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Old 11-10-2017, 09:18 PM   #1176
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Lil' Bluey

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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.
To clarify, we are talking about this girl and not this one?
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Old 11-10-2017, 11:21 PM   #1177
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Gonna admit, I have no idea. I know I'm at risk of coming across as prosopagnostic, but I thought they were the same character, she was just dressed up on the ship versus when she was hanging around Peter.

That's one of the limitations of not having audio.
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Old 11-10-2017, 11:43 PM   #1178
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Lil' Bluey

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Gonna admit, I have no idea. I know I'm at risk of coming across as prosopagnostic, but I thought they were the same character, she was just dressed up on the ship versus when she was hanging around Peter.

That's one of the limitations of not having audio.
Spoiler: show
The second one Peter took the Homecoming dance is named Liz. Apparently she's another one of his crushes in the comics. She moves away at the end of the movie bc of the stuff that happened with her father. The first girl is referred to as "Michelle" throughout the film, but at the end she says all her friends call her "MJ".
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Old 11-11-2017, 03:33 AM   #1179
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The honest truth is likely they hired Marisa Tomei for her chemistry with Robert Downey Jr. more than anything else. She is 52 years old. She's in the menopause age range. She just happens to be quite beautiful for someone her age. Sally Fields was only like 65 when she appeared as Aunt May, Rosemary Higgins was 75 in Sam Raimi's films.

You also have to remember, Spider-Man's actor himself has gotten progressively younger. Tobey Maguire portrayed a recently graduate from High School and failing College student. Andrew Garfield literally graduated High School in his 2nd film rather than the first. And Tom Holland is like a Sophomore. It wouldn't really make sense to have such an old parent/guardian when the newest iteration of Peter Parker is also so young.

Very old and feeble Aunt May has kind of been a major annoyance to most of the viewers/readers of Spider-Man, as she really doesn't do anything other than mess up Spider-Man. In the Ultimate Spider-man cartoon, she's still gray haired, but she's young and hip as well as accepting of Peter's superhero activities after revealing she had discovered his secret. I feel they probably borrowed most of her characterizations from this version. Even in modern comics, Aunt May rarely shows up because she married J. Jonah Jameson's father (effectively making him his boss his cousin) and they moved to Florida or something. Peter just works on his own problems (like saving NYC from supervillains), not the problem of Aunt May dying of being old and poor and feeble.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:17 AM   #1180
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Jigsaw.

It's worse than you've heard, I promise you.
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:35 PM   #1181
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Thor: Ragnarok

I went in with extremely low expectations given the groan-inducing title, but it turns out this was the best "superhero" movie I can remember seeing. My only major complainta begin with the infection of Guardians of the Galaxy-tier faux paus jokes that were forced and unfunny. Another complaint is that the movies are getting boring with regard to plot - "get imprisoned on alien homeworld and escape". BO-RING.

But otherwise, this was solid. You don't need a deep or edgy villain to make an effective film.
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Old 11-27-2017, 03:12 PM   #1182
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Sidebar: anyone who walks out of that movie and isn't crazy horny is LYING
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Old 11-27-2017, 05:21 PM   #1183
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What if they relieved their horny-ness in the theater, with tree clippers or something.
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Old 11-27-2017, 06:57 PM   #1184
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Why are you always a pretty princess?
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Because I look damn good in a dress.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:17 PM   #1185
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Saw Last Jedi...

Not sure how i feel entirely although it definately isn't on par with Empire strikes back. Visually a beautiful film.
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Old 12-17-2017, 08:44 PM   #1186
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Vaders goes "No, noo" when he throws the Emperor down the Death Star shaft in Return of the Jedi.

What the fudge Lucas? In the original, he said nothing. Instead it's the cheesy ending line from Revenge of the Sith??
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:37 PM   #1187
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Did you just watch a more recent edition on DVD/Blu-Ray? George Lucas is pretty much insane. He's like Da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa, but then he kept finding tiny things he wanted to change and now it's a picture of Dogs playing Poker.

Rocket Jump made a very good video about how Star Wars was saved by the editing to fix the big mess George Lucas put together. And it can be clearly felt considering how very messy the prequels were by comparison to the originals.

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BORKED

How Star Wars was saved in edit
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:09 PM   #1188
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Quote:
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Did you just watch a more recent edition on DVD/Blu-Ray? George Lucas is pretty much insane. He's like Da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa, but then he kept finding tiny things he wanted to change and now it's a picture of Dogs playing Poker.

Rocket Jump made a very good video about how Star Wars was saved by the editing to fix the big mess George Lucas put together. And it can be clearly felt considering how very messy the prequels were by comparison to the originals.

