Film The Redcafe Movie review thread

AaronRedDevil

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I despise midsommar. Worst movie I've seen in a while. Didn't know whether to laugh or cringe at the stupidity of it.
 

George Owen

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The first time I saw it, in a barely populated cinema, yes. Never been scared by anything like it, before or since.

I will say that once you know what's coming, it loses its potency. I took someone to see it again shortly after and certain scenes and moments that I''d found terrifying before became almost comical.

I appreciated the originality of Midsommar, and there definitely were some creepy elements, but I think I set the bar too high and was bound for disappointment. Still, Florence Pugh... :drool:

"Humans are way more scary than ghosts." That I agree with, as far as real life goes, but I'm struggling to think of a non-supernatural movie that's genuinely scared me, including The Wicker Man, creepy as it is. The first season of True Detective had its moments, off the top of my head.
What about Texas chain saw massacre :drool:
 

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The Green Knight - Brilliant film, excellent performance by Dev Patel, some wonderful cinematography and shots, and a really interesting transcription of a King Arthur tale. The last 20mns or so will stick with me for quite some time.

Tick Tick Boom - I think Lin Manuel Miranda is as annoying as @Amar__ and fully expected to dislike this, but I actually found it very enjoyable. The cast in general is great and Andrew Garfield shows once again he's one of the most exciting actors out there. It managed to convey perfectly the joyful and youthful exuberance of this artist struggling with his own failures and worried about passing time, with the backdrop of the HIV epidemic in NY. I'm not a big fan of musicals, but I think the songs worked well (Boho Days brought a massive smile to my face, mostly thanks to Garfield's genuine and enthusiastic delivery). Overall, I felt it was a lovely and heartfelt portrayal of a person LMM most likely has a lot of admiration for, and in terms of "biopics", it's one that would land on the good to very good end of the spectrum.

It also kind of fecked with my head realising this guy who turned 30 in 1990 would be 61 today. Like, no way, 1990 was 5mns ago?
 

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The Green Knight - Brilliant film, excellent performance by Dev Patel, some wonderful cinematography and shots, and a really interesting transcription of a King Arthur tale. The last 20mns or so will stick with me for quite some time.

Tick Tick Boom - I think Lin Manuel Miranda is as annoying as @Amar__ and fully expected to dislike this, but I actually found it very enjoyable. The cast in general is great and Andrew Garfield shows once again he's one of the most exciting actors out there. It managed to convey perfectly the joyful and youthful exuberance of this artist struggling with his own failures and worried about passing time, with the backdrop of the HIV epidemic in NY. I'm not a big fan of musicals, but I think the songs worked well (Boho Days brought a massive smile to my face, mostly thanks to Garfield's genuine and enthusiastic delivery). Overall, I felt it was a lovely and heartfelt portrayal of a person LMM most likely has a lot of admiration for, and in terms of "biopics", it's one that would land on the good to very good end of the spectrum.

It also kind of fecked with my head realising this guy who turned 30 in 1990 would be 61 today. Like, no way, 1990 was 5mns ago?
He actually looks like me.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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No, that didn't bother me. I think I felt there was too much context with lose ends or that's underexplored. I also wasn't convinced by Jen's development as a character and how Jade Fox pops up in the story when it's convenient, and otherwise doesn't really exist - all of which sounds like stuff that probably works better in the full book version.
Jade Fox has a slightly different but still logical backstory. I think she acts very in character in the movie though. She's an infamous criminal who is using a fake identity to hide inside the prominent family as Jen's tutor. It does make sense (and was a fabulous casting to give it to the Cheng Pei-pei who starred in one of the first wuxia movies to hit the west.) I think Jade Fox was very well written and makes a lot of logical decisions for her character.

Jen could be said to be a little underexplained but I wouldn't say underdeveloped. She's a character continually faced with tough choices with real stakes and she keeps making those choices. Now, some of the choices might not seem to make sense to a modern audience (like why did Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat refuse to get married despite being in love) but for a traditional Chinese context, those are real and relevant choices. Even some girls I knew (then and now) really resonate with the choices Jen was faced with and she struggled to break from the role that society wanted to enforce on her but even then, when she loved Lo, she couldn't seem to resign herself to life as a bandit with Lo because, despite her break from tradition, she still has these internal weaknesses that ultimately prevent her from being happy. It's actually a common theme in noir which is perhaps why I love both genres because the best of each really digs into these types of choices and ends in tragedy. As an aside, there are definitely some wuxia fans that loved the movie and felt it superior to the original novel.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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Interesting take on disturbing moments in Licorice Pizza. Does seem a troublesome plot point now that I think about it.

https://www.tiktok.com/@somewhere_in_june/video/7039860185707367686

the Asian part also is completely unnecessary

https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture...m-scenes-involving-fake-asian-accent-rcna6603


Shame because I wanted to see this but think I'll pass on it until it's free.
I am sorry, I am still busy thinking about that audience applauding Spiderman.
 

