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Thread: Crispy's Mini-Movie Review Thread (still sans pie)

  1. #46
    UNbelievably Awesome Crispy's Avatar
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    Cool I'm not dead yet! Four slices and one whole pie!

    Even though it's been ages since I've checked in here, I'm still watching loads of films and writing my two cents on them. Thought I'd share a few of the more current ones with y'all.


    La La Land
    B

    Full disclosure on three things, number one being Emma Stone is my cinematic Achilles heel. She could be in the worst movie ever and I’d still probably give it a C-. Two, I’m not a fan of musicals in general. It’s just not my genre, for the most part. And three, I saw this film about two star crossed lovers with my ex, and let’s just say we were going through some stuff. So we both came out of the same film and had wildly different interpretations of it. I sympathized with Ryan Gosling’s character and thought it was a sad ending. Whereas she thought it was a happy ending, just a little bittersweet. So, yeah. That’s where I’m coming from on this one. The opening number was a bit much for me and Gosling & Stone didn’t have the greatest voices, but apparently that was intentional. However, the music and lyrics were great. And it was shot beautifully. I’d definitely recommend seeing it for those reasons alone. And, of course, Emma Stone.


    The Founder
    C+

    Like most American’s, a good percentage of my diet comes from fast food. So when Michael Keaton and Nick Offerman star in a film about the founding of the granddaddy of all fast food chains, McDonald’s, I’m interested. The cast all delivered great performances and the subject matter was indeed intriguing. However, this film unfortunately suffers from poor direction and terrible pacing. A guy two rows in front of me actually fell asleep and was snoring through a good 20 minutes of the movie. And I didn’t even bother waking him up because he honestly wasn’t missing much at all.


    Lego Batman Movie
    B+

    I really liked the first Lego Movie, and this one just didn't have the same comedic oomph or come across as original as the first film since it touched on so many of the same themes as the Lego Movie— father son relationships, family, and loneliness. However, it’s probably the best film to ever examine the heart of Batman’s emotional pain and trauma of being orphaned. I think my nine-year-old nephew summed it up nicely when he said, “I like it. Batman was really emotional.”


    Split
    B+

    James McAvoy leads a terrific cast in this small, well crafted suspense/horror story that has a coda scene which gives it that M.Night “twist ending” he’s been known for throughout his career.


    Logan
    B+

    I tried to go into this film with few expectations, but I failed. Some of those expectations were met in a spectacular way and others were most decidedly not. A very long and spoiler filled review is below and the tl;dr version of it is this: Good=performances & action, Bad=complex plot & plot gaps, Ugly=heavy handed symbolism.

  2. #47
    entertaining in its outrage Volta's Avatar
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    You're back!!!!

    I want to just jump in full force with LOGAN but I am long-winded with these types of questions and opinions of my own.
    I've read a number of comic books that have
    ANYHOW, I am so glad for your detailed, point-by-point BAD section because I share the same sentimentality.
    Last edited by Volta; 03-07-2017 at 02:54 AM.
    "Washing Machiiiiiine" - Kate Bush

  3. #48
    UNbelievably Awesome Crispy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volta View Post
    You're back!!!!

    I want to just jump in full force with LOGAN but I am long-winded with these types of questions and opinions of my own.
    I've read a number of comic books that have
    ANYHOW, I am so glad for your detailed, point-by-point BAD section because I share the same sentimentality.
    Thank you! I am so glad to know at least someone on the Interwebs agrees with me. I saw Logan on opening night and brought most of those points up with my friends there, and they were freezing me out and not really agreeing. Even worse was when I put that same post on a geekboard I frequent and got total shade. They were in line with the RT reviewers and were all, "OMG LOGAN is the BEST comicbook movie EVAAARRRR!11!1" I mean, it's a very good film, the best Wolverine movie by miles and miles, but it's not without its flaws. Not Suicide Squad level flaws, to be sure, but flaws nonetheless.