Spoiler: show
BORKED

How Star Wars was saved in edit
Your talents would be wasted as a bitcoin miner, because you're great at digging up gold.
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Old 12-24-2017, 12:44 PM   #1189
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Just watched the first half of Toy Story 3. And then the DVD died. Bad sectors, scratched up to high heaven. The perils in checking out DVDs from the county library. Alas.

Spoiler: show
So far, I have enjoyed the movie. It is the weakest of the three so far, I feel, but is by no means a weak entry. The depiction of daycare life for a toy has subverted my expectations several times already, and (from what I've seen of him and his backstory so far) Lotso is surprisingly the sort of villain one would only expect to find in stories written for an adult audience.

As I told a friend: I'm giving Pixar the stink eye for making Bonnie so lovable. The very premise of the film pits the viewer against the notion of Woody not being reunited with Andy, and yet Bonnie so wonderful that you cannot help but to hope for the outcome where Andy ends up letting Bonnie inherit his toys, knowing that she will take good care of them and put them to better use than he.
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:56 PM   #1190
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Just watched Blade Runner for the very first time. (It was the Director's Cut, the one I think from the early or mid '90s? It mentioned a copyright of like 1992 at the end.) Thoughts:

Spoiler: show
Easy to see how massively influential it has been on all the science fiction and especially cyberpunk that has come out of the past 35 years.

... But at the same time, I wasn't a fan. ^^; It was an okay movie. Breaking it down:
  • the ideas and concepts it deals with are interesting
  • but it doesn't deal with them in very interesting ways
  • the film feels very dull, despite its extraordinary setting and subject matter
  • the plot leaves a great many questions unanswered
  • I enjoy the ambiguity surrounding Deckard's own origins
  • I really didn't care much for Vangelis's soundtrack ^^; , much less think it deserved a BAFTA O_o
  • I thought the character development was astonishly weak / absent in this movie. Like, borderline missing for the vast majority of the named characters.
  • I don't really get the finale of Roy's fight with Deckard, though I was impressed by the line he delivered and am delighted to find it impressed so many others it has its own frickin' Wikipedia article assigned to it XD
Would I watch it again? If I had to. Do I want to watch it again? No. (Or at least not any time soon.) Do I want to own a copy? Hell no. It's a very strange movie in many regards, an unmistakable product of the same time period that gave us Labyrinth and Mad Max.

But am I glad to have seen it? Well sure, absolutely. Its mark on anime is indelible, and I can clearly see that now, having seen the film for myself. Ghost in the Shell. Psycho-Pass. These franchises are very, very clearly influenced by Blade Runner.

One last thing: got super turned off by the "sex scene" with Rick and Rachael at Rick's apartment. MAN WAS THAT RAPEY! It was just gross. How she tries to run away but he bars her escape and slams the door shut. How it then escalates to him abusively shoving her away from the door into property of his in the apartment. (The fuuuuck ...? ) How it then further escalates to him ordering her to tell him that she wants him to do sexual things to her ... WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT ALL ABOUT!? Not sure whether that's to be blamed on Ridley Scott or on the 1980s or what, but good god. Massive turnoff. ... Perhaps meant to be another sign that Deckard is an empathy-lacking Replicant? *tomatoed*
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:21 PM   #1191
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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Verdict: Good

It was more adult and violent than I thought, but was quite fun. It didn't have the same sense of epic as the original but was its own thing without being a dumb reference flick. A lot of cringe-worthy (funny) scenes, mostly involving Jack Black and Kevin Hart.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:39 PM   #1192
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It's Valentine's Day, and you know what that means!


It's time to watch The Silence of the Lambs!

Hilariously weird timing aside, I decided to watch Silence of the Lambs tonight. I'd never seen it before, but in my tottering quest to clear through my bucket list of acclaimed films I've still somehow not seen, I remembered Sunday that Silence of the Lambs has been on my to-see list for over twenty years. How could I have not seen it before now!? So I decided to finally rectify that, with the help of the local library. (I also have Spider-Man: Homecoming checked out, but that one will have to wait. )

This is a movie that has held up really well in some respects and is outdated in others. It felt a lot like another thriller with Scott Glenn, The Hunt for Red October. While I'd say I enjoy Red October more (and find it to be many times more rewatchable than Silence), The Silence of the Lambs is still a really solid film that every English-speaking adult should probably check out at least once, if for no other reason than:

Sir Anthony Hopkins' performance as Hannibal Lecter. While I wouldn't say he's done as good a job here as Daniel Day-Lewis did in There Will Be Blood (not even in the same ballpark), Hopkins is nonetheless a delight to watch onscreen and overshadows all the other actors. When the film is focused on Hannibal Lecter, it is strongest; when the film is focused on its ostensible primary focus, you spend most of the time wishing we were at another Hannibal scene.

