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Old 08-01-2017, 11:32 AM   #1151
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Y'all ever seen Tim Allen's Zoom?
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Old 08-21-2017, 08:20 PM   #1152
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Just finished watching There Will Be Blood for the first time. Thoughts:

Spoiler: show
Daniel Day-Lewis's acting? 10/10, top notch.

Everything else about the movie? 8/10 at best, all the way down to 4/10 or 5/10 at the lowest. I dunno ... it just ... wasn't for me. ^^; Since numbers don't tell the full story, I'll elaborate.

I was pretty bored by the plot. Daniel Day-Lewis was captivating in his portrayal of main character Daniel Plainview, but aside from the onscreen enigma there was little for me here to enjoy. The film wasn't some great mystery. Neither was it an action thriller, an unforgettable horror, nor a hilarious comedy. The film takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to tell a story that could have easily been done in just sixty minutes. I'm not happy with that: I feel like the movie wasted my time, big time. Far too many unnecessary scenes to establish plot, character, or theme. Everything the film wants to say, it more than manages to say with only half of what's on display. It's just too much. And it would be fine if the plot were riveting, but ... it isn't! "This guy is a monster. He is made of the best of us but does the worst deeds of us." His drive. His ...

His drive is actually worth veering off for a second just to discuss. This is perhaps his single most defining attribute, and is the one which captivates me (and, I assume, most audience members) the most. Drive is something which we champion in our society. We condemn laziness and procrastination. We applaud those with a strong work ethic, those who struggle and persevere. Here we have a man who is, from the film's opening scene, a prime example of a man who is driven ... and yet he is everything wrong with it. A man who rarely made time for family. A man who ruined lives to get what he wanted. A man who ended lives to get what he wanted. Something we celebrate takes on such horrifying appearance when Evil is placed in the driver's seat.

But I didn't need the ten to twenty different scenes this film relied upon to send that message clearly. And that goes for every other aspect of the film, too. Whether it's themes of capitalism, amorality, false religion, you name it, the film doesn't require all of the ammunition it uses to get these messages across. And while excess material is happily forgiven when that material is exhilarating to watch ... this one's wasn't. It felt an awful lot like a film I'd be forced to watch in high school. Or a book I'd be forced to read for high school or middle school. Not one of the rare gems like a Brave New World or a Westing Game that was a pleasure to read AND educationally valuable, but the My Antonias, the Ethan Fromes, the Grapes of Wraths that felt much more homeworky and ... BORING.

While I wish the complaints could end with the plot, sadly not. :\ The musical score, I just wasn't feeling it. It ranged from dull to distracting, and was never great. The acting from the other actors? Nowhere near Day-Lewis's level. And while that's to be forgiven, given that he is a living legend for his acting abilities, the problem is that the other actors weren't even great by reasonable merits. They ranged again from merely okay at best to downright weak.

I do think that someone who is more into themes than I am will get much better mileage from this movie. This movie seems set up to be a theme-lover's paradise, with lots of potential symbolism and themes to be found throughout.

I didn't realize it came from this movie until the scene fell right into my lap, but I did realize right at the end when Eli showed up in the basement: "Hey wait a second ... IS THIS THE MOVIE WITH THE SCENE SET IN A BOWLING ALLEY WHERE SOMEONE BEATS THE SHIT OUT OF SOMEONE ELSE!? :o" So I guess I can say I've finally seen that scene now. "I drink your milkshake."

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Old 08-22-2017, 05:07 PM   #1153
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Just finished watching Fargo for the first time. Thoughts:

Spoiler: show
I enjoyed it fine. I'd say I'd give it a 7/10, maybe. (Kinda waffling between the 8 and the 6!) Unlike the previous movie, which also probably got an 8/10 overall but was a mishmash of 10/10 perfections and 4/10 failings, Fargo is pretty homogenous in its quality. Good acting, good cinematography, good plot, good enjoyability, just good everything. Little great, but nothing bad either.

