aunt_zelda: (Default)
Just saw Logan Lucky and wow was that a great movie! Excellent cast, great dialogue, solid heist comedy, and a lot of heart! I was pleasantly surprised by all of it. Some of the best jokes were NOT in the trailers I saw, which is a good thing. Daniel Craig just, melted into his role, I barely recognized him after a while, he just became this character entirely. 

I really hope the mysterious female screenwriter is real, 'cause this was a great debut script.

I'm a little concerned about the satirizing/classism aspects of the movie. How much was friendly joking and how much was making fun of lower class people? I don't think any of it was intentionally malicious, but a few shots and scenes gave me pause. It needs a rewatch for that I suppose.

Overall I recommend it. Maybe not a must-see in the theater if you're picky about what you pay for movie tickets, but I strongly recommend it. 
aunt_zelda: (Default)
So, I slept on it. And then I waited two weeks. 

I'm glad I saw Rogue One. But overall I didn't like the movie.

I loved some of the scenes. I love the cast (with one exception). Riz Ahmed was especially lovely, I wish we'd had more of him. I'm happy they tried new things in the Star Wars world. And that CGI face reconstruction stuff was impressive.

I don't wanna rain on anyone's parade. From the looks of things, the entire world thinks this movie is amazing. If you liked it, that great! I just feel like I'm missing something here. I feel left out.

Read more... )
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Halloween night! : DDDDDDD

I dressed up a little, ate candy, drank half a beer, and did a double feature with my roommate: Fright Night, the original and the remake, back to back. Neither of us had seen either film before, and this was long overdue.

I don't know how to talk about either of these movies without talking about the other one. I can't help but compare and contrast them, since we did a double feature tonight. I'll start with some basic impressions of each film and then talk about them compared to each other:

Fright Night (1985)

For the original, I was super impressed with the visuals, genuinely frightened, in love with the music, and pleasantly surprised by the queercoding and queer text. I was a little annoyed with some of the characters at times, and found the handling of Amy and her sexuality a little troubling. I know it's the 80s, but still. Peter Vincent was my favorite of the lot, and I was genuinely moved by his arc. 

Fright Night (2011)

I consider this a pretty good remake, especially as horror remakes go. I was pleased with the casting, loved the setting change, enjoyed how Amy and Charlie's attitudes towards sex were flipped, and was very moved by the friendship falling out between Charlie and Ed. However I found the story's pacing to somewhat fall apart around the halfway mark, wasn't scared during the second half at all, and was disappointed with some of the effects. While there were some very strong individual scenes in this film (the opening in particular is very chilling, as is the scene where Charlie gets beer for Jerry, and the sequence where Charlie and Doris try to escape Jerry's house) the overall film didn't feel as strong. 

Film vs. Film

My roommate and I talked this out a lot after the movies. We ended up sorta comparing individual bits and pieces to each other.

I gotta say, for a movie that's only 5 years old, most of the effects in the Fright Night remake don't hold up. I do appreciate that they tried to mimic the look of the vampire mouths from the original, but considering the original is 31 years old and the effects STILL had me and my roommate yelping and covering our eyes or cheering and looking closer in awe, that says a lot. 

I'm very torn on how each film handled women and women's sexuality. The original was ... odd. The biting scene between Jerry and Amy plays with sexy saxophone music and seems framed as a sexy scene, but Amy is being mind-controlled (or is she?) and it's a horrifying thing that seems like it's supposed to be a rape. Later she seems to think because of what happened in that room, Charlie won't "want her" anymore, implying some nasty victim-blaming attitudes. While I like how in the 2011 remake Amy is the sexually experienced one who is pushing for sex, the biting scene is clearly unwanted and plays very creepily, and then the next time we see Amy she's writhing around on top of Charlie enthusiastic about her vampirehood and she seems to exist in the script to drape herself over Jerry and metaphorically blow him in front of Charlie to upset Charlie. Imogen Poots is a great actress but she was not given great moments to work with in the latter half of this script. 

