Movie opinions thread (what have you seen, what did you think?)

lithy

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Road to Perdition

I watched this one back when it was new-ish 20 years ago and while I never rewatched it I remember liking it a lot.

Would not have remembered anything about a pre-Bond Daniel Craig.

Still like this one a lot, the final sequence with the washed out white beach scene as a stand in for purgatory(?) might be a little heavy-handed/simplified, but still works.

The little montage of the kid 'learning to drive' overlaid with the bank holdups works really well for me.

Jude Law's character probably the worst part of the movie, too caricatured in a couple ways.

The father-son stuff put a tear in my eye a couple times.

Wraps up in under 2 hours. I still like it.
 

LoneSage

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Being There. This makes a lot of top 10 lists, so I've been curious for years. HOLY SHIT and YIKES. This is a weird one to take in. My wife punched out exactly midway through, so I had to watch the rest with headphones on in the dark. You keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and it never really does. It's funny in an uncomfortable way that rivals the Scott's Tots episode of the US Office. Rain Man takes a LOT from this movie, and it's wild the amount of balls it took for someone less than a decade later to think it was already okay to make what is essentially a cheap, dumb commercial copy (without the magical age-swap bullshit) in Tom Hanks's Big. One scene is pretty much lifted directly.

Crazy ending which comes out of nowhere, but feels right. WTF
I just want to thank you for sharing this movie with me, because I never heard of it and I looked it up. The ending had the mentally retarded man walk across water, further proving why Arrested Development is one of the greatest shows ever. Coming up 20 years and I'm still discovering references about the show.
 

terry.330

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Tourist Trap- This is worth watching for Tanya Roberts in that blue tube top and daisy dukes alone. Aside from that it is definitely a bit of a hidden gem as mentioned a page or two back. The mannequins are legitimately creepy at times, making their jaws move so they can scream is really effective. Chuck Connors does a great job as Mr. Slausen and the setting is great. This is one of those movies where they really managed to do a lot with very little and it's better for it. It's not going to blow your socks off but if you're into shlocky horror it's pretty enjoyable.
 

Average Joe

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Night Swim

There are two Marco Polo bits in this haunted pool film (<--- wtf?!?!) and the second one involved the possessed father screaming "Marco!" when he lost sight of the daughter he was chasing only to find her moments later and then scream "You didn't say Polo!".

10/10 bit... not sure if it was supposed to be funny, but I laughed regardless.

Shit movie though from nearly every aspect.

I hate large bodies of water and at a few points the space of the pool was warped and became really deep beyond logic, so seeing some decent-looking ghosts come out of the darkness kind of creeped me out a bit.
 

famicommander

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I hope the new Planet of the Apes is good. I thought the previous trilogy was by far the peak of the franchise and one of the better sci-fi film trilogies period.
 

HornheaDD

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Awakenings - 1990 drama based on a true story about a neurologist who "awakens" a number of catatonic patients in a mental institution in the 60s. Robin Williams plays the lead character (in the first dramatic role I ever saw him in) and Bobby D plays the main patient who goes through all of the highs and lows of waking up after essentially being a vegetable for 30 years. It's not a bad movie by any stretch but it's a pretty by-the-numbers Oscar bait movie right down to the manipulative score by Randy Newman, De Niro playing a character with a disability (very well, mind you) and the overly simple life lesson.

With a few exceptions, I was never much of a fan of Robin Williams as a comedian/comic actor (I remember finding his manic riffing annoying even as a kid) but the man was a terrific dramatic actor. This, Fisher King, Dead Poets, Good Will Hunting ,etc etc. Not exactly a hot take at this point but the man was strangely great at understated pathos. So yeah. I don't have a lot to say about the movie other than that it's a pretty milquetoast uplifting drama elevated by some strong performances (hardly surprising given the cast).

Also weird to see Julie Kavner doing anything that isn't voicework. I gather she did a few more live action movies after this but she's pretty much the weird recluse who voices Marge Simpson if you're under 50 or the lady from Rhoda and Taxi if you're over 50.

While I did like Robin Williams' comedic stuff, I also really enjoyed his dramatic roles. Evidently he was sort of 'known' for being in 'terrible dramas.' Who the hell would call Good Will Hunting a 'terrible drama' is beyond me.

