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Watched "It: Chapter 2"

I actually preferred it to the first a lot of people who I know disagree with. Enjoyable film overall but it does feel repetitive and it is too long at almost 3 hours.

7/10

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Ad Astra

Pretentious and boring. That just about sums it up. But it's more fun to talk about it in detail. I'll try to avoid spoilers, but I can tell you right away that pretty much nothing happens in the end anyway, so I'm not sure how much there even is to spoil.

Anyway, we meet Brad Pitt either giving a completely emotionless performance or starring in a completely emotionless role. A bad exposition dump (complete with the hallmark line "as you know", which is always a telltale sign that the script writer just gave up at some point) tells us that he is a really super, great guy. So does every other character in this movie, by the way. Brad Pitt is the one that doesn't need to take drugs to stay focused on a long-haul spaceflight, he's the one who survives when others die in action scenes, he's the one who can land a spaceship better than the captain of said ship. And if something goes wrong, not only is Brad Pitt the only one who knows what to do, we're told whatever actions he takes are completely justified.

So yeah, spaceships. A lot of time is spent on them, and the visuals are great, but the writers really miss the mark when it comes to the physics of this sci-fi movie. Notable examples include a scene in zero G inside a spaceship during a launch, an echo-free chamber whose acoustics are compromised by a large glass window, lunar gravity only being a thing outdoors, antimatter being conjured out of nowhere, a large pool of water full of leaves on Mars, and a message being broadcast to Neptune with 30 seconds being considered a long wait for a reply (Neptune is almost three light-hours from Earth even when the planets are perfectly aligned). Oh, and Neptune's rings are apparently only a couple hundred meters thick. You can park a ship on one side of the rings, see another ship on the other side, and jump between them. Don't worry of you bump into a few rocks on the way, you're likely to land on the other ship at a greater speed than you jumped off with.

All right, bad science can still happen in a good movie (even Gravity is full of bull and I love that one), but in this case the movie would have been just as bad if it got all of it right. It's just the little details that add up to show they didn't really pay attention. In case that wasn't obvious from the actors' performances.

Yeah, this movie tries to be deep. Each line is delivered slowly in a low voice. As if everything said is profound and important. As if the words have a weight to them. As if the actors were given each line on a separate slip of paper and told to read them without emotion for a few takes before they went on to the next line, without ever being told in what context the lines were delivered. There is hardly a single scene with believable human interactions, no emotion ever shown. As a result, everybody seem bored out of their minds all the time, a perfect reflection of the viewers.

And the narration. God, the narration. Spoon-feeding viewers what they already saw on the screen two minutes ago. Brad Pitt's voiceover saying "I'm alone on a spaceship" right after a scene where we saw how he came to be alone on a spaceship. Saying "It ended in tragedy" right after showing said tragedy. Saying "I am calm" when he is calm. I presume this is done for the sake of viewers who are about to fall asleep in their chairs.

It all reminded me of another movie. Does anyone remember that Mr. Bean's Holiday movie from a few years ago? That one where he goes to the Cannes film festival, where they are showing that ludicrously pretentious and slow art film? Ad Astra is like that movie-within-a-movie. Slow, boring, self-indulgent and shallow. I rate films on a three-point scale, and I can safely say it's among the worst third of movies I've ever seen. 1/3.
 

peep

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Hustlers - I enjoyed it, Constance Wu is great in the lead role. There's the occasional use of some interesting audio design which was neat.

The farewell - Really great, the entire cast is brilliant and I loved a lot of the dialogue exchanges. It felt like peering into a slice of this families' life and it was fascinating. It was funny, sad and heartwarming and I highly recommend everyone checks it out.

The Kitchen - It was fine, well made and the lead actors did a great job (always like seeing Melissa McCarthy in more serious roles). It got a bit tedious in the middle and it got really silly towards the end, to the point where I no longer cared about any of the characters. If you enjoy gangster films you'd probably get at least some enjoyment out of it but it's not perfect.


On Netflix I watched Between two ferns: The movie. I enjoyed this, some good chuckles throughout. The end credit gag reel was hilarious.
 

peep

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Ready or not - I really liked this, a great idea played out perfectly. It was funny, gory and intense. I feel like they marketed this as a horror film but I feel like that's not quite right? Feels more like a thriller/comedy with a survival element to it. The cast were awesome and just help make it work.