The cast was exquisite in the remake. David Tennant saves the Peter Vincent role in the remake, in another actor's hands it would have been pretty bad, his sudden and random backstory was too sudden and not needed. Jerry was super hot and super scary, but I think original jerry was scarier because he managed to be terrifying even in a dorky sweater and I don't think Colin Farrell could have managed that. I liked how the mother was more of a character in the remake. And I really loved the plotline with Charlie's friend Ed in the remake ... though only at the start of the film. I didn't like how Ed then wasn't used for most of the rest of the film, and popped up for a brief moment that lacked the emotional poignancy of the original. Peter Vincent fighting and then killing Evil Ed in the original was a tearful and tragic moment, where you saw the moral conflict within Peter Vincent about murdering a mostly-human-being. That poignancy was wanted in the remake but didn't quite happen. 

What the remake did really well was the setting update. They made great use of the "suburb outside of Las Vegas" location, with the abandoned houses, transient people, proximity of Vegas' glitz, and the abundance of people who worked nights.

I'm a bit split on the queer content in both films. Obviously the original is chock full of that, in subtle and not so subtle ways. I'm unclear on how much was snuck in, how much was meant to telegraph "danger/bad people" to the audiences, and how much was meant as cutting social commentary. I could list things off - the villain literally emerges from a closet and then hurls the male protagonist into the closet early on, not to mention hugs his Renfield from behind at one point - but I'm sure plenty of people have gone in-depth into this before. It'd be easy to say the film is about an evil bisexual swooping in to disrupt the quiet heteronormative neighborhood before being defeated by a hetero couple and their older male mentor, but I could write an entire scene about Jerry and Evil Ed in that alleyway alone so I don't think the analysis is unwarranted. Not to mention the implications in 1985 of showing someone some distinctive marks on your body and saying "he got me." While I'd say it's a lot more subtle and nuanced in the original, the remake is ... not. The few indications of queer content are offhand comments or joke-moments, mostly to do with Peter Vincent. What we have are: a bunch of ladies writhing around on each other, Peter Vincent telling puppy-eyed Charlie "I'm gonna pop your cherry," Evil Ed straddling Charlie and asking "is this getting weird for you? Because I'm feeling a little homo right now!", and Peter kissing Charlie in relief after the climactic battle. I was looking forward to Colin Farrell macking on Anton Yelchin, and I didn't get any of that. It's like they took all the queerness from Jerry and gave it to Peter Vincent in the remake, but only as joke-moments. I'm kinda disappointed? IDK, I have to think about this more. 

Like if I make a chart of bits comparing them, it breaks down like this:

Charlie: Remake
Jerry: Original
Amy (first half): Remake
Amy (second half): Original
Evil Ed (first half): Remake
Evil Ed (second half): Original
Charlie's Mom: Remake
Effects: Original
Music: Original
Opening scene: Remake
Scares: Original
Pacing: Original
Setting: Remake

I think that overall the remake did a good job of doing their own thing while homaging and honoring the old. They succeeded for the most part, but not as much as they could have. It's ok. It's not great, it's not better, but it's ok. 

While there are elements and moments I liked more in the remake than in the original, I think overall the original is a more consistently good movie. I'm glad we have both. I liked doing this double feature and I highly recommend it. I just think in the future I'll be rewatching the original more than I will the remake.

aunt_zelda: (Default)
 So tonight my roommate and I watched three things. 

Completely by accident, all three ended up being narratives that took place primarily in a single location, and could easily be rewritten as a play.

