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Anime Fanbase Movie Triathlon: Part 3

Gintama: The Final Chapter - Yorozuya Forever

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(2013)

Rewatch

Nostalgia. It can be a highly frowned upon value, one some people considered to be as worthless as an old, wooden sword. It's sentimental and mawkish, and the cynics who have never experienced the thing we are nostalgic about in the first place might dismiss it as pointless and stupid.

 

Yet, "Gintama: The Final Chapter" relishes in such nostalgia and makes it f***ing awesome!

 

In the tradition of Gintama, the movie begins with a witty public service announcement about not pirating the movie, switching your phones off, and other cinema ethics. Like all the jokes of Gintama, it's fun and clever while breaking all kinds of fourth wall. It even inserted jokes about its box office competition, "K-On: The Movie" that was released around the same time as this movie, and even mocks K-On's shameless movie tie-in merchandises (right as it mocks Gintama's very own shameless movie tie-in merchandises). All is right with the world for Gintama fans as it gives us everything we loved about the TV series, and then some.

 

The thing is, it was very easy for me to dismiss the movie as fanservice pandering in the back of my mind had I not reexamine it. Rewatching the movie, however, I like what it does with said fanservice. And the truth is, much like the two anime films I've watched over the past two days, you need to be part of the fanbase to appreciate it. When this film was released, Gintama's TV series has been on a sort of hiatus for a long time. There were two 'short burst' series with 51 episodes and 12 episodes (the original series consists of a lengthy 201 episodes), but it seems that Gintama wasn't going to stay for much longer, and it's getting shorter with each new series. Along came this movie with its message about the good times, and how those good ol' days won't last forever, and you can understand why the fans consider this to be a masterpiece. It's probably the same sentimental feeling "K-On" fans felt about their movie. Of course, those fan-concerns are unwarranted for now, since we have a new series released after this movie with unknown episodes, but who knows how long that's gonna last (it's only got about 15 episodes so far)? The message of the movie nevertheless stays bittersweet.

 

A lovable (albeit not unique) trait of Gintama is how it successfully turns the most absurd and pointless things into humor, and it's still done very well here as I've still laughed my way through the first-half of the movie. Special shout-out to the "Fist of the North Star" parody. The second-half is where it shines as it dives deeper into the drama and sentiment. It looks at a world without Gintama Gintoki, a (almost) grim humorless counterpart to the other half of the movie. Like the curse the White Demon carries in his body that causes rapid aging, Gintoki's world will come to an inevitable end as well, with or without the curse of aging. Shortly after, this turns into a literal blast to the past as Gintoki and the gang arrives at a Joui War that revels in its fanservice. The movie knowingly holds onto old things and clutches onto nostalgia, but it just doesn't give a damn. Celebrating such shamelessness, it gives us yet another badass soundtrack at the end as Gintoki and the gang tear apart anyone who would deprive them of this precious sentiment, brutishly protecting the world they hold sacred. As Gintoki put it in the end, "I'll never be able to protect anything? Hardly. My sword may be filthy, but there are still things it can protect!"

 

There's a bookend scene right before the credits that I think sums up the movie very well: the Joui-era Gintoki looks behind him, but instead of having the grimace at the beginning of the movie, he now looks back with a smile.

 

10/10 (Awesometacular)

Enjoyability: Very High

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The Death and Return of Superman

(2011)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PlwDbSYicM

A short film about how Superman spread his invulnerability like a "Super Transmitted Disease" to every other superhero in a meta sense. Makes sense that one of the most boring superheroes of all time made everyone else just as boring.

 

Surprising casting includes Elijah Wood and Mandy Moore.

 

8/10 (Very entertaining and witty)

Enjoyability: High

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Going to respond to a dead thread because why not.

And I doubt you'll see this Orius, but great post like always. Even if the Gintama review seemed a bit bias.

 

It's Such a Beautiful Day

by don hertzfeldt

 

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It's such a beautiful day is morbid. It tackles the ideas of nihilism and death in a really unconventional way. It doesn't really seem to have a message, or a message that seemed really blunt for the audience to understand. It's really one of those, "It's what the audience takes away from the movie". I'm not really being a huge fan of this method of conveying thoughts or ideologies, because you could really apply this method to any vague works of art. Sometimes it just feels extremely lazy and pretentious. Personally, I don't find the movie "lazy or pretentious", despite the movie sharing the authors interpretation of death. I don't like this theme because it usually end up really bland and overblown. Usually going somewhere along the lines of "Live life to the fullest", or other generic advice. But "It's such a beautiful day" doesn't really seem to have that generic advice, and despite it's vague message, I did got something powerful and meaningful after the ending of the film.

 

(spoilers for the movie from here on out and basically the real review)

This isn't going to be very long (well I thought I wouldn't type much at first), because majority of the film enjoyment is going to be completely subjective.

