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What did you just watch? with mini review
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:09 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


BATMAN VS ROBIN

Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid! I'm not sure why I even watched this direct-to-video thing. It's a sequel to one of these DTV films I had absolutely no use for.

You know, these DC DTV movies used to be good. Not Oscar-caliber, obviously, but I used to think they put a lot more time and thought into them. Now, I think they just crank them out.

And for some reason, I'm surprised that this particular cartoon exemplified all the reasons I broke up with Batman a few years ago (but can't seem to stop driving by his house, I know). The plots are baroque, and the characters exist only as cogs in the machine. There's almost nothing human in them. Emotional constipation is the order of the day. And let's not forget that everything has to be "dark," so we'll open the film with a story of abducted, tortured, and mutilated children. Grow up.


STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

Actually, I saw this with my husband a week ago. I didn't really care for it. But this weekend I saw it again. Because tradition.

You see, I have very distinct memories of being 4 years old and my father taking me to see Return of the Jedi at least twice in theaters. (I also remember bragging about it at nursery school.) And when the special editions came out, my dad wound up having a snow day and took me to see it again, in a theater full of dads and kids. It was awesome.

So yesterday I took my eldest Inqueling to see The Force Awakens. She's still digesting it, and some parts were a little scary for her. But the circle is now complete.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:03 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Husband wanted to see this. This is the stupidest movie I've seen since Pacific Rim. I realise, of course, that I'm confusing you with my use of the word "stupid," given my last reviews. Lemme explain, if I can.

I respect, and can even enjoy, a movie that knows it's stupid and commits. Mad Max was well made, and some of the sequences were amazing. But the story was weird, and seriously, the guy playing guitar on the war rig? The drummers? When do they rehearse? Crazy. The movie knows that, and doesn't care. I like that in a film.

It's the movies that don't know they're stupid that bother me.


AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL
Yeah, so this was the first season of this series I'd ever watched. You can tell it was made by the same guy who made Glee. There's not so much a plot as a bunch of stuff that happens. (As my husband says, let's just put all the characters into a blender.) The last episode was an unabashed mega-happy-ending. Which is nice, I guess, but is that really why we were here? The Cylons had more of a plan.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:04 am   Post subject: Hateful eight. Reply with quote




We saw the hateful eight movie on saturday.
Now... i'm quite aware, that Tarantino movies are always a matter of taste, and i'm not gonna loose many words over blood fountains and exploding heads. But even aside from the usual Tarantino-ness (which i am admittedly not a fan of) I found this movie quite a bit less enjoyable than Django or Kill Bill. Mostly due to the fact that it was so DARN LONG! I was ready to go home after about 20 minutes... Not because i didn't find the story interesting, but because it was going awfully slow. (and not in the enjoyable way)

Now to the pro arguments: The story was predictibly unpredictable. As usual you were never really sure what to expect next, but never really suprised when it turned out to be that which you didn't expect. Samuel did a great job acting, as did Jennifer Jason Leigh. There was this one guy that gave me immense Christoph Waltz vibes throughout the movie, and i think this is the first movie that i saw where Channing Tatum didn't totally ruin the movie for me...

All in all i left the movie feeling as if all of this would have comfortably fit into a 100-120 min movie. And a movie that makes you feel like having wasted your time is not a good movie in my books.

I'm leaving 5/10 Stars i suppose...
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:52 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


I've been watching some opera lately, thanks to Great Perfomances and my DVR. I used to sing, but opera is still a pretty foreign world to me. I don't really know how to listen to it. So in lieu of reviews, here are some things I've learned from my brief sojourn.

- Il Trovatore is badly plotted and scripted, even for an opera. But the "Anvil Chorus" is quite awesome.
- The pacing on all of these is glacial, but look away for half a second and you miss some important piece of information and the rest of the plot makes no sense.
- If the lyrics are in English, you can really notice how terrible some of them are. I couldn't get through Ades's The Tempest, except on fast-forward.
- Aïda needs to be set on an antebellum American plantation. That would be thought-provoking. Also, painting opera singers brown to play the leads is perplexing, at best.
- Anna Netrebko is gorgeous.
I'm trying to get through all of Wagner's Parsifal. But it's five hours. At the rate I'm going, I should be done in about ten days.

I've also seen Cars about 4 times now, since my son is obsessed with it. (But not the tractor parts. He wants that particularly understood. The tractor parts are scary. Let's watch the cars movie, but not the tractor parts.) I can see why "Real Gone" gets played so much here. The opening 15 minutes or so of this movie are great. I like the parody (though car racing is another world I don't know very well) and the pacing is excellent.

