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Mike O

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Join date
20-Jun-2006
Last activity
15-Jan-2021
Posts
2,285

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Post
#1185762
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Last movie seen
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moviefreakedmind said:

Everything is a product of its time.

True to an extent, but some things age well and even look prescient.

Olympus Has Fallen- Soul-crushingly dull wannabe action movie with a stiff Gerard Butler performance at its center. Not one of its action sequences has any suspense or excitement, and it assumes no one in the audience has seen Die Hard, Red Dawn, or an episode of 24. Cliched dialogue, depressing crude violence, and a boring derivative plot. A total yawn.

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#1184973
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Mad Max- Having seen the sequels several times (the second is a personal favorite I’ve seen way too many times, and love it), I finally decided to tackle the original. Unfortunately, both MGM and Shout fucked up and their “original mono” tracks are downmixes. Is there ANY way to get the original mono track outside of digging up old Australian pan-and-scan VHS tape? Anyway, all that aside, it’s a fun, super-iconic Ozploitation film, albiet very slow and dated by today’s standards. Director George Miller, one of the greatest action filmmakers of all-time in the sequels, manages to get a lot of mileage out of a minuscule budget (along with Carpenter’s Halloween, I think that it’s one the most successful independent films of the era). I just wish I could watch it with the original fucking audio track.

Dragonslayer- A rarity, a genuine, proper, serious sword and sorcery fantasy flick. The fist film to use ILM outside of the Star Wars universe. The story of a sorcerer’s apprentice attempting to slay a dragon, as the title states, it’s the coolest movie dragon this side of Smaug. Phil Tippet pulled out all the stops and used every bit of special effect technology available at the time to create the might Vermithrax Pejorative, and man, is it cool. The storyline isn’t fantastic; it’s your fairly standard stuff with the wizard’s apprentice, the girl with whom he falls in love, the town offering sacrifices, etc. The performances are solid, particularly a scene-stealing Ralph Richardson. But it’s the marvelously medieval setting and grim mood that really help the film to stand apart from most knockoff fantasy features, then and now. And that dragon? Wow.

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#1183964
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Last movie seen
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Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning- Not just “better than it should be for direct-to-video” but genuinely damn good. Though it wears the skin of a DTV action picture and boasts some awesome fight scenes courtesy of fight coordinator Larnell Stovall, it’s more like a twisted art-house horror film. Full of Gaspar Noe-esque first-person sequences and flashing strobe lights and Lynchian plot that questions memory, identity, and politics. Yeah, I know, it sounds crazy. But believe me, it’s facinating stuff.

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#1183519
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suspiciouscoffee said:

I haven’t seen the reboot, but I have no strong feelings on it or II.

I don’t see why II is hated if it is. It’s a pale shadow of the original, but a fun enough special effects comedy by itself.

Universal Soldier- Future blockbuster helmer Roland Emmerich’s first Hollywood feature, a 90s Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle. A tolerable mid-budget Terminator knock-off about re-animated soldiers. Emmerich has yet to master the more-is-more aesthetic he’d later wield in films like Independence Day; by today’s standards, the pacing is slow and most of the action sequences are dated and lack much bite. Dolph Lundgren has fun as the psychopathic villain, but the requisite car chases, stunts, and fights are primitive by modern standards. Still, Emmerich is already developing his mixture of action and comedy, and it’s mildly interesting genre fare.

Universal Soldier: Regeneration- Straight to DVD (though shot in scope), director John Hyams, son of veteran journeyman director Peter Hyams, here the director of digital photography, makes this DTV fare way, way, better than it has any right to be. Eschewing Emmerich’s blockbuster silliness to play by his own rules, Hyams and Hyams shoot in Bulgaria like most Nu Image productions, but the grimy industrial parts of the city they choose-with the look of burnt out train tracks and abandoned chemical plants-have a bleak beauty. Having filmed documentaries about MMA fighters, Hyams casts them in the lead roles, and his fights and action sequences, in contrast to Emmerich’s slapstick, are quick, lean, and brutally violent. JCVD returns as a damaged shell of his former self, as does an unnerving Lundgren. Mix in some Bourne-esque car chases and shootouts, and you’re left with a brutal, utterly relentless straight-to-DVD sequel that’s better than it needs to be or has any right to be.

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#1181828
Topic
Last comic read
Time

Green Arrow: Year One- Diggle’s writing is solid, and the influence it had on the television show is pretty clear, but the real treat for me was Jock’s art: jagged edges, hard faces. This is my first taste of him outside of his film design work and I have to say, I really dig him. Sparse, raw, impressionistic, some his drawings look almost incomplete. It’s an odd, minimalist sort of beauty. Diggle’s writing is solid too, and gives a nice psychological edge to the character’s backstory, though full disclosure, this is the first Green Arrow comic I’m familiar with.