As much credit has to be given to author Thomas Harris and his creation, the character of Hannibal Lecter, as to Hopkins. While the character has been done to death in post-Silence film and literature, the very notion of a serial killer who is also as brilliant as Sherlock Holmes is incredibly great. So much so that an off-brand Hannibal Lecter in Dexter got eight seasons on television.

Spoilers follow.

Spoiler: show
The film starts to falter once we take a look at its plot and other characters.

For starters, the film's two biggest plot twists -- Hannibal was the body they loaded onto the ambulance, and Clarice's boss wasn't raiding Buffalo Bill's home at the time Bill's doorbell kept ringing -- were both things I called immediately. I didn't even mean to with the impersonation scene -- I took one look at the body on the ground, remarked to myself that he had Anthony Hopkins' hair, and was like "Well that's clearly Hannibal," expecting him to rise up and bite the rookie in the face until I realized he was hoping to get carted out of there as a patient.

Clarice is hopelessly naive, and rather than the film show her growth as a character all it ever does is demonstrate just how utterly she is at Hannibal's mercy. It cannot be said in good faith that she deserved (morals aside!) to survive her run-in with Bill at the end there -- she foolishly telegraphed her intention to fire, she then moronically chased after him into the pits of an unfamiliar building he calls home, and then -- this is the clincher -- she gets trapped in the basement with the lights turned off while he has night vision goggles on and aims his pistol straight at the back of her head. The only reason she survives is because the film's desired ending demands it -- Bill miraculously misses a point blank shot at the back of her head while she just as miraculously manages to hit her mark while firing askew. To be honest, the only thing I like about her idiotic decision to enter the basement as she did is the question it forces me to ask: did Hannibal intend her to do this? Did Hannibal intend for her to possibly die? That question alone is worth more to me than the scene itself.

The psychiatrist who runs the maximum security psych ward is a pompous buffoon. ... Which would be fine and all, except we're asked to believe that he's survived all this time or that Hannibal sincerely considers him "his greatest enemy." There's hardly any sympathy for him at the end there -- hell, I'd even say the scene is played off as a "Haha! Yay! " scene for audiences, a scene where we're meant to internally smile and clap as good ol' anti-hero Hannibal gets his revenge.

As for Jodie Foster being perfectly cast for this movie ...

Spoiler: show
I never realized how much sexism factored into the story of Silence of the Lambs. But boy does it! The movie's got a lot to say and to show about how much female Clarice Starling has to put up with from men everywhere. Male FBI students in the academy. Male supervisors. Male officers. Male psych ward patients. Male male male male male! And they're all eyeing her up, all constantly thinking either how much they want to fuck her or else how adorable it is that she thinks she's people.

... This is really funny, considering Jodie Foster's history as a long-time closeted lesbian. Because I'm absolutely positive that she could relate personally, not only as a woman but as a lesbian woman, to a lot of the same frustrations that her character Clarice Starling has to put up with.

Two final things of note before I wrap this up. One, Jodie Foster's West Virginian accent is in my opinion worse than Dick Van Dyke's Cockney accent. And two, I never knew where that line, "It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again!", came from. But now I know!

Overall, I guess I would give The Silence of the Lambs a "7/10 - Good" score. I'd give Hopkins' performance an 8, his character a probable 9. I would say the film ranks pretty low as far as "Gotta own it!" urges go; it's not faring too well in my estimation as far as immediate or near-future rewatchability goes. But it was a good movie, and I would not be put off to watch it again.
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:03 PM   #1193
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47m05s into Spider-Man: Homecoming, will finish the film later tonight. So far, so very good! An easy 8/10 thus far. While it's a little weird going from Raimi 1 to Raimi 2 to Raimi 3 to Amazing 1 to Amazing 2 and then back in time (Peter-wise) yet forward in time (Avengers-wise) to this, it's been fun getting to see Spider-Man at his youngest as well as many of the other little things this film decides to try out.

Spoiler: show
It's interesting to have a high school BFF who is in on the secret. I don't want him to ever become a superhero or a mutant or whatnot, but I wouldn't be opposed to him factoring in in the future Jimmy Olsen-style.

