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Burning Godzilla
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STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE - Well, that was unexpected. That's the only thing I can say that would not involve catastrophic spoilers. Thank you, movie, for firmly establishing what I argued a few years ago. Darth Vader, The Emperor, pah...... The most evil villain in the entire Star Wars universe is Grand Moff Tarkin. PETER CUSHING RULES - EVEN FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE.

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Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:04 am
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Well, I know I don't post here much these days, but I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year.

And to ring in the New Year, here are my picks for the worst films of 2016.

I hope you guys enjoy, and I hope you all get to see some good movies in 2017.

http://keiichisreelopinions.blogspot.co ... wards.html

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Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:28 pm
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Destoroyah
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Captain America: Civil War

I enjoyed watching this movie, and then i realized what subtext it was trying to instill in me; and now I hate it and everything it stands for.

I never thought I would say that about Captain America.

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Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:59 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Easy E wrote:
Captain America: Civil War

I enjoyed watching this movie, and then i realized what subtext it was trying to instill in me; and now I hate it and everything it stands for.

I never thought I would say that about Captain America.


Maybe I need to see it again. What subtext?

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Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:51 pm
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Destoroyah
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I don't want to get into it too much, but there was a lot about....

1. "True" American values vs. "Globalism"
2. Whataboutisms
3. "Regulation" vs. "Freedom"
4. American Exceptionalism

Cap use to be one of my favorite but now I am unsure I can even look at him. He changed a lot since "Winter Soldier". He is much closer to the "hero we deserve, and not the hero we need" territory than he used to be. I was very disappointed.

I have a feeling this movie will end up on my list of decent/popular movies that I love to "hate on" due to the subtext.

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Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:54 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Easy E wrote:
I don't want to get into it too much, but there was a lot about....

1. "True" American values vs. "Globalism"
2. Whataboutisms
3. "Regulation" vs. "Freedom"
4. American Exceptionalism

Cap use to be one of my favorite but now I am unsure I can even look at him. He changed a lot since "Winter Soldier". He is much closer to the "hero we deserve, and not the hero we need" territory than he used to be. I was very disappointed.

I have a feeling this movie will end up on my list of decent/popular movies that I love to "hate on" due to the subtext.


I'm too intrigued to let it go. My primary disappointment in the movie was all the Avengers crap interfering with a pretty decent meditation on when to subordinate yourself to a larger authority and when to question it. Since the 1970s, post-Watergate, Marvel has been amazing in the way they have used their "Captain America" superhero as a meditation on what being that symbol really means. A famous quote directly from the comics has Steve Rogers saying, "I'm loyal to nothing, General ... except the American Dream."
Far better than the 1930-50s jingoistic symbol of blind patriotism, Steve Rogers is constantly questioning what we do and how that jibes with this country's foundation and vision. Honestly, I don't know if there is another country where the question of "What is American" and "Who is American" is in such a state of constant, passionate debate. One of the reasons I place the Captain America series of movies on a higher level than every other title in the Marvel/Disney juggernaut is its willingness to ask that question, even in the facile context of a superhero action picture. With the exception of that first movie, the Captain Americas have thus far had the daring to question who we are and what we do and how we identify what we term "the enemy." And that's pretty damn bold for what are essentially meant to be summer blockbusters.

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Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:42 pm
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Yes, I agree. That is why Cap is one of my favorite characters. I just really didn't like the answers this movie provided to "What it means to be an American."

Others will differ, so therefore I don't want to get into it too deeply. I felt like the answer to the question "What it means to be an American?"(via Cap's choices) in Winter Soldier/Age of Ultron was very different to the answer we got in Civil War.

If we would like to discuss further, we should start a new Cap-centric thread.

Edit: I don't want to derail the thread or go into Political discussion as that is against the rules of the board.

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Last edited by Easy E on Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:58 pm
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Easy E wrote:
Yes, I agree. That is why Cap is one of my favorite characters. I just really didn't like the answers this movie provided to "What it means to be an American."

Which is why it's so unfortunate that in Civil War II Captain America sides with "let's arrest and lock up people based on future crimes" which seems to go against everything Captain America has ever stood for.

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Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:13 pm
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A MONSTER CALLS - The Monster appears before the young boy usually every night, and always just after midnight at 12:07. He is a towering giant made out of roots, sticks and the bark of an old tree that resides on a hill near the boy's home. He sort of looks like a more serious and somber version of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. However, instead of the low, growling voice of Vin Diesel, the Monster has the low, growling voice of Liam Neeson. There is a somewhat imposing presence to the Monster. When he is mad, his eyes glow red, and there seems to be a fire building up within his very body. But usually, he is very docile and gentle toward the boy. He seems to want to help him with something.

A Monster Calls is one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful family films I have ever seen. And yes, even though it deals with some very dark and serious subject matter, it is a movie that I think will speak loud and clearly to children. There are some critics who have complained that the movie is too dark and depressing for its target audience of young viewers. (The themeatic content is also why the movie has been given a PG-13 rating, although any child around the age of 10 should be able to handle it.) My answer to this complaint is that maybe it just seems that way to them because we so seldom get movies for children that are this mature and refuse to pull any punches. Just like Kubo and the Two Strings, this is a movie that is not afraid to show the darker side of family and childhood. The fact that the film is unflinching, honest and sad is perhaps the best aspect, and what drew me so much into the film.