Criticizing this is hard, no matter how objective you are. But I'll try my best without delving to deeply into my own interpretation of the movie, because that's something for you to decide.

 

The main character (bill) having strange memories due to hes mental instabilities was keep hidden from the beginning of the second part of the film from the audience. So basically there were just strange flash backs without informing the audience that it's just his mental instability. But the memories aren't really "strange", while not being realistic, it doesn't really seem to bend either way. So when I was confronted and told that bill strange memories were in fact false and just due to him making sense of all the strange situations because of his mental instability, i wasn't really a surprised or disappointed because of how predictable it was. It just felt really out of place.

 

There was no build up to this moment, and was a vital part of the movie.

The memories should have bend either eerie realistic, or strange beyond comprehensible. It was both, and because of this the build up to that scene felt empty. The strange memories didn't really seem due to his mental instability, but seemd like something that actually happened to main character. In other words it was to realistic to be taken seriously.

 

The animation seemed "inconsistent." The reason why I quoted that is because using inconsistent seems a little unjustified. Because you can see the author improving his art style as he was creating the film.

Taking frames from the first part to the last part, you can see how different the art style is.

 

The sound is extremely solid, good choose of music, it fitted the scenes and the narrative has a smooth voice. and the sound effects are pretty solid.

 

The metaphors are sometimes way to vague and seemed to just be placed there to confuse the audience. It wasn't until I rewatched it multiple times I understood the metaphorical imagery.

 

As for characters, like I mentioned earlier, determining whenever this character had meaningful character growth is something that the audience is to decide. Because Bill is just an manufacturer, a construct of you and the masses.

For the most part, bill stays the same person for majority of the film. It's really at the very end of the film where the camera cuts off, is where Bill changed from the person he was from the beginning of the film.

 

(sorry if my English seems a bit off. I honestly had a really hard time writing because I couldn't think of the right words to use.)

 

8/10

Enjoyability: Life moving/One of my favorite movies

Edited by Guest

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Detention (2011)

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From the director of

and that Fast and Furious parody that made as much sense as the film it's mocking (Torque), Joseph Kahn brought us a slasher comedy filled with lots of meta references to '90s pop culture (along with a few references to the 2000s). This is a rather niched film that the '90s kids (born between '85 and '89) would get a bigger kick out of. I personally didn't catch some of the references because I'm not American, but I like the throwback to the '90s slasher movies, especially the blatant homage to the OG slasher satire, Scream. So meta indeed, a satire parodying a satire.

 

7/10

Edited by Guest

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Which movie to pick?

  • Digimon Adventure -tri- Movie 3;
  • Sayaka: The Cute and Careless Girl;
  • Oneechanbara: The Movie - Vortex;
  • 009 - The End of the Beginning;
  • 009 Re: Cyborg;
  • Cutey Honey;
  • Gantz!

Technically I watched Digimon Adventure -tri- in the Crunchyroll episode format, and have already discussed it in the Digimon section of the forum, Gantz, I've not watched yet, so that rules that one out, as for the others... which ones wouldn't paint me in a negative light?

 

[spoiler=Sayaka: The Cute and Careless Girl (6/10)]59e217326e056_Sayaka_The_Cute_26_Careless_Girl.thumb.jpg.51f498f9b63e785cf6ed05cbaf8eb6f4.jpg

 

Based on a cancelled manga (although it did spawn a sequel), it revolves around Sayaka Tsuzumi, a girl with an overactive imagination, when it comes to ecchi! She has a crush on Yuki Ito, but feels he is out of her league, until one day, he asks her to tutor him in mathematics, can Sayaka keep her imagination, and actions in check whilst being so close to Yuki?

 

Pretty harmless fun, very ecchi in content, spawned a sequel, although not been able to find that; I pretty much only found this one by chance, I'd previously been searching under the manga name (Tennen Kajuu Sayaka)! The movie is actually a mix of events from the first manga series, and the second manga series (Shin Tennen Kajuu Sayaka), and integrates everything together quite well!

 

 

[spoiler=Oneechanbara: The Movie - Vortex (7/10)]Oneechanbara-_The_Movie_-_Vortex.jpg.56f52cd88f6acd74f18c339baa2f0024.jpg

 

Based on the Oneechanbara game series from D3/Tamsoft, it revolves around sisters Aya and Saki, who encounter Misery, a girl that knew their parents, when she and they had been captured by Himiko! Misery tells Aya and Saki that she can get them to Himiko, in order for them to kill her, only to find that she has led them to elsewhere, in an attempt to kill someone else, Kei!

 

More harmless fun, not the first stab at adapting Oneechanbara, as there was another movie before it, however I feel that Yu Tejima definitely looks the part of Aya! Can't really compare the two movies in relation to story, as I can't really remember what the previous movie was like, apart from cast! The movie canon does make some changes to the characters, such as with Misery and Himiko, and in the beginning, Misery doesn't wield her iconic weapon!