The introduction of Marge so late in the movie -- end of Act 2? Beginning of Act 3? -- is pretty unorthodox. Normally all of the main players are already gathered by the start of Act 2, and yet Marge all but usurps William H. Macy's character's role as protagonist upon her arrival. Perhaps that's in large part because Macy's character is a protagonist the audience can't get behind, a bad man who's done bad things which have in turn spiraled out of control. We feel sorry for him that they have spiraled out of control, but in the end, he's still one of the bad guys, and were he not in the driver's seat -- were this any other presentation of the story -- we wouldn't hesitate to hate him. So perhaps it is with some great relief that when Marge appears we are able to jettison Macy's character and to crown Marge our new protagonist.

I enjoyed the depictions of the folksy Minnesotans. Dialed up a bit, sure, but that's storytelling for you. Not sure why the movie got so much hate from that part of the country. No, you don't all talk like that. And no, you're not all simpletons, unlike the vast majority of the film's characters who are. But there are definitely elements in your neck of the woods who are. We have them here too, in Indiana, only without the Scandinavian-American accent.

Right when the film was in danger of outstaying its welcome, it hurriedly wrapped things up. On the one hand, this is good! It didn't outstay its welcome; it stayed exactly as long as it needed to. On the other hand, perhaps paradoxically so, I felt like the ending was too hurried. I would've appreciated a little more resolution with William H. Macy's character. A courthouse appearance, a scene from prison ... something. Anything.

I also felt like the primary killer's history and/or personality were not well-explored enough by film's end for us to readily accept his murder of Buscemi's character. Up until this final moment of the movie, the only people he's killed, he's killed all of them in a move at self-preservation. "Kill the cop so I don't go to prison for abduction." "Kill the eyewitnesses so I don't get the electric chair for killing the cop." Fine. Even if we don't agree with his actions, we can at least understand them devoid of knowing this man's backstory. But once he kills Jean and Buscemi in (in terms of how the audience perceives the news) back-to-back minutes, we now need more information on the guy. I was hoping, even expecting it would come during the scene where he's in the back of the squad car as Marge is taking him in. She had her chance at philosophizing, now it's his turn. But he just sits there quietly, looking mildly pissed off. It's bizarre. Why would you kill Jean now but for the last several days (or weeks!?) you were fine with her sobs and moans? ("Well maybe he finally snapped, Talon!" Okay, fine: but show it! Or explain it! Do something!) Why would you not draw your weapon on Buscemi any of the number of times he turned his back on you, but then you follow him out of the house, when he's armed and loaded, and attempt to murder him with an axe!? It could make sense, but as delivered it doesn't make sense. You just dropped this off at my doorstep without any explanation or build-up whatsoever. You were so eager to get to the wood chipper scene, you didn't stop to reason that maybe he should've pulled his gun on Buscemi from inside the house, or that maybe he should have shot Buscemi through the back of the head instead of attempting to axe-murder him.

Narratively, what was the point in keeping Jean alive past the point where she oafishly falls down her own stairs? There were numerous opportunities for Jean to kill herself by accident during the bungled abduction -- death by misapproximation as she falls out of the window from the second story, death by falling down the stairs -- yet the film takes none of these and keeps Jean alive. Okay. Fine. You need her alive for when the cop pulls them over. Except no you don't : it'd be perfectly fine to have her in a body bag in either the trunk or the back seat and for you two to be afraid of the officer discovering that. Jean's survival all the way until the final act doesn't really make any sense, narrative construction-wise. Keeping her alive accomplishes nothing of narrative value. On the contrary, having her be the cause of her own death back at the house would have made more tonal sense for this tragicomedy -- it would have taken the well-meaning petty criminals who were only looking to make a quick buck and suddenly placed the fear of the electric chair in them. That would have even better explained why the primary killer kills the cop during the pullover -- in the real version, he's scared of going to prison for abduction; but in my revised version, he'd be scared of the death penalty for murdering a housewife in her own home in Minnesotan suburbia.

That's okay. Even with complaints such as these, the film is still enjoyable enough and entertaining enough to stand on its own two legs. Whereas There Will Be Blood I don't want to watch again any time in the next ten years, Fargo I could be persuaded to re-watch soon. I'm not itchin' to! But I could be persuaded to.

