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A few reviews

Jrzag42

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Honestly, as far as good Disney sequels, Lion King 1 1/2 (known as Lion King 3 in some regions) is the only watchable version of The Lion King for me.
I also enjoy Return of Jafar, and I really need to watch Aladin 3.
I like An Extremely Goofy Movie. I haven't seen the original, but I know people who prefer the sequel.
I also know someone who prefers Rescuers Down Under to the original. I have not seen either of them.

But yes, for the most part, Disney sequels are inferior. But I also haven't watched many.
 

TMBTM

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"Alice in Wonderland 2 - Through The Looking Glass" is better than the first live action Tim Burton movie.
(but, at this point, anyone can make a better movie than Tim Burton...)
 

Jrzag42

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I still really want to see Through the Looking Glass. I loved Burton's Alice in Wonderland, but haven't seen it since theaters, and that was 10 years ago, I was very young.
I keep forgetting that there is a sequel, and I'm interested in rewatching the first and checking this one out.
 

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TMBTM said:
"Alice in Wonderland 2 - Through The Looking Glass" is better than the first live action Tim Burton movie.
(but, at this point, anyone can make a better movie than Tim Burton...)

This is the most positive thing I've heard about the sequel, if you really think it's better I might have to check it out now.
 

mnkykungfu

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Masirimso17 said:
The Toy Story sequels are all better than the first one in my opinion, the whole series is phenomenal. But it’s Pixar anyway so it doesn’t count (although their other sequels despite being pretty good aren’t as good as their originals, and Cars 2 is garbage)

Winnie the Pooh is always great. The Muppets was also great, loved it almost as much as the Muppet Movie (regrettably the only other Muppet movie I’ve seen)

I was actually thinking of "mainstream" Disney, which for some reason I always forget Pooh is a part of, so good point.  I've never been a huge fan of the Muppet movies, so I'll take your word on them.  I'd give you that of Pixar sequels, Toy Story 2 and 3 are AS good as the original.  I guess it's not cheating to call them Disney, even though it feels light years away to compare them to something like Aladdin 2 or The Rescuers Down Under or any of their recent live action cash grabs....uh, I mean, re-envisionings.
 
TM2YC said:
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
A thing I noticed this time is that it's a Christmas movie... no no, hear me out. The sex orgy, drug overdoses and constant nudity have probably distracted you from realizing it :D . Obviously it's set at Christmas, features a Christmas party, fancy dress, the wrapping of presents, toy shopping and of course the whole film is lit like a colourful Xmas tree but it’s also thematically a Christmas film.

Literally a few days ago, I put this on my list for movies to watch at Christmas!  I'm always looking for "alternative Christmas" movies I haven't seen, so if anyone is interested, the others this year include: Silent Night Deadly Night, Tangerine, The Bishop's Wife, The Family Man, White Reindeer, 101 Reykyavik, The Ref, The Ice Harvest, Smart People, Mean Girls, and Bridget Jones' Diary.
 

mnkykungfu

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Don’t Breathe (2016)
A good analogy for this film is playing a video game on "Easy" mode.  Every item or door that will be important is zoomed in on and highlighted just before you need it.  Everything a character says is going to "surprisingly" become relevant later.  There is no depth, no development, everything is on rails.  The big difference is a video game still requires you to use a bit of intelligence to navigate it, whereas this film requires that you NOT think.
 
There are so many stupid turns in the story that I had to start playing on my phone halfway through to stop from pulling it apart too much.  I was getting dumber watching these bumbling criminals with no semblance of a plan attempt to outwit a blind man who somehow thinks a gun is his best weapon.  This film would be an insult to any true veterans who watched it.
 
Perhaps the worst thing is that there's really no one to root for.  Initially, I was on the side of the disabled man defending his home from 3 scumbags.  So of course the writers have to add a dirty secret so that the robbers don't look so bad by comparison.  But really, they still don't have any admirable qualities compared to him.  The trailer is amazing because it edits out all the bits that show what stupid, horrible people the thieves are.  Ugg.  Screw this movie.
 