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Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors - Hong Sang-Soo's third film and the one in which his style came into it's own. Pretty much a blueprint for many of his following films: the same story told twice with variations, sexual politics, the space between words and feelings, awkward sex, drunk, horny and irresponsible men including a pathetic film director...and I've seen a lot of Korean cinema but the weather only ever seems to be freezing in Hong's films for some reason.
 

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Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors - Hong Sang-Soo's third film and the one in which his style came into it's own. Pretty much a blueprint for many of his following films: the same story told twice with variations, sexual politics, the space between words and feelings, awkward sex, drunk, horny and irresponsible men including a pathetic film director...and I've seen a lot of Korean cinema but the weather only ever seems to be freezing in Hong's films for some reason.
Probably some Freudian slips at 24 fps. Takes one cold-hearted dude to cheat on the woman who devoted four years of her life to caring for his dementia-afflicted mother.
 

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Jade Fox has a slightly different but still logical backstory. I think she acts very in character in the movie though. She's an infamous criminal who is using a fake identity to hide inside the prominent family as Jen's tutor. It does make sense (and was a fabulous casting to give it to the Cheng Pei-pei who starred in one of the first wuxia movies to hit the west.) I think Jade Fox was very well written and makes a lot of logical decisions for her character.

Jen could be said to be a little underexplained but I wouldn't say underdeveloped. She's a character continually faced with tough choices with real stakes and she keeps making those choices. Now, some of the choices might not seem to make sense to a modern audience (like why did Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat refuse to get married despite being in love) but for a traditional Chinese context, those are real and relevant choices. Even some girls I knew (then and now) really resonate with the choices Jen was faced with and she struggled to break from the role that society wanted to enforce on her but even then, when she loved Lo, she couldn't seem to resign herself to life as a bandit with Lo because, despite her break from tradition, she still has these internal weaknesses that ultimately prevent her from being happy. It's actually a common theme in noir which is perhaps why I love both genres because the best of each really digs into these types of choices and ends in tragedy. As an aside, there are definitely some wuxia fans that loved the movie and felt it superior to the original novel.
I feel like I've hit a nerve here! :D But good for you to stand up for what you like. I'll spoiler my response, as I think I'd reveal a major part of the plot otherwise.
My issue is mostly with how she reappears at the end. After her last chat with Jen in Bejijng, she's gone until she reappears after the treetop fight. I also didn't quite see why she would spend 10 years as Jen's governess if she really likes the bandit's life - cause that's 10 years essentially locked up in a palace.
I didn't have an issue with everything you said. That's fairly standard and classical stuff (the noble girl that must accept a status marriage but prefers the rogue or poor guy she met somehow). Again, for me it's mostly about how she pivots at the end. There are several moments in the movie where she considers becoming Mu Bai's apprentice, but decides against it - again at the treetop fight when Mu Bai accepts and meets her challenge. I didn't see much indication for why she would change her mind at the end (which happens already before Jade Fox says she wanted to kill Jen).
In both cases, I felt the movie went a bit too quick - as if there was originally a longer cut that would explained character motivations better, but that I'm watching some kind of streamlined theatrical cut. I appreciate that I may have missed stuff though; I only watched it once, and this was my impression.
 

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Escape from Pretoria. A prison break film set around 1980, based on the true story of a couple of apartheid activities trying to escape from South Africa's Pretoria Political Prison for White Males (as it was called), featuring Daniel Radcliffe among others.

This is pretty OK as a thriller; I even got pretty nervous during the actual escape attempt. Other than that, it's not very impactful. These are apartheid activists, but given that it's a prison for white males, racism or other aspects of apartheid don't really play a role at all in the film; it basically could have been set at the Shawshank State Penitentiary as well. Even more awkward is that the apartheid angle is imprinted on the film nonetheless, while we basically only see white males (with a few minor exceptions). But at least there is no white saviour complex going on either. In any case, if you ignore that aspect, it's a decent if a little cliché'd prison break thriller.
 
