Author Topic: Film Flam  (Read 89595 times)

Al Qədic

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #810 on: June 08, 2019, 05:33:32 am »
So, here's something I have a love-hate thing with about movies nowadays, especially horror/drama type things; discourse, especially of the family variety. From the character motivations, to the family dynamic (or lack thereof), to the symbolism of the big bad ruining our heroes lives, or the big spookum looking to murder them in the woods, there are a lot of family relationship struggles in this genre.

On one hand, I like it because it's nice to see flawed human beings dealing with their shit, it's nice seeing what people take solace in when in danger, and how they develop as a person as the result of a crisis. Family issues should be highlighted, because they can fuck a person up, and that kind of damage is neat to explore in film.

On the other hand, I'm realizing that I don't much care for the "angsty teen has to come to terms with her family members who don't see eye to eye to her, and mommy is dead, and there are two creepy kids trying to get into the trailer, and once they're done with it all and she learns to love her little sister, she finally calls the husband "dad" again and they can be happy now that the evil is vanquished" structure that I've been noticing lately. I wouldn't call it bad writing, but it's overplayed. Predictable. The big spookums could pass as real threats before, but now their inexplicable ties to the emotions and grief that main-character-person needs to accept/let go of/give yaself unto Jayzus just kinda cheapens the near-death experiences and bonding through fear. There is no real threat, just screaming "get over your problems already and the thing will leave you alone!" I suppose there might be some meta commentary here about how it's not that easy, but for as right as that is, I can't bring myself to care when we're talking about spookums preying on actor mcangstyteen from TV land.
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Cramulus

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #811 on: January 27, 2020, 04:04:10 pm »
Annihilation (2018)

The premise: Natalie Portman is a soldier/biologist who is part of a group investigating this bizarre occurrence. There's an area of the world surrounded by a weird shimmering effect. Within this area, reality is broken. Teams that have entered this area have not returned. The area is growing and unless we figure out how to stop it, it will grow at an exponential rate and probably swallow the world.  Inside the shimmer, it's an acid trip.

I enjoyed it a lot. There are a few great mindfuck moments. I don't want to spoil anything, but if I had to put this in a genre, the box says "sci-fi thriller" but I'd call it "cosmic horror" - like, the phenomena in this movie is never completely explained, and it doesn't fit neatly into human expectations or tropes. CAN we understand the universe? Or are our cognitive facilities only equipped to process the stuff that happens on our planet? If there's life elsewhere in the universe, would we even recognize it as life?




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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #812 on: January 27, 2020, 04:07:21 pm »
Annihilation (2018)

The premise: Natalie Portman is a soldier/biologist who is part of a group investigating this bizarre occurrence. There's an area of the world surrounded by a weird shimmering effect. Within this area, reality is broken. Teams that have entered this area have not returned. The area is growing and unless we figure out how to stop it, it will grow at an exponential rate and probably swallow the world.  Inside the shimmer, it's an acid trip.

I enjoyed it a lot. There are a few great mindfuck moments. I don't want to spoil anything, but if I had to put this in a genre, the box says "sci-fi thriller" but I'd call it "cosmic horror" - like, the phenomena in this movie is never completely explained, and it doesn't fit neatly into human expectations or tropes. CAN we understand the universe? Or are our cognitive facilities only equipped to process the stuff that happens on our planet? If there's life elsewhere in the universe, would we even recognize it as life?

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #813 on: January 27, 2020, 04:07:32 pm »
Knives Out

It's a classic whodunnit murder mystery movie. It was super-fun! It had the right mix of suspense and lightheartedness and drama that kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time. Great cast, great characters, great concept. Daniel Craig doing a foghorn-leghorn southern accent is a little weird but they lean into it real hard. Definitely worth a watch if you want a fun two hours.

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #814 on: January 27, 2020, 04:22:23 pm »
Star Trek Discovery, season 1 (I am 3/4s of the way through):

Star Trek without the Just World fallacy.  There's a horrible war going on, and the Discovery is the only Federation ship that's winning any battles...But there is a horrible war going on, and the crew of the Discovery have all had better days, mentally-speaking.

What I love about it is the subverted tropes.  The protagonist is a convicted mutineer.  Normally in Star Trek, this would be based on a misunderstanding or some shit, but in this series, she actually did it.  She really is a mutineer.  Everyone (including her) blames her for the war, although if her mutiny had succeeded, the war wouldn't have happened.  The protagonist now has the rank of "Prisoner", spared from the mines by Captain Lorca.  It's also worth mentioning that she is probably the most dangerous human being that ever lived, but not because she's good at fighting (she is, but she's not unbeatable.  She's dangerous for other reasons).

Captain Lorca is, to put it mildly, a monster.  There really is no dressing it up to be some kind of quirky behavior.  He's a full-out psychopath, but he wins battles.

The Engineer is insane because he is no longer in a position to share a frame of reference with any of his peers.  Or anyone else.

The other characters are in similar shape.  And the Klingons?  Reconned.  Actually alien, rather than a knock off of Tojo's Japanese military.  And let's just say they have problems of their own.

It's also worth mentioning that nobody has plot armor.  Anyone can die (as opposed to "everyone dies," which isn't the case).