But there's so much more to admire here outside of its brave stance on its subject matter. The movie is masterful in its visuals, performances and special effects. The Monster itself is a combination of CG and a motion capture performance by Neeson, and ranks alongside Mark Rylance in The BFG as one of the more personable special effects creations to hit the screen. Not only that, but the cinematography by Oscar Faura (The Imitation Game) does a splendid job of showing us both Conor's dreary real world, and the more fantastical dream-like images that the Monster shows us in his stories. The film also makes wonderful use of its music score, and most importantly, silence. There are many scenes that simply allow the emotion to come out of the expressions and motions of the actors, and it made me think how seldom we see that in film today. Young Lewis MacDougall (he was in 2015's Pan) delivers what is easily the best child performance of the year, and one that deserves some kind of recognition.

I'm afraid that A Monster Calls will be ignored by most people because it is "sad and downbeat". Yes, the movie can be devastating emotionally. If you reach the end of this film with dry eyes, you may want to check your pulse. But think of how rare it is to have a movie that moves you emotionally. I sit through so many movies stone faced and with no reaction whatsoever that whenever a movie can draw a response out of me, I almost want to view it as an instant success. Fortunately, this is just a truly great movie all around, one of the best of 2016. It's more than emotional. It's fantastical, kind of magical, and yes, deeply touching in a way few films are.

Full review on Reel Opinions.

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Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:12 am
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Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave - Legendary bad movie taken from a Korean movie ( the original movie was called Visitor of America), about a martial arts instructor from Taiwan who goes to Los Angeles to check up on a friend who moved there to make his fortune. The friend has since committed suicide by "falling" off a building (notice the contradiction in the words there) and now the man, Wong Han (Jun Chong, of the 80s ninja movie Silent Assassins), must track down the men (identified by his friend's white girlfriend as a white man, a black man, a Japanese man, a Mexican and a cowboy) who may be involved in the guy's death. With those can't-miss descriptions, Wong's lucky that most of them come looking for him. The fight scenes aren't that bad, and Jun Chong has some pretty good moves. But everything else about the movie is pretty darn bad. You feel bad for the girlfriend, Susan, who spends the entire movie waving around a sign that reads, "There's room in my panties for you, Wong Han." Unfortunately, his English isn't good enough to read that sign, but it's good enough to bilk her out of her money and car.

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Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:07 pm
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Years ago, Movie Mike wrote:
Quote:
Kill Switch: Steven Seagal, looking more like Wayne Newton each day, plays super detective Detective Jacob Stillwell who is desperately trying to track down an evil serial killer. In this latest direct to video outing for Seagal we are treated with horribly choreographed fight scenes (with 90% of the action shot with the back of Seagal to the camera so as to hopefully fool us into thinking the hundred pound lighter stunt man is actually Seagal), and gun fights that are beyond belief as Seagal is apparently carrying a .45 automatic with a 150 bullet clip, but funnily enough he still can't manage to hit the bad guy. The script is populated with characters who spend their entire on screen time telling us how awesome Seagal's character is, they even introduce an young, female FBI agent who has been sent on this case for the sole purpose of witnessing his awesomeness, and you'll love the scene where she throws up at a crime scene while badass Seagal just chuckles.

Just how do these films get green lit?


Now I've seen this movie for myself. This is basically Seagal trying to do the Se7en/Bone Collector thing, but with surprisingly long fight scenes and shoot-outs. He plays, Jacob King, a homicide detective on the trail of a serial killer cum Heavy Metal songwriter nicknamed "The Grifter". Complicating his job is an inexperienced female FBI agent who gets convinced at one point that Seagal is the killer. Moreover, one of the serial killers he busted is let free and goes back to his killing ways as well. I wanted to give this movie a passing recommendation, but it's far too unpleasant and gruesome for my taste. There's a lot of action for a film like this, and the fights last longer than your typical Seagal flick. Sadly, the action is marred with continuous jump cuts, quick cuts, and camerawork that betrays the fact that Seagal is using a stuntman for the film's duration. In the end, it's an ugly Seagal film that should've been more.

EDIT: If nudity in the first five minutes is a sign of upcoming badness, what about when the last five minutes is an extended nude scene of an attractive blonde Russian girl old enough to be Seagal's daughter getting undressed as she prepares to sleep with him?

