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The Last Movie(s) You Watched... (quick one or two sentence reviews)

Wraith

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DUNE - 2021
Very well made, compelling, visually rich. Made me appreciate the difficulty of delivering this narrative when Lynch tackled. Definitely tells ONLY what you need to know, favoring "show, don't tell"...Bardem is the standout for me.
Would quite happily have sat through 5 hours of this to get to the end of the book. ROLL ON PART 2,3 (4, 5, 6).
The clunky witch V.O. and bagpipes (in the year 10191) are the only issue for me.
 
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Racerx1969

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DUNE (2021) Keeping this to a short one as per the thread's point. I worried about this version based on all the pre-release discussion and sight-unseen critiques. I shouldn't have. My wife and I loved the move and cannot wait for part 2.

Free Guy (2021) I wasn't sure I'd like this one from the teasers. I was wrong. This is a fun movie that is more multifaceted than it appears on first glance. It's an action flick, it's a love story, it's a commentary on online behavior & human nature, yet somehow it all works. Great performances all around.
 

MusicEd921

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FRANKENSTEIN (2004 Hallmark Miniseries)

WOW! I had some low expectation for this, but this really delivered! In my theater class, we read through a radio play adaptation of Frankenstein and were planning on watching the 1931 film version so we could compare and contrast (knowing full well they are vastly different). It got me in the mood to finally give this miniseries a lookover as we near Halloween. Without a doubt, while it feels like a TV movie and is a bit slow at first, this is by far the most faithful adaptation you can find of the novel to screen and I am 100% adding it to a yearly viewing list for this time of year. I watched in on Amazon and was given the option to either rent each episode for $4.99 each or purchase both "episodes" for $5.99 which was worth it for sure!

If I were to ever edit it, there's not much I would cut out, but this would probably look wonderful in black and white.

If you're interested, please definitely check it out and toss out your copy of Kenneth Branagh's version or better yet.....hand it out to some unsuspecting trick or treater.
 

Racerx1969

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Black Widow (2021) meh. I can't even work up the energy for a capital "M." Such a wasted opportunity. It's not an awful movie, but the middle just drags and eats way too much time on a sidebar. The main macguffin isn't bad to drive the story, but kind of got lost in the over-long family reunion and covering how much of a washed-up narcissistic twit Alexi/Red Guardian is. Because of that, the main villain is lost and barely even registers; he's more like an absentee Bond villain than someone an Avenger would pay attention to. Then the writers remember oops, we need a big climactic fight scene to end this. meh.

While I don't want my 2 hours back, I don't think I'll rewatch this one much if ever.
 

addiesin

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Black Widow (2021) meh. I can't even work up the energy for a capital "M." Such a wasted opportunity. It's not an awful movie, but the middle just drags and eats way too much time on a sidebar. The main macguffin isn't bad to drive the story, but kind of got lost in the over-long family reunion and covering how much of a washed-up narcissistic twit Alexi/Red Guardian is. Because of that, the main villain is lost and barely even registers; he's more like an absentee Bond villain than someone an Avenger would pay attention to. Then the writers remember oops, we need a big climactic fight scene to end this. meh.

While I don't want my 2 hours back, I don't think I'll rewatch this one much if ever.
My initial reaction was "I liked it" didn't love i, but my current thoughts can be summed up as "missed opportunity", the least of which being the number of times she should have died but survived inexplicably (if they were going to retroactively say she had some kind of partial super serum in her youth, for example, this would have been the film to do it).
It was just kind of basic; an attempt, much like the Falcon and Winter Soldier show, to recapture the appeal of the Cap 2 Winter Soldier film. And that's fine, but my mind races with what it could have been instead.
 

