Let's all go to the movies~

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Mongrel
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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Mongrel » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:16 pm

The Boss Baby has more Oscar nominations than LEGO Batman, The Big Lebowski, Groundhog Day, The Long Goodbye and The Shining combined.

Now, I stopped giving a fuck about the Oscars years ago, but this is downright silly.
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Thad
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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Thad » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:41 am

Justice League is about what everybody's said: a significant improvement over BvS, not as good as Wonder Woman, with a bafflingly boring choice for a villain.

Ezra Miller's Flash is the highlight, and represents what the other films have lacked: levity and a sense of humor. (Boy I'm sick of the "dead mom/framed dad" origin story, though.)

But we're also five films deep into this franchise, and everybody's constantly talking about how important Superman is as a source of hope and inspiration, and across the three films he's been in they've somehow forgotten to provide us with any reason why he is a source of hope or inspiration. They expect us to take it as read that everybody looks up to Superman because he is Superman, but what the fuck has he actually done over the course of three movies? The second movie was all about how much everybody hates and fears him because he leveled a major city, and this movie is all about how much everybody misses him and how devastated the world is by his loss. I'd say "it's like they missed a movie", but it's more that they're counting on us remembering an entirely different set of Superman films -- hey guys, remember those? Here's the John Williams theme music; does that help?

Aside from that, it works fine as a getting-the-band-together movie. I enjoyed it overall, which is more than I can say for MoS or BvS. (Suicide Squad was pretty bad but at least managed to be fun in places.)

This is another example of how the DC films really have potential, and are slowly making their way towards realizing it.

I don't get this perennial thing they've got of "let's save the good villain for the sequel", though. Steppenwolf, again, is a truly baffling choice for a villain; I get that you don't want to use Darkseid right out of the gate, but I can't think of any of his minions who would have been more bland and forgettable. Christ, Simyan and Makkari would have been better.

And then, after all the Darkseid/Fourth World stuff, they tease that the villain for the next movie will be...the Secret Society/Legion of Doom. Which, actually, I'm totally okay with! In fact, I think that's a better choice than Darkseid. (I love Darkseid, but he's terribly overexposed, I always liked him better contained to his own corner of the DC Universe and fighting Orion and the other New Gods than Superman and the Justice League, and Marvel's already doing the cosmic villain thing right now, and even though Darkseid predates Thanos, using Darkseid as the big bad of the DC movies makes DC feel like the copycat.) But...well, happy as I am to know that the Kirby Estate got a check out of this thing, it makes the whole Steppenwolf plot feel that much more disposable to know that it won't get followed up in the next movie. (Or, worse, it will be, and they'll try and cram more New Gods stuff into a Legion of Doom movie.)

All in all, still kind of a sloppy mess, but pretty enjoyable despite its flaws. I'm actually looking forward to seeing what they do next. Aquaman? Sure, I'm down.

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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Thad » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:04 am

I mean, even when Superman's saving people, he's still a showboating dick. There's a scene where Flash saves a truck full of people, and then Superman flies by with a building full of people.

And that's fine! I am an avowed fan of the "Superman is a dick" era! That scene in Man of Steel where he wrecked the dude's truck was as fun as that movie ever got, and I would absolutely rather watch a movie where Superman burns the father's day present Jimmy gave him than a movie where Jimmy gets shot in the face. But if you're going to go the Superdickery route, lean into it, don't alternately depict Superman as a smug dick, a guy who fights other superheroes for no reason except that that's how superhero team-ups are supposed to start out, a guy who carelessly wrecks cities and executes supervillains, and a saintly figure who the world looks up to as inspiration and savior.

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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Niku » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:47 pm

the 1995 live action casper movie is wild

like i remembered it being pretty extra to begin with but i randomly decided to watch it and you kinda forget that off-brand cruella de vil and eric idle have a slapstick sequence where they are literally trying to murder one another so they can be a ghost and find the hidden treasure in the house by flying through the walls as a ghost and then use casper's dad's magic machine juice to come back to life and at one point casper's uncles are literally going to murder bill pullman with a shotgun

and also the movie has cameos from dan aykroyd as ray stanz, the cryptkeeper, rodney dangerfield, and don novello's father guido???

the mid nineties were a goddamn thing
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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Thad » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:43 pm

Who would have been a better Justice League villain?