 

 

[spoiler=009 - The End of the Beginning (4/10)]0009-1-The_End_of_the_Beginning-p1.jpg.d43f893af2125363edd3a8ead81924e9.jpg

 

Based on the manga by Shotaro Ishinomori, it revolves around Mylene Hoffman, in a world still divided by the Cold War! Mylene Hoffman is a spy for the Western Block, and has been assigned a mission in J Country, where she encounters an individual called Chris, and is attracted to something about him which, causes her to jeopardise her next mission, causing her own organisation to turn on her!

 

I enjoyed the anime (the cameo of Gerry Anderson stuff, and added references to Cyborg 009), but this movie, there's a lot I find wrong with it, although one of these facts, regarding Chris, I actually found out, is quite similar to the events of the manga; the movie starts in a similar way to the series, then goes off on a different route; Mylene has zips on her jacket, over her chest, to which I thought, easy access to her guns, but no, to access those guns, she has to unzip at least two main zips...; looked like Mylene was going blonde, to match the manga/anime character, but no, it was a wig, shame; zombies... why!?

 

 

[spoiler=009 Re: Cyborg (5/10)]009_RE-CYBORG.jpg.babebe1e14d7f9b09a4ccef7f41d3fe6.jpg

 

Based on the manga by Shotaro Ishinomori, it revolves around nine people that were operated on by Black Ghost, turned into cyborgs, and then escaped! Joe Shimamura appears to be an average school kid, however has become disillusioned with what appears to be a never ending school life, telling his girlfriend, Tomoe as much! In reality, he is 009, and has had his memory erased every three years, in order to live out a normal life, however when the world is in trouble, it is up to Françoise (003) and Geranimo (005) to wake him up, and save the world!

 

Again, had some problems with this movie, it's by Production I.G. and Kenji Kamiyama, however the content is a bit bizarre "his voice", the events that lead up to the ending, and how Françoise and Geranimo go about waking up Joe, and by making the characters look more realistic, you lose the charm of the character designs, such as Jet (002)!

 

 

[spoiler=Cutey Honey (8/10)]

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Based on the manga by Go Nagai, it revolves around Kisaragi Honey, an Office Lady, that's also the super heroine Cutey Honey! When her uncle is kidnapped, Honey attempts to save him, forming friendships with Aki Natsuko and Hayami Seiji, whilst doing battle against Panther Claw, the organisation responsible for killing her father!

 

Watched it after watching New Cutey Honey (wish they'd finished that series)! The movie manages to capture an anime feel to action scenes! First of three live actions; I feel there are certain things that Eriko Sato (this version) does better, and certain things that Mikie Hara (series version) does better; can't comment on Mariya Nishiuchi's performance (Cutey Honey: Tears), as just out in cinema! It's a shame that Eriko Sato had a bodysuit under the costume, but oh well! Lastly,

is just great; Honey's expression!

 

 

Ok, so that's everything, please don't judge :D!

Edited by Guest

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well i watched the Ghost in the Shell individual 11 series last night, then the2nd season of MS Gundam00, Howl's Moving Castle, X-Men, Apocalypse, Samurai Champloo, and the Illusionist with Edward Norton. thats the last 2 days anything beyond that is goin to be rediculous in scope.

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Das Experiment - 8/10

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Films that explore the dark side of human nature are always disturbing. Their villains are not some generic monsters of fantasy, but the you and me we see in the mirror everyday. With a story that's inspired by true events (the important elements of it remaining unchanged), it makes for a far more chilling story.

 

The Experiment is based on Mario Giordano's novel, Black Box, which was further based on Philip Zimbardo's Stanford prison experiment of 1971. The film examines a very traditional question often asked when dealing with human nature - what happens when you give power to people without? While contained within a microcosm of society, the people with power are gradually reduced to their Alpha Male primal selves.

 

If the characters from Lord of the Flies are rewritten into adults, this would be that movie. I was glued to the edge of my seat as the story escalates into a bigger train-wreck with each day that passed in the simulated prison. What's eerie and what separates this movie from something fantastical like Lord of the Flies is that similar institutions like this simulated prison do exist in real life, albeit under more controlled condition. The situation suggested by the movie, the abuse of power, is not something unimaginable in real life, and it happens very often even today. To see it in such extremity and such realism at the same time would, naturally, leave the audiences incredibly uncomfortable.

 

On a personal note, such abuse of power is one reason why I don't trust the military. Having enlisted myself in conscription before (by law), I have suffered the abuse and I can tell you it can be terrifying to be subjected under power.

 

Being an adaptation of a fictionalized version of true events, there are of course some contrivances that dampen the film's realism. For example, the love interest, whose role in the story symbolizes destiny and fate, or as the protagonist puts it, how "everything happens for a reason". It's kinda cheesy, particularly with the addition of the romantic ending, but it doesn't take much away from the suspense of the movie.