Like There Will Be Blood, Fargo is another movie that I think has treats in store for the theme lover. Someone on a bonus featurette mentioned how they think Fargo is "a story about ordinary Americans trying to live ordinary lives." And while I didn't personally have that takeaway when I finished the film, I can see how the argument could be made. I can see how a theme-hungry moviegoer could find this in Fargo and enjoy it.

Oh! And I forgot to mention: the wood chipper scene. I think had heard about this, ages ago, in some vague and only semi-spoilery nature. But it had been completely forgotten by me until I could make out the noise that Marge was hearing on her approach. Man. I can see why this scene sticks with people.

Next time, we'll be taking a look at a bowling alley, some ashes, and a certain dude ...
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:46 AM   #1154
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The Big Lebowski? It's a cult comedy hit but I'm just not seein it, other than a few amusing lines (the rug really tied the room together).

I've seen There Will Be Blood and Fargo. I wish I could have a more in-depth discussion about them but it's been a long time since I've seen them and I didn't rank them higher than 7/10 so not a great recollection of what happened. The dark, slow atmosphere of There Will Be Blood reminded me of No Country For Old Men except the latter movie is about 100 times better.
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Old 08-23-2017, 04:32 AM   #1155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
I enjoyed the depictions of the folksy Minnesotans. Dialed up a bit, sure, but that's storytelling for you. Not sure why the movie got so much hate from that part of the country. No, you don't all talk like that. And no, you're not all simpletons, unlike the vast majority of the film's characters who are. But there are definitely elements in your neck of the woods who are. We have them here too, in Indiana, only without the Scandinavian-American accent.
It was a combination of the simple minded portrayal + the accent. You see this complex with the southern accent as well, where (apparently) it's stereotyped as stupid.

Most "Dakotans" don't get upset by Fargo anymore, but what I've noticed is that the accent is largely gone among younger folk, even if the intelligence or education level is pretty much the same. This applies to both North Dakota and Minnesota.

So my conclusion is that sounding stupid was more of an embarrassment that whether it was true or not.
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Old 09-11-2017, 07:50 PM   #1156
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The Big Lebowski's been postponed for over a week, though I will probably watch it tonight or tomorrow. That stated ...


Just finished watching Kimi no Na wa for the very first time. Easy 9 or 10 out of 10. Nothing less. Will write more in the Anime forum later. Suffice to say, you should check this movie out whether you like "Chinese cartoons" or not. You could even hate them and I'd still say you need to check this movie out.

Comes out on Blu-Ray and DVD in North America on November 7. This is a Day One purchase for me.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:30 PM   #1157
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Just finished watching The Big Lebowski. It was entertaining enough. I'd give it a 6/10. Not bad. Even above average, honestly. But ... not by much. I can definitely appreciate why it's a cult classic, neither mainstream (until, arguably, the last fifteen years) nor outright rejected.

Spoiler: show
Like the Coen Brothers' earlier film, Fargo, this one is heavily character-driven. You're watching for the characters. You're not watching for the plot. But unlike Fargo, which had an okay enough plot, here ... if you're watching for the plot, you're in for disappointment. Lebowski's plot is fairly simple and stupid. It's not an interesting story, no matter what the cowboy at the end might have had to say. Amusing, perhaps, but not interesting.

The film suffers throughout for a major problem -- we're asked to believe that no one would ever seek help from the police. At no point in the film do the police get involved save for one throw-away nod at this towards the film's end and one actual police report when the Dude's car gets stolen after a night at the bowling alley. These two exceptions aside, here follows a laundry list of the events that, were they to happen in real life, perhaps someone might have involved the police:
  • when the Dude's home is wrongfully entered and vandalized by gang members
  • when the Dude steals a Persian carpet from the Big Lebowski's
  • when Bunny goes missing
  • when Maude steals the Persian carpet from the Dude (who at this point in the film is told he may keep it)
  • when the German nihilists wrongfully entered and vandalized the Dude's home
  • when Walter pulled a gun at the bowling alley and held a man at gunpoint, locked and loaded
  • when Walter destroys a man's newly-purchased sports car
  • when that same man then destroys the Dude's car
  • when the German nihilists torch the Dude's car
  • when Walter causes a scene at the diner and is asked to be quiet or leave
Some of these are easily explained. Mafia involvement, cat-and-mouse games with money, just generally "we don't want to get the police involved." Maude stealing the Persian carpet is a good example of that: the Dude can't very well tell the police, "Someone stole the carpet that I myself stole from someone else," nor can he trust that the Big Lebowski will tell the police the carpet was a gift to the Dude should they go to his mansion to corroborate the Dude's story. Other examples, like Walter pulling the firearm on a man at the bowling alley or like Walter destroying the rich guy's car, make absolutely zero sense that the police did not become involved and that Walter did not spend the night (or longer!) behind bars. The script relies on audience cooperation to work in a way that Fargo did not. Fargo was farfetched; this, is just plain unreal.