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oneniltothearsenal

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I feel like I've hit a nerve here! :D But good for you to stand up for what you like. I'll spoiler my response, as I think I'd reveal a major part of the plot otherwise.
My issue is mostly with how she reappears at the end. After her last chat with Jen in Bejijng, she's gone until she reappears after the treetop fight. I also didn't quite see why she would spend 10 years as Jen's governess if she really likes the bandit's life - cause that's 10 years essentially locked up in a palace.
Jade Fox appearing at the end is a change from the original (Jade Fox was killed earlier in the novel and her back story is different though the themes remain the same). And while I consider that one of Ang Lee's "westernizing" decisions I didn't find it particularly illogical or have any major issues. It's not that Jade Fox liked the bandit's life per se. She always dreamed of attaining the fame, power, and life of the male martial arts masters. In the movie version, she alludes to being used by Li Mu Bai's master and stealing his prized manual of recorded techniques and then practices on her own. So what Jade Fox wants is to live a more stable luxurious life like the male martial arts masters' can live. She achieves that goal by attaching herself to the Jen's family where she can essentially live as an aristocrat while secretly continuing to practice. This goal is spoiled by Jen, which shatters Jade Fox's whole internal narrative. With this understanding its easy to see her motivated by revenge.

But there simply isn't screen time to show her more without bogging down the narrative of the two couples. Ang Lee acknowledges this when he has the fight scene with the street performers earlier, its a nod to the novel but also him basically saying, "I don't have screen time to fully develop this side plot." So with the Jen-Lo background story and Jen being out in the jianghu testing herself and giving herself a sense of freedom, it's logical that Jade Fox wouldn't be shown until the end because what would the scenes add to the movie? We don't really need to see Jade Fox plotting or trying to track down Jen to understand how Jen shattered her worldview and how she seeks revenge. I think this makes total sense from an Elmore Leonard storytelling point of view. Leonard said, "Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip" and that's essentially what Lee does here, he's leaving out more boring parts to be able to develop the more crucial plot points.

I didn't have an issue with everything you said. That's fairly standard and classical stuff (the noble girl that must accept a status marriage but prefers the rogue or poor guy she met somehow). Again, for me it's mostly about how she pivots at the end. There are several moments in the movie where she considers becoming Mu Bai's apprentice, but decides against it - again at the treetop fight when Mu Bai accepts and meets her challenge. I didn't see much indication for why she would change her mind at the end (which happens already before Jade Fox says she wanted to kill Jen).
In both cases, I felt the movie went a bit too quick - as if there was originally a longer cut that would explained character motivations better, but that I'm watching some kind of streamlined theatrical cut. I appreciate that I may have missed stuff though; I only watched it once, and this was my impression.
Again, for Jen, I go to the Elmore Leonard quote. I don't think Jen's motivations need any better explanation. What she wants as a character is freedom above all else. Freedom of movement and freedom of choice. While both being Li Mu Bai's disciple and living a life in love with Lo have clear positives for her, ultimately her desire for total individual freedom is more important to her than either other option and I think that shows in character throughout the movie (though I'd have to watch it more recently for specific details). It makes sense for her to consider both options as she does, but ultimately she craves being freed from the prescribed roles that both disciple and wife would entail. For me, it makes total sense for her to make that choice at the end, as it's truly the only choice that would fit her character. Choosing to be subservient in the disciple role doesn't fit her spirit and she craves the freedom of action too much to want to be happily settling down in the rural west with Lo.

While I can see where the explanation you offer can make sense for not quite seeing Jade Fox's full motivations, I think Ang Lee handled the balance perfectly with Jen. There simply is no other end for her at that stage of her life consistent with her wants, needs, fears and weaknesses.
 

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Jade Fox appearing at the end is a change from the original (Jade Fox was killed earlier in the novel and her back story is different though the themes remain the same). And while I consider that one of Ang Lee's "westernizing" decisions I didn't find it particularly illogical or have any major issues. It's not that Jade Fox liked the bandit's life per se. She always dreamed of attaining the fame, power, and life of the male martial arts masters. In the movie version, she alludes to being used by Li Mu Bai's master and stealing his prized manual of recorded techniques and then practices on her own. So what Jade Fox wants is to live a more stable luxurious life like the male martial arts masters' can live. She achieves that goal by attaching herself to the Jen's family where she can essentially live as an aristocrat while secretly continuing to practice. This goal is spoiled by Jen, which shatters Jade Fox's whole internal narrative. With this understanding its easy to see her motivated by revenge.

