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#4851 Posted by Tesla (2276 posts) -

Shape of Water - 3/5

It's easy to see how it won best picture given the amount of reverence for Americana/Hollywood of yesteryear. But in the end I'm left feeling the same way I do about all Del Toro movies; lots of cool visuals and quirky charm that doesn't quite add up to a something I can love.

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#4852 Posted by whipperdasher (67 posts) -

After hearing it mentioned on a Beastcast....... "Jack and Jill". I lasted 45 minutes and turned it off. Why did i do that to myself after avoiding it all these years? not worth a rating!

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#4853 Posted by Humanity (18256 posts) -

@theht: reads like a 3/5 to me!(this is a joke based on how someone on GB game reviews will always say that) In some respects even that is being gracious though. I saw Red Letter Media gush all over this film praising its intelligence and forward thinking casting but at the end of the day it’s not that smart because there’s very little actual internal logic governing anything, and the cast is hit and miss as they have little room to grow past some very obvious “this is my story” monologues and uninspired line reads.

Like you I was fascinated by the idea of the story to the point where I chewed through the book right before watching it, but by the end apart from some neat visuals and cool atmosphere I was left feeling a bit empty, as if I’d just watched one of those pretty but mindless action popcorn flicks that Annihilation was clearly supposed to be above, yet I got neither action nor intelligence.

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#4855 Edited by h0lgr (984 posts) -

Once Upon a Time in America

Seen it before, but I was just a kid back then. This time it was more.. striking.
Great setting and mood. Really well shot. The type of characters in this film - people with a moral gray scale instead of just good or bad - is really refreshing compared to many other films of the same scale.
The soundtrack is also incredible. That horrible scene when the kids run from their nemesis in the alley.

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#4856 Posted by Linkorius (59 posts) -

The Exorcist ****

I had never seen this movie before. Of course I'd heard of it, but nothing really prepared me for this experience. It's a movie that's going to stay with me for a long, long time. For better or worse.

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#4857 Posted by Ford_Dent (869 posts) -

Predators: This is Rorie's doing, as he played the Predator content on UPF and reminded me that I had not seen this movie yet. I am a big fan of Predator, and I even liked Predator 2: Predator in the City for being ridiculous, so it was odd to me that I'd somehow failed to sit down and watch the most recent entry in the franchise that didn't involve Aliens as well as Predators. I was pretty shocked to discover a thoroughly enjoyble film. It was kind of hard to take Adrian Swoledy seriously, but somehow we powered through it. The ensemble cast was fun (Topher Grace was unexpectedly enjoyable, and I'd somehow missed that Lawrence Fishburne was in the movie at all which made for a nice surprise). Also, plenty of Predators running around being Predatory. Also that swordfight near the end fucking ruled. The callbacks to the first movie felt a bit shoehorned in, which is a shame. Still, a fun sci-fi jaunt with an ending that seemed to really want a sequel (which it probably won't get). 3/5 Sub Zero Fatalities

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#4860 Posted by fetterdave (269 posts) -

Assassin's Creed (2016) - Look, it was just sitting there on HBO GO, waiting for me, so I finally watched it. And it was... okay, in parts? I mean, the story was awful, but I feel like they could have made a much better movie with a few different choices. Like, say, chucking that script and writing a whole new one.

Two stars out of five, I suppose.

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#4861 Posted by The_Greg (484 posts) -

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets - 2/5 Stars. The main character, played by Dane DeHaan, ruins an otherwise moderately enjoyable sci-fi action film.

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#4863 Posted by TheHT (15749 posts) -

@humanity said:

@theht: reads like a 3/5 to me!(this is a joke based on how someone on GB game reviews will always say that) In some respects even that is being gracious though. I saw Red Letter Media gush all over this film praising its intelligence and forward thinking casting but at the end of the day it’s not that smart because there’s very little actual internal logic governing anything, and the cast is hit and miss as they have little room to grow past some very obvious “this is my story” monologues and uninspired line reads.

