Author Topic: What Are You Watching? (DVD's & Blu-ray's)  (Read 15404 times)

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Chiprocks1

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Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Chiprocks1

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Neumatic

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Re: What Are You Watching? (DVD's & Blu-ray's)
« Reply #3647 on: October 31, 2017, 08:43:02 pm »
So I finally saw the 1931 Dracula, the classic with Bela Lugosi and it was... ..boring.  I mean, Bela Lagosi was good but and there were a couple interesting visuals, but on the whole, it was just... boring.  It wasn't scary, the cinematography wasn't that dramatic... I know they were still learning the language, but then you compare with the Spanish version on the same disc, shot on the same sets and it's just so much creepier, the photography is more dynamic... it's nuts.  It's a superior remake made at the same time.

So now I'm watching the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola Dracula (which I've seen before) and I dig it so much, it's so nuts, creepy, overdesigned and theatrical, full of practical tricks and constantly messing the the audience's heads (the shadows not matching, Gary Oldman being slid around on a track, etc).  I always thought this was parodying the original but so much of this ISN'T part of the DNA of the original, and I guess I was just disappointed.  Plus Gary Oldman doesn't chew scenery, it devours it like a glutton convinced he's starving.  Plus Keanu Reeves is kind of adorable, Harker's kind of a thankless role but he's so darn likable and "aw shucks" that t makes the part memorable.

Chiprocks1

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Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Chiprocks1

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Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Chiprocks1

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Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Chiprocks1

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Neumatic

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Re: What Are You Watching? (DVD's & Blu-ray's)
« Reply #3652 on: November 18, 2017, 11:01:44 pm »
Tomorrowland

You know I fancy myself as a bit of a futurist, I love the future, the possibilities of tech and how we can change our society... so it's a strange oversight that I hadn't seen Tomorrowland.  I hadn't heard great things about it so I wasn't dying to see it, but then this scene appeared on TV the other day and needless to say, it caught my attention.


That's pretty awesome, right?

I see that, and I want to go there.  I want to know more about that world, I want an adventure there.  I appreciate that they can't show a LOT of that, realistically (and financially), so I know we'll only spend a little time there.  But it'll be worth it, right?

No, not really.  You know what happens when they get there?  Over an hour and change into the movie?

It's empty.

Well, not "empty."  Hugh Laurie, who's criminally underused, and two guards are running the show and do... not much... show us a machine that shows the Earth is going to end.  And there's a fight scene and an explosion and that's kind of it.

And you know what sucks, especially about them turning it into a dystopia?  The movie rails against dystopias earlier, and Britt Robertson has an entire monologue where she complains about how you can't promise something shiny and awesome and not deliver, basically repeating my rant about the movie IN THE MOVIE!

There are SO MANY POSSIBLE IDEAS left on the floor that it's frustrating as all get out.  This is straight up what I call a parts movie, little moments I like, lots of ideas coming to my mind, but a movie I will probably never see again (and thus take twice as long to watch it in order to strip it bare for parts).

The premise is that all the smart people decided to go to another dimension and really explore their futuristic ideas and see if they could really save the world.  It's a bit Bioshock, but whatever.  The premise of the movie is that Jules Verne, Thomas Edison and Tesla were some of the first members of the society (and built a pretty sweet brass rocket to go there), and then at the 1960s World Fair, they recruited a bunch of inventors and forward thinking people and brought them over to Tomorrowland to build and design it.

Either of those ideas sound like an AMAZING movie!  You would watch either of those, right?  60s free-thinkers hanging out with old steampunky inventors debating about what the "future" is?  Or present day dreamers visiting a functioning Jetsons future and figuring out how to save our world?  Or you could explore the idea that utopias and futurism has always had a white ethno-centric bias and foreign cultural voices and ideas need to be explored and brought in (I will give the movie credit for suggesting that in the denouement).

What's really galling about that is that it's Brad Bird directing and co-writing, and Pixar is one of the most enviable think-tanks of the 20th century.  If anyone is qualified to tell a story like that, it's someone who worked in that environment and they barely even TRY.  Just lip service.

You could also have a whole thing about private vs public ownership.  This movie was made in 2015, privatization of space and all these other arenas was definitely happening, there's something in that you could make a movie about!  BTW, Britt Robertson's dad in the movie is an unemployed NASA engineer, who has to be really bad at job hunting because Elon Musk or someone should be able to use those talents.  Heck, I kept thinking "how would Elon Musk fit into the world?"

Also, there's this cool little girl robot with a weird British accent named Athena, I liked her.

George Clooney was good, but he doesn't show up until an hour into the movie.  I forgot he was in the movie until he showed up again.