I haven't gotten to see too much of the Vulture yet, but so far I am enjoying Keaton's acting immensely. It's so great to see him back on the saddle after such a long absence. God bless Birdman for turning things around for him. He's doing an excellent job of portraying an intelligent-but-still-salt-of-the-earthy foreman.

Not a fan of how much everything feels Team Tony rather than Team Cap here, but I guess I'll still need to see both Iron Man 3, Captain America 3, and Avengers 2 before I can say more on this. Cap 4 life, though! (And fuck the bullshit "Hail Hydra" nonsense that one writer wrote a few years ago. )

Marisa Tomei as MILF-or-GMILF Aunt May is really bizarre.

Equally bizarre to me is how little Homecoming focuses on Uncle Ben, despite the fact that we're asked to believe that this Peter Parker is a high school freshman/sophomore/junior (NOT senior), incredibly young, and that Uncle Ben's passing should have been really recent. Like, I'm not saying have him be pervasive, but like ... it would've made decent sense if at the houseparty scene, when Peter was contemplating showing up Flash by having Spider-Man visit the party, he had recalled Uncle Ben's words about great power and great responsibility. Maybe it's coming later in the movie. *shrug*

Who the heck is Liz? Part of me doesn't mind the invention of a new female love interest, but part of me is a little surprised given that the Spider-Man universe has no shortage of love interests for the webslinger. Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane Watson, Felicia Hardy ... Surprising to me and strange that they either invented a new character out of thin air or else that they pulled someone out of the deep corners of one of the lesser explored comics.

The one thing this movie nails is getting a Peter Parker who feels like an authentic teenage boy whilst also compatible with the canonical personality of Peter Parker. I don't know why it was so important to them that this iteration of Peter be a child instead of a young man, but they've absolutely nailed it with the acting and the writing. Very, very well done. And to be perfectly honest? Love it or hate it, it does feel a lot more authentic to the idea of "Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man whilst still in high school," whereas earlier depictions of Peter, including the old Fox cartoon and other sources predating Raimi's movies, definitely gave us a Peter who felt more like a ... 25-year old man who frequently talks and acts like an Eagle Scout, despite the sass, and who is teeeeeeeechnically a high school teen, wink wink. It's like ... I could never buy that Fox Cartoon Peter was a high schooler (which is why the transition to university was so welcome), but Homecoming Peter is very much so believably a high schooler.
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Old 02-16-2018, 02:20 AM   #1194
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Just finished Spider-Man: Homecoming. It was fantastic. Thoughts!

Spoiler: show
Unlike last night's film where I saw all the biggest plot twists coming, this film's plot twist hit me like a sucker punch! The pacing that leads up to it is so well done, the plot twist is so well masked, that before you can even recognize that it's coming, WHAM! BOW! Right in the kisser!

But this film is so much more than "omg, the Vulture was Peter's crush's dad." The movie is just tip to toe so, so good at doing what movies are meant to do best: ENTERTAIN. I was thoroughly entertained, from start to finish. This is hands down one of, if not the best, Marvel movies I've ever seen.

I wish we could have seen a little more from the "Papa Bear" side of Keaton's Vulture during the final fight. The scene in front of the school is such a treat, but it feels a little underserved to never get a second visit. It's alluded to, very loosely, in the mid-credits scene when the Vulture declines to reveal Parker's information to thugs in prison. But I think the easy money would be on the Vulture wanting to kill Parker himself (and that's why he sits on the name), not on the Vulture considering Parker to be a member of his extended family (and thus worth protecting). I would've liked, during the fight on the beach, for the Vulture to have brought attention to family one more time.

I got my Jimmy Olsen moment from Peter's best friend. 'Twas good.

I liked the setting up with Michelle as Peter's long-time stalker crusher and then with Liz out of the picture Peter x Michelle can be a thing ... but it was a little weird that they then opted to have her say her nickname is MJ when like ... she's clearly not named Mary Jane, so what is even happening here ...!?

Unlike last night's movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming feels SUPER rewatchable. I could watch it again right now! I kid, I kid ... but only just slightly. I'm half tempted to watch it again tomorrow, rather than moving on to the next movie. And this is definitely something worth owning in one's collection. I'm gonna have to find it on combination Blu-Ray and DVD. The moment I give the library back their DVD I'm gonna be jonesing for a reviewing.

I can't understate the importance of the Vulture's brutality in his attempts to kill Parker on the beach. It comes just before Peter decides to try and rescue the villain from the flames, and that's important. We all know that Peter's a nice guy, but quote unquote anyone would try to save a man from burning rubble if he could. It takes a really pure soul, however, to try and rescue a man who not only threatened to kill your Aunt May but who also just savagely battered you as badly as the Vulture did Peter.