    Now as to your comic book spoiler, which was much more abbreviated than mine (I thought you were long-winded?!?! ) regarding the film and X-Men books.

  4. #49
    UNbelievably Awesome Crispy's Avatar
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    Cool Nine fine documentary slices...for reel!


    Blackfish
    A+

    Engaging and enlightening documentary on orcas in captivity and numerous injuries and deaths orcas have caused to their trainers while in captivity. The film centers round a case OSHA made against Sea World after trainer Dawn Brancheau was violently mutilated and killed in 2010 by the same orca that killed another female trainer 20 years prior.


    Chasing Coral
    A+

    A Netflix documentary about the devastating effect global warming is having on the coral population around the world and why it is so important. This doc is not only beautifully shot and scored, but it did exactly what a great documentary is supposed to do: it entertained, connected, and educated the audience regarding the subject matter. Climate change and its effects will not lessen over night, but this doc left me feeling hopeful that we will make progress before it’s to late for the coral and us.


    Chaos on the Bridge
    A

    William Shatner made a documentary about ST:TNG? Yes he did. And it's awesome! I would’ve given this film an A+, but it needed about 20 more minutes. Seriously, I did not want this documentary to end. Writers, studio executives, producers, and actors from the series talk very candidly to Shatner as he does a surprisingly great job of interviewing them all. A total must see for any ST:TNG fan!


    GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
    B+

    It’s a short but sweet documentary on the surprisingly popular late 80s wrestling show and the men and women who brought it to life. It clearly inspired the creators of the Netflix series, and if you liked season one of the show then this is a must see.


    Going Clear
    A

    Excellent HBO doc on the history of Scientology and how its practices of intimidation, extortion, and outright abuse have made it a billion dollar institution.


    Know Your Enemy – Japan [1945]
    A

    Directed by Frank Capra and narrated by Walter Houston & Dana Andrews, this 1945 US military funded propaganda film starts off with a disclaimer about the “Nisei” or second generation Japanese-Americans born in America, who love America, and even fought for America in WWII, but then it ends with saying this film isn’t about them—it’s about “the Japs in Japan.” Damn. Netflix has some balls putting this up, but it’s an unfiltered look at a very specific point in American history. It’s propaganda for sure, but it’s also meant to explain to Americans (soldiers especially) exactly how Japan came to be an enemy of the USA. There were a few whitewashes I noticed, like the part about Commodore Perry “extending the hand of friendship” in order to open trade with Japan in the 1800s. However, there was a lot of accurate and surprisingly unbiased information considering the cultural climate in which this film was made.


    Secrets of Selfridges
    B

    This is a short PBS doc on American retail pioneer H.G. Selfridge who created the titular department store in London in the early 1900s. He was so good at retail that he revolutionized the way shopping was done all over the world and many of his techniques are still used today to get us to enjoy shopping so much that we just can’t stop. Huzzah consumerism!


    Starring Adam West
    A

    This entertaining documentary takes an unflinching look at the highs and lows of Adam West’s personal and professional lives. It is set around the premise of a superfan, and LA radio host, trying to get West a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Interspersed with the struggle to get him his recognition, is a look back on the career of the winsome and affable Adam West.


    The Pirate Bay - Away From Keyboard
    B

    This documentary about the Swedish trio of guys who started the massively popular torrent sharing site and their trial (and following round of appeals in Sweden circa 2008-2012) offers an interesting, if incomplete look at the lives of these three men at this time. It also focuses on how file sharing and Net Neutrality are interwoven in a fragile thread that big business wants to have global governments sever.

  5. #50
    ancient savageries Andreas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crispy View Post
    I saw Logan on opening night and brought most of those points up with my friends there, and they were freezing me out and not really agreeing.
    I kinda understand them. I find it pretty annoying when a friend you've gone to the movies with pick it apart too much in that moment. I need to digest new movies, and I don't want someone else's plot-by-plot analysis affecting my feelings too much. Especially if it's negative. Such a buzz kill if you've gone out of the theater with a positive feeling. I usually save the analysis for the next couple of days.