First up was Let Us Prey, a film I've been meaning to see for ages and never gotten around to. My roommate hadn't seen it either. All I knew going in was Liam Cunningham played the Devil, basically, and a vague memory of a trailer I saw like, last year, and that it had good reviews. It was an odd little movie, very cheap to make obviously, but they used their money well and managed to make a good solid film. Some very artistic shots. It did not go in the directions I thought it was going at all, right up until the very end even. Some great gore. Some vile characters, but they were assholes in realistic ways, not horror movie assholes who were too over the top. The film built up well too, something happens towards the end that would be ridiculous if they just started with it, but because of the tension and gory moments ratcheting up throughout the story, it worked. At least, it worked for me. Liam Cunningham was a fabulous Devil. Every movement he made was measured and deliberate, and his dialogue was precise. Some good spooks in this one that even freaked out my normally calm roommate. 
And, mostly for personal reasons, I've been waiting for YEARS for a movie to end like this one did. I don't dare spoil that though. 
I'm not sure this one will stick with me as much as another movie would, there's nothing especially epic or special about it, but it's a solid little film I wouldn't mind rewatching with friends somewhere down the line. 

Next up was the Twilight Zone episode "The Obsolete Man," which my roommate suggested. FANTASTIC. My gods. Just ... wow. What can be said about this that hasn't already been said for decades? I could see how famous filmmakers have studied this episode for aesthetics and concepts and homaged it in their works ever since. A truly great little episode. Never seen someone passive-aggressively read the Bible to someone, but that was a great moment. Plus, who doesn't love seeing Burgess Meredith do literally anything? Nice creepy little story, with a very important message that, unfortunately, is very relevant in today's world. Totalitarianism, devaluing and distrust of education and literature, and politicians questioning the need for libraries, these are issues that sadly we haven't moved past now, more than 50 years after this episode aired.
This one is gonna stick with me for a long time, I have no doubt. 

Last of the evening was Murder Party. I've been meaning to see this for ages. I know the later work of the writer/director, Jeremy Saulnier, his latest work Green Room remains the best film I've seen all year, and Blue Ruin won a ton of acclaim from people whose opinions I tend to trust (but I haven't seen it yet.) Though this film showed obvious signs of low budget, which my roommate and I were quick to spot being former film students ourselves, it's a really great movie. Horrible, gory, all over the place, twists and turns, commentaries on commentaries on modern art, but what surprised me the most was how FUNNY it was. There's a gag about 20 minutes in that had me laughing so hard I think I woke up the entire apartment complex. I knew Jeremy Saulnier was talented as fuck, but I didn't know he was FUNNY. Green Room had a few jokes but it was not a funny movie at all, and from what I hear Blue Ruin is a brutal movie too. So this took me completely by surprise in all the right ways. Plus, where else can you find a movie with two bisexual characters where that's not a big deal or the point of their characters at all.
This movie was obviously cheap and it isn't the best thing ever, but I enjoyed it a lot. I think it's gonna become one of my Halloween go-to movies, especially when hanging out with fellow former film-students. 
aunt_zelda: (Default)
Eh, I dunno. This wasn’t a bad movie. It wasn’t exactly good though. It should have been much better.

But I recognize that it was very cheap, they obviously had a lot of limitations, and a lot of critics are (unfairly, I would say) comparing it to last year’s Ex Machina.

The cast is great, like omg, I would have watched a whole miniseries tv show about that cast hanging out together. Rose Leslie, Kate Mara, and Anya Taylor-Joy give really great performances in particular. Everyone acts like they’ve been living together for years, and that feels very comfortable and natural, which is difficult when shooting a movie with actors who have mostly never worked together before. The premise is, ok, not original, but it’s an interesting premise. I wanted more, much more, than I got. (Especially in light of the twist ending that I saw coming a mile away, and you will too, but it didn’t annoy me, it just made me wanna see more!) I liked how the art direction was, how I’m gonna see screenshots and gifs of this movie and be able to identify it compared to other films. This was not a hack job or a “eh, whatever, ship it out” movie. There was thought behind it.

The biggest failing I would say is the script. It just needed more. It felt like a very early draft, almost a rough draft honestly, that needed some heavy workshopping and beefing up in sections. More emphasis on specific relationships, maybe showing us a flashback to Helsinki, just ... more.