It will probably surprise no one that I'm going to go oldschool and say Starro, the very first villain the JL fought in the comics.

Yes, Starro is a generic space monster, and can't actually talk. That actually makes it a better villain than Steppenwolf. This movie was about the Justice League teaming up, and the villain was clearly an afterthought. It would have been better to lean into it and choose a villain who's deliberately unremarkable, instead of just going through the New Gods catalog until they found the most disposable character.

Plus, controlling people is Starro's whole thing. The scene where Superman is resurrected and immediately fights the entire Justice League for no adequately-explained reason? If Starro had been in this movie, Superman would have had a reason to be fighting the Justice League.

Plus, they could have fiddled with Starro's powers a little, and given it the power to resurrect Superman. That would have spared us several unnecessary scenes of Batman and Wonder Woman debating the ethics of it, and the scene where Flash and Cyborg dig up his corpse, which is the most jarringly out-of-place scene in the movie.

If we're sticking with the "space monster" premise, here are a few other acceptable choices:

Despero

Kanjar Ro

Mongul (but no Black Mercy; hey DC, you know what would be great? If someone could look at old Alan Moore stories from the 1980s and say "This is a very good story and we've adapted it enough times already; let's find some other hook.")

The Reach (Cyborg could have been trivially replaced with Blue Beetle in this movie, and then the half-assed "is he working with the bad guys?" subplot would have actually made sense and gotten some kind of resolution)

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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby zaratustra » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:10 pm

Brainiac.

Or, one wild suggestion: use the Appellaxians, the original enemies of the pre-Justice League:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appellaxian

They turn crowds of civilians into mooks, which both makes for nice CGI battles and gives drama to the situation.

Plus, you can easily retcon them to be Martians, then add Jonn Jonnz as a renegade that sides with Earth.

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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Thad » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:19 pm

Brainiac's a great choice, though I'd prefer to see him in a Superman solo movie.

Given that he's Superman's #2 villain, I can't help but figure the reason we've never seen him in a movie is because he has a silly name. (We came close, in Superman 3.)

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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Thad » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:57 am

The Disaster Artist begins with a bunch of celebrities talking about The Room's surprising longevity and cult following. One of them (IIRC it's Adam Scott, one of a couple of The Good Place stars who appear in the sequence) says something along the lines of "It's a movie that people remember, more than whatever won Best Picture that year."

It's clear he's speaking off the cuff and has no idea what won Best Picture that year, because I can't think of anyone outside of Tommy Wiseau who would intentionally claim The Room has a bigger place in the cultural zeitgeist than Lord of the Rings. But while he's technically wrong because of the qualifier he used, he's got the right idea: The Room is more remembered than a lot of movies that won Best Picture (just not that one). When's the last time you thought about The Departed, The King's Speech, or The Artist? Hell, the only time anybody brings up Moonlight at this point is as a punchline.

Anyhow, I thought The Disaster Artist was pretty good. The book's better, but the movie did a solid job of distilling it down to the most important bits for a 90-minute runtime.

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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:41 pm

Has anyone seen Roman J Israel, Esq yet? Any opinions?
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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Thad » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:08 am

I finally got around to watching If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast, Carl Reiner's documentary about 90-something folks who are still active (mostly, but not exclusively, entertainers). It was fine but pretty slight; it's a lot more rewarding to just listen to interviews with the folks featured here (Reiner, Brooks, Lear, White, Peter Von Lesbian, et al).

One bit that surprised me and left me curious: there's an interview with Stan Lee, and at one point he says, "I always tried to be with people who were smarter than I was." As he says those words, the film shows a picture of him with Jack Kirby, and follows it with a photo of Steve Ditko (the only known photo of Ditko, if I'm not mistaken).

The photos aren't captioned; Kirby and Ditko aren't mentioned by name. And I can't help wondering who put them in there.

It's possible Stan did. He doesn't mention Kirby or Ditko by name in the film, but it's possible that he mentioned them and that bit didn't make the final cut. But he's not exactly known for sharing credit or being humble (even the "people who were smarter than I was" line is followed up with "Not easy, I know").

