The Death Note movie is everything I expected from it, a fine slice of ham with vague lip service. It’s a what-if scenario in which, “What if people called anger ‘intelligence’?”
The flight had Ghost in the Shell (2017) which I knew I’d otherwise never see, so I watched it. Whitewashing is bad, etc., but otherwise… it’s meh to ok. This world is cool, but I’d rather have interesting stories in it instead of the classic Megacorps are Bad trope and an uninterested backstory for Major punctuated with rehashes of scenes that were in GitS (1995).
And then I noticed Clint Mansell’s name in the credits. Nice. Yeah, the music was the best part, written by Clint Mansell and Lorne Balfe. So, let’s buy the score and oh fuck Lakeshore Records canceled the release of the score for no known reason.
There is a crazy fan who extracted the audio from the movie and attempted to filter the score, but there’s plenty of unwanted voice and gunshots. It’s not the satisfaction I’m looking for.
Yeah, while it’s not a great movie, there are some good things to say about it. Set design, mechanical design, pretty much everything in terms of visuals was super on point, it’s just too bad that the whole thing was let down by the story, writing, and casting.
Seriously great movie about the rise and fall of NWA. I like how the movie had a lot of input from the group members to include Dr. Dre and Ice Cube (his son O’Shea Jackson Jr. plays Ice Cube in the movie).
I watched that after HBO’s: The Defiant Ones.
It’s a 4 1 hour episodes that is a documentary of the story behind Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine and how they came together and what led up to the $3.2 billion Apple purchase of Beats by Dre.
It has AMAZING stories from well known musicians: Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, Trent Reznor, Gwen Stefani, Bono, Will.i.am, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, etc. Snoop Dogg’s stories were my favorite. That man always makes me laugh. Love him.
But seriously great storytelling if you’re interested certain aspects of the music industry with the rise and repercussions of gangsta rap. I want to watch it again after watching Straight Outta Compton.
If you you’re interested in the history of Hip-Hop and Rap, if you haven’t already, you should check out the podcast “Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty.”
“A collaborative production between Loud Speakers and Gimlet Media (Startup), Mogul is the first major foray into narrative storytelling for a hip-hop podcast. It’s also the result of a cross-pollination between two digital media companies with very different core audiences and platforms — one known for producing personality-driven shows with in-depth interviews and loose talk for urban listeners, the other spawned from the public radio world where journalistic, serial storytelling is prized. The result is a six-part series, available exclusively on Spotify for eight weeks, that dives deep into the groundbreaking success and questionable death of a figure as instrumental to hip-hop’s mainstream dominance as the stars whose careers he guided.”
I am happy to say that Blade Runner 2049 is really good! It did everything a Blade Runner sequel needed to without doing any of the dumb things I was afraid it would!
Blade Runner 2049 is what I’ve been waiting for in a new science fiction movie set in an existing universe from the 1970’s/80’s. Not a reboot, not a remake, not a homage, not a soft reboot retelling exactly the same story… just a sequel. Just another movie that stands on its own as a movie. Of course you need to have seen the previous movie to understand the story fully, but not for the movie to work in its own right.
Recent opposite examples:
Both recent Star Wars
Star Trek 2009 and Into Darkness
Also, while not scifi, Spectre
Others I’m sure, but can’t think of right now.
I saw the new MLP:FiM movie. It is a kids movie, a few little nods to other Hasbro Licenses were thrown in as jokes. The beats are nothing unusual, the amount of song borders on musical numbers. The good guys win, and holy crap the amount of toy lines coming out of this is record breaking.
The new Blade Runner was absolutely amazing! Visually it was stunning. The sound and music were excellent. The story and acting were all tip top of the very notch. The world… the world was just so… realized and well done. I don’t want to be overly hyperbolic, but this movie was practically transcendent scifi.
I want to go see it again.
Official review of Blade Runner 2049
Number 1 reason this film is bad can be read here https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/evpwga/blade-runner-2049-sexist-misogynistic-mess
Despite that, the problems with the film…
Waaay longer than it needed to be.
Does poor job of establishing character motives at any given time, because there’s virtually no context for anything. Only the most obvious connections make sense if you base them on assumptions that may or may not fit the reality of the world that is presented to you.
The film relies heavily on aesthetics to maintain your attention. Which would be ok, if there was any amount of nuance to draw from. Which there isn’t. The mantra of ‘dystopia’ is the explain all. When that doesn’t work sure enough there are flashbacks and expositions.
What the film does well is showcase very well (if hyper-objectification of woman can be seen as a good) put together tech demoes for futuristic sex toys (fantasies for straight men). More attention to detail were put into those specific scenes than anything else.
It’s interesting how bad the msyogny is in this film, yet, the actual line was drawn at having 4 boobs on screen. You can have sex with 2 women at once, but don’t show their breasts at the same time.
The plot isn’t ambiguous, it’s diffuse. Apparently there’s a revolution to care about. In this dystopian society do we actually know what human rights + replicant rights mean? There’s no context to explain any of the rules or behaviours of the characters. So it turns into a case for the audience to decide what is good or evil.
There are plot holes and inconsistancies…
Yet people enjoyed it. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
The original is better, because it does more with less, because it tries to do less. Still not a great film tough, just distinct aesthetics.
Doc Badger was my favourite character.
GITS: SOC will scratch the sci-fi itch. Don’t watch 2049 unless you’re curious.