It seems like the trope "crapsack world," but it isn't, which is just an indication of how good the writers are, because crapsack world would be an easy thing to fall into.
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Cain

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #815 on: January 27, 2020, 06:04:23 pm »
I have to admit, I was kind of hoping they were going to go in a slightly different direction with Lorca, mostly because I do like Jason Isaacs as an actor.

But then we wouldn't have had the season 2 captain, hands down the best captain of any Trek. Edit: for those who don't mind spoilers.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 06:07:59 pm by Cain »

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #816 on: January 27, 2020, 06:12:23 pm »
Annihilation (2018)

The premise: Natalie Portman is a soldier/biologist who is part of a group investigating this bizarre occurrence. There's an area of the world surrounded by a weird shimmering effect. Within this area, reality is broken. Teams that have entered this area have not returned. The area is growing and unless we figure out how to stop it, it will grow at an exponential rate and probably swallow the world.  Inside the shimmer, it's an acid trip.

I enjoyed it a lot. There are a few great mindfuck moments. I don't want to spoil anything, but if I had to put this in a genre, the box says "sci-fi thriller" but I'd call it "cosmic horror" - like, the phenomena in this movie is never completely explained, and it doesn't fit neatly into human expectations or tropes. CAN we understand the universe? Or are our cognitive facilities only equipped to process the stuff that happens on our planet? If there's life elsewhere in the universe, would we even recognize it as life?

I feel that the signature music deserves special mention in really driving the cosmic horror aspects home here.

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #817 on: January 28, 2020, 11:37:39 am »
Annihilation (2018)

The premise: Natalie Portman is a soldier/biologist who is part of a group investigating this bizarre occurrence. There's an area of the world surrounded by a weird shimmering effect. Within this area, reality is broken. Teams that have entered this area have not returned. The area is growing and unless we figure out how to stop it, it will grow at an exponential rate and probably swallow the world.  Inside the shimmer, it's an acid trip.

I enjoyed it a lot. There are a few great mindfuck moments. I don't want to spoil anything, but if I had to put this in a genre, the box says "sci-fi thriller" but I'd call it "cosmic horror" - like, the phenomena in this movie is never completely explained, and it doesn't fit neatly into human expectations or tropes. CAN we understand the universe? Or are our cognitive facilities only equipped to process the stuff that happens on our planet? If there's life elsewhere in the universe, would we even recognize it as life?

Seeing this movie in the theater felt like a rare event. The third act left us pretty shaken, there's such a sensory overload that reality gets all soft. I read later that the sound designer actually had the ambient music rotating around the theater speakers to disorient the audience.

My favorite, and the most accurate review of it I read was "Alex Garland has created an atom bomb of a movie."

Apart from the third act though, and the bear scene, I didn't feel like it was that strong. I haven't rewatched it since release and it doesn't call me back like Ex Machina did.

Knives Out

It's a classic whodunnit murder mystery movie. It was super-fun! It had the right mix of suspense and lightheartedness and drama that kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time. Great cast, great characters, great concept. Daniel Craig doing a foghorn-leghorn southern accent is a little weird but they lean into it real hard. Definitely worth a watch if you want a fun two hours.

Total agreement. Loved this. There's been some rumor that Benoit Blanc might be a recurring movie detective and I think as long as it's still done by Rian Johnson it'll be fun every time. I also had the pleasure of watching it with a die hard Last Jedi hater and getting to say "look, see, I told you this guy was good!"

Supposedly a lot of the mansion shots were filmed at a state park near me; I think when the weather warms up I'm going to go take a tour.
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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #818 on: January 28, 2020, 06:17:44 pm »
In the spirit of Cosmic Horror, like Annihilation, I thought The Void was good. Had to watch it twice- first time gave up after 10 mins thinking it was a dressed up slasher movie. More recently for a different direction of cosmic I thought Underwater might merit a trip to the theatre- TJ Miller providing comic relief.
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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #819 on: January 28, 2020, 06:23:14 pm »
Annihilation (2018)

The premise: Natalie Portman is a soldier/biologist who is part of a group investigating this bizarre occurrence. There's an area of the world surrounded by a weird shimmering effect. Within this area, reality is broken. Teams that have entered this area have not returned. The area is growing and unless we figure out how to stop it, it will grow at an exponential rate and probably swallow the world.  Inside the shimmer, it's an acid trip.

I enjoyed it a lot. There are a few great mindfuck moments. I don't want to spoil anything, but if I had to put this in a genre, the box says "sci-fi thriller" but I'd call it "cosmic horror" - like, the phenomena in this movie is never completely explained, and it doesn't fit neatly into human expectations or tropes. CAN we understand the universe? Or are our cognitive facilities only equipped to process the stuff that happens on our planet? If there's life elsewhere in the universe, would we even recognize it as life?


The “nemesis” scene in this one may just be one of my favorite things.
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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #820 on: January 31, 2020, 02:50:44 pm »
What Did Jack Do? is a 17-minute long short film by David Lynch - was just posted to Netflix on Lynch's 74th birthday.

The film's synopsis reads "In a locked down train station, a homicide detective conducts an interview with a tormented monkey."


I loved it - it's very David Lynch.