Of course, this movie has led to some interesting conversations with my daughter about how the cars in this movie make babies. We still don't have an answer for that.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:51 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Gf and I had a voucher for a free cinema visit that was due to expire. So we took the opportunity to watch the latest Sorrentino movie "la Giovanezza"/"Youth"



Again a beautifully shot movie and great storytelling. Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel showcasing all different aspects that come with ageing.
8.5/10
The main song that has a special role in the storyline of Caine's character (Simple song #3) is nominated for an Oscar.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:51 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


UN BALLO IN MASCHERA

This is the last of the operas I recorded from Great Performances, and the only one I've watched twice and don't plan to delete any time soon. I am in love. It's short, I like the story (over-the-top though it be) and the performances are so good.

This is so much more my jam than Parsifal, which was like a play where everyone spoke really, really slowly.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:51 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Browsing through material for a discussion on mixed showering for primary school kids I stumbled upon this short feature I had almost forgot about.
It's a beautifully shot coming of age movie filmed on location of a naturist camping.
Leo, aged 12 is dragged to this naturist camping and is feeling uncomfortable but this gets a total change-over when he meets Antoinette.
This film is often used to start discussions on nakedness and the behavior towards this by parents and kids. Great performance by the two teens.
8/10


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:35 am   Post subject: 10 cloverfield lane Reply with quote


sooo... i watched 10 cloverfield lane yesterday. And if you are wondering "huh... that does not sound like a movie Fee would usually see", you are entirely correct Very Happy i did not know ANYTHING about the movie before seeing it. (except for the fact that we have the Soundtrack here on SST)


And so... being naive and unprepared i found this movie very scary. JJ managed to find a good middle ground. It's pretty scary without hitting the overdone ridiculous note, because it kept to realistic topics mostly... (the world is scary enough without adding ghosts Very Happy)

The story itself kept me guessing until the last 15 minutes of the movie.
I think the actors did a good job. And i was delighted to find some typical "JJ Abrahams flavour" in the movie after all... The soundtrack was pretty fitting as far as i notice soundtracks while watching movies Smile I especially liked the opening music.

Soo... i guess despite this being a movie that would usually be not to my tastes at all, it was actually pretty good. I dunno how an actual "scary movie fan" would think about it, but to me it did the job Wink
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 3:48 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


During a weekend off Gf and me went to a movie in Breda to see a great new novel taken to screen:
"Knielen op een bed violen" written by Jan Siebelink.
(Translates as: Kneeling on a bed of violets" )

Struck by tragedy a gardener revives his strong religious childhood by joining a sectarian group, what drives him off from his family. Music by Dirk Brossé


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 10:24 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


I've been working my way through the first season of Outlander. Or, as I call it, The Adventures of Nursey and Butt-Chin. I have two episodes left to go, no spoilers please. (Though, yeah, I already pretty much know what's coming.)

I think I can see why so many people like this show. I don't know that I'm one of them. Obviously, I don't hate it, or I wouldn't still be watching. But back in my days in the SCA, I was one of the few people who just didn't care about the Scots, and that ambivalence serves me to this day. Also, the cycle of capture-rescue-repeat is wearing a little smooth. And I am totally over the sex scenes. The out-of-period waxing is distracting.

Maybe it'll get better next season (The Continued Adventures of Nursey and Butt-Chin), when they go to France, and I get to stare at the kind of clothes that just had me in fits of ecstasy back in the day.

The score is nice. It doesn't sound like Bear McCreary, which is a compliment. I hate when composers can only sound like themselves.
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 4:46 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Okay, I finished the first season of Nursey and Butt-Chin, and am now caught up on their Continued Adventures. I am not impressed. Well, yes, I love the clothes, but the story seems really rushed, and the bad guy is just unbelievable. And they committed the cardinal sin of ruining/wasting the Comte St. Germain.

Seriously, the best thing about this show is the score, and Bear McCreary's blog about it. Awesome, awesome stuff.


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I really liked this movie. Especially since, after watching Outlander, it was nice to settle into some entertainment where no one gets raped. Kinda made me never want to eat a potato again, though.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:32 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


GODS OF EGYPT

I watched this movie out of a sense of professional obligation. Let's start with the good. I wrote my dissertation on the goddess Nephthys, because no one else bothered to. She's a major goddess with no personality and basically exists to be Isis's less-popular twin. So imagine my surprise when Nephthys not only showed up in the film and was called by name, but had lines and a bit of a backstory. Then something bad happened to her, as it does to all the female characters in this stupid CGI effect explosion, but hey, I never thought I'd live to see Nephthys in a movie.