Like you I was fascinated by the idea of the story to the point where I chewed through the book right before watching it, but by the end apart from some neat visuals and cool atmosphere I was left feeling a bit empty, as if I’d just watched one of those pretty but mindless action popcorn flicks that Annihilation was clearly supposed to be above, yet I got neither action nor intelligence.

Ha! Harsh, but yeah. It's... very flawed, let's say.

I wonder what was the idea was behind making the front half like a monster movie, because for my money it kinda gets away from what woulda made this movie great (more thoughtful character stuff, then fucking with their heads, and practically no action). Show us an entity that seems to have little no sense of identity integrating itself with life on Earth, particularly humans, who as a species are very nestled within their perceived sense of individual identity and distinct mind. Show it from the perspective of said humans who unravel to their lesser parts until there's nothing left, as the squad leader said in her whole "do you seeeee" scene.

They show Valkyrie "giving in" as it were, becoming a tree lady or whatever, but none of her madness felt eerie in a way that's reflective of the more bizarre shit we get at the end (which was actually quite engaging!). Instead it's your typical monster-induced mania, punctuated by monster attacks. Typical thriller beats. Get rid of all that and use the time to flesh out these characters as individual people. Show us the hopelessness of the administration and researchers of Area X who's just been watching groups go in and never out for 3 goddamn years, and with no learning to show for it, just another eventual withdrawal as the Shimmer edges closer and closer. Let us into the minds of the characters we're travelling with, then progressively fuck with their sense of reality and self, with things becoming more and more dire and dissociated as they they get closer to the lighthouse. Their squad leader talks a big game about being reduced to smallest parts, but you don't feel any of that shit from the movie. Dudn't help that she name drops the damn movie title which immediately pulls me outta the moment. The dialogue in that whole scene felt so out of place.

Fuckin lean in to that existentially disquieting cosmic horror shit, rather than couching it within a half-baked thriller with cliches like the alien being inside squad leader for some reason. Let the movie stop making sense as these humans become less than people.

But whatever, there's still some cool stuff in here. Like ending on a vaguely sinister almost lovely "alien Adam and Eve" is kinda neat. Knowing that our "replacement" was still on track was cute, even if it veered too much towards "surprise, it's not dead" territory right after what was essentially a "kill the mothership and everything else goes with it" set piece.

Fuck, now I'm leaning back towards a 3/5. Fuck the score. It's an okay movie. Not great, maybe not even that good, but there's some interesting stuff to extract from it, which is praise enough I guess, if you're looking for sci-fi.

Is the book any better?

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#4865 Posted by GiEsE333 (16 posts) -

Con Air due to film and 40's... it does not hold up to time.

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#4867 Posted by The_Greg (484 posts) -

I watched Insidious The Last Key last night. 2/5 stars. It's a terrible film but I'm giving it an extra star because it scared my girlfriend and I enjoyed teasing her for the rest of the evening.

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#4868 Posted by Humanity (18256 posts) -

@theht: it’s completely different from the film so it’s hard to say if it’s better or not. The novel does explore a lot of what you mentioned wanting the movie to dive into, so if you don’t mind a slow read (it’s short) then it might be an interesting supplementary read for you. It definitely features a lot more backstory, and does engage with the blurring of reality, with a strong tinge of Lovecraftian horror. It explores the people a lot more than the setting. That said it’s meant to be read as a trilogy so by the end of the first book, Annihilation, you get a sprinkling of clues but not the whole answer.

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#4869 Posted by TheHT (15749 posts) -

@humanity: That sounds good! I'll have to look into em.

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#4870 Edited by Whitestripes09 (917 posts) -

A Quiet Place

It's a good movie until you start really thinking about it. Some of the scenes were fantastic, but it also uses a lot of switch and bait and other horror tropes. That's fine and all for a horror movie, but for a film that's being so gushed about by reviewers, I'm finding it hard to find myself really enjoying this movie. The family dynamic is engrossing and you feel for the characters. They're probably the best part of the film. It might seem like a nitpick, but it seems obvious to me, which is that the premise of the movie when thought about for awhile just doesn't make sense. If it was a more isolated scenario, I think it would have helped make it more believable, but then I guess it would have changed a lot of the feeling of the movie as well. So really, you have an interesting idea movie, but the explanation and "rules" of the world just don't make sense, so it feels flawed.