Racerx1969

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My initial reaction was "I liked it" didn't love i, but my current thoughts can be summed up as "missed opportunity", the least of which being the number of times she should have died but survived inexplicably (if they were going to retroactively say she had some kind of partial super serum in her youth, for example, this would have been the film to do it).
It was just kind of basic; an attempt, much like the Falcon and Winter Soldier show, to recapture the appeal of the Cap 2 Winter Soldier film. And that's fine, but my mind races with what it could have been instead.
I did enjoy the Falcon and the Winter Soldier series. The macguffin just provided a motivation and backdrop to getting into the two characters. It worked there, not so much with Black Widow. At least for me. That's probably why I'm viewing it as harshly as I am.
 

mnkykungfu

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FRANKENSTEIN (2004 Hallmark Miniseries)
this is by far the most faithful adaptation you can find of the novel to screen
Have you seen the Boyle filmed stage production? How do they compare?

(Black Widow)...my current thoughts can be summed up as "missed opportunity"
I'm with you. I liked the film actually, but it was kind of like an MCU Fast & Furious movie. I would've loved to have seen an actual "black widow" secrets and double-crosses spy seduction movie. They tried to make her female Captain America instead of playing to what makes her different.

Gunpowder, Treason & Plot (2004)
A BBC Ireland "mini-series" where the first film is a biopic of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the second is about her son James VI rise to power. Michael Fassbender is fire in this, but he's on screen for like 5 minutes as Guy Fawkes. It's worth a watch, but maybe not a rewatch.

V for Vendetta (2005)
Maybe the 2004 mini-series ignited a passion for Guy Fawkes, because this film exploded onto the scene a year later. A bombastic film, one of my all-time favorites, and I was happy for the behind-the-scenes videos that WB recently fired off on Youtube to sync up with their advertising salvo for the 4K release.
 

MusicEd921

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Have you seen the Boyle filmed stage production? How do they compare?

My wife and I both sat down to watch it and were turned off by it within the first 10 minutes. I am not going to say it has anything to do with the performances, but it just.....well it wasn't for us. I'm sure to see it live was probably impressive, but the Creature (in our case it was Benedict) throwing himself around the stage for a solid 8-10 minutes trying to get his bearings and learning to stand up just felt like a chore. Again, it wasn't for us, but my comment about the faithfulness from book to screen was more implying film versions and not staged versions.

I'd say, give it (Boyle's version) a watch and let me know your thoughts!
 

mnkykungfu

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^Yeah, I generally love Boyle, and the whole concept of the thing is fascinating. It's one of his few things I haven't watched, so I'm keen to check it out. Your description certainly sounds like I might have the same reaction, but you never know.
 

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West of Memphis (2012)
A documentary film about the case of the "West Memphis 3", originally brought into public consciousness by the documentary Paradise Lost. This covers the whole case, but skims over much of the earlier stuff to focus on a resolution of sorts. Lots of celebrity appearances, this is bound to provoke some strong feelings.

Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)
At times this seems almost like a filmed version of the cult classic stage play, but the visuals and music are very late '90s/early '00s nu-metal dystopian future goth noir. Nothing else like it, so I'm glad it exists and I watched, if only for the amazing Anthony Stewart Head.

The Black Ghiandola (2017)

The Make-A-Film Foundation helps teens dying from cancer to have their aspiring filmmaker wishes fulfilled, in this case with a phenomenal pedigree of stars and crew participating. I link in my review to the way to watch this short, which won't set the world on fire but is better than many other zombie/horror movies I've watched.
 

mnkykungfu

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All films with non-actors....(all viewable on Youtube, links in my reviews where possible)

But the Ticket, Take the Ride (2006)
...well, okay I immediately take that back, because a lot of actors are interviewed for this. From John Cusack to Sean Penn, a local sheriff to a '70s failed presidential candidate, a lot of people are eager to reflect on the life of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson in this short doc. Lots of archival footage, best if you don't know much about him as there's not really a lot of insight here and it's more of a eulogy.

Rethink Afghanistan (2009)
I'm going to go ahead and say this is a criminally underseen doc. Twelve years before the US withdrawal, nearly 20 years after we basically helped start Al Qaeda, about 8 years after we officially entered the war there, all the writing is on the wall and every wrong-headed decision is testified to by literally everyone at every level. This is probably the best, most-restrained doc that Robert Greenwald has done, and I really recommend it.