Jeff Bridges does a good enough job at playing the Dude. John Goodman likewise does a good enough job at playing Walter. I wouldn't say either performance is a must-see, but they both do good jobs. As for everyone else, either meh? (Julianne Moore's Maude, Ben Gazzara's Jackie Treehorn) or else same level of good only the character didn't much matter or make an impact (Philip Seymour Hoffman's sycophantic butler, Sam Elliot's the Stranger).

None of the movie's R-rated content (gore, sex, profanity) makes the movie worth seeing, but at the same time the movie is so full of this stuff that it is an absolutely prohibited film for most minors.

I imagine the movie surprisingly has a decent enough replay value. I don't care to rewatch it again any time soon, but I'm also not turned off by the thought. I can't imagine the replay being worse than the same score I'm giving the film now, a 6 out of 10. In fact, I think the film might even be more enjoyable on the reviewing, for the same reasons the pop culture seems to have crowned Lebowski as this hidden gem of cinema: all of the quotable lines of dialogue. "The Dude abides," "Am I the only one that ...", "Yeah, well, y'know that's just, like, your opinion, man" ... these are the famous ones, but there's a ton of similarly-quotable lines in this movie's dialogue. That's not to say that I'd call the screenplay "smartly written", although no disrespect intended to the Coen Brothers. Rather, just that it's ... a quotable screenplay, like 2 to 5 percent of the lines in the movie could become quotations out of context.

Is this a movie that everyone needs to see before they die? I'd say no :\ , but for the pop cultural sensation it has become on the Internet over the last ten years or so. If it weren't for everyone quoting it and image macroing it all the time, I'd say you could easily go without ever seeing this movie.

Is it a movie to be avoided? Again, no, not really. I gave it a 6. I didn't dislike it. I even consider it an above average film. Just ... uninteresting plot, tons of plot holes as it pertains to law enforcement never getting involved, and nothing really there to make you want to watch except for the characters and their frequently amusing lines.

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Old 09-13-2017, 02:02 AM   #1158
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The original Ghostbusters had that effect for me. Individual gags, which were parodied over the years, were great in isolation. But the plot also feels like it has two disconnected acts. And Venkman, who was one of the most celebrated and quotable characters in that movie, is also the least believable as a psychologist. His whole gimmick is "tough guy New Yorker" rather than smart-arse scientist.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:50 PM   #1159
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Venkman was more of a sarcastic con artist than a smart-ass scientist. And he definitely isn't a psychologist. At least not a real one.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:01 AM   #1160
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Soo ... I have a spoiler question about the new It movie that just came out:

Spoiler: show
Does it only tell half the story of the book? O_o

I assumed it would cover the book's entire chronology, making necessary cuts for time. Not one single soul who has been to see the movie has told me, "Man that was a good Part 1 of 2! " or anything else that would indicate that this was only the first in a series of movies. Similarly, I can't imagine that the studio knew the film would be THIS POPULAR, so it's hard to think that they wouldn't have aimed for the closure that the book's finale offers.

