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Author Topic: What films have you seen recently?  (Read 140234 times)

Offline HuuskerDu

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #450 on: December 24, 2015, 11:48:11 AM »
A friend loaned me her DVD of Summer Wars to help me get over my usual Christmas depression.  That was nice, the koi-koi battle especially.   

As far as 2015 theater films go, I loved Mr. Holmes. I thought The Good Dinosaur was a bit below-par for Pixar (too dark for the little ones), but it did have sweeping vistas that were awesomely beautiful.
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Offline themaster20000

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #451 on: December 29, 2015, 09:41:34 PM »
Double Team:

It's what you get if you had a 12-year-old write an action film. So JCVD and Dennis Rodman(HA!) team up to take down the evil Micky Rourke;who seems annoyed that he's playing second fiddle to these two. Even if you look pass the nonsensical plot(which poorly rips off "The Prisoner"),the action isn't good at all due to the terrible editing. Then the cartoonist climax which includes JCVD fighting a tiger,a single landmine blowing up a Colosseum,and our heroes blocking a huge explosion with a coke vending machine. It is really something to laugh at.

Mississippi Burning:

Great thriller,evaluated by it performances led by,Gene Hackman. He's one of those actors that make any film better by his presence.They did fictional elements to the case,it does capture the racism which is pretty hard to watch at points.

Vampire Hunter D:Bloodlust

I enjoyed this way more than the director's earlier film,Ninja Scroll(how do you make a schlock action film with boring action,characters,and a boring main villain?). It's visual interesting throughout with great atmosphere and creative action scenes. Hell,the villain actually had a little something to him here,the only issue was the romance aspect;which is extremely tacked on(the character of Charlotte is really a plot device). It also did an excellent job of capturing Yoshitaka Amano's art style. Really good film.
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Offline themaster20000

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #452 on: January 07, 2016, 12:00:18 PM »
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau

What an excellent documentary. You feel for this guy who had his movie taken away from him(he was over his head and had everything working against him though). The film becomes a great comedy when they get to the shooting of the film,which is a trainwreck of epic proportions. Brando was doing he could to just ruin the film,and then you Kilmer being a huge prick like usual. Great stuff if your a fan of the behind-the-scenes when it comes to making a film.

Battles Without Honor and Humanity Part 1:

This is apparently considered the Japanese version of The Godfather.It kinda of is in scope,but the biggest issue I had with the film was the way it handled the amount characters. Your introduced to about 10 characters within the first 3 mins,it almost impossible to keep track of all the characters.Otherwise it's a really good Yakuza film..It's done in a documentary style to effectively play off the events that it's based on. It's got a good amount of violence(two rub arms are chopped off in the opening mins),and it does a great job of showing how honor is such a meaningless thing to all these characters.
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Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #453 on: January 07, 2016, 10:01:34 PM »
I don't know if anybody wants to discuss The Force Awakens at this point, but the imposed ban on spoilers is gone.  If people still want to try to keep things spoiler-free, you can start another topic on the subject and anybody who willingly goes in there and gets spoilered only has themselves to blame.

EDIT

Moved Star Wars discussion to new thread here:

http://www.nihonreview.com/forum/index.php?topic=2434.0
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 09:08:31 PM by TypicalIdiotFan »
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Offline themaster20000

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #454 on: January 15, 2016, 11:37:41 PM »
Showdown in Little Toyko:

Wonderful action schlock. No fat to it just mindless action,hammy villain(Shang Tsung from MK),and ton of hilarious shit dialogue such as this gem.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUWmIqToIx4
Die Hard 2:

 Didn't enjoy it as much as last time. The constant winking at the audience that it's retreading from the first film was annoying.The dialogue is shittier ,and it has some poorly written moments(the whole cockpit escape scene). Also the villain is just terrible(a waste of the talented William Sadler).

 

My Darling Clementine:

Classic John Ford Western. Great characterizations and performances as usual.
"No matter how wonderful everything in your movie may be, if your script sucks ass, your movie will suck ass."

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Offline themaster20000

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #455 on: January 22, 2016, 09:00:21 PM »
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind:

It had my attention from the first minute to the last. I loved the first 10 mins where Hayao,is slowly introducing this world to the audience;it's great stuff. I did have some issues such as the handling of the film's themes,which were a little ham-handed(same themes were handled much better in Princess Mononoke). And while I the liked character of Nausicaa,so was a too flawless at points. Minor issues for me though.
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Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #456 on: January 23, 2016, 05:31:00 PM »
I struggle with the concept that characters with few or no flaws are somehow undesirable in fiction these days.  I'm starting to think the pervasive "Mary Sue" memetic mutations have become too far spread and have lost their meaning entirely, but are still impacting people's ability to enjoy a character.