 

Another minor imperfection is the edgy factor. Without even researching the original Stanford experiment, I could tell which of the events in the movie are made up. There is rape in this movie, and not the male-on-male kind. For a movie that plays something as edgy as Linkin Park at the beginning and the end, this is actually kinda tasteless, as it feels like the filmmakers were going for a cheap shock factor rather than adding anything meaningful.

 

In the end, however, the movie serves as a fantastic thriller for those looking to be disturbed.

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Gonna revive this since I've been starting to watch movies again.

 

Drag Me to Hell (2009)

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It's rather uncomfortable to watch the film again after you've seen it once due to certain spoilerific content in the third act. When I knew what's coming, the experience felt like, "Do we really need to go through this again?"

 

Of course, looking back at this again, one could marvel at the brilliant direction of Raimi. It's a very atmospheric kind of horror, and not technically the generic "bump in the dark" fare you would get in haunted house movies either. The spirit constantly haunts Christine through the movie and Raimi made its presence very palpable and real so you'd be at the edge of your seat.

 

Such scare tactics make it difficult sometimes to remember that this was intended to be a horror comedy (the swearing goat should clue you in) especially when it also bears certain familiar routines from other horror films, including the pure-as-gold heroine's struggle through dirt and mud as she comes crawling out through the terrors of hell. But of course, there are enough nuanced differences that separate itself. The girl isn't technically really 'pure' in her core (though nevertheless very human and relatable), and then there's the infamous ending which I shall not spoil here.

 

What really works about this film is that Christine's position was a very relatable one, a very human kind of situation that anyone could connect to. It's really a catch-22 type of deal - keep your job or kick out the old lady - and mostly just dumb luck for Christy to have the privilege of that particular customer instead of Stu.

 

One possible flaw to note about the movie is the part about San Dena's redemption. What I didn't get was why would she accept $10,000 in cash if she wanted the redemption? Sounds kinda hypocritical to me if you ask me, and I doubt it's bad writing on Raimi's part. Perhaps an intentional touch of irony? It is a comedy, after all.

 

4/5

One of Raimi's most solid works, though a few notches down from The Evil Dead.

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Edited by Guest

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The Strangers (2008)

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Japan is well-known for keeping their doors unlocked at all times due to the low crime rate. For America, however, home invasion is indeed a very real and serious issue worth exploring. Unfortunately, The Strangers took an interesting issue and dumbed it down to Hollywood slasher schlock.

 

The first thing I noticed about the film is the terribly forced and unnatural acting. It's hard to describe what bad acting looks like, but it's those little body movements that, once I noticed it, I couldn't unsee it, those artificial reactions and expression that real people wouldn't normally behave with in their positions as an awkward couple. Liv Tyler was always a mediocre actress in Armageddon and Incredible Hulk, but here, her unspectacular acting is at its dullest. Even though the dry drama was dragged out through the first act, it's really the bad acting that kept distracting me, not the writing.

 

But that doesn't leave much to say for the writing either. The Strangers did everything wrong where Drag Me to Hell did right in the atmospheric horror department. Bump in the dark, jump scares, dumb reactions and decisions to the killers, etc. Name any cliche in the slasher movie textbook and you'll probably find it here (maybe not the naked chicks though). You know how the golden rule of horror movie goes: "When you have dumb characters doing stupid things that get them into trouble, in comes the eight deadly words: "I don't care what happens to these people." It's a dullfest to the ending in spite of the semi-creative Michael Myers-copy antagonists that would appear in the background all of the sudden.

 

2.5/5

Could have been so much better, but alas, a squandered potential.

Edited by Guest

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Final Destination (2000)

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Alex Browning had a vision that his plane would crash, and it did. He and five other students survived. The twist in all this is that Death is pissed about their survival, and would proceed to throw its tantrum like a whiny little kid.

 

I remember when I first saw this film and its chilling premonition sequence. The first time (and even a few times after) I saw it, it was one of the most horrifying scenes I ever saw. The built-up of that opening scene was perfect, the way the various omens and signs created the atmosphere that something is terribly wrong. In spite of any pacing issues it might have later, the opening alone was very well-crafted. It's ironic that one of our biggest fears would also be our biggest dream - flight. I've always been afraid of flying even before I watched this film, and seeing it certainly didn't help. I still haven't flew.

 

Alongside Scream, Final Destination was a horror film of my generation, so that might attribute to why I felt like it was underrated. In spite of the terrible sequels, I felt like the first one was often overlooked or forgotten in due to the whole franchise becoming a joke. It was a more serious fare compared to the rest, which became parodies of themselves like many horror sequels. I also prefer its theme music over the rock/metal version from the fourth one, which was just plain obnoxious IMO.