Side note without spoiling too much... the monster design kind of sucked. It basically looked like every 21st century monster to come out and I have no idea why Hollywood keeps reproducing this design over and over.

3/5 Raccoon snacks. I enjoyed it, but I doubt it's going to stick with me at all and I probably would never watch it again.

The Death of Stalin

Dark Comedy movies are I decided some of my favorite. This one in particular also happens to be based on history which puts it into somehow being scary and funny because horrible people like this actually existed and were somehow in the position to rule over a whole country. I think like any comedy movie, some of the jokes just didn't land with me and it just depends on your level of humor. All of the actors did a fantastic job and the fact that all of them played their Russian roles in plain ol' American and British accents made it funnier. Some points took a bit too long to get the plot rolling again, but overall it was a pretty entertaining movie.

4/5 spoilers: Stalin dies.

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#4871 Posted by Francium34 (324 posts) -

The running man 4/5

Finally saw this movie that is about as old as I am. I really hope I age as well as this film did. Arnold's one liners are as groan-inducing as ever, but everything else was really captivating. There are all kinds of ideas in here, about future tech (smart home!), society and government, entertainment and sports. I also find myself appreciating 80s pacing vs what we have these days in blockbusters. The film is short, moves from plot point to the next at a brisk pace, puts decent time into setting the atmospheric tone, and the action isn't lasting 15+ minutes at a time.

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#4872 Posted by Stonyman65 (3785 posts) -

Commando 11/10. Both Its simultaneously the best and worst movie ever made.

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#4873 Posted by ltcolumbo (123 posts) -

The Last Jedi - 2/5. Boy howdy, that was an odd movie. I liked The Force Awakens well enough, but this one not so much. I’m baffled by the attempts at comedy, and for the life of me I have no idea why I am supposed to care about pretty much any of the characters involved. I’m even a Star Wars apologist who thinks Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith weren’t that bad. At least those movies imparted a sense of grandeur and the immensity of the universe and everything in it, whereas this felt small and claustrophobic.

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#4874 Posted by dudeglove (13606 posts) -

UNSANE IS BOTH VERY GOOD AND VERY UNCOMFORTABLE TO WATCH

YOU SHOULD WATCH UNSANE

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#4875 Posted by fledeye (244 posts) -

My favourite film as a kid was The Love Bug. I wanted a white beatle with racing stripes for 20 years because of that movie.

Recently put it on a memory stick to have as an option for the kids to watch and thought I’d watch it again first.

It’s still a lot of goofy fun, but it really is a product of it’s time. Some of the depictions of women and minorities don’t hold up well at all. The female lead does know her way round an engine, but it used as a pawn between two men which was cringe-worthy.

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#4877 Edited by fedallah (253 posts) -

First post here, so I'm gonna cheat and list the last three.

==========================================================================

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Norma Desmond is a spectacular archetype. I've always personally considered her the American version of Miss Havisham - both are the purest expressions of their country's specific forms of rot. I loved her, and while the rest of the film didn't quite match Swanson's performance, it was altogether a very fine experience. I do feel that you need what is now, almost seventy years later, an almost impossible level of familiarity with the time period to appreciate all the little details (I certainly had to look things up after watching it), so I can't give it a perfect score, but overall there is very little to complain about.

Conclusion: four out of five dead chimps buried in the garden.

==========================================================================

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

The first time I saw this movie, it was in a theater with a live performance of the score, and a film nerd girlfriend on my arm. This time, I was watching it at home, alone, after a long day, when it came up as my random movie to watch before going to bed. Still some of the best film making of the silent era, and there is a reason that Renee Falconetti's performance is often rated as among the finest in film history. However, sitting at my PC in my underwear with beer in hand, I wasn't having it. The movie itself is almost perfect, and anyone with any interest in movies as art owes it to themselves to watch it. Just... try to make it at least a little bit special when you do.