But people are now saying that It 2 has been announced for the none-too-far-off year of 2019. And the way they are talking about it, it sure does sound like It (2017) only covered the childhood half of the book, and that It 2 (2019) is going to cover the adult half. Is this correct?
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:07 AM   #1161
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Yes, It only focuses on the kids half of the story.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:16 AM   #1162
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Interesting. I must have discussed the film (albeit briefly) with no less than twenty different people IRL, and read dozens if not hundreds of thoughts online. Not once did anyone I encountered ever bring this tidbit up. (Though, admittedly, everyone gushed about how great the kids were!) That's pretty cool to see that the studio was that confident in the film's success -- they had to have been, to make a decision like this! -- that they decided to
Spoiler: show
split it up into halves.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:21 AM   #1163
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I suspect that it wasn't confidence but rather that the kids half makes up a coherent movie, whereas the adults half is insanely dependent on the flashbacks to them being kids. And there is no way that they would have been able to make anything resembling a good movie with the two halves crammed together.
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Old 10-01-2017, 05:50 AM   #1164
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Instead of It, I went to Mother! with, well, my mother.

So like I have a lot of thoughts about this movie, but I also know a lot of people would probably hate it. We were alone in the theatre, and according to a few people I know in real life, a TON of people walked out when they went to see it. I mean, I absolutely understand. I really liked it, it's absolutely up my alley but it's so weird. Like there were so many moments where I was so happy we were alone, because we'd both be like "what the fuck?". It's interesting, with a very strong narrative. (Oh, and chalk full of symbolism which is absolutely my shit.). I don't really want to spoil what the movie is truly about, because it left me guessing until like the third arc where I was like OH, OH MY GOD. But it's a very interesting take on a lot of things, and I adored it.

It's probably my third favourite movie of the year as it stands. And my other two are a fun movie with good music (Not GOTG2; It's Baby Driver), and a horror/comedy full of symbolism (Get Out).

My mother and I are very pretentious and love film festival movies, okay?
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Old 10-02-2017, 12:42 AM   #1165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Soo ... I have a spoiler question about the new It movie that just came out:

Spoiler: show
Does it only tell half the story of the book? O_o

I assumed it would cover the book's entire chronology, making necessary cuts for time. Not one single soul who has been to see the movie has told me, "Man that was a good Part 1 of 2! " or anything else that would indicate that this was only the first in a series of movies. Similarly, I can't imagine that the studio knew the film would be THIS POPULAR, so it's hard to think that they wouldn't have aimed for the closure that the book's finale offers.

But people are now saying that It 2 has been announced for the none-too-far-off year of 2019. And the way they are talking about it, it sure does sound like It (2017) only covered the childhood half of the book, and that It 2 (2019) is going to cover the adult half. Is this correct?
I think an element of this also comes from a lot of the people going to see the movie lack a decent understanding of the source material and where it comes from. It seems to have garnered a very casual audience, because basically everyone I know has gone to see it because they're curious, rather than just diehard fans.
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Old 10-04-2017, 01:49 PM   #1166
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Hi I've been gone for a while but I saw a lot of the summer blockbusters (Wonder Woman, Guardians 2, Dunkirk, Apes, and Baby Driver) of which Baby Driver was my favorite. I've spent some time catching up with my Wes Anderson filmography, watching Rushmore and Royal Tenenbaums for the first time and watching Fantastic Mr. Fox a couple of times just because I love it. I also went to see Kingsman 2 the other weekend, which was fun but not the best. Just thought I'd share. If anyone wants to talk about any of these feel free to hit me up.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:20 AM   #1167
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Haven't seen either the episode or the movie, but ...

A trailer for a new Amazon television show that Jean Claude Van Damme is starring in.

A scene from a film he made called "JCVD".

There was news about the former, and in the discussion people linked to the latter. Whatever your thoughts may be on Jean Claude Van Damme or that first video, I highly recommend you check out the second video. As one person put it, "Either he's baring his soul for the audience or else he's proving he is a legitimately great actor."
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:57 AM   #1168
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My dad and sister forced me to watch Guardians of the Galaxy.

I didn't think it was very good, nor was it very bad. I found the comedy ostentatious and didn't laugh at any of it. The story/atmosphere was generic and cheesy, and the music was obnoxious. I also found the action boring and jarring, since it looks like a video game.

