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  #26  
Old 07-26-2016, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

Yeah, while the original was pretty good, it wasn't the greatest comedy ever, or even close. Frankly, without Bill Murray, it probably wouldn't have been worth watching.

People who remember it as the funniest and greatest comedy of all time are wearing some serious nostalgia goggles, I think.
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  #27  
Old 07-28-2016, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

I enjoyed the Ghostbusters movie. It was perfectly enjoyable. Perhaps I was merely primed to enjoy it by force of will (thanks MRAs and haters), or the modest reviewers who didn't savage it keeping my expectations low, but it was just fine. There are elements that I prefer from the original, but this one exists all on its own. The jokes and gags p much all worked on me and I dug the performances from everyone.
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  #28  
Old 08-11-2016, 03:13 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

Saw it with Mrs. Puppet. Bort is very smart and I agree with everything he says, and so's my wife. It's fun, only a couple of the call-backs are forced/lame, and the cameos all work. And I agree that Hemsworth was hilariously idiotic, or idiotically hilarious.
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  #29  
Old 08-24-2016, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

Ben-Hur won't win any Oscars, but an alright movie night.
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  #30  
Old 08-30-2016, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

I read the chariot scene was a bit of a jump cut, close-up, CGI mess, especially compared to the 70mm widescreen extravaganza of the 1959 version. Also one mourns the loss of the gay subtext.
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  #31  
Old 10-01-2016, 04:12 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

The entirely predictable Kubo and the Two Strings still pulled the entirely predictable heartstrings to a satisfying conclusion. The setting and atmosphere is what made the movie.
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  #32  
Old 10-05-2016, 05:40 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is Burton being Burton, but it's Burton, so go see it anyway.
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  #33  
Old 11-23-2016, 03:22 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

Fantastic Beasts was a game of Count the Tropes.

The first half hour had me rolling my eyes and cringing, but it got better all the way up to 'okay'.

Doctor Strange kicked its ass.
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  #34  
Old 11-27-2016, 05:35 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

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Originally Posted by Kamilah Hauptmann View Post
Fantastic Beasts was a game of Count the Tropes.

The first half hour had me rolling my eyes and cringing, but it got better all the way up to 'okay'.
We enjoyed it, but most of the family are pretty dedicated Harry Potter fans.

There were a few things I didn't like, and it annoys me that this is going to be 3 movies based off a fake textbook written as a joke by JK Rowling.
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  #35  
Old 12-07-2016, 01:56 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Kamilah is right. This is lazy Burton paint by numbers. Was I entertained, yes. Was I amazed, no. The movie does play to its strong suit, the discovery of the oddities takes up a good portion of the film, but it struggles when conflict ensues. I had really wished they didn't have a primary villain and instead focused on emotional conflict of love and loss. Samuel Jackson's performance in particular was rather uneven, he starts out seemingly scary only to fall into camp, in a strange variant of both overacting and phoning it in.

I like Burton's style but I feel he's been coasting on goth and fluffy macabre images for too long with no real substance.

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  #36  
Old 12-07-2016, 03:28 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

It at least had the charm of being more interesting than an average X-Men flick, even if it was mainly due to the rather good period camp.
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  #37  
Old 12-12-2016, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

Hacksaw Ridge: Does Mel Gibson love his war porn or what?


I mean, once the main plot kicks into gear and we're treated to all the loving close-ups of maimed bodies and people getting brutally killed, you quickly get the point: "War is bad." Then, after awhile, you start thinking, "Yeah, that equine is thoroughly deceased; you don't have to flog it quite so hard." And eventually you start thinking, "Does Mel Gibson masturbate to pictures of mutilated corpses? 'Cause he sure seems to find them appealing."


Similarly, your first thought is, "Ah, this is sure to be an uplifting story of how one man managed to retain his values in even the most trying of circumstances." But you pretty soon start thinking, "No, the true message that the film-makers want to convey is that Desmond is better than you. Why? Because he's a Christian." After awhile, you can almost hear the film-makers saying, "Convinced yet? No? Well, how about we repeat that message another 30 or 40 times?"


It's not a bad movie, and Garfield does a decent job with the role. But the movie is about as subtle and sophisticated as a sledgehammer to the side of the head.
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  #38  
Old 12-12-2016, 07:18 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

Star Trek: Beyond

It's a pretty decent SciFi action flick with good actors that keeps you entertained for 2 hours. But this is really, really NOT Star Trek. At all.

Oh, and by the way: Stop BLOWING THE DAMN SHIP UP ALREADY, ASSHOLES! Jesus Christ!
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  #39  
Old 12-12-2016, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

There's a new Star Trek?

Oh, wait, you mean StarWars: Kaboom!!!
(Seriously, this could have made a decent StarWars movie.)
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  #40  
Old 12-12-2016, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

That's what I thought too, yes. This would have made a pretty good Star Wars movie.
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  #41  
Old 12-25-2016, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

Passengers: the movie had a lot of potential, but never really lived up to it.