But there simply isn't screen time to show her more without bogging down the narrative of the two couples. Ang Lee acknowledges this when he has the fight scene with the street performers earlier, its a nod to the novel but also him basically saying, "I don't have screen time to fully develop this side plot." So with the Jen-Lo background story and Jen being out in the jianghu testing herself and giving herself a sense of freedom, it's logical that Jade Fox wouldn't be shown until the end because what would the scenes add to the movie? We don't really need to see Jade Fox plotting or trying to track down Jen to understand how Jen shattered her worldview and how she seeks revenge. I think this makes total sense from an Elmore Leonard storytelling point of view. Leonard said, "Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip" and that's essentially what Lee does here, he's leaving out more boring parts to be able to develop the more crucial plot points.

Again, for Jen, I go to the Elmore Leonard quote. I don't think Jen's motivations need any better explanation. What she wants as a character is freedom above all else. Freedom of movement and freedom of choice. While both being Li Mu Bai's disciple and living a life in love with Lo have clear positives for her, ultimately her desire for total individual freedom is more important to her than either other option and I think that shows in character throughout the movie (though I'd have to watch it more recently for specific details). It makes sense for her to consider both options as she does, but ultimately she craves being freed from the prescribed roles that both disciple and wife would entail. For me, it makes total sense for her to make that choice at the end, as it's truly the only choice that would fit her character. Choosing to be subservient in the disciple role doesn't fit her spirit and she craves the freedom of action too much to want to be happily settling down in the rural west with Lo.

While I can see where the explanation you offer can make sense for not quite seeing Jade Fox's full motivations, I think Ang Lee handled the balance perfectly with Jen. There simply is no other end for her at that stage of her life consistent with her wants, needs, fears and weaknesses.
Thanks for the detailed responses.
I agree that films generally shouldn't include scenes just for the sake of exposition or going through the motions; but I think a simple comment by Jade Fox along the lines of 'I figured I'd find you near Li Mu Bai' already would have helped. Now she's just there again. Surprise! (Well, no; of course she was going to return in the film. But the way it happened seemed random to me.)

And of course Jen was going to turn around eventually, and of course it was going to be hard work. All that makes perfect sense to me, as you point out. For me, the issue is that I saw good moments for that turnaround both when she was fighting with Shu Lien and after the treetop fight. After neither of those events had changed her mind, I didn't understand why she did suddenly turn in the cave.
In any case, happy to agree to disagree. I am anyway a bit of a disadvantage here (so to speak), as I'm basing my comments on watching the film just once, without any knowledge of the books.
 

hungrywing

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Jade Fox appearing at the end is a change from the original (Jade Fox was killed earlier in the novel and her back story is different though the themes remain the same). And while I consider that one of Ang Lee's "westernizing" decisions I didn't find it particularly illogical or have any major issues. It's not that Jade Fox liked the bandit's life per se. She always dreamed of attaining the fame, power, and life of the male martial arts masters. In the movie version, she alludes to being used by Li Mu Bai's master and stealing his prized manual of recorded techniques and then practices on her own. So what Jade Fox wants is to live a more stable luxurious life like the male martial arts masters' can live. She achieves that goal by attaching herself to the Jen's family where she can essentially live as an aristocrat while secretly continuing to practice. This goal is spoiled by Jen, which shatters Jade Fox's whole internal narrative. With this understanding its easy to see her motivated by revenge.

But there simply isn't screen time to show her more without bogging down the narrative of the two couples. Ang Lee acknowledges this when he has the fight scene with the street performers earlier, its a nod to the novel but also him basically saying, "I don't have screen time to fully develop this side plot." So with the Jen-Lo background story and Jen being out in the jianghu testing herself and giving herself a sense of freedom, it's logical that Jade Fox wouldn't be shown until the end because what would the scenes add to the movie? We don't really need to see Jade Fox plotting or trying to track down Jen to understand how Jen shattered her worldview and how she seeks revenge. I think this makes total sense from an Elmore Leonard storytelling point of view. Leonard said, "Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip" and that's essentially what Lee does here, he's leaving out more boring parts to be able to develop the more crucial plot points.



Again, for Jen, I go to the Elmore Leonard quote. I don't think Jen's motivations need any better explanation. What she wants as a character is freedom above all else. Freedom of movement and freedom of choice. While both being Li Mu Bai's disciple and living a life in love with Lo have clear positives for her, ultimately her desire for total individual freedom is more important to her than either other option and I think that shows in character throughout the movie (though I'd have to watch it more recently for specific details). It makes sense for her to consider both options as she does, but ultimately she craves being freed from the prescribed roles that both disciple and wife would entail. For me, it makes total sense for her to make that choice at the end, as it's truly the only choice that would fit her character. Choosing to be subservient in the disciple role doesn't fit her spirit and she craves the freedom of action too much to want to be happily settling down in the rural west with Lo.