 

Due to the fact that the killer is a supernatural entity that's practically godlike, it leaves for a lot of creativity in the manners of execution. Lewton's death was agreed by consensus to be a rather comedic scene because of how it happens: escalation. Just when you think one object would deal the fatal blow to put her to rest, it just keeps building up into ridiculous levels that puts Kevin McCallister to shame. And it's thrilling the first time you watch it to figure out how they're going to beat Death again like a puzzle. I do feel that the full potential of this wasn't fully utilized though (till the second film which some found to be better than the first), as it could have escalated into much more complex designs of killing.

 

Another thing worth noting is that male heroes are not common in horror films. Usually, it's the female that beats the killer after going through hell. Even with the '90s slasher flicks, it's still a female portrayed as the tough survivor beating all odds, so it's kinda refreshing to see a male protagonist for a change, one that shows a healthy balance of fear, panic, and at times, bravery.

 

It's a shame that the franchise ended up the way it did, and even with this first film's ending, I wasn't too happy about how Death couldn't be beaten at all. But I suppose that's the whole point of it, the message. You can't escape Death no matter what. It's a morbid message, but perhaps also a pragmatic one worth telling just this one time, not worth its rehash throughout the franchise.

 

4/5

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FINALLY... Orius has come back... *dramatic pause* to the movies.

 

It's been a long time, but boy, it feels good to be watching movies again. Tonight, I popped in that highly acclaimed thriller I discovered through TVTropes the other day, "Get Out". Here's what I think. Beware of spoilers. I'll obviously try to refrain from spoiling as much as I can, but with a movie that relies on the surprise element as much as this, just talking about a little of the plot can affect the experience. Reader discretion is advised.

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Get Out is a black comedy (pun intended) directed by first-time director Jordan Peele of the famous Key & Peele comic duo. He's also written the action comedy, Keanu. Personally, I've only ever seen one comedy featuring Peele & Key: RocketJump's "Mexican Standoff", which probably wasn't even written by them (merely "featuring" them, as it seems). I saw the trailer for "Keanu" and the comedy didn't interest me. But to be fair, a lot of comedies today don't interest me because their jokes would either involve the American culture and thus go over my head, or they would just use the same tired routines I've seen in dozens of comedies already.

 

But none of that matters as Get Out tosses aside all my expectations, not just for Jordan Peele's ability to tell a good story, but also his camera work and ability to pace a slow burn of a movie. While nothing groundbreaking, for his directorial debut, Get Out has some impressive cinematography, capable of framing the proper perspective-shots to convey the intense emotions of Chris Washington, our unfortunate protagonist stuck in the suburbs with his girlfriend's overbearing parents.

 

Get Out is an interesting piece of cinema in terms of tackling racial issues. The portrayal of African Americans has came a long way since The Birth of a Nation in 1915. Today, more often than not in our politically correct society, you would find such films dealing with white supremacy and their oppression of the black man. Get Out takes an alternative look by showing the other side of discrimination, when one exaggerates the respect for a minority - be it black people or women - turning equality into condescending compassion. This novel perspective on racism is only made relevant today by our society's positive movement towards gender and racial equality, which is a good (and admirable) thing, but also reminds us the difference between equality and favoritism.

 

It is a significant commentary that's nonetheless subtle, as I do feel it's still probing the surface of the problem, such "reverse racism". But that's more of a compliment than a criticism, as the film doesn't need the excessive scrutiny of the current climate of discrimination. This is an entertainment with some important ideas for us to think about, not a documentary. I think it works better that way when we are not hammered over the head over "important issues" and are instead coerced into caring about these matters through an entertaining story.

 

An interesting note about the ending: there were multiple alternative endings. I don't mind the actual ending you see at the theater, but I've seen mentioning of another one that I felt would be more effective, giving a more impactful punchline a socially relevant movie like this needed.

The ending I'm talking about involves Chris being arrested for the murder of Rose. It's a cruel reminder of how the stigma persists in reality, that there's no magical happy ending where the hero triumphs over evil.

However, I understand the reason why Jordan cut this ending due to the recent police shootings of black people. Releasing that ending before and after the shooting definitely offers two very different perspectives that does feel overbearing and preachy.

 

Regardless, it's a solid effort on Jordan's part for his first film. I've enjoyed myself and even got some laughs out of this film that kept its wit till the very end. It might be a suspenseful thriller about racism, but it's still a Peele-produced comedy with the cleverness to match.

 

★★★★

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@Orius Thank you for the review! This is actually fantastic, and a good reminder of how much I loved that movie.

 

However, I understand the reason why Jordan cut this ending due to the recent police shootings of black people. Releasing that ending before and after the shooting definitely offers two very different perspectives that does feel overbearing and preachy.