But I can't really say it "sucks" because I literally felt nothing toward the film. There's no lingering malice that would drive me to criticize it, not even in the face of its acclaim. Just a heavy sense of apathy/indifference that makes me feel like I would forget I even watched it very easily.

I guess, if I had to force out criticism, I couldn't suspend disbelief at all when the guardians declared themselves "friends". I was probably not supposed to be in any state of disbelief during that scene at all, which goes to show it was out of nowhere and forced.

Um, I thought censoring the word "a-hole" was childish but "dick", "whore" and "bitch" were okay?

Ah well. Whatever.
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:49 AM   #1169
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Guardians of the Galaxy 2

I liked Drax loosening up, but the rest of the characters were much weaker (except Yondu). The comedy was more polarizing - I laughed at some jokes, but also was disgusted/annoyed by some others.

The plot was way worse than the first film, and very predictable. Overall, I'd call it a bad film, but I still feel an immense sense of indifference toward criticizing it.
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Old 11-07-2017, 02:29 AM   #1170
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I saw Chappie on Netflix. I really liked District 9, unfortunately this isn't anything like that. The entire movie is a series of characters making terrible decisions and a lot of dumb stuff. Short Circuit was a better film with essentially the same premise, but dumber.
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:31 PM   #1171
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On my flight trip last Sunday I "saw" Spiderman Homecoming. I didn't get any sound, I only got to watch the visuals and read lips. Perhaps it's a testimony to the lack of audio but I liked this better than either Guardians of the Galaxy installment.

I feel* like a pedo saying this, but there were a lot of hot girls in that movie, way more than in most superhero films. Why was that, because it was supposed to be high school, and the attractive/fugly ratio is much higher in such locations? I dunno, but it wasn't painful to look at.

Even freakin' Aunt May was smokin', which was horrifying. Since I didn't have sound, it wasn't immediately apparent to me that LISA was Peter Parker's aunt. Isn't Aunt May supposed to be a granny? I guess this is Hollywood at work.


*Girls in their early 20's feels like pedophilia to me now :X
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:00 AM   #1172
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Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
On my flight trip last Sunday I "saw" Spiderman Homecoming. I didn't get any sound, I only got to watch the visuals and read lips.
Out of curiosity, were you able to get the reveal at the end of the film?

Spoiler: show
That the black girl was Mary Jane?
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:46 PM   #1173
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Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
Even freakin' Aunt May was smokin', which was horrifying. Since I didn't have sound, it wasn't immediately apparent to me that LISA was Peter Parker's aunt. Isn't Aunt May supposed to be a granny? I guess this is Hollywood at work.
Every time Uncle Ben dies Aunt May gets his lifeforce to become even younger. Hence why Uncle Ben always gets killed to start with.
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:05 PM   #1174
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Aunt May has been Benjamin Button'ing each time they reboot the series. Next reboot, she will attend school with Peter.
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Old 11-10-2017, 09:14 PM   #1175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilbluecorsola View Post


Out of curiosity, were you able to get the reveal at the end of the film?

Spoiler: show
That the black girl was Mary Jane?
Spoiler: show

I deduced that pretty early, when Spiderman saved her during the ship shear and she had that "falling in love" moment.

Although there were a lot of pretty girls, the three who stood out the most were:

1. Blonde student council prez
2. Black girl
3. Aunt May

Initially, I thought Aunt May was Peter's live-in girlfriend, since she was walking around in scanty underclothes and was hanging around him. Once I realized she was Aunt May, the obvious question is "who is Mary Jane" and initially it seemed like blonde girl was it, but as black girl took more prominence I figured she was the one.


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Aunt May has been Benjamin Button'ing each time they reboot the series. Next reboot, she will attend school with Peter.
I'm not cheering for this, since it seems more sex appeal motivated than anything else. Similar issue with casting Jessica Alba as Sue Storm back in the day.

It's even worse if Aunt May is Peter's aunt by marriage to Uncle Ben, which seems likely since her last name is Parker. Her husband is dead, she's got a virile, heavily muscled nephew-in-law who walks around the house shirtless, and she's of-age to qualify for a casting call on Desperate Housewives.

I'm sure the men in the audience are going "hurr hurr hurr" at the circumstances..
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