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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

June 26th, 2017, 3:01 pm #1081

The Magnificent Seven (2016)
We got this by accident, as the Old Lady who manages our Netflix disc queue, thought it was "The Hateful 8". When it arrived, I was surprised that it was a re-make an not the Yul Brenner/Steve McQueen "classic". Had no idea it had been re-made and was wondering: "why"?

Yet it's actually a good movie. It has the same formula as the original and (of course) "7 Samurai", as well. Denzel Washington, seemingly ageless, does a great job as a federal warrant officer. You've also got Chris Pratt (in his "Burt Macklin" character), Ethan Hawke, Byung-Hung Lee and...it took me over half the movie to recognize Vincent D'onofrio.

I really like "team movies" with an ensemble cast, so I enjoyed it. More action than expected, especially in the last 30 minutes. The opening scene is incredibly cheesy as they try TOO hard to get over the fact that the bad guys are a buncha' scumbags. But get past that and within 10 minutes you're in the middle of a good modern take on the "ol' fashioned cowboy movie".
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

July 12th, 2017, 4:58 pm #1082

Kong: Skull Island
Following in the mold of idiotic stuff like "Pacific Rim". Sure, it's dumb, but it's FUN. Plenty of big dumb action scenes involving giant monsters and a giant ape. What's not to love? I had a blast. I even marked out at the final post-credit scene. Make sure you see that.

I watched this on a small airplane screen, so I couldn't see the reportedly cheesy graphic effects. I also didn't get WHY it was set in 1973. Sure, the director has several homages to "Apocalypse Now", but they got tired after the first two. I get it... you liked "Apocalypse Now". Can we move on?

Logan
I'll agree with what's been said: it's the best X-men movie. Whereas those have become bogged down with continuity, alternate timelines and multiple characters, this was a great stripped-down version of a hero movie (not necessarily a super hero). Sure, you can fret about all the details like "where are all the other X-men" or "what happened to Professor X", but those details are not really relevant to the plot.

At the end, a shot of a little chubby kid holding his Wolverine figure really got to me. I liked the somewhat subtle theme of "even though comic books aren't real, they're as real as you want them to be". Kinda' backed up the whole concept of believing in the ideals and actions of a fictional hero, then drawing your own inspiration from them.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

July 25th, 2017, 3:14 pm #1083

Ghostbusters (2016)
Sure, it has some funny lines, so it has that going for it. Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones both do their usual schtick and Kate McKinnon turns her dork-o-meter to a high level. The cameos from the original cast are fun, too, and don't feel forced in.

The only real issue I had was that the humor wasn't necessarily based around the plot. The best gag from the original "Ghostbusters" was probably the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Even sillier was that it was based on a somewhat serious plot point. Here, the various ghosts are just NEAT LOOKING and incredibly random. Nothing funny about them; nor are they tied into the humor. They squeeze in "Slimer", because it's ....tradition, I guess?

An opening scene with "Gabe from the Office", about a haunted mansion, seems like it'd be a set-up for the rest of the movie, yet it's ignored. For instance, I don't think they ever explained WHY, after the first ghost sighting, Gabe and Ed Begley, Jr weren't able to cross the street or go near the mansion. Well, it's probably in the deleted scenes or (groan) a sequel.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

August 3rd, 2017, 2:58 pm #1084

Dirty Pretty Things (2002)
Had never heard of this flick. From the description, it sounded like either a romance or a comedy. But it's actually a pretty good drama about an undocumented immigrant worker who finds a human heart flushed down a London hotel's toilet. All sorts of seedy dealings from that point on.

Promotional posters for this flick heavily feature Audrey Tautou-- who was a hot commodity at the time, due to "Amelie". While she's central to the plot, she's not even a co-star; more like a supporting character. Chiwetel Ejiofor (most famous from "12 Years a Slave"...and "Dr. Strange" if you're a dork like me) is the lead and carries the movie. It's not for everyone, but I give it a solid recommendation.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

September 4th, 2017, 9:44 pm #1085

What Happened to Monday?
A Netflix movie about yet another "dystopian future", trying to mix parts of Logan's Run with The Handmaid's Tale. The gimmick is that population is controlled, wherein people can only have one kid. Any more and the kids are confined to "CryoSleep". Yet this varies, because kids seem to be slapped into that at all ages...so it makes the part about controlling population kinda' vague.

