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Movie/TV recommendations

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Yo, the cloverfield paradox is really good (with a gin)!

 

quite glad that all I saw was bad reactions/reviews of the film the day it came out, as it’s wildly beat my expectations. I remember reading a comment saying it was really boring, they just stand around talking over charts for 2 hours,,, it really ain’t like that. 

 

Great cast, effects etc. People are fucking crazy to be down on this film. What the fuck do people want/expect. 

 

Spoilers... similarly people have complained about the ending. It’s fine. Although there’s a massive fake out in the marketing material

 

im drunk and don’t know how to do spoiler tags. Don’t read this...

 

 

 


Ive just binged 3 seasons of 12 monkeys. Awesome, go watch that. Anyway, all the promo images have the lead actress merging with a mirror image of herself, I really thought she’d end up back on earth in an alternate dimension, meeting herself and causing a paradox shattering all space and time... that would’ve been soooo good!!!

 

Instead the ending is just what you knew it would always be, based what happening on the ground + previous movies.

 

just imagine, they get stuck in other dimension, goes down to planet, meets her kids, meets herself, touch, planet explodes, credits. Chef kiss
 

 

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Those spoilers are for the 12 Monkeys tv series, everyone!

 

I thought Cloverfield Paradox was pretty terrible, a big nonsensical derivative mess. Guess that makes me fucking crazy, right, hungover Mington?

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I thought Cloverfield Paradox was ok. Good performances, and a lot of wacky shit happened. The problem is that too much wacky shit happened. The early revelations are like "holy shit" but by plot-twist #14 it's more like "oh? well, I guess this is happening now."

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"...for some reason which isn't explained and doesn't make sense."

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Today I saw Brief Encounter, In a Lonely Place, The Maltese Falcon and In the Realm of the Senses. All were excellent, while I have to warn that the latter is somewhat pornographic. I think my favourite of the four was In a Lonely Place. It's good to have a lazy Sunday filled with nothing but good movies occasionally.

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@Erkki - as it happens, I saw In the Realm of the Senses recently too!

I had often wondered what a film with a real plot and actors, which also contained explicit sex would be like.  Now I know!  (I knew the title by reputation, but I must admit I was still surprised by that first sex scene)

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1 hour ago, Mington said:

 

Weirdly this is a Netflix film in Europe, i think we're getting it mid March. Yeah 12th March, how crazy is that :tup:

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/annihilation-netflix-uk-release-date-a8221716.html

Yeah, we were talking about that in Slack yesterday. Weird! Seems like the producers lost faith in the film, marketing was a weak effort. Ya'll Euro Netflixers got something good to look forward to.

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Speaking of Netflix films, I just watched 'Mute'. I don't really know what to make of it. It was really solid in terms of acting and the world building is interesting but the main thrust of the film is a bit whatever.

 

Not as good as Beyond Skyline which is pure trash but in the best way possible.

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The new Tick tv show on Amazon Prime is surprisingly good. One of the better comedy shows I've seen lately and a very good antidote to the overly self serious Marvel shows/movies.

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I like it a lot. Peter Serafinowicz is a tremendous choice for the lead. I'm not sure they could have gotten anyone better. The guy who plays Arthur also hosts my favorite podcast so that's a nice bonus.

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I just find the new Tick show boring, like they decided to parody ultra-serious stuff like Daredevil, but then forgot to put any actual parody or comedy in.

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The Shape of Water is SO UNBELIEVABLY BLUNT. Not just that but predictable too. I get it's going for a broad fairy tale thing but does that count out the least bit of nuance or subtlety? Maybe I'm just not a Del Toro guy? I hated Pacific Rim (deadly dull) and haven't watched his other stuff since high school, when I loved it on a design level but I fear returning to The Devil's Backbone and Cronos.

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6 hours ago, Patrick R said:

The Shape of Water is SO UNBELIEVABLY BLUNT. Not just that but predictable too. I get it's going for a broad fairy tale thing but does that count out the least bit of nuance or subtlety?

YES!

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I saw this really interesting Estonian film "November" yesterday. It mixes Pagan and Christian mythology in a story about unrequited love and making ends meet by any means necessary in medieval Estonia. Weird, macabre, whimsical, absurd, beautifully shot.

 

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Three Billboards: what a delight. Loved how the film makes no excuses for the characters but shows, with warmth and sympathy, their good and their harsh sides. The constant upending of my expectation of where a scene would go meant that I was always in a state of bemused attention.

Notably when Willoughby, in the midst of an interrogation, spits blood and the scene ends on such a tender note; him apologetic and her concerned, their fight not seeming as important as before. Or when Mildred's ex turns violent (with an excellent table flip, by the way), and it ends with them connecting again.

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Gene Demby, a writer for NPR tweeted and talked extensively about 3 billboards. (He did not like it and said that it's the worst movie he's seen since Crash) I recommend looking at the top thread in response to this tweet to see why he didn't like it.

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On 12/5/2017 at 3:41 PM, Patrick R said:

Three Billboards Outside of Ebbings, Missouri is really exciting on a scene to scene basis but I really didn't buy any of it. McDonagh tries so hard to give the audience whiplash, emotionally and tonally, that it feels way too highly constructed for such a relatively realistic movie. There's a moment where Frances McDormand's character goes from hostile to nurturing on a dime's turn and it felt phony. Same with the redemption arc of the film's most despicable character. There's a lot of little moments where it feels like McDonagh is trying to make the characters complicated and instead just undermines their reality. Every character's actions seemed to stem from a screenwriter's desire to shock instead of their own inner state, especially the stuff with the letters*.