Here's a brief synopsis, with no real spoilers (most of this can be gleaned from the trailer). Chris Pratt plays a passenger (Jim) on a spacecraft that's on a journey to a distant world. The projected journey time is 120 years, so the passengers and crew are all kept in suspended animation for the duration of the trip. Something goes wrong and Jim's pod malfunctions. He wakes up and discovers that they're only 30 years into the journey, and so he faces the prospect of spending his entire life alone. All. Alone.

He manages to survive on his own for a year before he's reached the point of suicidal despair. Then he has an idea. He hates himself for doing it, but he simply can't survive on his own any longer -- so he opens the pod containing Jennifer Lawrence's character (Aurora).


Now, there's a lot to work with here. Jim's plight is compared to that of a drowning man: he knows that he's doing a terrible thing to Aurora, but he's desperate. And just as a drowning man might drown someone else in a desperate attempt to save himself, Jim has, in his desperation, condemned Aurora to live her entire life with only Jim for company.

So, does the film really explore this? Was Jim's action in any way forgivable? How will Aurora react when she finds out what he did to her? Unfortunately, we don't really get into those issues, because the movie quickly turns into a standard "We must save the ship, against incredible odds" flick.


Anyway, Chris Pratt was fine, and Jennifer Lawrence was as wonderful as ever. But both of them were wasted in a movie that could have been so much better.



Aside from the wasted potential, the wildly inconsistent physics bugged me. Sometimes, it was clear, they actually put some thought into the physics of the ship and how it would function -- and then they'd throw all of that right out the window in the very next scene. Ugh!


For example, the ship is shown to rotate, and that that's how it generates gravity. Okay, good. Then there's a power failure, and everything inside the ship suddenly goes zero-G. What? The ship wouldn't stop rotating just because the power failed!

I have a sneaking suspicion that the writers of the movie were thinking, "In 'serious' space movies, like 2001, spaceships always rotate, so our ship should rotate." Unfortunately, they didn't understand why ships rotate in "serious" space movies.


And you can't have it both ways! Why does practically every space movie misunderstand Newton's laws of motion? What I mean by that is this: Why is it that in practically every space movie, when the artificial gravity fails, objects (including people, of course) immediately leap off the floor, float to the center of the room -- and then stop?

You can't have it both ways: either a force is acting on those objects or it isn't! If there is a force acting on these objects, causing them to leap up off the floor and into the air, then they'll remain in motion until something exerts an opposing force on them -- that is, when they run into the ceiling or the wall, or whatever they're moving toward.

If there isn't a force acting on these objects, they won't leap off the floor and into the air, and they certainly won't come to a halt once they reach the center of the room.

Come on, this isn't even high school-level physics; it's grade school-level physics!

Why do movie makers so consistently fail to correctly depict how objects would behave in zero gravity?


Yes, Newton's laws still work, even in zero gravity. So, if you happen to find yourself in a pool when the gravity fails -- you can still swim. All you have to do is the same thing you do when the gravity is working: that is, if you push the water backwards, it generates a reaction force which pushes you forwards. So Aurora shouldn't have had any problem escaping from the pool in zero gravity -- even if it was floating in the center of the room for some mysterious reason.
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  #42  
Old 12-25-2016, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

Yeah, I agree. It was a movie with a great hard sci-fi premise that chickens out, or whatever, and then turns into a lesser sci-fi film that you can watch on TBS. They almost dive deep into the questions it raised. But I guess they assumed it was all (mostly) resolved in one moment of barely controlled rage. (That was well played, btw. It felt justified even though I was sickened by it at the same time.)
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  #43  
Old 12-27-2016, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

I agree with nearly everything TLR and Bort say about the movie: it could've been a lot more than it was, and the physics were ridiculous. I'm not sure I agree that the issues the film raises were glossed over as much as a lot of people seem to think they were, though. They are kind of tossed aside in the final act of the film, but I feel like the film had explored the meaningful ramifications of the issues it brought up to the furthest extent it could have explored them without forcing an interpretation down the audience's throat. I'm going to spoiler tag some of this, though I'm not really sure it's necessary, because you've seen the plot before. That's not the point; the point for the first two acts of the film is the character study.



Still, I will agree that the film doesn't answer all the questions it brings up. I'm just not sure that I agree that it necessarily should have. Some of these questions are essentially unanswerable. The question of how far a person can go before they can't be forgiven isn't really something I have any interest in having a Hollywood film tell me; it's the sort of thing each person has to decide for themselves. Go too far in that direction and you don't have a film; you have a polemic.

I do feel like the film did a wonderful job conveying the desperation both characters felt; most of that is probably down to Pratt and Lawrence's performances rather than the script itself, but to be fair, some of this stuff is probably better communicated non-verbally anyway. Overall, I found the first two-thirds of the film to be an interesting study of a flawed, but nonetheless somewhat sympathetic and quite believable, character. Could it have been more? Yes. But I'm nonetheless pretty happy with what was there.