Edit: I didn’t realize I’d posted this already. Mods, feel free to delete.

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#1180605
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4K restoration on Star Wars
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lurker77 said:

Very surprised to see this much praise of Lucas’s use of digital cameras and CGI.

They (digital motion picture technologies) are useful tools, but not all-purpose ones. The way Lucas used them, and the way Hollywood has generally used them since they became widespread, are as crutches. Because storage space is cheap, settings can be changed quicker, the final result can be previewed in real time, and digital editing has so many more bells and whistles, there is less motivation to put effort into getting a good shot. This applies moreso to effects, as the digital world does not have the limitations of the physical world, allowing thought out and naturalistic shots to be replaced by hyperactive, sensory overloading flash and impossible scale. Early CGI like Jurassic Park and Terminator 2 looked better because effort was taken to get it to fit in with live action footage by not shoving it in your face and often augmenting it with practical effects. Now it’s the other way around, with the live action being an afterthought.

As for digital cameras, they’re best used in situations that demand a small, lightweight, or remote camera.

Sounds good on paper, but money is king. If Kodak survives much longer, I’ll be very surprised.

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#1178649
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darthrush said:

DominicCobb said:

darthrush said:

Nice to see you enjoyed it. I also find it very nice. One of the plot threads felt a little cliche but the core of the movie was about her relationship with her mother which was very interesting and touching. Overall, it’s a very genuine film with great acting and though it’s not my favorite of the year, I’d be fine with it taking home Best Picture. I just can’t accept Shape of Water winning.

Why though

I mean of course, whatever wins will win, I just find Shape of Water overrated. Not nearly as much as Darkest Hour which has no place in the nominations whatsoever in my opinion. I find CMBYN or Three Billboards deserving of the award. If they nominated BR 2049 then I’d give it to that in a heartbeat.

As a major-league del Toro fanboy, I liked Shape of Water, though I didn’t find it his best work. But I’d love to see him take home the gold, especially as a genre filmmaker. Darkest Hour was OK, but I think Oldman will take home Best Actor.

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#1178327
Topic
Info: The films of Sergio Leone - The best available versions...
Time

So how does the new Kino compare to the MGM mess? I’m hoping Kino’s new remasters of the rest of the trilogy and DYS are good enough that I can chuck my German and Italian releases and my old Anthology boxed set and finally save some space!

I guess outside of a fan restoration, we’re never getting OUATIW with lossless mono.

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#1176450
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paja said:

MOON (2009) – Thumbs up!
No words Fantastic!

ALIEN - (1979) - Thumbs up!

The First Half is terrific and Fantastic! No Problems.

The Second Half is Basically looking around. SPOOKY ALIEN! Looking around… SPOOKY ALIEN! And that’s the rest of the film pretty much.

I love Alien, but for all of its sophisticated production design and lavish budget, it’s essentially just a haunted house movie in space, albeit a really, really good one.

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#1176030
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ray_afraid said:

Especially the original Cloverfield.
And check out the hidden backstory with this guide to the viral marketing and this retrospective on the whole thing first.
10 Lane is good, but would’a been better without the Cloverfield tag on the end.

That marketing tie-in stuff is kind of cool.

Delete this double post, mods. Damned iPhone.

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#1174765
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ChainsawAsh said:

Tried watching Justice League tonight.

Tried. Holy shit is it bad.

And this is coming from someone who genuinely liked Man of Steel and didn’t think BvS was quite the abomination many saw it as (though it’s not exactly good).

I’m going to try to finish it someday, but I’ll need lots more booze first, if only to be able to see past the mustache removal (which isn’t even the worst of the CGI I’ve seen so far).

I thought that Justice League was better than I was expecting, though majorly flawed. WB want to hurry to catch up with Marvel, and they’re trying to do something fast that you just can’t rush.

The Magnificent Seven- It ain’t Sturges, and it sure as hell ain’t Kurosawa, but director Antione Fuqua’s remake/retelling/reimagining/whatever is a lots of fun as a straight action flick with some good performances from a a team of cool stars. It has little or the social depth of either of the previous versions and is light on character development, but has a couple of impressive action set pieces and some striking cinematography. Denzel Washington is a commanding screen presence, Chris Pratt has fun as his usual wisecracking hero, Ethan Hawke is terrific as a self-loathing PTSD-rattled soldier, and Vincent D’Onofrio has a blast chewing the scenery. Nothing like a masterpiece, but a solid, entertaining action movie-Western that has no delusions about what it is or wants to be. Lots of fun.