While I can see where the explanation you offer can make sense for not quite seeing Jade Fox's full motivations, I think Ang Lee handled the balance perfectly with Jen. There simply is no other end for her at that stage of her life consistent with her wants, needs, fears and weaknesses.
Nice.

Some additional tidbits:

The film version is about Jen learning to not repeat Jade Fox's mistake in trying to out-masculinize the masculine in pursuit of power. It's about accepting and fully embracing her femininity and letting go of the fear that it would lead to inferiority/inadequacy/failure to attain the level of Li Mu Bai.

The Jen-Shu fight sets up a choice: accept (and embrace) that a 'girl' (Shu) beat her, or continue the pursuit of the masculine.

There was an overwhelming majority of 'oh she killed herself out of guilt, oh that's so sad' interpretations at the time regarding the ending. That's a possible - and intended - open interpretation, but it doesn't mesh with the entirety of preceding set-up, which indicates that she has left Lo to honor Li Mu Bai and Shu's dedication to their art, regardless of gender - and by extension, to each other - and to him. AKA she's basically leaving to become the female version of Li Mu Bai, with Lo as Shu, BUT with the hope that she can be more and can bridge the gap that kept the other pair apart.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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Thanks for the detailed responses.
I agree that films generally shouldn't include scenes just for the sake of exposition or going through the motions; but I think a simple comment by Jade Fox along the lines of 'I figured I'd find you near Li Mu Bai' already would have helped. Now she's just there again. Surprise! (Well, no; of course she was going to return in the film. But the way it happened seemed random to me.)

And of course Jen was going to turn around eventually, and of course it was going to be hard work. All that makes perfect sense to me, as you point out. For me, the issue is that I saw good moments for that turnaround both when she was fighting with Shu Lien and after the treetop fight. After neither of those events had changed her mind, I didn't understand why she did suddenly turn in the cave.
In any case, happy to agree to disagree. I am anyway a bit of a disadvantage here (so to speak), as I'm basing my comments on watching the film just once, without any knowledge of the books.
I don't think a line like that would have added anything to story and come off a little kid's superhero movie-ish. Personally, I just don't see the view that it seemed random since I feel it was an obligatory scene set up earlier in the movie. I feel the movie could have worked without, if, as in the book, Jade Fox had simply been killed off earlier, but the decision to not kill her off earlier basically compels this scene which doesn't really need screen time to set-up more.

For Jen, @hungrywing just wrote a great post that gets into layers of her character and why she made her decision when she did, which makes much more sense to me than earlier for the reasons highlighted about her motivation and character.

Always happy to discuss wuxia! If you're in the mood the other 3 classics of the 00s were House of Flying Daggers, Hero, and Curse of the Golden Flower. I'll gladly provide 90s and 10s recs too and if you want to go down a rabbit hole you can check out 50 -episode shows like Six Flying Dragons and Nirvana in Fire (both in my top 10 shows of all time, any language).
 

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I don't think a line like that would have added anything to story and come off a little kid's superhero movie-ish. Personally, I just don't see the view that it seemed random since I feel it was an obligatory scene set up earlier in the movie. I feel the movie could have worked without, if, as in the book, Jade Fox had simply been killed off earlier, but the decision to not kill her off earlier basically compels this scene which doesn't really need screen time to set-up more.

For Jen, @hungrywing just wrote a great post that gets into layers of her character and why she made her decision when she did, which makes much more sense to me than earlier for the reasons highlighted about her motivation and character.

Always happy to discuss wuxia! If you're in the mood the other 3 classics of the 00s were House of Flying Daggers, Hero, and Curse of the Golden Flower. I'll gladly provide 90s and 10s recs too and if you want to go down a rabbit hole you can check out 50 -episode shows like Six Flying Dragons and Nirvana in Fire (both in my top 10 shows of all time, any language).
Kid's superhero stuff? Guess there's a reason I'm not a screenwriter. :D

Anyway, it's not really my genre, I just enjoy giving different things a try. It's funny that I saw Kung Fu Hustle, IP Man, and Crouching Tiger all within the space of a month or so. Can't remember when last I saw a similar film before that. But I'll remember your suggestions, thanks! :)
 

oneniltothearsenal

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Kid's superhero stuff? Guess there's a reason I'm not a screenwriter. :D