You know what I want, right?  Something I thought for sure would have been made by now... something I'm trying to write (and to take a line from the movie, "I'm tired of waiting for someone else to make it for me")... remember 2015 from Back To The Future II?  That's what I want.  Just a whole movie, in a place like that.  Not a dystopia, not an action movie, just... I wanna hang out in the future for a while.  Flying cars, robots, hanging gardens, weird clothes etc.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 11:26:04 pm by Neumatic »

Neumatic

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Re: What Are You Watching? (DVD's & Blu-ray's)
« Reply #3653 on: November 22, 2017, 09:27:29 pm »
After two years of waiting, I finally got to see all of Red Dwarf XII.


Worth the wait.  "Time Wave" is the only bad episode in the bunch (and it's just REALLY bad), but everything else is solid.  Some of it is straight up classic Dwarf.  I still have an issue with the cinematography and lighting, it's a bit too cinematic and dark for a comedy, and something about the set design makes it look kind of cramped... it's strange.  Every decision makes sense and works, but at the same time... it don't gel, if that makes sense.

I also have to say that the special effects are really solid in this and the last series, the model shots are still on point (although the model itself isn't that highly detailed), the new ships and space stations are ridiculously detailed and snazzily designed.


"Cured" has the cast trapped on a remote outpost with clones of Hitler, Vlad The Impaler, and other famous evil characters... who are evidently cured.  It is bizarre, and I feel like they might have been able to play up the Agatha Christie meets The Thing motif they were going for.  It also really made me miss the gross-out monsters that the series used to have.  There were episodes that were straight-up horror, and it felt like this would have been right up that alley.

Also, the backstory given to the base stuck out to me, it feels like the writers (writer, actually) is trying to fill out the missing history of Earth and the universe.  Very odd.  Not complaining, they just do a bit more of that this series than in the previous series.

"Siliconia" is the source of the famous image of the crew as mechanoids:


I'll admit, when I first saw the picture, I was expecting something like "Fear Of A Bot Planet," with the crew in disguise as Mechanoids.  Instead, they're transformed and put through the paces they'd been putting Kryten through over the last 30 years when they're abducted by the Mechanoid Independent Liberation Front (the "MILF").  Mechanoid culture is always interesting when it's explored, but I think there could have been more there.

I also straight up forgot that Chris Barrie is an expert impressionist, so his Mecha-Rimmer quickly adopts Kryten's voice into his own.

"Time Wave" is the odd one out, it feels like a script from a completely different series.  The crew boards a ship from a society where criticism is outlawed.  It feels like some personal (and poorly conceived) tirade against participation trophy culture (which at this point I'm not sure even exists).

What's really galling is that this REALLY undoes something core to the heart of Red Dwarf: the fact that the crew are the last human beings in the universe and come across remnants of human society and the detrius they leave behind: robots, rogue AIs, broken ships, genetically engineered life forms, etc.  They had a bunch of clever ways to bring new characters into the mix, but just having a ship pop through a time hole seems just lazily.

I also didn't care for how flamboyalty effeminate the ship's captain was played as.  Terribly campy in a homophobic way, and it went on for so long.

"Mechocracy." Awesome episode.  After a near-disaster, the vending machines, lifts, and other mechanical elements go on strike when they realize they'd be left behind and demand equal rights and a representative on board.  Realizing what awesome power controlling all the machines on the ship would bring him, Rimmer decides to run for Machine President with Kryten running against him.  And there's a great cameo at the end by the one tie-breaking vote.  What's nice is that it was written and filmed two years ago (seasons 11 and 12 were filmed back to back because it's just so hard to get that cast together), so there's nothing Trump-y or May-y or Brexit-y in there, it's purely about politics without being contemporary politics, which is such a nice change of pace.

Also, Rimmer's brilliant promotion/demotion bit is so classic Dwarf (and he and Kryten look good in suits).

"M-Corp."  Finally installing long needed software updates, Red Dwarf's aegis changes from JMC to M-Corp, the universe's most powerful Apple-esque corporation that puts Lister in a microtransaction-powered nightmare where everything is M-Corp (and the way they show how he can't perceive non M-Corp items, including his friends, is wonderfully low-tech funny).  And another great shout-out to the earlier series with the ending.

"Skipper."  If this winds up being the last episode of the show (unlikely, I believe I heard DaveTV is big on doing series XIII), it's an amazing finale.  They way they demonstrate anti-causality, where you end up doing the opposite of whatever you intend to do, is equally brilliant and hilarious.  This is what Red Dwarf always did best, give us an insane SF premise and explain it using screwball humour.

The second half of the episode has Rimmer using the anti-causality rift to skip from dimension to dimension (hence "Skipper"), hoping to find a universe where he's not such a loser.  What follows is like a live-action version of "Crime And Punishment" from The Simpsons, and an excuse to bring back not just Holly and Captain Hollister, who hadn't been on the show since 1998![/i]. but they also rebuilt sets from the 1980s seasons AND used in HD-ified model footage from the 80s as well.  As a long-time fan, it's pure fan-service but it works perfectly in service of the story.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 09:30:19 pm by Neumatic »

Neumatic

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Re: What Are You Watching? (DVD's & Blu-ray's)
« Reply #3654 on: November 26, 2017, 10:49:25 am »
...where is everyone?