Conclusion: five out of five French broads roasted on a stick.

==========================================================================

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

I've been making a point to watch more children's animation, because while the adult oriented stuff is kind of my pet genre, there is much to be appreciated in the family friendly fare. This one had spectacular animation and, for the humans at least, extremely high quality character designs. The music and sound design were similarly top notch. However, the dialogue was bad. So very, very bad. Nothing will pull me out of a fantasy story faster than teenagers acting like teenagers. Main character is whiny and pathetic until he isn't, love interest is over-aggressive and super-proficient until she isn't, side characters were Surfer Dude, Stoner Skater Twins, and Fat Nerd. The dad was pretty okay, and the dragon had a neat movement style to it that blended aspects of several different animals in a pretty effective manner, but the main dude is so bad that the film as a whole suffers badly for it. I'm a sucker for beautiful animation, so I'm going to be more generous than I would be for a live action film, but I still wasn't very impressed.

(EDIT: Credit where credit is due, I'll applaud it for being a kid's film without shoehorning in an unnecessary villain. Too many of them stumble into that particular shitpit)

Conclusion: three out of five decent premises wasted by poor to mediocre characterization.

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#4880 Edited by TheHT (15749 posts) -

Layla M. - 5/5

Not always an easy watch but very worthwhile.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer - 4/5

I actually kinda really loved this movie. I avoided it forever since I figured it'd be bleak as all hell, but it kinda wasn't as grimdark as I was fearing. It felt more like something along the lines of a really old religious parable. You know, of the "fucked up/what I am actually supposed to learn from this" variety. For those in the mood for some of that old timey religion.

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#4881 Posted by VoshiNova (2399 posts) -

Just recently saw “You were never really here” starring Joaquin Phoenix at an Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. I can’t remember specifically what drew my attention towards the film, but I have a very certain amount of trust in Joaquin Phoenix’s performance. I perused a few articles and came away with a very poignant connection. I’d excitedly express how I felt that this film was in direct correlation to “Hotline Miami, Drive, and fumble into enthusiasm regarding its Vigalante protagonist extracting what little information I had to share. All of this leading to a wonderful viewing of distruptive/disturbing imagery scored by Johnny Greenwood. The story is represented in powerful yet subtle moments of character development without relying on tropes in the genre. Comedy is sewn into what can only be described as melancholic moments while the heavy lifting is done by a strong protagonist. The film builds an atmosphere of high tension blood lust, but maturely obvioucates the desire for gore and instead relies entirely its ability to build a specific character. It has its gory moments, and it doesn’t shy away from “adult” content, but I really respected its ability to convey a character who is internally unable to comprehend even the slightest amount of remorse while “justifying” his actions. The film touches upon much more but I don’t want to spew rhetoric so.....go watch this movie if you have the means. It’s directed wonderfully and Joaquin Phoenixs performance is powerful stuff. 5/5

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#4882 Posted by Ravelle (3250 posts) -

Isle of Dogs.

I loved it, fantastic writing, a killer soundtrack and one of the best looking stop motion films. My only gripe is that the entire cast except for Bryan Cranston were heavity under utilized. You have Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Jeff Goldblum and F. Murray Abraham and only give them a handful of lines.

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#4883 Posted by fattony12000 (8500 posts) -

Isle of Dogs, also.

Best (and only) thing I've seen at the cinema this year. A damn fine film that actually gave me a lot more than I was initially expecting.

It simply oozes that Wes Anderson style, which if you can handle it, makes for a visually lavish and highly enjoyable feast for the eyes alongside the cool voice acting, superb music and interesting narrative stuff going on. It's got mise en scène for daaays. It was a little bit darker in tone/theme in spots than I'd expected, which I thought really added to the story quite nicely.