I really love the symbolism in this movie. While it might not be the deepest, the idea of the Vulture as a salvager who collects exotic alien tech from the rubble of NYC post-Avengers fights with space aliens ... the salvager angle works so, so well with the scavenging nature that is a vulture.

lol @ probably-yandere Karen

As a one-off, especially, it was really fun to get to see what would happen if Spider-Man got to have an Iron Man suit.

Tom Holland did such a good job. Gonna have to try and commit that name to memory.

Overall, I want to give Spider-Man: Homecoming a 9/10. But I'm worried that might be a little too much post-film high talking, and that an 8 might be more appropriate. Still! Even an 8/10 is fantastic. And this is easily the best traditional Marvel movie I have seen in years. Possibly ever! (Logan, being so utterly non-traditional, doesn't count. )
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:26 PM   #1195
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Turned Spider-Man and Silence of the Lambs back in, got The Shining and Toy Story 3. You may recall, I tried to watch Toy Story 3 on Christmas Eve, only for my copy to have significant damage that prevented me from watching past the halfway point. Welp, the library gave me back the same DVD as before -- but they clearly buffed out the two pockmarks that were there before, leaving behind only the thin hairline scratches all over the disc. It was enough that the DVD only hung up once, and only skipped four seconds. I'll take it!

So! Toy Story 3. I thought it was a good movie. If Toy Story 2 was "an excellent sequel to a masterpiece, and a sequel that didn't need to exist," then Toy Story 3 was similarly "a very good sequel to an excellent predecessor, and a sequel that didn't need to exist." So like ... we had the 10/10 original, then we got the 9/10 sequel, then we got the 8/10 sequel to the sequel ... and while neither sequel needed to be done, both were wonderful products that we can be glad were made.

Spoiler: show
Called the final fight between Woody and Lotso taking place at the trash compactor. ... Didn't call that we'd actually go from there to the junkyard and that that would be the setting for the true final fight.

Called Bonnie inheriting the toys in the end ... but then who didn't?

Didn't call the Pizza Planet aliens being how Woody & Co. would get rescued. Wonderful use of the characters!

Didn't call the manner in which the toys wind up with Bonnie in the end.

Enjoyed Spanish Mode Buzz. Feels like it's this movie's equivalent of Toy Story 2's subplot with Fresh Out of the Box Buzz and Emperor Zurg.

Not sure how to feel about Lotso in the end or his ultimate fate. At the very least, we can all say that as written he got what was coming to him.

Did not call, and absolutely loved, how Ken and Barbie become the new operators of Sunnyside and how they transform it into a paradise.

Having not grown up with it, I don't see myself rewatching 3 nearly as much as I would want to rewatch 2 (which in turn I don't want to rewatch nearly as much as I want to rewatch 1). But that stated, I can see how anyone who grew up in the late '90s / early '00s would want to bordering on have to own all three movies on DVD rather than just the first one or two of them.

Three movies down. Just The Shining to go before I finish all four of the movies I reserved. Getting back into reading soon, so will probably put movies on hold for a bit after this, but who knows, we'll see.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:25 AM   #1196
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Toy Story 3 is much more derivative than 2. The villain, Buzz brainwash, and Ken/Barbie stuff are all ideas first presented in the second film. There was forced drama with the dump. The entire day care was basically a huge side show to soften the impact of the whole film's premise, the break-up, which was already gutted early in the film with foreshadowing. I think of Toy Story 3 as closer to Cars than the untouchable masterpiece that is the 2nd film, let alone the first. And to be honest, I liked the 2nd more when I saw them originally but I didn't appreciate the first fully until I got older. Though, the CGI really holds it back now, to the point of distraction.

Personally, the most out-of-body experience for me was seeing Andy drive a car. I was 23 when Toy Story 3 came out and would not get a driver's license for another 5 years. So it was really, really jarring to see this child driving a car without supervision.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:38 PM   #1197
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Watched The Shining. It was pretty good. Even though I've been spoiled on so much of the film by pop culture references, the film does a remarkably good job of building up the tension and the suspense. While not as good as, it calls to mind the excellence of an Alfred Hitchcock film in this specific regard. The acting is so-so by all parties, the soundtrack likewise, but the cinematography is a special blend of dated and excellent without equal. All in all, it's a good movie and very worth seeing. The only real reason I can think of for why it shouldn't be shown to young teens or adolescents is a surprising prevalence of full frontal nudity, including one especially grotesque scene that, while right at home for a horror movie, might be a bit too much for younger viewers.