I dunno man, the movies you listed, as well as some dram-edies like Bicentennial Man, Patch Adams, etc were all enjoyable. I even liked him in What Dreams May Come. And the darker comedies like Death to Smoochie and Good Morning Vietnam were great too.

Also don't forget The Birdcage. He and Nathan Lane were stupid brilliant together in that flick.

Obvs I never met the guy or anything, but I was saddened when he died. The guy was a huge part of my childhood from Mork to Hook to Aladdin, to Bicentennial Man. The world went a little darker when he died.
 

Average Joe

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Haunting Fear

Maybe the closest Fred Olen Ray has come to making a passable Horror movie. I know people seem to really like Sideshow that he did with Full Moon, but I could never get into Full Moon films so I haven't seen that one.

Is this good? Nope.

Is it the best Horror film I've seen from him?

Possibly, but I do kind of like Scalps more even if that one feels like a mess at times.

On a side note: When looking up Fred's staggering filmography, I was shocked to find that he did one of those recent Seagal "Action" films that I've seen mocked into oblivion.
 

LoneSage

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Poltergeist- As iconic as the movie is I honestly don't think it warrants the praise that it gets. There's been a lot of contention over the years as to just how much Tobe Hooper was actually involved in directing it, people say that Spielberg essentially ghost directed it. I think Hooper was far more involved than people want to believe. Sure it has all the Spielberg hallmarks of the era but it's all executed so dull and flat that it's obvious that it's someone trying to emulate that Spielberg magic and failing.
Bumping your post from September 2022: https://neo-geo.com/forums/index.ph...at-did-you-think.162296/page-548#post-4432819

Was reading about Poltergeist and came across this article: https://www.ranker.com/list/steven-spielberg-poltergeist-director/christopher-shultz

John Leonetti, an assistant to the director of photography Matthew F. Leonetti (and also the cinematographer's brother), decided to set the record straight once and for all. During an interview with Blumhouse's all-things-horror podcast Shock Waves, one of the hosts casually asked whether Leonetti could tell them who directed Poltergeist. His reply:

It was a very intense, very fun, very technical movie to work on. There’s a lot going on. And candidly... Steven Spielberg directed that movie. There’s no question.
 

100proof

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Went to The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare this evening. Think Guy Ritchie does The Dirty Dozen. More specifically, Guy Ritchie does Operation Postmaster, a famous black ops mission from WWII. It's big and broad and dumb but it's two hours of Nazis getting mowed down and it never takes itself particularly seriously so it's fun and moves swiftly. Henry Cavill is his usual charming self and Alan Ritchson (Reacher) is getting to 80s action hero proportions he's on so much gas. This actually does feel like an 80s action movie with how big and stupid it is, how everyone is depicted as invincible superheroes and there's a one-liner/physical comedy moment interspersed throughout the action. It's totally the kind of movie my dad would like. Don't know that it's particularly memorable but it's a solid time waster.
 

terry.330

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Superstition- A somewhat obscure supernatural slasher from 1982. A priest investigates an old house owned by the church that has been the sight of a bunch of unexplained deaths and discovers that it was cursed by a witch who was drowned there back in the 1600's. Now some stupid family has moved in and the priest has to save them and break the curse. Kind of a hidden gem, it's nothing special but there are a couple legitimately good gore gags and the stuff with the witch and the supernatural angle make it a bit more interesting than the average slasher. The acting is absolutely atrocious and it little bit of nudity would have gone a long way.
 

Average Joe

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Lowlifes

Wow... a Tubi Original Horror movie actually worth watching.

A well-to-do and stock cliched happy family of suburban cannibalistic killers goes around killing people they deem as beneath them. The plot is basic as it gets and goes as expected, but there is a lot of violence and gore and keeps up at a good pace. It won't be labeled as a classic or anything, but considering the level that Tubi Originals are at, this was many levels above that.
 

terry.330

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Dog Soldiers- I probably watch this a couple times a year. It's not perfect but it's one of the rare action-horror movies, a surprisingly untapped genre. This has way more in common with Predator than say American Werewolf in London. I also like the semi grindhouse style, it's not overdone like a lot of later movies that tried it. Plenty of action and gore with a decent cast. Though I think it could have used a bit tighter editing as it gets pretty hectic and sloppy.
 