Ad Astra - It looks nice, Brad Pitt is fantastic but the film really plods along it's quite long runtime. There's some interesting ideas in there that make you think but there's just too many moments where it just stagnates and just becomes boring.

Don't let go - This film has a really cool premise. Detective who is close to his neiece one day finds her and her parents murdered. A few days later she phones him from a few days before the murder. He uses this to work out who killed them and to stop it from happening. I thought it was done quite well and the mystery was quite good.
 

gavin

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Ad Astra last week. It's a technically "good" film, but I was really f**king bored by 20 minutes in and it didn't get any better

Joker

Absolutely brilliant. Just so, so f**king good.
 
Joker: Another contender for best movie of the year. It seamlessly blends style with story. Joaquin Phoenix was amazing as Joker and really captured his random psychotic mindset!
Final Grade: A+
 

tomahawk

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Joker

Really ****ing good, but not best of year. Booksmart has that locked.

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Ready or Not:
Solid Horror/Comedy although the horror works better than the comedy. The film has a really fun not to serious but still bloody spooky vibe. While it might not be very orginal it is still entertaining throughout.

Light 8/10

Joker:
Wow. Loved this film. Not a huge fan of the directors work in the past (hangover, War Dogs) but this film he really steps up his craft. While people may say its too close to scorese, I belive its references were far away enough that the film never ligered on its references. The lead performance from Phoenix is outstanding. The writing, the cinematography, the cynical tone and taunting pace all make this one of the best films I have seen this year. I only have one very minor thing which bothered me a little, but that would be getting into spolier talk, which I won't do.

Strong 9/10

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peep

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Joker - Phoenix is incredible and it is shot quite nicely but I feel a bit torn by it? Like it's really good but maybe a bit overhyped? Can't quite put my finger on it yet, gonna mull it over a bit more.

As for best film of the year? No way.
 

gavin

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Watched some crap over the weekend:

Child's Play

Yeah, the remake. I LOVED the original when I was a kid (the constant sequels were very hit and miss), so thought I'd try it. I started off hating it, but changed my mind as it went on. I liked that they changed the reason for the doll going apes**t to something more "realistic" (technology over demonic possession), but that meant that there was also a bit of a forced message to it. I also liked how this change leads you to feel sorry for the doll. It's not a great film (nor was the original really), but it's very watchable and not the train wreck I was expecting. For a remake, it was actually pretty decent and changed enough from the original to make it interesting.

Midsommer

Still can't make up my mind about this one. It's very clearly a "good" film, but it's not exactly enjoyable. It's one of those films that requires a bit of endurance to get through, both in terms of time (it's quite long with lots of stuff not happening for long stretches) and content, and I'm not usually a fan of that. It is very well-made and is equal parts beautiful, creepy and horrific. I think I'd recommend it, but it's not for everyone.

Crawl

Had it on in the background mostly, so didn't give it a great deal of attention. Seemed ok for what it was. Probably better than most of the "killer animal" genre.

The Lion King

Yeah, the remake. Ugh, what a f**king chore. What was the point of it? Yeah, it looked great technically, but it also looked wrong. Talking animals only work when they're redesigned to not look quite like actual animals. They need to be given bigger eyes and more expressive faces to make them more human. Because these animals are so ridiculously realistic, they're incapable of displaying any emotion. Also, there was the music, or lack thereof. Hello? Where was it? It was all cut down into snippets of songs (very, very badly performed as well) apart from The Lion Sleeps Tonight, which was performed in almost its entirety when it isn't even an original song.

HATED IT.
 

gavin

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Meh. Angelina and Michelle Pfeiffer were fab, but it's bit of a mess otherwise.

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peep

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Seen loads in the past week. The day shall come - The latest dark comedy from Chris Morris (Four Lions, The day today) is interesting, I really liked the characters and how they progress but the film seems to meander along the way and is a bit drawn out. It's funny in places but does go to some quite bleak and sad moments. Overall it's ok, it's not as strong as Four Lions but it's worth a watch if you like his style of comedy.

