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The Last Movie(s) You Watched... (quick one or two sentence reviews)
Tron Legacy (2010)
I love this movie. Yes it has some slow moments and Sam's character isn't very dimensional until the third act, but when this movie shines it's an absolute stellar delight. The visuals are spectacular, the story is right inline with its predecessor and expands it in new ways, and that score. Wow. I don't know if it was just that the story required prior knowledge or what, but I wish this had done better. We could have had 3 or four films by now in this world. Thankfully Disney is finally making a third film. Here's hoping the new movie appeals to the masses so we can keep revisiting the grid in new ways. 9/10
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^Then I'd really recommend the gorgeously animated series, Tron: Uprising. It had a stellar voice cast and was a prequel series meant to explain all the gobbledygook brushed over in the beginning of Legacy about AI programs coming to life, etc. Unfortunately, it was canceled after the first season, but if you love Legacy, I'm sure it's worth a watch.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day was September 19th, and as is my custom, I celebrated by diving in to some pirate classics.
The Black Swan (1942)
Tyrone Power would later go on to star as Zorro, but he didn't do much for me here. He's running around as a British pirate with an American accent, sexually assaulting left and right. The "love story" is about 55% of the picture, and pirating is about 45%. I couldn't get past the constant rape threats to find much charm in this. Details: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/the-black-swan/

Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952)
I thought this was old and cheesy, but holy crap does it pop! My copy was real rough around the edges, so I wonder if there's a restored version that would allow me to appreciate the directing and editing. For me, they were weak, but the story and performances really elevated this.  Full thoughts: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/fil...he-pirate/
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Inception (2010)
When you can't go watch Tenet in theaters, this is what you do. Perfection. 10/10
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The Pirate-athon continues...

The Ice Pirates (1984)
I have so much affection for this film from my childhood, but I hadn't watched it in at least 10 years... I'm pleased to say it totally holds up! More than the sum of its (very interesting) parts, this happy accident manages its tone to stay on the right side of knowing campiness. So rewatchable, so quotable, so enjoyable. The juicy details: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/fil...e-pirates/

The Bounty (1984)
If you wanted a serious pirate movie in '84, this was the other choice. And before you say "That's not about pirates!", I'll have you know that Sir Anthony Hopkins himself says in the film "I need to report an act of piracy, sir!" This one isn't for the kiddies...it's honestly more of a heartthrob romance kind of vibe for much of the film, whereas I was hoping for more Master & Commander, but this is worth a watch. Juicy deets: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/the-bounty/
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John Carter (2012)
I found myself liking this movie a lot more this time around. I'll admit that I watched it with an editing eye looking to see what I might do with it. There's really not much that I have to complain about the film itself. I think the big issue with this movie was that it just threw you into the story without any information. They either needed to spend more time with John Carter during the war and the events that lead to him going off on his own or spent more time on Barsoom/Mars at the beginning and then brought him into the story. I wish they also would have gone more into the Thern. Their characters are very intriguing and I would have liked to know more about them. A surface level scratch that attempted an epic scale but didn't have enough roots to keep us grounded in the story. 6.579/10

Michael Giacchino's score 7.5/10
Giacchino is the heart and soul of this movie. His main theme, while not one of most memorable, nails that old-timey epic feeling. This could have been a theme in an old Cecil B. DeMille. Giacchino again crafts atmosphere that lifts a flawed presentation to an enjoyable experience. Disney would be wise to re-employ him in future Star Wars ventures. He gets source material and how to bring it into the present. With Williams bowing out and James Horner gone, Giacchino might be our only hope.

*edit*
Watching the deleted opening scene......WHY didn't they open the movie like this?!?!? *face palm*
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Last of my pirate films for this year, a couple British-produced films that eventually made their way to American TV but I missed until now:
Treasure Island (1990)
Young Christian Bale makes the first Jim Hawkins I haven't found annoying. Charlton Heston dials back his Long John Silver and turns in a pretty nuanced portrayal that unfortunately doesn't find a counterpoint in the British nobility here, who are all amazingly standup gentlemen. A little bit dark and mature for a kids' film, but probably the best version of this story yet. Juicy details: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/fil...land-1990/

Neverland (2011)
Has an interesting concept: to reframe the Peter Pan story as a sci-fi based journey to another planet. This is the prequel, and much like Solo: A Star Wars Story, it goes (way) overboard on lame fan-service explanations of how characters got their notable traits. It simultaneously fails to actually capture most of what makes those characters who they are. Cheap, poorly acted, overlong, full of tropes, and sloppy, this thing is an abomination. I spit more dis-tracks here: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/fil...nd-2011-1/
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(09-28-2020, 03:21 PM)mnkykungfu Wrote: Neverland (2011)
Has an interesting concept: to reframe the Peter Pan story as a sci-fi based journey to another planet. This is the prequel, and much like Solo: A Star Wars Story, it goes (way) overboard on lame fan-service explanations of how characters got their notable traits. It simultaneously fails to actually capture most of what makes those characters who they are. Cheap, poorly acted, overlong, full of tropes, and sloppy, this thing is an abomination. I spit more dis-tracks here: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/fil...nd-2011-1/

I like it as a guilty pleasure. The US release was as a two part miniseries event thing, each of the two episodes was 90 minutes that aired I think on the Sci-fi channel (they had a few of these, Tin Man, Alice, etc). Highlight here is Bob Hoskins reprising Smee from Hook.

Goofy, unnecessary, cheap? Oh yes. But still better than "Pan".
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^I can agree that Hoskins was good. As a fan of the book and several other adaptations, I was actually offended by how bad much of the rest was. Each to their own.
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The wife and I wanted something light last night and watched Enola Holmes. It was too light. I like these sorts of mysteries for the mystery. You must pay attention and play detective yourself. But that’s undermined by the fourth wall breaking convention that tells you what’s important at every step. Millie Bobbie Brown is very good however. The feminist themes might have been better served by female screenwriters and direction. My wife and I talked about how Cavill is frequently talked about for the next Bond and how he simply lacks the charisma for that role. It’s hard not to compare RDJr’s Holmes and Cavill’s charisma vacuum version.
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Strangers on a Train (1951)
Continuing my way through Hitchcock's non-Golden Age works. A lot of people seem to have been won over by the big concept here, and the big performance by Robert Walker. On the other hand, the lead performance by Farley Granger is lackluster, and the story comes apart easily if you just pull slightly at any of the hanging bits of yarn. The hot take: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/fil...n-a-train/

Outfoxed (2004)
A documentary that will unfortunately be viewed as political by most. News should just be news, right? What happened to the idea that it would be a presentation of facts, with a sincere effort made to eliminate bias? So if a documentary shows a network making no effort to do that, and in fact subverting it, that should make anyone stand up regardless of party. Unfortunately, the problem seems to be that some people don't actually want to hear that...they want their bias confirmed, factual or not. If anyone is open-minded enough to want to see exactly how Rupert Murdoch manipulates the media to have his own personal propaganda network, here ya are: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/fil...ournalism/
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