Gotta say though, I’m a fan of any film where the male characters are by and large pushovers, cardboard cutouts, weak, easily manipulated, and/or the easiest to kill, whereas the female characters are complex, varied, and overall much harder to kill. It’s a nice change of pace from the usual way movies function, especially sci-fi films. Pretty much all the major plot decisions and actions happen because of women. That’s sadly rare in films.
To me, the worst thing a movie can be is boring. This movie was not that.
To me, the second worst thing a movie can be is incomprehensible. This movie was not that.
To me, the third worst thing a movie can be is insulting or offensive, often in lazy or shock-value ways, the barest minimum of effort to create memorable moments in a script. This movie was absolutely not that.
Perhaps I’m more forgiving than most. I wouldn’t recommend this as a theater watch, but for a Redbox, or Netflix one night? I’d say give it a look if you’re interested by the trailer and cast. It’s worth a look.

tl;dr: robots are here, they’re queer(coded), and they can kill. Too bad the script didn’t deliver enough material on that premise.
aunt_zelda: (Default)
(repost from tumblr)

I’m gonna rant about this later, but I’ve been talking (ranting) with my roommate for like a solid hour after we saw the movie, and you know what I’m really stuck on right now?

The plot is that Rick Flag’s dick almost destroys the world. 

The emotional investment we’re supposed to have in the movie? The movie’s plot?

Whether Rick Flag can keep sticking his dick in a specific woman or not.

That’s it. That’s the plot. That’s the driving emotional force in this movie. That’s the overarching plot of this trainwreck mess poorly writtenscreenwriting 101 failure film: Rick Flag is having fun with this lady … oh no, he has to stop having sex with her! … Will he ever be able to have sex with her again? … Looks like he can’t anymore, oh no! … Yay, he can keep having sex with this woman after all!” That’s the story arc. 

I refuse to believe that the question of “will Harley get back together with her abuser?” is supposed to be the emotional investment in this film. I refuse to believe that. As bad as this movie was (and oh boy was it bad) I refuse to believe that was supposed to be our emotional investment.

The plot is that Rick Flag’s dick almost destroys the world. 

aunt_zelda: (Default)
I'm very disappointed about the Suicide Squad movie.

I feel insulted.

What I feel most insulted about is the very basic flaws to this film on a technical level. Terrible sound design, bad editing, inconsistent pacing, a total lack of character arcs, screenwriting 101 failures, and a complete lack of coherence. It really is as bad as the critics have told you.

This movie was just plain bad. Messy, badly written, the pacing was off. The cast was by and large pretty damn good (except for whatever the fuck Leto was doing, I'll get to that later) but they were given crap to work with and not shot well at all.

aunt_zelda: (Default)

I just got back from seeing it and I am SO STOKED. It’s SO GOOD, PEOPLE!

8/10, hell maybe 9/10 to be honest. I enjoyed myself the whole way through. I left the theater smiling.

My few criticisms are minor at best, mostly to do with things I wish they’d been able to do and realize that they were probably hampered by time and budget constraints.

See this movie, please, if you have any time whatsoever. Preferably this weekend. Bring friends, family, anyone. See it next weekend too if you can.

The cameos are cute, the music was great, the design was FANTASTIC, the cast was FANTASTIC, and hell, it was even a little scary at times! Comedy, good action, great teamwork, and the power of female friendship. You could do a helluva a lot worse this summer.

P.S. Where do I get in line to propose to Kate McKinnon. I swooned, audibly, in the theater, several times.
aunt_zelda: (Default)
Finally saw this film.

It was super good! : DDD

I cannot believe they made it for only 1M

I didn’t realize Barbara Crampton was in it until the end credits and then I felt really ashamed. 

Camera work was so good. 

LOVE that leading lady. 

Adam Wingard + Simon Barrett = AWESOME. I can’t wait for their next project.

