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  1. #1
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    What's the last movie you watched : 2014 Edition

    With thanks to the many contributors to the 2013 edition, it's time for a new thread for 2014. (Old thread is HERE.)

    Reminder: the title tells us what to do: this movie can be on television, at the cinema or on DVD/Blu Ray (or, in the case of Junk Monkey (possibly), VHS tape!). They do not have to be specifically genre, though they usually are: we are an SF/Fantasy/Horror kind of place, after all.

    Interested in what you say.

    To start us off:

    Starship Troopers (1997): in High Definition. (Am a fairly recent purchaser of a HiDef TV & Blu Ray player at long last, if you hadn't noticed...). Still not sure, and it'll be interested when I reread the novel for comparison. The effects have held up fairly well, though are a little creaky in places. The dialogue though... agh. I remember seeing that one at the cinema originally and being impressed which shows how far things have changed...

    Aliens (1986): Also in Hi Def. An old favourite and still impressive, though I could still happily give up screaming Newt to the Aliens with very little regret...


    Mark
    Mark

  2. #2
    Registered User theonefirestorm's Avatar
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    The oxford murders 6.1 of 10
    A great climax. In this movie it talks is there a irrefutable truth as 2 plus 2 is four, the perfect crime,the truth, etc.
    Also there is information revealed after the climax about earlier events with layer upon layer upon layer in the style of Sherlock Holmes a game of shadows it's not obvious you have to look closely to have noticed.
    This was unexpected since I'm so use to murder movies having one killer so this was unexpected.
    Also one scene of that person you think is the killer but isn't.

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    Pacific Rim: it was dumb, but still pretty entertaining. However, with the cast they chose, I kept thinking I was watching Sons of Anarchy with giant robots.

    I also saw Gravity in 3D, and, to be honest, thought it was quite forgettable. The characters and setting were so unrealistic (hint: ISS, Hubble and the Chinese space station are in radically different orbits) that the few hard SF elements really couldn't compensate. I also found the 3D pretty poor compared to the real 3D movies shot in space.

  4. #4
    Too many books to read... Siberian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oceanworld View Post
    Hunger Games: Catching Fire
    Good movie overall but the ending I don't like it when they leave you hanging like that. It was getting so good and bam they end it on you. Now we have to wait a year for the new movie to come out.
    Just go read the books
    I thought the movie was rather good, better than the first one (whereas the book I think was largely a rehash). Mockingjay was good but depressing.

  5. #5
    Science-Fantasy Zealot symbolhunter's Avatar
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    You might recall that Guillermo del Toro was the director of the brilliant Pan's Labyrinth, that very dark horror/fantasy set in the terrible Spanish Civil War. Well, I watched his 2013 production, Pacific Rim. It is very different, It is a science-fiction apocalypse in the mode of the Japanese Mech film. It is a conflict between aliens located in the Pacific depths who appear as Kaiju monsters. The human race faces utter destruction as these terrible creatures ravage their cities. They reply with their own tech monster mechs called Jaegers. The fact that one of the controllers of the main mech is a Japanese girl is perhaps a nod to Eureka 7--the Japanese anime which also uses the mech plot device.

    The characters are defined with greater psychological depth than is usually the case in action dramas of this sort giving the film a deeper underlying interest beyond the tremendous and quite brilliant battle sequences. Clearly del Toro is having an enormous amount of fun with this extraordinary action roller coaster but he makes certain that we are interested in the protagonists and keeps the plot logically consistent--once the basic premise is established. All this makes the film a cut above the usual apocalyptic scifi production and it loses nothing in the entertainment department.

    The other film I finally saw was The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug which is the second part of the trilogy. It is far better than the first episode. At least part of the reason is the magnificent resonant sound of the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch who creates both The Necromancer and Smaug. The latter is a dragon of tremendous and vivid presence--better than anything comparable I have seen. The visual effect for the Necromancer are also brilliantly created and linger in the memory. Thorin is clearly developing into a significant character and Bard is rather more impressive than his counterpart in the book. There is what is certain to be an ull-fated romance between Legolas and a beautiful but low born Elf-maiden. Perhaps the only disappointment is the little use made of Beorn--but this might be remedied in the final instalment.

    So this was worth seeing and enjoyable. But one must remember it is emphatically not a film of The Hobbit as Tolkien conceived that book. Rather it is a film of the Appendices in LOTR and features adaptations of events in The Hobbit in the process, Of course, after the epic splendour of LOTR perhaps this is the only way that Jackson could do something comparable with the earlier book.
    Last edited by symbolhunter; January 11th, 2014 at 05:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    The effects have held up fairly well, though are a little creaky in places. The dialogue though... agh.
    It's worth remembering that Starship Troopers is a film within a film; it's meant to be a future gung-ho recruitment movie. Given how good the DVD looks, I'm guessing it looks great on Blu-Ray.

  7. #7
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was impressed, Edward, although in places it did show up some of the effects a little.
    Mark

  8. #8
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    Watched a road movie from the 70's : Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. I'm not much into muscle cars, but the scenery was amazing (Montana?) , the cast excellent (Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin, Jeff Bridges) and a great director at his debut : Michael Cimino. There is a heist in development and a lot of humor, but mainly it was the roadtrip for me.

  9. #9
    http://tinyurl.com/363ogv DurzoBlint's Avatar
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    Recently watched the documentary Black Fish about the captivity of Killer Whales and how they have turned on their trainers and Sea World has repeatedly kept it secret from the public. I enjoyed it and can see why so many praise it. The only thing I didn't like, through no fault of their own, was that Sea World wasn't represented. They tried to get them to respond for the movie but they refused to comment. I would have liked to have seen their rebuttal to the claims.

    Also watched Shameless Season 3. Still a guilty pleasure and looking forward to season 4.

  10. #10
    Registered User JunkMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Reminder: the title tells us what to do: this movie can be on television, at the cinema or on DVD/Blu Ray (or, in the case of Junk Monkey (possibly), VHS tape!).
    VHS? Definitely! I have boxes and boxes of the things (I also have a Betamax player in the attic somewhere that did work the last time I plugged it in). So far this year I have only watched one film on VHS: Duel of the Dragons (aka Three Avengers 1979) - 97 minutes of Chinese people hitting each other for fewer (and even less apparent) reasons than usual. Two lines of dialogue followed by 10 minutes of sweaty people in vests not quite hitting each other: Ho! Ha! Whack! Whap! Ho! Hoo! Whang! Whack!

    Last year I only watched a couple of dozen films on VHS but I did watch a LOT of films on the notoriously crappy 23rd Century label, so it feels like a lot more. I like VHS there's something about the crappiness of the picture quality that suits the films I watch. I wouldn't want to watch 2001: A Space Odyssey on VHS but some straight to video piece of 1980s shite (Teenage Zombie Ninja Slaughter-Camp 3?) just feels right on VHS. I love crappy old 1930s Amazing Stories of Superscienctifiction too. They read better in two columns of rough typesetting on yellowing pulp paper than they would in some super-expensive, acid-free paper in a case-bound, slip-cased Folio Society edition.

    Honour the crap! (And all the trailers for those films you have never heard of on VHSs are worth the trouble alone.)

    Last night I watched The Green Slime (1968) on my new tablet.
    Last edited by JunkMonkey; January 12th, 2014 at 12:55 PM.

  11. #11
    Let me be your gateway Chekhov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward M. Grant View Post
    Pacific Rim: it was dumb, but still pretty entertaining. However, with the cast they chose, I kept thinking I was watching Sons of Anarchy with giant robots.

    I also saw Gravity in 3D, and, to be honest, thought it was quite forgettable. The characters and setting were so unrealistic (hint: ISS, Hubble and the Chinese space station are in radically different orbits) that the few hard SF elements really couldn't compensate. I also found the 3D pretty poor compared to the real 3D movies shot in space.
    So, is there anything you like without tearing it to shreds?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chekhov View Post
    So, is there anything you like without tearing it to shreds?
    Not much since CGI took over from script writing a few years ago. The second Hobbit movie was better than the first, but still trying too hard to turn a short book into an epic trilogy.

    I spent most of two trans-Atlantic flights recently watching movies, and Pacific Rim is the only one I can actually remember of the movies I watched.

  13. #13
    A chuffing heffalump Chuffalump's Avatar
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    The second Hobbit movie.

    Not bad. Made me a bit nauseous with the swooping camera work, blatent pandering to the 3D audience. Benedict Cumberbatch was wasted as Smaug, they put so much gravel and volume into his voice it was barely recognizable. Less modification would have allowed a certain suave menace which he would have done so well.

    However, if you ignore the book and take the film on its own merits, pretty entertaining.

  14. #14
    Kiss my axe! kahnovitch's Avatar
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    The Last Man on Earth (1964) A black and white film based on "I am Legend". The best adaptation I've seen of the book with Vincent Price as the Neville character (although his name is not actually Neville). It follows the book much closer than other attempts.

    Old Boy (Spike Lee version) I like Josh Brolin and I enjoyed his portrayal, but I think the film doesn't translate too well to western culture as I'm not sure us westerners have the same levels of shame or honour as our eastern brethren, so the ending may have lost some of it's impact. BTW I haven't actually seen the original all the way through so I can't compare them.

  15. #15
    Ender's Game.

    First, I've never read the book, though I've always intended to do so. The movie didn't turn me off from reading the book, a good thing, but the movie also seemed to rush plot points (or beats, whatever lingo you want to use). The best representation of that was when Ender returns to Earth for a time and Harrison Ford's character goes to retrieve him and then return to training. I can almost bet that Card wrote that in the novel as several chapters as Ender dealt w/ the stresses, pondered the consequences of his decisions, and did whatever he did on Earth. In the movie, it's an incredibly short sequence of scenes that serve no purpose to the overall plot and should've been rightly sent to the cutting room floor OR it should've been increased to allow for more gravitas to the conflict (inner and outer). As it was, the sequence added nothing from one direction or another.

    And several other plot points hurt the movie's watchability in similar fashion, as if they were trying to put each plot point from the novel into the movie, touching on aspects of it w/o devoting the necessary build for the audience. My 13 year old son fell asleep, and not because he was tired. We were watching it around 6pm and he made it for an hour. To me, he would've been the target audience.

    With that said, I didn't dislike the movie, I just didn't find myself sucked into the drama.

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