2049 would have been better as a Big O live action. It had the ‘memories’ just needed fucking Megadeuses.
Yesterday I took my niece and nephew to see The Lego Ninjago Movie. Today I rewatched The Lego Batman Movie. Both are very good animated comedy films, though I prefer the Batman movie, mostly because it has this additional layer of making fun of the super-seriousness into which the Batman mythology has drifted since The Dark Knight Returns. Maybe that is also me being far more familiar with the base material. Perhaps someone more familiar with the Lego proprietary Ninjago series would have a different thing to say. However, the Ninjago film also seems kind of rushed and the story a is a little bit sloppy.
In any case, the animation in both is absolutely superb and while they keep to the Lego aesthetic they also know when to take liberties, particularly with the characters. Both films also have excellent comedic timing and lots of funny sight-gags.
However, there is kind of a big issue between the two movies, and that is that they are the same movie. Both are about super-heroes, they fight a villain who is and both have themes involving fathers and sons and the inability of one of the characters to form meaningful interpersonal relationships. Its only who fills what role that is altered between the movies.
The Ninjago Movie also gets kind of a big deduction because even though it introduces a full sentai-esque team team of heroes, it is almost completely exclusively about two characters. Five of the six people in the team are not as much characters, as much as facades of characters that do little more than react to the main character. Overall it also felt very short, as if a lot of the film got cut out.
Just returned from watching Thor: Ragnarok. Definitely the best of the Thor series, and that isn’t just hollow praise due to the fact that the Thor movies so far being the weakest offerings of the MCU, but a decent and very entertaining movie in its own right. Thor himself actually has some genuine character growth moments, there are some fun and memorable new characters, there is a villain with a proper motivation, it ties well into other MCU stuff. From a technical standpoint I also can’t find any obvious flaws in the sense of storytelling, plot, acting, direction, lighting or sound really.
Luke, could you elaborate why you believe it’s not “a particularly good movie”?
Thor Raganrok was really, really entertaining. It’s mid-tier for the MCU but that’s still a pretty good movie all things considered (probably in the Doctor Strange/Spiderman: Homecoming tier) The jokes feel more appropriately Taika Waititi; someone who is nonchalant towards ridiculous things going on around them. He plays a Rock Alien named Korg he steals every scene. The color scheme is very pretty, Flash Gordon esque and Mark Mothersbaugh’s score is appropriately synthy. It feels like this movie has used Hulk and Thor the best out of all their previous movies. There’s just some tonal problems when you don’t care about Asgard in the slightest when the new world of Sakaar is SUPER interesting. Hela isn’t a great villain but Cate Blanchet’s performance gives it a lot of energy.
The villain was terrible. Every time the movie cut back to her story, I groaned as it was so tedious compared to the adventures elsewhere. Cate Blanchett is a great actor, but she really struggled with the tonal shifts where she had to be evil and yet crack jokes as well. She just couldn’t pull it off. The director should have realised this and made her way more serious and threatening, and let the comedy come from other places.
Instead, the idea seemed to be “comedy at any cost” which, for the most part, worked really well. At every other point, when it was possible to cram in another joke or visual gag, it made the film better. With Hella’s character? It made the movies worse.
Skourge, her sidekick, seemed to have nothing to do for 99% of the movie, and yet he still had more of a character arc than Hela. That both Cate Blanchett and Karl Urban were introduced in this movie, and both died by the end of it, was a complete waste. Hela’s super power, being able to conjure infinite flying daggers, could have been amazing. But in the end it came to nothing.
There are other story problems, but most of them are forgivable because they allow for more laughs. Like Doctor Strange turning up at the start? No point in that entire scene. But it was funny, so who cares.
As for the technical aspects, a lot can be covered up with layers and layers of special effects. At that’s mostly effective.
But Loki’s sideburns! I couldn’t stop looking at them! They were applied so amateurishly it became the main thing I was tracking through the movie. Juliane said after that she had the same problem with Odin’s beard, but at least that facial hair didn’t hang around for the whole movie.
Anyway, overall I think it was a very, very entertaining movie, but was a big step down from other MCU movies in terms of storytelling.
I really enjoyed the movie, but I couldn’t help wanting them to have done a HULK: Planet Hulk Movie where Thor shows up instead of Thor: Ragnarok Movie that barely focuses on Ragnarok and undercuts the fun of Planet Hulk.
Luke, where would you put it in the THOR Trilogy?
It’s the most entertaining Thor movie by far, but I think the first has the best story. I may be the only person who liked the second Thor movie, but it is certainly the weakest. I really like that all three have such different tones, but somehow all seem to fit together.
I’d love a Hulk movie. I mean a good one.
They won’t do a Hulk movie because Universal still owns distribution rights. They’ve said that Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers 4 will basically have a three-movie story-arc for him.
Thinking back on the Thor movies, I almost wish they had made Kat Dennings Jane Foster and not Natalie Portman. You can tell Portman was really sick of the role by Thor 2. I get that not every likes Dennings but at least she seemed like she was having fun on the film.
As for Ragnarok, I really liked it. I got a kick out of Cate being all over the place, but I dig that sort of villain.
I wonder if the people behind the Thor movies would have cast a different actor as Jane Foster if they had known ahead of time where the comics were going to go, and that Foster would eventually become Thor herself.