That song is stuck in my head now. Which is fine, just like, that’ll be there for a while now.

aunt_zelda: (Default)
 GREAT movie!

... but was it a Captain America movie?

aunt_zelda: (Default)
Finally saw Green Room!

Very good movie! I’m hesitant to see horror movies in theaters because while I love horror, historically I haven’t always had good reactions to horror movies. It’s a lot of money to fork over for what could be a panic attack and several sleepless nights. So I’m very careful. 

I’m glad I went to see this one in theaters. Well worth the money. You feel for the main characters, everyone acts like humans and talks like humans. The film feels not like some horrific over the top event but a real thing that could happen if the right things went wrong and spiraled out of control. A million little decisions, some completely out of the control of the characters, contribute to the mess that ensues, and it all flows so naturally, which is what makes it so terrifying. 

Well written, too, dialogue was natural but little things came back later with purpose. Nothing was thrown in without thought. 

Gore was great, shocking and brutal but not unnecessarily so. Just enough to show us what had happened and what the consequences were.

I was engaged the whole way through, not a second did I think about anything other than the movie I was watching.  

Sir Patrick Stewart was great, of course he was, but everyone was on their game in this movie, everybody worked together extremely well, there were no clashes of talent or style that I could detect. Imogen Poots needs to be in more horror movies, girl has a nice casual menace to her that is tough to nail for a lot of actresses. Special mention to Alia Shawkat, who I recently saw in The Final Girls, here again fighting for her life in a horror film. She’s an actress I’m going to seek out in other projects, I really love her natural comedic timing and combo of “tough and vulnerable” without being too much of either. 

If you’re a horror fan, absolutely check it out. If you’re down for a tense thriller with some moments of gore, check it out. If you’re not tempted by the trailer and a bit squeamish, maybe wait for the DVD.

aunt_zelda: (GarlicIsTheAnswer)

I was warned.

My god does this movie have problems.

Confusingly, several chunks of this movie are quite good.

The fight scenes are especially good. They’re filmed in a new way I have not seen before. I hope to see more fight scenes filmed like that. It was almost like a go-pro but without inducing vertigo in me.

Eggsy was great. Petition to have him in more spy movies. What a cutie.

Colin Firth was great. I wish they’d like, been able to get him for a full movie? I kept wishing he was captured instead and held hostage in the lair for the climax, that would have been nice.

Everything with Merlin was great. Too often the tech support person is comic relief or barely there, or just there to hand over the gadgets. Here he was a respected member of the team who ended up having to take over and lead when all of the sudden there was a power vacuum.

The female bodyguard was not relegated to a “chick fight” bullshit titillation fest, she remained fully clothed the entire movie and had a great final fight where she was a huge threat to our male hero and taken down only after a long knockdown dragout fight.



No dogs were killed.

I’ve run out of nice things to say.

Read more... )

aunt_zelda: (GarlicIsTheAnswer)
Watched on Netflix, while on skype with my boyfriend, who is 3,000 miles away.

Here's the notes I took as we watched:

Read more... )

aunt_zelda: (GarlicIsTheAnswer)
x-posted to my tumblr

How the hell did they do that.


Read more... )

aunt_zelda: (GarlicIsTheAnswer)

X-posted to my tumblr

I have very mixed feelings.

There were some parts that I liked, even loved. Chunks of goodness.

And then there were parts that ... infuriated me. Angered me.

Before we begin with my lists, I’d like to note that I ship everything and at one point when Tony and Steve started fighting I yelled “don’t fight mom and dad!” so that was fun.

Read more... )
aunt_zelda: (GarlicIsTheAnswer)

Finally saw The Guest. I’d been putting it off for some time, saving it for “the right time” or something. Saw it today with [ profile] teenybuffalo and our friend.


I just ... it was so well crafted. So beautiful. Such a beautiful, perfectly crafted film. I loved it so much. I enjoyed it so much. I screamed in shock and fear, cheered, laughed, and got really freaking unsettled and terrified at many points (but not in a way that I couldn’t handle.) It was so good.