The Dirty Dozen (1967)
 
Another flick I watched for Veteran's Day, this one was the original suicide squad.  Like the director's other films, I think this one is a bit long and indulgent.  I think there's a great fan-edit to be made here by trimming lots of takes to make it move faster, and cutting parts of the beginning and ending.  It's a really interesting movie though, that essentially is an idealogical battle between different parts of the US military.  I knew a guy who had grown up the biggest military nut you could imagine... could identify the sounds of different plane engines, joined ROTC, took apart and cleaned his own guns, subscribed to Soldier of Fortune magazine.  He joined the Marine Corps and couldn't stand it.  He said that their whole mission was to break you down and turn you into somebody who didn't think and just followed the stupid ideas of everyone higher up.  These are the kind of guys we're following in The Dirty Dozen.

One of the surprises of the film for me was finding out about Clint Walker.  Apparently famous for the western series Cheyenne, I didn't know he was supposed to be playing a Native American in this until I just watched that trailer I linked!  Dude was a real life superhero though, built like a greek god and more interested in outdoors stuff than acting.  He was fascinating to read about...had a ski accident where his heart was pierced by a ski pole and he was pronounced dead... then he came back and lived another 20+ years!  What a legend.

Very little of the film is action, mostly it's a battle for the souls of these men who were thrown away by the military.  Each of them cracked under the military's rules, and committed various offences.  Some of them more or less justified, but the ideological battle plays out between the higher-ups as well, about the value of discipline and cleanliness and following orders versus using men's own resources, their creativity and innovation, and finding what will personally motivate them rather than demanding they do everything a set way.  It's a good film for teachers, too!  Ha ha!  

One thing that's hard to appreciate watching it for the first time now is how many tropes it was following versus how many it possibly created.  There are a lot here, from the "they gotta become a team" to the rapist being obviously creepy (rather than say, a charming well-dressed frat boy) to one member being a persistent @$$#ole the whole story to random bad guys coming out of nowhere at the end.  Plus the ending scene here is famously homaged in Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds.  It's also clear that this is just before the end of the Hays Code, as they're sure not to actually show some of the things the soldiers were up to, and that only "good" guys survive.  Despite that annoying framing of the story, standout performances by Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson anchor this film enough to make it hold up today.
 

TM2YC

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The Laundromat (2019)
Based on the 'Panama Papers' scandal, this Netflix films rips off the style of 'The Big Short', a more successful star-studded film about a different financial scandal. Gary Oldman plays Mossack and Antonio Banderas plays Fonseca, the two dubious lawyers break the 4th wall to explain what money is and what tax is (things that didn't need explaining). Oldman can be good but when he is bad, wow he is bad, the camp Germanic accent he is doing is very odd. Meryl Streep plays one of their victims and another character in a comedy wig, big nose and sunglasses (for reasons that you'll probably have guessed long before the "surprise" reveal). Other fine actors like Jeffrey Wright are wasted playing cameos that don't seem to really connect to the main plot strands, nothing much connects in fact. I was pretty shocked (because I'd forgotten) when the film ended and it said "Directed by Steven Soderbergh". It entertains for 95-mins but this is classic "dumped on Netflix" fare.

 

mnkykungfu

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jrWHAG42 said:
Honestly, as far as good Disney sequels, Lion King 1 1/2 (known as Lion King 3 in some regions) is the only watchable version of The Lion King for me.
I also enjoy Return of Jafar, and I really need to watch Aladin 3.
I like An Extremely Goofy Movie. I haven't seen the original, but I know people who prefer the sequel.
I also know someone who prefers Rescuers Down Under to the original. I have not seen either of them.

But yes, for the most part, Disney sequels are inferior. But I also haven't watched many.