Anyway, you remember that video I posted on the "Hollywood strip scenes" thread with the girls in the jungle?  Well F me because I sat through that whole movie, to steal a line from Nostalgia Critic, "so you don't have to."


Inara The Jungle Girl (2012)

Look, I knew this movie was going to be garbage, the question was more "is there going to be anything worthwhile in this?"  It's an excuse to have a movie with beautiful women (and they are pretty beautiful) in skimpy leather outfits in the jungle, and it certainly does have that... although they don't show up until 30 minutes into the 80 minute flick.  That's not good.  And they're all shot rather wide.  If you're gonna make this kind of movie, it should be shot more... I don't want to say exploitatively, but get someone who shoots a lot of fashion and glamour.  Think "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue" video with leather loincloths... if you're going for exploitation, go for the gold, you know?

(I should also point out that there's no nudity in the flick either, which... you kind of expect that, right?  At least a minor character undressing to go in the water or something.)

The movie starts with this direct to camera monologue from a soldier we never see again and then cuts to this Ennio Morricone style theme, and I got this sense that they were trying to go in a Quentin Tarantino direction.  Okay, that's cool, that'd be a fun way to go about this.  But here's the problem: the main actress can't act.  At all.  She's basically shouting/asking every single line that she delivers,  and I think that the directors/editors realized this so they cut as much dialogue as possible.  As a result, the movie is silent for HUGE chunks of time.  Which, as you can imagine, undercuts the whole dialogue-dependent Tarantino effect.

Also, being silent means that you have NO clue who most of the characters are.  The web site lists them all AND backstories, and I genuinely wonder if they had a whole big established world that they couldn't afford to put on screen or if they were just really overcompensating for having girls run around in bikinis for the whole movie.

The plot is basically Avatar, disgraced soldier is injured on a mission, taken in by a tribe of natives and eventually defends them against the bad guys she was once a part of.  They snuck in a scene that's basically the "I dare you to do better" Captain Kirk bit from the 2009 Star Trek, and the worst fight scene I've ever seen.

(Side thought, another reason to do a movie like this: an excuse for fight scenes.  This is the exact kind of flimsy pretext that martial arts guys would hang a movie on as an excuse to show off all the battles they can do.  The fights in this ranger from decent to high school play quality... in the same shots!)

So the movie is mostly quiet, the score's all right, I'll give them that, but it's also BORING.  While the plot is straightforward, it's mostly "and then" storytelling, meaning scenes don't really influence the next scene, and combine that with the fact that every scene fades in and fades out, you feel like you're watching disconnected scenes.  We also don't see IMPORTANT moments, it's like the movie is happening off-screen.  The main girl is in a loincloth bikini, right?  Kind of the reason for the movie to exist.  But it's never shown/explained WHY.  She's in a crash, but her clothes aren't ripped (and she's not visibly HURT either), so we never know WHY she has to change clothes.  Given that she's transitioning into a different world, you kinda want that scene, right?  Even if she doesn't kill the animal (or Costume Store Employee) she gets the skins from, you want that bit.  It's like the first time Batman gets the batsuit or something, it should be a moment.

Like, I don't care if the movie is cheap or dumb or made for a purpose (tittilation, showing off fight scenes, whatever), but you have to put in the right moments and obey simple rules of narrative storytelling.  I don't mind a bad movie, but I really hate missed opportunities, and this movie is full of them.  Example, there's this tribal dance scene, but it doesn't affect the plot in any way, it's just there.  Well, you have the modern girl there, have her have to dance.  She winds up doing something dopey like the Macarena and that "angers the gods" or something. It felt like the movie is just a checklist of scenes they need to have, with not much thought to "what can we DO with these scenes?"  Which is always one of the first questions you should ask when dealing with something this trope-y.  What are the opportunities here that we can play with?  How can we put our own unique stamp on it?

And the reason I bring this up is that I feel like this is the kind of genre where you could make a good movie, a swashbuckling jungle adventure, but I don't know if anyone's ever actually done that yet.  I suppose, like I said about Tomorrowland, "I'll just have to make it myself."
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 11:04:57 am by Neumatic »

Chiprocks1

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Re: What Are You Watching? (DVD's & Blu-ray's)
« Reply #3655 on: December 05, 2017, 06:20:41 am »
I think I need to check out this movie for myself now.
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Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Re: What Are You Watching? (DVD's & Blu-ray's)
« Reply #3656 on: December 06, 2017, 04:42:29 pm »
The Jungle Girl movie? I think I still have it, I can send it to you.

 

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