I mean, in most fantasy and heroic tales, do we really want the hero to fail at the end?  I mean, there's arguments to be made for bad writing against conveniences or deus ex machina and such, but the character is typically chosen for the particular quest or task because they have the skills or talents necessary for what will come.  Having them not succeed seems silly.

Or maybe I don't know what "flaws" means anymore.  Characters have to have pimples, or questionable morals, or ... what?  What is so important about "flaws"?  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy character development and growth, which typically stems from some kind of flaw or weakness that a character has initially, but for a film, there's very little time to explore everything about who we are seeing.  I would think worrying about such things is warranted more for lengthier media outlets such as television series or video games.

Or maybe I'm just a curmudgeony old man and want you kids off my lawn with your newfangled movie criticisms.
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Offline Marid King

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #457 on: January 23, 2016, 08:46:13 PM »
For me at least, replace 'flaw' with 'permanent limitation' to see what I'm looking for. There is no story without conflict, and there is no conflict if I expect the protagonist to solve the world's problems without breaking a sweat. 

Or in as few words as possible, The Dark Knight >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> All Superman films
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Offline Kiniest

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #458 on: January 23, 2016, 09:00:21 PM »
Norm of the North:

What do you even expect me to say? Well, in spite of everything, the soundtrack wasn't that bad. 1/10.

13 Hours:

Meanders frequently. Spends too much time building tension and atmosphere, and not enough letting us get to know the heroes the movie is supposed to respect. As a Michael Bay feature, it's several steps up, but he still needs a lot of practice if he's going to start taking on serious projects like this. 5/10.

The 5th Wave:

Interesting, actually. It's got a bunch of ideas, many of which though contrivant, still flow well together and produce an acceptable series of events. There are plenty of facepalm inducing moments (the romantic interest in particular) in the movie, don't get me wrong - but Moretz' performance more than saves quite a bit of the material. The main problem is that the movie is a series of events, and not a story. Even worse is that the more you think about these events, the more you think: "no, wait, that doesn't make sense..." Without Moretz, it all falls apart. Still, I'd like to see where the next movie takes things. 4-/10.

Everything else: loljanuaryreleases
« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 09:05:32 PM by Kiniest »
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Offline themaster20000

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #459 on: January 23, 2016, 09:54:58 PM »
I struggle with the concept that characters with few or no flaws are somehow undesirable in fiction these days.  I'm starting to think the pervasive "Mary Sue" memetic mutations have become too far spread and have lost their meaning entirely, but are still impacting people's ability to enjoy a character.

I mean, in most fantasy and heroic tales, do we really want the hero to fail at the end?  I mean, there's arguments to be made for bad writing against conveniences or deus ex machina and such, but the character is typically chosen for the particular quest or task because they have the skills or talents necessary for what will come.  Having them not succeed seems silly.

Or maybe I don't know what "flaws" means anymore.  Characters have to have pimples, or questionable morals, or ... what?  What is so important about "flaws"?  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy character development and growth, which typically stems from some kind of flaw or weakness that a character has initially, but for a film, there's very little time to explore everything about who we are seeing.  I would think worrying about such things is warranted more for lengthier media outlets such as television series or video games.

Or maybe I'm just a curmudgeony old man and want you kids off my lawn with your newfangled movie criticisms.

I don't mind as long as the character has some sort of conflict and character arc. When a character can do everything and has no gray to them whatsoever,that's make them kinda boring. I don't mind this when my entertainment is just going for something simple and fun.
"No matter how wonderful everything in your movie may be, if your script sucks ass, your movie will suck ass."

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Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #460 on: January 23, 2016, 10:00:45 PM »
For me at least, replace 'flaw' with 'permanent limitation' to see what I'm looking for.

Doesn't help.  What does that mean?
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Offline SQA

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #461 on: January 24, 2016, 02:26:12 AM »
"Mary Sue"/"Garry Stu" has morphed for its definition from Author Insert into "Overpowered/Faultless" over time.  So there's a bit of that issue to be mindful of, when talking about all of this.