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#4884 Posted by Pezen (2325 posts) -

Black Panther - 3/5

I was going to write something about how confused I was about how I experienced this film contrast to how it seemed to have been received until I scrolled a few pages back and noticed @hassun summarized my opinion pretty perfectly already.

@hassun said:

I'm happy to see this film is a commercial success since it helps prove that films directed by and mostly starring people of colour can rake in the big bucks but it reminded me a lot of the latest Wonder Woman film in a negative way. [...]

All in all, Black Panther is a culturally significant, decidedly average film [...]

Thor: Ragnarök - 4/5

This movie was a joy from start to finish. A lot of humor, style and fun action sequences. I'll admit I have a weak spot for Thor, being very into norse mythology. But that's also what grains on me the most with these films, because the Marvel universe takes some liberties with the source. Such as having Hel being Odin's daughter and not Loki's, among other things. But nitpicking aside, I had a blast watching it.

Get Out - 4/5

There's a depth to this movie's commentary that I found really interesting, even if it sometimes is very blunt about it. It uses extremes to make a point but it also uses nuanced smaller details in between. I think the only thing that I really didn't like was the one thing it shares with horror films; when characters deny their own sense of danger and acts in a way that goes against their own safety despite themselves knowing better before they're in too deep. I don't think the movie needs to change though, because what it explores and how it goes about it was fascinating to watch. It also managed to be a film that actually made me uncomfortable in a way no horror film has managed in years.

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#4885 Edited by hassun (9648 posts) -

@pezen: Glad I'm not the only one! (Although our opinions on Ragnarok and Get Out don't seem to match all that closely.)

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#4886 Posted by LentFilms (1062 posts) -

Saw Seven Samuari for the first time in a long while. I would give it a 7 out of 5 if math would allow.

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#4887 Posted by dudeglove (13606 posts) -

Apocalypse Now Redux

Never saw this film at all before, though knew a bunch through cultural osmosis. The whole time watching it, at least the first hour or two, the film is a colossal nightmare (and that's not even going into the actual details of the production which WERE a nightmare - so much so Coppola's wife made a film about it). Too many scenes are packed with so much detail that, forgetting about the numerous setbacks, it all must have been such a goddamn nightmare to shoot even if everything was going "well". I can see now why people hold this film in reverie. It's a cinematic masterpiece and also a goddamn headache just to think about that I'm still ruminating over it.

As for the redux part? Well, I can't be fully sure but I'm pretty sure I know which parts hit the chopping room floor initially. The whole French plantation section is a movie unto itself and a bad one at that. I literally never thought I would see a woman - a farcical stereotype of a French woman (and that accent!) - CLUTCHING PEARLS and the sexual tension is nauseating, leaving aside the abysmal dialog from everyone involved. That whole static 30 minutes to an hour or so at the dinner table is so antithetical to the rest of the film it feels like a student project and not part of a thing that went massively over budget and way past its schedule.

I cannot give this film a rating. There is just so much wrong and yet so much right with it (it's really fucking funny to boot) that the only thing I can say is if you've never seen it, you should go and see it. It is a violent chaotic almost nonsense spectacle made for the big screen and deserves to be seen this way. Also did you know Lawrence Fishburne is in it?

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#4888 Posted by DarkeyeHails (552 posts) -

@whitestripes09: You pretty much sum up my feelings about A Quiet Place. In the moment, it works pretty well and has some good tension but the more thought you give it the less it holds together. Which is all well and good for most horror movies because they are schlock and drum along at a fair pace but when you are pairing it with a slower, ostensibly more thoughtful drama you run the risk of giving the audience too much time to mull over things. Which is exactly what happened as the family drama half of the movie was alright but not nearly engrossing enough.

It was alright but not really worth all the praise that is being heaped upon it.