 

 

 

Look, even though that ending wasn't included, I nearly died when I saw those flashing lights at the end of the theatrical release. Like, it had the same gut punch impact of the cops actually showing up. When it turned out to be a head fake, I was still mildly traumatized by it, hahaha. :x

 

 

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Look, even though that ending wasn't included, I nearly died when I saw those flashing lights at the end of the theatrical release. Like, it had the same gut punch impact of the cops actually showing up. When it turned out to be a head fake, I was still mildly traumatized by it, hahaha. :x

Yeah, me too. Like I said, I didn't mind the ending,

and I had the same thought as well regarding whether if the cops were gonna arrest Chris. But it's just that, I feel I would've been more affected by the message if it actually turned out that the worst fears one would think watching that scene would come true. The actual ending isn't bad, but I felt like that particular ending scene alone had a good build-up going there, but without a proper payoff. The joke was a funny way to end the film, but it softened whatever anxiety I had felt.

 

Edited by Guest

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Last movie I watched was Captain Underpants, not the best movie out there, especially if you do not like childish humor, but it was a fairly good movie.

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Watched It Comes at Night on Saturday at a local theater as a palate cleanser for @Cy~ and I's miserable morning. It was ... pretty good. I think it edges - just barely - into a 4.0 out of 5.

 

With that said, I confess, shamefully, that I don't have a whole lot to say about it at the moment.

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On the morning of July 15, 1974, American news reporter Christine Chubbuck committed suicide live on-air as she was broadcasting the news. Released at the 2016 Sundance Festival, the trailer to the biopic, "Christine", described the suicide as an event that "changed the face of television." Whether that was true or not, I do not know. It was a sensationalistic statement that got my attention nonetheless. Movies that dramatized the grittier parts of reality have often gripped my interest, such as the similarly-themed "Nightcrawler" starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Whether I enjoy such films, however, is not the problem here, as unlike Nightcrawler, this was based on a true story, so sensationalistic should be the last adjective I use.

 

Thankfully, the film is anything but dramatized, in spite of Robert Greene's raised concerns towards the ethics of biopics in his satirical doc, "Kate Plays Christine". In case it isn't obvious, Greene's film also dealt with Christine Chubbuck. It was released in the same year and in the same Sundance Festival alongside Antonio Campos' "Christine" biopic. I didn't have the good fortune of watching both films back-to-back as the Sundance audiences did, but I would imagine it would've been a much more effective and impactful experience due to what both films had to say.

 

See, supposedly, Christine Chubbuck's suicide footage was hot stuff on the Internet. Many people had searched for it. Of course, the legendary videotape was never found, even though there's a news article floating around in recent years claiming otherwise. The one footage you could find on the Internet today (YouTube) has been claimed to be fake by many. The footage, a black and white video, also contradicts what Christine actually said seconds prior to her suicide, "in living colour."

 

"Kate Plays Christine" criticized such voyeuristic desires to see the suicide footage, while adding on that such a biopic is impossible to be made without dramatizing or glorifying the facts. The actual biopic in question, Campos' "Christine", challenged this notion with a cold and distanced tone that made the film more of an unbiased character study than the disrespectful sensationalism Greene was concerned about. It doesn't try to explain why the tragedy happened, nor should it, because we'll never truly know what went on in Christine's troubled mind (if she's indeed troubled at all at the time of her suicide and not just out to send a message).

 

However, it's this lack of knowledge that makes Greene's argument about biopics relevant. Rebecca Hall, a wonderful actress I've only seen once in a favorite thriller of mine, Joel Edgerton's "The Gift", played Christine with a proper balance of awkwardness and sympathy. It's a very neutral way to tell us that Christine's solitude was partly due to her own behavior, and yet also attributed to the frustration she faced as a prejudiced working woman during the '60s. I feel that this neutrality, while good-intentioned, makes the portrayal not genuine - that is, if a biopic portrayal could truly be genuine at all in relation to the real life counterpart. Personally, I feel that it's impossible to portray a real life person to a completely accurate level, especially when you're showing that person's flaws. I notice that whenever a film is portraying a flawed individual - be it a suicide victim or a serial killer - they always try to give them some distinct tic or characteristic in order to have an "accurate" imitation. Real people aren't telling the audience a story, so whatever visual tic that defines their individuality wouldn't always be so visible and obvious. So when actresses like Hall try to bring out that "unique" characteristic of theirs, it can seem quite contrived when I compared her to the real life counterpart (albeit after I've seen the film). It's an inherent problem all biopics would face. They asked, "How accurately can you imitate that person?" instead of just, "How do you act like a real person that's not on camera?"

 

That said, it's probably an unfair criticism. For all the impossible obstacles that Campos had to leap over in creating such a biopic, it is an impressive work by itself. I'm glad the film took such a step back from forcing some meaningful message about feminism or sensationalism onto the audience and simply showed us what kind of life Christine might have lived. It's the ultimate expression of filmmaking - simply showing life itself. It's not a perfect way to tell Christine's story (and I couldn't imagine if there ever will be), but it's one that's worth praising nonetheless.