100proof

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Drunken Master II - Hadn't seen this one in a long time and was pleasantly surprised to see it held up. Not super surprising, I guess... I remembered it being one of my favorite Jackie Chan films. Everything I like about his movies (the seemingly effortless speed and precision of the fight choreography, the brazenness of the stunts, his natural physical comedy chops) focusing on a rarely seen martial arts style. The final fight scene with Taekwondo master Ken Lo in particular is among my favorite fights in any film (though I'm hardly an expert on the matter).

Most of the gags and jokes are corny as shit in a sort of vaudeville way but Anita Mui in particular has great comedic timing (as well as Jackie, of course). The narrative is completely scattershot and dabbles in most of the cliches of HK martial arts movies but it gets to the point quickly enough and provides ample opportunity from the opening scene for Jackie to show off his crazy skill and complete disregard for his own body. Martial arts films in general live and die by the believability and likeability of the hero and, while I don't like all of Jackie Chan's movies (particularly the later ones), this era of stuff is absolutely a high point in his career... and this movie in particular.
 

Average Joe

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The Innkeepers

I watched this one when it first came out and remember thinking it was merely alright, but after Pearl became and instant favorite I decided to give Ti West more chances and I can safely say I hate this movie.

The setting and atmosphere are interesting and the few spooky elements that are there are well done, but so much of this movie is just listening to annoying people be annoying and waiting for things to happen that never do. If there was more creepy bits sprinkled in I'd be more lenient, but there really isn't much going on except in the final few minutes.
 

HellioN

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I finally saw Oppenheimer.
It was alright.
Over hyped & a bit pretentious.
Compared to the garbage that hollyweird has been dumping in the last several years I can see why it got so much praise.
 

Burning Fight!!

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Fuck Oppenheimer, go watch real movies, such as:

The Iron Dragon Strikes Back aka The Gold Connection (1979)

OK, I think I have a new favorite low budget Hong Kong movie. My boy Bruce Li, the only legitimately charismatic actor to come out of the deluge of brucesploitation movies in the 70s, stars in a movie that's its own thing. It's frustrating how this movie is *almost* technically competent, as it still has many directing oddities that you don't see in places where the language of cinema is already mastered, like cuts between scenes being too fast and confusing giving you little time to situate yourself on the story they're trying to tell. This wouldn't pass in the west as a good movie, BUT it's still miles better than a lot of its contemporary HK low budget movies, for sure. Aside from these directorial quirks, I'd say the movie is objectively good.

Four guys find vietnamese gold dumped in their favorite diving/fishing spot, but Bruce Li pours water into his friends' beers explaining that it's probably from a gold smuggling operation, which might not be worth touching because it will cost their lives. They dump back the gold, and naturally, the bald bus driver of the group goes back later on his own to grab all the gold for himself. Oh well, at least they're not in danger, right? Baldy tries to sell the vietnamese minted gold and the bad guys quickly trace it back to him and his friends, leading to a failed ambush and a kidnapping, and finally an exchange for their friend's life in an abandoned quarry.

Right away there's a decent and intriguing plot to follow along, and once the plot kicks off it seems that the movie never lets go, culminating in the quarry fight which is a great sequence. But unfortunately after that, the movie kills off the action pacing for no apparent reason whatsoever, and the 🐨 HK plot logic starts to surface a bit. Later when the plot kicks off again it becomes clear that the director wanted to transition into a suspenseful mood but the pace change is too abrupt. But this somehow works in its own janky way and you still want to know what will happen next as the paranoid friends get harassed by the bad guys and picked off one by one, including a somewhat brutal scene where one of the character's sister gets a flaming towel thrown into her face by surprise, making her fall and squirm on the floor for a couple of uncomfortable seconds (I hope the double got paid well for that).