Spoiler: show
A testament to how much this film has influenced pop culture, here were all the things I already knew about it before watching the film:
  • the Grady girls standing at the end of the hallway
  • "Come play with us, Danny."
  • REDRUM
  • "Heeeeeeeeeeeeere's Johnny!"
  • "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."
  • an evil hotel drives a man to attempt to murder his family
  • the image of the elevator doors opening and a cascade of blood pouring out
  • that there exists a scene in the movie with a nekkid grandma that was disturbing to friends who had seen the film
  • that if there's a token black guy in a horror film, he is guaranteed to die
  • Jack Torrance freezes to death outside
This last one I had somehow managed to avoid being spoiled on for three decades, only getting spoiled mere days before watching the movie. I'd seen the image of the frozen Jacksicle on image boards and web forums countless times, but I'd never put together that it was Jack Nicholson, much less Jack Nicholson from The Shining, nor had I realized it was a dead man. I always thought it was some scene played for laughs from like a Home Alone 4 or something. Anyway, a couple of days ago, someone posted the picture and made a Shining-related comment along with it and it finally clicked. Darn it. =\ ^^;

Things I either hadn't been spoiled on or had but hadn't registered:
  • the significance of Room 237 (which I understand is 217 in the book)
  • the character of Dick Halloran, the hotel chef
  • the hedge maze
First, I want to say that the list of spoilers I was exposed to -- themselves each iconic scenes or concepts to do with the film -- serves to demonstrate just how culturally iconic this film is. Love it or hate it, the film has had a remarkable impact on American pop culture.

Second, I'd like to say that despite the plethora of spoilers I had going into this movie, I still found it to be very enjoyable and even very tense! I think a lot of it was the excitement of getting to see where what I had been spoiled on would pop up, and what exactly it would be revealed to be in the narrow context of this film's plot.


I think it's interesting how so many viewers, self included, are hypnotized by Kubrick's visual imagery, e.g. the positioning of the girls and the casting of identical twins, that we all think of the Grady sisters as twins even though they're not meant to be. So much so did I think of them as twins that I became confident that I was onto something with "Tony" -- I was convinced that Tony was a mostly-absorbed identical twin brother of Danny's, that during embryogenesis the separation was incomplete and he became absorbed into Danny's mass of cells and wound up being located where Danny's cheek would be. The fact that this isn't confirmed to be the case, and the added fact that even the Grady girls aren't meant to be twins, really rains on my parade but oh well. :')

I both liked and disliked the deliberately ambiguous ending re: Jack Torrance. On the one hand, I'd say I'm comfortably in the camp that argues for his absorption into the hotel -- that its "past residents" are all individuals who have fallen victim to the hotel's curse, in one fashion or another, and that Jack is simply the latest in a longish line of cursed victims. On the other hand, I would've liked something a little more concrete.

I'm much less enthusiastic about the unanswered questions regarding Room 237. :\ I don't really see the point in making that room seem like such a major plot point -- it's introduced during Danny's conversation with Halloran, it's later the 2-for-1 location responsible for Danny's physical trauma and Jack's psychological trauma at the hands of a rotten nekkid grandma -- when it doesn't have anything at all to do with the Torrances or the Gradys. Like, I get that it winds up in a third category -- "it's a scene meant to show you that the hotel has had many victims, and that the hotel is badly cursed" -- but like ... then why make nekkid grandma get so much more screentime and conversation time than any of the other non-Torrance non-Grady victims? Like, we get a short shot of a pigman going to town on some guy's dick. We get another short shot of cobwebs and skeletons. We get another short shot of someone else (I already forget who =\) whom Wendy sees as she is bewildered and trying to navigate her way out of the hotel's corridors and locate Danny. Why couldn't nekkid grandma have been done like this? Or rather -- why all of the special attention to Room 237? It just doesn't make any narrative sense. If nekkid grandma is no one special and is just one of the hotel's many victims, then why is only Room 237 sealed off? Why is that the only room Danny is forbidden from entering? I had thought for certain that Room 237 was going to be revealed to be where Grady and his family had originally taken up residence for the winter -- that or the room where he murdered his wife, assuming a chase sequence -- but in the end it's just this ... room given a lot of special attention even though it doesn't do squat to answer our questions about the plot's primary focuses.

I was sad to see Halloran killed. I thought it was a little silly though in universe -- the man is worried enough for Danny's safety that he leaves Florida for Colorado and drives a snowcat up the mountain to rescue the boy, yet he wanders into the hotel all alone, unarmed, never once looking over his shoulder, and ultimately walking right into his killer's strike zone. Like ... dude. You know this hotel better than the Torrances. You should be able to navigate around blind spots and safely locate Danny. You also probably should have brought backup.