  6. #51
    UNbelievably Awesome Crispy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andreas View Post
    I kinda understand them. I find it pretty annoying when a friend you've gone to the movies with pick it apart too much in that moment. I need to digest new movies, and I don't want someone else's plot-by-plot analysis affecting my feelings too much. Especially if it's negative. Such a buzz kill if you've gone out of the theater with a positive feeling. I usually save the analysis for the next couple of days.
    So, we probably shouldn't see movies together then because one of the things I love most about seeing a film with someone is discussing it, almost ad nauseum, immediately after.

  7. #52
    UNbelievably Awesome Crispy's Avatar
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    Cool Netflix (mostly) and Chill Edition


    Lost City of Z
    B-

    This film is based on the real life of early 20th century British explorer Percy Fawcett's expeditions in South America to find evidence of a hidden civilization that predated the European civilizations. It's slow paced and the dialogue gets a bit cringy in places. The Robert Pattinson character felt underwritten, as were Percy's two youngest kids. However, I felt like it did a pretty good job of showing motivation for the three main characters. Tom "Spider-Man" Holland as Percy's elder son was a wonderful surprise, and he was maybe my favorite thing about the third act. It was shot beautifully, and I like the ambiguous ending given that the real explorers did mysteriously disappear.


    Jerry Before Seinfeld (Netflix)
    C+

    Jerry basically does an autobiographical stand-up special with a few filmed cut-aways. I applaud him for trying something different with the format of a traditional comedy stand-up routine special. However, it didn't keep my interest even though it's only about an hour long. It took me three viewings to get through. I'd say this is more for hardcore Seinfeld fans and not just for someone looking to see a full comedy routine like with a Louis C.K. or Dave Chapelle special.


    Lady Gaga: Five Foot Two (Netflix)
    B+

    In the hands of a slightly better director this could've been one of the all time great music documentaries. (For an example of perfection in this genre see HBO's The Defiant Ones). The weakness in this doc lies in the feeble narrative structure and the anti-climactic ending of her Superbowl 51 half-time performance. Gaga is a savvy self promoter, and this doc is no exception. She's shown being vulnerable, but only to a degree. Gaga strategically talks to her "fashion team" about how she wants to tone down the glam for her next promo tour whilst she is topless. (Get it?) She talks a lot about her ex-fiancee and the emotional pain of that break up, but never once is the man she's currently dating shown or mentioned. She mentions Madonna's beef with her twice, but not once is the Perez Hilton feud discussed. She is clearly someone suffering from a level of anxiety and stress that would benefit from therapy, but not once is anxiety or mental health treatment ever mentioned in the doc. (However, a place people can go to seek help & info for "anxiety" is mentioned in the credits.) So this doc is a curated vulnerability and not as "raw" a look at her life as it would lead you to believe. The best and most emotionally authentic scene in this doc comes around the 34 minute mark when Gaga and her father visit her grandmother and play her the album's finished mix of the title track, "Joanne." If you don't know the story behind Joanne, I won't spoil it for you. I suggest you watch the doc to find out, as it is a truly emotional story and my favorite part of the whole doc.


    Naked (Netflix)
    D

    Marlon Wayans stars in a comedy based on the same premise as the classic Bill Murray film Groundhog’s Day. The difference here is Wayan’s is repeating the same hour, not day, before his wedding and wakes up naked in an elevator with no memory of how he got there. The premise sounds half-way interesting, and it was enough to fool me into thinking it might be entertaining, but don’t forget this is a Marlon Wayans film, and as such it is horrible. Horrible.


    Incredible Jessica James (Netflix)
    C

    The writing is good in parts, eye-roll and cringy in others, but the direction is mediocre throughout. It stars former Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams, who is not as good an actress as you’d have hoped. Chris O’Doud saves the film from being a total waste of time.