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Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:18 pm
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A New Leaf - (1971) starring Walter Matthau and Elaine May. Written and directed by Elaine May. I would normally start out this review by informing people of Elaine May's fame, but I am reasonably confident that most folks on this board know something of the comedy duo Mike Nichols and Elaine May and that May has something of a small, but highly regarded, almost rollercoaster-like track record of hits and misses in the world of movies. When I looked her up on IMDB, I was quite a bit surprised to find her credits to be so thin given the reputation of her name. Further research into sources more reliable than IMDB reveal much more of her notable career.
However, until recently I was familiar with her mostly in name only until I chanced upon a DVD copy of A New Leaf available to rent from Netflix, which a good friend recommended as one of those little known gems praised in its day, but has since drifted into some obscurity. This has been the sole worth of Netflix' service to me as their streaming service is painfully lacking in variety.
If you have Netflix DVD, I recommend putting this on your queue and you will be rewarded with a script rich in subtle humor and some very fine writing and performance. (If you grew up in the 70s, the litany of standout character actors from the decade will also be rewarding. Particularly Doris Roberts.)
Matthau plays Henry Graham, a man whose sole goal in life is to live the lifestyle of the rich. He generates no income and has come to rely on his father's inheritance which he then promptly burns through on Ferraris, memberships in Polo clubs, investments in art, fine wines and all the other accoutrement of the top 1 percent. Faced with complete and utter bankruptcy, his butler (his conscience) urges him to seek out a rich wife to marry. Privately, he schemes to marry and then murder the woman so that he can live out his genteel bachelorhood alone.

Quote:
Harold: How many men these days require the services of a gentleman's gentleman? How many men have your devotion to form, sir? You have managed, in your own lifetime Mr. Graham, to keep alive traditions that were dead before you were born.


After a few encounters that go nowhere, Graham meets Henrietta Lowell (Elaine May), who is wealthy, scholarly, a brilliant botanist, and also endearingly awkward and timid. She is wealthy enough to be in society, but socially awkward in any situation outside of caring for her plants and teaching college-level biology. It is a romantic comedy with no meet-cutes, no unlikeable characters, no pattern of love-hate, with comic dialogue so sharply written that some of the best jokes are likely to slip by on first watch.

Quote:
Henry Graham: Excuse me, you're not by any chance related to the Boston Hitlers?
.

The climax is subtle, the action barely rises above a slight walk, and yet the rewards of this movie are plenty. Please rent it.

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Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:05 pm
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This is a little-known gem. The ability of Mays to create brilliantly realized characters shines through here. (There's a Nichols and Mays routine where he keeps trying to make an important phone call and has to go through multiple layers of operators, all played as different characters.)

As a bespectacled, socially awkward klutz myself, I can definitely relate to her character in this film.

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Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:47 pm
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Victoria Silverwolf wrote:
This is a little-known gem. The ability of Mays to create brilliantly realized characters shines through here. (There's a Nichols and Mays routine where he keeps trying to make an important phone call and has to go through multiple layers of operators, all played as different characters.)

As a bespectacled, socially awkward klutz myself, I can definitely relate to her character in this film.


I adore how there is no outspoken profession of love between them as much as it is a droll understatement that they will just always be together. It is so good, I didn't even know it was working on me until it already had.

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Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:17 pm
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The Bye Bye Man: Three college students find themselves confronted by a force of evil with a silly name. As Cliffie says, WILL ANYONE SURVIVE?

The movie went more for slow building tension with occasional punctuations of violence than straight scares. It did the crawling sense of doom thing pretty well. When it tried to be scary, it tended to rely on jump cuts and LOUD NOISES!!! This is disappointing on its own, but was more so here as they did provide one well-executed scare, showing they were capable of such. There was not a lot of CGI, but unfortunately what there was wasn't good at all, and really pulled you out of the movie. The make-up work was very nice, and I was delighted to see Doug Jones again, doing what he does so well as the titular creature. If you don't catch the rating beforehand, as was the case with me, you'll figure it out upon seeing the cleanest shotgun murders in cinematic history. A guy taking a non-fatal shot to the head with a baseball bat bled more than all the gun victims combined. Oddly, the one person shot with a revolver had a very obvious exit wound, even if there still wasn't much blood there, either. Knife attacks drew the most blood by far. There were a couple of brutal deaths, though, mostly involving large moving vehicles. The acting was good all around, most importantly from the three leads. It was nice to see Carrie-Anne Moss again. Faye Dunaway was unrecognizable; I guess there's been a lot of plastic surgery and/or Botox in her past. There were also a couple of "hey, it's that guy!" actors that I'll let you find for yourself. The plot and idea behind the monster is very obviously inspired by a well-known horror movie, which I won't spoil here; if you're not going to ever see this, you can scroll down. I'll also mention something I liked about the ending down there. Overall, it was a good time, and I'd say give it a shot. I'm torn, however, on whether you should see it in theaters or wait until it's on DVD. It's not a big movie, and I feel it would be just as effective on the small screen; however, I liked it enough that I want it to do well, so that the makers will have a better chance of getting another shot. I guess it's your call.








SPOILERS:
The movie it was inspired by? Well...let's just say the Bye Bye Man may be related to Sadako Yamamura.

The ending: While it seems to be setting up an "it's not over" kicker, which, as tired as that is, admittedly would make some sense in this case, I like that it was just ambiguous enough that you could easily decide otherwise.




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Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:32 am
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