Warcraft: The Movie: The Beginning - It will come as a surprise to no one that the Warcraft movie was a god damn mess. It attempts too much and too little all at once. The characters break new ground in shallowness and no one seems comfortable with their dialogue. The absolute worst part of the whole affair is trying to present the Orcs as complex and, in some ways, sympathetic when they are hulking monstrosities that can throw a horse and so thoroughly live for combat that they have destroyed their home world and commit magical genocide for the chance to do it again. All that said, I feel I ought to tip my hat for an earnest attempt to present the lore of Warcraft without critic-proofing it with a bunch of ironic humour and winks at the camera about how this is a goofy computer game story. Also, the Orcs look fantastic which only makes it baffling that the props and sets look like something from Xena.

1/5 "Good People On Both Sides"

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#4889 Posted by BeachThunder (15083 posts) -

A Quiet Place 4/5

Some great moments, but also some stuff which doesn't really make all that much sense.

Also, pro-tip: as the name suggests, you should watch this in a quiet place. Don't watch this in a crowded theatre...

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#4890 Posted by deactivated-5ba16609964d9 (3361 posts) -

Finally saw Grave of the Fireflies and I was not prepared for what a downer it was. I knew it was going to be sad going in but I wasn't expecting it to be literally watching two war orphans slowly starve to death over the course of 90 minutes. That said beautifully animated and an extremely moving film of historical importance that everyone should watch.

Giving a film like this a review score feels almost blasphemous.

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#4891 Posted by The_Greg (484 posts) -

A Quiet Place 5/5. Holy s*** that was a great film. A cool idea with nearly perfect execution. Best horror I've seen in years and the most intense film I've seen for a while.

I had a large cappuccino going in, that helped to increase the intensity.

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#4892 Posted by alwaysbebombing (2691 posts) -

I was finally able to find a place playing Isle of Dogs and it was absolutely fantastic 5/5

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#4893 Edited by ChaseS19 (15 posts) -

My girlfriend showed me Antitrust the other weekend. Apparently it is a classic in her family. I really enjoyed it for its early 2000s campy.

Antitrust 7.5/10

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#4894 Posted by Relkin (1033 posts) -

Finally got around to watching Goodfellas recently. Can't say I loved it. Not to say that I think it's bad, it just didn't do much for me. That being said, I'm glad this movie was made because I remember enjoying the Animaniacs short, "Goodfeathers" considerably as a child.

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#4895 Posted by TheRealTurk (361 posts) -

Shape of Water. I thought it was vastly overrated after all the hype I had heard about it. It tried to be this weird Amelie/Hellboy prequel crossover with vaguely Tarantino-esque dialogue, but it didn't so any of those things very well. I was excruciatingly bored. 5/10.

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#4896 Edited by capnhaggis (66 posts) -

Just saw A Quiet Place last night. 4/5. It's a tense jump-scare-a-thon that goes over some well-tread ground (if the monster hears you it hunts you) but they do some interesting things to ratchet up the tension, it didn't outstay its welcome, and the monster design was dope. Spend enough time talking about it, and you'll no doubt pick it apart but I had a really good time.

I will say that I added an extra layer to the experience by ordering nachos and watching it in a crowded theatre. This is a very QUIETmovie, and I had to pick my crunching moments carefully.

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#4897 Posted by ChaseS19 (15 posts) -

@therealturk: I agree with this. Felt like "Baby's first Del Toro" movie. Lacked a lot of the clever charm of his past movies,music.

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#4898 Posted by cobratron (7 posts) -

Saw Jumanji on a recent flight to Japan. I started dozing off after first 15 min. I did manage to wake up and finish and it wasnt as bad as I thought it would be. I still love the original and this one is not even in the ballpark but i would give it a strong 5.5/10

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#4899 Posted by The_Greg (484 posts) -

@therealturk: Completely agree. I was really let down by this film. Watched Three Billboards the day before, that should have won best picture in my opinion.

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#4900 Posted by nutter (1629 posts) -

I wasn’t going to mention it in here, but if the director says it’s a movie edited into hour chunks, I’ll consider it a movie.

Twin Peaks: The Return is an amazing piece of work. When Lynch goes for it and gets abstract, it’s breathtaking. Also, great ensemble cast and an amazing set of performances by Kyle Maclachlan.