One thing the movie glosses over, and this is a rather unfortunate plot hole but oh well -- why does the hotel target the Torrances during the seven-month period the hotel is closed for the winter yet it doesn't ever target Halloran, Ullman, or others during the five months of operation? Why should the curse care whether the hotel is empty or not? And if it should care and if its goal is to kill people, then shouldn't it want to curse a man who works during the five months of activity and lead him to serial murder as many people as possible?

I really liked the final hedge scene. I'm surprised to learn that the hedge maze wasn't in the book. I've not read the book, and I understand that the book and the film differ in many ways (including Jack Torrance's characterization), but I have to say that from what little I know of the book's original ending (with the boiler exploding and killing Jack) that the hedge maze is a huge upgrade.

... Though I suppose it does introduce a plot criticism of its own, which is: why didn't Jack simply use the axe to chop down the hedges and make his way outside the maze? ^^;; I think this can be fairly answered by stating, "He was far too delirious, far too stupored, far too blinded by the effects of the curse." What we see is a mindless, shambling killer, not some Professor Moriarty of crime. I think it's quite fair to say that he simply could not think of that answer at that time, that he was in such a hunter's mode that he insisted on first following Danny's foot prints and later blindly meandering through the maze trying to locate his prey and/or the exit. I dunno. I liked the hedge scene , and think it's more believable than "Hey, Dad, don't kill me! =( You gotta go down to the boiler room and disable the boiler before the whole hotel blows up!"

(For starters, if the reason behind the curse is "oh shit, American assholes built a hotel on top of a sacred Indian burial ground! ", then wouldn't the curse be happy to be rid of the hotel? Wouldn't it want the hotel to blow up? )

A movie to own? No. A movie to rewatch again and again? Nah. But a movie worth seeing at least once? Absolutely. Go and check it out if you haven't already. Mind the full frontal nudity and occasional disturbing imagery, but it's nothing too awful. If you can handle a movie like the Saw series or Event Horizon then you're not going to have any difficulties here.

The Shining gets an overall score of either 7/10 - "Good" or else at worst a 6/10 from me. It's certainly above average.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:27 AM   #1198
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Watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2 a couple of nights ago and Iron Man 3 last night.

Thoughts on GotG 2:

Spoiler: show
It was fine. Wasn't a huge fan of the first one, wasn't a huge fan of the second one either. Both had their charming moments but were overall very "6/10 - Fair" experiences. I've been told that a lot of people cleanly fall into one of two camps -- either you preferred 1 to 2 or you preferred 2 to 1 -- but I think I like different things about each film and have a hard time determining which I enjoyed more.

One of the problems I had/have with 2 is, it feels like a movie that underwent significant writing revisions but that failed to fully remove some of the hanging threads from earlier drafts. Example: the subplot about Mantis being kept on retainer by Ego because of her ability to help him sleep seems like something that was left behind from an earlier draft of the film that they left in because she still does putting-Ego-to-sleep related things later. When you tell an audience that a character has trouble sleeping at night, and when you further elaborate that it's because he's thinking of his children, you endear the character to an audience. You implicitly, if not explicitly, tell the audience that this is a guy with a soul, a guy who may have done some bad things but who feels genuine remorse and is haunted so badly he can't sleep well at night. It's very weird, then, to later get an Ego who has absolutely zero remorse about his children. I've read fan explanations that, per his name as Ego, the whole "I can't sleep at night; I'm up all night thinking of my kids" thing is about Ego's excitement for his plan and/or his anxiety that none of his offspring will have the Celestial spark that both he and Peter possess. And this could very well be the case. But. It just doesn't feel like it to me. =\ It feels much, much more like they originally had one plan for Ego (arrogant sonofabitch who's done some rotten things but is a good guy in the end) and that they ended up revising it mid-production and gave us the villainous Ego we got in the end.

I thought it was sweet of James Gunn & Team to make Yondu such a big part of this movie, given how much fans of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie adored him. I thought it was also fitting (if sad ) that they gave him a big heroic moment but then killed him off -- because during Yondu's big arrow use scene in the film's mid-point (the part where he gets his revenge on all of the mutineers), all I could keep thinking was, "This is the superpower we're stuck with? We're asked to believe that some guy with a magic whistle arrow is on par with the other Guardians, let alone greater entities in the Marvel universe?" More importanty, "How are they going to keep this up? I mean, I get that audiences love Yondu, but once you've seen him do his whole 'I killed an entire group of people' arrow trick twice" (both in GotG 1 and in GotG 2), "how can you possibly get so excited for it a third time? " So it makes sense to me that they killed his character off (because he's a dead end devoid of much real potential) but not before giving him an epic sendoff (because he's such a fan favorite).