Anyways, Noomi Rapace plays 7 siblings who all live in secret. They're named after days of the week, so when "Monday" goes rogue, there's the movie title. All of the roles are kinda' stereotypes. For instance, one sibling has GLASSES and a WINTER HAT, the universal sign that she's a COMPUTER EXPERT! Rapace means well, but this is not the type of role(s) that will get her back on the acting radar.

Started out kinda' intriguing, but quickly tanked. Skip it.

Becoming Bond
A Hulu exclusive documentary about George Lazenby, the "one and done" James Bond from 1969. While there are little re-enactments, a good bulk of the flick involves modern-day Lazenby talking to the camera. He seems to know a little too many details about all the chicks he banged, growing up. A fairly sophomoric vibe envelopes the first half.

When they finally get to his selection as Bond, things pick up a bit. A few actual TV spots are included, along with some press clippings. When he walks away from Bond, they make it seem like he had noble aspirations to live a "normal life". Yet he still tried for over 30 years to land more roles and would appear in some forgettable movies and TV shows, up until...well, today.

This might have worked as a full-on "fact-based fictional movie"...or something like the 2006 movie "HollywoodLand". So as a documentary it's not very engaging.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

September 12th, 2017, 5:39 pm #1086

The Emoji Movie
Yes, I'm not the target audience. Took two 10-year olds to see it. At a distance, it's like a combination of "Tron" and "Inside Out" (the movie about different emotions inside a little girl's head). Yet it's terrible. It doesn't really make fun of emoji's, as it celebrates them and considers them key to human interaction. Don't feel like I'm spoiling anything, but the big pay-off is that a girl finally connects with a boy because he sends her a nifty emoji.

There's also an animated appearance by Christina Aguilera doing her usual screaming schtick. So, crap all around.

Best joke was in the final credits. An entire screenshot says: "and Patrick Stewart as Poop". Stewart seems to have a good sense of humor, so I'm guessing he pulled rank and got the directors to do this. Pretty funny.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

September 18th, 2017, 8:48 pm #1087

From Russia With Love
The second James Bond flick and a vast improvement over "Dr. No". SPECTRE kinda' steals the show, as they show off their "evil villain base" and create pretty much every action movie cliche of the 70's and 80's. Plus Colonel Kleb, who set the mold for "Frau" in the Austin Powers movies. You could call this an "essential Bond movie".

The main plot is SPECTRE trying to dupe Bond by using a pretty Russian chick. So, two movies in and Bond's skirt-chasing ways are already well-known. The story loses a little bit, towards the end, when the big villain they'd been building for the entire movie isn't quite the physical monster we expected. Still, this is a very good action movie for the time (1963).

Children of Men
I remember seeing ads for this, when it came out, and thought it looked cheesy. Or one of those "we're trying for an Oscar" flicks. I think it even had a good buzz, here on Da' Board, back in the day. Turns out, it's pretty good. Not everything is precisely explained, but what you do know and see is interesting. The main plot is all about the lack of fertility, but the subplot about illegal immigrants really adds to the menu. It's almost like there are two intersecting movies. It's not for everybody, but I enjoyed it for what it was.

This is probably where "What Happened to Monday" got its inspiration. Almost ripping it off, but going with over-fertility vs. no fertility. After watching "Children", I dislike "Monday" even more.

Also didn't realize that Charlie Hunnam ("Jax Teller" from Sons of Anarchy) was in it until I read the IMDB entry. I thought: "his posture looks familiar", when he walked over to shoot somebody, but couldn't place him.

Now You See Me 2
Wouldn't a better title be "Now you See Me, Again"? Anyways, I thought the first was complete dogshit and this follows in the tracks, err, droppings. 5 magicians who all, basically, have unlimited super powers. How can they do all this crazy stuff? It's magic, err...an ILLUSION!

Oh, and the climactic scene is ripped-off from the final season of "The A-Team", when they used "Dishpan" Santana to make a villain think they were flying a plane.

I prefer the type of "magic" done by guys like Penn & Teller. They pull back the curtain a bit,and laugh at themselves, but then still pull off some neat shit. Even "The Prestige" was pretty good. I hope to never see "Me" again. Total, total dogshit and I mean that in the worst way.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

October 3rd, 2017, 12:20 am #1088

High-Rise (2016)
Adapted from the 70's sci-fi allegory novel of the same name. I haven't read the book, but the sense I got was that while the concept may have worked in print, it has difficulties in transition to cinema.