    War Machine (Netflix)
    C+

    Brad Pitt stars as a modern day US general in Afghanistan in this film based on a book by a former Rolling Stone journalist. It’s not very engaging or entertaining, but it makes a very good argument about the ineffectiveness of counter-insurgency and how absolutely insane it is that the USA ignores this fact in the war in Afghanistan.


    Gold
    B

    Matthew McConaughey does his best Charlize Theron and tries to look ugly, i.e. fat and bald, for this role as a loveable loser. Bryce Dallas Howard does a decent job as the underwritten love interest. But the male co-star just wasn’t charismatic enough. The actor playing Mike Acosta was adequate, but the roll called for someone even MORE intriguing and captivating than McConaughy, and this guy just didn’t have it. Also the real life story behind the three geologists who managed to con big mining businesses and investment firms out of billions of dollars was way more interesting than the actual movie.


    Sing!
    B

    Basically just an excuse to get kids to want to see a bunch of pop songs sung by animated characters. However, the performances are good and the humor and pacing are all there, too. Not bad as far as gimmick films go.
    Last edited by Crispy; 09-28-2017 at 07:12 AM.

  8. #53
    entertaining in its outrage Volta's Avatar
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    Gaga's documentary was .. ok.
    The thing that surprised me really was the amount of time she spends with her family.. her entire family. I liked those parts.

    The second thing was how relaxed she was for the biggest performance of her life. I guess I'm more ritualistic about things that are a big deal in my life. But she's just running around, "hey, Donatella is here.. send her back!!! My friend battling cancer, send her on back! Send everyone back." I think that is a superpower really. Nerves of steel. I in that position would probably be like.. don't talk to me, I need to save my voice and my energy. Don't eff up my vibe. But that's why she is a superstar and I am just a .. yea.

    Also just how much pain she is in. And anyone can relate to it because she acknowledges that without having money she doesn't know how people in her position can handle it.

    I am going to have to re-listen to an album I did not like very much, Joanne. I had no idea it was about her aunt and I only really like the first single. But the recording process, I liked what she was doing. So I have to give that album another go.


    The rest is just bits and bobs. The mythic creature that is Gaga is really demystified. I just imagined things in her life would be so much more GLAM. And it's the opposite. It's very very low key. And in some way, I think that's what she was going for. The lady that wore a meat dress lives a pretty mundane life.. even when recording and album, promoting it, and then gearing up for the performance of her life.

    And that's kind of what makes it so good and gives it any kind of shock factor.

    It's hard for me to LOVE it because I am not her biggest fan.
    Last edited by Volta; 09-29-2017 at 06:03 AM.
    "Washing Machiiiiiine" - Kate Bush

  9. #54
    UNbelievably Awesome Crispy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volta View Post
    Gaga's documentary was .. ok...
    ...I am going to have to re-listen to an album I did not like very much, Joanne. I had no idea it was about her aunt and I only really like the first single. But the recording process, I liked what she was doing. So I have to give that album another go...
    I'm a casual Gaga fan myself, I wouldn't consider myself a Lil' Monster. But I do think she's one of the most talented and influential artists of this generation. Definitely give Joanne another try. It's her strongest overall album since her debut, IMHO. Her other albums have maybe two songs tops that I really like. But Fame and Joanne I think are 80% solid material. "Million Reasons" and "Joanne" pure heart and emotion; two of her strongest songs ever IMHO. "A-Yo" is solid pop anthem. "Perfect Illusion" is a solid broken hearted pop dance track. "Diamond Heart" and "Hey Girl" are also solid tracks.

  10. #55
    entertaining in its outrage Volta's Avatar
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    The recording process and actually paying attention to the lyrics.. I'm really impressed by it. She's a very good songwriter. I love her little brown piano she was using to compose a couple songs.
    "Washing Machiiiiiine" - Kate Bush

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