see it tomorrow or Friday at the latest.
     
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  14. Caveat Mozart in a Go-Kart

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    ^ indulged myself and went tonight.

    Wasn't a fan. Visually it was very pleasing but it was extremely slow and did nothing special to justify the pace or the run-time. The story itself was annoyingly linear for long stretches and the themes of the first weren't expanded on in an interesting way. It tried to grab my attention again with a few twists toward the end, but I was pretty disengaged by then.

    I'd place it just above the new Ghost in the Shell, with both being far less captivating than their predecessors.
     
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  15. Ricky13 You are who you choose to be.

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    It's cinematic posturing with inadequate coherence of theme. Just a major problem now, and I've said this about a lot of media. The Stranger Things syndrome. Tone over everything else.

    Villeneuve controls tension like few others. He turned this on once the movie hit Vegas. But struggled to keep the ideas focused.

    The movie hopes you will come to it with the ideas. Keep it purdy, get some strong female characters in there so you can talk modern parallels, make sure existence is vaguely pondered, and they will come. I get it. It's cool in its own way and I did this plenty before. But I'm over doing the work for a film anymore.

    Shame because Arrival was perfect. Every single thing he wanted you to feel, you felt.
     
    #835
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  16. moreorless87 Gold Belt

    moreorless87
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    I must admit I wasn't quiet such a big fan of Arrival as many, I mean I certainly enjoyed it a lot and own it on DVD but it did also tend to feel rather less focused on drama and more on the mechanics of its plot and the task its characters are set.

    As I'v mentioned in the 2049 thread I do think Villeneuve was a bit of an odd choice in some ways based on Arrival. Your dealing with an era now where there are loads of directors making films with very clear influence from early Ridley Scott(just recently Ghost in the Shell and Rogue One) yet Villeneuve to me actually stands out partly because he does not look to that influence. Visually I think he's much harsher and more minimalistic and the overall style of his films is as I mention above more plot and less character focused.

    The end result for me was that 2049 whilst certainly an interesting watch was really not a very similar film to the original at all. Scotts film is I think much more of an arty philosophical drama with a strong romatic touch to its visuals/music, Villeneuve's film on the other hand is I think more of an action thriller with much harsher visuals/music. A bit of a giveaway for me is that Villeneuves film for the most part avoids the kind of locations that made Scotts so iconic, we get very little of the crowded streets of future LA and the interiors we see are deliberately soul suckingly bland rather than the atmospherically lit nostalgic clutter of the original.

    As far as comparison to the recent Ghost in the Shell goes that a bit of a tough one since that film did obviously go for a bit more of a larger than life style rather than the crushing Nolan like seriousness(which honestly does I think convince a lot of people they must be watching greatness) of 2049. I found Ghost clunkier in places but very effective at others, the scene with the Majors mother and sections with Kuze including the finale were arguably more effective than anything in 2049 for me. Visually as well Ghost felt much closer to Blade Runner (I realise part of that is indirect frim the source material but still there was influence beyond that) and did I thought have a bit more flare with some nice original scenes such as the deep dive.
     
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  17. moreorless87 Gold Belt

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    I did enjoy it but honestly I can't disagree with those criticisms that did for me hold it back from the greatness many are claiming.

    The second half was for me more successful but the first as you say did feel rather plodding, rather too much time spent turning the wheels of the plot than exploring the situations it setup. K's life in the LAPD as a knowing slave who must stay within certain emotional boundries never really felt like the source of much tension to me and his relationship with Joi just seemed to stay at the level we see on introduction. Meanwhile sections like the orphanage whilst not "bad" really didn't seem to contribute much.

    The original might be a film that features many slopw atmospheric scenes but I would not mistake that for a lack of focus, its actually very tightly focused indeed as you can see from some of the deleted scenes and disguarded ideas(such as the opening of 2049) that wouldn't really have served its central themes well.
     
    #837
  18. HUNTERMANIA "I'll be the prince."

    HUNTERMANIA
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    Hmm.. I don't disagree with anything you guys said, but I liked the 'feel' of the movie enough to enjoy it. The original wasn't exactly extremely thought-provoking, IMO, although in the 80's it may have been. But I watched it right before I watched this one and I thought they were almost exactly the same type of film. I liked it. I didn't 'learn' anything from it... and that's usually a very strong criticism from me for a movie or a show, but I feel like it did enough for me without that. It was just a sequel... that was dope. :)
     
    #838
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  19. Caveat Mozart in a Go-Kart

    Caveat
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    Yea. I mean, I don't want to go out of my way to hate on the thing, just trying to explain why it's a B- at best for me.

    There were some nice elements - Carla Juri's scenes in particular were beautifully done. Every time snow was falling on a character you had the makings of a really nice moment. The first scene and the quick reveal about K's identity were really solid and had me hopeful for the rest.

    The problems for me began during the playing out of the detective story. Plot-wise that (significant) chunk of the movie felt very step-wise, which would have been okay had the deeper themes been allowed to seep in from outside the basic picture. But to agree with @Ricky13 as usual, the deeper themes were a smorgasbord of AI motifs that felt more like they were mentioned in passing than properly explored - Robyn Wright's call-out of K's lack of soul being am illustrative example.

    (Speaking of her, why the fuck would she try to adopt a role as this crude, physically imposing cop leader when her House of Cards character was about 10x more intimidating? I keep reading about Leto overacting but hers was way more noticeable imo).

    By the time Luv was launching missiles at K I felt a lot like she did sitting on her chair getting her nails done - like, can we just get past this part of the movie already and onto something juicier? But by then you had to know the juice was going to come almost entirely from the film's relationship to the old one, as it had already missed the opportunity to set up a strong thematic framework in its own right.

    What makes me feel outright dismissive about the whole thing is comparing old Ghost in the Shell, for instance. Look how embedded we're able to get in that world and story, which is 20 years older, and how specific the Major's situation is relative to some surface-level Hollywood AI plots like I, Robot or even Ex Machina. Watching Blade Runner 2049 my predominate reaction was something like: we're still doing this? which is not a great reaction to have to any media lol. I'm not a big sci-fi reader but I imagine blockbuster films have not kept up with the literature at all in that department.

    The original is kind of hard to place for me, having watched it recently as well. I got the impression that it was trying to convey a lot of tensions around AI that couldn't necessarily be articulated at that time - or maybe they could and Scott just decided to hit us with them from multiple angles instead. I liked how dense it felt and how strange parts of it were, and the crescendos of unease that accompanied Pris' and Roy's (very different) deaths. After I watched it felt like, holy shit there's a lot to think about here, like it opened up a range of thematic possibilities with very few words. And the soundtrack was just gorgeous.

    The new one was the opposite of all those things. The exposition was all laid out in dialogue, the setting didn't really bombard us but pushed us along straight lines instead, and emotion was hard to come by. That felt a lot more boring by comparison.
     
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  20. theskza Silver Belt

    theskza
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    Sup

    Thoughts on the newer Manchurian Candidate? Am I the only one that thinks it's amazeballs?
     
    #840

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