Wait, wait.... did I understand correctly that you're saying The Lion King...the best Disney movie of all time....is unwatchable?!  Surely I've misunderstood.
And Aladdin 2 is a really good movie??
Have you watched any of these in adulthood?  Because I know we all can have very different experiences when we watch films as kids...
 
TMBTM said:
"Alice in Wonderland 2 - Through The Looking Glass" is better than the first live action Tim Burton movie.
(but, at this point, anyone can make a better movie than Tim Burton...)

I was so let down (from already low expectations) by the first one that I had no interest in seeing the 2nd.  It looked like even more Depp-Hatter and even farther away from Carroll's characters...
 

Jrzag42

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Oh please, I haven't reached adulthood yet.

I last watched Aladin 2 a couple years ago. The others it's been a long time.
 

TMBTM

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TMBTM said:
"Alice in Wonderland 2 - Through The Looking Glass" is better than the first live action Tim Burton movie.
(but, at this point, anyone can make a better movie than Tim Burton...)
 
addiesin said:
TMBTM said:
"Alice in Wonderland 2 - Through The Looking Glass" is better than the first live action Tim Burton movie.
(but, at this point, anyone can make a better movie than Tim Burton...)

This is the most positive thing I've heard about the sequel, if you really think it's better I might have to check it out now.

Well, it's not a masterpiece either... but I was pleasantly surprised.
 

mnkykungfu

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jrWHAG42 said:
Oh please, I haven't reached adulthood yet.
I last watched Aladin 2 a couple years ago. The others it's been a long time.

Haha!  Ok, well I will be interested to hear what you think if you watch these a couple years from now. :)
 

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The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)
Do you like movies that have a great setup and then get aggressively dumb very abruptly?  Great!  Then you'll love this movie!  This sequel to the fantastic, re-invigorating 2008 film starts off right.  Like the previous movie, they take the time to sink you into the family, let you get to know them.  Unfortunately, they start to signal early on that they're going to have a tropey "final girl", unlike the previous film.  Also unfortunately, she's kind of a low-rent trailer trash Katie Holmes and her character is intensely unlikable.  Every second that other people were getting killed, I was praying it would be her next.  My liking for this movie decreased proportionately with her screen time.  Part of it is that other characters are smarter and have you know, redeeming qualities.  Christina Hendricks is amazing, and wasted in this film, given her screen time.  Martin Henderson gives a surprisingly nuanced performance as the dad, given that he's typically known (or rather forgotten) for perfectly mediocre performances in films like Flyboys and Torque.  What a shame that these two won't want anyone to watch this film.

The movie has a card that says it's "based on true events", which is complete B.S.  The only "true events" are the same ones as the previous movie, that a girl came to the author's house one night and knocked.  When he answered, she asked for "Tamara", who didn't live there.  So she left.  But the author got creeped out.  That's IT!  No murders or invasions or any other "true events"!  So despite a completely fictional creepy setup of a basically abandoned trailer park, the film just really loses its way 30 minutes in.  Like, it wants to be retro and 80s in style, and yet a huge plot point is how attached to their electronic devices everyone is.  It tries to bust tropes but increasingly just becomes a series of copying ideas from better films.  Like it actually has the victims get ahold of guns, so then they have to just drop them or not fire them for like...NO reason.  More tropes: villain that just CAN. NOT. DIE: check.  People bleeding out everywhere but somehow still alive to suffer more: check.  People somehow not doing the ONE. OBVIOUS. THING. that would save them: check.  If you like to scream at the screen about how stupid people are, boy is this the movie for you!
 

bionicbob

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THE IRISHMAN (Netflix)

I might be the lone voice in the wilderness, but this is not a Scorsese's masterpiece.
It's very good.  But there is really nothing too new in it that Scorsese hasn't covered before and better in his other gangster pictures.  At this point in his career, Scorsese can make a good mob movie in his sleep....

It is wonderful seeing all the old faces, but again, these are roles these accomplished master actors have been playing for decades, so there is no real stretching or revolutionary performances here.