Set in the 70's, the premise is about a (fairly) self-contained 40 story English high-rise complex. Blatant parallels to societal levels are present, as the rich bastards live on the top floors and think the rest are beneath them, literally. Things start to fall apart as society breaks down inside the building. It's not really explained, but people all suddenly decide to stay in the building and never venture outside. There's a grocery store in the complex that gets looted...but then everybody decides to eat pets, once the food runs out. No apocalyptic London outside, either...it's perfectly normal, just that nobody gives a damn about life outside the complex.

This made it a tough sell. There's also a point where everybody just decides to start having sex, making that their only motivation. There's not really a resolution to things, either. The self-contained apartment complex made me wonder if, perhaps, some of those elements were borrowed for Judge Dredd's world. Like the whole "Block Wars" concept. Entirely possible, since Dredd began in the 70's, when the book came out.

I was bummed, because the premise of this movie sounded intriguing. It's listed on several Netflix blog sites as an "unknown gem you must see". Don't.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

October 23rd, 2017, 4:21 pm #1089

Halloweed
This looked stupid, so I had planned/hoped to do a full write-up of this on Da' Site for Halloween Havok. Yet it's a truly tasteless, un-funny and idiotic "comedy". If you think people talking about boners and hand-jobs is funny, then this is your movie. It's also quite homophobic, as one big gag is: "I thought that girl would be hot enough to turn you straight".

All wrapped around an un-creative plot about a killer in a baby clown suit. He shows up and kills people... that's it. One scene makes no sense, as a normal guy is attacked by the killer and runs into an empty court room. Now, the guy hasn't been injured, drinking, drugged, weak heart or anything to slow his reactions. He stumbles around like he's been shot and can't make it past regular ol' seats.

But I thought this movie was all about weed? Yuk yuk...weed is always funny, right? Nope. There are just some guys who smoke, plus Danny Trejo who's a small-time dealer. Jason Mewes is around because... he is. The weed has NOTHING to do with the plot. I thought that, maybe, a movie titled "Halloweed" would involve a bad strain of marijuana, or some deadly smoke that would kill people. That wouldn't be hilarious, but it'd at least tie into the gimmick and maybe end up being more fun than this crap.

There seems to be a common idea among recent films or shows that simply including references to pot/weed/ganja/etc is "cool" and a recipe for automatic laughs. It's like somebody believed their badly plotted movie would get an automatic pass because...huh huh..there's WEED, dude! There is no effort or thought put into this pile of shit and you should AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

(Full disclosure: I don't smoke, but have no issues with it or with those who do.)
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

November 8th, 2017, 9:27 pm #1090

Kidnapping Mr. Heineken
Crime drama about a buncha' Dutch rogues, who ...yeah... kidnap Freddy Heineken, patriarch of Heineken beer in 1983. It's interesting how they put the whole thing together, and then to see the plan actually work-- ransom money and all. Yet the flick stops short of being truly engaging. The kidnappers all blend together and Anthony Hopkins is sort'a going through the motions as Mr. Heineken. They try to do some "sympathy for the devil" stuff with one of the main guys, as he's supposedly distraught over having to hide in France and unable to see his estranged wife. But this also doesn't quite work.

I'd be more interested in seeing a documentary of the actual incident. I had never heard of Heineken's kidnapping until this movie. So, read about it, but you don't need to see this movie. Very mild recommendation.

2 Days in New York
Chris Rock and some French Chick live together in NYC...and her family comes to visit. Has some funny parts and one of the visitors ("Manu") is pretty hilarious. Yet he's written out of the movie, about halfway through, with an off-screen incident. What's left is an un-even "rom com" as there's also some stuff about "selling your soul" that feels out-of-place.

Felt like John Cusack woulda' been in this movie, but Rock does well with his role.

Infini
A shitty sci-fi movie meets a shitty horror movie. Obviously written/directed/produced/etc by a buncha' guys who thought the "Alien" movies were cool, growing up. Buncha' people running around a space station yelling: "Fuck! Fuck! C"mon, let's fucking move!"

Biggest problem is the cinematography. I'm not exaggerating when I say that 75% of the movie is headshots, or from the chest up. That's not a compelling recipe for a movie that has/needs a good bit of action shots.

There are also some pre-credit info screens that tell us all about the teleporting technology they use. After getting such prominent placement, you'd THINK this would be a key part of the story, but it's really not. I'm guessing they included this as a cheap way to avoid filming any "space ship scenes".
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