I liked some of the production design, too. Ra's barque was futuristic and neat. If I had to guess, I'd say the movie takes place in that legendary time when aliens ruled the Nile Valley. That would explain a lot, though the movie isn't big on explanations. Some of the lines were funny, too.

But boy, is it dull. The biggest problem (not the whitewashing, though that was just weird) is that the movie doesn't feel Egyptian. It's Clash of the Titans in Egyptian drag, another excuse for Gerard Butler to wear a leather skirt and yell at people (which he does just fine).

So everything you've heard is true. This movie sucks. But if you're one of the three people out there who care about Nephthys, know that she finally got into pictures.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:56 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


It is a boring movie Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:10 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


WARCRAFT



I saw 'Warcraft' today. I'm not a fan of video games, I don't know the universe of Warcraft (I took 2 experts with me, my teen children), I didn't read reviews, so I didn't have any particular expectations. I like fantasy stories and I liked two previous Duncan Jones' film (Moon, Source Code). It was a sufficient reason for my visit to the cinema. I can tell you, I 'm not disappointed. Dear producers, I want more, please continue this story.

The huge advantage of 'Warcraft' is CGI artwork. Visually, the film is amazing. The scenery, characters, (especially the orcs), the action are captivating, fantastic, stunning ... (sigh). Although it is not a psychological drama, the acting is decent. There are no big names, special effects were expensive enough. For me, 'Warcraft' is an exciting short detachment from reality.

I was wondering, what other people think. I looked at the reviews (metacritic.com). Interestingly, the opinions of critics and audiences are exactly opposite: the professionals complain about the weakness of the film, the amateurs like it. It’s all so plodding and grim, echoed by the blandly percussive score by Ramin Djawadi (The Washington Post). Plodding? Do I understand this word properly? 2 hours of history with many characters and twists. This is the story about war. Drums fit perfectly to it. They all stand around stiffly mumbling Tolkien-esque jibberish about boomsticks, spellthrowers, Golems, and something called "The Fel" which seems to be really important, but I could not tell you why. (Entertainment Weekly) What an ignorance. Hey, this is fantasy. Has only Tolkien had a monopoly on it? If you don't know Warcraft universe, go to wowpedia or wowwiki and check what The Fel is. The "Warcraft" games were never meant to have the depth narrative of "The Lord of the Rings," or even "Game of Thrones." But the movie cribs freely from both of those sources anyway, as well as "Star Wars," "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes", "Avatar" and numerous other recent blockbusters. (Variety). Please, stop comparing. You are talking about a game created over 20 years ago. And by the way, the depth narrative of Avatar or Star Wars seems to me rather controversial.

Professional critics, better go to work, fantasy fans go to the cinema to see 'Warcraft'.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:00 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Thanks for the review, Martino. I'm glad you had a good time. I haven't see this (yet?). But I just had to respond to some things in your review, mostly your blasting of critics.

Just because a movie is enjoyable or fun doesn't mean it's a good movie. There's nothing wrong with that. But a critic's job is to, well, critique a movie. There are plenty of Tolkien knock-offs out that that suck. And no, Tolkien doesn't have a monopoly, but he did this integral world-building thing before anyone, and better than most. So yeah, he's the yardstick.

martino wrote:
If you don't know Warcraft universe, go to wowpedia or wowwiki and check what The Fel is.


God forbid a film should tell me what I need to know to enjoy it. If I have to take a wiki with me, then I'll just skip the film and watch something that is telling me a story, not just shouting out highlights from what I already know. Again, just because fans of this sort of thing like it, doesn't mean everybody does.

martino wrote:
And by the way, the depth narrative of Avatar or Star Wars seems to me rather controversial. Professional critics, better go to work, fantasy fans go to the cinema to see 'Warcraft'.


I don't know what you mean by "controversial." I, personally, think Avatar is terrible storytelling. But why does everyone have to agree? You saw the movie, you obviously didn't care what critics thought when you bought your ticket. Why do you have to take pot shots at them now? You liked the film, they didn't. So what?

Remember that audience reviews are not necessarily a representative sample. Critics have to see (almost) everything, and write about it. This can make you feel jaded about something that looks just like what you've already seen. The audience members don't have to see anything they don't want to, and they don't have to write reviews. They tend to do so only if they love or hate the movie. So the data skews.
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