Anyway, it's not really my genre, I just enjoy giving different things a try. It's funny that I saw Kung Fu Hustle, IP Man, and Crouching Tiger all within the space of a month or so. Can't remember when last I saw a similar film before that. But I'll remember your suggestions, thanks! :)
Didn't mean to sound offensive, sorry. It's a thing in books that usually, you don't want to say something that you just showed. It's redundant because the audience can see what happened. That's what I meant that something like that doesn't need to be said. Cheers :)
 

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Didn't mean to sound offensive, sorry. It's a thing in books that usually, you don't want to say something that you just showed. It's redundant because the audience can see what happened. That's what I meant that something like that doesn't need to be said. Cheers :)
No, I got that, no worries. Wasn't insulted, just thought it had to be made fun of. :D
 

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Anyone seen 'Don't look Up'? I can't believe it was highly rated on IMDb and Rotten tomatoes. Such a sh*te, dumbed down, movie that looks like it was written by a 15 year old. Couldn't bare to watch more than 45 mins of this tripe.

I compare this movie to Four Lions, which tackles an even more sensitive issue in terrorism. Four Lions is such a brilliant movie in how it portrays terrorists in a way that makes you both laugh and think. 'Don't look up' doesn't make you do either.
 
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Anyone seen 'Don't look Up'? I can't believe it was highly rated on IMDb and Rotten tomatoes. Such a sh*te, dumbed down, movie that looks like it was written by a 15 year old. Couldn't bare to watch more than 45 mins of this tripe.

I compare this movie to Four Lions, which tackles an even more sensitive issue in terrorism. Four Lions is such a brilliant movie in how it portrays terrorists in a way that makes you both laugh and think. 'Don't look up' doesn't make you do either.
There's a whole thread about the film even! I haven't seen it yet, but plenty of people seem to like it.

https://www.redcafe.net/threads/don’t-look-up.467087/
 

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Kate (2021)

Available on Netflix. A creditable entry in the female kick-ass protagonist genre that seems to be gaining some significant momentum at the moment It's interesting seeing actresses that you would not typically expect taking on more of these roles and while they don't always come off, I must say that I was very impressed with Mary Elizabeth Winstead's performance as the titular assassin in this high octane romp. Be interested to see whether she got the gig based on her performance in Birds of Prey (which I thought she was great in as Huntress).

Yes, the story is ridiculous but it's delivered with such polish that it was very easy to suspend all disbelief for the purpose of 90 minutes of pure movie enjoyment. Violence was gratuitous and very satisfying with some excellent standout wince-inducing moments for sure. Special nod also goes to fight choreography which was on a par with some of the intense John Wick stuff and expertly executed by Winstead, portraying a high level assassin who faces a race against time to take down the people who ultimately signs her death sentence. Very predictable and with an ending that you can see coming a mile off, the pacing is perfect and rarely lets up. The film is beautifully shot against a wonderful Japanese backdrop with the usual cast of characters that you would expect in a movie of this type.

Whilst certainly not at top in the pantheon of crime action thrillers or whatever you want to call it, Kate certainly does not do it any disservice and would definitely hold up to repeat viewing. Although more intense than Gunpowder Milkshake, I'm not sure which I enjoyed more? Perhaps Kate has the edge for being more slick and having less of a comic book feel. Anyway, I'm off to watch Ava now.

I'm giving this a 8/10.
 

Volumiza

B-Boy cypher cat
Joined
Jul 13, 2018
Messages
8,656
Location
Somewhere in the middle
Prisoners
Very good, if not groundbreaking and slightly clunky (at times) thriller with Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhall (two of my man crushes for starters) and Paul Dano and directed by Denis ‘Arrival’ Villeneuve.

2 young girls, one of them HJ’s daughter are abducted with Dano as the main suspect. Hard to describe more without spoilering it all so I wont. Twists and turns and red herrings all over the shop and for the large part it’s very good, if a little grim in tone.

Still, love the cinematography and soundtrack and it kept me gripped throughout.

8/10
 

calodo2003

Flaming Full Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
12,924
Location
Florida
Kate (2021)

Available on Netflix. A creditable entry in the female kick-ass protagonist genre that seems to be gaining some significant momentum at the moment It's interesting seeing actresses that you would not typically expect taking on more of these roles and while they don't always come off, I must say that I was very impressed with Mary Elizabeth Winstead's performance as the titular assassin in this high octane romp. Be interested to see whether she got the gig based on her performance in Birds of Prey (which I thought she was great in as Huntress).