The Hero's Journey cycle of a story, while it's pretty well laid out these days, does come down to a character that makes sense to a person's understanding that they, too, could be that hero.  This is where the big disconnect starts to crop up.   An Overpowered Protagonist does not seem "real" to our understanding when they can just waltz through all of the challenges in front of them.  Much in the way playing most computer games gets boring with God-Mode turned on.  There is no adventure without conflict.  (This is also the entire crux behind the "shounen fight inflation" effect.) 

Part of the further problem we've seen in storytelling is that "flaws" in a character used to be areas where they weren't as strong.  Think of any fictional character that drinks too much alcohol.  Well, to differentiate these days, characters went from "flaws" to "crippling handicaps" and people called this good storytelling.   It's not, unless the story is about fixing those handicaps.  Even most stories about "overcoming" the handicaps tend to be pretty bad, as few have any understanding of subtleties of that struggle.  While relating to characters might be an overblown talking point, it is important to narrative fiction.  This is why Hollywood enforces so much "diversity" in its secondary casting of characters in big movies.  It's got nothing to do with politics, it's simply driven by the desire for money.  And they quite well understand that people relate the easiest to those that look like them.  This let's them increase the potential payout, regardless of the quality of the movie.  (Good art can transcend most of that barrier, but Hollywood execs don't know how to make it.  So they can't buy houses on that information.)

When it comes to visual mediums, specifically, there's also the issue that certain quality of the Visual Storytelling is needed.  You can explain most of what you need to know about a character in one scene.  The most classic example would be the "Han Shot First" seen in Star Wars.  You really didn't need to know anything else about Han after that scene.  His actions & interactions with Greedo *showed* you who he was and what he would do in a tense situation.  And it showed that the fans understood the value of that scene far better than George Lucas.

So maybe the issue TIF has is that rather stories attempting to paint a picture of a real character, most storytelling just tosses visual cues for the tropes the character is supposed to fill.  Since that's the way most creators tend to work these days, they heap another "flaw" on top to try to not make their protagonist another clone of whatever other protagonist it is a clone of.

Offline Marid King

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #462 on: January 24, 2016, 10:32:55 AM »
For me at least, replace 'flaw' with 'permanent limitation' to see what I'm looking for.

Doesn't help.  What does that mean?I

I could give some examples. Real people are sometimes not smart enough to solve their problems, don't care enough to help when they should, or are too focused on what they do care about to think clearly. Real people make mistakes, learn by trial and error, and then forget what they learned. Real people need food, water, sleep, fun, and the company of their peers. Etc. A permanent limitation is simply a fact of life. A character who waives too many of those limitations is some kind of alien or robot, in the sense that they can't be understood by a human viewer.

I find the word 'flaw' gets tied to melodramatic struggles which are plot-related, rather than having anything to do with character building.
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Offline themaster20000

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #463 on: January 30, 2016, 01:04:47 PM »
The Good,the Bad,the Weird:

Pure simple fun. It looks great,the action is  well-shot,creative,and edited well.What makes it really work is the majority of it being practical effects(it helps a lot when you don't have cartoon/videogame effects cluttering the screen). The chase scene at the end is so ****ing ridiculous and OTT,that just can't help but smile at it.

Space Cop:

I love the RLM guys,but this was kinda of a chore to get through. Technical issues and limitations aside(understandable due to their limited resources),the jokes for the most part fell flat.Half of it was the delivery and the other half being the amount times they would run a joke into the ground.I did love the corny special effects which were very charming and the last act was ****ing gold. It's a valiant effort.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 01:15:38 PM by themaster20000 »
"No matter how wonderful everything in your movie may be, if your script sucks ass, your movie will suck ass."

"No matter how good a film is, it will always be bad. It will always be hated because it didn't live up to the incredibly high expectations." -

Offline themaster20000

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #464 on: February 01, 2016, 11:01:23 PM »
Sucker Punch:

Worst film I've seen in quite awhile. Characters are one-note and the performances are terrible.All the dialogue is absolutely horrid. The action scenes that the main character dreams up make no sense at all(why is she imagining samurai's with miniguns?). The scenes themselves look like and play out like some shitty videogame cutscene,which is what happens when you do everything on green screen. Then the soundtrack which is made up of terrible cover songs,and is overbearing for a majority of the film.

I expected nothing less from a hack director like Zack Snyder.
"No matter how wonderful everything in your movie may be, if your script sucks ass, your movie will suck ass."

"No matter how good a film is, it will always be bad. It will always be hated because it didn't live up to the incredibly high expectations." -
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