All that aside, the film is also tremendously predictable. The final act does sort of feel tacked on so that the film can have action sequences and stakes, and the character interactions are fairly easy to see coming in advance as well. As stated, I probably didn't even need to spoiler tag anything above because it's all telegraphed pretty well in advance. I'm honestly not sure I mind that, though. After a film with as much despair as the first two-thirds of the film contains, anything but a Hollywood ending would've been unbearably bleak.

Anyway, yeah, I agree it's not a great film. Probably 6-7/10 or so. I'm glad I saw it, and I'm glad I saw it in theatres, because it's definitely the sort of film best enjoyed on a big screen, but it's certainly not a cinematic masterpiece and it certainly has plenty of flaws. I enjoyed it despite those flaws, though, and it's definitely better than a lot of critics seem to have thought it was. It's pretty much the cinematic version of fast food; by no objective measure is it great cuisine, and it's not the sort of thing you should eat every day, but sometimes it's just what you want to eat, and there's nothing wrong with that. If that's the sort of thing that appeals to you, you should probably go see it. If not, it may still be worth catching when it shows up on Netflix or wherever and you've got nothing better to do.
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Last edited by The Man; 12-27-2016 at 03:32 AM. Reason: Moved some stuff out of spoiler tags because some of it was even less spoilery than the rest
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  #44  
Old 12-27-2016, 01:47 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

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Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
So, does the film really explore this? Was Jim's action in any way forgivable? How will Aurora react when she finds out what he did to her? Unfortunately, we don't really get into those issues, because the movie quickly turns into a standard "We must save the ship, against incredible odds" flick.
Coulda been a Silent Running kind of interesting?
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  #45  
Old 02-01-2017, 10:10 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

Split.

Shyamalan isn't surprising anyone anymore but still makes for a decent movie night. Horror aspects without over the top gore. Okay film all around.

The last scene in the movie made me roll my eyes so hard they hurt, but I can see some filmgoers finding it amusing and I wouldn't judge.
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  #46  
Old 03-08-2017, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

The Bling Ring and The Bling Ring

Both are about the same subject: A group of fame obsessed teens break into the homes of stars and steal all sorts of stuff.

One is a TV Movie that is a dramatized retelling of the story. The other is a movie that's "inspired by actual events". I decided to put both on my DVD queue.

The Bling Ring TV movie is a TV movie, so it has blandsome actors and a cable TV budget. Paris Hilton's house has one small walk-in closet, and an actress vaguely resembling her is only seen at a distance with large sunglasses.

The Bling Ring movie has better scenery and better (on average) actors. The teens motivations are less obvious, they're more stupid, and because it's not a TV-PG movie, the kids drink, smoke and get high on various drugs.

The TV movie is centered on the primary boy of the group, how befriending the popular "bad girl" in class helps him overcome his anxiety, so as soon as she starts getting bored with him, he leverages his father's knowledge (from being a studio accountant) and the celebrities own social media to locate, invade and eventually rob their houses.

The movie is not quite so centered, spreading focus across the group, particularly Emma Watson's character. The kids are aimless and acting on impulse until they get caught. There are only hints at the motivations of the individuals.

Ironically, I liked the TV Movie version slightly better. There's a very simple narrative arc, lays out the events in logical fashion, and gives adequate motivations to each person. It's more interested in telling the real story, or real enough for a TV movie story.

So much less seems to happen in the movie, but they both have basically the same running time.

Would I recommend either? Probably not, unless you're interested in the story, or at least the concept of the story.
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  #47  
Old 03-08-2017, 12:23 PM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

John Wick (the first one) - it's an ok action flick if a bit boring. Nothing to write home about. :meh:
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  #48  
Old 03-10-2017, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

The Girl on the Train.

I thought Emily Blunt gave a pretty good performance in this drama/thriller - usually she is a comedic actress, but the movie as a whole left me feeling meh.
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  #49  
Old 03-15-2017, 01:55 AM
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

Kong resulted in another formula action monster movie with Samual L Jackson playing the role of Samuel L Jackson. Funparts were the early parts with 70s post 'Nam flavour. Check brain at door and have a fun time.
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  #50  
Old 03-28-2017, 12:15 PM
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Stormlight Stormlight is offline
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Default Re: Movies that aren't really BAD -- but aren't very good, either

Quote:
Originally Posted by Limoncello View Post
The Girl on the Train.

I thought Emily Blunt gave a pretty good performance in this drama/thriller - usually she is a comedic actress, but the movie as a whole left me feeling meh.
I agree. Good performance from E. Blunt in an ok movie.

But here's a question: Emily Blunt is 34 years old. Is it really appropriate to call her "girl"? Is that an Anglo-Saxon thing?
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