 

★★★½

Edited by Guest

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Admittedly, after seeing that Eminem interview, I might have hyped the movie up a little bit. For what's it worth, it was the best part, and still had me chuckling when I saw it in the actual film. That said, the rest of The Interview wasn't bad. It's just not the amazing and clever comedy that I had anticipated, a sentiment that's (ironically enough) not that different from the one held by David Skylark (James Franco) in the movie.

 

The first thing you have to realize is... it's a Seth Rogen movie. If you've seen the movies he has starred in, you'll know what brand of comedy to expect - the juvenile kind. There will be tons of sex and poop jokes atypical of American comedies. It's also self-aware (of course it is), which means that it also knows exactly just how stupid the plot is, and it just embraces that goofiness for most of the movie with sincerity. There's a scene with Kim Jong-un riding in a tank with James Franco while Katy Perry's "Firework" is playing in the background, so if you're expecting some serious movie satirizing media influence over Cold War politics straight out of some Frost/Nixon inspiration, you're on more drugs than Franco and Rogen combined. That being said, I have to admit that I was kinda hoping to see some level of clever humor mixed in here. Oh well.

 

Regardless of its superficiality, The Interview was a fun ride that doesn't take itself too seriously. An analogy I could think of would be a drunk roommate coercing you to cut loose and just have fun. There's a very light tone throughout the entire film even when the more dramatic character growth appears (and yes, there is a character arc in this, and quite a good one too). I really don't want to knock on this movie by criticizing it for being dumb and (god forbid) objectifying women, because it just doesn't really feel like that kind of shallow movie. It's still shallow humor, but it's just clever enough to get a pass from me. For example, there was a line about Agent Lacey (played by Lizzy Caplan - Janis from "Mean Girls"!) being too hot to be a government agent, and thus was probably hired for the sheer sake of seducing Dave Skylark. There was an immediate follow-up remark by Lacey about how that is sexism. The conversation was obviously made for comedic purposes rather than some critical commentary about feminism (again, wrong kind of movie, pal), but I feel just its presence alone (among other semi-witty dialogue) kept the film from feeling like just another frat-brothers movie that you watch with your bros while drunk and high.

 

One thing I wish could've been done differently, however, is the intelligence of Kim in this film. He's such a pathetic idiot especially in his supposedly masterful manipulation that his "trick" and "propaganda" feels cheap and lazy. I wish the writers would have at least put in more effort into that so that I could at least have some level of surprise when the curtain was pulled away.

 

In the end, The Interview isn't the "Tropic Thunder" of the decade. It's not some intelligent black comedy with a subtle political message. It's just a decently funny buddy comedy with a more controversial backdrop. As its TVTropes page would say, "It's so okay, it's average."

 

★★★

Edited by Guest

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Alright, I have a confession to make. Yes, you guessed it, I liked The Ring remake. In fact, watching the original now only made me realized how much more I liked it than the Japanese counterpart... in some aspects.

 

I mean, I get why people loved this and considered it to be superior over the "shallow" (whatever that means) and flashier American counterpart. It's a quiet and subtle horror film that builds atmosphere, so it looks like a more intelligent film than the louder and gorier American one, right?

 

Look, it's a cursed videotape that kills you after a week. I can't begin to tell you how cheesy that concept already is, so taking it so seriously like it's some kind of Sundance artsy fartsy flick is just ridiculous. What if you fly to another country? Is it still seven days or do I have to adjust the timezone? What if the television is too small for Sadako to crawl out of? Would her torso be stuck on our end of the reality while her tushy is hanging out in that Bizarro World? It's just so easy to make fun of the movie that I don't see why everyone's flipping their hands in the air like it's some groundbreaking Hitchcock masterpiece. And let's be completely honest, most of the people defending the original work did so out of nostalgia. Original isn't always better. Subtle and "atmospheric" aren't always smarter... or even intelligent for god's sake. It's a horror movie about a cursed videotape!

 

Now that I've got that off my chest, however, I do have to give credit where it's due. In spite of my sarcasm regarding the cursed videotape concept, this is a great movie. The characters are well-written enough for me to care about them, the relationship between them is relatable, and the existence of said relationship is an important and yet uncommon ingredient among American horror films, as those cared more about T&A while injecting as many jump-scares as possible. "Less is more" does work here to present a different kind of horror where the audience is kept guessing (it's a 20 year old movie, so yes, we already know what the twist is, but it was still a surprising twist at the time).