Again, not saying this is bad.  I would watch these guys all days but again, there is nothing new here.

The De-Aging CGI and Make Up... sometimes good, sometimes flawless, but other times,  really, really, REALLY weird looking.

The first hour.... I did not for a moment believe DeNiro was a man in his 30s or 40s.   Sorry.  But it does not work.  We all know DeNiro from decades of films, we know what he looks like at that age... and this is not it.  Plus, no amount of De-Aging CGI can change the fact the way he walks, his posture and holds himself, is of a much, much older man.  And there is the whole fact we are suppose to believe DeNiro is Irish...?

The last two and half hours are much better it terms of believability for me.  And only of the last 45 minutes really feels fresh as the consequences of a lifetime of evil comes into play.

As I said, it is a good movie.  Highly watchable and entertaining.  It is like wearing your favourite, comfortable sweater.

But GOODFELLAS and CASINO are far superior to this.

3 out of 5 for me.
 

mnkykungfu

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bionicbob said:
THE IRISHMAN (Netflix)

I might be the lone voice in the wilderness, but this is not a Scorsese's masterpiece.

The De-Aging CGI and Make Up... sometimes good, sometimes flawless, but other times,  really, really, REALLY weird looking.

The first hour.... I did not for a moment believe DeNiro was a man in his 30s or 40s.   Sorry.  But it does not work.  We all know DeNiro from decades of films, we know what he looks like at that age... and this is not it.  Plus, no amount of De-Aging CGI can change the fact the way he walks, his posture and holds himself, is of a much, much older man.  And there is the whole fact we are suppose to believe DeNiro is Irish...?

THANK YOU!  

I can't tell you how many Academy Award movie fanboys are always going on about how Marvel movies are instantly cheesy and unbelievable because of all the "bad CGI"... these people keep going off about how fake Black Panther looks, or Thanos, or the de-aging of RDJ or Michael Douglass or Sam Jackson.

Then they see the first trailer for The Irishman and say "this is going to be a masterpiece!!!"  Are you kidding?  Scorcese's eyes are creepy AF and his face looks like dead plastic.  I love all those actors, but time to step up and let a younger person play a younger role.  I cannot watch that movie for 1 second and forget that I'm watching a movie due to the DeNiro monster.

And it's worse, because this isn't supposed to be a fantastical sci-fi story, it's supposed to be gritty and real.  This just really puts the lie to Scorcese's idea that his movies and Marvel movies are very different because HE'S making "art" while they're making a spectacle.
 

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bionicbob said:
THE IRISHMAN (Netflix)

Plus, no amount of De-Aging CGI can change the fact the way he walks, his posture and holds himself, is of a much, much older man.  

I've only seen about an hour of 'The Irishman' so far, but this was my observation too. Didn't work for me. However, I am enjoying it overall.
 

Canon Editor

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mnkykungfu said:
This just really puts the lie to Scorcese's idea that his movies and Marvel movies are very different because HE'S making "art" while they're making a spectacle.

I don't think so. As much as the CGI in this or that film may be bad/outdated, it isn't what Scorsese was talking about, in the least. 
A part from the industrial perspective of his argument, which I won't get into now, one of the points was that Marvel movies aren't driven by storytelling: they don't get you emotionally invested, they don't carry you into a "journey" with those characters in which you experience emotions because of good storytelling manipulation (screenwriting, acting, directing and editing all included).
They tell stories, but they don't let you experience those stories as stories about relatable human beings. This counts for any movie, obviously not only for MCU movies, which I think he took as example because of their popularity not only among moviegoers but for their almost constant presence in theaters.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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Garp said:
bionicbob said:
THE IRISHMAN (Netflix)

Plus, no amount of De-Aging CGI can change the fact the way he walks, his posture and holds himself, is of a much, much older man.  

I've only seen about an hour of 'The Irishman' so far, but this was my observation too. Didn't work for me. However, I am enjoying it overall.