Last Year in Viet Nam (1971)
Short student film by Oliver Stone that I included in my ongoing marathon of his early work. I found it arduous, incoherent pretentiousness. Whooooole lotta naked Oliver Stone in it, for what that's worth?
 

mnkykungfu

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Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Getting back into my Oliver Stone marathon after a break for Halloween. It's crazy to think Tom Cruise made this masterpiece of anti-militarism the year after Top Gun, a masterpiece of rah rah military cool that must have made a young Michael Bay stand at half mast. This film really doesn't get enough credit, and neither does Cruise for, I'm going to say it: his career-best performance.

The Magic Sword (1962)
Watched the MST3K version (up on Youtube) with appropriate amounts of adult beverages, but still barely got much amusement from me. This attempts to push the sword & sandals genre that peaked 2 years before with Spartacus more into fantasy...but becomes rather boringly mediocre: The Magic Snooze.

Nightcrawler (2014)
Believe the hype, this is Dan Gilroy's first and best film as a director, a slow-build inversion of "the hero's journey". Can't believe how many award nominations his script got, because it's awkward and obvious and clunky in many parts, with honestly pretty bad dialogue. The performances are just so damn good that it works. Look at his scripts in other films though: cringeworthy. Gyllenhaal was robbed is what I'm saying.
 

DigModiFicaTion

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Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Started out fun with some great martial arts choreography. Turned into the run of the mill MCU origin cgi fest and trust me it will all make sense in the end but it doesn't really story telling. I'd rather have seen more of his upbringing rather than dropped into a story that really didn't have much substance due to a lack of character development. 5.5/10
 

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Dune- Snoozer.

No time to Die - Not the best Craig 007 outing, but not the worst.
 

Fanedit

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Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Started out fun with some great martial arts choreography. Turned into the run of the mill MCU origin cgi fest and trust me it will all make sense in the end but it doesn't really story telling. I'd rather have seen more of his upbringing rather than dropped into a story that really didn't have much substance due to a lack of character development. 5.5/10
Agree totally. Disappointed.
 

DigModiFicaTion

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Black Widow
I watched this while doing other things and I think that worked out for the best. This movie is everythign Marvel is; over the top, ridiculous, formulaic, and inserting comedy to lighten thematic violence and themese that would make the film a lot darker otherwise. I think if I watched it without distraction I would have been ultimately uninterested. 5.5/10
 

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I liked Shang Chi, standard Marvel cake, but this time with Wuxia frosting. Great hand to hand fight scenes (maybe the best in the franchise), some fun, slightly better than average MCU villain. If you like Marvel you already know what it is and whether you'll enjoy it.

I liked Dune more than I expected. I enjoyed and felt the performances way more than earlier versions (haven't read the books but have seen all screen adaptations). Literally only one VFX shot stood out as bad in the entire movie (when the helmet thing opens up and you see someone's face inside it's very floaty cgi, I'm trying to be vague and not spoil who or what it is but you'll know it when you see it, the shot's in trailers too). I thought the themes came through stronger and Paul especially came across really burdened by expectations (I love Kyle Machlachlan but his Paul is like a plank of wood by comparison). Despite my enjoyment, it's not a very good sequel to Beetlejuice, the sand worms look totally different and Michael Keaton never shows up.
 

mnkykungfu

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Return to Oz (1985)
I had read about this one as one of those Dark Fantasy '80s kids' movies that provided nightmare fuel for expanding young minds. Glad I never watched it in a way, as Dorothy running down a hall of screaming disembodied heads would probably have haunted my dreams. The only film directed by famed editor Walter Murch, this totally deserves its cult classic status.

Chronicle (2012)
I was so tired of found-footage movies that I put this off for years, even though superhero films are kind my bread and butter. It totally exceeds both genres and becomes better than anything anyone involved has done since. I really get why director Josh Trank was immediately handed a big superhero film after this, because I would love for Marvel to do something as different and interesting as here.

The Doors (1991)
The best rock biopic ever made? I wrote here about how if you're expecting a rote factual re-telling of someone's life, you'd be missing how fictionalizing bits can actually lead to a truer understanding of who they were. I think that's what this film does so well, in addition to some of the most compelling musical sequences recreated for film.
 
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