 

That being said, there were a number of things I just liked more in the remake. For starters, that expression. Yes, the one in the original was more realistic (and made more sense in the context of the film due to how Sadako's powers worked), but the one in the remake was horrifying! The way her whole face got mangled and twisted like that was the stuff of nightmares. I find it easier to imagine going insane if I find my friend in such a state (and the friend of the first victim did indeed go insane in both versions).

 

Then there was the pacing. Ironically, I didn't find the original to be too slow-paced. If anything, I found it to be way too rushed, not building up on the initial suspicion anyone with any shred of common sense would've had when they hear about a stupid cursed videotape. Yes, the ex is some kind of paranormal esper so it makes sense he wasn't skeptical, but the point is, where is the character that connects to members of the audience that are finding the cursed videotape concept too stupid to be taken seriously? Where is that character to represent the more cynical of us as the audience? You need someone like that so we can connect with the movie as he slowly believes in the curse (as we will) when all the signs and evidence start showing up. That's Noah Clay in the remake, ladies and gentlemen, the character that I could relate to.

 

After that, there's the footage in the video. Way more gruesome and revolting in the remake. I wouldn't necessarily dismiss the remake's more disturbing footage as merely cheap shock more than they were ominous images, but I'll let this pass since it's incredibly subjective, so let's move on.

 

The characters are also done better in the remake. Besides the aforementioned Noah, I couldn't connect with most of the characters in the original, particularly that little boy, Yoichi. Reiko is fine, but I don't understand the point of Yoichi's character aside from being a plot-device. Aidan in the remake, on the other hand, had a more personal role, including that very important scene at the end where he told Rachel that Sadako is evil, and that she shouldn't have saved her. I know a lot of pretentious people like to think that withholding information somehow makes a film "smarter", but storytelling requires certain exposition to happen so that we could get a better grasp of the characters' feelings and perspectives. This is the positive kind of exposition that should be encouraged.

 

Another great example of character improvements is the scene at the beginning where Rachel's sister actually talked to her, expressing the pain of losing her daughter in such a horrific manner. In the original, Rachel's sister was too shocked to speak properly. Why are you so shocked? Your daughter only looked like she had a heart attack, not have her entire face decomposed and mutilated like in the remake!

 

Finally, we need to talk about Sadako's entrance. Let's look at how the remake handles Sadako:

 

 

Granted, the CGI does look pretty cheesy. But I love how Samara just BAMS right at your face all of the sudden. It shocked the hell outta me when I first watched it, and I still love it today. When I saw Sadako in the original, however, all I was thinking was, "Dude, just get up and run! She's like walking at 1 mile per hour! lololol" And the way he deliberately twists his body so that he would make eye-contact with Sadako, what the hell was that all about? It was so cheesy and stupid. If it was me, I would've made for the door and run for the nearest police station, or something.

 

In conclusion, while Ringu had some very well-written characters, its many flaws just make the experience jarring when I've seen how much improvement the more polished remake has done.

 

★★★½

Edited by Guest

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I watched Ned Kelly with my roomie @SAO LILDOOP yesterday and I've gotta say, it was one of the few movies that I actually ended up loving.

 

I've said before in other threads and posts that I'm not all that fond of movies and prefer Television shows for the backstory and development, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed this movie and found it very captivating the whole way through.

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I liked The Ring remake

 

I want to say that I did, too, though that was before I saw the original, which I prefer by leaps and bounds. The remake wasn't bad, just ... different. And a bit goofy in the sequels, if I remember correctly.

 

(though I don't think anything is goofier than the direction that the Ring trilogy takes in the original book series)

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I want to say that I did, too, though that was before I saw the original, which I prefer by leaps and bounds. The remake wasn't bad, just ... different. And a bit goofy in the sequels, if I remember correctly.

 

(though I don't think anything is goofier than the direction that the Ring trilogy takes in the original book series)

 

Ringu is not the original though. Original adaptation? Yes, but there are books too. Never read the books though, especially because I am trying to preserve shelf space.

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Ringu is not the original though. Original adaptation? Yes, but there are books too. Never read the books though, especially because I am trying to preserve shelf space.

 

Well, I did mention the books separately at the end of the post. I read them all, and eventually lent them out to someone who never returned them... I wasn't particularly upset though, since I found the direction they ultimately took to be a bit comical.

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Well, I did mention the books separately at the end of the post. I read them all, and eventually lent them out to someone who never returned them... I wasn't particularly upset though, since I found the direction they ultimately took to be a bit comical.

 

Just saw it now. Thanks for pointing it out.

 

I am glad that I did not read them then.

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I want to say that I did, too, though that was before I saw the original, which I prefer by leaps and bounds.

Which was how I had imagined my viewing of Ringu would go, since everyone hyped it up to be "the smarter" one. Boy, hype can really disappoint...

 

Ironically, I found Ringu to be goofier. lol There were just so many awkward scenes, particularly that Sadako appearance I mentioned in my review and how the ex-husband died. God, that was cheesy.

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