Yes, the story is ridiculous but it's delivered with such polish that it was very easy to suspend all disbelief for the purpose of 90 minutes of pure movie enjoyment. Violence was gratuitous and very satisfying with some excellent standout wince-inducing moments for sure. Special nod also goes to fight choreography which was on a par with some of the intense John Wick stuff and expertly executed by Winstead, portraying a high level assassin who faces a race against time to take down the people who ultimately signs her death sentence. Very predictable and with an ending that you can see coming a mile off, the pacing is perfect and rarely lets up. The film is beautifully shot against a wonderful Japanese backdrop with the usual cast of characters that you would expect in a movie of this type.

Whilst certainly not at top in the pantheon of crime action thrillers or whatever you want to call it, Kate certainly does not do it any disservice and would definitely hold up to repeat viewing. Although more intense than Gunpowder Milkshake, I'm not sure which I enjoyed more? Perhaps Kate has the edge for being more slick and having less of a comic book feel. Anyway, I'm off to watch Ava now.

I'm giving this a 8/10.
Ava was terrible. Red Sparrow was decent.
 

RedPed

Full Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Messages
11,219
Ava was terrible. Red Sparrow was decent.
Yeah not even a patch on Kate, which was far superior in every aspect. Can't really be arsed to review it now but may do later at some point. I haven't seen Red Sparrow yet. Am looking forward to The 355 though.
 

calodo2003

Flaming Full Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
12,924
Location
Florida
Yeah not even a patch on Kate, which was far superior in every aspect. Can't really be arsed to review it now but may do later at some point. I haven't seen Red Sparrow yet. Am looking forward to The 355 though.
Red Sparrow actually had a decent plot along with a solid cast.
 

SmashedHombre

Memberus Anonymous & Legendus
Joined
Mar 29, 2004
Messages
30,995
Location
siemery.com
Those Who Wish Me Dead - Rubbish. Surprised Jolie would take a movie like this. Or any of what is quite an A-list cast, for that matter. The flatulent title doesn't really reflect what is basically Cliffhanger 2, with the snow swapped out for bushfires. Only it doesn't have any of the hammy charm of Cliffhanger, and for some reason seems determined to open with the most obnoxious group of characters on the face of the earth. Presumably, they serve as a mini-boss and anyone who has the fortitude (or in my case, the lethargy) to not switch the movie off immediately after being introduced to them is rewarded by the fact they're not in the rest of the film. Only the rest of the film is shit and not worth persevering with. 4/10 because Jolie is still nice to look at and seeing Littlefinger play a bad-ass army fella is kind of amusing.
 

Wibble

In Gadus Speramus
Staff
Joined
Jun 15, 2000
Messages
80,207
Location
Centreback
The Last Duel looks great with decent performances. An interesting story but the film suffers for it being told in 3 segments, 1 from each perspective. So much of each perspective is the same as the others that this approach makes the film far too long and increasingly boring. Decent but also a bit of a wasted opportunity imo. 7/10
 

CassiusClaymore

Is it Gaizka Mendieta?
Scout
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
30,453
Location
None of your business mate
Yeah agree with that Last Duel review. Watched it last night. I thought each story would be vastly different but apparently Adam Driver was fine confirming he was indeed a rapist. Not sure who shook who's hand first in certain scenarios made me think any different of anyone but maybe that was the point?
 

caid

Full Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
5,973
Location
Dublin
Thought the last duel was weak tbh. Different perspectives added nothing to the film. Just felt like filler. Story could have been told in an hour and would have been stronger for it.
 

Massive Spanner

Thinks Geoff Shreeves has one
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
19,815
Location
Tool shed
The Lost Daughter was pretty good but I don't get the glowing 5* critic reviews. Olivia Colman and Jesse Buckley were predictably brilliant and it was hard to take your eyes off it but the whole thing was a bit of a damp squib by the end and the pay-off was crap.
 

Cheimoon

Made of cheese
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Jun 22, 2020
Messages
7,500
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Canada
Supports
no-one in particular
T2 Trainspotting. This was pretty decent. I thought the first hour or so was slow going - kinda like a reversed sitcom: a couple of white dudes and a woman hanging out in crappy apartments, going to shitty bars, and doing shady stuff. 'The one about Simon's blackmail plot.' 'The one where Spuds writes his letter.' 'The one where Mark reunites with Simon.' 'The one where Frank spends quality time with this son.' That sort of thing. (Yes, Friends references.)