The director at least tried for real with this movie and you get some great action sequences, as expected, but some surprisingly well directed scenes too, like in one chase scene where the guy who tried to cash in the gold bars for baldy flees from the bad guys and you see their sillouettes against the sky in some very dark alleyways, with nice camera angles to accentuate the action. The end fight where Li has to fight one of the hired assassins on his apartment is probably one of the greatest fight scenes in a cramped space ever made, and I'm not exaggerating. Another inventive shot is at the very end where the assassin kills the light and in pitch black darkness, Li starts firing off his camera and the last few seconds of the fight are overexposed intentionally with constant sounds of his camera shutter, and in slow motion, culminating in him decapitating the bad guy with a leg hold (!). Of course the scene doesn't make sense if you think about it logically (how can Li be flashing the camera AND fighting the guy at the same time?) but it's still a great scene.

This movie is legitimately entertaining but what really pushes it to legendary status among its peers is the bleak atmosphere the movie has, accentuated with its depressing ending
Spoiler:
where after his hard earned win on the last fight scene, the movie hard cuts to our hero leaving his apartment and getting gunned down with no fanfare, and instead of ending on him lying dead like your average HK martial arts flick, the movie cuts to the big bad boss who the characters never met, getting congratulated for his job (despite never recovering the gold) and discussing a change of plans to smuggle gold from Vietnam to avoid what for them was a minor inconvenience. The credits roll without any music.


Highly recommended! Just don't watch the dumb ass VHS to youtube uploads these movies tend to have as the poor transfer quality really hurts these low budget movies to the point of becoming unwatchable (for me at least). There's an unnoficial bootleg 2k transfer of a theatrical print which has great image quality, but the bluray they released this in is a bit hard to buy, I'd buy that or wait for someone to dump it into the Internet Archive or something.
 

terry.330

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Severin just released (or is about to) a big blu-ray set of Bruceploitation. They usually do a pretty good job with transfers and extras. I think this was kind of expensive though.

The Innkeepers

I watched this one when it first came out and remember thinking it was merely alright, but after Pearl became and instant favorite I decided to give Ti West more chances and I can safely say I hate this movie.

The setting and atmosphere are interesting and the few spooky elements that are there are well done, but so much of this movie is just listening to annoying people be annoying and waiting for things to happen that never do. If there was more creepy bits sprinkled in I'd be more lenient, but there really isn't much going on except in the final few minutes.
I honestly can't say why I like this one but I do. The characters are annoying, it's slow and the ending is a meh. I think I like how small and natural some of it feels. The setting, the lazy employees, it's got kind of a laid back aloof feel to it. I like it better than House Of The Devil (which I also like), I dunno just something about it I enjoy.
 

Average Joe

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Severin just released (or is about to) a big blu-ray set of Bruceploitation. They usually do a pretty good job with transfers and extras. I think this was kind of expensive though.


I honestly can't say why I like this one but I do. The characters are annoying, it's slow and the ending is a meh. I think I like how small and natural some of it feels. The setting, the lazy employees, it's got kind of a laid back aloof feel to it. I like it better than House Of The Devil (which I also like), I dunno just something about it I enjoy.
If you were in front of me I'd punch you in the mouth then kiss your mouth until it was all better and then punch you in it again.
 

Average Joe

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Piranha 3D

Oh, boy... what a fun one this is.

I really can't think of too many negatives outside of the CG used for certain death scenes, but there is enough practical as well so I can't really get on its case that much since it balances out. I could see people finding the last half really annoying since it is a lot of people screaming non-stop, but that wasn't an issue for me.

This is just peak stupid Horror there to serve the portion of our lizard brains that crave violence, tits, and violence towards tits.

Kudos to Richard Dreyfus showing up in the beginning for some reason only to die horribly straight away.
 

Average Joe

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Piranha 3DD

Fuck this movie.

It's stupid and gross in all the wrong ways.

You can be stupid and gross and be great (ex: early Peter Jackson stuff), but you have to make sure you're also not being lazy. This film is just insultingly lazy to the point where its mere existence is baffling and everyone involved should feel intense shame for being associated with it. Very rare is the film where it truly had felt like a waste of time and this was one of them; I got literally no enjoyment out of it.
 

dspoonrt

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Piranha 3D is one of my favorite movies of this century. It's pretty much perfect for what it is and wants to be.

I'm with terry. I also like The Innkeepers. It has flaws, for sure, but I find it enjoyable all the way through. I like House of the Devil way more, though. It's my favorite of West's work.
 
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