This is where I am too. I’m an hour into it and said to my wife, “I only had to make one leap with Deniro playing a younger version of Brando and I was fine with that. With this, I’m constantly reminded I’m watching a manipulation.” It’s not just the CGI uncanny valley. It’s the fact that the actors simply don’t move like younger men. But I am enjoying it too. I simply wish they would’ve cast different actors for the younger roles.

Canon Editor said:
mnkykungfu said:
This just really puts the lie to Scorcese's idea that his movies and Marvel movies are very different because HE'S making "art" while they're making a spectacle.

I don't think so. As much as the CGI in this or that film may be bad/outdated, it isn't what Scorsese was talking about, in the least. 
A part from the industrial perspective of his argument, which I won't get into now, one of the points was that Marvel movies aren't driven by storytelling: they don't get you emotionally invested, they don't carry you into a "journey" with those characters in which you experience emotions because of good storytelling manipulation (screenwriting, acting, directing and editing all included).
They tell stories, but they don't let you experience those stories as stories about relatable human beings. This counts for any movie, obviously not only for MCU movies, which I think he took as example because of their popularity not only among moviegoers but for their almost constant presence in theaters.

I agree with this as well. Plus, I’d also add that there’s no real sense of auteur with Marvel. They are interchangeable. PERHAPS you could argue that Feige is the auteur, but the Marvel type movies feel more amusement park than art.
 

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@"Moe_Syzlak" I understand. I would probably put into the perspective that in this case - as the actors are STILL ALIVE - it was a way for Scorsese and company to experiment with the new power of CGI... with that said, though, I don't think that that is going to bring much to cinema's future, especially if they start reviving people who have passed away. Imagine if Rami Malek's face was overlayered with CGI in Bohemian Rhapsody: I don't think he would have had the same attraction, as his acting would have been under appreciated compared to the wondrous CGI that brought Freddy Mercury back! And the world would have had one less actor to rely on for the future. Imagine that happening in the future: how many actors would find their breakthrough?

Naturally, I am hyperbolizing a bit there - but I hope you understand my point. 

Back to Marvel movies, before concluding and moving on: I agree, @"Moe_Syzlak". I agree.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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Canon Editor said:
@"Moe_Syzlak" I understand. I would probably put into the perspective that in this case - as the actors are STILL ALIVE - it was a way for Scorsese and company to experiment with the new power of CGI... with that said, though, I don't think that that is going to bring much to cinema's future, especially if they start reviving people who have passed away. Imagine if Rami Malek's face was overlayered with CGI in Bohemian Rhapsody: I don't think he would have had the same attraction, as his acting would have been under appreciated compared to the wondrous CGI that brought Freddy Mercury back! And the world would have had one less actor to rely on for the future. Imagine that happening in the future: how many actors would find their breakthrough?

Naturally, I am hyperbolizing a bit there - but I hope you understand my point. 

Back to Marvel movies, before concluding and moving on: I agree, @"Moe_Syzlak". I agree.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but Brando was alive when GF2 was filmed. If CGI make-up was available perhaps Deniro doesn’t play the role. If it had existed as it exists now, though, I’m pretty sure it would’ve been less successful, artistically, than the result we have. I’m not against CGI de-aging anymore than I’m against any other form of makeup; I just don’t think it’s there yet. And it has to be used the right way. Making someone young isn’t simply de-wrinkling their face (believe me, I know; I definitely don’t move like I did 20 years ago). If the young Deniro face was put into a younger stand in actor as with Tarkin, perhaps it would’ve worked better for me (not that Tarkin worked for me either).
 

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Perhaps. Had the CGI de-ageing been possible for The Godfather, Part II, would De Niro have had the recognition he had? Or would he have disappeared before being able to be cast in such great movies like Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter and The Untouchables? Simply put: would Robert De Niro have been Robert De Niro if CGI de-ageing had been possible in 1974?
 
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