It got much better after that though, when things start coming together and the direction became clear - and that made the first half better in retrospect as well. It's not as gloriously chaotic as the first film (can't escape the comparison), but it stands up well in the same universe of messiness, optimistic hopelessness, and friendship (betrayed, at this point) - but this time with a bit more perspective and maturity. Great soundtrack and editing again as well, of course.

New in Town. This was pretty crap. Renée Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr star in a romcom in which a high-up executive of a big company based in Miami (Zellweger) is sent to a small Minnesoate town to reorient and downsize a factory. Of course, there are the expected clashes between this stuck-up southerner and the rural culture, until the executive starts to melt and sympathesize with the locals, while falling for the rugged union representative (Connick) that she has to deal with.

The predictability is not a problem; it's a romcom, I'm not expecting big surprises or novelties. But the humour just rarely works, the stereotypes are painted poorly (basically everyone is weird in a non-funny way), Zellweger's character is poorly developed (super stern and strong at the start, but often becomes a whiny mess in the face of any professional challenge), and Connick's isn't very nice either. There is also no trace of chemistry between the leads.

I read that the director quit halway through, cause the studio changed their mind and wanted to create a film less oriented towards mature audiences. I suppose that shows in the inconsistencies, but the plot as a whole was probably unsalvageable anyway.
 

Unam333

Full Member
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
4,402
Kate (2021)

Available on Netflix. A creditable entry in the female kick-ass protagonist genre that seems to be gaining some significant momentum at the moment It's interesting seeing actresses that you would not typically expect taking on more of these roles and while they don't always come off, I must say that I was very impressed with Mary Elizabeth Winstead's performance as the titular assassin in this high octane romp. Be interested to see whether she got the gig based on her performance in Birds of Prey (which I thought she was great in as Huntress).

Yes, the story is ridiculous but it's delivered with such polish that it was very easy to suspend all disbelief for the purpose of 90 minutes of pure movie enjoyment. Violence was gratuitous and very satisfying with some excellent standout wince-inducing moments for sure. Special nod also goes to fight choreography which was on a par with some of the intense John Wick stuff and expertly executed by Winstead, portraying a high level assassin who faces a race against time to take down the people who ultimately signs her death sentence. Very predictable and with an ending that you can see coming a mile off, the pacing is perfect and rarely lets up. The film is beautifully shot against a wonderful Japanese backdrop with the usual cast of characters that you would expect in a movie of this type.

Whilst certainly not at top in the pantheon of crime action thrillers or whatever you want to call it, Kate certainly does not do it any disservice and would definitely hold up to repeat viewing. Although more intense than Gunpowder Milkshake, I'm not sure which I enjoyed more? Perhaps Kate has the edge for being more slick and having less of a comic book feel. Anyway, I'm off to watch Ava now.

I'm giving this a 8/10.
I wasn't planning on watching Kate, the title sounds so generic and the synopsis as well as the title reminds me of "Lucy" with Scarlett Johansson. So I passed.

Then I read your review and I thought, well, let's have it a go. I quite liked Lucy, it can't be bad, can it?

The movie is indeed really good. Watching Mary Elizabeth Winstead play Kate, I wished she played major Kusanagi in the movie adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, instead of Johansson: she would have been a better fit.

The action scenes were really fun to watch (better than Matrix Resurrections) and I like the neon-noir/ cyberpunk'ish background. For me it's a throwback to the '00s when anime and manga and anything related to Japan was at its peak of popularity.

I really enjoyed it.
Score: 8,5
 
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RedPed

Full Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Messages
11,219
I wasn't planning on watching Kate, the title sounds so generic and the synopsis as well as the title reminds me of "Lucy" with Scarlett Johansson. So I passed.

Then I read your review and I thought, well, let's have it a go. I quite liked Lucy, it can't be bad, can it?

The movie is indeed really good. Watching Mary Elizabeth Winstead play Kate, I wished she played major Kusanagi in the movie adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, instead of Johansson: she would have been a better fit.

The action scenes were really fun to watch (better than Matrix Resurrections) and I like the neon-noir/ cyberpunk'ish background. For me it's a throwback to the '00s when anime and manga and anything related to Japan was at its peak of popularity.

I really enjoyed it.
Score: 8,5
Ah great, another fan. :) She really does fit the part. My favourite scene in the movie was when she's walking in the lobby, sporting white rimmed shades, fag in mouth, all bloodied up, cool as feck...then Kijima and his men fan out behind her and start laying the smack down. Replayed it about 5 times. :lol: