The Official Review Thread of 2017

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:44 am

Ouch. I went to The Greatest Showman today and concur with B.J. in his scathing critique of the film. I will add that I found the film to barely have a storyline as is moves from episode to episode. The characters aren't even one dimensional. They are little more then crude sketches giving the actors no hope of creating anything remotely human. The film looks hideous with its overdone CGI. I nearly feel off the chair when Bill Condon's name showed up as one of the co-writers. The film is a new low for Condon who is capable of so much better.

A Steve Pulaksi on Mubi stated "This feels like it was eviscerated in the editing room; cut from a 140 minute character study to a leaner crowdpleaser that undermines the complexities both laudable and contemptible concerning P. T. Barnum." He may be onto something there. On a positive note This Is Me is the one and only 'show stopper' but what's the point when everything else is beyond terrible. This will go down as one of the worst films to ever receive an Oscar nomination(s).
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:15 pm

I have seen Jumanji and it was the most enjoyable time I've had at the movies in awhile. I found the film incredibly funny. It doesn't take itself too seriously and, although it's built on conventional stereotypes of modern teenagers, they are executed well and are relatable. It's a fun adventure that appeals to people of many generations. Though, if you don't like dick jokes (even cleverly executed ones), you might be more put off by segments of it than most people will be.

Honestly, if it weren't for Karen Gillan and Jack Black, I don't think the film would have been nearly as funny, nor as intense. I also admire how it takes racial tension, male-male flirtation, and other matters seriously and doesn't treat them as punchlines, but as undercurrents. It's like they know their audience will feature a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds and wants them to feel comfortable rather than offended (think just how bad Michael Bay can be with his homophobic and sexist filmmaking).
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby Franz Ferdinand » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:18 am

The magic period between Christmas and New Year's when every day is like a Saturday at the box office can also greatly inflate a movie's grosses to the point where you're caught off guard - "wait, Jumanji's made HOW much??" This was holiday counter-programming at its finest, and I think we need to acknowledge Jack Black's box office draw haha.

It's much the same as "The Greatest Showman" turning a seemingly moribund $8M opening weekend into well over $100M.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby dws1982 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:13 am

I think it's a combination of factors: It works as counter-programming to Star Wars; whereas Star Wars mostly appeals to men, this has more appeal to entire families, specifically those with children who are a little old to want to see Ferdinand. Plus, several people who saw the original movie in the 90's now have kids of their own that they may want to see the new one with. Also, we probably shouldn't underestimate the appeal of a well-done trailer. I haven't seen it, but I did laugh at the trailer, and I can imagine some people seeing it based off of that.

But at the same time, it's made way more than I would've expected. It's on track for somewhere around $350 million domestic. I was just expecting one of those decent Christmas hits that makes its money and plays off without much notice.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby Okri » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:12 pm

Okay, anonymous, since you saw it can you explain why Jumanji is making so much money? It could potentially end up as a top five film from 2017, box office wise, and I legit have no clue why. Now, this is happening more and more with me and my understanding of the box office and what makes money, but I legit thought this would be a huge, Geostorm level flop (and I wanted to see Geostorm).

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:53 am

FERDINAND
Cast: John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Cannavale, Peyton Manning, Gina Rodriguez, Miguel Angel Silvestre, David Tennant, Gabriel Iglesias, Daveed Diggs, Flula Borg, Jerrod Carmichael, Lily Day (voices).
Dir: Carlos Saldanha.

This is the feature-length adaptation of the familiar story of Ferdinand the Bull, the gentle bull who'd rather sniff flowers than fight matadors. I think we all saw the Walt Disney short that first adapted it. It was perfectly fine and concise as a short but how does it work as a feature film? Well, it does and it doesn't. As a feature film, it definitely feels way too padded out and overlong. They added a lot of cutesy characters and modernized it a great deal. The climax of the film is pretty terrific but getting there is a bit of a chore for someone over 10. It is saved somewhat by Kate McKinnon's fantastic voice work as Lupe, the calming goat. It's not bad but far from great.

Oscar Prospects: Animated Feature if voters are lazy. Maybe Original Song but Nick Jonas being an Oscar nominee? Yeesh.

Grade: C+

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:08 am

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Bobby Cannavale, Alex Wolff, Madison Isenman, Ser'Darius Blain, Morgan Turner, Rhys Darby, Marc Evan Jackson, Colin Hanks.
Dir: Jake Kasdan.

I've seen the first Jumanji when I was a teen and I do in fact enjoy it. For some reason, I've seen it repeatedly since it was on cable all the time. I don't think it's a revered classic or anything but I did remember enjoying it a lot. So when I heard they were making a reboot of it, I was like, "Okay, whatever!" But it actually turned out pretty decent surprisingly enough. This time, four teen movie tropes (hehehe, me being a smart-ass) get sucked into a video game version of the game. It manages to balance the fun adventure stuff with a few genuine laughs and is thoroughly entertaining. I must say that this is a better Breakfast Club than Breakfast Club.

Oscar Prospects: None.

Grade: B-

THE DISASTER ARTIST
Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Ari Graynor, Alison Brie, Melanie Griffith, Josh Hutcherson, Jacki Weaver, Sharon Stone, Zac Efron, Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas, Hannibal Burress, June Diane Raphael, Megan Mullally, Judd Apatow, Bryan Cranston.
Dir: James Franco.

This is the true story behind the making of The Room, the worst movie ever made by a mysterious weirdo Tommy Wiseau and his baby face actor friend Greg Sestero whose book this film is based on. I've actually seen and enjoyed The Room in the comfort of my bedroom and I would love to go to one of those special screenings with longtime fans. I don't know if you need to see it in order to enjoy and appreciate this film but it sure would help. Without seeing the film, this is a film about two people who want to make their dreams come true and one of them just happens to be this odd duck of a character. It is often very funny and James Franco (yeah, I know) is excellent but I think Dave Franco deserves some credit too. I think this is the younger Franco's best performance to date and without him, the film wouldn't have been believable. Not quite the best of the year but it's a pretty solid comedy.

Oscar Prospects: Actor and Adapted Screenplay.

Grade: B+

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:32 am

flipp525 wrote:
Terence Davies’ next(-ish) project is an adaptation of a linked short story collection by one of my graduate school mentors - Mother of Sorrows by Richard McCann. Davies wrote the screenplay himself and, although I know the main casting, I’m not really in a position to share who it is at this point. The lead, I think, could finally be up for some awards recognition (hint hint) if he nails the role it right.


Mother of Sorrows sounds great and perfect material I would think for Terence Davies.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby flipp525 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:50 pm

A Quiet Passion is a consistently moving film and really just beautifully written. Of course, I knew that Cynthia Nixon would be the big draw (and she does not disappoint, delivering a deeply felt performance as Emily Dickinson). I didn’t see her depiction in the film as a “simple shut-in” (which is how a friend of mine described the performance) at all and I was surprised at how many joys she seems to find in life throughout the early scenes of the film, even though it’s always tempered with sadness. Her descent in the latter half is palpable and unnerving. Her "Why has the world become so ugly?" line seemed especially resonant.

I was surprised by just how many of the supporting performances I ended up responding to. From Jodhi May to Jennifer Ehle to Catherine Bailey (who almost steals the show at points and has some great lines). Joanna Bacon (who plays Emily’s mother) delivers a monologue about a young man she knew in church as a youth that, I think, is one of the most moving and heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen on film. This film is a true gem that really should have made more waves this season. Terence Davies’ direction is very profound and delicate at times, the waning sunlight on the door as Dickinson laments the spectre of a man who may not ever come is just haunting.

(Shit, does this belong in the Official Review Thread of 2016? I will gladly move it if that is so.)

Terence Davies’ next(-ish) project is an adaptation of a linked short story collection by one of my graduate school mentors - Mother of Sorrows by Richard McCann. Davies wrote the screenplay himself and, although I know the main casting, I’m not really in a position to share who it is at this point. The lead, I think, could finally be up for some awards recognition (hint hint) if he nails the role right.
Last edited by flipp525 on Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:18 am

THE FLORIDA PROJECT
Cast: Brooklynn Prince, Willem Dafoe, Bria Vinaite, Valeria Cotto, Christopher Rivera, Mela Murder, Caleb Landry Jones.
Dir: Sean Baker.

Oh, I loved this movie. While living in a cheap motel at the outskirts of Disney World in Orlando, Florida, a young girl and her friends from low-income (to put it politely) families go about their day during the early days of summer break. Like with his previous film Tangerine, writer-director Sean Baker creates a believable very lived-in world that we seldom see first-hand. He's a filmmaker who gives his characters humanity and gets you to empathize with them even if they're not always very pleasant. I'm not a parent, I'm an uncle though and I have to say that there are scenes in this movie where I go, "Oh, crap, don't do that!" Willem Dafoe, despite being a recognizable face, actually blends in well with the rest of the first-time/unknown cast and gives the film a lot of its heart. It's also beautifully shot. Yes, it's one of the best films of the year.

Oscar Prospects: Deserving of Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Screenplay and Cinematography.

Grade: A
Last edited by anonymous1980 on Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby dws1982 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:24 am

Clash
Egypt, right after Morsi was ousted: During the protests, two journalists are detained by police and placed in the back of a police van. The van fills up on pretty short order, with Muslim Brotherhood supporters, with military supporters, and with some neutral parties who got caught up by accident. The movie is set entirely within the confines of the van; our only glimpse into what's going on outside comes from what the detainees can see from the van. It may be a stunt of a movie, but it's a brilliantly mounted and constructed stunt, and it handles the varying tones and all of the tensions inside that van masterfully. This was Egypt's submission to the Oscars last year, but it didn't even make the shortlist, and then it was barely released in the United States this summer. It's available to stream on Netflix, and available to rent on Amazon, so give it a watch. It's very much worth seeing.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:14 am

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL
Cast: Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sōta Fukushi, Hayato Ichihara, Erika Toda, Kazuki Kitamura, Chiaki Kuriyama.
Dir: Takashi Miike.

What a way to start the New Year! My first film of 2018 is is director Takashi Miike's 100th (!!!) film. It's an adaptation of a manga about a swordsman cursed with immortality. He's hired by a young girl (who resembles his dead younger sister) to avenge the deaths of her family. This feels like a straight-up revenge tale but it's not. The film goes into certain directions you may not expect. However, getting there is of course predictably action-packed. I mean, the main titles haven't even started and the body count is already in the dozens. Miike's no Kurosawa but he can stage a great action scene and it's quite literally a bloody good time. I saw this streaming on Netflix, FYI.

Oscar Prospects: No idea if it's eligible but Costumes and Sets are notable.

Grade: B+

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby ITALIANO » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:53 am

Big Magilla wrote:Zoe Kazan may have been annoying in The Big Sick, but she was channeling real Emily V. Gordon seen here discussing the film:

http://www.imdb.com/list/ls025849840/vi ... =hm_hp_i_1


:D

Yes, you are right - she was channeling Emily V. Gordon when she's interviewed on American tv - who may not be the real Emily V. Gordon but who, at least according to Emily V. Gordon who after all co-wrote the movie, is better than the real Emily V. Gordon. (Between us, I feel that the real Emily V. Gordon isn't less annoying than the one in the interview, though in a different way maybe).

In my work, I have interviewed Americans and Europeans from the movie world. And Americans definitely are the best. They act even during the interview, so that you know that it will be showy and entertaining. Honesty, of course, is something else, but maybe they are right - they are after all selling their movie, and when you have to sell something you have to be persuasive, convincing, but not necessarily "true". Sometimes, though, I wonder if at least in the privacy of their own homes they allow themselves to be themselves.

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:34 pm

Zoe Kazan may have been annoying in The Big Sick, but she was channeling real Emily V. Gordon seen here discussing the film:

http://www.imdb.com/list/ls025849840/vi ... =hm_hp_i_1

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Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:05 pm

Sabin wrote:
Italiano
Do you really know people like her? Because if you do, well, then she's at least REALISTICALLY annoying, and I'd accept that. The point is that I couldn't believe in her as a human being. Every single line she says sounds like it has been written before, and not even very well written. And no, she's not likable...

Well, as I said earlier in my post, these are more ideas of characters than characters. No, I don't know anyone like Zoe Kazan's character, nor do I think she plays a very likable one. She's more of a sitcom creation. However, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing if done well.


Ok :)


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