Zombieland 2: Double Tap - Loved the first one, felt so fresh and funny. So 10 years later and we get a sequel that mainly relies on the basics of the first and has some fun new characters scattered throughout. There are some excellent scenes with some very funny moments (most of which are spoiled by the trailers, yay) but in-between those great scenes it just lingers around waiting for the characters to just get to the next set piece. Overall it's ok and is fun but can't help feel a little disappointed.

Note: There are two end credit scenes, main one is a few mins into the credits and is worth watching.

Abominable - This film felt weird and I can't quite put my finger on it. The character design of the yeti is adorable, the story is a bit predictable and overall it was just ok. Meh, kids would probably get a kick out of it.

Shaun the sheep: Farmageddon - The first film was brilliant and while this one isn't quite as good it is still an absolute joy to watch and I love how it is filled with subtle gags and amusing scenarios.

Judy - I'll admit my knowledge of Judy Garland is a bit sparse so I went in not knowing too much about her life, especially towards the end. I found the film to be really sad and I really appreciated the flashbacks that help provide context for her actions. I thought Renee Zellweger was excellent in the title role.

Official Secrets - Really interesting film of a brilliant story. The ensemble cast are great but was surprised by how fantastic Keira Knightly is, she really holds the film together. Just an all-round solid film that is certainly worth a watch.

Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil - First film was a nice surprise, something that looked rubbish but was fun. This also looked rubbish and unfortunately this time it actually was. The plot tries too hard to do too many things which ends up with a film that feels quite incohesive and boring. I like a lot of the creature designs and some are pretty adorable, they also help bring the world to life a bit. Overall though this is just a pointless sequel with nothing that interesting going on.
 

peep

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Also saw Terminator: Dark Fate - Yeah it was ok. I enjoyed most of the action set pieces and Arnie brings some fun humour into the mix. I feel like it is riddled with plot holes though, I can usually gloss over these sort of things but I spent most of the evening afterwards thinking about how obvious they are. It is a fun addition to the franchise and certainly not the worst.
 

gavin

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Paradise Hills

It's a bit of a mess. It looks good - the costumes and setting are fab - but the script is awful and there's a really, really stupid moment in it which has no bearing on the whole and is massively out of place.

And Emma Roberts. No, thank you.

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gavin

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Terminator Summat or Other

Meh. Not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but really lacking in substance. The storyline was really lazy. Given that Linda Hamilton was back, I thought there'd be a lot of connections to T2. There was pretty much nothing.

The Addams Family

Nothing is going to top the '90s films with Angelica Houston, but this was a cute enough version. There's the odd joke in there for the adults, and a few decent one liners, but not enough to elevate it from just being a kids' film.

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Spirited Away: Went to Ghiblifest to see it. Words cannot describe how blown away I was, it really is one of those few perfect movies. 2D animation is something that isn't common anymore in Hollywood, however Japan shows that it's capable of carrying a story just as well as CGI, sometimes even better. I also like how every character is morally ambiguous. There are no traditional hero or villain archetypes.
Final Grade: A+

The Lighthouse: Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson play off each other really well. Like A24's other horror release Midsommar it focuses on psychologically disturbing moments rather than jump scares. It's good to see filmmakers still using black and white cinematography.
Final Grade: A+
 

peep

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Doctor Sleep - This film is quite long but I really enjoyed it. It has plenty of interesting characters and I liked how grown-up Danny deals with what happens in the Shining. I thought the cinematography was beautiful, some really cool sequences. They do really play on the nostalgia chords with the original theme coming in at times etc but it feels earned? I also jumped quite a few times because I saw it with Dolby Atmos and those jump scare sounds literally shook me. It's not a scary film though, more like a really interesting thriller with the odd jump scare.
 

caffeine_demon

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3 from me!

It chapter 2 - A whole load of "does not make sense", nice effects though!

Joker: Liked it, but a bit overhyped if you ask me!

Dr Sleep - Just brilliant! one of my films of the year!
 

Pear

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Parasite - Amazing film that balances many genres seamlessly with a fantastic story with a crazy twist and insane ending. 100% deserving of the Palme D'Or and the work of a filmmaker who has perfected the art. Definitely my favorite film of the year and one of my favorite movies period. 10/10
 
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