 

But Frances McDormand is amazing and it has Martin McDonagh's trademark dialogue and about a hundred really good little storytelling moments. I just never really got lost in the story or characters. 

 

As for the regressive/mean-spirited humor stuff, it's pretty clear that these are all bad, flawed people and I think it's more a device to key the audience not to root too hard for any one character than an expression of Martin McDonagh's actual beliefs. On the other hand, thinking that people this sexist/racist/homophobic/sizeist are so easily redeemable and worth empathizing with is definitely very, as the Twittersphere would say, "centerist", especially since none of the people of color get all the generous "depth" and "complication" that McDonagh grants the white characters. This is exacerbated by the fact that the film doesn't really have a moral center or even any one strong belief it holds. It tries to be bold and transgressive but actually feels quite timid in that way. It's like South Park, if South Park were funny.

 

I agree with his points, though not that it's the worst movie since Crash, it wasn't even the worst movie nominated for Best Picture this year. But I see now I never paid off my asterisk. Here, let me do that now:

 

*Media where people posthumously set forth a complicated series of events in motion via letters and other devices always make me think those people are The Joker. Hannah in 13 Reasons Why is The Joker, Jigsaw in the Saw movies is The Joker and so is Chief Willoughby in Three Billboards

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14 hours ago, plasticflesh said:

 

I saw this really interesting Estonian film "November" yesterday. It mixes Pagan and Christian mythology in a story about unrequited love and making ends meet by any means necessary in medieval Estonia. Weird, macabre, whimsical, absurd, beautifully shot.

 

Wow, I think this is the first time an Estonian movie has been mentioned here. Cool!

 

I don’t personally value it highly, but I know a lot of people who do. It’s definitely shot beautifully, but for me it didn’t really have a coherent enough story to pull the film together. It’s based on a locally well known book and IMHO the absurdist humor worked well in the book, but not so well as film.

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PS. IMHO a better Estonian movie with the same cinematographer (not that it looks similar): Autumn Ball.

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On 3/8/2018 at 7:33 PM, Ben X said:

I just find the new Tick show boring, like they decided to parody ultra-serious stuff like Daredevil, but then forgot to put any actual parody or comedy in.

 

Same. I got 5 episodes in before I gave up. I'm glad they're trying to do something different than the old show by giving Arthur more backstory, but none of it is particularly compelling, or funny. I was happy to give Serafinowicz a chance, but he just pales in comparison to Patrick Warburton's Tick.

 

Also watched Jean Claude Van Johnson's first (and last) season. It's pretty weird and all over the place tone-wise, but I liked it.

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45 minutes ago, Erkki said:

PS. IMHO a better Estonian movie with the same cinematographer (not that it looks similar): Autumn Ball.

Thank you! I will indeed look it up.

I agree that November did lack a narrative wholeness. It was a feverish sequence of vignettes.

My only other entrance to Estonian cinema, or to literature or media of any kind, is through the animation of Pritt Parn and many other directors. Chris Robinson, director of the Ottawa International Film Festival, wrote a book "Estonian Animation: Between Genius and Utter Illiteracy" and was organizing many screenings of their stuff in NYC in 2005 or so. I recall a great QA with a pair of directors, I can't recall exactly sure whom though, I want to say Matti Kutt was one of them. I also definitely saw Pritt Parn at a small screening in 2013 or so in Brooklyn.

So I viewed November through that lens, of a sort of live action animation. And it did indeed capture the intense absurdity and tenderness that those animations have. I also am drawn to it because I enjoy period piece or fantasy movies with a supernatural or magical realism element.

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As far as the redemptive aspects of the characters in 3 Billboards go... I don't think they were redeemed that much at all. At the end of the movie, I certainly wasn't rooting for Dixon or Mildred. I was fascinated by them and felt I had a grip on how flawed they both were, but did I think they had suddenly become good or wholesome? Hell no. After all,

 

they're literally driving over to some schmuck to kill  him, an action neither of them are sure they really want, but they seem whipped up by the need to

do something, something horrible, just to wash away the shit in their lives. Mildred's ex's girlfriend spells out the moral lesson near the end: 'anger only begets more anger' (or maybe it was hatred), but both clearly haven't internalized that at all. They've both done really shitty things over the course of the film, been firmly rebuked for them, and didn't change. These are not heroes by any measure. These are explicitly flawed and horrible people that the movie is rightfully interested in: what's going on with them? Even Willoughby's heartwrenching letters do little to soften them, in that sense he was too kind for this world after all. 3 Billboards doesn't glorify any of its central characters - okay, only Willoughby.

I hesitate to use its possibly problematic view on racism (which I couldn't really judge how bad it is, I just am not informed enough) as a stick to hit the movie over the head with, when it has so many interesting characters to follow and considering how well crafted it all is. You are of course free to disagree! I loved seeing this, though.

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I have started recommending 3 Billboards to people even though I wasn’t that big of a fan. It’s been really interesting to observe the different reactions to this film, and different interpretations.

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