Thoughts on Iron Man 3:

Spoiler: show
I had heard people say that Iron Man 3 was their favorite of the bunch. But having been largely unimpressed by Iron Mans 1 and 2, I went into this one with pretty middle-of-the-road expectations.

I'm glad to say, I enjoyed the film quite a bit. Probably not much more than a 7, which may not sound like much, but it's easily the best of the three Iron Man movies. 1 is the origin story -- sometimes fun but often lazy and simple, no worse so than with its central villain, "Ebil Iron Man", a bad guy in an Iron Man suit of his own. 2 tries to be bolder with an entirely different villain, but it's so utterly forgettable I have a hard time remembering more than electro whips, race car track, and Don Cheadle giddily getting an Iron Man suit of his own.

But 3 is the film that is most entertaining. It has an interesting villain, and a shitton to say about 1) karma/creating our own demons and 2) anxiety and other psychiatric disorders. It's the latter where the film really shines. While it feels a touch "on the nose" of them to make Iron Man, hero of the military audience, the one who has to grapple with PTSD (though he denies it) and anxiety attacks (which he readily admits), I found it quite enjoyable to see them write a very human story with a very human problem around one of their big name Marvel superheroes. No one cares more about image than Tony Stark, and so an anxiety disorder, something which a person like Tony might see as incredibly humiliating, was a really interesting touch. Much has been said about Robert Downey, Jr.'s ability to act as Iron Man, but I think he deserves special attention for how well he depicts an Iron Man grappling with panic attacks. He really feels like not only Tony Stark but Tony Stark having a panic attack, and not a man in front of a camera. Very well done.

Sadly and strangely enough, I think my biggest complaint or disappointment with the film ... is how "made for TV" / not grounded in comics canon it is. I enjoyed the film immensely whilst watching, but I was so very curious to know more about Killian and the Mandarin that I went looking later, and ... What I read, it sort of took the film an entire point out of 10 down for me. ^^; 'Cause like ... they really, really abused the name "Mandarin" for this movie! I noticed it even while watching -- I was very confused why the Mandarin is everything but Chinese -- but that was part of what I also enjoyed whilst ignorantly watching. It was the whole excitement of discovery, of wondering what the Mandarin's backstory is that he might be this Caucasian scientist-turned-supervillain. But like ... the movie has nothing to do with power rings, nothing to do with the traditional Mandarin ... So I dunno ... I still like what we got, but I can't help but feel sorry for diehard Iron Man comic book fans. They'd been wanting a Mandarin appearance for years and then when they finally got one it was a poser.

Not too thrilled on Pepper Potts becoming genetically modified with the Extremis virus (and essentially being transformed into a mutant, though they never use the M-word here ^^; ) but then it's casually hand-waved away at the film's end as "Tony threw a lot of money at the problem and got Pepper sorted out." Uhhhhhh, what? This is one of the reasons why I can't get into actual comic books, and it was unfortunate to see it rear its ugly head in the MCU where it's been largely absent. The whole ... "Irreversible bad shit happens to people you care about, but because you care about these people and because we don't want to write them as forever altered, we're just going to explain away how they manage to return to the way they were before the irreversible change."

Not sure how canon it is, but I also wasn't too thrilled with how fragile this third movie depicted the Iron Man suits as being. Mark 42 is badly damaged early in the film and only proceeds to get worse and worse as the film wears on. But the other suits, too, they ... they all are made to explode fairly easily (and I don't mean Tony's fireworks command at the end there). Simple missiles or projectiles fired at them and they keep routinely exploding during that shipyard scene. It's very weird. Why am I supposed to believe that when Tony Stark is inside the suit projectile damage just badly batters him but that when the suits are hollow they fucking detonate? Nowhere was this worse than the scene where the semitruck explodes Mark 42 and the audience is then treated to the reveal that Tony was remotely controlling it from within Air Force One the entire time. If a semitruck has enough momentum to make Mark 42 fall apart ... why is it that when Tony's wearing it and comes crashing into Tennessee the suit doesn't tear apart on impact with the first fucking tree and leave a badly exposed Tony to then get pulverized by the ensuing trees?
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Old 03-17-2018, 11:25 AM   #1199
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Saw Black Panther in theaters. Also re-watched an old documentary called "Awesome Pawesome" about some tigers born in a zoo, but I'm not sure if that counts.
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