The cast was excellent. The sets were gorgeous. The lighting was beautiful. The cinematography was FANTASTIC. The soundtrack ... the soundtrack ... I haven’t felt this strong of a desire to buy a soundtrack since Only Lovers Left Alive.

I’d heard it was a good horror movie. But I didn’t know it was also going to be a good movie in general. I don’t mean to deride horror movies, what I mean is that sometimes when people say “good horror movie” they mean in comparison to other horror movies currently being released, “good” in the sense that it’s an original idea or twist on an old idea, but the movie might have a clumsy cast or cheap sets or standard camera set-ups. The Guest has none of those issues. The Guest might very well jump onto my list of top favorite movies EVER. All the elements were excellent. It wasn’t just a creative concept, it was filmed well and acted well and nothing was skimped on for the sake of shock gore or one big effect.

I’m just so HAPPY.

aunt_zelda: (GarlicIsTheAnswer)

So it wasn't as amazing as I wanted it to be, but my gods was it FUN and ENTERTAINING and JUST WHAT I NEEDED. The boyfriend and I had a great (late) Valentine's date seeing it today.

There was a healthy crowd and there was much laughing and yelling at the ridiculous bits, of which there were many.

At one point Eddie Redmayne was doing his thing, draped in half a curtain and a neckbrace, and everyone roared with laughter. Then I yelled out "Oscar Nominated!" and everyone laughed AGAIN. It was a great moment for me.

It was ridiculous and I loved it.

Things of note:

  • Very diverse cast

  • Great costume design

  • Lots of sexual tension with everyone

  • Distinctive look of the film, it looks unique and has a specific art design

  • Sean Bean and Channing Tatum having so much sexual tension

  • Extended scene that's a huge reference to The Princess Bride


  • Femdom potential with Channing Tatum deferring to his Queen and her getting off on him calling her "your majesty" OMG YES

  • Fight scenes you can FOLLOW. Like, comprehensible fight scenes and chase scenes. (Whaaaaaaaaa?!??!?!)

  • Eddie Redmayne doing ... whatever the fuck he was doing. My gods it was amazing.

  • A few times I thought I was watching deleted scenes from Pacific Rim, it was all colorful and shiny and YAY

That said, there were some issues. Queer-coded villains, the female protagonist isn't especially active and she's very reactive for most of the movie, the plot is ... frankly a mess, and overall it could have been honest-to-god BRILLIANT. It could have been good, not "lol so bad it's good" no it could have been GREAT. And it wasn't. It looks beautiful, it's got a great cast, nothing's especially awful about it. But it wasn't what I'd call a good movie by any means.

This could have been amazing. It didn't need to be a cult-classic, it didn't need to be so-bad-it's-good. It could have been so great it's excellent. And as fun as this was, I think I'm always gonna be a little sad that it wasn't a genuinely, unironically, great movie.

Now, I'm gonna go look at the fanfic and maybe write some fanfic myself before bed.

aunt_zelda: (GarlicIsTheAnswer)
Just a few thoughts since I'm exhausted from 1) so much traveling lately 2) Christmas is near and 3) this movie.

SPOILERS for the movie )
aunt_zelda: (GarlicIsTheAnswer)

The Book of Life was GLORIOUS!

Made me feel like a little kid again, that sense of wonder at seeing a movie. All the colors and gorgeous designs and the heroic characters and heartfelt storytelling.

I am SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW. It’s beautiful and lovely and just … just wonderful.

Even better than I thought it’d be, and I was expecting it to be good.

I hope it makes buckets of money. Please, if you’re even considering it, give it a watch. Bring some friends. Borrow a friend’s children and take them. This movie deserves to make lots of money and Jorge Gutierrez is such a Del Toro fanboy and this was like Gutierrez’s dream project and he got to work with his hero and all his favs and I’m so happy for him, please make this movie a big deal.


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