It's also possible that somebody else working on the film chose to put Kirby and Ditko in there. My best guess, among the people involved in the film, is that maybe it was Jerry Seinfeld, who's an avowed Silver Age comics fan. He's more of a Superman guy, but I'd expect him to know Ditko and Kirby.

At any rate, whoever was responsible, it was a nice gesture. And Ditko's inclusion, however brief, is particularly appropriate for the film -- he is, after all, a still-working nonagenarian himself.

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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Mongrel » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:01 pm

You got me curious. I found three Ditko photos: The most famous one of him at his desk, a similar one where he's on the phone (possibly taken the same day, 'cause he's wearing the same shirt) and a "nice" portrait on the Marvel wikia of him in a suit, affecting an exaggerated thinky pose.

EDIT: Four. There's one more of him at a younger age from back when Marvel was Atlas, where he's not wearing glasses but is wearing a suit and bow tie.

Either way, it's not a lot and they're all really old. For all we know, these days he looks like the Vulture.
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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Thad » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:38 pm

I stand corrected; thanks.

I really should watch that Jonathan Ross documentary again.

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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Thad » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:14 am

Not really much to say about Black Panther that hasn't already been said.

While most of the attention has, justifiably, been placed on the world-building, I think there's a lot to be said for just how well it avoided the pitfalls that are common to so many Marvel movies. It doesn't conk out after the origin story (Iron Man, Doctor Strange). The last act isn't just a fight with a big CG monster (Doctor Strange, Guardians 2). It isn't overstuffed with more characters than it can reasonably handle (Avengers 2, Civil War). The villain isn't a forgettable afterthought (every single other Marvel movie where the villain isn't Loki). About the only Marvel Third Act Trap it falls into is "hero fights other guy wearing the same suit" (Iron Man, Ant Man).

I think Ragnarok was probably more fun. But I think this is probably a better movie, and it's certainly a more important one.

As a longtime Black Panther fan, I'm thrilled at what this mean's for the character's profile; I don't think he'll ever be a C-lister again. But really what this movie means to a lily-white fanboy is completely beside the point. I think this movie's going to inspire people. And it's going to be imitated. We're going to start seeing more big-budget movies with non-white casts, we're going to see more Afrofuturism, and we're going to see other POC superheroes get bigger profiles. (It sure doesn't seem like a coincidence that a Moon Girl animated series was announced right after Black Panther broke a bunch of box office records.)

Anyway, if anybody wants to read some Black Panther comics and doesn't know where to start, I can't recommend a better starting point than the place I started with myself: the Priest run (affiliate link). The digital version of the first volume is free if you've got Amazon Prime.

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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby TA » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:24 am

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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Mongrel » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:03 am

TA wrote:


His Will Smith Get Out theme is also pretty great

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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Mothra » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:45 pm

Annihilation wasssssss half great, half shitty. Overall I'm feeling pretty ambivalent about it.

Lots of great moments. Lots of dumb garbage. The theme of this movie was really strained, to the point that I wish they hadn't tried to do one - this should have just been silent exploration.

This should have been the main character alone, exploring the Shimmer, almost never speaking. Flashback as needed.

I dunno, not worth seeing in theaters, but worth seeing on Netflix eventually.

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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Mothra » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:49 pm

Oh my god these @electrolemon videos are amazing

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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Mongrel » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:03 pm

Mothra wrote:Oh my god these @electrolemon videos are amazing

The Lando one by Dong Lover is insaaaaaane.
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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby TA » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:04 am

Mothra wrote:Annihilation wasssssss half great, half shitty. Overall I'm feeling pretty ambivalent about it.

Lots of great moments. Lots of dumb garbage. The theme of this movie was really strained, to the point that I wish they hadn't tried to do one - this should have just been silent exploration.

This should have been the main character alone, exploring the Shimmer, almost never speaking. Flashback as needed.

I dunno, not worth seeing in theaters, but worth seeing on Netflix eventually.


Kinda shitty to cast Natalie Portman to play an asian woman.
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Re: Let's all go to the movies~

Postby Mongrel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:38 pm

Kristen Wiig has been cast as Cheetah for the next Wonder Woman movie.
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